Middle College Journal

Fall 2023

What's in this issue

CDC Halloween Event, New Clubs, Senior Advice to Juniors, UC Berkeley & Exploratorium Field Trip... and more!

Mark your calendars!

November 22-26: Fall Break

Dec 10-16: CSM Finals Week

Dec 20-21: HS Finals

Dec 22- Jan 11: Winter Break

Jan 11: Spring Semester Begins

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Middle College Fall 2023 Orientation

This year, Middle College welcomed its biggest community to date when 97 juniors from high schools across the district joined 103 seniors on the CSM campus. Over the next five days, the group explored the themes of courage, self-awareness, and community.

To foster courage, we shared stories about ourselves with one another to practice vulnerability, participated on a group photo challenge with our new community, and performed in a group lip-synch contest - the ultimate test of courage.

Along with the theme of self-awareness, we reflected on artifacts that mean something to us and explored the stories that we hold about these objects. We thought of ourselves as stories and reflected upon the interconnections of these stories. And we heard from MC Alum about the ways in which their time in the program helped them to become more self-aware about their purpose.

Although the theme of community felt present with us the whole time, it felt especially so when we participated in a school-wide Buy Nothing, played cooperation games during our community picnic, and listened to CSM guest speaker Alok Vaid-Menon discuss the importance of moving from "I" to "We" as we work towards building a world in which we can all be free.

MC senior Ryle Fu represents the keys points of ALOK's discussion:

1. We the pronoun 

2. What world it mean to insist on our shared humanity

3. To be human is to feel

4. To be human is to be in a perpetual state of being

5. To be human is to heal each other

6. We all deserve bodily autonomy

7. There is no beauty without dignity

8. On living in a world that prescribes conformity 

9. We all deserve options that embrace this fluidity...forever

Save the Date! MC Spring Orientation Jan 11-12

Field Trip to UC Berkeley & Exploratorium

By: Megan Morales, Web Designer

Located around an hour away from our Middle College campus, UC Berkeley is renowned for its world-class faculty, cutting-edge research, and a rich history of academic achievement. With a diverse student body and a commitment to social progress and innovation, Berkeley stands as an innovator of intellectual curiosity. Many of our senior students here at Middle College are looking forward to applying to the educational institution this fall. While touring the campus, many students admired the varying architecture of each building at the school. I enjoyed the differences since they made the campus appearance not seem repetitive. 

A short hop across the bay brings us to the San Francisco Exploratorium, a place where science, art, and human perception converge. This interactive museum is a treasure trove of hands-on experiences that inspire curiosity and ignite the spark of discovery. With a wide range of exhibits, from tactile art installations to intriguing physics demonstrations, the Exploratorium offers visitors of all ages a chance to explore the wonders of our world in an engaging and entertaining way. It was my first experience at the Exploratorium and I enjoyed it! The gallery that I enjoyed the most was filled with a plethora of mirror-themed exhibits, which left me pleasantly disoriented. 

In the middle of these two fantastic places, Middle College students have a great chance to learn and have fun. UC Berkeley is where they can study and grow smarter, while the San Francisco Exploratorium is all about exciting hands-on adventures. Together, they offer students a mix of history and innovation, making learning interesting and well-rounded! This inaugural Middle College field trip for our Juniors has set the bar high, and I anticipate similar experiences and opportunities as we continue our journey at Middle College!

A big THANK YOU to our MC Community Fund Donors!

Your contributions help field trips like this happen; we are so grateful!

Anne Marie Albizo

Laura E Bent and Gary R Cockrell

Esmond Chia

Kevin Chiu

Hilary and Edgar Coral

James Cowan

Brian and Julie Field

Nicki Fitzgerland

Tanya Gaitan

Ed Gilbert

Laurence Gowdy

Sarah Hubbard

Michael Jarrett

Leslie Kramer

Daniela Relaford

Lisa Lake

David Lau

Neil M Peretz Thao M Le

Rebecca Yook Lee

Janel Levedaux

Rana Lotti

Shawn McNamara

Dacheng Peng

Ran Petel and Amanda Petel

Anne Marie Perez

Sushant Prasad

Manoj K. Sahu

Tracy and Michael Young

Please consider donating to our community fund! The funds help offset the costs of field trips, guest speakers, events, and supplies for our spring and fall Community Days - events that bring all Middle College students together.  We accept Square donations or checks made out to San Mateo Middle College. Any staff member can accept these donations, or you can mail a check to 1700 W. Hillsdale Blvd., Building 12, Office 213, San Mateo, 94402

MC Celebrates Stress Less Week


By: Michaela Gonzalez, Editor-In-Chief

In a time when Middle College students are overwhelmed from college applications to midterms and finals preparation, Sunshine Club organized Stress Less Week. During this Halloween week, each day had a different theme and activity students could do during advisory. Monday was a hot cocoa station with a viewing of Gilmore Girls, Tuesday was Halloween and students trick-or-treated throughout the MC hallway, Wednesday La Raza held cookie decorating, tamales, and an altar, on Thursday CSM held a sundae bar, Friday there was karaoke, games, and pizza.

