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Freehold Township High School

The Patriot Press

Issue 3

281 Elton-Adelphia Road Freehold, NJ 07728

Patriot Idol rocks FTHS

February 2007

Township’s DECA chapter wins big at Regionals by Chris Farnkopf

photo courtesy of the Dunshee family

Senior Kevin Dunshee croons his way to victory during Patriot Idol. He is the first male winner of the competition.

by John Boasi The arrival of the third installment of Patriot Idol came on January 17. Since its creation after the nation craze for the FOX Network series, “American Idol,” this has become a highly anticipated event at Freehold Township High School; students excitedly poured into the auditorium for another memorable night. Indeed, this proved to be an interesting meeting, comprised of the highly bizarre and entirely awe-inspiring. The competition opened up with senior hosts Dustin Fontaine and Megan Matza introducing themselves and the panel of judges: drama teacher Patrick Giblin (sporting a black wig to make him look like Simon Cowell), English teacher Kathleen Quinn, Foreign Language Supervisor Ina Gurman, and guest-judge social studies teacher

Joshua Orlinsky (posing as Napoleon Dynamite). Shortly after, Patriot Idol officially commenced with the presence of freshman Lauren Anderson on the stage. Senior Nicole Dunkley made her way to the microphone, doing justice to the song “Time After Time,” and her efforts were appreciated. However, the malignant jurist Giblin destroyed the moment, commenting on the scarf she was holding, suggesting that “I was scared by that twirling of… whatever that is you’re holding.” He received, in reply, a chorus of boos and cat-calls. Throughout the night, the microphone was visited by many other talents, such as seniors Kevin Dunshee and Brittany Kapulsky. During a lighter moment, senior Joe Buccheri, dressed as both a man and a woman, sang “Sum-

mer Nights” before arriving at intermission. After it ended, the judges crowded the stage, and sang a rendition of U2’s “One.” Quinn held her young child in her arms, producing a touching moment. The hosts, while they sang, commandeered the judges’ table and commented on their overall performance. The routine soon returned to the normal when the final four contestants were announced: Dunshee, juniors Marissa Santiago and Lisa D’Elia, and Kapulsky. Dunshee emerged as the crowd favorite, earlier singing “Your Song” and for the finals performing a moving cover of “Walking in Memphis.” He was later announced the winner, and received a check for $200, along with bragging rights for the coming year.

Harry Potter title revealed, speculation ensues by Diana Egizi

At last, what millions of Harry Potter fans have been waiting for has finally happened: the title of the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series was officially revealed on December 21, 2006. As a matter of fact, J.K. Rowling’s official website had offered fans the chance to discover the title for themselves through a little-known interactive puzzle. After many fans had figured it out, she officially released the title, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The title received positive and negative reviews from fans. “I like it because it’s eerie and original,” gushed sophomore Kady Stockman. On the contrary, senior Rena Eleázar disappointedly commented, “I actually don’t like the title. It kind of has

the Goosebumps series feel rather than the Harry Potter wizarding world feel.” However, the title sparked even more discussion among fans who wondered what it could mean. “I feel like it doesn’t give a whole lot away,” mused Brittany Kapulsky, a senior at Freehold Township High School. “I wish the title had been more informative.” Despite the ambiguity, some facts have already been verified by J.K. Rowling. According to MuggleNet, one of the largest Harry Potter fan sites, the book is due to be released sometime in 2007. Important character information includes Professor Severus Snape’s true loyalty, revelations on the background of both the Potter

family and the late Albus Dumbledore, and a crucial secret concerning Petunia Dursley, Harry’s aunt. Key plot points include Harry’s continuation of his quest at the conclusion of the sixth book, as well as a visit to Godric’s Hollow, the town where his parents were murdered. Much to the woe of Harry fans, the magical protection Dumbledore placed on Harry at birth will expire on his 17th birthday, rendering him vulnerable to his enemies while on summer vacation at the Dursley’s. However, one specific piece of information has already been intensely debated for months: See POTTER, page 4

Winter is here, and as always, it is an exciting time for Freehold Township DECA students. Dressed in business attire, students departed for the DECA Regional Conference held at Middlesex County College on January 9. Upon arriving, students were sent to locations respective of their events, including both individual and team. Both teams were administered a 100 multiple choice examination on material related to their specific area. After the completion of all written tests, each contestant preformed two role plays while teams were required to perform one. This role play consists of individuals or teams getting a situation and a number of topics that they must cover. During the prep period, students are given a specific amount of time during which they compile their ideas before meeting with a judge. Students are judged on a number of different competencies, including creativity. After hours of anxious anticipation, the results were announced. Freehold Township emerged with 64 finalists, the highest number in the entire Freehold Regional H.S. District! Of the 64 finalists, FTHS

brought home 11 first place, five second place, and four third place trophies. All 20 of these outstanding students placed the highest in their respective events. All 64 finalists will now move on to compete at the New Jersey DECA State Leadership Conference from February 28 through March 2, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, NJ. Finalists will not only be competing against other Central Region competitors, but the entire state as well. Also taking place during the State Conference are State Officer elections. Current NJ DECA Treasurer Chad Greenholtz will be running for the position of NJ DECA President, junior Evan Johnson will be running for Central Region Vice President, and junior Chris Farnkopf will be running for State Communications Secretary. The New Jersey DECA State Leadership Conference looks to be an exciting event. Congratulations and best of luck to all finalists and State Officer Candidates! Be sure to check out the next issue for an update on the NJ DECA State Leadership Conference.

Live for the moment by Michael Kirshenbaum

Live every day like it’s your happens again. I know that these last. On January 10, 2007 a hor- things are almost impossible to rifying tragedy happened at our stop, but as students we need to neighboring school, Freehold do something about it. Because Boro. Three students were killed I am 18 years old and have a full in a car accident, along with a 68 New Jersey license, I can drive year old woman driving a school with more than one person. As a van. When the victims’ names 17 year old, however, you cannot. were disclosed, I was shocked I saw two girls pulled over for to discover that I went to middle having more than one person in school and celebrated birthdays the car, and they were very angry. with two of them. I have not spo- I recommend that they follow the ken to either of them in a long law because we cannot see the time, but to hear this Li fe i s unpredi ct- tragedies of January tragic news was hor10th be repeated. able, and you need rible. At our young As teenagers, we t o mak e t he best age, we have so out of it. are at the peak of our much more to live lives and have a lot for; life is just beto look forward to. These tragic ginning, and we can’t go back events have made me realize that on our mistakes. Unlike some, I am not invincible. Every mis- these individuals’ mistakes were take I make could potentially be fatal. “Live every day like it’s my last. It is heartbreaking for your last” is very cliché, but it is these individuals that their small also very true. These boys never mistake took their lives. This is expected to die on the way home a tragedy for both Freehold Boro from school. Life is unpredictand Freehold Township. able, and you need to make the As I sat glued to the TV staring best out of it. Michael Dragonat major news channels, I felt so etti, James Warnock, and Andrew uneasy seeing people I knew, now Lundy, may you rest in peace. I on CBS with their Myspace pag- hope that another horrific event es becoming Internet memorials. like this never happens again. I hope something like this never


