A Press Democrat Blog

Teen Life

News and opinion from local teens

Confident return to field follows concussion

By AMANDA KRALEY, 17, and KELSEY McCAFFREY, 16 MARIA CARRILLO HIGH SCHOOL ‘‘I remember it happening, but after that, nothing. It’s like it never existed,” Maria Carrillo High junior Alex Wrenn said of the concussion he suffered last August. Wrenn, a nose tackle for Maria Carrillo’s varsity football team, was hit in the chin with the top of a football helmet during practice. “I know what happened, I remember getting hit,” he said. “But remembering it, I feel like it… Read More »

Teen Face: Daniel Rosenthal

By CLARK MASON THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Daniel Rosenthal performed his first professional magic show at a birthday party when he was 5 years old. By the age of 8, he was doing shows at hospitals, including performing for chemotherapy patients at Santa Rosa Kaiser, where his father works as director of occupational and physical medicine. Daniel was shocked by the number of sick and sad patients, but struck by how his act changed the mood. “After the show, one of… Read More »

Teen Face: Connor Rutten

By DEREK MOORE THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Swing Set, the jazz combo Connor Rutten founded when he was a student at Santa Rosa’s Maria Carrillo High School, has earned raves in performances at festivals and special events. That includes the group’s first-place performance at the 2012 Reno Jazz Festival that was uploaded to YouTube. In the video, Rutten, 18, is obviously in his element as Swing Set delivers a compelling version of Jean-Luc Ponty’s ballad “Pastoral Harmony.” Rutten plays the alto… Read More »

After high school: Multiple choice

  By ADAM SILOW MARIA CARRILLO HIGH SCHOOL When Alec Miller entered high school in 2008, he did not expect that by the time he graduated he would have a full-time job with the eventual possibility of a six-figure salary, while many of his peers would be going off to college and incurring a six-figure debt. Miller, 18, who graduated from Santa Rosa’s Mesa High School in December, has been working at In-N-Out Burger in Santa Rosa since 2010. In… Read More »

Procrastination: Discipline vs. delay

By RYAN LE MARIA CARRILLO HIGH SCHOOL, SENIOR, 18 “Procrastination is part of my life,” Maria Carrillo High senior Richard Liang admitted. Enrolled in five AP classes, swimming three hours a day after school and involved in a myriad extra-curricular activities, Liang’s plate is full. Yet, on a night when a homework assignment is due the next day, he spends a few hours surfing YouTube and messaging friends on Facebook before starting his work. Liang is part of the estimated… Read More »

Maria Carrillo students get new perspective abroad

By AMANDA KRALEY MARIA CARRILLO HIGH SCHOOL, JUNIOR, 16 Three Maria Carrillo High School students wake up in the morning, grab all their things, and head out the door to school. But they are not going to the east Santa Rosa school. Senior Angie Howard, junior Dante Mazzanti and junior Katie Chesnut are studying abroad this year in Europe. Both Mazzanti and Howard live with host families, with Mazzanti in Sabadell, a suburb of Barcelona, Spain, and Howard in Hameln,… Read More »

Recession forces lower expectations for teens

By LAUREN HEMMINGSEN MARIA CARRILLO HIGH SCHOOL, JUNIOR, 16 Getting a license, a new car, the latest fashions and having unforgettable nights with friends typically represents the “teenage dream.” With the recession leaving deep impressions on not only adults, but teens as well, this “teenage dream” may become more of a senseless aspiration. From first hand experience, I relate to those whose lives are under the recession’s dark shadow. I’m not able to enjoy the simple freedom of receiving a… Read More »

Teen pregnancy’s costs need to be understood

By GRISELDA RIVERA MARIA CARRILLO HIGH SCHOOL, SENIOR, 17 We’ve all heard the phrase “use protection” at least 100 times. It’s an accurate phrase that some choose to ignore because they hear it so often. But when a Santa Rosa teen health center, Southwest Community Health Center, said last fall that in the past year half of 409,840 infants were born to teen girls age 15 to 19, do you still think it’s unimportant to ignore that phrase? Teen pregnancy… Read More »

Maria Carrillo students earn dividends on YouTube

By AMANDA KRALEY MARIA CARRILLO HIGH SCHOOL, JUNIOR, 16 Junior Ariana Lease chats animatedly to the camera in her YouTube video, smiling and gesturing while she talks. As she casually pushes her bangs away from her face, an ad for TOMS shoes pops up at the bottom of the video screen, partially obscuring her video. If a person watching her video clicks on the ad, Lease will make money. The popular video-sharing website YouTube has become more than a place… Read More »

Online teacher ratings open to interpretation

By SOPHIE FREY MARIA CARRILLO HIGH SCHOOL On an early February morning, Spanish teacher James Baptista was writing a recommendation letter for one of his students. He went online to search for Maria Carrillo High School’s phone number and instead came across his name. Clicking the link, he was sent to the website ratemyteachers.com where he read mortifying accusations — more about his personal life than his teaching methods. “I felt embarrassed and betrayed because it was not only for… Read More »