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Winter & Spring Volume | April 2019
Middle College Newsletter
where we've been, where we are now, and where we're going
What's been going on?!
Since our last newsletter was sent out in December, many things have happened here at Middle College....
The Mask You Live In
Before the fall semester ended, we held a school-wide discussion on vulnerability, gender stereotypes, and societal expectations based on the movie The Mask We Live In . Working with Ms. Redgate and our new wellness counselor Ms. Adams, several MC students organized the viewing of this film and the discussion that went along with it.
Honoring Korematsu Day
After a long winter break, during which many students enjoyed the holidays with friends and family, we all came back to school mid-January to start our Fred Korematsu project. After learning about the history of Japanese internment, we took a field trip to Japantown where we listened to Yoshiko Kanazawa, a survivor of the internment, discuss her experience. We then got a tour of Japantown in San Jose and learned about the thriving local community, as well as the historical landmarks that showcase the legacy of the injustices Japanese-Americans faced. We also toured the Japanese-American Museum of San Jose. With survivors of the internment camps as our guides, we got to see and learn about life in the internment camps.
?With a new perspective and added insight on the Japanese internment that occurred, we worked in small groups to create a project to present to the larger CSM community on Fred Korematsu Day, January 30th. From of the history of the internment to the involvement of allies like the Quaker Society, we covered many ar eas of interest and were able to learn from each other about this time in history.
On March 2nd, a group of Middle College shared their projects from Korematsu Day with members of the community who had gathered at the Tanforan Racetrack to hold a graduation ceremony for the Japanese-American students held there in 1942. At this "Day of Remembrance," co-hosted by San Mateo High School and the Ethnic Studies Department of CSM, Middle College students had an opportunity to share and learn from former internees. 
Shadow Week
An exciting time in Middle College is Shadow Week, where prospective students get to see what life is like on campus. Spanning over the course of a week, this was our biggest student shadow event yet. Students from the future generation of incoming Juniors and Seniors were paired with current MC students. They took a tour of CSM, sat in on college and high school classes, and got to see the everyday life of Middle College students.
Panelists Frederick Gaines (Prof. Ethnic Studies, CSM), Tarana Chapple (Dean, CSM), and Fabian Morales (Counselor, SMUHSD)
Student panelists Kei Nomura, Matelita Kavapalu, and Caden Thun moderated the discussion between panelists and the audience
Dialogue Through Film: 13th
On February 21st, MC hosted its 3rd Dialogue Through Film event featuring a screening of 13th , followed by a discussion of the film with panelists from CSM and SMUHSD. The event, organized by a group of MC students along with guidance of Ms. Rohrbach, explored racial disproportionality that plays out within the prison system in the United States, focusing on racial inequality and racism. We had a wonderful panel of guest speakers with us who shared their unique insights on their involvement with efforts for racial equality in the US.
To support student wellbeing, MC Wellness Counselor Laura Adams invited Matthew Adams, Founder & Lead Coach of Mind Your Movement , to guide the students through grounding mindfulness meditations. Here is an example of the kind of practice that Mathew led us through; we hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
The Great Gatsby Dance
On March 22nd, Middle College students celebrated in style at the annual Great Gatsby dance. The event was full of music, food, games... and even a few killer dance moves from our teachers! Students rocked their 1920s get-ups and the dance floor was never empty. Thanks to the students who organized the event - we had a great time!
MC English teacher Greg Lance showing the whipper snappers how it's done
Seniors Petra Hinders, Adriel Malagon, and Brianna Santos enjoy
?their last Great Gatsby dance
Community Days
We enjoyed two community days in March while college classes were cancelled for Flex Days. The first, held on March 6th, was planned by a group of students, who organized fun group games for us to play, including Jenga, paper airplane contests, and balloon tosses. It was a great way to de-stress and connect.
On March 29th, Anna Calonje, founder of the art and Spanish immersion studio for kids Little Artistas , guided us in painting to walls of Middle College. In the weeks leading up to the event, a small group of students gathered to plan the artistic direction of the murals, which built of the themes of the previous murals (“Middle College Past, Present and Future”) and added themes of nature, growth and positive affirmation. The end results are beautiful and brought life to the Middle College building.
