Page 1

highlights R










4 5 0 B i r d R o a d , C o r a l G a b l e s , F L 3 314 6





Issue 4,




Through thirteen seasons, eight playoff appearances, and a 2006 district championship, Joseph Montoya has been the Cavaliers’ head football coach. Montoya has coached football stars Frank Gore, Daryl Sharpton, Jonathan Vilma, Denzel Perryman, and was Miami-Dade county’s longest active public school head coach – was, until he was replaced officially on Nov. 29 by Roger Pollard, his former linebacker and later defensive coordinator. “They called me in at 10 a.m.,” said Montoya, “[Principal Adolfo] Costa and [Athletic Director Luis] Romero were there, and they said they were considering going in a different direction with the program. I asked, ‘You’re firing me?’ and they said ‘Yeah, that’s basically what it is.’ It caught me off guard.” Romero said the “change in direction” was not a result of the team’s 2-7 record this season, nor of Montoya’s performance as a coach, but that “basically, yes, we fired him.” “We were faced with a situation where we had the opportunity to hire Pollard, who we feel is a very bright, young candidate,”

said Romero. “It was in our best interest [to hire him], before we lost him to other schools.” Pollard had been the team’s defensive coordinator for the past two years, and was interviewing with other schools for their head coaching positions. Romero also said that Montoya is more than welcome to stay with the team as an assistant coach, and that whether or not he does is “totally his decision.” Montoya, whose duties officially end with helping his seniors finalize college scholarship opportunities this winter, said he will give his answer to Pollard after Christmas break. Montoya said that because his income depends on his job at the school, he will keep his job as a Physical Education teacher for now. Montoya announced the change to his team at a meeting on Dec. 1. He described the mixed reaction from his players: “Some shook my hand, some looked discouraged, and some were like, whatever.” Senior Mateus Tuon has been a linebacker for Montoya for four years. “It’s sad to see my coach for four years go, but I’m excited to see how the program will change,” said Tuon. And the program will indeed change. Pollard has new plans for the team but

Courtesy of FoxMar Photography



the scene

CHANGING THE GAME: Former head coach Joseph Montoya (left) celebrates with senior Payum Sedaghat after a win. Montoya’s former linebacker Roger Pollard (right) counsels the team as defensive coordinator, the position he has now swapped for head coach. “Dreams are what you do while you sleep, but American dreams are what you will fight, scratch, claw, dig, and do anything to achieve. [Becoming head coach] was my American dream,” said Pollard.




D e c e m b e r 2 011, V o l . 5 2


also wants to “restore the tradition of the past.” Pollard hopes players recognize that their actions and gameplay represent the “Cavalier football tradition” and the legacies of past stars. Pollard plans to build on what Montoya did as head coach, and hopes to have him on the staff as an assistant coach. “He’s my former boss and still my mentor. He coached me and taught me everything I know,” said Pollard. Pollard is still “up above the clouds and dancing on rainbows” in response to his promotion, but holds other roles at the school and will now be forced to prioritize. Pollard is currently track-and-field coach, and with conditioning practices having already begun, must decide the future of the program. Romero said that Pollard will coach track this season, but that “moving forward we will have to find a new coach.” The current sport schedule shows that conditioning practices for spring football will overlap with meets for track-and-field, and how Pollard will manage both teams at once is unclear, but he is determined to make it work. “There are 24 hours in a day. I only need two or three to sleep and the rest is devoted to [football and track-and-field],” he said.

PG. 7 What is the ideal body type? Does a perfect mate have a look?


By Avery Budin & Ali Stack

Moving in a new direction: Pollard takes over

PG. 3 highlights visits and evaluates the Occupy Wall Street movement


Student sentenced: 40 years in prison

Montoya replaced, former player takes head coaching position

By Nicolas Rivero & Ali Stack


Earlier this year, 19-year-old former student Andy Rodriguez was found guilty of seconddegree murder in the stabbing of Juan Carlos Rivera that took place on campus on Sept. 15, 2009. On Nov. 22, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Dava Tunis imposed the final sentencing after taking Rodriguez’s prior school suspensions, criminal record and age into consideration. Facing a maximum of life in prison, Rodriguez was sentenced to 40 years in prison and ten years of probation. He will serve 85 percent (34 years) of the 40 years in prison without parole, and then his behavior will be assessed to determine if the last six years will be served. Following his time in prison, Rodriguez is also required to serve ten years probation, during which he will partake in community service and speak to students about the dangers of violence. Rodriguez apologized to the Rivera family at the hearing, asking for forgiveness through the translator, claiming he “has a good heart” and is not a murderer. Alexander Michaels, Rodriguez’s attorney, believes that Rodriguez has “suffered through enough” and deserved no more than 25 years. It was agreed that both families have suffered great losses; Rivera’s mother believes Rodriguez should serve a life sentence as her son will “never be able to return”. Rivera and Rodriguez’s former teachers, Alicia Reyes, and Miriam Castillo, agreed that the incident was not surprising. Rodriguez, according to both teachers, was a “problem student”. “It’s good that he is required to talk to kids about violence,” said Reyes, Rodriguez’s former Spanish teacher. “He needs to be back at Coral Gables to see where it was he took a life.” When asked about the sentencing, Principal Adolfo Costa said that the judicial system “ran its course.” He also expressed his disappointment in the lack of funding promised by the Rivera family to enhance school safety: The Rivera family and the Miami-Dade County School District reached a $1.875 million settlement on Oct. 17, after Rivera’s mother sued for negligence, and a portion of this settlement was to come to the school. The official sentencing of Andy Rodriguez was not accepted or welcomed by all, but is believed by jury members to be fair, under the circumstances.

PG. 16 Miami’s tenth Art Basel attracts tourists to Wynwood Art Walk

Remy Fuentes/highlights





highlights December 2011

CHATTING WITH THE PROS: “The sessions are intimate; students can ask questions. It’s not just a speaker,” said Van STAFF WRITER Wyk. Juniors and seniors participating in ProThe daunting task of picking a major, and Chat will gain first hand knowledge on their then combing through the Internet to find prospective majors or professions. Knowledge useful pieces of information about it can be a struggle. That is why International Baccalaure- like what it is like to have the job, how the classes in college were, and how to be successate (IB) Co-coordinator Diana Van Wyk and ful in the career. Talking with the professionals Activities Director Ana Suarez created Prowill not only help enhance students’ familiarity Chat, a program designed to give juniors and with their hopeful majors, but it will help othseniors a time and place to talk with profesers decide on one. sionals about their majors and careers. “Many students have Pro-Chats difficulty choosing a The sessions are intimate; are sessions major, and some that are consisting of students ask questions. It’s not able to pick do it without approximately just a speaker, knowing,” said Suarez. 15 students, Diana Van Wyk, Attending Pro-Chat juniors and sewill help with all aspects niors, and one IB Co-coordinator of choosing a major and professional, profession. generally a Pro-Chat will take Gables alumplace throughout January, and act as a pronus. Students on the college tour requested totype for years to come. The small sessions particular professions that they would like will be held daily, during both lunches, in more information on. The professions are not the school library. Although only juniors and ordinary, but rather specific, such as a wildlife seniors in the International Baccalaureate (IB) zoologist and forensic pathologist.

By Brooke Donner


en’s Tranit Page Courtesy of: Or


New program will give students insight into career opportunities

Professionals to come in January: 4th: Government Intelligence Agent 5th: Corporate Lawyer 6th: Aeronautical Engineer 9th: Forensic Pathologist 10th: Accountant 11th: Business CEO, Physical Trainer 12th: Non-profit Representative 18th: Miami Herald Sports Journalist 19th: Wildlife Zoologist

25th: Firefighter 26th: Veterinarian 27th: Speech Pathologist program will be participating this January, it is hopeful that next year all upperclassmen will be able to.


By Suzette Wanninkhof NEWS EDITOR


Constriction continues with the long awaited metro line to the airport, set to be completed in a mere couple of months. The project was voted on in 2002 as part of the People’s Transportation Plan (PTP), but ground was not broken until May of 2009. The rail, which will run from the Earlington Heights station to the airport, is planned to be 2.4 miles long and have a $506 million budget. It is the first project of many transportation improvements to come as part of the PTP, a plan which entails the expansion of bus routes, building of mass transit lines and improving roads and highways. Although progress on construction has Miami Dade County officials assuring the

CONGRATS to the Seniors of Distinction!


International Baccalaureate (IB) students are required to take a science track, often biology, to receive their diploma at the end of the year. The Miami-Dade County Public Schools biology track advises IB students take biology freshman year, chemistry sophomore year, Advanced Placement (AP) junior year, and IB Biology Standard Level (SL) their senior year. This year, in order to alleviate the difficulty associated with AP Biology, and to provide IB students with more options, students are being given the choice of taken either AP Biology or IB Biology II. Junior year welcomes IB students into an AP class after a year of absence of a biology course. With this gap, students find it difficult to comprehend all the material that is taught in an AP Biology course. The material in AP is considered by many to be more difficult than in IB Biology, yet is taken a year sooner. Because AP Biology scores in the past

years have been low, an IB Biology II course is now being offered. The course will be implemented this year and students in the AP class will choose between continuing the AP class or switching into IB Biology II, which entails not taking the AP exam at the end of the year and only receive an honors credit. “It’s a good opportunity for students that are struggling in AP Biology, that way they are not forced to take a class they cannot handle.” said junior Carmen Ortega. Although science teachers say they have witnessed a trend of students being more preoccupied with what their Grade Point Average (GPA) than actually learning the material, biology teacher Alicia Montgomery recommends that if students are doing fairly well in the AP course then they should continue it. It will help with the next year SL course. “It is an advantage towards the IB Biology SL exam,” said Montgomery. The course will be taught by biology teachers Alicia Montgomery and Natalie De la Vega.



For the month of November, male students at the school followed a simple rule for four weeks: do not shave any facial hair. These students were participating in No Shave November, a month in which students look even messier, some simply for fun, and others to show their support for treating pancreatic cancer. There are mixed reviews from the opposite gender on this month. Many female students openly supported No Shave November as they think it is both fun and a creative way to show cancer awareness. Other female students think that many male students miss the point, and instead, do it to gain attention or be lazy. “I think it’s only done for attention or to look older. I had no idea it was for cancer research, and if it was, then it wasn’t well vocalized,” said junior Marianne Eisenhart. Girls were not the only ones who were having a problem with the excess scruff. Male students, teachers, and even parents all seemed to have an opinion. “I was going to do it for the entire month, but my dad told me to stop once I started looking like a homeless person,” said sophomore Gabriel Sardinia. Other students think that the backlash on No Shave November is not reasonable, since personal appearance is an individual decision. The month was instead considered to be a non-issue for other students such as junior Alex Salle, who grew in his beard for November and advised other students to “just wash your face” to keep clean. If you missed the facial hair extravaganza this past month, do not fret-- the upcoming “Manuary” offers the same opportunity to throw out your razor.

Giulia Heyward/highlights

Armani Abreu Michael Capote Madeline Cowen Yamile Cruz Rosemary Diaz Julian Ginori Jamar Jones Alexa Langen Zoe Malchiodi Dillon Maya Eliset Perez Alex Romanach Emily Shabby Sedaghat Matthew Payum Sedaghat Maya Souverin Darian Thomas Mateus Tuon Yubisan Ventura Suzette Wanninkhof Larissa Weinstein Jeiyi Wu

on the

public that the rail line will open spring 2012, some individuals are unsure that this will actually occur on time. “I think it’s a good idea but it’s moving along quite slowly. They’re focusing too much effort on the stadium’” freshman Keion Miller said. Excitement has begun to mount about the opening of the line though. Since it will provide a way to get from the airport to a major transit line, students are anticipating the ease of transport. “I think it’s a great idea... a taxi costs more than one fare,” sophomore Kaeci Lopez said.

