Page 1

Tower The Masters School

VOLUME 70, NUMBER 3

49 Clinton Avenue Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. 10522

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2013

tower.mastersny.org

Masters mourns Mandela Sofia Linden News Editor

To commemorate the recent death of South African President and political activist Nelson Mandela, students and faculty articulated their feelings about him. Academic Dean Chris Goulian worked in Swaziland with the Peace Corps, during the time of Mandela’s imprisonment. He said, “He really saw himself not as someone who wanted power, but someone who wanted to facilitate change. What struck me me was the immense power he constructed, even though he was in prison.” continued on page 7

Union strikers protest MAAC construction on Clinton Avenue Abigail Costigan Opinion Editor ADAM E. MOREIRA/WIKI COMMONS

AFTER GOING 80 MPH on a turn that should have been approached at 30 mph, the Croton Harmon train veered off course at the Spuyten Duyvil stop. Although derailments have occurred in the past, for the first time in Metro-North history lives were lost. In addition, 64 were injured in the accident.

Metro-North Train Derailment: Students reflect on the tragedy

Ariel Censor Copy Editor/Managing Editor

M

any students rely on the Metro-North Croton Harmon train line to commute to school everyday. For this reason, the recent derailment of the Metro-North train at Spuyton Duyvil stop on Dec. 1 hit close to home. “At first, I wasn’t really that distraught about it. I thought, ‘Will I be able to catch my train to school still?” said freshman Willa Dow, a commuter from Garrison. “Once I found out that people died in the accident that lived near me, I was really surprised and realized how serious it was.” Junior Serena Wessley, who also commutes from Garrison, had a similar reaction. “I checked to see if anyone I knew had been

on the train,” she said. “I found nity. Butler lived across from the out that Jim Lovell, who I met on Lovells for seven years and Patthe train, was a victim of the acci- terson went to middle school with dent. I was deeply saddened, but his children. mostly just really shocked.” “When I heard about the acciJim Lovell, 58, was one of four dent, I never thought someone I killed when the Metro-North train knew would be on the train,” Patturned a corner at a dangerous terson said. “When I found out speed and went that I did, I off the tracks. was shocked Lovell lived in and really Cold Spring, a sad.” town many stuLovell’s dents commute When I heard about the accident, n e i g h b o r , Toby Shimin, from on a daily I never thought someone I knew set up a dobasis. He is surwould be on the train. nation page vived by his wife, to support three sons ages - Sophia Patterson the family on 11, 15 and 17 the website and daughter. Go Fund Me. Junior MagSo far, nearly gie Butler and $100,000 has been raised, inspirsophomore Sophia Patterson ing Butler to organize a bake sale knew Lovell personally. Both to add to the efforts. Butler and Patterson grew up “I know the family struggles in the same town as Lovell, who financially and that Masters is was very active in their commu-

so involved in community service with MISH, so I saw the perfect opportunity to help,” said Butler, who raised $720 for the family through the bake sale. Butler said that the family is deserving of all of the support they’re getting. “You read interviews talking about Jim being ‘the sweetest man’ in the papers and hear it on TV, but he really was selfless,” she said. Despite the train accident, students don’t feel like their safety is in danger when they ride the train. “I think it’s still safer than taking a car,” said junior Emily O’Rourke. “You hear of so many more car accidents than train ones. Things like this rarely happen.” Dow agreed that the train she takes to school is safe. “This really never happens, so I’m completely fine with getting to school this way,” Dow said.

Protesters representing the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters and the Local 46, the rebar lathers, have taken to sporadic chanting, picketing and whistle-blowing on the sidewalk of Clinton Avenue. These union workers are protesting the use of nonunion labor used in the construction of the MAAC (Masters Arts and Athletic Center). As Director of Business and Finance, Bob Rooney is in charge of coordination between the school and Shawmut, the company in charge of constructing the MAAC and has been paying close attention to the protests. “We’ve asked security officers not to let protesters park on campus and watch out for students and teachers on the sidewalk. I don’t want anyone to get hurt,” Rooney said. A labor union as an organization of workers formed to protect the rights and interests of its members in respect to wages, benefits and working conditions. Member of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters Ed Coook said, “Workers at Masters are bused all the way from South Jersey, while the union workers that live in Westchester are out of work.” Rooney said, “I understand what the union workers are up against and can feel for their concerns, but at the same time we have a free market economy and I think it’s important to have both union and non-union workers represented.”

INSIDE THE ISSUE LETTER TO THE EDITOR Head of the Upper School Matt Ives responds to Tower’s editorial; defends Executive Committee. PAGE 3

SENIOR TRADITION As the college process rolls around, many seniors change their Facebook names to hide their identities while others do it for the sake of tradition. PAGE 5

FENCING FIGHTS ON Although fencing has graduated some key players this past June, they still expect winning results in the upcoming season. PAGE 8


2

TOWER/DECEMBER 19, 2013

op-ed

Opinion Tower

EDITORIAL

2013-2014

Editor-in-Chief Teerin Julsawad

News Editors

Sofia Linden Rachel Saunders

Opinion Editors Abigail Costigan Rajan Cutting

Features and Arts Editors Sang Bae Wen-Xuan Ni

Sports Editors Tyler Jarecki Tony Rosenberg

Managing Editor Ariel Censor

Copy Editor Ariel Censor

SANG BAE/TOWER

Contributing Editor Lucy Price

Photo Editor Daniel Barnett

Web Content Manager Gabby Davies

Advertising Manager Gabby Davies

Distribution Manager Marianna Zapata

Board Manager Wei Wang

Columnists

Henry DuBeau Mary Jac Heuman Angaelica LaPasta Lucy Price Benjamin Sibley

Staff Photographers Bob Cornigans Linkon Duong Gavin Koepke Sam Miller Ken Verral

Contributing Writers Matt Ives

Faculty Adviser Ellen Cowhey

Distribution Process Tower is hand-delivered on the day of publication to the Upper School. 500 copies are printed, and one is put in each faculty member’s mailbox. In addition, a copy is sent to each of our advertisers.

