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Facebook risks and pressures cause one student to delete page. Could you? Page 3


Compare Sequoia Oscar picks to the real award winners

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Do you hear the footsteps? Sequoia Stampede brings out teacher rivalries Page 8

Raven Report Sequoia High School

Volume IV, Issue 6

1201 Brewster Ave. Redwood City, CA 94062

Students ‘sojourn’ to South to study civil rights

March 9, 2011

Trashy students invade campus By SARINA KOCHER GROSS Editor-in-Chief

Eighteen juniors and seniors embarked on a 10-day journey called Sojourn to the Past from Feb. 17-26. Here (from left to right) Eric Watson, Emmoni Alo, Julian Hiltbrand-Consoli, Lizeth Cuevas, and Rebekah Martinez-Gonzalez sing with Minnijean Brown Trickey, one of the Little Rock Nine, in Birmingham, Ala.

Sequoia cracks down on tardies By MATT BROTHERTON and NICKIE PUCEL Staff Reporters

You’re late to class, and you get sent home? Much of Sequoia was caught off guard after Sequoia’s new tardy policy was announced Thursday, Feb. 3 by Administrative Vice Principal Don Milhaupt, who created the new policy. The announcement stated that any student who had been late to that fifth period class would have his/her name recorded by the AVPs. If the student was late again, he/she would be picked up from school by parents and brought home. The Sequoia administration has buckled down on tardiness much more this year. First, they instituted the one-minute bells before class to warn students when they were almost late. Then, students had to call their parents and they received detention for being late. Now, they just have to leave. “Sometimes, the only way to get people to listen is if we take drastic measures,” said Milhaupt. Before the new policy, if a student was late, he/she received a detention and was placed on the no privileges list until he/she served it.

After a student’s third tardy, he/she of class instead of just letting them was given an in-house suspension. miss a couple minutes?” said sophoThe number of tardies has been more Nick Pauley. “I understand steadily increasing, so the new policy if it’s like 20 or 30 minutes, but we was created. Now, the students will don’t miss much in the first couple get their names put on a list the first minutes of class.” time they are late. The second time, “Sitting in that little room for the students will be suspended for detention, you’re bored to death. the remainder of the day, and their But here, you can show up late and parents will be go home instead called to take their of show up “Sometimes, the only way to students home. late and stay at get people to listen is if we school for an“We decided take drastic measures.” that parents need other hour,” said —Administrative Vice Principal junior Thaddeus to be involved,” Don Milhaupt Saldanha. “Kids said Milhaupt. “I think [the can pretty much administration] go home and should be taken more seriously by play video games or do what ever the students, and this will help,” said they want.” social studies teacher Nancy Berry. Milhaupt doesn’t believe the The new policy had an immestudents should have any excuse to diate effect as tardies in the later be late. periods (3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th) “We do the same thing everyday, decreased by 31.6 percent from the people,” he said. Indeed, we do. day before the announcement to the And besides Mondays, students have day after, according to statistics from plenty of time to get to class. We the attendance office. Students have get 15 minutes between 1st and 3rd been sent home as a result of the new or 2nd and 4th, 50 minutes between policy. Students may now be more 3rd and 5th or 4th and 6th, and 10 motivated to get to class on time, but minutes between 5th and 7th or 6th they don’t necessarily agree with the and 7th. policy. “The vast majority of the students “Why would they kick them out Go to TARDY, page 5

The pungent smell of yesterday’s spicy chicken lunch special lingers in the air while traces of sour chocolate milk drift through the halls, classrooms, quad, library, field, gym, and everywhere else that IB Environmental Systems and Societies students go. While being a walking garbage can is not a typical assignment for a science class, this is part of the IBESS project that this year’s juniors and seniors did for the week Jan. 31 to Feb. 7. Students were required to dispose of all of their garbage, everything from fish sticks to fingernail clippings, into their personal trash bags. It was mandatory that these bags were on hand at all times over the course of the project; teachers deducted points from students who where found without their trash. As a part of the pollution management unit, students received a personal first hand experience concerning the impacts of the solid domestic waste that they produce. Solid domestic waste is our everyday garbage that we throw away: a mix of paper, leftover food, glass, paint, and old batteries. Despite how much of it we produce each and every day, solid domestic waste is only responsible for five percent of the world’s waste and can be controlled and reduced. IBESS teachers Sarah Newman and Debolina Dutta wanted this project to impress upon students the environmental impacts of everyday waste with a unique personal experience and hoped to leave their students with an optimistic outlook. “I want my students to gain a sense of empowerment... for them to see what it is that they can do and to realize that they have power in the choices that they make,” said Newman. Students agree that although the project posed several challenges, it was an eye-opening experience that made some even change their habits. “I stopped eating fruits with peels Go to TRASH, page 7



