Page 1

A-Merrick-an Idol Calhoun junior is headed to Hollywood first experience in the spotlight. For years he could be seen performing at local events, talent shows, and school concerts all in preparation for this big moment. Not only has Rosen been performing for live audiences, but he has utilized the Internet to get his voice heard by thousands of viewers. His YouTube channel has over 74,000 views and his video “Make it Through” for the Sophia’s Cure Foundation reached over 13,000 views since October. Like his online videos, Rosen’s

appearance on the popular television show certainly did not go unnoticed by the Merrick community. Within minutes of the airing of his rendition of “Yesterday” by the Beatles for American Idol judges, Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler, phones were buzzing and Facebook newsfeeds were flooded with praise for the local singer, and everyone seemed to know the name Robbie Rosen. Not only were members of the (see IDOL on page 13)

Health fair

(with permission from

Rosen, 16, impressed the judges and made it through to Hollywood week.

by Ashley McGetrick Staff Writer

Junior year is arguably the most crucial for high school students, packed with SATs, driver’s ed, and everything in between. But for Robbie Rosen, junior year means much more than any transcript could ever portray. Last August, Rosen, along with

thousands of other hopeful contestants, went to the American Idol auditions at New Jersey’s Izod Center with hopes of being the next big thing in the music world. For Rosen, this was no last minute decision. Since the age of 7 he had been patiently awaiting the day he turned 16 to be eligible to start his Idol journey. And this is certainly not Rosen’s

Students take the lead in class page 2

(photo by Dana Reilly)

Freshmen Emily Tenenbaum and Lauren D’Archangelis performed with show choir at the health fair.

Is prom worth the drama? page 12

Girls’ hoops on playoff push page 14



February 2011


Learning to be leaders by Emily Wrynn Editor-in-Chief

Now in its second year at Calhoun, the Leadership Class features a unique and interactive approach to community service and emphasizes the development of strong personal character. “The objective is to help develop leadership skills within the student body,” said Social Studies teacher Brian Joyce, who teaches the class. According to Mr. Joyce, Principal David Seinfeld pitched the idea and asked him to write the curriculum and teach the class. Mr. Joyce explained that Mr. Seinfeld “identified a need for more active leadership among the students.” The class focuses on giving back to the community in a practical and meaningful way. Students

take on individual community service projects, which they run from start to finish, on their own. The objective is to encourage students to assume authority and exercise independent judgment. Most recently, the class collected toys throughout the month of December and donated them in a visit to the pediatric floor of the Nassau University Medical Center. Junior Talia Charidah, who was enrolled in leadership class during the fall semester, indicated that, “It was everything I expected, because I really wanted to do community service that I could take on myself,” she said. “It was really rewarding because we did things like food drives which were really hands-on.” Although it is a half-year course, the class does not fall short in edu(see LEARNING on page 5)

(photo by Alex Foley)

April Strommer, Kelly Gallo, Carley Singer, Kimberly White, and Mr. Brian Joyce at the Pediatric Unit of the Nassau University Medical Center.

(photo by Alex Foley)

(photo by Alex Foley)

David Cervone and Michael Barry visit with a patient at the hospital.

Alexa Weinblatt and Nicole Simmons bring holiday joy to a baby.

Leaks continue to be a problem by Kara Iskenderian News Editor

After a long winter of snow, rain, sleet, and ice, the roof of the building is having a bit of trouble keeping up. Leaks are springing up in classrooms on all three floors causing minor disturbances and major annoyances for staff, students, and administration alike. After many leak issues last year, including the collapse of the art

room ceiling, students expressed their hopes that the administration would have taken better care of the problems. “After the art room problems, I didn’t think I’d be finding more leaks around the school” said senior Celine Katzman. Teachers, like Mr. Jay Kreutzberger, have faced many disturbances from leaks in his classroom, number 129. He stated that “there were a couple of days I’ve had to change classrooms but there have

been no major disruptions.” He later added, “It certainly distracts everyone when you hear water drips from the ceiling.” Although the leaks have popped up across the school, Principal David Seinfeld said the administration has taken care of as many problems as possible. In room 129 the custodial staff quickly solved the problem but only days later ”buckets were just placed under the leaks,” Mr. Kreutzberger said.

Senior Evan Suval said, “It’s strange having a class huddled around buckets in the center of the room. It makes you wonder what kind of bad shape the buildings in.” On the topic of more long-term leaking problems the library, for example, has shown significant improvement from previous years. Principal Seinfeld said, “The library has been one of our biggest issues, and it’s about 100 percent (see LEAKS on page 4)


February 2011



All’s well at the Health Fair musical abilities with Rock Band. These video games occupied the students, but they were also used The annual health fair offered a method to encourage teens to something for everyone, from free get up and be active. Many peofood to rock climbing. ple had a great time playing and A unique feature of the fair was shared some laughs because some the interactive video games that people don’t have the “technique” lined the walls of the gym. Stu- to play virtual bowling. dents took turns playing with Wii The rock wall, often neglected controllers, or showing off their in the gym, was a main hub of this year’s fair. Island Rock, a rock-climbing company located in Plainview, sent employees to assist students in scaling the wall. Students got the chance to climb the rock wall and make their way to the top. It was difficult and an enduring challenge, but many succeeded. Several Merokian merchants turned out to let students try their food or services. Souper Fry, a popular eatery among the student body, set up a booth with light snacks, proving that the restaurant has an array of healthy meals to offer. Event organizer Ms. Keri Cinelli noted, “If you look further than the Sazini and the homemade french fries, you will find their original and healthy soup and salad recipes.” Crave, a new local deli, was also present with an assortment of healthy (photo by Dana Reilly) choices. Their modern menu includes salads The rock wall was a favorite activity during the Fair. by Dana Reilly Staff Writer

(photo by Dana Reilly)

Students enjoyed taking a break from classes to visit the tables at the Health Fair.

with several toppings to choose from. Crave’s antipasto salad and delectable house soups will surely keep customers coming for more. Students were partial to the creamy and creative flavors offered by Moolala, Merrick’s first frozen yogurt parlor. Moolala draws in a wide range of customers, by featuring flavors that are either sugar-free, gluten free, or lowfat. Moolala also has an extensive topping bar with fruit and candies, making their dessert a special indulgence. Many teachers were invited to participate in the health fair, adding to the community spirit of the event. Participants included Mr. James Raucci, who helped out at the egg-white omelet station, and Mr. Gregg Muscarella, who administered the fitness booth. Students and faculty seemed to crowd the cosmetology booth, where a few skilled students showed off their talent for curling and straightening hair. This

seemed to add to the health fair, emphasizing the importance of self-esteem. Various educational booths appeared at the health fair, serving to enlighten students to health risks and rewards. Representatives from The New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) brought special goggles that simulated what it would feel like to take a sobriety test at twice the legal limit of alcohol consumption. Students were instructed to walk in a straight line without the goggles once and then with the goggles, to accentuate the effects of alcohol on the mind. The Relaxation Retreat Massage Center has always been a highlight of the annual health fair, and continues to be a favorite among students. Ms. Cinelli admired their work, referring to them as “the cherry on top of the whole event.” The kids and teachers love the station because they can get an excellent massage free of charge.

Bands battle it out for glory by Amanda Glickman Staff Writer

“The stars are definitely aligned tonight,” senior Missy Gluck remarked with a smile as she waited on line to buy her ticket to Battle of the Bands. This event meant a lot to both Calhoun Wind Ensemble and the fabulous lineup planning to duke it out on stage. Battle of the Bands was guaranteed to be even more successful than last year—the large percentage of the female freshmen population seen jumping around to the pre-show soundtrack music

seemed to prove this true. The true motivation behind this event came from the Wind Ensemble’s need for funding their spring tour to Disney World, where they will be one of many groups participating in the Magic Music Days competition. Airfare and hotel rates are hardly cheap, so what better way to raise money for this musical venture than to do it through what the band kids know best? The really cool thing is that the profits won’t just be placed into Disney accounts - a fraction of each ticket’s cost will be donated (see BANDS on page 7

(photo by Megan Murphy)

“Butterfly Convict” grabbed first place in the second-ever Battle of the Bands.



