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Dropping classes is not the process many think it is

By Benjamin Sheh

 


AP class drop forms are spread out.

 

Picture taken by : Benjamin Sheh

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   It’s the beginning of the year and many students have found themselves in a situation where they’ve considered dropping or switching a class. This could be for a number of reasons, ranging from a mistake in their schedule to simply disliking the subject and desiring an alternative. But what does the process truly involve? Do students know under what circumstances it would be beneficial for them to drop or switch classes?

 

   According to Maria Martinez, an academic counselor, the schedule for all students is sorted by a computer program long before the school year starts. The course selection sheet in the spring semester is the starting point. All the classes a student chooses on this sheet decide the ones they’re going to get.

   

“You’re being enrolled in the class, not the teacher,” says Martinez.

 

   The counseling office sees a large influx of people at the beginning of each year with unsubstantiated requests to switch from one teacher to another. This situation, known as “teacher shopping,” is frowned upon by counselors and teachers alike. Sara Falls, an English teacher, had a problem this scenario last year. A student had been in her class for less than a week, and requested his counselor to switch him to another English teacher in the same period.

   

   “There wasn’t a problem with his schedule. He didn’t want me as his teacher,” Falls said.

This year, she noted that less “teacher shopping” seemed to be occurring. Multiple counselors in the office mentioned that they had received such requests, but had explained to the students that switching because of teacher preference was not allowed and that they couldn’t address those inquiries. Martinez recommended that students who have specific problems with their classes or teachers should still speak with their counselor about the issue.

   

   However, students are not discouraged from considering a different class if their current elective doesn’t suit them in difficulty or subject. AP Environmental Science teacher Jeffrey Kim does not mind students switching classes, saying “I honor the students’ decisions if they want to drop my class. They might have things going on in their lives, difficulties they don’t want to share that I don’t know about.”

   

   In this situation, students can simply contact their counselor by phone, email, or any other form of communication to set up a meeting where they can deliberate the issue and come up with a solution. Generally, the time period in which it is recommended to drop is six weeks from when school starts. No single outcome is guaranteed, but counselors expect students to have a good explanation as to why they are making their decision and that they are committed to it.

 

   Every student’s situation is unique, which can make it hard at times to come to a decision in which everyone is satisfied with. Occasionally, if one’s schedule has an error, it will almost definitely be resolved. But no matter what the situation, counselors are a hub of communication available to students.

 

   “If you have concerns or issues, you initiate the conversation with your counselor,” said Martinez.

 

Watch out for your personal belongings

By Justin Chan

 

 

Belongings that thieves might steal.

 

Photo taken by : Justin Chan

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   With only one grading period into the school year, the numbers of thefts is far more than last school year. The thefts have gotten so bad that Dean Joel. Balzer made flyers to be distributed throughout the school. The flyers say that students need to make sure not to  leave their belongings unattended.  

 

   Most thefts are carried out during class time, and one may not even notice when they occur. The best way to prevent theft from happening is to keep your valuables with you at all times.

 

   Although the rate of thefts increased this year, reports still occurred last year. One victim of theft, is Lincoln High junior student Carl Luo. Luo’s “iPhone” was stolen when he was charging it. He left his iPhone charging on his desk and went to the bathroom. When he came back he found his “iPhone” missing. Luo panicked as he searched for his missing phone, but he could not find it. Even calling the iPhone did not work, because the thief turned it off. Luo never found his stolen iPhone, and he is very upset about it. To prevent further incidents from happening, he says that he will carry his phone with him at all times.

 

   Theft is not only a problem at school, but it can happen anywhere and at any time.  Lincoln High senior Sandra Chen had her Clipper Card stolen while riding the bus on the way home. Chen was on the 38R going home, “The bus was crowded, and I felt someone standing behind me.” When Chen transferred to another bus she noticed that her Clipper was missing. From there she concluded that the person standing behind her on the 38R noticed Chen’s Clipper and stole it from her backpack. Chen she said, “Some people might think other people’s stuff is better than their stuff. Or maybe some people are greedy or want others’ stuff.”