New Clubs at Middle College!

By: Kiana Gowdy, Writer/Editor

With a new school year comes new opportunities, and for Middle College students, that includes seventeen different clubs. Whether you are rejoining clubs from last year or trying a new club for the first time, this is a great way to meet new people while also giving your college applications a little boost. For those of you who have classes during advisory, there is still hope for you. Reach out to clubs to stay involved and try to join in-person next semester when you have a free advisory period. Remember, it is never too late to join! Take a look at this list of clubs, where they meet, and how you can contact their advisors.




Time outside advisory 

A New Environmental Club at MC!

By: Spencer Coral, Writer/Photographer

A breath of fresh air has arrived this semester at Middle College, with the introduction of the Environmental Club. Co-presidents Kiera Chiu and Caitlin Lien founded this club with a mission to foster environmental change within the Middle College community, via entertaining environmentally-focused activities while educating members about sustainability at CSM. For example, the club has held beach cleanups, information sessions, and a can drive, and hopes to be able to continue hosting fun and engaging activities such as these in the future! At some point in November, the club plans to have a nature walk, during which members will be able to get outdoors, and become in tune with nature! Although the club has no conventional meeting times, they host meet-ups every month and if you want to join the Environmental Club, and embark on their inspiring journey of environmental action and education, you can access all necessary information on their Discord server. Middle College's Environmental Club serves as a shining example of how minor actions can generate major impacts. By joining the club, you can make a tangible difference in the world while enjoying the process. Be part of the solution; become a member of the Environmental Club today!

Senior Advice to Juniors

By: Mariana Lopez Ovalle, Writer/Web Designer

On this thrilling roller coaster we call high school, class of 2024 is transitioning into Senior year with the treasured memories of junior year. Beginning a new stage with uncertainty of the future might seem scary, so here is a bit of advice from your Middle College seniors, class of 2024, to our juniors!  

Starting off with the academic basics, stay on top of your work, do your homework, and use the resources available to you. Senior Shana Singh suggests minimizing procrastination, but also “have fun, don't stress yourself out, and don’t overwork yourself”. Finding the right classes and balance that work for you can be a struggle, so senior Aaron Roytman encourages, “creating a schedule for spring semester” beforehand because it's much more manageable during fall. And speaking of classes! Senior Leena Bola strongly encouraged to “not take science and math courses at the same time” because it can be “very overwhelming”. But these past few years have been a whirlwind of experiences, and looking back, I've learned that high school is not just about grades and achievements, but about personal growth and self-discovery. 

Middle College doesn’t make us a community, but rather we are the ones who make it a community. Senior Michaela Gonzalez phrases it beautifully, “Embrace the new environment of being surrounded by new people, from different backgrounds as you, and like the perspectives are so new and refreshing”. “Have fun, mingle, don't be scared to put yourself out there” says senior Shannah Kwan. Cherish your friendships, they'll be your shoulder to lean on, and don't be afraid to seek help when needed. “It doesn't have to be a parent or a teacher, but find someone you can talk to. It's not good to bottle things up. Even just talking about your day can really help” senior Alek Burgous shares. Take brain breaks, make some time for yourself, and “get sleep” senior Steven Acuna sends as a reminder. Remember, you have the power to shape your own narrative, and while the plot may get tricky at times, it's those unexpected twists and turns that make your Middle College high school journey memorable. So “be weird, love yourself! Try meditating, don't try to be someone you’re not” says senior Alexa Anzora. The chaos, the uncertainty, and even the occasional setbacks are all part of your journey. 

So, here's the deal: don't sweat the small stuff, take chances, and step out of your comfort zone (#Facility). “Even if you feel like procrastinating… fight the demons! And fight the parasites!” - encouraging words from senior Megan Morales. Embrace every moment, make lasting memories, and know that you're writing a story that is uniquely yours – a story that's worth watching from start to finish. Enjoy your journey here, juniors; it's over in the blink of an eye. Embrace it with enthusiasm.  

You got this! From your favorite senior, Mariana Lopez Ovalle :)

Sunshine Club CDC Halloween Event

By: Michaela Gonzalez, Editor-In-Chief

Every year, the MC Sunshine Club throws a Halloween bash for the Child Development Center at CSM. With everyone in their Halloween costumes, MC students run fun tables for the kids to run and enjoy. This year there was...