February 2011


Pregnant pause Does media glamorize lifestyle? “You know I don’t need anyone promoting Teen Mom...I’m not trying to make a trend out of pregEvery Tuesday night at 10 p.m., nancy I’m trying to prevent it.” teenage girls across the country Unfortunately, their rare words tune in to MTV to watch the drama of caution cannot prevent some unfold on the shows “16 & Preg- girls from trying to get pregnant, nant” and “Teen Mom.” For the who are warped into believing that average girl watching these shows, it is their only way to get attention. it is evident that being a parent Only recently has the societal while still in high school is less view of teen pregnancy changed. than glamorous, and comes along Girls who became pregnant before with struggles that are unfathom- marriage used to be completely able to the average high school ju- shunned by society—so much nior. so that girls would do anything Recently, howto try to “cure” ever, many girls “TV shows and articles make themselves of the are admiring the stress of working, going condition. In the the new moms to school, fighting custody past few years on these shows. battles, and parenting seem has young pregStudies have effortless.” nancy become shown that more more acceptable. girls are trying to Any girls out get pregnant in order to get their there who think that getting pregchance at reality TV fame. nant and appearing on a reality Some say the cause of rampant series will make their lives better pregnancies is the way MTV and clearly don’t realize all of the life other media outlets portray these changes and challenges that come young moms. with raising a child. Not to menIt’s not uncommon to be wan- tion, teen pregnancy often forces dering down an aisle in the gro- a permanent, mature relationship cery store and see the girls from upon an otherwise temporary high “16 and Pregnant” gracing the cov- school couple—a relationship that ers of People or US Weekly. There is some are incapable of handling. always a picture of Maci, Farah, In 2005, the U.S. reached its lowAmber, or Catelynn, that distorts est teen pregnancy rate since the the reality of their situations. TV sex revolution in the late 60s and shows and articles make the stress 70s. Since then, there has been a of working, going to school, fight- steady incline, rising 3 percent in ing custody battles, and parenting 2006 and continuing to soar. seem effortless. The Lifetime Network’s movie But the moms themselves aren’t “The Pregnancy Pact,” released trying to make their lives seem ef- in early 2010, was a starting point fortless. Farah recently tweeted, of the media’s focus on teen pregby Tessa Patti Sports Editor

(photo by Holly Lavelli)

Some say the cause of many teen pregnancies is how the media portrays young moms.

nancy. “The Pregnancy Pact” was based on a true story of 17 young girls from Gloucester, Massachusetts, who were expecting children at around the same time. While neither the girls nor their parents commented in the Time article about the pact, a peer from the high school explained that the girls just wanted someone to love them unconditionally. With the economy hitting hard, many people also believe that these girls were getting pregnant in hopes that child would be the ticket out of their deteriorating families and home lives. Pregnancy is now being seen by some as an escape route from life troubles, rather than a permanent lifechanging challenge. Along with Gloucester, the city of Memphis , Tennessee, has experienced a surge in teen pregnancy. Approximately ninety girls from Frayser High School have delivered children in the past year. The school acknowledges that pregnancy is becoming a problem amongst their student body, but

the real dilemma is why the problem exists. Terrika Sutton, a student at Frayser and part of the 20 percent of girls in the school population who are or have been pregnant, commented on a WMCTV Action News broadcast, “Some girls just try to do it because they think it’s cute. For most, it’s an accident.” The increase in these high schools, although more drastic than the rest of the country, corroborates how impactful an increase in the national rate of teen pregnancy can be. Girls are getting pregnant before they understand the responsibilities of being a parent and how permanent the job is. While pregnancy rates are still lower than they had been in the late 20th century, they are on the rise again. There is no way to pinpoint the reason for the upswing of teens who are too eager to be parents. Recently, it seems there are more sources making pregnancy seem alluring, rather than daunting, which likely leaves an impression on the country’s youth.

Leaks continue

(photo by Holly Lavelli)

Leaks have been a problem all year for classes in room 308, (continued from page 2)

fixed.” On the topic of the building as a whole he added, “We’ve had a lot of tough rain this year. In some places it’s better, but some areas are still in need of repair.”

Another problem area is room 308, where buckets can still be seen underneath a stained wall. The problem with many of these leaks is that they can not be taken care of while snow and ice still re-

main on the rooftops. According locate all of the weaknesses and to Principal Seinfeld there are two solve every problem, especially ways to take care of roofing issues. with all the snow and ice piled on One being the custodians, who can top of the roof. heal minor issues, piping repairs In addition, parents and stuand ceiling leaks. dents have raised The other being complaints about “We’ve had a lot of tough what appeared outside contracrain this year. In some places to be mold stains tors which actually do the roofing it’s better, but some areas are found on the still in need of repair.” repairs. ceiling in some The roof itself classrooms and - David Seinfeld hallways. is still under warPrincipal Seinrantee, so repairs Principal are of no cost to feld asserted that these spots have the district. Under this contract, maintenance is been tested and proven to be free performed on over 50,000 square of mold spores. He added, “When feet of roof. Because of the large you see a stain on a tile it’s not a size it is difficult for roofers to mold spore, it’s just a stain.”


February 2011



Leadership: an inside view by Shannon Matzen Staff Writer

Leadership is not your typical class. There are no tests or homework. It is a half a year course and often, the students run the class. The class is taught by Mr. Brian Joyce, who has experience on the topic of leadership. Mr. Joyce was a platoon leader in Iraq and a lieutenant and captain in the military. Clearly, he has what it takes to teach high school students about leadership. However, It was not

that easy for Mr. Joyce to come up with curriculum for the class. “It was difficult because I had to take military, leadership experiences, and military doctrine and translate that to a curriculum that’s relevant and understandable to high school students,” said Mr. Joyce. Mr. Joyce said he wants students to get a lot out of the class and especially “wants them to have a better understanding of what leadership is and how to take a more active leadership role in school,

community, and beyond.” I just ended this class and it was the most moving, unique, and effective class I have ever taken. I learned that you need to work together to get things done and have trust in the people you are working with. My favorite and most challenging part was our student project. Students had to come up with a charity they want to help. This year, one class had a Thanksgiving food drive, and my class had a toy drive for the children at Nassau University Medi-

(photo by Alex Foley)

Matzen, bottom left, reported that the Leadership Class was “the most moving, unique, and effective class I have ever taken. I learned you need to work together to get things done and have trust in the people you are working with.“

Learning to be leaders (continued from page 2)

cating students on the principles and characteristics that make successful community leaders. “The class is divided into three units,” Mr. Joyce explained. “The first month is focused on leadership, then it moves on to motivation, and human relations.” Charidah confirmed, “The class starts off learning about the basics of leadership. Then you get more in-depth.” Each Friday, the students in the class engage in teamwork or trust activities. The class continues to be a success, with three sections already planned to run during the 2010-2011 school year. Mr. Joyce said he noticed that the demographics of the students interested in the class have expanded. “Last year, a lot of the students

who joined were active participants in the school,” Mr. Joyce said. “This year, there is a wider variety of students in the class,

from grades 10 to 12. I would hope that the class continues to grow in the future—it can truly benefit the school.”

(photo by Alex Foley)

Kimberly White and April Strommer both visited the NUMC to donate toys.

cal Center. We had to figure out a way to collect $1,000 in two weeks and buy toys. We were successful in the end, but we did have some problems along the way. That experience helped the students in my class realize what we have to do to make a project like that work more smoothly. The most rewarding part of the class is looking back on the great thing your class did for people not as fortunate. For an hour we got to help the children in the hospital forget about the pain they are suffering and make them feel happy. One student took the leadership skills she learned from the class and used them to form her own project. Senior Ava Fitzgerald volunteers at a soup kitchen with her mom and every year they have a coat drive. She wanted to have the students in Calhoun help her receive even more coats for the drive. “Seeing the families lined up waiting for something as simple as a coat that we use every day, really made me want to help out,” Fitzgerald said. She was successful with her coat drive, returning to the soup kitchen with a car full of coats. “I followed a lot of the tactics we covered in leadership, from taking initiative all the way to making a poster that would catch people’s eye. In leadership class I learned that there’s a lot of behind the scenes work that encompasses being a good leader, and that although a good leader may make it seem so easy, there are so many different aspects to consider.” A new project Mr. Joyce is trying to get to the school is Challenge Day. Many have seen MTV’s series “If You Really Knew Me” which shows just 40 minutes of Challenge Day. The mission is to “provide youth and their communities with experiential programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth, and full expression.” Mr. Joyce had the privilege of witnessing Oyster Bay’s Challenge Day and said it was the most amazing thing he had ever seen. Students meet and talk with others they might never have met and find out things they have been bottling up for years. We are hoping the Challenge Day will stop bullying and other similar problems around the school and make a difference in a kid’s life. Students learn to look beyond the cliques and really get to know a person.



