>>  Getting to know the SJ Field Hockey Team


Perseverance describes the SJ Field Hockey team.

The 2017 SJ Field Hockey team is a big mix of 26 courageous and well-spirited young women who love the sport they live and play, they have their games every Tuesday and Thursday, only if the weather doesn’t come into hand. I had the opportunity to speak with some of the members of the team, these members include Zara Sheikh, Valarie Juarez, Alison Bureman, and Katherine Posada.

My first interview was with Zara, a Senior who has been playing since her freshman year, at first, she had no idea what to expect, but ended up being completely in love with the sport! She feels that she has grown into another family through this sport, she definitely recommends it to others so they can experience that love and trust.

“I’m really happy with the coaches and the team at this point. In the beginning of the season I know we struggled because we’re a new team with new coaches but individually and as a team everyone has grown so much.”, Zara expresses her happiness on the team, while the team may be on the brighter side of things, Zara brings up a ray of sunshine as the team seems to have taken a big step from where they have started.

“I think our most recent game versus OP (9/28) was our best. We finished the game 0-2, so even though it wasn’t the game we won, I think we showed the most hard work and energy I’ve seen all season. It was a tough game in the heat but the girls were relentless and gave their all, even when faced with conflict we acted as a team and I think that was the most successful experience we’ve had.”

I then got to talk to Valerie, another senior who loves every second of Field Hockey, I asked if this sport has helped her learn anything, and the most important lesson to her is to cherish time, she realized that this is the last time she will be playing with these girls, and the last year she will be playing this sport competitively, so she decided to make the best out of every second she spends at practice and at her games this season.

She talked about the current performance of the team, saying they haven’t had the luckiest season so far or have scored the most goals, they’ve went through many battles and challenges and have went through many ups and downs, their best game was a 6-0 victory at Garfield High School.

I questioned if there’s always room for improvement, she said “In Field Hockey or in anything at all, there is always room for improvement. Every single practice our coaches pushes us to the best we can be. We work on our skills to improve ourselves throughout the season. I would say that we have all improved incredibly since the start of the season.”; Valerie expresses the team’s passion to do better and become better every time they meet.

“About half of the girls on the team are brand new to the sport. All of them picked up on it very quick and a few became some of our best players.”,

Allison Bureman expresses how important her teammates are to one another, mentioning “on the field or on the side lines, everyone serves an important role helping us keep up the energy. Valerie Juarez is such a big help, she’s a defender and she stops so many goals and always encourages everyone.”

The team’s way to get hyped is when they’re all together and they all just talk about their goals for the game. Sometimes Valerie, Katherine and Allison themselves listen to short meditation/inspirational videos before they get onto the field which helps them.

My last interview was with Katherine who absolutely loves the sport she’s in, she started during her sophomore year which was where her love for field hockey and everyone on it developed, this year was her most favorite as she is super close to the team and the sport, I could tell when I asked her about any bonds she may have kindled throughout her experience.

“Oh my gosh! I've literally met some of my best friends through field hockey!! Alison Bureman, Valerie Juarez, Douaa Rasheed, and many others have come to be one of my best friends because of field hockey! I would have never talked or interacted with them if it wasn't for us being on the same team and I love how close we all are! We have car talks, we hang out, we trust each other, and all love each other! There isn't a single girl on that team that I don't love! The team is great and I love them all so much but I've also made bonds that extent beyond the field with so many of them aside from who I mentioned and I'm so grateful for field hockey because it's only possible because of that sport!”

Motivation is also key to the team, especially for a team player like Katherine,
“We all try and motivate each other! We constantly cheer each other on and try and encourage other players when they mess up on a drill or are tired while running! We stay motivated not just by wanting to win but also by just being there for each other. We've had our rough patches this year but every team experiences that and we're really working on becoming the best unit we can be and motivating each other to enjoy the sport and win a couple games.”,

For inspiration, Coach Alenka stands as a source for it, Katherine says she’s the one for inspiration for a lot of girls on the team, “She's a great player, a great coach, person, hard worker, and athlete! She keeps us hungry for wanting to score and also inspires and wants us to do better each practice.”,

Altogether, I think this team is well-minded and kind-hearted bunch of player who are determined to become better and better each day, and to play the sport they love, Whether they win or lose, they are focused on becoming a better team and to stay as a family they know and love for years to come.

