Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Top Tunes

In response to the sports graphic in issue 4 on songs students listen to before games, some of our own staff member were inspired to add their own.

Brian (Football):
"Pretty Boy Swagg" - Soulja Boy
"I'm Not a Star" - Rick Ross
"Donald Trump" - Mac Miller

Damon (Golf):
"Eyeless" - Slipnot
"Voices" - Disturbed
"Determined" - Mudvayne

Reanna (Volleyball):
"Lose Yourself" - Eminem
"I Like It" - Enrique Iglesias (feat. Pitbull)

Gabby (Cheer):
"Dance (Remix)" - Big Sean (feat. Nicki Minaj)
"Slight Work" - Wale (feat. Big Sean)
"Rack City" - Tyga

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Lost Tracks: Disturbed is back with peviously hard to find material

With 5 studio albums under their belt, hard rock group Disturbed has become one of the most successful groups of the past 10 years. And this past month, they released their first B-sides and rarities album, complete with material that was on B-sides of the previous five albums, and harder to access than their other songs entitled "The Lost Children".

The album is also their longest to date having 16 tracks instead of the usual 12. It also has little cohesivness with all of the songs sounding from a different era of Disturbed's history.

One might find the songs compilation uneven, but that's one of the things that make this album work. The lack of cohesiveness makes this album all the more enjoyable. The songs are themselves sometimes better than the songs released prominently on Disturbed's previous albums.

Keeping with the bands tradition of doing covers of other songs, the compilation offers two. "Midlife Crisis," a cover from Faith No More, and "Living After Midnight" a cover from Judas Priest. And also keeping with Disturbed's tradition, they do these covers superbly, giving them their own unique spin. It works so good, that one would think that the songs could have been originally theirs if not for the familiar lyrics and sound.

While "The Lost Children" may not get the big advertising as a new Disturbed studio release, for me, it's just as good as one. This is a must own for fans of Disturbed, and for people who like hard rock in general.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Survival Guide to High School

  • Always check your shoes for toilet paper before you leave the bathroom

  • Keep a planner to help keep track of you schedule

  • Watch out for mud, especially when your wearing flip flops -_-

  • Keep Advil and water in your bag at all times for the headaches you get after long lectures

  • Don't text and walk at the same time

  • Don't try and be cool, just be you(= !

  • Be early on the first day of school. No one likes walking in and having everyone staring at you

  • Keep food in your bag

  • Befriend your locker buddy, so you have someone to run the mile with

  • Don't get sucked into the "Freshman Drama"

  • Take the honors classes. Its the best way to meet people who share the same goals as you and will help you through the hard times

  • Don't be shy !

  • Be nice to the upper classmates, but not over nice. (Don't suck up or be a push over)

  • Get involved in a sport or join a club. Its the easiest way to meet new people

  • ALWAYS and I mean Always keep a back up file for anything you type up for a class

  • Don't take freshmen year as a joke. Keep your grades up

  • Bring gum, nobody likes walking around after lunch with bad breath

And most of all remember down the road, you're going to remember the time you acted silly with your friends at the football game not the time you sat at home alone on Friday night and did nothing. So don't worry about looking dumb, act silly have fun. Leave high school with no regrets(=

Friday, October 28, 2011

So You want a JOB?

With the holiday season coming up, who's thinking about jobs? I know I am. A lot of places are willing to hire seasonal, so get to applying. Before you do though, look at these tips I found from this website:


Practice answering interview questions and practice your responses to the typical job interview questions and answers most employers ask. Think of actual examples you can use to describe your skills. Providing evidence of your successes is a great way to promote your candidacy.


Prepare a response so you are ready for the question "What do you know about our company. Know the interviewer's name and use it during the job interview. If you're not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview. Try to relate what you know about the company when answering questions.

Get Ready

Make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy and appropriate for the type of firm you are interviewing with. Bring a nice portfolio with copies of your resume. Include a pen and paper for note taking.

Be On Time

Be on time for the interview. On time means five to ten minutes early. If need be, take some time to drive to the office ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there.

