Posts Tagged ‘SF State’
Welcome to a new kind of sex column, where we believe in a safe space for (a)sexuality that encompasses all peoples and their beautiful pussies and penises.
I’m seeking to accurately reflect the diversity seen everyday on the bus, at school, work, or on the street. Between the Sheets is an attempt to provoke knowledge, share experiences, affirm sexualities, create conversation, and perhaps alleviate horny curiosities.
This isn’t your mother’s sex column. It’s just as much for straight males and females, as it is your gay roommate, queer professor, transgender coworker, non-binary classmate—it’s for us all.
Maira McDermott, a gender studies major at SF State, agrees that “We live in an incredibly fluid society, especially in San Francisco and at SFSU. Our student body is so full of variance in sexual orientations, genders, and political views, that I think having a different kind of sex blog would be eye opening, or at least more comfortable for a large population.”
Now maybe you’re wondering who I am, the voice inside the font, and why I’m the author of this column. It could be because I’m a pansexual cis female or because I’ve got a lot of opinions. But, mainly it’s because I seek out this kind of discourse in order to understand myself, feel natural and find empowerment, just like many of you.
Our culture is both sex-negative (or sex-critical) and sex-positive, and most people fall into one category, though there is a gray area. Neither identifier is the good or bad choice; it’s simply a difference.
Brooke Glasky, Director of the ASI’s Women’s Center identifies as a sexually empowered and positive woman because to her, “being able to not only have the freedom and right to be sexually empowered, but also gifted in the sense of being able to say no, is something [she] personally cherishes everyday.”
Sex-negativity expresses a different sentiment. Olivia Mendez, a heterosexual, cis-female student explained, “I don’t always find sex empowering and don’t think it has to be. I think the implications of sex-positivity are one’s that do not include room for people that have suffered sexual trauma or are questioning their own sexuality.”
McDermott acknowledges the gray area though she identifies more with sex-negativity, “This is not to say that sex is not wonderful, however, a lot of sex-positivity that I’ve seen has been problematic…it ignores survivors of sexual assault, imposes compulsory sexuality, and ignores trans individuals. Sex-negativity doesn’t necessarily cover these aspects, but it at least feels more critical and inclusive.”
Although most like to believe that sex is inherently private—it’s not. Sex- positivity, negativity, and the gray area are only pieces to the neverending stimulation of sex, so let’s talk about it.
If you want to share experiences, suggest topics, critique, flirt, or cry—tell me more at email@example.com.
Written by Bek Phillips
The door clangs shut behind me and a guard behind a window asks for identification. The buzzer sounds as a second door opens and I take my first steps behind the walls, into San Quentin.
But the inside looks nothing like televised prisons.
Tall palm trees, luscious gardens, and a large stonework fountain are reminiscent of ritzy country clubs. Today the atmosphere is completely transformed as sounds of laughter, children’s voices, and a year’s worth of stories permeate the air.
Today is Family Day—a chance for the workers of San Quentin to bring family and guests to explore the world that they encounter day-in and day-out.
As families gather outside the prison walls, children linger close to their parents. A middle-school-aged boy looks like he is about to burst with excitement, but his father’s hand rests protectively on his back as he tells his son stories and gets him ready for the tour. To bring your child into the prison, they must be at least twelve years old. This is his first time visiting and I hear him excitedly tell his sister that he cannot wait to see the gas chamber.
For many people, “bring your child to work” day tends to be centered around the office. Wide-eyed children play on the floor while their parents are typing up reports or busy with other official business. They get led around and bragged about to all the other employees. But for San Quentin, Family Day is a day of celebration as well as giving family members the chance to experience what their loved ones go through on a day-to-day basis.
Fernando Palazio, 25, is also here for the first time. His aunt, Evelyn Rizzo, works as a nurse’s assistant with level three security clearance. Tall with dark curly hair and the shading of a beard, Fernando has an infectious smile and a tendency to speak his mind.
He has heard his aunt tell numerous stories, ranging from the history of the three-wall Diego Rivera mural in the dining hall to the story about an inmate who is renowned for swallowing razor blades and who, at one time, was unable to have one surgically removed and had to pass the blade naturally. But now inside for the first time, he struggles with his expectations and the reality he is surrounded by.
“It’s like it’s a movie,” he murmurs.
The dichotomy between the reality of prison life and the appearance from outside the cells is astounding, a feeling of dual realities clouding the mind. Even as I stand in a beautiful courtyard, the conversations of the tour guards fill the air with despair as they recount the deaths that had occurred right where we were standing.
Talks of prisoners in the Adjustment Center, where the most loathsome and dangerous condemned prisoners are held bring alive images of them flinging their feces in the guards face, doing everything they could to spite the ones that kept them from freedom. Now, the cells in the Adjustment Center have been remodeled for the protection of the guards, everything has changed—down to the underwear the men wear—no elastic.