February 2011


The worst rock bands by Ben Ross Contributing Writer

10. Guns N’ Roses - It’s not the songs that make Guns N’ Roses a terrible band. While I’m not a huge fan of the majority of their stuff, songs like “Paradise City” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” are catchy and knee deep in 80s hair metal, for better and for worse. What really makes Guns N’ Roses so bad is the legacy that they led: they began as a break-out band and achieved stardom, until front man Axl Rose drove every member to the point of leaving. Axl has been the only original member for the last 14 years, and after the release of “Chinese Democracy” in 2008, Guns N’ Roses earned the title of the “Axl Rose solo project.” No longer a band but a display of musical tyranny. 9. Bon Jovi - Ah, the band that just doesn’t want to give up. After the mainstream explosion that was “Slippery When Wet,” Bon Jovi’s brand of 80s rock was on top of the world. It wasn’t until their

fame died down for a while until the release of “Have A Nice Day” in 2005 to mixed reviews, but they experienced a huge resurgence in popularity. The problem with Bon Jovi is their persistence to keep their music relevant in our day and age. They are a band marked by a spe-

cific time period and have long outlived their date of expiration. Bands such as Bon Jovi should realize when to quit.

itself as remotely interesting. 5. Brokencyde - What is crunkcore? That’s the genre Brokencyde goes by. They repeat vocal tracks and switch off screaming, singing, 8. Poison - “Nothing but a good rapping, and are just a complete time!” right? Wrong. I don’t want it waste to the world of music. Their to seem like I’m solely focusing on lyrics are beyond horrendous, de80s bands I don’t like, but Poison tailing sex, drugs, and partying is just plain bad. in the most deThey highlight “Nickelback is truly the rogatory fashion every poor aspect worst band of all time. Every imaginable. They of hair metal: single album they release is are a truly terlame lyrics, overrible band. exactly the same as the last; reliance on fast guitar solos, and they show no evolution.” 4. Linkin Park themes of lust I’ll admit, I used and sex. Their songs are meaning- to love Linkin Park. The 7th grade less, uninspiring, and have pro- “me” thought Linkin Park was induced a generation of poser 80s credibly catchy and great. Howbands like Hinder and Buckcherry. ever, they are the definition of a “teenage angst” band. Singer and 7. A Day to Remember - This com- lyricist Chester Bennington sings bination of hardcore and pop punk about being “numb” and hating was never a good choice. While the everything in nearly every Linkin genres can be tolerable when sepa- Park song. rated, combining them leads to diIt’s a shame keyboardist and sastrous results, especially when occasional vocalist Mike Shinoda you’re talking about A Day to Re- hasn’t departed the band - he’s member. easily the most talented member. From what I’ve heard, many of Their transition from nu-metal to their songs follow a strict formula: conventional rock to Radiohead intro, screaming verse, extreme- rip off has resulted in their deparly catchy and melodic chorus, ture from the mainstream into a screaming verse, melodic chorus, more forgotten light, and reasonhuge bridge breakdown, last cho- ably so. rus. It’s all so generic, and more im- 3. Hinder - The only thing worse portantly, corny. The combination than 80s hair metal is a band that of screams and whiney voices is exists in the 2000s and tries to rejust plain irritating and unoriginal, vive this genre, only to ultimately despite its “original” idea. If you’re fail. Hinder’s songs are greasy, looking for pop punk or hardcore, dirty, and downright disgusting to listen to them separately. listen to. Every song they offer is either a fast hard rock song about 6. Limp Bizkit - For the love of drugs and sex, or a slow, “moving” God, let there be no more nu-metal ballad about losing or wanting a bands. As if Linkin Park wasn’t girl. In this day and age, this stuff mediocre enough, Limp Bizkit is in just feels so outdated. It worked the same vein of terrible. Nu metal in the 80s, but doesn’t translate is essentially rap metal, and while well to the 2000s. It’s a genre that I’m a bit biased because I gener- should be long gone at this point. ally don’t enjoy the genre, nothing Limp Bizkit offers has ever shown 2. Creed - Scott Stapp is a terrible

vocalist, with an incredibly hoarsesounding voice that simply is unappealing to listen to. Lyrically, the band is cheesy and incredibly Christian, which will divide listeners. Throw in some generic metal riffs that aren’t pleasing to the ears and you essentially have Creed, a band constantly mocked due to how awful they truly are. 1. Nickelback - Oh God, where do I begin? Nickelback is truly the worst band of all time. Every single album they release is exactly the same as the last; they show practically no evolution. Vocalist Chad Kroeger can’t sing, nor can he write a single decent lyric: “If everyone cared and nobody cried, if everyone loved and nobody lied, If everyone shared and swallowed their pride, Then we’d see the day when nobody died.” The reason Nickelback is such a huge band is because every song is instantly catchy, and eerily identical. They’ve had constant mainstream success over songs that sound exactly the same as each other: Certain Nickelback tracks

have been played on top of others just to prove how similar they are. It’s the cheese in all of their lyrics that ultimately has led to their critical undoing, but unfortunately has formed a bath to commercial success. I can only hope that the world will one day wake up and realize how terrible Nickelback is.


February 2011



What’s on your teacher’s desk? by Kristen Guaneri Contributing Writer

Let’s talk about impressions. We all try not to judge someone before actually knowing them, but the truth is that we all do. Someone’s room or desk can speak volumes

way they would keep their home. The other 50 percent of the teachers probably have their desks kept in a way they would never have their homes kept or might wish their homes were kept that way. If a teacher’s desk is unkempt what do you think this means

are organized. Someone may ask, why do the piles have to be there in the first place? Think about the numerous papers that teachers have, including homework, tests, lessons and then what the students have handed in. In addition, Ms. Sherman also

(photo by Holly Lavelli)

Thienachariya’s desk contains zero clutter. All that is on her desk are three personal attributions (such as picture frames), a hole puncher, a holder for certain papers, and Her bags are placed directly in the middle of the desk because it was the end of the day and she was

(photo by Holly Lavelli)

Ms. Khan’s desk ironically includes a small replica of the United Nations flag.

Order and functionality are clear indicators that this is Ms. Sherman’s desk.

about the person, and you can learn about them just from looking at their desk. There are many factors that arise that you must consider when entering the world of a teacher’s desk. Mood can be a part of the conclusion you draw when looking at your teacher’s desk. This thought can be perceived from the desk by the cleanliness or what items occupy it. Some teachers prefer to not have any pictures from their home life in order to not let students link their teaching to their home life. In addition to pictures, it is the little things such as literature, random knickknacks, and collectibles. What you have to keep in mind is that, 50 percent of the time, how a teacher keeps their desk is the

has an eco-friendly water container upon her desk. As a result, we learn that Ms. Sherman is someone who is concerned about our ecosystem. Ms. Sherman’s desk also contains a bag of calculators and text books; this is no surprise because she is, in fact, a math teacher. What else would you expect from a math teacher? Similarly, Ms. Seckler has numerous items that give away her specified profession as well. Some of these items include but are not limited to, a box of film canisters, another box containing camera parts, numerous pencils, rulers, and scissors. Meanwhile, social studies teacher Ms. Sharissa Khan and Spanish teacher Ms. Keryn Thienachariya sport opposite desks. Ms.

about them? One idea you have to consider is that, teachers are extremely busy; they have students’ collected work, future lesson plans, and their own personal items to it. Another idea, although rude, is pure laziness. Some teachers cannot be bothered to keep their desks relatively clean. Why is this? Maybe it’s a lack of time, maybe it’s that they simply do not care. I visited four teachers after school one day that allowed me to photograph their desks for the newspaper. Ms. Mary Sherman, math teacher, and Ms. Linda Seckler, art teacher, both have in common that upon their desks they have many papers, yet the papers are placed into defined piles. These defined piles say that these two teachers

(photo by Holly Lavelli)

Ms. Thienachariya’s desk includes more of a personal touch than other teachers’ desks.

about to leave. Ms. Khan has defined piles upon her desk but they cannot be seen under the large wooden box that is placed there. In addition to a plethora of papers that takeover Ms. Khan’s desk there is also a United Nations flag sported in the front. This clearly makes sense since Ms. Khan runs Model UN. The realm of a teacher’s desk jumps into an abyss of deep depths. Consider the points, analyze the desks and form the story. On the other hand if you are a teacher reading this you might just decide to have a major clean-up session. This isn’t to offend but to inform inform teachers of how their desks can be portrayed by students. And inform the students of what lies in front of them.

(photo by Holly Lavelli)

Though it is cluttered, Ms. Seckler’s desk functions well for an art teacher’s area.



February 2011


fashion felonies

faux pas in many colleges nation wide is the trend of wearing pajamas in public. I don’t get it. First of Fashion trends may come and all, it is just unsanitary. Do you rego, but some will be remembered ally want all the nasty stuff found forever (and not in a good way). outside to end up back in your Here are just a few of the trends I bed? Secondly, is this a matter would like to forget: of laziness or do people actually Gaucho Pants - It’s a bird. It’s think it is acceptable to dress in a plane. Oh no, wait…it’s just your Christmas pajamas all year round? huge gaucho pants. Whatever posIf you are taking the laziness sessed the fashion world to bring defensive then I suggest going to back gauchos in 2006 is beyond sleep in your jeans. At least then, my understanding. Sure, I say this if you really are that lazy, the next now, wearing a high-waisted skirt day you’ll only have messy, unand Frye boots, but I admit I was combed hair and bad breathe. Oh, a victim of the gaucho craze (think you say you brush your teeth? rainbow horizontal stripes). At the Well, by wearing your pajamas in time everyone from the PTA-go- public you put off an image that ing, minivan-driving soccer mom you don’t care about hygiene; to Paris Hilton therefore I only had them. It “Not that the high fashion just assumed. Do makes me wonyou really want versions are the problem, but der: how far people to think of will we go in the when the cheap knockoffs are you that way? Paname of fashion? sold in Wal-Mart you know jamas outside of And when do we we have a problem.” the house are just need to step back not acceptable. and just say no? Socks with Platform Sneakers/Sandals - sandals - If it is warm enough to Usually paired with the previously wear sandals, then why do you bashed, gaucho pant is the clunky need the socks? Or vice versa. sky-high sneaker or sandal. I don’t Anyone who commits this fashknow if there was a sudden short- ion felony is forever labeled in my age of tall models and platforms book as a shoebee. Yes, I did get were an emergency fix that turned that from the Nickelodeon show, into a fashion must have or what; “Rocket Power.” A shoebee is usuwhat I do know is these clodhop- ally a tourist and always wears pers should have never set foot on socks and sandals. a runway. Not that all of the high How anyone would even think fashion versions are the problem, to wear these two things together but when the cheap knockoffs are is beyond me, but I guess peosold in Wal-Mart you know we ple just ran out of ways to rebel have a problem. against fashion. We get it. You Almost every closet shown on don’t care how you look. And if TLC’s “What Not to Wear” has a you think this looks good, may I pair of this sad excuse for footwear suggest picking up Vogue at your front and center. If it were up to local CVS. Maybe that will knock me, those shoes would be the first some sense into you. item thrown out. Labels - OMG. I got a new HolPajamas in public - A common lister sweatshirt. That’s cool, what by Elise Gabriele Staff Writer

(photo by Elise Gabriele)

right out in the open to get burnt. So the argument of visors being practical is out. There is not need for visors, does they do nothing it look except give like. Oh you (the well, it’s wearer) grey and says and me (the ‘Hollister’ across observer) headthe front. How origiaches. nal. What I want to know One size fits is what is with the obsesall - The last time I sion over brand names? All a checked Oprah and brand is doing by selling you a I are not the same size. sweatshirt, tee, or pair of paints Therefore, saying I can wear with their logo and name plastered my favorite shirt on Friday and all over it is using you as a walk- Oprah can borrow it on Saturday ing advertisement. People get so doesn’t make any sense. worked up over labels that that’s Clothing is supposed to be alall they care about. There is noth- tered and fitted to your body type ing pretty or edgy about a Juicy so when I see one size fit all shirts Couture sweat suit or Ugg boots. in the mall, it boggles my mind. Aside from the fact that they Any shirt no matter what the size are comfortable, they’re is going to fit two people differreally very unapently. This isn’t a matter of fat or pealing. Sure in skinny but everyone has a middle school, different body even I didn’t realshape. ize it was a waste So of money, but how do now I have four manufacpairs of Uggs turers even and two Juicy decide what sweat suits one size fits that I rarely all looks like? ever wear What if one size for the price I doesn’t fit all? It paid. But as we get older just doesn’t seem (photos by Elise Gabriele) do we even get over the label right that a person craze or do we just do it in a more should try to make a shirt that subdued way? Grown women wasn’t made to fit them look despend upward of $500 on Manolo cent. Why would you want to even Blahniks, but I guess it’s different; try? So I suggest next time you those shoes are beautiful. A Hollis- pick up a shirt that fits no one in ter sweatshirt? Not so glamorous. particular, put it down and look Skorts - From the front it’s a for something that actual has a tag. skirt, from the back it’s shorts and from every angle it’s just plain ugly. What do you think of when you picture a skort? Seriously, close your eyes and visualize. Let me guess: did you envision it on an overweight grandmother waddling around an amusement park? I did and personally, that is not an image I want to come to mind when I’m thinking about fashion. Visors - Plastic, wide rimmed, bedazzled visors. Here’s a tip: anything that can be made with materials from Michael’s, for under $5, should never be worn. I don’t care if the sun is beating down and the only thing you have is a visor. Don’t wear it. Go to the store and buy a hat and sunglasses. At least if you wear a hat the top of you head won’t get burnt. Confused? So am I. A visor shields your face (photo by Elise Gabriele) but leaves the top of your head


February 2011



Defining hipster by Julia Martinez Colture Editor

If you’re walking the halls, it wouldn’t be abnormal to see students sporting oversized sweaters, ripped tights paired with shorts in the middle of winter, and berets. Why you may ask? Simply because of the new fad that has infected Calhoun known as Hipster. Despite popular belief, this is not what defines a Hipster. Students have begun defining themselves as such without truly understanding what a Hipster really is. Flashback to the 1950s when the word Hipsters came into focus. Originally hipster was defined as, “characters who like hot jazz.” Even rewind to the 60s where counter cultures such as this were first noted, where young adults clamored for change. Or recall the era where the original punk, rock and roll teens were fighting against parental superiority. Senior Celine Katzman said, “Due to the fact that our generation has grown so comfortable and apathetic, we have no real movement or cause but we’re still full of angst teenagers and thus, the Hipster is born.” By definition, a Hipster is a rebel with no cause and a completely dismissive personality. They live to

judge things, and have no passions whatsoever besides, of course, rejecting anything mainstream. It’s not just an artsy profile picture on Facebook, it’s more of a state of mind. The assumed belief of a Hipster is one who values independent thinking, progressive politics, art, indie-rock, and wit, when really the only thing Hipsters do consistently is hate on pop culture. So that Juicy jacket that everyone’s just dying to get their hands on? The hipsters are cursing its existence. Hipsters are those friends that roll their eyes while you rant about that new Flo Rida single. They are those that prefer to stand slyly to the side while everyone else dances at a party. The kind where most of the clothing they wear will not come anywhere near in resemblance to items sold at American Eagle or Hollister. They’d much rather purchase an itchy, pelted skirt from a thrift shop. Although Hipsters hate anything mainstream, they need it to survive. Without pop culture, Hipsters would have no purpose. To all of you fashion icons who believe that that is the only thing to being a Hipster, I am sad to say you’re incorrect. But one thing is for certain, Hipsters are the new teen movement of our generation.

(photo by Julia Martinez)

The hipster dates back decades to a time when people rebelled through fashion.

Bands battle (continued from page 3)

to the Wounded Warriors Project, a charity that works to raise awareness for the needs of severely injured recent U.S. Army veterans.

(photo by Megan Murphy)

Tom Fasano, the bassist for Spiderbyte.

This fine entertainment consisted of five unique bands: Along The Falls, 42 Reasons, Bassline, Spiderbyte, and Butterfly Convict. In addition to those competing, famed alum band, The Sliders, treated the audience to an uber-cool opening set that rivaled The Script or Maroon 5. Lead singer Eric Goldberg, a class of ‘07, was overjoyed to “come back home to where it all started and start more of a local following.” With a stint at Bamboozle last year, and a slew of upcoming gigs, these guys are the picture of what the competing bands hope to be in a few years. Kicking off the battle was Along The Falls, a fairly new group with an alt-rock-groove sound. Like The Sliders, lead singer Joe Villafane, class of ‘10, expressed the importance of creating fans from Merrick—the guys of ATF have been concentrating their recent efforts in the out-of-state college circuit. Next up was a cover band with lots of heart and the 2nd place finisher, 42 Reasons. One of the younger bands participating in the battle, their old-soul attitude and

(photo by Megan Murphy)

Last year’s winner, Spiderbyte, performs to the delight of many adoring fans.

steady beats put smiles on people’s faces. Bassline followed 42 Reasons with a similar set, both having mastered the art of covering Red Hot Chili Peppers. Sweet-voiced singer Justin Brower, sophomore, seemed to be a groupie-magnet, which caused for a ton of highpitched screaming that said it all. Last year’s first-place champions, Spiderbyte, took the stage with a vengeance. Clad in their signature neon duct tape, their eclectic mix of covers and originals were full of endless swagger, energy, and lots

of guitar-flipping. The final band, Butterfly Convict, embodies the concept of friends who jam. They write all of their music, which is on their new, self-titled EP. Butterfly Convict won the competition and received a $200 gift certificate to Guitar Center. The standing section of Convict’s lyric-reciting friends seemed to agree with the judges’ choice; much screaming ensued upon their victory. And the jumpy freshman girls found new bands to “become a fan of” on Facebook.



February 2011


Time for students to speak C

alhoun, as a whole, is a wonderful school and a great environment — one that every student is lucky to be a part of, especially compared to the millions of other schools in the world where circumstances are unimaginably worse. For all the issues students may find with Calhoun, legitimate or otherwise, one couldn’t deny that it’s a pretty good place to be. Yet, why does it feel as if no one really cares about Calhoun? Why don’t you see more students at basketball games; more students active in Student Government or Yearbook? For all the school offers, it seems the student body is overwhelmingly apathetic. No one’s expecting Rydell High, and, to be honest, no one’s even expecting a Friday Night Lights-type of school spirit regarding sports (in fact many are relieved that Calhoun doesn’t center around

sports). But why doesn’t anyone would love to leave, try working put forth effort to support Cal- with what you’ve got; make the houn? Is it really just the “Merrick most of your time here. For everyone else — those is boring. I hate everyone and can’t wait to get out of here” attitude? who like Calhoun but don’t love Because if that’s it, honestly, get off it, or those who complain about your high horses. Some may view the administration or guidance department or their lifestyles to Staff Editorial anything else — be cutting-edge we ask: what’s and highly interesting — something that’s misun- the real problem? Sure, Hoofbeats derstood in a quiet suburban town. has pointed some out in the past, But why do students believe that but always with the intention of they’d be so much happier at an- engaging the student body in relother high school? Why do people evant issues. Why haven’t students automatically assume that they’d tried to fix what they care about? If people were so upset, how come be better off in the Real World? Here’s some advice: Calhoun, no petition was formed regarding like life, isn’t perfect; you get out the “removal” of The Bad Seed two of it what you put in. If you do years ago? If students were conachieve the life that’s supposedly cerned about the security cameras so superior to the harsh realities installed or the violation of Title IX of Merrick, Long Island, chances in regards to the girls’ locker room, are it’s not as magical as you once how come nothing was done by thought it would be. So instead of the students? Why doesn’t the stucomplaining about how much you dent body unite to improve their

school? There are plenty of complaints, but it can’t be assumed that these problems will magically be fixed. Like countless examples in history, progress will not occur until the public stands up. No minority rights or labor rights were ever established until the people joined together and were heard by the government. It’s the same thing here at Calhoun. You have a problem with the busing system? Talk to the head of transportation. You don’t like the lack of communication between administration and students? Contact the administration. Their doors are open. What else? The food? Lack of turf field? We, as the students of this school, have to do something, not just complain. It’s our duty to our peers and to future students. Stop the apathy that no one thinks it’s cool. It’s time to speak up.

From the sidelines by Julie Fliegel Contributing Writer

Recognized by Columbia University, ASPA, NYPA, LIPA, and Newsday for journalistic excellence Editors-in-Chief Philippa Boyes Emily Wrynn News Editor Kara Iskenderian Sports Editors Rachel Tyson Tessa Patti Editorial Editor Leah Sobel Colture Editor Julia Martinez Photography Editor Tatianna Flores Faculty Adviser Jason Boland Staff Members: Asia Brown, Michele Carroll, Julie Ciccone, Cortina Florez, Bria Forbes, Elise Gabriele, Sara Gerber, Amanda Glickman, Lauren Herschbein, Arooj Iqbal, Holly Lavelli, Ashley Lowerre, Shannon Matzen, Ashley McGetrick, Aidan Meade, Dana Reilly, Rachel Safford, Nicole Simmons, Kushhali Singh, Sarika Singh, Nina Thomas, Alex Topper, Kate Valerio, Jocelyn Yu Hoofbeats Sanford H. Calhoun High School 1786 State Street Merrick, NY 11566 (516) 992-1300 e-mail: Volume 53 No. 3

February 2011

Hoofbeats is the official student newspaper of Calhoun High School. Hoofbeats serves to inform its readers of news and events, and as a forum for the students of Calhoun to express their ideas and opinions. Hoofbeats accepts letters to the editor, but reserves the right to edit or refuse the publication of submissions. Letters should be sent to the school or placed in the Hoofbeats mailbox. All letters must be signed and include a contact number for the writer. Some visual material courtesy of the American Society of News Editors High School Newspaper Service. The paper also accepts advertisements for a fee, but reserves the right to refuse advertisements for any or no reason. The views expressed in Hoofbeats do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the administrators, teachers, editors, or faculty adviser.

I have never considered myself a star athlete. I played on the CYO basketball team with my friends, and we would joke around as much as we would practice, but I always looked forward to the practices and the games on the weekends. But I often wonder what would have happened had I stayed on the court instead of cheering athletes from the sidelines. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t regret a single moment I had as a cheerleader for four years at Calhoun and in middle school. Cheering taught me to be confident and less afraid in front of crowds, and I made amazing bonds that only a squad could understand. Though I loved competitions and practice, I wish that I stuck to what I originally loved. I don’t exactly remember when it stopped being important, but I gave up foul shots for toe touches and basketball shorts for a big shiny bow. It would be so exciting to score a point when the team needed it most, or to make an impossible shot. But I gave it up and never will be able to experience any of that. Once this basketball season started I caught myself envious of the girls during their tryouts as I walked into the locker room to change for cheer practice. I suddenly had a feeling of regret as I looked at them doing lay-ups and

putting on their pinnies. I remembered how good it felt to run and sweat and practice doing something that was so important to me. Aside from my love for basketball I had another hobby that was equally important to me, cheerleading. From a very young age I was put onto a cheerleading squad where we would practice basic cheers and then perform at the Bellmore-Merrick Braves football games. It was a fun pastime and I liked meeting new friends that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. This lasted through my elementary school days and when middle school came I tried out for that team. Cheering in middle school taught me a lot and though I was nervous, I was confident trying out for the Calhoun team. At times I think everyone falls into peer pressure and makes their decisions based on what will make them look good. Sometimes, especially with young, impressionable girls, they decide what they want to do by what they see everyone else doing. If I could do it all over I would have stuck to trying to succeed in basketball, I would have practiced everyday and reminded myself that this would all be worth it if, in the end, I was happy. Unfortunately, I can’t start high school over, but I hope that for the rest of my life I stick to what I honestly want and not what I think will look the best.


