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September 2015


erdadera truthfully

Competition Culture

Editor-In-Chief’s Note

We’d like to begin this year’s issue with a note about Verdadera itself. This publication used to be a collection of anonymous stories told by students; we decided to expand it as not only a platform to voice opinions, but to offer broader perspectives and support as well. We will try to bring in parents, alumni, and professionals, with a wide range of opinions. The idea isn’t to sound ambivalent; we want to bring as many sides of the story together as possible. Our goal this year is to discuss several topics concerning the well-being of individuals and the culture of the community at Monta Vista, one issue a month. We are also working on a website and will publish additional content online. For our September issue, we chose one of the most obvious topics: competition. Some see high school as a race and some don’t, but everyone knows it exists at Monta Vista. We all know the complexity of life can’t be reduced to such a linear idea, so why do we do it? Maybe it’s because it’s hard to see a bigger picture when we’ve lived in a society with such a clearly defined finish line: the college acceptance letter. It’s hard to stop running. Does Monta Vista’s competition culture need to change? That’s what we asked ourselves this month. We found an overwhelming amount “yes’s”. But that’s only a surface-level question. If it does needed to be fixed, how do we change it? Almost all of our staff were dubious about picking this topic. Rather than battle cries of “let’s change this!” remarks like “we’re tired of talking about something that will never be different”, and “this is just how Monta Vista will be like forever” were more common at our meeting. We know many of our readers will look at this issue - maybe even those who just glance at the front page - and say the same. But we know giving up was not an answer. It has become an issue of students’ well-being in the school and community; the least we can do is try to create a spark. We set up some goals to help initiate a new movement. By the end of September, before we publish our next issue, we hope: 1. To have established Verdadera as an accessible platform for voicing vital, often silent, issues our community deals with. 2. To have presented you with some new perspectives on competition culture and started the discussion about what healthy competition is. We have hosted a few events at school and reached out through several social media platforms. By doing so, we hope to show that Verdadera is an available resource to students, parents, and any member of the community. You can be the judge after these 30 days on how well we did please let us know. We understand we can’t change the system in a month, but we believe it starts with every reader of Verdadera having this conversation with themselves. Thank you, May Cui and Gloria Zhao P.S. Please do not try to guess who wrote which submission.



“Take What You Need” Clothespin Activity “I Am Proud Because...”

8/17-8/21 9/8-9/30

More to be announced!

Social Media Campaign This school year, Verdadera is making a bold comeback from our quieter issues, spending the summer to introduce a redesigned and renovated issue-- a new us. We wanted to jump headfirst into the pool rather than just dip our toes in the shallow end, so we decided to start the year off with the controversial topic of “Competition Culture.” Competition is widely discussed throughout the classic brick lined buildings of Monta Vista; the granite countertops of Silicon Valley’s 1%, the dinner tables of Cupertino’s elite, and even the families barely making ends meet. With our social media campaign this month, our goal is to invite students to being less harsh on themselves and post items on Instagram with the hashtag “#iamproudverd” about their personally recognized achievements they take pride in. We feel that in an environment where not just students feel pressure, it is essential for people to take a step back and love themselves. Through Twitter feeds and MVHS Verdadera’s Facebook page, we hope to expose the student body to reasons as to why life is not a competition in our eyes, and that we must all take a panoramic view of all there is to look forward to. We invite you to challenge the culture you wish to change. Instagram: @mvhsverdadera Facebook: Monta Vista Verdadera

Further Resources On Competition by Michael E. Porter Does Competition Improve Public Schools? Education Next Podcast Rush by Todd G. Buchholz Stress Free Kids by Lori Lite


We work hard because that is who we are. MV is a place for ambitious students. Kids in other schools might have insecurities in their looks or wealth, and ours are academically oriented. We should be teaching kids to deal with jealousy and envy in a mature, healthy way like yoga. Instead, students are hitting the books, volunteering, and starting a nonprofit. What a catastrophe!

3, S tudent

1, S tudent


Though many Matadors have said they are stressed throughout their high school career due to this competitiveness, I believe that it is overall a better atmosphere to be in, in athletics, education, and other activities. Competition breeds motivation, spirit, and leadership - just come to a rally and see our colors! Monta Vista does not have any suicide cases due to this competition, so I believe that it is a good atmosphere that builds drive. I, for one, am appreciative of Monta Vista's competitive nature.

