Occhiogrosso/The Harriton Banner
Gauvin/The Harriton Banner
Valentine’s Day: Pictures and tales from our two Harriton teacher couples: the Gauvins and the Occhiogrossos See Faculty Spotlight, page 20
Harriton Banner The
A Free Forum of Harriton High School of the Lower Merion School District
Volume 3 Number 5
A New President, A New Era
February 6, 2009
Harriton Goes to the Inauguration
By Moira Lavelle Staff Writer
Pictured above: The Supreme Court in Washington D.C. President Barack Obama’s inauguration was held on January 20, 2009 (Moira Lavelle/The Harriton Banner).
Meet the constestants of Mr. Harriton! See page six for interviews and more!
Anna Denis-Rohr/The Harriton Banner
Job Shadowing Page 18
Bat Boy, Page 14
ion displaying presidential pride. Although the styles in winter coats and boots varied, there was one thing almost everybody had in common: the paraphernalia. It seemed no outfit was complete without an Obama t-shirt, hat, or pin. There were several pedestrians who had completely decked themselves out with Obama pins to the point that it was difficult to see their clothing underneath. Every type of Obama accessory that was ever conceived could be bought on the side of the street. I saw Obama hats, scarves, posters, mouse pads, bumper stickers, paperweights, and Christmas ornaments. One particular vendor, selling earrings, walked up and down the streets offering people the chance to “inaugurate your ears.” I personally did not make it onto the Mall for the speeches, but I did get to be on the parade route. Despite the freezing cold, thousands lined up to watch the procession drive by and maybe, catch a glimpse of our new president himself. As multiple black cars with tinted windows pulled up, the crowd started to cheer. The entire street on which I was standing started chanting “Obama! Obama!” in anticipation. Finally from
On January 20th 2009 - the day of the presidential inauguration - the Metrorail broke its record for highest ridership ever in the history of the transit authority with 1,120,000 riders. The previous record was set the day before. In addition, thousands of people made their way into Washington D.C. by bus, car, or other means of transportation. Everybody wanted a chance to see the inauguration, to be a part of history. I was very lucky to be one of these people in D.C. at the time of the inauguration and experience it myself. Those who watched the ceremony on T.V. heard the newscasters discussing the amount of people therealmost two million on the Mall alone. Walking around DC, I saw more people than I had ever seen before in my life. The military - in the largest security operation in the history of our country - lined the streets. Each block was assigned to a different branch of the armed services. It was interesting to see how at each street corner their uniforms would change, and suddenly I was surrounded by the Marines instead of the Army. One thing that stood out about the crowd in D.C. was the continuity in fash- (continued on page seven)
XBOX LIVE 2.0 Page 9
Third Quarter Page 10
The Future of the School Store
The Harriton Banner - Page 2
From Cupboard to Business:
By Jackie Milestone Staff Writer
The Tale of the Ram Shack
Just a few years ago Harriton’s school store resided in an area similar to that of Harry Potter’s bedroom, in a cupboard beneath the stairs of the J Building. Okay, so maybe not a “cupboard” but it was in the place of the current-day tech closet. It was only two years ago that the school store was lifted from its place down under and moved to its current location in the cafeteria. The “Ram Shack” was sewn together and fabricated to become the place that it is with the help of some money raised for the class of ‘07’s prom and the work of some influential students such as Evan Derrow ‘07 (who helped in the actual building of the store) and Alyssa Levy-
Dougherty ‘08 (a former Harrtion Treasurer). For the following year the store remained in the hands of Student Council and prospered quite beautifully. This school year, Mrs. Cooke has passed on the role of Business Managers to our own Becca Rutenberg and Steve Ellis. It is easy to see the incredible vision of the school store that has been made reality since the beginning of this year. All kinds of new merchandise have been offered and many with new, original designs by Harriton student and artist, senior Alicia Arlotta. As soon as you walk into the cafeteria the red, white and black pop out, eagerly tossing school spirit onto everyone’s lunch table. With its shining personality and friendly staff consisting of seniors Angela
THE HARRITON BANNER Mr. Peter Crooke, Advisor
-Executive EditorAllyson Volinsky
-Editors-in-ChiefJess Metlay Jake Karlsruher
-Section EditorsAlexis Sokol, News Shilpa Soundararajan, Op-Ed Stephanie Hill, Features Brian Mechanick, Technology Costanza Maio, Specials Adam Settle, Sports Monika Zaleska, A&E Michelle Mayro, Humor Lauren Berenbaum & Lauren Fox, Around Harriton Eileen Mayro, Faculty Spotlight Blake Bergen, Photo
-Web Colin Poindexter, Webmaster Becca Rutenberg, Content Sari Tuchinsky, Assistant Working Editor
Some material courtesy of American Society of Newspaper Editors/MCT Campus High School Newspaper Service
McDougall, Ron Shapiro, and Jon Maltz, it has certainly come a long way from its Harry Potter days. However, the time has come for a slight change in the ways of the Ram Shack, and so it is being entrusted to the Future Business Leaders of America, or FBLA. With this new opportunity of running the school store, the FBLA’s mission is to build school spirit. They plan to have it resemble a school store of more collegial style; revamping its personality a bit. Obviously, they plan on carrying a multitude of Harriton paraphernalia, but additionally they may carry Penn State College merchandise. This all pertains to the new Penn State Brandywine LMSD Dual Enrollment Program that the FBLA supports. It is a unique program that allows students to basically take college courses in business while in high school. Upon completing the program, a student may finish with thirteen transferrable college credits! It is a unique and amazing opportunity, but like anything, it comes at a price. This is why the FBLA hopes to open the school store for three weeks before school actually begins each year to give an opportunity for people to make early purchases and parents to buy anything from the inventory. A percentage of these proceeds will then go to the fund paying for the Penn State Brandywine LMSD Dual Enrollment Program, acting as a variation of financial aid so this program will be more easily accessible and open to everyone. Entrusting the school store to the FBLA also seems to be a smart decision considering that the FBLA is a business-based club. This gives the students a chance to practice the skills they have learned about and hope to use one day in pursuing a career. FBLA also hopes to reach out to the school and send around pamphlets asking students for opinions on what they should carry in the school store. “The decision to transfer the store over to the FBLA was a difficult one, but it was the right thing to do. Business at the store has been excellent this year, and all of us enjoy spending our time there and selling merchandise to our peers. However, the school store committee is made up entirely of seniors, and we wanted to offer the experience to the budding young minds of Harriton who had a new vision that came along with a new school,” explains senior Becca Rutenberg. There is no question that we can count on the Future Business Leaders of America to transform this vision into a reality.
February 6, 2009
The Gaming Age
Luke Schneider, 14, played video games with his siblings, Lucy Schneider, 7, and Jacob Schneider, 9, at their home in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, on Friday, January 2, 2009. (Jeffrey Thompson/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)
other people, whether online or in person.” Others believe that any form of excessive video game The twenty-first century is un- playing can isolate teenagers from doubtedly the age of technology. their friends and other social situCellular phones, computers, and ations. The real question is: why other electronic devices are ev- erywhere. From a young age, are video games and computer children grow accustomed to the games so popular? One answer presence of computers and more to the question is that video and recently, videogames. As time computer games provide a relapasses, America’s youth is spend- tively inexpensive form of staying more and more time in front at-home entertainment. At one of the television or computer point in time, cheap stay-at-home playing computer games and entertainment would have been video games, or simply just surf- found in a good book. Kids, teening the web. However, the shift agers, and adults play video and from computer games to video computer games because they are games and consoles is slowly tak- fun. There is an addictive quality ing place. Previously, computer about these games—once started, games dominated the market, but it is hard to stop. This “addiction” since the release of video game might have a physiological exconsoles, computer game sales planation: playing video games can set off the have dropped by 23 percent, At one point in time, cheap release of the according to stay-at-home entertainment chemical dopamine, a neuPC Magazine. The recession would have been found in a rotransmitter does not ap- good book. Kids, teenagers, that is associpear to have and adults play video and ated with addiction. affected conIn a sole sales yet. computer games because time where The best sellthey are fun. people are being consoles coming more as of January 2009 are the Play Station 2, Xbox and more reliant on technology, it is important to make good use 360, and Wii. Computer game and of all resources available. Video video game usage is excessive and computer games are used not among today’s youth. When a only for recreation, but for educaHarriton student was asked how tional purposes as well. Games many hours a week he spent play- can be used to develop skills in ing video games, his response reading and math, as well as in was, “Too many to count. When- problem solving (Sim City and ever I’m not doing homework.” Roller Coaster Tycoon are used As a matter of fact, some people to build children’s strategic planspend over twenty hours a week ning skills). Whether or not the playing video games. Studies negative effects of video games show that these excessive gamers outweigh the positive is unclear. spend less time with their family, Having said that, excessive gamless time doing homework, and ing among today’s youth is setting less time reading. There is little us aside from previous generadifference in time spent partak- tions. There is less need to be as ing in a physically active activity physically active or imaginative; between excessive and average a program does everything necesgamers. Some argue that every- sary. The twenty-first century is day video game playing does not undoubtedly the age of technolappear to impact teenagers’ social ogy, but it is important to rememlife, according to a recent report ber that there is a world outside of by the BBC which said, “Three the screen. quarters of teens play games with By Emily Brody-Bazarr Staff Writer
February 6, 2009
news The Harriton Banner - Page 3
Gazans Say Israeli Troops Forced Them Into Battle Zones
By Dion Nissenbaum McClatchy Newspapers/(MCT) EZBT ABED RABBO, Gaza Strip _ The Israeli soldiers outside Majdi Abed Rabbo’s home were after the three Hamas fighters holed up next door, and they wanted Abed Rabbo to be their point man. For the next 24 hours, Abed Rabbo said, the soldiers repeatedly forced him to walk through the battle zone to see whether the militants were dead or alive. Abed Rabbo wasn’t alone. Eight other residents in this northern Gaza Strip neighborhood told McClatchy Newspapers in separate interviews that Israeli soldiers had conscripted them to check homes for booby traps, to smash holes in the walls of houses so that soldiers could use them as escape routes, or to try to pull dead Palestinian militants from the rubble. Conscripting Palestinians during the recent fighting in Gaza would appear to violate not only international law, but also Israel’s court-imposed ban on using civilians as human shields. “The laws of war make it clear you must distinguish between civilians and combatants and you cannot force a civilian to take on a combat role,” said Daniel Reisner, a legal scholar who spent nearly a decade as the head of the Israeli military’s international law department. “Using a human shield is illegal.” The issue is especially charged in Israel because its government has said that Hamas fighters put innocent Palestinians in harm’s way by hiding in crowded Gaza neighborhoods and using civilian homes, schools and mosques to stage attacks on Israeli forces. The Israeli military told McClatchy that it’s investigating a variety of allegations about its Gaza operation but it categorically rejected suggestions that soldiers forced any Palestinians to work for them. “Of course we don’t use human shields,” Israeli military spokesman Capt. Elie Isaacson said. “Just the opposite. We do everything in our power to avoid harm to civilians, bearing in mind that we know Hamas purposely puts them in harm’s way.” U.S. and Israeli humanrights groups dispute that. “There is powerful evidence that Israel used the tactic that they are accusing Hamas of using,” said Fred Abrahams, a Human Rights Watch senior researcher who’s investigating what happened in Gaza during the recent Israeli military offensive, which killed more than 1,200 Pal-
estinians. trained on Daher and him, even- in an Apache helicopter, which The Abed Rabbo case tually ordered the two Palestin- mistakenly hit Abed Rabbo’s also is under investigation by ians upstairs. empty house. A second strike hit the Israeli human-rights group On the roof, the soldiers the militants’ building, Abed RabB’Tselem, which led a long cam- directed Abed Rabbo to smash a bo said. paign that eventually persuaded hole in the wall so the group could Sent back yet again, the Israeli Supreme Court to or- crawl onto the roof of the neigh- he said, he found the militants der the Israeli military in 2005 to boring building with the militants trapped by rubble but still alive. stop using Palestinians as human inside. The standoff had dragged shields. “They were holding on for more than 12 hours. The Is “The testimony seems a gun to my head as we walked raeli soldiers were growing angry pretty extensive and presents grave down the stairs,” Abed Rabbo and began to suspect that Abed suspicions that Israeli soldiers said. Rabbo was lying to them, he said. forced Palestinians to perform When one of the soldiers One of the soldiers taunted the dangerous tasks,” said B’Tselem apparently spotted the militants militants over a loudspeaker, tellspokesing them woman that their Sarit Mileaders had chaeli. abandoned “And the them and fact that they should we’re seegive up. ing these A t allegations dawn, the on such a soldiers wide scale sent Abed leads us Rabbo in to suspect yet again. that this He rewas policy turned with and not the the same decisions news: The of one or militants two ranwere alive. dom sol- The ruins of a mosque and neighboring apartment building in Ezbt Abed Rabbo, T h e Gaza Strip used by Israeli forces during an intense standoff with Hamas milidiers.” Israeli oftants during the recent 22-day Israeli military offensive. (Dion Nissenbaum/ ficer, Abed A b e d MCT) Rabbo said, R a b b o ’s exploded in appears to be the most extreme inside, the group quickly fell back anger and grabbed two other men of the cases that the two human- to Abed Rabbo’s roof. Abed Rab- from the neighborhood. rights groups are investigating. bo and Daher said the Israeli unit One of them, Zaher Zi Abed Rabbo, whose grabbed them both, rushed down dane, said the officers gave him a extended family dominates the the street and took refuge with digital camera and told them to go neighborhood that bears its name, them in the mosque as a firefight into the house to take pictures of is a 40-year-old personal guard broke out. the militants. for the Palestinian Authority in- After a series of intense The 27-year-old taxi telligence agency, which Hamas Israeli assaults using heavy-cal- driver said the soldiers threatened forces ousted from Gaza in 2007. iber machine guns, Abed Rabbo neighbor Jamal Qatari and him, He said he was at home on Jan. 5 said, an officer told him that the leaving them no real choice. with his wife and son when there fighters were dead. The officer Inside, Zidane said, he, was a knock on his door. ordered Abed Rabbo to go into too, found the Hamas fighters Mohammed Daher, a the house to collect the fighters’ badly injured but alive. 23-year-old neighbor, was stand- clothes and weapons, Abed Rab- Eventually, the Israelis ing outside with Israeli soldiers, bo said. ended the standoff by calling in and he said they’d forced him to As Abed Rabbo crept a bulldozer to bring the building help them check the area for mili- through the hole on his roof and down on top of the Palestinian tants. down the stairs, he called out to fighters, Daher and Abed Rabbo Daher, a graduate of the fighters. Surprisingly, the said. Gaza City’s Fatah-leaning Al three men were still standing. After the building colAzhar University, said that sol- The fighters, one of lapsed, Daher said, the soldiers diers already had compelled him whom appeared to be wearing a ordered another man and him to to use a sledgehammer to break suicide vest, wore Hamas bandan- pull the bodies out of the rubble. through house walls in the neigh- nas and told Abed Rabbo to carry The dead militants, however, were borhood so the Israelis could a message back to the Israeli sol- trapped under the wreckage. avoid any booby-trapped doors. diers: “We’re still alive.” Daher, Abed Rabbo and Then, Daher said, the When Abed Rabbo re- Zidane weren’t the only ones in soldiers led him down a narrow turned with the news, Israeli the neighborhood who said they dirt alley between the neighbor- forces fired guided missiles at the were forced to work for the Israeli hood mosque and a three-story building and then ordered the in- forces. apartment building where Israeli creasingly reluctant Abed Rabbo Sami Rashid Mohamforces suspected that militants to go back inside. med, a 45-year-old police officer were holed up. As they slowly The apartment was on for the Palestinian Authority, said proceeded, Daher said, one of the fire, but the militants were still that Israeli soldiers forced him to soldiers kicked a small, remote- alive. Abed Rabbo said he took enter houses to check for fighters controlled explosive buried in back a new message from the and booby traps. shallow dirt. militants: “If you are real men, At one point, Moham The soldiers rushed into come and face us yourselves.” med said, Palestinian militants Abed Rabbo’s home and, guns The Israeli forces called opened fire on the Israeli soldiers
he was with as they crept through a small orchard. Mohammed said the Israeli forces kept him trapped in the middle of the firefight and used him as cover. “The spent bullets were flying over my shoulder,” Mohammed said. Rashad Abu Saffi, a 60-year-old businessman who runs a livestock feed business that Israeli forces destroyed during the military operation, said Israeli soldiers forced him to lead them into the neighborhood mosque to check for militants and booby traps. When the soldiers later ordered Abu Saffi, his wife and two of their friends to leave the neighborhood, he said, soldiers opened fire on the group. Abu Saffi and neighbor Hani Al Mabhooh said that one shot hit Abu Saffi’s wife in the hip and leg. The two men said they dragged the wounded woman through the empty streets until they found safety in a friend’s home nearby. In another section of Ezbt Abed Rabbo, Castro Abed Rabbo said that Israeli forces sent him to check homes for fighters and booby traps before they sent in specially trained dogs with high-tech surveillance equipment. Legal scholar Reisner said that if the allegations were true, they should be the subject of a serious investigation by the Israel Defense Forces. “Israel had a policy in the past called the ‘neighbor policy,’ where soldiers would ask neighbors to persuade terrorists to come out of their houses,” he said. “The Supreme Court reviewed this procedure and ruled that this was unlawful. The answer is very clear: It is illegal. The IDF should look into such charges.” (McClatchy Newspapers special correspondent Cliff Churgin contributed to this report from Jerusalem.) (c) 2009, McClatchyTribune Information Services.
