A news website produced by students of A.P. Giannini Middle School
By Sebastian Haas and Everett Smith
So what is Minecraft? Well, Minecraft was a game that was created in 2009 and has been flourishing since. Minecraft was created by a Swedish gamer called Markus Persson, or “Notch.” Notch actually got the idea from another game called “Infiniminer” in which you mine underground and collect minerals and resources. Notch originally called Minecraft the “Cave Game” but then later renamed it Minecraft. The very first version of Minecraft was created in just six days from May 10th to May 16th, 2009. But even till this day Minecraft is still a very well known game and is played by tons of famous YouTubers and gamers.
So how popular is Minecraft? In May 2012, the game was released for Xbox and sold nearly half a million copies in under 24 hours. According to Visual.ly.com, Minecraft has about a couple million players log on each day to play.
But what is the point of Minecraft? Minecraft is a game that takes skill and time. The main point of the game or big part of the game though, is having to survive. There are two main game modes--Creative and Survival.
In Survival, the name explains everything. The player, “Steve,” begins completely empty-handed and has to live in a naturally generated world with many resources, some that are hidden and some out in the open. Once the player collects certain resources, they can begin to craft. Crafting is the gateway to survival. The crafting table opens up all the resources to your fingertips and you can basically make any block in the game, given you have the right resources. Example: put in wood to make sticks; put in sticks and wood to craft a sword, a great defense against harmful mobs. Mobs are the AI creatures in the game, many of which will try to kill you. There are six main mobs in the game including Creeper, Zombie, Skeleton, Spider, Enderman and Slime. All of these mobs do different things to try to kill you. As the game has evolved, there have been new mobs added to the game such as the Husk, Baby Zombie, Zombie villagers, Elder Guardian, etc.
Creative is the other game mode. In this mode you can literally control the game. You spawn with a full inventory of each and every resource in the game, not to mention you are invincible and can fly. Many people use creative mode to build massive structures and contraptions, create incredible maps and just explore the world without the burden of being hunted or starving. With this game mode, you can literally build anything with no hassle of worrying about death. With being invincible, that means you can try and explore everything with no mobs attacking you. This game mode can come in handy when building and exploring.
All in all, Minecraft is a building and exploring open-world game played by millions each day. It is available on many platforms, including PC, mobile, ps4, Xbox, wii u, and more. It features online play so you can join the game with other players, and more exciting updates are coming in as often as once a month, not to mention the billions of user-made mods. It has being running steadily since 2009 and been growing in its popularity ever since.
By Aiden Shiu
What if you could use genetic engineering to solve problems facing us? Can these creations turn out to be bad? In this article I will be talking about GMOs. GMOs are living organisms whose genetic material has been manipulated and altered by people in a laboratory through genetic engineering. There is a lot of controversy around GMOs. Today I will give you some reasons why GMOs are both good and bad, so you can make up your own mind on the topic.
In the U.S.A, corn, sugar beets, canola, and cotton are all over 85% GM crops. Sometimes, we can even use genetic material from other organisms such as bacterias or other animals. We can put this material into what the scientists want to genetically modify to give the crop or animal a certain trait or ability. GMOs can also be called transgenic organisms due to this. Now let’s get to the point. What good can GMOs do?
In 1992, a terrible discovery had been made in the district of Puna in the Hawaii islands where 95% of Hawaiian papaya were grown at the time. It was a virus. A virus that infected papayas named the Papaya Ringspot Virus (PRSV). In two years, the virus became widespread, threatening to wipe out the Hawaiian papaya. So, what did we do about it? Using genetic engineering, we developed a new Hawaiian papaya that was resistant and pre-vaccinated against the virus. This saved Hawaiian papaya and the papaya industry. What would have happened without this GMO? From fitnessreloaded.com (“10 Reasons to Eat GMOs and Feel Grateful For It” by Maria), the writer states,” It’s no secret that GMO crops can produce more with less. Talk about being efficient. So your acre will get you more fruit/veggies if it’s planted with genetically engineered seeds rather than with conventional ones. A UK report states, “Between 1996 and 2012, crop biotechnology was responsible for an additional 122 million tonnes of soybeans and 231 million tonnes of corn. The technology has also contributed an extra 18.2 million tonnes of cotton lint and 6.6 million tonnes of canola,” which is basically saying that GM crops are more efficient and can therefore feed more people than before.
