By Matthew Guan
Reopening school has always been a topic of discussion since quarantine started. Not much was known about it at the start of quarantine, and we were guessing that school would reopen very soon. But unfortunately, most of us were wrong about that statement.
Before we get into when we will reopen school, and how exactly, we need to talk about the consequences of opening school, and whether it would be a good idea to. I won’t necessarily be on any side of this argument, but I will state the pros and cons in this argument.
Of course, if we reopen school at around the time that the virus still has a few million cases, there is a chance that people will be infected. That’s the main problem of reopening school. I mean, masks may not help as much as we think they will, as some may take off their masks sometimes, and they aren’t always as effective.
Reopening school would stop virtual online school, and would decrease the screen time for students. One of the problems of virtual online school is that it is too much screen time, and as we all know, that could hurt our eyes. Virtual homework could increase the screen time of students as well. In addition, according to an article, I found that some people don’t focus on homework as much as they do physically than virtually. That could cause some students to have lower grades, which could affect their education. In this scenario, I would say that it is a trade for a thing for another. In this case, it means that we would have to trade safety for education.
Now when we’ll be able to go back to school, as we have gone over what would happen if we go back to school. Most parents have been wanting school to reopen, according to some surveys, but most are also concerned about whether or not we should at what time. One reality is that we could reopen when cases drop to much less than our current situation, but that could take a while. But ever since this new COVID-19 vaccine has been out, most think that we could be reopening schools in just less than a year. I would say that after a few months of deploying the vaccine and having most of the population vaccinated, we could start going back to school. But we should still keep on our masks until we know that COVID-19 is almost totally wiped off.
In conclusion to my statement about this vaccination, reopening school around the time of this article has more cons, but it will be possible in possibly a few months after the vaccination. And students can finally take a break from reading on this screen, after almost a year.
Every year, I celebrate Christmas with my extended family. A lot of them come visit us from other places in California, like Half Moon Bay, and Bakersfield. How are we going to do Christmas this year without it involving something lame like Zoom?
Scared Over Christmas
Dear Scared Over Christmas,
Let’s start by clarifying this: most people aren’t going to see their extended family. So don’t worry if you’re not seeing your whole family. Best case scenario you have a picnic outside with them. So, if you can’t see your larger family, how can Christmas still be fun? That’s why I’m here!
I really hope you found these tips helpful, and I hope you can have a wonderful Christmas!
By Helen Duan
What are electoral colleges, and why do we need them? Electoral colleges are a group of people who cast each state’s official votes for the next U.S. president and vice president. They play a vital role in a presidential process.
Before we talk about electoral colleges, we need to explain the very first phase of an election, which is called the popular vote. A popular vote is the total number votes received in the first phase. However, the popular vote does not determine the winner. Instead, the presidential elections use the electoral college to determine our next president and vice president.
The electoral college is a group of people who cast each state’s official votes for the next U.S. president and vice president. The electoral college is made up in the same way that citizens are represented in Congress. Of the 538 electors that make up Congress, 434 are representatives, 100 are senators, and 3 electors are from the District of Columbia. Each party - Republican and Democrat - selects their own group of electors. Each state receives a particular number of electors based on their population size.
“When Americans vote for our president, what they are actually voting for is who their state will vote for!” states Vox in The Electoral College, Explained. Whichever president gets the most votes of a state gets all of its electoral votes, known as the winner-takes-all voting method. The Republicans and Democrats try to win California, Texas, and Florida’s electoral votes because they have the most electoral votes. However, they must not ignore the smaller states because every electoral vote counts, especially in the swing states.
The two final candidates, usually a Republican and Democrat, need to surpass 270 electoral votes. The candidate that surpasses 270 votes will be the next U.S president. But, what if no one reaches 270 electoral votes and it is a tie? In that case, the House of Representatives chooses our president, and the Senate chooses our vice president. This has only happened once in the 1800 presidential election between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr.
Today, there is still much debate about the electoral college. While some people support the system, others argue that the electoral college is flawed because sometimes the electoral college does truly not reflect the popular vote, meaning that it does not do what it is supposed to do. For example, in the 2016 election between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, Clinton won the popular vote by 2.87 million votes, but Trump won the electoral college by 74 electoral college votes. Similarly, in the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore, Gore won the popular vote by 547,398 votes, but Bush won the electoral college by 5 electoral votes. Even dating back to the 1888 election between Benjamin Harrison and Grover Cleveland, Cleveland won the popular vote by 90,596 votes, but Harrison won the electoral college by 65 electoral votes. So, the questions remain: should we get rid of the electoral college, or how can we fix it to make it better?
In conclusion, the electoral college plays an important role in the U.S. presidential process. The electoral college is the way a selected group of people cast each state’s official votes for the next U.S. president and vice president. Presidential candidates need to reach 270 electoral votes in order to win the election. For the 2020 presidential election, the electoral college will be voting on Monday, December 14th, 2020, and the winner of this presidential election will be determined. So, stay tuned! Lastly, though the process is not always perfect in reflecting the popular vote, there are ways to improve the electoral college for future elections.
By: Isabelle Huang
During the month of December, there are multiple festivities and holidays that people celebrate around the world. Of which, Christmas is one of the most popular holidays. However, there are also other celebrations and holidays that take place during this time of the year. Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are also observed during the winter holiday season. Although both holidays may not be as widely celebrated as Christmas but, they still hold important meanings and history behind them.
Kwanzaa is celebrated for seven days and starts on December 26th and lasts until January 1st. This holiday first started in 1966 and was introduced to the United States by Dr. Maulana Karenga as a ritual to welcome the first harvests’ arrival. Kwanzaa is a celebration of family, community, and culture in addition to reconnect with people’s African roots and heritage. During the celebration, a different principle is discussed along with lighting a candle each night. Additionally, the number seven has significant meaning for this holiday. There are seven principles and seven symbols that guide the values and traditions during this 7-day celebration period. Interestingly, the word Kwanzaa is also spelled with seven letters.
Hanukkah (Festival of lights), on the other hand, is an 8-day holiday which celebrates the rededication of the temple of Jerusalem after it was retaken by the Maccabees. The Maccabees were a group of Jewish warriors from the Greeks in the 2nd century B.C.E. This holiday is important because it reminds Jews about dedication and what they went through to preserve Judaism through tough times. Despite Hanukkah’s different origin, it shares the tradition of gift-giving just like Christmas and Kwanzaa except the gift-giving lasts for eight days! Similar to Kwanzaa, Hanukkah also lights a candle each night. During the celebration, families eat fried food such as potato pancakes (Latkes) and doughnuts (Sufganiyot).
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, and/or Hanukkah during this holiday season, please be sure to stay safe and have a great winter break!
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