Day of Silence
On April 12th, the MC Gender and Sexuality Alliance hosted a Day of Silence, inviting community members to take a vow of silence to highlight the erasure of LGBTQ people at school. This powerful event created a platform for calling attention to our community members whose voices might otherwise go unnoticed or ignored. Click here to learn more about this national event.
Upcoming Events
I t’s been a busy start of the semester, and the rest of the semester is only going to get busier with more events happening in our community! With only six more weeks left in the school year, seniors can look forward to the MC picnic as well as graduation on May 28th! Summer will be here before you know it :)
Next week….
On Monday. April 22nd , MC Wellness Counselor Laura Adams will guide discussions around how to foster healthy relationships during our Monday advisory hours.
On Tuesday, April 23rd , MC Juniors will be presenting findings from their interdisciplinary research projects and their plans for action in a series of TED-style Talks, hosted in the BHS Alumni Room from 6-9:30pm. Students will be advocating for environmental legislation, proposing activities in support of students struggling with mental health issues, and planning a podcast about women in the STEM field, among other topics. All are welcome!
The following Thursday, April 25th , a group of students will be hosting our fourth and final Dialogue Through Film, featuring The Hunting Ground. Scenes from the film will be followed by a panelist discussion, which will include representatives from San Mateo Rape and Trauma Services. Please join us at CSM, in building 10, room 195, from 6-7:30pm for an important discussion surrounding the staggering statistics on sexual assault at college campuses across the nation.
Next month…
The annual MC End of Year Picnic will be held on Friday, May 10th . The juniors are planning a feast to celebrate the seniors and to wish them luck in their continuing journeys.
From May 13th - 22nd , seniors will be presenting their digital portfolios to a panel of MC teachers. This portfolio is an opportunity for reflection on their educational experience and a presentation of the skills they have demonstrated in preparation for life after high school. Click here and here to see examples of portfolios from last year’s MC students.
On Tuesday, May 28th , we will celebrate the many accomplishments of our senior class in our Middle College Graduation Ceremony! The commemoration will be held in the Bayview Room at CSM from 5:30-7:30pm.
April 17: New Parent Information Night 
April 23 : Junior TED Talks - BHS Alumni Rm @6pm
April 25 : CAST testing for Seniors
April 25 : The Hunting Ground - Bldg 10 Rm 195 @ 6pm
April 26: Last day to drop semester-long spring classes with assurance of "W" grade
April 30/May 1 : CAASPP testing for Juniors
May 10 : MC End of the Year Picnic
May 13-22 : Senior portfolio Presentations
May 20-24: College Finals
May 27: Memorial Day Holiday
May 28: High School Finals (Juniors)
May 28: Middle College Graduation -CSM Bayview @5pm
May 28: End of Spring Semester
Upcoming Home-School Events
San Mateo HS
Student Art Show - March 14-April 19 at 6:30pm
Burlingame HS
Explore College Opportunities Works hop - June 3-7th, 9 a.m.-noon
Mills HS
JAZZ Ensemble Concert - April 26 at 7pm
Capuchino HS
2019 Spring Concert - May 3 at 7pm
Aragon HS
Aragon Concerts - April 23, 25 and May 1, 3 at 7pm
Hillsdale HS
KNIGHT MOVES XXI Dance Concert May 2,3 and 4 at 7pm
Half Moon Bay HS
Cougar Color Run - May 19th, 9-1pm
HMB Community Job Fair -May 7th, 6:30 - 8:30pm
CSM Events Coming Up
Multiple Day Events
Every Saturday, Rain or Shine
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
CSM Galileo Lot 6
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
CSM Library Building 09, Second Floor
Get familiar with 3D software and learn how to set up and use 3D printers
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
CSM Library Building 09, Second Floor
Mon Apr 22, 2019
Earth Day 2019 Maker-space Event
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
CSM Library Building 09, Second Floor
Wed Apr 24, 2019
Learn about human trafficking in San Mateo County
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
CSM College Center Building 10, Bayview Dining Room
?Wed Apr 24, 2019
Providing information and recruiting on-campus
11:00 am - 1:30 pm
CSM College Center Building 10, Bayview Dining Room
Fri Apr 26, 2019
Theme - Global Disco!