At San Quentin there are one-thousand four-hundred-eight employees, one-thousand two-hundred seventy-two who work in non-medical fields. The total inmate population totals four-thousand two hundred fifty-nine, with seven-hundred twenty-two of those living in Death Row. San Quentin is the only prison with a Death Row in California.
The levels of security for a prison are ranked one through four, and maximum security. At this time, there are no level four inmates housed. It’s mainline is level one and two. This means that without Death Row, San Quentin would not be considered a maximum security prison.
Outside, the party atmosphere is complete with a vendor, free t-shirts, burgers, hotdogs, chips, soda—everything you would expect for a perfect barbecue. The prisoners are shuttled back into their cells early so the families have the freedom to explore every aspect of their lives.
The lone vendor selling bundt cakes stands out amidst the festivities “Nothing Bundt Cakes”—the name itself a play on words. But it is more than that. The idea of turning a profit from selling to the families of workers, the prisoners themselves an attraction, leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Soon though the sounds of barking dogs, rehabilitated by the inmates, and the sound of laughter as gaggles of teenage girls walk by, bring me back to the festivities.
But despite the open, beautiful outdoors, the oppressive nature of life in San Quentin could not be escaped so easily.
The walls making up the outdoor corridors to fields and exercise areas are lined with barbed wire, some collapsible so as to entangle any escapee who tries to maneuver through the weighted snares.
A mural painted in bright colors with hands cradling a world says “we are the curators or life, we hold it in the palms of our hands,” but close by on ancient iron doors the word “terror” is etched with the year “1950”.
Other stark contrasts are the work spaces compared to leisure or study space. The work room for carpentry, displaying a sign forbidding hobby work, is spacious. It spans the entire floor of a large factory-size building with different areas for carpentry, sewing, chair making, and other such projects. Despite the sign forbidding personal craft, little bits of personality can be found scattered in the form of chair covers with favorite football teams or projects made for the guards.
Conversely, the library, art and music rooms are tiny. The art and music room, with well worn furnishing that looks past its prime and in need of replacing, could be the same size of an average teenager’s bedroom. The library, a diminished small building has about six shelves filled with books and a wall lined with four computers.
The librarian, a friendly elderly gentleman, explains in his soft voice that most prisoners come here for legal work, and to read crime novels, Ann Rule a favorite author.
Despite the small rooms, the creativity displayed by inmates is breathtaking. Expansive and detailed artwork lines the walls of the art room. One spirited female guard, who has worked in San Quentin for six years, explains to wandering tour groups that the inmates operate their own print shop as well, putting out calendars and newspapers, a practice in danger now that the overseer is retiring. For her, the art and music room is refreshing. In a place where everything is highly structured and tightly scheduled, it provides a break in monotony.
“The environment dictates a lot,” she says. “Here it is a brand new place every day, you never know what you are going to walk into.”
The inmates are allowed a break when they play their weekly baseball games. Over the field the sign reads “San Quentin A’s” in large green sprawling letters, underneath in smaller letters the “San Quentin Giants”. I find myself grinning, thinking “Go A’s!” Looking over the field the mountain and trees are black against the sunset, a scattering of clouds causing the brilliant colors to stand out. A family of twenty to thirty geese live on the field during the off days, guard dogs implemented when it is time to play.
But the openness of the outdoors can be deceiving. Walking into the dining room, the Diego Rivera wall mural—one of three—spans the length of the room. The image depicts life on a ship, temporarily docked, with people bustling about, the image itself teeming with life. The artistry creates an illusion that no matter where you are, you are in the center, the boat following you. But what follows the inmates are rules, guards, and structure.
Even Fernando cannot escape from the overwhelming feeling of structured confinement.
“The social places, where they eat, it was almost like they’ll give you such a small small window to feel free. The whole point is that you’re an inmate and everything else is big except for where these people can express themselves or learn,” he says.
Outside, the food is still being served. Dogs, sick or misbehaved that have been sufficiently trained and attended to by inmates, are displayed for adoption in mini cages made up of chicken wire. And for the first time ever, a simulated hostage demonstration by the warden’s office was being held by the Specialized Emergency Team.
Inside, the tour goes on. The open light air of the bay is being left further and further behind and the darker side of San Quentin continues to emerge. In General Population, where the majority of prisoners are housed, four inmates have allowed for their cells to be put on display for the families of those who police and monitor them.
The cells are stacked five stories high, the rows seemingly endless. The air immediately gets thicker and waves of claustrophobia come crashing down.
Women wearing close to nothing and posing provocatively are in images that cover the walls. A small shelf on the wall by the toilet are only places for personal belonging. On one shelf are bottles of vitamins. Bunk beds fill the majority of the room, the walls close enough to touch with outreached arms. Not even enough room to do push-ups.
