Posted in Technology
By Robert Farewell
Technological progress is a paradox. It makes our world safer, more
violent, increasingly free, but it also makes us more dependent. Although
social media and instant communication have enhanced our lives, they are also obstacles
to self- reflection and insightful thought.
Dependency on our latest technological
devices comes with a huge sacrifice. With the growing need to stay connected, we
seldom find ourselves separated from our computers or phones. We are
increasingly interacting in this very impersonal and virtual world. Change will
always be a constant. Just as the generations before us, we will adapt
accordingly. Yet the problem lies in what progress removes from our daily lives.
What we are sacrificing is the quiet time for reverie and critical thinking, the
necessary cornerstone to personal fulfillment. Technology yields little time
for beneficial isolation and self-rumination. There is always an email, a text
message, or a picture to comment on. It is rare to able to reflect, to think
seriously about something other than school or the next witty post on Facebook.
People lose sight of their own personalities because of the feigned intimacy of
social media. Facades have never been so easy to manifest. Other people can
write one’s posts to make them seem smarter, or one can embellish one’s picture
in order to appear more attractive.
Coming from an all-boys school, I can vouch
for the importance of social media. At same-sex schools, a major part of social
life takes place on Facebook. In this new social climate where friends rarely
interact face to face, people will represent themselves in the most appealing way
possible, in a way that is far from genuine. Personalities become convoluted with
this need to appeal to others. We live in a world that is more superficial and
insecure than ever. People are afraid of revealing the truth, out fear of
rejection. Oscar Wilde said it best: “those who go beneath the surface do so at
their own peril.” It is a time of life where most thought is consumed in the realm
of high school and the Web. Serious thinking and reflection are becoming almost
non-existent; we need to find ways to overcome these barriers to personal
space.. We can embrace these changes, but at the same time we need to be
cognizant of the challenges they pose to our personal growth.
Posted in Uncategorized
By Ricardo De la Torre
On February 19th, a
Tuesday, I set out for Sacramento, and, ultimately, for the Bay. I was on the
road, alone; for freedom, liberty, and experience. I wanted a break from the
routine of school, it was a “school week” after all. I was to be in Sacramento,
Oakland, and San Francisco for the next five days.
journey for the Ultimate Destination or was it about staying in between the
white lines of the road? If I aimed for the Ultimate, it was a long and tiring
journey, a journey in which I squandered the present for the prospect of a
non-existent future. If I maintained myself in between the lines, I was to make
sure the lines kept me on the right path, or have wasted my journey in a
meaningless direction. I raced across 400 miles toward Sacramento; I drove. I
passed the hills, the mountains, the green, the dry, the dead; flying by at
sixty-five, seventy, eighty, ninety, 101 miles per hour. On the road I felt an
endless present, I felt like nothing existed prior to the moment at hand – this
is it, I thought. It felt wonderful moving along the road with endless
possibilities in front of me and nothing to look back on.
wrapped up; nice, warm, cozy, and safe in my bubble of reality that served as a
car. I was comfortable in between the drawn lines, but then I realized that the
lines meant nothing. I crossed them, went from one end to the other of the
highway in a steady diagonal cut. I wove in and out of the traffic. The lines
did not mean a single thing, they did not exist. The only thing that kept me in
those lines, the only thing that gave them their fabricated presence, was the
mind; the mind that creates reality, that perceives. The mind that keeps a
little set of clean cut rules and things to live by, but reality is greater
than the little four door car in between two white lines that I was in.
Regardless of truth, the lines
served as manmade walls. They were the law, yet I could cross them at will.
They were merely figments of the imagination, yet carried the utmost importance.
They served no other purpose, but to keep me moving along their road, in their
lines, at their pace. They were the impenetrable walls that came into view as I
crossed the Richmond Bridge. I saw the great walls of humankind, perfectly and
Divinely constructed, the walls of absolute truth that man lives and dies for
across the bridge at San Quentin.
Posted in Uncategorized
By Josh Fredette
3/8/13 Are you curious about your dreams? Do you wake up at least once a month with a look on your face that just says, "What was that?!" Of course you do. You're human. Of all the odd things that the human body does, dreaming ranks up pretty high.