 

   Now, Chen says she will always keep an eye out on her belongings.

 

   Why do thefts occur? One reason could be that the thief wants to look cool in front of their friends. Most of the time the thief steals something they do not need; they only like the feeling of excitement they get from the act. Another reason is that the thief sees the item and thinks to themselves that it is easier to  steal than to work for it. If thieves continues to successfully steal constantly they would form a mindset thinking that they can always get away with it. To prevent this from happening, keep your valuables secure and out of sight.

It's important that we use the correct bins, compost, and recycle

By Keshawn Mitchell

 


Bins you will find and should use in each class.

 

Photo taken by : Keshawn Mitchell

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   Many students use the correct bins for their trash and some don't. It is important for everyone to recycle and throw their trash in the correct bins.The reason we recycle is to keep our environment clean and green. English teacher Ms. Drager,  has a recycling bin, trash bin and a compost bin which most teachers don't have, she's used her compost bin ever since it's been offered for the teachers to use. She encourages kids to compost to help the environment. she stated “ It's disgusting how we trash our only home.”

 

   Many students don't throw their trash in the correct bins because it's quicker to just dump everything in one trash can. “Sad that we don't have compost bins out in the halls,”  Drager stated. Drager has been successful with getting her students to recycle and compost that usually wait in her room but most of the time other students use the wrong bins.Drager stated that her reasoning for composting is she “doesn't like seeing whole foods and fruits being wasted”. The bad of the composting in her room is the compost causes an odor occasionally.

 

   We should recycle so that we save our natural resources.We will also save energy and money, it will create jobs.Recycling helps to reduce the pollution caused by waste. If us students wanted we could even recycle to make money, there's a few locations in san francisco that will give you about 15 cents for each plastic bottle that you have.


   Compost is important in farming and for even having a little garden at your home or school. The process of composting simply is making a lot of wet food scraps known as green waste (leaves, food waste) and then the material breaks down into humus which is important for our plants.It is important for us as a Lincoln society to compost,recycle, and use the correct bins so that we are able to keep a clean annd green lincoln.

Should schools get rid of homework?

By Ethan Angeles

 

The daily work for a student in showcased.

 

Photo taken by : Ethan Angeles

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“And don’t forget the 12 pages of notes for homework tonight!” “Yes, Mr. Furey!” Many students at Lincoln are often overwhelmed with the amount of homework they have each school nights. Some students stay up past midnight just to finish homework for one class, and don’t have enough energy to complete other class assignments. The next day, they go to school tired and stressed out! Only to receive zeroes for the hard work that they attempted to complete. Students such as athletes that have busy schedules are falling behind in coursework from getting home late after practice, not having enough time for homework, and don’t have the knowledge capacity to attempt hard work.

 

Freshmen football players Owen Creed, Nick Walker, and Jonas Francovich share their thoughts on homework. These new students to Lincoln say they receive a heavy workload from all of the classes they are taking. They agree that they do not really learn a lot from homework, and that it is very stressful, and time consuming. Given that they end practice at six, they usually arrive home around 6:30 p.m., leaving only two and a half hours to eat dinner, do homework, and occasional chores every other night. Walker said, “ I don’t really think homework helps me learn the subject we were taught in class, it’s just tedious time-consuming work.” Francovich said,“ I don’t really learn from the homework, all it is, is review on things I already know, and it doesn’t really explain what I need to learn in the topic.” Creed has stated that,“ Homework just gives me headaches because it’s a bunch of repetition of what we did in class, and I feel annoyed sometimes that we have to redo almost exactly what we did in class at home. After a long day of school and practice, I don’t want to come home to more work. I feel that if teachers wanted to give homework, they should give something that will actually teach us and reinforce what we learned in class, not just extra work.”

