Young Observers: Early October 2023

Tiny Homes, Big Dreams: Nicolas Jr. High Wood 2 students, joined by Teacher Mucio Vidales (far left) and Principal Jose Varela (second row, middle)


FSD Innovations: Tiny Homes, Big Dreams

by Edyn, 10th grade

Nicolas Junior High held the “groundbreaking” of its new, innovative Tiny Home project last month. Twenty-two students will build the Tiny Home, handpicked from the school’s woodshop class, Wood 1. To ensure they were ready for the job, the students built a shed that allowed them to gain familiarity with building large wood structures.

Teacher Mucio Vidales shares that “the students have been ready to work since last year but encountered some delays,” so he is very excited that the project is finally moving forward.

One of his students, Anita Perez, views “the project as a fun learning experience that can be useful in the future.”

Anita is thrilled that the tiny home will be put to “good use” for a family to get back on their feet. However, Fullerton School District’s Innovation & Instructional Support Department, led by Assistant Superintendent Jeremy Davis, hopes the project’s impact on the community will not end with just one family.

The Innovation team hopes to build a tiny home annually or biennially because, besides helping the community, project proponent Pablo Diaz explains that the project is an ideal tool to educate students on the issue of homelessness. It also teaches essential life skills and encourages the students to be active and productive community members.


View Point: The Tides are Turning

by Irene, 12th grade

Sporting a loose hoody and gym shorts, Sen. John Fetterman’s visits to Capitol Hill often include less than standard work attire. However, amid recent controversies and backlash, according to The Hill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced changes to the Senate dress code on Sept. 17, easing nearly two decades-long requirements that forced leaders to abide by business-attire clothing.

“Senators can choose what they wear on the Senate floor,” Schumer said, “I will continue to wear a suit.”

I was initially concerned that this change would set a dangerous precedent on the Senate floor, potentially compromising the work of our country’s lawmakers. But after reading Elena Sheppard’s Sept. 20 CNN column and much deliberation, I realized that I was taking a rather rigid approach toward the situation.

“We have a bad enough reputation for lack of civility and decorum now, and this just takes it to rock bottom,” said Senator Cynthia Lummis, according to a Sept. 19 New York Times article.

Contrary to her belief, business attire doesn’t make a politician any more agreeable or civil. In fact, casual and unpretentious apparel makes the Senate appear more palatable to the general public. And if anything, clothing should play no role in a senator’s ability to fulfill their responsibilities. Considering the historical role that dress codes have played in reinforcing social hierarchies across different racial and gender groups, it is more imperative than ever that we change the standards that have been established to disenfranchise people of color and women.

“Fashion has played an important role in social activism for centuries. Sometimes, that role has been as explicit: a social activist fighting against the power structure. Other times, it is more subtle,” legal scholar Richard Thompson Ford said in a Feb. 2021 Stanford News interview.

“In the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, people resisted what was called ‘sumptuary laws,’ which were designed to assign people in society a particular type of clothing that would express their social status.”

In the sea of black suits and dull ties, I want to see politicians embracing and, quite frankly, flaunting their identity. That starts with rejecting conformity to what our society considers desirable — frequently traits associated with whiteness.

After all, having a choice is empowering.


International Observance: International Day of Nonviolence October 2nd, 2023

by Mateo, 10th grade

In today’s terror-filled world, horrific acts of violence occur during every hour of every day. In the U.S. alone, over 300 people are shot every day. Also, in the U.S., over half a million houses are burglarized yearly, and the people responsible are caught only about 11% of the time. The ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia raises concerns about an even bigger war that could potentially kill hundreds of millions of people. Even on a smaller scale, many students are forced to endure acts of bullying and racial discrimination, among other things, daily.

However, despite the looming threats that these immoral acts impose on our lives, the inspiring legacy of Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi gives us hope that, perhaps one day, the world will utilize non-violent protests and negotiations to solve conflicts rather than brutal attacks. Gandhi proved to the world that humanity can thrive without violence through his many peaceful demonstrations and movements. The United Nations designated his October 2nd birthday as International Day of Non-Violence to honor his legacy.

What made Gandhi so memorable were his philosophies and methods of handling conflict. When Great Britain colonized India, many native Indians, including Gandhi, were treated unfairly and poorly. Gandhi had many reasons to act violently towards the British, but he chose to use peaceful means to protest.

For example, Britain implemented an act in 1882 that prohibited Indians from collecting or selling their own salt. Instead of violently protesting against this brutal law, Gandhi in 1930 gathered thousands of civilians and walked 240 miles to the Indian coast, where he made his own salt from the seawater. This peaceful walk, later dubbed the “Salt March,” was highly successful, and although it resulted in Gandhi’s arrest, it played a vital role in the eventual liberation of India and proved to the entire world that there are peaceful solutions to conflicts.

The actions of Mahatma Gandhi were so impactful that many global leaders implemented his tactics. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement used Gandhi’s ideas of nonviolent protests and boycotts to protect the rights of people of color in the United States. This led to the creation of the Institute of Peace in 1984 in the U.S., which aims to promote conflict resolution and prevention.

You can advocate for non-violence to recognize and honor International Day of Non-Violence. In Gandhi’s own words, “non-violence…is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”


Rosie LeeFeatured Pet: Meet Uto-Pia

by Rosie, 7th grade

When you hear the word “Pia,” you think of the sonorous sounds of birds. When you think of birds, you might think of their predators ….like cats! Meet Pia, a two-year-old cat mother with a litter of nine kittens. Notably amicable and gentle, Pia is a natural mother. She showcases her parenting talents by caring for her young daily. Amidst her selfless, constant nurturing, Pia patiently waits for a forever home. Visit or Call (714) 935-6848 to schedule an appointment today! (Walk-ins welcome)

Endangered Species

Q: Are there any blue-eyed fish?

A: The Honey Blue-Eyed fish has cerulean eyes. Their species name, derived from Latin, is the Pseudomugi mellis. They inhabit the oceans of Australia. They grow up to 3.8 cm and have a semi-transparent body. They were originally classified as vulnerable in 1988.



Life’s Hacks: Pumpkin Blast

by Tegan, 5th grade

It’s October– pumpkin season is in full swing! From pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin-flavored treats, this autumn icon takes over. Pumpkins aren’t just decorative; this fruit (yes, it is a fruit) is packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, making them enjoyable in different ways. Here are some pumpkin hacks that will make your October a little more exciting.

Did you know that you can repurpose your carved pumpkins into bird feeders? According to the Audubon Society, it only takes a few items- a pumpkin, small sticks, rope, and birdseed. First, find a pumpkin and clean out the guts and seed. Fill the pumpkin bowl with bird seed and hang it outside with rope. If desired, puncture a few sticks through the pumpkin to make perches for the birds. All that’s left is watching your feathered friends flock to enjoy their pumpkin-inspired treat!

If you’re a fan of pumpkin spice lattes but want to save a few dollars, try this hack. Make your own at home instead of rushing to the coffee shop daily. According to a life hack by “The Kitchn,” you can create a delicious pumpkin spice syrup by combining canned pumpkin, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and water. Simply mix it up, heat it on the stove, and add it to your coffee for the perfect homemade pumpkin spice latte. So, embrace the pumpkin fever, and let this vibrant symbol of autumn bring you joy throughout the season.