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O RACLE the mountain view high school


political discourse

student newspaper

October 26, 2018 Volume XXXVIII, Issue 2 | send letters to the editor and suggestions to |



Annual student retreat canceled Camp Mettamorph postponed for a year following concerns voiced

Assistant Principal and camp Samir Srivastava co-director William Blair. The school has postponed Camp Mettamorph until the 2019-2020 school year in light of two articles published by the San Francisco Chronicle in June. Camp Mettamorph, an annual overnight leadership retreat held in the Santa Cruz Mountains, has hosted approximately 70 students each year. Students and faculty examine and discuss social issues such as race, gender, and sexual orientation through camp activities focused on identity development, empowerment, skill building, and bringing about social change. During the postponement period, the school plans to internally review the camp curriculum to ensure the success and effectiveness of future retreats, according to

The Chronicle examined nationwide leadership retreats similar to Camp Mettamorph, investigating whether the camps resulted in more harm than good. The Chronicle said that for some students, many of the activities can cause trauma and open emotional wounds, citing experts that described the camp activities as “ineffective and unethical at best, and reckless and emotionally damaging at worst.” As one of the first activities that students engage in upon arrival at camp involves breaking down racial stereotypes. All students that identified with a specific race left the room, while the rest of the students named stereotypes associated with that group and assembled them onto a continued RETREAT| p. 16

Courtesy of Marco Torres STUDENTS: pose for a group photo after the end of their time at Camp Mettamorph, a four day long retreat in the Santa Cruz mountains focused on individual empowerment and growth.

School Board holds contested elections Navi Chawla

The school board will hold a contested election for the first time in four years. Before the last contested election, the school board went several years without opposing candidates. Steven Nelson and Catherine Vonnegut are contesting the board positions of the incumbent candidates, Fiona Walter and Debbie Torok. Steven Nelson has made the argument that having uncontested elections has negatively impacted Mike Mathiesen, Associate Superintendent and Election Division coordinator, said that having uncontested elections hasn’t limited the quality of the candidates and the number of ideas shared that could further improve the schools. Mathiesen said that the candidates are community members who understand the needs of parents and students, so

the board members will be strong regardless of a contested election. School board president Fiona Walter said that candidates run because they “truly” want to be on the board and bring their ideas to the table to benefit the community. “Academic success for all students is the ultimate goal and board members understand that and strive to achieve that, so candidates, despite contested, will be strong,” Walter said. Walter said that in the past, despite the uncontested nature of the election, the school board candidates were able to obtain input from the community through parent emails, school board meetings, staff suggestions, and experts. The incumbent candidates came to the consensus that school board members should be able to address the concerns and ideas of the community regardless of continued ELECTION | p. 15

In this issue

Abby Porter

The district began requiring community members to pay for their after-hours use of the electric charging stations located in the staff and back parking lots this month, according to Associate Superintendent Mike Mathiesen. Staff may continue to use the stations free of charge. The school installed the electric chargers in 2015, paid for by a grant from the Bay Area Clean Air Quality District. Until now, these electric chargers have been free of charge to staff and community members, as they are powered by solar panels above the back parking lot and 600 wing. Mathiesen said the district experienced issues with community members using chargers during hours designated for staff and wanted to ensure that chargers are used primarily by teachers and

administration. Science teacher Kim Rogers drives her electric vehicle to school from Willow Glen every day, and although she has never had a problem accessing the chargers herself, she has heard other staff members discuss problems with community members using their spots.

To solve this problem, the district plans to use Powerflex, an app introduced to them by a community member and Powerflex employee George Lee, as a method of payment and to monitor the usage of the charging stations. In addition, the Powerflex app

continued ELECTRIC | p. 15

Emma Cahill ELECTRIC: vehicle chargng stations will still provide free services to staff.

NEWS 1, 15, 16 OPINIONS 2, 3 PEOPLE 4, 5 SPORTS 6, 7 IN-DEPTH 8,9 HUMOR 10, 11 ARTS&CULTURE 12, 13, 14

Martial Arts

District ends free electric charging for community

Sports page 6

Map 2011

Ben Woods: scootering People page 4

Latino Student

Union Arts page 12



opinions |


Nisha Malley Editor-in-Chief Adri Penix Managing Print Editor Mateo Kaiser Managing Web Editor Rhys Wheaton External Business Ava Hinz Internal Business Claire Anderson Internal Business Valeria Gonzalez Samantha Fong Izzy Scotti Renée Remsberg Ana Mata Ria Saxena Samir Srivastava

Print News Print Opinions Print People Print In Depth Print Arts & Culture Print Humor Print Sports

Emma Cahill Photo Editor Julia Wagner Graphics Editor Akhand Dugar Video Editor

Reeya Vasishta Jess Gillson Navi Chawla Janya Sundar

Web News Web Features Web Sports Web Entertainment Social Media News Beat Head Copy Editor Copy Editor Copy Editor Copy Editor

Staff Writers Claire Pan Marcella Sakols Natalie Arbatman Ron Arel Anna Breedlove Ella Haney Foulds Carly Heltzel Madison Ivy Mira Kaiser Daisy Kemp Diya Mandyam Barbod Nikzad James Pampeyan Marika Ragnartz Sidney Rochnik Sophia Sasaki Sophia Smith Aiden Stein William Zhou Amy Beare Adviser Steven Kahl Teacher

O R AC L E Send letters to the editor, story ideas, comments, concerns, and inquiries about guest writing to: The Oracle Mountain View High School 3535 Truman Avenue Mountain View, CA 94040 or Email us at The Oracle does not necessarily represent the views of the MVLA Unified High School District. Oracle publications have been established as designated public forums for student journalists to inform, challenge, and entertain readers and viewers with accurate reports and thoughtful perspectives, where information has been impartially gathered and thoroughly verified. We strive for accuracy and fairness, to cover the total school population and to meet high standards of journalistic ethics. The Mountain View High School Oracle newspaper and Oracle Online are student publications whose content is chosen and whose production is facilitated entirely by students. The student editorial board makes final decisions on all content of the newspaper and website. Visit for the full text of our editorial policy.

Julia Wagner

Orianna Schwartz Abby Porter Madison Dunkle Suhail Kumar Katherine Wang Emer Martinez

Lower the school board voting age Oracle Staff

In the upcoming November election, the MVLA community will vote to elect three members onto the school board. Adult voters within our district boundaries will decide who will best lead the district, making decisions on behalf of students. We propose that in future elections the school board voting age should be lowered from 18 to 16, giving most juniors and seniors the opportunity to vote. According to school board Vice President Joe Mitchner, school board members oversee curriculum, school budgets, and employ the superintendent who manages the day to day activities of MVHS and LAHS. Members also vote on policies that specifically impact the student body, such as the homework policy in 2016 that limited the amount of homework

assigned and established homework free weekends. Because students are experiencing these policies first hand and have more insight regarding issues on campus, they should have a greater voice in who makes these decisions. Additionally, lowering the voting age for a smaller election such as school board will familiarize students with the election process and increase the likelihood that they will vote in future elections. According to the American Political Science Association, individuals who start the habit of voting at 16 or 17 when most are still living with their parents are more likely to vote in subsequent elections. In Takoma Park, Maryland, where the voting age has been lowered to 16, 16.9% of eligible voters ages 16 to 17, almost double

the 8.5 percent turnout of eligible voters above the age of 18, turned out in the most recent election, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. In an anonymous survey conducted by the Oracle that polled 550 students, 75% of students under 18 said they would vote if they were of age. Local cities such as Berkeley have also made steps towards lowering the voting age to 16. According to Vote16USA representative Brandon Klugman, Berkeley passed Measure Y1, giving the city council jurisdiction to lower the school board voting age. Klugman said that the proposition to lower the school board voting age will most likely be on the 2020 ballot. Although some believe that 16 and 17-year olds are not intellectually mature enough to

make an informed vote, the large network of support and resources offered to students by their civics classes, teachers, and parents can help students build strong decision making skills. We also recommend that all history classes take a day or two out of their curriculum to discuss the election to ensure that students have a strong understanding of the candidates and their policies. We propose that government or political clubs on campus take steps toward lowering the voting age, following the method used in Berkeley. Such clubs can petition for a city council ordinance to give municipal governments the power to lower the school board voting age. Because the MVLA school district extends over the cities of Mountain View, Los Altos, and Los Altos Hills, this ordinance will need to be passed in all three cities.

Bajar la edad de vota de junta escolar Traducción: Mateo Kaiser En las próximas elecciones este noviembre, la comunidad de MVLA votará para elegir a tres miembros de la junta escolar. Los adultos votantes dentro de los límites de nuestro distrito decidirán quién dirigirá mejor el distrito, tomando decisiones en nombre de los estudiantes. Proponemos que en el futuro la edad de votación de la junta escolar se reduzca de 18 a 16 años, lo que le brinda a la mayoría de los estudiantes junior y senior la oportunidad de votar. De acuerdo con el vicepresidente de la junta escolar, Joe Mitchner, los miembros de la junta escolar supervisan el plan de estudios, los presupuestos escolares y emplean al superintendente que administra las actividades diarias de MVHS y LAHS. Los miembros también votan sobre políticas que afectan específicamente al cuerpo estudiantil, como la política

de tareas en 2016 que limitó la cantidad de tareas asignadas y estableció fines de semana libres de tareas. Debido a que los estudiantes están experimentando estas políticas de primera mano y tienen más información sobre los problemas en el campus, deberían tener una mayor voz sobre quién toma estas decisiones. Además, reducir la edad de votar para una elección más pequeña, como la junta escolar, familiarizará a los estudiantes con el proceso electoral y aumentará la probabilidad de que voten en elecciones futuras. Según la Asociación Americana de Ciencia Política, las personas que comienzan el hábito de votar a los 16 o 17 años, cuando la mayoría aún vive con sus padres, tienen más probabilidades de votar en elecciones posteriores. En Takoma Park, Maryland, donde la edad para votar se ha reducido a 16, el 16.9% de los votantes elegibles de entre 16 y 17

años se presentó en las elecciones de 2013, casi el doble del 8.5 por ciento de votantes elegibles por encima de los 18 años, según el Centro de Información e Investigación en Aprendizaje y Compromiso Cívico. En una encuesta anónima realizada por el Oracle que encuestó a 550 estudiantes, el 75% de los estudiantes menores de 18 años dijeron que votarían si fueran mayores de edad. Las ciudades locales como Berkeley también han tomado medidas para bajar la edad de votar a 16. Según el representante de Vote16USA, Brandon Klugman, Berkeley aprobó la Medida Y1, lo que le otorga al consejo de la ciudad jurisdicción para reducir la edad de votación de la junta escolar. Klugman dijo que lo más probable es que la propuesta para reducir la edad de votación de la junta escolar esté en la boleta de 2020. Aunque algunos creen que los jóvenes de 16 y 17 años no son lo suficientemente intelectuales como para realizar un voto informado, la

gran red de apoyo y recursos que ofrecen sus clases de educación cívica, maestros y padres puede ayudar a los estudiantes a desarrollar habilidades sólidas para tomar decisiones. También recomendamos que todas las clases de historia tomen uno o dos días de su plan de estudios para discutir la elección y asegurar que los estudiantes tengan una comprensión sólida de los candidatos y sus políticas. Proponemos que los clubes gubernamentales o políticos en el campus tomen medidas para reducir la edad de votar, siguiendo el método utilizado en Berkeley. Dichos clubes pueden solicitar una ordenanza del consejo municipal para otorgar a los gobiernos municipales el poder de reducir la edad de votación de la junta escolar. Debido a que el distrito escolar de MVLA se extiende sobre las ciudades de Mountain View, Los Altos y Los Altos Hills, esta ordenanza deberá ser aprobada en las tres ciudades.


