Armenian artist reflects on genocide, homeland culture

P1090795_FotorMichael Fu

Original Armenian sculptures and paintings are displayed at the new exhibit at the Fresno Art Museum. Including pieces from Arminee Shishmanian.

Fresno Art Museum displays Armenian Genocide art

Fresno Art Museum currently features an emotionally moving and historically important exhibition to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Named “1915-2015: Tradition, Legacy, Culture“, the exhibit reflects the the very first massacre in the 20th century.

All of the exhibit art pieces, including painting, sculptures and mixed art, are created by Armenian descendant artists.

Arminee Shishmanian, a local Armenian artist who participated in this exhibit, shared her family’s experience during and after the Genocide as well as her journey in the world of art.

On April 24, 1915 the Ottoman Empire gathered hundreds of Armenian community leaders and started the elimination targeted on the Armenian population inhabited in Turkey.

Between 1915 and 1923, three fourths of the Armenian population was wiped out of the world. The luckiest of all escaped from this massacre and emigrated to United States and several European countries. Many of them eventually settled down in Fresno due to the agricultural tradition they are familiar with.

Born in a family consist of Armenian culture, Shishmanian’s father formed a band when he came to the United States, which allowed her to witness the treasure culture even when the entire country is long lost. Shishmanian inherited the spirit and transform applied it into her art.

Sculpture of couple dancer facing each other is one of the bronze sculptures Shishmanian has made. The expression of the male dancer shows his deep devotion into the music and the hanging leg seems like it is still waiting to land on the ground. The female dancer has her dress floating in the air waiting to let it freely pulled by the gravity.

Arminee Shishmanian was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, the fourth city her family settled in. She eventually moved to Los Angeles with her mother and got married in Fresno.

Although Shishmanian did not experience the genocide in person, the tragedy befell on her parents when they were teenagers.

Shishmanian’s mom was 13 years old when Mehmed Talaat Pasha (the interior minister of Ottoman Empire at the time) ordered Turkish troops to remove all Arminians from the villages. Fortunately, she went to Constantinople (today’s Istanbul) for an Adenoidectomy right before the Turks started gathering Arminian in the villages and sending them on the death march to Syria. Most of her extended family members passed away during the death march due to deprivation of food and water as well as frequent rape, robbery and massacre.

I thought about it {relating her work to genocides}, but my personality and disposition does not want to dwell on sadness, because genocide is just a brutal thing. I actually was considering making a painting relating to the genocide, particularly to the removal of the people sent onto the death march. I have planned on this but it just wouldn’t come out. Most of the works I do has sort of an upbeat and positive angle. –Arminee Shishmanian, a local Armenian artist

Her father, ironically, was serving in the Turkish army at the time; while his family, along with some others in the area, gathered in the Armenian church and burned alive. When he found out the truth, he defected from the Turkish army and joined the French Foreign legion to fight the Turks.

After World War II was over, knowing zero English words, her father moved to the United States to attend Ohio State University.

As international students, we know how hard it is to come to America with limited English skills. But the courage he had that led him here is simply unimaginable.

Unlike most of the artist, Shishmanian have not been introduced to art until when she was 60 years old.

Guided by her neighbor and good friend, painter Marcia Freeman, Shishmanian developed the skill of watercolor. Later in 1995, dedicated to improve her skills, Shishmanian decided to join the art program at California State University, Fresno where she found another interest in clay.

Despite her tragic lost of the family, Shishmanian rarely reflect sadness or anger on her art work.
“I thought about it {relating her work to genocides}, but my personality and disposition does not want to dwell on sadness, because genocide is just a brutal thing,” Shishmanian said. “I actually was considering making a painting relating to the genocide, particularly to the removal of the people sent onto the death march. I have planned on this but it just wouldn’t come out. Most of the works I do has sort of an upbeat and positive angle.”

Shishmanian rarely have any preference to her pieces since she regard her pieces as many of her children. Each of them have a special spot in her heart. However, Shishmanian does have a favorite piece.

Using bright red, green and yellow in the art work, an oil painting of her four grandchildren was her favor piece in the house. With the bright colors, the painting delivers viewers warmth and happiness. The fact that children wearing jeans and long clothing suggest the cold temperature, but the bright sunshine came from the top right corner and the distinction of the shadow under the woods gives a warm feeling the viewers. Four children looking at the same direction over the edge brings the curiosity of the viewers along with them. Seems like something interesting is far in the background. A still picture brings the viewers back into their naive childhood.

Armenian Genocide is just a tip of an iceberg that represents the cruelty in human history. The suffer of Shishmanian’s Family and many others can not be changed. For people living in 21st Century, it is hard to imagine that these tragedies happened only a hundred years ago.

However, in the news we still see people committing terrible things to each other due to cultural and religious differences. Although we cannot change the past, our generation can definitely help to ensure that some certain parts of our history will not happen again.

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

For more opinions, read the Feb. 27 column, Thankful for Scholastic Journalism Week 2015.

By |2015-03-04T00:00:00-07:00March 4th, 2015|Community Events, Features, Opinions, Uncategorized|3 Comments

Holiday season highlights: Join the Discussion

IMG_4861 copyJarrod Markarian

As students file back into the halls for another semester of school, they discussed the most memorable moments of their winter vacation.

Winter vacation has come to a close for the FC campus. It is once again time for students to set their alarm clocks and throw their backpacks over their shoulders. While the three-week vacation was generally regarded as well-deserved, a new era of excitement begins as pupils kick off a new year and new semester.

While many students report staying at home for some much-needed free time and family bonding, a few took trips out of town. A common theme amongst students is a new found appreciation for family ties as they mature and realize the true importance of the holiday season.

The Feather encourages readers to submit any opinions or thoughts in the comments section, and to add their favorite holiday memories. Keep checking back for more stories, as the article will be updated. After reading be sure to take a glance at the comments section for even more winter recollection!

Taking a break
Ephasia Armstrong, ’16
Jan. 6, 2015

“Break was my opportunity to get away from the crowded hallways and stress of school. I loved sleeping in and being in peace for a few weeks.”

Preoccupied with sports
Courtney Messer, ’16
Jan. 6, 2015

“Since I’m always playing soccer, any vacation is a good time for me to focus on sports. I like that they give me something to do instead of laying around. I stay busy with tournaments and practice.”

Poojan Gopal, ’17
Jan. 6, 2016

“My family doesn’t do a lot over break, we usually just relax at home. It’s always nice to have a break from schoolwork and have extra time to hang out with friends, so I’d rather not go out of town on my vacations.”

Family Appreciation
Dawson Triplett, ’17
Jan. 6, 2015

“I got to see my family over this break. As you get older you start to look forward to the people in your home more than the presents under the tree, which makes holidays special.”

Final High School Christmas
Joseph Lange, ’15
Jan. 6, 2015

“I played video games and hung out with friends and family over break. It was my last Christmas vacation as a high-schooler, which was a weird feeling. I had to make the break count.”

Shaver Getaway
Olivia Messer, ’18
Jan. 6, 2015

“It was a typical Christmas. My family and I went up to Shaver Lake, too, which was a cool getaway. I also went to some soccer tournaments, which kept me connected with friends.”

For more features, read the Dec. 23 article, Central High School students connect with French pop star.

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

By |2015-01-06T00:00:00-07:00January 6th, 2015|Features, Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Almunus suffers ulcerative colitis, finds natural remedies

Spencer2Spencer Lee

Alumnas Spencer Lee speaks about his ailment and discovery of natural remedies.

Alumnus Spencer Lee, ’10, graduated from Biola University and now attends Fresno State in the physical therapy school.

College life was all fun and games until the spring of 2013. It was at that time, during the concluding months of my sophomore year at Biola, that I developed severe ulcerative colitis, a devastating autoimmune disease that attacks the large intestine.

My main side effects included a daily dose of intense abdominal cramps, extreme fatigue, 12-15 episodes of diarrhea and chronic lightheadedness. A colonoscopy found hundreds of bleeding ulcers in the large intestine, and I was left devastated.

Throughout the acute phase of my illness, my mom provided a huge support base to me and frantically searched for solutions by investigating online articles, books, magazines and talking to various healthcare professionals and other individuals with ulcerative colitis. We knew the disease affected the digestive system, thus it seemed obvious that I needed to change my diet.

Two different diet plans, both of which recommended high animal protein and low carbohydrate intake, failed to improve my health condition. Frustrated and in extreme pain, I visited my doctor and demanded that he provide stronger medication to suppress my uncontrolled colitis symptoms. He promptly recommended an immunoglobulin intravenous (IGIV) treatment known as Remicade, which is administered via an IV for 3 hours once every 2 months.

Remicade proved to be very effective, and allowed me to return to Biola for the fall 2013 semester. However, the drug came with side effects of its own, among which were a heavily suppressed immune system, lethargy, bloating, and increased appetite. In addition, long term exposure to Remicade drastically increases the risk of colon cancer.

I returned to school that fall, and began eating in the cafeteria again. My appetite was so stimulated by the medication that my regular breakfast would consist of 4-5 eggs with cheese, 2 large pieces of sourdough toast with butter and jam, 2 pieces of bacon, 2 sausage patties, a heap of hash browns, a side of ketchup, and a glass of orange juice.

After nearly a year on the medication, my condition was stable but still I did not feel optimal. In May 2013, I developed an allergic reaction to Remicade and began to break out in hives each time I received the treatment.

In order to combat the reaction, my doctor switched me over to a different medication, Humira. This drug worked similarly to Remicade, the main difference being I was able to administer it myself by injecting it into my thigh once every two weeks. On the downside, Humira was very expensive and quite painful as well.

One night, as I went to inject myself, I was especially nervous of the pain it would cause. I placed the shot on my thigh, but withdrew it out of fear. However, my hand was still on the trigger, and I accidentally shot it on the floor instead of into my leg.

At that moment, a life-changing realization occurred. It was as if a light bulb went off in my mind, and I immediately knew I had to get off this drug.

During the fall of 2014, my mom had been constantly emailing me articles and videos showing the healing effects of a whole foods plant-based diet, a way of eating that she had recently adopted. This diet entails a steady menu of whole, unrefined, and minimally processed foods such as fruit, vegetables, rice and other grains, beans, potatoes, nuts and seeds, oatmeal and tofu.

A whole food plant-based diet discourages the consumption of animal products of any kind including chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products. To top it all off, refined foods such as salt, oil, sugar, and bleached flour are not recommended on this diet.

Not being one to do things half-heartedly, I switched my diet completely, without a transition phase, on Nov. 1, 2013. What happened next astonished me.

Over the course of the next several months I began to feel better than ever as my symptoms all but disappeared. My body composition drastically changed for the better, my energy levels increased significantly, and I felt invigorated and renewed.

In April of this year, I began to feel so good that I called my doctor and told him I had decided to discontinue my medication. He was fiercely opposed to the idea and told me that I needed to stay on it for the rest of my life. However, I went off Humira anyway, which greatly improved my immune system, provided me with extra energy, saved me a large sum of money in medical expenses, and most importantly drastically reduced the long-term risk of colon cancer.

Since going off Humira in April, I am still symptom free and thriving. This past summer, I cycled 75 miles per week, rock climbed 3-4 times per week, lifted weights nearly every day, frequently went hiking, and played regular games of pickup basketball.

In addition, since going off the medication, I have climbed Mt. Whitney in the Inyo National Forest (which at 14,505? is the highest point in the continental United States), and also Half Dome (16 miles roundtrip) and El Capitan (17 miles roundtrip) in Yosemite National Park. This type of activity level is essentially unheard of for ulcerative colitis patients, many of whom struggle just to leave their homes.

If any doubters still remain as to the healing effects of a whole foods plant-based diet, consider this: ulcerative colitis is aggravated by stress due to the vast central nervous system innervation of the large intestine. Despite this, I am currently over a month into physical therapy school at Fresno State, and am carrying a 19-unit load, while still feeling great.

My illness and recovery inspired me to earn a certification in Plant-based Nutrition from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), and I desire to inspire and educate others who are struggling with ulcerative colitis and other debilitating diseases such as heart disease cancer, diabetes, and many other ailments. Chronic disease is preventable, and a better quality of life is just a diet-change away.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the Nov. 7 column, COLUMN: Past iniquities influence the future

By |2014-11-13T00:00:00-07:00November 13th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Past iniquities influence the future

ReesFeather file photo

Opinions editor, Rees Roggenstein, comments on the horror that Jaylen Fryberg caused.

To America’s great dismay, yet another school shooting has occurred. However, this time there is a disturbing difference in the culprit, compared to the typical school shooter. The gunman was Jaylen Fryberg, a freshman at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville Washingon. Fryberg entered the school cafeteria, pulled a gun out, and began firing, Oct. 24.

The day before he opened fire in the cafeteria, Fryberg texted his friends to meet and sit with him at the lunch tables. When they had all gathered together at a lunch table, Fryberg revealed himself and his .40-caliber Beretta handgun and then fired at least eight shots at his so-called friends.

As he was shooting, witnesses said he had a “cold” look in his eye, and that he “stared” at the individuals as he shot them. When his rampage was complete, Fryberg turned the gun on himself and ended his life.

The strange thing about this particular shooting is that this was not a seemingly disturbed individual. He was not a person suffering from extreme depression, not a victim of bullying and isolation but a student who appeared normal and healthy. And that is what makes this so bizarre, the lack of a significant motive for such horrific carnage.

Fryberg was an up and coming freshman at his high school. He was popular, being elected a prince during homecoming. He was athletic, playing an important role for his football team. Not only that, but he also had a family and a community that loved him dearly. His descent into violence shocked all parties.

A recent breakup with his long time girlfriend was pointed to as a cause for Fryberg’s massacre, but most people do not go shoot up a school to vent their romantic frustrations.

We cannot forget. If we do, everything around will fall apart. Everything we built, our forefathers built, our ancestors built will crumble. We cannot forget the darkness and light of humanity, we must never forget. — Rees Roggenstein

The implications of this shooting are vast. Perhaps the greatest amongst recent shootings. It shows that every person is capable of great evil. But people are also capable of good. Fryberg had forgotten that, but we, the people, cannot forget. We must remember the pain and the suffering so that we can learn from it. We must remember the love and the joy, so that we can give that back to the newer generations. Past iniquities influence the future.

We cannot forget. If we do, everything around will fall apart. Everything we built, our forefathers built, our ancestors built will crumble. We cannot forget the darkness and light of humanity, our capacity for great evil and great good. We must never forget.

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

For more columns, read the Oct. 27 article, COLUMN: Be a spirited participant at homecoming.

By |2014-11-07T00:00:00-07:00November 7th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Freshmen share ideas, first experience with homecoming

IMG_8267Jarrod Markarian

The freshmen class of 2018 is excited for their first experience with homecoming.

This year at FC, the freshman class anticipated their first homecoming as high school students, Oct. 31. The dress up days and the traditional activities are hoped to be one of the most interesting times at school. This is the 30th annual homecoming celebrated at FC and will go down as a day to remember.

Homecoming week consisted of various dress up days that each class was asked to participate in. Monday was “Merica Monday“, in which the students wore something patriotic. The next day was “Tacky Tourist Tuesday“, where all of the students dressed like a tacky tourist and hoped to portray their personality.

The following day was “Wake-Up Wednesday” in which all of the students showed up to school in their pajamas. Thursday was “Think-Alike Thursday“, on this day there were pairs of people wearing the same outfit, which required some planning within the student body. The week concluded with the theme “Fly Together Friday” where everyone represented their school by wearing spirit wear.

Aside from the dress up days, there were plenty of activities in homecoming week for students to enjoy. There was float building, where each class partook in creating a float that resembled the theme which the class chose. These floats were presented at the FC home football game on Friday.

Other factors of homecoming were the pageants that candidates participated in during the week. During the pageants they participated in, liveliness of games, dances and contests pervaded the events.

Lastly, the football game took place on Halloween night, a Friday, against Northwest Christian. Students were encouraged to attend this game to support the FC team and the different classes that have spent so much effort toward the floats.

As a new student, freshmen Mariana Fikse decided get involved in our school and enjoyed the FC activities which were provided.

“I think that we deserved to win an award for our float since we put a lot of hard work and effort into the float,” Fikse said. “Although I was not expecting anything extravagant for homecoming, I enjoyed it for sure.”

Fikse further explains why she enjoyed the homecoming events that went on during the week.

“I think it’s kind of fun to dress up everyday,” Fikse continued. “As a new student it’s probably been my favorite week so far. I’m really looking forward to homecoming because its a good way for the school to come together and participate as a whole in activities. In particular I am looking forward to pajama day because I get to feel relaxed during the day.”

