Friday, July 17, 2015

Let's consider writing and posting book reviews to UK paper

Shall The Hillwood Herald begin reviewing books for the UK's Guardian? Here's the kids portion of the site, and here's how the process goes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The San Jose International Piano Competition

Antonio Pompa-Baldi
The San Jose International Piano Competition started out as a small, local competition with 35 local contestants and $500 in prize money.

"It's hard to believe how much the competition has grown since our humble beginning back in 2000..." says competition President Dr. Irina Morgan in A Note From The President. "This year marks the competition's 16th Annual event, with over 100 contestants representing the following countries: Armenia, Canada, China, Columbia, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, Ukraine, USA, and Vietnam. We are proud to have all of you here as a part of the competition!"

The Mayor of San Jose wrote a warm greeting letter to the attendees of the San Jose International Piano Competition to the city of San Jose.

"Wherever you choose to explore, I know you'll enjoy all our City has to offer. Congratulations and best wishes for a successful competition" writes Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose, the Capital of Silicon Valley.

Eteri Andjaparidze
The Opening Gala Concert that took place on June 5, was truly something spectacular. Featuring the San Jose International Piano Competition's Judges, this was a night not to be missed! Performing were Krystian Tkaczewski, Eteri Andjaparidze, Pierre Reach, Namik Sultanov, and Antonio Pompa-Baldi.

Mr.Tkaczewski performed two waltzes by Chopin and the Scherzo No. 4 in E Major, also by Chopin. The performance was a great stage warmer, and Mr. Tkaczewski founded and served as artistic director and jury president of the First Chopin International Piano Competition in Hartford. Mr. Tkaczewski gave a Chopin Lecture on Sunday, June 7, at the Trianon Theatre after the Junior Category for the Piano Competition went.

Ms. Andjaparidze performed a Polonaise by Chopin, Op. 53 in A flat Major, with lots of passion and emotion. She has performed "on the world's most prestigious concert series in solo and collaborative recitals and as guest soloist with major orchestras and leading conductors".

Krystian Tkaczewski

Mr. Reach, performing Choral by Bach and Carnaval, Op. 9 by Schumann, performed the two pieces with great glamour. "He founded the Frederic Chopin International Piano Competition at Bagnères de Bigorre and the International Piano Competition Paul Badura-Skoda in Vila-Seca".

Mr. Sultanov, who performed at last year's Opening Gala Concert, performed Polonaise-Fantasie in A flat major, Op. 61 by Chopin. Mr. Sultanov executed the piece with majestic inner grandeur and power.

Mr. Pompa-Baldi, who also performed at last year's Gala Concert and is the President of Jury, performed Grieg's Sonata, Op.7. Mr. Pompa-Baldi never ceases to surprise his audience with exciting dynamics and sudden character shifts within the piece. He began with lots of vigor and energy, making this victorious performance passionate from beginning to end. Mr. Pompa-Baldi flew in from China that same day, as I was informed by my neighbor in the audience.

Pierre Reach

Namik Sultanov

(Any quotes are taken directly from the San Jose International Piano Competition program unless otherwise stated.)

Friday, May 29, 2015

International Day is Here!

Today is May 29 and here at Hillwood we celebrate International Day. It is a day where all the kids show where they're from and each student brings a food from their culture. We start the day with the normal day academics and during lunch time, each class goes out on the yard for a big feast. Parents are invited to come join us. We have a choice of wearing an outfit from our culture, Hawaiian clothes, or uniform. The k-1st class brings a dessert from their culture and the 2-8th grades bring a dish. Each class writes a little bit about their heritage on paper and the 5-8th grade also makes a flag to go with it. These essays give people a little information about each students heritage.

After eating and chatting with friends and family, parents can pick their children up or they can choose to pick them up when school ends. If the students decide to stay, the teachers plan out what the kids are going to do for the rest of the day.
International day has been going on for many years and it is a time where kids and parents try different foods that they've never tried before.

Asiana: "what do you like about International Day?"
Claire: "I like that we are able to learn about other people's culture and it's cool to get a taste of what their culture eats."
Asiana"what is your favorite part about this day?"
Claire: "I like how the food tastes because it is so good!"

