Hoofbeats April 2023

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OHO Lab Club makes human connections

Afterenduringovertwoyearsof social isolation, sickness, and tension, students need a sense of connection and belonging more than ever before.

One new organization that focuses on students’ mental wellbring is the OHO Lab Club, a group that brings people together in a positive manner.

The Open Heart Origami Lab Clubsharesthesimpleartofpaper folding with mindful intentions to connect humanity and morality. The club aims to strengthen the community by fostering connections between students and the people with whom they interact.

Since 2021, the club has promoted social connection and a sense of belonging and community in many ways. One method is through their card writing stands, whereparticipantswritecardsand hang them on trees or take them home to give to their loved ones.

Cardswerehungontrees,which were put up near the Broadway doors during the2022 holiday season and again during Calhoun’s annual“P.S.ILoveYouDay2023.”

Through the stands, the club has raised nearly $300 for dinners directly delivered to the Broadway Presbyterian Church homeless shelter in Manha an.

The inspiration for OHO Lab came from its founder, junior Joseph Darcourt, when he was little. In elementary school, he and his mom would teach classmates how to make origami cranes for their well-being. When the cranes proved too complicated to learn, he focused on origami. He com-

bines making “Open Heart” origami with mindful intention. With each fold, the mantra goes, “Aliveness, love, caring, joy, and gratitude,” to promote moral values and mindful intention, and with each cut is let-go negativity.

When Darcourt was 12, he taught “M&M: Music and Meditation”workshopsattheNorthMerrick Public Library. He integrated origami into the end of those ses-

sions,promoting social connection and moral values.

Healsopresentedhisworkshop at his elementary school; however, the pandemic made it impossible to continue.

“During the summer of 2021, I went upstate near Cold Spring to the Chuang Yen Monastery right after the COVID-19 lockdown eased.Ihadbeen goingtheresince I was li le not only because my

parents are Buddhist but also as a place to connect with Mother Nature,” Darcourt said. “I talked to Chairman Tsuku Lee, who asked me to help him wrap educational Buddhist books to send to inmates as part of the ‘Free Book Distribution’ program at the monastery.”

Darcourt said Mr. Lee created the distribution program over 30 years ago, sending free books to

Members of the OHO Lab Club visited the Chuang Yen Monastery to help with the “Free Book Distribution” program. (photo by Asra Iqbal)
Rock on with Daisy Jones page 9 Turn the page to a classic page 8 A league of their own page 15
(See HEART on page 3)

Challenge Day returns

The return of Challenge Day was certainly one to remember. ChallengeDayhasbeenaneventfulday forthesophomoreclassfor many years. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, the yearly tradition had been canceled.

“We brought Challenge Day to Calhoun as a way to promote belonging, connectedness, and empathy building among our student body,” said Principal Nicole Hollings.

Challenge Day is a day full of games,bondingactivities,andselfreflection that sophomores spend the day doing with their classmates and teachers. It is facilitated by two leaders from a Californiabased company who are brought into the school to help young peo-

Ba le of the Classes

ple with self-management, social awareness, and responsible decision-making.

“Sophomores are just at the right age to participate and have an impact on the culture going forward for the longest period of time.Ninthgradersarestillge ing used to high school and the building,” Ms. Hollings said.

Not only do the students get to know their classmates be er, but theyarealsogiventheopportunity to bond with some of the teacher volunteers, as well.

While Challenge Day is a day filled with fun activities, it was also a day for students to open up about themselves beyond the surface.

“It is a way to know that everyone has ‘stuff’ that they are dealing with and that there arehealthy ways to reach out and get help

when you need it,” Ms. Hollings said. “When you see students and staff cross the line indicating that they are going through some difficult things, it helps you see that person with more compassion and caring in your heart.”

Atthebeginningoftheday, studentswerewelcomedintothegym by the teacher volunteers and the Challenge Day speakers. The day startedoffwithlightandfunactivities,suchasgivingeveryonehighfives around the room and ge ing into pairs to share one thing about themselves.

Many students enjoyed some of the activities and did not expect things to turn out the way that they did.

“When Ifirstgotthere,I did not expect to be welcomed that way and for the day to end up how it did,” said Brooke Cancellarich. “I participated in a lot of challenges, like cross the line and our small family circle.”

MiaCaveroadded, “Before partaking in the activities, I had heard about some things we would do, and I was mostly excited. The games we played were really fun and bonded everyonetogether.”

One reason the program was brought back was that it helps students break down barriers and relate to others through the sharing of personal experiences. This is modeled by the Challenge Day speakers who are brought in to facilitate the program.

“I really loved these speakers a lot.TheirstorieswerewhatIknow some of our own students experienced,” Ms. Hollings said.

Toward the middle of the day, students took part in some heavier activities such as forming “small family” groups with other students anda teacher andparticipating in more vulnerable tasks like sharing something personal.

“I love that so many staff want to be a part of the day. They are so important to our ability to be able to participate in Challenge Day successfully,” Ms. Hollings said.

Closertotheendoftheday,students participated in a crossingthe-line activity, where they were asked a series of questions and had to step forward for each of the questions that applied to them.

“‘If You Really Knew Me’ and ‘Cross the Line’ are the two most powerfulactivitiesoftheday.Itallows the participants to be vulnerable in a supportive place where there are people who are listening and caring,” Ms. Hollings said.

Though the program has been held at Calhoun for years before COVID-19, some students said the day took surprising turns.

“Challenge Day activities were exactlywhatIexpected,butIdidn’t expect my fellow classmates’ reactions to them. Everyone was comforting to one another, and I even had people I didn’t know come up to me that day,” Cavero said.

The activities throughout the day were challenging and significantly impacted students and teachers.

“Always apowerful day forme. Emotional. A day when I can get to know more kids,” Ms. Hollings said.

Manystudents said they feltthe daywashelpfulintermsofge ing to understandtheir peers be er.

“I think it was effective. At the end, I think it united peers with each other in many different ways where they can possibly relate to each other’s experiences,” said Brooke Cancellarich.

Caveroadded,“Youneverknow what people go through outside of the classroom. Just seeing other people be in a vulnerable place broadened my perspective and made me realize how similar everyone is despite the differences.”

Students were able to open up about personal experiences, and this allowed other students to be moreconsiderateandcompassionate towards one another.

“Put yourself in someone else’s shoes as often as you can, and you willbeabe er,kinderpersonwho will be helpful and supportive to others,” Ms. Hollings said.

In addition, students felt some activities in particular helped deepen their perception of each other.

“I think ‘Cross the Line’ was a bigactivitybecauseitreallyhelped peoplehaveavoiceandbeseenfor what they have gone through or aregoingthrough.Ithelpedusfeel not so alone,” Cancellarich said.

Itisforthatreasonstudentssaid they leave the day feeling validated and look back at the day for its healing and insight. Challenge Day is designed to give students time for reflection and insight on their peers, helping them understand what people might be dealing with on the inside.

“Overall,Ifeltalotofsympathy for those who went through and are going through rough times. I was sad but also happy to know that this day helped me and others,” Cancellarich said.

2 Hoofbeats April 2023 News
Members of the junior class show their spirit at Class Night with a “High School Musical” theme. (photos by Ava Kamlet)

inmates in various county, state, and federal prisons throughout America, Canada, and Europe, and to soldiers from the American Army andAir Force.

“I had to read each le er and book request from each inmate,” Darcourt said. “Being touched deeply by what I read through each le er and book request, I told Mr. Lee that I would like to wrap OHO Cards with the Buddhist books to encourage the recipients to continue learning and instill in them a sense of belonging despite whatever their situation may be.”

After the visit, Darcourt said he created the OHOLab as part of his not-for-profit Olifeclass.org with theintentionofconnectingwriting OHO cards, originally promoted within “Music and Meditation,” to even more places as a related initiative.

