Creating a “Core” Curriculum
THE WORLD ON HIGH ALERT PAGE 4
by Shannon Thomas One of the scariest moments in a student’s life can be taking a standardized test. It can be even scarier when students aren’t aware of what the test is going to be like. This is the situation that many of the students taking the ELA and the NYS Math test find themselves in after the New York State Board of Regents adopted the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) in June 2010. The ELA is evoking more anxiety from students since it will be undergoing more drastic changes than the Mathematics test will be. These new aspects of the ELA include: no speaking and listening assessment, passages will be longer and more rigorous than on past tests, and the tests will be split into 4 books administered across 3 days. The NYS Math Exam includes fewer changes such as revised
guidance on the tools and reference sheets and no calculators in the first book of the test for grades 6-8. The CCLS also stressed the 6 shifts that should be implemented in English and Math classes varying from “Academic Vocabulary” to “Dual Inten-
sity”. Seventh grader Keitha Varela said, “There was no point in changing it. We don’t feel as prepared now because there’s no format and we really don’t know what to expect.” Evidently, students feel unsure of these new tests, but teachers are still do-
ing everything in their power to make sure they are equipped for these new exams. In preparing her students for the new ELA, Mrs. Caruso said, “Change is scary—but mostly for students who are nervous taking tests. As a teacher, we’d love to know and understand the format of the new test so we can reassure our students and help them to feel more comfortable when they take the exam. Don’t we all feel more comfortable when we know what to expect in a stressful situation?” Despite the ambiguity of the new exams, the CCLS are believed to be a blessing to the educational environment. David Coleman, architect of the CCLS and president of the College Board, sympathized with educators and said, “You have a promise of modules to come, you have no confidence as to when those modules will come, which is something awkward and we could compare that to certain biblical references of where you’re kind of stuck in a desert without clear guidance.”
Global Education Domination MARRIAGE EQUALITY GOES NATIONAL PAGE 6
OZ THE POWEFUL, BUT NOT GREAT PAGE 17
by Rebecca Lewis Education: it’s an integral aspect of a nation’s society though its quality varies from place to place. According to the latest global rankings of education systems, the United States has been ranked only 17th out of 40 major and developed countries. Other countries are improving their educational systems at a much faster rate than those in America. So what are these countries doing that we are not? The educational systems of both Finland and South Korea have been ranked as some of the best throughout the international community though each nation emphasizes differing educational components within their curriculum. Finland emphasizes a lot of creative thought and expression with minimal standardized testing. Along with the lack of standardized testing, there is little competition, rankings, or comparisons. Teachers spend less time in the classroom and devote more time to lesson plans. Students spend a lot of time outdoors and playing. In Finland, there is an attitude of taking things at a more relaxed pace than seen in the United States. Conversely, the educational systems of South Korea and other Asian nations are more aligned with the American educa-
tional system. In these systems, standardized testing is greatly emphasized and the curriculum more intense. Education is very structured, with six years of primary school, three years of middle school, and three years of high school. America’s educational system is an apparent mix of the Finnish and South Korean approaches. There is an emphasis on the importance of standardized testing, but also a focus on individuals and student creativity. Standardized testing has been used in the United States since the 1800s, but in recent years, President Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Act” from 2002 is the reason for many of the modern standardized tests. Students are being prepared for tests from a very young age, as early as the third grade. “They [the tests] keep us in check,” said senior Clara Wilson, “but there is too much focus on getting grades. It’s like we’re just numbers.” Since education is not regarded in the same way as it is in Asian countries like South Korea, the tests do not have the same effect on the students. Schooling in those countries is far more rigorous than schooling here, where American culture tells students that individualism is good and that test scores are not the “be all, end all.” “Some students are great students, but not great test
takers,” said junior Noelle Becker. These tests also put a lot of stress on teachers. For some people, the scores on these tests determine whether or not they keep their job. Unlike the teachers of Finland and South Korea, American teachers often do not get paid well and are often under-appreciated. Teachers are forced to build their lesson plans in accordance with the material on standardized tests rather than material that is taught for enrichment purposes. “They [standardized tests] limit how much more advanced I can teach. We need to stick to very broad, surface level information,” said Social Studies teacher Ms. Esposito. Supporters of these standardized tests say that they are a fair and objective way to assess students and teachers, and are the only way to have a common curriculum. But based on the United States’ mediocre ranking, they don’t seem to be working as well as some may have thought or hoped. For a long time, America’s educational system has been drifting toward a more Asian approach to education: vigorous schooling where success is determined by test results. The American system is somewhere in the middle-- in a kind of academic limbo. Maybe it is time to take a page from Finland’s book and begin a trend more toward their educational style.
President’s Letter My Fellow Gladiators, The first three quarters of the year has come and gone and before you know it, the school year will come to a close. The time has finally come for students to sit down and study hard for the upcoming regents, AP exams and finals which are just around the corner. I know that you are all yearning for summer break, but know that it is just around the bend. The third quarter started off with our spring pep rally. Hundreds of students packed into the gym to cheer on our fellow classmates that will represent our school on the field. Performances by the Cheerleaders, Twirlers, Romanettes, Step Team, the district sport dance and the senior farewell set the tone for a pep rally that was filled with Gladiator Spirit! Athletes walked out to the cheers of the New Hyde Park Students and the support of their coaches. I want to thank all of the coaches, athletes, administration and Mrs. Vosswinkle-blum for participating in and organizing the Spring Pep rally which was a huge Success. The pep rally wouldn’t have been as great if we didn’t thank all the sports teams and students who came to the event. You made the pep rally what it was. March was filled with a variety of events in the school. Mid March, the International Culture Club made its amazing performance, dazzling audience from start to finish. The night featured a variety of culture performances and was truly an enjoyable night for all. That same night, the American Red Cross Club held it’s second Bone Marrow Drive in the memory of Sam Arikupurathu. I would personally like to thank the ICC for bringing another culture aspect to this school; without your contribution to a tradition that dates long back, New Hyde Park wouldn’t be the school it is today. I would also like to thank the Service League for its help in servicing the event. Lastly, I would like to thank the Red Cross Club. Your actions that night truly displayed your unyielding desire to help all aspects of the community and the world. 34 donors potentially saved 34 lives, so I give you my deepest appreciation. The following day, the Red Cross Club had its annual Blood Drive which turned out to be the most uncongested blood drive ever. There was a steady flow of donors that continued throughout the school day. Many of the medical staff said that this schools blood drive was probably the swiftest school blood drive they’ve ever seen. I would like to thank all who donated, you truly have saved a life and have become an inspiration to all. The Class of 2013 had its senior fashion show in late march and close to one hundred people attended and supported the class. Dozens of students dressed in tuxedos and dresses walked down the runway. Many raffles were held during the end, one of which included a free prom
