Volume 18 Issue 1
Spect ator September/October 2016
Hello Students and Faculty, from the staff at the Salesian Spectator, the student-run newspaper of Salesian High School! Run by Paul Chen, Daniel Brandon, and Jon Cerini, the newspaper is seeking to enlighten the minds of all who attend this school. We are looking for any new members, as all students and their contributions are welcome. If you’d like to submit any material for The Salesian Spectator, send an email with your work as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you include your full name and year of graduation, so you can receive credit for it. Your name will appear in The Salesian Spectator’s credits section at the end of the issue to which you contribute. Thank you for reading and keep writing!
-- Paul Chen '17, Daniel Brandon '17, and Jon Cerini '17 Editors Daniel Brandon '17, Jon Cerini '17, and Paul Chen '17, Writers Jon Cerini '17, Paul Chen '17, Jeremy De La Hoz '17, and Nick Singlar '17 Editor In Chief Mr. John Small
Presidential Address Paul Chen '17 Hello, my fellow Salesian brothers; I hope you all have enjoyed your first few weeks of school. I am looking forward to a productive school year, as I hope all of you are too. Student council is already off to a “jump start,” and we are prepared to do everything we can to make this year enjoyable and fun. Our first ever "Clubs & Activities Day" was a success and we are looking forward to more events in the future, such as Halloween, Election Day, the Thanksgiving food drive, Turkey Bowl, school dances, and more.
In This Issue: Ask a Salesian Stranger Things UFC News AND MORE!
I speak on behalf of the student council when I say that your opinions, hopes, and ideas for the school all matter. We want to hear anything that you have to offer throughout the year. Let's get ready for a great and memorable school year! It is a great day to be an Eagle. Good luck!
Help Wanted: New Writers Needed Jon Cerini '17 Attention to all aspiring writers of Salesian High! Now that the Spectator has been handed over to the class of 2017, Daniel Brandon, Paul Chen, and Jon Cerini look forward to this year’s experience with the school paper. We hope to add new columns for poetry, comics, short stories, advice, etc. We already have several great writers who keep the school up to date with current events in sports, culture, politics and more. However, we could still use additional people
to help. If you have any passion for writing, sharing news, or are possibly interested in a career in journalism, then talk to one of us to help strengthen the Salesian Spectator and make it even better!
Helped Wanted: AM Salesian Nick Singlar '17 A.M. Salesian is currently in search for new members. Our job is to broadcast the morning prayers and announcements to every homeroom and to make sure it goes off without a hitch (which does not always happen). Right now, A.M. Salesian consists mostly of seniors, so now more than ever do we need the help of the underclassmen. However, this does not mean seniors can't contribute. We need members ASAP, regardless of grade. You don't need any experience with computers, cameras, or AV equipment (although it helps). You will be taught on the job. All you need is a willingness to join. To preface: it is a lot of work. We have a job to do every morning, and the entire school is watching. If you are interested, contact Father Bill or Br. Steve Eguino, or come to the A.M. Salesian Studio on the fourth floor before homeroom to talk to us directly. See you there!
The Issue with American Pride Jon Cerini '17 It all began with NFL player, Colin Kaepernick, taking a seat during the national anthem. When asked about the matter, he claimed that America is against African Americans. He refuses to stand for a country which "oppresses black people and people of color" and has become an avid contributor to the Black Lives Matter movement. Since then, Kaepernick has been criticized incessantly by fans and the average person alike. In response, Kaepernick has decided to kneel instead of sitting, to continue his protests against police brutality. However, he has continued to spark controversy in the media, most notably, making headlines when seen wearing socks with pigs dressed as cops.
His recent actions have filled the news with conversation and debate. This new form of protest has swept the nation and has been spreading to other athletes as well. Several football teams support Kaepernick as many players now take knees during the anthem. It has even spread to other sports like womanâ€™s soccer with players like Megan Rapinoe and teams on the high school and college level.
