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PHARCYDE pharblog.com

THE BENJAMIN UPPER SCHOOL NEWSPAPER

4875 Grandiflora Road, Palm Beach Gardens, FL, 33418

What’s Inside

news Dwyer students go unnoticed on campus- pg. 2

opinions Driving in the parking lot is becoming very dangerous- pg. 5

spotlight Hungry for Healthy Habits: Top ten tips for staying healthy in college- pp. 8-9

school life Student auditions for America’s Got Talent- pg. 10

the scene Health concerns over excessive cell phone use- pg. 12

{p}sports Athletes adjusting to new turf- pg. 15 Gay athletes- pg. 16

News: 1-3, 6-7 Opinions: 4-5 Spotlight: 8-9 School Life: 10-11 The Scene: 12-14 Sports: 15-16 Something to think about:

It feels right. But it’s emotional. Saying goodbye to anything you’ve done that long is hard.

-Angela

Ruggiero

April 4, 2014

Volume 34

Issue 6

New courses offer promise By Madeleine Dalton Staff Writer

The Math and Art Departments have made major changes to their curricula for next year. The Math Department will have three new classes and has made changes to three more, while the Art Department will be adding six new classes and making adjustments to another. The new and revised math courses all have an emphasis on statistics. Both the regular and honors Algebra II class will also cover data analysis. A new course entitled Statistical Thinking will be offered during the fall semester and will teach students how to analyze statistics and use a computer to evaluate data. This class teaches students how to test theories about the relationship between variables using experimental design. It is for students who do not feel ready to go into calculus, and it will be paired with the spring course Finite Math which will be reduced in length to one spring semester. Another class that will be added to next year’s roster is Calculus. This course introduces students to the basics of differential and integral calculus in a non-AP setting. Describing another new course Honors Introduction to Differential Equations Through Population Modeling, Math Department Chair Mrs. Alicia Gram said, “Differential equations tell you how a group changes with respect to time. Many of the examples that will be used come from situations that have already happened.” The Visual Art Department has also announced many new courses, including a brand new See Schedule Changes page 3

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Sadocha

A group of Benjamin students and faculty travelled to Costa Rica on Spring Break trip.

Spring break in Costa Rica a success By Niki Hendi

This spring break, a group of 23 Benjamin students and teachers went on a trip to Costa Rica. Over the ten days of the trip, the students did a variety of activities, such as taking an art class, taking a cooking class, zip-lining, going horseback-riding, and swimming in the Pacific Ocean and the hot springs of the Arenal volcano. Performing Arts Department Chair and Spanish teacher Mrs. Sara Salivar led the trip with the assistance of Mr. Corey Heins, who is an adjunct dance faculty member. Mrs. Salivar said, “The trip was fantastic and I think the students learned so much about this environmentallyconscious country. Costa Rica

has made an effort to preserve and protect some of the most beautiful rainforest and cloud forests that are currently being affected by global warming. The students learned about the environment, the plants and the animals that are native to Costa Rica.” Freshman Cali Becker said, “My favorite part of the trip was probably going on a night hike through the cloud forests of Monteverde. We were able to see so many amazing animals that we didn’t know existed. For instance, a few of us were able to hold a metallic beetle whose eyes glow in the dark.” The students also performed at two private schools and a public school, taking some of the numbers from the Variety Show and turning them into an hour-long show

of “Made in the USA.” The chorus, band, and Dazzlers were the main performers. Becker said, “The most inspiring part of the trip was when we went to the public school; they thought we were so amazing and so special. You could tell that, for some of the students, this was an experience that would make a huge impact on them. Also, being able to compare our school’s facilities to theirs, was shocking; it really grounded me.” Echoing Becker’s statement, sophomore Shay Pradetto said, “The most inspiring part of the trip for me was seeing the comparison of people in America and where we live compared to people in Costa Rica and where they live. I was really inspired by the fact that no matter what

raised in Hampton, New Hampshire. He attended Clarkson University for his undergraduate education and Drexel University for his graduate work. A man in his mid-twenties, Mr. Cullinane has worked at two schools before Benjamin, an elite charter school and a public school in Massachusetts. Science Department Chair Dr. Darryl Martino, who was a major part of the hiring process, commented on what made Mr. Cullinane stand out from the crowd. “He’s young, full of ideas, and incredibly enthusiastic about what he is teaching. He also comes from an elite math and science academy in Massachusetts, so he is comfortable teaching kids like Benjamin students who really want to learn,” Dr. Martino said. “He also has great experi-

ence teaching general computer science classes, and as that is a required course here, that really was a plus.” Dr. Martino did say that Mr. Cullinane has never taught AP classes, but that he will be working this summer to prepare himself for the courses. Mr. Cullinane’s passion for teaching confirmed for Dr. Martino that he was the perfect candidate. “He is not a hardcore programmer but a teacher first. He is really interested in hardware and teaching kids how things work. He is great at sorting through the jargon and making it easily understandable for even the most novice computer user,” Dr. Martino said. According to Mr. Cullinane, he is very excited about joining the Benjamin community. “I’m

looking forward to bringing my enthusiasm, my knowledge base, and I hope to get kids involved in technology that they’ve never been involved with before. Once you start having fun with computers and technology and programming, it’s just a blast and I hope to get some students hooked just like I am,” he said. “For me, teaching is not a job, it’s a fun thing I get to do every single day.” While Mr. Cullinane does not currently have any plans for new computer courses, he will be receiving the computer course syllabus in a few weeks and plans to look through it extensively to find what can be improved upon. He said, “Right now, I just can’t wait for next year to start so I can share my passion with everyone at Benjamin.” v

Staff Writer

See Spring break trip page 2

New computer teacher brings expertise By Ben Greenspan Executive Editor

The school has recently hired Mr. Patrick Cullinane to fill the vacant computer teacher position that will result from current computer teacher Mr. Gregory Bickerman’s departure at the end of the school year. Mr. Cullinane was born and

Photo Courtesy of Patrick Cullinane


News

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Dwyer students roam upper school campus unnoticed By Ben Greenspan Executive Editor

Three Dwyer high school students, disguised as Benjamin students, came to the Upper School during the March 7 school day and stayed in the library for more than 15 minutes without being confronted by any member of the Benjamin community. The reason for the visit, according to Andrea Jones*, one of the three Dwyer students, who asked not to be identified, was to pick up her step-sister for a doctor’s appointment. “I had to pick her up anyways, so my friends and I thought it would be fun to dress as Benjamin students and go on the campus,” Jones said. “I guess you could say it was planned.” The students were buzzed in and allowed to enter through the front office. They then went, according to the Dwyer student, “uncontested” to the library where they sat for at least 15 minutes, took some pictures, and then exited through the backdoor in the library, all the while without being confronted by a member of the Benjamin community. “People were staring at us with weird looks, but no one really said anything,” Jones said. Regarding the security breach, Head of the Upper School Mr. Latta Baucom said, “We take security on campus seriously as evidenced by the significant upgrades that the school has made over the past year. That being said, we are also aware of the fact that it is impossible to guarantee that we won’t have unforeseen situations.” He continued, “We were obviously concerned to find

ANNELISE HILLMANN

Three Dwyer students went undetected on campus causing security concerns to be brought to the attention of administration.

three unauthorized students on our campus a few weeks ago. We were alerted to this situation by a student who did the right thing and notified a faculty member, but by that time, the unauthorized students had left campus. It is important to remember that we all share responsibility for being vigilant for anything that looks unusual on campus.” Mr. Baucom also emphasized that the students did not pose a threat to members of the school community, and that their school principal was notified, who, according to Mr. Baucom, “was very cooperative and levied a significant

consequence on those students.” Students and teachers were surprised about the apparent ease with which the students were able to enter campus. “It’s pretty shocking,” social studies teacher Ms. Sara Misselhorn said. “Didn’t we just install a callbox system? What’s the point of having that if anyone can just walk right in? We’ve made all these upgrades and the fact that people can get in so easily is alarming.” Junior Kieffer Reuckert had similar sentiments. “First of all, I think it’s kind of stupid that the kids had nothing better to do than go to another school

and cause havoc. They have all this new security with the golf carts and everything, and if some random students can get in without being caught, someone who had a real interest in harming people at the school could do it just as easily,” he said. Jones also claimed that anyone else who wished to enter the Upper School campus would have “no problem at all” in doing so. Some students have proposed the idea of a student ID program, in which every upper school student is issued an ID that he or she will present when entering campus. Re-

change to communism, Soviet detonation of the atomic bomb, formation of NATO, assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, the Civil Rights Movement, the Tet Offensive/Vietnam, Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the collapse of Communism. This course will also be discussion-based with three mock trials. These new electives have no prerequisite and are available to

all Upper School students; however, social studies teacher, Mr. Benjamin Harper, anticipates his Modern Middle East class will mainly consist of upperclassmen. “The course will be discussionbased, with a focus on reading and watching the news and discussing the events in class on a regular basis. A few historical lectures will be sprinkled in throughout the semester. There will also be several films and readings over the semester, which the students will analyze and discuss in class. It is not entirely projectbased, but there will be an end-ofthe-term project. Overall, this is a very hands-on class,” he said. Mr. Harper hopes to enlighten students about the clash of cultures, “I wanted to create this course because there isn’t anything exactly like it yet at [Benjamin]. My doctorate degree is in US-Middle East relations, so it’s also a topic that is near and dear to me. I feel passionate about it and hope to spread that enthusiasm to our student body,” he said. Another teacher who is excit-

ed to start teaching a new course next year is social studies teacher, Ms. Sara Misselhorn, who will be teaching History and the Olympics. This class will focus on the formation of the Olympics, the symbolism of the Olympic rings, the change of format and introduction of new sports, and the debates over Olympic site selection and amateurism versus professionalism. Students who take this course should expect frequent debates and two group projects. According to Ms. Misselhorn, students will gain an understanding of current and past events, and a sense of understanding of recent geopolitical history. “I love the Olympics and the idea that this international sports competition brings the world together. Then, I started thinking about the past Olympics and how the political atmosphere clouded and, in some cases, excluded participation in this peaceful competition. This juxtaposition intrigued me and I created a class based on it,” Ms. Misselhorn said. v

garding this concept, Mr. Baucom said, “I am not opposed to a student ID program. I think these programs have merit and I plan to discuss this with my colleagues. However, please remember that ID’s don’t guarantee anything.” Ultimately, the administration is focused on making sure a similar incident never occurs in the future. “We have reviewed this situation and have increased our awareness of student traffic coming onto campus,” Mr. Baucom said. “Again, we all need to be vigilant as we all share an interest in keeping our campus safe.” v * indicates a name changed at request of student

History department adds new electives S p r i n g By Jerrie James Copy Editor

As students begin to browse the Course of Study Book, they will notice three new electives in the Social Studies Department – Modern Middle East, History and the Olympics, and Three Years: 1949, 1968, 1989. Students who take Three Years: 1949, 1968, 1989 will explore the events taken place during these years, such as China’s