A new discovery on two new spices

This article is about a new species of wasp and a new species of  bat. The type of bat is a long fanged bat ,and the type of wasp is the dementor wasp. The dementor wasp injects toxins straight into the preys stomach and then starts eating the prey when it's still alive. The fanged bat uses its fangs to crush insects shells and eat the insect inside. The dementor wasp eats cockroaches and some people say that the wasp is like a passive zombie. There is also another species of frog called a thorned tree frog. There is also a bent toed geco
If you want to find out more about this article and newly discovered creatures go to

Germany may be the Best national soccer team ever

My article is about, the 2014 World cup winners, Germany may be the best national team ever along with 2002 Brazil. Germany was not a World Cup favorite in the 2014 World cup. The favorites for the 2014 Cup was the hosting country, Brazil. By the end of the World cup, Germany took the title as best team in the world.

Germany became tied with Brazil with, 18 goals scored, four allowed, they come out with plus 14 points. The Germans though managed against tough competition. They beat Brazil 7-1, toke down France, and beat Argentina in the finals 1-0. Germany has many young amazing players such as, Mario Gotze World cup golden goal scorer, Thomas Muller fifth best soccer player in the world, Toni Kroos, ande Mesut  Ozil. This is the highest rated  team of all team since 1954 Hungary.

Ugly Fruits

Finn Malone
May 29 2015

An Oakland based company is selling only ugly fruits and veggies. They say that fruits and veggies are just like humans, even if there imperfect on the outside, they are just as good on inside as anyone else. Every year, 6 billion fruits and veggies get wasted because supermarkets want only the produce that looks good.

These fruits and veggies usually get thrown out by the farmers and sometimes up to 50% of there produce that they grow is thrown out because it is to "ugly". Well this Oakland based company is a service that lets people have a subscription and get a box of there seasonal ugly fruits and veggies. Not only that but you get 30-50% off of your payment. They can do this because the farmers sell the ugly fruits and veggies for cheap.

Ireland Votes "Yes'" to Gay Marriage

Recently, Ireland voted wether or not gay marriage should be legalized. 

The vote was 62 percent in favor, the rest were not. Since the majority rules, gay marriage was officially legalized in Ireland.

Senator Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan have been trying to get the Irish governemnt to agree with them. They are a lesbian couple who want to get married in their homeland, but it hasn't been allowed for a long time. They married in Canada instead, but they're excited to finally have another wedding in Ireland.

Fake Orca Summoned To Scare Away Sea Lions In Oregon

In Oregon, the  port of Astoria is battling an unusual problem. How to clear the area of 2300 sea lions without hurting or injuring them. They might be cute to see, but are very destructive, especially in large quantities

The sea lions caused more than 100,000 USD worth of damage just in 2015. Also a lot of feces have to be collected at the end of everyday. They are also a health hazard. The biggest problem though is the amount of salmon  they eat. It hurts local fisheries and if it keeps going on  it may hurt the salmon  species.

To convince the seals to leave, officials have taken away a few docks and yellow taped the edges to discourage the animals from leaping into the boards.

After trying many solutions, they have decided to make a robot Orca to help them and scare the seals away. The whale is made of fiberglass and is nicknamed Willy. The fake Orca belongs to Terry Buzzard who uses it for marketing purposes such as parades. He gave the port a call and asked if they were willing to use the whale. The port accepted.

This is not the first time a fake animal has been summoned. In 1992 they summoned an animal but overtime the seals understood that it was fake and just ignored it. With this newly made version the port hopes that it will work.

My opinion is that it is very cool how they are keeping the seals away with a fake animal. This should be used in the future in other places.


In the new Minecraft update, there will be a new block.  A block is what you build with and some can have special properties.  It is the new pathway block and is shorter by a few pixels than the average block.  The new block won't give any known speed boost.

There will be potion effects, but not the potions themselves.  Because of the new update, cave spiders will be added and they can poison you.  Since poison will be one of the effects, the public guesses that it will be cave spiders.  Other effects from potions will be jump boost and resistance. 

Alex!  The new female Steve.  And more!  Now, not exclusively for Minecraft Pocket Edition, you can change your skins.  Also, another new added thing to Minecraft is boats!  But, you will need the unique to Pocket Edition wooden oars. 

The update is now in the beta stage and will soon be released, soon be ready Minecraft fans!

San Fransisco Food Bank Field Trip

         Yesterday, the upper graders went on a field trip to the San Fransisco Food Bank. It was a really fun field trip. We put carrots, that farmers did not want, and put them in boxes. There were perfectly good carrots that farmers did not use.
          It was really amazing to see how much carrots that farmers did not want. We used gloves to pick up the carrots and put the carrots in the boxes.
          At the end, we put about 17,000 pounds of carrots in boxes. That ment that we helped 35,000 people.
         It felt really good to help a lot of people who needed food. I hope that we get to go again before the end of the school year.
         But we did not do it by ourselves. There were other people in the group that helped. They probably boxed a lot of carrots as well.
         When I was grabbing some carrots, I almost fell in the big box of carrots. That is same for my friend. She also almost fell in the big box.
          At the end, my back was really sore. I guess it really hurts bending over a lot to grab carrots. Also, at the end, I looked at my gloves and they were really yellow.
         This was fun trip over all and I hope we get to go before the end of the school year.