bid. This year, senior prom will be held at Waters Edge. So, as a reminder, all seniors must pay class dues in order to attend the event. Prom bids will only be sold to those who have paid off their dues fully. It is important that we continue to show our undivided support to all our sports teams. Their hard work and dedication to their respective sports should be rewarded with all the Gladiator spirit that this school can create. The Student Council along with the Key Club is going to be hosting the senior citizens luncheon in late April. The luncheon which is attended by hundreds of senior citizens living in New Hyde Park and surrounding areas, will allow senior citizens to enjoy a day of food and fun. I am hoping that the event will draw an even larger crowd than last year. After seeing the unwavering support of students who volunteered last year, it makes me proud to be a Gladiator. The senior citizens also enjoyed dancing with students and just the general feeling they get from the staff and students here at New Hyde Park. It will truly be a enjoyable event for all, so please sign up to volunteer. As we begin the final months of the school year, the process of choosing next years student council is already in full swing. The Student Council had student council petitions go out in early April. Students have formed political parties (like the Gladiator Party ) and the election will be held in May to determine the future leaders of the school. I wish all those who are running, the best of luck and hope that you truly make the most of next year. As we approach May, I hope all students, especially seniors, take the last few months very seriously. AP’s and regents exams are approaching quickly, so do diligence where diligence can be done. AP’s can make or break you, and I firmly believe that of you have the ability to be great. Concentrate and make the best effort to get the highest scores possible. To the senior Class, this is it. We have less than two months left together. Two months to enjoy how great high school really is. Two months to enjoy seeing all of our classmates every day and two more months until we will graduate. The deadline to make our college decisions has finally arrived, and we will begin to go our separate ways. Regardless of what ways we go, know that New Hyde Park Memorial will be the one thing that connects all of us. I am certain that we will all be very successful and make the most of our last months of high school and the journey that lays before us. We will not only make ourselves proud but also our families and the teachers that have taught us many life lessons over the past six years. Lets make everyday count and enjoy our time together in the best way possible. Jonathan Chambers President of the Student Council
In This Issue ................... 1-4 ............... 6 .............. 7-9 ........... 11 ................ 12 .............. 13-15 .................. .................. 16-17 18-20 Staff
News Editorials Student Life Student Recognitions Inquiring Minds Features Entertainment Sports
Editors-in-Chiefs: Diane Choi, Abin Thannickal Web/Layout Designer: Tomasz Pietruszka
Copy Editors: Josh Johnikutty, Aakash Japi News: Harvinder Bassi, Michael Lopez, Haley Spielberg Features: Christina Lorper, Rebecca Lewis, Ryan Maharaj Sports: Tim Foley, Qusai Thanawala Entertainment: Renjini Antony, Zayneb Almiggabber, Teresa Lo Student Life: Allison Bauer, Fabiha Khalid, Nithin Sunilkumar Business Managers: Teena Thomas, Sabrina Mammen Staff Photographer: Disha Mirchandani, Eamonn Lennon Publicity Coordinator: Cinita Cyriac, Jane Thomas Columnists: Andrew Valentin Cartoonist: Priyanka Algu Advisor: Mr. Stencel Reporters: Jerryl Abraham, Eyedid Ali, James Colgan, Samip Delhiwala, Shaianne Hugh, Eve Kaczmarczyk, Michael Kemmet,Yasmin Mathews, Shannon Thomas, Roberto Varela
Is Big Brother Watching You? by Aakash Japi President Obama is living in a fantasy. During his presidency, the CIA has undertaken over 400 drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. He has engaged the United States in covert military operations, illegal detainment of suspects and a number of blatant violations of habeas corpus. But his attempt to allow drones onto to American soil is a step too far. Drones are colloquially defined as any unmanned aerial vehicle, generally used for military or administrative purposes. They were generally used in international engagement by the CIA in the aforementioned Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan, but the White House’s new initiative is to bring these into regular use upon American soil. “It is possible…for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. These terrifying words key us into what truly is at stake here: our right to privacy, habeas corpus, and due process of the law. Americans have taken it for granted that we have these guarantees; now, with the President’s new initiative, they are not. Americans have to fight for their rights. We have to guard them. Government was imbibed with power to secure our rights, but when it becomes destructive of these ends, it is the people’s duty to ensure their personal freedoms. And make no mistake, it is our personal freedom at stake here. These drones can be used for attacks, but the administration has hinted that their main use will be for “surveillance.” But even this is unconstitutional. The fourth amendment guarantees all Americans a right for protection from “unreasonable search and seizure.” And, as Mapp v. Ohio showed, it implies a right to privacy. We are constitutionally granted a right to be protected from the police state President Obama wishes to create: we need to exercise it. The proponents claim “national security.” That was also what Nixon claimed when he chose to hide private communications in the Watergate scandal. That’s also what Bush claimed when he passed the unprecedented PATRIOT Act, granting him near unlimited power to violate our naturally granted and Constitutionallyguaranteed rights. The proponents also claim “counterterrorism.” Why is the President allowed, with his personal discretion, to control the futures of American citizens, in the name of “terrorism?” The many should not be punished for the actions of the few. Our country is making another step towards the growing “Big-Brother” state. And besides, increased surveillance has been proven to be ineffective in combating terrorism. President Bush’s now infamous PATRIOT Act granted him near unlimited
authority to gather intelligence and detain prisoners without charge. He used his supposed “information” to arrest hundreds of innocents and send them to Guantanamo Bay, where they were tortured in an effort to find intelligence that simply wasn’t there. Ever heard of the Algerian Six? Or the Tipton Three? These were groups of prisoners that fought the system, and survived to sue the President for his egregious violations of personal sovereignty. Rasul v. Bush. This case, made in the aftermath of President Bush’s early actions in the mislabeled “War on Terror,” ensured the right of Habeas Corpus to all. It made clear that our rights are not trifles, conditional upon executive acceptance, but real, tangible objects to be protected and secured. And yet, here we are, surrendering our rights once more. President Obama has neither right nor any precedent to impede so greatly upon individual sovereignty. How far would we like the president’s figurative
by Teena Thomas Drone usage has quickly become the United States’ revealed secret and has gotten more and more attention in current times. Drones are “aerial vehicles” used in the Middle East to pin-point, track, and assassinate alleged terrorists. The sophisticated and advanced technology of the drone enables it to scan a large amount of land, using an aerial perspective to take photographic like images despite cloud, rain, fog, or any other weather conditions. When complemented with the painstaking work of our law enforcement officials who put their lives on the line daily, drones create a formidable, joint mechanism that can bring criminals to justice. They are armed with the necessary equipment to pinpoint the precise location of terrorist cells and activity. Just as with any other form of technology, its usage needs to be under supervision. However, the daily surveillance and patrolling of our streets is an impor-
“arm” to reach? How much intrusion are we willing to permit into our daily lives? Are our rights to privacy, due process of the law, and habeas corpus rights at all, or simply conditions for the government to allow and ban as it sees fit? We cannot simply assume virtue in government. We cannot expect that the government will only use its powers “properly,” within bounds. Instead, we have to ensure that such destructive powers are not granted in the first place. We cannot expect good behavior from the decentralized and polarized government of today; we have to ensure it through law and liberty. As Senator Rand Paul said, “I’m not saying that anyone is Hitler, don’t misunderstand me. But what I am saying that is [sic]…when a democracy gets it wrong, you want the law to be in place.” We have allowed the President to remove meritocratic process from the economy. We have allowed him to create a misguided healthcare plan. We have even given him license to spend, borrow, and control as he sees fit. But for God’s sake, don’t let him take our rights too.
