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December 2015 | vol. 10, issue 2

The Future of The Hall’s Technology a look at the possible 1:1 program

Gabe O’Brien Reporter he future is always changing. We blink and something new has sprung up out of nowhere. The next big thing captivates everybody and we all want to be a part of it. The most diversified and evolving field in modern times is technology. Our world is run by it. And our school is accustomed to this revolutionary idea for education with the use of iPads. But recently, if you paid any attention, questions arose regarding the nature of iPads. Are they a thing of the past? And better yet, are they too distracting for students? It seems as if at least one person a day faces some sort of discipline for the misuse of an iPad. That is because with the capacity of exploration that an iPad offers, anybody can pretty much do anything. With the introduction of laptops, it would be a bit more difficult to “multi-task.” In this article, I will go deeper into the reasons for this technological inquiry and I will find out what the reception of this possible


transformation will be. Our current technology department has put together a program in which each student receives an iPad on their first day at The Hall. The 1:1 program (1 device per student) is in place for all students grades 5-12. 1:1 programs are often found in schools these days since online behavior and academic progress can be tracked more easily. Students can access curriculum more easily, and whenever there is a new standard for the technology, all devices are updated simultaneously. The 1:1 program is having quite an effect in mainstream culture. Even a charity - One Laptop per Child (OLPC) - is set up in the hopes of spreading this force to countries around the world that don’t have as many resources for education. Personally, I am satisfied with the format for technology we have in place right now. It works well and is one we are familiar with. When I asked Max Rodriguez ‘18 what he thought about a change to our program, he stated that

he was a bit disappointed. “I feel like the iPad is easier to work on and it carries a lot of ‘weight.’” What he meant is that for something so compact, it is quite versatile. I asked Ryan Murray ‘17 if he had a response to my inquiries. He said: “I think that the laptop idea would be great. I’d get a lot more work done.” When I asked what Ben Covington ‘19 thought regarding a possible tech shift, I was surprised to find out that he is a very “tech-savvy” person. He even builds his own tech-related creations. “Thank God, that would be so much better than using an iPad.” And finally, I asked our own student

body president, Michael Tellini ‘17 for a few words. Michael said, “I feel that laptops are a better tool for homework, especially essay writing. Plus, the school assignment tracking application, Haiku, provides a much better interface on laptops than on iPads.” Earlier this fall, our entire high school community was asked to participate in a survey which gathered opinions considering our current 1:1 program. Fifty faculty members and 311 students from both schools responded to these surveys. Currently Mrs. Saltveit, Mr. Levin, Mr. Campos, Ms. Weatherwax, Ms. Garlinghouse, and Mr.

Angel Padilla | the roundtable

Lorentz are reviewing the data resulting from the student and faculty related surveys. This strenuous process may take a while, but it paves the way for a new chapter at The Hall. Mrs. Saltveit herself stated, “We wanted to collect informative data. We are analyzing information from the surveys. After looking at the results, the team is going to make a recommendation on whether to switch the program next year. After reviewing the team’s feedback, Mr. Farrell and Ms. Simpson will make the final response on the issue.”

Innovation in the Art Studio printing in a new way

Anson Gordon-Creed Reporter


ith the Visual Art 2 class’s recent field trip to Autodesk behind us, the concept of third dimensional printing and its potential applications in the world still linger in many of our minds. 3D plastic

Angel Padilla | the roundtable

printers date all the way back to the 1980’s, but due to technological limitations, have not gained much popularity until the late 2000’s. Companies like Autodesk have designed the software necessary to create a fully three-dimensional objects layer by layer with a computer, and now every-

A Yo-Yo Champ 4

thing from wrenches to toys to even fully functional firearms are being made this way. But how does this affect Stuart Hall High School? Well, let’s take a look. . . Ms. Hellstrom explained that Stuart Hall received its first 3D printer prototype as a gift from former student Xa Conrad. Since then, SHHS has acquired two new Makerbot Replicators that some of our more tech-savvy art students use to make 3-dimensional plastic sculptures depicting everything from Mickey Mouse, to bridges, buildings, and bicycles. That mechanical whirl you hear whenever you

Politics 5

enter the art studio is one of the Makerbots hard at work on a new student project. That said, anyone who’s used our models can tell you they are not without their flaws. Users have claimed the plastic lining they are made of is very messy and delicate, and the machine that places it is prone to error. And as the aforementioned Mickey Mouse statue is a testament to, without proper designing software and a skilled designer to use it, the printer itself is completely useless. But don’t let that discourage you from trying. There are plenty of free 3D printing

Student Activities 6

apps on the app store, so here’s you chance to be that skilled designer the printer needs. VA2 student, Johnny Forman ‘18, described the process as fairly easy once you get the hang of the software, and was rather proud of his finished product. Another sophomore, Ben Kaplan, designed and printed a model Golden Gate Bridge with only two tries that now stands in the art studio for all to see. Artificial organs, fully sized shelters, firearms, and tools are all just a design and a printer away now.

Ball after The Hall 8


December 12th, 2015

the roundtable at

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Words from The Hall from the voices of our community leaders

editor’s corner I got a CNN alert on my phone on Friday, November 13th. The alert stated that there was a shooting in Paris. I didn’t think much about this alert because in the world we live in today, shootings are all too common. When I checked my phone later that day, I had a rare moment. I physically couldn’t speak as I read the horrific news about the terror strike in Paris. It stunned me, never in my short life had somebody launched a successful terror attack of this size. It made me so angry that these men took the lives of so many innocent civilians, in the name of Allah. It made me angry that I got to see my family that night and 129 other people would never see their families again. I was angry that I was powerless to help these people. But, as my emotions settled down, I really came to terms with how I felt. Deep down, I was scared. In the United States, we have had our fair share of shootings in schools and public places. But, very often, not that many people die (in comparison to the French death toll) and they die at the hands of mentally ill men. Do not get me wrong, mental health as well as mass shootings are not to be laughed at and they are a serious issue that we must tackle as a country. I think I took solace in hoping that these American killers didn’t know what they were doing. I felt safer for some reason, it helped me come to terms with why these men would do such things. On the other hand, these men seemed to have made a choice to take the lives of innocent civilians in the name of ideology. Numerous eyewitness reports cite the men as yelling “Allahu Akbar” or “God is great.” Many of these deaths occurred in the concert hall, where two men shot over 100 people at close range. These men were, unfortunately, not mentally ill. They were completely sane and were in complete control of their actions. That is what scared me. I think that the thought of fellow humans not flinching as they take the lives of other people terrified me. As I went to bed Friday, I thought it was all over. These terrorists had eluded French authorities,

