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"Holy Calamity It's the Academies!"

By Douglas Wong  

Freshmen and sophomores, it is time to start thinking about whether you want to join an academy and which academy you would like to join! Lincoln offers four different academies: Academy of Information Technology, Academy of Finance, Green Academy, and Teacher Academy. The academies may lead to a career choice in the bright future.
    If a person does decide to join an academy it is a three year commitment. Being dedicated to a choice is required, as it is rare to transfer or to even drop an academy.  Every academy during junior and senior summers, offers an internship at various sites. Students will also be taking classes at San Francisco State University and City College of San Francisco for college credit!
    The Academy of Information Technology deals with the world’s increasing digital office. Each year the academy teaches various computer arts such as the understanding of Microsoft Office and creation of digital videos. Though the Academy of Information Technology and the Academy of Finance share the same first year of learning computer art, they spread into different areas in the second year.
    “So far I’m loving the class, though it’s early in the year we’ve started to learn how to make videos with iMovie,” said AOIT student Rory Grant.
After learning graphic designing in AOIT with different media programs, students will go further into Microsoft Office and other web applications. Academy of Information Technology students do not just interact with their class but with the entire school through Mustang TV. During senior year in the Academy, digital video producing will be taught and students will be making Lincoln’s weekly show!
          The Academy of Finance allows every student that joins the academy a chance to view the business world. Juniors in AOF will be taught accounting. Students will also be trained and assisted by guest speakers from many different companies. Not only are speakers brought in, but the classes will go on field trips to several financial companies and seminars in the financial district in San Francisco.
“In our first seminar we learned that the most important thing in a business is to set up your business plan and to follow the plan,” said first year Academy of Finance student Akihito Yang.

    Senior year for finance students is based on two courses, entrepreneurship and Ethics in Business. Students will be taught that entrepreneurship’s main goal is to figure out a way to make profit when running a business. Ethics in Business’ main focus is to teach that company standards must be met to be good worker at any company.
Lincoln’s own Green Academy is the first in the entire San Francisco Unified School District! The Green Academy is for students pursuing a job in the expanding environmental industry. In order to become a true Green Ambassador, students will be taking environmental service and science class to continue the goal of becoming a true Green Ambassador.
     The Green Academy not only helps to keep the entire San Francisco community clean and safe but also our own school. All Green Ambassadors run the school’s composting and recycling program.
“Running the compost and recycling isn’t as hard as you might think it is. It’s actually much more fun, and you get to help keep Lincoln clean,” said Green Ambassador Brandon Chiong. With such dedication from the Green Academy, Abraham Lincoln High School was named the highest waste diversion school in the district during the 2010- 2011 school year.
    Teacher Academy revolves around working with children and the human mind. TA students volunteer at Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School and Diana Feinstein Elementary School. Students visit schools, and help the younger children with reading and their work.
“Each time we leave the schools the kids are so clingy, they just don’t want you to leave. It’s nice and all, but it can go overboard,” said Teacher Academy student Michelle Tran.
    Junior and senior year requires Teacher Academy students to take Psychology and Human Development. Everyone in the Academy will be kept together to build a strong bond over the several years with one another.
    Deciding on the academy that you truly enjoy will be a difficult decision, but as a student you have the ability to discuss each one with your friends and the teachers that run them. Keep in mind that because the academy you join may emphasize in one subject, it does not mean you have to focus there when it is time to apply for college.


A journalism student partners with the Wellness Center to help you solve your problems. We’ll give you advice for anything you need! Send your questions to Ms. Falls’ box in the main office or email

Dear Advice Column,
     I am crushing on a boy who knows me. But he avoids me every time we meet each other’s eyes. I honestly don’t know if he thinks I’m annoying or maybe he’s just shy? What should I do? Avoid him? Or just continue to get to know him?
-     Rice123

Dear Rice123,
     Wow, it sounds like an awkward situation. Next time you see him, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?”  For example, next time you see him give a wave and a smile, but don’t scare him! All it takes is a gentle ‘hello.’ You could even walk up to him and start a conversation or walk him to class! Surprisingly, guys really appreciate things that girls like, like flowers or gentle flirting. It’s silly, but it’s life.
There is another problem though Rice123. He might not even be interested, but you have a 100% chance of rejection if you don’t try and only a 50% chance if you do. These things will happen, but taking a risk and going for the gold will help you get over your confusion and suspenseful waiting. Maybe he is just too shy to talk to you, so you should take the first jump. Or maybe he is just an immature loser who isn’t worth your time.