Before we delve into your wacky nightmares and fantasies, let's take a look at your brain. In an extremely broad nutshell, you analyze everything in two ways: subconsciously and consciously. Because of your unique ideas and values, the way you perceive reality is much different than the way reality really is. (Or than the reality that someone else experiences)
In any given day, your brain will reject many topics of conversation that it considers to be unimportant and will consider the topics it feels are more important. (I say "it", but really "it" is you). An excellent example of this is when you are strongly bias on a personal matter. Your brain, to protect the ego, will most likely consider the side of the subject that you agree with. The other side that you do not agree with, or are strongly against, will not be as considered than the opinion that you agree with most. In essence, your brain filters out what it does and does not want to hear.
Your daily life is considered your conscious, or waking state. When you are asleep it is considered to be the subconscious, or dream state. Although your brain processes many things subconsciously throughout the day, you are more or less conscious of your actions while you are awake. Anything that is not noted consciously while you're awake will be examined while you dream. Likewise, anything that is specifically noted by you will also be examined in your dreams. All the grey area in between is not of as much value. As a result you might not see it reflected in your dreams.
So how does your brain choose the events to evaluate while you are dreaming? Well like any decent supercomputer your brain will file away any actions or thoughts that went unevaluated while you were awake. Or, any actions and thoughts that were unexpectedly interrupted. It will get your attention by putting on a very bizarre performance in your dreams that will surely make you consider your actions or thoughts for a second time. This is why your dreams are so strange and horrifying; it is the subconscious brain screaming at the conscious brain trying to get it to examine something it believes to be important. By consciously pondering the event or thought that went unexamined, we can grow mentally and emotionally.
The subconscious you and the conscious you are two very different things. The conscious you often lies and deceives itself to make a better reality. The subconscious on the other hand is often the stone-cold truth. It is the ugly truths and problems of our lives that we choose to consciously ignore. Indeed, your brain will be dreaming about this later tonight to think this through!
So do yourself a favor and listen to your dreams more, they're trying to tell you something! The hours of sleep are not just for aimless musings. No! Your brain is still very hard at work while you sleep. It is going over all those details that you never really had a chance to consider throughout all the daily hustle of your life. Dreams can tell us things about ourselves that we normally would not consider. Your mind is more clever than you think
Now we move into the phenomena of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is the act of being lucid while you dream. A dream is considered lucid when you can experience the dream in the same way you experience daily life. This means you can consciously choose your actions and thoughts during the dream. Note that being able to remember your dreams and being able to control your dreams are two very different things. Lucid dreaming is the clash of the subconscious and the conscious brain, this is what makes lucid dreaming so special. You can view the subconscious hard at work, while processing it with a more conscious attitude. Through this, you can gain insight to your daily life through a spiritual guru that sits inside your head. This guru is truly your inner you.
Sadly, this experience isn't a common one. But with much dedicated practice, one can attain lucidity in dreams at will. Experienced lucid dreamers will have at least one lucid dream a night, or every other night; a very profound and freeing spiritual experience. It's an experience that is in a world with infinite possibilities. It is a playground for your mind. It is an experience when you can literally walk up to a character in the dream, and talk with yourself. To put it in vague, simple terms, it makes you question things.
Not only are your dreams potentially 30-45 minutes long, but on average you have nearly 4-10 of them every night. Why don't we remember our dreams? The answer is simple. Just like any other hobby, you don't become efficient unless you practice. Indeed, lucid dreaming is a hobby; a strange adventure within your inner brain every night.
Many people report having at least one lucid dream every 1-3 months. It is also important to note most of these incidents are also reported to be very brief; lucidity lasting less than a few minutes. This brief taste of lucidity truly does not do the whole phenomena of lucid dreaming justice. It makes the individual underestimate it's power; having tasted the fruit but not completely eaten it. In my many conversations on this topic, those that dare let me ramble on about it are suspicious that I am exaggerating lucid dreaming's potential and fantastical experiences; I can assure you I am not.