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
CSM College Center Building 10, Bayview Dining Room
Tues Apr 30, 2019
Career Services and Strong Workforce
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
CSM College Center Building 10, Bayview Dining Room
Volunteering Opportunities
“Since 1974, Samaritan House has grown to become San Mateo County’s leading non-profit that brings a new level of hope, dignity, and empowerment to people living in poverty as they fulfill immediate needs and guide people to self reliance. Recognized as a role model in the community, Samaritan House is the largest food distribution agency in the county. Its other free services include shelter and housing assistance; medical and dental clinics; clothes for children; personalized case management and much more.”
“The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) is a local, private, non-profit charitable organization dedicated to animal welfare. Among our major programs, PHS/SPCA adopts fully 100% of the healthy dogs and cats in our care and also, through our charitably funded Hope Program, makes well and finds homes for thousands of animals who come to us sick, injured, or too young to survive without supportive care.”
Things to Know- There is a time commitment, due to training required.
Under 18: 52 hours required
Over 18: 1 year required
Seasonal Opportunities: April-October
To Reach: (650) 340-7022 ext. 321
Featuring a wide array of volunteering and donation services, Surfrider Foundation focuses on keeping our coasts clean. “Our ocean faces growing challenges from pollution, offshore development and climate change. Every day poses new threats to our oceans and beaches. Our ocean and special places must be proactively protected before they are threatened and stem the tide before further damage is done to the ocean’s health. With one foot in the sand and the other in the water, Surfrider is the only non-profit organization who is 100% focused on our coasts.”
Local Business Highlight: Chatime
Chatime - San Mateo
Featuring a wide array of food and drinks, Chatime expresses a wonderful atmosphere for the teenagers of Middle College. Including their 4.9/5 rating on Facebook and wonderful luxury
lounging with chairs and couches, Chatime is the place to be on a Friday night. Their menu consists of slushes and tea, with boba and jellies to compliment your drinks. Their popcorn chicken is the highlight of the food menu and definitely a worthwhile investment. Located at 165 E 4th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401, their location is in the heart of downtown San Mateo.
Middle College Club Highlight
Middle College Initiative seeks to build a greater sense of community in Middle College and spread understanding about what MC is. They hope to do this by using social media, updating the hallway bulletin board, creating promotional videos about MC, and organizing other fun things like the candy bags at Valentine’s Day :). Meetings are during 11:00 advisory on Thursdays. To join, come to any meeting, they are always looking for new members!
Middle College Club Schedule
Student Highlight: John Robinson
It all began in preschool… John was in the last graduating class before the school shut down and due to this curious circumstance the last class kept meeting up even after graduation. It was because of one of the former classmates’ dad that John got involved in robotics - the activity brought him and his friends together. The first time he participated in a competition was in 6th grade in FIRST LEGO League. Since that time, John had the opportunity to be involved in numerous Robotics teams, including Hillsdale and Burlingame High School teams, which let him try himself in the duties of drive coach (directing the people who are operating the robot’s moves), rules guru, senior mechanical, lead electrical engineer, lead Computer Aided Design person, as well as honorary captain, team captain, and engineering lead. The accolades of teams he worked with include but are not limited to the 6 and 5th places in world robotics competition, yet there are even more things John can be proud of. Throughout the seven-year involvement in robotics, John and his friends successfully revamped the robotics team in Hillsdale High School and founded 8 robotics teams in Ralston Middle School.