Let her speak

Empowering women by believing their stories

Guest Writer David Campbell Campbell is a Spanish teacher and the President of the MVLA District Teacher’s Association

I am a white man, and we are constantly exposed to the opinions of white men. I know nothing about a woman’s experience, but I know the difference between right and wrong. Many women in my family are victims of sexual assault. Some of them reported the incident, some didn’t; none of the perpetrators were incarcerated. A former student was raped in college by a classmate – he served no time. Last year, we had a teacher accused (and found guilty in a court of law) of having inappropriate communications with several MVHS female students. All of those thoughts ran through my head. I started to think about the young women at MVHS. If they are hearing the same things I have been hearing, what they need to hear is that some things are absolutely unacceptable. With these thoughts in mind, I started my classes one day by saying: “Girls, if you don’t want someone to touch you, they don’t have the right to do so. Boys, if a woman tells you no, you have no right to force the issue. On the news, excuses are being made for high school boys by saying ‘boys will be boys’. That justification as an excuse for sexual assault is patriarchy at its worst.”

A quick Google search found a study done by Joanne Belknap titled “Rape: Too Hard to Report and Too Easy to Discredit Victims” from 2010. In her research, she found that “Although false allegations are 5% of all rapes reported to the police, the fact that at least 90% of rapes are never reported to the police suggests that of all rapes, 0.005% are false allegations.”

If you’re not doing something to make women feel safe around you, you’re part of the problem Then I stumbled upon a Facebook post by Katherine Bogan, Clinical Research Program Coordinator in sexual and gender-based violence prevention at Rhode Island Hospital. She is getting ready to publish her research results, but felt compelled to share this statistic: “When someone comes forward with an accusation of sexual assault, there is a 90-98% chance they are telling the truth (with actual numbers likely being between 97-99%, especially when people disclose to close friends, family, loved ones, etc.).”

It’s scary that the majority of women do not report, but when they listen to the national dialogue, hear that Dr. Blasey Ford received so many death threats that she still can’t go home, hear their male family members saying that this is a publicity stunt, why would they feel safe reporting? If you’re not doing something to make women feel safe around you, or let them know that you support them, you’re a part of the problem. What I heard most recently, though, disturbed me. It was a quote from President Trump: “It is a very scary time for young men in America, where you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of.” I want to say that decent humans are not spending their spare time worrying about being falsely accused of sexual assault. Trump’s “very scary time” is normal life as a woman, living in constant fear of men. I don’t spend my time on evening walks looking over my shoulder. I don’t cross the street when I see someone coming for fear that they will harass or accost me. I don’t fear being alone with someone of a different gender. I am not told “I’m asking for it” when I wear shorts or a tank top. I could go on, but all those statements are true for women. Gentlemen, if you want to help make the world a better place, you should memorize these phrases: I want to hear what she’s saying. Shhh, she’s trying to speak. Let her speak. I believe her.

graphic courtesy of Annika Ragnartz


| opinions

Valuing local elections Reeya Vasishta With the m i d t e r m elections approaching in November, many people are following the vote for members of the House. However, a high emphasis on the national political theater often draws focus away from state and local elections. According to the Pew Research Center, 61.4 percent of eligible voters voted in the 2016 presidential election. However, according to the Washington Post, less than 10 percent voted in subnational elections. Due to the direct impact that these local elections have on the community, it is critical that we recognize the importance of voting in and being aware of local elections.

It is critical that we recognize the importance of voting in and being aware of local elections City and county governments manage almost all parts of residents’ daily lives, including decisions on schooling, infrastructure, business development, housing, and law enforcement. Local governments also decide on curriculum, disciplinary policies, and transportation in schools. Measure E, for example, was one of the most recent citywide measures to be passed and it directly affected the MVHS community, allowing the MVLA district to gain a $295 million

facility bond which will allow the schools to build and expand their campuses. In schools all across America, almost 90 percent of funding comes from state and local taxes decided by their respective governments, according to Al Jazeera America. This makes local politics a concern for schools as well as a community and city issue. Additionally, our location within the Santa Clara county, one of the 14 charter counties in California, allows our community to vote on and petition a charter that addresses specific issues pertaining to our respective cities. This charter is unique to other counties, as it outlines and shows the limitations of the powers of the county’s legislative and executive branch, the Board of Supervisors, as well as other elected and appointed officials. The charter also addresses the needs, concerns, and goals of the residents in each city. Compared to normal General Law counties, we have the ability to vote on and petition this charter, which allow the community on a whole to have more control on their legislation. Local elections also allow residents to bring up issues specific to their community which results in immediate and direct responses providing solutions to these issues. National politics also have a large impact on citizens’ lives. They manage national issues such as foreign affairs, elections for Supreme Court, the Senate, and the President, and set general laws that every US citizen must follow. However, the impact that local elections have on their community is much more direct and immediate than national elections regarding our specific needs within our community. Residents of any community should pay attention to local politics and understand who each candidate is, their campaign goals, and different policies on the ballot.

Adding self defense to freshman PE Ella Haney Foulds

When I was in eighth grade, I took a self-defense class as part of the PE curriculum at The Girls Middle School. The weeklong class gave me confidence and a sense of safety that I didn’t realize I needed until I had it. A self-defense unit should be added to the MVHS freshman PE curriculum because it could raise students’ confidence in self-defense and start a much-needed conversation about sexual assault. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in eight women will be the victim of an attempted or completed rape. Additionally, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, individuals between the ages of 12 and 34 are at the highest risk for

sexual assault. 67 percent of survivors who were victimized by a stranger experience professional or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress or increased problems at work or school.

It gave me confidence and a sense of safety that I didn’t realize I needed until I had it 37 percent experience problems with friends and family, including getting into arguments more frequently than before, feeling unable to trust their family and friends, or not feeling as close to them as before the assault.

Adding self-defense to the PE curriculum could teach students how to defend themselves in an attack rather than freezing up. According to Dr. Scott Bonn, when a victim responds to the attacker with even a little bit of resistance, the attacker is thrown off guard and is far less likely to carry out their intentions. According to PE teacher Tami Kittle, although two-thirds of the upper division PE classes teach self-defense, only 185 students are enrolled in the courses. All freshmen are required to take PE, so adding a self-defense unit would ensure that the majority of students learn how to protect themselves. The number of people who face sexual assault in their early years is outstanding, and a safe environment such as a PE class can help students become more aware of the seriousness of the threat. Sexual assault often has a huge impact on a person’s life. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource

Center, 94 percent of women who have been raped experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, a larger percentage than any other violent crime. Being able to respond assertively to an attempted assault is an important skill that can

help build confidence and a feeling of safety in students and teach them skills that could potentially save their lives. By teaching self-defense in freshman PE classes, more students would possess the skills to protect themselves.

Ria Saxena



people |

Scoot over, skateboarders

Senior finds passion and medidation through niche sport of scootering

Mateo Kaiser WOODS: spends four to five hours every weekend at the skatepark riding his scooter and hanging out with his friends.

Rhys Wheaton Even when senior Ben Woods ended up with a broken leg, five broken bones in his feet, two broken toes, a broken heel and a chip off of his tibia, and even though he had to go to last year’s prom on crutches, nothing was going to interfere with his love of scootering. It all started when Woods was with his friends riding BMX bikes at Calabazas Park five years ago and saw someone with a dirt scooter doing tricks that he had never seen before. This sparked his interest immediately and he practiced

tricks in his driveway to try it out. Though his friends started playing around with scooters too, he was the only one that stuck with it and he hasn’t given up since. “I enjoy pushing myself and learning new things, so that’s what keeps me going,” Woods said. Woods has found that he prefers scootering over bikes because of the wide array of tricks that one can do. “Because scooters are a lot easier to fling around than bikes, you can also do things like bri tricks — front scooter tricks where you fling it over your head,” Woods said. For Woods, scootering is not

only fun but meditative. “The whole process of thinking about a trick, thinking about a combo and trying to get that through and actually land it is very satisfying to me,” Woods said. Every weekend he goes to skateparks across the Bay Area and spends around four to five hours there, and during the week if he has the time he’ll scooter in his backyard where he has a flat rail. “If I’m looking to improve, I’ll have a trick in mind before I get to the park and won’t leave until I land it. Sometimes it takes me a couple hours,” Woods said. He says that he also uses

scootering as an escape from the world when he is stressed or overwhelmed. When things get tough with school or friends, he heads to the skate park to relieve any tension in his life. Woods has also been able to gain a network of friends through his scootering, even though many of them don’t live in the area. He has created friendships with people from Southern California, San Diego, and even with a fellow scooterer in Shanghai. According to Woods, the scooter community is bigger than some may think, especially in Australia, where it is the second most popular action sport behind surfing. He says that if you go to any major city, you will see a skatepark full of people scootering and doing tricks. “It’s kind of a niche thing, so when you see someone else at the skatepark doing the same thing, you connect with them pretty much immediately.” Woods recognizes that scootering as a sport is a new concept to most people. “There’s kinda a stigma behind it that it’s kinda dumb, which I get, I openly admit that it’s very weird and strange,” Woods said. Even though many people don’t consider scootering a valid sport, Woods has continued to pursue his passion. It has become a major part of his life and it is one that he wants to share with the rest of the world.

“When I started in middle school it didn’t really make me cool, but I stuck with it and people respect me for the fact that I did,” Woods said, noting he wrote his college admission essay about his personal growth through scootering.

I enjoy pushing myself and learning new things, so that’s what keeps me going The main thing that Woods wants people to know is to not quit on the things that bring you joy. “Stick with the things that you love, because you’re going to enjoy it more than trying to fit in with everyone else,” Woods said.

Julia Wagner

Helping Hurricane Maria victims

President of Education for All Club spends summer aiding victims in Puerto Rico Daisy Kemp When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in the fall of 2017, it took thousands of lives and turned many other lives upside down. Among the many participating in relief efforts after the storm struck was senior Tejas Thvar and the members of the club he founded two years ago, Education for All. As the club grew, Thvar decided they should actively help the victims of the hurricane. EFA’s efforts changed in the summer when Thvar and some of his club members traveled to Puerto Rico to help people through a hurricane relief mission with the goal of helping as many people as they could. “We heard in the news that Puerto Rico has dirty water,” Thvar said. “We wanted to do something to make it better.” EFA works with external companies to amplify their aid efforts. To help address the lack of clean water in Puerto Rico, the club partnered with HydroBlu, a company that produces water filters.

Last summer, the club registered as a 501c3, a legal nonprofit organization with tax accommodated with some federal tax exemptions. This has boosted their fundraisers and helps them buy water filters for their efforts in Puerto Rico.

Our goal is to increase awareness of problems that are being faced internationally “Right now, we are doing a lot of fundraisers, we’re trying to still buy water filters,” Thvar said. “In our campaign, in summer, we got around 3,000 dollars.” With the help of HydroBlu, Thvar, along with other club members on the mission, brought over 100 filters to Puerto Rico, helping more than 1,000 people. The help they gave to the many

people affected by Hurricane Maria has become a motivation for them to continue helping people both in our community and in foreign countries. “Since then, we’ve grown this sense of commitment and we want to continue until the need isn’t there,” Thvar said. “It’s that sense of empowerment, but also that sense of mission and commitment that we gained.” Jeremy Hsu, the director of public relations for the EFA Club, was able to participate in the relief efforts with Thvar and has witnessed the overall improvement of the club since their work in Puerto Rico. “I feel our club is going on a very nice track,” Hsu said. “I think, long-term, we are hoping to continue sending filters and possibly adapt to whatever else happens.” In addition to their efforts in the community and in Puerto Rico, Education for All works to increase awareness in the community. “Our goal is to increase awareness of problems that are being faced internationally,” said Thvar.

photo courtesy of Tejas Thvar THVAR: led his club in relief efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit.

