Thursday, May 28, 2009

Flashback: The Herald Interviews Pixar’s Albert Lozano, Concept Artist

As you may know last week we talked to Pixar concept artist Albert Lozano. We video chatted with him through the webcam program iChat. iChat is an apple application that allows Mac users to chat with each other live, through a continuous video stream.

Some of the questions we asked Albert last week were , "What is your favorite character from the movie "Up"?, and, "What was it like doing the concept art and drawing up the ideas for the movies Monster's Inc. and Ratatouille?"

Albert said that his favorite character was Dug, the dog from "Up". Dug is a dog that the main characters in the movie find in the jungle. He has a a special collar around his neck that allows him to "speak" his mind. Albert also mention another character he worked on, Kevin, the 13-foot-tall rare bird the main characters also find in the South American jungle. In response to the second question Albert showed us some sketches from Monster's Inc. (see one below), and he also explained the reactions that let him know if his picture is good, okay, or not needed and needs change.

See part of our interview, as posted on The Hillwood Herald.

Here we also have a survey of some people's favorite Pixar movies. What's yours?

Last week's special package about "Up" included the following stories:

Pixar's Sky High with New Movie "Up," by Darien C.

Gamer Review: Merit Badge Mayhem, Julien G.

The Creative Process: Characters of "Up" — Carl & Russel, Brigette W.

Behind The Scenes, Zack O.

Getting Creative: The Characters of 'Up' — Kevin & Dug, Irene X.

Interview with Albert Lozano

Last week The Hillwood Herald talked with Albert Lozano, a Pixar concept artist, and we thought that we should let everyone see our interview.

Last week's special package about "Up" included the following stories:

Summing-Up 'San Francisco's Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights'

This book features nostalgic pictures and captions that show Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights in the 20th -century with an introduction.

Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights are located in the Northern parts of San Francisco.
These districts have a rich history and architecture that is unique to "The City". They are mostly residential, but consulates, schools, hospitals, gardens, and religious centers have have made their way in these two neighborhoods.

Houses were simple and elegant, with curves and designs carved on them without being over-elaborate. Because by the late 19th-century jigsaws were invented, these machines were able to produce details on buildings more efficiently, allowing for the Victorian style to spread. Most buildings of the Victorian style were able to survive the 1906 earthquake.

Sources:San Francisco's Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights by Tricia O'Brien.
Images:Courtesy of San Francisco's Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights

National Ignition Facility Houses the World's Largest Laser

On Friday, May 29,2009, the National Ignition Facility (NIF for short) will be celebrating the new laser in Livermore,Californa.Officials have said that there will be an estimated number of 3,500 people attending including Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and laser pinoeer Charles Townes.

How the Laser Works :

In most large lasers, there are white flashes from giant flashlamps. "A system of mirrors at both ends of the laser glass amplifier causes the photons to travel back and forth through the glass, stimulating more electrons to drop to their lower energy states and emit laser photons. This process results in "amplification," or the production of huge numbers of photons of the same wavelength and direction."

Some people have trouble reading science (including me) so NIF has created a little comic strip about where photons came from. It's very cute and it also explains scientific terms.

Source: National Ignition Facility & Photons
, The New York Times

Pictures from the National Ignition Facility & Photons and the New York Times

The Maker Fair

The Maker Fair is were some scientist and "makers" come and show off what they have. Makers are people who make things for a hobby. It is open to the public for all ages.The Maker Fair has been going on for three years, and this is the third. The fair is in San Mateo, which is about thirty min from San Francisco. The fair starts on May 30th through May 31st. The fair is a great place to learn, invent, engineer, eat, and the arts and crafts are great for kids.

The Best of Maker Faire 2008 - Watch more funny videos here

The Big Hillwood Sleep Over

The 4th though 8th grade went to the cabin. It is an annual event but it might feel like a prize for the lower grades because they have waited so long.

At the cabin we interact with nature, go on hikes, play basket ball, and play baseball. Also there is very good food too. We ate Tri-Tip, chicken, corn on the cob, salad, and pasta. For break fest we had scrambled eggs, potatoes, and more.

For the hike, we went to Muir Woods. We saw Banana slugs, Red Wood Trees, animals, and lots of plants.

The So Called "NUTRITION" Game

This new game,"Mypyramid Blastoff" was released this this month by the USDA's Team Nutrition, and is supposed to teach the difference between good and bad foods, and which one's go in a rocket ship.

In the game ,you have to drag different foods from above and put them in your food, gas container, thingy, to make your rocket ship blast off.

