Week 7 - End of Year (10/2 - End)

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Week 6 (9/25 - 9/29)

Nikita Kruglov

Staff Writer

Opening our Eyes to What Goes On in Other Countries

Traveling is great for both reuniting family members and experiencing something new. The beauty of sightseeing in places far away from home is wondrous, especially when going out of the country. Being knowledgeable in how different the U.S is from another nation can sometimes be hard to fathom. From everyday life to seeing the way people act to differences in culture, traveling can show one how big yet small the world is. Seeing how much disparity exists in the world opens up one's eyes to treasure what they have, especially if they are from the U.S, considering we are one of the most developed nations in the world. Comparing a place like the U.S. to a country like Ukraine teaches a person so much about life and how lucky we are to have what we have; Ukraine has so much poverty. Families of eight live in a single small two-room apartment that's about twenty years old.

This summer, I flew to Ukraine to visit my grandmother who's in her mid 70’s and needs some attention because all of her kids have moved out all over the world, so she definitely feels lonely. The transitive differences in culture and atmosphere hit me like a brick wall. I've been to Ukraine before, but revisiting at this age allows me to see so much more, like how fortunate and lucky we are regarding the freedom we have here in the states. This trip made me have a whole new outlook on life and how I view it. When people say they hate how cruel police are in the U.S., they have no idea what goes on in other nations. There are no rules regarding legal arrest. If they see a person that looks odd, they beat them until they can't move. There are so many limitations to anything that may satisfy a personal need. We need to open our eyes to other countries and what they go through so we acquire more well-rounded viewpoints.

Finally, it is critical for all students my age to understand the importance of what goes on in the outside world. So many kids my age don't have quarter of what I have in terms of perspective and that shows that we need to pay attention to what goes on outside of our nation. Although Ukraine is a country that has beautiful landscapes to see, when you expand your horizons from those areas, you see the reality of it -- poverty, corruption, and no hope. We have cars that we use to drive a few miles; my father had to walk eight miles just to get to school. Many people don't understand the struggle of life in other nations; therefore we need to be educated on countries that go through such adversities in order for us not to take things for granted so much and for us to fully respect life here.  

Picture of Donbass, Ukraine, from New Europe


Picture of Odessa, Moldavanka, Ukraine, from OdessaSecrets, WordPress page


Week 5 (9/18 - 9/22)

(Pictures from the Santana Sultans website)

Mina Rivera

Staff Writer

The First of Many

This first month, grading period, and -- for some -- year of high school, has been eventful already. As the school year gets a kickstart and students adjust into the swing of things, the progress reports being released are making and breaking pupils’ social lives and causing angry parents to pop up across the Santee area. Who better is there to ask about these things than the students of Santana High School themselves? 

For some freshmen like Seth G., the transition into high school has been simply described as “great,” since he is “not at all worried about grades coming out”. Contrarily, for some of us, as sophomore Katelyn Dean put it, the current school year has been “terrible, but has had some good times mixed in the chaos;” although, she claims that she is “still not worried about the grades coming out this week.” Overall, the school year has gone pretty smoothly so far. It looks as if the majority of students at Santana are going to have to face no negative consequences for their grades, but we’ll check in and see how views change towards the end of the semester.


Week 4 (9/11 - 9/15)

Nikita Kruglov

Staff Writer

Sleeping in Class

Why do we fall asleep in class? Well, we have lots going on -- sports, large loads of homework, and stress from everyday life growing up as teenagers. High school is a high-stress environment, especially as we students move up grade levels. Most of the time kids are overloaded because of sports and giant workloads. Student life in high school is not generally difficult; it just becomes too much when activities in personal aspects of life start to catch up with us while school becomes more tedious. Kids nowadays lead active lifestyles, and most of them have needs and priorities; thus, they have more to do than just work in school.

The number one reason as to why students fall asleep in class is that they simply stay up too late. Watching Netflix or playing video games contributes majorly. Due to the mental exertion school causes, some students to spend that free time for their precious hours of sleep, which results in students feeling tired and having no effort the next day. This should let teachers know that sometimes the amount of homework they give may be a bit too much. I understand that teachers are trying to give us the most efficient way to obtain and retain the information they want us to know, but when we get crammed with work from all of our classes, it becomes unhealthy to the point at which we are forced to keep ourselves awake in order to study. Due to this cramming, students have no energy to spend.

(Images provided by UniversityPrimetime.com and NOWNews.com, respectively, from top to bottom)

Chinese Calligraphy is used both as an art form and education in Chinese culture.

The two major languages in California are English and Spanish, and many people don’t even learn Spanish.

Brodie Patch

Staff Writer

English, Spanish, and That’s It.

Schools teach only one or two languages in the San Diego area. English and Spanish are the only languages taught for miles. I came from New Hampshire, where students can learn four languages. English, Spanish, French, and Mandarin (a.k.a. Chinese) are taught throughout New Hampshire, and likely the entire east coast as well. So why isn’t it taught in the West Coast? Why is our population, which is more than 33 Million, less intellectually advanced than a population of less than 1.5 Million?
California is not the worst state in America in terms of education, however. We are in 29th place while most of New England is in the top 10. Not to mention all of America's educational spending is underwhelming. We have lost considerable amounts of gov't spending towards educational system since 2009. You can see the effects of this in our school as well. Even though Santana just got the last batch of computers, we lost quite a bit due to it. The guitars in the guitar room are horrible, we are still using Common Core as a system instead of using a more individualized education system, and last but not least, our alternative languages classes are not existent. Spanish and English are mandatory, obviously. However, whypr are we putting guitar class (which, as most people learn, is a useless class) and Racquet Sports before classes such as Mandarin, French, and Portuguese? Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, and we are setting courses such as Weight Training in front of it. Paul Krugman of The Washington Post has this to say about it; "In America, with its weak social safety net and limited student aid, students are far more likely than their counterparts in, say, France to hold part-time jobs while still attending classes. Not surprisingly, given the financial pressures, young Americans are also less likely to stay in school and more likely to become full-time workers instead." (Krugman, Paul; "Uneducated America;" The Washington Post) 
Language learning should not be mandatory, obviously. Additionally, language is taught decently right now. You are taught it for a few years through a series of examples and a lot of unnecessary tests and essays, then as a reward, you go to a country where you speak that language for a week or two. However, that is it. Then, you are kicked out into the world expected to retain all the information you just learned, whether you use it on a daily basis or very scarcely through the years. If language becomes mandatory like Spanish is right now, then it is very much a waste of education. Like on the east coast, learning a new language should be optional and only accessible if you plan on using it later in life. When I took Mandarin, I expected to retain it as much as I did back when I first learned it. Now, I find myself barely remembering how to greet someone. Anne Merrit had this to say about it; “Educators often liken the brain to a muscle, because it functions better with exercise. Learning a language involves memorising rules and vocabulary, which helps strengthen that mental ‘muscle.’ This exercise improves overall memory, which means that multiple language speakers are better at remembering lists or sequences. Studies show that bilinguals are better at retaining shopping lists, names, and directions.” (Merrit, Anne; “Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism;” The Telegraph)
If we could improve our education system, I can guarantee you that California would be as educated, if not more, than states such as Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. With a population as large as ours, we should have more intellect than we have right now. Foreign countries laugh at our intellect and our greed. America used to praise itself as the smartest country in the world in the 19th century. We need to flip the tables and laugh back at those who oppose us and look down on us. Our wits should just be one step to America’s greatness that we will achieve.  We can start here at Santana.

(Pictures provided by China Online Museum and the Huffington Post, respectively, from left to right)

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