Raven Report Sequoia High School
Volume V, Issue 3
1201 Brewster Ave. Redwood City, CA 94062
November 10, 2011
FutureProfits brings life skills to the classroom
raises campus awareness By ANNA DAGUM Feature Editor
By LAUREL DEARBORN News Editor If you are female, please step back. If you or your family have ever used food stamps or received welfare, please step back. If you have experienced some kind of emotionally difficult circumstance, please step back. Vulnerability. Embarrassment. The danger of being singled out. Yet this class was supposedly about money. Out on a broken down blacktop with faded border lines, a class discovered what factors might make them privileged in society. This is just one of many various activities that students involved in FutureProfits, a financial literacy course offered at Sequoia, participate in. “We don’t have anyone else come and talk to us about the economy,” senior Jorge Ferrandon said. “It’s interesting because they point out things in life that you don’t necessarily think about.” Future Profits was started in 2006 when Redwood City resident Jenni Ingram learned that 60 percent of high school students in East Palo Alto don’t graduate. They enter the work force without a diploma and little to no financial knowledge. Ingram thus started FutureProfits in East Palo Alto to teach financial literacy; in 2008 it began at Sequoia. Students are exposed to this curriculum once a week for 50 minutes with Ingram and other volunteers serving as teachers. “When we first started teaching financial literacy, we realized that all the curriculum out there didn’t address the full needs of teenagers,” Ingram said. “If you go into a class with all teenagers and say ‘hey I’m going to teach you about financial literacy,’ most of them would zone out.” “It’s a class discussion the whole time and it’s interactive. We don’t
Feature: Twilight: Have you been bitten? Page 3
PHOTO BY LAUREL DEARBORN
Students in FutureProfits participated in an outdoor activity to explore how finances can change a person’s position in society .
just listen to the teacher talk,” senior cards, and other financial protoGiovanni Luciani said. col. At Sequoia, currently 400 Because the curriculum was de- students are getting this opporsigned by Ingram, it is easily in- tunity, and Ingram hopes it will teractive and is shaped specifically move through all the schools in around student lives. “They ask us the district. Carlmont and M-A questions about are also cur“You really bring your own experiour communities,” rently offerences to the class and its not just a said Luciani. ing the prolecture on history. Its what’s going It provides congram, and text for how and on in the community and it really hopefully relates to you. ” why the students Wo o d s i d e —senior Tori Beene will become need to learn these skills. Luciani said involved as that “It’s fun to be well. able to talk in our class and see how But this is not just about learneveryone else feels about different ing how to manage finances. It topics.” shows students how making one Senior Tori Beene feels the same. good financial decision can im“It’s more reltable and makes it more pact the rest of one’s life. They interesting, “ Beene said. “We can begin to judge what they should bring our own experiences into the spend and what they should save. class.” It sets them up for real life situaIngram wanted to provide easy tions in the work place. access to financial help for students. “It will help us,” freshman BryIt gives these students a place to go an Meza said. “ We will be preto ask questions about banks, credit pared for life and after.”
Opinion: The N-Word Cuts Deep Page 4
While students at Sequoia stress over school work and college applications, the children in Northern Uganda and the Congo have much more to worry about. They grow up in a war zone with the constant fear of being abducted into a rebel army and being forced to kill their friends and families. The Africause club (formerly known as “Schools for Schools”) held an assembly Nov. 3 in Carrington to reveal these horrors to students. The club brought a film and speakers from the Invisible Children movement, which is geared towards high school students wanting to help. The club memebers have been in correspondence via letters with children in Kenya, as well as making and selling beaded bracelets and necklaces from recycled paper, similar to those made in Uganda. They also have been raising money to partake in a teacher exchange program to provide a teacher in Uganda with a scholarship to come and teach at Sequoia in January. Kim Dotts, a college junior and roadie for the Invisible Children Organization, came to the assembly. “When I finally went to Africa and witnessed the injustice, it reiterated my passion,” said Dotts. The roadie process, for students who have graduated high school, lasts about four months, of which two of those are devoted to traveling from school to school in order to spread awareness. “Everyone has their own struggles,” she said. “It’s when you’re willing to put aside those struggles to help others that really matters.” Dotts is passionate about this cause, and longs to see an end to Joseph Kony and the war in Uganda. Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, draws on child soldiers because of their impressionable personalities, and lack of self defense. These children are abducted from their homes and thrown into camps where they are given guns and taught how to fight, taught how to kill.
174 students responded to a Facebook survey:
Twilight: What Team Are You On? 77% Team I Don't Care
16% Team Jacob
7% Team Edward
Sequoia band passes notes As they walk through the door, a stream of rhythms and tunes envelop them. Focused expressions result in a rumble of melodies, a mixture of sounds where odd horns and cheerful flutes are welcoming. They take a seat while attentive eyes wait for their advice. The class continues and a student struggles with a note. After a few minutes of struggling, a harmonious note develops. Every Wednesday during 7th period, about eight Sequoia band students walk over to MIT to help both North Star’s and McKinley’s 6th grade music students. Jane Woodman, the advanced band teacher at Sequoia, started sending students over to the McKinley campus just this year as a response to Carlmont and Central Middle School’s similar program where high school students visit a middle school to assist their music students. During their 30-40 minutes Sequoia students spend there, they sitin with different sections of the band while they model proper rehearsal technique, help keep them focused, and even pull-out some students to help them individually. Not only does this benefit the middle school students, Sequoia’s students also benefit by demonstrating their leadership skills as they become role models and mentors. “It’s really fun to see them passing along their knowledge and passion for music,” said Woodman. Junior saxophone player Helen Mylod Yee, who aspires to be a teacher, finds the time beneficial.
