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The Epitaph Vol. 58, Issue 4 Homestead High School 21370 Homestead Rd, Cupertino, CA

Ph oto

N by

ar Bond ika

By Naomi Baron and Shreya Partha

A

Infographic by Bobby Gorelick and Sahil Venkatesan

thletes are used to try, swimming and diving wearing helmets and girls golf. The first seaand pads to protect son started Feb. 1 and is set themselves from in- to continue through March juries, but this year, 26, principal Greg Giglio said in they are getting used to wearing a Zoom interview. masks to protect their commuNow that Santa Clara county nity. Putting on a mask is just has moved down into the red tier, another thing season two athletes have sports that to keep track are cleared of, but that’s for the red not all that tier — field has changed hockey and in the newly gymnastics revised sports — began on season. March 1 and A new are set to conset of sports tinue through has begun April 23. practicing at Football, socHHS, in accer, badmincordance with ton and volF U H S D ’ s SPORTS PARTIALLY REOPEN: leyball — also sports reopen- changes to the sports season in- designated for ing plan. The clude limited spectator attendance, season two — district plan, Giglio said. may only bereleased Jan. 23, divides all sports gin their season when the couninto three seasons and facilitates ty moves to the orange tier. The the reopening by the county’s competitive cheer, wrestling and COVID-19 tier designation. basketball seasons will have perThe first season of sports in- mission to begin when the county cludes boys and girls cross coun- moves into the yellow tier, accord-

ing to the district plan. Nevertheless, the move to the red tier will allow outside contact sports, such as football, soccer and water polo, to start conditioning, Kron4 reported. Football conditioning began Feb. 26, water polo conditioning will begin April 5 and soccer conditioning began March 1, Santa Clara Valley Athletic League reported.

See SPORTS RETURN, Page 15

SPORTS SEASONS RETURN: Football

player Jerome Spence (above) returns to on campus conditioning with his teammates.

AP exams move to digital format By Naomi Baron and Allen Zhang exams except language and music will be administered digitally at home in late May or early June. The digital format of the exam will not change the content assessed, but rather how some of the exams will be formatted. Denae Nurnberg, the coordinator of data and assessment at the district office, said she contributed to the decision of which

administration option HHS would follow. Additionally, she would have been responsible for creating the logistical plan – factoring in proctors and classrooms available – for when and where the exams would be administered had they been in person.

See AP EXAMS, Page 2

Photo by Allen Zhang

THIRD ADMINISTRATION OPTION: AP exams to be

administered online.

BOTC prompts student involvement By Leila Salam Battle of the Classes is a long-standing competition and spirit event where the four grade levels compete in various events to earn points for their class. This year’s BOTC theme is Harry Potter, with the seniors as Gryffindor, juniors as Slytherin, sophomores as Ravenclaw and freshmen as Hufflepuff, ac-

cording to an email sent by ASB members. Due to the new virtual format of BOTC, competitions like an art contest, fashion show and talent show have been introduced to involve more students. “We’ve had these traditional events in BOTC for the longest time,” ASB president, senior Rohan Zamvar said in a Zoom in-

terview. “There’s nothing wrong with them but we also realize that there’s a bunch of students with really cool talents that may not usually get the opportunity to be displayed to the school.” Another change to the traditional BOTC lineup is charity month, a variation on the coin wars competition from previous

14

Sports e

hhsepitaph.com @hhsepitaph The Epitaph

f

The Epitaph @epitaphHHS The Epitaph

Thursday, March 18, 2021

County gives Green light for sports

Instead of picking up a pencil, bubbling in answers and finishing their essays, students will be clicking their mice and typing on their keyboards during this year’s AP exams. FUHSD will be following the College Board’s third administration timeline for AP exams, the district announced in an email on Monday, Feb. 22. This means all

Future college athletes

years. During a regular school year, students put coins in their class jar to earn points for their class and put dollars in other class jars to take points away.

See BOTC, Page 2

Hybrid learning begins in April By Nika Bondar

F

ollowing Gavin Newsom’s $6 million incentive for reopening, FUHSD has accelerated its efforts to devise a hybrid model which Communications Coordinator Rachel Zlotziver said aims to safely give students a choice between in-person and distance learning. After surveying parents about their current stance on reopening, FUHSD announced in an email that in-person, hybrid instruction will begin Monday, April 19. “We are working with our staff to determine a hybrid instructional model that will best serve our students and meet all safety requirements,” Zlotziver said in an email. “Schools are still subject to the six-foot distancing requirement in all classrooms, and students receiving in-person instruction must wear masks at all times.” Principal Greg Giglio said the results of the parent survey will determine the number of cohorts the school can accommodate weekly. “If 50% of kids come back, that’s 1,200 kids,” Giglio said. “We would probably have to split that up into two groups of 600, so maybe that 600 would come Monday, Tuesday, and then the other 600 would come Thursday, Friday.” Though the class schedule will stay the same, Giglio said the cohorts will rotate between in-person and distance learning giving every participant an equal amount of in person instruction. “We’d still use that Wednesday, as an asynchronous day but also to clean the campus and then get it ready for the next group,” he said. A parent commitment survey will be sent out after the detailed model of a hybrid schedule is released, district superintendent Polly Bove said in a parent webinar. It will be possible for students to choose to either drop out or join the hybrid model after its initial implementation on April 19, Giglio said.

See SCHOOL REOPENING, Page 3

PAGE DESIGN BY JOSH CANTWELL-NAHRUNG AND BOBBY GORELICK


2

News

Thursday, March 18, 2021

NEWS IN A MINUTE By Madhavi Karthik

National:

NAOMI’S DAY IN HISTORY By Naomi Baron Today is March 18, 2021, the 77th day of 2021. There are 288 more days until the end of this year. On this day in history in 1776, 245 years ago, Britain repealed the Stamp Act, which helped spark the American Revolution in colonial America. The Stamp Act — which was passed by the British Parliament in 1765 — required printed documents to be printed on stamped paper, which was produced in London and carried a revenue stamp, according to History.com. The American people united against a common enemy — Britain — and protested this direct tax. It was through the consolidated actions of the American people that the Stamp Act was repealed a year later. Though the unified actions of the American colonies were violent and often involved mobs burning stamps and threats to tax collectors, as History.com reports, it nonetheless displays the strength of united people against a common enemy. Whether the enemy be a country, or a pandemic, the American people must learn from their ancestors from 245 years ago and stand together to successfully fight against the current common enemy. Even though Britain passed the Declaratory Acts — which stated that Britain could pass laws affecting the American colonies “in all cases whatsoever,” according to the Library of Congress — on the same day that they repealed the Stamp Act, the American colonists were also able to overcome this with resilience and unity. The American Revolution shows how time and time again there will always be another conflict, but as long as people are united, it will pass.

Local:

Santa Clara County indoor worship services resume: Santa Clara County now permits places of worship to hold indoor services at 20% capacity after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Feb. 26, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The Supreme Court deemed Gov. Gavin Newsom’s indoor church service ban as discriminatory, saying the state had fewer restrictions for businesses in early February. County officials urge religious institutions to follow health protocols, the Chronicle reported.

Texas faces produce shortage due to recent storms: As a result of extreme cold temperatures in mid-February, Texans are experiencing a decline in produce, according to The Washington Post. Leafy green crops are predicted to have suffered the most from the storms, and 98% of the Valencia orange crop is reported to be lost. In fact, only onions, cabbage and potatoes are expected to survive out of the 40 winter crops that were grown, The Post reported. Due to the decrease in domestic produce, Texas grocery stores need to outsource more of their produce. For the rest of the winter season, grocery store chain Kroger will source grapefruit and citrus from California.

AP exams

New Zealand schools to provide free period products: Tackling the ongoing issue of period poverty, all primary, intermediate, secondary and kura — schools that integrate Maori culture — schools will supply complimentary menstrual hygiene products starting in June, according to the National Public Radio. Last year, a similar program was initiated in which 15 schools provided 3,200 students access to free period products. Receiving positive feedback, the government expanded the program to include all volunteering schools. This measure is designed to improve school attendance and will provide students with the necessary support, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

BOTC

Continued from Page1

Nurnberg said in a Zoom interview that she then presented the schedule to the principals, and together they discussed whether or not the school could offer in-person testing, but it was quickly decided that the school was going to administer tests virtually. Nurnberg said there are not enough proctors to administer exams because in the past, HHS depended on retired teachers to proctor AP exams. This year, however, retirees are more reluctant to volunteer due to pandemic fears, ineligibility due to quarantine requirements and generally unavailability. There are also problems with asking full-time staff to proctor the exams since AP tests are administered over multiple days during the times teachers are teaching, Nurnberg said. These issues, coupled with the number of tests that need to be distributed and the classrooms required to administer exams in compliance with safety protocols, make regulating the exam impossible, she said. According to the College Board website, students taking the digital exam will need to download the AP exam app, which is not compatible with a tablet or mobile phone. When students download the app, the College Board is able to access information about the student, the device used and

International:

all applications running on the device. Additionally, the College Board will monitor actions taken on the exam like responses and where a student clicks.

“More than 90% of our students get a 3 or higher on every exam they take, so I don’t think the format is going to impact them and their understanding very much.” – Assistant principal, Brian Dong Due to differing home circumstances, HHS is looking into assisting students during this year’s AP exams by possibly providing computers to students who do not have one and also having some students take the exam at school if their Wi-Fi connectivity is unreliable, assistant principal Brian Dong said in a Zoom interview. The new testing schedule and different format of some of the AP exams has prompted teachers to alter their classes to better prepare students. For example, AP U.S. history teacher Andrea Yee said that because the digital APUSH exam will replace long essay questions with more short answer questions, she will be focusing more on the

short answer questions rather than the long answer questions. Other classes plan to take advantage of the extended timeline. AP Physics 1 teacher Kathleen Shreve said she plans to build in review time throughout the semester instead of cramming right before the AP exam. Despite the later testing dates and altered formats, Dong said he believes students’ scores should not be drastically impacted. “I think our students will still score very similarly to how we normally have in years past,” Dong said. “More than 90% of our students get a 3 or higher on every exam they take, so I don’t think the format is going to impact them and their understanding very much.” Although Nurnberg said she has sympathy for students, especially those whose AP exams are scheduled after the school year ends, she is confident that the district made the right decision in choosing the third administration option. “Our students have learned digitally this entire year, and there [are] studies that show that the ways students learn material is the way in which they should be assessed in,” Nurnberg said. “It is more consistent with the way in which students have learned, and it shows higher outcomes long term in terms of the assessment piece.”

Infographic by Allen Zhang

MIXED STUDENT OPINIONS: While slightly less than half of students report negative feelings toward the digital AP exams, a significant majority of students said they are not considering getting a refund.

Continued from Page1 All the money collected is then donated to Sunnyvale Community Services. This year, however, students have a month to donate money to West Valley Community Services, Sunnyvale Community Services, Second Harvest Food Bank and El Camino Hospital via the student store. “In the midst of all the competition between classes, it’s really important to motivate students to spread enthusiasm into providing support for these charities,” ASB IDC president, junior Martin Wu said. “They really need any support we can provide them, and if we have the means to do that, we really want to take advantage of that opportunity.” In addition to being a fundraising competition between classes, Wu said the charities were chosen due to their relevance to the HHS community. “We wanted to choose charities that a lot of students would be motivated to support because they benefit individuals living within our community,” Wu said. Each class officer has also agreed to do a certain set of tasks or challenges if their class reaches a certain donation milestone, Wu said. “We just want people to get a bit involved with the community, and the class officers can make fun of themselves a little bit as well,” Zamvar said. Additionally, the class videos, which are traditionally played for Homecoming, will be played at BOTC as BOTC productions. Junior and ASB social manager, junior Nikki Liu said in a Zoom interview that the changes to BOTC, while they take more planning and effort, are important and will hopefully encourage more student involvement. “A lot of [the BOTC culture] won’t be able to be replicated this year because we’re all at home,” Zamvar said. “But I think regardless it provides something to look forward to, and I think it’s something that students can engage in and have fun.” PAGE DESIGN BY AMBER BIRRELL


News Thursday, March 18, 2021 3 Tri-M performs benefit concert FBLA emerges victorious

Members interpret “no place like home”

HHS prepares for state competition

By Erin Loh

By Hope Saena

During the pandemic, when people are confined to their homes, the popular phrase “no place like home” has taken on a new meaning. “No place like home” was the theme of the Tri-M/Forte National Music Honor Society’s benefit concert. The concert live-streamed on Thursday, March 11, to raise money for the Musicians Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps musicians who are struggling financially. Partnering with music students from Leigh High School, Tri-M’s joint benefit concert featured video submissions of

students playing pieces, Tri-M president and senior Brian La said. In addition to supporting the Musicians Foundation, La hoped the concert helped uplift spirits during the pandemic. “We wanted to know what pieces our musicians have been playing in order to get some normalcy [during the pandemic],” La said. “Playing music alone is something that hasn’t changed, unlike orchestras or bands.” Although performers could not see the audience, La said virtual concerts are easier to plan. Freshman Elisabeth Floyd, who performed in the concert, said she joined Tri-M this year to connect with others. Her interpretation of “no place like home” alludes to being grateful for her home. “We’ve been stuck at home for a year now, [so] home has a different meaning to me than before,” Floyd said in a Zoom interMUSIC BEFORE COVID-19: Floyd view. “I always took performs Sonata “Pathetique” in a advantage of having a concert before the pandemic.

home and the family and food [that come with it]. [But] there are people, especially now, who don’t have that privilege.” Floyd played the first movement of Beethoven’s Sonata “Pathétique” on the piano. She said she could see her own inner conflicts reflected in the tense music and hoped it would assure the audience they are not alone in their struggles. Another Tri-M member in the benefit concert was junior Irene Lin, who played the first movement from Debussy’s “Children’s Corner” on percussion. Unlike Floyd, Lin said she interpreted “no place like home” to mean remembering her childhood. “I’ve listened to classical music since I was little, and one of my favorite composers was always Debussy because his music is really pretty,” Lin said. “I picked this piece [because] it reminds me of my childhood.” Lin hoped her music imparted a sense of youthfulness on the audience as they listened to her piece and said despite music events being canceled in the pandemic, her music has not changed.