Graphic by Annelise Hillmann

Break Trip

From Costa RIca page 1

everyone’s financial status was or what they were going through, they were always happy.” Students also ended up learning a lot about the country and its environment. Becker said, “Throughout the trip, our tour guide, Edgardo, gave us lessons about the culture and economy. My favorite lesson was about coffee; we were taught the best conditions for growing the bean, the way the beans are harvested and prepared for sale, and the best ways for preparing it to drink.” Mrs. Salivar summed up the trip and said, “Every day was a new adventure. It was a trip of a lifetime, and we all have special memories that we won’t soon forget. Hopefully this experience will motivate our students to continue traveling and to learn about new countries and people.” v


The Pharcyde

News

April 4, 2014

Page 3

SAT revises tests for 2016 participants Changes to schedule By Jacqueline Phillips Staff Writer

Most freshmen, all of whom will be impacted by the recently announced changes to the SAT format, agree these changes are significant but are for the better. When asked to explain the changes to the SAT, English teacher and SAT tutor Dr. John Peruggia said, “The SAT is responding to the recent surge in popularity of the ACT by making a test that might level the playing field more, so the essay is becoming optional, the math section is being reformatted so you cannot use a calculator on the entire thing, and the reading and grammar sections are being reworked to be more useful in terms of every-day things instead of just a pedantic test of vocabulary.” One of the things that the freshmen are looking forward to most is the optional writing section. “The elimination of the writing section will make the test more attractive to the students with a more math and science brain. It also could make the test appear easier to some people, as the mystery of the essay will not be an issue. This could also raise scores because students will be able to focus more of their time and energy on the other sections,” freshman Grayson Kahle said. Freshman Arianna LaBarbiera also expressed her

From Math and Art page 1

KATHLEEN WALSH The Lower and Middle School campus is now surrounded with fencing to prevent unwanted visitors.

views about the changed writing portion when she said, “I believe that the new writing section is very important and does make a difference because the people who take the writing section will be the ones who are better at writing than those who choose not to write the essay. If someone knows they excel at writing, they are able to help their score, just like if someone knows their essay would hurt their score, they won’t have to write the essay.” One worry though is the

methods some will have to use for tutoring during the year the new test comes out. Dr. Peruggia said, “I don’t think anyone studies for the SAT or the ACT; I think they go to tutors to help them become familiar with topics. I think it will be more challenging the first year or two as tutors have to relearn a test, and I’m pretty sure the SAT said they were not going to release any early tests so there will not be any way for the tutors to learn about the test easily.” Freshman Cali Becker

summarized her feelings about the new format when she explained, “Overall, I think these changes are pretty significant because they will make taking the SAT less stressful. Also, these components have long been infamous parts of the SAT, so there will now be far less stressed students. For example, not getting deductions for wrong answers will save time, because if you don’t know an answer, you are able to guess without fear of being marked down.” v

The two both took home national medals. Hillmann won a silver medal for drawing for a piece entitled The Centenarian George, a portrait of an old man. Sousa won a gold medal for photography for her photograph called Bathing suit?. At the regional competition 25 works by Benjamin students were recognized

and received honorable mention, silver, or gold keys. If any work received a golden key, then it progressed on to be judged at the national level. Sousa won three golden keys, and Hillmann received two. On June 6, the girls will be receiving their medals at Carnegie Hall in New York. The gold medal winners will then have a presentation of their works featured on the jumbotron in Time Square. Some colleges will also acknowledge and honor scholastic art and writing awards and give scholarship money to the winners. Explaining her muse for her winning photograph Sousa said, “Society is where

I get most of my inspiration. I capture anything from gender role stereotypes to the way individuals have been oppressed. My winning photo comes from a series of photos that I had taken over the summer that dealt with consumerism and the human body image. My piece Bathing suit? deals with the overly confident male and his ability to be comfortable in something that no one wants to see.” Talking about her inspiration for drawing, Hillmann said, “Most of my inspiration comes from my artistic background. My mom is very artistic as she is a landscape and aerialist painter, so that’s where a lot of my artistic influence comes from. This is also what probably inspired me to start drawing in the first place. My winning piece, The Centenarian George, is a portrait of my close family friend named George who’s actually 103 years old. He always folds his hands in a certain way, so I thought that would be a perfect way to capture his essence in that pose.” Describing her feelings on receiving the news that she had been recognized nationally for photography, Sousa said, “To be in the top 1% is crazy, it honestly does not feel real to me. I have always had a big passion for the arts and to be recognized for them is an incredible feeling.” v

Students win Scholastic Art Awards By Robert Charles Staff Writer

From a pool of over 255,000 entries in the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition, two students, junior Gretchen Sousa and sophomore Annelise Hillmann, were amongst the 1,800 distinguished winners of the competition, who represent about seven tenths of one percent of the overall contestants.

Drawing by Annelise HIllmann

Photo by Gretchen Sousa

Advanced Placement course. According to the Course of Study Book, in AP Art History students “will develop an understanding and knowledge of diverse historical and cultural contexts of architecture, sculpture, painting and other media.” Another new art history elective is Twenty-first Century Art Appreciation, a one semester spring course. This elective will cover the concepts of visual arts in the 21st century and how they connect to the past. “With the addition of Ms. Davis this year, we have the opportunity to offer classes with intensive study of art history and oil painting,” Visual Arts Department Chair Mrs. Melissa Ford said. Three one-semester long courses will also be available for students to take in both the fall and the spring in the Visual Arts Department. One of the changes involves the replacement of Intermediate Studio with two one-semester classes: Studio Art Drawing and Studio Art Painting. Studio Art Drawing reinforces the concepts that were previously learned in Foundations in Art. The course will explore a variety of drawing media to understand the basic elements of composition. Studio Art Painting focuses on the study of classic techniques, while incorporating twenty-first century painting. Intermediate Ceramics, the third elective offering, reinforces the basic skills learned in Ceramics and teaches students more advanced techniques in glazing and further explores the world of ceramics. “The changes to the art program are a continuation of a restructuring which started four years ago. We want to provide students a logical progression of skill-building courses that emphasize conceptual development along with technical proficiency,” Mrs. Ford said. “My goal for the visual arts department is to create a vibrant, challenging and enriching visual arts program.” The Performing Arts Department has added Introduction to Theatre, a one semester fall course. This class introduces the basics of managing a theatre such as lighting, set design, costuming and more. Excited to participate in the new courses, freshman Madi Black said, “I am really looking forward to seeing what kinds of new classes will be available next year!” v

Scan this QR code for a flow chart outlining the math track student will take at Benjamin.


Opinions

Cheers

Jeers

Language Awards

The Sky is Falling

Congratulations to the Congrès and Conferencia teams for their awards in the annual competitions.

Part of the ceiling came crashing down during a study hall in the library. Luckily, everyone was okay.

Editorials

The opinion of The Pharcyde

Checkup: Ten Things We Can Do for Free

One year ago this issue, the previous editors decided to create a top ten list of items that the school could do for free to become better overall. This list deserves to be brought to the attention of the student body and faculty again so that the items can become completed projects. The list includes: approve GSA, revise athletic handbook, implement a new cell phone policy, create a culture of creativity, abide by a no-tolerance cheating policy, integrate research papers, forget the frivolous, end the sports requirement, and make senior year more special. The Pharcyde applauds the School for implementing a couple of these important improvements. For one, thanks to Mr. Wong and Ms. Learner, we now have a GSA-type group at this school known as Safe Space. Though it is not a club, students are welcome to attend meetings to discuss LBGT issues and to create open dialogue among gay and straight students in the community. However, the one thing students need to work on is accepting and supporting this group. We cannot be an accepting community without supporting one another in everything we do. Student still have the assumption that, if they were to attend these meetings, people would think they are gay. This does not have to be the case. Try to go to a meeting and support everyone around us. Then we can proudly post “acceptance” as a trait all Buccaneers demonstrate. The second thing that the school has accomplished is implementing a new cell phone policy. Although it is still up to the teacher, the cell phone policy has been altered to allow student to use their cell phones without breaking the rules. In previous years, students, faculty, and the administration just ignored the cell phone policy with a few exceptions, but cell phones are actually being used on a lesser scale now that it is allowed and students are not breaking the rules to do so. This improvement has helped the student-teacher relationship in the classroom and has helped establish guidelines by

Rebecca Grimpe Staff Writer

The Benjamin School parking lot is a dog-eat-dog, every-man-for-himself type of place. Students, like myself, who wish to avoid the “no, it’s MY turn to pull out” honking fiasco that is the parking lot at three o’clock at choose to wait it out for the rush to scatter after school is released. Everyone is in such a rush to go home and do more schoolwork. School is a learning environment in more ways than just sitting in a classroom and frantically scribbling notes, trying not to miss miniscule details; students can learn from each other. That being said, today’s lesson is Driving and Parking 101. For starters, if a driver is going to get behind the

Online at www.PharBlog.com

Founded in 1980 as The Spectator March April 4, 8,2014 2013 The Benjamin School 4875 Grandiflora Road Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418 Contact Info Phone: 561-472-3485 Fax: 561-691-8823 Advisor: Mr. Ken Didsbury kendall.didsbury@thebenjaminschool.org Co-Editor-in-Chief: Editor-in-Chief: Casey LaurenPearce Bernick lauren.bernick13@thebenjaminschool.org casey.pearce14@thebenjaminschool.org Co-Editor-in-Chief: Executive Editor: Ben BenGreenspan Germano benjamin.greenspan15@thebenjaminschool.org ben.germano13@thebenjaminschool.org

which students are allowed to text or talk on the phone. The School has also done a great job in changing the sports requirement to an extracurricular activity requirement. Not all students can play a sport and to some it is absolute torture. As long as students participate in some sort of sport, be it actually playing or keeping score, or they talk with administration about participating in the play or musical, the student will have filled this requirement. This is a step in the right direction to improving our school standards. Now, some of the items on the list are still being worked on, but quite a few could still be integrated into

Benjamin life, probably the biggest one being the implementation of research papers. Numerous alumni have returned stating that Benjamin prepared them very well for college life, except in one category: research papers. The Social Studies Department has done a great job with starting to implement the research paper and projects, but it should not just be limited to students not in an AP. Research papers also do not need to be limited to the Social Studies Department. Other courses should start implementing this necessary skill. When students go off to college, this skill should already be mastered, but instead it is a dreaded and feared obstacle they have to face. Making students do at least one research paper a year will help better prepare them for college and thus make us truly a college preparatory school. Another thing that still needs work is revamping student groups. We are a school of amazing character,

leadership, and honor, but when we start accepting more than half the senior class into the National Honor Society, it loses its credibility and status. As said in the prior article, the School needs to raise the standards and evaluate each student more critically. National Honors Society should be a more prestigious group, as it once was. Another group that should be revamped is Student Council. They do an excellent job with every event they host and run, but it would be beneficial to create a more open dialogue between the student body and the Student Council. Students also need to find clubs that they want to participate in rather than clubs they are doing for their resumes. Do not become a president of a club just to show leadership for college; become president if you have a passion and drive to improve the club and keep it running. This will create a better club atmosphere and a more genuine level of participation. The last thing that the School needs to take into greater consideration is making senior year more special. The end of the year for seniors is filled with events such as Grad Bash, Baccalaureate, graduation, and Project Graduation, but the rest of the year is lacking. Other than the senior parking lot, which is half occupied at the moment, and the senior lockers, seniors do not have any special events to honor their high school careers. The School could include little things that would make senior year more special throughout the year. The stress of college and trying to plan a future could be somewhat alleviated, if not momentarily forgotten, if seniors were celebrated throughout the full school year rather than just the last month of senior year. The previous three goals still need to be accomplished to make the School a better place. While the School has done a tremendous job with the changes it has made in this school year, these things would make the next and all future years more special. Benjamin is a community that accepts changes and constructive criticism so that it can improve, and by adopting these, it can do just that.