“I really enjoy sharing what I like to do with other people and it’s been a really good experience for me to be in the teaching position,” said Yee. Trombone player Aaron Jacobson has worked with kids as a camp counselor, so he is comfortable teaching music students on the MIT campus. “I’m really looking forward to [looking back] at the end of the year, when they’re that much better, sort of knowing that I had something to do with that,” said Jacobson. —ARACELI EFIGENIO
FutureProfits is hungry for change
25 cents will only buy you a quarter of a pack of gum, half a lollipop, or a fifth of a candy bar. It will take you almost nowhere in the American economy. However, halfway across the world it is the equivalent of an entire meal. FutureProfits is raising money through the program Something To Eat along with the organization Generation Alive in order to provide meals for under-nourished children in Africa. As students in FutureProfits are learning how to manage money and are exploring the value behind investments, they are asked to give a donation and see how much 25 cents can buy for someone in need. “Seeing kids suffer in Africa makes me feel grateful for what I have,” freshman Kevin Sandstrum said. “[It makes me thankful] that I have something to eat every night.” Raising money has proven to be a
Just what makes a credit union different from a bank? When you join a credit union you become a member not a customer. Credit unions work to increase your share of the credit union. Credit unions generally charge less fees and lower interest rates than banks. Credit unions are not for profit, they are for you, the member.
great balance with FutureProfit’s ongoing curriculum. “Financial literary is about managing your money, but we wanted to give it a deeper meaning; [about how] you can use your money to [provide improvements for another person’s] life,” FutureProfits founder Jenni Ingram said. “This is why we are doing the Something To Eat Project; to show and give the students an opportunity to give life and give purpose behind why and where they spend money.” Anyone can participate and donate as little or as much to the fund. “They show us pictures of what they have to go through,” freshman Bryan Meza said. “I don’t want them to have to go through stuff like that.” This project will help some of these families give them one basic necessity that we all too often take for granted: food. “We have this constant need to buy stuff,” Ingram said. Ingram hopes that the students will raise at least 15,000 dollars by Dec. 3, when the meals will be packed in the Sequoia small gym. Giant’s pitcher Jeremy Affeldt will be visiting the campus on this day and help the 130,000 meals be assembled.
the holiday season, and charities really get into that, said senior Key Club Vice President Alessandra Saluti. While some think it is hard to get involved in charity, local charities have countless opportunities to get involved in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. “The holiday season is a time for families to share love with each other,” said sophomore Albert Smith, who participates in local charity work with his church during the holidays. “Some people don’t feel that love, so it is important to do charity work over the holidays so people who are less fortunate can get that feeling of belonging,” said Smith. Students can also get involved with charity on campus. Sequoia’s leadership program is holding a canned food drive from now until Nov. 21. Last year, the drive recieved close to 1000 cans, but this year they are striving for 1500. Any donations are greatly appreciated.
Holiday season inspires charity
2. Giving Tree. Hillsdale shopping center. Friday Dec. 2 at 4:30 p.m. Just what makesaacredit credit Bring gifts Just for families in makes need. what
Your School’s School’s Credit Credit U U Your 1.Toys for Tots. Hillsdale shopping center. Wednesday Nov. 30 to Dec. —LAUREL DEARBORN 22. New or used toys accepted.
Along with the turkey, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie comes opportunities to help people in need. During the holiday season, the community’s need for charity rises, and Sequoia students are busy giving back. “There’s a spirit of giving during
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Just what makes a credit union different from a bank? When you join a credit union you become a member not a customer. Credit unions work to increase your share of the credit union. Credit unions generally charge less fees and lower interest rates than banks. Credit unions are not for profit, they are for you, the member.
