Monday, April 27, 2009


....Like Lissette I was greatly impacted by the immigration session that took place more than a week ago at Phoenix. I was enraged at the fact that although this generation is supposed to lead to a advanced era, people in the discussion were so narrow minded. We all know the common phrase a person says when they are against immigration is, "They take away all the job opportunities."One girl at the session said just that. She claimed immigrants take jobs away and student immigrants would take away positions at competitive schools, so where would that leave us Americans? People say that illegal immigrants only contribute to the recession we are in now. Schools are going to be competitive regardless and if we make them citizens they would pay taxes helping our nation.
....If immigrants want to come here and become citizens wouldn't that make them Americans. What standards does an individual have to live up to become an American? I think if we find a beneficial way, like the DREAM Act, to make illegal immigrants citizens, they'll be contributing to the U.S. Through the DREAM Act students, who are illegal immigrants, can graduate and pay taxes. So how would that be taking away a job and not contributing? If anything it would lead to a more stable nation because instead of hiring teachers and engineers from other countries we would have people in the U.S would have the job.
....We also have to look at the humanity of the situation. People are trying to get away to a place where they are able to get more opportunity. I know my grandma had to leave my mother and her 3 siblings behind for 10 years in order to bring them over legally. Imagine all the families being separated by this issue. And the kids that are brought over illegally should not be held morally responsible.
....People have the perception that illegal immigrants have to only come from Mexico. What about the people that come from Asia or even Canada. The Canadian border has not reported to have half as much police as the Mexican border. Or people associate illegal immigrants with jumping a fence. What people don't know is individuals who overstay their visas qualify as an illegal immigrants.  It is because of the typical media coverage. we need to research for ourselves and not rely on hear say.
....Although I was born in America I can sympathize with what immigrants have to go through. If we shut immigrants out we are shutting out what made America so diverse.

4x4 up-date

.... Well you have heard a lot about the upcoming new 4x4 schedule that the district wants to take place. I wrote a story about the 4x4 schedule and the SLCs this last issue. I had stated that teachers were suppose to be voting the following week but they didn't vote. Now it seems that the teachers might be voting in their next school meeting then the results are taken to the board.
.....We as students don't know if it will benefit all of us or just some of us. Even though the administrator have the students education at heart it could just be bad judgement. Some surveys have been held to see what students were interested in.
....The 4x4 schedule is meant to give students eight classes in one year instead of six. They will be taking four classes the first semester and another four the second semester. This will help students earn their credits back if the flunked any classes before hand.
....There are some concerns that parents, students and teachers have. Some people believe that it will only help the students that are flunking by giving them chances of passing a class that they couldn't pass the first time around. Some of the students in honor or AP classes as well as their teachers say that it won't benefit them because they can't take an algebra 3-4 class first semester and then Pre-calculus second semester.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Counselor