wheel, it is a good idea to first know the anatomy of his or her vehicle. Students on their way to school probably have to deal with people honking at them. It is not without reason. That little stick on the steering column that makes that little blinking noise is not just for decoration. It actually connects to the taillights, and it lets other drivers know when another vehicle is going to be switching lanes. As much as we would like other drivers to know where we were headed based on the snazzy Bucs license plate frame, this is not the case. Secondly, those pesky yellow bumps on the way to school are not for the purpose of becoming airborne, and the speed limit is not a suggestion. Riding the tails of those cars going a reasonable speed is also not welcome. Stop means put your foot on the brake. The frivolous red octagons do serve a purpose other than initiating a spontaneous “Hammer Time.” As for parking, I understand and can appreciate how difficult it is to squeeze your six-foot-wide vehicle into a paltry nine-foot-wide parking space. However, those painted white lines - use them; they are there to guide you. They are your friends. Also, let’s take note of the

designated parking for seniors, not just disregard it as we do stop signs and speed bumps. As a senior, I can confirm that walking from the baseball field after our long-awaited senior privileges makes the school day even more enjoyable, but rules are rules. If you have ever seen me looking flustered in a baby blue Prius, now you know why. If you are unable to successfully park your car, it is possible that one more year on a learner’s permit could have done you good. If you do not know how a four-way stop works, one more year on a learner’s permit is essential. If you simply cannot contain yourself from parking in a senior spot as a junior or underclassman, I would advise being dropped off. If you are still carrying a learner’s permit, take your time upgrading to a driver’s license, and take notes. Let’s review. The DOs and DON’Ts are simple: DO go the speed limit. DO NOT pull into a parking space any which way and call it a day. DO slow down for speed bumps. DO NOT assume that blinkers are unnecessary. DO stop at stop signs. Let’s all respect one another’s foggy pre-Starbucks morning dazes so we can get to school and leave school safely in one piece. Capisce?

“Benjamin is a community that accepts changes and constructive criticism so that it can improve. ”

Hit the Brakes

Editorial Board

Mission Statement

The Pharcyde is a student newspaLauren Bernick Co-Editor-in-Chief per produced to foster an open diaCasey Pearce Editor-in-Chief Ben Germano Co-Editor-in-Chief logue about topics that relate to Jerrie James Copy Editor Emily Graphics Editor Editor The Benjamin School. The issues JulietteDunkel Mercadante Photography that appear throughout our pages CaseySode Pearce Managing Paige Online Editor Editor may be light-hearted or serious, Ben Greenspan Copy Editor Ben Greenspan Executive Editor but regardless we aim to reflect Sam Greenspan Editor the diversity of opinion within our Michael MulleryOnline Sports Editor school that we value so deeply. Dean Sandquist Sports Editor Andy Weir Managing Editor

Annelise Hillmann Graphics Editor

Staff Staff Writers Writers

Lexi Cass, Averill Healey, Rachel Smith, Riley Burke, Jerrie James, RileyJuliette Burke,Mercadante, Rebecca Grimpe, Jacqueline Ashlyn SendAshlyn Sendler,Phillips, Paige Sode, Michael ler, Mullery, AmandaAndy Stevens, Will Bafitis, Bobby Feruggia, Niki Weir, Caterina Breuer, Niki Hendi, Hendi, DJ Robinson, FionaBella Schor, Kathleen Walsh, VeAnnelise Hillmann, Ross, Kathleen Walsh ronica Weiss, Robert Charles, Madeleine Dalton

Staff Artists Artists Staff

William Conran Photographer, Liam Fine Photographer, Nick Wettermann Photographer, Deanna Foriere Illustrator

Membership The Pharcyde is a member of the Florida Scholastic Press Association, American Scholastic Press Association, Columbia Scholastic Press Association and the National Scholastic Press Asscociation. General The Pharcyde, the Upper School newspaper of The Benjamin School, is published six times a year.

Advertisements The price of a full page ad is $200.00/issue. The price of a half page ad is $120.00/issue. The price of a quarter page ad is $90.00/ issue. The price of a business card ad is $50.00/ issue.

The Pharcyde is distributed to every student and faculty member and is availalbe in the Upper School office. Each issue is mailed to every Upper School family’s home address.

If you or anyone you know would like to place an advertisement in The Pharcyde, please contact Jerrie James at jerrie.james14@thebenjaminschool.org.

The Pharcyde encourages submission of Letters to the Editor. Send your feedback, criticism, or outside opinions in 150 words or fewer to casey.pearce14@ ben.germano13@ thebenjaminschool.org. The Pharcyde reserves the right to edit all letters for length, grammar, and clarity.

The opinion articles in this paper are the opinion of the writer or the majority opinion of The Pharcyde Editorial Board. They are not the opinion of The Benjamin School or our advertisers.


Opinions

The Pharcyde

April 4, 2014

Page 5

Okay is Not Okay

v Campaign sign deems the School average without the Annual Fund. Veronica Weiss Staff Writer

Most faculty, students, and visitors would agree that we have been blessed with a beautiful campus; however, new additions to the campus have created an eyesore. Recently posted around the School are signs that avow “Without the Annual Fund, TBS would be Okay” and “Okay is not Okay”. Although our school undeniably meant well when putting these signs up, the message that these slogans send undermine its highly regarded reputation in the community. These posters claim that if one does not “donate to make Benjamin a great school” then our school will just be an “okay” school, thus implying the current state is lower than it is. Is this school not already a “great school”? Our school is already a great one, and devaluing the quality of our learning here in order to obtain donations is harmful to the overall morale of the students. Donations are important to any school’s growth and improvement, and families should donate to this campaign in order to enhance school programs; however, implying that this school is not already an above average

v Letter

school in terms of overall quality is plainly wrong. The achievements of our student body can serve as a testament to our school’s current standard of excellence. Those who have been following the awards recently presented to our students would know that they have been successful in most of the competitions that we have participated in, such as Conferencia and Congrés. Just last week The Pharcyde and BTV each received gold medal awards from the Florida Scholastic Press Association. Also an incredibly high percentage of seniors consistent-

“The achievements of our student body can serve as a testament to our school’s current standard of excellence. ” ly go to some of the highest ranked colleges. This year, 21 current students have signed to play college level athletics. Our school is also able to take students out of the classroom and take them on remarkable and unforgettable enrichment overseas trips during school breaks. These are really great achievements that both the students, and the school itself, have worked hard to put in place. Does our school deserves to be called an “okay school,” with all of the accomplishments and

achievements it has received? It definitely does not. Walking onto school’s campus and seeing these signs is not okay. If the School wants the student body to become better people by posting ten virtues around the campus that they wish for us to embody, why would they install signs at the same time that unintentionally devalue our accomplishments which these virtues have helped us acquire in the first place? It is disheartening to a generation of kids who constantly feel pressured to do better in order to keep up with the competitive struggle that is the race to succeed. In our community, really great things happen. Kids here have privileges and opportunities that a vast majority of the children in this country unfortunately do not, and would absolutely dream to have. Kids from our school, time and time again, prove to go above and beyond in their academics and activities, earning our school a great name and reputation. The long history of hard-working students deserves to be appreciated and acknowledged for creating the great name associated with our school, not to be put down and called average. The students at this school are more than “okay”; they are people who achieve amazing things and have bright futures ahead of them. This is what the School should be pushing to future donors: the potential of the student body. Our school believes in our student body and our abilities more than these posters may lead someone to think. The school had good intentions in placing the posters, but the slogan our school is currently using needs work.

Administrator’s Response:

to the Editor about the Capital Campaign and its slogan.

Ms. WeissI sincerely appreciate your thoughtful op-ed piece “Okay is not Okay” and your concerns about a current Annual Fund campaign aimed at raising awareness and discussion about the value of annual fund participation at The Benjamin School. It is both validating and encouraging to read the sense of pride that you clearly have in TBS, and in my short time here, that pride is evident in its students and its faculty. I have had several conversations with faculty and administrators questioning the messaging in this particular sign. That these and other conversations are taking place is a good thing for the School. Slogans, signage and taglines can do little to influence culture in any arena. Only through thoughtful dialogue can meaningful change take hold. This particular sign—one of three in our spring Annual Fund signage campaign for annual giving on both campuses—is intended to draw attention to the topic of the Annual Fund and to stimulate questions and hopefully conversation. To that end, it would seem we have been successful. But it does not seem we have succeeded in making our point clear about the importance of annual giving in the space a banner will allow. Our school is clearly excellent, and it is the hard work and partnership between faculty members, students and parents that is at the core of that excellence. One integral piece of that partnership also lies in sacrifice and support that each of us makes to be better. Our Annual Fund provides essential funding for expenditures throughout the School’s operating budget, without which we would have to make significant budgetary changes in expens-

es that support the excellence we enjoy. A little more than 5% of the operating budget comes to us through voluntary, tax-deductible gifts to the Annual Fund. The Benjamin School (and nearly every independent school in the nation) relies on annul fund support to avoid having to make drastic changes to its operating budget that would adversely affect tuition costs and/or cause a dramatic reduction in services or quality. The fact is that while we are very grateful for the generous support we receive from many of our families, our parent participation rate (51%) placed us well below the median for NAIS schools (67%) in 2013. Even considering our relatively high average gift amount per donor, The Benjamin School’s annual giving per student falls well below the NAIS median (2013: $1,096 v. $1,373). We do have an Annual Fund, and it helps us to be excellent. Without the Annual Fund, we might not be able to afford the small class sizes, technol-

ogy support, co-curricular programming and other operating expenses that saw major cuts at schools (public and independent) that did not have strong financial support through the economic downturn. Our hope was that by producing evocative signage, we might stimulate conversation about the need for a healthy Annual Fund that enjoys participation rates inspired by that of our faculty (over 94% in recent history) and close to or greater than that of the best schools in the nation. The Benjamin School is excellent, and it is deserving of participation from every Benjamin family commensurate with their particular ability to offer financial support. Tuition alone does not cover the cost of education at any independent school. Sincerely, Burnham “Turk” Lewis Assistant Head for Advancement Burnham.lewis@thebenjaminschool.org 561-472-3480

JULIETTE MERCADANTE

Have your voice heard.

{P} Write a letter to the editor. Send your thoughts, in 150 words or fewer, to casey.pearce14@thebenjaminschool.org.