Sequoia Federal Credit Union 530 El Camino Real
Fourth installment of Twilight story bites students’ interest By CAROLINE LEMPERT scowl? Layout Editor The reality is that few great love stories come without their fair As the Harry Potmoon rises on share of ridiculousness. Odysseus is ter defeated Nov. 18, both imprisoned on an island by a jealVoldemort. my early deci- ous, lovestruck nymph. Okay, that’s Mulan saved ridiculous. Heartbroken Cleopatra sion applicaChina. Shrek takes a poisonous snake to her breast tion and the rescued premier of The to kill herself. That’s just outrageous. Fiona. Bella Twilight Saga: Juliet kisses Romeo’s poisoned lips Swan... marthinking he’s a corpse. Many would Breaking Dawn—Part 1 loom over ried a 104 think that absurd, probably even me. One of the two seems to have year old who sparkles in sunlight? creepy. I could go on, but you get higher priority over the other. Barf in my mouth. my point. The great love stories that Audiences have had a love affair The Twilight Saga has become the we have indulged in for thousands with romance since ancient times. If epitome of these epic romances tell us anything, of years teenage girl Whether you love it or hate it, the are characit’s that we love a love story with obsession teristically Twilight franchise is a hot topic that’s the possibility of death, a dash of since its inoutrageous. abstinence, and a whole lot of lifetroduction to had people buzzing since the premier shatteringly intense passion, tension, Even if not the world of book’s 2005 breakout. Six years later, in terms of and infatuation. Penelope waits 20 after the release of three proceeding best pop culture years for her love Odysseus to return. fantastical in 2005. sellers and three box office hits grossing Starting off Antony falls to his sword to escape a creatures and suover $1.8 billion, the series has created as a seeminglife without his beloved Cleopatra. pernatural Juliet poisons herself for her love for ly harmless an entire culture around vampires, impossibiliRomeo. Jack freezes to his death to love story, it werewolves, and good old-fashioned ties, at the save his beloved Rose. And whether teenage romance. And after over a year has turned very least Twilight gives you butterflies or into a cult of of silence from the notorious characters, teenage girls makes you roll your eyes, the series is in terms the release of the fourth installment of worshipping undeniably equipped with that same of straight up bizarre deadly risk, unbearable temptation, sparkly men the series has fanpires elated and human beand its fair share of obstacles. and shirtless Twihaters grumpy. havior. And That being said, Twilight is also werewolves. while I am pretty well-off in terms of its bizarre First of all, plot lines. With its sparkly vampires, not saying the relationthat Twilight is any epic tale, I think wolf-human hybrids, and parasitic ship between Edward and Bella is that there’s something to this. pregnancies, I get that the series has just plain creepy. He’s nearly 90 years Anyone can watch any Jennifer ridiculousness. But are we really all so older than she is, he goes into her serious that a dash of melodrama and Aniston movie ever made room in the middle of the night to Go to TWILIGHT, page 7 some fantastical absurdity makes us watch her sleep, and his first instinct By LAUREN KIRKPATRICK Feature Editor
is to drink her blood. But I guess that’s no big deal if you’re in love with him. However, a line is drawn when Bella is eighteen and pregnant with a vampire. I’m sort of astounded at how someone can be stupid enough to be impregnated by a creature whose baby will try to eat you from the moment its conceived. Apparently I’m missing something, because somehow Edward’s charm is lost when his eyes change color depending on how much he wants your blood. Team Jacob? Better than Team Edward. Although he lacks self control when it comes to keeping his shirt on, Jacob is one of the few Twilight characters with facial expressions and a personality. Unlike the Cullen crew and Bella, who occasionally grace the screen with a smile, Jacob actually shows signs of emotion. While Edward and Bella attempt to have a healthy relationship, Jacob is always there to pick up the slack and be Bella’s shoulder to cry on. Even though his heart is broken when Bella chooses Edward over him, Jacob continually risks his life for her. And, his body generates warmth and a heartbeat, which is always a plus. I’m not really sure what’s going through Bella’s head. Sure, it’s a fantasy. But given that there was all the potential in the world to create a love story with a legitimate plot and like-able characters, Twilight is pretty pathetic and overrated. But if you’re going to succumb to the guilty pleasure and see the movie anyways, at least show up in a Harry Potter costume.
Shear excitement spikes as unique hairstyles grow By PETER BUGOS and TY DEWES Staff Reporters Troubled teens need new outlets to express themselves. Some throw themselves in their music, ceramics... or hair? Hair is becoming a way to be original and demonstrate personality, whether it be through a mohawk, long swooping hair, or the generic short and spiked. Hairstyles greatly reflect one’s indviduality. Many of the male students at Sequoia choose the typical short hair style, but a bold few try to pull of the long hair look. Sophmore Riley Dunn has a “Bieberlicious” do, which he’s sported since the seventh grade. He describes his hairstyle as a common one prevalent at Sequoia. “Justin Bieber copied me,” Dunn said. He says that he just condi-
Photos by Peter Bugos
tions it and lets it grow. Senior cross-country runner Manuel Avila Jr. is recognizable by his high mohawk. “It’s well formed, but naturally flowing,” Avila said. “It’s who I am.” His mohawk reaches about four inches off of his head. Avila uses his hair to describe his personality and shows his boldness to be different. When people see Avila’s hair, they ask him: Does the
mohawk cut the wind when he runs? Track coach Adrian Dilley said that his hair demonstrated to others his friendliness. “Come talk to me, I’m a nice guy,” Dilley said. Being an athlete himself, Dilley keeps his hair short, which
Left to right: Manuel Avila, Riley Dunn, Sydney Cohn and Adrian Dilley show off their trendy hairstyles, which are commonly seen throughout Sequoia.
raises the question if athletes have to have short hair. Many of the athletes at Sequoia that are athletes have shorter hair, but some athletes dare to keep their hair long as they compete for Sequoia. For girls, common hairstyles consist of long bangs,
straightened hair, or long with a slight wave. Girls can either let their hair loose or put it in a pony tail. Sophmore Sydney Cohn said wears her hair short, however. “Boys are able to do more bold things with their hair,” Cohn said. Girls are beginning to add feathers, braids, and highlights into their hair to add more originality in their hair. A feather is it’s a clip with a feather that can be attached to the base of your hair. A feather adds a great accent to long or short hair. Other popular trends for girl hairstyles include side braids, French braids and fishtail braids. Side braids can be tight or loose and is over one shoulder. French braid involves more hair all the way up the head unlike the generic braid. Hair shows others a little bit of who we are, and students are embracing this.
