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Opinion

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Matter of pride

Virtual college experience of alumni

Globalization of K-pop

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Fitness in quarantine

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The Epitaph Vol. 58 Issue 2 Homestead High School 21370 Homestead Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

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Number of Fs per 100 students

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Data provided by Josh Maisel

STUDENT PERFORMANCE DECREASES: While the number of F’s has increased across

the board, there has been a dramatic increase in students whose parents did not go to college.

A presentation put together by Josh Maisel, FUHSD coordinator of academic interventions, and presented to the Board of Trustees on Oct. 20 revealed the transition to distance learning has resulted in a clear drop in academic performance among students. “We saw a dramatic increase in the number of F’s on the first progress report [compared to] the progress report last year,” Maisel said. “It was across the board, a huge increase in the number of students who were showing a D or F on the progress report.” Despite improvements in the second progress report, students are still struggling to adjust, principal Greg Giglio said in an email. Maisel said in a Zoom interview that

the data, which includes reports from last spring, the FUHSD summer academy and this year’s first progress report, shows that all students have been negatively affected by the move to online learning. Giglio said he also reviewed data from the second progress report and noted that while there are fewer students who earned Fs, there are still more at this point than in previous years. “There are fewer total grades of F and more total grades of D, but that is probably a good sign as there is an assumption that the Fs improved to Ds, so hopefully that trend continues,” Giglio said. However, Maisel said a quick review of the overall district data for the second prog-

ress report showed a different picture. “The decreased performance didn’t get worse, but also didn’t get better,” Maisel said. Additionally, Maisel’s Oct. 20 presentation revealed that distance learning has disproportionately affected students whose parents did not attend college. Maisel said he found that the number of F’s among students whose parents did not go to college increased by 34% while the number of F’s among students whose parents did go to college only increased by 21%. “What was most concerning to me about the original data set was that the gap we have been desperately trying to close ended up going in the wrong direction,” Maisel said. “Not only are the number of total F’s increasing, but it is disproportionately harming students whose parents didn’t go to college.” Senior Alison Urbina, a first-generation student and member of AVID 12, said first -generation students have a lot more free time on their hands and sometimes lack motivation to utilize this time. “There is a lot going on in the world right now and for many people, school is not a top priority,” Urbina said. “There [are] many bad things happening and [some students] are thinking, ‘Are my grades even important now? Is school something I need?’” First-generation students don’t have the same resources as their peers, Urbina said, adding that she never had a tutor until recently, unlike many other students who have frequent access to academic enrichment.

See STUDENT PERFORMANCE, Page 3

By Naomi Baron

By Erin Loh

Not many high school students can look at a book and see their name on the front cover. Junior Rishab Borah can. Borah published his first book, “The Door to Inferna,” through Three Rooms Paper Press on Oct. 20. Copies of his book can be found online where books are sold and in the HHS library. “The Door to Inferna” is a fantasy novel about Khioneus Nevula, a purple-eyed teenage boy who accidentally opens up a portal to a new mystical world called ElkloDOOR TO INFERNA: Rishab Borah publishes first ria. There, he finds new book of his series. friends and his family.

The drama department released their first-ever virtual play, “10 Ways to Survive Life in a Quarantine,” over Thanksgiving week. Students were able to access the 77-minute comedy through Dec. 4, via an emailed link. Written by author and playwright Don Zolidis, the play consists of several students performing monologues. Each monologue illustrates one solution for passing time in quarantine, with two hosts narrating the transitions, junior Helen Beyer said. Beyer, a member of the drama department since her freshman year, is one of the actors performing a monologue, she said. “My monologue is I put on Cats, the musical, but I try to do it with live cats,” Beyer said in a Zoom interview. “[Other people are performing] fall-

Photo by Erin Loh

The show must go on: Drama performs play virtually

Photo courtesy of Rishab Borah

Junior publishes book ‘Door to Inferna’

See ‘DOOR TO INFERNA,’ Page 2

@epitaphHHS The Epitaph

By Macy Li

By Karuna Chandran, Madhavi Karthik, Ritaja Subrahmanya and Sahil Venkatesan

Years

The Epitaph The Epitaph

Winter rally raises spirits before finals

New data shows effects of school closures on at-risk students

Infographic by Karuna Chandran, Madhavi Karthik and Ritaja Subrahmanya

hhsepitaph.com @hhsepitaph

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Distance learning decreases student performance Student performance during spring semester

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DRAMA DEPARTMENT PERSEVERES:

New virtual play takes comedic approach to quarantine.

ing in love with inanimate objects [or] getting super involved with the life of squirrels, which I love.” After being assigned roles, Beyer said actors practiced and filmed their parts at home before turning in their videos to senior Brandon Wright, the play’s main editor. His job is to string together and edit each clip in the play, a process that can take up to several hours, he said.

See FALL VIRTUAL PLAY, Page 3

With the holiday season approaching, senior Ori Brutman said ASB had hoped to raise the spirits of students by hosting the second virtual rally of the year, a Winter Wonderland rally on December 9. The rally was broadcast during Advisory as a YouTube livestream for students to view. “It’s traditional for us to organize a rally during this time, and this [was] a great way to hype students up,” sophomore Rishi Zamvar said in a Zoom interview. As one of the ASB Rally Commissioners, Zamvar was in charge of organizing this rally along with senior Ori Brutman. Many of the clubs that made appearances in the previous rally, such as Indopak and Krew, performed again. Additionally, choir had been invited to participate this time. Through the rally, Brutman and Zamvar said ASB hoped to raise school spirit and bring holiday joy to the student community. The success of the Aloha rally also motivated them to continue pursuing the concept of virtual rallies, Brutman said. “It opened us up to something new that we could build off on,” Brutman said. “We had so much fun with the Aloha rally that we wanted to do another one.” Since the winter rally occurred before finals, Brutman said he believed it helped students alleviate their stress. “Every time there’s a rally, everyone resets. Everyone takes a deep breath,” Brutman said. “Attending this was beneficial to all of us.” After reviewing the feedback from students on the previous rally, Brutman and Zamvar said they had aimed to make a few improvements for the next one. “We want to make the transitions between the different acts entertaining, so we’re thinking of having them as skits,” Brutman said. “We want to put a little more effort into them so that they’re more entertaining.” Brutman and Zamvar both said they had high hopes for the rally and believe the student body thoroughly enjoyed watching the performances. “Everyone used to be together and hype each other up during the in-person rallies,” Zamvar said. “Since we’re in a virtual setting now, this rally [was] a great way for us to connect with each other again.” PAGE DESIGN BY LIA KLEBANOV AND MAE RICHARDSON

Photo courtesy of Sara Frausto; Illustration by Zoe Li


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News

Thursday, December 10, 2020

NEWS IN A MINUTE By Madhavi Karthik

National:

NAOMI’S DAY IN HISTORY

By Naomi Baron

Today is Dec. 10, 2020, the 303rd day of 2020. There are 21 days until the end of this leap year. On this day in history, 72 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The UDHR was the first proclamation of human rights and is considered one of the greatest accomplishments of the UN to date, according to its website. According to the United Nations, the UDHR is an international agreement listing the rights and freedoms all people are entitled to. Due to the ratification of the UDHR, Dec. 10 is formally recognized as National Human Rights Day. Human rights have improved worldwide since 1948, but there is still much work to be done. Gender equality in Saudi Arabia, a strictly religious country in which women are not awarded the same rights as men, is a prime example of strides made and progress still needed to be done. This year there have been a few monumental improvements to the status of women. In October, Saudia Arabia launched its first women’s soccer league, CNN reported. Previously, women were not allowed to participate in any sport activities in public, let alone represent their country. In addition, last year the Saudi government ended segregation of men and women at restaurants and allowed women to travel abroad and own passports without the consent of their husbands, CNN reported. That said, Saudi women are still not able to do many things without the consent of the male figures in their lives, Business Insider reported. These examples show that on Human Rights Day, it is imperative that we recognize progress made but also remember that there is still work left to do.

Local:

Bay Area prepares food banks for holiday season: Rising COVID-19 cases and a shortage of federal funding caused food banks to struggle to feed hungry families during the holidays. Recently, the Alameda County Community Food Bank stopped receiving coronavirus emergency food from the United States

Department of Agriculture, NBC reported. Due to the lack of food vendors, the federal Coronavirus Food Assistance Program could not assist the Bay Area food banks in November. As a result, food banks have been forced to rely on donations to have enough food for distribution.

Howard University opens women’s research center: Howard University received a gift of $1 million on Nov.12 from Jim Murren, a member of the Howard board of trustees, and philanthropist Heather Murren, which will go towards opening The Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership, The Washington Post reported. The center will conduct gender-based research. They will also be supporting Black female leaders by awarding scholarships and internships for students passionate about breaking gender and minority barriers. The official opening of the center is set to take place in the spring of 2021 and will most likely be virtual.

International:

Youth in Nigeria protest against police brutality: Over the past few months, anti-government demonstrations were staged in Nigeria due to ongoing police brutality, The New York Times reported. The Special Anti-Robbery Squad police unit in Nigeria is known for its abusive record. In response to citizens’ concerns, the government implemented panels where people can voice their opinions. The president also pledged to dismantle the SARS. Initially, demonstrations were protesting SARS only, but shifted to protesting unjust imprisonment and poor governing. The people of Nigeria continue spreading awareness globally through the hashtag #EndSARS.

Virtual exchange brings volun- ‘Door to Inferna’ teering, bonding opportunities Continued from page 1 By Yukari E. Zapata The Japanese student exchange program is one of the few activities that has continued completely online and is now accepting digital applications, senior Sara Saunders, who founded the online program, said. Saunders created the Japanese Virtual Exchange Program, allowing exchange students to continue learning about other cultures and creating memories during the pandemic. The Sunnyvale Sister City Association was founded by Mark Kato, who has assisted Saunders in transition to an online program. Saunders is the founder of SSCA Connections, which was exclusively created to allow for the exchange program to be online. “[In] a traditional exchange program, people from one country would visit another and be immersed in the language and the culture,” Saunders said. “However, a virtual exchange program is more like you’re on the internet, you’re talking to people being immersed in the language, but it’s not the same.” Although there are differences between in-person and virtual exchange programs, there are many benefits to having the program continue, Saunders said. In addition, the online program is offering flexible times that easily fit into many students’ schedules. Most importantly, the virtual exchange program allows participants to create a unique bond with students from Japan. The opportunity to meet peo-

ple with diverse backgrounds and create friendships comes at a much needed time senior Isabelle Fejes, virtual exchange program member, said. “It has given me events to look forward to and chances to meet new people, which means a lot to me since I have not had many of these opportunities since school closed,” Fejes said. “Since everyone has a shared interest in learning about other countries, they have more motivation to show up to and talk to others in online events.” In addition to providing more social interaction, the virtual program costs nothing and is open to anyone, Kato said. “Our [exchange] program is entirely free, which is really good, because I know a lot of exchange programs can be very costly for families,” Saunders said. “ I don’t think it would be desirable to sign up for an exchange program in which you would have to pay now because there is financial stress on families.” Saunders encourages students to sign up for the program because the experience helps with community bonding since it provides students with volunteering opportunities and hours. “Life in Japan here is completely different,” Kato said. “I want young people to have different kinds of experiences [meeting other people from around the world] when they are young. High school students should get to meet people outside of their country.”

Photo courtesy of Sunnyvale Sister City Association

VIRTUAL EXCHANGE PROGRAM: This program allows students

to interact with Japanese students and learn about their culture.

However, he also finds himself caught in a war between the residents of Elkloria and an evil power. Borah began writing his book as an 8th grader and said it has been a long but fulfilling experience. Borah said he did not go through the process alone, largely crediting his friends for helping him get to where he is today. Inspired by his friends, Borah said he wanted to create a Photo courtesy of Rishab Borah world and characters FIRST TIME AUTHOR: Borah’s novel based on the mem- is inspired by childhood memories. ories that he would like to share and further ex- you know’ is a thing, and I plore with everyone. definitely had to do that. Lots “Originally the book came of the characters are based from when I was younger,” Bo- on my friends … They’re not rah said. “I used to play a lot of completely based on people I games with my friends. So my know, but they have qualities friends definitely had a large from people I know.” impact on my book, and so did Among all the friends Bomy brother.” rah credits, he specifically While Borah said he did thanks junior Ye’ela Bronicki, not directly take inspira- whom he’s known since third tion from a specific book, he grade, for pushing and supmentioned that he has always porting him. looked up to author Rick RiBorah said it was Bronicordan’s writing style in the ki who suggested he connect “Percy Jackson” series . Bo- with the library to have his rah hopes his writing comes book available to HHS stuacross as relatable and easy to dents. read as Riordan’s. “I’m proud of him,” Bron“When I was young, I used icki said in an interview. “It’s to play these games with my pretty amazing how deterfriends … I guess you can call mined he was and how he acthem LARPS [live action role complished something so big plays],” Borah said. “We didn’t at a young age. I found that the dress up or anything, but we plot captured my attention, pretended like we were fantas- and it was fun to read with retic features and fantasy land ally detailed descriptions for and things like that.” characters and settings that Borah said with this fanta- made it feel more real. I would sy world in his head, he was recommend it.” eager to put it down on paper Even though Borah said into a book to further explore being an author is not his these ideas. Since the book main life goal — he is interestwas so personal to Borah’s ed in pursuing something in own life, naturally many of Bo- the STEM area — his writing rah’s fictitious characters are journey is not over yet, he said. constructed from real people, “I’m going to make an enhe said. tire series,” Borah said. “The “[The characters are] defi- first book should seem like nitely based on people I there’s more to come. I hope know,” Borah said. “It’s like I can write more series in the a common thing; ‘write what future.” PAGE DESIGN BY NITYA KASHYAP AND ALYSSA ZIMMERMAN


News

Thursday, December 10, 2020

COVID-19 archive preserves community experiences

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Archive will help future students understand pandemic By Ritaja Subrahmanya

Inspired by a New York Times article about people creating archives to document their experiences during the pandemic, history teacher Andrea Yee said she decided to form a COVID-19 archive for HHS. The archive will document the experiences of students, staff and community members through various mediums in-

cluding drawings, photography and journal entries, Yee said in a Zoom interview. Currently, the archive team is reaching out to staff and students to contribute, senior Ashwini Suriyaprakash, an archive team member, said in a Zoom interview. Students can use the Google Form linked at the bottom of the weekly bulletin to submit to

Photo courtesy of Janae Curtis

SAVE THE EARTH: Janae Curtis’ submission celebrates Earth Day.

the archive. The team is hoping to get a diverse collection of submissions to better showcase how the community as a whole is experiencing the pandemic. “We don’t want [only] one group of people submitting [to the archive],” Yee said. “That only gives you one picture of experience, [not the] whole community.” Yee said she started the archive in the spring when she assigned her AP U.S. History students a similar project. For the assignment, students needed to create submissions for a theoretical archive. “I thought [the project] was fun and when [Yee] said she was interested in creating a larger archive for the school, I thought it would be [cool to] document [our] history,” Suriyaprakash said. Another member of the ar-

Continued from Page 1

Continued from Page 1

“[Performing a play in-person and performing virtually is] like night and day,” Lloyd said in an email. “But we are just adjusting, adapting… As you know, the show must go on!” Once the play aired on Nov. 24, Beyer said she watched it with her family on Thanksgiving. She said the drama department is planning to produce more virtual plays in the future, starting with drama club’s One Acts next semester. “Everyone has their own personality and comedic style, [so the play] was good,” Beyer said. “I’m proud of this department.” Lloyd said she attributes the success of the play to the students and she knew from the start of the pandemic that drama would handle the situation well. “These students are so proeach other,” Lloyd said. “They work hard, they take obstacles and hurdle highly over them. They are doing what they love and it shows.” While performances mean a lot to Beyer and Wright, both said the best thing about drama is the community. During quarantine, Beyer said students in drama still spent time together through the drama club. “I honestly do not think [we would have kept consistently meeting] if we did not truly want to be with each other,” Beyer said. “[It] is just a testament to how amazing the people are in drama.”