To kick-start the Lab, Darcourt started workshop at the North Merrick Public Library in the fall of 2021 for middle-schoolers and high-schoolers to earn community service hours.

“Seeing in the mini-workshops how fun and joyful OHO Lab was not only in connecting everyone but also creating a powerful purpose at the same time, I started to think about the possibility of an OHO Lab Club at Calhoun,” Darcourt said. “Then, one of my senior friends at the time, Colleen McGrath,who evencametooneof our library workshops, convinced me to bring my OHO Lab idea to Calhoun.”

Club members encourage otherstojoinandcontributetoagood cause, but also to experience the sense of social connection and belonging that OHO Lab Club promotes.

“OHOLabClubservesasastress reliever to me,” said junior Asra Iqbal. “Ending the day by making beautiful origami hearts and talking with my friends is relaxing to my soul. Also, knowing that I’m helping a person somewhere out intheworldmakesmerealizealot of things and just makes me want to become a be er person.”

During this past December break,membersoftheclubwentto the Chuang Yen Monastery to personally pack books for the “Free Book Distribution” program and witness first-hand the people their cardswould impact.

It was a great experience for the club numbers to read le ers from

the inmates themselves.

In addition to the “Free Book Distribution” program, OHO Lab has also collaborated with “Lowndes County 4H” to send cards to those in Ukraine during the onset of the Russian-Ukraine War in 2022, with NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital to send cards to patients and nurses, with AmeriCorps for the MLK and 9/11 Days of Service online, with Brookside High School’s “Twilight Program,” Roosevelt HighSchool’sLanguageClub,and Babylon Elementary School’s Buddy Club.

Outside of Calhoun, OHO Lab Club has sent over 5,300 OHO cards and raised over $3,000 through stands at the Merrick, WestHempstead,andMorleyPark street fairs and in concerts in Manha an, including “Make Music NewYork”in2019,2021,and2022.

In the future, ‘OHO Lab’ Club aims to hold pop-up OHO stand workshopsfeaturingartworkofits members at the Metropolitan Museum and at NYC libraries, public

schools (including the Broadway Presbyterian Church’s affiliate pre-school), and parks.

The OHO Lab Club serves to promotesocialconnectionthrough the act of making cards, cha ing about everyday bits of life in a group se ing, and the connection that is promoted between writer andrecipientofthecards.Theclub is always looking for new members who are interested in joining.

“OHO Lab Club should be a club that many schools offer. Not only does it provide community service opportunities, but it’s also asafespaceformanyofthepeople involved,” said junior Gabby Pernice said. “Giving back to those who want to change for the be er, there isn’t a more heartfelt feeling. You feel good about helping others, and you get people, like prisoners, on the right track again.”

News April 2023 Hoofbeats 3
OHO Lab Club members package books that are sent to inmates in county, state, and federal prison and to American soldiers.
(continued from page 1)
(photo by Asra Iqbal) Students visit the Chuang Yen Monastery near Cold Spring, New York. (photo by Asra Iqbal)

The kids in the hall:

Best thing about spring?

AlexAievoli - Sophomore

“Myabsolutefavoritethingtodo in the spring when it’s warm out is to get ice cream at Ralph’s Ices. Since Ralph’s is closed in the winter time, I always make sure to get my very first Ralph’s of the season almost as soon as they open. My

for some laughs and good times. Also, when all the spring sports are practicing outside at the same time, the vibes are always super positive.”

GabbyAievoli - Junior

“Going outside and spending time outdoors is always hard since we live in New York. Cold and rainy weather and sometimes

took in the views and the beauty and were just boys being boys. It was fun.”

Makayla Condela - Junior

“Once the weather hits 55 to 60 degrees, you can find me at the beach. My absolute favorite thing to do is goto thebeachin thesummer, so when the weather starts to warm, I try to take advantage of

somecute animals like squirrels or birds.”

Jia Bello - Sophomore

“Feeding ducks is seriously one of the most fun things you can do. Not only is it a great way to get outside and enjoy some fresh air, butit’salsosuperrelaxingtowatch the ducks swim around and chow down on some bread crumbs.

favorite flavor is the chocolate water ice, and since my friends work there, I love to go visit while they areworking.IalwaysgotoRalph’s with friends and family, and it is my favorite thing to do when the weather starts to get warm.”

Peter Thomann - Senior

“Playing lacrosse can be a ton of fun. It’s a fast-paced sport that requiresspeed,agility,andcoordination, but it’s also a great way to letlooseandhavefunwithfriends.

One of the best things about lacrosseisthat itcanbeplayedcasually, so you don’t have to be a pro toenjoyit.Whether you’replaying with a group of friends or joining alocal league, there’s alwaysroom

snow makes me want to stay inside all day. The best part about thespringtimeissimplybeingable to go outside and just enjoy fresh airandthesun.Ilovetogooutside and walk with my family or sit in the sun and tan with my friends.”

Keith Presti - Senior

“Something that I really enjoy doing once spring comes is to go hiking. I hike when I stay at my house in Pennsylvania and with my friends.

One time when we hadtraining camp for hockey, we were in New Hampshire, and one of the team bonding things we did was take a ski lift up a mountain and then climbdowntogetherasateam.We

theho erdaysandgotothebeach. Even though the water is still cold, jumping in and ge ing refreshed always feels good, and it’s even be er when the air is warm.”

Kellen Pryor - Senior

“One of my favorite spring activities is going for a picnic in the park. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the warmer weather and beautifulscenery.I love packing abasket full of delicious snacks, sandwiches, and drinks and finding a cozy spot under a tree.

It’s also a great opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family, playing games, or just lounging around. And if you’re lucky, you might even get to see

Plus, if you’re with friends or family, it’s a great bonding experience that everyone can enjoy together. I love when the baby ducklings are swimming around in thespring.”

Athena Silver - Senior “Flower picking is the perfect springtime activity to do with the girls. It is a fun way to spend time with your loved ones and connect withnature.Astheweatherwarms up, the flowers start to bloom, and the colors and scents are simply breathtaking. Going to all of the nature preserves or fields and seeing flowers is always a beautiful sight. You can even make a cute bouquet to decorate your room or give to someone as a gift.”

4 Hoofbeats April 2023 News
Alex Aievoli - Sophomore Gabby Aievoli - Junior Peter Thomann - SeniorKeith Presti - Senior Kellen Pryor - Senior Makayla Condela - Junior Athena Silver - Senior Jia Bello - Sophomore

Spring into new games

The Nintendo Switch has been Nintendo’s best-selling console sinceits 2017 release.

With defining launch releases such as “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and “Splatoon 2,” the Nintendo Switch has forever had to live up to the expectations of every Nintendo fan.

That is definitely the case with the upcoming release of “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom,” a sequel to “Breath of the Wild.”It was votedthemost anticipated game of the year, and with only months until its release, fans havetowonderifitliveuptotheir expectations.

Many new games are coming soon, including titles such as “Pikmin 4” and “Metroid Prime.”

The long-awaited release of “Pikmin 4” is set for July 21, and fans are elated to see a return for these small flower-like creatures. The hype has carried on for the months for this fun puzzlegame.

“MetroidPrime”isaremastering ofthe2002 GameCube first-person shooter game. The graphics have been enhanced for the Nintendo Switch, and early reviews say the game has amodern feel.

ThenewZeldatrailerhasshown many updates even since the last trailer from six months ago. New scenes have revealed the sky islands for the game, as well as new and returning monsters to this long-awaited game.

Nintendo surprised fans with new fully-voiced lines for Ganondorf. Although the voice actor from the trailer hasn’t been revealed, many have speculated that

Ma Mercer is the most plausible candidate for the job.