As an American, Kaepernick has every right to do and act as he pleases. The first
amendment gives everyone the freedom of speech and expression and allows individuals to assemble or protest. However, many people are not looking into the situation with consideration. The people who support Kaepernick and the other athletes are stating that it is acceptable to sit during the national anthem because it represents the freedom of speech. Meanwhile, supporters of the national anthem claim it is insulting and disrespectful to sit or kneel during a zealous moment in public events.
officers around the country. Peaceful protest can be carried out in more logical ways than by disrespecting the country that allows these freedoms in the first place.
Although both statements are true within American society, there is a better way to protest than to disrespect what the national anthem embodies. People have been confused lately as to what exactly the flag and the anthem represent. It symbolizes all those who have fought for the nation's freedom. The Star Spangled Banner is about persevering through adversity and defeating the British to get independence. Instead of sitting or kneeling when hearing the song, Kaepernick and the rest of the athletes who follow the craze should stop for a moment and thank the troops for all they have done. If it were not for them, the American people would not have the freedoms they hold today.
The premise of the show is relatively straightforward. Everything is normal in the small, quiet town of Hawkins, Indiana, until a young boy mysteriously goes missing. The show follows the missing boy's friends and family, and the local sheriff, Hopper, as they attempt to uncover the secrets lurking in the depths of their town. The show is packed with government conspiracies, supernatural powers, and 80s pop culture. If that sounds like something you may like, I highly recommend watching the show right now.
If they wish to protest against police brutality, protest law enforcement. It does not make sense to go against the flag and the anthem because of the mistakes of several
Stranger Things Review Nick Singlar '17 Netflix has been on a roll lately with its original series. Its latest hit is Stranger Things, by the Duffer Brothers. It is an amazing show and certainly worthy of its success.
A few points of note about Stranger Things are the acting and the influence. Normally, child actors do not have the skill required to play convincing roles, but the kids in Stranger Things are truly impressive. Finn
Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, and Caleb McLaughlin who play the three main boys: Mike, Dustin, and Lucas are phenomenal in their roles, as is Noah Schnapp, who stars as the missing Will and sells his role beautifully with the little screen time he has. When the four are interacting on screen they seem like genuine 80s kids, especially when playing Dungeons and Dragons. Millie Bobby Brown, who stars as the inscrutable Eleven, is easily the best actor in the show. It's amazing how much emotion she can portray with such little dialogue. Not only that, but she can also express real trauma and pain, something most adult actors struggle to do. These kids definitely have bright acting careers ahead of them.
Some people have called Stranger Things a mix between Stephen King and Steven Spielberg (and for good reason). The creators, the Duffer Brothers, took heavy inspiration from King’s The Mist, Firestarter, and Stand By Me, and Spielberg's The Goonies and E.T. Extraterrestrial, as well as other famous 80s movies like Alien, Poltergeist, The Thing, and The Nightmare on Elm Street. As for the dialogue, it's realistic and convincing, for the kids in particular, and reminiscent of Stephen King’s patented style of writing.
When you consider at all that I’ve mentioned, you’ll see a truly unique and entertaining show suitable for any audience. All in all,
Stranger Things is more "80s" than most 80s movies and is a show definitely worth watching.
Some Genuine Advice from a Genuine Senior Jon Cerini '17 My time in high school is slowly waning as I approach the next phase of my life- college. The three years I’ve spent at Salesian thus far have gone by faster than anticipated, and I sit here now regretting the things I’ve done and the things I failed to do with my high school career. I am here, writing in this small newspaper to give to the reader (mainly the freshmen readers) something I never received: true advice. I’ve learned a lot with my soon-to-be four years in Salesian, and I’ve come up with three major tips for all first-year students or transfer students so they may feel welcomed and happy in their new atmosphere.
Rule One-GET INVOLVED This may seem like a very overused lesson to practically everyone at this point. You have heard this from the principal, the president, teachers, and most likely your parents. You’re probably annoyed that you’re wasting your time reading this and thinking “I get it. I get it. I’ll get involved.” Will you get involved though? I say this because trust me, I know how this goes. I have seen this situation not only in myself but plenty of other students as well. You say you’ll get involved, but at the end of the day, you sit and do nothing. When I was a freshman, I did absolutely nothing in school. I’d come to school, learn, eat lunch, learn some more, then when the day was over
I’d go straight home facing an unbearable routine that kept me in an antisocial rut. I encourage all students to join clubs or even make a new one. It was not until sophomore year for me when I realized I wanted to have fun in school while learning at the same time. I found that my true passions were music, writing, sports, and helping others. I joined and interacted with clubs and students that helped me enjoy those things in a school setting. Now, I am a part of six different organizations on campus. Find your passions, find clubs that hold your passions, and have fun. Do not be a kid who comes to school and then goes back home every day.
