Benvenuto...arrivederci This March not only played host to such events as March Madness and the school play, but also a foreign exchange of massive proportions. Mr. Max Malossini and his AP Calculus classes’ hard work and planning came to fruition on March 22 when 39 students and five teachers flew across the Atlantic to visit our very own Springfield Township High School. Unlike most of the exchanges that have taken place at Springfield, this trip was not run through Rotary. Instead, the exchange was part of e-Twinning, an organization supported by the maya sabin news European Union. eTwinning is government-run and pays for most of the students’ expenses, which allows trips to be more frequent and affordable for the countries involved. “It is something I wish our school could do more often. It’s always great to meet new people from different places,” says Senior Mark Vido. \
The teachers from the school in Italy said that they like these Twinning programs and that they participate in them often with other European schools. Although e-Twinning is not as popular in the United States, being from Italy and having previously participated in exchanges like this one, Mr. Malossini had prior knowledge about the program. Thus, planning was smoother because of Mr. Malossini’s expertise. Along with being familiar with e-Twinning, Mr. Malossini is also quite familiar Italian students gather in the libary to report on their photo | Josh Sehnert with Liceo Maffei, the Italian data. school that our guests attend. He actually comparing the two schools. “High school taught there before his relocation to the in Italy is different from in America,” Mr. United States. He describes Liceo Maffei Malossini says. It lasts for five years, and as “very similar to Springfield,” in terms of although students are allowed to leave after the size of the school and surrounding their third year, Mr. Malossini says that “no community. one does.” However, he did mention some of Another difference between high the differences that can be found when schools in the United States and those in Continued on Page 9
Early graduation proposed It is not uncommon for someone to look at one of their fellow classmates and think, “They are ready for frank vitale college.” news Most times, the option of early graduation is not feasible because certain credits need to be obtained or certain classes need to be taken. However, some people are looking to change that. The National Center on Education and the Economy, or NCEE, hopes to improve the nation’s educational system. Currently, high school seniors graduate after they have fulfilled a certain number of requirements in each major subject area, including math, science, and English. Many people object to this system because,
according to the NCEE, more than half of all students in community colleges currently must take remedial courses. By advancing students ready for college and helping those who are not with courses tailored to the areas they struggle in, the NCEE hopes to reduce the number of remedial courses college students have to take. The NCEE has therefore designed a program that would allow some high school sophomores to graduate early. The program, which will be piloted in eight different states, including Pennsylvania, was announced on February 17, 2010. The system works similarly to educational programs found in other Continued on Page 5
What’s Inside Iran Mr. Gottesman PSSAs Project Prom Dress Harriton Laptops Alice in Wonderland Shutter Island The Wizard of Oz April 1 April Fools Shamrock Shakes Rib Roast
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EDITORIAL MISSION The Chronicle is the official voice of the students of Springfield Township High School and provides them with a quality, thought-provoking, and responsible student publication that values the exchange of thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Because self-improvement is an ongoing task, our staff is committed to reflecting and assessing its impact as a publication in an attempt to achieve the highest journalistic standards. The Chronicle has earned a Columbia Scholastic Press Association bronze medalist distinction and is a Pennsylvania Scholastic Keystone Press Association Award winner, taking First Place for Cartoons and Second Place for Ongoing News and Editorials in 2010. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Andrew Seredinski ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Josh Sehnert SPORTS EDITOR Stephen Pileggi FEATURES EDITOR Ray Chappetta BUSINESS EDITOR Maya Sabin NEWS EDITOR Frank Vitale STAFF Tyler Adams | Evan Cowdery Simon Davner | Nina Huenke Rafiat Kasumu | Nathan Kosmin Christina Manero | James Miller MJ Moyer-Fittipaldi | Emma Morasco Dylan Vizzachero | Matt Wetmore ADVISORS Ms. Laurie Shirley | Mr. Ken Rodoff SEND US AN E-MAIL! E-mail feedback to the_chronicle@ sdst.org.
Iran and U.S. Recently, I was asked in an online sake of direct comparison. Iran is often course if I thought the United States should criticized for its suppression of free speech increase sanctions or attack Iran based on and other human rights, especially in their continued nuclear development. relation to disputed election results. Israel Feeling the onslaught of a false dilemma, is also often criticized for its suppression of with one option (attack or invasion) being human rights, especially those of the absolutely ridiculous, I considered the other Palestinians. While Iran has not said that it options that the United States has in its is developing a nuclear weapon, Israel has been quite ambiguous about its own Iranian relations. Iran is a nation with over seventy capabilities. This is likely simply a million people. As Middle Eastern nations manifestation of deterrence (for both go, it is quite large. Present controversy nations), the idea that the threat of severe surrounding the state deals with their retaliation will prevent a military strike development of a nuclear program. They are against one’s nation. Israel is something akin now capable of enriching uranium to twenty to one-tenth the size of Iran in terms of percent, which is an important stepping population. It seems that the US simply fears stone in the development of nuclear arms. However, that being said, Iran insists that the idea of Iran having nuclear capabilities, its nuclear ambitions are entirely designed and does not trust their assertion that their for peaceful purposes. Nuclear power plants program is for peace. But if I were Iran, I and radioactive isotopes for medicine are would want to have this technology. In fact, two of the applications for this technology I might even go for the development of warheads to deter attacks. Seeing as this in which Iran expresses interest. Presently, the United States and makes a great deal of sense, it may be wise some of its allies are imposing strong to assume that Iran is indeed developing economic sanctions against Iran in an nuclear arms. The issue is that America wants to attempt to halt their development. However, seeing as China and Russia are not part of decide what every other nation can do. We this effort, the trade sanctions have been advocate against nuclear proliferation, and yet we refuse to disarm. We hand over rather ineffective. Now, the United States’ wariness dangerous technologies to our allies, and of Iran is not simply because they may or become incensed when any other nation may not be developing a nuclear arsenal seeks international clout. Iran will soon have nuclear power plants (even which they are not keen on if they are developing having viewed by the rest of andrew seredinski the world. Iran is a theocratic editorial weapons, they will still likely go the power route as well), republic, following somewhat radical interpretations of Shia just like the United States and France and Islam. The current president, Mahmoud so many other nations. They are a nation Ahmadinejad, has made a number of with a relatively large population that has statements to the effect that the 9/11 terror the potential for further modernization, and attacks were planned by the CIA, and is which has massive natural gas and petroleum reserves. And here the US sits, entirely against the state of Israel. In fact, Iran does not recognize allowing Russia and China to reap the Israel as a country. One might think that this benefits of a healthy relationship with Iran is a deal breaker for relations with Iran. while we make ineffective sanctions. It is worth mentioning that Iran may However, historically, this has not been the case. The US maintained relations with both be involved presently in operations to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and supply the Afghani Taliban with arms. By the Republic of China (ROC) at the same time, the same token, Iran has prosecuted a even though the PRC has insisted that the number of domestic terrorists that they claim were funded by the Americans and the ROC is part of their nation. Allow me to misrepresent the Israelis. Reconciliation would not be simple, situation as an “Israel or Iran” deal for the easy, or quick, but it should be investigated and seriously considered.