Gameplay footage of the Zelda game directed by EijiAunoma was alsoreleased.Init,fanswereintroduced to Link’s cool new abilities, and in a contrast to “Breath of the Wild,”hewasshowntohavemore ways of interacting with the open world. Throughnewabilitiessuch as ultrahand and fuse, players will be able to enjoy building vehicles

to traverse the vastness of Hyrule and fusing objects and weapons together to create new weapons with added bonuses and effects. Link is also shown to have new abilities of traversing. These include his ability to ascend through ceilings of caves and other structures. He is also able to rewind time to send objects back to previouspositions.Withthisnewgameplay, fans of the Zelda franchise are bubbling with excitement over what these new capabilities could entail for their experience.

A new Nintendo Switch OLED model based off this new Zelda game will be released on April 28. For $360, it features artwork from the game, as well as new exclusive joycons.

Nintendo also has news for Pokémon fans. Two new DLC packs for “Pokémon Scarlet and Violet”were announced. The DLC (downloadable content) packs have been dubbed “The Hidden Treasure ofArea Zero.”

TheDLCwillbereleasedintwo separateinstallments.Theyarethe Teal Mask, which is releasing in fall of 2023, and the Indigo Disk, which is being released in winter of2024. However,bypre-ordering now,youmayclaimafreeHisuian Zoroark and special clothes for your in-game customization.

Colture April 2023 Hoofbeats 5
Reviews of the remastered “Metroid Prime” say the game has a modern feel. (photo with permission from Nintendo of America Press Center) “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom,” a game scheduled for release in 2023, is a sequel to “Breath of the Wild.” (photo with permission from Nintendo of America Press Center)

Intheearly2000s,theworldwas gifted with a new genre of books and movies that quickly gained popularity.

These new stories took viewers and readers out of the normal world and placed them someplace completely different where something was amiss.

Dystopianworks presentanimperfect future to reflect on current social and political environments. The future society is usually portrayed in decline or in ruin, often from corporate, government, or technological control.

These books and movies were some of the greatest releases of their time, and I continuously go back and revisit them. It seems as if nothing today can compare to themasterpiecesoftheearly2000s.

“The Hunger Games” is one of the best dystopian franchises published as books and later released as movies. Wri en in 2008 by Suzanne Collins, the three-book series was made into four movies.

Nothing can compare to the emotional story of Katniss Everdeen, who is forced into an arena whereshe must fightother teenagers and kids to the death in order to return home to her sister, mother, and friends back in District 12.

The movies, starring Jennifer Lawrence, were extremely suc-

cessfulandcreatedahugefanbase thatrevolvedaroundthestoryand actors. In addition, the book series has sold over 100 million copies.

The success of both the movies and books was for obvious reasons: the lovable characters, the intense plotline, and the suspense generated throughout the story. Years later, the nostalgia for the time period and its political commentaryarealsowhata ractsnew fans, and the movies were just released on Netflix last month.

The movies are truly a roller coaster of emotions including heartbreakandfear.Thefirstmovieisamazing,butthestorydoesn’t end there. The next three films are equally as captivating and intense as the first. I would honestly tell every person to sit down and experience this franchisebecause it’s impossible not to get drawn in. I would do almost anything to be able to sit down and experience watching the movies for the first time.

Dystopian stories usually touch on controversial topics like oppression, inequality, and corruption, but they are a form of escape forthereaderand/orviewer.Many featureteenagersasthemaincharacters,whichisjustanotherreason people our age gravitate toward a character like Katniss.

Anotherdystopiansocietybook and movie series is the “The Maze Runner.” The first of the three

movies was released in 2014, starring Dylan O’Brien as Thomas. The chemistry between the actors on set is obvious while watching the films. It is hard not to love the cast; I even went as far to look up interviews of the cast on YouTube to see more of their chemistry and funny relationships.

The Maze Runner, wri en by James Dashner in 2008, is about a group of boys who are removed from their lives as children and placed into the Glade with no memory except for their names. Surrounding them is a maze, which seems impossible to solve since it’s constantly changing. Thomas seems to be the key to it

all,andhemotivatestheotherkids in the Glade to make achangeand a empt to escape what they’ve accepted as their new reality.

Eachofthethreemoviesandthe books contain a plot that will have you on the edge of your seat, anticipating what will happen next. Thehypethathadsurroundedthis franchise during the time of the releases was warranted because “The Maze Runner” is one of the best dystopian series created.

Otherdystopianfranchiseswith books and movies from that same time period include “The Divergent Series,” “The Giver,” The 5th Wave,” and “Ender’s Game.”

The “Divergent” series is another futuristic, post-apocalyptic story with a female teenager as its main character. Wri en in 2011 by Veronica Roth, the novel is similar to otherdystopianstories thatportray a power balancein society.

If movies similar to these were still being made, they would gain immense popularity and have the standing that they once did in the early 2000s. No ma er how serious the real world gets, readers candiveintoaworldofsciencefiction and see how characters ba le against the forces of evil.

It’s upse ing that this genre seems to have disappeared completely, or at the very least lost immense popularity. No recent movies seem to compare to the wonders of dystopian series, especially “The Hunger Games” and “The Maze Runner.”

Whether you want to start with thebooksorthemovies,thedystopiangenreis agreat waytoescape reality and get hooked by emotional storylines, great characters, and a roller coaster of emotions.

6 Hoofbeats April 2023 Colture
James Dashner’s dystopian novels were later turned into a successful movie franchise. Jennifer Lawrence stars in “The Hunger Games” films, a dystopian storyline wri en by Suzanne Collins. (photo with permission/Murray Close, Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

It’s a Sunday night. You’ve got no homework. Your favorite football team just got blown out, and your fantasy team is ge ing killed.

The game ends on CBS, and a show by the name of “60 Minutes comes”on.Li ledoyouknowyou arewatchingoneofthemostinformative shows in all of television history.

The world stops for an hour every Sunday night for millions to tune in to the CBS Network. They’ve dominated other news magazine broadcasts on TV. No individual show has come close to matching its success.

“60 Minutes” is a news magazineshowthatpresentsinteresting segments that deliver news, entertainment, sports, or anything else that’s happening in the world.

CreatedbyDonHewi ,theprogram debuted on September 24, 1968. Throughout its 55-year career, it has had a variety of different anchors, starting with original anchors Mike Wallace and Harry Reasoner.

“60Minutes”issogreatbecause theyreportthefactsonalldifferent topics. How do they do this? They go directly to the people. They’re interviewed everyone from world renowned figures Osama Bin Laden and Pope Francis to entertainers like Samuel L. Jackson and Eminem. They’ve even touched on the topic of sports by interviewing famous athletes Giannis Antetokounmpo and Charles Barkley. They truly have reached out to a variety of people.

Another facet that has led to the widespread a raction of the show is they keep their segments short and sweet. The 21st Century has an extremely short a ention span. It is often difficult for people to watch a show on one particular topic for an extended period of time. “60 Minutes” caters to this. Segments cover a wide variety of topics from politics to soccer with the time usually ranging from about 10 to 15 minutes.

Notonlyisittheinterestingtopics that keep people hooked, it’s also the tone of the show. There’s just something about the way the anchorstalkthatgetsyouinazone. If you ever get a chance, take five

minutes to listen. You will immediately know what people mean. This strategy has helpedkeep people intrigued by using a soothing, assertive sound. Background optics are an extremely underrated part of producing a show, and “60 Minutes” has aced thisparticularcategory. Their simple, yet nothing short of immaculate presentation has kept people hooked for decades.

One of the most famous anchors of “60 Minutes” ever had undoubtedly was Andy Rooney. He produced some of the most memorable quotes in the television era. One of them being, “Not many people in this world are as lucky as I’vebeen.All this timeI’ve been paid to say what isonmy mind on television.Youdon’t get any luckier in life than that.”

