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A Press Democrat Blog

Teen Life

News and opinion from local teens

Book Review: Brain on Fire

By Sierra Maciorowski Flight risk. Those words re­verberate through her mind, as she pictures the orange wristband over and over again. Flight risk. What does it mean? Why is she here, in an un­known hospital? It takes one month to find out. Journalist Susannah Caha­lan was 24 years old, finally begin­ning to settle down into her life and skin. With a steady relationship, a job at the New York Post, and her own apartment, everything seems smooth and generally easy-… Read More »

Mind the Gap

By Allison Ashley It is common for Sonoma Academy students to take a year off between high school and college; it is a chance for students to have learning experience outside the classroom. These adventures can happen close to home or across the world. Here are what some seniors had to say about the gap year adventures they are embarking on after graduation. Starting on August 25th, Emily Gaynor is leaving on a 3 month backpacking, rafting, climbing, and mountaineering… Read More »

Don’t Doubt the Drought

By Sierra Maciorowski Sorry, skiers and snowboarders, fishers and farmers: next year’s conditions will probably not give you any thrills. With reservoirs still at around 30% of normal water levels, and the Sierras’ snowpack at 32% of average, according to National Geographic, the next few years could de­stroy some parts of the California lifestyle. For many, the recent rains have taken the edge off of winter’s fears. The hills are green, the apple trees have blos­somed, and spring feels like… Read More »

The Gender Gap in College: Not Equal Yet

By Allison Ashley Not only do men enter col­lege at significantly lower rates compared to women (who now graduate with 60% of the bach­elor degrees earned in the United States) but they’re more likely to drop out of college once they get there. It all begins at a young age. Compared to girls, boys are more likely to get expelled or suspended during their first years at school, and they are more likely to be diagnosed with a learning disability… Read More »

Sleepless in Santa Rosa

By Jess O’Connor “I don’t sleep.” This is what sophomore Alyssa Goody said when asked how much sleep she got on a typical night. “I have sports, and then I get home and I have things other than sports, and then I get home at nine, and I eat dinner at nine, and then it’s like, ‘Oh, okay, it’s ten now, I have to do some homework.’” According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, as well as al­most every medical authority, teen­agers… Read More »

A Forensics Finale

By Sierra Maciorowski “Add a layer of chaos,” said forensics coach Brandon Spars, “and that’s what you get at state.” With the forensics season finally finished, and the banquet coming up on May 20th, the quali­fications-necessary state tournament officially ended the year for five So­noma Academy competitors. Unfortunately, although a state tournament would generally be considered an event for top compet­itors, some rounds were a step down from SA’s usual level of competi­tion, with people from our league, the Golden… Read More »

Picturing the Cure

By Amy Pino Sophomore Cristian Is­brandtsen has spent the last year taking professional-quality pictures. Alone, this is not unusual. What’s unusual is what he does with the money he makes. Cristian donates the profits he earns from photographing events to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. “[The business] is a non-profit and it supports the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation,” said Cristian. “I go around Sonoma County and San Francisco and take photos for events, weddings, stuff like that, and all the… Read More »

Springing Into Summer

By Elizabeth Kolling Flowers pop open like vibrant firecrackers, painting an explosion of harmonious scents and colors over the lush, green landscape. The sun casts its radi­ance upon the earth, ridding it of the cold and bitter remembrance of winter. Students anxiously sit in classrooms, counting down the days to summer, imagining the ex­istence of a world without the bur­den of school obligations. The 4th quarter has be­gun; classes are confirming their final topics and concepts, an in­fectious case of… Read More »

Book Review: A Tale for the Time Being

By Sierra Maciorowski Heartbreakingly beautiful and terrifyingly abstract, A Tale for the Time Being’s soul lies in the delightful character of Naoko Yasutani, a 16-year-old Japanese schoolgirl with a penchant for awkward self-expression. Her tale weaves the past, present, and future in a mindful knot, leaving the reader almost no time for his/her own affairs. Author Ruth Ozeki, through the alternating narratives of her own character and Nao’s, depicts the inexplicable connections between the so and not-so. That which is,… Read More »

Goin’ Up in Smoke

By Allison Ashley One of the country’s largest chains of drugstores has decided to stop selling the product that will cost it almost $2 billion a year in sales: cigarettes. Starting October 1st, this decision will make CVS the first pharmacy chain to take a stand against health issues related to tobacco products. But, will people get the message or just find someone new to support their habit? According to the American Lung Association, smoking cigarettes is known to be… Read More »