Present Dei Puzzler returns with 3 conundrums

Current Verbum Dei gentleman and staff are encouraged to demonstrate their logical prowess in this latest contest.  “These are problems anyone can solve,” say the Whites.  “They do not require any particular level of mathematics or other knowledge.”

Rules:  Answers must be submitted to Mr. White, Mrs. White or Mr. Stradley by Friday, November 15.

Prizes:  There will be a $5 award per problem to the first student with the correct answer.  Additionally, there will be a $1 award given per problem to a student whose name is drawn from the pool of correct answers.

Note to faculty and staff:  Feel free to enter to win bragging rights.  If no correct student answer is submitted, you will become eligible for the cash prize.

Problem 1:

Determine the logical number missing in each sequence. When you’ve finished, convert each of the six final numbers to a letter (1 = A, 2 = B, etc.) to form a six-letter word
reading down. What is this word?

 1 1 2 3 5 8 ___
169 121 81 49 25 9 ___
0 2 8 __ 32 50
14 15 13 16 12 17 ___
44 51 17 24 8 15 ___
2 5 8 11 14 17 ___

Problem 2:

How many numbers from 1 through 100 have names that contain at least one T when spelled out?

Problem 3:

There are three parts to this answer:

1.  Determine the least positive integer by which 2376 can be multiplied so that the product is a perfect square.

2.  Determine the least positive integer by which 2376 can be multiplied so that the product is a perfect cube.

3.  What is the difference of the values in parts 1 and 2?

The sole student $5 winner of the last contest was senior David Castillo, who answered one question correctly.  Staff winners included: Dr. O’Connell, Fr. Mandala, Mr. Viens, and Mr. Baez.

 

Eagles talon-grip playoff berth with 46-10 win over Cantwell-Sacred Heart High School

Running back Jacob LaRue benefits from a strong screen as he gains yardage during the decisive 46-10 Verbum Dei win against Cantwell-Sacred Heart High School in Montebello, Friday, October 25.  Image by Marcel Viens, Verbum Dei High School

By John Stradley, Moderator, The Present Dei 

Reversing a long history of defeat at the hands of the Cantwell-Sacred Heart High School Cardinals, the Verbum Dei Eagles varsity squad flew over their Del Rey League
opponent with a score of 46-10, Friday, October 25.  The sometimes contentious homecoming game at CSHHS was thrilling to watch, and it showcased the gritty determination and winning resolve that has become the hallmark of Verb football.

Reciting St. Ignatius’ Prayer for Generosity, the Eagles took the field marching in ranks
from under their goalpost – territory that was to be largely untrodden by Cardinal cleats during the game.  The night’s Eagle offensive juggernaut began with Tyler Frey’s 37-yard kickoff return and continued with a series of running plays resulting in several first downs.  Jacob LaRue and Christian Pimental carried the ball down the field in lurches and sprints; Pimental, who would ultimately garner the MVP for the game, emerged from a Cardinal dogpile with a three-yard gain resulting in a critical first down. Davir Hamilton – once while carrying one half of the Cardinal squad along with him – joined LaRue in moving the ball deeper into Cantwell territory.  Ultimately, Pimental would get the honor of scoring the first touchdown of the game.  With four minutes remaining in the quarter, LaRue carried a successful conversion to bring the lights to 8-0.

David Castillo brought down his Cardinal opponent on the kick return, and a Cantwell
drive downfield was aided by a personal foul penalty against the Eagles.  Verb’s defenders took a strong stance deep in their own territory.  The defensive pressure was so great that the Cardinals threw an incomplete pass to a wide-open receiver; however, the Cantwell field position allowed a successful field goal from the Verb 13-yard line.  With little time remaining in the first quarter and the scoreboard reading 8-3, Tyler Frey sprinted 63-yards on the kick return.  A LaRue carry brought the ball to Cantwell’s 30-yard line to end the quarter.

