Raven Report 2021-2022 Issue Cycle 2

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Table of Contents

04 Gas prices get the red light from consumers

17 Fast fashion or fatal fashion 35 Man-up

program kickstarts Sequoia’s football success







Sequoia special education supports students

Welcome to the Duniverse

2020 plant pandemic

Distractions throughout school but music is not one of them

Live music returns with a bang

Parents’ pressure affects high school sports

Cover art by Angela Soria and graphic by Abigail Aguayo

LETTER FROM THE EDITORS Connections through journalism This issue means a lot to us and is one of the first cycles in a long time that has truly connected our class and stretched us to build bonds. 2021, the year that felt like it would never end, is now officially in the past. For many, 2021 was a year of overcoming challenges and adapting to our new, unique environment, and this can be extended to journalism at Sequoia. The 2020-21 online and hybrid school year threw our tight-knit group for a loop and we struggled to find our footing with multiple new teachers, new resources and, most devastatingly, little communication. Communication is one of the most important aspects of journalism. Our projectbased class relies heavily on communication, and as individuals whose work comes together to create a blend of Sequoia perspectives, it is essential to be vocal about ideas, progress, opinions and many more in order to produce something as representative as possible. One of the first things we teach students who are new to the class is how to be open and constructive to others as well as yourself. However, there is a very steep learning curve for this skill, especially as students start to balance this with developing their own writing and design style, learning preferences and strengths for sections and responding to the constant stream of feedback that is required to uphold staff reporters to our very high standards. One month ago, the class decided that, although we only had four weeks to interview,

write, design and layout an entire magazine from scratch when we usually have at least six weeks to do so, this issue cycle was a worthwhile investment of our time and effort. We were right, of course, but there were a lot of ups and downs, a lot of panicked faces as the class simultaneously realized how close that one deadline really was and a lot of convincing editors that another difficult round of constructive criticism would pay off in the end. We, as Editors-in Chief, were abruptly handed the role and responsibility of class leader at the beginning of this issue. The transition was tough at first and we struggled to find the rhythm that our previous editors had made look so effortless and graceful, but soon we were teaching and, more importantly, connecting with the class on a deeper level than any other classes offered at Sequoia. The panicked faces became overshadowed by those of big smiles as students began to grow comfortable with people they would have never interacted with outside of class; we became inspired for intellectual and productive conversations about the prominent issues in our school and society. Sincerely,

Hope Callaghan and Madeline Carpinelli


The Raven Report is a Sequoia High School student publication produced in the journalism class through the efforts and decisions of the staff and the publication’s editors and adviser. The Raven Report is a public forum for students, staff, parents and community members. The Raven Report strives to provide Sequoia High School with informative, engaging and relevant news. The staff will exercise integrity and adaptability while promoting justice and transparency through professional reporting about the school, the community and the world.


The Raven Report staff welcomes signed letters to the editor so that readers might share in the opportunities of the scholastic free press in open forum. The written views of students, parents or community members must be responsible, in good taste and free from libel, slander or obscenity. Letters may be edited for grammar or content if necessary; furthermore, editors will not guarantee that letters will be published. 1201 Brewster Ave. Redwood City, CA 94062 www.ravenreport.org ravenreport17@gmail.com

Printing and web posting funded by

Raven Report // 21-22 EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Madeline Carpinelli Hope Callaghan MANAGING EDITOR David Ramirez FEATURE EDITOR Greta Reich OPINION EDITOR Vivian Krevor

COPY EDITOR Abby Aguayo A&E EDITOR Rylan Butt SPORTS EDITOR Oscar Nolf STAFF REPORTERS Amara Bakshi Maricela Cruz

Colleen Diether Zoe Dufner Ethan Fletcher Tyra Gurtierrez Stan Hamelin Ariana Hernandez Haylee Huynh Nabil Irshad Zoraya King

Ruth Lax Pofa Lealamanua Mateo Mangolini David Raymond Ben Schwartz Angela Soria Lucie Tenenbaum Daisy Torres Arroyo Zachary Tyson

Allison Wang Tyler Zarganis ADVISOR Diana Nguyen



High gas prices get the red light from drivers BY HAYLEE HUYNH Staff Reporter

Gas prices have shot up within the past three months in the Bay Area, and their effect on student drivers is noticed. According to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2019, $3.50 per gallon was the average price of gas in and Sequoia is sufficient enough that I can– am able to pay for it, but [...] anytime you’re the state of California. As of today, gas prices average out at paying whatever it is, $100 to $200 a week in gas it definitely around $5 per gallon, adds up and you meaning that the cost can think about all of oil has risen 30 the other things you percent within the could be spending past two years. [on],” Cameron Nowadays, a full I’m still gonna drive to school Uhalde said, Student tank of gas can cost regardless, but I guess no Activities Director between $80 and $90, and resident of been an increase in transportation both on and for those who matter how high they go up, Fairfield, located 75 the road and in the air. From an economic commute to and from I’ll still drive to school. miles from Redwood perspective, this change was quite rapid, and Sequoia campus, petroleum corporations did not have enough City. these unavoidable Ethan McKillop, senior Though many time to produce more fuel product to meet this costs create financial are affected by this new demand, according to the Los Angeles inconveniences. exponential increase Times. “I’m still gonna In 2020, the EIA reported America as a in gas prices, a drive to school regardless, but I mean, it’s a little unfortunate. substantial portion of people are unaware of net petroleum exporter, meaning that we, as a country, exported more oil than we imported [...] I work at Starbucks, like that’s where the the reasoning behind it. As more and more people are getting into the nation. This, in part, was due to our gas money comes from, but [...] I guess no matter how high they go up, I’ll still drive to vaccinated and going back to work, there has domestic fracking and oil extractions that school,” senior Ethan McKillop said. One student’s family has a pre-set agreement amongst themselves on how they divide the cost of gas. “Me and my parents, we have this schedule thing where they’ll pay for it two times a month, right? And then like any other time I’ll have to gas it up myself,” junior Alex Chang said. “So [increased gas prices] really hasn’t impacted me a ton, because I don’t drive enough for me to be paying for a ton of oil and gas. But I’m sure if there’s a kid who obviously pays for [their] own gas, it means [they have] to spend less money on other things or like, just drive less, which is hard to do sometimes.” This issue not only affects student drivers, but Sequoia staff who travel from afar as well. Shell gas station at Brewster Ave. and Veterans Blvd “It is a financial burden but, I mean, we’re Photos and graphics by Haylee Huynh still able to get by. It’s like, the compensation


Chevron gas prices at Veterans Blvd were stopped during the Biden presidency as the increase in gas prices seem to be another it created environmental issues and destroyed persuading feature. Indigenous land. The combination of halting “We are in the process of putting solar on domestic fracking with the post-pandemic our house [...] and then [will] use that as a supply issues are the cause of the sudden springboard to do an electric car, and my wife increase. will eventually also,” Uhalde said. “So yes, that However, supply and demand issues are is in the forecast and I would say the gas prices not only exclusive to petroleum corporations; did help inform that decision as well.” in fact, the annual Along with rate of inflation in the people transferring US is currently at 6.2 to green energy on percent, the highest it their own accord, has been since 1990, this rise in cost could The only way people are going potentially have a according to Trading to get out of their cars and Economics. much larger effect “It’s noticeable start being greener is if the on the car culture of how my bank account price of gas gets outrageously California. is decreasing, and “Gasoline is much it’s not only from high. more expensive in gas prices, but that’s Europe and in other a large part of it,” Allison Hyde, history and Bilingual countries. And I Allison Hyde said, think Americans are Resource teacher history and Bilingual used to very cheap Resource teacher gasoline. So they’re who commutes from San Francisco. “So I’ve very careless about driving, and polluting, really noticed that my bank, you know, the and emitting greenhouse gases, and all kinds amount of money I would have usually stays of things like that,” Hyde said. “There have pretty even. And it seems to be just, every been times in the past where I’ve thought month a little bit less, which I would attribute the only way people are going to get out of to higher prices all around, [...] including gas.” their cars and start being greener and taking Converting from gas-powered to electric public transportation, electric vehicles, or cars has become a very popular switch in whatever is if the price of gas gets outrageously the Bay Area, and though not everyone can high; It’s gonna force their hands to be more afford environmentally conscious options, environmentally conscious.”




Staff Reporters Throughout the month of October, Sequoia tested a new schedule that introduced “flex time,” where students had the opportunity to work in a class of their choice for 45 minutes. Flex time has roots dating back to the 1960s, beginning when schools broke classes into 10-20 minute periods on Mondays and Tuesdays according to the “Ultimate Guide to Flex Period” by Edficiency. Flex time looks much different today, as they follow a typical rally schedule and are done on Thursdays and Fridays for Sequoia. Sequoia rally schedules follow a normal block day, with 15 minutes deducted from first and third period, making enough room to add a 45 minute space which typically hosts a rally. Many other schools have taken the flex time on as well, with Carlmont, Woodside, Menlo-Atherton High School already having flex times (of various names) on Wednesday and Thursday. Sequoia’s flex times have already been trialed in October, with plans to permanently implement it beginning in the second semester. The freedom that comes with flex time gives students the option to participate in any class of their choosing. As a result, many students have come to enjoy the flex time. “[Flex time is] helpful. I can use it to catch up on some of my classes that I may have not paid attention to.” sophomore Ivan Rodriguez said. The ability to choose whatever class you want to go to allows students to get what they need completed. Whether that be catching up on work or retaking a test, it is an opportunity for students to complete work outside of the standard lunch time. Another perk of flex time that students say is helpful is how it can give students a more carefree environment. “It’s a good opportunity to get work done in an already stressful environment,” freshman Elery Barnett said.

This points out the main idea of flex, which was to try and reduce students’ stress levels, according to an email sent to teachers from Sean Priest. Providing students with an environment where they could complete their work for any class ultimately helps students like Barnett. The new schedule not only gives students time to catch up or complete their work, but gives teachers time to complete their work as well. History teacher Karin Zarcone said she’s taken advantage of the extra time to “offer retake opportunities for assessments.” Sequoia will be permanently implementing Flex Time beginning in the second semester along with “circles” for freshmen to participate in. Although students were initially surprised at this announcement, some have come to believe it could be beneficial. “I think it’d be a good idea because some days after school I have a sport so I can’t always get my work done after so flex time will give me the opportunity to do my work at school,” sophomore Owen Leung said.

It’s a good opportunity to get work done in an already stressful environment. Elery Barnett, freshman

Art courtesy of Gabe Diaz


CTE readies students for the real world Photos by David Raymond

BY DAVID RAYMOND Staff Reporter Sequoia offers a variety of options to students looking for classes that will directly translate towards a career. Some of these classes include woodshop, culinary arts, Java programming, and the Health Careers Academy. The academies and elective classes all have the core focus of preparing students for the workplace and college programs. Woodshop I is suited for all students, even ones with no previous experience. “We go from essentially measuring, marking - which is understanding basic shop math - and then dealing with hand saws, how to use hand tools safely, and then a progression of the stationary hand to power tools. And then we get into actually how to bring all that together to make projects that require kind of a sequential step by step process,” Ethan Sanford said, a woodshop teacher of 16 years at Sequoia. Many students take the skills they have learned in woodshop class and apply them in a professional setting. “A summer job could be a good thingeither a construction site one or at a summer camp,” sophomore and woodshop I student Holden Kowitt said. Not only can students find summer jobs with the skills learned in woodshop, but they can also find full time jobs or internships. “It’s a lot about personal motivation,”

Sanford said. “Students who want a job, there are jobs in the area. After graduation we’ve had many students get full time jobs with construction companies,” Sanford said. Woodshop is not the only class that can directly lead to job opportunities though.

