COMMENTARY: Heritage Music Festival 2015, my experience (Video)


Sophomore Jarred Coppola shares his experiences at the Worldstrides Heritage Festival, including a Disneyland day, March 5-8.

Fresno Christian awarded the overall Sweepstakes award, while jazz band, ladies ensemble win Gold

The Worldstrides Heritage Music Festival, a yearly event that choir and band students can attend, was certainly a blast, March 5-8. The experience I had in participating in this trip is beyond any other trip I have been on here at FC.

The first day that we left for heritage, I didn’t know what to expect. I was a bit frightened that I wouldn’t be included in much, this being because I was one of the youngest high schoolers there. We boarded the bus, and the second I got on, I could feel the excitement in the air. People were jump up and down in their seats, talking non-stop; it seemed like I was in for a great time.

I thought that the bus ride would be extremely long, but it proved to be pretty short and fun. I was able to hang out with friends, eat snacks, and overall just have some fun time to sit back and relax. Really enjoyed spending time with my friends throughout this trip, and I feel like I had a lot of time to get to know them all better.

As we neared Medieval Times, traffic started to get really bad, so we weren’t able to drop our stuff off at the hotel. This probably the only backfire of the bus ride, and it wasn’t a big deal at all either. Once we arrived at Medieval Times, we walked in the doors and got our crowns, bearing the color of our knight. We then took a picture all together, and went in the building. Inside there was a bar, some shops, and horse stables. The horses there were beautiful, pure breed Spanish horses. It was pretty cool to see them up close before watching do spectacular things in the show. After we looked around a bit, the “Prince” came out and told us the rules, and led us to our seats. We sat down, and were automatically greeted by our server. He was a really kind man, I wish I had brought my wallet to tip him! Anyways, the server brought out drinks for us, and the show began.

First, there was the introduction of the knights and the horses. Next, there was a conversation in the royal family. They announced the special guests, which included people on their Honey Moon, people celebrating their birthday and schools/ other groups. The “Queen” asked that the feast begin, and we were brought a huge chunk of chicken. The smell in the air was spectacular, it had everyone’s mouths watering! We started to eat, as the knights started to hold the tournament.

When the announcer announced the Worldstrides Heritage Music Festival 2015 winner to be the Fresno Christian concert choir, we all stood up, the cast of characters came out, confetti spit out, lights flashed, and we were going crazy! Leslie Banister and Susan Ainley went up onto the stage and claimed the huge trophy. Banister was crying tears of joy! –Freshman Jarrod Coppola

First things first, the knights used spears to try to aim at a target. After that, they had a round where the knights tried to hook a ring around a stick while riding a horse at high speed. Next, the knights had a jousting tournament, and fought another night to the death until there was only one left. Our knight, the blue knight actually won! It was really exciting to see the battles. Sparks flew when the swords would clash, there were also maces, axes and slings! By the end of the night, we were pretty tired. My group and I relaxed and watched some TV when we reached the hotel, we also ate some snacks. Then we went to bed, with great anticipation for the fun of the coming day.

The next day we woke up and got dressed, and immediately went out of our hotel. We got breakfast and boarded the bus to Disneyland! Everyone was so excited. We couldn’t wait to spend a day at such a fun place! After we arrived, my friends and I were practically skipping in pure joy as we entered the park. The familiar smells of churros, popcorn and many other tasty snacks returned to our senses. We all immediately went on a ride, which was the Radiator Springs Racers, in the new Cars Land ride. We had such a fun time! The line wasn’t too long either considering that it wasn’t a weekend day.

As the day passed by we went on many rides and continued to live a day in the “happiest place on earth.” As we walked through the park, we saw many familiar characters, such as Donald, Goofy, Mickey, Minnie and even some other characters, like the Evil Queen from Snow White. I actually ended up taking a picture with the Evil Queen, too! I have to say, I don’t ever remember the cast members at Disneyland that played characters acting so well! When we encountered the Evil Queen, she was pretty sassy, and she said things like, “I would have looked good in a picture even if I wasn’t ready to take a picture,” or, “Move! Move to the side!” She even asked one little girl to bow to her!

We ended up eating at the Tomorrow Land fast food restaurant for lunch, and the Plaza Inn for dinner. The food was really good, but it was expensive. As the day came to a close, we heard that Johnny Depp was in the park. But sadly, we didn’t spot him. The voice actor of Anakin Skywalker I the Clone Wars was also there!

Night fell, and we started to head back to our meeting place. We met and boarded the bus that headed for our hotel. When we arrived, we hopped in the beds, and started to kick bad for a bit before bed. I popped some popcorn, and we ate a little and got ready for bed.

When we woke up the next morning, we headed to the performance venue to start setting up for our performances. I was playing in the jazz band for the trip, because I was selected to go out of my percussion class. I played to congas, Trevor Trevino, ’17, played the bass guitar, Andrew Guthrie, ’15, played the saxophone, and Madison Seib, ’15, played the trumpet as well as Janae Shew, ’20. We thought that our performance hadn’t topped that of the other groups, but the awards ceremony that night proved us absolutely wrong.

After the jazz band performed, the ensemble, concert choir and junior high choir preformed. All of them did outstanding performances, and the crowd’s cheers showed major approval. We were able to go to Taco Bell while the choirs were practicing too.

When the bus arrived, we all piled on excitedly, eager to take our second trip to Disneyland. When we arrived, we walked through the gates and stepped right into Downtown Disney. I bought a Disney Sketchbook, which compiled of sketches from a lot of the major Disney animators. After that, we went to Disneyland, and went on a few more rides.

