Young Observers: Early September Edition

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is exquisite in all senses of the word—it constructs a world built on misogyny and household names and the glamor of the film industry. It forges relationships that are all somehow connected to the pillar of the novel, Evelyn Hugo herself. It also takes on heavy themes—the effects of fame, the toxicity of the media, and the cost of power—with a deft hand, intricately weaving them together like a spider and its web.

Evelyn climbs, fights, and manipulates her way up to the top, making herself a household name, only to find herself tangled in fame, trapped in the very position she worked so hard for. She captures the imperfections and complexities of humanity, showing how dearly we love power and how far we will go to hold it in the palm of our hand.

To me, this book is anything but happy. The story of Evelyn Hugo is a tragedy. She starts out as a teenager looking for a way out of her life but ends up only wanting to be surrounded by the people she cared for. She only wants family, a place to belong and to be loved. She didn’t have the chance to appreciate her family, and that is the heartbreaking truth.

If you enjoy historical fiction novels set in old Hollywood that talk about taking down the patriarchy and women in the age of fame while making you root for its flawed and messy characters and scream and sob, this is the book for you.

FUN FACT: This book is to get a Netflix adaptation so look out for that!

As a family comes back from a road trip, the smooth asphalt lulls the passengers to sleep. But as soon as the car enters the city of Fullerton, every passenger is tossed and flung into the air, instantly causing a commotion. Fullerton has over 285 miles of streets and has faced a major problem of unpaved, bumpy roads. While the Street Maintenance Division may be doing a good job painting traffic lines, sweeping streets, removing graffiti, installing traffic signs, and paving roads, Fullerton residents do not expect the streets to be filled with divots and cracks like an alligator skin.

In 2016, a citizen complained that Fullerton’s streets needed repairs, but the idea was simply ignored. Fast forward to 2022, news reports have been written and the whole state knows about the street crisis. Residents feel that the streets are neglected by the council. However, when asked about this issue, David Grantham, a local civil engineer, responded that there weren’t enough resources to address the problem correctly. Fullerton spends a budget of 3 million dollars every year to fix roads but Grantham and his department states that they need about 10 million dollars to catch up with the repairs.

The council should recognize this problem more seriously and slow down investing in the removal of trees. Instead of patching one pothole that will reopen, Fullerton should look to fully pave streets instead of filling divots. We, as citizens, can raise this situation to the council every month and provide suggestions. If citizens and the council unify and fulfill these suggestions, Fullerton will become a paved paradise.

Fullerton is home to many animals, from birds to coyotes, roaming in our city and its hills. A common bird in Fullerton is the mourning dove, which is known for its call that sounds like weeping.

Another common bird lives near water – even a swimming pool: the black phoebe. Both the mourning dove and black phoebe eat insects. A predator that roams our skies is the red-shouldered, or red-tailed, hawks. Just like its two names, you can identify them by their red shoulders and tails. Their diet consists of various types of insects and animals like rodents, other birds, and squirrels.

If you’re living near Fullerton’s hills or are hiking on a trail, you might be lucky enough to spot a coyote.

As the sun sets and the moon comes out, owls perch in trees and hoot their nightly calls. The owls you might see are the western screech owl, barn owl, and great-horned owl. As they mostly hunt during the night, they hunt insects and other small mammals like birds.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I began the next chapter of my life at Troy High School. After nine years in the FSD system, I am finally ready to embark on a new journey through a highly-regarded school. I have only been in school for about two weeks up to this point, but I can safely say that there is a massive difference between the junior high life and the high school life, one that I admit I was not prepared enough for.

There are quite a few major differences between a standard junior high school campus and the Troy campus that make the first week or so a bit stressful. However, you will get into the swing of things very quickly here at Troy. Here are some of the big changes you will endure as a freshman.

