Samurai Scroll

Sequoia School Weekly Newsletter

Pacific Birds - Jason Eskildsen

In the South Pacific reside some of the most interesting birds of this world. From interesting beaks to bizarre feather patterns, these avians have amazing aesthetics. First, the Inca Tern inhabits the same place the Inca Empire was located. Their most striking feature is a mustache adorning their faces. Present on both males and females, they can be seen by the thousands in the large colonies the Inca Tern creates. With white mustaches against a mostly dark grey, accented with some red, I would rate this bird an 8 out of 10.

Next is the Raggiana Bird of Paradise. Native to New Guinea, the males of this species have magnificent tail feathers of an orange color. As part of their mating ritual, the males will ungulate back and forth before swinging upside-down from a branch, all the while screaming frantically. They have a soft brown underbelly and a pitch black neck to complete their ensemble. Gorgeous enough to have a flower named after it, but being held back by a lack of diversity in color, I would rate them a 7 out of 10.

Last up will be the king vulture. Prominent in Central and South America, they can have wingspans as big as 5.5 feet long. Their feathered bodies are quite white in plumage, looking quite regal even as they consume carrion. The most pressing feature, however, is their warm-colored neck and head, being very striking even from a distance. The king vulture’s unique coloration combined with my own love for vultures convinces me to give these regal scavengers a 9/10. Let it be known that one doesn’t have to look at the Atlantic Ocean or Indian Ocean to find beautiful birds.

Inca Tern, American Bird Conservancy 2017

Raggiana Bird-of-paradise, Cincinnati Zoo 2019

“King Vulture”, National Geographic 2015

Publish Date: Oct. 28, 2019

Is Diet Soda Any Better For You Than Regular Soda? - Luke Meissner

Many people consider diet soda to be a much healthier alternative to conventional soda due to its lack of calories and sugar. However, there’s always a catch and this situation is no exception. Sugary drinks like soda are known to be a danger to your brain. However, Diet soda has recently been proven to nearly triple the likelihood of developing a stroke and dementia than those who don’t. Today, we are going to look deeper into this topic.

Sugary drinks, as stated earlier, don’t really have any notable upside for anyone. This being said, substituting the sugar with artificial sweeteners doesn’t help much at all. People have known diet sodas link to stroke risk for quite some time now. The risk for dementia was not known until very recently. Drinking regular sugary soda doesn’t seem to be much worse taking this into account.

While diet soda is definitely not a healthy substance to intake, this still doesn’t make traditional soda a good choice. It just shows that we are better off drinking natural things and not factory made concoctions. Many younger people such as high school students are not aware of the risks of diet soda and drink it to lose weight or cut down on sugars. While they may be cutting down on sugars, they are just replacing it with something just as worse. This data was collected from

Publish Date: Oct. 21, 2019

Fasting - Ricky Martinez

Fasting is a term used to describe the action or process of willingly not eating or drinking for an extended or specific period of time. This is typically done to lose weight or improve health. Fasting is also seen in certain religions to prove a point or for another reason. Some people even do it to boost metabolism and digestion. Despite the reason there are pros and cons to doing this.

Fasting (specifically 48 hour fasting) is beneficial in these ways: It can aid weight loss. According to a 48 hour fast twice a month will reduce your calorie intake by up to 8,000 calories a month. Just make sure not to eat lots after because you will just regain the weight. Instead, nourish your body and eat the recommended amount per your doctor. Fast for 48 hours, then after, eat normally and don’t stuff your face. According to people tend to “reward themselves” for fasting with foods like doughnuts, pizza etc. It can reduce blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar level is really high not eating can help balance it out. This is because your body will filter out the sugar and fasting will give it time to do so. If your constantly eating candy bars and doughnuts your body will get overwhelmed with sugar and can cause health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

There are downsides to fasting too one is exhaustion. Exhaustion can come into play when fasting because your body needs food for energy. If your not eating your body is not getting the energy it needs. In fact according to stored carbohydrates drop after 24 hours. At that point your body begins using its reserves. You may want to consider a shorter fast period if you’re concerned about exhaustion. Another downside is obviously hunger. When you don’t have food you become hungry. Being hungry is not a pleasant feeling. One of the consequences of fasting is hunger and after you are more likely to gorge down food because you may feel it is irresistable.

