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TIPS TO STAY ON TRACK WITH NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

By: Nathan Gee

Your resolution is like a marathon, take your time and slowly improve yourself to get where you need to go!

Art By: Nathan Gee

 

A New Year’s resolution is a great way to kickstart the year on the right foot, allowing people to set long term beneficial goals in order to improve themselves. Unlike regular goal-setting, new year resolutions are pledges made at the very start of a new, fresh year. While the goal may be to lose a certain amount of body weight or to eat healthier; these objectives will hopefully turn into habits ingrained into one’s life. However, most people struggle with sticking to their resolutions beyond the first few weeks or even days of the new year. According to U.S News, around 80% of people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by the second week of February.

If you’ve failed to meet your goals in the past, the key is to recognize why that happened and to approach things differently in the new decade. If you can push through the upcoming months, you can truly change your life. The main reasons why people fail their resolutions are because of vital mistakes people don’t realize they make. Learn to recognize mistakes as well as these helpful tips to make sure that New Year’s Resolution is accomplished.

Make your resolution reachable. Many people don’t realize that the resolutions they set are incredibly vital to whether they succeed or not. Ask yourself this -- which goal is more achievable? Losing 50 lbs or reducing trans fat food from your diet? If you chose to reduce the amount of trans fat foods you intake, you are on the right track.

People tend to set ambitious goals that aren’t possibly achievable. This is because, as humans, we have the tendency to both overestimate our capabilities (known as overconfidence bias) and to plan much more than we can realistically accomplish. Realize that you have a year’s time of improving yourself and focusing on the incremental achievements rather than the final destination. Cutting out trans fats from your diet for even a month can turn into a habit that will last a long time. This allows you to focus on the bigger picture and learning to get up there.

Do not beat yourself up if you take a step or two back. We are all human, we aren't perfect, and that’s okay. If you do experience a setback, evaluate what happened, and get back on track.

Planning is essential to making progress. Going in headfirst into a goal without planning on what to do is like going on a road trip without a map or GPS. Planning and getting into the right mindset is essential to completing your New Year’s resolution. Chalking out your goals by integrating your strengths and affinities is an excellent way to build a working program. The plan makes habit formation easier – you know where to focus and how to implement the actions. Create a schedule for when you want to progress towards your resolution and work toward it. Realize that you have limits and that overdoing is unhealthy.

No one can accomplish anything without help and support. We need to socialize! Support can come in many forms. While paid coaches, trainers, and assistants are ideal for a variety of goals, free help is still helpful. Find communities or local groups that can help you achieve your goals without spending much money. If you want to work out more, make friends with people in the gym in order to find friends with similar goals and helpful training partners. A great way to stay on track and be motivated to achieve a goal is to start an accountability group text with a few friends. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for what you need.

Joseph Sarabia, Lincoln senior, says friends were a huge part in helping him achieve his 2019 resolution of working out more.

“Watching other people want to achieve their goals will make you want to do it too, as having people to work out with was less boring, “says Sarabia.

Having friends with similar goals allows you to challenge each other and make the journey to that resolution much more fun.

Everything in life is the result of a habit. If your resolution is to stop a bad habit, you need to replace it with good practice to serve the same purpose. So let’s say, for example, you find yourself hungry at 3:00 PM every day. That daily donut won’t help you lose weight. But swapping it out for a banana and a handful of almonds instead will satisfy both your hunger and sweet tooth. 

Learn to also reward yourself and take a rest day when it is needed, pushing yourself to the limit to change a habit is hard. Taking rest days allows your body to not only rest but to realize that changes allows for rewards and releases dopamine in your brain.

Remember that things might not always go our way, even when trying to achieve a New Year’s resolution. If you were to ever give up midway throughout your goal, know that the experiences learned and gains achieved will not go in vain, and continue on when you find the time to achieve that goal.

 

WHY ARE ELECTRONIC THEFTS GETTING VIOLENT LATELY

By: Nicole Chan

The pie chart shows the most common areas where devices can be stolen. 

Photo By: Nicole Chan

 

Nowadays, the use of technology is not only really handy, but it’s also extremely common. Almost everyone has a cell phone, laptop, or tablet. Owning these useful electronic tools runs the risk of being mugged or stolen. In recent months, theft of devices in the Bay Area have been more frequent; especially thefts of cell phones and laptops.

“It’s the second stolen laptop theft in Oakland that’s turned violent in recent weeks. On New Year’s Eve, 34-year-old Shuo Zeng was killed at a Montclair Starbucks trying to get his stolen laptop back. Two men were arrested for the crime,” according to a report from abc7 News on January 12, 2020.

