Friday, October 23, 2009


As you may know, The Hillwood Herald interviewed Zara (aka "Words") from the Design for Giving Contest two weeks ago. Though we live across the world from each other (Zara lives in India), one thing we did have in common was our love for manga anime.

Manga is the Japanese form of a comic book. It is becoming increasingly popular in the Western world, and might even surpass the conventional Western comic book in popularity. Japanese manga is much more graceful and fluid than the average American comic book, the words flowing from each page to the next. Japanese manga-styled people are also pretty stylized, barely recognizable as human compared to one.

Animes are Japanese animations, usually based on successful mangas or Japanese light novels.
Some of the most famous mangas/animes include Astroboy by Osamu Tezuka, Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi, and Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo.

There four different genres of manga/anime most known in the Western world:

Kodomo: for children (ex: Doraemon, Happy Happy Clover...)
Shounen: for boys (ex: Naruto, Full Metal Alchemist, Bleach, Death Note...)
Shoujo: for girls (ex: Sailor Moon, Fruits Basket, Hell Girl, Vampire Knight...)
Seinen: for adults (ex: Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop...)

In addition, there are also many subcategories. Do not take manga and anime lightly, as they are more than the Sunday comics. Some are not appropriate for all ages, so it's a good idea to check the suggested age rating.

Pictures belong to: Nagaru Taniga (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya), Yana Toboso (Kuroshitsuji) , and Shiro Masamune (Ghost in the Shell)
picture sources :,,

By Brigette W.

I am What I Learn Through Nature

This video was about education and nature combinied together. I learn education was more precious than all the money. I also learn that we should save our earth and not liter.

By Brandon W.

I Am What I Learn Contest

In the first video, Brandon is asking Samantha about where she wants her career to go. In two other videos, I asked Jennifer and Oliver, "What bothers you about San Francisco?" Their remark was, "The weather." In another video, Samantha asked Mrs. Woods, our teacher, "What inspires you to learn?" Mrs. Woods said, "Meeting students everyday to come eager to learn is an inspiration today."

In another video, Samantha asks Rubina, "How has your learning and education the person who you are." Rubina is amazing on the piano she plays beautifully. Brandon asks Lance about what inspires him to learn, what he is your favorite subject and what do you want to be when you grow up. In the last video, Brandon says he just wants a good education.

By Anya J.

Video credits: Irene, Samantha, Anya, Rubina

Enjoying Nature

Crowdsourcing b flat

This video of Bb 2.0 is amazing because, it shows people from all over the world playing the same note, the b note, so, even though we are all different some how, we are all still similar in some way.

collaborative music and spoken-word project organized by Darren Solomon.

The Faust Demon

Dr. Faustus sells his soul to a devil named Mephistofield. Then he starts having fun being invisible and hitting the pope. He even makes a car out of lemon. He meets the president, kisses Helen of Troy, and brings Alexander the Great and his Paramour to the present. He basically is the ruler of the world. Then he starts losing his time on earth and starts getting desperate and backs down on his deal to serve the devil and Mephistofield burns him and brings him to Hell.

More Planets Found

Researchers at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla facility in Chile have discovered 32 new planets outside the solar system which takes the number of "exoplanets" up to a whooping 400!

Your probably wondering, what the heck is an exoplanet is. Well, an exoplanet or extrasolar planet, is a planet beyond our solar system that orbits a star other than the sun. They found it using a a 3.6m telescope.

Student Teacher

A 16 year old student in India spends named Baber Ali pays for his education. Even though he pays for his education he has to be the one who teaches the students not a teacher. There are only 10 volunteer teachers teaching and 800 students trying to learn.

If i had to teach my own class I would be stressed out. I wouldn't think i can teach a class. Its easier to be taught then to teach. I am blessed that I don't have to pay for education and that I don't have to teach a class. That is to much pressure and to much responsibility.