Stay Calm

During the job interview try to relax and stay as calm possible. Take a moment to regroup. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Listen to the entire question before you answer and pay attention - you will be embarrassed if you forget the question!

Show What You Know

Try to relate what you know about the company when answering questions. When discussing your career accomplishments match them to what the company is looking for.

Follow Up

Always follow-up with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the position. If you interview with multiple people send each one a thank you note.

You can also go to the site and it has several other links for further information. Good luck and happy holidays!

Where's the Halloween spirit?

Remember running through the streets on Halloween night when you were a kid? The excitement as October began and you started to consider what you were going to dress up as at the end of the month. The rush you got as you rang the doorbell and uttered some of the sweetest words in the world:
"Trick or Treat."

What ever happened to this memory? Is it packed away in the box with all of your costumes and fake blood? It seems as if we've outgrown what was one of our favorite holidays.

As the years go by, less houses decorate, less people dress up, and less parents taking their children out for their first trick or treating. More and more houses are refusing to answer their doors every year. But Why?

With so many children and adults getting out of the Halloween spirit, it's going to take all of us that still eagerly await this event to keep it alive. Those of us that don't just plan parties and social events to boost our social status and popularity must work to keep the real fun of this holiday.

For me, the fun of Halloween is not just getting the candy, or the parties, or even the traditional jack-o-lantern. The fun on Halloween is dressing up as something you aren't, and could possibly never be.

And you have to admit, even as a teenager or adult it's fun to be someone or something that you've never been before. But fewer and fewer people are taking part in this activity anymore. And as the tradition begins to die, so does the memory. As well as the hope of it ever making a comeback.

So everyone that still holds their childhood Halloween memories near and dear, and still continues to relive them with a stick of eyeliner and white face paint should keep this memory alive. Don't let this holiday collect dust on a shelf. Don't let Halloween die.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Adrianna Owens: Instincts

Have you ever gotten one of those what-the-heck-is-that-chick-wearing stares? Well, if you haven't then I'm here to tell you, it's not so fun. In fact, anyone staring at you is never really fun.

But, walking around campus, I received a couple of those stares, and yes, even a few laughs. I turned hesitantly, as I heard the various whispers and chuckles. As I looked around with a nervous expression, my friend noticed and said, "take off that hat and maybe people wouldn't say anything."

Even though I heard the humor in her voice, it still hurt. But, it was true. Because, I was sporting a unicorn hat. Yes, a knit unicorn hat, with a fluff of rainbow hair and everything.

But I couldn’t get past the fact that I was being targeted. And my mind couldn't keep the reoccurring questions away. They just kept coming. All I could think was... why?

Why were people so caught up in what I had on my head?
Why did it matter to them?

I left my questions rhetorical, because I was unsure of the answers. Now, I have come to a conclusion.

They're human. It's just instinct. People like to stare.

They like to see different things, things that they don't see everyday. They might not like these unordinary items, nor consider making them a part of their life. But, there will be more "unicorn hats" in their future. And I will be in possession of uniqueness all of my life. With that being said, this isn’t the last time I will be laughed at or whispered about.

It's nothing I should have been ashamed of, or mad at. It was a time for me to show the real me. The me that isn't afraid of what people think. The me that is willing to put on the unicorn, and walk around, knowing that people will act on their instincts. The me that doesn't care.

Alyssa Marie: Growing Pains

High school.Freshman year = "WHOA THAT'S NEW". Sophomore year = "THIS IS STRESSING ME OUT". Junior year = *IN THE PROCESS OF FALLING APART* . Why is it in the process of falling apart? Talk about two AP's, a school newspaper to write for, endless piles of homework and books to read, SATS prep, afterschool responsiblities, driver's ed, and possibly a job in a few months? What. Am. I. Doing. Urgh. I wish I could go back to the days when a golden star sticker made me feel proud of myself. I wish I could back to the days when people expected less out of you. The days when you didn't expect a gold star on your drawing but got one anyways.

