The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

To The Accolade, I sincerely thank you

To+The+Accolade%2C+I+sincerely+thank+you
Image used with permission from Kate Yang

Why do we seek knowledge?

The International Baccalaureate [IB] Theory of Knowledge [TOK] students and I greeted the preceding question with a conversational investigation. Some postulated we sought knowledge to foster personal growth, and others hypothesized the pursuit of knowledge facilitated the route to wealth.

I, however, had not volunteered to share my perspective. 

The justification I formulated seemed insincere: the approach to knowledge I had been taking as a junior did not seem to align with my answer to the question.  

I kept silent for the remainder of the discussion, yet, as a senior prepared to graduate to the world beyond Sunny Hills, I’d like to now volunteer and share the answer I probed for that TOK period. 

The response I had designed the day of the discussion suggested that knowers sought knowledge to reap intellectual advantages. As an underclassman, I gathered knowledge for the articles I published and to increase my GPA — admittedly, a quite frivolous reason. 

Such a perspective is by no means invalid or false; rather, the anecdotes I have collected as the editor-in-chief of The Accolade have transformed the perspective to be simply unsuitable for the individual I have become. 

The stories I regard as the pinnacles of my years as a student journalist have been the ones with noteworthy interviewees. 

All of the articles beneath my byline have left me with knowledge — whether about the rules of football or the campus’ COVID-19 health protocols. Not all of the articles beneath my byline have, however, imprinted the memory of an insightful, engaging interview. 

To illustrate, I published an article in October of 2021 detailing the Fullerton Joint Union High School District’s announcement to mandate vaccinations or weekly COVID-19 testing for all staff members. I conducted interviews with several teachers and students who did not share identical viewpoints. 

Prior to the interview with one of the sources, I had never been given the chance to converse with an anti-vaxxer and that goes for nearly all of the interviews I conducted. 

Interviews with students, teachers and administrators centered around socially relevant subjects gift the art of conversation — conversations we typically would not have with individuals outside our classrooms. 

Following nearly four years of writing articles for The Accolade, I have revised my answer to the question “Why do we seek knowledge?” I seek knowledge to expand and elevate the lens with which I view the world and the human population housed within it.

Never will there be a day when every individual agrees with the person seated beside them, but that does not mean we should blind and deafen ourselves from their views: that would be defined as ignorance.

The Accolade presented a platform for civil conversation: a setting to learn from those we disagree with. 

Straying away from the opening question, The Accolade further granted the gift of constructing the individual I would graduate as.

As a freshman, I harbored doubts before joining The Accolade knowing the career I intended to pursue lay in the healthcare field, yet, from the several positions I cycled through, I fostered the qualities necessitated for success in any pathway.

From leading a staff of 30+ students with diversified strengths/weaknesses and systemizing six print publications to drawing attention to socially turbulent Spotlight themes and amplifying the voices of the student body, I have a great list of invaluable experiences trailing behind me. 

To The Accolade, I sincerely thank you. 

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About the Contributor
Kate Yang
Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Kate Yang spent her junior year serving as web managing editor of The Accolade. This year, she returns as editor-in-chief and looks forward to working with her new staff and top editors. Yang joined The Accolade as a sophomore after taking the prerequisite class, Journalism 1, as a freshman. She has earned several Best of SNO awards for her stories beginning her sophomore year, some including the reopening of Sunny Hills amid the pandemic and the AP score dilemma following the first online administered exams. Outside of The Accolade, Yang runs several clubs and plays golf for the SH girls golf team. She is an International Baccalaureate student and a Link Crew leader this year. Yang hopes to see more students this year pick up physical copies of The Accolade as well as visit the online website.
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