For the 24th consecutive year, FBLA, Future Business Leaders of America, was awarded first place in the Bay Section conference on Feb. 12, FBLA co-adviser Byron Lee said. From HHS, 79 students made top ten placements and nine received first placements in the 36 competitions. Now, 66 students are eligible to compete in the state leadership conference, the Bay Section Press Release (BSPR) reported. Bay Section, a competition where nine local high schools and three middle schools compete to test their knowledge of business, took place over Zoom from Feb. 2 to Feb. 6, according to BSPR. HHS’s efforts to engage members was encouraging, FBLA member, sophomore Aaditya Patel said in an email. “The conference is usually engaging,” Patel said. “Despite the circumstances we are in, Homestead did an amazing job hosting fun events to gain more member engagement.” Due to the online format, junior Tishani Weerasuriya said in a Zoom interview that cheating was a possible issue in the competition, which her team prepared for. Weerasuriya and her team-

mates, sophomore Ishita Srivatsan and senior Aryaa Sapkota, met weekly to study. In the end, the team placed third in the international business competition. They are now preparing for the state leadership conference in April. “We were excited as we had hoped we’d place in the top six to compete in States,” Weerasuriya said. “Now we can compete in speech, and we are strong in the speech aspect.” Also preparing for states, freshman Grace McGoran competed in the introduction to business competition and placed first. McGoran said she’s ecstatic to be moving forward. “It was shocking because it was so unexpected as this is my first year competing,” McGoran said in a Zoom interview. “As I prepare for states, the dream is to make it to nationals.” As Bay Section is the first FBLA event to be held online, the hard work going into preparation paid off, FBLA co-adviser Graeme Logie said in an email. “Our [Bay Section FBLA’s] efforts were outstanding by the positive responses I got from other members of California FBLA,” Logie said. “We definitely set the standard for what the state leadership conference needs to live up.”

School reopening Continued from Page 1

Additionally, Giglio said the district is discussing the option for students to choose which classes to attend in person. “[For example, a parent might say], ‘My kid is doing great on Zoom English and history but they’re really struggling in math and science, can I have them just come to math and science,’” Giglio said. Although he anticipates some room for flexibility, Giglio said it is unlikely to personalize every student’s schedule. While students can choose to attend in-person learning, teachers will be required to return to campus. Teachers without a medical excuse who choose not to return to campus will likely end up having to take a leave and be replaced by an in-person substitute teacher, Giglio said. “The problem is, let’s say you’re that teacher and you teach English. You’re at home teaching on Zoom, but I have kids in a classroom. Well then I need a sub in the classroom with you,” Giglio said. “If we’re requiring people to be in person, we need people here to do their jobs, and

that job is no longer a Zoom job.” English teacher Lisa Clausnitzer said she is eager to come back to in-person teaching but has run into issues while looking into childcare programs for her son. Although she said she does not know how to adapt to the situation yet, she understands all teachers, students and families will need to be patient and the district will need to be collaborative through the process. “Teachers are going to have to adapt, but that’s the nature of our jobs,” she said. “I also hope the district is super flexible in working with teachers. It is not my fault that my son’s school schedule will be a huge factor in what happens. I’m vaccinated, I’m willing to teach in the classroom. I would like to be back. I want to go back! But I am going to [have to figure out] how to make that work with my son’s need for care.” As for teachers and students returning to campus, a number of required procedures for reopening are outlined in the FUHSD reopening guide. These include updated ventilation filters, an operational isolation room, contact

tracing and sanitization procedures for potential COVID-19 cases discovered on campus. Daily pre-screening will be done by students prior to their entering campus through an assigned gate. Similar to the procedure staff is already following, students who choose to participate will fill out a daily form asking if they are planning to come to school that day. “If yes, then you get a whole bunch of questions,” Giglio said. “If it’s no then, ‘Are you not coming because you’re not feeling well, or you’re just staying home?’ It could also be that you come to the gate, you scan it on your phone, you answer the questions and then [you] go to class.” Teachers will decide how to run hybrid classes to best suit their subject, Giglio said, they will also be allowed to host social distanced club meetings. “We will definitely be providing some time for teachers to prepare and spend time readying their rooms prior to the start of in-person instruction,” Bove said in an email to staff. Classroom capacity will vary

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

Senior Design Elaine Huang Seoyoung Hwang Junior Design Senior Social Media Allen Zhang Senior Multimedia Miya Liu Junior Multimedia Mae Richardson Copy Editor Allen Zhang Business Manager Yukari E. Zapata Reporter Josh Cantwell-Nahrung Reporter Bobby Gorelick Reporter Christine Kim Reporter Lia Klebanov Reporter Macy Li Reporter Erin Loh Reporter Xochitl Neely

Reporter Reporter Reporter Reporter Reporter

Ashley Orozco Plata Evelyn Solis Ariana Juliette Tejeda Moreno Jack Xu Alyssa Zimmerman

Adviser Natalie Owsley

between 12-14 students, everybody will be required to use a personal laptop. Social distancing will be enforced through one-way hallways, signage, policing during passing periods and periods of student activity, Giglio said. Sanitizers and PPE equipment will also be widely accessible, Giglio said, areas will be dedicated for student socialization during lunches and brunches and food distribution is subject to change. “If we had 50 kids in a line six feet apart for lunch, which is like nothing compared to what we normally have, that would be the length of a football field,” Giglio

said. “We can set it up so you have a cart somewhere, you walk up, you get something and we could do multiple ones of those, using different places on campus.” In both the staff and parent webinars, several questions came up expressing concerns about the quality of the hybrid learning model. “We’re going to make the content the same,” Bove said, “but we cannot guarantee that there’s going to be the same kind of concentrated effort that there’s been on Zoom … there’s going to be a balance, and that’s because we are bringing kids back.”

Scan the QR code to read more about school reopening

EPITAPH STUDENT SURVEY: 47.5% of students claimed they will

not participate in Zoom classes on campus, 34.2% will and 18.3% are undecided.

Mission Statement

Advertising

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.

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PAGE DESIGN BY EVELYN SOLIS


4

Opinion

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Idolizing politicians clouds necessary truth

Americans should hold politicians accountable for their actions By Macy Li

By Shreya Partha

“Why are you so defensive all the time?” “You’re so emotional.” “If you were listening ...” “I never said that. You have a terrible memory.” All of these phrases have one thing in common: they are all forms of gaslighting. Gaslighting itself is defined as a type of emotional or mental abuse causing a person to question their sanity or perception of reality, according to Medical News Today. After entering high school, I was subject to some of these forms of gaslighting, while wholly unaware of the verbal mistreatment I was experiencing. And that is the biggest problem. With other forms of abuse, you never question your line of logic or whether you were in the right. But with gaslighting, you lose a stable connection with your senses and logicality. I believe the worst form of gaslighting happens when your thoughts or feelings are discredited — and I speak completely from experience. In one instance, I started to express my thoughts and feelings toward an issue and the perpetrator took it personally. They immediately started saying, “You’re overreacting” and “It’s not a big deal.” To my younger, more innocent self, it immediately made me feel embarrassed for expressing my feelings entirely and foolish for bringing the topic up. Most of all, I felt as if my thoughts and feelings didn’t matter. Now, years later, I realize I wasn’t in the wrong. In fact, it was just them deflecting their insecurities onto someone they thought they could manipulate. Granted, though I was in a way, manipulated, I learned to watch and recognize the signs of gaslighting earlier on from that experience. Additionally, the experience taught me to prioritize my own feelings and not make excuses for anyone else’s behavior when they don’t act appropriately.

Post. This demonstrates the dangerous amount of control politicians can have, along with their ability to shape the perceptions and mindsets of their supporters. During the Capitol breach, rioters tore down the American flag and replaced it with a Trump flag, according to People. These alarming actions, along with their choice to disregard the democratic voting system, clearly highlight the extent of their adoration. Undeniably, Trump appears to be aware of his own idolization. At one of his campaigns, he stated he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” without losing any voters, according to NPR News. Unfortunately, this statement doesn’t fall far from the truth. A study at Monmouth University in New Jersey revealed 62% of Trump supporters believed there was absolutely nothing the former president could do to lose their loyalty. These statistics are incredibly troubling, and they highlight the need for change. The fact that politicians could hypothetically

commit murder without facing backlash from their cult-like group of supporters is utterly unacceptable. Another serious issue with glorifying politicians is their supportDISBELIEF IN FACTS: Idolizing politicians ers’ refusal to accept proven leads to a distrust in proven facts. facts that stain their public im- cording to The New York Times. age or reputation. After Fox News Put simply, politicians should confirmed President Joe Biden’s not be celebrities who are blindly win in the presidential election, idolized by obsessive groups of many Trump supporters switched fans. to watching more far-right media, Rather, they should be perwhere reporters were still enforc- ceived as normal human beings ing Trump’s claims of election who have their own faults and be fraud, according to NPR News. judged accordingly. Disbelief in facts and science We need to fully acknowledge leads to large-scale, detrimen- the dangerous effects of idolizing tal effects that can ultimately politicians and stop obscuring cost lives. For instance, people our perceptions through demonagainst vaccines and masks have strating unrelenting loyalty. jeopardized plans to prevent the It’s time for us, as Americans, spread of COVID-19, leading to to start holding politicians acincreased cases and deaths, ac- countable for their actions.

Illustration by Macy Li

OFF THE RECORD

As the political divide within our country deepens, many of us have fallen into the harmful trap of idolizing politicians. By placing them on pedestals, we have clouded our perceptions and created an increasingly polarized political climate. With positions of power, politicians gain the ability to exercise their control without facing criticism from their supporters. This idolization leads to the widespread belief that politicians are close to perfect, when they are simply humans. The damaging impacts of idolization can be seen with former President Donald Trump and his millions of loyal followers. After Trump claimed the 2020 election was “rigged” and “stolen” from him, a mob of his supporters breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in protest, according to U.S. News. Blinded with adoration for the former president, Trump’s followers believed his statements were truthful, despite the abundance of evidence proving the contrary, according to The Washington

Let’s talk about the Senate

Congress needs to reform the Supreme Court

Now that the Democrats once again have control of the Senate, there has been much conversation about abolishing the filibuster, a procedure used in the Senate to stop bills from being put to a vote. Many Democrats wish to abolish the filibuster because of the power it gives to the minority party by allowing them to continue endless debate and subsequently block legislation, according to The New York Times. Because the Senate majority cannot end debate and vote on the bill, according to the New York Times, a filibuster can bring Senate proceedings to halt until the bill is finally tabled, and effectively killed, in order to move on to other pieces of legislation. The only way to beat a filibuster is by invoking cloture, which is a procedure that requires 60 senators to vote in favor of ending debate. Democrats currently do not have a majority large enough to invoke a cloture, and thus, Republicans will be able to filibuster many of their bills, according to FiveThirtyEight. One of the most significant pros to abolishing the filibuster is that it enables the Democrats to pass legislation like a $15 minimum wage.

Since President Joe Biden’s election, concerns have been raised regarding the possibility of the president making changes to the Supreme Court. One thing Biden hopes to do is limit the terms of justices. Term limits are a beneficial political reform that will help the nation progress. Currently, justices can serve unlimited time on courts as per Article III of the Constitution, which states “the judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior,” according to CNN. The length of judicial terms are increasing with the median term length being 26 years, according to Brookings.edu. However, giving justices life terms proves to be problematic due to the judges becoming more out of touch with public views as they age. In fact, most justices on the Supreme Court are over the age of 60. According to Medical News Today, the frontal lobe and hippocampus - involved in higher cognitive function - begin to shrink around the age of 60. With life-chang-

By Sahil Venkatesan

According to CNET, the Democrats tried to use budget reconciliation — a tool that allows a final vote on a bill as long as it contains certain requirements — to include a $15 minimum wage in the stimulus bill. However, the Senate parliamentarian found that budget reconciliation does not allow a $15 minimum wage to be included in the bill. Consequently, Democrats will have to introduce the $15 minimum wage as a bill that can be filibustered, and effectively killed. This will continue to happen to many bills that Democrats hope to pass in the future, and something must be done. The filibuster is a large reason for the deadlock in our government as it prevents Congress from doing its job to bring bills to the president’s desk. With the filibuster holding the Senate hostage, Democrats are absolutely within their right to abolish the rule.

By Seoyoung Hwang and Ritaja Subrahmanya ing decisions being made by the court, it is important to have mentally fit justices. Enacting term limits would also help reduce partisanship, as nominations for each justice would be a less high stakes decision, since their term was set. The Senate would be able to confirm justices with the political parties knowing in a set amount of years, they would have another chance at getting a justice who supported their ideals. This would decrease the partisanship of justice nominations and benefit the country as senators could focus more on the qualifications of the judge rather than their political preferences. Allowing people with a variety of experiences onto the court brings different ideas previous judges hadn’t thought of before. Opening the court to new minds by limiting the terms of justices will also advance progressive topics since older justices might not be as open to modern ideas. As the partisanship of the country becomes increasingly evident, we must protect the fundamentals of our democracy. Congress must enact constitutional reform to mend the divided court.

Illustration by Elaine

Huang

PARTISANSHIP DEADLOCKS BILLS: Hyper partisan politics in Washington stops bills from passing and prevents the government from

helping those in need.