Walking down the hallway, I suddenly feel that eyes are peering back at me as I strain my vision, looking into the darkened cells. Embarrassed, I avert my eyes, trying not to see. As I keep walking I can feel the stares. One cell opening is covered in a sheet, a silhouette of a man reading filling the small space. The next cell holds in it a middle-aged black man, sprawled across the bed, earphones blasting music as he drowns out the noise of people passing by.
“Afternoon ma’am,” one inmate says. “How is your day going?” He is standing by the barred door, his eyes kind and hair graying.
Before the conversation can go further, a female guard quickly cuts in calling out “No talking inmate,” as she walks towards me explaining that communication is highly discouraged.
“Oh, no, don’t pet the rhino,” Palazio says close by. “They are treating the event like its a day in the zoo, look but don’t touch. And don’t talk.”
Family day. A day where all can see a friendly facade of prison life—the art, the baseball field, the tennis courts, the jobs in the factory—and yet the reality is lurking in the shadows, reflected in the eyes that stare back for only a moment before shifting away, and back into the darkness.
One guard who oversees inmates in the furniture factory, respects not only the inmate’s craftsmanship but the person’s as well. His voice gets excited and his eyes shine as he talks about them and their craftsmanship.
But, as he tells it, family day is hard for the prisoners with early curfews, and families parading their friends and children by. He would like the people to see the inmates as he sees them the other three-hundred-sixty-four days he is here. “On days like this, the inmates feel disrespected,” he says.
“I know a lot of the guys, a lot of them are really smart, smarter than me. They just made a mistake, and it’s behind them. They are people and they can make just about anything in here.”
Lt. Sam Robinson has been at San Quentin for seventeen years, and thinks that focusing on the inmates takes away from what family day is all about. He believes that the focus should be on the families and giving them an opportunity to connect their loved ones with a job everyone considers essential.
“It is a mechanism to boost moral, you share the stories with loved ones, it’s a win-win to see the challenges that go on and how they overcome them,” Robinson says.
As far as the affects it has on the inmates, Robinson is convinced that there are no hard feelings.
“Prisoners take it two ways. Some would prefer to be outside, but you are not disconnected from the prisons. The event brings humanity in that they are sharing the loved ones with them, saying we trust you enough to bring the people we love most around you,” he says.
But no matter the justification, it is all about family to him.
The people I work with are my family and the people they are bringing are extended family, your sisters and nieces. You hear stories about them all year long and it is a chance to see them.”
Overall, he maintains that the event is “perfect as it is.”
The tour is winding down, the mountains are black against the setting sun, and with a final glance at a Diego Rivera mural in the dining hall, I start to take the final steps back out to freedom.
A single room remains on the prison side of the gates with a sign that reads “Parole Hearing.” I stare turning my head as the first heavy door clangs shut behind me. I wonder how many times inmates stared at the double gates. The idea of freedom so tangible, the outside world not even forty feet away.
But as I leave the prison behind me, there is one last place to visit, the air now crisp and chilly with nightfall.
The gas chamber. Painted in a bright green, the octangular room instantly stands out. Two chairs with straps dominate the space. Since 1937, dozens have sat in a similar room. This one is brand new. Currently there are more than twelve people waiting for execution, all their appeals have run dry. The soonest execution could be next year.
“Please keep arms and legs inside at all times,” someone jokes. “It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.”
Let’s be honest for a moment, fellas. At one point or another, we’ve all been stood up. Maybe the smoking hot blonde you chatted up in history class bailed on you at the last-minute. Or the Latin cutie you danced the night away with never returned your calls.
The reasons behind these tragic tales of puppy-dog-heartbreak vary. But what if I told you that one of the reasons you’re striking out could be due to your reputation on Lulu. What is Lulu you ask?
Lulu is a new female-friendly and controversial mobile app that allows women to anonymously rate their male Facebook friends on a number of attributes, including their appearance and sexual prowess.
Synched via Facebook, a man’s appearance on Lulu is completely involuntary. Women can log in and declare whether they were in a relationship with the man, a hook-up, a crush or just a friend. Thereafter, they rate the guy’s humor, attractiveness, ability to commit, manners and ambition on a scale from one to ten. The ratings are averaged out to produce an overall score that appears below the man’s profile photo.
In addition, women can apply a number of hash tags on a man’s profile to paint a more descriptive picture. Such hashtags include #Big.Feet #WeirdDirtyTalk, #ChangesSheetsRegularly, #LovesLoveActually, #BragsAboutAlcoholConsumption, #F—-dMeAndChuckedMe, #WouldVoteForAFemalePresident and #TotalF—ingDickhead.
“I think some of those hashtags are pretty hurtful,” says San Francisco resident Sander Idelson. “I for one would not like to be called a total fucking dickhead.”
Co-founder and CEO Alexandra Chong created the app to give women a safe zone to conduct extensive girl talk. Launched on Android and iOS in June of 2012, the app has been quite successful, as over 80 million profiles have been reviewed since mid-January.