Finally, there are many pros and cons to fasting. It can reduce weight, it can cause exhaustion and can benefit but at the same time cause uncomfort. A pro is a benefit and a con is a harm or something “not good.” In my opinion, I think fasting can be done for good but at the same time if for extended periods, be extremely unhealthy.

Publish Date: Oct. 21, 2019

Alaska’s strange summer - Paige Jones

This year Alaska had one of its hottest summers. This is not good when thinking about the glaciers and the water temperature around Alaska. Along with the heat it was also extremely dry so in turn it fueled many fires over summer that lasted into fall. Even with the harsh weather the normal autumnal equinox had taken place lighting the sky with beautiful colors. The equinox signifies the soon to be decreasing sun appearance for the winter season.

In Fairbanks, Alaska the sunlight has been decreasing about one hour every two weeks. This is because it is closer to the Arctic Circle. Alaska had days on days of sunlight so after all the light the autumn plants and foliage has become an amazing sight to see. If you walked up a couple hundred feet you would find wild blueberries that had some frost over them. Along with the humans enjoying the blueberries the bears are eating them preparing for hibernation.

Although there is still visible smoke going into fall the beautiful autumn haze is slowly turning darker and darker eventually coating the mountains in a nice layer of snow. “After the tundra reds reached their peak, visible signs of the inevitable swing toward fading sunlight emerged.” (Paragraph 7, line 2) the mountains get coated in thicker layers from each autumnal storm. Bu winter Alaska will be a nice bright white color once again. The color shown this late summer and fall is gorgeous and very weird because it’s never happened before.

Publish Date: Oct. 21, 2019

October Fashion Trends 2019 - Carissa Cubas

When you think of October, you think of Halloween festivities, but for models and other fashion gurus, they think of a new trend in fashion. Some of the newest trends include long coats, feathers, and other such accessories, colors, styles, and materials. This October’s fashion isn’t just the materials and accessories, the past is making a come back with this Fall’s fashion trends, with styles thought to be gone making a re-appearance. This October’s fashion trends are unique, in more ways than one. Here are some of the latest trends.

Out of the many trends, there are four that I will go into depth in. The first one is a flash back to the 80’s with the wide shoulder - thin waist duo, this trend is one from the past that is making a comeback this October. Another flash back to the past that is making a sudden comeback is capes, in my opinion, they never should have gone out of style in the first place. The next trend is the color purple, purple is known as the color for royalty, and will make you feel like it for this Fall season. Last but not least, another one of this October’s trends in asymmetrical neck lines, these neck lines may not help with the October chill, but it will make you look great.

Fashion trends such as these affect many across the world, and the students of Sequoia aren’t an exception. Though you may not care for it much, doesn’t mean others don’t. So, just have fun with fashion! Whether or not you wear these fashions, I’m sure you will still look great this October. Have a good Halloween!

Sources Cited:

Publish Date: Oct 14, 2019

Defining Drag - Caper Powell

How would one define the term drag? Sure it could mean to pull something along forcefully, but what is it in a fashion context? Drag simply means dressing as the opposite sex. According to the National Center for Trans Equality the term originated as “British theater slang in the 19th century and was used to describe women’s clothing worn by men.” Drag is just another way for people to have fun while entertaining others. Usually people who like to dress up in drag—either drag kings or queens—have a separate persona from their everyday lives. Drag personas will by a different name, have a different appearance, and usually use different pronouns.

Drag has slowly become more widely known and accepted in the mainstream media. With the help of a show called RuPaul’s Drag Race where several people go up against each other putting on their best performances in drag. Drag actually goes way back, the first ever recorded use was in the 1870s. When the United Kingdom’s Reynolds Newspaper used the word in a party invitation. The invitation read “‘We shall come in drag,’ which means men wearing women’s costumes,”.

Drag refers to one dressing as the opposite sex. Meaning there can be drag kings, drag queens, and faux queens. Faux queens or kings are described as “a drag queen trapped in a woman’s body.” Lady Gaga comes to mind when speaking about faux queens, also called bio-queens. They are dressing as their own sex but with flair and pizzazz.