PAGE DESIGN BY KARUNA CHANDRAN


Opinion

Thursday, March 18, 2021

5

Blame the business, not the buyer

Countries show privilege

By Shreya Partha

By Lia Klebanov

The idea of supporting businesses with ethical practices has recently gained significant traction on social media. Ethical businesses are companies that focus on increasing diversity in promotions, placing an emphasis on consumer satisfaction and limiting environmental impact by selling eco-friendly products, according

to a report by Simon Fraser University. While I do not support businesses who use child labor or promote toxic mindsets like “one size fits all,” it seems the growing social pressure to buy from ethically operated stores is increasing, which raises one signficantly overlooked problem. The idea of buying from ethical companies is great in theory, but after careful research on these ethically owned businesses, I’ve come to realize how expensive they truly are. For example, the sustainable company Reformation listed jeans as nothIllus ing short of $100. trat ion by S On the other hrey a Pa hand, fast fashion rtha stores like Forever 21, Shein and Zaful have listed their jeans for UNETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICES: We should nothing more not blame consumers for not being able to buy ethically.

than $30. Often, the language used by those who do not support fast fashion alienates the very people the movement tries to liberate: the working class. Informing people on the unethical practices of businesses is critical. However, because not everyone has the capability to be ethical in the way they spend their money, we should do better to not blame the buyer, but the businesses that produce products unethically. The blame of unethical business practices should be put on the businesses who choose to take part in those practices. For those who may not be able to afford buying from ethical businesses, buying from less ethical brands may be the only option. When this movement of social activism picks on those who are not to blame, activism becomes another commodity in this world that not everyone can afford.

FEMINIST’S DISCLOSURE By Leila Salam

as socially acceptable because women are expected to want to please men. This mindset is detrimental for a large number of reasons. The biggest problem is that it impacts the way women view themselves. Women focus less on what they enjoy and more on what they think men will find attractive. While the easy response is somewhere along the lines of “if you don’t want to view your life or decisions through a male perspective, just don’t,” this is unrealistic when society forces these beliefs upon women. Women are prompted by societal pressures

to change themselves for men and put aside their own desires and opinions. Because the internalized male gaze mindset is forced upon women, we, as a society, must counteract it by reinforcing that women do not strictly exist for men and deserve to live their lives without being expected to accommodate men’s expectations. INTERNALIZED MALE GAZE: Yet

another way to objectify women.

Illustration by Elaine Huang

Internalized male gaze, a concept our society has accepted as a norm, is one most people are familiar with—at least on a subconscious level. Male gaze is the concept of viewing the world through the heterosexual male perspective: viewing women, whether in media or real life, as objects existing to visually pleasure men through sexualization. Internalized male gaze is reflected in women who accept this perspective and project it onto themselves and other women. While the mentality is just another way to objectify and sexualize women, it is seen

U.S. government takes essential step to help those facing food insecurity By Amber Birrell

tal for food banks to be supported throughout this time so more people can gain access to food, relieving some of the stress induced by the pandemic. Luckily, there is hope for the future, with the Biden Administration’s plans to increase benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported. SNAP is a federal program that helps provide healthy food for low income families. Those in the program are given a debit

SNAP BENEFITS INCREASE: Biden’s plan to increase SNAP

benefits will support many during the pandemic.

Illustration by Shreya Partha

One of the main repercussions of COVID-19 is that the number of people who face food insecurity has more than doubled during the pandemic, Northwestern University reported. Families should not be wondering when or where their next meal will come from, especially when people are consumed with many other worries. Feeding America reported a 55% increase of people visiting food banks since the pandemic started. This number is only going to grow as the pandemic continues, and therefore, it is vi-

card, preloaded with about $125 per month per person, in which they are only allowed to purchase groceries at various retailers across the country. Biden announced a 15% increase in benefits through September 2021. This is a positive and impactful step in the right direction as many families facing food insecurity will receive more support during this hard time. This program has already helped millions across the country and now, more than ever, families need more support. The increase in SNAP benefits will help alleviate some of the demand from food banks and help support struggling families across America. While this program is not going to solve the entire food insecurity issue in the U.S., it is essential for the government to take such steps to help those in need.

Vaccine distribution is unequal With the one year mark of lockdown already passing, it’s no secret everyone wants life to go back to normal. Those who haven’t gone outside of the county or taken any trips since March 2020 are losing their minds, and I can wholeheartedly attest to that fact. It has been difficult trying to stay positive all the time, but a new light of hope started to shine with the possibility of a vaccine. However, not all people who reside outside of the U.S. can feel this way. Some who are less privileged don’t necessarily have the same resources and funding as others, which can hinder their chances of receiving vaccines. According to The New York Times, as of the beginning of March, the U.S. has distributed around 70.5 million vaccines which is about 21.2 vaccines per 100 people. The U.K. has an even higher percentage rate, administering around 20 million vaccines with 30 vaccines per 100 people. Israel vaccinated around 8 million people with the highest percentage rate of 89.6 vaccines per 100 people. These three countries rank highest in the world based on administered vaccinations, but at what cost? Israel, a small country with a population of only 9 million, is a surprising leader in the ranks. After contracting an agreement with vaccine companies, they received a high number of vaccines in exchange for giving data, according to Medical News Today. Israel has a relatively small population compared to other nations, which does play a factor in being chosen for research. Granted, it is a bigger challenge to provide sufficient resources to a larger group, but less privileged countries are losing people by the second just because they were not offered to make the same deal. For example, India, whose population consists of 1 billion people, has distributed 13.5 million vaccines with a ratio of one vaccine per 100 people. Additionally, Brazil averages 54,000 COVID-19 cases but has only administered 8 million vaccines with a vaccination ratio of four people per 100, according to

The New York Times. Brazil and India are both considered to be third-world countries, according to World Population Review. As such, it is not completely surprising that both of these nations have such a low vaccination ratio due to their lack of resources and a lower quality of life. Comparing Brazil and India to a country like the U.S. is almost impossible due to the drastic differences. Only 37% of the Indian population has health insurance, according to The Commonwealth Fund. On the contrary, 91.5% of citizens in the United States are covered by healthcare, while only 8.5% are not. The risks of infection with the coronavirus in India are augmented by the lack of medical attention and resources in comparison to the U.S. Countries all over the world are struggling, that’s a given. Every nation is dealing with it in the manner in which they can afford, leaving third world citizens under greater risk of exposure and smaller chances of adequate medical assistance. Holding trials retrieves valuable data which allows companies to adapt the production of vaccines accordingly. At the same time, who gets chosen to be a part of these experiments is not entirely fair. Trying to save as many people as possible does not seem like the utmost priority since the most populous regions are the ones suffering the most. Of course, there is a significant difference in supplying vaccines to 1 million people compared to a couple million, but at least providing some additional supplies would be beneficial. In these times of need, countries need to put their differences aside and help each other because the ultimate goal should be to save as many lives as possible. Getting infected is a lesser concern for citizens who can freely access their doctor and rely on the nearest hospital for assistance. We must acknowledge the inequity others face in the ongoing pandemic and hope companies come to their senses since less fortunate countries will be last in line to receive their merited right to getting vaccinated.

Illustration by Shreya Partha

Don’t overlook cost of supporting ethical businesses

UNFAIR VACCINE DISTRIBUTION: The U.S., U.K. and Israel are

more privileged and therefore get higher amounts of vaccines.

PAGE DESIGN BY LEILA SALAM


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Thursday, March 18, 2021

Opinion STAFF EDITORIAL

Lack of financial literacy in curriculum leaves students unprepared for future

THE PARTISAN PARTY By Sahil Venkatesan

trial and error. It should be common knowledge and easily accessible for people to lead a financially secure adult life. By incorporating classes that teach financial literacy into our curriculum and slowly increasing their difficulty each year, students would be exposed to this critical information for all four years of their high school career, which would allow them to be familiar with it and do well after high school. Whether it’s college debt or retirement funds, financial knowledge is used in our life through different avenues. In fact, the number of financial decisions only continues to increase as we grow older. “Young people often

do not understand debit and credit cards, mortgages, banking, investments and credit scores,” Champlain College reported. However, the unfortunate reality of our education system is that many states do not provide substantive finance education until high school, if at all, according to a case study by Champlain College. At HHS, students are exposed to a variety of resources to help them get into college, like the College and Career Center and guidance counselors. However, these resources are barely enough to help students save for college and budget for life after it. For this reason, a financial literacy class should be incorporated from the mo-

Illustration by Shreya Partha

FINANCIAL EDUCATION NEEDED: A more integrated, progres-

sive financial curriculum that starts as early as elementary and middle school would prove beneficial for students to be successful.

ment a student enters HHS. Although it may seem like an inconvenience for students to take an additional class right now, the long-term benefits will have a tremendous impact on both individual welfare as well as on our economy. Students who are well-educated in financial literacy will not be in as much debt in the future since they will have the skills needed to make smart financial decisions. In fact, states that require financial literacy courses in high school have lower average credit card debts, higher credit scores and lower loan default rates compared to states without the required courses, according to PRWeb. The plain truth is that many of these benefits from financial literacy classes can help prevent potential problems like debt students will face later on. A class that teaches students about all aspects of financial literacy, from investing and budgeting to student loans, is urgently needed. If schools can prepare students for their major in college and their career after, they should also prepare students to have financial independence on a day-to-day basis after it.

plan to safely reopen schools

Infographic by Miya Liu and Shreya Partha

HHS needs to expand class variety beyond STEM By Bobby Gorelick Living in Silicon Valley, a global technological hub, my education has often reflected just that: a high emphasis on science, engineering, mathematics and technology (STEM). However, I find that I am not passionate about STEM at all. I often think about what I want to study in college, though it’s getting increasingly difficult because of the limited variety of classes at HHS outside of STEM. While HHS provides many science and math classes, there is a distinct lack of classes centering around humanities like human geography, psychology, gender studies and sociology. According to The Washington Post, studying the humanities presents an opportunity to

become more capable of understanding complex moral issues and intricacies of humanity. Psychology, for example, helps students become more collaborative and self-aware, according to Edutopia. Adding psychology would not only allow students to become more self-aware about themselves and their surroundings but also aid students in contributing these skills they gained to the HHS community. These classes allow students to explore non-STEM fields, ultimately aiding them to plan out their future beyond high school. According to The New York Times, high schools that add electives to their course options encourage students to cultivate

their interests beyond traditional subjects and demonstrate focus in a specific area of study for colleges. This expansion needs to be applied to HHS so that a variety of classes is available to students to develop their interests. As students, our interests are constantly evolving, making high school the perfect time to explore and experiment without having the burden of paying for classes in college. As such, HHS needs to expand past having variety only in STEM classes and introduce more humanities, social studies and career-based electives to allow students not only to learn and acquire new skills in subjects of interest but also enable

Illustration by Adrienne Liang

Many theorized that once Trump left office, he would cease to control the Republican Party. Indeed, this theory seemed to be confirmed when Mitch McConnell publicly blamed Trump for the Capitol insurrection on the Senate floor. Yet, even after losing the presidency by 7 million votes, according to Fact Check, as well as losing the Republicans the House and Senate, Trump continues to have a hold on the Republican Party. Just look at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which featured a gold statue of Trump that quickly became the talk of the conference. CPAC has historically featured the biggest names of the Republican party and of course, Trump was one of the speakers. In addition to Trump, the other Republican speakers were some of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters. Some of the speakers included Senators Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley as well as Representative Matt Gaetz, according to Reuters. According to the Texas Tribune, Cruz went as far as to say that Trump “ain’t goin’ anywhere.” It seems that Republicans are set to continue support of a president that was impeached twice and tried to undermine American democracy. Is this the new Republican Party? The Republicans attempted to strip House Republican conference chair Liz Cheney for voting to convict Trump. Republicans condemned Senator Mitt Romney for voting to convict Trump, and at the CPAC conference, Trump named every Republican who voted, as the crowd booed each politician. With the context of not even coming out with a new platform last year, we can easily say that Republican constituents and politicians are fully content to follow Trump for the foreseeable future.

While many students can firmly say they know how to write a thesis statement for their literature essay or use the quadratic formula to solve for “x,” most students have not acquired basic financial management skills like filing taxes, investing, budgeting or saving. Learning how our banking system works at a young age is critical, and financial literacy classes must be added at HHS to equip students with the tools they will need to succeed in the future. Ideally, a basic personal finance class should be introduced in freshman year, with more advanced classes available to students in their sophomore, junior and senior years. In math, students are first taught how to count, which then progresses into learning addition and subtraction and finally into more complex concepts like trigonometry and calculus in later years. Personal finance is just as important as learning science or math, so why is it not given the same importance in education? Financial literacy isn’t something that people should have to figure out through

HUMANITIES CLASSES MATTER: Students shouldn’t be

held back from discovering their interests by STEM classes.

them to explore their interests and go beyond the confines of the STEM-based classes we are offered. PAGE DESIGN BY RITAJA SUBRAHMANYA


Lifestyles

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Delving into President Biden’s early achievements

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Students share perspectives on a variety of current action plans By Macy Li Since his inauguration on Jan. 20, President Joe Biden has launched a whirlwind of plans and policies in hopes of combating the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening the economy and addressing the issue of climate change, according to The New York Times. His efforts have captured the attention of many students, who hold a variety of perspectives on his accomplishments. Only hours after his inaugural address, President Biden reinstated ties with the World Health Organization, which the Trump administration withdrew from last year, according to the New York Times. “We’re dealing with a global pandemic, so it doesn’t make sense for the United States to deal with it alone,” junior Mallory Mitton said in a Zoom interview, expressing her support for the decision. “We should be fighting alongside other countries and helping each other with this worldwide issue.” In addition, President Biden signed a series of executive orders

to appoint an official COVID-19 director and restore the directorate for global health security, according to The New York Times. He has also implemented mask mandates and social distancing restrictions on federal property. “We all have an obligation to wear a mask and maintain social distancing,” Mitton said. “Setting guidelines at a federal level can trickle down, and officials will be encouraged to implement the same orders locally.” Overall, Mitton said she believes President Biden’s COVID-19 policies are unifying, and she appreciates his emphasis on transparency. Mitton hopes her community will soon be safe and healthy again. “Since he’s actually working with scientists and professionals, I feel more confident that people across the country will be able to return to their normal lives,” Mitton said. “This also means we might have the chance to go back to school earlier.” Beyond dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, President Biden has also introduced a se-

ries of economic plans. According to The New York Times, he extended the pause on federal student loan interest and principal payments, building upon and continuing the Trump administration’s policies. For senior Mayuri Hebbar, she said this decision is greatly inspirational, since she will soon graduate and become a college student. “As of now, I’m not sure how I’m going to end up paying for school, but I know that I’ll have to take out a loan at some point,” Hebbar said in a Zoom interview. Additionally, President Biden extended the Trump administration’s federal moratorium on housing evictions through March 2021. According to CNN, Biden requested agencies to prolong foreclosure bans on federally guaranteed mortgages. “This definitely makes sense, since I know unemployment is currently very high, and many of us are struggling,” Hebbar said. “Paying rent, especially in the Bay Area, can be difficult.” Tackling the issue of climate

change, President Biden has signed a letter to re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement, which Trump withdrew the country from during his presidency, according to the New York Times. This coalition of nearly 200 countries worldwide works to reduce fossil fuel emissions. “Biden needs to do much more than just join this Paris Climate Agreement,” sophomore Alan Jian said in a Zoom interview. “I hope to see him working with Congress to create actual policies and executive orders that will leave tangible impacts.” Jian said he views climate change as an urgent global issue to address, because it not only impacts countries and their economies, but also millions of lives — as seen through the snowstorms in Texas and annual wildfires in California. “There is no quick or easy solution to the issue of climate change,” Jian said. “But, the earlier we start addressing the problem, the easier it will be for us to fix the damage climate change has already left on the world.” Infographic by Macy Li