In this statement, Rooney completelydownplayedthehardwork he hadto put in to get to this point and taken a modest perspective.

Andy Rooney filled the world with wisdom during his 69 years active on television and 92 years on this planet until his death in 2011.

In another quote, he said to CNN, “The third rule of life is this: Everything you buy today is smaller, more expensive, and not

as good as it was yesterday.”

For its first seven years in existence, it had a bi-weekly time slot on Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. and at 10:00 p.m. on Tuesdays. However, after its rapid growth in popularity,ittookovertheSunday night slot at7:00 p.m. andhas held it ever since.

In 2002, “60 Minutes” was ranked No. 6 on TV Guide’s list of the 50 greatest TV shows of all time.Asof2021,“60Minutes”was the longest-running program of any genre in network prime time. There are even international versions of the show in countries like Australia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, and Chile.

“60 Minutes” has had some of

the most successful TV anchors ever,andforSeason55,thecurrent anchors include Sharyn Alfonsi, AndersonCooper,Sco Pelley,Jon Wertheim, Lesley Stahl, and Bill Whitaker.

Alltheseyearslater,“60Minutes” is still coming with nuances to be successful in the future. A feature on the CBS website is makingall“60Minutes”episodesfrom the previous month available to the public. This is a phenomenal idea as people who miss an episode are now able to catch up. It’s ideas like these that keep shows going for long periods of time.

It will be interesting to see what 60 Minutes does next to adapt to the new field of TV.

Colture April 2023 Hoofbeats 7
“60 Minutes” correspondent Sco Pelley (center) reports from Ukraine about the treatment of Ukrainian prisoners of war. (photo with permission/”60 Minutes,” Paramount Press Express) (photo with permission/”60 Minutes,” Paramount Press Express) Lesley Stahl (left) interviews Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Spring is a season that symbolizes renewal and growth in all aspects of life.

The best way to grow is to engageyourmindwithaclassicnovel. These classics include myriad genres, time periods, and philosophiesthataresuretobroadenyour mind and inspire new outlooks.

Wuthering Heights

“Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of WutheringHeights;whereIwokesobbing for joy.”

Although widely acclaimed as a love story of the ages, Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, is much more than a romance novel. The story follows the lives of two families living in Yorkshire, England, andtherelationshipbetween Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, two characters whose wealth and upbringing are set against each other.

Their interactions reveal harrowing truths about the role of class and religion in the Victorian era. Filled to the brim with Gothic imageryof themoorsof Yorkshire,

the novel’s dark descriptions provide a change of pace from the warm spring air.

Reading this on a rainy spring day will take you from the highest to the lowest of human spirits and back up again.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind. Nor hath love’s mind of any judgment taste; Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste: And therefore is love said to be a child, Because in choice heis so oft beguil’d.”

An enchanting tale of mistaken identities, mischievous fairies, and unrequited love, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare, is the quintessential spring read. Set in Athens, it chronicles the story of four young friends who find themselves in a forest. Unbeknownst to them, an entire world of magical creatures exists that seeks to manipulate and bend the human world.

Reading this on a cool spring night is sure to enhance your experience with the play and bring whimsical feelings of theseason.


“We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirl-

pools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a li le parenthesis in eternity.”

The mostmodernclassic onthis list, The Alchemist, by Paulo Cohelo, is the fantastical tale of a young Andalusian shepherd, Santiago, who embarks on a journey to retrieve treasure from the Egyptian tombs.ThereaderfollowsSantiago on his Hajj from the Spanish countryside to the Sahara desert as he interacts with the characters and oddities that propel his story forward. Although initially in search of gold, Santiago finds more than he could’ve ever dreamed of.

There is not a feeling in the world this novel does not touch on.Readingthiswillsurelyinspire your quest for knowledge as we enter the new season.

The Sorrows of Young Werther “Iamproudofmyheartalone.It is the sole source of everything, all our strength, happiness, and misery. All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own.”

If you’re looking for a tragic read, look no further than The Sorrows of Young Werther, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Although wri en in the romantic era, its

story resembles an ancient Greek tragedy. It’s the tale of a painfully earnest Werther, a young man who finds himself ensnared by a love he can not have.

Despite his sorrow, Werther’s never-endinghopeandpassionfor life invokes a freshness that mirrors thespringse ingofthenovel. No wonder it captured the hearts of so many Europeans at the time it was published.

The Secret Garden

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burne , perfectly captures the relentless spirit of people despite tragedy. The story surrounds a particularly unpleasant girl, Mary Lennox. Though initially introduced as arrogant and demanding, the reader comes to sympathize with Mary’s disposition and hope for her growth.

Although traditionally seen as a children’s classic, the novel explores many mature themes like thepowerofthemindandpersonal transformation.

These ingofthenovelperfectly represents spring, but the philosophical transformations that take place are truly what relate it to the season, where metamorphism is all around.

8 Hoofbeats April 2023 Colture

Daisy Jones a must-read

The 70s. An eclectic era with music icons like as Elton John, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, and so many more.

Iconssuchasthesehavedevoted fanswhowanttoknoweverything about them, but there’s always an air of mystery between an artist and their fans. That mystery is at the core of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s work of fiction, Daisy Jones and the Six, as the story presents as a tellall about the band of the decade, “The Six” and the up-and-coming singer Daisy Jones.

The book reveals all the drama and tension that was needed to make a great band and how Daisy Jones is intertwined.

My favorite part of the book is how it’s wri en. Although it may be hard to follow at first, it’s told similar to a documentary one might watch about an athlete’s career or a historical event.

The book is a flashback with the characters reflecting on their younger selves and offering their

interpretation of what happened over the years as the musicians skyrocketed to fame.

This creates complications, of course, as one person will say one thing happened and another person will describe something completely different, making the drama in the book feel way more realistic.

The entirety of the book is less ofastoryandmoreofabiography, which is something I really enjoy aboutit.Reidcreatesmulti-dimensional characters, and despite a lot of them making mistakes and bad decisions,therearestillpartsofme rooting for them.

The main characters, Daisy and Billy, are both deeply flawed and stubborn characters, but there was no point in the book where I wanted to stop reading because I didn’t like them.

Daisyisaneccentricperson,and it is pre y obvious when reading the book that what she says can be, at times, a bit fabricated. Billy, the other main character, can be arrogant and a know-it-all when it comes to music. The tension be-

tween them builds up and creates the arch of the story as the band’s career is on the rise.

The fact that other characters contradict both Daisy’s and Billy’s perspectives adds a layer to the story. It allowsthecharactersto all be redeemable in a way because we see their point of view and their motivation, but we also see their situations, and we can come to our own conclusion as to what the truth is.

TheinterviewstyleofReid’snarration allows for you to hear from the rest of the band and characters who interacted with them during the time the story occurred. For example, when discussing a song Daisy wrote, you hear from a music journalist who was reporting it at the time. Or you’ll hear from a photographer who was assigned to take a cover photo for a magazine article about the band.

You hear about the characters’ pasts and their hardships, and it uncovers why they acted the way they did and how it affected the history of the band.

If you wanted to know what it was like to be famous in the 70s and the music sceneback then, the book will fully wrap you up into that world. From the rise of disco music to partying with rock stars and performing at music festivals, the book reveals everything a rock star would be experiencing during this era of time. So many famous musicians were rising to stardom during this decade, and this book reallyfeelslikeyouarefollowinga few of them through their life.

As someone who is very interested in music, this book was a great way to encapsulate music, drama, and the overall decade of the70s.Ifyou’relookingforalight and easy spring read to get away from the Victorian literature that haunts you during AP season, this is definitely the book to go to.

There’s also aTVshowthat was developed fromthis booknowairing onAmazon Prime.

I personally find the book a lot moredevelopedthantheTVshow, but that’s a decision you can make once you read the book.