To the guys receiving positive reviews, the app’s emergence has been a pleasant experience.
“I would be really excited to see what an ex would have to say about me,” says San Francisco State student Ryan Kinlock. ”Even if the review was negative, I think it is an easy thing to blow off.”
Additionally, some women are thrilled to have an app that provides insight on prospective boyfriends. The ability to see what their fellow sistren have said is a somewhat useful (even if unreliable) dating tool.
“I like the app because I think it empowers women,” says Elyse Guzman, an Otis College student. “It allows them to be in control of what rank these guys fall in. To be honest, it’s nice watching guys squirm over what their ratings are.”
On the other hand, some women are a bit turned off to the idea, classifying the app as creepy and classless. Whereas some men are none too happy about the creation of a potential social-media monster.
“I find it to be an unreasonable invasion of privacy and trust within a relationship,” says San Francisco State student Ryan Thorp. “If an ex rated me I’d be nervous, because I don’t believe all users would be impartial and fair. I find the whole idea to be crass.”
Conversely, other men don’t care about the potential threat Lulu imposes on their dating reputation, viewing the app as just a silly gadget girls use for gossip.
“It’s a good way for girls to blow off steam,” says Kinlock. “I’m not sure how helpful it is for girls to compare guys to one another but I thought it was a good way for them to vent.”
Earlier this year, Chong was quoted in the Huffington Post saying, “Should a guy not do well in a particular category, then they can change their behavior.” However, guys are unable to view their profile, as Lulu processes their gender status through Facebook and blocks them if they’re not female. Therefore, even if a guy grades out poorly in a category, he’s unable to find out unless he lurks from a female friend’s account.
Some men and women alike believe Lulu users are employing a double standard, as the app is blatantly sexist during an era when such sexism would be frowned upon if the app were targeted toward male users.
For instance, if a man’s version of Lulu was developed that included such hashtags as #Waxed, #OnlyWearsGrannyPanties and #DoesntGiveBJs, what would the public reaction be?
“It would scream misogyny,” says Idelson. “But the difference between men and women is that when men hear something misogynistic, they typically shrug it off. Whereas women start a feminist movement to publicly shame the offender.”
On top of that, some believe Lulu is inherently flawed as the users are naturally biased. If a woman had a pleasant relationship with an ex-boyfriend, would she really take time out of her day to boost his stock with a glowing Lulu review?
“Posts are anonymous,” says SF State graduate Ariel Urlik. “It is tempting to see what other people are saying about you. It can either be an ego boost or a blow. But again take it all with a grain of salt. Remember these ratings can be written in a moment of anger or passion.”
If a relationship is successful, then there isn’t much incentive for a woman to provide positive feedback. As such, reviewers are mostly limited to those engaged in a platonic relationship, hookups, or bitter ex-girlfriends with a vengeful agenda.
Furthermore, according to the app’s terms and conditions, men who don’t want to have a profile on Lulu must send in an email with their Facebook username attached demanding to be deleted.
Subsequently, any man whose name has been publicly defamed must go through an annoying process to eradicate himself from a mess he did nothing to get himself into.
Written by Macy Williams
Photos by Kate O’Neal
Late at night, hours after shoppers have swiped their credit cards at Stonestown Galleria, a man and his team are hard at work transforming the mall into one of the most festive locations in San Francisco.
The story usually goes, “Twas the night before Christmas.” What most city dwellers do not realize is, most of the magic happens long before that night—just ask Edward Dahl, owner of visual communications company, After Science.
“I pride myself on the details,” says Dahl, who has set up the towering forty-foot-tall Barrango tree in Stonestown fifteen times now. He has also decked the halls of Ghirardelli Square, Capitola, Carmel and Serrano shopping centers.
Opening the secret trap door to the massive tree and entering the hollow center filled with efficient LED lights, Dahl looks over his work with pride.
“These branches are twenty years old,” he says. “We are different from other companies. Instead of just yanking the branches out of the packaging and throwing them up there, we touch up and fluff each and every piece.”
The process of decorating shopping centers is not an easy one. Dahl and his team work through the night over the course of five days. What makes the process all the more enjoyable for Dahl? After Science is a family affair.
“Our kids have worked with us since they were little,” says Dahl’s wife, Rebecca Womble. “It is amazing that we can work together and get along so well.”
Womble couldn’t be more proud of how well her children Taylor, Morgan, and Gabe, work in their father’s environment.
“We all know what we are good at, we all have our own thing,” she says. “We never have to micromanage.”
When he’s not dressing San Francisco in Christmas charm, Dahl is also a teacher at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where he gives opportunities to newly graduated students to participate in the decorating.
“When I started teaching, I was scared as shit,” he says. “The head of the department asked me if I could teach a visual communications class and I was terrified.”
