the round table
volume XX, issue X
of stuart hall high school
Off to SoCal! page 14 roundtable.sacredsf.org
Stuart Hall High School | Schools of the Sacred Heart, San Francisco | Volume VI1, Issue II | November 2011
the round table
a forum for students
Table of Contents School News
Day of the Dead...................................................7 Duschene Day...................................................13 LA Senior Trip Compilation.............................14 Hiighlights from the Trip.................................15
Varsity Soccer Wrap-Up...............................3 Stuart Hall Football.....................................4 Winter Sports Preview.................................5 Playoff Dreaming........................................11
Rap Nowadays................ ..................................10
Stressed About Standardized Tests............6 Fast Food Grabs..................................................8 Libyan Civil War.........................................11 Minecraft Review..............................................12
Back cover designed by Peter Melling ‘12 - photos by Kyle Chew ‘12 and Mrs. Saltveit
Staff and Publication Information Editor Brandan La
Layout Editor Peter Melling
Copy Editor Connor Satterfield
Website Editor Kevin Wong
Staff Connor Abbott Robeil Anderbrhan Lucas Chan Tim Connolly Taro Duncan James Hernandez Raymond Jiang
stuart hall high school
Corrections the round table goes to great lengths to ensure that all material is accurate, timely, and factual. However, errors sometimes occur. If you notice a factual mistake, please send an e-mail to email@example.com with “Reader Discovers Error!” in the subject line.
Liam Lynch Peter Melling Colin Ryan Sebastian Sandoval Donovan Van Kevin Wong Austin Woo
Faculty Moderator Mrs. Saltveit member
Online content: Please visit the online round table at: http://roundtable.sacredsf.org/
the round table | Founded 2005 by Nick Dietz, Corey Linehan, Tom Pardini, Joey Plonsker, Ms. Sarah Slonaker
editors’ corner Stuart Hall, As we get closer to the much-anticipated final’s week, I would like to congratulate you for making it thus far, through the first quarter and now nearing the end of the year. The finals, although dreaded by many, serve really as a way for you to show off to your teachers all that you have managed to learn and master over these past three and a half months. At this point, there are really only two gears left. If you are doing well, congratulations and keep up the good work. However, if you don’t think you fall under this category, always remember, you still have time to improve. And you will realize that extra push, however small it may be, will manifest itself in great outcomes. Enough about final’s week. If that talk right above might have made you fell stressed, still take note that you need to take time away from the madness that are finals, college apps, and standardized tests. And by opening the cover of the round table, you have taken a step closer to some relaxation. Inside this issue, you will find articles directed toward you, written by the Hall’s very own insightful and talented newspaper team. The round table staff has worked extremely hard on this issue, going out to multiple school events and various locations in the city to bring back groundbreaking, perceptive stories just for you the reader. Within this issue’s pages, you will encounter articles and editorials from academic life to school sports to restaurant reviews. Also, don’t forget to check out our website to stay up to date with school news, sports updates, and more. I am confident that you will emerge from final’s week triumphant, so go out there succeed in all that you do and go knights! Happy reading, Brandan La Editor-in-Chief
Varsity Soccer Wrap-Up
by Tim Connolly ‘12
Looking to the Future
The Stuart Hall varsity soccer team is going through a rebuilding phase. The team had a total of seven underclassmen, Dustin Sullivan, Elio Cassinelli, Stefan Stangl, Will Hackel, Benjamin Bapoupeleh, Eugenio Guardia, and Declan Ebeling. Will and Benjamin consistently provided solid work in the mid-field. Declan, Eugenio, Dustin, and Stefan brought intensity as outside midfielders and attack men. Finally, Elio proved himself to be a capable defender as well as an offensive threat as exemplified by his forty-yard strike that hit the upper left corner of the goal against Drew. Although the team fielded a majority of underclassmen, the upperclassmen were the core of the team. Defenders, Sterling Kirk and Masashi Kawahatzu, were solid all year in the back along with senior goalie, Nick Berardi. They provided one of the Photo by Kyle Chew ’12|| round table most solid defenses in the league. Up front, Will Campbell, provided a bit of offense with help from his fellow classmate, Sebastian Sandoval. Overall, the team managed to place three of its members on All League teams. It placed two of its members, Sterling Kirk and Nick Berardi, on the BCL West First Team All League. Sterling Kirk was also voted the runner up for league MVP, and Masashi Kawahatzu received honorable mention for All League selections. The Knights ended the season with a less than a stellar record of 3-5-3, but with high hopes for the future.