Page 6

The Pharcyde

Opinion

April 4, 2014

New STEM program primed and ready for lift off For students who want to eventually study engineering or mathematics, the STEM program is a step in the right direction. By Andy Weir

Managing Editor

As students begin building their schedules for next year, they will notice an increased presence of math and science courses, part of the School’s effort to redefine STEM at Benjamin. Traditionally an acronym for Science, Technology, Mathematics, and Engineering, STEM has nationally emerged as a response to the United States’ poor math and science scores and rankings, but Science Department Chair Dr. Darryl Martino hopes to redefine the acronym. “There’s more to STEM than just math and science. The fact is [Benjamin] is already very successful with most components of STEM, so now our goal is to shed light on the other, less obvious aspects of it like art and creativity,” he said. With that in mind, Dr. Martino believes this version of STEM is more accurately expressed through Sustainability, Tinkering, Engagement, and Making. To Dr. Martino, “Sustainability” encourages students to be more scientifically aware of their environment and study their effects on it. Activities promoting sustainability might include ecology labs and field trips to nearby preserves, lakes, parks, and even the Florida Everglades, similar to the Middle School’s sixth grade trip. “Tinkering” involves interactive learning through experiments in fields as varied as chemistry to engineering. “In looking to expand our offerings, we saw a chance to add engineering, something that our students have definitely shown an interest in, and that’s best exhibited through the Introductory Club to Engineering (ICE), which is already studying and exploring this in an extracurricular environment,” Dr. Martino said. Since its inception earlier this school year, ICE has developed several new projects, including objects printed with a 3D printer and a small flying device capable of taking pictures at high altitude.

JULIETTE MERCADANTE

Students will get the chance to focus on more mathematical and scientific course in their academic careers.

The club is also currently preparing for a country-wide engineering competition on April 12. “With all of the different things we need to plan and build, we’ve definitely got a lot of work ahead of us, but everyone seems more than willing to help and really excited about going to competition,” club president junior Mason Manos said. “Engagement” promotes a closer teacher-student relationship where students are constantly thinking about and applying concepts they have learned in school to activities conducted outside of school and bringing those experiences back into the classroom. Finally, “making” combines students’ creativity with scientific research and design to promote hands-on experiences that go beyond reading instructions from a lab. “I do believe you can teach creativity; you just need to provide students with the tools to

m a r g o r P M E T S sh List Wi

do so, and that will be a fundamental part of this program,” Dr. Martino said. These concepts will be conveyed through two new classes: Introduction to Engineering and Fabrication and Structural Design. Introduction to Engineering and Fabrication will focus on the basics of engineering, while engaging students in collaborative projects ranging from robotics to electricity to environmental engineering. In order to take this class, students must have already taken Algebra I. Meanwhile, Structural Design, a course dedicated to exploring the complex engineering behind modern structures, will serve as the next level of engineering education. These new semester-long classes, both being offered next year, are just the beginning, though, of a multi-year strategic plan to enhance science and engineering at Benjamin. “Benjamin’s always been

Sign Cutter

Machine used to produce printing masks, flexible circuits, and antennas

Laser Cutter

A computer-controlled lasercutter, for press-fit assembly of 3D structures from 2D parts

Price: $2,500.00

10 Digital Logic Boards

Price: $1,600.00

Milling Machine

Machine used to build 3D structures by removing material in a subtractive process

Price: $13,490.00

really strong in science, but it’s great to see the school expanding beyond simple sciences. So far, I’ve been incredibly impressed with what [ICE] has been doing and am looking forward to seeing what’s next,” science teacher Mrs. Amanda Pierman said. The two classes are part of a larger program culminating in a new engineering certificate given at graduation to students who have met a set of requirements. These not only include taking both of the engineering courses but also participating in extracurricular activities for at least six semesters, organizing an engineering project, and taking at least two of the following classes: Electronics, Foundations in Art, AP Statistics, and Programming. “The beauty of these changes is really that students can work in engineering and in other sciences ..., so they don’t need to specialize or put all their eggs in one basket,” Dr. Martino said.

Assembly kits of circuit boards with transistors and copper wiring

Price: $2,580.00

Master Computer A computer to control all of the STEM equipment

Price: $1,600.00

The changes coincide with several changes to classes in the Math Department, which is offering new courses like Statistical Thinking and improving existing ones like AP Calculus BC. “I’m thrilled with the changes. What we’re doing with AP Calculus BC is particularly neat. Adding the multivariable calculus component, I think, will be really interesting for the students,” math teacher Ms. Carol McGrath said. As for the reasoning behind instituting these changes now, Dr. Martino sees now as the perfect opportunity to bring Benjamin’s science program to the next level. “Just because something is good doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. The MP3 player existed for many years but Apple reinvented it in 2001. The tablet existed for many years but Apple reinvented in 2010. That’s basically what we’re trying to do here. We don’t want to be good; we want to be great,” Dr. Martino concluded. v

3D Replicators

Allows students to print items in 3D with the aid of computer design programs

Price: $800.00

Wood and MetalWorking Hand Tools Tools for creating metal and wood pieces to be used in construction

Price: $15,000.00


The Pharcyde

News

April 4, 2014

Page 7

What are you going to miss most about Benjamin? What I will miss the most about Benjamin is having I’m going to miss administrators and teachers the awesome that legitimately care about people and the you, want you to succeed, and beautiful campus. can be an outlet for you when - Gabe Lama you need someone to talk to regardless of the subject matter. The thing I’m going to - Becca Grimpe I am going to miss some of the miss most would great teachers I have had over probably be the comthe past four years. They have munity and the good always had open doors and friends I’ve gained over made me love going to class the years. everyday. I’m also going to miss - Jordan Wren lunches with the foodies- Mr. Behan, Casey and myself. - Hannah LaBovick

My favorite memory was freshman year when Jess and I went to th vending machine. It was the first time we met and how we became friends. - Deanna Foriere

I’ll miss all the amazing friends I’ve made and the teachers I’ve had. I’ll also miss participating in TGIF during assembly. -Ivy Missen I am going to miss walking

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outside of class and having it be 75 to 80 degrees and sunny along with all of the people, both students and teachers, I have developed friendships with over my four years. - Caroline Araskog

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I’m going to miss everyone in Chorus. - Jac Phillips

all my friends the most. I couldn’t ask for better guys to go to high school with. - Jerry O’Connor

My favorite memories include hanging out with Mrs. McVicar. She is the most special person who was always there for me. I will always look back and be grateful for my time with her and her influence on me. She truly helped me grow up through my four years at The Benjamin School. Thank you Nids!

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I will miss the girls basketball team and our fun filled team lunches. Remember girls... don’t mix the peanut butter and fluff. I am going to miss - Arden Pettit

- Ellie Jamison What I will miss most is the friends I’ve made over the past 14 years here. I’m going to miss my boys, I’ve been blessed to have had the best friends in the world and it’s going to be weird going to school without them, but I know we all will stay in touch. - McKenna Johnston

I’m going to miss hanging out with Mrs. McVicar and Ellie during activity periods most. - Lila Remez

My favorite memory was when my teammates and the basketball parents put on an incredible senior night. The night made me realize how lucky I was to be surrounded by such an amazing group of people, who I am going to miss so much next year. - Riley Burke

One of my favorite memories was when NAHS took on street painting and the teachers got up from their chairs in the shade and we thought they were coming over to see our progress, but they were actually just moving to the other side to be in the shade. The rest of the day they were cheering us on with pompoms and foam fingers so they made up for it. -Olivia Kaplan

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Page 8 The Pharcydee

April 4, 2014

Healthy Food Myths Busted

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C y h t l a e H a o t s p e St

Do not believe what the ads tell you! Here is a look at four seemingly healthy food to watch out for when trying to eat healthy.

Yes, you probably enter the doors of Tropical Smoothie, thinking your diet is going fabulously. Think again. That seeminglyhealthy treat may in fact have more calories than a cheeseburger. With smoothies of 650 to 1000 calories as a result of the immense amount of fruit and added sugars, maybe it is best if you stick to water.

Prepared Salads:

Don’t assume that anything associated with the word “salad” is healthy. Prepared tuna salads, chicken salads, and shrimp salads are often hiding loaded fats and calories due to their high mayonnaise content. Adding the dressing also increases calories, so make sure to keep the portion size small and go light on the dressing.

Packaged Turkey:

Turkey is a great source of lean protein and a good choice for a quick lunch or dinner, but many packaged turkey slices are loaded with sodium and preservatives. A diet high in sodium has been shown to increase high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease. If you love turkey wraps or sandwiches, make sure to buy low-sodium varieties or select fresh turkey slices.

Frozen Yogurt: When we think

of frozen yogurt, we think of the healthier substitution for ice cream. In the world of saturated fat. This is correct, but, if one factors in calories and sugars, ice cream and frozen yogurt come extremely close. Once you add up the toppings and sugar, it is pretty much equal to its ice cream counterpart.

By Paige Sode Online Editor

10

Smoothies:

quickly approaches, many worry about the unknowns of college and, more specifically, staying healthy in college. When students leave home for the first time and are forced to take care of themselves, many realize that it is harder than it seems. Through research and information from University of Georgia Health Center, Rutgers University Student Health Services, and Huffpost College,The Pharcyde created a list of some easy tips to staying healthy in college and beyond. Here is a top ten list to follow when students leave their homes for the first time. 1. Get Enough Sleep Although it will be tempting to pull all-nighters to study for a test or to read that last chapter of the assigned reading for English the next day, sleep is one thing that students should not compromise. According to University of Georgia Health Center, sleep affects not only students’ health, but also their performance in school, GPAs, mood, and safety. Students should sleep an average of seven to eight hours a night according to a variety of health resources. This may seem unattainable, but sleep is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle.

? h c n u l s s o r g ur o y t u o p a w s to . s y v a a w h a P r e o d f y g c ar h P Lookin e s e h t t u C heck o Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad Nordstrom’s Bistro Cal: 340 Carbs: 27 g Fat: 17 g Sodium: 630 mg

2 Slices of Pepperoni Pizza Papa John’s Cal: 600 Carbs: 68 g Fat: 25 g Sodium: 1400 mg

SWAP

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Withou it, students can fee more stressed, gain weight and even develop severe cases of depression and anxiety. The reality is that all-nighters happen, but try not to make a habit of them; one occasionally is not going to hurt.

2. Eat in Moderation Even students with the bes intentions may flounder when they report to the dining hall on campus No one starts college hoping to gain the Freshman 15, or in other words, the average amount of weight freshmen put on because of their freedom to eat anything available. A majority of dining halls provide a variety of food options, but the healthy options are never as appealing and easy to find as the unhealthy. Everything is okay in moderation. If pizza is appealing for lunch, try hitting up the salad bar for dinner, but be careful with the dressing! Do not deprive yourself of unhealthy food but do not overindulge.

3. Exercise Fitting exercise into a busy schedule can be difficult, but colleges are starting to make it easier to exercise on campus Many colleges offer different fitness classes to keep students active, while enjoying the college experience. This is an easy and fun way to get exercise in without having to run on a treadmil every day. However, if the gym is the only option available, find a gym buddy who can help with motivation Almost all gyms offer a free or reduced membership so take advantage of i while in college.

4. Flu Shot This is one of the easiest ways to prevent getting the flu in the cold winter months, especially if students are no used to the winter weather. While in a new environment and stuck in the dorms, illnesses tend to travel fast Go to the school health clinic in the beginning of flu season and ask for a flu shot. It will prevent the flu from travelling around the dorm and it is normally free.

Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich Starbucks Cal: 230 Carbs: 28 g Fat: 6 g Sodium: 560 mg

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Page 9 April 4, 2014

The Pharcydee

Healthy Habits

College Fresh An in-depth look at how to eat and live healthy man Yea r

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st y s. n e n o of d e s n or or g! y

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5 . Walk to Class As long as the weather is bearable, try to walk to class as much as possible. It is a good way to boost energy and get some easy exercise. It gives students a time to think between classes and to chat with friends. Walking whenever possible will increases your heart rate and provides an easy way to burn some extra calories. Also, skip the elevator and take the stairs whenever possible!

6. Manage Stress Stress in college is almost inevitable, but not knowing how to manage stress can cause mental and physical exhaustion and illness. Stress causes increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and muscle tension, which can quickly take its toll on the body. Set aside time just to relax and breath. Sit outside soaking up the sun or take a quick nap to lower your stress level. It will all work out eventually. 7. Stay Busy Students from high school are used to going to school five days a week and working all day at either school or on homework. The class schedule will decrease compared to Benjamin, so keep busy by either hitting the gym, going for a walk, getting a job, or joining a club. When students get bored it can lead to binge eating and laziness. Stay active! 8. Avoid Energy Drinks According to forbes.com, college students are showing up in health clinics with signs of caffeine withdrawal due to an over indulgence in energy drinks. Schools focus more on drugs and alcohol when advising students what to do and what not to do, but energy drinks are available for anyone to buy 24/7. Caffeine can cause anxiety and cause students to lose focus on the task at hand. It is okay not to be able to do everything, so limit excessive caffeine consumption and go to sleep when needed. Staying awake with caffeine will only lead to exhaustion later, while the caffeine dissipates.

h

SWAP

heard i t before, but breakfast actually is one of the most important meals of the day. It kick starts people’s metabolisms, giving them energy and helping them lose weight. Not eating breakfast causes the body to become lethargic and run down until it gets the energy it needs to function. Try to eat something for every meal to keep energy levels and blood sugar up. It will be easier to get through classes and focus on lectures if you are not lethargic and run-down.

Layout by Annelise Hillmann

Taste Test

The Pharcyde took on three of the biggest rivalries in the food world: Moe’s vs. Chipotle, Jimmy John’s vs. Jersey Mike’s, and Sal’s vs. Big Apple Pizza. Did your favorite hold up against a taste test?

10. Don’t Give Up Eating healthy and staying fit is not always easy to do. Try to stick to these tips, but know that it is okay to break them. A week is not going to damage your health permanently, but a lifestyle of unhealthy activities can cause severe health problems. Remember: everything in moderation, exercise when possible, take breaks, eat on a regular schedule, and believe in yourself. You do not have to be perfect to be healthy.

vs. 2/3 of testers preferred the Chipotle burrito to the Moe’s burrito, confirming their original proclivity for Chipotle. However 67% of the testers guessed incorrectly.

vs.

By Casey Pearce Editor-in-Chief

2/3 of the testers preferred the Jersey Mike’s sub to the JJ one, yet only 33% said they usually like Jersey Mike’s more. The majority of the testers guessed correctly.

9. Don’t Skip Meals Everyone has

vs. 66% of the testers preferred the Sal’s slice to the Big Apple, while all stated they usually liked Sal’s more. However, 2/3 of the testers still guessed incorrectly.

Chicken Tender Sub Sandwich Publix Cal: 310 Carbs: 44 g Fat: 7 g Sodium: 950 mg

Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Starbucks Cal: 360 Carbs: 38 g Fat: 15 g Sodium: 850 mg

SWAP

Chicken Sandwich Chick-Fil-A Carbs: 38 g Cal: 410 Sodium: 1300 mg Fat: 16 g


School Life

Student Stories + Teacher Features

The Pharcyde COUNTDOWN:

56 days until the end of the school year

Junior auditions for new season of America’s Got Talent By Niki Hendi Staff Writer

Junior Kit Spina recently auditioned for the popular TV show America’s Got Talent, and although she did not make the show, she is inspired to further her singing career. The auditions took place in Baltimore, Maryland, on January 19. “They tell you to get there at seven because the doors open and there’s a huge line of people,” she said. “My dad and I got there at eight, and we waited there for an hour, which is not that bad. It’s just so cool, because in the line there were all these different acts and they were performing, singing, dancing. It’s a really cool experience.” As to how she decided to tryout, Spina said, “I’ve always loved singing, and I wanted to do something with it. I first started singing when I was eight, and I would blast Lizzie McGuire in my room and dance and sing.” Originally, Spina was going to tryout for The X-Factor first because it is only a singing competition, but the auditions were closed until next year. The only show that was left for her to tryout for was America’s Got Talent.

Photo Courtesy of Kit Spina

Spina auditioned for America’s Got Talent in Baltimore on January 19. She sang in front of an executive judge who decided that she would not be moving on as the show had too many singers. However, Spina was told to audition again in the future as the show likes to see young talent.

Spina said she did not feel nervous because she was not auditioning alone. She was put in a room with five other peo-

ple who all performed in front of one judge. That judge was an executive judge, so if she had made it onto the show, then she

would have performed in front of the celebrity judges. Spina was called back and told that the show had too

many singers; but because she was still young, she was told to try out again. Spina still got a chance to be on TV though because many of the contestants were asked to be in a house ad. “We shot for the commercial in the arena where we performed. It was staged so we all split up into groups of 50 and they shot us walking down to the sign-up sheets and fake signing up,” she said. “The cameras came up to me and they said, ‘Can you sing us something?’ and I panicked, and everyone was looking at me. I sang half of my song in front of thousands of people and for the commercial of the show.” Although she ultimately did not get on America’s Got Talent, Spina still has plans for more auditioning. “I think I’d audition not for America’s Got Talent, but for American Idol or The Voice,” she said. “I know a lot of people who went on The XFactor, and they just didn’t like the audition process.” Spina also has plans for making a YouTube channel to showcase her singing and for auditioning for other shows. She said, “It was just so cool seeing everyone, and I definitely want to tryout again.” v

Seniors unphased by hazing reports, eager to join Greek Life By Jacqueline Phillips Staff Writer

Despite the recent report that a national fraternity has banned hazing because it led to nine deaths since 2006, many Benjamin seniors are not only looking forward to rushing Greek Life organizations but have very few fears about the Greek Life initiation processes. Hazing is defined as the initiation of a new member to an organization by making the new member perform extreme or dangerous tasks. These tasks have sometimes resulted in serious injuries or even death. Reporting about one such incident, senior McKenna Johnston said, “I heard about a kid dying a couple weeks ago because he was knocked unconscious while being hazed and was not taken to the hospital immediately.” “I don’t really have any fears about hazing. The only fear that I have from the pledge process is that it will effect my academics and athletics. I am playing football and lacrosse next year, so I don’t want the pledge process to have a negative effect on my other activities.” Johnston explained. Across the country, strong anti-hazing campaigns are evident on many college websites, but some students regard hazing as a way to commit to their organization and view it as a normal college experience. “Stories of hazing are common everywhere,

JULIETTE MERCADANTE

Despite reports of dangerous hazing processes, many Benjamin upperclassmen are eager to participate in Greek Life at college.

but I’m not going to let them affect my decision to rush,” senior Morgan Burkett explained. According to a Pharcyde survey, the driving force behind joining a Greek organization is the sense of involvement and closeness one gets from joining

a sorority or fraternity. “For me, sisterhood and involvement are tied because I cherish building strong friendships with people whom I share similar ambitions and goals with. Also, involvement is a major part of my life, so to be able to have connections

associated with a sorority along with the level of enthusiasm is amazing,” senior Olivia Kaplan explained. Johnston also summarized his interest in joining a fraternity when he said, “I think brotherhood is the most impor-

tant part of joining a fraternity to me. To always have a group of guys that are close and can trust is very important. I have had a great friend group here at Benjamin, and I want to be able to grow similar relationships when I go into college.” v


The Pharcyde

School Life

April 4, 2014

Page 11

Dreams reveal mind at work in sleeping students By Annelise Hillmann Graphics Editor

Adam Cass stands on top of the Empire State Building, hanging off the edge. He slips. The ground hurtles towards him … and then he wakes up. Students like sophomore Cass have experienced similar recurring dreams many times and wonder why. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the brain, during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, creates a succession of images and sensations that occur involuntarily. However, for a natural function that consumes an average of six years of one’s life, relatively little is known about dreams. Certified hypnosis practitioner Mrs. Barbara James encounters dreams in her every-day work life, using hypnosis to help clients reach their goals. “A dream is one of the ways your subconscious mind processes what’s going on in your life, even if it’s routine,” Mrs. James said. “Your subconscious still needs to process that, and your mind does that through dreams.” Sigmund Freud, the founding father of psychoanalysis, theorized that all dreams are born of unconscious wishes that yearn to be realized. Other theories suggest that dreams help humans practice responses to threatening situations, organize memories or have absolutely no meaning at all. One of the aspects of dreams that puzzles scientists is the almost-instantaneous forgetting of the dream. “A lot of people say that they don’t dream, but that’s not true. They do dream, they just don’t remember them,” Mrs. James said. According to DreamLab. com, a person dreams four to six

times every night and will have around 1,800 dreams per year; 90 - 95% of them will instantly disappear from memory. But among the dreams that students do remember, several recurring ones tend to become ingrained in their minds. Common recurring dreams include being chased, falling, going to school naked, flying, and losing teeth. Many of these dreams are deeply rooted in everyday problems. “I have recurring dreams that my car is taken away,” sophomore Shay Pradetto said. “Either by the police, my parents, or some teachers, it always seems to be confiscated in my dreams. I have only been driving for two months. But I think I keep having these dreams because I’m paranoid about getting a ticket.” Yet, junior Hailey MacGregor’s recurring dream seems to have no connection to reality at all. “My recurring dream is about a shark attack. My twin sister Kelsie and I have had it every year on June 25 since the 8th grade.” The question many students may ask is why do these dreams recur? “Your subconscious mind has all your file cabinets in it. When you dream, it helps your mind know what file it goes in. One reason the brain has recurring dreams is that some things people deal with are a little more complicated so it takes time to go through the process of integrating it into your subconscious,” Mrs. James said. For those revisiting the same dream, discovering the meaning of the dream and coming to terms with the issue could help to stop it. On its website, the International Association for the Study of

Dreams states, “Recurrent dreams may be treated as any other dream. That is, one may look for parallels between the dream and the thoughts, feelings, behavior, and motives of the dreamer. Understanding the meaning of the recurrent dream sometimes can help the dreamer resolve an issue that he or she has been struggling with.” Those who are troubled by recurring dreams may benefit from understanding the dream, giving credence to the interpretation of symbols. “What they like to call the ‘language of the subconscious mind’ is symbolism. That’s the language that your subconscious is using to help deal with the situation,” Mrs. James said. “For instance, when you dream about losing your teeth, that is predominantly about change in your life. On the surface, you might think you’re dealing with the change just fine. But subconsciously, it’s not going as easily as you

