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Expressing Students’ Views and Stories Since 2015

Summer Issue Vol 1, Issue 3

Norwood-Fontbonne Academy - 8891 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19118

The Pursuit of Candy, and Excellence By: Tim M., 8B, Leo H., 8C; drawing by Tom M. 8B It was a winter day, cold, dreary, the air brewing with tension. The NFA J.V. boys basketball team, now in the middle of their season, were facing off against the CAL powerhouse Waldron Mercy Academy. Normally, the team would go through its regular pre-game routine: warm-up, huddle up, and then find their spots on the court. This time, however, there was one change. Right as the game was about to start, the coach, Mr. Darryl Wilkins, revealed a strategy: fruit gummies. Wilkins rationed out the gummies, giving each player two or three. When his head turned only for a moment, one player, hungry for fuel, grabbed as many as could fit in his palm. This NFA power-forward always contributed, but with the gummies pumping through his veins, he transformed into something else: a beast, a work of nature, a Bear. The bear, Josh H., went on to be the leading scorer, carrying the JV boys on his back to victory. A coincidence? His teammates thought not. Thereafter, a ritual arose from the ashes of Waldron’s defeated gym. Before every game, each player would eat a healthy dose of gummies, and those players would then go on to play like they never had before. These fruit-flavored creations, the legend said, helped to propel the team to new The Bear Print Travels the World! By: Riley M., 7A On March 12th, NFA held a tour for thirty Montessori educators visiting Philadelphia for an annual Montessori conference. Visitors came from New York to places as far as Beijing and were able to see NFA’s 45-year Montessori program in action. As a greeter for the tour, I was responsible for welcoming our dear neighbors from Beijing to NFA. I answered their questions and talked to them about the school and our Montessori program.

May 2015

success to the famous rainbowcolored creations. To bring this idea from the NFL to the CAL, Wilkins would need to go beyond a generic brand. That is when he put the idea in the hands of Zipf’s owner Alena Hackett. Getting custom orders all the time, Mrs. Hackett thought the creation of a blue and gold gummy combination seemed to be no problem. The first batch, however, suggested otherwise. While the blue rang true, the gold— actually appearing to be more of an orange—fell short of her expectations. A new batch would have to be ordered. As this article went to press, this new batch was in transit, perhaps by truck, perhaps by ocean liner. However the blue and gold gummies eventually arrive, Hackett will analyze them with that same eye for detail with which she assessed the first. And while the gummies may never meet Zipf’s standards, it almost doesn’t matter. With a group of people who strive for greatness in whatever they do, whether it is Hackett’s call for exactness in the production of her candy products, or Wilkins’ strategies to inspire his young athletes, the Bear lives on its in own way, whether it’s on the basketball court or baseball fields, in gummy form, or not.

heights. But Coach Wilkins knew there was a chance for more; he knew he needed something stronger than regular fruit gummies, and the upcoming baseball season gave him the perfect opportunity to begin sculpting his new project. It was a cool spring day, the sun starting to drive winter away from the Water Tower fields, which were devastated by the last season’s watery onslaught. It was at this time that Coach Wilkins was walking on Germantown Avenue, and he began to remember. In the past practices he had seen a hunger to win in his newly formed baseball team. A hunger that needed to be fed. As he walked, his feet drew him, almost mysteriously, to a location that would change everything: Zipf’s Candies. This store, a candy shop on Germantown Ave., was where it would all begin. It was where he had

bought the fruit gummies that had caused his basketball team to demolish all of their opponents. Now, Wilkins entered the store with a new mission: he needed a new breed of gummies powerful enough to fuel his baseball team, to fuel his bears. That’s when it hit him. Norwood needed something special, something that distinguished them from other powerhouses in the Catholic Academy League. It would have to be something that tasted amazing, but still retained the previous powers held by the last batch of fruit gummies. This is when the idea for the NFA Gummy Bears was born. “Marshawn Lynch has the Skittles, so Norwood is gonna have the gummy bears,” said J.V. Baseball coach Darryl Wilkins, referring to the fact that Lynch, a Seattle Seahawks running-back, often attributes his

The woman I mainly spoke to was Vivienne Wang, a Montessori elementary school teacher in Beijing. In one of our conversations I brought up our school newspaper, the Bear Print, and she wanted to read our first issue. I picked up several copies of the first edition to give to her and the rest of the group and told her the Bear Print was featuring a "The Bear Print Goes To…” column in one of our upcoming issues, and she offered the idea to take a copy of the newspaper back to Beijing with her and take a

picture of it in the Montessori environment. We got in contact with her via email, and she sent us some great photos of our now international Bear Print newspaper in Beijing. One is Students from the international Montessori here. For the “The school Etonkids in Beijing read the Bear Print. Bear Print Goes To…” column, which features photos of the newspaper all over the world, check page 16. See if you can guess the locations!


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Editor Letter & School Events

May 2015

In this edition of Two Voices, One Column, two members of the NFA community share their thoughts on a recent school event. For this column, Riley M. and Mrs. McGowan reflect on the 7th grade’s annual Whale Watch trip to Cape Cod. Riley: Whale Watch 2015 was a trip filled with fun, family, and friends. We left for the trip on Thursday morning, May 7th at the crack of dawn, and boarded the buses to head to the Plymouth Plantation. Although the ride was very long, it was filled with laughter and fun. Before we knew it, we had arrived at our first stop, Plymouth Plantation. There we met actors portraying colonists and local Native Americans. We took a lovely walk around the grounds and learned how they lived and interacted when the colonists first came to America. There were replicas of their homes from back then and many farm animals including sheep, chickens, cows and goats. We then boarded the bus again for a short ride to a colonial grist mill. A grist mill is a device that uses stream-fed water to drive a well that grinds dried corn into flour. The flour is then used to make breads and used in preparing many other foods. This was a key element in the colonists survival for the first few years following their arrival. After a long and beautiful day and we boarded the bus once more. After a short ride, we stopped for a great dinner at a waterfront restaurant and then were off to the the hotel. After check-in and freshening up, we were treated to a dance at the hotel ballroom where we all had a blast hanging out together. We woke early again on Friday and traveled to Provincetown for what would be the unanimous highlight of the trip: the 2015 NFA Whale Watch. We boarded the Miss Dolphin VIII and headed out to sea. We were again treated to another beautiful,

Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Charlton warm and sunny day. Most importantly, the ocean was not too rough. Within just a 1/2 hour we spotted a whale. It was a fin-back whale that cruised gracefully through the water. It would surface every few minutes and blow a tower of mist into the air from its blowhole. There were many other sightings throughout the day that included finback, humpback, and right whales. At times the whales seemed to be putting on a show for us. They would come right up to the boat, flap their tails and poke their heads out of the water to our delight. There was a pod of approximately four baby finback whales that followed us along for what seemed hours. After our Whale Watch we headed to Mystic aquarium where we saw Beluga whales and other

sea creatures such as turtles, sea lions, and penguins. We walked around the near vacant aquarium which was mainly outdoors, and then were free to have dinner at the restaurant of our choice. In conclusion, this was one of the best experiences I’ve had at NFA. It was truly a great learning experience out of the classroom and an even greater time getting to spend a few days on the road with our families and classmates. Mrs. McGowan: The 7th grade Whale Watch trip was absolutely fantastic! I must admit I was skeptical about going. Taking the time off from work and re-arranging my family’s schedules to compensate for my absence was daunting and… Continued on pg. 3.

