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HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS HELP SF ELECTIONS RUN SMOOTHLY

By: Nathan Gee

A polling place sign that is placed outside the precinct

Photo By: Nathan Gee

On the morning of Monday, November 5th, 2019, students from high schools around San Francisco showed up to work at over 400 local precincts to help organize and create a voting space for the most recent Consolidated Municipal Election. Students started at 6:00 AM and worked until 9:00 PM, given tasks in the form of job cards that contain information on how to set up the voting precinct and guide voters through the election process. With a turnout of over 200,000 registered voters who voted during the election, about 60,000 voted in their local precincts.

“I think volunteering is important as a student because I got to experience what it’s like to meet new people and learn about myself when I reach out to help my community,” says Kelly Guan, a senior and poll worker for the recent election.

Before the November 5th local elections, government workers from City Hall visited high schools around San Francisco with brochures. They encouraged students to partake in early registration for voting as well as to sign up as poll workers. They incentivize students to work as poll workers, as poll workers would receive community service hours, a stipend of $180, and improve their college applications.

When asked about their experience, a Lincoln student who signed up as a poll worker says, “Not a lot of people came to our precinct, as staying in one place for over 10 hours was pretty tiring and boring, but I was happy to be able to help voters.”

To be able to qualify as a poll worker, students have to sign up and take a mandatory two-hour training class before the November elections. Students then go through a lecture in which they are informed about what jobs they might do in their precinct, learn about the new ranking system on the elections, as well as to help voters recognize their rights. Polling workshops are also provided to help prepare poll workers for the election.

Regarding the importance of high school student poll workers, Christopher Cary, an Economics, AP government, and US History teacher, says, “It just wouldn’t work without high school students...when you have a thousand students volunteering as poll workers, they are the grease and the wheels of the system.” 

Cary mentions that the help of poll workers allow the election process to go smoothly, and gives voters the rights of the democratic system to elect who they want to run in office as well as the propositions that pass.

“Students should also be more involved in voting and the community,” says Cary. “The more members of the Lincoln High School community involve themselves in the greater San Francisco community, the more racial, ethnic, and language barriers get broken down, [and] the more they see themselves as part of a bigger picture.”

The upcoming 2020 elections are expected to bring more voters to the polls, and students are encouraged to register to vote and participate in the elections to contribute to the future of their country.


 

THE NEXT BIG EARTHQUAKE MAY BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK; ARE YOU READY?

By: Georgia Payne

Photo Credits to: Red Cross

According to United States Geological Survey (USGS), “It is estimated that there are 500,000 detectable earthquakes in the world each year, 100,000 of those can be felt, and 100 of them cause damage.” 

San Francisco is famous for is its earthquakes and Earthquakes are scary. Suddenly, the world shakes, the room rattles, and things start to fall. To kids, it might feel like a monster has taken ahold of their house or school. The best way to ease the fear is to prepare. 

In 1906 San Francisco had an earthquake with a 7.7-7.9 magnitude and was the largest recorded earthquake to hit San Francisco. Based on models taking into account the long-term rate of slip on the San Andreas fault and the amount of offset that occurred on the fault in 1906, the best guess is that 1906-type earthquakes occur at intervals of about 200 years. 

According to the report of the Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities “Because of the time needed to accumulate a plate slip equal to a 20 feet offset, there is only a small chance (about two percent) that such an earthquake could occur in the next 30 years.” 

The real threat to the San Francisco Bay region over the next 30 years comes not from a 1906-type earthquake, but from smaller (magnitude about 7) earthquakes occurring on the Hayward fault, the Peninsula segment of the San Andreas fault, or the Rodgers Creek fault.

Talking to children and creating a plan can make such an emergency less scary and help calm nerves when a quake actually strikes. Here are practical tips on what to do. 

The first step is to gather the family and create a plan together. This plan should include picking safe places in each room to take cover when the shaking begins — under furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall. 

Stay away from kitchens and garages, which tend to be the most dangerous because of the objects kept there. Natural gas piping and appliances can be damaged during earthquakes, causing gas leaks. If ignited, this can result in fires which can burn part of, or all of the building. About one in four fires after an earthquake is related to natural gas leaks. Due to this make sure everyone in your household knows how to shut off gas lines. 