Sources Cited:

Them. “Trixie Mattel Breaks Down the History of ‘Drag.’” Them., Them., 20 Sept. 2018,

“Understanding Drag.” National Center for Transgender Equality, 28 Apr. 2017,

Publish Date: Oct 14, 2019

The Breaking of the Sound Barrier - Desiree Arzate

Everyone knows the historic moment where in October 14, 1947, the sound barrier was broken for the first time. This achievement led the way for many other projects. But do you know about the man who did this? Chuck Yeager, the man behind it all.

Chuck became a pilot at the age of 18 and served in the military during World War 2 and was a very talented mechanic. He was born in a small town by the name of Hamlin, in West Virginia. His website stated, "He had remarkable 20/10 eyesight, tremendous physical coordination, and an uncanny ability to stay focused in stressful situations. Those traits coupled with a competitive streak and his understanding of machinery caught the attention of his instructors.” He was a talented man and that got him far in life.

But his journey did not end there. He was the first man to break the sound barrier. According to a source, “ when the sound barrier is broken and the object has sufficient acceleration, it can burst through this barrier of sound waves and move ahead of the radiated sound. The change in pressure as the object outruns all the pressure and sound waves in front of it is heard on the ground as an explosion, or sonic boom." This was a great moment in history and is relevant because the sonic boom could be heard from within the Santa Clarita Valley.

Publish Date: Oct. 8, 2019

Belgium’s Independence - Paige Jones

On October 4, 1830 Belgium declared its independence from the Netherlands. Belgium is a very interesting country with two main linguistic groups and one other language in between. The two main languages include Dutch and French, along with the smaller one, which is german. All these languages are spread out among Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg which were the lower countries. In 1830 Belgium declared independence from the Netherlands due to a huge breakout of riots, and that added to the already hostile relationship between the North and South. Although this is not surprising due to their history.

Starting in August of 1830, Belgians were fed up with King William I’s tyrannical rule. Due to the extreme levels of unemployment and unrest in the working classes, riots broke out in Brussels. Factories were destroyed and King William desperately tried to calm the storm--but failed miserably. The riots continued until the States-General in Brussels voted in favor of secession and declared independence from the Netherlands. A year later, King William attempted to reconquer Belgium but this attempt went down in vain due to French military intervention.

It has been 189 years since the revolution and Belgium remains independent. In 1839 the Treaty of London was signed by the European powers--including the Netherlands. Finally recognizing Belgium as a neutral and independent country. Unfortunately Germany broke the treaty when it invaded Belgium in August of 1914. Belgium continues to thrive as an independent country even after all the strife of two world wars.Its safe to say that Belgium is very capable of holding its own.

Publish Date: Oct. 8, 2019

The Great Chicago Fire - Amorina Boone

Fire is one of the essential elements that humans need to survive, though it can also be very deadly. The burning flames engulf your lungs and heat your skin until the blood in your veins boil, then they climb up the walls to consume the wooden poles to support the structure of your room. This is what a person might have experienced at the beginning of October 1871.

The Great Chicago Fire is a lethal event that changed how our society views fire safety. On the 8th of October, it is said that a cow kicked over a lantern in the common barn was the cause of the fire, but some people speculate that it could have been started intentionally by a person with a malicious cause. No one could have guessed that the fire would burn for days until the 10th, the blaze feeding on lives and buildings for two full days.

The Chicago Fire ended up killing what’s estimated to be around 300 people, leaving 100,00 homeless. The blaze burned down $200 million worth of buildings to repair it all. Chicago was a dry and windy city, so the burning flames covered almost four miles of property and lives. The barn owners, Patrick and Catherine O’Leary, left a lantern-lit at night; which was said that the cow knocked over. Even with this reasonable theory, Catherine denies that was the cause until her death. The true origin of the blaze was never officially determined, so it will be a mystery to us all for maybe forever.

Firefighters battled it until October 10th where rain dismissed the flames and soon enough it was under control and extinguished. This caused chaos on the next day, townspeople looting what they could salvage which ended up getting the military involved with keeping Chicago calm. They declared martial law and wasn’t lifted until several weeks later when the hectic situation settled. Even with this all happening, it helped to pull everyone together and discuss the precautions to take so that incidents like this don’t happen again.