To describe a lucid dream with it's full potential unlocked, simply look around you. When you are experienced in the art of lucid dreaming, the 'dreamscape' around often feels nearly identical to reality; besides, of course, that eerie feeling that something is off.
When I had my first successfully induced lucid dream I literally could not tell if I was dreaming. I woke up in my bed, did my normal morning routine, then felt a sudden and very strange feeling as I descended the stairs for breakfast. It was as if I had amnesia and was trying to remember the night before. It occurred to me that something was very off about the world. The way it looked, felt, and sounded was exactly the same as reality. But something was just . . . off! After asking my mother if I was dreaming and getting a response like, "Are you crazy? No!." I walked over to my neighbor's house who then clarified, "Yes you are dreaming." It was that moment when I truly realized the powerful nature of our dreams.
By Casey Shatraw
Being alone in the middle of the ocean with limited supplies, and no connection to civilization can really ruin your day. Want to top it? Throw in a hungry tiger and you have Pi Patel’s dilemma. After a powerful and devastating storm leaves Pi alone in the middle of the ocean, Pi has to not only survive to tell the story, but also keep a vicious tiger from making him dinner. This is our plot in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi. An epic, tasteful, and beautiful story that really tests the limits of the human spirit.
One of the most notable qualities of this film is its cinematography. You don’t have to know much about lighting or postproduction color correction for this film to take your breath away. It is gorgeous. It’s like stepping into a thousand different paintings. It contains some of the most astonishing cinematography I have ever seen, and it greatly enhances not only the film’s mood, but overall impact. Suraj Sharma (Pi) puts on a pretty phenomenal performance in this film, and that goes for the entire cast as well. He is truly believable, and is very natural on screen. He is able to create a likable character, which is important if we’re going to be watching him on a boat for 90 minutes.
The story did trouble me a little as I was going in. I could never wrap my mind around how a 2-hour film was going to be able to capture the engaging characteristics that the novel had. Surprisingly, it does just that. The story is interesting, and doesn’t seem cheap, or artificial in any manner. The likability of the characters helps to flow everything together, keeping the pretty linear plot interesting and engaging. It does this really well, and by the time the film ends, you feel a sense of closure, instead of relief that it finally ended. Dialogue is also top notch, and it doesn’t hurt that you have a narration to guide you along the way. It feels as though you are being told this remarkable story, which because of the acting, really feels like it happened.The relationship between the protagonist and the tiger is crucial in this film, and this is something I never feel they gripped well enough. The bond between humans and nature is existent, but it feels thin, and doesn’t bring about any emotional catharsis. There is physical triumph in this film, but not so much a triumph in relationship. The tiger is definitely an important character in this film, and although he is well present and active with Pi, I can’t help but wish we had a bit more of a connection between them.
Life of Pi still is a triumph in almost every way. It’s one of the most beautiful films I’ve seen, and it just feels so alive. Everything about it is high in quality, and nothing feels cheap or overplayed. It succeeds in what it was trying to do. Could it have succeeded even more? Sure. But it is undeniably impressive how Lee (Director) and Magee (Writer) are able to capture the novel, and put us on a small boat for over an hour. When films like this are able to accomplish that, it is worth pointing out
By J.D. Kieffer
The class of
2013 has and will face continuing difficulties as well as surprises as it
enters its final years at St. Francis High School. College applications, football season, and the demanding rigors of
academic life are just a few of the challenges the class must overcome. In
addition, before long, the inevitable “Senioritis” is bound to set in (the
impossible-to-reverse decline in motivation that many high school seniors face
as they get closer to graduation). This is also the time, however, where we,
the seniors of St. Francis, discover who
we are, who we were meant to be, and our purpose in the unscripted and winding
path of life.
We have a sense of obligation, amidst all of these challenges, however. We are obligated to express ourselves at school. This
is our chance. Our very own chance to leave a mark on St. Francis High School.
In order to take advantage of this opportunity, it is vital that we, as
seniors, stay committed to our goals. Colleges will be expecting consistency
and our reputations depend on it. Indeed, it is an opportunity that allows us
one last chance to show everyone who we really are. We do not want to be the
“senior who gave up on senior year” and failed to try his best. We want to
seize the moment and reap every fruit that this last year has to offer.