While working in Puerto Rico has helped the club members individually, it more prominently affected them as a group. While allowing the group to become closer whilst doing something they love, it also gave them the opportunity to work with new and unfamiliar faces and established a connection with the locals. The club has a partnership with HydroBlu that not only gives them discounts for purchasing the water filters but allows them to see the impact their relief

efforts have. “It was really eye-opening to see how these people, who we’ve never met and have never met us, we’re thrilled to receive something as simple as water filters,” said Hsu. “By going to Puerto Rico and talking with locals, you realize that these are people with passions, likes, dislikes, with personalities and it really brings back the humanity in these people and from that, we really feel like we should continue.”



| people

Spreading the fragrance of care Madison Ivy Junior Priya Jain takes after her parents in her passion for raising awareness and support for social and mental health issues. After realizing the extent of these problems at MVHS, Jain created her own version of her family’s non-profit organization, Fragrance of Care. “Fragrance of Care” comes from the idea that if people spread care, the community will get closer to solving social issues and gain better understanding of what others are going through. “My family has always told me to find my passion,” Jain said. “I realized how unfortunate it is for people to be going through

Emma Cahill JAIN

these things and for no one to be helping them.” Jain’s father has dealt with similar mental health issues as she and says his ability to stay strong has inspired her to persevere through the tough times she’s faced. “I’m taking all the love I have gotten at home and exhibiting that at school,” Jain said.

I want to help others the way they helped me Jain said her friends and teachers have supported her when she has gone through a difficult time, so she wants her club to be a community where students can be heard, related to, and understood so they don’t feel like they are dealing with mental health or social issues alone. “I want to help others the way they helped me,” Jain said. Club member Christopher Harjadi said he believes high stress levels have been harmful to the student body.

HOMV: Halloween Edition

“People will do [anything] to get a good grade or college scholarships, and I feel like that kind of mindset is detrimental to your success and enjoying the things you do,” Harjadi said. FOC hopes to become a reference point for anyone who needs help by connecting students with mental health resources they find useful. Through social media platforms, Priya hopes the club can connect to a larger audience of people, such as posting positive messages on their Instagram page and creating feel-good Spotify playlists. The club meets on Mondays in room 209 to brainstorm ideas of how they can expand their community and identify mental health issues on campus so they can be addressed in their upcoming activities. FOC is currently working toward joining forces with the ASB Wellness Committee and the Social Awareness Club for future projects, such as creating a “zen room,” a stress-free room for students, and hosting open discussions for anyone to talk about their personal experiences with mental health.

Turning dreams into novels

Student writes fantasy into reality on Earth

Janya Sundar When senior Alexandria Myers was in eighth grade, she had a dream about reading a short story in her English class. The plot involved a magical couple that was incorrectly paired together and inspiration struck her through one of the characters who helped break up the couple who she called the seamstress. She started writing about it, and now, five years later, that short story in the dream sparked her first published novel, “The Seamstress.” The novel is about a woman named Zeffaire from the moon who was sent to Earth to create peace and possesses the ability to turn into a dragon. The story takes place in a city called Erth as the main character, Zeffaire, tries to get rid of the woodsmen who police the town to rid it of its magic. “It’s really just about mending things and being able to come together despite all odds,” Myers said. The story plot is more than just fantasy to Myers as she tried to weave in different themes that she noticed around the world today. “This is a lot of fantasy, so it makes people happy, but I also have a lot of political commentary in it, like positive transgender representation,” Myers said. “I go into cultural appropriation like native cultures, to feminism, to a lot about self-confidence, like

body image.” Myers finished writing the novel in eighth grade but returned to it the second half of sophomore year, when she completely rewrote the novel.

It’s really just about mending things and being able to come together She then sent it to an editor who made broad changes regarding the storyline, like changing the main character’s name to avoid copyright issues and increasing the length of each chapter. Once the writing part of the

novel was complete, Myers needed a cover graphic. This was more difficult than she previously anticipated because several designs fell through. Finally, she got her uncle’s friend who worked in graphic design to create a cover that matched her vision of a needle stitching up patches of the world. Though some things, like making the cover, took longer than expected, after a lot of hard work and commitment, Myers published her novel on Sept. 14, 2018 on Amazon as a paperback book and eBook. She chose Amazon because it was the easiest way to publish her book and didn’t require finding a publisher, which would have taken even more time. Myers wants to inspire others to pursue their dreams through her writing and by helping others. She is currently working on her second novel, 126 Mulberry Lane, and hopes to publish it next summer.

Emer Martinez

Emer Martinez

“My birthday is right near Halloween, so every year my family celebrates my birthday with a Halloween themed mini party at home because it is so close to the holiday. I love October because the weather isn’t really hot or cold, because it has both my birthday and Halloween, because you can wear sweaters and drink hot cocoa and stay inside in the afternoons, and because the trees look really pretty all over town.”

Akhand Dugar

“We always go back to our old neighborhood [for trick-or-treating] which is really compact and cozy so it’s easy to access all the houses. There’s always one house with s’mores every year, and it’s fun to see the same decorations from the other houses every year. We don’t go back that often so it’s nice to go there on Halloween... also, it’s nostalgic and we get s’mores, so why not?”

Emer Martinez

“We turn off the lights and pretend that no one is home because we don’t want little kids coming to the house. One year they came in a really suspenseful moment and we all screamed. And I like seeing everyone’s decorations, I have a neighbor who goes all out for Halloween and it’s cool to see what new decorations he is going to put up this year.” Advertisement

Samantha Fong MYERS: shows off the cover art of her novel, published September of this year.

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Ancient arts for the real world

Students share their stories as experienced martial artists

Suhail Kumar Martial arts are various sports, mostly of Japanese origin, based on teaching students self-defense or attack. With over 10 main types, each form is unique in its own way and holds its students to a specific standard. Although each style has its own techniques and movesets, the ultimate goal of martial arts, according to Senior Andrew Huang, is to mentally and physically prepare its students for the real world. Huang is a second-degree black belt in the Korean art of selfdefense, Taekwondo. Taekwondo’s precursors are ancient forms of martial arts such as Karate, Kung Fu, and Okinawan martial arts. Huang stated that while most people believe that Taekwondo is what they see practiced in the Olympics, traditional Taekwondo is actually much more reliant on self-discipline and self-defense rather than attacking. Huang said that learning martial arts has taught him discipline, as well as made him more confident in his self-defense abilities. “I like to be confident walking anywhere, knowing that I could protect myself,” Huang said. Apart from the intense physical training required of Taekwondo students, sharpening one’s mind is also a critical part of mastering Taekwondo.

Focusing on breathing and discipline increases concentration levels, and also helps keep their emotions in check. “Everything should be done at a level playing field,” said Huang. “You don’t want to be too angry or too happy or too zealous”. One must train their brain to be extra alert and concentrated at all times both inside and outside of the dojo. This trains the brain to have higher concentration levels for longer periods of time, which can prove to be beneficial in one’s daily life.

I like to be confident walking anywhere, knowing that I could protect myself Learning how to remain calm in the dojo often also translates to behavior outside the dojo. Huang explained that he has found himself utilizing the breathing techniques he learns from Taekwondo in numerous other situations in order to recenter himself or regain focus on the task at hand.

photo courtesy of Andrew Huang HUANG: practices a high side kick at the dojo, looking to master each move and perfect his technique.

Another popular form of martial arts is Judo, which senior Nick Kikuta practices. He explained that judo is more of a “competition” martial art, where fighters compete against each other in tournaments. The primary goal of Judo is to essentially throw your opponent onto their back and then pin them, or in some cases, throw them hard enough that you win the match. Kikuta has been practicing Judo for 12 years, and is currently a purple belt, but will be receiving his black belt on November 9th. According to Kikuta, practicing martial arts can be a

lot more intense and rigorous than practicing other sports. “You’re getting the experience of fighting against someone, which isn’t something you do for recreation usually,” said Kikuta. “It can also be something that is hard to continue doing.” Kikuta said how it takes a certain type of person to enjoy and appreciate martial arts. Kikuta began practicing martial arts because he found that he didn’t have the best balance when playing other sports. He spoke of skinned knees, hurt wrists, and floor burns. This prompted him

to try his hand at another martial arts, and after trying both Aikido and Karate, he finally discovered the one he loved: Judo. “I learned how to fall properly, the basic techniques to throw somebody on the ground, it just felt like I was in the sport right when I got in,” Kikuta said. Although some martial arts are very similar, most have different emphasis points from the others. Unlike Taekwondo, Judo is less about utilizing the skills in the outside world and is more focused on what happens inside the dojo, explained Kikuta.

Season preview: varsity girls basketball Team begins weekly preseason training, anticipates a strong upcoming season

photo courtesy of Jeff Tobin GIRLS BASKETBALL: is looking forward to improving their game this season.

Dove said the goal of preseason Sophia Sasaki training is to prepare for tryouts in The girls varsity basketball team started their preseason training after Labor Day weekend, working hard to prepare for the upcoming season this winter. The weekly conditioning involves weight lifting, running, and scrimmages after school. Junior Rachel Dove has been playing basketball for the school since freshman year. She said this season shows a lot of promise with a large amount of interest from the freshman class, along with several returning players from last season.

October and for the players to get to train and bond with each other before the season begins.

We want to grow as a team and use everyone’s talents She said there has been an increase in attendance at these

practices compared to previous years. “We want to grow as a team and use everyone’s talents to the fullest potential,” Dove said. She also said she is excited to get to know the team and learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The girls varsity basketball coach, Xavier Cook, has been coaching at MVHS for three years. He expressed his enthusiasm for this upcoming season and the new players trying out for the team. “Every year, I look forward to spending a whole season with my kids,” Cook said. “We have a lot of fun.” According to Cook, the girls varsity team had a huge advantage last year as they were one of the tallest teams in the league. The taller players were able to make a lot of plays that shorter players would struggle with more. Cook said in previous years, he had noticed the team often did not finish games strong and often lost games that should have been won. This year, he hopes to work on maintaining dominance for the entirety of each game this season. Cook said he expects a different team dynamic from last year. The team is going to have

younger players, as well as many experienced upperclassmen.

Everyone shares the same passion for basketball which unites us “One thing about basketball at Mountain View High School is that we get a lot of girls who are athletes in other sports,” Cook said. “The bigger thing is that we are starting to get girls who play

basketball a lot and they love basketball.” Once the season starts, Dove is looking forward to the energy and success on the court, as well as celebrating victories as a team. “Everyone on the team is like a community,” Dove said. “Anyone who joins the team will be welcomed and everyone shares the same passion for basketball which forms a special bond and unites us.” Cook said he feels good about this season and is excited about the talent he has seen from the freshmen who have shown interest in playing, along with the older players from last year. Advertisement


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Girls lacrosse gets an early start

Beginning conditioning workouts in the fall to prepare for upcoming season

Sidney Rochnik The varsity girls lacrosse team has begun preseason training extremely early this year, five months rather than the usual three months before the tryouts in February. An hour of practice on Tuesdays through Thursdays allows them to focus on weight-lifting, cardio, and other types of conditioning workouts for the season this upcoming spring. Achilles Walker, the Athletic Trainer on campus, directs this year’s preseason. “We look at the overall development of the athlete. Some days [it’s] running and working on their endurance, other days we’ll focus on their body. [It’s] all around just conditioning and development of the athlete so we can try and reduce injuries, and make them faster and stronger,” Walker said. Conditioning every few days during preseason training helps for a smooth transition back into the season, according to Walker. He states that the goal is to bring each girl to a point where they can understand and endure the work of playing competitive lacrosse. Senior Kirsty Brydon has been playing lacrosse since she came to highschool in her freshman year.