Dear Advice Column,

    I want to try out for sports, but I’ve never been athletic or fit. I don’t want to make a fool out of myself at tryouts, but I really want to join. What should I do?
-     Dreamer
Dear Dreamer,
    When you were a young baby you were carried everywhere in mommy’s arms. One day, you uncovered the gift of moving legs. You began to walk all on your own. No one judged you, because everyone knew you were just learning. It’s like becoming an athlete. You’re new at it, and it’s a learning experience! Isn’t there a first time for everything? I am no exercising expert, but try working out a little every day. There is no consequence in trying! Soccer players have to practice every day to play well. Scientists have to experiment often to get better results. Even ice scream scoopers like me have to practice eating the right kind of flavors when the boss isn’t around to give advice and tips to customers! It’s better to start now, than wait for later. You have the chance now, so take it! Capture the dream Dreamer!

Dear Advice Column,
     I want to have a baby. I know I’m ready, but I know my parents won’t approve. I don’t want to be looked down upon for making a decision. I don’t think I’m too young. Society makes it seem like a bad thing. Should I still do it?
-     Bloop Bloop

Dear Bloop Bloop,
     Having a child is like a start at a new life, except, it’s not yours to own. It’s your baby’s. You are responsible for this new life, and yours. This is another human being who will forever be a part of you, and you do want the absolute best for your child, don’t you? Imagine the struggle you and your child will go through if you believed you were ready to manage another life, especially if the people around you won’t support your decision. Many teenagers nowadays can barely handle school. What if you’re one of those people? What if something dramatic or life-changing occurs in your life and you have no way to handle it? What will happen to your child? You could give them to a babysitter or even childcare, but on average, childcare costs $1,400 a month. What if one night you have a big essay due, one that determines you graduating high school or not, and you can hear your baby crying and screaming begging for more and more. How would you handle all of that? You need to consider all the factors, benefits,consequences, and details before even considering getting pregnant.

Dear Advice Column,
     I’ve been wearing women’s clothes since school started. I’m a 17-year-old guy, but I see no problem with it. I’ve been getting weird looks and comments such as ‘queer’. I’m not going to stop just because no one else approves, but the negative comments are getting to me. How can I overcome the bullying?
    Skinny Jeans FTW

Dear Skinny Jeans FTW,
     If you were never meant to be this way, then you never would have been born this way. You are your own person, and everyone else is their own individual. Imagine a world where no one was unique or different in any way. The world would be a dull, dry, and gray place. There would be no life, and no beauty. Truth is, you are an inspiration to those who hide themselves, to those who are ashamed of who they truly are. And besides, women have beautiful clothing. Who is to blame you for trying to look good and take care of yourself? You need to keep your head held high, don’t let people you barely know mold you into the wrong form. This is your clay, and you mold it the way you want. This is your life, and you can live it how you want. If the bullying gets strongly out of hand, report it. The school can help you. It is in the school code that every student is protected from bullying, and the school can support you and help you. Speak up, and don’t be afraid because there are people here to help guide you, and help you with every crack, or bump you find on your road.

                            Never let your paws down.

Mustang Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Arnold

By Kimberly Alvarado

What is one event that really stood out in your life?

Mr. Tristan Arnold,     MUSIC teacher at ALHS
I had played music for a decade before I attended the Idyllwild Summer Arts program in Southern California between eleventh and twelfth grades. I played the double bass in a section with musicians from all over the world under a phenomenal conductor. He always came to our rehearsals with the endless energy and enthusiasm of a young child, though he was old enough to be my grandfather. I remember one morning we came to rehearsal and there had just been news of a car-bombing in Israel.


There were at least a dozen musicians in the orchestra from Israel, and they were understandably upset and eager to be in touch with their families. Though our conductor had no family in Israel, he experienced the pain and frustration along with the members of the orchestra, who were family to him. The first thing he said was, “Do you see? This is why we make music. Because my generation has left you with this, and it is your job to make something beautiful.” From that moment, music was never something removed from daily life or something extraneous; music was, and is, a direct assault on violence, on hatred, on fear, on injustice and on suffering. To make music for me is to say that despite all obstacles that may get in the way and despite the forces in the world that seem to compel me to choose a posture of defense, I will create something beautiful and leave my community just a little more beautiful for having been in it.

