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Gender Wars at PPCHS Features Pages 8-9

There’s a first time for everyone Student Life Page 2

Concussions: Pain to the Brain Sports Page 6

Facebook- the blessing or disaster for high school relationships Technology Page 7

Student Life


August -September 2012

There’s first time for everyone


Every year, the anticipation of entering the next grade has students trembling as they arrive on their first day of high school. However, for every student each experience is different and unique in its own way. Some walk into the high school scene with confidence and others with a blank stare of frustration. Starting off as a freshman can be a troubling experience, unless you start on the right foot first. PPCHS’s teachers shared with The CHAT their memories of their own first day experiences:

Teacher: Ms. Ellis:

Assistant Principle: Mrs. Battle:

“My first day of high school went well. I felt like I adjusted pretty well from West Campus to Charter High. Charter was a lot different from when I went there to now. Honors and regular classes were different. There was A/B days, central campus didn’t even exist.”

Student: Freshman Andrew Kelleher “The first day of high school that I encountered was pleasant. Even though there was a majority of upperclassmen in my classes I felt like I fit in well, and met a lot of freshmen. Aside from going to class, lunch was crazy! The line was wrapped all around the cafeteria; I didn’t even get a chance to eat!”

“I remember being happy that I was a member of the band, because I had already known people from the summer band practices. If it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t have known anyone, and my first day of high school would have been a disaster!”

Student: Mishler

Teacher: Mrs. Cabeza:



“Although I didn’t start here at PPCHS as a freshmen, my first day of high school was nerve-wracking. I had my friends, but they weren’t by my side the entire day. I felt a similar experience this year, when I started my first day at PPCHS. Coming to an unfamiliar place is definitely frightening even if you’re a sophomore.”

Teacher: Ms. Laffin:

“I absolutely do remember my first day of high school, due to the tragedy that occurred. My high school had sessions because the middle of the building got burned down, so I had to go to school then on from 1pm- 5:15pm. I also remember what I wore, a blue V-neck sweater with a brown wool skirt and penny loafers.”

Photos By: Natalia Cevallos and JP Dussan

Student: Freshmen Madison Duke

Teacher: Mrs. Chancelor:

“My very first day of high school was quite an experience. Looking back, I remember walking in and waving at my friends with excitement. Little did I know my friends weren’t waving back at me, but at my mother who was walking in behind me!”

Troy Bottom News Editor

Nicolette Sponer-Content Joshua Alleman -Layout Managing Editors

Brianna Cha-Kim Student Life Editor

Gabriela Cabeza Photo Editor

Alexandra Mangano Technology Editor

Julian Graves Graphics Editor

Peter Dourvetakis Gabriela Garcia Business Managers Mr. Fagen - Content Mr. Simon - Layout Advisers Mr. Bayer Principal

Angelique Berkowitz Entertainment Editor David Nabors Sports Editor Jordana Cutajar Features Editor Victoria Alvarez Environmental Editor

“Starting here at PPCHS for the first time was one of the most memorable moments of my academic career. I was familiar with the school from visiting it multiple times, which made me feel like I had an advantage on other freshmen. I think it also helped that my sister showed me what buildings were what before the first day.”

Student: Junior Carla Flyte

“Two years ago when I walked into my first high school class as a freshman the feeling was indescribable. Being an underclassmen wasn’t the greatest, but just being able to have classes with some of my friends was a great way to start.”

The C. H. A. T. Staff

Nicholas D’ Agostino Editor-in-Chief

Alexandra Mangano Web Editor

Student: Senior Ashley Rosa

“Walking onto the grounds of PPCHS was an overwhelming feeling. My first day as a freshman was one of the worst times of my life. Although I had my friends, the population increased so much from our small central campus.”

“My first day of high school was not a pleasant one. I was a geek, with short curly hair, and buck teeth. I didn’t really enjoy high school but I was the first female president for the freshman class.”

Christopher Fernandez Video Editor Emily Semander Cartoonist

CONTENT STAFF: Brett Alayon, Andrea Bellorin, Cassidy-Rae Brantley, Jessica-Lynn Carvajal, Chelsie Chang, Hayley Coolidge, Jake Dreilinger, Gabriela Garcia, Jacob Isenberg , Anthony Kellher, Chelsie Ramos, Nina Salcicciloi, Melissa Sullivan LAYOUT STAFF: Victoria Alvarez, Jake Dreilinger, Annette Marin, William McKinley, Melissa Sullivan, Jonathan Tabraue PHOTOGRAPHY STAFF: Natalia Cevallos, Peter Dourvetakis, JP Dussan, Rebecca Gonzalez, Alex Monge, Carli Stander, Johmi Vargas GRAPHICS SAFF: Nick Lee Yee, Armando Urena VIDEO STAFF: Andres Gonzalez, Kyle Moss-Solomon

The C.H.A.T. is an official publication of the Pembroke Pines Charter High School (PPCHS). The content of our newspaper is not necessarily the opinions of our advisers and administration. The C.H.A.T. staff welcomes any comments to the editors and/or staff. The C.H.A.T is a publication of C.H.C (Charter High Communications) sponsored by the Communications & Technology Department of PPCHS. Pembroke Pines Charter High School 17189 Sheridan Street Pembroke Pines, FL 33331 Phone: 954-538-3700 Email: Twitter: @_theCHATter

Locks of Love, Individuality, and Confidence 3 Gabriela Garcia STAFF WRITER

The school doors were opened, the bell for first hour rang- students were attacked with rushes of individuality, freedom of expression, and creativity from the twoand-a-half months of summer. This year, along with these feelings, who knew would come exotic bleach, hair dye, and a large pair of shiny scissors. This June and July, the ladies at PPCHS made sure to have fun and the proof is in their hair. “This summer, I wanted something different. I also wanted a new image going into high school, so I thought to dip-dye the ends of my hair” said freshman Alejandra Garcia. What Garcia means by dip-dyeing is exactly what it sounds like. “We literally took the ends of my hair and dipped them in the hot pink dye, and then continued with the usual process of wrapping it in the foil and such” Garcia said. At PPCHS, Alejandra Garcia is certainly not the only girl to have been inspired for a new look; several other students can be seen with red, pink, and even blonde tips roaming around campus. Some of the upperclassmen thought of more sophisticated and complex ways

on how to change their look. Ómbre hair is when you take one color starting at the roots, and as you go down the length of your hair, it fades into another. This new style is the latest and greatest in the hair fashion world this season. Senior Jenevy Pena said, “At first I wanted to dye my whole head completely light brown, but I wasn’t sure if it’d look good on me, so I decided to play it safe. I had seen girls around school with this style and decided to give it a try,” she says. “I was so nervous about dyeing my hair for the first time, but I’m really happy with it now!” Some girls do drastic things to their hair to keep up with the latest trends or just to experiment have a little fun, but you’d be surprised to find out the reasons behind some others. Juniors Andrea Gonzalez and Karinna Rodriguez allied themselves with the perfect foundation: Locks of Love. “Locks of Love is a public, non-profit organization where people can choose to donate their hair to sell or make wigs. These all go to children under the age of 21 with terminal illnesses that cause them to lose their hair,” says Gonzalez. “I donated 13 inches of my hair this summer. I recently lost a loved one to the battle of cancer,

so I guess it was my way of not only grieving, but giving back to her.” Karinna Rodriguez also donated to this loving organization. “It wasn’t completely intentional, but then I thought ‘Why not?’, and I ended up chopping off 12 inches!” “Even though I do miss my hair at times, I would never regret what I did,” says Gonzalez. “The way I see it, if I had enough hair for two people, why not share it with someone who can make much better use of it than I can?” Most of the time, hair is mistaken as something that grows at the top of your head. However, these couple girls, and the large female population at PPCHS, prove to us that in most cases, it can be a source of individuality, confidence, and inspiration.

Student Life

2012 August - September

Locks of Love: Junior Andrea Gonzalez cut her hair to express herself differently during the year to come. Photo Donated By: Andrea Gonzalez

Colleges are getting more competitive, stand out! Jacob Isenberg STAFF WRITER

For many students at PPCHS, college is right around the corner. Sophomores are getting ready to take the PSAT, juniors are preparing to take the SAT, and seniors are beginning to send out their applications. It is important for freshmen to know to stay on top of their grades, because the grades from freshmen year follow every student throughout their high school years. What some students are recently noticing is that colleges are becoming increasingly more competitive. More students are graduating high school now than ever before, and experts say that number is expected to go up in the future. With colleges receiving more and more applications, they have become even more selective. Many colleges are accepting students that have higher GPAs, SAT scores, and more involvement in their communities. As colleges continue to raise the standards for getting in, acceptance for students will get tougher and tougher. University of Florida is a prime example. Ten years ago, UF accepted 62% of its applicants. Last year, only 42% of applicants

were accepted (World & News Report). Students that have planned their whole life to go to UF are resorting to other plans, just in case they do not get into their dream school. Senior Bryan Villa explains, “I have always wanted to go to the University of Florida, but I know how hard it is to get in there. Some of my friends who I expected to definitely get into UF did not get in last year. I know that I will have to have other schools to apply to in case I do not make it to Gainesville.” The students that have the best chance of getting into UF- or any other competitive college- are the students that stand out. Many students look similar when you look at their transcripts and their SAT scores. But doing something different will make you stand out, some significant factor such as a leadership role or a unique volunteer experience. PPCHS senior Sasha Abrishami understands this, saying, “When I heard colleges were looking for an all-around student, I knew getting involved, volunteering, and acquiring leadership positions would help me get into college while also doing something I love and I am passionate about.”

