The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Benjamin Zhang

Benjamin Zhang, Staff Writer

Benjamin is currently a sophomore and a staff writer for El Estoque. In his free time, he likes to play soccer, collect vinyls and critique bad movies.

All content by Benjamin Zhang
A series of diss tracks exchanged between Kendrick Lamar and Drake have captivated the public and brought new allegations against each rapper to light. Photo illustration by Jillian Ju


An interactive timeline of the Kendrick Lamar and Drake beef
Jillian Ju and Benjamin Zhang
May 17, 2024
Sarah Howell (Carshena) tries to win Sam Putney (King Ahasuerus) over by singing “You Belong with Me.” Photo by Isabelle Kok.

The First Congregational Church of Palo Alto brings ‘Eras of Esther’ to the stage

FCCPA’s community production offers a unique musical mashup of Taylor Swift and the Bible
Isabelle Kok and Benjamin Zhang
April 29, 2024
Abigail (Alisha Weir) dances onstage while covered in her victims blood. | Universal Pictures

‘Abigail’ bleeds its tired premise dry

Predictable plot, shallow characters and juvenile scripting hammer the last nail in the coffin
Jillian Ju and Benjamin Zhang
April 25, 2024
Syzygy refers to the opposition between two objects, such as the sun and moon | Sonia Verma

La Pluma: Syzygy

Members share their works in La Pluma’s fall issue “Syzygy”
Stella Petzova and Benjamin Zhang
April 13, 2024
Playing with pixels

Playing with pixels

MVHS students share their experiences with sports video games
Lillian Wang and Benjamin Zhang
April 13, 2024
Junior Kimika Shimazaki poses with a baton after performing at the Welcome Back rally.

Belonging in baton

Junior Kimika Shimazaki reflects on her journey in baton twirling
Kung Fu Panda 4 leaves audience bored and bamboo-zled

‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ leaves audience bored and bamboo-zled

A poor script and predictable plotline result in the iconic franchise’s fall from grace
Jillian Ju and Benjamin Zhang
March 13, 2024
Aarushi performs with a saap during MV Bhangras performance

Balancing the beat

Students share the differences between the coach-led MV Dance team and student-run dance clubs
Aaryan Sharma and Benjamin Zhang
March 7, 2024
Dessert Detectives: Ume Tea

Dessert Detectives: Ume Tea

Reviewing popular menu items based on quality and taste
Benjamin Zhang
February 12, 2024
“Argylle” features numerous superstars and celebrities, but none fulfill expectations

‘Argylle’ laughably fails its own mission

Matthew Vaughn’s creation proves to be too dysfunctional to be redeemed by its over-the-top comedy
Jillian Ju and Benjamin Zhang
February 6, 2024
Darren Lin sets up in his starting position while practicing for long jump.

Time Out! Ep. 15: Darren Lin

A leap into Darren Lin’s experience with track and field
Benjamin Zhang
February 5, 2024
Instrumental Music Director John Gilchrist takes a pause in directing the orchestra during its 2023 Winter Concert, “Forces of Nature.”

Striking the high note

John Gilchrist wins the Richard L. Levin Orchestra Educator Award
Alyssa Yang and Benjamin Zhang
January 27, 2024
Protestors gather at Harry Bridges Plaza, San Francisco in a demonstration against the APEC convention.

On the streets of SF

San Francisco reflects on the 2023 APEC summit’s impacts on community issues
APEC: A business perspective

APEC: A business perspective

Looking into the convention’s impacts on local businesses and organizations
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Examining how the computer science teacher shortage in California impacts FUHSD
Sophia D'Sa and Benjamin Zhang
December 6, 2023


Taking a glimpse at the impact of fashion at MVHS
Costume director Lynda Cameron-Bayer fits a costume for the Queen of Hearts, a character in MV Drama’s “Alice in Wonderland.”

Costume couture

Featuring the MVHS Drama costume department
Lillian Wang and Benjamin Zhang
November 1, 2023
Carrot cupcake earrings from Madeleine Ischos Etsy shop @FunSizedStudio. Photo courtesy of Madeleine Ischo.

Making cents of crafts

Taking a look behind the scenes of three MVHS art small businesses
Isabelle Kok and Benjamin Zhang
October 28, 2023
Sophomores Megan Liu, Sophia DSa and Shannon Yu take the first position of the girls dance.

Gotta catch ’em all

Sophomores battle their way through the Pokemon world on the second day of Homecoming
Ananya Chaudhary and Benjamin Zhang
September 27, 2023
Violent themes are prevalent in music. Graphic | Benjamin Zhang

Finding the beauty in violence

Examining the careful balance between artistic expression and the romanticization of violence in rap music
Benjamin Zhang
September 18, 2023
Academic experieces may range across classes based on how coherent curriculum is implemented.

Working towards a coherent curriculum through equitable grading practices

Exploring FUHSD student and staff opinions on implementing ‘Grading for Equity’
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