Once Dahl began, he realized that teaching was his calling. As he is speaking of his students, a pupil texts him at ten ‘o’ clock regarding a homework question. Dahl gives his students 24/7 access to ask him anything pertaining to their studies.
“Teaching is my spark of life,” he says. “I trust my students and I treat them like equals. I just know more things because I have been doing this for longer. Most of those kids have more talent than me.”
There’s a reason why Dahl’s students continue to work with him after graduation. Joanna Andreoni, a FIDM visual communications graduate, has the utmost respect for Dahl.
“Ed doesn’t do anything by the book,” she says. “He’s an incredible mentor…and he’s really crazy, in a good way.”
Dahl has been working in visual communications and merchandising for over twenty years now, creating everything from holiday installations for Emporium Capwell to runway shows for local fashion designer Ilanio. Dahl’s talent comes from experience; he never attended any formal design school.
When asked what he does in his spare time, Dahl laughs. “I’m doing this,” he says as he gestures to the hustle and bustle of the holiday installation behind him. “I have to be constantly creating or I will combust.”
Written by Nicole Debarro
Photos by Ben Kamps and Amanda Peterson
According to study conducted this September by the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab, more than seventy percent of Americans can’t identify a practicing Sikh. Almost half of the population thinks Sikhism is a branch of Islam. And many associate a turban with Osama Bin Laden.
Twelve years following the tragic attacks on this country, Americans have continuously mistaken Sikhs for Muslims, terrorists, and even members of Al-Qaeda. These misconceptions seem to wrap around the turban. Like so many conflicts, this one seems based on a knowledge gap. As one of the five articles of faith, Sikh headwear represents equality and nobility, not to mention protects hair, considered to be one of God’s perfect creations.
Americans who assume that Sikh values can’t be American values might be surprised to learn they are quite parallel. Sikhs believe in creating and preserving community, while building strong and independent families and lifestyles. Aren’t those things what Americans want too? Originating in the Punjab region of northern India, this five-hundred-year-old religion encourages individualism while maintaining a balance with spirituality. Even so, the unique appearance and history of Sikhs have made them targets of hate crimes. This isn’t a recent development, yet Sikhs weren’t included in the F.B.I.’s hate crime statistics until August of this year. Following the horrific 2012 mass shooting of six Sikhs at a Wisconsin temple and the brutal beating of Dr. Prabhjot Singh, a Harlem professor, has the government finally taking notice.
In spite of such hate crimes, Sikh Americans are coming out on top, representing their community in technology, business, and less expected domains such as fashion. In part because of a fashion blog geared towards Sikh men, Singh Street Style, some are becoming style icons. They’re also posing in global fashion campaigns with Kenneth Cole and most recently GAP, featuring Waris Ahluwalia. In a world where image can be everything, Sikhs have adapted and established their identity. While rocking everything from Topman to BBC to Stussy, Sikhs have stuck to their roots, updated their turbans, and continue to represent their culture.
Below, a few young Sikhs chat about what it’s like growing up turban-ed in America. Gurmehar Dev, Gurjot Singh, and Mandeep Sethi agree that they definitely don’t have it easy in this society where they are often ignored or shunned, even as they strive to be their best self. Undeterred and driven by deep-rooted beliefs and strong sense of identity, they emphasize the importance of perseverance, compassion, and just being the best you can be.
Written By Xpress Magazine Staff
San Francisco is 47 square miles. Within those miles cage between skyscrapers and Victorian architecture, there’s a plethora of hole-in-the-wall bars and restaurants and knick-knack stores. Some of which are noteworthy; others are unexceptional. Our Xpress Staff has embodied the City by the Bay and is showcasing why this city reigns supreme. Here is the Best of San Francisco: SF State Edition.
Written by Thomas Figg-Hoblyn
Photos by Ryan Leibrich
It’s that time of the semester again Gators –research papers, essays, finals – cramming.
But it’s time to consider the damage done to one’s body from cramming for hours on end, banging away on a keyboard, jacked on caffeine, hunched over a laptop or PC like a starving man over a bowl of soup.
Slouching, twisting, and folding painfully as one pimps out the body for that grade – sacrificing health. It doesn’t have to be that way though.
Step back from the computer, take a deep breath and give your health a boost by taking a stretch break.
Taking breaks and stretching on cue, to the guidance of a software program is now a viable option for SF State students thanks to the effort of Erik Peper Ph.D., professor and co-founder of SF State’s Institute of Holistic Health Studies.
Peper, a smiling Dutchman with a keen sense of humor and a penchant for healing, is an internationally recognized biofeedback expert and successful author. His list of articles, books, projects, and innovations in healing reads like an unedited Jack Kerouac novel.
Peper has made Stretch Break Pro, an ergonomic software program that helps reduce stress, increase productivity and prevent computer related injuries by gently reminding the user to take periodic stretch breaks while using the computer, available to the SF State community. The program also provides healthy computing tips and suggests specific stretches, with written and visual directions for their performance.