It’s Application Time: Bryan Villa (‘13), has been working on applying to colleges like the University of Florida. Photo By: Rebecca Gonzalez

Getting into your dream college will not be easy; it will certainly be something you have to work really hard for. It is important that along with getting good grades and good SAT scores, that you hold leader-

ship positions and do meaningful volunteer work so that you stand out on college applications.

And you thought it was almost over… Chelsie Ramos STAFF WRITER

At 7:15 a.m. on August 20, 2012, the 2012-2013 school year began for PPCHS. Upon entrance to PPCHS, students were ready for yet another year of excellence because for some, the most important year of all is here; these students are the juniors -- class of 2014. When the class of 2014 finally thought that they could take a breather and not have to worry about FCAT anymore, it ends up that they have to face a more grueling test. These assessments are what most would consider the most important test of high school- the SAT and ACT. Both of these exams are needed in order for a student to continue on with their education and go on to the university after graduating high school. These tests are not easy and unlike the FCAT they take a lot of preparation and studying on your own time. Both the ACT and the SAT are proctored 6 times in a school year, giving the students the chance to take it again to try and improve their scores. Junior Shelby Watson said, “When it comes to the SAT and ACT, I am a bit worried since it determines everything for our future. However, the fact that we took the FCAT, which is a big test, I think it helped prepare me for having to face them this year.” The SAT and ACT pave the way for each juniors’ future and if that isn’t scary enough, there are still more test to come. For those looking into dual enrollment, they must either have taken the SAT or ACT, or the PERT test. This PERT test

is taken on designated days at Broward College and can be taken in our very own Pines Campus. However, junior year is still a critical one when it comes to grades. Teachers always say to juniors that this year is their “make it or break it” year. “I wish that we had a break in between the testing years, since junior year is such an important year for us. We have major test and our grades this year matter the most for college,” said Watson. And as if this wasn’t enough, for this year’s juniors, a new assessment will be added in. The End of Course Exam, also known as EOC, will be added for US History according to Dual Enrollment/Testing advisor Mr. Gonzalez. As of now, the test is official for US History regular and US History honors; the state has still yet to decide whether AP students will take part in the exam as well. The new BRACE Counselor Mr. Gonzalez says, “I think the test is beneficial because it evens out the playing field, and all the classes will be taught the same.” Though the state has not officially stated whether or not AP students will be taking the examination come the end of the school year, some AP students aren’t happy with the possibility of it. “I’m already taking a college level course, and have to take the AP test to receive my credits for college, so I don’t see how giving us a high school exam to see if I get credit seems to fit,” says junior Kelly McColman. AP student or not, PPCHS juniors will have to prepare for an additional assessment test for their American history classes at the end of the year.

Expand your Horizons: The new Brace Advisor, Mr. Gonzalez urges students to take AP and Dual Enrollment courses along with taking ACT and SAT Exams. Photo By: Rebecca Gonzalez


4 The Presidential Election 2012:

August - September 2012 David Nabors SPORTS EDITOR

A few months ago, former Speaker of the House and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich called this year’s election “the most important in our lifetime”. Whether you agree with the former Speaker’s politics or not, it is difficult to find a dissenting opinion to that statement. The United States is at a crucial point in its history. As unemployment is high, the national debt stands at nearly $16 trillion, and voters remain unoptimistic. Though most economists agree that America is technically not in a recession, a recent Rasmussen poll found that just 24 percent of Americans believe the economy is getting better. President Barack Obama’s bid for reelection is made more difficult by the fact that no president since Franklin Roosevelt has been reelected with the unemployment rate at least as high as it is (8.1%). Statistically, the United States is enduring the slowest recovery in the country’s history. Under the Obama administration, Congress has not passed a single budget, and the national debt has nearly doubled in the last three and a half years. “I’m undecided on who to support right now, but I know this is one of the most important elections in history,” said senior George Correa, who is a potential voter in November. “The issues our country faces are serious, and things are especially bleak for recent graduates, which many of us will be in a few years.” Despite our country’s circumstances, the President still remains competitive in the polls, and as it now stands it is a dead heat between him and Republican nominee Mitt Romney. President Obama’s deputy campaign manager has accused Mitt Romney

Why you need to pay attention

of committing a felony by misrepresenting his position at Bain Capital (a successful private equity firm he founded), and Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) accused Mitt Romney on the Senate floor of evading taxes for a decade and called for Romney to release all his tax returns. Presidential candidates are not required to release any tax returns, and Mitt Romney has released just his last two and has said that he will not give out any more. Governor Romney has rebutted that the Obama campaign has been trying to dodge the actual issues that the country faces in an attempt to portray him as a villain. The former Massachusetts governor has tried to deflect the criticism and has said that he will deal with the “real” issues, and he has accused President Obama of running a “campaign of division and anger and hate”.

Not surprisingly, a recent Pew Research study found that the coverage of both campaigns has been some of the most negative in recent history. The central issues of the election so far have been high unemployment and a struggling economy, the massive national debt, repeal of “Obamacare”, Medicare reform, entitlement reform, and how to control Iran’s attempts grow its nuclear weapons program. On the economic front, Democrats have advocated ending the Bush tax cuts for families making more than $250,000 per year, but Republicans in Congress have been steadfast in opposing that policy, arguing that raising taxes in a bad economy will only make matters worse and cutting entitlement programs that have gotten out of hand is the most effective way to reduce the deficit. Republi-

2012 Elections: Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, and current President of the United States, Barack Obama, compete as rivals in the 2012 Presidential Election. Graphic By: Armando Urena

cans have also called the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) a massive government intrusion and the biggest tax increase in American history, while Democrats argue that a government takeover of the healthcare industry will help extend coverage to millions who cannot afford it. “I think health care is the most important issue in the campaign,” said senior prospective voter Danny Kalter. “It is the issue that the two parties are furthest apart on and it concerns every citizen in the United States.” After the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in late August and early September comes the home stretch for both campaigns leading up to the November 7th election. There will be three televised presidential debates and one vice presidential debate in October. On Election Day, it is widely believed that there will only be about eleven so-called “swing states” that could go to either candidate and will ultimately decide the election. Some of the swing states include Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, and Wisconsin. Regardless of one’s political convictions, it is very apparent that this year’s election will determine much about the future of the country. Both candidates have very sharply contrasting visions, and it is unlikely that you will hear them agree on anything from now until November 7th. As the presidential candidates debate issues and their campaigns enter the home stretch, it is important for the voters to consider the complex issues that are vexing the nation today, and decide which of the two men is better equipped to deal with these challenges, as the outcome will surely affect our lives for years to come.

Cyclists riding into safety

Through the stars and on to Mars

Melissa Sullivan STAFF WRITER

Joshua Alleman STAFF WRITER

By Florida law, cyclists are required to use existing bike lanes and drivers are also required to take precautionary action when cyclists are present on roadways. “Both drivers and cyclists need to be aware when on the road. They need to respect each other so no one gets harmed,” said PPCHS band teacher Mr. Daugherty, who rides his bike every day to and from school. In just August of this year, two men were killed by a driver fleeing the scene of a burglary in Cooper City, Florida. If proper safety measures were taken and the driver of the vehicle, Obrian Ricardo Oakley, had been more aware of his surroundings, this accident could have been easily avoided and prevented. Junior and cyclist Jake Silverberg says, “It’s tragic to hear that two men died doing something they enjoyed so much. I compete in races all the time and really enjoy cycling; everyone has to be safer when it comes to this. If something doesn’t change, it’ll keep happening and there will be no justice,” stated Silverberg. To ensure that mishaps are avoided, every cyclist should travel with the flow of traffic, not against it, when on a roadway. A white light should Safe Cyclers: Mr. Daugherty, a fine arts teacher here at PPCHS, also be mounted on the front of a bialways makes sure to stay safe while cycling on the road. Photo cycle when riding between the hours By: Natalia Cevallos of dawn and dusk; it is recommended Groups of eager, adrenaline-filled cyclists that a light is also visible from the rear of can be seen bright and early throughout the bicycle. A cyclist should always remain the week, training and competing to be the in the bike lane when on the street and stop, best. However, their hopeful hearts can be just as any vehicle, at all intersections and in the way of serious danger. According to traffic lights. Anyone who follows these Florida highway safety and motor vehicles, simple tips can avoid and reduce their risk there was 4,925 bicycle related accidents of getting into a cycling related accident. in 2010 with 4,600 of those leaving cyclists Florida is reportedly one of the most daninjured and approximately 76 killed. With gerous states in the country for bicyclists. all the laws and precautionary measures It is time for this issue to be resolved and put in place to ensure that cyclists and driv- put to an end once and for all. Awareness ers coexist peacefully on the road, why are needs to be raised to ensure road safety for these numbers so alarmingly high? drivers and cyclists alike.

