Pleasanton is a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area, close to Oakland and Livermore. It was founded in 1894 and is known as one of the historic towns in the Bay Area. We have historical sites such as the Kottinger Barn, the old jail, the Pleasanton Hotel, the Rose Hotel, and of course, our special Meadowlark Dairy! Out of the many cities I’ve been to, only a few of them have preserved their historical essence as well as Pleasanton has. If you’re taking a stroll through downtown you can see the old and new buildings, and how well they are incorporated into the look of the city. Pleasanton also has many fun activities like the weekly farmer’s market, annual PPIE Run For Education, car shows, the Alameda County Fair, movies in the park, and parades! Keeping citizens involved in city events is a big part of creating a harmonious community. Wherever you grow up shapes you. And growing up somewhere you love is an important part of one’s life. I will never forget the beautiful memories I have created here and will continue to create until it’s time to say goodbye.
During the midterms that took place on November 6th, there was a huge turnout of voters. More than 50% of eligible voters came out to voice their opinions. That is huge! I am so happy that people are finally realizing that their voices matter. I know for sure that when I am eligible to vote, I’m gonna be running to the booths. The results of the election were as predicted: the House of Representatives went to the Democrats, and the Senate is still with the Republicans. Our government is now a giant seesaw, yay. This usually happens because, in the past, there has been a pattern of the opposing party winning either the Senate or the House during the midterms. I, along with millions of other Americans, was so proud of the people that came out to vote. I hope we can keep up this kind of participation; after all, it is our government… shouldn’t we have a say in it? Remember, your vote is your voice! Be sure to check out your local election results as well!
This illustration runs deep below its surface. At first glance, you may find it strange that this would be the image used for such a critical topic; but once I read about the meaning behind it I thought this was a great way to portray the division that has taken over our country. Editor Edward Felsenthal wrote a great piece explaining what the tree, colors, and stars represent on this week’s TIME magazine cover. I recommend you all read it. But more importantly, this weeks issue addresses a topic that is destroying our country… hate. We need to bring awareness and show people that there is hope left for change in this divided country. One way to do that is to vote; remember, don’t think your vote doesn’t matter, because, every vote matters.
There are 7 days, 17 hours, 11 minutes, and 45 seconds left to vote! So go do it quick!
If you want to keep track of how much time you have left to vote, here’s a link. BUT DO IT SOON!
November 6th, the last day to cast your vote. I would like to urge all of you that can vote to take a long hard look at the world. What would you like to fix, because we all know there is much to do. Don’t sit around and talk about it, take action… VOTE. Everyone above the age of 18 has the privilege to express their opinions and make them have an impact. Don’t think your vote doesn’t matter, every vote matters.
If I could vote, I would vote for gun control. I advocate for gun control and think that in order to make a change, young people need to take action; they can’t wait for change to happen while they’re just sitting around. Gun violence doesn’t wait for anyone. It just happens. Every day when we turn on the news gun violence is there without fail; we need to change that. Every vote that’s not in that box, could be another life lost.
GET OUT THERE AND VOTE.
Can you hear me?
In a recent TIMES article, writers Abigail Abrams and Melissa Chan created a brilliant piece compiled of stories and essays written by people on both sides of the “gun war”. For me, it was eye-opening to read people’s stories and experiences, and how guns affected them personally. We are so caught up in expressing our views that we forget to listen to others. Now I know, some people are truly not worth listening to; so don’t waste time on people that aren’t sincere. Listen to people who are willing to listen to you too. This article made me realize why others were supporting the 2nd Amendment and guns. Not people who got anything out of it, just normal, everyday people; people like me. Though I may not agree with them, I can now see from their perspective. In order to get anywhere with this neverending conflict, we need to listen to each other. We can’t be “listening” to someone when we are just waiting for our turn to say what we feel. We need to try and understand where the other person is coming from.
We need to want to listen.