the round table | page 3
Stuart Hall Football
by Connor Satterfield ‘12
The Knights continue their 8-man conquest
Photo by Devin Chen ||SanFranPreps.com In only its second year of existence Stuart Hall’s Football program is on the fast track to becoming a dominant force in the eight-man football scene. Led by captains Nathan Rosenblum, LaBoyd Ricard, Skyler Dayton, and Alex Asdourian, this year’s Knights hold the best record yet and continue to build upon that success. However, what is eightman football about? The main difference between eleven-man, the standard form, and eight-man is the elimination of three players, most commonly two offensive tackles and one wide receiver. Along with the elimination of three players, the playing field is also reduced to eighty yards long and forty yards wide. The result from the elimination of three players is a significantly reduced offense. Formations vary widely but the most common types of offensive formations are I-formation or T-formation. Whereas, the defense’s most
the round table | page 4
common formations are 3-3-2 or 3-2-3. These formations allow for a nose tackle, two defensive ends, two or three linebackers, or two or three defensive backs. Yet despite all these discrepancies eight-man football can put on quite the show. The games tend to be quite high scoring and noticeably faster in pace. Captain Nathan Rosenblum had this to say about the team’s progress. “I come from an elevenman football background at my old school. What I experienced there was more physical and everyone had prior football experience. Eight-man football has players who are just learning the game and the people who play are noticeably smaller in size. When I played eleven-man, I was one of the smaller guys on the line. However, we are not focusing on the negative at the moment. We had great success earlier in the season by winning our first five games, yet now we have fallen into a bit of a slump and have fallen to some tough losses. However, I think we have the experience and leadership to pull
ourselves out of this funk. “ SHHS contends with many high school teams from all over the northern half of the state. Traveling as far as three hours to compete. They recently hosted Anderson Valley at the historic Kezar Stadium, former home of the 49ers, where they battled out for a loss. Anderson Valley, a little more than two hours away, proved to be a great game to watch as they fought with Knights for the lead. By half time the teams had looked evenly split, but with injury of quarterback, LaBoyd Ricard, the Knights were quickly outpaced. It was a tough game and a tough loss. On Saturday, November 5th, the Knights played their final game of the season on their home field at Treasure Island. It was against Rincon Valley Christian. In a fairytale finish, the Knights blew out Eagles in a 62-12 victory. The Knights played gallantly the entire season and ended the year with a 6-3 record. LaBoyd Ricard, quarterback of the Knights, also received league MVP, a huge honor for only a second year player. The team proved to be a powerhouse in eight-man football this season, which beckons the question as to whether next season, will be the same?
Winter Sports Preview
by Peter Melling ‘12
‘Tis the season for basketball and wrestling.
Basketball Coming off of last year’s 16-13 record, as well as an appearance in the BCL West Championship game, the Stuart Hall High School 2011-2012 Varsity Basketball team looks to improve their record and make it back to the championship. Coach Johnson, entering his 12th season as Stuart Hall’s coach, says that, “I think we can make another run for it. It’s just a matter of making sure all the right pieces fit together at the right time. We have a lot of talent, and if that talent can come to fruition, we can do it.” While the team lost a great deal of seniors after last year, the current leadership looks to set a good example for the rest of the team. “I think we can be a powerhouse,” states last year’s breakout star Tim Connolly ’12, “The new freshman are pretty good, and while they’re not fully developed yet, I think they can really help out right now.” Tryouts were at the start of November, and practices are in full swing. The intial record (as of 12-5) is 4-1.
Wrestling After last year’s surprising success, the team has moved into a new division: the BCL East (note: this does not affect other SHHS sports). In this new division, Stuart Hall will be pitted against teams from the Bay Area with newer wrestling programs and a similar skill level. Not that this has changed the intensity of the returning wrestlers and the new recruits, as Coach Woodard stated: “We’re picking up the pace from last year, and we aim to do even better. These guys are capable of so much, and through the right training, we will able to produce NCS and even state qualifiers.” Also, the team has been rebranded, with new logos and singlets. Senior Alex Asdourian said “I think we’ll have more success as far as wins go. We’ve learned a lot from our first season and took away some lessons from our defeats last year.” Wrestling practice began on November 7th. The first match of the season on December 3rd vetted many wins for the team, with many high-place finishes.