What about the bad of GMOs? How can GMOs affect health? In the article by Responsibletechnology.org (GMO Education) the writer states, “Genetically modified foods have been linked to toxic and allergic reactions, sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals. The effects on humans of consuming these new combinations of proteins produced in GMOs are unknown and have not been studied.” Once again on Responsibletechnology.org (“10 Reasons To Avoid GMOs”) the writer says, “GM crops and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. For example, GM crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50% in the US. Roundup herbicide has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at very low doses. GM canola has been found growing wild in North Dakota and California, threatening to pass on its herbicide tolerant genes on to weeds,” which means that our environment is at risk because of certain GM crops reducing biodiversity, polluting water, and threatening to pass off their herbicide tolerant genes to weeds.
What side do you pick in the argument on GMOs? Do you love them? Do you hate them? Or do you have some other third opinion?
By Anya Sleeper Sheppard and Eva Ciobanu
1. What is your favorite breed of dog?
f. None, I hate dogs
2. What is your favorite breed of cat?
a. None, I hate cats
b. Hairless (Sphynx)
3. What is your opinion on dogs?
a. OMG I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!
b. I like dogs a lot.
c. Dogs are pretty cute.
d. Dogs are ok.
f. I hate all dogs!!!
4. What is your opinion on cats?
a. I hate all cats!!
b. Cats are so gross.
c. They’re ok.
d. Cats are nice.
e. Cats are adorable.
f. CATS ARE THE BEST THING EVER!!!
5. Your parents finally let you have a pet, what do you choose?
a. A dog all the way!!!!
b. Probably a dog.
c. BEG for both a cat and a dog.
d. Maybe a cat, maybe a dog.
e. Probably a cat.
f. A CAT, YES!!!
Mostly a’s: you a dog person through and through
Mostly b’s: you like dogs a lot
Mostly c’s: you love both cats and dogs the same
Mostly d’s: you could have either as a pet
Mostly e’s: you like cats a lot
Mostly f’s: you are a cat person all the way
Erika Wu and Jadelyn Lou
Are eggettes at Eggettes really what your friends say they are? If you have never tried any boba shop, you’re missing out. You might have seen the Eggettes review in November but this is the students’ opinions about Eggettes themselves individually.
What A.P. Giannini students think:
"Why do people even like that boba place? Why do people even tolerate the disgusting brown balls of death? They have no taste, no softness, and feel like marbles in your mouth. The milk tea can either taste very watery or too artificial. Overall, it is a horrible place and only popular for the at least decent soft eggs that are actually related to the restaurant name. But I’ll still buy food there because it’s cheap.” - 8th grader
“Eggettes is a very convenient place because it is the closest boba place that I can go to afterschool. The prices aren’t expensive, but they aren’t the cheapest as well which makes Eggettes a place that many people love to go to. However, there are a variety of flavors, but not as much as other stores to get me satisfied. ” - 8th grader
“I think Eggettes is really yummy and I think it's good. This is good because it has good flavors and they contain not only drinks, but food as well. The tapioca isn’t other boba places that I know of.”
- 6th grader
“I think Eggettes is pretty good, I’m lactose intolerance so I get the original Eggettes. The con of this is that it is pretty expensive.” -6th grader
“I give Eggettes a ⅗ because overall it’s expensive. I usually buy boba and eggettes. It all costs the total
of about $6. Their service isn’t the best. Sometimes, the people working there are rude, since they snatch your receipt from you and they tell you to take your order and leave. However, the food still tastes good, even if the service sucks.” -8th grader
“My squad goes there like everyday, and it is lit. Like, we all drink the boba there and take pictures of how cool it is. The line is long but whatever, because I will still seem cool then those 8th graders that go to Tpumps. A definite 6 out of 5.” -7th grader
“I would give Eggettes a ⅘ because it is close by and you can walk there after school. Also, their food is not the worse thing ever but it isn’t the best. I think that Eggettes is my go to place when I feel like I am starving after school. In conclusion, I would give Eggettes a ⅘ because it is very close by and the food isn’t terrible.” - 7th grader
As you can see, there are lots of opinions on Eggettes regarding the foods quality. There are many different Eggettes in San Francisco and these A.P. Giannini students are all talking about the one at 3136 Noriega St which is between 38th Ave & 39th Ave. Most of these reviews was over 3 stars, but one of the major cons was the service or the expenses, so go at your own risk.