Scholastic Press Affiliations and Letter Policy Tower is an award-winning member of the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), Journalism Education Association (JEA) and Quill and Scroll. E-mail TowerEditors@ MastersNY.org to send Letters to the Editor. See the subsequent page for information regarding letters to the editor. Published approximately eight times a year, Tower, the student newspaper of The Masters School, is a public forum, with its Editorial Board making all decisions concerning content. Unsigned editorials expressviews of the majority of the Editorial Board.

NYC bans tobacco to under 21s:

Teens will only rebel against the rule H

igh school seniors and college freshmen that are looking to buy a pack of cigarettes and “light up” may have to wait just a little longer now. Last month, the New York City Council approved legislation raising the age for tobacco purchasers from 18 to 21. And on Nov. 19, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed it into law. This doesn’t come as a big surprise to many. As a former smoker, Bloomberg has long been a supporter and advocate of anti-smoking laws. In 2002, the Smoke-Free Air Act (SFAA) was passed, banning smoking in all workspace and indoor recreational venues. Additionally, under Bloomberg’s mayorship, New York City has prohibited smoking at beaches, pedestrian plazas and hospital grounds (within fifteen feet of any hospital entrance or exit), while the selling of flavored tobacco has also been banned. Bloomberg said that the law will discourage teenagers from picking up the habit at a young age­ —a time when they are most prone to addiction.

While we are not advocating the use of tobacco, we ask: Why should 18-year-olds be barred from deciding whether or not to use the substance if they are old enough to vote in an election, drive a car or even be drafted into the armed services? The bill only bans 18-20-yearolds from purchasing tobacco, so they are not prohibited from using it altogether, which separates it from the likes of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. The fact that 18-year-olds and above are still allowed to smoke tobacco itself sends out a mixed message. And as a result, the bill will likely fail to create any significant impact. As teenagers, our rebellious nature seem to be constantly pushing us to do whatever it takes to get what we want on a daily basis. It is safe to say that teenagers will find a way to possess tobacco regardless of the law changes, especially when the law only prohibits purchasing the substance and nothing else. We believe the passing of the law will not only hurt retailers in New York City but will also encourage dealers to bring illicit supplies from other states.

It is clear that there is not a big tobacco culture at our school, especially in comparison to the consumption of alcohol and marijuana­­—substances that are much more prevalent and accepted by our peers. This is not only a trend in our community but rather nationwide. According to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics in June, tobacco usage among adults in the U.S. is decreasing rapidly (dropping from 20.6% to 18% within three years). Look around: not many of your friends are smoking tobacco, and we believe that media campaigns and less exposure in pop culture has finally made it less “cool”. We acknowledge the fact that early prevention is important in fighting against addiction. But rather than banning the selling of tobacco to all persons under 21, we advocate for the early education on the dangers of tobacco. After all, smoking tobacco is continuously becoming less popular, the bill will probably do no more than tickle the inner rebellious nerves of teenagers and encourage them to go out and get a pack right now just for the sake of it.

Pushy Western kids dominate school culture Abigail Costigan Opinion Editor “Get what I want because I ask for it, not because I’m really that deserving of it,” are lyrics to the song “Primadonna Girl” by Marina and the Diamonds, and it speaks to the way Western society is run. Those who get ahead in life do so not because of their outstanding abilities, but because of their pushy behaviors. This behavior even permeates our school’s bubble (and it doesn’t even need a keycard). The more aggressive can talk their way out of a missing homework assignment, dress-code ticket or the Athletic Credit Requirement (ACR), while a more polite kid will be stuck serving detention. This issue is especially sensitive to

us because of our international community. Students from other less pushy cultures get sidelined in the classroom and are more likely to actually get punished for their crimes.

However, we should praise selflessness and respect, attributes that good people are made up of. If these behaviors aren’t commended and cultivated now, they may never be. In order to instill these honorable characteristics and to let students from other cultures be treated fairly, teachers should give students they assign detenStudents from other less pushy cultion a built-in chance to refute their punishment, or give no stutures get sidelined in the classroom dent a chance to argue and accept and are more likely to actually get no excuses. punished for their crimes. Students should also work to create a balanced learning environment. They should make room for their less pushy peers in Now, in the “real world”, the grad- Harkness discussions, friendly conuated students will have to be aggres- versations and even in the hallways. sive to get ahead in this selfish culLearning isn’t a competition, and ture and we want our students to be it shouldn’t be a cut-throat race to be prepared for college and later life. the best.

CORRECTIONS

In the article “Plagiarism offers two-click solutions at costly consequences,” Kristen Tregar was quoted saying: “From DC’s standpoint, the goal is to offer students a consequence to reflect and rebuild trust with the community. Her actual quote is: “From DC’s standpoint, the goal is to offer students a punishment to reflect and rebuild trust with the community.”