Rule Two-BE YESTERDAY Focus
everything and everyone. People never asked me to hang out because I was always so negative and even when they did I would ignore them. Eventually, I came to a realization when I knew something had to change. In short, you can see my freshman year was pretty miserable, and I blame myself for it all. It's times of my life like that that inspire me to get up and do better every day. Now, I do everything I can to be social, smarter, and stronger (physically and mentally). I remember I was so obsessed with little things in life that should have never mattered. Social media was poison for me. Now I stay off it and read the real news and care about real importance within society, not useless pictures that I scroll past without a care. Freshman year I had an 81 average, now I have a 91 average. I was in no clubs. Now I’m in six. I could not care less about my future and how I portrayed myself to others, now it’s all that's on my mind. My goal in life is to be happy, and I encourage you to have that same goal and mindset. Carpe diem!
on you. Specifically, focus on your goals, your attributes, your grades, and of course your future. What do you want to accomplish this year? It could be anything. If you want to start being more social, join clubs. If you want to get honors, study hard. Do you have a flaw that affects your lifestyle or prevents you from making friends? Fix it. Do not do things that will pull you down to a point where you ask, “What am I doing?” As Father John said at orientation, your parents did not send you here to fail. Success brings happiness and happiness brings more success, who does not want to be happy? When I was a freshman, I did not care about anything: my grades, my social life, my reputation, etc. I never made any real friends because I was too busy shutting everyone out and judging them based on their flaws. I went home and continuously had to hear my mother nagging me to get my grades up, to get out of my bed and off my phone and to make myself better. At first, I was in a phase where I hated
Rule Three-BE YOURSELF Yes, I know. This is the most cliché thing you’ve heard all day, but it is the truth. In other words, never be someone you’re not. Live with morality in your heart and mind and so many things will come to you. It’s almost hard to believe. Trust me. I know when someone is not himself. I have even called a few people out on it, and they admit it eventually. To be yourself means to be genuine. What does genuine mean? It means you never try to impress anyone and you never think of what to say to try to make someone like you. Examples could be saying you went to a crazy party last night and had a fun time with a girl and you
came home intoxicated. At this age, there is a 99.99% chance that is a lie. No one is doing things like that and you shouldn’t either. When I was a freshman, I had to hear those kinds of fantasies every day because kids wanted to show off their social lives. Odds are the craziest party you’re going to is your cousin's communion. Don’t get your hopes up. That is a major thing to remember too, never lie, and never believe the lies you hear because they will tempt you to do the wrong thing. I remember as a freshman I sat with a particular group of kids every day for a week. I wanted to be friends them, and the only reason I wanted to be friends with them was that I wanted to have a social life akin to theirs. They always seemed to tell these stories about their weekends, and I will not repeat them. They were themselves, but I was not. I realized that this “new friend group” I tried to indulge myself in was something I was not. I was never a bully, I was never a trouble maker, I was never an immoral person. But these kids were slowly dragging me into their lifestyle, as I became more like them. I made many mistakes in my freshman year to a point where I wish I could redo high school. When sophomore year started, I promised my mother things would change, and they did. I at least know that I could help the next set of freshman by guiding them on the right path. Be kind, be honest, be wise, be yourself. Lastly, I have to mention this, because there will be people who treat you badly even if you are yourself. Do not let them get to you. They are jealous. Their minds are filled with anger and sadness, and their only way of relief is to put others down. I can name not only underclassmen but seniors who still act the same way as they were as freshmen. They are bullies, and no one likes them, not even they’re so-called “friends.” Whereas the people who are truly themselves find good friends and have happy experiences with their lives, there are still seniors to this day who judge me for writing for the Spectator. I do not care. I know it seems harsh and blunt to point out, but I am here to give the best advice I can.
