Track and Field sprints to victory

By Terry Tang

Track and Field started off their season with their first win against the season against Prospect High School. Since then they have also competed against Pioneer High School and Oak Grove High School.

“I initially joined track for the sport, but I enjoyed it for the people. I love the friendships that I built with people I usually don’t talk to at school and also the coaches that I’ve grown with,” said sprinter Jacob Alviar.

Their most recent meet is a quad meet including James Lick, Sobrato and Lincoln High School.

“It was kind of pressuring running against other players because everyone is so good and fast so I always feel like I need to do my best to help the team,” said sprinter Jennifer Luong.

While there are regular meets there are invitationals specifically geared towards the high achieving athletes with outstanding abilities. The key difference between invitationals and meets is that invitationals are more competitive.

“Invitationals are definitely different from regular meets because at regular meets it’s usually only between two schools, but at invitationals it’s dozens of schools and the level of competition is definitely up there,” said Luong.

The track team had ran two previous invitationals: St. Francis Invitationals and Serra Top 7. Their most recent invitational would be Quicksilver Invitationals on Sat., April 6.

“(Serra Top 7 Invitationals was especially hard because) I was tired from fantastic and I was kind of sick,” said sprinter Gabriel Pasion.

“The invitational weren’t necessarily hard, but they were very intimidating at first because everyone is so good,” said Luong.

Some challenges so far are in the season are injuries which are fairly common during midseason and having to commute to a different school to practice on a track since Piedmont’s track is still under construction.

“The hardest thing I’ve faced so far in the season was not having a track HAHA,” said Alviar.

“This year’s team was absolutely amazing. We supported each other, and we grew such a strong connection with the teammates and coaches. I’m really proud of everyone, they did so well during our meets and improved so much. I can tell that everyone tried their best to get better meet after meet,” said sprinter Alexia Canales

(BVALs) Blossom Athletic Valley League and (CCS) Central Coast Section are also happening soon with BVALs happening on Thurs., May 2 at Westmont High School. CCS is spread out across three dates with CCS Top 8 happening Sat. April 13 at Leland High School; CCS Semi Finals, Sat., May 11 at Gilroy High School; and CCS Finals on Fri., May 17 at Gilroy High School.

 

 

Swim Team hosts Senior Night

By Andrew Wong

 

On March 28, PHHS Swim team hosted the annual Senior Night during their meeting. Hosted in every last home meet of the year, Senior Night’s purpose is to congratulate all senior members for their hard work and dedication towards the team. Underclassmen and juniors work together to give the seniors gifts and posters.

“I remember the past 3 senior nights where a lot of the seniors and swimmers would be crying!” reminisced Varsity Captain Andrew Do.

“I’m super excited for senior night! I’ve been on the team for all four years and I’m excited to see what the underclassmen prepared for us!” exclaimed Varsity Captain Chloe Nguyen.

Juniors Leslie Ton and Megan Nghiem arranged the plans of Senior Night, gathering the whole team to come together to paint posters and pitch in money for gifts. Each day, the swim team held poster painting days where everyone gathered around to help after school. Each member gets assigned into a group of three, and work together to create one poster for one senior. As well as each member pitching in as much money as possible to purchase these senior gifts, of which Ton and Nghiem are responsible for.

“It was pretty difficult to come up with something for their gifts because there was just so many seniors, so we ended up buying them a lot of snacks during the meet,” explained Swim team member Megan Nghiem.

“About 75 percent of the team contributed, usually the JV swimmers. We have days where we paint the posters, and this year I think it was like 3 people to a poster,” explained Junior Eric Nguyen.

During the same day of the home meet, underclassmen prepare the finalized products to tape against the walls. The coach presented the seniors an individual speech at the same time while presenting their gifts at the same time. Being presented many gifts of gratitude towards the seniors, the seniors are filled with excitement and joy from all the honor.

“It’s been a fun experience being on this team. Meeting new people on the team and competing against other schools has been fun,” said senior Edward Chew.

“It was super cool to see how awesome all the posters they made look! I went last because I was the captain, and I got pretty emotional! I’ve been on the team for four years so it was really heartwarming when Coach Jason said super nice words about me and everyone cheered along,” expressed Nguyen.