Publish Date: Oct. 8, 2019

Animals Act More Positively Than Humans With Their Behavior - Amorina Boone

Often individuals forget their manners and the fact that everyone needs to be respected, including themselves. People force themselves to act a certain way to please others, they ignore that their environment is crucial to respect, and many people take things too seriously. Everyone has a role to fill, yet some refuse to take care of their responsibilities; like teenagers. Some humans don’t even base their actions on their knowledge or thoughts, they can follow blindlessly with no questions at all. Animals are always outside and enjoying nature to the fullest.

Multiple things like these are done by animals in the safari and other parts of the world, observed by animal behaviorists and even other professors. They are always true and comfortable with themselves with how confident they roam, and they usually don’t destroy trees, bushes, or any other types of plants unless needed for survival. Some animals hunt in packs or they travel with over species, allowing them to have an advantage out in the wild.

All organisms base their actions off of their instincts, and they always spend their time outside. Most people end up being cooped up in their houses, officies, or school. Usually the only times they go out in nature is hanging out around the park, though it doesn’t capture the true beauty of the outside world. With all of these things that animals do better than us, some can argue that they are more intelligent than us with themselves and their environments; along with the relationship between that individual and the world around them. Maybe humans should go back to their animalistic roots to be happier and less stressed by their life. What about you, will you try to change your lifestyle to be happier?

Publish Date: Sept. 30, 2019

The Benefits Of Service and Emotional Support Animals On Campus - Luke Meissner

Many school campuses, from preschool to college, benefit from the inclusion of service and emotional support animals. Some may think that having such things in an educational environment can distract or negatively affect work production. However, it has been proven that the implementation of service and/or emotional support animals on a school campus can improve attendance as well as reduce stress and anxiety. These animals are extremely beneficial in the classroom, in therapy sessions, and even in the quad. One of the many schools that benefit from these animals is yours truly, Sequoia School.

There is a difference between service and emotional support animals. Service animals are specifically trained to perform tasks or provide assistance that an owner or person is unable to complete due to a physical, emotional, or intellectual disability. Emotional support animals are meant to be more of a companion to the owner or in this case, classroom. Our campus receives support from both types. Students and parents both appreciate their inclusion greatly.

Sequoia School along with many others are ushering in a new education environment. The inclusion of service and emotional support animals have been greatly helping the emotional and educational factor of education. The presence of these animals reduce conflict and outbursts because students will think about how it will affect the animal. Many people would not enjoy their experience at sequoia nearly as much as they do were it not for the support animals. It is for these reasons that many campuses have added this as a resource for student support.

Publish Date: Sept. 30, 2019

How Animals and Humans Adolescence Stages are Similar - Ricky Martinez

Many school campuses, from preschool to college, benefit from the inclusion of service and emotional support animals. Some may think that having such things in an educational environment can distract or negatively affect work production. However, it has been proven that the implementation of service and/or emotional support animals on a school campus can improve attendance as well as reduce stress and anxiety. These animals are extremely beneficial in the classroom, in therapy sessions, and even in the quad. One of the many schools that benefit from these animals is yours truly, Sequoia School.

There is a difference between service and emotional support animals. Service animals are specifically trained to perform tasks or provide assistance that an owner or person is unable to complete due to a physical, emotional, or intellectual disability. Emotional support animals are meant to be more of a companion to the owner or in this case, classroom. Our campus receives support from both types. Students and parents both appreciate their inclusion greatly.

Sequoia School along with many others are ushering in a new education environment. The inclusion of service and emotional support animals have been greatly helping the emotional and educational factor of education.

The presence of these animals reduce conflict and outbursts because students will think about how it will affect the animal. Many people would not enjoy their experience at sequoia nearly as much as they do were it not for the support animals. It is for these reasons that many campuses have added this as a resource for student support.

Publish Date: Sept. 30, 2019

How Does Music Affect Learning? - Luke Meissner

Music has had a part in everyone's lives in one way or another. Music is a form of audio entertainment commonly used for spiritual/symbolic reasons as well as coping. What we are looking into today is if music helps a student in learning or hinders them. Educational songs have been present in public schools for many years because they are catchy, helping students remember key terms. However, the usage of music during schoolwork is not consistently permitted from campus to campus.