 

Sophomores have their own opinion on the situation. Current tenth grade student Jesse Tuchez says,” Homework only helps me a little. I believe it takes my time more than it teaches me the subject. Sometimes I spend all night trying to do the homework assigned to me, and I don’t understand it. I ask my parents, and they don’t know it. I ask everyone I can use as a resource in learning this subject, sometimes no one proves to be a sufficient source of knowledge in which I may take information from. So I look at Google, and Youtube, and this leaves me more confused than when I had first started. I spend all night on work I don’t understand only to go to school the next day tired, and confused, and getting zeroes.” Many other students share these thoughts, such as Josue Rodriguez, and Ben Mignola.

 

Even parents are stumped on their students’ homework.  Sometimes Erinn Perez,(mother of a current tenth grader) usually helps her son if he has any homework. She usually knows how to do the assignments. She says homework is busywork, but it does have the quality to help some people learn. Additionally, Perez says she loves to help her son with his homework, especially if she doesn’t know it because it provides a challenge for both of them to learn it.

 

My personal opinion is that homework has some capabilities and properties to help certain people learn and actually take in the topic. I see it as one approach to teaching a diverse group of individuals. As some may learn from homework, others may think it’s tedious and doesn’t help at all. A common worksheet may accommodate certain students, while not working for other students due to differences in ability to excel in different subjects. Since the world is very socially and mentally diverse, there are different approaches to teaching each child. The government and school districts agreed to one solution, or way to solve trying to educate the brilliant minds of tomorrow. They jumped to the conclusion of teaching in a very old school way, but in larger scales.

 

Homework is said to have been created by an Italian teacher named Roberto Nevilis, who gave it to his students as punishment in 1095. So why have we established it as a worldwide norm? In the 1980s to the 1990s homework wasn’t very popular in America In fact it was discouraged by the educational system at the time. In the late 1990s students started having endless papers and writing assignments. What caused the need for homework?

 

Although there has been an increase in homework over the years, homework has been seen as negative under the level of elementary school children in America. “Murray Hill, Gramercy, & Midtown East Elementary”, public elementary schools in New York City (Midtown/Manhattan), that are are abolishing traditional homework and telling their students to play instead. The Fentress County School District in Tennessee, has also put a ban on handing out graded homework assignments. Researchers at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education found in a 2012 study that math and science homework didn’t correlate to better student grades, although it did lead to better grades on standardized tests, and when homework is assigned, the help provided by parents often negates any of the positive effects of the homework, such as reinforcing what the child learned in class. Thus helping the child finish the work, but not learning the topic. Researchers have said it causes students frustration, exhaustion, and takes time away from families, and other activities. Denise Pope, a researcher at Stanford University, has stated, that too much homework can negatively affect kids by increasing stress and sleep deprivation and generally leaving less time for family, friends, and activities. According to Pope, homework should not be simple assignment routine or practice. Researchers have also concluded that there is no direct correlation between homework and academic success amongst children of the elementary grade levels.  It also causes the reaction of loss in interest of learning. Which is very important in the young minds of elementary schoolers. As you can see homework has become big talk all across the United States of America, not just at Lincoln. Not just elementary schools, but school districts are banning homework. Many researchers are coming up with the same conclusions of the causation of stress, and sleep deprivation, homework’s insignificance, and the unconnected correlation between homework and good performances in tests.

 

A parent has said,“ Homework is about discipline. I want my child to have fun, but I want them to work hard towards a goal.” Other parents have agreed in saying that homework is good, and a few reasons why that would be, is because homework teaches time management, and independence, learning and using different skills, responsibility, habits, and memory. All of which parents feel they have learned through homework.


What do you think? Which of your classes give you homework? Do you learn from them? Does it really help you or does it leave you more confused than when you started? Is it just busywork? Or is it actually helping you learn? How?

Lincoln students come to class late due to problems out of their control

By Darren Li

 

Common location where traffic occurs.