Any juniors and seniors in IB interested in attending a particular session can sign up in student activities, room 756.

IB Biology changes By Eylin Martinez



highlights December 2011

Crowning a new Mr. Coral Gables


Eager contestants work hard to earn the title as the school’s finest

By Leslie Ramos STAFF WRITER

It is the event ladies (and gents too — don’t deny it) are always most excited for: the only night when students are permitted to strut oiled and half naked on school grounds — Mr. Coral Gables. The pageant, taking place on Dec. 15 in the auditorium at 6:30 pm, is put on by Student Activities members and the Gablettes coach, Mo Marmesh. Boys dazzling enough to be chosen to represent each club have prepared incessantly since late October, attending practices and in-school field trips to learn dance routines and get ready to strut their stuff. A sneak peak at any of the practices assures for an interesting night. The guys fiercely attempt to follow the choreography as Marmesh yells over the microphone, “Shake, pose, GALLOP, GALLOP.” While most joke and mess around, the air of competition cannot be ignored. “We all want to win,” said senior Ian Murdoch, Mr. Gables Earth. This year’s contestants have big shoes to fill in regards to last years talents and thus are taking extra measure to prepare. “I’m trying to get back the beach bod so I’m doing early morning workouts — you know, no big deal,” said senior Daniel Behar, Mr. International Baccalaureate Honor Society, who is a little nervous about the bathing suit portion.

Although the beautifully sculpted football players have an upper hand at the competition, do not be too quick to count out the lanky underdogs — what they lack in muscle, they make up for in ‘swag’. In any case, the judges are looking for more then just good looks. The ideal Mr. Coral Gables is a well-rounded student, talented performer, and an eloquent speaker. Contestants are evaluated through a point system based on a heavily weighted interview, accuracy in representing their club, and originality of their talent, as well as how much effort they put into it. While abs and luscious hair may get wild cheers, points are awarded for overall composure and stage presence. Show coordinator Maria Hernandez, senior, feels that the guys that have performed in the show before have an advantage over the others, but admits that there is something special about this year’s group. “We have so many different personalities; they’re just hilarious together,” she said. Hernandez also acknowledged that being in the show is a lot of work, and participants must have enjoyed it to work so hard to make it spectacular. These competitors are bringing out all the stops, perfecting their smooth moves and strip teases. So break out the grenade horns and get ready to watch the school’s select finest tastefully shake what their mommas gave them.


Brain, for a 4.0 GPA

Hands for the holding

Ripped biceps, for saving kittens from trees Cute butt

ion Commander. STAFF WRITER JROTC members said this was a great honor to the school’s name. Although many students know of In addition to this distinction, they the school’s Junior Reserve Officer have won multiple trophies at their Training Corps (JROTC) program, competitions and drill meets, earned few are aware of how much they by squads have acsuch as complished The program has been the Male in recent recognized as one of the Unarmed months. sharpest and hardest working Platoon, “The battalions, which is program judged on has been Samantha Ortiz, military recognized Battalion Commander precision as one of when the sharpmarching est and hardest working battalions with and without rifles. At their most by the city of Miami and Coral recent competition on Dec. 3, at the Gables, having received the Unit North Miami Beach Drill Meet, the with Distinction Award, the highest battalion won first place overall. achievement for a JROTC program,” In addition to this, the JROTC said senior Samantha Ortiz, Battal-


has recently been presented with the honor of having been requested by the Coral Gables Mayor to begin the City Hall Meeting with their presentation of colors. They were also requested to attend the Chamber of Commerce meeting and present the nation’s colors. The common misconception is that this group is simply for students who wish to join the military. It is true that many of these young students are oriented towards serving the country, and are given the opportunity to begin exploring their futures at a young age. However, it is more than just an army-in-training program, according to students. “The mission of JROTC is to motivate young people to become better citizens,” said senior Kevin Orozco, Battalion Executive Officer.

Adding in the

Academy of Finance By Giulia Heyward STAFF WRITER

Many students are unaware of a major change that has happened this year. After a year of planning, a new academy, the Academy of Finance (AOF), has been added to the school. AOF is a branch of the National Academy Foundation (NAF), a program based in New York that has been opening up all across the country. Finance is one of the four strands available, and the only one currently available for students at Gables to take. The academy had been in the works since last year and was even responsible for the opening of this year’s Cav Credit Union. Currently only seventy students are enrolled in the academy, with two freshman classes and one sophomore class. AOF is now solely a part of the business academy, a so called “academy within an academy,” but organizers are hoping for it to gain more individual recognition. Some students currently enrolled in the academy seem optimistic for the next years of high school, but others do not reflect this same mentality. While freshman Emily Alvarez spoke of her excitement


Dancing feet

JROTC marches to another win NEWS By Gretel Sanchez

Full head of hair Shoulder to cry on

about being in the academy, sophomore Saesha Tennyson, an Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) member, said that she was “feeling nervous” on the day of the induction ceremony. The current students were recruited from their middle schools, predominantly ones who took honors classes. The academy, while not as “rigorous” as IB according to some teachers, requires all students to be both a member of the school’s FBLA club and to take part in one sport all four years of high school. “Taking an extracurricular activity is very important,” said business teacher Lucy Benchetrit, the lead teacher of AOF. “They’ve been proven to build skills that students can use to their advantage in the classroom.” Students and parents attended the first induction ceremony for the new academy, which was held on Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. Despite some disorganization in the ceremony with calling names on stage, it was mostly well put together, reflecting the enthusiasm that organizers of the academy had. “We may not have the most members,” said Benchetrit during a speech addressed to students and parents, “but we have quality members.”


No midterms - for real By Andrea Biondi STAFF WRITER

Mid-term and final exams have, in fact, been eliminated from the report card. This is a result of the recent implementation of the End-of-Course (EOC) Exams, in effort to take some pressure off the student population, Miami-Dade County Public schools relieved mid-term and final exams of their duties. Although this might seem like a reason to celebrate, it must be noted that quarterly grades will now have a heavier weight on the final grade, and the students who will be taking an EOC cannot simply blow off their exam, as some students have done in years past with final exams. If a student fails his or her EOC, he or she will fail the class, regardless of what grade obtained during the year. “I am already weak in math to begin with, and I think it’s unfair that if I don’t pass this one test, I’ll have to take Algebra I all over again,” said freshman Dayana Rangeo, who will have to take the EOC for Algebra 1 at the end of this school year.

WBC protests on trial By Ali Stack EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Two identical bills prohibiting protests at funeral services are being filed in the Florida House and Senate. The bills target the Westboro Baptist Church, the church group that rallied across the street from the school in December 2009. They are known for protests at schools, religious establishments, and funeral services with signs reading statements like ‘Pray for More Dead Soldiers’ and ‘God Hates Fags’. Though demonstrations near schools would not be prohibited, the passing of HB31 and SB632 would ban any protests within 500 feet of a funeral and would extend to an hour before and after the service as well. The House bill was introduced by Palm Beach Republican Rep. Pat Rooney, and is being challenged by many Democrats who oppose the bill on grounds of free speech.

Neutrino correction By Casey Breznick COPY EDITOR

In the last issue, several factual errors were written about the recently observed phenomenon concerning neutrinos, charge-less subatomic particles that were reported to have travelled faster than the speed of light. Definite conclusions from the experiments cannot yet be drawn.


highlights December 2011 Su


IN THE HANDS OF THE A voice in 2012 By Brooke Donner

Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). STAFF WRITER However, that is only forty nine percent of all As the New Year rapidly approaches, 18 to 24 year old American citizens eligible to conversation revolving around the 2012 vote, as reported by CIRCLE. Presidential Election amplifies. With the The disinterest shown by America’s youth election also comes talk about the importance towards voting is an issue made especially of voting: quite a popular topic at a large clear in the state of Florida, where only public high school twenty four percent with an enrollment I want to be involved in my of 18 to 29 year olds of over 3,000. country and make a difference, voted in the 2010 Since many midterm elections, because my vote can change students will according to things, be of age by CIRCLE. the upcoming A key factor in Katarina Perez, senior election, they will youth voting apathy be able to vote in is education. As the upcoming election. The general consensus reported by CIRCLE, citizens with college of seniors about the election is a feeling of experience are twice as likely to vote as anticipation and excitement. citizens without. At the school, though, “I’ve wanted to vote for two years. It’s seniors convey a sense of pride in the right to my first time and I think it will be cool,” said vote. senior Joseph Nelson. “I want to be involved in my country An estimated 23 million citizens between and make a difference, because my vote can the ages of 18 and 24 voted in the 2008 change things,” said senior Katarina Perez. Presidential Election, according to the












Presidential hopefuls By Scarlett Perez STAFF WRITER

The most influential election in the United States, the Presidential election, is less than a year away. It will be held on Nov. 7, 2012, featuring incumbent President Barack Obama for the Democratic Party who is to be pitted against the to-be decided Republican candidate. Although the majority of students might not yet be able vote, they still have voiced their opinions about the candidates. Though there has yet to be an official Democratic nominating convention, the overwhelming consensus is that current President Barack Obama will be chosen. This does not mean that there is not another candidate vying for the Democratic nomination. The only other declared Democratic Presidential candidate is Randall Terry, a pro-life activist. Nonetheless, the early stages of the Presidential race have been focused on the Republican Party, also known by its formal name Grand Old Party, or GOP. The GOP has currently 16 declared hopefuls: the most prominent being U.S Representative for Minnesota Michelle Bachmann, Texas governor

Rick Perry, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, U.S Representative for Texas Ron Paul, and former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney, as well as a half dozen others. The former CEO of The National Restaurant Association, Herman Cain, had been at the foreground of the GOP debates but announced the suspension of his presidential campaign on Dec. 14 due to the harming sexual allegations against him. “I think all politicians in general dig themselves into huge holes, and even though I’m a democrat, I would vote for Mitt Romney because I agree with his healthcare plan. He’s not as extreme as the other republican politicians,” said senior Carlos Rodriguez. The GOP debates have been intense and crucial in weeding out the Republican candidates that cannot clearly and efficiently defend their views and claims. The past GOP debates have been centered around the continuance of counter terrorism efforts in a post 9/11 era and the need of American troops in the Middle East, as well as immigration and debates about foreign policy centered exclusively around the Middle East.