I'm pretty sure many students out there can relate to what I'm saying. You go from everything is easy-peasy, to everything feels like it's falling apart. When I say falling apart I don't mean in the sense that it's ruining your life..(well maybe), but in the sense that you "feel" that things around are crumbling down on you because suddenly everyone is depending on you to achieve something. As if you're no longer that little kid that had it easy. You're now this grown up human being trying to juggle everything in their life. With all these responsibilities, it's like you dont feel like a teenager anymore because everyone expects you to act like a grown up. They want you to leave behind your childish ways and grow up. They wont settle for less because they expect you can do better. Whether or not we want to, there's always going to be that one thing that's going to remind you to grow up: yourself. You let yourself do whatever people tell you to do because you not only want to please them but also yourself. YOU want to give yourself a gold star sticker. YOU want to feel good about yourself. It's not the outer forces, but its the inner forces challenging you. No one can stress you out but yourself. No one can tell you to grow up, but yourself.

Friday, August 19, 2011

FaithHarris: Eating Disorders

For the first issue of the Stagg Line, I took on the topic of eating disorders. Not a light topic at all, but since it was focusing on a program, I found it rather intriguing. As you can imagine, though, i had a lot to say. There just wasn't enough room in my spot for everything I had to throw at ya!
I did a lot of research on these disorders, and though I didn't really use many stats in my actual article, I really want to share them with you guys. I managed to narrow it down, so here are some interesting findings: (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders)
*50% of those with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression
*only 1 in 10 men or women with disorders seek specialized help
*Men are less likely to seek help because of the perception that it is a "womans disease"
How To cope with a disorder:
1. Recognize the problem
2.Seek help
3. Stick to the treatment
4. Create a supportive enviornment

There's many more interesting sites, so do your own research sometime!
If you know anyone with an eating disorder, Alexandra Caspero is eager to meet students.
Go to Healthy Start and make an appointment for yourself or a friend.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fanatical Faith: JUST DANCE[=

So for Stagg Line's next issue, I have taken on the task of co-writing! Me and the fantabulous Xe Xiong are writing an entertainment story on the dance showcase. The showcase isn't until May 5th and 6th, but you won't believe the info we have for you! We've got the rehearsals, backstage work, and the behind the scenes stuff you don't ever see. It was amazing to see how much of them talked about teamwork, so we made that our angle for the story. It's great that they can take something so fun and light and make it so passionate and intriguing. I really love to dance myself, and will hopefully be in the advanced level class next year. Be sure to go to the showcase and be sure to grab the Stagg Line's next issue on April 15th.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

That Religious Guy: A Belated Goodbye

..... Today is definitely a day of mourning. Last Monday, our generation lost another one of its barely blooming individuals, Jera Machuca, a person taken before her time. As a journalist, she helped make The Stagg Line a great publication. As a student, she donated her time to various extracurricular activities. As a friend, she was always there with a kind word. It's never an easy reality to overcome when someone disappears forever, gone through the thin line between life and death, between this world and the next. But as time passes, wounds heal and circumstances change. We all must continue the race of existence and must inevitably lose some companions along the way.

..... Now I'm not going to compose an eloquent elucidation about the mysteries of life and why people die. Though I'm a devout Roman Catholic, I am as clueless as the most ardent atheist. I know not what lies beyond, what is waiting on the other side. As a religious person, I may have an inkling, but I certainly do not have all the answers.

..... I must admit that Jera and I were never close friends, a fact that can sadly never change. We were merely acquaintances both on staff and in our casual lives. Yet, the most vivid memory I have of her is something mundane, something personal. I simply remember a time when we were both in charge of cleaning the counter tops in the journalism room. We made small talk and we helped each other out. Of course, this memory may not seem so great to anyone else, but it's something that will stay with me. I will always remember that Jera was always open to others and was always eager to assist in any way.

..... Today at 5 pm, Jera's friends and family will be praying the rosary at Frisbee-Warren & Carroll Mortuary. It didn't hit me until today that she was really gone, spirited away from this earth. Hopefully I'll be able to attend the rosary and pray for Jera's soul and for the consolation of her family. Maybe then I can make my belated goodbye complete, my overdue farewell to a friend I hardly knew. But I'm careful not to use the phrase "final goodbye" because as long as someone's memory remains with you, they live on. It's a cliche that should comfort all of us when we come face to face with our own mortality. Ultimately, Jera will continue to be in my prayers for years to come.