Freshman Tyler Villines decided not to be apart of the homecoming floats due to football and his lack of artistic abilities.

?I couldn’t work on the float this year because football really consumed my time,” Villines said. “Plus I really didn?t want to be apart of the float building process because I?m not that good at anything that has to do with art and stuff like that.”

Villines was skeptical of the chance the freshmen have at winning the float competition.

“I didn’t really think we had a good chance of winning because the upperclassmen usually go all out,” Villines said. “I only participated in a few of the dress up days because I didn’t want to embarrass myself too bad.”

Freshman Celeste Counts tells how she is invested in homecoming this year by working on the float along with dressing up everyday.

“My best experience I had while building the float was when Erin [/fusion_builder_column]

[Wilson] and I made paper mache craters for our float,” Counts said. “One of the hardest things was not having a lot of people there because our grade doesn’t want to help out. We’re definitely better than previous freshman floats but it wasn’t enough for us to win.”

Freshman Melissa Tostado expresses how she feels about the contests this year and shares her thoughts about homecoming.

“I didn’t expect for us to win the float contest this year because freshmen don’t usually win, and there have been freshmen floats better than ours before,” Tostado said. “I loved my first homecoming and seeing all of the princesses in dresses along with the queens and kings representing their grades, while viewing all of the floats in all their creativeness.”

Freshman Erin Wilson shares what homecoming week is like, from the perspective of a princess candidate who attempts to be involved in everything.

“I think if the contest was just based on the float itself then we would probably be able to beat at least one of the other grades, but since it’s also based on people dressing up, and again none of the freshmen are dressing up, we lost our chance,” WIlson said. “Homecoming was pretty fun, except for the rain. I really loved that my mom got to escort me. The main reason that I dressed up for homecoming was because it’s really fun, and I enjoy contributing to my grade.”

Freshman Macy House expresses how she feels about this week.

“I didn?t work on the float,” House said. “I knew we wouldn’t win the float contest because the freshmen only had about nine people, at the most, working on the float, and freshmen never win anything. I went to the homecoming football game last year. I dressed up for homecoming week because its really cool and fun.”

Freshman Mattheau Casey displays why he does not care for homecoming week.

“I did not help build the float since I really do not care about it,” Casey said. “I didn’t think that the freshmen were going to win this year because I felt like the other classes probably put more work into it. I didn’t go to the homecoming game because I just don’t care. I dressed up for homecoming week because I feel like it’s a good way to support the school while still having fun.”

For more opinions, read the Oct. 28 article, Horror fest terrifies, leaves lasting impression.

By |2014-11-06T00:00:00-07:00November 6th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Mock election challenges student involvement in politics, familiarize with issues

The mini-ballot was originally created by Sectary of State, Debra Bowen and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson in order to inform the younger generation of the importance of politics in modern day society.Kylie Bell

The mini-ballot was originally created by Sectary of State, Debra Bowen and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson in order to inform the younger generation of the importance of politics in modern day society.

Students adopt political points of view

On October 28, students gathered in their Tuesday advisory sessions to vote in the My Vote California Student Mock Elections. The mock election mirrors California’s general election (Nov. 4) and is offered to public and private schools across the state.

The mini-ballot was originally created by Sectary of State, Debra Bowen and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson in order to inform the younger generation of the importance of politics in modern day society.

Leadership advisor Robert Foshee says that the election was designed to spark a genuine interest in political issues within the student body and introduce them to the voting process.

“One of the purposes was to get the students involved in who was running and the issues,” Foshee said. “The students will soon be in the age of voting and by getting them interested early, they are more likely to vote when they can vote. I hope that the students realized that the process isn?t too cumbersome and that they can see the results first hand. They can see that as a democracy their vote counts and can make an influence in their state, county or city.”

The impact and implications of each proposition were explained in detail by leadership members before students cast their ballots. Individuals were not required to vote but were highly encouraged to do so and rewarded with an ‘I voted’ sticker upon the completion of their ballots.

Leadership student Juliana Rosik, ?16 says that the election served to alert the student population of state-wide issues. Although she doubts the results will be accurate due to an observed lack of seriousness from the student body.

“It {Mock Election} makes people aware of the issues going on around them,” Rosik said. “Even though we?re not old enough to vote we should be starting to look into the political issues, especially in California. I think it was useful but I also think that the results will not be conclusive because a lot of people kind of blew it off and just checked no or yes for all of them. It?s interesting but I?m not sure the results will necessary reflect the general opinion.”

Sophomore Daniel Ayres decided to vote because the issues presented interested him. He is curious at the outcome of the election despite a lack of previous interest in general politics.

“I chose to vote because it looked fun and I wanted to see who won the election,” Aryes said. “I?m not really interested in politics at home. I don?t really spend that much time on them at all. I tried to understand all of the propositions and I think I voted for the ones I believe in.”

Results of the FC MyVote Mock California Elections:

Senior Jonathan Brushwood, noticed that some results did not follow that of the state election. He was surprised at these abnormalities and accredits them to a teen population not aware of national issues.

“I noticed that proposition 46 got our schools support and passed for us while in the community it did not,” Brushwood said. “Also prop 47 was not passed by the student body. However, in the community it was passed. Other than that our school followed the community?s pattern which is surprising. This is probably because most teens don?t pay attention to politicians and elections, which is sad.”

For other county and individual school results visit Myvote Student

For more features, read Nov. 4 article, Photojournalism advisor adjusts to new position, offers professional experience.

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

By |2014-11-06T00:00:00-07:00November 6th, 2014|Academics, Features, Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Hobb's Grove terrifies, leaves lasting impression

10429442_10152331395842648_7539407671527765335_nIllustration by Hobb's Grove

Hobb’s Grove is an annual Halloween event that locals attend for frightening entertainment.

Hobb’s Grove, a notorious haunted house and fright fest near Sanger managed live up to its reputation. Never having gone to Hobb’s Grove before, I walked in skeptical not fully expecting what was to come. Needless to say, the night was very satisfying.

Having arrived at around 6 p.m., the sun began to recede and dusk began to fall on the farm. The trees became twisted and indistinguishable, the grounds black and obscure, and then the fog settled. Dim lights and fire pits were lit to help illuminate the resting areas, providing an eerie and unsettling atmosphere. And that was just the start of the evening.

Attending with a group of friends, we decided to eat first before we lost our appetites during the “festivities”. Food was provided at a number of different stands. People could purchase hot dogs, cotton candy, burgers and soft drinks, along with all of the trademark carnival foods.

As we enjoyed our food a number of the staff approached us. All of them donned some kind of sick or demented costume, but underneath each of them were friendly individuals who just wanted to make small talk with customers. The phrase, “don?t judge a book by its cover,” came to mind when I thought back on some of the staff members working there.

After we finished our meal and it was dark enough, we decided to go on the Hayride. Apparently this attraction was the most popular, since there was about a 40-minute wait in the line. However, the ride itself made up for the wait.

The ride started out smooth enough, relaxing at first actually. But then they started to show themselves. They stayed far away at first, in the fields. They were just silhouettes, shadows in the dark of the night. But they got closer, and closer, and closer until they eventually reached the sides of the tractor. Zombies and ghost nurses, or very realistic costumes of zombies and ghost nurses, began to terrorize the people on board.

Not bad, I thought to myself. If only I knew that was just the start. The ride accelerated, moving faster than it did before. Soon we arrived at a slaughterhouse where fire sprayed from some kind of pipe and shot out into the night sky, revealing the masked figures and dangling bodies from the top of the rails. The sight of this evoked memories of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

After the ride finished we decided to rush over to The Forest. My friends said it was some kind of maze, but that was all they told me before we entered.

They lied of course. The Forest had one path, and there was no turning back. Ghouls, zombies, chainsaw wielding psychopaths, and worst of all, clowns, chased as us as we ran through this demented trail. To top it off, a hand grabbed my ankle from the ground. As I looked down a sickening looking woman convulsed on the ground, I promptly felt the urge to leave and bolted. However, a tree branch caught the back of my hoodie and against my urges to move forward, could not. In fact I had to walk back towards creepy demon possessed convulsing on the floor lady in order to unsnag myself.

After calming down, we went to the very last attraction: The House. Starting off, we are each given a pair of 3D glasses. Upon entering the house, a number of optical illusions and psychedelic feelings took over. Disorientation soon set in, and I was glad to take them off as we left the first section.

However, that was not the end of this horror house. Behind every corner was some creature, behind each shadow something lurking, every room sent bristles down my arms and shivers down my spine. The black room, one devoid of any light, was truly terrifying. No sight was awarded to those who entered, except for the shining reflection of a small knife in a white hand that walked closer and closer. Too someone who enjoys horror movie and a good scare, this one room legitimately frightened me.

Of course there is more to this place than a few jump-scares and creepy settings, but to go into any more detail would spoil the whole thing. All the rides and attractions at Hobb?s Grove are best enjoyed with an element of surprise, and I would not want to ruin all the fun.

Hobb’s Grove ends on Nov. 1, so make sure to visit while you can if you enjoy a good scare.

Make sure to visit their website at for ticket sales and opening hours. Tickets cost about $30 to visit all of the attractions.

Hobb’s Grove’s address is 14265 E Goodfellow Ave, Sanger, CA 93657.

Hobb’s Grove also hosts weddings and other events when halloween is out of season.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @RRoggenstein.

By |2014-10-28T00:00:00-07:00October 28th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Homecoming attitude begins with you

Homecoming is considered by many to be the single most action-packed week in the FC school year. There are dress up days everyday, three pageants, a blood drive, a rally, football game and four floats. There is no way to avoid the mayhem; so why not be a part of it?

In the past few years FC has seen a drop in school spirit. Teachers and the leadership class have tried their best to get students involved by offering extra credit if students attend sporting events and by planning various events to spark student interest. Despite the efforts of the faculty and leadership class, the decision still lies with the student body.

The sole purpose for homecoming week festivities is to build up for the Friday football game. Now, I know football is not everybody’s thing, but as cliche as this is going to sound, you only experience high school once.

Now, I know some people are dying to finally get out of high school and get to actually living life. However, take a look; this is life, and later on when your kids ask about your time in high school do you want to be able to earn some cool mom/dad points by showing them super embarrassing pictures and having stories to go along with them?

Whether we like it or not, the time is now to start making those timeless memories about how ridiculous you dressed up, how you beat your rival class in a screaming match at the rally or how you completely lost your voice at the football game even though you have absolutely no idea what’s going on.

Don’t waste your time watching other people have fun. Join in, influence other people, create the memories you deserve to leave high school with. Do not put all your effort into abstaining from this week because you are afraid of what people will think. If you have already made it clear you think it’s all a waste of time but you’re having second thoughts, then who cares. It’s okay to change your mind; those who mind do not matter, and those who matter do not mind.

This week’s dress up days go as follows:

Monday, Oct. 27: ‘Merica Monday
Tuesday, Oct. 28: Tacky Tourist Tuesday
Wednesday, Oct. 29: Waking up Wednesday
Thursday, Oct. 30: Think A-like Thursday
Friday, Oct. 31: Fly Together Friday (spirit wear)

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @gaby_siqueiros.

For more opinions, read the Oct. 24, COLUMN: Invitation to homecoming.

By |2014-10-27T00:00:00-07:00October 27th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Societal pressures continue to influence personal decisions

We live in a world which prioritizes and promotes self-glorification. People are seemingly active in pointing this out, yet society is quite hesitant to act upon it. More and more, it seems that there is a clear choice to be made between winning and doing the right thing.

In playing basketball, I have idolized many professional players throughout my life. From an early age, I have tried to model my own game after my favorite player – Kobe Bryant. Bryant is widely considered to be one of the best players of the 21st century, racking up five NBA Championships, over a dozen All-NBA mentions, and MVP titles for all-star games, NBA Finals, and for complete seasons. He averages over 25 points per game for his career.

Now why am I telling you this? Because through all this success, he averaged below 5 assists per game. Conversely, John Stockton, in his 19 years of play, averaged nearly 11 assists per game. Though selected to the all-star team roughly every other year of his career, he was never rewarded with a league MVP honor, nor won an NBA championship.

Now, my true colors as a basketball fan are becoming all too apparent, so I will get back to my main point. Bryant lives his life being called selfish, ignorant of teammates, and often a player who acts in the gray area of the rules. With that said, he has always been a winner. Winning follows him like a disease.

Stockton is widely considered to be the best to ever play his position (point guard), yet still did not attain the holy grail of basketball players (an NBA championship). So did Kobe’s selfish play and defiance for equal scoring opportunities get outweighed by his victories? Was Stockton’s “team-first” mentality wasted on 19 underwhelming seasons?

This of course is all just a metaphor, but it has been on my mind as of late. As Christians, we are called to act in a way pleasing to God on a daily basis; stewardship is the backbone of our daily routine.

In my life, I often let my pride and desire to win outlast my morals, and I have seen negative outcomes as a direct result.

Through this ever-present battle, I have been constantly directed in my faith to Mark 8:36: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”

At the end of the day, it becomes clear to me that the old adage of “when much is given, much is expected” should be taken as seriously as it can be. Power can be misused, and I believe that God has gifted us all with our own respective powers and strengths.

So with seven months of school left, I look to not only make a change in my life, but I also encourage readers to understand that putting others ahead of personal gain results in a payoff much more lasting than anything this world can provide.

Follow the Feather via Twitter: @thefeather. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @Grossman_Chris.

For more opinions, read the Oct. 17 article, College Corner: More bang for your buck.

By |2014-10-21T00:00:00-07:00October 21st, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|1 Comment

EDITORIAL: Overcoming everyday excuses

As the first quarter of the school year wraps up, campus students begin to stress and doubt about the various responsibilities each individual has stacked up. A major part of student life turns into wondering if there is enough time in the day to finish their pile of tasks.

With scares such as Ebola and the never ending drought taking over the news, things may seem quite depressing in the world. Some students have grown apathetic towards these news events, but the problem is that apathy seeps into other parts of their lives. Namely, procrastination.

Procrastination is a common theme laced into the lives of students, and just about everyone else in the world. This excuse is founded in fear: fear that we are not good enough and fear of failure. However, this is not the answer to our problems.

Cutting out procrastination is easier said than done. For many, It is difficult to face these responsibilities head on and to take leadership.

Embarrassment is a common factor for all teens. Our image is everything and failure is not an option. This ever-revolving cycle is an unhealthy reflection of our shaky self-esteem.

If students are unwilling to make sacrifices for their campus and the lives of others, it does not simply affect them, but will later turn to negatively affect everyone.

Sometimes it is hard to admit that we cannot do everything on our own. That does not mean that we should give up on everything. It can be hard to practice tough love on ourselves, but in some situations it is necessary.

The first step to making positive changes is letting go of our apathy. People all around are monitoring and figuring out how you act and what role you play on your campus. If all we do is complain each and every day, nothing will ever get done.

It is time to go, to help out. If you want to receive, then you must give. You cannot expect something that you do not give in return.

It works like this: If you do not give enthusiasm, then you do not get enthusiasm. We are capable, but we often times let ourselves be defined by our excuses. If no credit is given, then it is as if no work was made.

Homecoming is coming up and many students are less than likely to help with activities. Our percentages of students involved in Homecoming may be higher than nearby schools due to our small population, but that means that individuals are so much more valuable to campus culture.

Instead of hearing people complaining about our school, make a difference so that others won’t. Don’t allow other depressing themes get in the way we view our lives. If they make an impact on you, allow it to be a positive one.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the Oct. 14 column, COLUMN: Ebola virus continues to infect.

By |2014-10-15T00:00:00-07:00October 15th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Ebola virus continues to infect

ReesJeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

Rees Roggenstein, opinions editor, warns of potential Ebola outbreak in the United States.

Ebola, once a far away concern to the US and her citizens has finally managed to breach the walls of the nation and infect the citizens. Thomas Eric Duncan, or “Patient Zero” was the first person to bring the virus to the States. Though the local Dallas hospital attempted to save his life, he eventually succumbed to the disease. Not before he infected a nurse that attended to him, becoming the first case of Ebola being transmitted and contracted in America.

Recent media coverage of the potential outbreak has been criticized for exasperating the situation, however, that simply is not the case. Though there is only one live patient for the disease in the States, the potential devastation that they pose is massive.