Occupy Wall Street

Giving birth to a world-wide movement By Sophia Aitken

recently cleared out for cleaning. Protestors were let back in but are no longer allowed to sleep overnight at the park. This has not stopped the movement from spreading or the 99 percent Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is a movement from trying to change social order. with no leader, no single state will and no one OWS faced criticism from all ends of the type of person; it is an alliance of people from political spectrum. President Barack Obama all political persuasions, races, ethnic groups embraced the Occupy protests but other and neighborhoods. The movement is a nonDemocrats did not. The conservative Fox News violent resistance made up of the common man rejected them along with many Republicans. and those affected negatively by corporate The police America have also inspired -- the selfBy having a large platform, we controversy because proclaimed are able to make this movement a of their methods ‘99 percent’. public space for discourse, of breaking up the They are protests. Oakland fighting Avi, police raids on against the ‘one percent’ Protestor/media informer Occupy Oakland included firing tear that holds gas at demonstrators. most of the Many were injured and had to be stabilized in country’s wealth and political influence. They hospitals. The New York Police Department’s believe that those are the people responsible for methods of clearing out Zuccotti Park were the 2008 economic meltdown, income disparity, also snubbed. They used pepper spray on the mortgage crisis, deregulation of banks, and demonstrators and arrested over 100 people. government corruption (among other things). But, neither police interventions have killed the Their message has resonated with the entire spirit of the movement. In fact, it seems that it world, prompting 600 cities in the United States has gained momentum from the raids. to follow suit as well as 1,500 cities abroad. It is hard to tell what exactly OWS has “By having a large platform, we are able accomplished as no resulting policy changes to make this movement a public space for have come about and no bills have been discourse,” said Avi, a protestor who did not proposed in Congress. They have, however, give his last name, and a face behind OWS’s brought ample media attention to their cause information booth. and will continue to protest until “change” has Zuccotti Park, where OWS camped for been achieved. almost two months in New York City, was MANAGING EDITOR

Juliet Bartz/contributor


Casey Winslett/contributor ONE FOR ALL: Protestors at Occupy Wall Street in New York City seek to voice their concerns about a wide range of issues. Kevin from Pennsylvania (bottom left) travels to and from multiple Occupy movements, protesting against the ‘one percent’. Others protest economic injustice as the name of the movement indicates.

Esther Terry Stansu, MD

Licensed Mental Health Counselor 5900 SW 73rd Street Suite 305 South Miami, FL 33143

T: 305 206 1183

301 ARTHUR GODFREY ROAD Penthouse Miami Beach FL 33140

T: 305 358 0060 F: 305 358 0550


highlights December 2011


Security increases necessary? The school beefs up security >> force with more guards Commentary by Nicolas Rivero STAFF WRITER

The usual chatter droned from the walkietalkie on the hip of security guard Yaneth Gonzalez as I neared the main office, but one question made me stop and listen. “How many security guards do we have again?” There was a pause, a crackle, and then “Um…I’d guess twelve off the top of my head.” It may seem strange that in cash-strapped Miami-Dade county and in the midst of an economic downturn, our school has hired new security guards. Before the year began, there were concerns that budget cuts would force the school to cut its eight period day down to six. Now, a few weeks into what might have been a year of six period days, our quiet school in Coral Gables is beefing up security. With the tragic exception of the stabbing death of Juan Carlos Rivera that briefly catapulted it to national infamy, our school is relatively peaceful; there are a handful of minor fights, the occasional drug arrest, and the odd student caught skipping. In these cases, the existing security staff has handled the situation promptly and adequately. There had been no sign that school security was not up to par, so there was no reason to add security. The move becomes even harder to understand when you consider the fact that fixing it involves spending money, which is always tight in public education, but is stretched especially thin now. At the beginning of the year, students were required to come up with class fees not only in their electives, but even pay lab fees to cover their core science classes. Like every year before it,

teachers offered their students extra credit for bringing in basic supplies like printer paper, and throughout the year they have graded students on printing handouts from home and bringing them to class. On top of the usual shortage of money, the school lost its Title One status and funding to the tune of $300,000 this year. In a time when you would expect the school to make cuts wherever possible outside of the classroom, it is doing just the opposite and hiring extra security guards. The reason behind this, according to principal Adolfo Costa, is the way the school’s annual budget is structured. Funding from the county came in at the beginning of the year, which was then used to fill openings in security positions. The reason why it was spent on security, he explains, is that the budget is categorical. Money given to the school for security can only be used to pay for security. Costa said that students were never unsafe, but “you can never have enough eyes.” The extra guards are a luxury, but Costa was quick to claim that there is enough money for basic necessities like paper and ink. Regardless of how much truth there is to the claim, or whether the money could have been better spent elsewhere, the school’s hands were tied. The money could only be spent on security. This raises the question, then, of how much authority the county should have over the school’s budget. Individual schools know where their priorities lie and how they can put their money to best use. What business does the county have deciding that the school should spend its money on security over education? “I wish I had that autonomy, that they would give me a pot full of money and I could do what I wanted,” said Costa.

Where’s the Missus? Commentary by Avery Budin STAFF WRITER

George Orwell once wrote: “All people are equal, but some are more equal than others.” The idea of having guys compete in a pageant for the enjoyment of the public is all in good will, but why not double the entertainment by including girls? If a guy can prance around onstage in a miniskirt and heels, a girl doing the same thing can not be considered much more inappropriate. “If guys get to compete, girls should get to as well,” said sophomore Abigail Rodriguez. Exposing boys in bathing suits, or performing a talent should be an activity open to both genders. If guys have the option of running, girls should be given the same opportunity. Not many guys will show up to an event where only guys are performing, allowing girls to participate would not only increase the amount of audience members but fundraise more money for the school too. “I’ve never thought of sponsoring a Ms. Coral Gables. Loss of funding for clubs and sports gave me the idea of Mr. Coral Gables. I wouldn’t want to be in charge of a Ms.

Coral Gables, but I’m not opposed to another group sponsoring it. More girls come to see guys, rather than the other way around,” said Activities Director Ana Suarez. If women cannot express their pride, or present their contributions to the school, guys should not either. The whole point of the exhibit is to give the students a fun, enjoyable activity, a break from grueling school work. Guys have the opportunity to get involved so women should too. Planning a school activity that excludes women is gender discrimination and gives off a worse impression than any girl that competed would. To justify the idea that having only boys in a school sanctioned activity would be impossible. Everyone has talent, and should be allowed to share it. “I would like to watch what the girls could come up with; it would make the event even bigger,” said freshman Ali Band. There is a reason why so many amendments have been passed increasing women’s rights, times have changed and people evolved. If ignoring women in school activities becomes acceptable, we will eventually go back to living with the mentality of the early 1900s.

“Students were getting out of hand,”

-Stacey Wimes

“Security guards are needed to prevent trouble,”

-Ana Camejo

Remembering the reason for the season By Orso Raymo STAFF WRITER

As Christmas looms seemingly closer, some still believe that the holiday season remains centered on the birth of Christ. In reality, modern-day Christmas is nothing more than a mixture of traditions with forgotten origins. Celebrations on the 25th of December predate the birth of Christ. In ancient Roman culture the day was known as Natalis Solis Invicti, the festival of the birth of the sun-god. The December date is irrelevant to the birth of Jesus. Prior to 320 AD the birth of Jesus was celebrated in September, until finally, after three centuries of uncertainty, Pope Julius I decided December 25th would be a fitting date for the celebration because it coincided with the already established Roman holiday. The Christmas tree is another holiday

tradition although the birth of Jesus had absolutely nothing to do with evergreens considering they do not grow in the desert. The tradition has been traced back to Germany where it was common practice to cut down a tree, bring it home and decorate it to commemorate the arrival of winter. The holiday season has become more a commercial enterprise than religious holiday. Buying gifts early is actually a relatively new practice. During World War II wives and children were forced to go shopping weeks prior to Christmas in order for their gifts to arrive to their loved ones. The private sector siezed the opportunity and created an extremely profitable tradition of buying gifts early for Christmas. Whichever faith you choose to practice Christmas has virtually become a universal holiday. Contradictory to the beliefs of some Christians who lobby to “bring Christ back to Christmas” the holiday is, to most, no more about Jesus than it is about pine trees. Instead, the holiday should be centered on togetherness and joy.

‘Studying’ at the Richter Library: party or productivity?


Commentary by Nicole Sielsky & Gretel Sanchez


This concentration is one skill that many students have yet to master; those who have the willpower would rather work apart from the crowd. Socializing all afternoon and studying late into the night (or the following day in first period) seems to be the lifestyle for most IB students who misuse the luxury the UM has given them. Not only do students waste their own time but also give the school a bad name. Oftentimes Richter librarians are forced to kick juniors and seniors out of the study rooms – they are reserved specifically for UM students. Gables students make a ruckus in the rooms and run around playing loud music – and our boys are known for walking around campus “checking out the babes” they fantasize about. And so, do not be fooled: while many may say that the library is an invaluable resource that should be well taken advantage of, the final consensus is this: in groups of more than three, it simply becomes another weekend “ghetty.”

Eylin Martinez/highlights

“Most students definitely go there just to be able to tag themselves and twelve other people at UM Library on Facebook,” said STAFF WRITER & MULTIMEDIA EDITOR senior Luis Rodriguez. Though you may see International Baccalaureate (IB) juniors mobile uploads of students in Stacks section and seniors are allowed the privilege of with books piled mile-high around them, only access to the University a select few of Miami (UM) Otto G. Most students definitely go there actually Richter Library all year just to be able to tag themselves manage to round. Theoretically, the prioritize and twelve other people at UM Richter Library is a useful their time Library on Facebook, resource for IB students and isolate on a time crunch to finish Luis Rodriguez, themselves those Internal Assessments from others. senior and Extended Essays. But, When when forced to choose it is time to between sleeping enough, studying enough go to home (usually not until midnight, once and having a good social life (as the IB Honor eyes are closing and eventually, so will the Society club shirts suggest), many students library), our ‘hardworking’ library-goers need combine the last two—getting together at the to work all through the night to come up with library to be anything but productive. Students something somewhat presentable. blast their John Mayer Pandora station, take “If I need to get things done, I switch group pictures on their Macbooks, run from rooms and isolate myself,” said senior Cecilia room to room playing obnoxious pranks, and Zavarse. pretend that they are actually focusing.

WORKING HARD OR HARDLY WORKING: (top) Some students manage to get work done by isolating themselves in cubicles. (bottom) IB Seniors take one of many food breaks in a study room at the University of Miami Richter Library.

6 opinion Opposable Searches X-STOPPED: highlights

December 2011


Swag “It’s FRESH.” -Mary Koehnk, The Scene Editor

Winter Break

“Why can’t we stay in school longer?!” -Casey Breznick, Copy Editor

Secret Santa

“But I hate her!” -Chris Cowen, Co-Insight Editor

M-DCPS Internet Filter does more harm than good



Want to see something funny? Type “How to crack your knuckles” into the Google search bar on a school computer. If you are expecting to see instructions on creating a quaint orthopedic rendition of “Rolling in the Deep”, you’ll be disappointed. X-Stop, the school’s Internet filter, often rudely interrupts moments like these with a screen stating, without much fanfare, “Access denied; the site you are trying to access is blocked.” Now try to type in “hate crime legislation.” Now try “military aid Archibald Butt”. How about “Chinese Opium Wars?” X-Stop, according to the website, is a filtering system maintained and monitored by Miami-Dade County Public Schools as a result of the establishment of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) in 2001. The filter monitors and blocks websites based on keywords or URLs. The criteria for blocking the websites are decided by the school board and Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. The categories blocked include alcohol, web-chats, drugs, gambling, games, hate groups, public proxies, pornography, and R-rated sites. The majority of students find X-Stop an ineffective and unnecessary annoyance that simply serves to stall the access of these sites. Indeed; XStop is constantly being bypassed through the use of proxy sites, proxy tunneling and circumventors. However, X-Stop is updated daily by the system, creating the need for new techniques. Ultimately, X-Stop is just one more obstacle on the way to free

internet access, so what’s the point? Does the county, and by extent the government, not trust us to our internet use ourselves? While you could argue that the filter serves the purpose of sheltering teenagers from offensive material, there are two points that render this claim null. One: some of the blocked material may be relevant to our education or may not be even offensive. As noted, “hate crime legislation,” a sensible search for any social studies class, is blocked. An actual, beneficial search is blocked because it deals with the topic of hate crimes. Likewise, any mention of rape or ecstasy, no matter the delicacy the topic is intended to be handled—or even the meaning of the word in context—is blocked. This counteracts the reason students are given access to computers in the first place and becomes a hindrance to research papers or presentations. Two: X-stop does not effectively block out sites that it would deem offensive otherwise. Bestiality is not blocked, breasts are blocked but one can find images by typing in “jugs” or “melons”, torture is blocked but one can still get access by naming specific kinds. Genital piercing, syphilis and gonorrhea are not blocked, which exposes curious students to a plethora of mutilated genitalia. In fairness, this is because of X-Stop’s identification mechanism which relies on keywords and URLs to block results. Still, inefficiency does not justify its basic faults, and censoring Lil Wayne’s biography should not be high on Miami-Dade’s priority list. Why do they bother to waste resources preventing the inevitable? The only way to truly “protect us” from these imaginary threats is to take away our computer access at schools, which will only do more harm than good. It would simply be in the best interest of the county to abandon this X-Stop endeavor once and for all.