Colture April 2023 Hoofbeats 9

Asallofyourparents,aunts, uncles, and grandparents start asking the repetitive, “Have you thought about college yet?”or“Whatdoyouwanttomajor in?” at every family reunion, thetimehascometoactuallythink about those questions.

Our first normal school is officially coming to a close, and with lessthantwomonthsofschoolleft, juniors areabout to become thesenior class of 2024.

AshardasjunioryeariswithAP classes, the SATs, and more, there is still so much left to be done. How many colleges did you visit? Did youtake the SAT? What about theACT? What schools are a good fit for you? How do you apply for financial aid?

Allofthesescarythoughtsabout thenearfutureandallthehardthat has to be done can be easily put to rest.Withtheguidanceofyourup-

perclassmen friends who just finished the college admissions process and all of the Calhoun staff, theonlywaytofallbehindisifitis self-inflicted.

Don’t start stressing yet because there is plenty of time to make sure you can get ahead of thegame.Usingthesummergoing into senior year to start and planningwhatyourfuturewilllooklike is the most important step of all. If you haven’t go en your dream standardized test score or stepped foot on a college campus, you’rein luck becausethere are two months of complete free time to do both of these things and more.

First, you have to think of the environment that you will learn the best in, whether that may be small classes of 25 people or large lecture halls with up to 200 people

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Hoo eats

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Volume 65 No. 4 April 2023

Hoo eats is the official student newspaper of Calhoun High School. Hoo eats serves as a source to inform its readers of news and events and as a forum for the students of Calhoun to express their ideas and opinions. Hoo eats accepts le ers to the editor, but reserves the right to edit or refuse the publication of submissions. Le ers should be sent to the school or placed in the Hoo eats mailbox. All le ers must be signed and include a contact number for the writer. The paper also accepts advertisements for a fee, but reserves the right to refuse advertisements for any or no reason. The views expressed in Hoo eats do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the teachers, administrators, editors, or faculty adviser.

in them where the work is often self-guided.

Once you have that figured out, youcangoontoNavianceandadd all the colleges that you’re interested in. Having all varieties of schools is perfectly okay for those of you who aren’t quite sure where you fit in. The most important thing is be sure to do tons of research and have a list of colleges thatyouwilladdtoyourCommon App once it opens inAugust.

Next,makesureyou’veweighed your options of standardized testing. Submi ing test scores or being test optional are both acceptable routes to choose. Especially if you feel like you’re running out of time to get a good score, you will have up until the end of senior year winter to takeand submit test scores on time.

Last but not least, make sure to getyourle ersofrecommendation and write your college essays over the summer. Do not wait until the fall to complete the many essays youwillhavetowrite.Brainstorm, write different versions, and edit them all.

The most stressful part ofsenior year is when all the application deadlines are due with supplemental essays in addition to the regular college essay. Make sure to thank your teachers for writing your recommendation le ers, and registerthemonNaviance,aswell. Whilethesearen’ttheonlysteps of the college application process, it is important to remember that the entire journey is self-guided. You are responsible for how well your applications are put together and staying on top of deadlines, so do the right thing and use your limited time wisely.

Phones away

Can you go a day without your phone?

There are so many reasons why our generation cannot put their phones down. We are always on them, and research backs this up.

A 2016 Common Sense Media Report found that 50 percent of teens feel addicted to smart phones, while 59 percent of parents surveyed believed that kids are addicted to their devices.

From social media to texting to YouTube,itseemswehaveaphone in our hands at all times.

Asidefrombeingatcamp,Ihave never gone a full day without my phone. Even when my friends and Iarehangingout,wealwaysgoon our phones when we get bored.

SinceIwas10yearsold,Istarted going to sleepaway camp in New Hampshire. I went with two of my best friends from back home, and we would look forward to it all year long.

Whenwewouldgettocamp,we would need to turn in our phones. IfIhadmyphonewithmeatcamp, I would not have had as much fun as I did. In the beginning of the summer, it was weird not having my phone with me, and I always would leave my cabin feeling like I forgot something.

But not having my phone allowed me to meet new people and

enjoymytimethereawayfromlife backhome.I wasn’t worried about anything else that was going on back home or on social media. It showed me how much we are all a ached to our phones and how we don’t know life without the internet. Being at camp also gave me ali lepreparationforgoingtocollege and being able to somewhat liveon my own.

As technology and social media start to become more popular, the younger the kids are ge ing who are exposed to it. When I was young, I was never playing on my parents’ phones as much as kids are doing now. This is why kids could be more addicted to their phone than we are.

Whenever I have kids I don’t want their childhood to be filled with them playing on a phone or an iPad instead of playing with toys or playing outside like my generation did when we were younger.

My experience without having a phone was not as bad as you would think it would be. It ended up being enjoyable, and you can have a great day, especially if you are in the right se ing like I was with my friends.

I believe you and your friends should try going a whole day without your phones together while hanging out. You will have so much more fun with each other and without your phones.

10 Hoofbeats April 2023 Editorial

Stop the Willow Project

The Willow Project is virtually unnecessary and needs to be stopped.

The project is a $6 billion proposal to drill for oil and gas in Alaska.Theapprovaloftheproject will only allow our government to continue to sit on the fence about environmentalism because they are deemedas “safe enough.”

Although the project is estimated to create 2,500 jobs during construction and 300 permanent jobs, government greenwashing will

only go on as long as we let it.

TheWillowProjecthasbeenproposed by ConocoPhillips, which is the only energy company drilling for oil in Alaska. Controversy on this infamous proposal has arisen in the past several weeks as it was recently approved by the Biden administration. Many people were taken by surprise after there was a promise to end oil drilling on federal land, but this promise seems to beempty.

At the COP27 Conference, the United States said it would hit its climatecommitmentsandshareits progresswiththerestoftheworld.

Atthisconference,PresidentBiden said, “If countries can finance coal in developing countries, there’s no reason we can’t finance clean energy in developing countries.”

This seems to be counterintuitive when the project is estimated to release 260 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Logically, it would make the most sense to invest in renewable resources, which would be more dependable in thelong run.

Over time the land will be left barren and new fossils won’t be formed in our lifetime. Oil drilling won’t end until every last drop of oil is extracted from the ground. Eventually, the excessive drilling will lead to the demise of oil-reliant companies. Researchers say Willow will lead to irreversible effects on climate change.

In some ways, President Biden had no real choice in the situation. Previously,theTrumpadministration had approved the campaign with five drilling pads; through the Biden administration, it was reduced to three. It would have been illegal to reject or drastically reduce the project because ConocoPhillips had valid leasing on the land. If the project happened to be rejected, the Biden administrationwouldlikelybemetwithlegal action and tremendous fines, in which case ConocoPhillips could use the money to build the plant themselves.

There aren’t many expected benefits of The Willow Project compared to the u er destruction it will cause. It may reduce foreign relianceonoilandcreatea “muchneeded” economic boost for Alaska. What they won’t tell you is the Nuiqsut, the closest native town to the plant, will go hungry because constructionisruiningthehabitats of animals vital to their diets.

The plant is meant to hold 600 million barrels of oil and will also create a boost in domestic energy production.Newrevenuewillsupposedly be used for the improve-

ment of health care and education systems, though it will be difficult toenjoyallthesebenefitswhenthe ground is crumbling right beneath our feet while we stand by and watch as innocent bystanders.

At its peak Willow is estimated to produce 180,000 barrels of oil per day, which will emit upwards of 260 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That means per year around 8,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide will be released. For reference the average American has a carbon footprint of 16 tons. For the best chances of minimizing the effects of global warming, the average annual carbon footprint needs to drop to 2 tons before 2050.