Take sports for instance. This is the last year
that most of us will ever dribble, run, or swing the bat in an organized
setting. Making the most of this year entails giving every inch of effort we
have left. It means that we will have nothing left to give at the end of the
year. That is how we should approach everything during our last year.
On the other hand, we need to do everything we
can to become involved in our school community. In other words, we need to
“live it up.” That means going to every football game, taking a risk, and
striving to learn as much about ourselves as possible. We need to stay
together, united as Golden Knights and the Class of 2013.
By David Yoo
It has been over eight months since the death of the leader of the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), Kim Jong-il.
After Kim Jong-il's death, the world was waiting to see his successor, Kim Jong-un, assume leadership in North
Korea. Reactions were mixed, and many did
not know whether the new leader would follow his father's footsteps and lead
the nation, battered by famine and lack of civil liberties, into another fifty
or more years of anti-U.S. and anti-South Korean relations. Indeed, the
diplomatic relations between the United States and North Korea as well as
between South Korea and North Korea have been very tenuous during the Kim
Jong-il regime, as Kim Jong-il was never afraid of boldly challenging the
political and diplomatic relations that his nation had with both nations. Many
optimists believe that the new leader would thaw the current relationship that
the United States and South Korea have with North Korea, while many pessimists,
cynics, and realists assert that no such thawing would be possible.
Taking a look at the eight month timeline of North
Korean diplomatic and military exercises reveals evidence and events that seem
to satisfy both the optimists and pessimists, ultimately obfuscating Kim
Jong-un's motives and political experience. For example, upon Kim Jong-il's
death on 17 December 2011, Kim Jong-un announced on 29 February 2012 that “North Korea
will freeze nuclear tests, long-range missile launches, and uranium enrichment
at its Yongbyon plant." In addition, the new leader invited international
nuclear inspectors who were previously ejected in 2009. The Obama administration responded
by offering 240,000 tons of food, chiefly in the form of biscuits. This
indicated a softening of the erstwhile North Korean insistence that food aid
must comprise "grains.” The possibility of the new leader allowing nuclear
inspectors into the nation can be a crucial step in thawing the cold
relationship between the United States/South Korea
and North Korea.
The prospects of such a plan are hopefully still intact, as such a move would
mean absolute gains and no losses for the global community.
other hand, many point to the recent and controversial order made by Kim
Jong-un that his troops maintain vigilance “during upcoming training exercises
between South Korea and the United States,
saying they should be ready to lead a 'sacred war,'”. Though Kim Jong-un's
orders seem all too ambiguous for any discernible threat to be detected, such
words directed to his military still evoke fear in the hearts and minds of
many. It has become absolutely necessary in this climate to seek out the new
leader's cooperation and to create a more transparent North Korea,
even if it takes years. The promises made by the new leader show, at least,
some form of concession in terms of the need to cooperate. Such political
opportunity would, if rarely, never open itself up when the first chance is
spoiled. It is necessary to show the new leader that the old regime can be done
away with, such as what happened in the Soviet Union, and to demonstrate that
there is hope for both Koreas
for peaceful coexistence where nuclear threats and conventional assaults will
By Joseph Nofal
Friday, September 21, Saint Francis High
School and people all over California were in for a treat. The space shuttle,
the Endeavor, took its last flight after many years of service to its nation. The
Endeavor is a recently retired Space Orbiter from NASA. It was the fifth and
last NASA shuttle to be built. It was originally built as a replacement for
Challenger, which was destroyed 73 seconds after its launch on January 28,
1986. The Endeavor flew on missions for 19 years before finally retiring in May
2011. Saint Francis had the great honor to be under it as it soared for the
last time. The suspense in the morning, the excitement throughout the school, and
the never-ending wait for lunch to come cultivated into an abundance of exhilaration. When lunch finally arrived everyone was looking up. All the students were
saying “Do you see it yet?” or “When is it coming?” All of a sudden the
crowd's heads turned. Following their
movement, I spotted a dot followed by smoke in the distance, so small one could
barely distinguish it. Disappointed, I
walked over to my next class and waited outside. I waited there with some
friends for fifteen more minutes before I finally realized lunch was running
rather late. Certainly, that small dot couldn’t have been the great shuttle
everybody had been talking about. Then
all of a sudden, I saw people running as fast as they could toward the field. I
eventually followed and found that the quad was surprisingly empty. Then I heard
a chant proclaiming, “USA, USA, USA.” Following the chant, I found nearly the entire student body on the north side of the campus staring at the most breathtaking
site. The shuttle had arrived. I could not have imagined it any better. It was
larger than I could have dreamed, louder than I was expecting, and more
magnificent than I could have hoped. It circled around a few times as my peers
took pictures, videos or just ran under it in the hope to look at it for as
long as possible. This was no ordinary day at St. Francis High School to say the
least. It was a moment that I think all of us will remember for a long time. I hope it had as big of an impact on other
people as it had on us.
