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Lincoln math teacher competes for Muay Thai title

By: Yongjia Lin

Delapena competes for the CALI 26 WCK Muay Thai title.


Muay Thai boxing is a combat sport and is called "the art of eight limbs" because it uses fists, elbows, knees and shins to fight.The word “Muay” come from Sanskrit Mavya. Brian Delapena is a math teacher in Lincoln is going to the CALI 26 WCK Muay Thai title.

Delapena was indulged in video games and dropped out of college because he spent too much time playing them. His brother was in boxing, and suggested Delapena to try it. The first time Delapena tried it, he loved it. It was something Delapena found he loved other than video games.

“They said I was good at it, so it really helped my confidence in it. To really give my all in something, It was really fun doing it.” said Delapena.

    Delapena pracited Muay Thai for over ten years, but he took a four year break. This time he decided to go to the title because he said he is already 32 years old and believes these may be last last few years he can practice Muay Thai.

“I always wanted to get a championship belt. It’s something I always wanted to do, but at the time I did not have the maturity and discipline for it. I’m currently 32 years old, and my window of doing strenuous activity like that it’s closing. So I said to [myself], It’s either now or never.”

Muay Thai changed his life. At age 24 Delapena decided to go back to college and major in teaching. He found that he liked to teach after he started coaching Muay Thai. The sport helped him overcome a dark time in his life and improved his mental health as well as helping him develop good habits in his life.

The  title his going is CALI 26 WCK Muay Thai title on Feb 3rd 2018. Fight starts at 7:00pm at Los Angeles.

Unfortunately I was not able to be there for the fight, but Delapena did win the fight and donated his belt to his gym. He said that he was happy to have achieved his goal.

A Health Teacher’s Journey Back to High School

By: Tiffany Bui


Ms. Erickson is speaking with her students about their assignments of the guest speaker.


From life as a military brat to a settled life in California, our new Lincoln staff member experienced a true-life adventure. Her travels in her early years shaped her views and the way she works with her students. Furthermore, her journey events revealed her true identity of who she is today, denoting passion and tolerance.

A global woman, Kristy Erickson, the Health Education teacher, started working in the San Francisco Unified School District in 1994 at Potrero Hill Middle School. She moved to Thurgood Marshall High School to teach health, driver education, college and career, and swimming for ten years. After a sabbatical, she moved to A.P. Giannini Middle School teaching physical education and history for over a decade. Erickson said, “ I am grateful for the opportunity to finally return to high school teaching health.”

Erickson is hometown-less. For twenty years her dad was in the military, and from the time she was born, she moved around a lot. She spent time in North and South Carolina, Ohio, Northern and Southern California, and Japan. Erickson experienced different schools and homes, always having to learn to fit in. While living in Japan, Erickson did plenty of traveling around the country. She hiked to the top of Mount Fuji, and even visited North Korea during a school trip to Panmunjom. She has also traveled to Mexico, Europe, China, plus all fifty states. While living for almost four years at Yokota High School Air Force base outside of Tokyo, she had to learn conversational Japanese. She is also fluent in Italian.

Erickson graduated high school early in Japan and went back to California for college, first to Diablo Valley College then on to San Francisco State, receiving a B.A. in history while also taking courses in health, physical fitness, and recreation.

In college, she worked part-time at the Stonestown YMCA as a lifeguard and swimming instructor.

"My experience helps me deal with students from different backgrounds and experiences because I didn’t grow up in just one place. I’m not like an urban San Francisco native," states Erickson.

Erickson grew up with a healthy attitude, which from her perspective is essential to living a meaningful life. She grew up viewing different ways of staying healthy while traveling in different parts of the world, observing how they eat, exercise, and deal with stress. “Seeing a zen garden in Japan or enjoying a relaxed family dinner with my husband’s Italian cousins gives me a different view of life.”

She likes cooking, the outdoors, camping, reading, and taking care of herself. After a busy school week, she likes to chill, go for a walk in nature, and relax during the weekend for a healing mindset.

"When I was a kid, I liked to show people how to accomplish schoolwork, because I didn't struggle in school. When I got older, working with kids seemed a better way to spend my time than working with adults. You expect kids just to act like kids, but you expect adults to be mature, but not all of them are; so I choose to spend my time working with younger people" explained Erickson.