opinion/editorial The Harriton Banner - Page 4
Watershed Moments “Expectations” By Allie Volinsky Executive Editor What a difference three and a half years make. As the Class of 2009 approaches its final half-lap, it’s hard not to notice that certain things are all a matter of perspective. Freshman year: the challenges of a high school curriculum, meeting new people, finding classes, and handling newfound independence. In ninth grade, study hall feels like a “grown up” class to have on one’s schedule, and everything is terrifyingly new. Next comes sophomore year, when frees are exciting, and the JSL seems close enough to taste. Then comes junior year, legendarily known as the most stressful year of high school, and a critical point in high school careers, whether focused on academics, athletics, or other extra curricular activities. Although some of what is said negatively about junior year is positively true – the anxiety of test preparation, the craziness of balancing an increased work load with more responsibility in activities, the questions of where do I want to be in two? four? eight? years – much is left out about the benefits to the year, the idea of accomplishment, of setting goals and actually having a chance to fulfill them. While we focus too often on the homework-filled or taking “impossible” tests, it’s important to remember that this year provides the opportunity to connect with friends, family, teachers, and the community in so many new and exciting ways. Through the hype, it is critical for all of us to develop of own opinions, and to simply do as opposed to mentally burdening ourselves with too much speculation. Oftentimes the idea of something is far more daunting than actually completing it. Merely thinking of how long college applications will take isn’t likely to reduce your stress about them. Actually starting research or brainstorming will prove to be far more helpful. Frequently, the experience is not as terrible as one would have thought it. Of course, advice is key in being prepared for new and challenging situations. We cannot, however, allow other’s pasts to be the present. Each person has his or her own reaction to a particular situation; this is part of what makes us unique individuals.
By Adam Settle Sports Editor
Settle Down Good Clean Fun
Over the past four years covering sports at Harriton, I have seen many names, many personalities, and many exceptional athletes out on the playing fields representing the Ramming Highlanders. While the players have changed through the years, one thing has remained the same: a lack of school spirit. Is it the lack of community we the students feel for our peers? Is it perhaps our reputation for being “the other school” in Lower Merion in regards to our athletics? Is it pure apathy, or are we just too lazy to care? The answer could be one of these, maybe all or none of them; no one is quite sure. Occasionally, however, when the time comes, Harriton’s student body shows up in full force to support their squads, usually limited to rivalry basketball and football games, but not always. For instance, Harriton’s baseball fans flocked to Gladwyne Park to see the host Rams take on Marple Newtown, and their own raucous fans, in the first round of the district playoffs. When Harriton fans commit to their home teams, they do so with flying colors, cheering on their friends in the line of battle, praying that they come through victorious in the end. As mentioned in the article appearing this month by Dan Carp, the recent boys basketball game against our district rivals brought basketball fans young and old, from all across the social spectrum to support the undersized, upstart underdogs just trying to prove themselves against the evil empire of Lower Merion. The stands were rocking and the members of the “no-named” fan base were hanging on every shot. Every made three-pointer was like Christmas-come-late; every miscue was like suffering from food poisoning from the Christmas roast. But with around 2:45 left in the game, as the Aces slowly pulled away, the ebullient and jovial Rams fans became a little too raucous and were essentially ejected as a section from the game, escorted from the premises by the policemen in attendance. Students leaving the game were furious as they walked back to their cars after being humiliated
in front of their cross-town rivals. Many felt that the situation was handled poorly by the athletic department and that they were for once just being supportive fans. For the record, I am in no way an unbiased observer of this situation, as I will admit that I was one of these irreverent fans in the stands, and I too was disappointed with how we were treated in our own building. The dilemma at hand is that Mr. Ferguson and the administration wants the student body to support our athletic programs, but also want us to maintain proper conduct and respectable behavior to opposing players and fans as well. The Catch-22 of this situation is that most Harriton students feel that it is necessary to be loud and obnoxious in order to prove that they have school spirit. This feeling that rowdy = respect, comes from the society that we Harriton students have grown up in. Most of us have gained our cheering expertise from attending Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers games, as well as watching other games on television, where cheering is very often derogatory and usually beyond a PG-13 rating in substance. College fan bases across America are digging up personal information on opponents to scream and taunt them while in attendance, even as extreme as sending death threats. Many Philadelphia fans are taught from an early age the 11th commandment, “Dallas Sucks,” and other good-old-fashioned clean phrases. So when we attend our high school games, we feel that this way of supporting our teams is the only way to support our team. That’s just the way we are. But the ultimate question in all this is, where do we draw the line? When does insightful and creative mockery become derogatory and inappropriate for a high school setting? Should 1518 year old students be subjected to the same scrutiny and razzes that professionals sometimes struggle to play through years later? The immediate answer to this last question is of course, no. High school players are not paid to play and therefore should not be expected to have to persevere through such travails as their superiors do. But the answer to the
first two questions is not as easy to find. In light of the disturbance at the Lower Merion game, a few things became clear. Was the situation handled properly? Yes, and no. If the administration felt that fans were getting out of hand, more needs to be done than to give out a warning that was only really able to be heard by the first few rows, given the loud noise at the game, such as use of the PA system. Sitting towards the back rows, I was not quite aware of the thin ice we were skating. Was the behavior in the stands appropriate? I am not in a position to support either side, but if our jeers were too much, then the section should have been removed long before the final three minutes of the game. At that point, with the game out of hand and coming to a close, unless a riot was going to break out, it might have been more appropriate to leave the situation as it was. Ultimately, what we all should learn from this is that like most fans, we cheer because we care. We never really intend to cause harm to our opponents. But like most of the campus privileges we receive as students at Harriton, there needs to be boundaries clearly laid out beforehand and a better line of communication between students and administrators about what is and is not acceptable. It’s like expecting a middleschool student to do well on an AP test: how can they be held to such standards if they don’t even know what the material is? As evidence, although it briefly touches upon the expectations for fans, the student handbook is vague and not very explicit in describing what can be considered proper conduct. This clash between the students and the administration could have been prevented, and one hopes that as we move on to bigger and better things in the new school, and have the opportunity to host more fan-packed events, that a mutual understanding can be found that balances the fun of supporting our school, with the general standards that we hold for ourselves in a school setting.
February 6, 2009
Super Bowl vs. Economy
By Shilpa Soundararajan OP/ED Editor
The Super Bowl. During those three and a half hours, nearly all eyes existing within the nation were glued to a television screen. The roads were empty. Supermarket aisles were cleaned out. Tons of pizza and wings were ordered. It was just like any other year. Except it wasn’t. This year, there’s one small thing at the back of everyone’s mind – the economy. There is no doubt that our economy is at a bad place right now. And even though the mood surrounding the Super Bowl was generally filled with joy, one could still find traces and hints of the state of the country reflected in the Super Bowl XLIII. Restaurants and hotels still had vacancies during the weeks leading up to the game. And even the day before the game, brokers and scalpers still had plenty of tickets in their hands. With thousands of people losing their jobs every day, people just do not think it is worth it to waste money on a silly football game. Also, the people who do get to go aren’t as interested in buying Super Bowl jackets that are the same price as their electric bill anymore. Nevertheless, many of us got ourselves some wings and plopped ourselves in front of the television to watch men in tights tackle each other. Why do we all set aside other matters to sit and watch men tackling each other for a ball? Why are we so entranced by these men in tights? I am sure that there are more entertaining things to watch out there (In all honesty, I derived a lot more enjoyment from watching the Australian Open matches). But what I have come to realize is that though most might care about how many touchdowns were scored, which plays were performed well, how many fumbles were made, who was the MVP, etc., the American Super Bowl is not necessarily just about these points and plays. Rather, the Super Bowl is about people getting together and spending time together. For years past, I have always spent Super Bowl Sunday at someone else’s house – either friends or family. We would all gather around, equipped with bowls and bowls of food. And though I might not have always known what was going on, I would shout and yell at the television screen when everyone else would. During commercials, we would all discuss what was happening in the game and in our lives.
February 6, 2009
Love Doesn’t Just Belong to Valentine’s Day
By Jackie Milestone Staff Writer
Valentine’s Day could date back all the way to Roman times pertaining to the celebration of Lupercalia, but this was more a celebration of fertility than true affection. More recent origins are found from the tale of Saint Valentine. Historically, Saint Valentine was a priest in the first century who defied the law of Emperor Claudius II. This emperor ruled all marriages and engagements illegal for fear that young men would abstain from fighting in the military if they had to leave their families and loved ones. Saint Valentine and others performed clandestine ceremonies for couples so they could be married despite the unfair law. For his illegal actions Saint Valentine was condemned and beaten to death under Roman law. That was almost two thousand years ago and we are still celebrating February 14th as a festival of love. Cheesy, right? There seems to be an abundance of Valentine’s Day skeptics, more than there are for most other holidays. Why is this? I can understand the spite in people who don’t have “significant others” to share the day with, but that is hardly necessary. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a celebration of love, who cares if you are not “in love” or do not have a boyfriend or girlfriend. I’m sure everyone loves someone; maybe it’s your sister, maybe it’s your dog. Why not appreciate the day for what it more literally is?
I guess I could quote myself some years ago, “A whole day just for love?” But now it seems more mind boggling that it is only one day just for love. It seems more fitting that the entire year should be a celebration of love. America was a country built off liberty and freedom and has now become a country revolving around jobs and accomplishments. In day-to-day life, love seems to be commonly ignored as the most important aspect. With the crash of the stock market and the economy tanking, people are more concerned with losing their job than telling their spouse every day that they love them. It seems love has been lost in the midst of the rest of the world’s problems. Actually, it seems ridiculous that Valentine’s Day should have a reason to exist. Is it honestly the only impetus to buy someone flowers or remind them of how much they are loved? This should be something a person wants to do; something someone will do for no reason other than love itself. But in this day and age, we need a day specifically for love, just to remind everyone that it is there and that it is okay to express it. Hopefully, one day there will not be a need for Valentine’s Day, other than commemorating Saint Valentine, because every day will be an expression of love. To quote a wise man (Hugh Grant in Love, Actually), “When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate
or revenge - they were all messages of love.” You can trust the last moments of life to bring clarity into each person’s eyes and this is when we see that amor vincit omnia: love conquers all. The phrase has been around since the time of Ancient Rome, and it is quite clear (having built the Colosseum and the Pantheon) that the Romans knew a thing or two. So what is so wrong with taking one day out of the three hundred sixty-five to honor the emotion that baffles us all? Nothing at all. So even if you don’t have a significant other, don’t fall into the role of a skeptic. Valentine’s Day is not just for those deeply infatuated with each other, it’s for everyone. So do something for someone you love, even if it’s your dog, even if it’s yourself! Who cares? Saint Valentine died for love. No one’s saying you have to do that, but you could do easily do something much less suicidal and just as significant… like simply saying, “I love you.”
The Harriton Banner - Page 5
Double Take In case the game wasn’t exciting enough, Super Bowl XLIII offered a good mix of advertisements. Double Take presents the Best and Worst of those seen during the big game. The results stem from a formula involving a complex algorithm derived for this exact purpose. If you were too busy fighting your buddy for that last Buffalo wing, all of the advertisements can be viewed on Hulu.com. The Best 5. Hulu: Alec in Huluwood - Hulu used Alec Baldwin as their poster boy for their third quarter ad. His discussion about brain-melting nonsense was enough to make me laugh. It fits that Alec Baldwin made the list; what hasn’t the man won? 4. Cars.com: David Abernathy -- A boy genius grows up to use Cars.com, but not before performing open-heart surgery with a pen and applying to Princeton university -- as the Dean. And you can be smart too, just by using the website. 3. Pedigree: Crazy Pets - Promoting the adoption of dogs, Pedigree used extreme pets to make their point. A rhino running through living room walls and an ostrich attacking a mailman have led me to reconsider my adopting practices.
By: Jake Karlsruher Editor-in-Chief right, props for the 3D effects; it might be the biggest innovation since color hit the TV screen. But, that doesn’t mean you can totally neglect content. After the brilliant Sobe commercial last year (think twenty lizards doing the thriller), expectations were high. Despite Big Ray Lewis doing his best ballerina, it is suffice to say that they were not met. 3. Pepsi: Pepsuber – Pepsi Co. managed to butcher a hilarious SNL skit with this spinoff. McGruber transforms into Pepsuber, but can’t save the day because he loves Pepsi so much. Fat chance. Take that commercialism. 2. Cheetos: Chester the Cheetah – That Cheetah creeps me out. In this ad, the Cheetah, donned in his usual shades, unleashes a flight of pigeons on an obnoxious cell phone user, scaring her off. Well played, Cheetah. But I still don’t want your crunchy fun-snacks. 1. Vizio: Take a Look- Vizio spent 2 billion dollars for their thirty seconds, and they aired a power point. Maybe funds ran out. Maybe the creative team had a bad day. Whatever the case, the ad left much to be desired.