February 2011



High heels and hall

choices. One of the most imperative of these choices is which pair of leggings compliments your low cut top the best. And then, of course, the shoes. I know that I speak for a large percentage of students when saying that despite being a three-sport athlete, a trip up to the third floor can be a bit of a process. These ambitious young ladies have decided to go the extra mile and take on the three flights of stairs in heels. I’m not exactly sure

what their motives are for wearing their fancy footwear to school. Perhaps they enjoy making their peers think a teacher is approaching, when in reality it is just a fellow student clanking down the halls; or maybe they want to really tone their legs when making that trek up to the science wing from the cafeteria. I would suggest investing in a pair of Shape-Ups; you’ll look a lot less stupid. My favorite component of these stunning individuals is the hair. Waking up 45 minutes early to fry your hair with hot metal plates is definitely worth the fact that your hair is falling out of your scalp. Now this stereotype obviously does not encompass the entire female population of Calhoun, but it is enough to make me wonder who could they possibly be trying to impress. Last time I checked there were no “Jersey Shore” casting directors roaming the halls, and I’m doubtful that anyone believes your skin tone is naturally a toss up between a carrot and Cheeto. So chip off your eyeliner, scrub off your eye shadow for a change, and seriously consider getting those Shape-Ups.

past. Think about it; the women you donate to may never be able to grow back those locks they once cherished. They’re sick, and they need our help to gain back the confidence they was possessed. Guilt trip aside, donating your hair can be beneficial for the soul. After donating her hair last March, junior Samantha Baldauf said, “I experienced a feeling I can’t even

describe. Most people don’t realize that just by cutting eight inches of hair, which will grow back, can help change a child’s life.” Let’s end the stereotype of the perfect princess and begin the movement of girls with short hair, girls who care about the world around them. Cinderella is no more, for the short-haired Snow White has taken her rightful place.

by Ashley McGetrick Staff Writer

According to most doctors, Wikipedia, and my mother, we should all be getting eight hours of sleep every night so that our bright and shinning faces are ready to seize the next school day and enjoy every minute of it. Well, even if school started at 1 p.m., I still wouldn’t be seizing or enjoying much during the school day. Regardless, eight hours of sleep seems like a reasonable amount of time for a proper rest. However, some of us (particularly females) have decided to set their alarm clocks for unheard of hours so they can look absolutely stunning by time first period rolls around. Others show up 20 minutes late because they “weren’t feeling well” to sneak in some extra time getting themselves ready. By adding just enough bronzer, cover-up, and eyeliner (and by just enough I mean way too much) the zombie that crawled out of bed at the crack of dawn is no more! Instead, a shiny (yes, literally reflective thanks to your ridiculous eye shadow), beautiful runway model

(photo by Ashley McGetrick)

is ready to strut down the linoleum halls of Sanford H. Calhoun High School. If only someone had a camera so we could capture this living piece of art. This morning process does not only consist of the application of layers upon layers of foundation, but wardrobe selection is equally as vital in looking like a complete and utter fool. Teenage years are a time of decision making, when adolescents can begin to assert their independence through their


Show you care by Leah Sobel Editorial Editor

When you think about a Disney princess, what are the first features that come to mind? Probably beautiful and charming, but most importantly, a woman donning long and voluptuous hair. From a young age, we are taught that those characters are the definition of magnificence and poise. Her endless locks flow with the wind as she rides off into the sunset with Prince Charming. That mane can define a woman’s life. Now imagine her cutting it all off and going totally bald. The townspeople start to chatter as they see their winsome figurehead lose her attractiveness. Hairdressers are upset. Curling iron companies go out of business. Life as they knew it changes. Although the princess has pulled a Britney, her prince is in still in love with her and she still possesses the gracefulness of a ballerina. She may be lacking the hair that made her captivating, but she is still the alluring girl that made her prominent in the first place. Now, what does a shaven prin-

cess have to do with my life? The St. Baldrick’s event in March raises money for those who are cancer-stricken by having men (or women) shave their heads. At this annual function, the Pantene Beautiful Lengths charity also comes to chop off locks for those who need wigs as a result of their sickness. These are two honorable foundations, and they accumulate a lot of money each year. But why is this year different? I have only seen seven people signed up to donate their hair. Last year, 41 girls participated to support those in need. What can be a better charity than that? Whatever you give grows back, and the feeling inside your heart is like no other. Don’t think your looks have gone unnoticed, girls. We all are aware that your tresses are down to your backside and even with just eight inches cut off, your hair will still be long. In our superficial and materialistic world, we think good looks are the most vital objectives in our lives. I’m a girl who loves her hair, and I won’t deny this, but not enough to be selfish with it and proud to have donated in the

(photo by Tatianna Flores)



February 2011



Is going to the prom worthwhile? It’s not worth your time or money

On second thought, it’s not so bad after all

themselves on crazy diets and by Amanda Glickman Staff Writer lifestyles that aren’t safe. They barely eat and workout non-stop. Some people treat prom like a Prom is one of the most un- It is almost like seeing a walking forgettable, monumental nights zombie. Not only do they look like career. Girls stalk catalogues daily of one’s life. Not really. Prom is a they are the walking dead, it isn’t for dress ideas, guys craft überwaste of money and time. It is the safe for one’s body and health. An- crazy schemes for their dates that most overrated events in one’s life other thing is that girls will find rival marriage proposals, and evthe trashiest dresses, the craziest eryone stresses out over limos and and there are many reasons why. First, it is a misuse of money. hairstyles, and pound on spray tickets and flowers and all this y look good. g I’m stuff that is, in the grand scheme of Would you honestly waste your tan thinking they comple irrelevant. money on terrible food, loud mu- sorry but the awkward cutout things, completely Thes hesee aare hes re th These the people that quickth a cut u ut bac uto ut ba k cutout back sic, and a limo for one night that hipped dress with y become b om bec me jaded, jad blind to the true aren n’t flatt n’t atteri ering ng ly and a tacky printt aren’t isn’t even that special? reasson rea so fo or ha reason for having prom: a lastPeople go into prom thinking or pretty. ditch eff e ort to to bring our class toree mor m bout bo out afaf- ditch Most kids care moree aabout that it’s their wedding, when it’s geth get her before her befor ore graduation. or n get g scammed sccamm mmed ed gether not. They spend hundreds to thou- ter prom so they can N No ow, don’t do don’ n think that by “lastNow, ork City City y or or the sands of dollars on hair, makeup, in either New York dit h” I me ea “pathetic.” Lastmean peop people ple le sp pend d al alll ditch” spend dresses, and more. This isn’t a day Hamptons. Many peo ort rtts (if ( executed properly) (i ditch efforts fteer-prom fte r-prom r-p rom om fe festi tiiviv festiviof any importance - it’s just prom. this money on aft n into amazing memories d ’tt wor do don ork or k can turn work Wouldn’t someone rather spend ties which, in the end, don’t t t last tha as forever. foreve that easons eas ons.. ons their money on a nice vacation with out for many different rreasons. I for one, think that a chance I, es many y con confli fliicts. fli cts. t Prom also causes confl people they want to be around? Or b Halston HeriThere are plenty of fights over the to wear a beautiful save the money for college? Honestly, you wear the dress limo situations. Who goes on what tage asymmetrical silk gown with once. The prom dress I have from limo, who they don’t want on the sky-high platform heels and a calla limo. Other conflicts are where lily corsage (not that I’ve given this last year is doing a great job col- “Wouldn’t someone rather pre-prom is, who much thought or anything) while lecting dust in spend their money on a nice sits at what table, celebrating the end of four of the and what peo- best/most difficult years of my life my room and sitvacation with people they ple are wearing. with my best friends sounds pretty ting on a hanger. I look at the $400 want to be around? Or save There is even a damn good. What is prom really about? Facebook group dress and wish the money for college?” just so nobody Maybe the whole “last hurrah” I saved that for wears the same theory is wrong. I think that if the something else or used the money elsewhere. I regret dress to prom. All these conflicts summer before college is taken full advantage of, then prom can be spending as much money as I did are over nothing. whatever’s most convenient for the Prom is just like a sweet sixteen on prom. According to USA Today, prom but you wear a more expensive group that you’re in; there will be can cost a teenager $400 to $3,000. dress. The same food, the same more time (two months, approxiTicket prices range from $10 to atmosphere, and the same tacky mately) to make memories. Still, there is only one senior $125, transportation $90 to $1,500, songs being overplayed. No diftuxedo $70 to $250, the dress $150 ference except there is no cheesy prom in your life. I, for one, am going to take full advantage of to $500, accessories $10 to $400, candle lighting ceremony. If you want to experience this this fact, and I will inevitably turn hair $15 to $150, grooming $25 to $100, flowers $20 to $30, and tan- terribly pointless event, go ahead. into one of those crazy people who For me I will be going away with take it more seriously than they ning, which can cost up to $65. Guys go to many lengths to my friends on vacation. Have fun. ever claim they will. Maybe it’s all ask the girl he wants to take to prom. What happened to just saying, “Hey let’s go to prom.” Today guys ask girls in the middle of basketball games like they’re in some movie. Some guys bring girls flowers into school just so everyone can see. Nobody cares that you guys are going to prom and are going to be in pictures together. It’s really great for you that you made this girl the center of attention for five minutes of her life and made her more conceited than she already was. How about trying something more sentimental and meaningful? Girls go crazy over prom. When the three month mark comes (photo by Elise Gabriele) around before the event, girls put Transportation for the prom can cost up to $1,500 for the night. by Diandra Hanna Contributing Writer

