Local News

Young Observers: Early September Edition

It has been two weeks since we returned to in-person classes. If you’re a parent, you might be wondering what it is like inside the school campus in this new normal. Here is some insider info you might want to know:

Francine on her first day of school.

1. There are about 3,000 students in my school and the good news is, we all wear masks indoors, especially in the classrooms. A few might not wear masks upon entering a classroom, but the teachers have a set of masks ready to offer them along with hands-free sanitizer.

2. There is a daily symptom check survey that needs to be filled out before leaving home and the fact that we get email reminders every single day means two things—the school is seriously monitoring safety protocols and it is very possible there are those who forget to fill out this survey every morning before leaving home. It took me days and constant follow-up to get used to filing out the survey.

3. There is a temperature sensor and monitor at the main entrance. Considering that our school is not gated, I wonder how many students actually go through this check. I get dropped off at the side entrance where the main parking lot is, so I never get the chance to pass through the temperature check.

4. On the first day of school, we got a letter about a student who tested positive for COVID and if we were exposed, we would receive a letter from the school nurse to quarantine. I was relieved that I did not get any quarantine notice. So far, no new positive cases have been reported since then.

5. Social distancing is not practiced indoors and outdoors. We just rely on masks for our safety precaution. On one of the passing periods, someone in front of me started coughing. I had to quickly make a U-turn and find another way to get to my class.

6. Our school had to do a double welcome party for both freshmen and sophomores. I never had the chance to attend in-person class during my freshman year so I really appreciated the Sophomore Barbecue where they welcomed us and gave us a tour of the school.

7. Social anxiety is a common concern among teens especially after more than a year of lack of in-person interaction. But thankfully, in my classes students did not have the opportunity to be anxious because our teachers devoted so much time and effort to make us feel comfortable. For example, in our English class, we did icebreakers that really calmed our nerves. In Spanish, our teacher hosted a game that helped us get to know our classmates in a fun way. In AP Computer Science Principles, we had team activities that helped us feel comfortable in a group setting.

8. “School assembly” is a school buzzword that means a gathering of all students for a specific purpose. For example, in the first week of school it is a way of welcoming all students, promoting school spirit, and gaining support for school programs like PTA, yearbook, sports events, among others. Our school assembly was during the first week and was the first massive gathering I have ever attended since the pandemic. It was held inside our school gym. Even when the assembly was split into two sessions, some students had to sit on the floor due to lack of space. Despite the threat of COVID, one thing stood out during this rare school event: there is an overflow of EXCITEMENT AND HAPPINESS as students showcased electrifying production numbers, enjoyed the parlor games, and laughed at the entertaining videos.

School assembly leadership committee members L-R Francine, Frances, Sue, Bella.

Based on the above, I would say that despite the threat of the new coronavirus variants, our new school year got off to a good start. It may be too early to tell if this is sustainable, but I guess we all just want to take it one day at a time.

Growing an avocado seed by this method is a great way to grow something and it’s a great way for beginners like me. Here’s how to grow an avocado in water.

1. Get your materials—You’re going to need a mason jar (or something that size), a paper towel, an avocado seed (scoop it out), and some toothpicks.

2. Moisten the seed and get rid of the skin—Soak your avocado seed in water (preferably warm water) and peel off the brown skin. Then, wrap your avocado seed in a paper towel and pour a little water on it.

3. Leave it in the sun—Put the wrapped seed in the jar for about a week in the sun. You can switch out the paper towel after a few days.

4. Poke in the toothpicks—Once you see a little root at the bottom of the seed, poke in three toothpicks equally spaced around the middle.

5. Add water—Make sure that the water level is so that the end of the seed is under the water. You can change the water in the jar every week or so. And you’re done.

I added a picture of my tallest avocado plant, but I’m growing two others. I find that bigger seeds grow faster. I hope you have a great time growing an avocado.

Willawendess was brought to the OC Animal Care as a petite, one-pound, 4- month-old kitten. Too tiny to be adopted right away, she flourished as a cherished foster-pet. Popular with fellow felines and people, little Willa was taken in by a warm-hearted foster caretaker and bloomed into a prime family cat. Willa is a sweet and friendly feline, with her snowy half-mustache and cute Puss-inBoots shoes. This social butterfly is ready for adoption. Don’t YOU want to take this loving fluffball home? To learn more, go to http://www.ocpetinfo.com.

Endangered Animal Trivia

Q: How many Javan rhinos are there in the world?

A: Fewer than 75, making this rare creature one of the most critically endangered large mammal species in the world. None in captivity, the only other group of rhinos known in existence is a small group in Cas Tien National Park in Vietnam, with only eight predicted to survive. Killed for their beautiful horns, they are used as a symbol of success and riches. Also, the horns are falsely believed to cure any type of illness if you eat them as powder. And, on the Asian black market, a rhino horn can be bought at around an astonishing $65,000 USD per kg.

Despite being Marvel’s first film with an Asian lead, waves of displeased fans have taken to TikTok to criticize Disney’s weak efforts to promote Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Although the movie is expected to air in theaters on Sept. 3,

compared to other Marvel films, ShangChi lacked marketing and exposure, which is believed to be racially motivated. Fans even jokingly claimed that lead actor Simu Liu was now the advertising campaign manager as he proved to be the only individual involved in promoting the film. TikTokers, however, took the matter into their own hands and started creating content all over social media to support Liu and his upcoming movie in Disney’s stead. While the production company shows little interest over the momentous film, fans continue to advocate for Liu and Asian representation in the media:





1 reply »

  1. I look forward to this super page in the Observer. Always such an interesting blend of topics and thoughts.