The Storm - October 2016 Edition


Embed or link this publication


The Storm is a free publication made by Saint John's School students

Popular Pages

p. 1

October Issue 2016 The Storm


p. 2

Our Staff Advisor Ms. Topp Editor in Chief Samara Kleiman Layout/ Graphic Editor Genesis Vega News Editor Alexa Charak Sports Editor Fernando Marchan Op-Ed Editor Monica Aponte Feature Editor Taylor Finn Reporters Sila Avilés Evalise Dexter Andrés Estrella Joaquin Albors Jose Luis Casas Nicole Barrocas Mariela Ocampo Gabriella Valdivieso Emam Othman Alejandro Latorraca Catherine Acosta Marina Acosta Stella Guiterrez Patricia Diaz Lillian Zou Luis Portela Luis Vazquez Samuel Rosero Our Mission The Storm’s mission is to create a platform in which the voices of Saint John’s School’s community is heard and responsibly informed through trust, respect, and recognition in an eloquent manner. A Message from your editor Hi, I’m Samara Kleiman, your new Editor in Chief of the school newspaper. This summer was filled with shootings, bombings, and political scandals. These events did not affect me as much as they should have; I was away at camp for most of the time. Though not felt, they did come to my mind constantly, and I could not wait to get home and write about them. Since the end of last year, I knew I would become the Editor in Chief, and my excitement was over the top. My whole summer was spent thinking about different articles the Journalism class could write about, and though this sounds nerdy, it is totally true. Being in the journalism class last year gave me a different perspective, and most journalism class regulars would agree. Ms. Topp, our advisor, was constantly emphasizing, “there is news everywhere.” It is up to us to go and find it. In order to find news, we all needed to change our way of observing and thinking. This way of thinking does not automatically click, but develops until it becomes almost unconscious. Changing perspectives and angles can change the way news is reported, written, and read. To explain this way of thinking, lets discuss Monica Puig winning the gold medal for Puerto Rico. Pride rushed through our island as we watched her standing on the podium listening to our national anthem. We will always remember exactly where we were, what we were doing, and how it felt. A Puerto Rican won a gold medal. One of us! Headlines and questions rushed through my head as I began to list different angles this story can be covered from, and trust me, the list was endless. How did she feel that day? What was the source of her motivation? How did our community celebrate her win? How did she get this far? More questions appeared as I remembered what the last year’s curriculum of Journalism was based on, and what Ms. Topp was constantly repeating: but an endless amount of perspectives and angles one can focus on. This is journalism; this is what this newspaper and its editors are trying to achieve. I hope you all enjoy reading this first issue as much as I enjoyed working on it! 2


p. 3

October Issue 2016 SJS LIFE What’s new at SJS? By: Alexa Charak Starting this school year (2016-2017), Saint John’s School has begun introducing new pieces into the daily life of its students. Hurricane Park Hurricane Park is a new amphitheater/outdoor “stadium” that includes stone bleachers and a circular center stage. This area is supposed to be used for performances and even outdoor classes. It is a project that was created by a group of students from the class of 2016 during their PBL Last December. Locker Room It is a locker/trophy room used for half time meetings to strategize for the game. It also holds all of SJS’s trophies. This was a PBL project designed by a group of students from the class of 2016. It is located across from the right main entrance of the gym. Website The SJS website is now based off a new platform. This system has new additions, which includes quizzes from within the system, a calendar of all your events that includes your class assessments (homework, quizzes, tests, etc.), and your sports schedule. In addition, you can view all college visits, and school events on the same calendar. One of the most exciting additions of the school website is that you can view your schedule online. 3