“It’s about muscles and building yourself up to become an athlete rather than just a lacrosse player,” Brydon said. She states that this leads to learning how to work out healthily and sustainably, skills that can be applied outside of lacrosse. Junior Lydia Lam started the sport in the sixth grade and has played every season since. “Lacrosse is very determined,” Lam said. “We really want to emphasize people getting into shape. If we’re stronger now then we can get even stronger during the season.” This strength begins to shine through as the girls handle the physical stress and better themselves for the team. “If you’re strong, then the team’s strong,” Walker said. Coming to tryouts unused to the level of running and intense workout involved can come as a shock to those that miss the preseason training, according to Lam. Furthermore, Lam said that if players haven’t exercised their “lacrosse muscles,” athletes can experience injury or overexhaustion. The preseason has focused on helping athletes avoid injury for the past few years, said Brydon. She added that the months of preseason

training helps the team get to know new members, the coaches, and captain, and build strong relationships. “It’s not just about weightlifting and conditioning. When you give me athletes who are friends then you can do something pretty special,” Walker said. Taking half an hour to talk and interact in this environment can help build the team, he states. This can help the athletes understand what outlook the team

GIRLS LACROSSE: doing bench press in the weight room after school, working to improve strength for spring season.

Sarah Davenport commits to George Fox University

Boys water polo goes nearly undefeated Suhail Kumar

Rhys Wheaton

photo courtesy of Sarah Davenport DAVENPORT: rushes past defender in a game against Los Gatos High School.

place to decompress has been a huge part of being able to choose what she feels is the right college fit for her. Recently, Davenport attended an ID camp where college soccer coaches could watch her play and evaluate her skills. Multiple coaches made offers to Davenport, but she didn’t want to commit immediately. She knew that she was not interested in a D1 school because she wanted to be able to balance school and soccer, which one of the reasons that she chose a D3 school for college. During spring of 2018, a coach from the ID camp made sure to keep in touch with Davenport to try to confirm her interest in George Fox University. Davenport continued to think about George Fox.

don’t go to the sessions at all are not at a disadvantage for getting on the final roster in the spring. The training is flexible for those who may have to focus on other commitments, such as schoolwork or another sport. The preseason is not mandatory, but highly recommended. “It’s really nice to just take an hour just to do some exercising, get your heart rate up. It just feels really good,” Lam said. “I think it’s worth taking a little time out of your day.”

Emma Cahill

Spartan Spotlight: Soccer has become a way to deal with the stress of school, life, and friends for senior Sarah Davenport as well as becoming a way to connect with new people, places, and even colleges. Senior Sarah Davenport is already committed to George Fox University for soccer. Although multiple schools made offers to Davenport, George Fox University won out of all of them. Soccer was Davenport’s first team sport. As a part of an active family, Davenport was always on the move both on and off the field. Her parents wanted Davenport to become involved in more activities outside of school, which is when she started playing for the American Youth Soccer Organisation. Soccer has always been a part of Davenport and she recognizes it as a regular part of her life. In the following years, Davenport’s love for soccer grew. The sport soon became a way for her to decompress and take a step back from stressful events in life. “For me, soccer is a huge outlet,” Davenport said. “It’s a great way to disconnect from everything going on in my life. When I’m on the field I’m only thinking about soccer, nothing else.” Being on the field allows Davenport to release pent-up emotions. Knowing that she has a

wants during the season. “We’re being very mindful about what [we’re] doing and how we wouldn’t do it in a game. Imagine yourself in a game setting. Get [yourself] into that mindset,” Lam said. The team setting also helps motivate players who struggle to do conditioning and workouts by themselves. According to Walker, girls who can’t make every session or who

“About a month ago I noticed that I felt myself thinking about it more and more and I realized that I couldn’t see myself anywhere else.” In the long run, Davenport wants to pursue biology or kinesiology as her major. George Fox has a very strong science program which also contributed to Davenport’s interest in it. In the long run, Davenport says that she wants to be a physician’s assistant in the ER. Davenport also plans to partake in the opportunities to study abroad. She is very interested in traveling to Hispanic countries and is extremely excited to learn more about the culture and language as well as partake in new leadership opportunities.

The boys varsity water polo team finished their season with a stellar record during the regular season, with an undefeated league record of 12-0, and an overall record of 20-1, including tournaments. This has been one of their most successful seasons to date, and senior captain Jeremy Noel attributed it to the team’s hard work ethic. “We’re a productive team. You see us all trying during swim sets and working hard to improve,” Noel said. Sophomore co-captain Nate Randolph stated that his role as captain is to serve as the main prospect of the team, as well as make sure everyone stays focused. “As a captain, it’s about

uniting the team together and getting them ready for games.”, Randolph said. Randolph was also proud of the team’s performance, explaining that they had a few unexpected victories against tougher schools because of their dedication and ability to work together. “This year, we’re performing very well. We have really good chemistry, and our whole starting lineup is really good,” Randolph said. Both Noel and Randolph said that their favorite moment of the season was watching the team’s leading scorer Ahram Ram score a game-winning goal in triple overtime against Los Gatos High School. Now that the regular season has come to an end, the team will be playing in the top seed in leagues.

photo courtesy of Jeremy Noel NOEL: scans for open teammates, looks to make a pass over opponent.



in-depth |

Political Discou

Student and staff share experiences, diffic Political clubs on campus Liberal Action Club

Founded in 2018, current club president senior Michael Love said he was inspired to create the club by the nationwide walkouts over gun control last year and that to teach members how to become engaged in politics, according to Love. Club members send letters, volunteer at polling booths, and call voters to practice active participation in politics and engage others in the community. Love said the club emphasizes the importance of each individual’s ability to make political change. During the March for our Lives walkout, Liberal Action Club created posters for demonstrators.

Social Awareness Club

Founded in 2018, current club president Lucy Restall sought to “bridge the gap between different schools of thought” pertaining to modern social issues through the Social Awareness Club.. According to Restall, the club has no specific political affiliation, and serves as a safe space for all students to voice their opinions. Restall said she wants the club to be a place for discussions rather than debates on social and political issues, defining discussions as more relaxed and unstructured versions of a socratic seminar. Last year, Restall said the club mainly focused its discussions on sexual assault. In the future she hopes to continue facilitating discussions about polarizing social issues.

Young Americans for Freedom Club

Founded in 2016, Young Americans for Freedom is the MVHS’ chapter of a national youth conservative organization. Club president and junior Maverick Klazura said the club aims to educate members about conservative ideology and to engage in political debate with students holding differing viewpoints. Last school year, the club held a “Change My Mind” event and invited students to debate the topics of gun control, hate speech, and affirmative action Klazura said he hopes to enable more students to see a different side of social, political, or economic issues and to provide a safe space for people with conservative viewpoints to share their opinions.

Ana Mata, Janya Sundar, Reeya Vasishta, Renée Remsberg For this issue’s In-Depth topic, the Oracle chose to cover political discourse due to the upcoming November midterm elections. The purpose of this article is not to argue in support of one political ideology or the other, but rather to highlight the experiences of students and teachers on along the political spectrum. Our goal was to hear from as many voices as possible about their overall experience with discussing politics in the classroom, whether in curriculum or during spontaneous discussion. Approximately 30 teachers and students were interviewed in person for the purpose of this article, although not all are featured due to limited space.

Students and staff reflect on experiences When discussing politics in the classroom, sophomore and conservative Avi Gerber said he refrains from sharing his political views for the sake of maintaining positive relations with his teachers and classmates, and for fear that it will impact his academics. “I’m scared that maybe that it could have an impact on the way the teacher views me, which could have an impact on my grade,” Gerber said. Gerber added that he doesn’t want his teachers and classmates to perceive him as a “troublemaker” or someone who “likes creating conflict.” Although junior Libby Vastano does not identify as conservative, she said that she has noticed others who feel uncomfortable sharing their political beliefs because they do not align with the “majority” on campus. “I know people that didn’t go to school on the day of the walkout because they didn’t want to walk out of the classrooms, and they felt like they would be bullied,” Vastano said of the March for Our Lives Walkout

last March. Teachers noted the difficulty in avoiding homogenous political discussions, especially when students holding opposing or minority viewpoints feel disinclined to share their perspective.

Sometimes my views aren’t seen as valid because the teachers don’t cover it “If 90 percent of the people in the room with you are saying one thing that you happen to disagree with, it takes an enormous amount of confidence for a person…[to] stand up and say to the 90 percent ‘You know what, I disagree with you. This is what I think,’” said Felitia Hancock, social studies teacher. However, English teacher Ginny Sullivan said that although conservative students in the area do struggle with voicing their opinions in the classroom, she feels that other

marginalized groups may also face struggles. “My question is, is that student [a conservative] more shut down than a student who comes from a lowincome family, and they’re a person of color, and they have to sit in a Socratic seminar about Huck Finn or To Kill a Mockingbird?” Sullivan said. In regards to the school’s curriculum, some students said they felt that political topics were usually discussed in a manner that did not fully encompass all viewpoints fairly. “It’s kind of polarized because you hear one half of the story,” said conservative student Emily Hartley, who feels that classes often only demonstrate a liberal response to controversial events. “You don’t get to hear or fully understand the more conservative side.” Junior Sarah Conway, who identified as socially liberal and fiscally conservative, agreed that the majority of class discussion skews left. “Sometimes my views aren’t seen as valid because the teachers don’t cover it,” Conway said. Furthermore, several students said that some of their teachers have not presented political discussions in a way that invites different views. “I’ve had the experience when one of my teachers just completely didn’t accept what I was saying and then just told me to end it before I got sent to the office,” said junior and conservative Trinidad Martinez. However, junior and liberal Carter Anderson said he believes the reason students don’t share their political views more closely correlates with their level of interest in politics rather than their political ideologies.

Political terminology defined James Pampeyan

California Political Parties

The statements were written by the political parties for the 2017 issue of the Easy Voter Guide. The number of party members in California listed for each political party if from the Secretary of State’s February 10, 2017 Report of Registration. American Independent: We believe in liberty and justice for all under God. We want to keep America independent and safe. We’ll protect the family, marriage, and work. We believe in individual responsibility and free enterprise. We must obey our Constitution and promote

Declaration of Independence principles. CA Members: 510, 486

Democrat: Democrats believe the role of the government is to ensure quality education and healthcare for all citizens; ensure justice for every person; protect the rights of immigrants, women, people of color and the LGBT community; and create an economy that works for everyone, not just the most fortunate. Oracle identified democratic policies: gun control, prochoice, left leaning on social issues and economic policies. CA Members: 8,700,440 Green: Greens know that we can have healthier, safer, and happier lives, and our govern-

ment can help if it is uncorrupted. The Green Party takes no corporate money, and so Greens work for both environmental and social justice, and for peace. CA Members: 94,720 Libertarian: The Libertarian Party stands for personal freedom, economic freedom, and non-interventionist foreign policy. If you’re socially tolerant and fiscally responsible, you’re a libertarian. You, not the government, should decide how to run your life, finances, education, and family. CA Members: 141,461 Peace and Freedom: We stand for equal rights and a good standard of living for everyone. We want to protect our

earth, promote peace, and defend our rights. Let’s practice democracy and cooperation. We can use country’s wealth to make life better for everyone. CA Members: 76,021

Republican: California Republicans believe in listening closely to the people and caring about their concerns. They believe in a back-to-basics approach, to meet the basic needs of citizens like good roads, good schools, good jobs, a clean environment and safe communities. Oracle identified republican policies: 2nd amendment rights, increased defense spending, right leaning on social issues and economic policies. CA Members: 5,027,714

Commonly used political terminology Bipartisan: A cooperative effort between two political parties. Independent: Someone who does not identify with a political party. Independents tend to vote for policies from both parties. Midterms: Elections that take place two years after presidential elections and determine which political party controls Congress. Nonpartisan: Putting politics aside or free from party affiliation. Partisan: One who shows loyalty to their party and policies while opposing or even discrediting alternate viewpoints.


| in-depth


culties, and observations “Overall [the school is] a very open environment,” Anderson said. “But I think that people have different levels of comfort and different levels of activism and passion around the subject. ”

Teachers and politics in the classroom District policy guides teachers to “exercise caution and discretion” when discussing particular issues in the classroom and to represent all sides of a controversial issue fairly. Additionally, teachers are expected to withhold from promoting “any partisan point of view” or suppressing any student’s views. Math teacher Marcia Babiak said that she would “never bring up anything political” in her classroom. “In my subject it’s pretty easy,” Babiak said. “Politics do not come up on an everyday basis when you’re trying to teach the quadratic formula.” Other teachers said they discuss politics sparingly, often only as it relates to coursework. “I shouldn’t have to teach the political issues,” social studies teacher Paul McHenry said. “I teach the critical thinking skills my students need to dissect the political issues.” Spanish teacher David Campbell does not actively pursue political discussion in the classroom, but he welcomes any connections students might make to current events, adding that it shows a deeper understanding of curriculum. “I don’t think that my responsibility is to shut that down,” Campbell said. “It’s just a natural byproduct of having intelligent conversations.”