2. Doritos: Crystal Ball – Hands down the funniest commercial of the night. A man asks his crystal ball if there will be free Doritos in the office. He fulfills the prophecy by hurling the ball at a nearby vending machine, shattering the glass and taking the nacho cheese chips. Truly a gem. 1. Coke Zero: Mean Troy – Coca Cola’s nod to Mean Joe Green brought me back to my youth. Who could forget the legend tossing his game worn jersey to that awe-struck kid. Coke served up an updated version, featuring Troy Polamalu, with a twist. This time, the kid offers a Coke Zero. The Zero lawyers run in and snatch the drink, but Polamalu tracks them down. Hey, kid. Catch. The Worst
Nate Beeler/MCT Campus
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5. Hyundai: Angry Bosses - The Hyundai commercial gave us an inside look at the multilingual “panic” around the world due to their 2009 model. The onslaught of loud noises would make even Brick Tamlin cringe. 4. Sobe: Lizard Lake 3D – Al-
Harriton Banner invites your comments and letters THBanner@gmail.com
The Harriton Banner - Page 6 By Becca Rutenberg, Web Content Editor
Mr. Harriton Contestants Revealed
The Harriton Banner had the opportunity to meet the ten gentlemen competitng for the title of ‘Mr. Harriton.’ Juniors and seniors, these students represent the different faces of our student body. Come and see who will be crowned ‘Mr. Harriton’ March 12, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in the Harriton auditorium.
Stephen Przybyszewski “The Family Man”
Michael Selarnick “The Heartthrob”
As the captain of Harriton’s varsity football team and a committed varsity baseball player, senior Stephen Pryzybyszewski (affectionately referred to as “Prez” by friends and family) has made his mark in the Harriton community. A self-proclaimed class clown, Prez prides himself on his ability to make smooth transitions, whether he is recovering from a potentially embarrassing moment or wooing the ladies with his charm and good looks. He plans to bring these traits to life on stage at the “Mr. Harriton” competition, where he hopes to persuade others to come out to the many events Harriton has to offer. However, despite his tough guy demeanor, Prez told The Harriton Banner about some of his surprisingly heartfelt dreams for the future. “I most definitely want to have a good sized family and a job that can support them easily,” he states. “I want to be able to successfully raise a family just like my parents did for me.”
To an outsider, it seems that junior Mike Selarnick has everything necessary to catch a female’s attention: intellect, humor, charm, and looks. Indeed, it seems that Selarnick has all of that and then some, most notably his drive to lend a helping hand to others. “The best advice I ever received was from my dad,” the junior varsity basketball captain told The Harriton Banner, “He told me a story with the bottom line being to ‘never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life.’ This has resulted in me reaching out to others who I feel might need a friend or a helping hand.” Selarnick hopes that his heartfelt concern for others as well as his drive and intellect will win him the Mr. Harriton crown, which he would “wear with pride and dignity while making sure to let others know how much time and hard work it took to succeed (and a little bit of bragging)”. The girls will certainly come out in March to see Selarnick in action – will you? “I’m 5’8, 140,” he says with a smile, “but I’m a beast!”
Though senior Andrew Wulc may seem reserved at first glance, those who know him gush over his witty remarks and larger than life personality. As the captain of Harriton’s varsity boys’ tennis team, an anchor for the daily announcements, and a writer for The Harriton Banner, Wulc refers to himself as a “down to earth, average Harriton student who accurately represents the Harriton community and also able to carry on the legacy that Charles left behind as Mr. Harriton”. When he isn’t wooing girls with his dreamy blue eyes, Wulc enjoys writing and making people laugh – however, he acknowledges that his way of life will most likely change upon winning Mr. Harriton. “I’d probably do what anyone would do with the Mr. Harriton title,” he modestly states. “First, I’d probably be on Leno or 60 Minutes. Then I’d make some cameo appearances on some tired sitcoms or be the center square on Hollywood Squares. However, when my ‘flavor of the month’ time is over, I’d gracefully step out of the limelight without embarrassing myself attempting some ridiculous stunt.”
His performance under the lights this upcoming March won’t be the first time senior Grant Biegger has graced the stage in the Harriton auditorium. A returning competitor from last year’s “Mr. Harriton” contest, Biegger has combined his exuberant and shining personality with a new talent and style of dance that is sure to push him to the top of the heap. Biegger told The Harriton Banner of his love for Harriton’s “unique personality,” stating, “From the secret trap doors in the lower S building to the smoke stacks outside the C Building (whose purpose no one knows) to the unique smell of the portable buildings, there are countless stories to be told about every nook and cranny of the school.” The treasurer of NHS and secretary of the Stock Club, Biegger hopes to use his winnings to end world hunger, and “poverty, too, for good measure.” For those who don’t know him, the return contender has just one thing to say: “The name’s Biegger. Grant Biegger.”
Andrew Wulc “The Comedian”
Williamson Vedder “The Sweetheart”
Known for capturing the ladies with his deep blue eyes and vibrant orange sneakers, senior Will Vedder promises to bring a unique flavor to this year’s “Mr. Harriton” competition. An alumnus of Science Olympiad and one of the best members of Harriton crew, Vedder holds amongst his talents a skill for sweeping girls off their feet. Staff and Editors of The Harriton Banner all swooned upon hearing Vedder’s plan for the perfect first date: “We’d both start off pretty late allowing us time to sleep in and ensure we’re sufficiently rested and prepared. We’d then head over to West Chester where we’ll go on a balloon ride for an hour or two. Upon landing I have a prepared picnic dinner set up where we’ll dine and observe nature’s transition from light to dark and stargaze for a bit.” Vedder asserts that he is the next Mr. Harriton, stating, “I represent what a Harritonite is all about. I do pretty well in school, I partake in both a rigorous sport but also an academic extracurricular. Not to mention that I have the wit and swagger of a typical ‘Main Liner’. […] May the best man win.”
Shane Dooner “The Rebel”
Senior Shane Dooner proved his rebelliousness when he submitted his interview for this article, pressing the send button a full two days after his deadline. A Narberth rugby player, Dooner considers himself to be the life of the party and enjoys showing off his Ricky Martin-inspired moves at dance clubs and local recreation centers. He loves the outdoor campus at Harriton, especially when he is able to get soaked on rainy days when traveling to the portable buildings. A few years back, Dooner had a particularly mortifying experience that he admits shaped his adolescence forever. “My most embarrassing moment was probably when my parents came off to school to drop off my forgotten lunch box,” Dooner states as he grins wryly, “I was the laughing stock of the school! From that moment on, I wasn’t allowed to sit at the popular table.” Dooner believes he has the skill to become the next Mr. Harriton, but says that he doesn’t think anyone deserves the title until after all of the preparation for the show is complete.
Grant Biegger “The Return Contender”
Dan Cooper “The Athlete”
If you’re looking to find junior Dan Cooper, your best bet is to head out to the sports field. Quarterback of the football team and a star baseball player, Cooper hopes to take his passion for athletics to a professional level in the future by playing pro baseball. However, this jock has a soft side – not only does he spend a good amount of his free time working across the street with senior citizens at Beaumont, but he also strives to inspire other Harriton students to get more involved and boost school spirit. Cooper hopes to bring his athletic talent onto the Mr. Harriton stage, and is confident he’ll trounce the competition. “I work hard at every task that is put at front of me”, Cooper asserts. “I hardly ever give up and am extremely dedicated. Whether it is in sports, with friends, or at home, I am constantly viewed as a leader. I love our small school where everyone is familiar with the people around them.” However, why does Cooper really love Harriton? With a grin, he remarks, “Well, I love the tots from the cafeteria.”
Benjamin Vander “The Scholar”
He’s the captain of the debate team. He’s a valued member of the Students’ Rights committee of Student Council. He has a triplebrown belt in Karate. He swims, participates in Science Olympiad, and practices some photography on the side. The question is: what doesn’t junior Ben Vander do? “I’ll often spend an afternoon playing with my little brothers and sisters, aged 3-7, and the evenings with my friends, discussing language and life,” he quips. But don’t worry, ladies, Vander has enough time outside of his IB course schedule and multitude of extracurriculars to pay attention to the opposite sex. “My perfect date would be a day together on the ski slopes, topped off with warming up together with hot chocolate cuddled under a blanket by a roaring fire”, he states. “But, of course, more than any activity, the key to a perfect date is the perfect girl. All that other stuff is just extra.” Vander hopes to use the “Mr. Harriton” competition to set an example for new and younger Harriton students and encourage them to try new and different activities around the school. “I’ve been told I’m both ‘a gentleman and a scholar’”, he states, “and I think that makes me the type of person who represents Harriton ideals.”
February 6, 2009 Myles Dworkin “The Class Clown”
“At the age of eight, I was walking around an amusement park with whom I believed to be my father,” junior Myles Dworkin began. The gripping tale of his most embarrassing moment had left the room silent. “Suddenly, I gazed upward to find that this man was not my father, but instead a rather frightening older gentleman who smiled affectionately down upon me.” Despite the awkward situations of his past, Dworkin maintains a suave presence and an ability to impress the ladies. Though he often finds himself busy as a member of the World Affairs Club, the Environmental Club, Invisible Children, Jazz Band, and Physics Olympics, Dworkin finds time to make plans and dreams for the future. “I would love to engage in the art of ski bumming [when I grow up], but if this passion does not work out then I might become a doctor of some sort”, he ponders. Dworkin, who loves everything about Harriton, believes he should be Mr. Harriton because of his unfaltering work ethic, drive to better the school, and activeness in the Harriton community. He tries to always embody the principle, as his father once told him, “’Don’t go from being dumb to being stupid.’”
Jonathan Maltz “The Wit”
“The question isn’t ‘Why do I deserve to be the next Mr. Harriton?’,” senior Jonathan Maltz states matter-of-factly, “The question is, ‘Why should you let anyone else be the next Mr. Harriton?’” As captain of the varsity boys’ swimming team and a member of both Student Council and the Science Club, it seems like Maltz has the skills to back up his assertions. Maltz enjoys baking his world-famous snickerdoodles, watching Project Runway, devouring pancakes galore at IHOP, demolishing opponents at Madden ’09, rock climbing, camping, and bear hunting. Some of his future goals include climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, learning to kayak class five rapids, and becoming as good at world play as physics extraordinaire Mr. Schwartz. Maltz loves Harriton because of its small yet diverse community and the open campus during the spring months. Upon winning Mr. Harriton, Maltz hopes to inspire world peace by becoming an U.N. ambassador to Africa, stating, “If Angelina Jolie can do it, so can I!”
(Blake Bergen/The Harriton Banner)
February 6, 2009
Snowball and School Spirit
By Stephanie Hill Features Editor Maybe I have a skewed perspective, having come from a state where school funds are minimal and the ability to throw school dances is almost financially impossible. But I cannot help from asking myself, “What is wrong with Harriton’s school spirit? The turn out for this year’s Snowball dance was shamefully low – and by personal observation it seems to be declining each year. I cannot grasp this quite yet, or comprehend how I was one of five seniors attending the dance. Let me try to figure this out. So, students and teachers work hard to put on a themed dance – decorating the cafeteria, hiring a DJ, finding caterers, and selling tickets – all in hope of earning some money to save for their class. Obviously it’s for a horrible cause (…and people wonder why tickets for Senior Prom can be so expensive). Wait! Maybe it’s the pricey tickets. Seriously? $10 for entrance, music, and food? What a rip off! Students will need to save that ten-dollar bill if they want to afford their daily Starbucks latte and some of McDonald’s Premium Chicken Strips. Some of my friends say that school dances lack in popularity because most boys refuse to purchase tickets because they feel uncomfortable dancing. This turns into a cycle, because what girl wants to go to a dance, if she knows she will be slow dancing by herself? And once other students know a peer or two who aren’t going, the word gets out that no one is coming, and thus they decide not to buy a ticket either. I would like to agree with this statement, love to believe that this fear of moving one’s limbs is the root cause for the Snowball’s poor attendance, rather than the simple fact that Harriton students are generally apathetic toward school events. However, boys can dance just as well as girls, actually some enjoy doing it and are pretty skilled. I’ve witnessed this enthusiasm and exuberance from both genders at the dances hosted by one of our neighbors, Radnor
Senior High School. Radnor throws seven dances each year, including the Homecoming dance, the Freshman, as well as the Sophomore, and Senior Semi-Formals, the Lower Merion Dance, Junior Prom, and Senior Prom. According to a Radnor Senior, Siena Pegues, “Everyone is obsessed with going to the dances – also you must have a date for your first Semi-Formal dance!” By the way did you pick up on the Lower Merion Dance? Apparently Radnor dedicates a whole week to their rivalry of 112 years, Lower Merion High School. This six day celebration is known to the students of Radnor as “LM Week.” Siena informs us it is one of the best weeks at Radnor. “Each day of the week is assigned a special theme or activity” she explains, “Monday is PJ’s Day, Tuesday is Twin Day, which is followed by 80s Day on Wednesday, and ends with the Formal Dress-Up Day on Thursday, and finally LM T-Shirt Day and the Pep-rally on Friday.” Siena assures that the Pep-rally is one of the greatest and most memorable parts of LM Week. And last but not least, Saturday is when the field fills with Radnor and LM students eagerly supporting their respective school’s teams from the stands, which is followed by the culmination of LM Week’s events, the Lower Merion Dance. Once again, I have no reasonable answer as to why Harriton students do not get more excited about taking part in their school’s organized events. There is no rightful reason for this indifference – neither Snowball nor any other school function (sports games, theatre productions, HSL blood-drives, whatever!) should lack so greatly in attendance. My only hope is that with the new school comes a stronger sense of community among the student population, that students develop a familial bond and appreciation for their school, and that students recognize that Harriton is an amazing school that deserves to be acknowledged for all it has to offer them.