After we had rode a few more attractions, we headed to the awards ceremony. At the ceremony, the fireworks started to go off, but the loud noise made many people jump! After that we enjoyed the awesome colors and lights of the fireworks before the ceremony began. There was a little show put on before the ceremony, which was exciting. After the awards started, they started to explain the rules and what awards meant what. Then they started to announce the awards. Right off the bat, jazz band was awarded gold! Next, ensemble was also awarded gold, followed by concert choir being awarded silver, and junior high choir awarded bronze! We were practically in awe of the amount of awards we won. After all of this, Guthrie won the “If you wish” award, as well as the maestro award. Senior Ivette Ibara also won the maestro award.

After all of this, we expected nothing more. This was it. The overall Heritage Music Festival 2015 trophy was about to be announced. We thought we didn’t stand anywhere close to the bigger schools. But when the announcer announced the winner to be the Fresno Christian Concert Choir, we all stood up, the cast of characters came out, confetti spit out, lights flashed, and we were going crazy! Leslie Banister and Susan Ainley went up onto the stage and claimed the huge trophy. Banister was crying tears of joy!

Afterwards, we celebrated. We took pictures, crowded around the trophy chanting and cheering. We even went to get ice cream afterwards to celebrate. When the bus arrived, we were all ready to go home. We were really tired, after all.

As the day ended, we felt such a great joy to have gone on this trip. I felt so blessed to be a part of such a cool group of people. I really hope to go again next year, because the experience my friends and I had this year was beyond fun. Big shout out to Leslie Banister and Susan Ainley, this trip has been the best school trip I have ever experienced in my life.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather and Instagram @thefeatheronline.

By |2015-03-27T00:00:00-07:00March 27th, 2015|Commentary, Music, Uncategorized, Videos 2014-15|0 Comments

COMMENTARY: Journalism helps improve writing skills

StaffPhotoFeather file photo

The Feather gathered for their annual staff photo in October 2014 on the Peoples Church campus lawn.

This is my first year taking journalism and it has majorly affected my writing skills. Though it is not a walk in the park, it can be fun and also very helpful. I have to be committed and responsible to be in publications.

A journalist involves working outside of your comfort zone, which presents opportunities to gain self-confidence and self-esteem.

The Feather adviser, Greg Stobbe, has taught me many things about how to write and how not to write. The tools that journalism offers can be used in everyday life, not just in publications. You can also take photojournalism which focuses on take pictures and videos of events that are happening.

I was a little hesitant about joining this class but with Stobbe always telling me to join, and a friend?s persuasion, I joined. I had thought about how these writing skills can benefit me in the future, especially in college. It took me three weeks to write my first article. Day by day I try to increase the efficiency and speed of writing my articles.

The writing skills you acquire from this class sticks to you. It will help you when you write essays for your english class or in future articles you will write. Journalism is one of the few subjects that can fully train students for skills that are essential to the job field. It can also bring attention to some colleges and they may reach out to you.

I have experienced the positive and negative sides of journalism. Though this is my first year taking journalism; it gave me the opportunity to meet new people. While I did not start as the best writer, and I still am not the best, journalism is helping me get better. — Sophomore Natalie Torres

Many consider journalism an easy A elective when in reality it is one of the the harder classes you can take. Students need to write two to three new articles each month or their grades will drop significantly.

Stobbe has high expectations for the articles that go up on The Feather. The more you write, the more you learn. He can be funny and mess around sometimes but he can also be very serious and focused at other times. One of the first things he shows you is what not to do.

I have learned I should always introduce the person before the quote and do not use contractions and now know the importance of show don’t tell. I’m still working on not using helping verbs.

Throughout the year I have been improving in my writing skills an am contemplating signing up for publications class again next year. But I do know that journalism helps improves writing skills.

I have experienced the positive and negative sides of journalism. Though this is my first year taking journalism; it gave me the opportunity to meet new people. While I did not start as the best writer, and I still am not the best, journalism is helping me get better.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @nataliatorres1.

For more opinions, read the March 5 article, Community reflects on life of Molly Griffin.

By |2015-03-19T00:00:00-07:00March 19th, 2015|Commentary, FC Arts, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COMMENTARY: Community reflects on life of Molly Griffin

Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

Alumna Molly Griffin, ’09, passed away after an auto accident, Feb. 21, and a family friend writes her good-byes.

Dear Fresno Christian community:

On Saturday, February 21st, 2015, Molly Griffin passed on from this life to the next. She is remembered and loved by the FC community, her family, and friends.

Molly Griffin graduated from Fresno Christian in 2009 as an honors student. She knew she wanted to go into the medical field, and decided to go into nursing so she could have more time with family, compared to doctors. She graduated from Fresno State with her nursing degree last spring, and by summer she was working at Madera Community Hospital in the surgical department.

My sister, Abigail Schoettler, ’09, became friends with Molly when Abby transferred to Fresno Christian in 7th grade. By 8th grade, she was in a tight knit group with Molly, Katie White, ’09, and Brittany Schaffer, ’09. Abby and Molly remained close friends until her death.

From being a young girl up until to present time, I remember Molly coming over to my house constantly. Since Madera Community is only 10 minutes from my house, she was over at my house on a regular basis. They talked about boys, build-a-bears, work, college and everything in between; but no matter what the conversation was about, Molly always made it entertaining. I am convinced that if she was not a nurse, she would become a comedian.

Some of my sister’s favorite memories spent with Molly were when Molly and her mother surprised Abby by coming to the house on Christmas morning (Abby’s birthday), going on a missions trip in Mexico and forcing Abby to listen to Phil Collins, and, most importantly, Molly being by Abby’s side no matter what. If Abby had a problem, Molly would be outside our house, even though we lived 35 minutes apart.

