With the second semester of the 2015-2016 school year close to being tucked neatly beneath their belt, five seniors (Ana Paula Kitos, Jack Hubert, Jerry Maldonado, Morgan Dewing, and Daniel Elmore) openly discuss their high school experience from day one and to what comes next.
The Voice: How did you feel about TL when you first started attending here?
Ana Paula Kitos (APK): When I first came to TL, I was a little intimidated. I thought that people actually cared about underclassman, but now that I’m older, I realize that no one actually cares.
Daniel Elmore (DE): I don’t think I was nervous or excited. I just anticipated going in and doing my work. In middle school I was really quiet, so I anticipated going in, doing the work, and going home at the end of the day. I was really just calm about it.
Morgan Dewing (MD): Well, when I first started attending here, I was super excited, because, you know, it was high school. I went in freshman year with some not so great friends, and I ended freshman year not with those friends. So that was an adjustment to make. I had lost my two closest friends, and I had to adjust pretty quickly, which was pretty rough.
Jerry Maldonado (JM): When I came here freshman year, I thought it was very welcoming. Everyone was friendly and nice. I knew a lot of the upperclassman because of soccer, and overall, I thought it was a very good school. I feel like I made the right choice attending here.
Jack Hubert (JH): I don’t remember much about my freshman year. I think that it was a mixture of nerves and excitement.
The Voice: What has been the best part of attending TL?
APK: The best part for me has been meeting a lot of new friends. I’ve made some great friends here at TL. Also, the opportunities I have been given through MSEL have been pretty amazing. They’re definitely life experiences that I will always carry with me.
DE: The best thing about Terra Linda is definitely the drama department. All the people are involved are great; we do really good work. The drama department is awesome.
MD: We’ve got a lot of really cool teachers here. A lot of them really care about you. There are a lot that are very funny, like Mr. Lubamersky was just so funny. He was a great teacher for me, and I wish that I could have him for longer, but he was great to have. And then there are teachers like Tow, who you can tell really cares about how you are doing. Certain teachers are just really here to help you. I think that’s really nice about TL, the teachers.
JM: Definitely, I gotta say soccer. I’m a big soccer player and winning the pennants I have from it. It’s amazing, you know? It’s an amazing experience. Playing with the boys out there, it’s a great feeling. And when you pass them in the hallway, sports really unites people. It brings us together as one. That’s what I like. Everyone to be friendly and enjoy the time we have together here in high school.
JH: I’ve really enjoyed getting to know all the people involved in the drama department. They’re pretty decent people. They’re good.
The Voice: What has been the worst part of attending TL?
APK: The worst part for me was my math class my junior year. It was definitely not the best experience. I had a really bad teacher, and it made me hate going to that class. Sometimes it even made me just not want to come to school.
DE: I don’t dislike TL. I know some people that do. I’d say the worst part is just that we only have three counselors for the amount of students we have. We need more. We barely get to talk to them. It’s a problem, I think.
MD: Honestly, most of it. It’s not a very good school, it’s not really organized at all. A lot of times I try to go in and see my counselors, it takes so long and getting things changed takes such a long time. I feel like they really just don’t know what they’re doing most of the time. I know that from my own experience, they make really bad decisions. Personally, my sophomore year I had a bad schedule, and I had to deal with the ramifications. I also think that a lot of the kids here don’t really apply themselves. I’ve found that a lot of the kids here come because they have to legally. I don’t know, I just feel that if the students and the staff here put more effort into it, then it could be a much better school. And that doesn’t necessarily rest on the teachers or on the principal or on the counselors, but more on the people that attend here.
JM: The worst part? I feel like the food in the cafeteria could be better, to start with. I feel like there are a lot of cliques now a days, and it makes it kinda hard for our senior class to come together. It’s our last year together as a whole, and I feel like we should be more together because it’s our last year of high school. Soon, everyone will go off to college and we don’t know if we’ll ever see each other again.
JH: The counselors are not as involved with their students as they should be. I’ve talked to my counselor twice in four years. And they’ve both been this year.
The Voice: What has been your fondest memory of attending TL?
APK: Meeting Sessi Fletcher!
DE: All the best memories I’ve had are from drama. But if I had to pinpoint one particular moment, it would have to be after Oklahoma, the final night of the show, everyone had cleared out of the theater, including backstage, and I was the last one in there. I had to turn off all the lights, and it was the last show that Stroeh did, and it was just really nice.
