Category Archives: school decor

Serving up stereotypes

Would quinoa salad (with white bread) represent white people?

Opinion piece

by Nicole Funes

How ignorant of a Catholic girls’ school to honor Black culture by reducing us to fried chicken and watermelon on their menu?

I found it insulting that just 18 miles from West Oakland, in the diverse Bay Area, a group of suburban school girls at Carondelet in Concord decided what to do for Black History Month without looking up a single thing about Black History on the Internet. They just talked about FOOD in the cafeteria. And resorted to STEREOTYPES!!!!

And don’t they have an adviser? Are there no adults involved in menu selection, let alone education?

I think that  those white people were being racist and they didn’t even know what Black History month was about. Their attitude is just too…cavalier.

For instance, if we were in their shoes and had a month to celebrate white history month (as though anyone would REDUCE white history to ONE month of the year)  and we said, “Oh, to honor white people this month,  we’re going to have salad, white bread, olives, and lemonade for lunch. We should put it on our lunch menu!”

And our principal wouldn’t even notice or say anything about it and, then we would go on TV and make fun of their culture like how they do, thinking we barely know their culture or what food they eat, just because it says “white” in front of “history month”, we only have to GUESS what they eat. And then we would have an assembly because peoples’ feelings got hurt, so we just had to apologize: nothing more.  As though, you could just take back words that had inflicted pain.

You would justify your action by claiming ignorance: oh, we just put something to eat this day because we had an assumption that white people eat this food because we might have friends who are white and now we think we are part of the clique!

Engineers with Swagg: the New Mack Look

kardelbackpack

by Kardel Howard

McClymonds has a new class — engineering.  That means new toys, new tools, and new equipment that students can play with in their newly renovated $60,000 classroom, according to Lynn Baliff, educational consultant.

The new improvements start with the backpacks that were distributed to the Principles of Engineering class. The backpack doubles as a solar-powered cell-phone charger.  Its solar panel is sewn into the front of the backpack, and when placed under sunlight, absorbs the energy and transfers that to its solar-charged battery.  A USB cord plugs into the charged battery while the other side plugs into the phone; then it charges.

Other equipment includes a “master computer” that allows the teacher to monitor all the computer activity in the classroom.

STEMmastercomputer

The engineering class also has a 3D printers that turns  models that are made on the computer to become a physical form. The 3D printer creates the model onto the platform by melting plastic filaments into a shape, and keeps tracing the model until it is no longer amorphous.

3Dprintermack

“The class is advancing,” said Katherine Hall, engineering and math teacher.  In addition to the introductory course, Hall also added an advanced engineering course, Principles of Engineering.

“Next year,” she added, “there will be a third course for seniors.”

The engineering course counts as an elective and has a curriculum that encourages students to use their creativity and think more critically in using their mathematical abilities to solve equations.

There are 20 students total enrolled in the Intro to Engineering class and 15 in the Principles of Engineering class.  Students like Kelton Runnels, a junior, enjoy the new STEM curriculum. ” I believe this engineering class is now opening a lot more doors for us than sports,” says Runnels.

As he sees it, McClymonds is turning over a new leaf.

Ask Naya: Advice on Relationship and Etiquette — Are Freshmen Fresh?

naya photo

Dear Naya:

“Today, a pesky  freshman was hassling me, calling me B@!%$ and generally hassling me. What can I do to stop this?”

RG

Answer:

Dear RG,

Oh, those ignorant freshmen!!! Unfortunately, they haven’t realized that high school is basically four years of hell in disguise.

They need to learn the way.  They need to be taught how to solve their inner issues: i.e. if a freshman girl (person A) were to bump into another girl (person B) whilst walking by, you (person B) shouldn’t just immediately square up with person A; you have to talk it out with them.  You need to be the more mature person and temporarily back away from the situation to try to lose that disconcertion you get from that initial shock of extreme rudeness… then go back again and talk it out with that person.

My advice about the foul-mouthed freshman: try to forgive and forget.  When I say forgive and forget, I mean to leave the  things that are trivial in the long-run behind and make a new road for yourself.

You can’t change the game, but you can always change your ways to conform to the game by doing the best thing.

In and Out of Shadows: A Play About Undocumented Youth Hits Home

Felix and his momHomero Rosas plays Juan Two

by Romanalyn Inocencio

Watching In and Out of Shadows at the Marsh Theater in San Francisco was like sitting in my living room listening to my Mom. The Filipina mother in the story threatened like my mother, giving you a choice of what household instrument you can get hit with.

It hit home because I’m Filipina and these life stories — focused on fears about the police, stress over grades and college — reflect the anxieties of my undocumented cousins and friends.