pulled off their attack, and then died, just as they had planned it. I was resigned to the fact that we had “lost” and they had “won.” But as Saturday progressed, it became evident how wrong I was. The world responded in a way that I didn’t even know was possible. Social media campaigns of immeasurable size appeared and pledged their support to the people of France. Athletes from around the world dedicated their play to those who lost their lives. Diplomats from all regions and countries pledged their allegiance with France, and vowed to stand with them through whatever course of action they chose to avenge the death of those who had fallen. It was a whirlwind of emotions as I had gone from being so sad that these men had been so successful, to so amazed and happy to be a part of this human race. A world that had been so divided on a variety of issues over the last year, united in a series of hours to stand by those who were wronged. Following the largest act of terrorism I had been alive to witness, I also got to witness the largest act of support for one group of people that I had ever seen. I was so proud to be a part of this group of people and felt so empowered to do something with my life. After seeing how quickly a life can be stripped from one’s possession, I had a whole different outlook. I no longer care about who gets the most playing time on my basketball team or if it is possible for me to understand the mystery that is Chemistry. For a couple of short hours, all I cared about was being a part of this great group of people that is 7 billion strong. For one short day, I knew I belonged and I believed the world is good. It is tragic that this understanding had to emerge out of such a horrible atrocity, but in my own way I can avenge the deaths of those lost in Paris. I can use their deaths as motivation to always push on. November 13th changed my view on the world, but after much reflection, it might have been for the better. Owen Fahy


student council

The Stuart Hall High School Students In Action Team is off to a great start for this 2015-2016 school year. The team has its biggest roster yet as we have 48 hardworking members! When the team first started in 2013, we had a total of 11 members. As you can see our numbers are growing which is allowing us to impact our school and greater communities in ways we have not been able to do before. The SIA Team is now leading many service projects. These student led activities include the Holiday Food Baskets, SIA LEAD360 Dreambox Campaign, the annual Christmas Toy Drive, Decembeard beard contest that raises money for the Gubbio Project, a Christmas Chapel that will be led by the Seniors of SIA, and our One Less Hungry service events that happen every month. SIA has already successfully participated in the SF Giants Race, Coastal Cleanup and Lafayette Park Cleanups that happen monthly. The one thing that will make all of these events a success is if there is school participation. While there are enough SIA Members to get all of these projects done, the point of our group is to try and encourage as many students, faculty, and parents to join with us as we serve our school and local communities and make them all better places. Along with these many projects that we have going on this semester, the annual Service Day is also on our minds as we have been working diligently on this since the summer. Like last year, our Service Day will include fourth and fifth graders from local elementary schools joining us for a day at the Hall full of fun, learning, and bonding. While this project is still in its early stages, the SIA Team will have all of the logistical information finished before the end of the semester. We look forward to having you all join us on our service endeavours. We also thank you -- students, faculty, staff, and administration -for supporting us and making SIA a strong presence in our Stuart Hall community. Julian Moreno

“Historic.” That was the word Andrew Veld, Student Body Director of Finance, used to describe the year so far for the 2015-2016 Student Council. During the past academic quarter the team worked extensively to make events such as Fright Knight, our halloween dance, the highest attended dance in five years. Over 230 people showed up to enjoy In-N-Out burgers, a scream inducing haunted house, and dancing on the Columbus Room floor under the newly acquired light system. Jackson Rhodes, a senior with a talent for the turntable, took the stage as our DJ. Student Body Vice President, Alex Palmer, elaborated, “It was great to have a student play the music. It let a classmate of ours perform with a live audience which is pretty cool, especially with such a large and engaged crowd.” Overall, it was a group effort to make our second dance of the year even more phenomenal than the impressive Carnival in August. Other highlights of the second quarter included the first ever SHHS club fair and our annual spirit week. The senior class took the prize for most spirited, winning a casual dress day and pizza lunch in the process. Your co-spirit directors, Zach Avila and Omid Ravanfar, also did a great job orchestrating the first ever lunch time intramural basketball league that finished the inaugural season recently. After a Monday assembly in November, Class Presidents had the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership in class meetings. There they presented ideas for their upcoming class events, occasions designed to foster the growth of community within respective classes through fun activities. Another community building endeavor, Student Council BBQs, thrived in the second quarter. The former of the two was headlined by the “mix it up” theme, an effort to encourage people to meet across grades. The numerous firsts for Student Council this semester are reflective of the incredible ambition the group exhibits. I cannot be more proud of the work your elected student leaders at the Hall have put in. Michael Tellini


December 12th, 2015

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Digging Deep into Propositions a look at local propositions

Nick Watts Reporter

having to pay hotel taxes and often having a more homey exropositions are propos- perience. For property owners, als made by individuals there are little to no expensor groups of people in es, and they do not need to order to make changes to local provide services like maintelaws, taxation, and communi- nance. The idea that outsidties. Every year San Francisco ers are staying in residential sees many interesting proponeighborhoods is unsettling to sitions being put on the table, some people. Airbnb’s defense and this year did not disapis that they do not have any point as the ballot included a control over each person’s proposition that challenged property, and it is only a plathome rental company, Airbnb, form for users to submit their and a proposition that looked houses as rentals. The propoto improve the vacant strip of sition ended up falling short, land known as Mission Rock. leaving Airbnb restriction-free. The vote on Proposition F The final decision was due in held many implications as it part to the $8 million dollars discussed ideas controversial Airbnb spent in advertising to the city and home sharing to deny the proposition. This company, Airbnb. The propincluded television advertiseosition proposed to tax and ments, billboards, and flyers. limit Airbnb due to the lack The results can conclude that of sanctioning on temporary when a big company uses a home rentals. The advantage lot of money to support their for Airbnb renters includes not cause, citizens tend to sway in


Ben Kaplan | the roundtable

the corporation’s favor. Proposition D was a proposition that would allow the development of the area around Piers 48 and 50 called Mission Rock. The passing of the proposition would authorize the increase of building height limits. With the increase of the height limits, the city intends to build 1,500

units within the price range of low income residents. With the new housing in place, new offices, businesses, and buildings will be built to support a, hopefully, thriving neighborhood. There is also a lot of hope that with the passing of this proposition, there will be a surge of development in the up-and-coming Mission Bay

area. As of now the San Francisco Giants and urban developers, Forest City Enterprises, have already planned to build office space as well as low income housing in the Mission Rock neighborhood. There was not much opposition to this proposal as it aligns with the proposed Warriors basketball stadium, and thus, Prop D was passed. In all ways, this proposition was seen as having great benefits to citizens in the area as well as the landscape. Both propositions were heavily publicized as the shortterm rental trend is on the rise and the Mission Rock neighborhood is in need. It will be intriguing to see how these propositions will change the city and its culture. Each proposition is built to grow and develop certain parts of the city with hope that their outcomes will benefit San Francisco.