I was not able to beat this game even though it was supposed to be easy. I think grades 1-7 should be the range for playing.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pixar's Sky High with New Movie "Up"

First it was Toy Story, then Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc. next, Cars in 2006, Wall-E in 2008, and now Pixar has done it again.

Coming to theater's on May 29, Pixar's newest wacky adventure, "Up," is going to be a movie that will be a great adventure all the way through.

The main plot is about an adventure taken by and 85 year old widower, Carl, and an overly-excited 8-year-old Widerness Explorer, Russell. These two unlikely heroes take an adventure that no one has ever taken before. When Carl, an idealist, releases a huge mass of ballons from his house, his house takes off into the sky. Russell had been hiding on Carl's front porch and joins Carl on his adventure. The floating house takes them to South America. There they discover not only the fat, lovable, glob of a dog, Dug, who is part of a pack of dogs hunting down a rare bird, but also the rare bird, Kevin.

The Hillwood Herald crew also interviewed Pixar concept artist, Albert Lozano, and asked him some questions. He says that Dug was his favorite character. (You can see some of Mr. Lozano's sketches of Dug on The New York Times.)

This movie will be great for the whole family and everyone will enjoy this adventurous comedy. Parents of kids 5- should be around if you let your kids watch this.

The image is from the official Pixar website, and anyone can download free screensavers and posters from the site.

Gamer Review: Merit Badge Mayhem

Merit Badge Mayhem is a game with a lot of mini games in the main game. You are a boy scout doing boy scout things like fishing, navigating, swimming, and more.

The game is a very basic. It is easy to play but hard to win. When I tried I only got to the baseball mini game. I think a kindergardener can play this game because it is easy to play and not violent. I think kids would enjoy doing the mazes, puzzles, and the batting in Merit Badge Mayhem.

Albert Lozano, an illustrator and production artist at Pixar, who help draw some pictures in Ratatouille, Monsters inc, and The incredible. One of the creatures he made in the game was the colorful bird Kevin.

The Herald interviewed Mr. Lozano through two computers and using iChat. iChat is the Instant Messaging, IM application, that ships with the Macintosh OSX operating system. iChat lets people talk to people using ".mac," AOL's AIM, and a few other services. When you iChat, you are video-sharing with someone else. You can hear and see the person you are communicating with.

IM is a type of communications service that lets you send written messages to other people. You are communicating in real time, or right away -- like when you are on a telephone with someone.

This image is from the official Pixar site and it is the character Kevin and one of the characters that Mr. Lozano drew.

The Creative Process: Characters of "Up" — Carl & Russel

Today, the upper-grade class got to interview Albert Lozano, one of the concept artists of the movie "Up". He created the concept art of characters Carl, Russel, Dug, & Kevin, but this post will be talking about Carl and Russel.

Carl is the "square-headed", stubborn, 78-year-old man who has a yearning for adventure. Russel is an excited, young, boyscout. The story is about their relationship and how it grows as the adventure takes place in the skies.

You can hear the director Pete Docter and the production designer Ricky Nierva talk about these characters on The New York Times. You can also see some of Mr. Lozano's illustrations on the site. In our interview with Mr. Lozano, he showed us some of his original sketches for Carl.

Source: The New York Times

Behind The Scenes

In the behind the scenes, they used clay models of the characters to get the main idea of it. A movie like up, takes several years to make. They had to use a black collie for Dug, a six year old for the boy scout, an old man for Carl. You can watch three behind-the-scene videos on CGI Explorer, a website about computer animation. The film clips show you how very different the final film looks from the process. You can even see where they go for inspiration — South America.

We had a friend, Albert Lozano, who worked for Pixar, and we got to Ichat with him. Albert did the sketches for Kevin, the big tall bird. Albert also worked on Incredible's, and Cars.

I hope that I will get to see Up when it comes out in theaters.

The images are courtesy of CGI Explorer.

Getting Creative: The Characters of 'Up' — Kevin & Dug

I'm sure you have heard about the up and coming movie 'Up'. And today, I got information about two characters from the movie: Dug the overweight dog and Kevin the colorful bird.

Dug, the dog from 'Up', was inspired by a Golden Retriever that Ricky Nierva, the Production Designer, discovered on the internet. He is drawn by Albert Lozano, a Production Artist Illustrator. Many times, Albert would have to redraw Dug if Pete Docter, the director of the film, wanted a different image. He had wanted to draw this "big, happy, gullible dog."

