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Seniors Defend Lawn

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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.


Written by cromo1969

March 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Posted in Campus

Better Know a Senior: James Lee and Chris Carmody on AP Bio

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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:

Photo Credit: jchck99


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.

 Carmody: What?

 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.

Written by cromo1969

March 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Posted in Campus

The 2nd Annual Sports Medicine Seminar

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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.

Written by cromo1969

March 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Campus

Academic Decathlon Team Places 2nd in Regionals

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By Marc Magallanes


Under the watchful eyes of parents, coaches, and thirty other Academic Decathlon teams, Saint Francis’s team 1 achieved second place in the Division 1 regionals. Coach Dierking and captain Chris Ferro guided the team to success, but Alemany High School’s team 1 narrowly edged the Saint Francis team.

The two Saint Francis Academic Decathlon teams visited Alemany High School on February 5th to complete the two-part Academic Decathlon competition, which began on January 29th. The theme for this year’s competition was the Great Depression with John Steinbeck’s masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath, the focus of the literature portion. The competition culminated the months spent studying since August in room 104. Decathletes completed the subjective portion of the competition (essay, speech, and interview) on January 29. The objective portion (math, social science, super quiz, literature, economics, art, and music) was completed on February 5.

The day started at 7:30 A.M. for the teams and ended at 10:30 P.M. with the award ceremony. With a good feeling overall due to the easy tests and In-N-Out lunch, the team was not surprised that they were able to obtain about forty medals in the ten subjects. By the end of the night though, Alemany’s team obtained the night’s highest honor, first place in regionals, ensuring them a spot in Sacramento representing the Los Angeles region for private schools. This left the Saint Francis team hoping for a wild-card in order to go to state. After an anxious week of waiting though, the team was informed that Sacramento would not be the ultimate destination for the team. On this turn of events, captain Chris Ferro said, “We competed to the best of our capabilities and even though we are upset about the result, next year’s team will try to make up for this year.”

Under the pressure to redeem this year’s team, next year’s team will rise to the occasion. Success awaits.

Written by cromo1969

February 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Posted in Campus

Alhambra High School: Challenge Accepted

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By the Knight Life Staff


Preparing for what the next 90 minutes of religion class would bring, the young editor of the Saint Francis Knight Life Student Newspaper was motioned to engage in a clandestine meeting with the unfamiliar substitute religion teacher. Behind the shady glasses of the teacher were the piercing blue eyes that said not a word but told of a secret. In his right hand was a manila envelope.

The envelope was haphazardly addressed to whoever was the editor-in-chief of the school’s fledgling online newspaper. The young editor decided to accept the role and extended his arm to receive the mysterious package.

“Where is it from?” the young editor asked upon possessing the package.

“Alhambra High School,” the unfamiliar substitute religion teacher responded. It was a strange location. The connections between the two high schools were very week as meetings between the two schools in athletic and social events were few and far between. To say the young editor was anxious to open the package is a gross understatement.

For the next ninety minutes, the young editor listened to lectures and took notes with one eye at all times focused on the alluring prospect of whatever was in the package now hanging from his ragged backpack. When the bell rang, signifying the transition to the break period, the young editor stored his book and folder in his backpack. He removed the mysterious manila envelope from his sack and walked with it out of the classroom comfortably placed between his elbow and his torso. Walking up the stairs to the senior lawn, the young editor almost lost his balance while focusing too much on the unknown contents of the envelope.

Joining his group of friends and newspaper contributors on the fringes of the lawn, the young editor emphatically dropped the package in the middle of the circle, knocking down empty cans of Sunkist and Dr. Pepper with the force. One of the contributors sat petrified, unable to either speak or take his eyes off the secret package.

Finally, the other pale editor spoke up. “What is it?” he asked.

The young editor slowly rotated his neck and made a piercing eye contact with the pale editor. “I don’t know,” was his response. “It came from Alhambra.”

One of the contributors gasped. “Alhambra High?” he squealed. The young editor bowed his head and nodded.

At the time, a hacky sack circle and a game of anti-croquet had been interrupted by seniors dressed as gorillas engaged in a tricycle race on the lawn. The scene had caused quite a commotion amongst the underclassmen, but none of the events had caught the attention of the star struck contributors.

The young editor stepped into the circle and volunteered to be the first to be exposed to the contents of the package. As he undid the bronze clip at the top of the envelope, a gopher popped out of its nearby hole, only to be picked up by a feral cat, which was then grabbed by a swooping falcon with silver talons. No one noticed.