FUHSD associate superintendent Trudy Gross said in a Zoom interview that the report sparked deep concern among district administrators and has led to a more concerted effort to bring at-risk students onto campus for assisted learning. Gross said the district is focusing on students who do not have the proper internet connectivity or home environment, and those who struggle with executive functioning skills such as organization or who have social, emotional or academic needs. Educators have also noticed decreased student performance and have implemented a myriad of solutions to help at-risk students in their classes, Maisel said. “I’m trying to be as crystal clear as I can,” AVID and English teacher Shawnee Rivera said in a Zoom interview. “And there are still kids that are either confused or frustrated or spacing out.” Daniela Hurst-Ruiz, who teaches sheltered world history for ELD students said in a Zoom interview that she finds it hard to gauge her ELD students’ level of understanding and that it is difficult for her to determine what her at-risk students are struggling with. “As a teacher, I cannot control and see what’s happening at home,” Hurst-Ruiz said. “So, there are definitely a lot of kids

Editors & Reporters Nika Bondar Editor-in-Chief Sahil Venkatesan Editor-in-Chief Saanvi Thakur Managing Editor Naomi Baron Senior News Madhavi Karthik Junior News Shreya Partha Senior Opinion Leila Salam Senior Lifestyles Karuna Chandran Junior Lifestyles Saanvi Thakur Senior Arts & Culture Amber Birrell Junior Arts & Culture Nitya Kashyap Senior Sports Raymond Ranbhise Junior Sports Miya Liu Creative Liaision Elaine Huang Senior Design

Allen Zhang Senior Social Media Miya Liu Senior Multimedia Seoyoung Hwang Junior Multimedia Allen Zhang Copy Editor Yukari E. Zapata Business Manager Joshua Cantwell-Nahrung Reporter Riley Dalton Reporter Reporter Bobby Gorelick Sofia Jimenez Reporter Christine Kim Reporter Lia Klebanov Reporter Macy Li Reporter Erin Loh Reporter Xochitl Neely Reporter

use to connect with each other, Luo said. “Everyone feels so disconnected [right now],” Luo said. “I think [the archive will] make people [think] ‘this person has taken up the hobby of photography, I’ve been doing that too.’ So it [will be] a bonding experience.” Ultimately, the archive provides students with a place to make their mark on history, Suriyaprakash said. “I think often in history, the voices of regular people get lost. [What is] valuable about an archive like this is it’s the [everyday people’s] voices,” Yee said. “The things that get recorded and become a part of history often come from people who are in control. So this archive is a great way for just us, everyday people at Homestead, to make our own mark on history.”

Student performance

Fall virtual play Wright said it is important to create a video that feels natural to keep the audience from feeling puzzled by cut-off audio or unnatural movement. “The least I’ll do on a clip is edit the color palette and contrast to draw the audience’s eyes to the correct places,” Wright said in a Zoom interview. “[But] it can [be] as complicated as taking two clips of the same guy talking and [making] it look like he’s talking to himself.” Wright said technological issues, such as difficulties uploading videos or videos getting corrupted in the process, have been common in editing the play. In addition to technological problems, Beyer said in the middle of preparation, the play changed from being performed live on Zoom to being pre-recorded in a video as a way to make production easier. Consequently, Beyer said rehearsals switched from a large group format to one-on-one practices with Leslie Lloyd, the head of the drama department and director of the play. “I definitely think the method we are doing now will work a lot better,” Beyer said. “[But Zoom] felt more like performing on stage, and I enjoy performing on stage more than filming a movie.” Along with helping actors with roles, Lloyd said she handles all coordination, including overseeing auditions, casting, rehearsals, technology, and finances.

chive team, senior Coline Luo, said she joined out of curiosity, interested to see how others were coping with the pandemic. “My experiences in quarantine have been dramatically different from [the] people in the news or even my friends,” Luo said in a Zoom interview. “There’s so much diversity in what we’re experiencing.” The team consulted other archives in the Bay Area, including the Los Altos Historical Association, to better prepare for the start of their project, Luo said. “It was great because [the archives] were really open to our questions and gave us a lot of feedback on things we hadn’t thought about before,” Suriyaprakash said. Aside from documenting history, the archive also serves as a coping mechanism students can

Reporter Reporter Reporter Reporter Reporter Reporter Reporter Reporter

Ashley Orozco Plata Mae Richardson Hope Saena Evelyn Solis Ritaja Subrahmanya Ariana Juliette Tejeda Moreno Jack Xu Alyssa Zimmerman

Adviser Natalie Owsley

who overall already struggle with engagement.” Hurst-Ruiz said she is trying to help students by only giving out the most necessary assignments. “There are a lot of kids who acknowledge they have a hard time concentrating because they are not in school,” she said. Even with additional help from teachers, students still struggle to find motivation to attend class, senior AVID 12 student Hannah Ho said in a Zoom interview. Learning from home is difficult when there are many distractions, such as watching Netflix or using your phone, she said. History and resource teacher Amber Tanger said many of her students are also struggling with the prominent technology aspects of distance learning. “I acknowledge how difficult it is for all students to not only sit in front of a computer all day long but then to have to complete assignments and work,” Tanger said. “We’re all having a hard time with this, but it will get better soon.” Ho wishes teachers could be more understanding when giving out assignments because assigning piles of work can be overwhelming. However, this does not mean teachers should lower their course standards, Maisel said. Teachers can maintain the

rigor of their courses as long as they are flexible with their students, he said. “When teachers are thinking about how to provide a really strong curriculum, they have to keep in mind that it should be challenging but it shouldn’t be drudgery,” Maisel said. “It shouldn’t be a large amount of mindless questions; instead they should assign questions that really make you think and that push you a little bit beyond where you feel like you’re capable.” While originally administrators had planned to bring cohorts of students on to campus for athletic training, extracurricular work and academic support starting on Nov. 30, Santa Clara County’s increase in coronavirus cases has complicated the district’s plans. Giglio said effective from Nov. 30 to Dec. 21, cohorts of students will no longer be allowed on campus, and the already postponed sports season 1 will most likely be cancelled. While teachers and students work together to create a learning environment that supports all learners, Gross said the district will continue to push for at-risk students to be able to come onto campus and receive the help they need. “The main focus is safely bringing staff and students back to school and work,” Gross said.

Mission Statement

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The Epitaph is a non-profit publication at Homestead High School, 21370 Homestead Rd., Cupertino, CA 95014. The Epitaph is a forum for student expression and not subject to prior review, in accordance to Education Code 48907. The staff is comprised of HHS Journalism students. Views expressed do not necessarily represent views of the school, its staff or the district. Editorials are opinions of the editorial board. The Epitaph welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to edit submissions. Letters should be limited to 300 words. Include contact information. Unsigned letters cannot be published, but names will be withheld upon request. Send via homestead. epitaph@gmail.com, or drop letters in the newsroom or the office mailbox. If The Epitaph has made an error, please send corrections to homestead.epitaph@gmail.com. The corrections will be published in the corrections box for the next issue. To reach The Epitaph staff in C102 call (408) 522-2572 or fax (408) 738-8531.

One email and you can reach over 2,400 students, teachers, administrators and community members from Nothern Sunnyvale to Southern Los Altos. If your target market is between the ages 14 to 18, contact The Epitaph at epitaph.ads@gmail.com, and we can make it happen. CORRECTIONS: In the article titled “Peri Plantenberg named Student of the Year,” volume 58, issue 1, it was incorrectly stated that Plantenberg helped start the Youth Ambassadors Group. Plantenberg helped start the Sunnyvale team of Silicon Valley Youth Climate Action. We regret this error.

PAGE DESIGN BY MACY LI AND RAYMOND RANBHISE


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Thursday, December 10, 2020

Opinion STAFF EDITORIAL

Anti-racism education needs to extend beyond the confines of advisory

THE PARTISAN PARTY By Sahil Venkatesan I terrifyingly watched President Trump for the past four years. I watched as the leader of the free world banned immigration from Muslim countries. I watched as children were separated from their parents. I watched in horror as the President of the United States embraced neo-Nazis. The American people watched, helplessly confined to their homes, as Trump encouraged rebellion against mask mandates and publicly waged war against science. And then, I avidly watched at all hours of the day — during meals, homework and even classes — as the American people decided the soul of our country. I was up in the early hours of the morning waiting for ballot dumps from Milwaukee and Atlanta. After days of casting votes and counting ballots, the American people finally made their decision — Joe Biden won the popular vote by 6 million votes, according to NPR. For the past month, I’ve celebrated as president-elect Biden announced planned nominations for cabinet positions and task forces. Biden appointed experienced politician and diplomat John Kerry to the newly created position of ‘Climate Envoy,’ according to The New York Times. Former chair of Federal Reserve Janet Yellen will be nominated as Treasury Secretary, a move that pleased politicians on both sides of the aisle, according to CNN. Noticeably, and rightfully, absent from Biden’s list are family members and multi-million dollar donors with no experience in politics. Joe Biden is rebuilding America. Once again, world superpowers will respect us and for the first time in four years, the U.S. will be taking steps to be a country that we can be proud of.

With the implementation of anti-racism advisories into our Wednesday curriculum, it is clear the administration is making more of an active effort to address racism on our campus. However, one three-part series on the Pyramid of Hate is not enough to make HHS anti-racist. HHS has begun conversations around anti-racism through advisories and the Student Task Force, whose purpose is to discuss ongoing issues and possible solutions regarding the safety of all students, principal Greg Giglio said in a Zoom interview. Yet, advisories and the Student Task Force alone are not enough for students to truly understand the severity of racism in our school. In addition, although the Pyramid of Hate scenarios are based on actual events, the proposed courses of action students are encouraged to take are impractical. Suggested reactions to racist comments are to interrupt the behavior, question the comment, educate the person or echo someone else. It is an illogical leap to expect us to confront people who are racially insensitive when the classroom environment we are being educated in still treats race as a touchy subject.

For students to be comfortable utilizing the different solutions provided, conversations about racism need to be normalized within our classrooms on a day-to-day basis. Additionally, because of the discrepancy between different teachers’ execution of the modules during advisory, there is a clear educational gap in the students’ understanding of the concepts. For example, one group of advisory students may have a teacher who feels comfortable talking about race issues passionately, while another group may have a teacher who does not deal with racism at the same comfort level. This affects our entire campus as the point of advisory, to reach all students, is lost. To improve this, a more streamlined curriculum on racism is crucial to ensure every student is exposed to the reality of racism and its effects. The path to bettering our curriculum starts with individual teachers and department heads. Teachers need to be professionally trained to lead discussions about race relations and systematic racism, as most “teachable moments” regarding race occur organically, often during lunch and open periods. With

Illustratio

n by Shr

eya Part ha

CHANGE STARTS NOW: More needs to be done to make HHS anti-racist.

proper training, teachers can facilitate these discussions. For department chairs, while it may be tedious and costly to change books, updating the curriculum is essential to recognizing the impact of diversifying the sources of our knowledge. Furthermore, change in curriculum is by no means a revolutionary idea. While talk about change has been happening for some time, these conversations need to turn into action. It is important to utilize the books we currently use, like “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” to spur conversations about race and oppression. For example, in the classic “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the racist treatment of Tom Robinson is the heart of the story, yet the heroic actions of Atticus Finch continue to be

the central topic of classroom discussions. Another good resource teachers can use is the 1619 Project started by The New York Times and its accompanied reading guide by The Pulitzer Center. This reading guide provides teachers with texts that discuss important events such as the Civil Rights Act, Jim Crow Laws and westward expansion. With so many resources available, there is no excuse to avoid making the changes necessary to better our school curriculum and by extension, the learning environment. If we are to expect change in regard to racism, the first step is individual commitment, whether that be teachers changing curriculum to be more inclusive, or the whole school, students and staff included, deliberately working to be anti-racist.

