SCOT TISH CLANS AND SHEEPDOGS...
A N E D U C AT I O N S H A P E D B Y T E C H N O L O G Y HOW TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES HAVE IMPAC TED SECONDARY EDUCATION
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09 ONE BAD BARBER
CONTENTS + FEATURES
Drama students prepare their first act of the year, Sweeney Todd. BY SIOBHAN DARMODY
15 MOTO MOJO Matt Mumper races past his competition and hits a few jumps on the way. BY DAVID CLAAR
16 NEW SCHOOL We draw up a potential version of PowerSchool with a lot more power. BY CHRIS POPE
S A R Y Ei n t h e G KIN MA
21 COVER STORY We look back at more than a half-century of The Talon’s history. BY CHRIS ALLEN
30 TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION Where technology has taken education and where further innovation could take us BY JACK TISDALL
35 HIGHLAND GAMES Bagpipers, log throws and stone tosseswe go inside the nation’s largest Scottish festival. BY NATE DULLEA
43 REVIEW We break down everything from your old video games to Zombieland. It’s all there.
EMOTIONS Euphoric, dejected, puzzled and frightened, all captured in a photo essay from Mr. Lee’s Photography class. COMPILED BY TORI PUTNAM
MONKEY B U S I N E S S .
THE TALON Editor in chief Chris Allen Assistant Editor Chris Pope Assistant Editor Nick Ferreri
P H I L LY S T E R ,
“I LOVED THE ADRENELINE, FEAR, AND EXCITEMENT.” E VA N D O B B I E ,
“I WAS ABLE TO CHALLENGE MYSELF TO NEW THINGS AND NEW HEIGHTS THAT I HAVE NEVERGONE TO BEFORE.” EDDIE HUDSON,
“YESTERDAY’S CLIMB WAS A SWEET REMINDER OF AN EXCITING WORLD.” A L D E N S E WA L L ,
“MONKEY TRUNKS WAS A SUPER THRILLER.” CODY BONNEVIE,
The Talon’s responsibility is to produce media based upon professional standards of accuracy, objectivity, and fairness. The Talon’s priority is to raise the school community’s awareness of school-wide issues as well as major issues in the wider communities EHS students are members of; in turn giving EHS students and staff the opportunity to become more involved in their communities. As a secondary role The Talon will also be a source of entertainment for the student body. THE TALON IS PRINTED BY ON DEMAND I MAG I N G
THE TALON NOVEMBER 2009
SE RECY LE
CAM BAR TLE T T,
The Talon’s purpose is to provide an engaging, thought-provoking, sensitive, and relevant publication for the SAU 16 community. While the opinions presented in this publication may not be reflective of the entire student or staff population, they will be soundly substantiated. Similarly, while the facts presented may not be what everyone wants to hear, they will be truthful.
“THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE AWOKE A NEW PERSON INSIDE OF ME. I CAN’T WAIT TO GO BACK SOON.”
The Talon is the Exeter High School student magazine. It is produced by students in the News Publications class and includes contributions from the immediate community including students and staff. It is an open forum for student expression and a voice for robust discussion of issues.
“I LEARNED THAT BEING BRAVE IS EASIER SAID THAN DONE.”
Adviser Rob Schneider
Adventure Lit students offered the words below in reflecting upon their trip to the Monkey Trunks ropes course in Chocorua, New Hampshire.
Staff Writers Rachel Chesno David Claar Siobhan Darmody Nate Dullea Carina Falk Paige Ferreri Christina Hubbard Alex LaCasse Brendan Lortie Amanda Losapio Tori Putnam Jack Tisdall
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE... WAIT FOR IT TO HAPPEN The Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded for accomplishment, not vision.
oodrow Wilson founded the League of Nations, Mother Teresa led the Missionaries of Charity, Nelson Mandela ended the apartheid regime and promoted South African democracy. Barack Obama gave Americans hope. For their efforts, each of these individuals were bestowed with the honor of receiving a Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee issued President Obama the accolade “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” Of course, efforts remains a most important word as it indicates attempt, not accomplishment. If the Palestinians and Isralies had come to peaceful terms, if nuclear missiles were no longer stockpiled around the world and if the American health care system had already seen substantial reform, this statement might read differently. It might contain one or more phrases like for his work, for
his successful efforts, or possibly for his solution. As a reassurance, the committee should have offered a half-now, half-later deal. “Good start, let’s see what you do with it,” should have been the gesture. In the award’s presentation it was also noted that “only rarely has a person such as Obama captured the world’s attention and given his people hope for a better future.” And this is undoubtedly true; Americans have been enthralled by Obama’s skillful rhetoric and idealistic vision since the beginning of his campaign. However, this is no grounds for presentation of a Nobel Prize. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the same honor for his advancement of African American civil and political rights, not solely on the basis of his public speaking. But Obama is not to blame. He admitted the award was as surprising to himself as it was to the rest of the world. “I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishment but rather an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people of all nations,” he declared. At least he’s made it clear that the jus-
tification we seek in his accomplishment does not in fact exist. High unemployment and lack of fiscal responsibility direct the basis for this award elsewhere. The 21,000 additional troops in Afghanistan certainly don’t provide an answer either. However, not all is lost in the President’s honor. If anything, the Nobel Comitee has ushered America back into a position of exemplification for democracy. Though the prize was delivered on questionable basis, it offers leaders of foreign countries reassurance as to Obama’s initiatives. It allows America to transition away from the previous eight years in which international diplomacy was tarnished. It is a glimmer of hope, certainly more of a step in the right direction than vague assurances of change.
EDITOR IN CHIEF
45% 100% POSITIVE SPAM
40% RESPONSE TO SCHOOL ACTIVITIES, POLICIES, ETC.
35% FEEDBACK FROM ISSUE ONE
15% OUT-OF-SCHOOL ISSUES, ACTIVITIES 10% RANDOM THOUGHTS
Coats for the cold
What’s for lunch?
Why does the school see it necessary to It is getting colder earlier this year, and take our finger prints? On the first day of one thought that has been on my mind high school we were all given an identifiis that there are kids around the seacoast cation number. Once we were all labeled that do not have the proper necessities with a nine digit code, the school found for the cold weather. I think that Exeter if necessary to utilize a finger scan High School should take part in the system. The claim was that it would YOUR TWO “Coats for Kids Foundation” and do make the buying experience more CENTS our part to help the seacoast area. As Write to us at efficient and extinguish long waiting thetalon@ a school, we should be proactive and lines. This wave of unseen corruption sau16.org. organize a drive before it becomes We’ll probably continues to succumb over innocent only publish too cold out. This non-profit organistudents. Day by day, students walk your entry if zation does its part to help, but the we agree with up to the line, infringing on their in- you, but hey, more public support they receive, nocent nature. The do not know you might get the more coats they can hand out to lucky. Just who they are giving their ID to. Are kidding. children in need. They take almost all the finger prints archived, or kept by sizes for girls and boys, but do not acthe school? Or are they given to the cept used coats. Last year, Coats for food corporation that serves our teenagKids delivered over 10,000 coats, a record, ers everyday? These questions have been but they did not want to stop there beasked by only a few students; both those cause kids are still coming to school with who denied giving up their identification, no coats. I feel that this is a worthy cause, and those who confronted this oppressive and as a school we can all step up help dogma. children in need. TIM CURCIO grade twelve
NICOLE EBERHART grade twelve
The problem I want to discuss is what seniors are supposed to do during their lunch period. There isn’t enough room in the cafeteria for all of us to sit and eat and we aren’t allowed to go and sit in our cars. We are all trying to save money for college and whatever else we plan to do in the future. We don’t have extra money to spend
“THERE ISN’T ENOUGH ROOM IN THE CAFETERIA FOR ALL OF US.” on gas so that we can go go somewhere to unecessarily spend money on food. Also half of an hour really isn’t enough time to go somewhere. There needs to be a place for seniors to go and have lunch, or at least an addition of tables. I hope that in a short time this problem can be solved and the seniors are presented with another option. KIRSTIN RICKARBY grade twelve
*As promised, we’ve included the most bizarre letter to the editor received this issue. The following makes very little sense and has even less relevance. It is presented verbatim.
What’s up with otters? They never seem to accomplish anything at all. They just walk around being cute and stuff. They spend their time messing with alligators or crocs (I don’t know which) and they seem to just be mean-spirited. And then there is the platapus, natures little mistake. Thy’re kind
THE TALON NOVEMBER 2009
of like a duck but with a little beaver thrown in. They’re so lazy, they don’t even have real babies. I mean, how hard is it just to make a fetus that’s one type of animal? The whole thing is just silly. DYLAN WEINAND grade twelve
THE WIRE FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME
Taylor Macdonald is the only girl on the golf team.
What competitive golf means to Taylor Macdonald By Siobhan Darmody
ow would it feel to be the only girl on a team in a male-dominated sport? If you are Junior Taylor MacDonald, it is no matter at all; it’s all about the game. This is Taylor’s second year playing competitive golf and she is loving every minute of it. This fall, Taylor was the only girl of the 29 members who made up the golf team. “Being the only girl on the team is hard at times because a lot of my teammates have been playing competitively longer than I have.” When she first went out for the team, she knew she was going to be the only girl and this motivated her even more. She was constantly compared to the only girl on the team last year who was an “incredible” player, and she wanted to live up to those expectations. Taylor tried out for the team hoping that if she played four days a week and got to know the competitive side of the game a bit better that golf would become more fun for her. And it did. Although it is hard to be a singular minority, Taylor said that her team and coach Bob Bailey were very supportive, understanding, and overall just nice to her. Taylor particularly likes the individual aspect of golf. “Because it is a sport that helps you work on your individual performance, it is free of judgments.” Being able to focus on her personal game has helped Taylor to improve tremendously. Her family members made a huge impact on her motivation to play golf. Taylor’s whole family plays the game but she said the one who inspired her most was her dad. He taught her personally and also signed her up for lessons. When Taylor’s father first signed her up, he told her it was an important skill that she could use throughout life. Taylor did not understand what her father meant until she began playing competitively this fall. She holds a new appreciation for the sport. In preparation for the season Taylor also attended a golf camp during the summer at Sugarloaf
By Siobhan Darmody
Mountain in Maine. She worked hard on her game, going to camp for five days and playing 40 holes a day. Her itinerary consisted of an hour lesson of putting and many, many videos. “It was a lot of golf, especially since I didn’t like playing too much when I first arrived,” said Taylor. She unknowingly attended the camp with only two other fourteen year old boys. Fortunately, the boys were very good and helped Taylor have a great learning experience. The camp involved a lot of individual attention and helped her realize that the most frustrating things can also be the most rewarding at the same time.
Although she usually doesn’t like watching golf on television, she does have a favorite professional player. Her pick-Michelle Wie. “I like her because she is young and became a professional golfer while also staying in school,” said Taylor. “That is so impressive.” Her favorite course for a round is the Golf Club of New England in Stratham. She said the course is absolutely gorgeous and although she plays it all the time, it is always challenging. “I can definitely see golf in my future,” said Taylor. For her, golf is something to progress at for a lifetime.
PHOTO COURTESY OF TAYLOR MACDONALD
INTO THE WILD A look at the Outing Club By Paige Ferreri
The Outing Club climbed Mount Major last spring.
he Outing Club takes kids to the extreme. Or it at least allows them to get some fresh air. It is comprised of approximately twenty kids, a number of willing chaperones, and few thousand-foot mountains. The Outing Club challenges students to get outside and do things they’ve never done before, while maintaining physical activity. “The whole idea is because it’s fun,” said Mrs. Morse, who founded the club with the help of Mrs. Mellor last year. So far, they’ve had a number of students who’ve shown an interest in what they do and joined the hikes.
One of the best things about this club, other than the views, is it is very low key. There are no consistent meetings to attend and absolutely anyone can join if he or she is interested. Also, if one would like to slow down or speed up while hiking, individual paces are just fine. “Everyone can just go at their own pace,” said Mrs. Morse. Kids of all athletic and abilities are welcomed. “There are those kids that run to the top and are done in thirty minutes, and then there are some kids that it takes an hour and a half.” The Outing Club is planning a number of hikes
this year, one of which includes Mount Morgan and Percival. This 2,200 foot tall peak has interesting caves along the 5.5 mile long trail, with outstanding views from the top. This is also twice as tall as the mountain they hiked last year, Mount Major. These fun adventures don’t stop in the fall; kids can enjoy snowshoeing through a forest in the winter and can hike mountains again in the spring. At any time during the year, this group welcomes students to join in on each and every adventure, whether it’s up a mountain or just a walk through the woods.
