SENIORS ADVICE FOR LOWERCLASSMEN
Throughout a student’s high school, life many things can and will change: student’s perspectives, drive, and academic work ethic. Students here at Abraham Lincoln High School share their experiences with changes throughout their high school journey explaining how things have changed from their freshman year, what they wish they would have been told as a freshman, and advice they would now give to the lowerclassmen starting off at Lincoln.
Senior Maya Benmokhtar describes her high school journey as “a roller coaster of decision making.” She sees herself as, “A senior who has bounced back.”
She looks back on when she was a freshman saying,” I took things for granted. I’ve matured a lot more.” She goes on to humbly add, “The journey made me become who I am today with all the setbacks and failures.”
When asked what she would have done differently as a freshman, she answers with a laugh, “Everything!” Elaborating with regret: “Not ditch school, take classes seriously, respect people more, and take positive advice given from other people.”
Benmokhtar shares advice she wish she would have been given.” Everything you do will follow you along with your high school journey, and to not do things if you can’t face the consequences.
”Benmokhtar’s biggest piece of advice she thinks freshman today should know is,”Think about your future. Don’t follow trends like ditching just because everyone else is. Those negative trends will get you nowhere further in the end.”
Senior Omar Nijem describes himself as, “a hardworking student who is looking forward to his future and what it holds for him.”
In terms of how Nijem has changed from freshman year, he responds with,”The way I see the world is completely different.”
”I wish I would have been a lot more on top of things and hung out with people who are doing good and want you to do good as well.”
He elaborates on what he wish he would have been told saying,”Start thinking about colleges early, and start thinking about what you want to do so you’re not scrambling to your senior year.” In a wise manner he adds, “You don’t want to be stuck figuring out your life plan with a few months left of your senior year.”His top advice for freshman is,”Number one piece of advice: think about the future. I WISH people would have told me to think about the future earlier.”
Haris Khan is another senior at Lincoln who throughout his high school years has been involved with a multitude of programs and clubs including College Track, International Volunteering Club, and Global Glimpse. Khan says he has changed.”One thing that’s definitely changed for me is being more focused and driven. When you’re a freshman you're not thinking about college and the end goal. It’s just high school, highschool, highschool.”
He responds when asked what he would have done differently with,”Get more involved in extracurriculars and putting myself out there as well as not keeping my circle so small.
”Khan gives his top advice for freshman. “Really just get involved with the community and do things outside of school to make yourself a well rounded individual.”
Many seniors and upperclassman can relate to these three seniors Lincoln High School journey. The overall message from these seniors would likely be, “What you do in your present, will affect your future.”
DRAMA STUDENTS’ BALANCE BETWEEN THEIR SCHEDULES IN ORDER TO GIVE THEIR ALL FOR PLAYS
By: Savinie Lin
The lastest school day, "the Curious Savage", is another hit with their unique characters and interesting plot line. Top Left, Celine Chao, Top Right, Sophie Cooper, Bottom Left, Tyler Aguallo, Bottom Right, Natalia Ricci. Photo by: Savinie Lin
As the thundering applause came to a halt, the students took one another’s hands and bowed, basking in the praise from the audience who laugh and smile at the performance they gave. And just like that, another performance successfully executed, and another play well-done by Elaine Walenta.
Abraham Lincoln High School’s drama department has always come up with unique and fun plays for the school. Whether it be a play as suspenseful and funny like “Ideation,” or as dramatic and unique as “The Curious Savage,” it’s always a surprise to see what they come up with. But behind the costumes, flamboyant characters, and beautiful sets, are months of preparation and rehearsals. Students manage to juggle their school, work, and social life in order to perform their best for their peers, family, and friends.
Walenta, who teaches Drama, Advanced Drama, and Theater Tech, also makes the stress for the students easier by implementing homework hours on Wednesday’s. It’s an hour before rehearsals where students are able to get their work done.
“It’s really hard to manage, and one thing drama has really taught me is time management,” says Natalia Ricci. “Drama always has to be prioritized, especially during productions, so it’s really a matter of my friends being patient with me. There have been countless times where my friends have asked to make plans, but I have rehearsals. I usually try to fit as many plans into my weekend as possible.”