TIMELINE OF ACHIEVEMENTS: President Biden initiated a series of policies and plans early on in his presidency to combat ongoing national issues

AP Physics 1: finding solutions

Transferring AP physics 1 curriculum to online learning

By Miya Liu As students entered their year in distance learning for the first time, the self-described “physics family” of physics teachers Kathleen Shreve, Daniel Nuñez and Susan Mrozac, began their first year teaching AP Physics 1 after five years of teaching physics honors, according to a Zoom interview with Shreve. Senior Aditya Prasad said he learned a lot from taking the honors physics class last year. “It’s an informative class,” Prasad said, “They cover the information pretty well so you learn quite a bit of stuff.” Shreve said in an email that they changed from physics honors to AP Physics 1 because the physics teachers wanted to align the curriculum better with the Next Generation Science Standards. “[NGSS is more about] the nature of how you do and design an experiment, [especially since] of jobs nowadays need data analysis,” Shreve said. “These are critical thinking skills you can foster in a science class and there’s a lot of that [in this new curriculum].” By switching to an AP class, the teachers must now work closely with College Board, following the curriculum and basing the year off of AP test dates — even when they are shifted a month later. “It feels like I have the College Board looking over my shoulder,” Shreve said. “We also have

to react to any changes that come from the College Board and make decisions based around a whole other entity.” Shreve said it would be easier to use the College Board videos and worksheets, but they wanted to try to make it feel as close to the way classes would run in person as they could: a lot of group work, labs and discussion. Creating the new curriculum has doubled the prep time, Shreve said. “Having all these changes was like, ‘We’re changing everything anyways,’ and that was kind of a nice freeing feeling,” Shreve said. “The other side of it was, we didn’t have stuff to fall back on, and some days were challenging in a really bad way where it’s like, ‘Oh my god I have no idea how to do this, and I have to figure it out by next week.’ It goes from being something that feels manageable to like, ‘I’m working all the time.’” Qi Chen Wu, a senior taking Physics 1 this year, said in a Zoom interview that she really felt the increased workload of taking an AP science class online, especially with the time she puts into using extra learning techniques to help her succeed. “YouTube videos were really helpful to watch on my own time,” Wu said. “I searched [videos] to help understand the concepts and [used them to study].” Prasad said he found that like math classes, physics was cumulative, requiring specific tech-

niques to do well in the class. “[I] reviewed the content that was given to me every day, like a new worksheet or a new [concept] we learned in class and studied it and got on top of the information,” Prasad said, “If you wait too long and you don’t fully understand the information, you’ll definitely not be able to perform well on the tests.” After a year of figuring out new learning strategies, some of the curriculum building will unfortunately not translate over to next year if the district is fully back to in-person learning. “It’s probably going to feel like we’re doing a whole new course all over again because it just won’t work the same way,” Shreve said. “It’s going to be tough.” Finally, Shreve said she wants to thank the students this year for what they have been able to Photo courtesy of Qi Chen Wu

achieve and what the teachers have been able to achieve with them. “My takeaway is: no matter what, they made it through an AP-level science course and distance learning,” Shreve said. “[The students] stuck with it and it just feels like we did something kind of cool, like it was kind of like an experiment.” Photo courtesy of Aditya Prasad

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Shreve

FINDING PHYSICS GROWTH: Physics teacher Kathleen Shreve, seniors Qi

Chen Wu and Aditya Prasad reflect on the first year of AP Physics 1.

The Day Dreamer

By Karuna Chandran During quarantine, we all have fun hobbies that we do to enrich our lives while we are woefully stuck at home. For me, that came in the form of learning Hindi on Duolingo. Once I realized that I had never spoken any language other than English in my household, I decided to do this to better connect with my Indian roots. I wanted to be able to understand the dramatic Hindi movies I so loved to watch and learn about the rich and diverse culture that came hand-inhand with the understanding of an ancient language. However, once my days started to become increasingly more occupied with schoolwork, I started to question my decision. After all, sophomore year is the beginning of the college preparation phase and when you build your arsenal of classes, clubs, volunteering organizations and other stand out achievements highlighting your resume from the stack of equally qualified candidates. I wondered what learning Hindi added to my college application, eventually realizing there was no way for me to use this to boost my resume. I started scouring the internet looking for a standardized test that could prove my proficiency or a course that offered college credit. Then I stopped. It hit me that I was thinking about it all wrong. After all, college is not some end goal that once I reach, will protect me for life. Rather, college is the first step in a life of struggling, settling down, paying bills, growing old, but also all the wonders of life ahead of me like starting a family or traveling the world. By viewing college as a destination, rather than a location, I had stopped learning for the sake of pure knowledge. Sure, taking Hindi on a free language app isn’t going to help me on my college journey directly. But I realized that it is going to help me on my life journey. PAGE DESIGN BY ARIANA TEJEDA MORENO


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In-Depth

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Booked for Books

Nonfiction: Discover the real world By Mae Richardson

R

eard

eg Tiffany L

kinds of stories, comedic and heartwarming books that convey valuable lessons about life have also helped me cope with stress and anxiety.” Similarly, sophomore Grace Huang said in a Zoom interview that reading helps her forget about her worries and provides comfort for her when overwhelmed. “After I read, I tend to think about the book the entire day, and I like to pretend I live in that reality,” Huang said. “It really helps me relax and occupies my thoughts with something else.” In addition to health benefits, reading for pleasure reaps social benefits, helping us better understand ourselves and others’ perspectives, according to The Reading Agency. It also can improve our sense of connectedness to the wider community. People who have similar interests can connect over the books they read and get insight on a variety of interpretations and

eading for leisure allows students to break away from their commitments and escape into the world of the book. In addition to being pleasurable, leisure reading has various cognitive and health benefits, according to The Reading Agency. Reading for pleasure can reduce stress and depression and result in increased empathy and improved well-being and relationships with others, according to a report by The Reading Agency. Although the amount of time teens and young adults spend reading has decreased over the years according to Statista, many students continue utilizing reading to de-stress. Senior Van Pham said in a Zoom interview that reading about people who deal with problems more complex than her own helps her feel better about her life. “Reading books where the characters have traumatic lives and face complicated problems makes me appreciate my own life No 19.5% more,” Pham said. “In addition to those

perspectives, junior Keita Maekawa said in a Zoom interview. “For something like ‘Harry Potter,’ there is this fandom [where] people can connect with each other over the story,” Maekawa said. “I had some similar experiences from discussing ‘The Scarlet Letter.’ It was fun to read and discuss it, connect [to it] and learn about myself.” On the other hand, Pham said that since she is very close to her mom, they often talk about life and her mom’s experiences as a young adult. She said since she is able to connect the lessons and messages she has learned through her mom to the stories she reads, it allows her to gain insight into others’ perspective and un-

Yes 80.5%

Do you want to read for fun, but you never have time?

1

“I had a lot of schoolwork [when I was younger], but I still had time to do reading that I enjoy. Now if I’m doing reading that I enjoy, I feel guilty because I could be doing [schoolwork].”

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5

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(1 being it doesn’t help at all and 10 being it helps a lot)

Tiffany Yu (10)

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6

How much does reading help you when you are stressed?

Tiffany Legeard (11)

urtesy of

By Seoyoung Hwang

M

any students prefer to grow as a human being, sophomore read fiction over nonfiction, Tamar Hazon said in a Zoom interview. according to a survery of 128 It also allows you to gain inspirations HHS students. from the setting, characters and plot Readers are allowed to use their creline. ativity and imagination while they watch “I think it expands your mind and the story unfold in the imaginative shows you different worldviews that you world, juwouldn’t nior Richnecessariard Zhang ly see from “I think it expands your said in a your own Zoom interlife,” Hamind and shows you different derstand others better. view. zon said. “It worldviews that you wouldn’t “In a book I am reading right “I think gives you a now called ‘The Alchemist,’ it necessarily see from your [reading ficway to get brought into perspective how you tion] helps into someown life. It gives you a way to connect with, converse with and view you get your one else’s others, especially enemies,” Pham said. “It get into someone else’s mind creativeness mind and taught me that you should not necessarily f l ow i n g,” think differand think differently.” blame them, and that you should live your life Zhang said. ently.” - Tamar Hazon (10) positively without victimizing yourself all the “ [ Fi c t i o n ] Reading time because those experiences will ultimately s o m e fiction alhelp you become a better person in the future.” times lows readers Overall, Maekawa said that while reading for leiblows me away [by] how people to escape reality when one is having sure is important, contemplating the book’s message can think of such creative and a hard time and lets them explore the and learning from it is crucial as well. inspiring ideas.” imaginative world, which might also “I love reading because it helps take your mind off Fiction books not only help with getting ideas to solve their of [the present],” Maekawa said. “But I also love analyzing help students to get more problems in real life through the hero’s books because I love to think about how the author got there creative but also look journey and lessons learned from the and created the story. It is amazat the world from a story, Hazon said. ing and beautiful.” different perspec“[Reading fiction books] helps you Nonfiction tive and apply the escape the real world,” Hazon said. 9.4% lessons to their “You can pretend that you’re someone own lives and else and imagine yourself in a different light.” Both 30.4% Fiction allows readers to take their mind off the real world and let their imagination take over and journey Fiction 60.2% through a story with different perspectives from their current life, Zhang said. “Nonfiction is chained down just to real life, [but with fiction], you can let your creativity juices flow whether you are writing or reading,” Zhang said. “[It lets me] live my life a bit Based on a survey of 128 HHS students 10 more imaginatively because maybe one day I’ll wake up Do you prefer to read fiction and there’ll be magic.” or nonfiction?

Reading serves as an oasis for students who are overwhelmed with work and helps them understand different perspectives By Mae Richardson with additional reporting by Alyssa Zimmerman

Tiffany Yu

“I definitely still read a lot in day-to-day life such as SAT passages and news articles. I don’t think I’m lacking in any reading ability. I’m just not used to the traditional fictional novel narrative.”

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A simple way to get your creative juices flowing, find inspiration

Books relieve students’ stress

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Fiction: Escape from reality, learn to be creative

Reading allows us to expand our creativity or gain knowledge on a variety of topics while exploring the real world. It also helps us take our minds off the present and relax. Explore the importance of finding time to read and all of the benefits that come with reading, here.

Nonfiction explores real world issues

onfiction provides insight into people’s perspectives from all over the world and teaches real-life situations, sophomore Spencer Ye said in a Zoom interview. “At first, I started to read [nonfiction] because my dad strongly encouraged me to, but as I matured, I grew fond of nonfiction books and learned to appreciate them,” Ye said. “[The main aspect] that sparked my interest was the fact that they include real-life applications, and I can learn various new ideas and perspectives from them.” Ye said nowadays he uses books as his main method of obtaining knowledge since they are more convenient compared to other methods. “[Rather than using the Internet,] I usually use books as my main source of learning,” Ye said. “They are especially useful in times where my Wi-Fi goes out since they don’t rely on internet connection.” One of the most beneficial aspects of nonfiction books is that they help us understand and be more aware of the world around us, senior Bella Huang said in a Zoom interview. “I like nonfiction because it allows me to gain a deeper insight on what I observe in the real world, ” Huang said. In addition to reading to acquire knowledge, Huang said it is crucial to read to educate ourselves on the various worldwide issues so that we can learn what we can do to help. “Since there are so many different social issues affecting the world right now, rather than reading a fiction book, [I would rather] read about something that is affecting my life, and what I can do to help,” Huang said. Similarly, senior Katelyn Richardson said in an interview that nonfiction teaches valuable life lessons like fiction, but is more realistic and straightforward. “Through reading various biographies and autobiographies, I can get insight on how influential figures and thinkers perceived the world,” Richardson said. “They make me reevaluate my position in society and inspire me to make the world a better place.”

Thursday, March 18, 2021

anchez

Josue Sanchez (11) “English takes the fun out of reading. It gets to the point where you’re doing it too much, where there’s not really enough time to focus on another book that you want to read.”

Book Recommendations

Want to read books but just can’t find the right book to read? Scan the QR code to check out book recommendations from The Epitaph staff members.

