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Opinion

Home Economics isn’t just for home

by Henry Monteiro

Almost every day, I hear kids complain about how school doesn’t teach anything actually useful in life. We learn how to graph a rose on a polar graph, yet we don’t know how to file a tax form.


As young adults going through a transition phase, one of the top concerns in our minds is learning how to become responsible, working members of society.


“Now, if only there was a class for that,” you may be thinking. Well hold on there, because just a generation ago, we had a class designed specifically for helping a teenager move into adulthood. That class was home economics.


    Often unfairly maligned as “the girly alternative to Woodshop,” home ec was actually an incredibly useful class that taught basic necessities in life. Beyond its stereotype as a class where a student was taught how to cook and clean so that they can be a perfect housewife, home ec also teaches finances, consumer education, sexual education, and other life skills that every functioning adult should know.


 After a semester or two, a student is bound to have picked up at least a few useful skills to have on them, and those that aren’t visibly immediately useful will become incredibly important later in life.


    But sadly, with the focus on standardized testing and the core curriculum, classes like home ec along with many varying electives were thrown out in favor of making sure kids know material that they are far less likely to use than how to cook a simple meal without relying on a microwave.
Now, if a student in college gets a rip in their pants, they aren’t going to know how to sew it back up, and they’re going to end up spending $40 on a new pair, because they don’t have the consumer education to know that this is a bad investment.


According to a recent survey, more than a quarter of high school students believe that they are unprepared to deal with finances. When I listen to my fellow students talking about how they think a credit card equals infinite money, I’m obliged to believe it.


We do have a home ec class, but it’s not required, it is after school and is hardly advertised to the point where I was unaware about it until my third year at Lincoln.


    Home ec should be a mandatory course for high school students. I believe that we can condense health ed and college & career, and fit them into home ec. Oftentimes these classes feel padded out by PSAs from the 80s, and I feel they’d benefit from being worked into a larger field of learning.


Now, with those two classes shrunken down, we put them into one class, and mix in an imaginary third class of everything else taught in home ec, such as cooking, sewing and others. Hopefully, with a redesigned curriculum like this, we can bring home ec back and start teaching kids the important life skills.

 

People in the Hallway

by Liping Huang

Brian Chen.jpg

Brian Chen: Senior
What’s in your bag?: Rocks
TV/movie character do you want to be?: Jesse Pinkman
Nastiest thing ever seen: Bird eating a dead bird
Song currently playing on iPod: "Boyfriend" by Justin Bieber
Celebrity crush: Nicole Leigh

 

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Viztor Vega Sophomore
What’s in your bag?: Eyedrops, Samsung Galaxy S4 phone
TV/movie character do you want to be?: Ed, Edd, or Eddy
Nastiest thing ever seen: Classmate's buttcrack
Song currently playing on iPod: "Know They Role" by Lil Bibby & Lil Herb

 

Keziah.jpg

Keziah Wohlers Junior
What’s in your bag?: Lip gloss, cleats and homework
TV/movie character do you want to be?: Raven Symoné
Nastiest thing ever seen: Cigarettes
Song currently playing on iPod: “Hot Problems” by Double Take
Celebrity crush: Dave Franco

 

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Ezra De Asis ASB President
What’s in your bag?: Basketball pump, Sunny D, Headband
TV/movie character do you want to be?: Elsa from “Frozen”
Nastiest thing ever seen: So nasty I don’t know how to explain
Song currently playing on iPod: “You Can Get It” by Ciara
Celebrity crush: Stephen Curry

 

Mickey D's, more like icky cheese

by Alan Lew

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Be wise and don’t go to McDonald’s.  Everyone is familiar with McDonald’s; 34,000 locations worldwide serve 68 million people daily.  Studies have shown that children are more familiar with the golden arches than depictions of Jesus.


    McDonald’s (along with almost every other fast food) is unhealthy.  Fast food is high in sodium, which can cause heart disease.  Salt, sweeteners and other artificial flavors are added to the food to make it taste better.  The amazing look your Big Mac has once you unbox it?  Preservatives.  Preservatives are added because the food being served at your local McDonald’s (and other fast food chains) is mass produced off-site, frozen and shipped around the country.


    The food doesn’t have positive effects either.  I used to frequent McDonald’s, and within an hour of when I ate, I would feel queasy.  The burgers don’t have much taste beyond the excessive salt used.  The cheese on the burgers?  In my experience it's cold more often than not.
    The only item on the menu I actually enjoy is the Fruit and Yogurt Parfait.  Unfortunately, after several “menu updates,” it is only 5.2 ounces.  About a sixth less than a Yoplait yogurt, yet more than double the price.  A six-ounce Yoplait yogurt can be found for about 60 cents while a Fruit and Yogurt Parfait is $1.29 before tax.                                  


    Aside from the quality and healthiness, the food is overpriced.  A typical meal at McDonald’s consisting of a 16 oz. drink, medium fries, and a burger will cost around eight dollars.  In comparison, a similar meal at In-N-Out would be about six dollars.  At many Hawaiian plate lunch eateries, a burger and large fries would only cost four dollars.  Although a few dollars may not seem to be that much, a 10-cent bag fee was partly responsible for changes in individual's shopping habits.