Dear Student and Staff Readers, The newspaper committee and I are so excited to be presenting you with the third edition of the Bear Print. There are many new and interesting articles and activities with topics including the annual Whale Watch, summer reader and writing prompts, and the Bear Print’s Guide to the Summer. Not only are we offering new columns, but we are still writing our other popular columns such as Ask Titus, Bear and Snowman, and our Cross-Generational Film Review. Unfortunately, this is our last issue of the year, but we have had a great first three issues with wonderful reception from the whole school community. We are so excited though to come back next school year with some fresh ideas and an awesome Back to School issue. And don’t forget to check out the Good News magazine, where we have an article all about the Bear Print! Thanks Again,

Alyssa C., Editor-in-Chief

Norwood Committee

Fontbonne Committee


May 2015 Part of the Acting World By: Gianna B., 7B

School Events

The Little Mermaid is the story of a young mer-princess who dreams of life out of water and is willing to do anything, even trade her voice, to find love. The tale was originally written as a tragic novel in 1836 by Hans Christian Andersen, a well known author at the time. In 1989, the moving, beloved story, went on to become a Disney Film classic, making a once tragic tale of death and hardship into a story of love and happiness, with a few catchy songs in-between. But the story of our young mermaid friend did not stop there. The Little Mermaid went on to become a hit Broadway show in 2008, earning many awards, including the Tony Award for Best Original Score, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical, awarded to Sierra Boggess, who played the leading role of Ariel. This year, though, The Little Mermaid returns to the stage, a much smaller stage, for Norwood-Fontbonne Academy's production of The Little Mermaid Jr., where many of our own 7th and 8th graders brought this production to life for the NFA community. As with any production, there were the behind-the-scenes production elements, as well the behind-thescenes stories of the many members who made the show a reality. One of these stories revolves around DJ C., a

current eighth grader, and our current Student Council Treasurer, who was one of over thirty cast members in the production of The Little Mermaid Jr. this past March. Comerford played the role of Scuttle, the quirky, funny, and all around upbeat seagull, and pal of our dear friend Ariel. If you ask me, DJ was meant for this role, and, from my first impression of him, he seemed like a person with a lot of experience. If you ask DJ, however, you might find a slightly different answer. You see, he had never acted before. Ever. "I walked in on the first day of Drama with no real experience, so you can imagine my surprise when Ms. Kim decided to cast me as a lead," DJ said. "I had no idea what to do." Faced with the new task of learning his lines and music, DJ set to work, making notecards, quizzing himself on his dialogue, and singing around the house. "It was my sisters who really helped me. They knew what to do, and they really made sure that I was always on top of my lines, and prepared for rehearsal." DJ’s influence on the show didn’t stop with his role as Scuttle, though. Scuttle is not the only male role in The Little Mermaid, and we had some great male singers and actors this year in Drama, especially the eighth graders, who really stepped up to put our show together. The cast was so grateful to them, and even more

Continued from pg. 2… and I wondered if it would be worth all of the effort. I know now that it really was worth it. I absolutely loved this trip! Seeing the 7th grade out of their uniforms and out of their element was great. They were chatty and charming and funny and wellbehaved from start to finish. I couldn’t have been prouder to be with this group of children and their parents. NFA was well represented in New England! This trip runs like a well-oiled machine. The teachers (and Mr. and Mrs. Croney) truly have this thing down. Our first stop was Plimoth (yes, this is the correct spelling) Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The plantation had authentic colonial and Native American villages and a spectacular view of the water. We then toured the Plymouth Grist Mill and Plymouth Rock and had a wonderful dinner at a restaurant on the water with the entire

group. After dinner, we drove out to our hotel on the Cape where the teachers had arranged a dance for the class. It was a great way for the 7th grade to end its day. Day two had us up and out early to travel to Provincetown and board the boat for our whale watch tour. It was a gorgeous day and we saw lots of humpback and fin whales. At one point the whales actually seemed to be showing off for the boat! Everyone was animated and engaged for the entire boat ride and not a single person got seasick. Phew! After our boat ride, we boarded the bus again and headed down to Mystic, Connecticut for a visit to the Mystic Aquarium. After that it was a quick dinner and then back on the bus for our return to Philadelphia. I enjoyed this trip more than I could have ever imagined. I loved spending the time with my daughter, her friends and their parents. I know the class is close but I felt like their bonds were

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grateful to DJ for getting them to join in the first place. "It was our eighth grade year, and there was no way I was going to let them leave NFA without doing Drama," DJ said. “I was determined to at least get some of my friends to join." He eventually added three eighth grade names to the cast list: Patrick M. (Prince Eric), Dan T. (Captain), and Roman S. (Sailor), and for that, the Drama Club was so grateful. The show this year was enjoyed by so many, and, on behalf of Ms. Kim

and the entire NFA community, we thank you, cast members, stage crew, and parents, for working so hard. And, like DJ, we encourage you, the students, to try something new. Sign up for Drama when you get to Seventh Grade, take a chance, because you never know what just might happen. "Do it," says DJ, "because it's great. I made friends with people I had never talked to, I learned so much about confidence and presence, and developed great relationships. Most of all, it's just fun, and worth it."

Pictured, at sea, from left to right: Mr. Clark, Mr. Dougherty, Mrs. Croney, and Mr. Croney.

strengthened even more during our trip. And I cannot tell you how wonderful Mr. Clark, Mr. Dougherty and Mr. and Mrs. Croney were on this trip.They were enthusiastic,

thoughtful, organized and a lot of fun. They have my gratitude and admiration for organizing and executing such a fantastic trip. Thank you!


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The Staycation: A Review By: Brendan H., 8B It’s Brendan from the newspaper. I would say I’m back but I never left. Today I’m showing you ladies and gentlemen what I did on my “Staycation” this Easter Break. During this eleven day journey, where I did not leave the Philadelphia area, I set out to live reflectively. I wanted to use my insights from this experience and share them so people wouldn't be bored at their homes this summer. Stay real, and buy your mom a house when you get older. Day 1: April 2, 2015 Morning: 9:34 a.m.: It’s the first day of spring break. It’s beautiful—a blessing. Like Outkast, I feel so fresh and clean. Afternoon: 12:08 p.m.: Just finished planting grass seed. Rest is at a high demand for myself. Evening: 5:28 p.m: My presence in the United States of America will be felt tonight. It’s not Thursday night— it’s Hallzy’s night. Night: 10:56: The presence was felt in the scene. I ate some food, watched some basketball games, lived with joy. It’s how everyone should live. Day 2: April 3, 2015 Morning 10:15 a.m.: It’s a rainy day, but it’s alright. Adversity can’t hold me back. I feel the same freshness, and the world is still in the palm of my hand. Afternoon: 1:30 p.m.: It’s a relaxing day. Nothing like watching the best Netflix has to offer. Evening: 5:47 p.m.: I’m still a simple person just enjoying life. Night: 11:58 p.m.: It’s coming down the last minutes of the second day. I enjoyed it in a different way than the first day. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it.

Bear Print Guide to the Summer

May 2015

By: Cate A. Day 3: April 4, 2015 Morning 9:55 a.m.: I have baseball practice at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. I have to turn into Babe Ruth today. I’ve been left with no other option. Afternoon 2:08 p.m.: I’m just hanging out eating fruit and being healthy. Just a normal day in the life. Evening 7:13 p.m.: There was no batting practice so I was unable to turn into the “Great Bambino.” However, I think Ozzie Smith would be proud of the defensive work. Night 9:32 p.m.: It’s just one of those nights where you listen to music and reflect on the meaning of life.

Afternoon 4:34 p.m.: The atmosphere was electric at SLA. I look forward to attending the school next year. For now, I look forward to getting under the covers. I woke up too early today. Night 8:23 p.m.: It’s the perfect moment to watch music videos on Youtube.

Day 7: April 8, 2015 Afternoon: 12:36 p.m.: I’m doing the morning routine in the afternoon; what else did you expect? It’s spring break. My body is telling me it’s a great day to eat unhealthily. Evening 6:24 p.m.: I watched some Day 4: April 5, 2015 “Sway in the Morning” interviews Morning 10:51 a.m.: It’s Easter because it was another lazy day. Sunday. Our Savior rose from the dead today. The Easter Bunny Day 8: April 9, 2015 dropped me some Skittles, too. Afternoon: 12:02 p.m.: I’d like to Afternoon 2:17 p.m.: I have a minor apologize to the audience for falling illness, but when I’m sick I’m like into a deep sleep before being able to Jordan with the flu. write about the previous night. What Night 7:24 p.m.: I just woke up from had happened was I lost track of time. a long nap. I had some great dreams. Before I knew it, I was knocked out on the couch. Once again, I woke up Day 5: April 6, 2015 after the morning hours, but it’s spring Morning 8:32 a.m.: It is urgent that I break. These things happen. Things shower and stay hygienic. have been moving slowly these past Afternoon 12:12 p.m.: Today is the few days, but I want to make things perfect day to play NBA 2k15. interesting for the audience today. The Night 10:47 p.m.: Not much world is still in my palms. Stay real. happened today. I’m sorry, folks. This Evening: 6:45 p.m.: Today was a day is quite uneventful. I recovered beautiful day just like first day. I from an illness. Tomorrow is where realized that everyone in the world the action will be at. has a purpose. Learn from your mistakes, and be happy. Day 6: April 7, 2015 Night: 10:21 p.m.: Today was Morning 11:30 a.m.: It is again a actually successful unlike the last few rainy day, but, as I previously stated, days. I’m always going to be the weather can’t hold me back, supportive to every generation, but for whether it be a hurricane or tornado. It now Brendan Hall is for the children. is also my shadow day at Science Leadership Academy. My shadow Day 9: April 10, 2015 gave me a tour of the school in the Morning 9:13 a.m.: Baseball practice lunch period. There were couches in starts at eleven today. There’s time to the hallways. be Brendan Hall, but now it’s time to be Miguel Cabrera.