May God bless her and her family,
- Jeremy Dela Cruz

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Clear and Present Damon: Doctor Who-a Celebration:Part 3- the 80's

Above; The Sixth Doctor and Per in "Revelation Of the Daleks"
At the start of the decade, Tom Baker was still the Doctor. But he was not the same Doctor as he was when he first regenerated. Bakers storylines grew increasingly darker and more melancholy, as the series was taken over by producer John Nathan-Turner who would govern the series throughout the 80's. After parting ways with Time Lady and companion Romana, The Fourth Doctor was joined by Adric, a genius mathematician, and an arguably unlikable companion. Baker was aging in the role, and in 1981 left the series. The Fourth Doctor gave his life to save a planet from the newly regenerated, (well actually he stole the body), Master played by Anthony Ainley. In a regeneration aided by the ghostlike Watcher, the Doctor became a younger man, the Fifth Doctor.

With a younger more polished look, a Cricket outfit, and a lucky stick of celery, The Fifth Doctor, played by Peter Davison was joined by Adric and two other companions he had met before his regeneration. The princess from the planet Traken, Nyssa, and Australian air stewardess Tegan Jovanka. In the episode "Earthshock", the Doctor and his friends come face to face with old enemies the Cybermen. In order to stop them, Adric stays behind to pilot the Cybermens ship into a prehistoric earth, wiping out the dinosaurs and killing him in the process. It was the first time that a companion was ever killed off on the show and it was a controversial descision despite Adric ranked low on many lists of favorite companions.

The Fifth Doctor traveled with Nyssa and Tegan and met his old friend Brigadier Lethbridge- Stewart in "Mawdryn Undead". In the same storyline he was also joined by another male companion Vislor Turlough. Towards the end of Peter Davisons run as the Doctor, his core companions had all left and he was joined in his final two storylines with American student Peripugillium Brown (or Peri for short). The Fifth Doctors final story "The Caves of Androzani" is arguably the best episode ever boasting its best regeneration scene as the Fifth Doctor gave his life to save Peri from being poisoned by giving her the cure and sacrificing himself who had been poisoned as well.

The Sixth Doctor could not have been more polar opposites with his previous incarnations. The producers wanted to introduce a Doctor that would not be immediatley likable and it shows. Colin Bakers Doctor can be big headed, annoying, and showed a relative distaste for Peri in his debut season. He also wore a blinding multicolored coat. His premeire episode "The Twin Dillemma" is considered the worst episode in the shows history, with the newly regenerated Doctor fighting Giant Slugs. The series was nearly canceled after C. Bakers first season, but came back after a long hiatus with the 14 part series "Trial of a Time Lord".

The Doctor is put on Trial back on Gallifrey for interferance in outside worlds and genocide. The trial is overseen by the mysterious Valeyard, and Peri is seemingly killed in the process. At the end, it takes the Doctors arch-nemesis the Master to prove the Doctors innocence. The Valeyard is actually a dark side of the Doctor, somewhere between his 12th and final inacrnations. The Doctor is cleared of all charges and Peri is not dead after all, but married Warrior king Ycranos instead. The Sixth Doctor continues traveling with red haired companion Mel Bush.

Colin Baker was let go from the role and opted not to shoot a regeneration scene. This meant Sylvesyer McCoy, his successor would have to wear his costume and a blonde curly wig to shoot his regeneration for him. McCoy's first story "Time and the Rani" is a disapointment, and his whole first season has him rolling his R's and making metaphors ("Tide and time melt the snowman"). His companion Mel is also a bad match for McCoys Doctor, and she leaves the show by his first seasons end. McCoy's next companion, Ace, is more of a match for his Doctor and the show took a darker turn in the next two seasons.