After graduation we’ve had many students get full time jobs with construction companies. Ethan Sanford, woodshop teacher

“In [culinary arts] class, you get the basicsknife safety, sanitation, and following recipes in a group environment… you could absolutely do restaurant or catering work directly out of class,” Reyna Hofmann, culinary arts teacher said. Culinary arts students can also use this highly specialized class to prepare for college courses and a future career. Bea Reinhoff, a senior in Foods and Nutrition, is planning to use skills she acquired in the class to further her education, and then launch a career.

“I want to study agricultural science in college and then later I want to work in a restaurant,” Reinhoff said. Students can also study Java programming at Sequoia. “[Java programming is] different from any other class I’ve been in… it teaches you how to kind of decompose a problem into different steps,” freshman Alex Dils said. “[Java Programming] is fantastic for other classes. It teaches you how to break down a problem. This skill can be used to break down an argumentative essay in English, or a large math problem,” Jared Bitz said, a Java programming teacher. Not only can career focused classes help in an educational setting, but they also give students valuable real world skills that can be used in a professional setting or in everyday life, such as the Health Careers Academy. “[Students will learn community emergency response tactics,]… everyone is going to be a patient at one point or another. So you might as well be an active part of your own health care,” Stephanie Weden, a teacher in the Health Career Academy stated. One of the benefits that encompasses many of the career focussed classes is something that can’t be quantified. With small class sizes and driven students, a sense of community forms. “I think there’s something to be said when students are spending longer than they have to be in class,” Weden said.



Sequoia special education supports students

Spotlighting the different aspects of the special education program BY ALLISON WANG Staff Reporter

a special education teacher and department classes and access to counseling like mental chair at Sequoia. health counseling. There is also the ILS Some accommodations under an IEP can program (Independent Living Skills) which include more time allotted on tests, taking the has two classes for students with moderate to test in a different room or in their weekly study severe cognitive or physical disabilities, helping skills class and many others. Instructional Vice them to earn a certificate of completion from Principal Kristen high school. Stout emphasizes that Senior Ricardo accommodations Ojeda is in an ILS are not meant to class consisting have students do less of students with I’m enjoying school because work, but the same moderate disabilities, amount of work with it’s good to learn about new and he says he enjoys appropriate support. school as a result of things. “It’s important to the program. say it’s not modifying “I’m enjoying Ricardo Ojeda, senior the curriculum in school because it’s any way. It’s just good to learn about giving them additional support to access it. So new things. And I’m not stressed about it it’s not saying ‘they only need to do half the because I have been bored a lot at home assignments,’ that would be modifying what and I like school because I wanted to learn they’re doing. It’s creating different ways to everything,” Ojeda said. “It has supported have access and success with the curriculum,” me with education, learning new things [and Stout said. becoming] independent.” Special education at Sequoia encompasses Senior Melia OCampo is also in the same many aspects. There are accommodations class. She feels that the program has adequately provided in place for students that attend supported her, and she also enjoys class. general education classes, as well “[I am getting help] from the teacher, and as larger classes the teacher’s aides. I like the class,” OCampo with all special said. education For many students, general education does s t u d e n t s . not provide them enough support to reach In larger their goals. Through tailored instruction in c l a s s e s , special education classrooms, they are able to t h e r e thrive and achieve more. are Ed “[The] benefits are more students specialists graduating from high school, being A to G certified to work eligible, getting into four year colleges and with students really achieving their goals after high school,” with disabilities Stout said. and teacher aides. Senior Yvonne Vasquez has found the Some other special education program to be helpful in programs on campus developing useful skills, such as listening and is the STARS social skills. program (Students “[We do] math and socials [in class],” T r a n s i t i o n i n g Vasquez said. “I’ve been listening more.” with Appropriate In daily classes, students also work on life Resources), which skills such as shopping, math budgeting and encompasses smaller life science. Photos by Clipart Library, Allison Wang. Edited by Allison Wang

Special education programs in public schools have been around since the late ‘60s, a staple of public education. Sequoia is one of those schools, that offers support to over 290 students. The first federal law passed for students with mental and physical learning disabilities was IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), passed in 1975 by Congress. A school psychologist and teachers perform a series of tests to determine if students are eligible for the support of an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) based on documented intellectual and developmental disabilities. For every qualifying student, the IEP is written as a plan for the accommodations they can receive based on their learning differences. “The core purpose of special ed programs is to allow students with disabilities to have equitable access to the school environment. So whatever that looks like for them, the purpose is to have an individualized plan that allows the student to make progress on their educational goals, their post secondary goals, mental health goals,” Kimberly Zilles said,


Madison Sheridan, Christopher Leavenworth, Ms. Stephanie and Jazmine Cruz (left to right) carve pumpkins. Photo courtesy of Bianka Nessler “We have math, shopping,” OCampo said. Special education teacher Bianka Nessler had been growing pumpkins with her class to show the students plant life cycles. “So maybe that’s something, is real life science. They learned all about pumpkins, and then they were growing our own pumpkins,” Nessler said. “The students also had to measure and weigh pumpkins, as well as count seeds and write about their observations.” Alongside what is taught in the classroom, the program also helps students find jobs, and supports any post-secondary goals they may have. There are programs, such as TRACE (Transition Resources for Adult Community Education) in Sequoia Union High School District that gives students ages 18 to 22 job and life training for independent living, strengthening the transition between high school and adult life. “To help, they give jobs to support you and help you learn many techniques, learn as much as you can,” Ojeda said. After high school, there are many different paths students end up taking, which the special education program supports with individualized assistance. Special education teacher Kimberly Zilles has watched many of her students achieve academic success, and as a teacher she also loves how the program allows teachers to see growth in their students. “I have numerous students that I’ve had throughout the years who have transitioned to our local community colleges […] They’re pursuing their various kinds of associate degree areas of interest and thinking about transferring to a four year. I also have students who have gone straight to a four year college,” Zilles said. “I think the really beautiful thing about special education is that because it’s so individualized, we get to know students on a

more personal level… it’s really just capturing that learning journey.” Apart from the school programs, the Best Buddies Club at Sequoia is also committed to helping special education students. The club has meetings every Tuesday at lunch in Rebecca Goodwin’s classroom. “We’re a club that matches students in a buddy pair with students with intellectual and developmental disabilities […] You’re matched with a buddy and create a one to one friendship throughout the year,” senior Caitlin Sorensen said, chapter president of Sequoia’s Best Buddies club.

The Sequoia club is just one of many around the nation, and the Best Buddies organization even has a global reach. “Best Buddies is a [worldwide] organization… they also focus on jobs, or helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities go out into the workforce. The whole goal of the organization is to create more of an inclusive society,” Sorensen said. Another thing the club hopes to accomplish is combating ableism. According to the Center for Disability Rights, ableism is a set of beliefs or practices that devalue and discriminate against people with physical, intellectual or psychiatric disabilities. “Any sort of effort that anybody can put into the club is just one step closer to creating a more inclusive Sequoia campus where we combat ableism and at the same time, work to make sure that everybody feels that they’re a part of the Sequoia community,” Sorensen said. In hand with combating ableism at school, it is important to always be mindful of learning differences, not only with special education but all students at Sequoia. “I think it’s important for students not to make assumptions. It may take a student longer to process something or they may have difficulty memorizing or writing, but at this same time this student might also have really strong academic abilities in other ways. So I think it’s important not to make assumptions and to understand that everyone has learning differences,” Stout said.

Silvia Barrita watering pumpkin plants. Photo courtesy of Bianka Nessler



The 2020 plant pandemic BY ZORAYA KING Staff Reporter In attempts to curb feelings of quarantine loneliness, many people turned to plants and other greenery as a healthy hobby and a distraction during self-isolation. While some adopted only a few to brighten up their living spaces, many discovered their bedrooms quickly turning into plant nurseries within a couple of months. What used to be dull and sterile home environments are now ecosystems for social distancers and plants alike. Many people that care for plants find them to be like a pet, and the connections between them are similar. Much like pet ownership, plants rely on their owner for physical needs while the owner receives psychological benefits. Especially during a time where feelings of solitude and isolation were heightened, plants offered emotional support and company without the extreme attention that a pet requires.

They’re very calming to take care of and just nurture them over time, so by providing care for them I’m also providing care for myself. Megan Kelly, senior

Plants have found a place at Sequoia other than our beautiful outdoor gardens. Through his past few years at Sequoia, Cory Ward invited greenery indoors in his English classroom, now taking care of more than five plants while teaching. “You know, it’s really interesting because you do form an attachment to plants as, you know, as crazy as that sounds,” Ward explained. “When they’re not doing well [...] you want to respond as quickly as possible. You know, I’ve had pets in the past and you have similar attachments and bonds with plants as you do [with a pet].”


Following the growing passion for plants came a sense of community; many people even consider themselves “plant parents,” a label that gained attention and popularity from the Millennial Generation and publicity from Generation Z. “I would definitely consider myself a plant parent. I would say that the connection is very symbiotic,” senior Megan Kelly said. “Because, again, it’s just a very mindful practice to take care of plants and just see them grow. So I feel like I’m almost helping my own mental health by providing care for the plants.” Some even take their “parenting” to the next level, referring to their plants as their “children” and find a family in their greenery. By naming their plants, owners can find deeper connections with them. “Yeah, I call Kevin my son. All my friends call him that too,” junior Eva Smith said. “Sometimes they’re like, ‘How’s your son? Have you been watering him?’ I’m like, ‘yes, Kevin’s doing great, thank you.’” From plant lovers to plant parents, the relationship between owner and plant has proven to be reflective; if the caregiver is doing well, the plant’s health will match. But, if the owner is experiencing hurt in their life, then the plant is likely to be neglected and mirror the health of those around it. “It’s been a tough year coming out of the pandemic. Students just, you know, are sort of reeling from the change,” Ward recalled. “And if you notice, you look around [the classroom] at all these plants, the ones over there [by the windows] are doing pretty well. [The one closest to me] is losing a lot of color and a lot of leaves, and I wonder if maybe I am negatively affecting that one just with my, you know, personal everyday stresses and everything.” During a time where everything was uncertain, plants provided a sense of stability and company. The COVID-19 pandemic showed a major increase in plant adoption and provided a new hobby for those riddled with boredom. “It started in quarantine when I got [Kevin] and then I was just like, ‘I need to have more of them because I just like taking care of them,’” Smith said. “[It’s] something to do also, you know, with all the nothing. I get to take care of something and I get to have a little collection of them.” “I got a lot more plants during quarantine because I was just so bored and I had nothing else to do,” Kelly said. “I got more pets, more plants, more everything.” The color green has proven to increase creativity and performance, especially in

workspaces. Through its calm, tranquil appearance, green can relieve stress, improve reading ability and promote a need for achievement, according to the mental health advocacy website, Very Well Mind. Plants increased productivity and motivation in distance learning for many students during Zoom meetings.

If I’m forgetting to take care of myself, sometimes I forget to take care of the plant and then I look at the plant and I’m like, ‘Oh he looks like he’s dying,’ and it’s kind of a reminder like, ‘Okay, I gotta water my plant and I gotta not do self destructive things.’ Eva Smith, junior

“I always keep one on my desk just because [...] like the taking care of myself thing, I look at the plant and I’m like, ‘You know what the plant is doing well. I’m taking care of the plant. I can do well,’” Smith expressed. “That’s why when I’m having a Zoom call or school or whatever and it was really boring– I don’t pay attention but, the plant is doing well, and so can I.” While the pandemic prohibited people from maintaining many of their typical lifestyles, it also gave an opportunity for people to grow and create new rituals, often traditions that better their life or living situation while remaining indoors. “I went from like, I think six or seven at the beginning of the pandemic and then I made a pact with myself: every time I would go out grocery shopping, I’d buy one plant,” Ward revealed. “I would forgo buying one item that wasn’t necessary, and instead buy a new plant. At my home now, [...] it’s closer to like 30-35 plants.” The responsibility of maintaining the life of another organism can improve the self-care of the owner; the declining health of a nearby plant can prompt the owner to take care of themself. “If I’m forgetting [...] to take care of myself, sometimes I forget to take care of the plant and then I look at the plant and I’m like ‘oh he looks like he’s dying,’ and it’s kind of a reminder like ‘okay, I gotta water my plant and I gotta not do self destructive things,’” Smith said.