Many classrooms do not allow any form of media consumption, including music. While this makes structured time where the teacher is giving instruction easier, unstructured work and/or study time may be affected by this. Many studies have proven that music listening (depending on genre) has the potential to improve work production and/or studying effectiveness. Music can also reduce stress and anxiety when studying for an upcoming exam or test. It has also been proven to help keep students who struggle with attention more engaged.

Based on this information, it is pretty clear as to if music helps students in the classroom. However it’s positive effects may not be as prominent based on genre and/or volume. The music should be calm/not too fast, have limited lyrics, and not too loud. If the music does not fall under those specifications, it is more likely to distract and hinder work production. This being said, there is sufficient evidence to support the decision of allowing music in the classroom.

Publish Date: Sept. 23, 2019

Wonder - Dominic Sinlao

The movie Wonder is a 2017 drama/comedy movie. The movie is about a 10 year old boy named Auggie Pullman who lives in Brooklyn, New York and who was also born with a facial difference. Auggie’s facial difference has prevented him from going to school for most of his life, but as fifth grade approached his parents Nate and Isabel Pullman decided to put Aggie in an actual school. As the school began, Auggie was shy and scared, but one kid named Jack Will went up to Auggie and became friends. As Halloween approaches Auggie, he was in amazing mood and as he approached his homeroom, he overhears Jack back talk him and Auggie went into depression.

Over time, Auggie eventually becomes friends with a girl named Summer. Throughout the year, Auggie avoided Jack. But Jack didn’t know why he was avoiding him at the time. So when Jack asked Auggie’s friend Summer, he found out that Auggie overheard his conversation with Juilian. After learning that Auggie overheard, he invited him to a game of Minecraft where they became friends once more again. So after becoming friends, Jack decided to never leave his side and to stay loyal to Auggie.

The next day, Jack and Auggie started hanging out again, but Julian decided to again bully Auggie. Once Jack saw Julian push Auggie, Jack punched Julian and both of them got into a fight and then got into trouble. After a couple of months, Auggie and Jack went on a nature retreat with the whole school and when they were in the forest by themselves a trio of seventh surrounded them. After Jack and Auggie were pushed towards the ground Julians old friends came and fought back against the seventh graders. After the fight, Auggie thanked them for defending him, and Auggie becomes more accepted by his classmates.

The reason why I chose this article is that I feel as if Wonder can relate to the students of Sequoia. Every single student at Sequoia has been through a rough, and painful time in their lives. So I just love Wonder because it shows that when life is rough all you need to do is push through. Because within the darkness times, you can always some sort light whether it is your siblings, parents, or friends. Wonder has helped so many students and kids and Wonder will always truly be amazing movie.

Publish Date: Sept. 23, 2019

How Music Affects Mental Health - Carissa Cubas

Have you ever just wanted to block out the world? Just to not have to hear the world around you, or experience reality? To just escape? Well, though you can never really leave this world or block it out, there are ways to, almost, do so. One of these ways is through music.

Music has many redeeming qualities, here are a few: music can help with depression, help with sleep, reduce stress, and help your cognitive performance. Music helps with depression through being able to listen to someone else through musical expression, which in turn can boost your mood. Music helps with sleep by having a direct effect on the parasympathetic, which helps your body relax and prepare for sleep. Music helps reduce stress by having a lower tempo to lower the tempo of your mind. These are the ways music helps your body, but what about the mind?

Music helps your cognitive performance through all the previously listed things. Sleep, less stress, and reduction of depression, all help with your cognitive capacity, along with other things such as helping your memory. Music has power over your body that you don’t even know about, which is amazing, as they are all positives. Music is a powerful thing, so don’t take it for granted. Now have fun and listen to your favorite songs!

Publish Date: Sept. 23, 2019

Disney Vs. Pixar - Amorina Boone

It’s safe to say that that everyone has watched at least one Disney and Pixar film. Disney movies used to be all about animation and heart warming stories, though lately it’s been more about live action with their contract including the ownership of Marvel. Pixar creates stylized 3D animated films, so that means that Disney hasn’t been creating movies with the company as of lately. Now what about which one of the two are more successful? Even though Disney owns Pixar, do they really need them for 3D animation?