Ebola has an incubation period of 2 to 21 days, hosts may be infected and exhibit no symptoms during this time. The virus itself is highly infectious, being able to transmit itself through bodily fluids such as: blood, saliva and mucus. Cross species contamination is possible, meaning animals can transfer the disease to humans, visa versa. Even corpses remain infected for a number of days. The mortality rate for Ebola is above 50% without treatment, about 25% with top of the line treatment.

Though this disease poses an immediate threat to West African countries, it also poses a potential danger to first world nations if not handled correctly. Current US policy has not upheld a satisfactory containment of the disease.

Recent media coverage of the potential outbreak has been criticized for exasperating the situation, however, that simply is not the case. Though there is only one live patient for the disease in the States, the potential devastation that they pose is massive. –Rees Roggenstein

Boarders have not been closed and countries infected with the Ebola virus are still allowed to leave their country boarders and fly on commercial airlines. Proper quarantine procedures have not been upheld. This policy is not sustainable.

There are two ways to eradicate a disease. One, find a cure for the disease and administer the cure to all infected organisms. Two, quarantine all infected organisms until the virus kills all of its hosts.

Because Ebola has an incubation period of 2 to 21 days, an infected person could leave a country without exhibiting any symptoms, then spread the disease even further. The safest way to deal with Ebola is to shutdown transportation to all infected nations, and all infected citizens should be moved to an isolated area within each country and monitored. “Better safe than sorry” is a welcomed policy in regards to a potential outbreak.

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

For more opinions, read the Oct. 6 article, COLUMN: Disinterest in current events is impacting a generation

By |2014-10-14T00:00:00-07:00October 14th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: California drought continues its intensity

IMG_6845cJeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

Mueller discusses the dangers of the drought and urges readers to turn from apathy and get involved in conservation.

A topic nearly every Californian has heard about, but many shrug off without much thought, is the infamous drought. Often times, the drought gets brought up in small talk and is viewed as something to be taken lightly. It seems as if those who don’t believe they are ‘directly’ affected by this natural crisis are hardly concerned. However, if you take a look in the direction that California is headed, you will see that nearly no one will be left unaffected.

California has officially entered into one of the worst droughts in American history. For the last four consecutive years, our nation has been desperately parched. While California, as the ‘bread basket of America’, is being hit hardest by this water loss, the drought is spreading it’s dry grasp all around the U.S.

The reason that so many of us have a difficult time coming to terms with the drought, is because we have not directly suffered consequences. In majority of our own homes, we constantly have full access to water.

However, not all are so fortunate. Sure, some are being asked to water their lawns less frequently and take shorter showers, but they are actually receiving the upper end of drought consequences.

Tulare County is an area of California that is being hit the hardest, with many summer days reaching a triple-digit temperature. Many citizens in Tulare County have gone months without running water in their homes, and have no idea when their water will start up again.

These aren’t small-scale occurrences, either. The number of homes without running water is nearly 1,000 in Tulare County alone. Fire departments are beginning to supply water to homes because there is no other access.

Not only are hundreds of civilians lacking water, but also a surplus of farmers. California is a state that is known to be heavily reliant on agriculture for food and economy, so this drought is, to say the least, devastating many Californian farmers and industries.

Finally, California is beginning to take measures to slow down the rapid loss of water. Some cities are fining citizens for wasting water, and some are limiting water use in homes. While there is no state-wide law limiting water usage as of now, Californians cut their water usage by over 11% during August.

We’ve heard it all a thousand times: cut your shower time, don’t leave the sink running when you’re not using it, etc. But often times, we let these messages go over our heads, simply because we have heard them so often and no longer give them a second thought. Now, more than ever, is the time to put water conservation into action.

While the concept of losing access to water is foreign to many of us, and seems highly improbable, we must take the facts into consideration. Because there has been very little rainfall over the past years, majority of our water supply is now coming from groundwater, which is running out at a rapid pace. So, before you water your lawn everyday, consider the consequences.

For more information and an opportunity to get involved, visit Recharge Fresno’s website.

Monday, Oct. 13, Recharge Fresno will be hosting an event at Oraze Elementary School from 6-8 p.m. to propose solutions to the drought. Keep tabs on the proceedings by following #RechargeFresno on Twitter or through the @CityofFresno Twitter account.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @_chloealxa.

For more opinions, read the Oct. 6 column, COLUMN: Disinterest in current events is impacting a generation.

By |2014-10-10T00:00:00-07:00October 10th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|1 Comment

COLUMN: Disinterest in current events is impacting a generation

ReesFeather file photo

Opinions editor, Rees Roggenstein, reflects on the current generations growing apathy towards news and current events.

What happens when a person takes something for granted? They lose it. What happens when they take their friends, family, and loved ones for granted? Those relationships begin to fail. Becoming apathetic towards gifts usually results in losing them.

What about a person’s rights and liberties? Can these things be lost as well? Yes, if the people are unwilling to stand up for their beliefs and fight for what they have they eventually lose it. Despite knowing this, America’s youth have grown disinterested towards news and their first amendment rights.

Disinterest is insidious, but its presence in our society becomes more apparent with each passing day. The younger generations no longer seem to know and no longer seem to care about the affairs of this world. Already they are becoming more and more uninformed, and transforming into empty vessels consumed with their own little worlds, blissfully unaware of their surroundings.

Research shows that at least a third of young adults “do not have news in their lives”. The death of printed newspaper, a lack of family conversation during meals, and a general lack of education have all been pointed to as possible causes for these statistics. Regardless of the why, the implications are dire.

In order for a modern democracy to operate it requires informed citizens. Democratic society cannot exist if people vote blindly, that foolishness creates disorder and anarchy. If the youth continue to grow up not caring about the news, or their rights, we end up creating a nation of idiots, a nation that will fall.

Disinterest is insidious, but its presence in our society becomes more apparent with each passing day. The younger generations no longer seem to know and no longer seem to care about the affairs of this world. Already they are becoming more and more uninformed, and transforming into empty vessels consumed with their own little worlds, blissfully unaware of their surroundings. –Rees Roggenstein

The only way to remedy this growing crisis is to inform the people at younger ages and encourage them to form their own thoughts. Parents should begin talking to their children about the news and ask the kids for their opinions, and teachers should enlighten students to current news events.

Already strides are being made to educate the masses on the importance of news and information. News Engagement day stands as a testament to this endeavor, but more can be done to inform the people.

Make sure to support journalists and their passion to report the news. Do not take them or their work for granted, because without them modern society could fall apart.

For more information on National News Engagement Day, check out Brian William’s Video and KABC Talk Radio.

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

For more opinions, read the Sept. 27 article, Novice staffers share journalistic expectations

By |2014-10-06T00:00:00-07:00October 6th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Community involvement broadens horizons

ReesFeather file photo

Opinions editor, Rees Roggenstein, urges students and local community to become more involved and grow together.

How does a school grow? How does it improve? Where should it even begin? The answer lies in the students and the student body itself. They serve as the foundation of the school, the bedrock, without them it falls apart.

Some might say a proper administration takes priority, or massive financial backing, or intelligent staff and teachers. Though these things are important and incredible assets to have, they still cannot create the change a unified and determined student body can.

Palo Alto High School and their online daily newspaper, The Paly Voice, demonstrate that the students are the source of change in their school and community. The journalism program at Palo Alto recently received millions of  dollars to build a digital media center on their campus. This was brought about by the undeniable excellence of their students, their adviser and a community measure that supported the vision.

Through the students’ ability and excellence they were able to raise enough community funds (school bond or otherwise) to finance their new building. Though they raised the funds through the community, that would have been an impossible endeavor without the students showing them their passion.

The Paly Voice provides an outlet for the school and community and local areas to become news headlines everywhere. It only takes one part of a community to flourish, and this in turn helps increase the moral and pride for the rest of the city. However, The Paly’s level of fame and excellence can be achieved by other students and other programs, as long as they put forward the necessary excellence.

For instance, The Feather itself has won national awards; multiple CSPA Gold Crowns and Pacemakers line the walls of the tiny lab. The Feather created an amazing legacy, a legacy that becomes increasingly harder to surpass each year. And though the staff did not win the NSPA Pacemaker last year, staffers still have the same potential as those who passionately worked before them.

I urge The Feather, it’s staff and the campus community to remember its legacy and dig into the untapped potential it possesses. Let’s join together, rally our community to back our school as we compete in academics, sports, music and the arts, and engage with the Feather in campus news. The Feather is back, but we need your help to address issues, cover campus and community activities and support each other. Please consider joining us in this worthy endeavor to tell our story of Fresno Christian in the community.

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

By |2014-10-03T00:00:00-07:00October 3rd, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Staffers analyze string of attacks from terrorist group, ISIS

IMG_1888rFeather file photo

Staffers Kevin Garcha (left) and Rees Roggenstein (right) comment on the string of attacks perpetrated by ISIS and the values of freedom of speech.

Yet another radical terrorist group has grown exponentially in the Muslim world. ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant has risen to prominence in Syria and Baghdad with it’s extreme and radical ideology.

ISIS has been responsible for a number of public executions, religious killings and international attacks. One of their most notable killings has been the executions of three journalists, Mr. James Foley, Mr. Steven Sotloff and Mr. David Haines.

ISIS has shown that they do not value human life, and exhibit violent actions against innocent people. The killing of any journalist is an attack on the value of life and freedom of speech.

But are the extreme radical terrorists the only ones attacking the right to free speech? The truth is that the freedom of speech is already under attack in the ‘free’ world.

There were reporters fired for exposing the U.S. milk contamination at Monsanto, which is a multinational agricultural biotechnological company. It is the leading producer of genetically engineered seed for agriculture. Monsanto uses growth hormones that alter their products genetically.

The reason for all the discrimination towards Monsanto is that they produce GMO’S, otherwise known as genetically modified organisms. Meaning it’s genetic insides have been transformed. This mutation can further the process of the organisms molecules, thus creating cancer.

Monsanto harms anything around it in it’s quest of greed. They have done multiple tests on rats and 70% of the rats have died prematurely when fed GMO’S. Many of the rats died of enormous tumors grown on the rats.

Two reporters Steve Wilson and Jane Akre found out that the multibillion dollar company Monsanto used such types of hormones. The two reporters uncovered the truth to the world of the cancer infected hormone and were immediately fired.

Why were they fired? The two reporters were uncovering a cancer causing genetic mutation, which was for the health of all people. Defending them from a deadly virus which is contained in many food substances.

Covering up the truth was the reason for the reporters being fired. Monsanto is worth billions of dollars, so if an obstacle is created in Monsanto’s way, they throw money at it, and the problem is solved. The attack on freedom of speech does not happen just in foreign countries, but also in home soil.

Before we fix what goes on in the Middle-East, Europe and Russia. We need to fix our own problems here in America.

Follow the Feather via Twitter: @thefeather. These writers can be reached via Twitter: @RRoggenstein and @GarchaKevin8

For more opinions, read the Sept. 19 article, Starting the school year off right.

By |2014-09-30T00:00:00-07:00September 30th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

EDITORIAL: Honoring the departed, dealing with loss

Loss2Courtesy of Mr. Gilmore's wife.

The Feather Editorial board touch on the subject of coping with the death of loved ones after the passing of community member and coach Ericlee Gilmore.

Throughout life, all people taste that sour flavor of loss in some way or another. This loss often leaves a gaping hole, a void so deep that it seems nothing could possibly fill the what was left there. And sometimes, that void, that hole, can never be filled.

The loss of things and possessions can be coped with easily, but what about relationships? What of our friends, our family, and our loved ones? These people cannot be replaced with someone else; their place cannot be filled with another. They touch and shape our lives in their own unique way, and the hole they leave when they are gone sometimes seems too great to live with.

How then do we deal with loss? Is there a secret remedy to cure it? Is there a way we can make it stop? No, as long as we love we will always feel loss. Should we then get rid of love to make the hurt stop? No, without love there is no life and nothing worth living for.

“Better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all.” That old cliche rings some truth in its words. What quality of life would we, as human beings, live without love? Though the pain of loss seems too great to deal with, that pain eventually subsides. And when it does, the memory of the person becomes a sweet delight. Those bitter tears that roll down our cheeks eventually become tears of joy because the lost become a cherished memory. Honoring the departed starts as a heavy cross to bear, but the pain does mold into such tender sweetness.

The families and students at FC lost a good friend recently. Mr. Gilmore left a hole in the hearts of those he met, and he is sorely missed. Though his passing is a bitter pill to swallow, let us take time to remember all he had done for us. Let us grieve, but let us also cherish the memory of Mr. Ericlee Gilmore.

As we go through time of loss, we need to remember that coping with grief is a process that must be faced. Whether you’re retired or just starting out in high school — human beings from all walks of life can relate to the ways we react during grief.

“Better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all.” That old cliche rings some truth in its words. What quality of life would we, as human beings, live without love? Though the pain of loss seems too great to deal with, that pain eventually subsides. And when it does, the memory of the person becomes a sweet delight. Those bitter tears that roll down our cheeks eventually become tears of joy because the lost become a cherished memory. –Rees Roggenstein

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, psychiatrist during the 1900’s, introduced the 5 stages of grief that all humans go through in order to cope with loss.

We start to isolate ourselves and deny that the situation even happened at all. Then, whether rational or not, our mind begins to feel anger. This anger can be directed towards a number of things, depending on the situation.

The third stage, bargaining, is when the person begins to hope that somehow they can undo the event or the grief. This stage often involves bargaining with one’s self in hopes of earning a longer, happier life.

The next stage, which many are familiar with, is depression. Throughout depression, the griever begins to realize the certainty of loss and question the purpose of life. Often times, living seems like a pointless process to the depressed.

The final, most satisfying stage, is acceptance. This is the point where the individual comes to terms with loss. They realize their mortality, and that loss is a healthy part of life. This stage usually stabilizes the grieving, and brings them to a calm phase.

Though there is no remedy, no miracle cure for loss, there is a way to accept it. Though the hole can never be filled, it can be learned to live with. The answer is time. With time, that once painful scar becomes a beautiful reminder of the love shared with that person.

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

For more opinions, read the Sept. 19 article, Starting the school year off right.

By |2014-09-25T00:00:00-07:00September 25th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Starting the school year off right

ChrissyFeather file photo

Student Body President, Chris Grossman, shares his thoughts on the legacy of his class and his expectations of the senior class.

Student Body President Christopher Grossman, will provide monthly installments of his thoughts on student life.

It’s another fresh year. We all know that with a new year comes an onslaught of cliches and efforts that will ultimately fall short of their goals. A little bleak? I suppose, but there’s both nothing and everything to live up to when elected Student Body President.

Throughout my seven years of elementary school, I looked at high schoolers with a mythical awe. I had seen Star Wars; they were among the likes of those supernatural beings. Their freedoms, their responsibilities, and most of all, their ability to define themselves continually blew me away as I thought about everything I would do once I walked those same halls.

Now, I am a senior. Let me tell you, it doesn’t feel like I thought it would. Everything is covered by a blanket of exhaustion, and I know I speak for my classmates when I say we can already see graduation around the corner.

But I would also be speaking for the Class of 2015 when I say that we are not ready to be done at FC. Our legacy will not end when we walk out the door; our influence will not be restrained to the confines of the past.

We fully plan on blowing away all precedents, smashing all expectations and truly making sure that our senior year is a special year for better reason than our finishing the school year.

During senior retreat, we decided that the Class of 2015 had a chip on its shoulder. Though growing up, our social activity would tend to disrupt classroom activity, we now see that we’ve been growing our greatest weapon: influence.

Jay Cross, a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School, who is CEO of eLearning Forum, has published a paper claiming that 80% of learning is “informal” or “social.” Upon hearing this, my thoughts on my class changed; social skills are our speciality.

In life, some of our biggest moments come from encounters from those we least expect to be changed by. The things that change us the most are the things we never see coming, and that is a concept I have taken to heart.

The idea that any single moment could make or break somebody’s day has completely changed the way I walk the halls of FC. Senior year isn’t a countdown until graduation, it’s a chance to wake up every day knowing you could potentially change somebody’s life forever.

With that being said, I encourage everybody to take a moment and reflect on a defining moment in your own life. Though we may not have a specific breaking point at which we look back and realize “That was when everything changed,” we will be able to piece together the important parts.

I speak for the senior class, as I do not yet know the heart of the entire student body as well as I would like. Do not wait for senior year to take advantage of the little things. Students should take these four years to see how lives change.

Take initiative, be proactive. Underclassmen, take advantage of every moment. Those bright eyed Witters’ Critters have their sights set on you as well as I; maintain an honorable precedent.

Through these next months, perhaps we can see a change at FC that is able to spread through the hearts and lives of all parties connected to the school which I have lived my life at for the last 12 years. I realize that I only have one year on campus left, but that doesn’t mean FC won’t always be my home.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @Grossman_Chris.