Self-acceptance in a world of rejection

The battle between sexuality and what is so-called normal

By Saanvi Thakur Being the perfect Indian daughter is difficult, especially when you’re not very religious, not a straight-A student and a little bit bisexual. Growing up, the fact that I was born in India never affected my personal beliefs, and thankfully, India’s societal expectation that a woman must marry a man wasn’t ingrained into my mind. My understanding that “love is love” trumped the daily microaggressions I heard, and continue to hear, in my daily life. On a day-to-day basis, I’ve dealt with microaggressions that pass as jokes or are acceptable to say. Small things like calling my family in India only to get unnecessary reassurances I will get married to a man eventually or the unspoken understanding that my future will include an ar-

Which boy do you like now?

ranged marriage are all microagressions I saw as normal remarks for far too long. Even while growing up, seemingly innocent conversations that pushed being straight upon me registered as normal in my mind. It felt as if being straight was another fact and not up for discussion, just like getting good grades was not. It only added to the pressure of believing I was, and could only be, straight. The fact that I saw these statements as routine highlights the normalcy of compulsive heterosexuality and brings up the question: how do you question or even think about your sexuality when your parents or other family members have determined it for you? The answer is: you don’t. I was lucky to be raised in an environment where I had access to different media and could learn about the LGBTQ community on my own. This eventually helped reveal these so-called jokes were actually microaggressions fueled by compulsive heterosexuality. Later on in middle school, as I began to question my sexuality, I also wondered why my parMATTER OF PRIDE: Self accep-

tance is more important than meeting others’ expectations.

ns by Shreya Partha ents, grandparents and everyone tratio Illus who came before them were so set on their beliefs about being straight. Why was it that compulsive heterosexuality was present in daily conversations with my parents? It was as if my family knew it was possible for others to come out as bisexual or gay, but it was impossible for a member of their own family to be part of the LGBTQ com- to understand why being bisexmunity. When I thought about it, ual was such a bad thing in my I realized there is no valid justifi- family’s eyes while also trying cation for not supporting a fam- to focus more on my personal ily member if they were to come growth. It was only after a lot of out. Religion, societal norms and personal reflection that I underperceived biological standards stood I had to look at myself as are not reasons to leave loved an individual without outside ones behind; yet people contin- opinions. Instead of trying to answer ue to do so. Knowing this, I was confused unanswerable questions while by the stigma of loving some- losing my self-worth in the proone regardless of their gender. I cess, being confident with who I didn’t even understand the em- am is a much better use of enphasis placed on being straight ergy and time. Coming to terms in the first place. I was lost as with the unknown opened a door to why coming out to my family to possibilities that, in the end, could possibly leave me without helped me more than attempting one. I became obsessed with try- to be the perfect Indian daughter ing to find the answers to these to meet others’ expectations. questions so I could better understand my family’s opinions Read more about LGBTQ experiences in our In-Depth feature on pages 8 and gain their validation. and 9. This obsession became a constant battle with myself as I tried PAGE DESIGN BY KARUNA CHANDRAN AND RILEY DALTON

you'll eventually get married to a man


Opinion

Thursday, December 10, 2020

US foreign language education fails to prepare students

5

The importance of early exposure, implementation

By Mae Richardson must take initiative to learn and Communication is one of the excel in a second language. most important aspects of everyForeign language classes are day life that many take for grantoften neglected by schools and ed. In 2018, 67.3 million U.S. resare not acknowledged as importidents spoke a foreign language at home, according to the U.S. ant subjects for students. This neglect by schools is reflected Census Bureau. Despite the fact in the number of students who that more than 20% of the popuare enrolled in foreign language lation speaks a foreign language classes. as their first language, we are not According to The National making strong enough efforts K-12 Foreign Language Enrollto teach foreign languages in ment Survey Report, foreign lanschools. guage enrollments account for We cannot solely approximately 20% of the total depend on othSalaam school-aged population, and ers learning only 11 states have foreign English to Hello Privyet language graduation recommuniBonjour Ciao quirements. cate with us. God Dag Shalom Sixteen states do not Instead, we Namaste have foreign language graduation r e q u i r e m e n t s, and 24 states have graduation requirements that may be fulfilled by a number of subjects—one of which is foreign language. According to FUHSD’s Course Selection Guide, students Illustration by Karuna Chandran

THE LANGUAGE BARRIER: U.S. foreign language education isn’t

nearly as effective as it should be.

must earn 10 credits to graduate, meaning they only have to take the class for one year. With such a low priority being placed on foreign language classes, it is not surprising that only 20% of the American population can converse in two or more languages, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This lack of fluency is caused by the absence of use — through speaking or writing — of the target language in class. According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, learning should take place through the use of the target language for 90% or more of classroom time. However, in most classes, this is not the reality as students tend to rely on their first language out of comfort. This lack of target language usage is prevalent in HHS’s modern language classes, as well. According to the modern language proficiency student survey conducted by The Epitaph, of 317 responses, students reported that in class they use the target language approximately 68% of the time on average. Furthermore, of 180 students who took level 3 or higher of a modern language class, only 16% reported that they reached a high level of fluency. On average, students self-as-

sessed themselves as being 57% fluent, meaning they felt they reached an intermediate level. This low usage of the target language during class relates to why students have not reached a high level of fluency. Increased usage of the target language during class will give students more opportunity to practice and learn from their mistakes so they can have more confidence when using the language. To ensure students’ success in foreign language classes, these classes should be implemented in middle school. Studies have shown the earlier a language is introduced, the easier it will be to learn. Therefore, introducing foreign language classes in middle school will allow students to handle more rigorous material in high school and gain higher fluency once they graduate. In addition, high schools should encourage students to take a foreign language all four years. This can be done by hiring more qualified foreign language teachers and providing them with the resources they need to make classes interactive and appealing to students. Without increased focus on foreign education classes, Americans will continue to be inadequate second language speakers.

Two sides to the same coin: exploring extroversion and introversion in quarantine

By Seoyoung Hwang

It’s always hard for an introvert like me to walk up to someone and start a conversation. However, there are many situations where I find myself having to do just that, especially during in-person school. That’s why it seemed like quarantine would be my paradise, at first. After all, I wouldn’t have to communicate with strangers. All I needed to do was sit in front of my computer, pay attention and occasionally participate. In the beginning, I did enjoy the extra alone time. It was nice doing everything by myself and not having to worry about others disrupting my peace. I was able to calm down from the busyness of my schoolwork and have time to myself. I spent my time watching YouTube videos, drawing in my notebook and trying to find a hobby at home. The only people I interacted with were my family and close friends. Small human interactions were what I felt most comfortable with. But as time passed, I started to miss my friends and going to school. I realized having no social interaction actually had me feeling down instead of reducing my stress as I originally thought. I would start crying for no reason, and I became unmotivated to do anything. My parents suggested I meet up with my friends because they thought it might help lift my mood. It did help me feel better and also helped me get back on track with my work. As humans, it is in our nature to crave social

By Bobby Gorelick

interactions, and consequently, Growing up, much of my time the lack of it proved to be det- was spent around my peers and rimental for my mental health. consequently, I drew most of my According to Psychology Today, energy from them. My time alone study participants who regularly was spent anticipating the next met with family and friends were event where I could get any sort less likely to report symptoms of of social interaction. depression than participants who Since the pandemic began, I only emailed or spoke on the have been forced into a monottelephone. onous routine full of loneliness As an introvert, quarantine and isolation. gave me a chance to realI live life without the ize having no social energy that fueled interaction doesn’t me back when I reduce my stress could see my but was instead friends. was harmful Howto my overever, while all wellbeI detest ing. I have almost finally receveryognized the thing the importance pandemic of talking brings, I to others. It have found doesn’t matmeaningful ter whether you time to be inare an introvert trospective and a Illu or an extrovert befocus on myself. I rth a stra P tion by Shreya cause find inter- INTROVERTS & EXTROVERTS: Opposite per- solace acting sonalities learn from each other to find balance. i n with selfother humans provides necessary care and aromatherapy — someemotional support when you are thing I never had time for when I having a hard time. had a busy social life. Taking care Even though I don’t like con- of myself and reserving personal stantly interacting with other time has been incredibly transpeople, quarantine has made me formative. realize the importance of makAlthough being alone was a ing an active effort to reflect on thought that would often invoke the interactions I once took for fear in me, I have come to recast granted, and how critical those that fear into something I appreinteractions are proving to be for ciate as an emblem of peace. Being an extrovert, I need me right now.

constant interaction and stimulation. My brain is frenetic and I find it difficult to calm my mind. The pandemic has taught me that there is tranquility in being alone, which helps heal the pain of loneliness. I have accepted that it is okay to be alone. I have also realized I have the power to transform this new environment into a place where I can thrive. Solitude has helped me to slow down, allowing me to be pragmatic in going about life. I used to thrive in social situations; however, now I see the benefit of slowing down and letting myself breathe. As an extrovert, I have adapted to the changes brought on by the pandemic. I interact with my friends through Zoom, FaceTime and social distancing activities, now. Virtually hanging out is the new normal, but I still fuel my extroverted side through this new type of social interaction. Although it is not the same as before, I treasure the social connection, regardless. While I am a clearly extrovert, I do realize there is something to be learned from introverts. Moving forward, I need to accept that this change will help me grow as a person and get to know myself better. In reality, introversion and extroversion are two sides of the same coin, and the line between them is not as clear cut as it may seem. Quarantine has helped me realize the beauty in the harmony that is created when both sides are embraced.

OFF THE RECORD By Shreya Partha With the election just over a month ago and anticipation as to what the next four years hold, the constant flow of news engulfs, and — at times — overwhelms us as we try to navigate the abundance of news in our lives. As news outlets like the SF Chronicle and USA Today report daunting headlines like “Not just California: Colorado and other Western states suffering worst fires in modern history” and “U.S. sets another record with 126,742 new cases; world surpasses 50 million cases,” the sheer weight of the words can be overwhelming at times. The most obvious solution here would just be to tune out the news, and while I’ve definitely considered it, the negative implications have encouraged me to think twice before doing so. Simply put, staying uninformed when our world is at such a precarious point is dangerous for myself and others. Without the news, I would no longer know the latest restrictions, how far the coronavirus has spread or even the new precautions I should take. In a time when our lives have seemingly spiraled out of our control, knowledge of the world around us can provide some guise of control, allowing us, hopefully, to find comfort. Similar to how the effects of the pandemic shape our lives in different manners, the way we choose to handle the news we receive — in a way that will not burden us — looks different for everyone. While for some this means getting glimpses of news through conversations with family members, for others it could mean submerging themselves in the news world — hanging onto each word printed in hopes of a silver lining to feed their growing irritation. Although it’s important, especially right now, to stay informed, we must remember not to let the news overcome our sanity. PAGE DESIGN BY BOBBY GORELICK


6

Opinion

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Colleges need to re-evaluate their priorities Lowering tuition is necessary during this pandemic By Karuna Chandran

FEMINIST’S DISCLOSURE By Leila Salam Common rhetoric I have heard from anti-feminist men is that they often talk about feeling excluded by feminism even though they have issues, as well. While men do have their own issues — most having to do with the patriarchy — they still benefit from a society that oppresses and silences women, especially women of color. Feminism by its very definition means equality of the sexes, not “women are superior.” There is a lot of work to be done for both sexes to achieve complete equality, but at the end of the day, women are the ones who suffer from systemic oppression. We are the ones put in compromising situations where we are forced to fight for a say in what happens to our own bodies. We are the ones who are more than 33% likely to experience sexual violence in our lifetime, according to the CDC. We are the ones who are kept out of positions of power, not because we choose to, but because we are viewed as less capable and more emotional because of our sex. Approximately 34% of women in the U.S. fear being sexually assaulted while only 5% of men fear being sexually assaulted, according to Gallup. And while women are 45% of total employees at the biggest U.S. public companies, they only hold about 20% of board seats and 5% of the CEO jobs, according to nonprofit Catalyst. There is a massive difference between the difficulties men face and the oppression women face. On a systemic level, women are made to feel less valuable, less capable and more vulnerable simply because of their sex — something we have no control over. The reality for women is that men benefit from a society that silences and oppresses us, regardless of their intentions. Before men assume they are being excluded from feminism, they must realize the position of privilege they hold.

After universities nationally started switching to online learning, many concerned students sued their schools on the grounds that the quality of their education was not worth their money, according to NBC news. This has occurred in over 25 colleges across the country. A survey of over 13,000 students conducted by OneClass concluded that 93% of students believe college tuition should be lowered if classes are taught online. With such a staggering percentage, the issue of lowering tuition costs must be taken more seriously. Colleges need to put their students first and make sure education costs are justified. Many of these students argue that the quality of their classes has significantly decreased and what can be taught virtually will never match up to in-person learning, according to NBC. Even at the highschool level, online teaching does not offer the same ability to communicate with educators. More importantly, the real life-experiences many students expect out of a college program, such as senior projects, exchange programs, field research and more are gone. In fact, according to NBC, colleges themselves charge less for online courses, so why should things be any different during a pandemic? If anything, class fees should be reduced even further. Unfortunately, because college students are not able to get what they want out of online classes, many

have opted to take community college courses to complete general education requirements. By doing this, students are effectively paying one-third of the cost of even the lowest-tiered public colleges, according to a study by College Board. Regardless, it doesn’t change the facts: college students are being forced to give up on the dreams they worked to achieve simply because universities are unwilling to support them financially. And the reality is many students will be put through even more trials to get four-year colleges to accept their community college credit. Not to mention they may have to reapply to these schools, according to NBC News. One of the biggest arguments against lowering tuition rates is colleges themselves won’t be able to successfully operate under the decreased funding, with some schools approximating the loss being up to $1 billion, according to NBC News. While this may be true, students shouldn’t be taking the fall for universities. They pay a considerable sum of money to attend these institutions, with the average annual tuition for last year being over $10,000 in-state and over $15,000 out-of-state, according to data from College Board. Coupled with that is the issue of students finding it increasingly difficult to get jobs during a time when 3.8 million people permanently lost their jobs in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As an already competitive job market is

DROWNING IN FEES:

College students face financial struggles during already trying times.

made worse by the pandemic, college students don’t need the additional burden of astronomical tuition fees. By not acknowledging our depleting job market, colleges are furthering the economic gap as students who need money to attend such schools struggle to acquire the funds necessary to pay for it. During this time of international struggle, Williams College is paving the way by cutting tuition by 15% for all students, according to Forbes. If all universities took the precedent set by Williams College and helped their students in this meaningful way, it would make a world of difference.