The movies Moana, Frozen, Tangled, Zootopia and other big money maker films are all made from only Disney, not with the help of Pixar. Though, iconic movies like Toy Story 4, the Incredibles 2 movies, Monster University and Up are all movies that Pixar worked on. Let’s take the Disney productions and see how much they made.

Moana has earned over $600 million dollars worldwide, Tangled is at $591 million, Zootopia at $341 million, and Frozen at a whopping $1.219 billion worldwide! With all of those added up it equals to $2.750 billion dollars without Pixar’s help. But what about with their help?

Up is the oldest movie out of the bunch, released in 2009, which made $293 million dollars worldwide. Monsters University is a bit lower, it’s grossing earnings at $268 million dollars. The Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 both came out fairly recently, though they contrast in numbers. Toy Story 4 earned $432 million dollars, though Incredibles 2 came out with a whopping $608 million dollars. With these four movies added up, the total price for those few Pixar movies is $1.601 billion dollars.

It’s very close, with Pixar’s help it’s a $382 million dollar difference. With only four 3D animated movies from each company, Disney is better off working with Pixar.

Publish Date: Sept. 23, 2019

Fall Heat is Coming! - Paige Jones

Fall of 2019 will be warmer than usual due to a heat wave caused by a massive heat “blob” in the ocean. The location of this named “blob” is in the west coast from Alaska to the tip of California, and expands 1,000 miles inland which is causing a heat wave to reach the Los Angeles area. A UCLA climate scientist named Daniel Swain is predicting the heat wave won’t make daytime temperatures accelerate but cause night time temperatures to rise. Another research oceanographer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography is saying “Since we’re close to the ocean, if the ocean’s temperature is 2 or 4 or 6 degrees warmer than usual, the air will pick up more moisture and more heat, so it will be a little bit stickier and warmer,”. So, this fall we may not need to take out our long sleeved shirts and heavy coats.

The way this mass of warm water affects the climate is by the process of upwelling. Upwelling is when the deeper, cooler and nutrient rich water is pushed to the top and replaces the top warmer water. The opposite of upwelling is downwelling, which is where the top water is pushed to the bottom to replace the cooler water. This creates a process where the marine ecosystems thrive, and the coast climate is cooler than the climate more inland. The “blob” of warm water is messing with that system and is causing problems with the climate and the marine ecosystems. This will not only affect climate change but also the amount and types of food we eat or have readily available.

This nickname “Blob” forecasters are using is in relation to a former heat wave that was developed in 2013 and lasted until december of 2015. Although this heat wave will cause uncomfortable temperatures for fall this year, it will also cause potential damage to the marine wildlife population. The occurence in 2013 had affected the marine life negatively. The heat waves negative impact included “... long-lasting toxic algae blooms, depleted Chinook salmon populations, and caused hundreds of sea lions to starve”. (Paragraph 8, line one). For that reason the heat “blob” will be closely monitored by marine and forecast scientists. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the mass may not last long because it only seems to be affecting the upper layers of the ocean currently.

( Pictures used from Article without permission, all credit due to …)

Publish Date: Sept. 15, 2019

Halloween: An Expensive Holiday? - Desiree Arzate

Halloween is coming up. So Bring out those devilish decorations, and your choice of candy, but of course you can't forget the creepy costumes. Why? Because it is fall! The ghost, the haunted mazes, amusement parks, Those crazy contraptions. But how much are we paying for all of it? Too much! America is spending over 8 billion dollars on costumes, decerations, and candy every year. Surprisingly this is not a lot compared to the other holidays we celebrate. Halloween is only the 5th most expensive holiday with Valentine's day in the lead.

Halloween comes from the the day All Hallows Eve, which is the day before All Saints day. This was a part of the pegan worship for centuries. What came from a day of feasting, celebrating and guiding the souls of the dead, leading to a mass produced holiday full of gholish schemes and haunting pranks. Trick-or-treating has become so popular. But it has also evolved. These times have changed our views. We no longer have the confidence to let our young children go out. We even have to check the candy for blades. Why is this? Because Halloween is now a commercial holiday with untrustworthy people leading it.