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Op-Ed Page

Early decision is a good decision

M I DTER M R ESULTS: Dems pass, Republicans fail by Stephen Marietta Election Day is always characterized by a tension incomparable to any other in American politics. This year, the American populace voted not for the president as had been the case two years prior, but for a new Congress, in what is called the midterm elections. The entire House of Representatives, which consists of 435 members, was up for reelection, as well as one-third of the Senate, 33 members in all. Such a shift in balance would be momentous for it would counterbalance the staunchly Republican President Bush. So what happened? On November 7, the people voted and delivered the Democrats what was long considered impossible – control of Congress. The Democrats captured the six necessary Senate seats, after hotly contested elections in Montana and Virginia, and completely reversed the House, staining blue 31 seats. A Democratic Congress has not been seen in twelve years, ever since the Republican Revolution of 1994 dismantled Democratic majorities. But what are the implications of this election for the victors, the losers, the president, and the country? Clearly, very much. Beginning with the former, while the Democratic Party saw heightened popularity, they did not necessarily see the pushing of their social ideals, which comprise of allowing gay marriage and stronger gun legislation. Most of the newly elected

Senators, most notably SenatorElect Jon Tester (D-MT) who ousted Republican Conrad Burns (R-MT), are social conservatives. In a political ideology known as ‘conservative Democrats,’ the newly elected Senators seem ready to push a Democratic foreign policy – withdrawal from Iraq and increased diplomacy – but are willing to allow for Republican concepts of bans on abortions and gay marriage. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The Democrats have always had an agenda comprised of compromise and negotiation – perhaps forfeiting divisive social issues for national progress is not such a bad deal. Of course one hopes this is the case. While the Democrats preach change, the new Speaker of the House, the first women to hold that position in history, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is quite willing to challenge the authority of the Bush administration in its course in Iraq. If compromise cannot be reached then the 110th Congress will be just as ineffective as the last – a veritable gridlock. The presidency was also rattled on Election Day, despite the fact that Bush was not up for reelection. Bush, who said Republicans “would close strong” on the night of November 7, ended up becoming the night’s biggest loser. The election, viewed largely as a referendum on the Iraq War, proved that the president’s unpopular war would not stand idly by with the

American peoples. Democrats’ seizure of Congress means that all finances for the Iraq War will be run by Democrats, who Bush has alienated in the past. The remaining two years of the Bush presidency look futile, despite his various assertions for compromise and friendliness between the two parties - without funding, the Iraq War will crumble. President Bush, perhaps, made the right move in firing his very unpopular Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld whose approval rating dipped into the teens at times. While Rumsfeld’s resignation is a good start, the President will need to do more to work with the new majority. Pushing through last minute tax cuts, as the new Congress convenes on January 4, 2007 giving the president two months to make amends, is not the way to do so. The true test of this election will be the progress made in this country. The people voted for a change in the Democrats and now one would anticipate its acquisition. Finally, be on the lookout for presidential hopefuls on both sides who will be under constant spotlight in 2007. They will likely be fighting each other for premium legislation and newsworthy actions. Most notable of the bunch in the 110th Congress that announced their bids are Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Sam Brownback.

by Stefanie Kern

This past December, numerous Freehold Township seniors and thousands of teenagers discovered whether their applications have been accepted or rejected by the college of their choice during the early decision cycle. For some, it meant a first good night’s sleep in months. Alternatively, others spent their winter break scrambling to assemble a regular admissions application for the January deadline. Early admissions, which date back to the 1950’s, are essentially a bargain between colleges and applicants. Through this bargain, the college gives early applicants an advantage, notifying them of acceptance at an earlier date. In exchange, the students promise to attend the college if they’re admitted. Many students are lured by the fact that the amount of students in the early decision pool is much smaller than the regular admissions pool, suggesting less competition. While early decision is growing popular, some top colleges have decided to abandon it. Colleges should not drop early decision be-

cause it helps judge an applicant’s enthusiasm. Research demonstrates that students who attend their first-choice college outperform seemingly more qualified students for whom the same college is a safety school. Students who find out where they will spend the next four years of their life will save countless hours and hundreds of dollars in filing extensive applications to other schools. If these students aren’t infected with senioritis, they can use that saved time to devote more attention to academics and extracurriculars. Early admissions enable students to get a head start on housing accommodations, financial aid, and preparing for college life. The only catch-22 early decision introduces is that if you apply early you have a higher chance of getting in, versus if you apply late you might have a higher chance of getting money. Students should be given this choice, which is only possible when early admissions are available.

photo by Stefanie Kern

Senior Mike Slotnick wishes he applied early decision to college.

Freehold Township High School

P A T S T A T S

The Patriot Press

Stefanie Kern Christine Shaw Editors in Chief Anson Ahne John Boasi Features Editors Priscilla Abad Mike DeCarlo News Editors Matt Juron Sports Editor Kayla Khan Copy Editor Ms. Kimberly Aleski Adviser Staff Stephanie Candullo Jason Cherchia Matt Claro Laura Di Mattina Stephen Domke Diana Egizi

Chris Farnkopf Jeff Fox Billy Hicks Matthew Horwitz Melyssa Horton Mike Kirshenbaum Jordana Kranz Matt LaMagna Brett Levinson Kristen Lindquist Meagan Lorenz Stephen Marietta Dan Mullanaphy Asma Mumtaz Melissa Rothman Sagar Shah Heather Smith Vincent Stanziola Olivia Tkach

The Help Lounge: Need advice? We’ve got answers!

by JS

If you’re searching for the answers to your questions, we can help. Just keep it anonymous and send your questions to jsadvice@hotmail.com. Q: I’m having a hard time keeping in touch with my friend. I talk to her in some of my classes, but when her other friends come along, she ignores me and I feel excluded. What should I do? A: Your friend may feel embarrassed when she is around her new friends. Because they may be her new friends she probably does not know how they will react to her old friends. This, surprisingly, happens to a lot of people. You should talk to your friend about it first. Tell her how you feel, and hopefully she will come to realize the problem. However, when you ask her, re-

main calm and do not get angry if she denies what she has been doing. Also, your friend might claim that she doesn’t know what you are taking about. If you feel excluded, then involve yourself! Become friends with the people she is around. By including yourself, you won’t feel so left out. Also, do not become offended or upset if your friend does not talk to you all the time while she is talking with other friends. There is a possibility that you may not be able to get along with her friends. If this is the case, then you shouldn’t be afraid to make new friends as well. Q: Ever since I had a boyfriend, my friends feel as if I haven’t been finding time for them lately. How can I make sure that they don’t feel left out?

A: You may think that your boyfriend wants you to spend all your time with him, sacrificing time with your friends. You do not have to choose between your boyfriend and your friends. You can have both. Try inviting your friends sometimes when you’re with your boyfriend. You can have just the right amount of alone time you need with your boyfriend, but you should also hang out together in groups with him. If you include your friends, then they will get to know your boyfriend. Explain to your friends that it is hard for you to find time for your boyfriend and them but you are willing to work hard to find time. Always keep your friends and your boyfriend on a good balance of time you spend with them so that no one feels left out.