TOWER/DECEMBER 19, 2013

OP-ED

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Exec. Committee has not established a procrastination culture To the Editor of Tower, I am writing to express my disagreement with your editorial “Establishing a culture of procrastination.” In this editorial you argue that the Executive Committee has been moving slowly and debating semantics. I would argue that in fact the Executive Committee has worked remarkably quickly this year, and that the issues debated so far have been very much worthy of careful reflection and thought and deserved not to be

rushed, as students decades from now will be impacted by the decisions we are making and the words we chose to put into our constitution. To put this all in context, we knew there was a problem with succession starting in June, and we realized that this was a constitutional issue from the start­— but the first Executive Committee meeting in which we could address the issue took place on September 10. Over the next seven meetings (a total of only four hours of meetings), the Executive Committee

debated, wrote and passed a major and complicated constitutional amendment. Brandon Schneider deserves much credit for spearheading this effort. The Executive Committee has also debated, created and begun to put into practice a new set of policies and procedures for new club applications, approvals and club oversight. Those who attend Executive Committee will be the first to admit that we do sometimes get sidetracked, but that has been a minor problem this year. I think the reason that an-

noyed and passionate students are not ringing the senior bell in protest is that most students would agree with me that Henry and Christina have done a wonderful job creating agendas and sticking to them—as well as running morning meeting, sending out minutes, speaking at convocation, at admissions events and meeting with Dr. Fonseca and me on a weekly basis! Sincerely, Matthew Ives Head of the Upper School

COLUMN: AS I SEE IT..

The Liberal Facade: The blatant hypocrisy of the left Lucy Price weeks after I said goodbye to Noor, I was proud of my newfound open-mindedness. But instantly, I was disappointed by my classmates who continued to revile my opinions. When the Iraqi War surfaced in conversa*** tion, I still defended President Bush’s decision. I didn’t yell, but For 16 years of my life, I my classmates did. I tried to thought it was my way or the understand their logic, but they highway. That changed in the didn’t try to understand mine. summer of 2012, when I roomed My opinion is no less valid with Noor Farhat, a Lebanese than someone else’s. They are girl, at Harvard Summer School. both opinions—based on expoIn our first conversation, she sure, dinner conversations and said she was from Lebanon, to travels—not facts. If it were fact which I replied that I’d been to that we shouldn’t have invaded Israel and spent time on the Leb- Iraq, we wouldn’t have. anese border. Immediately, her During the election season, expression went blank and she when I defended Mitt Romney, I walked away. was assailed. When I questioned Despite our strange first en- President Obama’s policies, I counter, and the awareness that was silenced. the other was the enemy, Noor Masters claims to foster open and I became friends quickly, dialogue, but that’s not always and just a few days later I in- the case when politics come into quired about her beliefs towards play; dialogue takes a backseat Jews and Israel. She said I was to forceful critique and majority the first Jew she’d ever met, and domination. then that an Israeli soldier killed I have sat in classrooms her aunt, the main reason why where teachers have censured she hates Israel. my views, and I’ve wondered if Although the loss of any soul they think they’re promoting is unjustifiable, I defended Isra- open discourse. Doesn’t that just el. But the more I argued on Isra- make the close-minded people el’s behalf, the more Noor argued feel more empowered and give on behalf of the Anti-Zionists. I them further reason to ignore believed—and believe— so fer- me? The answer is yes, and my vently in Israel’s right to exist evidence is the people who have that any rebuttal from the oth- approached me following diser side irritatcussions or coled me. Soon, umns; they say though, I came they a) agree to realize that with me and b) Masters claims to foster Noor’s hawould be too open dialogue, but that’s tred of Israel, nervous to speak not always the case when aside from the their true views. politics come into play; dideath of her They feel threatalogue takes a backseat to aunt, wasn’t ened by the maforceful critique and majorignorant bias jority. ity domination. or blind anI find it partisemitism but adoxical that rather part of those who walk her upbringwith their chins ing and the high, proudculture from which she came –in ly asserting that they are libthe same way that my love of Is- eral and open-minded, are the rael comes from my upbringing close-minded ones. and culture. Noor made me think, critically Eventually, I stopped trying and honestly, about the opinions to convince Noor I was right and we hold. I think the Palestinian began to draw similarities be- Authorities who hide bombs in tween Israel and Lebanon from a kindergarten classrooms and non-political perspective. I hoped seek refuge in civilian shopping to show Noor the aspects of the malls are in the wrong. Noor country I so deeply love. We came thinks the Israeli soldier who to talk comfortably about the re- killed her aunt is in the wrong. ligious fervor that plagued our Had I grown up in Noor’s home, beloved nations. Noor and I, still without an aunt and with a friends today, admit we changed mother who was scarred by her the other’s perception. sister’s youthful murder, I, too, Prior to the summer, when- would detest Israel. ever the Iraqi war, for example, The realization that your opcame up in class discussions, I ponent isn’t wrong, but rather defended President Bush’s deci- has grown up in a different home sion to invade. I yelled and my with different values—and has classmates yelled. Neither I nor been exposed to things you have they listened to the opposing not— is critical to the success side. of open dialogue. Masters could When I returned to school benefit from this elasticity of in September 2012, just three mind and thought. This column is dedicated to Ms. Roche: Thank you for fostering open dialogue, and for promoting a mutual sharing and respect for the opinions of others.

SANG BAE/TOWER

PEOPLE USE FILLER words in their speech, it has even become normal. In one minute of a typical conversation 20% of the words are “like” and other filler words.