I hope anyone reading this has gone through this article thoroughly with much thought (I am talking to you freshmen). As a member of the Big Brother Program and the Savio Club, it is my job to help any freshman in need. I’m here for you, ask anyone I am one of the friendliest and most helpful students here at Salesian. You have probably seen me around on campus. I’m the short Italian kid with long messy hair that I am constantly being told to cut. Find me, and I’ll help you make your freshman year memorable. I promise.
Controversy in the UFC Paul Chen '17 On September 27th, UFC president, Dana White, announced the official card for one of the UFC’s most high-profile events: UFC 205. Featuring fan favorites, former champions, and three widely anticipated title fights, UFC 205 is on track to rake in millions. One of the most major draws to this event is one name: Conor Mcgregor. Dana White shocked the fighting world when he announced that Mcgregor would face lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez, for the title, possibly allowing Mcgregor to hold two division titles simultaneously. While most fans couldn’t be happier to see the brash Irishman back in “the octagon,” some have pondered the question, “Does Mcgregor even deserve the fight in the first place?”
Mcgregor has failed to put his title on the line since defeating Jose Aldo last December. His inaction has caused much agitation among fighters, especially in the Featherweight division. Never before has a champion been allowed to fight outside of the division three times without ever putting his title on the line at least once. What’s even more absurd is that Mcgregor is now taking title shots away from more deserving fighters, like Khabib Nurmagomedov. If a fighter can go straight to a title shot without ever fighting in that division, then why have rankings in the first place? It should be a popularity contest then, right? In all honesty, it seems that since Mcgregor is essentially one of the UFC’s “cash cows” then he can do whatever he wants.
Admittedly, it should be noted that Dana White has said that Mcgregor will have to give up one of the belts if victorious. However, Mcgregor has shown no interest in this deal, proclaiming, “They're going to have to gather an army to try and take one of them (belts) off me, and that's out straight.” It wouldn’t be a surprise either if Alvarez defeats Mcgregor and a second fight is immediately called, prolonging Mcgregor’s hiatus from the Featherweight division and bringing more money into the UFC’s pockets. Whatever the case may be, this is not the last time you’ll hear “UFC” and “controversy” in the same sentence. Only time can tell. Stay tuned!
Interview with Mr. Piro Jeremy De La Hoz '17
Me: How did you discover the Salesians? Mr. Piro: My home parish was a Salesian parish: Corpus Christi. During high school, I went on a January leadership retreat and on Gospel Roads, Washington DC. During college, I went on Gospel Roads, Stony Point twice. Me: Where are you from? Mr. Piro: I grew up in Portchester. I went to Portchester High School and then Siena College. Me: How do you like it here at Salesian so far? Mr. Piro: I love it. If I can work here forever I will. Me: What are Salesian's strengths and weaknesses? Mr. Piro: Strengths: Committed faculty and students to the Salesian lifestyle. Weaknesses: More student driven work, such as primary sources and articles where students use critical thinking skills.
"Ask a Brother" With Br. Steve Paul Chen '17 "Ask a Brother" is a segment of the Salesian Spectator, where a writer presents a question to a brother. This issue, Br. Steve DeMaio answered, "What experiences made you want to become a priest and was your faith ever tested?"
Br. Steve: The experiences I endured while spending six months in Africa made me start thinking about a life of service and the priesthood. When I was serving down there, the Salesian sisters taught me about the faith and Don Bosco. When I returned home, I started going back to mass and confession, which helped solidify my call to become a priest. There were definitely times where my faith had been tested. I think that living the faith is difficult for everybody, whether you're married or in the process of joining the priesthood. There are days where you just struggle with the faith and try to figure out why God has put you in certain places. Specifically, my faith had been tested in the earlier part of my formation when I was figuring out whether to get married or become a priest. I really struggled with those moments, but things have become clearer in my life. Day to day you have to wake up and continue to "fight the good fight" and live the faith. Some advice for those struggling with their faith: Be open. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Surround yourself with good people. Never stop praying.