Middle College
October 2022 Newsletter
Mark Your Calendars!
Nov. 8: Spring Registration
Nov. 11: Veterans Day Holiday
Nov. 15: Last Day to Withdraw from Semester Length College Classes
Nov. 23-26: Thanksgiving Holiday
General Updates:
  • UC & CSU application windows close on Nov. 30th
  • Check your Future Planning Advisory's Canvas page here for important upcoming dates
What's In This Newsletter:
Field trip & Halloween photos, Halloween movie recommendations, October club events, and much more!
SJSU & UCSC Field Trip
Stress Less Week
By Jaden Luke
In the midst of college midterms and exams, wellness counselor Ms. Kauth and program coordinator Ms. Block organized a week of activities to de-stress from October 24th to the 28th.

Monday included hot cocoa, coloring, and a gratitude workshop.

Tuesday showed an episode of The Simpsons and Friends.

Wednesday was set up with board games inside and volleyball on the lawn outside Building 12.

Thursday focused on relaxation, with a choice of tea and reading or yoga.

Friday, to end it off, included school photos and pizza! 
MC Halloween 2022
Halloween Movie Recommendations
By Sarah Grover
You find yourself in a dark, creaky house. An abandoned villa. There are no other houses for another 20 miles North and South. Suddenly, the air turns black around you. Your hair stands on end, a shiver races down your spine and a lump comes to your throat. 

Just kidding. It’s your imagination. It’s the figure stalking on your screen, as you turned all your lights off to watch a movie. Not just any movie, a horror movie. When it was all done, it left a longing to watch more….except, you don’t know what to watch! Worry no more, as we have compiled a list of Scary-horror and Comedy-horror movies to put on your to-watch list! With October comes the spooky Halloween season, and with Halloween comes the season of Horror Movies! 
Scary-Spooky-Horror Movies:
  • Conjuring (Series of 3 Movies)
  • Annabelle (Series of 3 Movies)
  • Chucky (Series of 8 Movies)
  • Halloween (Series of 13 Movies)
  • Smile
  • Scream
  • The Corpse Bride
  • Black phone
  • IT (Series of 2 Movies)
  • The Nun
  • Exorcist
Comedy-Horror Movies:
  • Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Coraline
  • Halloweentown
  • The Adams Family
  • Ghostbusters
  • American Psycho
  • Hotel Transylvania
  • A Quiet Place
Hope you have a spooktacular night watching one of the movies listed above. Let us know which one is your favorite!
Pumpkin Latte Review
By Loralei Rohrbach, Anastasia Prusakova, and Kelly Nelson
As the California heat wave finally ends and we watch the leaves change colors, fall is officially here. As everyone begins to pull out their pumpkin decorations and turn on the heater, the age-old question still remains true: What is the best pumpkin latte? With so many chains around the Bay Area, it can be overwhelming to decide what you want to order, which is why we’ve curated the perfect guide to pumpkin lattes. As a coffee connoisseur, I knew it wasn’t enough to just sample everything myself, so I brought along my two friends and resident Starbucks baristas.