The Loch Ness Monster is More Likely to be Otters

There is an image of the Loch Ness monster that was just recently taken by a man named Dr. Jonathan Wills. He has believed in the Loch Ness for a really long time, but he has started to stop believing in it because he realized that most pictures taken of the Loch Ness monster are most likely otters from a distance. Wills is the owner of the Seabirds and Seals boat trips.

Pictures taken up close don't look like otters, but if you really think about it, the neck is most likely the tail of the otter, and the body is obviously also the body of the otter also. Wills actually went up close to the animal that he took the picture of, and it was an otter. He did say that there are definitely a lot of otters in the Loch Ness lake.

 He also said that he can definitely see how people would believe in the Loch Ness when it definitely looks like it should be the Loch Ness.  "I've been doing this for 24 years now-we see otters most weeks. We never see any monsters," says Wills.

 The Loch Ness Monster: probably an otter. Picture: Contributed

Friday, May 22, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron Inspired Iron Man Glove

Patrick Priebe recently created the "Iron Man Glove". For the glove using the Iron Man style, the aluminum exterior was spray painted with metallic and candy red primer. Inside of the glove, is a laser-firing mechanism, made from brass. It can shoot a high-powered laser from the palm when the wearer flexes his/her hand. Another weaker laser is deployed using a controller. Both go with exciting sound effects.
The glove can do enough damage to impress your friends. The bright blue laser emanates, from the palm, can burn patterns in wood. That's just a distraction to enable the release of a slug capable of causing serious damage. The gadget took Patrick three weeks to build.
Patrick has created many other gadget-like creation. One of his other masterpieces include an Iron Man like gauntlet that launches real rockets and a laser watch inspired by James Bond. Similar to the Iron Man glove, the laser shooting from the watch is powerful enough to burn through objects.

Hillwood Yearbooks Throughout the Ages

The official Hillwood yearbook has recenty been digitally published. One of the posts in the yearbook are about our trip to Yosemite, another about French class, and one about our school dog, Max. Our yearbooks over the years have been written by many different people other than us. This makes both the articles and wrting style very different as we progress.

2009-2010: In this yearbook, articles explain everyday life at Hillwood, including "Life at Hillwood", "A Day at Hillwood," and "History of Hillwood." There was one about Camp Hillwood, plus another about our previous dog (Zach). This is also the first yearbok available online.

2010-2011: This yearbook contains stories such as: "Mrs. Okamoto Day," "A Holiday Party Filled with Talent," and "Music at Hillwood." Of course, there are also pages filled with pictures of classmates and teachers.

2011-2012: Featuring "The Favorite Day of the Week: Fun Fridays" and "The History of Hillwood from 1949 to 2012," this yearbook is very similar to the ones we write today. It explains the jobs of teachers and the daily schedules that we still follow.

2013-2014: Articles like "Welcome to Hilwood: Meet the Teachers and Staff," "Goodbye Ms. Marta," and "Art at Hillwood," this yearbook tells the story of our lunchlady, our art teacher, and the necessary occupations of our staff.

These are simple summaries of most of the yearbooks from the very first digital ones.

Russia Victory Day

Russia's victory day parade

Every year Russia has a victory day to celebrate beating Hitler and the Nazis, it usually includes the west as working together with Russia to beat the Nazis, but not this year. Because of the conflict in Ukraine, world leaders will not be coming to the parade like they usually do. Instead of Obama and David Cameron, there ambassadors will watch the parade.
The only two major countries leaders that are coming are China and India's. This is because Russia wants to emphasise its role in making Friends in Asia.

Jet Packs! Robots! Tomorrowland's Awesome Vision of the Future

In the new movie, Tomorrowland, which will be coming out today (May 22) has many amazing features for the future. The movie is about a futuristic other dimension. It's up to a former boy genius and a teenage girl to save the world from global warfare.

 These are some of the features in the movie. One of them is jet packs. In Tomorrowland, everybody gets around on jet packs. One character in the movie, named Frank Walker, makes his own jet pack in the 1960's, but it doesn't work good as he hopes, but at least in gets him a ticket to Tomorrowland.

 Another is time-traveling rockets. The rocket in the movie apparently launches from underneath the Eiffel Tower.