Mr. Coral Gables

“Girl, look at that body!” -Jorge Galavis, Co-Insight Editor


- ‘how to skin a cat’ - ‘genitalia’ - ‘how to join a gang’

- ‘how to crack your knuckles’ - ‘I hate school’ (via Google)

PETA unleashes its wrath on Super Mario

body raccoon costume and gives him the ability to fly, because that is the kind of whimsical nonsense the game thrives on. This is a reference to the actual animal, the tanuki, or raccoon-dog, which in Japanese folklore has magical powers. “By wearing Tanooki,” PETA claims, “Mario is sending Commentary by Nicolas Rivero the message that it’s okay to wear fur.” STAFF WRITER These words appear under the headline “Mario Kills Tanooki” on the same webpage as a parody game they have We are used to seeing protestors from released in which a skinless tanuki chases Mario, who has apPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Aniparently just skinned it alive mals (PETA) splattering and is now blood stained and fur clad celebrities with By wearing Tanooki, Mario is flying away in a suit of its fur. red paint, but recently sending the message that it’s In the actual Nintendo game, the activist group has okay to wear fur, Mario gets the suit by touchtaken on a surprising new target: Super ing a brown leaf that pops out People for the Mario. Their problem is not with Mario of a question mark box, withstomping on, kicking, or incinerating Ethical Treatment of out butchering a raccoon-dog. turtles, but with the latest edition of the PETA, it would seem, is Animals (PETA) game, Super Mario 3D Land, which apparsending the message that it ently promotes animal cruelty by showing is okay to attack a game, a our hero wearing a fur coat. corporation, or, for that matter, an activist group, regardless The “fur coat” PETA is upset about is the “Tanooki suit,” of whether there is any truth to the claim. a new power-up that dresses Mario in what looks like a full-


Evaluating Occupy Wall Street Commentary by Ali Stack EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Occupy Wall Street has, for the last two months, generated great momentum towards the ‘99 percent’ cause in a protest for economic inequality, among other issues. But what tangible results has this demonstration actually reaped? It is difficult to tell what significant change will come of this movement because there are no defined goals articulated on the behalf of all the protestors. Whether or not any of the candidates plan to do or say anything further is unclear—just as unclear as the future of the movement. So yes, it has raised awareness to the underlying sentiment of dissatisfaction that the majority of working-class Americans feel, constantly penetrated by large corporate structures that have the American

government in a chokehold. But what good is acknowledging a problem if the protestors do not present viable solutions to the issue? Occupiers would argue that awareness is the first sign of change. The reason Occupy Wall Street has garnered such international participation and spread so rapidly is because it provides an easily accessible bandwagon for anyone with an agenda and a handful of pamphlets to join. The only way to gather any reasonable demand besides “banks, stop taking my money”, is to squeeze out an ideology from protestors by battering them with questions. At a visit to Zucotti park, I was able to speak to a few of the protestors. Doug, a protestor, summarized the protest to journalists at the Information Booth. “It’s sort of a red herring to say that

there aren’t demands because they’re really obvious demands. People are saying we need to get the money out of politics and we do; people are saying that the system is corrupt, and it is,” he said. “There are so many ideologies here; alot of different human experiences represented here.” The state of Ohio recently voted to overturn a law limiting the power of unions, passed in response to a similar Wisconsin law—proving that protests like Occupy are not the only means by which to ‘make change’. Young protestors are blinded by the illusion of a communal force ‘against the system’ and thus are flocking by the hundreds to focal points of the Occupy movement, but it is hard to pinpoint the long-term effects as New York Police Department, Oakland Police, and other local police forces begin to relocate and shutdown rallies.

highlights ADVISORY BOARD:





Ali Stack

Aj Ziv


Suzette Wanninkhof


Sophia Aitken

Melissa Nieves


Remy Fuentes, Audrey Fernandez

Sophia Aitken


Chris Cowen, Jorge Galavis




Nicole Sielsky

Gene Liu

Mary Koehnk


Casey Breznick

Public Relations Coordinator: Andy Fernandez Staff Members:

Deanna Breiter, Avery Budin, Brooke Donner, Audrey Fernandez, Remy Fuentes, Lukas Georgatos, Giulia Heyward, Andrea Martinez, Eylin Martinez, Scarlett Perez, Leslie Ramos, Orso Raymo, Nicolas Rivero, Maggie Rivers, Gretel Sanchez Contributors: Juliet Bartz and Casey Winslett highlights is the official publication of Coral Gables Senior High, 450 Bird Rd.,Coral Gables, FL 33146. Call (305) 443-4871 ext. 2383, email for ad rates. highlights accepts all legal advertisements. If a mistake occurs, the ad will be reprinted, free of charge, in the following issue. Subscriptions are available for $15 annually. Opinions expressed on the editorial page do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints or official policies of the school. highlights is an open forum and welcomes readers’ opinions on all topics. Letters to the editor should not exceed 200 words and must be signed, but names may be withheld on request and with the concurrence of the editorial board. The editors reserve the right to reject, edit and condense letters. All letters should be turned in to the F237 mailbox. highlights strives to represent all groups fairly. Men and women of all races and nationalities will be represented with the same respect and dignity. This publication avoids racial identification except when it is essential to communication.

Press Affiliations: Columbia Scholastic Press Association, National Scholastic Press Association, NSPA Hall of Fame, Florida Scholastic Press Association, Quill and Scroll


highlights December 2011



When presented with the matter of whether or not perfection can be attained physically, many resolutely assert that no such condition has or will ever be possible. Ironically enough, when put up against the image society has deemed as perfect, we begin to criticize our “physical shortcomings” as if achieving “the look” were suddenly a manageable undertaking. This is, of course, what is to be expected of a race shaped as much by hope as it is by bones. What we fail to realize in the search for happier, better versions of ourselves is that the more we criticize in the hopes of achieving the image, the more we grow to hate what we presently see. “It’s strange how people always say that there is no such thing as perfection yet they can’t keep them from constantly thinking of major and minor ways to fix themselves up,” said junior Francis Izquierdo. Concern with appearances is not just an aberration of Modern Western culture. Every period of history has set its own standard concerning what is and is not considered beautiful, and people have relentlessly been concerned with their look. Moreover, every culture has its own

distinctive concept of what the ultimate physical attributes are. Today, the media can be said to be the culprit behind the existence of this ever changing image. Movies, magazines, and the all familiar retouched faces in them set and advertise a certain facade. “I’m very aware of the fact that even though celebrities are considered to posses THE image, no such thing exists,” said Izquierdo, who realizes that she finds herself in a surrounding in which we are bombarded with images of these so called perfectionists. It should come as no surprise that this image of perfection is constantly on everyone’s mind, and that many go as far as to strive for it not realizing that a few years down, mohawks might be valued over long, luscious locks. The pursuit of this ideal image is not just a form of vanity. Rather, it is a way for hopefuls to climb up a social ladder. So if there is a new fad, no matter how ridiculous it might seem, count on people altering their looks in the hopes that the change will bring them new advantages.

Nicole Sielsky/highlights

the ideal



THE IDEAL sweetheart

udin/h Avery B


Realistic or not, image and personality mean the world to a world of different people.

December 2011






It is no secret that women find certain male traits to be simply irresistible, but it is not just because of good looks or a welldefined six pack. After these traits, the idea of the ideal guy can change for each individual, and changes over time for every person. Girls idolize boys for both meaningful and superficial qualities, as men do women, according to Vogue magazine. Girls tend to use checklists, whether they are based on aesthetics, interests, or both. Men can posses certain qualities that cause women to flock to them, and there are several popular categories of men that girls tend to find irresistible. While girls have certain “types” they are easily wooed by, sweet small gestures that make them feel appreciated, personalities aside. Romantic guys often make girls feel appreciated, so it isn’t unusual for them to be considered attractive. “He has to be smart, honest; it’s a plus if he’s good looking, but if he really cares for you that is all that really matters”, said senior Kelly Loy. To many, there is an attraction to the confident, free spirited “bad boy”, because everything feels so much more exciting and dangerous. The sweetheart, or considerate guy, is the type that makes girls feel respected and equal – the typical go to after the falling out of a bad boy relationship gone sour. “Toned, cute, tan, smart, funny, good personality, tall… he must be faithful, and my parents have to love him”, said junior Jennifer Rodriguez Then of course there is the artistic or musical man, who sweeps women off their feet with a serenade, personal portrait, or both. Not only do they make a girl feel unique, but special

since they are the muse of their creative process. Guys on the other hand tend to be a bit more honest when it comes to the deal breakers for the ideal girl. Many guys find the sexiest quality of a girl to be their sense of humor and ability to laugh not only at others, but at themselves as well. Humor is the guy’s indicator of compatibility. “[I like girls to be] fun, exciting, random, skinny, fit , have a nice laugh, and can laugh about anything” said sophomore Nahuel Franco. Impressing a guy’s group of friends is also a big deal since they want to feel comfortable around their girl, and their friends. Guys want to get to know a girl’s friends as well. Subtle personal displays of affection, and sincere compliments are valuable qualities as well; guys like being appreciated too-for more than just their abs. Girls with clear ambitions are also considered extremely attractive; success may intimidate several guys, but it’s a turn on for some of them. Now, being teenagers and saying looks don’t count is unrealistic, guys admit that the extra time girls put into their appearance is fundamental. “[She must have a] nice butt, either a B or C cup, blond or brunette, pretty eyes, funny, and be easy to talk to,” said freshman Raul Hernandez. Now of course many people consider their perfect partner someone that is their best friend. Support for one another tends to be essential to finding one’s match. There may very well be an ideal sweetheart for all.