(Photos by Steven Acuna Delgado)

A Review: My Adventures with Superman

By: Corvidae Luz Dulcey (She/They), Writer

My Adventures with Superman: A Down-to-Earth Take on the Classic Alien

There have been several adaptations of Superman’s story brought to the screen over the past few decades. Many casual DC fans, such as myself, don’t read very many comics, so these adaptations are some of the only ways to engage with and learn about the character. Unfortunately, many Superman movies and shows fail to capture my attention; some feel too edgy, others too bland. My Adventures with Superman, however, made me care about him.

MAWS is the latest cartoon to feature the iconic Kryptonian. Originally planned for Cartoon Network, it aired on Adult Swim and Max with a TV-PG rating. The show presents us with a Clark Kent who is still a young adult that’s just landed his first internship at the Daily Planet. Strange technology makes its way into Metropolis, prompting Clark to adopt the moniker of Superman in order to defend those he holds dear, especially his two closest coworkers: Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane. Along the way, he also has to question who—or what—he is and will be.

It would be irresponsible to review a cartoon without mentioning the art, and My Adventures with Superman is quite beautiful indeed. Fight scenes were elevated by the exciting animation that perfectly emphasized the sheer power of Superman and his rogues gallery. Every punch, kick, and heat vision blast had real weight behind it. That’s not even mentioning the incredible character design! The second I saw Silver Banshee, I wanted to cosplay her. The creators also chose to go with a more sci-fi look for all the antagonists, which gives a consistent aesthetic to the show as a whole. This has the added benefit of making the style very recognizable.

The greatest strength of this show is perhaps its approach to Superman as a character. Unlike a lot of superhero content, which often prioritizes the protagonists’ masked lives over their civilian ones, MAWS puts Clark Kent before Superman. You are shown a man who wanted nothing more than a normal life thrust into the position of city defender because of his overwhelming kindness and love for other people. Clark is an alien, but he is also deeply human. Your love for him will only grow as you watch him navigate life with his double identity, going from an action-packed fight one moment to hanging out and having fun with his friends the next. It also helps that, being new to crime fighting, Clark is inexperienced and actually struggles against his foes. This makes the conflicts much more interesting and causes you to root for Clark harder than you normally would.

Overall, My Adventures with Superman is well worth the watch for anyone even remotely interested in superheroes. The show’s optimistic attitude is a really refreshing take on Superman. Season one is ten episodes long and is available to stream on Max now. Season two is currently in production

A Journey Through Time:

Review of Eras Tour Documentary

By: Joey Situ, Writer/Editor

Taylor Alison Swift, a 33 year old singer-songwriter, created a cinematic masterpiece that encapsulates all the beautiful parts of her music career. An adventure from her worldwide eras tour that spans over 17 years of music in 3 hours, one era at a time. Slowly, she weaved in and out of different styles of music, different aesthetics, different producers, to have 10 albums she calls her eras. Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989, reputation, Lover, folklore, evermore, and Midnights. 

Taylor Swift enchants the audience not only through her music but in her compelling narratives and storytelling. The documentary is a testament to Swift’s artistic evolution, showcasing the growth and variation in her talents.

The documentary was beautifully shot and edited, capturing the energy of each era with dynamic visuals and stunning performances. Taylor Swift’s candid commentary is another highlight of the production. Her transparency of her struggles and triumphs during each era adds depth and authenticity to the documentary. Whether you are a Swiftie or not, the documentary serves as a glimpse into the life of an artist who continues to redefine her artistry with each passing era

A Letter from the New Editors-In-Chief

A letter from the new Editors-in-Chief: Our names are Michaela Gonzalez (12) and Sarah Grover (12), and on behalf of the Middle College, we are thrilled to debut as the new Editors-in-Chief of the MC Newsletter. We are honored to have this opportunity to work with such an incredible team of writers, editors, and photographers to continue to spread what a great place Middle College is. We are also introducing our new name as well; the MC Newsletter has turned into the MC Journal! We are dedicated to raising student voices and reporting on local news to our Middle College students, parents, teachers, and San Mateo Union High School District. On behalf of our new staff, we are excited to enter Middle College’s 25th year strong.

Meet your new 2023-2024

MC Journal Staff!

Michaela Gonzalez (12)


Sarah Grover (12)


Joey Situ (11)


Kiana Gowdy (11)


Leah Chilli (12)


Steven Acuna Delgado(12)

Photographer/Social Media Manager

Mariana Lopez (12)

Writer/ Graphic Designer

Megan Morales (12)

Writer/Graphic Designer

Aidan Santos-Stevenson (11)

Graphic Designer

Spencer Coral (11) Writer/Photographer

Jordan Powell (11) Writer/Photographer

Vivian Lopez (11) Writer/Photographer

Michelle Yeung (11)

Web Designer

Corvidae Luz Dulcey (12) Writer/Web Designer