In 2007, the Griffin family took a trip to China to adopt a daughter, Paige, from Molly’s suggestion. Molly loved to spoil her younger sister and loved to do little things for her, such as the ‘Elf on the Shelf’ during Christmas time.

Molly was killed February 21st when a drunk driver hit her and her passenger, Emily Krieghoff. Molly died at the scene, while Emily remains in critical condition at the hospital. Molly is survived by her parents, Doug and Doris Griffin, her sister Paige, now 10, and her older brother Joe.

Molly, you are forever remembered by us, the FC community, and from my family; we are more than blessed that you came into our lives in 7th grade. Thank you for being a great friend to my sister Abby and to many others; you are missed greatly. We grieve for your loss, yet rejoice that you are with our Heavenly Father and experience no pain. Rest in Peace, Molly Taylor Griffin.

A funeral in Molly’s remembrance was held Feb. 28 beginning at 10 a.m. at Clovis Hills Community Church. Teacher at FC, Robert Foshee, attended the event and was touched by what he witnessed.

“Hearing her [/fusion_builder_column]

[Molly] mother and father speak touched me,” Foshee said. “The event was standing room only, they filled up Clovis Hills church, which is remarkable for such a young life.”

Thanks for reading,

Macy Victoria

In lieu of flowers, the Griffin family is asking for donations to be made to the Molly Taylor Griffin Nursing Scholarship at Fresno State. Checks should be made payable to the Fresno State Foundation and mailed to 2345 E. San Ramon, M/S MH26, Fresno, CA 93740. Donors may also contribute online here.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @macyyvictoria.

For more opinions, read the Feb. 21 article, COLLEGE CORNER: College Placement Tests

By |2015-03-05T00:00:00-08:00March 5th, 2015|Commentary, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COMMENTARY: The unique qualities of live theater

IMG_6785cJarrod Markarian

Feather staffer Devon Pitts

Live theater is much more educational than your average movie theater. A live theater causes you to think about what is going on at all times or else you will get lost very easily. This keeps your mind sharp and ready to be used at any time.

Every year my family and I go to San Francisco the weekend before Christmas and we go watch the live play, “A Christmas Carol” performed by the cast at the American Conservatory Theater right down the street from Union Square. My family and I have been doing this tradition for six years now and it has always been performed a little differently, which keeps me entertained.

At a movie theater, if you see a movie once, it will never change. The characters will stay the same, as will the plot and the conclusion. The same concept applies for sequels to movies; no matter how many times you watch the sequel, it will always stay the same.

Live theater also has some negative sides to it. If anything goes wrong at all, it will ruin the whole play. Improvisation doesn’t always work, so it can result in the play looking sloppy and unprepared.–Devin Pitts, ’18

The atmosphere is much different at a live theater performance. Something about it makes you feel like you are a part of the performance, it’s as if you are experiencing what the characters are going through.

There are retries in the production of movies. They can cut and redo scenes, something that you can’t do in a live performance. In movies you do not even need to know your lines, there are people holding signs up that you can read your lines off of. There is no perfection within live performances, but a dedication not found in cinemas.

Live theater also has some negative sides to it. If anything goes wrong at all, it will ruin the whole play. Improvisation doesn’t always work, so it can result in the play looking sloppy and unprepared.

This also can happen with a lot of today’s movies. Sometimes bad acting and weak story lines can ruin a whole movie from the start. Many movies are not captivating and end up leaving the consumer bored and uninterested.

Overall, I personally believe that live theater is superior to going to the movies. Live theater is typically more educational and entertaining. It keeps your mind sharp and focused because it urges you to constantly think.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @devin_pitts1735.

For more opinions, read the Jan. 13 article, New staffers reflect on fall semester.

By |2015-02-03T00:00:00-08:00February 3rd, 2015|Commentary, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COMMENTARY: Super Bowl XLIX blog: Roggenstein in Phoenix

SuperbowlRees Roggenstein

Rees Roggenstein travels to Phoenix, Arizona to attend Super Bowl XLIX.

To many American’s, the Super Bowl is the grand championship to one of our nation’s favored sports. A time to witness the two best NFL teams test their mettle and grit for all the glory and prestige that goes to the victor. A spectacular sight that not everyone gets to see in person, but I will be one of those lucky few that see it unfold with my own eyes.

It’s Tom Brady versus Russell Wilson. It’s three time champions versus defending champions. Two massive titans, the Patriots and the Seahawks, will face off on the Super Bowl battleground to determine who is the greatest.

So as I fly with my family to Phoenix, Arizona, I will take The Feather along with me. I want to give a perspective of what it is like to get the full Super Bowl XLIX experience. All the highs, all the lows, and all the in-betweens.

SUPER BLOG POST No. 4, Feb. 2, 2015.

With a trip so amazing there had to be some low points during the course of the trip. Of course there were a few obnoxious fans, crazy protestors, and a few drunken idiots that might prove to be mild annoyances. Even the sun, which shined directly in my face for the whole first part of the first quarter was very annoying, but all these were manageable. Except for one.

The traffic. The traffic was almost unbearable. It took almost 3 hour to leave the parking lot. I became hot and sticky, my mouth was dry, my phone was dead and I was begging for release. But release would not come for hours, I was truly trapped.

But all in all, the Super Bowl experience I had was simply unforgettable. Even suffering through the traffic was well worth it for what I had the extreme pleasure of witnessing. The fans, the sights, and most importantly the game left an impression of extravagant displays of emotion and how to enjoy the little things properly. One might even learn a little about themselves, or about the world them if they took a trip like this.

SUPER BLOG POST No. 3, Feb. 1, 2015.