The second quarter continued with Hamilton carries to a short run goal position, and again, Pimental was given the honor of scoring from the Cantwell two-yard line.  Hamilton’s successful conversion at the corner of the end zone brought the score to 16-3. The Cantwell kick return ended abruptly at its 26-yard line with a spectacular tackle by sophomore Omar Soto.  The Cardinals then took to the air with a series of incomplete passing plays.  A Nigel Beckles tackle helped to interrupt the Cardinal’s flight path, and the subsequent turnover on downs presented another scoring drive opportunity to the Eagles.

Hamilton carried the ball 60-yards, deep into Cantwell real estate.  Beckles ran an additional 10-yards, and LaRue carried for another Eagle touchdown. Another successful conversion by LaRue brought the score to 24-3.

Edwin Suro’s kickoff for the Eagles went deep.  The Cardinals slogged out to mid-field with a series of short gains.  A pass completion and a personal foul call against Verbum Dei moved the line of scrimmage into Eagle territory.  With five minutes remaining in the half, tackles by Jabril Frazier and Gregory Woods and a force out of bounds by Castillo held the Cardinals and slowed their advance toward the Eagle’s end zone.  An incomplete Cardinal pass and another Frazier tackle brought a fourth down.

Cantwell decided to run rather than punt, and a highly disputed force out of bounds call allowed the Cardinals a first down within scoring range.  Cantwell’s scoring drive and subsequent field goal were successful, yet the “Home – 10” digital readout on the scoreboard would be unchanging for the duration of the game.

A short 15-yard kickoff return by Frey, a series of dogged carries by Hamilton and
LaRue, and an off sides penalty necessitated an Eagle punt.  Returning to familiar mid-field territory, the Cardinals tried a series of frantic pass attempts, which ultimately led to an interception by Zachary Burge.  The final Verb possession of the half resulted in a touchdown by Hamilton and a successful conversion by LaRue.  The score at the half was 32-10.

The second half began with a litany of tackles: Pimental on the kick return at mid-field
and Beckles and Woods on running plays.  Cantwell, again roaming familiar turf, allowed a turnover on downs at the Verb 34-yard line.  The following scoring drive featured carries by LaRue and Hamilton; a Verb touchdown and follow-up conversion by LaRue brought the score to 40-10.

As Cantwell attempted to regroup, strong Eagle defensive play kept the red birds on the ground.  A Chase Moore tackle on the return, followed up by shared and individual tackles by Pimental, Burge, and Castillo kept the defense busy.  Frazier swatted down a high pass, forcing Cantwell to punt.  LaRue gained 65-yards on one carry and punched through the Cardinal offensive line to score.  A failed conversion attempt left the score at 46-10.

Again mid-field and in disarray, Cantwell struggled. Frazier and Woods had back-to-back sacks before the clock began to run for the duration.  Hamilton carries – one long, one short – eventually led to a turnover on downs.  The Cardinal possession began at mid-field, but personal foul penalties against both teams kept the action confined between the 40s.  As the clock readout diminished, Cantwell was unable to consistently complete passes and remained bogged down mid-field.  Ricardo Fragoso added his name to the game’s defensive stats with a late game sack.  A Moore interception sealed the score at 46-10 with 44-seconds on the running clock.

The decisive, vindicating win earns the Eagles a CIF Southern Section playoff spot against a favorable first round opponent. With the win, the Eagles bring their Del Rey League record to 4-1 and 6-3 on the season.  One final league game remains in the regular season. The Eagles will take on Bishop Montgomery of Torrance, Friday, November 8 at 7:00 P.M. on their home field at LA Southwest College.  Halftime festivities will recognize and honor athletes from the Class of 2014, whose exploits and spirit on the gridiron have contributed to a record season.

