Vol. 46 No. 7
Cherry Hill High School East: 1750 Kresson Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
Students create legacy through robotics
Mia Holley (‘12)/ Eastside Photo Editor
(Left to right) Aaron Sirken (‘12) and Brendon Rush (‘12) carefully check over their robot, which has already picked up and is holding objects. The robot is stopped in its testing pen, which East helped the Robotics Club to purchase to prepare for competitions. ■ By Sherin Nassar (‘13) Eastside Humor Editor
Creating a club that takes its members to the Robotics World Championships three consecutive years is not, by most standards, easy. However, this is exactly what Aaron Sirken (‘12) was able to accomplish when he discovered his passion for competitive mechanical engineering. After participating in a robotics competition at the University of Pennsylvania, Sirken researched possible ways a low-budget robotics club could be initiated at East. Typically, it costs around ten thousand dollars to start a robotics
Inside This Issue
club, but Sirken found a company that offered starter robotics kits at around eight hundred dollars, allowing each robot to be created for fifteen hundred dollars. Sirken and his mechanically adroit friend, Brendon Rush (‘12), teamed up and took the class Research in Science, where they competed in robotics competitions that eventually landed them at the world competition their freshman year. After seeing the duo’s success, East offered a grant to Sirken and Rush to start a robotics team at East. The team used the funding to buy another robot to compete with. With the aid of biology
teacher Mrs. Bethany Lau and math teacher Mr. Joseph Dilks, the two officially started the club in March of 2011, when they hosted a members meeting with twelve students. From there, Rush and Sirken held tutorials to teach the new members how to build the robots. “You would have Aaron on one side of the room teaching programming and Brendon on the other side of the room teaching how to actually build the robot, and we were really impressed with their robot. It got us excited to be a part of the club,” said Winnie Cheng (‘12), a Robotics Club member. Each year the robotics competitions have a theme
around which the robot is constructed. For instance, this year’s theme is on robots that are able to place different items through baskets and goals. At a typical competition, the judges pick the winner based on the interviews they have with each team and the actual tasks the robots can perform. With such importance placed on the actual task performance of the robot, it was quite fortunate when the school offered a more substantial amount of money that allowed the club to buy a practice field to accurately test their robots. This year’s Robotics Club will be moving on to the world competition this
East students perform with perfect pitch
East students participate in Disney’s Idol Experience
News/Features Pg. 3
Entertainment Pg. 6
coming summer. However, another big part of the club, for some students, is the life lessons. “It’s not specifically what we learn [about] the mechanical engineering [that is important]. What I specifically took from it was the fundraising and teamwork aspects and even the endurance to wake up every Saturday at six and just staying with the club, because it takes patience and endurance to keep building these robots and to keep fixing them. During times of pressure, when a robot breaks down at a competition, you only have two minutes to fix it, and you would never realSee ROBOTICS, Pg. 2
East volleyball players start off season well Sports Pg. 15
NEWS/FEATURES Page 2
Robotics Club competes internationally Continued from Pg. 1
O n March 15, the Charter School Local Jackie Susuni (‘12) A p proval Board of B i l l Education Representative p a s s e d in Assembly. This March, the New Jersey Assembly passed A1877, a bill that would require local approval prior to the opening of a charter school. The bill, which passed by a vote of 45 to 27, would apply to charter schools that have been approved but have not yet opened. This relates directly to the Regis Charter School scheduled to open next September in Cherry Hill. The charter school, which would pull 1.6 million dollars from the Cherry Hill School District’s budget, will greatly affect the Cherry Hill School District if it opens next year. The bill also requires local approval before a charter school can expand the number of grade levels or enlarge the region of residence. Finally, the bill would prohibit a charter school from enrolling a student who does not reside in the district of residence or region of residence specified in the charter. In summary, if this bill is passed, it will allow for Cherry Hill residents to potentially remove the Regis Charter School before it even opens. This bill gives the people of any given district a say in the process of opening a charter school. A Senate version of the bill (S458), co-sponsored by Senator Jim Beach, was introduced in January and referred to the Senate Education Committee. On February 14, the Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution to move the annual school election from April to the November general election date. This action eliminates the public vote on proposed school budgets that are at or below the levy cap, which is currently at two percent. At the February 28 action meeting, the Board of Education adopted the preliminary 2012-2013 budget for submission to the Camden County Department of Education. The proposed levy of $149,694,439 represents a two percent increase over the current levy. Because the proposed levy does not exceed the two percent cap, the budget does not require voter approval in November. The Board will continue discussions of the proposed budget. Please contact us with comments and concerns at email@example.com.
-ize how easily people can get upset, but you need to work with that. Everything is about working together. You really can’t accomplish anything by working by yourself. It’s just too much alone,” Cheng said. In the end, the Robotics Club has seen some extensive success, and even
though the club’s founders are seniors, Sirken leaves the club in capable hands that are sure to launch the team further on the path of success in the years that follow. Sirken said, “I feel like [the new members] will keep passing on the knowledge and showing the kids the new stuff. And hopefully it will just keep expanding.”
Mia Holley (‘12)/ Eastside Photo Editor
East students test the robots in the testing pen.
Mia Holley (‘12)/ Eastside Photo Editor
Mia Holley (‘12)/ Eastside Photo Editor
Robotics Club founders Aaron Sirken (‘12) and Brendon Rush (‘12) work with a robot, which Sirken controls.
This Robotics Club robot was designed to lift objects. The international competition theme this year was “Gateway,” so all competing robots needed to be able to lift.
Seniors will look statue-esque at the Senior Prom ■ By Juliet Brooks (‘13) Eastside News/Features Editor
East’s seniors are slated to experience a night of statue-esque beauty at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The building, which is located just blocks from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, has an entire room devoted to statues of the Constitution’s signers. East seniors and their guests will be able to take pictures with these statues all throughout the 6 to 10 p.m. prom on May 31. Senior Class President Max Cohen (‘12) said, “We thought it was a great venue because it’s very spacious and it is very aesthetically appealing. It’s also very unique in its layout.” The venue has only been used once before for an East event, for the Class of 2008’s senior prom. 2012 Class Advisor Mr. Greg Gagliardi, who was also an advisor for the Class of 2008, said, “This is the most spacious and most elegant place we could possibly pick.” This year, students will have the opportunity to sell messages from relatives and friends, which will be displayed on three screens that will also show hundreds of class photos throughout the night. For every message that a given senior sells, he or she will receive 80% of the money he or she raised back. The senior class student government chose a theme of “(It’s Not) the End of the World,” in reference to the “end of the world,” which was predicted to occur in 2012. Cohen said, “We think the Constitution Center… will put us in a position to have a great night as the Class of 2012.”