I truly underestimated the hustle and bustle on Super Bowl Sunday. As I stood calmly in the hotel lobby waiting for our Prime Sport guide to take us to our shuttle; a rude suit appeared from the shadows howling “Clear the way!”. He then proceeded to forcibly shove me and my family and our own attendant out of the way. Hopefully the game is not full of these suits.

The activity at Westgate, directly outside the Super Bowl stadium was insurmountable. The people were countless, almost like a swarm of ants all bunched up together. People were pushing and shoving each other out of the way to make room simply to move. Taking advantage of the situation, a number of sports bars in the area demanded an entrance fee. The highest fee, which is just for entrance not drinks, was $1,000. Now if you want drinks that’s a total of $3,000. That was very sneaky, but very opportunistic.

As we started making our way towards the stadium I noticed a number different things about the people. First being that the Seahawks fans were more creative in their costumes and dress than the Patriots. Blue and green mohawks, face paint, body paint, crazy hats with long green hair poking up from the top could be seen almost everywhere. They are very devoted to their team.

The second thing I noticed were these church folk that took the streets speaking of the end times. They chanted end time scriptures and handed out pamphlets detailing what heaven will look like, and that science has discovered that “pure gold looks like blood red”. I was unsure if I was being condemned to hell or if they were inviting me to a church service.

Entering the arena

As I entered the stadium I felt very small. The sheer size of the stadium is enough to make a person feel small, but the amount of people rushing and dashing past me made me feel even smaller. A big stadium, big people, and big lights make for a grand experience that could leave one feeling bewildered.

The fans were truly a sight to behold, they were just as fiery and explosive as the game itself. Patriots and Seahawks were intermixed, they were cramped together with close seats, and their blood-alcohol level was more than likely over the legal limit. Some fans were fiery and quick to burst at mild grievances, screaming and yelling if someone in front of them decided to stand while they wanted to sit. But others took calmer approaches, and even decided to make conversation with people rooting for the other team.

Though the fans did have their differences; there were a couple of unifying factors. Namely the half time show hosted by Katy Perry. The stadium sparkled in red, white, and blue lights as the Super Bowl attendees flashed their LAD lights. The stadium itself was a spectacular sight, but all who witnessed Katy Perry ride a flying star as fireworks went off around the area dropped their jaws. All were unified, even if it was only for a brief moment, under Katy’s extravagant performance.

More jaw-dropping than Katy Perry’s show was the last few minutes of the game. One moment the Seahawks had the lead, than it shifted to the Patriots, than the Seahawks were a few yards away to getting a touchdown to win the game only to get the ball intercepted. As the ball was passed the hopes of the Seahawks were dashed. With the Super Bowl won 28-24, the Patriots were louder and more fiery than ever, but the Seahawks were quiet; almost silent. Even though there can only be one victor, both sides seamed to agree that this game was one for the ages.

Stay tuned for posts throughout the next couple of days.

SUPER BLOG POST No. 2, Jan. 31, 2015

Waking up at an hour before 12 in the afternoon is no easy task for most teenagers, and it is almost considered taboo or unholy on weekends. But oh, how sweet it was to hear my alarm clock chime that electrical ring directly into my ear drum in the early morning, because that meant Super Bowl adventure was about to start.

Getting ready to travel on the day before the Super Bowl was a more difficult task than I thought it would have been. I was given a total of 10 minutes to get ready and about another 5 minutes to get out the door and into the car to make it to our flight. I didn’t even get to eat in my own house. However, my family made up for that by getting StarBucks inside the airport. And as I sipped on that bitter-sweet nectar from the divines; I knew that I now had the energy to get through the next few hours of travel on a cramped plane.

As the plane started its descent, I could see the downtown portion of Phoenix flooded in festivities. Flooded may seem like an exaggeration, but is is really the only way to describe the tremendous amount activity going on in those streets. When we began leaving the airport itself I could see a sea of blue and green, Seahawk fans suddenly emerged from almost every conceivable direction. Men, women, adults, children; all of them wore the same blue and green, I thought I was in a flash mob for a moment. The Seattle Seahawks should be proud of the devotion they inspired in the people I witnessed today.

Perhaps the most interesting thing to see though was the amount of advertisement for the Super Bowl. Every corner had some sign with some ticket offer or package for the event. I expected commercialism, but to see it on this scale was truly something amazing to see. And some of the Seahawk pre Super Bowl parties at the hotel I am staying at (Westin Villas) were, in a way, jaw dropping. The chocolate cakes with gushing fudge, the guitarist with golden vocal chords singing slow rock, the bright green and blue lights reflecting over mirrors and water is truly a sight to behold. To think this will pale in comparison to the parties tomorrow.

Stay tuned for posts throughout the next couple of days.

SUPER BLOG POST No. 1, Jan. 30, 2015

As to be expected, there were some minor complications in the travel plans. My flight on Friday night to go to Phoenix, Arizona, was cancelled. As I read “cancelled” go across the flight monitor, my heart dropped and thought that my Super Bowl experience was over before it even began.

But like a warm ray of sunshine, my dad came in and was able to get another flight out of Fresno on Saturday morning. “The story isn’t over until the fat lady sings.” I hope that everything goes as planned tomorrow and that this trip will end with me and my family getting to enjoy the Super Bowl.

Stay tuned for posts throughout the next couple of days.

For more Feather opinions, read Aaron DeWolf’s Jan. 30 article, World of Sports: Super Bowl XLIX.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @RRoggenstein. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather and on Instagram: @TheFeatherOnline.

By |2015-02-01T00:00:00-08:00February 1st, 2015|Commentary, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COMMENTARY: Family travels to D.C. during Christmas break

IMG_1716Kathryn Damschen

FC student travels with her family to D.C. during Christmas break.