Brown eyes

Brown hair Likes sports

highlights December 2011





Brown eyes

Green eyes

Brown hair Likes sports

Brown hair Likes sports



Ideal 5’4”

Green eyes Brown hair Is funny

All statistics taken out of 100 students Compiled by Deanna Breiter

body image


>> Magazine covers and featured ‘red carpet’

The attack on thinness

Evaluating the “curvy women” campaign Commentary by Sophia Aitken MANAGING EDITOR

There is an attack on skinny women. The world’s most obese country is condemning the media for advertising that thin is beautiful and claiming that “real women have curves”, not protruding hip bones. At 5’2”, 97 pounds and with hip bones that are very much protruding, I think this is balderdash. E! News and US Weekly are no longer trying to glamorize eating disorders or tell women who have a butt that they will never make it to Hollywood. If that were the case, then Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey and Jennifer Hudson would be banned from the red carpet. Plus, that girl in your third period whose waistline you envy and boyfriend you want has more of an influence on how you self-reflect in the bathroom mirror than any celebrity does. Let us review a basic psychology concept: social comparison theory. The theory is used to explain how people evaluate themselves by comparing themselves to others and research on the theory has shown that people will use others similar to themselves to make these comparisons. In other words, television and fashion magazines are most likely not the cause of the two to eight percent of women with eating disorders. This “curvy women are real women” campaign is aimed at voluptuous women yet overweight women are claiming that their rolls are the curves being referred to. This highlights the biggest problem with this campaign: it gives women who are unhealthily overweight an excuse to avoid the treadmill. Now, before my readers organize a witch hunt, I need to clarify something: I do not wish for a “skinny women are real women” campaign. I do not agree with either because superficial parameters do not define what a “real” woman is. Defining beauty should not be measured by inches and dress sizes but rather how healthy that woman is. It is beautiful to be skinny, and it is beautiful to be curvy because these two words are not synonymous with ‘underweight’ or ‘overweight’. Society needs to alter its focus from trying to form paradigms of attractiveness for each decade to understanding that each body type will never meet model-like thinness or curvy Latina goodness but, that each can (and should) meet basic health standards.

celebrities continue to chronicle the changing ideal body image.

She had full hips, round and perky breasts, and a small waist. She also had long legs that were shown by short dresses. In STAFF WRITER 1966, a British teenager named Twiggy appeared on the cover Throughout time women have had a different “ideal” of a popular magazine. Twiggy was 5’7 and weighed a mere 92 image to follow and try to emulate. In the Elizabethan time, pounds. Twiggy’s body was the opposite of the curvy Marilyn John Knox once wrote, “woman, in her greatest perfection, Monroe: she had a flat chest, no hips, and a “boyish” figure. was made to serve and obey man.” During the 1700s, the With this, a lot of girls felt obligated to lose weight. ideal woman was at least 169 pounds and many believed that After 1969, women’s image changed again, but this a heavier woman was healthier, and better able to perform time less dramatically. A woman was to be very thin, but sexually. During the 1800s, mothers and daughters began to have breasts and some hips. Bra tops and low slung shorts squeeze themselves into corsets. The purpose of a corset was also became popular. The 1980s is sometimes known as the to enhance a woman’s breasts and hips, while at the same time beginning of “Fat-phobia”. It was also the beginning of the making her waist as small as physically term “thunder thighs.” At this possible. During the early 1900s, women time, men envisioned women It seems like the idea of ‘perfect’ were introduced to the “Gibson Girl” look. with perfectly-sculpted thighs. has become so much less classy She had a swayed back and an hourglass Next came Kate Moss, a model figure with emphasized hips and breasts, in the 1990s, who is often than it used to be, and wore a tight corset. For the first time, credited for introducing the Elisabeth Wurmser, the accepted skirt length was shortened. ‘waif’, or extremely thin, look. Women exposed their ankles, and soon “It seems like the idea of sophomore legs became one of the focus points on a ‘perfect’ has become so much woman’s body. less classy than it used to be,” The 1920s brought many changes in women’s fashion. said sophomore Elizabeth Wurmser. Many women began cutting their long hair into bobs and But there is a reason for models’ thinness: the clothing shaving their legs. Makeup such as powder, lipstick, and designers would most often design fashions that require an eyebrow pencils was very common amongst them. At the same extremely thin body. time, it became acceptable for a girl’s ankles, calves, and even Recently, we find that men envision the “thick” woman and some of their thighs to be showing, making the new boyisha more “filled figure” than a very thin woman. As times change, no-hips look very popular. Many women began to worry about the “ideal” image has gone back and forth often. Ultimately, the their weight, and dieting became popular. variance of the perfect body image has come to show that the The ideal woman’s image changed dramatically in the definition of beauty has become completely subjective and can 1950s, mainly due to the fame of one woman: Marilyn Monroe. consist of any body type.

By Eylin Martinez


Chris Galavis/highlights WHAT IS SEXY: The “ideal” image, in modern times, has come to incorporate many different body types. From the slender to the thick, and the flat to the curvy, the idea of beauty is relative to the individual.




A lack of snow does not keep Miami away from ringing in the Holiday season. In fact, due to the city’s diversity, celebrations and activities go above and beyond known customs.

Extraordinary, yet traditional

December 2011

Are you sure I’m related to them? highlights takes a look into the texts students occasionally receive from parents.


“You know what’s weird? I’m wearing underwear...I feel so weird at work.”


“Procrastination is making you sour.”


“Give a man an insult: He’ll hurt people for a day. Teach a man to insult: He can hurt the people who teased him because he never learned to fish.”

By Andrea Martinez

a fashion similar to Christmas, except that it occurs on Jan. 6, symbolizing the end of the Christmas season. Some religious affiliations, such as Jehova’s Witnesses, do When thinking about the holidays, traditional symbols such not partake in seasonal celebrations. as turkeys, Christmas trees, and Menorahs might come to mind. “A Jehovah’s Witness doesn’t celebrate any holidays, Regardless of the fact that these classic symbols are what most but there is a reason behind doing so. We don’t celebrate associate with the holiday season, there are a countless number thanksgiving because you should give thanks every day, and we of traditions that, while they may seem strange to some, are don’t celebrate Halloween because that holiday was initially a part of the seasonal celebration. Not everyone at the school has day to worship the devil,” said sophomore Gabriella Ocner. the traditional holiday experience. What do people who do not For Muslim students, Eid is a 30 day long fast that happens celebrate these well- known festivities during the month of Ramadan. To end do during the holidays? the fast, Muslims have a festival called We celebrate Christmas on “Me and my family usually just Eid-al-Bakar where they give presents eat Chinese food on Christmas,” said Jan. 7, and instead of Santa to the young kids and money to the freshman Bliss Aruj. Claus, Grandfather Frost older ones. Families who engage in the When Aruj spends the holidays celebration go to mosque to pray. A brings gifts for the kids,” with her Jewish side of the family, they sacrificed goat or cow marks the end of come together and enjoy a delicious Konstantin Petrenko, the fast. meal of Chinese take-out. Holidays “I’m Russian Orthodox, and we junior spent with her Baptisit side of the don’t really celebrate Christmas on family follow the typical Christmas the same day. We celebrate Christmas traditions. Even though she is part on Jan. 7, and instead of Santa Claus, Grandfather Frost brings Jewish, Aruj readily enjoys celebrating Christmas. gifts for the kids,” said junior Konstantin Petrenko, who also “My family celebrates Three Kings Day,” said sophomore participates in a unique custom. Francesca Rivero. Variation in celebrations during the holidays are as present Three Kings Day, Rivero explains, is a variation of in the schools as they are around the world. However, one Christmas celebrated in hispanic countries such as Peru, where common trend is noticed: holidays are a time to be spent with her family is from. Rivero said that this holiday is celebrated in those we cherish. STAFF WRITER


Great Goodies



“Did you have fun hooking up with your best friend at the mall?”

What is the best gift you could get during the holiday season?

“Getting the iPad 2 is my dream. The Apple store holds all I need,” said freshman Valerie Montezino.

“I have everything I want, life is good,” said senior Cody Marino.

“I am deperately in need of my dream car, a Nissan 350z,” said junior Michael Gomez.

Maggie Rivers/highlights


This season, try mixing up the holiday menu with these off-beat dishes


Turkey is the traditional main entree that is set on display every Thanksgiving along with gravy, corn, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and some sort of pie for dessert. Since Thanksgiving only comes around once a year, many consider a big plate filled with turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes to be a slice of heaven. Others, still, take this opportunity to switch things up and take a shot at variations of turkey. One thing that is certain: recipes for situations like this are never in short supply. An alternative, yet traditional main dish, a big smoked ham is a great option. Hams can be oven roasted with pineapples and cherries or pretty much glazed with any other fruit. Not a lover of fruits? No problem, just pop the whole ham in the oven to roast and wait a couple of hours for a savory meal you will not regret. For those who are not afraid of taking risks, there is the Turducken, a small stuffed chicken, inside a duck, inside a turkey, baked in an oven. Turducken is usually expensive since it is a bit hard to make by oneself. Instead of switching the whole turkey, stuffing may be added to enhance the flavor. Stuffing typically consists of bread, but variations can be found. “My mom makes stuffing mixed with corn,” said junior Elizabeth Lara Gamboa, whose mother annually prepares a unique stuffing. Whether replacing the turkey or what is inside of it, alternatives have proven to be a new spin on an old American tradition.

Remy Fuentes/highlights

TRADITIONAL OR NOT: Turkey alternatives can range from the mild ham to the wild Turdurcken.


My experience as a


December 2011



Those Guys


Andy Fernandez/highlights

STAR QUALITY: Those guys, Adrian Baez (left) and Arian Quinta (right), captivated an audience while performing on stage at Cav Crash.

By Remy Fuentes & Audrey Fernandez FEATURES CO-EDITORS

HUSTLE AND BUSTLE: Metrorail commuters file in and out of the train. The personalities one encounters on his or her daily ride can be as eccentric as those encountered by our reporter, Andy Fernandez. They share their stories below.

Getting to know the commuters of Miami’s public transportation Passenger One As he waits for the metro with his bike, white guayabera and Hebrew-inscribed backpack, Vasudeva Das seems most striking. Due to the loss of his license (among other reasons), Das takes the metro daily. “I’m interested in going green, and public transportation is the easiest and cheapest way of doing that,” said Das. The metro provides superior benefits such as cost effectiveness, speed, and a certain degree of comfort. Das himself uses a combination of the bus, the metro and his bike to go anywhere in Miami-Dade. He stresses the importance of social interactions while taking the metro saying that with his constant riding of the metro, fellow commuters become friends. Passenger Two William Felder, a middle-aged man taking the metro daily to work, sits quietly on the platform. As a groundskeeper for Plymouth Congregational Church who works unusual shifts that require he get to work when rush hour commences, Felder was in dire need of a cost effective and convenient way to get to and from work. The metro proved to be his most viable option. Like many others, he carries a bike with him on his trip. However, he

Eylin Martinez/highlights

The Miami-Dade Transit system gets over 336,000 passengers daily and accounts for over 15 percent of Miamians’ daily transportation. With Coral Gables Senior High being in such close proximity to Douglas Station, the Metro is one of the most prominent forms of transit taken by the student body. However, do they know the people they commute with? The average commuter sees the same people on the metro daily, yet they do not talk or even know each others names. Who are these people? Some of them are more complex than their eccentric appearances may suggest. Let us get to know some of these commuters.

also carries a bright red bouquet of flowers for, as he puts it, “His old lady”. When asked to comment on the commuters that accompany him on his trek, Fedler stated that he does not consider them the best of company. “They’re very noisy; so noisy that it just becomes a disturbance for the other people here,” said Fedler. Passenger Three Styling complete biking apparel, helmet and all, Andres Sails takes the metro every weekday. As an avid biker, he travels 40 squares to and from his job at a Cuban restaurant and takes the metro and his bike to his friend’s house, located on the other side of town. According to him, the bus is too slow to take, so the metro is the best transportation option in Miami-Dade, especially for those who commute from one side of the county to the other. On the subject of other passengers, Sails shares that it saddens him to see so many teenagers taking the metro. “It’s saddens me to see so many young kids, some of them without much money, at the metro because they can’t take something a little more convenient. I just wish the best for them,” said Sails.