PAGE DESIGN BY SEOYOUNG HWANG AND MAE RICHARDSON ILLUSTRATIONS BY MO CHUANG


8

In-Depth

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Booked for Books

Nonfiction: Discover the real world By Mae Richardson

R

eard

eg Tiffany L

kinds of stories, comedic and heartwarming books that convey valuable lessons about life have also helped me cope with stress and anxiety.” Similarly, sophomore Grace Huang said in a Zoom interview that reading helps her forget about her worries and provides comfort for her when overwhelmed. “After I read, I tend to think about the book the entire day, and I like to pretend I live in that reality,” Huang said. “It really helps me relax and occupies my thoughts with something else.” In addition to health benefits, reading for pleasure reaps social benefits, helping us better understand ourselves and others’ perspectives, according to The Reading Agency. It also can improve our sense of connectedness to the wider community. People who have similar interests can connect over the books they read and get insight on a variety of interpretations and

eading for leisure allows students to break away from their commitments and escape into the world of the book. In addition to being pleasurable, leisure reading has various cognitive and health benefits, according to The Reading Agency. Reading for pleasure can reduce stress and depression and result in increased empathy and improved well-being and relationships with others, according to a report by The Reading Agency. Although the amount of time teens and young adults spend reading has decreased over the years according to Statista, many students continue utilizing reading to de-stress. Senior Van Pham said in a Zoom interview that reading about people who deal with problems more complex than her own helps her feel better about her life. “Reading books where the characters have traumatic lives and face complicated problems makes me appreciate my own life No 19.5% more,” Pham said. “In addition to those

perspectives, junior Keita Maekawa said in a Zoom interview. “For something like ‘Harry Potter,’ there is this fandom [where] people can connect with each other over the story,” Maekawa said. “I had some similar experiences from discussing ‘The Scarlet Letter.’ It was fun to read and discuss it, connect [to it] and learn about myself.” On the other hand, Pham said that since she is very close to her mom, they often talk about life and her mom’s experiences as a young adult. She said since she is able to connect the lessons and messages she has learned through her mom to the stories she reads, it allows her to gain insight into others’ perspective and un-

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Do you want to read for fun, but you never have time?

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“I had a lot of schoolwork [when I was younger], but I still had time to do reading that I enjoy. Now if I’m doing reading that I enjoy, I feel guilty because I could be doing [schoolwork].”

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How much does reading help you when you are stressed?

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any students prefer to grow as a human being, sophomore read fiction over nonfiction, Tamar Hazon said in a Zoom interview. according to a survery of 128 It also allows you to gain inspirations HHS students. from the setting, characters and plot Readers are allowed to use their creline. ativity and imagination while they watch “I think it expands your mind and the story unfold in the imaginative shows you different worldviews that you world, juwouldn’t nior Richnecessariard Zhang ly see from “I think it expands your said in a your own Zoom interlife,” Hamind and shows you different derstand others better. view. zon said. “It worldviews that you wouldn’t “In a book I am reading right “I think gives you a now called ‘The Alchemist,’ it necessarily see from your [reading ficway to get brought into perspective how you tion] helps into someown life. It gives you a way to connect with, converse with and view you get your one else’s others, especially enemies,” Pham said. “It get into someone else’s mind creativeness mind and taught me that you should not necessarily f l ow i n g,” think differand think differently.” blame them, and that you should live your life Zhang said. ently.” - Tamar Hazon (10) positively without victimizing yourself all the “ [ Fi c t i o n ] Reading time because those experiences will ultimately s o m e fiction alhelp you become a better person in the future.” times lows readers Overall, Maekawa said that while reading for leiblows me away [by] how people to escape reality when one is having sure is important, contemplating the book’s message can think of such creative and a hard time and lets them explore the and learning from it is crucial as well. inspiring ideas.” imaginative world, which might also “I love reading because it helps take your mind off Fiction books not only help with getting ideas to solve their of [the present],” Maekawa said. “But I also love analyzing help students to get more problems in real life through the hero’s books because I love to think about how the author got there creative but also look journey and lessons learned from the and created the story. It is amazat the world from a story, Hazon said. ing and beautiful.” different perspec“[Reading fiction books] helps you Nonfiction tive and apply the escape the real world,” Hazon said. 9.4% lessons to their “You can pretend that you’re someone own lives and else and imagine yourself in a different light.” Both 30.4% Fiction allows readers to take their mind off the real world and let their imagination take over and journey Fiction 60.2% through a story with different perspectives from their current life, Zhang said. “Nonfiction is chained down just to real life, [but with fiction], you can let your creativity juices flow whether you are writing or reading,” Zhang said. “[It lets me] live my life a bit Based on a survey of 128 HHS students 10 more imaginatively because maybe one day I’ll wake up Do you prefer to read fiction and there’ll be magic.” or nonfiction?

Reading serves as an oasis for students who are overwhelmed with work and helps them understand different perspectives By Mae Richardson with additional reporting by Alyssa Zimmerman

Tiffany Yu

“I definitely still read a lot in day-to-day life such as SAT passages and news articles. I don’t think I’m lacking in any reading ability. I’m just not used to the traditional fictional novel narrative.”

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A simple way to get your creative juices flowing, find inspiration

Books relieve students’ stress

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Fiction: Escape from reality, learn to be creative

Reading allows us to expand our creativity or gain knowledge on a variety of topics while exploring the real world. It also helps us take our minds off the present and relax. Explore the importance of finding time to read and all of the benefits that come with reading, here.

Nonfiction explores real world issues

onfiction provides insight into people’s perspectives from all over the world and teaches real-life situations, sophomore Spencer Ye said in a Zoom interview. “At first, I started to read [nonfiction] because my dad strongly encouraged me to, but as I matured, I grew fond of nonfiction books and learned to appreciate them,” Ye said. “[The main aspect] that sparked my interest was the fact that they include real-life applications, and I can learn various new ideas and perspectives from them.” Ye said nowadays he uses books as his main method of obtaining knowledge since they are more convenient compared to other methods. “[Rather than using the Internet,] I usually use books as my main source of learning,” Ye said. “They are especially useful in times where my Wi-Fi goes out since they don’t rely on internet connection.” One of the most beneficial aspects of nonfiction books is that they help us understand and be more aware of the world around us, senior Bella Huang said in a Zoom interview. “I like nonfiction because it allows me to gain a deeper insight on what I observe in the real world, ” Huang said. In addition to reading to acquire knowledge, Huang said it is crucial to read to educate ourselves on the various worldwide issues so that we can learn what we can do to help. “Since there are so many different social issues affecting the world right now, rather than reading a fiction book, [I would rather] read about something that is affecting my life, and what I can do to help,” Huang said. Similarly, senior Katelyn Richardson said in an interview that nonfiction teaches valuable life lessons like fiction, but is more realistic and straightforward. “Through reading various biographies and autobiographies, I can get insight on how influential figures and thinkers perceived the world,” Richardson said. “They make me reevaluate my position in society and inspire me to make the world a better place.”

Thursday, March 18, 2021

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Josue Sanchez (11) “English takes the fun out of reading. It gets to the point where you’re doing it too much, where there’s not really enough time to focus on another book that you want to read.”

Book Recommendations

Want to read books but just can’t find the right book to read? Scan the QR code to check out book recommendations from The Epitaph staff members.

PAGE DESIGN BY SEOYOUNG HWANG AND MAE RICHARDSON ILLUSTRATIONS BY MO CHUANG


10

Lifestyles

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Mental health illnesses increase among students during pandemic Long-term effects include PTSD, trauma

By Karuna Chandran, Madhavi Karthik, Shreya Partha and Ritaja Subrahmanya with additional reporting by Saanvi Thakur The pandemic has taken a toll on mental and physical health, appearing through anxiety, depression and touch deprivation, psychologist Leena Khanzode said. “I think there could be some PTSD,” psychologist Tracy Greene said. “[W]e’re going to suffer a lot of depression after [the pandemic], [and] not always [the kind of] depression where you get into bed and can’t get out, but just a low level lethargy that’s

“Not being able to get that peer-to-peer interaction [during remote learning] does affect their motivation and of course, having online school and being on a screen for eight hours has really impacted their motivation and overall well-being,” Khanzode said. Loyd said she predicts a lot of social challenges in terms of having to rekindle friendships and the general stress of getting back into a routine. “We didn’t have our closings and our endings and our Percent of high school students who report experiencing... new beginnings,” Loyd said. “We had none of that this past year. So, that in itself is traumatic. We’ve had people whose relatives have died, whose parents have died, whose grandparents have died. Grief is traumatic.” According to the University of Michigan, exposure to traumatic events such as death and hospitalizations during the pandemic can lead Suicidal thoughts Chronic sadness Lack of resources Mental health visits to the development of PTSD. Infographic by Karuna Chandran, Madhavi Karthik and Ritaja Subrahmanya Other therapists are preData from reports by CDE, DCD and ACLU dicting it will take seven to MENTAL HEALTH AFFECTED: Studies show an increase in mental health related issues among high school students during the pandemic. nine years to recover from Percentages from each study

going to be hard to maneuver out of.” At HHS, school based therapist Sarah Loyd said there were 196 referrals for school based mental health services with a total of 222 therapy sessions, by the end of first semester. Khanzode said most of her clients are students so she sees a lot of school-related issues with the online learning format, which has caused mental health issues to resurface.

The issue of student burnout

Stress leads to severe loss of motivation By Amber Birrell

Photo courtesy of Preethi Rayaprolu

LESS RECOGNIZED ISSUE: Due to on-

line learning, many students are feeling burned out.

ness center to help students who may be struggling with stress. Students also have the option to talk to Sarah Loyd, HHS’s school based therapist. “There also is a place for students to get more information on these resources as well as take advantage of our virtual wellness room,” guidance counselor Derek Chan said in a Zoom interview. Counselors reach out and provide resources to students who may require extra support but sometimes they do not get to everybody so students in need are welcome to reach out to guidance counselors, Chan said. “I am more than willing to help our students get resources and be able to provide our services,” Chan said. “Because at the end of the day, in order for students to be able to be successful academically, they also have to be successful, socially and emotionally.”

A year of COVID-19

Teachers guide open discourse By Sahil Venkatesan History and literature classes often student responses. When encountering a tackle sensitive topics like racism, sexism student whose opinions may spark arguand religion through in-depth discus- ments or upset other students, Vanni said sions about sensitive topics which require in a Zoom interview she tries to challenge teachers to ensure their students are par- the opinion. ticipating, history teacher Andrea Yee said “The question just becomes, ‘Okay, in a Zoom interview. but let’s challenge that. Is that true? Do Yee said her goal as a teacher is to we believe that? Do we think that that create a welcoming environment that en- makes sense?’” Vanni said. “The key is to courages students to speak their minds challenge it in a respectful way because if and give their opinions about controver- you shut the person down and say, ‘You’re sial topics discussed in class. done, that’s not how it works,’ that person Junior APUSH student Emi Iwasaki will never talk again and we will never get said in a Zoom interview that she started that pe rson’s thoughts.” participating more because of Yee’s enEnglish teacher Kirk Hinton takes couragement. a unique approach by ensuring that he “At the end of a grading period, we does not give his own opinion in order to have a reflection on our participation,” make students more comfortable answerIwasaki said. “Ms. Yee would always write ing even when they are not sure. comments online and say things like ‘I “One of the things that I try really hard want you to be more comfortable sharing to do though is to not — and there’s some your thoughts, even if you don’t know the controversy around this — bring my own right answer. I think that really encour- opinions into the discussion,” Hinton aged me to participate more and be more said. “I try to teach people how to think, comfortable in class.” not what to think.” Along with motivating people to exPark said that the most important press their opinions, Yee said she focuses thing a teacher can do to ensure that senon her responses by asking students to sitive conversations remain open to all clarify and elaborate, as well as through students is to remain accepting of differher own commentary. ent answers. Junior Allison Park said in a Zoom “Even if it goes against the teacher’s interview that Yee does a good job mak- perspective, or even just the majority of ing sure the class understands their fel- the student body’s perspective, [the teachlow students’ thoughts and perspectives ers should be] making sure to point out when talking about controversial issues. the pros and the cons of every argument,” “For me, I really focus on how I re- Park said. “Talk about their foundation, spond to student answers,” Yee said. “Like because it’s still a valid point.” if it’s not correct, I still try to validate that the answer was helpful, and I say thanks for saying that because it helps clarify things for students. ” Yee is not alone in focusing on her personal connection to students. English teacher Debbie Vanni said she makes sure to pay close attention HONEST CLASSROOM DISCUSSIONS: Literature classes to controversial openly discuss racism in America.

Illustration by Zoe Li

Burnout creates a feeling of boredom and stagnancy in life, sophomore Radhika Agarwal said in a Zoom interview. “You’re not really happy or excited by anything anymore, and you find everything pointless,”Agarwal said. According to Challenge Success, an organization affiliated with Stanford University, three-quarters of high school students have reported feeling stressed due to school. For many students, spending time with friends used to be a great way to relieve stress, but online school has eliminated that option. “I think school regularly is stressful due to homework, grades and tests,” Agarwal said. “The difference between distance learning and regular school is that you had your friends. They would take the stress away but now, you do not really have your friends anymore.” Sophomore Preethi Rayaprolu said she has been feeling burned-out from school, especially since she is taking her first AP class and honors class this year. “[Being burnt out is] a combination of wanting to get good grades and having too much work,” Rayaprolu said. “Sometimes, what we have for homework is very different from what we have on tests, and since they do not correlate with each other, the tests become really hard.” According to The New York Times, social connections help lower the effects of stress. Agarwal said increasing social interaction in school would be a great way to help students including herself. “It could be great if [the administration] could find a way to make school more enjoyable, and more specifically, get a way for teenagers to start talking to each other again,” Agarwal said. “As awkward as it may be to start up a conversation with someone, it’s nice. I think we are social creatures, and we need communication in our lives.” HHS does provide various resources and services on their website under the guidance page such as the virtual well-

the PTSD of the pandemic, Loyd health resources, Loyd said the said. In fact, there has been a curriculum at HHS should ex26.3% increase in trauma and pand to incorporate more social stress-related disorders since the and emotional learning in the beginning of the pandemic, ac- classroom beyond one advisory lesson. cording to the Psychiatric Times. Loyd said she recommends “We’re seeing [PTSD] more so at our hospital. I have more that students prioritize self-care patients who are suffering, who by forming a daily routine with are teenagers, than I do actu- healthy habits, such as getting al COVID patients right now,” dressed before class and doing health care professional Brandy schoolwork away from beds to relieve the monotony. Van Zandt said. “It doesn’t matter if you say Specifically for mental health, HHS has created venting ses- you don’t have time because if sions to allow students to share you don’t have your self-care then you can’t put 100% into your their frustrations. “[Students are] coming to [the academics,” Loyd said. “You’re sessions to] vent about everything only as good to others as you are that’s going on or [to] share their to yourself.” e x p e r i e n c e s,” Loyd said. “It allows students to hear their peers who are more than likely experiencing the same thoughts This project covers stories from those who and feelings and were hardest hit by the pandemic through having the same conversations about different experiences experience.” they have gone through in the past year. To further improve mental

PAGE DESIGN BY ALLEN ZHANG


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Lifestyles

Thursday, March 18, 2021

The outcome of a genuine conversation

LSU conference discusses challenges students of color face By Xochitl Neely and Ashley Orozco Due to a conference hosted by Latinx Student Union, students and staff have started to share their stories and listen to each other. Latinx is a gender neutral term that refers to a person of Latin American origin or descent. The conference, titled “The challenges BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and people of color] students face,” was held on January 20th. The conference offered students and staff members a safe space to share their experiences and feel heard, treasurer of LSU, senior Jaqueline Perez said in a Zoom interview. Some of the issues mentioned during the meeting were students feeling excluded in advanced classes, not having access to the best tutors or support systems and having to fight against stereotypes, Perez said. During the meeting, Perez said she talked about feeling like there is a language barrier between her and her family from Mexico because she’s lived in the U.S. her whole life although she is fluent in both English and Spanish. “[I’m glad we were able to] bring light to these issues students of color face,” Perez said. “Not only the language barrier but also feeling [like we’re] less than our peers.” Perez said being able to openly talk about these issues helped everyone at the Zoom meeting.