Kevin, a 13 foot tall bird, was based on the Himalayan Monal Pheasant. According to The New York Times and Albert, "Pete wanted a complex character. It had to be vulnerable, it had to be scary. It had to be colorful, and it had to be huge."

Sources: 'Up' Movie New York Times Mulitmedia, A Related Article Of the Movie 'Up'

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sleepover at Hillwood’s Muir Woods Lodge

Hillwood’s older students, including fourth through eighth-graders, are going on an overnight trip, from Friday, May 15, until the next day. At the cabin, students will take hikes and observe wildlife at the Hillwood Lodge.

Watch The Herald for coverage next Friday, May 22, of the outing. For now, listen to Brigette, a seventh-grader, interview Darien, who will be graduating on June 12.

Darien, who recently wrote and talked about applying to high schools in San Francisco, explains what students can expect to see and do at the cabin, from spotting deer, salamanders, and banana slugs to learning about trees and tannic acid. Last summer, the Hillwood lodge had some unexpected visitors — spotted owls (see photo by Mr. Eric Grantz). The owls, which are endangered, visited throughout the summer and could often be found on the fir tree by the Zach Shack.

Filmed by Irene X., who recently wrote about the use of electricity in California and developed the survey about ice-cream flavors.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Check Out The Herald's New Photos

Irene X.'s photos have been uploaded to Hillwood's school webite. Feel free to download them and use them in blog postings. As time allows, help write captions for each image.

Read what makes a good caption. Hint: It is essentially following the five W's of news writing (who, what, when, where, why). Also, avoid stating the obvious or using hokey phrases, and always remember -- if you don't have something nice to say, then don't say it. Additionally, use only first names and last initial in reference to your fellow students.

Here are some sample captions to consider:

BAD: Here Juliene types on a computer.
(This states the obvious and spells his name incorrectly.)

GOOD: Julien G., a seventh-grader at Hillwood Academic Day School, is working on an article about how to create your own super hero for The Herald.

The Results Are In: Green Tea Wins

Create Your Own Super Hero

Marvel Comics has a "Create Your Own Super Hero" website that allows people to design and show off their own super hero.You can make your hero's name, armor, and weapons.

Both Vimeo and YouTube are video-hosting sites. Vimeo is newer and smaller, and the videos found it are generally of better quality in sound and video than those found on YouTube. Also, is more appropriate then because you can not add inappropriate videos, and you can not illegally copy video clips.

Image designed by Julien G.

One of the Great Wonders of San Francisco: The Bay Bridge

Daily hundreds of commuters commute across the bay bridge from communities ranging from Berkley to Concord. However many people just see this as a bridge and few truly appreciate the magnificence of this wonderful structure.

Also even fewer realize that they can find so much about projects and other fun facts about the Bay Bridge on and for video coverage go to

As you may know there are many reconstructions going on around and on the Bay Bridge. Most of the work is centered around the Yerba Buena Island Transition Structure (YBITS) and the Self-Anchored Suspension Span (SAS).

According to the Bay Bridge info website, the SAS section of the bridge is currently under the largest public contract in California history. The renovations' main job is currently to re-enforce the bridge to make it better structured in the case of an earthquake. This section of the bridge is the largest bridge of its kind and is quite unique in the way that it only has one support cable attached the a 525 foot tall steel tower, along with many other tiny cables.

On the YBITS section of the bridge the state is adding a 900 foot parallel expansion/detour.

Image from

Last week Darien was interviewed by Irene about applying to high schools in San Francisco.

California's Source of Electricity

Recently, I have been looking around online and I researched too. I found out California's source of electricity. So far, we use:

  • 47% gas
  • 20% hydro
  • 18% nuclear
  • seven% geothermal
  • three% biomass
  • two% wind
  • one% oil
  • less then one% of coal
  • less than one% of solar
The San Francisco County's Hunter's Point use:
  • Natural gas, our primary fuel type
  • Four generators
  • 427 MW nameplate capacity
  • 619,481 MW hours of annual net generation
Source: NPR Website

Current Events: Evolutionary Creatures — From Sea to Land

Paleontologists have found a fossil that belonged to a creature that was one of the first fish to begin to grow feet. It has been named the Titaalik. This fish was still a fish, but at the ends of its fins, developing fingers and toes were suggested. It also had flexible necks, larger ribs, eyes on the top of the head, and the ability to breathe on land. Because of the Titaalik's evolving fins, it could easily avoid danger by propping itself up on land in shallow water. This animal made up some of the roots of whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

Another fossil found was that of the Indohyus. Though it looked like a fox-sized rodent, it was a relative of the hippopotamus and of the whale. Its ears, teeth, and bones resembles those of modern whales, meaning that it spent much time underwater.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Image Courtesy of: San Francisco Chronicle

This is my Wordle:
Wordle: Evolutionary Creatures - From Sea to Land

NASA Timeline

This timeline about NASA's historical moments is still being built. It will take two blog sessions to complete.