 Another feature is childlike artificial intelligence. There are many robots in the movie who look like children who want to recruit children who are extremely smart to help them in Tomorrowland. The robots aren't supposed to have feelings, but one of them, Athena, starts to develop feelings after she meets somebody. The last one is evil robots. Some robots are sent to kill Casey, the main character. Luckily, she is in Frank's house and he has many contraptions in his house that save her. Those are most of the features in the movie from the futuristic land in the movie Tomorrowland

Chinese Billionaire Gives 6,400 Employees a Vacation in France

 If there would be a prize for best boss in the world it would go to Li Jinyuan. He is the chairman of China's Tiens Group Company. This leader celebrated the company's 20th anniversary by treating 6,400 employees to a vacation in France.

The people arrived in Paris on May 6th with 84 commercial airplanes. They made their way to the 4,700 rooms booked around 140 hotels around France. They went to see the Eiffel Tower and even got to have a private tour at the Louvre museum in France. They also watched a show at the world famous Moulin Rouge. On Saturday the group went to relax at hotels in Cannes and Monaco. They shopped at a mall exclusively jut opened for their group of people. Then they headed in the Promenade De Anglair in nice and managed to spell the phrase "Tiens Dream is Nice In Cote D'Azur". They also beat the Guiness World Record for longest sentence spelled by humans.  

 Christian Mantel, which was the tourist agency for the whole trip said that the CEO spent about 15 million USD during the four day visit. He says that the employees spent 5 million USD in total on shopping items.

 Planning for this trip began in December when they were waiting for the 20th anniversary of the company. The CEO says that in the future he would like to do the same for London or Rome. We cannot wait to see what this company will do for the 25th anniversary.

The Tiens Group is a company that mainly operates in biotechnology, logistics, finance, property, international trade, retail, e-business, education, and tourism. The company was founded in 1995 and was founded by the man who gave everybody their vacation Lin Jinyuan. The company's headquarters are located in the small city of Tianjin.
My opinion is that it is very cool that this multimillionaire CEO gave this amazing vacation  to his employees. I hope he does it again in the future and cant wait to see what he will do for the 25th or 30th anniversary. I think this is really amazing and sympathetic from the CEO.

By Leo 5/22/2015 10:04 AM Fri

"Letterman Earned Our Love"

After being on TV for 33 years, it;s finally time for David Letterman to leave his show.

Many people have agreed that it's time for  David Letterman to leave, but it's the fas that don't agree.  Even Jon Stewart agrees that it's his time to go.

A 90-minute special was played on Monday by CBS as a tribute to David Letterman.  It was hosted by Ray Ramano who got really famous after appearing on "Letterman."  The Monday tribute was just showing clips that were very popular.

There were clips of Dr. Phil naming the names Letterman has called him over the years, clips of of stupid pet tricks, stupid human tricks, the Velcro suit, and the Top Ten List.

The Monday showing had a whole lot of silly in it as well.  It also reminded us of what makes Letterman so special.  He's really funny and he's always being silly.

David always shared his feelings.  No matter how he felt, we knew he felt lucky to be alive.  He was very grateful for for the doctors and nurses who cared for him when he had his heart surgery as well.  Sometimes we never really knew if he was joking or not.

A line from the article said, "That's a long time for anyone to be on TV, but Letterman earned it, one stupid pet trick at a time."

Written By: Claire P.

       If you do not look before crossing, that might end you.  Andrew Wu, at the time that I am writing this, was recently run over by a Muni train.  This should be kept as a reminder to look before you cross.  It must be a painful way to die.
       Generally, you do not want to get run over.  I think that any child who is dead should get another life on Earth, even though it is not up to me to decide.  I think that this is really sad.

Congrats on finishing — publishing! — the yearbook

Check out the yearbook at, the company that is printing it.

Look at the past books here.

Friday, April 24, 2015

TedEx talk inspires feminism

Finn Malone
April 24 2015

Tavi Gevenson is a feminist  who did a TedEx talk. She writes a blog called rookie that inspires girls, not to be perfect, not to be like someone else, but to be themselves. Tavi thanks that woman in TV and movies should have flaws and not be a perfect, 2 dimensianal character (ie. Cat Woman) that are designed to make men intriguited. She thinks that if you are a feminist you shouldn't live up to a certain standered of feminism.

Tavi has a blog called rookie that has useful arcticles for girls. She loves her website and people do to, thousands of people visit it every day. This blog dosent tell woman to be something, it tells them to be themselves. You can check out her TedEx talk here or her website here.