Oracle Day

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Jared ’17

 

 

Oracle Day is a University High School tradition where the boys and girls basketball teams travel to Oracle Arena to play Lick Wilmerding. Oracle Arena is the stadium where the Golden State Warriors play all of their home games. In early January, UHS rents busses for all of its students to be transported to Oracle Arena to watch their teams play our league rival Lick Wilmerding. Prior to this, UHS puts on a rally to raise the school spirit in preparation for the big games.

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As a player of these games over the past two years, it is my favorite UHS experience. Being given the opportunity to play on a professional court is amazing, but to be able to play a game in front of the whole school is even better. Playing on a professional court in front of my whole school has to be one of the most nerve-racking, but rewarding experiences. On Oracle Day, I feel more connected to my high school than any other day.

The Busiest Day I’ve Ever Had At UHS

 

 

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Spencer ’18

It started at 6:05 AM, and then again at 6:10 AM, and again at 6:15 AM, as my three consecutive alarms woke me up three consecutive times. I woke to go work out with my Dad at his office, and lifted weights, ran, and jumped for an hour before school. I crammed bagels and oatmeal and a protein shake into my mouth, and drove up the hill to my first class.

My first class was U.S. History, and we had a Document Based Question test (which I was hardly prepared for), and I completely forgot a core idea to the topic, which was Jefferson’s presidency. After turning in my test to a smiling teacher, who saw the look of “Welp” on my face, I rushed down to South campus for a Latin class. The night before, I thought I had done a terrific job on the homework—it only took me 20 minutes while watching the Warriors game—but, as it turned out, I read the syllabus a day in advance and did the wrong homework. She even collected it, and said, “I’ll just keep this for tomorrow.” 45 minutes later, I walked back up to Middle campus to have my Math class. The second quarter had just started, and in the “First Quarter Reflection”, someone had written that they wanted “more lecture time in class”. What a great idea! My teacher really took their advice to heart and, while it may have pleased that one person, I was not feeling very pleased. Nevertheless, I made it through the class to Lunch, and had a great, filling chicken burrito, and headed to the music room, just to play some jazz piano to clear my mind.

I was really feeling the groove, and finally my day was starting to look up… until I noticed an eerie silence from the hallway. A minute later, I busted into my Physics class, apologizing for being ten minutes late. Our teacher was midway through a lecture, so I had to grab my friend’s notes after. By the end of that class, I was about done with school for the day, and looking ahead to the night of homework, but entered the music room for our Jazz Ensemble class. And, for the next 45 minutes, played music with the class until all the stress of the day melted away. I walked out of school into the street, and could see the bay from Jackson St. What a day. I had a whole 5 hours until basketball, so I could just relax.

The thing about UHS is that the intensities of daily life just lead to greater appreciation of time, values, privilege, and self-fulfillment. Also, this was probably the worst day I’ve had at UHS. So, if I doesn’t sound that bad, good for you. And if it even does sound bad, know that there were much better days that greatly outnumber this hectic one.

Connections: A Reflection on the Student-Teacher Dynamic at UHS

 

 

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Lily ’18

Of the many facets I’ve come to notice about UHS, the student-teacher dynamic is something I noticed during my very first visit, and over the years, has become one of my favorite aspects of UHS. Since my first day freshman year, I have received continual support from not only my mentor, but also my other teachers. Teachers are always very open to meeting and taking time out of their day to make sure you feel comfortable with your understanding of the material presented in class.

One of the unique aspects of the teacher-student dynamic at UHS is how we call teachers by their first name. Coming from a rather different school environment, this tradition seemed a little strange to me at first. However, after adapting to this difference, I began to notice that the student-teacher relationship was not restricted only to the classroom. For example, it’s not strange at all for students to be hanging out during lunch up in the English office, or for students to drop in the college counseling room (Jenny, one of our college counselors, always has beanbags in her office, a smile at the ready, and food!) At times, recent graduates even stop by to stay hello.

I believe the dedicated faculty at UHS is one of the most critical components of what allows UHS to be the open environment it is. I feel that while the knowledge and skills I’ve gleaned during my time here is important, the relationships I’ve built and the advice I’ve received from various teachers is invaluable.

Eating off Campus

 

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Ananya ’18

Yes, I love the academics and community at UHS, but what I want to write about today is the food. Something that really surprised me about UHS when I was starting my freshman year was how good the food was. Coming from middle school where the food was not ideal, I felt like I was eating gourmet when I tasted my first UHS quesadilla. As time went on and my first semester on campus was coming to an end, I noticed that I was growing tired of the daily Mexican food and “hot specials” that I had previously found so amazing. Luckily, in the beginning of second semester, freshmen are granted their much-anticipated off campus privileges. Off campus privileges allow students to leave campus during their free time (lunch, free periods, and meetings periods) as long as they are back in time for their next class or commitment.