FAREWELL TO A LOCAL TREASURE Exeter’s Ioka Theater will remain vacant By Amanda Losapio
xeter’s Ioka Theater first opened its doors in 1915, but now the only theater in downtown Exeter has closed its doors once and for all. “After taking a tour of the beautiful theater I just couldn’t let someone take it down,” said Marc Murai of the moment when he first stepped into the theatre last April. Murai organized and led the Save the Ioka campaign; he wanted to turn the Ioka into a revolutionary building where everyone could enjoy the community treasure.
THE TALON NOVEMBER 2009
He planned on renovating the theater and keeping its history alive, while adding a new modern touch. However, after he sadly he missed his deadline of September 30th, the Ioka remains an empty building. Murai had focused all his efforts towards the Ioka campaign and looked to make it financially viable with the help of a few local investors. Initially, these individuals were willing to pruduce funds to help bring the cinema back to life. A 100 year-old Tellers-Kent Silent Film Theater Organ was donated to the Save the Ioka campaign which would “transform how the Ioka would play films,” claimed Murai. He raised the 10,000
PHOTO BY CHRIS ALLEN
THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET Students prepare for the first drama performance of the year By Siobhan Darmody
any of us know Sweeney Todd as either the 2007 movie starring Johnny Depp or the common Broadway production. Soon enough, students will become much more familiar with the production of Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Production of the play centers on a gloomy tale, one with a long history in the theater scene. The tale of Sweeney Todd is loosely based on a Demon Barber who murders his wealthy customers by slitting their throats. He then pulls a lever which leads the customers to fall through a trap door to their death. Of course, there are several adaptations of this beloved and dark tale. A less graphic rendition is will be presented in the auditorium this Halloween weekend. The 2009 fall play marks Mrs. Dawson’s 5th year as the head of the EHS drama program, one that has come a long way since its first production, Little Shop of Horrors. However, Sweeney Todd was not a production Mrs. Dawson chose on her own. “Students desperately wanted to do this production,” she said. This year’s play is unique from past productions; almost every word in the play is sung. It
also carries a dramatically new tone. “This is one of the darkest plays we’ve done,” said Mrs. Dawson. The play incorportates a wealth of Exeter High School actors in various roles. In the lead part of Sweeney Todd is Steven Chambers. while Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd’s partner in crime, is played by Jessica Graham. Other notable Exeter High School actors in the production include Michaela Plumer as Adolfo Pirelli, Jack Scippa as Tobias Ragg, Bobby Collinge as Judge Turpin, Dan Dickenson as Beadle Bamford, Caroline Portu as Joanna Barker, Megan Redlon as Lucy Barker, and Jake Randlett as Anthony. The production also relies on a chorus of 15 members. Chorus members Matt McCauliffe and Caroline Young are both looking forward to the exciting production. “It’s coming along very well but it’s quite overwhelming at the same time,” said McCauliffe. “The most overwhelming aspect of the whole play is that it is almost an opera due to the way the music is sung and the lack of dialogue. “The music is phenomenal, and it should really affect the turnout,” said Young. The two are both looking forward to the audience’s reaction and hope that the play will offer a great contrast from previous productions. Cast members hope the play will be one of the most frightening Exeter High School pro-
HISTORIC ENDING TIMELINE
DECEMBER 24, 2008 The theater closes on Christmas Eve of 2004 after its last screening, “The Nutcracker.” JULY 31, 2009 Murai’s first deadline for a purchase-and-sale agreement is missed. SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 Final deadline for Murai to purchase the Ioka is missed. OCTOBER 13, 2009 Within an extended deadline, Murai fails to acquire necessary funds to purchase the theater. Ioka is again for sale.
ductions to date. The music is morbid and the choreography is frightening. This play is intense and amazing at the same time. Even rehearsal on a rainy Tuesday afternoon seems to carry a
PRODUCTION: Sweeney Todd PLACE: Hanson Center for the Performing Arts PRICE: $1.00 certain thrill. The set plans include a full working barber shop chair and an elevated insane asylum; realistic and frightening scenery will surely heighten the plays excitement. If you’re looking for an eventful, eerie, and unique experience during the weekend of October 30-31, Sweeney Todd is for you. The tickets are one dollar at the door and it would be greatly appreciated if everyone who attended brought a non-perishable food item for the food pantry. If you like what you see while attending Sweeney Todd and if you have an interest in comic relief or improvisation, a new group will be starting up at EHS for you. Listen to the announcements in the near future for more information on opportunities to participate.
dollar deposit on the Ioka for the first payment, which was accumulated through local investors and caring people who made donations. In hopes of reaching the September 30th deadline, Murai flew out to Los Angeles to pull all the strings he could. In the end, funding for the theater’s renovation drove him to an end with the venture. After the two investors backed out of their deal on October 13 during one last effort, Murai gave up on his vision. He says he fully intends to pay back every person who donated money in the campaign. Throughout this process, Murai has thought about everyone but himself. “I wanted to fill in what the community was missing, a value-based business, by re-opening the theater,” he said. Unfortunately, the venture was too ambitious to be properly funded and the Ioka remains vacant. The current owner of the theater has moved on and is looking for other potential buyers.
PHOTO BY TORI PUTNAM
ANNA CARDONI IS ON A BOAT Junior finds a team sport in crew
By Nick Ferreri
ow many Exeter High School students take part in rowning during the fall season? The answer is one-Anna Cardoni. Crew, or rowing, is a sport virtually unknown to the average Exeter High School athlete; however, for Anna, it is not only her fall sport, but something she deeply enjoys. It all started last spring when several students tried out the sport through Great Bay Rowing. Among the pioneers were Cardoni, a junior, and seniors Emily Bergan and Barona Dinapoli. While there have been previous students to try out crew, the numbers are so small that it still remains a new frontier. This is because it is an exclusive sport. Most athletics that involve races do not strengthen the upper body as well as the lower body, and do not do so in an a thirtythousand dollar boat. This is partly the reason why rowing attracted Anna. “[Rowing] is unique.,” she said. “It is fun and I like being on water, but I also like pushing myself. My brother did it, which is why I started, and now I really like it and all of the people who do it.” This is the usual rower mentality, and it has to be, because if one’s not prepared to work hard, it is detrimental to the entire group. “The races are called regattas and are usually enormous events because there are only a few per season,” said Anna. “The long races (i.e. five kilometers) only take place in the fall, while the short sprints (like 1,500 or 2,000 meters) take place in the spring. Fall is the main season though; because that is when the Head of the Charles race is and other huge races like that take place.” Crew is rigorous and challenging. The workouts are difficult and often physically strain the body. “It is definitely a work out and really tiring sometimes; after races I’m exhausted,” said Anna. “That is, I guess, part of the reason I do it though. We have practice every day besides Sunday and Saturday, which is when we compete, and usually for one week we’ll work out on the water, while the next we’ll do dry lands, and we’ll repeat this pattern.” The practice schedule adjusts to the changing tides on the Oyster River. “Being a tidal river means that for one week the water level will be high enough for us to take boats out and practice, while the next week, it will not be,” said Anna. “When we practice on water, we usually do sprints or row long distance.” But when her team is not rowing on the
BY THE NUMBERS
Anna Cardoni takes part in crew five days a week during the fall.
water, they complete rigorous land workouts designed specifically to strengthen important muscle groups. “It’s basically body circuits, as well as some erging and running,” she said. “The body circuits are mostly abdominal workouts, and erging is what you do when you use the rowing machines.” A typical crew boat, or a shell, is incredibly streamline and close to the water. Naturally, it looks easy to capsize or to rock with one slight movement. However, shells are unseemingly sturdy. “They look like they’d be easy to flip, but the ones I ride in aren’t,” said Anna. There are eight person boats, four person boats, and two per-
lost by the boys 0 Games 17:11 varsity soccer and football teams
THE TALON NOVEMBER 2009
son boats. I ride the eight person ones and I’ve never heard of one tipping. I have seen a two person boat flip, but nothing bigger than that. It’s not too bad though, all they do is just flip it back over.” Crew is a one-of-a-kind sport that fosters the same, if not more, intensity of other athletics. While much depends on the strength of the individuals, it is very much a team sport. Everyone needs to stay synchronized while rowing or the boat will not move straight or rapidly. Anna and every other member of the team put in as much effort possible to further the group as a whole. “I appreciate the work,” said Anna. “It’s really rewarding.” Time it took Chris Hager to run a 5k cross country meet (team record) PHOTO BY NICK FERRERI
Keara garcia on her Colombian heritage By Christina Hubbard
enior Keara Garcia is is proud to be Colombian. Her entire immediate family is from this South American region and currently lives there. Colombia, home to vibrant dancing, farm fields, soccer and coffee among other things, is a place she remains close to. Keara visits the region every one or two years to see family and other loved ones. “I have been going back to my parents’ homeland ever since I was a little girl. It is where I learned Spanish and where I reunite with my family.” She embraces her roots and the culture of the people living there. Her mother’s entire side of the family lives there and has for her entire life. “When we visit we stay in Ibague where my grandmother lives,” said Keara. “It is also where my mom is from.” Her grandmother had twelve kids, so Keara is accustomed to an overwhelming number of aunts, uncles. and other relatives. “I think I have like million cousins,” says Keara jokingly. Her father is from Montenegro, Colombia and was born into a family of five children. In the way Keara describes her homeland, It is obvious that she holds it in a special place within her heart. “The people down there are all soeasy going,” she siad. “Family is a very important. They do everything together- dancing, partying and everything else. Whatever you’re doing you’re with the family, your never alone; they’re always around.” When Keara visits, typically in the summer months, a quiet vacation is not expected. In this season there are countless festivals of music, dancing, and combined art. “Merengue, salsa, vallenato, bachata and reggeaton are the only things that people will listen to down there,” she said. “Dancing is everywhere. My older sister Paula is a crazy good dancer.” As for the food in Colombia, it depends on location. “It is different in each town or city” she said. “Each place has its own specialties, but the most common food over there is rice and beans. A good breakfast food is Arepa Con Queso, and a popular entrée is Bandeja Paisa.” Holidays also differ in Columbia as traditions
made this 24 Shutouts season in a varsity sport
are substantially different than those in America. “We celebrate La Novena. It starts nine days before Christmas, but its similar to Christmas. We put up a tree as well,” said Keara. The quinceañera is another common and important celebration. It is tradition for girls, when they turn fifteen, to transfer from being a girl to being a young adult. “I had one in Colombia and so did my sister,” said Keara. She didn’t always live in New Hampshire. “I’m not originally from New Hampshire” said Keara. “I actually use to live in New Jersey. There was a lot more Hispanics, especially Colombians where I used to live, compared to here in Exeter. Over there I’d most definitely be around with more Hispanic people and probably talk more Spanish at school and everywhere else. When I moved to Exeter it was a big change.” Even though living in Exeter has never been a problem for her, being one of the few Hispanics attending the school, she noticed the general lack of knowledge regarding Hispanic culture. “People have mistaken me as Mexican and I
Place the varsity golf team placed at the state tournament
Keara Garcia visits her homeland of Colombia to reunite with her family. really hate that,” said Keara. Even though there aren’t many Hispanics in Exeter she says, “My family and I know Colombians in Manchester we are friends with and party with. There is also a Hispanic church we go to every once and a while in Manchester. There’s a lot of Mexicans that go there for some reason, but there are Colombians too”. Despite living in America, Keara still finds herself connected with Hispanic culture. “We are only allowed to speak Spanish at home,” she said. “And yes, we do watch the Spanish shows and of course the Spanish soap operas. If you walked into my house it looks like your typical American home but downstairs shows some bits and pieces of Colombia.” Even though she lives in New Hampshire, she is aware of her roots. “I feel as though my family and I are more Colombian than American. Most definitely.”
allowed by the 34 Points varsity football team in six total games
Freshman girls currently playing on the girls varsity soccer team PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY TORI PUTNAM
MATT MUMPER TAKES FLIGHT A look at the dangerous and thrilling sport of motocross
Matt Mumper reaches heights of more than 20 feet when jumping his dirt bike.