Inthepastcentury,thetemperature has risen 33 degrees Fahrenheit and is expected by NASA to warmalmost20percentfasterthan normal.Ofcourse,noneofthisisof any concern to ConocoPhillips. In reality, ConocoPhillips has never andwillnevercareaboutthenegative impact of the things that they do. As long as money is being put into their pockets, they feel free of any and all moral obligations.

This will, however, affect you. Intense heat waves, rising sea levels, the collapse of ecosystems, and lack of food production are all effects of global warming. The Willow project will only intensify these issues.

Every aspect of life will be affected: clean air, proper nutrition, and safe drinking water. ConocoPhillips will never have the consumer’s best interest in mind, and in this unfortunate case, it is important to remember that clean energy is available in other areas.

Currently, scientists are working to undo the effects of global warming, but it takes more than scientists; it takes the will of the people.

The Willow Project will create consequences that neither scientists nor the will of the people can ever fix.

Editorial April 2023 Hoofbeats 11
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DECA won over 80 awards at its regional competition, and three groups moved on to the international level. (photos by Sara Mascitelli)


Should colleges consider legacies?

Legacies help both students and schools

Colleges consider many factors when deciding whether or not to accept prospective students.

One of those factors is the legacy — a student with a parent or relative who graduated from the institution to which the student is applying.

The practice of legacies began 100 years ago in the 1920s within the admissions process, specificallyatDartmouthandYale.Inthe present day, the consideration of legacieshasgrownanddoesplaya role in the acceptances of students inprestigiousinstitutionslikeHarvard and Cornell.

Althoughtheacceptanceoflegacieshascomeunderfire,itbenefits both the student and the university in many ways.

As seniors are entrenched in applying to schools, they know how rigorous the process can be. Between grades, standardized tests, extracurricular activities, and essays, colleges use so many factorstoconsiderastudentforacceptance. Students need any li le edge they can get.

Ifyouthinkthatlegacystudents only get accepted to college based on their relatives, you would be wrong. With as few as 10 percent of spots reserved for legacy applicants,candidateshavetoworkjust as hard as any other applicant and against other legacies. Institutions like Harvard, Yale, UPenn,and more only accept nearly perfect students.

The criteria for acceptance includes a 4.0 or higher GPA, almost perfectSATscore,andalonglistof extracurricular activities. The legacy student has to have the same drive, work ethic, and resume as their peers to be accepted into these schools and will not just be accepted because of who they are or the family they come from.

The pride and interest in one’s school plays a major role in the acceptances of applicants, specifically at certain prestigious institutions. Legacy students are a great addition to a college or university in that they may come from a long line of individuals who are now alumni. The family is already familiar with the college, and the college knows they are ge ing a youngpersonwhohasavestedinterest in a ending.

Elitist tradition holds us all back

This, in turn, allows for families to consider the college in their younger relative’s life as a stepping stone in their bright future to come. A ending an institution thatapreviousfamilymemberhas a ended also makes the move-in process and overall experience away from home easier.

A key factor in keeping an elite institutionrunningisthedonations it receives from outside sources, and a main financial source to these institutions is from legacy families. Prestigious universities frequentlydefendlegaciesinorder tokeepthelevelofdonationshigh. Schools believe legacy admissions increase loyalty to the institution and, therefore, make alumni more likely to donate.

Alumni not only donate their money, but they also donate their time and energy to school functions, reunions, sporting events, and more.

WilliamFi simmons,whoisthe Harvard dean of admissions, repeatedly defends Harvard’s preferential treatment of the children of alumni and donors. In a recent BuzzFeed News article, Fi simmons called legacies “essential to Harvard’s well-being. It is important for the long-term strength of the institution to have the resources we need.”

Beyond the monetary support, legacies create a connection to the past that enriches the university andthefamilies.Thoughastudent might only a end college for four years, the connection one makes with a college can last a lifetime. From meeting friends to making business connections, the college from which you graduate will impact your future in many ways.

Depending on your major and career, networking could play a big part in finding a job. Alumni often go out of their way to help those with whom they share the common bond of college.

Mitchell Stevens, an author and StanfordUniversityprofessor,told TheAtlanticthatschoolsrecognize this bond and want to create lifelong connections.

“Schools strive to build clanlike emotional connections with students and graduates,” he said, “partly so that wherever in the world those people are, they give some special deference or recognition to others who hold that identity.”

A college legacy is an elitist notion that is rooted in wealth.

This is how families get into the same school generation after generation. In these institutions, including private Ivy League schools, the price of one year of schooling is insanely expensive, already catering to the wealthy.

Students work hard trying to get perfect grades while balancing extracurriculars and jobs to show thattheyarewell-rounded,perfect candidatesfortheschoolstowhich they apply. With up to 25 percent of spots reserved for legacy applicants, this gives these hardworking students an unfair disadvantage in the admissions process.

College should be for anyone who deserves to be admi ed — not for students with a parent or relative who happened to go to that school.

The idea of legacies dates back to the 1920s. At this time mainly wealthy males went to college. This led to wealthy families establishing legacies at different colleges and Ivies such as Harvard or Dartmouth pu ing first-generation college applicants at a major disadvantage in the college admissions process even today.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, legacy preferences reinforce long-standing economic, social, and educational disparitiesbetweenwhitestudents and students of color by shu ing them out of spots in universities and further privileging wealthy, whitestudentswithmoreaccessto resourcesandinstitutionalconnections.

Thisisjustoneofthereasonsthe ACLU advocates ending legacy admissions to help achieve greater education equity. They believe legacy admissions act more as an exclusionary barrier to people of color, low-income, and first-generation students at colleges and universities.

In fact, theACLU estimates that legacy applicants are given a substantialadvantageovernon-legacy applicants, on average amounting to a 160 point increaseon the SAT. We change rules as we advance in society. There have been hundreds of changes and advancements made since the 1920s, and college legacies should change, as

well. This is one “tradition” that holds us back as a society. If we want to move forward, we need to get rid of traditions like these as they discriminate against people who might not have had these opportunities.

A bill introduced in Congress last year might put this practice to an end. According to the Associated Press, a proposal by Democrats would prohibit preferences forchildren of alumni ordonors at colleges that receive federal money. One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Jamaal Bowmann, D-NY, told the AP legacies give an extra boost to predominantly white and wealthy students while “leaving out millions of Black and brown kids.

“Therehasbeenashiftintheconsciousness of the country around issues of inequity and inequality,” Bowmann said to theAP. “There’s a real yearning to right the wrongs of our past.”

For the successof our society, it is important that people receive a college education, so that we can create a knowledgeable and educated society. The use of college legacies in the admissions process takes away spots from others that should be able to gain a high level education.

Withonly42percentoftheUnited States population having a college degree, not everyone is going to have a family member to make them become a legacy. Kids growing up in a household with only one parent with a college degree ornoparentswithacollegedegree are once again at a disadvantage.

Specifically at highly competitive schools, legacies highlight the importance of a family name over other aspects of an applicant. These include the number of extracurriculars, grades, and college essays.Studentswhosefamiliesdo not have a previous college degree are put at a disadvantage by having legacy programs at colleges.

More and more colleges have agreedtorejectthelegacypractice, including six of the Top 10 universities in the world, according to U.S. News & World Report. The six schools are MIT, UC Berkeley, Oxford, CalTech, Cambridge and University of Washington.

It’s time for all schools to stop givingselectstudentsanunfairadvantage. Legacies should not play a role in the college admissions process.

12 Hoofbeats April 2023 Editorial

As a Muslim woman living in Merrick, I feel a li le unnoticed. It’snosecretthatI’maminority, especially in Merrick. There isn't a whole lot of Muslim representation — let alone representation of people of color — but that’s a different conversation for a different day.

The holy month of Ramadan just ended, though you probably didn’t know that. I don’t blame you. Where would you even hear it? It’s not like local schools give any support or recognition to the students who partake or to the month in general.