As you can see, Halloween is now a mass produced holiday with many dangers. I am not saying do not participate in the country wide holiday, but do not spend all your money on temporary things such as a costume you might wear once. Instead make a costume make treats and deserts, there are many alternatives. And this doesn't just go along for Halloweeen but any other holiday. Be safe this Halloween! And happy trick-or-treating.

Publish Date: Sept. 15, 2019

Halloween Levels in Mario Party - Jason Eskildsen

Hey, Samurai. Jason here to tell you about some of the spookier levels from the Mario Party franchise just in time for Fall. I will compare three halloween themed boards and describe the impact of them on their respective games. The statistics of each board compared to all of the others from their game will be listed below the respective board except for the King Boo’s Haunted Hideaway..

First on the chopping block, we have Horror Land from Mario Party 2. Being the first Halloween level in Mario Party, it boasts interesting obstacles and a spooky game mechanic. This mechanic is the change between day and night, giving players different options. The time changes every other turn, if someone steps on a happening space, or if players go to a specific spot on the board. At night, there is a giant eyeball named Mr. I that will drag a player to the other side of the board for a small charge, pushing other players away from objectives if they are unfornature enough to be in the way. During the day, players can visit on of two Boo to steal coins or stars from another player; At night, however, they can visit Big Boo to steal coins or stars from all players. One must participate in a cup shuffle in order to get items and the battle spaces offer a quick time event at which to best your foes. Overall, Horror Land is a very fun map that requires strategy and skill to utilise its unique features. For tips, keys are very useful on this board and keeping an eye on other players’ positions can really help.

Skipping a game, let’s move onto Boo’s Haunted Bash from Mario Party 4. While Horror Land had its shtick, Boo’s Haunted Bash has the semi-corporeal Red Boos. The Red Boos keep paths on the board open by creating bridges, however they can be dispelled by a player passing an alter in the middle of the board. The Big Boo makes a reappearance in the mansion, with one of the most convoluted set of requirements I have ever seen. First, players must land on one of two happening spaces three times to activate the coffin train. Then, a player must ride the coffin train after going to a specific part of the board while the Red Boos are active. After all of that, you can either steal coins from all players or steal stars for nearly triple the price. There are also two minigames, the piano game for coins and the trumpet game for items. This map is for those that desire to cause suffering and turmoil to their friends and family or those that are capable of thinking on the fly. Make sure to stick to traditional Mario Party strategy, but use the Red Boos when your opponent would benefit from it more than you.

If you’re looking for even more chance in a Mario Party board, then King Boo’s Haunted Hideaway from Mario Party 7. This board is like no other in its gimmick. The board is made of one piece, but twelve pieces. At the start of the game, all of the pieces are shuffled and placed randomly around the board, creating a maze of sorts. Players can not see ahead of the piece they are currently in, forcing them to choose a path without knowledge. The objective is to reach an ending, however there are three. Only one holds King Boo, who will trade the player a star for ten coins, while the others just send the player back to the start. To make it worse, King Boo sends all of the players back to the start when he is found. The happening spaces are risky too, with them letting players get something from other players based on chance, teleporting them, taking away coins, or coin flipping to either get twenty coins or lose ten. This board is chaotic, preventing tips and knowledge from helping too much. In fact, a graph on this board wouldn’t even matter as chance determines which pieces you will find, so I will just show all of the pieces. If you are playing on this board, get the Thrice candy as soon as possible and keep track of which pieces have already been revealed to calculate your odds of benefiting from the remainder of your roll.

As one can see, Halloween and the spooky aesthetic have had quite the presence in the Mario Party franchise. Starting off with mechanics decided entirely by player choice (ignoring the natural luck of board games), the cyst of randomness slowly grew into a being capable of deciding the fate of the players. I hope you enjoyed this article and can use the knowledge contained to be the scumbag who memorized the statistical advantages of every property in Monopoly, Ethan. Anyways, get out there, roll dice, and be ready to pull out your TI-84 to prove that you should have gotten the bonus star.

*Good news, one more article and I get my PhD in Mario Party.