By David Claar
att Mumper knows Motocross. In fact its been a sport he’s been able to appreciate ever since he was old enough to get on a bike. “I first got interested in motocross when my dad bought me a dirt bike when I was ten,” said Matt. It wasn’t long before he grew a strong passion for the sport and began to race at the competitive level. To this day, even despite injuries, not much has changed. He still continues to race and ride dirt bikes on a daily basis. As Matt’s age and skill level have progressed, he’s experienced an increasing amount of risk in the sport. He and his fellow competitors take countless precautions in order to reduce their chances of serious injury. Riders wear protective equipment when racing to avoid concussions, broken bones, and just about every other possible injury. “The gear you wear is boots, knee pads, pants, a kidney belt, a jersey, gloves, chest protector, neck
TWO MINUTE DRILL
brace, helmet, and, goggles,” said Matt. “It’s a lot of stuff.” The sport of motocross takes an unparalleled amount of time and dedication. Matt rides his dirt bike as often as possible in the woods around his house to keep an edge over the competition. On average, Matt competes in about 20 races each year, starting in the spring and ending in late fall. Attending all of these races requires some significant traveling on Matt’s part. The distance of the race tracks range from an hour to five hours from his home. Once at a motocross race, there are few events like it. Motocross requires concentration and a willingness to take risks. “During a race I haven’t really paid any attention to how I feel, mainly because I’m fully focused on what’s in front of me,” said Matt. There is no question as to how Matt feels after his races. “It can get extremely tiring. Some tracks are more tiring than others, but no matter which, I’m always exhausted after,” he said. The sport has created many memories and some of his proudest moments in life. “I went to a track at one point this year that I had never rid-
WITH COACH HUMMER
By Paige Ferreri and Amanda Losapio
den or even seen; I destroyed my class in both motos,” said Matt. “I went all with no idea what to expect on the jumps. I just estimated and it worked out well.” So what is it actually like to be more than 20 feet in the air? “It feels like you’re floating,” he said. “I’m mostly focused on the landings, but if it’s a jump that flows really nicely you can huck some huge whips while you’re up there.” Although Matt makes it look easy, hitting large jumps requires a great amount of practice, and a high level of concentration. “When I’m coming up to a jump in a race I go as fast I can up to it and depending on the size and my speed, I do one of two things-I sometimes scrub it, which is when you don’t let your suspension rebound,” he said. “This keeps you lower and you get less distance. If the jump is big, I let my suspension rebound and launch it. Once in the air, I relax and focus on the landing. When I land I get back on the gas and prepare for the next section of the track.” For Matt, motocross is a sport he never wants to give up. As far as he’s concerned, he can float in the air forever.
Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts? Dunkin Donuts.
Do you sing in the shower? Yes.
Have you ever cried in a movie? Yes, the most recent was in August Rush.
If you were stranded on an island, what’s one thing you’d want to have? Cell phone.
What’s your favorite midnight snack? Yogurt.
Favorite Sundae topping? Hot fudge and jimmies. With whipped cream.
Favorite magazine? Better Homes and Gardens.
THE TALON NOVEMBER 2009
PHOTO BY DAVID CLAAR
WHEN IT’S NOT JUST A HEADACHE The lasting impact of athletic concussions By Nick Ferreri
ave you ever heard people say they’ve been hit so hard they saw stars? Or something similar, implying that their brain was just rattling back and forth? It is not uncommon to hear such a phrase, or rather, see a such a hit occur. Athletes get concussions far more often than spectators realize. Usually, they are relatively minor and only result in headaches; however, if small concussions persist or if an athlete receives a worse one, the effects on the body can include structural brain damage, loss of memory, in some cases colorblindness, and on rare occasions premature death. One study performed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill looked the brains of deceased football players. Granted, there is more force applied in contact within the NFL than in high school football; regardless, the athletes being studied died early due to concussion-related injuries. Moreover, it is believed that the initial damage in some of these players started while in high school. This is why it is important to participate in the baseline concussion testing, which is being introduced to schools around the country and is already been being used at Exeter High School . There are a handful of athletes here at Exeter who have received severe concussions, but there is no one who has experienced one similar to that of Greyson Carmen. Greyson is a sophomore and received his first concussion during a football game in eighth grade. “After my first concussion I had amnesia, which is short term memory loss,” said Greyson. “I had trouble remembering small things. So when my class would review for a test, I would get home and remember nothing. My short term memory is getting better, but it did affect my grades because I used to get mostly A’s with some B’s, while now I’m a C student.” The slower pace is not all that’s changed. Greyson, unlike others, developed a unique condition involving the inability to see color. “At first I saw in shades of one specific color. One day everything would be green, the next day everything would be slightly red, and then another day things might be blue,” said Greyson. “I even used to see opposites for a little: reds would be green and blues would be orange. Although over time everything just started getting dimmer and dimmer until now, where I only see black and white. Also, the first time I went on a plane after my concussion there was a build up of pressure in the back of my eyes and for about six hours I went totally blind,” he said.
Photo by Tori Putnam
WHAT EXETER HIGH SCHOOL IS DOING. . . Through Access Sports, Exeter High School athletes participate in the basline testing program for concussions.
“The baseline test is an online test that measures reaction time and visual motor speed. It gives a cursory idea on how the brain works while at baseline. After a concussion an athlete may feel better, but still his performance may not be as well as at baseline. With varied results, we see an indication of the brain’s current health., said Dr. Christopher Couture, a sports medicine physician at Access Sports. Using this information, athletes are determined to be eligible to play or not. Evaluation is based on test results, which indicate the athlete’s current condition.
Additionally, just when Greyson thought it could not get any worse, he suffered yet another large concussion during an indoor lacrosse game last winter. After being out for over a year from physical sports, he was assured after having this final blow that he was to be done with contact sports for life. Because of the damage done to his brain he can no longer recount memories prior to the first concussion. “I have pretty much no child-
hood memories; I can barely remember anything,” said Greyson. “It’s like a puzzle with no pieces; it’s there, I just can’t see it.” Despite all the setbacks, he keeps a surprisingly positive attitude and looks at life as if the glass were half full. “It could have been a lot worse,” he says. “Everything happens for a purpose.” As for other studentds, Greyson’s story serves as a reminder to the importance of seeking proper treatment for even minor concussions.
PHOTO BY TORI PUTNAM
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COMMENTARY THE DRAWING BOARD SKETCH 01:
Dues are tracked, purchases are recorded and the balance is updated frequently.
Grade point average, class rank and grade statistics are all displayed.
By Chris Pope
The digital portfolio requirement are organized into one tab; this is where artifacts are saved and a portfolio is compiled.
Each student has their own respective profile, complete with a school email address. Students would partipate in class selection through this individual profile.
A central location for weather alerts and other important notices. Not a complete list of announcements, only those requiring immediate attention.
All homework postings are combined into one user-friendly area.
ince PowerSchool was integrated into the school, students have taken full advantage of it. Some even call it addicting, noting that they check it numerous times a day. But when it really comes down to it, PowerSchool does not truly live up to its potential. While it does allow private access to one’s grades, attendance records, graduation progress, and even a school bulletin, it fails to provide students with all pertinant information and capabilities which could possibly save not only students, but faculty time and effort as well. PowerSchool, as is, does provide students and parents with a lot of basic information. However, it only scratches the surface. While the site displays each letter grade one receives for a class, it does not provide students with an accompanying percentage. This can be nerve-racking for many because if a student has a C+, and desperately needs to raise the grade to a B- before the end of the term, it would be helpful to know exactly how many percentage points that student has to go.
Also, PowerSchool neglects to allows students to view their grade point average and class rank. Since a unique username and password is needed to view an individual’s page, students should have the ability to look up this information without having to make a guidance appointment. The third and final basic change involves saving teachers and students from much heartache. More often than not, students are able to look up their grades before the assignment was even passed back. This often leads to many wanting to send death threats because they have no idea why they received a fifty percent on a large essay. PowerSchool already allows a student to click on any assignment he or she wishes, but all that normally pops up is the name of the assignment. It would help significantly if when one clicked on a specific assignment, an explanation for the grade he or she received was posted. This would save many English teachers from having to write notes at the end of every paper they corrected, and would allow students to prepare for what’s coming without panic. When students arrive home from school, it
is always a constant battle to find out what is needed to be done for homework. As of right now, teachers are currently using two different sites to post assignments making it all the more difficult to remember which teachers post their work on Moodle and which post it on Homeworknow.com. PowerSchool needs to integrate both sites. Teachers should be able to post assignments on PowerSchool the same way administrators post the school bulletin. Finally, students need a way in which they can craft their own schedules. A page would contain seven drop down boxes, four for the main subject areas, and three more for electives and free periods. As students chose specific classes for each subject, a list of teachers would appear below, and students would get to choose their top three teacher choices, and fill them into three empty spaces below. Students with higher previous academic performance would have priority as an incentive. Teachers could also place recommendations right on this page, saving paper and the guidance counselors a significant amount of time doing paperwork.
DRIVEN BY DATA
OUTSOURCING EQUALS OPPORTUNITY Why a two-way street works for all of us BY JACK TISDALL
URCING INSO $
$ $ $
USA Illustration by Nate Dullea
O UTSO CIN G UR
uch of the disagreement about political issues in the public stems from a lack of full, accurate information. Questions such as, “what is the purpose of government?” or, “should abortions be legalized?” are a matter of opinion. However, many issues arise from discrepancies in information and can be clarified by analyzing all the facts effectively and with an open mind. As Democrat senator Patrick Moynahan once said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own fact.” One political issue that is commonly addressed is whether companies should be allowed to send jobs overseas. Democrats, supportive of unions and the “little guy,” often accuse globalized companies such as Walmart of being destructive. In the 2000 election, John Kerry referenced in a debate, “Benedict Arnold CEO’s sending jobs overseas.” This phenomenon of shipping low cost Chinese consumer goods to America’s willing buyers came about in the 1990’s, when Kmart and Walmart battled to supply the cheaper good. This new globalized business model involved building factories in China and firing the industrial workers in America. Then the infamous term hit the politics of trade: outsourcing. So what are the facts? One economic law that must be understood is that the benefits of trade are widespread, while the costs are concentrated on a specific group.
THE TALON NOVEMBER 2009
For example, the effects of the 1990’s revolution in information technology subjected white collar service sector workers to the pressures of international competition. These unhappy workers and much of the Democratic Party jumped on this as evidence of the failure of a free market and called for greater government regulation. But was this called for? The first thing to understand is that the US economy is huge: there are currently 130 million jobs and 22 million new jobs are estimated to be created over the next four years. As for outsourcing- about 90% of jobs will remain unaffected as they require geographical proximity(industries such as restaurants and personal care). John Kerry does have a point though: some hardworking Americans are losing jobs to Chinese workers willing to do the same work at half the wage. But just how many jobs are lost? One dire forecast, the Forester study, predicts that 3.3 million jobs will be lost of the next 15 years to foreign countries. That’s 220,000 jobs each year! Say it ain’t so! This is approximately the number created in one month. So yes, some workers will lose their jobs. However, these workers can fill into new jobs that are created with economic growth. The cost of an economy progressing technologically always has and always will be temporary unemployment. Is that burden so much that it calls for
government intervention? If it is, let’s go back to the year 1800 when 50 percent of industry was agriculture. Currently, 5 percent of the economy is agriculture. But what happened to all those farmers? Did they lay down and die? No! They adapted and got jobs paying double their previous wage in a different industry. Not to mention that same person is now helping out the rest of society more than he previously was. This said, are there any positives to outsourcing? Why yes. The reverse phenomenon, known as “insourcing,” has a profound effect in the American economy. In fact, the number of jobs insourced is growing at a faster rate than jobs outsourced; in the last year, manufacturing jobs coming to the US grew by 82 percent. Whether they know it or not, Americans rely on this world trade. Foreign multinationals provide 5 percent of the service sector’s jobs through insourcing; moreover, these jobs are often higher-paying than those outsourced. Outsourcing and global trade is much less an issue of economics and more one of psychology- there’s no doubt the fear of losing a job is emotionally taxing. However, this temporary pain must be accepted as the cost of progress. Workers that lose jobs must have the ability to adapt and find new jobs. Perseverance has been the theme of America since the beginning; let’s not lose sight of our values now.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
ON THE PERCEPTION OF FASHION HE SAID BRENDAN
any teenage girls are all about fashion and looking good. But what exactly is “looking good”? And do the guys agree with the general fashion of girls here at Exeter High School? “It’s fine, I mean, I don’t mind it,” says one junior boy. He didn’t look very intrigued with the question. Neither did the next one. “Well, the fashion is decent here…I guess.” This was the general consensus among the guys who were interviewed. At first, they seemed excited to participate in an interview, yet once the question was asked many were bored with it already. Most muttered something
along the lines of “It’s okay…I mean, I really don’t notice it that much.” A few guys were happy to dive into the topic, however, and I began to notice a few trends with the answers they were giving me. Besides being indifferent towards the subject, one guy said, “I really don’t notice anything unless it’s inappropriate.” The others around him nodded in agreement. “I think a lot of the younger girls [here] dress a little too inappropriately at times,” comments senior Dan Proulx, and judging from the other information I gathered during my interviews, it seems most guys here at Exeter tend to dislike clothing that is, ahem, too ‘non-conservative’. “You don’t have to wear clothes that leave your…whatever…hanging out,” says Mason White. “Most guys like a certain level of class with a girl’s outfit.”