SIA in Action for the Holidays SIA helps deck the halls

Owen Fahy Editor-in-Chief


oliday cheer is in the air at Stuart Hall as the temperatures have dropped and the Christmas trees have come out. However, the holiday spirit is much more than just decorations and specially flavored drinks. A new emphasis on service emerges around these halls when Christmas cheer is in the air. This emphasis on service is what allows us to help those in the community and around the Bay Area. The service spirit does not come without hard work from the SIA team, who lead the majority of these service activities. The SIA team works diligently through the fall to coordinate their service efforts when the holidays roll around. These efforts do not go unnoticed by the students of Stuart Hall, “I think SIA is an incredible organization that does great work in the

community and it inspires me and my friends to do as much as we can,” said Eli Mundy ‘19. Regardless of grade level or personal interests, SIA raises some eyebrows when it comes to the work they do in the community. One of their largest efforts is the “Thanksgiving Food Baskets.” SIA quarterbacks a campaign where each student brings in $5 (to purchase a turkey) and a side dish to

complete a full Thanksgiving dinner for a less fortunate family. This activity can stress advisors as they have to track down students to bring in their respective sides dishes, but in the end every student pulls their weight and puts together a Thanksgiving meal for a family who might not have had one. Thanksgiving Food Baskets are just one part of a larger puzzle that SIA coordi-

Angel Padilla | the roundtable

nates to serve the community. Another part of the puzzle, is the “Decembeard” contest. Stuart Hall students compete to grow the bushiest beard in a month. A donation of $5 allows the student to enter the contest. This contest raises money for the Gubbio project, which serves the homeless in San Francisco. The third part of the puzzle is SIA’s Dreamboxes campaign. This campaign

provides school supplies to less fortunate students in the community through donations from our own students. Stuart Hall students have been donating school supplies for the last month and the Dreambox has been filling up! The final piece that makes up the “Holiday Service Puzzle” is the Toy Drive. Students are encouraged to donate toys to the drive so that every kid, regardless of their financial standing, can have a happy Christmas. These toys are distributed in the Western Addition and at St. Teresa’s Church in Potrero Hill. The puzzle is made up of a variety of parts that help a variety of people in the greater community through the hard work of our students and faculty. Holiday seasons can be tough for the less fortunate members the community. It is the work of SIA that enables us to try and make their holidays a little more happy.


December 12th, 2015

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Not your Everyday Hobby beekeeping in the life of Michael Johnson


Jackson Rhodes Reporter

t is a beautiful day in Angwin, California. The sun is out, and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. All of the sudden, a sharp pain arises in your arm. You have been stung by a bee and excruciating pain overtakes your body. This is a danger Michael Johnson faces weekly. Michael Johnson is a senior here at The Hall and started a bee farm 4 years ago. Most high school students take part in hobbies like basketball, baseball, or soccer. Michael decided to travel the road less taken by choosing beekeeping. Every week, I go to an internship with Michael, and on the walk there I get to pick his brain about his farm. When asked how he got into keeping bees, he stated, “I had met my neighbor who had a hive, but it didn’t survive. I was initially interested in [beekeeping] like you are interested in a color. You like a certain color, but you just don’t know why.” He said he started the farm

Stewart Viets | with permission

during the summer going into 8th grade. His farm, composed of three hives (approximately 180,000 bees), is located in Angwin near Napa. Beekeeping is definitely more rare as far as hobbies go, so I wanted to learn more. Michael explained that his parents are essentially his venture capitalists and initially helped Michael out with the cost of starter equipment and bees. He said he tries to drive up

to Angwin every week to tend to the hives. There is a queen bee in each hive who basically controls the plethora of worker bees. The queen can lay as many as 1,500 eggs a day! The worker bees go out and collect nectar from flowers, storing it in their honey stomachs, which are different from their food stomachs. The bees then regurgitate the nectar from their stomachs and beat their wings so that the excess

water can evaporate from the nectar. “In a nutshell, that’s how honey is made,” noted Michael. I was curious about how much sappy, sweet honey Michael collects. Does he have enough to sell? “That’s the funny thing about backyard beekeeping. You have more than enough honey to consume yourself, but not enough to make a profit.” Michael mentioned he collects “a hundred pounds of

honey annually.” Wowzers! That’s 100 more pounds than I collect yearly. One day, I came to school and Michael surprised me with a mason jar full of thick honey. Delighted, I tried some with an apple. Let me just say, if you like honey and/or are interested in the process to make it, I’m sure Michael would love to answer your questions. And you may even get a free jar of honey!

A Yo-Yo Champ yo-yos in the life of Sasha Lifsitz


Jackson Rhodes Reporter

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yo-yo is defined as a round toy that has two flat sides with a string attached to its center. Seems simple enough right? Wrong. I was definitely naive to think there wasn’t much to learn about yo-yoing. The yo-yo was first invented in ancient Greece, and there are paintings that illustrate people playing with yo-yos dating back to 500 BC. Yo-yoing became popularized in the 1920s by an American immigrant from the Philippines, Pedro Flores. Flores later opened a manufacturing company for yo-yos in Santa Barbara, California in 1928. He started the company with 12 yo-yos total, and by 1929, Flores opened another two factories in LA and Hollywood. Fast forward some 90 years and you will find Sasha Lifsitz - yo-yo extraordinaire. Sasha is a junior at The Hall and has been yo-yoing since 8th grade. If you passed him on the street, you wouldn’t even know his yo-yo skills are major. When asked what sparked his interest in yo-yoing, which is not your everyday hobby, he remarked, “I was going on a trip to Israel with school, and we weren’t allowed to bring our phones. So I decided to buy a yo-yo off Amazon, and that’s where it started.” It obviously paid off for Sasha, as he recently competed at the Yo-Yo National Competition. In order to get to the nationals level, Sasha explained to me, you have to compete in sectionals and regionals. In a National competition there are three rounds for competitors. Sasha recently competed in the Nationals contest last February and

“made it past the first round. The competitions are a lot of fun though.” This is quite a feat as he was competing against the best yo-yoers in the nation. Nice job Sasha! Next up for Mr. Lifsitz is the 2016 regionals contest in February. He explained to me that in order to compete in nationals, you have to qualify through regionals by performing well. Once you qualify, Sasha noted, there are about 50 other competitors at the Nationals level. If you don’t qualify, you can petition to compete, much like other sports competitions. I asked Sasha if professional yo-yoing was some thing he was interested in, but he humbly responded with “No, I don’t really want to be a professional yo-yoer. I like it just to do as a hobby and that way it keeps it simple and fun.” That’s for sure. I was curious how many yo-yos a competitive yo-yoer has, and I was surprised to hear “somewhere around 15.” That’s 15 more than I have. In case I ever want to get into yo-yoing, I asked Sasha what some basic beginner tricks are. Apparently the “walk the dog, trapeze, and double or nothing” are some popular beginner moves to learn. We wish Sasha all the best in his upcoming Regionals contest. I anyone wants to acquire a yo-yo, Sasha mentioned he has more than enough so he’d probably lend you one. If anyone has any questions regarding the competition or yo-yoing in general, shoot Sasha an email or strike up a convo, he’d be happy to talk about it.