Senior bucket lists start forming freshman year for some students, such as senior James Theofolis, who watched upperclassmen complete their bucket lists. Theofolis said, “I think senior bucket lists are extremely important for the senior guys and some girls because it is a tradition that we must achieve things that we always wanted to do, but couldn’t unless it was right before we graduated.” Senior Ally Sexton, like Theofolis, said, “These lists are a good way for the seniors to make their last memories on campus, and by this time of year, all of them realize that these last few months are all they have left and they owe it to themselves to escape their comfort zones.” According to Theofolis, “Seniors should be able to accomplish weird things before graduating without permission.” He explained, “I want to sing in assembly because I think a lot of people would appreciate that, as well as steal Dean Ball’s golf cart. The funniest bucket list idea

that I’ve heard, and I won’t graduate without seeing it, is Dan Borislow wearing a skirt to school.”

think.” While some are concerned with decoding the dream, others encounter an entirely different experience. A branch of the dream phenomenon which baffles scientists is the “lucid dream,” where dreamers know that they are dreaming and have some degree of control over their imaginary experiences in the dream environment. Cass once experienced lucid dreaming himself. “I remember thinking that I could do anything. I was eight at the time, and within the dream I realized that I was dreaming. So I decided to fly to Wannado City. And I did.” Although lucid dreaming sounds like a scene straight from Inception, Mrs. James confirmed the reality of lucid dreaming and described some reasons for these cases. “In my own experience, the dreams will be quite frightening, so it’s almost like a safety valve - like the mind says ‘don’t get too scared, because

this is a dream.’ I have read that one theory says that sometimes lucid dreams happen because your REM pattern has been disrupted but not disrupted enough to bring you back into consciousness.” She believes that it varies with the individual as to how much control the dreamer would have. “Some people are able to go to sleep thinking about a certain thing. They’ll think ‘tonight I’m going to dream about the ball pit at McDonald’s.’ And they will. Most people don’t have that type of control over their subconscious.” Whether the dreamer experiences lucid dreaming or recurring dreams, understanding the phenomenon is the first step in resolving the underlying issue. Mrs. James said, “Once your subconscious has integrated the issue, the reoccurring dreams stop because the issue has been dealt with.” v

JULIETTE MERCADANTE

According to psychoanalysts, dreams and their recurrences are not random. “A dream is one of the ways your subconscious mind processes what’s going on in your life, even if it’s routine,” hypnosis practicioner Mrs. Barbara James said.

Bucket lists: seniors seek memorable moments By Juliette Mercadante Photography Editor

Many seniors, anxiously awaiting the end of their final year in high school, are preparing to complete the unusual tasks on their senior bucket lists.

“I’m really happy I

got to go to Back Door Café before I graduate. Now I want to go a week without using my cell phone, and I want to use someone else’s school schedule for a day to see if anyone realizes“I really want to jump in the lake on the last day with my grade.” ALLY SEXTON senior

“Seniors should be able

to

weird

accomplish

things

graduating

before without

permission....The funniest

bucket

list

idea that I’ve heardand I won’t graduate without seeing it- is Dan Borislow wearing a skirt to school.” JAMES THEOFOLIS

senior

“I’m really happy I got to go to Back Door Café before I graduate. Now I want to go a week without using my cell phone, and I want to use someone else’s

school schedule for a day to see if anyone realizes,” Sexton said. “I really want to jump in the lake on the last day with my grade. Senior Bennett Sousa shared some of the things that he wishes to accomplish before graduating, and he also reminisced about a past event that, “inspired some of the things on [his] list.” “I remember when we were freshmen, Kristian True made an announcement in assembly and sprinted to the bathroom in the middle of it,” he said. “I want people to remember our grade like that, but I only have two things on my senior bucket list: shake Joe O’Connor’s hand on graduation day and win a state championship with my baseball bros.” Those comical events from previous years seem to help the underclassmen create interesting ideas that they can use when they are seniors. Similar to Sousa, senior Nichole Cohen recalls past events during high school. “They’re a good way to get the whole school laughing together before the school

year ends,” she said. “I still remember Ross and Chandler’s race last year, which was one of the things on their bucket list, and it got the whole school watching and involved in some way.” Cohen is not the only senior who is in favor of an unauthorized senior skip day. Senior Hannah LaBovick also includes this idea in her senior bucket list. “We need to have a day where seniors can skip classes without having to plan it out,” she said. “I really want to walk barefoot all day; jump in the lake, swim across, and not get sick on the last day of school.” LaBovick believes that seniors use these bucket lists to make non-school related memories with each other. “Spraypainting the fence different colors, locking a teacher out of their own classroom, or coming to school naked [obviously a joke] are things that the entire school will enjoy and hopefully remember forever.” She concludes, “I really can’t wait to see what other crazy things the seniors come up with during these last few months.” v


The Scene Tech

|

Trends

|

The Arts

The Pharcyde COUNTDOWN:

30 days until Prom

Health concerns associated with excessive cell phone use ring true By Kathleen Walsh Staff Writer

Many students would rather die than give up their cell phones; however, recent studies have shown that they might just die because of them. “They can become addictive. If you walk around, you always see people typing, talking and texting on their phones,” freshman Marisa Marino said. While the use of cell phones has grown dramatically, research into the potential effects phones have on their owners has also expanded. A significant amount of debate has surrounded the topic of whether or not phones cause cancer. While the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) claims that the electromagnetic radiation emitted by technology like cell phones produces no cellular mutation (cancer), counter studies have proven that the FDA’s findings are inaccurate. Dr. Yaniv Hamzany, a researcher at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, conducted one such study on a group of patients who used their cell phones frequently. Those patients who used cell phones on a more frequent basis showed signs of DNA damage in the saliva they produced, also known

Illustration by Annelise Hillmann

as oxidative stress. According to the Center of Cancer Research, high amounts of oxidative stress are proven signs of genetic mutation in cells, which can cause cancer and brain tumors to develop. Dr. George Carlo, an epidemiologist who led industry-backed research into the side effects of cell phone use, found reason to be skeptical of the FDA’s claims. In 2006, Dr. Carlo predicted that the rise in cancer and brain tu-

mors would multiply ten fold in the upcoming decade. “We are on the beginning curve of an epidemic, with epidemic defined as a change in the occurrence of a disease that is so dramatic in its increase that it signifies serious public health consequences. This is what is not being told to the public. One of the things that I suggest to people who use a cell phone is to use an air tube headset {to avoid electromagnetic exposure}.” Dr. Carlo

said in a recent report in Life Extension magazine. Despite the danger posed by the frequent use of cellphones, students have claimed that their cell phones are far too important to give up. When asked whether or not people would continue to use their cellphones so frequently despite data showing that they posed potential health risks, junior Nick Castriz stated, “I think people will still use their cellphones

because they have become ubiquitous with our generation.” “I use my phone everyday to text my parents and my friends. Even if I knew the fact that phones have the potential to cause cancer, I would still use my phone in emergencies,” junior Madeline Moss added. As society continues to further its dependence on cellular technology, many fear that ignoring the dangers of cell phones is unacceptable. Dr. Denis Hershaw, a professor at Bristol University and head of the Human Radiation Effects group is at the forefront of this issue. “The first mobile phone technology was rolled out without really any consideration for the long-term effects, just like asbestos and smoking. The government rakes in billions from the technology, in taxes from the mobile phone companies and licensing of the networks. The new generation really doesn’t want to know about any potential ill effects,” Dr. Hershaw said in a recent interview with The Daily Telegraph. Students are not the only ones turning a blind eye to the issue. Regulation has yet to be put in place in order to regulate cell phone radiofrequency by the FDA; however, time will only tell if cell phones negatively impact their users as Dr. Hershaw and Dr. Carlo claim. v

Students lean toward radio apps for music listening

Are You Radio-Active?

Pandora, the first musicstreaming service of its kind, debuted in 2000. Considered to have the widest selection of music available, the service is more radio-like than its competitors allowing users to input band, artist, and song preferences to create their own station. iHeartRadio uniquely aggregates music from over 800 local radios and finds songs that fit individual users best. Because the computer does this, free subscribers are allowed to skip no more than 15 songs a day and cannot fastforward or rewind songs. Spotify is more playlistdriven with users selecting specific songs and albums to categorize into playlists. The service can also sync with a user’s iTunes account and generate song suggestions in addition to connecting to his or her Facebook account sharing playlists with friends.

By Madeleine Dalton Staff Writer

According to a Pharcyde survey sent to the Upper School student body in March, Pandora, the original “music your way” app, is facing major competition, as the most used music app, by Spotify which is in close second. Seventy-four of the students who replied to the survey said that Pandora is their favorite music app, but Spotify is catching up quickly with 33 votes. While Pandora is an online radio, Spotify lets listeners create playlists of their own and “star” songs which puts them in a folder and can be repeated. “I like Spotify because I love the idea of not having to pay for anything, and you can still listen to the music you want,” freshman Katherine Garcia said. Some students think otherwise, such as freshman Sophia Campanella. “I like Pandora because I can pick any song, artist, group and get any station I want. It saves every station and plays the songs I like the most more often, and if I don’t like a song,

it doesn’t play it any longer,” Campanella said.

“I like Pandora because I can pick any song, artist, group and get any station I want. It saves every station and plays the songs I like the most more often, and if I don’t like a song, it doesn’t play it any longer.” SOPHIA CAMPANELLA freshman According to Pandora. com, the company prides itself in “only playing music you’ll love.” It achieves this goal by using a special tool called the Music Genome Project®. Each song that goes through the Music Genome Project® is analyzed on 450

different levels, all to suggest the songs that they think would be best for the listener. Pandora hires music analysts who go through very specific and rigorous training to work on this project. “What I like about Pandora is that you can choose any station. However, I like Spotify more because you can choose both stations and make playlists with the songs you love,” Garcia said. The unique thing about Spotify is its range of songs. While Pandora has around 900,000 songs available to stream on its server, Spotify holds the lead with over 20 million songs. Spotify also offers unlimited free streaming on a computer, but a drawback is that on a mobile device, few features are available for free. “I like Spotify because even though I have to pay, I can make my own playlists with a variety of music,” freshman Jessica Anzalone said. Although many customers are loyal to Pandora, some might think about switching to Spotify because of its many v advantages.


The Pharcyde

The Scene

April 4, 2014

Page 13

Hoardin’ Air Jordans: students’ sneaker collections shine By DJ Robinson Staff Writer

Jacob Jacknin’s closet could rival the new Nike Outlet store for all of the sneakers he has in it, but Jacknin is just part of a emerging group of so-called “sneakerheads” at Benjamin,. Fanatical collectors of athletic shoes, “sneakerheads” are part of a nationwide craze. They scour the country to buy limited edition sneakers month after month at prices as high as $1,000. Jacknin, who was inspired by his uncle to collect sneakers, has been purchasing them for several years now and has accumulated pairs from most notable brands including Jordans, LeBrons, Kobe’s, KD’s, Foamposites, and even Yeezys, one of the most expensive brands on the market.

“What makes a shoe so special is its story. Though

design

and

color are main parts, the athlete can tell his or her story through his or her shoe. It also allows consumers something

to

have

personal

that relates to their particular personality.”

