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THE PROSPECTOR

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TEACHER MENTAL HEALTH Stress & Mental Health for Teachers During Remote Learning pg. 20

OPINIONS COVID-19 Contact Tracing pg. 16

FEATURES Tino Music Producers pg. 08

A Staffer’s Experience with Notion pg. 28

NEWS Crime in Cupertino pg. 2

ISSUE 4, VOL 63

LIFESTYLES


IN THIS ISSUE

news

Crime in Cupertino ..................... 04 COVID-19 Vaccine Impacts ....... 06

features

Beats by Tino Music Producers .... 08

Music 08: Tino Producers

featuring Justin Seo, Steven Jiang, and Sibi Saravanan

opinions

lifestyles

Requirement .............................. 16

Celebrities ................................. 26

Social Media Platforms and the First

A Staffer’s Experience with Notion ...

Amendment ............................... 18

................................................... 28

investigations

sports

COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Teacher Mental Health ................. 20

20:

Asian Media Representation

One-Sided Relationships with

Asian Media Representation...... 30 Sports Ritual Satire .................... 32

perspectives

Current Events Mad-Lib.............. 34 History Textbooks in the Future ....... .................................................... 36

postscript

Column: How Puzzles Have Connected my Family ...................... 38 Students’ Biggest Dreams ........ 40

COVER DESIGNED BY ALEXANDRIA HUNT


THE PROSPECTOR

STAFF 2020-2021

editors-in-chief Alexandria Hunt Lawrence Fan Stella Jia

copy editors Ankita Acharya Juliet Shearin Avi Pandit

news editor Juliet Shearin

photo editors Megumi Ondo

opinions editor Rachel Park

online editors Keerthi Lakshmanan Sanat Singhal

features editor Krithika Vekatasubramanian

business manager Ankita Acharya

assistants Anand Ashar, Ananya Anand, Arnav Vishwakarma, Arushi Arora, investigations editor Hyunjun Kim, Joshua Joan Thyagarajan Lee, Katelyn Chu, Kavya Kaushal, Kevin sports editor Jia, Kriti Kaushal, Henry Ma Megana Kashyap, perspectives editor Meghana Vinjamury, Sarah Pollans Nachiket Kerai, Norman Chow, Raissa Ji, postscript editor Rajasi Laddha, Saniya Megumi Ondo Laungani, Sonia Patil, Theresa Nguyen advisor Ann Peck lifestyles editor Jenny Wu

Editorial Policy

“The Prospector” is an open forum of expression for student editors to inform and educate their readers. It will not be reviewed by or restrained by school officials prior to publication or distribution. Advisors may and should coach and discuss content during the writing process. The staff of “The Prospector” seeks to recognize individuals, events and ideas and bring news to the Cupertino community in an accurate, professional and unbiased manner. “The Prospector” will not avoid publishing a story solely on the basis of possible dissent or controversy. If you believe an error has been made or wish to have your opinion expressed in “The Prospector,” please contact us via mail or email. Letters sent become the sole property of “The Prospector” and can be edited for length, clarity or accuracy. “The Prospector” editorial board reserves the right to accept or reject any ad in accordance with its advertising policy.

Contact Us: prospector.chs@gmail.com The Prospector 10100 Finch Avenue Cupertino, CA 95014

A LETTER FROM THE EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Dear Reader, Love versus hate. Joy versus sadness. Excitement versus dread. Healing versus damaging. Life is multifaceted in its ability to hold contradicting notions and experiences. In our magazine this issue, our staffers touched upon many subject matters relating to these kinds of contradictions — let’s take a look! In our virtual environment, it’s difficult to see emotions beyond our digital screens. As students, we may overlook the efforts our teachers put into each of our classes. On page 20, our Investigations team (Arnav, Sonia, and Theresa) looks into teacher mental health in this remote setting. In addition with connecting to teachers on Zoom, we’ve also connected with peers, celebrities, and politicians through social media. However, some individuals may feel that their connections with politicians have been cut off due to the regulation of these platforms, such as on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. On page 18, staffer Rajasi explores the first amendment’s freedom of speech and its connections to the regulation of social media platforms. The increasing use of social media has also expanded the influence of celebrities, and for some, this has developed into damaging one-sided relationships from a fan perspective. Staffer Jenny explores these unhealthy relationships between celebrities and their fans on page 26. On the other hand, the distanced format has sprouted creative activities to calm the digital flurry for several students at school. Students Justin Seo, Sibi Saravanan, and Steven Jiang have found creativity in producing music. Check out the feature written by staffers Kavya, Kevin, and Norman about these students on page 10. Despite the difficulties life may throw at times, we hope you can find an outlet for yourself to heal and grow. Sincerely, Stella Jia, Lawrence Fan, and Alexandria Hunt


NEWS

crime in Cupertino

KATELYN CHU writer

COVID-19 has impacted our lives in various capacities, and it is to no surprise that, as a result, the nature and number of crimes have shifted in Cupertino. The pandemic not only forces people to stay quarantined indoors, but also creates economic strain and social disruption. This in turn gives rise to more tension and can drive many into feeling as if they have no alternative to crime. According to the Santa Clara County Sheriff Office’s data, rates of auto and identity theft in 2020 were up 33% and 43%, respectively, compared to last year. The number of robberies, committed using force or threatened force, shot up by 70% from 2019, and commercial burglary, which is entering a commercial building with the intent to steal, rose 29%. Levels of domestic violence increased by 25%.* Said Captain Ricardo Urena, the West Valley Patrol Division Commander, “Cupertino is one of the safest communities in the region. Violent crime is low, however, property crime

seems to be the attraction.” Specifically, catalytic converter theft is one of the more prominent issues within our community. Catalytic converters are used to reduce the emission of pollutants from vehicles and contain rare earth metals that make them targets for thieves. While 2019 only had two reported cases in Cupertino, the number spiked to 27 in 2020. Another common occurrence closer to home is package and mail theft. As more people stay indoors and shop online during quarantine, this influx in deliveries brings the risk of more packages being stolen off of porches and doorsteps. Data shows the percentage has jumped from 36% to 43% across the nation. These shifts in the crime landscape can be credited to lockdowns, people staying indoors, economic stress, businesses being closed and, consequently, higher unemployment levels. Collectively, these factors have contributed to the climate of severe hardship for many, further intensifying feelings of tension, violence and hopeless

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*When looking at these statistics, it is important to note that these percentages are all based on the relative numbers and comparisons to the previous year.