tant aspect of fighting crime and preventing it. The use of drones is helpful to law enforcement officers who can’t watch over everything happening around them, “elevating” the efficiency of the job. We, as nation, have to access the proper use of drones holistically. The narrow perspective regarding drones as mechanisms that “infringe upon our liberty” or “jeopardize our rights” does not access the entire benefits of drones. Instead, this narrow perspective uses an excessively “dystopian” rhetoric protesting the security purposes of drones without particular attention to the alternative uses of drones. The individual liberties of an individual will not be jeopardized because drones are carefully monitored and follow set rules of usage. After all, the main aim of drone use is to detect crimes that are in progress and to catch criminals by using an aerial view of the surrounding area. Drones won’t be used to spy upon any normal person unless he or she is a wanted criminal at the moment. They are used mainly to track down danger-
ous criminals, not your everyday person carrying on his or her day-to-day lives. Moreover, drones go hand in hand with 21st century technology. With budget cuts to law enforcement agencies across the board, drones offer a significantly cheaper and more sustainable alternative to the conventional patrol officer. Efficiency, convenience, and safety immediately come to mind when drones are mentioned. We the people want to reduce the horrific bloodshed and innocent lives lost in the line of duty each day. Furthermore, the uses of drones are not just confined to pinpointing the precise location of criminals. Drones are used to monitor traffic patterns, violations of environment protection rules, building code violation, unlawful building activities, and other safety issues. For example, they are used to track wildfires that may happen or to scan over farm crops. They are also used to protect our environment by inspecting miles of industrial pipeline and standing bridges, monitoring wildlife, gathering scientific data, and keeping a watch over volcanic activity. They can also be used to locate marijuana fields and other forms of drugs, and catch any illegal activities over the United States-Mexico border. Don’t you want to prevent these wildfires form spreading? Don’t you want to prevent undocumented immigrants from entering this country? Don’t you want to make sure the environment and its biodiversity is preserved? Thus, it would be sacrilegious to assume that their uses would be restricted to only one aspect of society. Let’s talk about a practical use of an unmanned aerial vehicle. In 2006, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration began using the a small unmanned aerial vehicle Aerosonde as a means to gather data about hurricanes and to facilitate the collection of weather data, such as temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, and wind measurements over bodies of water and in remote areas. With this technology, real time data was acquired from the drone which flew into a hurricane and out with minor or no damage. Isn’t that truly remarkable? With the use of a drone, we can save loved ones and rapidly fly the sky, detecting natural disasters before they can decimate populations. Imagine a 5-year-old boy being held hostage in a bunker in Alabama. Tensions are fuming and public pressure is rising. The mother of this 5 year-old boy is distraught and mortified. What are we to do? The FBI decides to use drones to maintain constant surveillance over the area. In a matter of days, the boy is released thanks to the use of the drone and he can live to see another day. Should we have stood idly by, letting this 5-year boy suffer through excruciating pain or should we have taken action? You be the judge.
by Diane Choi In the last couple of weeks, people from not only United States, but also countries around the world have lived in constant fear and worry due to North Korea’s threats of starting a nuclear war with United States and South Korea. Especially because recently, North Korea has already been setting missiles into the firing positions, many people fear that a war is imminent and a nuclear strike is soon to happen. However, ever since North Korea threatened to end the cease-fire with South Korea and start a nuclear war, many people around the world have been skeptical of North Korea’s willingness and ability to actually start a war, especially because of the severe consequences that North Korea has to face if it instigates a nuclear war. “North Korea doesn’t have the power to actually carry out those threats,” said senior Devin Thomas. Social studies teacher Mr. DeJose did not seem to believe North Korea’s threats either. “I don’t think they could invade Long Beach if they tried,” said DeJose jokingly. However, with North Korea’s constant military drills and harsh threats, people in United
Khaos In North Korea States and South Korea have been greatly concerned over whether an actual war may be upon them. Many people also say that the cause
is an attempt by North Koreans to make him appear as if he has this commanding presence. What better way is there to show that other than superpower?” said social
behind North Korea’s threats is solely to gain attention, since North Korea is isolated both politically and economically from the rest of the world. Others say that it is an attempt by North Korea to legitimatize the leadership of Kim Jong Un. “I think it
studies teacher Mr. Galvin. Some people also say that because of the many criticisms Kim Jong Un has received on his leadership ability and the pressure placed on him by people in North Korea, Kim Jong Un has used his
threats as his solution to his problems. “I think North Korea should concentrate more on feeding their own people,” said social studies teacher Mr. Dolan. Along with people’s concerns over Kim Jong Un’s threats, many people wonder if there will be ever a solution to North Korea’s tense relationship with United States and South Korea. Others say that there may never be a solution. “Because of the state of communist dictatorship and control of state media, we have to accept the fact that we cannot stop the things that North Korea does. However, with diplomacy, open dialogue, and discussions, we can give them something that they can claim as a big victory,” said Galvin. “The only solution that would prevent a war is to inform the North Korean people that their Great Leader, Kim Jong Un, is not as powerful and God-like as he portrays himself to be,” said senior Brian Carbone. The entire global landscape has changed ever since North Korea threatened the United States and South Korea, saying a missile launch will be inevitable. North Korea has diverted attention away from the Middle East, leaving it vulnerable.
A Supreme Court Split by Michael Lopez Crucial votes in many areas of the world have led to the ratification of laws granting same-sex couples the right to marry. All across the world, what once seemed to be a far-fetched prospect is now a reality—in the United States, however, the path is not yet certain. Over recent years, the issue over marriage equality has become an increasingly contentious debate. It has been discussed in state legislatures and courtrooms, campaigns, the White House and the Congress by members of both political wings. Only until late March of 2013 did the Supreme Court of the United States hear oral arguments of two court cases, beginning the countdown to the possible passage—or failure—of marriage equality in the nation. The first case in review by the court is Windsor v. United States, brought to the court when Edie Windsor, a resident of New York, was required to pay more than $360,000 in federal estate taxes on her inheritance of her female partner Thea Spyer’s estate under the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996. If their marriage was recognized like an opposite-sex marriage, she would have paid no taxes. The other case being review is Hollingsworth v. Perry, addressing the infamous Proposition 8, a ballot initiative in 2008 that amended California’s state constitution allowing marriage only to opposite-sex couples, and sparking immense controversy and movements for and against the initiative.