For more opinions, read Sept. 17 article, International student visits native country, encounters cultural struggles.

By |2014-09-19T00:00:00-07:00September 19th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

International student visits native country, feels cultural issues

tobybeijingpicToby Pan

Senior Toby Pan explains the cultural divisions he experienced during his trip to Beijing.

My name is Toby [/fusion_builder_column]

[Mojun] Pan, and I was born in Beijing, China where I spent the first 17 years of my life. I began attending Fresno Christian last year. After spending my first year of living in the U.S, I went back to Beijing this past summer and had a great time with my family and my friends.

I enjoyed all kinds of Chinese food and had fun with some “Chinese” forms of entertainment such as singing in KTV (karaoke), chatting with my grandparents in a teahouse inside a park and playing the game of Mahjong with my family.

However, I also had a very bizarre experience that I would like to call “reverse-culture shock”. My experience in Fresno allowed me to look at my native culture from a completely different perspective. I experienced some cultural issues with my own native land.

The first problem I encountered was, How should I identify myself in a conversation about China? For example, when my friends and I are talking about a Chinese tradition that I disagree with, I usually have trouble choosing the pronouns referring to the Chinese.

“We” or “They”?

Apparently, as a Chinese, I should use the word “we” to refer to Chinese people; but since I disagree with most of the Chinese people on certain issues, the pronoun “they” can help me clarify my stand point. However, on the other hand, the pronoun “we” is not semantically correct to use while the word “they” delivers a message that I am detaching my home country.

I believe that the problem of properly identifying themselves was, is and will continue to be the biggest issue amongst new immigrants (and long-period visitors).

However, I have noticed that Chinese and American public treat religion in a somewhat similar way.

Although Buddhism does not have a lot of true followers in China, it is still one of the most influential religions in the mainland China. Today’s Buddhism, to China, is like Christianity in America. It became more of a culture to the public instead of a serious belief. People go to religious venues regularly according to the tradition.

For example, the first day of the Chinese New Year people in Beijing (I do not know much about the tradition in other cities) usually get up really early and go to the Buddhist temple to light a few sticks of incenses and pray for a lucky year, including those who may be downright atheists.

The biggest and most interesting struggle I encountered back home was actually a language barrier. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it is true.

In spite of my habit of using English words in certain circumstances, some exclusive American concepts still caused some confusion when talking to my family and friends. In fact, my experience was a perfect demonstration of the point Sartre depicted in his works. Languages are tools to refer meanings, yet not every culture behind the language understands the meaning that other cultures are trying to explain.

For example there are a lot of words that only make sense in American English, such as “Homecoming”, “rotini”, “serendipity” and so on.

Junior Olivia Tandadjaja, who is a second year international student from Indonesia, also expresses the same feeling.

“Sometimes I involuntarily use English in my Indonesian sentences,” Tandadjaja said. “My friends think I am trying to act all-American, which I’m not. I mean I can speak both of the languages pretty well, but I just mix up all the words sometimes.”

Although that summer was somewhat challenging to me, the understanding of cultural was precious to me.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @MojunPan.

For more opinions, read the Sept. 16 article, Fu reflects on education controversies in Taiwan

By |2014-09-17T00:00:00-07:00September 17th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Fu reflects on education controversies in Taiwan (PODCAST)

IMG_6852cJeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

Fu reflects on the education in Taiwan

Located next to China, Japan, Korea and Philippine, Taiwan is a tiny melting pot in Asia. The education system is much more complicated in Taiwan than here is in the United States. As children born in Asian culture, they are required by their parents to have many talents. Playing piano, playing violin, drawing, learning English, and doing abacus (math) are nothing special: just what students ought to be able to do.

As students grow older, more and more homework is put onto their shoulders, Many students began to cram schoolwork in the 7th grade. Being able to get a high score becomes the only purpose of a majority of students’ lives. Going home late is a normal part of many junior high school students’ lives. Going to bed by 11 o’clock or later is normal, between ten and 11 is great, and before nine o’clock is almost impossible.

There are only two periods of P.E. classes in one week, but pupils hardly participate in them. Students wonder why they need P.E. class when only two students in the class are swimming and the rest are sitting on the benches.

9th grade is the most important year for junior high students. Students study so hard that school seems like a graveyard after the sunset. As the exam comes closer, massive amount of tests and handouts are given out by teachers and schoolwork cram can stack up higher than five feet.

In 2010, my sister Jane Fu took the last year test of the “The Basic Competence Test for Junior High School Students” in Taiwan. The following year the education system officials realized that there were too many mistakes in the scoring. The government decided to cancel the new test before the summer vacation was over. Recently, there was a student who scored nothing, but was accepted into the top three high schools in Taiwan.

(PODCAST) Student life in Taiwan Sept. 17–


After students finish high school, another challenge is waiting for them. High admission rate almost makes college worthless. In 2008, Taiwan made the admission rate 97.1%, which allowed students to go to the college so easily that scoring 7.69 points was sufficient to go to college in Taiwan.

As the result, young people with master degrees or even doctorate degrees could not find a job. News shows up day after day saying that doctors aren’t making money at the hospital of their professions, but instead from making food at the night market.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @fmichael_0501.

For more features, read the Sept. 11 article, New coach brings excitement, energy to PE.

By |2014-09-16T00:00:00-07:00September 16th, 2014|Academics, Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Campus grows through Christ, fellowship

brownandeffanbaucherFeather file photo

Superintendent Jeremy Brown explains his purpose for coming to Fresno Christian.

For the last five weeks, I have been trying to figure out who “we” are. I have witnessed great acts of love, kindness, devotion and dedication from the staff and students of Fresno Christian (FC).

Everyday I see a collection of students that represent the church of today; students that are committed to achieving great things. I am continually amazed at the environment that we have at FC.

However, that does not answer my question of who “we” are. Putting the ingredients for a cake in a bowl doesn’t make it a cake. It takes the interaction of the ingredients, time, interaction of the ingredients and the right environment (425 degrees) for it to become a cake.

My job at FC is to support the staff in providing an excellent Christ-centered education for the over 460 students at FC. Amy Deffenbacher, Dean of Students, and I both have a calling. This calling is not to make FC what we want, but to create the environment for our student body and community to fulfill God’s plan for us.

I could fill The Feather with 1,000s of words that would describe what I would like to do and then create a 15-point plan to do so. That is not God’s plan; he created all of us uniquely with quirks, personalities, strengths, weaknesses, passions and desires.

God has brought each of us through good times, bad times, times of mourning, times of loss, times of change and times of hope. We are all here at this time and it isn’t by chance.

Every student, staff and faculty at FC is uniquely created by God. What brings us together is our purpose. I invite our FC community to join Deffenbacher and I in seeking out what is God’s purpose for FC in this season. Your season. I see you walking onto campus and you are a catalyst of change in our school, our churches, our community, our city and our world. I am humbled to be a part of it.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the Sept. 10 article, Junior exploits journalism connections, earns Ivy league education.

By |2014-09-12T00:00:00-07:00September 12th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Paris architecture captivates junior's wanderlust

IMG_7235Courtesy Olivia Quebe

Six campus students and Feather adviser Greg Stobbe traveled to Paris during the summer of 2014 on a ‘just for fun trip.’

This past summer, I traveled with Greg Stobbe and five other students from FC to the iconic destination of Paris, France. We stayed there for a total of nine days and resided at the Hotel des Arenes.

As we stepped off our 11-hour flight, it did not hit us that we landed in a foreign country. Besides hearing the new language, everything seemed very Americanized.

We exited the airport and hopped in the van for an hour drive to our hotel. As the highways and modern buildings began to disappear, we started to see my favorite aspect of Paris. Something nonexistent in the United States is the architecture in France that often dates back thousands of years.

Even the hotel we lived in for the duration of our stay stood in front of the Gallo-Roman amphitheater from 285 A.D. The style and design of these buildings rivaled anything from the states and left a distinct impression on me.

One of the first iconic churches we visited was the Sacre-Coeur. The front steps gave an overview of the city below as copper statues of King Saint Louis IX and Saint Joan of Arc guard the entrance.

As we entered the church, the inside became even more breath taking than the outside. The largest mosaic in France of Jesus with angels at his side covers the ceiling while an organ built by Aristide Cavaille-Coll sits in the back. The Sacre-Coeur remains a symbol of Roman Catholicism ever since 1885 and through time transformed into an iconic tourist destination.

The first day set the bar high for Paris’ unique architecture; however, the Palace of Versailles lived up to its spectacular reputation. With a golden gate entrance, over 700 rooms, and an extravagant garden, the palace possesses something new around every corner. We saw the kings? and queens? rooms along with the dining room and my personal favorite, the Hall of Mirrors.

The space filled with natural light that reflected off the mirrors as some of the original chandeliers sparkled from the suns rays. The amount of detail and thought that went into building this palace blew my mind and the garden looked like something from a movie. Flowers covered the ground in beautiful arrangements with fountains left and right. These days, the Palace serves as a museum and tourist attraction along with holding occasional political functions.

Although the palaces and churches left us speechless by their beauty, nothing compares to the Eiffel Tower. Completed in March of 1889 and standing at 1,063 feet tall, the Eiffel Tower stands as the number one tourist destination in Paris. I stood in awe at the bottom of the tower, amazed by its intricate detail and significant height.

We had the benefit of traveling all the way to the top of the tower where a once in a lifetime view awaited us. All four sides gave a new, magnificent view. As night fell in Paris, the tower lit up with thousands of small lights like a blanket of stars. Although we all shivered from the strong, freezing wind, it became a moment we will not soon forget.

My trip to Paris held so much to offer from the food, to the art museums, and to the shopping. Still, the distinctive architecture kept me captivated for weeks and holds some of my favorite photographs. This trip left me with a desire to visit other parts of the world to see what unique aspect each holds for me to discover.

For more opinions, read Aug. 25 article COLUMN: Time for action.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @_olivia_loren.

By |2014-08-26T00:00:00-07:00August 26th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized, Videos 2014-15|0 Comments

COLUMN: Time for action

journoFeather file photo

Junior, Rees Roggenstein, urges students to enjoy their school year and speaks to his fulfillment at The Feather Online.

I have been attending FC my whole life, ever since kindergarten. That makes me a “lifer”, but I had been ashamed of that since sixth grade up to my sophomore year in high school.

This school always had amazing teachers; students, and faculty, but I felt like it was missing something. This great, amazing experience that I should enjoy was missing something vital. Then I found this mysterious missing piece when I joined The Feather my sophomore year.

It sounds silly, but that class opened doors to worlds I could have never opened all by myself, I saw the school with a new and refreshed perspective. The places I visited, the people I met, the things I learned enriched my experience to an unreal level. The Feather taught me more than journalism; it taught initiative, perspective and what success should look like.

When my sophomore year ended I was finally satisfied with this school; I could graduate fulfilled and unashamed. Now the school is changing, evolving into something greater than what it was. With the school transforming it brings new experiences, new relationships, new perspectives. I cannot wait to see what the school will bring now, and I plan to savor every new experience.

The question is, will we change with the school? Now everything in this world has its faults, including our campus. With that in mind, we have two options: sit down and complain about every fault, like a child, or work to make the best of what we have and improve it.

I am no better than anybody else; I have complained and whined (like we all have), and not just about the school! But I have learned that if we are not going to do anything about it then we should just keep our mouths shut. What good is it to just complain? Sure things are not great, sure things did not go the way they were planned, but just sitting there and complaining accomplishes nothing. The problem is not seeing the faults in something, the problem is sitting down and doing nothing to change it.

So as school begins new experiences are just on the horizon, waiting to be felt. I encourage us all to take part in it, to be a part of something new. Let us enjoy the good, learn from the bad, and then put it towards something of value. No more sitting around, it is time for action.

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

For other opinions, read Aug. 20 article EDITORIAL: Leave a mark.

By |2014-08-25T00:00:00-07:00August 25th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Senior congratulates classmates, recollects

Final25BWJeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

Lastly, I want to give a quick shout out and virtual high fives to my classmates. We did it! We are officially 2014 graduates! I pray that even after graduating and leaving this place we call home, each and one of you guys will continue to love Jesus unconditionally and never lose your faith in Him!

“Young man, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do.” Ecclesiastes 11:9

I wanted to start off with this verse because it has been a great encouragement to me as I am nearing the end of my high school career.

Stress and worrying can really blind you from the true joy in life, and just like the verse says, these are the times that we should enjoy ourselves the most and look forward to the new journey that God has in stored for us. Change is bound to happen all the time in our lives. Although this is something I fear, I cannot help but be excited to see how God reveals new blessings for me in the future.

If someone were to ask me, “What were some of your greatest memories in high school?” I would give them an answer that might sound very vague; everything. The reason I say this is because FC gave me the opportunities to experience many different parts that high school has to offer. Whether those memories were in academics, participating in school events or getting the chance to be on a varsity basketball team with no experience in the sport what so ever, they all will be cherished forever.

It is such a great feeling to realize that you have people who genuinely care about you and want the best for you. Looking back at my past years at FC, I am starting to realize how blessed I was to have been able to build relationships with influential teachers and friends. They poured out so much into my life and brought out the best in me, allowing me to growing physically and spiritually.

It is truly and honor being able to call myself an Eagle and FC will always have a special place in my heart. I believe that the Lord will continue to work in this school and bring many great things until the day of Christ.

Lastly, I want to give a quick shout out and virtual high fives to my classmates.
We did it! We are officially 2014 graduates! I pray that even after graduating and leaving this place we call home, each and one of you guys will continue to love Jesus unconditionally and never lose your faith in Him!

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @sarahlim77. Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.

For more senior reflections, read the May 23 article, Senior appreciates support, adviser.

By |2014-05-27T00:00:00-07:00May 27th, 2014|Opinions, The Feather, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Senior reflection: Fries appreciates support, adviser

SeniorTyninCourtesy Tynin Fries

Senior Tynin Fries shares her appreciation for adviser Greg Stobbe in her final Feather article. She will attend Arizona State University in the fall, joining the Barrett Honors College.

After writing 100 plus articles for The Feather, there’s really only a few things left to say. Here’s everything I wished I had said during the last four years to my adviser, Greg Stobbe:

I wish I had known on the first day of school just how much you would teach me about journalism, myself and my future.

Stobbe you were the sole reason for my motivation throughout school. As I lost my favorite teachers and watched them move away, you stayed a constant encouragement. The Feather and your crazy mind kept me from breezing through high school like everyone else.

You pushed me to my limits and made me feel insane. For months I stayed up late, meeting and surpassing your expectations.

Stobbe you’re the most inspirational teacher I’ve ever had, and probably ever will have. You put four years of work into me, and I won’t let you down.

Just like my parents will see their finished product when I move away, so will you. Now that you’ve done your job, it’s time for mine.

These last four years have been grand. We visited New York, Seattle, Disneyland and San Diego. We taught classes, won awards and even met famous people. You gave me more opportunities than an average kid could dream of having.

But rather than the big things, I’ll remember the small lessons you taught me. That when I’m too stressed it’s okay to get wheeled around the room, even if I think there’s no time. New things are scary, but also very cool. And Twitter isn’t just for morons.

This next year will bring be changes for me and you. And I hope that you never lose your inspiration to inspire. There will always be a freshman, eager to learn from you. Don’t give up now because you’ll always be a teacher.

You mean more to me than any other teacher, Stobs. I can’t wait to return in a few years to make you proud of the student and person you helped create.

I love you, Stobbe. Write on!

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @TyninFries. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather. She will attend the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Barrett, the Honors College, at Arizona State University.

For more senior reflections, read the May 20 article, Senior overcomes struggles, builds confidence.

By |2014-05-23T00:00:00-07:00May 23rd, 2014|FC Arts, Opinions, The Feather, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Senior cherishes past 13 years, relives memories

FC has been my home since I was in kindergarten. From the arts and crafts in elementary to the power points in high school this school has allowed me to excel not only in my academics but my faith as well.

I have never experienced so much change in my life. On the day I graduate I will be forced to say good-bye to the teachers and fellow peers who have made these past 13 years the best they could have been, and hello to a new life at Vanguard University of Southern California.

I have met some of the best people at FC and I have also made life long friends that have and always will be by my side. I can only hope that more people will attend Fresno Christian so they to may get the opportunity I received at this special school.

FC has provided for me in more ways then I could have imagined. From the times we were given to worship God to the the teachers who took time to listen to the problems I was facing and offer advice, and to the athletic programs that gave everyone a chance to be apart of, I am truly grateful to graduate with so many opportunities and lessons under my belt.