World News CARPE DEM:

Democrats seize Congress by Jason Cherchia

On January 4, 2007, Democrats has come to the presidency ended twelve years of being in the (Speaker is second in line to the minority when 31 new congress- Presidency after the Vice Presimen and six new senators were dent). Although the election saw sworn in. The new Congress will the victories of many more modcertainly use its oversight ability erate democrats, the congressmen to investigate President Bush’s that will be committee chairs and handling of the Iraq war. One of have most of the power are known the reasons for the change in lead- as “liberal lions” and will ensure ership was that many people were that a more liberal agenda will be dissatisfied with the Iraq war and pursued. Others, however, believe felt that the old Congress was too that Republicans have enough corrupt. Many people, mainly lib- of a presence to ensure that they erals and moderates, believe that are not included. It should not be the new Democratic Congress forgotten that Republicans still will get answers that the Repub- control the White House. Michael lican Congress would not search Slotnick agrees with those who for. Others are more skeptical believe Congress will be more and believe that nothing will get moderate. This senior at Freehold done. Township comments, “Now that It is certainly possible to com- the government is separated in pare the Democrats’ 2006 to the terms of party between the legisRepublicans’ 1994. In 1994, Re- lature and the executive branch, it publicans picked up seven Senate is likely that there will be political seats and 54 House seats. They stalemate and excessive use of the promised sweeping overhauls in President’s veto power. However, their “Contract with America.” I believe that there is likely to be Although Democrats only picked a relative shift in both foreign up six senate and domestic seats and 31 “For all those who suffered under policy.” house seats, Speaker the first six years of Bush’s pet they also Pelosi and took control conservative Congress, the time M a j o r i t y of vindication has arrived.” based on Leader Hoypromises to er of Cali- Ben Kahn, FTHS Senior end corrupfornia and tion in government. For many, in- Maryland respectively have ancluding Freehold Township’s Ben nounced that there will be a bulk Kahn, there is a sense of satisfac- of new legislation that will be tion: “For all those who suffered voted on in the first 100 legislaunder the first six years of Bush’s tive hours. Among this legislation pet conservative Congress, the is lobbying reform that would time of vindication has arrived. reduce the amount of interaction The Democrats finally have their between lobbyists and our elected window of opportunity to change officials, an increase of the nathe face of American politics.” tional minimum wage to $7.25 However, as similar this elec- an hour, and implementation of tion was to other times Congress the recommendations of the 9/11 changed hands, it is still histori- commission. cal in its own right, as Congress It is still too early to tell what elected the first female to the po- issues will be tackled but it will sition of Speaker of the House. be interesting to see what new This is the closest that a woman legislation will be introduced.

Former President Ford passes away by Meagan Lorenz

The Watergate crisis brought unelected Gerald R. Ford into presidency. After his death, President Bush stated, “America found a man whose character and leadership would bring calm and healing to one of the most divisive moments in our nation’s history.” Many mourned the loss of the 38th president, who died at 6:45 pm on December 26 at his home in Rancho Mirage, California at the age of 93. A service was held at the Washington National Cathedral, and a national day of mourning honoring Ford was set, closing most of the government and financial markets. Over 3,000 people attended the funeral and those who couldn’t make the funeral service traveled to Capitol Rotunda to pay their final respects to President Ford. Ford’s remains were also laid outside the Senate chamber, in remembrance of his time as Senate President. Afterward, the

by Dan Mullanaphy

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), once a subject regarded as taboo, is slowly gaining awareness. Until the early 90’s, only a few brave souls were willing to discuss the horrors of AIDS. Now, there is absolutely no shame in wearing a red-ribbon or running a marathon for research and awareness. With time, medications to reduce the chance of contracting HIV have also been developed. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a treatment that can reduce and possibly eliminate the chance of an HIV infection after contact. It is now available to people who fear that they have been exposed. Since PEP only works within 72 hours of contact with the infection, people who fear that they have come in contact with the virus should go to the local sex health clinic, a doctor, or a public hospital. New medications are lengthening HIV/

by Billy Hicks

posal also does not affect parents who take out loans to help their children pay for the already enormous college tuition fees. For subsidized loans, the rate cut went from 6.8 to 3.4 percent and it would be phased in over five years. Enacting this proposal would cost Congress an estimated $6 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. To avoid such an increasing deficit, this newly proposed bill would be counterbalance with the slimming down of subsidies the government gives to lenders and also reducing the guarantee return banks receive when students default. This would also cause banks to pay even more fees than they already do.

president’s casket rested outside the House chamber on Saturday, December 30, 2006, to honor his time as a Michigan congressman. President Bush, Henry Kissinger, and Tom Brokaw all recited eulogies. Following the viewings in the capitol, the president’s remains were flown into Grand Rapids, Michigan. This is where Ford grew up and the place where his final funeral service was to take place at Grace Episcopal Church. Following the ceremony, a private burial was held on the presidential museum’s grounds. His death was announced by his wife, Betty Ford, who gave no cause of death, but revealed that he had been making frequent visits to the hospital starting in January of 2006. Ford attended to the University of Michigan working hard studying and playing football. After graduating in 1935, he was made an offer from the Detroit Lions

and Green Bay Packers to play professional football. Instead, Ford continued to pursue his fascination with the law and enrolled at Yale Law School. Following schooling, Ford enlisted in the navy and continued to apply for transfer to a combat zone but was continuously denied. However, he rose to Lieutenant Commander and by the end of the war had won ten battle stars. When his career in the army ended, Ford returned to politics. Eventually, he became the countries 38th president, and took his oath of office on August 9, 1974. During his presidency and throughout the rest of his life, he continued to change the country for the better. He handled the Watergate conspiracy that had put him into office with great responsibility,and will be greatly missed by many who respected the man who brought put country at peace after one of it’s hardest times.

AIDS victims’ lives. Research and support has never been more impressive. There have been dramatic social and medical improvements in the treatment of HIV and AIDS victims. However, AIDS is still a major crisis. Despite medical progress, there still is no cure to speak of. 8,500 African people are infected with AIDS each day. In addition to that, 6,600 people die. By the end of the decade, there will be an estimated 18 million AIDS orphans. More than 25 million Africans are infected, and that number is rising exponentially. We will need billions of dollars to try to save their lives. In Europe alone, 11 billion dollars is spent annually on ice cream. That amount could completely fund the fight against global AIDS. AIDS campaigning works. AIDS campaigns in Uganda and Senegal combined powerful edu-

cation with media and community activism to capture public attention and spread awareness. These movements successfully reduced the rate of infection. Africans desperately need medical treatment and affordable medication such as ARVs, which can slow down the development of HIV in the human body. It costs as low as $1 a day and has a 90% success rate in Africans. Although ARVs are extremely effective, only 500,000 of the infected millions have access, and what may seem like small price for the medication is actually inconceivable to most. Do not ignore this full scale emergency. AIDs can be stopped if we start fighting. Remember to always protect yourself, and practice safe sex. For more information on AIDS, Africa and many other related issues, please visit http://www.data.org/ and start getting involved.

Spread awareness, fight AIDS

Student loan interest to be lowered On Friday, January 12, House Democrats proposed that they plan to take quick action on lowering the interest rates for student loans. This proposal, which is scheduled for vote the week of January 14, 2007, would cut interest rates on the student loans by about half. Katie Woolley, a sophomore at FTHS realizes, “the costs of college tuition are really high. It’s also difficult for students to take out loans.” Congress’ college tuition plan has been scaled back since it was first put into place on the campaign trail last year. This newly denounced interest rate would only apply to need-based loans and would not affect students who take out unsubsidized loans. This new pro-

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Another Democratic promise during the campaign was to raise the maximum Pell grant from $4,050 to $5,100, which is reported to go into place very shortly. Instead of the average student loan taken out which is about $22,100 with interest at a 6.8% interest rate, with the new plan it would cost about $17,700 ($4,400 less) with the 3.8% interest rate. Kim Aleski, an English teacher at Freehold Township, acknowledges that she is “drowning in debts.” Lowering the interest rates on student loans will certainly help students concentrate on studying for school rather than paying for it.