>>  What is the Ecology Club?


Our Ecology Club aims to make school a better place.

This year’s Ecology Club at our school is a diverse and profound group of young adults who all together put in the efforts to make the best of recycling in our school and also enjoy outdoor activities such as playing outdoors or hiking. Mrs. Hruska is the head of the club, they meet every Thursday and the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month. For more insight on the club, I spoke to Michael Koyiet, Maxwell Brothers, and Carmine Capezzuto.

I first spoke to Michael, he’s energetic, out-going, and a good person overall. He enjoys being in the Ecology Club, along with his group: Carmine, Cameron, William, Maxwell, and himself, his favorite activity would have to be recycling, an important activity in the Ecology Club, and he considers himself the most energetic out of the 5. He would carry the trash can up and down the stairs, he would push it and help unload the trash. Michael says he would recommend this club to people who enjoy helping other people and who are social.

I then went on to ask Maxwell more about the club, and what they represent. “We represent nature and the outdoors through activities like recycling and hiking.”, “The energy is really positive. Everybody makes jokes and is kind to each other, and it’s easy to bond with other people in it.”

Carmine, who was introduced to the club by his sisters, he also favors the recycling activity, when asked him why recycling is important he stated, “It helps the environment, it keeps our place clean and it’s for a noble cause”. It’s good to see a group of people here at school taking time out of their day to help keep our school and environment a clean place.

The Ecology Club seems like a nice group of noble people who love to help and meet new friends, and their group activities seem both entertaining and rewarding.

>>  Diversity in Music Choice


Music comes in an abundance of shapes and forms.

I like the idea of having diversity in what exactly we listen to, for me, it brings me joy and fulfillment, I like to dabble into everything, some of my favorite genres include Jazz, Hip-hop/Rap, Electronic, Indie Rock, and Alternative. I feel that sticking to one or little sounds can be unsatisfying, it’s not too big of a problem if a person secludes his choice of music, but I think they’re missing out.

I spoke with Chris Osorio, Alexa Fuentes Molina, Jordyn Quinones, Benicio Arias, and Cindy Mejia, all who are fond with keeping their music choice diverse. Chris likes to turn on the radio and discover what he can, “I listen to a lot of jazz, no specific favorite artists, I just put something like Pandora or Apple radio, and just let it sit in the back. I listen to Rock, Alternative, R&B, Rap, I’ll even blast some EDM on the right occasions.”; Chris and I relate to what we think about people who seclude what they listen to, “If people only want to listen to one type of genre, so be it, I don’t really care honestly, if that’s what they like listening to, good for them; Although they are missing out on something else they might be interested in.”, Chris doesn’t shy away from artists who switch up their sound for tracks or even full-length records, “Everybody hates on XXXtentacion but needs to understand that he’s a versatile artist no matter how you look at it, he’s touched on hardcore rap with the distorted 808’s, touched on songs that have more emotion/feeling, some alternative styles, Rock, and EDM. Tyler, The Creator as well, his music used to be really dark, but as of recent, it’s been mellow so to say; It’s a good change.”

I later talked with Alexa, I asked if she believes millennials are more open to all music nowadays, she commends that outlook. I then wanted to know if she’s looking into any new genres at the moment, “I’m trying to get into metal because my friend Cameron listens to it and it actually cranks.” She likes to broaden her taste in music to create lots of good bonds. If somebody she knows doesn’t like to give new music a try, she would simply just make them listen.

Benicio told me how he grew up around a lot of different music, his mom listened to Spanish, Reggae, R&B, and dance club music, his dad listened to country and rock, and he says that it gave his music taste no boundaries. When it comes to recommendations, he likes to share his preferences, which include Rock, Hip-Hop/Rap, Jazz, and Alternative, or just anything that appeals to him. I questioned if having a diverse choice of music selection brings him inspiration, he says, “Yeah, it gives me a lot of sounds to feel and work with. I enjoy feeling different kinds of ways through music.” Just like when it comes to Chris, he’s fully into artists branching out into new genres, “I’m all for it, as long as you love what you’re doing, most of the time it works out for the better.”