STAR doesn’t light up all of Sequoia’s achievements it comes to the practicality of STAR testing. Some Sequoia staff members have shown support for these tests. “One pro of STAR testing is that teachers get to know if [students are] learning or if they’re wasting their time every day. It forces us to show [that] we’ve been doing our job. I love them,” said IVP Lisa Gleaton. STAR testing isn’t perfect though. It comes at a huge cost to the state Please choose the best answer to which has a $43 million contract with complete the following sentence: Educational Testing Service. Even for The point of standardized testing this price, many do not think that the is________. tests provide a comprehensive view A. To bore and frustrate students. of progress and learning ability. These B. To help students practice their tests give simple numerical scores that bubble filling skills. are easily comparable. They cannot C. To accurately assess a student’s detect whether the scores reflect what educational aptitude. the student was taught at school, or D. I’m putting this answer bepersonal learning experiences. cause I’m making a zig-zag out of the “There are so many pieces that bubbles. go into who you are and what you E. None of the above. understand. You As STAR tests can’t separate out “Testing looks for the most approach, the when [one] learned convenient way to get the debate rages about something,” said most info.” whether they are —English department chair English department a useful indicator Jessica Mass chair Jessica Mass. of intelligence or “There are too many not. Can patterns variables, there is of bubbles on a scantron sheet really too much that the students may or show how smart students are? may not do outside of my class.” Sequoia teachers agree: there is no “Testing looks for the most convesimple right or wrong answer when nient way to get the most info,” said By WILL JAMES and JOSH PITKOFSKY Staff Reporters

Mass. However the STAR test itself seems to perform below basic in both the convenience and information sections. “I don’t think the number necessarily represents where a student is or what they are capable of doing,” said AVP Ricardo Cooke. “The questions that are asked, in theory, are supposed to be things that the kids are exposed to. In reality, that is not always the case.” “Standardized tests do a good job of assessing a lot of skills but they definitely can’t assess all of them,” said English teacher Alissa Talesnick. “Not everyone is good at taking multiple choice tests; that’s just the way it is. I think those students have a real disadvantage.” “I think to get an authentic, holistic view of English skills, there would have to be a written component, a listening or speaking component, and

not all multiple choice questions,” said Mass. Cooke agreed, “A more holistic approach would be adding some of those elements of writing, adding a component of a teacher perspective, something similar to what the IB program does.” Unfortunately, these tests are already expensive and time consuming, and anything more in-depth than multiple choice would be expensive to administer. Most agree that the STAR tests do not cover everything that would be needed to show how much a student knows. “There’s a lot that standardized testing doesn’t test, just like grades don’t get everything. Sure it can get basic understanding, but some people may not be good at a subject, say math, but they memorize all the Go to TESTING, page 6

This month’s Financial Literacy article is sponsored by the RCSSE:

Using Credit Cards

Redwood City Sequoia School Employees Federal Credit Union 530 El Camino Real, P.O. Box 5413, Redwood City (650) 366-7777 Serving employees and their families in the following districts: Redwood City Sequoia San Carlos Belmont Ravenswood Las Lomitas Menlo Park Portola Valley Woodside Canada College

In today’s marketplace, a credit card can seem a necessity as well as a convenience. Some transactions such as shopping online or renting a car require one. And having a credit card allows you to carry less cash and shop in stores that don’t take checks. But unless it’s used wisely and within a budget plan, then a credit card can be a shovel for digging yourself into excessive debt - debt that can be hard to pay off and that can cost you hundreds of dollars in interest. Financial planning experts recommend following these pointers for making a credit card work for you rather than letting it control you. Carry only one card. Experts recommend using a credit card for convenience, not as an ideal way to make large purchases. A small consumer loan from your credit union is probably a better way to purchase a computer system or repair your vehicle, for instance. Carrying only one card until you have experience using credit can help you practice sound credit management. Carrying several cards to increase your available credit is an early warning sign of poor financial management. Shop for a card with maximum customer benefits. These include low interest rate, no/low annual fee, and grace period after purchase before interest kicks in. Budget before you spend. Using a credit card for impulse purchases, particularly bigger ticket items such as tempting electronics or expensive clothes, is a no no. Before you pull out the card know how the purchase fits in to your budget. If you use the card for making a planned larger purchase, also have a plan for paying off the total amount. Keep your receipts and check them against the monthly statement. This way you can catch and correct any errors. Some experts recommend signing up for online access to your credit card account so that you can check it more frequently than monthly. Pay before the due date. Paying late, even a day late, reflects on your credit rating. Pay off the balance in full each month. If you don’t roll part of the balance, you don’t get into debt and you don’t have to pay interest. Avoid the trap of minimum payments. If you can’t pay the balance in full, make as large a payment as you can and make a plan for paying the balance off over a specific time. Card companies earn their money on people who carry balances.