The students in UK are interviewing Baber Ali on how he likes teaching and what does he do. He likes teaching. His favorite subjects are history, English, and political science. At school he teaches history and English. He enjoys his job a lot, he has been wanting to be a teacher ever since he was a child. He teaches for free because he know that many students and parents can't pay for an education.

An Update on The Hillwood Herald Class

It's healthy for me to report about The Herald's class. **

Recently, we have done a lot of things in class. We contacted Zara on iChat and we interviewed her about India, the contest, and many others. All of us got to speak to Zara and Zara also got to see us! We learned quite a bit about India. The weather varies in different parts but where Zara lives is pretty hot. She also mentioned Indian food being really really spicy but good.

The Herald staff is also going to enter the "I Am What I Learn Contest". We will send in a video talking about why education is important to us and how it will help us.

We are going to send a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and try to get her to come in for an interview. We are still in the process of mailing it but we hope that she will accept! It will be very interesting to know how she works.

Anyways, wanted to give an update about what The Hillwood Herald in class. Bye!!

I am What I Learn Video

This is a video about nature and how cars and planes can ruin nature by polluting the air.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Applying For High School: Part 1

Hi everyone. This year, I am in eighth grade and applying for high school. My top choices are: Lowell High School, Sacred Heart Cathedral High School, and Lick-Wilmerding High School. In my process this year, I want to write a guide about it. I took some tips from Darien C., another fellow Herald reporter. He just graduated from Hillwood a few months ago and made it in to Sacred Heart. Right now, I am gathering applications and filling them out. For a few, I also have to write an essay. The topics of the essays varies depending on the school and what they are interested about in the applicant. In my case, the topics are hardship, online school education, and how I will develop time to the school. The deadlines for the applications vary. Some are in November, others are in December.

**Watch this video of me interviewing Darien about high school.**

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Applying for High School?

Even if you aren't an eighth grader yet, you might want to consider reading Darien's tips and watching this video (with Irene interviewing) about applying for high school in San Francisco. Plus, there is Jessica, also a Hillwood graduate, and her video about life after Hillwood.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Moon Crash Update

At 4:30 am last Friday, NASA launched a space craft, LCROSS, in search for water on the moon.

The spacecraft was going to be remotely controlled to crash on Cabeus, the target crater. After the crash occurs, a huge cloud of debris emerging from the dark crater into the sunlight, will be analyzed by detectors aboard LCROSS.

There are going to be three main parts of the rocket. The Centuar rocket, which is going to crash. The Shepherding spacecraft which steers the Centaur, and analyzes the plume, and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which maps the enviornment and pinpoints possible target craters for the crash. (You can watch the separation of the rocket here.)

Read Zack's poem, also posted on The Hillwood Herald this week.

Hillwood's 60th Anniversary in Muir Woods

Last Sunday, Hillwood went to Camp Hillwood in Muir Woods. The occasion was the 60th anniversary for Hillwood Academic Day School.

We first had a BBQ then a long hike. We got many pictures of the woods. There weren't any deer but there were lots of trees. I loved the hammock at the camp. Everyone had a lovely time.

The hike was long and hard but I mainly liked stone stacking. There was a fun Pinata to whack. Don't forget about the candy. There was also a lot of singing with Ms. Gayle Shcmitt. Mr. Eric Grantz, the owner, hosted this wonderful BBQ. There was lots of desserts and lots of dumplings and meat. The camp is were Hillwood's summer program takes place each year.

Trip to Muir Woods!

The Hillwood school went to Muir Woods on Sunday. The school was celebrating Hillwood's 60th anniversary. Hillwood took a trip to hike in Muir Woods on Sunday. We had a great B-B-Q and and our music teacher sang songs with her. (Our teacher, Mrs. Schmitt is in the video shown above.)

Hillwood played volley ball, and ran at the creek.We had lots of fun. There were lots of kids that used to go to Hillwood Academic. There was about 40 to 50 kids at the Hillwood cabin. The Grantz family were the ones who aranged this cabin meating. Our music teacher Mrs. Schmitt was there. She is the one who started the band Toodala Ramblers. You could go to her site www. and listen to more of her songs.