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the impact of social disruption ness. Historically, socio-economic distress translates into increased levels of crime. Said Sergeant Michael Low, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s media relations representative, “speaking in general, I know this entire past year, with the pandemic, a lot of people have been out of work, a lot of people have been laid off. [...] And unfortunately, sometimes they resort to other means to make money.” This translation of economic turmoil into crime is also exemplified by homicides across America rising more than 28% within the first nine months of 2020. Despite this, some categories have seen a lessened rate of crime. As reported in June 2020, the overall number of calls for service in Cupertino decreased during the Shelter-in-Place Order. There was an 11% decrease in both residential burglary and assaults, as well as a 57% drop in vehicle burglaries. Catalytic converter theft is a separate crime and does not count as vehicle burglary. Theft occurs when someone’s property is stolen while burglary is breaking into someone’s property to steal. Since stealing a catalytic converter does not require forced entry into a vehicle, it cannot be considered burglary. Compared to the average US city, Cupertino has 29% less total crime, yet crime persists and is shown to have increased over the past year for specific categories. According to Urena, the Sheriff’s Office employs strategies to reduce crime such as deploying a covert team to monitor hot spots, working with an analyst to focus patrol

efforts and utilizing mobile license plate readers to find stolen cars and wanted people. They also advise residents to take preventative measures. Nevertheless, besides implementing easy fixes such as installing Ring systems and protective devices for catalytic converters on cars, our community must additionally address the socio-economic contributing factors that have further been

Compared to the average US city, Cupertino has 29% less total crime, yet crime persists and has increased in some categories.

exposed by this pandemic and which will continue to exist far beyond its end.

NEWS | 5


local impacts of the covid-19 vaccine ARUSHI ARORA

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writer

After months of sheltering in place through most of 2020, California is heading towards the light at the end of the tunnel as vaccines become widely accessible and the spread of the virus slows down. As schools are looking to open up soon, specific procedures are being put in place. Several districts are working towards making the transition as efficient as possible. On Monday, January 25, Santa Clara County lifted the stay-at-home order, allowing businesses to reopen under the purple-tier after the state placed restrictions in early December due to the county’s declining ICU bed capacity. State officials have begun to see a decline in the spread of COVID-19, yet hospitals are almost at full capacity. Recent reports show that only 8.2% of the ICU beds in the Bay Area are available even though the region is no longer under the previously issued stay-at-home order, although areas with an ICU capacity below 15% are supposed to remain under this order. Additionally, on the week of January 11, officials from the Department of Public Health had extended the Bay Area’s stay-at-home order indefinitely. The county is averaging double the rate of cases compared to when quarantine started. However, when asked about the reason behind the county’s ultimate decision to lift the order two weeks later, officials explain that the county is making progress towards improved hospital conditions. Said County Counsel James Williams, “They have [made] projections based on their models as described at [January 25]‘s state press con-

ference where they believe all regions are headed out of that danger zone.” As new variants are found around the world, Southern California, having been at the heart of the epidemic, needs to focus on “[slowing] the spread while we continue to ramp up and push out vaccinating as many of our vulnerable population as possible,” said Williams. California’s plan for vaccinations is split into 3 phases, with different demographics being vaccinated in each stage to ensure impartial distribution. The first phase, Phase 1A, has been in progress for the past month, as about 3 million healthcare workers and long-term care residents are receiving their vaccines first. The county is currently looking to start the more extensive Phase 1B in Tier One, individuals 65 and older and educators, childcare, and workers in emergency services and agriculture will receive their vaccines. As announced on Tuesday, January 26, Santa Clara County residents 65 years and older are now eligible to vaccinate, but healthcare workers are still the top priority. However, as conditions continue to deteriorate, the state remains behind schedule for vaccinations, and doses are running out. On Tuesday, January 19, 2021, California became the first state to pass 3 million coronavirus cases, heightening the severity of the current circumstances. According to Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody, her agency and others, including hospitals, have been receiving an inconsistent supply of doses, hinting at a vaccine shortage. “As far as being able to plan ahead, it’s impos


Just 20,000 vaccines for 1.5 million members.

support reopening schools as soon as possible, recognizing that there is little debate whether schools should be opened considering that younger students haven’t been vaccinated yet. “It’s extremely rare for a child to die of this virus, so it’s the teachers that you need to vaccinate,” said Dr. Paul Offit, member of the FDA’s vaccine advisory panel and professor at the University of Pennsylvania. According to California’s plan, starting next month, educators and workers in childcare are on track to receive vaccinations in Phase 1B. California Governor Gavin Newsom has moved teachers up to be a higher priority for receiving vaccines, pushing to reopen some schools as early as February as per his plan, “Safe Schools for All.” School districts across the state in the process of developing coordinated strategies to vaccinate all school staff in a minimal time frame once doses are made available. However, Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner and many others express their concern and frustration about the current plan. Said Beutner, “It’s not enough to just say the words, ‘schools need to reopen.’ State and local government leaders need to match words with deeds … Once that’s done, we’ll be at the school front door with a big smile (under our masks) to welcome students and their teachers back to classrooms where they belong.”

NEWS | 7

“the state remains behind schedule for vaccinations...”

sible. We can’t anticipate the amount of vaccine coming into the country, and therefore we can’t plan,” Cody said. Currently, the state’s efforts are dependent on receiving more vaccines from the Biden Administration, focusing on getting a hold of as many doses as possible into California. Due to the current inconsistencies, California ranks near the bottom nationally in the rate of shots given. For example, soon after vaccine eligibility expanded to include people 65 and older, Kaiser Permanente approximated 1.5 million of their members to receive the vaccinations. However, they have only received 20,000 doses and have asked their members to stop scheduling vaccination appointments. Dealing with this deadly virus is now a race against time as new issues are brought into light the longer it takes to vaccinate people. As new mutations show up, COVID-19 is becoming more genetically diverse, possibly hurting the progress made with treatments and vaccinations. At the moment, there is not much to be done except slowing the transmission as much as possible because “the best way to prevent mutant strains from emerging is to slow transmission,” said Harvard University’s Dr. Michael Mina. Although the vaccines for adults are available, children’s vaccines will take a while before they are available, as several pediatric trials are still in their early stages. Many medical experts and school officials


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FEATURES

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FEATURES | 9


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Pursuing Passions KEVIN JIA writer

Passion: a strong liking or desire for some activity, object, or concept. For senior Justin Seo, his passion is making music. In four months, Seo has already produced seven singles, mostly in the Rhythm and Blues genre. Said Seo, “I just wanted to produce music since I was young and I wanted to start it before it was too late, because I’m a senior now.” Inspired by artists such as South Korean rapper Dok2, Seo started working on his passion, using beats from Youtube due to inexperience with beat production. Later on, he began learning how to produce by starting off on GarageBand which was preinstalled on his MacBook Pro, and moving on to Logic Pro X, trying various different types of software with plans to transfer to another software called Ableton. Seo first got introduced into the music industry by one of his middle school friends, who also produces music. Said Seo, “He helped with my first single. I didn’t know anything about mixing, mastering, or even recording. He’s the one who got me into music, if it weren’t for him I don’t think I would be doing music right now. And he did some features on my SoundCloud songs. His name is LUVE.” Seo learned the basics of music production from his friends who had the experience, even gaining the chance to record his first single “WE BE ROCKIN 30” in their studio in