Some significant details are different of course. The stories of crossing the border into the United States from Mexico, when one kid had to be drugged because he could not learn his fake name,and another had to crawl through the sewers, are harrowing.

The musical builds on a familiar theme: college application.  In it, the undocumented teens are preparing their personal statements for an AB 540 conference at UC Berkeley (AB 540 allows DREAMers to attend California colleges at in-state rates).

 We meet Angel, who arrived in the US alone via a sewer when he was 13. And Juan who, as a determined six-year-old, had to be drugged with cough syrup during the crossing because he adamantly refused to take his cousin’s name as his own. We watch a newly urbanized “vato loco” (crazy dude in Spanish) teaching an undocumented Chinese friend how to speak street Spanish.

Running through the entire musical is the fear of deportation. Many families in the  play  have deceptive status – undocumented parents who lie to their children about their papers (often telling their children they have papers, when they don’t)  and who live in constant fear of separation.

Even under AB 540 or President Obama’s recent two-year deportation deferral program for certain undocumented youth, students who get to stay may suddenly be left alone with nobody to take care of them. The diverse group of young actors, many whom are directly affected by the issue, mix English, Spanish, Tagalog and other languages as they examine the unwieldy human effects of this messy political issue.

Mack Earns Home-Field Advantage But Has To Play At Its Rival’s Gym

OPINION PIECE

by Anthony Beron

The victory dance should have taken place HERE last Thursday. The championship game should have been in the McClymonds gym.

Yes, the McClymonds Lady Warriors made history by winning the Oakland Athletic League for the first time in 38 years. And the boys team, the Warriors won and were undefeated in the OAL.

So what is the pay-off for their hard work and higher seeding in the CIF playoffs: WE HAVE TO PLAY AT OAKLAND TECH, our rival school, instead of playing in our OWN GYM.

And the school is abuzz with that sad reality. “If I had an option,” said boys’ basketball coach Brandon Brooks, “I’d definitely have our team play here because of our strong, enthusiastic fan base.” He thought it was moved to Oakland Tech because of the smaller size of our gym.

Colleen  Piper, Spanish teacher, called the move to have McClymonds play at its rival’s gym “unfair” and “uncool.”

Teacher Relonda McGhee, who favored playing at Laney College, where the Silver Bowl was played, said that “Playing at Tech is risky, because it’s our rival.”

Most students agreed. “We should play here, on our home field,  because we are the champions,” said Danny Sola, a senior.

But some expressed caution. “Playing here can be dangerous,” said Luckie Lovette, a junior. “In the past, the fans have caused a lot of problems.”

While McClymonds students mentioned the unfairness of the situation, the athletes just practiced for the game.

“As long as we have a court and a hoop,” said Lady Warrior Romanalyn Inocencio, “I’m cool.”

Art for art’s sake?

art for art"s sake?it is real art

Warrior Gets A Facelift

photo by Sana Saeed

by Sana Saeed

Have you seen the really big tall warrior mural in the McClymonds gym?

The artistic facelift of the gym began when art teacher Rosemary Marr sauntered into the gym in September and commented  that it looked “oh so plain.” The school’s top ranked basketball team deserved a better looking gym, she said.

Soon it turned into an assignment for the advanced art class and ten students were assigned  jobs.

Mayasa Bennett and Brandie Hamilton grabbed black sharpies and started tracing a warrior that Marr  projected on the wall. Danny Sola and Marr traced the triangular Indian tribal designs over the bleachers.

The following days, Sana Saeed, Mayasa Bennett, and Toyia Banks grabbed paint brushes and black paint and started painting the traced warrior mural. Marr and the rest of the students finished tracing the other designs.

Marr created a transparency for the word “WARRIORS” in very bold letters. When Marr projected it, she, Mayasa, and Jaylen Kimmel, took black sharpies and traced over it.  As they completed the letters, they grabbed black paint and started painting. Marr purchased $75 in supplies, which included painters’ tape, paint brushes, and of course paint. Her goal was to finish the entire gym by the end of January.

As the work progressed, Marr wanted to paint “MACK HOUSE” in thin black letters with a dream catcher inside of the “O” of HOUSE. And this would go on the opposite side of the gym.

The class also plans to decorate the top of the bleachers with the tribal designs.

To show much appreciation, the basketball team gave Marr a big Thank You card for all her hard work.

One of the students who helped paint the gym, Danny Sola, 17 and a senior, said that her role in painting the gym was to help trace the Indian tribal designs and paint them. She said that she liked what it has become and its progress.

Selena Williams, 17 and a junior, who did not work on the project said, ” It’s cool and it gives the gym a new look.”