My family and I got on a plane on Tues. morning, Dec. 16, to head to my home away from home, Washington, D.C. during Christmas break. Annually, my family and I take a trip to our nation’s capital.

Due to the illness TRAPS we have we are required to take a yearly visit to allow the doctors studying our disease to keep a close eye on the changes of our disease, while also searching for new remedies.

Each year the trip has been an exciting one, with long plane rides, family giggles and eager eyes waiting for results of our previous year’s research. At the National Institutes of Health (NIH) there are a team of doctors working to find out how to allow my family and I to live healthy lives. So far they are doing a marvelous job with the research and procedures.

Each time we go, we make a point to go sight seeing, or at least visiting one museum. Our favorite places to go to, as a family, are the American History Museum and the National Gallery of Art. I also enjoy going to other Smithsonian museums such as Museum of Natural HistoryThe National Zoo, the Air and Space Museum, and many more.–Kathryn Damschen, ’15

Usually, the trip to the NIH takes about a full day, with blood tests, physicals, etc. Our family likes to take extra days to explore the better part of Maryland and Virginia, which surround D.C. Since I can first remember going to D.C., we have always made a family trip out of the experience.

From the time I was three years old, I have the earliest and fondest memories of going to D.C. It is still difficult to have to go to the hospital and get my blood drawn, but the best of the trip is always thoroughly enjoyable. It is also worth going through the hardships of getting blood tested and getting a check up because without all the tests, the doctors would not know what disease I have, and I would not be able to live a normal life.

Each time we go, we make a point to go sight seeing, or at least visiting one museum. Our favorite places to go to, as a family, are the American History Museum and the National Gallery of Art. I also enjoy going to other Smithsonian museums such as Museum of Natural History, The National Zoo, the Air and Space Museum, and many more.

Since I’ve been going to the Nation’s Capitol for as long as I can remember, we do not get to see all the museums every time we go, but each visit, we make a point to go to at least a different museum every time. This past year, we went to the National Gallery of Art, and the National Museum of African Art. Both museums were riveting, and quite appealing to browse through. I personally enjoy art very much, so this was a real treat for me.

My family and I also always make a point to head to Eastern Market on a Saturday morning. Eastern Market is the local flea market in one of the neighborhoods in Eastern D.C. We also try to stop by Capitol Hill Books, which is near Eastern Market. We also went to Midnight Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

We stayed for about 10 days and flew home on Christmas Day, which was quite the experience, because who wants to spend Christmas on a plane all day, right? But I was with family, which is all that mattered; and I got to spend the holiday with my siblings, which is more than I could ever ask for, and the greatest gift I could ever receive.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather and Instagram @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @Kamschend.

For more opinions, read the Jan. 16 article, EDITORIAL: Respecting boundaries of free speech.

By |2015-01-20T00:00:00-08:00January 20th, 2015|Commentary, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COMMENTARY: Causes, consequences of Parisien terrorist attack

IMG_6718cFC file photo

Junior, Rees Roggenstein, posts political opinions recent world events.

Charlie Hebdo, a controversial French magazine based in Paris was attacked on Jan. 7, 2015, by a group of Muslim extremists. The attack is speculated to be a response to an offensive cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad that the magazine released to the public. Charlie Hebdo has a history of attacking a number of different political and religious groups with their satire; they were also fire bombed by Muslim extremists in 2011 for similar reasons.

Though the magazine and the people of France have the right to freedom of speech, and that right is to be protected, does it validate or excuse Charlie Hebdo’s crass behavior and the violence they incited? No. Freedom comes with responsibility, there is a consequence for the choices each of us make. Freedom without responsibility does not exist, and neither do actions without consequences.

People living in our modern society seemed to have forgotten what freedom is and how it should be practiced. Freedom is now defined as a lack of barriers or lack of restriction. Freedom should be defined by working within standard and fair restrictions that we impose on ourselves. Freedom should always be tempered with self-control and wisdom. Just because you can, does not mean you should.

Freedom without logic, humanity and decency is quite simply destructive. That concept endangers lives, as we have just witnessed with the destruction wrought in Paris. Charlie Hebdo abused its freedom of speech to antagonize and incite a group of people, and the terrorists abused their freedom of choice and took the lives of innocents.

As our ability to know the world and interact with it increases we become more susceptible to outside influences. We must maintain level heads and know the boundaries that we should not cross.

Freedom comes with responsibility, there is a consequence for the choices each of us make. Freedom without responsibility does not exist, and neither do actions without consequences. — Rees Roggenstein

The Parisien terrorist attack perpetrated by the extremists is inexcusable. These mens’ actions and thought process cannot be justified or understood. Though we should all strive to understand and be tolerant of others and their beliefs; we should also practice self-control and not burst into a rage when someone disagrees with us or even mocks us for own beliefs. These men have not been oppressed; they are not victims of circumstance. They are simply narrow-minded murderers, and should pay the price necessary for the blood they spilt.

As students we should learn now that just because we have certain freedoms does not mean we should abuse them. If we start abusing our liberties we could either lose them, or suffer worse consequences. The line between exercising our rights and abusing them is sometimes hard to distinguish, but as a template just remember to act wisely, modestly and respectfully. We do not need to be grotesque, offensive or violent and we never have to stoop to the level of a fool. Just because you can, does not mean you should.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather,  Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @RRoggenstein.

For more opinions, read the Jan. 9 article, COLUMN: Steamboat Springs, Colorado: Winter sport wonderland.