Basketball crest designed by George Sigigie, Wrestling Crest designed by Peter Melling|| round table
the round table | page 5
Stressed About Standardized Tests by Donovan Van ‘12
Are you prepared?
resources to review subjects, you would want the text book type of SAT/ACT book (Princeton Review or Barron’s); however if all you want is practice, the book filled with practice tests is the best choice (like SAT test books by Collegeboard.
You are taking the SAT. You’re twitching frantically, your breath goes short, sweat drips on the test booklet, you’re nervous. Why are you nervous? You are nervous because you didn’t prepare enough for the SAT. You didn’t review the concepts enough, you feel like things could have been done better. You never practiced time management nor did you review your books. How could you prevent nervousness from coming? It’s all in the preparation. In order to prepare wholly for the SAT you must harbor a sense of responsibility. What I mean by this is that when you go home, you don’t do homework and then test prep; you only do homework because test prep is homework. Of course while your regular schoolwork should take precedence, you need to take the time to study for the SAT. However unfair it may be, SAT scores are given great weight in the college admissions process. If the round table | page 6
you have poor grades and aspire to attend prestigious schools, for instance Harvard, you could either give up or study rigorously and attain that stellar score. When you’re a second semester Junior however, and you’re staring at a low GPA in the face, what else can you do? Schoolwork itself is also an indirect form of test prep, but when the test date draws near, it’s time to start dividing your focus between school and now, the test. Here are three short rules to readying yourself for the standardized tests. -Test Prep Steps1. Buying proper books – Buying the proper prep books is incredibly important as SAT books’ value are determined by what you are looking for. Some SAT/ ACT books are simply textbooks that review concepts that are on the actual test, while others are books filled with practice tests. If you think you’ll require additional
2. Determining the location – Location is always a must when studying for a test as important as the SAT/ACT. Find a study place that meets these two simple requirements: it must be quiet and it must be supportive. Quiet means that the area is void of distractions, making your home a prime example of a non-quiet area. Your home has your laptop, food, television, family, and comfy bed to distract you, making it is easier to get off task. Supportive means that your environment is conducive towards study by means other than simply being quiet. This means that you are in an area filled with other people studying; libraries are prime examples of such a places. Then as you get distracted, you look around you and see that everybody else is studying, letting you remember why you are there. 3. Focusing – Lastly, focusing on the task at hand is a feat in itself. For a high school teenager to willingly take on two or three hours of extra work is highly uncommon. Focus is facilitated by your location, however most of the raw effort must come from yourself. Know that studying for the SAT/ACT is not fun, you cannot go into it thinking it is going to be. Go into it, willing to press on. Maintain a positive mindset and remember to always motivate yourself.
An alternate option is attending guidelines and put the actual work a test prep center such as Kaplan, into this system, your SAT or ACT Compass, Princeton Review, or scores will definitely increase. Elite. However they each have However much preparation you their own methods of training you. take, still remember that these tests Senior Hiro Imaizumi, an attendee quiz you on the same concepts, but at Elite standardized test prep hidden in different ways. Thus, center stated, “They basically make taking the test multiple times is you take the test over and over what enables you to see through the again until you get it. You just do disguise and conquer the test as best SAT problems hundreds of times as you can. until you’ve seen ‘em all.” Though he does side with a prep center rather than individual study going to the local can be conducive to the same process of repetition. Senior Addison Chan can vouch for this concept because when asked how he studied for the ACT he stated, “I went to my local library and took out a few books and did a few sections from each book so that I could maximize the diversity of problems I would be given, seeing as each book is authored by a different test prep company.” If you fully live out these three Photos by Donovan Van ‘12|| round table
Day of the Dead
by Colin Ryan ’12