Students are figuring out who they are and what they believe While some classrooms only engage in political discussion when students themselves bring it up, many teachers believe that political discourse intrinsically belongs in the classroom. Sullivan, who identifies as socially liberal, said it would be a “teaching malpractice” not to use the classroom to discuss current events and learn effective political discourse. Social studies teacher Kristin Cardenas agreed, saying that political discussions allow her students to become “more educated and open minded members of our democratic society.” Senior and liberal Ally Halliday said she appreciates political discussions as a means to increase

student knowledge around current events. “It makes students more socially aware and politically aware of what’s happening in the country,” Halliday said, adding that it would be irresponsible of teachers not to address major current events. In general, the majority of teachers interviewed agreed that when discussing politics in the classroom, it’s important to create a safe space for students to share their beliefs. Senior Katie Meter emphasized the importance of giving students a platform to develop their own political ideologies. “Students are figuring out who they are and what they believe,” Meter said. “It’s really important to have some sort of facilitation and somewhere where they can explore different ideas.”

Teachers discuss political beliefs

Many teachers share similar views on discussing politics in the classroom but vary in their beliefs of disclosing their own political identity. Social Studies teacher Kevin Heiken said that he is careful not to share his stance on political issues because he believes the role of the teacher should be to facilitate discussion. Freshman Alayna Lee, who didn’t identify with any political party, said that teachers should not share their political views because students will be persuaded to agree with their teacher rather than develop their own opinions, and Junior Nitin Kumar, who described his political beliefs as “constantly changing,” added that it’s “near impossible” for students to share their beliefs when they differ from those of their teachers. Still, teachers like English teacher Paige Price, social studies teachers Carson Rietveld and Hancock said they reveal their political leanings to provide students with a better understanding of how their political bias may affect conversation. “If I just say to you ‘Kavanaugh shouldn’t have been elected’, but I don’t reveal that that comes from a set of very passionate values that I have, then to me, that’s worse [than concealing my political biases],” Price said. Students Gerber and Hartley agreed and said that if teachers admit their biases, it can help to improve overall learning and allow for more honest discussion. Though she said she does disclose her beliefs, Price added that she constantly goes back and forth about whether she should share her views to her students because she knows that she cannot ignore the “power imbalance” between teacher and students. Similarly to Price, English teacher


Mia Newton does disclose her political beliefs in the classroom. However, Newton said that ever since the administration put a teacher on paid leave allegedly for the way he discussed politics in the classroom, she has become more thoughtful with how she approaches political discussions. “Before that news explosion happened with Mr. Navarro, I never thought about it. I said anything I wanted to in the classroom,” Newton said. “But it did get me thinking, hey, they’re families and students that don’t think the way that I do, and I need to be aware of that” On the other hand, biology teacher Anthony Gallego said that he will express his personal beliefs to students when “they’re coming on their own time,” but will not do so in front of a whole class. Social studies teacher Julie Yick, who takes another approach, said that she does not disclose her beliefs during political discussions in the classroom because she wants students to think critically about the information provided to form their own informed opinions, instead of being swayed by her thoughts.

It’s our responsibility to remain neutral and allow students to form their own ideas [and] their own beliefs Overall, Rietveld said that political bias inevitably influences the classroom because teachers, especially in humanities courses, “infuse” their politics into curriculum. “What I’ve chosen to teach you, the books your English teacher has chosen for you to read, [and the] way that our science teachers choose to teach science is a political choice and has political consequences,” Rietveld said. Despite their views on whether or not teachers should disclose their political beliefs, all the teachers interviewed agreed that it was their job to create a safe space in the classroom. However, Principle David Grissom said that it’s difficult to create this space, reflecting on his experiences as a social studies teacher. “It’s our responsibility to remain neutral and allow students to form their own ideas [and] their own beliefs within the classroom,” said Grissom.

49% 49%

Percent of students who indentify with the Democratic political party. Followed by 28% as “I don’t know,” 12% as “independent/nonpartisan,” 7% as Republican, 3% as Libertarian, and 1% as Green.

Percent of students who identify politically as “liberal” on campus. Followed by 22% as “unknown,” 19% as moderate, and 10% as conservative

49% Percent of students that believe teachers should not disclose their political preference to their students. 22% said teachers should, 11% said teachers should but only in English and social studies classes., and 16% responded other.

41% Percent of students who feel comfortable voicing their political beliefs in the classroom because their peers will respect them. 23% disagreed with that statement. 29% neither disagreed nor agreed.


Percent of students that believe teachers should discuss politics in the classroom. 34% of students believe that teachers should only discuss politics in English or social studies classes, 6% believed that teachers should not discuss politics in the classroom, and 11% responded other.


Percent of students who feel that political lessons in the classroom are often one-sided towards a liberal viewpoint. 32% of students said sometimes, 14% said always, 9% said hardly ever, and 4% said never.

48% Percent of students that agree with the statement, “I tend to associate with peers that have similar political preferences.” 26% disagree with this statement and 30% neither disagree nore agree.

This data was obtained by an Oracle survey that was sent out to students through their social studies teachers. The survey was also posted on Oracle social media. There were a total of 550 responses. 38% of respondents were seniors, 32% were juniors, 13% were sophomores, and 16% were freshmen. Of respondents, 45% identify as white, 22% as Asian, 16% as other/multicultural, 12% as Hispanic/Latinx, 3.8% as Asian/Pacific Islander, and 2% as black/African American.



humor |

BREAKING NEWS Sixth graders slated to take the

practice SAT next school year

SIXTH GRADERS: use step stools in order to reach the exam table while taking the practice PSAT in October.

Marcella Sakols Schools in Mountain View and Los Altos have decided to add sixth graders to PSAT testing next year after the success of adding the freshmen to this year’s PSAT. The students will be given SAT tutoring 5 hours a week until taking it in their sophomore or junior year. Many parents have expressed their

support for this new initiative. “I bought my daughter Supera an SAT prep book when she was in kindergarten! We want her to get a head start! She’s been getting steady 1590s on her practice tests!” said Overa Chiever, sixth grader Supera Chiever’s mother. “If students don’t get a head start, there’s no way they will get into a school with a 1% acceptance rate,” Chiever said.

Hona Roll, a mother at Huff Elementary, enrolled her 4th grader in an SAT boot camp that is now offered as an extracurricular at most Bay Area schools. In addition to academic preparation, the boot camp also focuses on physical fitness to build both brain and body muscles in order to keep participants fit and smart at the same time. This new phenomenon of prepubescent students taking

the PSAT has caught STEMford University’s attention. They have started running tests on the child geniuses who are now overpopulating the Bay Area. It’s been proven that sixth graders who have taken the PSAT and have received higher than a 1500 on their score have a brain 50 percent larger than that of the average fully grown senior. This discovery has led the College Board to consider mandating the 6th grade across the nation to take the PSAT. “I want to get an 1800 on my PSAT so I can get into Harvard!” 4th grader Cor Nell said. He believes that winning a Nobel prize at age seven isn’t enough to get into his dream school. Unlike many of the other very positive reactions to the PSAT being taken by 6th graders, one mother expressed her concern. “I believe that starting standardized testing early will only add stress to the middle schooler’s lives, and they should be able to live out their childhood.” Rhea Listic said. School administration dismissed this complaint, stating that having a childhood is archaic and overrated. Furthermore, starting college preparation as late as high school will

result in an unsuccessful future. Some parents said that they saw Listic’s suggestions as an attack on their parenting style. The hashtag “#nomorechildhood” has been trending, proving that having fun is unnecessary in a child’s development and really should be replaced with intensive tutoring. Administration has also added College and Career centers at every middle school, and college advisors are scheduled to meet with first graders to talk about their futures and what they might be interested in majoring in. It is encouraged for students to know the major they want to go into by the fourth grade so they will have plenty of time to take the appropriate classes. Now that the college preparatory initiatives are starting earlier, public and private schools are adapting by increasing difficulty and adding AP and college level courses to middle and elementary schools. By 2030 most prestigious colleges will only accept students with GPAs of 5.0 and IQ levels of 155, hoping tp motivate students to grow out of the archaic definiton of a childhood and start preparing early for college applications.

Students win the Political Debate Club reaching across the aisle coveted Tutorial Cup Valeria Gonzalez

The new political discourse club will host its first meeting on Oct. 31, in which they hope to bring together students in a new form of discussion. The club’s mission is to reach out to students with different political views and host more productive conversations regarding politics on campus. “Often times discussions in classes just seem so one-sided,” President Imnaht Lisning said. Lisning said he hopes the conversations in the classroom will reflect the real world in order to produce productive members of society. The club is aimed to mimic the type of conversations that happen in Congress, according to Lisning. Students who attend the meeting will all receive a pair of noisecanceling headphones, allowing them to only hear their thoughts. With the assumption that other students can hear them, they will scream their opinions across the room at the opposing side. According to Lisning, the first topic of discussion will be climate change. Students are politicizing this issue heavily, even arguing that it is a hoax created by the science department to keep students enrolled in more AP classes. Other teachers have applauded

the active listening demonstrated in the club’s action plan. “Political discourse is something that oftentimes is left out of the classrooms as students shy away from discomfort,” club member Dissag Reement, said. “We are confronting issues head-on. We want to create an unsafe space— how else will change be made?” The purpose of each discussion is that the conversation has a clear winner. Points can be gained or lost depending on how students abide by the club rules. The way in which students will win points is by either making personal insults unrelated to the discussion, threats, and information from reliable sources such as @Raised_Right_ and @thatsnotrightpolitics. On the contrary, students will lose points

if they concede in their argument, use accurate facts and figures, or demonstrate an ounce of empathy. Students are encouraged to bring props to the meetings in order to mirror members of Congress. Some props include reading glasses, canes, tombstones, and Warheads to give them a sour mouth. To bring more students into the conversation, the club will provide tasty snacks to encourage attendance. Such snacks will include Tim Candykaines, Frosted Jeff Flakes, old soggy Lindsay Graham crackers, and Bernie SPAMders. The club expects high attendance as students are very eager to share their opinions and listen to opinions that sound just like their own.

Emma Cahill STUDENTS: debate political topics and prove their own party’s point of view.

Valeria Gonzalez

On Tuesday the 23rd, school administration faced the students in a challenging match to declare the Tutorial Champion. Points were allotted to students for each successful escape from tutorial, while administration receive points for each student caught. While it was a tough battle, it is no surprise that the students won for the third time this year. Our expert analysis suggests that the administration must play smarter than they have in the past if they hope to win in the future. While administration has made it clear that they no longer want to face students in such a game, the students demonstrated that they were here to win. Administration tried to argue that the students were cheating, claiming that students were not allowed to use their phones to communicate. However, they were outnumbered by the size of the student team and simply unable to defend themselves in the most crucial moments of the match. The student players were stealthy as they slid by administration, hiding behind bushes, cars, and trash cans as they ran towards the back parking lot. Their impulsive decision making allowed for a well-timed attack against the administration.

