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The new AP English teacher integrates teaching with her enthusiasm

By Sandra Chen


Photo taken by : Sandra Chen

 

Lincoln English teacher Sara Falls discusses and gives feedback to Lincoln Log journalist Brandon Zhu.

 

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Lincoln English teacher, Sara Falls, was sitting quietly on BART, reading the book “Beloved” to prepare for next year’s AP English class. It was one of her favorite books, and although it was her third time reading it, it still profoundly touched her emotions. She began crying while reading it. She did not have tissues, so she took off her sock to blow her nose. She said that “Beloved” is a book that is challenging because as she reads it, it requires patience to gradually see the bigger picture of what the writer tries to express. It makes her curious and continue to read.

 

Falls has taught at Lincoln for fifteen years. She currently teaches three different classes which are tenth and twelfth grade English class and Writing for Publication. She loves literature and reading, and while she reads, she connects her emotions to the story. She not only loves reading, but she also believes that language is deep, profound and allows people to construct meaning and connect with other people.

 

In order to prepare for next year’s AP English Class, Falls is going to draw on her personal experience as an AP English student back in the time because it was an influential class for her. She has been discussing and planning the course curriculum and syllabus during the meetings with current AP English teacher Daniel Kim since the past few months. They want to create beneficial curriculum for students, so they spend a lot of time discussing what topics will show up on the AP tests. Kim also gives lessons and feedback to Falls in order to work on different teaching styles. During her prep period, she has been visiting Kim’s AP class and reading a lot. She has reread “The Heart of Darkness,” the book for AP English students to read. Now, she is deciding whether she is going to teach it next year or not because Kim has been teaching it for years to his AP students.

 

A few students from Falls’ European Literature class say that their class do many fun and diverse activities. They watch movies and listen to radio programs, and also work as groups to create a performance of “Hamlet.”

 

Kiki Lei, a senior at Lincoln who is currently taking Falls’ European Literature class, says “Even though the class has a lot to do, I am glad to be in Ms. Falls class. I think my writing has been improved since we have many writing assignments such as writing journals and argumentation. Also, I have improved my public speaking through our class discussion and Socratic seminar.”

 

In class, Falls doesn’t lecture a lot, but she lets students to write in their journals every week to practice and develop their writing styles. They read their outside book and create book projects at the end, and the purpose is to pay attention to their feelings throughout readings.


Falls said, “I believe my students already have a great deal of knowledge and power and truth in them, and it doesn't do for me just to tell them to think. I want them to explore and discover and hopefully learn.”

Kaija-Tircuit Peitso teaches AP U.S. History for the first time

By Selina Ng

Photo taken by : Selina Ng

 

Kaija-Tircuit Peitso prepares for her APUSH class on a sunny morning.

 

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Lincoln High has been through many changes this school year such as a new principal and new faculty members. One teacher has taken on the responsibility of teaching an AP class for the first time. This year, Kaija Tircuit-Peitso has began teaching the APUSH course.

 

As a history teacher who has been teaching at Lincoln for four years, Tircuit has taught primarily juniors and seniors for the regular U.S. History, Government and Economics classes. However, last year during a staff coordinated meeting, Tircuit was quick to accept the offer of becoming the new APUSH teacher.

 

“I love the narrative aspect of history classes,” says Tircuit. “It's a collection of stories, and we get to piece different stories together to see if we can figure out what happened in the past.  In the way that I teach the class it's also very linear; the events go in order, and we study how current events were shaped by the past.”

 

Since Tircuit is the only teacher in charge of the APUSH class this year, she feels an immense pressure to do well. Despite this, Tircuit was just as excited to teach the class as she was nervous.

 

“Every time I start something new I get nervous, wonder if I'm prepared enough or if it will be the right fit.  This year’s AP students were incredibly kind and eager to build a community, and that has really helped.  Since the beginning of the school year I'm just really psyched to start building tradition and community around APUSH for the long run and creating a curriculum that is engaging and fun,” says Tircuit.

 

As many can imagine, making the transition into becoming an AP teacher is very stressful. Luckily,Tircuit was able to get assistance and tips from her fellow colleagues. AP World teacher Brandon Fury  helped Tircuit focus in on the needs of a history class and AP Human Geography teacher Leon Sultan helped with her with the logistics of setting up the summer before.

 

Emily Tse, a former student of Tircuit is excited to see her growth as a teacher this year. “I’m really happy to hear that Ms.Tircuit has been given the chance to teach the APUSH class. I was a student in her regular U.S. history class last year, and I really enjoyed it. In fact, she was one of my favorite teachers. She really worked with students who had troubles in the class and always had a positive attitude everyday in class.”


As this school year is coming to an end, Tircuit wishes to continue her journey in striving for improvement as a teacher as she continues teaching AP U.S history next year. She is looking forward to the new school year and meeting new students to build a tight-knit community.

Chinese club organizes annual Kcon

By Melody Li

Photo taken by : Orison Lee

 

Kary Huang announced that Lilibelle Liang won the second place.