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By Susu Harmache Staff Writer
Ah… the sweet life, the secondsemester-senior life. Our fates are out of our hands and the time is ours, to do as we please, to watch that HBO series we’ve always wanted to watch in its entirety, and to take that extra shut-eye we have neglected these last three and a half years. The chosen few, who have already been graced into the doors of their first choice colleges and universities since that fateful November, already know this feeling of relief and joy that we (still the un-chosen) are only starting to understand. The sensation of helplessness that came with clicking the ‘submit’ button on www. commonapp.org is now overshadowed with a quilt of apathy. With the mid-year reports signed, sealed and delivered, never again to be revised, seniors are now left with only their personal motivation to keep them on track. The daunting pressure of every other high school student gambling for your spot at your college is no longer an imminent threat. It’s in the past, gone with the wind and second semester is here. So how does this paradigm shift affect the bright senior class at Harriton High School? Well students, who will remain nameless, in order to preserve their respected academic status among their peers and teachers, are thoroughly enjoying the new workload, or lack thereof. A friend of mine now proudly asserts that she averages about two Lost episodes a night; another has returned back to her elementary school bedtime of 9:45pm and comes in blissfully rested every morning. Oh the luxuries! T.V. and sleep galore! It seems that second semester senior-ship has no set backs, no dark side. But alas, with great privilege comes great responsibility. The curse of senioritis is well known by universities and has become one of their growing concerns. Universities have made it explicit to those chosen few that there is a catch, that is,
The Class of 2009 bulletin board (Blake Bergen/The Harriton Banner).
the accepted student must be the same hardworking and dedicated student through and through. In 2006 the San Francisco Chronicle reported that California Schools were cracking down on freshmen with senioritis. “When they say, ‘I’m taking a fourth year of language, I’m taking AP (Advanced Placement) this and AP that,’ and when you see their final transcripts, it is underwater basket weaving and intro to breathing ... you wonder if you are on the same planet,” said Admissions Director Philip Ballinger. “They don’t look the same. You were duped.” Overall, a university does not want to be “duped”. They want to admit the student you vouched to be when your teacher wrote your recommendation, when you interviewed, when you wrote your essay and when you finally turned in your application. The universities fell in love with that particular student and rightfully (or so they hope) admitted that student for those reasons. Breaching the trust that
those universities entrusted in you could very well cause the dreaded rescinding of acceptance. So here is the verdict. Universities are not going to drop you if you get a B versus an A. Universities are going to drop you if you promised them someone other than yourself. We tied ourselves up in a neat little letter with our names in ink and sent them off in hopes for a match. Now we are like sitting ducks, sad and anxious as ever, only with the blissful sensation of floating after ridding ourselves of the weight we carried for so long. The illusion is probably the best thing going for us at the moment, because sooner than I can stand to believe, those letters are going to come right back and our efforts will be met with success, or for some, a little disappointment. So go forth my fellow seniors, enjoy life, Entourage and Gossip Girl. Sure, take a nap and be sure to pat yourself on the back. But keep your values with your eye on the prize and try not to lose yourself in the clouds.
Reflections on Inauguration
(continued from front page)
around the corner walked the president himself, accompanied by his wife and an extensive amount of secret service men. Barack waved to the screaming citizens, and was quickly ushered into a car before he could come any nearer. Though my section of the crowd was disappointed not to be closer to the president, we got to watch his car drive by. Afterwards we observed an array of
marching bands and police forces advancing the streets, proud to represent their country under their new president. Even the state of Delaware outdid itself, with its own float of the Constitution made specially for the inaugural parade. No president before has ever propelled such commotion over his own inauguration. Never before have people lined up as eagerly for a political speech, or purchased t-shirts to boast about
their commander in chief. Walking around the city, it was impossible to deny the excitement. Whether one agrees with the president’s personal views or not, it is hard not to get caught up in the hope Obama has instilled among our populace. I saw people of all kinds along the parade route that day, and they all shared the same exhilaration. One can only hope that the presidency itself will be as fantastic as the inauguration I witnessed.
What is World Reference?
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Technology of Translation
By: Eugenia Sokolskaya Guest Writer The question often comes up in language classes, as in so many other subjects: when am I ever going to need this? But just think: isn’t there ever something you like so much that you want to share it with as many people as you can? Even if they won’t understand all the subtexts, don’t you want to share it with them? I’ve known that feeling all my life, constantly translating from Russian for my friends, mostly in my head, or writing on scrap paper to be thrown away. This year, however, I discovered two resources that I didn’t know I had, and translating became a whole different matter. Those in Spanish have probably heard of the site Word Reference. It compiles language dictionaries for five different languages, complete with examples, complex phrases, by-verbs, and a forum for special cases. Looking up words is extremely simple: choose a language, type in the word, and you have a whole selection of various nuances for a complete understanding of how the word is used. My classmates in Spanish and French have, in the past, made fun of me and even accused me of cheating as I pulled out my worn dictionary in class. Admittedly, I spend a lot more time with my dictionary than most foreign language students, and a lot less time using online translators, but
the online dictionary completely won me over. With just a simple keyboard shortcut, I was able to instantly look up any word I was having trouble with while never putting aside my translation. Once I finished translating—in this case, the full script of 20th Century Fox’s Anastasia—I found I could go further than just subtitles. With the technology available to us through our laptops, I thought it might be a fun and educational idea to try my hand at dubbing. Unfortunately, the tools we have—although impressive and expensive—did not live up to my expectations or even my needs. To import the movie file into iMovie, I had to convert it to an acceptable format, which involved extensive manipulations with downloading conversion programs from the Internet. Furthermore, when I finally had the movie imported, the layout of the interface made it very difficult to find the place to record, and then record continuously through the scene. I had, and continue to have, high hopes for this project. All I know—and all I wanted to tell you—is that the tools are out there. Students like us have the great opportunity of sharing what we enjoy with those without access to the language, and although there may be kinks along the way, the prospects are still promising. We just have to take advantage of them.
//creates an article named AP Comp Sci By: Ron Shapiro Guest Writer
gramming. In Java, different sets of code are created as objects that can have the same characteristics, Most people go through Harriton but do different things. taking the general classes: Eng- So far in the course, we lish, History, Math, Science, etc. have programmed virtual robots When people think of electives, to solve mazes and pick up coins, the same ones are taken over and created our own banking proover: Philosophy, Foods, Film/ grams, and built our own pseudoPhoto, and other similar classes. random roulettes. Since the midOne of the smallest and most un- term, we have begun to create a derrated classes is AP Computer database of science terms to help the Science Science. The class has Of all the great classes of- O l y m p i a d only 5 kids, fered at Harriton, AP Com- team study whereas the Picputer Science is one that for most others ture-This more people should take. event. have closer to 20. In Of all this small environment, we take the great classes offered at Hara language foreign even though it riton, AP Computer Science is one that more people should take. looks like English… Java, the newest lan- It’s a great class for anyone that guage in computer science, is the is good at problem solving and future of programming. The lan- has a creative mind. It requires guage features the new style of no previous experience at all, but Object-Oriented programming, still has an AP exam for college rather than old line-by-line pro- credit.
February 6, 2009
Consider This By: Jess Metlay Editor in Chief
Finally Taking the iChat Plunge On January 24th, 2009 I finally texting. While there are symbols, I cannot say that I will now be a took the plunge and video chatted like smiley faces and shorthand, faithful visitor on iChat, I did like on iChat for the first time. While like “lol” (laugh out loud), that that the video aspect allowed me this probably does not seem like help to express emotion without to both forgo typing and be able a momentous occasion (I am sure having to literally type it out the to communicate face-to-face with by now that most of the student phrase, “I think that what you just my friend. The setup was simple body has tested this feature out) said was very funny” or “I am it represented a turning point for frustrated right now”, the end re- enough: I just clicked “accept” to me. sult still seems a bit forced to me. the video request and my friend’s As my friends will tell Also given the fast paced speed face popped-up. After a few minutes, I even realized that I could you, I am notoriously bad about both make u s i n g the video commufull screen nicationand that based there were technola bunch of ogy (and nifty special to be effects. honest T h e technolspecial efogy in fects were general). however one aspect I hardly that I found e v e r lacking. turn on The backmy cell drops left phone my screen unless I pixilated am speand cut off cifically part of my expectface. ing a call A n or am in a other negasituation tive aspect where was that I I need Tackling the new iChat available on the MacBooks (Metlay/The Harriton Banner) heard the to reach someone and do not have access of messaging, as I previously feed back from my speaking on to a landline nearby. mentioned, people generally do my friend’s computer. Most telling though I I also have only sent not want to spend or give you the about thirty text messages in my time to write out the intent behind have now been afforded several entire life and it takes me on aver- every sentence. This is especially important benefits that were lackage about five minutes to crank a problematic for someone like me ing in my previous IM experiencsingle message out. who has a rather dry sense of hu- es. Besides being able to speak at While I have had an AOL mor and therefore has to be extra a normal speed and communicate emotion, I had more mobility. I instant messaging account since careful when making a joke. the summer before my freshmen Third and probably most was able to talk while I did other year, I essentially stopped us- unavoidable, I am just plain lazy. things (like eat my ice cream), ing the account halfway through I shudder away from the commit- which I expect would make it sophomore year. ment implied with Facebook and easy to study with someone via And most telling of all I I do not like how you have to wait IM. While I would not go so do not have a Facebook. Let me for a friend to respond to a text repeat, I do not have a Facebook. message or to be online in order far as to call myself a technology communication convert (I still Nor do I intend to get one. to IM him or her.. I think that my problem I would rather be in a plan to stay away from a “texis three-fold. First I cannot type situation like calling or meeting ting addiction” or from procurvery well. I type very slowly face-to-face where I can directly ing a Facebook), the new video while looking at the keyboard and communicate with a friend with- chat system has at the very least somehow still manage to make a out having to take the time to changed my opinion with respect lot of errors. The fact that I am either read what he or she wrote to instant messaging. Of course my laziness a very bad speller also does not or wait for him or her to choose help the matter. This combina- to come online or respond a mes- with respect to going online is still a problem that I will have to tion makes it very frustrating for sage. me to keep up in the fast paced Keeping this in mind, it deal with. world of messaging (both on the is surprising to consider that I was phone and online) where you are actually excited to video chat on expected to type as fast as you Sunday. I even went so far as to can talk. plan the event ahead, which I sup My second problem is pose was probably over doing it a more a matter of personal opin- little. ion. I do not like that you are To my surprise it was unable to easily communicate actually an enjoyable experience. your emotions through typing or Apple has done a great job. While
How good is the new XBOX?
February 6, 2009
Mechinations By: Brian Mechanick Technology Editor “Death Cab in PA!!!” a friend ing to like the same music as your posted on facebook. This started parents. You don’t want to turn on an exchange thirty posts long of Led Zeppelin and hear your mom various people’s excitement for talk about how she danced to it at the upcoming concert. I was un- prom. It is curious how music has derwhelmed. Now don’t get me this quality though. Many of my wrong, I like Death Cab, but this favorite movies come from my exchange had me start thinking parents’ era, but it doesn’t weird about my generation. We are the me out that they like the same first generation to like previous movies. What makes music an generation’s music than our own. experience to be shared only with When I think about all my favor- your peers, while other culture ite music, very little of it has come like movies and TV don’t elicit from this millennium. In terms of this experience? Why are we the artists who actually got their start first generation to appreciate past after 2000, only Coldplay, John music more than our own? Mayer, and Kanye West stand out The answer has a lot to as both critically and commer- do with technological changes cially successful. Now while they in music. Until the advent of the have all made great music over digital era, music was a much the last decade, they have hardly more emotional experience. You changed music. This era has no discovered music for the first musical identity. time by hearing a song on the In music history, there’s radio. You would go to the local been grunge, punk, psychedelic record store and spend your own rock, disco, new wave, gangsta money on an album. You would rap and pop. These genres helped race home, and pop the albulm define their eras. I am not a big in the stereo. However, discoverfan of the idea that the music that ing music has lost all of the exwill define my high school years citement. If I want to hear a new will be Soulja Boy’s ”Crank song, I just click on it on iTunes. That”, Flo Rida’s “Low”, and I don’t have to wait for the radio Rihanna’s “Umbrella.” That’s a to play the song to hear it for the pretty inauspicious group of songs time. And rather than going to the to represent our formative years. record store to get an album, I can The more I think about it though, just download an album illegally these less than superb popular legally. Much of the romanticism songs are not what make this mu- of the album has been lost. Also, sical era different. Every genera- with digital music downloads, it tion has had crappy pop songs. So is just as easy to download older what makes our generation differ- music as it is new music. No lonent? We are the first generation to ger are you limited by only new like previous generation’s music music on the radio and in the remore than our own. cord store. The best rappers were With digital music, ra2Pac and Biggie; the best rock dio’s importance has been deadgroups were The Beatles, The ened. And one of the biggest byStones, and The Who. Ask al- products of this has been the death most anyone and they will say of the rock star. With MTV and the best music has come from the radio no longer proclaiming the past. Even older music still the next big thing and album sales seems current. Music from six- way down, the money and fame teen years ago: Nirvana’s Nev- of past rock stars can no longer ermind, Pearl Jam’s Ten, and Dr. be achieved. There are no more Dre’s The Chronic are still cool, transcendent rock stars that can popular, and relevant. But if you define a musical era and a generawere in high school in 1992, I can tion. And as a youth, that leads us guarantee that the top album of to gravitate to the stars of the past. 1976, Peter Frampton’s Framp- We iconocize Kurt Cobain, John ton Comes Alive, had nowhere Lennon, and Jim Morrison. as much relevance as those 1992 In the end, we have bealbums have to us. come the too cool generation. We Music used to be the want everything to be retro, from classic divider between parents our clothes to our art to our muand children. Dad telling you to sic. Are we grasping at straws for turn down the volume on that gar- a generational purpose that we bage, while the kids feel cooler don’t have? That’s why I don’t than their square parents listening think it’s as simple as writing of anachronistic crap. The kids are current music as sucking for why listening to the future, man! The we prefer the music of the past. only bands that matter! The best We are a generation that has promusic of all time! The music that grammed itself to think that retro is telling what is going on right is cool. So while I unapologetinow! So what happens when the cally discuss the greatness of past music you like is the same music music, I have come to realize that as your parents? it might be a cultural phenom It is a very strange feel- enon, not just me being special.
XBOX Live 2.0
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Too Much Hype?
By: Andrew Wulc Staff Writer In the world of videogames, Microsoft has become one of the most influential and successful console manufacturers. Though it began on a fairly weak foundation when the XBOX was released in November 2001 (it’s only early major success being Halo: Combat Evolved), the system eventually gained more popularity with the release of games like Halo 2, Splinter Cell, and Fable. But more success boomed with the release of the XBOX 360 (released in 2005 – one year before the Nintendo/ Sony competitors). Though today the 360 doesn’t have the game play innovativeness of the Wii, nor the supreme graphics of the PS3, the 360’s online play (XBOX Live) has always reigned supreme. But did the Xbox Live update released in November do justice to the world-renowned online multiplayer universe? The most obvious change in the system is the new Xbox dashboard interface. It has been completely redesigned – sound effects and all. It’s still easy to navigate and changing all of your personal preferences is a breeze. Another feature added is the ability to install individual games to the Xbox’s hard drive. Though it takes a good amount of system memory, you’ll find that it’s a small price to play for faster download times and smoother online play. But perhaps the most advertised update is every third graders dream – the ability to make your own custom avatar (a rip of Nintendo Mii’s?). Though it may appear useless, even juvenile at first, the ability to customize nearly ever detail of your character – body type, physical appearance, clothing, even facial expression – makes the entire process surprisingly enjoyable and gives your once bland Xbox profile a little bit of a personality. So, overall, did Microsoft pull it off? Yes, Xbox Live upholds its reputation as it retains all of its past features. The new look is refreshing, the avatar creation is entertaining, and the ability to install games to the hard-drive is a great idea.