1: no 3, Stude nt

As competitve as Monta Vista’s culture is, I feel that the high stakes and high standards make MV students better in general, evidenced by our ranking in US News’ High School Rankings. Currently, MV is ranked at 105 of 12,000+. We learn more, better, and faster than our peers across the nation, and as stressful as it is, it’s all for the better. AS the saying goes, No Pain, No Gain.

I think it’s valuable for us to experience thi learn that we have to work hard to accom [it] has made me a more organized and c But I also feel like it’s damaging the stud normally in social settings. Our failur who and what we are, and friends are mad academic status. Though this school may us for the working world, it leaves us c to handle our future social affairs and produce well rounded students who are p

Do you think MV’s Competitio 3


10, Parent

The kind of culture that exists at MV is really not driven by any kind of meritocracy or based on what children learn in school. It is entirely driven by what supplemental resources parents can provide to their children outside of school. These resources tend to be available to kids who parents have the financial ability to provide it to them and so it is not at all a level playing field.

10: yes Students pushing one another to constantly perform at their absolute best is hardly a bad thing and provides phenomenal outcomes for our school’s results. However, the stress that comes along for the ride...we can do without. I honestly believe that the competition culture at our school can easily be renamed, “The Stress Culture”. Each student wants to push themselves to be better than the next, and in return, we have a bunch of stressed teenagers crying over anything less than a perfect SAT or ACT score. The self-esteem in Cupertino’s young adults is plummeting rapidly, and I’m worried that if we don’t fix the stress culture at Monta Vista, the psychology and emotional/mental health of our students will suffer.

9, Stud ent

6, Student

is competition and omplish our goals... competent worker. dents’ ability to act res begin to define de or lost based on y very well prepare clueless about how lacks the ability to prepared for all the aspects of college.

10, Parent

An age appropriate competitive is definitely good for high school to motivate youth develop their potential abilities, however, the atmosphere in Monta Vista are not age appropriate due to too advanced and lake of adult guidance to create big frustration for students to continue to try.

on culture needs to be changed? 4

submissions Student My parents are Asian. But before you all imagine the stereotypes of my parents, I have to admit that my parents never forced me to study; I was never ever punished for bad grades as long as I learned from mistakes. I would have little pushes to do better and some feedback sometimes, but it wasn’t anything bad at all. I knew tons of friends that had it worse and spent summers at advance class prep classes.The pressure was really from competition between classmates. I never really cared much about getting higher grades throughout most of elementary and middle school, but it was just how it turned out. I’m not the perfect straight-A student but a few A’s, maybe some B’s. Through middle school, I slowly felt the pressure of wanting to achieve more and be in the higher-level classes, hearing all my friends talk about exactly what classes they’re going to take in all four years. At first I thought that I would never fall to pressure, but I was so wrong. Being in advanced math, it was normal to see people compare test scores and brag about their 100s. By high school, it was even more apparent when I saw that happening in other classes too. Other students were just like me: not perfect, but not bad either. I

kept thinking that I need to do better since that will determine my college future. What would make me exceptional and stand out from the rest of them crazy overachievers? That was when I realized I was one of them as well. I spent sleepless nights studying for my finals hoping that I can compare to the rest of my classmates. I wasn’t really happy with any of my finals scores but I just blamed it on my excuse of signing up for too many extracurriculars. I pretty much felt lost and a bit down on how my efforts let me down. This summer, I ended up taking a crash course math class hoping to make my toughest subject easier for next year. Maybe I’m still trying to compete with the others, but I find it personally to fuel my efforts in trying harder and achieving higher than my expectations for myself. I feel like the competition can be harmful, but its nothing the school can do about it since I know that students won’t ever just stop comparing and competing for the best even after, but I wish it was just the pressure of competition to ease down a bit. If MV could do something to reassure students that it is okay to mess up and fall short sometimes and teach them to handle the stress of high school better, everyone could really benefit.

“Stop competing with others, and start competing with yourself” Student


I wake up everyday thinking about how I can get into Stanford - how many people I have to “defeat”, and I immediately feel terrible. I know I shouldn’t, but that’s how Monta Vista has brought me up. I’ve learnt through the years that people love you when you’re an honor student, when you get a 100%. It’s harmful - definitely! But even then, it’s a part of our lives, and there’s nothing we can do about this. My goal is to get into Stanford. And to reach it, I NEED to embrace this competition culture. It’s sad - but it’s life.

