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News 04/2011

News

New green classrooms for next school year

 

   Lincoln completed con- struction of the new building year last year, but that isn’t the last of the new features to ALHS. Last year’s sophomore Green Academy Mustangs (now juniors) wrote a proposal last spring, asking for $100,000 to move the schoolyard forward in the green direction. With the help of San Francisco voters, Proposi- tion “A” (greening schools) was approved last year, and funding for the greening of schools in the San Francisco Unified School District began. The bill was originally only for elementary and middle schools, but it now also reach out to high schools. Vanessa Carter, Lin- coln Green Academy teacher, and her students are leading the way in the greening of Mustang country. “We started look- ing at our community,” said Carter, “And after we finished construction [we found] a lot of pavement, a lot of asphalt, a lot of grey, a lot of black. And so, students thought we’re learn- ing about environmental justice and having access to clean air and clean water and healthy food and how we can make that a reality here on campus.”

 

   Among the ideas brain- stormed by the students and Carter were outside learning ar- eas, better lunch areas, growing food and rain water harvesting. “We’re thinking of maybe do- ing some cob structures, which are really fun, natural-build- ing structures,” said Carter. “The whole idea is that it’s both pleasant and wonderful to hang out in and also very instruc- tional. Students can give tours to fellow students, to staff and to community that comes to visit and to show how our school is becoming more sustainable.”

 

   With the grant received in May and having already got- ten the landscape planning done with a professional landscape architect, the next step in green- ing Lincoln is the choosing of contractors. City officials will hold a bidding for contractors to work on this project. The contractors will need to write up a proposal stating their bud- get and deadline. Decisions on the contractors will be made in March or April, in hopes that all construction will began and end during the summer.Lincoln completed con- struction of the new building year last year, but that isn’t the last of the new features to ALHS. Last year’s sophomore Green Academy Mustangs (now juniors) wrote a proposal last spring, asking for $100,000 to move the schoolyard forward in the green direction. With the help of San Francisco voters, Proposi- tion “A” (greening schools) was approved last year, and funding for the greening of schools in the San Francisco Unified School District began. The bill was originally only for elementary and middle schools, but it now also reach out to high schools. Vanessa Carter, Lin- coln Green Academy teacher, and her students are leading the way in the greening of Mustang country. “We started look- ing at our community,” said Carter, “And after we finished construction [we found] a lot of pavement, a lot of asphalt, a lot of grey, a lot of black. And so, students thought we’re learn- ing about environmental justice and having access to clean air and clean water and healthy food and how we can make that a reality here on campus.”

 

   Among the ideas brain- stormed by the students and Carter were outside learning ar- eas, better lunch areas, growing food and rain water harvesting. “We’re thinking of maybe do- ing some cob structures, which are really fun, natural-build- ing structures,” said Carter. “The whole idea is that it’s both pleasant and wonderful to hang out in and also very instruc- tional. Students can give tours to fellow students, to staff and to community that comes to visit and to show how our school is becoming more sustainable.”

 

   With the grant received in May and having already got- ten the landscape planning done with a professional landscape architect, the next step in green- ing Lincoln is the choosing of contractors. City officials will hold a bidding for contractors to work on this project. The contractors will need to write up a proposal stating their bud- get and deadline. Decisions on the contractors will be made in March or April, in hopes that all construction will began and end during the summer.

 

 

by Tiffany Do

Mustangs go to court

 

   Every year, a group Lincoln students dressed in professional attire make their way to the superior court rooms to compete against other San Francisco high schools. Mock Trial is where two groups act out a fake trial. The case is predetermined and each group is assigned to either the defense or the prosecution. The group will have members playing the law- yers and the witnesses. There is a real judge that referees the competition and the juror made up of lawyers and law students will watch the match as the case goes on and score them. The team with the highest score at the end wins the competition.

 

   Preparation for this trial can take months. This year’s Lincoln High Mock Trial team spent five months to pre- pare for the competition. They met every Tuesday at lunch and Wednesday from 6-7:30 p.m. to study the parts they play dur- ing the competition. They split into a defense team and a pros- ecution team. Each team had a pre-trial lawyer, three lawyers and four witnesses. The pros- ecution also had a timekeeper; while the defense had a bailiff.

 

   This year’s Mock Trial case involves 18-year-old Jesse Woodson, a mentor at the school computer lab and supposed lead- er of a group called the “Pirates”. Jesse is being charged with cyber-bullying and assaulting a minor with a deadly weapon. Jesse started a “Faceplace” (a social network similar to that of Facebook) hate page against 13- year-old Angel Sterling. Jesse posted, “Someone should teach that kid a lesson, anyone got a brick? LOL.” A few days later, Angel was assaulted with a brick.