p. 4

October Issue 2016 SJS LIFE Schedule The schedule now fits eight classes instead of seven, two double blocks, and two classes that drop each day. It also includes two lunch periods. When asked about the new schedule, Sol Bender (Junior) said, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT HAVING TWO DIFFERENT LUNCH Pe riods? By: Alexa Charak “I like it because I don’t have every class everyday.” This is one of the reasons this schedule was put together. In addition, it gives students the chance to take more classes. The two lunch periods were made in order to lower the size of the lunch lines. Communication policy “I like not having to make a big line. Also, having less people is nice because it doesn’t feel as crowded. On the other hand though, some people [in my grade] have lunch b and only get to sit with five people from their grade, which does not allow them to be with all their friends but it does force them to make new ones.” -Alexandra Larrea (Freshman) The new communication policy was put into place in order to make the communication to the Saint John’s community more effective. Meredith Charak, the communications and alumni relations director, said “I like it better because there are less lines and it is not as crowded in the cafeteria.” -Ben jamin Gro ssman (Sophomore) “the purpose for the change is that now in the 21st century, there are so many different methods of communication that procedures have to be put into place for there to be a balance between overloading and not giving enough information.” “I really enjoy it a lot. I feel like lunch isn’t so stressful anymore. The cafeteria is much quieter and there being no lines allow me to have sufficient time to eat and do work.”-Erica Fuste (Junior) As a part of a the new change, group chats are being eliminated as official means of communication to make sure that all information is channeled directly from Saint John’s. “I like it because there is space to sit down and the cafeteria doesn’t seem so crowded. The only problem is that by the time we get there, since our lunch is later, there isn’t much food left.”Isabel Fernan dez (Senior) 4


p. 5

October Issue 2016 SJS LIFE Get connected, for free! By: Catherine Acosta Everyone is afraid of change. When Saint John’s faced a big change over the summer, many of us were skeptical. We had to let go of our old website and move on towards a new system that should improve how we take on our tasks. An interview with Luis Blanco of the IT department will give us a behind the scenes look on the process of changing from websites and some advice for new users. How did you know this was the right decision for the school? Since echalk was gone for good there was no choice but a new website. The services it offers are the most varied; including attendance, grades, clubs, and notes all in one. What problems with echalk are corrected with on campus? You can actually use and interact with the mobile view with On Campus where as with echalk you could only view the webpage. Its completely customizable, you can choose things like which part of the site it opens up to when you first log in and what you want to see on your calendar. You can download your schedule to your phone or computer’s calendar! 1. First log in 2. Go to “My day” and select schedule 3. Choose on the monthly view 4. Click the three green bars located at the top right corner of the schedule 5. Choose export to icalendar if your using an apple device or use the feed or webcal urls Do you have any advice for using the system? Explore all the settings it has and find what works best for you. Are there any improvements we can expect in the future? Additions like more features to the clubs section should be coming soon. Getting used to a new system will take some time, but it will benefit us in the long run! Step 4: Step 5: 5


p. 6

October Issue 2016 Summer recap June 12th Orlando, Florida June 23rd United Kingdom July 18th Cleveland, Florida August 5 Rio de Janeiro, By: Monica Aponte An American who pledged allegiance to ISIS gunned down 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Considered the deadliest mass shooting in the United States. Omar Mateen, the gunman, is responsible for what the authorities are calling the nation’s worst terror attack since 9/11. A vote was taken to decide wether Britain remains in the European Union or leaves. Leaving won 52% to 48%. After the Republican National Convention, Melania Trump’s speechwriter admits that she made a mistake while writing the speech because she was using Michelle Obama’s speech as an example for things that she liked. Opening ceremony for the Olympics was held in Rio, Brazil. Hundreds of people dancing samba walked in with the athletes to begin the games. August 13 Rio de Janeiro, August 15 Condado, San Juan Mónica Puig wins the first gold medal in Puerto Rican history in the 2016 Olympics. The tennis player came back to celebrate in a parade that was organized for her on the 22nd of August 2016. School began at Saint John’s School! SJS LIFE 6