Or you can watch this photo essay that I made below. Also, there are photos on the school's website from the picnic.

The Field Trip to the Palace of Fine Arts

Wednesday October 14 ,2009 the upper class at Hillwood Academic Day School went on a field trip to the Palace of Fine Arts to watch Chamber Theater's Production of these short stories: The Tell -Tale Heart, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Monkey's Paw, The Necklace, and The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (see Rubina's post with a video showing Mrs. Schmitt celebrating this story).

First the whole class walked all the way to the Palace of Fine Arts. It took us 20 minutes to walk all the way there. When we arrived we have to wait in long line. When the wait was done we have to wait for the shows done. After all the wait was done we watch The Tell-Tale Heart then we watch The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Later we have to wait 10 min. for the actors to change clothing for the other act. When the break was done we watch The Monkey's paw then The Necklace last we watch The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

When the plays was done we walked all the back to school it was tiring. Finally we ate pizza to celebrate Lance's 10 birthday.

By Brandon Wong

top stories of the year

An amateur treasure hunter, Terry Herbert, had found two months ago the largest amount of Anglo-Saxon on farmland. Before Terry found the treasure he was walking with his metal detector for 18 years. Terry found the treasure on the farm so, the farmer who owned the farm got half of the treasure. Most of the treasure was war loot, like seventh century crosses and sword decorations. Expert archaeologists were shocked when they heard the news.

They were shocked because that wasn't the largest hoard but the only hoard. "It was an amazing discovery", say expert archaeologists. It contained around 1300 treasure half of it was gold and another half silver.The treasures are gonna be transferred to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. There was a conference to plan were the treasure would go.

For more information read this New York Times article.

Photo credit: The New York Times

Video credit: Google videos

this post was one of my favorite posts this year!
because it explained about what people used to fight and what jewelry they wore a long time ago.

2)  In twenty years I would reuse, reduce, and recycle to make the world better.

3)I would want to play pro sports.


Cornell University's professor William Strunk wrote a book about the rules of grammar that Cornell's Big Red basketball used for their Sweet Sixteen game versus Kentucky wildcats.

Cornell's coach Steve Donahue says that "we won't just hold the ball because they are very athletic but then were just gonna loose." To win Cornell needs talented players like Ryan Whitman. But Whitman also pulled some guiding principles for the team fromThe Elements of Style. You can hear more about the book and the team at NPR.

Strunk and White wrote a book on the rules of grammar. This book is usually given to High School and College students for their classes. It was was originally published in 1918 and called The Elements of Style. It has a list of misused words to help people write better.

5) My favorite songs are elevator, lose yourself, forever, forever young, and till I collapse.

6) I like the weather in San Francisco, and I like it because it always changes from cold to warm and from sun to rain.

7)The best things about hillwood are the teachers, students, and education. the teachers and students are very nice.

8) Hillwood is a great school it  is high in education and it is very fun.  Everyone in hillwood is very nice and funny

9)I predict that in twenty years people will be able to fly.

10) To include  the lower graders in the yearbook would be to take pictures of them, to put in the yearbook.

s an old band from Chicago, Illinois. They are now in Los Angeles. The band has four members, Damian Kulash (lead vocals and guitar), Tim Nordwind (bass guitar and backing vocalist), Dan Konopka (drum and percussion), and Andy Ross(keyboard, guitar, and backing vocals).

In 1998 OK Go released 2 albums and "Here It Goes Again" won the band a Grammy Award. In 2007 they got "Best Short-Form Music Video."

The band came to be by meeting when they were 11 years old. They called the band OK Go because their art teacher would say "OK Go" when they were drawing. They kept in touch after camp and sent each other mix tapes. They met Andy Duncan in high school and who was replaced later by Andy Ross. They met Dan Konopka (a drummer) in college. OK Go formed in 1998.

