Page 1

Raven Report Sequoia High School

Volume IX, Issue 6

1201 Brewster Ave. Redwood City, CA 94062

March 9, 2016

Two seniors named National Merit Finalists By ALEX VICK Staff Reporter

Senior Avery Amaya-Adle won his tennis match against El Camino 6-2, 6-0 last Tuesday.

Photo by Abigail Wang

Upcoming primary elections: what you need to know By NICK ABRAHAM Staff Reporter The presidential primaries are already in full swing, yet not all students understand the process. The primaries determine the nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties who will run in general election for President of the United States. Each party’s nominee is decided by delegates: state officials who use citizen votes to choose a nominee at each party’s National Convention. There are also superdelegates: high-ranked party offi-

cials who represent the party establishment and choose whomever they want. The other form of choosing a nominee is a caucus, which requires voters to gather in a public place to convince undecided voters to choose their candidate. Caucuses are held in 13 states. California’s primary election is on June 7, when each voter can cast one ballot in the primary of either party. The primary voting process is simple: 1) Register to vote: this may be done on paper or online by students 18 or older, and it must be done by May 22. 2) Get informed: check out different

candidates and learn about their proposed policies and views. 3) Vote: either at a local polling place or as an absentee voter. “I really encourage all students to get engaged and get active. The 18-25 voting block is the smallest voter turnout block, and I believe they could be some of the most informed and forwardthinking of all potential voters,” history teacher William Gray said. “It would be a great service to their community, state and country if [students] would participate in the democratic process.”

Seniors Ariele Ladabaum and Carmen Vescia were named National Merit finalists Feb. 17, part of the top 1 percent of all U.S. students who entered the competition. The National Merit Scholarship Program is designed to recognize the United States’ academically talented students through the PSAT and the SAT. To enter the program, students have to take the PSAT no later than the third year of high school, be enrolled in high school and planning to graduate and/or go to college that fall after school lets out. Finalists are eligible to receive scholarships for college. “That was pretty exciting because now I actually have the possibility of getting scholarships,” Ladabaum said. “I would hope to get some scholarships. That would be awesome; I think anyone can really appreciate financial aid for college because it’s incredibly expensive.” Nearly 1.6 million other juniors took the PSAT in 2014, the year that Vescia and Ladabaum were recognized. Of those, 50,000 were recognized as semifinalists, and only 16,000 semifinalists became finalists.

Course offerings expand to include IB Business and Management By MACKENZIE CLARKE Staff Reporter Beginning next year, IB Business and Management will be offered as a oneyear course open to juniors and seniors. The class, led by AVID and Psychology teacher David Weyant, will be a part of the Social Studies Department. “It gives students another choice in electives, which is huge, and it teaches you about marketing and management, which are important in any kind of business,” Weyant said. According to the course outline, topics will include business organization, buisness environment, human resource management, marketing, operations management, finance and accounts. “I’ve been interested in business for

a while, so this class will be an opportunity to be able to learn the terminology [of business]. Those connections are what I’m really looking for,” said junior Xavi Boluña, who plans on pursuing a career in business. Sequoia recently decided to add Business and Management, which is already offered in numerous IB schools across the world, to encourage a wider range of students to take IB classes. With around 100 students already signed up, it is projected to be a popular and relevant class that will appeal to a variety of students. According to the Institute of Education Sciences, over 367,000 students graduate with majors in business a year, making it one of the most popular majors offered in colleges.


Special: Local food finds

Page 4-5

Presidential candidate stances

Page 8

“It’s a great fit for our school,” IB really well to what we have around us. Coordinator Lisa McCahon said. “Be- It’s very appropriate and fitting, and I’m ing a school in the Silicon Valley, we excited to teach it,” Weyant said. have a plethora of businesses to connect Business and Management will incorwith through this class, and I think this porate many aspects of actual business course embodies what the local business world situations into the curriculum community is all about.” and assessments. The internal assessWeyant’s experiment is made up of a ence with buisness “I think this course embodies research project and include dealing with what the local business community is a written commenfinance at Wells Fargo all about.” tary, both requiring Bank and managing —Lisa McCahon, students to study real multiple branches of IB Coordinator world business situEnterprise Rent-Aations and organizaCar. He also teaches tions. a freshman BUILD class in which stu“Application of concepts is what redents work in teams to create businesses. ally is interesting to me,” Boluña said. “We live in an area where there [are] “Seeing the application, what the effects startups and an overall entrepreneurial are—that’s what I’m excited about going spirit, so I think [this class] will relate into this class.”

By the numbers


Number of plastic water bottles saved by the new filling stations, according administration



March 9, 2016

Athlete uses mind, not might, to win races

What’s your favorite part of the day?