Hal, the star player for administration’s team, has a unique skill of thinking three steps ahead of the student players. Before the students were able to reach the BPL, Hal was already waiting to attack from the bushes off of Truman Ave. The students successfully avoided the golf cart as it raced towards them, skirting through the side streets and hiding in backyards. Hal came in with a quick recovery, following the students up Bower Street, but simply lacked the momentum he needed to catch up. The final score of the game resulted in a tremendous win for students, scoring a total of 50 points, while administration only received two points total. It seems to be time that administration accepts defeat. While the administration played more strategically, they failed to act as quickly as the students. A few students were crushed by the end of the match, having to confront the referees in the office, yet more students left unharmed. Following the winning game, the students made no attempt to be humble after their win, making a point to walk around with their trophy—a Starbucks coffee. And like time and time again, there was simply nothing administration could do to prevent such a humiliating defeat. The students continue to be the champ for yet another nail bitting tutorial period.



| humor

Barbod Nikzad Across my years of scouting and exploring the hostile wasteland of Mountain View High School, I

have come across a slew of monsters slinging fire and brimstone, smiting down innocent civilians. I have seen the horrors of high school life, the agony of timed writes, and the dread of walking down the haunted

halls. From this, I can resolutely say that I have never seen such strange things in all of my years. Here is a short account of the most deadly and terrifying creatures from my adventures.

The Talking Dead With sunken eyes and heavy arms, they are zombies never seeming to rest. Having not slept for the past year, they slowly transformed into the undead. They stumble from classroom to classroom, mumbling equation after equation to themselves. Do not, in any situation, underestimate their coffee-fueled power. They prey on underclassmen, begging for brains to replace their own, which rotted away years ago. You can spot their coffee stained, crinkled t-shirts and sweatpants from across the quad. They speak like a soothsayer: rarely and mostly to warn you. Watch out, you are looking your future in the eye. You can find stereotypical seniors in their natural habitat, the back parking lot.

Ghost Riders

“‘Love,’ that is such a hateful word” up by the golf cart have to bring all their belongings with them, never to return.

The Phantom Menace

Ria Saxena

its movements, they are erratic and completely unpredictable. Get out of Back Parking Lot lickety split before a new driver runs you into the ground.

Satanic Adoration Test Just when you think you are stressed enough from maintaining a stable GPA, it sneaks up behind you and upends everything. It will strike when least expected, leaving your life in shambles. Avoid it at all costs. A college education and stable job are not worth facing this monster. It is a mad creation of Satan intended to torment your every moment of existence, comparable to the ninth ring of Hell. Its paradoxes will drive

you mad with their complexity and sophistication. Its sheer size can make grown men cry. Whatever you do, don’t take the SAT.

White Lightning Impossibly fast for its size, it runs down the average student in the blink of an eye. Its harsh, contrasting colors and sharp edges strike fear into the hearts of those unfortunate to cross its path. The dread that fills a person every time it approaches is unmeasurable. If you find yourself overtaken by its speed, accept your defeat. There is no point in resisting once it has caught you. The unlucky victims to be picked

The thing you least expect yet can always sense, just around the corner. You are never safe from it, at any time, anywhere it will strike. Literally anywhere. It cunningly attacks your weakest points and almost always succeed. It will tear you into shreds if you lack an understanding of anything no matter how minute or minuscule. Pop quizzes appear when you are at your weakest, with the sole purpose to ruin your life.

slings its hot innards, acidic enough to melt through steel. Luring prey in with its sweet aroma and comforting appeal, it strikes when prey is most unsuspecting. This false sense of comfort tricks the hungry student into abandoning their natural instincts and surrendering to its brilliance. The terrifying pizza cart in all of its grotesque glory.

The Predator Hailing from the darkest corners of Tartarus, this tempting terror brings a slow death upon whoever is foolish enough to consume its fare. Do not be fooled by first impressions, it may look delicious but in reality, it is deadly. The neon red skin is a warning of a poison running through its veins and its hard shell is enough to break bones. It

Ria Saxena

You can never rest with the thought that there are things like them out there. Every time you cross the parking lot, you put your life in danger. It is terrifyingly common for you to come face to face with a roaring beast lurching and swerving. Staring death in the eye. The sudden screech as it accelerates should be a siren to you. Do not try to predict

Aiden Stein




arts & culture |

Latino Student Union promotes representation of many cultures

Nisha Malley LATINO STUDENT UNION MEMBERS: walked in the homecoming parade holding flags from different latin countries. They were joined by the Mexican Folkorico Dance club who performed traditional dances during the parade.

Izzy Scotti The Latino Student Union has recently begun a push to more diversely represent the entire Latino community. Club president Darsey Roque Morales, who is from Guatemala,

realized his sophomore year when he learned about LSU that it seemed mainly run and steered mainly towards Mexican traditions and celebrations. Because of this, he didn’t feel as included. When he joined his junior year and became vice president, he saw the same issue again. As a

senior, he is pushing for greater representation. “[We want people to] understand that where they come from is who they are and they should be able to represent that and not be afraid to express that...especially because you can often feel like you don’t belong,” Morales said.

Co-president Jasmine Velazco said that she had a realization that more countries need to be represented because of the current political climate . “As a Mexican, I’m guilty of being blinded by the privileges being Mexican has,” Velazco said. “[I’m] the one that everyone thinks of when they think Latino, so when I heard a lot of assumptions and generalizations of the Latino community being put under Mexican, I realized that there’s way more Latino communities. There’s way more countries than just Mexico and they each have their own beautiful culture.” During the homecoming parade, the club marched with flags from a variety of different Latino countries to further this representation. Also, during Hispanic heritage month, Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, the club did research on Latino countries that gained independence during that time, who they gained independence from, significant battles, and the day they gained independence. They also tried to find more events and celebrations that each culture celebrates instead of solely Mexican. However, with holidays such as Día de los Muertos, which is celebrated in a multitude of

Hispanic countries, they try to represent all the different ways that it is celebrated. Velazco said that the club wants to raise more awareness for the beauty of different cultures. She added that she wants to learn folk dances from different countries. “I’m in Mexican folk dance because that reflects [my] culture, but I want to know and see the different folk dances of different countries and how beautiful they can be,” Velazco said. One project that’s in the works for the club is a dance at school with music from all of Latin America as a community builder. Velazco expressed how at school dances, Latin-American music is never played and said she believes having different Latin American music would be enjoyable. Club member Jess Henriquez, who is from El Salvador, said she also finds this representation important to spread throughout the student body and wants to celebrate other cultures, as well as educate people about them. Velazco echoed this sentiment. “We want to bring people in from all of latin america and all latin american countries to show that they’re welcomed. It’s not just Mexican, and we’re all one big family,” Velazco said.

La Asociación de Estudiantes Latinos trabaja para promover una representación precisa Izzy Scotti Traduccion Mira Kaiser La Unión de Estudiantes Latinos ha comenzado un esfuerzo para representar en manera más diversa, a toda la comunidad latina. El presidente del club, Darsey Roque Morales, quien es de Guatemala, en su segundo año cuando se enteró de la LSU se dio que el club parecía funcionar y dirigirse principalmente hacia las tradiciones y celebraciones mexicanas. Debido a esto, no se sentía tan incluido. Cuando se unió en su tercer año y se convirtió en vicepresidente del club, volvió a ver el mismo problema. Ahora en su último año, él está presionando para una mayor representación. “[Queremos que la gente] entienda que de dónde vienen es quiénes son y deberían poder representar eso y no tener miedo de expresarlo ... especialmente porque a menudo se puede sentir que no pertenece”, dijo Morales. La copresidenta Jasmine Velazco dijo que se dio cuenta de que más países deben estar representados debido a la

situación política hoy en día. “Como mexicano, soy culpable de estar cegado por los privilegios que vienen de ser mexicano”, dijo Velazco. “[Soy] el que todos piensan cuando piensan en latino, así que cuando escuché muchas suposiciones y generalizaciones de la comunidad latina que se está sometiendo a México, me di cuenta de que hay muchas más comunidades latinas. Hay más países que solo México y cada uno tiene su propia y cultura hermosa”. Durante el desfile de homecoming, el club marchó con banderas de una variedad de países latinos para promover esta representación. Además, durante el mes de la herencia hispana, del 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre, el club investigó los países latinos que obtuvieron su independencia durante ese tiempo, de quién se independizaron, las batallas significativas y el día en que obtuvieron la independencia. También intentaron encontrar más eventos y celebraciones que celebran cada cultura en lugar de solo mexicanos. Sin embargo, con días festivos como el Día de los Muertos, que se celebra en una multitud de países hispanos, intentan representar todas las diferentes formas en que se celebra.

Velazco dijo que el club quiere crear más conciencia sobre la belleza de las culturas diferentes. Añadió que quiere aprender bailes populares de diferentes países. “Estoy en el baile folklórico mexicano porque refleja [mi] cultura, pero quiero conocer y ver los diferentes bailes populares de diferentes países y lo hermosos que pueden ser”, dijo Velazco. Un proyecto en que está

trabajando para el club, es un baile en la escuela con música de toda América Latina para construir la comunidad. Velazco expresó cómo en los bailes escolares, nunca se toca la música latinoamericana y dijo que cree que sería agradable tener música diferente latinoamericana. Jess Henriquez, miembro del club, que es de El Salvador, dijo que también considera que esta representación es importante para

difundir en todos los estudiantes y que quiere celebrar otras culturas, así como educar a las personas sobre ellas. Velazco esta de acuerdo de este sentimiento. “Queremos traer gente de toda Latina América y todos los países de América Latina para demostrar que son bienvenidos. No solo somos mexicanos, y todos somos una gran familia,” dijo Velazco.

graphic courtesy of Julia Wagner



| arts & culture

A transformative On starting your experience with makeup career in the arts Student experiments with special effect cosmetics

photo courtesy of Lizzy Kundrat KUNDRAT: practices special effects makeup because she finds it transformative.

Anna Breedlove From bullet wounds to mermaid facades, junior Lizzy Kundrat can transform anyone with just a spark of inspiration. She was first introduced to Special Effects Makeup through the Peninsula Youth Theatre, where she has been taking classes since she was three years old. She said she is drawn to this art form because of the ability it has to alter people. “I really enjoy it because it’s very transformative,” Kundrat said. “You can take something that already exists and turn it into something completely different, which I feel like you don’t do in a lot of other art forms.” Drawing inspiration from books, stories, and podcasts, Kundrat uses everything from latex glue to toilet paper to bring characters and ideas to life. “I mostly taught myself everything that I know,” Kundrat said. “It was a lot of trial and error and finding other artists who did things sort of similar to

what I did and looking at their style and incorporating it into mine and just figuring out what worked.” She said she enjoys incorporating her art with theatre because of how interactive the art becomes. Kundrat said the results are always rewarding whether she practices on herself or other people, but she did concede that it took a lot of practice and mistakes along the way. “It’s very accessible to anyone, but you just have to really work at it,” Kundrat said. “When I was younger there would be hours where I would just be in my room trying things over and over again until it worked. And it’s totally paid off now, but it was definitely frustrating and it just took commitment.” Kundrat said although she sometimes makes mistakes, she has been able to take advantage of those situations and create something even more interesting. “Sometimes I’ll be in the middle of building a prosthetic [and] I’ll use the wrong color,

and be like wait, actually, this is really cool. And then I just sort of take off with that,” Kundrat said. Kundrat has created an Instagram account with the handle @13spooky.mua in order to showcase a variety of her Special Effects looks. She said she is pleasantly surprised with the attention that her art has received. “Sometimes I’ll get comments and followers who I don’t know, who genuinely like my art and I think that’s really cool… It’s especially fun to see people’s reactions to it, because it’s so extreme and literally in your face that people have to say something about it,” Kundrat said. In the future, Kundrat said she would love to turn her passion into a career, possibly through theatre. Overall Kundrat feels that her art is a passion that spreads allure to a mundane world. “I love the way that it creates something that probably wouldn’t exist otherwise,” Kundrat said. “And it allows the world to become a lot more fantastic and sort of mystical. More so than it would normally be.”

photo courtesy of Lizzy Kundrat

Guest Write Chelsea Whitmore Hey teens. If you’re thinking about an art career, even a bit, I’ve already ventured down that path, so I can share some of what I’ve learned. Background on me—I graduated from MVHS in 2013, and immediately started attending Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida where I majored in Game Art. I graduated in 2017, moved home to work at a start-up in San Jose as a game designer, then another start-up as a 3D artist, and finally I’m currently contracting at Google as a 3D Generalist/Designer.