Toyota introduced the 2010 Prius during a press conference at the 2009 North American International Auto Show on Monday, January 12, 2009, in Detroit, Michigan. (Andre J. Jackson/Detroit Free Press/MCT)
By: Zhen Gu Staff Writer As more and more people start to realize the “inconvenient truth” about our environment, more and more people are turning to hybrid cars as a solution. A closer look reveals, however, that hybrids might not be worth all the hype. The first thing that people think when they hear hybrid is probably gas mileage. They hear about the Toyota Prius getting an EPA estimate of 50 mpg, and are astonished. However, their actual gas mileages are not so impressive. The fuel economy tests inflate these mileages because the petrol engine is not used too much, as the tests are mostly run short distances at lower speeds. Most hybrids start out using their electric motors, and switch to the petrol engine when the battery is low, so the actual gas mileages are likely to be much lower than the EPA estimates. The Toyota Prius is probably the most iconic and well-known hybrid to most of America. In particular, people are amazed to see that it gets up to 50 mpg. Sure, this is very impressive compared to most American cars with fuel economies of 15 to 30 mpg. However, cars like the Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion, which was specially designed to maximize fuel economy, and is very popular in Europe, get upwards of 70 mpg. The Polo Bluemotion has special aerodynamic modifications and runs on a 1.4-Liter 3-cylinder turbodiesel engine that produces about 79 bhp. Not very
impressive stats in terms of performance, but its fuel economy is truly amazing. Most people love the electric side of hybrids, claiming that it burns no fuel and emits no carbon, but few stop to consider the huge amounts of energy needed to create the electric motors, which is usually done by “dirty” processes: mining and smelting heavy metals to produce the power cells needed to store the electricity. These processes emit lots of carbon, contributing even more to global warming. Then there’s the problem of disposing/ recycling the batteries, which is not easily done, and could create a lot more environmental problems later on. One more problem with hybrids is that the heavy batteries and power cells in the electric motor adds about 10% more weight to the car, which reduces fuel mileage. However, it must not be forgetten that hybrid models are helping the environment. They emit less carbon than most petrol engines, and as the technology progresses, the current problems with the production of the electric motors might be solved. Hybrids are helping to raise public awareness, and open people’s minds to change, showing them new ideas and technology to help the environment. They are an intermediate step, and although they do help the environment, other technology will be needed to bring an end to global warming.
The second half of the year is just beginning...
third quarter: The Harriton Banner - Page 10
A Word from the Freshmen By Moira Lavelle Staff Writer
months ahead. “I’m looking forward to either the Disney trip, a new semester filled with new a opportunities or football spring training starting” explains Zander Levit. While some students are
it’s hard work, but I’d like to try it. I know that if I’m really dedicated, I’ll succeed,” says On Monday the 26th, many freshman Jordin Metz. students changed study halls or Another perk of being electives. On January 30th eva freshman in the third quarter ery student in the school is that we now have the received his or her second experience we didn’t have quarter report card. And before in academic areas. on Sunday, February 1st, Coming into high school, everybody watched the it was difficult to figure super bowl. These events out precisely what teachcan only mean one thing: ers expected of us. We it’s finally second semeshad to learn to balance a ter, and we can confidentheavier workload and nely say that we are half way gotiate tougher classes. through the school year. Many of my peers had to As a freshman slowly realize the dediit is nice to know that I cation that good grades survived one half of my require, and work toward first year in high school. it. There were a few times Now that we are used to I thought I wouldn’t. our schedules and classes, This feeling seems to be we are aware what it will echoed by many of my take to achieve our goals. classmates. It is comfort“I am more prepared and ing to have first semester Ready for the second semester (Jang/The Harriton Banner) ready for what is to come. under our belts, and out of I realize now what I need the way. In addition, as new- excited about different aspects to do to succeed in my classes comers to the whole tradition of of their classes, almost everyone and daily life at school,” says midterms, many freshmen were is counting the days until spring freshman Kodiak Carb. For anxious about the exams. Ninth sports begin. Many freshmen freshmen, it seems the main difgrader Ian Hancock says: “I’m are especially looking forward to ference between the first and crew. More people than ever are second semester is that we now just glad to be finished.” However, there are trying out for the team this year. feel prepared for whatever we positives to anticipate in the “Crew just...sounds fun. I know take on.
February 6, 2009
The Jittery Juniors
By Lauren Berenbaum Around Harriton Editor
The second half of the year is here; winter sports are dwindling and midterms are complete. With the beginning of second semester come a few new classes, frees and the hope of warm weather — well maybe not right away that is. However, the second half of the year is a time of work and play. Even with all the assignments and hard classes, the juniors are looking forward to the end of the year, with Valentine’s Day, Junior and Senior Prom, President’s Day weekend, and at some point, more sunlight. The middle of winter may seem a little dull and exhausting, cold and gray, but it can also be a time for slight optimism. Midterms are over. The spring musical is just around the corner. Juniors are slowly moving towards summer. And it won’t be dark when you get out of bed at 6:00 am in the morning. The months of February, March, April, May and June do not just mark the closing of another school year, but also the intricate schedules of sports
teams—races at the river, intense lacrosse games, fast track meets, or powerful softball games. Students are going to be busy. Yet, it is thrilling to see the number of days on the calendar dissipate each day. Juniors are excited for the end of the year. Chris Orsinger says that, “the baseball teams start training and having games, which I think is unbelievably exciting.” In addition, Victoria Zuzelo explains that, “…it isn’t until the second half of the year that I actually believe that school is going to, at some point, finish for the year, and it’s then that I realize summer is fast approaching.” Sarah Goldberg adds, “the winter is always a really tough time, especially if you hate the cold [weather] like me, but lunch on the tombs is soon to come!” Even though it may seem like an eternity until this school year comes to a close, it is definitely going to sneak up upon us before we even know it. Let’s just hope we all can make it through this cold winter. Keep up the hard work! Don’t forget, there will be time to play and bask in the warm sun!
The Seniors: The End of an Act
By Jessi Milestone Guest Writer
Listen closely. Hear those sighs of relief? Yes, those would be from approximately two hundred Harriton students who have just become Second Semester Seniors. Unfortunately, some bad news accompanies the achievement of this legendary status. Such students often find themselves prone to the disease of Senioritis. Although the medical roots of this word would suggest that the affliction is “inflammation of the senior,” the actual symptoms can be neatly packaged into double A’s: absence and apathy. This sickness seems to completely disregard the fact that many seniors still have AP or IB exams waiting to devour them in May, or that passing Senior Project is necessary to graduate high school. However, the disease is somewhat merciful; it always seems to go into remission just in time for Senior Prom, the wondrous event to culminate four years of daring adventure, exploration, and seemingly endless travail. There is hope. Not all seniors fall victim to this tragic fate. The Science Olympiad devotees are still busy at work, praying for one more chance to shine – or win something shiny – at a national competition. And coaches do not
seem to think Senioritis is a valid excuse for missing practice. The editors of the newspaper are still hard at work running important articles, and the Corinthian editors are on their eternal quest for more submissions. Yes, in some ways, life goes on. But there is a festive feeling in the air – a feeling that we are coming to the end of one chapter in our lives, and rising to face a whole new one. Perhaps it is the fact that the old building is coming down with our departure, or maybe it is all the exciting things to look forward to as we barrel through the last semester of our high school lives, but the imminent conclusion of our high school careers is definitely upon us. Little things remind us of our status: we finally get to sleep in for a week while the underclassmen take the PSSA tests! But bigger things are certain to hold our focus as well. For many, the big question is “will I find a date to the Prom?” For others, that night will not be about romance, but will instead be an evening spent with their closest friends, reminiscing about all the good times they had. And don’t forget those yearbooks – while they may be handing to us as a leather-bound compilation of stagnant memories, the notes our friends will write inside the cover will be messages we will never
forget, a slice of a four-year period of our lives. Of course, it’s not all fun. There’s still Senior Project – the little detail that means that May is not just a month to catch up on a year’s worth of sleep deprivation. Preparation starts now, and by the time May comes around, the seniors will be hitting the ground running, taking our first baby steps into the wide world of responsibility. Of course, some of us will be left behind in that pursuit. Yes, I’m speaking of the forty IB students whose Extended Essays and Creativity/Action/ Service (CAS) hours have taken the place of this month long journey. Oh, Harriton, think of these students in May as they sit for hours at a time, taking a test for nearly every IB class they have taken. Perhaps the tests themselves are nothing to look forward to, but at their conclusion, the knowledge that these students have triumphed over two years in a program that spells color with a “u” will certainly be as satisfying as the moment a fellow senior walks out after their Senior Project presentation – “free at last.” Well, that’s certainly a lot to look forward to. And with less than sixty school days remaining for seniors, it’s high time we start maximizing every second we have left.
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Let’s turn over a new leaf!
February 6, 2009 By Jackie Milestone Staff Writer Whether it was your parents, teachers, or concerned friends, someone has probably told you that teenagers should get at least eight-and-a-half to nine-and-ahalf hours of sleep every night. For most Harriton students this would mean getting into bed by ten o’clock at the latest. How often do you find yourself in bed by ten? How many of your friends go to sleep by ten? When polled, the majority of lowerclassmen found their average hours of sleep per night to be about six hours while the upperclassmen veered closer to four hours. Plenty of students admit to getting even less than that each night; only a few profess to getting much more. Technically, four hours of sleep is the least amount you need to live on, let alone function and learn properly. Many students do not realize how important sleep is to their brain and bodies and how it affects everything they do. Too little sleep can be detrimental to school performance, athletic performance, and attitude. It is one of those factors that cannot be replaced no matter how much food you eat or how well you condition and take care of yourself. Sleep is vital to everyday life.
By: Costanza Maio Specials Editor As students at competitive Harriton High school, nothing is worse than parent-child discussions. The kind when your parents sit you down and say, “John, we think you’ve been wasting your time on the computer all too much” or “Mary, you’ve been texting incessantly and it has got to stop.” Parents always come to their favorite conclusion: self-discipline. And this time, with the end of an old year, the beginning of a new quarter, a blank slate in PowerSchool, and hope for the summer, maybe we should give our parents a close listen. Self-discipline is defined as “training and control of oneself and one’s conduct, usually for personal improvement.” Is this really what we students need to do in order to survive the rest of the year? Students, in all grades, who have piles and piles of homework and activities to do, are in overload mode: they try to do everything at once and end up frustrated when the stack keeps heaping on their shoulders. This is one
a fresh start
Sleeping Beauty Knew a Thing or Two
You might be saying to yourself, “I know all this!” You would love to get more sleep (who wouldn’t?) but it’s not exactly your fault that you don’t get the proper amounts of rest, is it? It is not easy to get massive amounts
to play a sport and be involved in different clubs while maintaining all good grades, but you are not likely to find many parents or authority figures snooping around to make sure you are having enough downtime during your week.
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then you have to be honest with yourself. Isn’t it so easy to kill an hour or so on Facebook or iChat and barely realize it? Something seemingly as small as this could be a major factor impacting your sleeping habits. Here, you have
Try your best to be well rested for school, so that you can perform your best (Blake Bergen/The Harriton Banner)
of homework and studying done, along with all the extracurricular activities that you are expected to do. Society today does not focus on childhood or leisure for youths; instead, it encourages work and constant study. You are expected
But what can one student possibly do to stop this fallacy? Is there a way to ensure you get all the sleep you need during a night? Time management does not always work; often there is too little time and too much to do. But
to think objectively about your health in the long run: is it more important to talk to your friends for a little while or to get that extra hour of sleep and energy that you will be depending on for the entire following day?
way in which self-discipline can these new personal computers help. Students must begin to pri- and cell phones that are magically oritize the plethora of activities they take on, including school. Prioritizing means putting in order the things you enjoy doing – resolving to drop the ones that make you less happy and are just too much to bear with everything else you are doing. Once you have your life in order, the rest falls into place as well, such as excelling in your schoolwork, increasing the pleasure you feel while committing to a service or sport, and giving you more time to breathe and relax. Remember, self-discipline also means that you are helping yourself to facilitate and decrease your Harriton Students on Task (Blake Bergen/The Harriton Banner) stress. Additionally, Self-dis- stuck to our pockets, distractions cipline is useful for distractions. are incorporated in our surroundLet’s face it: with the advent of ings. We waste hours on iChat,
Facebook, texting and calling friends or family members, and much, much more. We are motivated students who want to do well in school, but we find ourselves panicking at nine or ten o’clock, wondering where the past four hours disappeared to, and starting homework. With these awful distractions, we are sleeping less and less. How can we help ourselves? Self-discipline, of course. A few suggestions: when you start homework, close the laptop and turn off the cell phone. Work in a private, quiet place where you can think clearly and not be interrupted or disturbed. Allow yourself a few ten-minute breaks so you can refresh your mind and be ready to work once more – but remember, this does not involve go-
If you think about how easy it is to get carried away on the internet, it makes you wonder… is all that lost sleep and time really worth it? All it takes is a little self-discipline, maybe not all the time, but once a week, to not sign onto iChat when you open your computer. In order to help yourself do this, remove the application from your dock so that the icon will not be so easily available and ready to tempt you. You would be surprised what a big difference just one wasted hour can make to the way you feel everyday. You can apply self-control to work on extending those four hours a little more each night. Still, no one’s complaining if the teachers would lighten the workload a bit…or if the administration decided to give us five or so snow days…but other than that, it’s all you. Sleep is important. It is like water or food or cheesy TV shows: it’s something you need to stay alive, and it cannot simply be disregarded or thrown out the window and replaced by some passing entertainment. Midterms are over and third quarter has barely begun. This is the time to start fresh, falling into a carefully planned routine and resolving to get more sleep. Let’s finish out the year without bags under our eyes, this time.
ing on the computer to talk to your friends for “a second” that mysteriously turns into an hour. Begin homework as soon as you get home in the afternoon. Approach homework with an appropriate mindset, or, in other words, prepare yourself for continuous hours of work. Keeping control of yourself and your actions should help you finish your homework quickly, and afterwards, you can have the satisfaction of rewarding yourself with an hour on the computer or by watching a favorite TV show. To be completely honest, self-discipline is hard. Students, parents, and teachers know this. However, the truth is, it can only aid you in being successful and happy with your achievements. So as we step into a new quarter, let’s turn over a new leaf as well, and begin by disciplining ourselves in schoolwork and activities. Soon, we will be able to give ourselves the ultimate reward: three months of enjoyment and carefree time, also known as summer.