JACK WILSON senior

“Some sneakers are only made in limited quantities and have cool designs which

make them more desirable,” Jacknin said. “Sneakers can also be very expensive if they haves a story behind them. For example, if LeBron James wins a championship, he will release a shoe whose design pays tribute to the Miami Heat. He would also make a LeBron 11 Championship Pack, which is very special, limited, and will go for a lot of money,” he added. Senior Jack Wilson has collected more than 30 pairs of sneakers since he first started with the Lebron X Corks he purchased several years ago. His original LeBrons and his newer Kobe’s are among his favorites. Commenting on why he started and continues to collect, Wilson said, “What makes a shoe so special is its story. Though design and color are main parts, the athlete can tell his or her story through his or her shoe. It also allows consumers to have something personal that relates to their particular personality.” Before purchasing any pair of sneakers, Wilson puts much time and effort into researching the shoes, while also exploring its particular art and design. He also considers the rarity of the specific pair. For some, sneakers are not only a collection but also a money-making venture. Freshman Conner Saslow purchases and collects shoes with his own money with the intention of potentially selling them. “I’ve spent a lot of money on my shoes, but I’ve also made a lot of money. Not many people know that there is money to be made in collecting shoes. Many of the shoes I buy I end up selling for sometimes three times as much as I originally purchased it for. The really ex-

Photo Courtesy of Patrick Clancy

Benjamin students have engaged in the fad of sneaker collecting, in which multiple pairs of sneakers from various sports brands are purchased, cleaned, cared for, occasionally worn, and cherished.

clusive shoes sometimes go on eBay for thousands of dollars,” Saslow said. Sometimes both eager fans and smart sellers attend sneaker conventions. “It’s cool to see a bunch of people that have a passion for shoes like me. At the conventions, we buy, sell, and trade shoes. There are sometimes DJs too. These events are usu-

ally held at stadiums or convention centers,” Saslow said. Combined, these students have over 100 pairs of sneakers, yet only some choose to actually wear them. While Wilson and Saslow firmly believe in wearing their collections, Jacknin only chooses to wear some of his most prized sneakers during special events.. “I only wear about 10% of my

sneakers, but when I do, I will only wear them on special occasions. Truthfully, the other 90% are never worn,” Jacknin said. Regardless of their reason, each has a passion for this footwear. Wilson concluded his interview by saying, “To me, every shoe has a different story and style, something that makes it unique, which is why v many are my favorites.”

Senior earns trip to statewide debate tournament By Riley Burke Staff Writer

Senior Kyle Mayans made school history in March when he became the first Benjamin student to qualify for states in a debate or speech competition and to earn an honors degree from the National Forensic League. Mayans said he did not expect to qualify for the state competition until debate coach and English teacher Dr. John Peruggia told him that he had a realistic chance of doing so. At regionals, in the Domestic Extemporaneous competition, Mayans spoke on the National Security Agency and education reform, among other topics. At states, topics included how public sector layoffs will affect the economy, if nuclear energy is a good way to combat global warming, and if defense cuts are a smart idea. He did not know the de-

bate topics until 30 minutes before the competition at regionals and states, but his preparation throughout the year helped.

“I think [my debate experience]

could

come in handy in my future as I may want to do some public speaking

and

work

in politics or for nonprofit organizations.” KYLE MAYANS senior “I went to library databases searching for random topics based on very general guidelines hoping that I would find something that would be relevant to what

I had to speak on,’’ Mayans said. “I had to have a lot saved and hope it helped me with my speech.” He said Dr. Peruggia also prepared him well. “Dr. Peruggia helped me be a better speaker by having me practice and giving me advice. He told me to always open with a story and come back to the story at the end,” Mayans said. Additionally, Mayans watches political commentary on several news networks and has four news apps on his phone. He is taking the Contemporary Issues elective this semester and also took the speech elective last semester. “I got feedback on how I was speaking, so I learned how I spoke and how to improve,” Mayans said of his speech class. “I could also ask other students how I did which really helped.” Despite the preparation, Mayans said the competition tested his nerves.

“It was a mix of hope and intimidation as I wanted to do well,” he said. “Seeing some others there with large briefcases of newspaper articles kind of freaked me out.” In Domestic Extemporaneous, participants are given topics to speak about, then 30 minutes to prepare for a five to seven minute speech. They are allowed to refer only to articles they have saved, but are not able to look up anything on the Internet. In each competition, there are five rounds. An individual can choose three topics for each round and competes against five people per round. Mayans qualified for states by placing among the top four in his event at regionals. Mayans initially tried out for debate during his sophomore year. In his first debate, he proposed and spoke on a bill (in the Congress event). Because of his enjoyable experience and good scores, he participated in debate again

his junior year. This year, he not only tried Domestic Extemporaneous, but he also dabbled in the Congress category again along with Public Forum, which is a partner debate. Mayans, who will attend New College in the fall and major in political science, said his speech and debate experience will benefit him in his future career choices. “I think it could come in handy in my future as I may want to do some public speaking and work in politics or for non-profit organizations,” he said. Dr. Peruggia was pleased with Kyle’s dedication, performance, and success this season. “Kyle did a wonderful job this year participating in Extemporaneous, which is the first time he ever did it, and he qualified for states. It is a testament to his ability and knowledge of current events,” v Dr. Peruggia said.


The Scene

The Pharcyde

Because

I Said So

Columnist Paige Sode

“That’s so gay!” is not okay : Sode puts her foot down on homophobic slang I know you have said it. I have heard you say it. I have seen it in print. You see something that you think is stupid, something that does not meet your expectations, and happen to blurt out, “That’s so gay!” This phrase is used to distinguish something as negative or absurd, but the only thing that is truly negative here is you. I walk through the halls of Benjamin, and question, do students truly think before they speak? Whether it is trying to impress your friends, or just talking stupidly, I

think it’s time to understand the full effect that one phrase can have on others. Ok, I get what you are thinking right now. You will continue to use this phrase in normal conversation whenever something appears that you dislike. After I give you a death stare, you’ll say, “But Paige, I am not actually gay. I don’t have anything against gay people; I just think that sweater is disgusting. Seriously, my uncle is gay.” Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that just makes everything worse. If a sweat-

er is disgusting, how about we consider actually using the word ‘disgusting.’ Last time I checked, ‘disgusting’ is not synonymously related to ‘gay,’ but I can give you some other synonyms if you are still wondering. Synonyms for the word disgusting: revolting, repulsive, sickening, appalling, repelling. So, please remind me how any human being can possibly think that the phrase, “That’s so gay,” is not offensive. This is not BC Calculus; it is not hard to understand, so listen carefully. You are saying these insults in everyday conversation, and what I take from it, is that you are comparing gay individuals, to something disgusting. You might not think you are offending anyone by using the phrase, but sadly, you are. Imagine that someone close to you is gay, or even imagine that YOU are struggling with your sexuality. Let’s say you hear your friend yelling, “That’s so gay!” from one end and then from the other you hear someone refer to a pair of shoes as being gay. You begin to think that if the shoes are ugly, being gay must be ugly, concluding that being gay is a bad thing. It’s not a surprise that gay teens have the highest suicide rate among teenagers, as they get to experience hate every day of their lives. Unfortunately, we live in a society where prejudice will always exist, so why make things worse for other people? Please, humor me. I am confused when you guys utter the word ‘gay,’ and then proceed to explain how you

April 4, 2014 are not homophobic. This reminds me of how people use the N word and claim to not be racist. Really, it makes so much sense! Please continue to contradict your language. I truly do find it funny. Although many of you will read this column and ignore every single thing I just said, think about it. Think about all of the people whom you are offending. Think about the impact that words have on others. Think about removing the word from your everyday conversations. Rather than be part of the problem, I encourage each

words

Page 14

and every one of you to take one step towards the solution. Call others out when they make specific remarks like these, and join in to create a culture in which everyone feels accepted. As I mentioned, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions, and you have heard mine. It is OK to rip this column up, and call me stupid. It is OK to agree with my ideology, and tell your friends how you will never use the phrase, “That’s so gay,” again. It is OK to be part of the solution, rather than the problem. It is OK. v

hurt

Illustration by Annelise Hillmann

Monster in the mirror: how to de-stress when it comes to fashion By Kathleen Walsh Staff Writer

Many find it difficult to find things to wear that flatter their body; however, with a few rules of thumb, any woman can turn their indefinable blob of human flesh into a fabulous female form. Women around the country are often baffled when it comes to how to dress their body shape. Waking up in the morning and attempting to find something to wear can be more stressful than diffusing a bomb while taking an SAT written in ancient hieroglyphics and can ultimately result in an emotional breakdown that could rival Britney Spear’s head shaving incident. While many Benjamin students dodge this bullet with uniforms, the problem can still plague students well beyond the school environment andmost importantly- later on into their professional lives. Whether students choose to face it or not, no one can walk into an interview in yoga pants and a sweatshirt and expect to become a partner at a law firm anytime soon. Those kind of outfit choices may fly at McDonalds but definitely not in the professional world. Teenagers especially have a difficult time dressing because

their bodies are constantly changing. A person’s body will change many times in his or her life which usually necessitates a hundred trips to the mall and a Daddy Warbucks sized wallet. However, people do not change body types after they get over the dreaded period of time known as puberty. Approximately four basic kinds of body shapes exist: apple, pear, rectangle and hourglass. However, many women are still in the dark when it comes to how to dress these body types to make themselves look as flattering as possible. The key to getting women out of the cave and into some flattering formware is to balance the proportions of their figures. For those with the apple body shape, dressing can be a little difficult. With narrow shoulders and smaller legs, people with this body type can feel discouraged from show-

ing their figure.