about the dresses and the corsages and the awkward pictures. That’s all anyone talks about after 20 years anyway. In all seriousness though, my friends and I have been talking about prom for years, but have never actually come to any decisions. Although - don’t laugh - my friend Val and I have made our hair appointments. The biggest issue is that we don’t have a defined group of people; everyone has inter-dated and inter-fought and inter-whatevered, and because of this inter-business, there are no clear lines dividing us. It’s actually a giant mess. An anonymous (and very corny) friend deemed it “proma” (prom + drama). Sure, this proma can potentially hurt people. Friendships are put to the ultimate test, but if they escape with little more than a few scratches, they strengthen. So in regards to the proma…we thrive on it. What doesn’t kill us makes us…more ready to get crazy on June 23rd. There are a bevy of opinions in our prom group. Some people just want to be broody and go sulk about life after prom on some beach with their significant others (or alone). Some want to be daring and go clubbing in the city, which sounds great in theory, but can possibly go wrong in so many ways (ID issues, limos bailing, not catching trains, not knowing where the hell you are). Some want to be 5 years old and have light-saber battles and go to “24-Hour Bagel” in Long Beach. Of course, there’s the “getting a house out East” thing, which is what the majority of the grade ends up doing. You either need phenomenal rental-scouting skills (which at the tender ages of 17 and 18, most of us lack), or major connections (rich family friends from the Hamptons?). Anti-Hamptons people and most parents might conjure up horror-filled images of multiple rooms trashed and couples fornicating on skeevy furniture. That’s more “American Pie” than real life. To me, real life afterprom means a night-long celebration that I can still recall the next day, and the next 50 years. So to those prom naysayers, remember this: do you want to miss the first and final time the entire grade (for the most part) is together on one dance floor? I sure don’t. That, to me, is priceless.


February 2011



More health lessons needed by Stephanie Falci Contributing Writer

Health classes should be year long, every year. Just as a pleasant reminder to students currently exhibiting reckless behaviors and those who have not yet experimented with theses substances. For high school students health class never seems to come at the right time; it’s either too late or too early. And I say early, not that awareness isn’t helpful, but when

someone is actually in the situation to drink or smoke, or pressured to do any other substances when they’re in college, that half year course they took in ninth grade seems like a blur. For some teens, health class comes too late. Underage drinking is a widely popular pastime among teens, and recruits are drafted weekend by weekend. For three years students can go without any knowledge of the damage and destruction drugs and alcohol

Science Olympiads

Members of the science club recently participated in the Nassau County Science Olympiad competition.

have on themselves or their peers, me as odd was how fast the course but by the time one reaches senior had to move. Considering the time year it can already be too late. Im- frame the teacher had had to cover pressionable and thick-headed as so many topics, we were briefly inwe are, health class for a person al- troduced to all of them but never ready drinking three years seems truly learned in depth. Addiclike the fine-print warning label on tion was just a definition. Sexua beer bottle. ally transmitIn other cases, “There is simply not enough ted disease was health comes too time in 10 weeks to learn simply linked to early. A fresh- about the devastation in our HIV and AIDS. man straight out The basics were world caused by addiction.” of middle school covered and yet day dreams about again the imporponies and Hello tance of this class Kitty, so the introduction of devas- is completely overlooked. Students tation caused by alcohol and drugs need to be introduced to the realseems like an impossible prospect ism of these substances, not their to their cotton candy world. At definitions. Even the best of us will that age, some students don’t fo- get sucked into peer pressure or be cus on the reality of the class, but affected by someone whose life is instead just pay attention to get a engulfed in drugs, alcohol, or disgood grade. Three years down the ease. There is simply not enough road when they’re introduced to time in 10 weeks to learn enough alcohol, they’ll have forgotten all about the devastation in our world about that health lesson much like caused by addiction. a student would forget most of the The solution is to make health information learned during their a year-long course for each and freshman year. every year a student attends high During my experience in health school. This is to inform us, protect I was inspired by the bound- us, and impact us so that we can less rules of the class. Students make smarter decisions when we are encouraged to share stories are out in the real world. about their personal experiences We live in this world hearing and promote openness about sex, story after story about the devasdrugs, and alcohol, as well as shar- tation caused by substance abuse, ing other traumatic, informative or bullying, depression, and the like, personal events. but for someone out there it’s not The only thing that did strike just a story, it’s their life.

A Merrick Idol (continued from page 1)

Merrick community admiring him, but the American Idol judges were blown away by his performance, calling him “the best of New Jersey” and handing him a golden ticket to the next level of auditions. If his outstanding vocals weren’t already enough, his inspiring story of his struggles of being confined to a wheelchair as a young child touched the hearts of viewers across the country. Despite the high fives in the hallways and hundreds of congratulatory wall-posts, Rosen still manages to be the same modest high school junior he was before his Idol debut. A dedicated student, athlete, and member of the choir, Rosen continues to juggle his academic responsibilities with his American Idol aspirations as the school year progresses. He has a reputation for putting his all into every task he takes on. This drive will certainly help him as he takes the next step in his musical career. Merrick will be pa-

tiently waiting to watch Rosen represent his hometown as he moves on to the next round of Auditions in Hollywood, California. Mr. Michael Marino, math teacher and the assistant coach of the varsity baseball team, called Rosen “not only a great athlete but such a humble and nice kid.” “He was one of the main reasons we won the county championships last year. We’ll be missing an allcounty caliber athlete, but we really hope he goes all the way,” Mr. Marino said. Rosen has also made an impression on his peers as well. When asked about her classmate, junior Kristi Tice said “He represents our school well because he’s a wellrounded individual. He represents the ideal Calhoun student.” Tune in to Fox 5 Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. to follow Rosen throughout his American Idol journey. But don’t scramble to request the up and coming star on Facebook - his friends list has officially maxed out.

(with permission from

Rosen, second from left, waits with other Idol hopefuls at the New Jersey audition.