    McDonald’s is a huge corporation, on average reporting annual revenues of over $20 billion.  For the 2013 fiscal year, the company had a net income of over $5 billion.  Yet, statistics show that the average McDonald’s employee makes $7.73 hourly, only 48 cents above federal minimum wage.  In comparison, In-N-Out workers start at $10.50 an hour.  However it should be noted that the majority of In-N-Out locations are in California where minimum wage is $8.  To put things in perspective, McDonald's CEO Donald Thompson makes more than $10 million annually.
    Further evidence that McDonald’s workers are underpaid can be found on the employee only “McResource” website.  The site features tips for workers struggling financially such as how to get on welfare.  They also suggest selling Christmas gifts for extra cash.


    There’s no excuse for McDonald’s to underpay its workers given their revenue and net income.  With a $5 billion annual profit, it's very possible to lower menu prices and raise employee wages.  That change would be welcomed warmly by customers and may even increase revenues.


    Clearly the workers are underpaid, so why support a business that does not support its own employees?  I must say though, if you do go to McDonald’s, please treat the workers with respect.  Don’t make their life harder than it needs to be.


    McDonald’s is the largest fast food chain around, and it will continue to be for years.  However, the people in charge aren’t the greatest, the food is not ideal, and the prices aren’t door busting.  I made the decision not to go there for now.  Will you do the same?

 

Lincoln Log editorial: affirmative action sparks debate

by the Lincoln Log Staff

 

In 2012 California state senator Edward Hernandez proposed SCA-5, a prop that would remove provisions in the Unruh Civil Rights Act pertaining to post-secondary schools. It will also change Proposition 209, which disallows affirmative action. The proposition already passed in the senate, and would allow California state universities to use affirmative action to give students of certain races a higher chance of getting accepted.  


    Affirmative action allows for a more diverse college setting where people of many backgrounds can convene and offer many different perspectives on the world. With a wide range of ethnicities, university is the place to broaden a student’s horizons. However, by giving a higher priority to some students solely because of their ethnicities, affirmative action can be seen as biased and unfair. Should colleges offer acceptance based on race or academic ability? The Lincoln Log presents our opinions on both sides of the affirmative action debate.

 

AGAINST
    College admissions should be based on the academic ability and income status of incoming students, not which race they happened to be born into. Regardless of good intentions, letting a student into a college based on their skin color is nothing short of racist. While colleges should never ignore students’ ethnic backgrounds and how their ethnicity has affected their life, priority given to those of certain races is unfairly prejudiced.


     It’s fine if colleges look at, for example, income. It is reasonable and fair for a college to take a student who works at their family restaurant every day and gets C’s over a student who comes home to a PS4 and gets B’s. Diversity in a college campus will not be lost if income is considered more than ethnicity, as people of all races can come from any financial background.


    If anybody should be getting a special preference, it would be the first generation college students. Kids whose parents have gone to college are more likely to go to college themselves, so bringing in new family trees to higher education helps the educated population grow exponentially. Again, diversity will not be lost if this was the criteria for acceptance priority instead, as people of all ethnic backgrounds can be first generation college students.


    Theoretically, affirmative action can bridge the education gap between whites and Asians and blacks and Latinos, but giving acceptance priority to students simply for being from an ethnicity statistically shown to have lower academic performance is not the right solution. Affirmative action will not encourage students to work harder and develop better work ethics and drive as it will imply that even without studying, college is granted because the student is black, Latino, Hispanic, et cetera. Affirmative action is also unfair for students from races that have higher academic performance because despite many hours of hard work at school, work, or extracurricular activities, their acceptance to college may be denied not because of their achievements, but because of their race.


    Simply using race to automatically assume the entire background of a person is just wrong. Financial status, academic ability, and whether or not a student is a first generation college student should be used in college acceptances, not race, and universities won’t be any less diverse with these standards.

 

FOR
In an era where America is starting to brown, (and not in a culinary sense) colleges are still overrepresenting students that had advantages historically in achieving higher education.


Diversity in college is essential for widening perspectives in a developing person’s life. But that doesn’t mean people are going to simply float to others with different ethnicities.  Racism is still alive and intact today; It’s hard to just leave society to self-diversify and desegregate.


Affirmative action does a lot more good than harm. It provides opportunities and benefits to those who otherwise don't have any. Equality is giving everyone the chance to apply and get into college, while equity is giving a better chance to someone who needs it to apply and get into college. It lets someone who didn’t have the grades nor the chance of getting into college, get into college.


Blacks and Hispanics are underrepresented in the college arena, due to a variety of factors. Although not entirely exclusive to just blacks and Hispanics; a poor education, difficult family life and financial burden are top reasons for the underrepresentation of minorities. Affirmative action is not “reverse discrimination” against students that aren’t black or Latino. It is leveling the playing field between students who have better support and better chances for getting into college than those who don’t. Low-income and first generation students tend to be in racial minority groups. Saying affirmative action won’t encourage academic and work achievement is a big assumption. A college’s acceptance of a disadvantaged student provides an opportunity for that student to succeed even through the past troubles at home and at school.


Some say that supporting affirmative action, stigmatizes minorities by saying that since they’re not doing so well, they need more help. But is it really better if the policy be completely removed just so that it avoids stigmatizing a few? Just because someone doesn’t like the stigma, it doesn’t mean that other minorities who actually need the law should be ignored. Affirmative action provides an opportunity to races that are systematically burdened in difficult financial and academic situations. It provides universities with more diversity, and fighting against affirmative action is ultimately fighting equity for those who need it.