..... Yesterday, hundreds of Delta Kings and Queens swarmed K-11 to meet with counselors to plan out their classes for next year. As we were herded into separate lines (A-M and L-Z? That doesn't seem possible!), I already knew the counselor who I wanted to discuss my possible Stagg future with: Mr. Nguyen.
..... Some people think Mr. Nguyen is kind of weird or strange, but I like him. He's one of the only counselors who I believe actually care about their students. Plus, during second quarter, I had already discussed with him about transferring over to Chavez. That's why when I took a seat opposite him, he greeted me with "I thought you already left!"
..... Anyways, I thought it would be nice to plan my classes with him since I wanted to bring up my desire to transfer again. I considered it easier with him since he wouldn't be too judgmental like some adults on campus, cough the ladies in the office cough. At first, he tried to dissuade me from going to Chavez, by saying that it's up to the students to make a school what it is. "Sometimes Catholics are just Catholics and teachers are just teachers." Wise words from a good counselor. But he did, however, agree with me that there was a different learning atmosphere at Chavez. I guess the future will tell how things end up...
..... We did get around to discussing my Junior classes. I got all my picks from Junior Honors English to AP History. Noticing that I had checked a vocational/trade school option as my destination after high school, Mr. Nguyen asked me why I selected this. Then I revealed to him my other desire: to become a priest. As any adult would be, he was shocked. But then he mellowed out and said that his ambition when he was young was to also become a priest! Of course he ended up becoming a counselor, but it was great to finally talk to another person who knew how I felt.
..... Mr. Nguyen was excited about my vocation. He asked me how I developed this "major" (That's what he called it) and was I really going to go through with it. Well of course as anyone can tell you I am! Then we discussed where I was going to attend seminary school (St. Patrick's by the way :] ) and his own experience developing his faith. I kind of felt that he actually cared about my career choice. He didn't treat it as just some adolescent dream, but a possible future. Mr. Nguyen advised me to prepare myself for public speaking, crisis management, and other necessary skills. He also told me to carry myself in a manner befitting my calling.
..... I found out I had a lot in common with a school counselor. We both went to St. Luke's Catholic Church as teenagers, just like Ms. Duangsawat by the way. But the reason I'm blogging about this is because it's nice that someone is out there who understands my chosen profession. Some teachers have tried discouraging me from becoming a priest, even going as far as saying I'd be wasting my talents. I have found, however, that my friends and family have been quite supportive. You should never let anyone stop you from completing your dream. This reminds me of a Dominican friar who once told me: "Keep your eye on the prize." These words ring true. As long as you look ahead, the troubles in the present don't seem so difficult.

- Jeremy Dela Cruz, a religious guy

Friday, April 24, 2009

How Americans contradict themselves

I know this may be rather late, but a week ago at the JEA conference in Phoenix Arizona, I found myself waiting anxiously for my 10:00 a.m. session. The topic was about something that hit home pretty hard. It was about none other than immigration and border issues.
I may not be an immigrant myself, yet my richly accented last name yells that my family isn't from here (it is Rodriguez but when you pronounce it right it sounds like Rrrodrrriguezzz). Both my parents came to this country at a young age desiring nothing more than a better life, my mom was actually brought here against her will at 1 years old, similar to many immigrants. Yet both my parents achieved something that the rest of my family is finding difficult to achieve, their American citizenship. My dad walked out of the Sacramento court house that life changing day telling us, "I'm a fellow A-merican now!"
So as the session began, Jessica and I began to hear information that seriously only enraged us. Things such as the fact that most lawmakers that are against immigration have actually never even been to the border. Or the ignorant idea that most Americans have, that the border is but merely a line separating the two countries of America and Mexico. In reality most people don't realize that the border is much more than just a line on a map. It is a region, where Mexican children walk through the border to get to American school on the other side. Another wrong perception that most people have is that immigrants are the bad guys, that they are the people that bring all the problems that America has. While the border patrol is the super hero, who like a pest control worker, keeps all the bad bugs out of a big home. Yet most people don't realize that a while back a border control officer shot a immigrant right in his back, for no apparent reason, this border patrol hasn't been to jail yet.
As the speaker, who happened to be from none other than London England, continued to show us the difference between perception and reality, he taught us that as a journalist we must find the human story in an issue that is so drowned in policies and injustice.
The last thing that really got to me, was when they informed us that there are 6-12 year old children in detention centers, places where they await there deportation to their homeland. A center in Texas detains the children in shackles. They receive one hour of sunshine, and one more hour of education.
This information makes me want run to Texas, and show the people that children have no fault in these matters. Simply because their parents brought them here doesn't make them criminals. What gives these people the right to take away the warm sun from these children's faces, an education to boggle in their heads, and the right to merely stretch their bodies?
Since this seminar I have decided to help out however I can in the DREAMact. A act that would help illegal students to gain their citizenship after graduating from college or serving in the Army. Without this act, illegal students would otherwise have to take their degree to another country, since it is invalid here. http://
As a country we worry about our current recession, yet we have had to bring people from China, Japan, India, etc. to get a degree and use it here. Yet we can't validate the degree of a immigrant who was most likely brought here at a young age?
As I came back to California on Sunday afternoon, I was thankful for coming back to a place where you aren't really seen for where you came from, but by what you can achieve. So many Americans are against immigration to the extreme, yet they don't realize that we ARE a country made up by immigrants. All of them escaping the misery of their home.Whether it be the English running away from a crazy king, or the Irish running away from a a deadly famine, or even now the Latin American running away from poverty and drug violence. Our country has been built by immigrants, and we will continue to evolve as an immigrant country. Even our culture is full of traditions from other places. I once heard that Christmas trees are actually a tradition from Germany. And everybody really just loves that quick super size burrito at the taco truck. I just hope that as a society we can stop looking at immigration so negatively, and in reality see what it can bring to us and help us grow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How do you liven up a SUSD board meeting?