I think competition plays a part in everyone’s life at Monta Vista due to the nature of the school. It’s very difficult to go to Monta Vista and not be affected my the competitive environment. After I went to Monta Vista, I quickly found that it brought out a competitive and jealous side of my self I had not seen before. I found myself jealous of my friends who did better then me on a test or who got an A in a class that I didn’t. Monta Vista’s unhealthy competitive environment quickly altered my behavior and personality.


submissions The “Disappointing” Grade* Student

When I stepped into my freshman year bio class, I only knew one thing: that I wanted to get out with an A. Our first project rolled around, and I had to make a concept map. I took it home, and spent some time on it, meaning that I used just enough to get it done and make it seem like I put effort, but not enough to actually make it the best work I could possibly do. When I got to class the next day, I was told to swap my project with the person in front of me. I hated peer editing because I always felt like students didn’t know how to measure someone’s work as well as a teacher could, so I was quite disappointed to see that this was how my work was going to be graded. After giving the person behind me a B+, I anxiously looked forward to getting my project back. When I did, I was sorely disappointed. “How could this deserve such a grade, I’m not at all pleased with this.” I thought. After considering complaining to the teacher, I decided to just hand it in and forget about it. I was resolved to improve and never to get such a low grade again. When I heard that we were getting all of the semester’s projects back in December, I remembered this first concept map and groaned inside. But when I got it back, I was shocked, even more so than when I first saw the grade. It was an A-. Just out of middle school, I had considered this a poor grade, but when I saw it again, it was a good one. After a barrage of B’s, an A- was something to be proud of. It was at this moment that I realized how just a few months at MV could change my academic standards so much.

“They want to see you do well, but never better than them”

The Secrecy of SAT Tutors* Student Yes. My experience started in my freshman year. In several of my classes, I realized that the methods of "getting a good grade" extended past just doing the work. In my experience, several of my classmates would deliberately hide their methods of getting a leg up in the class. It was more about learning the teacher in order to get a good grade than learning the material. Outside of the classroom, my classmates and even friends would explore methods of improving their college app without telling the rest of us. This includes talking to professors and meeting with a college counselors. This secrecy extended to many things, even the most trivial. For example, students would try to keep the name of their SAT tutors private and even lie about taking a class. Reflecting back on these experiences, I, and most other students, have realized how futile and pointless these actions are. Keeping stuff hidden from your peers will not help you get into college. The only thing it accomplishes is alienating you from your friends and making your academic career more stressful. *titles are created by the Verdadera team


submissions “The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday”

Club Politics* Student

In my opinion, the culture of competition has driven students apart in Monta Vista. This year, I joined the Monta Vista Science Olympiad team, very interested in certain popular events. However, I ended up joining the team late, and it became apparent I'd get stuck with the crappy events that no one else wanted to do. It was at this point that I decided I would do whatever I needed to do to get these events. At the time, there was a girl who had both the events I "needed" to get. While the other officers were conversing about who to give the events to, I slowly started chatting with this girl, learning about her other skills and whether or not I was stronger than her academically. The officers came back, deciding to pass off the events just through a game of rock-paper-scissors. Deciding this was better than nothing, I agreed to play... and subsequently lost. Then I asked for a rematch. I don't know why the other girl agreed, but it didn't really matter because I lost anyways. After this, I decided it was time to just call this girl out. I went to the nearby officers without her knowledge, and began calling this girl out (kinda shit talking her, actually), citing her academic inferiority and questioning her loyalty to the team. In retrospect, it was probably a pretty poor case but they ended up switching our events, handing me everything I wanted. The other girl dropped out two days later. Although I feel bad for what I did to the girl, at the end of the day, I realized I honestly don't care. I wanted those events and decided I would do whatever it took to get whatever I wanted. Maybe it's just me - maybe I'm a bad guy/ cold-hearted bastard, but I think it's in part just because of the competition. At Monta Vista, we are no longer friends with each other, simply other rats in one big race... but at this point, all I care about is myself.

“Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people” Parent


At my current workplace (a large Tech company) a competitive mindset is frowned upon and not seen as a good “culture fit”. I see many come here as new graduates or from other competitive environments and really struggle to fit in. The belief is that in today’s world, individual drivers of success are irrelevant and collaboration and not competition is the key to success.

When I joined, in my orientation, my link crew leaders told me that in Monta Vista, if I don’t compete and come first, I won’t get into a decent college. I was scared at first, but then I realized that it’s true. Only the top students are popular. The rest remain unknown. This is something I’ve felt my whole life in Monta Vista.