The power of the N-word: Think before you speak Where did he hear that word? Who taught him how to talk like that? Staff Reporter What are we teaching the younger N i g g e r . generation? A ripple of thoughts and questions They heard this word in filled with anger raced through my the midst of mind. Then I realized I use this word too. severely beThis word I claimed I didn’t use ing beaten until their to hurt anyone, had hurt my little flesh burned brother tremendously. I felt like such and bright red blood began to trickle a hypocrite. How could I be angry at down their backs. They heard this this kid when I used this word myself ? After this incident I tried to elimiword while being burnt alive. They heard this word while being taken nate this word from my vocabulary. from their roots, and taken to Europe- I’m not going to lie I’ve slipped a few an soil where they were sold for a dol- times, but before the word left my lar. African mothers heard this word mouth, I had to think back to the pain while their babies that they carried for I saw in my brother’s eyes,and quickly nine months, were being taken away swallow the horrible word.I wanted from them, not knowing if they would to know the TRUE meaning of this word that we all seemed to know. ever see their children again. My dad was the one who told me Now we use it in the hallways like the meaning of the word. I did more it’s nothing. We hear it on the radio, our favorite background research and was shocked comedian may say it, our best friend by the meaning, and the pain and may use it five times in one sentence, bloodshed this word had caused my we all say it. Yes, just like most of you ancestors. I understand that most of you that reading this, I’ve said “nigga” multiple use this word don’t use it to hurt peotimes before. The way rappers loosely use the ple, but however you use the word, it word to refer to themselves makes us doesn’t change the meaning and the believe it’s okay to use it, which is sad history behind it. I love that Tupac Shakur tried to because most of us don’t know the meaning and the tremendous impact change this negative word, and make it have a positive meaning; never ignothis hurtful word holds. I didn’t either. I was only talking to rant getting goals accomplished, but I remind myself this my friends casually; I didn’t mean it like that, This word I claimed I positive outlook on the I wanted to be funny, didn’t use to hurt any- word doesn’t change the negative meaning. that is all. I wasn’t hurtone, had hurt my little This word was used ing anyone. brother tremendously. to put down my ancesAnd then when it I felt like such a tors, to dehumanize happened to my little brother, I started to hypocrite. How could them. The majority of realize how power- I be angry at this kid us who use this word ful this word can be. when I used this word ignore that aspect of the n-word or were I used to pick up my myself ? simply never taught. 10-year-old brother Even when used from school everyday. casually to refer to a One day, I went to friend the word still holds that negago look for him, but he was nowhere in sight. I looked around the empty tive meaning. It doesn’t change the playground, there he was! He seemed meaning nor the history. There is othreally angry; “what happened”? Try- er ways to refer to friends. Bro, friend, ing to hold back his tears, he told me bestie, amigo. “Nigga” does not have his classmate called him the n-word. to be one of them. This was the last word they heard, The pain and hurt in my brother’s eyes before they were killed. Please think filled me with anger. Why would his classmate say that? before you speak. By TAISHA GRIFFIE
Holiday season is the perfect time for students to give back With our first semester nearing an end and the holiday season approaching, most of us are overwhelmed with too much on our plates. But in the midst of the madness, we shouldn’t forget that the holiday season is a time for appreciation and giving back. With campus clubs like Something to Eat and Key Club, Africause, and Youth Advisory Board, many Sequoia students practice giving back year-round. But whether you are a part of these clubs or not, take the holidays as an opportunity to amp up your appreciation and contributions. There are a ton of ways to show your gratitude, and in no way are they limited to giant projects or expensive gifts. A simple appreciation card for a teacher or friend could brighten up their day. An hour or two at your local food
bank could let a person know that they have someone looking out for them. Joining a new group at school one lunch a week could add that extra force behind a bigger cause. As high school teenagers, we often are consumed by school work, our social lives, and the minutiae of our daily lives. But often we forget to step outside our own priorities and concerns to thank those who help us and consider those less fortunate. As the holidays approach, soup kitchens and canned food drives all throughout our communities flood with opportunities for students to get involved with need for donations and volunteers all around. So with Thanksgiving just around the corner, now is the perfect time to show your gratitude and give back to your community.
Sequoia High School
Raven Report 2011-2012
Editor-in-Chief Sarina Gross Layout Editor Caroline Lempert News Editor Laurel Dearborn Feature Editor Anna Dagum Feature Editor Lauren Kirkpatrick Opinion Editor Tiffany Ah Tye Staff Reporters Daniel Black Hanna Bolaños Peter Bugos Erick Castro Jarrett Crowell Ty Dewes Cole Dunbar Araceli Efigenio Taisha Griffie Catalina Mares Sophie Miller Matthew Morrow Bogie Sandoval Adviser Kim Vinh Mission Statement 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. Letters to the Editor The Raven Report welcomes letters to the editor from students, parents, or community members, sent to Room 308 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters must include the writer’s full name and ID number, and the staff reserves the right to edit for space and style.