Hearing such tragic news could increase awareness of surroundings and valuable possessions. Theft of devices can occur at any time and anywhere; not only in bus stops and on public transportation, but also in schools. Although in most cases, thefts in schools are nonviolent but they do pose a huge issue in the communities. Fortunately, there are no recent reports of violent thefts at Lincoln, but electronic thefts have seemingly increased according to some students. “...because there’s an electronic boom, people have been less protective of their devices. They would rather have their information protected than the property itself.”, stated a Lincoln senior.

Jackie Wang, senior, stated,  “I don’t know if it [electronic thefts] has increased or decreased a lot, but thinking of the school’s behavior or the students of the school, probably has increased…”

Theft of devices cannot always be avoided, but there are methods to minimize it and there are some ways to keep you and your electronic device safe.

First and foremost, do not have your device out in the open, whether you are holding it or storing it in the side pocket of your backpack. In other words, keep your gadgets hidden! It is best to store your devices, especially cell phones, in the back or deep section of your backpack or bag.

Second, keep your devices with you at all times. Do not leave your devices unattended, even if it’s only for a short period of time because it makes an easy target for thieves to take it and run. You should either take it with you or leave it with a person you trust.

Third, if you choose to use your device when riding public transportation, stand away from the doorways and pay attention because crooks can snatch the electronics out of your hands and sprint out.

Last but certainly not least, if you ever encounter a situation where your safety is threatened because of it, just hand over your device because that is what they are ultimately after. Despite the pricey replacement costs, it is not worth the risk of your safety.    

Although crime is rampant, there are many ways to keep not only your electronics safe but yourself safe. You can never be too careful and wary. Remember that electronics are always replaceable, but your life and well-being are not.

 

STUDENT WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER STRIVES TO INCREASE AUTISM AWARENESS

By: Gordon Liang

Amanda Ching has a goal of spreading autism awareness and hopes that people will stop bullying students with autism.

Photo By: Gordon Liang

 

Everyday, we walk around the school to get to our classes and we bump into people. We know some and we ignore some. One student in particular wanted to get noticed for a change. Amanda Ching is a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) here at Lincoln, and she wanted to draw some attention to students with autism.

Autism Spectrum Disorder, more commonly known as ‘autism,’ is a social and neurological disorder. Those with autism have trouble interacting with others and typically avoid physical interaction and eye contact. As the name suggests, symptoms of ASD range in severity on a spectrum. Ching has Asperger’s Syndrome, meaning she has difficulty socializing and tends to have repetitive behavior. She says that she often has trouble making friends because of her autism. 

Ching wants to do activism work for those with autism. Ching requested to be featured on the Lincoln Log in order to spread autism awareness to Lincoln students. She encourages people to be more inclusive to those with autism; Ching has experienced bullying throughout her life for her autism.

“Kids used to call me ‘special ed’ in middle school. I got upset and it got me from zero to 100 right away,” Ching recalls.

Earlier this school year, Ching was cussed at by a group of students at Lincoln. The incident resulted in a conference. She doesn’t want others to experience the bullying she has dealt with and hopes that this article may encourage others to stand up for those with autism.

Ching says, “People with autism are easy targets for bullying but I’m trying to fight against it.”

“She just wants to have the same respect that all students deserve,” Jim Garzelloni, Ching’s case manager adds.

Ching is often the only student in her class with autism. She says that being the only student with autism is rough but she still enjoys class. She especially enjoys Ms. Souza’s biology class because of her interest in anatomy. Ching often shares her work and her knowledge in biology class with Ms. Souza.

While she says she doesn’t have many friends, Ching appreciates her good friend Kelly Li. She praises the support that she’s gotten from Li.

Ching’s main aspiration is to become a tribute singer. She idolizes Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury. She plans to record and publish covers of their songs as tribute to both artists. She plans to divide them into three eras, devoting two eras to Michael Jackson titled “Michael Jackson Forever” and “Michael Jackson Forever.” In between both of the Michael Jackson eras, an era would be devoted to Queen, titled “Bohemian Dream.” To achieve her goal, Ching participates in choir, and has done so for three years; she also takes private vocal lessons. She participated in this year’s talent show where she sang Michael Jackson’s “Stranger in Moscow.

 

THE YOUNGER GENERATION MAY HAVE A LARGER IMPACT ON THE ELECTIONS THAN EVER BEFORE

By: Jared Huey

High school students participate in the climate action march in San Francisco to promote action against climate change

Photo by: Art and Activism for Climate Change

 

In recent years, young activists such as Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai have become exceedingly popular in the media. Thunberg has called for action among many world leaders and led a revolution of climate change activism. The involvement of young people in protests, marches, and activism on college campuses have skyrocketed. Why are young adults and teens becoming more politically active? How will they impact the future political atmosphere?