Meet Mr. Gottesman Music teacher and conductor Mr. Chuck Gottesman was born in Abington, grew up in Willow Grove, and attended Upper Moreland High School. The Chronicle interviewed him to learn more about his life. When did you first become interested in music and what was your first instrument? I became interested in music as a real little kid, probably two or three years old. I liked to sing. My parents tell me stories about me harmonizing with them when they were singing lullabies and stuff. I started taking piano lessons around age six and I stuck with that for a while. I started playing trumpet at nine and started studying more instruments as I got into high school. I was still most serious about the trumpet. Were you involved with music programs in high school? Absolutely, it was everything; I did everything from musicals through all the bands and all the choirs. I was as involved in music as anybody could be. Where did you go to college? I went to Temple for my undergraduate double-major degree. I started college as a performance major; all I wanted to do was play the trumpet for a career. How did you become truly interested in teaching? When I first started college I didn’t really want to have anything to do with teaching. I was kind of fed up at that point with the music teachers I had in high school. I was like, “Enough! I know I can’t picture myself doing that.” So when I got to school and was studying trumpet fulltime, I really felt like something was missing. I realized that even though I resisted it, I really loved music education, and the other kids that I was friendly with, they shared that same feeling, and so I got pulled toward music education. Life just sort of led me that way. How did your teaching career start? Well, towards the end of college I was actually hired by Walt Disney World, in Florida, and I was playing trumpet there for two summers. After college I came to Springfield and I took an interview, because Mrs. Klugman at the middle
school was going on sabbatical for the entire year. So, it was 19941995, I was teaching down at the middle school, but just for a year, and after that I didn’t have a job. Fortunately, the high school position opened up in 1995-1996, and I interviewed for that, got the job, and I’ve been here ever since. I have to ask, what was it Mr. Gottesman plays his instrument of choice. like to work at Disney? photo | Josh Sehnert Awesome! It was really as a music teacher. Like, if you wanted to cool. I was a young kid. I was only 22 pursue a career in music playing the flute, years old. They treated us really well; I I’m not really an expert at playing the was getting paid to play the trumpet. I flute. I know about music and how it all got to ride all the rides and get into the works and I can tell you what the parks for free, and it was a really fun life fingerings are, but beyond that, I don’t for a young person. have the expertise. So anyone who wants Which instruments do you play and to pursue a career in music really needs a which is your favorite? good private teacher. At least one; I had Trumpet is definitely my favorite. I’ve probably five. spent the most time studying it; I have a Are you involved with music outside of Master’s Degree in trumpet from Rowan school? University in Glassboro, New Jersey. I Well, I play in a wedding band, which is love to play the bass; I started playing fun. I get to play at people’s weddings, bass in high school. I love to play the bar mitzvahs, and parties. I play a lot of drums, and I’ve started to really enjoy bass in that, and I sing a lot. You can find playing guitar, especially since teaching videos on the internet if you look hard Guitar Lab here at the high school. I can enough. I also play in a big band in play the piano pretty well. I’m really bad Philadelphia called the Bryan Pastor Big at the double-reed instruments like the Band. I also had a group of my own for a oboes and the bassoons, and I’m not a while that I recorded a CD with. Right now great flute player, [but] I do okay. that’s about it; I also play polkas, and any Do you have a favorite song? kind of gig that comes my way I try to That’s a good question; it changes from play. It’s a nice way to supplement my day to day. I can’t pick one, I like it all. teaching income. What’s your advice for students who want Do you have a favorite memory from your to make a career out of their music? time here at Springfield? They really have to [find] a private I have a lot; I think probably the band teacher. I had many private teachers trips over the years have really created a when I was growing up, and the private lot of memories. Like our trip to Florida teachers are the ones who work with you back in 1994 was really remarkable. The one-on-one outside of school. You do all trip to Nashville several years ago was your practicing for that private teacher super. Also, the Jazz Band won Cavalcade and all the exercises and all the great Championships back in 2003, which was method books that have been written really exciting. I’ve had a lot of great over the years. You know there’s memories here; Springfield is a great place guidance that I can’t really give students to teach. Reported by Christina Manero
PSSAs interfere with necessary AP class time PSSA testing is right around the However, he is confident that the corner. For juniors and eighth-graders, this scheduling will not negatively impact his means a lot of testing throughout April. For students. Every year Mr. Weidner holds other students, it means a few hours of extra extra class sessions after school to cover sleep. And for the administration, it means more material, but with his foresight he a concrete measure of student performance. “started [them] earlier” this year. Plus, While the testing is “there are three options to necessary, students and meet,” so if a student works, ray chappetta teachers alike do have play sports, or participates in news some doubts about how another club, they can still the testing and the five, make a meeting. three-hour delays will impact teaching, Other teachers are a bit uncertain especially with the AP tests following soon about how they’ll handle the time crunch, after. but are thinking creatively. AP Computer “There are a lot of teachers with Science teacher Mrs. Tammy Pirmann anxiety,” remarks Mr. Barry Weidner, who remarks that if some students “come in for teaches several sections of AP Psychology. three hours of PSSA,” that she might bring
her students in one day for “three hours of AP,” citing the time period as perfect for a practice AP test. In addition to teachers, some students are worried. Junior Tori Reynolds must take the PSSAs in addition to her three AP tests. “Some of my classes will be fine, since we’ve covered the material and are just reviewing. In other classes, however, even missing one day can really put you behind.” “What the administration did was good at minimizing impact,” says Mr. Weidner. So, whether you view the PSSAs as necessary, a necessary evil, or just plain evil, you can rest assured that the schedule shouldn’t affect your AP scores.
