Saint Francis Students are Truly “Inspired in Hawaii” for the T.C. Ching Contests

It was recently announced that cinematography students Peyton Coronas, Tiffany Trantham, Kelsea Gines, and Kelcee Santos’ video made it to the finals for the T.C. Ching Video competition, “Inspired in Hawaii”. The goal of the competition was to make their community aware of problem issues Hawaii deals with. Their video, “Kids and Drugs,” shows how drugs not only affects the person taking the them, but also friends, family, and classmates.  The cast consists of students from the St. Francis Elementary, ages ranging from kindergarten to fourth grade. Narrated by Trey Thiessen, an elementary student at St. Francis, he lists the statistics of the terrible effects drugs has had on Hawaii’s youth, and how it can lead to the demise of loved ones. The background music for the video was performed by eleventh grader Erin Tanaka. It was a very moving video and it is no surprise this video was nominated for the finals. The T.C. Ching Foundation also had an essay and poster contest for all grade levels. Representing the sixth grade, Skylar Lotomau’s essay entitled “Bullying”; and kindergartener Gabriela Byrne ‘s poster “Happy Hawaii” are also finalists from Saint Francis School.

Keep Your Friends Close, and Your Belongings Closer

Theft happens everywhere, making no exception for the small community here at Saint Francis School. Although there is only a small percentage of the general population that does steal, students must not be naïve to the fact theft can occur anywhere, including school, and they must take precautions to prevent it from happening to them.

It is sad when students cannot trust their own classmates because they know that there is a thief among them. Stealing is already bad as it is, but when it is from people who you are supposed to be able to trust, it makes you feel violated. Not knowing who the culprit is makes you look at everyone as a potential suspect. It is also hard for students to believe that their peers would steal from them because Saint Francis is such a small school that everyone is more like a family.

Everything that people have was bought by someone, whether it is by themselves, their parents, a relative, or a friend. When someone steals another’s possessions, they are stealing someone else’s hard work. Someone had to work to get the money to buy the phone, iPod, or textbook that is now stolen. Regardless of what the situation is, stealing is unacceptable. If you want something so bad, work for it, don’t steal it.

Students cannot be ignorant to the fact that theft does go on at school. When students are naïve about it, they only become more prone to being the next victims. Students must take precautions to prevent this from happening.

Students must be conscious of what they carry with them. Instead of carrying $100 in your bag, carry just enough for lunch and the bus and keep it safe in your wallet, in your bag. Although it is best not to bring valuables to school, if you do need them, keep them in your bag and make sure you know where it is at all times. Every time you take your phone or your iPod out, be sure to put it back in the same pocket so you won’t be searching for it, thinking you lost it. If you need to bring your laptop to school, make sure you don’t forget it anywhere, and keep it close to you at all times. Also, don’t leave anything plugged in and unattended because it is a perfect opportunity for someone to pass by and take it.

Not only do students have to be aware of what they bring to school, but they should also be mindful of where they put it. Leaving your bag filled with money, your phone, iPod, and laptop unattended is not the smartest idea. Ask someone you can trust to watch your belongings when you go to the bathroom or heat up your lunch, and although you can’t always depend on someone else when it comes to your personal items, it is still better than leaving it unattended. To prevent stolen textbooks, keep your locker combinations to yourself and don’t keep your locks open. It may be tempting to give someone your combination because you don’t want to walk all the way to your locker, but it still is the safest option. Students should also be conscious of what they leave on their lockers. Leaving sports gear, gym bags, and other books on top of the lockers may be convenient, but it could also result in it getting stolen. Students should instead find a classroom to store their possessions in until the end of the day, if it is approved by the teacher.

Students need to be aware that theft happens everywhere. Keep your belongings close, and be conscious of what you carry. Remember that you are responsible for your belongings. Never leave your items unattended, and at all costs try to keep valuables at home. If something of yours has been stolen or you know someone that is stealing, report it, or this problem will only get worse.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

After years of growing up with Harry Potter, it is shortly at its end. As Harry, Ron, and Hermione take their final journey in the first part to the 7th installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, audiences will be both thrilled by the action and saddened with thoughts of the inevitable end.

On their final journey, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are on a quest to find and destroy the remaining horcruxes that were introduced in the previous movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The horcruxes, dark objects that contain a part of Voldemort’s soul, must be found and destroyed to finally kill Voldemort. With little knowledge of where to start searching for the horcruxes, Harry, Ron, and Hermione must use their talent and all that they have learned throughout the years to not only find them, but avoid being killed.

The action and special effects in this movie will satisfy fans, from the opening scene of transporting Harry to the Weasley’s house while fending off Death Eaters to the fast-paced chases in the woods, audiences will surely be on the edge of their seats. With Voldemort and the Death Eaters on a constant chase for Harry and his friends, fans will be rooting for their beloved characters from beginning to end. From the disapparations to their near death experiences in London, the special effects in this movie are very believable and appropriate for each scene. Of all the Harry Potter movies, this one has the most action and fighting, which will definitely keep audiences awake for this two and a half hour long film.

The story line can be slightly difficult to follow if you have never watched any of the Harry Potter movies. Probably the most difficult concept to grasp would be that of the horcruxes, but other than that, first time viewers should be fine. As mentioned earlier, this movie does involve more action than previous movies, but it also provides a little more romance and a more in depth view of the characters. The characters of Harry, Ron, and Hermione are more defined, especially for Ron and Hermione. The two characters have bigger roles than in any of the previous movies, and are also portrayed with their own conflicts and relationships. It is made clear that the journey that the three friends are on, has more to do with than just protecting Harry and avenging his parents, it also means something for each of them. It is apparent in this movie that Harry would not have been as successful in the past films without Ron and Hermione. Fans will learn to appreciate the characters even more in this movie.