Teens today are greatly exposed to the media: with technology and the use of social media, teens are constantly informed about important events. As a result, teens know much more of what's going on in the world and start to develop opinions on such events. A greater exposure to the media is likely one of the reasons for a more politically active younger generation.

Ella Fino, senior at Lincoln High School says, “The media has a massive effect on young people. We are able to receive information instantly, it’s honestly pretty hard to stay unaware of what’s going on in the world today. More and more young people are getting politically involved because they're constantly getting exposed to the media.”

Making up about 27% of the population, generation Z (born between 1997 to 2012) is more populous than any other generation according to Statista. A study by Pew Research, 70% of generation Z responded that the government should do more to solve problems, suggesting a majority of generation Z seem to have adopted a much more liberal view on solving problems.

Historically, voters aged 18 to 29 have the lowest voter turnout. According to the U.S census, in the 2016 presidential election, only 46.1 % of 18 to 24 year old voted, while 70.9% of voters 65 and older voted. By the 2020 presidential election, about half of this generation will be eligible to vote. If they increase their turnout rate, they may have a larger impact than before.

A proposal by Democrats also indicates they believe young voters will have a major impact in elections. In 2019, Democratic Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley introduced a bill to the House to lower the voting age for federal elections from age 18 to 16.

She states in a Tweet, “In 2018, nearly 2 million young people between the ages of 16 & 17 were employed, contributing to the labor force and to their local economy through paying taxes.”

Although this is a true and valid argument, some Republicans believe the Democrats’ ulterior motive is to improve their chances in elections.

Rep. Rodney Davis R-Ill says, “ I’m in the opinion that we shouldn't arbitrarily lower the voting age just because right now, I believe Democrats think they’ll gain more votes.”

We can even see activism becoming more prominent in our own community. Fino founded the Activism club with her friends in August of 2019. The Activism club brings together students at Lincoln High School to discuss ways they can promote ideas they are fighting for.

Fino says, “ I started the Activism club with my friends because I wanted to spread awareness. To me, being an activist means being able to speak up. From the moment you are first able to speak, you can become an activist if you wish to do so. Activism is not limited to a specific age range.”

Only time will tell how much impact the next generation of voters will truly have on the future political atmosphere.

 

LINCOLN’S LONG-TERM SUB POLICY INFLUENCES STUDENTS

By: Alisa Romagnoli

DeMello gestures to the screen while instructing his Tuesday morning lesson on political spectrums. 

Photo By: Alisa Romagnoli

 

Long-term substitutes cover the position of a teacher who is absent for an extended period of time--typically 30-60 days.

These subs can also get rotated out after the said time period. This system has the potential to affect students significantly in their learning.

Lincoln seniors who were put into Rhonda Hall’s economics and American democracy classes express how the wavering of substitutes has affected them and their learning environment.

Third-period American democracy student, Onalisa Mitchell, describes the first semester’s instability as “really hard” pointing out how, “Each teacher teaches a different way, so it’s like we’re used to one thing, and now we have to go off doing something totally different and starting over again.”

Mitchell explains that during the period of time when subs fluctuated, having two to three rotating subs for Hall’s class caused her to struggle with trying to learn something she deemed as valuable; handling money and economics.

“I’m lucky my parents teach me about handling money, but I’m in a class for an hour a day and am supposed to be learning how to save money and prepare for college and I didn’t learn anything,” reports Mitchell, describing the class as a “waste of time.”

Mitchell says her learning experience in Economics was much different from her other classes. “Compared to the others, it was harder to learn in because each time we would get a new sub, they would ask us where we were at and then we’d always be like ‘at the beginning’.”

In terms of the long-term sub policy, Mitchell describes it as “messed up” indicating how current sub, Matthew DeMello, who commutes to Lincoln from outside San Francisco and is “serious about teaching and eager for students to learn” can be removed from his position after 30 days and not receive benefits.

Mitchell says she feels that the way the school has handled this situation, in particular, is poor, stating that students should have the right to know what’s going on with their teacher.

“For the school to say they’re gonna give us all A’s is cool, but like can you tell us what the situation is? Are we going to have a sub today? Are we going to have her back? They definitely can be more upfront; we’re young adults,” says Mitchell, adding that “It’s like DeMello came in blind, he thought that we knew [about economics] and we didn’t.”

DeMello, who just recently became the permanent teacher for Hall’s American democracy classes, says the long-term sub policy “served him well.”

“It’s like baseball,” DeMello explains, “If I work a certain amount of days, I think it’s thirty or thirty-five, I get a pay bump. But, say I, in the middle of that, get sick. If I miss that day, it starts over,” he says, describing how the policy’s pay could be better.

