The Grows and Glows of a Digital Classroom

By: Ericson Zabat II

Covid 19 or the Corona Virus, was a pandemic that spread across globally and began to shut down schools and many other institutions.  Because of this pandemic many people have had the companies they work for shut down causing them to be unemployed temporarily. Similarly, students at Valencia have experienced that the amount of work they have to complete changed as well.

Some people state that the work from home “is a way less stressful method”, like Nicholas Triniadade, who is a student at Valencia.  Since he is “able to decide”, as he stated, when to do his work it creates a less stressful method. This stress relief also allows more students to be able to complete their assignments.

However on the opposite hand, Brandon Wattier, another student at Valencia, states that “The coronavirus quarantine gives AP students more stress.”  His opinion is supported by the fact that most AP tests have changed this year. 

The Corona Virus quarantine has caused AP students to adapt to the new AP test rather than the ones they thought they were studying for.  For example, the AP Euro test will consist of three short answer questions rather than the normal test which consisted of a variety of tests. Although the test is only forty-five minutes and therefore shorter, it is a little off putting due to the fact the students must begin reviewing different parts of the material.

Also, according to Wattier’s opinion, “teachers have been assigning more work to do.”  He feels this way due to the stress created by the AP teachers, since they have been given less time to teach the AP students the material to succeed on the AP tests.  The time frame would usually have consisted of a much longer spectrum ranging from November to May, but in reality it is close to being half, due to the fact that the teachers currently are only able to meet with their students about two days a week.

On other hand, Trinidade stated that he “believe[s] that we have more time to finish our assignments.”  He believes that this is very beneficial as a lot of students are now able to complete daily tasks while being able to complete their assignments.  However, the online factor of school, as Trinidade states “[makes] it easy to cheat.”

Since students are not monitored by their teachers it does allow for cheating or assistance from other internet and person-to-person sources.  During tests, some teachers have begun to use a lockdown browser in order to ensure that students are unable to open other tabs that may give them an unfair advantage.  Also, other procedures alike eye-trackers have also been used to help monitor students.

Even though these programs have been used to help deter students from cheating.  According to Wattier, “there are ways around it.” In reality, students should uphold integrity in order to allow the system their teacher has chosen to work.  Since the Corona Virus has created a lot of changes, students may have to make alterations in time management and how they process the materials. 

Changes in the Community Bring Eastside Church Changes

New changes implemented in our community as well most communities across the nation have made basic necessities increasingly difficult for many lower-income citizens to afford and acquire. The loss of jobs coupled with the cost of living staying the same makes a bad combination that unfortunately many people are having to live with. However, many organizations have begun to come to the rescue. Despite certain state rules needing to be followed, one such organization, Eastside Christian Church has found ways to help those who need it. 

Many people who have lost their incomes due to their inability to go to work have lost many resources as well as the ability to do and get certain things. One thing that has become more difficult is going grocery shopping and obtaining food. Many local kitchens have opened their doors to people who now can’t get food as readily as before. Should people need food and a place to eat it they can find that place at one of the many of the kitchens set up across the county. Eastside Church has also been more than happy to help out by donating 60 pizzas to one such kitchen in Anaheim. 

Eastside Church has also, in a way, opened its doors for the homeless community in the surrounding area. Many counties have begun making trailer parks in large unused parking lots so that the homeless have a place to stay during this time of isolation and stress. Eastside regulars and staff members have donated some of their own furnishings and other items to make the trailers feel like more of a home for these people who don’t have one.

Due to the fear of infection many people in the country now hold it has become increasingly difficult to find medical masks for healthcare officials and hospitals, the people who need them the most. Eastside has made opportunities for its members and others who would like to help out to make masks for these people who are putting their lives directly in danger to help those who need it.

In these trying times, it’s very difficult to stay positive and keep one’s mental state as healthy as it can be. Eastside has pulled together many options for people who need a pick me up.  They have started a plan to call members and guests and talk to them one on one. These phone calls could include counseling sessions, keeping the other person company, or getting them help based on their needs. Many people quarantined on their own just need another person to talk to while others need help and aren’t sure how or where to get it in times like these. These calls can direct them to places that can do more for a person than a single phone conversation. Another option they have to support the continued good health of people’s mental state is daily messages from the head pastor. These videos contain words of motivation and different activities some could do to pass the time while in their houses. This choice, however, is more of a religious option since it is from the head pastor, but it is still a great option for those who should choose to watch as a morale booster.

No matter the religious affiliation one holds it still brings hope to many to see the community banding together and helping out where it’s needed.

What does it take to achieve your goals?