Staff Reporter

In crew, where rowers face backwards while moving an unstable shell through the water with long oars and full body strength, it is the coxswain’s job to steer the boat to victory. Freshman Isabelle Azadi does this for the Redwood Scullers, a local crew team. “It’s my responsibility to make sure nothing bad happens to the boat,” Azadi said. If a coxswain is on the boat, they can be held accountable for the boat if it breaks or sinks, according to U.S. rowing regulations. Steering the boat is only one part of the job. The harder part, according to Azadi, is keeping the rowers motivated. “In a race, I have to know the exact right things to say, so the rowers can give me their best. I’m sort of like a mini coach,” Azadi said. And mini she is: a women’s coxswain usually weighs less than the U.S. Rowing Regulations 110 pounds, and a men’s coxswain under the regulation 120—and many are much, much smaller. Many coxswains artificially gain weight by drinking pounds of water, or storing wrenches in their bras.

Sequoia Says:

“I like dinner because, as a family [we]talk about our days ... and I get to eat.” —Kyle Spottiswood, freshman

Photo courtesy of Aleza Bajos

Though crew is often associated with upper body strength, it takes a lot of lower body work, too. “Even if you’re not pulling, It’s reThey then remove this extra weight ally hard to be a coxswain,” Owens prior to the race, allowing their boat said. “[A coxswain] has to steer the to have an unfair advantage. “If you weigh too little, you have boat, which looks super easy, but is to bring weights into the boat,” Aza- really stressful.” For Owens, a good coxswain is also di said. “Last year, for regionals, I needed to bring a bunch of weight a good motivator. “Coxswains can really be motivain, and I asked the coach, and I remember he handed me a trash bag tional when they say the right things,” and told me to go collect rocks to Owens said. “I think everyone has a bring with me. It was really funny.” kind of phrase that really helps them According to varsity Redwood pull harder. If a coxswain can figure it Scullers junior Nell Owens, cox- out and say it, it can really help win a race.” swains are underappreciated.

“Lunchtime, because I get to hang out with my friends.” —Serena Stephens, freshman “Coming to school and seeing all the smiling faces of the young kids basking in their problems.” —Alexander Katakis, senior

—Compiled by BENJY JUDE

Sequoia competes equally with help of Title IX By BENJY JUDE

Staff Reporter The Williams sisters, Mia Hamm, Flo-Jo, Skylar Diggins, Alex Morgan, Gabby Douglas, other great American athletes and even coaches at Sequoia owe Title IX for giving them an equal chance to play the sports they love. At Sequoia, there are a few questions about equality between boys and girls sports funding. The one shed that girls softball gets to keep their equipment in is a broom closet by the locker rooms, far away from the field, where they need the equipment. However, boys baseball has their shed right next to the diamond. In lacrosse, boys are given their own lockers to keep what fits of their equipment, when girls are not. A girl can ask for

Photo by Benjy Jude

Seniors JC Lara and Emma O’Hara run together at track and field practice, a coed sport, Thursday, March 2. one so she might be able to get a locker, but there is no guarantee. “We get the football lockers for the time that they’re vacated, so we can fit our gear in there,” said JV lacrosse junior Kyle Johnson said. “It can be

helpful for those who don’t have a ride home first because some people stay at school until practice starts.” Title IX requires equal funding for sports—that means equal equipment, coaches, storage units, etc., proportional to

the gender difference. Strongly promoted by many activists like Billie Jean King, Title IX was signed into law by Richard Nixon in 1972. It forbade any sex discrimination in education, requiring schools to give girls and boys equal opportunity, funding and resources. “The funding for each sport should be extended to the point where each [team] can buy the equipment they need,” Johnson said. “The funding shouldn’t be unfair just because its boys and girls.” These small infractions show the remnants of the pre-Title IX world. Since Title IX, which Sequoia has been following, some believe the athletic department already values girls sports equally to boys. “I don’t think there’s any sort of greater emphasis placed on boys sports,” said math

teacher and girls varsity soccer coach Melissa Schmidt, who does not recall any infraction in her 10-year tenure coaching at Sequoia. “The [girls] love what they’re doing and are proud of it, and they’re going to play whether people watch them or not,” Schmidt said. “My high school didn’t offer a girls soccer team, so I had to be allowed to try out for the boys. I ended up playing with the boys because of Title IX.” “If girls understand that by law, they’re supposed to get the same funding, that will encourage more girls to go out for sports instead of thinking, ‘It doesn’t really matter,’” said freshman JV swimmer Mary Grace Mylod-Vargas. “We’re still at that point where more guys do sports than girls, so we should definitely be encouraging them to do sports.”