December 12th, 2015

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Presidential Candidates begin Campaigns who’s running? what do they want?

Nick Watts Reporter

to these problems. At school there are mixed

ith the 2016 presidential election coming up, candidates are in full push to gain support from potential voters. While most students at Stuart Hall will be unable to vote next year, the election is still earning a lot of interest in our community. This year, there are a total of 23 candidates, which explains why the election has been so perplexing for America. Therefore, here is an overview of all the candidates, the biggest issues coming up, and how students and faculty are reacting to them. In the Republican Party there are a of total fifteen candidates, and surprisingly businessman Donald Trump is leading the polls at 27.2%. Trump has been one of the most talked about candidates, mostly because of his wealth and his TV show, Celebrity Apprentice. However, he is now gaining attention for his very bold statements and views on society. He has also angered many groups of people due to offensive comments

reviews on the election. Some people have expressed interest in the elections such as Mateo Almendares ‘16 who said, “I’m definitely going to vote next year for the elections, but I haven’t decided on my top choices for president.” This seems to be a common theme in the school among students, especially seniors. They are waiting to learn more information about each candidate, making a more informative choice. There are also people who have strong followings for certain candidates including sophomore Alexander Angel-Souza who said, “I really like Donald Trump. I think if elected he would make great changes to America.” While there were people expressing a liking towards certain candidates, most people were unsure or uninterested in the elections. There were also people who were unimpressed with the candidates such as Colin Carr ‘16 who said, “I truly believe that the field of candidates is lackluster with few candidates who could improve America.” While interest for the elections is not big right now, interest will continue to rise as elections approach. Elections are important practices in democratic societies. It seems that students are still timid in picking a top candidate. As pressing issues arise in the United States, voting for a president will be very important; interest will grow as people brace themselves for the long campaign road ahead. As of now, students and citizens have chosen some of their top candidates, however, as the election goes on, results and views will alter. Whether a person votes for Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump, voting is a Constitutional Right that all people, including young people, should take seriously. The youth vote is very important to U.S. politics which is why the senior class, with chance to vote for the first time next year, will play an important role in the elections.


he made towards Latinos, women, the LGBT community, fellow candidates, and even President Obama. In the beginning of his campaign, one of the more publicized comments he made was directed towards illegal immigrants, mostly those of Mexican descent. Trump said on June 16, 2015, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” This brought outrage from many Mexicans as well as Mexican-Americans. To this day, Trump has stood by his comments and has plans to build a larger and more effective wall along the Mexican and American borders. Throughout his campaign, Trump has been criticized for his lack of political correctness, however he has brought a fire to the Republican Party. Many Republicans view Donald Trump as a leader and feels that his financial

Ben Kaplan | the roundtable

success could translate into benefiting the U.S. economy. His leadership is also very appealing to Republicans as they feel like Donald Trump will be effective in foreign affairs. Donald Trump is the top candidate so far. However, as the election unfolds, it is yet to be seen whether he lose voters because of his controversial ideas. Second to Donald Trump is another surprise candidate, Ben Carson, former neurosurgeon turned politician. His best weapon has been his intelligence, as people expect that he will be useful in improving the health care system and reducing the national debt. His biggest weakness, however, is foreign affairs as some believe that he is not prepared to fix relations in the Middle East as well as the rest of world. This is due to his extreme lack of experience in politics. It will be interesting to see how his intelligence outside of politics will be reflected in his political views. Throughout the election, Carson will set out to convince Americans that he is ready to lead a nation despite his lack of experience. The rest of the Republican Party is very even and spread out as no other candidate has been able to separate from the field including big names like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Chris Christie. Jeb Bush appeared to be the frontrunner at the beginning of the election because of his family’s success in politics, his

dad and brother both being former presidents. However, his family has actually hurt his chances due to their poor terms as presidents, most notably starting the “War on Terror” in Iraq. This has put him in a very bad light throughout his campaign despite his constant insistence that he is not like them. Marco Rubio is also a very intriguing candidate because of his young age as well as his Latino heritage. The senator from Florida has a steep hill to climb in the polls but also has an advantage in appealing to more diverse groups. Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, has waned somewhat in the polls, mostly because of the poor condition that New Jersey is in. It will be hard for him to convince people that he has made progress in the state with terrible unemployment and bad foreclosure rates. Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, and Rand Paul are also close in polls with strong support from different political groups. The Democratic Party has only five candidates with two clear frontrunners: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton was the most known candidate coming into the elections due to her experience as Secretary of State as well as First Lady to her husband, former president, Bill Clinton. She is expected to make a big run in the elections, however she has been under pressure lately

due to her involvement in the Benghazi terrorist attack and using her personal email for confidential information. Her biggest appeal has been to female voters and feminists looking to equalize pay for women as well approving the very controversial practice of abortion. As the most mainstream candidate, she has gained interest from all people as she looks to be the first female president in U.S. history. Her main competitor is Bernie Sanders who has risen very recently in polls as he plans to grow the middle class and raise taxes for the wealthy in America. He has also become very popular for his idea to make public universities and colleges free for all people. While ambitious, his plans and ideas to equalize wealth in America agree with many people. Bernie Sanders has also made headlines by relying solely on donations instead of Super Pacs to fund his campaign. He has faced drawbacks however, which includes how he will get money to pay for things such as universal healthcare and free college tuition. The other candidates for the Democratic Party including emerging candidate Martin O’Malley who looks to crash the frenzy between Sanders and Clinton. He has had nice showings in debates, slightly rising in the Democratic polls. He has interesting stances on issues, taking a more conservative approach


December 12th, 2015

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Features Table

Knights Aft

the day does n

Zach Hammer Reporter

Knights of The Hall Stuart Hall is more than just a school. We are a community. What makes us so unique is our set of values and our drive to act as men of courage and integrity. These ideals are what make us active students in the classroom and involved members of the community. The men who walk The Hall are actively engaged in each other and the world around them, and the atmosphere of our school is like none other. However, what do the men of The Hall (and their faculty) do once the gates open after the end of the school day? How do they continue their engagement with the world as they enter the community? How do the Knights spend their nights? These are the questions that we here at the roundtable aim to answer. We invited the community to participate in a survey about daily activities, and about 80 responses came in from both students and faculty. While it is true that men of the Hall do indeed possess virtues rather unique to young men, they are not entirely different than other men of their age. Of all the activities that our Knights participate in, sports and video games dominate the list, and with good reason. Friendly competition between maturing males has been commonplace since the dawn of human existence. In this day and age, that competition manifests itself through sport, whether it be on the field or on a screen. Competing against other players whether on a field or court, or against the AI of a computer game, breeds a certain healthy rivalry that allows young men to push themselves further.