MD: That’s a hard one. I think it’s just certain classes and the teachers. You know, you have really fun days in class. I also really like that TL will sometimes play music for us during lunch. I love that.
JM: Everything I did with the Nicaragua Service Club. That was great. Going down there and helping out in that third world country was amazing. It has been an amazing life changing experience. Winning NCS with soccer was amazing as well. I think just overall, making new friends, and connecting with everyone has been amazing.
JH: I would have to say it was Stroeh’s Reunion Show. That was a lot of fun. And I got to open the show kind of, so it was fun.
The Voice: If you could change one thing about TL what would it be?
APK: I think that the dress code is a great example of the misogynistic society that we live in. And I think that women shouldn’t be shamed for the things that they wear. I just remember that time during our last rally when that kid ran out in a speedo. Everybody laughed, everybody thought it was so funny, but I was just thinking, “If this was a girl in a bikini, it would be an absolute outrage!” That’s just the big double standard that there is with TL’s dress code, and I think they should remove that.
DE: There are a few things I’d like to see changed. The whole counselor situation is one. I also feel like the school does a poor job of promoting the things it’s doing. The talent show is never promoted enough, drama shows are never promoted enough, even sport’s games. Also, just the general spirit of the school I find lacking. Whenever you watch a movie, and there’s a high school, all the kids are excited to be there. I mean no one is going to be excited to be in high school, but still. And the rallies are never as good as they should be.
MD: To have a working AC. Also, to just be a little more organized, I’d say. [TL needs] some people that are better suited for their jobs, I mean some teachers are absolutely terrible. The school needs to do a better job of recognizing the bad teachers and just work on making sure each teacher cares about their students, because some don’t.
JM: Definitely the dress code policy. This is a public school, you know, so I feel like we have the right to dress the way we want to and express ourselves. This is a public school, not a private school. If we want to wear hats, we should be allowed to wear hats. If girls want to come in booty shorts, they should be allowed to come in booty shorts. I’m not judging anyone, I just feel like the dress code is horrible.
JH: Fix the damn rallies! I would also like to improve our counselor’s involvement with their students.
The Voice: What’s the next step for you?
APK: I think that I will probably be going to Australia. I will be studying environmental science in Australia. You know, a whole new start.
DE: I’d like to go to college. I like SF state, that’s really nice. I would like to study film and cinema at the college I get into. After that, I’ll just see what happens.
MD: After high school, I’m going to be attending a four year college. I’m going to be rowing, as well. I’m going to be majoring in biology or zoology or some animal science for sure. After that, I want to apply to vet school and just see where that takes me, like what kind of path that will lead me down.
JM: You know, what I want to do in college is play soccer. It’s my dream, you know, and I just want to go and take my education to the highest level that I can. So college is definitely what I want. I want to be the first person in my family to go to college and graduate.
JH: I’m going to go to college somewhere. I’ll do something and, well, we’ll see where it goes from there. Just want to play it by ear.
The Voice: In your honest opinion, how do you feel about TL now that you’re a senior?
APK: I like TL’s senior year. The one thing that nobody really tells you, though, is how the first semester of senior year is really stressful with the whole college application process. Hopefully, next semester will be more relaxing. But I’m really happy that I found a great set of friends that I love hanging out with.
DE: I actually really like TL. I think it’s a really good public school. I like most of the teachers I’ve had. I like most of the people I’ve met. Everything about the TL drama department specifically is fantastic, and I’m really glad I went to TL. No where else, no other school that I could have gone to would, have been quite as good as it is here.
MD: Now that I’m a senior, I really wish I would have taken more advantage of some of the opportunities at TL. I wish I wouldn’t have procrastinated so bad. I wish I had done better in some of my classes. Overall, Terra Linda is bad and good. I have mixed feelings really, and there are many things that can be done much better, and unfortunately, the things that need to be changed are the important things. But then there are these little things that are great! Like tutoring, offering free tutoring is really nice. So I wish I would have taken advantage of that. And a lot of the teachers are very understanding and helpful, and if you go in to get help, many of them are willing to help you.
JM: Honestly, I thought senior year was going to be a lot better, you know? I feel like now, at TL, all you see is just cliques that block other people off. Our class, or any class, should be more united because it’s like, four years of high school, that we will never get back.
JH: It’s good. I have a lot of fond memories. I’ve enjoyed the experience.