By Maureen Loftus
A few months ago, you probably noticed the posters in the hallway for the spring break trip to Washington D.C and Philadelphia. You might have wondered what it is about. For this article, I interviewed Mr. Terjesen, who has chaperoned the trip for four years. I’m going to run through where the trip goes, when it takes place, and how to apply next year.
The spring break trip is a multi-day trip for 7th and 8th graders. Students will get to learn about our government, like an in-person social studies lesson. This year’s trip is going to Philadelphia and Washington D.C. The students will visit Mount Vernon and some of the Smithsonian museums. The 2018 trip is already booked.
Next year, the location is New York and Washington D.C. It is open to 7th and 8th graders. Mr. Terjesen will have a meeting sometime in 2018 for the 2019 trip. This trip is expensive, but it covers almost everything including airfare and lodging. If you are interested in going next year, watch out for the posters in 2018! Applications for the 2019 trip will be available in early 2018.
“Congratulations to the lucky students attending, it will be a life changing experience!”
By Emma Yu, Sabira Abdoolcader, and Leah King
Walking into the movie IT, you might be expecting a horror movie. But it’s not just that. It’s so much more. IT is packed with outrageously funny humor, middle school drama, and even a little cheesy romance. Don’t get us wrong, IT is riddled with heart-attack-causing jump scares and some scenes that are just outright terrifying. However, if you are new to horror movies, IT is a great place to start.
It’s 1958. In the town of Derry, Maine, a group of middle school “losers” band together to defeat It, a murderous clown that is responsible for the disappearances of many children. The Losers Club includes “Stuttering” Bill Denbrough played by Jaeden Lieberher, Richie “Trashmouth” Tozier played by Finn Wolfhard, Ben Hanscom (Eggboy) played by Jeremy Ray Taylor, Stanley Uris (the Jew) played by Wyatt Oleff, Mike Hanlon (the Historian) played by Chosen Jacobs, Eddie Kaspbrak (the Germaphobe) played by Jack Dylan Grazer, and Beverly Marsh, the “slut” played by Sophia Lillis. These disappearances have been going on for a hundred years, but no one’s cared or been brave enough to do something about it - until now. Though they don’t know it at first, the losers all have one thing in common - they’ve all encountered a creepy clown by the name of Pennywise, and it targets all of the children in Derry, feeding on their fear.
Overall, we would give this movie an 8/10. After reading the book, we thought that the movie was even better at putting the characters Stephen King created in action, and the movie follows the book almost as tightly as Harry Potter. We also love how the movie had a deep story to it that goes beyond just blood and guts, which is what distinguishes It from other horror movies. We also loved how they kept the love triangle of Bill, Ben, and Beverly from the original book and the really strong friendships between each of the Losers.
In terms of scariness, we’d rate this movie 6.5/10 because it contained a few really intense, pants-peeing moments that drive you mentally insane waiting for the worst to happen, but the comedic relief well-placed in-between each intense part is like the milk after eating a Ghost Pepper.
********IF YOU DID NOT WATCH THE MOVIE, DON’T READ FURTHER.
WE’RE WARNING YOU. DON’T DO IT!*******
Here are some of the most iconic scenes that we loved and thought were really well done:
The Projector Scene: The Losers Club are looking at some slides on a projector screen and suddenly Pennywise instantly appears on the screen and jumps out into the room with them. The kids, who were terrified of Pennywise trying to attack them, attempts to stop him by turning off the projector. We thought the young actors did a terrific job reacting to the jumpscare.