New ‘moon’ rising in United Nations by Matthew LaMagna

A new face replaced Kofi Annan as Secretary-General as Ban Ki-moon of South Korea took the highest office of the United Nations on January 1, 2007. Kimoon became the first Korean to hold this office, and the second Asian to do so (the first was U Thant). Ki-moon’s candidacy for the position began in early February 2006, in which he was pitted against contenders throughout the world. Ki-moon was able to defeat these candidates and earn the support of all five veto-power members of the Security Council, thus making him top choice for the job. The new SecretaryGeneral possesses almost four decades worth of governmental experience, including roles that involved both the South Korean

government and the United Nations. There are many problems that need Ki-moon’s leadership, and his impact will be felt both immediately and for the future; the conflict in Darfur still needs vast help, Ethiopia and Somalia are involved in a full-scale war, and HIV/AIDS is still a crisis. The United Nations needs reform in wake of the Oil-for-Food scandal and allegations of sexual abuse by peacekeepers. Indeed, Ki-moon’s actions will be scrutinized, as many people have their own opinions on how he should conduct his position and exercise his authority. Only time will tell how successful Ki-moon will be in his role as Secretary-General of the United Nations.


4 Year-end Reviews

CELEBRITIES GONE WILD: Starring racism, anti-semitism and Britney Spears by Jeff Fox

In America, there is no such thing as bad publicity. It seems in the world of celebrities that nothing can better promote a new movie or a recently-released CD like an “incident.” “They’re just desperate to stay in the spotlight, most times,” contends freshman Meagan Lorenz. “Why else would they do it?” Recently, such antics have become even more commonplace, reaching its climax with the Michael Richards incident at the Laugh Factory, when the man best known as Cosmo Kramer on “Seinfeld” made racist remarks at a group of African-Americans who had been heckling him. Although Richards claims that he acted on “pure rage”, he grasped attention at a level he had not attained since his work as Kramer. Kyle Doss, one of the hecklers, has responded to Richards’ outburst by saying, “That’s why you’re a reject, never had no shows, never had no movies. Seinfeld, that’s it,” and

after Richards issued an apology, he followed-up by saying he felt it was more of a “career move”. Unfortunately, this type of incident is not isolated. On July 28, 2006, Mel Gibson was arrested for speeding after driving 185 mph on a road with a 15 mph limit. He also drove under the influence. The anti-Semitic and sexually-harassing comments he made created a media frenzy, and it required two public apologies from the actor before the dust began to settle. Now, just over four months later, Gibson is back promoting his movie “Apocalypto”. Additionally, Britney Spears confirmed in the summer 2006 that she would be releasing a new album in the coming year. Just a few months afterward, Spears was photographed without underwear after a night on the town. This, along with her new friendship with Paris Hilton and her divorce from Kevin Federline, has put her in the

headlines more than usual. Danny Devito, in promotion of his movie “Deck the Halls,” appeared on “The View” in late November. He claimed to be drunk, and went on to speak of ineptness in President Bush and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, as well as make sexual comments regarding his wife, before finishing the segment talking about his movie. However, Devito had appeared just under three hours before on “FOX and Friends,” seemingly completely sober. “There are so many things that ordinary people would get in so much trouble for, yet these things somehow boost a celebrity’s popularity and ego. They get away with so much that it’s ridiculous,” freshman Chelsea Thorsheim states. However, these sorts of activities will continue until the society in which we live changes its policies.

All Time Low has an all-time high with third album by Billy Hicks

With a pop-punk feel and an arsenal of well-strung together words, All Time Low has just put out its third and most successful album to date. “Put Up or Shut Up,” released in 2006, boasts quality songs and has sky-rocketed the band’s fan base. The seven song EP, released off Hopeless Records contains many strong

lyrics combined with a fast-paced sound led by lead singer and guitarist Jack Gaskarth. The band put out the EP in mid-summer and has been touring since all over the nation with bands such as Motion City Soundtrack, The Early November, Acceptance, Gym Class Heroes, Cartel, Cobra Straship, and The Academy Is….

The EP is a work of genius and is a great buy. It isone of those albums that will put a smile on your face when you are feeling a little down, and it makes people want to dance. So early into their careers, All Time Low has already put out a phenomenal album, and this is merely the start of what we are about to see from them.

Palahniuk does the dance macabre in ‘Diary’ by Laura Di Mattina

Chuck Palahniuk is an incredible author who can effortlessly capture any reader’s attention. In all of his work, most popularly in “Fight Club,” he manages to add in various twists that no one expects. These twists ensnare the reader and make it an instant page turner. Each character has an intriguing secret. Palahniuk’s writing talent is evident in “Diary,” a disturbing tale about how people use manipulation to make their own lives better. While the open-

ing is confusing, the main character, Misty, is involved in an overwhelming situation. Misty tries to find a way to move with her preteen daughter out of town, but she can’t because she is held captive by her mother-in-law. The town is falling apart, but her mother-inlaw is convinced that Misty can save the town by painting. The townspeople feel hopeless and rely on Misty as their savior. “Diary” takes a dark twist when Misty’s husband is in a coma and

Taking Back Sunday rocks ‘Louder Now’ by Stephanie Candullo

After two original albums, Taking Back Sunday managed to do it again with their third album titled “Louder Now” released on Warner Brothers Records. The album features the major hit “Make Damn Sure,” along with 10 other tracks, including “What’s It Feel Like to Be A Ghost,” “Liar (It Takes One To Know One),” “Up Against (Black Out),” “My Blue Heaven,” “Twenty-Twenty Surgery,” “Spin,” “Divine Intervention,” “Miami,” “Error Operator,” and “I’ll Let You Live.” Taking Back Sunday’s first album, “Tell All Your Friends,” was released in 2002. It was not very popular. Their second album, however, “Where You Want To Be,” brought them newfound

recognition by the teenage crowd. “Louder Now” opened up the doors for a larger crowd, making the band even more popular. The rock band is from Long Island, New York, and their members are Adam Lazzara on vocals and guitar, Fred Mascherino on guitar and vocals, Eddie Reyes on guitar, Mark O’Connel on drums, and Matt Rubano on bass. “Louder Now” brings new, upbeat flavor to their style. Whether you are driving or listening to music at home, you will enjoy this album. “Louder Now” is a must hear, along with their first two albums. If you like bands like Brand New and Straylight Run, then you should definitely listen to Taking Back Sunday.

her dead father-in-law suddenly reappears in her life. Through all the confusion, Misty is desperately trying to salvage any sort of relationship with her daughter, who is taking more interest in Misty’s mother-in-law. This tale is unexpected and somewhat tragic, but a very good read. Palahniuk’s creativity brings sinister surprises. Anyone who has ever considered revenge will enjoy this book.