Track Team Hard at Work
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Harriton vs. Lower Merion: Boys
Indoor Track: “Yes We Practice Outside”
By Alex Settle Staff Writer
The boys’ basketball team played a close game against Lower Merion (Tabas/The Harriton Banner) By Daniel Carp Staff Writer
Fans poured into Harriton’s upper gym on a cold January night with the knowledge that this would be anything but an ordinary basketball game. On this night, the Harriton Rams were scheduled to battle a district foe, the Lower Merion Aces. Harriton’s basketball players share a unique relationship with those at Lower Merion. Many of them played in leagues together as young children, many of them met again as teammates on middle school teams, not to mention many of them have long lasting friendships. Although it is often forgotten, Lower Merion and Harriton are both part of the same school district and are only a few miles apart. Even though it seems as though these schools seem distant, when you’re living on the Main Line you’re bound to run into someone you know. Senior captain Matt Siegel added, “Playing against LM was different because you know everyone in the game. You see the other players all around your life whether you are grabbing breakfast at Manhattan Bagel or getting a snack at Wawa. Our players have played with and against their players many times before. This makes the rivalry more intense as it is more personal than any other.” Added junior Guard Matt Fusaro, “the intensity of the game was like none other. It was fun playing against players I played with when I was younger; you just wanted to go out there and prove yourself to them.” Not only was there a matchup between the Rams and Aces on the court, but also in the stands there was a marquee clash of student fan bases. Lower Merion’s acclaimed “Dawg Pound”
was outnumbered on the road by Harriton’s student body, a raucous group that bears no name but was ready to defend its own turf at all costs. Lower Merion came into the battle as a solid favorite. Their team was led by senior Greg Robbins, a 6’5” 210 pound center who will be playing Division I basketball at Richmond University next year. Senior Harley Williamson and junior Alon Seltzer, who created a size mismatch for the much smaller Rams, filled out their strong front line. By tip off the gym was packed, in fact many latecomers were reduced to a standing room only basis. The game started off with a big three pointer by senior Guard Kelvin Nance, bringing the Harriton faithful (or at least those who weren’t standing for the entire game) to their feet. Throughout the first quarter the action continued to tip back and forth with both teams keeping up the intensity and hustling to every lose ball. This first quarter proved to be a great test for the Harriton defense, who were not only using their triangle and two look on defense for the first time in a game to neutralize Robbins and Williamson, but were also for the first time faced with a considerable size mismatch. Kelvin Nance, Matt Fusaro, and Matt Siegel, listed at 6’, 6’2, and 6’1 respectively, were forced to guard Lower Merion’s big three of Robbins, Williamson, and Seltzer, all pushing 6’5”. The Rams defensive intensity kept the game close, and the offense caught fire with three pointers falling like dominos. Harriton led Lower Merion 14-13 after the first period ended, only intensifying the rowdiness of the Harriton faithful. The second quarter
began with a quick run by the Aces. Harriton came back with a surge of their own to keep the game within reach. Every time it seemed as though Lower Merion had extended a second quarter lead to 8 or 10 points, the Rams fought back with hustle and long distance shooting. The size and strength of Lower Merion seemed to be too much for Harriton at times, resulting in disadvantages in the post and on the glass. After more back and forth action, Lower Merion took advantage of a few defensive stops and timely long range shooting at the end of the second quarter, taking a slim 34-32 lead into halftime. However, for the Rams, a two point halftime deficit was not only able to be overcome, it was considered an accomplishment and a momentum shifter. Fusaro added, “I wasn’t surprised at all, I actually thought we should have been winning. I knew with the intensity we were going to bring and the bragging rights on the line that we wanted this win more than any other.” Coach Rappaport also said, “Our players executed the plan perfectly, and worked their tails off.” Unfortunately the second half of the game did not have as much promise as the first did for the Rams. The third quarter resulted in a cold streak for Harriton, in which they went almost six minutes without a field goal and only scored 9 points. Lower Merion was still forced to work for every shot through a tough Harriton defense, but with the Rams shots not falling on the other end, they slowly fell behind on the scoreboard. Matt Siegel reflected, “I think we fell behind in the third quarter because some of our shots were not falling. LM (continued on page 13)
February 6, 2009
Among the fray of winter sports, possibly the least wellknown is Indoor Track. Despite its name, the Harriton Indoor track team practices everyday from 3:00 to 4:30 outside on the track. Yes, Outside. Led by Coach Brian Klick, with the help of his father, and Coach Matt Barr, practices follow a strict weekly schedule alternating between weight lifting, sprint workouts, and distance runs. Although many people running Winter Track are there to stay in shape for other sports, everyone works hard during practices and strives to be better athletes altogether. Even though most other athletes are used to see track as just a sport that you run around in circles and thinking it’s the easiest sport in the world, those who have run track see it otherwise. The workouts are usually intense and competition is tough now in the Central League and the team is continuing to fight with the desire to win. “The team has certainly become much more competitive than previous years. More people are medaling now than ever,” said Coach Klick about this year’s team. And looking at recent results, the team has improved indeed. Recently Harriton’s 4 x 400 meter relay team, featuring sophomore Shane Fouste, junior Cullen Balinski, senior Josh Levin and sophomore Marec Serlin placed 6th place at a meet with
a total time of 3:45. Junior Chris DePowell also did well in the 3k run (3000 meters) with a time of 9:33.69. In other track events, for the first time this season, Harriton placed 1st in a novice race, with a 4 x 200 meter relay team including freshman Ryan Smith, sophomore Sam Gross, freshman Ebi Verdanidze and freshman Dan Schlesinger with an amazing time of 1:46. “It’s a great feeling to know that you’ve helped your team, and it gives you inspiration to keep trying harder,” said 3rd leg runner Smith about the victory. On the girls side junior Alyson Shore broke a personal record by a full second in the 200-meter dash with an astounding time of 28.66 seconds. Also, distance runner and sophomore Sarah Hammer made a personal best in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:39.82. No one on the girls team has medaled recently, but have come close on several occasions. Both Track teams have made great improvements and are striving to become a force in the league. They plan on finishing the season strong with the upcoming novice meet, open to all freshman and sophomore track runners who have never medaled, giving them a chance to compete against runners of their age, and the famed Carnival at the very end of the season where Harriton plans on sending their toughest squad to face the toughest the rest of the league has to offer.
A another bone-chilling run for senior Indoor Track runner Elliot Weiser, junior Chris DePowell, and sophomore Marec Serlin. (Casey Tabas/The Harriton Banner)
Girl’s and Boy’s Basketball takes on Lower Merion
February 6, 2009
Welcome to the Big Leagues Freshman Basketball
conducted with the same level of intensity, are sometimes held over weekends and non-school days, a This is the crucial year in Harri- notable change from the middle ton sports where all teams must school teams the freshman played make a difficult jump to the Cen- on last year. Olster notes, however, tral League, where the opposi- tion is harder than ever before. that all the hard work and practicCoaches for each and every team es are paying off on the court. He are stressing how crucial it is that stresses the way that the players every player step up their game to work together as a team, saying reach this level of competition. So “there hasn’t been a single game what of the freshmen, who are not this year where a player hasn’t just moving to a new league, but seen time on the court,” and that are moving into a new environ- the Rams have been competitive in alment almost togethevery er? The game fresht h e y m a n have basketplayed. b a l l T h e t e a m freshprovides m a n an exteam ample w i l l of how t h e s e Freshman Basketball (Tabas/The Harriton Banner) c a r r y t h i s freshmen have adjusted to the transi- hard-working attitude into the tion from middle school to high final four games of the season, where they will try to improve on school. The main adjustment, their three wins. Olster adds that stated continuously by the players the “program has a bright future, and the coach, Mr. Scott Olster, is […] especially in the brand new that playing basketball for only gym next year.” As the freshmen three months a year doesn’t cut get older, wiser, and adjust to this it anymore. Players must practice transition, the sky is the limit for their skills all year round at the the Rams. risk of being rusty by the time the season comes. Practices, while By: Ryan Smith Staff Writer
By Daniel Cooke Staff Writer
In Other News
Squash: The Squash team is looking very strong this year with their boys and girls team. Captain Torey Broderson headlines the boy’s team with Bert Van den Hooff, Max Pavel, and Ty Broderson all contributing. The team is in the top 3 in their league and is working hard to move up to the top. They have nations coming up soon at Yale University and they are hoping that the there can be many supports there for them. Katie Livernese headlines the girl’s team. She is doing extremely well this year and the team hopes they can build on their strong start. Hockey: This year for the hockey team is the rebuilding year for our Harriton/Lower Merion hockey team. They have struggled out of the starting gate, but have made vast improvements since then. The team, headed by junior Dan Bragilevsky, senior Zach Wasserman, and senior
Ryan Lamb, are starting to play much better as a whole. Even though their record might not be the best, everyone knows that these boys are trying hard to play and win these remaining games. Wrestling: The boys wrestling team has been a pleasant surprise for Harriton sports this winter. Lead by captain Dan Levin, they are in 9th place in the Central League with a record of 13 -10, however they are 2nd in District 1 behind just Octorara. They have gotten strong contributions from Elliot Levy at 112 lbs., Jack Harris at 130 lbs., Joe Powell at 135 lbs., Mark Singer at 152 lbs., Haddon Corbett at 171 lbs., Dave Horev at 215 lbs., and Manos Attaliadis at 285 lbs. Also, Freshman Shai Cooke has stepped his game up when the team was in need of another wrestler. Hopefully these boys can keep winning these matches and win Districts.
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Harriton vs. Lower Merion: Girls
By Andrew Wulc and held Lower Merion to a mere did not back down as the truly Staff Writer four points in the fourth quar- dominant and prepared team kept On January 15th the ter.. Led by leading scorers (and their lead. Lady Rams took on Harriton’s captains) Rachel Lindsay and The girls have had a classic rival – Lower Merion. Victoria Zuzelo, the Lady Rams rough season and the loss of a The match up did not few seniors from last go without its wellseason, including Brideserved hype as the anna Winston, has not game had a fairly helped. However, the big turn out. Howlady Rams have been ever, though the girls putting together a fought valiantly, the strong effort and beat Lower Merion squad Marple Newtown 42proved an unmovable 35 on Friday, Januforce as they reigned ary 30th for their first victorious on that sad league win. Keep your Thursday. heads up ladies, with a Though the few more games left game looked bleak at there’s still time to half time (as Lower Harriton Girls Hard at Work (Tabas/The Harriton Banner) finish out the season Merion lead 38-4) strong and begin prepthe ladies came back aration for next year with a fighting spirit and in one showed they wouldn’t go down quarter scored twice as many without a fight. Unfortunately, points as they had in the first half however, the Lower Merion girls
The Harriton Banner (from page 12)
Boy’s Basketball 9 rebounds helped Lower Merion to control the inside against the smaller Harriton Rams. LM guard Oliver Cohen was all over the stat sheet, and both ends of the floor, with his nine points, seven assists, and five steals. Coach Jesse Rappaport told me that one of the most inspiring performanc-
came out with a little more intensity and a sense of urgency in the first half because they thought they could cruise to an easy victory at first, but cranked up the intensity when they realized they couldn’t.” By the end of the third frame, the Rams trailed the Aces by a score of 5141. Harriton continued to fight throughout the fourth quarter, but Lower Merion’s combination of size and shooting kept their large lead. During the fourth quarter this lead extended to as much as 16 points. The Rams fought to the final whistle, but they ended up with the short end of the stick, Harriton in possession (Tabas/The Harriton Banner) falling to Lower Merion 66-53. es of the night he saw was that of The Rams were led by junior Point Guard Sal D’Angelo. Kelvin Nance’s 19 points in one Rappaport said, “What really imof his best games of the year, with pressed me was the play of Sal junior Matt Fusaro adding 14 of D’Angelo. Sal faced more hardhis own. Lower Merion was car- ship and pressure that game than ried by senior Harley Williamson, any player has ever had to go whose 22 points led all scor- through because of his transfer ers. Greg Robbins’s 12 points from Lower Merion. Sal met this and Alon Seltzer’s 11 points and challenge splashing threes, and
running our offense with precision under a challenge no student should have to go through.” This contest was more than a basketball game. Not only was it about proving to our ourselves and Lower Merion that Harriton basketball is for real. It was about bringing the Harriton community together for one last time in a withering gym in contrast to the air of excitement about an up and coming basketball program as we move into our new school. Concluded Coach Rappaport, “I have never been prouder of a group of young men, some of which were cut in middle school or discarded by their previous teams, battle the highest level of talent in the state. Here we are a school of 800 versus a school of 1700; it was truly a triumph of the human spirit. Our fans also battled brilliantly supporting our team to the fullest, it was one of the best atmospheres I have ever seen in a basketball arena.”
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You Gotta Have Art!
Visiting with the Wyeths By Monika Zaleska Arts/Entertainment Editor I visited the Brandywine Museum about a week after famed American artist Andrew Wyeth died in January16, 2009. He was 91 years old. Having learned about the Wyeths from both Mr.. Smith and Mr. Murray, I could not help but feel some connection to this loss. I had looked at his work in art books, heard stories about him, see “Christina’s World,” his most famous painting, at the MOMA. His was not an artist of spontaneity or abstraction. He was an artist of meticulous detail, sometimes using a brush with only one hair at the tip. He worked in watercolor, but also Tempera, mixing the pigments with egg and water to make paint. It is really this meticulousness that sets Wyeth apart from any other artist I have studied, or see. When I got close to “Christina’s World,” for example, which a large painting, I could see the folds in her socks by the ankles, and each tangled blade of grass, down to the brown weeds painted under the wisps of yellow. Though the Brandywine museum did not have this painting, it had many more, including one, never photographed, painting of the artist and his models, swinging around a maypole. The really fascinating this about this museum was that it houses the work of all the Wyeths. N.C. Wyeth, Andrew’s father, and Carolyn and Jamie Wyeth, his children. Seeing the similarities and differences in the style of the family is very interesting, especially since this impression is also supported by work of other artists who influenced the family’s work. My favorite work was that of Andrew Wyeth, because to me, his is the master of his style and skill and subject matter, the Pennsylvania countryside. N.C. Wyeth is next because his illustration-paintings are large, powerful and adventured-filled, being covers for books such as Treasure Island. I like Jamie Wyeth and Carolyn Wyeth the least. Jamie continued in a kind of modernized version of his father’s work, and Carolyn departed almost completely from his style of realism. However, I maybe biased, because to me, Andrew’s work is unbeatable, just because of the sheer effort and effect of detail. I encourage all art lovers to see this beautiful museum, which was converted from an old mill, and overlooks the creek and nature center.
By Jess Joho Staff Writer
Bat Boy Spotted at Harriton!
Yes ladies and gentlemen, America’s favorite mutant was spotted in our very own Harriton High School this past week. It is uncertain precisely why the half-bat, half-boy decided to make an appearance at this particular high school located in Philadelphia’s suburbs. Some say that it is Harriton’s first attempt at a new Mutant-American Integration Program. Others say that the creature picked up on a soaring interest in Bat Boy lore. Upon further investigation, it became clear to me that it was the latter. And, using all my journalistic prowess, I discovered that this peeked interest was due to the upcoming musical of Bat Boy on March 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th, which depicts the fictional journey of the Mutant-American’s effort to become a part of society. A Veterinarian and his family civilize the boy, pitying him and giving him the opportunity of salvation. But their efforts are met by skeptical, even outraged protests from the town of Hopefalls. James Butler, who will be portraying the beastly creature in the musical, sympathized with the Bat Boy’s appearance at the school. Others, however, were not so readily accepting. By the end of his visit, much of the student body had tired of the infamous mutant. As with every Bat Boy sighting, mischief and havoc ensued at Harriton High School. When several sleep-tousled students gathered in the JSL for a typical Monday morning, an out of the ordinary sound rang shrilly throughout the halls. Highpitched shrieks could be heard clearly from a ten-mile radius of the Main Office. Sophomore Alex Cooper tells us, “I didn’t know
what to think! At first I thought someone was hurt, so I ran toward the noise to help them! But, but, but then—!” What Mr. Cooper is far too traumatized to relive is the rather disturbing image of Bat Boy swinging in from the J-building lockers. He swooped down upon the unsuspecting crowd, grabbing several bagels off the breakfast table and making barely intelligible requests for what sounded like “chocolate-covered mosquitoes”. When denied the request, Bat Boy proceeded to fling the stolen bagels at a nearby group of freshmen girls, clapping his hands jubilantly with every successful hit. But the chaos didn’t stop there. In an attempt to handle the situation in a politically correct and progressive manner, the school administration ordered that the Bat Boy attend classes for the day, and insisted he be treated like any other student. I was an eyewitness to the Bat Boy’s first encounter in a civilized classroom—my English class with Ms. Anderson. Making an effort to follow the administration’s wishes, Ms. Anderson asked the Bat Boy to contribute to the class’ discussion on the novel Fahrenheit 451. Tension was high as both students and teacher became wary of the creature’s silence. And then with another blood-curdling shriek, the Bat Boy began to bounce up and down agitatedly on his desk, making a spectacle of himself before finally dashing for the door. In conclusion, this reporter has only one thing to say about the Bat Boy’s recent visit: thank God we’re getting new buildings next year, because I don’t think our hallways will ever look the same.
