Monthly Archives: April 2017

College life features more independence

By Ashley Venegas

Staff Writer

Your morning alarm goes off, and you trudge along to school. You leave school in the afternoon, do homework and the rest of the day is yours. This cycle repeats daily, with only two days to snooze in and enjoy the full day. This is the typical life for your average high schooler, at least until you graduate.  

Sorority groups, sports teams, clubs, night classes, lectures, dorms: the college life. Students getting accepted into college is a big goal for all schools across America. Of course, you hear stories about college from your teachers, older siblings, parents and family, but it’s still a little scary experiencing college for yourself, right? So what are you supposed to expect? What’s different? What’s the same?

San Francisco University student Vianet Denise Orozco Ortiz gave the details on the major differences between high school life and college life.


The Leonard J. Paul Library at San Francisco University PHOTO CREDIT: Vianet Orozco


Snapshot between the HSS building and science building at SFU PHOTO CREDIT: Vianet Orozco


SFU’s mascot statue in front of the gym PHOTO CREDIT: Vianet Orozco

The main question here: What are some major differences you have noticed during the transition from high school to college? “If you want to succeed in college, you have to actually try and attend office hours,” Orozco said. “Teachers are not going to be there to hold your hand, especially if you go to their office hours when you’re already failing or for the last final.”

Self-maintenance and discipline is a big part of the academic lifestyle transformation, as she mentioned, but what was the most unexpected change for her? Orozco said the amount of free time she had between classes seemed to be the most unexpected change for her, whether that was five hours or a full day.

Orozco attended Summit Public Schools: Rainier, a charter high school with the main purpose of preparing students for college. According to Orozco, the transition from Summit Rainier to SFU was “in some ways smooth, in others rocky,” specifically studying for midterms and finals. She recommends that Summit Rainier should begin teaching students how to study properly. However, she found that she could carry her own weight in seeking help and regularly attending office hours.

Overall, however, did Summit Rainier really prepare her for college? Orozco states that the school did indeed prepare her well. For example, it gave her the ability to “maneuver my courses” as well as to maintain a job and to provide for herself. 

All together, the transition seemed to have its ups and downs for Orozco, but how much has her daily lifestyle changed since high school? “I am more mature, have more responsibilities, and I have been able to make more networks,” she said. 

During the change in academic environments, Orozco said that the most helpful part was the support of her family and her ability to handle large amounts of work. What stayed the same throughout the change? “My time management, how persistent I am and my passion for pursuing my degree,” Orozco said. 

Orozco’s perspective of how high school actually changed her life was how she kept growing her thirst for knowledge. “High school only added fuel to the fire in me wanting to pursue my dream and have my dream job.”

We’ve covered the similarities and differences between high school and college, in education and lifestyle, but how is she managing now? Organization and commitment is a big help in college and, for Orozco, two of the most important skills to have.

As most would expect, being able to recognize when the appropriate time to be formal and not to be is essential. “Having that skill could really make things easier for you. People will see that you are responsible enough to know when to be mature and when you can slack off a bit. Professors and seniors will appreciate it.”

Another essential is “simply being open-minded.” College is “a great way to find what you want to do and where it’s your life is going to lead you,” Orozco explained. Being active in sports and clubs is a great way to explore what you like, she mentioned, adding that students should not be worried if maybe their first choice in majors isn’t what they expected: “Take your time and trust in what you want to do.”

From Orozco’s perspective, it’s clear college will be a challenge; however, perfecting a couple skills could really help lighten the load. From my perspective as a freshman in high school, you still can’t help but be anxious about it.  

Like Orozco used to, I attend Summit Rainier. My middle school was in a different area, so I didn’t know anyone when I first arrived. My middle school was also much bigger, and a bigger school means more people.

In terms of social environments, I made a small group of friends pretty quickly, and I found that I’m more comfortable with a smaller environment.

In terms of academics, I wasn’t too surprised. Naturally, I expected high school to be more difficult than middle school. Actually, I was more surprised with the fact that I had less homework than in middle school. At Summit Rainier, we usually have PLT, or Personal Learning Time, on a daily basis, so that is a big help in getting things done before I leave school.

I can say that between me and my friends, we each have different schedules outside of school. It really depends on the person and their own personalities and interests. I personally like to participate in things outside of school more than in school, such as art and sports. As far as how high school impacted my life, I definitely know I’ve been a lot busier since high school started. 

The amount of difference between high school and college can change depending on the person, as I previously mentioned. There are many variables for this. People who naturally are more organized and adapt easier might have an easier transition than others who struggle a bit more. It also depends on the way they were taught and the people around them.

