November Comic

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By Emily Zhao

 

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Trump becomes President-elect

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By Sean Tseng

Just before midnight on Tues., Nov. 8, Donald J. Trump won the 2016 presidential elections in a turnout that shook Americans all across the nation.  The result elicited emotions from heartbreak to elation, but perhaps the most immediate reaction was surprise.

Leading up to Election Day, renowned pollsters like The New York Times’ Upshot.com had projected an 85% chance of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton winning. With the media all but calling the election days before, one could easily have felt blindsided when the electoral votes for Trump broke through the majority threshold of 270.

While many factors likely contributed to the shocking result, political pundits have already begun zeroing in on what exactly led to Trump’s victory.  NPR lists several reasons, one of which being Clinton’s failure to obtain the amount of votes President Barack Obama had four years ago.  The Los Angeles Times also points to the state of the economy.  According to reporter Brad Schiller, if the economy is healthy, voters are likely to support the party currently in office.  However, if voters find the economy unsatisfactory, they tend to vote in the opposing party for a change in political pace.

“Every percentage point of inflation…is a negative for the incumbent party,” states Schiller.

Whatever allowed Trump to win, his victory means new realities for Americans in the coming months, the most imminent being the onslaught of protests spawning across the nation.  Almost immediately after Election Day, anti-Trump protesters took to the streets to challenge the results.  These demonstrations have spotlighted both the new threats that minorities now face and the unfairness of the Electoral College system.  With Clinton’s lead of over a million popular votes and counting, as reported by The Nation, her supporters are objecting fiercely to Trump’s victory and the entire electoral system.

As these protests play out across the nation, they are also occurring much closer to home.  The controversial outcome sparked volatile emotions, and the East Side district has felt firsthand some of its effects.  Students at Milpitas High School led a walk-out on Thurs., Nov. 10 to protest Trump’s victory.  According to The Mercury News, the protest gave a chance for students to share their concerns regarding the election, and many spoke of their fears as minorities or members of the LGBTQ community.  Their principal also spoke out, though he was consequently put on administrative leave for using profanity in a closing comment about Trump.  During his leave, students took it upon themselves to create a petition via Change.org calling for his return.  He was allowed to return to campus last Tuesday.

On the same day of the walk-out, Superintendent Chris Funk sent out an email to reassure families of the district’s goal of inclusiveness and safety for all students.

“The President of the United States has no authority over our schools and how we run them,” he writes in the email, emphasizing the core values of the district.  He also calls for students and families to find common ground as the transition of presidential power takes place.

Undoubtedly, as the election continues to drive people toward opposite ends of extremes, this election will go down as one of the most divisive and disconcerting in American history.  In its aftermath, San Jose Mayor Sam Licardo has issued a statement via Medium.com to quell the fear in many diverse neighborhoods and reinforce the city’s commitment to protecting its residents.

“I have sought…to convey a simple message to our wonderfully diverse community,” he expresses to those in fear or distress.  “We’ve got your back.”

“Noises Off”: a play within a play

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SARDINES SARDINES! The cast of “Noises Off” performs “Nothing On.”

By Rianna Gallardo and Hannah Tong

From Nov. 9 to Nov. 12, the PHHS Drama Department presented the school with their fall play “Noises Off.”

“Noises Off is one of the most complicated farces ever written,” informs drama teacher Anna Woods.  “It’s a play within a play. The actors aren’t just playing one role; they’re playing two.”

Students act as the characters in a play titled “Nothing On.”  Throughout the storyline, problems occur everywhere, beginning from wardrobe malfunctions to relationship issues.  Written as a farce, the comedic play puts actors in improbable situations and portrays the ongoing dread of pursuing perfect performance.

“There’s a lot of action going on.  We have characters falling down stairs and getting bloody noses,” laughs sophomore and actress Rachel Nguyen.

The drama cast hopes to bring laughter to everyone with this lighthearted piece.

“We’re just trying to crack a smile,” expresses actor and senior Rahul Negi.

Because student actors played as actors themselves, preparation for this show was much different than that of past plays.  This is also the first time the drama department introduced a two-story set, which spun in a counterclockwise circle, and displayed the backstage scene of “Nothing On.”

“The set was probably one of the best sets the drama department has ever built,” claims Stage Manager Anthea Nyako.

The show was double casted, each show alternating between two different groups of actors.  The two casts were labeled “Oxfam” and “Sardines.”

“I love the rush of performing and the reaction of the crowd,” admits Rachel, who was a part of the Oxfam cast.