A Time to Remember Day of the Dead is a popular Mexican holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for those family members who have died. Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess, Mictecacihuatl. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, by visiting the graves with these as gifts. On November 2, 2011 our school celebrated the Day of the Dead. When all of the students arrived in the Columbus room, they were all divided into advisory groups. Mr. Vasquez began to explain the
origins of Day of the Dead. We were told of how this is a time to not only remember the dead, but to honor them as well. The students were asked to remember someone in their life that has passed away. We wrote the names of the people we wanted to honor on small cards that were strung together. In our advisory groups, everyone shared the names of the people they wrote down and talked about how they influenced or touched our lives. Once everyone had shared the three students that were a part of people they wanted to remember, the Stuart Hall community, Tyler the strings of cards were put on McGill, Zach Roche-Balasam, and a memorial that was built by Mr. Weike Lu. The video honored these Vasquez and students a few years three students by showing the lives ago. The memorial was designed they lived and the impact they had in traditional Mexican style and on the community. contained photos, mementos, and the cards people had written. Photo by Lori Saltveit || round table The celebration was then concluded by a video honoring the round table | page 7
Fast Food Grabs
by Austin Woo ‘15
There are a few places you can check out to get food. Photos by Austin Woo ’15|| round table
Hey you! Ever get sick of bringing your own lunch or are Stuart Hall’s hot lunches getting dull? If you do, we have a solution for you! There are a number of stores and restaurants that you can, as Charlie O’ Connell says, “hit up” for your lunch or snack. There are five main “establishments” around Stuart Hall, where you can get food, Walt’s Catering Truck, Carousel, Baker and Banker, the A&M corner store, and Johnny Rockets. Of all the options we have for outside food, Walt’s Catering Truck is the most commonly visited. Every day, Walt arrives at 11:20 to start prepping his truck in front of our school entrance. His truck sells a variety of foods for us such as candy, pot-stickers, corn dogs, Philly cheese steaks, scrambled eggs with sausage and rice, Coca-cola (Mexican Style), muffins, cookies, and burritos. In addition, Walt’s prices are also cheap, allowing many students to save money and to get large amounts of food. Besides Walt, we also have a restaurant choice two blocks down, located on 1559 Franklin Street, called Carousel. Carousel is a Chinese restaurant most popular for its BBQ pork rice, tangy sweet and sour pork, and delicious chow mein. Carousel’s service is pretty fast and their average wait-time for an order is usually about 7-15 minutes. “It’s not exactly the healthiest food to eat, but it does taste really good,” says James Hernandez, a freshman who often buys his lunch off-campus. If you’re not into Walt’s food or Carousel’s wonderful Chinese cuisine, perhaps a restaurant called Baker and Banker will suit your taste. Baker and Banker is located about fives houses south of Stuart Hall (1701 Octavia St. between Bush & the round table | page 8
Austin). Baker and Banker is popular for serving incredibly soft and buttery bread, sweet cinnamon buns, large crunchy or soft chocolate chunk cookies, scrumptious banana bread pudding, and fudge brownies. In addition, they make hot paninis sandwiches on the spot. “While their prices are a bit high, and it takes a long time to make their orders, Baker and Banker’s food tastes really good, and I think it’s totally worth it,” says Freshman Marco Barajas. If you’re not willing to wait for Baker and Banker to finish making their orders, you should also try the A&M corner store. The A&M corner store is popular to go to during the 20 minute passing period and about a block away from Stuart Hall located on 1600
Sutter St. between Laguna & Octavia. This little corner store sells fresh juicy fruits, candy bars, a large variety of thirst quenching drinks, tasty cold sandwiches, and if you’re in the mood, ice cream. A&M’s prices are pretty cheap, meaning that five bucks can get you a lot of food. Lastly we have Johnny Rockets, which is located on 1946 Fillmore Street, between Pine and Wilmot. Johnny Rockets is a franchise diner that sells burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, onion rings, Phillycheese steaks, and cookies-and-crème milkshakes.
Even with all the food they offer, their classic burger and fries are their most popular order. “The only problem with Johnny Rockets,” says Connor King Roberts, “is that they open at eleven and sometimes are really packed with people.” Hey guys! If you’re in the mood to try something, go out during lunch or the 20 minute passing period and check these shops. You’ll return to school stuffed up, lethargic, and most importantly, satisfied with what you were able to eat.