The Seventh Doctor and Ace had some was one of the best partnerships of a companion and Doctor perhaps sinsce the Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane and Harry Sullivan. McCoys stories took a darker attitude as the question of who the Doctor was became more prevelant. These darker storylines made up for McCoy's campy first season. Unfortunately ratings were dismal as ever. The show was put up against popular soap opera's and McCoy's final season was one of the lowest viewing figure's in years. "Battlefield" where MCoy's Doctor met the Brigadier again is still the lowest watched Doctor Who story ever. BBC one decided to cancel the show in 1989. After the Seventh Doctor and Ace defeated their enemy the Master in the shows final episode "Survival", a final line of dialouge was added that wrapped up the calssice series.

"There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream. People made of smoke nad citie's made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere theres injustice, and somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on Ace, we've got work to do." -The Seventh Doctor

And with that, the original run of Doctor Who was over. It would be a while before we ever saw him again.

In Memory of Nicholas Courtney, the actor best known for playing Brigadier Aleister Gordon Lethbridge Stewart. 1929-2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

That Religious Guy: Smokey Francisco (SF)

..... Last weekend, my friends and I took a trip up to San Francisco to celebrate Claire and Sarinna’s birthdays. Apparently, Sarinna, who was born and raised in California, had never been to SF, preposterous right? It’s like if an Englishman says he’s never been to London, which oddly enough, was the comparison which was given to me by an actual British person. But I digress as usual.
..... So we were basically tourists from the Central Valley exhibiting typical out-of-towner behaviors. We’d walk a couple of steps and take a picture. Oh a building! Take a picture. Oh a bicyclist!! Take a picture. Oh our reflection in a store window! Take a picture!!! It was a day of constant walking as well; we made our way to such staples as Chinatown, North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 3, Musee Mecanique (Gosh I know I don’t have the accent aigus… It’s just a pain to place them!), and Blondie’s Pizza (which should be called Blondie’s Greasy Pizza…).
..... Throughout our journey, however, we were practically engulfed in second hand smoke! For all the relative advancements of San Francisco, that’s one attribute that makes me proud of living in the Port City. I mean I found myself actually saying, “Geeze, I could go for some Stockton air right now.” I made a point to cough hysterically whenever we passed by individuals with death sticks in hand. After all, they can huff and puff all they want, but they don’t have a right to blow MY lungs away.
..... One of the weirdest things I saw in Smokey Francisco (See what I did there? haha), besides the freaky laughing lady game in the Musee Mecanique, was a strange incident illustrating the relative casualness of smoking in the big city: an old man was busily puffing away at a street corner when all of a sudden, a random lady walks up to him and grabs his lighter, lights her cigarette, and walks away. The man didn’t even bat an eyelash. 
..... When I was being my regular Jeremy self and complaining to the gang about all the smoke, I caught the attention of two SF women, who promptly rolled their eyes at me. Hmm, I guess smoking is such a sacred institution over there that any jeering can get you branded as a health heretic.
..... Stockton may be the Most Miserable City in the U.S. according to Forbesmagazine, but at least a breath of our air won’t kill you. Just stay away from Wilson Way though (That’s some local humor for you!). The moral of the story? Wear a gas mask when you go to SF. And make sure to see the silver lining in wherever you live, even if it’s Stockton, CA.
- Jeremy Dela Cruz

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Clear and Present Damon: Doctor Who: A Celebration- Part 2- the 70's

Above, the Fourth Doctor and Davros in "Genesis of the Daleks"

As "Doctor Who" began televising in color starting in 1970, it also had a brand new cast of characters with actor Jon Pertwee at the helm as the Doctor. As a part of the storyline from Patrick Troughtons final story the Doctor had been exiled to earth by his own people, the Time Lords. While being exiled on Earth, he served for the secret government organiztion U.N.I.T as scientific advisor. The Doctor had previously encountered U.N.I.T's leader Brigadier Aleister Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, while in his previous incarnation. By the end of Pertwee's first season, his exile was removed and the Doctor was free to take the TARDIS outside of earth again. However, Pertwee's incarnation of the Doctor would still remain close with U.N.I.T.

The Third Doctor continued to travel with such youthful companions as Jo Grant and Sarah Jane Smith. His Doctor would also be portrayed as a Doctor not afraid to fight for what is right as well as using his brains to get out of a situation. It was also during Pertwee's era that the Doctors arch-nemesis The Master first made his appearance on the show. Portrayed by actor Roger Delgado, The Master is a evil Time Lord and the Doctors counterpart. Delgado remains one of the most populat actors to play the role of the Master, which he did until his tragic death in a car accident in 1973.