SHE SAID RACHEL
n high school, fashion sits high on the priority list, and that holds true here at Exeter High also. Every day acts as a personal fashion show where you get to show off your stuff. As girls, we tend to care very much about how we look and what other people think of us because we’ve become very selfcritical. (Here is where I could go on how the media has demolished our self-esteem with airbrushed perfection, but I’ll spare you). Therefore, girls around Exeter High take note off what their peers are wearing. Senior Amelia Allwarden said, “There are so many different types of people, so the way they dress is determined differently,” which most other girls agreed with. Girls are stereotypically known to be attracted to clothes and how people are dressed, however most girls interviewed stated that
they barely noticed a guy’s clothing unless it was outstandingly ridiculous. Almost every girl interviewed was appreciative when men got a little more dressed up for their school day. Button down shirts, especially flannel, with khakis or cords; ties, or sweaters were all mentioned numerous times when asked what girls loved. Looking polished, instead of sloppy, will obviously get you better results with the ladies; one junior said “is it really that hard to throw on a polo?” Few girls here at Exeter feel like staring at your underwear all day, or seeing the pants you slept in. Fitted shirts and jeans, and sports clothes were also well liked all around. While girls may not take what guys wear under hypercritical notation, we do notice the clothes we dislike. The majority of girls really hate baggy clothing! Pants should sit on your hips, not under your butt. Sweat pants are fine, but not incredibly baggy ones. Also, windbreaker pants (which everyone knows make very distracting noises) should be avoided at all costs, especially
Many of the guys who were interviewed agreed that girls’ clothes should be classy, but classy doesn’t always mean flashy. And flashy certainly doesn’t always mean classy. “A lot of girls here try too hard to get noticed, and they start wearing over-the-top clothes such as spandex and such,” said an older male student. So remember, girls, classy doesn’t always mean flashy: you can keep things simple by wearing stylish clothes while not attracting too much attention to yourself. Whatever you do, don’t wear boring clothes, at least around Clint Hobbs, who says “I like it when [girls] keep it classy, but, ‘interesting’ at the same time. You know what I mean.” The general male population of Exeter High School is indifferent to girls’ fashion, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; if a girl is getting a lot of attention due to her fashion then it is most likely inappropriate or too flashy. Most guys are partial to the classy look, especially if a girl manages to find a balance between flashy and simple. Well, there you have it, ladies, take it for what it’s worth, as the men have spoken.
if they zip off at the knee. Girls interviewed also were not fans of more feminine clothing, like flip-flops or girly sunglasses and V-necks (please, spare us all). And please, don’t be that guy who wears all Hollister all the time. Name brands are fine, but you don’t need to act as their walking billboard. Jewelry is also a bad choice, guys. If you wear a chain, keep it under your shirt, and earrings should be barely noticeable, if worn at all. Each person has their own set of likes and dislikes. This is not to say that every person at Exeter High School is judging you behind your back. The clothes we wear and how we wear them is a crucial facade of high school life, and everyone should work to better their own appearance. Putting effort into our clothing choices, for girls and for guys, can open new opportunities and create a new brand of respect from others because dressing to impress shows that you respect yourself. What we wear can change what other people think of us, giving fashion an extraordinary amount of power through the high school population, and in the future. Next time you get ready to leave your house, take a second look at yourself in the mirror, figure out how others will view you, and see if it matches who you really are.
LIFE PROVOST OF
by Dan Provost
English teacher Dan Provost was a student at Exeter High School and a staff member of The Talon in 2000. His column, The Life of Provost, was always a piece of comedic relief found on the last page of the newspaper. We flashback to years ago and also catch up with the former columnist.
FLASHBACK Issue Six in February, 2000
I AM THE MAN
f you’re looking for that controversial Life of Provost that was promised, you will find it in the Opinions Section. You will also find that due to The Talon’s Mission Statement, it could not be quite as controversial as promised. However, I urge you to read this first, seeing as how I am to prove to all that beyond a shadow of a doubt, I am The Man. For many of you this comes as no new information. But for all of you doubters out there; prepare to be converted. First, I must warn you that I am not a conceited person. I was just as surprised as many of you to find out that I was and still am, The Man. The event I am about to relate is a true one. Let me set the stage. I was with Ira Martin in his Mercedes Benz CE 300 Limited Edition, on our way to my bank so I could cash my check. Driving a CE 300 makes Ira The Man for the time being. While it is true that I drive a Ford Explorer with more bass than Barry White, I still can not touch a CE 300. That is, I could not touch it. Now that I am The Man, I could take that CE off the line with a beatup Ford Aspire. As we pull up to the bank I tell Ira that we can go to the drive-up. I sign my check and hand it over to him, and he in turns
THE TALON NOVEMBER 2009
places it in that vacuum-capsule thing. Isn’t that thing the coolest? You can put your check in it, hit a button and a vacuum sucks it over to the bank. Talk about overkill. There had to have been an easier way. I can just see a bunch of engineers sitting around, trying to figure out the most expensive way to get a check to go ten feet to a teller. I would have just put a pulley
“I was just as surprised as many of you to find out that I was, and still am, The Man.” with a clothespin. Then take the money I’d save and offer higher interest payback on people’s saving accounts. So my check reaches the bank through the wonders of science and the vacuum, and it’s received by an absolutely incredible bank teller. I tell you this women was a goddess. Twenty-five, blond, hourglass figure, whatever that means. Who ever
came up with that one? Why would anyone want to look like an hourglass? “Hi, I’m fat on the top and the bottom, but my waist is only two inches around. Did I mention I’m full of sand?” Anyway, the teller asks me politely if I could send over my driver’s license so that she can (wink wink) positively i.d. me. We all know however, that on my driver’s license is my address and date of birth, and I think it is safe to say that she may have had a little hidden agenda. This is whereI became The Man. She says, “Dan” (she got my name off the check, pretty sly huh?) “could you send me over your driver’s license so I can cash this?” So I say, (are you ready for this?) “Sure. Would you also like me to send over my phone number?” Oh yes. Realizing immediately that I was The Man, she said, “Sure.” Yep, she called me the other night. We talked and it turns out that she’s single. However, it also turns out that she likes Mercedes and wanted Ira’s number. I guess this proves that I’m actually not The Man. So why did I an entire column on me not being The Man, when I had originally stated so emphatically that I was? I guess that’s just the Life of Provost for you. You guys still love me, right?
JUST USE YOUR IMAGINATION
ither somebody told me this or I read it somewhere or I’m making it up entirely: The typical human loses roughly half of his or her ability to imagine around age 14. Imagine that. (If you are over 14 you will find this about twice as hard as you should.) Anecdotal evidence supports this theory. Just watch a pack of second graders for an afternoon at recess—imagination runs wild. After 14, give or take of course, excessive use of imagination becomes lying. This is due to the complexities of neurotransmitters in the developing adolescent brain, which is something I just made up. So much of growing up is about losing in one way or another: you lose your baby teeth; you lose your innocence; you lose your moodle password. Must you lose your imagination as well? I would like to think that imagination need not go anywhere. I would like to think that my classroom full of young adults is still able to imagine the way they could on the playground in elementary school. The Gentleman Samuel Clemens was fond of saying (or am I imagining?) that storytellers are the best liars. This is no doubt true, as Mr. Clemens himself famously lied about his own name and wrote as Mark Twain. The scoundrel! It takes a fantas-
tic commitment to lying, or imagining, to write nearly anything interesting. Stuffy English majors invent silly words like hyperbole to cover for their heros’ and heroines’ penchant for stretching the truth. We say things like, “One must suspend one’s disbelief to fully appreciate Garcia Marquez,” and we rightly get pummeled for it by jocks and gym teachers.
The typical human loses roughly half of his or her ability to imagine around age 14. It goes without saying, but should not be left unsaid, that there is no place for out and out liars. They are bad people and should not be trusted with iPhones or restaurant tabs. This is not what I am encouraging. Nor am I encouraging the type of storytelling one-ups-manship that is so prevalent around lunch tables and locker rooms. You know the guy. Someone tells a
great story about his or her weekend and no sooner does the awe and applause die down than Mister or Miss One-Upper has to completely outdo the tale by relating a total stretcher. We had a friend who we used to call Divide-by-Five Bill behind his back (because we were petty and too afraid of getting beat up to call him that to his face). Basically everything Ol’ Divide-by-Five said had to be (you guessed it) divided by five in order to recover some semblance of a true story. If you had 2 hours of homework, he had 7. If your dad had a cool car, his dad used to have 12 cool cars but lost them all in a poker game with the real-life Tony Soprano. If you hit a home run in your game last night, he hit 3 and one was still orbiting the planet. I believe that between what really happened and the fibs of the divide-by-fivers are wonderful opportunities to exercise imagination. I believe in splicing in a couldbe-real detail now and again to liven things up a little. If statistics can lie and the very same data can be made to spin a debate in either direction, then all ye need to know on earth, Mr. John Keats, is not merely that “Truth is beauty,” but rather that a little bit of preteen-year-old playground imagination can go quite a bit further than some foggy facts.
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SE E D R . AT W O O D I N F 16 0 , D R . K AT W O O D I N G R E E N C O M M O N S
MAKING A L O O K B A C K AT T H E B E G I N N I N G S O F T H I S P U B L I C AT I O N A N D M O R E THAN A HALF-CENTURY OF HISTORY by Chris Allen
P h o t o g r a p h s f r o m Ta l o n A r c h i v e s
This venture into an unknown history begins in a room about ten feet wide.