Upstretched arms by stripe-sporting officials were a common sight during the VDHS Eagles 46-10 season wind-down game against CSHHS in Montebello.  Image by Marcel Viens, Verbum Dei High School

 

VDHS varsity Eagles dehorn Vikings 48-12 in dramatic SBHS homecoming spoiler

By John Stradley, Moderator, The Present Dei

Solidifying its reputation as the team that a reasonable school should not invite to its homecoming, the Verbum Dei Eagles trounced the St. Bernard Vikings, their Del Rey League rival, Friday evening.  The 48-12 victory was a dramatic reversal from the teams’ last meeting two years ago, when the Vikings tethered the Eagles 63-26.

As a full moon rose over the main school building behind the stadium, junior Tyler Frey started the game in grand fashion with a 70-yard kickoff return.  That auspicious start was tempered by a Verb fumble, which gave the Vikings possession at their own five-yard line.  Bernard pushed back with a 26-yard completion, but mirrored their opponent with a turnover fumble.  The Eagles mid-field drive began with a 30-yard run by freshman Davir Hamilton, continued with two quarterback keepers, and culminated with touchdown by Jacob LaRue, whose deft running has been impressive all season.  A razzle-dazzle play featuring a quick series of hand-offs – quarterback Evan Rambo to LaRue to Hamilton – resulted in a successful conversion to put Verb in lights on the scoreboard 8-0.

With 5:11 remaining in the quarter, the Vikings kick return brought the ball mid-field.  Jabril Frazier and Nigel Beckles created what Coach Miller deemed a “Verb sandwich” in sacking the Bernard quarterback for a 12-yard loss. After the turnover on downs, Hamilton continued to amass yardage with an impressive 83-yard touchdown run.  Another successful conversion brought the score to 16-0.

Junior Chase Moore dashed the Viking’s hopes of getting some illumination on their own scoreboard with a dramatic interception in the final moments of the first quarter, yet the Vikings had a brief reprieve with another Verb fumble.  An Eagle possession and a series of running plays by Christian Pimental, Hamilton, and Rambo ended the quarter.

On a sloppy field that seemed more a peat bog in places than a gridiron, the second quarter began decisively with a 42-yard pass from Hamilton to receiver Frey, who sprinted to the end zone.  Hamilton, the newly placed aerial component of Verb’s formerly non-existent passing game, has made his diverse skills known since his first start last week.  The successful conversion punched through by LaRue brought the score to 24-0.

After the kick return, the Vikings gored their way onto the scoreboard with a 61-yard run followed by a quarterback keeper touchdown.  An unsuccessful conversion brought the score to 24-6.  The Eagle possession that followed the kick return was marred by a holding penalty, but ended well with a 53-yard touchdown run and subsequent conversion by LaRue.  Verb shored its lead to 32-6.

In the final minutes of the half, the Eagles were both glorious and inglorious: inglorious in a face mask penalty and glorious in an impressive tackle by Zachary Burge and in a gritty defensive stand on their own 6-yard line that resulted in a Bernard turnover on downs.  A scoring drive fueled by dogged runs by LaRue and Hamilton brought the Eagles to the Vikings one-yard line.  Hamilton punched through for both a touchdown and a successful conversion, bringing the score to 40-6 as the half loomed near.  The Vikings attempted to regroup after their kick return, but tackles by Burge and Frazier brought the half to a close.

The third quarter passed with no change of the lights on the scoreboard as both teams slogged it out in the muddy mid-field.  Fine defensive play by the Verb squad kept the Vikings in check including a sack by sophomore Omar Soto for a Bernard 8-yard loss.

An Eagle possession began the final quarter.  Pimental ran for 48-yards – his longest run of the season – followed by an 8-yard carry by LaRue.  Freshman Steven Anderson had the honors of running the remaining three yards for a touchdown and successful conversion.  With jumbo jets intermittently roaring from the runway of adjacent Los Angeles International Airport, the score was 48-6.

A Kirk Smith tackle on the Viking return left the Bernard squad in familiar mid-field territory, but shortly thereafter a successful 37-yard pass completion brought the Norsemen to the Verb seven yard line with three minutes remaining on the clock.  Verb’s defensive squad put up a strong goal line stand, but the Vikings punched through for their second and final touchdown with one minute remaining.  A failed conversion attempt ended the game with the score 48-12.

