Saturday, January 31, 2009

Laurinaitis to NY Giants? Maybe

According to ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.'s first mock draft projects the NY Giants as drafting middle linebacker James Laurinaitis. Over the course of his collegiate career James has won many acolades and awards, including the Buckus and Nagurski awards as well as having the honor to be named an All-American. I will be extremely happy if the Giants draft Laurinaitis, as I have thought the Giants have needed to upgrade the linebacker spot for a while. If drafted Antonio Pierce, the Giants current middle linebacker, would be able to serve as a good mentot to James, who looks like he was bred for football glory. At 6'3 and 245 lbs, Laurinaitis certainly has the size to be a dominant force in the NFL for years to come, hopefully with the Giants.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Profiles in Debt

Name: Thomas Kennedy

Major: Electrical Engineering

Year of Graduation: 2009

Estimated Debt at Graduation: $33,000

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "I want to live for really cheap and make my (hopefully) 60-70k a year until i pay it off. I got to go to school and invest in a future that will allow me to pay it off. I want to pay it off as soon as possible because i hate debt. That being said, I'm glad there are loans available to me."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Profiles in Debt Sample

Name: Joe College

: College University

: Political Science

: 2010

Estimated Debt at Graduation: $34,000

Deep Thoughts on Debt
: "I'm not sure how I'm ever going to pay it all off. I think I might put it off by going to law school, but that will just make the debt bigger."

* This is just a sample of an ongoing SCU Online reporting project. *

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Inauguration news was inescapable yesterday, and rightly so. I watched the event with my 8 o'clock class. After that, I went online to check my email and was bombarded with headlines on Yahoo about the momentous occasion. It was almost too much of a good thing.

I thought the one place that wouldn't have news about the event was my work; I was surprised to discover that my prediction was completely wrong. A baby wore a tiny, pink t-shirt that read "OBABY," with Obama's campaign symbol placed right above it, and another toddler sported a brown t-shirt that read "First Family" above a picture of the Obama family.

During lunchtime, one girl even told me about the "election party" she would be having with her mom, dad, and baby brother after school. The best part of the celebration, in her opinion, was that she got to wear her red, white and blue party dress. I guess it says something if even babies and toddlers are excited about the event.

Back home at the Tank

Sure, I missed my family and friends, my dog and my cat, and my big bed and squishy pillow while I was studying abroad in London for the past 4 months. That's only to be expected when one embarks on life-altering adventures, right? What I unexpectedly missed the most, however, were my San Jose Sharks.

My love for hockey's greatest team was initiated in the 3rd grade, when my older brothers allowed my sister and I to take their two coveted spots next to my dad at a game. I spent all three periods in complete and utter confusion. Why would the team announce when they were about to perform an especially good move ("Sharksss on the power play!")? How did the players know when to jump on and off the ice despite a time out never being called? And what's up with all the fighting?!

Eleven years later, I've come to know the game inside and out, backward and forward, and up and down. I regard the "Tank" as my second home, and the players as my extended family.

This dedication made it painful to observe the Sharks' incredible success this season from across the pond. Having resorted to checking the scores and fan forums online each morning, my heart ached for the rowdy crowd and the inevitable chaos and excitement that each hockey game holds. My love for London, while substantial, was hugely marred by it's lack of an ice-hockey team. I mean, "football's" great and all, but it's severely lacking in ice, and skates, and sticks, and pucks, and... well, it's just not hockey.

As my Bay Area homecoming date approached, the superstitious side of me began to worry that my return to San Jose would somehow throw the Sharks off of their phenomenal winning streak. My mom assured my this fear was unfounded and unwarranted, as our team had enjoyed success for many years, despite my presence in the country. Worries aside, I attended the Sharks vs. Rangers game the very day I arrived back in the United States.

Overcome with emotion in the first period, I cried when the players skated through the Shark head at the beginning of the game. Overcome with a desire for breakfast in the second period (it was morning in London, after all), I scarfed down a pepperoni pizza. Overcome with jet lag in the third period, I fell asleep on my sister's shoulder.