Other than that, DeMello says the policy’s effect on him has been great. Unlike Mitchell, he describes how the school has been “very receptive to his questions and has kept him up to date on what’s going on with Ms. Hall and that whole situation.”

In terms of how students are affected, DeMello put an emphasis on the power of consistency saying, “Before I got here it was just these series of subs without any idea of when that was going to change. So when I came on board, that was one of the things that I wanted to do; settle everything down first and make sure the students knew that I was going to be here day in and day out.”

“Surprised” and “shocked” are the words DeMello used to describe how he felt about the number of subs Hall’s students had gone through as well as the minimal knowledge they knew about economics.

DeMello is the definite permanent teacher until the end of this school year, however, if Hall returns next school year, he will lose his position.  

Fourth-period American democracy student, Julian Abergas, states “I feel that having long-term subs is ultimately the best solution for teachers who are unable to come to the class…”

However, Abergas expresses, if the sub does not know what subject they are teaching, it can be an experience full of “struggle” and “confusion” which can ultimately lead to the detriment of student’s knowledge.

Abergas says this disservice may just be something students have to settle for. Being that it is his first year of having two long-term subs for his classes (economics/American democracy and AP computer science), Abergas says having them isn’t the worst thing to happen to a student.

In terms of admin, “Everything was so vague. We didn’t have enough information, we didn’t have [an idea of] a return time...” Abergas mentions. “We could have been a lot more understanding if they told us more.”   

Admin did not respond to a request for an interview. 

 

THE REAL CONSEQUENCES OF NOT SIGNING UP FOR SELECTIVE SERVICES

By: Georgia Payne

Many 18+ lincoln highschoolers may find themselves face-to-face with this 2020 Selective Service application form. 

Photo Courtesy of the Selective Service System

 

Despite the all-volunteer military, men in the U.S. still have to register for the draft when they turn 18. But the fairness of the system, and its very existence, are again being questioned.

There hasn't been a draft in this country since 1973. That year, with the Vietnam War winding down, conscription ended and the U.S. military became an all-volunteer force. However, in today’s political climate, many young American males are beginning to wonder if they will have to participate in yet another large scale war. To this day, young men still have to register with the Selective Service. Almost all male U.S. citizens and male immigrants who are 18 through 25 are required to register with Selective Service. There is no option on whether or not you want to register because registration is the law. Registration is crucial for eligibility for many government programs and financial aid.

According to the official site of the United States government, “A young man who fails to register with Selective Service may be ineligible for opportunities that may be important to his future.”

The highest concern for current high school students is the federal student financial aid and state-funded student financial aid in many state programs. The law states that men between the ages 18-25 who aren't registered with Selective Service won't qualify for federal student loans or grant programs. This includes Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Direct Stafford Loans/Plus Loans, National Direct Student Loans, and College Work-Study. This could have major implications for those who are planning on relying on aid for attending college.

Alex Lowe, a senior at Abraham Lincoln High School, said, “I know that registering for FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) means that I am now a part of selective service, but I don't really know the implications of that. It kind of seems forceful in a way. Just to get the money I need for college I have to sign my life away?! Seems extreme.” 

Most federal employment (some state employment) is also in connection with selective service. Men must be registered to be eligible for jobs in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government and the U.S. Postal Service, along with many other federal and state jobs.

Men who do not register will also be ineligible for job training under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (formerly the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) which offers programs that can train young men seeking vocational employment or enhancing their careers. This program is only open to those men who register with Selective Service and is highly useful for young men beginning in the workforce. 

41 states have now connected driver's licenses with registration for selective service. These laws are said to be simple and inexpensive to implement. They instruct the state’s Department of Public Safety or Motor Vehicles to include a consent statement on all applications or renewals for driver’s permits, licenses, and I.D. cards. The statement tells the applicant that by submitting the application he is consenting to his registration with the Selective Service System, meaning that by gaining a driver’s license you are also agreeing to be a part of selective service. If you do not agree then you will be unable to have a driver's license.

There are many penalties for failing to register. Most seriously, failing to register or comply with the Military Selective Service Act is a felony.

This felony is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000, a prison term of up to five years, or a combination of both. Also, it is worth knowing that a person who knowingly counsels, aids, or abets another to fail to comply with the Act is subject to the same penalties.

“That’s kind of f***ked up,” said Brian Chu, another senior at Lincoln.

Men who are over 26 and denied benefits can appeal the decision if they can prove that their failure to register was not "knowing and willful."

Marc J. Smith, a Rockville, Maryland federal employment lawyer who handles such cases, says the process can cost $3,500 to $4,000 in legal fees. 

These cases rarely make it to court.

“Even if Congress eliminates the draft,” Smith said, “it's unclear whether those old penalties will go away.”

 

 

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