With the win, the Eagles bring their Del Rey League record to 3-1 and 5-3 on the season.  The squad will face Cantwell-Sacred Heart High School, Friday, October 25 at 7:00 P.M. at C-SHHS in Montebello as the regular season draws toward its close. 

Homecoming, 2013: A testament of spirit and resolve

OPINION

By John Stradley, Moderator, The Present Dei

A week of school spirit and celebration of all things Verb ended Friday night at the
Verbum Dei High School home field at Southwest College, but did the spirit end then and there?  I think not.

There is a new mindset evident in the varsity football squad this year. The squad’s 2-1 league record says much; however, that better than average record is only a part of the story.  In years past, the varsity football teams have been prone to becoming discouraged when the tide of a game goes against them.  While most teams begin their games with exuberance and zeal, those positive manifestations can and do fade rather quickly when the fates deal an unwelcomed hand. Starting well is easy, but finishing well requires commitment, resilience, and, yes, spirit.

The 2013-2014 varsity team has all of those qualities and more. Behind 21-14 at the half, Verb rallied to take the lead late in the fourth quarter.  It was a narrow lead at that time, 42-40, and the clock still showed ample time for a LaSalle scoring drive.  But the Verb defense did not throw in the towel, did not give up, rather it stood its ground yard by yard with determination and focus.

From my vantage point in the stands, it was inspiring to see.  There is a refreshing spirit alive and well at Verbum Dei High School in the form of a tireless squad – many playing both sides of the ball - in a quarterback who would just as well be the one receiving the passes rather than the one sending them aloft, and in a team that generally refuses to give up or to let an adversary run roughshod over them.

I am not alone in recognizing this spirit, for after the squad’s narrow defeat, many of the dozens of the diehard spectators stood in solidarity with their team as the recited St. Ignatius’ Prayer for Generosity:

“Lord, teach me to be generous.

Teach me to serve you as you deserve;

to give and not to count the cost,

to fight and not to heed the wounds,

to toil and not to seek for rest,

to labor and not to ask for reward,

save that of knowing that I do your will.”

A standing ovation accompanied the close of the prayer in recognition of the team’s valiant spirit, its never-say-die resolve, and its gritty determination in the face of adversity.

Coach Miller is to be commended for fostering a new mindset in the varsity squad.  They, under his influence, see the power of teamwork and of a positive attitude.  When the breaks were beating the boys, they found the resolve to continue and see the game through to the best of their ability. In doing so, they did Saint Ignatius and their school proud.

Present Dei Puzzler contest returns with a brain-teasing trio of mind-benders

Current Verbum Dei gentleman and staff are encouraged to demonstrate their logical prowess in this latest contest.  “These are problems anyone can solve,” say the Whites.  “They do not require any particular level of mathematics or other knowledge.”

Rules:  Answers must be submitted to Mr. White, Mrs. White or Mr. Stradley by Friday, October 25.

Prizes:  There will be a $5 award per problem to the first student with the correct answer.  Additionally, there will be a $1 award given per problem to a student whose name is drawn from the pool of correct answers.

Note to faculty and staff:  Feel free to enter to win bragging rights.  If no correct student answer is submitted, you will become eligible for the cash prize.

Problem 1:

Ms. Odom painted each rung of her
ladder a different color and leaned the ladder against a wall. The middle rung
is blue, the yellow rung is 3 rungs above the blue rung, the green rung is 7
rungs below the yellow rung, and the red rung is 11 rungs above the green rung.
The red rung is also 3 rungs from the top rung. How many rungs are there on Ms.
Odom’s ladder?

Problem 2:

Suppose the positive even numbers
are grouped in the following way:

{2}, {4,6}, {8,10,12},
{14,16,18,20}, …

What is the sum of the numbers in
the 15th group?