While working with the software’s distributor Para Technologies, Peper swayed them to give SF State access to the program.
“It’s about a $140,000 donation,” Peper says.
The campus community is invited to download and use the computer program Stretch Break Pro at no cost.
That’s right folks – increase productivity, and pamper your body, for FREE! Peper invites all students, faculty and staff to download the software and install it on their work and home computers.
According to Peper, taking frequent breaks and remaining active while working is another vital component of computing health. “Taking many breaks really reduces exhaustion and illness,” Peper says. “People who take many breaks have much fewer symptoms.”
Taking frequent breaks from work may seem counterintuitive, but according to Peper, your productivity doesn’t go down, it goes slightly up.
Stretch Break Pro runs in the background, prompting the user to take breaks at chosen intervals. Once the “Time to Stretch!” reminder appears on the screen, the user can click through to hear relaxing music and see an animated demonstration of a stretch or series of stretches to perform.
After noting the effectiveness of Stretch Break Pro in research studies, Peper made arrangements with Para Technologies to donate a license of the software to SF State.
Para Technologies President Arthur Saltzman said the donation was the result of collaboration with Peper on the latest version of Stretch Break. “He gave permission to incorporate his Healthy Computing Email Tips into the program and I agreed to donate a license to SF State,” he says.
So go ahead and get back to your cramming. Get jacked on energy drinks, coffee, tea – or whatever your flavor is and get cracking. But, download Stretch Break Pro, and get better results, and take those stretches and breaks so you don’t injure yourself.
“When you actually do it, I can promise you an improvement in energy by the end of the day,” Peper says.
It might not be as fun as the seventh-inning stretch at the ball game, or the Chicken Dance, but hey, one never knows.
To download Stretch Break Pro, visit http://tech.sfsu.edu/guides/stretch-break-pro and follow the directions.
Windows users can download Stretch Break at bit.ly/sbSFSUwin
Mac users can get their copy from bit.ly/sbSFSUmac
For both versions, the user name is “bringit” and the password is “home63″.
Written by Justice Boles
Photos by Amanda Peterson
“Because he’s the hero that Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now… and so we’ll hunt him… because he can take it… because he’s not a hero… he’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector… a Dark Knight…” – Commissioner Jim Gordon
San Francisco is not Gotham, especially not on a day like Friday. Gotham City, home of World’s Greatest Detective, Batman, is a dark and dreary place. It’s full of corrupt cops, super criminals and a seemingly endless blanket of midnight that envelops the entire town. It’s a city where an 8-year-old watched as his parents were gunned down right in front of him. It’s a city whose only prison appears to also be its only insane asylum. It’s a city where its heroes have to be more terrifying than its villains.
Ironically, the day where the City by the Bay tries to emulate the City of the Bat is when it is most apparent the two are nothing alike.
“Five year old Miles from Tulelake in Siskiyou County loves superheroes, and is rarely seen not wearing a costume of one of his idols,” says the official Make-A-Wish press release. “Chief among his heroes is Batman. After fighting his own battle with leukemia since he was a year old, Miles has emerged triumphant and is now in remission.”For Miles, Make-A-Wish crafted parts of San Francisco into Gotham City.
The day began at Union Square as Batkid rushed to rescue a damsel in distress tied to cable car tracks. Following the clues, the black Lamborghini meant to serve as the Batmobile raced to stop the Riddler’s bank robbery. Hundreds of people crowded the sidewalks and streets trying to catch a glimpse of the World’s Greatest Li’l Detective. The Riddler was no match and swiftly acquainted with the back of a police paddy wagon. Lunch time. Batkid stopped at the Burger Bar. Reportedly, there were more than 7,000 attempted reservations to eat with the Batkid. But crime waits for no man, and certainly no kid. A flash mob alerted the Kid Caped Crusader to the Penguin kidnapping Giant’s mascot Lou Seal.A chase through AT&T park ended with the Penguin in cuffs and a Seal unbroken. With the City safe once again, it was time for the Batkid to accept his key to the city from the Mayor. At City Hall, thousands showed up bearing signs of love and support and admiration. A city of people chanted “Batkid” as he made his way to the stage. The excitement was palpable.
Make-A-Wish organized the event. It was the people of San Francisco that brought it to life. Patricia Wilson – the executive director of Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area – said that in 15 years with her organization she’d never seen anything like it, and she grants some 350 wishes per year. She took to the stage and explained the initial idea to have Miles be Batkid for a day. However, things took a turn for the uncontrollable when someone on Facebook got a hold of the day’s itinerary. It was reposted and reposted and reposted. Batkid went viral. She explained this to the crowd of thousands while news helicopters floated in the air. But this isn’t the first time they made a kid a superhero too.
