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Buccaneer Bulletin

Volume 12 Number 6

Oswego High School’s Student Voice

May 2009

Story on Page 9

Photo illustration by Stephen Livoti


2 Buccaneer Bulletin

Drawing Board

Oswego High School’s Student Voice

Editor-in-Chief Fred Maxon Managing Editors Emily DiFabio Catie Furletti Layout Editor Stephen LiVoti Chief Photographer Catlin Sawyer Art Director Brian Richmond Business Manager Nick Dunsmore Sports Editor Ryan Galloway Senior Writer Hazal Pacaci Entertainment Editor Blair Harvey Clublicity Editor Brittany Ross Alumni Editor Rachel Clark Photographers Monek Cullen, Kijafa-Monee Berkley Art Staff Heather Hanlon, Mary Losurdo Sports Writers Kailyn Gray, Jasmine Davis Reporters Mary Kate Torbitt, Mackenzie Oatman, Katherine Robinson, Kaitlyn Scanlon, Liz Waterbury, Kathryn Whelsky Advisers Bill Reeser Mike McCrobie The Buccaneer Bulletin, a member of the Empire State School Press Association, and The Quill and Scroll, is published periodically by the students of the Oswego High School, 2 Buccaneer Blvd.; Oswego, New York 13126; (315) 341-2200. It is intended as a vehicle to inform, educate, and entertain the student body. Printing services are provided by The Palladium-Times. Opinions expressed are those of the students and do not necessarily reflect those of the administration or the advisers. ON THE COVER: Due to the possibility of severe allergic reactions to foods and other substances many schools and workplaces have adopted stricter rules regarding where food can and can’t be eaten. This month’s cover is an over dramatization of the precautions being taken. Readers will find related editorials and stories on pages 2, 3, and 9.

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Cartoon by Heather Hanlon

… to the donation of a computer by the National Honor Society to K.J. Flanders, whose family home and possessions were lost in a recent fire. Also, tumbs up to Jordan Darling who completed the computer donation by contributing a monitor. ... to the progress being made on the construction projects on both the A-wing and the cafeteria. … to Audrey Jackson for an exceptional performance at states for gymnastics last month. … to the junior variety show raising $3,000 towards the Junior prom. It was an excellent show put on by many of the talented students who were able to showcase their unique talents. ... to the Poetry Club and its annual Open Mic and Slam Night. This is just another example of the excellent extracurricular club program offered at Oswego High School.

… to the people who have picked away at the new paint on the walls. When we are trying to improve our school, we should respect that and refrain from vandalism. … to no longer being able to access the academic wing after 3:30. While we understand that administrators are trying to prevent vandalism done to this school, but some students here need access to their teachers, to help improve their grades. ... to the student who put slippery powder on the floor near the Language Office on day last week. It was a dangerous prank that could have ended up seriously hurting someone.

May 2009



In Our View . . .

Can Society Protect Individual Rights and Still Function for the Majority?

The policy of not eating snacks in classrooms We must also point out that this policy was has begun to be more strictly enforced at OHS, enforced well into the second semester, after the in order to protect those with serious food-related normal period to drop a class had passed. Students allergies from potentially life-threatening allergy who could no longer eat in classrooms, could attacks. not make a schedule adjustment to add a lunch. For this reason, we must commend the efforts Also, this policy was given little publicity or of the school health staff in protecting the many communication, which made the adjustment more students who have such allergies. A school should difficult, as some students were unsure as to the be a place where students do not have to worry official edict. about whether or not they will face a potentially There are many things that could be done to fix life-threatening situation. The stricter enforcement this situation. For one, a list of “accepted” foods of this policy (one that has been around for a long could be made, and could include items that are time but the enforcement of which has long been both nutritious and hypo-allergenic, like apples, lax), is a positive step towards making this school a pears, and celery. With this, students are still able safer place for all. to eat nutritious food While we commend harming those We also have to wonder about without this action, we have around them, and they concerns about some of cafeteria safety for those are not consuming the negative aspects of chips and other affected. How is it ensured that potato the revival of this policy. non-nutritious snack For one, there are many those with potentially fatal food foods. As for the students who opt not allergies are not hanging out at cafeteria, perhaps a to take a lunch for one of the health the same table as someone with member reason or another. The staff should be a banning of snack foods cafeteria monitor during a peanut butter sandwich? from the classroom lunch periods and could leaves them with little be equipped with an choice, but to go the entire school day without EpiPen to administer first aid in case an allergic eating. If a student forgoes nourishment in favor of reaction occurs. There are obvious problems with an extra class or two, he runs the risk of problems this solution, like staffing, but we feel that the like low blood sugar and slower metabolism, which benefits of a safer cafeteria far outweigh the costs. can lead to problems like fainting and obesity, As for the fact that this policy was given little respectively. While, yes, a lunch is provided in the fanfare, we must, again, recommend the use of school cafeteria, that does not necessarily mean the new call home system that has been enacted in that students will opt to have one. By choosing the past in order to inform parents of such events to take another class instead of a lunch, students as parent-teacher conferences. This system could are able to take something that interests them; have efficiently reached a majority of students something outside the required curriculum. In and parents, thus making this transition an easier taking classes that are not necessarily required, adjustment. students are able to explore things they might With all of the concerns we find with this want to pursue in college. Students should not policy, we admit that it has merit and is necessary. have to choose between food and elective classes. We feel that those who have whined about this For some students, snack foods are more than just new policy because it is an inconvenience to something to nosh during chemistry notes. Rather, them should be ashamed of their actions because they’re an important bridge between breakfast and their minor inconvenience is someone else’s lifedinner. threatening situation. We also have to wonder about cafeteria safety Too often we heard the idea that, since it hasn’t for those affected. How is it ensured that those with been a problem yet, that we shouldn’t go about potentially fatal food allergies are not hanging out changing the rules now. To enact preventative at the same table as someone with a peanut butter measures after an incident has occurred is a sandwich? Even if certain sections of the cafeteria cardinal sin of safety in a school. Events should not are designated for students with food-based have to transpire before action is taken. allergies, how would this be enforced? Just because This new policy, perhaps with a few someone has a food-related allergy, it doesn’t mean adjustments, should be another positive addition to that they’d be necessarily interested in hanging out the ever-increasing safety in our school. with people who also have a similar allergy.

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How important is it for the school to strictly enforce the “no eating-in-theclassroom” rule in regards to food allergies? Jessica Restuccio

“We should be able to eat whenever as long as we don’t disrupt classes; it’s a long day.” Class of 2010

Kate Friel

“I think you should be able to eat in class or between class because there are a lot of students who don’t have a lunch period.” Class of 2011

Mike Brown

“There are bigger issues than food allergies. By the time you reach high school you should be able to handle yourself in a situation where you are allergic to what the person next to you is eating.”

Class of 2010

Ty Sweeting

“If something can’t be eaten in the classroom because of allergies, it shouldn’t be eaten in the cafeteria either.” Class of 2011

May 2009



Students, Administrators Debate Class Rank By Rachel Clark Alumni Editor

By now, most high school seniors across the country have received admissions decisions from colleges and are deciding where to send their deposits. However, many admissions offices nationwide are now sending those letters and making their offers without one standard contributing factor: class rank. High schools all over the country are ending the practice of calculating or providing a class rank for their students. Many schools are eliminating class rank because in classes with many high-achieving students, rankings are often determined by a fraction of a percentage point. This fact has often resulted in students with an average above a 90 to be ranked relatively low in their class. High school officials believe that this past practice is harmful to their high-achieving, but low-ranking, students. However, the elimination of rankings may backfire for a number of reasons. “If we’re looking at your son or daughter and you want us to know that they are among the best in their school, without a rank, we don’t necessarily know that,” Jim Bock, dean of admissions and financial aid at Swarthmore College, told The New York Times. Vanderbilt University’s dean of undergraduate admissions, William Shain, agreed with this sentiment. “The less information a school gives you, the more whimsical our decisions will be,” Shain told The Times. “And I don’t know why a school would do that.” Karen Giannino, senior associate

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dean of admission at Colgate University, concurs. “More information is better than less information. Hopefully, if a high school does not provide a rank, it does give some kind of grade distribution information.” Even when schools opt not to rank students, some colleges use systems which account for GPA and courses in order to approximate what a student’s rank would be, according to Rochester Institute of Technology representatives. University at Albany admissions counselor Roman Dubiel also stated that if enough applicants come from the same school, it creates a “microcosm of the senior class” at that school, allowing the university to create a rank based on data from other applicants from the school. However, said Dubiel, “Rank doesn’t always make much of a difference.” Giannino stated, “When we see a class rank, we work really hard to look within the context of the high school,” adding that at a higher-achieving high school, a lower rank may be viewed differently than a relatively high rank at a lower-achieving school. When making admissions decisions, Giannino said that “curriculum is the most important factor,” but grades and class rank are very high on the list as well. According to a 2006 survey by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, only 23 percent of colleges attribute “considerable importance” to class rank in the admissions process, as compared to 42 percent in 1993, and that 91 percent