The following video s

I Am What I Learn Contest, What Should Hillwood Do? Send Us Your Ideas

These are ideas the we may put on our "I Am What I Learn" video. One idea is we should talk about our family, what we learned and how it made us who we are, and friends.

My family helped me learn how to behave and my friends have taught me to get along with each other. My education has made me who I am because when I started gymnastics I wasn't very good, but still today I'm not very good but I still learned.When I started soccer I was fine, but my team wasn't very good we were all picking on our soccer jersey. My coach was awful she did'nt really do anyting to help, I barely learned anything.The next year I went to a much better coach and I learned much more. Well...those are my experiences.

Please put your answers to what inspires you to learn in the suggestion box on the shelf by the school's front door.

Photo credit: Irene X.

Where I'm From, a Poem

I am from a 1904 dwelling,
from Facebook and Halo.
I am from a San Francisco Victorian.
(White, gold, blinding in the sun.)
I am from the sunflower
the blackberry bush
whose prickly spines, left bloodstainsleft bloodstains on my shirt.

I’m from Christmas and brown hair

from Steve and Deborah.

I’m from the sharp-witted,

and the sharp-tongued.

From every type of cookie imaginable from my grandma’s kitchen

to knowing every wildflower on Mt. Tamalpais.

I’m from the natural world,

roaring waterfalls, towering granite cliffs, and peaceful meadows.

I’m from the Owen’s, and the Walkup’s,

from chocolate chip cookies and Whisky Pie

From the father who rolled a jeep when he was 16

to the sister who picks up deadly scorpions and lived.

I'm from the gallery of photos on the wall

that greet me every morning like the morning sun.

I am from Grandpa Owen's fishing yarns

and the gavel he had carved from William Penn's tree.

I am from Grandpa Walkup's radio that no longer sings to me.

I'm from flamenco guitar flowing through my fingers with lightning speed.

I'm from the depths of the cool clear water which cover the earth

like sugar on a lollipop.

I am from warm summer days with gentle breezes

that whisper of trout swimming in the high mountain lakes.


Zack Owen-Walkup

Friday, October 9, 2009

Design for Giving Contest

A school in India has made a contest called the "Design for giving contest." They are trying to make India better and have been asking questions about how would they can help change India, the city they live in.

The Hillwood Herald is also asking these questions here -- in San Francisco and the United States. What bothers us and what can we do?

What bothers you? Put your suggestions in the box on the front counter.

Today, The Herald staff interviewed Zara, who is 18 and works on the contest. We used Skype to video chat with her. We also used iChat (AIM) to write her. We had some technical difficulties, but she was patient and it finally worked. We have also written to her using email. You can read her note to us at the end of this article.

Over the next few days, we will post some video and audio from our interview with Zara.

Zara was very nice to speak to us for so long. It was also very late for her at night because of the time difference.

Below are links to some of the questions we asked:

Anya and Rubina
Julian F.

Below is one video from the "Design for giving contest":

The following is a note from Zara A., our contact in India for the Design for Giving Contest.

My name is Zara A., I just turned 18 and i am totally loving it! I am 100% indian though i have almost no command over any indian languages, i prefer to think of myself as linguistically challenged. I joined the "Design for Giving Contest" Team because my mom and Mrs Kiran Sethi, Principal of Riverside school, were college roommates and know each other well. I actually moved from Chennai, a city in the south of India, to Ahmedabad, which is in the west, to work on the competition. I just finished highschool and am currently doing a gap year to primarily introspect because I, like most teenagers, am not entirely sure what i want to do with my future.

The original team that worked on the contest was aged about 18 to 21 (me being the youngest technically) and we all served different purposes. I was in charge of letter writing, press releases, website content etc. so they nicknamed me 'Words'. It was an amazing experience to see how people who had just met each other formed a team that worked very well with one another and managed to actually produce something as large as the Design for Giving Contest. All together on of the most memorable things ii have ever done and i am so glad that you guys want to be apart of it =D

Looking forward to speaking to the kids! if you need any more answers please feel free to email me! oh and warn them that i do have an indian accent so they might have to speak slowly for me to understand and vice versa.