1973 was also the year that Jon Pertwee left the series. He would be followed by Tom Baker, perhaps the most popular and well known Doctor of the series original run. Unlike Pertwee's stories, Baker's Doctor did not continually stay on earth and work for U.N.I.T. With companion Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan, a real medical doctor, the Fourth incarnation was more of an explorer of the universe wearing a long scarf that would make his character one of the most recognizable Doctors. Baker's era also saw less of popular monsters from the shows past. Baker had only two Dalek stories and one Cybermen episode. In "Genesis of the Daleks", perhaps the best Fourth Doctor story, we are introduced to Davros, (see in picture above) the evil genius who created the Daleks. Davros would go on to become another recurring villian the Doctor would face in many Dalek storylines.
After parting ways with Sarah and Harry, The Doctor returned to his home planet of Gallifrey in the story "The Deadly Assassin". When the Doctor is framed for the assassination of the Time Lord president, he seeks to find the truth. This leads him to his old enemy the Master, played by Peter Pratt, taking over for the deceased Delgado. This Master is seen as a skeletal dying figure that has used up all of his lives (please note: a Time Lord can only regenerate 13 times before dying for good). The Doctor manages to foil his plot, and continues on his travels.

In the later years of the decade, the Fourth Doctor traveled with the robotic dog K-9, and fellow Time Lord, (or should I say Time Lady) Romana. Romana would be the only other person from the Doctors home planet of Gallifrey to travel with him. The first being Susan Foreman, his grandaughter fom the shows first years.

Tom Baker would play the Doctor as a new decade arrived. But the waters would not stay calm for "Doctor Who". For the 80's would prove to be the most turbulent decade in the shows long history.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Clear and Present Damon: Doctor Who: a Celebration:Part 1 ; the 1960's

Who would have thought that a low budget show about a 900 year old alien would last so long and touch the lives of so many Sci-fi fans across the globe.

For 47 years now, "Doctor Who" is the longest running Sci-fi show in history. Portayed by eleven actors, all British, The Doctor is a 900 year old alien from the planet Galifrey. The Doctor ran away from his planet, in his time travelling TARDIS, which stands for time and relative dimensions in space. First landing in England of the 1960's, the TARDIS disguised itself as a police box and it has remained one ever since. The Doctor is likely to take with him companions that he shares his adventures through time and space. Because of it's long history, this fast history lesson on the show will be split into volumes according to decades. This examines the first decade. The black-and-white filmed years in the 1960's.

The Classic series lasted from 1963 to 1989 and the lead role was played by seven actors. William Hartnell played an elder grandfatherly Doctor for the first four years of the shows history. In fact in the storyline, the Doctor was a grandfather. His granddaughter Susan tried to blend in as a regular teenager. Unfortunatley this failed and curious teachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright stumbled upon the TARDIS while following Susan home from school. The Doctor was portrayed with a grumpy attitude in the first season and at first did not like having the two teachers travelling with him, but he eventually grew to be very fond of them. In the first black an white adventures the Doctor encountered many popular monsters and villains, including his greatest enemies, The Daleks from the palnet Skaro. It was fighting the Daleks when at the end of the serial "The Dalek invasion of earth" that the Doctor parted ways with Susan. Several episodes later Ian and Barbara also left, leaving Hartnell as the only cast member from the original first season.
After travelling with various companions, it was in 1966 because of ill health Hartnell decided to leave the show. The writers found an original idea. That the lead character, being a time lord, could regenerate into a new body if mortally wounded. In the debut story of the Cybermen called "The Tenth Planet", the regeneration was put to the test as the First Doctor regenerated into the Second Doctor played by Patrick Troughton.