Facebook changes relationships as interactions move online Interaction gets digital with Facebook phenomenon Instant messages, pokes, wallposts, and an endless source of gossip; it’s undeniable that Facebook has changed the way our lives work. In an Internet-free world, teenagers were free of the pressure to constantly be in contact with their social life. If something needed to be said, it was in person or over the phone. The phenomenon of social networking has become a part of our everyday lives, taking away our freedom to just be alone. “I pretty much get home, do my homework, and then spend 3 hours Facebook stalking people... No joke.” said freshman Shahil Sharma. Constantly connected, students carry on discussions sparked by last night’s Facebook statuses and Formspring answers at school, then go home to repeat the cycle. Apart from the obvious time sync Facebook has created, the incessant facts about classmates’ personal lives create an atmosphere where privacy is virtually non-existent. “Facebook has become the way I interact with people,” said Instructional Vice Principal Lisa Gleaton, an avid Facebook user. When you become a part of this online community, you find yourself commenting, posting, and chatting with people you wouldn’t even think about inviting over for a sleepover. On average, Sequoia students spend about an hour and 45 minutes on the site a day. “It becomes a daily thing,” said sophomore Marisa Steck. Almost 2 hours a day spent having a heart-to-heart with a close friend is one thing... but viewing hundreds of pictures of people you’ve only met twice? Unfortunately, the large number of Sequoia students with a Facebook put more of their personal lives on their page then they realize. Remember, everything you post on Facebook is “stalk-able”.

Student deletes Facebook account to avoid online drama It’s anonymous. Who will know? This is the last thought running through a cyber-bully’s mind when debating whether or not to post a hurtful comment on an enemy’s wall. Unfortunately, many disobey any moral values they have learned and switch to degrading innocent classmates. “It really gets to you...being connected to people 24/7. It doesn’t give you any chance to be alone. Sometimes you don’t need all that drama in your life,” said junior Casey Kuhlow. She should know. A former “Facebook addict”, she took her page down after being abused by anonymous comments. “There’s an anonymous answer honest box and people really take advantage of it,” she said. “People I don’t even know would write thingspeople that don’t even go to school with me.” The pressure of constant beeps, buzzes, and vibrates can get annoying, but without it some can start to feel insecure and out of touch with the world because of how intertwined it has become with our lives. “Its not Facebook that’s the addiction, its the desire to know whats going on 24/7,” Kuhlow said. “I’m still spending a lot of time on the Internet but now I’m so much more stress free.” She doesn’t have to worry anymore whether or not someone will post something hurtful to her wall, or ask her questions she doesn’t feel comfortable answering. No notification emails will pile up in her inbox and persuade her to log on to an online horror. She can study in peace without worrying that someone is backstabbing her for the whole world to see. Her photos and social life are now more private and relationships can feel more real. “It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

Friends (1977)

Cyberbullying is rising: counselor gives tips on how to avoid Been bullied or want to lower your risks? Guidance Counselor Lisa McCahon has some guidelines before putting anything online or in an email. “Teens are so used to posting information and pictures on the Internet or through cell phones and forget that the information is

now accessible for others to spread to unintended audiences,” she said. Some teens are known to post inappropriate pictures and give away test answers as Facebook statuses. Next time think before you post. “This information can also be possibly viewed by school authorities, parents, potential employers

and potential colleges,” McCahon said. “Students should ask themselves before they post something, "Would I be upset if this was forwarded to people I don't know? Would I be upset if my mom or dad saw this? If I'm trying to get a job or get into college and they see this, would they hire me or accept me?"

If the answer is "No" to any of these questions, then it is best to not post that item.” If any information is questionable, don’t risk it. Who knows when someone will ask you in a job interview what you were doing that night in that tagged picture. —Laurel Dearborn



