Teen Summer 2017

Search This Blog

Thursday, January 14, 2016

How to Keep a New Year's Resolution

We are a few weeks into 2016. Maybe you made a New Year's Resolutions and are still on track. Maybe you are having trouble staying motivated. If you are serious about maintaining your resolution, why not try the following?


1. Don't Break the Chain
This motivational technique used by Jerry Seinfeld requires only a calendar and pen (or an app). Every day you work toward your resolution, you place a mark (preferably big and noticeable) on the calendar. After a few days, you will create a chain. Keeping the chain intact means continuing your goal every single day. Watch a YouTube video explaining the concept here.



2. Do It With a Friend
If you have a friend with a similar resolution, try doing it together. Having someone to talk to while you do it will surely make it easier. It is also a great way to keep each other in check and increase accountability. 




3. Be Specific and Realistic:
Break up a broad resolution into smaller goals. For example, instead of just saying "eat healthier", try "No more soda and eat at least one fruit a day". Not only will this make you more likely to keep your goals, but accomplishing little things every day can help boost your confidence. Additionally, mind your limits and make changes gradually. If you haven't run since freshman PE, don't try running two miles your first day. Rather, begin small and increase the distance slowly.

I wish you the best of luck.  Feel free to share other tips in the comments below.

Written by Jenna M., Homework Assistant

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2015 in ______

2016 is finally here. We conquered our finals and are back in school after a well-needed break. Strangely enough, one of my favorite things about the new year is the various articles and videos recapping the previous year. Remembering things from a whole year before is satisfying to me and can help me catch up on what I missed. That being said, here are some great year in review lists.

This year's YA fiction winner
1. Music: At the end of every year, some very talented DJs work to arrange a cohesive mashup of the year's biggest hits. Despite how diverse the charts have been lately, this often results in a catchy, creative product. My favorite mashup is Daniel Kim's Pop Danthology (He even made two parts this year.)

2. Books: Every year, goodreads.com has its users vote on the best books of 2015 in a wide variety of categories, including fiction, nonfiction, young adult, and fantasy. If, after perusing the list you find something that you are dying to read, consider checking it out from the library as a way to recharge for the beginning of the semester.

3. Pop Culture: YouTube celebrates the year's iconic "videos, people, music, and moves" with a six-minute video featuring popular YouTubers acting out viral videos and trends. Beware: don't read the comments unless you want to witness some heated arguments about who/what should have been included.

4."Current" Events: Facebook made a year in review video featuring the most-discussed topics of 2015. The scope of this video is quite wide, ranging from the infamous dress color debate to sporting events to the political and social movements of both the nation and the world.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. Feel free to leave some of your favorite year in review lists/videos in the comments!

Written by Jenna M., Homework Assistant


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

San Francisco Hidden Treasures

Head over to Moraga St and 16th Ave to
discover these steps
While San Francisco is a mere 45 minutes away, some locals feel as if they have exhausted all of its common tourist attractions. Yet "the City" has so much more to offer within the diverse districts and culture that is so unique to the Bay. Here's a list of San Francisco's best secrets: hidden treasures to find on your next day trip.

A beautiful mosaic staircase located in the Sunset District, you might consider stopping by here for a quick photo-op. Trudge up to the top and be welcomed by views of the "Pacific, the Marin Coast, and the Golden Gate Bridge," as one Yelp user marvels.

Tucked within a narrow alley, Chinatown's most famous fortune cookies are made fresh here, right before your eyes! Choose from a selection of flat cookies, chocolate, regular fortune cookies, and a larger variety. 

3. The Wave Organ
The Wave Organ
Enjoy the sounds of the sea at the Wave Organ.
Walk to the end of the jetty behind the Golden Gate Yacht club and be greeted by the harmonious sounds produced by the waves. This sculpture of concrete pipes, installed by the Exploratorium in 1986, creates sound effects that vary throughout the day with the intensity of the tides. Even better, it comes with a complementary view of the Golden Gate Bridge!