Korea. With this experience, Seo was able to get the gear he needed to go off on his own. The microphone he uses is the MXL 990 condenser microphone with an Audient iD4 audio interface. He got the idea to buy this equipment after seeing the Youtube videos of those he watched using them as well. Producing music has also improved his mental health. Said Seo, “2020 was a very hard year for me, I always felt depressed [...] and had a panic disorder, which made the days difficult. But when I heard music, I really loved it, so I kept making music and it’s been more healthy for my mental state.” Said Seo, “I think most of my music is R & B and boom-bap, but it’s not like autotune and stuff. I feel like hip hop and the music is a trend and you need to follow the trend.” Seo enjoys listening to R & B type beats rather than artists who use autotune to amp up their voices, and gets inspired to attempt and create his own type of R & B music. Along with collaborating with his friend on his first single, they have also worked together to produce more songs, with his friend applying for a school that primarily focuses on music production. Seo however, does not plan on pursuing music production as he is thinking about majoring in Computer Science. When asked about advice he’d give to those who want to or are currently getting started in the music production field, Seo responds that he is unable to due to the different variety of genres that others may want to pursue that are different from his. However, he recommends those who are looking for any personal advice to contact him through social media, with his Instagram being @o_ttiz and O’ttiz on Soundcloud

“I think most of my music is R & B and boom-bap, but it’s not like autotune and stuff. I feel like hip hop and the music is a trend and you need to follow the trend.”

FEATURES | 11


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Practicing Persistence KAVYA KAUSHAL writer

Sitting with his laptop and his pair of headphones, junior Steven Jiang opens up FL Studio, a music production software, to start a new project. Music has long been Jiang’s hobby. He started his journey in music as a member of his middle school band, specifically playing the clarinet. He recalls thoroughly enjoying it, which led him to partake in Cupertino High School’s band as well. However, since 2018, Jiang has explored a unique musical avenue through music production. Jiang has always been interested in electronic music, and channels such as Proximity and Airwave Music TV are no strangers to his YouTube feed. Said Jiang “One day, a video appeared in my recommended. It was someone breaking down how he produced one of his electronic tracks, which sparked my interest.” This became Jiang’s changing moment, marking his start as a producer. Jiang’s early days in GarageBand consisted of him creating loops, sections of a music track cut so they can be seamlessly repeated. Since then, he has progressed to creating full-length songs. SaidJiang,“Agoodsongismemorableandmakesthe listeners feel something.” His biggest inspiration is a producer by the name of Ahxello, although multiple artists and genres influence Jiang, given the diverse styles of music he listens to. Jiang enjoys combining exciting sounds from his favorite songs, such as a drum rhythm from one or a unique sound from a different track.

Said Jiang, “That way I don’t sound too much like any one artist. But there’s also a chance I’m not unique at all. That’s for the listener to decide.” “An ongoing struggle I have is when I am working on a song and think it is really cool, only to hear another song that makes me realize how much my song can improve,” said Jiang. “However, this pushes me to work on my skills even more, so I can reach that level.” His motivation is driven by the enjoyable song-writing process and the rewarding feeling he experiences when noticing others’ contentment when they enjoy his music. Jiang recalls first being discovered in early 2020, although his music has been available for the past two years. Firefly Music, a music-related YouTube account that has amassed over 200,000 subscribers, featured one of his songs. This was the first time any of Jiang’s music had ever gained recognition. Since then, he has been releasing music through labels and getting his songs featured on YouTube channels. He has also been connecting with other artists through Discord servers throughout last year. Said Jiang: “Persistence,” when asked about the most significant mental tools necessary to succeed in this field. “It took me two years to make anything worth listening to, but I am pretty happy with the songs I have put out since then,” stated Jiang. In the future, Jiang plans to release more music. Through music production, Jiang has pursued his passion and continues growing both as an artist and as an individual as he progresses. His journey is a real example that if someone continuously demonstrates tenacity, their efforts will not go to waste

“It took me two years to make anything worth listening to, but I am pretty happy with the songs I have put out since then”

FEATURES | 13


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Overcoming Challenges NORMAN CHOW writer

One of the most interesting developments in recent years is the entrance of rap music into the mainstream. Although rap is an incredibly large genre with different styles, artists make music that represents their own style and thoughts. From hard hitting bars and rhymes to melodies that border other genres such as R&B, the growing landscape is one of the most diverse of any genre. CHS student Sibi made his debut in rap in December with his single named Alright and has been passionate in music making ever since. One of the songs on his most recent albums, Alright from the album Unchained, even racked up over a thousand streams within days of its release. Even with this initial success, Sibi has found his rise to success much more difficult than he has originally thought it to be. He says that “the biggest challenge for me is that I don’t have enough funding to publicize my songs, but I try to promo as much as possible.” Even faced with these difficulties, he still has found success. As of the start of February, his channel has racked up over 2 thousand views in total. Every artist starts off with inspirations, and Sibi has cited Juice WRLD to be the biggest influence on his music. He has said that the way that late rapper conveyed

stories in a catchy tone has shaped the sound of his music the most. To make his songs, he will normally get a beat and hum a flow, then he writes out lyrics for this flow, which he then raps. After this, his songs are complete. Overall, despite his difficulties with funding, he has been fairly successful in getting his music out to others. He runs his own instagram page, @lilsibo with almost 400 followers. To those who look out for his music, the best of his music is still unreleased, and some of it will be coming on the 10th of February on his debut album Unchained. F o r those who are looking to find success in rap music, he recommends to listen to criticism, but to be wary of those who only want to be hurtful with their comments. He recommends those who are receiving these kinds of comments to always keep their head up and continue to pursue what they are passionate about and achieve the potential that they know they have

“The biggest challenge for me is that I don’t have enough funding to publicize my songs, but I try to promo as much as possible.”