“It’s a very rewarding experience,” claims junior and actor Jaydin Geer.  “You’ll learn to appreciate theater for what it truly is.”

Tips to survive finals week

By Michelle Lin

With finals just around the corner in December, students should now begin preparing for these comprehensive exams.  To help you maintain or bring up your grades, you should incorporate the following tips into your studying schedule:

Silence your phone and take a break from your social media accounts.  If notifications are buzzing from your phone every few seconds, you can imagine it will be extremely difficult to concentrate on your studies without getting distracted.  Download a “Self Control” app on your electronic devices if you know you can’t restrain yourself.

Ask your teacher for help.  Find out what kind of an exam you will be taking.  A 50 question multiple choice exam is very different from writing an essay.  Seek help, especially in classes you are struggling in, and determine what key points you should focus on.

Make a study plan. Take out all your old notes and past exams (if you have them), and briefly go through them.  Pay special attention to what you struggled with and feel you need to review a bit more on.  Additionally, form condensed notes, which will ensure that you focus on the main ideas and cover the entire scope of your lessons.

Form study groups.  Your friends can be very helpful in helping you study. Test each other on the information and ask for help when needed.

Eat properly.  Make sure you’re feeding yourself with healthy food.  Eat a nice, nourishing breakfast the morning of your final.  Testing while hungry is not fun!

Sleep.  Don’t pull an all nighter the night before a final.  Fatigue may hinder you from thinking properly, and you may not retain information as well.  According to Neuroscience and Psychology professor Roxanne Prichard, “Becoming sleep-deprived causes a change in the brain.  Your brain doesn’t necessarily shut down when you lack sleep—it just stops functioning properly.”

Don’t cram last minute.  Start studying at least two weeks before your finals to get a complete grasp of the material.  Don’t study for ten hours straight; it strains the mind, and you’ll find you don’t remember the information as well as you want to.  “Last minute cramming may allow you to pass a test, but you won’t remember the material for long,” explains Williams College psychologist Nate Kornell, Ph.D.

With these tips in mind, you can study hard to ace those finals.  Finish the semester knowing you tried your best and did everything you could to pass your classes!

Why you should consider Journalism

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GOT ISSUES? Layout member Bernice Ou-Yang works on the November issue of the The Legend

By Emilie Chau

Two years ago, The Legend faced the possibility of ending because too few students showed interest in the class.  Since then, the class has grown significantly larger with currently 30 students on the 2016-2017 The Legend staff.

Students may consider Journalism unappealing due to its requirements, such as spending time after school on the newspaper or interviewing people you may have never met before.  However, the skills and experiences gained by being a part of The Legend are invaluable to any student.

A misconception many have about the class is that members must be good writers.  While editors appreciate above average writing, basic writing skills are the only requirement for producing a successful article, as well as time and effort.

“As long as you do your job and meet your deadlines, it’s really not a hard class,” explains copy editor Erica Xie.

News writing is also vastly different from the typical creative or academic writing many students are used to in their English class.  Most stories are written in the inverted pyramid format, organized so that the most important facts are stated at the very beginning instead of at the end in a conclusion.  The contents of most articles are essentially facts and quotes that the writer gathers through interviews.  This alleviates the need to come up with original content, as most articles are simply facts put together into a short 350-word story.

However, Journalism isn’t only about writing.  Students are each assigned a different job, such as being in charge of creating the centerspread or taking pictures of different events.  Although everyone in the class has to write at least one article for each issue, students have the freedom to choose which story they want to write and how they want to approach the story.

“My favorite part about this class is being able to be exposed to all the different aspects of journalism, whether it would be the graphics, layout or the different kinds of writing,” expresses artist Anthony Ta.

Unlike many other classes where students listen to their teachers lecture for one hour, Journalism is a lot more like a club since each period is run by the students and everyone has to work together for the class to function.  This makes each issue similar to a huge 30 person group project.  If people do their job well and on time, there’ll be no problems in producing a paper.  Students get to learn how to work with a large group of people with opposing ideas and work ethics, a value essential in the future.

And what have I learned from this class?  This is my second year taking Journalism and I have learned how to bravely interrupt a class to interview a complete stranger for five minutes, often without the student knowing they were going to be interviewed that day.  I’ve also learned how to take criticism from my peers in a room of 30 other students watching me.  Most of all, I’ve learned to appreciate everything the other students put in the newspaper because I know how hard everyone in this class works to make the newspaper the best it could be.