Photo By Bill Foley

Principal Peter Myles, salutatorian Alyssa Collins, and valedictorian Katie DiVita at the Class of ‘08 graduation ceremony. of colleges polled claimed that a lack of a rank would not change how they viewed an applicant. The survey also reveals that over half of high schools no longer provide class rank data to colleges. Giannino stated that at Colgate, only 41 percent of applicants for fall 2008 admission had a class rank, while University of Rochester representatives said just 39 percent of the class of 2012 provided ranking data. Oswego High students and faculty are generally indifferent about the topic. “I don’t really care about class rank. I’m not going to kill myself so I can be 20th with a 98 average,” stated junior Kathryn Lombardo. Lombardo, a National Honor Society member, is ranked 38th in the class of 2010 with a weighted average of 95. “I don’t see a problem with getting rid of it because most people don’t know what their rank is anyway,” said Hilary MacDonald, a junior. Though many people do not appear to have much of an opinion on the subject, there are some at OHS who feel strongly about this issue. “I’d be pretty upset if they got rid of class ranks. I’m very competitive and I like to know where I am in my class,” stated Khristian Fischer, who is ranked 98th

in the junior class. “I like having class rank more than I don’t,” said OHS guidance counselor team leader Mrs. Rachel Henderson. “I think it’s good for people to strive for being valedictorian or salutatorian if they can strive for it in a healthy, balanced way.” Senior Emily Fiorini disagreed, stating, “I think we should stop ranking people, because rank doesn’t account for class difficulty, so people with higher grades in easier classes can have a higher rank.” Fiorini is ranked 10th in the class of 2009. OHS executive principal Mr. Peter Myles envisions eliminating the ranking system. “I’m not overly pleased with the system that we have. At no other point in a students’ careers do we separate them by one-hundredth of a point,” Myles said. “I could see us heading toward a system without ranking in a few years, but not right now,” Myles stated, mentioning that while he “bounces the idea around” in his head, there are other things happening at the moment that are higher on his priority list. Myles also pointed out that this would not be a simple change to make. “That would be a huge shift in the way we do things. It’s astronomical.”

May 2009

Letter to the Editor


Oswego Teen Speaks About Crime--From Jail Dear Editor, Juvenile crimes are being committed like crazy. It seems as if every time you turn around another kid is fighting, drinking and driving, or just breaking the law. If you were to look at crime ratios of adults compared to juveniles, the juveniles would take the cake, no doubt in my mind. I learned this information from a documentary on MTV called Juvenile Hall. So we hear the same old question, “Where do kids get these crazy ideas from?” or the other famous question, “How could a child so young do something so horrible?” Some people think that it is music that a teenager listens to. Others say it’s the peer pressure, and just wanting to fit in with the cool crowd. Then you hear the most popular reason, “the kids pick up on every little thing,” and so it must be the adult role models in their lives, right? Maybe there is no right or wrong answer to the questions of where kids learn bad behavior. Maybe for some cases, it is all of the above. Different juveniles have different influences, so you can’t blame any one influence; you have to look at them all as being guilty. My personal perspective on all of the juvenile crimes being committed today is simple, “Monkey see, monkey do.” What I mean by that is that a juvenile could be watching a new music video by his or her favorite artist and think, “Wow, that is so cool!” They want to be just like 50 Cent or Lil’ Wayne or whoever the artist may be. So whatever goes on in that music video is what the juvenile is going to go out and do. I’m not saying it is just the music, because from personal experience, believe me when I say this, there is much more to this juvenile crime spree. It has been said in the past, and is still being said today, that most of the incarcerated juveniles were taught to commit whatever crime they committed. It doesn’t really matter where the kid goes after committing the crime. They could go anywhere from the juvenile detention to foster care, it still doesn’t matter change the fact that juveniles are out of control. There are so many different reasons why the kids did the stuff they did. A lot of the crimes that happen in school come from being bullied or out of jealousy. A crime committed by a juvenile could be just to get some type of attention or just to be heard and noticed. It doesn’t necessarily end up being directed at one specific group. It could be to get attention from the people they love, or even a cool crowd that they want to fit in with. As for drug issues in school, I think that the government should re-adopt the policy of policemen coming to schools and explaining the harmful things that drugs can do to a person, and also the consequences that could happen to the person or the people supplying the drugs. (Read “An Inadequate War Against Drugs,” an article written by Peter B. Bensinger in 1986 that talks about the policy that I stated above.). When I was in elementary school, we had a program called D.A.R.E. The program was about the bad

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Photo Courtesy of google images

Pictured above is a scene from MTV’s Juvenile Hall, in which an inmate is led into court by an authority figure.

outcomes of being involved with drugs. They don’t have it for the upper level schools and that’s where it should be. If they offered this type of program in the higher grades, maybe drug use and violent crimes committed by juveniles would decrease or stop altogether. I’m sure that you’ve all heard of an abusive crime being committed by juveniles, right? As said on 20/20 Juvenile Convictions, most teens who commit an assault of any sort were either in an abusive household or abused themselves. I think that a juvenile who has committed a violent crime, learned that violence is the answer from somewhere. Violence is not the answer; you don’t need to fight to show that you’re the dominant one or that you can indeed take care of yourself in a violent situation. If you are involved in a violent situation, then you should walk away. If they hit you again, then you can fight back, only then is it self-defense. In no situation is violence ever the answer; all violence does is make people look stupid or make bullies that think picking on other people makes you look cool. It doesn’t! You should never resolve any problem with acts of violence; it just isn’t the right thing to do. Trust me, on that. I learned the hard way, and am in jail. I’ve been in and out of placement since I was thirteen. I’m trying to encourage any troubled teens to seek out help because it is available all over. Whether it’s drug and alcohol counseling, or help from a friend or family member, it doesn’t matter where you get the help, as long as you don’t get in trouble doing any of these stupid crimes. Take it

from me, I was offered help from many sources. I was just too stubborn to accept it. Don’t do what I did. If someone is there to help you, don’t turn it down; take the help. You’ll be a lot better off and happier. For the parents who have kids who are always getting in trouble, there is a great saying that my father always uses: “Any crime committed by a young person, was taught and it is a cry for attention.” These “violent” juveniles are not really violent at all, they just want attention. If they are at the point where they are getting arrested, well then maybe they have just decided that they will take the attention from anyone. You have got to get inside these kids’ heads and find out what is wrong with them before they go too far. Find out what they are hiding from you and help them through it any way you can. Yes, at first they’ll be mad at you for getting in their business, but that will all blow over quickly. In the long run, they will realize that you did what was best from then and they will thank you. To the people that read this, I am thanking you for taking the time to hear my points of view and how I feel. Ashley Waterman March 10, 2009 Oswego County Jail P.S. I don’t want to see any one else’s kids end up like me, mainly because it could be worse. They may not get jail time, they may go to prison, or they may end up dead. I got lucky, and now I wish I could go back and change my past. I can’t, so maybe I can help change someone else’s future.

May 2009



Exchange Student Describes Her American Dream A Foreign Perspective Hazal Pacaci American dream… A phrase that everybody around the world knows about; a dream that many want to accomplish. It is not a simple goal, it is a lifestyle… Everybody has been asking me, “So are you living the American Dream?” Well, I am living “my” American dream. As everybody knows, the American Dream is the supposed freedom for all the citizens, regardless of race, ethnic group or social status. The United States allows them to pursue their goals in life, through free choice. But for many, it means being able to do whatever they want. For some, it may be becoming rich, and for others, it is enough just to be in America to live the American Dream. But for me, it is learning to stand on my feet, realizing what I’m really capable of,

being able to do what I’m capable of and having unique experiences. Yes, that’s “my” American Dream. Although it sounds simple, it is a really big deal to be able to accomplish your dream. Sometimes you plan it and do your best to accomplish it. Other times, you may be lucky and your dream comes to you. Before I came here, I never knew that I would be here in America right after my graduation. I always wanted to come here and I was planning on doing this maybe after I finished college, but I never imagined to live here for a year. One day, I heard that one of my friends was going to Massachusetts as an exchange student and I was so happy for her, without realizing that I was going to have the same opportunity the next year. When she came back, she had to do another year in high school and she became my classmate. Then she recommended that I give it a shot and apply for it. Well obviously, I didn’t want to waste even a minute to do that. I took some exams both in writing and verbal, filled out tons of forms, and

here I am. I remember how excited I was when I got a mail from AYA (the exchange student program) about my placement in the United States. My mom and I were so happy; she gave me a hug and told me how proud she was of me. It was one of the most important moments of my life. I had plans to make. I was ready to try everything different I could and have great experiences. I never dreamed to be extremely rich or do whatever I wanted without caring about others. I always dreamed what I could possibly do and that’s what I recommend for everyone. Being an exchange student not only helps one improve foreign language skills, but also gives a great opportunity to realize one’s own potential. You have to take care of yourself and figure things out for yourself. Sometimes we all get under the influence of our parents or friends no matter how independent we seem to be. But we should all remember that our lives and the time we live in now is different than our parents’ era, and that not everybody is the same. One of the unique things about

being in America is to be able to explore a really different culture. I have met a lot of people from different countries, but I can tell for sure that the American culture is the most different one. I appreciate all the facilities offered at Oswego High School. I had never played American football or been in a real musical. I didn’t know how to ski, I had never run track in my life, although I loved running. I had never laid out a page for a school magazine or newspaper. I didn’t know what a real Christmas was. I’d never gone trick-or-treating. I had never been to a Thanksgiving dinner. Now I am asking myself: “Did I accomplish my American Dream so far?” I think the answer is quite obvious. YES, I HAVE. All I think about right now is enjoying my remaining time in the USA, as I always did. But I don’t even want to count down my days. I know that I have less than two months left and even that is enough to make me feel sad. I am just so glad to be here and America has been a unique experience for me.