Oscars fall short of heightened expectations

the Oscars that make it entertaining. When every “They’re not exciting, I can get all of the inforA-list celebrity is put in a room and roasted for three mation the day after,” said junior Thaddeus Salhours by a host, America is intrigued and wants to danha. The acceptance speeches are, as Saldanha The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, watch. Billy Crystal, who made a guest appearance describes them, “Just blah blah blah, I don’t care!” is the most culturally celebrated awards event of the this year (and probably should have just taken over Some think they tend to drag on and bore the audiyear. There are many others, the Golden Globes, the night), has hosted eight times, and had a record ence and viewers, and most of the time music plays the SAG awards, the Emmys, the Grammys...the 57.1 million viewers in 1998 when Titanic won telling the speaker to get off the stage. list goes on, but none compare to the glamour and Best Picture. Jon Hansen put it best when honor that the Oscars present. Stewart, who has she said, “Some people can This year the 83rd Academy Awards were Feb. hosted twice, had act, but they can’t give a 27th, and new hosts Anne Hathaway and James the record low speech.” Franco led what turned out to be a boring and un- of 31.8 million Nevertheless, with funny evening at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeviewers in 2008. bias and boring speeches, les. Franco seemed detached while Hathaway tried This year Franco the Oscars are an event to compensate with bad jokes. Overall the produc- and Hathaway watched and enjoyed by tion didn’t work, but the Oscars still represent did a less than many. For some people, like something important, they represent Hollywood’s stellar job in Hansen, what they “really review of its own work. the opening care about is what Angelina “It’s an insider’s event. Fans want to see the celeb- monologue, with Jolie is wearing that night.” rities together and making fun of each other,” said awkward jokes Whether you watch for the This year’s best actors: Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, junior Aidan Harr. “As long as I can remember, the and low quality Melissa Leo, and Colin Firth. Photo from hosts’ performances, to see Oscars were always a big moment in my family.” entertainment. who wins, or to live-tweet Last year the nominees list for Best Picture, However, about how weird Christian the most prestigious award, expanded from five to the Oscars do not attract everybody, and this year Bale’s beard is getting, enjoy the glorious Academy ten nominees. This allows more films to have the the production was particularly messy. Awards for years to come. honor of placing a “Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture” sticker on their DVD box. “Its definitely become more commercialized,” added Harr. The Academy does tend to have biases, esMs. Hansen’s Picks Sequoia’s Picks The Actual Winners pecially towards period pieces, which are movies Tom Hooper— placed in a historical time period with an inspiring David Fincher— Best Director Tom Hooper— The King’s Speech The King’s Speech The Social Network story (this year’s example, “The King’s Speech,” winner of Best Picture and Best Director). Colin Firth— Jesse Eisenberg— Colin Firth— The King’s Speech The Social Network The King’s Speech “Its the sort of movie they just make to get nomi- Best Actor nated,” said Harr. Movies like this are made every Natalie Portman — Nicole Kidman— Natalie Portman — Best Actress year and get the Oscar nod over non-period pieces Black Swan Rabbit Hole Black Swan that might be more deserving. The period piece Best Support- Christian Bale— Christian Bale— Christian Bale— movies are often good and well-made, but someThe Fighter The Fighter The Fighter ing Actor what formulaic and get in the way of better movies receiving Best Support- Hailee Steinfeld— Melissa Leo—The recognition. Amy Adams—The Fighter True Grit ing Actress SomeFighter times the bias may even get The King’s Speech Best Picture The Social Network Inception personal, and a movie may not win because of a grudge. PrinSequoia High School cipal Bonnie Hansen thinks this happened 2010-2011 in 2009, when Editor-in-Chief Layout Editor Gran Torino Sarina Kocher Gross Santiago Ortega was excluded from nominaNews Editors Feature Editor Sports Editor tion in the major Hosts Anne Hathaway and Zeenat Ali and Alex Deas Sami Mast James Franco trade wardrobes Daniel Jude categories. in one of their many spoofs. “Clint EastStaff Reporters wood probably William Baker Matt Brotherton Anna Dagum Laurel Dearborn ticked off the wrong person on the Oscar panel,” Layne Diener Connor Grossman Will James Caroline Lempert said Hansen. Liam O’Hara! Josh Pitkofsky Nickie Pucel Rebecca Sand Jacob Warren This year at the Academy Awards, two pictures Mission Statement tied for most Oscars won. Inception and The King’s The Raven Report strives to provide Sequoia High School with informative, engaging Speech both received four Oscars. Although Incepand relevant news. The staff will exercise integrity and adaptability while promoting justice tion won mainly for its technical achievements and transparency through professional reporting about the school, the community, and the world. being awarded Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Art Direction, Inception took home the Oscar Letters to the Editor for its Cinematography which is among the most The Raven Report welcomes letters to the editor from students, parents, or community members, prestigious awards. The King’s Speech on the other sent to adviser Kim Vinh’s room, 308, or by email to hand, took home Best Picture, Best Actor in a Letters must include the writer’s full name and ID number, and the staff reserves Leading Role, Directing, and Original Screenplay, the right to edit for space and style. by far “winning” the night. The winners and losers are not the only part of By DANIEL JUDE and SANTIAGO ORTEGA Sports Editor and Layout Editor

And the Oscar goes to...