The Libyan Civil War
by Kevin Wong ’12
What does the future hold for Libya? The October 20th death of Muammar Qaddafi represents a major milestone for the grassroots Arab Spring movement and a major victory in the Libyan Civil War. The autocratic dictator, having The new Libyan flag, adopted by been ousted after the rebel forces || flag provided by a near-fifty year wikipedia.org reign leaves the people of Libya with an arduous road towards democracy and the threat of greater violence while the country transitions to a new governing body. The Libyan sect of Arab Spring can be traced to the Egyptian revolution of April, which successfully ousted President Hosni Mubarak through civil disobedience. Utilizing social media as an organizational tool, Egypt’s Arab Spring marked a new era of civil resistance using new technologies to circumvent governmental bonds of censorship and repression. The success of the movement has led to an unprecedented wave of revolutionary activity in neighboring countries such as Kuwait, Morocco and Syria.
By a large margin, the most confrontational of the movements has transpired in Libya. The civil war began on February 15th, where peaceful demonstrations were dispelled with military force. The protests escalated into national uprising, and the National Transitional Council (NTC) was founded, encouraging the world to disregard Qaddafi’s regime as illegitimate. The UN passed a resolution calling for the freezing of Qaddafi’s assets, and an investigation on his war crimes in addition to declaring the area a no-fly zone. In August, rebel forces decisively won the Battle of Tripoli, capturing the capital city and overthrowing Qaddafi and leading to the global recognition of the NTC as Libya’s governing force. Qaddafi, the a fugitive, retreated to Loyalist-held territory. By October 20th, Qaddafi and the remaining Loyalists had concentrated into a stronghold in the city of Sirte. After a long battle, the Rebel forces captured the city and successfully killed Qaddafi as he tried to flee from an incoming air strike by hiding in a drainage ditch. The war was declared to be over on October 23rd by the NTC, under its claim that it will remain Libya’s governing body until a participatory democracy can be established.
the round table | page 9
by Liam Lynch ‘13
Big Boi. Following a heavily delayed release, his album Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty debuted in July, 2010. The album has been noted by music writers for its bounce and bass-heavy sound, layered production, assorted musical elements, clever wordplay, and versatile flow. His inventive sound and lyricism are a cut above the rest. Of course there are many other artists that have achieved this height of lyrical greatness and there are only a few that stood out among that group. A list of other excellent artists include: Childish Gambino, Wale, and Tech N9ne. However, the mainstream music industry has also produced firstrate artists, like Jay-Z or Eminem, who both display lyrical brilliance. Today, among the multitudes, emerge a few simple but brilliant artists that are taking music to the next level. They’ve taken an edgy stance on music, that will set the standard for all rap to come.
A Sample of Underground Rap Photos supplied by spinner.com || round table
A lot has changed since the days of rapping to a beat drummed out by a friend on a trashcan. Nowadays you can get a beat very easily, off the Internet or through other digital sources. Although accessibility to inspiration has much improved, the rap of today is mostly overused, nonsensical and repetitive. The only things rapped about nowadays are the cliché of girls, money, and material possessions. Only a few rappers write lyrics that actually have some substance and connection to everyday life. After all, the industry has shown us it’s hard to maintain a good flow without reverting back to meaningless gibberish. Even among the few rappers that can do this today, only a select number of them can call themselves the best. One great example of this type of hybrid rapper is the up and coming J. Cole. His new album Cole World is a refreshing take on rap. His music has a lyrical edge that most other albums just can’t reach. Junior Robeil Andebrhan comments on Cole’s work, “ His songs breathe new life into the music business, which has lately become a little deflated and repetitive.” Another great example of the lyrical greatness that sets a special few musicians apart is the eccentric the round table | page 10
by Connor Abbot ‘14
Have the Niners returned to the glory days? are beginning to see why he was drafted first overall, with only two picks through six games. Pro-bowl running back Frank Gore is off to a brilliant start, with rookie Kendall Hunter looking flawless behind him. But when you talk about the 2011 49ers, you have to credit new coach Jim Harbaugh with much of the 49ers’ newfound success. Despite his chestflashing, trash-talking antics, especially after the game versus the Lions, Harbaugh has proven himself as one of the premier rookie coaches of the league this year. The Orange Bowl winning coach, who led his Stanford Cardinal to 12-1 last season, is now on track to do much the same with the NFL team just north of Palo Alto. Although it’s a little early to tell, NFL playoff fever is already alive in San Francisco. Quarterback Alex Smith and Coach Jim Harbaugh discuss a play at Candelstick Photo from Chicitysportsfan.com|| round table
The Niners’ glory days, consisting of five super bowl championships from 1982 to 1995, is known as the highlight of Bay Area sporting history to many. With new coach Jim Harbaugh, and a 6-1 record, the 49ers are already thinking about the playoffs from the weak NFC West. After a 6-point win over the previously undefeated Detroit Lions, the Niners are in full swing, and rightly so after an extra week to rest. After being asked if this was the best bye week he’s ever had, quarterback Alex Smith had this to say: “It was good but at the same time it’s still early;
we have 10 games left; so much can happen, you know it’s just to early to get comfortable”. Tight end Vernon Davis had a similar plan going forward with the team. “We’re not going to be complacent. We’re going to keep on going. We’re not worried about where we are or where we stand and we just look forward to the next game; we just take it one game at a time,” he said in a recent interview. Although the players dismiss their new-found success, the 49ers are beginning to take the shape of a playoff-bound football team. Alex Smith is beginning to play like a quarterback for once, and people
The 49ers have since clinched the NFC West.
