Aladdin Jr: From Practice To Performance

Lights, camera, action! Our upcoming school play will be Aladdin Jr. performed by our very own students. Hard work, determination, dedication and memorization are essential for the students that want to be a part of the production. When it comes to the play, theatre teacher Ms. Minerbi don’t play.  She expects all of the participants to be at every practice. She is also trusting that all performers practice at home, too. Building/finding and being in touch with your character is the key to being a successful actor/actress. Memorizing you lines are very important, but,  remember, you can memorize all the lines, but if you can’t deliver them properly as the character you’re trying to mimic, then you’re role is as good as nothing. 

Last year’s play was “Pirates of Penzance”. It was the very first play that I was ever in. It was extremely nerve-wracking. Yet, at the same time, it was exciting and exhilarating. When it came time to do the first performance, my heart was racing so fast.  It felt like my chest was closing in by stage fright. It was pretty emotional for some people, such as the seniors because it was their final play.

Last year, I was a part of the theatre class. Everyone who was in theater class automatically was in the play, but the roles were not set in place yet.  Acting was something I wanted to do my whole life, so I felt very determined that I had to be the lead… and I was!  When I first auditioned with my friend Faith Mafua, we sang the “floss song” from Zack and Cody. It’s not a typical song to sing/perform for  an audition, but it surprisingly gave the both of us parts in the play. In class, I was always singing anyway, so she already knew what I could and couldn’t do. This was actually good for me and the play because if I sang like how I auditioned, it would’ve been a musical flop.

Vocal rehearsal is extremely necessary, The actors are singing constantly in practice. We had practice every single day and sang the same song about five times. This year for Aladdin Jr, the director Mirava Minerbi and chorus teacher Arkom Swamkum, set a schedule specifically for vocal rehearsals so that we all know the songs.  

Last year, the songs were pretty difficult: some of the girls songs were really high-pitched. When you don’t have practice, you should really rest your voice for the performance. There have been times when the actors/actresses lost their voices due to overdoing it. For example, ME! When the performances came around I nearly lost my voice entirely due to constantly singing five days a week for the play. Initially I’m supposed to be the only one singing the high parts in the song “Poor Wondering One”, but, because of my voice, I told my fellow cast members to help me out on that part. 

In practice when it is not your turn, one thing you should be doing is rehearsing your lines. Memorizing your lines is very important. Ms. Minerbi said, “Remembering your lines is more important than remembering your song because you have other people on the stage to help you with the song if you mess up.” 

During performance time, three out of five of our plays were during school. Our first performance was right after homeroom. Everyone was so nervous. The little kids were shaking. Some of the upperclassmen were hyperventilating heavily. Everyone was super excited.

When the play was over, everyone finally appreciated everything; they had become so humble and grateful to be a part of the production. All of us would love to do it again, so stay tuned for this year’s play… Aladdin Jr.

A Positivity from a Passion


We are blessed to have so much resources in the world, down to the milk we drink and the food we eat. You could say it is a perfect world for us, but have you ever stopped to think how and what all those resources come from?

Each year, over 16 billion animals are killed for food, and their deaths aren’t really painless either. There’s a saying that goes, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”  It explains the inevitable truth: animals suffer everyday. They are grown abnormally large to provide more for us, uncomfortably stored in warehouses, and even are painfully killed. But many don’t really see their side because we are the ones who benefit from all this.

Believe it or not, animals suffering for our food is not the only way they are used for harm. According to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), “Hundreds of thousands of animals are poisoned, blinded, and killed every year in archaic product tests for cosmetics, personal-care products, household cleaning products, and even fruit juices.”

My compassion for animals has pushed me to make a change. There are people like me with a similar interest, many of which are Vegan. However I believe that there is more than one way to help these poor animals out. I plan on carrying that out by switching to cruelty free makeup. You probably didn’t know that many makeup brands are harmful to animals. It is, the guinea pigs, bunnies, and mice that could just as easily be our pets.

“You wouldn’t allow it on your pets, but you allow it on other animals just like them.” says Noelle Barclay, a student here at Saint Francis who is striving to work for PETA one day.

Makeup is a big passion of mine, and has been for the past 5 years. I see it as taking something I love and turning it into something positive and helpful. What can I do? Well, there is a number of things–I can first vow to never buy makeup that is harmful to the animals. Here are some to name a few:

  • Too Faced
  • Urban Decay
  • Tarte Cosmetics
  • Elf Cosmetics
  • NYX Cosmetics
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills
  • NARS

Other ways include speaking up for what I believe in. I will use my voice to sign petitions about how I feel and support others who feel the same way. Supporting cruelty free charities who are fighting for the cause of ending the suffering of the animals is another way. If we all come together, we can make a difference in this world. Animals have feelings just like us. They are living creatures just like us. Just imagine how we would feel if we weren’t the top of the food chain.