Believe it or not this is a simple question. All you have to do is ...

A. Tell corny jokes that only adults find funny.
B. Comment on how nice everyone looks even if they don't
and lastly 
C. Sit next to Mr. Goodwin while you wait. He may not have hair, but he sure if clever.

So, like this blog, my speech may not have been super sophisticated or even long, but it entertained my audience. And when you're sitting in a room full of teachers and parents who aren't exactly smiling, that's the least you can do!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Roar! Life on Staff, a Safari

..... It's pretty fun being a co-copy editor. Claire and I are like the vultures of the newspaper, feeding on the delectable detritus of grammatical errors. Who else would be the last defense against a rogue punctuation mark or an extra space? Who else would stand up for capitalization rules? No one, but the copy editors that's who! (Although page editors do just about the same thing :] ) As I look back on life on staff, I realize that a newspaper is just another expression of the Animal Kingdom.
..... At the top of the food chain, the lions of the Stagg Line reign over their jungle. Or should I say lionesses? Erin and Maly are after all of the gentle gender, proving that a once male-dominated field like journalism is becoming more open to women. As editors-in-chief, their title explains it all. They are above everyone, so as to better see our mistakes. Through their efforts they keep the staff in line, making sure no one commits a literary mutiny. Maybe I should've started with a pirate metaphor, but since I'm already halfway through this blog, I'll continue listing animal alternate identities.
..... Like a wolf protecting its cubs, page editors are a defensive breed. They defend their page, whether its Opinion or Sports. Page editors gather writers and create designs, a tough job for the inexperienced. Lucky for the Stagg Line, veteran staff members guide the new editors and keep them from making mistakes. Without the elder wolves, our wolf pack would die!
..... The Stagg Line is even home to spiders: Webmasters. I can't really think of a pun right now but you get the idea. World Wide Web, spider webs!? This is your cue to laugh at my brilliance hahaha. Webmasters maintain the newspaper's budding Web site. They make available all those articles you the readers love to read! In the future, we hope to add more multimedia features on our Web site, so keep on the lookout!
..... Reporters, of course, are observant earthworms. They keep on the lookout for stories and make sure to dig deep for good information. Reporters are usually first year staffers and so the earthworm comparison makes sense. We're scared of all the wolves and lions, of all the possible criticism we may encounter. Therefore, we are forever on the lookout for that ominous shoe trying to squash our spirits.
..... At the bottom of a newspaper food chain, is the elusive blogger. No one knows what these creatures exactly are since their environment [this Web site] has just been discovered. Will they prove to have eight arms like Webmasters? Or the fangs of a page editor? Only time will tell whether this new Journalism species will survive, but with the efforts of myself and other known bloggers, hopefully we can thrive.
..... Just like in the animal kingdom, life on a newspaper means adapting to situations. As the world modernizes, new positions will develop, while old ones will become more cherished with time. But one thing's for sure: The Stagg Line is here to stay!

