Tag: Hoang-Phi Quy

How the Music Programs are Learning Online

Words: Hoang-Phi Quy

Since April 15, Howard County Public Schools have resumed lessons and continued the online learning program. HCPSS has continually stressed the importance of learning throughout these difficult times. 

Unlike regular academic classes, music classes have been particularly difficult to conduct electronically. Students in musical classes have to record themselves once a week playing the newly assigned piece.

“In orchestra, we submit playing tests,” explained freshman Melissa Le. “[We turn in] about 50 measures each week.”

Students in Orchestra are required to submit recordings as a video with their face and instrument visible. Other musical classes have different requirements and assignments than orchestra. 

“You can either listen and write about a [piece] or play a solo,” said junior clarinetist, Enric Jiao. Band students have two options to choose from, unlike the orchestral unit, which only submits playing tests. Jiao usually likes to do “the listening reflections.”

Both Jiao and Le believe that the way the current programs are running is the best way for the situation they are in. They both still believe they are able to learn from their respective classes during this time. 

“[The teachers are] handling this well,” said Jiao. “It is an efficient and effective way to still learn in these difficult times.”

Despite the success with online music classes, Le still believes that the best way to learn music is through direct instruction from the teacher. She is ready to get “back into the classroom.”


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Online Education’s Grading System

Words: Hoang-Phi Quy

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Howard County Public School System has resorted to online classes which started on April 14, 2020. According to the HCPSS Website, the Continuity of Learning program is focused on “delivering learning objectives in a variety of ways” to the students in Howard County. 

Weekly assignments are made accessible by 9:00am every Monday via Modules on Canvas. Students are then responsible for completing these assignments in a timely manner and turning them in by 10:00am that Friday. 

To make things easier for students during this difficult time, HCPSS has created a new grading system for the Continuity of Learning program. To receive an A in quarter four, students are required to finish and turn in at least 50% of their assignments. 

If students fail to complete 50% of the work, they will be given the opportunity to finish the work over the summer in order to receive a passing grade. HCPSS has also announced that there will be no end of year exams due to the difficult learning environment and the possibility of academic dishonesty.

There are many different opinions on the temporary grading system. 

“I like the current grading system HCPSS has implemented,” expressed Jason Chen, a junior at Centennial. “[It] takes a lot of pressure off [my] shoulders.” 

However, Junior Michael He has a different view regarding the new arrangement. “The current system does not validate other student’s honesty,” He said. “I am not a fan because [it] encourages students to cheat.”

For more information on HCPSS’ Continuity of Learning Program, please visit hcpss.org


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In This Corner of the World: A Heartfelt Gem

Words: Hoang-Phi Quy

Animated movies in our time usually focus on genres such as fantasy and action. Luckily, I stumbled upon a historical fiction based in Japan during World War II.

Produced by Studio MAPPA in 2016, In This Corner of the World is a historical fiction animated movie set in 1944 during WWII. The film follows the life of Suzu Urano, an 18-year-old girl who recently moved out of Hiroshima to be married into another family, the Houjous. She slowly adapts to the lifestyle of a traditional housewife. Over time, she learns the ability to cook, clean, shop and sew for the family. While Urano has no children of her own, she is required to take care of her mother-in-law, who is ill.

As Urano adapts to her new lifestyle, the beginning of the war erupts, and things start to change. The famine and constant air raid sirens force her to once again accommodate to the world around her.

In This Corner of the World is a slice-of-life and drama set in Japan. It depicts the daily life and struggle of a regular, middle-classed Japanese household during the war. Urano’s struggle and adaptation to her surroundings create an extremely realistic feel to this animation.

The beautiful, hand-drawn animation creates exemplary scenes and shots. I would recommend this to anyone because of the animation, the story, and the morals and virtues that are taught throughout.


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Tennis State Championships at the WLTC

Words: Hoang-Phi Quy & Joey Sedlacko

After a terrific season of various scrimmages and games, the Centennial Tennis season wrapped up with the state tournament, held at the Wilde Lake Tennis Club on May 24 and 25.

Centennial started the tournament strongly. Centennial’s Olivia Tsai and Christopher Chen achieved third place in the mixed doubles bracket.

In the boys’ singles bracket, Richard Huang fell out early in the quarterfinals against Bel Air.

However, Danny Ho and Ryan Huang made it to the finals in the boys’ doubles bracket, losing only to Rockville.

Later in the tournament, Centennial’s high placements continued with Rose Huang, who finished in third place in the girls’ singles bracket.

The tennis team finished off strong in the final matches, with players Shreya Vallimanalan and Abby Jackson finishing in second place in the girls’ doubles bracket.

The tennis team earned first place overall in the point system. Centennial finished with 36 points in the state tournament and 26 points in the regional tournament, for a combined total of 62 points. Huntington High School came in second with 52 points.

Photos contributed by Principal Cynthia Dillon


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