Problem 3:

Form six 9-letter words by combining two 3-letter blocks below with the endings in the
grid.  All blocks will be used.  If you do it correctly, two of the vertical columns will spell a common two-word phrase.

 

Drake’s third release Nothing Was the Same not a game-changer, yet has glimmers of hope

MUSIC REVIEW

By Dylan Juarez, Staff Writer, Arts and Entertainment

“Nothing Was the Same” is Young Money’s recording artist Drake’s third studio album. Drake, one of Hip Hop’s most known new age artists has made his presence known in the past five years. His previous album “Take Care” was loved world-wide. The lead singles for this album are “Started from the Bottom,” “All Me,” Featuring 2 Chainz and Big Sean, “Hold on We’re Going Home,” and “Pound Cake.” Most artists on their third album tend to either get bigger or are forgotten. An example would be Eminem. His third album “The Eminem Show” was a success and even won him a Grammy. On the other end, Soulja Boy’s third album “The DeAndre Way” was his worst selling album, and he has not released an album since. Can Drake make magic happen again or will his career never be the same after this release?

The first song “Tuscan Leather” begins with a song being played backwards, but it is very mesmerizing. Drake is opening up to how he feels since his last album and to events that have taken place since becoming famous. “Furthest thing” is at a lower tempo then the first song, but it is very enjoyable. It changes beat, and it turns into a very soulful rhythm. He sounds happier, but more aggressive at the same time. “Started from the Bottom” is a song many people hated because Drake never had a struggle. He used to be a child star, so how did he start from the bottom? The song does not fit its placement. It possibly could have fit if it were near the end or even in the middle, but not this early in the album.

“Wu-Tang Forever” is another song for which Drake has been getting a lot of hate. The main reason being that he doesn’t really represent the Wu-Tang Clan in this song at all. The Wu-Tang Clan was an aggressive rap group, and this song is very slow. It talks about how Drake is facing difficult choices involving friends and a girl. This song was a disappointment. The fifth song “Own It” starts off with this very creepy vibe to it. It is a song that tries to have a story, but it feels forced. The chorus also sounds like it says “On It” instead of “Own It.” “Worst Behavior” makes Drake sound hungry and very egotistic. This song feels the right fit for the album as if he is saying “Hey nothing is gonna be the same because I’m Drake, and that’s the only reason you need.” This is a very different sounding Drake, but it is very enjoyable. His third verse also pays homage to Biggie’s “Mo Money Mo Problems” song.

The song “From Time,” Featuring Jhene Akio is great. Jhene Akio’s vocals are so bright and sweet. It gives this song a very sad feeling to it. Drake also takes this opportunity to revel his problems with family, especially with his uncle, dad, and mom. “Hold on We’re Going Home” fits the vibe of the song before it. After such a deep song like “From Time,” the album still needs to feel calm, and this song is so very relaxing that it can be played in the background during dinner. The ninth song “Connect” begins with the very soothing vibe of the previous two songs. It starts very slow, but builds the beat up and the whole vibe changes.

“The Language” is definitive proof that the vibe has changed, but the changed vibe is very arrogant. His flow sounds like his flow on “Versace.” It is nothing impressive just the same flow and same topics. The eleventh song is “305 to My City.” It is a garbage song; it can be skipped. “I hope you don’t fall, ‘cus you on top of the ceiling” is a line he says and just proves his writer must have wanted him to fail. “Too Much” starts off with a very smooth, but unknown, male vocal performance. This song gives the album a lot more hope that it can still be good even this late in the game. It is a hungry Drake again, but now he seems less arrogant. He to opens up more with problems of family, but it is not sad.