The Basement Scene: Bill Denbrough follows the ghost of Georgie into the basement of his house, which seems to be filled with “grey water,” as Eddie Kaspbrack says. He sees Georgie in the corner repeatedly saying “you’ll float too!” louder and louder until his body seems to decay slowly. Then the head of Pennywise pops out of the water and dunks Georgie inside, in an explosion of blood. Pennywise then rushes out of the water at Bill.
The TV Scene: When Henry Bowers receives his switchknife in the mail which he thought was lost, he feels a sort of urge to kill his father. He enters the living room where his father was sound asleep. The TV which was flipped to a channel where kids were sitting down with Pennywise, who tells Henry to kill his father. Henry places the switchknife at his father’s neck. After hesitating for a moment, he flicks the switch, which kills his dad.
Pennywise’s Dungeon of Floating Children: The Losers Club goes down into the dungeon to finish off Pennywise once and for all because he took Beverly. When they find Beverly, she is floating in the air unconscious. Ben, who’s a love interest to Beverly, kissed her unexpectedly. Beverly woke up from her coma and reunited with the rest of the Losers Club. Bill then faces Pennywise in the form of Georgie. Facing a difficult decision, Bill hesitates to shoot Georgie. But he does and Georgie is dead on the floor. But then he turns into Pennywise who tries to attack the group, offering everyone freedom in exchange for Bill’s life. Richie delivers the first blow, and with teamwork, they manage to defeat Pennywise for the next 27 years.
By Ishaan Bhattacharya
Welcome to the Giannini Beacon Gazette Politics Update! Today we’ll be discussing three current events. The first one regards our president, Donald J. Trump’s ultimately senseless Iran Nuclear Deal mess. Next we’ll talk about problems in the NFL related to our president. Lastly, we’ll move on to the relationship between Trump and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un.
President Trump announced recently his decision to disavow the Iranian nuclear deal. He threatened to leave the deal altogether if it was not amended to permanently block Tehran from building nuclear weapons or intercontinental missiles. The President has called the nuclear deal “the worst deal ever” which shows why he wants to destroy it.
Secondly, recently, national anthem protests are becoming more popular. Although you may wonder how this topic relates to current events and politics, our president, Donald J. Trump, has been known to influence these protests. On October 23, Donald Trump tweeted, “Two dozen NFL players continue to kneel during the National Anthem, showing total disrespect to our Flag and Country. No leadership in NFL!” This tweet caused more Democrats to support the idea that professional sports leagues should NOT require their players to stand up for the national anthem (from 58% to 71%). The number of all adults supporting the idea increased as well (from 43% to 51%). However, the number of Republicans with this opinion has decreased from 25% to 18%. This sudden focus on the NFL’s issue is a predictable change considering that the President has shifted his focus towards it.
Lastly, on November 8th, the North Korean State Media declared that President Trump should be “sentenced to death” for calling North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “short and fat.” Trump was described as an “old lunatic, mean trickster and human reject.” The editorial published in Rodong Sinmun, the state’s ruling party newspaper, called Trump a “hideous criminal” for attempting to unite world leaders against Kim Jong Un and for later insulting the dictator.
“The worst crime for which [Trump] can never be pardoned is that he dared [to] malignantly hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership,” the editorial stated. “Trump, who is no more than an old slave of money, dared point an accusing finger at the sun.” It added, “[Trump] should know that he is just a hideous criminal sentenced to death by the Korean people.”
“Why would Kim Jong-Un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him
‘Short and fat’?” Trump tweeted in reply. The editorial also took notice of the fact that Trump failed to tour the demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas - a traditional stop-off for senior U.S. officials visiting the south. Trump’s helicopter taking him there turned back after just five minutes due to bad weather - an explanation the newspaper dismissed. “It wasn’t the weather,” the editorial stated. “He was just too scared to face the glaring eyes of our troops.”
Thank you for reading this edition of the Giannini Politics Update and be sure to read the next article for more information on politics!
Note: All these opinions are those of Ishaan Bhattacharya.
By Amelia Chietti and Zoë Teu
Take this quiz to find out if you’re the Trump of all teachers, a chill teacher that all students love, a psychotic maniac that gets set off by everything, or a substitute teacher.
a. Remind them that they can retake a test as many times as they want.
b. Give a major lecture on how if the first time is not good enough then you’re not good enough.
c. Email the principal because you can’t make a decision for yourself.
d. Tell the student not to worry, since the Russians rigged it anyway.