Zack Hammer | the roundtable

Survey Says! Almost 52% of Stuart Hall High School students participate in a sport on a daily basis. Coming in second, about 27% of student play video games after school every day. Of the remaining 21%, a variety of activities were popular, with going to the gym and eating out seemingly very popular.

“Video games give me a great way to challenge myself.” - Dante Cassinelli ‘16

How about the faculty? When writing this article, the main goal was to learn about the after-school lives of our students, however, after reviewing the results, we found a variety of activities in which the faculty participate in that we found particularly interesting. Many times, it appeared that their school day really didn’t end at 3:15, as much of the faculty participated in after school activities. More than one recorded that they went on walks or jogs daily, and meditating was also fairly common. Beyond that, their activities were more varied, with everything from surfing to dancing, math puzzles to attending mass, volunteering to choir, and even the excitement of reviewing personal finances! Surprisingly, only one of our staff admitted to brushing their teeth daily. Zack Hammer | the roundtable


December 12th, 2015

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ter School

not end at 3:00

Most Popular Pastime Sports were the most common activity by far, with 73% of all those who responded to the survey participating in some sort of sport, whether it be school or club. However, per week, students most commonly participated in school sports over club, while some competed in both.

57% School sports 23% Club sports 20% Do Both

Video Games take the Cake Unsurprisingly, video games are a popular pastime of Stuart Hall students, with close to 80% of participants played video games at least once a week. But which class wins the title of the most hardcore gamers? Out of the 65 student responses, 47 of them play video games at least once a week. The sophomores had the highest percentage of total gamers at 34%, but the seniors had the highest percentage gamers in their class at 87%. Numbers on the chart represent how many students from each class play video games at least once a week.

Gabe O’Brien | the roundtable


December 12th, 2015

the roundtable at

Sports Table

Ball after The Hall Knights represent The Hall well in college

Harry Billings Reporter s we head into a new basketball season, we are looking for a clean slate, a chance to do whatever we aspire to in athletics. In this beginning stage, we are just starting to see which players are going to lead our teams to more success within the league. As long as we are still in this transitionary stage, it seems like as good a time as any to acknowledge the leaders of the past. We have two star players from last year’s Varsity team that filled that leadership role admirably. One plays Division 3 college basketball now, and the other one is playing Division 2 close by in Marin County. These leaders are Tyler Ryan and Pavlos Peritos. As we express our gratitude to them for their time here, I think it would be useful to update you on what they are up to now. I asked them about how it feels to play in college, as well as how their experience at The Hall helped them to act as men of courage and integrity on the


Lindsay MacGarva | The Hall

college court. Pavlos Peritos is a freshman shooting guard at Dominican University in San Rafael, California. If you want to attend any of his games, the schedule is on the Dominican website, and he would love to see you stop by. When I asked him about his experience at Stuart Hall, he was very adamant about how good it felt to be a part of the rise of the program. “Without these role model leaders on our teams, there would be no guidance for growth in all three teams.” Pavlos obviously realizes the impact of his role at Stuart Hall and how important it is for guys like him to be present. Pavlos was attracted to

Dominican because of the strength and competitive nature of the program. He knows what such a program looks like, having played all four years at The Hall. Dominican, in turn, was interested in Pavlos because they saw the effects of our program on how he played the game. I inquired about how our school shaped him to be a college player, and he responded with a barrage of examples. As a young player in his first two years, Pavlos specialized in being a post player down low. Due to his lack of height for the position, the training staff at Stuart Hall was able to help him work on a skillset that would maximize his basketball experience. Without this transformation, as well as the limitless lessons of discipline and athletic intuition, Pavlos would not have been recruited to a college such as Dominican. Pavlos knows enough not to underestimate these lessons. He also thanked Tyler Ryan, Armani Collins, and his former teammates for their influence on him

Lindsay MacGarva | The Hall

during his time here. Pavlos’ expectations are high for his new team, and he looks to continue learning under his older teammates. He wants to work hard every day for more improvement. Tyler Ryan sang the same tune. A freshman shooting guard at Linfield College in Oregon, Tyler is still adjusting to being at the bottom of the ladder on his new team. He will miss the spirited crowds and loyal fans at Stuart Hall games, and he expects big things from our teams in the future. At Linfield, he expects pretty much the same thing. He sees the talent present there, and he looks forward to winning a lot of games in

the upcoming season. Tyler realized that he had to change how he plays, in order to fill his role for his new team. The Hall taught him that there will always be adjustments he needs to make, and he was more than prepared to make this one. He is now very happy in his new home, although he will always have another home in the hallways of our school. Tyler looks forward to playing hard this season, and hopes he can inspire others to follow their dreams. Now that we have checked in, it is obvious how my original thought is a two way street. Our program may depend on these strong leaders, but the leaders in turn need the program in order to keep leading. The effect they have on each other is immeasurable, and we look forward to continuing this pattern of excellence this year. If we can create players as strong, resilient, and courageous as these guys, we will have done ourselves proud once again.

Let’s get Ready to Wrastle! an inside look at the Knight’s wrestling program

Sam Cormier



ome call it “wrastling,” most know it as wrestling, but all agree that wrestling is the toughest winter sport here at The Hall. Before last year, The Hall had never won a league championship until they finally captured the BCL West title. Wrestling is one of the toughest sports in the world with its physical nature and tough athletes. As veteran wrestler Jacob Hubbard ‘17 says, “Wrestling is a great test of emotion and strength and it is a tough but rewarding sport to participate in.” Wrestling at The Hall is a growing sport and this year’s team is the largest wrestling team that The Hall has ever had. The wrestling team looks to surpass last year’s impressive accomplishments with a heap of new upper class and

Nick Hom | The Hall

freshman wrestlers crowding the mat. One could say that the wrestling team is “calling in the cavalry” with all of the new wrestlers this year. These new wrestlers, including upper-class wrestlers who have decided to wrestle for the first time, should be able to make up for the loss of four senior

wrestlers. The Hall has two senior leaders on the team, Arjun Saxena and Evan Kim, who are the most experienced wrestlers on the squad. The new seniors on the team are Willie Reader and Mateo Almendares, who did not play winter sports previously. Also joining the team is former basketball player, Omid

Ravanfar ‘16. Ask captain Alex McDonald about what he thinks about all the new and old talent on the team and he says, “I’m really excited about this season, all the new and old faces on this team. If we develop this talent correctly I believe that we can repeat as league champions for this season and set a foundation for

this team to succeed for years to come.” Captains Alex McDonald ‘17 and Arjun Saxena ‘17 will help the coaches cultivate this culture of success by giving less experienced wrestlers advice but also leading by example. The captains had the top two performances on the team last season, Alex McDonald won the individual league championship for his weight class and Arjun Saxena received second place in his weight class. The Hall wrestling team has some important dates coming up, their first tournament is Saturday, December 16th at Redwood High School. Their first league meet is a tri-meet with Lick-Wilmerding and CASD on January 17th and the team will hope to repeat as league champions at the league tournament on February 9th.