Some may ask why Erickson chose this school. “The opportunity was available to go back to teaching health. I have many former students who attend Lincoln. I have been at Lincoln for the past decade for graduation; it's a familiar place,” says Erickson.

Erickson wanted to come back to high school now that her own children are more independent. She didn’t need to work at a late start school and missed working with high school students. ALHS worked out smoothly when Erickson received a phone call from principal Shari Balisi during the summer.

Erickson affirms, “I missed teaching high school. A.P. Giannini has very nice students; they were wonderful, but they’re thirteen. You can have more logical conversations with high school students, and they can understand the consequences. They can think more into the future, whereas middle schoolers are not thinking about the future, they are at a different point in life.”

“Sometimes you have to make a change; you have to make a shift. Change is good. I went back to teaching health, which I love because it's important, and back to high school. I didn't know many adults here. However, coming to work here wasn't like coming to a strange place because there are familiar faces. So that was nice, coming to a place where I wasn't, like, a complete stranger to some people,” tells Erickson.

“Everyone I talk to has been friendly; it's harder in a big school to get to know people because the days are busy working; I’m still trying just to get names and faces of people. Since I’m not in a particular department, I don't get to know as many people that way. I haven't had any bad experiences at all,” Erickson states.

She enjoys teaching history, but it's hard when students aren't motivated. She thinks history is a hard subject because of reading and writing. She enjoyed teaching history classes in night school because students are more motivated to learn.

In health, much information is presented, as well as self-reflective activities. Erickson wants her students to know how to take care of themselves as adults. Erickson thinks that health is a foundation for essential life skills. She enjoys working with students that have challenges and need extra help.

“I appreciate teaching Health in a ninth through twelfth-grade mixed class. Students work across grade levels meeting other people and communicating with each other. Older students help by sharing an experience. Students behave better in a mixed setting,” stated Erickson.

For her, this class is about the students finding out how they're going to take care of themselves as adults; how to make life not overwhelming or stressful, how to have healthy relationships, and developing habits so they can be happy, healthy, and find their passion in life.

When students are struggling to pass the course, Erickson is more flexible. "I know that some students have special needs, so I tend to work with students as individuals; if students are having difficulty keeping up with the workload, then I sit with them and work out a plan according to their needs," Erickson said.

Erickson doesn't want to punish students for not attempting assignments. She wants to help them learn and grow as a person, so they are motivated on their own to graduate and get useful information. The only students that fail in her class are the students that have attendance problems or come to school but refuse to participate. Not being in the class is a common reason for students being unsuccessful. Erickson treats students as ‘almost-adults’. Middle school students that transition to high school don’t always behave maturely, but to Erickson, she saw a huge difference in behavior in the second semester since freshman have adjusted to high school life.

Valerie Lo, a junior and past student that had Erickson as a History student at APG states, “Ms. Erickson was very understanding. She knew I had struggled with my academic work, so she gave me extra time. Ms. Erickson also helped me to finish my work.”

Angel Molina, a freshman and another student that had Erickson for History at APG, now for health this year said, “Ms. Erickson is very nice and pretty fun to be around again. My friends and I would just hang out at lunch in her class since she would let us, and we would just do all our work. She used to give a little more homework in history, but now she gives out a less amount. Her style is the same in both history and health.”

Erickson considers her students’ lives. She knows that students may have sports, clubs, jobs, family problems. All those can factor into their performance in class. Erickson wants her students to feel comfortable sharing and learning. With this, she hopes they find success somewhere during the school day.

Erickson states, “Whatever way they learn best, they use that knowledge to help them figure out how to be a better student. Students that don't turn in assignments in the class have extra homework. To me, it's not about students getting a grade; it's about finding more about who you are. I want the best for my students. Yes, it's important to pass to graduate high school, but it’s also important to be healthy.”

          Erickson wants to change opinions about health ed. She wants students to take a valuable interest in their personal wellness. Erickson acknowledges that not everyone is a perfect student. She is open to assist students who come with different strengths and needs.