Publish Date: Sept. 15, 2019

Benefits of a Phone-Free School - Fernanda Ayala

Let's start with why schools all around California are installing new policies about cell phone usage during school hours. Students are always tempted to use their phones during class and its hard for staff to watch out for every kid. Some staff stopped caring as much because they know kids won't listen. So, the more kids using their phones the more tempted everyone else is to do so. Teachers are always “the bad guy” for not allowing students to use their phones but what the students don't understand is why they feel disrespected, so i'm here to explain it to them. If you’re a student, you may be thinking “But I don't use my phone to be rude i just want to check it sometimes.” Well, if you’re doing it during class while the teacher is giving orders then its rude and disrespectful. The main thing is they are also worried that other students will be tempted and they know first hand how addicting phones can be.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there are lots of advantages about kids having phones but there are plenty of negatives that I believe impact kids in a worse matter. The more that students are on their phones the worse their relationship and social skills will get. Not having access to their phones during school reduces their ScreenTime by a lot. The students get so used to their routine that they even use their phones less at home.

Whether you’re a parent or student just curious about why the school has this rule the way technology impacts us and younger kids affects us. We are the future and everything is going to be so much different for us maybe a lot better or maybe worse. All we know is technology will definitely be a part of our futures. We will have to make life changing decisions and every part of life affects us. We will need good social skills, the right education, and a good psychological well-being.

Publish Date: Sept. 15, 2019

Why There Should be Time to Read in Schools - Carissa Cubas

Reading is something people either love or hate, with the occasional inbetween, so when people hear of the idea that there should be time to read during the school days, they are either happy with idea or they’re not. Or they really just don’t care. However you feel, it is still a good idea to have time to read during school, and here's why: Books bring benefits. Books can help with a vast amount of things that can help you in school. Books should have a time in every school.

The benefits books range from imagination to depression. Books can help you have better writing skills, and vocabulary, so it can help you with your english homework as well! Books not only help with your english, they can help you in every subject, (except P.E.) because they help with your concentration and memory as well. Is school making you stressed and depressed? Books help with both of those things! It is proven books help lower stress by 68%, and is more efficient than even music or a nice cup of tea.

So, books can help in almost every sense that will help in school, so why should students be deprived of all these benefits? Time should be given to books, even if it’s just to get them to be quiet for a little while! Of course, students can always read for fun, but what about those who don’t like reading? Will they fall behind just because they don’t find enjoyment in a subject? They shouldn’t, so they should be assigned time to read, even if they don’t like it, it will help, like taking medicine, but this medicine provides more than one purpose. Books need to have time.

Publish Date: Sept. 15, 2019

Service Animals - Raymond Bradford

Here at Sequoia we have many ways to cope with our emotional needs including multiple therapy dogs. But therapy animals aren’t the only type of certified animals that help people with their needs. Service animals are also certified animals that help people with their needs, but service animals help people in a different way.

A Service animal is an animal that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Service animals are normally dogs, but can also include cats, dolphins, miniature horses, monkeys, ducks, ferrets, and parrots. Service animals can be trained to alert their handler who have severe allergies to life-threatening allergens that may be in the area, assist in calming and grounding an individual on the autism spectrum, provide bracing or counterbalancing to a partner who has balance issues due to a disability, alert their handler who has diabetes to dangerous or potentially deadly blood sugar highs and lows, alert their deaf handler to specifically trained environmental sounds, including, but not limited to, alarms, doorbells, knocking, phones, cars or their name, alert their handler to dangerous physiological changes such as blood pressure, hormone levels or another verifiable, measurable bodily symptoms, assist their handler with a psychiatric disability such as anxiety, depression or PTSD, respond to their handler’s seizures, guide their visually impaired or blind handler, or retrieve dropped objects, open doors, retrieve the phone, help with transfers or anything else their owner may need. Each service animal is trained to help a specific person in at least one of these categories and it takes 18- 24 months for an animal to become service trained. When a service animal is working don’t bother it because you might distract it from what it’s supposed to be doing. You’ll know it’s a service animal if you see an animal wearing a colored vest that says service animal on it.

Service animals help millions of people everyday, so the least we can do is not bother them while they are working. So remember to appreciate what these animals do for others and for our community.

Publish Date: Sept. 15, 2019

We Are Sequoia

Sequoia School devotes itself to creating a brighter future and a rich learning experience for each and every student. We promote and instill high standards, personalized goals, and dynamic partnerships with family and community.