On Jan. 28, students entered the gym to lis-ten to a group speak about the impact of CHOICES. Radical Reality, accompanied by Stagg graduate and professional athlete Dallas Braden, ripped phone books, crushed bricks, and spoke about RESPECT and preparing for the fu-ture. This same message was the theme of Point Break, a series of assemblies on SELF-ESTEEM and peer respect presented to all freshmen. Stu-dents expressed intense feelings about their at-tempts to BREAK THROUGH their outer shell.
Teacher inspires student success
If 10 years ago you had asked English teacher Tom Orosco if he felt he had changed Dallas Braden in some way he most likely would have laughed. I dont really think I did anything to help him, Orosco said, referring to the graduate from the Class of 2001 who now is a starting pitcher with the Oakland Athlet-ics. If I did, I didnt know it at the time. Orosco says that when Braden was in school he acted up in class. Oroscos class was the last place students would go be-
fore getting kicked out of school. After being transferred into the class, Braden had an incident where he publicly cursed out a teacher. Even though he acted out, Orosco understood. Most major pain in the rears have a reason that they act out. Bradens reason was a death in his family, and Orosco tried to reach him. Without realizing it, Orosco taught lessons that spoke to Braden and his current students. Im concerned about students getting into college or getting a job, Orosco said. But Im also, mainly, blunt. Orosco tells athletes that the odds of making it profes-sionally arent with them and even if (they) do make it, (they) will need to fall back on job skills. The last message hit Braden hard when he was a stu-dent so hard that during the Radical Reality assembly he wanted to become a speaker himself. Looking back on the day of the assembly, he felt kids enjoyed the show and listened to the message. During his speech, Braden incorporated ideas that Don-nie Moore and Darwin Benjamin brought up in their lec-ture to students but he went beyond ideas of respecting yourself. He talked about taking ownership of education and ones life. This message was the same one Braden had heard from Moore and Orosco when he was a student. Im from the same place you guys are from, he said to the crowd. I walked the same dirty ass halls. But he wanted more than that. When Braden realized that he had to get up to make it happen he began to make changes to get himself where he wanted to go. You can do it, just like I did, he said. I did it because I love me some me. Sophomore Laura Ortiz agrees that Orosco has influ-enced her choices. Hes the main reason Ive even thought about college, she said. Hes changed me for the better.
photos by Nicole
Intense assemblies trigger student emotions
(right), rips a telephone book in half
in order to show how respecting
yourself takes great
Douglas (top right), destroys a
stack of bricks to get
students to pay atten-
tion to their message.
Though the Radical Re-ality assembly was a while ago, the visions of bricks smashing and tears streaming are still brewing fresh in the heads of some students. And since some freshmen had just gone to Point Break, the last week of January proved to be a very emotional time. Freshman Ryan McLaugh-lin quickly noted how the two events were connected in a subtle way, even if it wasnt intentional. The assembly really seemed to brighten up peoples day
after going to Point Break, he said. He added that Point Break really helped people get out (any issues) they needed to and helped them feel less afraid. Though McLaughlin said that Point Break was a great deal more depressing than the assembly, he said he enjoyed them both and felt that it was just two different ways of sending the same message. Even students who didnt go to Point Break were in-spired by the assembly. Sophomore David Stewart was particularly impressed.
It made me think that there was more to life than drugs and alcohol, he said. Stewart reflected on him-self and said that the assem-bly even made him think of how he sometimes takes his own life for granted. He said he now even realizes that playing video games every day is not a necessity. He ultimately discovered the importance of making a difference and being happy with the life that he created. Quite a few students left the gym with a feeling of joy. Whether the assembly inspired them to turn their own life around or to turn
another persons life around, this assembly had some-thing for everyone. Students said that it was easy to connect to, and easy to relate to. One particular student, senior Elizabeth Davison felt a special connection at this assembly, and said that this was one assembly that she could actually en-
joy. She said that she could understand the struggles and difficulties that Darwin went through. Davison said that she is used to the idea of being strong to overcome the con-flicts in everyday life, and that she, as well as others, could relate to (Darwin Benjamin) having to over-come so many obstacles.
Darwin Benjamin, motivational speaker, reveals his most personal experiences to enlighten students on the perils of drug use.
photo by Nicole Lawrence
They made me think that theres a lot more to life than drugs and alcohol.David StewartSOPHOMORE
I could relate to (Darwin Benjamin) having to overcome so many obstacles.
INSIDEA deeper look into the effects and consequences of bullying
See Opinion, page 3
Headline Graphic by Michelle Pheav
Braden returns, thanks Orosco
Dallas Braden reveals tattoo as he talks about the pride he has in his hometown.
Opinion2 03.04.11the Stagg Line
Respect highlighted on campus
Art by Mia Torres
For those of us who were lucky enough to go to the Radical Reality assembly, we were told an obvious, yet rarely listened to piece of advice: respect, for our-selves, is the most important thing. We have noticed that it is a less that has been floating around the school for months. It may be hard to find a connection be-tween various events that are happening in school. We see all that happens here as part of the chaos of life. Lately, though, things have seemed more connected than ever the murals, SLCs, and that radical assem-bly, each teaching its own lesson of respect. Respect in our school, respect in the choices we make for our education, and respect for ourselves. The murals may, to some, seem like nothing more than a bragging right for each club. My mural is better than yours. Ours is bigger. And while, yes, some clubs will probably use the mural as a way to show their importance in school, the mural expresses something else. They help us show pride in our school, a desire to leave the school better than it was when we arrived. While most students see a dirty ass hall-way, as Dallas Braden called it, others see
a canvas waiting to be colored and given a beautiful design. It is tagging with respect, respect for the home we are forced to live in for four years of our lives. But as some ex-press their respect with a paint brush, others voice it in the choices they make.
As easy as it could be to pick a small learning community and never think of it again, the choices that students made have changed the look of the school. Based on course selection and surveys, classes are being removed and whole SLCs
are being changed. Picking an SLC may not seem like a conscious choice of respect, but it is. It is about respecting the choices we have made and the education we will receive. The SLC we have chosen will be the one that we are in high school, the SLC that will lead us throughout our four years within these halls, and it is not a decision to be taken lightly. It is about respecting ourselves and our education and not just choosing something to choose something. And with this, we circle back to respecting ourselves. The Radical Reality assembly had some powerful messages: Dont do drugs, think before acting and more importantly, respect yourself. How many times have we heard in some of these assemblies, I wish I wouldnt have done that. Whether its drugs or sex, when we al-low ourselves to be objects for someone else we lose respect for ourselves and others lose respect for us. Not to sound preachy, but high school ends, boyfriends leave, and friends come and go, but the way we look at ourselves stays forever. Maybe thats something to think about.
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