Click here to watch the timeline about Hillwood Academic Day School.

Student Assignment: Zach
Build a timeline about NASA's work. Use information from NASA's fact sheet.

1) Go to Timetoast and log in.

2) Click on "Add a New Time Line"

3) Write a name for your time line.

Use this image:

4) Upload the text (events) and related images from NASA. Add as many as you would like. Remember to include the source for your material and rewrite the text to make the wording your own.

October 11-12, 1968
Apollo 7, the first piloted Apollo mission, took place with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele, and Walter Cunningham. (Source: NASA)

Use this image:

October 11, 1984
Katherine Sullivan was the first U.S. woman to walk in space.

Use this image:

July 1999

Eileen M. Collins was the first female commander of the space shuttle. She and her crew launched aboard Space Shuttle Columbia on the STS-93 mission. (Source: NASA)

Use this image:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Build Your Own Super Hero

Marvel Comics has a "Create Your Own Super Hero" website that allows people to design and show off their own super hero.

The site is made with Flash, a multimedia program developed in 1996. It is used to add animation and interactivity to web pages.

Student Assignment: Brendan
Using only this URL, play around with building a super hero (spend no more than 10 minutes doing this). Create your super hero to be posted to The Herald. Before you click "download," have Ms. Moorhead show you have to do a screen grab. This web site does not always work, so we will want to save your creation this way, as well.

Upload your super hero to the blog, and then write a brief story about this website. Remember to include the basics -- the five W's -- of a news story:

• Who
• What
• When
• Where
• Why

Consider the following:
• Did the site work perfectly to you?
• Would you recommend this site to friend?
• What would you change about the site?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Visiting the National Archives Nearby

Did you know that there is a National Archive near Hillwood Academic Day School? Most people think that there are only national archives in Washington, D.C., but that is not true. In fact, if you are in a car, there is an archive only 20 or 30 minutes away in San Bruno.

At the archive, you can do a lot of digging. You can find your roots or learn about San Francisco's history, such as the earthquakes and fires. But you will have to make an appointment and go with an adult or your teacher. You have to ask to see anything and the archivists, who are like librarians, will bring you one thing at a time. These things are usually in boxes or big folders, and they are old. You have to be careful with them, and they are not the type of documents that you might expect. They are usually letters and personal things that people owned. There are also a lot of old newspapers.

Anybody can go to the archive, and there were a lot of people there.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Irene Interviews Darien About Applying for High School in San Francisco

The Herald’s Irene interviews eighth-grader Darien C. about the high-school application process in San Francisco. In this five-minute interview, Darien (who recently wrote about NASA and the Hubble Telescope) tells how to keep calm and effective during the application process. This is a follow-up to his article for The Herald about applying for high school in San Francisco. In addition to Darien’s article, listen to Hillwood alum Jessica talk about life after Hillwood. Jessica is now a junior at Convent & Stuart Hall High School. Next year, she will be applying to colleges. Over the next several weeks, The Herald will be posting excerpts from interviews with Jessica. Meanwhile, Darien will report about the process of applying for high school from the eighth-grade perspective. Reporter Irene also wrote about a recent Hillwood Academic Day School outing for the early grades.

Filmed by Julien G., who recently reviewed a stop-motion video tale.

Hillwood Day Traders: The May Race

Zack O. introduces the idea of the Hillwood Day Traders — students racing to win the May run-off of a top-stock picker. The prize? One hundred dollars, but even the loser should take solace: $20 awaits him or her (despite what the audio says). For more information about the upper-grade project, read Zack’s overview.

Filmed by Julien G., who recently reviewed a stop-motion video tale.

Director Eric Grantz Offers Stock Tips

The Herald’s Zack O. interviews Eric Grantz, director of Hillwood Academic Day School, about the upper-grade students’ stock project. Mr. Grantz was a one-time student at Hillwood, which his grandmother started in 1949. Mr. Grantz has been running the upper-grade stocks challenge since the 1980s. For more information about the upper-grade project, read Zack’s overview.

Filmed by Julien G., who recently reviewed a stop-motion video tale.