It isn’t about networking— it’s about being considerate and kind to others I was lucky to have the support of my family when it came to my interest in art, which helped a lot when it came to getting early experience. If you have the resources, I recommend attending classes wherever you can. The summer after my sophomore year, I attended the Academy of Art University precollege program in San Francisco, where I was able to take classes in figure drawing, character design, 3D, and animation. Some were better than others, but the exposure to new ideas, new people, and new experiences were great-- and they can help you build your portfolio. Other colleges provide pre-college programs as well, so if there is a school that you’re super interested in, look into some of those. I also took classes at the Pacific

Art League in Palo Alto. One of my favorite classes I took there was the Sketchbook class, where we went out to different coffee shops and practiced our observational drawing on various coffee-drinking patrons. Classes at Cogswell College were useful too. They offered drawing classes and other more technical classes. I took a 3D modeling class there, which helped get an early start. If you don’t have access to classes like these, you can also look to the great wide web. There are lots of artistic communities out there to get involved in, countless tutorials for whatever you’d like to learn, and lots of free trials! There are a lot of places to share your work as well, to get feedback, and to help others grow. The other free thing is routine. If you don’t have access to art classes, you can at least make creating and practicing as part of your routine. If you can fit practicing your craft into your schedule somewhere, you can get a lot accomplished. If you’re wondering if it’s worth it to take your AP tests, even though you’re planning to go to art school, I would say you should still do it. If you can get those credits, you can use them for mandatory classes in college and spend more time taking classes that you want. Taking electives outside of my major was some of the most fun I had at art college. I believe that what continues to be my biggest gain from art college is the friends I’ve made along the way The peers that you enter the workforce with are the ones that will help you when you’re down, looking for work, or inspiration. It isn’t about networking—it’s about being considerate and kind to others. Whether or not art school or an art career is in your plan, I hope that you can find something creatively fulfilling in your life. Remember, life is a journey, and you’re at the very start; enjoy yourself, don’t get too stressed out, and please, please, be kind to one another.

KUNDRAT: poses with her makeup.

Grace Quiles

Abhiraj Giritharan

Grace Quiles said she doesn’t put a lot of thought into her outfits as her style usually just fits her mood and overall personality.

“I only shop at Urban Outfitters. Like exlusively. Maybe like once every 2 months. Online. I also never return anything even if it doesn’t fit so... It’s always a mix of comfort and style.”

Abby Porter Ana Mata

Ana Mata

Ana Mata



arts & culture |

Developing a work of art Rising International Club: An Advocate for at Freestyle Academy

photo courtesy of Max Tan TAN: joined the animation class at Freestyle Academy after beginning in film.

Emer Martinez Freestyle student Max Tan, a senior who joined the animation program last year, shares his art through comic style storytelling, illustrations, and writing. He is currently working on a comic set in a magical world that follows a gay African American man as he deals with the difficulties that come along with his background. Tan came up with this character in eighth grade, and has since developed it into a story about love and loss in early England in the late 18th century. Tan has decided to post his comic on the website Tapas, and said he will periodically continue post the developments as they arise. “I want to be able to share my stories and ideas to a bigger audience, that is why I have started posting my first comic online,” Tan said. Early elementary school is when Tan said he delved into the world of art and realized he had a creative

mind for illustration. “For me, art and storytelling have always been linked,” Tan said. After spending the first quarter in the film program at freestyle his junior year, Tan realized that the animation program was where he wanted to be. “I have always been very appreciative of animation art form, a lot of work goes into making it,” Tan said. Tan said he likes the animation class because it is a great way to share a story interactively with the audience. He added that it has made him appreciate the time and effort that goes into animation projects. Tan said that he once worked on a four second animation project that took him two hours to complete. “It’s painful, but it’s worth it,” Tan said. Adriana Copete, the Freestyle Animation teacher, said she thought highly of Tan’s work so far in her class. “All his 2D character animations

are really good,” Capote said. “The [content] that I do get is really good in terms in motion, color, and character motions.” Many of the stories Tan creates cover the topics of psychology, history, and coming of age, as well as elements of light hearted and fictional topics. “Cute yet unsettling,” senior William Sigunov, a friend of Tan, said when describing Tan’s art style. “His actual art style is significantly on the cuter side, but the actual subject matter can get very heavy.” Tan draws inspiration for his stories from what other people make in songs, drawings, and stories that he comes across. “He has a great sense of motion in terms of timing and poses for the characters,” Copete said. Tan encourages everyone to pursue their passions. “If there is someone who makes anything, whether it’s art or writing or music, or if they’re trying to send a message to people, it’s good to listen,” Tan said. “Art is a really good way to grow as a person.”

photo courtesy of Max Tan TAN: enjoys creating animations. Advertisement

Women’s Rights

Students work to empower women and spread awareness

graphic courtesy of Julia Wagner

Diya Mandyam Rising International Club, a social awareness club at MVHS, focuses on women’s rights, particularly in third world countries. The club’s mission is to help those in poverty by working with the national organization Rising International to empower women entrepreneurs in developing countries by selling their art. Many of the goods the club receives, ranging from items such as beaded jewelry to handmade blankets, are made by women in Central Latin America, Africa, and India. This year, the club plans to arrange booths in local farmers markets to sell. Every time they sell at a farmers market, the club earns anywhere from 100 to 200 dollars for their cause. Additionally, they are planning to arrange open houses in the near future where they will showcase and sell the art. They would also like to open a booth to enable students to buy their goods. The club is also planning to volunteer directly at Next Door Solutions, which is an organization that strives to provide a safe place for women in abusive relationships and households. Senior Tara Popovic, a board member of the club, said she hopes that by raising awareness of the issues that women go through daily, smaller things, like catcalling or harassing comments, will stop. “There are many women at the school [and we’re] raising issues that don’t directly affect us because we are in a privileged community, but might affect us in smaller ways,” Popovic said. The club recently watched a documentary called The True Cost, which documents how “fast fashion” is detrimental to both the environment and the factory workers, the majority of whom are women They hope to screen it at MVHS to increase awareness amongst students. With the new political climate, the club wants to acknowledge issues students still need to work

on as a community. In 2016, the club wrote letters to the Supreme Court, asking them to look into a case about the prostitution of underage women. Although the case was never formally acknowledged by the Supreme Court, according to club president and senior Jenna Loh, president of the club, it was empowering for the members of the club to take action by writing the letters. “Social justice is something I want to get into as possibly part of my career, so I find it really inspiring for us to look into what kind of changes or things that we can do as individual citizens in society,” Loh said.

The club talks about women’s issues, but they’re not just issues that pertain to women Even though the club has been around for years, it was previously lead by seniors who graduated last year. Loh, Popovic, and the other board members restarted the club this year. The club is now trying to have an equal balance of underclassmen and upperclassmen and hope to get more members that support their cause and hope to get more members that support their cause. “The club talks about women’s issues, but they’re not just issues that pertain to women. Everyone is invited to discuss them, all perspectives are invited. It’s important [and] people need to talk about it,” Popovic said. She said she hopes that everyone tries to become more involved, not just women. According to Loh, the club hopes that with the small steps they are taking they can educate students about the importance of women’s rights worldwide.



| news-features Campus remodel

SBAC scores decrease

socioeconomic achievement gap persists Board approves Measure E plan

Sophia Smith In the past year, the percentage of students at Mountain View High School who either passed or exceeded the standards set for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has decreased in English. The SBAC is intended to inform students on how they can improve, as well as inform the school system about the inconsistencies in the curriculum. By analyzing these scores, our school system can evaluate the effectiveness of different curricular approaches taken to help students succeed. In 2017, the percentage of students who passed or exceeded standards of the SBAC English section was 85.14 percent, and 68.5 percent for the math section. In 2018, the percentage of students who passed or exceeded standards on these tests had

decreased in English; the English test had a 79.41 percent passing rate and math a 71.46 percent passing rate. There continue to be large discrepancies between the performance of economically disadvantaged students and those who aren’t as well. Students of lower income levels have much lower test scores in both math and English. 45 percent of economically disadvantaged students met or exceeded the standards for English, but only 18.46 percent met or exceeded the standards for math. In contrast, 92.92 percent of students without economic disadvantages met or exceeded the standards in English and 78.21 percent of students met or exceeded the standards in math. Less than half of these students with economic disadvantages met or exceeded the SBAC standards, demonstrating the prevalence of the achievement gap. Yet in

recent years, the difference in scores between the economically advantaged and disadvantaged has narrowed slightly. Principal David Grissom said that while the test is only one measurement of success, it can still be quite helpful to students. By learning both what they already know and what they can improve on, students are given guidelines on how to succeed in their classes. Compared to California statewide results for eleventhgrade students in 2017, MVHS scored well above average. MVHS is 25.38 percent above the state average in English, and 36.36 percent in math. Grissom attributes these high scores to the work ethic of students and involved parents. “MVHS students are driven to do well and succeed...and we have families that demand our students have topnotch education and put their effort into it as well,” Grissom said.

Percentage of Students that Met or Exceeded Standards 88%








English Language Arts

Economically Disadvantaged

ELECTRIC| from p. 1 can notify users when their vehicle’s charge has reached its capacity, allowing staff and community members to use the charging stations more efficiently. Paying community members are charged 2.2 cents per kilowatt, a small amount according to Mathiesen. Although the cost is cheap, Mathiesen said he has seen fewer community members using the chargers than before, something anticipated by the district. Rogers said knowing that there

Not Economically Disadvantaged

was a place to charge her vehicle was a big part of her decision to buy it, and she is grateful for the increased efficiency of the charging process. Prior to the new policy, Mathiesen said the district received complaints from neighbors who felt that by the district not charging for charger use, they were being taken advantage of as taxpayers.“I’d say the largest benefit of being able to control [electric charger use] is that we can better regulate it so that there’s prime access for staff during the school day,” Mathiesen said.

