Kennedy Sit List: Things to do in Quarantine
Class of 2024
John F. Kennedy has a lot of clubs to offer and January’s student of the month has taken full advantage of what they offer.
Harsh Sheth has joined Speech and Debate, which taught him how to effectively speak and communicate his ideas. His ability to debate and argue has dramatically grown Harsh has even competed in a tournament earlier this year! In addition to Debate, he has learned how to spread his own ideas to the community through the IDEAS Club. Harsh has also joined Chess, Interact, and Film clubs.
Over winter break, he kept himself busy by learning how to code with the microprocessor Arduino. He has worked with Ms. Kerr, who provided the materials, to make LED lights and design other coding functions. Even when clubs had an intermission, January’s student of the month still found ways to continue learning more. As a freshman, Harsh has truly taken advantage of the valuable resources available to him.
Q: As a history teacher, do you think this will ever be in future history books as well?
I totally think one day History books will have the year 2020 in them. This year has been nothing but historical. We have had in 2020 the Covid-19 Pandemic, Black Lives Matter movement, Australian Brush Fires, California Wild Fires, Impeachment trial of President Trump, Beirut explosion, Murder Hornets in the United States, Prince Harry quits the Royal Family, Death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Badar Ginsburg, and the Prsidential Election. That is all to name just a few. Therefore, 2020 has been a crazy year, and I do expect years down the road that I will be teaching about this time period. Now, of course we do need to see how the years that follow 2020 play out, so we can have a better understanding of how history will write itself. It will be a topic of discussion though for years to come, and a time in History that even Kennedy students I feel will tell future generations. Like who else gets to say they did Public School online in High School.
OF THE MONTH
Q: Do you consider yourself as an activist? Have you attended any protest throughout this year?
You know I don’t consider myself an activist, and I haven’t attended any protests this year. I have in the past attended protests, but not in 2020. Now, I do have friends who wish I would take more of an activist role. They encourage me to write letters and talk with people on Social Media or people of influence that I know. However, I just haven’t. I am super passionate about curtain issues in the world, and topics of discussion in the news. I just haven’t gone to protests with it. Instead, I have long conversations with those who don’t agree with me, and challenge my thoughts. I have great friends who ask me my opinion to learn more, and I do the same with them. So you could say I take more of a diplomatic approach, where I like to talk out my differences with someone at a table. Currently will my opinion change anything? Most likely not, but that is probably because I do not take my ideas to those that have the power to make the change. Maybe one day though.
Q: The Elections went pretty crazy if you ask me, we've had so many people and their opinions on it. What are yours?
I first 100% agree with you in that this Election went pretty crazy, but it didn’t really shock me. As someone who loves history, and is beginning to look at politics more I knew this presidential election was going to be close. For some people, I know a lot closer than they wanted. However, it was very reflective of our country right now. The United States is extremely divided right now. From all the news of Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. These two issues alone have become issues that have divided people. I have talked with some who feel Covid-19 is all political and nothing else. I have talked with people who are terrified of getting sick, and how it will affect their loved ones. I have talked with people who want to see change in line with the BLM, while others I have talked to totally disagree with BLM all together. These conversations are just happening with people on the West Coast. So again through this election what I noticed most is how divided we are as a nation. I do have hope though. The United States has already been through some many ugly times, and have grown from them, so I hope this is a time we can grow again and become an even better place for people to live. It will take time though, and we have to be willing to put in the work and have tough conversations. Conversations where we actually listen to one another and compromise on the things we can.
Review by Maryam Almahdi
By Lance Flores
By Isabella Canale
Talking History with Mr. Arredondo
By Natalie Chavez Castaneda
Q. We've been in a pandemic for almost a year now; what was one thing that has made a huge impact on your life as well as within your family?
The huge thing that has made an impact on my family and me is my daughter being born during the Pandemic. We started this pandemic on about March 16th, 2020 and my daughter was born March 22nd, 2020. Literally right at the start of this. My wife and I had all these plans for how we would celebrate with family, and friends. We thought about how we would celebrate all these holidays with her, and none of that could happen. My family rarely gets to see us, and I have a ton of family who still hasn’t even met my daughter, because of this pandemic. So that has been really hard on us, because I am all about family. I love my family, and hate that we can’t celebrate the normal ways we would like to. Now, I know we have to be cautious and safe, so I know we are doing the right things. Just sucks that this year has turned out that way. However, I am still super lucky that my daughter is healthy and so is the rest of my family so far.
Q: Immigration has always been such a scary thing to talk about. Knowing we've always been misunderstood. Why do you think it's always been like that?
I wish I had an easy answer for this question, but sadly I do not. I come from a family that had plenty of individuals immigrate to the United States from Mexico. My grandma was from Guadalajara, and immigrated to the United States when she was 9. Her father immigrated here before that to set up home and everything first. So this is a story I get completely, and I have worked with children and teens in Mexico for nearly 8 years straight. My wife and I also have hosted children and their chaperon from Uganda. I share all this information, because for me it came down to hearing their stories.
Which brings me to my point that I feel immigrants here in the United States are often misunderstood, because we do not take the time to understand them. We do not learn about another person's culture or costumes. We do not take time to ask why they do something one way or another. People do not even ask why someone would choose to move to the United States. Which is why I think immigrants are so misunderstood because no one wants to take the time to actually learn about the others' background.
Mitski is an indie-rock artist best known for “Me and My Husband” and “,Nobody'' both of which were featured in her latest album, Be the Cowboy (2018). She self-released her debut album Lush in 2012, while attending Purchase College’s Conservatory of Music.