 

   With almost 30 par- ticipants on the team, almost every part had two people play- ing it. For the defense team, the lawyers were seniors Nguyen Le, Salina Yu, William Ly and junior Amelia Huynh. The pre- trial lawyer was freshman Hans Oberschelp. The witnesses were played by seniors Jackson Cheng, Jessica Mark, Jessica Yu and Tiffany Do. The bailiff was played by junior Aisha Washing- ton On the prosecution team, the lawyers were played by seniors Ruby Dycus, Michelle Zeng, ju- niors Ryan Teo and Sachie We- ber. The pre-trial lawyer juniors Elvina Fan and Vivian Chen. The witnesses were senior Sami Chu, juniors Ryan Chiu, Tina Tran, Jackie Huang, Ada Yu, Briana Kusuma and Denise Erfe. The time keeper was Jonathan Cheung. Each of these parts re- quired a minimum of 120 lines that had to be memorized about the characters. On top of that, they had to memorize the story.

 

   With the team finishing in the semi-finals a few years back, this year’s team came in with high hopes. This year, Lin- coln had four competitions. The first competition was against Mission. The next competition was versus College track where they scored 236 points out of 300 points. After that they went up against Lowell where they scored 205 points out of 300 points. The concluding competition was against School of the Arts where they scored 204 points out of 300 points. Although Lincoln gave a valiant effort this season, fin- ishing with points out of total, they were unable to advance to the finials. SOTA and Balboa came in with the two highest point totals and SOTA ended up winning the whole competition.

 

   Even thought they didn’t make it the finials, the team did not think the competi- tion was a total lost. Many came away with a great experience. “In Lincoln, there’s no other ex- perience in the public speaking realm.” said Bobby Crotwell, English teacher and the coach of the team. “It teaches about law, public speaking. It’s like an intel- lectual challenge, like a puzzle.” Fan agrees. She said “It has been a fun experience be- cause in Mock Trial, I got to learn more about law and how the court system worked. I got to improve on my public speaking and writing skills.”

 

 

by Gordon Yu

The Lincoln Log Policy

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-- The Lincoln Log Staff

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Budget Affects Classes

 

            For the second consecutive year, Abraham Lincoln High School will not offer music classes due to an increasingly problematic budget issue. Three years ago, the state decreased the schools budget by over $1 million, leading to school officials cutting many classes, including music. Since then, the school’s budget has been decreasing yearly by hundreds of thousands of dollars, forcing more cutbacks.

            “Our goal was to bring back music classes for next year,” said Barnaby Payne, the principal of Abraham Lincoln High School. “But the budget problem is going crazy. We are receiving less money every year, and costs for everything are increasing.”

            As a result of all these cuts, school officials decided to only fund subjects that are required by the University of California (UC) system and the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). Most of the requirements for UC and SFUSD are the same, but SFUSD mandates students to have two years of Physical Education and one year of an elective – both of which are not paid for by the California Department of Education (CDE). These are unfunded mandates that are arguably just as important as music classes. Since Abraham Lincoln High School focuses on meeting all of the A-G requirements set by the UC system and the high school graduation requirements set by SFUSD, officials have to cut the unnecessary music classes – since there are already art, photography, and other classes available to fulfill the Visual and Performing Arts A-G requirement. Also, Payne says there have not been many students interested in signing up for music classes in the past few years, so having a music teacher, which costs around $60,000 a year, plus teachers’ benefits and the music equipment is just not possible or reasonable for Abraham Lincoln right now.

            For the 2011-2012 school year, there are two plans set by the CDE: one will provide around $8.5 million for Lincoln, while the other provides around $7.5 million. The first plan will be harder to get, since San Francisco voters will have to get it on a ballot and pass it.

            “These are the toughest times we will face,” said Payne. “We are doing all we can to keep as much as possible.”

            Marian Schell, head of the visual and performing arts at Abraham Lincoln High School, is upset with all of the cutbacks, but understands the budget situation the school is currently in.

            “It’s very stressful for everyone,” said Schell. “Classes are packed and teachers who’ve dedicated so much time practicing their arts are no longer at Lincoln.”

            Since Lincoln opened, there has always been a strong art program – and many successful art students, such as Richard Serra, a graduate of Lincoln and famous minimalist sculptor. Currently there are only six visual and performing arts teachers here. Some of them, like Elaine Walenta, drama coach, do not even focus completely on arts – Walenta also teaches English.

            “The arts are the heart and soul of civilization,” said Carlos Garcia, superintendent of San Francisco Unified School District.