February 2011


Season a success for Lady Colts by Philippa Boyes Editor-in-Chief

The Lady Colts basketball team took their best shot, but lost in the first round of the playoffs to Uniondale, by a score of 49-32. The team finished the season 8-6, but several players said the team is holding their heads high as they achieved their goal. “I thought we did really well

(photo by Kate Valerio)

Junior Danielle Losee

this season,” said junior Danielle Losee. “It was our goal at the beginning of the season to make the playoffs and that’s what we did. We got better and better every game and played our hearts out.” Leading the team down the stretch was senior Meghan O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan scored 20 points in a late-season game against Kennedy and 18 points in a loss to Elmont. In the playoff loss, though, all the Lady Colts were held under double-digit scoring, and Uniondale outscored the Colts 14-3 in the fourth quarter. Losee was a big contributor all season, scoring 14 points in a win against Carey and 9 in the Elmont loss. In an early season win against Uniondale, Losee scored 17 points. Junior Jessica Ruggerio led the team in scoring several times throughout the season, including 23 in the Carey win and 19 in a win against Valley Stream Central. Teammate Kelly Gallo, junior, echoed Losee’s sentiments and believes the playoff loss does not speak for the season as a whole. “Although we had our ups and downs this season, we achieved

(photo by Kate Valerio)

Junior Carley Singer and the Lady Colts lost their first-round game against Uniondale.

our goal of making the playoffs,” she said. “Overall, I think we had a very successful season.” With the year behind them, the talk turns to next season.

“This year we are losing two key starters, O’Sullivan and Ellie Rosenblum, but I think we are going to do just fine next year. I know the girls will step up,” Losee said.

Lebron still shames the game by Bobby Lemaire Contributing Writer

As the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected hometown hero Lebron James to save their floundering franchise. It turned out all he did was break the Cleveland faithful heart. After, his seven championshipless years in Cleveland, James became a free agent and took his talents to the Miami Heat. Halfway through the season, they Heat are starting to look like a decent team, but James’s image will never look the same. On national television James decided to let his home state of Ohio down, publicly saying that Cleveland wasn’t a good enough place. The way he made this decision ruined his respectability. James went from having the love of all fans to being compared to Benedict Arnold and Judas. A Cavaliers fan said, “When things get tough, you leave.” Was it worth it? The Heat were 41-15 at the AllStar Break. For some teams, that would be a solid start. But for James and company, that is far below of what is expected from Heat

(photo courtesy of MCT)

Lebron James took his talents to South Beach, but will he lead the Heat to the title?

fans. They expect their revamped team to break the wins in a season record of 72 set by the Chicago Bulls during Michael Jordan’s heyday. It might be possible that James is under more pressure now than his time in Cleveland. Anything short of an NBA Championship will be considered a colossal failure for James and the Heat, and most of the fans will be rooting against him. Instead of embracing James, they will make sure that every away game is a struggle for him for the rest of his career. That leads to another question. Can he live with that? It probably is not fun being universally hated. Its also not fun being a former team leader and now playing second fiddle to a player that is beloved in Miami. With the Boston Celtics still at the top of the conference and the New York Knicks improving themselves the Heat have competition to even get to the finals. Personally, I think that Lebron James is a coward. He took cheap shots at his former team and didn’t give them a chance to sign another big time free agent. He didn’t apologize to the fans for humiliating them. Mr. James, you dug your grave, now you can lie in it.


February 2011



Rifle team on target to win Bogart qualifies for Jr. Olympics Now math teacher Mr. Michael lost to will be at counties as well. Marino coaches the team. Being a A major component of the disdistrict team, it includes students trict rifle team is Kelly Bogart, a Everyone knows about the foot- from Calhoun, as well as Mepham junior at Calhoun. Surprisingly enough, Bogart ball team, soccer teams, and the and Kennedy. lacrosse teams. However, some of For practices “It’s nice to have a balance only picked up the sports receiving the highest and games, a bus of boys and girls on the team. a gun and tried recognition are receiving virtually picks up the team It creates an environment shooting a mere month before no credit for their hard work and members from where there is relatively no success, including the rifle team. all three schools tryouts in her drama, everyone is having brings freshman year. This year, the first time ever, and the Bellmore-Merrick District rifle them to Nassau fun, and no one feels left out.” Her father had earned a scholteam has made it to counties. County Rifle and - Kelly Bogart arship to college Back in the old days, Calhoun’s Pistol Range at Junior for it, so she gave basement had its own shooting Mitchell Field. it a shot. range. However, it was closed Practices consist Beyond what down years ago after graduate of shooting two Thrine Kane left. Kane, a shooter, targets, each having twelve bulls she would have expected during went on to play on the Xavier Uni- on them. Two of these are practice her freshman season, Bogart went versity Rifle Team and later on the targets called sighters, which are on to win counties last season, as 2000 United States Olympic team, not scored. This season, the team well as finish fifth in the country went 6-2. Both the teams that they with the average of all her matchcompeting in Syndey, Australia. es. She received the MVP award on her team, and was Athlete of the Month in January. Additionally, outside of school, Kelly competed in the Junior Olympic Trials. She qualified for states and has qualified to go to Colorado Springs to compete in the Junior Olympics in April. Looking toward the future, Bogart plans to see how she develops as a shooter and possibly shoot in college, depending on where she wants to go. Kane,who graduated from Calhoun in 1999, also qualified for the Junior Olympics and won the air rifle event. The success of rifle as a team is due in part to their camaraderie. Being a smaller team, they are all able to bond with one another and really become one, despite the fact that rifle is an individual sport. In Bogart’s freshman year, there were only three girls on the team. “It was nice because there was no drama, and pretty much everyone was friends,” she said. The next year, the team increased to four girls. “It began to make the team feel a little more balanced,” Bogart explained, “but it was still sort of a boys’ club.” (photo provided by Kelly Bogart) This season, the team is up to Bogart and the team practice at the Nassau County Rifle and Pistol Range. by Rachel Tyson Sports Editor

(photo provided by Kelly Bogart)

Bogart qualified for the Junior Olympics.

eight female players; the most it’s ever had. “It’s nice to have a balance of boys and girls on the team. It creates an environment where there is relatively no drama, everyone is having fun and no one feels left out,“ she said. The success continues coming for the rifle team; it seems that the well-deserved recognition will follow suite. As counties quickly approach, past achievements will hopefully bring future success. The rifle team went 6-2 this season and is made up of athletes from all three schools in the district, including Bogart, the junior who also qualified for the state competition.

As the popularity of rifle takes off, the reputation of it being a boy’s sport is starting to shed. “Even outside-of-school shooting, there are a lot of girls getting involved in the sport, and a good amount of them are beating the boys,” Bogart said with a laugh. “Now they even make pink shooting jackets!”

Playoff run Boys return to post-season by Dana Reilly Staff Writer

The boys’ basketball team has a made a lasting impression. This season the boys have had a conference record of 9 wins and 5 losses and qualified for the playoffs. However, after a third place finish, they were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round by Uniondale, 64-48. It was the first time since the 2005-2006 season the boys made the playoffs. Leading the boys into the playoffs were captains Andrew Leif and John Wigand. The boys are two of the four seniors on this team. Leif and Wigand have played basketball since their freshman year. They started out on the JV team and quickly worked their way up. In sophomore year they joined the varsity team and have been doing great ever since. “Andrew is a leader. I could see that even as early as his fresh-

man year when he played on the JV team,” Coach Kreutzberger said. “John is our other captain. He leads more by example. He sets the tone for us in how physical he plays. Our success this year is in large part due to their perseverance.” Another addition to their success is Coach K himself. He has been coaching basketball for 11 years, both boys and girls in various schools all around Nassau County. In 2006-2007 Mr. Kreutzberger started coaching the boys junior varsity program. The season after he took over the varsity boys basketball team, and ever since they have been doing great. “I could not be more proud of the collective effort of the boys. I knew from day one of tryouts this season that we would be more talented team, but all of our players have put in a tremendous effort and learned to play smart. They have had a singular purpose since

(photos by Kate Valerio)

Sophomore Tom Joannou shoots a free-throw against Great Neck South.

the middle of November: to end our playoff drought.” Junior Corey Sweeney said this will be a season to remember. “This season was great - one of the best Calhoun had in a while.

We accomplished our season goal of making the playoffs,” he said. “It will be tough to win on the road without our great fans in attendance, but the team is proud of how far we have come.”

Kicking the competition

(photos courtesy of Morgan Gold)

Calhoun’s Kickline finished first in the pom routine and second in the kick routine at the Scholastic Kickline Competition at Nassau Community. The team is led by captains Jessie Driscol, Val Marchaisi, and Katrina Gutilla.

Hoofbeats February 2011  
Hoofbeats February 2011  

Hoofbeats February 2011