Phoenix Flyer

November 2017

San Antonio High School Writer's Workshop

This newsletter is written and edited by the students in the Writer's Workshop class.
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Filmmaker Brings The Corridor to SAHS

by Faith Thalacker

San Antonio High School was fortunate enough to have a special viewing of the film The Corridor and a question/answer session with cast members afterward. The documentary was about a high scool program called Five Keys, started for adults in jail who never got a diploma. Following the inmates in San Francisco County Jail, we get to see their side of the story. 70% of all inmates did not graduate from high school. The majority of them attended school that didn’t have proper funding.

Annelise Wunderlich, one of the directors of the film, told us what inspired the creation of the documentary. Annelise’s husband is a teacher at Five Keys, she would hear a lot of recollections from him and because of this she was very intrigued. She realized there was a bigger story; and it was from the inmate’s side. For a long time she went in without any cameras but finally after two years she had legal permission to bring in the camera crew.

During the filming process many deputy’s didn’t want to cooperate. The deputy’s even wanted to stage a fight. On the other hand, the documentary was very serious and important to Kezia Martinis, a former inmate and Five Keys student, “We’re still here, we still exist.” Kezia tells how her 8 year old Shawnti was and continues to be her inspiration to better herself. In the film another inmate mentions how Five Keys helped them through their time in jail.

Since Five Keys started in 2003, 1,927 students have graduated through it. Five Keys also now has 6 other locations. Bethany, one of the followed inmates, and Kezia are still close friends. Kezia is also attending college. This program has completely turned many lives around. The program's objective is to prepare inmates to work well in the outside community.

Marine Recruiter Visit

By Jordan Stoeckle

On Monday November 13, Sergeant Aldama, a Marines recruiter came to San Antonio to talk about joining the marines. He spoke about his experience, the process of joining the marines, benefits that come with joining the military and the life of a marine.

According to Sergeant Aldama the Marines is the hardest branch of military to get into. To get in recruits have to score at least a 32 on the AFQT test which is out of 74. There is a 13 week boot camp training to go through before joining. To get ready for boot camp recruits can join the delayed entry program. Recruits also have to go through a confidence course which Sergeant Aldama thought was one of his most challenging experiences. One piece of advice he gave for it was, “The mind will give out before the body can.”

One of the reasons he decided to enlist was to provide for himself and his family. He said, “I knew what it [the Marines] could do for me.” He added, “Some people are born with a silver spoon, some had a wooden spoon. I didn’t have a spoon at all.

Some of the benefits include paid housing, 100% college tuition, guaranteed employment for four years, and full medical and dental insurance. There are also tremendous opportunities to network with high profile people. Marines get two and a half days of vacation each month which adds up to 30 days of paid vacation in a year. The more Marines move up the ranks the more they get paid. Sergeant Aldama said he will be set for life at 39 years old. He explained the Marines have everything needed for a good lifestyle.

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Shibori Demonstration

by Mary Cobleigh

Sonin Johnson, Zoe Nicol’s mom, came to San Antonio on Halloween day to teach students Shibori. The lesson took place in Ms. Garcia’s classroom. Students Kai Ngo, Adrian Pleitez, Alexis Ceja, as well as Ms. Garcia, and Ms. Jackson joined. Shibori is a style of fabric dyeing created in Japan in the 8th century. The main fabrics used in Shibori were silk, hemp, and later cotton. Indigo was used as the main dye. There are all sorts of different techniques. Some techniques are Kanoko, Miura, Kumo, Nui, Arashi, and Itajime. Kanoko is known in the North America as tie-dye. When asked about what inspired her to start doing Shibori, Johnson said, “I was wanting to dye a white top I had bought and I came across a small dye kit at a local discount store and it happened to be a “shibori” kit. I followed the directions that were in the box and BAM! it was on!”

Ms. Jackson participated in the workshop and shared the process.“We used white linen, folded the fabric symmetrically like an accordion. Then you fold it in triangular shapes and put tight rubber bands on the ends. I stuck clothespins in the folds to add a bit more exposure to the dye.” Ms. Jackson joked about how she got dye temporarily on her hands for two days because there was a hole in her glove. Ms. Jackson also added, “If you expose your shibori to oxygen and you open it up, it appears green. As the linen dries and the dye oxygenates it becomes more light blue. Ms. Jackson found the experience really interesting, “We all did the same project but each piece came out differently.”

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Fall Food

by Ayana Penders

Fall is the time when daylight gets shorter, weather gets colder, and families get closer. When it is fall, tasting spices or delicious warm evening meals can get our spirits closer into the Fall season mood. Seasonal foods bring people closer together during the evening. As we know, Fall food is associated with vegetation, such as the popularity of pumpkins, squash, and perhaps others like potatoes, spinach, and brussel sprouts. These lovely crops are the key ingredients to warm comforting meals to have at the end of the day, and just take in the Fall season spirit.

On the 31st of October, we had some students in the Mentor room baking cookies. One of the students was Kyler Adams. When asked how it was to be baking cookies in the Mentor room, and if he felt any connection to Fall. He said, “No it stressed me out. I did like all the work. I thought to myself ‘I just want to get this done with, and it’s hot without the window open.’ that’s all I have to say.” There were many activities during the 31st in school and he was the most motivated person to do cookies.

As the 31st passes on, we will move onto this month of November were the fall time gets even more colder and delightful. Early evenings getting pitch dark, and time to settle in our houses and get warm. Near the end of November, Thanksgiving will arrive and this will be the day most families will eat a lot of delicious food. Some families will have traditional food or sometimes families just have pizza on that day. Either way, the season of Fall until winter is the season that many people stay indoors more and eat a lot of comfort foods. Some people would like pasta such as Bacon-Pear Macaroni and cheese, or perhaps something more tangy with vegetation like roasted broccoli with pecorino and lemon. Many people love sweets and delights such as blueberry thunder muffins, cinnamon pretzels, or iced pumpkin cookies.

Pumpkin Chipotle Soup


2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

4 cups of vegetable stock

1 (29 ounce) can of pumpkin puree

2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce minced

1 ½ cup of half-and-half cream

2 tablespoons of sofrito

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon of paprika

1 tablespoon of salt

Whisk ingredients together. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 10-15 minutes until thickened and hot.