FEATURES | 15


OPINIONS

HYUNJUN KIM social media assistant

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For nearly 10 months, coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought great despair to people worldwide. Surpassing over 3 million coronavirus cases and 36,000 deaths, California is actively seeking solutions to ease the rising issues and encourage more people to take COVID-19 tests. In addition to COVID-19 testing, public health departments, as well as multinational technology companies, are proposing effective, sophisticated solutions. Monitoring patients’ past health records and providing them with further health protocols, contact tracing serves as a both ideal and convenient tool of repressing the uncontrollable virus spread. Contact tracing refers to official health procedures, identifying people who may have been in close contact with an infected person. It serves as an efficient model of monitoring peoples’ health and any possible signs of COVID-19. In communities supporting the method, hospitals send and update the list of patients who have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 to the official health department. After being notified, authorized health care services treat the infected and trace their contacts to warn them about the situation. The identified contacts are instructed with self-isolation, health screening, and treatments to remain immune to the virus. `The contact tracing itself is also an anonymous and confidential process; contact tracers will not ask people for their money, social security number, immigration status, or other private information. Health department officials’ primary goal

outside has shown excellent efficiency. According to ABC7 News, San Francisco has reported about 83 percent of coronavirus cases through the contact tracing solution. The advising calls are not only confidential but also quick. After a positive test, a vast majority of people within the individual’s vicinity are contacted within 24 hours for further steps. With the absence of contact tracing, COVID-19 cases would skyrocket because the health d e partment cannot track each test a n d organize all contacts. Many critics still question the method of

covid-19 tracing re

COVID-19 contact tracing, believing that they evoke privacy concerns and are solely an ineffective method of easing the case growth rates. With the rise of online networking, cloud-based services seem to jeopardize online safety and bring potential harm with every identity marker that appears

“The contact tracing itself is also an anonymous and confidential process; contact tracers will not ask people for their money, social security number, immigration status, or other private information.” is to intervene in an essential part of the disease transmission pathways. Following the simple process of receiving calls from contact tracers and refraining themselves from going

on online platforms. Since technology is widely used to expedite the contact tracing process, users speculate false information and transmission glitches that confuse the public. However, countries have been working discreetly


to ensure their prototypes are functional and consistent. For instance, South Korea utilizes an advanced smartphone location tracking feature to map the transmission chains and patterns. Locating people with CCTV footage, transactions,

Some people also consider COVID-19 contact tracing pointless because the number of cases is rising continuously despite the proposed method to moderate the virus spread. Nevertheless, the contact tracing solution has been fending off the spread of the virus because it ensures people follow the health protocols and isolate themselves from the public. For example, with nearly 24 million people, Taiwan has reported just eight deaths from COVID-19 to date. Their response to the pandemic—developing digital systems and implementing sophisticated solutions—has been both useful and consistent. The Taiwanese government utilized contact tracing to integrate people’s health profile with their travel history. If an individual shows symptoms to COVID-19, the government sends them an SMS for further directions. Eventually, the government orders them to go under a 14-day quarantine for being overly exposed to the public. During the self-isolation period, the government expects a call once or twice each day from the individual to make sure it is upheld. If people fail to follow the official mandate, they are expected to pay a fine of $33,000, issued for an offense. Taiwan’s contact tracing directive may sound overly harsh, but their strict COVID-19 —as observed by the number of infected persons there—has proven to reduce further infections. As seen in various countries, digital technology surely curbs the spread of harmful viruses. From in-person health care services to convenient technology processes, more countries are familiarizing themselves with the contact tracing solution and developing new, unimagined methods to the table.

“California Connected is a destined program that will not share personal information with other outside entities.” or even online apps release live public notices and inform people about anonymous individuals who may have been positive. Also, China released an online platform to mark

9 contact equirement

OPINIONS | 17

locations and share COVID-19 positive patients’ anonymous information for the public to take premeditated initiatives. Apple and Google, the two prominent technology companies, partnered on a COVID-19 contact tracing technology, utilizing the Bluetooth feature and marking “traces” whenever smartphones come into close contact. If a cell phone owner is ever diagnosed with COVID-19, the “traces” are then sent to the public health officials to notify the public immediately. The convenient system is also an anonymous process, protecting user’s privacy and liberty. California has also implemented a contact tracing program—California Connected—to limit the spread of COVID-19. The program pairs health care workers with COVID-19-positive patients and ensures the close contacts have access to medical services and testing. Under California Law, California Connected is a destined program that will not share personal information with other outside entities. In all, these developing technologies share a similarity: automated labor tasks that yet maintain a voluntary and anonymous process.


HAVE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFO VIOLATED THE FIRST AMEND RAJASI LADDHA opinions assistant

Controversy over Donald Trump’s recent bans on social media has recently arisen.any argue that the companies could not ban his account due to his content as it violated the First Amendment. Private companies such as Twitter or Facebook do not violate the First Amend-

“The First Amendment pertains to the government and not private companies.”

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ment by limiting or banning accounts on their platform. The First Amendment pertains to the government and not private companies. According to a Congressional Research Service report, federal law does not offer much recourse for social media users who seek to challenge a social media provider’s decision about whether and how to present a user’s content. Lawsuits have been widely unsuccessful as in the past, courts have ruled that the First Amendment does not apply to private companies and only for government actions. These private companies also have a second layer of protection because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act allows companies to limit access to objectionable material. Section 230 provides sites with immunity and en-

ables these companies to restrict access to content that the provider or users deem “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.” Section 230 caters specifically to private companies, as courts have considered Facebook and Twitter as interactive computer services. Furthermore, it states explicitly: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access.” The court’s consideration leaves no leeway for legal action as long as Section 230 is applicable. In addition, these legal barriers have caused courts to overturn past lawsuits and cases. As a result, social media platforms are virtually untouchable as they can to make their own decisions to restrict access to users. Censorship claims can not apply to private companies anymore because of the layers of legal protection they have as well as case precedence in court. “The right to free speech extends to individuals and applies to government intervention,” Paaige Turner, Ball State’s Dean of the College of Communication, Information and Media, said. “These companies are private entities, and they have the right to modify, adjust the products that they’re offering to the community.” The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble.” However, even government action is not unfettered. The government also can please reasonable restrictions based on the time, place, and content. For example, the use of

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speakers at night or the blocking of medical facilities due to protests are not allowed. However, the government has less control over what people can do and say compared to private companies. The companies do not fall under any government action, so the Right to Free Speech in the First Amendment, which applies to government action, can not be used. Before signing up for an account on these various social media platforms, users also sign the Terms of Service contract. Twitter and Facebook do not violate their users’ free speech by suspending the accounts of people who violate the

can also exercise free speech rights. It is their platform, so they have the right to use their own platform as they wish. Government interference would only make matters worse. The distinction between the government’s control over data and private companies’ control over information is vast. Private companies are protected by multiple legal barriers and are essentially exempt from lawsuits concerning the users’ Right to Free Speech. The government can not even consider private companies as state actors, so they have no influence over the corporations’ actions. Private companies are almost untouchable compared to the government because of legal precedent and barriers.