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Creativity at Sequoia flares with writing club By TIFFANY AH TYE and TAISHA GRIFFIE Opinion Editor and Staff Reporter In a small classroom on Thursdays at lunch, a place of imagination, mind-bending stories, and welcoming smiles make up the Creative Writing Club. This club invites poets, songwriters, and fiction writers to join them on their quest to improve their writing, and to exercise the creative part of their brain. They work towards improving their members’ writing skills by having once-a-month reading circles in which anyone who would like to may share out anything that they may have been working on for that past month. Many members of the club write as a past-time. “Writing’s a confidence builder...I use writing to prove to myself that I’m good at something,” said sophomore Frannie Vescia. The club helps its members with their writing
block, and the members give feedback about each others different samples of writing. “Right now, the members are coming up with different prompts that they’d like the group to write about. So each time you write, there’s a different idea, “ said Club Advisor Katie Karlin. This club helps its members to think outside the box, and gives them a chance to express themselves creatively. “Because so much of the type of writing we do in class is often academic, there’s often not a chance for people to communicate the more creative ideas that are they have,” says Karlin. The club hasn’t submitted any writing pieces to contests yet, but that’s one of their goals. Their main focus is not to write for competitions, though. “I see writing as a general way to express myself,” said sophomore Ellie Singer. “The club keeps you thinking, and gives you ideas for another story,” said Club President Matvari Maharaj.
The Girl In The Tattered Dress by Zoe Kegler-Wenk
There was once a girl in a tattered dress Her decisions not always good So said the girl in the tattered dress I’d take it all back if I could Perhaps by magic her wish made true The girl in the tattered dress is given a re-do She wipes her past clean of everything wrong has rewritten her lyrics to a new song But now she looks up through light innocent eyes With matters of pain she cannot sympathize She has nothing to shape her Or grow her identity from She cannot comprehend hardship She grows unknowingly numb There was once a girl in a clean white dress Secured away from pain So say the others of her passing She leaves no color nor stain
Dreaming by Ellie Singer
by Matvari Maharaj
The green waves are my bed, infinite in their rolling expanse. Blades of grass brush my legs and arms. As I melt into the ground I shut my eyes and smile. Suddenly, with a release of breath, I open my eyes. My mouth forms an 'o' and my lashes flutter, then burst to see. The shocking blue sky flashes into my vision. There is nothing but me, my grass, the sky, and a speck. The black dot twists above, turning, spiraling. I watch as the bird flaps ever farther from the earth. Movement beside me. I flip to the side and see you. You, your face. Your smile, your laugh, your life-filled crinkled eyes. We lay on our sides, gazing forever. Forever comes to a close. I reach toward you to brush your face. Your features glimmer, flicker. I reach through you, through air. I stare as my fist grasps nothing. Pieces fall into place. I struggle to stand, panicking, silently screaming. Tears stream down my cheeks and you freeze then disappear. I cannot move; the grass pulls me to the ground. I give up, stop attempts at freedom, accept my defeat. I suddenly remember what happened to you, to me, to everyone. I wish I don't. I remember the curse of the dream. To be a figment of your imagination is to be imprisoned for all time. No one will see you again. I least of all. My fate is all but simple. This land of nightmarish imprisonment, my paradise, my hell. Trapped in a dead man's head.
...and when the clear night sky calls and you’re next to me, watching the stars rain upon us, creating a dwell of lights that surround us, I’ll know it’s just a dream. A creation of my imagination. ...and when the pure sound of a song that is played on your black guitar,my black guitar, our black guitar, a song that was written to tell a story, send a message, for those words that have been scared to be spoken directly, I’ll know it’s you and me. ...and when I see your smile, your dimples, your grayblue eyes, when I hear your laugh and feel your touch, when held in a hug filled with protection and care, when the world around me stops, and my breath is held from the moment ...I will know that the wait is finally over and I am finally yours
Love experts offer advice on young relationships By PETER BUGOS and TY DEWES Staff Reporters “An intense feeling of deep affection” is the definition of love that you would find on Google, this definition barely scrapes the surface of what love truly is. People have many questions and problems about love. Can I be in love at such a young age? What if it doesn’t work out? What is love? How do I know I’m in love? Well, here’s some advice from us to you. As students begin to settle back into school, love begins to blossom all around. Growing up, we are surrounded by love in almost all aspects of life..