- Jeremy Dela Cruz, a weird mixture of vulture/earthworm/elusive creature

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Eggs aren't the only thing that goes missing on Easter...

So today, my mom woke me up extremely early. 7 o'clock. Too early for a Sunday, anyway. The family was up early because we were planning on reserving a spot at Micke Grove Park. Every year, we seem to always celebrate Easter at Micke Grove, it's almost like a tradition. Since it being Easter, the park would be packed with big families celebrating this egg-hunting festivity.
And so we leave early, about 9 o'clock. My dad has been there since about 7 however, saving a good place for us to settle down.
And so, with the chocolate goodies in the trunk, and a few of my little cousins too, we were on our way. We planned to meet up with a few friends and other family members there as well.
After we laid out our Asian mats and prepared the food, the day just seemed pretty relaxing and fun. I took my sisters and little cousins to the playground for a while, and afterwards we played catch, football, and even a little badminton.
Or maybe, just too much badminton. I became so caught up in playing the game with my cousins that I didn't notice my 4 year old sister was gone. My dad, however, assured us that she was at the playground. I became relaxed, but when a few more minutes passed by, my cousins and I seemed to get a little worried. We immediately stopped the game and rushed to the playground to look for her.
While searching through the mess of little rugrats running around and screaming on the slides, I yelled my sister's name. "Mariee! Mariee?!" After a few seconds of searching with frantic eyes, I became worried. My little sister wasn't there.
All sorts of thoughts flooded my mind, thoughts that I didn't want to think about and I tried not to think about. Even after discussing what happened to that 8 year old girl Sandra yesterday, I understood that that could've been anybody. Filled with worry, my pace quickened, and I kept on searching for a little girl in a white blouse with blue cut jeans.
Finally, I saw her. Extreme relief rushed inside me as I yelled, "MARIEE!" She came rushing so quickly towards me, with tears streaming down her cheeks, and the sound of her crying echoing in my ears. All I could make out from her was "I want mommy," as her sobbing was painfully loud. As she jumped into my arms, I tried to console her, but at the same time I was also trying to call my mom and tell her that everything was alright.
Then, I noticed a blond, tall woman standing next to her. This woman explained to me that she found Mariee about twenty minutes ago, looking for her family. It turns out my sister was walking in the wrong direction, and that she got lost. When my mom came, the sheriff did also, and the blond woman explained everything. With the look in my mom's eyes, I could tell she was extremely grateful for that woman, but also feeling deep regret as if she wasn't a good mother.
And so, after this horrible incident, I'm sure my mother vowed to never leave Mariee's sight again. I'm just glad that I found my sister, but I also learned that chocolate filled eggs aren't just the only thing that could go missing on Easter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I was wondering, can you change your name?

My grandparents came to America to be accepted and make a better life for themselves in this wonderful free land. No one told them to change their skin color, accent, or heritage when they walked into the red, white, and blue country. So why is now that the Chinese immigrants are asked to change their name? For those who do not speak their language, it was said it would be easier to call upon them. They might as well had asked them to strip them from their soul completely!

Are we becoming the stereotypical "White Man's" land? The ridiculous proposal makes me wonder why do we have the lines "For the Brave and the Free" in our National Anthem? Obviously for the won Revolutionary War, but it means much more than that. We are all immigrants and we fought to come to this country for freedom and individuality. We stood our ground, came for a future, and yet, they reply, "Is it too much to ask of you to change your name?" Oh my! What we'll we wear? Should we also dress a certain way and live in the suburbs? The houses sure don't seem to argue with their identical appearance.

It's not like this is new. Sanae, an immigrant from the Philippines, was told she must change her age. As proud U.S. football fan, she actually doesn't mind. She knows it isn't fair, but if it means being two years younger, than why not? I strongly disagree. I understand it is hard to pronounce certain names, but isn't that what this country is about? We are a country full of different colors, speeches, and goals, but we all stand for the same thing in this country. Freedom is not just escaping, it is living as yourself, a person, and being able to enjoy that without the hatred others cause.