Located in the heart of a quaint neighborhood, even many locals are unaware of what used to be the largest sundial in 1913. At 28 feet tall and made of marble, this sundial has a surprisingly rich history: it was opened the same day as the Panama Canal! 

After a long day running around the city, you've gotta be hungry! If Starbucks is too mainstream for you and you're looking for an authentic treat, make sure to check out Bob's. Choose from a wide variety of donut holes, donuts, and (if you’re really feeling it) super sized donuts.
Indulge in the largest donut you'll ever eat. Sweet!
6. Hiking through Mount Sutro Forest

Many are familiar with the pathways of Golden Gate Park, but I bet you didn't know of Mount Sutro, nestled in the middle of the city! On foggy days, their website lists this woodsy location as "the most beautiful place in all the city." If urban adventures have worn you out, reconnect with nature among the trees of this forest.

Have fun exploring San Francisco! If you're in the area, make sure to check out one of these "hidden" landmarks to discover something new. Share your favorite place in the City by commenting below.



By Katia G., Homework Assistant

Monday, January 11, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Smashes the Box Office

Chances are that by now, you're familiar with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Maybe you've seen it once (or twice!) in theatres, read about it online, or had the whole plotline spoiled by an eager fan, but there's no question that the seventh addition to the saga has hit the nation by storm.



Hosting an intriguing new cast including stormtrooper Finn, heroine Rey, and the dark side's Kylo Ren, as well as bringing back old favorites Han Solo and Princess Leia, The Force Awakens has drawn crowds of all ages, from the longtime fans to the younger generations.


At midnight on December 18th, 2015, crowds flocked the theatres clad in iconic costumes, some as Chewbacca, Yoda, Storm Troopers, etc. In the opening week alone, The Force Awakens grossed $250 million, setting the record for the highest grossing opening weekend.
Moviegoers of all ages dressed up as their favorite Star Wars characters for the opening day.

On Wednesday, January 6, 2016, The Force Awakens set the box-office record in North America, surpassing Avatar's $760.5 million. It's been just under three weeks since the premiere of the film! Do you think it could ever reach $1 billion?
Kylo Ren takes the spotlight as Star War's
favorite new villain.
On a worldwide scale, it already has. When combined with the foreign grosses, the film has already exceeded $1.5 billion!

Read more about the monumental sales here (including how it averaged $60,000 per THEATRE on opening day!)

There's no denying that this film is going down in history. Directed by J.J. Abrams, this movie has made a statement in becoming the highest grossing all-time, as directors James Cameron, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg have dominated the record books for so long.

I hope that those of you who watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens enjoyed it -- I know I did. I especially loved the refreshing role of Rey as a female protagonist. Comment below who your favorite character is! After all, the same question still remains - will you choose the light or dark side?

Post by Katia G., Homework Assistant


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

3 Things You Didn't Know about the City of Mountain View Part 2

1. There's a time capsule buried below Castro Street!
Buried in 1990, the collection of artifacts about our city is scheduled to be open in 2090. It's located in a Castro Street median and is marked with an ornately
decorated manhole cover.






2. Pioneer Memorial Park is Built on a cemetery
Many are familiar with the beautiful grassy expanse behind the Mountain View Library, but few know Pioneer Park's surprising history. The land was originally donated to the Presbyterian church as a non-denominational cemetery. The City later purchased the area and developed a park right on top of the bodies!



3. MV's Wunderman House was a Prohibition Era Speakeasy
Eunice Avenue was once a center of illicit activity during American Prohibition. According to the MV Voice, "Gangsters designed the house during Prohibition to look like a modest farmhouse from the outside--while inside, there was a rip-roaring vice operation complete with dancing, drinking, [and] gambling...Authorities managed to ignore the operation for 13 years before it was raided in 1933."

Stay tuned for more little-known facts about Mountain View! Part 3 is coming soon!

Post by Allie C., Homework Assistant