Does Artisan Bakery satisfy South Miami’s cupcake cravings?

Following their win at Cav Crash for their unique dance style dubbed “Clowning”, seniors Adrian Quinta and Adrian Baez, formally known as “Those Guys”, have been a hot topic of conversation in school. These skilled dancers have been coming up with their own choreography since they were in the fourth grade. Some would say these guys are “the complete package.” The duo came into existence during Quinta’s and Baez’s ninth grade year at La Salle High School when the talent show came around and they were going to do seperate acts. Instead, everybody told them to get together and become Those Guys. In order to come up with their choreography a story line is needed. From there they mess around until a whole dance/skit has been completed. At Cav Crash, they performed a skit in which a dance off would determine which of the two guys got to take the “dream girl” (that is: senior Gabriel Castillo in fishnet stockings) home. An increase in the amount of attention received from the student body followed their success at Cav Crash. “We get random friend requests on Facebook from people we don’t even know,” said Baez. “We like it because people also realize the amount of hardwork that goes into our routines.” Those Guys also made another school appearance during Fall Frollics, performing the same skit they did at Cav Crash. Their talents have gone far beyond the school’s auditorium. Baez has previously appeared in a commercial for Silly Bandz, and Quinta is currently doing a project with America’s Got Talent. For those who missed out on the wonders that are Those Guys, they will be dancing in the dance show taking place on April 5.

By Maggie Rivers

Although presentation suggests otherwise, the taste fell flat. One flavor that received poor reviews among our taste testers When craving something sweet, one doesn’t have to stray was Guava, as it was said to be overly sweet, and it didn’t far from school in order to satisfy the sweet tooth. It only takes taste like guava at all. Pumpkin on the other hand received enthusiastic reviews. Tasters appreciated its spice and texture five minutes to walk down Le Jeune road to get to Artisan and one taster “could tell it was made with real pumpkin” Bakery, a new bakery that recently opened. despite an average-tasting frosting. For the most part, the Artisan Bakery opened in the former storefront of cupcakes recieved mixed reviews. The Red Velvet cupcake, Cupcakes Nouveau, a bakery that was featured on the Food for example, was described as delicious and tasty by some, and Network show, Cupcake Wars, last summer. Unfortunately “funky” and “awkwardly spicy” by others. business didn’t bloom, and the bakery was forced close. Cupcake prices vary depending on size. Samplers, which The new bakery provides customers with a lot more come with 12 mini cupcakes, are available for $12. options than its predecessor, whom mainly offered cupcakes. Maybe this spot is forever doomed to send bakeries out The new bakery offers other sweets such as Caribbean delights, of business, but it seems that with its mediocre cupcakes, that finger foods, and custom cookies. Artisan’s presentation was spot on. Taste testers noted that the only thing that could save Artisan Bakery is its all too cute presentation and rare good flavor. the cupcakes looked “pretty” and “delicious”. However, looks alone could not save these cupcakes. STAFF WRITER

Cupcakes reviewed: How does Artisan stack up? Vanilla: Pumpkin: Red Velvet:


Gables Earth releases 1,500 ladybugs By Maggie Rivers STAFF WRITER

Ladybugs soared through the air at the last Gables Earth garden maintenance which took place on Nov. 12. Members came and helped around the garden (located between the 300 and 400 halls) by pulling out weeds and grass that were stealing nutrients from the other plants in the garden. After toiling hard in the garden members were rewarded with the ladybug release. The ladybugs were bought by Gables Earth for the garden in order to control pest population. “The release of the ladybugs was a mesmerizing experience as we watched them speed around the garden and the ones on our hands tickled as they crawled around before flying off,” said junior Meily Wu. Gables Earth plans on creating a new garden sometime in the future.

Chocolate: Coconut:

Out of 5 cupcakes

Jorge Galavis/highlights



December 2011



Teachers discuss education, previous jobs and what brought them back to high school

By Andrea Biondi STAFF WRITER

The profession of teaching is not so much of a dream job as it is a calling, one that is not typically heard early in life. Even with this in mind, many students are still surprised when they discover that their beloved teachers have not always been the educators they are now. Prior to becoming one of the school’s two Theory of Knowledge teachers, James Dunn was a computer programmer and a stock broker, two careers that seem completely unexpected coming from a doctor in Political Science. “I had always wanted to be the great American writer,” said Dunn, but it seemed the odds were against him. Even as a graduate student at the University of Chicago, he was only a dissertation short of his doctorate in Political Science. Dunn then decided to go into a more “practical” career, so to speak, working as a stock broker for a short period of time, and then as a computer programmer for Chicago Title Insurance. Despite the good salary Dunn had working as a programmer, he simply “didn’t love it.”He returned to the University of Chicago to complete his dissertation and receive his doctorate, in hopes of becoming a professor, but once he moved to Miami, the opportunity arose to work here at the school. Having already been interested in the school from the beginning because of its International Baccalaureate program, he swiftly accepted. “I had always loved classroom teaching, and now, given the opportunity, I do my best to try and recreate a college

environment here in this classroom,” said Dunn. Lucia Benchetrit, the leader of the Business Management and Information Technology Academy, has had careers which, unlike Dunn, are much more related to the subjects she teaches. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing at the University of South Florida, Benchetrit became a pharmaceutical representative for William H. Rorer, the manufacturer of Malox. It is noteworthy that Benchetrit was one of the first female pharmaceutical representatives in the country. She was then hired as the district sales manager for Foster Grant Sunglass, for whom she did an internship during college, but after her marriage, Benchetrit and her husband decided to open an import/export business of their own. “It was very much like a sourcing company,” said Benchetrit. In other words, whatever product her customer wanted, she would get it (staying within the confines of the law, of course). Many of their exports went to Venezuela, but once Chavez came into power, they knew that “the opportunities were going to dissipate.” Fortunately, Benchetrit was soon after given the opportunity to work here at the school and share her entrepreneurial knowledge with students. “I fell in love with the school and it with me,” said Benchetrit. Orestes Mayo, the calculus, physics, and chemistry teacher here at the school, did not come anywhere near a teaching career until far later in his life. Immersed in both his studies and music, after graduating

from high school, Mayo chose to continue his career as a musician, playing in three different punk rock bands before deciding to attend the University of Florida. Interestingly, during his tours with the bands, Mayo worked part time as a carpenter to “make ends meet.” It was not until his late 20s that Mayo went off to UF, where he earned his degree for mathematical physics. “I was a trends analyst for a while, and then a programmer as well, but it was all just to make ends meet. I didn’t love it,” said Mayo. After receiving his master’s degree in Educational Leadership at the Florida International University, he finally began his teaching career, and only returned to the school this year, as was noted in the first issue of highlights. “I like teaching, and I don’t plan to ever stop teaching,” said Mayo, and although he is a teacher here, he is still a student at Florida International University, and is in the process of earning his doctorate. “I’m trying to finish it, but it’s hard now that I have a life,” said Mayo, who spends his off time playing the keyboard in his band, The Slinger, and playing the violin for the Alhambra Orchestra. Clearly, all of these teachers had a variety of options apart from teaching, and still do have these options, yet they chose to do what they truly loved, despite the difference in the pay checks. They chose to stand in front of a group of students and do their best to give these students the proper in order to further their education and maybe one day do what they truly love.

ESE program is enriching for students Passionate special educators captivate classes

By Eylin Martinez STAFF WRITER

The 400 hall in the old building holds a portion of the Cavalier family few know exists: The Exceptional Student Education Program (ESE). The ESE program at the school is composed of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The program has ‘inclusive students’, who participate in the regular school day, attending diverse classes, choosing electives and interacting with the rest of the student body, as well as ‘self-contained students’, who remain in room 403 for most of the day. Some of the self-contained students can be considered to be either lower functioning or higher functioning. The higher functioning students have the opportunity to partake in different electives (cooking, computers, art, etc.) with

the rest of the student body in contrast to the hospitalization. lower functioning ESE students who have to “Our goal is to have them in a more remain in the classroom all day. inclusive center,” said Ivette Feeney, ESE Inclusive students who reach the age of teacher. 18 or 19 are able to graduate if they choose To be a special educator one must hold to do so. Self-contained students can reach specific qualities and a passion for the the age of 22 and still be part of the ESE job. The students in the classroom vary program at the behaviorally and in regards school. These to the amount of attention Our goal is to have them in a students, upon needed throughout more inclusive center, reaching this the day. Some ESE age, can take students, despite teacher Ivette Feeney, three different supervision, continuously ESE teacher courses for behave the way they would the rest of when not being taken care their life. If of . This can be seen in the they have become independently functional fact that some of students wander off around they can get a job, or they can join an adult the school. Situations like this require day training center, if they are self-toileted dedicated and caring people who will handle and self-fed. The third option, which the the situation in a delicate manner. ESE program tries to avoid, involves In the classroom, the teachers attempt to


You are missing out on over 3,000 customers and all their


and all their friends, and all their friends’ friends, and all their friends’ friends’ friends, and all their friends’ friends’ friends’ friends, and all their friends’ friends’ friends’ friends’ friends, and all their friends’ friends’ friends’ friends’ friends’ friends, and all their friends’ friends’ friends’ friends’ friends’ friends’ friends, and all their friends’ friends’ friends’ friends’ friends’ friends’ friends’ friends, and all their friends’ friends’ friends’ friends’ friends’ friends’ friends’ friends’ friends...

Advertise in highlights now!

Visit room F237 or contact us at

have the student perform functional skills. This means that students learn to use the cash register, shop, play with blocks and practice their writing, among other things. The students also participate in Community Based Instructions (CBI). Once a week, students join in on activities going on all around the community. This can include fun activities or community work. Every Friday, or “Fun Friday” as they have been referred to, students in the ESE program get to participate in the Special Olympics, the fair, or any other special event. The special educators and the ESE students have grown close and created a bond throughout the years. They share the belief that some day, with the help of further research into ASD, students will be able to achieve greatness.