Illustration by Annelise Hillmann

However, by structuring the upper body with a nicely fitted jacket or asymmetrical hemlines, a more flattering and less “roly-poly” shape can be achieved. Dresses that cinch just under the breast work just as well on this shape. However, it is important to stay away from tent looking dresses, which can give this body type an unfortunate “maternity circus ” look. The next shape, known as the pear shape for its tendency to be bottom heavy, is also one shape that many have trouble dressing properly. As with many things, balance is key with this body shape. Clothes, which diminish the booty and legs, are key for this shape, such as low riding jeans and darker colored jeans. It is then important to draw focus away from the fruity fanny with a fun and patterned top or blouse.Fine tailored jackets and off the shoulder tunics are also great additions for this body shape. Another common shape that many women have is the rectangle shape. In this shape the body is usually straight-lined and both the hips and bust are small. It is important to accentuate this body type with skinny

jeans, streamlined solid colored dresses, and belts that are worn in the middle of the torso. The last and probably most coveted body type is the hourglass. This figure has a tiny waist with wide set hips and a large bust. Women like Marilyn Monroe have made this body type one of the most sought after by the female community. However, those with this shape may have a tendency to show off too much too often. This shape requires a balance of taste rather than of proportion. The best styles for this form are fit and flare dresses, boyfriend jeans, off the shoulder shirts, and tighter fitting blouses. Whatever geometric shape or fruit a body type may be, it is imperative that a person balance the figure instead of trying to cover it up. Dozens of clothing stores have thousands of different styles, patterns, and sizes. Looking for the right clothes to fit and flatter the figure simply takes a matter of know how and confidence. As always, it is important to feel comfortable and confident in anything a person wears, but looking fantastic and flattering at the same time is a definite plus. One thing is definite and has been an everlasting trend for a long time, confidence is always the best thing to wear. v


{P}Sports

COUNTDOWN:

The Pharcyde

7 days until Easter break

Athletes still adjusting to new turf on Theofolis Field By Amanda Stevens Staff Writer

The recent installation of turf on the previously-grass Theofilos Field has been met with mixed reviews from student athletes. Senior lacrosse player McKenna Johnston said, “I like the turf; it is a lot softer and more consistent on the turf. The ground has some cushion which is nice and it’s a little bit faster when you play on it,” he said. He also thinks that there will be less injuries because with an even surface there will not be any divots and holes where athletes could hurt their knee or ankle. “The only downfall is it does seem to get hotter on the turf but it is not that bad,” he said. He feels that the field is better for lacrosse but does not think it will be better for football. He said, “I think lacrosse on turf is better, the ball bounces a lot more consistently, so it’s good for Anthony. It plays faster as well running wise so that helps. I’m glad I did not have to play football on the turf though. Getting tackled on the turf can sometimes give you turf burns and get you cut up, so I’m glad I did not have to deal with that.” Another senior lacrosse player who recently played on the turf, James Theofilos, thinks that the turf makes a huge difference. “Only some cleats can be used on a turf field, while every single other cleat can be used on grass. Most athletes have played on grass their whole life and switching to turf is a change for all athletes using the field,” he said. His opinions differ with those of Johnston, as he believes that more injuries are common on turf than grass. He claims it is harder on the knees which can cause many injuries; and that cleats are more often stuck in the turf grass, and when that happens it can cause bad injuries to knees and ankles.

JULIETTE MERCADANTE

The turf field is vastly different from the old grass field in many ways. “The turf is hotter than the grass, especially on Saturday morning practices. The ball also moves slower on the ground on the turf,” junior lacrosse player Maria Dattolo said.

Junior lacrosse player Maria Dattolo also dislikes the field, claiming that the heat captured by the turf is irritating. “The turf is hotter than the grass, especially on Saturday morning practices. The ball also moves slower on the ground on the turf,” Dattolo said. However, Theofilos also thinks turf has advantages. “It is easy to care for and cheap for the School to keep for the maintenance. Also it is good because many sports teams can practice on the turf fields without worrying about tearing up the grass. Men’s

lacrosse used to drive to Palm Beach State College to practice; now we can practice at school,” Theofilos commented. Another positive advantage about the field is that for Dattolo is can make the game a little easier. “It is easier to get ground balls on turf since the surface is all even,” she said. She thinks that turf has more advantages than disadvantages, but she has heard of injuries that have occurred; nevertheless, Dattolo believes this is the only disadvantage about the field.

Even though the new field has its advantages and disadvantages, most of the athletes are happy that they will be able to practice on their own home turf instead of at Palm Beach State College. “I love being able to practice at school, and being able to keep my stuff in the locker room is really nice. It helps when you need to see [Athletic Trainer] Dave [Bailey] and saves me some gas money. It’s nice and consistent, and I really have enjoyed playing on it so far this year,” Johnston said. v

Tanking for better draft picks widespread in pro sports Michael Mullery Sports Editor

The goal for every sports team across the world is to win a championship. However, if a team is not in contention, is it better for a franchise to be mediocre for decades without ever reaching the top, or to intentionally lose (tank) for a year or two in order to quickly rebuild through the draft to truly have a shot at a championship? Accusations of tanking are most rampant in the NBA, where one player can completely turn a franchise around, i.e. LeBron James, Kevin Durant. With the upcoming draft promising to be one of the deepest in years, The Philadelphia 76ers are the most recent team to be accused of intentionally losing. However, this should not be pinned on the players. Players are unlikely to lose on purpose because

that would sabotage their own stats, diminishing their value when they hit the free agent market; not to mention the fact that it would be nearly impossible to get 12 players to voluntarily lose. Besides, it is the General Manager who fields the team, and it is the owners and the G.M. that care about the monetary value of the team, not the players. The 76ers traded away their best player and their surrounding cast for the past two seasons, in addition to resting their 6th pick from this year’s draft, Nerlens Noel, who suffered an ACL tear in February of 2013. While it is not necessarily that management is trying to lose games, they are making it extremely difficult to win. Sophomore Peter Burt said, “I don’t think teams purposely try to lose to get a draft pick, but when they lose frequently, they start trying less and have less motivation to work or play hard.” Senior Michael Connors shared his views on tanking by saying, “I cannot blame them. It is a way that a team could play the system and use it as an advantage, meaning if they are below average and have no hopes at winning a champi-

onship, they go out and play for a draft pick instead. I’m an NFL fan, and it’s hard

“I personally think it’s a dumb idea and an insult to both the players and fans of any sports team. It’s hard to tell a team of professional players to not play at their best so they can get ‘better’ players, which would replace players in the current team.” KYLE VINCENT junior to tell sometimes because there’s a lot at stake; jobs for both players and coaches, and their fans. If I had to pick a few examples it would be the 2012 Colts that literally sucked to get Andrew Luck, or maybe the 0-16 Lions because their season

was over from the beginning, and some players didn’t care enough, but neither of these were ever proven.” Junior Kyle Vincent had views that differed from Connors. He said, “I personally think it’s a dumb idea and an insult to both the players and fans of any sports team. It’s hard to tell a team of professional players to not play at their best so they can get ‘better’ players which would replace players in the current team. It’s a slap in the face to fans that devote their time and money to watch their team purposely lose all the games in the remainder of their season so they could get players that they are unsure can play at a higher level.” Although tanking can be viewed as a slap in the face, and although the 76ers tied the record for most consecutive losses at 26 games, in a few years, thanks to the draft, they could be back in the playoffs. Philly fans may be livid with management at the moment, but the best remedy to soothe fans’ aching hearts is to win games for years to come, and that is what the 76ers are trying to do by tanking, however morally questionable it is. v


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April 4, 2014

The Pharcyde

{P}Sports

Students push for additional varsity teams By Michael Mullery Sports Editor

Benjamin currently offers 13 sports to students in the Upper School; however, because of a lack of students and facilities, Benjamin does not participate in as many sports as the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) offers, and yet a number of Benjamin students have suggestions about what should be added. Junior Baylen Sparks talked about the sport that he would most like to see added, saying, “I feel like we have a ton of sports, but we should have a water polo team, because schools around us have one, I think; so maybe we can get competitive in the great game of water polo. I feel like people would play because it is so hot and would be a way to cool off, while getting competitive.” Junior Mark Libowitz said, “I think that there should be a boys volleyball team. I think it’s a fun sport to play and would be a good addition to TBS sports. Other schools have both a boys and girls team, so I believe we should too.” Although a number of students may want a new sport, it is not as easy as it may seem to institute one. Director of Athletics Mr. Ryan Smith elaborated on the complex procedure associated with starting a new sport at Benjamin. He said, ”There’s no specific process, but there’s a very stringent, thorough analysis to see that we can staff the sport. First and foremost, we’ve got to have a certain amount of current students interested to have the sport, and then you also have to look at the long-term sustainability, meaning will we still have enough people interested in the sport so that we could carry it for years to come? We need to be able to have the necessary qualified

One of the sports that many students suggested should be added as a varsity team is mens volleyball.

JULIETTE MERCADANTE

coaches, not only in the short term but also for the long term. We’ve got to be able to support it budget-wise, with the paying of coaches, uniforms, equipment, game day operations personnel, transportation, officiating, and any rental fees. In addition, if it is not an FHSAA sanctioned sport, we will have to make sure that there are enough teams in South Florida to compete against or a league or conference for us to compete in.”

Mr. Smith voiced his concerns for the well-being of other sports if new sports were to be added. He said, “We have to make sure it wouldn’t dilute another sport. The last thing we want to do is to add one thing and then it takes members of another sport away and then we’d have to look at dropping that other original sport.” Mr. Smith went on to explain how the most recent sport at Benjamin was added. He said, “It was done ten

years ago with lacrosse after the School recognized that the sport was beginning to grow and that Florida schools were starting to add lacrosse. We started it as a club sport for two to three years to make sure that we could sustain it, which we did, and the numbers continued to grow, and now we have very good numbers on the boys’ side, and pretty good numbers on the girls side.” Mr. Smith summarized the discussion by saying, “To be

honest with you, I think that we’re doing a lot for the size school we are, and we ask a lot of our students and a lot of people play multiple sports so it’s hard to add more onto the plate. The last thing we want to do is to take away from our existing programs. We certainly want to serve our students, but also we have to recognize that we can’t do everything for everybody. So although things might sound good in theory, it’s not as easy as you think when you have to manage it.”v

Since Sam and Collins’ announcements, many people have created lists with a multitude of concerns. One of the main issues is how will other players react to them; will their presence create an awkward air in the locker room? Current teacher and former college basketball player Mr. Chris Nordland does not believe they will create problems. “I’d like to think we are at a point in sports where people who might disagree with the lifestyle will overlook that and focus on one’s talent, ability, and benefit to the team,” he said. “If it were a high school team, then it might be a bit tougher due to the lack of maturity in the locker room, but profes-

sionals and college athletes are better suited to deal

er room. He said, “I wouldn’t want a gay guy on my team personally; it would just create a lot of unneeded criticism from fans and opposing teams.” So is the world of sports ultimately ready for openly gay athletes to participate? Coach Nordland believes so. “I think the sports world can handle anything because it is naturally bigger than any one person,” he said. “The media will continue to talk about it until exhaustion and with all of the different media platforms, it will become a bigger deal than it is. I think if you spoke with the teammates of a gay player, it wouldn’t be a hot topic in the locker-room because the focus will be on winning and improving the team.”

One thing that many people agree with is that their performance will be what truly makes them accepted and celebrated, and will defing how they will be received more so than their sexual preferences. Mackles said, “I think most athletes and fans will be supportive of them. There will always be guys that cause problems in the locker room, but it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I think they will get support as long as they are there for the same reason that I would be there, to win.” Coach Nordland added, “I don’t think their sexual orientation will have an impact either way on the game. Their talent and ability will create their legacy. The first gay player in each sport will be remembered for being the first to come out, but most fan bases and critics will remember them for their athletic ability and what v they did for their team.”

Athletes discuss gay teammates in locker room, on field By Will Bafitis Staff Writer

The debate about whether Jason Collins and Michael Sam will ultimately help or hurt the sports world continues to rage on today, and many Benjamin students and teachers have their own opinion on the athletes. Jason Collins, an NBA player, and Michael Sam, a projected high draft pick in this year’s NFL draft, both recently announced that they are gay. Junior Brandon Mackles believes that their coming out is ultimately going to be beneficial to the game; he said, “I think that their announcements are a very good thing for the world of sports. It will show other athletes and many people that it is ok for gay athletes to participate in professional sports.”

with the hecklers and critics.” Junior Michael Lay, on the other hand, does not feel as comfortable with the idea of having an openly gay player in the lock-

The Pharcyde - April 2014  

The Benjamin School Newspaper The Pharcyde - April 2014

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