NEWS/FEATURES May 2012
Students display rare ability of perfect pitch
es are cafeteri i h t o a st mo s ap ew le
■ By Rachel Brill (‘15) Eastside Staff
Only about one in ten thousand people have perfect pitch. Someone who Aramark added smoothie carts to the cafeteria fare this past spring, and the has perfect pitch, also known as company intends to keep these delicious drinks around for a while. absolute pitch, is schools in Ohio had At two dollars for a 12■ By Juliet Brooks (‘13) able to recognize smoothies on the line and ounce smoothie and Eastside News/Features Editor any note simply by I remarketed it to have around 125 calories for a hearing it. People A new addition to the [students] order smooths t r aw b e r r y - p i n e a p p l e with perfect pitch snack carts in East’s cafeies a la carte,” Colebaugh smoothie, the new option can also sing or play terias has not escaped the said. is an affordable and virtually any note notice of East students. Colebaugh said that he healthy choice for stuafter being told The new addition, a freshthought students would dents. which particular fruit smoothie cart in find the smoothies more Colebaugh said that, as note to sing. each cafeteria, has made enticing if they could of now, he thinks that the Cherry Hill East clear plastic recyclable make their own. smoothies will be a perhas four students cups half-full of colorful The smoothies, which manent addition to the with perfect pitch in fluids a staple around the are made with a mix of offered Aramark fare at the music and chorus entire school. fresh fruit, low or nonfat Cherry Hill high schools. departments alone: Eric Colebaugh, generyogurt, ice and a dash of “We would assess how Kelly Sadwin (‘12), al manager of the Cherry fruit juice, have been very winter months go, but it’s who sings; Ricky Zhao Hill School District popular at East since very popular… there’s not (‘12), who plays the Aramark branch, came up their arrival. really a downside to [the piano; Ben Schwartz with the idea to have a “We were very excited. smoothies],” Colebaugh (‘14), who plays the smoothie cart at the Eric came up with the said. clarinet; and Steve Hsu Cherry Hill high schools idea and just took off with To learn about the (‘15), who also plays the during a trip to Ohio. it, and the students nutritional content of piano. According to Coleresponded immediately,” other cafeteria foods, visit Sadwin is one stubaugh, the smoothies are said Anne King, Assistant http://www.cherryhill.k12 dent who finds perfect here to stay. Food Service Director for .nj.us/departments/food/. pitch to be helpful at “Other Aramark Cherry Hill. East. As an active member of many vocal and instruHannah Luk (‘12)/ Eastside Staff mental groups at East—Madrigals, East Singers, Chansons and the orchestra—Sadwin is able to put her perfect pitch to practical use. “In Kelly’s singing groups, I can look to her and she gives the starting pitch,” said Mrs. Laurie Lausi, one of East’s vocal teachers. “We don’t have to use a pitch pipe.” Sadwin discovered that she had perfect pitch in fifth grade. ■ By Rachel Cohen (‘15) “I was playing viola for my teacher… and I Eastside Staff noticed my strings were out of tune,” Sadwin said. “[My teacher said], ‘How did you know they were Thirty-eight Cherry Hill East students headed to Salt Lake out of tune?’ She started playing notes on the City, Utah, with over 14,000 other students from across North piano and I told her what they were.” America to compete in the DECA International Career There are a lot of myths surrounding perfect Development Conference (ICDC) from April 28 until May 1. pitch, but, contrary to popular belief, one does not These students advanced from the regional and state level comhave to be born with perfect pitch. petitions based on role playing, test-taking and writing papers “It’s a skill you develop when you’re younger,” about a variety of topics in business. Sadwin said. “It’s a very unique experience to be able to use the classroom It is true, however, that perfect pitch is very knowledge you know, real world application and to be treated rare. like adults as real business men and women and future busi“The past fifteen years I’ve taught here, there ness leaders,” said Mr. Greg deWolf, a business teacher at East. were only around two students who knew they Last year the conference was hosted in Orlando, Florida. had perfect pitch [in the Choir Department],” “National DECA selects the conference locations years in Lausi said. “[Perfect pitch] is really special.” advance because they have to book convention rooms, space At East, the Music Department as a whole has [and] they have to have enough hotels so that they can coordiquite a few students with perfect pitch. Mr. Tim nate with all the states [and] Canada coming into one location Keleher, director of East’s jazz band and a Music city,” deWolf said. Theory teacher, said that he knows of three current students who have perfect pitch: Schwartz, Zhao and Hsu. Schwartz, who plays the clarinet in East’s Wind Ensemble, Lab Band, Clarinet Choir and Symphonic Winds group, said, “[Perfect pitch] is kind of hard to describe. Often it’s different with piano than with everything else. Piano pitch is a Logo by Joel Greenspan (‘13)/ Eastside Art Director genre inside of perfect pitch... With clarinet, I can remember what a note sounds like and go from Ethan O’Neill Tommy Morgan Lund Mr. Regan that.” (‘15) Chung (‘14) (‘14) Zhou, an accompanying pianist for the We asked... Symphony Orchestra, said, “[Perfect pitch] is convenient because when I listen to songs I know what notes they’re playing.” What was your Before the I always avoid “Hey Baby” When the craziest C-Wing basketball C-Wing inter- Countrymen Zhou said that he can associate notes as he before the intersection game section... basketball sang before hears them with where they would fall on a keyexperience? game the game board. While this is a rare phenomenon, students who Trash cans What is the do have perfect pitch can put the ability to practiThe stairs perfect hiding The cal use. Instead of relying on visual notes and during classes In my office spot at East? auditorium sight reading, people with perfect pitch can hear music and then play it back. Students with perfect pitch can also tell when instruments are out of Many teacham a am a work hard. am a good tune. ers/students wonderful dinosaur. student. Perfect pitch sounds complicated, but according think I... student. to Schwartz, note recognition comes naturally to those with the ability. Schwartz said, “Often [note recognition] is a I can’t it’s May. I have so how smart my YOLO. believe... many tests. fast process. It doesn’t feel as complicated as [it students are. sounds].”
DECA nationals held in Salt Lake City, Utah
Recently-elected school SGA officers answer questions about East and SGA:
Greg Weinstock (‘13) President
Ravin Patel (‘13) Vice President
Mason Stevens (‘13) Vice President
David Linsky Ross (‘14) Peterzell (‘14) Vice President Vice President
1. What made you decide to get involved in school-wide SGA? Mason Stevens (‘13): I wanted to have a big impact on the school. I felt that by being in school SGA, my ideas could play a bigger role. Ravin Patel (‘13): I got involved in SGA because I love organizing, planning and running big events. 2. What do you want to change about East? Greg Weinstock (‘13): I would like to make the 2,100 student population seem much smaller. We can achieve this by getting more students to attend events so that students are always meeting people from across the school. Ross Peterzell (‘14): I can’t think of anything other than getting more kids involved with our school. Not enough kids take advantage of what East offers. 3. Who is your favorite person in SGA? Ross Peterzell (‘14): He left last year, but no question about it, Jordan Wohl (‘11). (He’s still around.) Mason Stevens (‘13): Although they are attached at the hip, my favorite two people in SGA are the Weinstock/Adler duo...they always find a way to make me laugh. 4. What is your favorite thing about East? David Linsky (‘14): My favorite thing about East is that there are so many activities that everyone can be involved. Greg Weinstock (‘13): My favorite thing about East is the amount of amazingly talented students. All the different clubs and teams at East are constantly shining. 5. What is your biggest goal for next year? Greg Weinstock (‘13): I want to make East’s school spirit even greater. I want more students to go to school events than ever before.
COMMUNITY Page 4
Let’s Yo!: a yogurt experience not worth missing everything from sports to Nickelodeon. We are going to have Facebook streamLet’s Yo! is the newest addition ing on the televisions so to the ever-growing trend of frozen you can Facebook chat and yogurt franchises in the area. like us on Facebook [from The Emrich family owns this the store],” Spinella said. franchise, which currently consists Let’s Yo!, which offers of six locations. Joe Spinella, son of many options of frozen the family, is the manager of the yogurt from low fat to most recent location in Marlton. reduced fat to fat free, conAlthough it tains real dairy, may sound like fresh milk, real “Besides the just another selffruit purees and serve yogurt traditional yogurt high counts of benplace, Spinella eficial live yogurt claims that Let’s cup, we also have cultures including waffle cones. Yo! is different probiotic. There are and much better Old schoolers like also five non-dairy than the other options including that.” franchises. watermelon sorbet, “We have nine Valencia orange different iPads throughout the sorbet, tropical sorbet, pink store and four lemonade sorbet and flat-screen televisions showing mango sorbet, for those who are vegan or Let’s Yo! lactoseintolerant. There are 52 rotating flavors, including Tahitian Vanilla, Pomegranate Energy, Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough, Spiced Apple Pie and Rocky Road. There are 26 rotating cereal toppings, including Special K, MiniWheats and Honey Graham Squares, in order to ensure the happiness of any cereal lover. There is also a self-serve coffee area, where adults can choose from various options, such as Alana Kopelson (‘12)/ Eastside Community Editor Cappuccino, Café The high-tech equipment and casual atmosphere Latte and Mochmake customers feel at home. ■ By Rebecca Ohnona (‘12)
Eastside Community Editor
lot of other places don’t have,” Spinella said. Like at other self-serve frozen yogurt places, customers take a cup and fill it with their yogurt c h o i c e s . However, at Let’s Yo!, they decided to change it up a bit. “Besides the traditional yogurt cup, we also have waffle cones. Old schoolers like that,” Spinella said. With a variety of frozen yogurt Alana Kopelson (‘12)/ Eastside Community Editor flavors, toppings, provides customers with self-serve frozen yogurt. smoothies, as well as high-tech accino, while their kids enjoy some electronics, Let’s Yo! certainly frozen yogurt. should not be overlooked as a com“We have six cereal options [at a petitor in the expanding frozen time]…we make Belgian waffles, yogurt franchises in the area. smoothies, protein shakes, which a
Alana Kopelson (‘12)/ Eastside Community Editor
Let’s Yo! offers several items other than frozen yogurt, such as smoothies and waffles so that all customers can enjoy.
Tasty dessert brings fame to local seafood restaurant ■ By Rebecca Ohnona (‘12) Eastside Community Editor
Ritz Seafood brings a cultural culinary experience like no other restaurant can. Chef de Cuisine, Daniel Hover, has travelled the world in order to blend the cuisines of Asia, America and Europe. He strategically combines the finest seafood with matching ingredients, using techniques that he learned
in Asian and European kitchens. With so many options, it is hard to decipher between entrees, but there are certainly a few favorites, including Baked Crab Meat Stuffed Tilapia and Pad Thai. Hover’s favorite is not on the menu, but the Thai-Style Devilfish is a constant special. Although the seafood, other entrees (including penne pasta and beef
Courtesy of ritzseafood.com
The famous Triple Coconut Cream Pie dessert.
dishes) and starters (steamed portabella and shitake mushrooms) are truly superb, Ritz Seafood has become famous for one of its desserts, Triple Coconut Cream Pie. The pie was recently featured on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” where famous chefs and foodies share one of their favorite foods in a specific category. Delilah Winder, chef and restau-
rant owner, shared the Triple Coconut Cream Pie with the world on the “Obsessions” episode. She describes the pie as the “nirvana of dessert... better than any pie [she] has ever had in [her] entire life.” The pie has a famous crust, which is made with coconut water instead of ice water. There is also coconut in the custard, which is placed in the
Courtesy of ritzseafood.com
Ritz Seafood Stew, one of the popular entrees.
amazing crust. The pie is topped with fresh whipped cream and then shavings of white chocolate and toasted coconut. The restaurant has been awarded “Best of Philly” Seafood Spots by Philadelphia Magazine numerous times. Extremely fresh and creatively prepared, any dish served at Ritz Seafood is sure to be a culinary delight.
