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On the Emphasis on grades for students

With millions of high school seniors around the world applying for colleges these past few months, the emphasis on academic achievement has been greater than any other time of the year. Students are scrambling to stay afloat and create a future for themselves in college and beyond. In the end, when we’ve all pressed the ‘submit’ button at the bottom of the application, our future is essentially taken away from our hands and placed in the care and keeping of strangers: college admissions officers.

These strangers can only identify us by our academic achievements or extracurricular activities. Their brief glances over our SAT scores and transcripts are the only evidence they have of us living. Even the personal statements are limiting in what they can convey about ourselves. How can we trust these strangers with something as important as our future? Grades and test scores only show so much. They can’t possibly reflect our character or our personality, yet the major emphasis on these numbers and letters are the main components we and everyone else worries about.

We stress about completing all our work and memorizing historical dates, and when we recieve an “A” grade, we feel a sense of accomplishment. However, how much does an ‘A’ really reflect who you are as a person? Does this one letter really exemplify the person you’ve become? The purpose of school is conflicted with the emphasis on grades. People no longer connect the material they’ve learned in school with their life. I think it is important that we judge our accomplishments not by what G.P.A we have, but by how our education has shaped our values and ambitions. With only college acceptances or declines to wait for, let’s make our last few months as high school students worthwhile!


- Kary Kwong-Lee


The Golden Age of Technology

Got your new Flip?

With such huge advancements in technology these days, it’s no surprise that many ordinary people can suddenly become a hard-hitting journalist in a matter of seconds. Flips (portable video cameras), cell phones, and digital cameras, have become the very essentials for many on-the-spot journalists.

But what exactly is an “on-the-spot journalist?” Simply put, it is an ordinary pedestrian who is lucky enough to witness hard news and capture the scene with videos, photos, or even voice recordings. And believe it or not, it has left a deep imprint on the way journalism is delivered today.

People have exercised this power whenever presented. Take the BART police shooting of Oscar Grant, for example. Several bystanders began to whip out cell phones to record the killing, and you can bet that without those devices, Grant would have never gotten the justice he deserved. Another incident involved an infamous bus fight the 30 Stockton. With stealthy recording, a MUNI passenger captured a fistfight between two women on the bus and exposed the inconsistency of MUNI safety.

What other contributions has technology made to allow for such a huge leap in journalism? One word: Internet. As we all know, print journalism is slowly disappearing because of the fast pace of the World Wide Web. The ability to grasp information right when it has just happened can attract anyone. Access to the Internet means access to the people. This has allowed millions to inform others about news worldwide. If not for applications such as Twitter and e-mailing, people around the world would have never knew the death of Neda and the severity of the presidential issues in Iran.

In short, technology changed the way journalism is expressed. But even though the internet, cell phones, and digital cameras have only been with us for a short while, journalists now heavily depend on these tools to help expose the truth. It’s the age of technology, and crisp newspapers are slowly being replaced by virtual articles. This new way of presenting journalism has been treating us nicely so far, but only time will tell if techonology will help journalism in the long run.

It is also the season of giving. We, on the behalf of the Lincoln Log, would like to give a very special thanks to Beard Papa, Henry the Dinosaur, and Mr. Joel Balzer, who has continuously supported us throughout every issue.

Sleep Deprived Zombies at School

Sleep. It sounds so foreign now. I can’t remember the last time when I had a good night’s sleep. School, and even summer vacation, has gotten so hectic that sleep is now a luxury that I rarely indulge in. Despite the lack of time, however, sleep isn’t optional.

Some people believe that sleep is a total waste of time. They view the time they spend sleeping as time that they can use to do something more productive or just to have fun and party. You might be tempted to do just that, but don’t. Sleep is a necessity for life. We all love staying up late, especially if it is not for homework. However, if we let it become a habit, then it will cause a whole set of problems that we will soon come to regret.

From a tiny fruit fly to a giant humpback whale, it is common knowledge that all living things need to sleep to survive. It is only when we sleep that our body can rest. Without sleep, our body will not be able to function properly and there will be consequences.

We sometimes forget to let our body get the rest it deserves. The National Sleep Foundation survey found that one of four high school students admitted to falling asleep in class. Most of us stay up so late doing homework and studying every night that we barely get any sleep. It doesn’t matter if you study for an entire night, there is no way you can do well on a test if you’re too tired to even keep your eyes open. Even if you manage to stay awake, you probably will not be able to concentrate. With cognitive impairment from sleepiness, you will probably end up doing worse.

Studies have shown that if you are sleep deprived, it causes mental, emotional, as well as physical fatigue. It negatively affects your alertness during the day. A lack of sleep can also result in headaches, memory lapse or loss, hallucinations, dizziness, nausea and depression. And what’s worse, loss of sleep can also result in obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, an shorter life span as well a shorter height. Definitely not a good thing if you plan on living a long and healthy life.

Taking naps around twenty minutes to half an hour between homework can actually help you concentrate more. It is easier then trying to finish it all at once.

Naps are also good for your heart. It may help reduce coronary heart disease. According to the researchers at Harvard Medical School, sleeping, or napping can also improve learning, memory and creative thinking. It is quite worth that twenty or thirty minutes, for a few days a week, is it not? However, keep in mind that too long of a nap is sadly, not recommended, for it will become unhealthy, causing all sorts of sleeping problems to arise. So, be sure to keep your nap to a maximum of thirty minutes and sleep more at night.

The recommended hours of sleep for adolescents are around eight to ten hours. Although, it may vary from person to person, but an average of eight hours of sleep is recommended, as well as a handful of naps here and there. After all, you don’t want to be falling asleep in class while your teacher is explaining something important, or worst of all, falling asleep while taking a test.
Take my advice and sleep. Who knows, your grades might improve, you could add a few extra inches to your height, and be less of a grouch or a zombie.


by Salina Yu

Ignorance and Oblivion-Killers of the Mind

One might ponder how some individuals live in this world without some of the most basic everyday knowledge or how they go on with their lives without noticing the most obvious things.

“Is five a digit or an integer?” is not something one would expect to come out of a senior’s mouth during an Advanced Algebra class, especially when the answer was just discussed several times. Not only is that first grade material, but the image they portray of themselves is that of an idiot. Sure, knowing the difference between digits and integers might not apply to adult life, but background knowledge could sure help one’s reputation very much.

If academics are not too important to you, then current events should be, correct? That is not always the case. I was once asked whether former president, George W. Bush, was a democrat or republican during an Advanced Placement U.S. History class. It is astounding how some people do not know the political party of our former president even with all of the informational sources out there (newspapers, television, radio, internet, etc.). When some of these people get on their defensive side, they use the excuse of not caring for politics or thinking that it is stupid. That is just pure ignorance. No matter how unimportant or significant something is, shutting the unwanted or disliked things out of life can hurt one socially. It can create a feeling of being “out of the loop” or a solitary state of being. It is also possible that it can produce a circle of friends that just breeds ignorance within the group, like an infesting bacteria feeding on the brains.

Oblivion can also be very dangerous. Take former American Vice President, Dick Cheney, for example. Because he wasn’t paying enough attention to his surroundings while hunting, he “accidentally” shot his companion. Perhaps if he was a bit more attentive, then maybe his friend would not have had to spend those long and tedious nights in the hospital.

Actions are another way to show oblivion. When waiting in line for something, one only hopes for the line to move faster towards the goal. But wait, what is this? The arch nemesis of every line waiter in the universe: oblivious people that are way too into what they’re doing to move along with the line (e.g. an angry couple bickering each other’s head off, amorous lovers displaying their love for each other publicly, or just some kid texting their money away.) As if these people and their actions aren’t irksome enough, they’re also testing one’s patience.

Nobody likes to deal with oblivious or ignorant people. Their annoying antics is truly astonishing and sometimes so unbelievable that it really should not even be put up with. Instead, people should be enlightening themselves about anything and everything to avoid the humiliation of being ill informed, but I guess they would be too oblivious to do so anyway.


by Tiffany Do

Enter At Your Own Risk

Bathrooms. Foul smelling bathrooms. Dirty, cold, and wet bathrooms. These are only a few of the many words used in describing Lincoln’s restrooms.

