Young Observer: Early March Edition

I wrote in this column a few months ago how Young Observer has expanded to give voice not only to the youth of our community but also to the youth in underserved communities through the Young Observers International (YOI).  YOI is an initiative created by the Young Observer and has brought together some high school female students to build international friendships with other high school female students from a farm school in the Philippines.  They help them develop self-confidence by giving them the opportunity to be heard through the monthly assemblies. As we celebrate the International Women’s Day on March 8, we find out how some of these young women are impacted by gender issues or by women in their lives (below are snippets on the topics they will present during the monthly YOI assembly this month):

“I’m very interested in gaming, but the gaming community is mostly composed of men, and I am constantly afraid that I will be bullied or harassed. This is just a fraction of what women go through. Nevertheless, I still see my future self as a successful gamer who is able to prevail over the bullies.” 

—Rhene (Philippines)

“People expect girls to learn and do house chores more than the boys.  We first get exposed to gender stereotypes at home.  So, our home is the first place where we can promote equality and parents play a big role in treating children equally.”  

—Janine (Philippines)

“So many of my classmates (girls) have been sexually or physically ridiculed by teachers and fellow students and the lack of attention [regarding this treatment] from school administration further harms the girls.”

—Irene (USA)

“Doing house chores should be shared by both genders.  Understanding gender equality should start within the family.”

—Guia (Philippines)

“I’m into gaming and I admire Valkyrae, a streamer in YouTube who rose to her current fame in gaming despite some men considering it an unsuitable  occupation for women.  She broke through and won awards for her content. She is an advocate for gender equality.”

—Reyna (USA)

“Like Malala Yousafzai, I do believe that women should have the same opportunities as men.  Her bravery is very inspiring.  The whole world saw what she did and gave people the courage to do the same.”

—Alli (USA) 

“My mom is an Overseas Contract Worker (OCW) who bears the pain of being away from me and my brother because she has to work in another country to support us.  For me, she is the strongest woman I know.”

—Kristina (Philippines)

“As a young woman, I am proud of being an advocate for girls’ empowerment by expanding the work of Young Observer to  the international community through the YOI.  It gives me a great sense of fulfillment knowing that our girlfriends across the globe get the chance  to train in public speaking through our monthly assemblies where each member can present her entry for the monthly team project that promotes intercultural understanding, personal development, and global friendship.”

—Francine (USA)

This March’s Women’s History Month celebrates the great achievements women have done throughout history. These include winning rights for women as well as other important issues. Some famous women in history include Malala Yousafzai, an education advocate who fought for girls and women to be able to get an education in her home country of Pakistan. She also was the youngest person to receive a Nobel Peace Prize. Greta Thunberg, a young climate activist, has given speeches at the United Nations. And lastly, Amelia Earhart was the first woman pilot to fly across the Pacific Ocean. These are just some of the courageous women who inspire others to make change. So, this month, take some time to respect the brave and incredible accomplishments women have achieved throughout history.

Milk comes before cereal — a seemingly unpopular opinion that stems from the cliche, yet controversial debate. In honor of the March 7 National Cereal Day celebration, it’s time the Internet brings back this heated discussion (*Warning: not the friendliest debate for our lactose-intolerant friends.*) While the majority population prioritizes tradition over practicality, milk will always be my first course in creating the staple American breakfast dish. Let’s face it. There’s nothing more unpalatable than a bowl of soggy Frosted Flakes that has lost its core characteristic — it’s unfailing crunch. Time is of the essence and for such delicate, crispy cereals, milk is the greatest enemy. While moisture toughening — the process in which brittle cereals lose their crunch — is unavoidable, its tragic ruin can be delayed. The bits of cereal lying on the surface maintain their firm texture, enhancing the overall sensory experience. On the contrary, when milk is poured over the grains, I’m left with a revolting bowl of mushy, amorphous chunks drowning in the pool of liquid. Talk about the worst way to start the day. Milk first is the logical and the only appropriate procedure in executing the easiest breakfast meal.