Troughtons Doctor was more of a "Cosmic Hobo" called that because of his tattered costume. Troughton played the Doctor for three years until he too left the show in 1969. His regeneration involved him meeting with his own people the Time Lords as they exiled him to Earth and forbade him from travelling at the end of the ten part serial "The War Games". The Troughton era would be the last era of the sjow to shot in black-and-white film. "Doctor Who" would switch to color film as it's most populer decade approached.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fanatical Faith: Behind the scenes[=

Usually I like to keep my stories a secret until they're fully processed. In fact, it's usually hard for me to explain what my story is about until it's finished. However, this time, I feel like my story is coming together quickly so I'm going to share my process with you.

I'm writing 2 stories for the Stagg Line's next issue. First, I'm going to write for our front page. I'll be doing a mini story on the student reaction to the Radical Reality assembly along with how some freshman coped with going to the heart wrenching assembly AND Point Break.

The 2nd story I will be doing is an opinion story on the argument for gender seperation at two of our local elementary schools. So let me tell you how each of these is going:

For my news story, I started by talking to lots of freshman, and I still have quite a few to go. So far, I've been hearing that it was sad, and that a few people actually left with a lot to think about. I was glad to hear that it was inspirational.

I know it was for me, at least. I walked out of the gym almost in tears and wanting to turn my life around, even though I really had nothing to change. I'd never let myself get involved in the world of drugs and alcohol. Yes, the speakers were really that powerful.

Anyway. I plan on going to talk to some sports fans and getting their reactions. So, if you're into sports (especially you Dallas Braden fans) , you should let me know. I'm interested to hear what you guys have to say.

Let's not forget about my other story, though. Ugggh! Gender seperation in schools... Can the district get any more ridiculous? How do they expect students to be okay with this? Scratch that... How can they expect parents to be okay with this?

The district wants to make Nightingale elementary an all-boy's school and make Monroe elementary an all-girls school. This is to improve test scores. Do you think it would improve anything at all?

I think that they should definitely do something about the low test scores, but i don't think seperating males and females would help at all. In fact, it would probably be more of a distraction because it'd be so wierd.

Well, I don't want to give away my stories, so I'm going to shut up before I do. Don't forget to read the next issue of the Stagg Line Newspaper! It'll be out on March 04 2011. Read all about it[=

Saturday, January 29, 2011

That Religious Guy: All the world in your webcam!

..... Whoever said that one couldn't see the world while staying at home was definitely living under a rock.
..... But of course, if he was living under a rock, he probably couldn't see the world, so we'll forgive him this time. That's the beauty of aboveground housing: Internet capabilities. As in many posts, I tend to digress and meander, making my way by some sheer luck to the whole point of why I'm writing... Skype!
..... Skype is not only a great way to distract friends from home work on a Saturday afternoon but is also a tool to get to know people from other countries. I've met a few individuals online on forums and Facebook groups myself. It's one thing to talk to someone online via IMs or e-mail but it's another thing to actually speak face-to-face. Of course, I don't recommend simply going online and meeting total strangers. Get smart before you Skype with someone!
..... There's basically two different ways to use Skype: the call function and the video call option. The former is basically a hands-free telephone; you'll be talking to the other person using you're webcam's mike. This is probably the safest and less expensive way to get to know people from other countries. No more racking up the phone bill with calls to France... In order to utilize the video call function, one needs a webcam however. This feature allows you to actually see the person you're conversing with and so it's like you're speaking to them in person. I do want to stress once again that people should be familiar with Internet etiquette and such before meeting random people online!
..... From speaking with "foreigners" (a word which I place in quotation marks since it's sounds negative) on Skype, I've learned a lot about how others perceive America and our values. Practically everybody I've met from the UK to Canada loves Barack Obama... One also gets to hear different accents and forms of slang (i.e. in Canada, people say "settle your kettle" to say "calm down"), which is something we language nerds love! All in all, Skype allows people to become well-rounded in terms of knowledge about the world. You also get to appreciate fun facts you pick up along the way like how the British refer to AP Calculus as Further Pure 1-2. Sounds so futuristic right?
..... Any technology like Facebook and Skype, however, has it's cost: safety. Be sure to get to know the person you want to talk to on Skype before actually calling them. Anyways, one can always have fun simply speaking to friends from school so people, Skype on!