The Confidence Gap

By Principal Davis

I consider myself a person with a healthy amount of self-confidence, but I must admit that this has not always been the case. When I was in school, I never voluntarily spoke up in class. It wasn’t until I was in graduate school that I figured out that I was just as smart as everybody else and that the people speaking up (often men) weren’t saying anything all that profound or unique. So I started forcing myself to speak up. It hasn’t always been easy, and at times, I still struggle with using my voice.

This phenomenon is not unique to just my experiences. In fact, the authors of the book, The Confidence Code For Girls, conducted a large scale survey that shows that there is virtually no difference between girls and boys in terms of self-confidence until adolescence, at which point there is as much as a 30 percent drop in girls’ confidence level.

Even the most introverted men don’t seem to struggle with confidence the way that most extroverted women do. There are a lot of theories floating around about why this disparity exists. One theory proposes that when girls go through puberty, their bodies change at an earlier age and at a faster rate than boys, making them uncomfortable with drawing attention and their way.

Another theory is that as women we are taught that being “bossy” or a “know it all” is unattractive, so we keep in the urge to take the lead in academic and professional settings.

I think that the answers lies in the middle of the Venn diagram of all of these theories and may vary depending on the individual. For myself, I believe that I tend to want to have the perfect answer, but at the same time, I do not want to come across as a “know it all.”

So why is this a problem? If a girl doesn’t feel comfortable speaking up in class, shouldn’t we just let her stay in her comfort zone and say, “Girl you be you”?

The problem with that mentality is that our classrooms are microcosms of society and are the training ground for the adult world. Watch the news and pay attention to the questions female presidential candidates are asked compared to their male counterparts. Look at how the public reacts to a woman who speaks up and is not placid: Is she celebrated or is “she off-putting”? Is she rewarded for using her voice or is she condemned because “she persisted”?

The long-term effects of classroom dynamics hurt not only the girls who aren’t raising their hands, but also the rest of society that is not benefiting from the full extent of the talents of half the population. It’s not a competition. Making sure that the female voice is heard in the classroom and the workplace does not diminish the male voice. Rather, it will make the conversation richer, more authentic and as a result, more valuable.

To the girls struggling to find their voice in the classroom, look inside yourself and assess what is making you feel uncomfortable—it is different for all of us. Is it the anxiety of having all eyes on you? Is it fear of how you will be perceived? Is it wanting to be absolutely sure you have the right answer? Figuring this out will help you to combat it. Overall, celebrate yourself and your strength—you have it, I promise.

One of my heroes, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (look her up), said it best: “It took me quite a long time to develop a voice and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.”

What it’s like to be six feet at PHHS

 

By Victor Xie

 

Hi! I’m Victor, and as of April 12, I am officially six feet tall. My journey to becoming six feet has been a long and grueling journey, although I have to credit my genes for most of it. Being taller than six feet at Piedmont Hills is a rarity only few can experience, and it is my pleasure to gift you all my insightful perspective. While there are both pros and cons of being tall, one thing I have realized is that to other people, my distance from the ground is the defining feature of who I am and who I am expected to be.

Being tall definitely has its positives. First of all, I can see to the end of the hallway during passing period, or whenever it’s crowded. Recently, Club Day was held in the Main Hall. While all the under-six-footers strained to navigate through the crowd unknowing of when the masses would stop, I could see above everyone and navigate through the hallway with ease. Second, I can constantly make fun of all my short friends. I can say casually, “How’s the weather down there?” or “Oh sorry, didn’t hear or see you there” or “The air up here is clean of all the short people.” Third, I can take longer strides than most of the school, meaning I can make it to class in one minute without having to run and embarrass myself looking like a freshman.

By contrast, what some people may not see are the negatives that come with my height. For one, I’ve always been judged for not being good at basketball or running. If you’re six feet, people usually assume you play basketball or run well. I do neither, so answering with a “no” usually puts a confused face on people. Next, whenever I take pictures with anyone, I look a head taller, making the photo quite disproportionate. However, I’ve discovered that bending down to their level usually does the trick. Lastly, while walking around campus, I occasionally bump into many people a day because when looking straight, they never come into my view. These experiences make it pretty hard to get through the day, as I tend to have sore arms and throats by the end of the day from constantly bumping into people and saying sorry.

However, the biggest thing about being six feet tall at Piedmont Hills is actually how much people remind me that I’m tall. My peers are always eager to say, “Victor, you’re so tall,” instead of, “Victor, you look great today.” They say, “Victor, you’re too tall,” instead of “Victor, you’re blocking my view.” And of course, “Victor, could you put that poster up for me?” instead of “Victor, get me a chair.” In essence, being my height defines me as a person and gives me a sense of uniqueness that is often lost at our school.

In conclusion, the distance which I preside above the ground and the common people is a compliment, nuisance, and defining feature of my experience at this school and its hallways. What would I be known for if not my height? Such questions are fun to ponder, and I think we should all keep an open mind of what defines us at this school.

Boys Tennis team ready to serve

Rex Ly

The JV Boys Tennis team hit off their new season with a 8-2 victory against Oak Grove High School. This season in the team has 18 players ready to represent Piedmont Hills and make it to CCS (Central Coast Section).

“I take it pretty seriously. I try and stay committed, be the first on and the last one off,” stated Doubles player Dylan Emery.

PHHS has been on a winning streak. With their most recent wins, they are working towards getting to the league games and reaching CCS. Throughout the season almost all the games have been close calls.

“I would have to say our biggest rival has to be Independence,” stated JV Captain Alan Nguyen.

Our next game against Independence will be next Fri., right before break.

“I keep everyone in check, organize practice and fill out team finances,” stated Nguyen. The JV Boys tennis team practices every day after to learn the game for new members they always practice at the school at the tennis court from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“(The best advice I can give to new players is to) train consistently. You can’t take breaks from tennis and expect to be at the same play level when you come back,” said Singles player Guneet Sachdeva.

Like in any sport everyone starts off fresh and their biggest challenge is to improve in their skills in tennis.

Everyone has room for improvement on the team.

“My weakness is that I play aggressive and sometimes not that consistent. We are all getting better as the season goes on,” states tennis player Gavin Yu.

The newer members who participate are still determined to show up to all practices and tries to meet every day in the season to get better for their next game.

“I urge everyone to join if they’re interested in dedicating to our tennis team,” stated Doubles player Jason Cheng.

The team encourages students to join the team as it is a good afterschool activity and experience.

“I enjoy playing tennis! I think it is a good sport, but it encourages you to run a lot which you would not expect from tennis because it is in a confined area.” shared Emery.

The boy’s tennis team is trying to train hard in order to secure a spot in CCS and to win the league games.

Interact and Business Minds/Multi-club Lunch with Special Ed Kids

By Sarah Shafaeen

 

Last Thursday, the PHHS Special Education students attended a luncheon in the PHHS library organized by ARK (Acts of Random Kindness), Interact and Business Minds.

The event is highly anticipated by the Special Education students and ARK members because it is an opportunity to get to know each other.

“The luncheon is very nice because it is an opportunity to mingle and have our kids interact with the general education kids,” said Nonglak Prasopsook, Special Education teacher.

It is difficult to organize an event this big, so ARK usually teams up with other clubs and tries to choose easy themes. This year they decided to hold a Hawaiian-themed pizza party luncheon because it’s a cute tropical theme and pizza is easy for the members to prepare and work with.

“ARK came up with this idea about 3 years ago, when we collaborated with Bloomers Club. ARK has been organizing this event ever since 2016, but we did not hold the event last year because of conflicting schedules. Business Minds reached out to Interact and ARK who typically organizes this event every year. This is ARK’s first year collaborating with Interact and Business Minds for this event,” informs ARK President and Interact YouthAct Coordinator Janeene Yeh.

The ARK students worked hard to host the luncheon and were rewarded by the joy it brought all of the students.

“Our main message in ARK is to spread kindness and positivity to high school students and staff. A big part of the student population is the Special Ed students so we thought this luncheon would be a great way to show our appreciation to them and let them know that they have a friend in us,” reveals ARK Historian Anamika Bisen.

With all the planning, preparing and execution of the luncheon ARK determines the success of the event based on the response they receive from the club members and students.

“Our club expectations are making sure that each of the 30 Special Ed students are paired up with an Interact or ARK member/officer and that we all have a good time together,” states Janeene.

The luncheon is something ARK wanted to make an annual event and has been working towards making that vision a reality.

“We definitely are trying to make this an annual thing. Last year, with work to rule we were unable to completely plan out the event so it was cancelled but this year we are back and ready to make this event a successful one!” exclaims Anamika.

How Fat Is Distributed In The Body

By: Rose Lu

The Meaning of Fat

How a person’s fat is distributed in the body can actually say a lot about the person. Body fat distribution is based on four factors: genes, gender, age and hormone levels.

According to Health line, a health organization, 50% of body fat distribution is determined by genes, for example, if a family is heavy set on the buttocks or the hips, that individual will most likely inherit those.

Healthy male body fat levels range from 6% to 24%, while females’ healthy body fat levels range from 14% to 31%. Men are more prone to getting fat around their midsection, or stomachs, while women are more likely to gain bigger buttocks and hips.

Eventually when people age, they tend to gain higher levels of body fat overall because of a slower metabolism and the loss of muscle tissues. According to Better Health Channel, hormone imbalances also cause belly fat, which can be avoided by exercising.

There a three types of body fat: Subcutaneous, which is all over the body but mainly around the buttocks, hips and thighs. Visceral, which is around the abs, the organs or the stomach area; and brown, which is around the shoulders and chest.

The subcutaneous stores energy used for later. Visceral fat is the unhealthiest as it can induce insulin resistance  and cause diabetes. According to a study performed by Kaiser Permanente, people with large amounts of fat in their stomachs have a higher chance of getting dementia. Brown is fat that can stimulate calorie loss, one of its few jobs.

BMI (body mass index) isn’t the best predictor for weight levels. According to TIME, the BMI reader can’t differentiate between fat and muscle. If the person’s BMI is in the overweight or obese category, it’s most likely that that person has an unhealthy amount of visceral fat. According to Healthline, 22% of men and 8% of women that are considered normal actually have high amounts of visceral fat.

It’s easy to gain visceral fat by eating too much junk food or saturated fats, sitting down all the time, and letting stress take control. Which is almost exactly what many of us do in school. Junk food and saturated fat is easily absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a spike in insulin or a fat deposit hormone.

Sitting also causes an immense amount of visceral fat in our bodies. Fat surrounds our organs after sitting down for long periods of time, according to a study conducted by Obesity Society.

Stress forces our bodies to produce cortisol and adrenalin, two stress hormones. Cortisol and adrenalin prompt the body to release glucose and stored fat in preparation to run away from danger. This pertains more to the cavemen who needed these two hormones to get away from predators, whereas we are sitting and releasing the hormones. Since we don’t actually burn the hormones away, they stayin our bodies and store.

Therefore, don’t forget to also manage stress. Turn non-constructive worry into constructive and tackle the assignments and issues at hand. If it’s out of your control, let it go. Remember to also take breaks between studying and working. Many of us forget to do that and it strains our system and ourselves.

There are many other ways to also decrease visceral fat production within our bodies.

One is to choose complex carbs and proteins over sugar and junk food. If food is digested at a slower rate, less insulin will be produced.

Exercising is another great way to reduce fat as it increases muscle mass and reduces body fats. It gets the body working and pumping. Last but not least, sleep early. Studies show that those who slept for five hours have a 32% increase in visceral fat while those who sleep for six to seven hours only got an increase of 13%.

 

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Interesting Holidays

By Harleen Kaur

 

Interesting Holidays

April 7- Caramel Popcorn Day

April 8- Draw a Picture of a Bird Day

April 9- Name Yourself

April 10- National Siblings Day

April 11-National Submarine Day

April 12- Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

April 13 – International Plant Appreciation Day

April 14- Look Up at the Sky Day

April 15- National Tax Day

April 16- National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day

April 17- Haiku Poetry Day

April 18- National High Five Day

April 19- National Garlic Day

April 20- National Look-Alike Day

April 21- Easter Sunday

April 22- Earth Day

April 23- National Picnic Day

April 24- Denim Day

April 25- National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (National Take our Children to Work Day)

April 26- National Pretzel Day

April 27- Tell a Story Day

April 28- International Astronomy Day

April 29-National Dance Day

April 30- International Jazz Day

May 1- Save the Rhino Day

May 2- Brothers and Sisters Day

May 3- Space Day

May 4- Star Wars Days

Mr. Aberle doesn’t OMmit details

By Rose Lu

At school, physics teacher Lance Aberle may seem ordinary. However, to earn his teaching credentials, he has come a long way.

“As a physics major in college I was offered the opportunity to be a TA, and with it came the responsibility of teaching two lab sections,” shared Mr. Aberle. “I enjoyed it so much that I realized it was what I wanted to do.”

Before officially becoming a teacher, Mr. Aberle worked several odd jobs.

“The first job I ever had was during my first year in college–I worked at Toys R Us. In fact, I just drove by the old store I worked at, and it was very sad to see it all boarded up, now that they have gone out of business,” commented Mr. Aberle, “It was mostly manual labor as I worked in the back warehouse and helped to unload trucks, but it was a great experience and there was a lot of fun camaraderie with the other people who worked there. “

He also worked for a small assay which is a metal or ore testing site, office work, the campus bookstore at SJSU as well as several internships prior to starting his master’s degree.

“I was able to get hired on at Intel, [and] while it was yet another great learning experience in a technical setting, it was not for me,” stated Mr. Aberle,  “It was about this time I was doing my teaching work as a TA, and I switched from my master’s program to the teaching credential program for physics!”

Now, he has taught for many years and has adopted many hobbies during his free time, which includes indulging in outdoor activities, playing video games and spending time with family and friends.

I used to go camping every summer, but have done so less in recent years–somehow sleeping on an air mattress on the ground is not as comfortable as it used to be,” shared Mr. Aberle, “But I still enjoy the outdoors with walks and bicycle rides.”

Mr. Aberle also enjoys trips and traveling.

“I also have fun exploring places on road trips–last summer I went to Crater Lake National Park for the first time,” comments Mr. Aberle.“The drive around the lake was relaxing and the views were breathtaking.”

Mr. Aberle also enjoys playing Fallout 4 with Biology teacher Jason Dries and Physiology teacher David Vasques.

 

 

Competing for the MNT cause

By Julian Rosete

Key Club hosts their first ever MNT (Maternal Neonatal Tetanus) Olympics on Sunday March 31st.

“This is the first time Key Club has done the MNT Olympics, but hopefully it will become an annual event for our members,” says Key Club Publicist and MNT coordinator Emily Vu.

“It was an event that our fabulous MNT coordinators had been planning for a really long time, and seeing everyone participate and have a lot of fun at the event was pretty rewarding”, says Key Club president Kathy Ton

This event is for contestants to come out to compete and for spectators to come and watch. The event was run by MNT coordinators and Key Club officers at Cataldi Park. There will be many games for contestants to compete in such as three legged race, water balloon race, water toss and more.

“Our division goal for MNT was three thousand dollars and with the registration, raffle tickets and concessions sold at the event, MNT olympics pushed us over the three thousand mark,” says Kathy

The admission costed five dollars for those who chose to compete in the Olympics and three dollars for those who came to watch the event. All the money raised went to the Eliminate project to help fight the MNT disease.

MNT is a disease that causes mothers and newborn babies to experience convulsions and severe pain that can lead to involuntary death. This disease kills a baby every 15 minutes even though this could be prevented with three doses of vaccines that cost $1.80, according to Key Club. These vaccines can protect mothers and children for their rest of their lives.

The Eliminate project is a cause which not only helps to solve the MNT crisis, but also to provide clean water, nutrition’s and other vaccines. The overall goal of the Eliminate project is to raise 110 million dollars to support these causes.