Raven Report



From Orange Fever to...Bieber Fever? daily kickoffs. However, many people disagree about whether this new found star is entitled to all this attention. Freshman Erick Pena thinks that “He deserves the fame but not the movie; Is it his charming smile? His big, innocent that’s just for people who have been famous for a eyes? His wise and inspirational song lyrics? Or long time.” The other things that Bieber doesn’t his hair that just knows which way it wants to deserve is, “Being labeled as an R&B star, and his go? Though it’s no lie that Justin Bieber’s music is nail polish line.” said Pena catchy and fun to dance to, what is it about this Despite the life-size cutout of “The Biebs” in teenybopper pop and “R&B star” that the fans her office, Athletics Director absolutely adore? Stacy Morell doesn’t “dislike For us hardcore “Beliebers,” Justin Bieber, but [she’s] not a it’s definitely the hair. Justin fanatic.” Bieber has been all over the “I got the cutout at a news these past months for white elephant Christmas many reasons, ranging from his party, I stole it from a friend recent haircut, to his appearance because I thought it was at an NBA All-Star game. funny,” said Morell. Justin Bieber released his The Biebs’ fame has skymovie “Never Say Never” on rocketed because of his movie Feb. 10, just 19 days before his and the amount of publicity 17th birthday. This epic feature he recieves, but his greatest length film is a story about achievement by far is his how the star sold out Madison novel. 100% Official Justin Square Garden in Manhattan in Bieber First Step 2 Forever: My just 22 minutes, after only being Story is a picture book packed known in the music business with illiterate twitter posts for a year. His inspiring tale Justin Bieber (at least... a life-size and quotes about his Canadiincludes countless interviews cutout of him) lives on campus. an pride, his faith in God, and with teenage girls who grow Photo by Laurel Dearborn. being surrounded by beautiful quite emotional while waiting girls. Our favorite quote is “I to see his concert. One girl said get to sort of emerge from the fog and slam into she tweeted Justin Bieber 100 times in just one ‘Love Me.’ The show’s opening makes me sound day while others cry when saying that they want to like a bad-ass.” We whole-heartedly agree. marry him. Despite the controversy upon whether this Junior Lucia Bertero saw the movie after it came heartthrob deserves a movie chronicling his out and immediately changed her Facebook status career, we Belieb that the movie gave a positive to, “Let me say, life changed. That kid is a boss.” message to all audiences about perseverance With all the Bieber hype, it’s no wonder Seand optimism, and agree whole heartedly with quoia’s buzzing with “Bieber fever.” English teacher Bieber’s motto: Never. Say. NEVER! Emily DeVoe uses Justin Bieber for her student’s By ANNA DAGUM and LAYNE DIENER Staff Reporters

Start College



“The vast majority of the students at this school get to class on time, but there’s a few people who are continuously late,” said Milhaupt. ”Some students don’t care that they have to serve in-house, and they’re chronically late.” “But it’s affecting kids [who aren’t always late],” said Pauley. “Because if we’re tardy twice out of the 180 days we’re here at school, we’re getting punished for being a minute late. It’s not like we’re trying to be late.” The policy was designed to stop the kids who are consistently tardy to class, but the students who are rarely late are also affected by the policy. Despite all of the “drastic” changes made, there is still an issue that was left unchanged. “It is not for 1st or 2nd period; that’s where the bigger problem is,” said Berry. “I don’t have any tardy problems with the other periods.” While some tardiness occurs during 3rd through 7th, the majority of tardiness comes during 1st and 2nd period. Based on statistics from the attendance office, the tardies from 1st and 2nd period make up about three quarters of the total tardies. On average, there are 149.75 kids late to either 1st or 2nd period, depending on the block day. From 3rd to 7th period, an average of only 51.75 kids are late to class. However, it is much more difficult for the administration to enforce a tardy policy for 1st and 2nd period. Students are still at home, and the school is not responsible for them. The administration can’t go to every students house and force them out of bed to make sure they get to school before their first classes. The administration’s new policy will help reduce the number of tardies from 3rd to 7th period, but the larger problem remains during 1st and 2nd period.