English Curriculum Suffering from Depression Just by the luck of Jazz Hands the draw, I got stuck with first Jasmine Davis period English. As if it’s not bad enough being half asleep during an honors class, what I’m forced to read makes the whole experience worse. Every time we get assigned a new book to read, I just want to bang my head against my desk in despair. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love reading. I’ve been a literature fanatic ever since I was little. In my spare time, my head is always buried in a book, and I spend countless hours of my summer lost in the lives of fictional characters. But, the reading curriculum for high school seems like it was designed to dishearten students from ever picking up another book again. Since I’ve entered high school I’ve been assigned about a dozen books, and read all of them. Out of all those books, only three, may be considered not completely depressing. I’ve spent nights crying while trying to do my homework, reading about death and destruction. Even though

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I consider myself an over-sensitive person, I really can’t imagine anyone with a heart or conscience not feeling terribly while reading these books. But it’s not just English class. When talking about this topic with some of my friends, they started to talk about their reading requirements for their global classes, including the books Princess and Forgotten Fire. I feel that during the short four years of our high school careers, we’re forced into reading horrid books that are somehow supposed to make us appreciate our lives. Well, I don’t agree with that, if that’s the rationale. Mrs. Nancy Richardson, global studies, Holocaust, and PIG teacher, said that the curriculum for global classes is about learning about the denial of human rights. Richardson stated, “I think that to learn the truth about something is to learn it through a firsthand account.” She said that even though many of the books that students are required to read are sad, the very nature of history is depressing, so it’s important to read the stories about the past to make it real and remember. “Whether you read a book or whether you don’t, it doesn’t mean that something good can’t come out of it,” said Richardson. The books that are often taught, even though they may seem just sad, can teach

compassion, tolerance, and diversity. It’s not that I don’t agree with Mrs. Richardson, in fact, I absolutely agree. For teenagers to learn tolerance and compassion is of the utmost importance, especially in this day and age. I’m not trying to bash these books. To be completely honest, I’ve liked all the books I’ve read for school, even if I don’t always want to admit it. They’re good books, but I don’t understand why we have to read so many that are dismal. It just seems that if they want to focus on a certain topic, I’m sure they could find a good novel that doesn’t have such a negative outlook. I know that from this year on, things are only going to get worse with the books I’m forced to read in school. The next book that my teacher has planned for us to read is called Night by Elie Wiesel. It’s a book about the Holocaust; now there’s an uplifting topic… NOT. So I’m going from a book about a tribe in Africa where murder and abuse occur every day to a book about the genocide of an entire race. The happiest book I’ve read since I’ve been in high school was Taming of the Shrew. I think it’s time for the English teachers to get together and find at least one uplifting book for the students to read at each grade level.

May 2009

Walking The Plank


Mr. Zuber Bids Farewell After 35 Years Mr. Robert Zuber, a 38-year teaching veteran will be retiring at the end of this year. Buccaneer Bulletin: How long have you been teaching? Mr. Robert Zuber: 38 years. BB: Has it all been at Oswego? RZ: I taught for three years in Rochester before I came to Oswego in 1974. BB: How many different subjects have you taught? RZ: Earth science, biology, physical science, general biology, general science and 8th grade science as well. BB: Which one has been your favorite out of all of them? RZ: I think earth science is my favorite. BB: What are some of your hobbies? RZ: I’ve been helping build a ship over the past 20 years with the Maritime Foundation… part time and overnight. It’s going to be a floating classroom for students from middle school through college to learn about ecology, biology, and shipping in the Great Lakes. It’s one of those things that when I retire, (this will be my last year teaching at Oswego High School,) will be one of the places I’ll be teaching and working across the Great Lakes. It’s something I’ve been working on long and hard and look forward to. BB: What kind of student were you when you were in high school? RZ: I was an honor roll student. My family had middle class values in terms of hard work. It was important to work hard and do the best I could, that is all they ever really asked for. BB: What kinds of activities were you involved with in high school? RZ: I wasn’t really into that many sports, but I was in Drama Club, the choir, Debate Club and things like that. BB: What are three of your favorite types of music? RZ: Actually, there isn’t too much music that I don’t like. I like certain types of popular music, classical music, and country music. Blues is very good too. BB: What are some of your favorite T.V. shows?

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RZ: If you’re light hearted, “Scrubs” is enjoyable. CSI, any of the different CSI programs. I never really got too into reality shows. BB: What’s the one thing you’ll miss most about teaching? RZ: Certain students who I enjoyed working with a lot and certain faculty members. There are a lot of dedicated and hard working people here that I’ve known for years. I think the people you work with many years are the ones you really miss.

BB: What’s your least favorite part of teaching? RZ: There are always difficulties when you’re dealing with people and there are always issues that students are going to bring with them into your classroom. They’re people just like anyone else and they’ve had their experiences. Not all of the experiences are always pleasant. It can make it difficult trying to work with people when there are so many experiences that they have to deal with. BB: Do you watch any sports? RZ: I watch football, baseball, basketball. I usually get interested when it gets into championships and playoffs. Right now, I don’t have that much time to follow too many teams.

BB: What’s your favorite movie? RZ: That’s a tough one because there have been so many over the years, from Star Wars movies to Star Trek movies, to just about any sort of movie you can imagine. BB: What’s the best excuse you’ve ever heard from a student who didn’t do their homework? RZ: I’ve heard them all from “my dog ate it” to “who knows.” It’s been quite interesting. I think the most humorous one was the dog getting the homework. I really did have a few students whose dogs ate it, and you could see pieces they would bring in, and the remains of the homework they had left.


BB: When you do watch, what are your favorite teams? RZ: I like to watch the Mets, Yankees, and Syracuse

BB: What were some of your favorite toys when you were a kid? RZ: I had toys like soldiers and things you had to put together like Tinker Toys. They’re classics now.

BB: How did you decide to become a teacher? RZ: I’m not exactly sure. I think because I enjoyed high school and middle school and because I identified with a number of the teachers. I was originally going to be a math teacher.

BB: What’s your favorite restaurant? RZ: There are a number of restaurants here, but if you’re in Oswego, you’ve got to go to Rudy’s.

BB: Do you have any pets? RZ: We have a dog, a basset hound named Bailey. He was originally my daughter’s pet, but then he came and stayed with us and has been with us ever since.

BB: Tell us about your family. RZ: My son is working trucking right now. He also spent some time with Channel 3 down in Syracuse as a photo journalist. He and his wife have three sons. My daughter went to college up here and graduated and also went to St. Joseph’s in Syracuse and became a registered nurse. She is an administrator at the Oswego Hospital. My wife was a registered nurse.

BB: You said you went to Oswego State. Is that the only place you attended? RZ: I did a little bit of course work through SUNY Brockport, but most all of my work, both graduate and undergraduate at SUNY Oswego. BB: If you were stranded on a desert island, what two things would you want with you and why? RZ: A GPS and a radio to call for help!

BB: What’s your favorite meal there? RZ: I like the fish and the Texas Hot.

Editor’s Note: “Walking The Plank” is a regular feature of the Buccaneer Bulletin. This month’s installment was compiled by Kailyn Gray. If you know of a student or staff member you’d like to see walk the plank, contact Emily DiFabio at edifabio@

May 2009



Should Volunteer Service be a Graduation Requirement? yES no Point

Brian Richmond

Counter point Mary Losurdo

High school would immediately become more productive if everyone were to volunteer one of his/her free periods or some Community service should come from the extra time after school. goodness of your heart; because you believe The feeling of unity we should have for a school and a community is non- in the benefits of it or feel sincere to the task. existent. People are spiteful to one another and it seems everyone is playing Not because you want to finally make it out smarmy little games. Very few people are willing to help one another, and when they do, it is rarely for the benefit of anyone other than themselves. of high school. Volunteer service as a graduation requirement, would be beneficial to the community and the school, and may very well be the remedy for this problem. Students should help out in their communities; it’s just that simple. High school would immediately become more productive if everyone were to volunteer one of his/her free periods or some extra time after school. It wouldn’t have to be a daily or weekly thing or anything like that. It’d just have to be a commitment for a student to say “I’m not doing anything; I might as well go help out.” People would be helping, which would increase morale and help productivity in the school. Young people would feel more connected with the community and united in knowing that they’re helping out and doing good things, and the community would feel the same benefits. The benefits of required service to the school and the community outweigh the one possible problem. The only problem I can see with this would be students complaining about not having the time to volunteer. That notion is inconceivable, even if it wasn’t required. Everyone has some free time, and most people have a lot more than they admit. Get up an hour earlier on a Saturday and you’ll have more time to volunteer. If you’re staying home over a break, you can volunteer, and a boring summer vacation day is perfect for volunteering. It is doubtful that you are booked solid, every hour of every day for the entirety of your high school career. You would find time to volunteer, especially if you needed it to graduate. You can make the time to make the school a better place, and you can do it in so many ways. Volunteering with your favorite teachers can help them get their papers back to you and your fellow students faster, or volunteering at Leighton Elementary can be very fulfilling and interesting. It’s a tremendous opportunity for any student who has plans of becoming a teacher. If it was a mandatory requirement for graduation, there would obviously be complaints. Everyone has some free time over a four year period so, I don’t see how it could affect the number of students graduating every year. Volunteering could just be another course people would have to take for a semester, like health, economics, or participation in government. You would have the added bonus of benefitting the school and the community, maybe creating a feeling of unity or less of a feeling of indifference or hate. You would graduate knowing you’ve helped out and maybe made the school and community a much better place for undergraduate peers and any siblings you might have coming to the high school. It’s worth a try, it can only help --- and isn’t helping what the spirit of volunteering is all about it.

