The SFHS Knight Life Student Newspaper will no longer be updated at this current URL. If you would like to access the newspaper, log on to www.sfhsknightlife.com to get all of the news relevant to a life at St. Francis High School. Thank you for all of those who supported us at this site, we hope the new site will be a better run and a more aesthetically pleasing experience. This site will remain up for the sake of nostalgia and those in the WordPress community, but no new articles will be posted starting today. We hope to foster a new tradition of quality journalism and storytelling from the perspective of St. Francis students.
The Knight Life Team 2011
By Christian Romo
Of all the privileges enjoyed by seniors at St. Francis High School, the one we hold most dearly is the exclusivity of the Senior Lawn. Neatly trimmed, landscaped, and filled with the most charismatic people on campus, it’s easy to see why any student would sacrifice his break and lunch in defense of what he holds dear.
This past Friday, the senior class staged a demonstration to remind underclassmen of our protected turf. Despite the rainy conditions, senior John Knauf inserted a CD of the greatest hits of Creedence Clearwater Revival and blasted it from end to end. Senior Chris Rohrer displayed the verdant patriotism we all hold by placing a “Don’t Tread On Me” Revolutionary War flag at the apex of the grass. In a show of solidarity, despite the varying musical tastes of seniors, the CD was allowed to play in its established format without anyone approaching a skip or a stop button.
To add a little flair to the Friday demonstration, a group of thirty to forty seniors crowded in a circle simultaneously chanting “Fight! Fight…” Inside the circle were seniors Bobby Coffin and Chris Aguilar engaged in a vicious and elaborate thumb war, something that drew a smile from Coach Jordan, who was supervising the lawn at that moment.
Exclusivity is not the main reason seniors defend the lawn with such passion. If that were so, seniors wouldn’t mingle with underclassmen at all, but we have no problem interacting with some juniors or sophomores or freshmen at parties or service opportunities or school functions. We defend the lawn so voraciously because the school has provided us with the opportunity to eat outside in an environment with 300 days of sunshine a year. We are truly lucky not only to be able to eat and socialize outdoors, but also to study and work in such a beautiful campus. While eating under the trees provides a scenic setting for break, there isn’t anything quite like eating a meal in the sun on the grass.
So don’t take this demonstration lightly: for another month and a half, this is our lawn. Everyone who stays at St. Francis will have the opportunity to possess what we currently defend, and when their time comes they will understand its value and lore. Your time will come, but for now use better judgment and stay off.
By Alex Sercel
The concept for this piece was to interview senior James Lee. I gave him 15 minutes to discuss whatever topic he chose and I simply wrote down what he said. This is the result:
Lee: Why did I choose to take AP Bio this year? People told me it was a difficult class and I wanted to challenge myself. I thought that pushing myself mentally would help fend off senioritis. As a result, I haven’t slept for days (laughter).
Sercel: That’s impressive James. What have you found AP Bio to actually be like?
Lee: Challenging, motivating, and heartbreaking. The course is tough and I am constantly fighting to stay ahead of the workload. One big benefit is that it’s compelled me to play Gameboy Color Pokemon because it teaches me about evolution (laughter).
[At this point, Chris Carmody walks over and joins the interview]
Lee: Dude, he’s interviewing us about AP Bio.
Lee: Bio has had its disappointments. For example, after studying all night…
Carmody: -Literally, ALL NIGHT…
Lee:…and then seeing a big fat “F” can really get you down.
Sercel: Why have you stayed in the class if it is so difficult?
Carmody: Biology is beautiful. I like the subject, that’s the only reason I’m still in the class. Through learning bio, the universe is understandable. Before AP Bio, it all seemed like magic, but now it makes sense.
Lee: For me, bio is about trying to redeem ourselves. There are constant challenges to help us improve. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that you can’t expect instant results when you are working on something difficult. You must remain patient. Keep working. “No man is beat until he quits”.