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron), and Emma Watson (Hermione) are amazing in this movie. They continue to portray their characters well, and definitely make this movie worth watching. The little kids everyone knew in the first movies are now mature young adults. Fans will be able to see that they have not only grown as their characters, but as actors too.

As a big Harry Potter fan, I was really impressed with this movie. It was by far the best, with its continued known excellence of action, storyline, and acting. I would recommend this movie to anyone. It is worth your money and your time, and will get you excited for the next and last movie – Part 2.

Same Moral, Different Story

Students left for winter break with a fresh mindset of the true meaning of Christmas when the seniors gave an outstanding performance during this school year’s, senior Christmas Play.

Much appreciation to senior Taylor Weeks, who wrote and directed the play and also to the senior class as well as their teachers: Mr. Bonning, Ms. Alves, and Mr. Sekulich who were able to exercise their teamwork skills by making this year’s play one to remember.

The senior play was based off the theme of the movie “Love Actually” where different sets of people encounter problems and solutions during the holidays. In this case, the senior play involved three people who learned the true meaning of Christmas through giving.

Our first set of actresses in the play was an imitation of the characters from the movie “Mean Girls.” Candace Maria, played Regina who was selfish and only cared about what she got as presents from her friends. Assisting her in their “clique” were seniors, Kayla Watson who played Grechen, Kalena Snow who played Karen, and Ashley Kupau who played Cady, all who gave up trying to convince Regina that Christmas wasn’t about expensive gifts.

Jennifer, played by Lana Hudson, was a hardworking mom who was more concerned about making her “Christmas Concert” perfect rather than spending time with her only son on Christmas. Casey Cabanas played Denise who was Jennifer’s assistant trying to remind her that family was important during Christmas.

Darian Sarajina played Lauren who was busy trying to figure out what to get her friend Korin, played by Chaylene Guinto, for Christmas.

In the end, Jesus (Mr. Sekulich) paid a special visit to each person and taught them a lesson. Regina (Candace Maria) realized she was too caught up with receiving that she forgot about giving. Jennifer (Lana Hudson) learned that she wasn’t being a good role model by showing her son the true meaning of Christmas, and Lauren (Darian Sarajina) settles for a more self-giving and personal gift to give to Korin (Chaylene Guinto).

Overall, with the laughter in the crowd, the senior play proved to be a success. “I was really satisfied with how the play turned out,” said Taylor Weeks. “The actresses killed it! They couldn’t have done it any better! And the set, I didn’t know so many people in my class were such good artists!”

Those who decorated the set of the play as well as those who acted in the show were pleased with the outcome. “I played Cady in the play, part of the Mean Girls. I liked it because I usually play that part in real life. It took a lot of work and what we all hoped for in the end was for everyone to like it,” explained Ashley Kupau.

The time and dedication the seniors put into the play paid off when the true meaning of Christmas was reiterated in a new and fun way. “I wanted my class to see that we could put this whole project together and have fun doing it,” explained Taylor Weeks “I know for sure I did! As for the rest of the school, they should already know the moral to the play, but everyone could use a refresher every once in a while.”

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing: An Annual North Shore Tradition

While other parts of the world are witnessing lower temperatures, snowmen littered in backyards and a white, frosty Christmas season, O’ahu’s North Shore is welcoming something much different. Replacing the winter wonderland is barreling surf, waves 15 feet high, and frothy whitewash. This can only mean one thing, The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

An annual event held on the North Shore of O’ahu, this competition attracts the best of the best in the surfing world. From Kelly Slater to Jeremy Flores, hundreds of fans and spectators came to see what these professionals have to offer when challenged with Hawaii’s killer waves.

When I went to the competition, the crowd – tourists and amateur surfers alike – were in awe at how the professionals dealt with the life threatening waves. The massive monsters crashed on the sand with such force and anger, but when the surfers rode them, it’s as if they were tamed, and the surfers owned them. You could feel the excitement and anxiety in the air. I was impressed at how the pros handled the waves and admired their skills. Tourists came in their big tour buses, some drove, and the neighborhood kids rode their bikes, just to see all the buzz. You could feel the elation that the spectators and surfers shared pulse through your every being. It was truly a thrilling experience.

The Triple Crown was started in 1983 by State Senator Fred Hemmings and is held from November 12 to December 20 every year. It showcases multiple sponsored competitions that are held in 3 of the North Shore’s famous beaches. The first is at Ali’i Beach in Haleiwa, where the Men’s Reef Hawaiian Pro and the Women’s Cholo Hawaiian Pro is held. Next comes Sunset beach with the men’s O’neill World Cup of Surfing and the Gidget Pro. Last, but definitely not least, is the Billabong Pipe Masters that take place at Pipeline Beach.

Even though the competition is an annual event, there is one thing very different this year. That is the loss of beloved Kaua’i surfer, Andy Irons. Irons won the competitions in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006 and holds the record for the most amount of money won in the competition’s history. He was one of surfing’s best. Andy Irons passed away on November 2 at the early age of 32 from a minor flu that turned deadly. He will be dearly missed by the surfing world and his fans.

Tourists eagerly watch the Triple Crown

If you haven’t attended the Triple Crown before, then you should definitely go to the 2011 competitions. On a personal note, I think this annual competition is something we, as residents of Hawaii, should be proud of. While everybody else is freezing in snow storms, we are enjoying ourselves in the sun. Hawaii has something quite unique that doesn’t include below 0̊ temperatures and hail storms. We have the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

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