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Community service is always a good thing; however, should it be required to graduate? There is already a long list of prerequisites we must acquire, so where do we draw the line? I am a firm believer in hard work, and my not agreeing with community service as a requirement is not an excuse to slack; but sometimes in high school I feel like there is just too much we have to do. It really takes away from the opportunities. Adding to the list will only make this pressure more extreme. To be brutally honest, the whole idea seems a tad dated. Our government doesn’t force people to join the military anymore, which is a national service and therefore, ultimately a community one. People join the military usually because they have a strong belief that doing what is right takes priority, not because some officer dragged them away from their families. Maybe I’m connecting these parallels too strongly; I’m simply looking at the big picture. Community service can be a wonderfully positive experience with the right mind-set, but how would you feel if it was something you weren’t given the choice to do? Think of all the requirements you already have to meet in order to get a standard Regents diploma. An advanced Regents diploma? Making community service a requirement to graduate is like forcing someone to do you a favor. Sure, it gets done, but there’s absolutely no sincerity. If the purpose of community service is to teach students the value of helping out, doing our part, and therefore building character, it will become completely lost as soon as it becomes something we have to do. Community Service should come from the goodness of your heart; because you believe in the benefits of it or feel sincere to the task. Not because you want to finally make it out of high school.   As students, we are busy people. We have sports, rehearsals, seemingly endless amounts of homework, and friendships that last much longer when you actually spend time cultivating them. Our schedules are jam-packed with things we are trying to do to better our lives after high school, because most of us know there is one. During our summers, many of us acquire part-time jobs to help pay for college and summer activities. We do things during the summer: camps, college trips, educational trips, and yes, even vacations. All of those things are priorities because it helps us make the most out of our summer. It is completely understandable that we may be reluctant to the idea of having to do community service in order to make it out of high school, whether it is during the school week or the summers. I think it is wrong that there are students in other schools who will not graduate because they didn’t meet the required minutes for community service.

March 2009



Food Allergies Cause Stricter Rules Enforcement By Caitlin Sawyer Chief Photographer

There has been a new rule implemented at OHS recently regarding the locations in which students are allowed to eat. The rule states that students are to only eat in the cafeteria and not in any classrooms, because of life-threatening food allergies such as allergies to peanuts. Although the majority of the school population is not affected by this rule, there are some students who are. Many students without scheduled lunch periods do not have a lunch because of academic reasons. Also, some do this because of New Visions, BOCES, and senior short day. With the rising number of students wanting to go to college, the competitiveness is also rising. Some students feel if they just fit that extra AP class or elective into their schedule, it will make them stand out to college admissions. Even the smell of peanut products can induce serious symptoms of a peanut allergy “I think all students should have a lunch,” stated school nurse Christina Chamberlain.  Although some teachers are against students not having lunch, others are in favor of it because they are usually the ones working hard by taking those extra classes that they don’t need to graduate. However, there are ex-

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ceptions. When students goof off their freshmen or sophomore years, it usually catches up to them their senior year when their schedule is jam-packed, so some students have to fill their schedules with nine classes. “A lot of people don’t eat breakfast and do not have a lunch. What do they expect people to do, starve all day” questioned junior Bobby Natoli. “The next academic school year (2009-2010), all students will be required to have a lunch because there will be absolutely no eating anywhere else but in the cafeteria,” stated Mr. Peter Myles, executive principal. However, the rules for the rest of this year will be slightly lenient because of the number of students currently without a lunch. “If teachers allow students to eat in their class because they don’t have a lunch, they will just have to be careful for the remainder of the year because there’s no point in changing everyone’s schedule now,” stated Myles. If teachers fail to abide to the rules next year, “There will be a price to pay,” stated Myles, because if a student has an allergic reaction in class, the teacher and the school could be charged with neglect and end up having to pay financially to the family of the affected student. This rule will not only change things in the high school, but also district-wide. In elementary classrooms, snack time may be a thing

of the past. With the growing number of students with allergies, it’s getting harder to share snacks and bring cakes and cookies in for parties. “We have never had an incident in the cafeteria, so we have not had to worry about air-borne allergic reactions,” stated Myles. With many students having air-borne allergies, a plan should be put in place. Air-borne allergic reactions are the same no matter the space; a kid could have the same reaction whether in the classroom or in the cafeteria. According to CNN, 1.5 million Americans are deathly allergic to peanuts. With such a vast number of people allergic to peanuts, precautions for people with such allergies are being taken everywhere, not just at OHS. Although there are many other food allergies, peanuts are known as the most severe and commonly known. Although the cafeteria offers many students with food allergies different options, they cannot control what students bring to lunch and share with their friends. Some schools in central New York offers a different solution to their peanut problem. These New York schools are creating separate areas in the cafeteria for students who have fatal food allergies.

May 2009



           Oswego High School is full of talented kids, and the music program is just one area in which student talent is exemplified. The hard work and dedication of the students involved in band, orchestra and chorus program shows in their performances, as well as their history and the awards and titles each group has earned.             “The marching band has been on a national level for the last thirty years. The body of work the marching band has done has been significant for a very long time. The marching band has been fortunate enough to travel to many places of prestige over the years and attend national level competitions,” said Mr. William Palange, an OHS band teacher.             Not only do the Marching Buccaneers raise school spirit and hold impressive titles and awards, but the work of the three concert bands and two jazz bands is equally noteworthy.             “We have had artists come from all over the world to play with our band.  The Concert Bands have performed under some of the finest conductors in the whole country, and we have had works created for the bands,” said Palange.             The orchestra program needs to be recognized as well for its quality of work and the commitment of students under the direction of Mrs. Cheryl Rogers.             Lastly, chorus cannot be forgotten. Not only do they grace us with their voices at concerts, but OHS would not be the same without the annual musical production.                         The music program at Oswego High School is home to many gifted students and is not only a place where students can learn, but it opens doors to them if they would like to continue on in music at the college level.


Great Things at OHS

Tech Crew

Anthony Sterio has taken advantag are a part of the Technology Depart


photo by Kaitlyn Scanlon

Not only is our school fortunate to have a facility such as the Ralph Faust Theater to host events, but credit should also be given to the tech crew. They make it all happen, from the lights to the scenery to the audio and more. Tech crew is under the leadership of T.J. Bandla, the technical director and Stephen F. Braun, the theater manager. Pictured above are five members of the Theatre Tech Crew: Sara Wilson, Ashleign Thompson, Jane Coty, Shelby Schulze and Malcolm Habeeb.

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       The television program at Oswego High School is a well known and an admirable quality of the school because it’s not something that many districts offer.  “When our kids go to college, they’ll come back and say that they were the leaders in the class. We are really lucky to have the TV studio because most schools don’t have one and usually kids’ first experiences to a program like this is at college, so our kids have a leg up,” said Mr. Chris Mangano, an OHS technology teacher. There are three classes offered in the TV studio. One is foundation in media and arts, which is one half of the year in graphic arts and then the other as an introduction to the TV studio and equipment. This class fulfills the art credit requirement. Then, there is Communication Systems 1 and 2, which are also courses to get students involved with TV. One of these introductory classes has to be taken before students can take TV.         There are two different TV classes. One is for the morning announcement show and the other is for the afternoon show. The afternoon show airs every weekday on cable television, channel 16 from 6-9 p.m. This year, the afternoon show is news style, similar to the announcement show.          “It is a pretty well-rounded experience as far as the TV program goes. Some kids come in to the class and they are not sure if they want to be on the technical side or in front of the camera so we try and make sure that every kid gets a broad range of experiences,” said Mangano.          Not only is the TV program rare in schools, but it offers hands-on learning and gives students the opportunity to be involved in many of the aspects of a real TV studio.

11 Art Program

           The art program at Oswego High School is one to be applauded, not only because of the extraordinary and award winning art work, but the atmosphere and student dedication, demonstrated by the students in the specialized programs.             One art credit is required to graduate, but there are choices that students have in fulfilling the credit and becoming involved in the area of art that they enjoy. The program is step up, so that even as a foundation class, students can take a course directed at media/graphics or traditional art. The program shapes to what the student wants, as well as fulfills the credit requirement and opens students up to the world of art.             The foundation classes of the art program are studio in art and foundations in media arts. After these classes are successfully completed, students have the choice to take any other art elective, such as drawing and painting, advanced art, introduction to computer graphics, advanced graphics, ceramics 1 and 2, jewelry 1 and 2 and The set-up of the program has many possibilities and opens many doors to the world of art to enrich students in the different degrees of art. “I think it’s important to have diversity, because if a student wants to go on into art, he/she has an advantage. Former high school students have come back and told me that they were more knowledgeable in college programs, especially in graphics. Most students have never had Adobe Illustrator or really intensive Photoshop work. A lot of other schools only have fine art courses (traditional art),” said OHS art teacher Mrs. Melissa Martin. The art program has been award-winning over the years, and this year is no different. At the 2009 Oswego County Student Art Show, four of the top awards went to Oswego High School and many other OHS students got their pieces into the show. There were three Oswego honorable mentions and Emily Richmond received the Sally Deaton Memorial Award. This year, three OHS students received honorable mentions for scholastics, one in animation, one in graphics, and one in drawing. Nikole Bonacorsi’s graphic piece was one of 30 pieces out of 500 to be selected from the scholastic art show and is now on exhibit in the Everson Museum in Syracuse. Oswego High School is extremely lucky to have an art program that enriches all students who take an art class and that caters to the needs of many advanced students who have a passion for art.