 

 

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On February 10th, Lincoln High School’s Chinese Club’s 19th Chinese Karaoke contest (Kcon) ended.  Julia Fong and her Chinese club’s members spent half of the past year rehearsing the show for the performance.  

 

Song Wang was a contestant for the last two years and was the director for this year’s Kcon.  He says, “Kcon allows us to spreads our culture out into the world and helps those who are new immigrants to adapt to America’s new environment faster, as well as organizing our annual Chinese Karaoke Contest. As an immigrant, I feel like some Chinese forget their own culture after they have moved to America, so I think our annual Chinese karaoke contest is a great event for us.”

 

He added,”Ms.Fong, who is our sponsor, helps me a lot.  She made a to-do list and time schedule for me.  Also,she gave me the opportunity to be a leader.  I think Ms.Fong did a great job.  Thank you, Ms.Fong!”

 

Chinese Karaoke contest is a competition for  Lincoln students to sing Chinese songs.  The Chinese Club holds an audition to select the contestants, and there are 10 to 15 students who have the chance to sing on the stage and win.  After two rounds, the winner is selected by the judges and receive an award.

 

  This year was Julia Fong’s first year taking the responsibility for the Chinese karaoke contest.  Ms. Fong says,”  It is unavoidable that hardworking people usually take up the bulk of the work in a group situation, but these are also the people who learn the most and become the most capable.  Generally, I think I have a very nice group of students in this club.  The reward of this event was not just an enjoyable evening for the singers and the audience. The event also showcased some of the many talents of our students.”  In addition, she hopes that next year, there will be better planning for expenses and increased student outreach.

 

Kary Huang, who is the MC this year, confides, ”This is my first time to be MC, I was so nervous and yet excited because I have never had experience being an MC before. Ms. Fong knows that I am nervous; she encourages me by patting my shoulder and support me. She said, ‘you will be fine!  Do not worry about it!’”

 

Lilibelle Liang won second place this year, and she offered,” I joined Kcon because it's my senior year, and I just wanted to do something different.  One of the songs I chose was for my dad, and the second song is just one of my all time favorite songs.  To prepare for Kcon, I ate a bunch of food.  I got super emotional during the first song. For the second song, I definitely felt more relaxed and confident because to me, it wasn't as emotional as the first one, and so all I had to think about was the mood of the song. After the whole thing was over,  I actually sat down stage for a good ten minutes just trying to engrave that moment in my life because it was something worth looking back upon.  Ms.Fong was very supportive through one word out the performances. When I walked in the auditorium, she was super nice and sweet and it made me felt welcomed.”

 

For the Chinese students at Lincoln High School, Chinese karaoke is a monumental event and entails a lot of fun. Ms. Fong is very proud of the event this year and her management of the whole project has won her a great deal of praise.

 

College exams bring tension

 

By Darren Li

Photo taken by : Darren Li

 

The official study guide for the SAT made by CollegeBoard.

 

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As the exam days draw closer, word of the SAT and ACT have been spoken in and out of school. Stress and tension are buzzing in the air, and many students find themselves unable to receive very much needed help for a successful score on the SAT and ACT.

 

Preparation can be stressful and tiring for students and counselors. Some parents hire expensive tutors or buy pricey textbooks all to help their children pass the exam with high scores. But worry not! Some methods of study prove to be easy and beneficial and, on many occasions, free!

 

A simple search on the web can provide anyone with tips for studying, but, not all cities and states share the same programs and resources, which is why it's best to get help from locals who have gone through SAT/ACT and passed.

 

Justin Chan is a senior and has already taken one of the two exams, the SAT. For his preparation, Chan began practicing months before the testing days. Instead of doing things he enjoyed such as playing “War Thunder,” he spent his time studying his English and Math notes, as well as his old tests, all so he could be prepared for his exams. With his SAT scores, Chan was able to get accepted into the college of his choice.

 

“Studying my notes really helped. They helped me remember how to solve the harder problems on the test,” says Chan.

 

Another good resource is from our school College and Career counselors who are paid to see our success. Struggling students can easily find and learn about a wide variety of programs that help train them so they can pass the SAT/ACT.

 

Maria Martinez was previously a College and Career Center counselor and is now the counselor for the AVID and Finance Academy students. Compared to when she took the SAT and ACT, both exams have undergone several revisions because of feedback from their participants.

 

And now with the addition of the World Wide Web, obtaining resources for studying has never been easier.

 

Khan Academy is a non-profit website that is partnered with CollegeBoard.com (creators and editors of the SAT). This site is dedicated to students and adults who wish to be educated. It is also a great website for practicing for the SAT.

 

The website is divided into separate subjects with different difficulties based on grade level. A multitude of videos and clips help explain the exams’ questions and how to solve them. This could be a very valuable source for students who need help.

 

But the best thing to do according to Martinez, is to not worry about the exams.

 

“Don’t stress out. Make sure to eat well, and get lots of rest. The SAT is only a tool,” Says Martinez.

 

For people with test anxiety, even if they are prepared and have studied, it is still hard for them to take exams. The best solution is to calm down, rest, and prepare by calming down both mentally and physically.