 

 

by Dylan Kuang

Waste no more

 

            Abraham Lincoln has been getting greener each month. Thanks in part to the Green Academy, Abraham Lincoln is one of the greenest schools in San Francisco. We are now ranked number nine on the San Francisco Unified School District School Waste Diversion Chart. The schools with the highest waste diversion percentage and largest waste diversion increase receive a $1,000 prize.

            Waste diversion is the process of recycling and composting everything possible, rather than creating landfill trash. The Green Academy students pick up bins every Tuesday, emptying them and sorting correctly.

            Vanessa Carter, head of the Green Academy, says “Students can make sure in the cafeteria to separate their lunch waste. I notice that there is a lot of lunch waste left on the tables and the custodial staff just really quickly sweeps it into the trash, which goes to the landfill.” Classrooms have the green bins, blue bins, and trash cans so students can organize their own trash.

            Jeffrey Kim, Environmental Science teacher, says, “The Green Academy and Advanced Placement Environmental Science students certainly play a big part in our waste diversion percentage. If they weren’t there the trash wouldn't be in the right bins. It would be best if they didn’t even need to be there. We need to get more people to recognize the importance of how humanity needs to be more environmentally conscious.”

            As seen during lunch, the Green Academy students have been working very hard, sorting out trash thrown into the composting or recycling bins and putting them into the appropriate bin. Black bins have been removed because all the items served in the cafeteria can either be recycled or composted. In a 12 month period, our diversion rate increased from 54% in the beginning of January up to 73% at the end of December 2010.

            Waste diversion is very important because there is no waste in nature, since many items thrown away can be reused. 

 

 

by Edward Chung

 

 

 

ALHS takes a stand against bullying

Walking in the hallway: there’s a kid being bullied, but no one stops to help them. With no one lending them a hand, what is that kid going to do? If someone is being bullied at school, they wouldn’t want to go, right? 

 

School should be a safe environment for every student, and that is the goal of February’s “Take a Stand” month. In 2008 there was a school wide survey taken. Results revealed that 32% of the school, 722 students, have been verbally harassed, being called names such as “fag” or “gay,” or physically bullied, like being shoved in the hallway. 36%, about 800 students, have had sexual jokes made about them; and 87% have heard derogatory comments on sexual orientation, all on campus. 54% of students felt that there would be less bullying if students knew how to help; and 74% felt that adults should help.

 

Besides Abraham Lincoln High School, bullying and harassment occurs all over the United States. School bullying statistics shows that every half hour, an adolescent commits suicide as a direct result of being bullied, and a daily average of 160,000 children miss school because they fear they will be bullied.

 

“Take a Stand” month is an effort put together by a group of the Support Services staff, who support teacher and classroom modifications and interventions, and is made up of the academic counselors, Wellness Center staff, the dean, an assistant principal, and Peer Resources. It is an attempt to reinforce the idea of anti-bullying and anti-harassment because they believed that it was time for change. An anonymous female senior homeroom representative said, “It does raise awareness in our school, but only to certain people since some people just don’t care.”

 Junior Millie Lei adds, “It’s heartwarming to see many Lincoln students come together to take a stand against bullying.”

 

The first week of “Take a Stand” month focused on explaining what bullying and harassment is and the different forms it takes. Week two focused on random acts of kindness with the Random Acts of Kindness club organizing events such as Say Thank You Day, Lend a Hand Day and Global Kindness Day. The third week revolved around the Gay Straight Alliance and mainly focused on Pink Tsunami, an event that is meant to show support for homosexuals, bisexuals, trans-genders, queers and questioning. Events during the third week consisted of decorating homerooms with pink and sporting buttons that stood for all kinds of love.

 

“It’s time for this to change and the only people who can change it, is us,” said Wellness Center staff member, Jen Kenny-Baum. “We have to do it, this is our school, and we have to make this be the place that we want.” Although “Take a Stand” month has good intentions, hopefully it will have such a big impact that it initiates change throughout the school so that there won’t need to be another anti-bullying, anti-harassment month. “There’s always something that could be better about the place that we are, and maybe this year this is the thing (anti-bullying and anti-harassment) we’re choosing to focus on, but maybe [next time] it will be a different area that is important to the students [to focus on] to make this a better school,” Kenny-Baum added.

 

Students can thank University of California, San Francisco for helping “Take a Stand” happen. They gave Lincoln a $2,000 grant that helped pay for materials ranging from paper and developing photos to decorations.