Sercel: Thanks for your time, gentlemen.
By Christian Romo
It isn’t a good idea to idolize heroin addicts. Most of the people that saw Kurt Cobain’s arrival as the coming of the next prophet in the early 90’s are six feet under with the Nirvana singer himself. Musicians should never be placed on pedestals reserved for peacemakers and saints, especially when knowing all the risks, the drugs they ingested are what killed them.
Bradley Nowell is no exception. It’s easy to see why so many fans are turned off by Sublime, the second most important band from southern California (behind the Red Hot Chili Peppers), according to the two-headed monster KROQ. By the time his band’s major label debut and critically successful self-titled album came out, he was dead. He appears to have written more love songs for his Dalmatian Lou Dog than for anyone else. He smoked marijuana unapologetically and romanticized the seaside ghettos of Southern California. He certainly wasn’t popular among parents, and he was even discredited by his own fan base after a disastrous live tour following their debut album 40 oz. to Freedom.
When you separate the bad from the beautiful, however, perceptions change dramatically. Going through the track list for their commercial smash, I count no less than eight different songs I have heard on California radio stations in my short lifespan, enough singles to fulfill three or four hit albums, much less one. While many focus on debauchery, substances, and irresponsibility, there is enough brief wisdom to fill a Zen gospel on life.
Their debut hit “What I Got”, besides being one of the happiest tunes of the decade, is overflowing with emotional prosperity (“life is too short/so love the one you got/’cause you might get run over/or you might get shot”). The anthemic “Jailhouse” gives the best case for the young and dejected I’ve ever heard. Bradley is an emotional writer, and if you can’t hear his urgency on their most famous track “Santeria”, there is no way you can be alive.
There’s plenty of disrespectful fun as usual for the Long Beach icons. “April 29th, 1992 (Miami)” describes a fictional riot during the Rodney King incident. “Wrong Way” and “Caress Me Down” had to go through some clever repackaging and heavy censorship to ride the airwaves, but both are classics in the neo-punk movement of the 90’s.
Besides writing about some challenging topics, Sublime became the mastheads for white reggae because they were competent musicians who knew what sounded good. Every bassline is prominent and silky smooth, every guitar solo pitch-perfect, and every drumbeat reminiscent enough of Peter Tosh and Bob Marley. On “Seed”, they effortlessly alternate amongst punk, reggae, and ska without losing any intensity, a challenge for the most poised musicians, much less beach rats.
At 17 songs and nearly an hour long, there are a few songs that could have been left off. “The Ballad of Johnny Butt” and “Burritos” are worth a listen but nothing else, while “Pawn Shop” and “Under My Voodoo” should have been nixed entirely. If you’re patient enough to get to the end, however, you will be treated with some beautiful work. “Get Ready” is the best hammock track on the album and the “What I Got” reprise happens to better than the single itself. Ending the already fantastic album is “Doin’ Time”, a staple of bonfires and beach parties and quite possibly the best summer song ever composed.
While you shouldn’t idolize heroin addicts, if they preach about love and happiness in poverty, by all means listen. Bradley Nowell is not a saint, but at times he sure sounds like one.
By Marc Magallanes
As the rain falls in Southern California, concerns rise with the possible nuclear fallout from the malfunctioning Fukushima Daiichi power plant reaching the United States mainland. Experts believe that the plumes initially arrived on Friday, March 18, on the west coast of the United States. No unusual increases in radiation levels have been detected. However, this has not stopped citizens taking preventative measures, including stockpiling potassium iodide tablets believed to protect thyroid glands from radioactive exposure.
This nuclear accident, possibly the largest since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, was the result of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The redundancies built in to prevent a meltdown of the nuclear reactor were destroyed by the 9.0 earthquake and the resultant 10 meter (32.8 feet) tidal wave that managed to easily top the 5.7 meter (18.7 feet) wall. Without electricity provided to power the water pumps needed to cool the nuclear rods, the cores threatened to meltdown, an action which would release radioactive material into the environment. Japanese officials remain hopeful to stop a total nuclear meltdown in all reactors.