Wh at a r e you l i s t e ni ng t o, r e a di ng , wat c hi ng? Se n d you r fil m , b o o k , m usic , a n d r e s tau r a n t r e v i e ws t o f t. pat r i o t p r e s s @ g m a i l . c om

Success is what they aimed for by Billy Hicks After solely dominating the internet music source, Cute Is What We Aim For has now taken the entire music scene by storm. With an up-and-coming genre of power pop, witty lyrics that appeal to struggling teenagers, and the soft and soothing voice of lead singer Shaant Hacikyan, Cute Is What We Aim For is building a huge fan base. After forming in January 2005, it began with Hacikyan and lead guitarist Jeff Czum. Shortly after, Fred Cimato (rhythm guitar) and Tom Falcone (drums) joined, and the band that was merely a side project was now in full force and on track to be signed. On November 29, 2005, Cute Is What We Aim For became the newest addition to the highly acclaimed label, “Fueled by Ramen.” With a record deal under their belt and a wide fan base thanks to their dominance on the internet, with such sites as purevolume.com and myspace.com, the band was set to record their first album. With their debut CD release on June 20, 2006, titled “The Same Old Blood Rush, With a New Touch,” Cute Is What We Aim For further surpassed any expectations. While selling 13,651 copies in its first week, Cute debuted at #75 on the Billboard’s Top 200. With its first week in sales, “The Same Old Blood Rush, With a New Touch” broke the label’s

internal record set by Panic! At the Disco’s “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” by almost 4,000 copies. By July of 2006, it had more than doubled its number of copies sold, selling 28,947 copies. This CD is well worth the buy. With a rare 12 quality songs, “The Same Old Blood Rush, With a New Touch” is composed of lyrical wit and a genre that is appealing to teenagers. The melodies of Shaant Hacikyan and the beats put together by the rest of the band provide for a great musical selection. With a brand new album out, Cute started on its first major tour in June 2006 to gain publicity. With great success and a still major growing fan base, the band put out its first music video in July 2006. “There’s A Class For This” premiered on mtvU and was directed by Jay Martin. Since then, with two tours under their belt and a soon and upcoming UK tour, Cute Is What We Aim For is making a voice for themselves. Barely two years together, the band has surpassed any of their expectations that they had set for themselves. Lead singer Shaant Hacikyan even stated on his blog on fueledbyramen.com saying,“this year has been the best and most memorable of my entire life. I just cannot believe what my life has become in one year.”

The Shins’ new album is Shinfully good by Mike Kirshenbaum

After the long awaited time between “Chutes Too Narrow”, “Garden State” and a ton of recently garnered fame, the Shins now return with their most recent album “Wincing the Night Away.” The eleven tracks album’s first single “Phantom Limb” highlights the 60’s popesque sounds that the Shins are famous for. “I give this song a thumbs up. A lot of people will like it,” remarks freshman Renee Marietta. The Shins front man James Mercer is not known for the depth of his lyrics, but for the appeal of his songs. He

makes the Shins memorable for great pop songs. The Shins have already won everyone’s hearts, thanks to actress Natalie Portman who gave the band instant stardom. In the movie “Garden State,” Natalie Portman tells Zach Braff, “This band will change your life.” While Shins fans may be hoping for Chutes Too Narrow II, “Wincing the Night Away” is not the same record as the last. The Shins have now removed themselves from the Indie world and are now ready for super stardom.

Seniors Sarah Frank and Stefanie Kern catch up on their “Harry Potter” reading.

photo by Sara Rosen

POTTER: New Rowling title revealed Continued from page 1

Rowling has said that at least one character will die. The question, of course, is who? Kate DiGiacomo, a senior, believes it will be either Ron or Hermione. “I think Ron and Hermione both know that Harry is destined to do some great things, so one of them will sacrifice themselves to save Harry so he can go on.” The amount of

speculation over such questions has certainly increased since the release of the title, and will continue to rise until the book itself is released. Overall, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows seems as if it will live up to the expectations of Harry Potter fans everywhere. Even though the title may not

have been well-received by some, there is no doubt they will read it anyway. Potter-mania lives on all over the world, and the anticipation for the final book is rapidly growing. When asked if she will stake out for the midnight release, avid Harry Potter fan Brittany Kapulsky only had one word: “Absolutely.”


Year-end Reviews 5

‘Dreamgirls’: Stars rise and ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ will brighten your day fall, but dreams live forever by Melyssa Horton

by Kristin Lindquist

Passion, love, a friendship they thought could never break. Based on the 1981 Broadway musical, “Dreamgirls” is a story of greed, hate, and romance. Three young women, Deena Jones (Beyonce Knowles), Effie White (Jennifer Hudson), and Lorrell Robinson (Anika Noni Rose), crave to become pop stars and get their wish when they’re picked to be backup singers for the legendary James “Thunder” Early (Eddie Mur-

phy). The Dreams are then set to be their own act, but James, manager Curtis Taylor (Jamie Foxx), and Effie’s brother C.C. (Keith Robinson), choose Deena to be lead which upsets original lead Effie. The movie’s most memorable moments come from Murphy and newcomer Hudson, both Golden Globe winners. Hudson is particularly moving in her performance of the musical’s signature song,

“And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going.” In many theaters, the audience burst into applause at the song’s end. This movie contains original Broadway and new songs, and it is one movie that the whole family will enjoy! “Dreamgirls” is so popular that some theaters added on late night showings just to have room for the viewers. This powerful moving film is perfect for anyone.

Will Smith pursues Oscar in ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ by Olivia Tkach

“The Pursuit of Happyness” is an uplifting and inspiring story about a man named Christopher Gardner (Will Smith) who is struggling to financially make a living for his wife and son. Christopher lives in San Francisco, where he, his wife, Linda (Thandie Newton), and son Christopher (Jaden Smith) can barely pay the rent on their small apartment. Christopher works as a salesman, going to doctor’s offices and selling them heavy and expensive x-ray machines that he had spent his life savings on. His intelligence often amuses others, and the money situation in the family causes issues with his wife. When his wife Linda leaves Chris to go to New York City, Chris takes custody of their son and moves place to place after being evicted from their apartment. Eventually,

Chris and his son find themselves homeless and sleeping in train station bathrooms, and homeless shelters. Nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, the film is well-written by Steve Conrad and directed by Gabriele Muccino. Chris is extremely intelligent and skilled at math. The title of the movie comes from Chris always being annoyed by the mural outside his son’s daycare, where they spell happiness wrong; they spell it spelled “happyness.” After constantly requesting a meeting, he eventually finds an internship at a brokerage, and fights his way to earning the job offer once the internship is over. By his stubbornness to have a meeting with a man from the company, Jay Twissle (Brian Howe), he is able to convince the optimistic man that he is fit for the internship, and

will not let the company down. Though he is not paid throughout his internship, Chris never fails to keep his hopes up and continue on his dream of making a better life for his family. This uplifting movie is based on the true story of a man named Christopher Gardner, and Will Smith displays an excellent performance that makes you feel like you’re going through the experience as if you were him. I would recommend this movie to teenagers and adults experiencing issues with their job, or need some motivation in life. One who is going to see this movie should definitely bring a box of tissues, and prepare themselves for a moving and inspirational experience. This movie will not fail to please!