Brigette’s Stock Options

Brigette W., who recently wrote about teachers appreciation day for The Herald, is interviewed about her stock tips. For background about the project, listen to Zack O. interview Hillwood Director Eric Grantz. Wait until next Friday, when Brigette explains her views in a blog post. For more information about the upper-grade project, read Zack’s overview.

Filmed by Julien G., who recently reviewed a stop-motion video tale.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hubble Space Telescope to Receive Repairs

Recently, NASA has announced that it will be launching another shuttle, whose misson is to try to repair and update the Hubble Space Telescope.

The team of scientists, ranging from astronauts to an oceanographer, will be lead by Commander Scott Altman. They will be launching in the shuttle, Atlantis, on Monday, May 11, and will be around the Hubble Telescope for 11 days. NASA also has a backup shuttle that will be on standby and will launch when needed, with a week's notice.

If this mission is successful Hubble will be at the zenith of its "career." The astronauts will be repairing or updating all of Hubble's current equipment and adding some new pieces that will help Hubble operate better.

This mission is long-awaited and many people are getting very excited. For any other info look on the NASA website. There you will find prelaunch activities going on and a countdown clock.

Image courtesy of NASA website.

MISSION UPDATE: Astronauts blasted off for the world’s last visit to the Hubble Space Telescope on Monday. Here’s a news report from The New York Times.

If You Give A Pig A Pancake: Laura Numeroff

Have you ever heard of the book "If You Give A Pig A Pancake"? Well, it's a very nice book and guess what? The lower grade students (Kindergarten through 4th) got to see a play about it!

On Tuesday, May 5, 2009, the students set out at 9:20 AM to take the MUNI in order to get to the Herbst Theater. But, due to the MUNI getting there too slowly, they missed the show. Although they missed the show , they watched several other remaining plays that were also very funny and educational.

The book "If You Give A Pig A Pancake" is by Laura Numeroff. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and from birth, little Laura was surrounded by art,music, and books.. When she turned 15, Laura decided to follow her sister's footsteps and become a fashion designer. But when Laura started attending Pratt's, she disliked everything there. She couldn't sew, she didn't like to design clothes, and she lost interest. In the end, Laura took a class of writing and illustrating books for children. When she wrote her first book, Laura got rejected four times before Macmillan finally agreed to publish it. Laura graduated very happily with a degree and a contract for her first book.

To this day, Ms.Laura Numeroff has about nine books published. These include "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie," "Mouse, Cookies, And More," "When Sheep Sleep," and "If You Take A Mouse To The Movies."

Review of What Were Watching

Stop Motion With Wolf and Pig is a fairy tale story about a wolf trying to eat the pig. The wolf goes through the city to eat the pig. The wolf finally corners the pig, a huge pig comes out of the water and eats him instead of the wolf eating the pig.

Takeuchi Taijin created this video by taking hundreds of pictures and then connecting all the photos to make a video. The pig is paper mâché and the wolf is a child in a wolf costume.


Every year, Hillwood Academic Day school, does an activity towards the end of the year with stocks. First you have to invest as close as you can to $10,000 worth of stocks. The object is to make the most money as you can , and the most out of everybody else. If you win you can get $100 real money. If you make the least you get $5. All the upper-graders are playing. Students are following stocks through (Wall Street Journal) and

One stock I am following is G.M.C.R (Green Mountain Coffee Roasters).

Curent Event: Famous Basketball Player's Mentor is in Chinatown

In Chinatown, the Lakers star, Kobe Bryant, his mentor K.Lo is in Chinatown because Nike is just started selling his new shoe there. The shoe is called "Yellow Fever" because that is his nickname, because he trained Kobe. K.Lo is also a street ball player.

I would buy this because, this shoe is very cool, and it is a reasonable price around $60.

Also, see the Wordle about this story:
Wordle: Hillwood's Current Event: Kobe in Chinatown

Teacher Appreciation Week

"A day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives."
-The National Education Association

Teacher Appreciation Week's origins started in 1944 when a Wisconsin teacher, Mr. Ryan Krug asked political and educational teachers for a day that commemorates teachers. Now National Teacher Day takes place on the Tuesday of Teacher Appreciation Week, the first week of May.

At Hillwood, our valued staff includes Mr. & Mrs. Grantz, Mrs. Kuckuck, Miss Tom, Miss Dawson, Senorita Lourdes, Ms. Schmitt, Miss Marta, Ms. Caine, Ms. Anna and Ms. Moorhead.

