Young Observers: August Edition

As we wrap up our two-month summer break, a new bell schedule awaits us when we return to school this fall. Middle schools and high schools are to “begin no earlier than 8am and 8:30am,” respectively, as mandated by California Senate Bill 328. This means Fullerton’s middle and high schools will start around 30 minutes later this 2022- 23 school year.

Last year as a sophomore, I had a zero period, which is one hour earlier than the regular 8am start time, because I took an optional elective class. I had to wake up at 6am every day so I could get to class before the 6:55am bell. Waking up at such an early time was hard to get accustomed to and it only got harder when my day extended to the late-night homework-grind. The new bill may not apply to zero periods, but I am still glad that this year’s zero period was moved 30 minutes later to 7:30am. I’m already grateful for the 30 more minutes of sleep time. I feel motivated to fix my sleeping schedule so that I can gain more hours of sleep. I wondered how other students feel about this change, so I gathered a group of 11 high school students (AKA my besties) to gain insight on their sleep times on school days and their point of view about the new bell schedule.

Not surprisingly, they are aware of the new law effective this 2022 school year because we were all notified before the end of last school year. Six out of 11, though, do not really care about this change. They do not think they will get more sleep because they are already accustomed to sleeping late, and it seems they will have a hard time breaking the habit. As a matter of fact, seven out of 11 only get four to six hours of sleep on school days and they all attribute this to doing homework or studying for tests. Surprisingly, seven students added that stress/anxiety also robs them of getting enough sleep at night. The night owls typically fall sleep around 1am and the rest around 11pm when there is not a lot of homework. However, as homework builds up and exams pour in, they sleep much later. Even without admitting it, the extra 30 minutes in the morning this school year would easily be used to get more sleep. So, whether students care about the law or not, we will benefit from the late start.

Ninth House follows Alex Stern, a high school drop-out and the sole survivor of a multiple homicide. When she is given a full ride scholarship to Yale, she begins to wonder what the reasons are behind the offer. This is a fantasyhorror story that incorporates ghosts of the dead, secret societies, a murder, and occult activity into a wonder of a novel.

To say this is a fast-paced read would be an overstatement. The first 200 pages are very slow, and this story takes its sweet time constructing an intricate system of communing with the dead and differentiating the many secret societies built into Yale’s history. For most of the book, the story moves along in a way that leaves you craving for more, dropping morsels of clues and slowly allowing you to faintly discern the full picture. There is always the sense that something is being withheld on purpose, but you are unable to put your finger on what it is. It is not until the very end where everything unravels and falls into place, though that part was only momentarily satisfying. It ends up leaving us with more questions than answers, and I suppose that is what the sequel will be for.

The world of Ninth House is dark and gritty, yet the characters we are introduced to somehow manage to survive everything that is thrown at them. They are easy to root for and pose as scintillating examples of multifaceted fictional characters.

I am in love with anything that combines the mundane and the magical, and Ninth House blended the two seamlessly. The author slices the veil between reality and fantasy, opening our eyes to a whole new world that underlies our own. On that note, you can find me eagerly anticipating the sequel—never have I been so invested in a book that has not been released yet.

Note: This is extremely dark, and I strongly advise looking over trigger warnings before reading.

Say hello to Dorothy, an expert naptaker, and champion snoozer. Lovable, adorable, and sweet, this eight-year-old female Pit Bull will make an excellent companion for whoever is lucky enough to adopt her. Dorothy’s idea of a perfect day is (a) going on a nice, laid-back stroll, (b) spending time being idolized by friends and family, (c) spying on people from under a shady tree, and (d) taking a nice long, noon ‘cat nap’ before dinner. Her foster mom’s experience with her was nothing short of a deluxe

ice-cream sundae with a large cherry on top. Although she is already eight years old, this canine is young at heart (and that’s what really matters) and loves to show it. She does have some minor senior-related medical issues and arthritis, but that doesn’t stop her from being a (Clifford-sized) puppy. Dorothy wants a home that will spoil her like a princess. Visit or call (714) 935-6848 to schedule an appointment today. ANIMAL ID#: A1745083

Endangered Animal Trivia

Q: Why is the aye-aye’s name so… weird?

A: It’s more polite to say “idiosyncratic,” but this unusual creature is named the aye-aye as the locals were afraid to name this critter. In Malagasy, “aye-aye” means “They-who-must-not-be-named,’” similar to the famous “He-who-must-not-be-named” from Harry Potter. This animal is exclusive to Madagascar. 

FUN FACT: The aye-aye has a special, long third finger that is crucial for their survival. They fill the same role woodpeckers play in Madagascar. They tap on wood with their third finger and listen for the vibration it causes with their huge rabbit-like ears, and dig out a bug with that same third finger, which is also especially flexible. Besides bugs, aye-ayes eat fruit, leaves, buds, small birds, and bird’s eggs. Surprisingly, this strange animal is a primate.

When celebrity jet tracking account, @CelebJets, took to Twitter with news of Kylie Jenner’s recent flight history, netizens were beyond furious over the multi-millionaire’s striking indifference to climate action. Traveling from Camarillo, CA, to Van Nuys, CA, a trip that would typically take just 45 minutes by car, Jenner instead traveled aboard her private aviation for a total of 17 minutes. For clarification, a 2021 report by the European Federation for Transport and Environment found that private jets contribute to 5-14 times more pollution than commercial aviation. To make matters worse, just a few days prior to this Internet outrage, a CBS2 investigation revealed that for four months, sister Kourtney Kardashian had allegedly consumed over 245% of her water budget despite California’s severe drought and city regulations. But the disturbing truth lies in the fact that the KardashianJenners are just a tiny fraction of the world’s unhinged multi-millionaires and billionaires who are willing to risk the Earth for indulging their lifestyles.

According to the 2022 World Inequality Report, the bottom 50% of the world’s population contributed to 16% of the share in emissions growth between 1990 and 2019, whereas the top 1% contributed 21% to emission increases. Countless statistics and studies prove that ethical billionaires simply do not exist. While the rich continue to exploit their surrounding resources, including human labor and Earth’s natural habitats, the rest of the world is left to suffer the financial and environmental fallout of their lavish spending habits.

From climate change legislation to carbon taxes that target the richest population, our government must hold these corrupt politicians, corporations, businesspersons, and celebrities accountable. After all, their greed causes devastating consequences that no measure of money can ever reverse.

This is our wake-up call — an alarming reminder that the world’s top 1% will do anything for their convenience, even at the expense of our priceless Earth. And so, it begs the question, what is the limit to your indulgence?