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Club promotes DREAM of a better future With the help of this bill, not only the students would By ROBERTO PABLO PIMIENTA benefit. With more people with education, there will be Guest Reporter less poverty in neighborhoods and these students will While I’m fortunate to have documentation, a number gain better paid jobs. This in turn would make them pay of my successful and hardworking peers face extra chalmore taxes and contribute to the country. These people lenges because they do not. I find it discriminating that a would be able to also invest by creating more businesses paper saying where they were born limits them so much. and buying stocks in the market. A recent study conductA place of birth cannot measure a person’s potential for ed by UCLA’s North American Integration and Developsuccess, yet our politics limit so many youths based on ment Center “estimates that if 825,000 undocumented this. Students in Sequoia High School youths obtain legal status under the and throughout the country have this [Dream Act], they would generate $1.4 “A place of birth cannot political challenge. Many were brought trillion in income over a 40-year period”. measure a person’s potential here as babies, and did not choose to This influx of capital could potentially push for success.” come to the U.S. Some have been here so —Junior Roberto Pimienta America into a relevant economic growth long that they forget their native lanstage. Another way in which the Dream Act guage and country. This country has bewould help the country is by enrolling more come their home. But their talents, dreams, and possible people in the military in order to maintain natural secucontributions are wasted just because of papers. Instead rity. When the DREAM Act did not pass last December, receiving financial support for their future careers, they not only did students lose, but this was a major loss for are considered “illegal”. President Obama reflects on this the country as well. issue; he commented in the recent state of the union that I’m proud to say that I’m part of the DREAM Club, “[These students] grew up as Americans and pledge aland I’m privileged to be part of this new civil rights legiance to our flag, and yet live every day with the threat movement. This past semester, in coalition with the Imof deportation” migrant Youth Action Team, we hosted a big fundraising Last December, a bill meant to solve the issues of undinner. The event was called “Making Dreams Come documented youth did not pass in congress. Essentially, True” and we raised over $ 5000.00 in scholarship money the DREAM Act bill would grant a path towards citifor undocumented students. I hope to continue working zenship to undocumented students who have enrolled in for this cause until the Dream Act is passed and “papers” two years of college or join the military. discrimination is over.

Jersey Shore wipes out teen brain cells resolution between the characters. I should hate this show, and I do, but I couldn’t tear my eyes away. It I’ll admit it: I spent seven hours was simply too funny. I kept thinking straight watching Jersey Shore. to myself, what planet are these idiots It was a surreal experience to say coming from? They’re getting paid the least. Jersey Shore is the spawn of to be jerks to each other, and they’re MTV, and stars eight complaining that life’s roommates doing hard!? “Jersey things:” binge However, the entertaindrinking and picking ment comes from the charup girls. Jersey Shore acters shallow nature. Junior has become MTV’s David Hibbard said, “The most watched series of show’s only entertaining all time, with 8.4 milvalue is the stupid conflicts lion viewers, and has among the characters, and experienced continued distrust among each other.” success. 8.4 million viewers watch Jersey Shore. Photo: Jersey Shore is everything The “stars” of the that’s wrong with the realshow include Michael “The Situashallow unintelligent selves, and the ity television industry, it promotes tion” Sorrentino, Jenni “JWoww” same thing happens every episode: shallow materialism, and shows that Farley, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, one of the characters does something making an ass of yourself on national Paul “Pauly D” DelVecchio, Ronnie dumb, there’s a big fight, and Mike television is the way to get paid. Ortiz-Magro, Sammi “Sweetheart” says there’s a situation in the third But on the bright side it makes me Giancola, Vinny Guadagnino, and person, followed by a half-hearted feel better about myself. By LIAM O’HARA Staff Reporter

Deena Cortese, who all add their own distinctive form of skin deep jealousy and resentment which leads to more distrust in their home. Jersey Shore is, for lack of a better word, stupid, the characters are one dimensional. They’re paid to be their


Continued from page 2 functions and equations, and spend 7 hours on a test and get the A,” said sophomore Aaron Jacobson. The STAR is not a test that you can or should study for, and cramming the night before would not help much. “It’s not necessarily what you learn, but how you demonstrate why those things that you have learned are important,” said Cooke. The STAR won’t lower your grades, and colleges will not see it. So why care about doing well on these tests? This year by doing well on STAR tests, students are eligible to raise their grades and win prizes, and show the state of California that their teachers have been teaching and they have been learning certain state education standards. The state of California uses the API, or Academic Program Index, which is composed of STAR test scores and CAHSEE results. When you put those together it is supposed to give a snapshot of how your school is performing against other schools, and more importantly whether or not your school has met the government’s goal of an 800, (API score) the suggested proficiency level for all schools. If a school does not reach that goal for multiple years, they risk facing a government takeover of the school. Taking these tests seriously can keep a school afloat, and even improve the surrounding community. Areas with schools that have higher API scores have higher property values. The tests can also serve as preparation for the students’ future. “These tests can be an opportunity to practice for higher stakes tests, like the SAT,” said math teacher Laura Larkin. Sequoia Staff sends the message that these tests need to be taken seriously, because even though the effects are not visible to students, they do affect the school greatly. Whether these test directly benefit you or not, “take it as seriously as you can, because your name is attached to it,” said Cooke, “understand that your name should mean everything to you.” Standardized testing has been going on for 50 years, and the STAR tests have been in use for the last 13. It’s really more of an academic tradition than a useful tool for assessing students’ intelligence. This is not the best way to indicate how well a school is teaching its students, but it is what we have for now.