Mustang Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Calac

By Kimberly Alvarado

What is one event that really stood out in your life?

Mr. Gregory Calac,    PHYSICS teacher at ALHS
     During July of 1996, I was backpacking across Europe with two friends. We had started in Germany and made our way through the Czech Republic, Austria and Italy. We were supposed to go to Greece, but a new friend that we had met suggested that we change our plans and follow him to Spain.
     In Barcelona, we met a few Spanish people who told us about a large festival that was going on that weekend nearby. It is called the Festival de San Fermin, and it takes place in Pamplona every summer. The festival celebrates a saint, but also the start of the bullfighting season. Every morning during the festival is an event called “the Running of the Bulls”.
     We happened to arrive early on a Wednesday morning just in time to witness it. As we arrived we noticed that some streets were blocked off with large, thick wooden fences to keep a herd of angry running bulls going down the right path. We looked through the fence to see a large crowd of mostly men dressed in all white with red bandanas running past like it was a marathon. A deep, grumbling sound rushed passed us, and there was something different about this marathon.
     Soon it became obvious as the biggest, angriest bull I have ever seen came around the corner and came charging past our spot along the fence. The energy of the crowds around us was high: cheering, chanting, laughter. Seemed like fun. “Tomorrow”, I told my friends, “I’m going to run with those guys”.
     When the sun started to rise the next morning we followed a large group of men across the town and down a hill. The streets were made of
 cobblestones instead of pavement. It seemed like a medieval setting and we were to be
the King’s entertainment. The group stopped at the bottom of the hill, and in my limited Spanish I determined that we were near the pen where the bulls were stored all winter long.
     We felt frozen in the middle of a parade, surrounded by singing men in red and white, and looked at from spectators on the sidelines who were pointing and laughing. I suddenly felt like everyone knew what was going on except me. I suddenly felt that I was making a big decision. Then a large church bell rang once and all the men around us became a little more serious. Their Spanish songs of glory and victory faded to a nervous silence.
     A few men started to walk away from the source of the bulls. Then everyone was walking and a few started to jog. I jogged along as well, constantly looking over my shoulder, wondering when the large, mean, fast-moving cattle with long, sharp horns would be released. Another bell rang and now the whole parade began to run. Fast jog became light running. Always looking over my shoulder, nervous eyes all around me. No more laughing.
     I could hear the sound of many sharp hooves pounding on cobblestone streets somewhere a ways away. It seemed to be at a safe distance, but it was getting steadily louder. Light running became a marathoner’s pace. The hooves got closer and closer. Men near me were running forward while looking backward. One man tripped and fell. Others quickly helped him up. The rumble became a thunder as the bulls arrived.
     We couldn’t outrun them, which was clear. I planned to run as far and fast as I could, but when the bulls came close I would simply jump the wooden fence. I rounded a corner about ready to carry out my plan when I realized that the block I had just entered was an alleyway with solid stone walls high up on both sides. The windows and doorways were protected with sheets of plywood that provided me no shelter. I looked back in time to see the men behind me scatter left and right and a huge horned beast coming right up between them. I instinctually threw my body against the wall of the alleyway and flattened against it like a starfish. I felt the bull breath on me as it passed. Its horn passed inches from my back. After this first group of bulls had passed I continued to run down the street after them.
     The laughing of the men around me had returned. We had escaped the danger. As I ran I felt the adrenaline come on and I felt happy and invincible.
     As I rounded another corner these feelings quickly were shattered. Up ahead there was a man on the ground. He seemed normal in red and white, but I soon realized what I had thought was a large red belt was actually an injury. This sobering thought stayed with me as I continued along the city streets, eventually escaping over a fence and into the safe zone.
     In America, I realized, no city would allow its general public to participate in an event that had such a likelihood of grave injury, and I was shocked that this could happen in a first world country like Spain. But I thought of the hundreds of years of history of the event and I came to the conclusion that some traditions are worth hanging on to.
     Someone should probably put a sign out front for ignorant Americans though. I may never be that scared again.

