Hot Take Tuesday, Vol. 2

Hot Take Tuesday is back! You know how it goes: each Tuesday until June, enjoy a new “hot take” by Webbies, about Webb. Also, take in a few blurbs written by the WCC’s amazing opinion section — Berklee and Steph. Enjoy!
Hot Take Tuesday, Vol. 2
April 16th, 2024
Hot Take: Advanced courses shouldn’t exist

At Webb, classes vary in difficulty. From regular, to Honors, to AP and Advanced Studies courses, students attempt to balance requirements and lean into their passions during their course requests. However, to Andrew Hamilton, science department faculty, higher level classes shouldn’t exist.  

“The bigger reason is the equity issue,” Mr. Hamilton said. “You see a lot of underrepresentation of certain groups in [higher level] classes. Generally, wealthier families have the resources to get their students into these classes, which leaves some students behind.” 

Mr. Hamilton thinks the pressure to take higher-level classes prevents students from taking unique classes that actually interest them. In his opinion, Webb classes should not differ in level and should all be described as challenging, as they all ultimately lead to the same diploma.  

“Students end up not taking classes like Astrophysics, Neuroscience or other interesting classes because people tell them they won’t help you get into university,” said Mr. Hamilton. “If you’re taking Webb classes to graduate, then shouldn’t [all classes] be challenging to a certain standard?” 

April 16th, 2024 (Stephanie Ma)
April 23rd, 2024
Hot Take: Webb needs daily uniforms

Outside of formal occasions, Webb permits its students to dress freely — so long as they stay within the confines of the dress code. Thea Do (‘24), however, would embrace extra wardrobe regulation: a daily school uniform. 

“As someone who went to a school that required a uniform, I prefer it,” Thea said. “It would just save so much time in the morning, especially for people who are very fashionable, to just wear a uniform. You don’t have to worry about what you’re going to wear every day.” 

Thea thinks that a daily uniform would solve a plethora of problems, from obsessing over your appearance to unintentionally breaking the dress code. To her, solutions to these issues are worth giving up fashion as a form of self-expression. 

“I’m happy to go to a school [where we are] able to wear whatever we want, but the amount of times that I’ve gotten dress-coded is so annoying,” Thea said. “I totally understand the lack of individuality and self-expression aspect, but I do believe that uniforms will help bring the school together as a tighter community.”

April 23rd, 2024 (Stratton Rebish)
April 30th, 2024
Hot Take: Stop trashing community college

Even before the college admissions process begins, many Webb students create a stigma surrounding community college, making Webbies feel diminished if they consider community college as an option. Pristine Thomas (‘25) finds these jokes ludicrous. 

“A lot of people make jokes that their grades are really bad and that the only school they have a chance of getting into is Chaffey or Citrus and everyone sort of laughs,” Pristine said. “It’s kind of weird to me.” 

To Pristine’s point, community college is a great option, and everyone has their own path. Community college can prepare you to transfer, provide better financial options, and many more. The stigma against community college perpetuates a skewed idea of what students can accomplish at one of these schools. 

“It just seems like the correlation between getting a ‘bad grade,’ like a B, should not mean you are unintelligent or that [community colleges] aren’t good for you even though they can help you or you can transfer out,” Pristine said. 

April 30th, 2024 (Berklee Antecol)
May 7th, 2024
Hot Take: Achievements are overrated; friends are way better

Many students enter Webb striving to stockpile accolades to craft a rejection-proof college application. The formula goes: grind for perfect test scores, craft fancy research papers, and stack up as many leadership positions as you possibly can. Sehoon Kang (‘24) disagrees with this practice.  

“A lot of students work on personal projects, like writing a book or starting a podcast, just to add another extracurricular on their resume,” Sehoon said. “When people care so much about achievements, they don’t prioritize the value of the process.” 

Sehoon believes that what really matters is the passion and fulfillment that your commitments and connections bring. Awards are meaningless if they don’t create genuine happiness and personal growth. 

“The people that you surround yourself with ultimately determine who you are, not the achievements,” Sehoon said. “Take my friend Garry Zhang (‘24) as an example. I wasn’t as interested in chemistry before I met him, but meeting someone who shared my interest added perspective and knowledge, as well as nurtured my passion for chemistry.” 

May 7th, 2024 (Stephanie Ma)
May 14th, 2024
Hot Take: Disband the Honor Council

The Honor Council is a point of pride for Webb’s disciplinary process — and, in theory, a jury of your peers is a very noble addition. Yet, in practice, an exclusive HC ties personal righteousness to punitive action. For this reason, Neria Spence (‘24) preaches: disband the HC. 

“While the Honor Council theoretically helps connect the community by having students [recommend peer disciplinary action], it realistically creates a more hostile and distrusting environment,” Neria said. “Students have no idea what is happening with the HCs due to their intense rules of secrecy and privacy, which leads to an even more divided community.” 