  1. Sitting at the top, we all unanimously voted the Peet’s Iced Pumpkin Latte to be the best pumpkin drink of the season. Their hand-pulled espresso mixed with the subtle hues of pumpkin makes it the perfect way to start your morning or the best afternoon “pick-me-up”. .
  2. Next up we have Peet’s Hot Pumpkin Latte, a personal favorite of mine after rainy day lacrosse practices, or to accompany me on my breezy fall walks with my best friend. As aforementioned, Peet’s pumpkin lattes aren’t overpowered by far too rich pumpkin that spoils your mood, but rather the pumpkin accompanies your espresso and is the ideal fusion for your fall days. .
  3. For those days when an average espresso drink just doesn’t sound good, consider picking up a cold brew instead. No one does it better than Starbucks. The iconic pumpkin cream cold brew has the perfect balance of sweet and smooth while still providing that caffeine kick that you look for in your morning coffee. The addition of the pumpkin cold foam (if mixed right) gives the right amount of pumpkin flavor that everyone is looking for in a fall drink.
  4. For those of you who love the taste of sweet coffee with a hint of pumpkin, this Starbucks drink is perfect for you. The brown sugar shaken espresso with pumpkin cold foam is very sweet with a hint of pumpkin cream. As someone who doesn’t like overly sweet things, this drink is not ideal as the first thing in the morning but rather as an occasional treat or as an after-dinner dessert. In my opinion, I would recommend getting this drink in a smaller size, like a tall or grande. Overall, I would give this fall drink a 5.7/10. .
  5. The Starbucks iced pumpkin spice latte is, in my opinion, one of the most controversial drinks. While I know that many people might have rated this drink #1, we found that Peet’s pumpkin spice lattes were superior. This Starbucks latte might be good every once in a while but for every day it is just too sweet. However, we rated it 5th instead of 6th because we thought it was better iced. .
  6. Another fall drink, the pumpkin spice latte, or as you may know it PSL, is a very popular drink amongst pumpkin connoisseurs. Depending on your mood or the weather, you can get it either hot or iced. In my experience, when I tried this it tasted strongly of pumpkin and less of coffee and was very sweet. This is definitely not an everyday drink but maybe once in a while. I would give this drink a 4/10.
October Club Events
Movie Night
MC Effect Local
By Devin Gowdy

This month’s screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas at the Middle College Effect Local’s October Movie Night was the perfect way to relieve some stress while supporting a good cause. All proceeds were donated to the Bay Area Rescue Mission, a non-profit organization that provides food, aid, and shelter to the members of our community who need it.  

The movie was screened in one of the lecture rooms in Building 10, giving the audience members plenty of space to spread out. The 1993 Disney musical brought back many childhood memories and I caught many details I hadn’t noticed as a kid. The best part of the night, though, was the concession stand which included commercial popcorn and cotton candy machines. To make it all better, the club even provided free candy.  

The night ended with a raffle drawing that we were automatically entered into when we bought a ticket. There were three prizes that we could win: a $20 gift card to Mokutanya, a $15 gift card to California Pizza Kitchen, and a jelly donut. Mr. Lance was the lucky winner of the Jelly donut (which he was super excited about) and I won the $20 gift card! Overall, it was a fun event and I would encourage anyone to go to MC Effect Local’s future Movie Nights.
Penny Wars
MC Effect Global
By Mimi Wilson
For the past couple of weeks, Middle College students have been in an exciting fundraising competition. Students collected pennies, cash, and other coins to support Guatemalan women’s education in business by paying for classes and providing microloans through Namaste Direct. The impact of their education will ripple out to affect their children and their communities. The advisory with the most points would then win a pizza party, and the winner was Mr. Lance’s advisory. Teachers would place competitions between their own advisory classes to encourage students to participate. Mr. Lien had challenged Redgate, and the loser would have to hold a potluck for both classes. He was sour from losing the year before, and was determined to win! His class ended up succeeding Redgate's class by 3000 more points. As a whole, MC had raised a total of $2752.84! That’s $950.88 more than last year’s Penny Wars. MC Effect would like to thank everyone for being involved in the fundraising event and those that volunteered to help count all the money collected. This year’s Penny Wars shows how much of a loving and caring community Middle College is. 
Clothing Drive
MC Effect Local
By Katie Yeh

Middle College Local Effect hosted a clothing drive! Running for around three weeks, the event ended Thursday, October 27, bringing in lots of clothing items from all who participated. The club aims to help combat homelessness in our local community with various ways of fundraising and volunteering. Events such as this clothing drive and the movie night, which happened on the 28th, all provide fundraising opportunities to help the larger community.

“These clothes will be donated to the Salvation Army where they will be given to those who need, but cannot afford them,” says Clara Sapugay, one of the presidents of Middle College Effect Local. The club accepted various items of clothing such as jackets, shoes, socks (in pairs!), shirts, and pants (but not limited to)! “The competition is between cohorts. All collection bins for seniors are in Redgate's room, and all collection bins for juniors are in Mr. Lien's room.”