3. You see your student outside of school. They start to approach you. You:
a. Say hi to them and introduce them to your friends.
b. Start banging your head on the nearest hard object to avoid conversation.
c. Dive under a table and start having a nervous breakdown.
d. Put your hand in their face and say, “don’t talk to me”
4. Your student comes late and brings a late pass. You:
a. Set it aside and give them a lollipop.
b. Tear it to shreds and throw it in their face while screaming at them.
c. Say, “I’m putting you on the list” and give them the stink eye.
d .Build a wall around them and make them pay for it.
5. It’s the day before one of your students moves to another school. You:
a.Throw them a going away party which includes live music and a circus.
b.Start screaming at them and give them detention as you explain how this school is the
best of the best.
c. Say, “you have to talk to your teacher about it first,” even though you already have.
d. Get defensive and say something racist about their grandma.
What kind of teacher are you- answers
You’re a chill teacher that all students love! You’re calm and collected and think of your students more as friends than students.
You’re a psychotic maniac and you get set off by everything!
You’re a bloodthirsty monster who loves seeing middle schoolers suffer.
You’re a substitute teacher! You can not do anything on your own and must ask the regular teacher everything because you are so clueless.
You’re the Trump of all teachers!!!
You are a sexist Demagogue who is a bad influence on middle schoolers and uses your Cheeto skin to control the innocents.
Please post your results by responding to the poll. See RESULTS POLL button.
By Nicholas Cheung-Solow
Photos by Kathy Kotschnig
On November 15 and 16, 2017, Ms. Sunderland’s Intermediate and Advanced Drama classes put on two plays, Seedfolks and 937, respectively. Seedfolks is about a group of urban city dwellers who were brought together by an empty abandoned lot that turned into a community garden. 937’s plot is based on a true story of 937 Jews trying to escape from Nazi Germany to Cuba on an ocean liner.
SCENES FROM SEEDFOLKS
SCENES FROM 937
By Nicholas Cheung-Solow
This interview was originally published in March 2017 in the school newspaper.
I met up with Principal Schoeman at the red tile area during lunch where he was supervising students. We had planned the interview for a long time and we finally got around to doing it. We sat down in the hallway, set up the mic and we started the interview.
I started off by inquiring about Mr. Schoeman’s first name, Tai-Sun, which his parents found from a Chinese book of names. According to Mr. Schoeman, his name means “peace” and “gentleness.” Like most of us, he was born right here in San Francisco at what use to be called French Hospital on Geary Boulevard which is now Kaiser Permanente. His year of birth was 1969 which is, according to him, a “long time ago”. He and his family then spent some time in Hawaii and Colorado before finally settling in Sonoma, California.
Mr. Schoeman majored in History of the Americas at Long Beach State University. He then went to Pepperdine University for a Master’s in Education. Finally, he finished his academic career with an Administrative Master’s Degree from UC Berkeley.
After his years of being in college, he worked as a teacher at El Dorado Elementary School in San Francisco. He taught for eight years and later became the principal at El Dorado for seven years. After that, he moved to A.P. Giannini (APG) to be the assistant principal, a job he held for four years. In the fall of 2016, he became the principal of APG.
I asked him what subject he would teach if he taught at APG. He said he would teach Language Arts because he thought it helps develop important skills. All throughout his life, Language Arts stood out to him because it is significant to communicating and learning. Finally, I asked him what the best thing about APG is and what is one thing he’d like to change about APG. Mr. Schoeman’s favorite aspect of our school is its diversity of students and staff. He thought it was nice that we could all be understanding of each other. One thing he’d like to change about APG is the building. He’d like to see the building updated because, since students and staff are here all day long, he wants the environment to be a comfortable place for working and learning.
It was quite interesting talking to the principal. We always think of him as the person who runs the school. Not many people know about Mr. Schoeman as a person. After the interview, I thanked Mr. Schoeman for taking the time to talk with me. As I left the interview, to go outside, it was raining heavily. I thought to myself, “I’m sure glad I was inside.”