The Railsplitter

News of the Students, by the Students, for the Students
Volume XCVII. Number 3. Abraham Lincoln High School Los Angeles, California December 15, 2010

Holidays Are Coming Too Early
By Kary Tran With the semester coming to an end, a lot of loose strings are going to be tied before we start break. Yet in the midst of these frantic weeks, I still manage to find myself thinking about the gifts I’m going to buy for friends and family. What I’ve noticed is that advertisements for holiday sales and decorations are being displayed earlier and earlier. What I mean to say is, didn’t you noticed that it was October, with the main event Halloween, but retailers were putting

Happy Holidays from the Railsplitter Staff

What Happened to Our 36 Minute Lunch?
By Sandy Wang
In the beginning of this school year, there were many new changes: block scheduling, advisories, and two lunches. Now having two lunches was sad to those who didn’t have friends in one lunch but the other. The only benefit in the two lunches was that each lunch was 36 minutes. That was 6 minutes more than all the other years! With six minutes students could do more: eat more, go to the restroom, go to the lockers, get more time for homework help from teachers, have more time for club meetings, etc. Then suddenly after a few weeks, lunch became 30 minutes instead of 36 minutes. Now what was the reason behind this cut of 6 minutes? I interviewed our principal Mr. Torres to get the facts on the reasons why our lunch is now 6 minutes shorter. Here is what Mr. Torres said. “First of all,” he began, “the reason we had 2 lunches was because there was only one lunch (continued on page two)

out Thanksgiving decorations? It makes no sense. I’m starting to think about Christmas but the last time I checked, December barely started. Maybe it’s the big corporations’ idea to get more money from us, even with the recession. Sure, it helps to push us forward in our fast-paced lifestyle, but that isn’t going to

help in bringing back appreciation for the real meaning behind the holidays. The exploit of candy takes over Halloween, a gigantic feast consumes Thankgiving, and materialism covers Christmas. Halloween is the chance to dress up as something you always wanted to be but couldn’t, Thanksgiving is

for recognizing the people who made your year memorable and Christmas is to show your friends/family that you care enough to buy them a gift as a small “thank-you.” I, for one, will be trying to live in the now and celebrate the holidays on their assigned dates. Maybe with the occasional thought of what’s in store to come...

December 15, 2010

The Railsplitter

By Sandy Wang
School has always been the place where you learn, have fun, make friends, join clubs, etc. But I’d never imagine that school would cause so much stress in just one semester. Lincoln’s schedule has changed this year and I wondered if that could be a reason why students at Lincoln are stressed. To find the responses of other students I asked four simple questions. These four questions will show you the thoughts of other Lincoln students, who are currently experiencing a bad case of school stress. The questions that I asked were: ‎1) Do you feel stressed in school? Why? 2) Is this year more stressful compared to the other years or do you always feel stressed? 3) Due to school stress, how much sleep (hours) do you get a night? 4) Does the new schedule have anything to do with your stress? The first response is from Cindy Lum who is currently in 11th grade. 1) “This year has been busy at times. It feels stressful, other times not so much. It’s probably due to the schedule. I have all my AP classes on odd periods, so on odd days it’s kind of like one intensive class after another.” 2) “It’s slightly more stressful than the other years.” 3) “I don’t sleep. I take four hour naps every 12 hours.” 4) “Sometimes I like the new schedule since it gives me time to do homework, but other times I think 84 minutes for a class is awfully long. Sometimes the schedule makes it stressful. Teachers need to cover certain materials during a certain time period, but with this schedule, they don’t always get to go over everything in detail, so they end up sort of leaving students in the dark to figure things out themselves.” The next response is from Annie Lu who is currently in 11th grade as well. 1) “Yes, because of the stupid schedule. 2) “Hella stressful! Freshman and sophomore year = easy breeeezy.” 3) “I sleep like 4-5 hours!” 4) “How do they expect us to manage 8 classes when we can barely

Page Two

(continued from page one) period for about 2,400 students for the past three years. We found it too hard to serve so many students in just 30 minutes. Also with research there was a correlation between nutrition and academics, which was with food there’s more energy for the students to have the energy to be able to work. So how do we feed so many students? Resolution = 2 lunch periods. This system actually works because with one lunch period we served roughly about 1000 lunches. Now with two lunches, we serve twice as much! Why? 1) There’s less students. About 1300 students eat each lunch period. 2) Students get to eat without tickets because last year 95% of the students turned in their lunch application and we met the guidelines therefore we get free breakfast and free lunch.” Question: Why is lunch 6 minutes shorter? Is it because of the announcements or is it because kids were ditching? And if kids start going back to where they’re suppose to be, then can we have those 6 minutes back? The reason I asked if the cut was about the announcements or kids ditching was because those were the two main reasons that the students believed. Mr. Torres responded, “There’s actually two main reasons that we had to cut the 6 minutes and it’s not because of the announcements or the kids ditching. It was because since there’s no space, gap between the two lunches, there was no time for our cafeteria workers to restock food. They didn’t have time due to the constant comings of the students. The 2nd main reason was because custodians needed that time to clean the tables, empty out the trashcans, and clean up the lunch area. And the custodians are doing all this in 6 minutes! Then we