Courtesy of ritzseafood.com
A slice of the famous pie.
COMMUNITY May 2012
Courtesy of www.philasciencefestival.org Zoe Greenhall (‘13)/ Eastside Staff
spotlight. The goal of the Philadelphia Eastside Community Editor Science Festival is to provide The second annual Philadelphia opportunities for community memScience Festival ran from April 20 bers to interact with and build a through April 29. Since last year, stronger education in science, engiPhiladelphia’s schools, universineering and technology. This festities, cultural institutions and val will help provide a better research centers have come togethunderstanding of science and the er to create a ten-day festival to important role that it plays in socicelebrate science. It is a communiety. Fueled by the best scientific ty-wide festival that features resources in the region, the debates, hands-on activities, lecPhiladelphia Science Festival has tures, special over 75 exhibitions events and several that are other informal geared science educatoward tion experimaking ences. Open to science all ages, the interestPhiladelphia ing and Science Festifun. val came back T h e due to popular festival demand, as began on last year more April 20, than 120,000 w h e n people came Courtesy of www.philasciencefestival.org p a r t i c i out to put sci- Community members can participate in p a n t s ence in the unusual science experiments. c o u l d
■ By Alana Kopelson (‘12)
The Philadelphia Science Festival kicks off with a party at Frankford Hall.
enjoy music, cocktails, games and is also a main feature of the festitechnology at Frankford Hall for val. Astronomy Night took place on the festival’s opening night party. April 27, when participants took a Some festival event highlights tour of the cosmos with local included over 100 exhibits offering astronomers. To finish up the festifamily-friendly experiments, interval, there was a science scavenger active activities and opportunities hunt, in which people could find to meet the scientists and watch clues and learn about some of the live, science-themed entertainincredible scientific discoveries ment. New to the festival this year that have been made in was the integration of a Science Philadelphia. Film Festival with a dozen science Scientist or not, the Philadeland technology themed movies. phia Science Festival is an inT h e teractive way Philadelphia to educate S c i e n c e people about Festival has the imporofferred tance of sciunique expeence and riences to all technolparticipants, ogy in today’s such as the world. Not opportunity only do parto explore ticipants the forensics have fun each behind the year, but they assassinadefinitely tion of also leave Abraham Courtesy of www.philasciencefestival.org with a great L i n c o l n . People of all ages can find ways to inter- amount of A s t r o n o m y act with science and engineering. knowledge.
ENTERTAINMENT Page 6
East students experience Idol dream at Disney ■ By Danielle Fox (‘13)
ing arts program—Pleat got her first taste of what may be in store for her Since 2009, The Amerfuture. ican Idol Experience at Dream Ticket winner Disney has given the old and “American Idol” star Disney cliché “your dreams Aaron Kelly is the perfect will come true” a new symbol of how far Disney’s meaning. By winning mock competition can the rigorous all-day really take you. competition at Disney’s “It was good for me Hollywood Studios because I ended up park, the winner rebeing one of the first to ceives a “Dream Ticket,” audition in Orlando allowing the lucky star that morning. It’s a to skip past the queue fantastic thing, and it’s at the regional “Amera good way to get a ican Idol” auditions for good feel for the comthe official show. petition and what During East’s most you’re going for,” he recent annual senior said to antimusic.com. venture to Disney In 2010, Kelly finWorld, Samantha Pleat ished in the top five in (‘12) and Melanie Menthe finals of “American del (‘12) took second and Idol” season nine. third place, respectively. Another winner, Nolan The competition Sotillo, has gained begins with about 200 recognition for his lead hopefuls looking to in Disney’s film score their golden ticket Photo courtesy of Samantha Pleat (‘12) PROM. and then slowly nar- Melanie Mendel (‘12) and Samantha Pleat (‘12) join the top five Disney’s American rows down the crowd finalists on the American Idol Experience stage at Disney World. Idol Experience seems until there is a top five. to add that extra bit of Before the finale, the comthing like that to me to advance to the Amerpixie dust to any aspiring ican Idol Experience before. For that type of petitors need to listen to singer’s dreams. Even finale. experience, the younger particular songs and then kids really look up to you though Pleat and Mendel Enlightened by the emulate the vocals for a and it was really nice havjust missed the chance to crowd’s roar after her pergroup of producers. Once ing that happen.” audition for the official formance of Miley Cyrus’s they have a top 15, the Hoping to one day per“American Idol,” it is clear “The Climb,” Pleat was singers perform for crowds form on “American Idol”— that the experience was humbled by her achievein groups of three, this or another type of performtruly magical. ment. time having to impress the Eastside Entertainment Editor
All photos courtesy of Samantha Pleat (‘12)
From top to bottom: Pleat talks to host; five finalists; Pleat signs autographs for fans from the audience.
Not everyone makes it into the big leagues post-Idol. Here are a few who have:
audience who would, in turn, pick the favorite of the bunch. Mendel and Pleat defeated David Turner (‘12) and Mike Buono (‘12) in a tough competition amongst D-Wing friends
Pleat said, “It showed me that I could do a lot. People were coming up to me saying, ‘Can I have your autograph? Can I take a picture with you?’ People have never looked at me like that or said any-
Kelly Clarkson (Season 1):
Carrie Underwood (Season 4):
Chris Daughtry (Season 5):
Jordin Sparks (Season 6):
Clarkson is dubbed “the most successful winner” after having sold over 21 million albums worldwide. She has won two Grammy Awards and her single “Stronger” is still at the top of the charts.
Her debut album Some Hearts, released in 2005, was certified triple platinum and is the fastest selling female country album. She has won multiple Grammy Awards and Country Music Awards.
Daughtry’s debut album, Daughtry, sold over 4.8 million copies and was certified quadruple platinum and reached number one on the Billboard 200.
Sparks’ single “No Air” is the highest selling single by an American Idol contestant, selling over 3 million digital copies in the United States and Canada. In 2012, VHI named her the 92nd out of 100 greatest women in music.
Fox’s new show “Touches” audiences like never before ■ By Rachel Tinkleman (‘13) Eastside Staff
Since his wife died in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Martin Bohm (Keifer Sutherland) has juggled job after job, trying to support his seemingly autistic son, Jake (David Mazouz). He tries to connect with his son, but Jake has never spoken a word and will not be touched by anyone. When Jake begins to act out, social workers investigate and decide that Jake may have to be institutionalized. Social worker Clea Hopkins questions, “Have you ever truly communicated with him? Does he even know who you are?” This strikes a chord
with Martin—he fears he never will be able to understand Jake. But something strange happens. Jake begins to communicate with numbers—numbers that connect people from all around the world. In this gripping new Fox series, “Touch,” the audience is taken on a journey around the world with several people who seem to have no connection: a couple that has lost its daughter, a man who wins the lottery, a boy whose family needs an oven, a Japanese hooker and a singer with unrecognized talent. Although the show is only into its first season, it already has an 8.5 on the Internet Movie Database, which, to put things in perspective, puts
“Touch” in league with movies like Citizen Kane, which the American Film Institute voted as the top movie of all time on their “100 Years 100 Movies” list. Perhaps the reason the show is getting so much hype is because it comes from the same man who was behind the show “Heroes.” The Chicago Sun-Times said, “The bar has been set high.” Still, other critics call the storyline far-fetched. The Los Angeles Times said, “Apart from Martin, [there is] hardly a single character who incorporates more than the hint of an actual person. They are numbers themselves, algebraic values in a complicated equation that seems
no more convincing for the pretty way it resolves.” Despite the peppering of negative reviews, the average watcher has taken to the show, including students at East. Sagar Desai (‘14) said that he likes the connection established between all people. “The show is really inspiring and it makes me feel like everyone has a purpose in the world, no matter where they are,” Desai said. The vote seems to be tipping in favor of the show, but students will have to see for themselves—does “Touch” fail to sell the blend of science and spiritual connection, or does it succeed as an inspiring tearjerker?
Abraham Lincoln is back to fight fangs with a top hat ■ By Dana Silver (‘12) For Eastside
The title itself is intriguing enough. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, a film produced by Tim Burton, is about none other than Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States, during his years as a young man and–as the movie purports–a vampire hunter. A short trailer for the movie depicts an axewielding, stovepipe hatsporting Lincoln who chops through trees and vampires with superhuman force. An ominous voice declares that Lincoln’s
presidency was only a fraction of who he was. Lincoln, after learning that a vampire murdered his mother, vows his revenge and begins to save the country, not from the separation of the Confederacy, but from vampires who hope to take over. The movie is an adaptation of Seth GrahameSmith’s novel of the same name. Grahame-Smith also wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which is also being adapted into a movie. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is his second major novel. It premiered at number four on the New York Times
Bestseller List under “Hardcover Fiction.” Some critics praised GrahameSmith’s ability to transform Lincoln from the noble president to the vengeful vampire hunter, while others criticized the material for being foolish. Tim Yoon (‘12) said, “This gives a new perspective to vampire killing.” Playing Abraham Lincoln is Benjamin Walker, known for his role as the seventh president, Andrew Jackson, in the form of an emo-rock god on Broadway in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. The host of comedy show “Find the Funny”
combines the intensity of Lincoln with the comedy of a vampire-slaying president. Walker said, “I think [Lincoln] had a sense of humor and certainly would get a kick out of our movie.” If anything of the year’s coming attractions is unexpected, it is that the man who made a fad out of the top hat will reign as the new, most thrilling sanguinary beast.