Photo by Caitlin Sawyer

e of the courses and extracurricular clubs that ment during his high school career.

Engineering program

           Another program at OHS that is worth bragging about is the engineering program. The program is superb and helps to better expose students to the world of engineering. Whether students are into mechanics, wood working or computer engineering, OHS offers many opportunities. The Future Engineers Club is another aspect of Oswego High School that is excellent and has ties with the engineering courses. Earlier this year, members of the Future Engineers Club won first place at the Fourth Annual Entergy Science Competition, sponsored by Entergy’s James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant. The members on the Oswego team included Lindsay Johnson, Sarah Hill, Joe Purdy, Abe McAndrew, and Tyler Hunt. Each member received $1,000 in scholarships. The Oswego team made an intake tunnel to be placed at the lower level of a power plant to pull in cooler water. Oswego High School also has a Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program, or pre-engineering courses. The students who won the competition are enrolled in the Project Lead the Way program. The program lets students who have a passion for engineering experience the field and become better prepared for their future paths if they decide to go into engineering.   Editor’s note: There are dozens of great things about Oswego High School that are often taken for granted. From programs to individuals, from curriculumbased classes to extra-curricular organizations, OHS has a lot to offer. In this issue, we highlight six programs that make our school a great place to learn.

Photo by Kaitlyn Scanlon

Sarah Skinner puts the finishing touches on one of her pieces.

Award-Winning Publications

Oswego High School can also call itself great because of its award-winning publications: Paradox and The Buccaneer Bulletin. Our yearbooks are of highest quality and the hard work of the yearbook staff can be seen looking at any of the pages of the Paradox. The time and planning it takes to create the yearbook involves a lot of commitment, and OHS is lucky that students are willing to create such a work. Also, The Buccaneer Bulletin is great because it is the student voice of OHS. In many cases, it acknowledges the success of the school, and brings forth problems, opinions and news. The award-winning paper is published at least seven times a year, is available online at and is free of charge. Yearbook and journalism are unique classes because they have many jobs and areas that students can learn. For example, in journalism there are editors, reporters, photographers, ad reps, cartoonists, columnists and more, so the kids are exposed to a lot and get a well-rounded experience.  

May 2009



Modern Society Overly Stresses Women, Girls By Brittany Ross Clubicity Editor

In earlier decades, women were perceived as living a less-stressful lifestyle. Women were responsible for maintaining their homes and raising their families. Men, on the other hand, were responsible for contributing to the working world and earning the paycheck to support their families. As decades have passed, this generalization has vanished. Currently, women hold jobs to contribute to society as well as raise families and manage the upkeep of their homes. As a result of this added responsibility, women and adolescent girls are even more susceptible to becoming very stressed. There are many factors that correspond to high stress levels of women and adolescent girls. “Outside of modern life pressures, women do have more stressors,” stated psychology teacher Mr. Mark Mirabito. Women generally think more about their appearance, and tend to care more about what people think of them. As a result, they have an extra worry over men. In today’s society, there

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isn’t much pressure for men to be attracMen and adolescent boys have term affects include heart disease and tive or to “fit in.” Many women fuss over some similar stressors; however men high blood pressure especially if you’re their appearances daily, and alter their tend to be less upset. Men are gener- over forty. Panic attacks in women may faces with makeup, botox, facelifts, and ally concerned with job pressures and also be a result from a stressful lifestyle, more. Men, however, don’t generally promotions. Adolescent boys become along with other psychological disorders fuss over what their hair looks like before more worrisome over making a sports more common in women such as OCD, leaving the house. team and maintaining good grades. “I personality disorder, and depression. The fact that women usually have get really stressed out over my grades,” Medical professionals advise thatmore responsibility at home along with said senior Josh Smith. when you become stressed, find a healthy being employed also adds to elevated Obtaining high stress levels can lead way to manage these uneasy feelings. stress levels “When I’m stressed, I go in today’s running,” stated senior Emw o m e n . “It’s not healthy to expect too much out of ily Lloyd. Others participate “ Wo m e n yourself in a day . . . ” in unique activities such as do more Psychology Teacher Mr. Mark Mirabito kick boxing and meditatthan fifty ing. percent of “I like to keep a fine housework in the average home, along to many common diseases and disorders. line between boredom and stress, which with fifty percent of the childcare,” said For example, eating disorders are a is challenged. Set reasonable goals for Mirabito. In most households, the major- more common result of stress in women yourself, and don’t set yourself up for ity of women have most of the respon- and adolescent girls. These women and disappointment,” stated Mirabito. It’s sibility regarding their children. Think young girls may also suffer a relapse of not healthy to expect too much out of about it; mom is predominantly the one an eating disorder when stress becomes yourself in a day. It can make you bewho picks you up from soccer practice, or unmanageable. “Affects may be OCD, come more stressed. If you set personal brings you to your doctor appointments. reoccurring thoughts, and fatigue,” said goals that are realistic, you have a better Many men are not concerned with these Mirabito. You are also more susceptible chance of achieving the success you’re “chores.” to cold and flu when stressed. Long- looking for.

May 2009



Romance Reduced to a Mathematical Equation By Jasmine Davis Sports Writer

It’s spring, romance is everywhere; it’s unavoidable. You see it everyday, whether it’s while you’re walking down the hall behind a couple holding hands or stealing a quick kiss before going to class. You hear it through the halls, “I love you.” You see the looks between people in love, the way everyone else around them seems to disappear. It’s just how life is, people meet and fall in love, or like, or even lust, and for that time being, they are seen as a single unit. Couples’ names become a blend; Jack-N-Jill, Daphne-N-Derby, Johnny-N-June. For the duration of their relationship, they walk around attached at the hand, as happy as Cinderella-NPrince Charming. But what about the rest of us single people? Why isn’t there a Happy Single Day for people like me who don’t look forward to Valentine’s Day? I don’t like coming to school and seeing everyone running around, flowers in hand, gushing about how great their boyfriend or girlfriend is. Maybe it’s because I’m bitter because I don’t have a flower, and I’m jealous that I don’t have my own boyfriend to brag about. Maybe it’s because the only gifts I get for Valentine’s Day are from my parents. But maybe it’s just because being single is never as glorified as being a perfect couple and being in love. I haven’t had a boyfriend in forever, and every time I stop to think about why “things” haven’t become relationships or why I never get asked out, I always start criticizing myself. Am I too tall? Too nice? Not pretty enough? Not outgoing enough? What if I was a brunette? What if I lost some weight? The “what-if’s” endlessly run through my head. But then, one day I heard something that made me truly aware of how rare finding the “perfect guy” is. The day before this past Valentine’s Day I was riding in the car with my mom. She had NPR on the radio, and I wasn’t really listening. But suddenly, the topic grabbed my attention… dating. This American Life is a radio talk show on NPR. The talk show has a different theme each week, and depending on the theme, the show hosts everyday people telling true stories about their lives. The particular episode that I was listening to was called, “Somewhere Out There”, and the theme of the day was, “Of all the 6 and a half billion people in the world, what are the odds that any two people are a real match? Stories from people who know they’ve beaten the odds, and the lengths they’ve gone to do it.” The talk show started out with Ira Glass, host, talking to an ex-physicist named David Kestenbaum, who tells a story about how one day he and his other single co-workers decided to, as Glass said, “Employ the power of mathematics to estimate the likelihood of finding a girlfriend.”