The first thing that you will notice when stepping onto the campus for the first time is the sheer size of the school. High school campuses are massive compared to those of junior highs, and it is quite easy to get lost on the first day. There are so many different buildings and many different classrooms within them, which can feel a bit overwhelming at first. However, once you traverse the campus a bit, you will be able to locate all of your classes in a flash. Another big change is the overall environment of the school, specifically the people. There are a lot more people at Troy than at my junior high, which may be in part because the school teaches four different grade levels rather than two. The campus is very diverse, as there are people from many different cultures. This is cool because you can learn so many things at Troy just by talking to others. Also, you have to get used to being the youngest people on campus now.

There are a ton of older students roaming around the school. Some of these people even have full-grown beards, which really surprised me at first. The final big change you will face as a freshman is the longer school days. At my high school, a typical day starts at 8:30 am and ends at 3:30 pm. That is seven full hours of school, almost a third of a full day. If you have a Period 0 class, then you will start even earlier at 7:27am. That means that you will be spending over eight hours of your day at school. Compared to your typical junior high day, that is a significant increase in time spent at school, so be prepared to put more of your time into studying and learning. It will definitely take some time getting used to, and you may even struggle a bit at first, but that is completely normal. If you give yourself some time to adjust, you will be off to the races in no time at all.

Sawyer is a handsome two-year-old boy cat! He is a bundle of cuteness and cuddles and always will be your little shadow. He has a slight injury on his front right paw, which prevents him from laying pressure on it. As he spent much-needed time with the OC Animal Care Veterinary Staff, he took the lemons life gave him and made pink lemonade by meeting every single person he could! Now that this cat’s foot is fully healed, he is ready to celebrate by finding his forever home. Sawyer will melt your heart with his large, beautiful, big eyes, his cuddle-bug personality, and his love of jingling toys! Visit or call (714) 935-6848 to schedule an adoption appointment today! ANIMAL ID#: A1775192

During this summer, my family and I drove to Utah to visit extraordinary sites and landmarks. The fresh wind, unique and natural patterns in rocks, and the opportunity to hike these views made for a perfect summer break–but another factor added to this–the free passes.

In 2015, President Obama promoted a pass for every kid in 4th grade to visit all national parks in our country for free. This annual pass is valid for 4th graders from September 1 to August 31. As I used this pass in mid August of my summer leaving 4th grade, I relished the joy of traveling to any national park without worrying about the expenses. I highly recommend traveling to Utah and hiking the beautiful waters of the Narrows, walking up the steep but astonishing sceneries of Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion Canyon National Park. My family and I enjoyed time at all three tourist spots this summer. I hope that by using this pass, you will, too.

Endangered Animal Trivia

Q: Why do ring-tailed lemurs give off smells?

A: Ring-tailed lemurs are exclusive to Madagascar, a large island part of Africa. Despite the sizable island, they are going extinct due to human-induced degradation and habitat loss. These lemurs give off smells undetectable to the human nose to tell other troops of lemurs to stay out of their territory. Their scent-glands are located on their chest and wrists. Whenever a lemur wants something a different lemur has, they fight for it. But not with scratches and bites—they have a stink fight! Whoever gives off the most stink wins—both the match and whatever they were fighting for. (Fun Fact: Ring-tailed lemurs keep their long tails high like banners just in case one of them gets lost.) This way, nobody gets seriously injured.

While the photo-sharing application “Locket” gained traction earlier this year for its unique feature that allows users to send photos directly onto the home screens of their friends, “BeReal” is the next trendy app that is taking it one step further. With daily notifications that come at random hours, the app gives users a two-minute window to snap their photos, which are taken from both the front and back camera simultaneously. By the time the next notification rolls around, all photos are removed from the app’s feed.

Compared to mainstream social media sites including Instagram and Snapchat, “BeReal” encourages authenticity by eliminating filters, photo editing features, likes, and following counts. With a limit of ten retakes, the app even goes as far as to reveal how many takes it took a user to snap their shot. But amid the social media craze surrounding “perfect” lives and unrealistic beauty standards, “BeReal” guides conversations on the raw beauty of everyday life. 


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