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Opinion

Students and faculty should take sick days when necessary

By Ben Sheh
Photo courtesy of : Stutterstock

 

All kinds of sicknesses can hit.

 

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All around you, people are coughing. Sometimes, an occasional sneeze can be heard. Almost everyone has been in this situation at one point--being with a group of people that should, by all means, be at home and resting. Yet, why do so many students feel the need to attend school even when sick?

 

The truth is that students do, surprisingly, have some responsibility. High school students usually take six regular class periods a day, and that’s six periods of material one can miss in a day. When absentees come home after a few days away from school, they tend to find a huge pile of work accumulated from when they were gone.

 

That isn’t even taking into account what they miss from the class times themselves--they would be missing lectures, tests and other important daytime work that is even more difficult to make up. Unlike field trips, it is difficult to plan in advance to take a test early before taking a break.

 

Such a lifestyle has become commonplace and even acceptable at school. It’s a bit strange to think about, but these actions do break school and general health guidelines. When a person is sick with a transmissible disease, they are discouraged from interacting with other people for fear of contagion. Yet, many students still come because it has become the norm.

 

How can this change? Through a combined effort of teacher policy changes and a better situation for returning students, many students and faculty would feel much more open to take leave from work or school. Perhaps a system that would allow students to make up work at an easier is called or.

 

Math teacher Julia Fong mentions that teachers also experience the same problem. “It’s hard for a sub to do what I want to do.”

 

When Fong’s not sick, she’ll come to school anyway so she can stick to her lesson plan.

Different grading policies in different courses shouldn’t be weighed differently

 

By Brandon Zhu

Photo taken by : Brandon Zhu

 

Chinese teacher Emma Lee is checking on her students pronunciation.

 

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Most students receive their syllabus on the first day of school and that is the time when teachers introduce their grading policies to students. There have been many complaints from students about why their teachers grade so hard and why they would grade students that way. Each teacher has a different grading scale but mostly teachers weigh their grades harder on tests and quizzes and this applies to every department.

 

The English department teachers mostly focus on essays and projects. For example, the head of the English department, Shamira Gratch’s grading policy weighs essays and tests the same. This shows how she equally distributes the grades in her class.

 

However, in the math courses there is no essay writing so students are weighed heavier on quizzes and tests. Personally last school year my math teacher’s grading scale on quizzes and tests was seventy percent of my entire grade, which takes over the majority part of my overall grade. That means once you do poorly on one quiz or test, it’s difficult for you to bump your grade back up.

 

Koichi Sano, the chair of the language department said, “For our language department, we basically grade students on five different areas: speaking, writing, listening, reading, and culture.”

 

Chinese teacher Emma Lee said, “I have to teach them step by step. First, I have to teach them the basics like how to pronounce the tone and then teach them the vocabulary and how to write it into a sentence. I usually give tests based on the textbook and the vocabularies. Also it is very important that students should know how to use what they learn in their daily lives.”

 

The art department teachers don't  just look at the product or how well it look, but mostly focus on the efforts the students put in.

 

Art teacher Christian Geiser said, “Overall for each project I will look based on students’ engagement, efforts, skills and the quality. For example, some students have good drawing skills before they take this class but since they didn't put effort into the work, I might give them a B instead of an A.”

 

Teachers from different departments have different grading policies and what they look at when they grade their students. I think teachers should ask students about what do their grading policies should look like. Overall this is biased because not every teacher grades their students the same or in a standard way. What the school is working on is try to make a standardized grading policy within department.

Learning a second language benefits students

By Kelly Ye
Photo taken by : Kelly Ye

 

Koichi Sano appreciates the students’ calligraphy of kanji, Chinese characters brought into use in Japanese.

 

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Taking a language for at least two school years is a requirement for graduation and college applications. Lincoln offers four different foreign language: Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and French. In a language class, students learn about the language and also their culture.

 

Learning a second language may be difficult but is useful for a lifetime. Language is essential when we interact with others; we use language to communicate and to express our feelings and thoughts. It’s important to be able to speak your mind with people when you need to.

 

Not only in daily life, but also when we need to talk for career needs. We might meet people around the world that speak different languages in daily life and mainly when we have a job. Being able to speak a second language and knowing about other cultures would be beneficial.

 

It’s also helpful to be familiar with their language and culture when we travel to different places. It shows a greater level of respect and is an easy way to meet new people. Some people don’t feel at ease when they are going to an unfamiliar place when they don’t know about the culture or language. Some might say, “What if we don’t travel, or we only travel to places that could understand our first language?” Well, knowing a different language wouldn’t have disadvantage. It will only benefits us when we need that help.

 

Deciding what language we are interested in learning and trying to understand its culture is the first step when taking a language class. Choosing the language that fits for you will definitely influence our life in positive, eye opening ways.

 

I think learning different languages is fun because you will find that some of them are actually really similar. It’s fun to explore in the world of a new language and to find out the differences and similarities between different languages. Learning a second language might be demanding not only for the tongue but also the brain.

 

Language is the most important part of our being; the way you speak influences how other people think of you. I think it is important to learn a second language because it has many benefits on our lives.

 

According to Eton Institute’s Language Development in the Workforce survey (September 2014), 89% of their clients stated that multilingual employees add value to the workforce and 88% stated that recruiting team members with language skills is important to their organization. A multilingual ability is definitely a competitive edge in today’s world.

 

If you are multilingual, you have the advantage of seeing the world from different vantage points. In today’s interconnectedness, this is a valuable tool. It is an ability that tells of a person’s intelligence, flexibility, and openness to diverse people. And these are just bonuses to the evident ability to communicate in several languages and cross cultural barriers.

San Francisco’s status as a sanctuary city protects SFUSD students

By April Woo
Photo taken by : Maggie Baird

 

Senior April Woo patiently waits to hear from colleges.

 

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Thousands of rallying cries echo throughout the streets of San Francisco. In a time of chaos, fear and confusion due to Trump’s Muslim ban and closed-minded attitude towards immigrants and refugees, the role of San Francisco as a sanctuary city could not be more important.

 

San Francisco is classified as a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants. This means that the city does not comply with local police and ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) requests to provide immigrant documentation. Cooperation with federal immigration authorities is kept to a minimum. Besides San Francisco, there are a few other sanctuary cities including Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago.

San Francisco’s status as a sanctuary city protects SFUSD students

 

The city of San Francisco as a sanctuary is also extremely significant in regards to protecting children, especially students in school. In fact, SFUSD Superintendent Myong Leigh has publicly stated that he, along with the district administrators, will not comply with ICE in order to reinforce the safety and rights of young adults trying to obtain an education. We may not realize it, but Trump’s immigration policies affect many students and their families right here at Lincoln. There’s definitely tension in the atmosphere.

 

Lincoln junior Jose Dominguez has had first-hand experience with the terrifying power of ICE. He shares his story, stating, “My brother’s uncle was trying to fix his documentation to be a US citizen. When he filed his information he was asked to return to Honduras for six months and come back as a legal US resident.”

 

Unfortunately, this situation rings close to home for hundreds of undocumented people who come to America in hopes of escaping violence in their homeland country.

 

For children and teens to grow up in times of tension and to worry about getting deported rather than getting the newest toy from the store is heartbreaking. It can cause stress, depression and paranoia that is detrimental to development. For San Francisco to remain a sanctuary city is to provide protection and comfort for children and our society.

 

Lance Tagomori states, “The Lincoln community aims to not single people out.  Our job is to create a people safe atmosphere and educate students. We are  not in the business of immigration, not in the business of excluding people, not in the business of enforcing recent federal policies regarding immigration.  Our primary purpose is to keep our students safe and educated.”