What’s In Your Backpack?

Welcome Back to Ripon High!

Maria Soto, Editor

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Back-to-School season- the part of the year when summer break begins to dwindle down and large red sale signs are sighted at chain stores such as Target and Staples.  Some students drag their heels when it comes to stocking up for the new school year but others embrace it.

From the neatly prepared binders and notebooks to the single lucky folder that gets to hold every single syllabus, every student gets ready for school in their own ways.  Here at Ripon High, there are many clubs and organizations to get involved in, meaning that each student has their personal mix of supplies that gets them through the day.  Four students and a faculty member let us take a peek into their backpack and a look at how they spend their time at school.

Mia Martinez smiles for the camera next to her backpack.

Junior Mia Martinez found her niche in the Ripon High music program, anyone who took a peek at her backpack would be able to tell what she loves to do.  To Martinez, the most enjoyable part of being a music student at Ripon High is “the family that comes along with it”. She began playing flute in the 5th grade and now plays for the school’s concert band, which includes marching in the Homecoming parade and playing football games.  

In addition to being part of the band, Martinez is at school for Orchestra, a zero period class.  She plays her flute and the piccolo, an instrument she calls “a tiny flute”, in both classes and loves to play solos.  Martinez hopes to continue playing music throughout her life in ensembles and possibly as a teacher.

Sophomore, Maliah Rodriquez’s trendy backpack.

Maliah Rodriquez, RHS sophomore, is also part of the music program, studying AP Music Theory and singing in Advanced Choir.  Despite having such involvement in the music classes, you won’t be able to find her after school at the music room, Rodriquez will be with the cheer team either practicing hard or giving it her all at the football games.  

“I spent most of my summer at cheer with our eight-hour camps, so that’s how I got prepared [for this school year]”, Rodriquez said.  When asked what her favorite part of school is, she smiled wide and answered, “going to practice after school…I am on Varsity”. This is her fourth year of being a cheerleader and she is looking forward to the rest of the cheer season.

Vice Principal Mr. Ramirez sports his sleek backpack every day.

Mr. Ramirez, Ripon High’s beloved Vice Principal, got ready for the new school year all throughout the summer break.  He spent his days “consulting with Mr. Rangel and the counseling department on the master schedule, looking at classroom assignments…and setting goals for [himself] and what [he] wants to accomplish this year as a Vice Principal with teachers and students”.

Backpacks are not just for students, Mr. Ramirez has one of his own to carry his supplies around the school for when he visits classrooms throughout the day.  One item that he carries is the leather-bound notebook that has ‘United States Senate’ embossed across the front, stationary that he acquired almost 20 years ago in his senior year of high school while at the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington D.C.

“I am really looking forward to the growth that will come out of implementing Character Strong, I think that having something that we all work on together…will really change the culture of our school,” Mr. Ramirez said when asked about what he is anticipating for this school year.  “[He is] excited for how we will look 10 months from now, in May, when we are looking back at what we accomplished this year.”

Taitem Brown’s all-blue book bag.

New school and new year, freshman Taitem Brown shares how she got ready for high school.  Brown has quite the class load this year, “Honors Math, Honors English, Chemistry, AP Human Geography…and Journalism,” but she was expecting a lot of homework and is excited to get involved on campus and meet new people.  “I am going to be on the tennis team [and] I’m in Student Senate…I’m excited to see all of the different clubs at Club Rush and Homecoming.”

Brown enjoys visiting national parks and hiking around them to soak in the beauty, especially Zion National Park because of its landscape.  She also is a fan of astronomy and comments that she, “would love to go to a place like CalTech and major in mechanical engineering”. Even though Brown prefers large parks and space, she says that she loves Ripon High because it is a small campus with a close community.

Haley Meece’s Hogwarts bookbag.

“I’m really looking forward to welcoming the new generation of students that will succeed this class that’s leaving because it is my last year here and I really just want to make it as good as possible…” Haley Meece says.  She is a senior on campus and is known for her friendly smile and love of sketching and writing. “I’ve never taken a legit art class…I just enjoy doing it myself and learning things as I go,” she tells. Writing and drawing is a large part of Meece’s life, “…I never know when I could use [my art supplies] so I carry [them] around with me wherever I go”.

She prepared for her last high school year with a Back-to-School shopping trip at her favorite art store in Japantown, San Francisco. Meece loves buying her stationery from that shop because “they always have fun things that fit [her] personality,” such as the cat pens and endearing milk carton pencil pouch.  All of these tools come in handy when inspiration strikes for one of Ripon High’s artists.

Everyone at Ripon High has their own style when it comes to preparing for the new school season and the differences in the backpacks show the unique individuality on campus.  Interestingly, there were many commonalities between the seemingly different people. Whether it might be bonding over the arts, wanting to become more involved at school, or using stickers for self-expression, we all have something in common.  

Unity in diversity is the beauty of Ripon High and Back-to-School activities such as Club Rush and the Neon Dance.  No matter what your interests might be, there is something for everyone. So, make sure to sign up for clubs, organizations, and sports this Back-to-School season.  Join the Tribe!