“Definitely give it a shot, it’s not going to be something too difficult for you and it is definitely a new learning experience,” exclaims Anthony.   “I’ve learned a lot more about this school and I am also more well-informed about what’s going on.”

Volleyball aces its season

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RECEIVE! Senior Kristi Yamashita dives to reach the ball before it touches the floor. (Courtesy of Steve Yamashita)

By Jen Luu

The PHHS Varsity Volleyball team had its CCS (Central Coast Selection) game for quarter-finalists on Nov. 6 at home against Los Altos.  PHHS lost with a score of 3-1. The team placed second in League with a score of 11-3 and ended its season with a score of 21-10.  The players faced some difficulty against their opponent in the first and second sets.

“We had trouble with the serve receive, which is what starts off the rally,” conveys Varsity player Taylor Garvey.

However, the momentum changed in the third set.  The Varsity Volleyball team regained their energy and refined their focus.

“We started to score more points, which made us pretty excited,” claims Varsity player Cynthia Tran.  “We ended up winning that set.”

In the face of these challenges, the Varsity players were able to maintain their composure and strength to fight back as much as possible.  Despite the loss, the Varsity team continued to persist until the very end of the game with the durability they had.

“Our team’s greatest strength was probably defense,” recalls Garvey.

Although the season ended with a loss, that is not to say the team’s efforts were fruitless.  Given the obstacles of synchronizing with new teammates at the beginning of the season, solidifying the teamwork was a difficult issue at first; however, the players eventually found cohesiveness in their cooperation.  From a cumulative standpoint, the Varsity team was able to persevere and move forward.

“The season overall was really good.  We just wanted to stay in the A-League and make it to CCS, and that’s what we did,” reveals Tran.

Meanwhile, the JV volleyball team concluded its season on Oct. 27 with its final game against Evergreen Valley.  The JV team lost to Evergreen Valley with a score of 25-21 in the first set and 25-22 in the second set.

“I feel like we could have done better,” recalls JV player Elisha Villanueva.

The JV Volleyball team had a slightly rocky beginning as well.

“We faced trouble (because) it was a new team, and some of us knew each other and others didn’t really know each other,” explains JV player Lauren Lin.  “So we had a hard time with (our) team bonding.”

Despite these problems, the JV Volleyball team was able to overcome its rough start.  As the season progressed, members were able to strengthen their cooperation on the court as they gained more experience.

“We had really good chemistry at the end.  We could work together and we had really good communication,” reveals Lin.  “There was a time (in one of our other games) when we were down by ten points and we really wanted to win, so we decided that we would stop making errors to fight back harder.  We worked on our defense and offense, and we ended up winning the game.”

Regardless of the loss, JV Volleyball members still remain hopeful and optimistic.

“Of course losing is not always fun, but learning from my mistakes during (the) next practice (gave me insight) on what I had to work on,” reflects Lin.

Girls’ Tennis swings through CCS

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SWING SWING Varsity member Rainey Townsend fervently swings her racquet during practice. 

By Daniel Kokoski

 

“We were really prepared. We just didn’t come in there and play our best game that day.” solemnly affirmed Coach Alex Nguyen.

After their first CCS (Central Coast Section) match on Nov. 8 at Independence High School , the Girls’ Tennis team lost 4-3 against Santa Catalina School’s tennis team.

“The CCS match was really close. I think we all played really well, but we didn’t win.” concluded Co-Captain Kelly Chau.

According to the co-captains of the team, there were numerous factors that led to the loss of the game, such as the lack of private coaching and lack of funding.

“If we had funding, we would be able to buy new nets because our nets are sagging, new windbreakers, new balls,” acknowledged Chau.  “The schools that we play against that also get into CCS, most of their players have private coaching outside of school, like Santa Catalina.  They all have special programs while we don’t have that.”

Consequently, Santa Catalina’s team proved to be a formidable adversary for the Girls’ Tennis team.
“The (Santa Catalina) team we were playing against was really good.  They were really successful in their season before (CCS started), so it’s just a matter of who was better (at tennis overall),” explained Co-Captain Tiffany Nguyen.

Despite the team’s loss, the team remained positive and felt proud of their hard work.

“It’s kind of bittersweet, but I’m really proud of everyone because we really improved over the season,” optimistically reassured T. Nguyen.

Prior to the first CCS match, the team had been practicing hard and diligently for the first CCS game.

“We practiced every weekday until 6 pm.  There’s a lot of different kinds of drills; we hit ground strokes, and there’s volley drills, serve drills,” elaborated T. Nguyen.

Along with intense practice, the team became more connected and full of spirit.

“This year everyone is more involved in practices.  A lot more people came to practice and they actually enjoyed it,” positively remarked senior Varsity member Cindy Ke.

Nevertheless, the team planned to organize a banquet in order to celebrate the team’s hard work and achievements.

Last minute UC essay tips

By Sean Tseng

The second hand moves far too fast.  Time slips away with every blink, and your hands hover, trembling, over the keyboard.  The bold words stare at you at the top of your near-empty page: UC Personal Insight Questions.

These are the horror stories that strike a little too close to home.  But Halloween’s over, and the time to frantically finish UC applications is here!  As the November 30 deadline approaches fast, students are struggling with one of the most daunting parts of the application.

As senior Tina Tran explains, “A challenge of the new personal insight question format is just actually being the first pool of applicants to be using it.  Since we’re the first ones to use it, we don’t really have samples to look at.”

Now that applicants must respond to four of the eight prompts provided on the UC website, some students are scrambling to figure out what colleges are looking for.  Some assume that the old samples which use the previous format are no longer any help as guides.  However, some fundamental tips still apply to this new personal statement format.  Whether you’ve finished your drafts or haven’t even started, be sure to check off these important steps:

Choose your prompts wisely.  With this new system, you get four chances to present yourself in a favorable way.  Think very carefully about the prompts you choose.  You can have several different approaches to choosing prompts.  A person with a wide variety of deep and insightful experiences may want to pick prompts that show a different side of him or her at a time, while someone who is truly passionate about one particular subject may want to choose prompts that all have a single overlap on their passion.  Whatever the reasoning may be, make sure you have a reasoning behind the four prompts you choose.

Brainstorm and decide your topics wisely.  The simplest yet most critical element of a good personal statement is an apt topic, one that not only answers the prompt, but also reveals significant character in the writer.  One good way to brainstorm is to work backwards from the prompt.  After you’ve chosen your four prompts, break each of them down until you know what each prompt essentially seeks to understand about you.  Then, brainstorm possible essay ideas that you can fit into this prompt.  You may also want to think about what angle you want to take on your particular topic.  How can you structure your essay to tell a compelling story?  What conclusions do you want your admissions officer to draw by the end of your essay?

Be specific!  A general essay adds nothing to your application.  In fact, it likely may even detract from it.  Admissions officers go through thousands of essays, and if yours isn’t specific enough for them to get a good grasp of who you are, they won’t remember you as an applicant.  Depth, not breadth!

Talk about YOU.  Too often, personal statements read like a summary of a book.  The actual significant insight might come only fleetingly in the last couple of paragraphs.  Don’t forget that this essay must show who you are.  Colleges want students with personality and character on their campus.  Don’t shortchange the personal introspection for a laundry list of what you’ve accomplished.  Talk about what you’ve learned, how you’ve grown.  Describe the impact an event had on you.

Edit, edit, edit.  After you finish your first draft, let it sit for a day or two.  Detach yourself, get your mind off the essay so that when you go back to edit it, you can see it through fresh eyes.  Read it critically.  Edit at least three times.  Check once for technical errors like spelling, grammar, and punctuation.  Then read through again for the content.  Make sure everything you want to say is there.  Lastly, edit for stylistic details.  Try to make your writing concise, and make sure the tone of your writing fits your topic.  As a final filter, ask people proficient in writing to read over your work.  Tell them to read it as an admissions officer might, and when they finish, ask them if they came to the conclusions you wanted them to.

At the end of the day, as long as your essay is a good representation of who you are and who you want to be, you will succeed.  Comparing your essay to someone else’s will not be helpful, as everyone will have a slightly different perspective.  Just be sure your work does justice to your own character.

One thing is for sure–if you were planning on procrastinating until the last minute, don’t.  As former admissions officer Breanne Tcheng advises, “Start NOW!  Begin writing and edit later.  Start writing well before the deadline!”  You can’t polish up your work if you have nothing on the page!

 

Thanksgiving trivia: fact or fiction

By Sophia Xiao

Think you know everything there is to know about this All-American holiday that began with the pilgrims?  Think again.

Fact or fiction?

  1. Thanksgiving turkey is actually named after the Turks.
  2. Beginning on Thanksgiving, people gain an average of five to seven pounds over the holidays.
  3. The largest turkey ever recorded was 130 pounds!
  4. Native Americans used cranberry sauce to treat wounds.
  5. Cranberries’ closest relatives are watermelons.
  6. We are half pumpkin.
  7. Thanksgiving is on the last Thursday of November.
  8. A chemical in turkey called tryptophan is what makes you sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal.