p. 7

October Issue 2016 SJS LIFE New Students By: Patricia Díaz and Taylor Finn Imagine being told that you have to move to another country and start a new life. Saint Johns has many new students come in each year, and there is always something that makes them unique. Many students have come from outside of Puerto Rico. Being new is hard, so being new to a school in a country you recently moved to makes things uneasy, so it is important we all make sure every new student feels welcome! Katherine Jurgel 7th Grade Where did you live before you moved to Puerto Rico? Boston How is Saint Johns different from your old school? My old school didn’t have lockers or uniforms. The classes here are more engaging than at old school. Do you speak Spanish? If not is it hard to get around? It gets tricky when the people don’t even know a little bit of English, so yea. What is one thing you wish you could do in Puerto Rico that you can't anymore? One thing that I used to do at home but can’t do here is Skiing and sledding. Abi Boquette 8th Grade Where did you live before Puerto Rico? Michigan Why did you move to Puerto Rico? I moved because of my parent’s job transfer. What is the biggest difference between Boston and Puerto Rico? One thing that is significantly different here than from home is that there are more people walking around the streets and outside. What has been your best experience so far? So far it would have to be meeting new friends. 7


p. 8

October Issue 2016 SJS LIFE Ella May Lowther 9th Grade Where did you live before you moved to Puerto Rico? I lived in Massachusetts. Why did you move to Puerto Rico? My parents wanted to move to a warm place. We were also looking for a new high school for me to attend. How is Puerto Rico different? Puerto Rico is a lot hotter and everybody is friendlier. How has your experience been so far? Everything has been pretty good. School because it is bigger and offers more variety of classes. People seem to actually want to learn. Emam Othman 10th Grade Where did you live before you moved to Puerto Rico? Why did you move? I used to live in Palestine and I moved because of my dad’s job. Tell me a little bit about the difference between PR everyday lives versus where you lived. Here I have more freedom and can go where I want. The people here are more open to help you and are nicer. Is there something you can’t do here that you did back at home? Back home I was able to drive without a license. Sebastian Gerges 11th Grade Where did you go to school before? I used to go to school in San Ignacio. Why did you choose to move to Saint Johns? I chose it because it was co-ed, and I believe that it is good to study with the other gender because it’s more realistic. Also, I chose it because it is in English, and I heard they removed midterms! How has your experience been so far? I have been very happy here because everything has gone great and the people are very accepting. What is your favorite color and favorite ice cream flavor? Orange and Mint Chocolate chip 8


p. 9

October Issue 2016 SJS LIFE ELECTIVE LET DOWN By: Taylor Finn How many of you got put into a class you never thought of taking? I did. I clearly remember sitting in my living room when I got an email from Mr. Sanabria. I was excited to see what classes I was going to be taking my freshman year. My feelings suddenly changed as I realized I was filled with false hope. Theater, the one class I wanted, was nowhere in my schedule. Choosing courses for a full year is tricky. The whole purpose of selecting classes is the freedom that comes with it. BU T , y ou c an ’t a lwa y s ge t wh a t y ou wa nt , righ t ? I was one of many students that suffered the whole summer wondering if the schedule was ever going to change. It might have seemed like the end of the world at the moment. When in reality, the class could turn out to be the best one yet. SCSCHOOHOOLL VEESLECTI SScLChEHeEdDuUle GIVE IT A SHOT ELECTIVES ECSLASS Classes The 11th grade class brings to you Culinary Fundraising Cards For only 25$, you receive a 20% discount in more than 40 of the best local restaurants. More than 3,000 dollars can be saved! Contact- Julia Glago:, Ms. Carol Topp: 9