49er’s Records (last 10 years) 2001 (12-4), Lost Wildcard Playoff 2002 (10-6), Lost Divisional Playoff 2003 (7-9) 2004 (2-14) 2005 (4-12) 2006 (7-9) 2007 (5-11) 2008 (7-9) 2009 (8-8) 2010 (6-10) Overall (68-92) 42.5% Winning Percentage
the round table | page 11
by Kevin Wong ‘12
Triumph of the Human Spirit There’s a certain, magical sense of childlike wonder permeating throughout every moment of Minecraft ($26.95 USD) that few of us have experienced since the cessation of our childhoods. It is a memory marked by the wondrous sense of innocence that we took for granted before our lives became inundated with the harried strife of reality. Childhood has been lost forever to the insatiable maws of tomorrow, innocence is shattered forever while we desperately try to put together the shards. Thus is the beauty of Minecraft, it is through the simple joy of exploration through which a long-forgotten facet of our each of our individual histories is recalled to life. This is an incredible game recalling a time when everything was new and hope bled through our fantasies into reality. It thus goes without saying that this is not a game for the decade, but one for eternity. Gameplay In simplest terms, Minecraft is an adventure game in which every component of the procedurally generated gameworld can be modified by the player and used as a tool. The player must collect resources and build structures during the day to survive the monster-infested night. This is an extremely emergent aesthetic and the game’s infinite range of possibilities becomes immediately perceptible. There is a goal to Minecraft and there is a final boss and end sequence, but the game’s already open-ended main quest is easily eschewed when one realizes the creative potential the game’s construction system offers. In short, the player must collect interdimensional materials to create
the round table | page 12
a portal to the realm of the “Ender Dragon”. It’s a perfect set-up for the game’s playful theme. What happens between the player’s initial spawn and the defeat of the Ender Dragon, should the player choose to undertake that quest, is totally up to the player. This freedom, shockingly enough, does not feel overwhelming, but liberating. Within moments, a single thought implants itself in the player’s mind: “I can do anything in this game!” All the resources you discover from deconstructing the gameworld can be used in the single most robust crafting system seen in gaming. Within minutes, the gameworld becomes a playset for your imagination, a kind of modernday LEGO set. The trees, rocks and caves become the components for your tools, weapons, armor and buildings. You begin to see the world around you as a tool for total freedom. That is until nightfall. Despite the joyously hyperactive imagination of the daytime, night in Minecraft is greatly reminiscent of a child’s dread of bedtime. The monsters of Minecraft are brutally persistent in their tenacity to chew on your brains. None of these enemies compare to the terrifying onslaught of the Creeper. A quadrupedal mass of wrinkled green skin, the Creeper is perpetually haunted by a sad, mournful frown. The most advisable thing to do when encountering one is to run the hell away. The Creeper can explode for an instant kill, causing the player to lose all his hard-earned progress. Thanks to the high difficulty, night in Minecraft effectively becomes as horrific as enduring nights as a young child, the
perpetual threat of monsters lurking inches below your mattress. It’s a brutally haunting game to play and beautiful in the memories it evokes. Minecraft’s second game mode is called “Creative Mode”, and removes the constraints of hunger, experience, health, resources and gravity to allow the player to construct anything he can imagine. Incredible stuff has been done in this mode and the exploits of many builders can be found on YouTube. Graphics and Audio It’s a shame that Minecraft suffers from a scattershot frame-rate, since the game takes an attractive 8-bit aesthetic. It nonetheless channels the first moments of any Bethesda game at all times, and we are constantly awed by the scope and scale of the game’s unique structures. Conclusion If there is one game you purchase this year, let it be Minecraft. Minecraft touched my soul in a way that I never imagined possible after my tenth birthday. This is a pioneering game and the very embodiment of freedom and creativity. Notch and Mojang have effectively captured lightning in a bottle: the childlike playfulness that drew us to gaming in the first place. As we became entrenched in genre fatigue, we have forgotten the youthful joy we so desperately sought after. How fitting is it that the original wonder of childhood would manifest itself in a world that, much like our own, is procedurally generated. Minecraft shines as a beacon of hope, not just for gaming, but for mankind. Play this game… and tremble. 5/5