Come one, come all! Campus Cafe is now open!

..... Grab your money and your appetite Delta Kings and Queens 'cause the Campus Cafe is serving up a banquet afterschool now. The menu below is just some of what the Stagg establishment is ready to serve:

Hamburger - $2.00
Hotdog - $1.50
Nachos - $1.50
Cup of Noodles - $1.00
Soda - $1.00

..... Don't expect your regular lunch fare here, however, where hamburgers are crammed into tight foil packages. The Campus Cafe actually cooks hamburgers on the spot and makes yours just the way you like it, with or without cheese and lettuce. Hotdogs are also subject to their meticulous cuisine standards and turn out to be as yummy as they look. Looking for something a little Mexican? Well order some Cafe nachos, the closest to Mexican food you'll get at Stagg! Jalapenos and cheese drench these culinary creations and promise to melt in your mouth.
..... So support the school and buy something from the Campus Cafe. There's no need to walk over to Burger King or the Dollar Tree anymore, because low prices have come here. For those of you out of the loop, the Cafe is located right next to the Cafeteria and The Glade. Doors open as soon as the final bell rings, signaling the end of another school day.
..... See, with both the Student Store and Campus Cafe up and running, Stagg is becoming just like a little city. Next thing you know it, they'll be opening a Delta King Bank or a Stagg High Hospital, the place to nurse those bruised egos after those dumb lunchtime fights. In a way, high school is a window into the future, preparing us for life in a real city.
..... We get to experience responsibilities and just how strong our willpower is through places like the Student Store and Campus Cafe. Will we be the student who can't resist buying burgers till he's bankrupt? Or the one who has to fight off those darn rice krispie fund raisers with a stick? Such difficulties show us how life is filled with people who want your money. The problem is will you give it to them? But anyways, spend money at the Student Store or the Campus Cafe. Have some school spirit, or else the Associated Student Body and whoever's in charge will close them down. You know I have half-a-mind to start a revolution and overthrow ASB with the CSB, the Confederate Student Body, because of certain cancelled acitivities (ahem Marriage Booth ahem cough Today's Rally cough) but that's another blog for another day...

- Jeremy Dela Cruz, Vive la Revolution!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Late-Day Blog

..... High school has definitely opened many doors to teens like me. Back in elementary school, I was always worried that I had nothing to do. Everyone had Little League, ballet, or piano lessons till 2 PM, but little old Jeremy had no activities on his plate. Maybe the reason was that I was too lazy to sign up for karate or I just deep down loved the boredom, but the only activities part of my routine were eating, sleeping, and watching Pokemon. (Before it got all crazy with the names of those lil' creatures!)
..... Now, my week is crammed with Badminton practice, homework, writing articles for the newspaper, and studying, studying, studying! I'm even signing up for Project Seed, a program where students work with professors at UOP. The cash incentive wasn't bad either. So over the summer, I might be researching about atoms and the like, turning my schedule into a buffet instead of a personal plate. 
..... But of course, being religious, I have to keep my holy obligations in mind. Every three weeks I set aside one saturday so I can go to confession. It's not really a burden, but it does take away some time from doing other things. Mass every Sunday is a must for me too, not only because I have to but because I actually want to. During the week, I also have to practice my readings for the Sundays where I'm assigned lector service. It doesn't help either that I fall victim to the evil forces of Procrastination so I hardly ever get enough practice for my big debut at the lectern.
..... This week being Holy Week has really piled things on. Badminton practice cuts my homework time so I have to get things done quickly and efficiently. Today is also Holy Thursday and Fr. Matthew has asked me to participate in the foot washing for the Feast of the Last Supper. This year I almost said no to the offer since I feared I'd be too busy. But then I realized something: being busy isn't so bad.
..... Though I miss the free time I had in elementary school, I also love how I'm never bored anymore. Something always needs to get done and it's up to me to finish them. But there are times when I feel like I'm drowning in homework, chores, and life in general. I worry about getting an F in Algebra 3-4 and lose sleep over whether I'm bringing the team down in badminton. But talking about my problems, or rather complaining about them seems to relieve the pressure! It's just important to remember not to go overboard and turn emo just because you're behind in a class. We all face our hardships in life. Whether it be practicing the readings for the Easter Vigil, perfecting that unattainable net drop in badminton, or studying for the math test tomorrow, we all just need to grin and bear it. After all, growing up means we gain new responsibilities. It's only when we accept these responsibilities that we mature. 