This past summer the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School went on a summer tour. Stops on this trip included cities in Iowa, Texas, Connecticut, South Carolina, and my very own state, California. In Florida itself, the MSD students stopped in more than 25 districts. Most of the destinations were either places that were directly affected by gun violence, like Oakland, CA or places where local politicians had taken money from the NRA. The students’ goal was to get people all over the country “educated, registered, and motivated to vote”. In addition to that, the kids wanted to expose people who advocated or took money from the NRA. Overall, after bringing attention to the problem at hand, they wanted to uncover the little things that affected the entirety of the situation. One of the survivors from the MSD shooting, David Hogg said in an interview with Buzzfeed, “I think that it’s important that we include everybody in this conversation because it’s everybody that’s affected by this issue, and we have to work together to solve it. And I think being on the ground is the best way to do that. Just a handshake or looking somebody in the eye, rather than speaking to them through the TV, is a lot more impactful.” And Hogg is right. After the iconic March For Our Lives, a nationwide revolution, citizens were motivated than ever to take action. MSD students write, “… we showed our politicians that we refuse to accept gun violence as an unsolvable issue. Now it’s time to turn our energy into action.” Focusing on how the world or nation should change comes after focusing on how you yourself can change. So we now have to wait and see if this inspiring trip influenced youngsters in our communities to step forward and make the change that starts with themselves.
Click this link to learn more about the “Road To Change” project!
We were in Frankfurt, Germany heading to Berlin. We went to our gate and got ready for the next plane ride. Obviously, the icing on the cake was when I got hit with major jet lag. I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open. But it’s totally all ok because I was in Europe. At last, we landed at our final destination for the day, Berlin. First, we met our awesome tour director, JOHNNY. A little intro to Johnny: Lives in Germany, “flexitarian” (sometimes vegetarian sometimes not), loves talking about sausages, classic one-liners, loved by literally everyone. Well after that we met up with the other EF group from Idaho and headed out into the city. After leaving our bags at the hotel, we took the local train, it was kind of like BART, to Alexanderplatz. From there we walked to a restaurant for dinner. I had pork mixed with beef (I think) with a side of rice. It was so good. But honestly, the portions in Europe are huge. So big. I could barely finish. And if you have ever met me, you know I’m the world’s slowest eater. Everyone would be done with his or her food and onto dessert and I’d still be on my second bite of the main course. Something else I thought was cool was that in Europe you can drink beer if you’re above the age of 16, so I missed out, but some of the older kids freaked out. After we were done eating we walked back to the train station, and from the train station back to the hotel. I bunked with my friend and then 4 other girls that I got to know really well later on. They have all become my really close friends and I’m so glad that this trip has brought me closer to so many new and amazing people. I think these are once in a lifetime opportunities and meeting new people and exploring different places is something everyone should do. So just as a side note, if anyone is interested in a trip like this I have information below about a trip to Thailand that my teacher is doing next year. You should all go check it out and tell anyone who is interested! Anyway back to my day… We all showered, finally, after 2 long days of feeling absolutely gross. After freshening up we got in bed. Once our heads hit the pillows, we were out.
Here is the google doc with all the information about next year’s summer trip to Thailand, be sure to check it out and enroll!
As I hugged my mom goodbye the caravan of cars pulled up in front of Ms. Z’s house. Five big black cars, because of course, we had to arrive at the airport in style. We loaded our bags in the trunk and piled in. I scooted into the seat and introduced myself to the two girls in the back. Another girl came in and sat down, and finally, Ms. Z sat in the front. I waved goodbye to my mom and blew her a kiss, after that, we were finally on our way to Europe. At the airport, I met up with my friends who hadn’t taken the shuttle. Passport and boarding pass in hand we got in line to check in our bags. After check-in, it was security and then off to our gate. We boarded the plane and I went to my seat. I ended up sitting next to one of my water polo teammates for the next 11 hours, which was fine by me. You could tell by the looks on all our faces how much fun the plane ride was going to be… so much fun. Slowly I drifted off to sleep…