A woman by the name of Ann Richards marks the earliest beginnings of the paper as a member of the first staff during the 1957 school year. However, what began as the E.H.S. News would not evolve into The Talon until many years later. Richards was in her sophomore year at the newly constructed Exeter High School, a coed merger between the Robinson Female Seminary and the previously all-boys Exeter High School. “I remember there was a meeting for people interested in joining a school newspaper,” she said. “Somebody told me, ‘You should do that.’ So I did.” This was during the second semester of the 1957 year, when John Richards (who Ann would eventually marry) and a small group of seniors established the first ever Exeter High School news publication. “When we started, [the paper] was more of a community newsletter than an actual newspaper,” said Ann. “Probably something you’d send out on email nowadays.” The first editions of E.H.S. News were printed on three or four pages of 8.5” by 11” paper, and by admission of Richards, contained minimal journalistic value. “The sports section was pretty big,” she said. “I don’t remember too much in-depth reporting. I mean, we did some feature stories but it was mainly just reporting on what was going on around the school. At the time, the paper was printed on the school-owned mimeo-
Connected to Room A223 of Exeter High School is a small office reserved for the archives of The Talon. It’s a June school day and I find myself gently sifting through the work of past generations. My hands stain with the soft powder of primeval newspaper ink as the characteristic scent of yellowed and aged paper pervades the room. My investigation of the first large file cabinet in the back of the room proves rather unsuccessful as only most recent issues of the publication are uncovered. Moving on to a smaller cabinet and finally two large cardboard boxes, I move father back into the publication’s history. As I open the boxes and cautiously begin to remove issues of The Talon in some of its earliest forms, I find myself taking the time to peruse articles of generations gone-by. About an hour later, more than 50 newspapers span the floor of this storage closet as a makeshift timeline is fabricated. Issues of The Lyndon Street Journal from 1971 begin the sequence, as subsequent years “ W H E N W E S TA R T E D , I T WA S M O R E O F begin to wrap around the outside of the room and eventually circle to the middle. Upon what I’m confident is the completion of graph machine. an extensive history, I begin to turn in circles. My eyes scan from “I don’t think it cost us anything to print it,” she recalls. “It was one year to the next as the changes that derive today’s publication really just the school’s paper and ink. Years later we found out there become progressively noticeable in each year of the past. I’m in- were all sorts of carcinogens from the alcohol and ink. It’s a wontrigued; there’s so much to learn. Curiosity eventually drives me der how we survived our youth.” towards the earliest start of the paper, particularly the years undisDuring the 1957-1958 school year Ann served as assistant editor covered in my storage closet-rummaging. to Nancie Holland and took over the position of editor-in-chief the
(Top) Staff of the firstever Exeter High School newspaper, E.H.S. News. (Bottom) Adviser Mr. Mann looks on as members of the staff piece together articles.
following year. “One of the biggest changes I remember was when we stopped using the mimeograph machine and sent it out to be printed. It was such a disappointment when we brought the paper to the Exeter Newsletter to be printed and they said they couldn’t do it. We brought it to the Hampton newspaper instead.” Despite her role as editor of the paper and the enjoyment she found in putting together a publication, it wasn’t something she would find a career in. “[The paper] was really just a fun after school activity,” Ann said. “[Journalism] was always something I knew I might go into, but I ended up in science.” Richards’ graduation from high school marked the end of her journalistic career. Years later, however, the paper would again impact her life through past connections. She would eventually
the paper for a short stint. The six-page black-and-white tabloid he and his journalism class produced continued for two years until the arrival of English teacher Dennis Robinson in 1975. Robinson, in 1975, was fresh out of the University of New Hampshire and held particular enthusiasm towards the journalistic opportunities of the paper. It was not until his arrival that it was established as The Talon, a name the publication still holds decades later. “I remember there was a sort of writing revolution going on in the later half of the seventies, when I took over the paper,” Robinson said. At that time, Robinson was involved in a group through Phillips Exeter Academy known as the Exeter Writing Project. The group aimed to improve the quality of writing amongst students in the area through a new approach in teaching. “English teachers needed to be writers, not just read-ANN RICHARDS ers,” Robinson said. “Students needed to work with teachers in sort of an apprenticeship, not just write what they thought the teacher wanted to hear. Kids learn to write better and faster when they’re writing to a real audience, not just their critic.” Robinson, an advocate of this principle, fell naturally into his role as advisor to the newspaper. He had been writing a newspaper column since the seventh grade and saw his new role as an
a c o m m u n i t y n e w s l e t t e r t h a n a n a c t u a l p a p e r.” marry previous editor John Richards, with whom she would move to North Carolina and start a life with. Following Ann’s departure from the paper, the publication would continue as E.H.S. News for more than a decade until English teacher Mr. Latvis established the paper as The Lyndon Street Journal at the start of the 1971 school year. Two years later, Dick Bergeron, former principal and English teacher at Exeter, took over
A B R I E F H I S T O RY o f EXETER 1974-1982
English teacher Mr. Robinson revolutionizes the paper into a twenty-page, tabloid size, spot color newspaper that prints for almost a decade. 1983-1985
More Changes E.H.S News
The Talon finds its earliest beginnings in the E.H.S. News, founded during the second semester of the 1957 school year by John Richards and a small group of seniors. The paper is printed on 8.5â€? x 11â€? paper for more than a decade.
The Lyndon Street Journal
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF TALON ARCHIVES
Under the direction of English teacher Mr. Latvis, E.H.S. news is replaced by The Lyndon Street Journal, a six-page, black and white, tabloid size newspaper. 1982-1983
After Mr. Robinson leaves as adviser to the newspaper, English teacher Mr. Whipple takes over. The paper is downsized to a twelve-page tabloid in black and white.
For two years, Mr. Hanson and Mr. Scott serve as co-advisers to the paper as it continues to be printed as a twelvepage tabloid in black and white
H I G H S C H O O L’ S T H E TA L O N 2003-2009
In 2003, The Talon became a color, broadsheet newspaper alternating between 12 and 16 pages in certain years. In 2005, the paper received the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Crown Award.
Mr. Schneider takes over the role of adviser in his first year teaching at Exeter. The paper is printed as a twelvepage tabloid in black and white for more than a decade until it sees significant progress in the 2000’s.
For only a single year, students in Mr. Schneider’s journalism class decide to branch out and publish a second paper, The Elaborator. Pictured is issue 1.5.
Color Returns In 2002, the paper moves back to a color cover.
Gap year During the 1985-1986 school year, Ms. Wheeler-Smith and Mr. Scott advise the paper while it remains a black and white tabloid.
(Left) The Talon staff during the 1985-1986 school year. (Right) Mr. Latvis during 1972.
opportunity to improve students’ writing through a realm he was familiar with. But at the time he took over the paper, an overhaul was desperately needed. “The Talon for me was slightly radical in the way we were trying to be very good at what we were doing in a world that really didn’t care,” said Robinson. “We took what was a newspaper and moved more in the direction of a newsmagazine. There needed to be enough stuff in there that it couldn’t just be read for five minutes in homeroom and then left on the desk.” Robinson and his staff moved away from a traditional school newspaper. They began to remove insignificant school news blurbs and in turn, cover more in-depth stories, sometimes those critical of the administration and other authorities. “We started to get in trouble with the town, teachers and such because we were saying things that were relevant,” said Robinson. “I remember the point at which we really began to change the paper, kids were no longer just looking at it and throwing it out.” A man named Elliot Wigginton provided a model for the transformation Robinson brought to the paper. Wigginton, a high school English teacher in Rabun County, Georgia, had his students collect oral histories from local residents in the area. The pieces were originally compiled into a magazine format during 1967, and published in an anthology during 1972. The result was a series of twelve student-created anthologies known as the Foxfire Books, which would eventually reach the top of the New York Times Bestseller list. Robinson, much like Wigginton, acknowledged the significant value in the work students were able to produce. “I thought to myself, ‘How can you take this newspaper and not kill yourself with work, use a journalism class as a primer to the
after school group, put together a package people want to look at, cover stories people want to read about, and make it all financially viable?’” said Robinson. He started by giving each staff member a specific role, a way in which each person could contribute to the best of their ability. At the time when he started, Robinson had roughly ten students that would contribute the majority of content in the publication, each utilizing idividual strengths. “I remember we made one kid the janitor,” Robinson said. “And he was the best janitor we could have had.” To fund the paper, advertising had to be solicited to cover the majority of printing costs. At the time when Robinson took over, gathering advertising for the paper was something similar to that of a yearbook. Ad sales were often done on a good-citizen basis, a donation of sorts. “When I took over we made a point of marketing the paper,” said Robinson. “We would go around to businesses and say, ‘There is no other publication in the world that every kid at Exeter High School will get.’ We approached it as if it were a business deal.” Robinson’s approach proved successful as the publication began to collect excess revenue, which was used to purchase books for the English department that the school could not afford. Money was transferred through a private bank account which Robinson, and Jay Childs, his editor at the time, cosigned on and wrote checks from. “It was always a battle with the administration,” said Robinson. “We had to hide money, find our own secret office in the school because they wouldn’t give us one, buy our own typewriters from the repair shop downtown, and even work on the paper when no
(Left) Mr. Schneider in 1987. (Right) The Talon staff under Mr. Latvis in 1972.
one else was at the school. We even had my dad, who worked with phones, come in and tap into the school phone line to give us our own number.” Of course, outside the general operation of the paper, there were always particular stories and instances which brought about the disapproval of administration. In the case of an article explaining the espestos problem in the walls of the school and the lack of responsibility the principal had taken for the situation, the staff got creative. “We had to ask ourselves, ‘Is there any way we can run this without making people mad?’” said Robinson. “We decided on a creative headline, to make the article sound less critical; ‘At Exeter High School, we do espestos we can.’ We weren’t trying to set the school on fire with bad news, we were trying to get quality journalism into the paper.” Eventually this is what began to happen as the staff covered more important stories and did so through better journalism. When Ted Kennedy visited Exeter High School in the late 1970’s, The Talon released a special two-page bulletin the following morning, with stories students had written about the many aspects of the senator’s visit. 1n 1980, 25 years after “The Incident at Exeter,” students documented the only known interview with Norman Muscarello, the man who claimed to have spotted a UFO in Exeter during 1965. “We started using color and getting more content into each issue,” said Robinson. “We wanted to get to a point where kids were taking it home to read.” The answer was to include stories for all audiences. “High school kids think they’re the hippest people in the world,” said Robinson. If you can out-hip the hipsters, while being inclu-
sive and not satirical towards an particular group of kids, you’ve got something. You still have to have content for the people who hate you.” Unfortunately, Robinson left the paper before a sustainable product was achieved. In the years to follow, he would do freelance work for newspapers and publishers on the seacoast, publishing six different books over his career. “When I left it was sort of like a bad marriage,” said Robinson. “What I did wasn’t right, I built a sandcastle and left town.” But Robinson’s departure from The Talon in 1983 did not mark the end of a publication, it established the beginning of a new era. “When I was there, nothing was ever good enough. I wanted to change the paper, the school, everything I could. I remember just before I left Exeter a teacher came up to me and said, ‘I am so glad you are leaving. Now we can go back to the way things used to be.’” As far as the The Talon was concerned, this is exactly what happened. During the next three years, the paper experienced a significant decline as advisors changed and each year brought about new heights of disorganization. So, when English “ THERE IS NO teacher Mr. Schneider, apOTHER plied for a teaching position P U B L I C AT I O N at Exeter High School in the I N T H E WORLD year of 1986, he seemed a fitting candidate for the role T H AT E V E R Y of advisor. KID IN EXETER “At the end of my interHIGH SCHOOL view I knew everything W I L L G E T. ” went well,” said Schneider. DENNIS ROBINSON “Just as I was ready to leave the principal asked me if I would be interested in taking over the role of advisor to the school newspaper. Right then I realized that the outcome of my interview would be based on my answer; so I told him yes.” Prior to his interview, Mr. Schneider had little experience with journalism. He organized a literary magazine when he was in high school, but that was the extent of his expertise. For his first few years at Exeter, Schneider taught a class of journalism during the school day and organized the newspaper as an after school activity.
(Top) The Talon staff the the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Conference in 2004. (Bottom) The Talon staff at the same conference in New York City during 2006.
“When we first started out, we put together some really shoddy versions of a newspaper,” said Schneider. “I think it took us five years or so to even realize that our newspaper needed a masthead with the names of staff members on it.” While the newspaper began to progress, essentially starting from scratch, Nancy Pierce from the Seacoast School of Technology was responsible for giving Schneider and his staff of students the feedback they needed to grow as a publication. She would stop in to see the staff at work and give them compliments and suggestions on the papers they had put out. She would point out areas where the paper needed to improve, aspects that needed to be emphasized and any suggestions that came to mind. She’d stop in with the latest issue and tell the staff, ‘Hey, this is much better than what you were doing before. Keep it up.’ “It took us quite some time before we really started to realize
what we could actually do,” said Schneider. “We started to talk with other schools to see what they were doing, look at the papers they had put out, and start to make our own improvements to the paper.” When Schneider first took over, the tabloid-size paper was produced roughly five times each year, alternating between eight and twelve pages of black and white print. Certain holiday issues and other special editions dabbled in spot color, but full color was never adopted in the paper till more than a decade after Schneider took over. In the late 1990’s, The Talon experienced one of its most substantial developments in a move to desktop publishing software for layout and design. In the past, a light-board was used to align articles, photos, and other text to be pasted on to individual sheets of paper. “I was really hesitant towards the move at first,” recalls Schneider. “I really liked the hands-on aspect of putting the paper together and I felt like we were going to lose something.” With a move to digital production, the paper only began to improve. In this same time period, Newspaper Publications was introduced as an academic class, replacing the after school time needed for producing the paper. With a class through which students were taught fundamentals of journalism and were able to report and write stories, the paper began to utilize the growing experience of staff members. A full-year class that could be repeatedly taken for credit meant that students were able to remain a part of the staff and gain experience over a span of three or four years. “One of the biggest changes the paper saw was in around 2000 when Katie Childs and Katie Armstrong were co-editors,” said Schneider. “They moved the paper to broadsheet size with four color print on the front and back.” In the year to follow The Talon staff began to make an annual trip to the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Conference in New York City. Taking classes on journalism and newspaper production, seeing the stories other schools were covering, and learning the most essential aspects of sound journalism allowed the publication to improve in quality each year. “We were able to grab ideas from a lot of good papers,” said Schneider. “It also helped us a lot to get feedback on our own paper.” In 2005, The Talon staff received a Gold Crown Award for excellence in journalism from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. It was in this same year that more than 70 students enrolled in the Newspaper Publications course, allowing the experience of a staff to benefit the paper for the next three years. To date, it has become increasingly hard to maintain a staff of experienced students given class requirements. With little room in the schedules of freshmen and sophomores, it is a challenge to keep students on the publication’s staff for more than a year or two. For the 2009-2010 school year, in a staff of 18 students, only three are returning members. But for all members, a change in format from a newspaper to magazine will be a learning experience. “I think this will radically change the way the readers view our publication,” said Schneider. “I think it will enable us to create a publication that is even more appealing to its primary audience then the newspaper format allowed for. So far the response has been positive from faculty and students alike. Despite the fact that we struggle to draw as many kids in as we used to, we continue to have a strong, talented, and committed staff each year.”