Printing and web hosting funded by


March 9, 2016


Contour enhances junior’s cheekbones and business skills By MADDIE REYNOLDS Staff Reporter To stay on top of makeup trends, students often turn to tutorials on YouTube, Pinterest boards, Instagram pages and businesses like junior Alexis Razon’s. Razon has been making money with her makeup skills since last year and uses her Instagram page @__straightglam to promote her business. “Sometime around the end of my sophomore year I realized using social media was better than just hoping people would talk about my makeup,” Razon said. With almost 800 followers, word has gotten around. Her Instagram page doubles as her personal account and as a way to market her skills to anyone interested. The page is filled with pictures of her and clients in full makeup for homecoming, formal and most recently, Valentine’s Day. “Formal was really, really packed,” Razon said. “I had about six people that wanted me to do their makeup that day, not including a bunch of other people that needed other jobs done, so I [started] at 8 a.m. For the rest of the day I was just running around like crazy.” Razon gets the most appointments and money from Sequoia dances. A single session costs $45, and with at least six appointments with Sequoia students the day of formal, Razon made $270

Photo taken from Instagram

Razon’s Instagram page has amassed nearly 800 followers since the late months of her sophomore year. from fellow students, in addition to having other clients from other schools. Razon owes her success to her mother and sisters. “When I first wanted to start doing makeup on other people, I practiced a lot on my sisters,” Razon said. “I definitely would not be as good as I am now if they didn’t have patience to go through that.” Razon also got lots of practice on her friend, junior Melina Gomez. The two hit

it off after Gomez began a conversation about fashion. “I remember asking her if I should dye my hair,” said Gomez. “She actually gave me really good advice, and I was a little bit surprised.” Gomez gets the friends-andfamily discount of absolutely free for all makeup appointments. The most recent job Razon did on Gomez was for formal, and Gomez was proud of her friend. “Everything was on point,” Gomez

said. “The eyeshadow, the lips, the highlight—everything. She’s hella talented.” Razon credits her success to passion, lots of practice and her mother’s tips. “I remember my mom telling me to practice my winged eyeliner before bed. That way, you can just take it off messily and start over if you need to,” Razon said. Coming to school in full makeup everyday since sophomore year has allowed Razon to be nit-picky about her makeup and how it looks. “I don’t want come to school if my eyeliner or my eyebrows or anything like that isn’t absolutely perfect,” said Razon. “If I do come, I’ll straight up leave class and go to the bathroom until I’m satisfied.” Razon says the best thing about makeup is the confidence it gives her and others. “People make comments and pass judgement on people for how much makeup they wear, but those people are just the most insecure,” Razon said. Razon knows more than anyone about the stigma surrounding girls who wear lots of makeup. With an Instagram page dedicated to makeup, she says sometimes her classmates will make passive comments about the amount of makeup she wears. “Just because you wear it, and it makes you feel good when you’re wearing it, that doesn’t mean that you’re any less beautiful or any less deserving of respect when you’re not wearing it,” Razon said.

Communication necessary in student-police relationship like them at all now. The police couldn’t find it in themselves to believe me, my brother or my When the police approach, cousin,” Tautuaa said. Across the country, mainsenior Cameron Horspool’s heart rate speeds up; he is suddenly on stream media has brought conhigh alert. Even though he thinks cerns about institutionalized he’s done nothing wrong, it’s racism in the law enforcement enough to make him wrack his system. The ability to view confrontations between police and brain. What did I do? “I get a little bit scared, and I citizens from across the country try not to stare,” Horspool said. has inspired some students to “I feel like they’re going to charge have and share negative opinions about law enforcement. me just for looking too much.” “If a cop does something According to the National Association of the Advancement of wrong in another state, everyColored People, people of color one knows about it. These cops are arrested six times more often promised to uphold the law and than caucasians. Polynesian ju- then fall short and do something nior Norman Tautuaa believed illegal or immoral,” said Officer he, his brother and his cousin Mike Reynolds, who has been were victims of racial profiling. serving with the Redwood City They were assumed to be sus- Police Department for 17 years. pects after being singled out on “It that makes us all look bad. the street by a woman they had Just like teachers or any other never seen before. His cousin and profession, there are always going brother were accused of involve- to be bad apples that make it difment in an incident where the ficult for everyone that wants to woman was jumped. When he do perform well.” Though many people may went to support his cousin and brother, Tautuaa also became the have strong negative opinions about law subject of in“ I understand that there are bad enforcement, terrogation. not all stuThe case people in the police force, but there dents share was eventu- are also many officers that do a lot the same ally dropped, of good,” but Tautuaa’s —Nia Walton, senior opinions. “There are brother and cousin were handcuffed and bad people in the police force, taken to the San Mateo County but there are also many officers jail and their bail was set at $50 that do a lot of good,” senior Nia thousand, which his parents paid Walton said. As an African American, Walin increments. Tautuaa felt that the officers gave them no benefit ton has always been told to respect the police and to never act of the doubt. “With that happening I kind suspicious around officers. Her of lost my respect for cops. I don’t first encounter with law enforce-


Coexisting with the Police


Keep your hands empty and visible (or on the wheel). Don’t reach for anything unless asked.