by Lucas Chan ‘14
Community comes together on Feast Day
Photo by Mrs. Saltveit|| round table
Every year, Stuart Hall High School and the rest of the four-school community celebrates Duchesne Day in their own unique way. In past years, the schools would recognize the importance of St. Phillipine Duchesne and of her works within their own schools, but this year, the community did something a little bit different. At the start of the day, the high school boys met at the Broadway campus. While waiting for the activities to start, the high school boys were greeted by the elementary school boys who were to accompany them throughout the day. During the day, both boy schools participated together as did both the girls schools. The first activity of the day was to gather into student families. While in the groups, students greeted each other and listened to Mr. Vasquez’s presentation about the various Schools of the Sacred Heart around the world. In his presentation, Mr. Vasquez displayed the various uniqueness of each of the schools
but mainly how all the schools are connected. Some of the schools mentioned in his presentation include our schools in Princeton, New Jersey; St. Charles, Missouri; Tokyo, Japan; and New York, New York. After the presentation, the students stayed in their families to work on a fun geography activity. The families identified the countries with Sacred Heart Schools in them and challenged other families to a true or false activity. Everyone had fun and both the elementary school boys and high school boys bonded together in their families. At the end of the activity, everyone walked together to attend Mass at St. Vincent de Paul. During the Mass, the school Jazz Band played their music. Special Mass music organized by Mr. Campos was played throughout the Mass. The group included musicians Kailen Santos, Riley Acaret, Patrick Wong, Shing Hoi Lao and yours truly, and singers such as Brandon Leong, Steaven Baldoza, Aaron Tolentino, Elijah Tolentino, Dominic Cheung, and many others. This year’s group
is actually the biggest music organization ever at Stuart Hall High School. After Mass, students went with their families to explore San Francisco much like Rose Philippine Duchesne did as she traveled to America. Along the way, students did such activities as planting grass seeds, releasing ladybugs, learning about each other, and visiting James Kessler’s ‘09 niche. The journey ended back at Stuart Hall High School where students enjoyed a nice barbeque with snow cones and hot dogs. The day ended in the school’s gym where all the families participated in some team building exercises. The day was centered on celebrating Duchesne Day while becoming more of a community.
the round table | page 13
LA Senior Trip Compilation
by Brandan La ‘12
Class of ‘12 heads south for a fun-filled trip
With the sun having just risen and peeking through the thick San Francisco fog on Sunday October 9, the seniors tossed in their luggage and duffel bags beneath a large Mercury Tours charter bus and began to board, ready to depart for the first ever school sponsored senior trip. Faculty members Mr. Marquette, Mr. O’Connor, Mr. Roos, and Ms. Sitter accompanied the Stuart Hall High School seniors to their destination, Los Angeles. The bus ride served as the first step for the senior’s four-day excursion. The early start at 7:00 AM ensured an on-time arrival at about 3:00 PM in the afternoon. Due to everyone’s lack of sleep the night before, the first three hours of the bus ride were unusually quiet for the senior class. It was only in the fourth hour of driving that the seniors began to wake up and socialize, but once everyone had woken up from their sleepy stupor, it was time to get up and off the bus. They stopped at the drive’s halfway point in the small town of Patterson off of Highway 5 to refuel and break for lunch. This hiatus from the open road soon ended after everyone had their fill of the round table | page 14
Quiznos, Subway, or Carl’s Jr. Once everyone began to re-board, the seniors realized that the bus ride itself would be an interesting learning experience. When they had initially boarded the bus earlier that morning, the seniors sat wherever and with whomever they pleased. However, for the second leg of the drive south, the seniors were paired off to sit with one another. This gave the seniors the opportunity to get to know one another, especially classmates they might not have known very well. As the bus continued, Student-Body President Will Campbell led a few games to further strengthen or even create bonds between classmates. One game, “two truths and a lie”, served as a tool through which the senior class learned some very interesting facts about their classmates. Highlights included Michael Chan’s unexpected middle name Alfredo, John Warda’s immense dislike for pumpernickel, and Hiro Imaizumi’s comical chronology of Toy Story movies. On the way down to Los Angeles, the seniors stopped off at Six Flags Magic Mountain to have a couple