PSSA pessimism Everybody hates the PSSAs. You lose class time preparing for them, and when the tests are finally over, you get a piece of paper that does not help your report card grades at all. So why waste time taking these standardized tests? Many people argue that long tests do not give the state an accurate idea of how well students are being educated because many students struggle to focus on one test for hours. And let’s face it, by the end of the test, we are just trying to get it done. I know that reading all the passages is important, but, unfortunately, it’s also dreadfully dull. However, my neighbor Amanda Trebrowski, who is a former high school English teacher, has a different perspective on the test. She feels that the math and reading assessments are important because, “English and math are applied and used the most throughout life.” She also believes that “The essay is one of the nina huenke better parts commentary of the PSSA.” She feels that the essay portion of the test can help you prepare for taking the SATs. I agree that the essay writing is good practice with the SATs looming over our heads, but all of the pressure put on high school students about the PSSA is
u n n e c e s s a r y. Raising the bar from Basic to Proficient will do little to help students who are poor testtakers to succeed. This push to surpass state standards could also prevent some students from graduating with the rest of their class, as the state is implementing new guidelines r e q u i r i n g The schedule for the almighty PSSAs. graphic | ray chappetta juniors who score less than Proficient on the math or right after they complete the course. The reading assessment to prove proficiency in estimated date for Pennsylvania’s switch is 2013. The Keystone approach would be their senior year. Interestingly, my guidance much more reasonable than testing an 11thcounselor informed me that the State of grader on math they did four years ago. Pennsylvania is planning to switch to With Keystones, you would be tested on something akin to New York’s Regents, something you just learned which would standardized tests in each course that are show how well you understand the course required for graduation. These tests, which material, not just how much you remember Pennsylvania plans to call the Keystones, years later. will work by assessing students on material
Pennsylvania to pilot board exam program Continued from Page 1 other countries, such as England, Ireland, Finland, parts of Canada, and even Singapore. Students would volunteer to take these exams at the end of their sophomore year. If they pass these exams, they would be given their high school diploma and would have the option of attending any twoor four- year open admissions college in the state without having to take remedial courses. They would also have the option of staying in high school to take college preparatory courses. If a student does not pass the examinations, they would enter into a specific program in hopes of preparing them for another exam at the end of their junior year. This program would focus only on the areas that the student struggled in, with hopes that by focusing on trouble areas instead of areas of strength, graduating students would be less likely to have to take remedial courses. It would also allow teachers to focus on those students who need help. Some examinations have already been approved by the NCEE for the program, including tests used by ACT QualityCore, the International Baccalaureate Diploma program, and The College Board’s Advanced Placement program. Ten to twenty schools in the eight chosen states will run the pilot program beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. A committee set up by the NCEE will track their
progress, their results, and their effectiveness. The National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers’ union, along with the United States Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, support the program and its goals. The program will be funded through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This program is just one of many that have been suggested and talked about in the past few years, according to Springfield’s Curriculum Director Mrs. Carol Rohrbach. In light of these other programs, Rohrbach does not believe that this pilot program has as much traction as some others do. However, she is quick to mention that it is still relatively new. Other programs that will certainly be coming, according to Mrs. Rohrbach, include the Keystone exams, which are endof-course exams that would replace both finals for any given class and the 11th-grade PSSAs. The Keystone exams, by contrast, have great traction, and are set to be introduced statewide in a couple years. Mrs. Rohrbach saw many benefits to the board examination program. She points to the fact that it may be more economically sensible to graduate early for some students. It would also, according to her, help in eliminating the “senior slump,” or as many affectionately call it, “Senioritis.” She also
put great emphasis on the fact that it gives students more options for their future, something the director seemed dedicated to, saying, “I like having options for all kinds of people.” However, Mrs. Rohrbach did point out some of the flaws she saw in the program. She was concerned about the fact that students would be graduating at sixteen. “That seems awfully young to me to go to college,” she says, also pointing to the loss of certain high school experiences in such a move. “All of the other experiences around high school are just as important, I think, as the academic ones.” With the fact that the program is so young, along with the investment in the state’s upcoming Keystone exams, Mrs. Rohrbach was surprised that Pennsylvania had even signed on to the project. She pointed to the fact that the NCEE is not a government body, and so does not have as much support behind it. She also supposes that if such a program were to be put in place, it would be possible that a drop in upperclassmen would cause some teachers to lose their jobs. Overall, the program will need time before anything develops from it. The NCEE is encouraging other states to join the program, hoping to make it a national effort. In a few years’ time, however, students who should be juniors in high school might start showing up on this state’s college campuses.