We love our parents, friends, and halls there are public displays of affecfamily, but being in love with someone tion and everywhere you go love is apoutside the family tree is a completely parent. different story. Adults tell us that we Now love may not be for everyone, are too young for love, and that we but for most people the idea of a relashould just enjoy tionship is enticbeing young right “[Love is] a choice, a sacrifice ing. This may be and always making the toher now, but love canwhy some relanot be avoided. tionships do not person happy.” According to always work out, —Amy Chojnowski, freshman Robert but keep hope; Sequoia math teacher Vogel, love can exthere will always ist at a young age be other chances if you give it enough time. And sorry to find your “one.” girls, he’s taken. “If it doesn’t work out, don’t worry Although adults look at teenage about it,” said sophomore Maggie Hallove as immature, for teenagers love lamasek (also taken). surrounds our everyday lives. In the Married math teacher Amy Cho-
jnowski said love is “a choice, a sacrifice, and always making the other person happy.” This love is more real and sounds much less intriguing then the love we see in the halls at school, but it is definite and true for teachers and older generations. Love will make you stop thinking about other girls or boys, and make you focus on one special person. “You can’t stop spending time with someone, and you always want to spend more time with them, and you care about their thoughts and their feelings,” said Vogel. Remember we are still young, so have fun with life before you commit yourself to someone for forever.
Students encouraged to argue in debate club By COLE DUNBAR Staff Reporter
Arguing is fun. The members of Sequoia’s Speech and Debate Club know that best. In the Speech and Debate Club, members talk about topics ranging from current events and global issues to government policies. The members meet and debate with other argument enthusiasts from all over California. “I want to give youth their voice,” said sophomore Amir Amerian, founder and president of the rapidly-growing club. “Speech and debate is my passion. I love it.” This year, the club has grown to 16 people, and has attended five tournaments at nearby schools from its league. The club is 1 of 48 schools that makes up the area from South San Francisco to Gilroy, in Northern California, that are part of the Coast Forensic League (CFL) and the National Forensic League (NFL). If the Speech and Debate Club wins the state
Sophmore Amir Amerian and Junior Michael Wucher lead the Speech and Debate Club. They meet Mondays at lunch, and Thursdays after school. qualifiers, then it will be able to attend the National Forensic League championships in Dallas, Texas. The NFL is a very prestigious national league, which the CFL branches off of. Tournaments are hosted at various schools within the league. In February 2012, Sequoia High School will be hosting a tour-
nament for the CFL. This year, Sequoia’s Speech and Debate Club has planned a minimum of 12 tournaments that it will attend. In each of the tournaments, the club members participate in a number of events; they compete with another team. Each event has different rules and preparation times.
“It’s really fun,” said Julia Neish, a sophomore who competes in the Parliamentary (or “Parli”) debate event— another form of academic debate. In Parli debates, twomember teams debate against each other after 20 minutes of preparation. The adviser for the club, math teacher Kelley O’Hern,
represents Sequoia High School in the League. O’Hern represents Sequoia (instead of student members) because the League requires a school staff member to a representative. She and two other parents assist in the running and organization of the club. Parents donate time and money to help coach the club members on speech and debate techniques. Students gain valuable experience and improve their speaking skills. By practicing public speaking and debate, students learn that there are multiple sides to the topic being discussed. Team members learn public speaking and research skills. Participating in the club also keeps students updated on current events because every Thursday they discuss and practice debating on these topics. To attend tournaments, students must act and dress professionally. The skills acquired from being part of the Speech and Debate Club prepare students for leadership and a professional career.
Athletes pursue unique sports not offered at school is always extremely complex, but I always do well because I trust the beam and myself,” Canale said. What does it take be an Olympic Canale is a citizen of both the gymnast? To turn hockey into a ca- United States and Italy. Her ultimate reer? Or to fence a Hungarian in Eu- dream is to qualify for the Italian rope? Several Sequoia students pursue National Team and attend the 2016 nontraditional sports not offered at Olympics in Brazil. Recently, she won Sequoia, and spend countless hours a competition that was the first step working to reach these goals. in qualifying for the team. She placed Sophomore Angie Canale has been 1st in all four of her events. She still a gymnast for 10 years. Her inspira- has to make a few more qualifications, tion to pursue gymnastics came from but if she does well in the rest she will her dad; a man whose gymnastics took be going to Brazil. him all the way to extreme college However, it’s not all about lightlevel competition. Canale practices hearted flips. Gymnastics is a physicalfor five hours a day Monday through ly, emotionally, and mentally demandSaturday at Bayshore Elite in Red- ing sport that requires an immense wood City. Her practices start with amount of dedication. running a mile, then she practices all “Sometimes I feel like I just want her events, runs again, does condi- to give up, and quit, but I always retioning, and finishes with stretching. member how hard I’ve worked to get The conditioning always involves 100 to where I am. There have been times sit ups, 100 v-ups, and when I feel “Gymnastics is all about trust100 push ups. like gymnasing yourself. Trusting yourself to “It’s totally worth tics is hurting it,” Canale said, “just the point where you believe you me emotioncan do more than you are humanly knowing that I’m good ally and physat a sport not many capable of.” ically, but it’s -Sophomore Angie Canale people are capable of my way of life keeps me motivated to and I’m never try and make it all the way.” going to give it up,” she said. She competes in four events: bars, But despite her massive time combeam, vault, and floor, but beam is her mitment to this sport, Canale does not favorite. use it for PE credit. Instead, she will be “I like it because when I’m on the will trying out soccer for Sequoia this beam, nothing else exists. My routine winter and track next spring, both of By HANNA BOLAÑOS Staff Reporter
Photo courtesy of Harrison Mills
Sophomore Harrison Mills plays hockey for 10+ hours a week . which she is excited about. “Gymnastics is all about trusting yourself,” Canale said, “trusting yourself to the point where you believe you can do more than you are humanly capable of.” Sophomore Harrison Mills has been playing competitive hockey for seven years. Mills practices three times a week in both Fremont and San Jose and plays one to two games on weekends. Practices and games are both about three hours long, which totals up to nine hours of practice time a week in addition to the games. Every practice includes both training on
dry land and on the ice. Dry land involves a lot of squats, push ups, planks, sprinting, and running long distances. “Because hockey is year round and extremely time consuming my life gets really stressful sometimes,” Mills said. “Balancing time between hockey homework and friends is really difficult. I usually take my laptop in the car to work on an essay or take my backpack get a good education. He hopes to play hockey for his college and make hockey a career. “If I can get good enough to make it my career then I will be set for life. Go to UNIQUE, page 7
Sequoia runner Boltes to the finish line By LAUREL DEARBORN News Editor Though she wears a Sequoia jersey, junior exchange student Sophia Bolte is from from Frankfurt, Germany, 5692 miles away. The Raven Report asked her questions comparing American life to that of it in Germany and on her experience as a Ravokee cross-country runner.