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The math they came up with is based on the Drake Equation, an equation used to estimate how many planets out there have intelligent life on them. “So you start off with how many stars there are in the universe, which are all the places where there might be life. Then you subtract out all the stars that don’t have any planets around them, because there can’t be life there. Next, you subtract out all the planets that are too far from the sun or too close to the sun to support life, and so on and so on. You get the idea. Sooner or later you come up with the likelihood of a planet with life evolved to the point of intelligence,” said Glass, summing up the basics of the equation. So Kestenbaum and co-workers ran the same kind of math, only they replaced “intelligent life,” with “girlfriends.” So, after hearing the photo by monek cullen comical piece on the radio, Spring and love are in the air, but when you mathematically calculate the the geek in me decided odds of landing that perfect boyfriend or girlfriend from Oswego County, to do the equation for myself. First, I had to take it can get a little frustrating--according to columnist Jasmine Davis. the population of the area that I wanted a boyfriend about half of those guys play sports, I’m left with from. The population of Oswego County is roughly, 38. Also I really don’t like guys being dumb, so 123,776 people. Then, you have to divide that guessing that at least ¾ of them we’re passing number by two because I’m only interested in guys, school, 38 would become 28. But 28 isn’t even the so now it’s 61,888. Next, let’s say I’d only date a guy final solution. between the ages of fifteen and eighteen, which is Oswego County has nine school districts, probably only about 5 percent of the population. So including APW, Fulton, Mexico, Phoenix, Sandy I multiplied 61,888 times 5 percent and got 3,094. Creek, Central Square, Hannibal, Oswego City, But I had to consider that maybe only half of that and Pulaski. Since I don’t have my license yet, I’d number is actually single, so divide that by two, and probably say I’d only date a guy from the Oswego get 1,547. City, Fulton, Hannibal, Mexico, or Central Square Then I had to apply how many of those guys school district. Counting guys from only five out of I’d actually be attracted to (maybe one out of every the nine schools, 28 multiplied by 5/9 is fifteen. ten guys). So I multiplied 1,547 by 1/10 to get 154. Fifteen guys in all of Oswego County who are Then, let’s say I’d only date someone my height, potential dates. But really it’s less than that, because 5’9”, or taller, and because the average height of a I didn’t even take into account their personalities, male living in the U.S. is 5’10,” maybe only oneinterests, and if they even really want a relationship. half of teenage guys are actually taller than me; 154 Truthfully though, I wouldn’t have wanted to see multiplied by ½ is 77. that number, because a negative number of guys Then I’d say that the guy had to play a sport, doesn’t really make me optimistic about finding love because I can’t stand laziness. So guessing that in high school.

May 2009



Clubs, Activities Concluding Busy Year Interact Club In the past month, Interact Club has donated the money from last year’s POP talent show at the high school to a Polio organization. This April, the club will complete the baby blankets they have started for families who cannot afford them. The club is planning on doing a beach clean-up as the weather gets nicer. If any of this activities sound like something you’d like to do, or you just wish to get involved in your community, contact club president, Rebecca Battles at


On Sunday, May 3, the NHS induction was held in the Faust Theatre at Oswego High School. “In an event second only to graduation in academic formality”, as stated by NHS advisor, Michael McCrobie, fifty new scholars were inducted. On April 24, the NHS participated in the Literary Volunteers of Oswego County Scrabble tournament. Representing the OHS Honor Society were Richard Mandanus, David Morgia, Rachel Clark, Cari Reed, Rebecca Battles, and Carolyn Clemmens. On May 1, the NHS represented the Oswego High School in Mexico, NY for the annual NHS county volleyball tournament. The election of new officers for the National Honor Society is being held on the May 6 meeting. The annual NHS picnic is on May 15 in Breitbeck Park.

Travel Club

Musician of the Month

Senior Rebecca Battles has been selected as the OHS Bands “Musician of the Month.” Rebecca is the daughter of Diane and Larry Battles of Oswego. Rebecca is currently principal flute in the OHS Wind Ensemble. She has been a member of the Marching Buccaneers for five seasons. She has performed as a soloist in the Wind Ensemble on numerous occasions. She has been a member of the ensemble for three years. The Wind Ensemble consistently prepares and performs major masterworks for advanced high school, college and professional wind bands. “Rebecca has been an outstanding member of the Marching Buccaneers and has travelled with the Bucs to Florida, New Jersey, Maryland and all across New York State. She is an exceptional leader in the group, who has consistently provided an extraordinarily positive role model for other members in her section and in the band. She has been a consistent performer who has brought great musicianship and leadership to both groups,” stated Mr. William Palange. In addition to her musical activities, Rebecca is involved in Photography Club, is president of Interact Club, Ski Club (vice president), and Key Club (treasurer). She is editor of the yearbook, a daunting task that consumes a great deal of her time before, during and after school. Rebecca also works at Price Chopper as a cashier and plays on a recreational volleyball team. She plans to attend SUNY Fredonia in the fall, majoring in graphic design or education.

The Travel Club has officially decided on next year’s destination. On April 1st, club members voted on Barcelona, Spain. There will possibly be one more fundraiser for members to raise money for the trip to Ireland this year. Members will be meeting for the last times in May and June to discuss the itinerary for the summer ‘09 trip and other preparations. The official trip date will be set for sometime soon after the end of the school year. A parent/ traveler meeting will also take place sometime in May to talk about details. Spanish Club Students can sign up, now, for next The Spanish Club has finished its year’s trip. Anyone interested should Gertrude Hawk fundraiser. The club is see Mrs. Sarah Williams in room 100. going to start another fundraiser with Fajita Grill sometime in May. The club Editor’s Note: If your club has any continues to hold meetings on every upcoming events, contact Catie Furletti other Thursday in room 241after school and new members are always welcome.

Buccaneer Bulletin

photo by heather hanlon

Students work at the refreshment table during the MORP last week.

photo by carrie patane

Winners from the open mic and slam night sponsored by the Poetry Club

photo by heather hanlon

Judges from the open mic and slam night were representatives from the OHS and OMS English and reading departments.

May 2009



Will Electronics Re-Kindle Interest in Reading? Mackenzie Oatman Reporter

Generally, when people want to read a new book, they can do one of three things to acquire it; check it out of the library, buy it from a bookstore, or borrow it from an acquaintance or friend. With new technology like electronic books and the iPhone, accessibility to books is growing. Electronic books, often called eBooks, are essentially mini computers with screens about the size of a page of a book. They usually include some kind of button to turn the page and buttons that help perform other maneuvers. Texts for the eBook can be purchased via the actual device or a computer. An eBook’s archive can hold multiple books to be opened and read on the screen at anytime. Books are almost always cheaper to buy for an eBook. You can buy new releases and New York Times Bestsellers for approximately ten dollars. Classic titles are even cheaper. Some books are even offered electronically for free. Newspapers and magazines are also available. At first, eBooks were only directed to a limited audience, but they are now being manufactured by companies like Amazon and SONY and becoming increasingly popular for college students and even the high school reader. The Kindle, first manufactured in 2007 by Amazon, is among the most popular of e-book readers. The newest version of the Kindle, called the Kindle 2 is only 0.36 inches thick, and can hold up to 1,500 books. The Kindle 2 can be used without a computer. It utilizes a wifi-like free internet called Whispernet. You can buy eBooks on or stores like Target and Best Buy. The Kindle 2 sells for $359. Another eBook, Sony Reader is a little bit cheaper at $300. Some students find the eBooks a little pricey. Sophomores Dave Peel and Nick Fredette both have opinions based on the price of the book. Peel stated, “You would have to read a couple thousand books for

the price to be worth it.” Fredette said that whether or not he gets one depends on the prices decreasing. Mr. T. J. Bandla, technical director of the OHS Theater, also commented on the price of the Kindle and other eBooks. He stated, “The Kindle is still a little expensive for a device that isn’t truly elegant yet.” He said that though the actual books are cheaper, people don’t have enough money to spend on the device. About this time last month, Amazon also released an application for the iPhone and iTouch called Kindle for iPhone. Kindle for iPhone works in the same way that The Kindle 2, works but you use the device’s touch screen to flip pages. Morgan Domicolo, a sophomore at Oswego High School has the Kindle for iPhone on her iTouch. She likes the app and uses it frequently. She said, “You can buy a book from Amazon and it sends it to your iPod within thirty seconds.” Although Domicolo likes the feature, she still prefers to read an actual book because it is more comfortable than looking at a small screen. Mrs. Eve Phillips, team leader of the English Department at OHS, shares similar thoughts with Domicolo. Phillips stated how much she likes the “feel and the smell of a book.” On the other hand, Phillips thinks an electronic book would be very convenient when traveling, since it can hold so many titles. A reading teacher at OHS, Mrs. Carrie Patane, also emphasizes how much she would prefer an actual book to a screen. Though Patane isn’t personally attracted to the electronic way of reading, she stated “anything that encourages people to read, I’m a fan of.” Some students don’t think that the device would encourage them to read, while some others think it might. Richard Carpentier and Casey Tobin, both sophomores, said they don’t like to read much, and would not use an eBook if they had one. Freshman Emily McCabe and junior Conner Ackley both said they are readers and would use an eBook. Ackley said “It would be easier than carrying a bunch of books


Pictured here is the Kindle 2 produced by Amazon. An example of the text is shown.

around with me.” The way the Kindle and other eBooks look and feel may impact popularity also. Mr. Scott Bandla, an English teacher at Oswego High School, thinks that the Kindle might be appealing because of how thin and light it is, but he also cautioned that the device would have to only be useable for reading and shouldn’t offer games, music, etc. “Let it be used for reading purposes and that’s it, and you will see students using it.” Whether or not eBooks continue to gain popularity with adults and young adults seemingly will depend on drop in price and new features. Will eBooks ever become as popular as iPods and laptops? Who knows, but like Mrs. Phillips, it seems like the vast majority of readers would still opt to have a real physical book in their hand than the electronic alternative.