I might have missed the end of the game, but I was wonderfully and comfortably home.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Claude Lemieux Returns to NHL

On January 20, 2009 Claude Lemieux made his long awaited return to the NHL after being called up from San Jose's minor league affiliate, Worcester on January 19th. Lemieux very sparingly in the Sharks' 2-1 overtime victory over the Canucks, his first NHL game since 2003. Lemieux has won 4 Stanley Cups with three different teams throughout his illustrious career, which spans more than 20 years. He has won the Cup with Montreal(1986), New Jersey(1995, 2000), and Colorado (1996). He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1995 as the playoff's MVP. Hopefully he will be able to bring his playoff and Stanley Cup experience to the Sharks for the rest of the season, as the Sharks hope to advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in team history.

Super Obama

Dear President Obama,

All I want for the next four years are my two front teeth. And maybe a shopping center in Baghdad.

I’ve been a really good girl this past election season. I wore my “Obama rules” t-shirt to class every day during the campaign. When you were elected, we trashed our house with streamers and silly string to celebrate. I enjoyed four different types of tequila at house parties to ring in your inauguration this week.

When you said, “Yes, we can,” Mr. President, I cheered and screamed, “because Obama’s different!”

You’re the Batman of Gotham, the King of Rock ‘n Roll, the only real hope for this flailing country’s future.

I can’t wait for you to turn this recession into prosperity and to provide peace on earth. Without you, we’d be doomed to a life of hell.

Thanks, Obama. You’re the best.

Yours truly, The American Naive
>>Post borrowed from The College Report.

Super Bowl Preview

On February 1, college students across America will pack themselves into small dorm rooms to celebrate our unofficial national holiday: The Super Bowl. This years game is a classic match up of opposites with the 5-time Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers and their vaunted defense matching up with notoriously awful Arizona Cardinals and their high-octane offense.

The Steelers and Cardinals took alternate routes but have made it to the same destination. The Steelers finished the regular season 12-4, despite suffering injuries to various players, and were considered by many to be the best team in the NFL. The Cardinals on the other hand, finished 9-7 in the worst division in the NFL, the NFC West, and were widely considered a team blessed by a weak schedule. They played on Wild Card Weekend versus the Atlanta Falcons, whereas the Steelers earned a bye weak. Both teams had emphatic wins in round two, and gutted out victories in the conference championship games.

What makes this game so interesting is the fact that both team has a dominant strength. The Steelers defense ranked first in almost every defensive statistic throughout the course of the season and haven't allowed more then 17 points in the past six games. They feature defensive player of the year, James Harrison, and pro-bowlers Troy Polamalu and James Farrior. This hard hitting bunch led by coordinator Dick LeBeau is a unit for the ages. On the other side of the ball is the Kurt Warner led Cardinal offense. Warner has regained his magic touch from his St. Louis Rams days and has established himself as an all-time great quarterback. Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald has proven to be one of the, if not the top play-maker in the NFL. His 419 post-season yards is a record, surpassing the great Jerry Rice. On the opposite side of Fitzgerald, Warner has prow-bowl wideout Anquan Boldin who's injured hamstring will benefit from the week off. Running backs Edgerin James and Tim Hightower have been productive in the playoffs but don't expect to see much of them against the Steelers D.

The Cardinals defense is going to have to put together a complete team effort to stop quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of the Steelers offense. The young Cardinals secondary including Dominique Rodgers-Cromrartie, Antrelle Rolle, and Adrian Wilson is good enough to limit the Steelers passing game. The x-factor in the game is Steeler tailback Willie Parker. He has an injury plagued season but if he is able to get outside into open space then it can be a long night for Cardinals fans.

So what happens when an unstoppable force meets an unmovable object? I am going with the cinderella Cardinals. The combination of Warner and Fitzgerald is going to account for at least two scores, and I see Warner letting an opportunity to win a second super-bowl slip out of his hands. The logical pick is the Steelers, but there is something special about this Cardinals team. To borrow a phrase commonly used for college basketball, the slipper fits.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Photographer's Right

Many a time I have come to a scene as a photographer for The Santa Clara and been glared at or shooed out of the way by police officers.