The best experiences of my high school career came from the cheer program at FC. I have been blessed to be apart of the varsity cheer squad all four years of high school. While the training for cheer camps were rigorous, and the practices for competition were exhausting I have realized that those were the times that my squad and I grew that much closer.

I love cheerleading and being in front of a crowd in my uniform because it allowed me to feel like I had a higher purpose at the school. I am sad to say good-bye to that part of my life but I am thrilled to see where the young women who I became so close to, will take the cheer program next year.

While being apart of the cheer program was one of the best memories I have made at FC there have been a few more that I would like to share. This year’s homecoming was definitely the highlight of my senior year. Being crowned homecoming queen was such an honor and I felt extremely humbled by the nomination.

My favorite memories come from the events held at FC. From Night of the Stars (NOTS), Sadie’s, Powderpuff, rallies, cheer competitions, dress-up days, senior retreat, New York with my journalism staff and visting the kids at Children’s Hospital Central California; all of these have made high school so wonderful and unforgettable.

I think the most important part of high school that I have learned is to give all the experiences, all the good and bad moments to God. He shown me countless times how good he truly is. He can make any good experience better and any bad moment into good one. He has taken such good care of me through these past four years and I know he will continue to take care of me.

I pray that the hearts of the students and staff at FC will continue to seek after Jesus in a passionate way. That they will seek Him daily and never stop trusting Him. I will be the first to say that I have lacked faith in Him countless times through the years but time after time he still reminds me how faithful he is. I will never forget what Fresno Christian has given me and I surely will not forget how Jesus has allowed me to grow in this amazing school.

This writer can be reached on Twitter at @han_avila. Follow The Feather via Twitter at @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the May 21 article Senior transitions to high school, blossoms.

By |2014-05-23T00:00:00-07:00May 23rd, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Love for FC

I love FC. I love the condensed environment, the caring teachers and especially the close relationships I am able to create with so many people.

Yes, FC is small, but imagine how well you get to know everyone. Eventually you get comfortable with a variety of people and can easily open up about anything. I am aware that not every single person at FC is is kind and caring; some people will hurt and abandon you, but that’s just the reality of school.

Another great aspect of attending a small school is that people are given the opportunity to participate in a multitude of activities: sports, clubs and independent classes. And so you know the best part? The teachers and coaches are willing to be flexible in order to help you manage your extra curricular activities.

And can I just say how great our teachers and faculty are? I mean they give up so much of their time and effort to put up with high school students all day, and I assure you that they do not put themselves through that for the money?. The teachers here are willing to do what it takes to make our high school experience rememberable and worth the time we put in to it.

I have made so many good relationships since coming to FC in the seventh grade, some instantly, others over the course of the years. Either way I am so grateful that I can surround myself with a variety of great people. I know that I can count on them to pray for me and be there while I go through the teen struggles.

I often hear so many people talk down on the school saying it’s “too small”, “boring, or “not fun”, but guys, IT IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT. You want more excitement at games? How about you show up and be that person who stands up in the nut house and starts the chants. Think it’s too small? Talk it up and then maybe more people will look into coming. Not fun? Make it fun, be crazy, have fun, love God.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @_sarapeterson
Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinion articles, read Senior cherishes past 13 years, relives memories

By |2014-05-23T00:00:00-07:00May 23rd, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Senior transitions to high school, blossoms

For my entire life, all the way through freshman year, I never thought I would do anything other than home school. The thought of going to school in an actual school building with other students my age had crossed my mind a time or two, but was immediately disregarded as I was completely happy with home school.

Contrary to popular opinion, homeschoolers do not wake up at 11 o’clock every day and then go on “field trips” to places like the amusement park to learn about physics. I loved planning out my school year (Mom bought the textbooks, I scheduled it), waking up early to get a head start on my assignments for the day (so I could read during Mom’s nap time), holing up in my room (because you know, my siblings were working out at the kitchen table), doing schoolwork at my own pace (double math, double history for the day, why not?) and finishing my first semester work in late October (so I could knit Christmas gifts for the rest of the year). Homeschooling is a great life.

So, when my pitching coach suggested that we look into going to an actual school for the purpose of playing for the softball team to gain some much-needed experience on the mound, I wasn’t too keen on the idea. Since my dad worked at Fresno Christian (FC), and the Eagles had a softball team that needed a pitcher, we decided that FC was the place to be.

I started school at FC during the second half of my sophomore year and for the entire semester I wished I were still homeschooled. I was scared of just about everyone except for a few teachers, spent almost every single lunch period in our church?s student ministries office, tried to avoid half the conversations I anticipated, and worked mainly to please my teachers. Simply put, I let sophomore second semester be fairly miserable.

Junior year I got more involved, if we?re going to talk academics. I added journalism and CSF to my schedule, and actually had lunch with people from our school, if we?re going to call spending every lunch period in the computer lab working on articles for Stobbe. I got lots of work done, lots of work. Straight A?s, Junior Citizenship Award, A.P. English Language Student of the Year, Highest Honor Roll, you get the picture.

Two great years of schoolwork- not a bad thing, right? I mean, isn?t that what school is for? But then I started thinking, how much of an impact had I really made on our school? Maybe some influence on the people that I actually talked to in the halls and in my classes, but what about the rest of the student body? That thought messed with my mind like nobody?s business.
Why was I really at FC? It had to be bigger than softball. Leading the softball team felt futile most of the time, as a pitcher and catcher duo cannot make up an entire team. It had to be bigger than pleasing teachers. Great, they liked me, but half the time that just caused my class to be annoyed with me. It had to be bigger than schoolwork. Great, I got five of eight awards during my first semester, but all that did was make the other students call me an overachiever. And where are they now? Sitting in my mom?s closet upstairs collecting dust. Success yes. Significant no.

I struggled with that concept of success versus significance for a bit, and then realized that I needed to approach senior year a little differently. I constantly asked myself, “Say you knew you weren’t going to get any awards at the end of the year. Would you still be willing to live and interact in this way, even if it was not acknowledged?” I wanted to work and interact not for the academic or citizenship awards at the end of the year but for the people I would serve and encourage.

Since focusing on the relationships with people rather than schoolwork was probably my best bet if I wanted to make any kind of impact, I started with not spending everyday at lunch in the computer lab and actually being willing to talk to the people I saw in between classes. Instead, I spent my lunch periods tutoring, or hanging out with my junior high buddy, or being secretary for the Spanish Club, etc.

No, I didn’t get as much done on journalism as I did during junior year, and yes, Stobbe was not all too happy about that. Yes, being more involved with people made getting all of my schoolwork done much more difficult. Yes, I was a lot more tired than I was during sophomore and junior years.

But I got to hang out with an eighth grader who found herself set apart from her classmates by her work ethic, personality and high maturity level. I got to tutor one of our foreign exchange students struggling in calculus. I got to read Geronimo Stilton with one of my dad’s fourth-grade students whose physical condition caused her to operate more on a second-grade level and gave other students basis to tease her.

Sure, there were times when I was tired and I didn’t feel like investing any more of my time and energy into these people. Sure, there were times when I was busy and overwhelmed and I didn’t see how taking that time would work. But every time I chose to use that time for them, even when it was a sacrifice, I found that I was being refreshed and felt better than when I had started, and I eventually discovered that investing in people proved to be more rewarding to me than draining.

Why? Because God has called us to reach out, to pour out to the people around us. He didn’t just give us a light, a love to hold to ourselves and hide from everyone around us; He gave it so we could be His light, His love to our world. And He will provide the strength for us to do what He has called us to do.

Yes, homework is important, yes, sports are important, yes, grades are important, but God hasn’t placed us where we are just for those things. It’s got to be bigger than that. Everything we do has ultimately got to be about the people we are interacting with and investing in. Schoolwork just prepares you for the career you’re eventually going to use to help people. Journalism ends up being more for the people you’re writing the article about than the grade you receive for doing it.

Take the time to reach out to the people around you. Even something as simple as taking the time in the hallways between classes or shifts provides ample opportunity to get to know people and invest in them. You may not realize it, but there are so many people who just need someone to say hi and ask how they’re doing. Don’t be afraid to step outside of what is comfortable for you. Don’t be afraid to look outside of yourself to the needs of those around you. Take your candle and go light your world.

This writer can be reached on Twitter at @JennaWeimer42. Follow The Feather via Twitter at @thefeather.

For more senior reflections, see the May 19 article, Senior gets involved, gains campus family.

By |2014-05-21T00:00:00-07:00May 21st, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Senior builds relationships, prepares for future

The past thirteen years that I have spent at Fresno Christian have been an absolute blessing. This school has provided me with a second home and a second family. Not only have I made life long Christ-centered friendships with students, but I have also developed deep relationships with teachers that I know will last for years to come.

I would have never thought that I, the shy girl who would not let go of her mom?s leg as she entered Mrs. Witters? kindergarten classroom, would be able to be thriving and participating in so many areas by the time she reached high school.

You hear seniors tell underclassmen all the time to ?get involved?, which is what I wanted to do. That was my best decision. Being in leadership for all four years, varsity cheer for four years, basketball for two years, numerous clubs and, of course, journalism made for a very busy – yet extremely fulfilling – four years of high school.

Being involved in a wide range of activities taught me a lot about myself. I learned how to be a better leader, how to step outside of my comfort zone, and how to work on a team. I have gained many lifelong friendships with people whom I least expected to befriend. I would not have had the same high school experience had I not tried new things. I also got to see many different sides to the school and get to know people involved in all areas.

This school not only taught me academics, but has taught me the importance of community and surrounding others in love. I have learned how to manage change and overcome adversity in my life through the love and prayers of the people placed around me.

I have been provided with many role models and great examples of faith and service. Knowing that my teachers genuinely care about my well-being and walk with the Lord is something that makes me feel comforted while I am at school. Seeing their examples has taught me what really should take the biggest priority in my life: to always do my best and to be intentional with people.

I feel so blessed to call myself a lifer at Fresno Christian. I love this school and I cannot imagine my school experience anywhere else. To all current students: take advantage of the things this school has to offer and never take it for granted. We have an amazing community here at FC. Never forget that or let anyone change that.

Fresno Christian has primed me for the future in more ways than simply preparing me for college. It has shown me how to love learning and to be a thinker rather than only just a product of learning. It has also prepared me by building my foundation in my faith and taught me to love the Lord and to love others.

I am graduating ready to serve the Lord wherever he calls me, despite my own plans, by the examples people have shown me. I am grateful to the Lord for giving me the opportunity to live in and love this community called Fresno Christian School.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @raynajenelle. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more senior reflections, read the May 19 article, Senior gets involved, gains campus family

By |2014-05-20T00:00:00-07:00May 20th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Senior overcomes struggles, builds confidence

I am living life on the edge. Theoretically speaking. As I peer over a cliff toward the next chapter. Senior year is the edge of high school and the edge of childhood.

This year, it has been a struggle to avoid focusing too much on the future. I have had to learn to swivel my neck around to consider the past four years in retrospect. Although some things are better left unremembered, there are also memories that are waiting to be found again.

For me, some of the best moments of high school were midnight Denny’s runs with friends, the journalism trip to New York, singing in ensemble, cheering at football and basketball games, playing soccer and track and winning powderpuff this year.

There are so many things I could’ve listed that made high school the best years of my life. At any other school, I couldn’t have participated and enjoyed as much as I have at FC.

I have realized that my journey at this school has truly come to define me. This place, these people and the memories I have made here have formed me into who I am today.

The most important lesson I have learned is that humility is truly a gift to be prized. And more often than not I find myself praying to receive it.

This quote from Oswald Chambers has been my theme for the year, “A saint is never consciously a saint; a saint is consciously aware of their dependence on God.”

As I delve into my life at this school, I can see how dependent on God I really am. FC has built me up to be confident in what I believe and that my identity is steady only when I am dependent on God.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @arosik. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more senior reflections, read the May 15 article: Senior offers advice, knowledge to underclassmen.

By |2014-05-20T00:00:00-07:00May 20th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Senior gets involved, gains campus family

With my year coming to a close, I have begun to look back on all the things that I have experienced at Fresno Christian: the good and the bad. At times, I have thought that leaving the school would be a good option for me to mature more, so I could expand my horizon beyond the life I’ve had in FC.

However, choosing to stay at this school was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Sure you could call our school strict and sheltered, but I would not be the man I am today without the help of the friends and mentors I have gained during my time here.

My encouragement to you reading this, is to stay positive, and to focus on the good things about being at FC, and eventually you will know how lucky you are to be enrolled here.

This year I have had some dramatic changes occur in my life, and all have eventually been for the better. I have lost some friendships and relationships, which were hard to get over, but I learned that there were other people outside the small group of friends I have had for my first three years of high school.

Around halfway through the first semester, I did not know who I belonged with after distancing myself from my old friends and lifestyle and I was confused. I started hanging with some people who I?ve known forever, but never tried to get to know them well. Within a month, I gained new friends that changed my life and made me feel welcome. I can talk to them about anything, and they have given me so much advice that I could have never figured out on my own.

At this school, you do not just make friends, you make a family. The relationships I have made at this school will last for a lifetime, and that is a rare occurrence in any other school. This is a special place, and I am so happy to have spent my high school time here.

In October of last year, my dad suffered a serious heart attack, and was in critical condition for about two days. I did not know if he was going to make it, but what I did know is that I was scared and confused.

During one of our Tuesday morning chapels, Mr. Foshee announced the news about my dad, and called everyone to pray for him. I had no idea that this was going to happen, but before I could react, I had the entire student body surrounding me, praying over me and my father.

After that experience, I knew that this was where I belonged. Nowhere else in the world could you have an entire school praying for a family member in need, and it is the best feeling you could ever have. I felt cared for, and I knew that my dad would be covered in their prayers. This school helped me through one of the toughest times of my life, and I will always remember that.

It is not just the students who have been helpful and accepting during my time at FC, but the teachers as well. At public schools, teachers have so many students, they can?t even remember most of their names. At this school, teachers make it a mission to get to know us, and try and be a positive influence in our lives. These men and women have showed me the ropes in academics, and in life. Their advice has helped me in times of struggles, and they would be happy to do the same for you.

So my advice to you all would be to get involved in school groups, and begin building relationships centered around Christ. There are some amazing people at FC, so get out there be open with people, and don?t spend your high school years with the same old groups.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @Robbie_J24. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more senior reflections, read the May 15 article, Senior offers advice, knowledge to underclassmen

By |2014-05-19T00:00:00-07:00May 19th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Senior pursues photography, reveals school pride

It has been a joy since 8th grade, to go to this school and develop such great friendships and memories. From adventures during the eight grade Calvin Crest trip to studying like crazy for the Constitution Test, junior high was fantastic time in my life.

Going into high school I looked forward to making new friends, especially with the upperclassmen us freshman looked up to. Looking back I realized how amazing the people at FC were and how they have truly impacted my life. Without those relationships I would not be the person I am today.

Joining Publications was never in my original plans. However, God opened the door and sparked my interest in photography. Hence, why I joined The Feather staff as the new photographer on the team!

This was my last year and I wanted to experience a lot of different things I was unable to do in previous years. Being a photographer this year, I wanted to share all the small moments and fun events, to expose what this school has to offer. My goal was to capture the moments that make going to FC unique and special.

As the years flew by, my high school experience exceeded my expectations. From being a wide eyed and intimidated freshman in Mr. Stobbe?s english class to writing in class essays every other day in Mrs. Sargent?s AP class, I have been pushed to my limits and learned more than I thought I ever could.

Apart from the educational aspect of my high school experience, I was able to have the unique opportunity to play with FC?s worship band, and really pursue my passion for music. Being a part of the FC family has been such a blessing and I would not change any of the relationships or memories I’ve made for anything.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @elora96. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more senior reflections, read the May 15 article, Senior offers advice, knowledge to underclassmen

By |2014-05-16T00:00:00-07:00May 16th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Senior offers advice, knowledge to underclassmen

The end is coming. We, the seniors, are leaving.

Every year at graduation I chuckle to myself and think how poorly the new senior class will handle becoming the new leaders of the high school. This includes last year (and this one).

Oddly enough, every year the senior class manages to surprise me and not ruin the school. I mean, let’s face it, this year had some great moments. The King Dance, NOTS, and Bye Bye Birdie all come to mind. But I?m not going to focus on that, because everyone else will talk ad nauseam about the cool stuff we did this year.

Instead, I will give smug advice.

First, to the upcoming seniors: Don?t get senioritis yet. Don?t try to get it. You probably think you already have senioritis because homework is unpleasant. Trust me, when you actually get senioritis, you?ll know. Make it a goal to keep up with your responsibilities, so that the end of the year will be coasting downhill to graduation, rather than working to make up all the assignments you ignored.

Next, to the upperclassmen: Be nice to the freshmen. They can?t help being the way they are. And yes, most of you guys really were that annoying as freshmen. I sure was. That doesn?t mean to never make fun of them, because that would be horrible. But if you can make an insult into a shared joke, it loses its edge and becomes actually funny.

To the freshmen: Try not to be freshmen. Maturity, in my book, is properly timed immaturity. Work on that timing.

To everyone: Get involved in stuff. Join journalism, start a lacrosse club, try something new. You never hear a senior say “I wish I had spent more time sitting on the couch sophomore year.” I have heard things like “I wish I could play the harmonica” and “I should have joined cross country.” Seriously. Almost every day. Granted, this is probably the most cliche piece of senior advice ever. But there?s a reason for that.

Lastly, this is a great school. Yes, FC has some problems. This is inevitable. But honestly, the awesome stuff that we get to do at this school far outweighs the annoyances. Don?t let the little problems ruin the experience.

Now, anyone who knows me is aware that I tend to complain about things that annoy me. Sometimes a little complaining is the only way for change to begin. Keep complaining, but don?t bash the school as a whole. It is a great place to go to school; I have enjoyed all twelve years I have spent here. This school offers a lot of opportunity; I have been involved in clubs, sports, journalism and music to a degree that would have been impossible at other schools. I?ll miss FC. It’s been fun. Try to keep it that way.

Daniel Moore will attend Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in the fall and major in mechanical engineering.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @m00re_is_better
Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the May 8 article, Senior led by faith in Christ, recollects high school moments

By |2014-05-15T00:00:00-07:00May 15th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Senior grows in faith, relationships

Senior Year. A year of transition, growth and understanding. This year has been crucial in my development as an adult: I have overcome much, interacted intentionally, gained understanding and relished in my remaining time at Fresno Christian. The Lord has shown me who I am through the experiences I have walked through in the duration of High School.

I have met amazing individuals, laughed until I cried, been humbled, and grown alongside my peers. It truly has been such a blessing to be graced with the presence of such God-filled people.

I am so grateful and so humbled to have had the opportunity to get to know and pour into my friends the way I have. Jesus has been so faithful to me by providing a community and family of people here at FC. They truly have been my support and encouragement.

I have participated in many things during high school, and I’m happy I got so involved. I did leadership all four years and varsity cheer for three years. It was character building and so fulfilling to be a part of these things.

I have been so blessed by the opportunities I have had, such as New York with journalism, Nationals with cheer and service projects with the school. I have loved every minute of my experiences.

All in all I would say these four years have been the best years yet. I am excited to apply what I have learned here to my future endeavors. I am grateful for the relationships I have had with such amazing teachers, they helped shape my character and my morals. I come away with stories to share and a place in my heart for Fresno Christian.

This writer can be reached at Twitter via: @eShakeshaft_7
Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather

For more senior reflections read the May 8 article, Senior led by faith in Christ, recollects high school moments

By |2014-05-14T00:00:00-07:00May 14th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Senior led by faith in Christ, recollects high school moments

The last four years of life have given me many happy memories. While I travel toward the final days of my high school experience I find myself looking back with a sense of retrospective awe.

The good times as well as the bad ones come to my mind almost instantly. I think of my friends, who never ceased to put a smile on my face even when my heart was downcast. I think of the Friday night lights, which basked my team in glorious white even if we failed to win the game. I think of my brilliant teachers, who pulled the very best out of me even when I did not want to give them my best.

I now realize that this school gave me many gifts over the years. The trials and pleasures I experienced have shaped me not only as a student, but as an individual.

I recall an especially challenging situation during my junior year resulting from my choice to take Trigonometry and Precalculus class independently. The course required not only my entire mathematical capacity, but a healthy dose of determination as well.

After struggling through countless nights of stressful homework and frustrated confusion, I eventually ended the year with a B in the class and a great feeling of accomplishment within me. Feeling this accomplishment was well worth the long hours, and continues to stand as a source of inward pride.

I also received the opportunity to challenge myself in realms of academics of which I previously knew nothing. I participated in video productions, journalism, drama and art.

Journalism especially helped me expand my understanding as I learned more about theater review, news reporting techniques, and writing. The class not only improved me as a writer, but also added a fun and adventurous aspect to my high school career. All of the other electives grew my understanding in similar ways.

But in the end I can say that this high school journey is but a small segment of my entire life. I look forward to that which lies ahead of me, far more than I look back to that which lies behind. The opportunity to understand the past and look toward the future makes this time of transition that much more special.

Like most of my classmates I know that next year will bring on a new set of challenges. I myself am a member of the United States Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program, and I will leave for basic training in January.

I find it ironic that the Marine Corps flag has an eagle on it, because it is almost like I will be taking something of my school?s eagle heritage along with me. It is almost as if this next stage is but a continuation of the current one.

No matter what happens in the future, one thing remains clear to me: that God rules all things. Christianity is a strong part of our school?s great heritage, and it is not something to be forgotten or laid aside. I by no means believe that I accomplished anything except that which God gave me the power to perform. Because he led me through high school I know that he will lead me through all things; through all stages.

His will remains the sole ambition of my future, the only concern of my present, and the greatest joy of my recent past. He is, as the Marines put it, ?semper fi?, always faithful.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @JohnNyberg. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the May 1 article, Editor-in-Chief offered unique journalism opportunities.

By |2014-05-08T00:00:00-07:00May 8th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

EDITORIAL: Intentional actions through final days

As the final days of school draw near and the seniors partake in their last few weeks of high school it is easy to ignore the ending moments that come along. Students tend to coast through the end, looking forward to summer instead of taking their last days into serious consideration.

Typically, students are burned out from the year hoping to reach summer vacation as soon as possible. They overlook the times where memories can be made and positive actions can be taken.

The Feather encourages students to be intentional with the actions they take. It can be extremely easy to blow past the last days of school without a care, but students should utilize this time to connect with others and make each moment count.

For the seniors it could very well be the last time they see most of the students. So, instead of looking to the future they should be taking each day into account looking for opportunities to deepen relationships and create moments to remember.

Juniors, sophomores and freshmen do not always view their last days as something to make memorable. They realize they will be coming back for another year, two or three so the last couple weeks may not be as significant. However, time is something that everyone is unsure of, so instead of cruising through the end students should take notice of the time they have now.

Being intentional does not only have to apply to relationships with others, though. It can also relate to work ethic and the homework load students have. The end of the year gives way to laziness for some students but the real challenge is to stay on task. Students need to make sure to keep their schedules in order to finish out the year strong.

Not only should students focus on school, but they should intend on continuing to stay respectful in class, not only to the teachers but the students around them, as well. It is common for peers to get a bit rowdy once the end comes near but remaining in a school and learning mindset can help students finish out the year well. Remember, some teachers are looking forward to summer as well so if both students and teachers stay consistent in a learning environment it can help days go by smoothly.

Participating in school events can also help make the final days good ones. Students can also partake in as many service opportunities available to them. Helping out in any way possible, can affect someone in the most positive way. Students should intend to not only make their ending better but also the last days of those around them.

Just because there is only a few weeks left of school does not mean that a difference can not be made. Students can intend to go out of their way to encourage others by acts of kindness or simply by praying for them. There are multiple way students can aim to create an enthusiastic last couple of days, if not for themselves then for others.

These last days matter because a lot can happen in a few simple days as long as someone is willing to make them count. The Feather encourages students to treat their last days of the school year with great consideration and the intent to turn them into positive outcomes.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the April 24 article, Earth Day: Waste your habits away.

By |2014-04-25T00:00:00-07:00April 25th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Earth Day: Waste your habits away

Earth Day is considered to be the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970 that appears annually on April 22. The focus of the day is to support environmental protection in the Earth and to establish efficiency in the way we use energy. The Feather would like to share facts and answer interesting questions about ways to become more nature friendly.

Recycling tips:

People can become more resourceful by recycling and reusing items. Here are some recycling statistics from

1. The average person generates over 4 pounds of trash every day and about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year.

2. In 2009, Americans produced enough trash to circle the Earth 24 times.

3. We generate 21.5 million tons of food waste each year. If we composted that food, it would reduce the same amount of greenhouse gas as taking 2 million cars off the road.

4. Americans throw away 25,000,000 plastic bottles every hour.

5. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to listen to a full album on your iPod. Recycling 100 cans could light your bedroom for two whole weeks.

Getting to know your water:

The Fresno Bee (@fresnobee) released useful questions and answers to how to be more intelligent in water use. Here are the list of some of the questions and answers.

Q: Where does our drinking water come from?

A: From the underground aquifer.

Q: What is groundwater recharge?

A: Groundwater recharge is the natural artificial process of replenishing groundwater supply.

Q: How much of California’s water is from mountain snowpack?

A: According to Department of Water Resources, mountain snowpack provides as much as one-third of California’s water supply by accumulating snow during wet winters.

Q: With summertime here, how can we save water by using a pool?

A: City of Fresno’s “20 Gallon Challenge” recommends installing covers on pool and spas to reduce evaporation, and repair leaks around pumps if needed.

Conserving water tips:

Lastly, here are some more significant tips from The Fresno Bee to be mindful of when using water in any situation in the home. Easily save 20 gallons of water every day by taking hold of these suggestions.

1. Turn off water when brushing teeth.

2. Run the dishwasher only when full.

3. Replace older, inefficient washing machines.

4. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks.

5. Install covers on pool and spas to reduce evaporation.

The Feather staff’s top five chosen tips on food misuse:

While we’ve adequately covered how to use our water resources, here are some top 5 tips to help us not waste away our food supplies. These helpful tips can be found on

1. Don?t toss food scraps. Save the trimmed ends or peelings of vegetables like celery, carrots, onions, mushrooms and potatoes in your freezer.

2. Love your leftovers. We know that variety is the spice of life, but sometimes you just need to make do with what you already have.

3. Buy what you need. Buying five avocados for the price of two is only a bargain if you?ll actually use all of them before they go bad.

4. Get your kitchen organized. Take stock before you shop so you don?t buy something you already have, move older produce to the front of the fridge so you?ll use it first, keep an eye on expiry dates and make sure you have plenty of tupperware in case you need to toss something in the freezer.

5. The freezer is your friend. Leftover soups, stews, salsas, curries and sauces all store well in glass jars in the freezer.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @han_avila. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinons, read the April 4 article President questions love’s real meaning

By |2014-04-24T00:00:00-07:00April 24th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

President questions love’s real meaning

One of the most fascinating stories in the Bible, recorded in the Gospels, documents Jesus’ and Peter’s broken relationship right before Jesus’ arrest, and its restoration after Jesus’ resurrection. The story begins in John 13 with Jesus telling Peter that before the cock crows in the morning Peter would deny Jesus three times.

The story continues in John 18 with Peter accused of being a friend and follower of Jesus, which was not a very promising badge to wear since Jesus was in jail being tried for blasphemy under the penalty of death. After Peter denies Christ the third time he is reminded of Jesus? prophetic words and runs away crying, realizing his actions were those of a weak, confused and faithless man.

Now this is where it gets good, John 21. Seven of the disciples go on a fishing expedition. For Peter, James and John fishing was their main vocation. This makes complete sense to me, after their preaching gig came to an end the disciples went back to their old day jobs. Obviously, God had other plans for them.

Jesus shows up, pulls off another miracle, has lunch with his buddies then he has a heart to heart with Peter. Their conversation is about love and the words Jesus and Peter uses are agape and philia. Agape is defined as unconditional love, specifically, God and Jesus?s love for humankind. Philia is defined by brotherly love, a love based on friendship, certainly including sacrificial actions and how Christians are exhorted to treat each other throughout the New Testament.

In English we use the word love in numerous ways, referring to the way we feel about people, places, things, the act of sex, occasionally we incorporate it with commitments and devotion but basically we have bastardized the word and use it for all occasions completely losing its more precise meanings.

Let’s look at Jesus’ and Peter?s heart to heart conversation after the denials. Beginning with John 21:15, “Jesus says to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John do you truly love me?'” The phrase “truly love me” is interpreted in study Bibles as unconditional love. Therefore the question can be restated, “Simon son of John do you unconditionally love me?” Simon responds ?Yes Lord you know I love you,” but the phrase ?love you? has been interpreted in study Bibles as brotherly love.

Therefore, the answer can be restated “Yes lord you know I love you as a brother.” Jesus asked this same question again in John 21:16 and Peter answered accordingly. In verse 17 Jesus changes his question and asks Peter “Do you love me like a brother?” and Peter now completely feeling like a cockroach gets mad and responds “Lord you know all things, you know I love you like a brother.” Jesus then tells Peter to care for his sheep meaning the church.

So my questions for the Fresno Christian family is: Can we unconditionally love on this side of heaven? Could Peter unconditionally love Christ? Is brotherly love sufficient on this earth?

Sorry this was so deep, it stems from my close friends’ dad divorcing my friends’ mom. He has recently remarried and our families are trying to figure out these “simple” questions. Think about it, then comment please. Regardless, may our gracious God continue to surround you and your family with his grace and mercy. Live out your faith in great joy.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the April 2 article, Freshman reminisces first year journalism experiences.

By |2014-04-04T00:00:00-07:00April 4th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Freshman reminisces first year journalism experiences

I first heard about The Feather in eighth grade during chapel, when journalism adviser Greg Stobbe provided the basics of what The Feather is and what the staff does. The features that he explained really interested me to join journalism when high school came to me.

As soon as I found out that I had journalism in my schedule, I was pretty excited because I could not wait to write for an online high school newspaper that has been nationally ranked for the past 6 years.

The main reason why I joined journalism was to improve on my English skills. My weakest subject is English and since I’m in the honors class, this class has helped me for when I write my essays or short stories.

Some skills I have obtained while I was in this class is the idea of brainstorming to clarify my purpose, plus, the importance of who, what, where, why, when, and how. I also learned how to interview people, asking questions that accurately represent the topic.

I’ve had a great time in journalism so far. My nickname in the class has actually become “Pylon” because my favorite color is orange, and since it is my favorite color, I like to wear all orange. When Stobbe saw me wearing all orange, he started to call me “Pylon” because he thought of me as being a post in the middle of a football field.

When I heard that Stobbe was taking students to New York, I was so excited because I have never been to New York before and it has been on my bucket list for a while. So, after having my permission from my parents and paying the fee for the trip, I was eligible to go.

Going to New York has changed my view of the whole city. It’s so big that what you see on TV is nothing compared to seeing it in real life. I didn’t think that one week would be enough for me but I still had so much fun.

When The Feather staff found out that we won a Gold Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) at Columbia University, we jumped for joy because the staff and especially the editors have worked so hard to deserve the award.

Ever since I joined journalism, it has helped me to write my English papers better. For example, it has helped me how to use punctuations correctly and how to best create paragraph structure.

I would like to thank Stobbe and The Feather staff for giving me a really good first experience in journalism. Joining the class was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @mattgarza2017. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @theafeather.

For more opinions, read the March 28 article, Vista hispano de las tradiciones familiars de vacaciones.

By |2014-04-02T00:00:00-07:00April 2nd, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Vista hispano de las tradiciones familiars de vacaciones

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 eighth installment is written by senior Viviana Hinojosa.

For the previous installment, read the Feb. 13 article, La Copa Mundial 2014 en Brasil.

Quiero que sepas ahora mismo, yo soy mexicana. Mis padres nacieron en Mexico y llegaron a los Estados Unidos con sus familias cuando eran jovenes. Tenian el trasfondo tipico mexicano, y trabajaban en los campos para ayudar a mantener a sus familias.

Ahora vivo en un tipico hogar mexicano/americano con mis padres y dos hermanos. Me he dado cuenta de que hemos hecho algunas cosas un poco diferente que el resto de mi familia y amigos, especialmente cuando se trato de las vacaciones.

Como la Pascua esta a la vuelta de la esquina, empece a pensar en las diferentes tradiciones que mi familia comienza a practicar en las vacaciones. Porque yo misma soy hispana, mi familia hace las cosas un poco diferente a las familias mas estadounidenses que la mia.

Por ejemplo, en Semana Santa en vez de hacer solo una simple celebracion de Pascua, mi familia participa haciendo ?cascarones.? Hacemos un agujero en los huevos y los llenamos de confeti y luego los rompemos encima de las cabezas de las personas. Los padres suelen sentarse y mirar mientras los ninos corren buscando su proximo balnco.