Lance wrote part of this story and then other Herald writers contributed.

Photo credits: Images of Ahmedabad are from Wikipedia; the photo so Zara is from Zara.

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The President Announces National Literacy Information Awareness Month

President Barack Obama declared the whole month of October information literacy awareness month. He declared this, Thursday, October 1, 2009, and today, he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

This month is when we work harder on our work, like, math, literature, history, and science.So, we can grow up and get good jobs and make a difference for are country. The president gave his speech at the White House. Here are some excerpts from his speech, which you can read here:
  • Rather than merely possessing data, we must also learn the skills necessary to acquire, collate, and evaluate information for any situation. This new type of literacy also requires competency with communication technologies, including computers and mobile devices that can help in our day-to-day decisionmaking.

  • National Information Literacy Awareness Month highlights the need for all Americans to be adept in the skills necessary to effectively navigate the Information Age.

  • In addition to the basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic, it is equally important that our students are given the tools required to take advantage of the information available to them.

  • The ability to seek, find, and decipher information can be applied to countless life decisions, whether financial, medical, educational, or technical.
I would like to thank The New York Times, because I got the picture from them. In this picture, he is speaking about winning the award.

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I am What I Learn

I learn to try my best in school. It made me feel that I can do it. The contest made me touch. It can make other people have a good education. The video can help other students that they can do better at school. I can do it and you can do it too. I can do it and you can do it. When I saw the video it can make all of you do better at school. If you don't believe me go to YouTube then. We can make a better future for all of us.

By Brandon

In this photo, Samantha interviews Brandon about his story about the Design for Giving contest from last week.

Photo by Irene X.
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Friday, October 2, 2009

Design for Giving Contest: Irene's View ^^

During this period time, The Hillwood Herald reporters are going to enter the "Design for Giving" Contest. The "Design for Giving" Contest is a contest applicable by kids ages ten to thirteen. You can send in a PowerPoint presentation, a video, or a a document saying what problem you are going to attempt to solve. Since we are going to enter this contest, I will give my points of view!

What Bothers Me In San Francisco?
Hmm.......what bothers me in San Francisco? I guess my answer would have to be that people litter a lot and nobody has an attempt to help clean up. When I walk down the streets of San Francisco, I see trails of it. I'm sure that it happens in other locations in the United States, but I have only lived and remebered litter in San Francisco. I desperately want to pick the trash up but, my parents are being extra careful right now because of the H1N1 Virus right now.

How Am I Going To Help Solve The Problem?
I'm going to get some gloves, round up some people, and go around with huge plastic bags, picking up trash and recyclables!

What Bothers Me In The United States of America?
This is harder. I honestly have no idea of what bothers me in the United States. I guess my answer would have to be that some people are still racist. I know that racism was way back in the past and that now, all people are treated equally, there are still some people who are racist and discriminate against certain ethnicities.

How Am I Going To Help Solve The Problem?
I am going to help solve this problem by befriending and giving kindness to all different ethnicities of people. By doing this, people just might look past the outside and appreciate the inside!

Photo Credit from Google Images

Design for Giving: San Francisco, America

Though San Francisco is a pretty cool place, there are still some things about this city that bother me. I think that there are some things that San Francisco can improve upon.

Take for example, litter on the streets. It just bothers me when people dump their garbage on the walkways. I wish people would just respect the city more. I want to volunteer to help clear up littered streets.

Another thing that bothers me is poverty and gangs. One of my best friends lives in a hotel where she's afraid to leave the room, scared to even go to the restroom. She hears gunshots at night. I think there should be more programs that crack down on gangs and drug dealing.