*titles are created by the Verdadera team


submissions Betrayed in Bio* Student

I started 9th grade at Monta Vista as an optimistic and naive 14 year old, like most of us do. I had heard the horror stories of course, that Monta Vista was a school where it was every man for themselves, where people would screw each other over just to get ahead. All in the name of saying that you were in the top 10% of your class, or in the top 25%. I didn’t really believe these stories, but in my freshman year I experienced the competition culture firsthand. In my biology class, there were mostly people who I didn’t really know, but there was a student who I considered a friend in that class. We sat next to each other, and got in our fair share of trouble for talking during class. On Facebook, he would always message me whenever he needed help with a question, and I was happy to help; after all, what are friends for? Then, the night before a test, I still had some lingering questions that I wanted to get answered, so I decided to message him for help. I know that it was stupid of me to decide to get questions answered the night before a test, but do keep in mind this was my freshman year. My friend answered all the questions that I had, and I went into the test feeling very confident. Only, I didn’t end up doing very well, getting a 75% on that test. When I looked over my test, I saw that every answer my friend gave me was wrong, and that screwed me on the test. When I asked him what he got on the test, he told me 95%, grinning ear to ear while saying so. He had told me the wrong answers on purpose, something I would never do to him, or anyone else for that matter. After that, I stopped talking to him, and decided to become of the competition culture at Monta Vista. I’ve told my fair share of people that I haven’t finished an assignment so I can’t help them, when in reality it’s sitting completed on my desk next to me. Monta Vista is a place where it is survival of the “fittest,” and when it comes to academics, you have to be selfish in order to be the best.

What does healthy competition mean to you? Competition is something we have created in our minds - it’s the process and consequences of comparing ourselves to others. Healthy competition is when we compare ourselves and our progress with others’ but using it to help notice our strengths and encourage us to improve on our weaknesses. - Alumni Healthy competition to me is when people try to do better than others without ill feelings towards the other. - Alumni Through competition, I look to improve myself and strive to be successful. - Student The line between healthy and unhealthy competition is crossed when you make this about someone else rather than yourself. A participant in a race is supposed to try to run faster, not slow others down. - Student

for more submissions, go to our Facebook page “Monta Vista Verdadera” or Instagram @mvhsverdadera. 8

staff articles

Drive vs. Pressure

I am essentially the kind of person who people assume is super-competitive - one of many here at Monta Vista, and I’m certain there are similar students everywhere. It is seemingly evident in the classes I take, the people I hang out with, the clubs I’m in, and the things I do in my free time (in the rare occasion that I have any, that is). For that reason, it’s not uncommon for others to criticize or disapprove of my lifestyle, or even be blatantly appalled by it (and understandably so). While I have no choice but to agree that competition has played a significant role in shaping my lifestyle, I like to believe that it is not the main driving force behind most of what I do. Throughout my years as a student, I’ve really come to understand the nature of competition, and accept the fact that no matter what one accomplishes, there will always be someone who is doing better. The thing with competition is, it’s part of human nature for one to feel envious of those who are better than them, whether it be at academics, a sport, or any other aspect in which it is easy for one to compare themselves with their peers. When everyone else is doing something which he or she isn’t, it is only natural for them to feel left out. This instinct can provide the motivation which is necessary for one to grow or improve in a given area, however it can also lead them to becoming overwhelmed or stressed. The deciding factor between both outcomes depends heavily on one single thing - motivation. Like most students at Monta Vista, I have experienced the effects of competition firsthand, especially due to my desire to pursue a career in STEM, a field in which there are many students outdoing each other in an attempt to be accepted into one of the top universities. While there are many things that students appear to be doing only because it “looks good on college applications”, one must understand that, when coming to such a conclusion, they likely aren’t considering all of the student’s motives. For example, one of my personal goals for next summer is to get an internship at a local startup, a desire which was, in part, sparked by the fact that many of my friends had already done the same thing last summer. While I did indeed feel like I was missing out on something “everyone else” was doing, my friends became a motivation for me to achieve something that I had already been considering but had not yet seriously pursued. Sure, an internship would look good on a college application, but in my eyes that was nothing compared to the value of getting the opportunity to work with, and make a significant contribution to, a real business. Of course, an internship might mean nothing for another student, as every person has their own interests and capabilities. In my opinion, one should only pursue activities which they are passionate about, to a point where they would be eager to participate even if it wouldn’t be listed in something like a college application or resume. By following that test, students can greatly reduce the amount of stress which they will deal with. My younger brother, after watching me working pretty much 24/7 on my computer - a large portion of it involving writing code (which I happen to be very passionate about) - has vowed to never pursue a career involving programming or any other continuous work on a computer. And I’m glad that my parents aren’t pushing him to do so. Every person has their own tolerances and is passionate about different things; this passion is what is important for students to identify and then follow. For me, it just happened to be programming, but it can really be anything. Those who don’t do what they are passionate about, and succumb to the social ‘norm’ set by their peers, are the ones who find themselves sinking in an ocean of stress. When this stress is so common that many have accepted it as part of life at Monta Vista, that’s when you know something is wrong. And it’s up to every student to do something about it. —Akhil Palla