said that they were disappointed to see that the most abundant material accumulated in their bags was plastic, continued from page 1 they were pleased to find that a lot of spread out on my desk, I thought, their trash was recyclable. They agree ‘If this is my trash for a week, then that they would like to see more comwhat does my trash for a year look posting and recycling bins at Sequoia like?’. It made me wonder about and for students to know where these where all of this trash goes,” said facilities are. junior AuMany Sedrey Inglis. quoia students Although the are already enUnited States vironmentally is one of the conscious and largest producmake use of ers of domestic the recycling waste, yieldand compost ing 1095 kg bins that they of waste per have access capita every to on campus day according or are part of to the United Ecos Club to States Environspread public mental Protecawareness. tion Agency, But you don’t most people have to be an do not know IBESS student what happens or a member of to their trash Ecos Club to after they make a differthrow it away. ence: you have “It’s so easy control over to throw your everyday Junior Nathalie Irias sorts through things away, decisions that a week’s full of trash on the IB Envibut when you ronmental Systems and Societies class have a huge have to lug it project’s last day. Photo by Sarah New- impact. around with Future man. you everyIBESS stuwhere, you dents should start to think about where your look forward to this annual project trash goes and begin to appreciate that brings a new perspective and those places,” said junior Savannah a better understanding of how our Rae. While both Inglis and Rae everyday choices impact the world.

Students ready to show off talent especially if I can’t get it into the dance show, I’ve never danced by myself in front of a huge audience, but The Sequoia Talent show, premier- once I get going I’m good, I get lost in the story and begin to relive it which ing March 11 in Carrington Hall, is why I’m known as an emotional is not only a showcase of Sequoia dancer,” said sophomore Bian Jabari. student preformers, its a way of Even the teachers get into the spirit rpeople to get together outside of of performing. school and expose the many talents “One year [Spanish teacher Edith here at Sequoia. It’s an inside look at Salvatore] told jokes. I thought it was what students do when they’re not in school. The show will be produced by hilarious. It was pretty amazing to see how comfortable she was performthe senior Class and will feature students, and some teachers with special ing. At the time I thought, ‘If I had to be performing in front of so many talents. Admission to the show will people I would die!” be 5 dollars. Some students have been practicTo create the show, the seniors ing their talents for years. and Belen Alvarez, Spanish teacher Jabari has been dancand the “It creates a sense of community. show’s advisor It’s an opportunity for students, ing since “[she] was eight or nine. So about had a genteachers, and parents to get together seven or eight years.” eral meeting outside of school.” These performers are about what — Spanish teacher Belen Alvarez dedicated to making needed to be their talent as good as done and by it can be. who. They then held auditions for “I hear some students sing and the talent, practiced the show twice I wonder why they are here. They to make sure technical equipment worked and found people for security should be on American Idol,” said Alvarez. and ticket sales. This year’s show will have about 30 The Talent Show does more than performers counting teachers. expose people’s talents. “I cannot tell you which teachers “It creates a sense of community. are performing, they are going to be It’s an opportunity for students, surprises,” said Alvarez. teachers, and parents to get together Sphomore Kayla Parolari said,“I outside of school,” said Alvarez. Performers are excited to show off think it would be fun to go to cheer on your friends who are performing.” their hard work. “I’ve worked on this solo piece and Anyone is welcome to go and watch the show and cheer on the talent. I really want to be able to perform, By SAMI MAST and REBECCA SAND Feature Editor and Staff Reporter


Director Cary Fukunaga has broken the mold. Mia Wasikowska owns this part – it’s her Jane. Michael Fassbender shows signs of limitless talent.”


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Tensions rise as Stampede looms in distance By CONNOR GROSSMAN and ALEX DEAS Staff Reporter and News Editor Those purple footsteps plastered across the walls of Sequoia are finally starting to mean something. The first annual Sequoia Stampede is kicking off Saturday, April 2 at 9 a.m. It will be a five kilometer (three miles) race around the neighborhoods surrounding Sequoia. Anyone is welcome to come watch for no fee but all racers will have to pay a $25 entrance fee. Food will be provided at the event along with an assortment of booths from local businesses. All of the funds raised from the event will go directly to all Sequoia Sport programs. Race coordinator Adrian Dilley said, “If we could raise $30,000, we could help every team in the Sequoia sports program.” “If we could raise even half of what MA raised for their run ($70,000), this could mean new uniforms and equipment for all of Sequoia’s teams,” said Dilley. Cross Country coach Andrew

Hutchinson said, “Our inspiration is the event Menlo Atherton puts on every year. The concept that we could have this one giant fundraiser in one day to raise enough money for the entire sports program is awesome.” Teams need this

financial aid from the community along with state funds to ensure that every team can be provided with new and updated equipment.

Danny Raggio, a senior, has participated in track and cross country all four years is excited Sequoia is doing a fundraiser like this. “I’m going in it to try and win it. My goal is to try and get a 17-18 minute time on the course or even lower if I can,” Raggio said. Raggio does have a favorite teacher to win the race, however: “Mr. Dilley seems like the most athletic person at school. I’d be surprised if he didn’t win.” Not only are students and the community preparing for this event, teachers from the science, math, and history departments are competing against each other for major bragging rights. The history department is preparing to dominate the race. “We demand sub 7 minute miles,” said team leader and history teacher Karin Zarcone. “We need to represent, bring it.” “Social studies is going down,” said math teacher, Josh Yezerski. “It’s all about teacher participation

Sequoia Track athlete Gabriel Ortiz (second from right) participates in a 600 yard sprint in the California State Indoor Track Meet in Fresno. He placed 11th out of 29 competitors. Photo taken by Adrian Dilley.

Ortiz dominates indoor track meet By ANNA DAGUM Staff Reporter Junior Gabriel Ortiz qualified for the California State Indoor Track Meet in Fresno, CA on Feb 26, with his record time in a previous meet. Held on Feb 5, the first pre-season meet of the year at UC Berkley, gave way to Gabriel’s time of 1 minute and 16 seconds for the 550 meter sprint, which placed him 2nd for the day in the high school boy’s division. Because indoor track is not recognized as an official high school sport in the state of California, Ortiz will be running solo and not as a Sequoia athlete at the upcoming meet. The difference between indoor and outdoor track is “indoor is shorter. instead of running a lap in 100 meters, I’m going to have to run 3 laps. So it looks like a longer race,” said Ortiz. “But the track itself is shorter.” “This is going to be my first time running in

indoor track, so I don’t know which is harder.” said Ortiz. “This is [also] my first time going to state, so I don’t really know how the competition is, but I guess I’ll find out” However desite the challenge the race will provide, runners must constantly train for any meet. “You have to just keep doing long sprints. You have to eat right and get your sleep.” Ortiz said. “You have to be fit, physically and mentally.” Gabriel Ortiz has been running track exclusively for Sequoia since his freshman year, and although his speed is phenomenal, Ortiz is not sure whether he will be pursuing track after high school. But for now, Ortiz must be focused more on his upcoming race. “I guess I’m a little nervous,” said Ortiz. “But if you train hard, and give it your all, you know there is no reason to be.” “I run to compete, and it feels good to win.” Ortiz said, and coming in 11th out of 29 competitors in the 600 yard run, Ortiz is living up to this motto.

along with friendly competition. Mr. Lee seems to be the class of the Math department in terms of the marathon.” Science teacher Jack West said, “I can see a small rivalry forming between the science and math departments. Some teachers are definitely getting really competitive about it.” West also sees a teacher he believes will win: “Ms. Larkin is extremely competitive, cut throat type of attitude.” Most departments are taking the level of competition to the next level by wearing costumes corresponding to their department. According to Zarcone, the social studies department is discussing possible historical themed outfits, and the science department is considering dressing up as the food pyramid. It is obvious that the race will be full of surprises, and if there’s anything that can be predetermined going into the stampede, the competition will be fierce and the intensity between participants will be high.

Basketball sweeps in final quad game By WILLIAM BAKER Staff Reporter Sequoia basketball wrapped up the regular season on Friday, Feb.11 with a very successful quad-game for both junior varsity and varsity boys playing Oceana and junior varsity and varsity girls playing Hillsdale. Sequoia swept the four games in convincing fashion with girls varsity winning 4439, girls junior varsity 25-23. Boys varsity won 4732 and boys junior varsity won in dramatic fashion 44-43 with a buzzer beater courtesy of sophomore Jaden Briesach. The varsity boys finished 4-4 in league while junior varsity ended up 3-5. Girls varsity finished 5-3 in league and junior varsity finished 6-2. Going into the last game, both varsity teams had Central Coast Section playoff spots up for grabs. The game was a must win for both varsity teams who were without automatic qualifiers. Meaning it would depend on whether they are selected to attend CCS because neither won the division outright. Sequoia girls junior varsity had a successful year going 6-2 in league which will enable them to move from the lake to the Bay division next year. “It was a lot of fun this year, and I loved my coach,” said sophomore Caitlyn Yao. She also acknowledged that there opportunities lost, “We should have at least tied for league.” The boys junior varsity will not advance to the Lake division. “We might not have won the division this year, but I think this game showed our true potential,” said Briesach.

Raven Report Issue 6  

Raven Report Issue 6

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