Plants have shown to improve the emotional well being of those around them, as stated by the mental health magazine, Psychology Today. Symptoms of depression, stress, anxiety and low mood can be uplifted by spending time around greenery. Especially during quarantine, those who spent time around plants found hope through the pandemic and saw their mental-health improving due to their green environment. “They’re very calming to take care of and just nurture them over time, so by providing care for them I’m also providing care for myself,” Kelly noted. “I just [enjoy] having a little piece of nature in my room, I think it’s really fun to have. Passion for plants moved from Ward’s home to his classroom. With the introduction of greenery in his learning environment, Ward was able to feel more comfortable and concentrated through a time filled with distractions. “Last year, it was a little harder to focus, it was a little harder to feel comfortable in my classroom [without plants], and I think part of being productive is you know, feeling comfortable in your environment so that you can focus on whatever tasks you have in front of you,” Ward said.

Aloe vera is an easy to maintain houseplant that holds many benefits, such as treating minor wounds, purifying the surrounding air, and acting as a reminder of growth.

Ward’s decision to introduce plants into his classroom was influenced by his students; an environment where he could be comfortable should be one where students feel welcomed as well. “Part of my teaching philosophy [is] that it’s important for students to not dread coming into this place, and to feel like it’s, you know, like their classroom as well,” Ward said. “When I’m in a classroom that’s just sparse and bare, it makes the time go by so much more slowly. If I feel comfortable in that space, then I feel like I can be more productive.” Ward invites his students into the care process for the plants, and in return creates connections with them that reach beyond the standard student-teacher relationship. “I’ll have students go and fill up the watering can, and even students asked me if they could water some of the plants. So when they become part of it, that’s awesome. I’ve had students asking me where I get my plants

Through its soft aroma, lavender provides a calming atmosphere that soothes anxiety. Lavender promotes productivity and a grounded mindset.

and I’ll give advice. Any connections you can make with students is [...] really important,” Ward stated. “Students can sometimes have a hard time seeing their teachers as real people. Anything that might humanize me or, you know, personalize students’ perception of me is worthwhile.” Plant lovers express their advice for those who are new to plant life and are interested in creating a greener lifestyle. From researching what plants you purchase to finding costly and ethical nurseries, there are many resources to beginning a greener lifestyle. “I would just say go for it, because it’s just like a really fun hobby to get involved in,” Kelly added. “It doesn’t matter if you kill plants all the time, because eventually you’ll find one species that works for you.”

Known to create a protective environment, snake plants help reduce feelings of loneliness and encourages those around it to stay positive during difficult moments.

Snake Plant


Aloe Vera

Graphics by Zoraya King



A good teacher understands students BY TYRA GUTIERREZ Staff Reporter

Tyra Gutierrez with her history teacher Claire Heritier-Kerby

being helpful. In addition, she has given me and other students extensions because she is understanding of life inside and outside school In my opinion, Sequoia has great teachers. and always seems happy with her job working A lot of people agree that the teachers are very with students. helpful and understanding. “I haven’t met all of [the teachers] but Freshman Victor Delvet believes Sequoia the ones I have are great, amazing and very has great teachers and he thinks they meet helpful,” Delvet said. the requirements a teacher should have: good Our teachers here understand we have communication, being comfortable with them, other things to do, a lot of the teachers I have and should be someone who is understanding don’t get too angry if you turn something and helpful when it’s needed. in a day or two late . Teachers here also give “Most of the teachers here at Sequoia are extensions if you talk to them about why you great teachers. They are able to support their can’t turn in your work on the due date. students and help them in groups. Some good Freshman Christian Mendoza doesn’t teachers I have are Mr. Bitz and Ms. Singh, like when his teachers are just behind their they are great teachers,” Delvet said. desk not helping or paying attention to their I agree, great Sequoia teachers are here to students. I agree with this idea because a support, guide and also here to push you to be teacher that doesn’t talk along with teaching on track . could be a problem. “The correct way for a teacher to motivate In my freshman and a little bit of sophomore me personally would be by showing me how year, I was in East Palo Alto Academy and to do something and explaining things slowly I didn’t like the teachers as much because, if I don’t understand something,” Delvet said. even when the classes weren’t through Zoom The teachers anymore, they I have met so far would only give out have been able to the assignment and motivate me and leave it at that. They everyone. History wouldn’t answer teacher Claire The correct way for a teacher any questions and Kerby is very they wouldn’t really to motivate me is to re-enforce understanding, and try to check on the helpful because that I am doing well in my class students if they when I am feeling and help me if I am having needed help with lost about what we anything and to trouble. are talking about. me, that isn’t what a She doesn’t get mad good teacher is. because I spaced out Colin Murphy, junior “A good way of or something. She motivating me is understands that when the teacher sometimes students takes the time to understand us and tell us that can’t pay attention or understand a lesson with we can do it and also not saying things that will it only being said one time, she takes the time bring us down and just being there and being to explain and help you out. She does a quick helpful,” Mendoza said. recap about what she just explained and she Colin Murphy also has a similar preference doesn’t seem angry doing it because she enjoys of a good way to motivate students.


“The correct way for a teacher to motivate me is to re-enforce that I am doing well in my class and help me if I am having trouble,” Murphy said. A teacher who knows how to motivate their students is a great teacher, and I also think that checking on your students mental health can be a part of motivation because you never really know what they are going through, maybe there’s a reasonable explanation for them not doing their work. My experiences with my teachers are great, every teacher motivates students in their own way. Jared Bitz tries to motivate his class to be on time in class by telling us he doesn’t want us to miss any announcements. Debolina Dutta is always attentive to her students’ mental health and not just our grades; she tries to make us feel better by checking on us everyday by using red and white dots on the table that gives an indication how we feel, and letting us know she is here to talk. “Something that makes a bad teacher is when they disregard a kid’s need for help and they don’t really support or spend time with them to help with things that need to be fixed,” Murphy said. I also think that when a teacher doesn’t help the student, at times it’s because the student doesn’t speak up and ask for help. I think in order to have a good teacher, students need to be comfortable talking to them and approaching them. There are bad teachers when they aren’t approachable or easy to talk to if students are in need of help. Sequoia students overall have no problem with their teachers and seem to like teachers at our school. I’ve met have been nothing but helpful and understanding and are always trying to be there and do as much as they can for you.

Student-teacher bond is the core of a friendly learning environment

Photo from Rodnae Productions and edited by Hope Callaghan BY OSCAR NOLF Sports Edtor

okay with students studying for other classes or doing other homework for the class when Making genuine relationships with people the time is right, but when a substitute teacher is hard, but making an authentic relationship comes in, the substitute does not have the with teachers at school is even harder due to relationship needed to know what student some teacher’s belief that being professional is needs, and so they end up forcing every student to do exactly what is on the plan. These the only way relationships are meant to be. issues with substitute teachers have happened Teachers have the to me and many responsibility to make other students I want students to be sure all students feel countless times. comfortable and I want comfortable physically, as It’s understandable well as emotionally. One them to feel safe. Because, that substitute of the ways that teachers I say this at the beginning teachers would act make sure all of their this way because of every year. I know that students are comfortable they don’t have the in their classrooms is students can’t learn from relationship needed by engaging with them someone they don’t feel to make decisions like real human beings. like that, but when a comfortable with. Teachers achieve this by teacher is unable to talking to their students Jasmine Schimek, English teacher adapt, acts the same about non-school related way, it is their fault things like a sport a student that they can’t make the choices needed to help might take part in. “I want students to be comfortable and I students thrive. “Teachers typically will put out a survey, want them to feel safe. Because, I say this at the to know more about their students,” Vice beginning of every year. I know that students Principal Gary Gooch explained. “The teacher can’t learn from someone they don’t feel comfortable with,” English teacher Jasmine will be able to say, I know, student X and I really think I could help a little more in this way. Schimek said. Making sure every students’ needs are met Student X sees the teacher reaching out. And is also incredibly important to build a strong then student X says, ‘Wow, this teacher really professional relationship. Different students cares about me and I can go to this teacher and need different things, a good teacher will communicate if I’m having a problem.’” Respect is one of the key ingredients to know what a student needs and try to help good relationships, both at school and outside that student get whatever help they need. For example, most of my current teachers are of school. We’ve been taught since the first day of school in first grade; treat others the way

you want to be treated, this defines respect. Showing interest in others and treating everyone like they are smart is being respectful. I think some teachers have not yet understood this; when a teacher doesn’t listen to their student’s ideas and just talks at them instead of having an open and mutual conversation with them, students don’t feel respected because their ideas aren’t respected, which leads to them not being engaged in the class. “There’s an old expression called the ‘sage on the stage’, which is when the teacher is in the front of the room and they know everything, everybody else shuts up and listens,” Schimek explained. While having a good relationship with your teacher is important, the limits of these relationships are sometimes hard for students to grasp. “Little kids and adolescents need boundaries. They need like that hard line. And I think and, and in my experience, like even when I was a new teacher, if you let it go past that boundary that you’ve set, like you let one kid break one rule,” Schimek said. “I remember a teacher told me, if if one of your rules doesn’t matter, then none of your rules matter. And then it creates kind of chaos. Then you’ve lost control and then no one in the room is learning. And at the end of the day, our job is to deliver an education.” It is important for teachers to figure out how to achieve this balance between making students comfortable while remaining professional. Some teachers need to figure this out so students are able to have the learning experience they deserve.



I prefer to go to work than attend school BY MARICELA LEDEZMA Staff Reporter Why would teenagers prefer to work at their 9-5 jobs over going to school? Well, personally, when I’m at school I feel worried all the time thinking, am I going to fail this test? How am I going to complete this essay? How do I keep up with the assignments in class? Sure, I do have friends that make my day better, but teachers don’t understand how much pressure they put on students with the amount of work they give us. At my job at Kohl’s, I feel like I’m good at being a cashier. I like to make stronger bonds with my co-workers and make sure customers get the help they need. I love to feel like I am making my manager’s job easier. For example, an article titled Why Do Students Hate School? stated, “[A] main reason why children feel uncomfortable at school is because they struggle with the academic side. When children find subjects difficult, they often feel worried and nervous in the classroom.” This article made me feel understood because this is how I’ve been feeling this whole semester. Some students don’t feel welcomed into classrooms because of how stressful the workload of worksheets can get. Some kids are actually afraid to stand up to their teachers and tell them the truth because they are afraid to get into trouble. I feel like a student or even me can’t tell our teachers how much pressure they put on us because some teachers aren’t really open to feedback that students have to say. I don’t agree with giving


an overload of work when students have such little time to complete in class because students either have to get home to take care of siblings or have a job. I also feel bad telling my teachers what they are doing wrong because I don’t want to hurt their feelings or see me as a different person. I am a 17 year old girl having no type of break. After going to school, I have to eat quickly and get ready for work or cheer practice. I usually get off of work at 9:00 pm, eat dinner, and go to sleep. Then, the next day, I dread going to school, not wanting to get up early and go to a place where I feel like I don’t learn much but get stressed. In my job I get paid and I get to buy myself all the things that I want. There are times in school where I feel that teachers don’t explain the lessons well in class and expect us to do tests the next day. Students have to stay up all night studying so they don’t have to stress when taking the test the next day in class. For me, school is like jail, having to sit down in a chair and hear somebody talk all day and not get anything good out of it. Feeling like you have to fit in somewhere is draining and exhausting in school. Sometimes in school it’s more important to make friends and be able to have fun than actually do well in school.This makes me feel good because it allows me to talk to new people and build forever friendships. But at the same time it could be stressful because many students don’t want to sit alone at lunch or feel like they’re not “cool”. Some students aren’t really open to

making new friends, they want to stick to their own, so that makes any student who wants to make new friends feel out of place in school. Teen jobs are way more interactive and physical. For example, having a job helps you to be able to interact with all kinds of different people. It helps you to see how money is made with blood, sweat, and tears. It makes you realize how hard you want to work for your things, like a car, or even the new clothes you want to buy. As a cashier I help customers with prices, do returns, do curbside or in store pick ups and scan the items they want to buy. It has made me more outgoing and is preparing me to be strong in life. For example, as a student that is really shy, I now had the guts to actually join cheerleading and start making many new friendships this school year. I will have the advantage of having the experience of dealing with customers and being able to stay calm through the whole mess. There have been instances where customers scream at us or even say mean things to us because they don’t get the discount they want or they can’t return their items. This has made me learn to stop taking things too deep. Lastly, I am proud to say that I learned how to count money and be more paitient with people at my work, and not at school.