Ignorance promotes culture of hypocrisy Lives at stake: think twice before using social media By Lia Klebanov

From social justice issues to the election, social media applications have played an impactful role in 2020. More specifically, Instagram has become an outlet for many to express their thoughts and opinions on certain topics they feel strongly about. However, this doesn’t always mean users act on what they preach, and from my experience, they don’t. The privileges these people exhibit create a sense of imbalance in a world full of entitlement. There has been a 5.4% increase in the number of Instagram accounts this year, with 1 billion people currently using the app every month compared to 2019, according to Hootsuite. The idea of sharing awareness posts has become especially popular as a way to advocate pressing issues. Specifically, COVID-19 related content has been circling around the app non-stop. Recently, I saw a post showcasing the number of current deaths and methods of not getting sick. This is a constant reminder for those who view the message to behave and make sure they are staying safe. Looking at the information the user posted, I almost believed they cared. However, any semblance of hope instantly dissolved when I opened the app the next day to find pictures of the same people, who had earlier preached wearing a mask and staying safe, sitting with their friends at the beach without social distancing. There is a certain level of privilege accompanying these actions. While cases increase rapidly and the nation panics, people who encourage one thing but do the exact opposite with-

out a care in the world are, in a word, entitled. It creates the assumption that we can tell others how to act, yet not behave that way ourselves. An estimated 390,000 COVID-19 related deaths could occur all the way up to Feb. 1, according to NPR. Staying safe and healthy is what matters; for that to happen, we must all hold a degree of sympathy for our situation and consciously try to be safe. At the same time, some don’t understand that. They think their constant updates and reposts make them immune to the consequences of their actions. If you are trying to tell others what to do or how to act, make sure to follow the rules yourself first; otherwise, keep your posts to yourself. Gov. Gavin Newsom has been tightening restrictions on social distancing since the start of the pandemic, according to Associated Press. It is a never-ending cycle many are growing tired of. He has been encouraging people to stay safe, wear masks and remain socially distant at least six feet apart. Santa Clara County moved into the purple tier on Nov. 17, and the number of deaths in the state increased to around 18,500. Merely a few days later, Newsom was spotted at a restaurant, according to CNN. The governor was not social distancing or wearing a mask during the event. This is a horrible example to set for not only California residents but the rest of the nation. It is hypocritical and upsetting, to say the least. Just because Newsom holds a position of power, he does not have the right to use personal benefits as he

pleases and put his needs over others’. An apology was issued, according to CNN, but the damage has already been done. Those who are ignorant enough to not act on what they exhort don’t need to speak at all. Hanging out with friends is normal and necessary for our mental health, but do it the right way. It’s time for everyone to realize we are living through a oncein-a-lifetime event that deserves special attention. Snapping out of our own privileges and considering the repercussions of our actions is essential.

Illustration by Shreya Partha

MISUSE OF POSITIONS: Politicians like Gov. Gavin New-

som abuse their powers and set a bad example.

PAGE DESIGN BY XOCHITL NEELY AND ALLEN ZHANG


Lifestyles

Thursday, December 10, 2020

FBLA influences personal The inside scoop on LSU Latinx Student Union: Visions, goals, plans growth for members By Xochitl Neely and Ashley Orozco

By Hope Saena

FBLA represents more than just a business club; aside from improving business skills, the encouraging environment pushes students to get out of their comfort zones, make friends and become a better version of themselves, senior Sruthi Rayaprolu, president of FBLA, said in a Zoom interview. “Trying out in my freshman year for a competition, it was so nerve wracking,” Rayaprolu said. “But the way that the FBLA community works is, we throw ourselves into the unknown. That way, we learn to develop new skills.” Additionally, FBLA offers unique opportunities for its members such as nationwide competitions, according to the FBLA website. Sophomore Aaditya Patel said he initially joined to gain more experience in finance, but attending competitions further added to that experience. “Competitions are great because you study different facets of business and take a test, give a speech or present your idea at one of the conferences,” Patel said. “It’s a great opportunity to improve your skills.” Aside from attending the com-

7

petitions, Patel said FBLA has helped him make new friends as well as better himself as a person. “FBLA has given me the opportunity to improve my public speaking skills, and now I can communicate effectively to a large number of people,” Patel said. “It has also given me the opportunity to acquaint myself and compete alongside many talented individuals.” Sophomore Preethi Rayaprolu, who holds the Partnership with Business Chair position, said with the support of the community, she has seen tremendous growth since she first started. “Being in an encouraging environment motivates you,” Preethi Rayaprolu said in a Zoom interview. “It’s pushed me to become more confident and become more of an interactive person.” As a more experienced member, Preethi Rayaprolu said she hopes new members will also feel their club’s close family bond and encouragement. “Everyone is pushed to be their best,” Preethi Rayaprolu said. “That’s something that makes the Homestead FBLA super special.” Photo courtesy of Preethi Rayaprolu

HHS FBLA COMPETES: Members participate in regional competitions to practice and build onto their business skills.

Latinx Student Union, founded to represent students of Latin origin, educates members about Latinx culture and heritage. Latinx is a gender-inclusive term used to refer to members of the Latino community. At every meeting, club members learn about a new country and its unique culture. “[We talk about the country’s] culture, music, dance, the holidays they celebrate, the food and famous people who come from there,” senior and the coordinator of LSU Wendy Guillen said in a Zoom interview. In a more recent meeting, the officers covered the country of El Salvador, senior Jacqueline Perez said. “We learned about its origins, the history and how it came to its independence,” Perez, who is the treasure of LSU, said in a Zoom interview. “[We] also [learned about] their customs and their food.” A portion of LSU meetings is made up of a presentation informing members about current events in Latin countries, Perez said. “In the past, Evelyn Solis [a member of LSU] covered the feminist side of Mexico and the COVID-19 cases in other countries and how that’s going,” Perez said. In addition to informative presentations, LSU offers Latinx students a safe space to bond and feel included, Perez said. “The Latinx students, especially at home, are very underrepresented,” Perez said. “I feel like LSU is there to show that we’re not alone.” The club’s primary goal is to provide a safe space for all students, but it is especially geared toward Latinx students, Perez

Photo courtesy of Sebastian Segovia

LSU VIRTUALLY UPDATED: Segovia, a member of LSU, said

he believes LSU has taught him more about his heritage.

said. LSU hosts socials every month over Zoom where they hang out. “Last month we had a mangonada social,” Perez said, “and we have an upcoming movie social.” A mangonada is a Mexican dessert made up of mango sorbet, fresh mango and it contains tajin and chamoy. Members of LSU join the club for various reasons, Perez said: some are looking for a safe space, others want to learn about Latin culture and yet others want to explore their heritage. “I’m hoping to learn more about my culture and learn more about different people because not all Latinos are the same,” junior Sebastian Segovia said in a Zoom interview. “We all have different backgrounds [and] different ethnicities, so it’s interesting to learn.” One of the many reasons students join LSU is because it brings Latinx students together. Latino representation

is low at HHS - according to the 2020-21 HHS school profile, just 15% of students identify as Latinow - which makes it even more important for the club to be acknowledged by students. Segovia said he believes there is not enough Latino representation at HHS. “I’m a very passionate believer in Latino representation, and this is what the club is,” Segovia said. “That’s why I joined.” LSU has helped Latinx students by educating them about their roots, Segovia said. The club has also given students the opportunity to get to know other Latinx students and learn more about other cultures and traditions within the community. “It [has] widen[ed] my scope of knowledge within the Latino community,” Segovia said. “I’ve been learning a lot about El Salvador and stuff that’s going on there. I learned a lot about figureheads, our culture and hopes for the future, as well.”

ASL club’s interactive meetings connect people Members learn how to sign over Zoom during meetings By Mae Richardson American Sign Language club is a small but tight-knit community made up of people who share a common interest: signing, the language of the deaf community. ASL club aims to teach their members sign language in an attention grabbing way, making it entertaining and interactive, senior Deepashree Ravi, president of ASL club, said in a Zoom interview.

“There is nothing like it,” Ravi said. “Compared to any speaking language, it is all facial expressions and body language, and I think that is really cool. I want other people to feel that way too.” Since they cannot meet in person, ASL club hosts meetings biweekly on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. on Zoom, Ravi said. “Normally we [teach] some categorical vocabulary like holiPhoto courtesy of ASL club

BIWEEKLY ASL LESSON: ASL officers teach members how to sign

what foods they like and dislike through slides.

day themes, some grammar and question words,” Ravi said. “Recently, we learned some Halloween words.” The club consists of members from all grade levels with a large variety of experience levels. Their passion for ASL connects these students together and is the uniting force for the club, Ravi said. “Some people [have] been in the club for two or three years,” Ravi said. “Those people sign pretty conversationally, but a lot of the freshmen [are] just starting out.” As a first-year member of ASL club, sophomore Saloni Nadarajan said in a Zoom interview she has faced a few difficulties when learning ASL online. “It is [a little] hard to grasp the concepts [online], but I feel like if you continue practicing, you will get better at it. Start memorizing the words, and you will get used to phrasing sentences,” Nadarajan said. Additionally, she said while it

is easier to participate in the club activities online, there is a greater chance of miscommunication when signing over Zoom. “It is a little hard to tell which hand you have to use because you do not know whether they are mirroring it or not,” Nadarajan said. “You have to ask them which hand they are using.” On the other hand, both second-year members, seniors Lydia Huang and Lynn Huang, said in a Zoom interview they both prefer online meetings to in-person meetings. “[During the in-person meetings,] I found the lack of sound [unfamiliar], but now that it is online, people are muted most of the time anyways, so it feels more normal,” Lynn Huang said. In addition, Lydia Huang said while ASL club is small with about fourteen members, she feels they have a stronger bond than many of the bigger clubs on campus. “Since people [turn on] their

cameras, you can see the members, [which] makes it more interactive,” Lynn Huang said. “I think that this club is closer than some big clubs [where] the officers are just talking the whole time. In ASL club, members actively contribute and participate.” Lydia Huang and Lynn Huang both said learning ASL is a very useful and important skill everyone should practice. “I think [ASL] is very versatile because a lot of people besides deaf people use it,” Lynn Huang said. “It is a [useful] skill to know so that you can communicate with a variety of people.”

Study Playlist

Scan the QR code to listen to our Spotify playlist filled with relaxing songs to help you focus. PAGE DESIGN BY SEOYOUNG HWANG


8

In-Depth

Thursday, December 10, 2020

History of Pride

Solidarity In Pride PriDe

By Shreya Partha

While LGBTQ representation is becoming increasingly more prevalent in society, the path to acceptance has been long and hard fought. 1867 marks one of the first notable moments in the fight for gay rights. Read on for a detailed timeline of historical events in pride history.

“Father of the LGBTQ Movement” Karl Heinrich Ulrichs is first to speak out for gay rights.

1867

Christine Jorgensen becomes the first American to have sex reassignment surgery.

1952

Harvey Milk becomes the first openly gay elected official in the history of California when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

1952

Daughters of Bilitis, the first National U.S. Lesbian Organization is formed.

1955 The Stonewall Riots in New York gain national attention for gay rights. “Stonewall galvanized a generation of activists into forming a mass civil rights movement,” CNN reported.

Photo courtesy of Harvard Gazette

The rainbow flag is first used as symbol of gay pride.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

The struggles of being a member of the LGBTQ community

Students share their journey to self acceptance By Evelyn Solis

It takes immense perseverance to master selflove and acceptance when one’s sexuality contradicts societal norms and biases. For both senior Jacqui Perez and junior Chloe Srabian, it took time and strength to overcome the challenges that come with being a member of the LGBTQ community and to find pride and acceptance in who they are. Perez said that despite facing difficulties coming to terms with her identity, she can now confidently accept herself as a queer woman. “I think just grasping my identity was a big challenge,” Perez said. “I was confused for a large part of my younger years.” Perez’s journey to understanding her identity as a queer woman started with finding support within a united community. Bonding with people who shared her experiences as a member of the LGBTQ community and having mentors who guided her through self-exploration allowed her to understand her sexuality. Coming from a Catholic family, Perez said many of the beliefs of her family are more traditional and center around

1969

1978

President Barack Obama declares June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.

Photo courtesy of ABC News

The Supreme Court legalizes marriage equality nationwide.

Elliot Page, who plays Vanya Hargreeves on The Umbrella Academy, comes out as transgender.

2009 2015

old-fashioned expectations of marriage and having children. However, this does not stop her from being proud of who she is, she said. A lack of representation or diverse LGBTQ characters in the entertainment industry, Perez said, has added to her struggle with her identity. An average of only 12.8% of characters in films from 2018 were part of LGBTQ, and over 60% of those characters were men, according to GLAAD. Perez said seeing people like herself on TV would have given her the opportunity to become comfortable with her identity. “I think the media has to grasp that being LGBTQ+ isn’t [all of] your identity,” Perez said. “Finding representation and finding other people who were like me was a struggle.” Perez said she has found her voice and a safe place in the Gay-Straight Alliance club, where she is currently an officer, and encourages others to join. “I feel like I can be truly myself in GSA ... it’s like a second home,” Perez said. Perez said she works to treat everyone with kindness, regardless of their opinions, and encourages others to do so, as well. “Although I don’t fully agree with [some other] beliefs, I know that at the end of the day we’re all human,” Perez said. Like Perez, Srabian said she proudly identifies as a lesbian, cisgender woman but hasn’t always felt comfortable with that title. “I used to think that [being lesbian] was gross and wrong,” Srabian said in a Zoom interview. “I always thought that girls have to like boys and boys have to like girls. They can’t like each other.” Not only did Srabian suffer from internalized feelings of homophobia, she said, but she has also faced prejudice from her friends. “I [became friends with a] conservative group,” Srabian said. “I made the mistake of opening up to them about what I identified as, sexually, and for that, I got harassed. They repeatedly texted me, ‘You’re a sinner, you’re going down such a dark path, you’re going to hell.’” Harassment is not uncommon in the LGBT community. According to the Center of American Progress, 1 in 4 LGBTQ people say they have experienced discrimination. This harassment from so-called friends reinforced Srabian’s ideas of internalized hate about her sexuality, she said. Finally coming to terms with her identity, Srabian said she admits there are two sides to being openly gay. “On one side, ... you’re proud of [coming out],” Srabian said, “but on the

2020

other side, since you’re opening up about [your identity], you have a really big chance of facing a lot of hate for it.” Now Srabian said she can proudly say she is a lesbian without feeling insecure or judged. “I feel very proud and secure with [my sexuality], especially within [the HHS] community,” Srabian said. “I’m very happy that I can just be myself and be confident that there’s no judgment.” Srabian said she wants to emphasize the importance of love and acceptance over hate, especially in the LGBTQ community, since slurs and homophobic comments can be detrimental to the mental health of people struggling with their identities. “Your voice is a really powerful thing,” Srabian said. “I think that using it to spread love is going to be way better than using it to spread hate because you get nothing out of spreading hateful messages.” Read more about an Epitaph staff member’s LGBTQ experiences on Page 4.