That is just part of the problem, but it would be a start.

I think the school could do more to acknowledge the fact it's Ramadan. I’m not asking for an award or for everyone to get on their knees, but I think maybe a li le shout-out on the morning an-

nouncements would be cool. An Instagram post would be cool, too. We get Instagram posts for holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, Presidents' Day, and Earth Day so I don’t know what would hurt to post something about Ramadan.

Although there are few people in this school who partake, those people deserve to feel somewhat noticed. Islam is the second most poplar religion in the world and the fastest growing religion in the world. When you consider that Ramadan is a month long, that's a long time to go without any recognition.

I moved here from Queens, where holidays and celebrations and practicing of all religions and cultures were acknowledged one way or another. I think that’s why Ramadan being ignored stood out to me so much.

I’mnotsayingithastobeadvertisedoranything,butali lerecognitionwouldbenice.Perhapseven

a li le education? Non-Muslim students will be leaving Merrick andgoingintotheworkplaceorto college.Shouldn'ttheyknowmore about it?

For instance, fasting for Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. During Ramadan I’m not eating or drinking anything from dawn to sunset. I’m waking up in the middle of the night for my last meal. I stay up late to pray, and sometimesIdon’thaveawholelot of energy.

However,justtoshowhowli le people know, in one of my classes, theywerehavingafoodpartyona Friday.Thereare notonebut three Muslim kids in this class, and not once was anything said about Ramadan.

Maybe the teacher and the students didn't know that it’s Ramadan, but that’s exactly what I’m trying to say: how don't you know? That’s just being uneducated in my opinion.

If something were said more

often on the morning announcements like “Wish everyone a happy and healthy Ramadan for the month,” teachers, students, and staff would know and would be aware.

Even people I am friendly with are kind of ignorant about the fact that it was Ramadan. I get that they’re not observing it, so they don’t understand what it’s like, but you don’t have to be ignorant about it. I feel like sometimes they ask out of pocket questions.

I wish that I had more Muslim friends. There’s nothing I can do about that now, but it would be nice to be able to relate.

When I lived in Queens, I had a good amount of Muslim friends. I was able to talk to them and break my fast with them, and they just got it.

Just because you don’t celebrate something doesn’t mean you should completely ignore it. There'saworldofpeopleoutthere even in your own neighborhood.

Editorial April 2023 Hoofbeats 13
Let me entertain you
(photos by Daniella Knigin) The On Tour Company wrapped up its performance of the show, “Gypsy,” starring Amanda Falls as the lead.

Recruiting process

To the Editor:

After readingSofiaMescolo o’s article, [“On another level,” News, February 2023], I came away with new tips on college recruitment.

Going through the process myself,Ifounditinterestingandreassuring that people one year older have gone through the same thing and cameout successful.

As Jill Conlon and Ella Maldonado said in the article, recruitment is stressful, especially when coaches are only paying a ention to you for a short period of time. Though this could be a nervewracking experience, you have to make the best of it. Even if you makeamistake,coacheslookmore for what you do afterwards, how you pick yourself up, or how you carry yourself.

Maldonadostressedthat people need to make sure they keep going even when it gets hard. In the back of an athlete’s head is always the thought that maybe they are not good enough, but there are so many schools out there that if one school doesn’t want you, there’s another one that will.

But as Jack Keene stated, it is a lot of work to go through this process, and even once you do commit, you need to keep ge ing better to prepare for when you do get to the next level.Whatever game it

Surf’s up

is,it’sfasterandwithlessroomfor error. Unlike on your high school teams or local travel teams, everyone is at the same level as you, andyouhavetocompeteeveryday for a spot. You have to be ge ing be er every single day because, as Keene stated, there is someone else out there trying to achieve the same goal as you.

The process is so stressful tryingto findaschoolthatis aperfect fit academically, as well as somewhere that I can be successful at my sport. The advice included in this article has been helpful in ensuring me that what is meant to be will happen, and that all the stress will be worth it in the long run.

Hollywood heroines

To the Editor,

As a passionate fan of Marvel movies and the superhero genre, whenIsawLondonBasco’sarticle, [“Fighting in latex,” Colture, February2023],Iknewimmediatelyto comment on it.

Even when I was younger, I always noticed the odd dressing choices for the female characters in superhero movies. Why were theyalwaysbarelycovered?Isthat practical for fighting? Why do the men get to be covered in armor, and appropriate fighting a ire? Why are women always so over-


One example I remember is Wonder Woman. She was ge ing shotatfromallangles;meanwhile, she was standing there with her armsandlegscompletelyexposed, basicallybeingcoveredasmuchas abathingsuitwouldcover.There’s no way those small cuffs on her arms are protecting her when half of her body is exposed. How was she not ge ing hit? The answer to that question is, objectification.

Even though her costume is completely unrealistic, the movie industryneedstopleasetheirmale audience and make every female character have “sexual appeal.”

This article was eye-opening, and I agree with its message. Male characters are always given depth, background, and a valiant purpose. Meanwhile the female characters are viewed as “foxy” or “seductive.”

There is almost always a scene in superhero movies when the female character needs to use her “womanlya ributes”to seducean enemy. For example, in “Suicide Squad” Harley Quinn is dancing in a glass case at a club. The Joker whistles for her to come to him and says, “Come to daddy,” using her as an object for him to get his way with an enemy. Why do we need to portray women in such an objectified light? Why must we fetishize every single aspect of a


Male characters can be undeveloped and unnecessary, but the female characters will always receive more hate. The hatred toward Captain Marvel really shows theblatantmisogynythatoursociety displays. “Oh my goodness! A female character who is complex, and given a respectable backstory and isn’t reliant on a man. How profane! Marvel is ruining the industry with such women. Women are polluting this genre.”

Captain Marvel is a confident superhero with powerful abilities. But to viewers, she is annoying and self-righteous. Our society is so male dominated and filled with contempt for the female gender that whenever a female character may have a characteristic that is flawed or unlikeable, she should have never been created. Meanwhile, arrogant, rude characters such as Tony Stark are idolized simply because heis a man.

And, to put the cherry on top, every female character has to have a love interest. Can you think of a singleheroine,orevenavillainess, whodoesn’thavealoveinterestor isn’t motivated by a man or being a mother? She is always reduced to the people around her. Always recognizedasthewomanwho“belongs” to someone else. And this concept that is clearly displayed in the Hollywood industry shows what our society believes in.

ElizabethOlsen,whoplaysScarlet Witch, had issues with her suit. Scarlet Witch in the comics is typically dressed in a very “scandalous”outfitwiththesolepurposeof being fan service to the male readers. However, Olsen spoke about her issue with the costume and that it was completely impractical. She said that the neckline was too low, exposing her cleavage, and that she hopes something will be doneabouttheblatantsexismwith female superheroes’ wardrobes.

Hopefully, change will be made becausewomenshouldnothaveto feellikethis.Theyshouldnothave to be put in costumes that make them feel degraded. One would think it would be common sense that an actress would have a say in what she gets to wear. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Even though many have stated their disapproval of Hollywood’s blatant sexism, there has not been enoughchange.Adjustmentsmust be made to our current society, for theyoungwomen,who areourfuture.

14 Hoofbeats April 2023 Editorial
— Gianna Grewal, Class of ‘24 Senior girls are all smiles in their “Teen Beach Movie” themed shirts for Class Night. (photo by Evalice Colon)

Lining up with the best

After winning the conference title and making it to the Nassau County finals, the varsity girls’ softball team is back a vengeance.

With returning Head Coach Mike Pisano, the Lady Colts have a record of 5-4 in the county’s top conference with softball powerhouses MacArthur, East Meadow, and Massapequa.