Students don’t really hate the books they read in English BY COLLEEN DIETHER Staff Reporter Stereotypically, books students read in English Class are uninteresting and dull. We talk a lot of smack about the books we are reading, but when discussing it, my friends and I found that we generally enjoyed those books. Some of the books we enjoyed were from junior year, both IB and non IB. My favorite book was The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. Personally, I liked that the style of writing and the layout were different. The Things they Carried is a collection of shorter stories that eventually connect and tell an intricate story about the lives of Soldiers in the Vietnam War. We compared and contrasted the experiences and point of views of characters from a lieutenant becoming traumatized by the war, to a guilt-ridden soldier who tried to run from the draft. This book, recounting a few people’s experience with war was very thought

I think for the most part how we branch out to different genres of books, like it’s not all about one author, one type of author, one style, whatever they like. Emily Cooney, senior

provoking, and it broadened my knowledge of war and its effect on those who fight in it. There were many differing opinions between my friends though, especially regarding the IB English Year I book, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. “I have to say [my favorite book from English class has been]Frankenstein. I feel like that one was more deep than some of the other ones,” junior Helena Landels said. Realistically however, not every student is going to enjoy the same books. While some students stated that Frankenstien was their favorite book they read in English class, another stated that it was their least favorite. “I was not a fan of Frankenstein. Just the way it was written was really unengaging,” senior Emily Cooney said. IB English juniors read Frankenstein, Persepolis and MacBeth every year. Persepolis changed up the traditional narrative format of a book that students read in class because it is in the style of a comic book. This variety of styles, between a play, narrative and comic book is really appreciated by students because it offers a more rounded view of literature. Students’ views on the books they’ve read in English class are varying though. While some students expressed interest in Frankenstien, others preferred Persepolis because it was in the comic book format. “I liked that it wasn’t a normal book. It was a graphic novel which I really enjoyed,” Cooney said. Clearly, the books we read in English class in our junior year are very popular. My experience though, was that there were books

books I read each year that I really enjoyed. I enjoyed Romeo and Juliet because it was the first play I read from William Shakespeare. I found that I have not really disliked a book that I read in English class. “I think for the most part how we branch out to different genres of books, like it’s not all about one author, one type of author, one style, whatever they like,” Cooney said. Even though many students find a book they read to be less than enjoyable, reading books in English class is generally a good experience. Students especially appreciated that there was a variety of formats and styles of books that were chosen.


Graphics by Colleen Diether


Hold fossil fuel companies accountable BY ZOE DUFNER Staff Reporter In our area of Redwood City, most people are aware of the issue of climate change; and many would love to do what they can to help the cause. However, to what extent can each person really make an impact? Being a member of our society as it is today, is it possible to avoid leaving a large carbon footprint? Even if everyone did the most they could to reduce their impact, would that effectively counteract the damage that has already been done? The United Nations, also known as the UN, issued a report in 2021 stating that the Earth is approaching a point where climate change will become irreversible. How did we get to this point? As far back as 1896, Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius claimed that the burning of fossil fuels would change the climate. In the 1950s, scientist Charles Keeling confirmed the greenhouse effect by studying CO2 concentration in Antarctica ice cores. However, the general population only really became aware of the impact human activity had on the environment in the 1980s when the U.S. Senate began


holding public hearings on climate change, and we proceeded to do nothing substantial. One group that was well aware of climate change for quite a while longer however, was fossil fuel companies. Before global warming had become a public issue in the 1980s, oil companies had already begun making their ocean platforms higher to accommodate the rising sea levels that they knew they were causing. According to an article published by The Guardian in 2019, just 20 fossil fuel companies, such as Chevron, Exxon and Shell, are responsible for nearly a third of all carbon emissions. However, companies are not the sole cause of climate change. Human activities such as consumerism and overconsumption cannot be ignored. While climate change is not an issue that one individual alone can solve, it is an issue that an individual can contribute to greatly. To minimize the impact each person has on the environment, it is important to educate people on how they can live more sustainably. One group that aims to accomplish this is Sequoia’s Sustainability Club.

Though the matter of climate change may be far too big of an issue for individuals to tackle alone, group efforts have been made in our community to help the environment on a more local scale, with groups such as Sequoia’s Sustainability Club. Sustainability Club meets every two weeks to educate group members on environmental issues and plan clean-ups at local sites. Creating a group such as this within a community can exponentially increase the effectiveness of goals to alleviate the generally negative effect humans have on the environment. Though groups such as these do have a significant impact locally, the issue of climate change cannot be solved by these groups or individual efforts alone. Despite all efforts made, fossil fuels, methane, CO2 and more are still being pumped into our atmosphere. Fossil fuel companies are essentially incentivized to continue with their inexpensive ways that are detrimental to the environment. We only have so much time to slow down climate change. In order to do so, we need to create regulations for these fossil fuel companies and hold them accountable.

Fast fashion or fatal fashion BY VIVIAN KREVOR AND LUCIE TENENBAUM Opinion Editor, Staff Reporter Fast fashion is a phenomenon that many, including ourselves, are guilty of contributing to. The term was coined to describe the fast production and marketing method used to produce a large amount of clothing, usually using low quality materials. Upholding fast fashion may look like someone purchasing a lot of cheap clothes online to only wear a few, videos of massive SHEIN hauls, wearing clothes a few times before throwing them away, or only wearing half of the clothes in their closet. We have made many of these mistakes, but are navigating ways to decrease our contribution to fast fashion with smarter purchasing decisions. These shopping habits, encouraged by society and what we see in the media, are rapidly worsening the climate crisis. What is the history of fast fashion? The History of fast fashion Historically, fashion designers produced clothes according to the four seasons and weather patterns. Designers took months to devise new collections. In comparison, many brands now produce clothes according to 52 “mini-seasons” according to TheGoodTrade. This is equivalent to one new “collection” from a certain designer per week. The first fast fashion trend was in the 1960s, where millions of dollars of paper clothes were purchased. The somewhat peculiar and colorful trend included an infamous zebra-print pantsuit. The clothing brand Zara was somewhat of a pioneer for fast fashion, shifting to releasing new collections to consumers every two weeks in the 2000s. They were able to produce clothes more quickly as fast fashion trends cycled at quickening rates. Companies started to think of ways they could earn more money from sales, which meant lowering materials costs. As the products prices lowered, so did their quality. The amount of time that clothes withstood typical use decreased drastically, meaning that consumers started to buy clothes at a much faster rate. This led to fast fashion

today, reflected heavily by Zara, H&M, Shein, Victoria’s Secret, UNIQLO, Topshop and numerous other brands. Negative impacts of fast fashion In a report by The Good Trade, fast fashion produces around 10% of the world’s total carbon emissions, meaning that clothes produce more carbon dioxide than plane travel and cargo shipping combined. The fashion industry is the second largest consumer of the world’s water supply due to textile dyes and pesticides contamination. Water used to produce clothes is polluted with dyes and harmful chemicals. According to Forbes, over 79 billion cubic meters of water were used for clothing production in 2015. This is incredibly concerning considering the United Nation’s estimation of 80-90% of waste water being untreated and recirculated into the environment. Fabrics such as polyester, nylon and acrylic use a lot of fossil fuels to be produced and release tiny microplastics-most of which end up in the ocean-that can not decompose. Along with their carbon emissions when creating and exporting their clothes, a study by FastCompany, an American business magazine, found that around 100 billion clothes are produced each year; keep in mind there are only around 7 billion people in the

world. The same study said that H&M had over $4.3 billion worth of overstock clothes that they acquired after months of markdowns. The company ended up incinerating the clothes, leading to the release of over 2,988 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour, a much greater rate than that from the burning of coal, in 2018. People consider H&M’s actions as the “great bonfire of 2018”. In addition to the extensive environmental impact, many clothing workers are in other countries without humane working rights. Selling cheap clothing or generally adhering to fast fashion requires the exploitation of workers. According to Sustain Your Style, these workers typically have a 96 hour work week, and work through the weekend. Many companies advertise that they pay their workers minimum wage, also inferring that other companies pay below minimum wage.



However, minimum wage can be as low as 19% of the living wage, or the wage required to sustain basic living needs of a family. Presenting paying workers at minimum wage in the fashion industry as an achievement can be deceptive.

There was an estimate from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, 35% of all microplastics [in the ocean] come from the laundering of synthetic textiles like Polyster,” Parmer-Lohan referenced. Basically when you washnot even when you throw it away-when you wash certain textiles like with polyester or plastic materals, it’ll actually come off in the wash, and then end up in waterways, which eventually ends up in the ocean as microplastics. The working conditions are unsafe the majority of the time, regularly involving interacting with toxic materials for clothing production. There is often no ventilation within the workplace. When they don’t achieve their fashion brand’s production goal for a given time period, workers may face abusive punishments. Examples of this include not being allowed to take breaks, or even refusal to drink water. Why do so many people purchase from fast fashion? People buy fast fashion because they woud like to keep up with the latest trends and styles with a low cost, or because they can’t afford to shop sustainably. Many fast fashion campaigns can place an unfair social and environmental responsibility on those that have financial struggles. For those that can only afford cheaper clothes, fast fashion may be their only option. We empathize with those who buy into fast fashion as a necessity, but as fast fashion


upholds inhumane labor in other countries, the lower income people in more stable countries are supporting a system that negatively impacts low income people in unstable countries. This can raise the question of whether this is prioritizing the low income people of stable countries, over those of unstable countries. Another reason people buy into fast fashion is to keep up with trends and the idea of getting large amounts of clothing for low cost is appealing. People feel less pressured to wear a cheap article of clothing many times. They don’t feel as if they are wasting their money by wearing a low cost item only a few times, although this comes at the expense of the climate and industry workers. The media normalizes supporting fast fashion. Fashion trends can recycle every few weeks on social media platforms such as TikTok or Instagram, and buyers may no longer like their clothes a month or two after purchasing them. Viral videos of massive clothing hauls-normally purchased from unsustainable brands such as SHEIN-can be seen on the For You or Discover page and as pop-up ads in apps such as TikTok, Instagram and even Snapchat. “In terms of media coverage, I feel like [awareness of fast fashion] it’s pretty limited right now...for like the average person, average consumer, it’s really difficult to know the signs of fast fashion,” said senior Gregory ParmerLohan, president of the Sustainability Club. “Companies won’t be like, ‘oh, yeah, this is our environmental report.’”

In addition, people may not want to wear an article of clothing ‘too many’ times because many celebrities and influencers are almost never seen wearing the same thing twice. This enforces the societal idea that wearing the same articles of clothing isn’t fashionable. With little coverage on the topic and seeing this behavior regularly online, it’s sadly easy to see why people, despite having steady incomes, continue to support it. What is “slow fashion?” “Slow Fashion” is a term referring to sustainable fashion, and the opposite of fast fashion. The term advocates for buying higher quality pieces of clothing that will last longer, without the expense of unfair treatment to people, animals and the planet. It refers to wearing more high quality, natural and sustainable materials like recycled cotton, hemp and linen. There are other futuristic types of sustainable fabrics such as cellulose fabric, vegan leather, recycled fabric and synthetic spider silk. “Slow fashion” supports the idea that people should buy more locally produced garments with cleaner materials, and that the clothing people wear should reflect the cultural background that the clothes have come from.