In 2010, the Seattle regional Make-A-Wish granted 13-year-old Erik Martin’s wish to be a superhero. For the day, Erik was Electron Boy, a hero of his own invention. He was driven around Seattle in a Delorean, fighting criminals named Dr. Dark and Blackout Boy, played by Edgar Hansen, and Jake Anderson, both of Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch.” He freed the captured Seattle Sounders and climatically fought his nemeses beneath the Space Needle. Hundreds lent a hand to help make the day the best of Erik’s life. It was an amazing expression of caring for all involved.
But Batkid blew up so much more than that, and it’s easy to see why: An adorable 5-year-old who just conquered leukemia. The city that built social media, as
we know it, with a healthy dose of “let your freak flag fly” ingrained into our San Franciscan psyche was possibility the best city to host this wish. Batman. The story has everything. Even now, days after the event, #Batkid is still on fire, getting more than a tweet a minute. Wilson expressed that she hoped for 200 participants to sign up for the flash mob at Union Square, 12,000 rsvp’d. Batkid is easily the most publicized Make-A-Wish granted, so much so that even Barack Obama threw in his support through a Vine video. The Batkid Photo Project Facebook page has more than 21,000 likes and an endless scroll of supportive words, videos and pictures. Social media was so overwhelming that even the old media partook; the San Francisco Chronicle became the Gotham City Chronicle with a front page devoted to the Batkid. The world celebrated Miles like no other.
San Francisco is not a city with cowardly criminals and crazy chaotic killer clowns on every corner. San Francisco is a city that came together rallied around a child to cheer him on and make his wish come true. Thousands of people came out in support at City Hall, donning Batman costumes and Batkid banners. They bought Batkid shirts and threw up signs emblazoned with words of hope and praise, of love and support. It was unforgettable.
Batkid reminded the world that there are real heroes.
Written by Jake Montero
Photos by Benjamin Kamps
The destruction of Candlestick Park will mark the end of its more than fifty years as a professional sports forum. It will signal the end of professional football in San Francisco, a tradition of forty-two years that has spawned five Super Bowl champions.
San Francisco’s original waterfront stadium was once seen as a model of modern engineering. Opened on April 12, 1960 Candlestick Park has gradually drifted to the other end of the spectrum, now considered obsolete both as a sports venue and an aesthetically pleasing attraction. In early 2014, after the 49ers complete their season, their longtime home will be stuffed full of dynamite and quickly imploded into a pile of rubble, making way for the new Hunters Point Shipyard redevelopment project.
The 49ers future home, Levi’s Stadium, is currently being constructed in the South Bay city of Santa Clara, with building costs totaling about $1.2 billion. The 49ers will be the second team to leave Candlestick for new digs, the San Francisco Giants being the first with their departure to then Pacific Bell Park in 1999.
Despite complaints about the stadium’s swirling winds, lack of general aesthetic value and hilariously disgusting trough style urinals, Candlestick’s unique character has set it apart from its contemporaries. Character that will be sorely missed by those who have shared wonderful experiences within its decaying exterior.
“It’s very melancholy for me, I’m probably gonna tear up for that last game” says Cooper Reynolds, a former 49ers season ticket holder. “I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember and I’ve never missed a game there. It’s a pain in the ass to get to, it’s run down and it’s old. But it has character and history and great moments that are second to none. That’s something you can’t build.”
For those who have followed the franchise over the years, there is nearly unanimous agreement that the legendary touchdown pass to Dwight Clark in the 1981 NFC Championship game is one of the quintessential events in the stadium’s history, and in the history of the 49er franchise.
With the Niners down six points in the game’s closing moments, a third-year quarterback named Joe Montana marched his team down the field eighty-three yards only to stall on the Dallas Cowboy’s six-yard line. On the next play, Montana rolled to his right under heavy pressure from three Cowboy defenders. Off his back foot, Montana floated the ball over the outstretched arms of six-foot nine-inch Dallas defensive end Ed “Too Tall” Jones, in what many assumed was an act of desperation. Miraculously, the fingertips of Montana’s rookie year roommate, a fully stretched wide receiver Dwight Clark, brought the pigskin back to Earth, and sent the 49ers to their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
In addition to becoming an iconic image, “The Catch” is seen as the beginning of the 49ers 1980s dynasty and the first in a series of memorable playoff games against the Cowboys.
“You probably have to go with the ‘81 Championship game”, says Reynolds when asked about the greatest moment in the stadium’s history. “Before that play, those guys on the field weren’t the Niners as we know them now. They’d never been to a Super Bowl. The play has actually become overrated, but it was their up and coming moment and is certainly remembered most.”
The Cowboys could’ve actually won the game just seconds later. When Dallas got the ball back with less than a minute to go, the Niners blew coverage and allowed all-pro wide receiver Drew Pearson to catch a pass over the middle with room to run. A game saving grab of Pearson’s collar by Niners defensive back Eric Wright bailed out the 49ers and squandered any attempt to soil the legacy of Dwight Clark’s now infamous touchdown catch.