The thirteenth song “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2” featuring Jay Z, is very interesting because it has samples from Wu-Tang Clan. It is surprising that this song was not “Wu-Tang Forever” because this is the hungry Drake and it would fit. Jay Z’s verse is not great, but it was enjoyable. The “Paris Morton Music 2” is a small song, but is a celebration song. Drake talks about how people expect him to act at events and how to take awards without looking stupid. He also begins to brag about how fame has made him happier in life and recalls events before his fame. The fourteenth song “Come Thru” is a song about picking up a girl and telling her to come over to chill and maybe even more. Yet near the end of the song it turns into Drake talking about how he feels lonely repeating “Why has it been so long?” The Last song is “All Me,” featuring 2 Chainz and Big Sean. It is a radio song that brags about the money and women that stereo typical rappers have. It is not a great way to end an album. The ending should have been “Paris Morton Music 2.”

This album was over hyped. Drake had enjoyable songs, but he did not deliver in the end. He lacks in so many songs and even copied a flow he had on a remix for Migo’s song “Versace.”. That isn’t going to work. Close listening people will catch that. His production was better than usual. Where Drake lacked, his instrumentals picked up the slack. This album is a 4/10. His album may not be what most people expected, but hopefully Drake’s next album is better. He might not be as loved as Eminem, but he will not be forgotten as quickly like Soulja Boy.

Present Dei online news source seeks student writers / photographers for 2013-2014 year

By John Stradley, Moderator, The Present Dei

The Present Dei, Verbum Dei High School’s online news source, is seeking student journalists, photographers, and interested parties to join the staff of this fledgling publication. Whether one’s interest lay in athletics, politics, the arts, personalities, or graphic design in the electronic age, The Present Dei is a venue to explore electronic journalism.

Student staffers will serve as editors, staff writers, copy editors, photographers, and graphic designers. Present Dei staff attend and report upon campus and off-campus events of interest to the Verbum Dei community.

Contact Mr. John Stradley, Room 103, for more information. Look for The Present Dei table on Activities Day.

Big Sean’s latest: “Hall of Fame” or “Hall of Lame”?

MUSIC REVIEW

By Dylan Juarez, Staff Writer, Arts and Entertainment

“Hall of Fame,” the sophomore album from Big Sean, the Detroit rapper, was released the 27th of August. His first project “Finally Famous” made many people keep their ear open to him, but will this one make the cut?   This album is rumored to have been approved by Eminem because of the influence of one Detroit rapper upon another. The leading singles are “Beware,” featuring Jhene Akio and Lil Wayne, “Guap,” and “Fire.” Did the Detroit rapper give us another album to keep our eyes on Detroit or did he let his city down?

The first track is “Nothing is Stopping You.” The song doesn’t hook the listener; it leaves one kind of empty, expecting him to go a bit stronger. His flow on the song was good, but his execution was not. The mixing on this song was done poorly as well. The chorus is sampled, but instead of sounding like “Nothing is Stopping You,” it sounds
like “Nothing is Stalking You.” The second song is the single “Fire.” He should
have made this his introduction. It is well executed, and his flow is well. It
picks up where his first song lagged. “10 2 10” is the third song. One would
think from the title would be a specific date, but it means he works from 10 to
10. His word play is weak, and his references make no sense. For example he
says “Call me a Mexican ‘cus I work from 10 2 10”. It lacks the punch of the
previous song.

The fourth song “Toyota Music” is an average song but nothing great. The fifth song “You Don’t Know” was okay-another just average song. It seems like he is doing the bare minimum in this part of the album, which no artist should ever do because the listener will then not care for the song and soon forget it. The sixth song is “Beware,” his other single. This song is a great single. It’s very catchy, and it is a song people
will catch themselves singing during the chorus. Jhene Akio’s vocals are what
make the song and the chorus. Big Sean also did his part and got out of the
ditch he dug in the album, but the thing that kills this song is Lil Wayne’s
part – it is so unimpressive. The song can do without it. The seventh song “First
Chain: featuring Nas and Kid CuDi, is good. The song talks about how Big Sean
saw his heroes wear a chain, and when he finally got his, he was proud of
himself. Nas’ past was good, but it wasn’t impressive like other Nas verses. Kid
CuDi did deliver in his verse, and it completed the song.