Erickson is like a school mom; eating is allowed in class as long as the food is healthy. As a mom herself, she wants to treat students the way she hopes her kids are treated at school.

English teacher and students coordinate Toy Drive

By: Elizah Lopez


Freshmen English class holding toys that are going to be donated to The Family House.


 Christine Eng’s freshman English classes coordinated a toy drive last year from November 17th to Dec 12th. Every day Eng would pass around an envelope asking classes for donations. She would tell her students that there was no pressure and to give whatever they’re able to, to give from the heart. She did this to help a facility in the Mission Bay called The Family House that serves kids who are suffering from life threatening diseases and are being treated at UCSF. Many of these families travel far, have a lack of funds, and end up bankrupt after paying medical bills. Because of these facts, many of these kids wouldn’t have the holidays they deserve. In order to help fix this, The Family House created a toy room. Toys get donated and placed into the room every kid and his or hers siblings get to pick one toy from that room.

“I showed a video of The Family House and  all of my freshmen said they definitely wanted to do something, because it’s not right that these parents who are worried about so many different things also have to be feeling terrible that they can’t give their kid a gift for the holidays.” says Eng.

Ms.Eng and her classes raised $614.14 and 54 toys in just 2½ weeks for the children at the Family House.

          “It was interesting experience to be giving toys to kids who actually are in need, I gave money for a good cause and it felt good.” said Lamiya Cotton, a freshman in Ms. Engs class.

Despite the new year, its the same Lincoln High

By: Zev Curiel-Friedman


From left to right Joel Balzer, Donna Li, Gordon Liang & Sabrina Chu.


Five; a supporting junior lays on a neighbour’s couch babysitting for the rest of the night. Four; an always busy father takes time to sit down and enjoy time with family. Three; an exhausted sophomore lies in bed, eyes shut fast asleep. Two; a relaxed finn in the blank sits comfortably in a Jacuzzi. One; An excited senior waits in anticipation for the explosion of fireworks. Zero; as the clock strikes twelve and 2018 is upon us at Abraham Lincoln High School, it may be a new year, but for the most part is isn't full of renewed students.

The idea that with the coming of the new year people should be changing is a debated idea here at Lincoln. When asked if the New Year is explicitly a time to change Junior Maeve McManamon exclaimed, “Not at all because I realized the new year doesn't mean that's the only time you can start something new. You can do it any time so it doesn't really matter it isn't really significant.”

Admittedly McManamon said she still made resolutions, “I have many one was to drink more water you know which was probably one the most successful,  another was to be nicer make more friends be home a little more make better grades and such.”  

These tended to be the usual goals, with other common ones being staying in better health and being more active.  

  Senior Donna Li, who didn't make any goals at all exclaimed, “The idea that you are a new person after the change of the new year is just unrealistic. Lots of people set goals, but few really follow through. You change your life over a long course of time, not just a day.”

This approach to accomplishing tasks more periodically is somthing English teacher Ms. Gratch takes to heart, saying, “I have made goals like I want to do this by age 40 or so, but never on new years. I think my advice would be to do it if you want to but more importantly set a series of actionable steps rather than just one giant goal.” Gratch continues, “The time of Jewish new year is more reflective and I do celebrate that. You want to start the new year with a clean slate and with this, the tradition is to settle your debts from the year before. So you write letters and talk to the people you could have offended and you tie up your loose ends.

Dean Joel Balzar also concurred with the idea of not making a change just on one day, disclosing, “You don't need to wait for the new year to do that; and in fact the new year is so stressful that if you make a resolution and you fail it's going to make you feel bad about yourself the new year isnt going to help you. Most of the time you hear about people failing their new years resolution. I think you can change your life but a lot of things people want to change their are going to change them or they are not.”

One person who tried to jump straight to a large goal and failed was junior Sabrina Chu. “I wanted to eat healthier and I made it one day before I thought to myself, you know I should be able to eat whatever I want and not feel bad about it.”

Chu’s friend, Junior Jessi Etges butted in saying “New Years resolutions are for people who feel like they need to have something to hold onto in order to start anything. Basically people use it as a crutch to get things done.”

Chu responded laughingly to Etges saying, “Even after finally limping through 2017, I guess we all still need a crutch to keep us standing up.”