Though a decision is not expected until mid-summer on both cases, there will be a tremendous deal of thought over what various rulings might mean for the country. The campaign for same-sex marriage could be halted if Proposition 8 were to be upheld. Though California’s
could happen, from punting the case based on standing to dismissing the appeal as “improvidently granted,” as Justice Kennedy put it, the court could simple be unable to produce five votes for any majority rationale at all, tantamount to leaving the lower court ruling striking down the
Governor Jerry Brown refused to defend the law, upholding its principles in the Supreme Court would set a precedent for other states and make it more difficult for the government to challenge bans on same-sex marriage in states where the possibility of doing so by legislative methods offers much less potential. The Supreme Court could strike down the proposition, but only narrowly. Though there are a series of ways this
proposition without enacting new legislation in the process. A national right to same-sex marriage, though more likely than the upholding of Prop 8, is much less likely than narrowly striking it down. In such a decision, the court could rule that classifications based on orientation are discriminatory, yielding the right to same-sex marriage in every state. Though protesters and politicians are fighting for this, a backlash could also
result in states where same-sex marriage is unpopular. The true question at hand is whether the 14th Amendment that guarantees equal protection under the law prevents states from defining marriage. The court could historically rework how the law affects marriage, removing laws that prohibit same-sex marriage across the nation. The decision could also provide a setback to the marriage equality movement, leaving the current system of laws in place and leaving the power to the states. Though the Supreme Court Justices neither endorse nor officially represent any political party, political analysts have categorized the jurists as conservatives, moderates and liberals. By popular belief, it is accepted that Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito comprise the conservative wing of the court, while Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan comprise the liberal wing. Justice Anthony Kennedy is said to have the swing vote. “It’s a difficult question that I’m trying to wrestle with,” said Kennedy, who heard arguments from both conservative and liberal justices in the court. The prospects are truly uncertain. Just as it’s unclear what the decision will be, it’s equally unclear how many other nations will pass legislation allowing samesex marriage between now and the court’s expected decision date. Marriage equality could be upon Americans in as little as three months—or delayed for several months more.
Sanctity or Stupidity? legally be strangers to each other. Having the option of a civil union over marriage is almost like saying, “We know what you want, but you can’t have what you want, so here’s a watered down version of what everyone else has,” which is basically telling same-sex couples that the government recognizes what they want, but will not give it to them for whatever reason. Along with the problem of a civil union having issues of recognition from state to state, the rights to entitled to a couple joined together by a civil union differ from those of a couple brought together by marriage. For example, if a couple brought together through a civil union went to a state where their union is not recognized, they will face an array of problems, including confusion over whether or not one parent has custody over his or her partner’s child. Another problem is that a person’s partner couldn’t make any medical decisions needed for his or her partner. Opponents of same-sex marriage appear to have many reasons as to why they
marriage” by redefining marriage and allowing polygamous, incestuous, and other “nontraditional” relationships to marry. There are numerous problems with this belief. There really is no such thing as “traditional marriage” From as early as Biblical times, there have been polygamous and incestuous relationships accepted by society. Are we forgetting that these are the lives of two consenting adults making a decision together…just like a heterosexual couple? Some claim that it is unfair that people who pay taxes will have their money go into programs that will support something they don’t believe in, such as benefits like Social Security for a deceased partner. Unfortunately, millions of people already have their tax money going off to support things they don’t believe in. I’m sure many of our parents don’t support the idea of drones flying over somewhere in the Middle East with the capacity to kill innocent children, yet taxpayer dollars still go to that whether we like it or not.
are opposed, but in truth, their reasons do not actually make sense. Many argue that same-sex marriage goes against their religious beliefs. Unfortunately, it seems these people have forgotten that America is not a theocracy in which the entire population adheres to a single religion and the beliefs of that religion. One of the reasons America claims to be the great democratic nation it is is because of a separation of church and state, thus religious beliefs should have no impact on any law. Others argue that same-sex marriage will “ruin the sanctity of marriage.” Unfortunately, the “sanctity of marriage” has already been ruined by Kim Kardashian’s failed 72 day marriage and Larry King’s 7 failed marriages. Allowing members of the same sex, who are fully committed to spending the rest of their lives together, will not ruin the so-called “sanctity of marriage” if it has already been ruined. There are also others who believe same-sex marriage will lead America “into a slippery slope to the degradation of
Critics say that for children to grow up into well rounded adults, they need to grow up in a household with a mother and a father. Unfortunately, not every child in the United States has two parents, which is expected with a divorce rate of 50%. There are countless children who have lost a parent or live with a single parent, yet many of these children do grow up to lead normal lives. Many single parents have been successful in raising children; having two parents of the same gender will not change the upbringing of a child. One’s sexual orientation doesn’t imply parenting ability. The myth that homosexual parents raise homosexual children is also false; if it were true, where did homosexual people come from in the first place? The fact of the matter is that no matter the number of parents, children need to be brought up in a loving household, which same-sex parents can provide. Others believe that the purpose of marriage is for the goal of procreation. If that were so, should we also bar our
Cartoon by: Priyanka Algu
by Renjini Antony With an impending decision regarding the future of same-sex marriage in the United States from the Supreme Court, people throughout the nation are debating more heatedly over the situation. Over the past few weeks, the Supreme Court has been reviewing cases on whether or not DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act) should remain intact, as it federally prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriages, even if a state itself allows it. The Supreme Court has also been questioning the infamous legislation passed in California in 2008 known as Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state. After making it legal for a short time period. One of the biggest questions which has come out of this situation is whether or not America wants to keep its title as the land of freedom and equality, giving every citizen, whether gay or straight, the same rights as everyone else. As of today, same-sex marriage has been legalized in nine states and the District of Columbia. The nine states are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Maryland, Maine, and Washington. Despite this, same-sex marriage has also been banned through legislation and constitutional amendments in 38 states. California and Rhode Island however are special cases: California will not conduct same-sex marriages, but recognizes existing ones, whereas Rhode Island recognizes some marriages in certain jurisdictions. According to a recent poll conducted by the Williams Institute at UCLA, approximately 3.5% of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, which means over 11 million people are potentially being denied the right to marry. The Declaration of Independence states that “…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” If DOMA continues to remain in effect and continue to prohibit same-sex marriages, 11 million people will not achieve the Pursuit of Happiness if they cannot marry the ones they love.. Are we, as Americans, being true to our word and holding up our end of the bargain? Although an “alternative” to marriage has been presented through civil unions, many are opposed to the idea of a civil union over marriage. Marriage brings many more rights than civil unions do. Marriage on one hand is recognized by the federal government, for example, if a same-sex couple got married in New York and traveled to Texas, they are still considered a married couple, despite the fact that Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages. A civil union on the other hand is only recognized by the state in which the union took place, so a couple brought together through a civil union in New Jersey could travel to North Carolina and
