Young Observers: Mid-September 2023

     Comic Zone: Pick-a-Pup

by Jules, 8th grade



   Teen Opportunities: Fullerton Library Seeks Teen Advisors and Gamers

by Marcella, 6th grade

Teen Advisory Board

Fullerton teens are invited to join the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) to help plan events and programs for teens in the community. The TAB started meeting every first Friday of the month from 3:30 to 4:30 pm last September 1. Besides gaining valuable experience, TAB members earn volunteer or community service hours that can be used to win school recognition or scholarships.

Boardgamers Day

Additionally, on the first Saturday of every month, for the rest of 2023, the library will be holding a North Orange County Boardgamers Day. This is a free event for every level of board gamers, and there is a raffle for a free game at noon. Check the library’s calendar for more upcoming events.


Everyday Science: The Science Behind Our Taste Buds

by Erin, 9th grade

As a kid, I didn’t like a lot of foods, one of them being onions. It was crunchy and tasted like metal. But one thing I knew for sure is that I loved candy. It turns out that as you grow older, your taste buds change, and so do your flavor preferences. It’s common that younger kids prefer sweeter foods rather than salty ones. Eating sweet foods as a kid is actually good because it‘s part of growing up. Now that I’m a teenager, I don’t eat candy as much, and it doesn’t taste as good as I remembered it to be.

What makes us react to different flavors are the taste buds that cover our tongues. The taste buds categorize flavors as bitter, salty, sour, sweet, and umami on different parts of the tongue. For those who don’t know, umami is meaty or savory. Foods that are umami include seafood, meat, parmesan, mushrooms, and soy sauce. The amino acid, called glutamic acid, is the chemical that creates protein and gives foods their umami taste. When it comes to tasting, it’s a combination of the smell, looks, and flavors on your taste buds. Every 1-2 weeks, your taste buds replace themselves.

That’s why when you burn your tongue a few days later, you’re back to normal. Also, according to Penn State, if you eat the food that you dislike repeatedly, you will get used to its flavor. In my experience, since onion was in a lot of food my mom made, I got an acquired taste and didn’t mind it as much anymore.


What’s Trending?: #GirlDinner

by Irene, 12th grade

A bowl of pickles, a few slices of cheese, and a bag of tortilla chips…Although considered a less-than-ideal meal for most, the “girl dinner” phenomenon has become an inside joke embraced by women across social media and TikTok, where the trend originated. Defined by CNN as a “meal for one person that requires no cooking, no advance planning and barely any prep time,” the term “girl dinner” reinforces the joy of a low-effort meal consisting of a blend of snacks and side dishes.

With nearly 1.5 billion views under the hashtag “girl dinner,” thousands of TikTok creators have posted their own rendition of a girl dinner, praising the trend’s relatability. Some have applauded this movement for bringing light to the stark disparities in expectations between men and women.

In a July 7 TikTok video, creator @thatdarnchat argued that the girl dinner trend “relates to the oppression of straight, married women.” She explains by adding that married women are often obligated to take on the role of a caregiver — one who is responsible for preparing lavish meals for their partners. Thus, netizens have voiced their appreciation for a trend that acknowledges the joy derived from a simple meal and the relief that follows. However, on the contrary, others have expressed their concern for this once seemingly innocent trend’s glorification of a restrictive and unbalanced diet that could perpetuate potentially harmful beauty standards.

Romanticizing measly dinners consisting of small portions of junk food and snacks rather than being empowering (not sure what is being empowered), some see the girl dinner trend as a dangerous movement that decreases the value of a hearty meal. And as the debate persists, the girl dinner trend serves as a testament to the fact that the Internet remains perpetually divided.


National Observance: Make Your Bed Day

by Mateo, 10th grade

Maintaining a clean, tidy bedroom can be one of the most tedious things to do for teens. Loads of dust pile up on every surface, dirty clothes plague the otherwise spotless floors, and we often cannot find the time to simply declutter our personal spaces. However, there are some easier, time-efficient tasks we can complete to make our room appear a bit more situated until we find the time to clean it thoroughly.

One of these simple actions is making our bed. It takes us a couple of minutes at most to do; it makes our bed look nicer, and doing it makes it easier to maintain our bed in the following days. More importantly, this daily routine could potentially improve our mental and physical health.

In honor of National Make Your Bed Day, here are some reasons why we should hone our bed-making skills daily. It is incredibly easy to do. It only takes about three minutes to spread the sheets, adjust the pillows, and fold the blankets, and once done, our bed will look a lot nicer than it did before. I make my own bed every morning before school, and as a result, it looks a lot cleaner and more organized. Also, it takes me a lot less time to make because I already made it the previous day, so all I have to do once I get up is to fix the areas that get undone during the night. Making our bed isn’t just good for the eyes; and it can also improve our sleep quality.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, a clean, relaxed environment can drastically increase our chances of getting a good night’s sleep, and one of the best ways we can achieve this goal is by making our bed daily. After all, it is a lot easier to sleep when there isn’t a huge mess on the bed. Another benefit involves increased levels of productivity. Isaac Newton’s first law of physics claims that an object in motion stays in motion, and an object at rest stays at rest.

This law can apply to human behavior as well. Once we complete one productive task, we can use that momentum to carry out the other tasks at hand. Making our bed can get that ball of productivity rolling and serve as a source of motivation. Finally, making our beds can reduce stress levels.

As a high school student, I constantly find myself under a lot of pressure and responsibilities, which can be extremely stressful for me. Just seeing my bed, nice and tidy, gives me a pleasant feeling in the mornings. It creates a peaceful vibe, giving me a great start to my day. So, on National Make Your Bed Day, take the time to clean up your own sleeping area. You may use this day as an excuse to get new bed sheets, blankets, pillowcases, or anything else you may need to spice up your bed. Making your bed should be a key part of your daily routine, and there is no better time to start than today.

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