By Chris Alle
Saint Francis High School is a place that makes the impossible dreams for so many people become true. In my opinion, Saint Francis was never just about the academics, the extra curricular activities, or even the teachers. Saint Francis was about the students and the people that I have had the opportunity to talk to for the past four years. These past years, I have made friendships and personal connections that will last forever. One person that stands out from the others at Saint Francis is Joey Velladao.
Joey is a leader that deserves to be recognized, but his work ethic and effort goes unnoticed too often. Joey Velladao is unquestionably the most committed individual at Saint Francis. Joey is the captain of the Varsity Football Team, a difficult position to achieve considering that Saint Francis High School has one of the most competitive and rigorous football programs in the San Gabriel Valley. The football players begin training in January and wake every day to grind through the infamous “Morning Lifting.” While many football players complain about the difficulties of morning lifting, Joey has embraced it. According to Joey, “this is what I do and it’s who I am.”
In order for Joey to be awarded the prestige of a captain, his fellow peers have to elect him, and the coaching staff has to approve of him. Beside being a phenomenal athlete, Joey also possesses another essential quality that typical athletes tend to ignore: academics. Joey not only maintains “scholar” status as an athlete, but he also challenges himself by taking rigorous A.P. and honors courses. Let us not forget that Joey is also an active member of Student Council. In addition, he is in charge of the Athletics Division that develops every sports rally and the classic pre-game “pump-ups.” Joey is an active Golden Knight.
One day at school I asked him, “Joey how do you do it man, how do you manage to stay on top all the time?” Joey looked up at me and said, “dedication, discipline, and determination.” Joey usually answers me by quoting the Spartans or saying something that goes “right over my head,” but this response was particularly special. The more I thought about it and the more I contemplated it, I realized he had the ultimate “recipe for success.” Although these qualities are simple, many people struggle with them. Whenever I wonder how to handle the adversity that high school presents, Joey’s motto always comes into my mind, “dedication, discipline, and determination.” It is something that everyone should at least consider; it seems to be working well for Joey. High School, especially at a college preparatory school like Saint Francis, was never designed to be an easy journey. Saint Francis is not for those that take the “easier road.” Saint Francis High School was designed for only the dedicated, the disciplined, and the determined. Although school poses many difficulties that push students to the maximum, the people are what make this a memorable experience. When I look back on my experiences at Saint Francis High School, I will not remember the Economics lesson or that irrelevant Trigonometry lesson. Instead, I will remember the people like Joey Velladao; the people that not only wanted success, but demanded success.
By Brett Feehan
Saint Francis Student Council and ASB members attended a leadership camp this past summer. The camp was conducted by The Leadership Academy, a program that is designed to help groups specialize in certain areas in order to positively affect their own community. The program was three days long, consisting of several lectures and activities to help build a sense of leadership and teamwork. Leadership is the idea of organizing a group of people in order to complete a common task, and teamwork is the work done by all the people involved in the task. Saint Francis High School was among six other schools from the Orange County area. Each school had a common goal, to help better their own programs and promote the message of their choice. However, each school had different methods of achieving their goal. Each day consisted of "Classroom Sessions," where students engaged in physical activities as well as social conversations. Each session had a different focal point, ultimately contributing to the final session. The task at hand was to design a service learning project. A service learning project “is a method of instruction in which classroom learning is enriched and applied through service to others."