December 12th, 2015

the roundtable at

Features Table

Owen Fahy Editor-in-Chief uke Schemm collapsed motionless on the sideline during his high school 8-man football playoff game on October 27th. His team was about to kick off after scoring a decisive touchdown when Luke tragically collapsed. He died from blunt force trauma to the head that he sustained while executing a block in the game. This may sound like a tragic, freak accident that shook Luke Shemm’s small town to the core. But this death is all too common; eight other high school football players this year have played their last game, attended their last class, and had their last family dinner. The NFL is coming under fire for player safety and other issues surrounding the risk of playing football. NFL players and high school players alike


Is it Worth it? concerns over safety in high school football

enue for the NFL, its teams and its sponsors. As long as

Nick Hom | the roundtable

risk their health every time they take the field, although no professional players have died this year. At Stuart Hall, we have an on-site trainer at all of our games and most of our practices, so that we are always prepared for the case of an injury. Regardless of sport, kids who are suspected of having a concussion are tested on the sideline for symptoms and if it is required, they are sent on to the hospital. The NFL makes north of nine billion dollars a year

because football is America’s most watched sport. Most Americans love to sit down on Sunday and watch their hometown team play their weekly game. According to the Nielsen Company, 202 million people watched the NFL in 2014, which equates to 80% of American homes. It is this culture of unwavering love and support for a game, regardless of its downfalls, that have given the NFL the luxury of not doing anything to protect their players. This support translates into rev-

this revenue stream is steady, Commissioner Goodell will have no real motivation to change the ways of the NFL. If the NFL doesn’t start a trend, then who will? It appears that they are too concerned with making the extra point more difficult, than making sure the guy who blocks for that extra point doesn’t suffer a severe head injury. The change has to start from the top and trickle to the bottom in order for players at the lowest level to be able to play safely. But what will it take to make the game safer? Some notable players have retired from the NFL citing safety issues, but these moves have been in vain as nothing has changed. Scientists and researchers have published multiple

Terror in the Middle East

reports noting how retired players suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, stemming from their days in the NFL. The disease is a degenerative one that changes mood and behavior, but it is very hard to diagnose in living patients. The Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University have now found that 96% of former NFL players who are now deceased suffered from the illness. Retired players have filed successful lawsuits and have received compensation of up to five million dollars for their injuries. Yet, there is still no movement to pressure the NFL into any form of action besides financial retribution. The NFL will never take action if they are not pressured by the public, because they are a corporation that are in it for the money and not for the game. So the question really is: How many more players need to die before we take action?

What do you really know about this extremist group?

Virgil McCorgray | Class of 2016

Virgil McCorgray Class of 2016 t would not be unreasonable to assume that we, Stuart Hall, are incredibly ill-informed about the terror organization: ISIS. If even a bit seems unclear, I strongly encourage you to keep reading. In the wake of recent attacks in France, Lebanon, Iraq, on free society, and the light shed on dozens of humanitarian crises around the world today, we as young peo-


ple, privileged with a $40,000 education, must make intellectual, if not real, actions towards knowing the world around us. It is our moral obligation to first rebuke the fallacy that we are foreign to radical violence; second, that we apologize to ourselves for our ignorance; and finally, to make efforts to understand human rights issues that repeat themselves and will have great consequence on our future. ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, and

“Islamic State” (IS) have all been used interchangeably to refer to the same group that charged onto the international scene in 2014. It has become notorious for mass killings, Islamic fundamentalism, abductions and beheadings. As of late 2015, Masrour Barzani, head of Kurdish Intelligence and the Kurdistan Regional Security Council, has reported that the group raises $6,000,000 per day from oil, taxes, extortion, human trafficking, smuggling, and the

sales of stolen artifacts. They hold most of Northern Syria and Iraq, as well as smaller territories to the east; operating mainly out of the Syrian cities, Aleppo and Raqqa and the Iraqi city of Mosul. ISIS continues to exploit and terrorize the citizens trapped within their borders. “ISIS” is the acronym for the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” while ISIL is the acronym for the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.” ‘Levant’ is the historical term for the region east of the Mediterranean including Egypt, Iran and Turkey. “Daesh” is a less popular but rising name given to the terrorist group. “D.A.E.S.H.” is an Arabic acronym formed of the same words that transliterates to “I.S.I.S”: “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” or “al-dowla al-islaamiyya fii-il-i’raaq wa-ash-shaam.’” However, depending on how it is conjugated in Arabic, the word (Daesh) can mean “a bigot.” The group interprets its use as a challenge to their legitimacy.

The heart of Daesh’s traction and growth is based in the Sunni-Shiite conflict. The divide is rooted in the Prophet Muhammad’s death without an heir. Controversy started around who is to rule the Caliphate, a form of Islamic government. Muslim communities split, each vying for power over the Caliphate. The Shiites, followers of Muhammad’s son in law, Ali, professed that his lineage succeed the prophet. The Sunnis, another branch of Islam, believed that the caliphate should go to the strongest and most spiritually adequate to take on the Muslim empire, backing Muhammad’s fatherin-law Abu Bakr. The contradiction is in the fact that neither were more related to Muhammad and the dispute was can be considered political, under the guise of religious zeal. Abu Bakr was named the first caliph, and when Ali assumed the caliphate 25 years later, his son was assassinated. The Shiites were handed a sense of dispossession, lingering to the present

Continued on back


December 12th, 2015

A&E Table

the roundtable at

Nothing in Sight a psychological look at hopelessness

Gabe O’Brien Reporter Author’s note: I was inspired to write this short story after getting to know the story behind The Tempest. I felt that this had a direct correlation to the Hall and Convent’s theater production, and was something that everybody would enjoy. I hope that this provides you with a good read and a better appreciation of what is the inspiration for certain stories is. artin Robeson woke up lying on the sand, temporarily forgetful of everything that had happened the night before. He is blinded by the cloudless sunlight. Once he adjusts himself to this unusual atmosphere, everything starts to kick in. He gets up and sees the wreckage of the ship, several bodies lying motionless on the ground, and the endless ocean he is


engulfed by. He panics and runs around the empty beach on the deserted island to no avail for any chance of return to civilization. He knows that there is almost no hope but he cannot accept this fact. He throws himself down to the sand and puts his face in his palms… Martin Robeson was coming back from work when he saw the letter at his doorstep from his old high school friend, George Raimi. He hadn’t seen George for years, now he was throwing a get-together on his own yacht at the docks of the L.A. Harbor. Martin had nothing else to do the next day, so he got ready for the party. When he arrived at the ship the next day, he saw a group of people that he used to know. He was looking forward to getting back in touch with them. He circulated through the party and talked