p. 10

September Issue 2016 SJS LIFE New Teachers By: Liliann Zou Mayra Préstamo French & SSL What is your overall impression of Saint John’s so far? For me, it’s an honor to be teaching here because I have very nice students and a very nice staff here in Saint John’s. It’s really a pleasure to be here. Was it always your plan to become a teacher? I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, a French teacher. I think it’s about being with youngsters, talking to them and learning about their lives, about their future, learning about what they want, and helping them become what they want to be. To be a part of that is what interests me. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever had to face while teaching? The thing is teaching is a challenge itself. You have 15 boys and girls with different needs, different ages, and different desires. To be a good teacher for each of them is a challenge. I try to do my best but sometimes it’s not that easy. What is your overall impression of Saint John’s so far? It is a very structured school with very respectful students, and is a great environment to work in. Was it always your plan to become a teacher? Yeah, in high school I was able to teach in an after school center and I liked it since then. People tell me I have a great rapport with students because I know how to teach them, and especially how to communicate with them. I went to college to study something else and then changed to education. I have been working with students in high school since I graduated from college as a Social Studies teacher. What is the most memorable moment you’ve had as a teacher? There are many moments that have been memorable, but one that stood out was when I was teaching in New York. The students were working hard all year to complete the state assessments. They did pretty well on the assessment and I said to them “hey, we did our job and we were successful on what we were doing in this class”. This moment was special because it showed the students that they could overcome any challenge that is presented to them. Pedro de Jesús World Geography, US History & Model UN Seminar 10


p. 11

September Issue 2016 José Lugo World History & PR History SJS LIFE What is your overall impression of Saint John’s so far? My overall impression on Saint Johns is that it has a great faculty and administration that truly care about the teachers. They truly allow them to do what they do best. That has been one of the biggest changes coming from another school. I’m also very impressed with the students, their eagerness and their willingness to learn is nice. Was it always your plan to become a teacher? Actually, I started my career as an attorney. Worked for about 10 years in the field and then made the decision under very special circumstances to start teaching. I started teaching about 3 years ago. This would be my 4th year teaching. I started teaching English literature. So now I teach history. No, teaching was not something I intended or worked for, it just sort of happened and I love it, I’m passionate and excited about it. “It’s infinitely better than what I was doing before.” Community Service By: Patricia Diaz Each year, students in SJS are required to do certain hours of community service depending on the grade level. You may ask yourself, “Why is community service required for school?” I myself found it unnecessary, until I went to Egida del Maestro and Amigos de los Animales. These experiences showed me how good it felt to help others and how this can change you. Community service involves helping out those around you. As for me, I can say I have been inspired by the community service I was required to do in school because it encouraged me to later volunteer by myself. The purpose of community service is to shape students into people who are knowledgeable about their surroundings and get a better view of the world. It also helps students understand how life should not be taken for granted because others live a challenging life. Community service showed me how happy you can make someone feel by helping them or even just keeping them some company. As seen in the community service fair, many students favor helping out little kids. I feel like we identify with the kids and want to help all of them because in a sense, that could have been any of us. Next time school organizes community service day, make sure to take in everything around you. Life is precious, and helping others have a better life shows a great amount of character respect from our part. Having good character takes you far in life and small acts like helping our community helps shape you into a better person. 11


p. 12

October Issue 2016 SJS Life Rock Stars in SJS Hallways By: Evalise Dexter Both Camille Vidal (10) and Noah Dexter (9) felt as though there wasn’t a place in the school where they could showcase their talents and express their love for non-classical music… until the School of Rock showed up. The School of Rock is a group of musicians interested in performing where the focus is not on the traditional classical-style music, but rather rock. The School of Rock allows students to practice covers and eventually perform. While joining this group does not require you to be a musical genius, some prior knowledge of singing or some musical instrument is recommended. It is not a club where you learn to play, but one where you perform what you already know. When Mr. Farmer isn’t rolling around the halls on his swivel chair or cracking jokes, he spends his free time in a band. He wants to show students how enriching and fun participating in a band can be. Mr. Farmer believes this club is highly beneficial for students at Saint John’s wishing to perform and show what they have to offer. “It gives students a means of expressing If you are bored with the same old classical and jazz music or secretly listening to loud rock music in your room, maybe you should give the School of Rock a shot. The School of Rock is a great way to take your mind of schoolwork for a while and jam out with your friends. For more information, talk to Mr. Farmer, the club advisor. (MS 2-3) themselves and the School of Rock allows students the experience of performing for the first time, As well as giving them an appreciation of music”. -Mr. Farmer “It allows to me to interact with new people that have the same interests as me and pursue one of my passions” -Luis Cabrera 12