“Speaking out helped me come to terms with how these issues have affected me personally,” Perez said. “Hearing other people’s stories especially moved me because it made me feel like I wasn’t the only one who was facing challenges.” Sophomore Rylee Quiambao, who was also in attendance, said he shares a similar viewpoint. “When you speak out about these issues, other people can relate and know they’re not alone in this fight,” Quiambao said in a Zoom interview. Perez said she was thankful that there were also several staff members in the conference. “[Being able to] openly express my feelings was great especially because there weren’t only students but also teachers,” Perez said. One of the teachers in attendance was Spanish teacher Carlos Martinez. He said that attendees chose to participate for various reasons; some wanted to be heard and others wanted to listen to those with similar experiences. “[I hope] my experience will help others get a better understanding of what’s going on with them,” Martinez said in a Zoom interview. “At the same time, I wanted to be there to hear from the rest [of the participants] because we have to remember that every [experience] is different. We

Photo courtesy of Carlos Martinez

Photo courtesy of Jaqueline Perez

Photo courtesy of Rylee Quiambao

STUDENTS DISCUSS STRUGGLES: Spanish teacher Carlos Martinez, senior Jaqueline Perez and

sophomore Rylee Quiambao speak out in the conference hosted by Latinx Student Union.

just [have to] listen to what others have to say,[and] validate [their] stories [because] sometimes we feel like that doesn’t happen,” Martinez said. Quiambao believes that the meeting helped him understand how common issues like stereotypes can shape people and change how they see the world. “[The meeting has made] me strong[er] and [more] understanding towards others,” Quiambao said. “When you go through injustice you also want to help other people [that are going through or have been through] injustices.” Martinez said he believes he wouldn’t be who he is now if not for past experiences regarding his cultural background. “As an adult, I am the final

outcome of those experiences,” Martinez said. There were many important topics brought up by students and staff, Quiambao said, but one moment really stood out. “[The most impactful statement brought up was] probably when one of the girls was saying how she didn’t fit into any of her classes because they’re mostly white and how she felt left out,” Quiambao said. “I really understood how she felt.” Perez said the turnout of the conference was greater than she thought it would be because it was their first time attempting an event like this, and overall, it was more than she could have asked for. “I think the result was due to the domino effect because [first

the] teachers [shared] and then other students started to share, [and it] was truly beautiful,” Perez said. “In that hour, it definitely felt like a safe space and a community.” The Latino community is already present at HHS thanks to the student union’s efforts, Perez said. This conference emphasized the importance of unity within the Latino community at HHS, Perez said, and she said she hopes that it spreads to other schools in the district. “[This is] what LSU wants: a community for Latinx students and allies to share these thoughts, and in the direction that we’re going, we’re definitely going to see some change within Homestead or [even] the district,” Perez said.

POV: Reflecting on the challenges I have overcome Many Latinx students face struggles unique to community By Evelyn Solis As an officer of the Latinx Student Union, I hosted a district-wide presentation along with the other officers about minority experiences in education, in hopes of students and administration understanding the struggles many students of color face at HHS. Through this presentation, many of my classmates and I had the opportunity to finally speak out on the challenges that affect our ability to succeed in school because of our backgrounds. Being a Latinx student - “Latinx” being a gender-neutral term to describe people of Latin American descent - I have a different experience than the majority of

students attending HHS. Coming from immigrant parents who do not understand the American educational system and also have not attended college or even finished high school, I had to become independent with my education at an early age. I did not have the option to ask my parents for help on my English essays or algebra homework because they simply did not know how to help me. I soon learned that it was my responsibility to find resources and support for my academics. When entering high school, I felt overwhelmed with how much I didn’t understand about high school and college. What

Illustration by Elaine Huang

POC IN EDUCATION: Students of color encounter various obsta-

cles in school that affect their academic success.

math class should I take? What is the SAT? What do I need to do to get accepted into college? Being the oldest in my family, these were all questions I couldn’t ask anyone. So I took the advantage of joining the AVID class and have received most of my guidance from this class these past four years. Without my AVID class, I would not have had the information or the extra support I needed to succeed in high school. Although there are various other resources at HHS, they weren’t enough considering my circumstances. I compared myself to other classmates who have parents with careers, who speak English at home and had enough money to pay for tutors while I come from a family that does not speak English and have parents that do not have professional careers. Whenever I took rigorous classes, I always looked around the room for other classmates that looked like me. I felt more comfortable with people of my ethnicity in classes with a competitive and challenging environment. However, I never saw more than one person of Latinx heritage within my classmates. Although I understood I shouldn’t feel uncomfortable, I still questioned if I belong. The feeling of standing out was a familiar one throughout all aspects of my high school experience. Wanting to participate in the

community, I joined clubs and started engaging more on campus, but at every event or meeting, I felt like an outlier. Even though the HHS Latinx population makes up only around 15% of the total demographics, according to HHS’ school profile, there is still a disproportionate amount of Latinx students participating in clubs and enrolling in challenging courses. At times, throughout my high school, other Latinx friends and I felt like some of the actions by our classmates, like excluding us from group projects and asking invasive questions about where we come from, were misplacing us into a character that involved stereotypes Latinx students face. One that generalized my community into a specific character lacking intelligence and competence. Students at HHS may not understand the struggles that many students who share my background have to deal with and, in turn, may generalize the Latinx population from their first impressions of these students. I know friends and other Latinx students who are forced to accept bigger responsibilities because of their financial and household situation: caring for younger siblings or providing additional income to their household. In these situations, school may not seem like the top priority. Prioritizing education continues to be an underappreciated privilege.

I can place most of the blame on imposter syndrome, a psychological pattern that makes you believe your success isn’t valid and your accomplishments are due to external factors rather than your own intelligence. I believed that my background, coming from a family that does not have many opportunities, shaped my success. Although HHS has various resources available for all students to utilize, reaching out for this type of help is not easy for many students like myself. Various factors can contribute to the achievements these students can accomplish. Knowing what type of help, at least for myself, I needed was challenging because I didn’t understand what to look or ask for in terms of college information and academic support. The Silicon Valley has a competitive environment, and students are expected to be academically exceptional. This is difficult for many Latinx students like myself because we come upon obstacles that other students from HHS may not relate to. Our school’s faculty is actively helping HHS become a safe place for students of color through the advisory’s anti-racism modules and educational resources for all students to have access to. However, students in similar situations would benefit from more customized academic help, providing a safer place for these students to feel inspired. PAGE DESIGN BY CHRISTINE KIM


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Arts & Culture

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Hollywood missed the memo on queer representation LGBTQ storylines fall prey to queerbaiting By Karuna Chandran and Madhavi Karthik

to use queer narratives as a gag while simultaneously invalidating the struggles queer individuals face daily. What’s missing from these films and TV shows is that they fail to acknowledge what it means to be part of the LGBTQ community. Often when LGBTQ representation is present, the characters are two-dimensional, and either their entire personality revolves around their queer identity or their arcs end up going nowhere. For example, in CW’s sci-fi show “The 100,” two

female characters, Clarke and Lexa start dating only to have Lexa killed off almost immediately after. What kind of message is this show’s writers trying to send by killing off one of the only signs of queer representation in one plotline? Even though this paltry level of representation could have squeaked by a decade ago, times have changed. Having queer characters included in media just to seem diverse is a step back from the rights the LGBTQ community has

fought so hard to earn. In this world where the media is so skewed, a few shows such as “Schitt’s Creek” and “One Day at a Time” have devoted time crafting queer stories that people can relate to. If platforms were to follow the examples demonstrated by such shows, it would let everyone feel like they belonged a little more in this crazy world.

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LGBTQ community. By including these cliches in media, Hollywood is spreading negative notions about queer people to their audience, causing viewers to be misinformed about individuals who are part of the LGBTQ community. For instance, in a scene from the popular CW show “Riverdale,” two of the main characters, Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge try out for the cheerleading team. When they are about to be cut, Veronica resorts to kissing Betty as their big finish. In fact, neither Betty nor Veronica are ever in a relationship together, showing how thoughtless the writers we r e

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In today’s society, the LGBTQ community is getting more representation in Hollywood. However, many forms of media have taken advantage of the LGBTQ community just to gain a few more views. This sad phenomenon is deemed as queerbaiting — in which platforms tease LGBTQ relationships but do not deliver on them through a satisfying arc. Disney’s blockbuster films from the Star Wars and Marvel franchises are prime examples of queerbaiting. For example, before the release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” director JJ Abrams hinted in a Variety article at there being queer characters and claimed representation was important to him. But when the film was actually released, a few seconds of two women kissing, barely visible in the huge crowd of rebels, is all there was. Additionally, several shows have included toxic stereotypes about the

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‘Malcolm and Marie’: a devasToxic relationships: tatingly beautiful explanation puppeteer behind pain of an abusive relationship By Shreya Partha Illustration by Shreya Partha

From thrillers to non-fiction, one genre that will always hold a special place in my heart is young adult — or better known as YA. “The Outsiders,” “The Book Thief” and “The Infernal Devices” series are just some of my favorites. Inside the boundless world of YA, however, lies a secluded corner reserved for those with an avidity for the enemies-to-lovers trope. I will not lie; I enjoy reading books with the trope. But, a common toxic theme I’ve seen on social media platforms has taken shape in the form of younger, more vulnerable audiences failing to realize that some things are only meant for entertainment purposes. Yet, their misinterpretation cannot be faulted to any specific source, for it is quite difficult to separate what we read about constantly from real-life events. Somewhere along the way, it seems as if the line that divides the fantastical delusions of imagination and events that are truly happening gets too blurry to decipher. The trope itself consists of a plot that revolves around two characters who are on opposite sides of a conflict, yet somehow, against all odds, they become — as the name of the trope suggests — lovers. Hypothetically, the idea isn’t bad, for it doesn’t promote anything more than simply getting over each other’s differences and looking past the character’s hard exterior. Regardless, it is the manner in which these

ADDICTION TO PAIN:

Relationships portrayed in media should only be seen as entertainment, not something desirable.

books are written that promotes the wrong message to readers. The course of the books goes something like this: two main characters meet and hate each other instantly. Slowly, the witty and quick banter that was once considered harsh and outright bullying turns into tension-filled flirting. Lastly, they get together because one of the characters was able to see beyond the hard exterior. It’s entertaining, I’ll give you that, but to some, the thought of playing a fixer-upper and making someone who is both toxic and pernicious to be a better person is enticing. What is more appalling to me is that this message does not stop at books but also extends to movies and TV shows in general. And that is where the problem begins. While I’ve noticed reading has become less popular among our generation due to the rise in

technology, it has only given way to another form of entertainment seen in the form of movies and TV shows. Movies like “After” and “Twilight” — while considered by some as entertaining — only continue to encourage the idea that women have to be submissive and abused for the relationship to be interesting or have substance. Whether it’s the toxic relationship where a guy makes a girl fall in love with him for the sake of a dare in “After” or Edward Cullen tiptoeing into Bella’s room to watch her sleep in “Twilight,” these movies are watched by millions, and I can only hope the majority of viewers realize these plots for what they are: nothing more than entertainment. These plotlines that display toxic relationships show that abuse is abuse, not something to fawn over or want, despite how the relationships are portrayed. These types of relationships shouldn’t be something we try to recreate, for they only display the idea that women are less than what they are. And for that reason, I can only sincerely hope that we all know our worth enough to recognize the type of relationship we deserve.

By Saanvi Thakur

Shot in black and white with sensationalized yet relatable characters, “Malcolm and Marie” is a Netflix film that has garnered lots of controversy and attention. Critics have labeled the film as “exhausting” and “claustrophobic,” while other reviews have described it as a never-ending argument between an abusive couple. However, the complicated complexity of a script is what makes “Malcolm and Marie” one of the best films centered around a relationship. Throughout the movie, Malcolm (John David Washington) and Marie (Zendaya) get into arguments about Malcolm’s newly released film. However, this initial petty disagreement is a catalyst for the vile argument that reveals the couple’s destructive and abusive relationship. From one scene to the next, Malcolm and Marie go from screaming at each other to conversing over a bowl of macaroni and cheese. During these arguments, Malcolm guilt trips Marie and uses her trauma against her to feed his savior complex. There are also scenes that abruptly become intense but immediately after show Malcolm and Marie being playful. Naturally, I found myself supporting Malcolm when Marie seems to be irrational, but in the next scene, I was tearing up because of the powerful yet desolating things Marie is saying. This inconsistency makes the film so realistic as to what an abusive relationship is truly like. The unpredictability of the script mirrors the unpredictability of an abusive relationship, depicting the intoxicating yet painful feeling of loving someone, especially

when you know that relationship should have ended a long time ago. In movies, it’s easy to write off a jealous boyfriend as funny or normal, but the script in “Malcolm and Marie” lays out the destructive aspects of a relationship and doesn’t attempt to excuse Malcolm or Marie’s hurtful words or actions. The script is accurate to the type of relationship that is being portrayed on screen, which adds to the authenticity of the film. In this portrayal of an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship, “Malcolm and Marie” is more than just a never-ending argument. This script is intentionally written to make viewers feel exhausted, intoxicated and passionate. It uses these emotions to convey the traumatic feelings of being in an abusive relationship and the confusion and hurt that comes with still loving the person who continues to hurt you. Photo courtesy of Netflix

REALITIES OF LOVE: Film

portrays abusive relationships in a realistic light.