As for America, well, everyone knows this country is not as discriminatory as many other countries and that we have plenty of freedom. Everyone knows that we Americans are spoiled with so much freedom, but still, everyone knows America isn't perfect. Some of its problems include: greenhouse gases, clean-up from Hurricane Katrina, the recovering economy, difference in pay between men and women, racism, sexism, and the war. America is working on reducing its amount of greenhouse gases, but there are still plenty of people who disbelieve its existence.

Though Hurricane Katrina happened over 4 years ago, there's still plenty to clean up and reconstruct. I hope the government would pay more attention to this major problem. The economy is recovering slowly, but there isn't really much we can do about that. America should also make it illegal pay men and women differently. Racism is still a big problem, but as time goes on, I believe that it will slowly diminish. As for the war between America and Afghanistan. It bothers me to know civilians are being killed by the dozens each day, but as for a solution, I'm not sure if I can say much...

Some things require action to be fixed, and some things just need time to heal.

by: Brigette W.

What Bothers Me

What bothers me in San Francisco is that lots of people litter and do not re-cycle. What I am going to do about it is that I will re-cycle, compost, not litter, and when I grow up I will take the bus or bike instead of driving a car. If everyone does that the world would be less polluted, no global warming, and cleaner air.

What bothers be in the United States is the same thing, but as a bigger problem. We need to learn how to reuse and re-cycle our energy like using solar, wind, hydro energy and more. Instead of using fossil fuels. Also we need more cars that use solar energy instead of gasoline. I think if everyone contributes to this then the world would be a happier and cleaner world.

Photo credit: Iceland Dreams

What Bothers Me and What I Will Do

What bothers me in America is that we give too much money to the rich and not enough to the poor. What I'm going to do about this is try to give the poor more money to the poor and try to give them a home.

What bothers me in San Francisco is they're not prepared for another earth quake and it would destroy the houses. If I'm rich when I'm grown up I'll try to do constructive work on San Francisco to make it stronger for another earth quake. The buildings won't break and houses won't cut in half. That's how I'm going to help San Francisco.
Photo credit: Wikipedia San Francisco Earthquake

Cleaning San Francisco

We need to help our community by reducing, reusing, and recycling "The Three R's."

We need to help our neighborhood by picking up litter and not littering.

We need to clean the beaches and help when there are oil spills so animals can live in a nice habitat. Why don't people understand there not the only living things on Earth? People should clean up after themselves or help their community. Even though animals come from shelters their not rabid. You shouldn't just abandon an animal when you take an animal you're taking a big responsibility. This image is from Google when the oil spilled into the ocean.

By Rubina and Anya

What Bothers Me About San Francisco

What bothers me about San Francisco is that there is too many pieces of garbage on the streets. I think that people would like clean streets a lot more than dirty streets. I also think that we should pick up our city because we don't like living in a city of trash. I might just hang up posters up all over town saying that we should pick up our city.

Photo credit:

Americas Problems

What bothers me about San Francisco is all the trash on the street. Also, it's not just in San Francisco — its all over the world!

What bothers me about the United States is all the stray animals.Why do people not love their pets as they age ,then they just give them away their pets or just throw them on the street!

Photo credit: Google images

What Bothers me about San Francisco

What bothers me about San Francisco is that the traffic, nobody walks anymore, and there is a pollution.

Photo credit: Wikipedia media

What Brothers Me

What brothers me in San Fransisco is that people don't recycles or reuse trash that you dump away. I would find peoples like friends, families, other schools to make a fundraiser so we can recycles or reuse trash.

What bothers me in the USA is wasting engry like turning on the lights when were not using it or wasting water. I would tell them to turn of their lights or turning of the sink when it is running.

By Brandon W.

Photo credit: Cornice Black

What Bothers Me

A Little Bit Dimmer from IDEO on Vimeo.

I think what bothers me in San Francisco is careless people who litter. I am going to help by telling people to pick up their trash if I see them litter. I think what bothers me in the United States.

A Little Bit Brighter from IDEO on Vimeo.

Global warming and the Green House effect. I am going to try and do my part by keep ing the heater in the house down, and take the bus to my destination.