T H E S C OT T I SH C L A N S ASSEMBLE FOR THE 34TH ANNUAL N EW HA M P SH I R E H IGHL AND GAMES. WITH SHEEPD O G T R IA L S A N D T HE FIDDLE CHAMPIONSHIP, T H I S I S THE REAL DEAL. TEXT AND PHOTOS BY NATHAN DULLEA
It’s eight o’clock in the morning and everyone is already decked out in kilts. I’ve finally arrived after a two hour ride to Lincoln, NH and the 34th Annual NH Highland games are already coming alive with activity. It’s 40°F intense winds are whipping around; no one seems to care. Walking onto the Loon Mountain fair grounds this early in the day, there are not many vendors open, but the sound of bagpipers tuning their pipes dominates the surrounding countryside. The first major event of the day begins with the opening of the Highland Heavy Athletics competition. I witnessed close to a dozen of some of the biggest people you will ever see, from all over the world. They warmed up on the athletics field by throwing around 100lb rocks. The competitors for the athletics came from a wide variety of backgrounds, one man had played in the NFL for seven years, some of those years for the Patriots. Another man had been competing since he was 18 years old and this year was going to be his 19th year in the games. There was also another man competing, who was a VP of Technology Information at Wells Fargo. The many nationalities of the competitors showed how internationally appealing the New Hampshire Highland Games were. Men traveled from all over the United States, Canada, Iceland and even Holland. These events were very amusing to watch. The “competition” was laid back and the competitors all seemed to be enjoying themselves. It felt less like a sport or competition, and more like it was a bunch of guys who got together because they thought it was fun to throw heavy objects. After the brief procession of athletes, they started off the day with the 100lb stone toss. If you have ever seen the movie Brave-
Competitors gather early in the morning to participate in “heavy athletics.”
heart, this would be the event they compete in at the wedding. Yes, it felt like I was watching Braveheart. You use two hands to hoist the rock to a comfortable position, either resting slightly on your chest or even held above your head. After you pick up the rock you run a bit and throw the stone as far as you can. The men competing were throwing the 100lb stone more than 16 feet feet from the starting position. The next event was the “Stone”put. It’s pretty much the shotput with a rock that weighs 20 pounds, four pounds more then an Olympic shot-put. The men competing were throwing the rock, on average, 45 feet. The winner of this event won with a throw of 51’, and the man who was in the 50+ age group won with a throw of 47’6”, just one inch from the world record for the 50+ group. Then there was the 56lb weight-over-bar event. This is when the players take a massive weight with a handle and try to toss the weight over a bar raised above the ground. Most people were whipping the weight over 16 feet in the air past the bar. Finally there was the most famous event of the day, the caber toss. This event drew hundreds of people to the athletics field to watch the men toss massive logs through the air. The athletes hoist up a giant wooden pole (22 ft. long, over 130lbs. and about as thick as a telephone pole) and balance it in their hands. They then charge forward with the log, stop and attempt to flip the pole end over
end. They grade this event on whether you flip the pole and how straight it is when it lands. Music filled the rair at the Games, mostly the sounds of bagpipes. The atmosphere of the entire day was made with the music. Bagpipes were still playing in my head when the day was through. Simple music attractions almost became the main event, with people leaping around and cheering as if they were at a rock concert. A variety of cultures meant that they were many different genres of music as well. The bands there ranged from traditional pipe bands to folk bands to Celtic battle music. Each band I saw was not only talented, but also fun to watch. The traditional pipe bands were lead by the Scots Guard, 1st Battalion. This band, which is a component of a branch in the British Army, is actually an armored infantry battalion. And on top of that they are all highly accomplished bagpipe players. They carry the traditions of dress and discipline from almost 400 years ago into the present day. The battalion performs all over the world from Ghana to Bangkok to Norway. They truly represented the core of the Highland culture and the history
of Scotland. The next band I saw was called the Red Hot Chili Pipers. Their combination of modern day rock and the bagpipes has been dubbed “bag rock”. There were three pipers, a keyboardist, a drummer and a guitarist. Their music covers classic rock songs like “Smoke on the Water”, “Eye of the Tiger” and “Thunderstruck.” Stewart Cassells, a piper in the band, says that their performances are all about entertaining and pumping up the crowd. “We really like to put on a show for our audience,” he said. I actually witnessed people raising their hands as if in prayer and another elderly man throwing up the “rock on” sign with both of his hands. This band took a tent that could sit a couple hundred people and drew in a crowd of around a thousand spectators all vying to observe this “bag rock” phenomenon. Then there was Albannach. This band was by far the most enthusiastic of any music group playing at the games throughout the entire day. Albannach (which is Gaelic for “Scottish” or “Scotsman”) played tunes that were straight out of war movies. They label their genre as “Celtic Battle Music” and words struggle to explain the
In the world of amateur bag-piping, Dylan Weinand reigns supreme.
The Scots Gaurd first batallion was the highlight of the games.
popular and iteresting item at the games. You could buy anything from dress kilts to t-shirts that said “It’s only a skirt if you wear underwear.” There were also stalls that had blades and fantasy swords. This tent was surrounded by some of the more unusual spectators of the games. The variety in “real” Scottish food was almost disappointing. The most popular chow tents seemed to be the Loon Mountain Fish & Chips tens. I did dabble my taste buds in the closest thing I could find to authentic Scottish food at the games. I consumed haggis (the trademark Scottish dish that seemed similar to meatloaf ), thumps (a weird name for mashed potatoes, funny to say though) and bangers (a mild sausage, even funnier to say after thumps). When I ate this it was all covered in an odd tasting gravy that I found to somewhat spoil the meal for me. It actually made me ill. I also tried an apparent Scottish favorite while I was at the games, Fiery Ginger Beer. This stuff is possibly the worst liquid allowed to be sold to the public. It was also the stuff, I realized, that was mixed in with the gravy and destroyed my meal. I cannot describe any more vividly the absolute horrible taste of the drink. It was like bad lemonade mixed with pepper, and the thing wasn’t even refreshing. It literally felt angry that I had purchased it. Fiery Ginger Beer should be avoided like the plague. The can says, “Try me if you dare!” Well Nate Dullea tells you “Don’t dare,” and you’ll be happy that you did. As for the Highland Games, that’s something worth trying out. Dylan Weinand never forgets his kilt.
incredible force that their music conveyed. A solo piper in union with five other drummers jamming away made the music tent resound with bass and energy, almost as if you were at an ancient heavy metal rager in medieval Scotland. In the world of amateur bagpiping, Dylan Weinand reigns supreme. When he originally picked up the pipes two and a half years ago, he said competing in bagpipes was “the last thing he was thinking about.” The process of learning and honing your skills at piping can take quite a while to complete. Dylan describes the progression as starting with “learning basic ‘shredding’ on a practice chanter, which is virtually a different sounding recorder. Once you understand the fundamentals of the chanter you can move onto the actual bagpipes. At this point you need to teach yourself how to breathe and work the bag properly, all while still using your fingers to play the tunes.” All it takes to become a participant in the Highland games is to sign up online, but to actually excel takes years of practice. Dylan had taken part in bagpipe competitions before, but this was the first year he competed in the Highland Games. He was new to competing on this large of a scale and with so many other people. Dylan plans to continue play and competing with his pipes, all while wearing his official Scottish garb. The vendors at the highland games were varied. There were many genuine vendors as well as many people who seemed to only be there to sell “Scottish related” goods. Clothing was by far the most
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LOGY IN ON
WHERE TECHNOLOGY HAS TAKEN SECONDARY EDUCATION AND WHERE THE POSSIBILITIES STILL REMAIN BY JACK TISDALL
PHOTOGRAPHS BY TORI PUTNAM
Technology has revolutionized the way the world works. Few things have remained unchanged since we entered what is known as the “Information Age.” Instantaneous communication has altered nearly every aspect of life: business, entertainment, industry and relationships. Technology, however, hasn’t had nearly as substantial of an impact on America’s public schools. Many schools in the country, especially those in the inner-city, have tight budgets that don’t allow for expensive classroom equipment. However, at Exeter High School, the district has allowed for the implementation of a myriad of technology, including computers and a projector in every room, a language lab, numerous computer labs, a school-wide network connection and numerous subscriptions to educational resources. Most of this equipment was purchased and installed after the new high school was built in 2006. Now three years later, reflection and analysis of this impressively expensive investment can and should be made. Teachers use school-to-home communication websites such as Homeworknow. com and Moodle to allows for basic communication. These websites allow students to log into their teacher’s section and read whatever the teacher has posted, whether it be links to websites or the weekly home-
work assignments. However, these are not totally effective. “I try to avoid anything online. It takes more time and its hard to read what’s on the screen,” said Ana Kerins, 11th grade. Additionally, these websites are rarely used for purposes other than listing homework and are sometimes left unattended by teachers. The possibilities of these forms of schoolto-home websites reach far beyond current use. Teachers have the opportunity to communicate with their students instantaneously, providing benefits for both parties. The result, however, seems to be nothing more than the weekly addition of homework assignments. In-depth features of Moodle remain untouched in most classes. The site provides a blog space where students can raise issues or questions about the class, and other students have the ablity to read and respond. There is also the potential to submit assignments, saving time and inordinate amounts of paper. Teachers can then comment on the page and return the paper back to the student completely electronically. However, very few classes outside of a small portion of science classes make use of this feature to eliminate paperwaste and increase convenience. One of the most significant potential uses of Moodle could disrupt a long-lasting teaching technique. Teachers can post
notes relevant for the coming week so that students can use the time in class to ask questions, thus using the teacher’s time and teaching skills more efficiently. Too much time is wasted taking notes in class, if time spent copying does not also include thoughtful discussion. “If students had the initiative to review the notes for the coming week, this could be a very productive method of teaching,” said science teacher Mrs. Morse. “The problem is that many students need information repeated before it sticks.” Using this feature, class time could be used much more effectively in discussion and exploration of topics rather than the presentation of basic information that students can review on their own time. Textbooks present a similar problem to what Mrs. Morse cited when it comes to student motivation. Textbooks epitomize the disinterest of students in school; the dry text supported by limited graphics does little for the student attempting to absorb pages of information. “I can’t stand reading textbooks. It’s so boring!” said senior Ashley Rozumek. The textbook may be useful as an encyclopedia, but assigned reading from a text turns many students off of the subject. This issue could be solved by turning to the computer. Interactive computer diagrams and presentations with vivid supporting graphics are much more userfriendly and allow the student to indulge in the fun of learning. Plus, they are across
the world wide web. “Textbooks will be replaced within the decade simply because the virtual world is so accessible,” said English teacher Mr. Hale. Another significant piece technology in the classrrom is the projector that hangs from the ceiling and projects the teacher’s computer screen towards the front of the room. The projector is generally valued by students. “It’s definietly useful” said junior Marshall Thompson. “Movies especially make learning more interesting.” There are many additional functions of the unique device; students can observe documents, view websites, and as it is commonly used for, view owerpoints. Visual learners benefit from seeing video and images on the screen while discussing the content, rather than relying only on auditory explanation. “The projector brings in all sorts of useful web-based content,” commented Mrs. Morse. Students have also appreciated the benefits. “Powerpoints provide structure to note taking,” said Ana Kerins. There is a wealth of extremely helpful programs on the internet and these should be utilized by teachers in class. “The amount of information online is huge- absolutely huge” said social studies teacher Mr. Hammersla. But then again, how much ofthis information is accurate? “Not all of it, but there’s tons of reliable and useful sites- the archives on PBS, all of the newspaper and magazine websites- the list goes on and on and on,” said Mr. Hale. The projector also allows students to do present computer-made projects to the class. This totally changes the way students share information with one another. Instead of constructing a simple poster or reading from a sheet of paper, students can provide for the class a well-rounded pre-
TECHNOLOGYTEACHING COULD TURN EDUCATION UPSIDE DOWN.