Otra tradicion hispana en mi familia es en la epoca de Navidad. Por supuesto todo el mundo sabe por ahora que los mexicanos hacen tamales para comer el dia de Navidad. Asi, aproximadamente una dos semanas antes del 25 de diciembre, todas las mujeres de mi familia se juntan un dia para hacer tamales. Queremos compartir buenos momentos con gran conversacion y risas por todas partes y otra vez en el dia de Navidad, cuando en realidad llegamos a comer los tamales.

Para la mayoria de los hispanos el ano nuevo se celebra con la familia pues la familia siempre es lo primero para nosotros. En la vispera del ano nuevo todos nos reunimos alrededor de la television y esperamos la cuenta regresiva de los minutos y segundos para el ano nuevo. Una vez que la medianoche llega, vamos a cada persona y les damos un abrazo y un beso en la mejilla para dar la bienvenida al nuevo ano el uno al otro. Para nosotros, se considera una falta de respeto el no abrazar a alguien de esa manera cuando llega el ano nuevo.

Como se puede ver en todo lo que he escrito hasta ahora, la familia es una parte esencial e importante de la cultura hispana. Todo lo que hacemos, gira alrededor de la familia. A veces es un poco abrumador, pero es un enorme y solido sistema de apoyo para mi. Se que siempre cuento con mi familia pase lo que pase. La frase ?la sangre es mas espesa que el agua? es una realidad en la cultura hispana.

Asi que aqua he compartido un poco de mi vida como mexicana. Tal vez comparta algunas mas adelante, pero por ahora esto es todo.

Just so you all know right away, I?m Mexican. My parents were born in Mexico and came to the U.S. with their families when they were young. They had the typical Mexican background, working out in the fields to help support their families.

Now I live in a typical Mexican/American household with two siblings and my parents. I’ve known we did some things a little differently than the rest of my friends families did, especially when it came to holidays. So, I just wanted to highlight the many traditions and variances my family takes part in during the holidays.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @viv_hinojosa. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the March 26, College Corner: Careers of the future.

By |2014-03-28T00:00:00-07:00March 28th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

LETTER: Appreciation for FC serve day

Dear Mr. Bennett:

The City of Fresno’s Graffiti Abatement Team Supervisor, Jet Lim, has brought to my attention the outstanding work the Fresno Christian School students recently performed which resulted in a significant amount of graffiti being removed from public areas.

On Thursday, March 6, 2014, nineteen (19) youths from Fresno Christian School went to the area of Marks and Shields and, for a 2-hour period, removed approximately 7,000 square feet of graffiti.

I want to say “Thank You!” I am encouraged by your school’s hard work and dedication which resulted in a graffiti-free neighborhood. I am extremely proud of the level of energy and tireless efforts shown by the following Fresno Christian School chaperones and students:

Noah Heinz (chaperone)
Mick Fuller (chaperone)
David Ryu
Sydney Belmont
Summer Villanueba
Gillian Rea
Brooklyn Ainley
John Nyberg
Morgan Miller
Bobby Christopher
Shannon Martens
Mojun Pan
Marrisa Parker
Emily Gonzales
Natalia Torres
Sierra Duffy
Elise Winegarden
Alli Breedlove
Grant Flammang
Bryant Nguyen
Katie Uribe

Graffiti often leads to other delinquent activities such as theft, vandalism, as well as, encouraging gang activity. Graffiti represents disorder and a lack of public-spiritedness. It also has a snowball effect on urban decay and undermines the public’s sense of security. Some citizens avoid going to certain places because they feel insecure, business owners get less business, and private and public property deteriorates. The result is that the public always pays the price (parents, neighbors, friends, and business owners).

Graffiti removal creates benefits that affect the community as a whole. Please accept my appreciation the Fresno Christian School’s involvement this summer and, hopefully, we can look forward to future collaborations.

Chief of Police

By |2014-03-27T00:00:00-07:00March 27th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Campus student seeks strategies to tackle depression

Life in this world is not without pain, stress and depression. When someone tastes these emotions, some can feel overwhelmed, like an ocean of sadness washing over them, which submerges one in dark waters.

Regardless of this feeling, people are told to smile, be positive, get over it and to swallow the pain. To stuff the suffering down so deep it will never surface. This is a futile endeavor, which only causes more pain and suffering. Pain and suffering must be addressed directly for any hope of healing.

Coping with the pain of depression is difficult. Some seek to numb it by abusing substances, others choose to immerse themselves in work and still others simply want to be left alone to ponder and isolate themselves from the world.

However, emotions as strong as these do not disappear. Burying them underneath a false smile and pretending there is not a problem only makes them fester deep down inside. One can only ignore these feelings and emotions for so long, eventually they will surface.

My cousin?s wife, Julie, was someone who buried her pain where no one could find it. To my family, Julie was a cowgirl, a strong and willful woman who was not afraid to get her hands dirty and had a smile that could brighten even the darkest of days. She brought a light into any room she walked into. On January 22, 2014, Julie committed suicide. No one in my family saw the ?signs? that she was capable of something like this; no one saw the pain she buried under her smile.

Julie?s suicide shook my family?s world and devastated my cousin. In an effort to understand the tragedy I sought after answers. The search led to many different facts, statistics and charts, but this gave no insight into why Julie committed suicide.

According to the Official Final Data from the American Association of Suicidology, more than 38,364 men and women committed suicide in the United States in a single year. In 2010, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death among Americans. Homicide, which we see on the news almost every day, was only the 15th leading cause of death in the United States.

The most worrisome statistic is that suicide was the third leading cause for people between the age of 10 and 24 years old as stated by the Association of Suicidology, USA Suicide and 2010 Official Final Data.

Suicide and depression among teenagers and young adults is abnormally high. It is estimated that one in eight teenagers suffer from depression, making them at risk for suicide. Depression among teenagers typically derives from mood swings, anxiety, stress and the inability to cope with these complex emotions. These emotions typically make the individual want to distance themselves from loved ones.

Contrary to the popular myth, suicidal people do not usually want to end their lives, they just want to end the pain. Before committing their final act, they usually reach out in some way to see if there is something worth living for.

To those suffering from depression, or those approached by one who is suffering from depression, do not keep quiet about the issue. It is important that all close friends and loved ones be there to support them in their time of need. Depression is rooted in loneliness, to shoulder the pain by oneself is too much to bear. Do not make that mistake.

Aside from emotional and spiritual solutions to depression and suicidal thoughts or tendencies, Mehmet Oz, better known as Dr. Oz, a popular authority on medical conditions and problems, offers non-pharmaceutical solutions to help battle depression.

“If you feel anxious or depressed and it lasts more than two weeks, make sure to get a thorough medical workup, including comprehensive blood work that includes a detailed look at your thyroid,” Mehmet said. “Before trying medication, unless your condition is severe, try some simple interventions, such as: exercise (walk like you are running late for 45 minutes a day). In a study comparing exercise to antidepressants, they were equally effective at 12 weeks, and exercise was more effective at 10 months.”

Aside from exercise and talking with your doctor about your depression, Mehmet says to lose the addicting sugary foods and to also talk to a therapist to help dispel negative thoughts.

“Get on a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet; lose the processed foods and sugar, and foods that quickly turn to sugar,” Mehmet said. “Work with a therapist to kill the ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) that fuel depression. Negative thinking patterns provide the gas for anxiety and depression.”

Life is not without its difficulties, but it is always something worth living for. Every life is precious, every life is worth something, it is not by chance we came into the world but by fate and purpose. We are human, we will stumble and fall, no one said life was easy. But with our friends by our side we lift each other up and lend a helping hand.

All information which I based my thesis, opinions, and general information comes from Teen Suicide, which was edited by Christine Watkins and published by Greenhaven Press. This book contains all of the information I gathered in my article and research.

To see national suicide statistics at a glance, check out Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This author can be reached via Twitter: @RRoggenstein. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the March 17 article, Stroke victim inspires, gives hope for trauma recovery.

By |2014-03-25T00:00:00-07:00March 25th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|1 Comment

EDITORIAL: Avoid procrastination, unhealthy habits

Procrastination: to put off intentionally or habitually; to delay doing something until a later time because you do not want to do it. This term is not uncommon for high school students or adults, but has become so popular that it is used more casually and more prominent in society today that it is no surprise of its influential impact.

Typically, many high school students and adults are subject to this form of exercise. Though it may not always be meaningful, the creation of this habit may just come about spontaneously without even coming to the realization.

With busy schedules, including sports, extracurricular activities and family, students commonly fall into the trap of procrastination. Its trap is easy to fall into and may not be noticeable until the full impact has hit and past.

Despite receiving the notice to a project or assignment weeks beforehand, many put it aside to watch the latest shows on TV or partake in any activity that can quickly fill the time that should be well spent on homework. This initially takes time away from homework and can affect one’s sleeping patterns, forcing late nights of cramming for tests.

Waiting until the last minute to complete an assignment not only impacts students’ grades but also the physical state. Someone suffering from severe procrastination is often subject to irritable behavior and short attention spans. In addition, daily focus becomes much more difficult and stressful on one’s body.

Procrastination should not be taken lightly or dismissed as a common occurrence. The ramifications students think appear to be minor, are in fact severely consequential.

According to Better Health, students are required to sleep an average of nine to ten hours per night; students now a days are lucky to even fit in four hours of sleep.

Some of the effects of chronic sleep deprivation are memory impairment, depression and slower physical reflexes. These symptoms are often noticeable in any work or active place.

The thing about procrastination is that it only hurts the person who is exposed to it.; friends and teachers are not affected by the students’ poor choices. Choices that any student makes, determining whether or not to fall among the leghold that procrastination holds, affects the chooser.

Teachers or advisors are there to prepare students for their future but whether or not they take the lessons the teachers offer them, is on their own accord. Teachers are there to help students acquire the knowledge in order for them to succeed later in life. The only barrier that blocks a student from success is how they choose to manage their time.

Ways to prevent and overcome this possible habit are to leave a wide enough gap for students to finish anything that is needed to get done, but also have time after to relax before rushing on to the next task. Being able to finish on time leaves the person a feeling of accomplishment and relief, rather than the stress and pressure that usually is associated with assignments.

The Feather staff would like to encourage students to not be swept up in procrastination, but rather beat it by being prepared to take on a project right as it comes.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the Feb. 28 La musica es un lenguaje universal article.

By |2014-03-17T00:00:00-07:00March 17th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Stroke victim inspires, gives hope for trauma recovery

Over the past three years, I’ve attended many of the San Joaquin Valley Town Hall lectures. I’ve heard and met famous speakers such as Frank Abagnale, Platon and Ben Vereen. But during the final lecture I would attend, I listened to Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor who shared on a topic I originally felt was far from home.

Going into the event, I expected to hear a first-hand account of a stroke. But Dr. Taylor shared much more than that; she revealed a passion for brains I had never before experienced.

Not being a science-geared person myself, I often see related topics under a solely academic scope. But Dr. Taylor managed to use words such as beautiful, cool, adorable and exciting when describing brains.

Dr. Taylor’s passion for brains and their makeup was evident. She was alive and visibly excited to share about her experience. Dr. Taylor is a nuero anatomist, who also suffered from a stroke when she was 37, then because of her knowledge of her brain, was able to nurse herself back to full health.

To begin her session, Dr. Taylor reviewed the basic anatomy of the brain; she highlighted the two most important pieces that have to do with all our learning and emotional reactions: amygdala and hippocampus.

The rest of her lecture centered on the idea of the amygdala, which I would summarize as a gland in our brains that identifies whether or not we feel safe. When we do not feel safe, our hippocampus, which allows us to access information we have learned or memorized, cannot function. This is the source for all the anxiety and fear we face, all relying on our amygdala.

As one of the most important parts of our bodies, Dr. Taylor encouraged all her listeners to take care and understand our amygdalas. From here, most of the scientific vocabulary went over my head.

However, I did take from her lecture the important ideas of how our brains function. In one simple quote from her: “We are feeling creatures who think. And I am a life force power of 50 trillion molecular geniuses. It’s empowering to know that I can control a force that powerful.”

With 50 trillion cells inside our bodies, we have immense power to control them, including our emotions. By knowing how to think, following our emotions, we can control when we are happy, sad and angry within a 90 second range of thought.

By following her own advice, Dr. Taylor was able to fully recover all the abilities she lost in her stroke. She daily talks and encourages her cells, literally, to thank them for the huge job they do each day.

Dr. Taylor’s lecture revealed not only her passion for brains, but also hope for anyone who has suffered brain trauma. By the end of her lecture, she had everyone in the room captivated, wondering what they were doing with their 50 trillion-strong life force.

This author can be reached via Twitter: @TyninFries. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the Feb. 28 article,

By |2014-03-17T00:00:00-07:00March 17th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

La musica es un lenguaje universal

As a part of an ongoing assignment in the Spanish III class, students write bilingual articles, utilizing the language skills they build over the course of a year. Yet the following article is written by bilingual writer Justin Houts, expressing his love for music.

The articles will be published every month, highlighting each students’ interests. This is the eighth article in the combined series.

For the previous installment, read the Feb. 13 article, La Copa Mundial 2014 en Brasil.

Music is a great part of everyday life. It influences us all in some way, and is part of all our hearts. There are all different genres of music that people listen to, such as Pop, Country, Rap, Jazz, and many others. Some people listen to music only during parts of their day, others prefer to listen to it almost the entire day.

In the following article, Houts discusses different types of music and how they impact people.

La musica es algo que es siempre diferente. Pero, tiene su influencia en todo el mundo. Con la musica, las personas funcionan de forma diferente. La musica puede cambiar la forma como pensamos, como actuamos, y lo que decimos.

Un de los generos mas populares de musica hoy en dia es diferente. Segun Billboard 2013, entre los artistas populares estan Eminem, Miley Cirus, Katy Perry, Drake, One Direction, Imagine Dragons, y Macklemore, A pesar de que estas personas en el mundo de la musica son muy diferentes entre si, todos ellos encuentran su inspiracion en las cosas de la vida que han experimentado.

Phillip Christopher, ’17, no escucha musica moderno el espanol, porque no es parte de le cultura.

“Me amor de musica popular es muy profundo,” comenta Christopher. “Me amo nuevo artistas en el radio. Me gusta escucho los nuevas canciones todos los dias. Es unb parte favorita de mi dia.”

Otro tipo de musica que es muy popular es la musica country. Algunos de los artistas famosos de la musica country son Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Zac Brown Band, y Kip Moore. Cada ano un gran espectaculo de television es el Country Music Awards. Un estudiante que le encanta la musica es Jason Swain, ’15.

“Mi amor por la musica country es algo mas que el ritmo,” comenta Swain. “Es el profundo patriotismo y el amor por nuestro pais lo que hace Estados Unidos Estados Unidos.”

A pesar de haber muchos tipos de musica, uno de los mas populares en el mundo es rap. La musica rap es para los que pueden hablar muy rapidamente y mucho sonido del bajo. Los artistas populares de rap son Eminem, E-40, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, y muchos mas. Rap es un tipo de musica popular en su mayoria compuesto por personas jovenes.

Un tipo de musica menos popular, pero muy que es muy complicado es Jazz. La campus del la escuela tiene un banda de Jazz. Este musica es muy dificil y es un de los mas dificils para tocar. Eric Cowin, ’14, toca musica de Jazz a le casa y a escuela en clase.

“Tengo cinco anos de experencia en el bando de Jazz,” comenta Cowin. “Toco la guitara en clase, es mi favorita instramenta para tocar. Mi cancion de jazz es “El Pollo”, porque de este energia y la progressiones. Pero, a mi casa prefiero tocar la musica rock. Pero toco la musica Jazz tambien.”

La maestra de Espanol, Senora Beatriz Foth, nacio en Uruguay. En Uruguay, escuchan musica differente.

“Recuerdo hacer los quehaceres en mi casa en Uruguay escuchando las canciones en ingles y en italiano que que pasaban en la radio,” dice Foth. “Hasta mis hijos se prendieron de memoria las canciones de Air Supply y los Backstreet Boys.”

Personalmente me encanta la musica en general, y a pocas personas les gusta solamente un tipo de musica. Hay muchos tipos de musica de Estados unidos, Sudamerica, Europa y Asia, y todo el mundo. La musica es siempre diferente y siempre seta cambiando. Una cosa sobre la musica es siempre cierta: alcanza los corazones de todo el munro.