Talk about what to do if an earthquake happens while family members are at school or work — reassuring young children that they will be safe until picked up while also creating a meeting place for adults and older children.

The next step is practice. Practice “Drop, cover and hold on” in each safe place — and schedule drills every six months. 

Then, conduct a simple “hazard hunt” by looking for objects that could fall or fly through the air. During practices make sure you are not near or under any of these hazards. If someone were to be trapped practice, teach everyone to knock on something three times repeatedly. 

Create an earthquake kit as a family, and include one comfort item per child, like a teddy bear or toy, as well as activities or children’s books. 

It is also a good habit to put a working flashlight and shoes next to each bed in case you need to do a fast evacuation. 

Abraham Lincoln High School and SFUSD also has plans in the event of an earthquake. Emergency preparedness at schools starts with school staff emergency preparedness at home. To ensure school staff are able to adequately respond to an emergency, disaster, or event, the following personal preparation measures should be taken according to SFUSD: Create a 72-hour emergency supply kit for the home, create an emergency car kit / office kit, including comfortable clothes and shoes as well as medications, develop a plan to reunite with family members, and develop a neighborhood preparedness program. It is also recommended to prepare a small earthquake kit to keep in your backpack. Information on how to make this kit is taught in all health classes.

In school, the SFUSD Earthquake procedures (inside) include the familiar; DROP to the ground. For those students and staff who are physically unable to drop to the ground, they should remain seated and cover their heads with their arms and hands. COVER under or near desks, tables, or chairs in a kneeling or sitting position and HOLD onto table or chair legs. Be sure to protect eyes from flying glass and debris by using your arm to cover your eyes. Remain in the DROP position until ground movement ends. 

In case of aftershocks, be prepared to DROP, COVER, and HOLD. Aftershocks do not just happen directly after the earthquake and can take place even hours after the initial shake. 

For earthquake procedures outside, move away from overhead hazards such as power lines, trees, and buildings. DROP to the ground and COVER the back of the neck with your hands.

COLLEGE APPLICATIONS DON’T HAVE TO BE AS STRESSFUL YOU’RE MAKING THEM

By: Yuqing Qiu

Poor soul drowns in college applications.

Art By: Yuqing Qiu

Some seniors have been in the situation of frantically typing up personal statements and college application essays with a cup of coffee within arm’s reach. With college application deadlines, loads of homework from AP classes, or studying for the SAT or ACT, some seniors will find themselves extremely overwhelmed and stressed. 

College applications can be the most stressful thing in high school; after all, they could seal the fate of the next four years of one’s life. However, while it is virtually impossible to eliminate all of the stress sourced from college applications, there are ways to limit the amount of stress to the bare minimum. 

One way to prevent sleepless nights and writers block a week before college applications are due is simply to start the application process earlier. Applications for some colleges open in July, and most colleges will have the process open in the beginning of August. 

In an interview with Nurse Genevieve, she says, “Academic counselors usually make announcements for that, in advisories. And we have Ms. Erika [Thieu], who helps students with college applications.”

Starting in July or August instead of mid September or early October allows for more time to think and complete the applications. This way, there will be more time to think and plan out how to approach the questions and prompts being asked. Completing college applications in many segments instead of doing them all at once is another way to exterminate the risk of being stressed.

Another tip is to plan out a personal statement or essay before writing it. Having an outline of what to write can help streamline the actual writing process. An outline can also help in students in picking back up after taking a break from writing.

In addition, keep in mind that some schools require recommendation letters. Make a list of the teachers to ask for a recommendation letter, so that it doesn't become a last minute thing, which can bring more stress. 

During the fall semester, many students will ask teachers for recommendation letters, so it is important to remember that these letters take time. It is better to ask teachers for a letter of recommendation as soon as possible so that they have time to think and write.

Another tip is asking for help. Students need to remember that they are not alone in the college application process. There are dozens of supportive teachers, counselors, and other supportive faculty members willing to help. 

Genevieve says, “I think that it’s very important for them to reach out when they’re stressed, talk to someone they can trust, visit the wellness center, take care of themselves.”

Whether it is helping with the application process, or simply just talking, the school is filled with people that won’t hesitate to lend a hand. The college and career counselor is a great person to talk to because she knows about this process and has years of experience on advising students on how to complete college applications.    