By |2015-01-12T00:00:00-08:00January 12th, 2015|Commentary, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COMMENTARY: Protestors actions outrageous

The riots in Ferguson had shocked the country with their violence. Buildings were burnt, cars were totaled, and many goods had been stolen. What did these things accomplish? The protestors seemed to think that this would bring about their goal of justice. The martyr of their cause was Michael Brown. He was assaulted by a police officer after robbing a convenience store. The protestors made it out to be a racial crime.

There’s no argument from me about the police overstepping their bounds from time to time. But no amount of violence will change the fact that Michael Brown is dead and his family is grieving. No amount of burnt out cars will affect change in the police force.

Martin Luther King Jr. proved that the best way to change a nation is through non-violent displays. Likely these protestors think that they are of the same mold as King, while in fact they are exactly what he hated.

The only thing these protestors achieved was destroying their legitimacy by committing more and more crimes on top of what the police or Michael Brown might have done. They have only succeeded in making the country erupt into hostility. This has never helped swing the public opinion and never will.

For more opinions make sure to read the Dec. 12 editorial A Time of Restoration.

By |2015-01-05T00:00:00-08:00January 5th, 2015|Commentary, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COMMENTARY: The truth behind modern headlines

Man-rescues-another-man-from-fireABC news screen shot

Headlines across the nation were giving selective praise to their new hero, who was officially identified as Tom Artiaga, during a dramatic house fire rescue.

Yellow Journalism: a term some of us are familiarized with, due to its affiliation with US history. This phrase may trigger an association with the Spanish-American War, which some believe was caused by journalism. Yellow Journalism is simply an exaggerated form of news, created to lure readers and spike profits.

Many historians would credit the Spanish-American war to Yellow Journalism. When the USS Maine was sunk in Havana, newspapers immediately blamed Spain, causing great dissent towards the Spanish. This was a major contributing factor to the beginning of the war, even though it was later discovered that the Spanish did not actually sink the ship.

Although Yellow Journalism was officially given a title during the late 19th century, that does not mean that its use peaked during that time period. Many believe that Yellow Journalism and media go hand-in-hand. Are faulty headlines and quotes still active in today’s morning news?

Recently, Koby Johns, a spokesperson for the Fresno City Fire Department, made a visit to Kori Friesen’s US history classes to educate students on Yellow Journalism and its impacts on media today.

In the month of October, Fresno scored many headlines on nationally-acclaimed papers as a result of a fiery explosion in an apartment complex. Whether given attention or not, fires are a fairly regular occurrence in a city as large as Fresno. So what was it about this particular fire that grabbed the attention of so many hungry media giants? A palpable hero.

A woman walking by during the time of the fire whipped out her phone just in time to capture the whole scene on video, and then proceeded to send her film to local news stations. In the video, a woman who was fortunate enough to escape the flames cries for another less fortunate: her father. Her father is apparently still trapped inside the home, awaiting his heated fate.

While not always spun up with shady intentions or a hunger for profit, Yellow Journalism is like a match in a dry forest; one spark and a wildfire is ablaze. All too often, in this era of mass communication, we believe what we read without hesitation. So, before swallowing up your next news article and restating facts to your friends, take the time to double check your information. — Junior Chloe Mueller

Until an unnamed worker shows up on the scene and ‘risks his life’ to run into the burning building to save the endangered father. Seconds later, we see a man in an LA Dodgers cap running from the scene with a breathing body over his shoulder. In this moment we watch this regular worker turn into a Good Samaritan.

Not surprisingly, the media devoured that angle. Suddenly, Johns, as the representative for the Fresno Fire Department, was struck with a plethora of missed calls and eager texts. This video had gone viral in a matter of days. Headlines across the nation were giving selective praise to their new hero, who was officially identified as Tom Artiaga.

However, this story was spread far and wide before anyone even knew the facts. In fact, with some research and questioning, it became clear that, while Artiaga did act with great nobility, upon further investigation it was discovered that Artiaga never actually entered the burning home, as the video and initial media reports suggest. These two unidentified men were encouraged to stay quiet about their heroic deeds by their employer. News outlets decided to recognize Artiaga as the hero because he appears on the video. By watching the video to the end you will see the two men who also helped rescued the old man.

Even though the headlines don’t match up with witness accounts, Artiaga has earned his five minutes of fame. Not only is he regarded as a local hero, but he was shown off at the Jimmy Kimmel show. Click here to view the Jimmy Kimmel video.

While not always spun up with shady intentions or a hunger for profit, Yellow Journalism is like a match in a dry forest; one spark and a wildfire is ablaze. All too often, in this era of mass communication, we believe what we read without hesitation. So, before swallowing up your next news article and restating facts to your friends, take the time to double check your information. There may be more truth behind modern headlines.

Is Yellow Journalism still a factor of today’s media? Watch the news from different sources and perspectives, read into witness accounts. You decide.

The video below is from ABC30 news station:

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @_chloemueller.

For more opinions, read the Dec. 2 article, Ice rink festivities offer Christmas atmosphere.

By |2014-12-09T00:00:00-08:00December 9th, 2014|Commentary, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

La Historia de un Viajero

CastroGrandParComboSmCourtesy of Jordan Castro
As part of an ongoing assignment in the Spanish III class, students will write bilingual articles, utilizing the language skills they build over the course of a year.

The articles will be published every month, highlighting each students’ interests. The sixth installment is written by junior Jordan Castro.

La comunidad hispana en los Estados Unidos ha seguido en aumento en el correr de los anos. Los inmigrantes viajan a Estados Unidos para buscar una vida mejor. Algunas personas viajan en busca de un trabajo. Otros viajan para evitar la persecucion en sus propios paises. Mi familia tiene su propia historia.