 

 

by Shirely Zhu

New twist in health idol

 

   Health Idol is a compe- tition started here at Lincoln, where contestants compete to prove who is truly healthy in- side and out. Health Idol started eight years ago, when the school’s Health Promotion Committee was trying to promote fitness at the school. No one expected how successful the program was go- ing to be. People who got involved made a lot of lifestyle changes, eating healthier, doing better in school, doing more exercises and becoming healthier overall. “I chose to enter the competition for the first time because I wanted to make changes in my life and become healthier,” said Ian Enriquez, Wellness Center counselor and former Health Idol champion, who started the competition and joined four times.

 

   “I knew I wasn’t doing the kind of things I needed to do to be healthy, and I saw other teachers and students making those changes in their lives that I wanted to make that I didn’t feel motivated to do. So when I joined, I did [make those changes], and people noticed, and I feel like a different person now. ”

 

   The most important qualities in Health Idols are drive, a willingness to learn and grow and the desire to push oneself and try. “A lot of the stu- dents that get eliminated right away are the ones who don’t try. When I see them compete, they don’t push themselves or try not to get eliminated or do well. Those who really have the desire to compete are the ones that are going to get far; otherwise, you are not going to get anything out of it. Some people don’t even start doing that until halfway through the competition,” said Enriquez. “For anybody here at Lincoln and all the things that we offer; a willingness to try is very important, and I don’t see that enough. I would like to see more people step up and see what the school offers and try the different things, and it could only make them a better person.”

 

   For future contestants, returning champion Andrei Khartchenko offers several pieces of advice. “Don’t pressure yourself too much, but practice and prepare. Focus on improv- ing on what you need improve- ment in the most,” Khartchenko said. “This contest is an attempt to evaluate both your physical and mind strength, and it also serves you to be keen in those aspects of yourself. Health Idol is a great indicator of what one needs improvement in.” For the last two years, Health Idol has tried on a new twist and encouraged partner- ship. Partners have to help each other and push teammates. For four years, juniors and seniors have won in the competition; freshmen or sophomores have never made it to the top, but they have come close. For this year in round one, there was only one freshman in the top 10 and the the top three are senior Jenny Lam, counselor Ian Enriquez and junior Taylor Nakayama.

 

   In the memory test, Enriquez broke the record from last time and got 77.8%; he re- called 28 images out of 36 imag- es given in one minute. For the physical challenge, returning champion Andrei Khartchenko led with 21 pull-ups for males. Jenny Lam lasted the longest for 60.8 for the female flexed- arm hang. Along with Peer Re- source teacher Morgan Wallace, first-time contestant Jacob Levy and freshman Maria Tiongson were eliminated from round one.

 

   The competition has been establishing real Health Idols at this school and helped to create the kind of image that lets everyone know who is truly healthy all around. Our school was invited to Atlanta, Georgia to speak to the Centers for Dis- ease Control about Health Idol, and the Wellness Center has been awarded by the Califor- nia School Health Centers As- sociation with the Outstanding Nutrition and Fitness Program Award in Los Angeles, California.

 

 

 

by Victoria Conn

Misunderstandings

 

   In April of 1992, a disturbing in- cident took place at Lincoln High School that changed our school’s culture and climate forever. Two boys were walking down to Tara-val Street to get some lunch. As they walked, they encountered a group of students that were sitting and hanging out eating their lunch on the south stairs of the school. The two boys thought that the others were talking about them in their own language, so one of the boys took out a gun and aimed towards the group. A student was shot, survived, but is paralyzed for life. This catastrophe created a surge of racial tension and distrust among the student body. Students no longer felt safe on campus. Many did not want to come to school. This had to stop; our school had to become a united community again. It was up to the students to make an effort to do just that. Student leaders from various groups and cliques on campus worked together to produce a school-wide assembly. They had a hard, honest discussion and began to patch together our broken ALHS family for the remainder of that semester. Mustangs united and reclaimed their campus and their pride. The following year our new principal, Ms.Gwen Chan, con- tinued to help the Lincoln com- munity recapture its patronage. She wanted to give our large student body an opportunity to get to know each other and to come together as one for a common purpose. So BSA was born in the Spring 1993. It didn’t even have a theme as the past 18 assemblies have had.

 

   From then on, Lincoln students have kept our tradition of hold- ing an annual Brotherhood Sis- terhood Assembly alive, which enables us to work together on an important project, one that most look forward to. And every year we have a new message. Some of the past years’ themes include “Peace’n It Together”, Where is the Love?”, “We’re All in This Together”, and “A De- cade of Uniting Voices”. The stu- dents at Lincoln will be able to experience our next BSA Assem- bly, “Take a Stand” on March 17.

 

 

by Lisa Lam