Afternoon 1:45 p.m.: Baseball was a normal practice. Not much happened. It was laid back and chill. Day 10: April 11, 2015 Morning: 2:19 a.m.: I slept through the evening, but I stayed up late thinking of what I could possibly do in the next two days. I could not think of anything to do. Afternoon: 4:14 p.m.: I had to take the L (loss) on finding something to do; however, I stumbled across something I thought was inspirational. Evening: 5:34 p.m. While I was on Netflix I was scrolling through the feel-good movie section. I found a documentary about the Martin Luther King High School football team. It’s about the rivalry between Germantown and MLK high school coming to an end as the schools merged. The school had to make budget cuts which included the football coach’s teaching job. However, he volunteered to coach them because he cared so much. The MLK Cougars won ten games in a row to earn the Public League Championship. They also achieved off the field—all of their seniors graduated and went to major universities. Day 11: April 12, 2015 Summary: My staycation had its ups and downs like anything in life, but I learned that I can have fun no matter where I am. I’m glad I experienced it. To my readers, put others first, tip your waiters, be a good role model, and stay in school. Score:


May 2015

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Bear Print Guide to the Summer

There’s Summer Reading, and Then There’s Summer Crash Coursing By: Sophie G., 7C Do you know why Argentina is called Argentina instead of, say, Roentgena? A long time ago (actually, a looooong, long time ago), silver used to be called Argentinum, which translates into “shiny metal stuff.” Rumor had it that Argentina had mountains of silver, and, thus, it was named after the shiny metal stuff. Unfortunately, when the first explorers got there, there were no silver mountains. (This is also why silver’s chemical symbol is Ag, not say Si [Silicon] or Sv.) I would not have known any of this if it wasn’t for the summer, where I spent countless hours trying to enrich my background of academic knowledge. And while not topics. Into science? Hang with many people follow my path, Hank while he teaches you about believing that summer is a break chemistry, anatomy and physiology, from academic learning entirely, their psychology, biology, and ecology. Is reasons are no longer valid. So here history more your thing? John has is my challenge amazing for you: courses This in world “One thing under that broad summer, I, history umbrella of ‘stuff’ is called Sophie G., and Big challenge you, History CrashCourse, and it’s beyond (please insert is pretty awesome. It’s extremely (which your name basically awesome.” here), to go out t h e of your way to history of learn something everything, academic. Please, don’t run screaming just yet. Give me the next from the start of the universe to couple paragraphs to explain to you now), and U.S. history. If you want how exactly you can go about doing to know how our government does stuff, then check out Craig Benzine, this. First of all, this mode of learning, a newbie to the CrashCourse team which I will explain to you, is much who is happy to teach you all you different: There is no reading ever wanted to know about the involved. No tests. Not a single note government and politics, including to be taken. This is learning you can what is and isn’t legal and why. do without classrooms or supplies or Maybe you just really want to go on the History Channel. But you do get an intergalactic adventure, and Phil to use your computers, your phones Plait, another CrashCourse newbie, and tablets, and a magical place is happy to be your guide. Maybe called YouTube. You might have you’re more into literature. John also has a great course that will heard of it—it’s kinda a big deal. If you know who John Green is, explain everything you wanted to you’re halfway to this magical place. know about some of the books If you know who Hank Green is, we you’ve been meaning to pick up, should be best friends. Together, from Romeo and Juliet to The these brothers have done some pretty Great Gatsby. awesome stuff. And one thing under Each CrashCourse course is forty that broad umbrella of ‘stuff’ is called weeks long, and new videos are CrashCourse, and it’s beyond pretty released each week, which results in awesome. It’s extremely awesome. a shocking total of, wait for it: forty CrashCourse provides free, ten videos. Imagine how much you minute videos that follow a range of could impress your teacher when you come in with an advanced

Image courtesy of youtube.com/user/crashcourse

knowledge of biology or a detailed understanding of history. But, that’s not what I’m asking you to do. I’m asking that you take the time to watch one, explore a new topic. You might even like it enough to watch the next. To our younger NFA students, CrashCourse has not forgotten you! Enjoy three minute videos on a range of science topics, from adorable animals to outer space. Sabrina, who is full of entertaining references and great at making stuff make sense, will be your host as you explore big questions like who is Sir Isaac Newton and what exactly did he do? What is stuff even made of? Explore these questions and so many

CrashCourse Offerings Science Anatomy & Physiology Astronomy Chemistry Ecology Biology CrashCourse Kids

more with the new addition to CrashCourse: CrashCourse Kids. Teachers, CrashCourse could be a great tool to add to your classroom, or to expand your own knowledge. I encourage you, too, to accept my challenge and explore the many topics CrashCourse and CrashCourse Kids dive into, hopefully learning something yourself along the way. So I challenge you to learn this summer. Whether it’s about anatomy and physiology or what gravity is, there’s CrashCourse series made to answer any big question you might have—with adorable cartoon characters to help along the way. So go out and explore!

History World History U.S. Government & Politics World History 2 Big History U.S. History Miscellaneous Psychology Literature

Above is a list of courses currently offered on CrashCourse. Pledge to take at least one this summer by writing your name along with the course name on a Post-it note and then hang it on the board in Mr. Mannix’s room or the Fontbonne library. You might also decide to write the specific number of episodes you plan to watch. When we get back from school, we’ll meet briefly to discuss what you learned and also make recommendations on the courses.


May 2015

Bear Print Guide to the Summer

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By: Mia F., 6C Mia is an aspiring photographer. She loves working with different cameras, angles, and light to capture beautiful photos. Mia’s Guide to Summer Photography 1. Sports photos Use the sports photo setting on a camera to snap the picture quickly. 2. Beach photos Take your photos closer to the evening for great color and brightness. 3. City photos Take to the streets and check out what's going on around the city through your camera lens. 4. Vacation photos Try using different angles to capture not only the people you are with, but the things you bring along. 5. Animal photos Use a flash and snap quickly!!

“On spring break I stayed in the city with a friend. I took a walk in the park and snapped many photos of small side streets, traffic lights, and tall city buildings. This photo was my favorite. It was taken as I had a morning chat with an old neighbor at Parc Restaurant on the corner of Rittenhouse Square.” —Mia Once Upon A Nation By: Madeline E., 5A Do you like to listen to stories and watch them reenacted? How about eating ice cream? Well, you can do both when you visit all of the thirteen Once Upon a Nation benches in center city Philadelphia. At each bench, an actor will reenact a story for you. The stories that you are told are all about unusual occurrences that have happened in or around historic Philadelphia. For instance, you may hear about a famous bank robbery or maybe even about the invention of bubble gum. The actor will usually have a few stories from which you may choose. You may very well be asked to join in the reenactment and play the part of one of the characters. Before the story is performed, the actor will ring a bell to signify that a story is about to start. If you hear the bell, you are free to join in on the story. If

you are lucky, you might be able to ring the bell. While you watch the reenactment, you will be seated on a comfortable circular bench. At the very first bench you visit, you will be given a paper American flag with thirteen stars and stripes. Each time you visit a new bench and listen to a story, you will receive a star sticker to put on your flag. Once you acquire thirteen stars, you get a free ice cream at Franklin Square. While you’re there, you can play mini golf and go on a carousel (not free), or go on the playground (free). To find out where these benches are, Photo courtesy of historicphiladelphia.org you get a map at the visitor’s center in center city Philadelphia. You do not have to go to all of the benches in one day. and cost nothing. They are also great ways to learn These benches, which are open from Memorial about our city. Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend, are very fun Now, let’s go get some ice cream!


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Teacher Voices

May 2015

For our Cross-Generational film review, teachers are asked to pick a favorite movie from their childhood and then write a review or reflection about it. Two newspaper writers then watch the movie for the first time or, in this case, re-watch it, and follow it up with a reflection or review of their own. For this edition, Mrs. Gilliam chose Back to the Future. Below, enjoy the thoughts of Mrs. Gilliam, Sophie G. (7C), and Dariya B. (7B).