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What is greenwashing? A strategy called greenwashing markets environmentally friendly products to customers without the products actually being sustainable, prioritizing their reputation over the environment. Many companies make this decision, even if it requires blatant lies. Around 66% of consumers have been reported to pay more to companies presented as more sustainable or going sustainable, according to a study by NielsenIQ.

[Companies] don’t want to tell the consumers ‘Hey, like we don’t pay our workers anything,’ Because then they won’t buy any clothes from [them],” Parmer-Lohan said. “It’s pretty deceptive and it’s like the only presented things [are] the good sides of their operations. Forms of greenwashing include the changing of a companies’ name or slogan or rebranding to seem more appealing to sustainable customers. Companies may use complex technical terms with customers to make their products seem more environmentally friendly. They may

use phrases without a legal definition, like ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘all natural.’ Companies accentuate their sustainability, when in reality their products are just as harmful towards the environment as other companies’ products are. Many claims by companies to sound more sustainable can be vague or can’t be proven with accurate or trustworthy sources, and yet the brands present the information as true despite the lack of legitimacy. Some of the companies that greenwash include, Lululemon, H&M, Zara and IKEA. These big brand companies have started “becoming green” at the expense of the environment and consumers’ trust.

didn’t wear them for a long period of time. You can also research the ‘eco-friendliness’ of brands and avoid synthetic materials like polyester. With the QR code at the bottom right of this page, you can search for the sustainability ratings of most major fashion brands. You can also shop secondhand. Some of the stores in the Bay Area that are great places to shop at include GoodWill, Savers, Thrift Center Thrift Store, Family Tree, Pick of the Litter Thrift Shop and St.Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores. If you’re not able to purchase at in-store places, you can always go online to stores like Poshmark, thredUP, Depop, The RealReal, Tradesy, Urban Renewal and Patagonia Worn Wear. “[Shift] your value system...consumerism is a big part of our culture, and that is definitely driving the problems of fast fashion,” ParmerLohan said. “There are so many people buying pieces of clothing all the time... trying to unlearn the things that marketing and companies told you to do. Like, ‘go on a shopping spree Black Friday,’... and move towards... making purchases that are more thoughtful for the future.”

How to not contribute to fast fashion It may be overwhelming to hear about the various components of fast fashion, although there are a few simple steps you can take to minimize your contribution. Making a few small changes in your shopping habits is much better than nothing. A general motto used by environmentalists all around the world is “buy less, choose well, make it last.” Be thoughtful in purchasing clothing articles that you will actually wear, and can be paired with multiple outfits. Choosing clothes that can be worn for a long time is a major way to lessen personal contributions to fast fashion. In addition, you can be aware of repurposing or recycling your clothes after they are no longer wearable, especially if you

Above is a QR code for Good on You, where you can look at the sustainability ratings of most clothing brands.

Artwork by Hope Callaghan



Distractions throughout school but music is not one of them BY ZACHARY TYSON AND ABIGAIL AGUAYO Staff Reporter and Copy Editor

Teachers at Sequoia High School have different approaches on listening to music during class, and we believe that it is completely fine to listen to it, however only during independent work time. As sophomores, we believe being able to use your phone for music in class allows you to have more freedom. It’s the student’s responsibility to demonstrate they will not abuse the privilege of listening to music during class. However, some teachers have a different approach. For example, Spanish teacher Martha Sigala will send your phone immediately to the AVP (Assistant vice principal) office as soon as she sees your phone out. English teacher Timothee Allen and Chemistry teacher Johnathan Holcomb are a bit more lenient with music and phone usage during class. Either way, teachers agree that if having our phones affects our behavior or quality of our work, it will be taken away. We agree with Holcomb and Allen’s strategy because their strategies allow students to have freedom and an opportunity to have music to help them focus and get work done more productively but they also are being fair if students take advantage of it. Teachers who aren’t so fond of having music during class face the frustration of headphones being used during class. “A portion of it can be disrespectful because I cannot tell if you are paying attention to me or not or just listening to your music,” Sigala said. It’s hard to tell when students are using music respectfully during class but I would say, from my perspective, that there are about half of students who use it respectfully and half of students who don’t. Some teachers do give students access to music and cell phone usage during class. They understand that it does help some students focus and helps them be productive while in class. However, once it turns into a


distraction and gets taken advantage of while affecting your learning time, teachers actually do students the favor by asking them to put it away or take it away to help their students get back on task. “I treat my students as adults, and that means I’m not going to tell you a whole lot of can and can’t do’s. However, when your work starts suffering or when your behavior starts suffering, that’s when I will step in because you have lost that privilege,” Allen said. For teachers who aren’t so fond of music during class, one of the main reasons is because they want their students to focus. “When I need students to focus on me and teaching and understanding that’s when I [would] rather have them be capable of not having that stuff in class,” Sigala said. As the school year goes on, more rules are made to improve learning and help students focus and this can be seen with a new phone rule Holcomb created with the students. The students have to either put their phone in a pouch on a cabinet, or use the yellow card given to them by Holcomb and put that into the pouch. This is used to take attendance in his class and if you don’t have anything in the pouch you are marked tardy. “Most students have phones, and if they don’t want to put their phones in the pouch then they have the yellow card because it should stay in your class binder always,” Holcomb said. This specific rule that only Holcomb uses still gives some freedom to the students because it is not an order to put their phone in their pouch, however if one person keeps on pulling it out and it is a distraction then they should switch the yellow card with their phone to improve their focus in class. This rule is a lot more lenient than other teachers, because some teachers take the phone away and give it to the administrative vice principal until the end of the day. This is why we agree with Holcomb’s

approach because it gives students the freedom to still have our phones and listen to music when we can. “When we have independent time and students want to listen to music and their phone is in the pouch then it is fine to take it out so if they want to listen to music they can during independent time,” Holcomb said. This is what we want and a great approach to listening to music during class and phone usage because during independent time students should be able to listen to music because it helps productivity. However, since we’re still learning about responsibility this is why there is still a rule in place. “I think students need to learn and practice how to self regulate their phone, because when you go to college or to work or whatever you do, you’re not going to have people pushing you to concentrate and if you haven’t learned how to do that it’s going to negatively affect you,” Holcomb said. Additionally, some teachers have absolutely no rules regarding phones, and they teach you responsibility which is a necessary skill used in college and later in life. “Part of the thing you’re supposed to be learning here is personal responsibility, and how to manage your time and stuff like that. Phones, headphones, all that they’re a fact of our lives. As soon as you leave high school, there’s [not] gonna be anyone really around to say, ‘don’t do this or don’t do that’. So part of it is that I want my students to have autonomy,” Allen said. While new ways are being created to help students focus and make learning better and more efficient, teachers have to always keep in mind that social media and the digital age is taking place as more and more advances happen. “Well, I try to keep that in mind with social media. And for better or worse your attention is divided. And so, keeping that in mind, I try to make my class engaging. I try to keep it relevant, but I also try to deliver things like bite-sized pieces of information,” Allen said.

Illustrations by Abigail Aguayo

Hangout with Sequoia students L-wing area where students hangout, photo and edits made by Nabil Irshad

BY NABIL IRSHAD Staff Reporter

Every student at Sequoia hangs out at a my experiences with school and life in different spot during brunch & lunch even general. I’ve had students come for tutoring before school starts. Does the area students in the gym because they feel comfortable hang around have any significance to them? in those surroundings,” Luis Ledezma, a paraprofessional, said. when asked about his Do they like other spots more than others? “A lot of my good friends used to hang favorite building on campus.He also does the around the same area so I would see a lot of my speed and power class at the gym after school good friends” Senior Derek Hyunn, a student Tuesdays and Thursdays. When Ledezma is at who freqquently hangs out in the breezeway, the weightroom, so are students. “[It’s] varied, but the popular since freshman year, archeway located most of the time we close to classroom would hang out here 100, said. or near here,” senior Students like to Dylan Smith said. He be in a space where [In the ] B Quad there is a ring often frequents the there are a lot of around the center of it with steps front of the school friendly faces or that serve as seating. I like the fact and around the main people they know, that everyone is facing one another a place where it’s which is a good way to communicate. entrance onto campus. Places to hangout comfortable and can also be a place not unknown where you can talk with t e r r i t o r y . Luis Ledezma, Para professional lots of people. Oftentimes this “B Quad there is happens to be the same, consistent spot that students attend a ring around the center of it with steps that throughout highschool. Most people stay serve as seating. I like the fact that everyone in or around the same area because it has is facing one another which is a good way to sentimental value to them, the place they stay communicate,” Ledezma said when asked at has memories and events that they have about his favorite spot on campus. witnessed since freshman year. “The weight room has been a place that has allowed me to have a platform to express

Students hangout at the base of the stairs or at the top, some under the gazebo at the Tea Garden

Students hangout here by these benches either sitting or standing




Photo By Allison Wang

Teachers impose memorization

How school has become about memorizing content for a test - and forgetting it for a lifetime BY STAN HAMELIN Staff Reporter

for class and forgetting that content as soon as I finished the test was in 5th grade. It was when myself and my entire grade took the 50 United States and Some students Capitals test. I went at Sequoia, myself to Roy Cloud for 5th included, feel as grade, but this is a though school very common test has become about in all curriculums memorizing content in the United States. out of a textbook The test consisted of and then it being of filling in all the state no use afterwards. and capital names in It feels as though the right spot on the school is only for map. I got a full score good test scores, and on the test, because nothing else. I simply memorized I’ve seen examples all the content, but of this throughout Stephanie Weden, AVID teacher I forgot most of the my schooling, from states and capitals 5th grade to 10th grade, and my classmates have as well. We very soon after taking the test - and I believe would learn something in class for a bit of most students did, and still do. So I wonder, time, memorize dedicatedly for the test and isn’t this a problem? Does this happen more then forget all the content as soon as we had often than that one test? “When I’m told to memorize something, taken it. So I thought about it for a while, and it definitely doesn’t stick with me, it’s like a I thought it made no sense - what is the point ton of vomiting information during a test and of all the stress if we’re going to forget about then completely forgetting it,” Emily Cooney, a whatever we’re learning? The earliest I recall memorizing content senior who has talked about this issue among

When the whole class revolves around [memorization], it becomes very tedious.


friends, said. Cooney has been at Sequoia for four years, and she has seen a lot of different teaching styles. This goes to show that, even in classes with seniors present, memorization is utilized to teach content. Some teachers disagree that memorization, as a learning method, is present at Sequoia at all. “In the math department and particularly in my classes, I always allow students to write down things that they would have had to memorize instead. I allow everybody to use calculators as much as possible,” IB Math and Algebra 2/Trigonometry teacher Subathra Ramanathan said. On paper, this teaching method makes sense. It sounds as though it would eliminate memorization for tests in schools. In my math experiences personally, I have seen less memorizing than in other classes. For example, in my IB Analysis class, we receive formula packets for every quiz we take. This helps with test-taking greatly, because I think it makes us students understand that knowing how to use said formulas is important, knowing the concepts is important for the course. Outside of the math department however, students have to memorize content simply for a test.













memorize memorize

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Photo By David Raymond

“When the whole class revolves around new topics, units, formulas and concepts. [memorization], it becomes very tedious,” AVID is for concepts that have already been AVID teacher, Stephanie Weden, said. covered in class. Teachers most likely wouldn’t Cooney seems to agree with this: “My have time to consider other student’s needs, if teacher, she tells a story. So of course, I’m gonna students don’t understand concepts. So this remember because method will most likely only work for AVID. I think it’s engaging. Weden spoke It’s interesting, ” she about content taught said. in the Health Careers When students in Academy. AVID need help with “There are some a certain concept, Latin based words they are encouraged that you need to to explain their know. But we focus problem specifically, on roots and prefixes along with their and suffixes very thought process much like a language and ideas. Once class. And if you they understand the know those, then concept, they have to you’re able to apply teach it to a peer. them as opposed This seems to be Emily Cooney, senior to memorizing a process that works all of the cardiac for AVID, Weden vocabulary and all explained. She said of the respiratory this enables “the student who has that problem vocabulary,” Weden said. now to know how to apply it in so many Memorization in schools should be different ways.” Maybe this would work in reduced, so that this is less present in schools. other classes at Sequoia, but teachers do have I’m sure that other methods of teaching and to get through the curriculum and introduce learning are implemented in schools, but

I took a test today that I studied for this morning. I haven’t taken it yet, but I definitely don’t remember much.

memorization seems to be too big of a part of school. The emphasis should be on teaching concepts that you can apply anywhere in that course. I believe that finding ways to go around memorizing, like applying concepts and formulas, to real life is the way to teach. That way, kids would memorize without realizing it - and the facts would stay. I have a personal instance I’d like to share that proves how relating concepts to real life helps learn them. When I go sailing during the summer, we have to rig and de-rig the boats, and for that you need to memorize a few basic knots. When my mentors teach me these knots, they give me a story along with every step to make the knot - and that way, I memorize the knot quite easily. Teaching concepts and bringing them to life seem to work well for students and teachers alike. I think we should implement more of that in schools and in tests, because it would be a more accurate representation on whether the students learned the material. So the students agreed with the claim that there is too much memorization in schools, but the teachers disagree. Is this because they see it, but don’t want to admit it? Or is the claim simply untrue? What do you think?