- Jeremy Dela Cruz

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fanatical Faith: "The Dei Rossis"

Yes, that's what our wonderful Stagg teachers, Erica and Kyle Dei Rossi, are often called- "The Dei Rossi's." And personally, I think they are grouped together this way because they are so connected. If I didn't know any better, I'd think they were the same person.

For the most recent issue of the Stagg Line (Distributed January 28th) I decided to take on the story of the Dei Rossi's for our features page. I went into the interview thinking it would be a simple love story about how these two teachers came to be together. Once they started talking, I immediately knew it was going to be much more. I quickly noticed how perfect this couple was together, and it made me further realize the importance of compromise and understanding. Not only in a romantic relationship, but in a friendship as well. In order for people to get along, there has to be that sense of "give and take."

The Dei Rossi's are a perfect example of this: Erica doesn't mind doing laundry if Kyle prepares their lunches. And even though she's not the biggest sports fan, Erica agrees to grade students work while Kyle cheers for his teams.

Though these may seem like small things, they're extremely important in any kind of a relationship. These kinds of agreements, combined with a great deal of unsderstanding, make for a more mutual relationship. With this sense of togetherness, it's almost inpossible to feel controlled.

Even our high school couples could benefit from trying to compromise. Rather than seeing the chick flick that the girlfriend wants to see, or the horror film that the boyfriend wants to see, why not see a comedy?

Small compromises like these can help a relationship better than you'd think. Always having one person make decisions, or having everything going one persons way is no way to have a relationship. If one of them feel like they have no part in the relationship, they may not be happy in it, and they may feel controlled.

Compromise takes a lot of patience and a lot of practice, but it will definitely better any kind of realationship. The Dei Rossi couple showed me that. They are so happy, and it's because they know what it means to give and take.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

That Religious Guy: Perfect Rhythm

..... I have maybe the oldest New Year’s resolution in history: exercise more. Unlike previous years, however, I’m actually doing something about it. On January 2, I purchased myself some running shoes from WalMart. The only painful thing about the transaction was that I was cutting into my Christmas financial loot.

..... About an hour later, I gave my new size 11 Dr. Scholl’s Relays out for a spin. That’s right. No fancy jogging gear for me. Just some cheap footwear from WalMart which comes in a wide selection of vibrant colors: red or blue. I chose blue.

..... So for the past few days, I’ve been trying to squeeze in a few bursts of running into my daily routine. I usually run at night. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to be seen huffing and puffing. Maybe it’s because it was nighttime when I purchased my shoes. Maybe it’s a mixture of both reasons. Anyways, I simply prefer the cool, evening Stockton air when I’m running in my Stagg shorts.

..... Tonight, however, was no ordinary night. Tonight, I realized a couple of things about my personality. Tonight, I found some temporary peace in my currently fast-paced life.

..... As you all may know, the seniors have less than five months left of high school. Before you guys pat us on the shoulders and tell us how lucky we are, just remember this: once high school ends, a whole chapter of our lives does to.

..... Amid all the college applications and scholarship essays, my life has been pretty hectic for some time now. I’m experiencing a wide array of emotions, from jealousy because my friends are already receiving acceptance letters while I have yet to receive mine to fear because I’m afraid I’ll be losing some of the greatest people I’ve ever known…

..... Running tonight helped me gain some momentary peace for a while. I’ve always enjoyed running. Ever since sophomore year with the cross-country team, my passion for the activity has grown. When I run I try to achieve what I like to call the perfect rhythm. It involves maintaining a brisk speed, while inhaling through my nose and exhaling through my mouth. So when I’m running, it sounds a lot like “Sniff sniff, huff huff.” Breathing too much will give me a stomach cramp while not breathing enough will just make me fall into a dead heap. Finding a middle ground is the key, finding the perfect rhythm is my goal.

..... I guess what I’ve learned from tonight’s run is basically that I need to find my own perfect rhythm when it comes to life in general. I need to stop comparing myself to others (especially to my evil arch nemesis, Jose J., who also doubles as my best friend) and to stop overloading my plate with too many projects. Life is hard as it is without making it more difficult. All I need to do is just go through life at my own pace.

- Jeremy Dela Cruz