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Student, like teacher, logs a busy day

By Dahlia Wong and Shengtong Luo

Students and teachers live different lifestyles. But how different are they? The Oak Leaf talked with science teacher Alyssa Hoeft and senior Jasmine Cheng about their daily lives during the school days and the weekends.

Hoeft usually wakes up at 6:30 a.m. every school morning. First off, she checks her phone because “I like to check emails and look at the news to see if any disasters happened overnight.” After that, she makes sure she has her cold brew coffee since “it’s an important part of my routine.”

The time Hoeft gets to school varies depending on what she has to get done. If she has a lot to do, she arrives at school by 7 a.m. but on other days, she gets there between 7:30-7:40 a.m.

Her early arrival allows her time to think about lessons she plans to teach throughout the day. “As a teacher, what’s important to me is for me to do less of the talking and have students do more of the talking because I think students learn better that way when they are processing information verbally than hearing me talk about it,” said Hoeft. “Science is done through the communication of different people and building on each other’s ideas.”

The force is with Hoeft.
The force is with Hoeft.

After school has ended, Hoeft stays “at least one hour after school to get everything done.” After that, she goes to the gym. She tries to go to the gym two to three times a week. If she goes to the gym, she arrives back at home around 7 p.m.

She then makes dinner. Because she is so exhausted from her day, she likes to make “something easy and doesn’t take too long to put together,” like a salad or leftovers.  

To finish off her day, she watches TV shows and videos on Youtube when she’s eating dinner or when she’s doing something easy for school like entering grades in Schoolloop.

Hoeft says she has been getting into the show, “Kitchen Nightmares.” She’s also lately been on a Youtube binge on “any sort of bad auditions” from singing competition shows like “American Idol” and “X-Factor.”

Hoeft has a love for ghost stories and since it’s October, the month of Halloween, Hoeft has been reading a lot of them. After she reads them, she gets scared and embarrassed because she feels like “as a science teacher I shouldn’t get afraid of ghosts, but I’m terrified of ghosts and then I have to cut back and [decide] I’m not going to read any more ghosts stories.  And then I’m like, ‘OK,  I’ll read one more’.”

Hoeft tries “to be in bed by 10:30 p.m. at the latest.”

Across town, Cheng wakes up around 6:10 a.m. because she has a zero period class. Right away, she will “turn off my alarm and do my stuff and then I get my phone, go downstairs and eat.”

Cheng says her school day is like most AHS students’ day, in that she does “basically what everyone does, like ask teachers things during break.”

Cheng has a busy schedule.
Cheng has a busy schedule.

Cheng is busy with college applications for now, but later in the year, she hopes to find an internship. Usually, she goes back home right after school by bus or by a parent.

When badminton season starts in the spring, she will practice every day from 3:30-6:00 p.m. When there’s a game, she will be at school until 7 p.m.

After going back home, Cheng finishes her homework first and keeps working on her college applications.  “I’m trying to focus on that and write essays for now,” said Cheng. She also plays piano or watches Chinese games, Youtube or reality shows if she has free time.

After finishing all her tasks during the day, Cheng goes to bed “around 11:30 to 12 p.m..”

Hoeft prefers “to wake up early on the weekends” because she likes to get things done. The activities for her weekends vary a lot, but there is a constant:  “I don’t like to go to bed past 11,” Hoeft said.

Hoeft tries to not do any work on Saturday. She works on things such as grading notebooks on Sunday, and sometimes she goes back to school to grade as well. Additionally, Sunday is the cooking day for her when she makes everything for the coming week.

“Labor Day weekend I was camping. I will go visit people,” Hoeft said. Having a day trip and going hiking are very common activities for her on the weekends.

On the weekends, Cheng often wakes up around 8 or 9 a.m. Some tasks are constant for her weekends. “Homework and college applications again. I work on it every day,” Cheng said. Sometimes she goes out with her parents to eat.

For the past two Saturdays, she participated a competition about Asian culture. “I’m busy on that and study for it,” Cheng said. She worked on this competition over the course of several weekends and just finished the original competition with schools in the East Bay, South Bay and San Francisco area. She was preparing for a competition later in October.

Before going to bed, Cheng sometimes watches Hong Kong dramas with her family and then goes to bed “around 12 p.m. or later.”


AHS Journalism
The Oak Leaf, a product of the journalism class, is a vehicle of student expression and a public forum for the Alameda High School community.