The process behind a play are a number of complex auditions held for a few days. Walenta has students block their scenes, which means figuring out where their standing on the stage during certain lines and scenes. In the last two weeks of preparation, they have rehearsals with tech and costumes, which adds to a total of two months of practice before opening week. In the beginning, drama kids stay after school until 5pm or 6pm. Then, as show dates near, the hours increase from leaving at 7pm to 9pm. Practices go from being a few days a week, to every day as rehearsal hours grow.
The students read their lines every day after school due to set dates made for certain lines in acts to be memorized. Though they practice with one another, a majority of learning lines and practicing is when their by themselves.
“I just practice memorization for 30 minutes after rehearsals at school and right before we perform,” says senior Sophie Cooper who later explains that sometimes they test one another on their lines.
“Sometimes it gets overwhelming with how busy my days get because I have less free time. But, I always still have eight hours of sleep. I just feel a little drained during the day,” explains Cooper who performed as Lilly Belle in the recent play, ‘The Curious Savage.’ “In the beginning of rehearsals for plays we don’t have it every day, so on the days I don’t have rehearsal, I do most of my homework, and then I work and hang out with friends on the weekend.”
“At times when everyone is not paying attention or if we do something wrong during rehearsals it’s so stressful . . . but we all try to think positively and have a good time,” adds sophomore, Jacquelyn Ruiz, who’s part of the stage crew. “They all make me laugh and know how to have a good time.”
On top of their school work and maintaining their grades, drama students do whatever they can to make sure that they can give their best performances for the community.
RANA KAWAI USED HER EXPERIENCE IN BALLET TO INSPIRE KIDS
Rana Kawai busily prepares her performances every day. Photo by: Krystal Liu
Rana Kawai, a junior from Lincoln, has been learning ballet for fifteen years, and her family always support what she likes to do. Kawai sticks in ballet fifteen years, and she is using her experience to inspire kids.
“Persistence is a very difficult thing, but being persistent on the road to chase dreams is a great thing,” said Rana Kawai. In eighth grade, she had a performance that was important to her in Japan, which was her first performance on ballet. Kawai had practiced for a long time, but she still made mistakes during her performance. She was frustrated and stressed, and felt sorry for her team at the same time. Kawai thought of giving up and escaping, but her team was very united and tried to enlighten her, therefore she believed she could do better.
Kawai follows her sister, Kona Kawai. Her sister is the most important person when it comes to ballet. Kawai’s sister has been practicing ballet for almost ten years, and helping Kawai to learn ballet when she just got start to dance ballet.
“If I needed to use three adjectives to describe Rana, I will say she’s hard working, enthusiastic, and happy. In my impression, Rana is hard working because she always try to become a better version of herself. She is passionate about ballet, and also the happiest when dancing,” said Kona Kawai.
Kawai feels most confident when she is on the stage, and she is often proud of her determination. Although she is not good at expressing herself, she believes that she will have results back if she works hard.
Kawai once wanted to give up on ballet. When she first arrived in San Francisco, she felt powerless because she left her parents and followed her sister to live here in order to get a better education. Kawai felt very uncomfortable because she thought she would never find a ballet school as good as in Japan. However, she later realized on herself that ballet represented her life. She found a comfortable place to continue dancing ballet, and quickly adapted to this new place. At first, it was difficult for her to communicate with different dancers because English was not her first language. Gradually, she found out that communicating with others was not difficult, just like ballet. Kawai believes that as long as she does ballet, she will gain something big at the end. Kawai made many friends and her teacher Kellie Foy, who gave her a high rating.
“I invited Rana to perform with another ballet group last Christmas. She had to learn two roles in two rehearsals then perform in three shows. She was working so hard on herself. She is dancing because it is enjoyable and brings joy to others, and that she danced perfectly!” exclaims Foy. She believes that Kawai will always act for her commitment.
Kawai has always wanted to use her experience to influence different people. She teaches younger students to dance ballet in the place where she attends. She likes to see children in the dancing room, and feels extremely enjoyable when she is teaching kids. Knowing that she can use her own experience to teach students not to give up easily, Kawai said and preached.
Kawai said, “So one time I was teaching 7 kids one of the girl was trying hard what i asked to do, but then she couldn’t do it because it was hard for her. I understood and I tried to teach her more clearly, then she was like ‘I can’t do this.’ Next week I met her again and I gave them the same combination, then she did it! I asked her like: “How did you do that?” She responded with: “I practiced at home.” I was so glad that she kept trying by herself. I thought to myself that she is going to be a good dancer and I really hope her to continue dancing ballet.” She was very pleased and proud at that moment. She used her patience and love to influence every child who was learning ballet. She never forced every child who had just started to learn ballet because she knew it was hard to do everything at first. She saw the efforts from the children and she grew up with them.
Every ballet class is unforgettable. She likes the busy but leisurely life. She likes the story of everyone. She doesn't know what they will encounter in the future. She just wants every child to learn to grow, persist and be kind from play. Kona appreciates that she teaches kids. “I think she wants her students know that when they work hard, they will succeed, and it’s great that she is teaching the kids ballet since her dream is to become a teacher. I was amazed how she can teach kids when she is still learning the language and not be fluent in English.” says her sister.
Kawai feels that everyone must be respectful, even children will give us a lot of inspiration. “Teaching children makes me more confident, also gives me the opportunity to teach my knowledge and make me really realize the meaning of persistence.” Kawai added.
STUDENTS CAN STRESS LESS WHEN DOING THEIR COLLEGE APPS
By: Justin Wong
Abraham Lincoln senior, David Huang uses laptop provided by the school to applies for college. Photo by: Justin Wong
Just like many young adults and high school seniors, most are applying to college and it’s been stressing many of them out. Attending college is one of the key things of getting a job and making a living for you and your family in the future. It’s difficult because it is getting easier to apply for college but since it’s getting easier and easier more people are applying which makes it harder for people to get accepted.
Jorge Jimenez a freshman at San Francisco State University, has applied for a handful colleges. Jimenez has been accepted to most of the colleges that he applied to. “Applying for college is a long and difficult process. I barely made the deadline and I was lucky to get accepted.” The deadline is important for people who want to attend college because if you miss that deadline, the chances of you attending pretty much vanished. “There was so much stress during the process since I had to balance out going to school and meeting deadlines.” Everybody deals with stress when applying for college and it affects everybody in a differentiation way.” I dealt with my stress by listening to music and taking care of my baby brother.”
Nicholas Zhang, a senior at Balboa High School, is doing his college apps just like many other seniors around the country. He says: “Everyone is talking about what colleges they’re applying to,” claimed Zhang. He is just like the many others applying to college this year. “Stress is everywhere. I’ve been dealing with a lot of deadlines with such little time.” Doing college apps late cause a lot of stress due to the little time many people have. Zhang says, “I strongly suggest for the people who haven’t start in their college apps yet to start on it now.” There are people who have completed their college apps and there are some that haven’t finished it yet which can stress out many people. “Some ways I dealt with stress is from listening to music while I completed college apps and finding time to take a break and relax. Time for yourself can reduce the levels of stress if you can find a way to forget and let go. I haven’t thought of a back up plan if I don’t get accepted. I’m just hoping I get accepted to a California State University.”
Jonathan Juarez, an Avid student at Lincoln has applied to multiple colleges said, “I applied to eight different colleges. I applied to four CSU’s and four UC’s. Currently I’m about to apply to private schools. Applying to many schools is very time consuming. It took me about a month to apply without procrastinating. If you put your mind to it the faster you can get it done but if you dont it may take a long time. I wouldn’t say I was stressful i think i was overthinking.” Don’t overthink on college apps and just go at your own pace instead of rushing it.
Everybody deals with stress and there are many ways to deal with it. There are many other ways to deal with stress but here are some ways to deal with it. From what we learned here is that people deal with stress differently. People may have similar ways to deal with stress and their ways may help you.
JORGE GONCALVES IS THE NEW YEARBOOK TEACHER
By: Nikko Dul
Jorge Goncalves helps student put pages in for Abraham Lincoln's 2018-2019 yearbook. Photo by: Nikko Dul
Jorge Goncalves a DMD teacher, has recently become the head of Lincoln’s yearbook teacher. The past teacher was Ms. Kathleen Lussier-West, who has done yearbook for the past three years.
From what Goncalves said, “this is something new to him.”
Also, being that Goncalves is the DMD teacher, he says “It works hand in hand in a way.”
Goncalves has 18 students in yearbook and says that so far their doing a great job. Yearbook students use a software to help lay out pages but since Goncalves is the Digital Media Design’s teacher, he also taught them a few basic PhotoShop tips from DMD first year. He says the photoshop helps with fixing up pictures, repositioning the photo, and adding text to the photos.
Goncalves is proud of having a core team of eighteen juniors and seniors who have attended the last few event. He is also making a new cover design for the yearbook. The past few teachers who have done yearbook didn't have new 26 inch IMACs or five DSLR cameras with long lenses to take better shots which Goncalves does.
A few announcements for the year book are grade polls and that seniors should send in baby pictures and quotes.
One student states, “It isn’t a class for credits, it’s a class that gives you life skills. From sending emails to adults, to being on top of every deadline. To add on, it also involves them in the school more.”
From what Ruqaiyah Angeles says, “The class isn’t hard, it’s pretty laid back. The only things that get kinda hard is waiting for replies from emails sent out and the schedules sometimes being switched up.”
For the process of getting photos, the students would email the clubs they would be taking photos for, or go with their chosen groups to take photos. From the beginning of the year to the end, they’ll be with the group they’ve chosen and go out to take photos of the events.
The process of editing the photos from the events include uploading them to a software and cleaning the images up, for example, if the lighting is bad. The students also learned how to use photoshop, and so far they enjoy it.
LINCOLN STRIVES TO HELP STUDENTS TO PREPARE FOR COLLEGE.
By: Huanbin Chen
The ALHS college and career poster that hangs on the counseling office wall. Photo by: huanbin Chen
College has become a crucial opportunity for students because going to a college lays a great foundation for students before they contribute to society. However, because some high school seniors do not have enough college preparation, they are not mentally or financially prepared for college. They will walk into college with a long transition period. Instead of having a hard time in college, high schools should be responsible for preparing students for college. Let’s see what Lincoln has been providing to the students on college and career.
A recent college and career event called “College Information Night” provided seniors and parents preview for getting into college. It also takes advantages of information on helping students to manage their time to take courses or summer school opportunities.
“I think this was really helpful in that they provided good and clear information for students. Also, they sent the slides on Google Classroom, so the students can go back and look,” said Jayde Nieve, the school counseling intern.
“We have college and career meeting every Thursday that is preceded by Ms.Thieu at the school library, and we will have an SAT prep for the Junior students to prepare better in the future, and there is a college group who is coming to campus, so they will be sharing their own college experiences with our students, helping our students to get familiar with college vibes and styles.” said Mcfadden Elita, 9th grade counselor intern.
“How we prepare students for college is that we offer a variety of courses and advise students what to take to meet graduation and college requirements or to be competitive, and we also offer ‘Early College Dual Enrollment’, which is like a early college prep class for students who want to get a head start at earning college credits. Plus, Lincoln will have an event called “College Financial Aid” that will be happening on December 6th, which helps the students become financially prepared.” said Erika Thieu, the school college counselor.
At the same time, some of the opposing groups who are not planning on going to college are studying on their own interests, such as studying a secret project, achieving their dreams, and establishing companies. These people do not want the school to be fully engaged in helping those who want to go to college because they need schools to also focus on them or even invest in their projects.
Despite students who don’t want to go to college, they want the school to give them more support, the majority of seniors who want to develop in college and want college opportunities is obviously more rigorous and competitive than the dreamers.
This page was last updated on June 11, 2019