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News of the Students, by the Students, for the Students
Volume XCVII. Number 1 Abraham Lincoln High School Los Angeles, California October 2010
Block Scheduling Comes to Lincoln High School
By Carlos Jose Machuca Rivera Railsplitter Editor
September is the beginning of the end for most students’ summers. For September is the start of a brand new school year along with brand new changes. The biggest change this year at Lincoln is the transition from the traditional 6 classes a day to block scheduling. Block scheduling is a type of academic scheduling in which students have less classes per day but meet for a longer period of time. For example last year each class lasted 54-56 min but now each class is around 84 minutes. The beneﬁt of this is students won’t have to meet for all of their classes’ everyday. Junior Ken Chhan stated, “Block scheduling is actually pretty okay. It feels nice not having to attend a boring class everyday.” Block scheduling is a reform strategy to help students who are academically behind. Teachers now teach 6 periods a day including the new advisory/ homeroom period. Many of the teachers I interviewed said that block scheduling was horrible, that they missed not seeing their students everyday, and that when they did see them, it felt rushed. The rest of the teachers simply replied with “no comment.” Block scheduling affected everyone on campus. Teachers had to completely change the way they teach, and students had to keep up with all the new changes going on. Despite all of these changes imposed by block scheduling many students are more optimistic. I asked a couple of students what they thought of the block scheduling so far. Junior Julie Xiao said, “I like it; it makes the day feel shorter.” Senior Ignacio Pedraza said, “It’s actually awesome but can be confusing at times.” Block scheduling attempts to raise test scores by allowing larger blocks of time, for a more ﬂexible and productive classroom environment, along with more opportunities for using varied and interactive teaching methods. A problem with block scheduling is simply that there is too much class time. The average student can only concentrate for 50 minutes, any more than that and students begin to loose focus and are more easily distracted. The only real way to determine the effectiveness of block scheduling is by seeing the results come May in the forms of CST and AP exams.
Tigers Donate Blood
Everyone who donated blood received this free T-shirt.
By Sandy Wang
Railsplitter Staff Writer
On Friday, September 24, 2010, Lincoln High School’s students donated pint after pint of blood to a worthy cause. This blood drive took place in Lincoln’s cafeteria. This was Lincoln’s ﬁrst blood drive of the year and was packed full of nurses and phlebotomist ready to assist students through the blood donating process. Lincoln’s very own leadership group was also there to help. The purpose of these blood drives is to collect blood to help treat cancer patients, newborn babies, children with leukemia, and so on. The requirements to donate blood are that you have to be at least 16 years old and have parent consent, weigh at least 110 lbs., never have had any type of disease or health problems, hadn’t received or donated blood recently, and a photo ID for each donation. The whole process itself is very safe. Some side effects may include lightheadedness, fatigue, and lack of energy. Some may even faint due to lack of food or too much blood loss. To ensure your safety all the USC nurses perform a light check up. They take a small amount of your blood, measure your heart pulse, check your blood pressure, and ask some basic FAQ regarding your overall health. After giving blood, the nurses make sure you are healthy enough to go back to class or they’ll let you rest in the cafeteria until you feel better. Senior Xiao Kuang said “I donated because I wanted to save lives, and the t-shirt is a plus!” As a follow up question I asked her if she would donate blood again. “I would totally donate again,” said Xiao. Many might wonder what whole process feels like. I asked Senior Christopher Diec what it was like lying on the cot? He said, “The feeling for me wasn’t that bad. I wasn’t scared because I had a certain friend there that made me laugh. I was relaxed and cool.” I interviewed other students why they chose not to donate blood. Many of these students had the same response Junior Kelly Tang had, “I’m scared of needles!” All in all Lincoln’s ﬁrst blood drive of the year was successful, and as always the T-shirts helped to persuade many students to donate to a great cause.
Seniors Infected with Seniorities!
By Johnson Gong Railsplitter Editor Senioritis: an ebbing of motivation and eﬀort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades
“senioritis.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2010 http://www.merriam-webster.com (18 September 2010)
New School Year New Sports Season
By Jason Shang Railsplitter Sports Editor Back down to Earth and back to school, Lincoln students are back focusing on learning new subjects for new opportunities in life. But on the sweating faces of Lincoln student-athletes you also see the look of determination as they battle to end this season with a winning record. Even before the start of summer, many students had already begun showing their dedication and passion to their sport as practice shaped these students many months in advance. And throughout the summer, practice had kept these student-athletes from wandering away from the expectations the sport constantly asks of them. So, now that sports season has begun and some are right around the corner, students are not only focused on schoowork but are also focused on working hard during practice to win their games. The new school year divides sport seasons into three categories: fall, winter, and spring. The fall sports consists of cross country, girls volleyball, and boys football; the winter sports consists of boys and girls basketball and boys and girls soccer; and spring consists of boys volleyball, baseball, softball, and track and ﬁeld. Practicing since the summer began and already beginning the season, student-athletes in the fall sports have had their sedulousness (an SAT vocabulary word) pay off, winning most of their games so far. The varsity football team has gone without a loss, and the girls varsity volleyball team has been strong winning a majority of their games. As the fall sports teams continue their season, winter sports teams continue to practice in hopes of having a successful season.
Senioritis is often known as the most serious disease seniors can contract. This disease most often occurs after seniors apply to colleges and ﬁnish what they need to do to look good to the colleges. During the time span from college acceptance to graduation day, seniors tend to doze off into la-la land because they know they have been accepted to a college. Little do seniors know, if their progress report grades go down the drain, so does their acceptance to the college. Seniors are often told by other misinformed seniors that most colleges, except various private colleges, don’t look at a senior’s classes or grades. Depending on what grades they get their senior year, they could be accepted by all of their college choices, but their acceptances could also equally be revoked as soon as a poor G.P.A. report gets placed on the acceptance ofﬁcial’s lap. As an end note, if you have senioritis, don’t feel bad! Ask your teachers whether or not they had senioritis when they were in high school. If you still feel bad, know that many famous ﬁgures could have possibly been affected by senioritis: Barack Obama, Albert Einstein, and Sir Isaac Newton to name a few.
The Downside to Eating Too Much Lunch
By Michael To, Railsplitter Editor
As we get deeper into the school year, we see changes everywhere you go. But one notable change this year is that everyone gets free lunch. Now it may seem all is nice and ﬁne, but not everything is as dandy and sweet as it seems. Even though the student body has been split in half thanks to the advisory period, there seems to be the same number of people getting lunches as last year. Somehow I seem to be waiting the same amount of time to get my lunch! Granted there are the ditchers, who choose to skip advisory, but when somebody gets their lunch two or even sometimes three times before I do, I deﬁnitely know something’s wrong. Just seeing the same people slide their way back in the line over and over just makes me want to get the nasty dried up rice and chicken. Sometimes I would like to just get the milk and forget about lunch, but I can’t even do that since I need to get three items or else I’d get charged! Eating lunch twice may not be a problem once in awhile, but doing that everyday is asking for trouble, especially for the seniors and juniors who aren’t taking PE. Eating two burritos with mountains of taco sauce and a side of nachos to wash it down will lead to a shortage of toilet paper in the near future. In the end students are still going to get more lunch than they should and pants sizes are going to keep growing like Justin Beiber fans and students are going to need to start stitching two pairs of wranglers together. Fair warning has been given to all!
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