Category Archives: Student Life

Adventure Awaits In Journey To London, Paris, and Madrid

Have you ever dreamed of traveling to Europe?  Now, is your chance to live your dream.  Saint Francis School is offering a trip to London, Paris, and Madrid in June of 2018.    The experiences you will gain are difficult to quantify and put a value on.  However,  you will return  a different person.  A trip, such as this, will change your life forever. (See “Travel Changes Lives” video below.)

High School English Teacher, Mr. Funk, will once again be leading the trip to Europe, which takes you through three different countries (England, France, and Spain) to add to your passport. The first group planning meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 2 at 3:30 p.m. in Mr. Funk’s room (321).

If you have any questions, e-mail Mr. Funk at [email protected]  All current students (8th grade-11th grade) are welcome to attend the meeting to learn more about the trip or begin planning for the adventure that awaits.

For details on the Saint Francis School trip to Europe in 2018, click on the ACIS group trip PDF below.

2018 Saint Francis School Europe Trip

Travel Changes Lives: Europe Trip 2016

Do you want to get off this island and see parts of the world that you don’t get to normally see? Well, during the summer of 2016, Saint Francis is offering students to go on a trip to Europe. Places students will visit include, Spain, France and Italy. You will get to broaden your horizons and learn how to dance the Flamenco, explore the Roman Empire, and visit the Sistine Chapel.

Not only do you get to go on a vacation, but it is also an amazing learning opportunity. Seeing all these countries is more than what you can learn in any history class and more than what you can see in your backyard.  It’s not something you get to do everyday. The feeling that you get with all the hands-on learning is something beyond words.

The knowledge you will gain on this trip will follow you throughout your life. When others see that you’ve traveled internationally for school, it shows that you have a drive to learn beyond the classroom. Not many people are presented with this type of opportunity, so if you have the chance, take it.

During the summer of 2014 a group of Saint Francis students traveled to London, Paris, Switzerland, Florence, Assisi, and Rome. They saw the Eiffel Tower, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Colosseum, Buckingham Palace, and much more.

Being on an island is difficult because you are limited to what you can see. You pretty much see the same thing every single day.  That is why this upcoming trip, Europe trip 2016, is perfect to go on.

The total cost of the trip is $5,704.  This includes airfare, transportation, hotels, meals, and other fees, such as admission prices. If cost is an issue for you, remember that the group fundraises for a year leading up to the trip to make it more affordable. If you have any questions about registering, the trip, fundraising, or anything else, see Group Leader, Mr. Funk.

For more details, you may also:

Under the Hood: Playoff Pressures and Surviving Final Projects

Studying for exams. Multi-Genre and Senior Projects need to be finished. Deadlines for tech projects. We are in that part of the year when it’s crunch time. It doesn’t have to be so stressful, though.

Sixteen teams in the NBA and NHL are currently battling for the right to be champions. The NBA is looking forward to the Finals for LeBron and company. My beloved New York Rangers, the best team during the regular season, fight for a spot to play for the coveted Stanley Cup, break their 21-year drought, and avenge last year’s loss to the Los Angeles Kings.

Students are fighting a similar battle. My advice is to think of every grade as a game 7 in sports. A game 7 is the most pulsating 48 or 60 minutes between two teams fighting to advance. In sports, they always say, “rather be lucky than good.” To have a bad grade in school is like falling behind 3-0 in a series. However, there is always another chance to make it up and gain some ground. You could complete those assignments that you missed because you were “late for school” (slang for you were hanging out late), “forgot to do it” (meaning you procrastinated and left it in the dust entirely), or even “I left my textbook at school” (meaning you simply didn’t  care at all about the assignment).

Don’t let the past get you behind. You just have to deal with it, even it feels you may fail again. If you slowly chip away at your deficit and begin to turn in your assignments, you will find yourself fighting back to force a Game 5, now down 3-1. Eventually, the grades will add up and so will the “wins.”

Maybe the task at hand wouldn’t be so bad if you had followed directions. Following directions is the easy path to a win and it doesn’t hurt to ask questions via email or in-person once in a while. In fact, help from teachers is the best medicine to help you patch up the holes in your “game” and get you back on the fast track to recovery.