“Before signing up for an account on these various social media platforms, users also sign the Terms of Service contract. Twitter and Facebook do not violate their users’ free speech by suspending the accounts of people who violate the terms of service. ” allowed to publish, organize, and edit protected speech because they

OPINIONS | 19

terms of service. The Terms of Service also provides the social media companies with legal immunity as users agree that their account can be banned or disabled should they violate the Terms of Service. Lawsuits are almost futile because these companies have the right to modify and adjust the products they are offering and ban accounts to their own volition. Some have insisted that Congress should step in to moderate social media sites, as involving government regulation would constitute state action that could implicate the

First Amendment. Thus, social media sites would be treated as state actors who are required to follow the First Amendment when they regulate protected speech. Furthermore, if Congress passed an immunity statute and private parties decided to do something that could trigger a constitutional review, state action can also be taken. Once that happens, these private companies will be under the government’s influence, and the First Amendment can be applied. Lower courts have ruled that Facebook, Google and other private internet platforms are not state actors because they can not be state actors just because they have platforms that provide forums for public expression. This ruling is consistent with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, which declared that public access television was not a state actor. Paaige Turner also states that they are at a crossroads in deciding whether social media is a private corporation or a public entity: “At some point, if we were to perhaps pursue a road where the government regulated social media, we’re probably looking at an amendment to our constitution.” Government interference could potentially infringe on the private companies’ rights to free speech. Technically, these companies are private entities, so they are


INVESTIGATIONS

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SCREEN THERESA NGUYEN

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writer

Whether from the start of the second school semester or the world’s present state, mental health is always a prevalent issue. And even though 2021 has just begun, many have already experienced changes during their day-to-day lives. However, mental health usually entails students: how kids and teens struggle to cope amidst the pandemic. While student mental health is important, teacher mental health is just as significant. With over 3.7 million teachers across America, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, it comes as a surprise that teacher mental health is not talked about more often. Considered essential workers, teachers work about 40 hours a week, aiding their students through academic and social fields. These hours can come with drastic health effects.

Said Amanda Smiley, an editor from Occupational Health & Safety, “In fact, a recent study from the UCL Institute of Education reports that one in every 20 teachers (or about five percent) suffer with a mental illness that has lasted, or is likely to last, more than a year.” While most teachers will not face severe problems, some still deal with stressful lifestyles due to their profession. “I think that in any service industry, there’s a severe lack of care, and I think part of it just comes from the workweek, like the expectation of 40 hours or more. [...] So by the time you finish your work, you’re exhausted, and you don’t really have time to take care of yourself,” said a Cupertino High School teacher. In addition to staying at home, many feel discouraged by the vast differences between their ideal teaching experience and the one currently presented to them.


“I think a lot of teachers don’t address that because a lot of people are in denial about their own mental health issues. A lot of people are afraid to express that they have these issues. [...] So rather than ask for help, there’s just sort of a habit that’s progressed over time where people just pretend they’re okay,” said Stacey Jacob, a CHS Spanish teacher. Unfortunately, this is the reality of online learning for teachers. Still, others continue to look for the bright side. -“In this time of remote learning, I had some of my students in my AP class. Those little ‘Thank you for all your hard work!’ signs, they all turned on their cameras at the same time and said, ‘We love you! Thank you for doing all this!’ And I just cried. [...] But they knew that it was because I felt it, and I wasn’t afraid to show how much I appreciated that. [...] And that means the most to me when what I do is appreciated,” said Jacob.

INVESTIGATIONS | 21

“It’s like everybody’s running on empty, and that’s why even before COVID you had a really large teacher shortage [...] There’s stuff that says once we do return, maybe not our district, but many districts won’t have enough teachers to even staff in person once vaccines are done because so many people are retiring or leaving,” added the teacher. One of the biggest problems teachers grapple with is a lack of resources. Despite the everyday stresses they face, there is no counseling system set for them to rely on. “I think the counseling system isn’t really set up for teachers. [...] When they recognize that they wanted health care or mental health care, you had to go through this whole labyrinth maze that was really frustrating and tough,” said a CHS teacher who has been teaching for six years. Even with the few resources they are provided with, many teachers are uncomfortable speaking out about their experiences.


STUDENTs & TEACHERs

22 | DESIGNED BY JOAN THYAGARAJAN

How Teachers Rely On Connections With Their Students For Their Mental Health

“My favorite aspect of the job, interacting with students, is missing.”


SONIA PATIL

to know you, they can make a connection with you, and they know that they can come to you, need you, but also that we’re in a professional environment.” Even though it is risky for teachers to share about mental health, it teaches students how to effectively express their own struggles. Said history teacher David Rognas, “It’s important for teachers to be open about how they’re feeling… it shows you guys how to do that… it’s a skill that many people don’t learn it right and it really can hold you back in life.” Teachers sharing also opens a comfortable space for students to reach out about their mental health struggles. Said physics teacher Precious Bagamaspad, “experiences and stories can potentially have such a strong impact on how students see the world and how their perspectives change as they grow… A sense of vulnerability can help to strengthen relationships, and it can also remind students they are not alone.”

“It’s missing all of the fun, laughter, impromptu conversations/ connections”

INVESTIGATIONS | 23

While many schools give a large amount of attention to student mental health, there is strong controversy over whether teachers should share their thoughts and experiences as well. Struggles, especially financial, cause stress for teachers to maintain a certain level of efficiency in their job. “We live in a society where your productivity is your worth… I know that we’ve internalized that, but there’s so much outside of that, that is part of ourselves, part of our identities, and I think it’s really harmful when we place that as an expectation on ourselves and on others,” said a CHS teacher. This demand for productivity and emotional stability can deter teachers from sharing their own mental health issues and limits their time to process. Added the CHS teacher, “my teaching partner a couple years ago lost his dad [...] He didn’t have the option to take the leave that he needed to grieve. If you have a family, and bills, and all of these things, [you] are often in these positions financially, where it’s just like, ‘Okay, you’ve had a day or two off now, get back to it.’ And it’s like, ‘Whoa, hello, if you lose your spouse or your parent, you don’t just get up the next morning and are back in the right headspace.’” Some teachers go the extra mile for their job. Not only to create a better learning environment but to also be composed and supportive for their students. However, sometimes people take these efforts for granted and start to build expectations. “It’s either you’ve got the heroic [teacher], or writer

you’ve got the demonization, right? The national discourse and the lack of respect for the teaching profession puts [teachers] into these roles. But if we unpack that image of a heroic teacher, the things that we’re actually praising are unpaid labor or paying for things out of pocket,” said a CHS teacher. Some believe all teachers should model this type of figure for students, which can also come with the expectation of constant emotional stability from teachers. “We [had] an insurrection happening at the Capitol, and then there [was] this expectation that you’re gonna process this, live, as it [was] unfolding. There’s just a lot of expectations that I didn’t necessarily understand going into the profession, and it’s hard; that persona that you put sometimes,” said a CHS teacher. Another big concern for teachers opening up about their mental health is the risk of losing their jobs. Teachers must be careful in how much they share and the type of manner they do, even if it is for a student’s benefit. Said Spanish teacher Stacey Jacob, “There’s a bit of a fear by teachers who don’t want it to be perceived that they’re crossing some kind of line and creating some type of inappropriate relationship. And that’s something you have to navigate every day. You have to make sure that you’re sharing enough so that the kids get


Communication Grading Adapting/Forming Lessons Engaging Students

Stress Sources In distance learning

where is this coming from?