- Jeremy Dela Cruz, finishing this blog during Journalism Late-Day and going to Mass at 7 PM

Monday, April 6, 2009

All aboard, the train is coming!

Am I scared? Scared of what? Oh yes the train tracks! Nothing to be scared of expect the fact someone is going to glue on metal detectors' favorite victims. Oh my, how agonizing it will be. I finally got through all my uncomfortable dental work and now the omen I've been waiting for: Braces.

In four weeks, I shall be wearing car parts on my teeth and talk with an awkward slur. No disrespect to those who have or had braces, but my face is not equip for adapting to these bars. Others who first get their braces seem to cringe as they try to cover their mouths with embarrassment. But it's after awhile, when they begin to look natural and you can hardly tell the braces are there.

I'm still worried, however. What if I never look natural? What if they end up staying on longer than the two to three years they estimated? I would like a Colgate smile, but the braces; Ooh!

The bright side of this all, is that I could care less about the silly names others will call me. It's all elementary. "Brace face!" They'd snicker and end it with a Nelson "Ha ha!" Please, like I would waste my time caring what others joke of my metal mouth. They've become to natural, really if anyone makes fun it's just to kid around; which I don't mind at all.

In the end this had to come. Just like tenant shots and picture days, it's arriving sooner or later. I figure I might as well enjoy this process. As long as I can see the outcome, I think I'm going to relax more on this one.

Plastic Chairs and Carpet Stains

..... Last Friday was a day of concerts. There was an Alesana concert (Or as Carina pronounces it A-Lasagna) playing in Stockton that my friend Michelle was dying to go to and there was also a little known musical event involving two schools and their choir programs opening at McNair High, which I was not all that excited to attend. 
..... For a price of a whopping $3.00, my friends and I attended the choir concert at McNair. Apparently Chavez and McNair agreed to share the stage together because they wanted to foster good relations, being new schools and all. They pointed at us old schools (Stagg, Franklin, and Edison) for developing age-old grudges and rivalries. So basically, Chavez and McNair wanted allies when World War III starts in S.U.S.D. Regardless of their combined efforts, in reality, there was some animosity backstage between the Titans and Eagles. Apparently, the McNair people were making fun of the Chavez people, insulting their song choices and such stuff that would make a choir-member just sing with rage. Of course, this information is off-the-record, but it just goes to show you that no matter what, school rivalries will occur from time to time. In fact, I believe they're quite healthy (As long as they don't end in physical violence) because a wave of school spirit energizes the students to promote their schools, which isn't a bad thing at all.
..... Before I get going, I've got to say that the event wasn't terrible at all. In fact, the performances were amazing. Why can't Stagg do anything great with our performing arts programs? That's why I wasn't surprised when the McNair choir director, Karen Rogers, said they would sing with other schools as well, but failed to name Stagg at all! What an insult! As a school, we need to work harder to soften our seemingly dark image in the district. But let's not go overboard and be all uptight about our theatre like McNair...
..... During the performance, my girlfriend, Sanae, kept nagging me about the rules and regulations at McNair. In my opinion, they are obsessed with their theatre. I understand not bringing food and drinks, but the rest of their customs were strange. For one thing, the audience couldn't leave for the bathroom during the performance. That means they would rather have you pee your pants than disrupt their singing? Wouldn't that stain the carpet? Sanae even told me that Mrs. Rogers didn't like having flash photography or video cameras because of some identity issues. During the car ride to McNair, she kept bragging about how awesome their theatre was. Well turns out it wasn't that great. The cushioned seats (Yes, Stagg people I said cushioned seats in their theatre!) were a tad bit uncomfortable, nothing like the sturdy support of our Stagg plastic theatre chairs! Plus, the McNair theatre was dark as if I was inside the dungeon of a Twilight vampire! The school that should brag about their theatre is Stagg. At least we have good lights. At least we have plastic, a resource that's dependable and builds a tough backbone, literally. And at least we have the decency to eliminate our orchestra pit because a student fell through it!
..... In all seriousness, we, Delta Kings should step it up and start making decent performances. We need to build a creative reputation to replace our violent one. It's like Stagg is the black sheep of the S.U.S.D. family and schools like Chavez are the golden children. Of course, we're not blessed with a lot of money and a fairly new campus so I understand that we have to make do with what we have. We may not have the high-tech theatre of our dreams, but we do have school spirit. At least a little. Right? So let's start treating every activity we engage in as the royalty we are. After all, we are Delta Kings! [Fireworks and confetti] At least we have an original mascot than schools with generic ones like Titans, Eagles, Yellow Jackets, Rams, and Vikings. Psshh... Vi-kings! Copy cats!