One of her more popular songs, “Strawberry Blond,” is featured on her second album, Retired from Sad, New Career in Business,. The song is upbeat, with rhythmic clapping in the beginning, and acoustic guitar and flutes throughout the track. Different lines in the song, like “, I love everybody because I love you” and “Oh, all I ever wanted was a life in your shape. So I follow the white lines, follow the white lines. Keep my eyes on the road as I ache” provide an insight into what it’s like to be “madly” in love. From the rush of positivity one gets when they first fall in love, to wanting to be a part of a lover’s life, and even the pain of indirect rejection and trying to move forward from that pain.
Overall, “Strawberry Blond” is an upbeat song that goes over the exhilaration of falling in love, and smiling through the pain after being rejected. The acoustic guitar, flutes, and even the tone of Mitski’s voice makes “Strawberry Blond” a song worth listening to.
Song Review: “Strawberry Blond” by Mitski
By: Manroop Bains
Teacher Appreciation Article: Ms. Servanda
During this pandemic, plenty of people are stressed with online learning, especially teachers. Teaching is a tough job, and that is why it is important that people take the proper time to recognize and thank them. Whether they are in a classroom or through a computer screen, teachers deserve appreciation.
Mrs. Servanda is an Art teacher at John F. Kennedy. Mrs. Servanda took time to answer some
questions about her teaching journey, and her answers were insightful and encouraging.
About Mrs. Servanda:
Mrs. Servanda: “I was born and raised in Fremont and went to Niles Elementary, Centerville JH, and Washington, Ohlone, The Academy of Art Sf, and SJSU. I’m married with 2 kids and enjoy travel, gardening, making art, camping, watching softball or baseball & baking”
What/who influenced you the most to become a teacher?
Mrs. Servanda: “My father influenced me to always work hard and speak the truth. I had two professors at Ohlone who influenced me the most as teachers; they are Dave McLaughlin and Tom Harland. Professor McLaughlin taught me to honor the artist of the past, their skills, and techniques. And Professor Harland was the one [who] pointed out the idea of teaching to me. He also gave me the confidence to believe in my skills as an artist and a student.”
Why did you choose teaching as your career?
Mrs. Servanda: “I always wanted to make art or be around it. I also wanted to be that person who helped others discover their talents, strengthen their skills, and build confidence.”
What do you enjoy most / least about working with young people?
Mrs. Servanda: “I love the energy of my students and see how creative they can be; I hate how lazy some students can be.”
What do you enjoy most / least about distant learning?
Mrs. Servanda: “I enjoy not having to clean up after 100 kids each day, and I do like seeing how creative some of my students have gotten in my sculpture class making art with what they have at home.” Servanda says, “I miss my students. I hate not knowing if they are OK if they need help or don't understand part of the assignment they are working on.”
In your opinion, what is the best part of teaching?
Mrs. Servanda: “The best part of teaching is to see growth in one's students and seeing the joy and pride they have when they have created something they really like or love.”
Check out the newest social justice club on campus, IDEAS (Improving Dreams, Equality, Access, and Success). IDEAS will continue to hold racial inequality forums at least once a month, with a new topic every time. The next forum is projected to be held in early January, 2021. To stay updated on JFK’s social justice forums, students should follow IDEAS on Instagram @jfkhs.ideas. Students that are interested in joining IDEAS should fill out this form: tinyurl.com/joinjfkideas. For questions, comments, and concerns, email Mrs. Castillo (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Katelyn Twist (email@example.com). Do not miss the chance to be part of the Kennedy community that is taking the necessary steps for change.
‘Circe’ is a book written by the author Madeline Miller. Miller became extremely popular in the book community for her debut novel, ‘The Song of Achilles’ (the best book I’ve ever read), which documents the lives of Greek mythological figures Achilles and Patroclus as they grow up and find themselves together, with the impending threat of the Trojan War looming over them. ‘Circe’, Miller’s second novel, centers around Greek mythological figure Circe, also known as the goddess of sorcery. The story opens with Circe as a child, neglected by her family and overshadowed by her prettier sisters, she is an anxious child with low self esteem; Circe spends her time in her father’s cave, where she dwells on her purpose and questions why she seems to have no powers.
As she gets older, it is shown that she begins to develop a specific taste for herbs, and seems to be able to get them to do her bidding; once her unique powers begin to surface, she is eventually moved to the island of Aiaia, out of her father’s fear of her. There, she learns how to cultivate and grow her abilities, how to take advantage of herbs on the island and create potions, and begins to understand how unique and powerful she really is. Over the years, we see Circe meet many new people, like the famous Odysseus, Jason and Medea, Icarus, etc. we also see that Circe grows more comfortable with mortals than gods, she sees the gods as privileged and prejudiced entities who only care about drama. As the story winds down, Circe is now a powerful witch and mentor, who is comfortable with who she is, and is happy to live among mortals as her most authentic self.
Circe is a book that carries a strong feminist narrative, and that is seen throughout the book everytime Circe questions who she is and why she is deemed “lesser” than her peers, it is conveyed when she learns to take control of her own narrative, and it is shown especially when she becomes comfortable and proud of who she is as a woman, a goddess, and a witch. This is a book that is extremely helpful and empowering to womxn who are struggling to figure out how they fit into the world and how they can take control of their own narrative; this book is also extremely entertaining to those who just want to read a retelling of a Greek myth. It is extremely atmospheric, with poetic writing that sucks you into Circe’s world. Overall, I believe this book was well worth the read, if greek mythology interests you, or if you are looking for a book with a strong female lead, this is the book for you.