Photo Illustration by Mia Holley (‘12)/ Eastside Photo Editor
ENTERTAINMENT May 2012
The knuckleheads are back with a new feature film ■ By Nick Mitchell (‘13) Eastside Staff
During the mid-twentieth century, parents and kids alike would wait in front of their televisions in anticipation for an extremely humorous show. This show, called “The Three Stooges,” tickled the funny bone of anyone who watched with displays of slapstick comedy. The three squabbling and dim-witted brothers would mistakenly hurt one another during their arguments. This new style of comedy proved to be popular among audiences and “The Three Stooges” became one of the most beloved shows of the ‘40s and ‘50s. Even though there wasn’t a firm plot to the show, it was able to withstand through many years.
Catchphrases such as, “Why I oughta,” “Oh, a wise guy, eh?” and “What’s the big idea?!” became extremely well-known in American culture. The show’s legacy has been so influential that a major motion picture has been made that offers a new twist to the original Stooges. The film is directed and co-written by the Farrelly brothers, who have also made movies such as Dumb and Dumber, Fever Pitch and, most recently, Hall Pass. Canadian actor Chris Diamantopoulos stars as Moe. Diamantopoulos, although not well-known in the movie world, has gueststarred in many television series. Sean Hayes, who is best known for his character on “Will and Grace,” portrays Larry, and Will Sasso, who is most known for his membership in the comedy show, “MADtv” plays Curly. Many other actors and actresses such as
Jane Lynch, Larry David, Sofia Vergara and Jennifer Hudson have roles in the film. Even members of “The Jersey Shore” crew make cameo appearances in the film. The plot for The Three Stooges revolves around an attempt to save an orphanage where the three stooges grew up as children. While on this mission, they become entangled in a murder mystery and even a reality TV show. Also, instead of a feature-length film, The Three Stooges was shot in a three-episode format. “We have three episodes. Technically, each episode picks up where the last one left off. Each one begins with its own theme, so it's about an hour and twentyfive minutes. Three episodes, fun, old-fashioned, but it takes place present-day, and they look, dress and sound like the Three
Courtesy of etonline.com
Stooges," said Peter Farrelly, cowriter and director. Even though “The Three Stooges” was a popular TV show years ago, critics and bloggers today show pessimism towards the film. “This looks about as unfunny, uninspired and unexciting as one could imagine. Risk watching it only if you wish,” wrote Alex Billington, a blogger from the site Firstshowing.net. To find out whether the twentyfirst century was able to successfully bring back the three silly guys who made over-dramatic comedy funny, check your local theater for listings.
Courtesy of fanpop.com
Seen it twice, see it thrice in 3D ■ By Joe Incollingo (‘13) Eastside Staff
If movie-goers are anything in recent years, it’s cynical. Everybody has his or her own gripe about the state of the movie industry. Either the days of Hollywood’s elite are long gone and the creativity has dried up, or the studios have opted to squander the talent around them for making tons of money. Anyone with any optimism need only pay attention to the previews, where, in addition to the already dreaded sequels and remakes, lurk rereleases of the studios’ greatest hits. “It’s easy to be cynical about it and simply place it down to an easy bit of extra currency for exhibitors and distributors alike,” said Nash Sibanda of Squarise.com. On the surface, it sounds like the easy way to profit. By putting already successful movies back into theaters, studios just about guarantee revenue without the expense of a dampening multi-million dollar budget. Legendary moneymakers like Titanic and Finding Nemo are strapping on a quick 3D retrofit and waltzing back to the silver screen to net a few more dollars. The Lion King, originally produced on a 45million-dollar budget, grossed 168,542,001 dollars with its 3D re-
release in 2011. “If you have a guaranteed audience,” said Sibanda, “then you have a guaranteed income, and guaranteed positive reception.” So why not try to wow moviegoers more with something flashier, like 2009’s multi-billion dollar Avatar? Money, as it turns out, is a precious thing in the movie industry. When Disney released John Carter in 2012, it projected after disappointing box-office results that the movie would cost them around 200 million dollars in lost profits. Even with a marketable director like Finding Nemo’s Andrew Stanton and a specialeffects-heavy sci-fi premise, Disney could not have guaranteed success. In today’s movie industry, where Internet or a mailbox grants consumers entertainment, studios will not easily film an Avatar for fear of releasing a “John Carter.” That said, it doesn’t quite boil down to greed. Studios want to impress their consumers and in return, earn their money. “We want more than just a good film,” Sibanda concluded. “We also want a good experience.” Moviegoers, despite all of their whining, only want to be entertained. If studios know what delivers, there’s no problem if they offer a second helping.
Joel Greenspan (‘13)/ Eastside Art Director
UNDERGROUND Page 8
Out of the Vault: Butterfinger BB’s
■ By Zach Becker (‘13) Eastside Staff
Everybody’s seen a Butterfinger–it may be your favorite Halloween candy, it may be your least favorite. Maybe you are allergic to peanuts, in which case you have never had the privilege of eating one. However, what many people do not know about, or simply have forgotten, is the Butterfinger’s spin-off product, Butterfinger BBs. Butterfinger BBs did not receive nearly enough recognition upon their release in the 1990s. The only place I can remember finding them was at a store where my mom bought arts and crafts supplies. That’s just how under-the-radar this product was. If you haven’t heard of this candy, which, honestly, would not be that surprising, just picture this: a Whopperesque candy except instead of malt in the middle of the chocolate ball, it’s the peanut butter that fills a Butterfinger
■ By Rachel Tinkelman (‘13) Eastside Staff
Dream sequences are the perfect opportunity for a filmmaker to exercise full creative license. There are many famous dream sequences throughout the history of film—remember in Spellbound (1945) when Alfred Hitchcock has Salvador Dali paint a multitude of eyes to surround a character on the brink of insanity? That’s all very well for one severalminute sequence, but what happens when the majority of the movie takes place in dreams? It can be a very tricky situation to deal with, but director Henry Levin frames The Guilt of Janet Ames (1947) beautifully. Janet Ames was widowed when her soldier husband jumped on top of a bomb to save five comrades. With only a war hero’s medal to remember him by, Janet sets out to discover the worth of the five other soldiers using the principles of a man called Peter Ibsen. She and reporter Smithfield Cobb escape the boundaries of time and space in what he calls “word pictures.” This allows the director to leave the boundaries of a more realist approach to film and enter into a realm of limited restrictions. The atmosphere of the dreams is controlled by lighting and camera effects. In the first sequence, Cobb sends Janet to a bar to meet Joe, the first man on the list. The entire
bar. If that description inspired you to run out to your nearest arts and crafts store–seriously, the only place I ever found them–sorry, but don’t bother. Butterfinger BB’s, unfortunately, were discontinued back in 2006. Why exactly the product was taken off the shelves of, well, arts and crafts stores –I’m telling you, that’s where they were sold–is up for speculation. The product certainly had its fair share of marketing –it was endorsed by four Simpsons TV commercials throughout the ‘90s—and it surely had sugar-popping youngsters and people who are fans of eating things that look like marbles going nuts at the turn of the century. Although the Nestlé franchise of candy did not suffer from the cancellation of BB’s, it could be doing better; Butterfinger BB’s have now become equivalent
bar is filled with shadows and dark outlines of people set against bright lights. The only people visible are Joe, his girlfriend and a man who thinks he can fly if he jumps high enough off a chair. This scene is so cool not only because of its execution, but also because of the way it reveals Janet’s character. Janet feels guilty because she hadn’t given her husband a reason to live, reasons that all the other men had. For example, one lucky couple in the room lived for the idea of owning a house. When Janet sees them fawning over a house of cards in the dream, she says you can’t build a house out of dreams, then she huffs and puffs and blows their house of cards down. Oh, the allegory! Another dream takes place in a desert at night, and the background is black and empty. A third takes place in a walled-off garden with a child, and edges are blurred. The last scene takes place at a party and there is a kind of bright curtain surrounding Janet, like champagne bubbles. None of the scenes looked realistic, or sounded natural, but the free reign that dreams give made this actually a good thing. Sure, the dreams do not get as complicated as they do in Inception, but anyone looking to see some cool formalistic d r e a m sequences s h o u l d check this movie out. Courtesy of imdb.com
to a cult-classic movie; many people have spoken out about wanting their beloved candy back since its 2006 scrapping. The candy racks at local arts and crafts stores– and maybe even a Wawa, 7-11 or a supermarket–should still hold Butterfinger BB’s. Sadly, that is not the case. If Nestlé could do things over again, maybe the result would not BB the same.