Jordyn told me how she has an open ear to anything but Classical music, the genre just doesn’t please her, her most favorite genre is Hardcore Pop-Punk, also some rap. I asked what genre shouldn’t be so ignored, “Hardcore, man, it’s the best.” I also asked if there was a genre she didn’t like at an earlier point in her life, ironically, it was Hardcore, which is now her most favorite sound.

Lastly, I talked with Cindy, her most favorite genre is Hip-Hop/Rap, I asked about what genres were introduced to her, she tells me it was Spanish music, I assume that she discovered everything on her own, she told me that her friends do limit what they listen to, just because they’re not into certain types of music, unlike her. She does enjoy knowing what her friends listen to, mentioning that it lets her know if they have good taste in music.

I enjoyed speaking with them all and what they feel when on the topic of having an open ear to music, how it makes them feel, and how it comes when interacting with others. 

>>  The Success of ‘Black Panther’


Black Panther is the latest released super-hero film by Marvel Studios, I found its massive level of intrigue very interesting. It first came into light when Marvel announced that Black Panther will receive his own movie in 2017, but before that, he was also slated to make an appearance at Marvel’s most anticipated movie at the time, Captain America: Civil War. We also found out that the main star will be star of ‘42’, Chadwick Boseman. His role wasn’t too specific, but many fans already speculated that he would be a big part of the upcoming chapter to The Avenger’s series. Overtime, the film was catching a lot of attention.

We then skip towards January 2018, one month before the movie’s official release. Pre-sale tickets were released for sale, the amount of money made skyrocketed the film to be ranked #4 in the category of most sold pre=sale tickets, the top 3 films being of the Star Wars franchise. It was no question that people were eager to give this film a look, both fans of the Marvel universe and casual moviegoers alike. There was not a doubt that the film wasn’t going to sell in big numbers.

Just a week before the release of the film, there was a whole album dedicated to the picture. This album being executively produced by one of the biggest artists this generation has seen, that artist being Kendrick Lamar, alongside the CEO of his label, Top Dawg, formally known as Anthony Tiffith. The album consists of many popular black artists seen in today’s music industry, artists including SZA, ScHoolboy Q, Jorja Smith, Future, Travis Scott, Khalid, and many more inclusions. Ryan Coogler, Director of Black Panther, mentioned how enticed he was, to be working with someone of the likes of Kendrick Lamar, “I am honored to be working with such an incredible artist whose work has been so inspirational, and whose artistic themes align with those we explore in the film. I can’t wait for the world to hear what Kendrick and TDE have in store,”; The album went to debut No.1 on many streaming platforms on day one, as well as debuting No.1 on the Billboard charts, just like the film, it was also ranking in big numbers.

An important part of the film’s big turnout has to be to its cast. Unlike other superhero films which tend to contain mainly Caucasian characters, this film stars many African characters, and our African superhero, opening up a new barrier for viewers. I’ve seen lots of praise online about their inclusions, being from anybody whether they’re a fan of the universe or just a casual moviegoer. Now, of course, this has sprung some complaints of this movie being SJW (Social Justice Warrior) propaganda, but honestly, people of any background have come out and enjoyed the movie, but this issue hasn’t made a big splash, most people are just turning the other cheek and instead sharing support for the picture itself. Black Panther surfaced very well worldwide, its positive to see that it’s making a well outcome in our hero’s home country, Africa, I think it’s important to indulge what Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst at box office data firm Comscore, had to mention about the film, “It’s a positive representation of Africa, and we normally don’t see portrayals like that,”.

At the film’s release weekend, Black Panther accumulated well over $235 million dollars in the US. Today, the film now has almost $500 million worldwide to its name. Estimates show that the film may acquire another 100 million during its second weekend out in theaters, at the moment, it is 2018’s biggest movie release yet. Marvel Studios and Director Ryan Coogler have created a milestone for themselves , for Marvel, it seems it’s only getting started as they have many more films to release, especially its upcoming sequel to the Avengers series, Age of Ultron, which already is estimated to make just as much or maybe even more than Black Panther. For now, the crew of the film are incredibly happy to see how well the film has turned out.