Big Sibling Little Sibling Day: An Event I’ll Never Forget

Big Sibling Little Sibling Day is that time that freshmen and seniors are paired with a big sibling or a little sibling. Some freshmen may have two older siblings, or just one. Seniors are the only ones who know who their little siblings are. Freshmen are not allowed to find out until “the big reveal.”

I was so excited to get a big sibling! The day that big sibling little sibling day started I was looking forward to making notes because I love making cards. I loved communicating with a senior because they gave me advice and pointers how to get through high school. We made funny jokes with one another. It felt like we knew one another for a long time. We had things in common, and things we both disliked.

I loved buying things for my sibling! I thought it was really fun. I bought her things like Arizona ice tea, chocolate, and Mamba. My “big” would also buy me things, too, such as shakes, donuts, and chocolate!!

My favorite part was by far the notes because my sibling loved Disney characters like me. She loves Ariel and Minnie Mouse. I was happy that she liked those characters because I never drew them before, and I finally got to draw them.  I found out that my sibling actually played varsity volleyball and that she knows me. It helped me out a little, but I still knew a lot of seniors on varsity. She couldn’t tell me too much about herself, because she said I would know who she was. I tried tricking her a couple times into telling me more about her, but she wouldn’t budge. I was dying to meet her!!

The day finally came for the “big reveal.” It’s the day that we finally got to meet our siblings. I was so happy that the big day came so fast! I bought my sibling a bucket of different candies and a jar with makeup, an eyelash curler, and more girl stuff. I also got her a very nice hat that said “Aloha” on it, along with a picture of a wedding dress that she asked me to draw for her.

When it was time to go downstairs, I was scared and excited. We all went into the senior courtyard and we had to look for the senior with the poster with our name on it. The person that was holding my sign was Ciara Ratum. I was happy that she was my sibling because she is super nice! But, that wasn’t the end. When we all got settled, the seniors all traded and gave their posters to our real siblings. We were tricked!!

My real sibling was Misiona Ribeiro. I couldn’t believe that they just tricked us. But I was even happier that Misiona was my sibling because she’s my cousin! Big sibling day was a memorable day that I will always remember.

 This drawing was about my perspective of the “Big Sibling, Little Sibling” event. 

The Queen of the Court

Saint Francis School has the annual tradition of bringing together students to dance to great Hawaiian music. Working hard to get the dances down, each division practiced from the first day of school until September 15th. Many students are dancing in more than one dance for the show, so remembering them all can be stressful, especially for senior and Aloha Show Queen, Serena Lum. Juggling school work, volleyball, and having to remember three dances for Aloha Show can be a lot to take on, but she made it work.

The process of trying to remember her dances while dealing with everything else was very tough and difficult. Explaining how this process has been for her Serena says, “It has been very, very stressful and I’ve had breakdowns a lot. Being the queen is not as simple as it looks, other people watching you dance, the planning behind it, especially when you have to take care of the rest of the court. It’s very time consuming.” The pressure is overwhelming, but she still does everything she can to make sure her dances are perfect.

Hula isn’t the most important part of Serena’s life. Yet, it is still something she enjoys. Serena danced in her first Aloha Show as a freshman. In preparation, she has also used to practice hula outside of school.

Serena reflects on her years in the Aloha Show by saying, “I’ve always participated in Aloha Show because it’s definitely fun.” Taking part in something like this is a big commitment, but to Serena, it’s worth it. She will forever have great memories as the queen of the court, doing something that made her feel amazing, that she loved, bringing joy to her and many others.

Loud and Proud: A Cheerleader’s Point of View

Watching the football game in the stands or stadium has its differences compared to watching it from a cheerleader’s perspective. The cheerleading team at Saint Francis practices twice a week for about two hours and attends games usually on a Friday or Saturday. During our practices were do several different things to get us prepared for the football games and we work hard.

Every practice we warm up with three laps around the parking lot, stretches, kicks, and jumps. We stretch our legs and arms and work on our jumps. There are about five to six different jumps we do. After warming up, we work on our cheers for defense, offense, and spirit. After about a month of practicing, we were able to get most of our cheers down with the motions and slowly started to clean them up and make them tight. Uniforms came in which meant the time was coming up to cheer at the on season football games. We got our pom poms and began to work on our cheers even more. If we did not do our cheers right, our punishment was to run.

When we arrive at the games, varsity or intermediate, we stretch, kick, and jump before the game starts. Our job is to support the team and school in a positive way and be loud and proud with our different cheers. Being a cheerleader, we have to pay attention to the game and focus on whether our side is on defense or offense and call a cheer for the certain play. There are multiple cheers therefore, we are not repeating ourselves too much. It is very hot and sunny during some of the games, but we try our best to push through the sweat and heat.  However, after the game, and Saint Francis takes the win, all our cheerleading and supporting feels worth it.


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