Photo Illustration by Mia Holley (‘12)/ Eastside Photo Editor
Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5/30/2012 Please include your name, mailing address and phone number. Entry information will only be used for prize fulfillment contact. This month’s winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to Starbucks and other assorted Tutoring Club goodies. Winner will be selected randomly from entries with the correct answer and contacted via email by June 11, 2012. Winner must come to Tutoring Club by June 18, 2012 to receive prize.
UNDERGROUND May 2012
Eastside sits down with East alumnus Dylan Sieh (‘10) to discuss his electronic outfits, Tumblewoof and Tours, the Internet and why chill-wave is a dirty word. tainted my name as an electronic musician purely because it got so unexpectedly popular! No one wanted to hear anything else but mash-ups. E: If we may be so bold to characterize your music as chill-wave, what’s your take on the genre’s emphasis—or rather, overemphasis—on aesthetic?
■ By Jack Braunstein (‘13) Eastside Underground Editor
Eastside: Why the two monikers? Are you investigating different sides of your musical identity with Tumblewoof and Tours? Dylan Sieh (‘10): Tumblewoof and Tours were created as separate projects to express my musical interest in two different genres. After I got done with the Phoenix & Lil’ Wayne EP as Tumblewoof, I decided I wanted a fresh start as a new artist that would pursue a different sound. In a way, I felt like Tumblewoof’s mash-up project had
DS: Chill-wave is a word I try to use scarcely. I understand there are a lot of people who characterize the genre as being a poor excuse for bedroom artists to make themselves sound more distinct, but with that said, there’s definitely an aesthetic value that comes with the creativity of creating music that’s so experimental. That’s something I really like about it. E: Do you feel connected to any scene in particular, like with Spencer Diehl (‘10) or any group in Philly or at Rutgers? Do scenes even matter any more, in this day
of Internet hyper-connection?
we would have never heard of.
DS: The Internet has changed the overall music scene so much. Without it, my music wouldn’t nearly be as popular as it is now. Sometimes I think back to the days before the era of music blogs were born and try to imagine how I could have possibly distributed my music, let alone make it.
E: As an East alum looking back, is there anything from your time at the school that really helped you into your current artistic situation?
E: The style of music in which you dabble oft straddles the line between dance music and something much more cerebral. Where do you feel most comfortable on this spectrum?
DS: I would say so. For such a strong academically focused school, there surprisingly tends to be a lot of talent within the students and faculty. Getting to know those people has played a big role in what I do musically. Photo courtesy of ER Imaging
DS: More or less, it depends on what moniker I’m using to make the music. Tumblewoof generally aspires from mash-ups and dance music whereas Tours tends to experiment in a more aesthetic sound. E: How has the Internet propelled/changed your musical career/ambitions? DS: I feel very fortunate to be a part of the music blog scene. There’s no better feeling than having multiple blogs write-up on your music. I think the Internet is a great tool for musicians. Without it, there would be a lot of bands that
Andrew’s album shows why the caged Bird sings ■ By Maya Mintz (‘14) Eastside Staff
Musician and songwriter Andrew Bird comes off with flying colors on his new album, Break It Yourself. True to his name, he practically whistles through this group of delightful tunes. Bird’s Break It Yourself was released on March 6, 2012, on the record label Mom + Pop. Bird’s varied use of instruments perfectly blends on this dreamy album, which transports the listener to a world of imagination. His unique voice and use of whistling beautifully complements his arsenal of strings, including violin and guitar. Bird translates his distinctive personality into his music through rare touches, like a glockenspiel and his onstage speaker choice and uses Little Horn Speakers and a rare Spinning Double Horn Speaker, which connect to a foot pedal that allows him to manipulate the speed or sound of instruments, such as his violin,
while playing. Bird’s music and lyrics sound soulful and ingenious on their own, but together they especially enhance already profound compositions.
“Lazy Projector” starts off slow and withdrawn, yet soon drums into a catchy poem, causing involuntary humming or tapping on the listener’s
part. Once again, Bird’s whistling adds a lighthearted mood. Of the whole album, “Near Death Experience Experience” is the most
Joel Greenspan (‘13)/ Eastside Art Director
Andrew Bird’s new album, Break It Yourself, incorporates a full variety of instruments.
pleasantly surprising and memorable song. Odd sounds and tones move the listener with the momentum of the song. The glockenspiel contributes to the vibrant mood that “Near Death Experience Experience” unexpectedly projects. The background vocals magically harmonize with Bird’s lower register voice, enhancing the song’s quality. Short and sweet, “Behind the Barn” exemplifies the outstanding use of strings on the album. Clocking at only about a minute, lyric-less and entirely composed of strings, the song prevails with several levels of tempos and tones, which combine into a sweet, transient composition. Though Break It Yourself falls short of the charm of some of Bird’s previous work—namely playful highlights from his past couple of albums, like “Anonanimal” and “Imitosis”—it is memorable for its contrasting vibrancy and tranquility. Album Rating: 7/10
COMICS Page 10
Sneaky Iceberg by Diana Li (‘12)/ Eastside Art Director
Breaking Down by Christine Hwang (‘12)/ Eastside Staff
Certified Pre-Owned Batmobile by Joel Greenspan (‘13)/ Eastside Art Director
Since Sliced Bread by Sherin Nassar (‘13) and Danielle Fox (‘13)/ Eastside Humor Editor and Entertainment Editor
Chess by Diana Li (‘12)/ Eastside Art Director
EDITORIAL May 2012
Editorials represent the views and opinions of the Eastside Editorial Board.
Students need more info before voting Have you heard? No, you probably have not. On Friday, April 20, the next school-wide Student Government was inducted into office. The ceremony was low-key, attendance limited to members of each class SGA, nearly half of whom were absent. Those present at the induction were among a select group that actually knew that a transfer of power was being initiated. For the 2012-2013 year, there were no school-wide Student Government Association elections. Only five people ran to fill the five positions, so there was no real need for elections; this, however, sheds light on an even more gaping hole in East’s democracy. Many students did not know there were elections and, therefore, could not even express interest in running for school-wide SGA. The system of class and school SGA elections is flawed, and East needs to revise the system to achieve the best government on both the school and class levels. The first problem with the system is the limited amount of hype that goes into it. One of the previous SGA’s responsibilities should be to set up announcements and flyers when it is time for possible candidates to run. This way, anyone who wants to run for SGA has ample warning. The current campaigning process is decidedly minimal: candidates are limited to posters and speeches for president and vice president. While this minimal level of campaigning is in place to try to avoid an imbalance in candidate funds, posters often serve as no more than a venue for cute slogans,
and speeches come off as little more than a charm-off made of quips and a reference or two to prom or Spirit Week. Currently, SGA campaigns devote no time to school political platforms—even worse, the majorly nonchalant, popularity-contest attitude of the whole system hardly asks for address of the issues that really have an effect on the school. Worse still are class representative elections—students fill out a not-at-all-demanding application and get their names listed on a Scantron that gets bubbled in by voters. And that is it. A one-year position to represent Cherry Hill East or a specific class has a less arduous application process than those of other organizations with shorter terms. FOP and Blood Drive, which both involve representative chair-positions, require interviews and teacher approval before a candidate is selected. In an effective democracy, voters should be aware of candidates’ ideas and plans of action so that they can then cast well-informed and well-thoughtout votes. SGA needs to reform its campaign process in order to make students more excited about choosing those who will represent their class and their school. First, the elections need to cover a wider base of the student body. Right now, the SGA is zeroed in on a small focus group, and to change this, the association as a whole needs to make every student feel interested and comfortable in running for office. Students who run should run with a plan to accomplish as much as possible during their tenure in office.
More importantly, the candidates must run on a base of policy. Instead of relying simply on posters, a short speech and wordof-mouth to get their name out, candidates should create detailed platforms and publicize those through social media to make it very clear to the voting public what they plan on accomplishing during their one-year term. Candidates should be required to post a vision statement outlining their goals for the upcoming year on both social media platforms and school-run websites. This would force candidates to come up with solid goals and ideas before they take office. Because every candidate would need to come up with a platform, the candidates would also have to come up with ideas that are original and go beyond simply planning Spirit Week and the yearly dances to make their platforms stand out. This would not only ensure that the positions are filled by ambitious students with solid ideas, but would also level the playing field, encouraging any potentially great candidates scared away by the idea of entering into a popularity contest. The current system of SGA elections has been in place for many years, but it is undeniable that the system needs to be revitalized in some way. Failing to attempt any kind of reform would be to fail the school as a whole. Diverse, platform-based campaigning is the first action necessary to rebuilding a legitimate, accountable organization that truly reflects the ideals of American politics in the halls of Cherry Hill East.