with his old pals. Eventually, it was getting late. Martin knew to call it quits at around midnight since the sky was looking rough. And just when Martin was on his way home, Raimi stopped him for a chat. Raimi seemed odd and a bit eccentric. Apparently, he inherited a great deal of money from his parents after college when they died in a freak accident. Interestingly, he was also involved in the company where Martin worked. In fact, before his wealth came, George held the same position that Martin held right now. Things were starting to get odd, but Martin couldn’t just stop the conversation and be rude. Suddenly the rain started pouring down. Several people tried to leave but the boat lurched surprisingly and a few people fell down. The boat was apparently cut off from the dock and drifting out to

sea. George didn’t seem a bit shaken, in fact he was happy about it. Faced with the possibility of being cast into sea during a storm, people ran and hopped from the stern. Some made it to the pier, others were left in the harbor, but would eventually swim to safety. Martin tried the same thing, but was stopped by George. “Where do you think you’re off to?” George asked. When Martin turned around, he knew he was in for something dangerous. George had a large handgun pointed at Martin. Martin was shocked but after the boat was rocked by the rough tide, Martin pushed his way past George. George, knocked over, fired a stray bullet into the air. Martin came to the edge of the ship but saw that he was too far out to swim. He ran straight for George to try to grab the gun, but tripped and fell right on to the hardwood

floor of the ship. He was unconscious and wouldn’t wake back up until the morning... Martin was walking aimlessly on an island he perceived to be about 100 miles off the California coast. He thought that he could glimpse Los Angeles from where he was, but he knew that it could simply be a mirage. He was thirsty and filled with an aching hunger. He limped back to the wrecked yacht and climbed up into a destroyed vessel. He had to hop down 10 feet to what was left of a kitchen. He scoured it for crackers, potato chips, and a gallon of water in case of an emergency. He ate and drank what he could find since his hunger was killing him. He then had the impulse to look around the ship... To be continued...

At the Tailend of The Tempest looking back on the SHHS & CHS play

Jackson Rhodes Reporter


ast month, the Convent and Stuart Hall High School drama group finished their fall production of The Tempest. Led by Ms. Pamela Rickard, the rendition of Shakespeare’s play was filled with a boat wreck, love affairs, and soliloquies. Per-

Molly Gallagher| Convent & Stuart Hall

forming for a three day show, the cast exemplified their skills in utilizing challenging Shakespearean diction, and I was there to review it on Friday. The latter was a minor gripe of mine, more on that later. Just shy of two hours, I found myself nodding off at times. To preface this, I am

not a big play/musical person in general, and as a teenager, I have a limited attention span. I found that the long soliloquies made it difficult to stay attentive in the scenes, especially when the dialogue was not easily comprehensible. I think this applies to most Shakespeare’s plays, though, as the language used is older

and more difficult to comprehend. The opening scene, although, was filled with luring music and dramatic dancing that drew me in. The addition of dancing made for an interesting experience because one does not usually expect that in a play. Initially, I liked the added entertainment and synchronized choreography, but the dancing and music segways seemed to collide with the acting. I found the music too modern to properly mesh with the old-English dialogue. It seemed to take attention off the meaning of the words (what I see as the most important part of a Shakespeare play). While I just contradicted myself as I initially said I don’t like the use of the older diction, I do believe it is a vital part of a Shakespearean play. That being said, a few members of the cast did a most excellent job portraying their characters. Of the few that I think excelled in their role, Duncan

McDonnell killed it as Ferdinand. What separated his performance from his peers was his confidence. When performing Shakespeare, I think it is important to use a confident, assertive voice (something Duncan excelled at). I asked Duncan McDonnell ‘16 a little about the process of preparing for the play, and he noted that the “[drama club] rehearsed everyday since pretty much the beginning of the year.” That’s commitment right there. Duncan’s role as Ferdinand was nicely accompanied by Miranda, played by Cat Heinen. Their love affair was a little confusing to me, because in one scene, they manage to declare their love for each other and basically agree to marriage. All the while, the creepy Prospero played effectively by Daniel Im ‘16, was eavesdropping behind the triangular props. But I am happy that they found love in the midst of the chaos. Duncan and Miranda’s


December 12th, 2015

the roundtable at

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The Tempest Review continued performance: 10/10.

simply weren’t speaking loud

Now that we’ve delved into the performance of some of the characters, back to the audio side of things! I think it was a well known occurrence that some of the microphones didn’t work as they should have and it was noted by drama faculty, and I heard that the volume was much improved for Saturday’s performance. While speaking to Gabe O’Brien ‘17, who was also in the play, he informed me that the main characters with major speaking roles received mics, others simply had to project their voice. He explained that the sound cues were also off, leaving actors the only option of improvising some of their cues. I found some scenes immensely difficult to follow, as the actors

enough. While this was more of a technical difficulty due to the lack of mics, this inconvenience is under my gripes of the play. Overall, I give the play a 8/10. I feel that some of the actors could have more deeply delved into their role as a character in the Shakespearian time period. To accurately portray a character that speaks in old English is a very difficult thing to do, so kudos to those who did it well. I encourage everyone to congratulate any of the actors if you see them. It is a challenging feat to perform a play, and it requires dogged determination. In the confusing language of Shakespeare, I bid you adieu.

Up and Comings Monday, December 14 Final Exams Begin Friday, December 18 Dismissal for Christmas break at Noon Varsity Basketball at Mills @ 6 Saturday, December 19 Varsity Basketball vs. Mission @ 5:30 Tuesday, December 22 Varsity Basketball at Aragon @ 5:30 Saturday, January 2 Varsity Basketball at Salesian @6 Monday, January 4 Classes Resume Wednesday, January 6 Varsity Basketball vs. University @ 6:30 Thursday, January 7 Varsity Wrestling Tri-meet at Lick @ 5 Friday, January 8 Varsity Basketball at International @ 4 Winter Formal @ 7 Saturday, January 9 Varsity Wrestling: Granada Mat Classic Wednesday, January 13 Varsity Basketball at Albany @ 6 Saturday, January 16 Sophomores to Costa Rica Varsity Basketball at Urban @ 6 Monday, January 18 Martin Luther King Day (no school) Tuesday, January 26 Varsity Basketball at Lick @ 6:30 Thursday, January 28 Varsity Basketball vs. Urban @ 6:30 Saturday, January 30 Varsity Basketball vs. St. Joseph @ 1:30

Music Reviews Angel Padilla Photographer

What a Time to Be Alive


by Future and Drake

by Bryson Tiller

Kaplan Korner

Ben Kaplan Reporter

This album has been on everybody’s repeat. I am sure that this year, you will hear most of these songs at our Stuart Hall basketball games. The reason why this album is so popular is primarily because of the rappers, Future and Drake. With these names together, you already know you have something big. Now let’s get into the music. Personally, “Jumpman” is the best song in the album. I repeatedly hear this song on the radio. “Scholarships” and “Big Rings” are also highly played songs. These three songs are the most popular because of its catchy rhythm, and nice beat. These songs have me dancing to them everytime I they start playing. Jaden Newman told me a sensational quote, “What a time to be alive.” If you like these two rap artists and their music, download this album now.