senior-citizen couples and infertile couples from getting married, seeing that they wouldn’t be able to procreate? Whatever happened to adoption is an option? When there are thousands of children in the United States and millions more around the world up for adoption, do we really need more heterosexual couples creating more lives when there are already so many children out there looking for a loving home? What many people don’t realize is that there will not only be social gains in achieving marriage equality, but there will also be a few financial gains to the government in various levels. Through marriage licenses and an increased tax that married couples, who file their tax forms together, pay for, both state and local governments will find an increase in their revenue. At the end of the day, same-sex -marriage is an issue of civil rights. As we saw in history with the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, in the end justice prevailed and equality was achieved as African-Americans gained the right to vote. They were denied many of the rights that their white counterparts had; this basically allowed white citizens to view their African-American neighbors as inferiors because they did not have the same rights as they did, essentially promoting discrimination. Denying same-sex couples the ability to get married stigmatizes gays and lesbians, thus making it seemingly okay to discriminate against them, and as we all know, discrimination leads to hate and hate breeds violence. When we teach our children of the future that gay people are meant to be discriminated against because they are “different” from us, we are bringing them up in a world that will promote harassment and violence against gay people. It seems inevitable that as time moves on, people will become more open minded to the idea of same-sex marriage. A recent poll conducted by CNN has shown that more than 50% of the American population now support same-sex marriage. Marriage equality is bound to happen sooner or later, so why not just get it over with now? Sixty years ago, almost the exact same situation was seen with the issue of interracial marriage. Back then, “it only made sense” that colored people shouldn’t marry white people, just as today some believe “it only makes sense” that samesex couples shouldn’t get married. Sixty years from now, will our grandchildren look at our generation and see us as being ignorant for denying same-sex couples the right to marry? In the end, we have to realize that gay people are just regular people. We live in a country where birth guarantees you the same rights as everyone else, how would you like it if you were denied a basic right just because you were different for a reason you couldn’t control?
Spending into Thin Air
by Diane Choi Everyone can agree that being a student is expensive. Seniors, especially, have easily spent over $1,000 just in the first half of their year through college applications, SAT exams, and AP exams. They will soon be spending more money on such events as prom, adding onto their endless spending record. After spending so much money on college applications and getting hit with multiple rejection letters at the end, many students become frustrated as to how much money they waste. “I can personally say, all in all, I spent almost $2,000 just applying to colleges and I didn’t get into most of the top schools I applied to. So, that’s half of my money I wasted. Had I known it was going to be like that, I would’ve done things a lot differently,” said senior Linda Zhang. Money brings the frustration to a boiling point when the seniors think about the times they pulled all-nighters to study for tests or stayed late in school for a club. Because they know that the money that they spent on college applications will never return to them, seniors inevitably feel a mix of regret and irritation. “I think it’s dumb that we have to pay so much over something we’re stressing over,” said senior Jaypee Perez. The rising cost of AP exams every year also puts a financial burden on the seniors, but unlike their opinions on college applications, many seniors think that the money they spend on these exams is worth it in the long run.“It’s all worth it because AP exams are so important and
beneficial. If it’s something that’s going to help me in the future, money will have to be spent,” said senior Stacy Chirayath. Because of the increasing cost of college, many students also take college credits seriously as a way to save money. Some seniors choose their colleges over what credits their colleges take, because many of the colleges in the United States are strict with AP credits. Students thus place great emphasis on AP exams and are not discouraged to spend a lot of money on them. “I think a lot of people have the common misconception that you’re only paying for that 5, but everything else you can get out of an AP class along with the credit is worth the money as well,” said Zhang. Seniors’ efforts to earn college credits through AP scores due to the rising cost of college shows what they have look towards in a couple of months in college: thousands of dollars spent on food, books, and tuition. It seems like as students get older, the money they spend increases, causing some college students to empty out their bank accounts, which had not been even touched before in their high school years. Second-semester seniors are not truly “free” after all. All of the stress that goes into thinking about how they are going to pay for college and survive is plaguing the minds of all seniors. “In college, it really depends on what your budget is. For me, I spend a lot of money on food and going out. You should keep a rough estimate on what you spend through your credit card/debit card statements. See what your spending habits
are,” said NHP alumni Jeffrey Zhou. The best way to lessen the worries of the seniors therefore is to start planning before enrolling in college. But, not only do seniors have to make a financial plan for college, but also juniors have to prepare themselves for the considerable amount of money they have to spend in their senior year. “I want to say to the younger grades that just saving money here and there can help,” said senior Tessa James. Juniors thus are encouraged to start saving up money, while balancing their high load of work and studying. “This year, I took my first AP class and I plan on taking three more next year, so the expenses add up pretty quickly. I turned 16 not too long ago and I’ve been looking into getting a car in the next few years, which obviously isn’t cheap, so already the expenses have started to build up. I’m thinking about getting a job this summer so that I can be able to independently pay for some of it myself. I’m also beginning to think about the inevitable future of college, and it’s kind of stressful to think about how I’m going to be paying for all of it,” said sophomore Jes Romanelli. Also, buying lunch outside instead of eating cafeteria food can be seen as part of planning for college, because the seniors will have to spend thousands of dollars every month on food when they are in college. Because many seniors drive, it becomes inevitable for them to go out frequently with their friends and spend money not only on weekdays, but on weekends, too. “Honestly, it gets really
annoying. The amount of money I spend on food and random stuff throughout the school day is outrageous, but I guess it is what it is. Everyone has to deal with being broke all the time at some point,” said senior Justin Joseph. However, even though going out to eat costs a great deal of money, it is a way to really show that they are seniors and have an advantage of going out unlike students in lower grades. The perks of having a senior ID card give the seniors a sense of pride and joy of being a senior. It is very difficult to estimate as to exactly how much the seniors spend in their year. But, one idea rings true to all students: the money that they spend on their education is ultimately for them and their future. “As a senior, I know that preparing for college is pretty expensive. I believe that at the same time though, students should take into account how spending the money for exams and college applications can have a positive impact on their future,” said senior Mike Vito. However, many students still look bleakly at the increasing cost of exams every year. Especially students who are taking more than four APs have a great financial burden, which not only places the parents of the students at worry, but also the school guidance counselors. “It’s a vicious cycle. We have to pay more because price keeps increasing. I don’t know if we can ever stop it. But, I think for the long term, it is profitable. To spend hundreds of dollars now, you are saving thousands at the end,” said guidance counselor Mrs. Cookler.