Phillies looking for phresh start The smell and feel of freshly cut grass, and the smooth leather of baseball gloves. It must be baseball season. The big story this year is whether or not the Phillies are able to continue the success that they have enjoyed over the past few years. Last year’s season ended on a bitter note, with the Phillies losing to the New York Yankees in the World Series. Looking to take back the World Series title that they won two years ago, the Fightin’
Phils made several significant changes to their lineup during the offseason. To shore up their bench, the Phillies signed designated hitter Ross Gload. Gload played for the Florida Marlins last year and finished the season with a .261 batting average, six home runs, and thirty runs batted in (RBI), placing him among the league’s best designated hitters for the year. In addition, the Phillies signed catcher Brian Schneider, who last played for
the rival New York Mets and the Washington Nationals (previously the Montreal Expos). In the past, Schneider has enjoyed success batting against Phillies pitchers. The Phillies hope that he can continue that success while playing in an N.L. East division that he is very familiar with. With second baseman Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins playing nearly every game in each of the past few seasons, Continued on Page 7
In the February 2010 issue of The Chronicle, Stephen Pileggi was mistakenly credited with the photos of the swim team. Credit for these shots belongs to John O’Brien.
The Harriton incident
A Kanye West song, a reality and the superintendent, of invading their television series, and a male role model, the son’s privacy and violating the Fourth term Big Brother has become a staple in Amendment, the protection against popular culture and modern vernacular. unwarranted searches and seizures. However, predating Recently ranked as the each of these is the emma morasco top-performing school in the 1949 publication of region by Philadelphia news George Orwell’s classic Magazine, Harriton High School novel 1984. Detailing a dystopia ruled by officials prided in their ability to send Apple the omnipresent figure Big Brother and an MacBook laptops home with their students. oppressive government that implements However, the school district must now telescreens, monitors that eavesdrop on initiate damage control in the face of both a every household without warning, Orwell’s class-action lawsuit filed by Robbins’ novel depicts a grim society. Now, recent parents and the launching of an FBI headlines regarding a local school district investigation. and the surveillance of their students The Robbins family alleges that on through laptop webcams revive this November 11, 2009, the high school’s Orwellian-themed question: Is Big Brother Assistant Principal Lindy Matsko watching you? approached Robbins over his behavior at The character of Big Brother home. Matsko supposedly showed Robbins personifies a totalitarian government and the an image of him in his own room, a piece of repudiation of civil liberties, such as the evidence stored in his computer once right to privacy. In a similar vein, the family captured by the laptop’s webcam. Ironically, of Harriton High School Sophomore Blake this image has since ostensibly incriminated J. Robbins has accused the Lower Merion the school district. Robbins would later School District, including the school board reveal that he actually consumed candy, but
the school perceived that he was taking prescription drugs. The Lower Merion School District claims that the technology department only activated the tracking software to locate missing or stolen laptops and never abused this power; as to why Blake was targeted and whether or not his laptop was reported missing or stolen remains ambiguous. Just as our own high school requires its students and parents to sign User Agreement forms, Harriton High School families also received similar paperwork in the use of the MacBooks. However, the school district withheld information about the so-called spying software, and as a result of the MacBook chicanery, the district has since discontinued the software’s use. While Lower Merion families and the nation demand answers, this case is perhaps forcing society to reevaluate its often-overlooked basic rights to privacy and other civil liberties. Despite the national attention that Robbins has received, he still continues to faithfully use his borrowed MacBook. Steve Jobs would approve.
The suburban educational systems in the Philadelphia area seem to be operating under the assumption that more technological integration is better. Why use a blackboard or a whiteboard when a smart board can be installed? Why have a student submit a paper in class when it can be emailed? To move toward the matter at hand – why have a student carry about a notebook when they can just type on a laptop? To this final query, the short answer is that not every student has a andrew laptop. The simplest remedy to such a situation is, of course, to have the government fix it by giving every student a laptop. As an aside, let this notion not be seen as generosity on the part of a school district, but rather as a result of excessive taxes and deficit spending. So the people give their local government money to supply laptops to the students (for many residents, their children). Makes sense. In some ways, the community has simply bought itself a bunch of personal computers. No harm, no foul. The rights of everyone are being respected to the extent that they always are with public education.
Fundamentally, it is no business of the government what a student’s room looks like, or what their kitchen looks like, or what their friend’s living room looks like. In fact, the camera can amount to an infringement upon Fourth Amendment rights – if something seen through that camera is used for disciplinary action, it is the result of a search without a warrant or invitation. Even if such a search would be thrown out of any true legal proceedings, it is a violation of privacy, something held rather sacred by many Americans. For a school district to investigate the private life and surroundings of a student in such a way is abominable, disgusting, voyeuristic, and quite sickening. The government has no place placing cameras with undisclosed hardware to spy. This was clearly not the intent of the public when they allowed the government to purchase laptops. In a democracy, people determine what their government may do, and watch their government carefully. It is not the other way around.
Commentary on a “Harri” issue So the customary user agreement forms are handed out. Nothing too unreasonable – essentially they establish that a school laptop is for school work. One supposes this is ultimately in the community’s best interest – they bought themselves laptops for their children to learn, after all, not to email their friends, or play games. Perhaps keylogging software is placed on these computers. One supposes that is fine. After all, the computer is for school seredinski use. This is the line. This editorial is the limit to which the government-provided laptops can be implemented without infringing upon the rights and interests of the community. Past this metaphorical line is a disturbing world where Big Brother is watching. Laptops with built-in cameras are helpful for things like conference calls or for creating videos or images for classes. However, remote access to those cameras is a disturbing violation of rights. The school computer, while used at school, is designed to come home. This means that images can be taken inside a student’s dwelling, or anywhere the student goes to do work.
Discounted dresses draw desire Everyone knows it’s that time of the year again. In the hallway you will hear gossip about who asked who to prom, and what everyone is going to wear. Yes, it is prom time. But this year the exhausting process of finding the perfect dress was made easier by Student Council with their first Project Prom Dress event. This project not only benefited Springfield’s frantic prom dress shoppers, but cancer patients as well. The Look Good, Feel Better organization gives cancer patients makeovers and fully equipped beauty kits. The kits include everything from blush brushes to foundation, and even instructional booklets. They also offer support groups for the patients. Their goal is to help cancer patients gain back the confidence they had before they went under treatment. You must be wondering how buying a prom dress could benefit such a great organization. The dresses that were donated were sold by Student Council on March 18 from 7:30 to 8 p.m. at the “fashion show of the decade.” The dresses were sold by a silent auction with starting bids of 10
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dollars. The money that Student Council cause, and it would be nice if it was done raised that night was donated to the Look again next year. It was enjoyable.” Many Good, Feel Better organization. The dresses students were thrilled that buying a prom that were not purchased also went to good dress could help someone less fortunate causes including Springfield’s own theater than themselves. Student Council is excited to have department. Nine student volunteer models contributed to this great cause. “This was strutted their stuff for the potential buyers. the first time I have heard about the Senior Phoebe Wise tells of her modeling foundation Look Good, Feel Better and I truly experience, “At first it was nerve-racking think it’s an extraordinary organization. I feel because I’ve never done it before…You start great about myself that Student Council was to have fun with it. All in all it was a great able to contribute to help build cancer patient’s self esteem,” says Senior and Coexperience.” President Maggie Harkins. Some of the girls Brad Riddle, the who attended said that they other Co-President, shares hope Student Council mj moyer-fittipaldi feature Maggie’s sentiments. continues this project for next Riddle states, “I think that year. “It’s a good benefit for the cancer patients and it helps our students [people] should think about the kids, and feel less stressed about the whole prom the situation they are in.” The night was an overall success situation,” says Junior Kelly Maguire. “If it happens again next year, I would love to go to say the least. We can only hope that events like this one will continue to be a and bring more people to see it.” Junior Eliza Birkelbach also has Springfield tradition. similar feelings. “I feel this is a great way to show off the dresses and it goes to a great
general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. saw each player’s production fall off as the end of the season approached. To prevent that from happening again this season, the Phillies signed utility infielder Juan Castro. Castro isn’t necessarily the best batter or the flashiest fielder, but he can give any member of the Phillies’ infield a few days of rest in order to keep them fresh in the long run. In turn, Phillies fans should see an increase in the production of their stars. The Phillies decided not to re-sign third baseman Pedro Feliz, who they thought would provide a consistent bat for a position that had gone through some rough patches since Scott Rolen left for St. Louis to join the Cardinals several years ago. To replace him, the Phillies welcomed back Placido Polanco, who had previously played third base for the Phillies before joining the Detroit Tigers and making the move to second base. While in Detroit, Polanco hit nearly .300 in each of his seasons there. Even
though he doesn’t really hit for power and hasn’t driven in the most runs during his career, Polanco gives the Phillies a player with the ability to get on base and move the runners in front of him. For the season, Polanco is projected to hit second, behind leadoff man Jimmy Rollins. With Polanco in the two-spot, centerfielder Shane Victorino appears poised to slip down to the sevenspot, where he will provide speed at the lower end of the order. Perhaps the most significant move of the offseason was the acquisition of ace pitcher Roy Halladay from the Toronto Blue Jays, who waived his no-trade clause in order to make the trade work. Buried in a very competitive A.L. East division that includes the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, the Blue Jays were looking to rebuild their team from the bottom up. When the opportunity presented itself, the Phillies jumped on it. The terms of the deal had the Phillies sending pitcher Cliff Lee to the
Seattle Mariners. In return, the Phillies received six million dollars and a trio of prospects from the Mariners: pitchers Phillippe Aumont and J.C. Ramirez and outfielder Tyson Gillies. To complete the three-way trade, the Phillies sent a trio of their own prospects to the Blue Jays: pitcher Kyle Drabek, catcher Travis D’Arnaud, and outfielder Michael Taylor. With Halladay in Phillies pinstripes, the front office took advantage of the presence of a Cy Young Award winner and signed Halladay to a three-year extension. So, with the Phillies front office being active participants this offseason, the Phillies appear to have the ability and the manpower to make yet another strong push into the Fall Classic. Don’t be surprised if the Phillies find themselves facing off against the New York Yankees again in a World Series matchup. However, expect the men in red pinstripes to emerge victorious this year.
Alice only average It seems that Alice in Wonderland one. The entire plot is very predictable, is destined to be remade for years to come, seeing as Alice’s goal is set for her within but does the newest attempt live up to the the first 15 minutes of the movie: The red expectations? With amazing visuals, a queen has taken over, and it’s Alice’s job to promise of mind-blowing 3-D, an A-List cast, stop her in a way that is so clichéd, you’d think it was a joke. With and a timeless story, this actors like Johnny Depp, movie promised a lot, but james miller Helen Bonham Carter, delivered little. entertainment Anne Hathaway, Stephen The new story involves the 18-year-old Alice being Fry, and Alan Rickman, the movie has some proposed to by your standard snobby, ugly, major talent to work off of, but the mediocre rich British suitor. Not happy with his script leaves the majority of characters advances, Alice runs away and falls down feeling very one-dimensional. Luckily, what saves this movie is into a rabbit hole, entering Wonderland. The change in story is, unfortunately, not a good the visuals: Tim Burton is the perfect
director. The art is stunning and creative and it is definitely some of Burton’s best work in cinema. But even the visuals have a serious flaw, as if the movie thought, “Hey! The visuals are amazing, let’s ruin them with really bad 3-D effects!” These bad 3-D effects come from the fact that they filmed the movie with no 3-D in mind, and then converted it after the success of Avatar. Overall, this movie hits and misses. The acting is phenomenal, the art direction is brilliant, but the writing and the story, which should be the strongest points in an Alice movie, unfortunately fall short. A disappointing ««
Shutter Island a success “Pull yourself together, Dylan!” I secrets, such as “Ward C,” for the most found myself thinking, as Martin Scorsese’s unstable of the unstable patients, the web 2010 thriller Shutter Island unfolded in front of intrigue surrounding the disappearance of my eyes. Scorsese is a of a patient, Teddy’s own dylan vizzachero well known director, key in history, and the actual entertainment goings-on at Shutter Island, many lauded movies such as Gangs of New York, The Departed, and grow thicker and thicker, until a final Goodfellas. But in his most recent directorial astounding finale. outing, Scorsese has truly outdone himself. Aside from the considerable plot, Shutter Island is an intriguing and impeccable in its attention to detail and the captivating masterpiece of a film, truly one subtleties that will, I predict, leave the film of, if not the, first work of true cinematic art noteworthy for multiple re-watches, there are in 2010. many other shining aspects to the film. Adapted from the 2003 eponymous Scorsese is well known for his musical novel by Dennis Lehane, Scorsese was not scores, often featuring the Rolling Stones alone in the filming of Shutter Island. Along and other classical rock. Despite the lack of with him are Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Mick Jagger, the music leaves nothing to be Departed), the most recent of Scorsese’s desired. Scorsese commissioned a acting prodigies, as well as Ben Kingsley soundtrack made entirely of already recorded (Ghandi, Lucky Number Slevin). Despite music for other purposes. But despite the recognizable names, the film does not rely predicted disparity between sound and film, on celebrity appearances to make its impact the music fits perfectly, from the heart-racing (I’m looking at you Valentine’s Day), but symphonic composition as the main only uses their prodigious acting chops in characters approach the gates of the asylum, its greatest favor. to the end credits. The film, set in 1954, begins with Noteworthy in the same aspect is Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio), and his partner the astounding use of silence. Scorsese Chuck Aule (Mark Rufallo), as U.S. Federal capitalizes on the most dramatic and Marshals investigating the disappearance surprising moments of the film by aiding them of a patient named Rachel Solando (Emily with no accompaniment. This left moments Mortimer) from Ashecliffe Hospital for the in which I found myself noticing the full Criminally Insane, situated on Shutter Island. theater completely silent, not even the Teddy and Chuck soon find that there is crunch of hard candy, as we the audience (obviously) more to Shutter Island than first sat engrossed and engaged by the events seen, and as they delve into its fascinating on screen. In the same vein of power is
Scorsese’s filming of the movie. Shutter Island is itself beautiful, and the asylum retains an awe-inspiring magnitude throughout that is both fearful and archaically gorgeous. At the same time, when the movie needs to become less appealing looking, it does in a great way. For example, the scenes imagined by Teddy use subtle cuts of the camera that do not totally fit together, to enhance feelings of disconnect. Scorsese, much like in past films, does not shy away from violence and gore. But instead of laying it on too heavily, it is only in the perfect amount, when absolutely necessary. In the same way, typical “jump” scenes are applied, but only in a reserved and essential manner. This is only a fraction of the compliments I would like to pay to Shutter Island. One of the most impressive movies I’ve seen in years, the film is perhaps the apex of Scorsese’s work as of yet. DiCaprio plays one of his greatest roles to date in a outstanding way, and the rest of the movie comes together in an astounding and enthralling total that left me breathless and haggard with mental fatigue from unraveling all the subtleties and intricacies. Please go see Shutter Island. And then think about it long and hard, because it is not a simple movie. It will only become more impressive with more watching, and more pondering. Final Rating: ««««
Audience in awe over Oz Recently I have realized how peculiarly my life intersects with The Wizard of Oz: my mother’s name is Dorothy, my dog is the same breed as the 1939 film’s Toto, and my parrot expertly whistles the tunes to “If I Only Had a Brain” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard.” (It is seriously a family affair.) The more I think about these phenomena, the more embarrassed I become, but in the meantime, I can conclusively state that I am an accidental, but passionate, Wizard of Oz aficionado. Accordingly, the endless efforts of Thespian Troupe 1154, 8/9 Drama, and actors from the middle school combined to transport the multigenerational fans, myself included, of Dorothy Gale’s classic tale to Kansas, over the rainbow, and into dazzling Oz. Recounting the zany odyssey of four perchance companions in the pursuit of a heart, the nerve, a brain, and a home, the vibrant cast not only paid homage to both L. Frank Baum’s novel and MGM’s landmark film, but they also proved that imagination
is limitless. Namely, the fluid and multiple crew to the Dancing Jitterbugs, Trees, costume changes, picturesque backdrops, Winkies, Poppies, and Snowflakes, the convertible Gale family home erected by players were undeniably and reliably, truly Mark Kobasz’s Set Design team, and the an ensemble cast. The effervescent cast’s capitalizing of the auditorium’s aisles for chemistry, their handling of an actual dog, extended sequences, each allowed for a truly Aurora Sabin, the juggling of numerous props, and the elaborate song and dance captivating experience. The show’s double-casted lead numbers really merged into one effortless actors as well as supporting cast of vertically production. The drama programs’ revival of The challenged Middle School Munchkins each impressively and dynamically embodied Wizard of Oz was a delectable auditory and their famous roles. Both main casts were visual treat. The cast and crew deserve blends of talented lower- and ample congratulations for their professionalism and underclassmen headed by Senior emma morasco the inspired execution Caroline Podraza and Junior feature of their creative Anna Morrow as the winsome Dorothy Gale. The respective roles of the endeavor. While I mentioned my own farm hands, who also doubled as the personal connections to Oz before, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion, story’s legacy equally lives on in the hearts each handled their characters with assurance and brains of every theatergoer and fan that and comedic expertise. This sentiment is was reminded by a young girl’s enchanting especially attached to the Vizzachero journey home to follow our hearts’ desires brothers who both charismatically portrayed down whichever road (be it yellow brick or Zeke, the Cowardly Lion. From the Kansan pavement) that we may choose.
Italian students exchange knowledge
Continued from Page 1 Italy is that students get to choose their respective schools. Italian public schools are split into two different branches and from that, they are divided into different subdivisions. Students get to pick which school they would like to attend, including schools that specialize in technology, literature, the fine arts, etc. The school we exchanged with is a scientifico liceo, or science school. That means that the school has a heavy science curriculum. “The Italian students have done lots of research on waves and physics,” says Junior Erica Moser. On Wednesday, March 24, classes were welcome to watch presentations by our guests who reported on the research that they had done throughout the year. “We do research every year,” Italian student Erika Aloisi informed. However, she went on to say that presentations were prepared especially for their visit to Springfield. The theme of their research was the way that waves work. Sound waves, volume waves, and other waves were all discussed. Students also found equations
and other mathematical formulas to show wave patterns and formations. “Their research was very impressive,” mentions Sophomore Dan MacFarland who watched a presentation on waves in light and reflections. “The work that they have done to come up with their findings seems very advanced.” But another fact that seemed rather notable was the essence in which they presented their findings. The presenters spoke clearly and for the most part very confidently about their subjects. They were well rehearsed, and handled technology problems with ease. Some even cracked the occasional joke. Another aspect of their time here was the various trips planned. During the week of their visit, the students went on excursions that would show them different parts of the city and different cultural resources. Visits to the Morris Arboretum, the Franklin Institute, and the Italian Consulate General of Philadelphia were taken throughout the week along with a tour of center city. “We like these trips,” says
Valentina, one of the Italian guests. Valentina also went on to say that she was very happy with her host family. “We like our American friends, we went bowling with them. It was good.” Michele, another Italian visitor, shared similar sentiments. He found some of the American activities that he participated in to be quite fun. “I like bowling,” Michele says. He had never been bowling, “We do not have it so close in my town. There are different facilities in America.” The trip, very extensive in its planning and preparation, was memorable for all of those involved. Erica Moser describes the project as a, “neat opportunity to connect with students from a different part of the globe… Students need to see global perspectives.” Our school got an opportunity to bridge the global gap this spring. We took on a large number of students with the hopes of broadening their knowledge of America. In return, these students from a different continent gave us something to learn from.
Spy sharpeners shock school Springfield Township likes to boast about its proliferation of pencil sharpeners throughout district classrooms. Countless board meetings have turned into heated debates over what brand of sharpener to use, with students and teachers alike arguing the merits of the different tips the sharpeners create. One freshman told The Chronicle he prefers the pencil sharpeners that leave a somewhat dull point. Many others, however, prefer the sharp point that high-quality sharpeners provide. The administration does not have any preference, stating only that “our only priority is to make sure every student has access to a sharpened pencil.” It’s their only priority – if you ignore the spying. As one district high school student learned, there is a lot more to the district’s pencil sharpeners than meets the eye. The student, left unnamed for his protection, was called to Mr. Puckett’s office for disciplinary action. The vice principal presented the student with a picture,
seemingly taken from the corner of a Others weren’t as worried. classroom, showing the student leaning “Frankly, I don’t care,” said one senior, while across the aisle between desks during a test. leaving early to go to WaWa. “I’ll be out of According to the vice principal, this was here in a few months.” Another junior saw clear evidence of cheating. The student the cameras as a benefit. “If they can use wanted to know more about the image’s them in some way to make the kids who source. With a little investigation, group in the center the school’s secret was uncovered of the hallway and matt wetmore – inside each pencil sharpener block it ‘disappear,’ april 1 resided surveillance equipment. then I’m all for the The revelation made waves spying.” throughout the district, in the high school In response to the news, many especially. “I just don’t know who to trust,” students damaged their pencil sharpeners, said one junior, adding, “between the pencil leaving many of the school’s sharpeners sharpener and my irrational fear of markers, broken. So in that regard, nothing really I’m trapped in the center of the room.” changed. One sophomore tried to explain the The issue continues to evolve; ramification. “It all makes sense!” he cried, until a decision on how to address the drowned out by the din as classes changed. problem has been made, always be wary as “The cameras go to the Smart boards, which you walk up to clean the board or open the then enhance and analyze the video feed. windows. You never know what could be They can even get footage from reflections recording you. on water bottles! I saw it on CSI.”
New classes attract students The district’s grade restructuring plan has been widely publicized in the last months, but even though such a big change has garnered much attention, its indirect implications have been overlooked. In relation to the high school, not very much has been said about the development of a new curriculum now that a smaller student body is inevitable. For about a dozen teachers who teach the eighth-grade “Specials,” such as Theater, Intro to Video, and Gym, the inevitable absence of the ray eighth grade opens up two more block periods a year for each teacher. Because the student population is adequate to keep these teachers, a wider range of elective courses, some of which enable smaller classes and others which may be seen as esoteric additions, are available. “The art department generally runs four Art I classes a year,” says one art
teacher. “These classes get pretty big, which is hard for both class management and space. If we can open up one of the two ‘new’ blocks for another Art I, it’ll help both the students and the teacher.” As for the other elective, the Art department is looking into a graphic design and graffiti class. The theater department will also host several more elective options. To attract more male students to their chappetta program, they are april 1 planning to offer a one-credit stage combat class. One theater teacher explains, “Of course we won’t be doing anything dangerous, no real swords of course.” She adds, “This course will focus on hand combat and how to make it look as authentic as possible.” There are plans to incorporate
light-sabers into the curriculum and to form a Star Wars club. The Physical Education department also has some interesting ideas up its sleeves. “We’ve been pressured by the administration to use the pool more in our curriculum,” states one teacher, “so we’re looking into a synchronized swimming class.” While it may seem silly, synchronized swimming is apparently “a great way to build endurance, strength, teamwork, and breath control.” “I, for one, can’t wait to take this class,” says Junior Elizabeth Wolf. “I love to swim and have even convinced a few of my friends to sign up, too!” So, for any rising sophomore, junior, or senior still debating course selection, take another gander at the curriculum guide. You may have missed one of these great options!
Interview with local prankster April Fool’s Day is a holiday taken very lightly by most people. Most people take it as a day to perform outrageous pranks on each other or use it as a scapegoat for making stupid decisions. Whether it be sticking notes onto people’s backs, lying about the weather, or saying that congress is working in bipartisan bliss, all of these are obvious jokes. Maybe even the occasional physical prank or two, say, putting flour in a blow dryer or Kool-Aid mix in the shower nozzle so it looks like blood is coming out. But to some, this is not just a holiday that stays in the back of one’s mind. No, to families like the Souders, April Fool’s Day is a tradition. I decided to interview Senior Russell Souders about his family and their commitment to the holiday.
Evan: So who was the one who started the tradition as a regular event to look out for? Russell: I guess it all started when my parents told us it was snowing one morning on April Fool’s Day when I was about seven years old. My brothers and I all got up fast and headed straight to the window, where we were met with the disappointment of a sunny day. It ALL escalated from there, my brothers and I swearing revenge. Evan: Who in your family does the most pranks? Who in your family gets the most pranks done to them? Russell: Well, every year everybody gets pretty involved. My parents try and get us multiple times throughout the day. My brothers and I plan jokes the night before and sometimes stay up late to set the traps up. Really, my parents get it the most in general from us, while my brothers receive the most from my parents. I’m smart enough to see past their stuff so I am not included in this. In speaking about myself solely, I suppose I do it the most out of everyone though, just because I’m the only one who plans stuff to do in school, too. For my pranks, my mom and dad get it the most. Evan: What was the best prank you’ve done? What was the “worst” prank to happen to you? Russell: The best one I’ve done? Simple but easy: Rubber band on the spray faucet. The person’s first reaction is to block the water rather than turn the faucet off. Evan: And the “worst” (best) one played on you?
Russell: Nobody dares to play pranks on me. I see through all of my parents’ stuff and there really isn’t anyone else who has tried. I challenge anyone to try and play a prank on me. Anyone. Evan: You seem quite confident to challenge this many people. This confidence must come from somewhere, I assume. You must have had quite the experience in making pranks for your family. Which one was the best that you’ve planned with another family member?
Russell: No, I don’t think so. We can tell where the line will be crossed when we plan our jokes out. For example, I only play jokes in class after discussing them with my teachers. That way, nobody gets a surprise or gets in trouble. You have to know when “funny” becomes “embarrassing.” Evan: And when “funny” becomes “lawsuit.”
Russell: The best prank that I pulled was on my mom, through a combination of efforts from both my dad and me. One year, my dad and I put several things together. Rubber band on the faucet, chocolate in her cigarette, sewed one pant leg shut of her sweatpants, switched the sugar and the salt, and so many other things all in one day.
Russell: (Laughs) Yeah, exactly. The boxjoke was a bit of a risk last year. I had attached a string to a box and would have put it under a student’s desk and shaken it violently in order to make it appear that there was a creature inside of it. I was afraid someone would think it was a bomb or something. The worse was when I [pretended to] cut my arm off and made my family look at it. The prank was on them because they thought I was going to die.
Evan: And your mom or family hasn’t tried to get you back for these pranks?
Evan: Any tips for people looking to try and prank this year?
Russell: My parents try to get me, but it’s just lame. Like, they’ll put rice in my coat pocket so that I’m pulling it all out when I get to school. Or they’ll put it in my socks the night before school. They put some in Kiel’s binder the one year as well. They even tried the old “bucket over the door” thing with rice; none of them were good, I push doors wide open before walking through them on April Fool’s Day.
Russell: Keep it classy. Everybody likes a good joke, whether it is old or original. The old ones are funny because they still get people, [like] tying a dollar to a piece of string and pulling it from people. Originals are the best, though; no one suspects anything and those who are in on it get the best laughs because of the success. Finally, just remember that these are jokes. They may be a bit embarrassing when they’re played on you, but it’s just a joke. Nobody likes a spoil-sport or a negative Nancy. Just try to have fun and enjoy the prank!
Evan: With all these plans that require quite the good sense of humor and strong sense of embarrassment, there certainly must be some risk involved. Has anyone ever “gone too far” in their joke?
evan cowdery feature
So for this year’s April Fool’s Day, remember two things, ladies and gentlemen: have a good sense of humor, and don’t trust Russell Souders.
Welcome to the green parade (ode to shamrock shakes) By Evan Cowdery
When I was a young boy McDonald’s came out with a new milkshake. It was green and had a taste of mint. It said, “Evan, come drink me. Will you please purchase me for $2.69? That’s the price for a medium.” It said, “Will you defeat them, The Frosties and all the DQ Blizzards, The flavors that they have made? Because one day, I’ll leave you. I’m only available till the end of March, And then I am put away.” Sometimes I get the feeling This drink’s too cold for my teeth, And other times I feel like I should’ve known. And through it all, the price of the small, The cups in the streets, And when you’re gone I want Shamrock Shakes to know...
We hear the call that Shamrock’s on, Shamrock’s on, And though you’re sold and gone, believe me Your taste and green will carry on, will carry on. And though your cup is empty and drink depleted, We’ll remember when March is. On and on we’ll wait through the year With disappointed faces, worth every tear. Take a look at me, If I had to I’d order small... Green food dye? You’ll never fake me. Because the world will never take my March, Though you try. McDonald’s will always Shamrock shake me. I want it all, even a small is fine. I will not change, or get a different shake. I’m unashamed, for the Shamrock’s sake. Give a cheer for all the sold ones, For next year, because it’s all so close. I’m just a man, I’m not a hero, Just a boy who wants to drink his drink. Just a man, I’m not a hero. I’m just thirsty!
You’ll carry on, you’ll carry on. And though you’re sold and gone, believe me Your taste and green will carry on, you’ll carry on. And in my cup, I can’t contain it, The cashiers won’t explain it...
We hear the call that Shamrock’s on, Shamrock’s on. And though you’re sold and gone, believe me Your taste and green will carry on, will carry on. And though your cup is empty and drink depleted, We’ll remember when March is.
And while that sends you leaving From all McDonald’s screaming, The minty Shamrock Shake shall leave us all. So paint it green and take it back. Let’s shout out loud and clear, Why does March have to end?
Green food dye? You’ll never fake me. Because the world will never take my March, Though you try. McDonald’s will always Shamrock shake me. I want it all, even a small is fine. (It’ll carry on.)