President Obama reassured states along the Pacific Ocean that there was no expected harm. He said, “Whether it’s the west coast, Hawaii, Alaska or U.S. territories in the Pacific, we do not expect harmful levels of radiation. That’s the judgment of our Nuclear Regulatory Commission and many other experts.” Experts such as South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Philip Fine corroborated Obama’s statement saying, “We have not detected any increases beyond what you’d expect historically. Nothing you can attribute to Japan.” Officials said whatever radiation in the atmosphere will be greatly diluted by the time it arrives 5,000 miles to California. Some have raided local pharmacies for potassium iodide to prevent the possibility of thyroid cancer. Any misusage of the potassium iodide may cause more harm than good, especially for those who take the incorrect dosage and people who have allergies to iodine, shellfish, or those with thyroid problems.
By Daniel Gong
On March 15, 2011, the world lost one of hip hop’s icons. Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, known as “Nate Dogg,” who made his presence during the G Funk era, passed away from several health complications. Nate Dogg had suffered two strokes over the last few years and was in the process of rehabilitation until he succumbed to congestive heart failure.
Nate Dogg was born on August 19, 1969 in Long Beach, California, where he met and befriended hip hop legend Snoop Dogg. Only a few years after, the duo teamed up with Warren G in 1991 to form their group known as “213.” After debuting on Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, Nate Dogg signed with Death Row Records in 1993. In addition to his four solo studio albums, such as G-Funk Classics: Vol. 1 & 2 and Music & Me, Nate Dogg has worked with some of hip hop’s biggest names such as Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Warren G, Xzhibit, Eminem, and many others.
His unique soulful voice made Nate Dogg an icon of 90’s rap. Although he was not as publicly acclaimed as his counterparts, Nate Dogg has influenced hip hop just as much, if not more, than his partners at Death Row Records. His death has touched many artists as tributes from Eminem, Snoop Dog, Daz Dillinger, Warren G, Ice-T, Ludacris, and many others, have poured in. The Game has already released a track in Nate Dogg’s honor entitled “All Doggs Go To Heaven (RIP Nate Dogg).” As Snoop Dogg said “We have lost a true legend in hip hop and R&B.”
By Christian Romo
On Wednesday, all those involved in the Saint Francis Sports Medicine Program missed half a day of classes to attend the second annual Sports Medicine Seminar at the Staples Center. Over 50 current and former students of Mr. Hallak’s kinesiology course represented Saint Francis High School in downtown Los Angeles for the afternoon.
Over 800 sports medicine students from the southland made the journey to L.A. Live to represent their schools athletic training departments. This year’s event attracted twice as many students than last year’s with busses traveling from such places as Palmdale and Long Beach.
The students listened to presentations about traumatic brain injuries and the effects of anabolic steroids on high school athletes before engaging in an interactive experience on the floor of the Staples Center. After the presentations, the students were separated into groups and rotated to different stations on the floor. Student athletic trainers from universities such as Cal State Northridge and Loyola Marymount gave demonstrations on core strength, balance, taping, splinting, and resistance training. Companies such as Gatorade sponsored the event and D.J. Smalls was on the turntables setting the beat for the event.
Everyone who attended the event received a ticket to that night’s Clippers game, and those who stayed on the floor long enough during the rotations were lucky enough to witness two members of the Clippers perform their pre-game warm-ups. The ESPN Zone was kind enough to offer a deal to the students that allowed for a discount on dinner and arcade games. Those who stayed to watch the game saw the Clippers lose to the Grizzlies in a disappointing but not surprising fashion.
This Wednesday the Sports Medicine program will be hosting a blood drive for the Red Cross. Anybody interested will need to check the requirements, and if you are 17 or under you need a permission slip signed by your parents in order to donate.