Archive for the ‘Xavier Fernandez’ Category

By Xavier Fernandez, 8th Grade Reporter

In June 2011, there will be trips for the eighth graders, graduation, and a prom dinner dance. There is one catch for these events to even happen, you have to pay for it.

Only a few eighth graders have paid their senior dues in full. Most have neglected to finish payments for their packages. Seniors, there is a short amount of time left to pay for these events—April 21 is the deadline to make payments.

Thus far, only forty students (out of 125 seniors) have paid for graduation events and out of those forty, only seven have completed payments in full.

Senior dues must be paid for these special events to happen and for there to even be a graduation ceremony.

There are four senior packages available for purchase: Package A, B, C, and D. Package A ($75) includes graduation costs only. Package B ($200) includes graduation and the prom dinner dance. Prom dinner dance includes three tickets—one for the graduate and two guest tickets. Package C ($200) includes the graduation and senior trip to Great Adventures. Finally, Package D ($310) is the full package, including all of the above mentioned senior activities.

by Xavier Fernandez, 8th Grade Reporter

On March 7, 2011 the PAZ after school program had a guest chef cooking class with the ESL/Newsletter Director, Ms. M. Maehara. The dish that was prepared was tamaki, or make your own sushi.

What was so special about this certain dish was that the seventh graders were able to choose what they preferred in their sushi. The variety of foodstuffs to put in the sushi was not enough to please the seventh graders; however, the sushi tasted good depending on what you decided to put in it.


nori (seaweed)

BBQ unagi (BBQ eel)

sushi rice

nato (fermented beans)

radish sprouts

Japanese cucumber (seedless)

fried tofu

crab meat





Tabasco sauce

rice vinegar

Japanese yellow pickles

sesame seeds

soy sauce


Sushi Rice:

4 c. rice

½ c. rice vinegar

dash of salt

1 tsp. sugar

Directions: The rice used in the sushi is prepared normally. Prepare the rice vinegar, salt, and sugar mixture. Stir well. When the rice is cooked and hot, add the vinegar mixture. Stir well, letting the rice soak up the mixture. Let cool to room temperature. Do not refrigerate.

Egg Thing:


soy sauce


Directions: Scramble egg. Add sugar and soy sauce. Stir well. Cook over medium heat like an omelet. Let cool.

Tuna Thing:

1 can of tuna (in water—not oil)


Tabasco sauce

Directions: Empty contents of tuna. Add mayonnaise till the mixture is creamy—like tuna salad. Add Tabasco sauce to desired hotness.

Being that it was do-it-yourself sushi, students got to choose what they wanted inside of their hand rolls; however, many people were not content with what was available. Furthermore, some of the students could not handle the power of the wasabi. Enjoy!


by Xavier Fernandez, 8th Grade Reporter

Valentine’s Day is considered a holiday akin to a game of Russian Roulette by some. But, those chocolates you get will disappear sooner or later.

The chocolate you eat is at its all-time low. Furthermore, the fact that the cacao tree is a leech-like plant does not help the situation in any shape or form. Neither does the fact that the farmers of cacao plants usually die by the age of 56 and their children don’t want to follow in the paths of their parents’ livelihoods. Perhaps, most harmful to the survival of cacao as a plant is that cacao farmers want to ditch farming chocolate altogether for palm oil (which is seen as more profitable).

What does this mean for the future of chocolate? The friend of many people, chocolate, will end up costing too much for a normal person. The two culprits, or heroes, that you can blame for this would be Valentine of Terni and Valentine of Rome. They were both martyrs for their religion and the root of this modern holiday—a holiday that has wasted almost all of the world’s chocolate.

by Xavier Fernandez, 8th Grade Reporter

Scores will be released in early February for 8th graders that took the Specialized High School Admission Test (SHSAT). These students will have till the end of February to return their New High Schools Choice Forms back to their guidance counselor.

There are eight specialized high schools in NYC that students must test for in order to be considered for admission: Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Latin School, Brooklyn Technical School, High School for Math, Science, and Engineering at City College, High School of American Studies at Lehman College, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, Staten Island Technical High School, and Stuyvesant High School. These schools emphasize math and science.

Fiorello H. LaGuardia of Music, Art, and Performing Arts is the only non-testing specialized high school. This school admits students based on auditions, or an art portfolio.

Eighth graders that missed the deadline to sign up, or were unable to attend one of the specialized high school testing sessions, have one last opportunity to take the SHSAT in the fall of 2011 as high school freshman.

Fear of Fear

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Column X, Students, Xavier Fernandez
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by Xavier Fernandez, 8th Grade Reporter

Do you have a fear? Chances are you have a phobia. What is that? An irrational fear. They come in various shapes, sizes, and… animals.

Phobos is the root word in phobia. Phobos means fear in Latin. It is sometimes linked to deimos, or panic. Fear and panic both being closely tied together.

Phobias are named after the object the person is scared of. This becomes the prefix and it is added to the root word phobia. For example, the reasonable zemmiphobia is the fear of the great mole rat. Zemmi is the prefix for animals belonging to the mole rate family. The weirdest fear, in my opinion, is phobophobia—the fear of fears. Other phobias are named after a type of animal, like molluscophobia—fear of mollusks, which are snails.

All in all, phobias affect everyone. People are affected by phobias in a variety of ways, including fainting at the sight of seeing the thing one fears. Some extreme phobias can even lead to severe mental and/or physiological problems.

From my research, I have developed a minor case of zemmiphobia. For anyone that has panophobia, the fear of everything, you probably shouldn’t be reading this. For all of you with hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia, the fear of long words, don’t read this.

For more information on fears visit:

Lucid Dreamers

Posted: November 29, 2010 in Column X, Xavier Fernandez
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By Xavier Fernandez, 8th Grade Reporter


Most of society does not know about lucid dreams, a vague concept relating to dreams. Consequences of lucid dreaming can be as severe as death; although, it is a possible remedy for nightmares.

Lucid literally means easily understood. Therefore, a lucid dream is an easily understood dream. All lucid dreams have their origins during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep. Lucid dreams can commence in two different fashions: Dream Induced Lucid Dreaming (DILD), or a Wake-Initiated Lucid Dream (WILD).

A common aspect associated with lucid dreaming is false awakening, which is when one continues dreaming, yet believes that they have woken. Most individuals will not know they are in a state of false awakening until something like a singing fish happens. There is another way of experiencing a whimsical lucid dream. These dreams usually start with the aid of a device, like the Nova Dreamer, or REM Dreamer glasses. It works by emitting a sound that lets one know when they are dreaming. A downside of this device is possible bed-wetting, or worse.

Lucid dreaming is as old as normal dreaming; however, Celia Green was the first person to document it in a scientific way. She discovered lucid dreams were different from normal dreams. Green also found out that false awakening was a sub-section of lucid dreaming. Other lucid dream researchers include: Daniel Otis who tried to induce lucid dreaming at the University of South Dakota in experiments and Philosopher, Norman Malcolm wrote a text about dream accuracy Despite these studies, much is yet to be learned about lucid dreaming.

From their studies, Green and Otis learned that lucid dreaming has many drawbacks and can be fatal. It can cause sleep paralysis, which causes one to be paralyzed before, or after sleep as a defense mechanism from items in one’s dream. It can also cause an out of body experience, which is when one feels like one’s mind is being ripped from one’s body for a period of time. Despite these negatives, lucid dreams have therapeutic benefits and can be an antidote for nightmares, or night terrors.