sentation including many elements of the subject, from videos to charts to virtually anything deemed relevant. “I like projects that are technology based. It’s much easier to get your point across,” said junior Blake Felder. Digital projects are user-friendly and rarely encounter technical difficulties with the current available technology. It’s no question that the projector enables more effective teaching and presenting methods. It is up to the teachers to allow their classes the benefits technology can provide. In certain instances, students will make it through the entire year in a class while only experiencing a lecture and testbased style. Integration of technological advancement would drastically improve these types of classes and the overall effectiveness of teaching. Each classroom also has up to four desktop computers located on the side of the room. Surveyed teachers say they rarely use the computers, as certain types of computers lack essential capabilities. “Kids use them in study hall. Otherwise I don’t think they’re even touched,” said Mr. Hale,. Several private schools nation-wide have required students to have a laptop of their own to bring and work with in class. Computers have had increasing importance in life and in schools due to the irreplaceable functions that allow much more effective learning and presentation methods. Just look at the applications available for Apple computers. Programs such as Document Elements automates many document tasks, such as bibliographies and tables of content. OfficeArt transforms bulleted lists
Students have access to computers in almost every room within the school.
THE TALON NOVEMBER 2009
into professional-quality charts, diagrams and tables. The days of tedious manual organization are over; the Information Age has provided a plethora of convenient and time-saving functions that could make projects much more user-friendly than ever. The six computer labs, each with up to 22 computers, provide classes with the opportunity to use them for all sorts of different purposes. “I use the computer lab for research-based projects, word processing and in-depth activities. The computer labs are almost always accessible for classes- that is valuable and is unique to Exeter,” said Mr. Hale. The computer labs are utilized on a regular basis by classes such as Newspaper Publications and Photography, who depend on the technology for day-to-day activity, showing the increasing reliance on the technology. The library’s three labs are used commonly by students for typing and printing documents. “The computer labs are really useful- almost all homework requires typing or some research so I use the computers a lot,” said junior Maddy Blais. The language lab allows for the integration of technology that is needed. Language classes use the lab regularly for exercises and assessment. Twenty-four headsets provide full audio between the students on the computers and the teacher in front, allowing students to effectively practice two essential aspects of language, speaking and listening. “I like the lab. It’s a fun break from the classroom,” said junior Allison Wilson. The lab represents a victory for the language department- the incorporation of current technology provides energy to the students and helps teachers diversify and try new angles. “The lab has been a tremendous addition to the language curriculum,” said Spanish teacher Señora Marnicio. However, despite current technological uses, endless possibilities remain for furthering the effectiveness of education. Technology-teaching is one concept that could benefit students and would turn education upside down. The contents of computer programs would use animation, video, and dramatization options to deliver complete lessons, conveying ideas in new
ways currently unavailable in the classroom. This could allow teachers alternate options in developing lesson plans each day and their role would instead be to fill gaps in student understanding and to organize enriching activities. One new teaching option is the use of “distance learning” in which students from remote regions or under-served school districts can take classes through a two-way audio and visual connection with a teacher. New telecommunications technologies has made it easier to connect and communicate. Experts predict that students will eventually take classes from home through such an Internet connection, though some are hesitant as social interaction is an essential piece of education. Currently in New Hampshire, a new learning experience called the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School is a state-wide high school that provides credit to students for taking the online courses. It is available to any high schooler and allows students “access to a rigorous, personalized education that helps them learn today, graduate tomorrow and prepare for the future”(from their website, accessible at vlacs.org). The number of enrolled students increases every year, displaying general interest in this new high school experience. Aside from teaching methods, technology enables more effective learning and promotes enhanced classroom activities. One device currently used in science classrooms
The language lab is an integral piece in teaching foreign languages.
is the Lab Quest, a PDA that records data from students in lab and analyzes the information to derive relevant figures, such as calculations of density. Helpful tools like this will become cheaper and more userfriendly as technology improves; an important part of activities in schools will be the use of such technologies. Is change in the future realistic? The Powerful Learning Practice, or PLP for short, is a program that teachers from Exeter high School are currently enrolled in where they learn what are called “21st century teaching skills.” This style emphasizes students learning in a way that will be applicable in the real world. The real world is all about technology: e-mails, phones, laptops, etc. The PLP will include technology as an integral part of the classroom. Students will do mainly digital projects that would be relevant in the real world, such as YouTube videos and other technological compositions. Teachers need to remain informed as to the new technologies available and improvements to current technology. Utilization of these advancement only allows for a more in-depth learning experience centered on engaging the student. Technology will continue to rapidly improve; it is important that education do the same.
Compiled by Tori Putnam The following photographs were taken as part of an assignment in Mr. Leeâ€™s photography class. The objective was to capture a particular emotion or mood.
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Clockwise from top: by Lizzie Demers, by Kristina Fischer, by Jackie Case, and by Missi Caiani 0
Clockwise from top: by Olivia St. Martin, by Devin Lofaro, by Charlotte Whiteley, and by Kora Kalfaoglu 0
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Clockwise from top left: by Cal Blomquist, by Jessica Wood, by Mary Kilcoyne 0
THE BLUEPRINT 3 JAY-Z
MAN ON THE MOON KID CUDI
By Jack Tisdall By Jack Tisdall The Blueprint 3 is another solid album from Jay-Z, one of hip hop’s biggest names. This icon has led the game for nearly a decade with albums like Reasonable Doubt and the original Blueprint providing some of his beginnings in the industry. Jay-Z has recorded tracks with the biggest names of the decade: Lil’ Wayne, 50 Cent, Kanye West and Notorious B.I.G.. The Blueprint 3 lacks the fire of his previous albums; Jay-Z’s old albums were notorious for bashing other rap artists and included powerful messages. The album is more easylistening, and evem “Death of Auto-Tune is not as hard as preivous hits like “Takeover.” “Empire State of Mind” is one of the best songs on the album as it carries a pulsing vibe that encapsulates New York City. Alicia Keys’ chorus is fitting and contrasts superbly with rap lyrics. “Already Home” featuring Kid Cudi is an excellent use of the artists’ contrasting styles; the rap is rhythmic and the chorus uses alternating voices to create a catchy beat. Some songs, however, are entirely forgettable; “Off That” is a waste of popular Lil’ Wayne prodigy Drake; “Hate” featuring Kanye West falls well short of the duos’ potential together. The second half of the album is salvaged by “Forever Young,” which closes with an incorporation of various musical qualities that fuse brilliantly. Jay-Z’s album falls short of amazing, but maintains his status as one of the best in the business.
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Man on the Moon is Kid Cudi’s first official album release. It is a moody mix of his mind’s meanderings expressed through vivid lyrics. Cudi struggled in his teens with his father’s death and tries to overcome his weaker side on a unique track he dubs “Mr. Solo Dolo.” His beats are provided by Indie dance-pop duos Ratatat and MGMT. A song featuring wellknown hip-hop artists Kanye West (Cudi’s mentor) and Common called “Make Her Say” is a funny spoof on Lady Gaga’s hit, “Poker Face.” Though an amusing song, it certainly doesn’t belong on this album as it disrupts the mood he works to set. Cudi’s classic “Day N’ Nite” exemplifies his ability to make music with simple words and a heavy beat. Though most of the songs have a slower tempo with an emphasis on lyrics, “Cudi Zone” is much faster and incorporates Kid Cudi’s fast-paced rapping, much like his popular freestyles. “Up, Up and Away” is also a faster tempo that is upbeat and energized. Songs not to miss are “The Pursuit of Happiness” and “Soundtrack 2 My Life.” The former incorporates alternating tempos and voice variation; the latter is a passionate recall of the artist’s life that captures your attention with symbolic lyrics. With this album, Kid Cudi continues to contribute originality and energy to hip-hop. The album fits together with the exception of one track, but delivers a unique and definitive style.
By Carina Falk Rollingstone.com has lots of activities, music, photos, and trivia to interest any reader. The site offers stories from politics to music to blogs. There is also a page for top songs of the week, which redirects to Rhapsody. Once on Rhapsody, songs play with clarity and no obvious pauses for reloading or buffering are needed. [MUSIC] Underneath the “Artists” tab, a list of the top 20 singers, bands, groups, and musicians can be found. The list is generated by Rhapsody. Also listed are the top five albums. Near the bottom of the page, there is rock trivia and other interesting activities. [BEHIND THE SCENES] This site has hundreds of pictures of celebrities at concerts, from rocking out to getting their hair cut and makeup done. [BLOGS] They’re everywhere! Forums are in abundance on the site from news to off-the-cuff interviews with artists, and even the most recent deaths in the music industry.
RiRA By Siobhan Darmody Downtown Portsmouth has the most restaurants per capita then any other city or town in the state. Out of all of those establishments, RiRa is a standout. The atmosphere of RiRa is what stands out the most. The RiRa is culturally a replica of something you would see in Ireland, but has a modern twist. The architecture of the RiRa is quite extraordinary and is probably the most eye-catching feature of the whole restaurant. The RiRa is located in the old bank in Market Square in downtown Portsmouth. The building is circa 1803 and is actually the oldest bank in the United States. When you first walk into the main area of the restaurant you are looking at a spacious room with a large amount of dining space. The interior includes high domeshaped ceilings, and actually has the old bank vaults still intact. The bank vaults are now used for private dining areas. The interior of the restaurant features two main floors. The first floor contains the main dining area and a pub with aspects that were actually built in Ireland and shipped to Portsmouth just in time for the restaurant’s opening in March of 2009. The first floor also contains a stage area for live music which doubles as additional dining space. The second floor serves as a function room for events. The RiRa is a chain restaurant as well; there are eleven RiRa locations throughout the country. The restaurant focuses on modern Irish and American cuisine. When I first walked into the
RiRa, the hostess was pleasant and let me give my preference on what table my guest and I would like to sit at. We chose a table by a large window that had a plentiful amount of the evening sunset streaming in. The window has great views of Market Square. Our waiter was quite friendly, and was actually from Ireland. A lot of the RiRa staff is either from Irish heritage or are straight from Ireland. I guess you could say the staff members are professionals, and quite knowledgeable about the culture and history of the restaurant. The staff can answer almost any question about the memorabilia in the restaurant. The waiter was decent, but did not tend to us as well as I would have liked in the beginning. It took him almost fifteen minutes to come and get our drink orders. After our drinks were ordered, the waiter was quite competent. He brought out the appetizers quickly, and the timing between receiving our appetizers and meals was perfect. The food was served at a perfect temperature, and the refills on the drinks kept coming. We also received our check without having to ask the waiter several times. The menu at RiRa is broad in its many typical American dishes with unique, cultural twists. I dined for a late lunch/early dinner on a Sunday evening. I ordered off the lunch menu and my guest and I ordered the baked spinach dip as an appetizer. It was the perfect amount for two to four people and was served with a lightly toasted French baguette. I also ordered a small cup of fish chowder as a starter. The chowder was delicious and the seafood was very fresh. Both appetizers were served as perfect portions and at the perfect temperature.