Every person has their own experiences; this is just a comparison between two people. However, this can at least give you a small head start on what to expect. 

Since the interview, I have been feeling a little less anxious than before. Now,  I know a little more of what to expect and what I can do to better prepare myself. Studying hard and learning how to be more independent will be something I will practicing in the future. College will be difficult, but I’ve learned that with self-discipline and organization I can make my college experience a bit easier.


Journalists feel the effect of President Trump’s perception of libel

By Amanda Ramirez

Staff Writer

Donald Trump might take action on his negative views toward the media by “opening up libel laws” during his presidency. Many times throughout Mr. Trump’s campaign trail, the public has noticed his libel threats upon journalists. One example is from a Donald Trump rally in Fort Worth, Texas on Feb. 26, 2016, which gave insight of his thoughts and plans for the media.

“I’ll tell you what, I think the media is among the most dishonest groups of people I’ve ever met,”  he said at the rally, according to Business Insider.

Business Insider also recorded that Mr. Trump went on to say, “I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.

However, he contradicts his statement of “…we can sue them and win lots of money” by also saying, “With me, they’re not protected, because I’m not like other people, but I’m not taking money, I’m not taking their money” at the same rally in Fort Worth, Texas.

During this rally, Mr. Trump mentioned that he plans to change libel laws in the United States so that he can have an easier time suing news organizations for writing “purposefully negative, horrible, and false articles.” In order to understand what Mr. Trump’s future intentions of weakening libel laws are, it is important to understand what libel is in the first place.

According to the Student Press Law Center, libel is the publication of a false statement of fact that seriously harms someone’s reputation.

* What are the steps to sue for libel?  

  1. Has been published
  2. Identifies a specific individual
  3. Is false
  4. Asserts a fact
  5. Causes serious harm to a reputation
  6. Shows — at a minimum — that a journalist acted unreasonably, that he or she was somehow at fault.

Mr. Trump believed that he could sue the New York Times for an article written about him, but that article did not meet the libel requirements.

This threat to the New York Times began with a video from 2005 that recently went viral as it revealed Mr. Trump’s ‘locker-room banter’ and derogatory language to describe women. After the video surfaced, the New York Times released an article including additional claims of Trump sexually assaulting women.

After the release of the New York Times article, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz, threatened to sue the New York Times for libel in a letter stating, “Your article is reckless, defamatory and constitutes libel per se,”

Considering this article “falls clearly into the realm of public service journalism,” as spokesperson for the The New York Times Eileen Murphy mentioned in a responding statement, The New York Times will not renounce the article from their website. In other words, since the purpose of journalism is to inform the public, it would be a disservice to hide these allegations from the people. Therefore, The New York Times will continue to stand by this article.

David McCraw, vice president and assistant general counsel of The New York Times, responded to the letter from Mr. Trump’s lawyer to explain why their article is not libel. In Mr. McCraw’s response letter, he argued that The New York Times cannot be sued for libel in damaging Mr. Trump’s reputation because he has publicly created that reputation for himself in other statements he has made.

“Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself,” wrote Mr. McCraw.

With these requirements in mind, Mr. Trump’s idea of libel in this scenario does not fit the true definition. Just because what the media writes might not always flatter Mr. Trump, as long as the information reported is proven to be truthful, journalists will be protected from Donald Trump’s libel threats.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Music at Rainier brings our community together

By Alex D. Bonnett

Staff Writer

Music is one of the biggest parts that make up the community at Summit Public Schools: Rainier. Students play music during breaks and even during classes. Many students and staff love music and visibly show their support toward it. Music brings out students’ creativity, encouraging them to express it to the community. This is what students and staff have to say about how music affects the Rainier community:

Rainier sophomores Ryan Gage, Jacob Cardwell and Hunter Tilbury sing for the community to support the basketball signups.

Rainier seniors Jowie Panaligan and Ian Torres joined the VIBE club due to their interest in the arts; they explained that the musical arts are important at Rainier. 

Rainier freshmen Nicholas Perez and Chance Lodes play Legend of Zelda’s Song of Storms on piano after school in the biology class.

Perez and Lodes play the piano in the biology classroom together every day during and after school.

Students from the Stanford Vietnamese Student Association came to Summit Rainier to dance for the Lunar New Year Festival.