Mis abuelos son de Tijuana, Mexico. Mi abuelo viajo con su esposa en busca de un mejor trabajo. Mi familia emigro a la Isla Angel. En Stockton, Rueben recibio un trabajo en los ferrocarriles y formo una familia. Su hijo, Carlos, es mi padre. Nosotros vivimos en Clovis, California.

Los hechos sobre los inmigrantes son muy interesante. Los inmigrantes son menos violan las leyes menos que otros y ayudan a la economia del pais. En 2012, un millon de inmigrantes solicitaron la ciudadania. Setenta por ciento de los inmigrantes son de Asia y America del Norte.

Es positivo para un inmigrante viajar a los Estados Unidos. Los inmigrantes tienen una reputacion de presencia ilegal, sin embargo, nuestro pais es un pais de inmigrantes. Pero, lamentablemente, la mayoria de los estadounidenses se enfocan en el impacto negativo. Ellos no ven el crecimiento, el orgullo y la prosperidad de nuestra nacion en su conjunto.

Yo soy la tercera generacion de mi familia a vivir en Estados Unidos. La vida como un inmigrante es especial.

Mi familia tiene estas supersticiones extranas, por ejemplo, yo no hago nada nuevo, los viernes. La gente tiende a pensar que tengo bronceado todo el ano. Cuando les digo que soy mexicano, que recibo respuestas diferentes. La primera pregunta es siempre la misma.

Es usted un inmigrante ilegal? No, yo naci en Fresno, y mi familia entre en America legalmente. A veces me burle de pero soy Jordan, no un estereotipo se puede clasificar. No cortar el cesped, y tampoco lo hace mi padre. Algunas personas incluso culpan a mi capacidad como atleta en mi genetica.

Trabaje para hacer lo que puedo hacer. A veces me imagino lo que mi abuelo vivio cuando viajo a Estados Unidos. Como la gente lo trata? Estos matices raciales mantener a los estadounidenses de ser estadounidenses. Hoy en dia, el individualismo es valorada, pero esto ha provocado que perdamos nuestro sentido de unidad. Esta nacion es un pais de inmigrantes. Por que discriminamos?

Immigrants today have less opportunity because of discrimination. These prejudices only separate us as a nation. Immigrants help the economy, and are less likely to commit crimes because of their fear of deportation. They come to America for the same reasons our founding fathers did: a second chance.

The problem lies within society?s emphasis on individualism, which I do believe is important. The error in this lies when we consider others inferior or less because they are different.

We as Americans draw attention to abnormalities. However, I would say this is an improvement in our history as a nation.

I myself have experienced what it is like to be anything other than a white American. Some people joke about my parents having different colors of skin. Other people say I can run and jump because my family practiced while crossing the border. While some of these jokes are unintentionally hurtful, their existence condones the pain we inflict on each other.

With science considered, or skin is a matter of pigment, not social class or a mark of inferiority. The only way I can change the discrimination I face is to draw attention to it, and teach those around me what it means to be a human, not a majority or a minority.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the Jan. 22 article, EDITORIAL: Partake in the equation for school spirit or read last month’s Spanish opinion article: Lo que aprendi de la clase de Espanol.

By |2014-01-23T00:00:00-08:00January 23rd, 2014|Commentary, Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Futbol en la cultura latina

RosikJuliannaKidSmCourtesy of Julianna Rosik
As part of an ongoing assignment in the Spanish III class, students will write bilingual articles, utilizing the language skills they build over the course of a year.

The articles will be published every month, highlighting each students’ interests. The fourth installment is written by sophomore Jullianna Rosik.

Soccer is a very important sport in the Hispanic culture. It brings friends together to cheer for their favorite teams. As a soccer player who often plays Spanish speaking teams, I receive the chance to view the Hispanic love of soccer in action.

One way the Hispanics show their passion for soccer in during the FIFA World Cup, which occurs every four years. Next summer, the World Cup will be played in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. I am very excited to watch all the talented teams play in continuous high intensity games. Also, I enjoy seeing the Hispanics in my community showing their team spirit and cheering for their favorite countries.

Futbol es un deporte muy importante en la cultura de hispana. Como futbol americano, futbol es un juego que junta a los amigos animar para sus equipos favoritos. Ese es el depote que se juega en el mundo.

Porque yo soy una jugadora de futbol, tengo experiencia primera mano de la importancia del futbol para los hispanos. Muchas veces cuando tengo un partido, el otro equipo coniste mayormente de jugadores que hablan espanol. Los jugadores y entrenadores son apasionados por el deporte.

Otra forma en la que los hispanos muestran se passion por el futbol es en la Copa del Mundo. La Copa del Mundo para los hispanos es lo mismo que El Super Bowl para americanos. Resalta el epiritu de equipo de todos las personas de todos los paises, y es mas popular en otros paises.

El proximo verano, la Copa del Mundo FIFA 2014 sera en Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Estoy muy emocionado por ver todos los partidos en la television porque a mi familia les gusta el futbol. Tambien, me gusta ver a los hispanos en Fresno aplaudir a sus equipos. Espero que el equipo americano gane.

A veces, me gustaria que el futbol fuera mas popular en los Estados Unidos. Aunque nuestro pais tiene una gran poblacion de Lationamericanos, el futbol todavia no es tan importante como en otro paises.

Estoy contenta que la cultura latina puede apreciar al futbol como un deporte. Eso implica mucho la habilidad, la dedicacion, y el esfuerzo. Tal vez un dia todo el mundo vera que el futbol, en mi opinion, es el mejor deporte.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more bilingual articles, read the Oct. 29 article, Espanol en el lugar de trabajo.