These public events, accidents, etc. are all legal to shoot, but still, there is a certain stigma to taking a picture of a man who has just been stabbed and running it as front page news the next day. It is seen as insensitive perhaps. Really it is simply a journalist's job.

Taking this photo, reporting this issue, running this story is not insensitive, but rather our way of keeping a watchful eye. If we didn't report the travesties of an earthquake, then who would be inclined to prepare for the next one? If we didn't share a politician's indiscretions, then who would scrutinize those running for public office? Airing the world's dirty laundry forces the public to pay attention and take action in order to make a positive change. Journalists are just the ones holding everyone accountable for their actions.

Last quarter in our photojournalism practicum, our adviser, Chuck Barry, brought in this interesting little cheat sheet for photographers. "The Photographer's Right" explains the basic rights of any photojournalist and how to handle tough situations.

Here's to the watchdog, even when he or she gets a bad beat.

(Click to Enlarge)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


What is more effective? Raising awareness or protesting? And what does each mean?

Just a thought.

Reverse Culture Shock

It has been almost one full month since I returned home from my four month stint in London, England. I am therefore surprised to find myself still feeling suspended between the culture I left behind and the one to which I returned.  According to the study abroad guide book with which I was provided before my departure from the United States, I am currently experiencing a phenomenon known as "Reverse Culture Shock". Defined as a period of re-adjustment and re-examination of the norms of American society, this is a concept at which I laughed and subsequently disregarded during my preparation for my adventures across the pond. Ultimately, I suppose my pre-London self could not comprehend that her future post-London counterpart could actually feel foreign in the area that has been my home for the entire 20 years of my existence. Yet here I am, feeling not only like a freshman all over again, but also like someone examining Santa Clara University and the greater Bay Area from an outside, critical perspective.  

Despite countless trips to my favorite frozen yogurt and Mexican joints (two delicacies whose availability was severely lacking in the UK), and multiple outings in my car just to experience the thrill of driving again, I desperately miss taking the "Tube" to work each morning, hearing shouts of "Oi!" and "Cheers, mate!" being exchanged during my numerous jaunts through Hyde Park,  calling soccer, "Football", and reading "The Guardian" every evening. Ultimately, the little things to which I became so accustomed and often overlooked in my day-to-day life while in London, are the ones which I find myself pining for the most.

I know that soon enough I'll fall back into the old habits and routines of which my life consisted prior to my Londontown  immersion. I'll stop complaining about our quality of tea, the state of our local newspaper and the number of commercials that accompany every television program. Eventually, I'll become an American again.

 Until that time, hopefully I'll continue to remember to drive on the correct side of the road.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Life After College

Photo by Alpo Hassinen

Last week, I had a dream that I was climbing a huge, snowy mountain. The trail was steep and slippery and I almost fell a few times, but always managed to regain my balance again. At the top, a huge igloo awaited me. Inside, I found a large table filled with colorful balloon animals and tons of candy.

Weird, I know, but it was one of those dreams that you can’t stop thinking about because it seemed so real. Then suddenly, it dawned on me. This dream is totally pertinent to my life, and probably to the lives of many graduating seniors.

We’ve traveled so far during our lifetimes, encountering many obstacles, on paths that have been nicely laid out for us: preschool, elementary school, high school, college . . . but what comes next?

Life after college may not be as “sweet” as we expect, especially given the state of the economy, so why not take advantage of the freedom that comes with having few obligations and no career set in stone? This is the ideal time to seize opportunities that may not be available to us later on in life. Here are a few ideas:

Teach English in Japan or Korea for a year.
Volunteer for an organization you really care about.
If you have the means, TRAVEL.
Learn another language.
Learn how to play an instrument.
Take an art class.

Life after college will be as exciting as we make it. Hopefully, mine will consist of something more rewarding than colorful balloon animals and an assortment of candy.

The Single Life

Have you ever walked into your dorm room hoping to relax and watch TV only to find your roommates friends sitting on your bed? That was how I spent my first quarter at Santa Clara University. My fortune has changed and although it might only be for a brief period of time – I’m living the single life.

My roommate, who is a friend of mine, decided to get an apartment for the rest of freshman year and the years to follow. He sent me a text message over winter break saying, “Yo im movin out into an apartment January 3rd.” My first reaction was a fist pump full of excitement followed by a response of “You’re lucky to get out of Swig – I’ll be around to help you.”