February 6, 2009
The Paperback Princess By Jackie Milestone Staff Writer The modern fairy tale: a teenage princess who goes to a New York City high school and is a social outcast. This is the plot of the “Princess Diaries” book series by Meg Cabot. The first book made into a movie in 2000 by Disney (with a sequel, not based on the any following books but using the same characters). The “Princess Diaries” series came to a conclusion last month with the release of the tenth installment, Forever Princess. I know, this is all sounding cheesier by the second, and you’re asking yourself “Who actually reads these books?” Um, hi. That’d be me. But Millions of teens all over the world read Meg Cabot’s books, attracted to her youthful writing style that makes it easy for teens to relate. Many people look down upon Meg Cabot’s style of writing, dismissing it as “fluff”, but these “fluff” novels have made her millions and allowed her to become one in a small group of the world’s selfsustaining authors. Cabot grew up in Bloomington, Indiana and failed Algebra, thought she wanted to be an illustrator, after college worked as a dorm monitor at New York University. It took her years, but finally her writing career took off. The Princess Diaries (the first book in the series) received a bountiful number of rejection letters before it was finally accepted and eventually published. The first contract was only to release the one novel. Then it became a trilogy, after even more positive responses Meg was signed to take the main character, Mia Thermopolis, through her entire high school career, as she had dreamed. Four novellas and ten full-length novels later the famous tale of Princess Mia is complete.
The books are written through Mia’s journals, giving them a very real and personal look at the story. It is easy for a reader to envelope herself in the story and the characters. The books take you through Mia’s highest highs and lowest lows. It is impossible not to get wrapped up in all the crazy turns of her life, laughing and exclaiming as if it was your own. Bad grades, losing and gaining friends, relationships or lack thereof, but also, dealing with the paparazzi, being dealt your very own body guard, and having to endure princess lessons each day from an evil grandmother with tattoo. Each page that goes by leaves a reader begging to read another and by the end of every book you cannot wait for the next. The series kicked off with high school freshman, Mia’s, conflict with her mother, who was suddenly dating her Algebra teacher. This actually happened to Meg Cabot when she was in school. The princess aspect was thrown in almost as a joke, residual from the days when a much younger Cabot would go about claiming she was a long lost princess so everyone should be nice to her or one day they’d be sorry. Incredibly, it was this twist that changed Cabot’s writing career entirely. The final book, released at the beginning of January, was in short, “a perfect ending to an amazing series” as said by reader, Jessie Vander. It had all the excitement of the previous books, with the happy ending you can always count on from Meg Cabot. “Fluff” novels or not, the “Princess Diaries” series is not nearly as innocent as portrayed in the movies, and is geared towards older teens for the most part. But no matter, these books are practically impossible not to enjoy.
arts/entertainment February 6, 2009
A closer look at Sean Penn’s new film By Laura Jungreis Staff Writer Did you know that the chief executive of Cinemark, Alan Stock, donated thousands of dollars to the California anti-gay-marriage Proposition 8 campaign? It’s interesting news because Harvey Milk, the main character in Cinemark’s newest hit film, Milk, was a gay rights activist in San Francisco during the 1970s. Along with partner Scott Smith, Milk opened a camera store on Castro Street that became a popular hang out for hippies and eventually his campaign headquarters. Milk, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, became the first openly gay man to hold office in California. Though he served only 11 months, his influence was vast. And his most significant accomplishment was successfully fighting California’s anti-gay rights Proposition 6. The release of the film was controversial—there was a clear parallel between the argument over Proposition 8 and that over Proposition 6 thirty years earlier. There were boycotts protesting Cinemark’s involvement because of the apparent executive hypocrisy and greed. Though the timing of the release was conflict ridden, it also honored a fallen icon, who no doubt would have been battling Proposition 8 were he still alive to fight. The cinematographic depiction of his life blew me away. When Milk gazes out his shop window at the store across the street, the film switches to real
clips from the 1970s that show the actual store. This sort of authenticity is reoccurring in the film and cannot be outdone. It made this true story all the more powerful. Sean Penn’s masterful performance was Milk himself. The casting is spot on. The credits are presenting by showing a shot of the actor followed by a real picture of the person being portrayed. The entire audience was captivated; everyone stayed in the theater until there was nothing left on the screen. Not to undermine Penn, but I’ve followed James Franco’s career for quite some time, from bad boy Danny Desario in Freaks and Geeks to pretty boy Harry Osborne in the Spiderman series, to even the star-crossed lover in Tristan and Isolde. But never before have I seen him act at the same caliber as he does in this Gus Van Sant film. Franco is phenomenal—he’s been nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his role as Scott Smith. Though definitely a drama, Milk’s magnificent sense of humor gives abundant comic relief. The contrast with the constant barrage of prejudice from a bigoted society underscores the struggle of this brave pioneer. His upbeat resilience and unwavering optimism are positively admirable. Yet he seemed humble and down to earth. I feel like I knew him. I left the theater with tears in my eyes and love in my heart.
Bring on the Oscars!
By Steph Hill Features Editor
February 22nd will mark this year’s 81st Oscars Award Ceremony. Whether you’re a film buff or a fashionista dying to see the celebrities strut their Versace gowns and Armani suits down the red carpet, there is no doubt that thousands of Americans will be tuning in to watch the highly anticipated awards ceremony. Some even believe viewership will be higher than past Oscars ceremonies; competition for the golden statue will be greater than ever before for the nominees, as they face some of the finest talent that the film business has seen in years! This year’s film with the most nominations is David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, with a total of thirteen nominations, including “Best Motion Picture,” “Directing,” and “Actor in a Leading Role” (Brad Pitt). Another popular movie that touched audiences all over the world was Slumdog Millionaire – a film that has gained recent attention in the media and is also expected to be awarded with many Oscars. Stirring controversy this year is Christopher Nolan’s second Batman film, The Dark Knight. Many viewers are curious to see if the late Heath Ledger will win the Academy’s vote for best actor in a supporting role. Some claim if Ledger wins the award, it will be well deserved, while others claim the Oscar will just be a tribute to the actor’s short-lived career. The Kodak Theatre will be holding the distinguished event, hosted by Australian actor Hugh Jackman. No doubt his experience in musical theatre and film will make him an entertaining and charming host for the four hour-long ceremony – viewers can look forward to a lot of dancing, singing, and witty humor from the host, who some think will be the biggest hit of the night! No matter what your reason is for watching the Academy Awards, you do not want to miss it! So make room in your schedule to watch the Oscars on Sunday, February 22nd to celebrate the magnificent brilliance of directors, writers, and actors around the world.
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More Than Just Background Music
By Melissa Langer Staff Writer
Pandora is virtually ubiquitous as far as online music is concerned. It is used in classrooms while students complete practice problems or perform labs, played in the JSL during frees and lunches thanks to the one-to-one initiative, and is utilized at home to accompany homework. For the minority of the Harriton population that has not experienced Pandora, it is found at www.pandora.com and it is an internet radio that allows users to create an account on which they add radio stations by typing in the name of a song, an artist or band, or a musical genre. Music with similar qualities to that station is played and users have the ability to give the song a thumbs up which signifies “I like this song”, and the song will be played more often, or a thumbs down which represents “I don’t like this song”, and the song will not be played again. Users also have the option to leave the song with no rating or they can put it on snooze, so that it will not be played for a month. Songs can be skipped, but only six can be skipped per hour (and a thumbs down counts as a skip). Additionally, users can choose the “QuickMix” option, which functions like the other stations, but randomly select songs from all of the user’s stations. For
each song a brief artist biography, album information, similar song suggestions, and fan feedback is provided and users have the option to bookmark the song or purchase it in various formats. Pandora was created by the Music Genome Project, which aims to “capture the essence of music at the fundamental level”. The project classifies music based on over 400 different musical attributes, which are comparable to trait-determining genes in organisms, and are combined into 2,000 focus groups such as rhythm syncopation, key tonality, and vocal harmonies. The list of attributes is represented by a vector, which is used to generate a list of similar songs with a distance function and organized using complex mathematical algorithms. Pandora has certainly earned its widespread popularity. It allows users to enjoy stations ranging in genre from alternative, to pop, to jazz, to Christmas music during the holiday season and gives them the ability to mix these distinct styles. Not only does Pandora cater to users’ predetermined music preferences, but is also exposes them to undiscovered artists and songs, expanding their musical palette and promoting new artists. Pandora is easily accessible, simple to use, and most importantly, free, which explains its growing popularity.
Bliss is Back!
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By Jackie Milestone Staff Writer
It’s February! The month of love, lust, stalker-ish obsessions, and all that other good stuff that revolve around Valentine’s Day. Any good magazine or newspaper would promise to reveal certain mysteries of love or give you some good advice as to how make your Valentine’s Day the most romantic or memorable one yet. But maybe you are not looking for all that mushy stuff this Valentine’s Day. Or maybe love’s got you down? That is perfectly all right, because the focus is going to veer more towards the lust or unemotional attraction side. And every good non-emotional based relationship begins with one very important device: the pick-up line. A strange thing, the pick up line is: always blunt, sometimes sweet, but often just crude, or overly cheesy to the point of offense. There are different breeds of pick up lines, in this way. But the real question is, do they work? How should you use them? What if you get punched in the face during your attempt? To an-
Pick Me Up or Put Me Down?
swer the last question first, I would recommend bringing a concealer kit with you so once you get punched you can go to the bathroom and touch up and then return to your quest. You can’t let a few hits get in your way. After all lust is pain… or maybe it was love? No matter, the other two questions can be answered. In fact, this month we took it a step further and did a little field work for you, to experiment and see how different pick-up lines hold out against the general public. We tested the following lines on people at random: “Hey, I lost my number, can I have yours?” This line probably received the most normal response of all and highest rating of success out of the ones used. The only down side to this line is the general followup inquiry as to who you are. Many people do not seem to understand that names and introductions are such trivial things that do nothing but waste time in any good, unemotional relationship. “Do you have a sunburn or are you always this hot?” The initial follow-up to
this question was, “…what?” That could have been due to lack of articulation… or perhaps mere disbelief (always be prepared to repeat a pick up line, if needed. Don’t feel ashamed, it’s not you; it’s them. I promise). When the question was finally understood the response was, “… no.” Which is not much of a response, and just leaves the questioner in confusion, asking them self, Did he/she mean “No, I don’t have a sunburn,” or “No, I’m not always this hot?” It’s the kind of thing that keeps a poor fellow awake at night, but do not worry, lack of words almost always means
Bliss by Harry Bliss
the person is so taken aback by their passion that they cannot articulate full sentences… and then sometimes walk away, for the same reason. “I hope you know CPR because you take my breath away!” This pick up line is definitely of a cheesier breed, but also a sweeter one. Don’t look for a good reaction out of this style. As deciphered from reactions, the person you say it to will usually think you are nice and kind of stupid, too. “Aside from being sexy, what do you do for a living?” I bet you thought I got punched for this one, but I did not! Depending on whom you
February 6, 2009 ask, you may get a good reaction, or you may get a dirty look and cause the other person to storm off. So do pick up lines really work? Maybe… probably not, but you will never know for sure unless you get out there and try it! So stock up on that concealer, remember never to say these things to anyone you actually care about or know, and go get ‘em! (Disclaimer: To anyone who was randomly subject to the above pick up lines in the past month, I apologize for any confusion or ardor that may have been accidentally inspired. Thank you for your cooperation.)
Get Your Dose of Comics!
February 6, 2009
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Brewster Rockit: Space Guy by by Tim Rickard
9 9 3 4 7 5 4 9 8
6 4 8 1 3 2
8 6 7 4 7 5 8 2 7 6 1 2 7 4 6 9
Puzzle by websudoku.com
3 5 4 7 5
6 7 2
6 1 5
Puzzle by websudoku.com
The Implicit Evil of Valentine’s Day
By: Moira Lavelle Staff Writer
Many people are looking forward to the oncoming Valentine’s Day. What is not to love about a holiday that celebrates, well, love? In my opinion there are many hidden horrors in this seemingly harmless celebration. One of the many issues with Valentines Day lies in the various symbols associated with the holiday. There are those who absolutely abhor the colors pink and red and white. Many people cannot stand the hearts or lace that are an integral part of the holiday experience. However, the worst image associated with Valentine’s Day is cupid. Everybody is taught to accept that a malicious winged baby will fly around once a year and shoot unsuspecting victims with tiny arrows. Very few people stop to consider the truly sadistic aspects of the little cherub. How is it that a child carrying a weap-
on has come to represent romantic love? Yet by far the main problem with this holiday lies in its purpose: to commemorate love. There are many people on this earth who are not in the slightest bit loved. What can they do on this holiday other than mourn in self-pity? Without naming names, think of someone that almost everyone hates completely. Imagine what each February is like for him or her. This loathed person was probably the kid in elementary school for whom everyone neglected to get candies. He or she was most likely the kid that had to sit in the corner of the classroom with an empty shoebox decorated with hearts. One would think that there are very few people who are completely alone on Valentine’s Day. Yet 15% of women buy themselves flowers each February 14th. Imagine being the florist selling that woman flowers: “I’m
sure your mother will appreciate them miss” “No they’re for me. Nobody else is going to buy me flowers, so I thought I might as well pretend to have somebody that loves me.” As a florist, what can one do? Clearly all florists suffer greatly each year due to this holiday. I’m sure every flower-store owner dreads February because of the social discomfort they endure at the hands of women who wish desperately for a beau. So while the general public gorges themselves on chocolate and buys obscene amounts of Hallmark cards, think of those who are most definitely not enjoying Valentines Day. Think of the lonely children and women. Think of all the florists who are suffering from excessive amounts of awkwardness. Think of the millions of people who suffer at the violent hand of cupid.
What do we do now?