by: Arjun Nagpal Diversity is what unites us together and helps us collaborate as well as express who we are as individuals. This is the role of the international culture club: to unite us in order to show off our culture and diversity. Each year the international culture club hosts ICC night, where a variety of different cultures come together to show off the diversifying talent of New Hyde Park Memorial High School. With performers contributing endless hours of practice and dedication towards their act, ICC night was a success. On March 12, 2013, ICC hosted one of its most spectacular and extraordinary nights since its previous years. “ICC is one of the most momentous days in New Hyde Park because it brings together the multifarious community and shows how all of our different cultures can be so distinguished yet so connected,” said senior Ali Eydid, a performer for ICC. ICC initially created relationships between individuals that shared the common interest of customs and traditions. Performers who had spent endless hours practicing were satisfied with the result and had said that every minute was worth it. “I loved practicing because people tend
to neglect culture and I feel as if it is an important part of our experience as a human. It was great getting a little taste of the world as a whole. I think this year was so different for me because I was actually performing unlike others. It’s crazy how
Despite, the fabulous performance, a few tears were shed to say goodbye to the seniors of this year as it will be their last ICC night as a student of New Hyde Park Memorial. “This year was just extraordinary. Never have I ever seen such talent
all the mainstream trends shift such as how last year it was the shuffle and this year it was the Harlem shake. To sum it all up, I would give the day a two thumbs up,” said Eydid. As the night wrapped up, people cheered. The class of 2013 performed with a spectacularly planned dance and to sum it all up, a great Harlem shake!
in one night. It is truly amazing what our school has to offer. As a senior, I will truly cherish these moments as I am about to graduate,”said senior Qusai Thanawala. ICC was a success this year and is anticipated to become better next year. Many cannot wait to see what’s for show at New Hyde Park’s ICC night 2014. “It
was a great experience overall to watch all of these unique performances that took a lot of effort to put together. I cannot wait to see what is in store for us at next year’s ICC night,” said junior Chris Pak. ICC night will remain a night to remember for many seniors. “Well the experience as both and an officer and performer was amazing, inspiring, and of course tiring from long hours at try outs to long hours practicing routines for the show itself. But at the end of the day, after seeing that the show was a success with great acts overall, I think all of the work truly paid off. As a senior and as a member of ICC for the last two years, I will miss the club so much because these days it is so difficult to find a club that encourages the expression of culture and ethnic backgrounds,” said Jerin Thomas, a current senior and an officer of the ICC. ICC night also featured an American Red Cross Bone Marrow drive. Anyone over the age of 18 could have helped save lives with donating bone marrow. “It was an amazing success considering the amount of sign ups we had compared to last year. As a plus, the cause in Remembrance of Sam was truly worth it,” said senior Josh Johnikutty.
Creds: Zoe Chan
ICC: A Must See to Believe
Dignity Act Education We’re All in this Together by Diane Choi The goal of the Shared Decision Making Committee for this year is to educate the school about the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA). The Dignity Act emphasizes the importance of a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, taunting, harassment, and bullying in the school community. The committee worked to raise awareness of the Dignity Act by going into 7th and 8th grade classes and talking to students about the role of bystanders and how their actions can make a significant difference in people’s lives. The students also actively discussed what positive actions they could take to discourage bullying and learned that they should always take action whenever they encounter someone getting bullied. “It is very important to educate people not to be bystanders, but to be upstanders. We need to help those bystanders speak up. I think the best solution to bullying will be sensitivity training for the younger kids. For the first year, New Hyde Park did a lot about educating people about the DASA,” said NHP social worker Ms. Sanzone. Following the discussion about bullying, all 7th and 8th graders participated in “The Pledge” assembly, in which the students pledged allegiance to the Dignity for All Students Act and promised to be always supportive, tolerant, and respectful of their peers.
In the pledge, they also vowed to stand up for those who make wrong choices and violate the Dignity Act. The student pledges were displayed on the Shared Decision Making Committee bulletin board in front of the auditorium. On January 24th, 2013, the committee also held a safe texting assembly for 9th to 12th graders, informing them about the dangers of sending hurtful, rude, or means text messages to others. Because text bullying has become more common than traditional bullying, especially among girls, the committee felt the need to educate the students about such immoral acts as creating websites, videos, or social media profiles that embarrass or make fun of others and spreading rumors or lies about others by e-mail or on social networks. In addition to the pledge and the assembly, the committee also created pamphlets about the dangers of bullying and the importance of safe texting and gave them out to the students, successfully achieving and marking an end to this year’s goal of educating the students about the Dignity for All Students Act. “New Hyde Park Memorial has always established an environment of respect from everyone who works in this building. The New York State Dignity Act really reminds everyone to do the right thing, but New Hyde Park already has been doing that for a long time,” said committee adviser and vice principal Ms. DeGennaro.
by Valerie Attard Everybody has a talent. On April 4th, at the annual NHP Special Education Talent Show, whether it is singing, dancing, or telling jokes in between acts, every student had the opportunity to show off their special skills to the audience. Many groups other than the special education students performed at this event, participating and performing songs that were hits ranging from the 70’s until now. There was even a young lady from another district come in and sing “Little Things” by the popular teen band One Direction. Other students danced and the school Step Team even participated, adding some school pride into the mix of the many acts. “The performances were wonderful and truly made my day. I love singing with the Chamber singers. It made the day all the better,” said junior Christa Alexander There was also more than school pride to feel during this show. Parents, teachers, and many students came out to support their friends and peers in their performances. One group of children performed a famous song, called “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. This act had many audience members singing along and clapping to the beat. “All the performances were wonderful and so adorable! I had so much fun just watching them. Everybody in the audience seemed to love it. It was great get-
will definitely get in no matter what.” Many students also fall in love with the “what if’s” and the emotional ties they have with their dream colleges, so the weight of that rejection hurts much more. What happens when you get rejected? You can be like Isaac Chambers from Cham-
statement speaks volumes on what college rejections are- they are just not worth dwelling over. Some of us were unable to be star athletes in leadership positions with flawless grades across the board. That is what it takes these days, so don’t worry if you
paign, Ill. and “fax the colleges that denied you a copy of your rejection letter every day -- letting them know just how badly they screwed up.” Everyone handles it differently; some enter a state of shock when their dream school rejects them. “I felt disappointed, but I got over it pretty quickly because I decided it wasn’t worth getting depressed about,” said senior Steve Simon. Steve’s
aren’t one of those people, because neither are 90% of the applicants to that college. Take pride in that; you competed against some of the elite. If you didn’t win this battle, then just take it in stride because life will present you with countless other opportunities to prove yourself. To some, this may sound like rejection isn’t really a failure, because it isn’t like what Thomas Edison once said, “I
ting to see all those kids have so much fun performing on stage and I can’t wait until next year to watch it again,” said freshman Sabrina Balducci. To keep the audience pumped up for every act, the MC of the entire show, Joe Ellul, told witty jokes in between each act. For example, one of his jokes was: “How does a rose ride a bicycle?” The response was ‘By pushing his petals”. It was enthusiasm like this that kept the show flowing and the entire audience having a wonderful time. “I think this year was the best year because the special education students were very excited about it and they were so many mainstream students. The whole stage was so full, so it was overall a great experience,” said special education teacher Mrs. Orlandi. The talent show this year was one of the most diverse and lengthy shows that has happened in some time. The faculty who took charge of the entire presentation was beyond proud of the students who pulled together and made each act so wonderful and memorable for every student participating. “It was wonderful to see all the students and teachers come together to prepare for a perfect show! There is so much talent here at NHPMHS. The administration, teachers, and students were so supportive in having a talent show, where the students had the opportunity to shine. It was a great show,” said speech therapist Mrs. McLaughlin.
