By Joseph Nguyen
d.tech’s origin story starts with the 2014-2015 school year, in one of the hallways of Mills High School in Burlingame. This raised eyebrows and arguments from the Mills community. Nevertheless, Mills gave us half of their language hallway to exist in. During that year, the relationship between the two schools was, to say the very least, strained. But now, after two full years, it is quite possible that our standing with Mills may have improved. Has it? The Dragon investigated.
Jason Chan, a junior at Mills High, had much on his mind to share: “Now that they’re gone, I don’t really care about it, but when they were there, it actually did feel like a separate school. The few times they came to mess with our *censored* it was just, why. I remember one time in P.E., they would come over and like, some kid messed with some *censored*.”
If Chan’s experience with d.tech students is accurate, his hostility towards the school is understandable. No blame should be placed on him. Most, if not all students, have done idiotic things in freshman year, and d.tech is probably no different. But it is clear that as a school, d.tech has matured and many hope to have made a more positive impact on our original campus.
Reina Lobos, a junior at Mills, presented a more positive view of our school: “I didn’t mind them being here. Everyone thought it was annoying, [but] I thought it was pretty cool. When I was in middle school at BIS, everyone was talking about d.tech, and I thought it was pretty cool.”
In reality, there is less distance between the two schools than some would like to believe. Mills junior, Diego Solano, says he almost chose to come to d.tech. He said: “Interesting school, I considered it at first, then I realized it was way too much of an experiment… In terms of sports, not the best in sports. Curriculum, I don’t know that much about, I hear it’s very relaxed. I assume not that strong in curriculum. It is certainly an interesting experiment in terms of academics, the way they teach and the way they’re going about having the students learn new things.” Though Diego decided to attend Mills instead of d.tech, he still had many good things to say after our conversation was over, and it was clear that he respected d.tech.
One d.tech junior, Julia Wang, originally intended to go to Mills . I asked her about what her friends thought of her decision, and found that they were decisively split. She said: “Some people were actually kind of mad. I don’t know if it was because of d.tech or just the fact that I’m going to a different school. Some were confused about it… I remember there was one friend that was, like, ‘Why are you going to d.tech?’ I think it was also because this person really wanted to go to Mills, but he couldn’t because he was assigned to Cap. So he was kinda like, ‘Why are you throwing this away?’” But even with her choice of schools, Wang still keeps close ties with her friends.
A Mills freshman, Kianna Cheuk, gave a short statement on her thoughts on one of her friends going to d.tech: “I mean, it was his choice, and I can’t change it, but I respect it.” This student, Gabriel Lim, said he picked d.tech, “mostly for the academic and extracurricular appeal. I can advance into college classes whenever I want to, and the intersession classes are really cool because I have Oracle as a resource.”
The last Mills junior I interviewed, Mele Ikahihifo, had the most positive outlook on d.tech. She said: “They focus a lot on math and science stuff, they’re a small school, but they’re hella smart.” However, when I asked her what Mills as a whole thought of us, she clarified: “They like d.tech, but they think they’re better.” This second part of the statement gives me a clear answer to my question: I do believe our relationship with Mills has improved, but not by a significant amount.