It was announced on Friday the 28th that Cohort 1 Seniors won the competition. Congrats to them, and be sure to keep your ears out for more MCLE events coming up!
CDC Halloween Festival
Sunshine Club
By Michaela Gonzalez & Steven Acuna
The Sunshine Club, also known as the leadership club at Middle College, hosted a Halloween Festival for the kids at the Child Development Center (CDC) on campus. The club prepared many weeks in advance, assigning members to be either station leaders or buddies to the kids. There was an array of activities such as toilet paper mummies, an Orbeez tub, a puppet show, an obstacle course, and dancing which every kid was able to experience. As a buddy, I had a lot of fun walking around and interacting with the different stations. It was also very interesting to see my buddy and other children react to the activities differently and watch them all have the time of their lives as they ran around with the goodie bags filled with candy and small toys that they were able to decorate. On the other hand, being a station leader meant that you had to have a smile and welcome all of the kids, making your station look the most intriguing. I enjoyed seeing the thrill and laughter on the kid’s faces when they knew they were doing a good job. 

Want us to write about something specific?
Ask us anything and we will answer it in the next newsletter! Questions comments, and concerns from anyone are welcome.
Where is Mr. Burke Now?
By Jaden Luke and Devin Gowdy
Fly fishing. Publishing books. Subbing at Middle College. Writing articles. 

Mr. Burke’s first year of retirement after 35 years of teaching at both Burlingame High School and Middle College has been as exciting as can be. From camping in the trunk of his Subaru to reading a seemingly impossible amount of books, he’s been tackling retirement head-on. 

As one of Middle College’s beloved teachers, students and staff flocked to Building 10 on September 30 to say hello and catch him up on their latest ventures. When we approached him for an interview, he was already neck deep in editing and outlining his latest writing feat: an article on banned books, focusing on LGBTQ+ authors and authors of color. He’s no stranger to focusing on issues like these, from discussing the social struggles of authors like Ocean Vuong during his past English classes to tweeting articles concerning the importance of literacy in the world to his audience of 26,000 followers.  

While he continues to focus on educating both himself and those around him in social issues surrounding the world of writing, he has begun to take more time for himself and his hobbies. One of the two books he had in production last school year was recently published, and the other—described as a “robust planner for teachers”—was recently completed after four years of writing and editing. He still delves into the world of reading, if not more than before; his favorite genre continues to be memoirs as he likes to look at and learn from other’s lives.

Besides his usual love for English, he’s been prioritizing his love for nature more and more. Mr. Burke has always loved fly fishing and camping, and retirement has given him even more time to do it. He recently traveled to Idaho, Oregon, and Northern California during the summer and to Vermont a few weeks ago. Equipped with bear spray and fishing gear, he’s happy to be competent in a craft he deems “simple on the surface”.

Mr. Burke will continue to pay visits to the students and staff at Middle College throughout the year and hopes to start acting as a substitute teacher starting in the Spring Semester (as per policy to wait 180 days after retirement to start subbing). For now, read about what Mr. Burke has taken from his years of teaching from the man himself here!
College Spotlight: UC Merced
By Devin Gowdy

UC Merced often gets a bad reputation due to its relatively high acceptance rate and its secluded location in the central valley, but UC Merced is in no way a bad school. The university ranks in the top 100 national universities (according to multiple rankings) and is well known for social mobility, economic diversity, and its highly-ranked school of engineering. It’s also important to remember that UCM is a world-class public research university just like its fellow UCs.

UC Merced was founded in the same year many of us were born— in 2005—which is why the campus has not yet established the same level of prestige as many of the other UC campuses. But this very same weakness may also be its greatest strength.  Since UCM was constructed in the 21st century, designers were able to incorporate visions of sustainability from the ground up. UCM is the first and the only UC to have reached carbon neutrality and has ambitious goals to have net zero energy use, net zero greenhouse gas emissions, and zero waste in the near future.

Beyond being a leader in sustainable planning and environmental design, UCM’s brand-new campus means that students have access to beautiful state-of-the-art facilities and a wide range of modern living spaces. And despite being in a rural setting, UCM is not in the middle of nowhere. Yosemite National Park is often described as being in UCM’s backyard and San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Sacramento are all just a short drive away. Many people don’t give UCM any consideration, but I encourage anyone applying to the UC system to avoid prioritizing rankings and prestige over earning a world-class education at the newest UC campus.
Motherthing Book Review
By Jaden Luke
Want a thriller novel about a mother-in-law’s deadly obsession with her son and a daughter-in-law’s consuming devotion to him? Recently released Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth is the book for you. 
Sitting on the shelf at the Hillsdale B&N, the book was almost begging me to read it. The beautifully illustrated cover referencing 1950s or 60s cover designs was impossible to resist—and the novel inside didn’t disappoint.