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OPINIONS Page 12
U.S. needs to “bridge” infrastructure gap ■ By Amy Myers (‘13)
These buildings need to be restored immediately and increased in their How many American sizes in order to accommocivilians need to die from date the future. infrastructure failures Within the past two before the media starts to decades, these structures care? Dam failures, bridge have been causing lethal failures. If there is any havoc across the nation. ‘failure’ in the What about New United States, it is Jersey? Does a disthe failure to aster need to occur address the crumin this area before bling structures public safety is conacross the country. sidered? The budget There is an everto restore these lasting central fostructures holds at cus on health care, about one hundred yet one of the most billion dollars, but dangerous assets in clearly the structhe United States is tures are too old to the highway syshandle the stress tem. This system that is placed on came alive with them. the use of the This project would automobile under eliminate catastroPresident Dwight phes that destroy Eisenhower. After innocent civilian President Eisenlives, and will place hower’s Federal Aid thousands of Highway Act of Americans, nation1956, when the ally, back to work. majority of the This project would structures began be similar to one construction, these that President structures were Eisenhower had crebuilt to fit the ated, and President needs of the 1950s Franklin Roosevelt and 1960s, not the years prior. Nationnew millennium. wide projects have According to the been proven to boost Scientific Amerithe economy and can, the age of the reduce the unemdams and bridges ployment rate. in this country So how can someaverage out to be one vote down a bill fifty years old, that will increase roughly the age of overall safety in Diana Li (‘12)/ Eastside Art Director an East student’s Many of the recent bridge and dam failures caused fatalities due to failing transit and in resisupport systems. parent. dential areas, while Aside from the fear of the United States a ‘D’. nesota Interstate, the I-3W eling underneath of these also putting thousands of structural failure, the New Yes, a ‘D’. If the average Mississippi River Bridge bridges damaged the Americans into the workYork Times refers to the American is perfectly comshifted and killed thirteen bridges and caused failforce again? United States’ bridges as fortable with driving on people and had injured ures. With cars, boats and To deny this country of “structurally deficient” or buildings potentially older nearly 150 others, as well. buildings growing in size, an asset like a newly “functionally obsolete,” than their parents that This was the fifth busiest why is the infrastructure refurbished highway sysand the leaking pipes that can give way at any time, bridge in the state of Minremaining the same, while tem would truly show the reside underground then a ‘D’ is perfectly nesota, and it failed. A everything that coininability of Americans to throughout the nation acceptable. year later, the bridge was cides with these developprogressively move onto have been noted to have Many of these strucreplaced with a more effiments virtually cannot newer tasks, until the next released “untreated wastetures can collapse at any cient and structurally handle the new expectadisaster sweeps and devaswater” into the waterways moment, as some dam failsound bridge. tions? tates the nation. Eastside Opinions Editor
throughout the United States each year. Not to mention the amount of deaths that have been caused to deteriorating structures. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the overall infrastructure in
ures have swept away entire towns. In Rapid City, South Dakota, the dam failure was estimated to have killed over two hundred people, as it also devoured the city with uncontrollable force. In 2007, on the Min-
The other issue with these failing and outdated bridges is their efficiency. Many bridges, like the one in Oklahoma that collapsed in 2002, killing fourteen people, have endured shipping accidents in which boats trav-
Looking to the East: US military shifts focus ■ By Dave Riches (‘12) Eastside Staff
On November 16, 2011, President Barack Obama announced a plan to deploy 2,500 United States Marines to Australia beginning in 2012 and ending in 2016. As soon as early April, an initial force of 250 marines will be deployed to a northern Australian base in Darwin, Australia, where a permanent jointtraining hub will be based. By 2016, Obama estimates that the United States will rotate 2,500 troops into Australia. Along with troops, the United States is expanding air and sea presence in Australia with B52 bombers, long-range spy drones and nuclear submarines. This move demonstrates a shift in focus to the pacific. As troops are being pulled out of Middle-
Eastern countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, others are being deployed to Australia. Defense budget cuts influence the withdrawal of troops from the Middle East; however, Obama pledges that budget cuts will not come from the Pacific. “This is a region of huge strategic importance to us,” said Obama in his announcement. The plan is a response to China’s growing economic and military powers in the Pacific region. China has a confrontational stance in Southeastern Asian waters: a shipping channel that contains valuable oil and minerals. Unsurprisingly, the move has upset China, which believes that the move to Australia is in response to the economic growth. China argues that the United States is trying to encircle them both mili-
tarily and economically and attempting to control their stature as an independent nation. Jeffrey Bleich, United States Ambassador to Australia, dismissed this theory. “The Asia-Pacific area just continues to grow and become more dynamic… it’s going to be important that we have our chess pieces in the right places,” said Bleich. Supporters of the shift in focus to the Asia-Pacific, like Bleich, argue that the United States needs to involve itself in the area because of the powerful countries, such as China, Japan, India, Indonesia and the Koreas, located there. Whether the move is a direct response to China or a United States attempt to mix in with key global powers, the establishment of troops in Australia is unnecessary. Even if the Asia-Pacific region is
important for trading, there should not be American military bases in the region. The only thing a military presence in the region would do is further increase tensions between the United States and China, as was seen through the Korean War. As the American troops surpassed the dividing line between North Korea and South Korea, America continued pushing upwards, which led to military conflict and an intervention on the part of China. Not only would a military presence cause tension in the area, but it is wasteful spending. The United States needs to cut military spending instead of training 2,500 troops on another continent. The government is saving money by withdrawing troops from the Middle East, and it would be useless to spend that money
by deploying troops to Australia. The United States has the right idea by shifting focus to the Asia-Pacific region. The shift in focus can create good foreign relations and advantageous opportunities for the United States. However, establishing a military presence there is not the way to go. The troops will only increase tensions between the United States and China, and the United States can have AsiaPacific relations without a military presence. Until matters can then be addressed, this base will continue to serve as a reserve for the United States military. However, ultimately, it would be the best option for the United States to get involved in the Asia-Pacific region without the use of the military to avoid unnecessary conflict and entanglement.
OPINIONS May 2012
Under the influence of society or alcohol? ■ By Juliet Brooks (‘13) News/Features Editor
It is legal for teenagers in the state of New Jersey to consume alcohol on private property in the company of their parents or other adult relatives. Kids can drink wine on Shabbat, or take communion on Sundays. Of course, that is not usually how teenagers drink. Usually, it happens like this: a party in someone’s basement, everyone standing awkwardly with red cups and blaring music. People falling over each other and various household objects, drunk or pretending to be. There is a buzz in the air, tension and excitement, because there is always the chance that the police will show up. That they will all get in trouble. Underage drinking is not classy in the United States. In Spain, teen drinking goes something like this: there is a bottellon tonight, and so everyone walks to the cathedral in the center of town. Nobody shows up until at least 11:30, and nobody is expecting to get home until 5:30 the next morning. All of the discotecas will be open, filled with manufactured fog and swaying
bodies, and all of the kids in town will be out. Of course, the party starts in front of the cathedral. There are kids on the steps and on the railings; standing in bunches with bottles and cups. They pass the drinks around, laugh, egg each other on. At all corners of the tiered courtyard in front of the cathedral, police cars wait, officers ready: not ready to arrest the kids and send them home. Ready to help kids who need help, intervene where intervention is necessary and make sure nobody goes overboard. And that is the difference between drinking in Spain and drinking in the United States. There is an idea called “integrated drinking,” which is the idea that cultures which include alcohol as a part of everyday life make much less of a fuss about alcohol—teenager and adult alike—when it comes to recreational drinking. Kate Fox, social anthropologist and director of Social Issues Research Centre, wrote an article for the BBC on October 11, 2011 entitled “Viewpoint: Is the Alcohol Message All Wrong?” Fox argued in her article that while alcohol does indeed affect the
brain, alcohol “does not cause us selectively to break specific social rules.” While in societies like the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia, which are known as “ambivalent” drinking cultures, alcohol is expected to pro-
duce tendencies towards violence and aggression, but in other societies that c o n s i d e r drinking a “morally neutral, normal, integral part of ordinary, everyday life,” alcohol does not have the same effects. As Fox puts it, “The effects of alcohol on behaviour are determined by cultural rules and norms, not by the chemical actions of ethanol.” Basically, inexcusably drunken
behavior is a form of wish fulfillment typical to countries where drinking is perceived controversially: people who drink want to act like immoral louts, and so they do. But in countries where drinking is a part of everyday life, drinking alcohol does not cause these outbursts in aggressiveness or aggressive stupidity. Fox wrote, “This variation [in behavior] cannot be attributed to different levels of consumption—most integrated drinking cultures have significantly higher per-capita alcohol consumption than the ambivalent drinking cultures. Instead the variation is clearly related to different cultural beliefs about alcohol, different expectations about the effects of alcohol, and different social rules about drunken comportment.” Matt Bellace, a motivational speaker who tours the country speaking / out against ) 3 ‘1 f t e e n a g e f ll ( ha e Sta n e d r i n k i n g, d e stsi r e G Ea agrees. o Z “I think it’s really cultural. Does the culture support abusive drinking… [and] acting drunk?” Bellace said. Note: acting drunk. Yes, alcohol affects perceptions and actions, but not to the degree that staged parties on television affect teenagers’ perceptions of what
being drunk should look like. In 2008, a group of college professors from across the country created the Amethyst Initiative, a movement to try to lower the drinking age. The Initiative argues four points on its website: “students drink dangerously and clandestinely; students’ behavior does not change significantly due to alcohol education; even though 18-year-olds are legal adults, they are not deemed responsible enough to have a beer;” and “by choosing to use fake IDs, students make ethical compromises that erode respect for the law.” Bellace said that the Amethyst Initiative did not get to the heart of the problem. He thinks that drinking is a problem because Americans do not moderate anything: 25 to 30 percent of American high school students binge drink. Alcohol is the “forbidden fruit” for teenagers and college students nationwide and worldwide. The United States should revise its alcohol purchase and consumption laws so that alcohol becomes something that is not feared or covered up, but another mundane part of peoples’ daily lives. When alcohol loses its reputation as some kind of magic personality changer, then it will lose its appeal to American teenagers.