p. 13

October Issue 2016 SENIOR CORNER The #WolfPack has just begun howling! By: José Luis Casas It was 2:00AM when I realized that in a couple of hours, my first last day was approaching. Mixed feelings about summer ending and school starting continued to spin inside my head. Clearly, it wasn’t my best night of sleep. However, once I woke up in the morning, I felt too nervous and excited to let fatigue ruin my day. As I put on one of my black button-down shirts, the idea of being a senior still hadn’t sunk in. It was 7:00AM when I told my mom to hurry up and start driving. Even though I knew that we were on time, I kept telling her to drive a little faster. The thought of missing the highly anticipated senior entrance was not an option. Once I arrived at the empty parking lot I bolted out of the car and ran towards my classmates. Seeing everyone with the black shirts and #Wolfpack jackets felt so weird yet amazing. That morning, Adriana Rodríguez (Senior) said: “Weren’t we just entering 9th grade?” She was right. Six semesters of high school had flown by, and now, here we were, on our first last day. For some unknown reason, I didn’t feel anxious anymore. After taking tons of pictures with my friends, our ride had finally arrived. It was 8:00AM when we started making noise around the streets of Condado. We were ready to scream our lungs out once we arrived at Saint John’s. Our beginning of senior year began with parents standing ready with their cameras and the courtyard gate open. One after the other, we ran towards the center of the courtyard along with the traditional batucada. Even Mr. Sanabria and Ms. Lorraine Lago joined us at the center, and danced right along with us. Between the music, the dancing, and the energy of the whole class–nothing could compare to this moment. Class President Amanda Paredes shared her view about the entrance as one that was both amazing yet difficult to take in. She explains, “While you’re jumping around, you sort of forget what it is you’re celebrating. Then, you realize it’s the start of your senior year; your last year. At some point, I looked around at everyone wearing our senior shirts, and it felt like we were wearing costumes. I didn’t feel ready to be a senior, yet there I was.” 13


p. 14

October Issue 2016 SENIOR CORNER Tips on How to Survive Senior Year By: José Luis Casas 1. Stay organized. Balancing a tough course load, extracurricular activities and college applications will be difficult. Stay on task and plan ahead in order to manage your time effectively. If you haven’t started writing you Common App essays or supplement, it’s time to start. 2. Your grades STILL matter. Even if you’re planning on applying Early Decision or Early Action to a particular school, your first quarter grades will still be included in the application. Keep that upward trend and stay focused; it’s not worth lowering your grades near the end of the finish line. 3. Senioritis will hit. Fight it. Do not let this disease infect you during senior year. It’s not worth slacking off when your future is on the line. If you stay in this mentality, the habit may rub off on you during college. 4. College applications are due sooner than you think. January is only two months away, and ED/EA applications are due in a couple of weeks. Procrastination may lead you to careless mistakes. 5. Senior year will be exciting, devastating, amazing, and very emotional. Don’t let this wide range of emotions exhaust you. You need all the energy you can get for the next few weeks. The best days of our lives await us. Follow these guidelines in order to maximize you time in order to have the best year possible. 14


p. 15

October Issue 2016 HUMANS OF SAINT JOHN’S By: Sila Avilés FEATURE René Molina “In the past, I’ve been a musician at times, and I’ve been an administrator at times, but the last few years at Saint John’s have provided me the opportunity to do both in one place. I play the guitar in different school activities, in school musicals, in funerals, in weddings, and in bar mitzvahs. That is why I enjoy my time here at SJS so much.” Luis A. Fernández “Ya cumplí 35 años en la escuela. Siempre estoy viendo como la escuela esta adelantándose, y como va creciendo. En tantos años he visto como las cosas de la escuela van cambiando; los salones eran chiquititos y ahora son mas grandes, ahora hay una biblioteca mas moderna, entre otras cosas. Me gusta el trabajo y me gusta estar en contacto con todo el mundo, ayudar a todo el mundo y siempre estar pendiente a los problemas. Eso es dentro de la escuela, pero fuera de la escuela, antes jugaba pelota, y me gustan muchos los carros de car shows” 15



no comments yet