3 5

Roll down all the car windows when you’re being pulled over. Be cooperative and polite, they’re more likely to return the favor.



Follow any and all directions the officer gives you.

Give the officer a minute to make sure things are safe before asking why you were stopped.


Above all, just be honest, no matter how much trouble you might get in.

Tips from Officer Reynolds, Redwood CIty PD graphic by zack rosenblatt

ment came when she was pulled for a traffic violation. While being pulled over, all she could think of was Sandra Bland, an African American woman who was put in jail, and later allegedly committed suicide there, for not signaling at a traffic light. “I thought for sure I was going to get in a lot of trouble,” Walton said. “It was surprisingly cool because [the officer] was being super nice when he realized how nervous I was. He was chill about the whole situation and ending up not writing me a ticket.” Reynolds realizes that the brain’s cognitive reasoning skills are still developing at 17. “I try to give students and kids the benefit of the doubt, because they are just learning the system and moving through life,” Reynolds said. “Part of being a teenager is making these mistakes so you can learn from them.”

Since her first encounter, Walton has had few interactions with law enforcement. The few interactions that do occur continue to be positive and uneventful. “I have had solely good encounters with the police. I haven’t heard too many people that have any negative experiences with the them,” Walton said. Campus Resource Officer Diana Ruiz-Jara has worked with kids for over 20 years because she believes in the future of young people and strives to have friendly contact with students every day. “Placing an officer at this school give the kids that idea that officers are really truly there to help, not to punish or anything like that,” Ruiz-Jara said. Ruiz-Jara and Reynolds acknowledge that some people dislike the police. Reynolds understand that a big factor causing this rift is that students do not

like being around someone who has power over them. “Our job as law enforcement is to pretty much tell people that they can’t do things,” Reynolds said. “No one wants to be told they can not do something. It’s more important now than ever to take the time as police officers to explain to people why they can’t do these things.” Ruiz-Jara believes another reason some people don’t care for the police is because of the emotions and events that are linked to law enforcement, as police are usually called when someone has been the victim of a crime or fallen life threateningly ill. “Unfortunately, the type of work that we do, people only call the police when something is negative,” Ruiz-Jara said. “When we arrive at an incident, people are at the highest stress level that a person potentially can be at.”



i Dumpling Pricing: $



Food is a quintessential part of the American lifest we have all the resources to satisfy our growing teena able. From tacos to dumplings, downtown provides a host of delectable flavors. The Raven Report tested quality replenishments. Read on to discover our favo

(Top) These pork chive delights are easy to eat and highly addictive: beware.

— Compiled by CLA Photos by ABIGA

(Right) The marinated seaweed made for an interesting and unexpected side dish. This tiny hole-in-the-wall wouldn’t look like much if it weren’t for the perpetual line seven people deep waiting outside. Authentic and unassuming, i Dumpling is the place to be for quality Chinese dumplings, potstickers, noodles and more. We ordered an onion pancake (very flat bread made with green onions that is fried and cut into wedges), marinated seaweed and a plate of pork with chive dumplings. The marinated seaweed was strange and unexpected—imagine a thick, gelatinous, somewhat crunchy flat noodle that is tossed with soy sauce and garlic. A slight taste of the ocean bleeds through as you chomp away at the emerald green strips. Although an admittedly bizarre dish if you’ve never tried it before, marinated seaweed is really pretty good. With a name like i Dumpling, we highly expected the dumplings to be good, and let us tell you, the i Dumpling chefs delivered. The filling was flavorful and juicy. The dough was delicate yet hearty enough to hold in the filling and made for a truly satisfying few bites. After scarfing down the plate of dumplings, we tried to ignore our bursting stomachs. Regardless of how full we felt, there were certainly no regrets. Located just across the street from Sequoia, 650-568-9789 i Dumpling has the most convenient location for students. The prices, too, are pretty reasonable ($6.85 for 12 dumplings). It’s just too bad we don't have open campus for lunch.




Patty Melt 8.95 Midnight Burgern 8.95 California Grilled Cheese 6.95 Beet Salad 7.95 Pear and Brie Sandwich 6.95 Butternut & Cheddar 6.95

i Dumpling i Dumpling 650-568-9789

Tel: 650-568-9789

Tel: 650-568-9789

i Dumpling



Pricing: $$$ We tested some of Teaquation’s most popular concoctions and recorded our first impressions with fellow reporters Glenn Billman and Emily Ducker. Read our thoughts below:

Tel: 650-568-9789

Sunset Boulevard: “If you like things that are tart more than fruity this is for you.” The Joker: “Gorgeous design on the top. [The taste is] very unexpected it has

From left to right: Sunset Boulevard, The Joker and Gold Digger highlight a variety of fruity and tart flavors at Teaquation, a new addition to the Redwood City scene.

some pineapple going on and a little bit of basil and maybe some mango. Very fruity.” Dark Knight: “Honestly it just tastes like a Frappuccino from Starbucks which I am totally here for.” Gold Digger: “Whoa, that tastes like my childhood, like a SweetTart candy with a little bit of pineapple. That is really nice; I am digging that.”

To watch the complete video of the Raven Report testing Teaquation’s favorite drinks, visit

Wedge Brusse Wings The Big Mexido Sweet P





The Patty Shack


Pricing: $$$

tyle. And here in the heart of Redwood City age bodies and make snapchat stories envithe perfect place to tantilize our tastebuds with d some local hotspots dedicated to serving up orite restaurants and satisfy your hunger.




Patty Melt 8.95 Midnight Burgern 8.95 California Grilled Cheese 6.95 Beet Salad 7.95 Pear and Brie Sandwich 6.95 Butternut & Cheddar 6.95

A mac and cheese burger with a side of sweet potato fries creates the ultimate American dream at The Patty Shack. With our order of mac and cheese burgers, Captain Crunch milkshakes and brie and pear sandwiches, it became clear from our first bites that the Patty Shack’s has a knack for seemingly strange combinations. The burgers are the highlight, putting your backyard barbeque to shame. The thick patties are juicy and flavorful, ensuring the lucky consumer will want to lick the plate clean. We also sampled their brussel sprouts, which were dressed to perfection with a balsamic

Burgers and Fries

Wedge Salad 6.95 Brussels Sprouts 4.95 Wings 7.95 The Big 10.95 Mexidog 6.95 Sweet Potato Fries 4.95




vinegar glaze, causing any ill-feeling towards the vegetable to fade with a single bite. The milkshakes too were somewhat unconventional with flavors including Captain Crunch and Reese’s. The sweet potato fries were pretty standard but really, how can you go wrong with sweet potato fries? With old-fashioned frosted milkshake glasses, wooden picnic table seating, and the most popular sports event playing in the background, the Patty Shack gives a perfect all-American vibe. The restaurant has a counter where customers place their orders and receive a number for their food to be delivered. This creates a comfortable atmosphere—perfect for a Saturday afternoon lunch or casual dinner date. The one thing that really tripped us up was the bill. The $8 burgers aren’t horribly priced, but once you add the $4.50 side of asparagus and $5 milkshake, the price really adds up. We wish the prices were a little lower or the portions a little larger to fit a more student-friendly budget. But I guess that’s what you get for a delicious meal made from quality ingredients.


Tacos El Grullense Pricing: $$

(Top) Tangy carnitas tacos from Tacos El Grullense are paired perfectly with a squeeze of lime and pickled carrots. (Left) The highlight of the meal was these golden-brown, lightly fried plantains dipped in sweet condensed milk.

One bite of anything on the menu at Tacos el Grullense and you will never go back to Chipotle. Not only is it more authentic, delicious and cheaper than Chipotle, but there are eight locations throughout Redwood City for you to try. Not all of the locations are related, but they share the name "Grullense" which refers to El Grullo, a municipality in Jalisco, Mexico. At El Grullense No.1 on Middlefield Rd., the menu options range from tostadas to tacos to super carnitas nachos. We ordered a super Al Pastor burrito, a plate of super nachos, a sope, taco, glass of horchata (a sweet, creamy drink made with rice and cinnamon) and mango agua fresca. We decided to finish it all off with a plate of hot, crispy, fried plantains with a sweet, gooey interior and served with a small container of sweetened condensed milk (which wasn’t really needed). The food was all superb and thoroughly authentic (as far as we gringas could tell). The nachos and burrito were loaded with tons of ingredients— none of us left with an ounce of room left in our stomachs. The one downside to the burrito was the lack of consistency with which it was filled. The burrito is not for the faint-hearted. Just a warning you must have a moderately high tolerance for spicy food for this one. All the meat was fine, but the carnitas was by far the best. The drinks were exquisite and undeniably fresh—the perfect pairing to a dense and deeply satisfying meal. It seemed that with all the variety on the menu, there were far too many things to try. The good thing is that with its relatively fast service and cheap prices ($10 for seven tacos and a drink), there is nothing to stop us from coming back again and again.



March 9, 2016

Define others by personality, not belief system By AVIVA FUTORNICK

Staff Reporter I am a Jew. I pray a lot. I go to Israel a lot. I miss school

for holidays a lot. I may live my life in a Jewish way, but that does not mean I should be defined as the ‘Jewish girl’ at school. Right before I started high school, one of my youth group advisors told her story of going to a Catholic high school and making it obvious that she was Jewish, a decision she still regretted years out of school. I was so terrified of having that same experience that I kept my mouth shut about being Jewish. I took off my necklace, a Star of David, that I wear because it gives me something tangible that I can connect to Judaism with. I was afraid that once people saw the necklace, they would not get past my religion and label me as the Jewish girl throughout high school. Eventually I realized trying to hide who I am makes me feel worse than people knowing something about me, so I

put the necklace on and talked about the Jewish part of my life. I began to open up more, and I can freely go around talking about my religion now, but I get this feeling that I am being talked to differently because someone knows I am Jewish. I get the feeling certain things are assumed for me: that I keep Kosher, I don’t enjoy Christmas time or that I speak Hebrew. I don’t get the chance to actually tell someone these things about myself: I love Christmas

time and I don’t speak Hebrew. I personally don’t keep Shabbat, the Jewish holy day; I drive, use my phone, go out and watch TV, but I still like to draw a line for myself to observe Shabbat in ways where I feel connected. I’ll go to synagogue most weeks and I won’t do work or homework on Friday or Saturday. I do a lot of things differently than other people because of my religion, but I don’t think I should be looked at or treated differently than anyone else.

I normally don’t go out Friday or Saturday, but I think it’s still a nice gesture to invite me. It’s the same as if your friends know you have an engagement, and they don’t tell you about plans because they know you can’t come. Telling me about something, even if I can’t go makes me feel like I am being treated the same as anyone else. I in no way want to be given special treatment because I am Jewish. I don’t want people to

avoid subjects when around me such as the Holocaust or conflict in the Middle East because it is ‘sensitive for Jews.’ I want to talk about these issues, not hide behind my religion and avoid important topics all together. I want to be able to talk with my friends and for both of us to feel comfortable saying anything we want to each other. If you are friends with a Jew and feel uncomfortable saying certain things, don’t. I am not going to get upset or defensive at the first sound of a Jewish joke. Honestly, I will probably laugh along. What is worse is knowing someone is uncomfortable talking about religion or making a joke because I am a different religion than them. I want people to know more about me than just the fact that I am Jewish. I want people to be able to look at me and describe me in more adjectives than just Jewish. I will always define myself as Jewish-American; it’s who I am, it’s what I have come to know, embrace and love. That does not mean all there is to me is being Jewish. I want to be looked at as someone who is smart and kind and cares for her friends—not just the Jewish girl.

Fewer teens are driven to get behind the wheel; think it through before pursuing your license By PHILIP TYSON Copy Editor Driving in high school commonly signifies new freedom and independence, but is typically less recognized as a big investment. Although some may think it’s a “rite of passage,” driving as a teen is not for everyone. I got my license on my first attempt after I turned 16. Unlike many, I hate driving. Of course, initially I was fascinated with the idea; some friends older than me said it was really fun. Turns out, at least for right now, I don’t share the same feelings. And I’m not alone. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) released in 2012 that 30 years prior, 8 in 10 Americans ages 17-19 had a driver’s license. By 2008, it had dropped to 6 in 10. A study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) shows the same trend: 54 percent of teens were found to have their licenses before they turned 18. 44 percent said one reason for not getting one was because they didn’t have

I wanted to plead with my parents for a car. 39 percent said that they didn’t my own car, I know it would put need driving to get around. financial strain on them. I These explanations are don’t have a job. Before only two of the many starting Driver’s Ed, reasons why fewer Teen one should considteenagers are drivdrivers have er whether one is ing. I have my a 44 percent or highready to make the own. investment. First off, like er chance of being in Lastly, I have a the 39 percent in a fatal accident when lot of anxiety while the AAA study, I driving with one driving. don’t have a desNot paranoia. perate need for it. teenage passenger. Genuine fear. I have the privilege Many of my friends to get driven to school have asked me ‘why don’t by my dad, who drops you drive?’ after I approached me off on his way to work. them for a ride. I shrug, smile and I don’t entirely depend on my come up with some weak justification parents to get where I need to be—I am because it’s difficult to face my fear of a fan of the train—there are only a few getting into an accident, much situations where I absolutely less share it with others. have to drive myself. I’ve been in two car acSecondly, there are fiOne in cidents as a passenger, nancial reasons. I don’t one as a -month-old have my own car. ten teens baby and another Gas on average last year. Neither has driven cost $2.30 per galaccident led to any lon in California last after major personal injuweek. Adding a teen ries, but the first one driver to a couple’s car drinking. gave my mom chronic insurance policy leads to back pain, and the second an 80 percent higher averwrecked my family friend’s age annual premium. Even if

car. Still, the one I was involved in last year was terrifying, and I know that I could never live with myself if I ran over a pedestrian or killed someone in an accident. If you’re like me, I wouldn’t completely give up on driving as a teen. It is an acquired skill, and based on my current experience, it takes time to get more comfortable driving. However, if someone has a scarring experience as a passenger, it makes sense that they wouldn’t want to drive. Not every teen should get their license or feel like they absolutely have to, especially if there isn’t a desperate need. Ultimately, the decision is up to the individual. If you need to drive and have access to it, take the opportunity. Just remember that with new freedom comes greater responsibility; make sure to consider the pros and cons of what it’s going to be like after you get your license before you sign up for the 30-hour-long Driver’s Ed course. Besides that, you’ll have to take the written permit test, pay for at least three 2-hour driving lessons and pass the actual driving test. If, however, driving isn’t for you, then that’s okay. Although I do drive a little bit, I’m going to walk as much as I can for the time being. It’s good exercise.



March 9, 2016

From cleanest to busiest: which restrooms to use You haven’t gone all day and really need to let it out. But which bathroom should you use? Here are some awards, given with help of other students’ opinions, to male, female, and gender-neutral bathrooms ranging from best restroom to the restroom with the best mirrors, to help you decide. Busiest

Least traffic The gender-neutral bathrooms in the LL and M-wings only have one toilet so there is no line inside and barely a line outside. (As a reminder, this is a gender-neutral bathroom, so please let those who need it use it).

Needs maintenance Female: With one mirror missing, two stalls unusable, no paper towels and a lot of graffiti, the upstairs girls’ bathroom between the physics and math wings is a spot worth avoiding. Male: Make sure you tie your shoelaces before you walk into the boys’ bathroom near the MPR; step at your own risk.

Female: The small downstairs bathroom in the main hall always has a long line during brunch and at the end of lunch. Strangers are awkwardly pushed against one another when in line.

Best lighting

Female: The newest bathroom on campus, in the B building faces east, so it has ample natural light that allows a nice natural glow. Male: Despite the other draw backs, the bathroom across from the MPR has huge windows that allow light in.

Male: The one downstairs across from the copy room is small, so it gets crowded faster then most.

Best mirrors

Worst overall

Even though the bathrooms near the MPR are in a good location and have a lot of stalls, because they’re used so much, there are long lines during brunch and lunch, they smell bad most of the time, and the ground along with other surfaces are so dirty that most people use their sleeves to touch door handles.

Female: If you’re looking for a good spot to fix your looks, hit up the girls’ locker rooms for a wall full of mirrors. Male: Unfortunately, most of the boys’ restrooms don’t have mirrors.

Cleanest Although the bathrooms in Gym 1 are out of the way and usually only used when there is an athletic event, they are usually very clean and there is always an empty stall or urinal. Along with being the cleanest, these bathrooms provide powerful hand dryers.

—Compiled by BRIGHID BUGOS

Poor subs are no excuse for doing poor work By TREVOR CROWELL

Sequoia High School

Sports Editor As I walk into class and overhear the delighted comments of “Yes! We have a sub!” I find myself thinking the same thing as my peers: “Well, we’re not getting anything done today.” Covering for teachers when they take sick or vacation days is and always will be an unavoidable part of school. Unfortunately, substitute “teachers” are much more like paid babysitters than educators. Becoming a substitute is relatively straightforward: have proof of graduation from a college or university, pass a basic skills assessment, complete an application and pay a processing fee. But many subs lack both the authority needed to control a classroom and the experience to teach a real lesson. It seems questionable if these tests truly weed out those who are not qualified. Subs have been known to lose work, distract the class by telling personal stories or even allow students to blow off the actual work. Others show up to the wrong class or forget to give out the handout. Following instructions may seem trivial to some, but it is apparently just too complicated for subs. No error seems too great for a substitute teacher to make. A genuine concern of teachers and students alike is that the class will get nothing done with a sub. This prediction is completely reasonable as a class period with a sub usually involves the vast majority

Raven Report 2015-2016

Executive Editors Glenn Billman Claire Bugos Carmen Vescia Opinion Editor Abigail Wang Sports Editor Trevor Crowell Statistics from Bureau of Labor Statistics, and National Council on Teacher Equality

of students talking or using their phones while the substitute “monitors” the classroom. Until I experienced a class period with a sub, I never knew that “monitors” was synonymous with “taking a nap.” Our teachers should feel comfortable entrusting a sub to adequately take over in their absence. But sub lesson plans usually consist of little more than independent work or taking notes on a movie, showing that even teachers have second thoughts about how much they trust the subs. If substitutes are not trusted to provide real lessons, why are the subs not better trained before being put in charge of a learning environment? However, many of the issues with substitutes stem from the fact that they are not treated with enough respect. Many students use a class as social hour or attempt to convince the sub they do not need to do the assignment. This is disrespectful to the

Graphic by Trevor Crowell, Glenn Billman and Abigail Wang

handful of subs who do try their best to teach a successful lesson. It is important to note that subs are thrown into an environment where they know no one, and the community has a predisposed notion that all substitutes are incompetant people. For this reason, it is even more important for students to be courteous and offer a helping hand, especially when the subs do struggle. I certainly believe that there should be a system that ensures all subs are equipped with teaching credentials, but in reality, the productivity of a class period also depends on the attitudes of the students. Students should step up in class and provide the sub with direction when he or she is in need. While subs certainly can have significant impact, it is up to us, the students, to be respectful and responsible for our own learning, regardless of who is in charge on any given day.