Sources from Wikipedia

Image: Courtesy of Ms. Schmitt. Click here to see a Herald blog post about Hillwood students performing with Ms. Schmitt.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Life After Hillwood: An Interview with An Alum Looking Forward to College

The Hillwood Herald would like to thank Jessica for sharing her experiences as student at Hillwood. Jessica is now a senior at Convent & Stuart Hall High School. Next year, she will be applying to colleges. Over the next several weeks, The Herald will be posting excerpts from interviews with Jessica.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Irene's Words of Advice: Kindergarten to First Grade

Welcome to the Hillwood Herald! Today I will be talking about ............ the kindergarteners and 1st graders!

My little sister, a present kindergarten student , is taught by the lovely Miss Sybil Dawson. Along with 5 other students, they are learning about various subjects : math, reading,social studies,and phonics. On Wednesays, there's music (singing), on Thursdays there is Spanish(teehee, a foreign language), and on Fridays we have art (there's always fun in that).

The little ones wear uniforms just like everyone else. Our basic uniform consists of skorts or skirts (girls), navy blue pants, polos, blouses, and forest green cardigans. The Grantzes have also designed Hillwood t-shirts , caps, hoodies, and pullovers. On the first Friday of every month , there is free dress. Just like the event says, the students can wear anything they want (within reason of course). On International Day, we celebrate our heritages and can wear out native clothes.

In this class, the grades are from kindergarten to first grade. The kindergarteners don't have report cards although the first graders do. Both grades get their month's work sent home at the end of each month. The kids' ages range from between 4 1/2 - 6. I bet they can't decide which is their favorite lunch since it consists of a variety from the classic pb&j sandwiches to the elegant meal of cream of chicken.

Places to See in Marin

In Marin you could go to the Marin Headlands. There, you could go on a great fun walk on the beach or mountains. In Muir Woods you could walk around the great redwood trees. It is also a great place for a picnic. And the best place to do all of those great things is on Mt. Tam.

Applying for High School in San Francisco

This is and interesting topic and everyone, especially those from 6th-8th, should read this.

Applying for high school seems simple at first, but it can get to be a very stressful process, unless you take it easy, don't stress out, and start early. For example, start looking at high schools when you are in 7th grade, and it will make the process much easier. Look at deadlines and find out when things such as financial aid and entrance applications are available. Look for applications during the summer between 7th and 8th grade. This will allow for adequate time for getting adjusted to this process, which will take about all of 8th grade.

Some of my personal experiences taught me a lot, and I think they will be very useful to you. Some of the applications I filled out were online; however, it is still helpful to have a copy of the applications for later reference. Also, a few tests will be required during this process. When I was at that part of the process, which is usually towards the end, I was very relieved. Even though you may feel like you will not do well, it will be okay, especially if you went to Hillwood. However, one test I took, my math placement test, to see which math class I would be placed in Freshman year, made me slightly nervous. I know that not everyone is the best at math, but don't freak out and if you are one of those people just take some math tutoring lessons or ask your teacher for extra help.

I hope you enjoyed this bit of info, and now I will give you a list of some of the most important things to think about and do when applying for high school.

(1) Keep your cool and stay on top of things.

(2) Start early, as in the summer in between 7th and 8th grade.

(3) If you need help, ask your teacher or the Grantzes, who were very helpful in my application process.

(4) Don't let the process overwhelm you and, never send in something with out reviewing it or making a copy of it.

Listen to Irene interview Darien about the high school application process.


Zach the dog was born in Vacaville, California. Zach is a black lab retriever, and he knows how to sit, lay down, shake. When you say"park", he looks at you and thinks you are going to the park. He hates loud noises like the Blue Angels, for instance.

Zach does not have a favorite room; he just wanders around and looks for places to get attention.

Up at the cabin, Zach just wanders around, just like in the city. Mr. Grantz told the class that when Zach was younger he was able to fetch a stick, in pitch darkness in just about 40 seconds.

Zach can get confused, so often when we go to Alta Plaza, he sometimes tries to "dance" with other dogs. We have to hold on to the leash tightly because  he's so big.

Just recently, the Grantz'es thought Zach had cancer, but they found out he just had arthritis.

Current Event: Volunteers Track Bees By Planting Sunflowers.

Thousands of volunteers are planting sunflowers in the Bay Area this spring. School classes, civic groups, gardeners, nature museums, and more. So far, there has been 25,000 sunflowers and 4,000 bees spotted. They are planting sunflowers because bees are losing their population. This is why volunteers are planting sunflowers in unpopulated bee areas.