Recently, NASA sent out a new Mars rover called the Curiosity. Until now, all previous missions with Mars rovers have not been nearly as successful as this one. It landed perfectly and is capable of moving around and exploring, or ‘roving.’ The Curiosity will travel a 20 kilometer radius to see if Mars has the ability to sustain life. The rover can move forward, rotate, and move backwards; we now know that the soil on Mars is firm due to the fact that the rover didn’t sink while it was moving around. The one ton Curiosity has also successfully sent back the first human voice from a different planet. This voice came from NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden and was a congratulatory message applauding the success of the mission. The Curiosity will take samples of the dirt and rock back to Earth on its departure to be studied so we can see if Mars can sustain or might have supported microbial life. The rover has been equipped with different tools to help it complete its journey, such as, a laser that can zap rocks and a gear that can identify organic compounds. With this new expansion in space exploration we are continuing progress in the aspect of exploring our solar system and are one step closer to having a human stand on Mars as we once did on the moon. “I think the rover was a success and I hope to see that the rover will provide us more information on Mars that we don’t already know. I believe that we will probably have more advanced technology and that we will be able to research other planets maybe in the distant future.” said sophomore Ratnajirao “Munna” Mylavarapu, a member of the science club. Finding another habitable planet would “help humanity with some of its problems like overpopulation and helping cure diseases for humanity.” The primary mission of the Curiosity now that it has landed successfully is to explore a specific spot called Mount Sharp where there is evidence of liquid water having been there some time in the past. With the rover moving about 100 meters a day, it

Graphic By: William McKinley

will take it about a year to get to the base of Mount Sharp from its current location not counting the time it uses to stop and look at strange and mystical formations on the Red Planet. “It’s so cool and I don’t want it to stop here; this doesn’t only help America, but all of mankind,” says Ms. Invernizzi, an AP and Honors Physics teacher. “I hope they find evidence that life may have been there at some time, but Mars doesn’t have a molten core like Earth does so it doesn’t produce a magnetic field that protects it from the damaging UV rays from the sun. I hope we can start sending humans soon; the students will grow up to be the ones to do things like get to Mars.” Neil Armstrong, first man to land on the moon on July 20, 1969 passed away on August 25, 2012 at 82 years old only a few weeks after going through heart surgery; he lived a long, wondrous life filled with triumph and glory. He was not only an astronaut; but also a decorated aviator and a veteran of Korea. He was revered for being an amazing influence not only for America, but for all mankind. Armstrong did get to witness the Curiosity landing on Mars before his passing and this must have been an amazing moment for him knowing that we were still making progress and getting deeper into space. His legacy will live on forever and he will never be forgotten; even though Armstrong is not with us anymore, we will remember him always and think of him whenever the topic of space arises.



2012 August - September

Artists that will “Never Ever” be the same Jordana Cutajar FEATURES EDITOR

With different classes, harder work, and fading tan lines, it appears that the glorious summer of 2012 is finally setting in the backdrop of the new school year. But it seems like every time we turn on the radio we are momentarily pulled back to the season of the sun. Perhaps that’s the only thing that hasn’t changed. The music which served as a backdrop for all our summer memories is still repeated on Y100, reminding us of our favorite artists who changed their music and made everything all the more unforgettable. This summer was a chart topping, hit making season for our beloved old artists and their newest endeavors. On June 19th Justin Bieber released his latest album, cleverly titled, Believe. If his last album didn’t strum your heart strings perhaps you found his newest catching tunes impossible to get out of your head. Believe was bound to create quite a few “Beliebers” with its most popular songs Boyfriend and As Long as you Love me quickly climbing to the top

of the music charts. And you couldn’t have Snoop Dogg, actually Snoop Lion, is follistened to the radio without hearing a Ma- lowing in Diddy’s footsteps. After a reroon 5 song. cent “spiritual Their latest alawakening” bum “Overexin Jamaica, posed” enjoyed Snoop Dogg continual praise was rechrisfor Moves like tened as Jagger and PaySnoop Lion phone, which by a Rastafeatured Christifarian priest. na Aguilera and Now the reWiz Khalifa. invented artAnyone know ist is turning who Sean away from rap Combs is? and looking Probably not… ahead; prothat’s because ducing a new he now goes reggae album. by the name According to Diddy. Before, he reached his Summer Lovin’: Noura Wilmot, Sharnisse King, Diamonique Lion said, “I present name he Samaroo and Arielle Georges loved the hits summer 2012 had to have always e x p e r i m e n t e d offer! Photo By: Rebecca Gonzalez said I was Bob with a combination of ‘P’s and ‘D’s; he’s Marley reincarnated. I feel I have always gone from Puff Daddy to P. Diddy. Now been a Rastafari. I just didn’t have my third with this popular name changing trend eye open, but it’s wide open now.”

War as Entertainment: yay or nay? Commentary By:

manner. When war is portrayed as a game, no matter what the venue, it lessens the severity of what war really is. Every soldier There are a number of TV reality shows in combat is a son or a daughter to someone. today that depict a variety of topics, such These soldiers are people with families and as bounty hunters, on duty police officers, lives that choose to protect our country at life drama and tragedies, housewives, and all cost. Their sacrifice and commitment is so on. Entertainment in the last decade admirable and should be given the respect has changed dramatically. Today reality and acknowledgement that it deserves. TV has practically taken over most televiJunior Nick Torres says, “The war shown sion networks. At a flick of a channel you in video games and other forms of entercan see cities being bombed and soldiers tainment influence people and it causes being shot on CNN and most news broad- people to do violent things.” casts. Video games are doing a great job Teenagers will play these types of games of graphically illustrating and reenacting for hours and consider it great entertainmany controversial topics such as violent ment. There are many different views crimes and war. and opinions on Is this truly enwhat should be tertaining or does considered enterthis depiction of tainment. I don’t the battle field believe violence through a video should be regame lesson the moved all togethharsh reality of er from television, what is occurbecause vioring in our world lence is a reality, today? Should whether it exists the controversial through war or in topic of war be everyday crime, a part of enterAmericans need tainment on any to stay informed. level? On the War is a serious flip side, there form of violence are shows like that is a part of our “Coming Home” everyday reality. that portray a However, I don’t positive side of agree with some this controverof Hollywood’s or sial topic which the media’s depictells the story of tion of war. Some soldiers returnmovies, shows ing home to their and games are family. These It’s Killing Us: War shouldn’t be used for entertainment tainting the minds types of shows purposes. Graphic By Julian Graves of American’s are a reflection and obscuring the of the brave men and women who sacrifice seriousness of this topic. Creating a virtheir lives for their country and their price- tual world of war for entertainment gives less reunions with their loved ones. people a false impression of war and emoNBC’s Stars Earn Stripes is a show where tionally detaches the player from its reality. D-list celebrities compete in war-like acMost Americans can agree that there isn’t tivities to gain money for charity. Although much to like about any war. War is costly this show promotes raising money for char- on many levels, but mostly through lost ities, it portrays war as a game. The popu- lives and casualties. What is so intriguing lar video game “Call of Duty” is violent about a war and why do so many people and graphic and rated ‘M’ for mature audi- sit by the television to view the unsightly ence, yet it is played by many young kids. images of a country and its people being Shooting, bombing and killing as many of destroyed? Is it concern for our counthe opposition on a battlefield is the o bject try’s well-being or is it merely curiosity of the game. War should not be viewed as and entertainment for audiences? Why are a game, it is a serious topic. Many families so many people consumed with playing a in the US have at least one family member virtual war game, while those who are acserving in the military. There is nothing en- tually soldiers of war are so desperate to tertaining about soldiers who are wounded escape the ugly reality of war? As Amerior killed during a war. I think war should cans we may never know the answers to never be depicted in such a light hearted these questions. Anthony Kelleher STAFF WRITER

Perhaps more surprising than new names and albums was the continuous success bestowed to the modern boy band One Direction. Their first album “Up All Night” left numerous girls swooning and singing along with the pop sensation. Senior Faizah Saber said, “One Direction is just perfect. Along with their great songs, their looks and personalities are just the icing on the cake. I love Moments and I Want has been one of my favorites for a long time. ” On August 30th Taylor Swift released her much anticipated music video for her latest single, We are Never Ever Getting back Together. Senior Hannah Colson said, “I’ve always been a big fan of Taylor Swift, and I love her new song! I think Red is going to be great.” The smash hit broke records for Swift as it quickly sky rocketed to No. 1 becoming her most popular hit to date, with 623,000 downloads alone in the first week, breaking the record for the one week total for any female artist. Fans are bound to be swiftly rushing to stores to obtain her newest album Red, which is to be released on October 22nd.

The rise of Electric Dance Music Andrea Bellorin STAFF WRITER

Good news fellow electronic music lovers: not all music events are over. In fact, they have only just begun. This past summer, electronic dance music concerts, referred to as EDM concerts, became a big hit to locals in South Florida. Major headliners such as Avicii, Kaskade, Alesso, Wolfgang Gartner, and many more performed in Miami’s Bayfront Park and American Airlines Arena with nearly sold out shows. Several students from PPCHS enjoyed these summer concerts, such as the Identity Fes- Move To the Beat: Students from PPCHS attend the Identity Music Festival and enjoy the new wave of music! Photo tival at Bayfront Park. donated by: Veronica ettorre “It was a great experience. It’s will go on sale for the next summer conalmost like the music takes you cert, Ultra Music Festival. But they will away,” says junior Bryan Wallace. Next stop: Electric Daisy Carnival. This only be on sale for a short amount of time. event for anyone of the age of 18 and old- The exact date for early bird ticket sales er is taking place not too far away in Or- for this event remains unknown to the lando on November 9th and 10th. Tickets public, so it is wise to stay updated either are selling fast. This carnival is a massive through Facebook, Twitter, or the official event where electronic music DJ’s come to UMF website at one place to perform in front of hundreds For those who don’t know about Ultra, it of people in colorful costumes all while be- is one of the world’s largest 3 day music festivals that takes place in Miami’s Baying surrounded by fun carnival rides. Shortly after this event, early bird tickets front Park. This music festival only occurs once every year in late March during Spring Break. Many fans tend to leave these concerts in love with the music and its energizing atmosphere, such as sophomore Sofia Vargas. “I went to Kaskade this summer and it was my first of these concerts. The atmosphere is so amazing and indescribable. I will definitely be attending more EDM festivals, possibly Ultra next year,” exclaims Vargas. Whether or not EDM concerts are sweeping the state, this craze seems to be rising among the various students at PPCHS. Who knows what people will be dancing to next!