For my meal, I ordered the pub burger with Swiss cheese. The burger was cooked to my liking and was full of flavor. The variety of sides for each meal was amazing. I received my meal with pub fries and they were perfectly seasoned. My guest ordered a sandwich called the “Kilcooly,” a unique sandwich with turkey, melted cheddar, sliced apple, smoked bacon, and cranberry mayo on grilled sourdough bread. She also ordered onion rings as the side to her meal. Many of the sandwiches at RiRa are quite unique, flavorful combinations. The lunch menu at the is very diverse and the dinner menu at is even more extensive, including a lot more seafood and main entree varieties. RiRa has an amazing variety of entertainment, with many local bands. Some of the music includes traditional Irish to rock to island jams. Some of the performing bands include Granite Men, The Josh Cramoy Band, Jimmy’s Down, The Jen Thayer Band, Fighting Friday, Wise, and many more. Performers are changing all the time and you can find them almost every night of the week. The bulk of the performances occur on weekends (Friday, Saturday, and Sundays nights.) A few performances are scattered throughout the week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays as well. The only major issue I seemed to find was the noise control. Due to the high ceilings, sound travels very fast in the restaurant and sometimes makes it hard to hear. If you plan on going to RiRa on a night where there is live music, don’t plan on having too much conversation. Expect excellent food at an affordable price, though.
PHOTO BY SIOBHAN DARMODY
ZOMBIELAND By Nate Dullea In a world filled with disgusting and stupid zombies, only the funny people survive. Zombieland takes you to a USA that has been de-
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY By David Claar In 1999, a film known as The Blair Witch Project was released, and the film industry was shaken to its core. Since then, many movies have attempted to recreate, or flat out copy the entire premise of this movie, but none were ever successful. It took an entire decade for the Blair Witch Project’s style of filming to finally be improved, and it came in a neatly wrapped package called Paranormal Activity. The story takes place in a small modern day home which belongs to a young couple, who are having some “out of the ordinary” issues. It turns out that, unbeknownst to the boy friend ( Micah), Katie ( the girlfriend) has been experiencing paranormal hauntings since she was eight years old. Micah decides to buy a video camera which he uses to film himself and Katie as they sleep. As each night passes,
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stroyed by some sort of mad cow disease in a hamburger. It leaves the World of Warcraft playing-wussy, Columbus (Jesse Eisenburg) alone to travel the American wasteland. He ends up joining the other main characters; Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a badass zombie hunter with nothing to lose, Wichita (Emma Stone) a former con-artist whose criminal skills allow her to survive and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), Wichita’s kid sister and partner in crime. The horror-comedy follows these characters in their quest to get to a southern California amusement park, a place supposedly free of all zombie control. This movie was a breath of fresh air in the cinemas. It tossed out virtually anything serious, including plotline, and filled it in with comedy and sarcasm. Filled to the brim with completely unnecessary gore and a quest for the last Twinkie on Earth, Zombieland was just fun to watch. It was well put together and who could dislike a movie that has Bill Murray as himself in it? Overall, the entire film was outstanding, the only problem was the length, an extremely short 81 minutes. Avoid this movie if you’re looking for a deep and emotionally moving experience. But if you’re in the mood for some violence and dark humor, this is the movie you want to see.
If you liked this movie, the destinations above are for you. the presence of some “thing” in there house becomes more and more apparent. Before I new it, I found myself anxiously waiting for each night to come, while the couple surely wasn’t. The film does an amazing job of building tension, and sometimes it was from nothing at all. Paranormal Activity had an $11,000 budget, which in the film industry, is pretty much nothing. But with that $11,000, Oren Peli (director, screenwriter) did what most big budget films could not, scare people. Each night scared me more and more, right on up to the last few seconds of the film, it never disappointed. Paranormal Activity is one of the most creative and original films to hit theaters since the Blair Witch Project, and because of its originality and raw scare power, it will remain present in our nightmares.
LOOKING FOR A REAL SCARE? Check out these Halloween destinations. HAUNTED ACRES Epping, NH PLUS: Very close location Well organized Lots of fun on a first visit MINUS: Similar each year Not quite as frightening as others
HAUNTED OVERLOAD Lee, NH PLUS: Very unique Frightening by any standards MINUS: Pricey Far away (moved from Exeter to Lee)
COMPLETE GUIDE TO YOUR OLD
N64 B E S T GAMES
v i d e o g a m e s by Alex LaCasse
S I D E - BY- S I D E
Golden Eye Super Mario 64 Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Mario Kart 64 Super Smash Brothers
WO R ST GAMES Beetle Adventure Racing Super Man 64 Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon
Ape Escape Metal Gear Solid Resident Evil Spyro the Dragon 1-3
WO R S T G A M E S Kiss Pinball Mike Tyson Boxing
Sydney 2000 N64
BEST GAMES Final Fantasy VII
The Nintendo 64 had more titles that gained widespread popularity during its time. The greatest drawback to the console was the controllers were awkward to hold and slightly uncomfortable. Also, early N64 games involved the player rapidly rotating the joystick. This led to many complaints and for awhile Nintendo had to offer refunds to people that had proof of blisters on their hands caused by the rotation of the joystick while playing certain games. On the other side, Playstation 1 had a wider selection of games, but an overwhelming percentage of the games were either hit or miss with no middle ground. Some of these games helped develop a rival for Nintendo, but Sony’s characters never reached icon status as opposed to Nintendo’s Mario, Donkey Kong, and Link. Both of these consoles are classics and are still fun today. So, next time you’re bored or finished studying, dust off your old console and live in past for a few hours.
Harvest Moon 64 Blues Brothers 2000
All Star Slammin’ D-Ball 69%
*Based on a poll of 120 students.
CO M PARISON TO TODAY After Nintendo’s widely disappointing venture with the Gamecube, due to the lack of shareware games and its incovenient form as a “large, cumbersome paper weight”, Nintendo rebounded with the innovative technology of the Wii; though many argue that Nintendo’s games have not gotten any better. Many James Bond games have been made since Golden Eye which experienced decent amounts of success. However, James Bond fans agree across the board that Golden Eye was head and shoulders above all of them. Super Mario 64’s modern comparison is Super Mario Galaxy on Wii; Galaxy was well reviewed but is not that popular due to the fact the Wii is far behind Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in console sales. Super Smash Brothers has become a popular title with Nintendo since its debut on N64. Super Smash Brothers Brawl on Wii is considered one of the console’s best with more characters and levels than its two predecessors. Nintendo may not be what it was back then, but playing these old games reminds us that it was the best of its time and still fun today.
CO M PA R I S O N TO TO DAY With the many titles available on Playstation, and a respectable number of them becoming hits, Sony’s was originally set to rival Nintendo. Other games that just missed the top five include: Jedi Power Battles, Gran Tourismo, and Crash Team Racing. Even though they lacked a presence in the video game industry at the timer, Sony set the table for success prior to the release of Play Station 2. In 2006, Sony released the Playstation 3 complete with a Blu-Ray player. Although its price tag started fairly steep, the PS3 continued its formula for success releasing many popular games, and is starting to gain popularity due to free online play. Sony hung onto some of its mainstay titles, releasing Metal Gear Solid 4, Resident Evil 5, and with Final Fantasy 13. All of these games are or will be very popular, and are now essentials for the company. Recently, Sony added a feature to the PS3 that allows customers to buy old PS1 games online for a great price. This feature allows gamers to relive the past as well as enjoy all the upgrades of the more advanced console.
HOW TO... BREAK A BOARD WITH SR. FISCHER By Paige Ferreri
It’s a Sunday morning and you turn on the telivision to catch your favorite program. Suddenly you see Chuck Norris perform his famous roundhouse kick and break two wooden boards as if they were made of styrofoam. It looks easy for him, but it’s not the result of brute strength. Señor Fischer has been practicing
STEP BY STEP *Warning: Broken knuckles may result.
1. Imagine yourself
successfully breaking a board.
lock his or her arms while the board is being broken. When both people are ready, the person who is striking the board has the option of either punching the wood with a closed fist or using the base of their palm to crack it. It is important to focus on one specific point and make that your target. This decreases the possibility of missing
someone willing to hold a board. This might be difficult.
3. Take a
deep breath, and focus your inner-being.
on one specific point on the board. This is your target.
5. Strike through Tai-Quan-Do for five years and is currently a second-degree black belt.“To break a board you need confidence,” he said. “You need to tell yourself that you can break the board, not that you might be able to.” Marshal arts really boils down to, maintaining a contstant focus and being in the right state of mind. Breaking a board is not something you can do on your own because there needs to be a second person holding up the wood. This person should be relatively strong and has to be able to
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the board when trying to break it. When ready, strike the center of the wood using not just arms, but the entire body. This should give more force to the strike when attempting to break the wood. “Your palm should go all the way through it so aim at something beyond the board.” said Señor Fischer. “It’s almost like the board is in the way of your target.” You don’t have to be a master in martial arts or hit the weights, just maintain good technique and keep and your focus.
the board as if it were in the way of a further target.
6. Make it look easy; leave others in awe.
Drawing by Nate Dullea PHOTO BY PAIGE FERRERI
SHUFFLE THESE STUDENTS PRESSED PLAY ON THEIR IPOD. THIS IS WHAT THEY GOT. CRAIG OLOFSON, JUNIOR
INSTANCES OF MEDIOCRITY (RANDOM THOUGHTS VIA MLIA, JUST SHY OF FML) By Rachel Chesno 1. Today, I noticed a locked closet in the back of my Latin class. Next to it is a glowing red button. So today, I put a sign up over it saying “push for Narnia” with a big arrow under it. My Latin teacher gave me a high five.
2. Today, in class I discovered the pages in my textbook are thin enough that when I run my hand past, the breeze will carry the page without me touching it. I spent the rest of class pretending I was a Jedi.
3. Today, I was driving and I saw a Jeep full of guys pass me; they were hanging out the windows, paddling with canoe paddles, and singing “Just Around the River Bend” from Pocahontas- coolest thing I’ve ever seen.
4. Due to recent incidents, my school added a new “no light saber duels” rule. In English, a neighboring teacher burst into my class and began dueling my teacher using light sabers-there’s no rule in the teacher handbook. Teachers-1 Principals-0.
5. Today, I took a test in AP Biology. The second to last question was “Make a barnyard animal noise. You have 10 seconds to comply.” I looked up and saw my teacher staring intently at me. He mouth the word “Go” and tapped his watch. I mooed..
6. Today, I had my cell phone taken from me at school. Why, you ask? It rang, and ignited my entire class into “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. Losing my phone was worth seeing my teacher power slide with an air guitar solo.
7. Today, my phone vibrated very loudly in Algebra 2. Just as the teacher looked to accuse me, the shy boy in the back yells, “Oh my god! That bee is HUGE!” and points out the window where it ‘just flew away’. The quiet ones are always the real heroes.
8. Today, my teacher confiscated my cell phone for it going off during class. When I got home, my mom asked me why she had a text earlier from me saying, “Rawwwrr! I’m a dinosaur!” (I still haven’t gotten my phone back.)
9. Today, I turned 11. I did not receive a letter from Hogwarts.
10. Today, I took a scantron test at school. I realized I got 5 b’s in a row. I went back to check each one because it made me feel uncomfortable.
1. C.O.D. – ACDC 2. Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne 3. Hammer Smashed Face – Cannibal Corpse 4. Wait and Bleed – Slipknot 5. Tornado of Souls – Megadeth 6. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – Eric Clapton 7. Shame on the Night – Dio 8. Kashmir – Led Zeppelin 9. Brianstorm – Arctic Monkeys 10. Dragstrip Superstar – Mötley Crüe PETER WINSLOW, FRESHMAN 1. Red, Red Wine – UB40 2. Show Me What You Got – Jay-Z 3. All the Above (ft. T-Pain) – Maino 4. Boogie Wonderland – Earth, Wind and Fire 5. Houses of the Holy – Led Zeppelin 6. Simple As… - Kid Cudi 7. Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!! – Vengaboys 8. Hold The Line – Toto 9. 3’s and 7’s – Queens of the Stone Age 10. Pride and Joy – Stevie Ray Vaughan NICOLE QUINN, FRESHMAN 1. Best I Ever Had – Drake 2. Everything is Not What it Seems – Selena Gomez 3. Don’t Forget – Demi Lovato 4. Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas 5. What Did I Do to Your Heart – Jonas Brothers 6. Gives You Hell – All-American Rejects 7. You Can Do Magic – Drew Seeley 8. Breakdown – Forever the Sickest 9. American Boy – Kanye West 10. Somebody to Love – Glee Cast
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0 $60Tâ€™S THA FF O 0 $5
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P.O. Box 622 Hampton Falls, NH 03844
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