By: Matthew Chou

Oftentimes, individuals come up with a list of goals and aspirations, such as being more productive, gaining confidence, or simply getting enough sleep. This is a good first step, but when it comes to actually executing these plans, situations become more complicated. The reason why completing a goal can be so difficult is because it requires discipline, sacrifice, and being placed in uncomfortable circumstances. In order to determine how to achieve these goals, the elements of a goal must be outlined and defined. 

The dictionary definition of a goal is, “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.” A key aspect of this definition is the “desired result”, because it underlines the main purpose of creating a goal. Ensuring that a clear desired result is formed is important because it provides a source of motivation and something to look forward to. The goal should be specific, rather than broad, to not only avoid getting overwhelmed with so many tasks, but also to have a distinct objective to focus on. Some examples of specific goals include finishing homework before 9:00 pm each day, participating in class discussions at least once a day, and getting at least eight hours of sleep each day. Consider which goals can realistically be accomplished in a timely manner and only focus on a few at a time to make it more manageable. After sketching out specific goals, it is time to develop a plan to carry out these goals. 

When forming a plan, it is wise to create a day to day routine that you can follow to help work towards your goal. Consider what is holding you back from reaching your goal and decide what steps can be taken to overcome those obstacles. Start small and work your way up, by adding a new component to your routine each week, or when your routine becomes a habit. A good rule of thumb when trying to be more confident in group discussions for example, is to count to three in your head and then raise your hand immediately after saying “three”, to force yourself into the fearful situation and create a chance to express your thoughts. If the goal was to be more productive, one option may be to put restrictions on your phone and give the password to a friend to prevent you from turning it off. Of course this requires vulnerability and discomfort, but will make a huge impact on reaching the final destination. By maintaining a consistent schedule, you can be one step closer to achieving your goals.

Reaching a goal is by no means an easy task, so it is beneficial to understand that the process of failing and getting back up again is important in getting to the finish line. It can be discouraging to not accomplish all that we want, but the biggest key is to never give up and to keep pushing forward, even when all seems lost. Having others to keep you accountable is another helpful factor in making sure you stay on track and continue to work towards your goal. Overall, staying persistent and understanding what you’re trying to accomplish can take you a long way in reaching your goals.

Balancing School and Work

By: Ericson Zabat II

Schoolwork becomes rigorous especially with the extra load of a job and the duties that come with it.  Extra precautions and preparation must be taken in order to become successful in both work and school. However, with careful planning and dedication, this task can become an easier feat. 

Oftentimes, especially with jobs that occur later in the evening, hours of sleep are lost resulting in worse health which can also cause problems in school later on.  Some problems, such as having an exacerbated attention span, and lower grades are only a small part of the sequelae caused by loss of sleep and the overall time lost due to working hours added on top of school work. 

Scheduling then becomes a priority to the organization of day to day life.  People must decide their work hours with their boss, before fully committing to the schedule in order to make sure there is enough time for both sides of the agreement.  Both the school and work hours must be able to work together rather than combat one against another in order to achieve the best possible outcome for both aspects. Also, schoolwork should be done as early as possible and must be able to be done within a fitting time range so the student may be able to get as much sleep as possible. 

Most students take loans, which results in debt and financial problems that are caused at the near end of their time in education.  However, in order to reduce this cost, students often opt for an additional job that adds on to the trouble but helps ensure an easier future.  The cost of education during college usually ranges from three thousand to thirty thousand depending on whether it’s a two year or four-year college.  

Alternative options such as online school are also available which allows for more flexible hours and a schedule that’s easier to balance.  Since the student won’t have to physically attend school, they can do their school work at any time during the day which easily allows them to meet deadlines.  Another alternative for those prepared could be home school as this allows for the most flexible schedule but is difficult to maintain as a parent must be able to administer the education part.  However, homeschool enables the student to finish their work easily as there are no set due dates.

As it’s evident balancing school and work is a feat that is hard to accomplish and has its risks but with extra preparation through scheduling it can be broken down easily.  Also, alternatives are readily available at any time, as long as those involved are prepared and understand the pros and cons.

Elective Fair

Valencia High School is held up by a lot of programs and activities offered throughout campus and these activities often cater to our very diverse student population. From after school clubs to sports, there is a lot for students to choose from and classes to fill up their schedule are no different. The list of elective classes is almost impossibly long. From psychology to yearbook, there is an elective for everybody and there’s no better time to find that perfect elective than at the Elective Fair. The Elective Fair was held in the quad and gives the students a chance to get some more information on electives they were thinking of taking from the teachers or currently enrolled students themselves.