Neria thinks the Honor Council should function more like jury duty, calling up different students to serve as HCs on a case-by-case basis. This solution would eliminate personal righteousness from the disciplinary process, and result in more transparency and less confusion about school rules. 

“We still need a form of repercussion for students’ mistakes, but the exclusivity of the current HCs creates the narrative that some students are ‘more moral’ than others,” Neria said. “This new HC would be a big step in helping the community grow together as one.” 

May 14th, 2024 (Stratton Rebish)
May 21st, 2024
Hot Take: Grades disregard real learning

Students stress themselves out constantly, working for the perfect grade and validation from their teachers. According to “Why Focusing on Grades is a Barrier to Learning,” an article by Gerald E. Knesek, grades foster a competitive system around learning and create a hostile environment between students and their teachers. Being productive for the sake of a grade is something James Huerta, humanities department faculty, dislikes.  

“I think grades are dumb because [they] take away from a truly educational experience,” Mr. Huerta said. “I think grades reduce relationships between teachers and students to transactional [ones].” 

If students did not have to do assignments strictly for marks, they would be encouraged to embrace the real educational experience. Mr. Huerta has experimented with giving feedback over grades in Advanced Studies African Ideologies and Revolutions. After each project he has discussions with his students as a time for them to reflect on their work and talk about what grades they think they deserve for the work they have completed. This way he is not just slapping a grade onto their work, and it lets them truly reflect on their process. 

“I’m right now experimenting with giving lots of feedback,” Mr. Huerta said. “I think students have been really honest and open to reflecting [on the work].” 

May 21st, 2024 (Berklee Antecol)
Come back next Tuesday for another hot take!
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About the Contributors
Stratton Rebish
Stratton Rebish, Editor-in-Chief
Stratton Rebish (‘24) is a man of many titles. Holding positions as Head Peer Advisor, Editor-in-Chief of the Webb Canyon Chronicle, the founder and president of the Webb Thespian Group, Stratton is, “kind of a big deal around town,” according to him. But within these responsibilities, he has two main passions: football and theater. As a varsity defensive end and football captain, you might not immediately think of Stratton as a theater kid. A single conversation with Stratton will brighten your day with his bubbly and dramatic tones. His hysterical jokes come from his love of stand-up comedy and comics like Hasan Minhaj. As for sports, he is an avid New York sports fan; the New York Jets and Knicks will forever hold a special place in his heart, even when they disappoint him year after year. Aside from getting grilled for his poor sports team taste, he is a self-proclaimed “aspiring grill savant”. He aspires to be a grill dad and loves a Southeast Asian dish called Satay. And when you hear, “So guys, funny story, right,” be ready for Stratton’s theatrics, because he will always be in character, playin’ his role.  Favorite song: "Life" by Sérgio Mendes
Stephanie Ma
Stephanie Ma, Co-Editor of Opinion
Meet Stephanie “Steph” Ma ('25), a harmonious force within the Webb Canyon Chronicle and Webb Community. This past summer Steph leisurely sojourned in Korea, where she indulged in delicious street foods such as fish cakes and tteokbokki. She continued her summer melodiously with visits to Boston College and NYU’s Clive Davis Institute, where she immersed herself in the world of music, recorded her own songs, and had her soul serenaded by Masie Peters while visiting her brother in Canada. Looking through her Spotify, you are sure to find the ballads of Taylor Swift and Joshua Bassett. A talented instrumentalist, she plays a multitude of instruments such as the violin, guitar, and ukulele, yet her compositions extend beyond melodies. At Webb, the humanities strike a chord in her heart, especially classes conducted by Ms. MacPhee. As a maestro of leadership, Steph serves on the VWS Honor Cabinet When writing for the WCC Steph meticulously pieces together articles, most notably her compelling piece on the UC strikes. Finishing with a crescendo we can all look forward to seeing Steph thrive during her third year at Webb, while we take delight in her enlightened and empathetic articles during her second year at the Chronicle.  Favorite Song: "Cool About It" by Boygenius
Berklee Antecol
Berklee Antecol, Co-Editor of Opinion
As a fashionista, Berklee Antecol (‘25) not only loves the design side of fashion but also the statistics. Although she wants to study economics or business in the future, Berklee also has a fascination with the fashion industry. Her personality is like a vibrant pink fabric in a mix of pastel colors. This gradient is carried through her experiences in the Webb community; wherever you are, she will stand out as a bright glow of energy and positivity. Like a seamstress selecting the right thread for the fabric, she works as an admission ambassador, introducing prospective students into the fabric of the Webb community. Yet Berklee's life is not just bold pink; she can settle into paler, calmer hues of pink as well. She loves to snuggle on the couch and click play on her favorite Netflix show, Gilmore Girls, or listen to calm music like Still Woozy to improve her homework efficiency. This year, as the Editor of Opinion, Berklee wants to jump into a fast-working mindset and to write and publish as many articles as she can. Like sewing haute couture, Berklee is always ready to go with fast quality work.   Song: I Feel Fantastic - Riovaz

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