In the suburbs of an unknown city, Abby and Ralph Lamb recently moved in with Ralph’s mother, Laura, to act as caretakers. Laura is obsessed with Ralph and rejects Abby as his wife, claiming she isn’t good enough for her son. When Laura dies, Abby is overcome with relief until Ralph spirals, consumed by Laura’s ghost. Abby has only one option: to do whatever it takes to save her husband. 

The novel is dark, disturbing, and has a comedic take on the “mother-in-law from hell” trope. Hogarth’s ability to write something this creepy makes you take a genuine interest in what Abby will do next and want to keep reading. While it’s not a perfect book—landing a 4/5 rating on my 5-point scale—it is a fast and exciting read (and I am not a horror or thriller person, really). Subtly taking on gender roles through a mother’s absence in a child’s life and the presence of mother figures in an adult’s life, Motherthing is an entertaining novel about domestic insanity.

Indigenous People's Day
By Blythe Jones
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is celebrated to honor the cultures and histories of the Native American people. The day is centered around reflecting on their tribal roots and the tragic stories that hurt but strengthened their communities. The first seed of Indigenous Peoples’ Day was planted at a U.N. international conference on discrimination in 1977.

Although it was still considered Columbus Day until 1937, many people began calling it Indigenous Peoples’ Day to celebrate the rich culture and the lives of Native Americans. For the Native Americans, Columbus Day was always hurtful as it glorified the violent past constituting 500 years of colonial torture and oppression by European explorers like Columbus and those who settled in America. Indigenous Peoples’ Day draws attention to the pain, trauma, and broken promises erased by the celebration of Columbus Day. Before his arrival, the indigenous folk were thriving, self-sufficient communities that sustained life for thousands of years.

Year by year, the movement to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day spreads to more and more states, towns, and cities across the United States of America. Today, 14 U.S. states celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, not Columbus Day. As Middle College Students, it is important to pay respect in recognition of the history, culture, and impact that Indigenous People’s Day has on our community.
Breast Cancer Awareness
By Jaden Luke
Every October, people around the world come together to spread awareness and show support for those affected by breast cancer. Officially recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) globally and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) in the US, it was founded in 1985 by the American Cancer Society and Imperial Chemical Industries (now AstraZeneca). The month was originally recognized to emphasize the importance of mammograms in fighting and preventing breast cancer. The cause has expanded to other aspects of supporting those impacted by the cancer, including the third week of October being dedicated to male breast cancer.

The pink ribbon became the official symbol for the fight against breast cancer when Evelyn Lauder of Estée Lauder Companies founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Now, the pink ribbon and color itself can be found on everything from soda cans to car dealerships during the month of October. However, many companies who add the pink ribbon onto products during BCAM are accused of pinkwashing, where “a company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products containing chemicals that are linked to the disease” (Breast Cancer Action). Companies like these inspired the Think Before You Pink campaign.

Although BCAM has come to an end, spreading awareness and supporting the fight against breast cancer is important everyday. We should continue to support those affected by breast cancer, promote the use of mammograms, educate others about risks and factors, and fundraise for breast cancer research year-round.
Petition to Change the Advisory Policy
Junior Max Miller is organizing a petition to end signing back in at the end of advisory and would like your support! Sign the petition by scanning the QR code or heading to change.org/AdvisoryEndsHere
— Your Newsletter Team —
Editors in Chief:
Devin Gowdy & Jaden Luke
Steven Acuna Delgado
Diego Figueroa
Michaela Gonzalez
Loralei Rohrbach
Sarah Grover
Blythe Jones
Charlotte Korer
Anastasia Prusakova
Maxwell Miller
Mimi Wilson
Katie Yeh
Kelly Nelson