Welcome to the

DUNIVERSE BY MADELINE CARPINELLI Co-Editor-in-Chief After two years and $165 million dollars in production, director Denis Villeneuve’s Dune has awed watchers worldwide with its oneof-a-kind audiovisuals and shocking story. Starring heartthrobs Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, Dune (2021) is an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel, published in 1965.

The movie: There’s no doubt that what truly makes this film special is the audiovisual experience created by Villeneuve and film score composer Hans Zimmer. Every single shot was a new stunning and captivating visual for viewers to feel engulfed in, and Zimmer’s audios only made scenes more mesmerizing. Hilbert’s dark and meaningful story combined with

Warner Bros, Pictures


Villeneuve’s eerie and magical landscapes creates a deeply immersive world for watchers. A fan favorite is the gom jabbar scene; an eerie setting with mystically ancient props conveys the terror and mystery of the Bene Gesserit powers. “I loved the visuals,” senior Leo Rava, who read the original novel, said. “I don’t know where they filmed it, but they chose an awesome location. [It] was gorgeous.” The ornithopters’ dragonfly-like design in the film were especially fun to watch. I really appreciated how Dune avoided that minimalist futuristic aesthetic that so many sci-fi movies use. Costumes and sets were incredibly immersive because they had this modern medieval look, or as costume designer Jacqueline West calls it, “mod-ieval”

(Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter). The action in this movie was especially mesmerizing due to its magnitude, especially in scenes including the infamous sandworms. For me, every scene with a sandworm had my heart pounding in an instant. On the other hand, the knife fight s c e n e s weren’t as wellchoreographed as I had hoped. In some particular scenes, fighting felt comical; watching Timothée Chalamet spin and jump didn’t feel quite as authentic as I’d hoped. In a Marveldominated film industry, most audiences expect more action and violence than what Dune delivered. While readers of the original series know that Dune: Part Two has the conflict that watchers are craving, this could be one of the reasons Dune: Part One might not do as well as it hoped. Dune’s very dark and serious plot also contributes to this potential dissatisfaction within newer audiences. Other than Jason Momoa’s few moments of teasing Timothée Chalamet, this movie has no comedic relief of any kind. While this stays true to the original novel, new audiences are much more used to quirky and hilarious side characters to lighten the mood, like Awkwafina’s character in Marvel’s Shang-Chi: The Legend of the Ten Rings. Finally, Dune’s narrative can be very easily interpreted to be the white savior trope, a theme where a white main character enters a struggling community of indigenous people or people of color and “saves” them, because they are too “weak” or “uncivilized” to help themselves. Paul’s instant position as a messiah and leader when he arrives on Arrakis can be interpreted as portraying the Fremen, the

native people of Arrakis, to be too weak to save themselves. Despite criticisms, director Denis Villeneuve has a different point-of-view: “It’s not a celebration of a savior. It’s a condemnation and criticism of that idea of a savior,” Villeneuve tells Mike Manalo at The Nerds of Color. “Of someone that will come and tell another operation how to be and what to believe… it’s a criticism.”

The adaptation: Dune is an undeniably difficult novel to bring to the big screen due to its abstract power system of the Bene Gesserit and unique narration through the use of streamof-consciousness. The story has had many previous adaptations, including a television drama from 2000, a film from 1984 and a failed film adaptation by Alejandro Jodorowsky from the 1970s. The most famous of these is David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation; while it follows quite true to the story, calling the film’s special effects outdated is an understatement. “[The newer Dune] has a lot more diversity and the CGI is a lot better,” senior Dylan Iki said. “It also takes the time to explain everything so you feel a lot more immersed in it.” Therefore, fans around the world were ready for a new film to give Dune the adaptation it deserves. Still, for new watchers, the lore of Dune remains complicated and difficult to follow. “I feel like you have to have some background knowledge [to understand the movie],” senior Sophia Doyle said. “I did have to explain a bunch of it to [my friend],” senior Leo Rava, who read the original novel, said. “But I think if you pay attention hard enough, then you’ll get most of the story.” The Voice, shields, and other “unfilmable” aspects of this story were brought to life


beautifully by Villeneuve. Shields were futuristic and simple and much more visually pleasing than the chunky ones from the 1984 adaptation. The Voice, a power that Paul and his mother share which allows them to manipulate the pitch of their voices to control others with words, was especially unique in this movie, with intense effects that conveyed the absolute terror of the phenomenon. “I think the visuals really enhanced [the story],” Rava said. “[Before,] I had no vision

I think the visuals really enhanced [the story. Before,] I had no vision of what everything looked like and I think the movie did a great job with that. Leo Rava, senior

of what everything looked like and I think the movie did a great job with that.” Villeneuve truly takes his time with this adaptation. At two hours and 35 minutes, Dune: Part One still only covers the first half of the first book in the Dune series. It feels wrong to criticize this film for straying slightly away from the original plot (since it was quite accurate), but there are some aspects that I was sad to see missing (warning for spoilers). First of all, most readers would notice that Dr. Yueh’s betrayal was much less shocking on screen. A significant conversation between Lady Jessica and Dr. Yueh was missing, where Yueh revealed his hatred for the Harkonnens for taking his wife and Jessica empathized with him. In addition, in the book, Leto and his family already knew there was a traitor among

them before Yueh’s treachery. I understand Villeneuve’s decision to remove this, but I also think it would have helped new watchers understand the Atreides family’s pain and betrayal much better. “[Dune] is so long and there’s a lot of moving parts, which is why I have a little bit of a problem with the movies,” Rava said. “It missed a lot of really important character building.” Additionally, Paul’s Mentat abilities are completely neglected. There’s a period of numbness that Paul goes through, starting when he learns of his father’s death. It creates a rift between him and his mother as he struggles with learning how to grieve. During this time, we can really see Paul’s Mentat abilities grow as well as his reliance on them to escape from difficult emotions. Fans can only hope that his budding Mentat abilities and their effect on his character growth will be included in Dune: Part Two. Other smaller aspects were still missing, despite some being great artistic opportunities for Villeneuve. “The books had songs in it that the characters sang and they didn’t have any of that [in the movie],” Rava said. The sequel is scheduled to be released in 2023, assuming that it isn’t delayed by almost a year like part one was (due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the complications it created). With the missing scenes and cliffhanger at the end of the first movie, new and old fans alike are anxious for Part Two’s arrival. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s overall impact on the film industry, the movie’s future is still unpredictable at this point. Overall, this movie deserves all the praise it’s getting, but that doesn’t make it feel any less unfinished to audiences. “The first [movie] left things hanging… it just laid the setting out,” Iki said. “[I’m ready] to see the actual action [in Dune: Part 2].”




Live music returns with a bang BY GRETA REICH Feature Editor

After far too long of being quietly isolated during the pandemic, live music has returned with a crash and a bang. Practically every artist you can think of is back on tour, selling out venues with Sequoia’s students attending. It’s not just the artist that draws crowds though - it’s the atmosphere. Fans packed into a venue, speakers blasting at full volume, every word to a song screamed at the singer by everyone around you with absurd amounts of enthusiasm. Concerts bring people together, giving fans the freedom and energy to love something to their fullest ability. “There’s something about musicians and artists being able to perform in front of people that is just a special feeling. It just gives you energy… it’s in this collective experience too. We all either like to make music or listen to music or dance to music. So I think that’s an important human connection that we need,” math teacher, and concert lover, Joshua


Yezerski said. “There’s just no feeling like being at a show or listening to music and hanging out with friends. It’s great.” But with the comeback of concerts has also come the dangers of mosh pits, the chaos of crowds, and now the threat of COVID-19. While a few of these scares already existed, some people seem to be re-contemplating concert going, taking more precautions than they previously would have. For example, GoldenVoice, an organization that owns multiple concert venues in San Francisco, Los Ángeles, and Santa Clara, says on their website that they “will be requiring all attendees and staff to provide proof of full vaccination for entry into our owned & operated venues unless medically or religiously exempt.” Countless other venues require vaccines too, and many indoor venues also ask that masks be worn during the duration of the concert. After having waited

so long to return to concerts, people are eager to return, but an unexpected ramification of this is that some are more reckless at concerts. Especially after the events of AstroWorld, where eight people died and hundreds were injured in a stampede after the crowd surged forward as Travis Scott performed, safety should be taken more seriously than ever. Freshman Iris Dobrer, who regularly attends punk rock concerts in San Francisco explained, “I’m really excited about all the concerts coming back, but I’m also nervous because some artists aren’t taking the time to keep their audiences safe or keep their staff safe. And I feel like that’s really important right now.” For some however, safety is more about how the fans act rather than the artist. Taking the necessary precautions to feel safe while at a concert is dependent on how safe you feel around the other people there. “I feel like if you’re going to a concert that’s indoors, and then they have you going

Photos by Greta Reich, Greg Parmer-Lohan, Roxie Dobrer and Ruthie Lax

through metal detectors and things like that negative COVID-19 test, but has a much - at those kind of concerts where there’s a lot smaller list of banned items than indoor of security, I don’t worry at all, I’m enjoying venues like Fox Theatre in Oakland or the show,” chemistry teacher Jonathan The Warfield in San Francisco. Also, the Holcomb said. “I did not like Lollapalooza Shoreline Amphitheatre, and other outdoor because it felt like people would just shove venues, lack metal detectors that everyone their way through the crowd, even if you’ve must go through before entering indoor been waiting in line… that did not feel as venues to add another level of safety and safe as if I’m going protection to these concerts. through a metal Even with these detector, and it’s risks, the love and like a big crowd and need for live music people maybe just There’s just no feeling like draws crowds. got patted down a According to a being at a show or listening to little bit. That makes survey of about 200 me nervous because music and hanging out with Sequoia students, 71 I’m always worried friends. It’s great. percent say they are about gun violence.” fans of concerts, and The fear of about 40 percent Joshua Yezerski, IB Math teacher rude crowds plan on going to at and dangerous least one concert fans is especially prominent in outdoor venues. In the Bay this year. The energy that Area, the indoor venues have proven performers have and that to uphold stricter restrictions on being radiate back at them from vaccinated, wearing masks, and items the crowd is special to live allowed into the venue. For example, the music, and as the audience, Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View we are eager to get it back. does require vaccinations or a “I’m about safety but I also really want everything to start going back to

normal. So I think that concerts [show] that we’re turning a page and we’re starting to do live events and I think it’s gonna be good.” sophomore Ella Satterwhite said. “I’m excited because it’s just gonna open the door for a lot of other things to do live and in person.”