Mrs. Gilliam I grew up number five of six siblings, and my birth order pretty much doomed me to a life of handme-downs. In addition to the usual hand-medown - clothing - my siblings passed along other, less tangible hand-me-downs… for instance, their taste in movies. Like so much else in my childhood, Back to the Future was a hand-medown from my older sister Amy. Amy was fourteen in 1985 when Back to the Future was released. The science fiction comedy directed by Robert Zemeckis spent eleven weeks at number one and went on to become the highest grossing film of ‘85. In BTTF, teenager Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) travels 30 years into the past in a DeLorean time machine invented by his endearingly eccentric friend “Doc” Emmet Brown (Christopher Lloyd). While stuck in the past, Marty tackles the unthinkable burden of protecting his own future existence. To this end, he must ensure that his high-school-age parents fall in love. The plot is universally accessible and appealing - who wouldn’t want to see what their parents were actually like in high school? Like every other child of the 80s, Amy loved it. By the time I first saw BTTF, seven or so years after its release, it hadn’t lost its luster. In fact, it still hasn’t lost its luster. Not even close. A Google search for back to the future celebration 2015 yields about 126,000,000 results. Celebrations around the world are being planned to mark the 30th anniversary of the iconic film. The cultural

significance of BTTF is undeniable, and it was added in 2007 to the National Film Registry. For me, though, it’s not really about the film itself at all. It’s about a connection to my sister and to my family of origin. Amy first shared the movie with me some summer evening when she was back in town from college. I’m sure my parents had enlisted her to baby-sit “the little ones”. (If the scourge of the younger child is hand-me-downs, then surely the scourge of the older child is baby-sitting). In a house of six kids, attention - from parents, from siblings, from whomever - was often in short supply. So, for my eleven-year-old self, getting my cool older sister’s undivided attention was magical. Watching BTTF together on our couch, Amy pointed out her favorite parts and explained the jokes that went over my head. A moment like this felt like a gift to me. It’s been almost fifteen years since Amy and I have shared a zip code. She moved to the West Coast and started a family long before I left our Midwestern hometown. Ever since I’ve separated geographically from my siblings, I find myself looking for other ways to connect. Sometimes this happens purposefully, and sometimes it happens accidentally. Recently looking for a movie on demand to watch with my daughter, we agreed on Back to the Future. I hadn’t seen it in ages, but once immersed in the opening scenes I was struck with nostalgia, surprised by the suddenness of homesickness - for my sister, for our childhood home. Once the homesickness passed, though, I really did feel closer to the time when my siblings and I were a cohesive unit, ridiculously sentimental as that may be. There was a satisfying poignance to sharing this piece of my childhood with my own daughter who is nearly 14, the age that Amy was when she first saw Back to the Future. Sophie Have you ever wanted to meet your mother or father when they were in high school? To see if they were really how they said they were, or more like you than they are willing to admit? Would you risk your teenaged mother falling for you to find out? Think back a few months. Not to Halloween. Sadly, not to Christmas. Think back to the very first issue of the Bear Print. The first CrossGenerational Movie Review featured Davy Crockett: King of the Frontier. Maybe you blew it off, not believing it was anything big. Ever. Initially, I did as well. But Back to the Future proved me wrong. Every time the film made a Davy Crockett reference, I could feel the “Ballad of the Davy Crockett” coming back up

from the dark place in my brain where it stays most of the time, only popping up during math tests and times of critical concentration, such as an intense game of Rummy 500. Back to the Future is the type of movie that you leave unsure if it was supposed to be a comedy or a thought-provoking film. Probably both. But if you are looking for a scientifically accurate movie, please stop reading this article now and watch Cosmos or something. I have a few rants about the scientific inaccuracy, but they contain spoilers. If you want to know about them ask me, but prepare for an hour long conversation about the space-time continuum. However, despite breaking so many scientific laws, I actually loved Back to the Future. It was hilarious. Like, for example, this prime quote: 222Marty McFly: Wait a minute. Wait a minute, Doc. Ah... Are you telling me that you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean? Dr. Emmett Brown: The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some *style?* So *stylish*. And, though I didn’t know it was possible, there were fight scenes worse than those in Davy Crockett. Back to the Future is a big deal. It’s referenced all over. And check out Amazon's collection of tshirts inspired by the movie. They’re pretty cool, especially after watching the movie.

Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, performs “Johnny B. Goode.” Image courtesy of imdb.com


May 2015

Page 8

Teacher Voices

Continued from pg. 6 Thank you Mrs. Gilliam, Mr. Dougherty, and Mr. Seaton for taking the time this year to reflect on your favorite movies, whether a Disney classic or sci-fi comedy. You have introduced Dariya and me to great movies, and allowed us to reminisce with old favorites. I can’t wait to see what movies next year will have to offer! Dariya Back to the Future has been called a classic, but I had never gotten around to watching it. In fact, about two days before Mrs. Gilliam suggested this movie for the review, a friend of mine was telling me about the movie and urging me to watch it. The story follows Marty McFly, a teenager who travels to the past in order to escape a dangerous situation, but accidentally gets stuck in the time and place when and where his parents were in high school. In my previous reviews, I’ve been giving a lot of praise and highlighting all of the movies’ good qualities and aspects and overlooking all of the bad things. Therefore, in this review, I’ll try to talk about some of the negatives. Let’s start off with the rating. Although this movie is PG, I suggest that if you are under fourth grade

that you talk to your parents before watching this movie. Some content may be viewed as mature. Okay, that’s it. That’s the only relatively bad thing I can say about the movie. The film wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but I don’t mean that in a bad way. Since I had never watched the movie until recently, I had formed an idea in mind of what

asks the band to follow his lead. He plays the famous Chuck Berrry song “Johnny B. Goode,” but gets a bit carried away. He starts jumping off of the speakers, playing intricate guitar riffs, and playing behind his head, all to the confusion of the band playing with him. I was almost in tears from how hard I was laughing at this scene, but Sophie just looked at me like I was crazy. This movie was incredibly enjoyable and I recommend it to anyone looking to watch a lighthearted comedy with a thought-provoking undertone. After I finished the movie, it really made me wonder about my parents adventures in high school, and whether or not everything they’ve told me about their teenage years is true or not. And with a handful of classic scenes, it's a no-brainer to watch this film. So, this summer, follow the famous character Marty McFly as he literally gets stuck in the past and tries to find a it was going to be like from all of the reviews about it, but I am pleased to say that the real movie is way to travel Back to the Future. much better than the idea I had of it in my head. In the real movie, my favorite scene occurs Teachers: Interested in contributing to this during the night of the "Enchantment Under the column? Get in touch with Sophie and Dariya Sea" dance. The main character and the person before the summer. We are always looking for who gets stuck in the past, Marty McFly, offers to teachers to share and reflect on their favorite play lead guitar with the band on stage after their films. Perhaps you could watch and review the guitar player injured his hand. After playing a slow film over your long summer breaks! song, he decides to play a more upbeat song and

“Thank you, Mrs. Gilliam, Mr. Dougherty, and Mr. Seaton, for taking the time this year to reflect on your favorite movies…”

The Arboretum Comes to NFA By: Mr. D’Orazio Every class has had the opportunity to go the Morris Arboretum this year because of NFA’s new partnership with the Arboretum. We hope that all of the students had a great time during their visit. The committee who helped develop this partnership—Mrs. Gurin, Mr. Alfarano, Sister Marjorie, Mrs. Muller, and I—have continued to work on ways to build on this partnership. Our new project is one that will bring the Arboretum to NFA. Since trees are a big part of nature that stand out when you go to the Arboretum, we’ve decided to

make trees the focus of our new Arboretum initiative here at N FA . One afternoon after school, the teachers and a representative from the Arboretum walked around the Fontbonne campus and tagged ten of the trees on the campus. (Next time you’re out at recess see if you can find the tags.) Did you know the big oak tree in front of the convent is over one hundred years old? Or that the trees on our campus are a very diverse mix of species including Oak, Pines, Magnolias, and Spruce? I know I didn’t, and it’s very easy to look at the trees everyday and not really notice them. Imagine the stories the oak tree outside the convent could tell! Our next step is to tag the trees on the Norwood campus and then bring these trees to Science classes. It is our hope that everyone graduating knows all the different types of trees on our campuses and how we take care of them. So, very soon you may be having a Science class that involves going outside and working with the trees!

Have you seen any of the trees tagged around campus yet? See if you can spot any at recess, and try to learn all of the tree names by the time you graduate!


Page 9

Featured Student Writing

May 2015

In the “Featured Student Writing” section, we ask teachers and students to submit pieces of student writing to be considered for the Bear Print. In submitting these pieces, students are asked to describe the writing assignment and to also reveal their thinking about the composition of the piece. We hope that, in addition to demonstrating effective writing, these features will also give readers more ideas for writing and more insights into writing in general. We will be publishing our Back to School issue in October, so send any writing pieces to Mr. Mannix and Alyssa C. by September of next year. We are looking for any and all genres of writing: poems, reviews, reflections, stories, history, science, or whatever else the school community would benefit from reading! In this issue, we have a variety of genres. Katherine C. writes a Shakespearean sonnet to her mother for Mother’s Day, Rory K. writes a profile on his favorite NFL football player Marshawn Lynch, and Avery M. writes about the subject of her field trip, Ellis Island. Background: In our ELA classroom over the past few days we have been writing and decorating a sonnet made for our mothers. The reason we have been orchestrating a poem-like writing piece is because it relates to the Shakespearean language we have been studying. Over the past few months, we read the book Romeo and Juliet which Shakespeare chose to write in sonnet form. This project was to help us better understand and modernize the complex language from the Elizabethan era.

A Daughter’s Vow

Description of Writing Process: I went into this project unsure about how to approach this style of writing. I have written many times in the past but never in this type of poetry. With the inspiration of my mom, however, I was soon able to create my own personal masterpiece. I had to follow a certain writing process but I actually ended up enjoying this project greatly.

In sickness and in health, no vows needed You cured me with hugs and medicine too Although your job is not yet completed Know that I’m thankful for all that you do

Background: I chose this topic because I had to do character description, and I love Marshawn Lynch, so that's why I wrote this. I had to look at page 46 of my Common Core Writing book which discussed the main ideas of the potential person.

the biggest tank on the field, and he trucks every defender and shakes them off. He only fumbled three times last year! Even though that he is only 5’11”, he is very tall, a giant on the field. He is a very vocal, too, and an independent person. He is a very strong, skinny, and agile guy. Lynch is light on his feet and a total beast on the field. Outside the field, Marshawn is a very shy person. When Marshawn meets the press, that is bad news for them, because he is like a kid at a new school. One time at a press conference all he said was, “I’m thankful,” and after that he got fined for about $10,000 because he wouldn’t communicate with the press. Because of that incident, people called him a bad speaker in the press. I believe Marshawn Lynch is the best NFL running back. He is my hero out of all the NFL players. Even though he is as shy as a mouse, I think Marshawn is as funny as my favorite comedian, Kevin Hart, when he tries to talk to the press. And thats why Marshawn is my favorite player in the NFL.

Description of Writing Process: Next, we talked talked about examples of things about the character. After that we talked about vivid details to put in the report. Next, we made a outline of what to do. Finally, we made the final draft. Marshawn Lynch: a Profile By: Rory K., 5th grade Marshawn Lynch is a beast on the field as a halfback for the Seattle Seahawks, but when it come to the press, he is like a kid at a new school. Marshawn is one of the greatest running backs of all time. He had whopping 1,306 yards this season plus thirteen rushing touchdowns. Whenever Marshawn has a wide open lane, he walks into the endzone looking like a boss. He is

By: Katherine C., 8C Mom, you are a light who’s been there for me Always picking me up, brushing me off When I was a young child you helped me see Your wisdom is so great, I needn’t scoff As you know, we are compared quite a bit There is no one that I would rather be Not only our looks but our spirits fit Alike yet diff’rent, so perfect to me

So when your brown hair turns all white and gray I’ll be there for you as you are today. ♡ Katherine

Background: The background of the assignment was writing a report on Ellis island, our field trip destination on May 1st. Description of Writing Process: To write this piece, I used my notes, but if I was writing a story I would just get down my thoughts and make changes afterwards. An excerpt from “Ellis Island”: a Research Report By: Avery M., 5th grade Beginning of excerpt… After immigrants came across the sea and survived the many hardships on the open water, they had to be checked at Ellis Island. But Ellis Island isn’t the only place that deserves the fame in immigrant history. Castle Garden or Castle Clinton, was a check in point for immigrants from 1855 to 1890. In 1890, they decided to build a bigger immigration center on Ellis Island. Castle Garden was built in 1807 and served as a fort when the U.S. was threatened by possible war with Britain. Then, it served as an entertainment center for 30 years before turning into an immigration center. It welcomed 8 million immigrants into America. After it was an immigration center, it was an aquarium until 1946 when a plan for building the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel failed and almost led the building to destruction. The public saved the historic building from destruction and it became the place to buy ferry tickets to go to Ellis Island and a museum in 1975 when it re-opened. Where would you go when your boat arrived in New York harbor? To Ellis Island of course! When immigrants walked underneath the grand arches, they arrived in the ground floor baggage room. Some people left their bags there, while others held theirs. After the baggage room, they entered the Great Hall or Registry Room. In the Great Hall you were examined by doctors and immigration inspectors once again. At the top of the stairs, the Great Hall widened. Metal pipes divided it into small cage like rooms where you would wait. In 1911, they took down the weird mesh wire fences and quirky metal poles and replaced them with wooden benches…End of excerpt


May 2015 A Beautiful Thing By: Sonja B., 8C Head Campus Ministry Delegate Since my first years at NFA, I’ve heard words of prayer spoken to me through a PA day in and day out, sometimes understanding what was being said, sometimes just a lost Catholic kid trying to listen. Through the years, however, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to my own understanding of prayer. I could look at the laminated card in my desk and still be confused like I was, but I’ve come to know just a few things about prayer. Prayers usually begin with one idea and expand from there, and that idea is this: Prayer means hope. It’s a tranquil thing, rooted in faith

Student Leadership and new beginnings. No matter your stance on God or the world or religion itself, prayer is a calling, a silent plea of beliefs in times of praise, thanks, and suffering. Prayer takes different forms, whether it be a laminated poem or an unspoken thought, but the heart of it is always the same: a kind of secret worship instilled with unbreakable vows of hope, love, and promise. Maybe that’s why so many are drawn to it, in each of our own simple ways, or maybe it’s because as human beings we need something to ground us, something to place our souls into calmly, confidently. No matter the place or the time or the reason, however, prayer is a constant, uncompromising thing in each of our lives, even if that goes unnoted. The beauty of it is the exact same way.

Page 10

The Official Student Council Guide to Blue and Gold Day Cheers Cheer 1:

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! (team color)’s gonna win, no doubt about it! From the North to the East to the South to the West! (team color)’s gonna win cause we’re the best!

Cheer 2:

Team 1: Boom Boom Bam Bam What’cha gonna do I say Boom Boom Bam Bam what’cha gonna do! Hey (other team)! Team 2: Hey what! Team 1: Hey (team )! Team 2: Hey what! Team 1: Whatcha gonna do I say whatcha gonna do! Team 1/2: I’m gonna turn around, (Team 2 turn around), get down (Team 2 bend down], shake it (Team 2 shakes it off), and touch the ground [both touch the ground]! Repeat as necessary

Cheer 3:

Blue and Gold Day Returns! By: Ellie S. , 7A Homeroom Rep As spring arrives, we are getting closer and closer to the day everyone is waiting for, the day when two teams dressed in Blue and Gold compete against each other, and the day when only one can be victorious. That day is Blue and Gold Day. For the last three months, Student Council has been working extremely hard to make this as awesome as possible. We have incorporated many new games that you have never seen and even added an extension to the day to the morning—the Blue and Gold Day History Bee. The new addition to the Blue and Gold, the History Bee for 4th to 8th grades, is going to be great. If you don’t know what it is, then look no

further. The new expansion will take place in the morning. Each grade from 4th to 8th will have two representatives, one for each team, but there will be opportunities for students in all grades to get involved. Students participating in the History Bee will be asked to answer a series of questions ranging from flag identification to important historical dates. Even if you aren’t part of the two teams, we know you will have fun, cheering for your team and enjoying the different events we have planned! Just watch out for “Abe the Bae!” Fast forward to May 22nd, the date of the Blue and Gold Day. Once you get your colors you’ll clearly need some cheers. Maybe you can use them at the brand new History Bee! We’ve included some suggestions for the big day to the right.

We are (color) team, we couldn’t be prouder! If you can’t hear us we’ll shout a little louder! (Repeat until point is clearly proven, or the teachers tell you to stop.)

Cheer 4:

B-L-U-E/G-O-L-D! That's how we spell Victory! Gooooooo (color) Team!


Page 11 Insurgent Movie Review By: Riley M., 7A and Kayla C., 7B

The Arts In this sequel, characters Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) and Tobias Eaton (Theo James) go on a thrill-filled adventure battling against the evil Erudite faction, a group of people who are greedy for power and control. They try to secure justice and equality in their government. In this movie we can tell that Tobias and Tris are searching for a very much needed equality and fairness in all of the factions. Actress Shailene Woodley shows growth for her character, Tris, through her strength and willpower; she was able break out of her shell and truly put herself out there. A strong female lead, Woodley’s character, Tris, is often compared to the character Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. Both are strong female leads who know how to take charge of a situation and stand up for what they

believe in; if you look more closely they show that they should have their rights and not to be left to dry with someone making their choices. Woodley’s acting lacked the excitement and mystery that was portrayed in the first movie. She is able to transform herself and truly put herself into the mindset of the character she is portraying. While still an amazing actress, at this point in her career fans and critics could have expected a bit more from her. She has been a part of so many movies and TV shows in the past, that the quality level of her acting should have risen. Shailene is an inspiration to young girls, so critics and others want her to put out her best self, and do what she does best: act. Other stars, such as Theo James, left most in utter awe with their obvious skill and emotional depth portrayed from their characters.

genres ranging from 1960s rock and roll to reggae to gritty hip-hop. On this release, Phil enters an alternate music universe with the four songs that make up the recording—“Well,” “CPC,” “Rev13,” and “Crit31.” Two of these tracks feature classy instrumentals reminiscent of a College Dropout or Late Registration beat. The other two have a gritty instrumental that were influenced by beats by Earl Sweatshirt and instrumental tracks by Tyler, the

Creator. Overall, the project is short, but we’re getting quality over quantity here, a taste of Phil’s style, and evidence of an entry onto the scene. Although there are no lyrics in this EP, the emotion is shown through the instrumentals.When I sat down to talk to Phil about his release, this was one of the topics that I addressed. Allen said, “I decided to not use words because I felt as though lyrics would take away from the musical factor.” I also asked him if we could expect

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and This album opens up with a hardSometimes I Just Sit Review rocking track entitled, “Elevator By: Phil A., 8B Operator.” The guitar riff is simple and repetitive. This being true, it is On March 20th, 2015, an Australian made up for by the vocals of musician and songwriter named Courtney Barnett that takeover this Courtney Barnett released her debut whole album. album entitled Sometimes I Sit and Throughout the album, you can feel Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. This a sense of authenticity. When being album has a feel of alternative rock recorded, Courtney Barnett was and pop feel to its music, but it is aiming for a garage-rock type sound. driven mostly by its poetic lyrics as a The album was mixed to imperfect catalyst. standards as opposed to the high Courtney Barnett’s writing is fidelity mastering that most recording reminiscent of Kurt Cobain’s and her artists do nowadays. It doesn’t take guitar playing is reminiscent of Billie away from the greatness of the album, Joe Armstrong’s. But, it’s a little but to some people who appreciate different. She’s got a sense of humor raw recording, it was a bonus to some and her own unique way of thinking. listeners. Listening to each track on this album In my opinion, this album was opened up a new perspective for me. awesome, but in comparison to a lot Barnett has a way of writing that can of the other albums that have come make one think. Her lyrics are out recently, it’s alright. When it creative. Take for example: “In my comes to album release, timing is a mind, I re-arrange the letters on the total factor. Her long-titled album was page to spell your name.¨ released during the buzz of the releases of Kendrick Lamar, Earl

Sweatshirt, Madonna, and Modest Mouse. Still, for its timing, the album performed well sales-wise, hitting #1 on the Billboard US Rock, Alternative, Independent, and Folk charts.

The second installation in the Divergent Series, Insurgent, was recently released to theatres, and it’s just as action-packed as the first movie in the trilogy, which was simply called Divergent. In the first film, which also starred Shailene Woodley, we learn about the Divergent, people who have the power to fight back against the serums, which are mind controlling drugs that the factions use to keep everyone in order while battling against the Erudite Faction. In this movie, Tris, runs away with her brother, Caleb Prior, enemy, Peter, and boyfriend, Tobias Eaton. When running she experiences the grief of losing loved ones, and the guilt of doing wrong, something that we can all relate to. Veto: A Debut EP from NFA Musician Phil A. By: Brendan H. , 8B You may know the eighth grade student in this review personally. He’s Phillip A., a soon-to-be graduate of your very own NFA. If you know him, you will more than likely understand his enthusiasm for music. This enthusiasm is evident on his debut EP (extended player), a four track effort called “Veto” that includes

May 2015

The casting for this movie also included stars such as Ansel Elgort, who other than playing Tris’s brother Caleb, also played Augustus Waters in the hit movie and book The Fault in Our Stars. With a Cast full of stars there was no doubt in my mind that Insurgent wouldn't be a hit movie.

more projects from him in 2015 and he said, “I might, but it will probably be more rock oriented than the Veto EP.” Phillip A.’s experimental side will definitely be shown on full display in the future and will be remembered as a part of the NFA community. Score: 4 out of 5: “Hot”

For a debut, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, is a great album. Courtney Barnett obviously has a future in the music business.


May 2015

The Arts

Page 12

The Bear Print Book Club Winner of the 15-Word Book Review Contest

“Blog. Girls. Hot Dog? Doug. Dances. Grandma. Shaving. Kickflips. Lots of Peanut Butter. Planet Tad!” —Jake G. and John P., 7C Ana C. First of all, congrats to John and Jake. As soon as we saw your review, it immediately stood out above the rest. And while Sophie and I were impressed by all of the entries, we were instantly captivated and wanted to read Planet Tad. Now, onto the book review. Planet Tad is the story of Tad, a seventh grader who just hopes to survive his seventh grade year (and maybe figure out how to do a kickflip on his skateboard). Ironically, I would not immediately recommend this book to seventh graders. Sure it’s filled with gags and humor that all ages could enjoy, but personally, I would urge anyone in fourth grade and up to read Planet Tad. As someone who often looks at the story from a more technical angle, I was definitely pleased to see the formatting as something a bit unordinary. In other words, I liked that the story was written in blog form, with Tad posting entries each day over the course of a year. It was nice to see how he changed from January 1st of one year to January 1st of the next; it also provided a satisfying conclusion that really wrapped up the story. Unfortunately, I’d say that’s where my praise of the story ends. I often felt like the author was trying a bit too hard to make the readers laugh, especially when he blogs about things that have no relation to the story, such as how “Werewolves are badly named; they’re not people who were wolves. They’re people who are wolves. They should be called arewolves.” I understand that Tad’s deep, unanswerable questions of the universe may be entertaining to some, but, personally, that just isn’t what appeals to me.

To build off of what Sophie says in her review later in this column, I found that Tad just was a character that didn’t have a lot of special qualities. And, while some may argue that this is what makes the book worth reading, I felt there was nothing that distinguished Tad from any other middle-school character out there. I also want to mention the words of Stephen Colbert, one of the critics featured on the book cover: “This book will make you laugh. If you’re not into that sort of thing, consider yourself warned.” While I can obviously see what Colbert meant, I personally take it another way, which I find to have more truth. Basically, I see him saying that if you aren’t into the sort of gaglike humor that Planet Tad has to offer, then it might not be the book for you. That is the best review of the book I can give, because unfortunately it just isn’t for everyone. While this book might not be the most life-changing thing I’ve ever read, I felt like it was a nice break from the heavy, dramatic books I often read. So, if you’re looking for a light summer read, I’d definitely recommend Planet Tad. Sophie G. Congratulations, John P. and Jake G. for winning the fifteen word book review contest! In return for your hard work, I have read the book you reviewed, Planet Tad by Tim Carvell. So, here goes nothing. Planet Tad follows the life of a middle school boy who is, shockingly, named Tad. He is supposed to be portrayed as your average seventh grade guy, just trying to survive middle school. He has simple goals, like starting to shave, to help him get through the year.

Unfortunately, I found Tad to be a basic character, who did not come to life and engage the reader. He was one-dimensional and his story stopped when the book closed. I suppose the best way to explain this is to compare it. When I was reading An Abundance of Katherines, I thought about Colin even after I closed the book. When I wasn’t reading, I was predicting, reflecting, trying to figure out every facet of the story. When I was reading Planet Tad, as soon as I closed the book, Tad’s story ended. I didn’t think about him again until I physically opened the book and began reading. Reviews praising the book almost always comment on its hilarity. But the sense of humor was childish, and trying too hard at the same time. I felt

as if the author sat there thinking to himself, “How can I be funny?” and resorted to jokes popular in first grade. However, if you enjoy this sense of humor (and there’s nothing wrong with that), Planet Tad might just be the book for you. I can’t honestly say that, if given the choice, I would choose to read Planet Tad. Our senses of humor didn’t match and the characters didn’t hold the qualities I look for. However, I would like to say that it is a good book for our younger crowd of third and fourth graders who enjoy a quick read for the summer. Unfortunately, we can’t like every book we read, and Planet Tad just didn’t hit home for me.

Top Three Runner-Ups “You will be enchanted by this gripping mystery, and the witty girl who solves it.” — The Secret Letter, Nick M., 7B “What if I told you the attack America dreaded most would be an inside job.”— Divided We Fall, Sam P., 7A “Adventurous, full of excitement and mystery. A maze, 41 people, anxious to get out - alive.” — The Maze Runner, Benji M. and John B., 7C


Page 13 NFA 8th Graders Ride Their Way to Victory in Kentucky By: Gianna B., 7B The Prince Philip Cup, in the Horseback riding world, is a momentous occasion for teens all around the country. In order to qualify for this Kentucky-based national horse racing event, a team must first place in Regionals and then Nationals. This year, two of our very own NFA Students, Kaja N. and Madison C., have qualified for this race, along with the three other members of their team, the Avengers. They received this fantastic news in mid-July, and have been preparing ever since. “It’s not as easy as everyone thinks,” says Kaja, a ten year rider, “You have to be in shape, and your horse has to be in shape. It’s a pretty long process.” And that it is. In order to prepare for the Prince Philip Cup, which took place from April 25-26, Kaja and Madison trained every weekend with their team, practicing on their own practically every day. They also participated in what they call clinics, which is where the team brings in a different teacher, besides their normal coach, who coaches them for a short period of time, a week for example. They even had a clinic during spring break. On Tuesday April 23, Kaja and Madison, their horses, Sparky and Rosie, their team, their parents, and their coach arrived in Kentucky, the home of the Prince Philip Cup, and got settled in, preparing to start training the next day, although it would seem that the day would see a lot more action than originally intended. A Visit to the Campanile By: Alyssa C., 7A, Riley M., 7A, and Ellie S., 7A As we first walked into the Mount’s Newspaper Committee (The Campanile), we were a bit confused. The girls were sitting in a circle, painting their nails in a room that was the size of a closet. We expected there to be thirty girls in the club, but, at that moment, there were four. Assuming the girls would be hard at work during their after school meeting, we were surprised to see such a casual environment. Little did we know that this was not an official meeting. It was actually the night of their Junior Prom, yet they had stayed for us in spite of their big night to allow us to interview them for the Bear Print. After we settled in, we were introduced to Mrs. Leonard, the moderator of their newspaper club, who was compared to retired NFA

Student and Alumni Profiles The next morning, April 24, one day before the tournament started, the team woke up early, and spent the day doing what they call Hack, which is where trainers warm up the horses and show them their surroundings. Kaja and Madisons’ team, the Avengers, did that off and on all day, meeting other teams in between, and catching up with teams they had already known. They even met up with another team, Lemonade, a group from Florida who had beat them the year before, to talk and hang out. In competition, though, teams get worried, and Lemonade was worried that the Avengers had gotten a little better, so they tried, clumsily, to psyche them out, and get them in trouble with the committee running the event. Luckily, though, it didn’t work, and the girls went to bed that night, more ready than ever. After months and months of preparation and training, the day they had been waiting for had arrived: It was the first competition day, and Madison and Kaja were ready. The day consisted of ten different races, each one including four members from each team and one member sitting out as a substitute in case someone was hurt. The races, though, were not like the Kentucky Derby where the horses just race around the ring. These races— including Mug Shuffle, Two Flag, Stepping Stone, Windsor, Bending, Bottle, Association, Hilo, Egg and Spoon—were a lot different than most horseback riding competitions known by popular audiences, making it more interesting for the viewers, and more challenging for the competitors. The Avengers’ put in a strong teacher, Mrs. Hosmer, who they all adore. Two of the students are NFA alums. Grace Hogan, the editor-in-chief, and Eva McGrath, a Photoshop specialist, immediately expressed their love of their committee with great excitement, explaining how it has prepared them for college. “It helps us to learn how to organize schedules and make deadlines. It’s also great for making new friends, and making your school experience better. It also involves learning a different style of writing.” As three members of the Bear Print, we understand 100% what they mean

May 2015

performance; they won most of their races, making few mistakes, but it wasn’t over yet, because there was still one more day of competition. April 26 had finally arrived, the last day of competition, awards day. It was the day Kaja, Madison, and the rest of the Avengers would see if all of their hard work would finally pay off. It did. After another long day of competition, including ten more races, all different than that of the first day, the results were in: The Avengers won, taking home the first place prize, and winning the trophy they practiced so hard to win.

Winning a championship like that takes a lot of work and dedication, and at first glance it might be hard to understand how someone so young could accomplish something so great. “Of course it’s hard,” says Madison, 
 “We spent forever getting ready for this, but we love it, so we do it. Plus, I mean, we won, so it’s totally worth it.” Madison and Kaja did a great thing. Yes, they worked hard to win, and to earn that trophy, but that’s not why they do what they do. They do it because they love it, and we should, too.

by deadlines and learning writing techniques. They also agreed with us that it would be great if everyone (or anyone that had an interest in writing) would join a Newspaper Committee to gain friends and new skills, even with all the work it takes to write six editions every year. And although it wasn’t their original idea to join the newspaper committee (both were recruited by Mrs. Leonard), the newspaper room, which

is tucked away from the rest, is now their favorite on campus. Here, they have learned much about many topics and people, and, of course, writing in general. “Be persistent and like what you’re writing about,” McGrath said. “If not, it will probably show through.” “If it doesn’t work out the first time, try again,” added Hogan. “Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what you like to write about.”

Logo courtesy of msjacad.org newspaper archives


Page 14

May 2015

Advice

Below, Dan Timoney, an NFA 8th grader, writes a guest column for the Ask Titus feature. In his column, he reflects on a timely concern for NFA’s soon-to-be stage-walking students. Dear Dan, I’m a little nervous about my graduation. I’m afraid I might trip when I walk across the stage. Do you have any advice on how I could avoid this embarrassment? From, Concerned Dear Concerned,

Dear Titus, I am suffering from a severe case of the hiccups. I am having trouble eating, drinking, and talking. What can I do to cure my ailment? From, John P. Dear John, I have explored various healing methods over the years. Some have worked; others, which involved a lot of sugar, have caused organ failure. Anyway, many people make up the excuse to eat sugar to cure hiccups, but I think all of us know they just eat it because they didn't get their dessert that day. So, now that we’ve cleared out what fails to work, let’s focus more on what does. One of my favorite methods is just holding my breath. For me, it works every time. Just don’t hold it too long, otherwise you may pass out. Another method which is rumored to work is drinking water from the opposite side of the glass. But, I have no idea how to do that. It seems impossible. So, sorry, John, I can’t really direct you there. A final good method is getting a friend to make you laugh. Although it may take a while, it always works because, as they say, laughter is the best medicine.. But what if you need advice on how to actually get a friend to laugh? Some good ways to cause a wailing are shown in the last issue of the Bear Print where I wrote about my favorite April Fool’s jokes. Play these on another friend while Mister Hiccup watches. John, I hope I could help and if these don't work then see me personally after school so you can then try the Hiccup Fixer Machine I’ve been building. Sincerely, Titus

Dear Readers, Looking for advice on any of life’s major questions? Please email me at my nfaacad account. Maybe I’ll respond to your question in my next column. Sincerely, Titus

I understand how stressed you are about this timeless concern. From baseball to booktalks, I too, have gone through the woes and worries of maintaining my poise in front of a large group of people. Fortunately, I have some advice that may lead you on the right path, away from failure, embarrassment, and humiliation, and towards that coveted diploma. First, you must scope out the terrain of the stage and the path leading to it. Don’t try too hard, though. You’ll look a little odd and oblivious if you’re just staring straight ahead. Still, keep your head up; otherwise, you will lose sight of the teacher and consequently walk around like a chicken with its head cut off. On the mental side, make sure that you feel calm and confident, and alleviate any fears you may have. One strategy for this is imagining a time you won something like a trophy or a prize. Hopefully it will give you that surge of confidence that you need. It’s important that you do this otherwise you will give way to your body’s more clumsy tendencies and unbalanced reflexes. Now, if you take my advice but still find yourself in the worst case scenario on graduation day—tripping on stage—you unmistakably failed a simple task and made a complete and utter fool of yourself. On the lighter side, you made a memorable graduation day for everyone present and will probably have the chance to give your classmates the last breath of laughter they will experience as a student at Norwood-Fontbonne Academy. Sincerely, Dan T., 8B, an Almost-Alum

Hiccup Fixer Prototype


The Campus Pulse

May 2015

Page 15

NUGGETS FROM NORWOOD, PHRASES FROM FONTBONNE In this feature we sit down with some NFA students and ask them one question. For the summer issue we asked, of course, “What’s your perfect summer day?” Below, the students’ responses:

3A "When I get to go to Legoland in California."

JLA3 "Walking my dogs in the park."

8A "Tanning in Tahiti"

8A “Going to Avalon.”

JLC1 "Disney World."

8C "Waking up late and eating Lucky Charms."

3A "Sitting on the beach getting tan."

3A "Fishing."

Summer Overdrive at NFA

Don’t forget! As an NFA student in Grades 4-8, you have access to the NFA Overdrive. What is it? A collection of ebooks that can be borrowed whenever and wherever. What are NFA students saying about it? "I used it on my spring break vacation, and I can't wait to use it on my summer vacation too!" "I love using Overdrive because I can log on wherever I am! I plan to use it this summer." How do you access it? Using the Overdrive app or website, find the Library called "Norwood-Fontbonne Academy." Login ID: 4 digit google account number Password: 12345 Contact Miss Craige is you have any book requests!


Page 16

Games and Visuals

May 2015

The Bear Print Travels the World! Can you guess (or even conclude) where each of the following students and teachers took the Bear Print while on vacation this past Easter break? Use clues from the pictures to make a guess, and then fill in your answer in the space provided. Check back in the Back to School Issue of the Bear Print for answers!

City: _______________Country: ______

City: _____________ Country_________

City: ___________ Country: _______

City: ________________ Country: ______

By: Ian Y., 7B


May 2015

GUESS WHO? BY: KEVIN C.

Games and Visuals Ms. Craige, NFA’s library and media teacher, was the answer to our “Guess Who?” from the spring edition of the Bear Print. Below, Ms. Craige shares some of her thoughts on the book she chose and on reading in general. Why is this a book you like to read? I chose to feature The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen because I love reading it aloud to the younger students at NFA. Its illustrations and storyline keep the readers engaged throughout the story. When a circus ship gets stuck on the coast, the animals must swim to shore. When they arrive in a small town in Maine, they take cover by hiding in places that disguise them really well. It’s fun to work together to try and spot each animal! How do you encourage reading at NFA? I encourage NFA students to read as often as possible at a level that is comfortable for them. I love having conversations with students about reading and specific books and authors. I hope that NFA students enjoy what they find in the NFA Library because we always try to suit their needs.

Traveling this summer? Take the Bear Print with you and send a photo with you, the newspaper, and a landmark, and then send it to newspaper@norfon.org. We plan to feature another "Bear Print Travels the World" feature in an upcoming issue!

Page 17 Answers from the previous edition of the Bear Print: Crossword Craze Across 5. Sister Denise 7. Apple 12. Finders 13. Name 15. Ariel 18. Mercy 19. Sister Josephine 20. Sponge 21. Madness 24. Break 26. Day 27. Villa

Down 1. Joseph 2. Katharine 3. Mermaid 4. Daegi 6. Strawberries 8. Pizza 9. Montessori 10. “You Raise Me Up” 11. Terra 14. College 16. Arc 17. Roosters 19. Stout 22. Aladdin 23. Shadow 25. Leap

Guess the Teacher #1— Ms. Pavlo #2 —Mr. D' Orazio #3— Sister Marjorie #4 —Mrs. McGlinchey


Page 18

Games & Visuals

Crossword Craze By Alyssa C., 7A

May 2015

GUESS WHO? BY: KEVIN C.

Do you know which NFA teacher loves Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss?

Want answers? See the next Bear Print! Check out the answers to the last crossword on page 17.


NFA Geographic

May 2015

Page 19

Inspired by our recent trips to the Morris Arboretum, the Newspaper Committee has designed a new feature to highlight the diversity of biological life on NFA’s campus: “NFA Geographic." For each issue, we’ll choose one living thing and describe it from both a scientific angle and literary angle (a poem, a fictional letter, a story, or some other genre.) If you have an idea for a species to highlight on either of NFA’s two campuses, please email Alyssa C., Mr. Alfarano, and Mr. Mannix.

Oak Tree Poem By: Isabelle C., 6A Oak tree, oak trees, home to many creatures Let’s tell the world about your great many features The dirt by the roots, house the tiny, black mole The big, thick trunk has the warm rabbit hole Now up a little further, the oak has some branches. Which, to smaller critters, seem like vast, wild ranches! Squirrels scurry ‘round, and their friends are giving chase. While yet even higher, birds look for prey at the base. And forever God looks down at his exotic masterpiece. A work of art full of life, full of joy, full of peace.

The Red Oak: By Matt C. What it is: The red oak is a very important tree for humans. This hardwood tree is very strong and it is used for many houses in America. Not only is the red oak useful for humans, but it is also useful for animals. When the acorns from the tree fall in Autumn, animals like deer eat the acorns for fat to stay alive in the winter.

The Red Oak

Where you can find it: If you look in the middle of the circle on the Fontbonne campus, you see a big tree, but did you know that this tree is a Red Oak? This tree gets to its maximum height at 80 feet. It only takes thirty years to become fully mature. That is very fast for oaks. Why we chose it: The tree’s leaves turn red in the fall because of the loss of chlorophyll in the stems, and I think the builders of The NFA school put this tree here because of how beautiful it looks in the fall. Not only is the tree important to people and animals, it is also important to the history of NFA because it has been here for such a long time. In “Where Are They Now?" students return to a scientific topic they researched earlier in their NFA careers to assess any new understandings or breakthroughs. In this case, 8th grader Katherine C. returns to the the Dwarf planet Ceres after last researching it in 4th grade. New Possibilities Found on Ceres By: Katherine C., 8B

The Sunlit side of the dwarf planet Ceres: Photo Courtesy of NASA (May 5, 2015)

The dwarf planet Ceres, although not one of the highly studied planets, has recently caught scientists' eyes. The Dawn Probe, sent by the US space agency NASA, has arrived at Ceres after its visit to the asteroid Vesta. The scientists behind the satellite noticed a highly reflective area on the surface of the dwarf planet. After further inspection, two spots were located. This excited scientists, because spots with highly reflective properties are highly uncommon.

Photo Credit: Sister Marjorie

A theory of how these spots came to be is that a collision occurred in the past that actually broke off part of the dwarf planet’s Southern Hemisphere. Once this colossal impact happened, it is believed that the inside of Ceres was revealed. Without any background knowledge of these kind of occurrences in space, you may wonder why this reflection is so important. Scientists could infer by these craters found on Ceres that there is a possibility of water. If this theory is correct, it would be a great scientific breakthrough. However, before scientists are able to celebrate, they must look further into this notion. The Dawn Probe will be lowering down into the planet’s gravity so that it can get a closer look at the intriguing reflection. So, for now, we must wait and cross our fingers, but hopefully we will receive more information about this fascinating dwarf planet.


Page 20

The Back Page

May 2015

Our very own Bear & Snowman send a summer farewell to NFA straight from the Bahamas. By: Ellie S. , 7A

Summer Writing Ideas June

July

Elaborate on the top ten reasons why your favorite summer place is the best. Develop a “Guide to Cure Summer Boredom.” Write a detailed recipe for your favorite summer food. Write an argument for why a song should be known as the “Song of the Summer.” Write a letter for Father’s Day. Research the science behind the Summer Solstice and organize it into a report. Write a letter to yourself that you can only open the week before school starts.

August

Create a poem about the fireworks on the 4th of July. Write a letter to an ice cream truck convincing them that they should stop by your house every day. Write a fictional story from your point of view, which is from the perspective of someone looking out from your window. Create an argument paper for Mother Nature claiming your favorite season should be the only season. Write a noun collage about things in a pool.

Write a letter to your favorite restaurant saying why you should get free dessert. Develop a school survival guide to read before or during the school year. Research how boardwalks came to be and develop into it a report. Write a poem on your favorite summer snack. Write a story (that includes you!) that is based off of your favorite movie or book. Create an argument paper for your parents to convince them to travel to your favorite vacation spot. Interview the people around you (i.e. neighbors, family) and write a profile on them.

By: Ellie S. , 7A

Editor in Chief Alyssa C. Assistant Editors in Chief Riley M. Ellie S.

Editors Dariya Ana C. Ellie S. Writers Phil A. Gianna B. Dariya B.

Jack B. Isabelle C. Kevin C. Ana C. Kelly D. Sophie G. Brendan H. Leo H. Zhen M.

Lucia M. Riley M. Tim M. Layla R. Ellie S. Elise S.

Producers Alyssa C. Riley M. Ellie S. Photographers Kayla C.

Artists Cate A. Joe V. Darby V. Moderators Mr. Alfarano Ms. Craige Mr. Mannix

Bear Print Summer 2015 Issue  
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