A Success Behind Each Failure by Qusai Thanawala Rejection. It is perhaps the most demoralizing word in all of the English language. No matter the context, the word almost always precedes upsetting news. The common “I thank you for your interest in the –insert university here- and am confident you will find a college where you will be able to pursue your educational goals and contribute your talents as an undergraduate”, is the finishing blow to your future with that institution and you then cope with the reality that things aren’t falling your way. “Rejection hurts. It’s the first time teenagers have to deal with the modern world. Most teens haven’t faced rejection; we’re constantly lauded and praised from birth, so when a college decides 2000 other students are better than you, it hits right in the ego,” said senior Aakash Japi. When in the process of applying to prestigious colleges, the egos of many teenagers swell up to a bubble ready to explode at the slightest tip of the pin. So while waiting for the decisions of the colleges, many of the applicants turn into dreamers, imagining their futures at their dream college, imagining their life a year from now, and imagining the number of zeros that appear in the bank accounts in 10 years. From dreaming to all your idealist friends telling you, “Oh don’t worry you
have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” So, when a college drops the “we are regretfully not offering you admission at this time,” just look at it as a college that wasn’t meant for you and continue to search for the college that is. The relationship between the college and student must be mutually beneficial; you are sure to be happier pursuing your goals elsewhere in life rather than spending four years at a college you don’t belong at. In my own experience, when I got rejected from my dream school, I was depressed, concerned over where I would end up in a year. However, everything turned out fine. Though it would have been nice to go to my dream school, I realized that I still have the rest of my future and not being offered acceptance at a certain school is not the end of the world, but the start of a new one. You come to an agreement with reality that for success in this world, it isn’t where you go to learn, but what you do to learn. The cliché phrase “capitalize on your opportunities” is the greatest life lesson we will ever learn. This is why when rejection crosses our path in life, like a tree falling over in the middle of the road, we can’t just hold up traffic. We have to drive around and move past it. Don’t let rejection hit you. Just smile and say to yourself “I am still awesome,” and move on.
Sieban Steals the Stage by Renjini Anthony New Hyde Park Memorial High School has a very talented performer in its halls. Nicholas (Nick) Sieban is a junior at New Hyde Park Memorial and in his five years here, he has proved himself and many around him to be not only a talented actor, but an overall talented person. Having performed in ten school productions over the course of five years, he has participated in five plays with the Scenici players and has just finished his fifth musical last week in our school’s production of The Sound of Music with the lead male role as Captain von Trapp. Last year, as just a 10th grader, he had one of the lead roles in the production of Guys and Dolls as Nathan Detroit. Though initially he hadn’t initially planned on joining the musical last year, he was encouraged his by his peers to try out, which proved to be a good decision, as it landed him a leading role. Generally, sophomores do not get lead roles in musicals, especially one who isn’t a chorus student. The director of Guys and Dolls, Mr. Ferrar said, “I first saw Nick last year when he auditioned for Guys and Dolls and I thought he was a very strong actor, which is something I appreciate. When he first came in I thought ‘Wow, he can really do a great job.’ He is very natural, and that’s important; most people when they read for the first time, it sounds very forced, but when he was reading, it was almost as if we were talking.” Nick’s love for the theater started growing even before he walked through the doors of New Hyde Park Memorial. As a child, his parents used to take him to see plays and musicals, which inspired him to participate in his elementary school
musical in 5th grade. He loved the experience so much that he participated in his school’s production of Bye Bye Birdie the following year and landed the lead role of Albert. Although Nick first set foot onto theater stage in 5th grade, he has always loved entertaining people, from doing magic shows as a kid for his family and friends, he said, “I’ve always loved entertaining and getting better at what I do. It’s a great thing to see yourself improve.” If you have attended any of the school’s productions, musicals or plays, you will most likely have remembered him, as he seems to have a good first impression on people and an even better lasting impression on people. Many have noticed how with great strength he is able to lead the rest of his cast, be it in a play or musical, he knows how to lead the others and keep the audience entertained at all times. Mr. Ferrar said, “I know he’s always good at reading the audience; making sure that they’re in on the joke, good with comedic timing.” With a strong voice and having a natural presence on stage, it’s not surprising that Nick tends to be the star of every show. Although the musical and his performances in musicals are always highlighted, Nick admits that because the world of musicals and the world of plays are different, participating in the school plays has helped him most in developing as an actor. This year is his second year as being president of the Scenici Players (the NHP Drama Club). Despite often finding the plays to not have a great schedule, he doesn’t let that faze him. As president of the club, he has had a lot of influence in what goes into every play. With the plays, Nick isn’t just the lead actor on stage; he is an asset back stage as well. Nick
works with Mr. LoConte, the advisor of the Drama Club to help choose sets and costumes, guide the other actors, and even help direct the play. This past January, Nick debuted his directing skills a production with the Scenici Players’ show “Insert Title Here,” where he directed the last of the six “mini-plays” that were combined to make one great production to make a show positively received by the audience. While the theater needs a strong leader like Nick, he admits that he too needs the theater. “I need theater because up until 6th grade I wasn’t the most confident person. Being able to give your best to somebody who wants to enjoy this and wants to see something like this, it’s so great to know I’m giving it to them,” said Sieban. Like any experience one may go through in life, Nick has learned many valuable life lessons through theater. “I have learned to be patient; everyone is different and everybody has their own different character. Just learning how to interact with different people has actually helped me with my people skills. Now, I can hold a conversation with pretty much anyone.” What many people do not know about Nick is that aside from being a key actor on stage, offstage he also shows off his other talents. On top of taking advanced and AP classes and being an active member of the musicals and the Drama Club, Nick is also in a rock band with his friends and fellow students. Nick picked up playing bass guitar when he was in 9th grade and in just two years, he has not only learned how to play a new instrument, but he has mastered the art of it. One would expect that the world of rock and the world theater would collide, but for Nick, both worlds complement each other and allow him to express him-
self through different mediums. “When playing in a rock band, it’s okay if you mess up here and there because it’s easy to get back to where you should be and that’s the genuine feel of rock, but if I’m doing a show on stage, I want it to be perfect and I want it to be the best thing I’ve ever done,” said Sieban. Both worlds complement each other, as they help him to improve his performing skills, but also to open his horizons and introduce him to new people. “The world of performance definitely puts you in places you’ve never been before or expected to ever be in. I’ve met so many different people that I think the theater has really taught me a lot about people in general,” said Sieban. When it comes to acting, many agree the reason why he is able to deliver such a master performance is because he really makes the audience forget that he is an actor playing a character, that he isn’t the actual character in real life. “I love the feeling that you become a character and become that person on stage. It’s kind of an escape; you can be yourself and then you can also be as many different people as you want, you can do as many shows as you want,” said Sieban. For someone so talented, one would hope that Nick will pursue theater when he goes to college. He has said that he hopes to go into the performing arts, but admits he feels doubtful about the situation. “I’ve been an entertainer since I was 12. I really wish it was more of a stable field, because then I’d be more definite to pursue performing arts as a major. I really enjoy performing, playing music, and just being on a stage. It’s a great way to express emotion, and I love that; I don’t want to stop. I love doing this.”