11% 89% 96%

18 | THE PROSPECTOR

teachers surveyed said say mental health resources provided are ineffective

Student guesses on stress sources

teachers surveyed find distance learning more stressful

teachers surveyed find it harder to connect when cameras are off

Engaging Students Curriculum Chages Connecting to Students


“There are literally not enough hours in the day for me to plan, grade, find students who’ve not attended class, send extra/makeup work out, meeting with parents/counselors/admin/student advocates...I also have a family and kids of my own, whom I’m seeing much less than we normally do. At least one full day of my weekend is dedicated to school prep/grading/etc.”

Grading Paperwork Balance Supporting Students Communicating With Parents Other

INVESTIGATIONS | 19

Stress Sources In Regular School


LIFESTYLES

stop JENNY WU

26 | DESIGNED BY JENNY WU

lifestyles editor

We live in an obsessive culture. It started in tabloid magazines headlining the latest details between Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s divorce, to social media outlets like TMZ zooming in on Harry Styles eating a burger, to newer and more predominant forms of media, such as Twitter and TikTok bashing Joshua Bassett for breaking Olivia Rodrigo’s heart. We live vicariously through the lives of our favorite celebrities. We search up the birthday, birthplace, and life stories of the entire cast of our favorite show, then watch every single press interview on the internet to feel like we know these people personally. But why? Celebrity worship is a cultural phenomenon involving the obsessive tendencies to become overly involved with the details of a celebrity’s personal and professional life. Several scales have been developed to access the psychological characteristics of those who partake in celebrity adulation. Researchers of the Celebrity Attitudes Scale have narrowed the source of celebrity worship down to three indepen-

dent dimensions: entertainment-social, intense-personal, and borderline pathological. The entertainment-social dimension relates to the attraction to a celebrity because of their ability to entertain and capture others’ attention. Described as a low level of obsession, this form of celebrity worship is most prevalent in teens. They spend time stalking celebrities on social media, following the news on a celebrity’s private life and imitating their behavior, mannerisms, and dress habits. This form of obsession was displayed when a community of young girls turned their personalities into the “VSCO Girl” after Emma Chamberlain made it big on Youtube. The entertainment-social dimension often puts fans into a roller coaster of emotions; it triggers unhealthy eating habits, low self-esteem, and body image issues. Intense-personal worship may begin as simple admiration but morphs into a neurotic obsession with intensive and compulsive feelings about a celebrity. As a result of delusional thinking, these fans often experience dissociation from reality and live vicariously through the joys,

sorrows, failures, and successes of celebrity as their own. For exampl when the Philadelphia Eagles won th 2018 Super Bowl, the city was loote and vandalized in celebration, wh many fans of the New England Pat ots faced a case of sports fan depre sion. The most extreme level of o session would be borderline-path logical celebrity worship, where fan display uncontrollable behaviors an fantasies relating to a celebrity. Thes fans would go to great lengths to sho their loyalty to stars. This socio-path logical attitude is reflected in action such as having a collection of mem rabilia associated with or used by th celebrity, making personal sacrifice to prove their commitment, and p tentially engaging in stalking and ot er criminal behavior forms. At times, the attachments th fans feel towards celebrities hav been so severe to the point whe dozens of Michael Jackson fans com mitted suicide after the artist’s untim ly death. Knowing the extent to whic fans can obsess over a celebrity, le take a look at what it’s like on the oth side of this parasocial relationship.


obhons nd se ow hons mohe es poth-

HARRY STYLES MAY HAVE TWEETED THAT HE LOVES YOU BUT HE DOESN’T ACTUALLY LOVE YOU.

one-sided relationships

celebrities

LIFESTYLES | 27

hat ve ere mmech et’s her

“They don’t care about you, they care about you as a body of people, but they don’t care about you,” said Ludwig Ahgren, a popular Twitch streamer and Youtube creator. Members of the Twitch streaming community are especially vulnerable to celebrity worship as they make content off of the live interactions they have with their viewers. Fans of streamers like Corpse Husband often fawn over his deep voice and develop feelings for him. However, while viewers get to know their favorite streamers through the hours and hours of content released, streamers — just like other celebrities — only recognize them as noncoherent bodies of people who allow them to do what they want to do; and so when they say they love and appreciate you, they don’t actually mean it. Humans have a natural inclination to feel connected to someone, causing us to feel attached to a celebrity who will never notice us. But before you get sucked into your next celebrity content hole, remember that they are there to entertain you, not to be your friend.

With

fa le, he ed hile tries-


I LOVE NOTION PHOTO FROM GOOGLE

My Experi STELLA JIA

28 | DESIGNED BY JENNY WU

print editor-in-chief

Weighing in at virtually zero pounds and taking up one squared centimeter of space is the key to success...Notion! Okay, a bit dramatic. Notion is an online app that allows users to utilize various tools to keep track of almost any aspect of their life. As school has transitioned to online platforms, it’s been challenging to feel a sense of schedule amidst all the Zoom links and Schoology assignments. Although the app began gaining traction on social media these past few months, my journey with Notion started back in April 2020 at the beginning of quarantine. While in a YouTube rabbit hole, I stumbled upon a video by Ali Abdaal with the title “My Favorite Productivity App.” I’ll be honest; I’m a sucker for anything related to organization, so I was immediately drawn to the versatility and minimal interface of Notion. Among the plethora of tools Notion offers, some of my favorites include the toggle feature, interface flexibility, boards, and simplistic design. At first, the tools were quite intimidating, so I started with a simple to-do list page. Over the summer, I took a few online courses and began using Notion as a note-taking app. Of all the note-taking apps I’ve used (Apple Notes, Ever-

note, etc.), Notio none of the othe Often, notes bec formation and ov but that’s where into play. It’s ab notes in a specif it under the togg accustomed to p books, so Notio have been great track of quotes through books fo Additionally, ly flexible. Users points around to thoughts rather t paste. Notion cal a “block.” The te that you can cho a table, bullet poi simply typing “/” menu of differen On Google Docs would have to dra and form a table simply type “/tab flexibility of Notio on time compared cule details in the productivity apps Along with u functions phenom let journal. Using


ience w/ Notion tion offers, I’ve created a Habit Tracker, Journal, Book List, TV Show Tracker, and more. Essentially, it functions similarly to a “second brain.” Social media exposes us regularly to various content forms that blur our ability to take in useful information. Having an easily accessible database containing school notes and other life details like a movie tracker allows me to remember better the information

a fan of a minimalistic aesthetic, Notion also has many customizable features like cover pages and emojis. Many users often create a unique theme for their Notion page, which allows for a nice personal touch. My current theme is a combination of my favorite Disney movies with a “light academia” aesthetic. Additionally, emojis are highly popularized on Notion as they are used to title and label aspects of your

BE CAREFUL NOT TO FALL INTO THE FALSE “NOTION” THAT DOWNLOADING AN ORGANIZATIONAL APP WILL MAKE YOU PRODUCTIVE 24/7 I consume daily. Notion has also aided me throughout college apps season. The Kanban board feature is excellent for efficiently keeping track of essay drafts, college research, and deadlines. Sometimes being “productive” is just a matter of making what’s important easier to accomplish and distractions harder to reach. With Notion, it only takes a few seconds to create a page, and the tools are highly accessible, making time-draining tasks feel more doable. Lastly, the simple user interface of Notion is unlike any other. If you aren’t

page, adding a modern and fun appeal to the overall layout. Be careful not to fall into the false “notion” (pun intended) that downloading an organizational app will make you productive 24/7. It does take some time and care to get used to the app and integrate it into your daily schedule. However, if you have even an inkling of interest about how to organize your school or personal life better, I would highly recommend downloading Notion!

LIFESTYLES | 29

on has one feature that ers have: the toggle tool. come convoluted with inverwhelming to look at, e the toggle tool comes ble to take your bulleted fic section and dissipate gle title. I’ve never been putting post-it notes in my on’s note-taking features t in allowing me to keep and thoughts as I read or AP Literature. , Notion is exceptionals can easily drag bullet o organize their flow of than having to copy and lls each element you add erm “block” is versatile in oose whether it becomes int, headline, or more. By ” it unlocks a dropdown nt options to select from. s, to create a table, you ag your mouse to the top e, while on Notion, you ble” and click enter. The on cuts down significantly d to the add up of minuse set-up process on other s. using Notion for notes, it menally as a digital bulg the various features No-


30 | DESIGNED BY HENRY MA

SPORTS


JOSHUA LEE

writer

The first Asian NBA player was Wataru Misaka. He broke the color barrier in 1947, same year Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. Was a New York Knick, never really saw the floor. Raymond Townsend is a Filipono American former basketball player who played for the Warriors and Pacers Rex Walters is Japanese American former player who played for the Nets, 76ers and the Heat Yao Ming, a Chinese former player drafted with the 1st pick overall in the 2002 NBA draft. Standing at 7’6” Ming is an 8x NBA All Star who spent his entire NBA career playing for the Houston Rockets. Yao averaged 19 points per game, 9.2 rpg, 1.6 apg, and 1.9 bpg and is regarded as one of the greatest centers in the history of the league. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame not only for his play, but also for being the bridge between China and the NBA Yuta Tabuse is the first Japanese player to play in the NBA, despite Misaka breaking the color barrier in 1947. Tabuse played for the Phoenix Suns Yi Jianlian is a Chinese former NBA player who played for the Bucks, Nets, Wizards and Mavericks. He is one of the more successful players of Asian heri-

tage mainly because he was able to stay in the league for more than 5 years. Sun Yue played the point guard at 6’9” but he was never really a force on the floor. He played only a few games for a Lakers and was waived afterwards Jeremy Lin went undrafted in 2010 and started his career with the Golden State Warriors and was waived shortly after. Lin would take a chance with the New York Knicks. After the Knicks star player, Carmelo Anthony went down with an injury, Lin set the league on fire after scoring 25 points in a Knicks win. However, Linsanity didn’t last long. After the return of Carmelo Anthony and James Dolan’s nature, Lin would sign with the Houston Rockets where his role began to diminish. He would then spend time bouncing around the league. Lin spent one year with the Los Angeles Lakers with the late legend Kobe Bryant. Afterwards he signed a deal with the Charlotte Hornets, in which he opted out of his final year of the contract. He then signed with the Brooklyn Nets. In 2017, in the season opener against the Indiana Pacers, Lin suffered a season ending patellar tendon rupture and missed the entire season save for the one game. One year later he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks to provide veteranship to the young team. He was waived midway through the season and subsequently signed with the Toronto Raptors, where he won his first NBA championship despite falling out of the rotation. He was out of the league by then and signed with the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association. Today, he is currently playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the NBA G-League. Overall NBA players of Asian descent were not too successful. Only a few are successful.


SATIRE ON SPORT RITUALS HENRY MA sports editor

32 | DESIGNED BY HENRY MA

The United States is undoubtedly a sports nation, with the sports industry estimated to be worth around 500 billion dollars. It is our patriotic duty to worship sports. Fans will do anything to protect their team’s honor, resulting in out of control rivalries. The situations these fans get themselves in are just HILARIOUS. During a preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders (now known as the Las Vegas Raiders), there was a brawl where an anti-49ers fan was shot two to four times in the stomach. The fact that some grown adults will go as far as shooting another fan because they don’t have the same opinion is a laughable aspect of our American society. Wait until they hear about their athlete idols that they worship. Athletes often participate in different superstitions and rituals. Some professional athletes that we all admire still depend on hilarious rituals and superstitions to maintain their performance. Michael Jordan, the GOAT, Michael Jordan depended on a piece of clothing. LET ME REPEAT. THE MAN. THE MYTH. THE LEGEND. MICHAEL JORDAN. WON SIX NBA CHAMPIONSHIPS. 6’ 6. 205 POUNDS. DE-

PENDED ON A PAIR OF SHORTS. What would happen if his pairs of shorts ripped? Would he have ended his career early? A professional, one of the greats, believed that his shorts were specially enhanced with luck. No Pain. No Gain. A common saying among coaches attempting to use cringy inspirational quotes to motivate their athletes. However, there has been one athlete that has become the embodiment of this phrase. Defensive Tackle John Henderson gains strength by being beaten on. He uses this to his advantage — having his assistant trainer slap him across his face, as hard as he can. Now what else would you do when a 6’7, 350-pound professional football player walks up to you and tells you to slap them?