staff articles

Loch Ness Monster

2016. Two thousand and sixteen. Twenty sixteen. For the past few weeks these words have been filled in my thoughts – fondly remembering our battle-like cries during Homecoming; “I pick one six!” These memories always bring a smile back. It is my fourth and final year at Monta Vista, and it seems as if I have been waiting since the first day of freshmen year for it to arrive, but for some reason, it seems bittersweet. For a long time I have hated Monta Vista and I have always believed that its high stress environment and extraneous pressure has made me out to be somewhat neurotic and obsessive – almost insecure about my work. This year, however, I find myself feeling nuances of different in this mindset of hatred towards the school, ironically in college app season. College apps have long been the dreaded Loch Ness Monster in my eyes, as well as Monta Vista in entirety. “Where are you applying?!...Oh…No Ivys?” In fact, I had someone say, “So which Ivys are you applying to?” the other day. Understanding that I am not the only one who has experienced shocking and uncomfortable moments like so, I take comfort in a memory of something my mother says to me all the time. “You will encounter people and things in your life that you may not necessarily like or agree with, but everything has good and bad. Take the good from everything you encounter, leave the bad, and leave your personal best behind.” It is my final year here, and I think I finally have been able to understand how her beautiful mantra applies to me at my high school. Monta Vista could use a change in atmosphere, but to invite that change we must change the mindset of the entirety within Cupertino- no easy feat I’d say. It is a place that emphasizes, or rather, its students emphasize the location of your undergraduate degree matters more than the degree itself. It is a place where your GPA and AP scores say more about you rather than the piece of forgotten trash you recycled on the way to class in the morning. I need to be mindful that this high pressure can bring out the worst or the best in me, just like my mother’s saying. I can let it negatively affect me by turning me into a cheater, a person who gives others wrong answers, or someone that never see sunshine again by burying myself in the shiny rough pages of textbook. Or, I can believe that it is a place where to extract beauty, pride, and the art of hard work. At the same time I can be wary of my self importance and the core ideals I hold in relation to a fulfilled life. Thank you Monta Vista, for giving me the opportunity to apply my mother’s advice and truly understand what it means. You get a negative reputation for the high stress environment but many do not see the subtle things you do for all your students -- you’re not so much of a Loch Ness monster after all. — Vidhi Tibrewala


special features

Alumni Interviews What were some of your experiences with competition in Monta Vista? From my experience, competition at Monta Vista was unnecessarily high. I remember one day I received an 87% on a really tough exam and I was really happy about because I studied a lot for it. I was feeling good about my small accomplishment until a classmate told me, “you know, an 87% isn’t that great”. He reminded me that it doesn’t matter if I think I do well because someone will always do better than me. - Graduated 2010, now at UCD Do you believe competition has helped or worsened the students’ well-being? Competition is, I believe, needed in a school environment. It pushes students to do better and others around them to improve because they want to be better. - Graduated 2014, now at UIUC Unnecessarily high competition in high school may worsen a student’s well-being. The problem is that students become extremely closed minded and believe that high school is a race a single destination. They identify themselves with how good their application looks and where they get into college. Competition can get bad when multiple people are working towards the same goal and all these people believe that accomplishing that goal will ultimately give them happiness. - Graduated 2010, now at UCD Do you have any words for Monta Vista right now? Looking back, if I had more confidence in myself, other people’s discouraging comments wouldn’t have gotten to me as much (or not at all). High school is the time when students are adjusting to their maturing bodies and minds, while learning tons of information in class. This is the time when they should be building confidence and self esteem. - Graduated 2010, now at UCD Is life a competition? Life is definitely NOT a competition. And that’s something I learned when I later in my life when the people I hung out with did not share that competitive attitude that I grew up with. As a human you have to learn how to be happy for people and worry about yourself. The competitive culture in mvhs made it seem like you need the person next to you to do poorly for your potential success. Graduated 2010, now at UCD Yes, life is a competition. But how well are you going to do if you never train for it? That’s what high school is for. It’s where you fall down and learn to get up every time. - Graduated 2010, now at UCD