Have you done other sports before? In Germany I did track for the last two and a half years. That’s another difference. We don’t have the sports in seasons we have them all year. And when I was little, I did gymnastics and I played soccer.
Are you going to do other sports while you are here? During the winter, I want to do soccer and How did in the spring you get inI want to volved in the try softball exchange stubecause we dent program don’t have andhear about that sport Sequoia? in Germany. Actually I will probcoming to Seably end up quoia was an doing Track “accident.” I and Field applied to go though, beabroad with cause evan exchange erybody is organization, trying to but because Photo courtesy of andrew hutchinson convince me my German to do it. school (Koper- Sophia Bolte (center) with junior Bliss twins Alyssa (left) and Alex nikusschule), (right) has emerged as a cross country star in her time in America. Is the is Sequoia’s sisschool atmoter school, my German teacher and and the American German sphere different? Is the sports atmosphere? The school atmosphere is absolutely different. teacher, Ms. Kispersky, sort of organized my Host Family and all the paper work to enroll at Sequoia. We don’t have the school spirit that Sequoia has. I also came to California two years ago and I loved One example is at the football games. The students don’t support each other the way Americans do. In it, so I was very excited to come over here. Germany, students want to go home as fast as possible after school. Plus, the relationships with the How are America and Germany different? A big difference is the school. Instead of six sub- teachers are not as close as they are here. jects each year, we have about twelve different ones What didn’t you expect about the U.S.? per week. Every class is 45 minutes and sometimes I didn’t expect the tons of homework and I’d 90 minutes. In addition, we don’t have sports at school. You have to attend a club outside of school heard so much about the American high school where you go to practice in the afternoons at around spirit from friends and brochures, but I could have never imagined how much. It’s just amazing. six p.m. Is this your first time doing cross country, or did you do it in Germany as well? Yes, this is my first time doing cross country. We don’t even have it in Germany. We have (half ) marathon runners and distance runners at track, but that’s it.
Learning a language is hard. How is learning everything in English? I started learning English five years ago, so my English was okay when I came here. In the beginning it was way harder to express my thoughts and all that stuff in daily life.
What inspired you to do cross country at Sequoia? To be honest, I wanted to do a sport just to not gain weight. But when I went to my first practice, I was impressed by Coach and all the people were so great and accepted me from the very beginning.
If you could have 24 hours with one person, who would it be? That’s a hard question... I’m not sure. I’ve met so many great people since I’ve been here and I like every single one. So I guess I would the spend the 24 hours with all of them
TWILIGHT from pg. 3 to get a little taste of romance, but there’s something special about a story that can sweep you off your feet and into unusual territory. While its characters, plot lines, and relationships make it undeniably over the top, these out-of-this-world ele-
ments of this love story also create the intensity and passion that make love seem like a little bit of magic in a world of a whole lot of familiarity and routines. And the way I see it, a good love story is the ultimate escape from the mundane of our everyday.
So, yes. In the midst of the hair-graying college process and after 16 and a half long months of waiting, I am not ashamed to say I that I am elated to indulge in 117 minutes of good old-fashioned, outrageous romance. I will relish in every absurd moment and blush at every sweet one in
which Edward and Bella pursue their forbidden love. What can I say? I’m head over heels. And being the smitten-kitten I am, I even wrapped up my early decision application a couple weeks early to prepare for and focus on what’s really important in my life: Breaking Dawn Part 1.
