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"Staying healthy during cold and flu season"

 

By Jessica Wong

 

Runny noses, dry coughs, sneezing and aching muscles are some of the symptoms of the common cold or influenza. Many of us fall victim to these viruses during the colder months of the year. Since the cold and flu are contagious, they spread quickly, especially at school. 

Precautions exist that many of us have been told to take to prevent spreading our germs to others, even when we’re not sick.

One of the most obvious ways to prevent the spread of germs is by coughing or sneezing into the inside of your elbow. Although this act is basic and elementary, some people don’t do this and risk getting everyone around them sick.

“If a person sneezes or coughs, the secretions can become airborne and land on another person. If the secretions land on objects such as toys, computer keyboards or other surfaces, the virus will live up to 3 hours. All a person has to do is touch the contaminated surface they can become infected,” says Nurse Vanessa Piccolotti.

Colds can last up to two weeks. According to Julie Reis, biotechnology and physiology teacher, the best way to prevent spreading the virus is by staying home until you don’t feel sick anymore. “You can prevent catching a cold by frequently washing your hands, [and] getting enough sleep, which most teenagers don’t,” says Reis. “The quickest way to boost your immune system is [to] get more sleep. Sleep deprivation is one of the biggest suppressers of your immune system.”

Some of our parents feel as though we should get flu shots to prevent catching the flu, but Reis says, “getting a flu shot may or may not help because you never know if it’s the exact strain of flu that’s going around.” At the same time, Piccoloti absolutely recommends getting the flu shot.

Parents also tend to not believe us when we say we’re sick or still want us to go to school, “But… if you just don’t feel well, if you feel like you need to put your head down and go to sleep, you do! So you need to listen to your body,” says Reis.

Other reasons to stay home are if you have a fever, have a bad cough, feel drowsy from medication, according to Piccoloti.

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We can easily spot those of our peers who are sick by their symptoms. Reis also notices that not all of her students stay home if they’re sick, and if they do, they come back too soon. She sees students “drag themselves in” and show “a lot of coughing and seeming extra tired, and they’re not getting enough rest for their immune systems to be able to do the job.”

According to Piccolotti, food high in carotenoids such as apricots, asparagus, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, spinach and watermelon; vitamin C such as berries, kale, kiwi, mangoes, oranges, papaya, peppers and strawberries; vitamin E such as mustard, nuts and sunflower seeds; antioxidants such as prunes, apples, raisins, grapes; zinc such as red meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products boost immune systems.

Piccolotti’s top tip on prevention is frequent hand washing. “This is probably the single best measure to prevent transmission of colds. Especially after shopping, going to the gym, or spending time in public places, hand washing is critical,” she says. 

Other prevention tips are not touching your face, not smoking, keeping household surfaces clean, using paper towels for hand drying, throwing away used tissues immediately, controlling stress and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Surely, colds are unavoidable, but by taking these precautions, we can lessen the chance of getting sick.

"Occupy movement: Finds its way to Lincoln students"

 

By Saul Reyes

 

About three months ago on September 17th 2011, a movement took the world by storm in the heart of the Financial District on Wall Street New York City.  Upset protesters gathered at Liberty Square in mass, outraged at the corruption within our government.  More specifically they are protesting the growing economic imbalance in the United States of America and in the world as a whole.  One of the original signs, common among the protestors, read “We Are The 99%” implying that there is 1% of the population that owns roughly 35-40% of the wealth, and then there are the rest of us, or the 99%. However there is a large amount of the population who are unaware of this reality especially among the youth. 

Since the start of the occupation, centered in Zuccotii Park, thousands of inspired protesters nationwide have begun occupations in their respective cities.  There are worldwide occupations in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street from the Western hemisphere to the Eastern.  What had started as a group of activists exercising their first amendment rights as Americans has spread like wild-fire across the oceans creating global unity determined to rid the world ofcorruption. The Occupy Movement would not be where it is at today if it were not for the initial revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia which inspired the citizens of America that change is possible.  Our Secretary of State Hilary Clinton met with the press about the revolution in Egypt and responded “The people of the Middle East like people everywhere are seeking a chance to contribute and to have a role in the decisions that shape their lives.”

American mainstream news media have steadily failed to provide honest reporting about the occupations and their intentions.  The two month occupation has been met with, for the most part, by an apathetic American public.  When the occupations are brought to attention in the news, the coverage is often biased and against the movement.  Ramsy, a protester at OccupySF explains, “The coverage is mixed… is honest reporting and then there is just pure propaganda.”