special features

Ask A Counselor special thanks to Ms. Balentine and Mr. Stiver

Cheating at this school is rampant. I had friends who cheated their way to Harvard, MIT, and Dartmouth. I didn’t cheat and so my grades were average. Integrity doesn’t win me admissions, make my parents happy, nor earn the respect of my teachers. Why be honest when cheating yields far better returns? There are a bunch of answers, actually. Firstly, conscience. Will you be able to sleep peacefully in your MIT dorm knowing that you don’t deserve it, and that there are people far more qualified who deserve to be in your place? I feel like that’s something that’d haunt you your whole life. Also, it’s a huge gamble. Yes, you may remain uncaught. But that’s rare - very rare. Most probably, you’ll get caught. And the effects of that are HUGE. Forget Harvard, it may be hard to get into any college. Is stress normal for a teenager and for adults? Yes, but this can be controlled. Just take 2 APs instead of 4. This is the main cause of stress in this school: The Competition Culture. Students feel inferior if they take fewer APs and Honors classes. Stress is unavoidable, but can be controlled. At MV, we do have amazing results. We have 2400s and students get into the best colleges. So, if given the option, would you like to change anything about this system? Amazing results? But at what cost? Are students also happy and full functioning? Does getting into a good college and getting good grades automatically mean they are happy or better than others? Is the academic pressure some students put on themselves creating a climate of stressed out students who won’t be able to function once the schooling is over? Are good SAT scores and getting into the best colleges necessarily amazing results? I would like to change the system in terms of the way some students view success and the pressure they put on themselves by comparing themselves to others. The stress some students feel is tremendous and fairly common and I don’t like the way it makes some students feel, it can be more harmful than helpful. Monta Vista is a unique and interesting place to work. We have dedicated students and teachers that make our community special. At the moment, I don’t have any thing that I would change. My only wish is that while at MV, students feel comfortable, safe, and enjoy their time. You only get one high school experience, which is cliché to say, however, I am an adult. We adults sometimes say cliché things. I know this is vague, but is competition a good thing or a bad one? In a typical sense I think competition is a good thing, but I wouldn’t say “Monta Vista competition” is very productive. I can see the point of how competition pushes kids to do better and to strive for improvement and top marks, but what I see on my end in the counseling office is the toll this “competition” takes on students in the form of stress, workload, lack of sleep, low self esteem etc. It seems to me that many students don’t necessarily compete with one another, but rather compare themselves to one another. I don’t believe any student’s value or success should be determined by other students around them, but that tends to be the trend here. Student A will see the grade student B receives and will feel better about themselves or worse. I want my students to be intrinsically motivated and to hopefully only worry about their own definition of success. I see a lot more stress and dissatisfaction than fun with academic competition. Competition can be positive and motivate students to be better in school or to challenge themselves academically. I think this is especially effective when done in ways that are not overwhelming. For example, a student with no volunteer hours finding some experience or a student with no AP/Honors courses challenging themselves to take one or two. It can also be negative and cause stress. I think that sometimes we see just the end of the spectrum when it comes to being competitive or challenged and forget there can be some small steps in between.


About Verdadera Verdadera, meaning “truthfully� in Spanish, is a student-run publication at Monta Vista High School which was initiated by Hung Wei, a Monta Vista parent herself. She envisioned a place where students, alumni, counselors, teachers, administrators, and even parents could freely express their thoughts on the controversial and challenging issues within the Monta Vista community. The goal of Verdadera is to initiate an honest conversation between parents, students, and everyone overall. It can be hard to come to terms with feelings that students may not directly vocalize or even understand to begin vocalizing; therefore Verdadera serves as a platform to provoke opinions, thinking, and understand the change we all wish to implement. We collect submissions from students, interview alumni, talk to parents and counselors, professionals, and much more. Verdadera strives to provide a 360 degree view of our reality and we hope you can help us achieve this. Enjoy reading!

Staff Members Advisor: Hung Wei Editors-In-Chief: May Cui, Gloria Zhao Head Editors: Gayathri Kalla, Vidhi Tibrewala Website Team: Saagar Godithi, Akhil Palla Design Team: Nupoor Gandhi, Cheri Zhou Social Media Team: Adriana Getman, Ankita Mitra, Maddie Park Instagram: @mvhsverdadera Facebook: Monta Vista Verdadera

September 2015: Competition Culture  

Monta Vista students, like all high school students, inevitably face competition. What's it like dealing with it here? Does it need to be ch...

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