WORST OF T HE Y EAR:

‘The Wicker Man’: A sad attempt at a horror film by Olivia Tkach

If you didn’t see “The Wicker Man,” you didn’t miss out on anything. Starring Nicolas Cage and Ellen Burstyn, this film is a remake of the 1973 British movie. Wrtten and directed by Neil LaBute, this film is confusing for the viewer and has a weak plot line. The acting is fairly good, but the script is poorly written. The movie is a sad attempt at a

horror film. The movie is about a policeman named Edward Malus (Cage), who gets a letter from his former fiancée, Willow Woodward (Kate Beahan) asking him to investigate the disappearance of her daughter, Rowan. The Northern Pacific island where Willow lives is inhabited by many cruel women and a few

‘Stranger Than Fiction’ is just strange If you’re in the mood for a movie with an extremely strange and outrageous plotline, then I’d recommend seeing “Stranger than Fiction.” Although the movie was incredibly boring at times, there were still moments when you forgot you were in the movie theater. The film is about a man named Harold Crick (Will Ferrell), a middle aged man, who discovers that everything he does is being narrated by an anonymous woman. His life is completely routine; he wakes up, brushes his teeth, gets dressed and goes to work as a tax auditor. Crick’s life is mundane, until he suddenly hears the voice describ-

ing each and every one of his actions as he would perform them. Crick’s life turns around once again when he travels to a bakery to audit a young woman named Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Harold Crick immediately falls in love with her. Although she holds a grudge against him for auditing her, she can’t help falling in love with him as well. As the story of Harold Crick’s life progresses, the movie becomes even more outrageous, as Crick learns that the novel he is in is a tragedy. The movie is exciting and actually pretty funny up until the point when you find out that the author is trying to figure

mute men. When Edward learns the shocking truth about Rowan, he then begins to fear for her life. The surprise ending shocks many people. Though there was an eventful ending, it was confusing and came to a strange closing. Watching this movie is a waste of time.

by Meagan Lorenz out how to kill off Harold Crick. The story then becomes a drama, but not what the previews and beginning of the movie had led viewers to believe. The ending is still predictable, and did not live up to the hype that the opening of the story had projected. Ferrell is an amazing actor, but simply as a comedian. His role as a damned man was strange to see after viewing his role in “Elf” as an immature, overgrown, fun loving elf. “Stranger Than Fiction” is a pointless film, with a small amount of enjoyable segments. I would not recommend this film to any audience, under any circumstances.

The Hoover family is the dictionary definition for the word “dysfunctional.” Richard (Greg Kinnear), the father, is a man who lectures on winners and losers; Sheryl (Toni Collete) is the “pro honesty,” chain-smoking housewife. Uncle Frank (Steve Carrell) is not only gay, but also recently attempted suicide because of his broken heart by a grad-student he fell in love with. The grandfather Edwin (Alan Arkin) was kicked out of his retirement home for sniffing heroin and now is a drug addict who coaches his granddaughter in dancing. Then there are the younger Hoovers - Dwayne (Paul Dano), a Nietzsche worshipper and a rebel teenager who has taken a vow of silence until he gets into the Air Force and Olive (Abigail Bres-

lin), a seven-year-old girl who dreams of winning the Little Miss Sunshine pageant. When her big chance comes at the most unexpected time, it’s up to her unbelievably fractured family to pull themselves together and make it happen, no matter what it takes. Comedy is practically spilling from each chapter of this movie. All actors portray their characters well, bringing out who they really are. It’s a charming movie which comments on everything - from how twisted pop culture can be, to how our drive to be winners can blind us to the things that are truly important in life. I couldn’t recommend this movie enough, and I can’t wait to see it again. It’s fantastic, different, and more than fun-filled. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

‘Step Up’ is a step above the rest by Melissa Rothman

In “Step Up,” the cliché, “follow your dreams” is given a refreshing twist. Combining killer dance movies and hip music, “Step Up” is an instant favorite. In this movie, where the privileged and the underprivileged collide, two teens realize that they’re “destined to dance.” Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) is the bad-boy gangster with a heart of gold, from the wrong side of the tracks. Living with foster parents, Tyler falls into the wrong crowd, and steals cars for cash with his best friend Mac (Damaine Radcliff) and Mac’s younger brother “Skinny” (De’Shawn Washington). After breaking into and vandalizing the Maryland School of the Arts (MSA), Tyler is sentenced to perform community service there. Nora Clark (Jenna Dewan) is the misunderstood and well-off, classically-trained dancer with a lot on her plate. A student at MSA, Nora constantly worries about her senior piece and is stressing its importance. However, when her partner is injured, all bets are off, and unseemly Tyler is the only “adequate” dance partner. Despite the slightly overused plotline, “Step Up” is interesting enough to please its anticipated

audience of teenage girls. Also, it subtly draws attention to racial and social-class issues, without overdoing it. There are even a few interesting subplots, including a romance between two other students. Nevertheless, the movie should have focused more attention on the leads. Tatum and Dewan deliver a fairly believable performance. Their on-screen chemistry is undeniable. Sticking to its PG-13 rating, the movie is depressingly clean. There are a few cute scenes such as Tatum taking ballet class, and playing with his foster siblings in the yard, and although Tatum isn’t the best actor, his chiseled physique makes up for his flaws. Behind the scenes, Anne Fletcher, the chorographer, provides memorable dance scenes. The actors are always in-sync and not just on the dance floor. The beats by artists like Mario and Jamie Scott are intense. “Step up” is unoriginal, yet still entertaining. It ends just as you would expect, but explodes with classical dance mixed with the vivacity of hip hop. In summary, “Step Up” is a pleasantly clichéd teen dance chick flick.

Surprise hit of 2006?: ‘Snakes on a Plane’ by Christine Shaw Screenwriters try hard to come up with clever names for their films that in some kind of pun sums up what the movie is about. Not in this movie though though. “Snakes on a Plane” does not deceive in any way. It is about snakes on a plane. This cult favorite had major buzz long before it was even released. Thousands of websites were created in devotion to it, home-made parodies appeared on YouTube, and “Snakes” merchandise was at a record high and the film wasn’t even released yet.

This action adventure is probably the most fun a person can have watching a movie. The plot line is predictable, but the special effects, hilarious dialogue, and the always amazing Samuel L Jackson make it an exciting and entertaining movie to watch when you’re with a bunch of your friends and in a silly mood. While not Oscar-worthy by any means, “Snakes on a Plane” is a comical action adventure that both you and your friends will be quoting for many years to come.


6

School News

FTHS Student Ambassadors help juniors succeed by Kristen Lindquist

Passing the HSPA is impor- cese, Smith, David Patterson, Phil sufficient. tant for all students, but for some Drummond, Deborah Santora, “The students should have it may not be so easy. The stu- and Brian Golub are part of the the opportunity to come down dents in the Academic Support Student Ambassador program. and help more often,” recomInstruction (ASI) class use inven“The student ambassadors mends math teacher Golub. Amtive learning strategies that will have put a lot of work into this, bassador Greg Cherchia says, “I help them pass the exam. As a and the juniors are very receptive feel it would be more efficient if result, Assistant Principal Jackie to having their peers teach them,” the seniors met with the juniors Thomas set up the Student Am- math teacher Kurcezski remarks more often than once a month.” bassador Program where students about the students. Patterson, an- Though it may still be working help students learn out some flaws, and succeed. Math this program is a teacher Todd Smith great addition to comments, “Students our school. help students prepare The 2006for all aspects of the 2007 Student HSPA by giving first Ambassadors are hand information.” Erica Kulp, Deky Once a month, the M u s c h e j e w, students in this proCherchia, Amangram will go to an da Boutros, LauASI class to work on ren Hanson, Anspecific open-ended thony Bermeo, problems with the Andrew Chungphoto by Chris Farnkopf Ying, Rob Gonjuniors. “My job as a Student Ambassador The 2006-2007 Student Ambassadors proudly display their custon tzalez, Charles is to do specific prob- shirts. Bourne, Jermaine lems and then teach Qualls, Brian Pithe juniors how I got the answer other math teacher, observes, “It azza, Rafal Janik, Jessica Serathat I did,” states senior Amanda gives ASI students something to fino, Meagan Jones, Joe Marino, Boutros. In order to become a aim for, because next year they Bryan Caraballo, Mo Rafiq, AlesStudent Ambassador a student may be in this leadership posi- sandra Giuliano, Kim Vargas, Anmust be recommended by their tion.” The students feel that the tonio Schiano- Lomoriello, Anton ASI math or language arts teacher program should be expanded. Havenor, and Lauren Biro. from the previous year. Teachers Most of the Ambassadors do not Good luck to all juniors taking Carol Kurcezski, Nancy Fran- feel that meeting once a month is the HSPA this March!