PAGE DESIGN BY SHREYA PARTHA


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A FALSE REALITY: Films that glamorize

Thursday, March 18, 2021

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he most impressive thing about TV is its ability to transport us across oceans and into the lives of others, all from the comfort of our homes. Those we see on TV can influence our actions and perspectives, and with so many people watching TV around the world, it is clear that TV has a profound global influence. The U.S. has a particularly influential role since it has a large

foreign audience whose perspectives on America come from what they see on TV. Because of this, the American film industry is responsible for giving the world an accurate depiction of America. Unfortunately, the film industry fails to do this, and instead portrays America too optimistically. As a result, the media contributes to false stereotypes of Americans and ignores some of the nation’s prominent flaws, giving foreigners unrealistic expectations. A harmful but common American stereotype I’ve noticed is that all Americans are rich. With so many American shows like “Gossip Girl” and “Keeping up with the Kardashians” that

glamorize rich Americans, it is no wonder those overseas may think rich lifestyles are available to all Americans. However, in reality, few Americans can afford the luxurious lifestyles seen on TV. Since the rich are often associated with greed, the “all Americans are rich” stereotype is especially harmful when Americans travel abroad, and misunderstandings prove detrimental to their interactions. Additionally, by ignoring the lower class, the media hurtfully cuts them from the American narrative, failing to raise awareness around poverty. Another misconception the media contributes to surrounds the American dream, with films like “Forrest Gump” or “The Social Network” centered around hard workers who are rewarded

in the end. While films depicting the American dream are better than those glamorizing the rich, many do not recognize the racism, sexism and other discriminatory values in this country that make the American dream unachievable for everybody. For those pursuing the American dream, it is important the media gives them a realistic depiction of what they are undertaking. If our media does not start portraying a more realistic America, our flaws will stay unacknowledged on the world stage, and stereotypes and false expectations will keep causing harm. By portraying America’s strengths and weaknesses, the film industry has the power to tell the world the truth and bring awareness to issues this country must fix.

The Weeknd's “Plastic Surgery” experiment

Vintage is back with a vengeance

By Lia Klebanov

By Christine Kim

Recently, I have noticed social media culture encouraging users to change their appearance to fit the “ideal look.” Whether it is something such as a drastic haircut or simply doing makeup a certain way, originality is being discouraged left and right. Celebrities refining their looks make them no different than the average social media user. Last year at the MTV Music Awards, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, known professionally as The Weeknd, received his award covered with cuts and bruises. In January, he released his anticipated music video to the song “Save Your Tears” with what seemed to be a new face due to plastic surgery, according to Life&Style. With the new features on his face, a big eye-opening message was sent out, which was to appreciate ourselves without altering physical appearances for societal expectations. As photoshop and plastic surgery become the new social norm, it’s important to

spread the message of self-confidence. The singer did admit his true reasoning behind the social experiment was to reflect the ridiculous Hollywood culture where many choose to change themselves to be accepted by others, Narcity reported. It’s not often I see a celebrity do something so drastic just to prove a point, but The Weeknd realized this social experiment was necessary to show how much society has normalized altering your true self. When I first saw his face, all swollen and wrapped, I was very confused. Was he joking or was this real? After learning the truth of his actions, it was surprising since the message is one I support, but is one not often talked about because nobody wants to admit to being part of the problem. I applaud The Weeknd for his actions, but it is upsetting that he had to alter his entire face for the world to pay attention to the issues in our modern society.

Photo courtesy of The Weeknd

CALL FOR CHANGE:The Weeknd took extreme measures to show

the world they need to be accepting of themselves.

Do shoulder bags and claw clips ring a bell? If you’re like me, you see those everyday on Pinterest. But after comparing countless inspiration pictures from the '90s-2000s to trends now, it’s undeniable there’s a cycle. The fashion cycle, or life of a trend, can be seen throughout history and undoubtedly will be seen in the future. It generally goes like this: new designs are introduced, the trend takes off, reaches its peak where everyone including their mom has it, then boredom hits and into the back of the closet it goes. But wait! Don’t throw it away! Every 20-30 years, popular styles come back with improvements to appeal to new customers. Take, for example, sweater vests (steal one from grandpa) and chunky rings (La Manso is all the rage). A couple years ago, they weren’t trendy, but now they are loved worldwide. Now with social media, trends spread faster, and cycles have shorter time lengths. I’m not a fan of how hard it is to keep up with new styles. After finally getting something, you do not want it to be “out” as everyone moves on. Another thing to consider with fast-paced cycles is sustainability; making purchases based on what’s “in” isn’t good for the environment. To avoid negative effects,

Photo courtesy of Emna Sellimi

HELLO RETRO REWIND:

Chunky rings like La Manso are making a comeback.

13

HOLLYWOOD CONFESSIONS By Amber Birrell From “Borat” to “Clueless,” stereotyping is a prominent issue I have frequently seen in the entertainment industry. Stereotyping targets a specific group of people based on race, gender and other factors, but audiences fail to understand that stereotyping is harmful. Long amounts of television exposure has caused a decrease in self-esteem for girls and Black boys, Scholars reported. This highlights that even though the effects of stereotyping in the media may not be obvious to the naked eye, they are still present and just as harmful. In addition to this, audiences do not realize that consuming media with stereotypes does not only affect those being targeted but also affects viewers’ unconscious bias which is when viewers begin to unintentionally associate a specific characteristic with a group of people. By frequently consuming media with stereotypes, we also normalize toxic generalizations. Unfortunately, it’s hard to avoid this type of media because we have grown up with it. Unconscious bias harms the group of people being targeted without even realizing it. Sometimes people begin to believe stereotypes about this is damaging because sometimes stereotypes decide what a person is like before they even have a chance to figure it out themselves. People should not be told who they are or what they can and can not do based on a characteristic they share with a group of people. Therefore, it is essential that we are educated about stereotypes so we can ensure we are not unintentionally harming people by making assumptions based on what we see in the media. This being said, it is also important to be aware of the media you are consuming and the message being sent.

shopping ethically and sustainably is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Think twice before getting rid of something, and try to donate or recycle. Also buy secondhand; since trends come back, you can buy vintage and be fashionable. Carefully consider each purchase and if it’s worth it. Can you see yourself wearing it after it peaks or do you want it because everyone else has it? With that said, I will admit it’s exciting to get new packages. That doorbell ring or card swipe means a new outfit to try on and a disinterested grunt of approval from your dad. So, if you want to be the trendsetter you see on Instagram and Pinterest, look to the past for inspiration. In the meantime, slip on your platform shoes and rock that leather jacket! PAGE DESIGN BY RAYMOND RANBHISE, SAANVI THAKUR AND YUKARI E. ZAPATA


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Sports

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Distance learning leads to less physical activity

Students struggle to find motivation to exercise during pandemic By Macy Li and Yukari E. Zapata

RAYMOND RANTS

By Raymond Ranbhise

students with the opportunity to he felt less encouraged to mainexercise with their teams. tain the same levels of exercise. “We’re trying to take things in “If I compare my mile time small steps. We want to get kids from this year and last year, it’s back on camincreased by pus,” athletic thirty seconds,” “We want to get kids back on trainer Dan Reed said. “But, campus. We want to get them because sports Yusim said in a Zoom interactive, and we want to get their have restarted, view. “We want been imdialogue with their coaches up I’ve to get them proving again.” and going again.” active, and we He said want to get running long -Dan Yusim, athletic trainer their dialogue distances, spanwith their ning from five coaches up and going again.” to eight miles a day, has been a Under these changes, athletes difficult yet rewarding experilike sophomore Brevin Reed, a ence. cross country runner, have been In addition, he said he bepermitted to practice their lieves maintaining healthy sports on school grounds levels of physical activity and compete in local tourcan benefit students in a naments. variety of ways, and he “Recently, I’ve been exhopes others will begin ercising six or seven days exercising consistently a week,” Reed said in a over quarantine, as well. Zoom interview. “Run“Running has posining with the cross tively impacted me country team has in so many difkept me active.” ferent ways,” Despite being a Reed said. “I’ve runner, Reed said built mental he was still negfortitude, and atively impacted I’ve developed Photo courtesy of Brevin Reed by the pandemic. more perseverWithout the VALUE OF SPORTS: Reed ance. It has also support of his en- said cross country led him to helped me stay tire team, he said the benefits of exercise. healthy.”

Future college athletes share changes in recruitment Lack of opportunity due to virtual format

By Leila Salam

of them have given up on being able to play volleyball in college.” Because of the coronavirus, one of the largest obstacles in recruitment has been the lack of opportunities to showcase talent to college coaches, due to a reduction in tournaments and practices, De Smet said. Photos courtesy of Indy De Smet Photos courtesy of Markus Olsson “It’s much harder EXCITED TO PLAY: Senior Markus Olsson (right) said being recruited for a to come in contact college sport can help reduce the stress of applications and Senior Indy De with coaches and to Smet (left) said she is excited to be able to play volleyball on a regular basis even send videos,” again once it is safe. De Smet said. “There hasn’t been a lot of practice or “There’s a lot of benefits [to competition, and most of the re- playing in college],” Olsson said. cruiting stuff comes from com- “I get to be with a team, so it’s petitions because they want to like a family, and I also get to do see how you do in pressure sit- what my passion is: to play volleyuations.” ball and study at the same time.” Zarour said for football, havLike Olsson, both Zarour and ing footage from games is an De Smet said they are looking essential part of the recruitment forward to the camaraderie of process. being on a collegiate team. “You have to have film to show De Smet said the possibility colleges what you can do,” Zarour of playing regularly is something said. “This year would have been she is excited for in a time where a great opportunity to rack up she otherwise doesn’t have much some more film. I’ll still be able to look forward to. to, but it won’t be the same as “At this point, I’m just lookif we had a normal 10-game sea- ing forward to playing every day NEW son.” because there has been no prac- RECRUITMENT Despite these obstacles, senior tice at all, no games, nothing,” De STRUGGLES: Markus Olsson, who has commit- Smet said. “Once I get to college, Zarour, pictured above, said it ted to University of Southern especially next year once all the has become difficult to get in touch with college coaches as California for volleyball, said he vaccinations are there, we’ll get well as build up a portfolio of is looking forward to playing in to play, and it’ll be an everyday practice and game clips. college. type of thing.” PAGE DESIGN BY ERIN LOH tesy of Nadim Zarour

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Playing a sport in college is a dream for many students, but during the pandemic, several obstacles have gotten in the way of the recruitment process as it adapts to a virtual setting, senior and varsity quarterback Nadim Zarour said. “[The recruitment process] is a lot different for athletes who are trying to figure out what they want to do,” Zarour said in a Zoom interview. “[Not being able to be in person] kind of throws it off because a big part of deciding which school you want to go to is being able to go and visit the campus. They can show you virtually but it’s completely different when you’re in person.” Senior Indy De Smet said being recruited typically makes the college application process less stressful. “Playing a sport in college is definitely a huge plus on whether the college wants you,” De Smet said. “If you don’t have the addition of a sport it is definitely a lot harder and a lot more stressful than if you are recruited.” Even though De Smet was recruited to University of California, Irvine before the pandemic started, she said she saw some of her club volleyball teammates struggle with the changes the pandemic has brought to college recruitment. “They’re worried about what they’re gonna do in college because a lot of them were planning on playing,” De Smet said. “A lot

Pho

The Buccaneers humiliated the Chiefs during the Super Bowl. Things got so bad that the only touchdown the Chiefs made was when they landed at the airport. This was a terrible end to their season. After winning last year’s Super Bowl, the Chiefs were the favorites, ranking first in Bleacher Report’s power rankings in the start of the season. The Chiefs won the AFC West easily, going 14-2. They beat the Browns and handily defeated the Bills to punch their ticket in the super bowl. This was it. The face of the NFL vs the GOAT. This was supposed to be a great matchup and a close game. But no — it was none of those. It was just the Buccaneers bullying the Chiefs. This year’s Super Bowl had a record number of penalties in the first half, with eight penalties for 95 yards on the Chiefs and just one penalty for five yards for the Buccaneers, according to Chiefs Wire. This is the reason why the Chiefs were humiliated. Their numerous penalties lost them the game. For example, Tyran Mathieu’s defensive pass interference advanced the Bucs to a first and goal. Then in the next play, another pass interference was called, bringing the Bucs to the 1 yard line and letting them score. The only person who did his job was the Chiefs’ kicker, Harrison Bukter. He made all three of his attempted field goals and was the only player who managed to score for the Chiefs. The Chiefs’ offensive line, on the other hand, was another story. Their half-injured o-line did a horrible job containing the Buccaneers’ defense. They sacked Patrick Mahomes three times and had eight quarterback hits. Patrick Mahomes’s passer rating was 52.3, a career low for him. Although the Chiefs suffered from injuries, their performance was just embarrassing. They didn’t play like a 14-2 team at all.