"SFUSD considers questions of school diversity"

By Maiya Wilson

      School diversity is a major topic amongst Lincoln students, but is there really school diversity here at Lincoln? The answer is “yes!” according Barnaby Payne (the principal of Abraham Lincoln High School). But, there is no simple answer to which high school in the San Francisco Unified School District is the most diverse.
            Barnaby Payne states, “SFUSD is actually under court order to create diverse schools and has been for many years. Despite all their efforts, they still have not designed a process that creates perfectly diverse schools.”
          SFUSD is a district that is run by open enrollment, which allows any student in the district to apply to the school of their liking opposed to be sent to the local neighborhood schools. When a high school has more applicants, the diversity of that school goes up.
         According to statistics, the main four schools of choice, which are Abraham Lincoln (the number one school of choice), George Washington, Galileo Academy of Science & Technology and Balboa High School, are the most diverse because these schools have far more applicants each year than any other high schools in the district.


Mock scolding of Kamia Langley by Principal Payne

       Payne says the percentages of ethnicity at these schools, “Almost matches the school district as a whole.” Lincoln has a 49% rate of Chinese Americans as are the other schools of choice and all four schools have a close percentage of the school district as a whole.
       Schools that do not receive a high applicant rate such as Thurgood Marshall Academy and Mission High School, as a whole, will receive students that did not go through the application process of choosing a school as well as the students that live in the neighborhood. Mission has a high percentage of Latin Americans because the school is located in the Mission district. Thurgood, which is located in the Bayview district, has a high percentage population of African Americans because they are the majority that lives in that neighborhood.
       Mission and Thurgood High school, will receive applicants that did not get their school of choice as well as the students that did not even go through the application process. Whoever does not go through the process will be placed in a school that is either in or close to their neighborhood.
       School diversity is a question most high school students are curious about. There is no true answer to what school is actually the number one in diversity because of the percentage of the four schools of choice

"Hallowed Traditions of Hallows Eve"

By Serina Fang

    With Halloween just around the corner, one can already feel the festive pulse of the spooky-loving holiday inching into stores, televisions, and everyone’s minds. Pumpkin patches sprout up on empty lots and roadsides, moaning mechanical zombies inhabit the front yards of houses bedecked in clinging cobwebs and Halloween chain stores invade the malls. Soon jack-o’-lanterns carvings, trips to the store for candy to give out to trick-or-treaters, tough decisions on whom and what to dress up as and horror movie marathons will return.
    Embrace this annual holiday! The beat of the Lincoln Halloween spirit carries strong year after year with the ASB lunch rally and students expressing their creativity by wearing their costumes to school. However, Lincoln Halloween rules dictate that students are not allowed to bring fake weapons or blood, wear stereotype-promoting costumes or wear costumes that are too revealing, such as ones that include short-shorts or low necklines.
    On Halloween traditions, senior Casey Lan says, “I think it’s fun to dress up with a bunch of friends and family and just walk around and get candy. It should be a holiday where we could get the school day off so kids could have more time for trick-or-treating.”
    The traditions of Halloween aren’t unanimously popular with Lincoln students though. A sophomore who wishes to remain anonymous says, “I think the traditions of Halloween are just excuses for people to do really weird things. Half do it to show off, and they’re really annoying. The other half is really creative.”
Every year Lincoln strives to remain on the creative side of Halloween with the decoration of the main office. Principal Barnaby Payne says, “The main office does a theme every year. One year we did Star Wars; one year we did vampires; one year we did superheroes; one year we did American superstars throughout history. Everyone’s wondering what we’ll do this year. It’s a secret, but here’s a hint: it’ll be rockin’.”
Lincoln Halloween activities have roots in the medieval ages. Through pop cultural osmosis, the modern traditions everyone is familiar with have differentiated greatly from the original Halloween traditions. Halloween started out as the Celtic festival of Samhain that celebrated the summer’s end and was observed by the Gaels of the British Isles. The name Halloween was first invented in the 16th century and was a Scottish variant of All Hallows Eve, which means the night before All Hallows (or All Saints) Day.
    Jack-o’-lantern carving sprang from the tradition of carving turnips into lanterns to remember the souls held in purgatory. Trick-or-treating comes from the late medieval practice of souling, when poor folk would go from door to door to receive food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day.
    These old traditions may have changed significantly over the years but certainly haven’t died. Whether or not you care to participate on Halloween, and whether or not you’ll be anxiously waiting to see the “rockin’” surprise that is the Lincoln main office, one cannot help but be drawn into the black and orange, jack-o’-lantern and candy corn-filled festive mood.