August - September 2012 Troy Bottom NEWS EDITOR

Full speed, full velocity, his muscles worked to their absolute max, junior Jordan De Leon dashed forward after a ball. On defense, he was closing in on a pass intended for the would-be receiver. He reached the ball but by then it was too late to notice his teammate, junior Kevin Ledford, charging at the same speed for the same ball. Like two sports cars at full throttle, the boys collided with a vicious jolt. Their heads snapped back as the sound of skull against skull echoed across the field. Both players simultaneously blacked out as blood oozed from their still mouths. Kevin lay motionless as Jordan tried to stand up and shortly fell back down as his body went into complete and utter shock. This was the scene on an early Wednesday morning practice over the summer. The 7 vs. 7 football drill hospitalized the two PPCHS football players with serious concussions. “Witnessing a collision first hand like that is life changing. It shows you that when you’re on the field anything can happen,” commented quarterback and junior John Jablonka. By now, the whole sports community knows about the epidemic that is concussions. A study in Sports Illustrated has shown from 2000 to 2010 a drastic 27% increase in concussions. The NFL, NCAA, and all state high school committees issued a regulated test and procedure to deal with this dangerous injury. Concussions are more than just a temporarily dazed state of mind or a killer headache. After years of studies, scientists have noticed the long term effects that hits to the brain can cause. A concussion is an injury to the brain or spinal cord due to jarring from a blow, fall, or the like. It occurs when the brain is compressed due to the pressure applied to the skull. The effects physically are headaches, vertigo, nausea/vomiting, blurred vision, and even entering a semi coma. It also

Concussions: Pain to the brain Part 1 of 2

causes depression, mood swings, longterm memory loss, and rarely but possible increase in suicide thoughts ( “I really thought my son was gone. I still had faith he would be okay, but I thought the worst. My first thought was he is done with football. Going to the hospital felt like the longest ride ever. I was super worried, but when I saw him everything felt better because I knew he was going to be alright,” stated Jordan’s mother, Mrs. De Leon. Recently all-pro NFL linebacker Junior Seau sadly committed suicide, and it was later determined that he had suffered from multiple concussions and brain damage. Scientists have been going further and deeper into these injuries than ever before. They know more now than ever to assure the safest protocol to react to a concussion. All athletes in Broward County were required to fill out a heat and concussion form prior to starting their sports season. On top of that, all football athletes sat down and recorded their scores on a preconcussion test. This tested students on memorization, reaction time, and coordination. It’s a precautionary procedure so if an athlete suffers a concussion he would not be able to return to play if the score is equal or greater than the base test they took. This step is taken to ensure athletes are at their top form to reenter the physical game at full health. “I was cleared to finally play football again. My mom just concluded it’s best if I stay away from football from a health standpoint. It’s a violent sport and I love it but my health is more important, so I decided to leave the team,” said Kevin Ledford. After suffering now two concussions (one previously in his JV season of football), Jordan is back on the field for the Jags for his junior season of football. A risk it is, but De Leon showed he is willing to risk it for a scholarship and for the sport he loves.

“I remember waking up in the hospital and not even knowing why I was there, which was probably the scariest thing. It was terrifying but it didn’t change my view on football,” said Jordan, “At the time I wasn’t wearing my helmet and I know in the game I will have one to prevent injuries like this one. I mean basically I just learned that concussions can happen to anyone, I just have to be more careful on the field.” An in depth approach was taken by Sports Illustrated on this dilemma that has in- Pain to the brain: Juniors Jordan De Leon and Kevin Ledford were both hospistilled fear in athletes talized with concussions. Photo by: Johmi Vargas and parents across the country. They followed three athletes who suffered from this in reality, he was in front of his house each dangerous injury on a professional level. one of those five times, the same house he They found nearly 68% of former NFL has lived in for 20 years. The severity and athletes that suffered from multiple con- danger of concussions cannot be expressed cussions were diagnosed with early onset enough. dementia or some form of dementia. They “It is such a violent sport and I like to basically turn into nonfunctioning humans make sure my son is completely safe and that need to be monitored constantly by protected from any hit. I know some injuloved ones or placed into a kind of semi- ries are unavoidable but when it comes to retirement home, yet sometime they are as concussions it’s crucial to make sure the young as 50 years old. One man focused on proper steps are taken,” says Vanessa Mcwas Jim McMahon who suffered multiple Bride, whose son play JV football here at concussions throughout his career of jump- Pines Charter. ing from team to team. He is now required Concussions are serious and may happen be monitored by his current wife 24/7, al- outside of organized sports such as a slip most like an infant that must be on con- or fall or just playing around with friends. stant surveillance. This decision was made Without your brain in full health your body when McMahon mistook his razor for his is incapable and really a nonfunctioning toothbrush and “brushed” his teeth. An- person; that is why it is important to follow other instance was when he called 911 on proper procedures, to respect the injury, 5 different occasions because he was lost, and to not push your limitations.

Who to sit: • Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles. Since his incredible comeback season in 2010, Vick’s performance has been shaky at best. He is not quick as he once was on his feet, and his decision making has been questionable so far this season. It would be advisable to start a different quarterback if you have a better option. • Willis McGahee, RB, Denver Broncos. Now that the Broncos have former NFL MVP Peyton Manning under center, don’t expect the Broncos to rely on their running attack as much as they did a year ago, when McGahee carried the ball 249 times. Also, the Broncos have been splitting carries between McGahee and fellow running backs Knowshon Moreno and Lance Ball. • Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints. Although he has potential to come up big in certain games, Colston will probably not be an elite receiver from week to week. The Saints’ offensive production as a whole is expected to decrease with the loss of their head coach, and Drew Brees has favored Lance Moore and Jimmy Graham in the red zone so far this season. If you have Colston, play it by ear each week in deciding to start or sit him. Who to pick up: • Kevin Ogeltree, WR, Dallas Cowboys. With Dallas tight end Jason Witten struggling to maintain his health and as defenses focus on containing dangerous receivers Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, Ogeltree is going to be targeted increasingly in games. He’s an excellent receiver to have on your bench or to start as a flex option in some games. • C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills. Spiller has always shown that he can produce big numbers when he’s given the chance. With starting running back Fred Jackson out for a long time, Spiller will get a big bulk of touches in the Bills offense. • Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins. Morris has emerged as the premier back in the new-look Redskins offense. If the rookie can maintain the numbers he’s been putting up remains to be seen, but it’s safe to say that having Morris on your team as an option or a flex start is a good move.

Jacob Isenberg STAFF WRITER

Fantasy football: Who to start, sit, and add David Nabors SPORTS EDITOR

Graphic By: Julian Graves

The NFL year is now in full fledge, and that means that most fantasy football leagues are right in the thick of their season. Most teams have a few key players who are dependable week in and week out, but efficiently managing your lineup each week could be the difference between winning your fantasy league and being left out of the finals. Let’s take a look at some key fantasy players entering the latter part of the season. Who to start: • Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings. Any concerns about Peterson’s health have gone right out the window. The Minnesota running back has shown glimpses of returning to the Adrian Peterson of old, the most productive ‘back in the league. He is the focal point of a mediocre offense now that he is back and healthy, so look for the Vikings to rely on him heavily. • Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers. The quick possession receiver has emerged has Aaron Rodgers’s number two target in the passing game, behind Greg Jennings. The Packers rely heavily on the passing game, and Nelson’s speed and route running ability makes him a favorable target. He is a solid starting receiver. • Brandon Lloyd, WR, New England Patriots. The chemistry between Lloyd and New England quarterback Tom Brady is undeniable. Even on a team with weapons such as Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez, Lloyd is getting a lot of looks in the passing game. As defenses try to buckle down on the Patriots’ dynamic duo at tight end, expect Lloyd to be a dependable starting receiver week in and week out.

College Football Recap September might not be your favorite month. School is starting to settle down, and the vague memories of summer are fading father and farther away. But there is one thing everyone can be excited about: college football. September 1st marked the beginning of the college football season, with all of the Florida teams in action. There are high hopes this season for conference and even national championships for most of the Florida teams. The Florida Gators have a young, but talented team this season. While many experts do not predict them to make it to the SEC Championship game, the Gators are determined to prove the skeptics wrong. Sophomore Jeff Driskel, the Gators new starting quarterback, has a lot of potential and has Gator fans excited because of his dual threat running and throwing attack. “The Gators, after a shaky start, have looked much more impressive. They have a tough schedule, but I see them having a very good season,” says sophomore Amadeo Gonzalez. The Gators have started the season 3-0 by defeating Bowling Green in the opener, Texas A&M in week two, and the Tennessee Volunteers with a come from behind victory last Saturday. The most impressive team to start the season has been the Seminoles of Florida State. They have won their first three games with a combined score of 176-3, and they haven’t shown any signs of slowing down. “The Seminoles have destroyed their opponents so far. I see them going undefeated with a chance of winning the national championship,” says senior Jenna Roberts. Their passing attack is led by senior quarterback E.J. Manuel, and sophomores Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr. are the top Seminole rushers. The Seminoles have a tough schedule ahead, having to face ranked opponents Clemson, Virginia Tech, University of Florida later on. However, the Seminoles have a veteran squad that looks to be serious title contenders.

Graphic by: Julian Graves

While maybe not looking as impressive as UF or FSU, the Miami Hurricanes also have high expectations for an ACC title. Freshmen running-back Duke Johnson has busted on to the scene, averaging a whopping 9.2 yards per carry and scoring six touchdowns. He became the first Cane to score four touchdowns in one game. “Johnson, being only a freshman, has an incredible upside. He will need to carry the team this year if they are going to have success” says sophomore Alex Orta. Junior quarterback Stephen Morris has also been solid, throwing for a combined 633 yards and two touchdowns. After winning in week one, the Hurricanes suffered a defeat at the hands of ranked opponent Kansas State. However, the Hurricanes defeated Bethune-Cookman and now have a 2-1 record. Everyone knows that UF, FSU, and UM get most of the football publicity in the state of Florida, but the other schools deserve attention. FIU is 1-2, and are set to face off against Louisville next week. UCF beat instate riveal FIU last week. FAU is also 1-2, and face number 1 Alabama next week. In addition, USF is 2-1 after losing 23-13 to Rutgers. They play Ball State next week. Don’t miss the action every Saturday as all the college football teams in Florida will be playing, with many of the games having conference and national championship implications.