- Jeremy Dela Cruz, proud of Stagg for what it is and what it can be

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Student misses chance to see favorite band

Alesana, a screamo band, came to play at the Stockton Empire Theatre last Friday. April 3rd to be exact. They came along with I Set My Friends On Fire, and a few others. Anyone who knows me pretty well, or has seen my MySpace, probably knows that I obsess over Alesana. And that I probably worship them daily. Maybe. I have their band picture as my desktop wallpaper, their icon as my AIM icon, and the wallpaper on my phone is Alesana. I have dozens of pictures of them in my computer, almost all of their songs, a big poster that says ALESANA on the front of my bedroom door, and heck, I’m even wearing my Alesana tee shirt right now.

So, did I go to the concert? The Alesana concert? Me? Why of course you would think so, anybody would. A friend told me that I was the first person he thought of going.

Well, no. I didn’t go. Crazy, right? Yeah, my parents, or rather my dad said I couldn’t go, because I’m only 15. Said there would be crazy teenagers there and that I couldn’t go without my aunt or anything. Didn’t really give much of a valid reason, but that’s what he said. So I immediately felt sort of heartbroken hearing this. I didn’t really know what to think. So, after this, I despised my dad. My mom just told me to shut up and get over it.

I went to school the next day, telling my friends the heartbreaking news. “What? You love them! Why not?” “Whaa? Ask again!” And so on. I told them that there was no way that my strict parents could change their mind about this, and so that was the end of it. As the day went on, I tried to forget about it, but my friends who didn’t know the news were constant reminders, e.g. flashing the ticket, talking about the show. So after school, I decided that I was going no matter what. I was going to disobey my parents’ authority and go anyway. Now, I normally wouldn’t even think about doing this, I wouldn’t even consider that option. But this was Alesana. I really loved this band, and would do anything to go to that show.

My good friend Jeremy told me not to go, and that I’ll regret it later. My aunt also told me this, because my birthday was coming up and I was going to feel sorry for what I did. But really, I didn’t care. Seeing Alesana was worth getting in trouble, it was probably worth anything.

So, I was supposed to go to my friend Alisya’s house that day also. We were going to work on our Huck Finn English project, thanks to Mrs. Dei Rossi. So we took the bus and went to her house. And that was when we would sneak off to the show. We had to wait until her mom came back from work though, because her mom would let her go. So we worked on the project until 6. The show starts at 6:30. I began to lose all hope, knowing that I would never be able to go. Alisya knew this too, and just told me to call my dad to take me home.