 

Photo taken by : Darren Li

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    A large portion of Lincoln High students sit in their parents’ cars, stuck in front of the school as the time passes 8 AM. There, they stay until they reach their destination only a few meters away. What is happening here is a case of serious traffic. Every parent wants to drop their child off right next to the entrance so they don’t miss out on important assignments during the beginning of class. This poses a problem since if everyone has the same idea, then there is bound to be conflicts.

 

    Having students exit their caretakers’ cars might be dangerous! They’re literally walking out in the middle of the road. Traffic is slow, but still moves. Parents and students alike are divided on whether to leave their cars early, risking themselves and other drivers to accidents, or wait to park safely. This is one of the risks students face.

 

    “Sometimes I reach the school a few minutes early and enter a few minutes late.” says Lincoln High junior, Ethan Li.

 

According to him, whenever he gets ready to leave the car, it moves again due to impatient drivers. Li has trouble with commuting to school because of his parents' schedules, knows friends and strangers who have also been affected by the traffic jam. He complains about how he comes to his first period class late, usually missing his “Do Now” assignment. Li thinks the commute to school, “ would be a whole lot easier,” without the five-minute wait.

 

    For my mom, Ava Chuck, taking me to school on time is one of her highest priorities-only second to getting herself to work on time. Chuck says that she isn’t too bothered by the traffic jam but that I am, instead. This is entirely true. Everyday during the commute to school, she actively tries to find new routes and ways to avoid the jam but to no avail.

 

    Chuck knows coworkers that have similar problems with their children as well. They manage to keep it under control by waking up earlier than any of the other parents.

 

    Traffic can be annoying and tedious, often making people grumpy and causing problems. But there is also a way to avoid getting trapped in the onslaught of slow moving cars. According to Chuck's coworker, waking up and coming to school earlier ensures your passage to school. Leaving early to get to school earlier can be a problem for some. But for the others, not only will leaving your house early get you past that treacherous traffic jam but your commute will also be shorter as well.

Grades do not reflect students abilities

By Jose Dominguez

 


A group of students asking for help.

 

Photo taken by : Jose Dominguez

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   A new school year begins and many students are preparing themselves for a year full of learning, but will their grades reflect their capabilities?

 

   Grades are used to assess a student on their level of comprehension and understanding of a subject. Teachers set up a system to weigh the importance of participation, homework, tests, and more. These aspects are then factored in to create a grade. A grade is a substantial way to check for dedication, effort, and most importantly understanding. But determining whether or not the grade accurately reflects someone’s actual knowledge is more difficult than it seems.

 

   World History teacher Gordon Robertson said, “Grades are an indication of the progress on the work. In other words what they complete and then ultimately what they completed correctly.”

 

   Last year about 84% of Robertson's students passed with C’s or higher and only 16% of students obtained D’s or lower. This is data is the sum of only one subject for the first semester.

 

   Lincoln Junior Judy Han said, “I don't have time to do homework at home and even if your grades don't look good you still have learned something; grades don't represent you.”

 

   Another important set of data is the 2016 standardized testing results for English. By ethnicity; about 11% of Black/African Americans exceeded on the standards. While 50% met the standards and 39% did not. Thirty nine percent of Asians exceeded on the standards. While only 34% met the standards and 26% did not.  Twenty one percent of  Hispanic/Latinos exceeded on the standards, 35% met the standards, and 45% did not.    

 

   As a whole, 35% of  all the juniors exceeded on the standards; 35% met the standards, and 30% did not.

 

   According to Robertson there is a change when a student turns 16 or goes into their Junior year that is very evident.

 

   He said, “Any good teacher can recognize that something happened to them over the summer and came back a little more mature.”

 

   Adequate grades do not indicate that a person knows a subject well, but at least this person knows the material that is given. Students need to realize that there might be nothing wrong with them so that their self esteem does not affect them. But still this does not mean that students shouldn't study subjects they don't like. One big fact about life is that in many cases, one will have to do something that they absolutely dislike to reach their goals. Working hard does not ensure a good grade.  Intelligence is defined as a person's cognitive abilities to learn or applying knowledge, and if one can't accomplish this, then all that effort has no meaning.