MOODLE: Preparation for college or a big nuisance? by Asma Mumtaz

At the beginning of the new school year, the Freehold Regional High School District started using Moodle 1.6 through their membership with Horizon Courseware Portal. At the good news, Jeff Moore, a site administrator, exclaims, “With this system, we are entering a new era of innovation in teaching, learning and technology integration.” Indeed, the Moodle is a helpful site that allows educators to release information, give free downloads, warn about upcoming due dates, and hand out related links. A few students believe that the Moodle is a time-saving mechanism. Others think that it reduces paperwork and makes handing in assignments generally easier. Senior Ishani Ved, who uses the Moodle in AP Economics, states “Even though there are periodic glitches on the site, the Moodle keeps many students more organized.” Besides student opinions, teachers feel that the site will better prepare students for what lies ahead in college. Students do not complain about the above-mentioned uses of Moodle; but there are many different aspects of the Moodle that students criticize on a day-to-day basis that are more

based on how the teacher uses it than the Moodle itself. Before the Moodle epidemic spread throughout the school, students were allowed the leisure of doing their homework assignments the morning it was due, or if they were more nocturnal beings, get to it at a later time. However, teachers put strict time limits and due dates on projects and quizzes, which do not sit well with students’ busy schedules. Besides the busy schedules, some have poor internet quality, which does not permit them to go online to do an assignment. Senior Siew Yen Chai further criticizes the Moodle by stating, “Although Moodle, paperless and time-saving, offers economic advantages to students and teachers alike, we must not overlook its flaws. The online assignment is often set to due before midnight, forcing students who return home late from work or other activities to rush through the assignment carelessly due to time constraints. Technology is not 100% reliable, too. What if the Internet fails to work or the computer suddenly crashes before one gets to submit an assignment? Should he or she be penalized for not handing the homework in on time due to tech-

nical difficulties? How can the teacher be certain whether the student is telling the truth or merely using it as an excuse to cover up for his or her laziness? These are very debatable issues.” Another general complaint is that teachers do not advise the students about the deadlines in advance and expect the class to have done their homework. If a teacher is using the Moodle, he/she should definitely use it in a way that students can benefit from it. Although teachers claim they are preparing students for hectic college deadlines, they may be adding on to the list of pupils’ burdens. Preparation for college or a big nuisance, the Moodle is bound to stay in use in our schools due to the consistency of our educators’ need to make use of it. As of now, Freehold Township High School is taking the most advantage out of the Moodle with its 82 course sites available under its extension. Despite student protests for the abolishment of the Moodle everywhere, including Facebook (the social site that connects students with other students), from the looks of it, the Moodle will spread throughout our school district.

Passing the torch to National Honor Society inductees by Melissa Rothman

On Wednesday, January 10, new members were inducted into the National Honor Society. The selection board sifted through hundreds of applications to admit qualified students. Although academic scholarship was essential in deciding who was allowed to be in the National Honor Society, each student must demonstrate merit, leadership, service and character. NHS is specifically designed to recognize outstanding students. “A big reason why I was admitted into NHS last year is because of strong teacher recommendations,” comments veteran member Kayla Khan. “I would be nowhere today without amazingly selfless role models such as Mrs. Lanza, Mr. Giblin, and Mr. Rieder.” Founded in 1921, the NHS constitution states that its purpose is to “create enthusiasm for scholarship, to promote leadership, and to develop character in the students of secondary schools.” Old NHS members chose social stud-

ies teacher, Patrick McEvoy, to deliver the keynote address. His speech was particularly memorable, according to senior Christine Shaw because “he really embraced our inner nerdiness.” NHS members elect officials to run the chapter under the advisor. President Jeff Carasiti, Vice President Sara Rosen, Secretary Maria Clemente, Treasurer Michelle Rumsey, Historian Pedro Martinez, and Sergeant at Arms Luke Pisarek are the student leadership of the FTHS chapter. Elected by their peers, these students are responsible for organizing meetings and fund raisers. Olivia Tkach, a ninth grade student says, “Congratulations to all those inducted! I think that it is great that well-rounded students are rewarded.” As you can see, being a part of The National Honors Society is a magnificent accomplishment. Congratulations NHS class of 2008.

Township gets locked down by Laura Di Mattina

In Freehold Township High School, it is ordered to have two fire drills per month. Not only does the school maintain keeping students safe during a fire, but they are trying to figure out a way to keep students safe if there is a terrorist attack as well. For this instance the school board has come up with a drill which they named lock down. During a lock down drill students are to shut the windows and leave the blinds half closed. Once this is done, the teacher in the room shuts off the lights and everyone huddles in the corner farthest away from the windows and door in order to stay hidden. This promotes the idea that the terrorist will get the notion that no one is in the school and hopefully, give up. The students are also told to sit in silence and to shut off all cell phones. The whole process usually takes less than a half hour to complete, but has been known

to vary depending upon efficiency. At some point during the last lock down drill, police officers came in and shouted in the hallways. In addition, the officers had a fake gunman and consequently, the team shot him with a rubber bullet. The officers took one class with them and made them walk single file to safety, another procedure in the drill. All of this was included to help make the situation seem real. Opinions on the necessity of such lock downs vary between students, teachers, and administrators. Although some students enjoy the time they get out of a period, some teachers get frustrated with so much time being taken out of their class. The administration on a whole, however, is content that the school is practicing safety and taking such great measures to do so.

HSPA: Not just another test by Christine Shaw

“Oh, great, another test,” many high school juniors preparing to take the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) must think. They take midterms, finals, PSATs, SATs, S-Tests, ACTs, APs, SAT IIs; what makes this one any different? The HSPA’s main distinction is that it is a single test that students are required to pass in order to graduate. It includes subjects such as reading, writing, and mathematics, as specified in the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. The HSPA also determines the strength of the local curriculum and assesses where improvements are needed. These important tests, which originated in 1988, are being enforced more than ever since President Bush’s No Child Left Behind enacted six years ago. Its purpose is to en-

sure quite literally, that no student is left behind and that pupils all over the nation are held at a high standard and getting a deserving education. In math, it assesses numerical operations, geometry, algebra, and basic probability and statistics. The HSPA also tests student’s skills in language arts, specifically grammar, reading, and writing. Additionally, juniors are tested in the field of science, the newest addition to this test. The HSPA usually lasts three to four days and is administered in the beginning of March. Although it may seem like “just another test,” it is in fact one that judges not only a student’s achievement and the effectiveness of the curriculum, but it also determines if the student will graduate. Good luck to all juniors!


