Breaking Convention: “MV Cares” bracelets are given to acknowledge good work of some students

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Emma Lam

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There have been many ways the staff tried to address the problems that come with learning and stress at MVHS Challenge Days, finals stress-relief days and so on. Along with these one-day events, the staff has now decided to implement a long-term chain of positivity that can continue throughout the school year.

Teachers are handing out “Monta Vista Cares” bracelets to students that perform a good deed or help other students around campus Students feel like they are receiving praise for an act they would have not otherwise been acknowledged for, but those who do not receive bracelets can feel a tinge of bitterness. It was based on the psychological theory of happiness, that only having worked hard, done well, gone to college, worked harder and gotten a job, can an individual be happy.

 Science teacher Andrew Goldenkranz 

 “Being happy is always supposed to happen at the finish line,” science photo (1)teacher Andrew Goldenkranz said. “It actually may be the inverse, that happiness is the ingredient you need to work hard and be successful. After some initial apprehension, I appreciate that this was a simple and random in the way that it’s not some big, weighty program to impose: ‘today, we will be happy!’ ”

“I gave the bracelet to a kid who is often kind of timid, and not super confident academically. At one point, she tossed her hand in the air and asked a great question. I said, “okay, that was kind of a meaningful moment. Here is your reward.” It was like Christmas morning for the kid. Later that day, I got an email from the family, and how excited they were, and it was the greatest thing that ever happened. Even though I thought they might have been overdoing it, they were clearly responding, like here is this kid, who is a great kid, but has never been on top of the class academically, and she just needed that kind of affirmation about something good that has happened to her.”

However, some students weren’t aware about the bracelets until their friends had told them. The bracelets are only being passed around by word-of-mouth, and the students are not spreading the bracelets amongst themselves. After the teacher gives out the bracelet to the students, the chain stops there. The value of the bracelet decreases from that point on — to some students, the praise of an authority figure is more worthy than that of their peers. The bracelets can also be viewed as a collectible, making students less willing to pass it on. In class, certain students become envious of others who receive bracelets, wondering why their own accomplishments are not acknowledged and rewarded.

Senior Ajunee Kohli

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“I got one from Mr. Hajjarian, who is my AVID teacher, and he gave one to everyone in my class. He said that he appreciates all of us and to pass it onto others,“ Kohli said.

“I think they are really clever, but for some people if they didn’t receive a bracelet, I feel as though they wouldn’t feel good about themselves, Kohli said. Or in class for example, when a teacher hands out three bracelets to certain people, and the other ones are disappointed. On the other hand, it is a nice concept that if someone did a nice thing for you, you can give them a bracelet.”

There are no rules or guidelines to what is “good behavior.” If someone sees another person doing something they think is kind, they should pass on the bracelets they’ve received. Overall, the bracelets aim to promote good relations amongst the school community.

Sophomore San Venkatesh

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“I found out about the bracelets around school, because in AVID, our teacher Ms. Chow, each gave us a bracelet for writing good things for random people that we appreciate; we were supposed to write on them and give them out. She gave us the MV Cares Bracelet to show us how much she cares about us, and how we did something that helped people at MVHS.

I think that in most cases the bracelets are useful because if we come together as a community and show that we as a school care, or better unity. However, even though it is a good thing, some people who just got the bracelets, don’t deserves them. Some people only got it due to self interest, not for MVHS. Only the people who do actually good deeds should be able to receive them. I also don’t think that teachers should hand the bracelets out super easily to just anyone, only for students who do help out.”

While it is impossible for every act of kindness or stepping out the comfort zone to be acknowledged, the bracelets still serve to reward good acts that are known. The bracelets have not improved the relations of the community yet as it was intended, but it still has made certain MVHS students feel appreciated.