Teaching recent history should be “history” no more ■ By Rachel Tinkelman (‘13) Eastside Staff
Students take two long years to study U.S. history at East, and yet, because of AP testing, junior year American History finishes with the presidency of Richard Nixon. Most schools only study American history for one year. Even with the extra time to study different time periods more in depth, there is still not enough time to get past Nixon by the time the AP tests roll around. That may be fine for some students, because that is all that is needed for the test, but there are many students at East who would like to learn about the events that lead up to the present. An elective such as this is offered at West, one that deals with this portion of American history— why not have that here at East? Students can keep updated with current events through various mediums in this high-tech age: through watching the news, reading the paper or getting information from an online site. However, knowing what goes on today is not the same as understanding it. It is important to comprehend why things go on today and the previous events that influenced the present. Students could always try to learn for themselves, but the fact is, it is just not the same as getting it straight from teachers who know what they are talking about, who have reliable information unlike certain Internet sources, and who
can interact with students and answer questions. Also, many students interested in a class that teaches the most recent part of American history would not want to learn it on their own. Justin Landay (‘13) said, “I would not want to self-teach, but I would take [the class] if it was here.” Some students know enough about the years after Nixon, but others do not. Sami Saraczewski (‘13) said that she does not know as much about that period of American history as she would like to. “We’re never really taught anything about the time period… personally I think it’s more interesting to learn about recent things because we have more of a connection to it,” Saraczewski said. Aside from interesting, this part of history is also important. Kyle Bigley (‘13) said, “The last 50 years of American history are the most relevant. Many of the issues that we face today come from the history of the last 50 years.” This elective would be an important addition to the electives provided at East. Students have the ability to reach all of this information through the Internet, but the only way to truly understand the time period is to learn about it in a class. The past fifty years have influenced the present more than what is learned in U.S. History I, and therefore should be taught to students at East.
HUMOUR Page 14
Skirts & Ankles: Neigh ■ By Kaylin Magosin (1814) Eastside Editorial Assisant
We all know it is a school rule to wear dresses that cover our ankles. It has been the rule for years, decades, even centuries. Why would we want to abandon our original ways? See, this all started last week when Mary Olsen (1814) wore a dress that revealed her ankles. The slight showing of her skin made me want to shout. It is against a woman’s code of dress to show her ankles! What happened to modesty? What happened to dignity? She claims she grew three inches taller and she couldn’t afford a new dress. What a lie! Everybody knows her father owns the shop down Main Street and she could buy anything her little heart desires. She must have a crush on the new boy in school; that must be the reason behind her risqué dressing. You would think my teacher would give a hoot, but Mary, ever so sweetly, explained that her mother, a very stylish dresser herself, is ill and cannot sew a new dress. What a liar! But, my gullible teacher believed Mary’s explanation, and let it go without a problem. Well, this didn’t turn out so well. The next day, my whole class wore dresses that exposed their ankles. I should have guessed! As the most popular girl in school, Mary, the trendsetter, enticed all the girls, except me of course, to follow her lead. My teacher, appalled at the sight of the twenty female students of her class in ankle-revealing dresses, scolded them all. But, once again, ever so sweetly, Mary stepped forward, declaring that her mother had just received word that all the ladies in New York have begun to wear dresses that reveal their ankles. Well, not being very fashion savvy herself, my teacher believed this explanation to be true. There is no way to prevent this new fashion statement, unless of course, modest women like me try to turn this fashion disaster around. Instead, the trend has encompassed almost all the women in town and across the country. Women, what happened to self-worth? What happened to honor? What happened to modesty? What’s next: women showing their calves? No, of course not. People are not that insane.
Recent crash spurs new carriage laws ■ By Gilana Levavi (1814)
took his hands off the reins for a moment. By the time he saw the others apThree horses—ridden by proaching, he said, he coJeremiah Jones (1814), hisuld not gain control of his tory teacher Miss Henrihorse. etta Hill and “This incident one pulling a has really shaken wagon driven us,” said Headmasby Silas Smith ter O’Shmeeza. (1812) and carIn response to rying four oththe incident, Waler students— lace said, the school collided in is considering imEast’s hitching plementing several yard last Tuesmeasures to ensure day at approxithe safety of East’s mately 7:58 hitching yard, ina.m. cluding assigned Jones was hitching posts, red left unconbadges that less scious for sevexperienced riders eral minutes and drivers would after hitting wear to warn their his head fellow horsemen, a g a i n s t a restriction on the Smith’s wagon. number of pasHill was sengers young thrown from riders can carry her horse and and a ban on telebroke her graphing while ankle. The othdriving. ers emerged Smith said he Photo Illustration by Mia Holley (1812)/ Eastside Photo Editor scratched and Horse buggy crash outside creates an anti-typegraph and driving law. thought these ideas bruised. sounded outlandish. All three were rushing late. “I’ve learned my lesson,” He said, “Maybe in 200 at a gallop for the last Hill said she was runsaid Hill. “I’ll never teleyears when everyone available hitching post in ning late because she graph while riding again.” drives super-fast steamthe yard. stopped at the telegraph Smith said he was dispowered machines this will “I just could not be late office to pick up a wire tracted by the conversation be necessary, but right now again,” said Jones. “I’ve from her husband, who is he was having with his it’s a complete overreacalready had my knuckles away fighting in the war. friends in the wagon, and tion.” Eastside Editorial Assisant
rapped five times this term for tardiness.” He said that by the time he saw the others rushing towards him and yelled for his horse to stop, it was too
She said she was drafting her response as she rode, and had not seen the others, despite knowing about the new “no telegraphing and riding” law.
Maintaining the building blocks ■ By Zack Becker (1813) Eastside Staff
It is a time of change here at Cherry Hill School-
ment lasting beyond next year.” The new schedule would give students an opportunity to opt out of a
Joel Greenspan (1813)/ Eastside Art Director
house East. The school is switching over from its block schedule it has had for years to one that involves an eight-period day. Students and faculty alike have mixed feelings about the new structure. “Eight periods a day? That will never work out,” said Mr. Joe Fermer, an agriculture teacher at Schoolhouse East. “I simply cannot see this experi-
lunch period, giving them more time to further advance their studies. “If I want to earn an allowance, I have to bring home food for my family every day anyway. Why waste time eating in school?” asked Hunter Smith (1814). “Schoolhouse East really put the cart before the horse on this one.” Many students agree
with Smith, and the parents of these students have an axe to grind with those responsible for creating the new, eight-period day. Parents are arguing that with the shortened periods, students will not have enough time to learn adequate material like how to skin a boar, railroad physics and naval skills. “These parents are throwing the schedule’s name in the mud before they even know what it entails. First of all, the new schedule actually provides the students with more instructional time. It’s rather genius if you ask me,” said Mr. Lou Sked, head administrator and chair of the New Schedule Committee. Some teachers are excited to begin the new schedule as soon as possible. “I’m completely behind Mr. Sked and the new schedule. It is the right thing to do for our students and our faculty. With more teaching time, more working hours, we teachers will be able to feather our nests,” said Mr. Howard Succop, a math teacher. One can only speculate how long the new schedule will last–it could be a failed experiment that just lasts one year, while, on the other hand, it could end up lasting two hundred. Although some people are already eagle-eyed to the fact that this schedule will fail, as always, only time will tell.
Logo by Diana Li (1812)/ Eastside Art Director
In this issue, our famed Psychic Kobi Malamud (1812)/ Eastside Radio Manager predicts what will happen by the year 2012. • In the year 1840, the Civultionary War will occur between the civilized south and barbaric north. • After the war, America will be renamed “The Civilized States of Dixie.” • A great meat famine will sweep the nation, making Congress pass the Conservation of Horses Act, which makes it illegal for horse to be used as anything other than food. • Shrenry Ford will invent the hoverboard, eliminating horse travel. • In 2012, the world will end. In the meantime, people will prepare for ultimate destruction in December. • The only surviving nations of the 12th World War, Canada and Switzerland, will move the last remaining people on Earth into the three-year-old international space terminal. • The space terminal will be called Apollo 13 and will start a new life on a different planet and all records of it will be completely destroyed.