Bark ‘hello’ to Jade. (A dog’s equivalent of saying ‘hey, dude!’ consists of two sharp, mid-range pitch barks. Two or three clusters of barks invites you to join the party.) Jade shrank from social contact when she first arrived at the OC Animal Care in May, 2021, but with considerate, expert care, Jade blossomed like a budding rose. Now, she thoroughly relishes her playtime and jogs with everyone she gets together with. 

Jade can be selective when getting acquainted with men, but with a little time building trust and given lots of treats, she is a brilliant canine professional at making new friends. Jade’s idea of a perfect time would be running around in the backyard together, along with toys and treats. Jade is a gorgeous, active two-year-old Karelian Bear/Border Collie mix, so she is looking for running, walking, or an equally energetic amigo to go hiking with. Jade is searching for a home with children 15 years and older. Don’t you think Jade’s perfect for you?  Visit www.ocpetinfo.com or call OC Animal Care at (714)-935-6848, Animal ID#: A1721446.

The month of March has arrived quite early. February 28 marks the final day of the love month, but if this were any other month of the year, there would still be two or three days left, which is very odd. The month of February sure does ignore the typical qualities of a standard calendar month. It mainly stands out because of its fewer number of days. Also, an anomaly known as a leap year occurs every four years, which strangely adds another day to the month of February. So, why does this special month not have the same number of days as all the other ones? How come an extra day is added every four years? Why does February stray away from the common principles of the traditional month?

The origins of the month of February date all the way back to the time of the Roman Empire, more specifically its second king, Numa Pompilius. Back then, there were only ten months in Rome’s lunar calendar, starting in March and ending in December. Pompilius decided during his reign that the dead space between years should be filled up with more days to make the calendar more accurate. Both January and February were added to the calendar due to this belief. Now, the Romans considered even numbers to be unlucky, which is why all months at the time had either 29 or 31 days, but in order to reach the desired 355-day calendar, one of these months had to have an even number of days. February was the unlucky recipient, and it was left at 28 days long. This choice was believed to have been made because the Romans honored the dead with many rituals during this month. After a few years of this format, the seasons and months began to break away from their alignment. Multiple short-term attempts were made to align the months once again, but to no avail, so the Romans decided to add a few more days to the calendar. Many months got additional days added to them, but February remained the same, which is why it still has 28 days today. But why does the month have 29 days every four years? This is because the time it takes for Earth to make one full orbit around the Sun is actually 365.25 days, not 365. So, the extra six hours at the end of each year add up to make a full day after four years, which is added on to the end of February. The month of February is quite strange, but it has a unique history that makes it a very special month.

It’s springtime. For a majority of the world, this season means warm weather and extended daylight, but it is important to remember that this time period has a huge effect on wildlife. Spring is a time of new beginnings for nature. During this season, flowers and trees bloom, grass turns greener and greener each day, leaves turn colorful and vibrant, and animals wake up from hibernation. Additionally, spring is perfect for baby animals. The warm temperature makes it easier to find food. For example, in spring, insects emerge from their homes, making food for birds easy to reach. Also, at this time, birds that live in the Northern Hemisphere migrate north because of numerous insect populations to feed on and a variety of nesting locations that are available.

One popular insect that can be found everywhere in springtime are bees. Due to a bee’s main diet being sugary nectar and rich protein from a flower’s pollen and flowers being common in this season, bees can be seen very often. These small creatures are also very important to society by pollinating flowers. When a bee flies onto a flower, their hairs pick up pollen. The pollen gets released when the bee lands on another plant. The pollen from the first flower transfers onto the other, causing fertilization and the ability to reproduce. Within our city, we can find various species of bees at nature preserves such as Coyote Hills Regional Park and the Fullerton Arboretum. Visit your local nature preserve during this season and witness the wonders of nature blossom in front of your eyes.