San Mateo County Fair Summer of 2018
San Fransisco Regional, Saint Ignatius College Prep, March 2018
John is very passionate about sharing his love for STEM and engaging more students and parents in the STEM community. In his own words: “I tried so many sports: hockey, football, fencing, and could never find the sport that I liked. I enjoyed the games but not practicing, until I found robotics, which I enjoy every minute of. Although there are disappointing times when something collapses, it is very fulfilling.” He is planning to continue his involvement with STEM as well as increasing others’ interest in it. This week, John is participating in his 30th (and final!) National Robotics Competition. Go John!!
Teacher Words of Wisdom
Mr. Lance’s Words of Wisdom for Our Future Life.
1. Best piece of advice:
The whole " Desiderata ," which begins, "Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence..."
2. Biggest regret:
In general, I don't believe there is much value in regretting; it seems best to me that we spend our energy learning from those choices rather than regretting them. I would have liked to have experienced going farther from home for my undergraduate degree than I did, but that path still led me to many wonderful things, which I don't regret at all!
3. Does it get better?
Your perspective gets wider and experience builds resilience and wisdom. Sometimes "it" doesn't get better, but you do.
4. A joke that makes you smile:
Two men meet on opposite sides of a river.
One guy shouts to the other, "I need your help to get to the other side!"
The other calls back, “You are on the other side!”
Welcome to Middle College!
Next year, we will welcome two new teachers to our growing community...
Jim Burke, English
Jim Burke comes to Middle College from Burlingame High School where he has taught English for twenty-eight years. He has worked with the College Board to promote the success of all students and their access to college. The first in his family to go to college, Mr. Burke brings to Middle College a deep commitment to helping all students prepare for and succeed in college after they graduate. As the author of over twenty-five books, he brings to Middle College a passion for writing and reading. He has three kids of his own, the youngest of whom is attending Dominican University where she is studying to be a nurse. He and his wife have known each other since they were in high school and now, since their kids have all left home, share the house with their two dogs and three desert tortoises. He is thrilled to be joining the Middle College program and its wonderful faculty to continue the great work they have done for all the Middle College students.
Jason Letke, Social Science
Jason Letke will be joining the Middle College program in Fall 2019 as a Social Science teacher after spending the past 16 years at Capuchino High School. In addition to teaching Social Science at Cap, he also was an AVID teacher & coordinator for 10+ years, was the Professional Development Coordinator & spent the last five years as an instructional coach. Prior to that, he spent three years teaching in East Palo Alto. Mr. Letke earned both his undergraduate degree & his teaching credential from San Diego State University. He lives vicariously threw his children's activities (his 15-year old daughter has a love for theater & graphic design, while his 12-year old son plays on two baseball teams) which takes up most of his free time. He also has a collection of nearly 1,000 records that he has been collecting ever since he was in college.
Professor Highlight: Rory Michael Nakata
MC senior Andrea tells us about the inspiring experience she had in Rory Nakata's Sculpture I class
I thoroughly enjoyed taking Sculpture I with Rory Michael Nakata. His curriculum includes a sculpting a human figure out of clay, a skilled based project that applies techniques learned through demos, including working with metal, glass fusion, stone carving and molds, and a demonstration art piece. As a member of the class, I was asked to make decisions about art; we would look at a modern artist and their pieces and were asked to share our opinions. We did more than use tools to make intricate sculptures; we were constantly questioned about what art is, and our answers were constantly asked back to us. The conversations were very open and unstructured; in that environment, Professor Nakata was able to get us to question our entire understanding of art and sculptures themselves while respecting those opinions that he may or may not agree with. The actual sculpting was funny, too. Every time I thought I was done with a piece, I would ask him and he would say, “Do you think it’s done?”. I always said, “No, I would like to fix a, b, and c,” and he would help me get what I wanted out of my art. For most the part, we were left with our art, which was a great time for me to just think - a form of meditation - but he would always check up on us. During class, he would often share his stories from interacting with other artists, or share insider stories on certain pieces, or share his experiences in general. He was very modest about his art career, but he would do things like bring in his art pieces or tell us about his experiences as a professional artist and being on art councils for the government, and about gaining grants himself from the government. He shared the entire process these artists are going through and the whole concept of the art world today. I thoroughly enjoyed his class, and I learned much more than just tack welding... I learned to see art in a new way.