Turning a new page on Facebook 2012 August - September Victoria Alvarez ENVIRONMENTAL/HEALTH EDITOR

When was the last time you logged onto your Facebook account? A week ago, two weeks, maybe even three? Over the past year, Facebook has been losing users in large numbers. More people seem to be logging onto sites such as Instagram and Twitter, and not paying much attention to Facebook which, up until recently, used to house more users than any other website. Without logging onto the website and posting pictures, checking in, updating your status, and liking your friends’ posts it’s much easier to do homework without the websites distraction…Or so it seems. Many students at PPCHS have created accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and use them frequently throughout their day. Just met up with a friend to eat at Chipotle? Take a picture and post it on Instagram for everyone to see! Have a lot on your mind? Share your thoughts to all your followers on Twitter; you might even get a Re-Tweet! But what happens with Facebook? More frequently than not, many people, including PPCHS students, have been logging onto Facebook much less than other social networks. “I haven’t used Facebook in a long time.

I’m always on Instagram and Twitter looking at what people post on there, no one uses Facebook anymore,” laughed sophomore Alexandria Smith. In 2010, millions of people, and hundreds of PPCHS students, were logging

to Forbes Magazine, Facebook is getting barely new users and many are not logging on to their old accounts; the company is just not growing fast enough. With the evident loss of interest in Facebook, is it much easier for students to pay

Is facebook dying out: Instagram and Twitter seem to be taking users away from FaceBook. Photo by: Jean Paul Dussan

onto Facebook daily, posting and tagging people in pictures and updating statuses by the hour. But now in 2012, According

attention to school work and homework? Without the distraction of the website, students are not only neglecting their ac-


counts, but are also turning on their computers less often. However, does that mean they’re not invested in other social websites? At this age, many students in high school are always excited to be a part of the next big thing, and right now, Instagram and Twitter are exactly that. “When everyone used to go on Facebook it used to take time away from my homework, but to be honest, there’s not much of a difference now,” said Junior Erick Esquerete, “I always find myself on my phone looking at what pictures people posted on Instagram or what my friends have been tweeting. There’s no doubting it, social networking is a big part of teenager’s life.” At this age, social networking plays a large role in a student’s life. They contact their friends and keep their profiles updated so that everyone can be kept up to date with their life by just logging on and clicking their names. Though Facebook has lost many users, Instagram and Twitter will eventually be in the same position one day. Eventually someone is going to invent another website that even bigger and better, and the same fate that Facebook shared will be given to Instagram and Twitter. But for now, they remain as two of the top social networking sites that PPCHS students spend so much time on.

Facebook- the blessing or disaster for high school relationships

PUSH TEXT troubles teens



Commentary By:

can potentially cause many problems for the new couple. In my opinion, the trading of passwords is not the road to take. Fights over other girls or boys liking or commenting on pictures may sound immature and juvenile; but truth be told- high school relationships are affected by these matters. Jealousy over Facebook causes conflict within a relationship. The ongoing bickering and annoyance from comments and ‘likes’ on social networks can contribute to many new and unnecessary problems to a new relationship. Facebook, the very same network that first advertised a new relationship could be the reason for that relationship coming to an end. Allowing another person access to your accounts is taking quite a risk. Is FaceBook good or bad: Nick Torres is about to get his Whether you may think you can trust daily dose of drama. Photo by: Jean Paul Dussan your boyfriend or girlfriend with your “Billy and Miranda are going out!” “No passwords it is better to be safe than sorway! How do you know?” “Facebook!” ry. In high school, one minute a couple is Is the question even necessary? Everyone madly in love and swears to be ‘together gets their ‘facts’ from Facebook and other forever’; and the next, they are broken up social networks nowadays. Accepting a and in tears. Believe me when I say I have friend request on Facebook is allowing that heard countless of stories- and to the boys person to view all your information, pic- rolling their eyes at how “dramatic” girls tures, and personal statuses. And in high can be, let me tell you, girls are not the school, Facebook is the ultimate propeller only ones who bicker over Facebook. Boys of drama. Gossip about teachers, fellow let the pressures of Facebook get to them students, even parents is posted minute af- also. And ladies, you can’t tell me you’ve ter minute. Everyone seems to post person- never overheard the typical girl chat over al feelings and thoughts for everyone else social networking: “Can you believe my to read. Posts about how great of a day one boyfriend liked her picture?” “Are you kidis having, how awful another’s headache ding me? Who?!” is, and who just broke up with their boy- Teenage love is risky, strenuous, and even friend/girlfriend are -in one split second of frustrating. Getting mixed up in issues cona click of a button- displayed on hundreds, cerning personal privacy is unneeded and thousands, even millions of people’s news- better to avoid. If teens are fighting with feeds. their boyfriend or girlfriend, often they When a new couple becomes “Facebook” may look to family or friends for advice. official, this new addition to their profile Facebook’s main purpose is for worldwide ignites talk amongst their peers. Many communication. If a student has an aunt or couples choose to share passwords and log good friend that lives far away, Facebook onto each other’s accounts. In the minds of may be the only means of interaction for the boyfriend or girlfriend, many advan- them. If in a fight with your significant tages accompany this exchange of pass- other, do you really want that person readwords. Now able to control/view friend ing everything you say to all your friends requests, picture comments, private mes- or family when in need of advice? Let me sages, and ‘likes’ on any statuses, the boy- answer that for you. You don’t. Stay clear friend or girlfriend feels a sense of comfort from excess drama. You don’t need it. If having access to all their partner’s infor- you haven’t learned yet, high school will mation. Despite this possible benefit in a bring enough stress. new relationship, the trading of passwords

Cruising along Pines Boulevard with the music blasting and windows down may seem like the typical drive for a teenager. You’re driving at speeds up to 55 miles per hour in 45 miles per hour zone, exceeding the speed limit by 10 miles, swerving in and out of traffic in your fire red Mustang, proving true the stereotype of reckless teen driving to all the drivers around you, and most important of all, oblivious to your parents. How would the parents of this stereotypical teen ever discover How’s my driving: A new phone app will expose teens for their bad that their child is a reckless driving to their parents. Photo By Carli Stander driver? With the help of a new app for the Android and iPhone and a nifty ments from fellow drivers can be sent to bumper sticker, parents can monitor their the smartphone of the parent reporting any child’s driving with the assistance of other form of reckless driving. Commentators simply open the free PUSH TEXT applidrivers around their teen. “This program seems like it would be cation- available for download by iPhone very helpful with the prevention of reckless and Android users- type the tag or license driving among teenagers,” says PPCHS se- plate number, and add a comment of their nior and licensed Florida driver Katherine choice before hitting send. The comment Conrad. “The program gives teenagers an will be delivered to the smartphone of the incentive to practice safe driving if they parent and will remain anonymous for both know they will be targeted and immediate- the sender and recipient through the use of ly reported to their parents,” adds Conrad. the PUSH TEXT app. Although the program is relatively new, The newly created bumper sticker and smartphone app was the idea of Cooper some skepticism has risen. People think City father and mobile app designer Mi- that the program contradicts itself because chael McManigal, reported in an article in it would entail drivers to text and drivethe Sun-Sentinel about this brilliant cre- a reckless act in itself- in order to report ation. McManigal came up with the con- reckless driving at the impending moment. cept when he noticed all the “How’s My Others feel that some drivers may report Driving?” stickers on the rears of trucks the tag number of a specific driver just for while taking a long drive home from South “play”. Carolina one day in July. He thought that “Even though this program does seem like parents could use something similar to a benefit for parents, it may be a downfall monitor their child’s driving once they for the teens themselves,” says junior Luwould leave the driveway. He believes that cas Batista. “People may report a teenagthe bumper sticker allows parents to have er’s tag just to be funny or seek revenge on the sense that they are in the passenger seat a driver,” adds Batista. The sole purpose of the “How is my KID of the car as their child drives while not acdriving?” program is to make the streets tually being physically present. The “How is my KID driving?” program safer for all drivers and prevent reckless was created to help promote safe driv- driving among teenagers. Aside from a few ing, and begins with the registration of a negative aspects of the program, the ability teenager’s car on the website howismykid- for parents to monitor their child’s driving The cost to register a vehicle is from the access of a text is a secure way $15 for the first year and $10 every year to ensure safe streets. As the red Mustang that follows. After registration, the parent speeds down Pines Boulevard, it won’t will receive a bumper sticker which is to take long to report the act of reckless drivbe placed onto the registered vehicle. The ing with the simple text sent to anonymous moment the teenager begins to share the that reads “TAG# L5055F was driving road with other drivers, anonymous com- reckless down Pines Boulevard.”