On the second to last day several hours were spent on deciding what project the Saint Francis community should focus on. The possibilities were as followed: assisting humane societies, developing on campus tutoring, providing meals for the homeless on certain dates, volunteering at a veterans hospital, and lastly, partnering with Children's Hospital and their patients. Each idea was feasible, but some were more ambitious and seemed to present a more positive result. The members decided to partner with Children's Hospital mostly because of the personal experience that could be made possible when students met with ill patients.
The final part of the project was proposing the idea through a video. It had to be a two-minute feature discussing who we are, what we plan to accomplish, how we plan to accomplish it, and what the result would be. We had 3 major events that we planned to accomplish. First, invite the patient to a sports event and declare him honorary team captain. Second, invite the patient to a sports rally and allow him to participate in games. Lastly, invite the patients' family and friends to a movie night held on campus at Saint Francis High School. Our ultimate goal was to help fulfill the dreams of patients at Children's Hospital, and the members of Student Council and ASB felt that they could make all these dreams come true.
The last part of the project is left to the students. It is if the students can complete all the tasks, meet deadlines, and most importantly, obtain some sort of positive experience by being a part of this event. As the school year continues, student council members actively work on projects. Projects that not only better the lives of students on campus, but also of the members of the community.
By Casey Shatraw
Aging is a very prominent theme in Trouble with the Curve
as the protagonist, Gus (Eastwood) battles not only his growing age, but his
fractured relationship with his daughter Mickey (Adams). In a time where
technology is becoming the primary scouting tool, an old veteran scout like Gus
(who is becoming blind) is left behind in the dust without any regret. Luckily
his shaky and unresolved mentality is alleviated when his daughter Mickey, a
lawyer, comes to visit and stay with him on his latest scouting expedition. The
elephant in the room is easily addressed when she arrives (Gus sent her to live
with relatives when she was little) and this serves as a source of tension
between the two as Gus attempts to keep his job alive. While there, Mickey not
only helps her dad with his job, but she also meets people like Johnny
(Timberlake) who helps to lighten up her stiff state of mind. As past emotions
clash with present situations, Trouble with the Curve
explores the many
different types of relationships that go on in a person’s life, and remind us
that the latest technology isn't always an effective tool.
and almost uncomfortable relationship that Gus has with Mickey serves as the
primary relationship in the film. There are many others, such as Gus’ not only
with himself, but also his job, and the romantic relationship with Mickey and
Johnny. While it is always nice to Eastwood on screen,
his relationship with Adams is actually the weakest one. It’s not that Eastwood
and Adams themselves have any problem with their screen time, but it’s the
writing that doesn't allow for a successful and natural relationship.
Sure, Adams and Eastwood are undeniably charming and entertaining in their own
way, but it doesn't feel natural. It is too stale and lacks that extra
emotional feeling, primarily because it is not developed. Adams and Timberlake,
and their characters, are actually the strongest on screen, due to their clever
dialogue, and all-around natural presence.
with the Curve also falls short on occasion with its inability to engage
with the audience. In pockets, the film isn't very interesting to say the
least, and this is simply because the dialogue towards the beginning isn't interesting or clever enough to compensate for its bland plot structure.
Luckily, the film does pick up as the relationships between the characters
begin to surface, and the character development begins to solidify. Eastwood’s
dialogue brings laughs, and it is nice to see a film that challenges a very
realistic theme. Is technology truly the best way forward? Or do we need people
like Gus to provide that irreplaceable human instinct?
with the Curve is a decent attempt to break in relationships with baseball,
and for the most part does a fair job. Anyone looking for a reason to see a
film about baseball, relationships, Eastwood on screen, or even Adams or
Timberlake, will enjoy the heartwarming nostalgic feeling they all bring.
Trouble with the Curve: