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Volume 45 Issue 4

December 2011 45


Freedom High School - 3149 Chester Avenue - Bethlehem, PA 18020 -

It's All Fine on Riverside

Republican Candidates Saying “Oops” By Abby Deely, Staff

Andrew Mattei / Photo Editor

By Luisa Marin, News Editor For the well-being of all, St. Luke's has opened up an new hospital in Bethlehem Township. Freemansburg Avenue and Route 33 are now the site of the Richard A. Anderson Campus hospital, commonly known as Riverside.

The hospital includes a cancer treatment center, an inpatient hospital, and a medical building. The current parts of the hospital are known as the first phase and cost about $100 million to build. Riverside is the regions first “green” health care campus. Offering leading-edge technology, the campus provides

environmentally friendly buildings and energy efficient lighting, and heating and cooling systems. The plans for Riverside were created by clinicians, administrators, planners, employees and cancer survivors. All together they made sure that the new hospital was well equipped for conducive health, healing, and well being.

In addition, the hospital will serve as an education center for training new medical professionals. The community hospital is composed of five floors. The first floor is the center of the

Ask President Obama what his campaign strategy is, and he has been known to pause for a moment before saying, “We may just run clips of the Republican debates verbatim.” Although humorous in nature, some believe that might be an effective campaign strategy because nearly all the republican candidates have made many mistakes that have left the public second guessing them. The factual failings of the GOP candidates started gaining attention when Michele Bachmann called into question Governor Perry‟s policy mandating Texan girls to get the HPV vaccine.

(Continued on page 2HOSPITAL)

Following the Penn State Scandal By Ryan Shaikh, Asst. Sports Editor

Photo illustration by Tyler Alicea / Editor-in-Chief

[Top] Amanda Decker, junior; Cliff Harewood, senior; Jackson Zappas, junior; Jacob Sternberg, junior; [Bottom] Josh Grube, junior; Klearsi Onofre, junior; and Rebecca Coriell, sophomore, show their support for Penn State.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Should Athletes be Exempt from Gym? (p. 4) Pen & Ink (p. 6) Holidays at FHS (p. 8-9) “Breaking Dawn” Review (p. 11) Winter Sports Preview (p. 12)

Child molestation and Pennsylvania State University will forever be linked to each other because of the allegations against Jerry Sandusky. In early November, a grand jury report was released stating that Jerry Sandusky sexually harassed eight children. He is facing 40 counts of child molestation including rape. These reported actions occurred during his youth football camps held at the University for his charity called “Second Mile.” This is a non-profit organization that helps troubled kids with selfesteem issues in Pennsylvania. Most of his illegal actions with children oc-

curred in the shower after the camp. In an interview with NBC‟s Bob Costas, Sandusky admitted that he took showers with the kids, but denies that he is a pedophile. “I have horsed around with kids,” said Sandusky. “I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.” Jerry Sandusky was not the only man listed in the report. Mike McQueary was reported to have seen Sandusky molesting a child in a shower. McQueary said he told Joe Paterno, former head football coach, the next day. McQueary said he stopped the abuse and filed a police report, but the State College Police Department said there is no report on file. (Continued on page 2PSU) / Gage Skidmore

Bachmann was asked why she opposed Perry‟s policy, and she told reporters of a woman whose healthy teenage daughter had gotten the vaccine and then had become mentally retarded. Bachmann did not fact check this story. After this, Bachmann suffered though a blitz of media outrage; killing any chance of her becoming president. Luckily for Bachmann, her anti -vaccine statement was forgotten with Rick Perry‟s „oops‟ moment. During one of the GOP debates, Perry was asked how he would balance the budget. With his confident Texan smile he told the promoter, “When I get there, there‟ll be three agencies I'll end: commerce, education...” His smile faded when he could (Continued on page 2-GOP)

2 News The Freedom Forum A Publication of Freedom High School Bethlehem Area School District 3149 Chester Avenue Bethlehem PA, 18020 (610) 867-5843

Editor-in-Chief Tyler Alicea News Editor Luisa Marin Editorial Editor Julie Boylan Features Editor Ashley Eichlin Entertainment Editor Courtney Barrow Sports Editor Mike McGinty Pates‟ Post Editor Amanda Molinaro Centerspread Editor Mackenzie Liberatori Photo Editor Andrew Mattei Layout Editor Haroon Ahmad Web Editor Krystal Domin Assistant Editors Anna Thomas Faarah Ameerally Ryan Shaikh Adam Duser Zach Ward

Adviser Mrs. Karla Erdman Principal Mr. Michael LaPorta Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy For our editorial statement and corrections policy, please go to Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! @fhsforum, #fhsforum

Sponsors Ron and Patty Williams Gold Level

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Kim and Rick Giamportone Steel Level Interested in sponsoring The Freedom Forum? Stop by room 210 for a form or email our adviser at

The Forum (Continued from page 1—GOP)

not name the third agency, even with help from Ron Paul. After a minute of looking though notes and racking his brain, Perry ended his statement (Continued from page 1—PSU)

This scandal did not just affect Jerry Sandusky, but it also has cost high profile jobs throughout the whole university. (Continued from page 1— HOSPITAL)

hospital. It includes the Emergency Department, the laboratory, the Radiology/GE Department, Interventional and Cardiac

December 2011

with a campaign destroying „oops‟. Perry‟s already falling poll number sank as many supporters saw his oops as a lack of policy understanding. Supporters turned to Herman

Cain, until Cain had an „oopsmoment‟ as well. Cain in a recent interview was asked his opinion on Obama‟s action in Libya. Cain became flustered; it took him several minutes to even

recall that a Libyan revolution had taken place let alone that the U.S. had played a major role. Cain‟s mistake has an upside; it made people forget about the many women who are accusing him of sexual harassment.

Joe Paterno, head coach of the university‟s football team, and Graham Spanier, president of Pennsylvania State University have been fired. Mike McQueary, wide receiv-

ers‟ coach, was put on administrative paid leave of absence for his safety. Also, Tim Curley, athletic director, stepped down from his position.

All of these moves were made by the university‟s board of trustees within four days after the allegations were made public.

Catheterization Procedure Unit, and the surgical services. The rest of the floors are either patient rooms or critical care rooms. The Anderson Campus also features an internal medicine

unit for physicals, prevention of chronic illness, health education, and lifestyle guidance. In other words, St. Lukes has everything needed for health related issues. No matter the health need, the

Anderson Campus can address it all by bringing the best of technology, education, and medicine to the Lehigh Valley.

Anonymous Takes Control of News Feeds By Navea Frazier, Staff Facebook is penned as a “social utility that connects you with the people around you,” yet for three days in mid-November some of the website‟s 800 million users became connected with people they hardly knew. From Nov. 15-17, Facebook was barraged with malicious images that fell outside of the site‟s rules and guidelines. The spam attack, which technology analysts at CNN and The Huffington Post was allegedly planned by the hacker-activist group Anonymous, targeted the news feeds of users who were thereby duped into spreading “pictures of extreme violence and explicit sexual situations.” With this latest occurrence, many are wondering how spam seeps through the cracks of a powerful social media force like Facebook, and what Facebook will do to prevent possible like occurrences in the future. Spam--and not the one that you eat with crackers--coincides with the advent of the Internet and online social media during the mid 1990s. Spam can be defined as “unsolicited usually commercial e-mail sent to a large number of addresses,” and even contributes the origin of the word to an episode of the British television comedy “Monty Python‟s Flying Circus.” However the malicious

schemes that spammers and hackers play on the masses are no laughing matter. Generally, spam consists of false advertisements for meeting local singles in your area; in fact, CNN reports that over 89% of all email content contains spam. Facebook, on the other hand, uses security devices like malware programming to protect its users from the spam scams, and only three percent of its content is

accounted for in spam. Yet, with the newest, and more sneaky spam attacks on Facebook, the website cannot guarantee complete protection. The website offers ways to protect users on its blog, stating that users should develop complex passwords and always report behavior. The website also created a Trusted Friends tool, so that users who

have hacked accounts can safely receive their information. In all, the offensive of spammers and hackers is never-ending, but Facebook is on the defensive.

Photo illustration by Andrew Mattei / Photo Editor

Corrections It was incorrectly reported in the Nov. 2011 issue that Hannah Arnold is a freshman. She is a sophomore.

The Bell Count 6-5, LHS Next “Bell Match” Jan. 3, Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball

News 3

The Forum

December 2011

China Expands Military Strength By Julie Boylan, Editorial Editor In the latest of a string of Chinese military buildups, China announced on Nov. 18 that it would strengthen its ties to ally North Korea. However, concrete details on actual military plans were not forthcoming, and the vow may be more of a political symbol of China‟s continuing support for the Democratic People‟s Republic of Korea (DPRK) – North Korea‟s official name – as nuclear disarmament talks between Pyongyang and Seoul remain at a standstill. This latest announcement adds to the speculation of China‟s continuing military strength. At some 1.25 million ground troops, China‟s People‟s Liberation Army is already the largest in the world. Yet, China is well on its way to its goal of building

a modern, regionally-focused military by 2020. According to an annual report titled “Military and Security Developments Involving the People‟s Republic of China 2011”, China is currently in the works of developing anti-ship ballistic missiles, its own airship carriers, and a new-generation stealth jet fighter, the J-20. The Army also continues to hold its gaze on Taiwan, which China has claimed as part of its sovereign territory since World War Two. The Chinese military has as many as 1,200 short-range missiles in Taiwan‟s direction. While the report held no significant new information, the disputes over territory in the South China Sea have caused increased interest in the flexing muscles of the Chinese military. China has claimed territory in the South China Sea that dips

well below what the United States considers international water. The South China Sea, an area of over one million square feet, is speculated to have sizeable amounts of oil and natural gas that many countries in the fast developing East Asia covet. One archipelago in the South China Sea, known as the Spratly Islands, is being claimed by six countries including China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. Vietnamese and Philippine officials say that China is impeding on their exploration for gas and oil. Vietnamese officials additionally claim that twice since May, Chinese military boats have cut cables used by Vietnamese ship in order to conduct seismic tests on the sea bottom. Taiwan also complains of China‟s threats of invasion and

Luther Bailey /

the firing of ballistic missiles over the Taiwan Strait. Meanwhile, in response to the influx of economic and military development in east Asia, President Obama was the first American president to attend the East Asian Summit in late No-

vember in Indonesia. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she and Obama were “expecting to participate in very open and frank discussions” on the topic of the South China Sea disputes.

Rebellions Continue to Haunt By Thomas Nguyen, Staff The rebellion in Syria, which began in March 2011, has been dragging on for over 8 months with no real sign of it ending. At least 20 more people were killed over the span of 24 hours. According to activists, gunmen attacked factory workers in the village of Houla on Wed. Nov. 1 killing 11 people. They claim that the workers were either found with their hands tied behind their backs and decapitated or shot in the head. There was also a second attack on a group of workers in which gunmen attacked a bus carrying the workers home. They allowed the women to flee, but

shot and killed the rest. At the time, the Arab League was expected to release a plan on that to ease the tension

within the country, calling for a removal of tanks and armored vehicles in the streets, as well as free elections within the coun-

Gwenael Piaser /

try. The latest attacks make the death toll of the Syrian rebellion officially reach over 3,500. The Arab League claims that there will be a penalties for Assad‟s bloody crackdown on the people. Turkey has already placed sanctions on Syria in hopes of stopp ing the b lood shed . There have also been multiple attempts to calm down the rebellion, such as the release of political prisoners among other demands, but the government under President Assad will not relent. Assad has continually denied or failed to respond to proposals made. The most recent propose was supposed to have 500 monitors placed in Syria, and that has

been completely ignored by President Assad. The incident on Friday November 25 was the latest in casualties with six elite pilots along with four technical officers killed by Assad‟s forces in an ambush attack. The members of the Arab League disagree over the strategies they should use to stop the rebellion. Gulf Arab nations aimed to remove Syria from the league, while others such as Egypt and Sudan want to continue engaging with the rebellion. They can all agree on one point though. They must keep Syria from becoming another Lybia.

The Competition is On Fire By Nicole O‟Connor, Staff Avid readers have left behind the idea of traditional paper books and have started switching to the increasingly popular computerized books, or ereaders. Recently, new and improved versions of Barnes & Noble‟s Nook Tablet as well as Amazon‟s Kindle Fire have been released. The new Nook Tablet is a step up from Barnes & Noble‟s earlier e-reader, the Nook Color, which was launched over a year ago. The screen remains unchanged, with both the color and the tablet having 7-inch touch screens. It is almost half the size of the popular iPad. The Nook Tablet comes with an improved memory and data processor, as well as longer battery

life that holds up to 11.5 hours of reading. It also comes with a Micro SD card slot that makes it possible to hold and extra 16 gigabytes (GB) of storage. The Nook Tablet has a fully customizable screen, making it possible to add and organize applications (apps), magazines, and book covers. Among the available apps are Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, and Rhapsody. Barnes & Noble has successfully improved its e-reader without completely changing the original product. Amazon has also made improvements to its original product and released the Kindle Fire. Not only can the Kindle Fire be used for downloading ebooks, but it also allows for the streaming of TV and movies. The Fire has 8 GB of storage, which is said to be enough for 80 apps along with 10 movies, 800 songs, or 6,000 books.

Previously, the Kindle only offered 4 GB of storage. However, the Kindle Fire gives free storage for all digital content in the Amazon Cloud. It holds up to 8 hours of reading, about 3 hours less than its opponent, the Nook Tablet. The Kindle Fire has a vibrant color IPS, instead of the traditional black and white used in the former Kindles. Both e-readers offer state of the art technology that make for a more interesting reading experience. Whether you own an ereader or prefer traditional printed books, e-readers are here to stay, and they get better every year.

Andrew Mattei / Photo Editor

4 Editorials

The Forum

December 2011

Get the Letter, Make the Grade By Flannery Johnston, Staff Different schools have different ways of running their sports‟ programs and some include that students participating on varsity sports teams do not have to take gym class. Freedom should follow this same procedure. This may seem unfair to students who do not get the option to skip gym class, but truthfully it is fair. Student athletes put in countless hours after school every day and sometimes on the weekends. Those hours add up quite fast, and since the students are targeting many muscles and working out, an athletic program can be like an extreme gym class. If the students are already doing that much exercise, they should not be required to also take a gym class. Of course, students may claim

they are not good enough to be on a sports team. This is not necessarily true. Some students are athletic, but they just do not apply themselves and try out for teams. Also, with some effort, a student can become good at a sport and then go out for and make the team. If a student is serious about not taking gym class, then the extra work to be put in outside of school will be rewarding and worth it However, varsity sports being able to replace gym class should only be optional. Some athletes really enjoy gym class and would prefer to have that over another elective. Athletes give a lot back to the school and help represent it well, so they deserve some power in choosing their classes, even if it is only deciding if they want to take gym class or not. Some students may feel inferior to school “jocks,” and they

may think that this power will make them feel even less important, but that is absolutely not true. Athletes enjoy playing their sports and want to improve and be the best they can be at it, while someone in a club or a music organization wants to be the best at their club, too. Nowhere is it stated that sports are better than clubs. It is not stated anywhere that getting the varsity letter and having the jacket makes an athlete more important than a club president, or even just a participant. Overall, the concept of allowing students on varsity sports teams to be exempt from gym class is a good one. But, it should only be optional, and it should not be something set in stone.

Andrew Mattei / Photo Editor

Scrooge Lives: Hating on the Holidays By Courtney Barrow, Entertainment Editor Each year, within the first couple weeks of November, Christmas music is blasted through the PA systems of department stores. Lit up synthetic trees are erected in every window before we can even blink. Thanksgiving plans have barely been finalized, but suddenly, it is the “holiday season.” Some people are not prepared to have their retinas consistently burned with the image of Christmas decorations. Few families have yet to even put their Halloween decorations back in the crawl space before lit up deer suddenly appear on every front

lawn and rooftop. Any time I turn onto my street after five o‟clock, I am blinded by the excessive glare from Christmas lights, ranging from pure white to purple and pink. And if it is not the lights that are damaging my eyesight, it is a vinyl forest of blow-up characters blocks the entire front of the house. The tacky decor is not limited to residential neighborhoods, either. By far, retailers are the worst offenders. It does not take long for stores to deck the aisles with boughs of fake holly. Outside of the stores, billboards, commercials, and flyers scream supposed “holiday deals” at every turn. Before long, the most clever and most broad-

Illustration by Steph Perez, Staff

casted holiday ads will be recited like pop music lyrics. The worst part is how everyone is suddenly expected to be joyful at all hours of the day. The season of giving includes giving a cheery disposition 24/7, but without any real motivation, how is this possible? There are not packages of food constantly appearing at one‟s door; that would be the only real cause to be merry. While the shopping may be marginally fun, there are also the headaches that come with it. The questions of what to buy, how much to spend, and who to buy for can ravage the brain for hours on end until

one is left frazzled, left only to turn to watery eggnog and tooth -shattering ginger bread cookies for comfort. Clearly, the holiday season is having a detrimental effect on society and should be scaled back. Only one day of gift giving would suffice; every other day needs to be just another regular day in Bethlehem, whether it is the Christmas City or not.

Canned for Following Protocol By Krystal Domin, Web Editor Statues were made in his honor, he was deemed an icon, and now Joe Paterno is being scrutinized and criticized for the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal. Paterno received the heat for the Penn State scandal, but he is not a bad person and should not have been fired. Some want him to be charged and arrested for doing so little to stop what he knew was happening, but if he were to be charged, it would be for simply following protocol. To comprehend why the situation unraveled like it did, it should be looked at through Paterno‟s eyes. Paterno‟s actions were a result of personal and sentimental reasons. Paterno met Sandusky in 1963 as a defensive end while he was serving as an assistant coach for Penn State, and eventually

would become the head coach of the Nittany Lions during Sandusky‟s final year. As a graduate student, Sandusky worked under Paterno. Ultimately, in 1969 Sandusky became the defensive coach, then a linebackers‟ coach, which lead to a defensive coordinator position in 1977 – a position he held for 23 seasons. As a result, Sandusky became one of Paterno‟s most trusted assistant, and more importantly, Paterno‟s friend. There is history there; there is respect. Paterno was not soft when he learned of the incident in 2002, even though Paterno trusted

Mike Pettigano /

Sandusky for 35 years, and he wanted to believe the best in his friend. Paterno reported the incident to university officials and moved on. Paterno followed protocol by

telling the university officials as soon as he learned of the incident. In response to the report, the university officials had to contact campus police and file a report.

The fact that university officials failed to report the incident in 2002 showed that they did not follow protocol. The firing of Paterno was a result of the university officials covering their past actions, so they would not lose their jobs. The university officials had been looking to replace Paterno with a younger coach who had a fresh vision for the football program for a few years, and this scandal gave them a concrete reason to fire him. Being fired over the phone was a slap in the face to Paterno, who donated millions to the university and developed and coached a wonderful football program for the past 62 years. Paterno, your legacy will never be forgotten, and your name will forever be remembered in Penn State history as one of the greatest coaches ever seen.

Editorials 5

The Forum

December 2011

The Safety Nets in Every Household By Ashley Eichlin, Features Editor Whether this group of people is defined as crazy, wild, or loving, the name of these people still remains the same: Family. Growing up, I was immediately taught the importance of family. To this day, I have formed my own definition of family. A family is any group of people (related or unrelated by blood) who are supportive of your actions, are willing to listen to your problems, give advice when needed, and act as a safety net. These people can make you laugh, cry, and maybe feel an array of emotions all at one time. In the past, I have been asked questions such as, “Why are you so close to your family?” or “How do you tolerate being so close to your family?” To be honest, I cannot really answer those questions; however, I can make it clearly known that my family means the world to me. My mom always taught me to be optimistic because there is already too much pessimism in the world. From this little piece of advice, I am able to turn an embarrassing family moment for typical teenagers into a fun

By Tyler Alicea, Editor-in-Chief

Photo provided by Ashley Eichlin / Features Editor

experience where I join the family and get a few hardy laughs out of the process. Sure, we Eichlins are weird in our way. What family is not weird? Do not be surprised if you find a member of the Eichlin family wearing a shirt on his or her head and sneaking around the house as if he or she is Professor Quirrell from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.” Yes, every family is weird in their own special way.

Friends are also excellent people with which to surround yourself; however, there is no guarantee that the friendship will last. As the age of adulthood approaches, many seniors in high school are parting their ways and going off to college. It is possible to lose touch with friends over time. On the other hand, at the end of the day, your family will always be there when you go home. I personally cannot stress

the importance of family solely through words. Every single family member is a hero in my eyes. These people are the most caring bunch of individuals with which I will ever be associated. Just a word of advice: Stay close to your family because in the end, they will be the ones who will be there when you fall.

Occupy Will Not Die! lighting any negative qualities that might be found within the movement. A progressive movement Right wing pundits and biglike Occupy America has not ots attack them frequently as seen such strength in America communists or extremists, for a long time. discrediting them in any way Unfortunately, they they can. are being ignored, and Occupy AmerAmerica needs to at ica needs support. least listen to what this At least listen great movement has to and understand say. what they want, The most of what I instead of ignorhave heard about this ing them. movement, which has They do not already reached the 3 want to see Amermonth mark, is about ica continue down how police are arrestthe wrong path, ing and attacking the and although they protesters. I can say I do not propose have heard more than specific solutions, enough of attacks on they are protesting these peaceful protestto make sure that ers. change is worked Their right to free upon. speech seems to be The movement infringed upon conhas something for stantly. With police everyone. They Tyler Alicea / Editor-in-Chief showing up in heavy are protesting a Occupy Bethlehem gathered outside of the Bethlehem Area Public Library. riot gear to try to dislot more than just band peaceful protests, They recently disbanded after being unable to acquire proper permits. the dismal finanit has to be said that cial status in many officials have become Other phenomena seen are with them, using very general America; they are protesting extreme. It is bad enough that the somewhat casual beatings references to associate himself the absurdity of modern the police would be willing to of protesters with clubs and with the occupiers. America. The absurdity of infringe upon the right to free the use of pepper spray. Beyond being ignored, America‟s government, socispeech, but becoming violent For all this pain, are protest- many reporters who cover the ety, and economy that is very against protesters is just im- e r s ‟ m e s s a g e s b e i n g movement only seem to make quickly running us straight moral. heard? Certainly not enough, things worse, portraying them into the ground. This ruthless treatment has especially with the media‟s in a negative light or highBy Andrew Mattei, Photo Editor

State Greets Teachers with More Paperwork

even lead to the use of tear gas and rubber bullets. Tear gas and rubber bullets being deployed upon peaceful protesters? That sounds like something straight out of a third world country.

luke-warm-at-best portrayal of Occupy America. Even the president has almost completely failed to acknowledge this movement, even though he continues to insinuate that he is somehow

Teachers were given a shocking taste right before Thanksgiving break. This was not the taste of a canned turkey, but instead, the taste a memo that left teachers scratching their heads. Of course, this was not just any memo that had every Bethlehem Area School District (BASD) employee confused at the Thanksgiving dinner table and the weeks that followed. On Nov. 17, the BASD issued out a memo stating that “a change was made to Section 111 of the Pennsylvania Public School Code.” To those of us who do not follow the political jargon of the Pennsylvania state legislature, this is a law that requires teachers and employees of public and private schools to report any arrests or convictions under a list of “reportable offenses.” These reportable offenses range from “criminal homicide” to “relating to endangering welfare of children.” That is of course, understandable; who would want a serial killer or someone who kicks small children at the playground to be a teacher? Yet, the part of this paperwork that is ridiculous is some of the offenses listed, including, but not limited to offenses “relating to incest,” “relating to indecent exposure,” and strangest of all “relating to sexual intercourse with [an] animal.” You read that correctly. An animal. While this does make sense for some of the more rural parts of Pennsylvania (let‟s face it; our state comprises of Philadelphia, Scranton, the Lehigh Valley, Pittsburgh, and then miles of nothing), one would still think that the state of Pennsylvania would know if there was an educator having sex with an animal. Furthermore, once every school employee in the state of Pennsylvania fills out this paperwork, is there really going to be someone in Harrisburg sorting through all of the files to find the few teachers who do report offenses? Within Freedom alone, there are approximately 100 teachers, not counting other staff members. Multiply that by the hundreds of high schools in the state, and there will probably be about a room full of paperwork. What bureaucrat is going to dive into the paperwork like Scrooge McDuck jumps into his vault of gold? I am most certainly not saying that any of these offenses should not be reported. The state of Pennsylvania needs to weed out educational employees who could harm students in any manner. This paperwork, however, does not seem like the answer, unless the state of PA simply wants to have giant paperwork bonfire to roast its holiday dinners.

6 Features A Blooming Opportunity For All Wallflowers By Samantha Lutz, Staff Poems. Short Stories. Drawings. These are all things that go into a literary magazine at the end of every school year at Freedom High School. Pen and Ink meets Thursdays after school in room 208 with Ms. Katie Kaczmarek and Ms. Gail Nagy, the advisers for the fine arts club. Their mission is to help students express themselves on paper or through song. The students involved in this club are the unspoken kids that sit in the corner of the classroom, the ones who have a different way of expressing themselves. Poems, short stories, and drawing allow these students to say what they feel without being judged. Open mic nights have been a primary way of advertising the club to others in the school. A whole spectrum of kids gather in “the black box theatre” at Freedom to sing songs, share stories, play music, tell jokes, and so much more. The first Pen and Ink “Open Mic Night” for the school year was held on Dec. 2. With the relaxed atmosphere, the acts felt less nervous on stage. The black box theatre was packed with students, teachers, and parents. It was such a popular event this year that they may need to acquire a bigger space for the next event. A wide variety of acts took up the night. Some of these acts included original songs and dances, raps, poetry, quartets, and covers of songs. “A lot of quieter wallflowers became almost stand-up comics,” said Mr. David Kleist, former adviser of Pen and Ink. At the five week mark of school, many submissions to the literary magazine had already been received. Unfortunately, not all of them will be published because there is limited space, and sometimes the stories or poems can be too dark. This year, they plan to have more mic nights and spread the word about the magazine. “It‟s a chance for students to break out of their shells,” said Joey Volpe, senior.

The Forum

Triple Whammy for Mrs. Diane Jordan By Alyssa Villani , teacher for 31 years. Special to The Freedom Forum “I love teaching business because I feel as though my Not many teachers can han- department and I are providdle one job, let alone two, or ing students with the skills even three. Mrs. Diane Jor- they need in order to be sucdan handles the business de- cessful in life,” said Mrs. Jorpartment chair, while teaching dan. multiple classes and being the Being the department chair assistant athletic director. means a great deal to Mrs. Her first priority is teaching Jordan. She enjoys working as well as taking care of her with the members of her dedepartment chair responsibili- partment because they are all ties. She is currently teaching hard working and believe in technology classes such as what they teach. All the Computer Applications, Tech- members of this department nology Concepts and Senior are trying to prepare their stuSeminar. dents for the work force or According to Mrs. Jordan, post secondary education. there are issues within the According to Mrs. Jordan, it department that come up and is very tough for her to balrequire time to troubleshoot. ance the business department After graduating from chair while being the assistant Bloomsburg University, she athletic director. Her responstudent taught at Freedom sibilities in the athletic departbefore being fortunate enough ment can be demanding, but to get her first job here. Mrs. Mrs. Charisse Pfeiffer, the Jordan has been a business secretary of athletics, does a

great job in handling things. “I am very fortunate that I work with great people in the business department as well as the athletic office,” said Mrs. Jordan. Besides teaching business and the department chair, you can find Mrs. Jordan working hard in the athletic office handling scheduling and covering athletic contests. If she isn‟t there, she is most likely in a meeting. She also enjoys her new position as assistant athletic director because it gives her the opportunity to work with more student athletes. Mrs. Jordan also enjoys attending athletic contests. This new position is interesting to Mrs. Jordan because she is learning about all the different sports and their rules. Outside of school

Mrs.Jordan enjoys spending time with her family, and when it is time to relax she goes running. Balancing three jobs can be difficult, but Mrs. Jordan does what she has to do and finishes at the end of each day with poise.

Andrew Matei / Photo Editor

Organizing for America and Freedom By Thomas Nguyen, Staff Writer While volunteering for a group called Organizing for America, senior Abby Deely noticed how she was the youngest person there by a long shot. Regional director Kathy Harrington also took note and asked Deely to restart the Young Democrats Club at Freedom. Hoping to become more involved with Organizing for America as well as becoming more politically involved, Deely resurrected the club with the help of adviser Mr. Weber. The initial purpose behind the group was to garner support for Organizing for America since high school students are a big help in phone banking and canvasing.

With the 2012 election quickly approaching, it is important to spread the word. In addition to showing students how to phone bank and canvas, Deely has been introducing new topics of discus-

sion every week. The goal of the club is to help educate students on issues that really matter, such as the DOMA repeal and the value of Occupy Wall Street. “It‟s sad how poorly in-

formed the youth is about politics. Some kids do not even know the difference between the two [political] parties,” said Deely, The club is hoping to take a more active role by planning events for political charities as well. They are trying to start fundraisers during holidays with a political message attached to it, such as Earth Day. Currently, they are hoping to hold a concert where students can buy tickets for canned goods that will be donated to a food bank. Having just started, the club is still in the launching phase, raising awareness for the club and recruiting new members. Hopefully, with the intense passions rarely seen in teens, the club members will be able to educate the students and help out for Trevor Watlington / Staff a good cause.

Exploring the Universe One Class at a Time By Ashley Eichlin, Features Editor Exploring the universe can be as simple as looking up at the nighttime sky. However, for those who want to learn more about the subject, it is recommended to take an astronomy class. Astronomy teacher Mr. William Safranek takes a new spin on astronomy to make the class more interesting and engaging for his students. “I like to make the subject of astronomy relate to something you see in everyday life,” said Safranek. The most well-known as-

Willem Ytsma / Staff

December 2011

pect of this class is being given the opportunity to look at the night sky through the use of the school planetarium. Safranek sets up the planetarium so it “is the same as what you will see in the nighttime sky.” As for the remaining time of the class, be prepared to write. As a warm-up, students are required to write a short summary about the daily Stardate and Earthsky articles. Both sets of articles provide the students with current astronomy news. This class consists of brief class discussions, labs, and/or experimenting with the

“Starry Night” program on the laptops. “Starry Night” allows the user to explore anything in the universe. One can explore the different constellations and even read a brief history or legend. Students, such as Abhinav Rangarajan, senior, learned a lot from this half semester course. “Astronomy was an enriching class for me. I learned a lot about planetary motion and stars,” said Rangarajan. Those who are lucky must be prepared for a taste of “Club Safranek.” This club entails a unique

experience that one can only view if he or she takes the class.

Andrew Mattei / Photo Editor

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December 2011

Take a History Lesson with Mr. Miller By Luisa Marin, News Editor New faces were not uncommon this school year, but for Mr. Cristian Miller being a new face was just a part of his long career. After 21 years of teaching, Mr. Miller has had his share of American history and geography. This year at Freedom he added sociology and psychology to his teaching experience. Since he was a child, Mr. Miller has been exposed to the wonder of American history. His passion for history led him to become a teacher. “I love American history, It's always something I've enjoyed,” Mr. Miller said. Mr. Miller, former Nitschmann Middle School teacher,

spent most of his 20 years teaching 8th grade before coming to Freedom. There, he taught American history, but he also taught 7th grade geography. Mr. Miller‟s transition to high school teaching has been a smooth one. Although it may seem like a nightmare to teach high school students, Mr. Miller actually enjoys it. “It has been neat coming to the high school,” said Mr. Miller. Partly, he credits his success here to having a freshman son (not an FHS student), so he can manage dealing with teenagers. It is also due to the fact that the experience has been a pleasant one. “People are very nice, the teachers are nice, [and] the kids

are great,” Mr. Miller said when describing his year so far. Before his teaching career blossomed, Mr. Miller attended Penn State University. During his college years, Mr. Miller participated in races for the university. Even today, he enjoys riding his bike when he has the time. Mr. Miller is a very active person. When he is not teaching history in his classroom, he can found working a golf course in the summer. If you need to find Mr. Miller stroll along to room 217 for your daily dose of U.S. history.

Adam Duser / Asst. Photo Editor

Making the Best of Winter Break Stockings are hung, gifts are purchased, and the most anticipated time of the year is finally around the corner. This is the time of the year where different cultures and traditions are embraced. With time away from school, students have the ability to celebrate the holidays and relax. During the break, making memories is a primary goal in which every student will attempt to achieve this holiday season. Junior Eileen Seitz celebrates Christmas with her very large and loving family by her side. With six brothers and sisters, her Christmas Eve is always

“filled with family traditions.” Seitz said that after Christmas Eve, she plans on going to New York and spending Christmas day with all of her cousins. She also noted that “the car ride is never fun.” Aside from traveling to meet family, some students prefer to stay home and celebrate the holidays in their homes. Even though Christmas may be most celebrated holidays in the month of December, it cannot be forgotten that Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are also celebrated. Junior Matt Asteak celebrates the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. Asteak said Hanukkah consists of “eight nights of presents, [and] the holiday is much longer than Christmas.”

Andrew Mattei / Photo Editor

By Kaelee Alpha, Staff

He also plans on staying home to celebrate. Some students take advantage of the time away from school to go on vacations and an opportunity to relax with family and friends. “I am most excited to spend time with my entire family. I also am looking forward to spending time with great friends and making cookies,” said Clair Sullivan, junior. Clearly, every student has different plans in mind to celebrate the holidays. No matter how large or small the celebration, if any at all, each and every one of us are making memories that will last a lifetime.

Families Appear at Home and School By Nainjot Singh, Staff Many Freedom High School students have neighbors who are teachers at our school. However, some students are gifted with family members who teach in the school as well. Gym teacher, Mr. Bryan Callahan, has a niece and a nephew who attend Freedom. Freshman John Callahan and junior Sarah

Callahan are relatives of Mr. Callahan. “One advantage of having my uncle as a teacher here at Freedom is that all the teachers like me,” said John Callahan. Many students agree that students with relatives at the school are known better to other teachers. Mr. George Ziegler, English teacher, also has two sons at Freedom, Ben (freshman) and

From left to right: Sarah Callahan, John Callahan, and Gaby LaPorta

Adam (senior). Freshman Gaby LaPorta is the daughter of principal, Mr. Michael LaPorta. Being in her first year of high school, Gaby LaPorta does not think much of it. “It‟s not that much different from middle school, when [Mr. LaPorta] was not at my school,” said Gaby LaPorta. Another advantage for students with relatives at their

school is that they get rides to and from school. These students do not worry about missing the bus or being late to school. “Having my mom as a teachers here is actually helpful. She helps me with homework if I ever need it, and I never have to worry about needing a ride to school,” said Adam Evans, freshman. Evans‟ mother, Mrs. Jodi Evans is the ninth grade class ad-

Adam Duser / Asst. Photo Editor

viser and a math teacher. However, having family in the school has its setbacks. One disadvantage for many students with in-school relatives is that their relatives know everything that happens within the school. “If anything happens [in school] and it involves me, my uncle will know about it,” said John Callahan. In one case, neither the student nor the teacher knew about their relationship. Freshman Alyssa Villani and teacher Mrs. Jennifer Wescoe both found out that they were relatives just this year. “I was shocked because I never knew she was my relative before this year. Although we didn‟t know each other, I‟m glad to have her as a relative. She‟s a wonderful teacher,” said Villani.

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December 2011

Holiday Specials That Never Disappoint By Samantha Randall, Staff With the holiday season approaching, many people are beginning to look forward to the joyous holiday movies they know and love. From the beloved classics to the newer and just as popular movies, everyone is getting excited about the annual television specials that are starting to air. One of the biggest names in holiday television is the classic, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” This Emmy-winning cartoon has earned its place on everyone‟s must-watch list. For thirty minutes every holiday season, the Peanuts remind us that Christmas is not all about gifts, money, and aluminum trees. Another classic favorite is the

hilarious 1983 film, “A Christmas Story.” Taking place back in the 1940s, this story is on the must-watch list for its famous quote “You‟ll shoot your eye out,” which is continuously told to main character Ralphie, the boy who desperately wants an “official Daisy Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle” for Christmas. Despite being told “no” throughout the entire movie, Ralphie‟s father comes through in the end giving him the BB gun as his very last present. An all-time favorite among many is “The Year Without a Santa Claus.” In this stopmotion animated film, Mrs. Claus tells a story about a year when Santa decides to

cancel Christmas. It is then her job, with the help of two spunky elves, to try and reawaken the Christmas spirit in Santa and the world's children. Some other classic holiday movies include “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “The Santa Claus,” “Home Alone,” “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” and “Santa Claus is Comin‟ To Town.” Even with those great classic movies, new classics are being created every year. One such hit was the 2003 movie “Elf.” Will Ferrell stars in this comedy about a man who was raised as one of Santa‟s elves and leaves the North Pole as an adult when he finds out that he is a human. There is no shortage on great holiday movies to spend your

time with this holiday season, so be sure to snuggle up with any one of these Christmas classics.

What's Hitting Theaters This December? By Khiem Vo, Staff New and exciting movies will entice the audience this holiday season. “Arthur Christmas,” which already hit theaters on Nov. 23, is peculiar story that tackles one of the most debatable questions of the Christmas season: how does Santa deliver all the presents in one night? This movie provides a new outlook on how he does it. “Hugo,” which hit theatres on the same day, is set in the 1930‟s. The movie tells the story of an orphan who winds up in a mystery involving his late father and a mysterious automaton. Also on the same day, the Muppets returned in a new

movie “The Muppets.” This comedic movie revolves around reuniting The Muppets to save Muppet Studios from an evil Texas oil tycoon. Dec. 9 was the day for comedy because two hilarious movies were released. “New Year‟s Eve”, a romantic comedy, explains how the lives of several people can intertwine over the course of New Year‟s Eve. Bringing even more laughs is “The Sitter,” a movie about a useless suspended college student who is talked into babysitting some wild kids. For all you chipmunk fans out there, on Dec. 16, Alvin and the Chipmunks return in their third installment with “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.”

Cast List for “Thoroughly Modern Millie” Millie Dillmount………Hannah Arnold Jimmy Smith…………Danny Youngelman Mrs. Meers…………...Kate Dawson Miss Dorothy Brown…Emily Anderson Mr. Trevor Graydon….Greg Adams Ching Ho……………...Joseph Rivera Bun Foo……………….Steph Perez Miss Flannery………...Sydney Duffy Ruth…………………...Kelly Chemidlin Gloria………………….Ann Marie Liadis Rita…………………….Melanie Gomez Alice…………………...Courtney Donah Cora……………………Ellen Lee Lucille………………….Simona Topusovaska Ethel Peas…………….Emily Gardiner Policeman…………….Justin Roth Muzzy Van Hossmere..Navea Frazier George Gershwin…….Ben Adams Ira Gershwin………….Justin Roth Dorothy Parker………..Rotceh DeJesus Rodney…………………Brady Hill

During this movie, Alvin and the gang are up to their usual antics, except this time, they are on a cruise ship. This continues until they are unfortunately “chipwrecked” on a deserted island. Bringing a more serious atmosphere to theaters on the same day is “Sherlock Holmes:

A Game of Shadows.” This sequel to the first movie brings back Sherlock and Dr. Watson as they face off against Moriarty yet again. On Dec. 21, Mission Impossible returns to theaters for the fourth time with “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” Ethan

Hunt (Tom Cruise) is back along with the rest of the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) as they are forced to locate who was behind a bombing and attack on the IMF. The Christmas movie season ends with “The Darkest Hour” and “War Horse” as both movies come out on Dec. 25. “The Darkest Hour” centers around five people who are stranded in Moscow during a devastating alien attack. “War Horse” portrays a journey of a horse named Joey who goes through World War I and, despite everything, continues to influence the lives of the people he meets along the way.

Top 10 Songs of 2011

International Culture Fair Freedom’s French Club held an International Culture Fair in the cafeteria on Dec. 14. Here seniors Luisa Marin and Nathaniel Palmer represent Columbia, holding up a Columbian Parcheesi board. Other countries represented included France, Vietnam, China, India, and England. Tyler Alicea / Editor-in-Chief

The Forum

December 2011

Entertainment 11

“Breaking Dawn” or Breaking the Bank? By Kristen Dalton, Staff “Breaking Dawn: Part I,” the latest installment in the “Twilight” film series, was released on Nov 16, 2011. “Twilight” fans gathered all around the country at midnight to see the film. The midnight premiers around the country hit record numbers; the movie‟s opening weekend falls fifth all time. It is the fourth film based on the series of fantasy romance novels by Stephanie Meyer. The books follow Bella Swan, a fragile teenage girl who falls in love with a 104-year-old vampire named Edward Cullen. The book series came to life after the first book was filmed in 2008 and featured teenage heartthrobs Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner. The fourth and final book was split into two films due to its extensive length and details. In this first installment, we see the much anticipated wedding of Edward (Pattinson) and Bella (Stewart) along with an unexpected pregnancy. Sophomore Kate Balliet

attended the midnight showing. “It was worth the wait,” she said. Balliet also expressed that the wedding was her favorite part of the film,

saying how “the dress and ceremony were just beautiful.” After asking her about any

negative thoughts she had about the film, Balliet expressed her dislike of Stewart‟s acting skills and the slight deviations from the

book. “There were many mistakes in timing and extra unnecessary events thrown into the film and Kristen Stewart‟s

acting has disappointed me from the first film to now.” Balliet explained how it was a very impressive film visually, but the acting was the only flaw she found. Other reviews state the lack of fantasy, drama and the overpowering romance that was taken away from the true ambiance of Meyer‟s novels. The honeymoon scenes and intense moments of “staring into each other‟s eyes” were dragged out, while the intense pregnancy and fighting scenes were short and anticlimactic. The negative reviews, however, will not pull “Twilight” fans in the other direction. Highly acclaimed author‟s such as J.K. Rowling and Steven King often express the difficulty movie producers have in translating their works onto the big screen. While the translations from the book may not be completely accurate, it does not take away from the cinematic experience that millions of fans will come at midnight on a school night to enjoy.

Video Game Releases to Please Everyone By Justin Alicea, Staff Each holiday season the US video game industry accounts for 50% of their annual revenues between the months of October and December. For this reason, every holiday season is filled with blockbuster videogame releases. This year has been jammed packed with highly rated and highly anticipated releases. The first big hit of this holiday season was “Batman: Arkham City,” which was released Oct 16.‟s rating for the game was a stunning 96.20%, the 12th highest score of all times. takes scores and ratings from multiple sources and comes up with an overall average. “Arkham City” is the sequel to “Batman: Arkham Asylum”. The game sends Batman into the new maximum security area which has been set aside for criminals. It includes well-known Batman villains such as The Joker, The Riddler, Penguin, and

Two-Face. It also includes new heroes and allows you to play as Catwoman. The game has a captivating story line that draws you into the Batman universe. Key features of the game include a graphically intense open world that can be explored at your own pace, and the return of the free -flow fighting system. The next holiday hit is “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” (MW3). Released on Nov. 8, MW3 is the eighth in the Call of Duty series and received a score of 88.62%. The game focuses on the beginning of World War Three, started by a Russian mad man, Makarov. The game picks up hours after the ending of “Modern Warfare 2.” MW3 has another fascinating storyline, intense multiplayer action, and the return of co-op special ops missions. Released on Nov 11, the last of the big games this holiday season is “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”. While part of the series, each “Elder Scroll” game stands alone in a differ-

ent province in Tamriel. “Skyrim” is an open world fantasy game where you can choose your race, your skill sets, and most importantly, you can choose your own adventure. On G a m e r a n k, Skyrim received a score of 95.60%. Key aspects of the game include the huge and beautifully designed terrain, the crafting systems, guilds, and the infinite amount of side quests. The game has easily over 100 hours of gameplay. This is just a small fraction of the games that have arrived this holiday

season. This holiday, there is a game for every gamer.

Does “The X Factor” Have the „X Factor?‟ By Faarah Ameerally, Asst. Entertainment Editor “The X Factor” made its American debut not many weeks ago as one of America‟s hottest new shows. Viewers were hesitant of this show due to the difficulty of distinguishing between the new show and “American Idol” and “America's Got Talent”, both of which we all know too well. Simon Cowell, perhaps knowing what he kept describing as a "massive event," did not feel like either of those. It is a scientific fact that at any time of day Cowell is on some talk show on some TV station in America, giving exclusive insights of the "this-show-helps-people-livetheir-dreams" variety. But does he know how much of an understatement that is? It might not have been solely up to Cowell, but with his presence behind the judge‟s podium, a fiery panel was created. Nicole Scherzinger, "lead singer of one of the biggest girl bands in the world, the Pussycat Dolls!" wins the hearts of viewers by always reassuring and applauding the singers. The third judge, Paula Abdul, seemed to suggest at one point that appearing in as an expertise is "above and beyond any wildest dream an artist could have." Abdul has remained in the same judging style as Idol, being noted as the “nice guy”. Sitting in the fourth seat is record producer LA Reid, who claimed at one point that "everything I do in my music is about having my spirit stirred.” Reid, by the way, is the man behind Justin Bieber‟s success. He is further evidence of Cowell's insecurity about what audiences want, however, because halfway through the show Reid was suddenly being deemed the nasty judge. Cowell has done a wonderful job in selecting yet another series to be brought to the US. With the way the show is going, the five million dollar grand prize will be well earned from what seems to be a tough competition. It is clearly off to a great start.

Ddconsole / / Markus Ng

Faseextra /

Sergey Galyonkin /

12 Sports

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December 2011

Dribbling into a New Year With changes in the coaching staff, Freedom High School‟s girls‟ basketball team will be unrecognizable on the court this upcoming season. Replacing former head coach Mr. Jerry Calabrese, Ms. DeAnna Rayam plans to transform the team with new plays and defenses, and she plans to turn the girls into a pressing team. With these drastic changes in coaches and in the team‟s style of play, it has all the players and coach Rayam excited. “There‟s a lot of excitement with our new coaches, and the plans that they have for us will make us a successful team. The season is going to be great,”

Willem Ytsma / Staff

By Krystal Domin, Web Editor

said Alexa Alpaugh, senior. The key component in this transformation is for each player to work hard all season and to

stress speed and athleticism. “There are a lot of good players coming back and upcoming players who are young,” said

Rayam. This transformation will be put to the test when they play Liberty High School on Jan. 3, 2012. With the excitement running through the players‟ blood, Monique Latourette, junior shooting guard said, “Our big goal as a team is beating our rivals Liberty who we lost to by a basket last year.” The team wants to finish the season with more wins than losses this year. This is a priority and a personal goal of Latourette. “Personally, my goal for the season is to see the team play together and improve from last year,” said Alpaugh, since the team lost more than 14 games last season. “I expect for the girls to work

hard all season which will lead to winning games,” said Rayam. “Each girl has to play hard and work hard in practice in order to make this a successful season.” In order to prepare for the season, there has been a summer speed and agility camp which prepared the girls physically and mentally. Once the school year came around, open gyms started in October in order to get a head start on practicing plays. This season will not be like any other season that Freedom has seen so far. With determination, motivation, and love for the game the girls‟ basketball team will have a successful year.

Keeping the „Rest‟ out of Wrestling By Amanda Molinaro, Pates‟ Post Editor If you were wondering how some of Freedom‟s male athletes are so successful in the various sports they play, first, look at their muscles, and second ask some of the members of one of our most hardworking teams: the wrestling team. The team‟s head coach Mr. Hall has been coaching here at Freedom for over 8 years and this is his second year as head coach. The dedication to success is also influenced by the 3 other assistant varsity coaches, Coach Horlick, Coach Rabenol, and Coach Lugo. All 3 of them are former Freedom wrestlers, and Coach Hall previously wrestled for the Lycoming College wrestling team.

Kyle Spina, one of the team‟s valuable senior wrestlers, has been wrestling for a total of nine years. “My dad encouraged me and after a year I enjoyed the physical nature of the sport,” Spina said about what inspired him to start wrestling. In order to prepare for weekly meets and tournaments the team has to condition themselves both mentally and physically. Another valuable wrestler, Josh Young, junior, said his inspiration came the same way Spina‟s did. “My mom signed me up for wrestling because my Dad was a wrestler,” Young said. Young has been wrestling for 7 years and has been on the varsity team since his freshman year. Many wrestlers, like Young,

come straight from football and still have to train and weight lift to get in even better shape to transition into the strenuous wrestling season. A few members have said that the team did not perform as well as they had hoped to last year, but both Spina and Young said they are willing to work as hard as it takes to excel this year. “Mental preparation is the key to a great season,” said Spina, and this year‟s team is ready to start a successful season. The team practices everyday from three and usually has meets on Wednesdays and Fridays. The regular season ends towards the end of February and districts, which many wrestlers are trying to make this year, start up in March. Their tournaments run throughout the week-

ends and take place in various high schools throughout the Lehigh Valley area. Keep in mind that just because football season is over, does not mean Freedom‟s year of great-

ness is. Make sure to support our wrestling team this coming season.

Andrew Mattei / Photo Editor

Diving Head First into Success By Ryan Shaikh, Asst. Sports Editor Intense races, splashes, flips, and relays can only mean one thing: Freedom High School swimming and diving is back. After a successful season with plenty of swimmers and a diver representing Freedom at districts and states, the team is expecting the same success, if not an even more successful, season this year. A key factor to the team‟s success last year was the presence of underclassmen at districts in current sophomores David Harrigan, who placed fourth in districts in the 500 meter freestyle, and Peter Conzola, who won districts in the 100 meter backstroke. With that success early in their careers that only leaves room for improvement with higher finishes at higher levels.

Trevor Watlington / Staff

Will Glaser, senior, who swims in the 100 meter butterfly and sprint freestyle said he expects the team to improve upon last year and have more swimmers represent Freedom in districts. “I expect to make districts in at least one of my events that I swim in,” said Glaser.

Coach Barbara Glaser expects to see big things from some senior swimmers this year, which include David Corvino (all freestyle events), David Barlyski (individual medley, all breaststroke events), and Will Glaser. Coach Glaser also expects big things for the girls‟ team as

well, such as juniors Molly Magnan (any event), Carly Cussen (all butterfly, freestyle events), and Rachel Wilson; sophomore Laura Stammherr (breaststroke, freestyle, individual medley); and freshman Hellen Hsu (sprint freestyle, all stroke events). “She (Hellen) will make an immediate impact on the team this year,” said coach Glaser. The coach also had another positive comment to make about the incoming freshmen. “They (freshmen) will give the team this year great depth for each event,” said coach Glaser. On the diving aspect of the team, senior diver Carol Byrnes was the first diver from Freedom to make districts since 1997. There is nothing but high hopes for this year‟s swimming and diving team.

It should be another successful season with plenty of swimmers making districts and states this year. “With Pennsylvania being one of the top three states in the nation for swimming, it makes it a lot tougher on our swimmers to get to the state tournament as well as having District 11 be one of the best districts in the state in terms of competition,” said coach Glaser. Even though competition is tough Freedom continuously brings swimmers to the district and state tournament showing the team‟s talent.

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December 2011

Shooting Hard on the Way to Stardom By Ms. Jennifer Maholick, Special to The Freedom Forum Roughing. Charging. Boarding. Fighting. Fast skating. Checking. Puck handling. These are a few of the penalties and skills you might witness at a Freedom ice hockey game. The games are fast-paced and exciting; however, most students and faculty members at Freedom do not know that this team exists. A common question is why there are not more students aware of this tenacious team. Even though the Freedom Ice Hockey Club is an individual club that uses both Freedom‟s name and logo, ice hockey is not a PIAA sanctioned sport, so it is often not included when other sports are recognized. Freedom‟s team consists of fourteen talented and hardworking boys in all four grade levels who take to the ice every Sunday night at the Municipal Ice

Rink in Bethlehem to improve on their skills and accuracy. Practices also allow for a bonding experience, which leads to better chemistry on the ice. Freedom‟s season is eighteen games long and played between October and February. On Monday or Wednesday nights, you can find black and gold uniforms sporting a Patriot logo at either the Lehigh Valley Ice Rink in Whitehall or the Steel Ice Center in Bethlehem. Since it is not a varsity sport, hockey is an expensive sport, and the fee to play and the price of equipment are paid completely by the players. There are several fundraisers that the club runs annually which help to lower fees a bit, but league fees and ice time are very costly. Mr. Michael Mould has been an assistant coach to the Jr. AAA Flyers since 2004 and has been the head coach for Freedom since the 2008. Mould, a native of Canada, moved to the

Reading area when he was 12. He played for the Jr. Flyers as a youth and continues to play hockey to this day. Since graduating college, he has made the Lehigh Valley his home and gives very generously of his time to the Freedom Ice Hockey Club. The dedication that these boys show for their team and the sport is amazing. Some play for travel teams and also juggle a part-time job, but even with all of their other responsibilities, none will give up playing for Freedom. Kyle Yost, junior, enjoys playing for Freedom. “We are the coolest,” said Yost. “Everyone is out on the ice to enjoy themselves and have fun.” “It‟s a relaxed, fun environment that isn‟t overly competitive,” said Tyler Rogalewicz, junior. Yost and freshmen Brendan Driscoll and Brandon Manganiello agree that the team bond-

ing experiences and friendships created over the course of the season are additional reasons why they like Freedom ice hockey. One thing the team hopes to do is spread the word about their sport and hopefully increase attendance at games. “Our team definitely plays better with fan support,” said Yost. “It would be a big boost of

confidence to see more fans. We have the best goalie in the league and some of the best players too,” said Manganiello. Driscoll would also like to see Freedom‟s cheering section increase in order to match the large crowds drawn by teams like Parkland and Northampton. So, break out the “Freedom Family” t-shirts and bring the Riot Squad to the next Freedom ice hockey game!

Ms. Maholick / Special to The Freedom Forum

Despite the Dispute, the NBA is Ready to Go By Greg Adams, Staff The NBA has been in a labor lockout since early July of this year, and now the best possible situation that anyone can hope for is a 66-game season starting after Christmas. The lockout began after the NBA‟s owner and player associations could not reach an agreement on the revenue sharing and the structure of the league‟s salary cap. Now into the lockout‟s fifth month, it does not seem that likely either side is ready to come closer to a compromise. While the majority of players

and owners are financially prepared for a work stoppage, other employees of the NBA from around the league are bound to suffer. The Consumerist reported that over four-hundred people working for the NBA have lost their jobs since the lockout began. NBA team owners are losing one million dollars for every game cancelled, and NBA players are expected to collectively lose four-hundred million dollars in wages by the end of the lockout. The current lockout has yet to surpass the 1998 lockout, which resulted in a meager 50 game season after the owners and

players reached a compromise over the salary cap and a new collective bargaining agreement. To keep their basketball skills sharp and earn money, players from all over the league are signing contracts to play overseas, including teams all over Europe and even Asia. For example, Philadelphia‟s rookie forward Lavoy Allen has signed with Strasbourg (France). Other players from the 76ers who have signed overseas include Andres Nocioni and Craig Brackins. Fans, players, owners, and NBA workers are all frustrated, but with owners and players recently coming to an agreement, the NBA will start a

shortened season after Christmas. Game on. / darastar

Bringing Back the Bell By Mike McGinty, Sports Editor

school with most wins in varsity sports gets The Bell.” Needless to say, something not many people know is that the bell has not been at Freedom for 19 years which explains why Mr. Michael LaPorta, FHS principal, emphasizes the importance of winning “that damn bell.” After the fall sports concluded, the current Bell score is 6-5 Liberty. Though we are down one in the competition for The Bell, there are still 15 varsity events between Freedom and Liberty left this year between winter and spring sports. With school spirit at an alltime high, there is no time better than this year to bring home The Bell, a historical symbol of one of the greatest high school rivalries in Pennsylvania.

Almost everybody talks about “The Bell” at Freedom High School, whether he or she is a senior or a freshman. Although everyone talks about it, not many people fully understand what the bell is. A great amount of people ranging from freshmen to seniors were asked to describe The Bell, and surprisingly, they were not entirely sure what to say. Those who do know, do not know much. For example, I only knew that The Bell was a replica of the Liberty Bell awarded to the winner of the most varsity athletic events between Freedom High School and Liberty High School. Dylan Pompa, a freshman also said, “It‟s [The Bell] the symbol of the fiery competition between Freedom and Liberty, and the Trevor Watlington / Staff

14 Pates’ Post

Ask Fabio! Advice Column

The Challenge to Change The end of this year is fast approaching, and with it we find ourselves scrambling to bake holiday cookies, shop for holiday gifts, and most importantly keep a countdown calendar until winter break. As we enter the Christmas season, we must keep in mind the highly anticipated event after Christmas: New Year‟s Eve. As we all know, midnight on Dec. 31 this year will mark the beginning of 2012, also know by its code name: “The Year the World Ends.” With the holiday season and the New Year forthcoming, people all over the country have this idea that they must think of an aspect about themselves they do not like, and exactly when the clock strikes twelve on New Year‟s Eve, they will change this thing about themselves. This idea of a “New Year‟s Resolution” just seems absolutely ridiculous. Who decided that Jan. 1 should be the day of change? Change of attitude, appetite, or anything else takes time and is a gradual process. One cannot simply choose to change overnight; change is a course of development that happens over time and often without one being completely aware of it. Keep in mind that there is a difference between resolving to stop playing the new “Skyrim” games instead of doing your homework and resolving to become a better person. Anyone can choose to stop drinking soda or exercise more, but working hard to change the person you are is a different type of change. This is good, too, but maybe you might want to use “resolving” instead of “vowing,” since the verb “resolving” is a nice echo of the noun “resolution.” Also, do not depend on the influence of others to change who you are. Many people seem to think they should change themselves according to their surroundings. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Spend time thinking about what your personal beliefs are and what you wish to change about yourself. Whatever you decide you want to improve about yourself, know that you can do it at any time. It does not need to be Jan. 1 of a new year for you to strive for change. Regardless of the date, if you are determined to change, you can.

The Forum

December 2011

Man of the Month or Buffalo? By Courtney Barrow, Entertainment Editor Few have the ability to say they share a nickname with a famous gunslinger of the Old West. This issue‟s Man of the Month, “Buffola [sic] Bill” Leeson, is luckily one of the few. One should not be fooled by this junior‟s quiet demeanor; behind his soft-spoken disposition is a quiet confidence that indicates this man knows he is not one to be messed with. In just a little over 2 years, Leeson has made a name for himself as one of Freedom‟s resident math whizzes. As a freshman, he not only began taking higher level math courses, but excelling at them. Currently, he is taking an AP Physics course, which has a heavy emphasis on difficult calculus equations. However, Leeson is not one to back down from a challenge, whether it is academic or athletic. He was half of the doubles duo that had the best record on the boys‟ tennis team last season, taking down opponents with senior Robbie Edwards.

“I have been playing tennis heavily for eleven years,” said Leeson. “I played a little bit of soccer and Little League [when I was younger], but [tennis] was something I really wanted to stick with.” Unfortunately, the tennis ace‟s sports career may be cut short as he is recovery from major back surgery he had this past summer. While the verdict is still unclear on his tennis playing status, Leeson has joined the debate team. “I was asked to join,” Leeson said. “[I thought] I might as well do something else I can dominate at.” Leeson also has big plans for the future. He hopes to attend Virginia Tech after graduation and major in aerospace engineering. He cites the work NASA has done with the university as being the school‟s biggest draw. Outside of school, Leeson is a New England Patriots and Philadelphia Phillies fan, a regular player of “Battlefield 3,” and an avid follower of “SportsCenter.” He is not a big fan of main stream music; he would much rather rock out to his favorite metal band, “Testament,” than

Danny Owen / Staff

any Katy Perry or Lil Wayne song. He lives with both of his parents, who got him started on tennis, and his sophomore brother, Doug. After making it more than half way through high school, Leeson has certainly made a

nice niche for himself at Freedom. He is sure to continue success in all his endeavors. With a name like, “Buffola [sic] Bill,” how could you not?

It‟s Beginning to Sound a lot like Christmas By Greg Adams, Staff The Freedom High School Music Department performed its 45th Annual Winter Concert on Dec. 9, which consisted of performances by both the orchestra and choir. The concert began with holiday organ selections played by Mr. John Phillips, a Freedom High School graduate. The songs created a festive atmosphere as the crowd settled into their seats. The performance picked up quickly when the orchestra began their opening Christmas medley, followed by pieces by

the combined Patriot and Concert choirs. Next, the Handbell Choir performed “Fum Fum Fum,” a holiday song that included choreography and mixed percussion, which added depth to the piece. From that point in the concert, each piece was greater than the last one in appeal and musicality. The majority of the choir pieces were performed a capella, or without accompaniment by an instrument, a very impressive feat for a high school choir. The Concert Choir informal number was an entertaining mix of “Up on the Rooftop,” “Deck the Halls,” and chore-

ography samplings of Beyonce‟s “Single Ladies.” The choreography was much simpler than it had been in past years, which resulted in a performance that was pleasing both musically and visually. Senior Rotceh De Jesus and sophomore Andy Moeller ended the number with solos during the song “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.” After that, the combined choirs were on stage for the rest of the show, singing Christmas staples such as “Once in Royal David‟s City,” the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel‟s “Messiah,” and “Lay Down Your Staves.”

A positive aspect for the choir this year that has been absent in past years is a strong male section, and the lower voices could be heard throughout the entire performance. Junior Carlton McCullough and senior Dimitri Mitchell led a fairly young bass/baritone section, along with tenors Danny Youngelman and Stephen Yale. The orchestra was also notably excellent, as is the annual trend for them. Freedom‟s Musical Department featured many young and talented performers, meaning the Christmas concert is bound to be exceptional for years to come.

Leah Williams / Staff

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The Forum

December 2011

Student Council Spreads Holiday Cheer By Julie Boylan, Editorial Editor The Freedom High School student council is getting in touch with the holiday spirit this season by engaging in some good old fashioned Christmas caroling. Ubiquitous in the rendition of a classic American Christmas, the carolers representing the student council body at large do not travel door to door on snowy nights in exchange for hot chocolate. Instead, every year in lieu of the typical holiday parties, the student council has made it a tradition to travel to the Country Meadows Retirement Commu-

nity near the Northampton Community College to sing to the elderly people who live there. The caroling is open to any active member in student council. According to senior Luisa Marin, student council secretary, there are usually about 25 kids from student council who participate. “Usually we try to get people from all grades. And then we have students who can drive to help transport,” says Marin. The members of the student council spend the morning at the retirement community before going out to lunch. During their caroling, they break up into different groups to visit different parts of the home. Reading off

a packet of carols, the singers cover about ten of the classic Christmas carols. “It doesn‟t matter what your singing talent is,” says Marin, “unless you're Brianna McCullough and you can pull off an incredible solo in the middle.” “They seem to be happy,” Marin says of the audience to the carolers. “Some sing also or clap along.” “Student council caroling is a great way to spread the warm feelings of the holiday to the elderly,” says senior Nicole Giles. “It‟s a great experience and a lot of fun.” “It‟s basically about having fun, and if you‟re having fun

they will have fun with you,” says Marin. Senior Courtney Barrow, treasurer of the student council agrees. “Caroling is a gift not only for the listeners but for the singers as well,” says Barrow. “We‟re so lucky to be able to put a smile on someone‟s face; caroling truly embodies the Christmas spirit.”

Tree Lighting in the Christmas City By Luisa Marin, News Editor In the Christmas City, Black Friday brings not only the opportunity for crazy shopping at midnight, but also the chance to view the local Christmas tree lighting downtown. The Freedom Patriot Band assembled at the start of the event. Santa hats and lights decorated the FHS band's tubas in a great Christmas spirit. They played songs like “Silent Night,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and “Hark the Herald” while the crowd gathered together in song. Under the tent, people were handing out bake goods like brownies, cookies, and raspberry cake. The program started with host Bill Youth, who gave a summary on the night's event which included a live weather report. Mayor Callahan was the first to give a speech where he thanked

Tyler Alicea / Editor-in-Chief

the people who donated the trees and lights. He also thanked the third graders who helped decorate the mayor's tree. His message was to remember that

the holidays were not just for receiving, but also a good time to be giving. Holy Infancy and Asa Packer students were chosen to make

decorations and decorate the tree alongside Mayor Callahan. In honor of the U.S. troops overseas, the Mayor's tree shone with red, white, and blue lights.

The night continued with the story of how Bethlehem came to be called the Christmas City. Also the Christmas City seal was presented, and the seal location for next year was revealed. Then three lucky third grade students were welcomed on stage to light the tree with Mayor Callahan. After the countdown, the classic “Twas the Night Before Christmas” was read to the crowd. The Occupy Bethlehem protesters showed up to the event as well. They held signs to protest “grinches” getting Christmas bonuses. More importantly, the night concluded with Santa Claus arriving on a fire truck. Sadly the reindeers could not make the event, but Santa Claus and one of his elves brought much happiness to the children present.

Patriot Pride: Going Back in Time By Mrs. Pat Whirl, Special to The Freedom Forum

To commemorate the 45th year of The Freedom Forum, I asked former faculty members for their most memorable moments. Below are a few excerpts.

BRENDA PETERS - MATH - 22 YEARS Getting my own classroom. Also, the thank you notes I received from graduating seniors.


RON DEMKEE - BAND & ORCHESTRA DIRECTOR - 30 YEARS Taking the band to every major bowl and parade (Orange Cotton, Fiesta, Hula, and three Tournament of Roses).

Camaraderie of the faculty at Freedom.

The televised half-time performance for the Eagles, Patriots, Redskins and Jets of the NFL.


Pregame performance for the Phillies World Series game at the Vet in 1983.

The fellowship among the faculty; the after school socials, Christmas parties, and the end of the year picnics. As head football coach, beating Liberty in 1978 at Taylor Stadium, Lehigh University. The special group of student-athletes in the class of 1980. The friendships that have carried over far into retirement.

And finally, beating Liberty in the mud 3-0 the first year.

The Freedom Forum wishes everyone a happy and safe holiday break. School reopens on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012.

16 Pates’ Post

The Forum

December 2011

Andrew Mattei / Photo Editor

2011 December  

The Freedom Forum, Volume 45 Issue 4