On my first day receiving off campus privileges, I felt like the world was my oyster. My friends and I were overwhelmed with the different restaurant options; we did not know which one to choose for this first special lunch. We decided on Eliza’s, a Chinese restaurant on California Street that is a staple of many UHS students’ diets. The next day we went to Fillmore Street and ate at Roam Burger, and the next day Presidio Pizza on Divisadero, and the next day Rigolo in Laurel Village, and so on so forth for a few weeks until we had eaten at basically every restaurant near UHS. We loved the freedom and responsibility that was given to us by the school, but mainly we loved the amazing food we were eating.

It has been about two years since I was granted off campus privileges, and I have yet to get tired of any of the restaurants near UHS. Because there are so many restaurants at different distances from the school, there are always multiple options in any given situation. Some days I have a short lunch and want to grab a quick sandwich at Café Luna (half a block from South Campus), and other days I have a long free period attached to my lunch, so my friends and I take the bus down to Chestnut Street and eat there. The ability to go off campus has allowed me to explore the different parts of UHS’s neighborhood, and to eat great food while doing so. Going off campus in our neighborhood is something really unique to the UHS experience, and I am very thankful for it; but when my legs are tired and I want to stay on campus, hanging out in the student center and listening to the seniors’ music always does the trick!

 

My UHS Experience

 

 

 

 

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Kevin ’18

 

UHS has served as a safe pod in which I have felt comfortable exploring, being challenged, and growing.

Coming to UHS, I expected the strong curriculum and anticipated having the opportunity to contribute to its baseball team.  Undoubtedly, UHS has met both of these expectations with flying colors.

What came as a most welcome surprise to me is how strong the sense of community the school fosters.  From meeting friends and classmate from many different schools located far and wide, to learning from the very diverse faculty at UHS whose teaching style represents the unique characteristics of each teacher, my learning experience and growth have flourished and deepened.

So if you are considering applying to UHS, be ready for it to likely exceed even your best expectations!

Tackling the Commute

 

 

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Courtney ’18

Commuting from the East Bay every day was something I was thoroughly worried about as a freshman. With three hours of commute time every day, I was originally concerned about my ability to mange my time effectively and be able to do homework, sports, and other extracurriculars all while getting enough sleep. Yet all of this concern faded away after the first day, when I received support not only from my mentor, but from my peers and teachers, all of which wanted me to succeed and not let the pressure or stress of the commute get in the way of my success. I honestly feel like that is simply one of the best things at UHS, the fact that everyone wants you to do well no matter what. This overwhelming community support was mimicked in multiple ways, the first of which was through my mentor. My first interaction with my mentor was simply discussing the commute and finding a way to manage my time with the commute and transition to high school, a conversation that has helped aid me in managing my time all throughout high school thus far. As school picked up, the intensity of the classes not only ramped up but my ability to focus and manage my time correctly increased, a direct result of of the support I was receiving at UHS. Along with that, my teachers have been adaptable and kind when it comes to my commute, for example understanding when I have to come late due to a BART or MUNI delay or granting extensions on major or minor assignments.

All of this continued support at UHS that I receive daily has actually led to to enjoy my commute and use the time effectively, something that eventually minimizes my homework load at home. UHS helps make my commute manageable

 

Theater at UHS:

 

 

 

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Deren ’18

When I first arrived at UHS in the Fall of 2014, I was the only student coming from my school. I was very worried about how I was going to be accustomed to the social life at UHS. I though about playing sports to make knew friends, but knew that my real passion was in theater, as I had gone to a performing arts school for 10 years prior to high school. Consulting another person in the grade above me who had come from my middle school as well, I decided that I would pursue my real interests and be part of the UHS theater community. During that Freshman year, I would have to say one of the highlights was taking part in the Spring Musical, “Urinetown”. Not only was it a very fun production to put on, but the people involved in the theater department were so enthusiastic and passionate about what they were doing. I formed some of the strongest bonds I have ever had in my school life, with both peers and faculty, during that time.

Just this last month, I took part in the school’s fall theater production of “Tartuffe”, a comedy by the legendary French playwright Moliere which addresses topics from religion and morals to wealth and political power. It was such an amazing experience taking part in it as it was a very interesting production to put on. Additionally, as a Junior, it was nice to see and get to know the next generation of UHS theater with the freshman involved. Overall, it was a great experience to perform in the production and even as a Junior I was able to form a bunch of new friendships and bonds. I would recommend it to any incoming freshman, as the UHS theater community is a group where you can always make friends despite your grade level or how many people from your middle school are coming to UHS. 

Ultimately, doing theater at UHS has been so extremely rewarding to me. Some of the best friends I have, I’ve met through doing theater. Also, It is so amazing to be able to put so much work into something other than academic work and then see your efforts come to fruition, come opening night. I’d urge any prospective students to take a look at the theater department on the UHS website and pursue their passions in their high school careers.