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Many students may recall the riots that took place in Oakland caused by the raiding of Occupy Oakland camp just last month from the local news coverage concentrating on the horrific events that took place that night.  While the violent scenes of the riot were locally publicized the coverage was very one sided not educating viewers on the reason why they were there in the first place. 

Very few Lincoln students know about Occupy Wall Street and occupations everywhere for that matter.  The movement has brought up the point that college students and high school students applying for universities are the ones who need to be the most concerned about their futures in this country.  Leon Sultan, a social studies teacher at Abraham Lincoln, made it clear on why the youth should be paying more attention to the  movement, “The reason it’s important is because we’re pushing kids to go to college really strongly out of high school; we’re really pushing kids to go to four year universities… we’re putting kids close to 100,000 dollars in debt just for their undergraduate education, and we don’t necessarily have jobs for them when they get out of school, and we are pushing them more and more to take loans.”

Ramsy agrees with Sultan that the youth of America is heading  into a “life of debt slavery.”

There are two occupations here in San Francisco located at Justin Herman Plaza and at the Federal Reserve Bank (101 Market St.).  The occupations have recently been evicted and have been offered the option to relocate in the Mission District.

I recently visited the Justin Herman Plaza occupation, at the Embarcadero, for the first time.  When I arrived at the scene I saw a large banner that read “We are the 99% Occupy San Francisco,” in English and in Spanish. Behind the banner was the actual occupation.  There were at least 50 plus tents or homes set up by the occupiers.  Some tents were plain many others were unique, homelike, with plants, American flags and political art.  As I walked in and around the occupation I saw many people of different ethnic backgrounds all very content with each other. 

They are occupying to fight the corruption in this Democracy. “There is a problem with the banks controlling Democracy,” said Ramsy.  

People across the country are outraged at the growing inequality between the rich and the poor. Alexander Fraser, an English teacher at Lincoln shared his thought on the cause of the occupy movement, “The distribution of wealth in this country is becoming more unbalanced… increasingly rapidly.”  

The main cause of the movement is that “there is one percent of the population that controls the government, the media, the courts, and are using them to rob the 99%,” said Ramsy.

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Students choose to ignore this movement.  “I don’t even know what they are doing” is the main response I have gotten from a handful of my peers.  “You can ignore it as much as you want, but it’s gonna find you eventually,” said Sultan. “Your life is going to be affected by it, so you can choose to be ignorant of that or you can choose to educate yourself and form your own point of view.  One way or another it’s going to touch you even if you don’t want it to.” 

Fraser believes that it is crucial that the youth should know about the Occupy Movement because “people will do whatever they can get away with and they can get away with things that nobody knows about”.

"Lincoln students go to Nicaragua in the Summer"

 

 By Dennis Chang

 

 This past summer, eighteen Abraham Lincoln High School son-to-be seniors left San Francisco for the distant country of Nicaragua. They traveled to the city of Leon as part of Global Glimpse, a leadership program that takes high school students to Central America during the summer before their senior year.

In preparation for the trip, students participated in workshops where they learned about Nicaraguan culture. The students also engaged in team builders to get to know their peers, who they would live with for almost three weeks. 

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Over the summer, students collaborated to complete a mission, a community project. This year’s mission was to build a preschool. Each group that went to Nicaragua helped build part of the school. The first group began the mission, which was built upon by each team that followed. They started by helping the community create the foundation of the preschool. “My group fundraised like two thousand dollars in two days, and using that, we were able to expand on the project by planting fruit trees around the preschool to provide some fresh fruit,” said Dylan Chow, who went on the second trip. “We also found a field down the hill, and we turned that into a baseball field, so that the kids would have something to do after school. We also got a roof, and we got a toilet. We got a lot of the main stuff, but they were just kind of lacking the [learning] materials at that point.” 

On most days, students had a set schedule. “We would wake up around eight, we’d eat breakfast, and then we’d have class,” said Chow. “The first week, we had to learn how to speak Spanish, because we’d be teaching English to locals there.” After class, there was lunch, followed by afternoon activities. Afternoon activities often consisted of visiting landmarks like a local volcano, or relaxing at a beach. “My favorite part was diving under the waves at the beach,” said senior Helena Viets, another participant on this year’s trip. “When the waves came, you had to dive into them. Ifyou didn’t dive in deep enough, you’d get thrown back hella far.”