W.A.C.K.: You can't "spell" news without...!
? A Perspective on Life
Yes, The Water Is Turning the Frogs Gay
The rate of homosexuality in the US has been rising, as I’m sure everyone has noticed. Whether it be your neighbor having a gay son or the massive Pride Parades taking over your town, the gays are everywhere. Back in the day, there weren’t nearly as many, so the question arises: why are there so many gay people now? The obvious answer is, of course, that the government put some sort of chemical in the water which is making the US gayer than ever. Alex Jones himself has been cited discussing the chemicals in the water turning frogs gay, so if they turn the frogs gay, then why not humans? After all, frogs are the slimy cousin to the human; if something affects a frog it will definitely affect a person. Of course, you may be wondering, how does one identify a frog's sexual orientation? They can't tell you; the idea of talking to frogs is simply ridiculous, but you can tell a frog is a homosexual through their actions. Frogs can’t drive. The gays can't drive, therefore frogs are gay. And then there is the obvious evidence: what do frogs sit on? Lily pads. What do lily pads do? Float. Gays dance on floats, frogs sit on lily pads which are floats; therefore, frogs are gay. What other evidence do you need? According to science, chemicals can alter a person’s physiology; maybe it deletes the straight option. Whether the chemical is removing the option to be straight or is giving boys too much estrogen and girls too much testosterone is yet to be seen, but the fact is, the gays are here, and they are indeed queer. Think about it…
? References : www.infowars.com
A philosopher who wants to mingle
Whatever people tried to say about me, it never quite represented who I am. I am an arbitrary target for labeling - after all, I am a fish in the sky of rose petals whose delicate clover leaves don’t seem to touch me. After being a stranger for most of my life, I have knelt but only b4 4 principles that I prefer to live by:
Wonder about the cause
Acknowledge your privilege
Create something meaningful
Kid in unlaughable situations
While some consider me out of whack, I am an absolutely healthy man, standing at five acres tall and seven inches wide in my earlobes. I am available on Sundays after 2:09 am, calls are, however, unacceptable. But if you do indeed wish to mingle (and learn! about my knowledge), you are highly encouraged to contact me: 79 Nenax Ave, s. 98, Lo-Ma, 7656.
Wishing you well,
Andre Kolooman
Creator of WACK philosophy
Cultural Highlight: Chinese New Year
February 5th was a day some of us thought of as just a normal day. Well, at least I did until I read it was a holiday on my kitchen calendar. Tuesday, February 5, was Chinese New year, also known as Spring Festival and Lunar New year in its relations to the Lunar Calendar. The day varies from year to year if one looks upon it from our solar calendar. Originally, the day marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring; however, it doesn’t just occur that day. Some families begin these festivities in (lunar) December with the Laba Festival (???—là ba jié), and they last for 40 days. Though many festivities occurring during the time, a popular one that occurs in our very own Bay Area is the Spring Festival. However, it is overlooked even in the diverse Bay Area, especially in our San Mateo County. When interviewing our very own Nicholas Nguyen and Terence Lien, they described their experiences with the holiday.
Like the American New Year, there are things that can be considered “universal” in how every family celebrates the accession. Chinese New Year is a holiday that celebrates the “new year” and is a time where family, long distance or nuclear, come together to enjoy each others' presence. However, unlike the American New Year, Chinese New Year was traditionally a holiday in which ceremonies were performed to pray to gods and ancestors for a good harvesting season; this begins a multitude of symbolic actions families take part in that day, although these celebrations also “depend on how traditional you are and your family (to) kinda (put a) spin on it” as Mr. Lien describes his experience. “For example, one part of my family likes to do a hot pot type of thing and the symbolism making sure you have… abundance of food to eat into the next year," while another version of celebration “could be as casual as just a gathering with some family." Nicholas also describes how his family “go(es) out and… would have to redecorate everything in the house, (and) would have to buy new calendars," along with “buy(ing) special fruits." He also describes “going to see the festivities” where people would “light firecrackers...lion dance …and have a good time." Out of all the symbolic traditions I learned from my research and interviews, my favorite would be the symbolism of lighting the firecrackers. Setting off firecrackers is supposedly used to scare away evil spirits, but apparently it is based on a legend of boy who was brave enough to use firecrackers to scare away a monster named Nian (?) that came New years Eve and terrorized his town. Firecrackers have been used ever since.