Improper Diction:

Omitting filler words from our conversations Wen-Xuan Ni Features and Arts Editor

“So me and my friends were like, talking about, like, why I like, missed the show. And I was like, I missed the show ‘cause like, I have like tons of other stuff to do. And they were like, ‘Okay, like, you don’t even have, like, one hour, like, free?’” I recorded this from a conversation that I overheard. In a monologue less than one minute, 10 out of 50 words are “like”. Reduce these filler words. The more they are used in sentences, the less effective the sentences will be. When these words are used in a speech or an answer, it indicates that the speaker is not well prepared and not confident with his or her topic. Our use of filler words is highly related to the fast-speaking environment. Texts and social networks affect the way we talk in our daily lives. Someone recently told me that a 25-second-long video is way too long to be funny. This sounds normal now that, yes, lots of teenagers use Vine, and Vine videos are only seven seconds long. Yet this strikes me because it makes me realize that our attention spans are now calculated in seconds. To save these

seconds, we start talking without thinking beforehand. To talk without stopping for a moment to think, we pause in the middle of sentences trying to collect our thoughts. To reduce these awkward pauses, we fill them with “like/um/you know”. Students are required to take public speaking class because it helps us develop our speaking skills. Mary Anne (M.A.) Haskin, Drama Department Chair, said, “Most of us know that we are judged by our diction and use of grammar when we speak. My goal is to have my stu-

Most of us know that we are judged by our diction and use of grammar when we speak. My goal is to have my students understand when using slang is appropriate and when it is not.

dents understand when using slang is appropriate and when it is not.” Occasions when we need to turn off the slang include college interviews, job interviews, public presentations and even formal dinners with grandparents. Sometimes we do use filler words consciously. Richard Simon, Chair of Language Department, said, “Some teachers use filler words when they

are talking to students. They do so to create a relaxing conversational environment.” He explained that when the teachers talk in the way that the students do, students tend to think less about that they are talking to an adult, a teacher. Simon said the problem seems to be that we do not know how much we say these filler words. Maybe no one had ever pointed this out to us. Maybe no one did because so many of us use them. To be conscious of what we say is the first step to get rid of this habit. Overusing the word “like” is a very common issue nowadays and not just by teenagers. Practice is the only way to get rid of this habit, and it should be 24/7 instead of once every public speaking class. I counted 164 “like”s I heard in two periods of classes on Friday, Nov. 8. That is 1.5 “like” per minute, non-stop. Harkness discussion trains our ability to listen while expressing our own ideas, and it should also train us in the skills of expressing ideas. Teachers and students should both be more conscious during discussions, to really practice the skills of speaking properly in order to break this habit. Try to go through tomorrow, or at least tomorrow morning, without using “like” or “you know”. To make this challenge harder, try to restrict “um” or “uh” as well. This challenge will force one to stop and think before speaking.


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TOWER/DECEMBER 19, 2013

FEATURES and arts

F eatures & Arts Budding choreographers blossom in the limelight Ariel Censor Copy Editor/Managing Editor

S

tudents are encouraged to be leaders both in and out of the classroom at school. In this year’s fall concert, Dance Company members were asked to take leadership roles and choreographed much of the show themselves. Student dancers choreographed six of the eight pieces in the concert. Student choreographers included Kat Bartley, Martha Gray, Joe Shanahan, Isis Bruno, Treasure Brooks and Julianna Marchant. Mary Rotella, director of dance, believes that the experience of having both professionally choreographed pieces and student-choreographed pieces is helpful for students. “I think it’s valuable for our students to have the opportunity to choreograph, but I also think they can benefit from learning from the young, emerging choreographers I use as guests in the fall,” she said. “The students learn from the professionals while developing their own work.” Sophomore Martha Gray agreed. “You can take the corrections the professionals give you when you dance and apply them to your own choreography,” she said. Sophomore Kat Bartley said that using professional choreographers exposes dancers to a different type of rehearsal environment. “As a dancer, the way you act and dance in rehearsal has to be a lot different around professionals,” Bartley said. “It’s a more serious environment, so you have to act

The future resides in robotics—at least for the thousands of people crunching mathematical algorithms and designing the blueprints. Although it used to be the stuff of science fiction, robotic engineering has grown into something accessible to the common man. Faculty club advisor John Chiodo isn’t going to let The Masters School sit around and let that chance slip away. With the approval of Head of School Maureen Fonseca and with the popular demand from students in Zetetics, Chiodo secured a $4,000 budget to compete in the National VEX Robotics Competition. In a game reminiscent of both basketball and Hungry Hungry Hippos, four schools in two teams use robots to simultaneously compete by earning points (see graphic). Chiodo certainly has the credentials to run a robotics division. As a former US First Robotics coach, Chiodo uses his connections and knowledge to work as a consultant to the team. The Vex Robotics Competition acts like any other organized sport, one with a good set of rules and regulations. Like that of a football coach strategizing for a game, Chiodo ultimately wanted students find their place on the team. “I am not here to design or show how to build a robot. I’m working more as an administrator,” Chiodo said. “I basically find the specialists in the school who can do certain things like programming and designing. It’s not possible to play multiple roles simultaneously.”

5

Senior Tradition

Changing Facebook names during admissions process Jazmine Figueroa (“Jazzie Figgs”)

Daniel Barnett Photo Editor

In the spirited tradition of Facebook shenanigans, the seniors of 2014 changed their profile names and donned their new identities, usually involving some sort of rhyme scheme. Whether it’s Sophie Lieber honoring her secret crush Justin Bieber or Samuel Cabrera dodging the watchful eye of college surveillance, these individuals went against the social norms to continue history.

I changed my name because it freaks me out how people can search me and stalk me.

Sam Cabrera (“Sam Jam”) JOSTENS

I changed my name just for security issues and I do not want colleges to find me, therefore I amped up my security preferences making my profile available for some and not for all. Jostens

Cassie Majersky (“Cassa Blanca”)

I changed my name because I am a senior and I felt like it.

Deniz Bengi ( “Denisse de Venise”)

BOB CORNIGANS/TOWER

Jostens

It was for college. I do not have any inappropriate photos but I may have some statuses that may be. I do not want colleges to judge me based on a status I made to my friends.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Senior Jenna Goldman, freshman Treasure Brooks, senior Julia Borges and junior Jenny Chang in a piece choreographed by sophomore Kat Bartley. The piece, set to “Medicine” by Daughter, highlighted the capability of student choreography to express intense emotions on stage. more serious.” Rotella agreed. She said, “Inviting guest choreographers from outside Masters reinforces what I teach the dancers about professional behavior. The choreographers expect the same professional be-

havior I am teaching and expecting of our students.” Junior Joe Shanahan said that choreographing his own piece allows him to express himself. He said, “When I choreograph my own piece, it’s a lot more personal.” However,

according to Shanahan, choreography is not easy work. “Choreographing a piece is really hard. There are so many things you can do, including different music choices, spacing and staging. Narrowing it down to what’s going to work best is a lot of

work,” he said. For Shanahan, the work paid off. “I’m so proud of the show, we all put so much work into it and it turned out really great,” he said. “If we continue on the path we’re going, we’re going to do great things this year.”

Jostens

Isabel Grieder (“Invis Abel Fence”)

Dedicated students make their debut at robotics competition Sang Bae Features and Arts Editor

FEATURES and arts

Out of the 29 students who signed up for Robotics, a team of four individuals stepped to the challenge of building an entire robot from scratch, each with a different specialty and skill. Sophomore Ben Church possesses the technical knowhow to pro-

gram the artificial intelligences system, junior David Mancione works to build a test field and junior Dylan Chan works to effectively manage the $4000 budget. Senior Alex George acts as both team captain and project manager, utilizing his skills and expe-

riences from numerous robotics competitions to oversee the completion of the robot. “I wanted to go into robotics since the ninth grade,” Mancione said. “After two years, the opportunity came up and I wanted to get involved right away.”

I essentially see it as a tradition but I just think it is way to show everyone how witty you truly are.

Despite the competition only three months away on Feb. 1, both Chiodo and George have high expectation for the team’s first year of robotics. George hopes that their year will inspire other students to join and go for greater aspirations.

Stefan Luiggi (“ManontheMoon Luiggi”) Jostens

It was just for fun and all seniors do it. Jostens

Sophie Lieber (I’veGot LieberFever)

In the spirit of senior year, my friends and I changed our names because it is funny and not because of colleges. We are not worried about our profiles because we have nothing to hide.

Emma Cunningham (“GreenEggs N CunningHam”) Jostens

SANG BAE/TOWER

STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN THE VEX robotics competition do all of the programming and building of their robots themselves. Although Chiodo is present to be an administrator, he lets students program the artificial intelligence of the robot and manage their own budget of $4,000.

Although the majority of seniors change their Facebook names during the college process for admission purposes, it was a fun tradition that I always wanted to be a part of—especially because of how creative you can get with these names. Jostens


4

TOWER/DECEMBER 19, 2013

FEATURES and arts

F eatures & Arts Budding choreographers blossom in the limelight Ariel Censor Copy Editor/Managing Editor

S

tudents are encouraged to be leaders both in and out of the classroom at school. In this year’s fall concert, Dance Company members were asked to take leadership roles and choreographed much of the show themselves. Student dancers choreographed six of the eight pieces in the concert. Student choreographers included Kat Bartley, Martha Gray, Joe Shanahan, Isis Bruno, Treasure Brooks and Julianna Marchant. Mary Rotella, director of dance, believes that the experience of having both professionally choreographed pieces and student-choreographed pieces is helpful for students. “I think it’s valuable for our students to have the opportunity to choreograph, but I also think they can benefit from learning from the young, emerging choreographers I use as guests in the fall,” she said. “The students learn from the professionals while developing their own work.” Sophomore Martha Gray agreed. “You can take the corrections the professionals give you when you dance and apply them to your own choreography,” she said. Sophomore Kat Bartley said that using professional choreographers exposes dancers to a different type of rehearsal environment. “As a dancer, the way you act and dance in rehearsal has to be a lot different around professionals,” Bartley said. “It’s a more serious environment, so you have to act

The future resides in robotics—at least for the thousands of people crunching mathematical algorithms and designing the blueprints. Although it used to be the stuff of science fiction, robotic engineering has grown into something accessible to the common man. Faculty club advisor John Chiodo isn’t going to let The Masters School sit around and let that chance slip away. With the approval of Head of School Maureen Fonseca and with the popular demand from students in Zetetics, Chiodo secured a $4,000 budget to compete in the National VEX Robotics Competition. In a game reminiscent of both basketball and Hungry Hungry Hippos, four schools in two teams use robots to simultaneously compete by earning points (see graphic). Chiodo certainly has the credentials to run a robotics division. As a former US First Robotics coach, Chiodo uses his connections and knowledge to work as a consultant to the team. The Vex Robotics Competition acts like any other organized sport, one with a good set of rules and regulations. Like that of a football coach strategizing for a game, Chiodo ultimately wanted students find their place on the team. “I am not here to design or show how to build a robot. I’m working more as an administrator,” Chiodo said. “I basically find the specialists in the school who can do certain things like programming and designing. It’s not possible to play multiple roles simultaneously.”

5

Senior Tradition

Changing Facebook names during admissions process Jazmine Figueroa (“Jazzie Figgs”)

Daniel Barnett Photo Editor

In the spirited tradition of Facebook shenanigans, the seniors of 2014 changed their profile names and donned their new identities, usually involving some sort of rhyme scheme. Whether it’s Sophie Lieber honoring her secret crush Justin Bieber or Samuel Cabrera dodging the watchful eye of college surveillance, these individuals went against the social norms to continue history.

I changed my name because it freaks me out how people can search me and stalk me.

Sam Cabrera (“Sam Jam”) JOSTENS

I changed my name just for security issues and I do not want colleges to find me, therefore I amped up my security preferences making my profile available for some and not for all. Jostens

Cassie Majersky (“Cassa Blanca”)

I changed my name because I am a senior and I felt like it.

Deniz Bengi ( “Denisse de Venise”)

BOB CORNIGANS/TOWER

Jostens

It was for college. I do not have any inappropriate photos but I may have some statuses that may be. I do not want colleges to judge me based on a status I made to my friends.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Senior Jenna Goldman, freshman Treasure Brooks, senior Julia Borges and junior Jenny Chang in a piece choreographed by sophomore Kat Bartley. The piece, set to “Medicine” by Daughter, highlighted the capability of student choreography to express intense emotions on stage. more serious.” Rotella agreed. She said, “Inviting guest choreographers from outside Masters reinforces what I teach the dancers about professional behavior. The choreographers expect the same professional be-

havior I am teaching and expecting of our students.” Junior Joe Shanahan said that choreographing his own piece allows him to express himself. He said, “When I choreograph my own piece, it’s a lot more personal.” However,

according to Shanahan, choreography is not easy work. “Choreographing a piece is really hard. There are so many things you can do, including different music choices, spacing and staging. Narrowing it down to what’s going to work best is a lot of

work,” he said. For Shanahan, the work paid off. “I’m so proud of the show, we all put so much work into it and it turned out really great,” he said. “If we continue on the path we’re going, we’re going to do great things this year.”

Jostens

Isabel Grieder (“Invis Abel Fence”)

Dedicated students make their debut at robotics competition Sang Bae Features and Arts Editor

FEATURES and arts

Out of the 29 students who signed up for Robotics, a team of four individuals stepped to the challenge of building an entire robot from scratch, each with a different specialty and skill. Sophomore Ben Church possesses the technical knowhow to pro-

gram the artificial intelligences system, junior David Mancione works to build a test field and junior Dylan Chan works to effectively manage the $4000 budget. Senior Alex George acts as both team captain and project manager, utilizing his skills and expe-

riences from numerous robotics competitions to oversee the completion of the robot. “I wanted to go into robotics since the ninth grade,” Mancione said. “After two years, the opportunity came up and I wanted to get involved right away.”

I essentially see it as a tradition but I just think it is way to show everyone how witty you truly are.

Despite the competition only three months away on Feb. 1, both Chiodo and George have high expectation for the team’s first year of robotics. George hopes that their year will inspire other students to join and go for greater aspirations.

Stefan Luiggi (“ManontheMoon Luiggi”) Jostens

It was just for fun and all seniors do it. Jostens

Sophie Lieber (I’veGot LieberFever)

In the spirit of senior year, my friends and I changed our names because it is funny and not because of colleges. We are not worried about our profiles because we have nothing to hide.

Emma Cunningham (“GreenEggs N CunningHam”) Jostens

SANG BAE/TOWER

STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN THE VEX robotics competition do all of the programming and building of their robots themselves. Although Chiodo is present to be an administrator, he lets students program the artificial intelligence of the robot and manage their own budget of $4,000.

Although the majority of seniors change their Facebook names during the college process for admission purposes, it was a fun tradition that I always wanted to be a part of—especially because of how creative you can get with these names. Jostens


6

TOWER/DECEMBER 19, 2013

FEATURES AND ARTS

COLUMN: HIPSTER NONSENSE

Outdated business model gags the creative potential of Internet music scene Mary Jac Heuman

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pic.co

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Community may be throwing away chance to remember the hungry Senior Samantha Lee thinks the Dining Hall should more frequently cook the “popular foods” that students like. She said, “Sometimes the Dining Hall serves food that a lot of kids don’t want so The scraping sounds of a fork become they have to throw it out. If popular food louder as a student throws out his leftovers. was served more often we wouldn’t waste as Students throw out a significant amount of much.” leftovers every day. In an attempt to raise awareness of hunWhile mounds of wasted food pile up in ger in Westchester County and in order to the Dining Hall, many in Westchester are feed some of the hungry, MISH (Masters Instruggling to feed themselves. terest in Sharing and Helping) organized a According to the Food Bank for Westches- food drive in November. Crane thinks that Masters needs to learn ter, around 200,000 Westchester County to help itself before helpresidents—about 1 in ing others. 5 in the population— She said, “I have alare hungry or at risk of I have always felt, that as a ways felt, that as a school hunger, based on their school we always feel as if it’s we always feel as if it’s surveys and reports our duty to go out and help our duty to go out and from member agencies, the outside world, and while help the outside world, as well as the statistics that’s really important we and while that’s realfrom those who actually rarely think what can we do to ly important we rarely sought assistance. better our own community. think what can we do to Some students feel as better our own commuif the Dining Hall Staff - Gillian Crane nity.” could improve the waste themselves. Director of CommuniSenior Gio Kim believes that there should ty Service Amy Atlee believes the source of be a limit on how much food each student can the problem and the solution is being mindful­—being mindful of how much food the inget. He said, “If there was a limit, then kids dividual actually needs and mindful of how wouldn’t be taking an excessive amount of much they waste. “We can do better,” she said. food, cutting down the waste immensely.”

Rajan Cutting Opinion Editor

National Music Publisher’s Association (NMPA) issued a take down notice for 50 unlicensed commercial lyric sites. Among them, sltlyrics.com, lyricsmania. com, guitaretab.com, and, topping the list, rapgenius.com. The notices, issued on Nov. 11, followed a study done by David Lowery of the University of Georgia, which concluded that the Internet lyric business was a lucrative one, as millions of Google searches direct consumers to sites that receive ad revenue. David Israelite, CEO of NMPA reasoned that unauthorized lyric sites “significantly impact songwriters’ ability to make a living.” Out of the list, the site “rapgenius.com” sticks out. Unlike other lyric sites, it allows users, including some verified artists, to annotate lyrics line-by-line. Users are encouraged to interpret and debate, fostering a creative social community. Recently, Rap Genius accepted a $15 million investment, marking the potential for huge growth. In response to the take-down notice, co-founder Ilan Zechory said, “We can’t wait to have a conversation with them about how all writers can participate in and benefit from the Rap Genius knowledge.”

But that’s not what’s happening. Instead, we’re seeing another example of the music industry fighting for old ways of making money rather than accepting and growing with the Internet community. Are we supposed to pay .99 every time we tweet the chorus of “Wrecking Ball”? Whether listeners are Googling lyrics or illegally downloading millions of songs, it’s harder than ever to be a musician in the brave new world of digital music. But at the same time, outdated copyright laws, aimed at protecting “intellectual property”, continue to infringe on fair use. We can’t force people to pay for something they can easily get for free, and we certainly can’t impose the formats of yesteryear on today’s Internet world. In an interview with the Washington Post the day after the NMPA’s take-down notice was made public, E. Michael Harrington, a professor of music and entertainment law at Berklee School of Music said: “New technology ruins business as usual, until it is business as usual.” It will take time to get to that point, but it will require continuous innovation and conversation from all players involved.

Nathan Polito

HARKNESS METHOD PREPARES STUDENTS for college life in terms of expressing their own ideas and comprehending other people’s ideas. Yet the irony is that once students get to college, most introductory courses do not allow for student discourse.

High school choice does play role in college preparation Tyler Jarecki Sports Editor

The idea of going to college is a very exciting and stressful idea for most high schoolers and their parents. Most parents value college and hope that their child is admitted to a good university, so that their child can become a successful adult. Some value college so much that they send their students to what are called college preparatory schools. Adam Gimple said, “A college preparatory program is almost simply based on what courses colleges typically require for admissions in their institution. Typically its four years of English, three years of math, three years of science, three years of history, and usually, at least three years of a foreign language.” One may ask, “Being a college preparatory school does Masters really prepare students for college better than other prep schools and non-prep schools?” According to Kathi Woods, director of college counseling, “Yes Masters does.” Woods said,”Our

graduates that come back to Masters tell us that they are well prepared, but then you have to ask, ‘in what areas?’ ‘How are they prepared?’ Well if you have a class of ten to 15 students and you are in a history or English class and you teacher is grading your paper you could get those back fairly quickly, allowing for more writing to be assigned.” Masters also helps students by using the Harkness method in most of its classes. Raphael Norowitz, a freshman at Columbia University, and Masters alum said, “The level of difficulty of the higher level courses at Masters is easily comparable to that of any of my current classes, which has made my transition into college much smoother than it otherwise would have been.” This method makes the students obligated to hold a conversation for a long period of time, thus making them better able to come up with ideas quickly to keep the conversation going. This type of fastpaced thought-generating helps students create questions more quickly and forces them to be able to follow quick lectures.

lidia’s ad goes here


TOWER/DECEMBER 19, 2013

CONTINUATIONS

Masters remembers Nelson Mandela continued from page 1

MATILDA AHUN: “He is referred to as Tata, which means father in Xhosa [..] My mother was one of the lucky ones to able to meet him, and she says it was one of the most amazing moments in her life. He is one of those people that, even if you have never met him face to face, is greatly loved.”

Junior LIAM WAMBA’S dad was born in the Democratic Republic on the Congo: “My parents were really happy about the fact that there was an African who challenged a European system that he grew up with. It doesn’t only require strength, but also a tremendous amount of critical thinking.”

French teacher ABDOULAYE NGOM, who grew up in Senegal, said: “I remember Participating in an essay contest when I was in middle school about the Apartheid political system. Also, I wrote an article published in my school newspaper to denounce it even though I was very young. While growing up, I read a lot about his biography and the African National Congress. There are many boys who were named after him. In my country we believe that if you name your child after a person he or she gets 7 things from that person’s personality. Can you imagine your son with even one quality of Mandela?”

PEDRAM KEYVANI: “I first learned about Nelson Mandela in 2010, when the World Cup was held in South Africa. I rooted for Argentina, and because Mandela’s legacy there was highlighted, I became interested in him and began to do more research. Although he spent lots of time in jail, he kept believing in what he believed in. Mandela is one of the big features in history after Ghandi and is a symbol for equality and human rights.”

7


Sports

8

tower/DECEMBER 19, 2013

SPORTS

COLUMN: SIBLEY ON SPORTS

New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith a bust? Ben Sibley

WEN-XUAN NI/TOWER

FENCERS WORK ON their form during a practice in the Great Hall. They hope to have another rewarding season through hard work and determination.

Fencing team keeps their championship dreams alive despite losing key players Gabby Davies Advertising/Web Content Manager Fencing has always been a popular sport in the winter; unfortunately this year there were too many fencers for the team to handle. The fencing team had a total of 85 people trying out for the teams this year, a significant increase from last year. Francisco Martin, coach of the fencing team, said, “I’m afraid we may have to do some cutting this year. We have already cut the seniors that have never fenced before because there are only two or three months in the fencing season. That’s not enough time to develop good skills.” Though Martin said that it is a

shame for beginning fencers to be cut from the team so early, remaining fencers are still confident for the upcoming season. “I definitely think we’re going to win again this year,” said junior Dante Moussapour, an epee fencer. “You never know how well you’re going to do because every year is a different year, but we definitely have plenty of talent.” Last year’s success has made both the students and coaches confident in their team. Martin said, “My plan for the year is to win as many league titles as we did last year. It’s going to be very difficult, but we will try.” With nine fencers graduating last year, the team lost some of their key players, such as Nicholas Graziano and Hannah Weber. But senior Acacia Hoisington, captain of the girls’ varsity

epee team disagrees. “Our past seniors were a really good part of the team, but the people who are still here are carrying on the tradition of strong teamwork and strong fencing,” she said, I think we’re going to have a really great season of fencing this year.” The fencing team has changed its schedule to increase practices in each of the different types of sword: epee, foil and sabre. “This year, training is going to be individualized by sword. This means we’re going to have sufficient training for each sword from a coach who specializes in each sword,” Moussapour said. Returning and underclassmen fencers are excited for the season. Only the aspiring seniors fencers had their plan foiled.

The offseason signing of J.R Smith by the New York Knicks has proven to be irrational and irresponsible. Throughout his career, J.R has been known around the league to be a wild card who’s erratic play and poor decisions both on and off the court make him a hazardous player to any team. Giving J.R a massive $17.95 million dollar contract certainly won’t help correct the error of his ways. Although he was very productive in 2012, averaging the most minutes, points and blocks of his career, the signing of J.R Smith will certainly be one that the Knicks come to regret. Firstly, J.R’s playoff performance was simply dreadful last year. Not only did he average just 14 points on 29 percent shooting in the Conference Semi-finals, but he was also ejected for elbowing Jason Terry of the Celtics in the first round. Additionally, J.R was spotted partying at clubs throughout the playoffs and even got into a Twitter feud with pop singer Rihanna. These distractions all contributed to the lack of productivity he gave the Knicks. His poor play and off court drama ultimately led to the elimination of the Knicks in the Conference Semi’s. J.R is not only unpredictable and irresponsible, but the minutes and shots he requires take away from other members of the team. In particular, Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr, both players are young, Shumpert is 23 and Hardaway Jr is 21, and very talented. Shumpert is a supreme defender, while Hardaway is an excellent perimeter shooter. If J.R was not signed, these two players would be

able to develop their games more and could eventually become cornerstones of the franchise. Unfortunately, the J.R. signing takes minutes and thus development time from these young guards. Currently, the Knicks frontline is astonishingly weak. This is partly due to the J.R signing. J.R’s contract ensured that the Knicks couldn’t pay a big man much money in free agency. Moreover, it is widely believed that J.R had stipulated in his negotiations with the Knicks that his brother Chris Smith be signed by the team. To add weight to this speculation, this offseason the Knicks did something unheard of in the NBA: they signed Chris Smith, described by one anonymous General Manager as “the worst player in D-league history”, to a punitive two million dollar contract. Signing Smith’s brother not only costs the Knicks financially through luxury taxes, but it also takes away a roster spot from a more deserving player. Overall, although he has undeniable talent, J.R smith should never have been signed by the Knicks. He presents more problems than he solves.

J.R. SMITH (left) is an American basketball player for the New York Knicks.

PUBLIC DOMAIN

Bus departure time cuts sports practices short:

Strict 5 p.m pick-up impacts team sports and co-curriculars Rachel Saunders News Editor

A

round 4:45 p.m., buses begin to pull into the school, waiting for students to pile in. Those who ride these buses home on a regular basis take their seat right when the bus slows to a stop. However, for student athletes, catching the bus home is not always possible when practice runs past the time their buses leaves. During the fall, sports like soccer, cross-country, field hockey and volleyball end roughly when the 5 p.m. buses depart from campus. With such late ending times, catching a 5 o’clock bus is close to impossible for students who live too far for their parents to pick them up regularly. “Both my parents work full time in the city, they come home around eight, but we pay for someone to pick me up from school.” junior and varsity soccer player Abbey Frank said. “I know Isabel Lucas, freshman year, had a lot of trouble because lacrosse ended at 5:50 and they wouldn’t let her take the bus,” Frank said. “ She ended up having to take the

public bus and walking from there,” Frank said. Team members also notice the decline in players as the clock nears five. In field hockey, around ten people had to leave before or immediately at 5 p.m., which posed problems when the departing players missed out on important team discussions or meetings after practice. Missing an activity during practice makes it hard for the coach to plan activities for the team, especially when the exercise requires knowledge of previous drills. “You can tell she [the coach] is kind of upset and annoyed, but she can’t really say no, so she just lets players go and tries to continue practice as normal,” field hockey player and sophomore Julia Sandler said. Two TLC buses have been changed, however, and they now come at 5:30 p.m. “Honestly, the bus situation could be improved if you ask me. Having a bus at five doesn’t really give you much time to practice because once you’re changed and stretched, it’s already 3:45,” said field hockey coach Stephanie Andreassi. “It doesn’t leave until 5:40; it’s an awkward time where I can’t get dinner, but I have to wait for the bus,” said sophomore Maya Bater. Some bus drivers who have other routes after five might also have trouble with a later bus time. Many

RACHEL SAUNDERS/TOWER

WITH SCHOOL BUSES coming in at 5 p.m., many student athletes are not given sufficient time to participate in their team sports and co-curriculars. At present, only two buses leave after 5 p.m. co-curriculars end at five, making it hard for buses to accommodate ath-

letes. 5 o’clock buses are positive for non-athletes, but can be seen as

negative depending on who is viewing the situation.

Tower Issue #3 2013-2014  

Published December 19, 2013

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