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By: Lauren Fox, Around Harriton Editor
“Job Shadowing” Experience Proves Beneficial
On a frigid day on December 5, 2008, I briskly walked down North Broad Street in Philadelphia towards The Philadelphia Inquirer building. I was there to meet with a reporter, Jennifer Lin, as part of Harriton’s job shadowing program. The job shadowing program at Harriton, organized by Mr. Crooke, enables Harriton juniors to miss a day of school in order to explore a possible career path in which they are interested and in my case, it was journalism. For the day, I would follow Ms. Lin and learn, first-hand, about what a reporter for a big newspaper does. When I arrived at the Inquirer Building, I walked through the gold double doors, which stood directly under the bold, black letters that seemed to shout “THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER DAILY NEWS.” I was welcomed by the “clock building’s” security team, gave my name and was told that Ms. Lin was expecting me. I stood by the elevators while waiting to be greeted by Ms. Lin, one of the finest reporters at the paper. While I waited, I anticipated my day of experiencing the journalism world first-hand with a professional reporter. After five minutes, Ms. Lin greeted me and took me on
a brief tour of the building. She showed me to the main newsroom where her cubicle was as well as literally hundreds of other cubicles, all situated in straight, organized rows. An old, bulky computer was placed on each desk in the room. As she got situated, Ms. Lin gave me a brief article to read written by a Pennsylvania State University professor regarding the high value of a journalism degree. After I read the article, I had the opportunity to go on a real assignment with Ms. Lin. We threw on our coats, exited the Inquirer’s doors and proceeded for the Union League of Philadelphia to do a story that was to be featured in the upcoming weekend paper. However, before we made our final stop at the Union League, I quickly followed Ms. Lin to City Hall where she briefly ran an errand for another assignment she was working on. This showed me how fast-paced the journalism world is. We proceeded to the Union League in the bitterly cold weather. While we walked, Ms. Lin explained to me the goal of her assignment. The following day George W. Bush was having his portrait unveiled at the Union League and she was to gather information about the unveiling as well as other presidential portraits for an article. In addition, she was
The Philadelphia Inquirer building (Volinsky/The Harriton Banner).
going to incorporate Bush’s attendance at the Army-Navy Game, which was also the next day. We finally arrived at The Union League, a grand building with two symmetrical staircases outside. The Union League is an organization that was established during the Civil War that primarily supports the Republican Party. It is well known for having many presidential portraits. We entered the building and were greeted by a man who began to give us a tour of all of the portraits. Ms. Lin pulled out a pad of paper and a pen and began aggressively taking notes. She asked the man thought provoking questions which I noticed after having read the article, really made it strong. After the tour and interview, Ms. Lin and I walked back to the Philadelphia Inquirer building. I read a few articles she wrote in a Thanksgiving special twopage layout about homelessness in Philadelphia and before I knew it, the work day was over. I left the Inquirer that late afternoon with the satisfaction of having a better understanding of the journalism world and what it takes to succeed. As of now, I am still interested in going into that field and the job shadowing experience greatly assisted in my assertion of this.
Inside Locker Rooms
February 6, 2009
By: Moira Lavelle Staff Writer Many sports at Harriton High School use the locker rooms on a daily basis; some of which include football, basketball, and wrestling. Many students utilize the locker rooms to change for gym, as well. Of course there is the common argument of which locker room is better, or which locker room is worse. The boys’ or the girls’? Nobody can seem to agree, though various imputs seem to be aparent. “[…] They’re very far away from the fields, and can be kind of cold.” says sophomore Marina Dooney of the girls locker rooms. This comment does have some truth. This is because the school is in the middle of construction and things are often placed on opposite ends of the campus; like the gym and the sports fields. “The locker rooms don’t have heat in the winter, so sometimes it gets cold when I’m changing for gym,” echoed sophomore Ella Cohen. However most girls generally agree that, in total, the locker rooms aren’t really that bad. Freshman Ian Hancock said that he thought the boys’ locker rooms were not all that bad. “There [is] a good amount of room,” he commented, “But there are huge dents in some of the lockers and a few of them don’t [even] open”. Fellow freshman Zander Levit had a different view. He says that, “the locker rooms are awful [and] a lot of the hooks have snapped so we can’t hang up our helmets for football. [In addition, some lockers are broken [...] so you can’t lock anything up.” The few other boys I talked to concur that the locker rooms are tolerable, but lack that special touch. One thing everyone can agree on, however, is that next year the locker rooms will be significantly improved. In our new school the lockers will be new, and (hopefully) larger. In addition, there are plans for the locker rooms to be heated. Harriton High School will also be conveniently closer to all of the sports fields. The high school students only have to endure half a year in our current locker rooms before they receive “special treatment.” So next time you’re contemplating the state of our locker rooms, just remember you have next year to look forward to.
By: Lauren Berenbaum Around Harriton Editor Coffee—it’s good, tasty and almost unbearably hot. However, it receives much recognition from the caffeine it contains. Caffeine. It can keep coffee drinkers, particularly students, up for hours. Students, some of which who drink coffee on a daily basis or others who enjoy the splurge every once in a while, know exactly what consuming too much coffee feels like. So, many students at Harriton High School are seen holding thermoses filled with home-brewed coffee, or Styrofoam cups filled with Wawa hazelnut coffee, or even delicious vanilla lattes from Starbucks. Unfortunately, however, this daily routine of Starbucks runs may cease to exist, depending on where you live. On the Starbucks website they state that as of July 1, 2008, “Starbucks will close approximately 600 company-operated stores in the U.S.” The 600 stores that will close are all over the country, however, some of the closing stores are right here, Harriton High School. Whether it’s the Starbucks in Bryn Mawr, Bala Cynwyd, or Ardmore is still uncertain, yet, this piece of knowledge, when disclosed, could actually affect many students. A senior, who chooses to remain anonymous says that, “I stop at Starbucks almost every day, and I would have to either choose another Starbucks or find another place to get coffee if the one in Bryn Mawr closed. This would mean that I would have to get up even earlier.” Even if students do not buy coffee at Starbucks before school, they could be affected in other aspects. With a closing of a Starbucks, comes something new. This could potentially be very exciting. Yet, who really knows what is going to take its place. Is it worth the risk? Starbucks is consistently good and always there. What is going to happen if it closes and who is going to be affected? Students at Harriton High School are just going to have to wait and find out.
(David Woo/Dallas Morning News/MCT)
Helpful Hints on Time Management
February 6, 2009
Helpful Hints for Harriton High
By: Adam Wyckoff Staff Writer
In today’s high-pressured high school world, it seems as if achieving good grades and getting into a good college is all that is important. Being accepted into that dream college seems to be a necessity for all the members of the Harriton community. This pressure is increased with our competitive grading scale, wide selection of courses, as well as motivated students. There is a constant reminder of this stress each day in the JSL when we are inundated with paraphernalia on each extravagant college. This constant attention and emphasis on college can be tremendously overwhelming. In addition to the pressures from school, most overachieving Harriton students participate in a great deal of extra-curricular activities and work experiences. It appears as though there just is not enough time in one’s day to get all the necessary tasks done. This consistent strain and overworking mentality can lead to many stressful days and nights. Laced in this article are some helpful tips to stay on top of your game and increase your level of productivity. Working as an assistant marketing director at my parttime job, I know the stress that comes along with juggling work and school. I am an employee of Ayala’s herbal water, which is a start-up company in the beverage industry. My job consists of many different tasks such as traveling to trade shows or doing grunt work at the office. I am constantly working on countless projects for both aspects of my life. One key to my productivity is balancing and prioritizing. To assist me, I make sure to formulate schedules and lists for all that I must accomplish. Prioritizing
these tasks is crucial to efficiency. To formulate these lists one must understand when each task is due and its level of importance. This helps to keep me more focused and in control of my own life. To complement the skills of balance and prioritization, it is necessary to utilize the skill of organization. Organization is essential to success. Personally, I do a tremendous amount of procrastination, but to combat this I try to keep myself as organized as possible. Formulating a quality assignment book and writing everything down makes life much easier and more manageable. I believe that using lists and accomplishing most work before dinner is key to my productivity. Working on different assignments in small increments of around 30 minutes also keeps me from growing frustrated or overly bored with my work. Finally, the most effective strategy I have implemented into my lifestyle is setting goals. In order to live in a well-balanced manner, I set goals in different areas of my life. Some of these areas include: physical fitness, family, financial, community, mental health, social, spiritual and academic. Setting a new group of goals each month helps me to stay focused and puts my life into better perspective. In order to be useful, goals must be believable, realistic, achievable and given a deadline for completion. Further, the odds for success of the goals increase when they are written down. This sense of tangibility is truly inspiring and makes life less stressful when you can see all that you must accomplish. By implementing these simple and easy strategies into your daily routine, I can guarantee you will see an improvement in the productivity of your work and also in your overall demeanor.
“By implementing these simple and easy strategies into your daily routine, I can guarantee you will see an improvement in the productivity of your work and also in your overall demeanor.” (The Harriton Banner)
The Harriton Banner - Page 19
Club of the Month: Crazy for Corinthian
By: Jackie Milestone Staff Writer
It is one of a kind. It is the only Harriton club where you can completely express yourself, have the freedom to say whatever you want, and have other club members help you with your problems. It is the only place where you can actually have ninjas breaking into your classrooms, where weekends can last as long as your heart desires and where everyone can live happily ever after, if you so choose. The club’s name is Corinthian and the game’s creative writing. Corinthian is the only club at Harriton with no limits: it is an environment where any type of creative writing is acceptable. There are no expectations to be an incredible writer or a serious writer, as long as you have a passion for whatever you have scrawled, then you are welcomed. This diverse writing magazine is published twice a school year and contains a plethora of short stories (sad and funny), poems (short and long), and a multitude of other types of verse. The club usually meets every Thursday and new members are always thoroughly welcomed and accepted throughout the year. The club provides a safe and comfortable environment and enables students to share creative pieces of work with their peers who are always eager to give feedback. You will never find anyone throwing insults in a Corinthian meeting; as said by CoExecutive Editor, Jessi Milestone, “I had to ban people from saying ‘I like it’ about a piece without a following comment. Nonetheless, people begin each comment with that anyway.” The workload is mostly subject to individual choosing, which makes this club especially unique. Anything and everything a person chooses to write is welcomed, but it is mostly individual decision as to how many pieces one would like to submit, and how long one chooses to work on each piece. However, there are some determining factors as to whether ones personal works are published in the magazine or not. Granted, the editors would like to publish everything they can, but there is a limit, and the process of elimination is discussed amongst four editors (including the two Executive Editors). The three big determining factors are: amount of deciphered individual editing put into a piece, how many pieces a person has submitted (the aim is diversity amongst writers), and
Esther Hoffman’s photo on the cover of the latest issue of The Corinthian (Esther Hoffman/The Corinthina/ The Harriton Banner)
whether the team of editors like it and think the public will enjoy it as well. Corinthian is simply a fun environment where people with similar interests can get together. And, people feel compelled to bring and share, like cookies! Corinthian is built on a comfortable and open attitude. “It’s exciting and educational to watch others grow and develop their writing style […] besides gaining important insights about life experience through what people share,” says other Executive Editor, Genia Sokolskaya. And people are always excited to share, whether it is a work of their own, or a response
to someone else’s, and this is one of the aspects most loved about the club. One of this year’s newer writers, Moira Lavelle, states “I like how Corinthian has the entire group review and edit one person’s piece. I think my writing really improved because of it.” And to think! It must be a fantastic crew if the feedback is regarded higher than free cookies (and no one dislikes free cookies)! If you were looking for a club where no one’s going to put you down or pressure you, where people love to talk with each other, and where everyone wants to share sugary foods as they write ridiculous stories, you have found it. It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
“Skull”, in a recent addition of the Carinthian (Blake Bergen/The Corinthian/The Harriton Banner)
(Amanda Raymond/The News Tribune/MCT)
faculty spotlight February 6, 2009
In the Spirit of Valentines Day:
The Harriton Banner - Page 20
Love at Harriton
on one knee, took out the ring, and asked her to marry me.” A short while later, the couple made it official, and got married on September 28, 2007. Their wedding was beautiful and intimate, in which they were surrounded by family and close friends. They added to their family when they rescued two cats named Inga and Baxter and the four currently live in a home nearby their workplace. Surprisingly, Mr. and Mrs. Occhiogrosso do not often see each other on campus. However, they do frequently dine together, eating homemade lunches packed by Mr. Occhiogrosso, daily. Cooking is a hobby that they share; currently both are taking an Indian cooking class, as well as baking bread and making cheese, on the occasion. Other hobbies that they Mr. and Mrs. Occhiogrosso at their wedding (Occhiogrosso/The have in common are playing Harriton Banner) tennis, traveling, watching By: Eileen Mayro and as time went on their football, and playing board Faculty Spotlight Editor friendship grew into a regames. As all couples in lationship. They continued love, Mr. and Mrs. OcchioIf it was not for our own dating and as their relationgrosso, are looking forward Alma Mater, Harriton High ship blossomed, Mr. Octo Valentine’s Day where School, Marie Perecko and chiogrosso realized that he the true gift of the day is Justin Occhiogrosso prob- wanted to spend the rest of each other’s company. ably never would have met. his life with Ms. Perecko, so But, luckily, cupid inter- he proposed. He recounted, vened and the two did at the “It was the week before my Lower Merion School Dis- birthday, and she had been trict Orientation, two and struggling to figure out a half years ago. Although what to get me. So, beside they initially did not hit it the lake, I told her I knew off, over the week of orien- exactly what I wanted for tation they became friends my gift. Then, I got down
The Occhiogrossos (Occhiogrosso/The Harriton Banner)
Mr. and Mrs. Gauvin on vacation (Gauvin/The Harriton Banner)
By: Eileen Mayro Faculty Spotlight Editor Chemistry is an integral part of any relationship, but in the case of Betsy Hamme and Brian Gauvin, physics also played a role. It all began in the summer of 2000, when the two met while teaching a summer program at the University of Pennsylvania for middle school science teachers. Involved in their experiments, sparks flew. Mr. Gauvin had already been teaching at Harriton for two years when they met. It wasn’t until 2001 that a position for a math and physics teacher became available at Harriton, and Ms. Hamme jumped at the opportunity to teach both subjects. At first, the two had neighboring rooms, which made it
The Gauvins (Gauvin/The Harriton Banner)
easy for their relationship to flourish. They continued dating and Mr. Gauvin proposed shortly thereafter in a romantic and private display. The two became husband and wife on June 26, 2004. Their wedding was momentous, both because of the actual event and because of its location, in Mrs. Gauvin’s hometown of North Wales, Pennsylvania. 2004 was quite a year for the couple because only a few months prior to their wedding, they went to Rome for Valentine’s Day. Mr. Gauvin surprised his fiancé with the trip, and it was a memorable and incredible experience for them both. Actually, their trip to Italy caused them to acknowledge their mutual love of the country and their desire to learn the language. In their spare time, the two also love to dance. Over the years they have learned over six types of complicated dance genres, their favorites being swing and lindy hop. Other interests of Mr. and Mrs. Gauvin include traveling and cooking. They both enjoy cooking so much that they regularly quarrel about who will have the pleasure of preparing their dinner for that evening. The couple is looking forward to Valentine’s Day where they will partake in their favorite activities, eating good food and being together.