Gender wars at PPCHS


August - September 2012

Read this article – everyone’s doing it, especially boys Brianna Cha-Kim STUDENT LIFE EDITOR

High school introduces many new subjects, activities, and feelings for adolescents. In terms of anatomy, differences between boys and girls can be pretty obvious. The differences in how the inevitable factor of peer pressure affects each gender is also quite noticeable and directly affects how teens react to life in high school today. Let’s be honest: if a family consisted of the mother, father and two children- newly licensed sixteen year olds (one boy, one girl)which of the teens would the parents be less worried about handing the keys over to? Certainly, personality, judgment, and characteristics play a key role in being a safe driver. But most parents will openly admit to worrying about their son speeding, driving more recklessly than say a teenage girl would, and even to the extreme of taking part in car races. In a recent study, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 16-year-olds have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age. About 2 out of every 3 teenagers killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2009 were males (NHTSA). Needless to say, the parents of teenage girls most definitely worry about their inexperienced teen setting out on the road. However, the concern is much different. When a teenager is added to a family’s car insurance policy, it typically increases 44 percent, while for a two-car family it generally jumps about 58 percent and for a three-car family, about 62 percent. (NY Times) The question of why car insurance is much more expensive for teenage boys than for girls is then raised. The answer could be that girls (generally) drive more cautiously and a bit more slowly than boys. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young males are more likely to be involved in fatal auto accidents and not wear seat belts. They tend to be more aggressive and engage in more risky behaviors. This is where peer pressure comes into play: Are boys encouraging one another to race? Are teenage guys more willing to speed? Statistics seem to agree. According to studies, boys are more physically aggressive than girls even before they turn two. Scientists say prenatal testosterone is a big factor, and that boys are subconsciously playing at something they’re much

more likely to do in adulthood than girls: get into physical confrontations ( Some teenage boys often have the tendency to provoke or promote fights. Guys will instigate a problem by making snarky remarks, which then can lead to physical aggression. Senior Kelvin Ortiz said, “If a guy thinks you’re looking at him in the wrong way, he can come up to you and try to start something. No guy wants to just apologize when someone angrily accuses them; that’s a main reason as to why there are so many pointless fights.” Boys also have to find the strength and integrity within them to stay clear of

world” males are the ones who experience more pressure to try drugs. When a girl resists and turns down a cigarette, she usually will receive less teasing or mocking than a boy would if he turned down smoking. Needless to say, teenage girls still suffer from the damage of peer pressure. Studies state that 46% of teenagers (boys and girls) are likely to partake in some use of illegal substances throughout their high school career (CNN. com). Personal values and beliefs direct a teen’s choice and determine whether the teen will fall into the dark hole of peer pressure or rise above its danger. Girls are offered

Peer Pressure: Studies have shown that boys are more susceptible to peer pressure in various areas. Photo By: Rebecca Gonzalez

gangs and the brutal way of “resolving issues” many guys tend to use. According to ‘Helping Youth Gang’ reporters, there are approximately 360,000 teenage boys and 32,000 teenage girls in gangs (Helping gang The significant difference of teenage girls involvement in gangs mirror the effects of peer pressure. Girls argue verbally while boys argue with their fists. Boys often encourage one another to partake in fights to prove themselves as stronger, better, or unwilling to take “disrespect”. Along with gang initiation, boys also have to maintain a strong mentality to say no to drugs. In high school and even in the “real

the very same drugs as well. Junior Stephanie Norman said, “Peer pressure is impossible to get away from in high school. But if someone tries drugs it’s not just because they were pressured into doing it. It was simply because they wanted to do it. The other person just further encouraged it.” In high school, some kids view brains and intellectuality as “uncool”. The mentalities that many teens have contradict values that make someone a more successful person. Boys may often feel the need to not be viewed as the brainiest kid because it’s not the “popular” thing to be the smartest kid in class who knows all the answers. Freshman Madison

Duke said, “Even in middle school, the majority of kids who slept through class were the boys. Lots of boys seem to give off the impression that they don’t care about school when they really do.” Administration also seems to find truth in this idea. Coach Bell said “In the instance of being embarrassed to raise your hand and participate in class it’s mostly boys who I see doing this. For some reason, boys tend to think that speaking improperly is cool and acceptable. They see speaking properly is a sign of weakness. This bleeds into other stuff as well, such as when I see guys sagging their pants and not wearing belts.” The fact that boys are often taught to repress their emotion connects to the reason why girls have a smaller percentage of teen suicide. Boys may tease their friends if they show signs of emotion; they may range from calling them “wimpy” to “girly”. Dr. Gonzalez, a children’s psychologist, said, “Suicide rates differ between boys and girls. Girls think about and attempt suicide about twice as often as boys, and tend to attempt suicide by overdosing on drugs or cutting themselves. Yet boys die by suicide about four times as often girls, perhaps because they tend to use more lethal methods, such as firearms, hanging, or jumping from heights” (Kids Health). The emotional expression of girls is accepted. When the majority of girls are upset or bothered or even slightly annoyed, everyone seems to be aware of the issue regardless of how grand the severity of it is. Due to fear of being teased or looked down upon by their friends, boys repress their emotions. This repression leads to feelings of hopelessness and abandonmentprompting suicidal thoughts. Peer pressure is inescapable. From the beginning of pre-school to high school to life as an adult, there is pressure to act a certain way, conform to society’s standards, and to play the part of your gender role. No one can force someone to do anything unless they themselves want to do it. If someone forces you to do something, you chose to let that person convince you. Therefore, it will be your choice and your decision to make the best ones.

Princesses in shining armor? Angelique Berkowitz & Nicolette Sponer ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR AND MANAGING EDITOR

males. After graduating from high school and college each year, females take the world by storm as they obtain positions of power in leading professions and businesses in record numbers. Females are becoming major business partners, doctors and even principals of schools. College campuses are now nearly 60 percent female, with women earning 170,000 more bachelor degrees each year than men. Women are streaming into business schools and medical schools, and will be the majority at the nation’s law Boys in Charge: Diego LaHoz (‘13), the Editor-In-Chief of the Year- schools, states an article about the book, has many staff members under him, some of which are girls like gender gap on Jessica Kaminsky (‘14). Photo By: Carli Stander In a study conducted at a school in Massachusetts, a girl was on the In the battle between the sexes, is it really safe to say that one gender deems victori- podium as school valedictorian for the ninth ous while the other falls second? From the year in a row in 2009. According to cbsnews. day you are born it was only natural to de- com, girls took home nearly all the honfend your gender with positive attributes and ors, including the science prize at the high negative connotations against the other sex; school. The school’s advanced placement however, males always seemed to portray classes were often 70 to 80 percent girls. “Girls outperform boys in elementary dominance over females, or so the moral taught by fairytales says. The knight in shin- school, middle school, high school, and coling armor claimed victory in his leadership lege, and graduate school,” says Dr. Michael roles as he rescued the princess from the fire Thompson, a school psychologist who writes breathing dragon. However, how easy is it about the academic problems of boys in his to prove whether males or females dominate book, “Raising Cain.” Dr. Thompson was in the clash between the sexes? At PPCHS, quoted in an article about the gender gap female dominance is prominent in several on He says that after decades leadership roles throughout clubs and in of special attention, girls are soaring, while boys are stagnating. quite a few organizations. Much to the similarity of the school in From recent studies, there proves to be a definite gender gap between males and fe- Massachusetts and several other schools in

the country, PPCHS has its share of female prominent clubs at PPCHS are leaded by supremacy. One of the most notorious lead- females as well, including NHS and Club ership roles dominated by female power is Earth that are run by senior Lauren Suarez, the role of President at PPCHS. Senior Sasha DECA run by senior Fariha Hasham, and Abrishami holds the coveted title of the girl Relay for Life partly run by junior Fabiola who rules the school, literally. Her position Moleiro. “So far in the Relay for Life club, as Student Government President demands I’ve been the one to come up with most of that she oversees all of the events and proj- the projects,” says Moleiro. “I feel that with ects that Leadership presents to the student a female in charge, people are more willing body. Abrishami says, “I feel that girls just to listen,” she adds. put themselves out there more, especially for At PPCHS girls are a majority population in elections, which is probably why there are the classrooms as well as the clubs and stuso many female leadership roles.” Another dent organizations. In the battle of the sexes dominant female in SGA is the President’s females claim victory while males admit deright hand man: the Vice President. Senior feat. As girls rule the school, they dominant Nicolette Sponer commands the position of in the land of leadership. In this modern day SGA Vice President and runs alongside the fairytale the princess claims victory in the female in control. As well as the two impor- battle against the dragon and rides out on her tant roles in the hierarchy of Student Govern- noble steed in celebration of her leadership. ment, the organization consists of five other officers that are female and just one that is male. The senior class of 2013 is also a panel of female officers, led by class president Allie Jones. “Our board consists of all girls, from vice president to treasurer. I feel that, as girls, we definitely pay more attention to detail, which will come in handy during prom planning,” says Jones. The junior and sophomore class are also dominated by female presidents, although the class of ’14 has a few boys Girls with Authority: SGA President, Sasha Abrishami and Vice on their officer panel. President Nicolette Sponer discuss the busy weeks to come for Mr. Most of the Presidents of Velasquez’s Leadership Class. Photo By: Johmi Vargas



2012 August - September

Boys vs. girls: sports competition for life Troy Bottom NEWS EDITOR

Many people uninterested in sports view them as just a childhood pastime people do for fun. But try telling that to an athlete sweating and bleeding for a college education worth thousands of dollars. They will cringe at such a thoughtless statement. Saying sports is a stress reliever and a hobby done for pure enjoyment of the game is in fact true, but it is also ticket out, a chance to play the game you love and earn money to learn with it. Pines Charter has spawned a history of superior athletes and current athletes earning district, regional, and state championships. And with each year, as another Jaguar team wins their district, an ensuing battle seems to come about. Which Jaguars sports teams are more successful: the boys’ or girls’? This past summer a shocking display by the USA Women’s Olympic team took place in London. For years the Men’s US team always overshadowed the Women’s Olympics achievements. But in London a shocking shift in power from men to women occurred. Out of the 46 gold medals the USA won, Women’s athletics accounted for 29 of those podium spots. For years it has been the stereotypical male athletes stealing the spotlight

in all major sports. But with time, the gender battle of superior competitors has been balancing out; this is especially true here at PPCHS. “I think each year differs from the other. One year you see the girls step up and shine and then the next year the boys put up big numbers and do big things,” stated Athletic director Coach Bruns. “Last year really was equal, the football team for the first time made the playoffs and the boys’ basketball team went really far. And then you have the girls’ softball team that took their program to a whole new level and also the girls’ water polo did great. It really is neck and neck.” An opinion is an opinion, but stats will tell the facts of the story. For boys’ sports they have earned their fair bragging rights. The boys’ water polo team has won districts 4 consecutive years from 2008 to 2011. The boys’ basketball team won their first district title for the first time last year. Boys’ soccer has been backing up the Boys in this argument with being 2010 and 2011 district champions along with 2010 region champs. Boys’ golf also contributed to the success with 2008 and 2010 district dominance. Finally in the individual sports, swimmer Marc Rojas brought home a state Championship to Charter in 2010.