The eighth song “Mona Lisa” is just a basic rap song of money, women, and drugs. I think this song fits Sean’s personality, but it was not a good add to the album.  He just climbed out of a ditch, so why dig another one? The ninth song “MILF” featuring Nicki Minaj and Juicy J is led into by a snippet called “Freaky.” It was comic relief for the album, and the snippet fit the song well. It is catchy and good compared to other songs. Nicki and Juicy J’s verses add to the song. The tenth song “Sierra Leone” is good. It calms one down from the comic relief and brings the listener to this state of
lovey dovey and how Big Sean has the hook up to make sure his girl feels good.
The eleventh song “It’s Time,” featuring Jeezy and Payroll has a very strong
beat, but the first verse takes time to get going. Jeezy’s verse is good and is
not off-beat as he is in some of his features. Payroll lacks in this song just
like Big Sean.

The twelfth song “World Ablaze,” featuring James Fauntleroy, slows everything down and it suggests how Big Sean struggled in his area and how Detroit use to be a great city but fell off. The thirteenth song “Ashley,” featuring Miguel, keeps this slow feeling. Big Sean’s flow is very well performed and Miguel’s vocals help make a good song. It could do without Big Sean’s small singing parts, but it is still a good song. The
fourteenth song “All Figured Out” was a more serious song about his struggle in
life before the fame and during fame. He admits that just because he is famous
does not mean that he has all the answers. The fifteenth song “Mula Remix,”
featuring 2 chainz, Meek Mill and Earlly Mac, is a club song that will have
people dancing. This feels like Big Sean just added this on the album for more
sales. “Switch Up” the sixteenth song is just mediocre and not impressive. The
Last song is “Guap,” and it is a good radio song, and was the first single to
get listeners excited for the album.

This album at the end of the day is average. There are only six stand-out songs, and this isn’t an album someone can go back and listen to repeatedly. It is more of an album that one hears once, and that’s what it was good for: a one-time listen. To answer my own question if he let down Detroit, the answer is not really. He did improve from his last album, but it was not a huge improvement to have me say this is album of the year.  It is a 5 out of 10.

Verb’s Junior Statesmen plan first meeting

By John Stradley, Moderator, The Present Dei

Verbum Dei High School’s own Junior Statesmen of America (JSA) chapter will meet for the first time as a chartered club Wednesday, January 30 at lunch in Room 101.  The student run organization seeks to develop citizens “who are the people that the United States Constitution describes: people who are educated and knowledgeable about current issues and are therefore prepared to shape government,” said senior Jared Rhaburn, the enthusiastic spokesperson for the fledgling organization.  Rhaburn’s various school wide announcements have promoted the club for students who are interested in careers in politics, law, advocacy, public policy, and public administration.

The organization, co-moderated by American history teacher Mr. Jovel and Ms. Bernal, will chart its course for this first year beginning with the first meeting.  Plans include awareness-raising, discussion groups, film nights that feature discussion and screening of issue-related feature films, and participation in JSA conferences and events in the Los Angeles region.

“I learned about it [Junior Statesmen of America] through a scholarship that was awarded to myself and to other Verb students,” said Rhaburn.  This opportunity led Rhaburn to apply and to be accepted in the JSA Summer Program at Georgetown University in our Nation’s capital.  The summer program was a formative experience, said Rhaburn.  He raised funds for his program expenses through a letter writing campaign and through presentations to churches, civic organizations, and other groups.  Rhaburn earned high school credit for courses at the summer program.

“Unofficially created when the scholarships were awarded, the organization was revived to be a viable club and to be a chapter of the JSA,” said Rhaburn.  The Junior Statesmen, said Rhaburn, is international in scope, as there are chapters in such far-flung places as China and Uzbekistan.

Weekly meetings will continue on Wednesdays at lunch in Room 101.

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