There’s another “win” and you’re alive in the series, now down 3-2 heading to Game 6. Now you’ve reached the halfway point to Game 7. Feeling the need to pitch a shutout, you need another point. Cut out all distractions. Distractions are the easy road to losing the series. Whatever it may be, from hanging out with friends or losing track of assignments because you were binging on “Game of Thrones” or “Parks and Rec,” you need to minimize distractions during your work hours.

One way you may block out all distractions is by listening to your favorite music. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to eat a good dinner, which would ensure you are at your best. Feel like your work is done? Then it’s on to turning in your work. Checking your Private Reports, you see your grades rose from B’s and C’s to A’s and B’s. Now you have done the impossible. You recovered from a 3-0 series deficit to force a Game 7, now tied 3-3.

With an “all work and no play” mindset (for at least one to two hours a day), you can stay in the series and force Game 7’s everyday in school. Eventually, it won’t feel like work and it may even seem fun for you!

Crunch Time

Many seniors seem to be suffering from a bad case of what they call “senioritis.”  It is an extreme lack of effort and increased procrastination plaguing seniors before graduation.

While seniors have senioritis, juniors are facing what feels like a total reality check. The end of junior year is when many responsibilities start to kick in. Many call this time of year for juniors “crunch time.”

Why does “crunch time” happen when you’re a junior? Here are a few  potential reasons:

  1. “We’re gonna be seniors in only a few months”
  2. “I need to study for SATs and ACTs”
  3. “My grades are not ready for colleges to see!”
  4. “Where on earth do I wanna go for college?”
  5. “How am I even going to pay for college?”
  6. “Wow, I’m about to experience my last year with my class” (tears rolling)

Decision making seems to be important and constant in the few months leading up to senior year. College research needs to be done. Applications need to be filled out. Essays need to be written. Tests need to be taken. You realize, “This truly is “crunch time.” In addition, you need to embrace the fact that this will be your last year in high school and your last year you will be together with your class! You better enjoy it as much as possible.

Time is ticking, juniors! Senior year is getting closer and closer. It’s time you start planning and making the most of the short time you have before high school is over.


The Science Fair Offers Worldly Experiences and Interstellar Opportunities

If there is one thing you should know about me, it is that I have a strong passion for science. I have always wanted to pursue a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). At one time, I wanted to be a paleontologist. Another time, I wanted to be an astronomer. In sixth grade, I was introduced to the science fair, beginning my love for the subject.

During the past two years of high school, I participated in the annual science fairs. That might not sound as cool as I think it is, but science fairs are actually very interesting. Students from all around the world work on a year-long or continuation project that they present during a fair.

The Experience

My sophomore year, I participated in the science fair at the senior division level for the first time. My project, “Do Galaxies Evolve?,” was a study of the evolution of galaxies based on their “redshift” or their distance away from us. I wondered, “If stars evolve, do galaxies evolve, too?” I concluded that galaxies do evolve. They evolve in the sense that they change in shape or form over “time.” A famous example of an evolving galaxy is one of a galactic collision, galaxy m51. Due to my project, I was able to participate in the 57th Annual Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair, held at the Hawaii Convention Center.

There were many interesting projects. The one that I remember most was a technological project. I unlocked my phone to look up something on the internet, thinking I could use the free Wi-Fi. As I opened my app, I received a notification saying that the internet had been blocked.  It identified the science project that had blocked it. I thought that that was clever.

My junior year, I participated again in the science fair. I worked on an engineering project with a partner. Our project researched implementations of a potential energy network-attached storage system that will store energy from intermittent sources, such as solar and wind.

The science fair offers new experiences to learn and try new things. However, this is not the only benefit. In district fairs, participating students have the opportunity to win awards. They also have the opportunity to win a trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), held every year in May.

In state fairs, students continue to have the opportunity to win awards and earn a trip to the Intel ISEF. These awards are monetary and there is a significant increase of different awards.
The science fair has led to  new experiences and various opportunities for me.  If you dare to discover answers to your questions, who knows where it may lead you.