There are steps lowerclassmen can take, too. It is important to keep up with schoolwork and not fall behind, because bad habits can accumulate over time, and by senior year, those bad habits will be hard to break. In addition, it’s important to participate in extracurriculars. Whether it be joining a sports team or a club, find something enjoyable to do outside of school. They can help cope with stress, and will also look good on college applications. 

Nurse Genevieve states, “I think that clubs are a great way to relax. It’s also a great opportunity to talk to other people, and that can help you deal with stress.”

Lee, a senior, says the best advice he can give is, “you should find a counselor who is experienced in that [application] process. Also, start early, and don’t procrastinate.” All in all, college applications can be stressful, but with the tips above, the looming deadline won’t seem as intimidating anymore.


 

TIPS FROM SEASONED SENIORS TO LOWER CLASSMEN

By: Joseph Sarabia

Alisa Romagnoli hard at work editing papers for the Lincoln Log

By: Joseph Sarabia

High school is stressful. Many students have a lot to think about, from math tests to sports to new social situations — not to mention the big “Where will I go to college?” question on every teen’s mind. Lincoln Log asked a few students to share their perspectives: now that a few years at Lincoln have passed, what do they wish they had known, or at least someone told them? This article can help any lowerclassmen who are lost and a bit confused on their way to success. A number of seniors from different backgrounds were interviewed who feel as though they have experienced a major shift in their high school life from freshman year to senior year. 

The first person interviewed was Alisa Romagnoli, a senior at ALHS and co-editor in chief for the “Lincoln Log”. When asking her for she simply stated “You’re the captain of your own fate.” She adds on, “Biggest failures? Getting mainly all F’s and D’s my freshman and sophomore year just because I didn’t care. I later realized that I was going to be rich someday and to do that, I needed to think like a winner.”  

Romagnoli continues with saying “Don’t listen to people who say its too late to start caring, it’s not.” People often stress out in school and responding to what helped her get through Lincoln and deal with stress, she exclaims “Definitely having a strong group of friends to support me. Also my favorite subject, writing!” Romagnoli also points out that “Having fun while not at school. Though grades may be important, you should realize, school is not your entire life, don’t stress too much.”

The next person is William Otani, a senior and aspiring bioengineering major. Otani states that an important tip would be to “Do things as soon as possible as it will save you a lot more time in the long run.” 

When asking him how he got through Lincoln and how he dealt with stress he states, “Friends, kids from other schools won’t understand what you go through at ALHS and only those who sit beside you will.” Otani continues, “Take a walk, nap or watch a TV show then come back to the issue at hand. Breaks are important and should be taken.” In an interview with him about college apps being due soon and how the process was, and how he felt like, Otani exclaims, “Oh sh*t. I’m actually doing this,” he continues, “I felt nervous at first, but now I feel relieved to have finished my apps.” 

He suggests, “Create a list of colleges you want to go to early and try and show as much interest in colleges you want to go to.” Otani ends with saying “Honestly, just ask older students they will be helpful, if you’re ever confused, ask someone who you can trust for help.”

The next individual interviewed was Sam Esquejo, a senior and a member of the girls flag football team. When asked about any tips, Esquejo said “Be aware of how you treat your education because it will matter in the future.” 

From that, Esquejo follows with, “My biggest failure is when I got a report card in the mail with a low GPA and I was not proud of it. From that I learned not to slack off and not wait last minute to try and fix my grades.” “There was a time period in my life where I felt so burnt out and lost all my motivation to try and improve my grades and beat all my classes.” says Esquejo. “Yet, people such as my teachers, my therapist, my parents, and my friends helped me get through Lincoln by motivating me.” All these things are stressful and to deal with the stress, Esquejo says “Personally my dogs helps relieve my stress.”

The final student interviewed was Sage Leverman, a junior and a page editor for the “Lincoln Log”.  After being asked for advice, Leverman states “Whatever you do, obtain the most basic information, so you can remember what’s important for when you get questioned.” 

When Leverman was queried on how he getting through Lincoln and dealing with stress, and he stated, “What’s getting me through Lincoln is the fun, and by that I mean friends help a lot.” Leverman continues, “I eliminated all stress by planning my next move, simple.”Although Leverman is only a junior, he feels ready for senior year. He states, “Though I’m not a senior, what prepares me the most is knowing that I can still apply for any college. I might not get accepted but, if the shoe fits.”

 

 

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