Teachers can answer any question a student may have about the course and enrolled students can speak on what it’s actually like to be in the class along with a full schedule of other classes. Although not all electives are represented, many of the larger ones are such as Tiger Tube, theory of knowledge, ASB as well as cheer and comedy sports. Despite not having all electives present, the Elective Fair gives students a chance to learn how at least some of the electives work and lets teachers receive feedback on their classes. Done on a Monday during combined lunch ,the Elective Fair was a huge success and gave the students a little more context for certain electives as well as more concrete thinking going into registration card day and deciding what they want their class schedule to look like next year.

Spirit Week Finishes off with a (Bell) Ring

The Bell Game is without question the most anticipated football game of the year. The rival match against El Dorado never fails to unite all the students of Valencia, from freshman to senior, under one common goal — win that Bell. However, a rivalry this intense is never complete without a spirit week and pep rally to hype its students into a frenzy.

The true Bell Game experience starts Monday before the Friday night game with spirit week. During spirit week, the students of Valencia come together to show their support by wearing outfits that correspond with that day’s theme. The themes for Monday through Wednesday change every year, but their purpose is always the same: to rally the whole school together. Thursday and Friday’s themes, however, are timeless, having been a part of tiger tradition for decades. Thursday is Nerdy Hawk Day, a day in which students dress up as jovial “nerdy” caricatures of their El Dorado counterparts. After Monday through Thursday’s comedic themes, Friday sees a return to classic blue and gold, prompting students to sport their “Eat more chicken” t-shirts among other tiger gear. Historically, spirit week’s Blue and Gold Friday has been the most successful in bringing the school together under the same creed: beat El Dorado.

Another fundamental aspect of the Bell Game experience is the assembly that takes place on the day of the game. While this assembly doubles as our fall assembly, it serves to excite the student body for the true spectacle later that night. In support of the football team and tiger morale, cheer and dance teams perform their routines for the whole school to enjoy. The ASB also hosts games, relying on audience participation as a way to energize students and further unite us against El Dorado. As retribution for El Dorado’s consumption of Frosted Flakes, ASB gave students the opportunity to devour spicy chicken wings as quickly as possible during the assembly, a clear foreshadowing of the night to follow. The assembly concluded with Assistant Principal, Mr. Jeff Louie, as he left students with the resounding message that we’ll keep the bell.

Finally, the pinnacle of the Bell Game experience, the Bell Game. Long before the game even began, the stands were flooded with students, alumni, and faculty. Nobody wanted to miss this legendary match. Throughout the night, tigers alike felt the same pain as the players for every incomplete pass or fumble. Conversely, interceptions and touchdowns inspired the crowds as they erupted at every small victory. With every close play, each side was sure to make their feelings heard. As the game progressed, everyone inched closer to the edge of their seats. Throughout the majority of the game, our tigers maintained a close lead of seven points, meaning there was never a moment without suspense. With the final seconds ticking nearer and Valencia ahead by a mere touchdown, the tiger den began to roar louder and louder until the clock hit 0. Perhaps the roar heard across the world, the tiger den let out a final victory shout as the scoreboard declared Valencia victor. The team shook hands with the defeated Hawks, only to then rush over to the Bell and proudly ring it. As the Bell was lifted onto the shoulders of the football team, the Alma Mater rang out from the tiger den while Valencia sang in unison. A sweet end to a night full of struggle and triumph, tigers rested easy as our team wheeled the Bell off the field, signaling an end to Bell Game experience.IMG_0227 (1)

From Cub to Tiger

By Karem Trindade

Transitioning from a middle school teacher to a high school Assistant Principal is no easy job given the new set of responsibilities and vastly different environment. However, as daunting as it may sound, this is what this year’s new Assistant Principal, Paige Stills, undertook in her shift from a history/AVID teacher at Kraemer middle school to Valencia High School’s new Assistant Principal. 

Although Stills’ experience with students is at an advanced level, she is just like every other freshman on campus — brand new to high school life. And despite the new setting, she is thrilled to be here, remarking “everyone has been so welcoming, the staff, the students.”

What prompted Stills’ transition from teacher to vice-principal was her interest in assisting high school students with the same support she did at Kraemer. There, she helped the administrative staff and encouraged students to become more active in school life. “I enjoy the sense of maturity and time of life where you guys are making important decisions about your post-school years,” said Stills, “rather [than middle school] it is preparing for a technical field in college, or a career.”

As a former cub to tiger, Stills loves reliving the school pride students at Valencia bring and the way it permeates through the school. “You’re bleeding blue and gold,” said Stills. Among her many qualities, Stills cares greatly for all her students, especially as Assistant Principal. She treasures the ideas of school pride, caring for one another, and embodying everything it means to be a tiger. 

Her ability to both grow alongside students and help them throughout their high school life influences her to make decisions based on the needs of the students. “Everything that I do here is to support the students, it’s all for you guys,” said Stills, “It’s really rewarding to see you in this time of your life.”