“That play literally built the 49ers franchise. It was a monumental upset,” says Chace Bryson, 35, a season ticket holder who’s been to about seventy games at Candlestick.
The Catch might be the most iconic moment in the stadiums history, but certainly wasn’t the last time the 49ers would score a go-ahead touchdown at the end of an important playoff game.
The 2011 Divisional Playoff against the New Orleans Saints was the first postseason game to be hosted at Candlestick in nine years. In the final minute, the 49ers drove sixty-one yards to the New Orleans fourteen-yard line. With nine seconds left, quarterback Alex Smith capped off arguably the best performance of his career at Candlestick, by fearlessly firing a bullet to the back shoulder of well covered tight end Vernon Davis. Davis, who had suffered for five years on sub-par Niners teams, made the catch and held on for dear life, emerging from the pile with his first career playoff victory and tears of joy running down his face. The touchdown sent the 49ers to their first NFC Championship in fifteen years.
“I was sitting in the upper reserve, in the corner of the end zone facing the Jumbotron,” Bryson says. “Smith makes the throw to Davis. I can only describe the feeling as euphoric. I’ve never heard Candlestick so loud…it was epic. There were plenty of hugs and definitely some tears. As far as a stadium experience goes, it doesn’t get better than that.”
Ironically, a stadium that will be most remembered for legendary football moments, is the only current NFL stadium originally built for baseball. Though it seems like ancient history now, Candlestick was also the home of the world champion San Francisco Giants for nearly four decades. After the 49ers arrival in 1971, the attempt to convert the stadium into a multi-purpose facility wasn’t without its flaws, leading to many obscured sight lines and left entire sections of seats virtually unusable due to lack of visibility. San Francisco resident Bjorn Griepenburg has been to upwards of sixty games at Candlestick, the vast majority of those Giants games as a young boy with his father.
“The first time I saw it, it was the first time I ever went to a pro stadium and as a kid it was a spectacular sight,” says Griepenburg. “I remember I just couldn’t believe the size and the number of people.”
Griepenburg misses Candlestick as the Giants’ home because its lack of extracurricular stadium activities ensured that everyone who made the trek was there to support the team. He feels that the move to an expensive and polished new stadium alienated some longtime supporters, and that new technological distractions create an atmosphere and a fanbase that is no longer hanging on every play.
“My biggest complaint when they moved was they were moving to a park not built around baseball. It was all about the Coke slide and the giant mitt,” says Griepenburg referring to the Giants current home at AT&T Park. “Even as a kid I refused to ride that thing because I thought it was a stupid distraction. When they left Candlestick it wasn’t the same diehards. Now it’s a wine and sushi crowd on their cell phones networking.”
Many have complained for years about Candlestick’s obsolete facilities, cramped hallways, lack of women’s restrooms, its “middle-of-nowhere” location, and lack of state-of-the-art technology (have you seen the “Jumbotron”?). However, that doesn’t stop longtime visitors from feeling more bitter than sweet about the execution of a football cathedral.
“I’ll remember it as a place of happiness, great memories, even in the bad years,” says Bryson. “Something about football is it’s okay to have a cramped stadium. There’s some charm in having the leagues most outdated stadium. It’s part of a collective experience where you suffer along with the players. Fans go for the experience, to pack in with your buddies and everybody is pulling in the same direction. The new stadium feels a little too much like corporate NFL.”
After the 49ers were unable agree with the city of San Francisco on a deal for a new park within the city limits, the move to an alternate location became inevitable. The new venue in Santa Clara will be the most technologically advanced stadium in NFL history, with an unprecedented Wi-Fi network that will allegedly support access from every fan simultaneously and downloadable apps that tell you which beer line is the shortest. Unfortunately, the astronomical cost of tickets and distance from the city is going to stop some fans from attending.
“A lot of people including me are being priced out,” Bryson says. “Season tickets would be double and I’d be driving much farther so there would be much more money involved. I understand it, but I wish there was a way to keep them closer.”
“Candlestick has that special place in the hearts of the fans,” Griepenburg concludes. “It rises out of a parking lot in one of the worst neighborhoods, it’s architecturally awful and an eyesore. But a stadium can become so much more than a place to watch sports. Stadiums are like church to a lot of people. It’s one of the last places where you can go where everybody is pulling for the same thing. It’s just an extraordinary place.”
With the 49ers looking like one of the best teams in the NFC, there is always the possibility for a historical farewell Super Bowl run that would no doubt be a perfect send off. Regardless, it would be in the cities best interest to give the stadium some sort of farewell aside from the climactic dynamite spectacle.
“I think they should have one more Giants vs. Dodgers series before destroying it,” Griepenburg says. “That would be perfect.”