“I think boys are more focused and I think preparation-wise, as in studying upcoming opponents and schemes, I think the boys are definitely more dedicated in the weight room and off season,” said girls volleyball coach Miss Strom. “But when it comes to inseason and execution, I think the girls have the edge. They are definitely more focused in the heat of the season.” Unquestionably the best sports program in Charter is the proclaimed softball team: last year they achieved a state championship ring. In addition they have 4 region championships and another 6 district, and state runner ups in 2004, 2005, and 2008. Along with their state champion success, alumni Nicole Briceno also represented the ladies with an individual tennis championship title in 2005. Girls swimming got two district titles in 2009 and 2011 and girls’ tennis also added to the district success in 2011 with a victory of their own. The flag football team earned a 2009 title. Finally, with holding the title as 5 time district champs, the girls’ water polo team, which has been fierce in the water for a now 5 straight years, is definitely a supporting factor to back up the Girls of Charter.

Boys and Girls as Competitors in Sports: Senior, Ivan Parada, and Sophmore, Leysha Caraballo, are top athletes in their sport. Photo By: Gabriela Cabeza

Graphic By: Nick Lee Yee

“I think boys are more dedicated and focused to earning that scholarship,” said junior softball player Jamie Gonzalez. “Once they have that school in mind that they want to go too, they seem so involved in their goal and sport to get there.” With success on the field comes the will to succeed, and dedication in the weight room and conditioning in the preseason and offseason. So when strength and conditioning coach, Lyndon Bell, was asked who he believed was the better gender in means of working out and season preparation, he replied simply: “The girls by far. I wish I knew why they are more focused and dedicated but I just know they are.” On the contrary, track and football standout Neil Morrison commented, “I definitely think the boys are better athletes and competitors just because of the way we care more and have more riding on athletics to take us to college.” Whatever one’s view point on the gender competition, the truth is that PPCHS has been home to a plentiful amount of skilled athletic woman and men. Which gender is more successful is a tough stat to find a final answer too. But one thing’s for certain: PPCHS athletes -- boys and girls -- are constantly competing for athletic dominance.

Are Our Classes Half Full or Half Empty of Boys? Jordana Cutajar FEATURES EDITOR

“I spy with my little eye…a boy?” If you were to play a game of eye spy in Ms. Hughes’ second period AP Art History class you are more likely to spot Michelangelo’s David before you spot an actual, living boy in the class. With all the colorful and symbolic surroundings in Ms. Hughes’ class, it seems the only thing missing is the male voice. Factually, her second period is a class loaded with students; of which two are the brave gentlemen, who offer their highly outnumbered male perspective. Junior Ralph Beriro was at first the only boy in Hughes’ second period. “It was a little awkward on the first day but it is better now that another guy switched in. I think most guys wouldn’t be interested in this class, and maybe take less AP’s because they have sports. In my APUSH class there are more guys, but I think girls are more studious and mainly focused on school.” But AP Art History is not the only female dominant class. “In my AP Lang class last year we had literally four boys in the entire class. And all of them chose to sit in a corner together on the left side of the room,” said senior Madison Wheeler. Where are all the boys? It seems like the halls are teeming with rambunctious males; but when the bell rings where do they all go? Is it possible that Charter has more female students than male? Or is it a matter of wits? Are there more girls taking AP classes than boys? Even walking through the school office the

halls are covered with pictures of students who made Suma Cum Laude, Silver Knight, and Jaguar Pride. Out of the eight students that received Silver Knight last year three of them were boys. And for Suma Cum Laude seven out of the twenty are boys. There are exceptions however, such as Senior Aditya Iyengar who is currently taking 6 AP classes. He said, “I noticed that there are a lot of girls in my classes, except for physics, there are like two of them. But I think it is mostly balanced because if they’re in that class they are probably stronger in that area.” The stereotype that boys tend to excel primarily in math and science classes and that girls perform better in liberal arts classes has

served as an ignorant divider for long enough. In recent years it appears the gap has been somewhat smoothed over in certain areas. In 2008 a study published in Science produced results which claimed that the differences between male and female scores had leveled out and were no longer significant enough to support the generalization that males, on average, have higher math scores than females. But four years have since passed. Today, studies show that for the first time, this generation of girls is surpassing the boys. In David Von Drehle’s article The Myth about Boys he wrote, “[Girls] get better grades. They have higher educational aspirations. They follow more-rigorous aca-

Surrounded By Girls: Juniors, Arian Rastgou and Ralph Beriro are the only two boys in Mrs. Hughes 2nd Hour AP Art History class. Photo By:Gabriela Cabeza

demic programs and participate in advancedplacement classes at higher rates. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, slightly more girls than boys enroll in high-level math and science courses” (Time Magazine). But Von Drehle believes that these decreases are all a result of society which treats “boyhood as toxic pathology” (Time MagazineThe Myth about Boys). He chooses to view the glass as half full rather than half empty: “Is it bad that more boys are in special education, or should we be pleased that they are getting extra help from specially trained teachers?” There are plenty of opinions in support of both sides of this question. While boys may be falling behind in their classes and test scores in comparison to the opposite sex, the male population has been increasing their math scores over time, but this rate is slower than that of the female population. There are also several discrepancies that affect the statistics, such as minority groups. Although the stats for boys began plunging in the 1980’s, male teens today are on average better off than their fathers might have been. Does your sex determine how well you will be likely to perform in school? Senior Joey Levy who is also taking six AP’s disagrees. “From what I see yes there are a lot of girls in some of my classes. I’m the only guy in my AP stats class, but there are less girls in my AP Physics class, the rest are mostly balanced. It [intelligence] depends on the individual gender. It doesn’t determine whether a person is smarter or not.”

Environmental 10

August - September 2012 Imagine yourself picking up a simmering slice of pizza after a long day in school, the melted cheese resting over the warm sauce and the pepperoni sizzling onto the slice. Sounds good, huh? Even though a hot slice of good ole’ pizza may be what you long for during lunch time, it’s important to remember that there are some key things that a growing teenager must eat to remain healthy. Whether or not a student is buying or bringing lunch from home, it’s important to consume healthy ingredients. “I’ve never really thought about what I eat at lunch. I just go into the lunch line and buy whatever I’m in the mood for. Fruits and vegetables have never really been my thing, as long as I have enough money in my account, I’m good to go,” says senior Rendell Almeria. With growing bodies, it is vital that all students pay more attention to the necessary components to help them grow at healthy and good rates and not the amount of money left in their lunch account. Items such as fruit, vegetables, juice, and milk are essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. According to Jean Ramos, the manager of the PPCHS cafeteria and worker for Chartwells (PPCHS food supplier) for over 20 years, the PPCHS cafeteria follows the guidelines from the

Lunch is served: the healthy way Victoria Alvarez ENVIRONMENTAL EDITOR

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), stating that all lunches should have a complete and healthy meal. In January 2012, Michelle Obama stepped up to the plate with her “Let’s Move!” initiative for healthier lunches. According to CBS News, she wanted to fight children’s obesity and thought that school lunches would be the first place to start. By the end of the month, Michelle had announced, alongside the Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, she had announced that the school meals would have less sodium and will include more grains, and more fruits and more vegetables as sides. These new rules came into effect at all schools this school year. However, many of the top lunches sold at PPCHS do not contain specific components that the USDA requires. “The most popular lunches here are the chicken tender baskets and the pizza slices. We stopped selling subs this year, which used to be one of the top sellers, because it had too much bread,” said Ramos. “The lunches are supposed to have a minimum of three items: one serving of fruit, one serving of vegetables, and the main meal with a juice or milk.” When buying and eating lunch, many students make their way to the lines that sell the pizza slices and chicken tender baskets. These offered meals are good to have

every once in a while, but it is not best to eat it every day. Unlike those meals, which are high in calories and fat, consuming the required components, such as fruits and vegetables, offer students’ bodies with essential vitamins, minerals, fibers, and other substances that are important for good health. “It’s easy to get hungry while sitting in class all morning long and the minute you walk into the cafeteria, you automatically want those unhealthy meals, such as the chicken tenders with tater tots,” said junior Olivia Hamilton, “However, I try to bring fruit almost every day to make sure that I stay healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I love to have pizza every now and then but the fruits allow me to enjoy my meal while also giving my body the things it needs to grow.” Eating that sizzling slice of pizza with melted cheese spread across the top may taste good after a few long hours in school, but students have to remember that eating healthy is the best way to actually stay healthy. Jags can purchase things such as the wraps or salads, or they can bring food from within their homes. Bringing in lunch doesn’t mean that you

Savoring super snacks

Healthy Lunch: Junior, Raymund Gaviola digs his teeth into a sub sandwich at lunch. Photo by: Natalia Cevallos

must pack a sandwich and a bag of chips, there’s a lot of creative, delicious, and nutritious meals that students can bring for a fulfilling meal.

