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Opinions 04/2011

Budget? Classes?

 

   Our school budget seems not to bother many of the students at school. We have our Advanced Placement (AP) class- es, computers, books, and mate- rials a school should have. But a school is not great if it just meets the minimum requirements to be called a school – it is only great if it exceeds the minimum requirements set by the districts or educational departments. A few years ago, we had music classes, more AP classes, newer computers, and newer laboratory tools. This year, we are no longer that great; a lot of these resources are diminishing or aging and in need of replacement.

 

   The current budget problem is reflected in data for Abraham Lincoln High School. According to GreatSchools.com, a web database of all schools in the United States, the Cali- fornia Standardized Test (CST) scores have gone down hugely. These drops are very likely to be a result of students who see the school’s degradation as a reason for their bad academic performance. In the 2009-2010 school year, the proficiency rate for sophomores in Biology/Life Sciences was 16%, down from its previous year’s 24%, and far below the state average of 38%. Data of subjects in history, math, and English provide further evidence of the decrease, while data of school years from 2006- 2008 show mostly increases.

 

   The academically motivated students are starting to become upset about the lack of AP courses offered. This year, there were so few students registered for AP Chemistry, that school officials decided to cut the class completely, forc- ing the chemistry-motivated students into another area of science, or into none at all.

 

   “I was devastated that I couldn’t take AP Chem- istry this year,” said senior Ian Alonso. “I love chemistry.”

 

   “The budget is small and I feel that the funds aren’t properly allocated to the appropriate classes,” said senior Jeffrey Chum.

 

   Advanced classes like AP Chemistry are what make schools great – without them, the school is just not that great.

Let me ask you

 

   Many girls are hoping that their sweeties are going to surprise them and ask them to prom in the most creative way possible, but I think that it doesn’t really matter. Sure it’d be nice if a boy put lots of effort into asking the girl he likes because it’d be surprising, charming and heart warming, but I’d just be happy if the guy I liked simply said, “Hey, want to go to prom with me?” No need for flowers or posters. I could be asked in the middle of a snow storm next to the world’s smell- iest dumpster, and I’d still die from happiness just because I was asked by the guy I liked!

 

   Of course, it would be nice if boys put in effort into asking, but I feel like it's unfair because boys are put under so much pressure to ask in a wonderful way! As long as the girl likes them, they should say yes no matter how a guy asks!

 

   Also, why should boys be the ones to ask girls to prom? May- be it has been an old tradition that the guys ask the ladies out, but it’s a new time, and things could be done differently! Who said that only girls need to step up and be the ones to ask guys? Girls should step up to ask other girls, and guys should step up and ask other guys! Lots of people are afraid to ask someone of the same gender to prom, and it definitely takes guts, but once again, times are changing. Even though people might judge same sex couples, I think they will garnish more respect than negative comments.

 

   During Sadie Hawkins, the girls of Lincoln High went all out when asking guys to the dance, and I thought it was adorable. Girls made colorful posters, painted their cars, sang songs and even sent out a pizza with a message attached! Lots of these ideas were very unique and I believe that this shows that girls can also be very cre- ative! So why let this creativity go to waste? It wouldn’t be so bad if girls started asking guys to prom for a change instead of the other way around! They definitely have the ideas for it!

 

   Besides taking the initiative in asking a partner to prom, girls are definitely capable in doing many other things that people don't expect them to do. This is the twenty-first cen- tury but there are still boundar- ies set by society stating what men and women should be do- ing. There are lots of biased ste- reotypes like men should pay for everything during a date, and women should be in the kitchen. There is even a stereotype say- ing nurses are only females and the idea of male nurses are silly and laughed at. Women have gained their rights through- out the years and they are now “equal,” but they are still being judged and criticized for do- ing things that are meant for men to do. Same goes for males. In reality, things are no longer strictly in black and white. In- stead, there are many varying shades in between and the lines that were by previous generations should finally be crossed.

 

 

by Shirely Zhu

Stop Topic

 

   Since I own 150 band shirts, I’ve become pretty com- fortable with the fact that no one really cares what band is on my shirt. I don’t buy band shirts to impress people; I do it to support my favorite bands. Since bands make basically nothing off of CDs and MP3s, I make sure to support my fa- vorite bands by seeing them live and buying “mercy” at their shows. Even though I have the mentality that buy- ing band shirts should be about supporting artists, a lot of oth- er people buy band shirts to show off to other people. The main place they do this is Hot Topic, a chain store located in the mall. Some people that buy from Hot Topic may even have some misinformed idea that they’re actually helping bands and not harming them. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

 

   First of all, Hot Topic doesn’t actually help support bands. Any kid can go in and buy a $20 shirt of their favorite band of the week and feel content thinking that they’re supporting a band. Buying band shirts from Hot Topic does absolutely nothing tangible to give money to bands that they sell shirts for. The way Hot- Topic is able to get the rights to print shirts for different bands is through the record label the band is signed to. They give the label a base amount of money to print a design, and Hot Topic makes back all the money they gave the label by overpricing shirts to kids. Thus, the only thing buying a band shirt from Hot Topic will do is turn you into a walking advertise- ment and possibly a poser who doesn’t actually care about the band and only cares about promoting an image.

 

 

   Also, Hot Topic’s sponsoring of “dark” bands like Black Veil Brides creates a music scene that becomes more focused on style than substance. Bands will realize that having a cer- tain look to them would en- courage Hot Topic to promote their CD, and thus gain more exposure. This creates a cancer- ous music scene that becomes more focused on what kind of clothes the band wears rather than the quality of music. Thus, sub-standard “dark” bands are able to come out in droves and deliver cheezy songs about bats and overcoming misery rather than create a meaningful mes- sage. The focus of these bands also takes away attention from more deserving bands who make honest music and aren’t trying toget noticed by Hot Topic.