Last year the team secured the Conference II title. They defeated Wantagh and Island Trees in the playoffs and swept MacArthur in the County semifinals two games to none. However, in the Nassau County finals, the Colts fell to Mepham.

Now in Conference I, all the players, including junior Gianna Nicastro, have high expectations for the season.

“I think that it will definitely be a ba le this year, considering that wemovedupto ConferenceI.Iexpect a lot of wins this season and ge ing to the Long Island Championship,” she said.

With last year’s graduating seniors,theLadyColtslostsomekey players that added to the team; however, coming back this year, they have returning juniors and seniors: Izzy Pagano, Johanna Esposito, Gabriella Facciponti, Emily Maresca, Kate Kenny, Nicastro, Gia Pisicchio, Gianna Haniff, Gianna Lucchi, Ashleigh Coyne, and Shannon McGuire.

Therearealsosomenewplayers that have been added to the team, including freshman Ruthie Small and juniorAvaGuiliano.

The full roster of players look to ba le it out on the field to bring home another title this season in a different conference.

“I believe the goal the team is focusing on most is to return to counties and win,” Pisicchio said. “We had an amazing run last season, but we came up short.”

All eight league games this year have been competitive, as was the 1-0 non-league win against Division.

Small drove in Nicastro in the top of the eighth inning for the only run of the extra inning game. Nicastro also struck out six to get the win, and Esposito finished the game for thesave.

One key to the team’s success is the amount of talent on the roster. The Lady Colts have many assets that contribute to their placement among the best teams in Nassau.

“Our team has immaculate talent, communication, and positive a itudes. We always know how to havefun,andweareseriousabout the game,” Kenny said.

Nicastro conveyed the same message as Kenny, saying, “We all have so much energy and love for the game that practicing together makes us feel ready and confident for the games.”

Twokeywinsearlyintheseason came against district rivals.

Pisicchio went 3-for-4 with a single, double, and home run in the 11-1 victory against Kennedy. Haniff had two hits and four RBIs.

Pisicchio stayed hot at the plate when the Lady Colts defeated Mepham, 5-2. She was 2-for-3 with two doubles. Facciponti singled and drovein two runs.

The chemistry on this team is hard to miss, as Facciponti, said.

“We have all been playing together since we were in Li le League, and because of this, we knoweachother’stendencies,”she said.“Ifsomeoneisdown,thenext person is there to pick them up.”

Thisis areally important way that the team can have sustained success and balance between one another. Many of them have been able to grow up together and watch each other improve year after year.

Coyneagreed,adding,“Wehave allbeenplayingtogetherforavery longtime,whichallowsustowork very well with each other.”

With this motivation and commitment to the team, there is no doubt that the Lady Colts will have many accomplishments to look forward to in the near future.

Anotherkeyvictorycameagainst Massapequa. Esposito pitched a complete game with 13 strikeouts in the 12-3 home victory.

Nicastro hit twohome runs and had five RBIs. Coyne went 3-for-4 with two runs, and Pisicchio had two hits and three RBIs.

As the season began, the girls said thereareplentyof thingsthey are anticipating.

“I am looking forward mostly toourrivalrygames,Mephamand Clarke, as well as games where we play teams that I have [travel] teammates on, Plainview and MacArthur,” Pisicchio said.

Facciponti added, “One team goal I’d like to achieve is beating teams that we haven’t beaten in the past two years, such as Clarke and Mepham. We need to prove ourselves and show that we can win in Conference I.”

The main goal the Lady Colts have is to win. The rivalries are definitely going to spice up the girls’ season and allow them to make another big playoff run.

Strong league wins against teams like Syosset will help that run.Thegirls defeatedSyosset,7-3, on theroad.

Nicastro pitched a complete game and had eight strikeouts. Giuliano had two hits and drove in two runs.

The Lady Colts dedicatedthemselves this past off-season with non-stop training and practicing, making sure they would have a spot in the playoffs.

“Our offensive game improved greatly due to long hours ge ing swings in,” Coyne said.

Kenny added, “We had winter workouts twice a week. We worked on hi ing, fielding, and bullpens.”

Thatworkpaidoffimmediately in the league season opener when they defeated Oceanside, 9-1.

Esposito struck out seven and drove in two runs with a double.

Small went 3-for-3, including her first home run, and drove in three runs. Coyne had a pinch-hit double and three RBIs, and Pagano doubled in two runs.

Sports April 2023 Hoofbeats 15
Gia Pisicchio takes her turn at bat against Clarke High School in a league game. (photo by Ava Giuliano) Junior Gianna Nicastro (photo by Ava Giuliano)

Picking up right where they left off last season, the boys’ lacrosse team has come out of the gates firing on all cylinders to begin the 2023 campaign.

The Colts started with a bang withthreestraightwins,averaging a stunning 16 points per game. A three-game tournament in December along with two long months of pre-season during the cold winter has instilled a grit in this year’s team that have prepared the boys and led to high hopes.

The team reached the Nassau County finals last year for the first timesince1987afterdefeatingMacArthur in the semi-finals.

They are hoping this early season heat will last the entire spring, With a 6-2 overall record, the boys are ready for theregular season.

“I believe the strengths of this team are our depth and competitiveness,” said senior Peter Thomann.

After a few key players graduated, there was adversity rearranging the plays and depth chart. However, Head Coach Jim Feminella has done it again by creating a new rotating system of a multitude of new players, making it almost impossible for other teams to predict what the Colts’ next move will be.

According to senior Jayden Finkelstein, “We have extremely high goalsasateamforthisseason.Last season was a step in the right direction, making the county championship, but this year we want to take it to the next step and win the championship.”

Everyyearboys’lacrossedreams of finally securing a county title — something the team has never done. This year the stars are aligning. Many other teams have lost the majority of their star players, and Calhoun has remained strong

withsevenreturningstartersanda long-standing team chemistry that has continued to be built on.

Going into the season not even rankedinthetop20teamsonLong Island,theboyshavealreadystarted drumming up of noise.

The Colts are often referred to as the underdogs; however, they have a talented team and have put in an extreme amount of work during the off season.

Astheytookonteamssuspected tobeofhighercompetitioninnonleaguegameslikeIslandTreesand Lynbrook,theColtsblewthemout of the water.

They defeated Island Trees, 1810, powered by Jake Lewis, who had five goals and three assists. Jayden Finkelstein and Harley Finkelstein each had three goals and three assists,andA.J.Molinari scored four goals.

In the away game against Lynbrook, the Colts breezed to a 14-1 win. Molinari had four goals and an assist, and Lewis scored two goals and had three assists. Thomann added three goals and an assist, and Ryan Menghi won 17 out of 17 faceoffs.Goalie Mark Restivo stopped eight shots.

The Colts also demolished Hewle in a swift 16-4 win after losing to the Bulldogs in theprevious season.

A ention now turns to the regular season, and there are a few gamesahead thatplayersarelooking forward to.

“The two games that stick out themostonourscheduleareSouth Side and Garden City. Both of these teams are very tough opponents, but we are looking forward totoughcompetition,”JaydenFinkelstein said.

One thing that is highly notable abouttheteamdynamicistheability of Coach Feminella and Assistant Coaches Catapano and Starke to bring out a drive in the team that is unlike any other.

“I would describe my experience as joyful, electric, and fun. I’veloved every secondofbeingin this program, but we’re not done yet,” Thomann said.

Electric is definitely a word to describe the members of the team. The boys really know how to amp each other up, whether it’s from the sidelines or on the field. They have incredible ability to make the crowd go crazy and prove everyone who doubts them wrong.

Whetherit’s playinghigh intensity music as a pre-game ritual or scoring the winning goal in overtime, the team is always electric and ready for more.

by Julia Baguiao Sports Editor Ma Araneo defends against Hewle in an early season home game as the Colts begin their 2023 campaign. (photo by Julia Baguiao)
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