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For the first few weeks, students taught two-hour classes to locals, helping them achieve certificates that allowed them access to better opportunities and jobs. “I really enjoyed teaching the locals... I didn’t know any Spanish, like, I had no idea, and I had to teach them in their native language some English, and some of them didn’t know any at all. It was good to bond with them and really get to know them.” 

Global Glimpse has been coordinating trips for about five years, and coordinating trips with ALHS for about three years, with teachers such as Ms. Falls and Mr. Sultan accompanying students on the way. 

“The goal of Global Glimpse is to build leaders. It’s not about what we accomplish, it’s about the process of getting there, and what we learn about ourselves,” said Ian Enriquez, a wellness counselor at ALHS and a leader who went on one of the trips. “I’ve certainly seen leadership come of it, and I’ve seen growth…I’ve seen change in a lot of them.”

"Social networking creates monstrosity"

 

By Kimberly Alvarado

 

Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, and Demi Lovato have all gone through what many people around us go through every day. Cyberbullying. 

Facebook, MySpace, AIM, Skype, oovoo, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, and Stickam have all been popular sites where cyber bullying has occurred. In 2010, an eleven-year-old-girl who called herself Jessi Slaughter created an account on Stickam where she was bullied and accused of sleeping with a member from the band, Blood on the Dance Floor, because she had claimed that the member and she were very close friends. There is uncertainty in the young girl’s statement, because although the band member never denied being close friends or having an intimate affair with her, he neither accepted it. She made videos on YouTube defending herself by threatening people swearing and bragging about herself, making it seem as if she was a narcissist. Only two weeks later she posted another video in tears yelling at the camera and its viewers saying she had never done anything. These videos went viral, causing Jessi to be bullied constantly, making her suicidal and was later hospitalized for abusing herself, she claiming she would kill herself.

In 2008, in Lakeland, Florida, six girls and two boys violently abused a classmate of theirs who they claimed said very rude comments about them on MySpace, and they recorded the attack. After the video was recorded, the girls and the boys uploaded the video to YouTube in search for Internet fame. People were actually supporting the beaters and praising them and claiming the girl was a ‘weak bitch’ and a ‘pussy that doesn’t fight back.’ What is the point in damaging someone to gain pride?

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A brave senior named Kinderly Marie told me she was a victim of cyberbullying. “I went to Rooftop for middle school. I was the tomboyish girl, and I wasn’t very popular. I started receiving messages from a group of kids at school, about five or six, and they would text me, MySpace me, AIM me, and Facebook me with threatening messages.” The messages were very rude and insulting and were threats stating the group of kids would jump Marie when they had the chance. Luckily though, a counselor found out about the bullying and immediately had a meeting with the kids and Marie. “The counselor told the kids thatwould become a police matter, and they did stop. I think people bully other people because they’re too scared, and act all tough on the Internet, but they don’t have the balls to say anything in person,” Marie stated.

Jen Kenny-Baum from the Wellness Center says she believes people who bully others could be doing it for a lot of reasons. “Bullies don’t have much control in many parts of their own life and this is one way to get the control back. The smaller they make someone feel, the bigger and the more powerful it makes them feel because they feel as if they are putting the smaller ones in their place.”  

In many cases though, compared to regular bullying, cyberbullying can be much more damaging. Nowadays it is very simple to create anonymous messages and send them to people to harass them. Even, when the bullying isn’t intentional, like when you hurt someone’s feelings without knowing it by making jokes on people’s posts, or posting up a photo that may embarrass friends, the bully can’t see the look on people’s faces when they receive nasty comments or messages. This isolates victims from the community, because whatever they have been bullied for, they begin to feel ashamed for it, and in many cases decide that suicide is their only option… And no one wants be held accountable for a person’s suicide, do they?”

Morgan Wallace is in charge of the conflict mediation and peer resources program at school. He told me he gets reports all the time about kids being cyberbullied. He believes there is no difference between cyberbullying and bullying. “Stuff happens in the communities, so why not online? It’s just a newer phenomenon and shouldn’t be a surprise. Cyberbullying is different because kids can be listed as anonymous and can easily have their buddies come over and gang up on the victim. It’s a new extension of bullying.”

Wallace also tells me that many adults on campus are not too familiar with cyberbullying, and because it is something new, there isn’t much help about it. Although, if you or someone you know is being cyberbullied and you need help please, do not hesitate to go to the Wellness Center or someone who you believe can help end the situation who is trustworthy and honest. 

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