Summit Rainier tutor Johnny Nguyen said, “Music is an avenue; it’s always a point of community. If I went up to a student and started quoting Kanye West, and they listen to Kanye West, that’s already a connection.” PHOTO CREDIT: Toan Chau

On the beginning of the year camping trip, Summit Rainier family set up a late night talent show to let students show off their skills for the rest of the community.


Guitars and ukuleles are common instruments at Summit Rainier. PHOTO CREDIT: Toan Chau


Rainier sophomore Briahana Martinez said, “Yeah. It’s really nice to listen to and play. Makes your life easier and calm.” PHOTO CREDIT: Toan Chau

Everest students create pop-up stores

By Madison Chamness and Serina Sperduto

Staff Writers

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At Everest Public High School, the student population has access to many different Expeditions courses. One popular course option is Entrepreneurship, taught by Vivy Chao, which is a class where you learn skills that aid you in the business. During the second round of Entrepreneurship, the class organized a pop-up store, which was held on Jan. 13. Ms. Chao explained, “It is a project to learn real world skills and produce products people are willing to buy.”

Everest sophomore Daine Becerra said, “You make a product, sell it, and see who can come up with the most money without revenue cost.” Becerra explained the rules for making products: “It had to be 50 percent handmade, and you can only sell before and after school. Students have to turn in the money every day. They can, as well, sell outside of Everest, and must be ready for the pop-up store on Friday.”

Ms. Chao said that the way to win was to make the widest profit margin.

The money that the students produce, they get to keep, and that makes students look out for hidden talents, learn to work better with teams, and create more responsible methods of working.

Students even had a chance to express love for waffles, and hatred for pancakes, as one student did. David Aguilar, a senior in the Entrepreneurship class, explained why he decided to sell waffles: “Because waffles are fresh and hot. Waffles are good quality, no one can deny it. It was convenient because we had a waffle maker, and it would be better than pancakes for sure. Pancakes are horrible. Did you know that a waffle is the thickness of two and a half pancakes? They are just so much better. They can be crispy and fluffy at the same time. Plenty of little pockets to create amazing little syrup ponds. I love waffles. The waffles are better than pancakes song is my ringtone.”



Teachers observe #ADayWithoutAWoman as part of International Women’s Day

By Micah Tam

Staff Writer

On March 8, not only was it International Women’s Day, it was also the observation of the #ADayWithoutAWoman protest, which acted as an extension of the #ADayWithoutAnImmigrant protest. On this day, women all over the world struck to show how the absence of women would impact society and the economy.

Among the women who chose to strike as part of the #DayWithoutAWoman protest were Summit Expeditions teachers Noelle Easterday, who teaches Anthropology, and Eli Cetto, who teaches Visual Arts. They came back with many stories and new experiences.

Here is a link to an open letter written by Ms. Eli reflecting on her personal reasons for striking.

Below is a look at the protest Teacher Easterday (left) and Ms. Eli (right) attended.






Showing Summit Prep’s community through language

By Arturo Avila

Staff Writer

Summit Preparatory Charter High School is defined by its diversity. Summit Prep’s students and teachers speak many languages. Summit Prep students and teachers talked about what community means to them in two different languages.

Summit Prep academic coach Yaro Lola (English)

Mr. Lola (Spanish)

Summit Prep senior Angela Padilla (English)

Padilla (Spanish)

Summit Prep freshmen Alma Palacios and Cielo Perez-Lopez (English)

Palacios and Perez-Lopez (Spanish)

Summit Prep senior Veronica Maza (English)

Maza (Spanish)

Expeditions classes showcase their students’ work

By Jacqueline Bella and Arianna Rosiles

Staff Writers


In the Anthropology Expeditions course, the students exhibited three ordinary, everyday objects and explained why those objects are important to their culture and why they are a part of their culture. Then they compared their objects to other cultures.


Tahoma sophomore Alexander Braunstein displays forks, glasses and earbuds, then explains why they are important to his culture. 


Tahoma sophomore Berenice Lopez showcases three objects that are important to her Mexican culture.


Tahoma freshman Armando Vargas waits to talk about his exhibit.

Girl Rising

In this Expeditions class, young students learn about female empowerment and how women are portrayed in the eyes of the media. Girls from the course were given the task of choosing a topic they were passionate about and trying to spread awareness to other people.


Parents listen to the projects that the students created.


A parent talks with students about their video.


Students are proud of their project.

Computers and Networking

In this Expeditions course, students learn about the mechanics of the computer. They demonstrated how to operate a computer and how to put up a firewall.


Upgrading old computers to newer software


A motherboard of a computer


The mechanics of the computer

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