• Nuts for Nuts: Assorted nuts such as cashews, almonds, and peanuts offer good sources of protein. The saltiness of the nuts satisfies your tongue and they also leave you with a good amount of energy for the rest of the day. You can even add in a few raisins or chocolate, such as M&M’s to give the snack a little flare. The assorted nuts can be changed and mixed up whenever.

• Great Granola: Granola bars are sold at every grocery store around town. Offered in so many different flavors, you can have chocolate, strawberry, blueberry, apple, etc. If you want to get even more creative with your snack, you can have plain or even strawberry flavored yogurt and pour crushed granola pieces inside. It gives you a tasty treat and also gives you necessary vitamins.

• Fruit Salad ... Yummy Yummy: A nice package of freshly cut fruits such as grapes, strawberries, apples, and watermelons can serve as both a healthy, delicious, and quite colorful snack. The fruits offer necessary vitamins to help get you through your day while also leaving you and your hungry stomach content.

•Wrap it up: Salads and wraps are great meals and snacks to help fill your hungry stomach and get your daily dosage of fruits and veggies. With the lettuce, you can add different types of dressing, nuts, dried raisins, raspberries and even chicken. Who knew eating vegetables could taste so good?

AP classes: burden or relief ? Melissa Sullivan STAFF WRITER

PPCHS is a college preparatory school; it offers a variety of advanced placement and honors courses that students can choose from in preparation for a college education. Many students enroll in these classes with the hope of not having to take them again in college. However, some students are beginning to take more than one AP course, which may cause a huge burden in their life and to teachers: defeat the purpose of these classes. With all the obligations that an AP course demands, students wonder if it’s worth all of the stress. By taking an AP course, students are doubling, and maybe even tripling, the amount of work that they are required to complete. The classes are more rigorous, demanding, and extremely time consuming in comparison to an Honors or Regular course. Students who are taking more than one of these classes here at PPCHS may be spreading themselves too thin and increasing their stress levels. “I had to switch out of AP Lang almost immediately this year; the work load was overwhelming and I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I don’t want to stress myself out and hurt my grades,” said Junior

Andrea Gonzalez. According to US news, students who are working past midnight to complete their AP assignments should not over-burden themselves with such advanced classes. By taking an AP class, students are at risk of increasing their stress. Large amounts of work, having a job, and maintaining a social life is difficult for anyone, especially an AP student. Students may not be receiving required amounts of sleep and as a result ruining their schedules and routine. “Students need a healthy balance in their lives; several AP classes cause too much stress and aggravation. Students are thinking about what classes their friends are taking, not about their own education and the downsides of taking such difficult courses,” says PPCHS guidance counselor, Mrs. Thomas, “Teenagers need to eat, sleep, shower and maintain a social life. It’s just too much for some students to handle, colleges prefer to see a student ace an AP exam with a 5 than to take several advanced classes and only get a 3. They should consider downsides such as these and I recommend for no one to take more than two at a time.” Although this method of time management is helpful to some students, not all can do it and still succeed. PPCHS offers

many extracurricular activities including clubs and various sports that students participate in. All of this adds on to the stress that AP and honors courses presents. Melissa Gianello is one of many juniors that are taking more than one AP course this school year. “Having five AP classes is challenging and takes a lot of effort, but in the end it’s worth it. I try to manage my time wisely and not spend too much of it focusing on just one class. I don’t want to get carried away and do Stress at its best: PPCHS students struggle to keep up with the work well on one class but fail all load of AP classes. Photo By: Gabriela Cabeza the others,” says Gianello. If taking an Advanced Placement course, students are required to been slaving over all year. AP classes can be extremely beneficial, take an AP exam in the spring. The exam, usually three to four hours in time, is a but can affect someone’s grades dramatigrueling portion of the course. Having to cally if not managed well. Pair APs with study for one of these, alone, is a trying and club meetings, sports practice and trying to stressful task for anyone. Imagine having maintain a social life and you have a disasto study for more than one of these tests in ter waiting to happen- unless you are one approximately eight months. It is such an of the lucky few who strive under pressure. important exam and what the students have

Chevy Volt: is it worth the cost? Chelsie Ramos STAFF WRITER

For the past few years, gas prices have skyrocketed causing car manufacturers to look for a new and more economical way for drivers. The electric car is an exclusive type of car that runs off of an electric powered engine, whose energy runs off of a rechargeable battery. However, Chevrolet has come up with a new competition for all electric cars- the Volt. What’s so special about the Chevy Volt is that it is a hybrid, running off of both gas and electricity. According to, the Volt was first unveiled as a “concept car” in 2007 at the Detroit Auto Show. Then in 2010, the Chevy Volt was revealed at the 2010 New York Auto Show, and the recent versions are even more advanced than the first. Some new technology is present in the car is the 2 interactive LCD screens that give the driver the chance to monitor how the car is doing. The driver also has the option of downloading the myChevrolet and On Star RemoteLink apps to their phones, where they can see the cars battery power life, and even check to see if the car is charging properly. This car seems unique in comparison to some of the other electric cars, but not everyone has been able to see how exceptional the car is. However one of

our very own Jaguars has been able to experience it. Sophomore Annette Rotunno’s parents own a Chevy Volt. “The car drives really smooth, and when we’re driving in the city we’re able to get 35 miles per gallon. We only have to refill the tank about once a month, at times even once every 2 months,” said Rotunno. According to, the car has a battery that allows the car to drive gas free, and comes with “an onboard generator that produces electricity so you can go to a total of 375 miles on a full tank of gas.” The car is a push to start, meaning that no key is needed to be put into an ignition. It also has 3 different modes- the car is able to be on normal mode, sport mode, and mountain mode. Depending on which mode you are in at the moment, it will appear on the 2 interactive LCD screens in the car, allowing the driver to get feedback on how their car is running. Just charging the car for 10 hours, with their standard charging kit, the battery should be fully charged. However, for a car that has so much technology in it doesn’t come at a cheap price. According to the Sun Sentinel and Sandy Munro, the president of the Munro & Associates, it is said to cost General Motors (Chevrolet) from $75,000 to $89,000



2012 August -September

that with the next generation Volt, they should be able to “turn (the losses) around”, said Doug Parks, the Vice President of GM’s global product programs. When it comes to being a teen in today’s society so much may seem easy, but when it comes to having a car of your own, filling up the gas is usually their own responsibility. The Volt seems like a reasonable car for students in the sense of Chevy Volt: Is this enviornmentally friendly car really worth the exgas. Junior Nikki Brito penses? Graphic By: Julian Graves says, “I think it is practito make the car. While the car is sold at cal considering that teenagers are constanta base for $39,995, the company has not ly going out and trying to find things to do, been able to make much of a profit off of so having a car that runs on both electricity the car. The president of the Automotive and gas seems to be much more beneficial Consulting Group, Dennis Virag, believes when it comes to saving money.” But with that the problem is that “the Volt is over- the price of the car, it is something to look engineered and overpriced.” This can also into to see if it is really for you. lead to the reason being that some people Every car has its pros and cons, but while have steered clear from purchasing the car. looking into them you must see which For the moment GM isn’t making money outweighs the other and if it’s worth the off of their electric car, but they believe change.

Gas Prices Soar Melissa Sullivan STAFF WRITER

Due to the economic downfall in recent years, students have had to pay more for their own gas. This is causing trouble for some people due to the recent rise in costs. This July, gas prices hit the lowest they have been since 2010, which was $3.16 ( The current gas price in South Florida is an alarming $3.79 and the national average is approximately $3.82. These costs could be a good reason to leave fueled cars behind and switch over to cars that don’t eat up your money and gas, such as the Volt electric car.

Save the Earth club strives to make a difference Lashae Palmer SPECIAL TO THE CHAT

Among the many things that Pembroke Pines Charter High School is proud to have succeeded at, being a Go-Green school is one of them. Many people within the community believe that the Jags’ ability to help the environment is one of the school’s greatest assets. In addition to an outdoor classroom, herbs garden, and advanced placement environmental science classes, another green activity students take a special interest in is the Save the Earth Club. The Save the Earth Club is a relatively

new addition to PPCHS. Well known for its Save the Sharks expedition in 2009, the Save the Earth club is now extremely popular among students. Directed by Dr. Glenn, an AP Chemistry and Physics Honors teacher at PPCHS, and club president senior Lauren Suarez, the members of the club are striving to make a difference. Junior Brittany Kroner says, “I’m so glad we have this club. It’s about time we have a club that is doing something to help Earth and that teaches us these responsibilities while we are still teenagers.” In the past, as mentioned, Save the Earth

Club has been involved with events such as Save the Sharks, where students were given the opportunity to interact with live sharks, while also helping them sustain their lives on Earth. Considered to be one of the highlighted events of this year, Save the Earth club was also involved in an annual Beach Cleanup on September 15th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Everyone was encouraged to come out and help rid the shores of trash. This event brought everyone even closer as a community, and the club was extremely proud of the turnout this year. Many people came to not only support the club, but also to support the planet and make it a cleaner and better place for both humans and animals to live on. The Save the Earth club aims to participate in good causes for the school, community, and planet. Many can see that the club’s main goal is to raise awareness of the importance of the environment and leave the world with more positive outcomes than negative. This club gives teens a chance to learn and gives them the initiative to create change, and here at PPCHS we truly believe in making a difference in the world.

Beach Cleanup: Last year, many students and staff participated in the annual Beach Cleanup. A large turnout is anticipated for this year. Photo By: Gabriela Cabeza

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August - September 2012

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