By |2013-11-25T00:00:00-08:00November 25th, 2013|Commentary, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Honesty leads to healing, emotional stability

NickColumnCourtesy of Nick Baladjanian
Anger, revenge, and bitterness deeply affect the outcome in Shakespeare’s tragedy play, Hamlet. The main character, Prince Hamlet, is weighed down by a cluttering of emotions after he learns his mother married his father’s potential killer.

Hamlet faces the ultimate consequence of death, due to his paranoia and twisted mindset. Not only did he end up dead, all but one of his loved ones suffered as well. Yet if Hamlet made different choices during this critical time, the outcome could have been positive, or at least less tragic.

I can understand how Hamlet felt because I have had mishaps throughout my life that have made me feel left out and hurt. I’ve had numerous experiences when plans were made and no one came through because something better came up for them and I was left in the dust; I felt used and betrayed just like Hamlet.

When facing these kinds of situations, I’ve learned that honesty usually turns out better than lying and sneaking around. I believe lying is only a temporary solution to a problem; usually it will backfire in the future, or my conscience may eat away at me for internalizing the deceit.

At the outset of the story, the ghost of Hamlet’s father triggered his first, and most powerful, emotional instinct. Instead of being rational, Hamlet behaved in a way that made his friends and family accuse him of becoming crazy. He never questioned whether the ghost’s words were the truth or not, or if it was even a demon or an angel. He behaved childishly by becoming impatient and not trying to think things through. If he had acted in the opposite manner, death would not have been as common; open and honest confrontation could have avoided even more hurt.

Hamlet even ignored advice from his best friend, Horatio, during the whole play when he was the only one who really cared for him.

Even though the situation in Hamlet is most likely irrelevant to this century, we all still deal with the same feelings. When we have strong emotions, our first reaction isn’t always the best one. Most of the time, our minds get flooded and can possibly become our own worst enemy.

As followers of Christ, we are commanded to be honest and not try to deceive God, others, or ourselves. Staying away from situations that could tempt or trick you can make it easier to not struggle with deceit or anger in the first place. Though it’s unrealistic to think we can avoid every one of these instances, prayer and intimate discussion with someone trustworthy can be an encouragement to do the right thing, instead of relying on emotional instability.

When I face these kinds of situations, my mom is the one person I feel I can turn to for emotional and physical support when I am facing a problem in my life. As I, and many others, head off to college, we need to make sure that we have all of these support systems intact, because we will continue to face many new and challenging situations as we enter this next chapter of our lives.

We will always have friends, but the challenge is to keep the true friends close and use them for support through rough times.

Nick will be attending Biola University next fall and is considering to major in business.

For more opinions, read the March 19 article, COLUMN: Senior resolutions.

By |2013-05-10T00:00:00-07:00May 10th, 2013|Commentary, Uncategorized|0 Comments

LETTER: Perseverance and forgiveness

LiaoFC file photo
Dear Editor:

I really enjoyed reading Jason Kim’s wonderful article, Kawashima recalls internment camp experience (VIDEO, PODCAST), published on Feb. 22, 2013.

Hope Kawashima is actually a relative of mine. She is my cousin’s grandmother so I was astonished to see that she is in a Fresno Christian article, telling about her childhood experiences!

I felt a little proud that Kawashima was willing to share about her imprisonment and the uncomfortable environment she was placed in due to the interment camps. I am glad that I don’t have to live in that kind of environment myself.

I agree with Jason Kim that it is unfair that innocent Japanese Americans had to be imprisoned just because vicious Japanese soldiers attacked Pearl Harbor. Many Japanese Americans learned perseverance and forgiveness as a result of living in the internment camps.

To be honest, I cannot think of any adjustments for this article. It is well written. I also want to let you and the writer know I appreciate the fact that you both took the time and trouble to write and edit this informative article.

I hope I will have time to read more of your articles on The Feather.

For more Letters to the Editor, read the Feb. 27 article, LETTER: Social media creates bullying.

By |2013-03-14T00:00:00-07:00March 14th, 2013|Commentary, Uncategorized|1 Comment

COMMENTARY: Shedding light on a personal honor

Krohn2Feather staff

Freshman Emmaline Michelle Krohn

Being African American can sometimes be a struggle, but in my opinion, I see it as a personal honor. I was born on May 23,1998, in Madera Community Hospital.

Immediately after that, I was put into foster care. A few months later, I started having home visits with the Krohn family. Home visits turned into weekend visits and they wanted me back. Then, on September 8, 1999, I became Emmaline Michelle Krohn.

It was so weird adapting to the atmosphere of an all white family. When I was little, I didn’t notice the color difference at all when I would play with older sister, Olivia. Getting older, however, made me start to realize that my family and I have many differences. When my mom did my sister’s hair each morning, she didn?t do mine.

My mom would take me to special places to get mine done because she didn’t know how to do it. My siblings learned how to swim really fast. Unfortunately, learning how to swim took me longer because African Americans are built with more muscles so it is harder for them to float.

When I grew old enough to realize that I was different, I would get so mad at God for creating me a different color. Then, when I was about ten or twelve, I saw the movie The Blind Side, about the football player Michael Oher; it changed my whole opinion. Watching that movie made me realize that the Michael Oher family treated him no different.

That soon made me realize that what President Gerald R. Ford said is true: we need to “Seize the opportunity to honor the too often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout history.”

I thought everyone didn’t like, or care about, African Americans. That’s when I realized I was the one making those conclusions, and that I should instead always try to honor them. When people make comments about me being “white washed” and not like other black people at my school, I ignore them because I know that I was made African American for a purpose.

For more columns, read the Feb. 14 article, Say no to ‘senioritis’.

By |2013-02-15T00:00:00-08:00February 15th, 2013|Commentary, Uncategorized|1 Comment