The young editor slipped his now ice-cold fingers into the manila envelope, only to pull out three editions of the Alhambra High School Newspaper, entitled The Moor. The unfamiliar feeling of newsprint became a new sensation to the young editor as he paged through the articles of school clubs and junior varsity athletics.

The red headed “contributor” immediately whisked the newspapers out of the hands of the young editor. The young editor checked the envelope for a letter of greeting or any further instructions, but none could be found. The red headed “contributor”, now with his head buried in the contents of the newspaper, asked the question that was on everyone’s mind.

“Do you know what this means?” he asked, head still away from the vicinity of the group. No one responded.

The red headed “contributor” turned around, took a pair of mirrored aviator sunglasses out of his coat pocket, put them on, and said, “It’s a challenge.”

To whom it may concern at Alhambra High School: your challenge has been accepted.

*Editor’s Note: This is a true story, except for some creative liberties we thought it would be fun to take. Thank you for the editions of your newspapers, Alhambra High, you guys were the first school to notice us.


Written by cromo1969

January 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Posted in Campus

Troubadour: Why Francis? Why Now?

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By Julian Vischer


Because the world needs him. One message that I found particularly interesting in Troubadour was how hard Francis fought to keep his order in complete poverty. I was thinking to myself the other day if I should just drop everything and devote my entire life to other people. I could quit St. Francis High School and give my tuition to people who really need it. I could devote all my time to building houses for the homeless, all my possessions for those who have none, and my entire life to those who would otherwise have a painful and unhappy one.

I thought about this for a while. However, I finally came to my conclusion: I’m not St. Francis. I don’t have the strength or discipline to do what he did and I truly do not believe that poverty is the journey that God has set for me. However, I am a follower of Francis. Although I may not be able to give away all I have, I know that it is my duty and responsibility to do whatever I can to help others. Sometimes I feel guilty that I have nice things like a house and a computer while others have none, but I know that I will do what I can to help others. Maybe poverty is a metaphor more than a real way of life for followers of Francis. For normal people like me maybe it just means to sacrifice and do what we can to be happy while giving off all the joy we can to other people.

 In our modern, materialized, egotistical world, Francis’s ideals of poverty and simplicity have been lost in the wave of change. His ideas, though simple and filled with bliss, are considered a vast deviance from our normal way of life.

The world needs St. Francis now more than ever. In this day and age families are falling apart at an alarming rate, greed and cutthroat competition have completely absorbed people, and most of the fortunate people in the world are completely indifferent to those less fortunate. We need a return to normalcy, a return to values and role models, and a return to the simplicity of St. Francis. I thank God every day that I go to a school that teaches me such maturing values and I am so happy that the school chose to do Troubadour as this year’s fall musical. Hopefully it will continue to spread the word of Francis and help mend this broken world of avarice that we live in.

Written by cromo1969

December 6, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Posted in Campus

A Quick Reflection on College Applications

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By Marc Magallanes


Picture Credit: Joe Hu

This is when being a good student pays off. This is when the months of organizing show their results. This is college application time. It’s time to ask for those spectacular letters of recommendation from your favorite teachers, time to send in the SAT and ACT scores that you spent Saturdays studying for, and time to fill out the short applications trying to briefly advertise an outstanding student.

It first started with month left until the deadline, next a week, then a day, and finally an hour left. With just a blink of eye, it seemed that the days just zoomed by and you only had hours left to finish a college application and two essays by midnight. While your friends yearn for the day they get their diploma, you secretly wish for time to slow down. You want enough time to catch your breath and enjoy the perks that senior year entails. Instead you feel that your foot is on the accelerator and you can’t slow down.

The good news is you are a good kid and any teacher will be proud to write a great letter for you, hopefully. You hope that the biology teacher remembers your unique award-winning project and you hope that the English teacher forgot your embarrassing paper. Those standardized test scores could be better, and you’re regretting those first semester grades on your transcript, but now isn’t the time to dwell in the past. Now is the time to market the past as appealing as you can.

So get back to your college application, and even if you’re a year away, start preparing now. This affects at least the next four years of your life. This is the time for action. Now is the time where the past seventeen years of your existence culminates into a few pieces of paper.

But no pressure, right?

Written by cromo1969

December 6, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Posted in Campus