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

By |2014-02-28T00:00:00-07:00February 28th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

EDITORIAL: Weighing the effects of words

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” We all sang this tune throughout elementary school, but as we got older we realized how improbable its truth is. Now, as teens we struggle with words every day.

This semester the Bible classes, chapel themes and worship songs are centered around Ephesians 4. Ephesians is often referred to as the book of encouragement, however The Feather staff has seen an increase of hate, gossip and cruelty around campus.

Not only do the teens on campus struggle with verbal abuses, but it begins at a much younger age. Recently, bullying has been a hot topic, specifically in the elementary grades as kids develop their personalities, preferences and cliques. But in order to prevent further disturbances, the change must begin in all areas.

As high school students reign at the top, change must start now. The Feather staff has observed a larger amount of gossip and judgement in the halls. Not only that, some incidents include blunt insults spoken to their peers.

Students are told “not to care what people think,” or “their opinion doesn’t matter” from any mentor around them. But in reality, even adults struggle with ignoring judgement and criticism.

Students criticize teachers, snide comments are blurted out in front of others and the effects are lasting. Though one mistake might seem like a small insult, in reality that’s the one thing that will remain engrained in the victim’s mind.

The Feather has also noted that many of the issues are spurred at school events such as athletic games, performances and others. Instead of attending to support a peer’s efforts, some criticize endlessly. The staff encourages its readers to consider the consequences of their words.

Though a simple joke or whispered comment may not seem harmful, anyone can testify to the pain everyone can suffer from words. Again, think about how much more it could impact someone having a bad day or struggling with depression.

Instead of using words to harm other students, The Feather hopes students of all ages will begin to consider the consequences of their words. Even if the consequences are never known, each word out of one’s mouth has an impact.

The Feather challenges all readers to use their words in an encouraging manner, instead of morphing them to damper someone’s spirit. Words have the power to make friends, inspire nations and make someone’s day. Or they can have the strength to discourage a friend, scar self esteem and leave lasting negative effects. You choose.

Please return tomorrow for info graphic as it failed to load due to server issue.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the Jan. 21 article, Journalism matures Senior Editor.

By |2014-02-26T00:00:00-07:00February 26th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Journalism matures Senior Editor

My freshmen year I decided to stay under the radar. I hardly did any extracurriculars and my elective was study hall. I just went to school, did my work and kept my head down. I guess that’s the typical behavior of a freshman, or they are extremely obnoxious but that was not the case for me.

Every day I would walk into English class, where Tynin Fries, Annalise Rosik and Emily Shakeshaft would rave about journalism class. They did talk about the struggles and stress of the class but their response was mainly positive. Their reaction to the class made me interested in joining, so my sophomore year I decided to take a risk and enroll in journalism.

That was by far one of the best decisions I have ever made. I know, that sounds a little dramatic but it’s the truth. Journalism has taught me so much. I have not only enhanced my writing skills but I have learned a lot about myself.

Journalism is much more important than people give it credit for. One of the most significant parts of journalism is the ability to speak ones mind, which is guaranteed to journalists by the First Amendment. Being a part of the class gives me the chance to give my opinions and perspective on any topic I choose.

Journalism has also given me the confidence to speak to anyone and everyone. For articles, I have to get quotes to gain more opinion on the topic, and in doing so it has made me more comfortable talking to complete strangers. It helped me acquire interviewing skills as well as better people skills.

For me personally, publications contributed to the growth of some of my friendships. One example is Fries. I have been in the class with her for three years now and we hold the top positions of the paper with her as Editor-in-Chief and me as Senior Editor. Because this class requires so much work and time, Fries and I have spent the better part of our high school careers together. It has strengthened our friendship and given us a common ground where we can understand each other.

Not only has journalism strengthened the relationships I have with friends but it has given me new associations with people I would not otherwise talk to. It has been great to gain new friends but on a more professional level it has given me connections to community leaders. I have been to several events where I had the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with more distinguished individuals such as Frank Abagnale, the man of whom the popular film Catch Me If You Can is based off of.

This past week being Scholastic Journalism Week hosted by the Journalism Education Association (JEA) has been very important to me. Journalism has been a huge part of my life for the past three years, and getting a week to celebrate the work not only done by me but also by my staff is special. This week is an advocate for student journalists around the nation to promote the opportunities and freedoms we have. This time has reminded me the importance of the work I do.

Journalism set up my future. Without this class I would just be another face in the crowd of high school students. Journalism has given me the chance to set myself apart from the norm. When I started to prepare for college I was extremely nervous but I remembered that being a part of The Feather could be my way in. It was my dream to go to college in New York, and to my utter surprise I was accepted to New York University (NYU), which I completely accredit to my time spent in journalism.

I have had a great time in the past three years learning new skills and experiencing unforgettable moments. When I first entered high school I thought there was no way I would be able to handle the real world. But now I’m about to graduate with full confidence in myself and the skills I have acquired. I’m ready to enter the “adult” world and actually be an adult. Thanks to journalism, I feel like I have a future.

Below is a window featuring the hashtag #SJW2014, which The Feather has used all week to celebrate their love for journalism.

This author can be reached via Twitter: @viv_hinojosa. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the Feb. 20 article, College Corner: What to expect on test day.

By |2014-02-21T00:00:00-07:00February 21st, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

La Copa Mundial 2014 en Brasil

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 seventh installment is written by senior Tynin Fries.

For the previous installment, read the Jan. 23 article, La Historia de un Viajero.

Este ano, la Copa Mundial 2014 se celebrate en Brasil, uniendo las naciones de todo el mundo en su pasion por el futfol. La mayoria de los paises participantes en el evento son de habla hispana.

El torneo tiene lugar cada cuatro anos donde el campeon es coronado despues de numerosos partidos. La tradicion fue fundada en 1930 y solo perdio dos anos (1942 y 1946) debido a la Guerra Mundial II.

En el ultimo torneo, celebrado en Sudafrica, Espana se corono campeon en 2010. La Copa Mundial es general incluye unos 32 equipos que califican a lo largo de los tres anos anteriores.

Ha habido 19 torneos de la Copa Mundial desde su fundacion, pero solo ha sido ganadapor ocho equipos diferentes. Brasil tiene cinco titulos, Italia tiene cuatro, Alemania ha ganado tres veces, Argentina y Uruguay cada celebran Campeonato e Inglaterra, Francia y Espana tienen ganaron una vez.

La Copa Mundial es uno de los eventos deportivos mas vistos en el mundo, recibiendo unos 715,1 millones de vistas durante la Copa de Mundial 2006 en Alemania. El motivo de que este evento es tan popular es porque llega a todos los amantes del futfol, de todo el mundo.

El evento es realmente increible como se une al mundo a traves de un deporte. La Copa de Mundial anterior recibio 3.178.856 visitantes de todo el mundo, quien es viajaron a ver los partidos. Esta tradicion es un evento increible que solo crecera hasta convertirse en un fenomeno en el mundo.

This year, the 2014 FIFA World Cup will be held in Brazil, uniting nations from all over the world in their love for football. Most countries participating in the event come from Spanish-speaking backgrounds.

The tournament takes place every four years where the champion is crowned after numerous matches. The tradition was established in 1930 and only missed two years (1942 and 1846) because of World War II.

In the last tournament, held in South Africa, Spain was crowned champion in 2010. The World Cup usually includes about 32 teams that qualify throughout the previous three years.

There have been 19 World Cup tournaments since its founding, but it has only been won by 8 different teams. Brazil holds five titles, Italy holds four, West Germany has won three times, Argentina and Uruguay each hold two championship, and England, France and Spain have each won once.

The FIFA World Cup is one of the most watched sporting events in the world, last receiving about 715.1 million views during the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The reason this event is so popular is because it reaches all football fanatics, which is people all over the world.

The event is really incredible in how it unites the world through one sport. The previous World Cup hosted 3,178,856 visitors from around the world who traveled to watch the games. This tradition is an amazing event that will only grow to become a phenomenon around the world.

This author can be reached via Twitter: @TyninFries. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more Spanish columns, read the Jan. 23 article, La Historia de un Viajero.

For more opinions, read the Feb. 4 article, Senior pursues alternate route after graduation.

By |2014-02-13T00:00:00-07:00February 13th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Senior pursues alternate route after graduation

In high school, there are people who know exactly what they want to do with their lives after graduation, and there are those who are just not sure yet. I started out my high school career somewhat lost and clueless, as most freshmen are.

I was not particularly interested in any academic class enough to have a desire to major in it in college, and possibly make it my job for the remainder of my life. So then, I took a step back and thought maybe I don?t have to be a doctor or a teacher, maybe I could do something that really makes me happy.

For me that was drama class. Being on stage, acting or singing, is what I live for. Since my first role in my third grade class?s instalment of The Wizard of Oz, I fell in love with the spotlight. During my sophomore year, I knew what I wanted to do with my life, but then again I had no clue where to start.

During the rest of my years at Fresno Christian, I learned that there are many different paths you can take while looking for career possibilities and choosing what to do about the whole college thing.

I myself chose a somewhat ?weird? or different path in the words of my teachers. Even though this is a weird path to follow after high school, many other people from this very school have chosen unique careers after graduating from high school.

For example, Megan Witters, who graduated from Fresno Christian in 2007, decided that she wanted to become a baker as her choice of career. After her two years of working experience at Hume Lake, Witters set out to apply to the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena CA.

According to Witters it was clear to her that she wanted to pursue a career in the culinary field, after working at Hume Lake. It took Witters two years to graduate including a 5 month internship, but she received her AA degree in occupational studies of baking and pastry arts, and is now a successful pastry chef.

So, now having a clue what I wanted to do with my life, I had to figure out where to go and how to get there. During my junior year, I solidified my path for college and now know exactly what I?m doing. My plan after graduation is to pack my bags and head North to live in the wonderful state of Oregon, and major in performing arts in college and hopefully after that make acting my full time job.

Now most people will tell you that going out of state for college is ridiculously expensive due to out of state tuition, which is very true. However, there is an easy way around it, the way that I have decided to take. I am taking something called a gap year.

A gap year is when you can take a year off of school in between high school graduation and opening day for most colleges. Unlike most of my classmates who had to go through the college application process this past fall semester, I get to wait until next fall to go through the same process as them.

What’s the difference between the application process for someone taking a gap and someone who is not? Nothing. You do everything exactly the same, scholarship applications, grants and the actual college application. Personally, taking a gap year will not just benefit me financially, but mentally.

During this gap year, I can take a little break from the life of a student, focus on becoming a better man and getting more in touch with God. This allows me to become a more well rounded and mature person, and I think that will substantially benefit me during my time in college.

I would recommend to anyone who wants to go out of California for college to take a gap year, or even to someone who just needs time to figure things out before heading off to college. Taking a gap year is a valid option for any student, and it could change your college experience for the better.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the Jan. 31 article, Campus president takes 70-day pledge.

By |2014-02-04T00:00:00-07:00February 4th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Campus president takes 70-day pledge

Ladies and gents, when you read this letter there will be approximately 70 days of high school left in this school year. I am using this forum to beg my class and schoolmates to spend these final hours embracing old and new friendships, supporting and attending our friend?s activities and sharing what few opportunities we have before us to enjoy and experience each other as high schoolers.

Just like Jesus said in Matthew, “We are in the last days,” and “The end is immanent.” I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is not an oncoming train, it is the vast world of colleges and universities and jobs that will separate us from our Fresno Christian family in many many ways.

I am making a pledge to attend winter and spring sports events, to cheer and celebrate our friends’ successes and console their failures. I will be at the upcoming drama production and the choir/band performances.

Please join me at these events so we can sit back and enjoy the entertainment together ? lets laugh until we cry. I will save you a seat if you would like.

I am especially calling on all seniors because our fates have been sealed; colleges have received our applications, the padding of a resume is futile at this point, and frankly we have been trained well in the ways of God and men ? it will all work out.

Let?s take these 70 days to put others before our selfish desires. Join me in this 70 day pledge to embrace the achievements of our friends with enthusiasm at this last opportunity to cheer them on. The final act has begun, so let?s end it with a bang.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the Jan. 28 article, Junior discusses origins, customs of Chinese New Year. For Caleb’s previous article, read the Dec. 12 article, ASB president finds self, encourages discovery.

By |2014-01-31T00:00:00-07:00January 31st, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Junior discusses origins, customs of Chinese New Year

ChineseLuckyMoneySmJeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive
As Chinese New Year approaches, I want to share something about Chinese culture with my friends after spending my first semester adapting to the new environment and breaking through various difficulties. We use the lunar calendar to count the date of traditional holidays in China, so the exact date of Spring Festival varies from year to year, and this year’s Spring Festival is Jan. 31.

According Chinese zodiac, this year will be the year of horse.

In Chinese, we call the Chinese New Year “Chun Jie”, which literally means Spring Festival. Actually, Spring Festival was a totally different holiday before the Revolution of 1911, which was marked as the starting point of modern China.

After, the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, Chinese government changed the name of Chinese New Year into Spring Festival so that people will not get confused by the two New Years in two calendars.

Spring Festival is the most important holiday for the Chinese. In fact, Chinese people value Spring Festival as much as how westerners value Christmas. Even in some prisons, prisoners, guards and the warden celebrate Spring Festival together.

In today’s China, we have eight days of vacation for Spring Festival (including the New Years’ Eve) in which the first four are designated by law.

Traditional Chinese culture emphasizes reunion of the families, so people tend to rush back home during Spring Festival no matter what they do and where they are.

In Chinese main land, we even have a special concept called “Spring Rush”, which is a situation similar to, but way more severe than what happens here in America before Thanksgiving. People start to order bus, train or plane tickets a month earlier than the holiday and people start to actually travel one to three weeks before the holiday.

Take my family as an example. I live with my parents and my father’s parents in Beijing while my mother?s parents live in a city 150 miles away. So we usually spend the New Years? Eve (Chu Xi) and the first few days of the New Year with my father’s parents, visit some relatives, and then spend a couple of days with my mother’s parents and the other relatives.

To most of Chinese people, Chu Xi is the most important day. In Chu Xi, one of the most important events for us is sitting by the table with a big family and enjoying a big dinner prepared by the whole family, although some people are getting lazy and started to eat in the restaurants.

During the afternoon of Chu Xi, My whole family of eight would gather together and prepare the dinner. In some years, I was even the ‘head chef’ with grandma giving me advices. There are a lot of traditional dishes that have to appear on the dinner table at that night. The specific dishes depend on different regions, cultures and personal preferences. Here are some “necessities” for our family.

The seedling of green bean or soybean is the sign of good luck because they look like a traditional Chinese symbol called Ru Yi, which means “as you wish.” And the stir frying canola is usually served with the seedling because it looks like another ancient symbol that represents happiness. It?s called “An Le.”

Fish is also required, because in Chinese, the word “fish” and the word “surplus” sounds the same, so eating fish indicates our wish of getting more than we need in the next year. In addition, we are not supposed to finish the fish because of the wish of “surplus.”

Lastly, the most important Spring Festival food in the entire northern China is called “Jiao Zi,” or dumplings. We make hundreds of them for the big dinner. Besides the usual stuffing, we make a few of them with sweet red bean paste and coins, and we wish the people who happen to eat them will have good luck for the next year. And that’s why my cousins and I tried so hard to find the “luck” by looking for the slight difference on the surface of dumplings.

Firework is another necessity for Spring Festival and it’s also my favorite since I was a kid. Strangely, I especially like those cheap firecrackers instead of those expensive, ginormous and fancy fireworks for display. It’s because there are so many ways to play firecrackers but after you lit a firework, all you can do is watch. And, the person who lights up the firework always has the worst view. No exceptions.

For adults, there is a tradition of giving kids lucky money, which is the major source of income for me in the whole year.

There are too many interesting traditions about Spring Festival that I swear I can write a whole book about it just base on my own experience and the stories from my parents and grandparents. But what I can write in the article is limited.

So, if you have interest in Spring Festival, you are welcomed to ask your Chinese friends as well as your Korean friends and Vietnamese friends as they celebrate that holiday in their country, too.

And, this year’s Spring Festival experience is going to be a little bit different for me as I am six thousand miles away from home. But, fortunately, my Chinese Church is organizing a celebration on February. 8. Also, I will celebrate Chu Xi with my fellow international student Tom and his mother after the basketball game on Friday.

In addition, I encourage readers to attend the Chinese New Year Parade and Festival in downtown Fresno on March 1, starting at 10 a.m.

For more opinions, read the Jan. 23 article, La Historia de un Viajero.

By |2014-01-28T00:00:00-07:00January 28th, 2014|Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments