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The Merionite

September 9, 2011

Volume 83, Issue 1

The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

Photo courtesy of Lower Merion Historical Society

A birds eye view of Lower Merion High School and administration building in the 1940s, including the Ardmore Junior High School, which was torn down in 2008.

Thieves strike LMHS celebrates a century of education on Montgomery Ave. two local banks Zack Schlosberg

Class of 2012

bigger, 17-acre property on Montgomery Avenue, its present location, in a building that cost $100,000 to build. There were twenty-one staff members employed under the principal Charles Pennypacker.

was almost 1500 in that year. LM added a groundbreaking technical building in 1943, with shops for auto repair, metal, print, wood-working, and drafting. This was the only one of its kind in the

This year, LM is celebrating it’s 100th anniversary. There has been an LMHS building on this spot at Montgomery Avenue for a century. There were two other buildings before the shining edifice that stands today. Thousands of students have come through these school doors, each in pursuit of an education and a future that LM has provided. However, the school had humble beginnings, and it took one hundred years for the ever changing and growing school to morph into what it is today. On a cold night in 1834, planners met at the General Wayne Inn to form the Lower Merion School District, the first such district in Montgomery County. The district was formed from disparate academies and schoolhouses from across the Photo courtesy of Lower Merion Historical Society township. These schools only provided for grades 1-6, and it The open-air courtyard of LMHS in the 2000’s before the most recent wasn’t long before students began building was constructed in 2010. asking for high school curriculum. Three schools began to house high On the same site in 1922, Ard- area, and it attracted students from school classes, and they were con- more Junior High School was built, across the county, greatly increasing solidated in 1894 to Lower Merion and new wings were attached to the the school’s population and prestige. High School, which was attached high school in order to house the The library and cafeteria wings were to the Ardmore Avenue Elementary growing numbers of students. The School. teaching staff grew to sixty-one by See ANNIVERSARY, page 2 By 1911, the school moved to a 1940, and the number of students

G. Doron/M. Schaeffer

Class of ‘12/15

Over the summer, Lower Merion Township experienced multiple bank robberies. The first robbery occurred on August 9 at the Wells Fargo Bank branch in the Haverford part of Lower Merion. A man entered the bank on Lancaster Avenue around 1:00 pm, holding a silver handgun. He jumped over the counter, obtained the money and quickly exited. The suspect was last seen by witnesses in the back parking lot going towards Railroad Avenue. Police believe he crossed through Haverford College, but the rainstorm taking place at the time made the suspect difficult to follow. The suspect’s trail was lost in Ardmore close to Armat Avenue. This same man is thought to have robbed the same bank almost a year ago. “Wells Fargo Bank in Haverford was also robbed last year in similar style,” said Michael McGrath, the superintendent of Lower Merion Police. The police described the suspect as a black male wearing a black hooded jacket and gray sweatpants. He wore some sort of goggles. This mysterious man has so far gotten away with his crime. The LM police are investigating a second robbery that happened a short week later. Two men entered the First Trust Bank in Bryn Mawr on Tuesday, August 16. One of the two carried a handgun and took the money. The other did not appear to be armed. After exiting the bank with the money, the men walked in the direction of Town Place, and no witnesses saw where they went. The first suspect was described as a black male around five feet, eleven inches to six feet tall with an athletic build. He wore a dark blue or black sweat-

See ROBBERIES, page 3


September 9, 2011


The Merionite

Community, teachers, alumni reflect on 9/11 a decade later Hannah Schaeffer

Class of 2012

One decade after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the world memorializes this tragic event. Communities everywhere reflect on the loss of thousands and the slow recovery that New York City’s community had to endure. After ten years of deliberation, the National September 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York City will open on the anniversary of the tragedy. The Memorial Museum at the site will open a year later under a glass atrium, taking visitors to the very center of Ground Zero. The ceremony will unveil waterfalls that empty into massive reflecting pools edged by the bronze names of the 2,982 people killed on September 11. When the memorial opens there will be hundreds of white oak trees surrounding the area, creating an urban grove. Among these 9/11 ceremonies there will be the opening of a memorial to United flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. This memorial will honor the 40 passengers and crew on United Flight 93 who perished in this field after fighting the hijackers who were aiming the plane for the United States capitol. Closer to home, the LM community also has the chance to reflect on the events of September 11. The community is invited to attend the ceremony on Sunday, September 11 at 7 p.m. at the Bryn Mawr Fire Company, 901 W. Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr. As for remembering the event LMHS, there will be a moment of silence during the school day to remember those that lost their lives. “Even a moment of silence is an important sign of respect,”

principal Sean Hughes remarked. Even though the event took place a decade ago, Hughes still remembers the day like it was yesterday. “I was teaching in room 209 in the old building... I lost a friend in one of the towers and I can remember for days after 9/11 hoping that he was going to surface as a survivor, but that news never came and his remains were found,” Hughes said. “There are very few experiences in life where if asked you remember exactly what you

“I feel more comfortable knowing that so many are dedicated to keeping the memory alive of those that perished.” -Principal Sean Hughes were doing and for me 9/11 is one of them. Healing from such a tragedy is never easy but I feel more comfortable knowing that so many are dedicated to keeping the memory alive of those that perished.” On September 11, 2001, LM’s principal, Dr. Jack Maher, came on the PA system during a morning class and delivered general information about the terrorist attacks from what he had learned. The building went into lockdown status, meaning that classes were on as usual but no students were permitted to leave until regular dismissal time unless their parents picked them up.

The guidance office was open for students to go to if they had a family member in New York City, or if they were upset and needed to talk. There were faculty meetings both after school and before school started on September 12 to inform the teachers of protocol. Teachers were told to keep TVs and radios off, and go on with school as usual. To accommodate everyone, the Student Council created a message board in the lobby outside the old main office for everyone to write something. Former LM student and new Spanish teacher Sean Capkin can also recall that day at LM. “When I think back to September 11 and my memories of that day, disbelief is the best word to describe my feelings. I was in Spanish class when we first heard something was happening in New York,” Capkin said. “As soon as Spanish ended I ran up to Mr. Lynn’s room and sure enough he had the television on and I think I sat in his room and Mr. Quinn’s room the rest of the day… all after school activities were cancelled so that everyone could get home to hug their families.” LMSD put all the schools on lockdown that day, and guidance counselor Dermot Anderson remembers what the lockdown was like at Welsh Valley Middle School. “I remember everyone being evacuated to the track where we were informed by our principal what had happened. All of us, teachers, counselors and principal, discussed how to tell the kids so that we wouldn’t create hysteria,” Anderson stated. “As the day wore on, the worse the news got and everyone was in shock” The infamous September 11, 2001 occurred one full decade ago, but the world will never forget those that lost their lives in the events that transpired that day.

LM plans for 100th anniversary TSA successful at nationals “We’re hosting a series of staff spotlight events, the first one is going to be an art show; added in 1950. By 1957, it was clear that we’ll turn the Administration Building into LMHS had outgrown its original building, a gallery of their works. That’s going to be and a new high school was planned and built. around October 6, and that’ll be the official reThis state-of-the-art air-conditioned high opening of [the Administration Building].” school was then knocked down in 2010, and “The second event will be a spotlight of yet another new building rose on Montgom- the social studies staff, and we’re going to use ery Avenue. that as a way LM Stuto mark the dent Council hundred-year has appointed anniversary. a Centennial The idea is Committee for that some of planning this the programyear’s festiviming around ties, which will the event will occur later in the focus on the year. They hope [school’s] histo set aside a day tory and how in February for the building these events, Photo courtesy of Lower Merion Historical Society has evolved which will haphere, and what pen throughout that Automobiles surround Pennypacker Field in Lower Merion 1923 day. High School was Co-head of the Committee, Hannah one hundred years ago versus now. That’s Smolar said, “We plan to make the hundredth going to be around December 6.” day of school all about spirit, activities, and After 100 years, a building, the third one to competitions to help celebrate the anniversary house LMHS, still stands tall on Montgomery this year.” Avenue. More modern, perhaps, more ameThe District also has some plans to com- nities, perhaps, but the basic purpose hasn’t memorate the anniversary. changed over the past century: to educate and District Spokesperson Doug Young said, enrich young, curious minds.

From ANNIVERSARY, page 1

Photo courtesy of Lower Merion Historical Society

A photograph of the Lower Merion bus circle on a sunny day in the 1920’s

Gilad Doron

there is a lot to be learned from the Class of 2012 conference. Most participants define the Lower Merion’s TSA chapter capped conference as a learning experience and off the year with a successful showing appreciate its diversity. Students from at the national conference. around the country gather together and Every year, TSA holds a national bond through competition. conference full of technology-related “You can learn to work under presevents that help competing students sure, meet other people, see the variety develop a variety of technology and of opinions people have on different leadership skills. issues across the nation,” said senior “We compete in a myriad of events Aniqa Hassan, LM’s TSA President. that range from architecture, to video “I’d say that any group of students game programming, to photography and going off to compete in events that have even fashion designing,” said senior Ines enriched the students in doing them and Roman, LM’s TSA Secretary. to get as much out of the conference At the end of June, LM brought 22 activities as possible had a successful students to Grapevine, Texas to compete conference,” Hoffman further comin various individual and group events. mented. All of the N o w , students had LM’s TSA qualified for chapter is their events looking at the earlier forward to regional and this next state confery e a r. T h e ences. For officers four days stuhave made dents competit clear that ed at different they are times, conferfocused on ence centers Photo courtesy of M. Piotrowski improving and hotels. in their LM TSA celebrates at Nationals. “There are some events and events prepared before the conference, finishing higher on the national level. some events that are done entirely on Students are encouraged to try out difsite, and some events that have both ferent events in this coming year. prepared components and on-site comThe class of 2011, however, has left ponents, “ said senior Josh Hoffman. a legacy for LM to live up to. Each student competed in about three “We are losing a lot of seniors who events. In addition, the conference of- did really well on their events, however fered optional special interest sessions we are also getting a lot of enthusiastic and events such as engineering and freshmen,” said Hassan. “Not to mention mathematics. that the returning members from last At the awards ceremony on the last year are coming back with new knowlday, ten individuals and teams from LM edge on how to create a better project. finished in the top ten of their respec- Hopefully we will continue to do well tive events, two of which placed in the at these competitions.” top three. All LM students are encouraged to “Statistically speaking, we didn’t do join TSA not for the knowledge, but for as well as we did in past years,” said the experience. Hoffman, “but there are many chapters “We love newcomers and really make who go to Nationals and don’t bring them part of our family,” said Roman. home finalist pins at all.” “You can learn so much from participatNevertheless, LM students know ing in TSA.”


September 9, 2011

The Merionite

Ardmore named 45th best place to live Zack Schlosberg

Class of 2012

One hundred years ago, the first LMHS was built on the spot where it stands today in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. As the years have passed and the school district has developed, many have wondered why LMHS is so close to the other high school, Harriton High School, and why both schools are so out of the way from the district’s elementary and junior high schools. Perhaps the builders of LMHS were prescient, and knew that they were building a school in what would become one of the most vibrant and livable towns in the USA. Ardmore has been named the 45th “best place to live” in the entire country by Money Magazine. Besides LMHS, Ardmore boasts a historic downtown area, a lively arts community, and an Amtrak station. The article on the Money Magazine website points out that “many colleges, including Villanova University and Bryn Mawr College, are located nearby, giving residents still more access to cultural events.” As LM students know, Ardmore already has a strong cultural scene, including the popular high-end shopping district Suburban Square, crowded and upbeat

performances at Milkboy Coffee, and the dynamic monthly artfest First Friday Main Line. Already planned for Ardmore over the coming months are events such as the Ardmore Bridal Block Party, the Clover Market, Oktoberfest, and Taste of Ardmore. The 2011 list ranks towns with populations between 8,500 and 50,000, a range in which Ardmore fits snugly, with a total population of 12,900. The magazine started originally with over 3,500 towns

remained that were whittled down to 100 by job growth, home affordability, safety, quality of schools, diversity, ease of living, and culture criteria. More detailed economic data helped the final 100 be ranked. Sitting at 45 on the list, Ardmore’s median home price and average property taxes were slightly higher than average. It also ranked high on number of colleges and universities within a 30-mile radius, as well as school scores in reading and math. Crime rates were also higher than most towns on the list, but still very low compared to other towns nationwide. Also, Ardmore ranked very high on the number of libraries, museums, restaurants, and bars within 15 miles. Ardmoreites are also slightly older and slightly bettereducated than average. Projected job growth was the only category Photo by Julia Spandorfer/Staff in which Ardmore didn’t measure up to average, and even so, it only South Ardmore Park, a popular barely missed the mark. spot for Ardmore residents. Many Ardmore residents were not that matched the population profile, and surprised to learn of their place on the list, began to weed out towns with incomes if anything, they were disappointed they either far too large or too small. Towns only made 45th. Other inhabitants of LM with major job losses or poor education may be more surprised to discover that Arand crime scores were also excluded. Re- dmore is so culturally vibrant. However, tirement communities and those that are at they would merely be latecomers to one least 95% white were ruled out. of Lower Merion Township’s best-kept At this point, approximately 750 secrets.

Construction update, lawsuit settled for $3.75 mil Hannah Schaeffer

Class of 2012

Even with the LM’s shining new building finished and in use, there is still blaring construction going on right outdoors. “With a few tasks still at hand, all major work is to be complete by December 11,” reported project manager Ed Postell at a township construction update meeting. There will be a new bus loop beginning the first day of school, and the temporary parking lot in Arnold Field is now being removed. In that area, there will now be a new storm water Detention Basin, three playing fields and all fallen trees and debris will be removed. All landscaping will take place in September, the best time to plant trees. The new parent drop off is located in the parking lot in the front of the school. “Please do not attempt to drop off or pick up your student from Montgomery Avenue of Owen Road or other side streets,” a letter to parents from Principal Sean Hughes read. “Lower Merion Police will be on hand during the first few weeks of school assisting in enforcing the correct drop off and pick up procedures.” Student parking also must change due to Arnold field construction. “Student parking will now be in the rear,” township representative Patrick Guinnane stated. “There will be 105 total student parking spots, but we’re going to have about 58 parking spaces until Arnold field construction is over.” In addition to the current construction LMSD is simultaneously dealing with settling construction lawsuits from over ten years ago. In order to settle a decade old legal battle regarding construction contracts at Penn Wynne Elementary School, LMSD

will pay $3.75 million, school officials recently decided. The District finally concluded mediation and the Board of School Directors immediately approved the settlement. In 1999 the firm Counsel Construction got a contract with LMSD to renovate Penn Wynne Elementary, with the help of another company, Fidelity and Deposit. LMSD fired the company, “for cause” shortly after it began the following year.



District settles webcam lawsuit The LMSD Board of School Directors approved a settlement for another lawsuit filed by a LM family who alleged their child was spied on by the district. The Board agreed to pay $10,000 dollars to the family, but little else is known about the case. The grade, sex, and school of the student were not disclosed. The reasons for the activation of this student’s webcam are also not clear. This is the fourth settlement by the District about webcam issues.

Attorney asks judge to throw out webcam lawsuit

In June, Harriton graduate Joshua Levin filed a suit alleging that the District spied on him through his school-issued-computer’s webcam. Attorneys for LMSD have asked a federal judge to throw out this suit, alleging that there is no proof that “anyone from the district ever actually saw any of the images taken by [Levin’s] laptop.” Levin’s laptop was one reported stolen from a Harriton locker room, and police activated the security feature and found the computer in September 2008. However, the feature was never turned off, prompting the suit.

LMHS, HHS named top high schools in Newsweek poll

In Newsweek’s annual ranking of U.S. high schools, both Lower Merion School District high schools made the top 500. Harriton ranked 123, the top high school in Pennsylvania, and Lower Merion ranked 224, the fourth-best high school in Pennsylvania, and LMHS boasts the highest average SAT score in the state, with 1790.

—Zack Schlosberg, ‘12

School to add cafeteria seating LM’s cafeteria seating is now being expanded. In addition to the variety of tall, short, and booth seating indoors, there will be new outdoor cafeteria seats by the new bus circle being installed by the end of September for students to utillize during the warm months.

Photo by Julia Spandorfer /Staff

Deconstruction of the Arnold field parking lot has signified the end of construction at LM.

The dismissal of a contractor sparked several lawsuits before mediation ever started. The final settlement was concluded as the district agreed to pay the $3.75 million. “We’ve been budgeting for this for quite some time. We knew we owed them money,” District spokesman Doug Young said. This settlement concludes the last lawsuit from all the projects in the elementary schools. The company had originally sought as much as 14 million dollars from LMSD as a result of these lawsuits. With construction lawsuits settling and construction coming to an end outside LM, construction seems to finally be quieting down.

Two local banks robbed within week From ROBBERIES, page 1

-shirt, jeans and gray sneakers. Armed with a handgun, he also had his face covered by a white or gray shirt Police described the second suspect also as a black male. This suspect was around five feet eight inches tall, and very thin. He was wearing a dark blue or black hooded sweatshirt, jeans and tan work boots. He wore sunglasses and a yellow baseball cap. Police think that there is no connection between these two robberies. Neither bank was able to comment on the robberies. Nevertheless, the police department has had few leads on finding the robbers. “No arrests have been made in any of those cases,” said Michael McGrath. The LM community can only hope that the local bank ro beries of 2011 stop here.

Photo by Julia Spandorfer/Staff Wells Fargo Bank was the first bank robbed.

New grassy space to be filled around LM

Outside the old bus circle, there currently is a brown patch of land that will potentially be an open canvas for students to use. Due to the size of the area, there is not enough room for a full playing field. The District is interested in students’ opinions for use of the area. Ideas such as a beach volley ball court, a miniature golf court or a community garden have been suggested.

Discrimination suit against district trial date set to Nov. 1 Eight African American families claimed in 2007 that black students are disproportionately placed in special education and low level classes in LM schools. The plaintiffs claim that though African Americans make up about 8 percent of the student population, they make up 14 percent of special-ed classes, and there were no African Americans in any honors, AP or IB courses between 2005 and 2008. Plaintiffs are lobbying to keep the case headed for a trial they believe it deserves, while LMSD is seeking to dismiss the case immediately. The case was set earlier this year for a November 1, 2011 trial.

—Hannah Schaeffer, ‘12


September 9, 2011

The Merionite EDITORIAL


Don’t Yuck My Yum

Imagine, you’re walking down the halls of LM, enjoying your life and talking to your friend about something you’re excited about, when out of nowhere you hear a voice. This voice could come from anyone; the source is irrelevant; the content is what’s important. This voice takes what is so dear to you and attempts to soil it. The conversation starts slowly, a quick, “how was your summer?” but it won’t end there. Those who have done something noteworthy go into great detail and depth describing what was so joyous about their activity. The polite people of the world respond with an exclamation of approval, a “yes” or “cool,” but others, the “Yum-Yuckers” of the community, will strike down happy clouds of memories like the storm of disappointment they are. “Yum Yuckers” have such an insatiable need for attention that they seek to gain that attention by verbally attacking the product of another person’s labor. We’re not talking about the occasional complaint; falling into the trap of negativity is extraordinarily easy and we all have done it at some point. We’re talking about consistently seeking to gain attention and laughs by bringing others down. The problem starts when a joke becomes a routine, and when a rare spurt of pessimism becomes a defining aspect of a personality. Now, here’s a message for those people that get satisfaction out of tearing down what others build up: no one wants to hear all the reasons that other people don’t quite live up to your standards. There’s a saying that “what goes around, comes around.” Next time you’re thinking about insulting someone’s passion, “yucking” someone’s “yum,” remember that someday your position may be reversed and you may be the one putting effort into something, only to have that effort met with laughs, guffaws, and disrespect. There is no prize for being negative, only utter despair. However, if you are one of these “YumYuckers,” and have seen the error of your ways, do not fret, there is still time for redemption. Take all that effort you put into being negative and put it towards something positive and, not only will others think more highly of you, you will be happier. So, “Yum-Yuckers,” next time you are thinking about making a negative comment, take a step back and ask yourself, “Will this comment be constructive in any way?” And you, whose yum has been yucked, next time you see someone being unnecessarily negative, we urge you to stand up straight, look them in the eye, and say, “Yuck you!’” Unsigned editorial on this page reflects the general opinion of student editors, not the views of individuals.

The Merionite Editors-in-Chief

News Editors

Op-Ed Editors

Features Editors

Maya Afilalo, ’12 Eric Cohn, ’12 Ian Cohn, ’12 Gilad Doron, ’12 Hannah Schaeffer,’12 Zach Schlosberg,’12 Danny Kane, ’12 Andy Scolnic, ’14 Patrick Scott, ’12 Itai Barsade, ’13 Rebecca McCarthy, ’13 Robbie Warshaw, ’14

Special Features Editors

Andrew Pasquier, ’13 Nicole Wang, ’13

Sports Editors

Noah Levick, ’13 Josh Niemtzow, ’12

Arts & Robert Gaudio, ’12 Entertainment Aviva Mann, ’13 Editors Margaret Meehan, ’13 Copy Editors Aziz Kamoun, ’12 Darby Marx, ’13 Photo Editor Chris Conwell, ’12 Layout Editor Robert Zhou, ’13 Web Editor Charlie Li, ’12 Business Nathan Posener, ’12 Managers Daoud Schelling, ’13 Advisor Mr. Chad Henneberry Business Advisor Mr. Sean Flynn

The editors believe all facts presented in the newspaper to be accurate. The paper acknowledges that mistakes are possible and welcomes questions as to accuracy. Inquiries regarding accuracy should be directed to the editors of the paper. Editors can be contacted via e-mail at or in Room 200A. To represent all viewpoints in the school community, The Merionite welcomes all letters to the editor. Letters can be sent via e-mail or dropped off outside the Merionite office. The Merionite reserves the right to edit letters to the editor for length or clarity. Additional Photos by Julia Spandorfer

Letter from your Student Council Officers

Dear Fellow Students, Welcome to the start of another fantastic year at Lower Merion! Though many of you came through a new entrance this morning and have likely noticed new features around the school, we hope this building feels much more like a home as we enter our second year here. The last several years have a time of transition for Lower Merion, but this year with our school building finally complete, we have the honor of fully “breaking it in” and setting precedents which could last generations as we the students define how our new, beautiful building is to be used. As the student council officers, we encourage everyone, especially the new freshman class, to become as involved as possible at Lower Merion— you only will get as much out of high school as you put into it. Invest your positive energy in our school and you will reap the benefits of the wonderful community we have here at LM. We encourage you to attend as many school events as possible, from football games, to dances, to plays, to the art show. We also want you to remember that ANYONE can be a member of student council; you don’t have to be a class officer or committee head to be able to voice your opinion. Just attend one of the meetings; all necessary information and meeting dates are posted on the student council eBoard. Our primary goal this year is to improve communication, which should act as a catalyst for increasing attendance at different events. Please sign up for the student council email list to receive a weekly bulletin about upcoming games, events, and school messages. This is a way to ensure that announcements on the loudspeakers, which sometimes cannot be heard, are not the only way to receive information. We really hope to make this the best year possible and commemorate the fact that it is our hundredth year in this location, but in order for us to do this we need all of your support. So attend events, feel free to give us your input, and don’t be afraid to contact us with questions, comments, or concerns. Let’s keep our old traditions but not be afraid to make new ones! See you all this year, Your Student Government Officers Aniqa Hassan (President) Aziz Kamoun (Vice President) Andrew Pasquier (Secretary) Danny Kane (Treasurer) Morgan Berman (Sergeant-at-Arms)


September 9, 2011

The Merionite

Question of the Month


Where were you when you found out about the 9/11 attacks, and how did they affect you personally?

I didn’t find out about the attacks until I got off the bus from school that day and found my parents, who are always at work during the day, waiting there to pick me up. At first I was disappointed because they made me go home, so I couldn’t play with my friends. I do remember watching the news for a while that day, but I cannot say that at the time I felt severely affected or threatened. For the time being, my life moved on, until I grew and could realize the full scope of the tragedy. Nico Lake ‘12

I was sitting in my elementary school class when the teachers gathered all of the students into the corner, and then they told us to stay there and not move. The two teachers promptly got a miniature TV set, and watched it in the other corner of the room. It was at that point that I knew something was wrong. Personally, they did not affect me as much as it did others who grew up seeing these towers every day. Life for me continued as usual. Everyone was just a little more scared than usual. Leo Koorhan ‘12

At home in India, it personally affected me because I realized that my dad was in New York at the time of 9/11 and I was worried something happened to him; I stayed up all night watching the news to make sure everything was okay, but watching all the destruction and devastation 9/11 had caused was extremely upsetting. It was a very scary moment for my family and I, if something had happened to my dad all of us would’ve been crushed. Vallabhi Mishra ‘12

I was in college, in an electrical engineering class, when the “professor walked in and just told us to go home and watch the

news. My roommate and I went back to our dorm room, went to sleep, and woke up a few hours later to the phone ringing off the hook. We ignored it, because it was the morning and felt terrible later, when we found out it was my roommate’s mom calling, worried. William Hawkins, Math Teacher

Being an ignorant first grader, I was unable to grasp the true horror of the 9/11. While my parents stared in shock at the television live broadcasting the collapse of the two towers, I (safely at home) merely brushed the whole event behind me. It wasn’t until around fourth grade did I truly comprehend how awful the whole incident really was. I am thankful to say that I wasn’t directly affected, but can only offer my deepest condolences to those who lost a loved one. Margaret Chuang ‘13

Summer homework or summer home-waste? Class of 2012

I have never come across anyone who has enjoyed doing summer homework. In fact, it’s very rare that I’ve broached

Sam Mark

the subject without it being met with violent opposition. It’s impossible, on some level, not to view it as an unwanted imposition on the three months of stress free living that we’re given every year. Summer work is almost met as a moral outrage, a reminder that regardless of whether we go to class the next morning, we’re still beholden to schoolwork. But really, how unreasonable a demand is it? We read 500 pages of literature, fill out a 5 page review packet for math, then spend the remaining 99 percent of the summer free of academic obligations. Perhaps we all make too big a deal of it, especially if it’s effective and helpful for our teachers come fall. Is there any evidence of that being true? Is there really a point to working over the summer? If the idea is one worth saving, the methods need to be tweaked to achieve its intended goal. Studies have long shown that “Summer Brain Drain” is a serious detriment to educational progress from one year to the next. We forget much of what we learned, and by the time we come back in September, we’re barely more advanced than we were at the same time last year. Summer learning loss is estimated to cause about one month’s total deficiency, although it’s significantly worse in mathematics. The current school calendar system, instituted at a time when 85% of American students

were involved in agriculture, simply doesn’t work as well two hundred years later, when the number has dipped down to 3%. To many, the logical course of action is to assign work over the summer to maintain a constant and steady focus on learning. Professor Mark Bauerlein, author of “The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future,” sees this as a solution to a systemic problem. “The reason stems not only from the brain drain of summer and the fog of texting that enwraps youths during leisure hours. It relates also to an attitude young people take toward education. In a word, they regard learning as a classroom thing, that’s all,” he writes. To me, this sort of reasoning holds little water. It’s groundless di-

atribe coming from a man too far removed from the situation to review it accurately. To blame every problem facing our generation on texting and Facebook is as foolish as it is popular. To say that if we put down our cell phones and picked up textbooks during the summer we’d be in better academic shape come autumn is a dubious remark.

A comprehensive review of studies taken over the course of 25 years suggests that homework in general doesn’t improve academic performance. The studies found a negligible correlation between the amount of homework and standardized test scores. The barely existent connection revealed in these studies is made

e v e n more tenuous when one considers what summer homework actually amounts to. It’s meant to review and refresh things a student has learned so they remain fresh in the stu-

Art by Carly Ichniowski dent’s brain––but if the information isn’t fresh, how is doing work relating to it without a teacher’s help and guidance supposed to rectify that? Sitting in math class on the first day of school, I don’t think I’ve ever felt

particularly thankful for having filled out a packet the week or month before. The value of homework becomes significantly lessened when there isn’t immediate feedback and reinforcement. Then comes the aspect of summer reading. Summer reading seems to be a valuable tool in many teachers’ lesson plans. They assign readings over the summer when a student can accomplish it, and hit the ground running when the year actually begins. Occasionally, the books we’re assigned are even enjoyable. For instance without summer reading, I wouldn’t have recently read “The Dead,” which I very much enjoyed. Many of my friends spoke similarly of “Ender ’s Game,” a book they might never have gotten the chance to read that without being assigned to. However, summer reading, much like summer math, poses problems that aren’t easily answerable. When a student isn’t so fond of a book they’ve been assigned, it just fosters a resentment of reading in general. Nevertheless, giving students a choice in the matter may cause more problems than it solves. If the readings assigned weren’t standard across the class, teachers would lose the advantage of having a head start when it comes to teaching the material. Summer reading is doomed to either engender a distaste of reading among some students, or be an ineffectual tool for all of them. Summer work is a drag, but on its face, it’s a reasonable demand. We sacrifice a few hours of our three-month vacation to benefit us in the long run. In theory, the trade would be a fair one, but without some serious tweaking and critical thought, neither students nor teachers gain much from our summertime undertakings. It’s an issue that’s worth taking a deep look into, but as for now, I need to go finish my Stat packet.


September 9, 2011


The Merionite

Class of 2012

It’s no news that we need to reduce our dependency on oil, particularly on oil from foreign sources. Petro-

Josh Hoffman leum is a nonrenewable resource that puts harmful substances and greenhouse gases into the troposphere when combusted for energy. As if the threat of anthropogenic global warming weren’t enough, we only have enough of it to last us about sixty years, which means that if we keep consuming petroleum at the rate that we do, this planet will run out before most of our deaths. The United States is the most profuse energy user and consumer of oil, burning 21,000,000 barrels of oil a day, importing 5/7 of it. (The United States contains 5% of the world’s population but uses 30% of the world’s resources.) Because the United States imports a ton of oil from Saudi Arabia, we’ve shut our eyes to their pitiful human rights record. I contend that the solution to reducing our dependence on oil and switching our country rests in many things that are

means inherently that our dependence on it would lower significantly. When the day comes that the United States isn’t burning 21,000,000 barrels a day, the petroleum industry won’t be such a big deal or a big staple of our economy, and it will be easier for the country to transition into something else. The government won’t give oil companies as much of a break, as well. It’s basically buying less of a product that we already buy a lot of, so I contend that our method of going about this, the part that each of us students can take, would be no greater threat to our economy than people drinking less coffee or using less paper. Besides, the green energy industry has the potential to open up millions of jobs in the US. How do we go about this? I’m sure you guys are familiar with green tips. Here are some familiar and some unfamiliar ones: ~ Turn off the lights when you’re not in the room, and try to use natural light. ~ Unplug your chargers and electronics when they’re not in use. About 10% of home energy use is from standby power, devices plugged in that still take in a bit of power despite being turned off. I like to unplug TVs when we go on vacation. ~ Reduce the brightness of your cell

out of most phone people’s and laptop screens. I swear Art by Aviva Mann/Staff control, but that after a few days your there is a way that all of us, even eyes will adjust, you will quickly as students, can take control. Belearn to type with a dark keypad, and cause political solutions are generyou won’t notice the difference. It ally shunned by the right wing, no will make a huge difference in terms political solution is as practical or as of battery life and how often you’ll guaranteed to work as the translucent need to charge it, thus a noticeable hand of the free market, and the free difference in your carbon footprint. market hand is very much connected ~ Take the bus to school in the to our brains, more in our control morning instead of taking a car. One than you’d think. For example, I person can seriously save the amount maintain that I do not place all of of carbon emissions to equal the mass the blame for the Deepwater Horizon of an African elephant by doing this Oil Spill last year on British Petrofor a year. Also, consider walking or leum but rather on all of us: on me, biking places that aren’t too far away. on you, on everyone. Why? BP was You don’t need to be as obsesallowed to drill in the Gulf of Mexico sive about energy usage as I am—I because of the high demand in the US would never wish that on someone— for oil. When gas and energy prices but some steps don’t require much put a strain on people’s wallets, they thought. The little things can count are supposed to encourage people to for a lot; if everyone at LM went think about finding other resources home today and shut off one light and reducing energy usage altogether, for an hour when it would otherwise not look for more places to drill and be wastefully used, that could save destroying more and more ecosysabout 43 pounds of carbon emissions. tems in the process. Once we’re on something cleaner This is essentially my idea: Reduc- than petroleum—whatever that may ing our overall energy usage is not be, biofuels, solar, wind, our own just good for us by halting emissions feces, et cetera—then we can go back but also by reducing the demand for to careless use of energy without oil. Reducing the demand for oil worrying.

A Charitable Conundrum

American citizens are the most charitable in the world. Last year alone, US citizens as a whole donated around $300 billion to charities and philanthropic foundations. Accord-

Baird Howland

Class of 2013

Reduce dependency by reducing demand

ing to the Charities Aid Foundation, those donations account for over 1.5% of America’s gross domestic product; which dwarfs the next highest country’s donation rate, coming in at less than a percent. Americans have consistently given away more money than anyone else, more often than anyone else. Never more evident is America’s true altruism than after disaster strikes. In 2005, the nation rallied around the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Over 70% of Americans donated money to the relief effort, and over $3 dollars were raised. In a similar rallying fashion, The Chronicle of Philanthropy estimates that Ameri-

their own countrymen that is present every single day. The Coalition for the Homeless reports that an average of 650,000 people sleep on the streets on any given night in the United States, and about 4,000 of those are in Philadelphia. Along with that, according the World Hunger Education Service, 15% households are declared “food insecure,” or struggling to feed everyone in the house. In Philadelphia, that number is a staggering 25% of the general population. Furthermore, the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that roughly 15% of all Americans are living in poverty, which is the cause of hunger and homelessness. Simply put, a substantial amount of Americans are not able to make ends meet. Despite the relative lack of excitement and fanfare around solving these problems, any donation to charity or any amount community service can make a huge difference! There is no telethon on public radio raising money to bring medical aid to those who need it every day in the United States, even though well over 150,000 Philadelphians currently are completely uninsured (PHMC Household Health Survey). Similarly, no relief concerts are held to raise money for inner-city

“Americans love the fact mentioned previously that stated that the United States is the most charitable nation on earth; however, this fact remains embarrassingly ironic as so many Americans are left in need of the charity with which we are so famously generous.” cans raised close to half of a billion dollars in early 2010 in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake. A “Hope for Haiti Now” fundraiser was organized by George Clooney and headlined by Jay-Z, where they, as well as dozens of other celebrities went on live TV, performed a concert, and “simply answered phones” to raise money. Most recently, hundreds of millions of dollars were donated to the Japanese relief effort in wake of the earthquake and consequential tsunami that ravaged Japan’s coast and left thousands homeless and in danger. Repeatedly, Americans have felt compelled to do something to help those that seem to be in need. As truly wonderful and heart warming as it is to see millions of people go out of their way to help their fellow man, the crowds flocking to call attention to the plight of those affected by a natural disaster inevitably highlight a contrast in which flocks of people from other areas are able to ignore a similar plight that leaves millions in need every single day across the United States. For instance, Philadelphia has the highest rate of malnutrition of any city in the country; yet, no “Phood for Philadelphia” concerts are broadcasted on TV. Even though every dollar donated to charities such as Philabundance, which fights hunger in the city, can make a huge difference in people’s lives. Just as Americans could not stand idle in the face of the tragedies of the tsunami in Japan, the earthquake in Haiti, and Hurricane Katrina, it is vital that Americans not turn their backs on the suffering of

public schools, which are severely underpaid and understaffed. Americans love the fact mentioned previously that stated that the United States is the most charitable nation on earth; however, this fact remains embarrassingly ironic as so many Americans are left in need of the charity with which we are so famously generous. Despite the inconsistency of attention paid to the difficulties of many Americans, there are still numerous groups of people and organizations committed to making a difference. Philabundance, a Philadelphia based organization works to provide food to families who cannot afford to regularly feed themselves. The Salvation Army is the second largest charity in the United States and provides goods and services across the nation to those deprived of basic living resources. Religious groups consistently collect the most money in charitable donations, as they are responsible for 35% of all donations in the country (Giving USA Foundation). Our own BuildOn does truly phenomenal work in organizing service projects that “break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education” ( There is a practically endless list, made up of those that commit their time, money, and efforts to help other people. Nevertheless, problems persist for Americans across the country, and many simply still need help. Their problems must be regarded with the same sense of urgency and desperation that Americans perpetrate during nationally publicized disasters.


September 9, 2011


The Merionite

Cause for optimism in Tunisia

Grade grubbers get an F

Class of 2012

Danny Kane

look on PowerSchool to find that your last assignments have been entered, and you come just short of that “A” you had hoped for in your English class. While you are disappointed, you realize that you put a lot of work into the class and are at least proud of yourself for the amount you gained from it. You take your “B+” without bowing your head in shame, and move along with your day. The kid next to you in that class also received a “B+,” but takes a completely different approach. Instead of being responsible for his actions and accepting the grade, he makes the dreaded trot to the teacher’s desk to argue his grade. As he begs and begs, the teacher finally relents and gives this dishonorable specimen a big enough bump to move up to an “A.” The path your neighbor took is commonly referred to as “Grade Grubbing,” and it is one of the biggest threats to the integrity of our educational system. Everyone wants to get good grades, and it is completely understandable to be disappointed if you do not receive the grade you hoped to. But this does NOT make it okay to grade grub whenever you do not earn the grade you want.

When students grade grub, they are taking their integrity and destroying it faster than Anthony Weiner destroyed his political career. Grade Grubbing is not fair for several reasons. For one, it puts those students who are responsible for their actions at a direct disadvantage, as they are now getting a lesser grade than their classmates who decided that they had to compensate for their inability to earn their desired grade by negotiating. Also, and perhaps more importantly, teachers have varying attitudes towards grade grubbing. While some teachers are, for reasons beyond reasonable comprehension, very open to hearing students kvetch about why they deserve a grade better than the one they rightfully earned, other teachers do the right thing and shoot down these ludicrous requests. Although these teachers are doing the right thing, their students are placed at a disadvantage because they are now being held to an unfairly enhanced standard compared to the one that students with softer teachers are held to. Perhaps the worst part of grade grubbing is the baffling lack of character it shows. When someone begins the practice of grade grubbing, they open a whole array of questions about themself. For one, grade grubbing shows that the Grubber is unwilling to accept responsibility for his actions. I would never put a Grade Grubber in charge of anything I care about, because if he were to find a way to botch the assignment, he would undoubtedly have few answers, but would offer many fabricated excuses why he is not to blame. I would never play a Grade Grubber in golf, as he would probably cheat and report a false score rather than face the consequences of a badly played hole. The fact of the matter is that any Grade Grubber is a person who is completely incapable of being trusted with anything, because Grade Grubbing shows a complete lack of a moral compass, and its elimination would make our educational system a great deal more wholesome.

Over eight months ago, on January 14, 2011, the seemingly unthinkable happened in the small North African nation of Tunisia: the oppressive 23-year

Class of 2012

Imagine it’s the last day of the quarter, and, much to your chagrin, you

Aziz Kamoun

regime came to a resounding end as the President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia following nearly a month of protest against corruption, unemployment, and lack of political freedom, setting off a gripping chain of events—from the Egyptian Revolution to the Libyan and Syrian uprisings—now known as Arab Spring. While here at LMHS most of us eagerly anticipated the end of the school year on June 16, I found myself equally enthused for July 29, the date of my departure for Tunisia. To follow the uprising from home, here in Lower Merion, was all at once thrilling, unnerving, and fascinating; the prospect of witnessing the Tunisian transition to democracy in person promised to be even more compelling. In the eyes of a populace devoid of political rights for over a quarter of a century, uncertainty characterizes the upcoming October 23 elections to appoint a new government and redraft the constitution. Despite the Independent Elections Commission’s concerted efforts to make voter registration easy and efficient—including a streamlined website and a well organized, extensive advertising campaign utilizing billboards, television, and radio throughout the country—general inexperience with the political process threatens voter turnout, and consequently, the legitimacy of the election. The interim government has already delayed the election once and has extended the voter registration period twice. More recently, the government announced that all adults with national ID cards would be able to cast ballots on October 23, after only 3.9 million of 8 million citizens eligible to vote registered by mid-August. Such a plan threatens to muddle the election process for officials, as there will be both registered and unregistered adults voting. In addition to logistical issues, continued unem-

ployment among youth has frustrated Tunisians, particularly in rural areas. Often ignored in favor of more economically viable cities by the old regime, these rural towns such as Sidi Bouzid sparked the revolution in Tunisia. Resentful of Ben Ali’s countless crimes, these Tunisians, unlike Egyptians who are prosecuting ex-President Hosni Mubarak, cannot truly punish the dictator for his crimes because of his flight to the Gulf. The sputtering economy and failure to prosecute the corrupt leader have made many Tunisians skeptical of their government’s capabilities. Taking advantage of this frustration is the wellfunded Islamist Ennahda party, which advocates potentially redefining the role in society of individuals, women, and ethnical and religious minorities in a manner supposedly more in line with Islamic beliefs. With grassroots campaigns in mosques throughout the country, the party is expected to win twenty-five percent of votes. Meanwhile, the less organized secular parties, many a part of the seventy new political parties formed in the revolution’s aftermath, struggle for awareness and unity—a development that concerns Tunisians and global onlookers who want a secular democracy. While communities of Tunisians have actively campaigned online, through social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, a surprising number of people seem apathetic to the upcoming election. Driving this indifference are high expectations of immediate of changes after Ben Ali’s ouster. Nonetheless, as the United States’ 222-year democratic experiment testifies to, democracy requires time and patience to develop; the culture of representative government does not come overnight. So why should the world believe in Tunisia’s revolution? Most people point to the homogenous and well-educated population as the reason for hope. However, hope should also be placed in the younger generations, the youth that grew up in a police state, the students that so desperately yearned for freedom of expression, the professionals and workmen that rose up and overthrew an autocrat. After all, it was only a year ago when it appeared as though Ben Ali and his family would remain in power for years to come, forever frightening Tunisians into submission. If the youth seize the moment on October 23 and onward, just as they did last winter, and realize the momentous occasion before them, one that will indisputably influence the forecasts of Arab Spring, the road to democracy may just turnout to be much clearer.

Dictionary goes downhill: Oxford makes me >:(

Class of 2012

Recently, Oxford English Dictionary added the words “retweet,” “cyberbullying,” and “sexting,” to their current repertoire of words. Blogs and news sites have been chattering recently about these

Adam Cohen-Nowak

new additions to the OED, which also include the widely popular acronyms: “OMG” and “LOL.” The OED, thought to be the bulwark against the demise of the English language, has seemingly just thrown down its sword. Editor of the OED and chief of the grammar police, Angus Stevenson, said these additions were “just carrying on the tradition of a dictionary that has always sought to be progressive and up to date.” Tell that to LMFAO and SMH, one of which has just climbed the top 100 on iTunes to the sixth spot. Up to date? Codswallop. The new words were sanctified with

full etymologies, with that of “LOL” dating back to the popular 1960s “Little Old Lady,” and the less well-known Latin “Lectus onus Leto” roughly meaning “bed burden slay,” a motto similar to Jersey Shore’s “gym tan laundry” but more ancient and deadly. As we know all too well, etymologies give legitimacy to words (see “schmaltzy”, “tarragon”, then see “yegg”) I have a feeling about this Angus Stevenson character, and I hope I’m not the only one. First of all, his name is Angus. Second of all, searching his name on Google brings up images of people who I doubt are Angus Stevenson, cows, and Oxford English Dictionaries. Suspicious. All conspiracy aside, why does “cyberbullying” need to be added to the dictionary? Shouldn’t it just be referred to as online harassment or bullying? And what about sexting? Can it not be referred to as texting sexually explicit messages? Just because we speak these words doesn’t mean they need to be added

to the Oxford English Dictionary. The Urban Dictionary fills that role. I contend

Art by Carly Ichniowski we need to make the distinction between proper words and improper ones, and I’m

not the only one that thinks that. Courtney Kassel, a London urbanite, was appalled upon hearing of the latest additions. “They shouldn’t be added to the bloody dictionary,” she wrote emphatically. “They are parts of an internet fad soon to pass. Why add them to a reference book that’s supposed to be timeless?” Others agree that the usage of these Internet generation words may die or fade away after a while. What if Floonk. com becomes the new Internet fad and all of a sudden everyone floonks one other? Isn’t it futile to add “floonk” when maybe two years later I reach my friends by “grucking” them or ”spreeting” them? Well, now that you know which words made it into OED let me let you in on those that didn’t. Freezetag. Pillowpet. Nerfgun. Beltbuckle. Handhug. See a trend? And I would go on save the little red wavy lines under incorrectly spelt words weren’t so horrifying to look at. However, thanks to Cow Stevenson there won’t be any red underlining cyberbullying, retweeting, sexting, OMG, LOL and other farcical chatroom lingo. May the River Thames be spoilt with the ink of Oxford English Dictionaries. GSTQ.


September 9, 2011

The Merionite


Aces of The Arts The Mann Center stage from Shane Votto - Class of 2012

the usher’s perspective

Doug Cotler

Photo by Margaret Meehan/Staff What arts do you usually participate in? Any over the summer or for the upcoming school year? Since the start of elementary school I have taken the normal art classes that the school provides. This upcoming year, I plan on taking AP Art, which I am really excited for. Also, because I took Latin, I was involved in the annual PCS Art Competition in which Latin students from schools all over the area make some form of an artistic piece to put forth. How did you get involved in the arts? Ever since I was a kid I enjoyed drawing. Whether it was a simple doodle, or a sketch of a complicated structure. Who inspires you? I don’t really have a favorite artist but my favorite forms of art are architecture, landscapes, and graffiti.

Moriah Kofsky - Class of 2014

Class of 2013

After working this summer at The Mann Music Center, I will never treat employees at concerts or sporting events the same again. On paper, being an usher at The Mann seems like the perfect summer job for a high school kid like myself—only a few nights a week, great concerts with friends, backstage access—but there’s much more to it than that. Almost immediately, I learned that the determining factor between a fun or dreadful night is the position you are assigned last minute. The best is in the house—under the roof—and up close to the stage. Here you have a great view of the concert and most likely will be able to sit down once the main act begins. Easily, the worst position is scanning tickets at the tall gates in the front. Not only does this job require you to greet four thousand different people as they enter the venue, but it also forces you to miss most of the concert. Usually, as concertgoers, we are too caught up in the hype crowd or loud performance to notice the standing workers trying to keep us somewhat organized. I found that a simple “hello” or “thank-you” throughout the night was extremely uplifting. Another thing I found in my interactions with the crowd was the surprising amount of power people thought I had. I felt like a teenager awkwardly milling around, trying to look busy or spot friends, but to the crowd I had the authority to fix their problems,

12 ways to get involved:

Exposing the artsiest clubs at LM Arts and Entertainment Staff

Class of ‘12/’13

Photo by Maya Afilalo/Staff What arts do you usually participate in? Any over the summer or for the upcoming school year? Like last year, I plan to participate in dance team and Ace Harmony. Also, over the summer, I traveled across Europe with American Music Abroad. How did you get involved in the arts? I started taking dance classes when I was really young at Dance Express. I never took singing lessons, but I’ve had a passion for singing for as long as I can remember. What advice do you have for other artists or aspiring artists? The more you put in the more you get out. Also, put yourself out there! Who inspires you? Regina Spektor Favorite quotes? “Blah blah blah.”- Ke$ha

kick people out of seats, and scold obnoxious groups of kids. Somehow, a Mann polo and flashlight communicated a sort of intimidation factor One of my greatest victories as an usher all summer occurred at the Selena Gomez concert in mid-August. It was a disgusting, rainy day and there had been one too many people assigned to ticket scanning outside. So, my fellow usher and I had quite the predicament on our hands. Which one of us would leave the mundane task of tearing tickets and pouring rain behind to enjoy a nice concert underneath the roof? A rock-paper-scissors game was the only solution. As we were doing the three-pound warm-up, I sensed in his eyes that he was going to go scissors. So predictable, so foolish, I thought. Sure enough, he went scissors and I went rock. I immediately turned around and walked towards the concert without looking back. I felt guilty leaving my fellow usher out in the cold rain, but then I forgot all about it as I immersed myself in the musical styling of Miss Gomez. Personally, this was one of my favorite experiences because I was able to turn a potentially frustrating few hours into a fun night. All in all, it was a fun experience seeing a great variety of music, from Kid Cudi, to Bob Dylan, to the Russian Orchestra, and earning a few extra dollars in the process. I now realize that enjoying the music as a member of the audience is very different from experiencing it as an usher, though both have their respective pros and cons.

Musical auditions for Roger and Hammerstein’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” are coming soon! Audition and Callback Dates: September 12, 13, 14 in the LM auditorium and black-box theater. The play is also being featured on Broadway staring Daniel Radcliff and John Larroquette. Contact the Players Board, history teacher John Grace, director and junior Mira Nathanson or visit http://lmplayers. com/ for further information. A great way to get involved if you want to learn, sing, and perform contemporary music is through LM’s two A Capella groups. They are relaxed, comfortable environments where you can surround yourself with others who are passionate about singing. Anyone involved in a music department class is eligible. If not in the groups, still come to the come to the winter and spring performances. Auditions are Tuesday-Friday, September 20-23 from 2:40-5:30pm each day. Sign up in room 128 (the vocal music room). For other information visit or contact choral teacher Joshua Hunnex. Do you like reporting on the latest news? Write for any section that interests you and and get your work published for the whole school to read in The Merionite. Art, illustrations, and graphic submissions are also welcome. Listen up for announcements on upcoming meetings, and participate in one of LM’s oldest clubs. Auditions for LM’s Improv Troupe (name TBD) will be held in late September. There are roughly 20 spots available, and auditions are open to everyone. After such a successful first year, you won’t want to miss out on this hilarious form of self-expression. You can get more information on their website http:// or by contacting junior Robert Gaudio. If dancing is a passion of yours, try out for LM’s Dance Team. Get involved with choreographing hip hop dances and performing at the basketball games and other school functions. Look out for audition dates, or ask the captains: seniors Abby Schmidt and Jess Margolis for more information. Whether you’re enrolled in art classes or not, you can participate in Art Forum. This group has taken trips to

places like Grounds for Sculpture in New Jersey, and to a professional ballet rehearsal. Help brainstorm ideas for art projects around LM (like group murals or paintings). Listen for announcements, or ask art teacher Daniel Hazel for more information on how to join. If you want to play music with a great group of highly skilled musicians, try out for LM’s Jazz Band. The band performs in and out of school at concerts and festivals. They have won numerous awards and are one of the top high school jazz bands in the county. Anyone enrolled in the music department is eligible for auditions. Audition sign-ups will be posted in the band room. Also, check out music teacher Aaron Datsko’s eboard for additional information. Artistic expression through forms of writing, photography, poetry, drawing and more are welcome in the Dolphin Literary Magazine. Weekly meetings are held where you can share and read others’ works, while improving your own. You can also get involved in different literary competitions. Contact Challenge teacher Joyce Acton for more information. Think you’ve got rhythm? Join the Drill Team so you can show off your drumming skills at sporting events and school functions. This loud group gets the crowd riled up and the aces spirit going . Sponsors tobe-determined, so keep a look out for information. If you have an interest in cooking or the food industry, join the Culinary Arts Club, which is sponsored by math teacher Mike Bomze. Field trips to restaurants, farmers markets, and even culinary schools are part of the agenda. The club meets two times a month. Pep Band, yet another way to get involved in a fun musical group, performs at school and community functions and sporting events. Encourage students to Shake Your Booty and earn yourself a personalized jacket. Talk to music teacher Michael Norton for more information. Whether you want to learn or teach others about photography and film, the Film/Photo club is a perfect place to satisfy your interest. Produce movies with friends, create photo shoots in the area, take trips, and compete in competitions. Meetings are weekly. Make sure you are listening to the announcements, looking out for sign-ups around school, and talking to your peers so you can get involved in the arts this 2011-2012 school year.


September 6, 2011

The Merionite


Summer of the Arts

A compilation of Lower Merion students’ artistic summers Alex Nates-Perez

Jacob Van Houten

This summer I worked on my portfolio which is a stock This summer I traveled throughout Europe photography website where designers, advertisers, blog owners, book pubwith a group called American Music Abroad. I lishers, etc., can go to buy images, videos and other things to use on their participated in the choir, but the group was also projects. made up of a band, orchestra, and jazz band. I also catered a few events, My favorite part was experiencing a variety of like dinners and cocktail parties different cultures, foods, landscapes, and meeting for Broad Street Ministry in new people. Philadelphia, where I basically I learned that just cooked and served the food things are not for them. always just fun and Also, I worked as an usher games, and that at Mann center, so I got to see touring as a mua variety of shows and musical sician, and as groups perform. part of a group, I think I learned from all can be really Photo courtesy of Alex Nates-Perez fast-paced and tirPhoto by Jacob Van Houten of the experiences. I think my photography improved from ing. I learned that Alex Standing atop the Ravioli dish showcased in Jacob’s the practice, I think my cooking cooperation with others Austrrian Alps istockphoto online portfolio improved from the experience, and and making decisions I learned about new different kinds of music. to benefit the group is important. As I realized I definitely plan on continuing both the photography and cooking, but I that this was just as much of a job as a vacation, I don’t think I will do the ushering again next summer, just because it can get learned how to make the best out of situations that boring when you don’t like who’s performing or you don’t get to see them might not be ideal. I learned that the people you’re because you’re working. around are the ones that really make or break an Photo by Aviva Mann/Staff Poster advertising the AMA concert in both German and English

Talia Lieberman

This summer I took classes at Central St. Martins School of Design in London and shadowed a designer who worked at the Urban Outfitters headquarters in the Navy yard. I learned that there is a lot of cooperation and collaboration with others in order to produce just one dress or one magazine photo shoot. I also learned that it is very important to pay attention to details and nothing can be overlooked. Photo by Talia Lieberman In London I really enjoyed observing and photographing the street style and Magazine fashion shoot on the streets of London. meeting people from all over the world. While working at the navy yard my favorite part was seeing the whole process of the designs from start to finish and working in a creative environment. I think this would be something I would like to continue as a potential career.

Will Tobias

Adam Cohen-Nowak This summer I attended a jazz program at the Kimmel Center. My favorite part was taking lessons in small groups with professional jazz artists. I learned about new artists, new styles, and gained valuable experience. I found the camp to be a very inspiring experience. Playing with kids whose talent could be considered pre-professional and taking lessons with well-known cats gave me a new appreciation for the art of jazz. You can find out about Kimmel Center programs on the Kimmel Center website,, on the education tab.

Rachel Barg

I did a vocal/choral program at the Kimmel Center for two weeks. Then I did a similar thing at Boston Conservatory. I learned more about music theory and sight singing. I also got more comfortable performing solo pieces. My favorite part was being surrounded by people who were as passionate about music as I am. Also, my roommates at the Photo courtesy of Rachel Barg conservatory were such nice, talented, fun girls. The Kimmel Rachel singing as part of a choir Center program is something I've done for a few years and I found the Boston Conservatory program online and from my voice teacher.

The week after school ended, I went with the LM Jazz Band to Italy. We performed five concerts in Rome, Viterbo, Pisa, and Florence, leaving a swath of satisfied Italian concert-goers in our wake. We averaged about two hundred fans at each performance: a mix of adults, children, and some very friendly stray animals. My favorite part of the trip was our concert in Corchiano, a small town in Viterbo. The venue for that night was built into the side of a hill, with a balcony about twenty feet above the stage area. We usually closed our concerts with A Mis Abuelos, a piece which begins with a dramatic trumpet solo, and, in a moment of brilliance, our own Ian Cohn announced that the solo should be played from the balcony. And so, two hours later, I found myself on top of the balcony with trumpet in hand. That’s the memory from the trip that will stay with me for the rest of my life. While the trip was a fantastic musical learning experience, the most important and lasting thing I learned during the week was how incredible the other members of the band were. We had spent the entire year playing jazz together, but there was something special about shared experiences like late nights at discotheques, slightly homicidal bus drivers, and early morning group runs along the water that brought out the hidden, unique sides of our personalities. By the end of the trip, there was no group of twenty-five people that I would rather have spent time with than the jazz band, Photo courtesy of John Tobias and I think a lot of people in the Will playing on stage in front of a 200-person crowd band felt the same way.

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Phillipson-Weiner The LM Jazz Band posing in Pisa


September 9, 2011


The Merionite

Philadelphia summer festivals in review Robert Gaudio

Class of 2012

Summer. A time for fun. A time for friends. A time for a tropical vacation...but most importantly; a time for music. Summer 2011 brought us no shortage of a fantastic, local music experience. From the Camden Waterfront to Schwenksville—the tunes flowed over the river and through the woods, straight to the ears of the Lower Merion student body. As summer 2011 draws to a close and the school year begins, we take time to reflect on the notable festivals, fairs, and concerts in the Philly area. The summer music scene began in early June with the fourth annual “Roots Picnic.” The picnic is a showcase of unique, genre defying acts, drawing one of the most diverse and electrifying crowds. This year ?uestlove of The Roots compiled artists from every genre and popularity level—but as a Philly boy at heart, he arranged for a slew of instate artists. Lineup: The Roots (of course), Nas, Wiz Khalifa, Man Man, Mac Miller, and Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding. Not too long after the picnic, the Caravan came to town—Dave Mattew’s Caravan that is. Dave Matthews Band began their first nationwide festival tour in Atlantic City. This was the biggest festival that came to the Philadelphia-New Jersey area this summer, and featured acts such as Ray Lamontagne, The Flaming Lips, Damian Marley, Bassnectar, and a Philly favorite, Dr. Dog. The festival lasted three days and filled Bader Field with thou-

sands of fans coming to hear every genre of music from Dupstep (Bassnectar), to Reggae (Damian Marley). The DMB Caravan was a huge highlight of summer music. About a month later local radio station WXPN had their annual festival on the Camden Waterfront at Wiggins Park. Affectionately called the XPoNential Music Festival this inexpensive and family friendly festival packed a punch this year with some very famous headliners as well as many local and up and coming artists. As usual the crowd was a healthy mix, with a slight emphasis on middle age “Cool Dads.” The lineup was quite notable; Ben Folds headlined the event, along with Booker T, Ra Ra Riot, and country music legend, EmmyLou Harris. With some incredible acts by bands like the GIVERS and Citizen Cope, the weekend was not one to be missed.

and DJ Sega. -Lil’ Wayne, Taylor Swift, and U2 also performed sold out shows in the Philadelphia area. Coming Up: -The POPPED festival at FDR Park will be a twoday festival (September 23, 24) and will feature Girl Talk, Pretty Lights, The Shins, and Panda Bear. Tickets start at $59.

Notable Mentions and Concerts: -The Philadelphia Folk Festival celebrated its 50th anniversary, originally created by Gene Shay in 1961; the folk fest has been showcasing handmade crafts, and homegrown music since its humble beginnings. Along with the fantastic camping ground the Folk Festival has become one Up and coming band, Photos by Aviva Mann of the highest attended festivals in the area. Dawes, walking towards the -Diplo and Mad Decent presented the ‘Mad Decent Pacific stage at the DMB Caravan concert. Bloc Party’ a free event featuring Das Racist, Diplo,

Union Transfer: The new concert hotspot Andrew Pasquier

Class of 2013

The already exciting music concert scene in Philadelphia is about to get a little more interesting when Union Transfer, a new venue that opens its doors later this month, fills a void in the Philly music scene. The venue will be housed in t h e a i r- c o n d i t i o n e d f o rmer Spaghetti Warehouse just north of center city on Spring Garden Street. With a capacity of 600-1000, it will be a major upgrade from the cramped First Unitarian Church, whose basement R5 Productions, indie-act promoter and sponsor of Union Transfer, has used as its main venue for years. The club will host a wide array of acts this fall— everything from folky Gillian Welch to Odd Future (OFWGKTA)’s crazy anticsin its railroad freight depot turn Spaghetti Warehouse

restaurant turn concert venue dramatic space. The idea for this type of venue was hatched by Sean Agnew, czar of R5 Productions, and the New York promoter, Bowery Presents, who realized that Philly needed a space that could accommodate a midrange-size audience. The Trocadero and TLA often were often bigger venues than many bands wanted, but the small and steamy church basement couldn’t meet their needs. The 600 capacity Union Transfer will fill this void perfectly—offering bands another option when booking their shows, and hopefully incentivizing more groups to come to Philly. Union Transfer will be a big change from the First Unitarian Church, which has offered hundreds of shows over the years since R5 productions started out in 1996. Many amazing bands have gone through the church in their first or second tours

through Philly, only to later play much bigger venues after they achieve populari t y, s u c h a s A r c a d e F i r e and Vampire Weekend. Any LMer who has been to church over the years will certainly say it’s an experience unlike any found at other concert venues—the wood-paneled basement gets crazy as the bands rock-out and the temperatures soar into the triple digits. Unfortunately, Union Tr a n s f e r d o e s a w a y w i t h some of the relaxed policies of the church such as exit and re-entry as well as extreme proximity to the band. Robert Gaudio, a senior, reminisces “I know this is a big step for R5 productions and will allow them to gain a wider audience, but I will miss those crazy, sweaty basement shows where it somehow felt like everyone in the audience and the band were friends.” R5 Productions does say that it will continue hosting concerts at the church, but

most likely the frequency of shows will be scaled back as many bands choose instead to play at Union Transfer. Union Transfer’s opening n i g h t i s We d n e s d a y S e p tember 24 when it will host P h i l l y n a t i v e s C l a p Yo u r H a n d s S a y Ye a h , b u t t h e fun doesn’t stop there as the venue now has 34 scheduled concerts for the fall along with more sure to be added. Only seven blocks north of Market East Station, Union Transfer is easily reached by us high school suburbanites and promises to be a happening new concert destination for all of us music lovers. Sadly for you Odd Future fans, their October 22 show is already sold out, but I hope to see many fellow LMers at other awesome shows this fall such as World Inferno Friendship Society’s crazy Hallowmas party on October 31st or dancing Techtronic to France’s Yelle in December.

Fall’s top five back-to-school fashion essentials Arts and Entertainment Staff

Class of 2013

You’re exhausted from preseason, cramming to finish your summer reading, and wondering who has your same who has time to worry about what they’re wearing? It’s not hard to find yourself in the hype over that first day outfit, but with these top five essential fashion statements for back-toschool, you’ll be stress free all fall. 1. Cute backpack - It’s important to remember that you will be carrying this necessary article all day for nine months, so choose it carefully. Some criteria Graphic by Aviva Mann/Staff to think about: Will it hold all of your books including laptop and case? Will it Magazine cut-outs provide inspiration get lost in the bunch, or mistaken with

someone else’s? Will it fit in enough with what I wear on a daily basis? Canvas bags with multiple pockets, and bright nylon zipper bags are practical and trendy. Try looking online at or for fun ideas. 2. Over-sized cardigan - Throw on a button-down sweater for warmth over any outfit. This is a great piece that can carry throughout any season. Try a chunky knit or striped cotton for color and texture. 3. Flat ankle boots - The perfect fall shoe for almost any weather. If it’s a warm day try them with shorts or a flowy skirt and a sweater. If it’s chilly, pair them with crisp jeans and comfy t-shirt.

Union Transfer’s Opening Lineup:

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Sept. 21) Tickets: $18-20 Mogwai (Sept. 28) Tickets: $18-20 tUne-YaRdS (Oct. 9) Tickets: $15 RJD2 (Oct. 14) Tickets: $15-18 Gillian Welch (Oct. 20) Tickets: $30 CSS (Oct. 21) Tickets: $15 Odd Future (OFWGKTA) (Oct. 22) Tickets: Sold Out Friendly Fires (Oct. 25) Tickets: $15 We Were Promised Jetpacks (Oct. 29) Tickets: $15 World Infetrno Friendship Society (Oct. 31) Tickets: $15 St.Vincent (Nov. 2) Tickets: $16-18 Kurt Vile and the Violators (Nov. 12) Tickets: $14-15 Yelle (Dec. 10) Tickets: $15 4. Button down shirt - A button down shirt will always have you looking polished. Wear it unbuttoned and it can double as a layer to throw over a tank-top or dress. Whether you choose a pressed preppy oxford, or a relaxed plaid flannel, button down tops remain a staple in the fall wardrobe. 5. Dark denim jeans - Jeans are an obvious must-have in any closet. Even though it might be hard, avoid the sweats or yoga pants and pull on a worn pair of jeans instead. Ranging in cuts from super skinny, to wide leg flare, anyone is sure to find their personal style.


September 9, 2011

FEATURES How to Do Sudoku: A Puzzle Made Less Puzzling The Merionite

Darby Marx

Class of 2013

Sudoku, a logic game often found in newspapers around the world, can be a very challenging yet rewarding activity. For any person that has never solved a sudoku puzzle before, it’s probably hard to imagine how the jumble of numbers and boxes provided on a grid can mean anything. This tutorial is for people looking to make sense of the mess of numbers and learn how to solve sudoku puzzles. To begin, here is a basic set-up of the game. A sudoku puzzle or “grid” always consists of 81 miniature boxes. These boxes can be organized in three different ways: horizontal rows, vertical rows, and big squares (there are nine on a grid). Each of these different types of organizations should contain numbers one through nine by the time that you have solved the puzzle. A sudoku will normally be given to you with some of these numbers filled in, and you are to use these provided numerals to find the digits that belong in the rest of the mini-boxes. Below are a few tips as to how to actually solve the puzzle. Tip #1: Remember how the puzzle works, and use logic to solve it. When solving a sudoku, always keep in mind that every digit from one to nine must be in every big square, horizontal row and vertical row by the time you are finished. Therefore, certain numbers have to go in certain boxes if there are going to be numbers one through nine in all three different ways. For example, if there already is a seven in a vertical row, then you know that there can’t be another seven in the same row. This is because if there are multiples of the same number, that means that there cannot be all nine digits in the row, which will in turn throw you off and lead to the demise of your puzzle.

Tip #2: Only write a number if you know that it is correct. The numbers provided for you are there to help you find the next number. Assuming that you have thoroughly used logic to prove that that specific digit most positively belongs in that box, then you may use that number to find other numbers because you can trust it is correctly placed. Sudoku puzzles are solved little by little, and the only way that you can advance is by trusting the numbers you have written in and using them to find other numerals. After all, sudoku is a game of logic, and every puzzle is solvable if you can rely on the numbers you have already solved for. By writing in a number that possibly could go in a space, you are running the enormous risk of ruining your entire sudoku. Depending on how much of the puzzle you have solved, one wrong number could lead to the deterioration of all that you have built upon. For this reason, only write a number if you know that it is correct.

figure out how your own mind works. Since every single person thinks uniquely, it is important to practice with yourself so you can learn how to apply your individual brain processes to solving sudoku. Some people prefer to write little numbers in the corners of boxes that represent possibilities for that box. Others go through each and every little box of a row, going from left to right, until they have gone through the entire puzzle. If you look up “how to do a sudoku” online, thousands upon thousands of pages come up with different strategies that people personally like to use. But there is no right way to solve a sudoku puzzle. Everybody is peculiar in their own ways and has personalized thinking methods. To figure out which way of solving sudoku is best for you, practice and see which way your own logic brings you. Try One!

Tip # 3: Practice makes perfect. In almost every case, practicing a skill makes you better. Sudoku is no different. The first puzzle may be tough, but as you learn about your own thinking processes and how you can apply them to sudoku puzzles, things will become easier. Add a bit of perseverance and even more practice to this equation, and before you know it, you will have a complete knowledge of the game inside your head and your first completed puzzle before you. There is a point for everyone when they cannot figure out that next number, or he knows they messed up somewhere and finds out that their entire puzzle is ruined. Just keep at it, be logical, and everything will come into place eventually. In fact, practice does not only help you learn more about how sudoku puzzles work, but it also helps you

New teachers on the block language department and having Adelines), and western University in Chicago, the opportunity to share my passion in Players. She where he majored in Journalism for culture and education.” Besides went to Univerand History. He has spent the The freshmen aren’t the only new teaching, Dragann enjoys the outsity of Michigan past few years teaching Special faces entering LM this year. There doors, photography, and travel. for undergraduEducation math in the Philadelare a handful of new teachers; among In the Engate school phia School District. Outside them are one full time teacher and lish department, and Harvard of school, Orlansky’s hobbies long-term substitutes. Two new Brian Mays will University include “signing up for halffaculty members will be entering be filling in for for gradumarathons, halfheartedly training the Language department, two in the Stephen Murate school. for them, and then struggling to Special Education English department, and three in Spe- ray, who will be Cohen traveled teacher David Orlansky complete them on race day.” He cial Education. Two of the new faces out for the entire to China to will be at LM for half of also likes playing basketball and are actually not new—they are former year. Mays looks study its edutennis, and is currently writing a the year. LM students. forward to this cational system musical. Starting with year, saying, and “central Please take a minute to say hi Spanish, LM’s “I’ve heard Europe, where [she] did research and welcome these new faces. English teacher Brian new full time great things for [her] honors thesis. For Photos courtesy of Sandy Flocco Mays will be filling in for teacher is Sean about this disthis project [she] Stephen Murray. Capkin, who trict and consider wrote a play will be replacmyself lucky to be a part of it.” about children being MaryeiMays received his undergraduate ing separated from leen Kirchner and graduate degrees from Temple their parents during who moved University. He previously taught the Holocaust and an to Abington writing to incoming college freshessay on the history Spanish teacher Sean School District. men at Temple. In his spare time, he of Holocaust theater.” Capkin, LM class of Capkin graduated enjoys house projects, going out to Besides teaching, 2002. from LM in 2002. eat, and “getting [his and his wife’s] Cohen loves running, Filling in for Senora Allison Melmoney’s worth out of our Netflix sub- skiing, reading, and let (she will be out the first half of scription.” writing. Cohen the year due to maternity leave) is Casey Cohen says, “Teaching Heather Draalso graduatat LM has been a gann. Dragann ed from LM dream of mine! I am attended East (in 2001). honored and thrilled Stroudsburg She will be to be back!” University for at LM for While two other both her underthe first half half-year substitute graduate and of the year, Special Education graduate studies filling in for positions have not and had the English teach- English teacher Casey filled as of mid-Auopportunity to er Mike Segal Cohen, LM class of 2001. gust, David OrlanSpanish teacher Heather study abroad in who is going on sky will be at LM Salamanca, Spain. Dragann will be filling in sabbatical. While at LM, she was an for half the year in for Señora Mellet. She says, “I look Arts and Entertainment editor for the Special Education forward to workThe Merionite, a member of one of department. Orlansky ing with my new students and foreign our first capella groups (The Sweet graduated from North-

Rebecca McCarthy

Class of 2013


September 9, 2011


The Merionite

vs. Itai Barsade Class of 2013 The Chipotle-Qdoba-Santa Fe rivalry is often debated in the hallways of LM. Each restaurant has its own merits, some more than others (*cough cough* Chipotle). But to really dive into this issue, and solve the age-old question once and for all, The Merionite decided to analyze the positives (and negatives) of each restaurant.


Qdoba’s large space and seating are ideal for a social scene. They are also ideal if you are ever in the mood for that really filling, generic burrito. Their burritos are usually filled to the brim and leave a feeling that you just ate enough food for a small family. Their burritos, however, are good if you are in the mood for that kind of nasty yet nonetheless tasty burrito. Favorite Dish:


The BBQ Chicken Burrito is actually tastier then it sounds. The chicken, rice, and veggies are marinated in a BBQ sauce with a hint of Mexican flavoring,

Santa Fe

You got your sombrero on, cucaracha’s in one hand, and “Guantanamera” stuck in your head. Santa-Fe is probably the closest you will get to “genuine” Mexican burritos. Their original styles and flavors usually leave most satisfied, but not Photo by Itai Barsade/Staff disgustingly so. Other highlights of Santa Fe include their breaded chicken and unique rice. Out of the three restaurants, this one is probably the most “healthy.” If you are in the mood for some-

thing other then your average burrito this is definitely the place to go. Favorite Dish: The Chicken Mole Burrito is filled with chicken, rice, cheese, and a sauce made out of chocolate and hot peppers it is incredibly tasty.


Chipotle, the mecca of all burrito places. At Chipotle you are the architect of your burrito; whether it is mild salsa or double meat, you get to decide everything. Chipotle’s ingredients have a certain freshness to them that adds to the taste. Not only is the food good, but the atmosphere is the best out of the three; the seating is abundant and you will always run into someone you know. Whether it is the organic meat or the original flavors, Chipotle manages to take the best parts from all three to form the best product. Favorite Dish: Double Meat Chicken and Carnitas with peppers, guacamole, rice, and mild salsa (don’t judge me).

1-1 one on one with LM technology staff Robbie Warshaw

Class of 2014 What happens to a 1-1 laptop after a senior graduates? Is this home printing issue going to be solved soon? These questions and many more were answered in an interview with George Frazier. Frazier has been the Director of Information Systems for LMSD for three years. For many seniors, parting with their laptops can be an emotional experience. From late night cramming to in class Pokémon games, the laptops were always there for them. So what happens after their laptop is dropped off for the final time? “[The seniors’] laptops are used as loaners the year after they graduate. Laptops still in acceptable shape are sold on eBay, while the rest are taken to a company that properly recycles them,” said Frazier. In the past, the high schools’ laptops would feed down to the middle schools and elementary schools, but the wear and tear of the 1-1 laptops have temporarily hindered this operation. All schools are eventually receiving new laptops. But will these new laptops always be Macbooks? On July 20, 2011, Apple

Itai Barsade

discontinued the Macbook, choosing to instead continue the Macbook Air line of laptops. So what does this mean for the future of 1-1 laptops? “Apple has continued

the school and student government to contact students, without bombarding them via social media. So are school email addresses in the works? “The tech department is currently evaluating ways to distribute school email addresses. We also would like to give students storage space through cloud computing. This storage would not be on the LMSD servers, but on the internet. With this new cloud computing, students’ files wouldn’t have to be deleted every summer,” said Frazier. The home printing issue continues Photo by Maya Afilalo /Staff be an unsolvable to offer problem. Is a solution LM Technology room where the 1-to-1 laptops are MacBooks to this irritating problem comstored during the summer months. for educaing soon? Will we finally stop tional inbeing asked for an adminisstitutions, such as LMSD, alWith the growth of laptops trator’s password every time though this is only temporary. with built in batteries comes we want to print an essay? It is unknown when Apple will the decline of the battery Probably. discontinue the MacBooks swap stations. These stations “This school year will be all together. The new entry are slowly being phased out the last year the laptops will level 1-1 laptop may well end as they become less and less run on the operating system up being the MacBook Air, necessary. Snow Leopard. Unfortunately, although this isn’t certain yet. The need for school email Apple has not provided a fix The tech department needs addresses has seen an increase to correct the home printto first test the Macbook Airs this past year. School email ing issue for this operating and see how they withstand addresses are a great way for system. Next year when the

Class of 2013

What You’ll Need 1 Egg 4 Tbsp Flour 2 Tbsp Hot Chocolate Mix 4 Tbsp Sugar 3 Tbsp Milk 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil Vanilla Extract White Chocolate Chips 1 Sliced Banana A Big Coffee Mug

daily use and their long-term battery lives,” stated Frazier. Although this change may be far in the future, there are more immediate changes happening with tech at LM.

One Boy, One Cup

laptops switch to the new Lion operating system, there is a good chance the issue will be solved,” answered Frazier. While on the subject of printing, LM students are in for longer wait times at the printer this year. “Due to the balancing of the student population between Lower Merion and Harriton, LMHS has lost a printer. We understand there have been issues with the printers, but we urge students to bring to [Mr. Feight’s] or an administrator’s attention when a printer is broken. Printer jams often go unreported, leading to a delay in service,” said Frazier. So in the words of Homeland Security, “If you see something, say something.” Is there anything else new coming to LM? “We are looking at putting in a digital signage infrastructure that brings information to flat screen TVs that would be in the cafeteria. These flat screens would flash daily announcements and bulletins. This infrastructure would ideally allow teachers to get information up on the screens immediately from their laptops. But before the flat screen TVs are ordered, the infrastructure needs to be worked out,” said Frazier.

Tastes better than it looks

A guide to making a chocolate souffle Merionite-style

Steps: 1. Add egg, flour, hot chocolate mix, sugar, milk, vegetable oil, and 2 drops of vanilla extract into mug. 2. Mix together all ingrediants, be sure to really mix it until it is batter-like 3. Lay slices Banana to top of mix 4. Add desired amount of white chocolate chips on top of sliced bananas 5. Cook on high in microwave for 3 minutes (do not be alarmed if it looks like it will spill over) 6. Enjoy!


After Photos by Itai Barsade/Staff


September 9, 2011


The Merionite

“Set aside your ego and lighten the load you will carry to self-discovery. In the words of Socrates, perhaps the smartest man who ever lived: ‘The one thing that I know is that I know nothing.’” -History teacher Bill Quinn

“We all know that you’re going to complain about the freshman next year, so suck it up when people complain about you :)” -Aviva Mann ‘13

“Don’t think it’s cool to be apathetic. It just makes you boring. Enjoy your freshman year, it goes by real fast. Don’t be arrogant but don’t be scared. No one is paying that much attention to you, no they aren’t all looking at you. Just have fun and be open to stuff.” -Art teacher Louise Pierce

“You might’ve told yourself in middle school that you would never drink. This was probably around the time that all your friends felt the same way and that it would’ve been totally uncool and socially taboo to drink or do drugs. You probably felt little or no desire to drink, so not drinking was easy...Freshmen year is, for most people, where it starts. If you’re serious about not drinking, get ready to be super tempted, and decide how you’re going to handle yourself when you are. If you’re not serious about not drinking, prepare to have lots of chances to get drunk, and decide how you’re going to handle yourself when drinking. Don’t be that freshman girl.” -Emily Shepard ‘11

“Don’t be scared of upper classmen. You’re all equals.” -Conor Ferguson ‘11

“Stay on top of your work, prioritize your obligations, go to sports games, and be yourself!” -Ilana Nathans ‘14

“Get involved in at least one extracurricular activity that you love to do, whether it be a sport, game, club, etc. It helps a lot to be involved in something right off the bat so you have a group of people to help you get acclimated to high school.” -Josh Zollman ‘12

“Shake your booty, it’s worse if you dont.” -Andrew Pasquier ‘13 “People of all ages may press you to do this, try that. If you have doubts about some offered experimentation, hold off. You can always make a different decision next month, next year, next decade.” - English teacher Jeanne Mastriano “The workload is basically the same as it is freshman year, but you’ve gotten acclimated to high school. Enjoy yourself and have some fun in school.” -Hannah Smolar ‘12 “As soon as you get home on Monday get as much homework done as possible. It will boost your work ethic for the rest of the week, give you practice with not procrastinating, and lessen you workload for the rest of the week as well.” -Jon Cohen ‘13

The work comes in waves. Don’t be afraid to be a loser and get ahead... you’ll thank yourself later. Also, learn to LOVE the PSSAs. You don’t do anything for a good while. And get your testing done in December/January. -Eliana Yankelev ‘12 “Stop freakin’ out––it will only be as stressful as you make it” -Maddie Guss ‘12

“Enjoy second semester and summer, a lot, because its probably one of the only times in your life that you wont have a ridiculous amount of work to do.” -Kris Gjika ‘11

“Live every moment to its fullest, before you know it you will be an alumni.” -Julia Morrison ‘12

“First be honest in all that you do. Represent yourself to others as a function of what you believe rather than according to other’s expectations. Second, take pride in your self and your school in everything that you do. As seniors, you have the ability to influence this school’s culture and climate in powerful ways.” -English teacher Leslie Pratt

“Senior year is the year you’ll remember “Make friends with Kilpatrick; he is a total bro.” the most when you look back upon everything, -Brendan Kittredge ‘11 so make the most of it. Also, be friendly with as many people as possible because you might not “Achieve big, think small.” “Visit Maggie at college!” see them again for a long time after gradua -Principal Sean Hughes -Maggie Walker ‘11 tion.” -Han Tran‘11


September 9, 2011


The Merionite

Is “pay to play” the solution for scandal? Sigmund Lilian

monetary gains off of their athletic abilities. Class of 2013 Student-athletes are not like normal students; the top Should a student obtain compensation for performing tier student-athletes, the future pro superstars, are not on national television? Should an athlete receive money students at all. Are normal students performing on the from their jersey sales, and from pulling in fans, sell- national stage and playing in front of thousands of people? ing out their team’s stadium? These questions must be No, a normal student will never in answered when one dives into the quagmire of the their life as a college student “student-athlete.” face as much pressure as As many avid sports fans are hit by a student-athlete. The the news of the student-athlete scanNCAA must accept this dal at the University of Miami, important truth and realone must acknowledge that the ize that student-athletes current student-athlete system is must be paid. It is not extremely flawed. At the Univerfair that student-athletes, sity of Miami, student-athletes as an effective recruiting were allegedly, from a period of tool for potential students time between 2002-2010, given and as an instrument to money, dinners, lodging, yacht bring in a tremendous rides, paid night club trips, amount of revenue reand other illicit benefits by a ceive none of the money rogue University of Miami they help give to their booster. All of these school. Do the Eagles benefits break the players play for free? NCAA’s strict No, because they provide rules regardan entertainment service ing studentto Philadelphia. The athletes. The same can be said for booster ’s ulstudent-athletes. It is an injustimate objective tice that they are not paid. Not only would was extremely selfish. He paying student-athletes reduce the effect that boosters alleges that he attempted to become a have on an athletic program, but it would also help teach friend to new student-athletes, build a student-athletes money management skills relationship with them, and then have Art by Aviva Mann/Staff that would prepare them for their later life. the athletew sign with his company, And isn’t college about preparing students so he could be the athletes’ agent if they went pro in their for the rest of their lives? sport. The irony in this situation is that the University of Some may argue that paying student-athletes will make Miami, which tried to protect their student-athletes by not the student no longer a student, but a paid employee of paying them, only exposed them to greater dangers in the the university. This argument, however, is completely form of an individual who attempted to make personal and totally illogical for the simple fact that some of the

The magical healing power of s,just Philadelphia sports Josh Neimztow

plete a team as any. How can a fan not be seriously optimistic with such a multitude of riches: four experienced post-season pitchers? It’s 3:00 pm, and I’m just returning home from As if that weren’t enough, Philadelphia fans school. I have to study for a quiz, I have math are equally excited by the “dream team” assemhomework, an essay to write, French worksheets bled by the Eagles during the past off-season. to do, and a science article to read. I look at the Fans anxiously waited during the past couple of clock, and realize I have just over five hours off-seasons for the Eagles to make moves that until the Eagles’ Monday night football game. would put them over the top and in a good posiOn one hand, I could work straight through and tion to win the Super Bowl. These moves never watch the game, guilt free (like that’s going to came. Instead, the Eagles ownership strategically happen). On the other hand, I could get some planned to stack the deck in the 2011 season, and work done before the game, some at half time, on paper it has paid off. The Eagles are arguably and then some after the game. Just like every better at every single position than last year’s other time, I end up working over the course of team. And this year, many analysts around the the game. There I sit, on the couch, as my mom country (not just Chris Berman) have heralded nags me to skip the game, get my work done, the Eagles as Super Bowl contenders. and go to bed early. “Do the smart thing,” she Long forgotten are those miserable Philly repeats endlessly. I’ve learned that doing what sports years of yore, when we were just todmy mom suggests may not always be “the smart dlers. In the 90’s, three out of four of our teams thing.” were disappointing. In the new millennium, the Coming back to school has never been an easy Philly sports teams are a force to be reckoned feat for kids; but the one thing that has helped with. My freshman year I remember not only as get me through the stressful beginning months my first year in high school, but as the year we has been sports. had a parade on the same day as Halloween, and If September brings the pain of returning to everybody played hooky to celebrate. Dare we school, at least the pain is mitigated by the double imagine how awesome it would be to attend two pleasure of this country’s most popular sports: parades this year? I know, let’s not get ahead of baseball and football. Groans are tempered by ourselves; just one parade would be memorable. cheers with the promise of great things from our Most of the fun is getting there anyway, and at football team, while baseball teams gear up for the very least, we’ll be in for a pretty interesting a post season run. In Philadelphia, we are twice first half of the year. as fortunate as fans elsewhere. We have the PhilFor a Philadelphia sports enthusiast it just lies, and the Eagles! Right now the Phillies are does not get any better than this. Thought first sesitting in first place in the division, plus they mester of this upcoming year may be the toughhave the best record in baseball. These last few est yet, it’s also going to be an amazing time for years we’ve expected the Phillies to return to the the sports of the city. While I’m not advocating World Series and win, but each time there have staying up late every night to watch Phillies and been minor team flaws that have kept them from Eagles games, I know that the occasional sports hoisting the trophy. Hopes are running high for event will be the antidote to a stressful senior have been minor team flaws that the Phillies once again this year, with as com-thereyear. Class of 2012

student-athletes are, in actuality, essentially employees of the school. No other student can bring in the millions of dollars that student-athletes bring in from tickets, bowl games, and television contracts. Granted, paying studentathletes can drastically influence where a high school student chooses to go to college, which is why I have come up with a simple solution of how to pay student-athletes without creating any problems of this sort. In my system, student-athletes are paid the same amount regardless of how good the athlete is. For example, t h e starting quarterback would receive the same amount of money as the longer snapper. This would insure that student-athletes would be treated the same regardless of their playing ability, thus following the NCAA’s premise that student athletes are students (who deserve fair, relatively equal treatment) as well as athletes. Student-athletes would also be paid the same regardless of what sport they play or college they attend. Not only does this system insure that students could not be coerced in to attending a college that offers them more money, it would additionally help multi-sport high school athletes pursue the sport they genuinely love most. Overall, the current NCAA system is clearly unsuitable, and the recent scandal at the University of Miami illuminates this fact. The NCAA must react quickly and effectively to fix the student-athlete problem. If the NCAA does not, more and more scandals will come to light and the credibility of the NCAA and collage athletics will be questioned even further. The NCAA cannot allow college athletics to be destroyed by these scandals. The only viable and surefire way to fix this problem is to pay student athletes.

Phillies’ hopes high Jake Ochroch

Class of 2012

With October approaching, most of the MLB is deadlocked in tight division races, with the exception of the NL East. The Phillies have held a commanding lead over the NL East for most of the year, even before they acquired right fielder Hunter Pence. So, now that they possess a right-handed bat to back up Ryan Howard, is another ring for the Phillies a guarantee? No. But they are certainly a favorite. No team has a better rotation or a more potentially dangerous lineup than the Phillies, but that doesn’t negate the threats posed by the red hot Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks. Not to mention the division rival Atlanta Braves, who are currently leading the NL Wildcard race behind arguably the best bullpen in baseball. In order to just get to the World Series, the Phillies will have to overcome these threatening teams. The Phightin’ Phils will also have to endure a tough September in which they are scheduled to play every day. A dreary stretch of rainy August weather and Hurricane Irene are responsible for the Phillies’ strenous September slate. Even if the Phillies can make the postseason, fatigue could very well be an issue when they match up against the NL’s best. Hopefully the Phillies will have the division clinched early

so that they can rest their best. The AL presents a new set of issues. The Phillies appear likely to encounter the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, or Rangers if they win the NL Pennant. The Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers have the three top offenses in the MLB, scoring the first, second, and third most runs in the league this season respectively. Additionally, 4 of the 5 top team batting averages are held by the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, and Rangers. The Phillies definitely have their work cut out for them in the AL too. Getting past the NL’s best and beating the AL champion will be a challenge. But the Phillies are the best equipped to achieve this. The Phillies have the best record in baseball due to their tremendous pitching. Although the Phillies rank 13th in runs score, they lead the league in runs allowed, ERA, complete games, and shutouts. The Phillies are clearly the league’s finest, at least on the mound. All of this begs the question: is the top pitching staff in baseball and a less-than-elite offense enough to bring Philadelphia another parade? It’s a distinct possibility. With their legendary pitching staff, the Phillies are certainly a favorite to take home the 2011 Commissioner’s Trophy. But only time will tell whether they end up playing baseball or golfing when the Fall Classic arrives.


September 9, 2011


The Merionite

LM Sports: Previews for the Fall Season Sports Staff

Class of’12/’13


The LM Bulldogs look to bounce back after a rough 0-11 season. The team improved with each game, and in the last game of the season, the glamorous LM vs. Radnor Rivalry, the Bulldogs looked like they were going to upset the then 4-6 Raiders. Unfortunately, the second half did not go as planned, and Radnor came back for the win. But, the game was not without positives; the team put up a season high in points, (21) and played their closest game to date. This year’s team looks to continue the momentum, with some fresh new faces, and some improved returning ones. On offense, Seniors quarterback Desmond Ellis returns under center, and senior Max Golden returns as one of Desmond’s favorite targets. On defense, the team loses its leading tackler in Zeke Zimmer, but returns linebackers senior Mike Deuber and junior Eli Zimmer. Coach Jon Rothberg returns for his third season, hoping to establish a strong presence in the Central League. Some of their key games will be against Jules E. Mastbaum, Vo Tech, Harriton, and of course Radnor. The Aces start off the season with Mastbaum September 2, whom the team suffered a close loss to late last season. Mastbaum loses some key seniors, so it’ll be a pivotal first game for the Bulldogs. The team travels to Harriton midway through the season, for a rivalry game that should be interesting. Harriton returns junior quarterback Pat Moriarty, who received 1st team AllMain Line honors, but loses Mike Allen and Spencer Reid, who gave the Aces trouble last season. The Bulldogs end with the Radnor Game at Radnor, where they will look to finish the season on a high note.

Girls Field Hockey

Girls Field Hockey will dearly miss the seniors that led the team last year, but still will look to improve off of a one win season. Returning for the 2011 season are captains and seniors Erin Gallagher and Eliana Yankelev. After a season that featured eight straight games where the Aces were shut out, the team can only go up from there. The Aces will get reinforcements from this year’s sophomores, most of whom played on the field hockey’s “Freshman Team” last year. Looking at the upcoming schedule this year, the Aces play a good mix of conference and non-conference games that include the usual suspects (Central League teams),

mixed in with Private School opposition. Some good games this year in the Central league will be against Harriton and Springfield. The Lady Aces lost a tough one last year to Harriton by a 3-1 tally, but they are the team’s biggest rivals in the Central League. The Harriton team will be tough to beat this year, because they are returning their top two scorers. An intriguing game will be the team’s late season test at Baldwin. Both Baldwin and LM had similar records last year, and the game should be close. Hopefully Girls Field Hockey can maintain a competitive level throughout the season.

Girls Volleyball

The Girls Volleyball Team has a tough road ahead, featuring a 20 game season, with games almost every other day during it’s peak. The team returns 8 of 12 Varsity players from last year, which will make them competitive in the Central League. This year, their two captains, senior Grace Dufresne and junior Gabby O’Leary, return to lead the team once more. While only winning 3 games last year, the Aces are still a young team, and this year their record could be much better.

primed for a successful season.

Girls Tennis

The Harriton Girls Tennis team, winners of seven straight titles, usually receives a lot more publicity than their rivals from LM, who are flying under the radar. Standout senior Emely Levyn and junior Hillary Hoffstein, both of whom made Second Team All-Main Line last year, will look to surprise skeptics and beat formidable Central League opposition. They lose Helen Braunstein, a top senior from last year’s squad, so Levyn and fellow seniors will have to take a more pronounced leadership role. Seniors Sara Hyman and Elizabeth Hecht should play in some big matches this year. One of these matches is definitely against Harriton, whom they face on September 26. The team’s chances of pulling off a momentous upset will be determined by the play of their seniors. Though a win against Harriton may be a long shot, a great season is not.


LM golf returns a couple truly phenomenal talents, which should help make this season intriguing. Boys Golf returns some experienced and able players such as junior John Liu and senior Chris Jarmas. As many upperclassmen may know, Jarmas will try to follow in the footsteps of his brother Greg, a 2010 LM graduate who is currently playing golf at Princeton University, and who finished an impressive second in the state tournament his senior season. In order for a team to succeed at the high school level in golf, however, they need quality play from all members. So though Chris Jarmas may go on to compete at higher-level competitions this Photo by Maya Afilalo /Staff year, he will not be able to completely control LM girls volleyball practices for the upcoming season. his team’s path. Others, like senior Danny Kane, will need to step up for the boys as well. Senior Alex The team starts off the season on September 2nd vs. Liu appears poised to achieve outstanding results for the North Penn, looking to avenge last year’s defeat. The girls. She has performed in a truly elite manner during toughest game should be the midseason test against her time at LM, and has put herself in the mix for the Strath Haven High School, a team that stood atop the state championship the last two seasons. It will be Central League last year. The Aces lost 3-1 to them last interesting to see if she can, somehow, improve her play year, and will attempt to squeeze out a win this year. this season. She and the rest of the LM girls and boys Whatever the case may be, the team will see a drastic squads will be looking to stay steady and consistent so improvement from their 3-win season last year. With that they can do their best for themselves and for their strong leadership from the top, and newly entering team. Both teams have the potential to achieve fantastic freshman replacing leaving seniors, Girls Volleyball is seasons, but look for Alex Liu and Chris Jarmas’ lights.

What makes a real fan?

“True fandom is tough to define in a few sentences. It is a lifetime journey which takes you through many lows and highs with dashed hopes and shattered dreams along the way. A real fan perseveres and remains true to his roots (hometown teams) no matter how tempting it may be to follow the flavor of the day. The ultimate payoff occurs with that championship win as the years of frustration are washed away and replaced with a huge sense of satisfaction, which eventually wanes and the cycle begins anew.”

—Mr. Scott Seibert

“A fan has 3 speeds and oscillates.” “Anybody who truly makes an emotional —John Liu, ‘13 investment in a team is a real fan in my book. If you are a true fan, you should not only enjoy the triumphs, but also endure the “Anyone who roots for heartaches. If you only watch when a team their team whether they is good or when the playoffs roll around, are making the playoffs you aren’t a true fan, but if you really stick or going all defeated. Go with your team through thick and thin, then Sixers. (And Phillies, you have every right to consider yourself a Eagles, and Flyers).” real fan.” —Jake Ochroch, ‘12

—Danny Kane, ‘12

“A real fan is someone who won’t give up on his or her team. They make sure they’re able to watch all of the team’s games, and try to keep themselves updated.”

—Nakato Nsibirwa, ‘12

“Someone who is with their team/star no matter what happens, whether the weather is fair or dreadful. Someone who attends events if they can afford it, and kinda obsesses.”

—Adam Tuttle, ‘13


September 9, 2011

The Merionite Boys and Girls XC: fast, formidable units Noah Levick

depth and talent to succeed. We will just continue working Class of 2013 hard each practice and race to see where that takes us.” The Boys and Girls Cross Country squads are tremen- With the contagious positivity surrounding LM Girls Cross dous teams, and one can put the emphasis on “team” in Country, they could end up going very far indeed. their cases without being clichéd. Although, as Girls Coach The Boys Team also has immense ambitions. “Our Dermot Anderson says, main goal this year is “each competitor must to be the first LMXC face their inner demons team to win and go unon the course,” it’s easier defeated in the Central to “dig deep and race with League,” according more guts” if one trusts to senior captain Aziz and supports their teamKamoun. He continues, mates, according to Boys “We think we have a Coach Megan Capewell. more cohesive team Girls Senior Captain than the year before… Gwen Porter states, “To we feel as though this me, ‘team’ means family. is our time.” Fellow Cross country is such a captains and seniors mental sport and without Josh Zollman, Jonathan the support of your Photo courtesy of the Clark Family Bloom, Drew Horn, team, it would be ten and Gilad Doron help The boys are intent on leading the pack and times more difficult.” Porter compose the nucleus, dominating the Central League. is clearly very enthusiastic along with seniors Julian about her teammates. This positive energy inevitably Weldon, Zach Friggle, and Nathan Posener, while junior spreads throughout closely-knit teams, helping to make Jacob Van Houten should also step up. Coach Capewell a seemingly monotonous sport like Cross Country fun. stresses the importance of living without stress early to The LM teams also both appear poised to achieve great her runners: “The way to get faster is to rearrange the rest individual and group results. Their success should only of your life to be restful and not stressful.” But Kamoun help to enhance the good team vibrations. will attest to the fact that preseason is no walk in the park: The girls are excited and confident heading in to the sea- “Between the faster paced tempo runs, 1k repeats, and hill son. Senior Lacey Serletti, a returning state qualifier, gives workouts, preseason can be physically grueling at times. an upbeat report: “The team has a very positive attitude But because of preseason, we come out in September feeland just a generally good vibe. We’ve been working hard, ing strong and fit.” Capewell wants her determined team but also having fun. We have many strong, dedicated girls, to, “Race for those who came before you… those who toe which is exciting.” The girls return six of last year’s varsity the line next to you, and those who will wear your jersey 7; Serletti, Porter, fellow senior and captain Natalie Plick, in the future.” Their current ambitions may be very high, senior Mara Reese, junior Jane Urheim, and sophomore but their future hopes are lofty as well. Duranya Freeman. Anderson states that the “returning Cross Country is full of motivated individuals. Andermembers have been running all summer and are looking son gushes, “I believe very strongly in all of them. I see them very good. We also have a nice group of incoming freshmen as pretty special and consider it an honor to coach them.” so our future looks bright.” This is the essence of the Girls The boys and girls in Cross Country thrive as a result of LMXC program. The upperclassmen provide freshman those around them. It’s not hard to see why these teams with advice, support, and the motivation to be like those are consistently some of LM’s best, and will continue to be who mentored them. Serletti says a major goal of hers this for the foreseeable future. Highlighting the team element year is, “to be physically and mentally strong for my team- should not diminish any personal triumphs, since these mates so that I can be the kind of leader I most admired as teams are so strong thanks to the individuals that comprise an underclassman.” In her final year, Porter “would love to them. These outstanding runners help make their teams win the Central League as a team. I know that we have the extremely powerful.

Freshman Evan Wolf

I play soccer, ice hockey, and lacrosse. I look up to my brother Jordan Wolf, who plays lacrosse at Duke. My goals for the Fall season are to get closer with my teammates and to have a successful season. My favorite TV shows are The Office and Entourage.

Sophomore Danielle Baer

Hi, my name is Danielle Baer, but most of my friends call me “Dani B.” I play varsity soccer and basketball for the Aces. The athlete that I look up to most is my brother. Without him I would not me the athlete I am today. This season I hope to win the Central League and qualify for States. Two of my favorite TV shows are Jersey Shore and Outrageous Kid Parties.


Soccer straining for success Jeremy Comer

Class of 2012 Wearing all black, faces painted, the Dawg Pound huddled under the lights in the November cold at West Chester East High School. The Central League’s largest fan section rushed onto the field after the final penalty kick as Conestoga’s fan base silently departed. After a district championship and a state quarterfinal run, second-year coach Nicholas Severini transitions into the season with a younger group. Equally as impressive was the Lady Aces’ Central League run. They finished in a tie for second in the Central League, only behind Strath Haven. A dramatic 3-2 victory over state semi-finalist Conestoga last year proved the Lady Aces could compete with the best teams in the area. Although their run to qualify for the state playoffs fell just short, the Lady Aces are out to prove last season was no fluke. The main obstacle for this year’s Aces’ soccer programs is replacing a total of 20 key seniors, including star goalies Rachel Newell and Emmett McConnell. “We graduated 12 seniors last year, which means that this year is a time where we need to rebuild what we lost,” said boys captain Tyler Niles. “We have confidence in the kids coming up from JV…everyone is going to fit in perfectly.” Girls’ captains Julie Reiff and Becca Winkler are also optimistic that young, talented players moving up from JV will emerge as crucial contributors. Also, despite the heavy losses, both teams return several key players. Seniors Tyler Niles and Roberto Bonilla, along with Juniors Matt Lindheim and Kenny Lassiter lead a younger Aces’ squad. Senior Shane Votto will assume the role of goalie after playing forward last season. Although preseason officially started August 15, the Aces’ soccer programs require training and commitment throughout the entire summer. The soccer teams practice twice a day, with a large focus on conditioning. “We usually start out with either a timed mile or mile and a half. We then transition to possession drills. We end with scrimmaging and running suicides or other sprints,” said Julie Reiff. The boys must pass a grueling series of physical tests to earn a spot on the roster. “Preseason workouts are something nobody looks forward to,” said Niles. The first tryout session required the boys to run two miles in under 12 minutes, followed by another mile in under six minutes…just 10 minutes later. With many new faces on the roster this season, Reiff and Winkler stress the importance of team unity. In order to maintain the winning tradition, the girls’ captains must foster a tight-knit community while still pushing everybody to improve. “Everyone is getting used to playing with each other for the first time in a while,” said Niles. “We know what we have to do to succeed…we try to show through our playing ability, not through our talking.” The Dawg Pound grew with the success of last year’s teams, and increased exponentially for the playoffs. Returning varsity players Votto, Bonilla, Senior Joey Gingold, and Niles feel confident that the Dawg Pound will return even rowdier in 2011. “The more (fans) that come out, the better we can be,” they said. With goals to finish atop the Central League and to advance deep into districts, a large fan section can only elevate the Aces’ play. Get ready to fill the fan buses once again in November and cheer the Aces on to victory!

Junior Kiersten Daly

I play varsity soccer, basketball and lacrosse. Myra Sack is definitely the athlete I look up to the most. My goals for the Fall season are to get to the next level in Farmville, beat Danielle Baer in rock climbing, and win the Central League. Jersey Shore, Teen Wolf, Keeping up with the Kardashians, and anything on the History Channel are top hits on my TV!

Senior Joey Gingold

I play soccer, squash, and ultimate frisbee. An athlete that I look up to is Steven Gerrard, since he is a very smart soccer player, leader, and good athlete. My goals for the upcoming season are to improve from last season and hopefully go far in the playoffs. My favorite shows are Suits and Entourage. I’ve watched every episode of Entourage, and I think it’s the best show on TV.