Answers:

  1. FACT – Turkey is actually named after the Turks! But like all events in history, it is kind of a long story…  According to the New York Times, merchants from Turkey brought guinea fowl (originally from Madagascar) into England, where it became very popular.  Since the merchants were from Turkey, the bird came to be known as the turkey. When the actual “turkey” was brought to England from the New World, they tasted just as delicious as guinea fowl (or turkey then), and so the English called it “turkey” as well without much scrutiny.  When they finally sorted out the differences, they were too lazy to change the name, and thus, the American bird came to be named after a Middle Eastern country!
  2. FICTION – A study published in the National Library of Medicine on holiday weight gain measured body weight in a convenience sample of 195 adults. It turns out the media exaggerates, people gain “only” an average of one pound throughout the holidays.  But all is not well.  “Since this gain is not reversed during the spring or summer months, the net 0.48-kg weight gain in the fall and winter probably contributes to the increase in body weight that frequently occurs during adulthood,” states the study.
  3. FICTION – According to the Guinness World Record, the largest turkey recorded was “just” 87 pounds. For a bird though, that’s still pretty big…
  4. FACT- Native Americans did use this Thanksgiving classic to heal wounds! They used a cranberry poultice as medicine to fight bacterial infections.  According to the Huffington Post, “that was a smart strategy, as cranberries have a compound that prevents common bacteria like E. coli and Staph from attaching to the walls of tissue cells.”
  5. FICTION– Are you crazy? Watermelon might be a berry, but it’s definitely not the closest relative to cranberries.  In fact, the real stars of your grandmother’s Thanksgiving sauce are the closest in relation to blueberries, not watermelons (The Huffington Post).
  6. FICTION – But not for the reasons you might think: Genetically, our makeup is actually 75% the same as a pumpkin (TheHumanGenome)!
  7. FICTION – It is actually on the fourth Thursday of November. Honestly though, who cares other than that Thanksgiving is whenever those glorious days of no school and feasting happens.
  8. FICTION – Sure, turkey does have a chemical, tryptophan that can make you sleepy. But so do chicken, nuts and red meat, which all have more tryptophan than turkey, based on Healthaliciousness’ findings.  Yet we don’t see you complaining about drowsiness after every time you eat sunflower seeds!  The after-meal drowsiness you get on Thanksgiving night is most likely just due to overeating.  So if you don’t want to feel so tired after Thanksgiving dinner, don’t just lay off the tryptophan, cut back on overall consumption!

tuekyho

Gobble, gobble

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By Hannahjane Arellano

Thanksgiving is a time when you gather around the dinner table with your friends and family and share what you’re thankful for.  But what makes hanging around your loved ones better?  FOOD!  Here are some recipes that you and your family can surely gobble up:

 

Cranberry Crescent Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • Homemade or canned cranberry sauce
  • 1 egg, whipped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven according to directions on the package of crescent rolls.
  2. Separate crescent rolls into individual rolls.
  3. Use a spoon to put about 1/2 tablespoon of cranberry sauce on the thickest portion of the crescent rolls.
  4. Carefully roll the crescent roll over the cranberry sauce and into a crescent shape.
  5. Brush the tops of each crescent roll with the egg wash.
  6. Bake according to package directions.
  7. Allow to cool a few minutes before serving.

(News Talk Florida)

 

Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes (ten potatoes), peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chives and a little extra for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Wash, peel and quarter your potatoes. Place them in a medium pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then cook for 12-14 minutes until tender.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, in a small pot, bring to a boil 1 1/3 cup of milk with two smashed garlic cloves. As soon as the milk starts to boil, remove from heat and let it stand.
  3. Remove cooked potatoes after 12-14 minutes from heat and drain them. First mash them with a potato masher, then with a hand mixer.  Mash them in the same pot.  Place mashed potatoes back on the stove over medium heat and stir them constantly for about two minutes until they are slightly dry.  Remove from heat.
  4. Add milk mixture to the mashed potatoes, but discard the garlic cloves. Add three tablespoons of butter, either melted or at room temperature, along with a fourth of a cup of sour cream, one teaspoon of salt and one tablespoon of chives.  Season with some pepper and mix everything together until well combined.
  5. Serve warm and garnish with chives.

(Natasha’s Kitchen)