December 2011

State championship run

leaving, juniors like Convey, Gabriella Gutierrez, Kim Berthier, By Deanna Breiter and Tamara Mekler can pass on knowledge about how to train STAFF WRITER and what to expect. The goal, according to the runners, was already achieved by winning Districts and qualifying for States. Just as the cross country season was coming to a close, the The girls' efforts will not go unacknowledged. Coming in girls team brought home the title of District Champions. The 24th place in the state is an accomplishment on its own and team has not held such a title in 30 years and could not be more adds to the prestige and dedication of this years girls’ cross proud. country team. “It was the most rewarding “They exceeded my part of the season,” said junior Tori We practiced every day no matter expectations,” said cross country Convey. “All the hard work we did how much we didn't want to, coach Scott Nelson. "It was a this season really paid off when we combined effort. They motivated especially after we qualified for won Districts.” each other and the work they did As District Champions, States, together allowed them to achieve." the girls qualified for the State Kim Berthier, junior Practicing every day after Championships, which took place in and member of the school and occasionally on Tampa this year. On Saturday, Nov. Saturdays has proved to be fully 19, girls from twenty-four teams cross country team worth it. Their true dedication and from across the state raced in the determination permitted them to be three-mile journey. continuously placed among the top runners, demonstrating their Although the Gables runners came in last, they were not superb abilities. entirely discouraged. States presented a challenge of high "All of our hard work really paid off," said junior Kim magnitude that no current Gables cross country runner has Berthier. "We practiced every day no matter how much we ever encountered. The course in Tampa consisted of numerous didn't want to, especially after we qualified for States." stretches of hill and other types of terrain that are foreign to It is safe to say that this season was a true success. The team Miami runners. displayed the values of hard work, determination and teamwork, "The hills were a challenge because running up them was a which obviously proved a good combination. This season was new experience," said Convey. a learning experience and will be sure to help the cross country The meet will serve as a lesson that next year’s team can team next year. draw from and build upon for next year. Though seniors will be



Boys Basketball

League Record 3-0 (2-0 Preseason)

NOV 15 Ft. Myers High


@ Ft. Myers

NOV 18 Gables

Gables Cavaliers

68 - 71 W Cavaliers vs M a r i n e r

@ Ft. Myers

NOV 30

67 - 54 W Barbara Goleman vs Gables @ CGHS

45 - 67 W

@ Miami Springs

72 - 54 W


39 - 45 W

DEC 2 Gables Cavaliers


DEC 5 South Miami High




Miami Springs

Gables Cavaliers

Varsity Soccer

League Record Boys: 3-1-3 Girls: 6-4

NOV 15 Southwest High @ CGHS

NOV 17 Gables


Gables Cavaliers

B: 2 - 2 T G: 3 - 2 L Cavaliers vs South Miami

@ South Miami

DEC 1 Coral Park @ CGHS

B: 1 - 1 T vs John

DEC 6 Gables Cavaliers @ Ferguson

G: 0 - 4 W

A. Ferguson

B: 0 - 3 L G: 0 - 3 L vs Gables Cavaliers

DEC 8 Braddock High @ CGHS


B: 3 - 0 W G: 6 - 1 W High vs Gables Cavaliers

B: 1 - 2 W

G: 0 - 2 W

Cavalier Student Athletes Spotlighted

Anthony Soto

Samantha Martinez


Orso Raymo/highlights

Courtesy of

By Nicolas Rivero

By Andrea Biondi



Swimmer Anthony Soto is only a junior, but he already competes with some of the best athletes in the country. Soto was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the school’s swim team in his freshman and sophomore years, is co-captain of the team, and is a recipient of the Dave Lawrence Athletic Award. This year he was named district champion and state finalist in the 50 and 100 meter freestyle. Last year he traveled to Ohio State to compete in the Junior Nationals on a relay team, surprising many with an impressive eighth place finish. “I did well considering how young I was and who I was racing, who were the fastest kids in the nation,” said Soto. However, his goals do not end with competing at the national level as he dreams of swimming with the best in the world. “I would love to get an Olympic trial cut,” he said. To qualify for the 50 meter freestyle cut, he would have to “perfect every little thing” to post a time under 23.5 seconds. “I’m starting to intensify my training now, so I feel very confident,” said Soto. Soto trains almost every day, spending two and a half hours swimming and another hour working out. However, as a student athlete, he still has to juggle swimming with his schoolwork. “I just try to give myself enough time for everything,” said Soto.

With the addition of senior Samantha Martinez to the school’s wrestling team, students might feel more inclined to attend the school’s wrestling matches and watch the team’s new female wrestler step onto the mat. Martinez had actually wanted to join the team last year, but never got around to asking Angel Vasquez, the school's wrestling team coach and cooking teacher. “I’ve always liked martial arts and combat sports, so I thought, ‘why not join?’” said Martinez. She was promptly admitted into the school’s team and has been diligently practicing with the team since then. Despite being female, Martinez practices and competes against the boys. While it seems most girls would not want to join a wrestling team in the first place, much less want to wrestle against men, Martinez happily accepted this opportunity to better prepare for upcoming competitions. Martinez is aware that her competition will not treat her the same way her teammates do. Most likely, Martinez believes, they will not hold back. “I don’t believe the strength of a girl can match a guy’s, but I think, technique wise, I might be able to make up for it,” she said. As of recently, Martinez suffered an injury that may question her ability to participate. However, depending on the outcome, Martinez hopes to continue wrestling.



Two sports, one student




to support our athletic teams and cheer them on! Girls




Tues. at 4:00 p.m. at Coral Reef Senior High

Tues. at 6:00 p.m. at Coral Gables Senior High

vs. Coral Reef

Playing sports in school and keeping up with school work is never easy. However, a select few students manage to overcome the rigors of eight classes while playing two sports. These students show dedication, and are often the backbone of the athletic department. One such student is sophomore Joseph Paz. He has aspirations to join the military, but in the meantime he will have to be content with being second-line kicker on the varsity football team and goal keeper for the school’s varsity soccer team. After suffering his most recent injury, a concussion, Paz’s dedication towards his home team is even more profound. “Once my head hit the ground, everything went black, my head was spinning and I had no sense of balance,” said Paz. Paz also says that in order to keep his grades up and stay on top of his work he almost always completes his homework in class. Rarely does he get more than a few hours worth of sleep, thanks to a rigorous practice schedule. Another member of this Cavalier athletic group, freshmen Teague Scanlon, represents the school in both the cross country department as well as on the soccer field. His dedication for the latter of the two sports is boundless. When soccer is not in season at school, he goes to cross country practice then plays defense for his club team. “I am forced to do my homework during the early hours of the morning,” said Scanlon. For cross country, he managed to help his team reach District Championships, but he says it is not so much about winning as it is about “striving for [his] personal best.” Whether on the field or in the classroom, these student athletes always give it their all.

vs. South Miami







Thurs. at 2:00 p.m. at Columbus Senior High

Thurs. at 4:00 p.m. at Lourdes

vs. Columbus

vs. Lourdes

14 sports School hosts Special Olympics highlights

Orso Raymo/highlights

December 2011

OLYMPIC EFFORTS: With the assistance of numerous Special Olympic volunteers from the school, including sophomore Rocio Carrillo (center), participants practice their basketball abilities to prepare for the upcoming events (left). Also, kids affiliated with the Miami-Dade Police Athletic League run passing and shooting drills (right). "The kids are really open and they do not hold back. They are really unique," said Carrillo.

By Lukas Georgatos STAFF WRITER

In addition to being home to several highly successful sports teams, the school also hosts an annual Special Olympics event where middle-schoolers with special needs from across the county compete to qualify for states. On Dec. 5 and 6 hundreds of visiting students and the school’s volunteers participated in and took part in this event. According to the official mission statement of the Special Olympics, “The Special Olympics strives to create a better world by fostering the acceptance and inclusion of all people.” Students, volunteers, and teachers agreed the event embodied the mission statement. The arrival of the participants was marked by a welcoming and joyful atmosphere. Teachers and students said they were excited for this event, looking forward to it for several months. “It’s the most exciting event of the year for me,” said Dual Enrollment Fitness teacher Eulalia Albalate. The Special Olympics is hosted at the school because Albalate had previously run a sports program for children with disabilities in the district and was so passionate about it. She felt

it was important to continue to do something through school. of some teachers and students, from the school, and students “We are playing basketball and I really like playing basketwho attend FIU. Most volunteers were from Albalate’s Dual ball,” said Frantz Acceus, a participant from Campbell Drive Enrollment classes. However, the cheerleaders and plenty of the Middle. school’s athletes helped out as well. This was generally a shared opinion among many of the “I think experiencing this makes you reevaluate your prioriother participants. ties,” said teacher volunteer Stephanie Hofmann. “It is a cool experience. Seeing smiles on their faces really Many explained how they enjoyed brings me joy,” said current Florida helping out because they liked making It is a cool experience. Seeing International University (FIU) all of the children happy and making smiles on their faces really brings sure that everyone had a great time. student Steven Walsh. The specific purpose of the me joy, “You don’t know how grateful you event was to promote basketball, are to be who you are. You shouldn’t Steven Walsh, Special but there are numerous other athjudge people for the way they look. Olympics volunteer letic competitions available in the They’re more creative than we are,” Special Olympics. said sophomore Wasim Khalid, exemand current FIU Throughout the day there were plifying the Special Olympics mission. student a total of three different events: The event was also meant to deterdribbling, passing, and shooting mine the two participants who would (both in teams and solo). Each event had a different scale in move on to states. However, everyone who participated is which each child was judged. considered a winner and is awarded a ribbon for the effort they Considering that the event was so large, there needed to be showed. The event was successful and ended with everyone in many volunteers to help coordinate the Olympics. It consisted a great mood.



The latest addition to the family of water sports, paddle boarding, is growing in South Florida. All along the coasts of Virginia Key and Key Biscayne, paddle boarding fanatics meet to explore and enjoy the aquatic marvels the region has to offer. Similar to kayaking, the sport allows traveling to any destination, whether on open ocean or through tight canals in suburbia, but because the paddler can stand up, a drastically wider perspective is offered. More experienced paddlers have even been known to take on canyon runs, filled with rapids and obstacles. The increase in popularity of this otherwise little known sport can be associated with numerous uses.

"Sales have increased by 600 percent over the last three years,” said Eduardo Owen, Next Sports sales associate. With about 95 new manufacturers worldwide, new are resurrecting on a daily basis. “With our brand, Fanatic, we went from having three boards on the line in 2010 (in one construction) to 29 different models in 2012 consisting of four different constructions,” said Owen. Unlike other water sports, paddle boarding is easy to learn and requires little physical ability. Other popular water board sports rely heavily on weather conditions, whereas paddle boarding is, for the most part, unaffected by marine conditions. This activity can take place on rivers, lakes and open ocean because paddle boarding relies solely on human propulsion

Ice hockey hits Dade high schools

SUNSET ODYSSEY: Annamaria Guerra enjoys the calm, crystal clear waters as she paddleboards off of Virginia Key beach.

Basketball team off to good start By Lukas Georgatos

By Lukas Georgatos

“The game will be a tense, hard-fought battle against two competitive teams,” said Hyatt. The Cavalier basketball team has opened There are two upcoming tournaments to their season with an impressive record of five help fine tune the team’s skills. The first of the wins (two from the preseason) and no losses, tournaments starts on Dec. 19, ends on Dec. as of Dec. 13. 21, and is called the Basketball The game will be a tense, North Broward Precoach Glenford hard-fought battle against two paratory Academy Hyatt attributed Christmas Tournacompetitive teams, the team’s success ment. to “an attacking Glenford Hyatt, boys The latter takes defense and an varsity basketball place in Boca Raton, opportunistic ofstarting on Dec. 27 fense.” coach and student and is called the Last season, counselor Boca Raton Holiday the team reached Tournament. the regional quarUnfortunately, another high school rivalry ter finals, but came up short in their match between Coral Reef and Killian High recently with Hialeah-Miami Lakes. They ended escalated greatly. It built up to such an extent this impressive season with 21 wins and six that 17-year-old Christopher Lardner, a student losses. at Coral Reef, was sent to Kendall Regional On Dec. 14, the team hopes to continue Medical Center after a basketball game due to this winning record in their game against Miami High, known to have a rivalry with the extreme injuries, including a jaw broken in two places. school. STAFF WRITER

Peter Liu/Contributor


For almost a decade now, Miami-Dade has not had a hockey team, but recently a group of eight high schools have come together to create the Miami-Dade High School Hockey Alliance. They now compete in the Florida Scholastic Hockey League against other high schools. There are a total of 18 teams that are divided into three divisions. Miami-Dade competes in Division III and is currently in second place. Six of the school’s students make up part of the team: seniors Bryan Pino, captain Zack Howell, assistant captain Guiliano Wright, and juniors Casey Breznick, Sean Pino, and assistant captain Gene Liu. “Many people did not think that this team could happen. No one connects Miami-Dade with ice hockey,” said Wright. As of now, the team has a winning 5-1-1 record. The team practices at Miami Beach’s Scott Rakow Youth Center, but plays its games at Saveology Iceplex in Coral Springs and can be identified in their blue and green

rather than natural forces. Paddlers can choose boards of different sizes depending on personal preference and skill level. For instance, fishermen can take advantage of the board’s multi-functionality and choose larger, more stable platforms from which they can easily cast and reel in search of a day’s catch far from the bustle of beaches. Also, with someone who instead wishes to sightsee like 70 year-old Annamaria Guerra and move from vantage point to vantage point may also do so. As the beaches empty out due to the South Florida “cold” it is a smart idea to take advantage of the numerous paddle-boarding rental services located in South Florida and get familiar with this sport to take advantage of the overlooked marvels Miami has to offer offshore.