?Due to my education of other cultural celebrations, I expected Chinese New Year to have symbolism in its food and colors, but what I found very interesting was how cleanliness also took a major part in the celebrations. Mr. Lien says that, for some who are very traditional, they are “not allowed to cut any nails, wash (their) hair, and sweep the house because (they’ll) sweep the luck out for the new year." I also found through my research that there is a day especially made for the cleaning of the home so that ancestors can judge and place a verdict on the family in the form of a future. There are various other traditions the holiday includes, like the red envelopes and the burning of red and gold paper.
I have also found it very interesting how the our community of San Mateo celebrates it. Mr. Lien describes how he “always felt it was safe to do it." From a Bay Area native's perspective, he "always thought it was fine," but it was difficult to celebrate when it came to his “kids school (being) off, but we’re not." That “even within the Bay Area... there is understanding and appreciation” for Chinese New Year, but “how’s it’s actually implemented or shown is different, which is fine... I'm not saying we need to make it a holiday, I'm just saying…its family time and it’s hard to spend family time if only half the family is off and another half is working." MC student Nicholas Nguyen says that he has always “(felt) fine” in celebrating, but here in San Mateo “it’s just not as noticeable…so when you go to San Francisco, you see decorative everything for Chinese New Year. Here it’s just a normal day."
In my opinion, to live in a diverse society, one should recognize that not everyone is going to be seen and heard unless each culture is celebrated. The recognition of one’s holidays and traditions that may differ from the established America holidays and at times can be ignored, but this systemic erasure can be consciously disrupted. It is the job of those who celebrate and those who govern over these laws that prevent cultures from celebrating to recognize this privileging and to know when to take action, whatever that action may be.
I would like to thank Nicole Nguyen and Terence Lien for taking the time to talk to me about their experiences and culture. I would also like to thank anyone who reads my cultural appreciation highlight in previous volumes and in this volume. If you feel you want to to talk about your culture and experience, I would be happy to include you in the next Newsletter. Also, I highly encourage criticism; if one sees that this section needs to be more accurately representative of the culture or would like to provide clear and precise information, I would be happy to edit. Thank you! andreamartinez@my.smccd.edu
Parent Section
April 23
MC Junior TED Talks
BHS Alumni Rm @ 6pm
April 25
The Hunting Ground
CSM Bldg 10 Rm 195 @ 6pm
May 20-24
College Finals
May 27
Memorial Day Holiday
May 28
High School Finals (Juniors)
May 28
Middle College Graduation
CSM Bayview Rm @5pm
May 28
End of Spring Semester
Community Conversations: Housing in San Mateo ( click here for more info )
Saturday, April 27, 9am at San Mateo HS
Stride for Awareness of the Importance of Mental Health 5K Run/Walk and Resource Fair (click here for more info)
Saturday, May 11, at Coyote Point
Save the Date!
Middle College Graduation
Tuesday, May 28th @5pm
CSM Bayview Rm
Please consider donating to our Middle College scholarship fund!
To donate and support our Middle College graduates’ collegiate endeavors, you can go to https://foundation.smccd.edu/ and click the green “Donate” link on the top right corner of the website. Under the drop-down designation menu, select “OTHER” and type “CSM Middle College” in the box. Your contribution can be dedicated in honor or in memory of a family member or friend. Thank you!
Middle College Newsletter | Winter & Spring Volume | April 2019
The Middle College Newsletter is a student-led and created seasonal update about all the things happening in our program. We hope you enjoyed our first edition of 2018-19!