The increased charger usage is part of district’s green initiative. Through this initiative, they have greatly reduced their carbon footprint through solar panels which also power the electric chargers. Rogers said she appreciates the district’s increased environmental efforts. “I think it’s really great we have the chargers out front,” Rogers said. “I think it sends the message that that’s something the district believes in and that they’re trying to provide an opportunity for us to purchase an electric vehicle and charge at work.” Advertisement

Marika Ragnartz MVHS is set to renovate or reconstruct many areas on campus over the next five years. This will be funded by Measure E, a ballot passed in early June. Construction will happen in phases, with parts of campus blocked off at different times, resulting in nine sections of the campus being rebuilt. February 2019 - The school will provide new portable classrooms on the field between the track and Packard Hall. The school will build 11 portables, one more than is being demolished, in order to accommodate any extra needs for space. April 2019 - Over Spring Break, all of the teachers in rooms 520 to 527 will relocate to the new portables and the current portables will be demolished to allow for construction to start on a two-story building housing 23 classrooms. Winter 2020 - Construction will begin on parts of the athletic field along with site repairs and improvements including turf field installation on one of the soccer fields. Any buildings that are in need of repair will be addressed; affected teachers will move to portables for the duration of the construction on their classroom. Summer 2020 - The two-story classroom building housing the special education department, an engineering wing, and an additional 18 new classrooms, will be completed, and teachers move in. The special education department will contain contain five connected

rooms specialized for the different needs of students in the program, including a communal kitchen, three Life Skills classrooms, and a medically fragile classroom. The engineering wing will contain two computer labs, a fabrication lab, and an engineering lab. All site repairs and improvements will be completed along with the turf installation on the athletic field. Winter 2021 - Construction will begin on a two-story Student Services building that will be built where administration, the finance office, and the counseling office currently exist. Fall 2021 - Construction will begin to modernize Packard Hall. Winter 2022 - Construction will begin on a new auxiliary gymnasium that will house wrestling and Dance Spectrum in the current location of the small gym. Summer 2022 - The new Student Services building will be completed, containing the College and Career Center, administration and counseling offices, the Finance Office, and a few classrooms. Packard Hall will also be completed and ready for use. Winter 2023 - Construction is finished on the new auxiliary gymnasium and construction will begin on a modernization of the library and repurposing the cafeteria into a performing arts space. Spring 2023 - Construction begins on the final part of the project: modernizing the gymnasium. Winter 2024 - The auxiliary gymnasium, library, cafeteria, and gymnasium are completed.

DISTRICT: outlines architectural plans for the Measure E facilities construction.

ELECTIONS | from p. 1 a contested election in which various ideas and opinions would be shared. Catherine Vonnegut, a candidate for the school board, said that having several uncontested elections makes it hard for new individuals to run and get elected. She said that when the community is generally happy with the district, the current board members are elected unless they retire from the eligibility for candidacy. Mathiesen said that uncontested elections symbolize “stability” in the district as well as showing in the community’s confidence in the board’s leadership. “Generally when you see contested elections, it is blatant

that people want change and you can recognize frustration and dissatisfaction in the board members and their values, but that’s not the case [this time],” Mathieson said. During contested elections, the district must spend thousands of dollars setting up ballots, organizing meetings and debates, and tend to the needs of the community and candidates. Candidates must also take the time to write multiple essays regarding their ideas and opinions and meet several mandatory deadlines. In contrast, during an uncontested election, the candidates are able to immediately start working within the district and have time to get settled for their term in December.



news-features |

Retiro cancelado Plan de Samir Srivastava


Mateo Kaiser La escuela pospuso Camp Mettamorph hasta el año escolar 2019-2020 debido a dos artículos publicados por el San Francisco Chronicle en junio. Camp Mettamorph, un retiro anual de liderazgo nocturno que se lleva a cabo en las montañas de Santa Cruz, ha recibido a aproximadamente 70 estudiantes cada año. Los estudiantes y la facultad examinan y discuten temas sociales como la raza, el género y la orientación sexual a través de las actividades del campamento enfocadas en el desarrollo de la identidad, el empoderamiento, el desarrollo de habilidades y el cambio social. Durante el período de aplazamiento, la escuela planea revisar internamente el currículo del campamento para asegurar el éxito y la efectividad de los retiros futuros, de acuerdo con el Subdirector y el codirector del campamento, William Blair. El Chronicle examinó retiros de liderazgo a nivel nacional similares a Camp Mettamorph, investigando si los campamentos resultaron en más daño que bien. Twwwhe Chronicle dijo que para algunos estudiantes, muchas de las actividades pueden causar traumas y abrir heridas emocionales, citando a expertos que describieron las actividades del campamento como “ineficaces y no éticas en el mejor de los casos, e imprudentes y emocionalmente perjudiciales en el peor”. Como una de las primeras actividades que realizan los estudiantes al llegar al campamento, implica romper con los estereotipos raciales. Todos los estudiantes que se identificaron con una raza específica abandonaron la sala, mientras que el resto de los estudiantes nombraron estereotipos asociados con ese grupo y los reunieron en un póster. Cuando RETREAT | from p. 1 poster. When the students return to the room, they read back the stereotypes and discuss their emotional reactions The Chronicle interviewed Princeton University psychology Professor Betsy Levy Paluck, who has reviewed nearly 1,000 antiprejudice programs nationwide and said there is no evidence to support the camps’ techniques. “It’s ethically objectionable to unearth students’ own pain and to put it on display for others,” Paluck said to the Chronicle. When originally founded, the MVHS retreat held the name “Camp Everytown” and followed curriculum outlined by Silicon Valley Faces, a local nonprofit group. MVHS made slight changes to the program every year, and officially ended its association with Silicon Valley Faces in 2015

los estudiantes regresan a la sala, leen los estereotipos y discuten sus reacciones emocionales. El Chronicle entrevistó a la profesora de psicología de la Universidad de Princeton, Betsy Levy Paluck, quien ha revisado casi 1.000 programas contra los prejuicios en todo el país y dijo que no hay pruebas que respalden las técnicas de los campamentos. “Es éticamente objetable desenterrar el propio dolor de los estudiantes y exhibirlo para los demás”, dijo Paluck a la Crónica. Cuando se fundó originalmente, el retiro de MVHS tenía el nombre de “Camp Everytown” y seguía el plan de estudios descrito por Silicon Valley Faces, un grupo local sin fines de lucro. MVHS realizó leves cambios en el programa cada año y finalizó oficialmente su asociación con Silicon Valley Faces en 2015 cuando la escuela cambió el nombre del retiro “Camp Mettamorph”. A pesar de que la escuela se había distanciado de Silicon Valley Faces, Blair dijo que algunas de las críticas de Chronicle “aún resonaban en nuestro currículum”. Como resultado, Blair dijo que sentía que era necesario pausar el programa para reunir las opiniones de los interesados ​​ y mejorar el campamento. Según Blair, la escuela reunirá al personal que asistió al campamento y ayudó a supervisar el plan de estudios de los últimos seis años y discutirá los cambios potenciales como grupo. “Queremos asegurarnos de que

nuestros hijos se vayan más fuertes y con más poder que cuando entraron”, dijo Blair. La profesora de estudios sociales y co-directora del campamento, Felitia Hancock, dijo que hubiera sido casi imposible para la escuela reformar el currículo del campamento y celebrar el retiro en noviembre. Hancock también hizo hincapié en que el personal ha rediseñado elementos específicos de Camp Mettamorph cada año escolar, pero con poco tiempo para planear el campamento, muchas actividades que necesitan reelaboración se dejan intactas. “Debido a la forma en que está estructurado el campamento, a menudo estamos haciendo cambios en partes y piezas”, dijo Hancock. “Al tomar una pausa, podremos sentarnos y hacer una visión general de la macro”. A pesar de la controversia que rodea al programa, Hancock dijo que cree que Camp Mettamorph sigue siendo vital para nuestro campus y espera que el aplazamiento garantice que el campamento refleje con precisión quiénes somos como comunidad escolar. “Es un buen momento para dar un paso atrás y observar el arco completo del campamento y preguntarnos si somos consistentes desde el momento en que los delegados llegan hasta el momento en que regresan a los autobuses”, dijo Hancock.

Courtesy of Marco Torres STUDENTS: discuss a group activity in the cabin dormitory at the end of the day.

when the school renamed the retreat “Camp Mettamorph.” Despite MVHS having since distanced itself from Silicon Valley Faces, Blair said some of the Chronicle’s criticism “still resonated with our curriculum.” As a result, Blair said he felt it was necessary to pause the program in order to gather stakeholders’ opinions and improve the camp. According to Blair, the school will bring together staff who attended the camp and helped oversee the curriculum from over the last six years and will discuss potential changes as a group. “We want to make sure that our kids are leaving stronger and more empowered than when they came in,” Blair said. Social studies teacher and camp co-director Felitia Hancock said that it would have been near impossible for the school to rehaul camp curriculum and hold the retreat this November.

Hancock also stressed that staff has redesigned specific elements of Camp Mettamorph each school year, but with little time to plan for camp, many activities in need of reworking are left untouched. “Because of the way camp is structured, we’re often making changes in bits and pieces,” Hancock said. “With taking a pause, we’ll be able to sit down and do a macro overview.” Despite the controversy surrounding the program, Hancock said she believes that Camp Mettamorph remains vital to our campus and hopes the postponement will ensure that the camp accurately reflects who we are as a school community. “It’s a good time to step back and look at the full arc of camp and ask ourselves if we’re being consistent from the moment the delegates arrive to the moment they get back on the buses,” Hancock said.

remodelacíon finalizado Marika Ragnartz


Mira Kaiser

MVHS está programado para renovar o reconstruir muchas áreas en el campus durante los próximos cinco años. Esto será financiado por la Medida E, una boleta aprobada al principio de junio. La construcción se realizará en fases, con partes del campus bloqueadas en diferentes momentos, lo que resultará en la reconstrucción de nueve secciones del campus. Febrero de 2019 - La escuela proporcionará nuevas aulas portátiles en el campo entre la pista y Packard Hall. La escuela construirá 11 salones portátiles, uno más de los que están demoliendo, para satisfacer cualquier necesidad adicional de espacio. Abril de 2019 - Durante las vacaciones de primavera, todos los maestros en los salones 520 a 527 se reubicarán en los nuevos salones portátiles y se demolerán los salones portátiles actuales para permitir que la construcción comience en un edificio de dos pisos que contiene 23 salones de clase. Invierno 2020 - La construcción comenzará en partes del campo deportivo junto con las reparaciones y mejoras en el sitio, incluida la instalación del campo de césped en uno de los campos de fútbol. Se abordarán los edificios que necesiten reparación; los maestros afectados se mudarán a salones portátiles durante la duración de la construcción en su salón de clases. Verano de 2020 - Se completará el edificio de dos pisos que contiene el departamento de educación especial, un ala de ingeniería y 18 salones de clases nuevos adicionales, y los maestros se mudarán. El

departamento de educación especial contendrá cinco salones conectados especializados para las diferentes necesidades de los estudiantes en el programa, que incluyen una cocina comunal, tres aulas de Habilidades para la vida y un aula médicamente frágil. El ala de ingeniería contendrá dos laboratorios de computación, un laboratorio de fabricación y un laboratorio de ingeniería. Todas las reparaciones y mejoras en el sitio se completarán junto con la instalación de césped en el campo deportivo. Invierno 2021 - La construcción comenzará en un edificio de Servicios Estudiantiles de dos pisos que se construirá donde actualmente existe la administración, la oficina de finanzas y la oficina de consejería. Otoño 2021 - La construcción comenzará a modernizar Packard Hall. Invierno 2022 - La construcción comenzará en un nuevo gimnasio auxiliar que albergará la lucha libre y el Espectro de Danza en la ubicación actual del pequeño gimnasio. Verano 2022 - Se completará el nuevo edificio de Servicios Estudiantiles, que contendrá el Centro de Colegios y Carreras, las oficinas de administración y asesoramiento, la Oficina de Finanzas y algunas aulas. Packard Hall también estará completo y listo para su uso. Invierno 2023 - Se ha terminado la construcción del nuevo gimnasio auxiliar y se iniciará la modernización de la biblioteca y la reutilización de la cafetería en un espacio de artes escénicas. Primavera 2023 La construcción comienza en la parte final del proyecto: modernizar el gimnasio. Invierno 2024 - Se completa el gimnasio auxiliar, la biblioteca, la cafetería y el gimnasio.

DISTRITO: escribe el plan para la construccion de la escuela en 2020.

MVHS Oracle Issue 2 Volume XXXVIII  
MVHS Oracle Issue 2 Volume XXXVIII