Entertainment Editor Emily Ducker Copy Editor Philip Tyson

Page Editors Zack Rosenblatt Mars Svec-Burdick Staff Reporters Nicholas Abraham, Leigh Alley, Xavi Boluña, Beatrice Bugos, Brighid Bugos, Mackenzie Clarke, Matthew Eisenberg, Aviva Futornick, Addison Holman, Benjy Jude, Maddie Pei, Maddie Reynolds, Rio Popper, Alex Vick Adviser Kim Vinh




March 9, 2016

Dancing around the issues

Even though the public may judge the candidates based on intuitions, smiles and hair, a sometimes ignored, but very essential component of a candidate is their policy.

Note: these are not the only candidates in the race. ones included have the most delegates as of March 4, 2016.

—Compiled by MADDIE PEI

Donald Trump (R)

Hillary Clinton (D)



“There must be a wall across the southern border... Mexico must pay for the wall...All criminal aliens must be returned to their home countries.”

EDUCATION “I will end Common has to be at a local level.” He will also cut funds from the Department of Education.

HEALTHCARE “We are going to replace Obamacare [with]... a plan where people compete, free enterprise. They compete. So much better.”

CRIMINAL JUSTICE “My only complaint is that lethal injection is too comfortable a way to go.” In 2016, Trump said the police “have done an unbelievable job of keeping law and order.” Regarding enhanced interrogation techniques (torture), he promises to “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”

ECONOMY Trump plans to cut taxes down to four brackets: 0, 10, 15 and 20 percent. Businesses would have a 15 percent tax.

Clinton does not want to deport “hard working immigrant families.” An original sponsor of the DREAM Act, she wants immigrants to be included under Obamacare.

EDUCATION Clinton’s goal is to lower college tuition so that “the 40 million Americans who currently have student debt will be able to refinance their debt to a low interest rate.”

HEALTHCARE “We have the Affordable Care Act. Let’s make it work.” Clinton promises every child will receive health care and supports states that provide for undocumented children.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE Clinton will not abolish the death penalty since “there are certain egregious cases that still deserve the consideration of the death penalty,” though rarely.

ECONOMY Clinton promises “to make sure that the wealthy pay for debt free tuition, for child care, for paid family leave.” Unlike Sanders, she will not raise taxes on the middle class.

Marco Rubio (R)

Bernie Sanders (D)




Rubio does not support blanket legalization, but wants 20,000 border agents and 700 miles of wall along the Mexican border.

Sanders fancies “a path towards citizenship for 11 million undocumented people.”

“We’re going to build a wall. We’re going to triple the border patrol...I’ve got somebody in mind to build it.”



“I want every kid in this country who has the ability to be able to go to a public college, or university, tuition free,” paid through a Wall Street speculation tax.

“Educational opportunity thrives on choice, ingenuity, and diversity; the Department of Education squelches all three.” Cruz promises to abolish the department and return education to a more local level.

EDUCATION “Let’s stop Common Core and send education decisions back to the local level.” He believes this empowers local communities who know what is best for their schools.




Rubio fancies a less government-involved healthcare system: “That means not just repealing Obamacare, but replacing it with a market-driven alternative.”

Sanders wants to “join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee healthcare to all” through government, meaning no more health insurance companies, like with Obamacare. Sanders’ policy would give 33 million more people healthcare.

“We keep government from getting in between us and our doctors.” In addition to repealing Obamacare, his plan promises to separate health insurance with employment and allow purchase between state lines.




Death penalty cases that drag on “hinder justice for the victims and erode public confidence in Florida’s criminal justice system.”

Sanders promises to “put money into education and jobs for our kids,” demilitarize the police, abolish the death penalty and eliminate mandatory minimums.

“I believe the death penalty is a recognition of the preciousness of human life: that for the most egregious crimes, the ultimate punishment should apply.”



Sanders will raise taxes for the middle class, not just the wealthy. He promises to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Cruz fancies a simple flat tax at 10 percent for most people. He wants to eliminate the Department of Commerce and the IRS.

ECONOMY “I don’t know of any problem in America that’s going to be fixed with a tax increase.” He proposes tax brackets of 15, 25 and 35 percent; businesses will be at 25 percent.

Sources: Washington Post, candidate websites,, Business Insider

Profile for Sequoia High School Raven Report

Issue 6  

Sequoia High School Raven Report 2015-2016 Issue 6

Issue 6  

Sequoia High School Raven Report 2015-2016 Issue 6

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded