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The Merionite March 23, 2012

Volume 83, Issue 6

The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

“Shmacked” videos probed Josh Zollman

on Facebook reading: “No actual marijuana was Class of 2012 used in the video, just synthetic legal buds that are used as props for our film. The alcohol is also just On February 21, the local media erupted non-alcoholic beverages in other containers.” with reports of a YouTube video, entitled “I’m An additional letter released by the district, auShmacked,” featuring LM and Harriton students thored by LM principal Sean Hughes and Harriton seemingly engaging in underage drinking and principal Steven Kline, described the activities illegal drug use. The video prompted a response depicted in the video as “reprehensible and cause from the School District. Superintendent McGin- for great concern.” The letter further explained ley released a letter to the community containing the dangers of taking part in illegal activities, and information about the video and expressing con- the consequences that incriminating pictures and cern for the well being of students. video can have “in this age of social media and I’m Shmacked, a company co-created by alum- immediate electronic communication.” The letter nus Jeffrie “Yofray” Ray ’11, is described by its warned that a student could be suspended from a Facebook page as “a movie documenting the expe- sports team or other competitive activity just for rience of a weekend at 20 of the best and biggest being present when illegal activities are taking universities around the United States intertwined place, even if the student was not taking part. with a book and a website being pitched to major Hughes called the video “disturbing.” He publishers and studios.” I’m Shmacked’s YouTube added, “A lot of what I saw in the video was a page has videos detailing social life from a variety shock to me. You wonder what they’re thinking. of different public universities in addition to the It definitely puts a mark on the great LM name video featuring LM and Harriton students, which and tradition.” has since been removed after intense scrutiny by While the administration and media responded the media, LMSD, and police. critically to the video, many students felt as LM police superintendent Mike McGrath though the significance of the video was being stated, “Clearly the video depicts underage drink- exaggerated. Senior Julie Reiff, who appeared in ing and illegal drug use.” However, shortly after, I’m Shmacked released a preventative statement See SHMACKED, page 3

Mr. Lower Merion a success

milkshake and jumped over basketball players and Dobkin sang an original song and played piano. Class of 2012 Gaudio said, “These boys gave it all they got. I couldn’t Last Thursday night, LMHS hosted its third annual have been prouder of everyone after the event.” Mr. LM competition. Nine competitors battled for the The contestants also danced with their escorts in a Cha title, including juniors John Clark, Adam Dobkin, Albert Cha and by themselves in a Hip-Hop dance. Gaudio asked Harris, and Josh Harper, with seniors Robert Gaudio, Eric his escort, senior Mara Pliskin, to prom during the ChaToll, Geremiah Edness, Austin Rapbaum, and Drew Horn. Cha, in an unexpected turn of events. Both dance routines Senior Leo Koorhan and Principal Sean Hughes emceed were choreographed by students. the event, which The other competikicked off with tion was a “Superhero an introductory Catwalk,” where the video by senior contestants showed off Danny Garfield. their “superpowers,” Harper, who which included having performed a a baby, magic tricks, dance skit as turning into a dog, and his talent, won unicycling. the competition, The judges inwith Clark and cluded students Matt Gaudio roundSchwartz, Aniqa Hasing out the Top san, and Darby Marx 3. Clark played and teachers Diane guitar and sang Sweeney, Dana Shusa mashup song ta-Brown, Jill Knight, Photo courtesy of lmsd.org Thomas Reed, and with the help of junior David Soryl Angel. Herman on the Junior Josh Harper is crowned by Principal Sean Hughes the At the event, there first prize winner of the third annual Mr. Lower Merion drums. Gaudio were special perforsang a spirited mances by LM’s a caprendition of OutKast’s “Hey Ya” with the help of seniors pella groups, Ace Harmony and Ace’s Angels. Danny Garfield, Jack Lashner, Adam Cohen-Nowak, One judge, junior Darby Marx, thought the whole event and Danielle Muse and junior Avery Super. Other talents was a success, “I think everyone did a great job and I had included raps by Horn and Harris, a poem by Rapbaum, so much fun being a judge. I hope Mr. LM continues on and a cover of a Rihanna song by Toll. Edness made a for many years to come.”

Zack Schlosberg

Photo courtesy of Haorui Sun

Boxes stuffed with cans filled the main office, as each grade tried to donate as much food as possible.

BuildOn fights hunger with cans Haorui Sun

Class of 2014

Mashed potatoes slipping off walls, sandwiches exploding against tables, and a mosh pit of yelping students; these are just a few of the things that come to mind when imagining a food fight. The food fight at LMHS, on the other hand, ended with food neatly sorted in boxes instead of messily heaped upon the ground. Furthermore, the food ended up not in a trashcan, but in the hands of a hunger relief organization in Philadelphia. And so a new definition of a “food fight” was created. Running from February 15 to March 2, students from twentyone high schools of five different counties participated in the Great Food Fight. The food fight was sponsored by Shire, and encouraged students from all grades to bring in food from home, the heavier the better, in a friendly competition between the different grades. Some students took the competition seriously, such as Freshmen Hanna Strouse and Athanasios Narliotis, who brought in approximately two hundred pounds and two hundred forty pounds, respectively. When asked why he brought in so much, Athanasios replied, “we did it to help the kids who are in need of a good meal” and added that it wouldn’t have been possible without his sister Efi and his mom. The competition was not only between grades, but also between the schools; the school that collected the most pounds food per student will receive $10,000 for their school. Runners-up prizes include $5,000 for the school that collected the most food overall, and $1,000 to the schools in each of the five counties that collected the most food. While the winners aren’t announced until April 19, LM is already eagerly anticipating the results, and not just because of Principal Sean Hughes’ promise to shave his head if we win; all money will go towards sponsoring BuildOn in financing and constructing a school in Haiti this May. Senior Anna O’Neill proudly said that “BuildOn and I are so proud of how well Lower Merion did participating in the great food fight…we collected double of what Harriton did, which is awesome and speaks to the dedication to helping others that Lower Merion students possess.” She added that the freshmen deserve applause for winning the grade challenge, and that she “would like to thank all the teachers who offered extra credit for bringing

See BUILDON, page 3


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March 23, 2012

The Merionite Rodents return to LM hallways Maddy McFarland

However, he added, “Señora Nemoy is particularly afraid of the mouse and I have One year after The Merionite first reported been called into her class on several occarodents in the new building, there are more sions to trap the mouse because I’m a big reports on the alleged 2011-2012 rodent infes- game hunter.” tation of LM. It is proving difficult, no matter Señora Nemoy only commented that she what construction is done or what new rules “goes away for a few minutes” when the about food in classes are created, for LM to mouse appears but her students can attest escape these mice. to Mr. Capkin’s story. Siblings sophomore The first reports of mice came before Jack Weinreib and junior Lily Weinreib have winter break. The problem had become so Señora Nemoy during different sets but both extreme that have seen the some teachmouse and ers began verified the setting up general panic mousetraps the mouse crearound their ates. rooms. “I saw a Science quick grey teacher flash and I Michael didn’t know Stettner if it was just explained, somebody “When I moving their came back foot but [Sefrom winter Photo by of Zack Schlosberg/Staff ñora Nemoy] break I saw started screama dead one The guidance office and other areas throughout LM ing, and then have placed mouse traps to catch lurking rodents. and about in Spanish two weeks I think she later there was another one on the other started yelling about how there was a mouse,” trap.” said Jack Weinreib. However, most of the mice scares have “[Señora Nemoy] was walking around in been slightly more recent, beginning in late the hall pacing saying, ‘I’m not going back in January. there,’” confirmed Lily. This rodent incident History teacher Chad Henneberry said that was only three weeks ago. about five weeks ago, “I was working at my Although clearly the mice are viewed desk and [the mouse] ran in, saw me, and ran as frightening, the possible health concerns out.” Henneberry is not unfamiliar with mice of the presence of rodents haven’t been adin his classroom. He even added, “This mouse dressed. There are many diseases, specifically, at least has some respect for teachers. The Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which are mouse I had in room 116 [in the old building] transmitted through wild mice and pose would just come in and stare at me.” serious concerns. Humans can contract such Around this time, the real mouse drama on diseases by only breathing in dried particles the first floor began. There is a mouse that lives of mice urine or feces, which can cause seriin rooms 104 and 106, traveling between them ous consequences such as severe respiratory a couple times a month, according to Spanish problems and even death. teacher Sean Capkin. However, the LM community has been Capkin shared the general terror of the dealing with mice for years and many are not mouse, remarking, “The best is when it comes too upset over the recent rodent infestation. out during class and I get to see all my twelfth Principal Sean Hughes even said, “As long grade boys scream and act like children and as they’re wearing little LM sweatshirts, I’m jump on their desks.” all right with that.” Class of 2014

NEWS

District seeks to implement controversial criminal policy Emily Manin

Class of 2015

Last fall, the Department of Education passed a law requiring LM employees to report serious crimes in which they were involved, causing high tension between the administration and staff. In addition, employees must inform their school of any arrest or conviction within three days of the incident. The Department of Education’s definition of “serious crimes” includes: homicide, kidnapping, sexual assault, and aggravated assault. Teachers, administrators, support staff, and contractors alike must reveal their criminal record. T h e Department of Education also instructed administrators to fire anyone who has a history of committing crimes and comes in contact with students. Some have voiced concern to the law, claiming that school employees with criminal records are being punished again for past crimes. There have even been lawsuits filed in the Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware and York counties, regarding this controversial issue. Many feel that it would be unjust for this new law to apply to current school employees, and some interpret the wording of the law to imply that only future employees should be impacted by the new policy. On the other hand, the main concern of the Department of Education is the well-being and safety of students.

They are less concerned about the ethics of employment. Chief Counsel for the education department Joseph Miller stated that his main goal is to protect children from criminals. Freshman Lisa Gardner rationalized, “It depends on the situation. Past crimes and mistakes may not define an individual in the future, and it would be unfair grounds to accuse someone of something they have already been punished for. However, in some cases, it may be a necessary safety issue for the students and fellow teachers.” The policy is very controversial and certainly encompasses a “grey area.” “If a teacher commits a crime, they shouldn’t be fired unless the crime was extremely severe,” said freshman Arielle Herzberg. “If legal actions had already been taken against them, they probably would be having a hard time already. If they lose their job as well, that would be extremely hard on them. I think that as long as the students are not in harm’s way, the teacher should not be fired.” When the Department of Education passed this law, did they take into consideration the impact that it would have on students? Of course, when it comes to the safety of students, it is better to be safe than sorry, but does their education suffer? Could students be significantly affected by losing their teachers? Particularly younger children may be impacted by losing their educator, and this could potentially take a toll on the quality of the education. Only time will tell whether the benefits will outweigh the costs.

The Department of Education also instructed administrators to fire anyone who has a history of committing crimes and comes in contact with students.

District launches pilot program with formal emails for seniors Zay Smolar

Class of 2015

For many, these addresses will be an easier way to communicate about school events. These addresses will “enable communication between teachers and

Students have LMSD usernames and passwords, accounts on PowerSchool, myFiles, turnitin, collegeboard, and a myriad of other sites… even schoolissued computers. Oddly enough though, LMSD email accounts have only just been issued. This was changed within the recent few months. The District has begun to consider assigning each student an LMSD email address, along with online storage. This program started with seniors only on Monday March 19, but school officials hope to expand it to all high school students. This program is powered by Google Apps, and will provide students with typical LMSD email address names. This package also includes other Google applications such as Google Docs, Calendar, and Google Storage. It may be frustrating, but just as with Internet access on student computers, certain parts of Google Apps will be off limits to students. The proposed addresses would be “students’ first name,” “student’s last name,” “anticipated graduation year “@students.lmsd. org. These accounts will be linked to the District, howPhoto by Zack Schlosberg/Staff ever emails will not be archived, as employee emails are. The only exception would be if a student emails Each student will eventually have a uniform LMSD an employee, in which case the message will be saved email address in addition to their personal accounts. in the system for a certain number of years.

students, especially during the Senior Project when students are not in the building or when applying to colleges,” said LMHS technology integration teacher Beth Hampton. Junior Evan Bowen-Gaddy commented, “It would be a more coordinated and organized way of informing students of information pertaining to school events as opposed to using Facebook groups or announcements over the PA system.” Also, students have been asking for more formal addresses when they begin to contact colleges. “Students want an email address that looks professional when applying for colleges,” said Director of Information Systems for the District George Frazier. For many it is time to give up the address created in fifth grade, and have a more adult seeming email address. “When you start applying for colleges, it’s time to give up the…gamerkid@... address,” added Frazier. Additionally, this program will also act as a bridge to connect students with the District after having graduated, as students will be able to keep the addresses for one year after graduation. According to Superintendent Christopher McGinley, seniors received their accounts as a pilot program. Frazier and others will see how this program helps seniors during Senior Projects, and perhaps all students will be getting their own email accounts for the next school year.


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March 23, 2012

The Merionite

LMSD mourns beloved teacher Ms. Peterson Cecilia Peterson, a seventh grade teacher at Bala Cynwyd Middle School, recently passed away at the age of 44. Beloved by many students, past and present, Peterson died suddenly from blood clot in her brain after the second attempt to eradicate it failed on February 24. Ms. Peterson, who had taught English at BCMS since 2001, was known for being “forever 27,” as well as an excellent teacher who genuinely cared about her students and instilled a love of reading and writing in them. Her plans to adopt a child were prematurely cut short. A memorial was set up at Bala Cynwyd, where students wrote cards or letters on pink paper, a tribute to her favorite color. Sophomore Steven Hoffman said, “In Ms. P’s class my vocabulary must have increased tenfold. Yet tonight, I am at a loss for words.” Many of her former and current students attended her funeral or signed an online guestbook saying good-bye or recalling fond memories in her class. “Ms. Peterson was one of the nicest teachers I have ever had,” said Freshman Julia Cartsens. “Her students will always remember and love her.”

Photo courtesy of LMSD Website

Ms. Peterson had taught at BCMS for eleven consecutive years —Julia Bell ‘15

I’m Shmacked investigated From SHMACKED, page 1

the “I’m Shmacked” video, felt that “adults and the media blow the significance of pictures and videos [of underage drinking] out of proportion. The reality is that underage drinking happens. Yeah, maybe taking pictures and videos of it is not the smartest thing to do, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.” Reiff, who, as a repercussion for involvement in the video, received than a phone call home to her parents by the administration. Reiff felt that the “school handled the whole situation perfectly” and “did what they had to do to settle the angst of the media and community.” She added, “I think if there’s one thing to learn from this situation is not that underage drinking is bad […].

“Telling students underage drinking is illegal isn’t going to miraculously change everything. […] What really should be taken from this situation is that nothing we do anymore is completely private.” “I hope everyone takes it as a learning experience of what not to do,” Hughes stated. According to LMSD public relations director Doug Young, the District is “going to continue to use this [issue] as a point of dialogue and certainly as a learning experience for students in a facilitative fashion.” “It is extremely important to note that video was not a true representation of every single student at Lower Merion and Harriton high schools,” Hughes said. “There are so many great things that happen at these two schools. So why aren’t we celebrating all of these great things?”

NEWS

NEWS IN BRIEF District renews website

LMSD is focusing its efforts on renewing their website, lmsd. org, a topic discussed at length over the past year. The District hopes to launch it anew by the summer. On February 13 an education meeting was held to discuss different topics that were brought up by faculty and staff. One topic that has been brought up constantly for the past year was that of a new design for the District website. “Our website is very good right now, but it needs to be improved in order to be great and easy to use” said co-head of the project and Directoer of School and Community Relations Doug Young. In the spring of 2011 students, staff, and parents took a survey about their opinions of the LMSD website. The results revealed that the community found the site hard to navigate and that it was disorganized. “We are an organization that serves not just 73,000 students and all of our staff but this is a community site and something that people outside of our schools are accessing rather frequently. It is a very visible part of who we are,” said Young. The main questions about the website have to do with the calendar: how to read it, which school is which and how to sync it to your own personal calendar. With the new design, you will be able to select which calendars are best for you and create your own portal so that you can customize what you want to see. “It could be cool. It depends on what it is. The one we have now is pretty functional, even though it’s a bit hard to find things at times,” commented freshman Nicole Diacik when asked about the idea of redesigning the website. The new website will also allow alumni of LMSD to stay connected to the community and updated with the happenings in the District. LMSD has entered the era of social media with the launch of their Twitter this past fall. The redesign is scheduled to happen through the spring and summer of 2012 if approved by the school board. It is estimated to cost around $80,000. No budget increase will be needed. “Redesigning the Lower Merion website is a great idea. There are a lot of ways that it could become more accessible and user friendly,” said Matt Schwartz, a freshman at Lower Merion. Once the website is redesigned hopefully it will please the entire community and will be easier to use.

—M. Schaeffer/L. Rossman ‘15

Redistricting lawsuit petitioned to the US Supreme Court for review Nine current and former African American students from Ardmore are petitioning to the US Supreme Court, asking for a review of lower court findings in their bias case against LMSD. The students filed a federal lawsuit in May 2009 arguing that they were singled out for reassignment based on their race. The students had hoped to walk to LM, as opposed to being bussed five miles away to Harriton. The district countered that other legitimate factors drove the redistricting plan. The Supreme court receives approximately 10,000 petitions each year, and the Court only grants and hears about seventy five to eighty cases. The students’ attorney, David G.C Arnold, filed a notice of appeal on March 13 asking the nation’s high court to reexamine the ruling of the District’s controversial case.

Photo courtesy LMSD.org

All grades competed against each other in order to donate the largest weight in food.

BuildOn From FOOD FIGHT, page 1

food, including Mr. Heneberry, Ms. Schuller, Mrs. Shusta-Brown, and Mr. Kelly.” Although it may be easy to get wrapped up in the prize money and head shaving of the competition, the main focus of the food fight is still, well, the food. All of the food benefits Philabundance, a food organization that provides food for food banks and welfare problems to families all over the Delaware Valley, including LM. And thus, a food fight ends with no students in trouble, no mess to clean up, and plenty of food for a cause that’s truly close to heart. What more could you ask for?

—Hannah Schaeffer ‘12


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March 23, 2012

The Merionite EDITORIAL

Put fun in its place

At LM, we have a place that is both exciting and eclectic, where students go to work together in groups, share the latest gossip, and just relax and have fun. Unfortunately, this place is the library, which was designed to be a quiet work and study space for students who wanted to get serious amounts of work done. While we do have a space that is designed to fulfill our social needs, the Aces Atrium is reminiscent of a Siberian dungeon, with people seated far away from one another and all the hustle-and-bustle of a Bingo tournament. In order to improve the educational experience of the students and the sanity of the faculty and staff who must chase students around the halls, this problem must be rectified immediately. When our current building was designed, the idea was that there would be a place for students to hangout, relax and communicate with one another. Sadly, the Atrium was set up in a manner that runs completely to the contrary of this vision. Currently, the tables in both the lower and upper portions of the Atrium are very small and sparsely populated. So, not only is there only room for four or five students to fit comfortably at one of these tables, but they are far enough apart that inter-table conversation is either non-existent or loud enough that the whole complex hears it. The good news is that this flawed setup is very easily fixable. Tables could be added to the Atrium to increase capacity and insure closeness between multiple groups of people. Couches and lounge chairs, present at Harriton’s equivalent to the Atrium, could greatly enhance this space. Perhaps even adding some amusement objects, such as a foosball or ping pong table, would liven up the Atrium and make it what it should be: the heart of LM. Imagine a day where LM students could all flock to the Atrium to relax, hangout with friends, or work together in groups. Many students at LM would look forward to their frees so they could take part in these proceedings. Our school would finally have an area that truly belongs to the students and is conducive to relaxation. Meanwhile, for those students who need to get serious work done, the library would finally become a mecca for them, a quiet work and study space for people to zone in and do whatever it is that they need to get done. If we can make the Atrium what it should be, it would be a huge step in the right direction for LM. Unsigned editorial on this page reflects the general opinion of student editors, not the views of individuals.

The Merionite Editors-in-Chief

News Editors

Op-Ed Editors

Features Editors

Sports Editors Special Features Editor

Maya Afilalo, ’12 Eric Cohn, ’12 Ian Cohn, ’12 Gilad Doron, ’12 Hannah Schaeffer,’12 Zack Schlosberg,’12 Danny Kane, ’12 Andy Scolnic, ’14 Patrick Scott, ’12 Itai Barsade, ’13 Rebecca McCarthy, ’13 Robbie Warshaw, ’14 Noah Levick, ’13 Josh Niemtzow, ’12 Nicole Wang, ’13

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

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

OPINIONS

Letter to the Editor

Dear Merionite, In the last issue, a fellow senior and classmate, Matt Siegelman, comically exposed the second semester phenomenon of senioritis. Both funny and witty, Matt’s article captures the laughs we get from our newly acquired condition. When all is said and done, however, humor prevails as but one lens from which senioritis can be seen. For many seniors, the second semester experience represents something unique; to laugh at our lack of motivation and then brush this chapter aside is to ignore an extraordinary opportunity to learn some of the lessons you won’t find in books. When something different stops by your life, it is likely your reaction to the new phenomenon will also be different. Whether your reaction stands as virtuous or depraved, self-knowledge persists as a potential byproduct if you but take the time to reflect. Within the second semester experience lies a variety of such unique opportunities. First and foremost, you cannot talk about second semester without any reference to motivation and schoolwork. As many seniors begin to spend less time on their studies, there arises a gap in our schedules, a vacuum to be filled. Historically speaking, free time persists as a potential merit. The extra time can prove an opportunity to see friends and family or try something radically new. Trying new things, often leads to an increasing amount of self-knowledge. However, not everybody capitalizes on his or her free time. Some seniors may spend increasing amounts of hours on Facebook, and some seniors may not even have the vacuum of free time of which I speak. No matter what path you take, however, if you stop and look at your reaction and ask questions you are likely to learn something new about yourself. If you find yourself inside on nice day during the weekend, studying for that calculus test, you may stop and realize that all those years of hard work were not a product of parental or societal pressure, but pressure exerted on yourself for the yearning of learning and challenge. If you were a straight-A student and find yourself emotionally crashing multiple grade levels, and realize it was the parental pressure that kept you going, maybe it’s time to rethink your strategy to academic success because Mom and Dad won’t be at your dorm making sure you are studying. Ultimately, the world outside high school demands proficiency in multiple respects, not just being able to get a grade, and the second semester of senior year is valuable to this. Not worrying about college can have variety of impacts depending on each individual, but universally at some point as a second semester senior we must ask ourselves: What’s next? If we do not worry about college, then what do we think about? Personally, the empty space reminded me I was human. Not worrying about college reminded me about the other sectors of life needing time and energy. My new goal then became to see if I could better balance my life, a skill which no doubt would come in handy for college and the years following college. It was a kind of risk. Many seniors pursue a variety of risks. One day during advisory, Dr. Pratt marveled at the boldness seniors exhibit in the classroom. “ I deeply enjoy teaching second semester seniors. For many of them this marks one of the first moments since middle school where students can wrestle with interesting ideas in ways that are personally meaningful without being overly concerned for how it will impact their grade.” As our grades become more available to such gambling, seniors begin to pursue risks across the board, inheriting new approaches and seeing the impact. In giving advice, Socrates always said, “Know thyself.” While the topics we learn in school are of important significance, selfknowledge has the ability to give us a reality check, whether we enjoy it or not. As we know more about ourselves and the world we live in, we do not only develop confidence but we develop a more clear cut path for our purposes. —Stelio Monos, Class of 2012


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March 23, 2012

The Merionite

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March 23, 2012

The Merionite

Question of the Month

OPINIONS

Should teachers and students form friendships that extend outside academics? Why or why not?

Believe it or not, teachers do have interests and hobbies outside of teaching and grading papers. People love to talk about their interests—like sports, television, music—and whether the conversation is between two students, two teachers or a student and a teacher, it is completely normal. Otherwise why would teachers choose to be sponsors of clubs? Students spend 7+ hours a day in school and one thing I’ve learned in college is that friendships are often based on proximity. I know some of you are stuck in the elementary school mindset where you think teachers live at school and do nothing else but teach, but remember that teachers are people too. Rachel Maniloff, LM Alumna

Yes, teachers and students should form such friendships. Since teachers often coach school sports it is obvious that the relationship extends outside of the classroom. However, the teacher-student relationships should not go further than that, being friendly is one thing but getting romantically involved is another thing. A romantic involvement should be where the line is drawn on teacherstudent friendships. — Sara Martone ‘14

Yes, but only to an extent. As long as the boundary remains obvious, a friendship between a teacher and student can be great. Maddie McComb ‘13

It’s a slippery slope. Ideally it would be alright, but given this day and age, with multiple sources of media, such relationships between a student and teacher could be deemed inappropriate. Nicholas Dimwell, Substitute Teacher

Sure—sometimes, especially as students mature, they form friendships with teachers that extend beyond the classroom. I think this can be a really valuable relationship. That being said, there are definite boundaries that should be maintained.

Natalie Plick ‘12

Because I coached various students outside of school in youth sports for a few years, I have a different type of relationship with them than I would with kids I have out of class. For instance, one student I’ve known over the years still calls me “Dave” when he sees me in the halls. I wouldn’t totally call it a friendship... [but] it’s okay.

Dave Moyer, Chemistry Teacher

Yes; it helps them understand each other. If they can understand each other on a more personal level rather than a simply academic level, the students can learn better and the teachers can better help the students learn. Martin Segall, ‘13

Art by Benji Pollock

NHS: National Honor Society or No High Standards? Class of 2012

“I pledge myself to uphold
the highest purposes of the National Honor Society 
to which I have been selected.”

Josh Niemtzow These three lines that juniors recite at the National Honor Society induction are part of a larger NHS constitution. Much like the U.S Constitution, the purposes of the National Honor Society are a source of perplexity. This same confusion fills the faces of the newly appointed inductees: What are these purposes, and what are members pledging to do? Nobody seems to know. The National Honor Society is a prestigious organization with local chapters around the country. With a name like the “National Honor Society,” most expect it to be a great distinction, so they put their name on an application and complete the two 200 word “essays.” A list of well over 100 LM students who are academically eligible to apply

is posted in the guidance office. The National Honor Society accepts anyone earning honor roll 8 out of 10 marking periods. The problem starts right there! As a school that offers so many honors and AP level classes, the organization makes no distinction between an honors class and a college prep class. Therefore someone with all B’s in AP classes is recognized as equivalent to someone with all B’s in college prep classes. The NHS constitution gives the faculty council the right to change the grade requirements as it sees fit, and the standard honor roll criterion clearly does not work here at LM. This begs the question: is this really an honor at all? I thought it was an honor, that is, until I entered the auditorium for the accepted students’ meeting, only to see 97 other juniors seated around me, almost a third of the grade! The real “work” done in NHS begins senior year, after the election of officers. Four positions are filled from a group of students who run for office primarily to increase their college acceptance chances. I doubt that even they know what these “purposes” are. It is up to the chapter leaders to decide what responsibilities each honor student should have. Our advisors have chosen peer tutoring—another great

concept, but it is poorly executed. In a process akin to draft dodging during the Vietnam War, many members look for a means to avoid spending a 25-minute A.R. period tutoring their pupils. That many honorees don’t feel “honored” by the distinction of being named an honor student and are not motivated to provide tutoring shows that they shouldn’t have been chosen in the first place. Every student who attends the tenminute morning meeting in September fills out a sheet listing what subjects he or she would like to tutor. I was excited at the prospect of tutoring someone in French or History, but to my chagrin, I was not contacted until January, after the third time I had put my name on a sheet of paper. There had been so much shirking of responsibility that three meetings were necessary to get the program going. So how can we improve this organization and return meaning to its name? For one, the selection needs to be improved. Increase grade requirements: a 3.5 instead of a 3.0 average will yield more qualified students. Secondly, have teachers recommend students who they think have “outstanding performance in the areas of: “Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character.” There is a huge difference

between sending out a list of over 100 potential applicants and having teachers nominate students who they believe meet these distinctions. Next, lay down the law. Don’t let students get away with not doing required service, not tutoring, or not showing up to meetings. The only way for NHS to be taken seriously is for our sponsors to take it seriously. Last of all, let students nominate National Honor Society officers. This will ensure there is more respect for the leaders, and that motivated people will take leadership roles so that things will actually get done. 
LM NHS has lots of potential, and hopefully others, like me, will speak up and eventually get some of these changes implemented. We are one of the best schools in the state, so there is no reason why our school’s chapter of the “honor” society, should be trivial and self-serving. These are just my observations as a member for almost one year now. This is by no means an attack of the LMHS NHS sponsors, Mrs. Kail and Mrs. Hull (two of the nicest faculty members you will encounter at LM), but rather a critique of a program far from fulfilling its potential.


7

March 23, 2012

OPINIONS

The Merionite cruising, snorkeling, and hiking to waterfalls.” But maybe I’m being too harsh. Somehow, those activities contribute to “learning about environmental sustainability.” Maybe it has something to do with how many trees could be potentially damaged by zip line equipment. Of course, these programs may work for some people, but are they really accurate in showing privileged American students what another nation is truly like? Or is it just an unrealistic tip of a third world country’s iceberg of imperfection? We get fed a nice package that includes enough community service to feel like we are doing something, but also large amounts of free time devoted to vacation-like activities. I guess these companies do need enough positive reviews from these kids to trying to find a beach rental that won’t break the keep the programs running, and not nearly as many bank. Then, a dreaded knock comes on your door, people would be lining up to do real work such as and there stand your parents, looking grim. Your building a school with no scuba diving involved. heart sinks. After a long talk and heated arguments, Instead of investing money in programs that they leave, having declared that this summer is go- don’t show them the big picture, students are better ing to be different. They’ve finally cracked down off doing something in their own country. Comand all hopes of sleep away camp have gone up in munity service in places like Harlem or inner-city flames like a smoldering beachside bonfire. It’s time Philadelphia could truly change lives. Gathering to “do something with your life!” Unbeknownst to paint for mural artists, recording their life stories for you, brochures have been pouring in, full of leader- video diaries, fundraising to rebuild a playground, ship opportunities, community service programs, all collecting books for a library slated for cuts (while expensive, and almost always abroad. They sit now our township spends millions to renovate our in a depressing pile on your desk. You gloomily post fully-funded libraries; 11.1 million for Ludington, the bad news on Facebook, watch all your friends 4.4 for Bala Cynwyd). That is true community sersay they’ll miss you. It’s decision time. vice. If you really need to leave home for a while, Does this situation sound familiar? Academic how about a few weeks in New Orleans’ lower and community programs are almost considered 9th Ward? Seven years after Katrina, there is still a staple in a high school student’s life, especially much to be done. We would get to in areas like Lower Merion. Whether to boost a learn more about our college app, extend a school year, or get own country, which, tis experience in another country, the despite all the o i l ar fi N pressure is on to sign up gloss of popular E y b Art and get going. Yet culture, has many how beneficial can areas ravaged by these programs really poverty and debe, and are they the best privation. option? So instead of From every glossy packing page and airbrushed up for portrait, I get the Caribthe same sick bean on a feeling. So “service many of these mission,” try to convince programs are your parents to let you formulaic and spend some time researchsadly limited in exing things to do in your own community or posing kids to the realities of nearby city. You’ll save time and money and will day-to-day life in a different country. They are profit- get so much more from the experience than you making programs for rich families who can afford would traveling to India or China. Maybe when to send their kids away. I see opportunities such you’re older you will develop the skill and wisdom as the two-thousand-dollar Global Leadership’s to travel light and tread lightly on the ground. Then “Dominican Republic Spring Service Adventure,” you could truly make a difference, but go without that yes, helps to rebuild homes and lives of villages, an itinerary, without an expensive budget, and most but also conveniently includes “zip lining, ocean of all, without zip lining. Class of 2014

It’s here. It’s the middle of the year and time to make summer plans. Your ideal three months probably conjure up visions of camp and long, lazy days spent by the shore. You excitedly surf the internet

PAC City Rich, PAC PAC City Rich

In 2010, the US Supreme Court overruled two precedents prohibiting political spending by corporations on the basis of the First Amendment, meaning that corporations are now

As long as corporations are able to influence elections through utilizing their assets, the race will be more about what those few corporations want rather than what the general public wants. For example, a majority of people may want environmental protection, but large oil companies do not. Those oil companies can then donate billions of dollars to a super-PAC supporting a candidate who promotes less environmental regulation. That PAC can further spread ads and articles through the mass media to influence the public to support the candidate. If a candidate then wins an election, he or she will feel more accountable to the narrow set of large donors who helped him win than to the majority of people. It is inequitable, and even undemocratic, that a majority of political power rests in the hands of corporations and notably wealthy individuals than everyday Americans. The solution seems obvious: ban political donations from corporations in candidate elections. However, there are some complications to this point. “Corporations” also include newspapers, publishers, and other media organizations, so removing First Amendment rights from corporations includes limiting the press. Thus, there is no easy solution to the problem of super-PACs, but there are ways to at least mitigate it. Firstly, the Federal Election Commission should require a greater separation between candidates and super-PACs. Secondly, they should require super-PACs to provide more information about their donors so citizens are able to see where the money is coming from. Similar regulations should be imposed in every level of government to control the super-PACs and ensure a balance of influence among citizens, because all except the most entitled will pay the price if America’s most affluent individuals and corporations can buy elections.

Class of 2012

Community Serve-less

Duranya Freeman

Andrew Gehlot allowed to use unlimited funds to support candidates. While the corporations are not allowed to contribute money directly to candidates, they are allowed to give money to organizations called Political Action Committees (PACs) that can use that money to create ads for or against candidates to influence the public. This decision has negative implications in the political race. Each candidate now has a PAC supporting them, and generally, the more money a PA C h a s , the more w e l l known the candidate i t ’s s u p porting is, which is a problem. These PACs don’t have to disclose where they got their money, so some of the richest ones only have a few supporters with a lot of money. Few corporations with large amounts of money can easily drown out the voices of many people with smaller sums of money. As elections come closer and these PACs are growing in funds, nobody can determine where the funds are coming from. This is a problem because it is no longer about the amount of people supporting a candidate, but rather the amount of money supporting a candidate. This undermines our system of government, where the majority of people— not money—are supposed to have the most impact.

“The solution seems obvious: ban political donations from corporations in candidate elections.”

Enter to Learn or Enter to Earn? Class of 2014

You’ve all seen it: a dog trained to sit, lie down, and roll over on command. And you’ve also probably noticed the trainer using treats to lure the dog to perform. The results are dramati c . Wo u l d incentives like these work on humans? It is known that some kids at LM receive money from their parents for good grades. The parents are “training” their children to perform well academically, and the kids are learning to do whatever they can to make money at the end of the quarter. Does it work? And regardless of whether it works, is it a good idea? Motivation can be split into two categories: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motives are self-driven, based on interest in or enjoyment of the subject. By contrast, extrinsic motivation is tied to an outside

Ilana Nathans

force, a desire for something separate from the activity. For example, reading a book for pleasure falls under intrinsic motives while being paid to take out the garbage is an extrinsic motivator. Studies have shown that the two motivators can contradict each other, and extrinsic motivation can even undermine intrinsic motivation. For example, in one study, young students were rewarded for drawing pictures. After the experiment, those students were found to draw less. Here at LM, one of the most competitive high schools in the nation, every student knows that grades are a huge factor in the college admissions process. This already provides a powerful external motivation to get good grades, which can suck the fun out of learning. Paying students for good grades so often is a perfect example of extrinsic motivation’s undermining intrinsic. Giving monetary compensation to students in exchange for doing well only makes a bad situation worse. Granted, financing a student’s grades has been shown to work in raising GPAs. A Harvard economist, Roland Fryer Jr., experimented with this a few years ago. He paid students for good grades, good behavior, and reading books outside of the classroom. His

investigation showed improvement in all of these categories. In the short term, this system has been shown to work. In the long term, however, the effects of a money motivator have the potential to backfire. If you were being paid for good grades, you would do as much as you could to receive money. Unfortunately, this could mean taking easier classes and even resorting to cheating. On top of those detrimental effects, an external motivator might not even be able to raise a student’s grades if he or she is struggling with a class’s material or is a bad test-taker, for example. Money can’t cure everything. One must wonder what will happen to these students in the long run. Their parents will have gone broke from paying for college tuition and will not have extra money lying around in exchange for good grades. Their college professors are certainly not going to give them twenty dollars for an A. During a later stage in life, their ability to be internally motivated will have been damaged from years of extrinsic rewards. Perhaps they will choose jobs that pay well but do not bring intrinsic pleasure. High school should not just be preparation for college, but for life, and life should not be a series of bribes.


8

March 23, 2012

You can handle the truth only moral but also practical purposes. If you’ve ever had a class with me, you can tell that I have terrible time management. Over the years, I’ve missed a lot of deadlines. I used to try to shed the blame off myself. After all, it wouldn’t matter that I told my science teacher that my lab report was left on that spot in the desk (“I can see it in my head!”), that I accidentally left it on the printer tray, or that I swear I thought I put it in this binder— if the lab were actually turned in the next day. I often didn’t follow through on that promise to myself, and my lie was apparent. Lies that “might as well to tell the truth at some point in your be true” are rare. If I had a truckload life. With this in mind, I still want your of overdue assignments in every class, attention because not everyone defines I would tell each teacher different lies, honesty and sincerity the same way, and I and I would tell another set of lies to want to give you perspective on my defimy parents, and I would tell another set nitions, personal policies, and pragmatic of lies to my guidance counselor (if the reasons behind them. situation became that grave). I wouldn’t So here’s the first part of what I mean even tell myself the truth each afternoon by honesty and sincerity. Don’t lie—ever. as I made the same mistakes over and Don’t lie even in the most difficult situa- over. Do you think my teachers believed tions. Don’t lie even when a lie is expect- that I was telling the truth every time? ed. Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t lie to a No. I had a problem. By lying, I was not parent. Don’t lie to a teacher. Don’t lie to doing anything to solve the problem. an administrator. Don’t lie even when it The truth comes out by existence, and by may seem that it “might as well be true.” owning up to it, I have found that I am (If you were hypothetically under Nazi much more credible. I can see my issues rule, you could lie about your religion for for what they are and deal with them your safety.) This is all easier said than more effectively. A perk of total sincerity done. Of course, it may seem tempting to is that when I actually have a legitimate spare your teacher’s image of you by exexcuse, I can give it with prerogative. plaining that your laptop malfunctioned. People often don’t talk about uncomIt may seem most efficient to say, “Well” fortable or taboo subjects, are silent in response to “How are you?” It may about the things that bother them most, seem most polite to say that you don’t and put on façades and attempt to live by find a friend’s habit bothersome, safest to them. Omissions and façades only make say that you aren’t romantically interestdaily life deceptively easy. When we ated in someone, or fair enough to tell Mr. tempt to hide our feelings and true intenFeight that your charger simply stopped tions from each other, tension is working and that you totally didn’t created, and it comes out in the worst run over it with an office chair ways. Dishonesty kills half too many times. I’m sure Bernie of our marriages. If one just Madoff felt at times it was for says, “What I said a few secthe best that he lied to all of onds ago seems to have made his investors because everyyou uncomfortable. I rescind one seemed to eventually be that,” or “We’ve been awkmaking money, wardly avoiding eye contact and after so for the past few weeks, and many years I think we need to talk about it was already the terrible mistake I made,” too late to own or “Yes, I forgot deodorant this up to the crime, morning,” or addresses whatever lest he go to jail. He is causing tension right away, continued to take it loosens. We laugh. We get in money when it over our imperfect selves. We was going nowhere dissolve the boundaries built but his pocket, and by our emotions. he ended up in jail, I understand the scenarios anyway. in that last paragraph picWhile Bernie Madoff ’s lie tured in your head seem to is probably worse than any lie be made more awkward by you’ll ever tell, the reason why telling the truth. That is what it was so terrible (besides the makes the final part of my sineconomic impact) also applies to cerity policy so important: Be prethose little lies. If you need to lie, pared to hear the truth, acknowlmislead, or avert in order to edge it, and deal with it. Don’t ask accomplish a task or achieve for feedback if you don’t want the some end or ideal, the virtue negative. If someone likes you of that end is soiled. If Art by Efi Narliotis with feelings you don’t reciprocate, you actually ran over your be honest about that, and be able to fathcomputer charger with an office chair, om it in your head without making interyou’d be wasting township money to action awkward—that is, accept reality. claim it died of natural causes. That’s a If you’re the unrequited lover, take the clear-cut case, but the same logic applies same approach. If you have poor table to other dilemmas. I don’t mean to sound manners, warn your business associates. like a moral absolutist on this issue. If you’re Victorian, don’t watch me eat. Maybe it’s a purely visceral cringe I get Come to terms with human imperfection, when someone intentionally says somefor it is the truth. thing that isn’t so and goes about living Make sincerity the cultural norm. Seek on a falsity. the truth. Bask in its reality. Use it. That Since a philosophical rant in my the truth will set you free is a cliché, but writer’s notebook on April 8, 2010, I’ve it is a true cliché. been persistently radically honest for not

Josh Hoffman

Class of 2012

If you live on this planet, no matter what your native tongue or culture is, chances are that you’ve been encouraged

OPINIONS

Redefining being respectful Dear Reader: This is not another article about “shmacking.” No, it’s not about lawsuits, nor is it about a student/teacher relationship that went too far. Class of 2014

The Merionite

Andrew Scolnic I’m not making an example out of anyone, and I’m certainly not singling anyone out. On the contrary, I’m speaking to the whole school when I say that I’ve been disappointed in the manner with which LM students have represented themselves lately. Despite the basketball team’s resounding success, the overwhelming amount of food brought in for the can drive, and the always charming Mr. Lower Merion Pageant, as individuals, LM students should act more kindly to each other. From vandalism in the bathrooms, to kids shouting expletives for the whole world to hear outside my Spanish class, little blemishes on LM’s reputation occur every day. So while LM does have an abundance of good activities, fundraisers, and school events, all of them mean nothing if we can’t be civil to each other and to our school on a daily basis. The other day, as I sat down in a stall in one of our brand new bathrooms, I looked to my left and almost peed myself (which I did anyway just after but…). To my astonishment, there was a huge penis graffitied onto the stall wall. After doing a double take to assure this was indeed reality, I started thinking about why in the world drawing a penis onto the stall could be a good idea. Well I thought…and came up with nothing. There is no reason for such vandalism to be thought of as okay. Our school is brand new—so why are we in such a rush to destroy it? Furthermore, even if it weren’t new, this vandalism would still not be okay. The bathroom did nothing wrong to you, so quit drawing on it and making our school look disgusting. We used to be taught in elementary school that “random acts of kindness” are common courtesies that any student could bestow upon another member of the school community at least once a day. Things like opening

the door for someone, saying “good morning,” or giving the hungry kid at your lunch table some of your french-fries are all random acts of kindness that can make a bigger impact than you may expect. Sadly, these acts seem like they were lost somewhere after benches outside the library were declared “not for sitting on,” and before winter approached—i.e, they’ve been missing for quite awhile. As a freshman, I can recall carrying a layer cake into school for a party, and being eagerly helped by a physics teacher opening both front doors for me. As a sophomore, I was recently up to my nose carrying in cans for the canned food drive, being simply mouthed, “go through the office” by an unhelpful campus aide as I dropped a can of soup on my foot trying to grasp the door handle with my arm full of cans. I’m not saying there aren’t helpful people out there; I’m just saying that there needs to be more of them. You may not know how memorable a random act of kindness can be for someone. I’m sure that physics teacher has long forgotten when she held the door open for me and complimented me on my cake, but I still remember. Finally, while I did say this article wasn’t about any of the major publicly known issues our school has gone through— these problems still cannot be ignored. Every time LM has a major problem, our school takes a hit on the easily swayable “respectability scale.” The public sees a school that’s supposed to be ideal, and then goes “ouch” when they hear about the problem. So what I say, LM, is that we must do something most people aren’t comfortable with. Rather than dwell on our problems and show the public that the matter is getting to us, we should immediately heighten the amount of respectability we hold ourselves accountable for. If we force ourselves to perform more acts of kindness, act more appropriately, and overall make a greater effort to appear better as individuals, our school will reflect that. When the public looks to our school to evaluate how we’re doing after such a problem, we’ll refuse to make news. Refuse them controversy, give away no misinformation, and most importantly, give them a nice hello. Welcome them to our school. Only then will our student body, and our school as a whole, truly live up to its potential.

Rather than dwell on our problems and show the public that the matter is getting to us, we should heighten the amount of respectability we hold ourselves accountable for.


9

March 23, 2012

BODY IMAGE

The Merionite

Photo illustration by E. Narliotis/R. Zhou

The undeniable power of the visual Ian Cohn

Class of 2012

When first encountering anyone, almost surely your first impression will be visual. It’s impossible for it not to be; in fact, a synonym for first meeting someone is first seeing someone. Our society is centered around the visual, and for that reason, a person’s projected image carries a lot of weight. Sure, it may be that what’s on the inside counts, but it’s what’s on the outside that you notice first. It’s clear. then, that body image can have a huge impact on how people feel about themselves. After all, books are generally initially judged by what’s on the cover, not what’s in the story. What image you project says a lot about who you are, just as the cover on a book provides an initial glimpse as to what the book may be about. If you dress in a shirt that says, “be rational” and shows the number pi, it’s clear that you have an interest in math. If you’re wearing a shirt with an image of Slipknot on it, it’s clear you’re a fan of heavy metal music. But it’s more than that. For example, does the shirt with pi on it merely project an interest in mathematics, or does it say more? Does it perhaps suggest intelligence in the wearer? Or what about the Slipknot shirt? Perhaps it also shows that the wearer is a non-conformist, refusing to wear the shirts of more popular musicians; or perhaps that he or she believes in the ideals preached within metal music. But body image—and the messages it projects—is more than just clothes. Does a student with pink hair have the same friends as

the captain of the football team? Is the girl with tangled hair and glasses smarter than the girl with straightened hair and make-up? Is the boy with the dyed black hair and eyeshadow meaner than the tall kid with spring in his step? Reflect upon your answer to these questions for a second; it should become obvious how much power body image has. People assume traits that have absolutely nothing to do with appearance: intelligence, humor, amicability; merely because someone appears a certain way. But why do we associate certain appearances with inherent traits? For one thing, humans tend to associate certain qualities, like niceness, warmness, and honesty, with cuteness, more specifically, neoteny, or the retention of juvenile features. This can be seen in characters like Mickey Mouse, with a head in a larger proportion to his body, much like a baby’s. In fact, humans have evolved so that children remain neotenized for longer, so adults will care for them longer. Other physical traits are evolutionarily more desirable, like more muscular men, or more large-breasted women. These will make people more attractive to to others—not just in a sexual way, but also in an unconscious “I want to be near you” kind of way. The importance of people’s projected image should never be diminished. Though it can say a lot about you—perhaps without your intent—it can also be used to let other’s know who you are. A tattoo may tell people what your values are, or a certain shirt may show you care about gay rights or are pro-life. Your body image can say a lot about who you are, but is that a good thing?

Expert discusses views on unhealthy body image Wendy Cramer, MEd

The Renfew Center

Wendy Cramer, MEd has been at The Renfrew Center since 1992, and is currently a Professional Relations Representative. She has presented frequently on eating disorders and body image issues, both locally and nationally. She received her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Temple University, and has worked in the healthcare industry for over 25 years.

Why do so many of us feel uncomfortable in our bodies and actually hate or want to change ourselves? We live in a toxic culture that glorifies thinness, and often promotes low self esteem and body image issues. This can lead to dieting behavior, to disordered eating patterns and for some, to full blown eating disorders. As a mother of two young women, it saddens me that we live in a country where four out of every five 10-yearolds are afraid of being fat, and 80% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance. It is not only women, however, who are getting these messages from the media. Increasingly, ads are aimed at making men feel bad about their bodies as well. We are constantly being bombarded with images of very thin women and men with washboard abs. To make matters worse, most of the images we see are retouched, photo shopped and often computer generated. We are holding ourselves up to an unattainable standard of beauty, and the inevitable result is that we feel bad about our bodies and then often resort to diets, and even plastic surgery, to try to change them. At the same time, we live in a culture that encourages fast food consumption and super-sized portions. Americans spend over

$40 billion dollars on dieting and diet-related products each year, yet we have an epidemic of obesity. No wonder we are so confused! We are doing something very wrong, because simultaneously, we also have an epidemic of anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders. I challenge each of you to not make any negative statements about your body or anybody else’s body for one whole day. It sound’s easy, but for most of us this can be pretty difficult, since we sometimes don’t realize how many disparaging comments we make about ourselves and others. See if you can get through a day without engaging in any “fat talk”—by that I mean talking about calories, diets, or how you look. It’s shocking to realize how many negative comments we make about our bodies and other people’s bodies everyday, without even being aware of it. Instead of spending our time and energy obsessing about our bodies, food and weight, we should be enjoying our lives and the people we care about. T h e next time you catch yourself feeling the urge to say something negative about your body, try to turn that thought into a positive one. For example, instead of thinking “my thighs are so fat,” why not turn that into “my legs are strong and can carry me everywhere I need to go?” I know it sounds silly, but it is a step towards changing the way we think and feel about ourselves. When we stop internalizing the messages that we constantly get about not being thin enough, or pretty enough, or strong enough, maybe we can then learn to start appreciating and accepting our bodies as they are. If someone you know is struggling with body image issues, I urge you to encourage them to seek professional help. For more information, please contact The Renfrew Center at www.renfrewcenter.com or 1-800- RENFREW.

When we stop internalizing the messages we constantly get about not being thin enough, or pretty enough, or strong enough, maybe we can then learn to start appreciating and accepting our bodies as they are.


10

11

March 23, 2012

BODY IMAGE

The Merionite

Body image at LM: an analysis Eric Cohn

Class of 2012

From March 6 to March 19, The Merionite conducted a poll of students asking them to answer a series of questions about body image. The poll gathered the opinions of 492 students. One of the more interesting divisions among the data was that between males and females. According to the data, girls are far more likely to alter pictures before posting them online; 33.2% of them do, compared to 5.1% of males. As the graphs indicate, females were also much more likely to have been on a diet. 46% of them answered that they had, while only 19.9% of males indicated the same. Males were also less likely to indicate that they compare their bodies to those of their peers; while 21.2% of females indicated that they rarely or never compare their bodies to those of their peers, 48.6% of males fell into the same categories. Girls were much more likely to be dissatisfied with their weight. While 53.6% of

females responded that they were displeased with their current weight, only 27.3% of males indicated the same. Students who responded they had been on a diet were far more likely answer that they compared their bodies to those of their peers. 61.5% of these students—those who indicated they had been on a diet—responded that they compared their bodies to those of their peers often, while only 14.6% of those indicating they had never been on a diet answered the same. Students who had been on a diet are also more likely, according to the data, to change their eating habits while others were watching; 39.1% indicate they do, while only 15.3% of students responding they had never been on a diet indicated the same. Based on the data, it appears that females at LM feel much more pressure regarding their bodies than their male counterparts do. This finding matches up with the widely propagated stereotype, which stresses the harmful nature of modern society on women’s views of their bodies.

Ending the media blame game Maya Labbad

Class of 2014

The following essay was submitted as part of an essay contest sponsored by Student Services and The Merionite. Advertisements are everywhere we look—from the checkout lines in stores to the sides of our screens while we’re scrolling through our Facebook newsfeeds. We can’t get away from them, which is exactly why the advertising industry is worth billions of dollars. While most advertisements may be about food, cars, or television shows, the media never fails to bring up a fad diet or a new miracle pill designed to help young adults reach their idea of perfection. If dieting methods aren’t enough to lure in the attention of these young adults, half-naked men and women promoting a new perfume surely can. This is a terrible and self-destructing industry, right? Wrong. Everybody is so quick to put the blame on something or someone due to ignorance, and high school students are no exception. One of your best friends developed an eating disorder? The media’s fault. Your co-worker started skipping lunch because she is uncomfortable with the way her stomach looks? The media’s fault. Blame for even the smallest “I want to lose three pounds” statement is translated into “I saw the cover of Maxim and I now think I’m not good enough.” Few people realize that an eating disorder is not a fad diet. It is not glamorous and it is not influenced by an irrelevant magazine or advertisement. A 30-second Victoria’s Secret commercial is unlikely to trigger anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or a binge eating disorder in a high school girl. A lack of self-esteem, depression, and a craving of control in an aspect of one’s life can and will. An eating disorder is a complex psychological illness that can take years to treat; it is by no means a social trend. Furthermore, people often forget that models are hired for a reason; they look a way that is supposed to be unattainable. If everyone could

look like Miranda Kerr, she wouldn’t be making $4 million per year now, would she? Of course the fashion industry is going to showcase their idea of perfection, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. In fact, subscribing to an Elle or Seventeen Magazine could inspire someone to shed those extra 10 pounds or motivate them to hit the gym. There will never be a picture of a 300 pound woman with rolls of fat hanging out of her top on the cover of a magazine for a reason; anybody could destroy their bodies with unhealthy choices, but not everybody is born with the special something that makes them the face of beauty. Harsh? Maybe. But the bottom line is: we are looking to improve ourselves as human beings and have been striving towards a superior life since the beginning of time. We can’t put that one on the media. Preference of one body type over another is present in different subcultures; people are turning their backs on the fact that not all media is showcasing the same six-foot tall, 110-pound woman. Don’t like looking at stick thin models? Don’t bother; they’ll be too busy walking the runways in Paris Fashion Week, showcasing brilliant designers’ collections. Pick up the March issue of Vogue instead and you’ll see the beautiful, curvy Adele gracing the cover with her classic charm. Purchase an issue of Just as Beautiful and you’ll be enthralled into a world that bans self-destructive behavior and showcases gorgeous plus-size models, celebrating the big bliss that are healthy, active, and thriving in the fashion industry. Teens have as much power to access media of their choice as to deny it. The media has become the classic scapegoat; people would rather condemn it than think about the reason it exists—to connect, to inspire, and to sell. The business industry is tough, and will not showcase just anyone. Failure to remember that an ideal image will unavoidably be brought into the spotlight causes an epidemic that leaves teens and adults cursing the image under their breath.

Advertising a good-looking man or woman to high school students isn’t immoral, offensive, or destructive. It’s a successful way of bringing attraction, style, and teenage livelihood into a world of possibilities.

Do you think you are more attractive than the average LM student?

How often do you find yourself comparing your body to that of your peers?

Have you ever been on a diet?

Females

The unreal standards of media Duranya Freeman

Are you satisfied with your current weight?

Do you alter or retouch photos before putting them on Facebook?

How do you feel about your body and appearance?

Males

Class of 2014

The following essay was submitted as part of an essay contest sponsored by Student Services and The Merionite. Fix your body, fix your life. That is the constant message thrown at us, every second of every day. Trade in happiness, life, and in some cases, health, and put every effort into lessening, changing, reshaping it. It’s such an easy, measurable thing. As everyone knows, you’ll transform from fat, disgusting, worthless to beautiful and accepted as soon as you listen to ads, read the articles, and make a few small changes. The problem is, they aren’t small. Hope sells, and the media know it. They fling every kind of self-altering scheme at us because they know that men and women everywhere are desperate for acceptance. What better way to achieve that than by changing what your body naturally wants to be? Self-hatred, especially for women, becomes a way to connect. We wallow together in our own piles of disgust, critiquing ourselves so often that it’s as common as talking about the weather. We bond over who looks worse in pants or the newest diet fad. In a word, we’re obsessed.

And it’s utterly exhausting. There are thousands of new tips that advertisers seem to churn out every day: don’t eat, get surgery, buy this, drink that, take that, avoid this, use that, exercise on empty until you ache to the bone. Essentially, turn what sustains you into your worst enemy. It’s all part of the process, part of the road that industries keep extending. We are hamsters that can’t get off a constantly whirring wheel. Today’s models weigh 23% percent less than the average woman. Their pictures (both genders) are retouched far beyond brightness or skin tone. Photo editors move eyes, extend necks, increase muscle, slice away “unnecessary” (healthy) body fat. Not only are our role models significantly thinner, they aren’t real. This makes our goals that much more unreachable. In many cases, this impossible quest for perfection turns into life threatening diseases. Millions of men and women across the country have developed anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorders, constantly in a battle with no one but themselves. Forget balance—your diet or goal spirals out of control and instead you become a devoted slave to a monster that gorges on unhappiness and fills you up with an insatiable desire to try harder. But along with the weight, you lose relationships, what it’s like to be happy, the gift of balance, and most of all, yourself. And suddenly the media disappears, no longer there to help you along. They’ve got what they wanted, your money, time, energy. They refuse to acknowledge the devastating effect that they’ve had, hiding people who are obviously struggling under labels such as “fit, thin, perfect,” even though eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder. Why? Because there is no pill, no lifeboat, no book they can throw at you then. It is something most struggle with for the rest of their lives, and in some instances, their “determination” is even celebrated. The media abuses their power it in a way that is destroying our country and in many places, our world. It is overwhelmingly responsible for frightening trends; for example, 81% of ten year olds, rather than dreading middle school, are afraid of becoming fat. It has a viselike grip on our minds and what we see every single day, and we are in very, very deep. Companies gain profit in the sickest, most unforgivable way—by thriving on our insecurities.

Do your eating habits change when others are watching?

Graphics by Robert Zhou


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March 23, 2012

BODY IMAGE

The Merionite

It’s not about the food: breaking down the myths of anorexia The identity of this LM student is being kept anoynmous to protect his/her privacy. Last year, I was sent to rehab because I suffer from anorexia. Ever since then, my world has been turned upside down. I have learned that my disease stems from deep psychological problems, more than just poor body image. Society misleads people with the belief that anorexic girls just want to be thin like the models. Hopefully my story can help people realize the truth about eating disorders and individuality. I am not the typical “anorexic girl”. I am not an insecure ditz, a model, a freak, or the “why can’t she just eat?” girl. I am someone who has suffered from anxiety and depression since I was little, who tries to help others as much as possible. I am intelligent and think critically. I notice everything and say nothing. I fight my disease twenty-four hours a day and struggle to overcome all the depres-

sion, anxiety, loathing, abuse and darkness that fill my mind. I shield my vulnerable heart because it’s still healing the wounds of the past. I suffer because of my own pain, not because of a fashion magazine. My disease grasped me so hard that I was forced to enter residential treatment for anorexia and over-exercising. At that point, I was exercising four hours a day and only ate a small amount of vegetables. I was 45 pounds underweight, had ulcers up and down my spine, organs that were withering away in ketosis, was constantly freezing, had hair falling out, and a heartbeat of 31 beats per minute—but still my mind was sicker than my body. When I wasn’t obsessing over diet and exercise, I worried about the future, judged and ridiculed myself, and waited for each day to end. When I was first diagnosed with anorexia nervosa I was a scared eighth grader. Instantly, I felt distanced from the world. I thought,

“I’m not one of those anorexiccelebrity girls.” And I was right, because no one with anorexia truly fits into the stereotype they teach

A new beginning comes at a price, though. I do not wish this addiction on anyone. I do not wish trying to recover from this addiction on anyone. In rehab, I had the feeling that I was constantly being hunted down, suffered from cold sweats, insomnia, extreme mood swings, and terror. But rehab was not the end of my struggle. Despite its difficulties, I keep eating and going to therapy because I know that someday I will be truly fulfilled without my disorder and finished with this constant feeling of emptiness. From when I was diagnosed until now, I have learned the many reasons why I have this disorder. Restricting and exercising helps me: control my world, block out traumatic events, keep me from feeling alone and depressed, protect my family from the dark feelings I am hiding, punish myself for undeserved guilt, and blot out the world so that I feel numb to pain and misery. In short, restricting and

Society misleads people with the belief that anorexic girls just want to be thin like models. in health class. I had started having unhealthy thoughts at the age of five and slowly became sicker and sicker. I lost my childhood and teenage years to this disease. I often wonder, if my depression, anxiety and anorexia were not controlling me, what kind of girl would I have been? What would having a true love for hopscotch and my pet hamster felt like? Now, I try each and every day to find who I am without my disorder—who the true me is. This is my rebirth.

exercising gives me a high. My disorder has hidden who I am, but I am trying to change that. Although I have painted a bleak picture of my life in this article, I am still grateful for what I have learned from my journey. I have learned to fully appreciate all passion, love and joy in my life because those are the things worth living for—not good grades, fashion or money. When things get tough, my family and friends are there for me. Sometimes I look around this school and see people that wear themselves out trying to be perfect. I used to do that. But I’m glad to say that this journey has taught me that I do not want to be perfect, because perfect is not fulfillment. I have felt too much pain in my life, but I have also felt unbelievable love from and for those I care about. My journey brought me closer to my family, friends and most of all myself. I know in my soul that good will come from bad.

An array of clothing styles at LM Nicole Wang

hiring someone who’s been in prison or who was a criminal or who is a criminal.’” But maybe this disgrace associated with tattoos is exactly It has become more acceptable in recent what the teen mind is attracted to, adopting the years to adorn your body with markings in ink, mindset of “I don’t really care what you think of but what is it about tattoos that are so appealing? me.” So, we first asked students without the body They are painful, permanent, and pricey for a art. Why do high school students get tattoos? student’s budget. We have pinpointed that there Almost all of the responses from the people withare two main reasons that out tattoos high-schoolers get tattoos: were relatthey add to the individuals’ ed to social physical appeal because of or physical their rebellious stigma, and matters. secondly, because they serve One junior as a reminder of an important said, “More memory, event, or person. for fashion Moreover, as we have asked reasons than people about their tattoos, for anything another questions arises. meaningWhen it comes to your body, ful. Almost are tattoos a way to belong, all rock muPhoto by Aviva Mann sicians and or rather do they make you an individual? It seems as though Many students get tattoos in order to rappers have everyone is most comfortable tats and I think preserve a memory. fitting in, as humans—especially kids just get them teens— strive to fit a certain image, yet do these to emulate their swag.” Another said, “To feel tattoo’s show that teens take pride in the unique unique.” Yet another, “they think it attracts the characteristics that set us apart? The answer is opposite sex.” However, the students who do subjective.Tattoos can serve in multiple ways, in fact have tattoos made no claims connecting helping a person adopt a certain label or setting their tattoo to their body image at all. When themselves apart from the group. we asked the students what compelled them As we discussed why teenagers may be to get the tattoos, most claimed the designs are inclined to get tattoos, many stipulated that they connected to family, an inner passion, or just to might help a person feel more attractive or rebel- “do something ridiculous.” In fact, both senior lious. So maybe the truth is that rebellion is at- Danielle Muse and junior Wes Walker were tractive, yet when an LM parent was asked “why quoted saying they sometimes forget their tattoos do you think kids get tattoos?” the answer was, are even there. Senior, Steph Rosenbloom re“to identify with other friends—peer pressure, marked, “I did not get my tattoo for any aesthetic or to rebel,” and clearly to this adult, rebellion is reason; the enjoyable appearance of my tattoo is not attractive, as they continued “this is a form a bonus, not the reason why I got it.” So maybe, of unintelligent rebellion, intelligent rebellion something so connected to your body, literally requires people to talk about what they’re rebel- scarred onto you, really has nothing to do with ling against, scarring your body says nothing to your body image or attractiveness at all. Tattoos anybody.” He continued by saying that tattoos may end up offering a source of confidence in limit a person, labeling them blue collar, lower body image, but the reason behind getting one class, or even criminal. According to the New may serve multiple purposes, all of which are York Times, tattoos in general can leave a po- centered more around identity and mind than tential employer with the impression that ‘I’m anything else.

A. Mann/M. Meehan

Class of 2013

Class of 2013 Image is something that is a part of our every day lives. Whether we intentionally put an effort into planning our image or not, virtually everyone possesses a sense of individuality and style. I decided to talk to a few LM students to get a better sense of their perceptions of their own images. To start off the interview, I asked the participants to describe their own “looks”: Senior Sam Heyman: “A hybrid between a hipster and a prep. If you will a Prepster.” Junior Efi Narliotis: “I’d say that I have a very eclectic style, most would call me ‘artsy.’” Senior Sam Mark: “Messy and disorganized.” Junior Maddie McComb: “I would describe my ‘image’ as pretty preppy I guess. Generally, though, I wear whatever feels most comfortable.” I then proceeded to ask these students how long it took for them to get ready in the morning: Junior David Herman: “I sometimes spend a pretty good amount of time in the morning, considering that I still have a lot of clothes from past regrettable phases, like my infamous stupid little emo phase, it can take a little bit to find clothes that either fits my current style or fits my body.” Mark: “As little as possible. Maybe 45 seconds.” Junior Andrew Pasquier: “Picking out clothes? Longer than I should- Maybe 10 minutes.” Narliotis: “About 20 minutes, give or take.” Heyman: “Usually about 5 to 7 minutes of intense hair brushing and belt buckling. A lot of people think I use hair gel but here’s a secret... I don’t.” Moving on to a topic dealing more with social factors and conformity, I then asked how these students felt or wanted their peers to portray their images: Heyman: “I don’t want people to portray my look as anything other than what it is. Drop. Dead. Handsome.” Pasquier: “Essentially, I want others to

think I’m interesting.” Narliotis: “I would like others to see me as an individual; someone who doesn’t exactly follow the trends of the Main Line and just does her own thing.” Mark: “I’d rather people not notice the way I dress, so I guess ‘understated’ would be the right word.” Lastly, I asked these individuals if they thought the media influenced their images in anyway: Narliotis: “I dont think the media influences my image very much. It’s dictated mostly by what I find thrift shopping.” Pasquier: “When I go shopping I’m obviously influenced by what I see in ads and in store windows, but as my wardrobe becomes more eclectic from buying a lot of diverse things I don’t worry about emulating a certain style or look any more.” Heyman: “I think that the media portrays high school fashion in a negative way, it says that if you wear this type of clothing you are this type of person. I consider myself a floater and hate locking myself down to a specific type of person.” Mark: “I think as little as possible. Maybe it does as far as what clothes are available to buy, but I don’t actively put a lot of weight in how other people dress.” Herman: “I would say that a lot of my image is influenced by the media, but not to extremes because you still have to stay true to yourself. But I definitely notice certain outfits and different kinds of trends, whether it’s wearing skinny jeans down past your butt or the next cool pair of sunglasses. But I like to kind of mix a bunch of different styles from media.” McComb: “I think my image is probably influenced somewhat by media, because that’s inevitable, but ultimately I think that it’s more of a personal choice. I dress the way I do because either it’s more comfortable, or I’m in the mood to dress more nicely.” In the end, it seemed that these diverse individuals I talked to all had pretty different responses. However, the one thing they did seem to share was their respective sense of identities. Living in a society where media influence is almost inevitable, it seems at least teenagers still find a way to retain their sense of individualism.


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March 23, 2012

FEATURES

The Merionite

“Will you go to prom with me?” Seven simple words that have been transformed into an extravagant performance. No longer is it enough to make a phone call and pose the question. LM seniors are pushing their creative abilities to the max. Months before LMHS’s senior prom, the question is asked and a mobile upload, or “mupload,”is taken—but never in a simple fashion. Nowadays, students are using anything from food to fire trucks to ask their sought after dates to prom. The following are some of the more interesting invitations to Prom 2012. Interviews conducted by Ilana Nathans, Class of 2014

Daniel Friedman and Riesling Meyer Daniel Friedman How did you ask the person? “I asked Riesling Meyer. I wrote an interactive computer program that asked Riesling to enter her name, and then, after a countdown, popped with the question “Prom?” in big letters. After the big question appeared, there was a place for Riesling to enter ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. She Photo courtesy of Daniel Friedman picked yes!” Did anything go wrong? Portion of program senior Daniel Friedman “Since I asked on February 1, before anyone had started asking, when designed to ask senior Riesling Meyer to prom Riesling saw the question pop up, her initial response was, ‘Wait, who (above). is this for?’” Photo courtesy of What advice would you give on asking people to prom? Luke Levin “Make it a surprise, but also make it revolve around something you and Charles Weinberg and Carly Solomon Charles Weinberg your prom date have in common—it could be an activity, something Senior Carly Solomon holding her “prom How did you ask the person? you both like, or an inside joke. Of course, you could do something pancakes” with prom date senior Charles “I took Carly and some friends to our favorite classic like flowers, but people really don’t forget when you do someWeinberg (above). breakfast place, but before we left I called and thing special just for them.” asked them to make some pancakes that spelled out ‘Prom?’ and give them to her.” Riesling Meyer What advice would you give on asking people to prom? What was your reaction when you were asked? “I was not having a good day, and was terribly confused by everything. “…don’t put stress on asking in a creative way. A good idea and opportunity will just come to you.” Carly Solomon I said ‘who’s this for?’ when it said ‘Prom?’… Dan said ‘you!’ I was What was your reaction when you were asked? really happy, excited, and I thought it was super sweet. “I didn’t expect it at all! I thought we were just going out to a normal breakfast so when the waitress Do you think girls should ask boys to prom more often? cleared my plate and put down the pancakes that spelled prom I was totally taken off guard. The “Why not? I mean, if you want to go to prom with someone, why wait?” entire diner clapped and I couldn’t have been happier!” Do you think girls should ask boys to prom more often? Auggy Peterson-Horner and Hillary Moritz “No way!! It should definitely be the boys job to ask the girl to prom.” Auggy Peterson-Horner What would you do if you were to ask some one to prom? How did you ask the person? “If I had to ask someone to prom I would definitely want to go all out! Maybe write in the sky or “I asked Hillary by creating signs that spelled something like that. You only have one senior prom!” out ‘Hillary! Prom?’ Then I gave each sign to a cheerleader who was at the LM basket ball game. In between the first and second quarters, I dressed up as the LM Bulldawg and got the cheerleaders to hold each sign with me holding the Auggy question mark. The cheerleaders held Petersonup their signs and I held up mine. No Horner asking one knew who was asking Hillary to prom Hillary Moritz to until I took off my head.” prom at the SouderPhoto courtesy of Colby Berman Hillary Moritz ton vs LM basketball Auggy Peterson-Horner in “My friends did a good job at game. Bulldawg costume. hiding it from me.” What would you do if you were to ask someone to prom? “I’d love to do something surprising and over the top! The best thing is seeing your date surprised and most importantly satisfied with your choice of proposal.” Roie Rennert and Jess Porter Roie Rennert How did you ask the person? “I put clues in each one of her classrooms that had a little riddle-ish poem. The poem would be associated with the class she was in and the next class she had. I put a rose in her locker and wrote DNA jokes for her hidden in her genetics class. At the end of the day I got her called down to the office and had pancakes that read will you go to prom with... I had asked one of my friends to tell her to read it out loud and after she did I jumped out with a sign that said me!” Jess Porter What was your reaction? “I was so surprised and amazed at how thoughtful and creative he made the whole day! Everyone kept it a secret, which made it really fun Senior Brady McHale standing atop and exciting! I have to admit, it was hard to pay a firetruck ladder outside the library. Senior Franny DeMuzio and prom date senior attention in my classes because I was so anxBrady McHale in front of fire truck. ious to find the next clue to the scavenger hunt!” Photos courtesy of Brady McHale What would you do if you were to ask someone Photo courtesy of Brady McHale and Franny DeMuzio Gwen Porter Senior Brady McHale stunned the school when he proposed to fellow senior Franny DeMuzio outto prom? side the library windows. McHale, a volunteer firefighter for the Gladwyne Fire Company, climbed “If I were to ask the guy to prom, I would do the steps of a fire truck ladder to reveal the big message, “FRANNY PROM?”, mere feet away from something really dramatic and fun, but I don’t think I could top how the library windows. Roie asked!”


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March 23, 2012

FEATURES The Merionite LM students take over the Narberth job scene

Kara Boutselis

home to juniors Allie Schuster, Arami Avalos, and Narberth, a small frame shop. myself. What do you like about working in Narberth? The heart of Narberth is a one-block stretch through What do you like about working in Narberth? You never know what is going to happen once the middle of Haverford Avenue. Although just oneAllie:Everyone is so friendly and we all someone steps through the tenth of a mile, this little town center is inhabited by know and see each other. doors. all, an eclectic mix of foodies heading to the Cheese Arami: It’s close to my house and I like What’s your favorite Company and Le Petit Mitron, those looking to try the little community it’s in. I prefer small thing about your job? their luck by buying lottery tickets over at the Phar- shops, because they are friendlier. I get to meet really intermacy, handymen (and women) picking up tools over What’s your favorite thing about your esting people and get to see at Ricklin’s Hardware Store, and more. Narberth’s job? art from all over the world, center is also inhabited by quite a few LM students, Allie: I like my job because I am earneven if that means dealing all of whom are employed within a two-minute walk ing money and get to try lots of food there, with a few “crazies” every of each other. like CHEESE. I know a lot about cheese, once in a while. It wasn’t until I got a job over at the Cheese Com- which is good I guess. And I get to work What’s the funniest thing pany at the end of freshman year that I realized just with my BFF. that has ever happened to Photo by Kara Boutselis you while on the job? how different it is to be on the opposite side of the cash Arami: Trying all the different cheeses. register. Within my first week of work I spilled a pitcher What’s the funniest thing that has ever hap- Junior Lindsay Kunz working the Once, a big 6’2’’ guy came of iced coffee all over the refrigerator, was mistaken for pened to you while on the job? in and ended up having the register at the Narberth Pharmacy. voice of the gingerbread man a twenty-five year old Italian woman, and was asked Allie: One day a man came in to buy cofto marry a customer’s son. We all have our stories, and fee and he told me that he was going on Christopher from Shrek and I couldn’t stop laughing. now it’s time to hear them. Columbus’s voyage. Another time And finally, up and around the corner, at the Narberth First we’ll start over at Ricka middle aged man gave me his Theater, you will find senior Maddie Guss. lin’s Hardware, where senior Sam number and told me that I have What do you like about working in Narberth? Mark works. a great face for painting, and that The proximity to my house is really nice, it’s like What do you like about working I should give him a call if I ever a two-minute walk and if I forget something at home, in Narberth? want to model. The business card I can always run back and get it! It’s also really nice I like working in Narberth that he gave me was for a con- because you see tons of people you know. because you learn stuff about the struction company. What’s your favorite thing about your job? town and the people who live there Arami: The funniest thing was Probably the really strange regulars. There are people that you wouldn’t hear otherwise. when Parker came in and after he who come like every Monday to buy a bag of popcorn You get a weird sense of history left you said “I love him” and that after work, but don’t see movies or this one lady who when you hear people talk about lady thought you were serious and always buys dots and never stays for the whole movie. what it was like growing up two that you were dating. Also the actual job is pretty fun whenever you clean Photo by Kara Boutselis blocks away from where you live now Across the street at the Narberth the theater you can usually find some unopened candy Juniors Allie Schuster and Arami in the 70s. Pharmacy holds juniors Lindsay or like a $20 bill. What’s your favorite thing about Avalos “cheesing” at the Cheese Kunz and Jenna What’s the funniest thing Shop. your job? Perna-Elias. that has ever happened to The proximity to home. I can walk What do you like you while on the job? home on my lunch break and lay around the house for a about working in Narberth? Once this like middlewhile before I have to go back to work, it cuts the day Lindsay: I work right next door to aged guy came up to us up pretty easily. my friends, and I never feel like I’m wearing kids sized 3D glassWhat’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to working alone. es and drinking a large you while on the job? Jenna: I can walk to work and I know fruit punch and just talked I guess one of the funnier things about working there a lot of the people who come in. to us for like 30 minutes is running into parents of friends. It happens more often What’s your favorite thing about about batteries. A lot of the than you’d think and it’s a nice little role change your job? funny things are just things Next to Ricklin’s you’ll find junior Allison RothLindsay: My favorite part of my job that keep happening like Photo by Kara Boutselis schild, who works at Le Petit Mitron, the French bak- is selling lottery tickets, which can be people cannot say “bunch a ery. very interesting. I love getting tips when crunch.” They physically canJunior Allison Rothschild selling What do you like about working in Narberth? people win! not they are like bunchyballs pastries at Le Petit Mitron. Everything is really nearby, and I can visit Jenna Jenna: Getting tips when people win or like crunchabusters. Or they Perna-Elias at the pharmacy big on the lottery. don’t ask for anything they are like “soda and a candy What’s your favorite thing about your job? What’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to please.” Easy—eating really good pastries! you while on the job? Well, there you have it. For better or worse, NarWhat’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to Lindsay: There’s not really a specific time that was berth is a wonderful place to get a part-time job. So you while on the job? the funniest. My regular costumers are such characters next time you’re in town, make sure to pop by some Someone asked me if I had any kids, and when I said that they make everything funny. of these stores and say a friendly hello to your fellow no, she said, “Good, they’re brats.” A few shops up from the pharmacy you’ll find junior LM classmates. Moving up the street, we hit the Cheese Company, Gabby Constantine, an employee at Masterpieces of Class of 2013

Kony goes viral: war criminal becomes overnight Internet celebrity Maddie McComb

Class of 2013

Mostly, they are pure entertainment—Rebecca Black crooning about her favorite day of the week in “Friday;” David DeVore Jr. reacting hilariously to anesthesia in “David After Dentist;” Caitlin Upton responding nonsensically to a pageant question in “Miss Teen South Carolina.” Sometimes, they even have been known to hit a political note—first in 2004 with Jib Jab’s “This Land” parody, and then in 2008 by Will.i.am in his music video of then-senator Barack Obama’s speech “Yes We Can.” But in 2012, for the first time, the “viral video” took a markedly activist turn. Early this month, the non-governmental organization Invisible Children launched their own take on the “viral video,” a 29-minute plea to join the fight against one of the world’s greatest war criminals, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Joseph Kony. Both have been accused of rape, murder, child abduction and mutilation, and many other crimes against humanity. The stated goal of the Invisible Children operation is to make Kony a household name, to publicize his numerous atrocities, and to force world powers into a fight against him and the LRA. The “Stop Kony” movement has been largely successful in raising awareness, as the YouTube version creator Jason Russell’s video has earned over 70 million views in only a week. But in light of the widespread popularity of the video, many questions have been raised in regard to the legitimacy of both the group and its message. For example, the video, while both compelling and emotional, fails to capture the complexities

of the situation. It never mentions the Ugandan government’s participation in many of the same brutalities employed by the LRA. It abridges the issue of keeping United States troops in Uganda without hinting at the ramifications of an extended military effort in a hostile nation. As well, some experts have questioned the ethics of the organization and their finances, specifically the 63 percent of their donations that go into movie-making, awareness, and management, and not directly into charitable campaigns and aid. In the 20 years since the start of Joseph Kony’s reign of terror, this is by far the most attention the issue has ever gained in the United States, and for that, both Jason Russell and Invisible Children should be lauded. As well, it has made for an effective viral video. But as an educational tool, it tends to oversimplify the issue. People should go to alternative sources as well to Illustration by Jared Oriel fully understand the naJoseph Kony has been wanted for the past four ture of the problem.

years for crimes against humanity.


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March 23, 2012

FEATURES LM goes green with eco-friendly technology The Merionite

Class of 2015 Many LM students are aware of LM’s newest features, like the Bryant Gymnasium and the black box theater, but unaware of the eco-friendly features that were installed with the new building. Both LM and Harriton received acknowledgement from the government for being environmentally friendly. “There was a big push when Lower Merion and Harriton were being built to achieve a green label from the government and to be a lead green school,” said head custodian Jim Perri. He acknowledged that LM students and faculty are very environmentally conscious. When the schools were being built, measures were taken to save energy. One implementation included the installation of a passive heating system. This makes the building naturally cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Passive heating can cut the amount of ventilation needed in half, which, in addition to being more energy efficient, also saves money. LM recycles about 96 by 3 feet of recycled materials a week, the equivalent of about two dumpsters worth of glass, plastic,

and paper. The building is program and participating in Habitat for Humanity. lit with CFL bulbs and uses A less popular eco-friendly feature that helps save dimmer switches and motion the earth is the locker room showers. To shower, swim detectors, all of which save team members have to press a button forcibly every energy. The tables and floors few seconds or the water shuts off, with no control are washed with2out harmful over temperature. Although this feature saves water, chemicals that would otherthey haven’t saved any complaints from the swim wise be dangerous if they enter team. “They’re really annoying,” says freshman Keren the body. And, yes, the urinals Baranov. “You have to position your back to press it are waterless. down all the time.” Jim Perri also sees elements that The Environmental Club need improving, “You’d be shocked at the amount at LM actively takes measures of plastic water bottles left behind or not recycled at to make the school more ecolunch,” Perri says. Students are encouraged to take Photo by Matt King friendly than it already is. Enviinitiative and use a non-disposable water bottle from home Eco Friendly-Showers ronmental club sponsor Patrick or recycle their plastic bottles. Cronin said, “The school goes above and beyond other schools, Though they are not all popular, these differences make LM a but there is still room for improvement.” The club deals with mak- much more eco-friendly school than most others. LM continues ing the community and school more environmentally friendly moving forward as one of the best and greenest schools in the by doing things like picking up trash in the Adopt-a-Highway country.

Green House Galore

Larry Robinson

and, with it, the district built Harriton a greenhouse to study, grow, and propagate plants. Since both high schools must offer the same classes, LM received a Landscape If you happened to tour our building you would have Architecture and Horticulture class as well. At the time, the opportunity to come across many of LM’s interest- however, there was no greenhouse. O’Bannon said that ing features, but there are certain things that make LM a greenhouse had been on the LM science department’s especially unique: our incredible gym, the atrium, and… “ultimate wish list” when our school was under constructhe greenhouse? We have a greenhouse? Yes. On the tion, and now it’s here, thriving with plant activity. third floor you’ll find the But where is the student body? home of hundreds of difWhy doesn’t anyone seem to pay ferent plants in all different much attention to such a great asshapes and sizes primarily set to our school, especially with a used for the Landscape Arpush in the last couple of years to chitecture and Horticulture help save our environment? The class taught by science teacher greenhouse is certainly under-theSue O’Bannon. “It’s really radar. Possible reasons for this are fun to teach about something its newness, lack of courses, and that’s a hobby,” she says. “It’s setbacks in finding other ways to also rewarding to see people use it. Due to these limitations, change their perspective about many students never even go into The Green House plants after spending time in it throughout their four years of Photo by Larry Robinson the greenhouse.” high school. Senior Katie Tsai I took a visit inside the greenhouse myself for the first falls under this umbrella: “I don’t know anything about time last week to find a room twice the size I had imagined, the greenhouse, but it seems like a great resource and we completely filled with plants, tools, and other equipment. should really use it more.” Senior Max Miller-Golub also It’s not just the plants that make the room interesting; there commented, “It’s an amazing part of our school that no one are so many moving parts that make the greenhouse work, knows about. It would be great if the science departments including the two hidden drains for when the plants need took better advantage of the greenhouse since it’s more watering and the large windows that take in every inch of hands-on than just using our computers.” sunlight available. Next time you’re on the third floor and you’re passing How did our greenhouse come to be? Harriton earth the greenhouse, take a moment to peek through the door and space science teacher Mark Ferraro created a Land- and check it out. The greenhouse adds zest and distinctivescape Architecture and Horticulture class at his school ness to our school and is worth taking advantage of. Class of 2014

Admin building gets facelift

Lexi Silow

Class of 2015

Many students have long believed that construction has been completed as they now approach the end of their second year in the new high school, but work has continued in the historical LM Administration Building. LM Head of Operations, Pat Guinnane, was happy to discuss the renovations. The work consisted of three major parts: first, masonry restoration of the outside of the building to clean it up, repair cracked stones, and repair the portion of the building where it was “attached” to the old high school. Second, old windows on the second story and clock tower were removed and restored off site, then reinstalled. The remainder of the windows was replaced with new ones that look similar to the originals (there are over 400 windows in the building). Third, upgrades to the heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems were completed. Now, the building is heated and cooled by the very same equipment that heats and cools the new high school, and the 80-year-old plumbing and electrical infrastructure has been replaced. In addition, the building has been brought up to modern building code standards in the area of ADA and fire safety. I sat down with Guinnane: What new technology is featured in the Adminis-

Who Am I?

How many kids do I have? I have two sons, Brady (8 years old) and Chase (4 years old) Where did I go to college? West Chester University What is my favorite sport? Football Where did I grow up? I grew up in the town of Red Hill, and went to Upper Perkiomen High School. What is my favorite movie? Animal House What is my favorite food? Buffalo Wings What is my favorite color? Royal Blue and Gold Do I have any pets? Grace, who is a lab mix If I wasn’t a teacher, what would I be? Professional wrestler Mr. Kline

Julia Bell

Art by Jared Oriel

tration building that will help the district in years to come? There are several that are new to this 80-year-old building: computerized heating and air conditioning controls, more efficient lighting with motion sensors that turn lights off when spaces are not occupied, and more thermally efficient windows. How will the new building affect the students at LM? A portion of the building remains dedicated to the high school–Downs Gym and locker rooms, and two classrooms on the first floor. What feature of the new restoration are you the most excited about? As part of the renovation, we were able to create a dedicated meeting space for the School Board. The old main office area has been converted into a series of rooms that gives the Board a permanent home, and during the day it serves as two well-equipped meeting spaces. We can open a folding partition to provide seating for about 95 members of the public during School Board meetings. The rooms are equipped with PA systems, a ceiling mounted LCD projector, and several flat screen monitors to facilitate presentations and discussions. Cameras, which allow for video recording of board meetings, are permanently mounted in the room. Also, we were able to provide ample office space to the Curriculum and Instruc-

tion as well as the Student Services staff. These folks have spent years working in inadequate space. Lastly, we were able to create several meeting spaces dedicated to staff development, thus avoiding the need to have a school act as host with accompanying disruptions. It has been about ten years since we had that sort of space to dedicate to staff development. What input/ideas did you have that went into the planning of the new building? As the Director of Operations, I had a great deal of input, mostly on determining the extent of the renovation and the technical aspects of the new equipment. How has the LM Administration staff reacted to the renovation? They appear very satisfied with the new finishes (carpet, paint, ceilings), windows, and additional space. When will the building be finished? When can the administration start using it? The project has been phased, so in a sense the administration has started using it as soon as the first phase was completed in July of 2011. We just recently completed spaces that allowed almost everyone to move into their final home last week. We expect the remaining work to be complete by the end of April. Starting next month, the high school contractor will be back on site to complete the sidewalks and landscaping around the north side of the Administration Building.


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March 23, 2012

The Merionite

Aces of The Arts Mike Robbins - Class of 2012

Photo by Efi Narliotis What arts are you involved in at school? I am in Art 3H and AP Art. Do you plan on continuing art next year or in the future? I plan on majoring in art. Do you see yourself as an artist as much as you do an athlete? I definitely see myself as more of an athlete than an artist.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Be The Void in Review

Robert Gaudio

Class of 2012 Veteran Philly band Dr. Dog has released their sixth studio album this past month; Be The Void is the band’s newest release. Two years ago, Dr. Dog released their most polished album to date, Shame Shame, which hit number 44 on the US Music Charts, and with that release came more touring and bigger venues. No stranger to live shows Dr. Dog has refined their live performances to a rollicking controlled chaos. On January 27 the band kicked off their tour by playing for well over an hour and fifteen-minute show at WXPN’s World Café Live—a show that was supposed to last under a half hour. Bassist and singer Toby Leaman was quoted saying, “You want to hear it and… hell we need the practice.” The new album has fallen nothing short of what someone could expect from Dr. Dog—killer guitar licks, some of the most catchy hooks on the indie scene today, as heard in folk jam “Over Here, Over There,” and now one of the best young drummers in music today. Eric Slick, and Dimitri Monos are the newest additions to Dr. Dog, playing Drums and various beats/samples/percussion respectively. A strong percussion section is something Dr. Dog has never been able to enjoy—with weak drum lines on nearly every song from “Wake Up,”

“Easy Beat,” and “Fate.” In Be The Void, the band finally has songs with driving drum lines. The sixth song off the album, “Do The Trick,” is a perfect example—it features vocals from singer/rhythm guitar player Scott McMicken, Slick’s drums, and a few electronic samples for a majority of the tune. Balanced against the light guitar and raspy voice of Toby Leaman, along with some synth in the song “These Days,” the album is truly a Dr. Dog showcase. Where their previous album was riddled with a more mellow sound and nostalgic anomalies, this album optimistically brings the roof down. The driving drums and cranked up guitar in an attempt to replicate their live shows has taken the band from a “come on over and have a beer” band to a force to be reckoned with. The highlight of the album has to be the band’s ninth song, “Big Girl,” Toby Leaman takes a gentler approach to the vocal coupled with a four part harmony from Slick, Zach Miller, McMicken, and Leaman creates the perfect blend with the soul piano lick and 60s guitar line. With their new album Dr. Dog has outdone themselves—proving again that they can draw from nearly any genre to make a sound so familiar—yet undoubtedly original. Dr. Dog will be playing at the Electric Factory March 24-25.

Bueller...Bueller? #All_Gone

If there was one thing you could change about LM or your experience here, what would it be? I wouldn’t change a thing!

Alex Nates-Perez - Class of 2012

Art by Aviva Mann

Photo courtesy of Alex Nates-Perez What is your favorite part about a capella at LM? The amazing feeling when we all work together to create a wonderful performance is why I do LMAC. I feel like I am part of something genuinely creative and professional with people I love and respect. Are you involved in any other arts in school? I am involved in Players, which is another amazing group of people. I take AP Art at school as well. Do you plan to continue singing after high school? Yes. Whether it is in my shower or with another group, I will be singing. Who is your biggest inspiration? My biggest inspiration was probably all the previous LMAC alumni. I used to go to LMAC concerts before I was in high school and wish I was up there singing. They inspired me to pursue singing and try out for a cappella. What is your favorite music venue in the area? Honestly I love going to MilkBoy shows. They are so intimate and fun and I usually personally know the people playing which is always fun.

Suburban Square’s newest dining edition: St. James Place Jacob Van Houten

Class of 2013 Suburban Square’s recent construction and landscaping are only the beginning of what will be a $1.5 million renovation of the shopping center’s courtyard. Set to be completed around spring 2012, the new courtyard will include relocated stores, a new greenery, and a new upscale restaurant, which will enhance the appeal of this local center of activity. The restaurant, called St. James Place after the name of its street, will take the current place of Victoria’s Secret and offer diners a more upscale, yet affordable, sampling of American cuisine. The two men behind the opening are Rob Wasserman, an LM graduate and current owner of Philadelphia’s Rouge and 500°,

as well as Michael Schulson, whose restaurants include the two Asian restaurants Sampan, of Philadelphia, and Izakaya, of Atlantic City. Their newest venue, however, will feature an American grill and steakhouse style menu, consisting of elevated American classics such as burgers, steaks, or rack of lamb. Pricing will be in the range of around $10 for an appetizer and $25 for an entrée, similar to other local and more upscale restaurants. Planning to stay open for weekday lunch and dinner, as well as weekend brunch, the restaurant will be an option almost any time you’re looking for a nice meal. The owners hope that St. James Place will be an everyday restaurant for Main Liners.

The venue seats 80 indoors with table-seating and 20 indoors at the bar, along with an additional 50 possible seats in the courtyard. The outdoor seating will encourage diners to stick around and enjoy what they hope will be a new and improved courtyard. Additionally, to solve possible parking complaints in that area of the shopping center, accompanying the opening of the restaurant will be a loop-around, which will offer a valet service. Although at this point we have only hopes and promises of a great restaurant, the new setting and menu options as well as the two men behind it look as if they may converge to create a Suburban Square staple.


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March 23, 2012

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Reviewing this year’s Oscar winner: The Artist The Merionite

Evan Bowen Gaddy

Class of 2013 The Artist was the first silent film to win the award for Best Picture since the film Wings won at the first Academy Awards in 1927. I’ve heard a potpourri of reactions to this fact. Some believe it won simply because it’s gimmicky, while others feel that it’s truly a masterpiece. In terms of plot content, the movie doesn’t exactly offer anything interesting or new. The story follows a man named George Valentin, played by Jean Dujardin, who is a silent-film actor until “talkies”—films with sound and dialogue—begin to take over the movie business, ending Valentin’s reign as Hollywood’s super-star. Out of romantic infatuation, Valentin introduces Peppy Miller, played by Berenice Bejo, to the world of cinema, leading her to instantly become a “talkie” film sensation and consequently Hollywood’s new sweetheart. The film focuses on their relationship and how Valentin copes with the shift from old to new. It’s a plot line that has been done about a million times: man has it all, man loses it all, man tries to get to it all back, all sprinkled with a love interest and a cute puppy companion to make the audience swoon.

But this cliché is part of what the director wanted the movie to embody. It is constantly trying to play upon itself by using elements of traditional silent films from the 1920’s. From the story arc to the musical score, it precisely portrays the feel of a film from the time period. In terms of music, the original score is fantastic. Interestingly enough, as I sat with my mother watching the film, the sound in the movie theater blew out, prompting some confusion among the moviegoers. “I think we lost sound,” said a young man to the owner of the theater. The owner paused and let out a confused “Isn’t this a silent movie…?” Not completely. The 20’s-style music plays a crucial role in developing the antique feel of the film. It also serves to enhance the emotional parts of the film that are usually complemented with dialogue. But the music is not the only major factor that compensates for the tacit nature of the film. The acting— sometimes subtle, sometimes overdone—is portrayed in a harmonious fashion that truly makes the movie. Dujardin has a distinct control over his facial muscles that allows him to portray certain emotions that I have yet to see a speaking actor portray, while Bejo’s overacting again helps

A one-of-a-kind hotdog dive

Gabby Constantine

Class of 2013

If you like hot dogs then you are in for a wild ride. The place, which opened last summer, is Hot Diggity. This gem on 6th and South Street downtown is sure to blow your taste pallet out of the water. With 11 mouth-watering signature dogs, there is something for every food lover: the adventurous Saigon fusion with cucumbers, shredded veggies, cilantro and a sweet chili vinaigrette to a more classic choice like the Bronx bomber with sauerkraut, mustard and red onion sauce—a twist on a classic New York staple. What drew my eye was the Big Kahuna, a dog with guava mustard, grilled onion, pineapple salsa, a habanero aioli, and completed with an all beef, natural cased hot dog (made in house) and a fresh, steamy bun. Although the hotdogs are the star of this whole operation, every leading man has to have a sidekick, and in this instance, it’s the fries. Hand-cut and fried to crispy

perfection, these fries are a meal all on their own. The taters come with your choice of twelve dipping sauces, like sriracha ketchup, roasted garlic rosemary aioli, and chimichuri sauce. To wash all this goodness down, Hot Diggity offers over a dozen delicious craft sodas to tickle your fancy, such as rose lemonade or Maine root and blueberry soda. As soon as you walk in, the bright-colored posters of cartoonish, garish hot dogs, which happen to be the menu, pop out at you. However, there is original art all over the walls depicting creative and somewhat edible looking dogs. All the art is for sale, but it’s a little pricy. Don’t worry though, everything edible in the joint is six dollars and under, a good deal considering that everything, from their hotdogs to their dipping sauces, is made in-house. Another big plus is that the cooks accommodate to vegetarians by making all of the signature dogs veggiestyle. Hot Diggity is absolutely not your ordinary hot dog joint. If you ever find yourself craving a hotdog that pushes culinary limits, this is the place for you.

Finding common ground abroad Moriah Kofsky

evoke that feel of a 1920’s film. The film does, however, manage to add a modern spin to certain aspects. The director, Michel Hazanavicius, uses specific filming techniques, such as trucking shots (in which the cameraman is a wheeled vehicle following a subject), reflection shots, and crooked shots that one wouldn’t see in a film from the 1920’s. Also notable is the quality of the picture, particularly the contrast of light and dark shades, which is simply prettier than any original black and white picture due to advances in camera technology. There was also some muted symbolism throughout, specifically the three wise monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil) that show up in the background of many scenes. Valentin refuses to see or hear the change in the movie business, let alone speak for it. In my opinion, The Artist does not take any risks. It does, however, recapture a classic Hollywood story and style, while throwing in a few fancy, new techniques to woo two different crowds of the movie-going community. This fresh spin on the classic genre is what, I believe, won the movie the Oscar.

Photos by Gabby Constantine Hot Diggity offers home-made, signature hotdogs at affordable prices in down town Philadelphia.

my parents take me to Chuck E Cheese instead of buying me Rosetta Stone? And by the third day I was limping around like a chicken without a leg from the blisters my heels created. This only embarrassed me more when I was van Gogh at the Philadelphia Museum of Art - until May 6 forced to salsa dance. I would have to attest The Cherry Blossom Festival - March 23 - April 21 that the Wii rooms dancing lessons were rather The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen insufficient. Clearly, I was no match for the National Constitution Center until September 3 perfectly poised, trendsetting, well-spoken Latin Americans. Concerts: For those of you unfamiliar with HACIA, Dr. Dog: 3.25 at Union Transfer it is a model United Nations among members Delta Spirit: 3.30 at Union Transfer of the Organization of American States that First Aid Kit: 3.31 at Union Transfer takes place annually in Central America. Over Of Montreal: 4.02 at Union Transfer a span of three days, participants from South, Real Estate: 4.03 at The First Unitarian Church North, and Central America discuss topics in the Neon Indian: 4.03 Union Transfer western hemisphere ranging from the suppresThe Drums: 4.23 at Union Transfer sion of journalists to the pan American health Bassnectar: 4.20 at Temple’s Liacouras Center organization. The objective of these conferences Miike Snow: 4.27 at Electric Factory is to formulate a resolution paper solving these predominant issues. But aside from learning about the issues debated, there is a lot to learn about the individual students who come and represent their asked regarding their everyday life: country. Their intimidating apparel What music are you listening to? became insignificant when I found - Juan (Honduras)- Reggae tone, dub step, Mana myself conversing over how fun it - Bruno (Brazil)- Classic rock such as Jimmy Hendrix was to fist pump to Avicii’s Levels. and The Beatles or classical music like Beethoven and Bach. And just when you think they are - Alredo (Columbia)- American mainstream only exposed to American mainWhat is your average weekend? stream, they surprise you by pulling - Juan (Honduras)- Every weekend we go to the discoa line like, “Did you hear the new theque or have a house party. To get into the discotheque Monsters of Men album?” The goal you must be 18 but everyone gets in anyway. became not only to communicate What is your favorite place to shop? for the purpose of debate but also - Juan (Honduras) and Diana (Panama)- Zara to get to know what music, fashion, - Bruno (Brazil)- I buy my clothes in the US at departand entertainment the other delment stores or Abercrombie. - Ana (Nicaragua)- Our government is very corrupt, so Photos by Moriah Kofsky egates were into. Below are some From left to right, Bruno, Christina, Jose, and Juan prepare for a meeting. of the responses the Latin American there are barely any clothing stores around me. I usually buy delegates gave to a few questions I the bulk of my clothes in Miami.

Class of 2014 Before arriving to Panama for the 2012 HACIA conference, the Philadelphia Delegation was sternly warned of the elite stylish Latin Americans we’d be encountering. I didn’t take this lightly and refused to meet anything less than these prestigious standards. I went shopping, purchasing the most fashionable WBA (Western Business Attire, the dress code of HACIA) I could find. All the Latin American kids would drool over my impeccable outfits and maybe even beg for a picture. Considering my low score on the gradation scale, I used Jergans three days in advance to channel my inner Latina skin. I knew they were going to love me, or at least, wish they were me. However, I was wrong and my attempts failed. The first day I found myself in an elevator surrounded by tall, olive skinned, green-eyed Brazilians speaking Portuguese, Spanish and English. Needless to say, I felt confused and inferior. The second day I realized that the majority of these kids spoke better English than me. Why did

Upcoming Events in Philadelphia


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March 23, 2012

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT The Merionite Player’s presents the comical Searching for a college Servant of Two Masters with an artisy vibe?

Efi Narliotis

Class of 2013 It’s course registration time once again, meaning the freshmen, sophomores and juniors are scrambling to select next year’s classes. The seniors, on the other hand, are hopefully already into their choice schools and are blissfully enjoying their last semester as high school students. Before the rest of us get the privilege of being second semester seniors, we must first decide what our choice schools are going to be. In my search I have sought out schools that have both high academic standards and also foster creativity among their students; artsy colleges, if you will. After consulting my handy Princeton Review book, The Best 376 Colleges, here is what I’ve come up with: Top 5 “Artsy” Colleges, Bard College A private college set in the scenic area of Hudson Valley, New York, Bard College is an environmentally friendly school that includes student designed housing, communal workspaces and the “Blithwood” Italian-style gardens where students are often seen playing Frisbee. Student-run events are popular; the school’s photography collective “Unexposed” holds shows frequently, and a garage-turned-studio called “SMOG” gives students a place to perform regularly. “Hipster” fashion is the norm on campus and students are often seen reading together or listening to indie rock. The Princeton Review says “Bard is a safe haven for all hipsters, serious intellectuals, artists and dreamers.” Brown University An Ivy League school in Providence Rhode Island, Brown is often perceived as the outcast of the Ivies. Known for “unconventional approaches to life and learning,” Brown offers many educational opportunities that the other Ivies don’t. Brown has no core curriculum, and academia at the university becomes entirely what you make of it. Political activism is popular on campus, and thoughtful discussions take up a great deal of student time on campus. A student says, “The ‘main-

stream’ is full of people who are atypical in sense of fashion, taste in music, and academic interests.” Grinnell College Less popular is Grinnell College, a small liberal arts school in the cozy town of Grinnell, Iowa. The Review calls Grinnell a “crazy, unique, busy, caffeinated cornfield of geniuses.” Most students are very socially aware and take initiative with their schoolwork. Senior Maddie Guss, who visited Grinnell, said, “There were some stereotypically hipster kids but more so there was a definite individuality that stretched beyond your generic artsy teenager.” With classes never bigger than thirty and the resources of a large university, Grinnell is the perfect place for ambitious students who want the perks of a big school with a more homegrown feel. Hampshire College A private college in Amherst, Massachusetts, Hampshire is a hipster’s paradise. Students at Hampshire design their own major, develop their own curriculum, and “receive evaluations instead of grades, which [they] feel is a much more productive system.” Hampshire has five distinct schools so each student can find something that suits their interests. Princeton Review says, “Non-conformity is so normal it’s almost conformist to be nonconformist.” Live music, drum circles, and Frisbee are popular, and one can take yoga, karate or tai chi classes on campus. Enough said. New York University NYU is located in the heart of Greenwich Village, New York City, is a great place for both academic success and artistic exploration. Despite a diverse student body of 20,000 and multiple schools in the university, “NYU students are very accepting of each others differences” and “hipsters are pretty pervasive throughout all schools.” Taking advantage of everything New York City has to offer, NYU is called an “untraditional college experience” where students can learn through the world around them.

The ethical side of fashion Margaret Meehan

Class of 2013 Searching through the endless racks of trendy clothing at billion dollar empires like Forever 21, one might find a few remarkably familiar pieces. No, these aren’t just the hackneyed styles that happen to be in this spring; these stores have moved beyond the standard unoriginality into zones of candid duplication. Having been sued countless times by popular and imminent designers around the globe for stolen clothing designs, companies like Forever 21 have brought a quandary to the fashion world. Although the company dodges many criminal litigations by employing third party designers, does that mean buying its clothing is any more legal than stealing music? One commentator described Forever 21’s headquarters as looking more like a crime scene than a creativity-nurturing environment. By sucking the innovation out of designs, Forever 21 successfully makes fashion just another industry dominated by mass production. This system trivializes the painstaking design and construction that boutique and original designers undertake. A spokesperson

for 3.1 Philip Lim, one of the 50 plus designers to sue Forever 21, claimed that a specific pattern that took three months to perfect was stolen almost overnight after its release, and sold at less than one-fifth of the original price. This puts independent designers, who are incapable of producing clothing at the rate and price that these powerhouses offer (due to questionable factories abroad), at a great disadvantage. Forever 21 claims to restock every 48 hours, an unconceivable feat for independent designers. They are unable to compete and are denied recognition. Rather than supporting an art form, a buyer is simply contributing to an enterprise. Doesn’t that seem to drain fashion of its culture and charm? Despite Forever 21’s fraudulent aspects, the store prevails, even with a negligible amount of advertising. This can in part be attributed to the corporation’s owner, the Chang family, two of which are Wharton graduates. The Changs have been impressively ingenious in the creation of Forever 21. Keeping their illicit features away from the public eye, they credit their business’s success to “hard work, faith and frugality,” even printing a biblical quote on their mer-

Elsa Schieffelin

Class of 2012

This spring, LM Players will be presenting Servant of Two Masters, an Italian comedy written by Carlo Goldoni in 1743. The play was inspired by a form of theater called Commedia dell’Arte. Commedia dell’Arte started in Italy during the fifth century and has inspired comedians and playwrights ever since. Troupes of professional actors would travel from town to town, preforming improvised, or loosely scripted, shows for the general public, incorporating details about the town in which they were preforming. Commedia featured several stock characters, such as Pantalone, the greedy head honcho, Il Capitano, the pompous military figure, Il Dottore, the stuffy scholar, and Arlecchino, the

Servant of Two Masters starts off with the announcement of the engagement between Clarice, played by senior Alex Liu, and Silvio, played by junior David Herman. However, things don’t go exactly according to plan when Clarice’s supposedly dead fiancé, Federigo Rasponi, and his servant, Truffaldino, played by junior John Clark, arrive on the scene. Later on we learn that Federigo Rasponi is actually his sister Beatrice, freshman Karen Hafter, in disguise to find her love, Florindo, junior Joshua Harper. What happens next? New love, the juggling of food, fights to the death, small animals, cross-dressing, and, yes, a servant of two masters! This comical chaos is more than entertaining, and although the play may have been written 269

Players reheasal in action after school in the black box theater Photo by Robert Gaudio/Staff Harlequin or comic servant. The stock characters and many more are featured in Servant of Two Masters. These speyears ago, its lively plot keeps the cific characters were not only known audience roaring. In the words of junior for their larger than life personalities, Gio Urteaga, “It’s mighty hilarious!” but also for their appearance. Each one and junior David Herman, “It’s totally had a certain costume, prop, and mask rad, yo!” Support the Players and the that they wore throughout the show, hard work they have been doing; come projecting the character out to the audi- see their praiseworthy production of ence, and making each p e r f o r m a n c e Servant of Two Masters April 26-28! truly remarkable.

A&E’s March Music Playlist: The Shins - Simple Song

A$AP rocky - Bass

Shout Out Louds - Fall Hard

Chiddy Bang - Baby Roulette

Dr. Dog - These Days

Boys Noize - Down

Andrew Bird - Eyeoneye Sex Pistols - My Way James Blake - Limit To Your Love Woods - Bon Iver Wiz Khalifa - No Sleep Geographer - Kites

chandise bags. To maintain this image, the company does not technically own any of its suppliers; so when a designer sues Forever 21 for replicating patterns, the lawsuit gets sent to the independent producer and the corporation’s name remains relatively tarnish-free. Forever 21’s most appealing quality is

the opportunity it gives ordinary girls to wear trendy and seemingly pricy clothing. It makes fashion a more inclusive practice, and this is an aspect that should definitely be lauded. Although this replication can be viewed as a good thing, it is something that customers should consider before shopping at the store.


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March 23, 2012

The Merionite Baseball looks to bounce back

Will Rosenbaum

“I think that [seniors] Ned Miller and Class of 2015 Matt Kocent are poised for breakout ofLM is known for its top-notch sports fensive seasons, and we’ll need our entire teams. For example, both the boys and pitching staff to step up to replace Richie girls basketball, soccer and lacrosse teams [Weker] and Jeremy [Yodh].” consistently finish at the top of the Central Senior shortstop Pete Siciliano, who is League. Despite this, slated to play baseball next other LM sports teams do year at Johns Hopkins Uninot possess such wonderversity, will be also an inful reputations. For these tegral player for LM. In adteams, every day that they dition, Tobias talked about step out to practice or what he would have to do play is another chance to this year to ensure the Aces prove themselves worthy have a quality season: of the prestigious “LM” “I’m just going to stay reputation. The LM basepatient at the plate and keep ball team is one of those runners honest, and our teams. While the team’s pitchers and lineup are more record in past years may than strong enough to do the not stand out, the squad job.” Specifically, Miller, plays like any other LM Kocent, and fellow senior team: with passion, enerDanny Moyer should lead Photo by Kyle Perry/Staff gy and a strong will the LM pitching staff. to win. Junior Matt Wasson Standout senior Pete Siciliano Looking ahead at was also very clear on practices pitching. the Aces upcoming what the team needs to schedule, a rematch do. “Our pitching is goagainst nationally ranked Conestoga, whom ing to be a big challenge,” he noted. “It can the LM squad dropped two very close make or break our season.” Tobias also refgames to last year, is highly anticipated. In erenced the team’s 7-3 end to last season. addition, look for a good game against Cen- Although the 7-3 finish was solid, the Aces tral League powerhouse Marple Newtown. still finished seventh in the 12-team Central The past four seasons were rather rough League. The Aces will look to clinch a playfor the squad, as they ended only one of the off berth this season, which they have not past four years with a winning record. In accomplished since that strong 2007 season. 2005, LM won the Central League, and then “We need to consistently play all-around two years later finished with a 12-6 record. solid baseball and have the mindset that we From then on, it all seemed to go downhill. are contenders,” Wasson commented. In This year, the Aces hope to change that spite of their slightly disappointing recent trend. Senior catcher Will Tobias is quite history, look for the Aces to reach their goal, optimistic about the upcoming season. To- as this team is hungry and ready to be part of bias stated: the exemplary “LM” reputation.

Boys lax seeks to make playoff push Max Titlebaum

Class of 2013

The lacrosse season always manages to fly by. With at least one game every week until May, the team is excited to play. We have really come together in the offseason by playing together in fall ball and winter league. As a result of only losing four seniors from last year’s team, we have managed to stay strong and unified in the transition from last year to this year. This season we have high expectations. Last year, we ended up missing the playoffs by just one seed, but this year we plan on not only making the playoffs, but also making a run in them. We have been working hard since last year’s early exit, practicing and preparing for this season. After a lengthy coaching search, former assistant coach Michael Borsch was promoted to the head-coaching role. Joining him are Ryan Sankey, Chet Laubach, and Casey O’Rourke, last year’s head coach, who will be taking a part-time coaching role. The team has a lot of strengths this year. We return all but one starter from last year and have much more experience than last year’s team. Our defense is led by some of our seniors, including captain James Burke, face-off champion Cooper Eisenhard, and stonewall goaltender Eli Newschaffer. We also have help from seniors Tyler Kopen, Alex Pillion, Desmond Ellis, Dmitri Howard, Max Golden, and Drew Horn. Juniors Chris Daly, Craig Markman, and Tony Fisher also are key players for us. Daly was recently honored by ESPN Rise as a player to watch for the class of 2013. Jack Kane, Alex Simpson, and Daniel Buckman anchor the strong sophomore class. Every person contributes to the team’s success and failure, as symbolized by our motto, “we win and lose as one team.” We plan on being able to prove our ability to overcome adversity, as a result of having three different head coaches in the last three years. Although this may not seem like a big deal, adapting to these new systems can take time. The team has two scrimmages and eighteen games, nine of which are at home. There are many great opportunities for the LM community to come out and support the Aces. Two of our biggest rivals, Radnor and Harriton, play us at home. Other exciting games will be against Conestoga, who is always a great competitor, and Shipley. Conestoga is the second-ranked high school team in Pennsylvania according to ESPN. Although we will be heavy underdogs, especially when facing Conestoga, the matchup brings out great competition from both teams. Even though the season ends in May, we plan on extending the season into the playoffs, and hopefully the Dawg Pound, fresh off an exciting basketball season, will bring their energy to the games. Expectations are high, and Kane believes that “if the team keeps working hard and continues to get after it in practice they could have a really good year.”

SPORTS

Serenity now, Linsanity later

James Johnston

Class of 2013

Linsanity has taken over the nation with startling speed. Jeremy Lin has become a cultural icon, much like Tim Tebow, but unlike Tim Tebow he is actually good at his job. Since taking over the starting point guard role for the Knicks, Lin is averaging 14.7 points per game, 6.3 assists per game, and 1.6 steals per game. These averages are phenomenal for a point guard, yet what is even more impressive is the way that Lin has turned around a team that seemed destined for failure. After Lin began to start, the Knicks went 9-3, a far cry from the team that was 8-15 before his breakthrough. Although coach Mike D’Antoni resigned after a recent rough patch, the Knicks are still in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Lin has, remarkably, also made the media question if he is better than an established superstar (teammate Carmelo Anthony), and became the leading jersey seller in the NBA. Jeremy Lin’s rise to prominence has left many NBA talent evaluators scratching their heads. After all, the man who is currently tearing up the league went undrafted and was cut by two teams before landing with the Knicks, in his second season in the league. One possible reason he was passed over in the draft is that he went to Harvard. Basketball may be the one field in the world where going to Harvard is actually a hindrance, and because of his place of study, Lin slipped through the cracks. He actually put up impressive statistics in college, averaging 16 points per game his senior year, and he was named a unanimous all Ivy-League first team selection. Although he was not drafted, he showed enough to earn a chance to play in the NBA summer league for the Dallas Mavericks. Lin was impressive during his stint in the

Summer League, especially when he outplayed the number one pick, John Wall, in a head to head matchup. The Golden State Warriors offered him a contract, and he spent all of last year in Golden State. Lin had trouble finding playing time and was cut at the end of the year. After a brief stint with the Rockets, he was cut right before the start of this NBA season, and then landed in New York. In New York, Lin was buried on the depth chart and had almost no prospects of playing at the beginning of the season. He was fourth on the Knicks point guard depth chart at the start of the season, and at one point was even sent down to the NBA Developmental League. 23 games into the season, the Knicks were struggling to stay afloat. Carmelo Anthony was injured and Amare Stoudemire was playing the worst basketball of his career. Then in a game against the New Jersey Nets, Lin got his chance. He torched one of the leagues top point guards, Deron Williams, to the tune of 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists. Since that game, Linsanity has been in full swing. Only time will tell how good Jeremy Lin truly is, but for now, he is an attraction the likes of which the NBA has never seen. Jeremy Lin is not like most other NBA stars. He is not African American or Caucasian; he’s Asian. Asian basketball players are fairly rare, and there are only two in the NBA right now. This has led to immense popularity for Lin in China, where he has over 1 million followers on the Chinese version of Twitter (Lin is actually Taiwanese). The fact that Jeremy Lin is Asian is great; it adds to his story and makes him more unique as a basketball player. However, Lin’s ethnicity should not define him. His accomplishments should not be overshadowed by his heritage. If Lin continues at his current pace, there is no telling how far he could go.

Skill over swag for young, optimistic Aces Noah Levick

Class of 2013 break offense. In terms of maturity and experiAccording to senior co-captain Tyler Redmond, ence, however, the younger players are naturally “while guys lacrosse is all about ‘ripping twine and a bit behind their older teammates. Redmond sees having ‘swag,’ girls lacrosse is more about the skill herself as a mentor of sorts, as she tries to “put and technique.” Redmond and her fellow captains, myself back in their [the younger girls’s] position senior Erin Gallagher and junior Samara Kitnick, and make them think about things I wish I could have been working on their skills, and encouraging have done differently.” This method, in theory, their teammates to do the same, as they prepare for will help LM’s youth rise above the current senior the upcoming season. The team has been playing class, whose accomplishments thus far are far from in fall and winter leagues, and has been participatshabby. ing in captain’s practices several times That seper week. Junior Nadia Klincewicz said nior class did that,“Coach has really been stressing experience a the dedication we need to have to be on slight drop-off this team.” Although the Aces are young in results last and “play in one of the best leagues in season, as they the country,” according to the aforemenwent 3-9 after a tioned coach Erika Baylis, they are enjoyrecord of 8-9 in ing the chance they have to collaborate the 2009-2010 and compete. season. HowevThe Aces are confident and optimistic er, with Kitnick heading into the season. Coach Baylis, Photo by Kyle Perry/Staff and fellow Kitnick, and the team in general believe Girls Lacrosse gets ready for the season. juniors Lindsay that they have a wealth of talent. Some Grabell and Sandra of this ability comes in the form of the five underPatrizio leading a defense that Baylis characterized classmen who made the varsity team, including the as “strong and vocal,” and Redmond, Gallagher, twin tandem of Paige and Maddie Johnson, who junior Kiersten Daly and senior Allie Partridge are poised to contribute in their inaugural year on anchoring the attack, the Aces hope to surpass their the LM lacrosse squad. This young talent is excitperformance in recent years. “This year is a great ing and portends future success for LM, but these opportunity for us. We have a lot of talent and new players must make the adjustment to high we’re expecting a guaranteed playoff spot!” said school lacrosse: as Klincewicz said, “it is going to Kitnick. take a lot of time and effort for us to regain some of Still, the Aces realize that making the playoffs is the connections we have had in the past.” However, a lofty goal that will require even more hard work. LM’s young guns hope that high school lacrosse Coach Baylis hopes “people appreciate the comwill be forced to adjust to them and their considerpetition that we are surrounded by and support our able skills. Indeed, Coach Baylis, who felt that the players.” The players would definitely appreciate Aces are “a cohesive group this year,” did not seem that support. Yet as hope springs anew this season, especially concerned with chemistry issues. Kitnick it appears they are supporting each other very well was also optimistic about the underclassmen, statin their quest for continuity and victories. Even if ing that they possess “a lot of potential and more the girls do not value swag and brawn, they still speed,” which she hopes will aid the Aces fast seem to posses something special.


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March 23, 2012

SPORTS

The Merionite

Football enters new direction under Adam Beach Teachers reflect on athletic glory

Blayne Yudis

Every player is working for the same around LM, other signs are pointing Class of 2013 common goal,” Beach stated. “Suc- to the dawn of the new LM football Back with exciting news come cess will come to us with the right program. With 28 students returning the LM Bulldawgs. Recently named Attitude, Commitment and Enthusi- to the roster this year, leadership and head coach Adam Beach is the experience will be keys in Coach newest edition to a squad in need of Beach’s first season. Along with direction. “With plenty of energy and this, over 40 students showed up to enthusiasm, we feel Coach Beach an introductory meeting for the new has what it takes to turn the LM procoach, sparking a buzz around the gram around,”Athletic Director Don football squad that has not been seen Walsh said. “With this and his knowlin several years. “This football team edge of the game, we feel that he will has potential,” Beach went on to say. be able to put in the time and effort to “The players, parents, and adminiswork with each player as well as get tration want to be successful and I am more students out to play.” willing to help get them there.” Coach Beach is no rookie when When asked what their expecit comes to head coaching. At Upper tations were for this upcoming Moreland, he lead the Golden Bears season, players answered with to a combined record of 40-21 over bold confidence. “We’re thinking 7 years, including five consecutive over a .500 season,” Sophomore winning seasons. Much of this sucquarterback Kristian Dougherty cess can be attributed to the coach’s said. “Coach Beach’s knowledge Photo by Kyle Perry/Staff will definitely help us.” Eli Zimmer work during the off-season. Junior linebacker Eli Zimmer explained, summed things up quite clearly: “He is a lot more involved with the Coach Beach looks to turn around “The hiring of Coach Beach is a a promising, tenacious LM team. huge influence,” he stated. “The out of season program. Instead of strictly lifting and no field work, past 10 years this program has he has been equally utilizing both, as asm (A.C.E).” Chuckling as he said been heading the wrong way and well as getting more familiar with the this, Beach explained that he thought the change in the head position gives offense.” In doing so, Coach Beach is of the motto as a way to pump the players more motivation to get out trying to balance the team and make players up before games. and play. “His bold prediction for everyone better, all-around players. The head coach and the new next season represents the newfound When asked how he was influencing tactics he is employing are spread- confidence the players have invested the offense, starting quarterback An- ing excitement around a team that in their new head coach: “We have a ton Novehrends explained, “Coach has not had a winning season since real chance at playoffs this year, but is effectively varying the number of 1992. With so much going for a for now we’re just going to take it one passing plays and rushing plays we program that looked hopeless after game at a time.” run, which in turn makes us much a 42-0 loss to Ridley on November Only time will tell if these changmore balanced and unpredictable.” 5 of last season, this type of energy es pay off. “I’m very excited, and the The head coach is taking matters into is a positive reinforcement as they players are excited as well.” Beach his own hands by using the strategies are finally poised for a monumental explained. “I’m very impressed with he knows best in order to point this season. “This is a great time for the the kids so far and we just need to team in the right direction. football program and I hope that with keep moving forward. This is not an Beach is helping students off our new coach many students will overnight transition.” Surely a transithe field as well. He is committed join the team and become part of a tion takes time; the players, coaches, to helping kids learn discipline and long standing tradition,” Principal and administration believe the time time management through football. Sean Hughes remarked. to start that transition is now. “Nobody is above the program. As the news makes its way

Freshman Simon Vernier

Sport played: Varsity Tennis What would you title your biography? Alex Fuchs Sucks at Tennis, Thomas, Kyle and Auggy are Really Good Favorite sports quote?: “I’ll let the racket do the talking.” -John McEnroe Most important thing a coach has taught you? It’s never over till its over

Sophomore Mandi Farah

Sports played: Soccer and lacrosse What would you title your biography? Handy Mandi Favorite sports quote? “If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat.” -Herschel Walker Most important thing a coach has taught you: Nine out of ten times, it is the coxswain’s fault.

Josh Metzman

Chester University. “It was my passion,” Class of 2013 she explained with a great grin across her Have you ever said to yourself, “I can’t face. “Field hockey was definitely the best imagine my teachers as part of my school days!” Now high school students. Were over seventy years of age, Mrs. they great athletes? Four Hoopes’s experiences with teachers answered this sports are incredibly broad. questions and their answers Her secret is apparently “never might be shocking. wearing blue jeans during gym MichaelBomze—math class.” teacher, class of 2014 sponNico Severini, LM varsity sor, world adventurer… soccer coach, has much greater captain? That’s right. Mr. soccer experience than one Bomze was the co-captain would expect from a young of the 2000 LM baseball Spanish teacher. He played squad until his high school four years of varsity soccer career-ending shoulder at Haverford High School injury from linoleum skatand was All-State, a Regional ing as a junior. Before then, All-American, and Central he umpired at the InternaLeague MVP during his senior tional Little League Touryear. In his final two years at nament as a sophomore Haverford, he led the team to and later became two Central League titles. the first recipient Photo by Kyle Perry/Staff Severini continued to play of the Lower Meat the University of Pennrion Little League Coach Downer at Penncrest. sylvania for his college Downer graduated in 1980. career. He also trained Scholarship. After high school he and played abroad for got involved in a teams including Sevilla fraternity softball league at Vanderbilt. FC in Spain, and CA Independiente and While there he was popular for his “Lenny CA Liniera in Argentina. Soccer was not Dykstra tee shirt, unconventional sun- Severini’s only talent, though. He also flower-seed-eating methods, and Brooks- played three years of varsity basketball at Robinson-like moves at the hot corner Haverford. The impact that sports have had (third base), says Bomze. Bomze is now on his life is tremendous. Severini says that the LM softball coach and enjoys every sports “impacted my life by allowing me swing of it. to pursue my education, which was always Even after forty years of teaching my first priority. I have learned a lot over in the district, she can beat almost any the years from the people I have played student in badminton that walks into her with, played for, and coached.” Many other gym. Though not the biggest, Mrs. Sandy LM teachers enjoyed some “glory days,” Hoopes is one of the best overall athletes to including gym teacher/basketball coach walk through the doors of LM. Known for Gregg Downer, who played high school her incredible athleticism, Hoopes’s sports basketball at Penncrest High School and background is not surprising. Her career video production teacher, Scott Seibert, began in high school, when she was a star who played soccer for Council Rock player for her field hockey team. She then High School and Indiana University of went on to play in college, at nearby West Pennsylvania.

Junior Matt Wasson

Sports played: Varsity baseball and JV basketball What would you title your biography? 16 hours Favorite sports quote: “Like Jordan” -Coach Carter Most important thing a coach has taught you? The only thing you can control is your attitude

Senior Giana Frusone

Sport Played: Crew What would you title your biography? The sloth that won the race Favorite sports quote: “This is the house of pain, where gold is attained” Most important thing a coach has taught you? Working together is the key to success


March 2012