SPORTS | 27


PERSPECTIVES MEGHANA VINJAMURY writer

presidential election and was finally sworn in on January 20, 2021. In their inaugural address, they said, “I give you my word: I will always 10. with you. I will 11. the constitution. I will 12. our democracy. I will 13. America.” As entertainment at the ceremony, Jennifer Lopez sang 14. and Lady Gaga performed 15. . Bernie Sanders and the 16. he wore to the 17. inauguration broke the internet. Memes of him sitting with his arms and legs crossed in his brown parka and 18. circulated everywhere, which actually helped a charity raise about 1.8 million dollars. The state of California 19. the stay-at-home order on January 25 because there was a 50.3% decrease in cases, and only about 6.7% of the

34 | DESIGNED BY SARAH POLLANS

2021, the year we expect will help us recover from 2020. It’s supposed to be a comeback, but it seems to be a 2020 part two for now. Here’s a small overview of what has happened so far in chronological order. Unfortunately, the coronavirus did not 1. on January 1 like many of us anticipated. Instead, in early January, not only was there an increase in cases and a new variant of the virus, but 2. at a zoo tested positive for COVID-19, showing symptoms such as and 4. 3. On January 8, 5. year old Olivia Rodrigo released her debut s i n g l e , 6. . Within a week of release, it broke Spotify’s record for most daily streams with over 15.7 million global streams, surpassing renowned 7. such as Ariana Grande and Drake. Aside from that, 8. 20. won the 2020 9. from that week came back positive.

Current Events:


Despite the drastic reduction in new COVID cases, the death toll has been at an all-time high. On January 27, a flash flood warning was issued in the Bay Area, and many people woke up without 21. in the morning, and some with 22. t o p pled over in their driveways. A couple of days later, on January 30, a part of Highway 1 near Big Sur 23. into the ocean because of the heavy rains. Remember how 24. predicted most of 2020 from 25. to the 26. ? Of course, 2021 hasn’t been as bad as 2020 so far, but some of their other predictions for 2021 might come true this year. All we can do for now is sit back and wait.

1. Verb 2. Animal (plural) 3. Symptom 4. Another symptom 5. Number 6. A song 7. An occupation (plural) 8. Celebrity 9. Country 10. Verb 11. Another verb 12/13. Same verb as 11 14. A song 15. Another song 16. Adjective 17/18. Article of clothing 19. Verb (past tense) 20. Noun (plural) 21. Noun 22. Noun (plural) 23. Verb (past tense) 24. A TV Show 25. An event from 2020 26. Another event from 2020

Use the Key to Fill out the Story!

PERSPECTIVES | 35

A Mad-Lib Story


T y e xtbo r o t Hi s


ooks in 2085

KRITHIKA VENKATASUBRAMANIAN features editor


POSTSCRIPT

puzzle pieces

38 | DESIGNED BY MEGUMI ONDO

how they connected my family over the years


JULIET SHEARIN news editor/copy editor

“Life was full of surprises and mysteries, and puzzles were a safe and fun way to explore that.” It was like a switch flipped: suddenly, a productive way to use all the yelling at each other we had been doing. The pleasure of solving a hard clue was still present, but it had never been farther from my mind I caught my mom one night while she was cooking. “I’m so glad we’re doing crosswords as a family. It’s so fun.” “Keeps us out of trouble,” my mom said, then squeezed past me to stir the pasta. At this point, I’ve been treasure hunt-ing and Christmas puzzl-ing and crossword-ing for most of my life. It’s hard to quantify how much I’ve changed as a person, but when I think back on it, I have to wonder when one switch flipped. When did solving puzzles stop being about the puzzles, and start being about my family?

POSTSCRIPT | 39

I went to a lot of different birthday parties when I was younger, and none of them ever looked quite like my own. There were superficial similarities, sure, cake and presents, but the key ingredient was missing: the treasure hunt. My mom would make them for me every year. The format was always the same, a series of small challenges and brainteasers and rebuses for my friends and I to race to complete. At the end, we would usually get a piece of chocolate, but the prize wasn’t the point. For me, it was all about the fun of figuring out the solution, translating the code, finding the trick. The fun was all in solving the puzzle. Back then, I never really considered why treasure hunts were a once-a-year affair. I was too caught up in the fun of being a child to consider why my mom spent so much time on her laptop on the days leading up to my birthday party. Life was full of surprises and mysteries, and puzzles were a safe and fun way to explore that. That’s all there was to it. Of course, I got older. I got closer with my family as my sister graduated middle school and I graduated elementary school, and we were even holding civil conversations by the time she went to college. As I found out, Emma and I got along even better when we only saw each other a few times a year. We started spending a lot of time together. The genesis of the Christmas Puzzles was the year when Emma’s winter break was particularly short. We had so little time to spend together — we wanted to do something fun! My mom offered to make us a series of puzzles, so we could do one per day. “Isn’t that a lot of work?” I asked. My mom, whom I love and adore, just laughed. “I don’t mind. It’s payment for listening to me complain about City Council.” So Emma and I spent hours that winter

break trying to crack homemade rebuses and translate Wingdings. Some of the puzzles may have been easy for us, we didn’t mind. We were just grateful for the excuse to spend some fun time together, grumbling cheerfully about obscure words. And then quarantine hit, and as spring bled into a smoky summer, my sister and I were forced into spending more time together than ever before. The household atmosphere slowly got more tense, until my mom hit upon the idea for us to do crossword puzzles as a family.


q. Is your dream job different from the one you're planning on pursuing/what your parents want you to pursue?

no - 47.1% yes - 52.9%

q. Do you feel that the “Bay Area culture” influences you in terms of whether or not you’d like to pursue your dreams?

no - 11.8% yes - 88.2%

40 | DESIGNED BY MEGUMI ONDO

beyond the bay: students' biggest dreams ALEXANDRIA HUNT editor-in-chief


q. Where is your dream place to live in?

q. What is your dream job?

bay area

doctor

los angeles

engineer other places in the US other: (musicians, lawyers, teachers, etc.)

other places out of the US

fields. On the other hand, factors that encourage the surveyed students to pursue their dreams include knowing that their dream job can bring them happiness and the opportunity to do what they love. Besides career paths, students were also surveyed about their dream family — over 85% of students expressed that they would like to get married, have kids, and pets (the most commonly named pet was a dog). Furthermore, over 90% of students identified that they would like to live within the United States — including the Bay Area, Hawaii, Los Angeles, Seattle, Malibu, and New York City to name a few — and just one student stated their dream destination would be outside of the U.S., within the Netherlands. Although many may view the Bay Area as a region where students are solely STEM-oriented, this is not the case — many Cupertino High School students have diverse dream occupations, families, and destinations.

POSTSCRIPT | 41

In the Bay Area, pursuing STEM within high school, college, and even as a career is expected of many students — including becoming a doctor, engineer, or scientist. In fact, according to a survey of CHS students, 25% of students’ have a dream job of being a doctor and another 25% have a dream job of being an engineer — while the remaining 50% include musicians, politicians, teachers, and lawyers. However, the survey also shows that that approximately 50% of students’ dream jobs are different from what they currently plan on pursuing, or what their parents want them to pursue — in other words, there may be underlying factors that discourage Cupertino High School students from pursuing their desired careers. When asked about factors that prevent students from pursuing their dream careers, almost 90% of students identified the “Bay Area influence” as a major one — or the expectation that students must pursue STEM


[BACK COVER]

Profile for The Prospector

Issue 4 - February 2021  

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