UNIQUE from pg. 6 it my career then I will be set for life. Any team that will accept me would be great,” Mills said. With all his hard work and dedication, Mills has had a great hockey career so far. He’s traveled to Phoenix, Vancouver, and Niagara Falls. “I have been on a team that won the state championships, and I hope to win nationals this year.” Despite the immense amount of Mills’s time that hockey consumes, it’s his die hard passion. “I love the game with its ups and downs, I love the speed and finesse required to play. It is fast and keeps you on your toes; you never know when something crazy might happen like a goal or a big hit,” says Mills, “I play because it’s amazing.” Sophomore Marc Berghouse is one of Sequoia’s few fencers. He started fencing when he was seven years old after attending a pirate day camp at Stanford. “We went on a bunch of treasure hunts, did pirate activities, and took a fencing class, and I thought, “this is kinda cool.’” “I want to be just like Captain Jack Sparrow because I want to sail the seven seas,” Berghouse said. He fences on Tuesdays and Thursdays in San Carlos for two hours, and then for three hours on Fridays and Saturdays in San Francisco. For cross-training, Berghouse swims frequently and weight trains. “It takes up a lot of my time, but I love it,” Berghouse said. Berghouse plays in tournaments about every three weeks, and gets to travel not only around the United States, but to Europe too. “I’ve been to France, Hungary, and Italy, and I’m going to Germany this month,” Berghouse said. “Those tournaments are the best because you get to fence in a new place, meet new people, and experience a different country.” Some of Berghouse’s favorite memories come from tournaments in which he’s encountered players from all over the world. “There was this Hungarian guy. Every time he would get a point he would scream and dance, it was really weird,” Berghouse said. “And all Italians get really pissed off when they fence, so they rip off their masks and throw them a lot.” Fencing is much more challenging then it seems, Berghouse said. “It’s a mind game, it’s like physical chess” Although Berghouse doesn’t want to make a career out of fencing, he says that he will most definitely fence on and off for the rest of his life. Even though fencing won’t be his career, he will always aspire to be like Captain Jack Sparrow and sail the seven seas.
JV football team scores big this year Cross-country team
By SOPHIE MILLER and MATTHEW MORROW Staff reporters The junior varsity football team has had a six game winning streak and has won eight out of nine games this year. The team also won the big game at Woodside on Oct. 14 and played Carlmont on Nov. 10. “Everyone [on the team] is good,” said junior varsity team member, sophomore Benjamin Chounard. “We have good coaches.” The team is lead by coach Cameron Farris, who has been coaching at Sequoia for three years. The team has many factors that have made them so great this year. “The coaches push us really hard at practice,” said sophomore junior varsity team member Troy Spears. “We practice everyday and put a lot of effort into it,” said freshman junior varsity team member Kite
Lauese. “We have a pretty good chance at going [to the championships].” The team also watches movies of their past games to review what they should work on and what plays they did well. There are now three freshmen on the junior varsity team. “They have exceptional skill,” said Chounard. The team is getting better every year, thanks to many great, new players. “They score a lot of touchdowns,” Spears said about the new team members. “We were excited and proud of each other,” said Chounard about their win at the Woodside game. “The Woodside game was the toughest because it was the closest,” Although the varsity team did not win, the junior varsity team beat Woodside by two points, winning 28 to 26. “The win was good, but unexpected,” said Spears.
Girls tennis season ends with a win By ANNA DAGUM Feature Editor With the girls tennis season wrapping up with a triumphant 6-1 victory against Oceana on Oct. 25, they overall grew as players, as well as closer as a team. Although the girls ended with a 1-12 win-loss ratio, “[they] had a very successful season in terms of how the girls responded to challenges as well as athletic improvement,” said tennis coach Phil McKenney.
“Everyone cheers each other on. It’s a good environment,” said junior Sami Mast, a player on the team. The game is played according to divisions: singles and doubles. Singles is played as a one-on-one match between two different teams, whereas doubles is played with two people from each team, with a total of four people competing against each other. This season, under instruction of a new coach, the team learned how to charge the net, improved
their volleying skills, and learned some doubles strategies. Juniors Alex Hilbert at No.4 and Rebecca Sand at No.3 singles had the most victories with three each. Juniors Caitlin Castagnola and Chelsea Texeira also made a strong No.1 doubles team. “The games that we do win [in terms of division], everyone takes it as a win,” said Mast. “We haven’t won that many games as a whole, but we’re spirited.”
has best season ever By ERICK CASTRO Staff reporter The Sequoia High School cross country team is the best it has ever been in Sequoia history; currently, the boys team is in sixth place and the girls team is in seventh out of the total 17 schools in the Peninsula Athletic League standings. The team began its season at Half Moon Bay High School for a PAL meet and continued their official season until PAL League Championships on Nov 3. “Statistically, we are the fastest team that any team has ever been in Sequoia,” said Coach Andrew Hutchinson. In 2009, Coach Andrew Hutchinson took over the team, and since then the team has seen a dramatic increase in participants. According to Hutchinson, this is because of runners bringing in friends to participate in the sport. “Everybody can be included in cross country, it doesn’t matter who you are. Girls can’t play football unless it’s one game a year, but in cross country, we take everybody in,” said junior Warren Van Velkinburgh. The cross country team runs four to six miles for workouts, but only runs three miles during meets, at places like Crystal Springs in Belmont. “It’s more mentally challenging rather than physically, where being able to keep yourself going for more than three miles is definitely the hardest part of the sport,” senior Chris McCreddin said. Both the boys varsity team and the girls varsity team continued onto CCS Section Finals last Saturday.
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