Newest Anderson Book Captures Teen Experiences T he Witch’s Way Blair Harvey How far would you go to be the thinnest girl in school? What is the worst someone could say to you to make you go that far? And what would you do if your best friend was killing herself to take you up on a bet? Cassie and Lia have always been closer than close; internal twins. At the start of their high school careers, the girls concoct a deadly bet – who can be skinnier than who;

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“the skinniest girl in school”? Three years later, in their senior year of high school, the demons pursuing the game have finally caught up to them. Lia is eighteen years old and 107 pounds when Cassie, is found dead in a hotel room, alone. Cause of death: unknown. At least to her. Lia tries to get on with her life, pretending Cassie didn’t matter, pretending she never existed. As her attempts continue to fail, Lia becomes obsessed, with food being the enemy, and begins to stray back into her dark and destructive ways. Her parents believe she is doing much better, and Lia doesn’t argue with them. It’s easier for her to have everybody fooled; and

she will stop at absolutely nothing to become skinnier. She will even cut open her own body to “let the fat drip out.” So what happens when you get to size zero? Double zero? For Lia, even these numbers aren’t small enough. The less Lia eats, the more she can see Cassie’s presence all around her. Lia becomes pressured by her dead friend to keep going, to keep starving. That way, they two girls will finally be together again. Lia begins to realize that escaping the pain is as non-optional as eating. But she has to do something to keep herself from utterly losing it in front of her health-obsessed mom, who

happens to be a doctor. Her only outlet for both her pain and her non-existent fat is even more destructive than not eating. Laurie Halse Anderson hits dead on in her novel about a high school girl battling something unfathomable. Wintergirls is a horribly realistic story about losing a loved one, coping, growing, and beating the odds. Well written and perfectly sensible, Wintergirls may help you (or people from the older generation) recognize what being a teenager is all about. Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Wintergirls that is reviewed here will appear later this month at the River’s End Bookstore.

May 2009

Arts & Entertainment


Music ‘Snobs’ are the Worst Kind of Snobs Kat’s Chat Kathryn Whelsky

their musical martyr of choice. And almost as soon as you notice the band shirts, you’ll notice that the people wearing them all tend to cluster together. The die-hard Jonas Brothers fans in full regalia aren’t caught dead in between a group of guys wearing Suicide Silence paraphernalia. The devoted fans of Led Zeppelin might deem like-minded Beatles fans worthy of recognition, but Jack’s Mannequin? Heck no. Music snobs are the worst kind of snobs. They judge you by your iPod playlist, or the song that comes on the second they click on your Myspace page, or the lyrics in your AIM profile. They use your musical taste as an introduction to your personality, putting more stock in your ‘ultimate favorite band’ than the person behind the riff notes, and treat you accordingly. I’m not going to rant or attempt to shamelessly promote the music I think is good. I’m not going to argue the artistic value of pop vs. rap vs. alternative vs. screamo vs. insert your favorite band here. But I will argue that people should be able to enjoy their music, no matter what genre it is, or what artist it’s by. Music has always reflected an individual’s self-expression in society, especially in younger generations, such as the teens like me who saunter down OHS hallways on a daily basis. But music is, above all, supposed to be a form of entertainment that people can enjoy. People shouldn’t have to apologize for the fact that they listen to obscure

I’ll admit it – sometimes I might play my music a little too loudly. Most of the time, actually. You can hear whatever my latest band is blaring out of my tiny iPod earbuds as I bob and weave my way through the clogged school hallways in the morning. I’ll also admit that sometimes I get a little bit defensive about my musical tastes whenever I hear somebody say, “ew, that band’s horrible.” Musical judgment. Some could go so far as to call it music ‘snobbery.’ Throughout the past few Courtesy of Google Images decades, as technology has advanced, so has our music. While The iPod and all personal music players have changed the way people our grandparents and parents fondly listen to music compared to the listening habits of previous generations. remember the days of record-players band that they keep to themselves, behind music. They will never and 8-tracks, we recall the onceand wouldn’t want anyone else to understand the rush achieved from considered ‘new-wave’ cassette tapes know they listen to. Maybe you listening to their long-time favorite and CDs. As a generation, we have are sheepishly still listening to band’s new single, or the easy entered an entirely different realm of the carefully choreographed ‘90s enjoyment brought on by humming music, where it’s literally available bubblegum boy band that you grew a simple sugary song chorus under at our fingertips. With just the click up with, but would never admit it their breath for no reason other of a mouse, or the press of a button because of the possible teasing or than the fact that they can. on your MP3 player, the latest popmocking that you would receive. So, music snobs, want to judge techo-‘rawk’ album can be bursting How many people are going to me? Sometimes I like to dabble in with synth-notes out of the nearest admit that they actually like the a bit of Nirvana, with The Velvet speakers within seconds. ‘golden oldies’ their parents turn Underground on the side. I also The sudden widespread the radio to whenever they get in listen to M.I.A, Muse, The White availability of music has made it the car? Not many. Which really, Stripes, Sonic Youth, and on easier than ever for everyone to is a shame. Variety is valued occasion I like to throw a little bit develop his/her own taste in music everywhere, including music. of the Rolling Stones and The Ting and sort out the headache inducing Without those Tings. I don’t see any problem at from the Myspace all in mixing TV on the Radio with play-list worthy. The fact is that music snobs are missing out golden oldies, we wouldn’t have most 3OH!3 on my iPod playlist. I like And, as with all on the real reason behind music. of the genres we to tap my toes to the new, the old, things mainstream, adore today. I say, and everything in between. there are going to if those oldies make you groove, This is my musical taste: be those who will judge you on your indie by shamefully hanging their croon along with the crooners. If eclectic and varied. Maybe I didn’t tastes. Or, more specifically, judge heads and firing off the titles of a Atreyu gets you pumped up, crank mention your favorite band in the you by what you listen to. few 93Q favorites trying to redeem it louder. I want to hear voice universe, or maybe I don’t listen to Music is everywhere, both in themselves. (And if you like the 93Q boxes cracking. If Flo-Rida’s enough main-stream or ‘popular’ the actual sound and rhythm, and favorites – good for you). ‘Party Like a Rockstar’ is what music. But it is my music. Maybe the people supporting it. Walking Music snobs are vocal, you don’t like them, but does that through the halls of Oswego High commenting on Youtubes, Myspaces, keeps you rockin’, I want to hear the ground shake with the bass. I’d really give you the right to roll School, you probably won’t get Facebooks, and instant messaging love to hear people belting out their your eyes at my playlist? If you halfway down the hall before you’ve systems. I wouldn’t doubt that some favorites from Death Cab For Cutie think so, music snobs, go ahead. seen at least six or seven glaringly people avoid putting certain songs and Lady Gaga. Judge and criticize, be my guest. obvious band shirts, bright words on certain places for fear of being The fact is that music snobs I’m just gonna turn the music up emblazoned across countless teenage ridiculed. After all, I’m willing to are missing out on the real reason and keep on dancing. chests, proclaiming their love for bet that everyone has at least one

Buccaneer Bulletin

May 2008



Teen Drama Captured in American Teen happens. Tusing finds love with a freshman member of the marching band, and while it’s good in the beginning, her heart wanders and eventually, they break up. He has some of the best lines of the movie -- the perfect mix of awkward and oblivious that makes you cringe at his social ineptitude. His room is another thing that adds to his character -- animals that have been mounted and hunting paraphernalia in excess. Clemens is spotlighted as the basketball ball-hog who learns that sharing the ball every oncein-a-while really helps his team and his chances of