Orso Raymo/highlights

New member of water sports family

BULLDOZED: Senior Bryan Pino trucks an unsuspecting opponent in Miami-Dade’s 7-0 victory over Stoneman Douglas.

jerseys crested with the letter ‘M’. At the end of the season, eight teams will go to the state championship for SAHOF, Statewide Amateur Hockey of Florida. “Come out and support our six Gables players in some fast-paced action-packed hockey games,” said Howell. After the one disappointing loss, the team is determined to never let another on their record.


the scene

highlights December 2011







Farmer’s Markets bring neighbors together with organic apple strudel and fresh fruit



h oe

li igh

5855 S.W. 111th Street, Pinecrest Open December through April Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


3300 Grand Avenue and Margaret Street, Coconut Grove Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

By Remy Fuentes

how much the food industry is selling them for. Therefore, they sell them for a lesser price but still make a decent amount of money. Twenty-first century western societies At the markets fresh fruits, vegetables, generally operate on mass industrialization exotic nuts, aroma therapy and other unique of products—this includes food. Purely groceries are available, depending on the agricultural growers’ fruits and vegetables are season. In Miami alone there are about fifteen, rarely sold to grocery Coconut Grove’s stores, and Farmer’s farmers market I decided to start farming and Markets provide being one of the selling organic products since I an opportunity for most popular, and don’t want to poison the Earth, growers and organic open each Saturday food enthusiasts to year round. Food Margie of Bee Heaven thrive. Local farmers bought here is gather to sell their healthier since they fresh produce all over are certified organic and have no synthetics or Miami in an attempt to promote an organic fertilizers. lifestyle. Farmer’s markets need to be supported Margie from Bee Heaven, a market located and encouraged as the industry is slowly in Homestead, said, “I decided to start farming declining as the world advances in production. and selling organic products since I don’t want The experience is friendly and enjoyable, with to poison the Earth.” growers gladly offering advice in preparation The individual businesses that participate or maintenance of their products. decide how to price their items by checking for STAFF WRITER


W Mag








regular hang out spots, casually driving on the highway, and even passing in front of the school. The question everyone wants to know the answer to is, “What are these big, red tour buses showing people?” These buses are part of The Big Bus Tour Company which hosts tours all over the globe. The red double-decker buses offer tourists views of Miami from its open top buses on beach and city loops. The city loop goes through areas like Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Bayfront, and Little Havana, while

6130 Sunset Drive, South Miami Saturdays 9:00 am to 2:00 pm


405 Biltmore Way (in front of City Hall) Coral Gables Mid-January through March Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


400 - 700 Blocks of Lincoln Road, Miami Beach Sundays, 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

the beach loop takes foreigners through the infamous South Beach area along Ocean Drive. The buses allow for riders to “hop on and hop off” so tourists can intimately explore the different areas of the city. Our local tour guide, Manny, gave tourists a lot of information about the 305 that we thought we knew. While on the city loop, we learned about Al Capone’s secret gangster casino being run at the Venetian pool and how those squid-like creatures painted on the highway columns represent the Cuban exile’s journey from their homeland. On the beach loop, we learned about the Clevelander hotel’s vomit-resistant carpets and how South Beach houses the only Burger King in the world with a liquor license, this being very reminiscent of the Miami Beach party scene. Taking the tour alongside us was a British couple visiting Miami for the first time while escaping the frigid London weather. They came for the sunshine, but stayed for the Cuban coffee, and assured us—to our utter amazement, that their favorite part about the city was Calle Ocho. “We like how clean it

is here!” they said, again surprising us. They were fascinated by the melting pot of ethnicities present in the area and valued its rarity, a phenomenon found in few places across the globe. The tour allowed us to appreciate the interesting history, remarkable landmarks, and overall cleanliness of our city that we, as residents, take for granted. The tour did a great job of displaying the aesthetic beauty of Miami, while wholly capturing its spice and cultural essence. Maggie Rivers/highlights



By Maggie Rivers & Leslie Ramos

A ’ N They are everywhere, cruising through our





LIVING ON THE EDGE: Staff writer Leslie Ramos extends her arms on a double decker tour bus.

Miami International Book Fair 2011 lures literature lovers and authors By Scarlett Perez STAFF WRITER

Writing club had a fieldtrip to the Chinese Pavilion on Nov. 17, where students were able to engage various activities particular to the culture, such as tea ceremonies, calligraphy writing and palm readings. “My favorite part of the fair was going to the Chinese pavilion and learning how to do calligraphy. I thought it was IN-TENTS: Vendors diplay their selection of books and bribes in so cool and it is Downtown Miami as they wait for lines of eager bookworms to arrive actually pretty for the Miami International Book Fair 2011. hard,” said senior music also playing in the background, setting Jose Camarillo. an enthusiastic ambiance. The book fair, By just standing at the entrance, hundreds since its foundation, has become a center for of colorful tents were visible; teeming with cultural and academic initiatives to encourage people meandering from tent to tent browsing literature. at books from various authors, with lively Mary Koehnk/highlights

Every year since its inception in 1984, thousands of literary fanatics of all scopes—from the excited fan-girl of teen novels to the tempered middle-aged leisure reader—have assembled for the Miami Book Fair International. For an entire week, Miami-Dade College’s downtown Wolfson Campus housed some of the nation’s most prolific writers for one of the largest literary festivals in the country. The Miami Book Fair International, considered one of the finest literary fairs, began on Sunday Nov. 13, with its popular series “Evenings with…” featuring six nights of readings by authors and ultimately culminating with the three-day Street Fair starting on Nov. 18 through Nov. 20, which includes the Festival of Authors and a couple of art exhibits. “I went for the first time ever to the Book Fair this year and it was actually a lot of fun. It never interested me before but my friends encouraged me to go and I was surprised at how at how many different things there were

to do,” said senior Alejandro Pupo The Book Fair showcased a number of high-profile writers such as Christopher Paolini, author of the widely read Inheritance Cycle series. Author of Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk, was one of the confirmed authors attending, as well as New York Times Bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins, writer of the popular young adult novel, Burned. The Book Fair also gave the opportunity to exhibit Latin American and Spanish authors who are part of the IberoAmerican Authors Program. “I was excited that the fair had so many different types of books and there were many authors showing their books to the public and talking about the amazing time they took to write it,” said junior Kenneth Varela who attended the Street Fair on Saturday Nov. 19. The 28th Miami Book Fair International focused on China to build a bridge of understanding about the vibrant, complex culture and expose people to the different facets of the multiethnic country. The fair featured the China Pavilion, as well as a multitude of Chinese and Chinese-American authors at the street festival. The Creative

the scene

highlights December 2011


Miami art scene expands Wynwood flourishes with Art Walk By Maggie Rivers

the famous food trucks every second Saturday of the month. At Art Walk there is no shortage of things Many ethnic and cultural backgrounds to do and see. Those who attend can stroll encompass Miami’s vibrant art scene. among the galleries visiting exhibitions Wynwood, Miami’s art district, is a haven by various artists. Visitors may also find for developing and underground artists that themselves in Wynwood Walls (the Walls for call Miami home. short) where The notoriously they can stop There are countless different artunderdeveloped area that for a drink ists all expressing themselves for neighbors Overtown is at the café home to hundreds of wall different purposes...but contribuand then visit murals painted along the warehouses tors and spectators alike share a sides of warehouses and love of creativity and individuality, made into factories. Such an area art studios, allows artists with little intriguing art Lauren Gamber, resources to start their installations, art enthusiast career where others can and a collection see. of large murals The Wynwood art and camouflage district holds many events that garner lots of deer statues. Art enthusiasts are given the attention from the public. One of these events opportunity to meet and talk to the artists is Art Walk, an event where people are invited themselves, as they can be found not too far to walk around the area while enjoying art, from their own work meeting new people, and sampling food from When hunger strikes, guests can walk over STAFF WRITER


to the corner of 23rd Street and 2nd Avenue to visit the food trucks. A variety of trucks are available to choose from including trucks like Dim Ssam a Gogo, Cool Haus, Ms. Cheezious, the Purple People Eatery, and Wrap It Up. If you find yourself with a craving for some of the best pizza in Miami walk back towards the Walls and eat at Joey’s, a renowned Italian café. “What I like about Art Walk is the unity of a common theme,” said Lauren Gamber, who has worked with several galleries at the past few Art Walks, “yes, there are countless different artists all expressing themselves for different purposes and in different media, but everyone, contributors and spectators alike, shares a love of creativity and individuality.” Yet above all things, Art Walk provides hope for Miami’s design district. These kinds of events are spurring gentrification in Wynwood. The area, once considered dangerous, is becoming a clean, enriching area where everyone can come together and appreciate the arts.



Design District


{ {

101 Exhibit




European Art Gallery

Rubel Family Collection 4

The Wynwood Walls 5

Food Truck Lot Sophia Aitken/highlights

Nestled in the heart of Miami stereotypes, the prestigious Art Basel retuned to Miami Beach, displaying the impressive, the odd, and the effortless. Art Basel is in its tenth year now, and is called “the most prestigious art show in the Americas.” As an art enthusiast and a Basel virgin, I was unsure as to what to expect. The artsy atmosphere stretched beyond the gallery (and the admission fee). A recent collaboration with the Bass Museum of Art decorated Collins Park with pieces and performances. For the first time, Art Video projected eccentric visuals on the wall of the New World Art Center, designed by Frank Gheny. More than 260 galleries from North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa were selected and featured for the show. Expected, the large crowd consisted of a variety of foreigners, hipsters, and old people. The Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) showcased modern art at its worst and best: dead birds, vortexes, and strategically placed chairs and paintings.

Floating thick-rimmed glasses were migrating from piece to piece, offering their two cents on what so-and-so represents (loss of innocence, perhaps?). I was, however, pleasantly surprised. I was impressed with the quality and labor put into most of the works, and it offered more insight into modern art that is not only American. Though some are turned off by the presentation, many Miamians take advantage of the surrounding displays in more expansive art forms than only the Convention Center. “Wynwood was free, with live music. It has less of a museum feel and more of a social gathering, when compared to the Miami Beach Convention Center which had the entrance fee and four walls that surround you at all times,” said junior Manuel Marcial. The Wynwood art district was swarming with people visiting galleries, painting live art displays, playing music, or doing whatever it is that qualifies for performance art. Regardless of perceptions that decide what art of value is, Art Basel week brings an entire new feel to Miami, with art almost everywhere you look—something that is quite unique to the city most noted for its beaches and clubs.



Mapping out Miami’s art

celebrates 10 years By Mary Koehnk


Photo illustration: Jorge Galavis/highlights

Issue 4, Vol. 52  

Issue 4, December 2011, Vol. 52

Issue 4, Vol. 52  

Issue 4, December 2011, Vol. 52