Sports Cougar Den no match for Patriots by Vincent Stanziola

The so called “Cougar Den” (Colts Neck High School’s gym) was no problem for the Patriots as they defeated Colts Neck 65-56 in a loud, crazy atmosphere on January 8, 2006. Freehold Township finally got a chance to prove that they are a good team in front of the loudest “Bleacher Creatures” in the shore. Township broke the tie for first place in the Shore-A North division and sent the Cougars undefeated season down the drain. “We didn’t do what we had to do,” Freehold Township coach Brian Golub told an Asbury Park Press reporter. “We didn’t keep our composure. Our defense wasn’t what it was. I’m still learning with this group, too.” It didn’t look too good for the Patriots as Colts Neck jumped out

to a 12-2 run early in the 1st quarter. After this run, the Cougars went ice cold as Freehold went red hot. A 25-0 run surged Township into sure victory. Senior T.J. LaFalce finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Eddie Fischer who ran the show the whole game had 18 points and 12 rebounds. Colts Neck finally made a shot late in the second quarter to break the run. At halftime, the Patriots went into the locker room with much confidence because they were leading by double digits. They never looked back. Every time the Cougars and their enormous crowd were trying to get in the game, Township answered right back with help from senior Alan Frost who hit key shots to keep the Patriots up. “They had some

photo by Melyssa Horton

IVERSON: Is this ‘the answer’ in Denver? by Matthew Horwitz

“We’re talking about practice, man. We’re talking about practice. We’re talking about practice. We’re not talking about the game. We’re talking about practice. When you come to the arena, and you see me play, you’ve seen me play right, you’ve seen me give everything I’ve got, but we’re talking about practice right now,” Allen Iverson announced at a press conference in May, 2002. Iverson has had a colorful career. He has rarely gotten along with coaches. After going to the NBA Championship in 2001, he has not been happy with the players in the Philadelphia 76ers organization either. It is clearly difficult to build a team around a 5’10” point guard. Even with Iverson averaging 30 points per game, it’s not possible to win with the mediocre talent surrounding Allen “the Answer” Iverson. While the team had some fault in Iverson’s unhappiness, he was the main problem. He was the greedy star who had to be the center of attention. Can a team possibly construct a winning season around such a conceited player? Nonetheless, Iverson requested a trade and “unofficially” removed himself from the team. He stopped showing up to practices, games, or team meetings. The Manny Ramirez of basketball seemed like he would be traded. Billy

shooters and stuff. The thing that we were worried about is that they have a lot of guards and their quickness could hurt us a little bit. So, they got a little lead on us and we fought back and showed our true character,” said LaFalce to an Asbury Park Press reporter. LaFalce also kept Township in the lead with his hustle and drives to the basket. With conservative playing, Freehold ran out the clock and got another win against a division opponent. Another win is in the books, and the Pats continue their superb play. They now stand in first place at 8-0 and 6-0 against division opponents. If you missed this game there are still more games to go. Come out and support the team.

7

photo by Melyssa Horton

January 7: A sad day for New York teams by Vincent Stanziola

The New York Giants and New York Jets lost on Sunday January 7, 2006. Both teams lost on “Wild Card Weekend.” The Jets played at 1 o’clock against the New England Patriots. The final score was 37-16 in behalf of Patriots. The game was pretty close until the New England blew it open late in the fourth quarter. New England’s quarterback Tom Brady threw to running back Kevin Faulk for a seven yard touchdown. On the Jets’ next possession, quarterback Chad Pennington was intercepted by Asante Samuel, and he returned

to the end zone for a touchdown. That single play closed the door on the Jets season. They hope to return to the playoffs next season after a decent 10-7 season with a rookie head coach. Nobody predicted the Giants to win this game. But nobody predicted it to be this close either. The New York Giants lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 23-20. Throughout the whole game the Giants were fighting and fighting their rivals, but they couldn’t make anything happen on offense until quarterback Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass to Plaxi-

co Burress to tie the game at 20 with the extra point. Unfortunately the Eagles got the ball back and went right down the field. As time expired, the kicker for the Eagles’ David Akers kicked a 38-yard field goal to win the game for the Eagles. This was a tough loss for the Giants. There will be a lot of controversy in the off season to whether Tom Coughlin will stay as head coach. We’ll just have to wait and find out until next year in September. In the meantime, baseball season is coming up pretty soon.

Bleacher Creatures invade Township by Matt Juron

King, 76ers President, stated, “In making this trade, it was one that was difficult because we had to work hard to do it. There were a lot of rumors and things involved. What we are trying to accomplish is to get some cap flexibility and get a player that could help us. I think we were able to do that. I think that we have a plan now in place that will help the organization in the long haul.” After receiving offers from Minnesota, Denver, Boston and the Lakers, Denver ultimately won the Iverson sweepstakes. The trade that took place on December 19, 2006 was a four player deal; Iverson and Ivan McFarlin were traded for Andre Miller, Joe Smith, and two first round picks. Iverson gave the cliché speech, “I just want to thank my fans, the 76ers organization, for 11 great years…” Iverson was reportedly excited to be in Denver, but as if to foreshadow bad things to come, his first scheduled game was cancelled due to a blizzard. It seems the foreshadowing was correct, because although Iverson is averaging 28.8 points per game, Denver is just 2-4 with him. Philadelphia was 5-12 with him and has been 4-4 without him. The real question is, can Iverson and Carmelo Anthony learn to share?

In an interview with Kevin Dunshee, Sports Editor Matt Juron discovers what it means to be a Bleacher Creature. Matt: So Kevin, how do the Bleacher Creatures influence FTHS varsity basketball games? Kevin: It’s a good feeling to know that we might affect the game in a positive way for our team. Obviously our team’s talent has been the determining factor in their dominance, but it’s nice to know that we play some small role. Matt: At the CBA vs. FTHS home game, I witnessed the “creativity” of some of your cheers which simply overpowered the away crowd. What do you attribute this creativity to? Are the cheers made up before hand or right on the spot?

standard cheers that we like to use for every game. Other times its impromptu- a quick comeback to something that’s said in the opposing stands. I guess the creativity can just be attributed to the fact that we’ve got a great group of seniors leading us this year who are willing to listen to ideas from every angle. That’s probably the biggest difference from last year. Matt: I personally saw you put on a full size hot dog suit...any comments?

means dressing up as a delicious Ball Park Frank. Matt: I understand completely. Do the Bleacher Creatures go to every away game also? Kevin: We don’t get as big of a crowd at away games, but there are always the diehard fans that come to every game. We’ve had a pretty good turnout at away games. It’s one of the perks of being number one in the shore. Matt: You have to really hand it to our team, they’re playing great, and they’re lots of fun to watch. Any words of wisdom you’d like to share with the school?

Kevin: If you’re bored on a weekday and haven’t been to a game yet, I recommend it. It’s almost guaranteed that someone in the photo by Stefanie Kern stands will be able Senior Bleacher Creatures Mike Slotnick, Elisabeth deBeus, Jackie to entertain you. Rothman, Sagar Shah, and Ben Kahn get psyched before a big game. Kevin: Some of the And in the unlikely stuff we plan ahead event that we’re quiof time. Things that require props et, Marcus [Roberson] will just needs to be coordinated before Kevin: Sometimes you have to dunk it and everyone will go nuts hand. Of course we’ve got the take one for the team, even if it anyway.


8

Photo Essay At the winter pep rally, sports teams weren’t the only ones celebrated. The dance team, drill and break team, and the JV and Varsity cheerleaders all got a chance to strut their stuff. All photos by Melyssa Horton

The dance team puts on an amazing show at the FTHS pep rally.

The JV cheerleaders show their spirit during the pep rally.

The drill team impressed the crowd with their intricate routine.

The Varsity cheerleaders bring enthusiasm to the pep rally.

The break team busts a move with their daring routines and extreme athleticism.

Patriot Press January 2007