Raven review: the best tortas in the Bay BY DAISY TORRES AND ARIANA HERNANDEZ Staff Reporters Tortas are a delicious food that we think the Sequoia community should know about. La Vera Cash Market is located at 400 Vera Ave in Redwood City and the store is family owned. They have a variety of snacks, food and drinks. Inside the store they have a market, liquor and restaurant all in one spot. Their freshly cooked food includes tortas and hot dogs. For the tortas they offer a variety of options to add to your torta starting with, cubana, pollo (Chicken), pork bbq, ham/ turkey, salami, and combination of all the meats. They also offer veggie Tortas all for the cost of $9.09. Their customer service is very good, their owner is very friendly, patient, and very organized. Searching up on Google and scrolling down you can see all the facts about tortas originated from, and how they are made. Tortas originated from Mexico and the


Philippines. While tortas in Mexico originated from Puebla, but it was Mexico city that introduced their culture into the tortas. Mexico City turned tortas into something unique even if it had many variations already made. In the Philippines, the tortas are known as omelette instead of tortas. The omelette includes eggs or eggplant, ground meat, (beef or pork), and sometimes minced onion or potatoes. At La Vera Cash market, we both decided to try different tortas, we both ended up trying the Hawaiian and the chicken torta. They had some very good tortas, they looked very appealing. The price was $10 for each torta. We saw our food being made and the wait wasn’t long about 10-15 minutes. As we were waiting, we were looking at the variety of snacks and drinks that were there. I, Daisy, was so glad with my decision because it ended up being so good and added the best amount of sauce and it really made the torta so good. My torta’s ingredients included tomato, jalapenos, mayo, chicken, lettuce and cheese. My favorite part is

that they added mayonnaise to the torta which made it better. It put everything together. I ordered my torta without jalapenos. I would end up not eating them if they were inside. They were really flexible with the toppings that were added or changed to the torta.

Photos by Ariana Hernandez We ended up having two different opinions on what we should rate La Vera Cash Market. I gave it a 10/10 simply because the torta to me was much better than the other one made from La Casita Chilanga. We liked the design inside of La Casita Chilanga. In the other restaurant we liked that they weren’t just a restaurant but they also had options for snacks and drinks. Apart from having a lot of lettuce, next time I would ask for them to not add as much. Maybe it was the chicken and the really good flavor that was added, such as a lot of mayo. Ariana gives it a 9/10 because she didn’t like that they added a lot of mayo and because she liked the torta made in La Casita Chilanga better. We did take a lot of funny pictures of ourselves in the aisles while we were waiting for our food to be made which made the wait really short. La Casita Chilanga #2 is located at 761 El Camino Real, Redwood City a street down from Sequoia High School, they have been known for having the best tortas and serving tacos in the bay. They were founded in 2003, and have been serving torta since. La Casita Chilanga #2 had some really good food, the torta was so cheesy that when you separated the two pieces off the torta the cheese stretched out. It had more flavor that

combined all the categories of food together. The menu was given to us before ordering, instead of going up to the cashier--that way, we had a look before we ordered our food. We both got Hawaiian tortas and they were very good and looked very appetising. The food inside the torta includes ham, pineapple cut into tiny rectangles, so much cheese, jalapeno (I, Daisy, didn’t eat), and a type of sauce that seemed homemade. They had some beautiful pictures about Mexican culture that really showed a part of where the tortas originated from. The overall review that we give La Casita Chilanga #2 is 10/10 because first of all, the food was bomb because it had so much flavor and juiciness. Secondly, the customer service was really good, they were very polite and asked us to sit at a table of our choice. The time that we were at the restaurant, it was very quiet since we were the only people there. It was around 3 to 4. They waited patiently for us to pick our food and then the food came… and when we were gonna pay Ariana raised her hand instead of calling the waiter over. Then we noticed she was raising her hand and we bursted out laughing because we weren’t at school anymore.



Crossroads of cultures: cuisines from the far corners of the world Mantoo with bread and cardamom tea

Megruli Khachapuri and Eggplant Rolls. Photos by Mateo Mangolini

BY MATEO MANGOLINI Staff Reporter Living within the metropolitan San Francisco Bay Area, it is not uncommon to see restaurants and cafes with inspirations from other countries and continents. From Chinese to Pakistani to Mexican, there is a range of cuisines to choose from when looking for some place to eat. There are, however, some unexpected additions to this culinary roster that have new and refreshing flavors on their menus, reflective of the diverse nature of this megalopolis. My father and I set out on a tour of San Carlos’ foreign restaurants with this nicheness in mind, hoping to break out of our typical diet. My father tends to gravitate towards cooking dishes inspired by Korea, Vietnam and Mexico, mirroring the dominating flavors on this side of the Bay Area. Though we have sampled a number of cuisines during our travels across five continents, we are always on the lookout for exciting opportunities to expand our culinary horizons. When walking down Laurel Street in San Carlos, cross the street at the Starbucks and take a right. Next to the Carlos Lighting Company, you’ll find Tamari: Authentic Georgian Cuisine. Named after Tamari II, a Georgian national hero, Tamari brings a host of cuisines from the Western Caucasus. The dishes draw on influences from Russia, the


Middle East and the Balkans. When eating at Tamari, it is important to remember that this food is authentic to what is found back in Georgia: traditional Georgian food is dominated by beef, lamb, cheese, yogurt and bread. Though there are vegan options, such as Phkali (a vegetable pate) and Lobio (beans served within a clay pot), their meat-based options are their true claim to fame. During my visit, I sampled a number of dishes, starting with Tolma. Tolma, similar to the Turkish dish Dolma, puts a spin on the rice filled grape vines by using spiced beef as filler. The contrast of the meat with the yogurt sauce that it was served with made for an excellent first course. Another stand-out dish is Megruli Khachapuri, or Georgian cheese bread. With an incredibly fluffy texture, this bread made for a surprisingly heavy eating, with its rich composition of bread and smoked Georgian cheese. Though there are only two basic ingredients, the cheese certainly dominates with its smoky flavor. This was my favorite dish during my meal (primarily from the smoked Georgian cheese’s incredibly rich consistency and strong flavor), and its status as vegetarian makes it especially accessible to non meat eaters. My final two dishes were Chakapuli and Khinkali. Chakapuli is a traditional lamb stew, seasoned with green plums, tarragon, and herbs such as mint. The mint featured quite heavily within it, so those who love the herb

will love this dish.For me, the mint clashed with the taste of the lamb, which created an awkward eating experience. The mint also acted as an aromatic agent, filling my nose as well as my mouth with that herbal scent. Khinkali, on the other hand, is a traditional Georgian soup dumpling with a rather unique method of consumption. The dumplings, made from soft dough, are filled with meat and, surprisingly, soup. The broth absorbs the flavor of the spiced lamb meat, and combines it with onions and paprika to make a strong, somewhat salty aste. You eat the dumplings by making a hole in the dough and sucking out the broth, which makes for a fun (albeit tricky) experience. Khinkali comes as a close second to Khachapuri for me in terms of enjoyment. Overall, Tamari is a must-visit, with a wide selection of traditional flavors that certainly add to the repertoire of San Carlos’s downtown restaurant scene. The next stop on my tour was Kabul: Afghan Cuisine. Located on the border between Belmont and San Carlos, this restaurant presents a variety of flavors from the Afghan highlands, which are sandwiched between Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan. Like Georgian cuisine, Afghan food is very savory, and is dominated by bread, meat and various dairy products, though there is also a large quantity of ingredients from the onion family. Additionally, Afghan cuisine has a variety of inspirations from its neighbors,

Map outline by subpng.com



SIRAYVAH: THAILAND Bread served with Kabul’s saucier dishes

namely Iran, Central Asia and Pakistan. I found the food at Kabul: Afghan Cuisine to be a nice middle ground between the savory flavors of Georgia and the incredibly spicy cuisine of Thailand. The Bulanee, a plate of turnovers filled with leeks and spring onions, reminded me of the Croatian dish Soparnik, and was similarly able to taste flavorful with relatively few ingredients. The spring onions had a mild flavor that didn’t clash very much with the dough. I washed it down with a cup of cardamom tea before heading onto my entree, Mantoo. Mantoo consists of dumplings filled with onions and ground lamb, topped with yogurt and even more ground lamb. The eating experience greatly reminded me of lasagna, though the yogurt made for a unique taste in place of cheese. The lamb was especially high quality: it was neither tough nor dry, and almost had the consistency of ground beef. This restaurant receives my full recommendation, and it’s warm ambience, lovely food and excellent service make it an enjoyable experience for those looking to step outside their culinary comfort zone. The last stop on my tour provided a variety of flavors from Thailand. Thai cuisine is famous for its spiciness, in addition to the dominating ingredients of shrimp, coconut milk and chilis. A lesser known fact, however, is that various other South and East Asian cuisines have found their way into the Thai palette. From Indian Roti to Taiwanese Boba, Thailand has a rich tradition of absorbing and

reinventing flavors from across the continent. Sirvayah: Organic Thai Cuisine carries on this culinary trend. Sirayvah takes the cake for atmosphere when compared to the other restaurants on my tour. Seated in warm cushioned chairs among carvings in the traditional Thai artstyle, this restaurant works to make you feel at home. Within the cozy confines of this establishment, you’ll find a host of traditional dishes and drinks, each more enjoyable than the last. I started my dinner with a Thai iced coffee, a splendidly sweet beverage with a brew that seemed to originate from somewhere in the Southeast Asian region. The almost nutty flavor of this light beige coffee is iconic to brews from Indonesia and Southeast Asia, and is a must-try for any enthusiasts of the drink. My palette was certainly balanced with the arrival of my spicy main meal, Jan Pad Poo. A combination of chilli peppers, noodles, crab meat, egg and green onions, I knew that I would enjoy this dish from the smell alone. Despite the wide variety of ingredients, the meal had a consistent and soft texture that greatly complimented the symphony of flavor I found myself enjoying. The chili peppers really added a kick to the dish as a whole, and certainly took me off guard. For those in the market for a hot and spicy entree, this dish is for you. My second dish, the Prih King Prawns, proved to be a milder, but equally delicious, dish. According to my father, my partner on my tour and an avid lover of Thai cuisine, the

Tom Yom soup from Sirayvah: Organic Thai Cuisine Mutan white tea and jasmine green tea pair well with the food on the menu, in addition to the fried banana with honey. It should also be noted that there are a plethora of vegetarian and vegan options to choose from, so there’s very little inconvenience for non-meat eaters. I highly recommend Sirayvah for those looking for a delicious eating experience in a cozy setting. Breaking out from the status quo often yields unexpected and niche experiences ; from savory cheese bread to spicy noodles, the establishments I visited took great pride and care in their work, which certainly reflects within the quality of the food. I give a full recommendation to those who wish to break outside the bubble of Silicon Valley restaurants, and into a range of new and exciting flavors.



