The real value of art programs

Something that amazes me everyday when I walk into my sixth-period ceramics class is that every student already has their work out and is extremely attentive. In many other P (as opposed to AP or honors) classes that I have taken, including other art classes, the attendance rate is much lower and the students “mess around” much more often.

There is something about the ceramics program specifically that captivates the students at Skyline. In fact my counselor told me at the beginning of the year, when I was fixing all my classes, that 1,000 students requested to take the class (almost half the school). Furthermore, the majority of the students in the class manage turn out extremely creative and unique pieces of work. Continue Reading


College Applications: Not so simple after all

Hello again. It’s been awhile since I’ve had the free time to blog but I thought I would add a recent update on what senior year is like at Skyline. For starters the school seems to be functioning well enough, much smoother than last year. Mr. Sye does seem to have things under control and I’m starting to hear all these new announcements about students who are tardy to class starting next week will be detained (maybe it’s just me but that made me chuckle awkwardly considering how much we’ve been reading about the Patriot Act in government class).

I’ve been enjoying my senior year but it is crazy busy. I’m currently loaded down with three AP classes, plenty of homework to keep me busy, a job three days a week, participating in three clubs while running one of them, and trying to apply to colleges all at the same time. Yes… my head starts to explode probably every other day. Let’s just say I HIGHLY recommend that every student in this type of situation use a day planner… it’s been saving my life.

As for colleges, I’m starting to get overwhelmed and a little lost. Continue Reading


Skyline club achieves goal!

Hi everyone, sorry for the cheesy headline…

Today at Skyline we hosted the national organization Invisible Children for an assembly. They showed a film about the role students played in fundraising creatively to end the civil war in Uganda through a program called Schools for Schools.

Skyline’s very own Global Awareness Club has been involved with this program for the past two years and has raised thousands of dollars. Personally, having organized this assembly I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. I now have a greater appreciation for the bureaucratic process… it’s not easy. Continue Reading


Skyline headed towards change or stuck in a rut?

So I got my wish, I got to see Skyline’s new principal Mr. Sye. Last week there were “class” assemblies at Skyline where Mr. Sye and the new assistant principal Mr. Blye (I’m sot sure if this is how you spell his name) introduced themselves and their plans for Skyline.

One thing I’ll say is that they sure love sports. I fully expect to see a rise in the athletics department this year as both men have committed themselves to boosting involvement in sports. Mr. Sye was formerly a wrestling coach, football too I hear, and Mr. Blye is the new athletics director.

This is great for those students involved in sports but I couldn’t help but feel a little left out since almost 90% of that assembly had to do with sports teams. Honestly, I’m not noticing any big changes in Skyline thus far other than the new rule of “NO HATS IN THE HALLWAYS” that we are reminded of everyday. Continue Reading


Back in the swing of things

Well, my senior year has begun… and I couldn’t be more excited.

Like Isabel said, there are ups and downs to this school year. We get to look forward to graduation and senior prom, enjoy the status of “seniors,” reward ourselves by not taking as many APs as possible (well, some of us), and feel a sense of completion to a long journey. On the downside however, we will have to say goodbye to friends, valued teachers and faculty, and family (for those of us heading off to college). Plus it also means one more year of logistical and bureaucratic goings-on at Skyline.

Like Isabel, I do look forward to waking up for school in the morning, but I too have had problems with the administration from the very start. I love Skyline, and have a lot of pride as a student, but I do not deny the school has some kinks that need fixing. Continue Reading


Summer update from a Skyline student

Hello again everyone!

Katy will be gone for a little bit, so I hope to keep you entertained with a little update about my summer…

I’ve been working quite a lot at the Grand Kosher Bakery on Grand Avenue in Oakland (about a block down from the theatre). It’s really fun but constant moving around so my feet start to get really sore. But I do get to eat delicious food all day and meet interesting people. Plus, having regular paychecks is just great.

As for schoolwork, my summer is not lacking in the slightest. I have been working on summer assignments for both my AP French Language class as well as my AP English Literature class which I will be starting in the fall. And to top it all off I am taking a physics class at Laney Community College Monday through Thursday at, get this, 8 a.m.

So far, summer is not as relaxing as it should be. Continue Reading


Goodbye Seniors! Hello Summer!

jdutton2.jpgI’m glad I finally found the time to blog because it is likely that this will be my last entry this year, though perhaps I will have time for one more. This time I am going to write a goodbye note, but I would still love comments, questions, etc.

The seniors of Skyline High School will be graduating this Friday at the Paramount Theatre.  My sister is among them, as are most of my dearest friends. Obviously I’m ridiculously sad and also incredibly proud!

To all of you graduates at Skyline (and everywhere else): Good luck! I’m proud of you! I can’t wait to follow in your footsteps! I hope that everyone has an excellent summer and congratulations to all you students, teachers, parents, and administrators who made it through this challenging school year! There were some wonderful experiences, and there were a lot of difficulties, but all in all I learned a lot and had a great year. I hope everyone else feels the same. 

This summer I will be working at Continue Reading


AP Exams, still chugging through

jdutton2.jpgHello everyone, I really shouldn’t be blogging right now seeing as my AP U.S. History exam is at 8:00 am this Friday, and studying is my top priority, but I wanted to update everyone about our exams and how it’s going.

AP exams began this Monday (May 5th) and will continue until next Friday (May 16th). Personally, this year I am taking 3 exams: Statistics, U.S. History, and Environmental Science. I got through the first one, two more to go!

But enough about me, let’s talk about AP classes. I get a lot of questions from my parents, teachers, and other kids about AP classes, so I’ll pose some to you… Why should students take AP classes? For the college credit, the challenge, the boost in GPA, or some other reason I can’t think of right now? Is the AP system unfair in certain respects? Continue Reading


Student activism in the 21st Century


It may not be the ’60s anymore, but we students are still out there protesting.

On Wednesday, ten students from Skyline High School who are members of the Global Awareness In Action Club (www.globalawarenessinaction.com) attended the protest of the Olympic Torch in San Francisco. These students, including myself, had all been learning about the situation in Tibet recently, and felt compelled to attend the protest on behalf of Tibetans all around the world. Teachers and parents were incredibly supportive of this.

I am aware that this story has been very controversial in the news lately. I would like to make it clear that we students felt very strongly about the Human Rights Violations going on in Tibet, but we are not in any way against the Olympics, the Olympians, or the Chinese people. They have our support.

It would be very difficult to explain the experience I had at this protest to anyone who wasn’t there. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that to be condescending, all I mean is that it was overwhelming, incredible, fantastic, a bit nerve-racking, and a great learning experience. Continue Reading


Spring testing baffles students

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to post something here. Why, you may ask? Well, I’ve discovered that March-May of my Junior year is fast becoming an extremely stressful time for myself, and many other students in my situation.jdutton2.jpg

Why, you may ask? The tests have arrived. Ask any high school student, or really upperclassmen I guess, and they will tell you that there seems to be no end in sight once those first tests start coming. At Skyline this year we will be taking the California State Tests the last week of April. Following that, AP Exams are given in the first three weeks of May. Finals for regular classes are a few weeks after that in the second week of June.

But, it doesn’t even end there. Many Juniors and Seniors are also taking the SAT, SAT II, or the ACT during these spring months as well. That is exhausting just to think about. There really seems to be no time in between to study, review, do homework, have a part-time job, or just relax. How do students do it? Continue Reading