So now, here I am. My parents didn’t know that I planned to sneak out, so I wasn’t in any trouble. The show was on Friday, and today is Sunday. The feeling that was attached to me all those 3 days hurt more than I could possibly imagine. I tried not to think about the show, but every time I did I could not stop crying. To know that I missed Alesana and all their glory when they finally come here. To know that people who didn’t even listen to them went to the show. To know that I had a chance to go to the show and see my idols. That hurts the most.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Can't be both at the same time

..... Winston Churchill once said of the politicians who appeased Adolf Hitler's demands at the Munich Conference, "They had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor; they will have war." Recently, outrage has been expressed by the Roman Catholic community after Barack Obama was scheduled to say his commencement address at the University of Notre Dame on May 17. Surely the protests make sense. Notre Dame is one of the premier RC universities in the U.S. and as such, should fully make note of the Church's stance on abortion. Obama directly contradicts Church teaching by supporting a woman's "right" to choose to murder her baby and his views on human embryonic stem cell research.  Notre Dame and indeed the President as well both have ignored the pleas of the communities they serve and therefore have similarly chosen dishonor, which they will have war for.
..... The Cardinal Newman Society, an RC college group on various campuses, started things off by creating a petition on calling for the university to take back their offer to let the President speak. It is insulting to me that Notre Dame doesn't just take their invitation back. Many of the Church hierarchy have spoken against the university for their decision. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stated in 2004 that Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principals, says David Costanzo of the Newman Society. Doesn't Notre Dame care? Does it not realize that by being called a Roman Catholic university they must uphold their Roman Catholic faith and her teachings? A wolf in sheep's clothing is simply still a wolf. One cannot call themselves Roman Catholic and not fully support the Church.
..... For religious purposes, I also find fault in Notre Dame's invitation. It's all in their name. The school has been dedicated to Notre Dame, "Our Lady," more commonly known as the Virgin Mary. Isn't it ironic that they would host a president who supports choice in abortions, even though Our Lady is a mother who gave life to her son and did not even contemplate killing him? The Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic Church is honored for her commitment to life. She is a mother after all and is a symbol for perfect purity. As an RC school, I doubt that Notre Dame would want to dishonor their patron saint, but they are perfectly fine with it so far.
..... I understand the arguments of some who say that Obama's other stances are being overlooked. They point to the fact that he was against the war from the beginning and that he is an advocate for workers and the common man. The Church too denounced the war and fully supports labor rights, even coming close to calling not giving a worker his wages a sin crying out to heaven! But in this case, life takes precedence over everything. Without life, would there even be workers? It seems that people love Obama because he'll help the economy. In a sense they value money before the right to life even though the Declaration of Independence puts life ahead of every inalienable right in it's famous phrase: "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."
..... So basically, Notre Dame, why don't you listen to your community and hear what we're trying to say before you make a mockery of the Church your supposedly a part of.

- Jeremy Dela Cruz, disgruntled person 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


The buzz has officially began about prom. The whispers creeping through the hallways and spilling into the classrooms are not about the junior class being allowed to attend, though, or even the somewhat unique theme. Instead they're about who will be crowned king and queen, titles that Stagg seniors see as far more important than the current economic crisis or any structural changes occurring on campus.

I understand preprom whispers are inevitable but I still can not understand how someone can cry victory when they haven't even been nominated. Maybe I'm too much of a day-to-day thinker but if I were one of these court hopefuls (which I'm not ... homecoming was enough for me), I think I'd worry more about making reservations at restaurants and photography shops than I would be about how I was going to smile when I accepted my crown.

In addition, I would advise all those popular kids who are not like me to remember that being popular doesn't guarantee you a title because there are far more people like me than there are popular people like you! And in our world, every vote counts even if it comes from a nerd.