Parents’ pressure affects high school sports BY AMARA BAKSHI Staff Reporter

Royer said. Royer’s dad, Brendan Royer, coaches boys golf at Sequoia. “My parents really wanted me Club sports have created a pressurizing to do it to stay involved with the community, environment, caused by overly involved but at the same time I feel like I don’t want parents and unrealistic expectations, which to do the sport. I don’t feel like I should be ends up impacting the Sequoia High School pressured into playing,” Royer said. Some parents and guardians can’t tell athletic program, as well as the students the difference between supportiveness and participating in the sport. Some of these parents pushiness, sometimes add more pressure in driving the line too numerous ways, by far and causing their threats of financial student athletes to investment, and even give up sports. distracting athletes I think a big part of parental support is “I think a big part on the field. These listening and finding compromises and of parental support parents may drive solutions to problems you might have. is listening and their children to Pushing is more of, ‘My way or the high finding compromises resent their sport so way,’ ‘This is what I expect from you, and I and solutions to much they abandon need this now.’ problems you might it. have. Pushing is A loss of Josh Yee, Varsity Basketball Coach more of, ‘My way or willpower to the highway,’ ‘This participate in the is what I expect sport from the athlete and the constant from you, and I need this now,’” girls varsity pressure put on them can drive both the basketball coach Josh Yee said. athletes and the parents to not want to play or One way that parents add extra pressure to support a team sport. athletes is the threat of financial investment. “I don’t really have the motivation for It may be associated with unrealistic parent [basketball] like I used to,” freshman Shawn

expectations. When parental spending goes up, it can increase the feeling of pressure to the athlete, or the parent may add more of it. “[Parents] can say, ‘I paid for you to take privates, why aren’t you putting in the work?” said freshman Dani Pardini, whose mom coaches volleyball. Depending on what sport is being played, some coaches have different opinions on if this added pressure is actually there or not, specifically comparing high school level sports and club level sports. According to Greg Markoulakis, the boys varsity soccer coach, “Parents paying for more is 100 percent added pressure to both coaches and athletes. When I have a group that is playing at a high school level, you know, I just tell them that no one is telling me to keep anybody on [the team]. I mean, it sounds brutal, but it resonates with the kids especially when you have to make difficult decisions.” The world of club sports can be vastly different from high school in the sense of parents adding unnecessary pressure to athletes. Parents give up their time and money to support their child in a sport, whether giving up their weekend to drive to tournaments, or paying for team dinners, yet expect a greater performance in return.



Photos by Ben Haslam, Edited by Amara Bakshi

Parental pressure varies per sport, while basketball is more laid back, soccer has a higher demand for student athletes. “I think that, with the kids who play club sports, they see that a lot. But with [school] teams, we do not see that as much. We don’t have that many girls that are club basketball players. But, the pressure does build with [money], hands down.” Yee said. Because of this, the added pressure is the few times parents may show up to the games, athletes can think, “My parents are here so I have to play the best,” and might end up disappointing themselves if they are not played by coaches in a specific game. “[What’s] definitely going through my head is, ‘I’ve got to play well because my dad is here,” Royer said. This level of pressure is not healthy for the athlete’s mental health. Without an equal balance of athleticism and mentality, athletes may crack under the pressure of expectations to perform well. If a family member is coaching the same sport that you play, there can be an even greater amount of pressure added to athletes to perform well. Some athletes feel this pressure, but others may not as much. “From my perspective, I didn’t feel this

pressure as much, because I just don’t really see it that way. But I do see it as my dad grew up playing sports and stuff; he was really into sports as a kid,” Royer said. “My mom coached me in middle school. It made me feel like I should be the best on the team. It would just feel weird if I was one of the worst and my mom was the coach,” Pardini said. Along with this added pressure of being the so-called, “coach’s kid,” pressurizing encouragement can upset many youth athletes in their sport. In baseball, parents yelling at the pitcher to “strike the batter out!” or in basketball, where there’s a penalty shot, parents can often go overboard with what they think is helpful, but in reality, may not be. Parents may take away privileges, for example, friends, and electronics, due to their ways of discipline on the sport. Every family is different, so different responsibilities and punishments may be enforced to show authority. More importantly, they can take away the ability to have fun while participating in the sport that they might have once loved, without even realizing it. “[Parents] can take away things, like their phones or stuff if they don’t succeed, or if they are watching their child’s game and they’re not

in the starting lineup,” Pardini said. “They start to believe that they are not good enough.”

I have seen other parents on the court shouting out to their kids from the stands or from the bleachers, saying that their kid messed up. I could tell that that kid did not feel good and I knew that once they got home, their parents are probably going to take away lots of stuff and be mean to that child. I also think that parents shouldn’t discipline kids for for their [athletic] performance because it doesn’t depend on how good you are, it just matters how much you try.

Dani Pardini, freshman



A concussion boxes out Campbell’s future BY RUTHIE LAX Staff Reporter Sequoia’s athletic department supports student-athletes in staying safe and avoiding injuries. But sometimes, basketballs fly. Head pounding, eyes blurry, the room was spinning. February 2020 everything changed. Junior, Fiorella Campbell was bounced out of reality. “I was just standing around gym two and people were playing basketball and then a basketball out of nowhere hit me in the head,” Campbell said. This was the moment her normal life as a high school athlete became another statistic. As stated in Michigan States’ health article, 3.8 million sports-related concussions happen a year with five to ten percent in any given sport. Innocently standing in the gym, the impact of a basketball was enough to derail her dayto-day life. Any loud noise, abrupt movement, or bright light increased Campbell’s pain. The risk of relapse in her everyday activities was high. Standing in the kitchen making food

Last spring there were about nine total with all of the sports. But so far since winter sports have started basketball has the highest amount and football only had two all season. Sarah Diaz, athletic trainer one morning, Campbell turned around and walked into a cabinet. “The kitchen cupboard kind of hit me in the head, and all my symptoms came rushing back,” Campbell said. Campbell’s academic path was greatly impacted by her brain injury. Taking a rigorous course as a junior and being a student-athlete changed more than just her athletic skills. Campbell is a water polo player at Sequoia and with the Mayfield water polo club. This sport has a high-concussion rate, which negatively


affected Campbell’s career, she had a hard time returning to the water. The intensity of her concussion resulted in her having to sit out of the season, as well as decrease her workload. “I dropped three IB classes, Math, History, and English,” said Campbell. A year and nine months after her basketball accident, Campbell is still struggling to complete everyday tasks. Having modified school work, getting assignments printed, and receiving extensions. Campbell’s injury had flipped her life around, changing every aspect. Giving her a new look at the world as well as disabling her from so-called easy activities. Attending Osteopathy therapy weekly, Campbell has hope in her recovery. Osteopathy therapy is a treatment that can promote health and mobility while easing pain. The use of hands-on technology and massage therapy can aid the recovery process of cranial injuries, as stated in an article written by the American Osteopathy Association. “They just feel through your skull, spine, and like up to your head and then fix things,” said Campbell. Attending this therapy once every two weeks, combined with resting and drinking lots of water, Campbell is seeing results. “Headaches are less on the screen, so now I’m starting to do more on the computer,” said Campbell. Freshman Jack Kempton was also a victim of basketball. His passion for the sport led him to a concussion. His injury caught him off guard when he was going down to get a basketball and when he came up someone was doing a layup and kneed him straight in the side of the head. At this moment, everything changed. His symptoms at first were moderate - constant headaches, dizziness, and he was drowsy. “I couldn’t look at any screens at home and at school, which made it very difficult to work,” Kempton said. When a student is concussed the first person they see is Sarah Diaz, Sequoia’s Athletic trainer. Being experienced in her field she can evaluate the concussion victims by their symptoms. The severity of the impact can cause confusion, dizziness, and paranoia. There are several different levels of concussion,

in several different sports, both contact and noncontact. Most Sequoia sports are required to take an impact test, they evaluate the function of the brain and give a baseline. “If I suspect something, they either take their impact test as a post-injury, because we have the baseline to compare it to,” said Diaz. Concussions are serious injuries that can negatively impact a student’s life. Both Kempton and Campbell are serious examples of impactful concussions. A basketball turned their lives upside down. Diaz added, “Last spring there were about nine total with all of the sports. But so far since winter sports have started basketball has the highest amount and football only had two all season.”

Graphics by Hope Callaghan

Man Up program kickstarts Sequoia’s football success BY RUTHIE LAX Staff Reporter

are both major values of the football team. The goal of this strengthening “Man Up” is a part of the Sequoia Football program is to have all character development program to strengthen students thriving in both connections and individual growth for players. environments, with a In large and small groups, divided by minimum 3.0 GPA in grade and skill level, the team discusses the overall team, and issues related to bullying, false masculinity, avoiding fumbling on goal setting and interpersonal skills. These the field. Study hall meetings help players develop and mature is a mandatory task as individuals and teammates. Every week given to students the team sessions involve specific prevalent who fall behind problems seen in Sequoia’s environment, academically. “We [Sequoia such as bullying, mental health and healthy relationships. In the beginning weeks on the Football program/ field, the boys discussed personal baggage and staff] are not trying holding on to the past. This helps to give them to keep you eligible a safe and comfortable environment in which for Friday, we’re to they can express their emotions, separate from trying you the playing field. By expressing their emotions get they gained self-acceptance and power on the across the stage for field and in their minds. and off to college, so The team starts their season strong, kicking g r a d u a t i o n off the year, Varsity’s record is 4-6 and Junior you can come back as an alum and talk to us,” Varsity 9-1. In Sequoia’s Man up program, Poulus said. Senior Varsity football player and IB Coach Robert Poulos emphasizes grades and character development over winning, student, Alex Seroogy devotes himself to the team. Seroogy has been playing tackle football although he says that winning is always nice. “The goal is that at the end of the year, you for six years and since his freshman year at should be a better person for having played in Sequoia. Seroogy’s commitment doesn’t stop there. the program,” Poulus “Football said. takes a lot of In addition time and effort to building body but it is worth it positivity, inner due to the team The goal is that at the end strength, emotional environment that strengths and a of the year, you should be I enjoy being a healthy body, the a better person for having part of,” Seroogy football program said. played in the program. also strengthens Seroogy’s love students’ skills in for football and sportsmanship, Robert Poulus, football coach his involvement t e a m w o r k , in the competition and community kick winning as well as off his success as losing with integrity. This creates stronger connections between the a student-athlete. Seroogy plays a role in the athletes and their education. The process of Man Up program as well, he leads one of the making the roster and breaking it up into small squads of varying grades and skill levels. Seroogy is a role model, he always teams, senior through freshman, helps to build influences other student athletes to manage connections. Guidance from upperclassmen can make every student feel valued and their time and plan out their schedules. “As a student athlete you are doing more connected and advancing students’ knowledge of the sport while tackling their school work than the average student” Seroogy said. The Man Up program guides a wonderful

program, Seroogy has learned more about h i m s e l f and his teammates. He feels supported by his coaches and teammates to excel both on and off the field. The football program pushes all athletes to improve. As a leader Seroogy pushes himself and his teammates as well. Sophomore, Logan Kern, plays a big role in the Man Up program. As an underclassman he is influenced by several upperclassmen. Being knowledgeable in the sport, Kern is a mentor to those who are less experienced. The Man Up program builds strong connections and bonds, “Some of my influences were Jack Kern, Daniel Martinez and Alex Seroogy,” Kern said. “As a squad leader I am also given the position by coach to help the younger players both in football and in school,” Seroogy said. On Thursdays, the team discusses current worries, regrets, and emotional baggage the team carries. They tackle both mental and physical challenges they want to improve on. The Man up program lets the team in bonding and allows all players, regardless of age, to get to know one another. Through this program, everyone feels more connected to all teammates which allows Sequoia to play better as a team. “Sequoia’s football team has 100 percent improved my Sequoia experience,” Seroogy said.



Keep up with us on Instagram ! Sequoia hosts its first homeco

ming rally on October 15 at

the football field since distanc e learning.

us at nd w o l l o F report ahat n e v a r @ with w p u p e e k ! we post

1, ss Month, October ast Cancer Awarene Bre s. of rm y ifo da t un d firs pink theme To honor the team wore special Sequoia’s football

Sequoia presents drama Monolo The Show (F gue Hell)! O rom ctober 24.

Students crea poetry for th ted a collection of Se quoia studen eir CAS proj ect. ts’ own Indigenous Peoples’ Day

in Yerba Buena Gardens,

San Francisco on Octobe

r 11.

Photos courtesy of Madeline Carpinelli, Hope Callaghan, Greta Reich, David Raymond, Stan Hamelin, Haylee Huynh