of funnel cake filled, adrenaline ridden, and simply fun hours of rollercoaster riding with their friends. Andy Chung can attest to this: “My friends and I just rode and then re-rode rides like Superman, Goliath, and Déjà Vu, but the long lines didn’t matter [because] those gave us the chance to talk and simply hang out…not only with friends but with classmates I hadn’t caught up with in a while, too.” After the short tangent to Magic Mountain, the seniors tiredly boarded the bus again for the final part of the drive to Los Angeles. After eating dinner at a local Red Robins, they quietly checked in to a hotel in Marina del Rey and finally got some needed sleep. The following days consisted of touring around Los Angeles. The seniors first stopped by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Reagan aficionado Devan Patel had researched the museum so when we got there, he filled us in on many facts about the formerAmerican president. However, he had never been to the library. “Although I already knew a lot about Reagan,” says Devan, “I was surprised by the sheer beauty of the landscape around the museum and excited about going into a real Airforce One plane.” After getting back on the bus, Patrick Miller, also shared his opinion of the museum along with the president it centered around. “The Reagan Library was very informative and illuminating to some of the facts I did not know about [Reagan]…And although I don’t particularly like him as a president, I was able to appreciate the effort he put in during his two terms”. After burgers for lunch in the Reagan museum, the seniors made their way to the Huntington Library. There they split off into groups to survey the many different
gardens on the library’s grounds. Owen Dayton, along with partners Baard Soedal, Will Campbell, and later joined by a lost Kevin Wong, toured the Desert Garden. “We studied an environment that we rarely get to see and learned how plants can survive in such a harsh climate,” says Owen, “and we got to present the garden to the entire class and show them some strange plants and oddly shaped cactuses.” Afterwards, the seniors got back onto a bus and headed for some pizza, and then back to the hotel. On the third day, the Stuart Hall students visited the Museum of Tolerance. There, they went through a multi-media and interactive exhibit on the Holocaust. The museum instilled a very profound message in the seniors, but also tied in to their class studies of justice, in this case injustice, in Mr. O’Connor’s class. After a serious morning, the seniors returned to Marina Del Rey and changed into some lighter
clothing. The senior class consisting of 39 guys walked together to the beach that was located about ten minutes away from the hotel. The bright sun beat down on their bodies, while warm sand filled the gaps between their toes, and a cool breeze swiftly grazed past them. Among the many attractions in Los Angeles, the seniors visited one of the most renown locations in California, Venice Beach. Here, the seniors participated in leadership and unity building activities to help them come together as a class. One of the more memorable projects, which reflected leadership, was to have each senior jump through a rope individually. The idea was to jump until the last man, and if any one member tripped or was hit by the rope, the cycle would repeat. This event was to imbue a “we are only as strong as our weakest link” sort of notion, which it did. However, the class proved its strength by resolving that instead of imbuing
Highlights from the Trip
negative criticism to those that stopped the rope, it would resound with positive cheers to egg on those incoming to jump. Later on, however, free time was given for the seniors to bond in other ways. Laughter could be heard as one would walk along the beach as volleyball, tanning and guitar/ukulele jam sessions, sand castle building, and wave-diving in the ocean could be seen everywhere. Every senior found something to do, but more importantly, something to do with somebody else. Friendships were strengthened but also formed, smiles shared, and excitement filled the air as the class came together to bond in ways outside of the classroom. Venice Beach was possibly the most bond-forming experience of the senior trip, and hopefully, next year, the class that visits will enjoy it as much as the senior class of 2012.
Photos by Kyle Chew ‘12 and Peter Melling ‘12
the round table | page 15
best of the month