9

LGBTQ politicians make history

Students respond to growth of LGBTQ representation in politics By Hope Saena Nationwide, LGBTQ representation in politics continues to grow, and with this, a wave of diversity to represent our national community. Recently, Democratic activist and politician Sarah McBride became the nation’s first elected transgender senator, according to CNN. Sophomore Rylee Quiambao, who identifies as lesbian, said she hopes McBride’s monumental achievement will motivate youth within the community to continue the battle for representation. “McBride will inspire the LGBTQ+ people, especially young transgender people looking into politics,” Quiambao said in an email. “Being the first transgender senator will show many that they can do it, too.” With more representation, Junior Sophie Salvucci, who identifies as lesbian, said she believes it is important for us to get more familiar with the community. “They are less commonly shown in the media compared to other groups in the LGBTQ+ community,” Salvucci said in an email. “It will allow others to become more accepting of having

transgender people in positions of power.” Additionally, politicians Shevrin Jones, Florida’s first gay elected senator, and Kimberly Jackson, Georgia’s first lesbian elected senator, also made history by becoming their state’s first LGBTQ representatives, according to NBC. Sophomore Aaliyah Bustamante, who identifies as lesbian, said she believes there will be more acceptance as the community grows. “The more diverse our government becomes, the more our youth will be comfortable with accepting themselves and the others around them,” Bustamante said in an email interview. According to Vox, it is legal in some states to evict, fire or decline service to someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Junior Sooinie Choi, a LGBTQ ally, said she hopes with more LGBTQ people in power, discrimination towards community members will end. “Hopefully discriminatory policies and laws are removed

and new laws are put into place to protect human rights of these groups,” Choi said in an email. With the rise of LGBTQ representation nationwide, Quiambao said she feels the community finally has people to look up to. “It’s great that more LGBTQ+ people are in politics,” Quiambao said. “More of us feel represented.”

LGBTQ teachers share experiences

Nicholas Neese and Shawnee Rivera open up about pride on campus

By Hope Saena

Photo courtesy of Chloe Srabian

CHLOE SRABIAN’S SEXUALITY: Srabian talks

about her sexuality and her journey of self-acceptance.

JOURNEY OF SELF-IDENTITY: Jacqui Perez

realizes love overpowers hate and we are all human at the end of the day. Photo courtesy of Jacqui Perez

What do you wish for HHS to understand about the LGBTQ community? “We are normal. We’re human beings with the same fears, joys and passions. And at the end of the day, it should never matter what your sexuality is when we talk about the need for positivity.” - English and AVID teacher, Shawnee Rivera

Photo courtesy of Shawnee Rivera

Is there enough awareness about the LGBTQ community at HHS? “There’s a lot of awareness around the L, and the G, but there is still not enough of it. I think those who are trans[gender] or nonbinary, who fit into other categories that aren’t advertised, are facing direct needs that aren’t being met.” Photo courtesy of Nicholas Neese

- History teacher, Nicholas Neese PAGE DESIGN BY SHREYA PARTHA, HOPE SAENA AND EVELYN SOLIS


8

In-Depth

Thursday, December 10, 2020

History of Pride

Solidarity In Pride PriDe

By Shreya Partha

While LGBTQ representation is becoming increasingly more prevalent in society, the path to acceptance has been long and hard fought. 1867 marks one of the first notable moments in the fight for gay rights. Read on for a detailed timeline of historical events in pride history.

“Father of the LGBTQ Movement” Karl Heinrich Ulrichs is first to speak out for gay rights.

1867

Christine Jorgensen becomes the first American to have sex reassignment surgery.

1952

Harvey Milk becomes the first openly gay elected official in the history of California when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

1952

Daughters of Bilitis, the first National U.S. Lesbian Organization is formed.

1955 The Stonewall Riots in New York gain national attention for gay rights. “Stonewall galvanized a generation of activists into forming a mass civil rights movement,” CNN reported.

Photo courtesy of Harvard Gazette

The rainbow flag is first used as symbol of gay pride.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

The struggles of being a member of the LGBTQ community

Students share their journey to self acceptance By Evelyn Solis

It takes immense perseverance to master selflove and acceptance when one’s sexuality contradicts societal norms and biases. For both senior Jacqui Perez and junior Chloe Srabian, it took time and strength to overcome the challenges that come with being a member of the LGBTQ community and to find pride and acceptance in who they are. Perez said that despite facing difficulties coming to terms with her identity, she can now confidently accept herself as a queer woman. “I think just grasping my identity was a big challenge,” Perez said. “I was confused for a large part of my younger years.” Perez’s journey to understanding her identity as a queer woman started with finding support within a united community. Bonding with people who shared her experiences as a member of the LGBTQ community and having mentors who guided her through self-exploration allowed her to understand her sexuality. Coming from a Catholic family, Perez said many of the beliefs of her family are more traditional and center around

1969

1978

President Barack Obama declares June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.

Photo courtesy of ABC News

The Supreme Court legalizes marriage equality nationwide.

Elliot Page, who plays Vanya Hargreeves on The Umbrella Academy, comes out as transgender.

2009 2015

old-fashioned expectations of marriage and having children. However, this does not stop her from being proud of who she is, she said. A lack of representation or diverse LGBTQ characters in the entertainment industry, Perez said, has added to her struggle with her identity. An average of only 12.8% of characters in films from 2018 were part of LGBTQ, and over 60% of those characters were men, according to GLAAD. Perez said seeing people like herself on TV would have given her the opportunity to become comfortable with her identity. “I think the media has to grasp that being LGBTQ+ isn’t [all of] your identity,” Perez said. “Finding representation and finding other people who were like me was a struggle.” Perez said she has found her voice and a safe place in the Gay-Straight Alliance club, where she is currently an officer, and encourages others to join. “I feel like I can be truly myself in GSA ... it’s like a second home,” Perez said. Perez said she works to treat everyone with kindness, regardless of their opinions, and encourages others to do so, as well. “Although I don’t fully agree with [some other] beliefs, I know that at the end of the day we’re all human,” Perez said. Like Perez, Srabian said she proudly identifies as a lesbian, cisgender woman but hasn’t always felt comfortable with that title. “I used to think that [being lesbian] was gross and wrong,” Srabian said in a Zoom interview. “I always thought that girls have to like boys and boys have to like girls. They can’t like each other.” Not only did Srabian suffer from internalized feelings of homophobia, she said, but she has also faced prejudice from her friends. “I [became friends with a] conservative group,” Srabian said. “I made the mistake of opening up to them about what I identified as, sexually, and for that, I got harassed. They repeatedly texted me, ‘You’re a sinner, you’re going down such a dark path, you’re going to hell.’” Harassment is not uncommon in the LGBT community. According to the Center of American Progress, 1 in 4 LGBTQ people say they have experienced discrimination. This harassment from so-called friends reinforced Srabian’s ideas of internalized hate about her sexuality, she said. Finally coming to terms with her identity, Srabian said she admits there are two sides to being openly gay. “On one side, ... you’re proud of [coming out],” Srabian said, “but on the

2020

other side, since you’re opening up about [your identity], you have a really big chance of facing a lot of hate for it.” Now Srabian said she can proudly say she is a lesbian without feeling insecure or judged. “I feel very proud and secure with [my sexuality], especially within [the HHS] community,” Srabian said. “I’m very happy that I can just be myself and be confident that there’s no judgment.” Srabian said she wants to emphasize the importance of love and acceptance over hate, especially in the LGBTQ community, since slurs and homophobic comments can be detrimental to the mental health of people struggling with their identities. “Your voice is a really powerful thing,” Srabian said. “I think that using it to spread love is going to be way better than using it to spread hate because you get nothing out of spreading hateful messages.” Read more about an Epitaph staff member’s LGBTQ experiences on Page 4.

9

LGBTQ politicians make history

Students respond to growth of LGBTQ representation in politics By Hope Saena Nationwide, LGBTQ representation in politics continues to grow, and with this, a wave of diversity to represent our national community. Recently, Democratic activist and politician Sarah McBride became the nation’s first elected transgender senator, according to CNN. Sophomore Rylee Quiambao, who identifies as lesbian, said she hopes McBride’s monumental achievement will motivate youth within the community to continue the battle for representation. “McBride will inspire the LGBTQ+ people, especially young transgender people looking into politics,” Quiambao said in an email. “Being the first transgender senator will show many that they can do it, too.” With more representation, Junior Sophie Salvucci, who identifies as lesbian, said she believes it is important for us to get more familiar with the community. “They are less commonly shown in the media compared to other groups in the LGBTQ+ community,” Salvucci said in an email. “It will allow others to become more accepting of having

transgender people in positions of power.” Additionally, politicians Shevrin Jones, Florida’s first gay elected senator, and Kimberly Jackson, Georgia’s first lesbian elected senator, also made history by becoming their state’s first LGBTQ representatives, according to NBC. Sophomore Aaliyah Bustamante, who identifies as lesbian, said she believes there will be more acceptance as the community grows. “The more diverse our government becomes, the more our youth will be comfortable with accepting themselves and the others around them,” Bustamante said in an email interview. According to Vox, it is legal in some states to evict, fire or decline service to someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Junior Sooinie Choi, a LGBTQ ally, said she hopes with more LGBTQ people in power, discrimination towards community members will end. “Hopefully discriminatory policies and laws are removed

and new laws are put into place to protect human rights of these groups,” Choi said in an email. With the rise of LGBTQ representation nationwide, Quiambao said she feels the community finally has people to look up to. “It’s great that more LGBTQ+ people are in politics,” Quiambao said. “More of us feel represented.”

LGBTQ teachers share experiences

Nicholas Neese and Shawnee Rivera open up about pride on campus

By Hope Saena

Photo courtesy of Chloe Srabian

CHLOE SRABIAN’S SEXUALITY: Srabian talks

about her sexuality and her journey of self-acceptance.

JOURNEY OF SELF-IDENTITY: Jacqui Perez

realizes love overpowers hate and we are all human at the end of the day. Photo courtesy of Jacqui Perez

What do you wish for HHS to understand about the LGBTQ community? “We are normal. We’re human beings with the same fears, joys and passions. And at the end of the day, it should never matter what your sexuality is when we talk about the need for positivity.” - English and AVID teacher, Shawnee Rivera

Photo courtesy of Shawnee Rivera

Is there enough awareness about the LGBTQ community at HHS? “There’s a lot of awareness around the L, and the G, but there is still not enough of it. I think those who are trans[gender] or nonbinary, who fit into other categories that aren’t advertised, are facing direct needs that aren’t being met.” Photo courtesy of Nicholas Neese

- History teacher, Nicholas Neese PAGE DESIGN BY SHREYA PARTHA, HOPE SAENA AND EVELYN SOLIS


10

Lifestyles

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Alumni revise college plans due to virtual learning

Students find new opportunities with alternative learning plans By Nika Bondar and Miya Liu

THE DAY DREAMER

By Karuna Chandran I distinctly remember the time I decided I wanted to learn badminton. I had played the sport before with my family, and I remembered being able to perform reasonably well. I figured with a few classes — maybe a nice sports montage — I’d be able to make leaps and bounds in my capabilities. However, when I actually went to class, I realized I was sorely mistaken. I was not at all good; in fact, I was quite terrible. While everyone else moved on to do exciting drills, I was stuck doing the basics over and over again. It was frustrating, and I got discouraged. After the eight week session was over, I didn’t go back, or rather, I didn’t want to go back. To this day, I regret my decision to quit so soon. If I had stuck with it for longer, although I may not have been the best player in the world, I would have gotten better. The main problem stemmed from how I dealt with failure. It is so easy to view failing at something as a waste of time and to believe everything I do has to factor into an overarching goal, and if something doesn’t help me reach success, it isn’t worth the effort. But that isn’t true. To get to a point of success, I need to remind myself it’s important to try, experiment and learn. I have to view failures as stepping stones to achieve my goals. I’ve learned that high school in particular is a time to prepare and learn. I am trying to hold on to these precious years and use them as an opportunity to stumble, but to always get back up. In general, I have realized the importance of embracing failure and trying new things out. Even if there are challenges, I have to always remember to stick through them and fight for things I care about. After all, nothing is a waste of time if it helps you on your journey to finding your passion.

When HHS alum, current UCSD sophomore Samuel Woo first reassured me of the high-quality online education he has experienced, I was reasonably skeptical of the statement. Spending the next 30 minutes in detailed interrogations about the efficiency of asynchronous schedules, the prevalence of cheating in online assessments and the extent to which online learning as a whole lacks in educational resources, I was surprised to end the call with a new perspective. For an electrical engineering major such as Woo, UCSD’s learning model really seemed to work. “I think I’m learning just as much if not even more than in person,” Woo said, “I know sometimes, when I was on campus, the professor would run out of time in a lecture, so they wouldn’t be able to cover all the material. I think online [learning] allows more flexibility. Professors can pre-record lectures, so they can make sure that they cover all the material on YouTube.” Although the quality of academics at UCSD has remained high, even through the adjustments in schedule and testing procedures, Woo said he misses his community most during distance learning. Not only is it harder to socialize with peers off campus, club events have been postponed and meetings [have] lost a pleasant interactive aspect, he said. However, Woo said he still recommends

students to take advantage of present opportunities. “I encourage everybody to still reach out for clubs and jobs or internships and meet new people,” Woo said. “Don’t make the excuse that ‘Oh, it’s online. I’ll just do that when I get on campus when in-person classes return.’ [Because] that’s one of my regrets, that I made that excuse.” 2020 grad Krista Colen said she is also optimistic about her future college experience. Presently, she decided to defer her first semester at Washington State University. “I’m still technically a student admitted to Washington State University,” Colen said, “I just take my classes at West Valley [College].” Colen said she worked with her Washington State academic adviser to find which classes to take at West Valley to ensure all her credits would transfer. Colen said she has taken advantage of her virtual classes and moved into an apartment in Seattle with her friends for two months. “I could see myself living [in the Seattle area] in the future,” Colen said. “It’s really exciting to know that someday I’ll end up living here again. I have a new goal of where I want to end up in my life that I didn’t know before.” Initially, Colen said she was disappointed because she was emotionally and mentally ready for her college experience, but

COVID-19 has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Previously, she expected to take 5-10 years to pay off her student debt, but now on top of not paying for tuition or housing at Washington State, she now qualifies for higher financial aid and will be graduating with almost no student debt, she said. “Look at all your options and find what works for you,” Colen said. “Not the path most taken, but [what] works for you specifically. It’s going to be the most beneficial.” Similarly, another class of 2020 graduate, Jacqueline Beaufore said she decided she will finish her semester at San Francisco State University, but to graduate faster, she will take classes at Foothill College and then transfer to another school.

Her virtual classes also opened up new opportunities for her, she said, such as her internship for Luxe Kurves Magazine as their senior publication manager and training to be the creative assistant. “I’ve been seeing a lot more people joining internships and volunteering because we have so much time on our hands,” Beaufore said. “That’s something that [we] would not have been able to do if [we were] at school.” COVID-19 has allowed Beaufore to focus on her time management skills, balance schoolwork, internship and spend time with her family, since she takes time to connect with her relatives daily, she said. Beaufore said she wants to relish this time since she has been looking for a pause from the insanity of life, even if she did not expect as large of a disruption as this. “You are put under so much pressure to figure out what you need to be and how you need to get there,” Beaufore said. “But you can’t plan your whole life out in a day. You don’t know what’s going to happen.” Photos courtesy of Jacqueline Beaufore and Krista Colen

CELEBRATING GRADUATION ALONE: Preceding diverse freshman experiences, class of 2020 graduated without a ceremony.

Jobs help students gain independence, experience Students share thoughts on balancing school, work By Madhavi Karthik and Ritaja Subrahmanya and being an extra in the Netflix show “13 Reasons Why.” Working as an actress can be stressful, especially while attending school, Mracek said. Yet, Mracek has been able to find time to do both, learning new skills that can be applied to various aspects of her life. Jobs in general are great to put on your resume to show you have some knowledge and experience working in the real world, Mracek said. She especially enjoys exploring out of the ordinary experiences Photo courtesy of Ayaka Fujita and meeting new people on set. Photo courtesy of tktktk “The experience of being on set and working with new people every single time [is] fun,” Mracek said. “The adrenaline of getting a callback or getting a role [is] cool [as is being able to see] myself on screen.” Similar to Mracek, senior Nina Bair said she enjoys the collaborative aspect of her job, working at the food preparation line at Chipotle on El Camino. Although work can be hectic, Bair said she enjoys working at Chipotle because of the friendly atmosphere. PREPARING FOR TUTORING: Ayaka She also said working is Fujita creates lesson plans for her a way for her to stay proJapanese tutoring sessions. One of the most memorable experiences freshman Ava Mracek has had as a professional film actress, she said, was acting in a short film for LucasFilms. “I had to pretend I knew how to play softball [badly],” Mracek said in a Zoom interview. “They had brought a really fancy drone and camera.” As an actress, Mracek said she began her career at the age of five. Some of her most notable jobs include modeling for Apple

ductive during quarantine. “It was important for me to get out of the house because I wasn’t doing anything [during quarantine],” Bair said in a Zoom interview. “I think that it’s important to do some things with a routine or go back to normal in some way.” Senior Katelyn Richardson also works in the food industry as a hostess at the Black Bear Diner in Sunnyvale. Her responsibilities include working the cashier and managing ticket orders, Richardson said in a Zoom interview. One of the main parts of Richardson’s job is interacting with new people, and she said she enjoys the compassionate environment of the Black Bear team. Throughout her time at Black Bear, Richardson said she has formed a bond with one regular customer in particular. “Every Sunday, [there is] this little elderly lady who comes in and she always gets the same thing,” Richardson said. “I get to talk to her every Sunday, [so] it’s fun.” Sophomore Ayaka Fujita said she has developed strong relationships with her students in Japanese as part of her job with Tutorfly, a student tutoring organization. “A lot of people are also interested in Japanese culture, not just the language,” Fujita said in a

Zoom interview. “It really makes me happy to spread my culture and my language to others that are eager to learn about it.” Fujita said she started tutoring a year ago when a friend reached out to her asking for her help in tutoring a student. Online learning has given her more time to tutor, she said. However, it is difficult for some of Fujita’s students. “It’s nice because [since] tutoring is also online now, I don’t have to travel,” Fujita said. “With the kindergartners online tutoring [is] not a good option for [them], but with the older students I’m tutoring right now, online [learning works well].” As a result of money earned from her job, Richardson said she pays for all of her own expenses outside of her home. She also said she recommends having a job during high school because it prepares students for later stages in life, including gaining financial independence. “[If you have a job in high school], you’re going to already know how to apply for jobs, go through interviews and what it’s like to work,” Richardson said. “Especially if you’re working at a customer service job, it’s going to make you more compassionate to those [in the service industry] later because you’ll realize how hard it actually is.” PAGE DESIGN BY MADHAVI KARTHIK


Lifestyles First-generation students balance ethnic identities

Thursday, December 10, 2020

11

Students maintain their authentic culture while adapting to American lifestyle By Elaine Huang and Yukari E. Zapata Reflecting on his struggles of being a first-generation immigrant student, Senior Yu-Cheng Chuang said he has found the idea of belonging to one place particularly challenging. “To me, I felt like I belong to neither the United States nor Taiwan, having spent only part of my life in each country,” Chuang said in a Zoom interview. Many first-generation students share the experience of lacking a sense of belonging, Chuang said. As a result, it becomes difficult for students to preserve their traditional customs while trying to fit into a vastly different society. “I started caring so much more about my friends [and]my grades and got so incorporated into the American lifestyle that I felt more and more disconnected from my family back in Nepal and my childhood life,” junior Minnie Karki said in a phone interview. “Unwillingly, I was losing such a huge part of me that I started to question my own identity.” Accepting a second identity can feel wrong to many immigrant students, senior Van Pham said. Students who spent parts of their lives in a different country often cannot fully relate to the experience of those who have

not, causing them to be afraid of claiming their second identity, she said. “As someone who is biologically Vietnamese but grew up in America, I still struggle with identifying with one or the other. I don’t know where I belong,” Pham said. “I feel like I should go back to my roots. I try to learn the language and feel like I should be learning more about the history of Vietnam. However, I haven’t been doing so due to my other obligations.” Unlike Pham, Chuang said he has spent most of his life outside of America and has struggled with accepting his American identity. Despite the hardship, he has been able to come out the other side. “Accepting your identity as an American is amazing and shouldn’t feel like a betrayal to your original culture,” Chuang said. “Accepting the dominant culture as part of your identity is very important especially as young adults. Only after a few years, I realized that one can have multiple identities. For me [that’s] being both Taiwanese and American.” Identity is only one of many hardships first-generation immi-

Photo courtesy of Minnie Karki

Photo courtesy of Van Pham

Photo courtesy of Yu-Cheng Chuang

FIRST-GENERATION IMMIGRANT STUDENTS: Students coming from various backgrounds struggle

with similar forms of hardships regarding their identity.

grant students face, Chuang said. Along with that, students also face struggles both socially and academically. The uncertainty of moving to a new country comes with lots of pressure coming from both the students and their parents. The constant weight on their shoulders can leave a lasting impact on the mental health of students, Karki said. “Knowing that my parents left everything they had behind [is always] in the back of my head, I am always scared that I may be disappointing my parents or not doing enough for the other Nepali people in the community,” Karki said. “Although these

[thoughts] are very bad for my mental health, it is also one of the only things that really motivates me to keep going.” Along with academic pressure, students are often left to fend for themselves when adjusting to a new environment, Karki said. Students also go through a similar process when planning their futures after high school, Chuang said. While attempting to fit into American society, students also need to take their futures into consideration. “I especially felt the pressure [to be independent] during my junior and senior year,” Chuang said. “I needed to figure out a plan by myself in order for [my

life] to be sustainable in the future.” Despite the hardship, Karki said she focuses on the positives of living in America. “I think America has changed my life for the better in so many ways,” Karki said. “The freedom to speak your voice, make a big change even in the simplest of ways, and the incredible opportunities it provides, is what keeps me here every single day and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. Nepal will forever be my home and America has been the place I grew up and developed my character in, and, truthfully, I can’t imagine my life without either one.”

Winter concert goes virtual Student volunteering impacts the community

A unique method of sharing music

Helping others is one way to get on Santa’s nice list

By Seoyoung Hwang

Perfect for the holiday season and spirit, volunteering allows people to give back to their community and help make it a better place for everyone. Sophomore Jadyn Ko said she has committed to working with the food pantry program at the River of Life Foundation towards a hunger-free community in Silicon Valley. “One main issue I want to bring awareness to currently is the hunger in our community, especially with COVID-19,” Ko said in a Zoom interview. “This has always been a pressing issue that I heard and saw from around the world, even sometimes [from] my fellow peers. Although many are fortunate to live in a nice area, there are still a lot of people struggling to even put food on the table. The fact that millions are simply too poor to be able to eat never sat right with me, and a couple years ago, I decided to take action to help with this issue and volunteer.” Similarly, junior Tingyo Chang said she enjoys seeing the immediate impact of volunteering and views helping others as a rewarding experience. Chang works with the Teen Advisory Committee, a city-funded club focusing on teen engagement throughout Sunnyvale. As the president, she said she organizes their agenda, runs meetings and communicates logistics with their adviser and any outside organizations they might work with. “In pre-COVID times, we hosted teen events such as movie nights and ice-skating socials,” Chang said in an email. “Now that

The annual winter concert for the music department looks a little different this year; each music program is working on something different to showcase what they have been rehearsing for the past five months, head music director John Burn said. The choir is preparing a piece called “All Star” with choreography going along with their vocals, senior Logan Pageler said in a Zoom interview. The choir will showcase its performance at the district-wide virtual choir concert. Members have been looking at the positive sides of having a virtual concert, Pageler said. “We’ve been trying to take advantage of what we can do online, such as video editing and cool visual effects that you couldn’t get in person,” Pageler said. The orchestra is collaborating with the music club, Tri-M, to prepare a virtual concert, sophomore Arielle Turullols said in a Zoom interview. But they have been having some struggles rehearsing virtually. “It’s difficult to play because when you’re in person, you can listen to [each other] and adjust the pitch better and be more in rhythm,” Turullols said. “But when you’re recording in your room, it’s very different and harder to play.” The band is also doing a virtual concert, sophomore Avery Chen said in a Zoom in-

terview. They have been practicing by playing along with the recording during rehearsals and then recording by themselves, she said, but they hope to get together in person to create music together soon. “As a performer, being up on the stage with the lights and being able to feel the energy of everyone around you, I think that’s a very special feeling,” Chen said. “And this year will be different in the sense that we’re on virtual platforms, and it’s harder to connect with people and to express emotions.” Although the music program is trying their best to bring a good experience to the students, Chen said many students are hoping to get back together and create music in person. “I appreciate all the effort that’s going into planning the virtual band,” Chen said. “But the reason I loved being part of the music program was getting to make music with others in the same room, and practicing alone in your room, that’s really different from what [the music program] actually is.”

Behind the Scenes Scan the QR code to check out our multimedia on behind the scenes of the music department’s winter concert.

By Christine Kim most things are virtual, though, we’ve been looking into partnering with other cities and getting more politically involved. But a few ideas we have been thinking about [for the holidays] include toy drives [and] writing letters.” Other things students can do to help in the community are donating money and food to food drives and volunteering in local places, such as soup kitchens or shelters. “I highly recommend volunteering at a local soup kitchen or food pantry,” Ko said. “It offers the opportunity to give back and make a difference for people around you while also having fun and building new relationships.” Her specific job at the food pantry program, she said, is to help prepare food boxes that get distributed throughout the community. Sophomore Roopa Srinivas, who works with a non-profit organization called Kannada Kali, said she helps teach kids her native language, Kannada. She also said she recommends volunteering as a fulfilling activity. “I enjoy meeting new people and helping kids learn new things,” Srinivas said in a Zoom interview. “It’s amazing to see these little kids being fascinated with our culture, and I love my culture and language being passed down. When I was attending the school, some of the volunteers would help me with my classwork and teach it in an extremely fun way.” Srinivas said even if people are unable to donate, volunteering in some way could impact

Photo courtesy of Jadyn Ko

HARD AT WORK: Volunteers

at the River of Life Foundation prepare food for the community.

someone’s life. Little things will help the community greatly, she said. “Joining a service club or educating yourself about the issues affecting you and those around you are great places to start when you want to help,” Chang said. For these three students, volunteering has been a beneficial experience for themselves as well as the people they help. Giving back during the holidays, even through the smallest of acts, can be extremely rewarding. “Seeing the smiles arise from people’s faces when they receive food boxes and talking and interacting with them is gratifying,” Ko said. “I also love the other volunteers around me [who I am honored] to work with, and seeing how passionate and driven some of these volunteers are also encourages me to be better.” PAGE DESIGN BY ASHLEY OROZCO


12

Arts & Culture

Thursday, December 10, 2020

DIY movie theater

Music

Watch Allen Zhang set up his personal movie theater!

‘Love Goes’

Sam Smith’s new album “Love Goes” centers around the singer’s adventures in love, displaying Smith’s incredible voice range and divergent style. With every song, you will enter a concentrated capsule of intensely complex emotions. A couple favorites are “Another One” and “Love Goes.”

Podcast

‘This American Life’

Ira Glass hosts an hourlong segment of storytelling about the intriguing lives of Americans. Favorite episodes include “The Out Crowd,” which won the first Pulitzer prize ever awarded to a podcast.

By Miya Liu Illustrations by Emily Jennett

TV Show

‘Dash & Lily’

Follow eight episodes of Christmas magic as Lily (Midori Francis) captures Christmas-hater Dash’s (Austin Abrams) heart through mystery letters and dares. These artfully constructed shots do not solely focus on their romance but instead capture the high schoolers’ lives as they develop values and challenge expectations.

Book

Movie

Madeline Miller brings out a deeply nuanced love story from Greek epic “The Iliad.” She weaves the story using dialogue and passionate action scenes, utterly capturing you until the crippling end. This intense novel is perfect for you if you enjoy Greek mythology and will easily envelop you in the world of Patroclus and Achilles.

This feel-good classic guarantees hard cringes and even more irrepressible chuckles as Will Ferrell frolics around New York City in a 6’3” elf costume. He discovers the true meaning of adulthood through self-discovery and chocolate syrup spaghetti. You will be reminded that in the end, hope and holiday spirit will always win over capitalistic depression. Something to keep in mind for this holiday season.

‘The Song of Achilles’

Leaving cancel culture in 2020 Canceling influencers has become useless in the fight against injustices By Evelyn Solis

Every time I open YouTube, the algorithm recommends videos about the latest celebrity scandals. The idea of canceling influencers has become a trend and so common that the reason behind their cancellation is no longer questioned, and at times, the damages done to the reputation of the canceled influencer is more harmful than the actions that caused their cancellation. The event that began the trend of cancel culture was the #MeToo movement. The media sought justice after women in the entertainment industry claimed they had been sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. He lost his credibility as a notable figure in the entertainment industry, and in Weinstein’s case, his actions did call for the loss of his fame and credibility. From there emerged cancel culture. Initially, it was used as a way to fight for social justice and seek justice for victims and the voiceless. Recently, however, instead of improving society, cancel culture has only added to the toxicity of social media by not allowing influencers to learn and grow from their mistakes. Additionally, just because the public has a say in social justice, it is not guaranteed the influencer will face consequences or learn from their mistakes. Commonly seen on YouTube, canceling YouTubers has become so popular that it becomes repetitive and, for the most part, pointless and harmful. For example, YouTube m a k e u p artist Tati Westbrook uploaded a video about fellow Yo u Tu ber James Charles

that called him a terrible friend and a sexual predator, causing fans to cancel him. Westbrook’s actions caused her to gain more subscribers and hurt James Charles’ subscriber count as millions of people unsubscribed. Like a child spreading rumors and craving more popularity by bullying others, cancel culture can quickly become detrimental to an influencer’s career and life. Jeffree Star, another famous makeup artist on YouTube, faced backlash after racist comments he made resurfaced. These comments were made back in 2012, yet he was still canceled and labeled a racist. Although he did receive hate for his racist comments, the controversy quickly went away and Jeffree Star’s career was not harmed too much. It should not be up to the public to search for these prejudiced comments. Rather, influencers have to address their past actions before they are forced to for the sake of their career. Influencers should also be given time to address the controversy before they are canceled since many of these celebrities are canceled over mere rumors, not facts. Even for those who did make mistakes, it is important to let influencers learn from their mistakes because, in the end, we are all human and deserve a second chance. Cancel culture does not allow influencers to explain their mistakes but instead completely diminishes their voice and credibility without taking into account that entertainers are also people with e m o Illustration by Van Pham tions.

CANCEL CULTURE DANGERS: Canceling influencers does not leave room for personal growth.

‘Elf’

K-pop’s globalization era

Different sides to K-pop’s expansion By Seoyoung Hwang and Mae Richardson

Photo courtesy of Pledis Entertainment

Korean pop, more commonly known as K-pop, is unlike any other type of music in the industry. There is no specific genre in K-pop music. K-pop also has many notable jaw-dropping performances, such as synchronized choreography and self-produced songs with meaningful lyrics. There is also a higher priority placed on marketing and advertising artists. K-POP MARKETING STRATEGIES: K-pop labels This advertising helps K-pop groups debut diverse members to increase popularity. create stronger fandom connections, causing many people to show interest in joinK-pop music has also recently begun a ing the fan culture of K-pop. phase of westernization as a way to appeal Because of the amazing advertising to western countries. For example, girl paired with talented stars, this industry group Blackpink recently released a new is becoming more popular worldwide, album called “The Album.” prompting groups to go on world tours, Three of the eight songs were in Enrelease music in other countries and be glish and featured famous western artists featured on international media platforms. such as Cardi B and Selena Gomez. The K-pop music labels are starting to de- emphasis placed on songs sung entirely in but groups from different countries, creat- English shows how K-pop labels are trying ing diversity within the initially all-Korean to appeal to the American music industry groups. This attracts fans globally because rather than the K-pop industry. they can cheer on artists with the same Additionally, the unique messages ethnic background as themselves and lets spread through K-pop songs are appealing fans easily communicate with the artists. to the public. Still, the influence westerniThe increase in diversity also helps K-pop zation has had on some groups — making labels gain more attention and increase their songs focus on love and sex — has their profits. caused the K-pop industry to lose its inFor example, Pledis Entertainment dividuality. If western influence on K-pop debuted a boy group in 2015 called Sev- continues to grow, it will no longer stand enteen. The group has four foreign mem- out, as it will lose its distinctiveness. bers: two Chinese members, an American The encouraging messages of K-pop member and a Korean-American member. songs are what got me through some of The foreign members help their group my darkest times. I discovered K-pop at a out with translation when writing lyrics or time when I was regularly doubting and meeting fans, and they also promote their disliking myself, but the messages from group by being on different shows in their the songs of groups like BTS, Mamamoo home countries. This has allowed Seven- and Seventeen have helped me stay positeen to gain fans from other countries, tive and learn to love myself for who I am leading them to become one of the indus- instead of trying to be someone else. try’s most popular K-pop boy groups. K-pop music has given me the courage Many people love how debuting for- to not worry about making mistakes and eign members creates equal opportunities has made me realize that while chasing for those with different backgrounds to your dreams and working hard is essenpursue their dreams. Still, K-pop labels tial, it is okay to take breaks to focus on shouldn’t go too overboard with putting living in the present. Songs with meaningforeign members in their groups and us- ful messages mean a lot to fans, so K-pop ing them as a marketing strategy. groups should continue to release music K-pop isn’t about the members and to inspire fans to persevere through hard their diversity but rather their music and times. performances. You shouldn’t like a group K-pop’s uniqueness through songwritjust because they are a particular race, and ing and performing is what appealed to you should also be aware of the market- fans in the first place, not the westernized ing strategies labels use. Diversity instead lyrics or singing in English. K-pop groups should be used to make the groups more and music labels should stop trying to apinclusive and to ensure that K-pop groups peal to other countries’ styles but rather are loved for their talent and personality. focus on what makes K-pop K-pop. PAGE DESIGN BY MIYA LIU .


Arts & Culture

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Borat sequel reveals need for change in society

13

Lack of response to racism, misogyny is troubling for 2020 By Naomi Baron

Leading up to the release of “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” my entire family and I were excited to sit down and watch it together. My expectations were skyhigh, and I was ready to put my homework aside and enjoy what this Borat sequel had to offer. The movie did not let me down at all; in fact, it exceeded any expectations I had. Not only did it make me laugh, but it also opened my eyes to the severely damaged society we live in. Through hilariously dark humor, Borat is able to simultaneously make you cry from laughter and question the world we live in. The movie features a man named Borat coming to the U.S. from Kazakhstan with his daughter, Tutar. The movie films Borat and his daughter interacting with people, who are not actors, and focuses a lot of its satire on gender roles, racism and politics. The movie sheds light on the lack of response from people who witness such misogyny and racism. Watching “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” has caused me to notice how living in the Bay Area is like living in a bubble. The general culture here is one of acceptance of different gender identities, religions and races. Outside our little bubble, though, is a world full of hate and prejudice, and this Borat sequel helped

bring me back to reality. Throughout the entire film, Borat’s discussions with his daughter often mock the role of women in society. He says women cannot own businesses and should not drive, insists women can only be beautiful after receiving plastic surgery and at some point even asks a worker at a dress shop for a dress that sends a message of “no means yes.” Each time Borat makes these comments in public, oftentimes within the earshot of business owners, they fail to question his logic or call out his outdated and troublesome assumptions. In one scene, for example, Borat and his daughter attend a debutante ball in Georgia. This ball scene contains many laughable moments, including a dance in which Tutar exposes what they call her “moon blood,” but it also contains a very eye-opening scene in which Borat asks another father at the ball how much he thinks Tutar is worth. The man quickly replies with a smile, “$500.” Has objectifying women become such a natural action that people now openly state a woman’s worths in public? This disgusting practice should not be seen in today’s society, and it is shocking that this still goes on. In another scene, Borat consults with a plastic surgeon, who

These types of responses, or is not an actor, about surgery for his daughter’s nose. Tutar asks lack of responses, is something whether her nose resembles a I would expect to read in a hisJew’s nose and the doctor quickly tory book, not see from a movie in 2020. I would expect people to responds, “No ma’am.” He responds by describing stand up against racism, not igprecisely how a Jewish nose dif- nore it. Clearly, though, society is fers from other noses. When Bo- just not there yet. rat confirms the Jewish nose deREVEALING LONG-STANDscription, the doctor says, “It can ING RACISM: New film highbe that bad, yes.” As a Jew, I was lights discrimination within hurt to see these stereotypical America. comparisons being endorsed by a professional. One last example shows the frightening effect of the crowd: Borat quarantines with two conservative-leaning men who do not know they are part of the movie. They all attend an anti-social distancing demonstration, in which Borat gets up on the stage and sings a racist yet catchy song. Borat sings, “Corona is a liberal hoax / Obama what are we gonna do? Inject him with the WuPhoto courtesy of Alamy han flu / Journalists what we gonna do? Chop em up like the Saudis do.” The crowd eagerly sings along and cheers excitedly. I was shocked to see how so many people would openly embrace such dividing and stereotypical lyrics.

‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ Genre: Comedy

Release date: Oct. 23, 2020

Finding creativity in the ordinary with ‘Pegasus’ Lyrics, diversity add to new release By Macy Li

Since his debut in 2017, Michael Lamar White IV, known professionally as Trippie Redd, has showcased his passionate vocal delivery and musical diversity. In his newest album “Pegasus,” White brings listeners a heartfelt dynamic, looping back to his emo-rap and Soundcloud-esque roots. I immediately fell in love with a handful of tracks — their creative flair and catchy lyrics quickly captivated my attention. Even though all the songs center around the theme of love, each one is unique, which makes the album special. In tracks like “Moonlight,” White reveals his vulnerability, singing, “I just want to be with you tonight / I just want to be with you under the moonlight.” These lyrics depict his ability to express genuine emotions, which is uncommon in many rappers today. White also features a series of more upbeat tunes through-

‘Pegasus’ Genre: Hip Hop/Rap

out the album. In “Sleepy Hollow” and “Oomps Revenge, Pt. 2,” his high-energy lyrics are accompanied by clashing bass, which brings a party flair and is seen throughout the album. What I admire most about White is his versatility in music. I never get tired of “Pegasus,” because the tracks are so diverse. Every time I listen to this album, I indulge in a palette of different emotions: nostalgia, longing and more. One thing I love about “Pegasus” is how it has a song for every mood. I can always find a track that complements the emotions I am feeling in the moment. I often find myself listening to “Love Scars 4,” which contains a memorable chorus and artistic melody. This song is easily my favorite, and I’ve been playing it on repeat because of how catchy the beat is. Among his collection of love songs, melancholy beats and energetic tunes, White embeds a variety of messages into his lyrics. In “Never Change,” White sings, “And no matter where I go / you can never change me.” These lyrics are impactful, because they inspire listeners like me

Release date: Oct. 30, 2020

to stay true to Photo courtesy of Billboard themselves. Similarly, in “TR666,” White raps, “Until you die / you got to realize / if you don’t try / you’ll never know.” He encourages us to chase our goals, to reach for every opportunity and to live our lives to the fullest. When I heard these lyrics, their deeper meaning stood out to me, leaving a lasting im- VERSATILITY IN MUSIC: Trippie Redd’s diverse tracks enhance quality of new album. pact. In the world of rap, it’s hard to find a pop- between White’s rapping and ular artist who consistently in- the voices of other artists negcorporates genuine and sincere atively affected my listening exlyrics into their songs. However, perience and my enjoyment of White seems to do it perfectly the album as a whole. while still landing on the BillThe tracks had the potential board Hot 100 Chart each time to be more coherent if a greathe releases an album. er balance between their vocals In “Pegasus,” a multitude had been achieved. of other prominent rappers, With songs about living life such as Future, Swae Lee and on the edge, falling in love and PartyNextDoor are featured in feeling invincible, “Pegasus” songs, but the production of the brims with diversity and crecollaborations was done poorly, ativity. which was disappointing. Yet, traces of White’s moody Usually, songs featuring mul- style and Soundcloud-esque tiple artists sound even more origins are still evident in his colorful, with different voic- latest album, reminding us all es complementing each other. of the rapper we first fell in love However, the lack of blending with.

HOLLYWOOD CONFESSIONS By Amber Birrell I love to watch Netflix and find new TV series to binge, but lately, I’ve noticed almost every single show somehow manages to desensitize viewers to the effects of drug use. In “Gossip Girl” and “Riverdale,” for example, the characters are frequently shown doing drugs, yet they never suffer the consequences of doing them. The problem with this is many people want the lives of these characters, and due to a lack of awareness, viewers might not hesitate to use these substances in real life. What these TV shows don’t show us is the crippling effects of these substances and what really happens behind closed doors. Drug abuse is a serious topic and it should be shown that abusing drugs can severely harm you and your body. If these topics are going to be addressed on TV shows, they should be portrayed more realistically. There aren’t any positive effects of making something appear to be better than it is, especially with a topic as serious as this. Showing the true effects of substance abuse can help educate viewers, thus changing the way drugs are perceived. This in turn can stop people from making the mistake of abusing drugs. It’s important to remember the influence media can have on our daily lives and decisions, which is why the unrealistic portrayal of substance abuse is dangerous. Desensitizing drugs sends the wrong message to viewers, making us believe the use of these substances isn’t bad for you. Adults we look up to constantly preach not to do drugs, but with such inaccurate influences in our lives, teens are not likely to listen. Recognizing this, the entertainment industry should place more emphasis on portraying the truth about drug use on television and in movies.

PAGE DESIGN BY NAOMI BARON AND CHRISTINE KIM


14

Sports

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Coach Frausto gives advice on quarantine fitness How to motivate yourself, find activities you will enjoy

By Alyssa Zimmerman

RAYMOND RANTS

By Raymond Ranbhise

misconception is when students think, ‘I have to do a workout!’ It’s not always just a workout,” Frausto said. “There’s other ways to make activity and exercise fun. Finding what works for you is important. And I don’t think there’s any right or wrong number or set time. It’s just making sure you move every day.” If the idea of getting up each morning to do pushups or run a mile seems inconvenient and miserable, it’s important to keep your alternatives in mind, Frausto said, offering the following tips on how to start your fitness journey. “Just tapping into what your interests are is important,” she said. “I don’t want to say there’s a right or wrong activity. If you enjoy playing a sport, then have that be part of your activity. If you want to play with a younger sibling, that’s getting up and moving, which is what’s important.” Besides enjoyment, Frausto said it is important to be realistic and create fitness goals. “It depends on what your fitness goals are, as well,” she said. “But if we’re just talking about movement recommendations, you’ve got to start somewhere, and just challenging yourself to move each day is important.” From there, it can be easy to integrate fitness into your everyday life. Frausto suggested short bursts of activity between or in conjunction with other activities. “Start small,” she said. “Just finding little pockets in your daily life to create routine. Once you’ve created routine, it becomes a habit.” After you’ve formed a habit, Frausto said, it’s not hard to continue daily exercise.