My first night alone was perfect. I did what any single guy would do… got my sister to clean my room. By 10 o’clock that night I was in a clean room, controlling the music, reading in peace, and dozing off. It was the first time I went to bed before midnight.

For the past week and a half my room has been a sanctuary for me. I hope this post will not jinx my luck. However, I am afraid to knock three times because that same sound might come back to haunt me in the form of a new roommate.

Birthdays....Were the Worst Days....

Maybe Biggie had it right.

I never understood why adults were so comatose on birthdays. Birthdays are supposed to be days of celebration. Days where you get presents and see your family. You're supposed to be happy on your birthday. Right?

That last one might not be entirely true. I just turned 22 (I know, the big two-two). And I was shocked at how regular the day seemed. You want to know what I did to celebrate? I went to work.

Now, it might be that I'm just a boring person (up for debate) or that I work too hard (my boss would say that's definitely not true). But I don't think 22 has no significance, especially compared to 21.

No, I don't get to legally purchase all sorts of goodies (18, remember, brought tobacco and R-rated movie tickets). And, I can already purchase alcohol (oh how I love 21). So what does 22 bring me? How is any other birthday from here on out significant?


Maybe it's because I'm on my way into the real world (gasp) but I don't see the greatness of every birthday. What do I have to look forward to, at least in terms of numbers? Kind of ironic to think how much I loved "my" day when I was a kid. Maybe this is just part of the process when I go from one of "us" to one of "them." Can't wait.

Life as CriagsList Jobs' Biggest Fan

Well, I know the excitement of a new quarter has been squandered when I resign from taking detailed notes to blogging in class on my laptop. Oh well... last quarter.

So, instead of focusing on the professor's lecture on DNA, RNA and other scientific letter things, I'm surfing Craigslist looking for jobs.

Now, I've designed a very thorough method for CL job searching.

Step 1: Select city.
Step 2: Select job category.
Step 3: Peruse jobs.

My relationship with CL has developed overtime. It began 6 months ago when I was excited and confident about the prospect of finding a job.

July 2008 CL Search

Step 1: Cities
SF Bay Area
New York City

Step 2: Select categories

Step 3: Peruse jobs
Only cool ones

Now, my job search as of today's Biology class:

Step 1: Select cities
Los Angeles
New York
Orange County
San Diego
SF Bay Area
Washington D.C

Step 2: Job categories
Human Resources

Step 3: Peruse job
Look at all that I could minimally qualify for.

Giants Suffer "Unexpected" Loss in Playoffs

On Sunday, the New York Giants suffered a shocking and season-ending loss at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles by the score of 23-11. At halftime the score was 10-8, as both offenses struggled. However, it was the Giants offense that remained stagnate in the second half and the Eagles' that stepped up. In my mind the Eagles won for three main reasons: they converted on third downs, they did not have as many mistakes, and they scored touchdowns.
Even though I consider myself to be a hardcore Giants fan here at SCU, I can honestly say that I did not feel as confident about the match-up as I would have liked. Therefore, I don't consider the upset to be that shocking. Ever since the Plaxico Burress incident, the Giants' passing game has been pretty mediocre. I definitely think they are a talented group, but none of them strike fear into the opponent's defense like Burress did, which allowed Philly to really focus on the run. I am hopeful that the Giants acquire a big time wide receiver in the offseason, so they can make another run at the Super Bowl next season.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Call a Cab in the City

San Francisco has some of the best public transportation around. With Cal Train and Bart to get you into the city and Muni or the various streetcars and buses to get you around within, it's easy to plan an evening out in Golden Gate City, even if you're coming from Santa Clara.

But, if you're headed to the Sunset or North Beach this winter, you may want to call a cab to travel to your destination quickly and warm. Try the Yellow Cab company: (415) 333-3333 or for a more environmently friendly option, call Green Cab: (415) 626-GREEN.

The city is literally crawling with taxi drivers, so keep your eye out, check the corner of the Cal Train station at 4th & King, or call a cab in advance.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009