SPORTS May 2012
Boys’ volleyball team maintains a strong drive after losing Zaun ■ By Darby Festa (‘13)
teams. Captain Nick DiVito (‘13) said, “We have a very good team this year, but
whole new level. Zaun said, “It was a tough transition from high school to college volleyball.
break and he improved a lot since last season. He Eastside Online Sports Editor will have a huge role on the team.” For a lot of teams, According to the loss of a star player Moehlmann, can damage a winning DiVito has almost program. It can even risen to “Zaun-like cripple a team. levels.” In the This same fate was scrimmage against anticipated for the Pennsauken Tech, East boys’ volleyball DiVito had 15 kills varsity team. Heading in only 3 games. into the 2012 season, Newcomer and many feared that the varsity player, team, after the graduaGary Hettinger tion of former captain (‘13) said, “DiVito’s and record-breaking taken over the star player, Eric Zaun (‘11), role. But in terms would suffer a season of a leader, we of disappointing losses don’t actually have and scarce victories. one.” But the team reThis could be fuses to lie down and attributed to the accept this write-off. team’s deep bench The boys began with a wide range their season by domiof talent. Assisting nating their first two DiVito as a capscrimmages. On March tain is Andrew 20, they beat PennQian (‘12), a resauken Tech with a turning varsity 25-20 win in the first player. Jake MagJake Fischer (‘12)/ Eastside Sports Editor game. They extended gioncalda (‘12) These key players will attempt to replace Eric Zaun (‘11) as hitters. their winning streak gives the team a by defeating Cinna- From left to right: Nick DiVito (‘13), Jake Maggioncalda (‘12), Gary strong middle and Hettinger (‘13), Andrew Qian (‘12) and Josh Grinsberg (‘12). minson in a major Hettinger and upset. Josh Grinsberg Their recent success the expectations aren’t as The college game is really (‘12) provide a big block, cannot be attributed to high as last year with different. Everything is so which Moehlmann refers Zaun, who now plays for Zaun, so we could surprise much quicker and faster to as the “Twin Tower Limestone College’s Divia few teams.” pace[d]. It took me a while Block.” sion II volleyball program, And even for the most but I adapted well and I’m Yes, sometimes a loss of ranked 23rd in the nation talented high school playdefinitely used to the cola player can damage a winout of all Division I and II er, the college game is a lege game now.” ning program. But in some Zaun’s hard cases, it can allow the rest work is now of the team to grow. paying off. For the East boys’ volCoach Karl leyball team, this seems to Moehlmann be the case. said that in After all, as Coach his last game Moehlmann said, “Who against New needs Eric Zaun? We have J e r s e y Nick DiVito.” Institute of Te c h n o l o g y, Zaun played very well with an impressive 6 out of 8 kills. Moehlmann said, “He was our guy here. But now he’s a freshman behind a couple of talented juniors.” Despite his hectic schedule, Zaun has not abandoned his alma mater. He attended club practices over winter break and thinks that East has the potential to have a very good season. Zaun said, “They have a completely different team from last year, but I think that they have some players that will step Angie Pacitti (‘13)/ For Eastside up. I saw Nick DiVito at a Nick DiVito (‘13) soars for club practice a powerful kill during over winter practice.
■ By Jake Fischer (‘12) Eastside Sports Editor
The month of April can be a very stressful time for high school seniors. Most seniors are in the midst of finally deciding which college to attend after going through months of research and campus tours along with years of hard work and studying. However, as the spring sports begin, a senior athlete can lose him or herself in the pure beauty of a sport. And, with interscholastic sports playing a major role in many students’ senior years, rumors and rumblings of senior athletes’ potential college recruitments seem to never end. And, especially for East this year, almost every single girls’ and boys’ varsity sport boasts at least one student who will continue his or her athletic career at the college level. Let the often-heated discussion of athletic scholarships begin. Many people believe that athletes should not have the opportunity to receive full scholarships for athletic purposes. Meanwhile, others believe that collegiate studentathletes should be paid on top of receiving thousands of dollars’ worth of scholarship money. Instead, why don’t we just focus on the fact that some kids are just so talented and have worked hard enough to earn said scholarship? If a regular student studied for as many hours as a college-bound athlete practiced his or her respective sport every week, then that student would most likely be able to earn the grades that would warrant an academic scholarship of a similar magnitude. It is also pretty incredible that a college or university is so confident in an athlete’s future success that the Admissions Department is almost throwing money at student-athletes. College-bound athletes should be commended for the tireless hours spent sweating up and down the court, field or pool to get to where they are today. Some students may be jealous or cynical, but they would just be missing the true significance. In life, hard work does pay off in the end. College-bound student athletes deserve every penny of the scholarships they earned and their determination and work ethics will most likely translate into their future careers as well. Logo by Diana Li (‘12)/ Eastside Art Director
SPORTS Page 16
Common sword fighting misconception does not deter all students from pursuing fencing ■ By Mike Reisman (‘13) Eastside Staff
For most people, the idea of a sword fight is a gruesome, drawn-out battle that usually ends with one person dismembered, screaming “it’s just a flesh wound!” However, for some, sword fighting is a
sport called fencing, one that requires much more than just swinging a heavy blade in somebody else’s direction. “A lot of people think it’s like Pirates of the Caribbean… but it’s really not,” said Shriya Joshi (‘13), who has been fencing for five years. “It requires a lot of finesse and a lot of mental ability.” The sport of fencing, though widely unknown, has been in the Olympics since 1896, and while it seems simple, there is much more to fencing than meets the eye. “[Fencing is] like playing chess in your head,” said Ni Zheng (‘12), who has been fencing for two years. “It’s more like a mind-game than just a physical [activity].” The sport is divided into three different categories, each depending on which type of weapon the competitors are using. In all three, there is a varying specific area of the body that each fencer aims for, and the first one Mia Holley (‘12)/ Eastside Photo Editor to hit this target area with Shriya Joshi (‘13) is clothed in standard his or her weapon wins. fencing garb for protection and comfort.
However, that is where most of the similarities end, as each competition is very different from the others. The first category is called “foil,” in which each fencer uses a light blade to try to hit the torso of the opponent in order to win the match. Only hits with the tip of the foil are counted and blows from the side of the sword do not help. The next category is “sabre,”
another light blade which is used to hit either the torso or the arms of the opponent. In this competition, any part of the blade may be used to strike an opponent. The final category is épée, which uses a heavier sword in a more technical competition. If one f e n c e r strikes the other anywhere on his or her body, the competition is over, but it must be with the tip of the blade, often
stretching out the matches. All three require different abilities, foil needing more accuracy, sabre using more explosiveness and quick thinking and épée requiring more technical movements. All three also require strength and speed. “There is a lot of emphasis on being able to move your legs properly, working on speed and things like that,” Joshi said. Although it is an unusual and often misunderstood sport, people must take the time to acknowledge the incredible skill and athleticism it takes to be successful in the sport of fencing. So, the next time sword fighting is brought up, do not think of pirates fighting to the death; think of athletes trying to strike each other in order to win a match.
Mia Holley (‘12)/ Eastside Photo Editor
Joshi stands in the en garde (on guard) stance prepared to fence with bent knees and feet at right angles.
Chudzinski explores schools different from our own ■ By Emmy Silverman (‘13) Eastside Sports Editor
Deep down in the coral reefs, there is a world where massive sea turtles glide alongside vast quantities of fish and hungry sharks. This is a world most people do not have the opportunity to experience, except, of course, those who are certified to scuba dive like Alexa Chudzinski (‘13). Chudzinski was practically born to dive. Her parents both scuba dive, which is how they originally met. They quickly introduced Chudzinski and her brother, Kyle Chudzinski (‘11), to the family practice. “I began taking the plunge when I was about 12 years old. My parents decided to get my brother and I certified so that we could go on family scuba trips together,” Chudzinski said.
Chudzinski received the Ocean Water 1 certification from the NAUI (National Association for Underwater Instructors), which is known to provide the basic certification in the diving community. This certification teaches the important safety lessons and early skills of scuba diving. Chudzinski is currently working toward her advanced certification, which teaches skills such as deep diving and underwater navigation. “To become a diver, it takes a heck of a lot of time and dedication,” Chudzinski said. To receive her basic certification, Chudzinski had to practice diving and memorize the basic rules and procedures of scuba diving before taking a written exam and showing the instructors her mastery of dives. “In the end, it’s these fundamental lessons which separate intelligent divers from dangerous divers,” said Chudzinski. Despite the peacefulness of the underwater world in places such as the New Jersey
Coast, the Florida Keys and the Dominican Republic, where Chudzinski has practiced scuba diving, many dangers require the divers to challenge themselves both physically and mentally. “Once you go down the line, there’s nothing standing between you and potential injury or even death besides your equipment, your dive buddy and your own instinct,” Chudzinski said. From Chudzinski’s first-hand experience of the underwater world, she learned how important underwater life truly is. She believes there is nothing like it in the world so she encourages people to protect the oceans. “Nothing so beautiful should ever be tainted or ignored for the sake of wealthy oil companies that couldn’t care less about the environment,” said
Chudzinski. Chudzinski’s experiences have encouraged her to want to travel and work toward environmental conservation in the future so people can continue to see the beauty that the underwater world has to offer, hopefully for years to come.
Madison Stern (‘13)/ Eastside Staff