Art season is back

By Janelle Perez


The annual Downtown Doors competition brought artwork from San Jose high schools to the streets of downtown and presented the students’ awards on May 9th at the San Jose Museum of Art.

The annual Piedmont Hills Art Faire was also held this week outside of the art buildings and showcased art made by students throughout the 2018-2019 school year.

Downtown Doors is way for students from San Jose high schools to publicly display their artwork. This year’s 16th annual competition included over 200 submissions from over 20 schools. Selections vary from ten to thirteen pieces, which are then transferred onto a big poster to be displayed on a door downtown.

The art faire included pieces from students in digital photography, sculpture and drawing and painting.

“I think the art show is great because it shows how hard we (students) have worked throughout the year to create these pieces,” said senior Nicole Ortiz.

This year two Piedmont Hills seniors, Diego Papa and Abigail Tecson won a spot on a door downtown. Downtown Doors winners were presented the awards to commemorate their talent.

The annual art faire included detailed sculptures and paintings as well as variety of printed photos, while Downtown Doors only showcased the works of few students.

“I really wanted to do a piece with bold colors and I took ideas from both desert martian landscapes. I’m proud that people thought it was worthy of a spot downtown,” said Diego.

Abigail submitted a double exposure piece from her digital photography class, which includes architecture from Paris.

“At first the idea of blending the architecture came from when I was going through Pinterest,” said Abigail.

The Piedmont Hills Art Faire submissions were chosen by the students themselves, which consisted of their best piece from the school year.

“I submitted my favorite photo that I took from this year and I’m really glad people are going to be able to see it and have a positive reaction to it,” said senior Kaitlyn Seawright.

Both Downtown Doors and the Piedmont Hills Art Faire will be held again next year and students will be able to admire the work of their peers and art students will be able to submit their work to be shown.



Summer recipes

By Henry Zheng

Summer is right around the corner, and along with all the amazing weather, sunsets and free-time you’ll most likely cherish, summer time food is something we all look forward to, from its freshness to its use of seasonal foods.

From brunch to dinner, we have compiled a bright summer recipe list, perfect for all your summertime needs.

  1. Brunch:
    1. Eggs Benedict
      1. A perfect blend of hollandaise, fresh dill and bright capers, this dish is bound to impress any of your friends and is perfect for any bright, sunny day. Just be warned that hollandaise is a bit tricky to prepare and only practice makes perfect.
      2. Ingredients: 1 tbsp. capers, 5-10 slices of smoked salmon, 2 English muffins, dill, 2 eggs, 3 tbs. butter, 1 lemon, 1 tbsp. vinegar, 1 shallot.
  • 2 Servings.
    1. In a bowl, separate one egg yolk out from an egg. Place into a clean metal bowl and drop in your chopped butter along with a squeeze of lemon juice.
    2. Either over very low flame, or a double boiler (over a pot of boiling water), whisk this mixture until homogenous. Add salt, capers, dill and chopped shallots to your taste
    3. Get a pot of water to a boil, then turn it down to med-low heat, and pour in your vinegar. Swirl the pot until it forms a sort of “vortex”, and drop your raw egg in. The white should begin to twirl around the yolk. Wait for about 3 minutes, then remove from water and place in a bowl of ice water. (Repeat for 2 eggs)
    4. Get a hot pan, cut and butter up the English muffins, and toast them until golden brown.
    5. To plate, place your English muffins down, follow it up with, smoked salmon, your egg (drained and pat dry), and then a hefty serving of you hollandaise sauce. Top with more dill and capers, and you’re done!
  1. Dinner:
    • .
  1. Steak
    • .Nothing is better in the summer than a nice steak on top of some fresh greens. This recipe is bound to have you hooked from the start, with the nice crisp crust of the steak to the bright greens that are served with it. Perfect for outdoor parties, beach barbeques and backyard cookouts.
    • Ingredients: Steak of your choice (Use NY strip preferably, but flank works good too), butter, chopped garlic, shallots, arugula, various greens of your choice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil.
    • 1-2 Servings.
      1. In a pan pour some olive oil and your chopped garlic. Let that sit on very low heat for about 6-10 min until garlic has turned golden brown.
      2. Season your steak with salt and pepper as needed. Get a pan ripping hot (either stainless steel or cast iron), add some canola oil (or grapeseed), and place down your steak.
      3. Let the steak sit for 5 min to develop that crispy crust, then flip it over and repeat. Lower the heat, and add butter and 2 whole garlic cloves, along with some rosemary if you have some. “Base” the steak (use a spoon to constantly spoon hot butter over your steak). Usually for thinner steaks you would be done at this point, but if you steak is thicker you can stick it into a 425 degree oven to continue cooking (about 5-6 min, depending on your steak).
      4. Let the steak rest for 10 min. On the side prepare your dressing: olive oil, a pinch of salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. Swirl and set aside.
      5. Cut up your steak, plate it on your greens, and top it off with your dressing! Super easy and yummy.
  1. Dessert
    • . Fresh Berry Ice Cream
      • .This ice cream contains all you could ever want in a dessert – soft, smooth cream and fresh, bright fruit. Seasonal berries are in their peak season, but feel free to include any other fruits such as plums and peaches into the mix.
      • Ingredients: 4 cups heavy whipping cream, sugar, 2 tbsp. vanilla extract, seasonal fruit, 1 can condensed milk.
        1. In a pot, place your cut, seasonal fruits and add a bit of sugar. Simmer on medium/low heat until fruits have significantly shrunk or start to have a syrupy consistency. Set aside in the fridge to cool.
        2. In a cold bowl, whisk together your heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Stop until it resembles very thick shaving cream.
        3. Add in your condensed milk.
        4. Pour your ice cream base into some tubberware, alternating between layer of ice cream and fruit.
        5. Freeze, and enjoy! (No churning needed for this recipe)
  1. Seasonal Berry Granita
    • This smooth ice granita topped with fresh whipped cream is bound to have you hooked, from the start.
    • Ingredients: ½ cup heavy whipping cream, 5 tbsp. sugar, 1 cup seasonal berries
      1. Put your berries in the blender with a 4 tbsp. sugar and about 100 ml of water.
      2. Blend until the consistency is like a thick smoothie, or runny cake batter.
      3. Pour into a thin sheet pan, and place into the freezer.
      4. Stir the mixture with a fork every 30 minutes to ensure no huge ice crystals form.
      5. After 4-5 hours, get a clean bowl, pour in your heavy cream and rest of the sugar and whip until the consistency resembles thick shaving cream.
      6. Serve your granite in small bowls or cups, and top them off with the whipped cream you made. Enjoy!

From steak to granitas to fresh fruit ice cream, these recipes are a sure-fire way to impress any of your friends and make your summertime hangouts just that much better.

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.

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.



Do Flat Earthers fear sphere itself?

By Terry Tang

In ancient Greece, India, China and many other early civilizations believed that Earth was flat due to the wide belief that the world seemed endless, but flat. Reputable poets like Homer accepted this theory. They all believed at the end there was a cliff that would just lead to an endless eternity.

It wasn’t until the 6th century when the belief that the Earth was flat was gradually debunked, but somehow the theory the Earth was flat came back in 1970s and 80s due the an influx of Flat Earth Society groups.

Flat Earth Society President Samuel Shenton was a flat Earth believer and had a group of followers which eventually was called the Flat Earth Society in the 1950s.

The Flat Earth Society is a group which are dedicated to believing that the earth is flat and there are several groups that date back to the 20th century. Their beliefs are often fueled by the bible, the idea of space travel is a conspiracy theory, and that we actually never reached the moon at all.

Charles Kenneth Johnson took over as president of the Flat Earth Society when Samuel died and managed to bring the Flat Earth Society up to 3,000 members. His wife Majory was also a Flat Earth believer.

“Johnson’s wife Marjory believed that the Earth must be flat, because otherwise she would have spent her childhood in her native Australia hanging upside-down by her toes,” according to

Piedmont Hills students have different beliefs compared to the Flat Earth Society.

“(Space Travel) seems plausible. I think anything is possible in the future, even time traveling. I just do not believe the same as they do. Until proven wrong by science, I will stay in the old theory that the Earth is round,” said senior Thienkim Luu.

What do you think? Is the Earth flat or round?


how bad is boba?

By Vincent Hoang


Many students drink massive amounts of boba and milk tea on a weekly basis, but do they know the health risks hidden within these delicious drinks?

There are various milk tea stores that are scattered throughout San Jose. Like many, senior Vi Tran really enjoys her milk tea.

“If I had to give an estimation of how often I drink boba, I would say I drink like two times a week. Honestly, it’s dependent on whether I’m going out with friends.”

Vi does not like to get her milk tea extremely sweet.

“I typically get my drinks at 50/50. I don’t like drinking anything sickly sweet but I don’t want tasteless water so I go for 50/50,” says Vi.

However there are some who do not care as much as they should when it comes to milk tea.

“I drink milk tea at least two times a week at 100 percent sweetness for all my milk tea. I don’t care as much as I should, because I swim and work out a lot, therefore my sugar intake balances out with all the physical activities I partake in,” says senior Chloe Nguyen.

Lastly, there are the rare few who do care about what they drink.

“I drink milk tea once every 1 or 2 weeks, depends when my little brother wants it. When I do, I usually get it at 25 percent sweetness,” says senior Andrew Do.

In the end, most of us do enjoy a cool cup of milk tea anytime of the year, but the bigger question is how unhealthy the drink proves to be. On average, a 16-ounce cup of milk tea is 278 calories, 0.6 grams of fat, 68 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.2 grams of protein.

“I try to limit myself from getting drinks that have less calories and always get less sugar if it’s an option. If I get 100% I start to feel bad because it’s too sweet. Another way I deal with how unhealthy is by not getting pearls. I haven’t ordered pearls in about one year,” says senior Andrew Do.

This all doesn’t sound that awful, right? Wrong. The amount of sugar put into these drinks make it much worse. An average cup of milk tea, has an average of 22 grams of sugar; 12 of those grams comes from added sugar, such as the sweetener, syrup, and toppings.

Like Andrew, we should consider what we put into our boba drinks, such as the pearls and other toppings. The toppings add much more sugar and calories to your daily intake of food. Instead, opt for fruit toppings for natural sugar and great taste. Along with this, consider other types of milk to put into your drink such as almond or organic oak milk instead of condensed milk, which adds much more sugar.