Since the start of the pandem- junior Daphne Pinzon said she ic and school closures, the vast has also encountered challenges majority of students have seen a with maintaining physical activity decrease in their physical activity, over the past months. “Online learning has affected sophomore Emily Tumacder said in a Zoom interview. With out- me in ways that I never [expectdoor restrictions and the cancel- ed],” Pinzon said in a Zoom inlation of schoolwide sports, many terview. Ever since schools closed, have struggled to find motivation Pinzon said she lost motivation to exercise. “I’ve definitely been a lot less to exercise. “While I’m not too sure if my active, and I spend most of my day sitting in front of a comput- overall health has changed, I do er,” Tumacder said. “I occasional- know that I’ve noticeably gained ly leave my house and go outside, a bit more weight,” Pinzon said. but lately, I haven’t had much “I’m a bit lazy when it comes to working out.” free time.” In general, both Pinzon and After the transition to online learning, Tumacder said students Tumacder said they believe the no longer need to walk across student body as a whole has been impacted by distance learning. campus to classes during pass“I think a lot of us are ing periods. Additionally, PE much less active these teachers have faced difficuldays,” Tumacder said. ties with effectively monitor“The students who ing their students’ progress do not play sports or online, leading to less rigortake PE classes have ous PE courses. probably been “I feel less enaffected even ergized, since I’ve more greatly.” had lower levels of HHS has physical activity,” begun makTumacder said. ing recent ad“When I exercise, vancements I’ve noticed that to restart I get tired more Photo courtesy of Emily Tumacder sports on quickly than I LACK OF MOTIVATION: Tumacder said because of campus, [used to].” providing Like Tumacder, quarantine she is less active.


Sports Sports Return

Thursday, March 18, 2021

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Continued from Page 1 The county on March 5 permitted indoor contact sports to begin conditioning as well, the California Department of Public Health reported. These sports include basketball, volleyball, badminton and wrestling. HHS has not yet finalized when conditioning dates will begin for these sports, but it has been confirmed that they will get to compete with other schools, Giglio said. So far, spectators have not been allowed to attend any games to limit the number of people coming onto campus. However, with the cases in Santa Clara County decreasing, season two and season three sports will allow each athlete to bring four family members to a game. These family members will

not be allowed to bring food, and are required to sit together with masks while socially distancing from other families, Giglio said. “There was also a vote at the last Board of Managers meeting to investigate the possibility of playoffs for seasons two and three, but there is a lot of doubt that the CCS will even hold playoffs with all the restrictions still in effect,” Giglio said. While the start of the season has been delayed, football players said they are glad to be back on campus to condition. “Attending practice makes me happy. I really missed the Homestead atmosphere during quarantine,” varsity football player, junior Tal Barzvi said in a Zoom interview. “Although we have to stay far from each other, the team is still close.”

Despite having received permission to train, athletes coming onto campus to participate in a sport must wear a mask and social distance at all times when they are on the sidelines or not actively participating in practice. Moreover, athletes must fill out a form about their physical health on that day when coming onto campus, Giglio said. While student athletes are finally allowed to gather and train, the season is unlike anything they’ve experienced before. “Everything is totally different [from last year],” cross county head coach Kenrick Sealy said in a Zoom interview. “The kids wear masks for the first couple of steps [they run] and then they take it off, so it’s a whole different atmosphere compared to what you normally would see.”

With 50% less turnout and only 36 runners this season, Sealy said this is the smallest team that he has seen during his time at HHS. Regardless, Sealy said he is glad that cross country has already been able to compete in numerous events with other schools following the guidelines set. Likewise, swim has adapted to the guidelines. Varsity swimmer junior Rachel Fletcher said in a Zoom interview that only one swimmer is allowed per lane, and because of this, swim coach Jason Russum created four pods to come at different times during the week. Swim has participated in meets, but not in the traditional way. To limit contact between schools, each school hosts their

own competition, records each athlete’s times and compares the scores with each event. Fletcher, who is also on the water polo team, said conditioning will take place on Saturdays and Sundays, but participants will only receive swim credit since students can only participate in either swim or water polo. While the pandemic has affected sports games and practices drastically, Giglio said he is relieved to see the number of cases decreasing across the county. However, he still feels a bit nervous, he said. “I think we’re all a little bit stressed out right now, and we’re not used to seeing a bunch of people running around,” Giglio said. “People are seeing this as a start to return to normalcy and [it provides] much needed relief.”

Over the last few years the sports industry has grown to be a key platform for its players — for the better or for the worse. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick heavily impacted the NFL on Aug. 26, 2016 when he refused to stand for the national anthem, protesting social injustice and police brutality. On Mar. 3, 2017, Kaepernick opted out of his contract and hasn’t stepped foot on an NFL team since. The NFL has created a new policy that requires all players to stand during the national anthem or stay in the locker room. Kaepernick Pho tos was silenced and blacklisted from NFL teams because of his actions. cou rt s Kaepernick continues to be referenced four years later. Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the NFL, talked with Emmanuel y fN Acho about the National Anthem protests in an episode of his “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” video series, B Liu n on By Aug.Miya 23, 2020. “I wish listened earlier, to what you in were and whatkneeled you wereintrying to bringnothing to do Overwe thehad last few years theKaep, them protests an kneeling episode about of Rapinoe solidarity attention Goodell “What theyhis were“Uncomfortable trying to do is exercise their right bring attention to something sports to,” industry hassaid. grown to be Conversawithto Kaepernick. The policy with us now!” thata needs to get fixed. That misrepresentation of who theyMan” were and whatwas theyrepealed were doing wasfederations’ the thing that James has emkey platform for its players — tions with a Black video by the really at or me.” for gnawed the better for the worse. series, on Aug. 23, 2020. board of directors after the June braced his influGoodell is just of the many reconsidered Kaepernick’s protests in light of the Black Livesence as an NBA Former San one Francisco 49ers who have “I wish we had listened ear- 2020 protests against police bruMovement. quarterback Colin Kaepernick lier, [Kaepernick], to what you tality and racism, and the U.S. star to share his U.S. Soccer’s Policythe 604-1 — players are required stand for national anthem — had been put in placevoice, and, accordheavily impacted NFL on were kneelingtoabout andthe what Soccer Federation’s National in 2017 USWNT member Megan you Rapinoe in bring solidarity with Kaepernick. The policy was initially Aug.after 26, 2016 when he refused werekneeled trying to attenCouncil officially repealed the ing to Bloomberg, he repealed byfor thethe federations’ board of tion directors the June protests against police to stand national anthem, to,” after Goodell said.2020 “What policy on Feb. 28,brutality 2021 at and theirrac-has now gone even ism, and the U.S. Soccer Federation’s officially repealed annual the policy on Feb. according 28, 2021 at to theirfurther, founding the protesting social injustice and National they wereCouncil trying to do is exercise meeting, annual meeting, according to USA Today. police brutality. their right to bring attention USA Today. company UninterruptBy On taking a strong stanceKaeperfor his values and consequently sacrificing Kaepernick setstance a precedent March 3, 2017, to something that needs to get his career, By taking a strong for ed, which gives fornick usingopted his sports platform to protestfixed. injustices. out of his contract That misrepresentation his values and consequently sac- athletes a space to SPORTING A VOICE: Kaepernick and Like hasn’t Kaepernick, social issues NBA, according to USA Today, withshare their ideas James use their platforms for their opinions. and playedLebron for anJames NFLhasofbrought who they were and back whatinto theytherificing his career, Kaepernick histeam vocalsince. criticisms of Trump. 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What our voices madePolicy possible,” said inofthe ad narration. “And now, “Look what we made happen, society in the direction he wants cause his actions. U.S. Soccer’s 604-1James — cisms Trump. look what they’re trying to doto to be silence us. Using every trick in book, and attacking itself. Be-what our voices made possible,” it to go. Kaepernick and James Kaepernick continues which requires players tothe stand On Aug. 15,democracy 2017, he tweetcause they sawfour whatyears we’re capable theynational fear it.” anthem — had ed, “[H]ate has always existed James said in the ad narration. are just the first to utilize the poreferenced later. Rog-of, and for the James has taken advantage of his with organizations histhat values“And now, look what they’re try- tential key sports players have to er Goodell, the Commissioner of influence been putforingood, placepartnering in 2017 after in America. that Yes support we know andthe pushing society in the direction he wantsStates it to go. 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Anyone can juggle

The juggling club seeks to teach others this unique sport By Alyssa Zimmerman with others, and you can practice and learn together and get better.” For club member Lydia Huang, the juggling club’s relaxed atmosphere motivates her to improve her juggling skills. She added that the officers’ advice is what sets the club apart from other methods of learning the sport. “We’re trying to focus on the members that we have in trying to help them build the skill,” Liao said. “We’re just basing our meetings off what our members need to learn or what they want to learn.” Once members build their juggling skills, adding more creativity is the next step, Jain said.

The club hopes to create videos for future rallies, creating the illusion of passing balls back and forth during a Zoom call to show off their hard-earned juggling expertise. “It’s a great activity, both physically and mentally,” president, senior Matthew Yu said in a Zoom interview. “A lot of times you’re just staring at a computer screen and sitting down all day, and [juggling club] is an opportunity to get moving once a week.” Juggling is not only a cool skill to show off but can also serve as a stress reliever, Liao said. Yu added that learning to juggle gives you a determined mindset that is applicable to all other sports.

As for physical benefits, Yu said juggling can provide a surprisingly good workout, especially when juggling a high number of items. However, juggling does not require much to practice. “It’s a more laid-back sport that you can Yu ew practice anytime atth and almost anywhere, whereas for most [other] sports you have to have certain equipment and be in a certain area to practice,” Liao said. Photo courte sy o fM

There is something hypnotic about a juggler’s series of throws and catches. Like many others, I have been transfixed by juggling ever since I was a child, but I always thought the sport was much too difficult. The juggling club is working to dispel this misconception, secretary-treasurer, senior Akshat Jain said in a Zoom interview. At juggling club meetings, officers teach others and encourage them to take the step to try to learn something new. “What I enjoy the most about juggling is that you can learn alongside with friends, and it’s a really social thing,” vice president, senior David Liao said in a Zoom interview. “You can share it

Despite this multitude of reasons to learn to juggle, it’s still a relatively rare skill. “[Juggling is] super easy to learn,” Jain said. “You just put in the work. If you’re juggling, it looks cool, and people think you’re some wizard, but because people think it’s super hard to learn, they never try. Just knowing that it’s easy is something everyone can benefit from.” JUGGLING TAKES PATIENCE:Yu

inspires others to learn a new skill.

PAGE DESIGN BY NITYA KASHYAP AND MIYA LIU


16

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Spotlight

Identities We Embrace Students of diverse backgrounds share experiences embracing their cultures

Overcoming challenges of cultural insensitivity Stereotypes forced upon students cause barriers in social interactions By Ashley Orozco and Hope Saena

Photos courtesy of Sehej Shoker, Jacqueline Perez and Alice Yu

STUDENTS CELEBRATE DIVERSITY: In order to freely em-

brace your cultural identity, you need to accept yourself first, Sehej Shoker said.

When faced with cultural insensitivity, setting boundaries is essential to becoming comfortable within yourself and your culture, but creating such divisions can be difficult, junior Sehej Shoker said in a Zoom interview. Shoker said she used to struggle with accepting herself due to people’s comments on her culture and because she didn’t grow up knowing others who had the same culture as her, other than her fam-

ily members. “[When they made assumptions] I tried to tell them I’m not Indian, I’m Punjabi,” Shoker said. “I would constantly get stereotyped like, ‘You’re so hairy,’ or, ‘You worship cows,’ which is a mistake.” Shoker takes pride in her culture’s unique traditions and customs. “A lot of our culture comes from farming. We have our dance, Bhangra, which is the harvest

moves and our traditional songs about farming,” Shoker said. “In the Punjabi culture, we treat everybody like family, we share stories and laugh with each other.” Similar to Shoker, sophomore Alice Yu, who moved from China in first grade, said moving was a concern for her parents as they feared she would face racial discrimination. “My parents [understood the harmful slurs used in the U.S.]”

Yu said. “That’s why they gave me such a generic white name: Alice.” Yu said moving to a new place can be difficult, but when stereotypes are added to the mix, it can be much harder to fit into a place where you are seen as different. “[They place] expectations [that I’m smart] without knowing me and give me pressure,” Yu said, “Like, ‘Because you’re Asian it’s natural for you to get A’s,’ but actually I’ve had to work really hard

for [my achievements].” However, freely embracing ones culture isn’t as easy as it may seem. Senior Jacqueline Perez, who is Latina, said the lack of representation of her culture growing up made it a struggle for her to embrace it. “Other than Multicultural week, our cultures aren’t seen as much as others, especially the minority students,“ Perez said. “Every culture should be embraced.”

what do you wish others understood about your culture? Adithi Sumitran (11)

Photo courtesy of Lynn Huang

“Different parts of India have different traditions and beliefs. I’m Tamilian, and people often are unaware of what that is, or why I don’t eat naan [North Indian dish] regularly or why I don’t celebrate Diwali.” Photo courtesy ofAdithi Sumitran

Lynn Huang (12)

Roopa Srinivas (10)

“There are multiple ethnic groups living in Taiwan, so contrary to popular belief, not everyone in Taiwan is of the same ethnicity.”

“Hindi is only one of 22 official languages of India, but I don’t speak [it]; I speak Kannada. I know that other Indians also come across situations like this.”

Jason Preett Singh Delgado (10) “Most of us Mexicans do not celebrate Cinco de Mayo and honestly we shouldn’t because it was a war, and there is nothing to celebrate about a war.”

Photo courtesy of Jason Preett Singh Delagdo

Lydia Huang (12) “In Taiwan, there are a lot of places to visit and a lot of culture everywhere. I enjoy eating the mochi we eat at Hakka weddings with peanut powder.”

Scan the code to read Hope Saena’s “Journey to Acceptance”

Photo courtesy of Lydia Huang

Photo courtesy of Roopa Srinivas Illustration by Mo Chuang

PAGE DESIGN BY ASHLEY OROZCO, HOPE SAENA AND JACK XU

Profile for The Epitaph

The Epitaph, Volume 58, Issue 4, 2020-2021  

The Epitaph, Volume 58, Issue 4, 2020-2021 Homestead High School Cupertino, CA

The Epitaph, Volume 58, Issue 4, 2020-2021  

The Epitaph, Volume 58, Issue 4, 2020-2021 Homestead High School Cupertino, CA

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