Scan here for a holiday themed exercise video. QUARANTINE CLUB PLANS:

The Badminton Club tries to incorporate creative activities in meetings for members

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You know a team is going to be pathetic when they name themselves after a big metal bird solely because they play near an airport. The New York Jets: one of the NFL’s biggest failures is complemented by one of the worst head coaches, and the inevitable result is an 0-11 team. This team could go 0-16. The last time they won a game was almost a year ago. They might be even worse than the 2016 Browns. At least now the Browns are in the playoff hunt. The Jets should be a better team. They have Sam Darnold, a young quarterback with incredible potential. They once had Le’veon Bell and Jamal Adams. The Jets shouldn’t be winless at this point in the season. But guess who ruined everything? Adam Gase, the same guy who failed in Miami as the head coach. He doesn’t know how to hire good staff and makes stupid decisions like releasing Bell instead of trading him to a team that needs a running back, like the Arizona Cardinals. He also has a horrible locker room reputation. According to Fansided, nobody even respects him in the locker room. Honestly, I’m surprised he hasn’t been fired yet. I feel bad for Darnold; He’s a young player whose talent will be wasted. He has three more years until he becomes a free agent. That’s three more years until the torture ends. Hopefully, the Jets’ inept management will cut or trade him. After becoming a free agent, Darnold can breathe a sigh of relief as he will have finally escaped the hellhole that is the New York Jets. The Jets could have been a playoff-contending team, but because of Gase, the team will go nowhere. Unless Gase is fired, the Jets can have fun in the basement of the AFC East.

Exercise has taken a new form under COVID-19 regulations. Gyms are closed, people are busy and it’s all too easy to avoid leaving your house for days on end. At HHS, these regulations have directly affected students and their exercising habits. “I’m shocked to see how many students make sure [they] run a mile every morning,” physical education teacher Sara Frausto said in a Zoom interview. “I’m like, ‘Where’s that willpower from? That’s awesome for you!’ But then I think we do have a huge population of students who are doing nothing.” Frausto said she tries to provide her students the tools they need to find physical activities they enjoy. Her goal is to help students have a variety of physical activities to choose from later in life. With the implementation of distance learning, Frausto said, it can be tough to tear yourself away from your computer long enough to do even minimal exercise. She said screen fatigue and general tiredness can cause a decline in physical activity. “Some sort of daily exercise is important,” Frausto said. “It’s important for not only your physical, but also your mental well-being. I have many students who said that after PE class, they feel way more energized, and [their body] is awake and ready to go.” The fitness enthusiast said she recommends 30 minutes of exercise per day but stresses physical activity is flexible, and each person should tailor it to their own goals. “There are creative ways to exercise. The biggest

Heavily affected by the pandemic, sports clubs such as the martial arts club, are reliant on physical interaction between members and struggle to adjust activities to fit the virtual format, senior and martial arts club president Emma Ikeya said in a Zoom interview. Ikeya said her club’s participation has dropped significantly from the lack of in-person instruction and physical contact between members. “Martial arts club allows students to practice physical movements,” Ikeya said, “and it is difficult to explain punches and kicks through a camera, where they can’t be physically corrected or demonstrated by an instructor.” Without morning announcements to give information about events and clubs, it has been harder to recruit new members for different clubs when information isn’t being spread to students, Ikeya said. To resolve this, Ikeya said she has attempted to reach more prospective club members using emails and social media to spread information about the virtual training sessions. “We have an email list for students

Photo courtesy of Sara Frausto

FUN EXERCISE METHODS: PE teacher Sara Frausto (fourth from left)

participated on the 2019 staff powderpuff team as an enjoyable way to get exercise.

“It’s like once you’ve created a habit, your body just instinctually wants more exercise. Like an addiction,” Frausto said with a laugh. “In a good way, a good addiction.” If this all seems a little overwhelming, Frausto said she can relate. She admitted she, too, finds it hard to motivate herself, but she’s come up with strategies to keep herself active. “Sometimes it’s easier to get the exercise portion done first thing in the day,” she said. “Get it out of the way to help give you energy and reinvigorate you. That way you’re not thinking about it the rest of the day and running out of energy.”

Overall, experimenting with what you enjoy and what’s realistic will keep you moving, she said. Just keep in mind you don’t have to handle everything at once. As parting advice for beginners, Frausto suggested creating set goals. “If you don’t have a goal, you question what you’re working for,” she said. “It can feel very daunting; it can feel very big. So breaking it down small and taking it step-by-step is going to allow

Sports clubs creatively adapt to pandemic

Clubs use innovative, new ideas to entertain members through Zoom

By Jack Xu who want updates and an Instagram account where we post about our upcoming events and any future plans,” Ikeya said. Junior Kyra Sunil, co-president of the badminton club, noted a similar problem, specifically with the online format resulting in a smaller number of freshmen joining the club. Sunil said communicating information about the club to freshmen has been particularly challenging. “I think it’s been harder to reach freshmen more than our existing members because I don’t think they realize there’s a connection between the club and the [school] team,” Sunil said. “It’s been a lot harder to get new freshmen interested in joining because students are [only] interested in trying out for the [school] team later in the year.” To face the challenges, Sunil said badminton club is working to make the club more accessible to increase membership. Currently, the club hosts bimonthly meetings and is also looking into innovative solutions, such as video tutorials, to better suit the club’s diverse audience. “Some of them are experienced, while others are beginners, [so] we’ve been trying to incorporate a bunch of different [activities that] would be

interesting for everyone,” Sunil said. “We started talking about a professional player every week just to try to educate our audience on Zoom meetings.” However, unlike the badminton and martial arts clubs, senior Justin Truong, president of the esports club, said his club hasn’t been largely impacted due to its online format and the ability to operate the club from home. “There aren’t a lot of changes, and we don’t have a lot of meetings … if we have a tournament planned or things we want to do in our club, we announce it in our Discord [server], and members can sign up on a Google Form,” Truong said. “We have all the participants on our Discord server, and if they need to talk to each other, they usually figure [it] out on their own. Mostly we do everything on Discord because it is so simple.” Working through the challenging format, sports clubs officers such as Sunil, Truong and Ikeya continue to put effort into creating engaging and informative meetings for their members. Although physical activities can no longer be conducted in person, students can still enjoy learning about the unique aspects of each sport through online meetings and activities, Ikeya said. PAGE DESIGN BY NAOMI BARON AND SHREYA PARTHA


Sports

Thursday, December 10, 2020

15

Separated, but together

Teams rise to challenges stemming from COVID-19 restrictions and find creative solutions to ensure members can still get to know each other. By Erin Loh

Bonding over the net Through quarantine, the tennis team has been practicing in person twice a week. Junior Thien-Nhi Vu, a member on the varsity team, said this is the team’s only opportunity to get to know each other, as there are no activities solely for team bonding purposes. “I personally try to talk to everyone,” Vu said in a Zoom interview. “Especially the new girls because … we will eventually be teammates.” Freshman John Tahk, a new member, said the format of tennis practice allows him to bond with teammates. “Everyone’s always mixing; you play different people every single time,” Tahk said in a Zoom interview. “You’re going out and meeting people for the first time, and they all share the same passion for tennis.”

Connected through music The flute section of the marching band ended their virtual season in mid November. Sophomore Avery Chen, one of the flute section leaders, said in a Zoom interview that she helped plan group bonding activities throughout the season, such as dropping Halloween candy off at members’ houses. Bonding during the pandemic is especially difficult since the flute section is larger than most other sections with about 30 members, she said. “We always say feel free to reach out if you have any questions, want to talk about marching band, school or flute, or just anything,” Chen said. “But I [know] it’s really intimidating to reach out to a stranger over an online platform and try to have a conversation.” Freshman Jonathan Chen, a new member of the flute section, is grateful for the team bonding efforts of the section leadership. He says the flute section has been very welcoming toward new members. “[The section leaders] always find topics to talk about, [even though] a lot of the underclassmen are quiet,” he said in a Zoom interview. “They always have stories and it just makes everything really durable.”

Photo by Erin Loh

First steps into the family

Photo courtesy of Sara Frausto

Long-distance relationships Cross-country has been training throughout quarantine in subgroups: small, in-person groups of students with similar running paces. Sophomore Kaleb Kim, the leader of his subgroup, connects the members through a group chat, icebreakers and workout debriefs. “I try to memorize everybody’s name and grade and get a feel of how fast they can go,” Kim said in a Zoom interview. “That way I know how much I need to push them.” Freshman Beatrice Ho, a new member, is happy with cross-country’s team bonding efforts. “Our team bond is extremely strong,” Ho said in an email. “Everyone creates a positive environment.”

Photo courtesy of Logan Pageler

The Equestriettes dance team invited one new member to their group this year: sophomore Satomi Hamano. Throughout the season, dance team captain and senior Maya Sato has been doing her best to bring Hamano into what she calls the “dance team family.” “It can be really hard to be the only new member, especially now when it’s all virtual and we’re not together,” Sato said in a Zoom interview. “But I’ve been trying to really make sure she’s not alone because I know this is a really strange time.” To bond as a team, Hamano said dance sets aside 10 minutes after practices to participate in group bonding activities, like playing Among Us. As Hamano adjusts to the team, she looks forward to strengthening her friendship with the older members. “It’s competition season, so we have a lot of things to do,” Hamano said in a Zoom interview. “We haven’t had the time to really bond yet, but I’m looking forward to being able to do that in the future.”

Photo by Erin Loh

PAGE DESIGN BY AMBER BIRRELL


16 Thursday, December 10, 2020 Rishi Jani (10)

Luke Yang (10)

Whitney Lopez (11)

Spotlight

PAGE DESIGN BY JACK XU AND YUKARI E. ZAPATA

distance learning. “I don’t think I would have time to do homework if I was going to school and being present,” Legeard said. “In this way, it’s been pretty good for my grades. It’s taken a lot of the stress away so I’ve been enjoying my classes.” Although a lot has changed for Legeard, many parts of this year have been fun for her. From moving to a new city and a new school to making more time to find herself, Legeard said she has enjoyed the new adventures and experiences. Even before quarantine, Legeard has been extremely interested in music and has been writing her own songs. During the pandemic, she felt as if music was a tool to help her relieve stress and return to a positive state of mind. “One thing that’s been making [2020] a lot easier is discovering new bands,” Legeard said. “Also, writing my own songs has been a good way to turn negativity into something positive.”

TIFFANY LEGEARD’S MUSIC: Legeard recently released her first song, “Sky Fade Dark” on Spotify.

Scan here to listen to “Sky Fade Dark” by Tiff Legeard.

By Yukari E. Zapata

Journey to better mental health

Self-growth in quarantine

2020: 2020: A A hectic hectic ride ride “COVID hasn’t really affected my family much more than just [making life] a little bit more hectic. I haven’t been able to talk to my friends as much because of quarantine, and my schedule became messier. It’s also a lot more difficult to make new friends and keep in contact with old ones I don’t see often. Overall, it’s difficult to keep my friend circle as tight.”

“2020 has both positively and negatively impacted me. First, I couldn’t get my license until after my 16th birthday, yet this has recently [been resolved] because I was able to get my license. COVID has also given me more time to do art, which I’m really passionate about. So that’s amazing! I’ve been painting so much I’ve even been able to sell some of [my] artwork, which is so crazy to me, since I’ve always loved art but never thought I’d be able to do it as a job. It has also reassured me that I want to major in art, because it’s really important to my happiness. I’ve been able to do school wherever I want. It’s really calming to be able to do my homework in my own space.” Photo courtesy of Luke Yang

Photo by Yukari E. Zapata

While isolation and lack of in-person interaction has taken a large toll on many teenagers’ mental health, quarantine has given junior Tiffany Legeard an opportunity for growth and self-discovery, she said in a Zoom interview. “Quarantine at first was really bad for my mental health. I completely crashed. I wasn’t doing good. Especially because I had a lot of other things going on and it was just a mess,” Legeard said. “When we moved [to Sunnyvale], I figured, I had to pick myself up. I started questioning myself so much, trying to figure myself out.” Legeard said she used the extra free time resulting from the pandemic to redefine herself and explore new interests. “Every week, I’ve been doing something different, something new I’ve never done before,” Legeard said. “One week, I decided to take up photography, [the next,] I decided to take up painting, making jewelry [and] drawing on my clothes.” Legeard’s path to finding herself has not been without challenges. In fact, Legeard said before she moved from San Francisco to Sunnyvale, she was in a really toxic school environment which damaged her mental health. The move to Sunnyvale gave her a new hope for a better community. “There have been some good things that came into my life. Moving schools has made me a lot happier and healthier,” Legeard said.“[The move] actually pushed myself to get the help I’ve been needing for years. I never felt like I could do anything about it.” For Legeard, the transition from a private French school in San Francisco to a public school was an easy transition considering she was excited for the change in school environment. Legeard said although she hasn’t had the opportunity to attend HHS in person, she has really enjoyed the flexibility that comes with

Photo courtesy of Tiffany Legeard

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“During COVID, a lot of things have changed. I’ve had way more work assigned during distance learning than on-campus learning, and it has become way harder to communicate during the quarantine. Before, I was able to ask teachers questions about my assignments quickly, but now it takes forever for them to respond to emails and other [messages], but I know they try their best to help us all.”

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A rollercoaster of a year: Scan here to watch students’ reflections on the personal and societal impacts of 2020.

Illustration by Elaine Huang

Profile for The Epitaph

The Epitaph, Volume 58, Issue 2, 2020-2021  

The Epitaph, Volume 58, Issue 2, 2020-2021 Homestead High School Cupertino, CA

The Epitaph, Volume 58, Issue 2, 2020-2021  

The Epitaph, Volume 58, Issue 2, 2020-2021 Homestead High School Cupertino, CA

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