Lincoln’s bathrooms are not a favorite place to be. Once you set foot in the perimeter, a strong unpleasant stench fills the air. The floor is never clean; sometimes, it is flooded with sink water, toilet water, and possibly even urine, gross! Toilet seat covers are almost always low in stock, and when you eventually reach an empty stall, there is a high possibility that the lock does not work, that is, if there is one at all. If you are lucky, and you do not encounter any problems yet, your stall probably does not have toilet paper.

Some of the stalls do not have a hook on the back of the door for us to put our personal belongings on. Are we supposed to put our things on the bathroom floor when it is flooded with disgusting water? I would rather not. Moreover, some toilet seats are either broken or missing, so they are unusable. Some people do not even flush, or they leave their used toilet seat covers on the toilet! How nasty can a person get?

There is almost always trash on the bathroom floor and around the toilets. It would be nice if people could throw away their own garbage instead of littering it all over the bathroom. Think about the next person that is going to use the bathroom. If that were you, would you like to use a dirty toilet? I don’t think so. I often wonder why people trash the bathrooms with gum and graffiti drawings on the walls. If you do it because it is “cool,” let me tell you; it’s not.

If you walked into a bathroom stall that had a piece of chewed gum on the stall’s lock, and you did not notice the gum until you touched it by putting your fingers on the lock handle, wouldn’t you be angry? Would it be “cool” to touch somebody else’s chewed gum? No, it wouldn’t. If that were me, I would be very mad. I hate touching other people’s germs, so I guess you could say I am a germaphobe. I also do not think it is “cool” at all to litter everywhere and anywhere.

After using the bathroom, you wash your hands (I hope). Well, with the school sinks, the most you can do is wet your hands with the drips of water that come out of the faucet. If you used soap, then tough luck, because it would take pretty damn long to get the soap off with almost no water. How is this supposed to clean our hands and keep people from getting or spreading the flu?
In addition, since we only have six minutes of passing period, it is nearly impossible to go to the bathroom and get to class on time. Just the process of washing our hands clean with that little amount of water takes at least a minute or two. Since a good amount of the stalls have problems and cannot be used, this creates longer lines in the bathrooms.

I hate going to the bathrooms at school, but I am pretty sure that everyone has to go there at least once a day. If everyone did their part in keeping the restrooms clean and useable, it would make going there much more pleasant for everyone.


by Shirley Chau

To Drive or Not to Drive?

Is getting a driver’s license during your teen years a good idea? As usual, some say yes – others say no. For most, the main concern is safety, seeing how motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for teens. Most of these crashes are a result of negligent driving by teens. Although safety should definitely be the top concern, there are some other things to consider. If you have a license, not only will you save time from avoiding those time consuming bus rides, but you will also develop many skills including responsibility and independence.

Driving on your own gives you a lot more freedom than what you currently have. You can drive wherever you want and whenever you want (with your parent’s permission of course). “With freedom comes great responsibility,” Eleanor Roosevelt, an important figure of the mid-twentieth century, once said. Driving safely, sharing the road with others, and maintaining your car and keeping it looking new, calls for great responsibility.

It is a great way to demonstrate your responsibility to your parents by showing that you are able to keep a car running: having the oil changed when necessary, getting it serviced, washing it, and so on. More importantly, while on the road, it is your responsibility to decide whether or not you are able to drive safely (evaluating yourself on mental and physical conditions – mood, injury,
alertness, et cetera).

Your parents may even ask you to run errands every so often, which serves as another great way to practice responsibility.
Independence is also attained when you have a driver’s license. Instead of having your parents drive you around to spend time with your friends, you can drive yourself. The teenage years of your life is the ideal time to develop your independence because it is right before college, the time when you really need to know how be independent since you will be living on your own.

A driver’s license is one of several milestones in your life as it will be with you for the rest of your life. After achieving this milestone, you will be a teen developing independence, responsibility, and freedom, which are the next few steps towards adulthood.

Lastly, you no longer have to take public transportation anymore, which saves you a lot of time - no more waiting for delayed buses and being stuffed in crowded rides. Public transportation, stopping at every stop to pick up and drop off commuters can be stressful as well.

Although this is an exciting time in your life, you should always keep in mind that, “Society has now deemed that you are old enough to have adult responsibility. Remember that your license is not only a necessity but also a privilege. It can also change your life for the worst if you don’t treat it respectfully,” said Adrian, an earnest man.

It’s your responsibility!


by Dylan Kuang