 

   I think in order for bands to get their honest share, people should stop buying band shirts from Hot Topic Dif- ferent shows happen all around the Bay Area. While it may not be convenient for ev- eryone, if one truly cares about the band they like, I think they should go support them by go- ing to a show. This also allows people to become exposed to new bands they would never have heard of otherwise. Shirts at shows are almost always cheaper than at Hot Topic also, usually costing between $12-$20 and no tax. Every dollar you spend on that shirt goes straight into the hands of the band which will help them not starve to death while touring.

 

   In the end, Hot Topic doesn’t care about music. They just care about making money off of naive kids in exchange for band shirts and a false sense of support. It might be slight- ly harder for some to go out and truly support a band, but it pays off by knowing that you’re actually help them as a fan.

 

 

by John Hill

Help! Save Me!

 

   Pets, they have been around for hundreds of years. Egyptians had cats, soldiers had hawks. In modern times, households all across America have cats, dogs, birds, fish, even exotic creatures such as snakes. Whether those everyday household pets are al- ways well cared for by a respon- sible adult is unlikely. Children everywhere are not responsible enough to own a household pet, because it is likely to lead to a premature death. A common goldfish for example is likely to die the day right after a parent buys it for the kid, due to the fact most children are not aware that they cannot use simple tap wa- ter and a bowl to keep the gold- fish alive. Another reason is be- cause kids are irresponsible and do not have enough experience to take care of a pet, why else would the parent lie to the child saying that it simply “ran away” when in reality they died. Par- ents should not be allowing kids to have pets, if their not willing to monitor their child’s behavior around them, and pets shouldn’t have to suffer because a local child wants to give their hamster a bath and literally drowns it.

 

   Another example would be the overuse of pet food, most chil- dren tend to over feed their pet goldfishes more then necessary in daily lives, which eventu- ally leads to a common disease for goldfishes known as swim bladder. Rabbits as well tend to be fed the wrong foods, car- rots for example is a common overused falsehood. Carrots in general are treated as sweets to rabbits. The same goes for lettuce. Children would often feed rabbits lettuce more then necessary causing them to have a quick death due to diarrhea.

 

   Also a majority of the time, children are most likely to ditch their pets as soon as they get bored, or even kill. There are times when a child is willing to barbecue a goldfish out of curi- osity. More importantly on occasions such as Easter, a parent would think its a cute idea to get their child a pet rabbit or duck, 2 weeks later they would abandon those said animals because their the ones who end up cleaning up after the animal since their child does not. Although some children take very good care of their pets, children should not be allowed to have pets if the parents know that their child is not willing to uphold the respon- sibility towards taking care of it.

 

   Overall children shouldn’t be allowed pets, when they’re espe- cially too young to understand the proper way to care for them. Unaware of such harmful dis- eases such as swim-bladder, or bunny diarrhea, all the way to things such as boredom that can eventually lead toward aban- donment. Animals shouldn’t be allowed to suffer due to the lack of responsibility of their child owners, if they cant care for a pet then why bother get- ting one at all if their just going to let it die a premature death.

 

 

by Helen Moy

Empty spaces on newspapers

 

   Empty spaces, or ‘white spaces’ on newspapers haunt editors. They are spaces that can be used for advertis- ments to help pay for our publications or used for nice pictures to attract readers. Sometimes I get the feeling that newspapers are crammed with too much infor- mation. We need some of this “white space” once in a while for our minds to relax. Imag- ine some white space flanking an article you really want to read. The information would stand out better, you would be able to focus more on what you are reading, and your brain would not get distracted by our other interesting articles.

 

   Now just take a look at our paper; the layout is nicely organized with pictures, cap- tions, and thousands of words, There’s an article right next to this one, an advertisment right below, and a picture of what some may say “cute bunnies” right above. But as you were reading this very interesting article, you were probably distracted by these. A little white space would be nice.

The best way to rule

 

   Rules exist everywhere no matter what predicament we find ourselves in. If the people like the rules, they’ll obey them. If they don’t like what the gov- ernment has set up, the citizens will most likely go against the laws. This usually leads to vari- ous incidents, such as riots and other rebellious acts. Anarchism is a political view, which is when a nation isn’t under government control. There are a handful of people who believe in this con- cept. But can anarchy really ben- efit a nation? Or are there a few drawbacks with this concept?

 

   Now, to explain anar- chism in simple terms: it means that a government would not exist within a nation. Several problems reside in this. For ex- ample, if there was no govern- ment controlling us, how can the public’s safety be ensured? Con- sider this scenario: someone is walking down the street, mind- ing their own business. Out of nowhere, another person comes from behind them and hassles them for their money. The per- petrator prevails and escapes. Given that there’s a government, the victim could go to the police station and file a report against the perpetrator, and justice could be served--provided that the perpetrator is found guilty. Here’s another scenario. Say you have a single mother who works two jobs and has three children. Through the government, she can get financial help and hous- ing for a decent price. If there was no government, the chances of her family being unable to live properly would increase.

 

   Most anarchists be- lieve in anarchy mainly because of the “poor job” their nation’s government is doing. But with- out government, there wouldn’t be balance. Sometimes, it feels like we as citizens forget that we have the power to alter the laws the government creates. By voting, we can alter, ap- prove or deny laws that the government wants to ratify.

 

 

by Julianna Echeverria