and lastly, ending on an almost clichéd note, “You’ll remember the first time … you fell in love.” This film has been accused of being scripted Fred Maxon or overly sensationalized. I attribute the claims that Fred Maxon the film sensationalized teen life to the fact that its nine months of footage is condensed to 95 minutes. Sundance points at the fact that it has “a narrative American Teen, a 2008 documentary film so engrossing that it resembles fiction more than directed by Nanette Burstein, invokes the documentary. The end result is a film that goes archetypes oft-used by filmmakers to convey life for beyond the stereotypes of high school -- the nerd teenagers. Set in Warsaw, Indiana, the film follows and the jock, the homecoming queen and the arty five seniors and the ebb and flow of drama in their misfit -- to capture the complexity of lives. young people trying to make their way This film follows the life of, as the into adulthood.” Burstein is not going trailer puts it, “The Jock, The Geek, The to waste people’s time showing clips Rebel, The Princess,” and “The Heartthrob,” of people sitting, doing homework or and its marketing campaign pointed out reading a book, but rather she’s going similarities between the 1985 classic (in the to show the more outrageous moments. teen comedy genre) John Hughes film The This film should not be looked at as Breakfast Club, a film about one Saturday the definitive guide to everyone’s detention and the diverse group of people experience in high school, condensed who found themselves confined to the to 95 minutes, complete with catchy school’s library that day. music and animated sequences, but One student, Megan Krizmanich, is rather as something to compare and a queen bee type teenager. Her family is contrast with one’s own experience rich, her intelligence is above average, and in high school. “I guess what I was she hopes to attend the University of Notre looking for was the sort of things we Dame, the alma mater of everyone in her all have to go through, the insecurity family. At the opposite end of the spectrum, of being that age, trying to figure out Hannah Bailey is the quintessential outcast. your identity and the heartbreak and Her views often clash with the others in her all the emotional vulnerability that I overly conservative town, and she longs to suspected still went on when you’re leave the Hoosier state and travel to greener 17,” Burstein stated in a 2008 interview pastures -- namely, San Francisco and its with the LA Times, “And it turned out bustling art scene. there is very much a timelessness about Colin Clemens, basketball superstar that. Some things had changed, but and the “jock” of the film, is dependent on the real emotional core of what you go a full athletic scholarship in order to attend through at that age very much stays the college, as his Elvis-impersonator father same.” does not have enough saved for him to As for professional reviews of attend school otherwise, and gives his son American Teen, Roger Ebert of the the only options of the full scholarship or photo courtesy of Chicago Sun-Times states “...Burstein the Army. A teammate of Clemens, Mitch The cast of American Teen poses like the movie poster from the (who won best director at Sundance classic 1980s film The Breakfast Club. Reinholt, is billed as “The Heartthrob” 2008) has achieved an engrossing in the promotional material for the film. getting into college. film. No matter what may have been guided by her Contrasting Reinholt is Jake Tusing; the pimply The official description on the Sundance web outside hand, it is all in some way real, and often band geek and video game fanatic provides the site sums this movie up perfectly. “American Teen touching.” He gave them film three stars, on par perfect foil to Reinholt’s “Heartthrob” status. intimately follows the lives of four teenagers in with what users on his site said. One quote about These five teenagers, provide the lens through one small town in Indiana through their senior the film by Ben Lyons of E! states “A modern day which teen life in apple-pie America is examined. year of high school. Using cinema vérité footage, Breakfast Club that will make you stand up and Krizmanich, the princess, does everything from interviews, and animation, it presents a candid cheer.” However, aside from the fact that the film sending a topless photo of one of her friends to portrait of being 17 and all that goes with it. We see follows people who fall into the popular stereotypes everyone in the school (using the school e-mail the insecurities, the cliques, the jealousies, the first portrayed in 1980’s teen comedy films, this film has system) to vandalizing a rival’s home -- and gets off loves and heartbreaks, the experimentation with sex little in common with The Breakfast Club. with a simple slap on the wrist. Bailey misses weeks and alcohol, the parental pressures, and the struggle With the school year coming to a close in what of school after her long-term boyfriend breaks up to make profound decisions about the future.” This will seem like no time, this film should be watched with her. She vows to never date anyone for the rest is an echo from the film’s trailer, which states. by all those who wish to reminisce about their time of the school year -- only to begin dating Reinholt “You’ll remember the good times, you’ll remember in high school. Whether you’re a part of the class of later. She’s quirky, he’s popular -- it’s a relationship the hard times, you’ll remember the defining times,” ’09 or ’69, this is a film that should be seen. that’s destined to fail, but wonderful while it


Buccaneer Bulletin

May 2009



Port City Increases Athletic Performance Ryan Galloway Sports Editor

For many OHS athletes, Port City Performance, or PCP, has become a place for them to take their skills to the next level by providing functional training for those seeking it. Oswego High School graduate Derek Dillabough opened the gym almost two years ago, and since then, the business has exploded. High school athletes from Oswego, Mexico, Hannibal, and Fulton, as well as Oswego State athletes including the entire men’s lacrosse team, and even parents and other adults enjoy the results they get from exercising at PCP. Dillabough and PCP have become a hot discussion topic at Oswego High School as well. Anyone who has been around sports here at OHS probably has heard Dillabough’s name, or heard a group of kids talking about PCP. You’d be hard-pressed to find a sport that doesn’t have at least one athlete who has trained at PCP. A majority of the clients who Dillabough trains come from right here in Oswego High. Junior Eric Witmer has attended PCP since 2007. “If I had to rate my overall experience on a scale of one to ten, I’d give it a twelve,” stated Witmer. The gym is a place where people can go after a

long day to relieve stress and enjoy themselves. “It’s a positive atmosphere; a lot of hard work gets done there. It smells like passion,” said Witmer. “We started out with about five clients, and in a year and a half we’ve seen our clientele grow past the 100 mark,” said Dillabough about the expansion of the business. “The program consists of injury prevention, core conditioning, total body resistance training as well as speed and agility. I put a lot of emphasis on the speed and agility and the core workouts that a lot of athletes tend to ignore in their own workouts,” stated Dillabough, “High school athletes would have tremendous benefits if they were to attend a session. A lot of athletes neglect their core workout and just focus on squatting or bench press , as opposed to doing a lot of rotational movements or activating deep abdominal muscles that actually make sports performance a lot more effective. A lot of athletes don’t perform an injury prevention type of workout on their own, so they would greatly improve in that area coming to Port City Performance as opposed to just working out in a normal gym,” Dillabough said. Previously located on Water Street behind Port City Café, PCP has been expanding so fast, Dillabough had

Photo by Ryan Galloway

Oswego High School senior Joe Bucher does an incline bench press recently at Port City Performance under the watchful eye of Kyle Reuter.

to branch out to find a new location. PCP is currently located in Fuller’s Fitness Center at 78 West First Street in Oswego. Current members of PCP are excited about the move. “The only negative I can think of is that right now it’s not the biggest place in the world. Sometimes when there are a lot of people all working out at once, it can get cramped. Moving to a bigger place

will definitely fix that,” said Witmer. The move means bigger and better things for Dillabough and the PCP workout ‘family.’ “The new location will be larger, meaning that we will be able to handle a larger capacity of clients,” said Dillabough. “Also, the training will be able to go to a whole new level. We will be able to perform more advanced aggressive movements that we weren’t able to do before.”


Buccaneer Bulletin

May 2009


Tom Darling buccaneer bulletin Athlete of the month


Buc Sports Flashback Five Years Ago 2004

A fierce football rivalry was set to be renewed between the Oswego Buccaneers and the Fulton Red Raiders. People were ecstatic about the announcement. Oswego football coach Matthew Bianchi voiced his enthusiasm about rekindling the rivalry. “Oswego and Fulton haven’t played in over five years; they used to be the biggest game in the county.” The rivalry stopped because of new league classifications and the difference in school size. “It was a shame that the rivalry stopped; many Section III coaches agreed,” stated Bianchi.

Eleven Years Ago 1998

Photo by Caitlin Sawyer

Senior captain Tom Darling is the field general from his catcher position for the Bucs’ baseball team.

Senior Brings Experience, Leadership By Jasmine Davis Sports Writer

Senior Tom Darling has been playing baseball for the past twelve years of his life. This will be his fourth year playing on the Oswego varsity baseball team and his first as captain. Darling is leading the team for his last season of a high school sports before leaving for SUNY Canton in the fall, where he’ll continue to play baseball in college. Darling is this month’s Buccaneer Bulletin Athlete of the Month. “I’m honored because I’m the only captain of the team,” Darling said about the privilege of being selected the team leader. “He really knows how to get the team together when we aren’t on track, and he’s a great leader. I’m sure, not only me as a younger player, but also the seniors look up to him,” said, junior teammate, Anthony Samson. Adam McPherson, a senior, had many good things to say about Darling also as a teammate and as a captain. “Tom takes the stress out of baseball; he makes things fun, but he can be serious.” Darling hopes that the team will be able to improve from last year and he also hopes to improve his play on a personal level. “We need to work on our approach at the plate,” Darling said, speaking about an aspect of play that the team needs to work on collectively.

Buccaneer Bulletin

Athough it’s still early in the season, he said the players are getting along pretty well as a team. When asked about a team he’d hope they could beat, he said West Genesee. The baseball team is currently off to a great start with a record above .500. Darling has been playing baseball since he was six, participating in several different leagues including Little, Junior, and Senior League. He said his favorite coach was Larry Steinberg from Little League. “He made the sport fun, and he always was joking around.” As far as the most influential person in his life when it comes to baseball, he said it’s his dad, “He played when he was younger and has always helped me out,” Tom stated. Darling also plays hockey, and was the captain of the Oswego varsity boys’ hockey team this past season. If he had to pick between hockey and baseball he said he’d choose baseball because he just likes the sport better. It doesn’t hurt that it’s played in warmer weather. Darling said that his favorite baseball memory was, “Coming back to win against Utica Proctor last spring with Adam McPherson’s grand slam at the end.” At Canton, Darling will continue to be a catcher or third baseman. “I’m excited that I’m good enough so that I can keep playing competitively,” said Darling about his future baseball plans.

With a record of 20-0, the OHS girls’ junior varsity basketball team went undefeated. The team was made up of four sophomores, four freshman, and four eighth graders. The girls all credited coach Paul Meunch with their success. “Going into the season, we weren’t sure who was going to be our coach, but we were lucky we ended up with a coach like Mr. Meunch,” stated sophomore Kim Fellows.

Twenty One Years Ago 1988

The boys’ varsity swim team finished its season with a 9-4 record, placing third in the OHSL standings, and 20th in the state; their first ever state ranking. Pat Chetney qualified for the New York State finals along with Matt Mitchell, Rick Weber, and Drew Thomas. Chetney, Rob Cole, Rob Goodroe, Dan Lapus, Mitchell, Dan Kells, Ken Rookey, Mark Sarkissian, Thomas, Dave Tonkin, James Tschudy, Matt Weber, Rick Weber, and Chris Wood also qualified for sectionals.

Fifty One Years Ago 1958

Oswego and Fulton high schools filed applications to join the Oswego County Athletic Association. The association held athletic contests as well as contests for posters and public speaking. Oswego and Fulton were both accepted.

May 2009

May 2009  
May 2009  

This is the May 2009 issue of the Buccaner Bulletin, Oswego High School's Student Voice.