Who doesn't like this album? Bryson Tiller, only 22 years old, has made a mark in the music industry when it comes to this album. It is only his first album, so we know that we will see more of him in the future. This album has and is still going to impress everyone. He has me replaying “Don't” and “Exchange” on my music library. I haven't found a single song I didn't like in this album because it’s a completely different mood from the last album, What a Time To Be Alive. This is more of a relaxing mood then a hyper kind of mood. I know Malik Hale agrees with me because he said that “Bryson Tiller is the new best artist in 2016.” I would not be surprised if he dropped another album in the next couple of months. Don’t sleep on this, go download it now.

the roundtable | Stuart Hall High School | Schools of the Sacred Heart San Francisco | | 1715 Octavia St. | San Francisco, CA 94109 | | |


Owen Fahy, Editor-in-Chief Nick Hom, Layout & Online Editor

Reporters Anson Gordon-Creed, News Reporter Ben Kaplan, Reporter/Photography Assistant Gabe O’Brien, News/Creative Reporter Harry Billings, Sports Reporter Jackson Rhodes, Reporter Nick Watts, News Reporter Sam Cormier, Sports Reporter Zack Hammer, News/Creative Reporter

Photographer Angel Padilla

Special Thanks Virgil McCorgray, Contributor Lori Saltveit, Moderator Michael Campos and Reba Sell, Editing

In each issue of the roundtable, I will be exploring different situations that students at The Hall and across America face everyday. I will be sharing advice from students at The Hall about high school that every student may need. The advice of others can help navigate high school life. In addition to the education and opportunities that we get here at Stuart Hall High School to build community and develop wise freedom, the chances that we get to support each other are achieved daily . Everyday in American schools, people are getting pushed around and bullied. All of the time students have to choose from being respectful or being a “cool kid.” In every school there are ways to categorize people like using terms such as jocks and nerds. At Stuart Hall, we are sometimes faced with situations like this. What choices do you make about treating others the way you do? For this article I walked around school and asked students about ways in which they respect our Stuart Hall community. Generally speaking they included listening to other students and treating others equally. Also some responded by saying how important it is to include others in conversation and to use your manners. While writing this column I was thinking about what my next topic would be. The questions that came to my mind are how to balance your social and school life, how to treat the opposite gender, and how to best communicate with your family. I’m also wanting to hear from you, so if you see me around school maybe you can run some ideas by me.

day. Now, of the 1.7 billion Muslims, 85% are Sunni while 15% are Shiite. Although the formation of ISIS goes back to the seventh-century; the speed which it picked up recently, can be observed in the last couple decades. During Sunni Iraqi president Saddam Hussein’s 30 year regime, blatantly sectarian policies were imposed, leading to an estimated 150,000 Shiites tortured and murdered, while thousands more remain missing within a Shiite majority country (Iraq), while neighboring country Iran was mainly Shiite. In early 2003, Hussein and his regime were destroyed in less than a month, thus beginning the U.S. led occupation of Iraq. During this time, Iraqi forces fighting Hussein associated militants were weaponized appropriately, utilities for Iraqi cities were not looked after, al-Qaeda and Taliban forces were allowed to grow in number, and the overall incoherent occupation further pushed the country into anarchy. Due to huge public opinion going against the occupation, the U.S. pulled out of Iraq. In the aftermath, new Iraqi Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki began to implement his own sectarian

policies targeting Sunnis as a form of revenge. Sunnis, now out of the position of power they were so used to having, felt extremely vulnerable. ISIS, born from a branch of al-Qaeda, started acting as support for Sunnis in and around Iraq. Daesh’s 80,000 some fighters’ mission, in a nutshell, is as follows: to revert the world to a seventh-century Islamic theocratic legal environment (“caliphate”) through jihad and sharia, in hopes to secure its place in the afterlife before the coming apocalypse. In the Qur’an, the Prophet Muhammad is said to warn of a doomsday that would be avoided if humanity stays on “the right track.” This dogma, irrefutable by faithful believers, is spread so that previously disillusioned Muslims could re-orient and purport their lives. Therefore, it is unlikely that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, proclaimed caliph of Daesh and one of the most powerful men in the world, would strap on a suicide vest. It would make more sense that al-Baghdadi, as he does, would order thousands of brainwashed young men to do it for him. Two other terms that require definition and relate to ISIS are Jihad and Sharia. Ji-

had, in the Muslim tradition, is the maintaining of Islam: the most notorious is carried out through brutality. However, far more Muslims in the world practice non-violent than violent Jihad. Sharia, is defined in the Qu’ran as the legal system for Islam, determined by the rulings of Islamic scholars. Sharia is applied many ways throughout the world: from floggings and beheadings; to financial advice, personal dealings, and relationships. Although, the underlying problems of religious law are clear and undeniable. Daesh, ISIL, or ISIS has, rightfully so but unintelligibly, been demonized in western countries. It is easy to see ISIS as an imminent threat to our safety. The communities they truly destroy, however, are the Turkmen, the Syrians, Iraqis, Afghanis, Yazidis, Kurds, Afghans, and dozens of more ethnic and religious minority groups. No one born in the U.S. has any real notion of what it is to live under the “Islamic State”. We as American citizens; moreover, we as objective intellectuals are not fighting for our lives, yet we do and should resist. If we children do not understand how to, or even why, the will to fight is perverted

into something self-destructive. ISIS, for us, should be viewed as an attack on the values of our country. If we believe in free expression, if we believe in democracy, if we are in favor of people’s rights to the land they were born onto, then we must toss aside political identity and knowthe reality. My request of you is this: do research, do not be intellectually lazy when forming opinions and do not form opinions simply based on other people’s opinions. Mosques are being burned and Muslims around the U.S. are becoming the target of radicalized fear mongers. In this, even if we do not do it ourselves but only stand by and watch, we act as the catalyst for ISIS’ next recruits. Irrational hate and violence against Muslims support its message to indoctrinate young Muslim men that westerners hate them. By becoming more intellectually engaged with this issue, we are able to confront the problem in a way that ISIS hopes we do not.

Terrorism in the World Continued

Vol. 10, Issue 2| December 2015 | Stuart Hall High School | Schools of the Sacred Heart San Francisco | |

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