manage 6 ha-ha? Then the stupid double block messes up my grade point average.” The third response is from another 11th grader named Van Chienh. 1) “Yes, because of all the ‘last minute’ work the teacher gives. Plus the added pile of homework adds more stress. 2) “HELL YEAH!” 3) “I get less than 6 hours a day! That’s why I’m always so cranky everyday.” 4) “Yes! 6 classes a day was enough to handle! But adding 2 more? The school is putting too much pressure on our shoulders. We really can’t handle 8 classes a week. At least, I can’t!” Final response is from Gabriel Gutierrez who is also in the 11th grade. 1) “Yes because there is double work and half the time to do it.” 2. “This year is way more stressful.” 3. “I get like 6 to 8 hours.” 4. “The new schedule is the whole reason for my stress.” There are many more students out there that surely feel the pressure on their shoulders as well. I, for one, do feel as stressed as some of the people that you see above. Yes it’s hard; it is stressful but we do it to succeed. So for those out there that think they’re alone and dying of school stress, you’re not alone! There are ways you can deal with stress by doing hobbies that you like to do. Lots of students are stressed too so don’t think that there is nothing you can do about it.

also noticed that these 6 minutes provided us with other benefits. One is that it lets staff monitor and make sure the kids are in advisory. Another benefit was that it allowed us time to give announcements without interruptions during the day when classes are being held. Basically the 36 minutes was a try. To change the schedule around, we have to follow the guidelines and one of them was to allow at least 30 minutes of lunch for all employees and students. If there was a solution to have a longer lunch, then I’d be on board!” Mr. Torres also noted that if any student suggests a workable solution, then he would be up for it. All you have to do is talk to him about your solution but make sure you stay within the guidelines. For example, those 4 reasons above are a must, meaning it’s needed. Also the extra lunch time can’t cut into class schedules, all class schedules/ time must be the same. Hopefully some of you will step up and present a solution to Mr. Torres in order for all of us to have that extra 6 minutes!

December 15, 2010

week of the deadline. So imagine you pull random experiences out of nowhere, paste it on to Microsoft Word, meet the deadline, don’t check for errors, and on the day of the deadline the server crashes. The saying, “If something can go wrong, it will go wrong” is true everywhere you look from the Celtic’s meltdown in game 7 to tripping over the last step of the stage at graduation. While your grades/ scores and personal statement make up most of your work, the extracurricular activities you participate in also help boost your chances. Leadership positions in clubs or sports help, but unless it’s something like ASB president or Gear-Up President it probably won’t put you above other people with better grades. Other honors such as Principal’s Honor Rolls and Most Improved Student awards are a step in the right direction. Note that perfect attendance doesn’t mean crackerjack. So unless your life has been bare don’t bother even considering listing it. And for all the sports players out there who have a 3.0 GPA or higher possibly wanting to play for the school team as a walkon would slightly raise your

The Railsplitter

Page Three

College Application Tips
By Michael To

Smoking Harms Everyone Around You
By Robert Lum
Some smokers say smoking helps relieve depression, and it helps calm your body. It is not a fact that smoking helps relieve depression or calms your body. Today’s medical studies have proven that smoking is among the leading causes of many diseases such as lung cancer, heart attacks, and can also lead to birth defects. It is very bad to smoke because it can cause many diseases. Do you want to kill yourself? Then why not just smoke three packs a day for the rest of your life. I’m sure your family wouldn’t like for you to do that. Not just is it causing you problems, but when you smoke near people like your family members, they would be breathing second hand smoke. You would be causing your family trouble by slowly killing them and might be a reason that causes them diseases. Would you like to cause the ones you love the most in the world trouble from smoking? I think not. Whenever you smoke near people, someone would breathe second hand smoke because of you. The awful stench and incredibly strong smell of smoke makes me feel like I’m being suffocated in a room full of burning objects. I bet everyone loves the delightful smell of burning objects. Every time I go to the park, I pass by old guys smoking their heads off. I hold my breath and sprint as fast as I can to get away from the toxic pollution they’re making. Lots and lots of people get addicted to smoking. In my family, I have a cousin who smoked from a young age. Now most of the time I see him, he is smoking, and it seems like he is getting more and more addicted. It might take only one try to get addicted, so why would you want to risk a chance to get addicted? Although it is not a rule that you can’t smoke, ask yourself why would you want to hurt your own body and others by smoking? Is it worth it? With less smoking there would be less people getting diseases, less toxic pollution, and less people would get addicted from smoking. chances in getting into one of the 9 available UCs. Applying to backup schools would also be a good idea if you don’t feel confident about your resume while waiting to find out if you’re admitted. After the application process is done, the next important step is applying for financial aid and scholarships so you actually can go to your selected schools.
Now as the Class of 2011 (the best class ever) prepares for the next stage in their life, everyone will forever remember us as super smart and super awesome people.

As we head towards the New Year, the important month of November for the senior class has passed and they await the results of their 4 years of educational agony. Life after high school for most students is usually the leap to college. Getting into the college of your choice depends on the many factors of school life one would typically experience. A decent GPA of 2.5 along with an adequate SAT scores of 1400-1500 would get you into most Cal States, but if you want to have a chance at the top tier colleges then a 3.3 GPA and above is a must. The conclusion of your final grades you’ll submit online during the month of November is printed onto a transcript that you can get from your school counselor and then inputted into your college account that you make corresponding to the college system you apply for. The writing of two personal statements which need to add up to no more than 1000 words takes up the bulk of your time so it’s a good idea not to procrastinate and wait to do it the last

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