by Priyanka Algu
The Chariot and NHP Productions, attended the Long Island University High School Journalism Awards Competition, held at C.W. Post University. Several students from New Hyde Park received accolades for their work. Seniors Vishnu Anil and Jaypee Perez earned 1st place honors for Best News Broadcast, Sopohomores Kyra Siton and Amanda Ng earned 1st place honors for Best Online News Story, Senior Tomasz Pietruszka earned 2nd place honors for Best Newspaper Web Site and Sophomore Teena Thomas earned 2nd place honors for Best Online Features Story
New Hyde Park Memorial HS sophomore Brooke Cradin competed in the National Shakespeare Recitation Competition at the New York Public Library in Manhattan. In order to qualify for the regional competition, Brooke competed in and won New Hyde Park’s school wide contest. Brooke performed Helena’s soliloquy from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Sonnet 71.
The New Hyde Park Memorial High School held its annual spring blood drive. In total, 120 pints of blood were donated to the New York Blood Center thanks to the compassion of 126 donors. Even alumni came back to donate! Thanks to the dedication of the members of the New York Blood Center, Ms. Rafiq (advisor), officers, volunteers and donors themselves, the blood drive was a great success. !
New Hyde Park Memorial High School hosted its second Bone Marrow Registration Drive during their International Culture Club night. It was hosted in the memory of Sam Arikupurathu with the help of the school’s Red Cross Club and SAMAR, the South Asian Marrow Association of Recruiters, Inc. The club’s advisor, Ms. Rafiq, its officers, Dr. Ron Jacob, the medial director of SAMAR, and Sam’s sister Tindu Arikupurathu got 34 new Bone Marrow donors registered.
The Long Island Art League hosted it’s sixth annual Go APE! artist reception and awards ceremony to celebrate exceptional artwork of 114 talented art students from 34 Nassau and Suffolk Advanced Placement art programs. Joseph Carrotta, Mehroo Ilyas, Lucia Terry, and Vicki Yee represented New Hyde Park Memorial. Joseph Carrotta received an Award of Excellence for his digital photograph “Legs.”
The Builder’s Club of New Hyde Park Memorial participated in “Shamrocks for Muscular Dystrophy.” This St. Patrick’s Week fundraiser, which raised $400.00 this year, is an annual fundraiser for NHP’s Builders Club. The money raised will help fund camp for a child, on Long Island, who suffers from a neuromuscular disease.
“I probably want Kristen Wiig. She’d be one to throw an awesome party.” -Brittany Willoughby
“J.R. Smith. He’s pretty crazy and is probably going to have house parties every night. He’s a role model.” -Jerryl Abraham
“I’d say probably Hugh Jackman. Who wouldnt like to have Wolverine living next to them?” -Anjali Reddy
“I’d like to live next to Lydia Bastianich. I’d love to learn from her expertise of cooking.” -Mrs. Kaspar
“I like Bill Cosby. He’s a good comedian and a good person. He has done a lot in his career for education.” -Mr. Vanenburg
If you could have any celebrity as a neighbor, who would it be?
“It’s a tossup between Mr. Dolan and Mel Gibson, but Mel Gibson has lots of controversy, lots of kicking butt.” -Mr. Eisermann
Are You Shaking? by Fabiha Khalid How are you shaking off 2012? For many, the phenomenon known as the Harlem Shake, has swept the world off its feet and onto YouTube. The successor to Gangnam Style has made its way into the lives of many Americans, basketball teams such as the Miami Heat, and even our own students. If you search the Harlem Shake online, many results come up with skydivers, dancers, singers, officers, soldiers, and people just going crazy. There is even an Indian wedding version, a grandma version and so much more. All of this was inspired by the song Harlem Shake by American DJ and producer Baauer. But here’s the thing: what we see on YouTube isn’t the original Harlem Shake. The Harlem Shake originated in, yesyou guessed it- Harlem, New York in 1981. It came from an Ethiopian dance called “Eskista.” Since its beginnings, it has spread to other urban areas and became popular in music videos. The self-purported inventor of the dance was “Al B.,” a Harlem resident. Because of its founder, the dance was originally called the “Albee” in Rucker and Harlem, but then later became known as the Harlem Shake. The “Albee” or Harlem Shake is a
much rawer, technical, flowing, fanatic dance. During halftime at street ball games held in Rucker Park, Al B. would entertain the crowd with his moves- his Harlem Shake.
established in a video uploaded on February 2nd by five teenagers from Queensland, Australia. At the beginning, one of the teenagers is the only one dancing, while the rest of the group is standing still.
The Harlem Shake we see today started off with the song “Harlem Shake” by Baauer. The song came out in May 2012 but didn’t become mainstream until the meme was created on YouTube in February 2013. The form of the meme was
As soon as the bass drops, the camera shot changes, and suddenly the entire crowd appears in weird costumes and they go berserk, throwing their arms, jumping up and down, and doing all kinds of crazy things. The idea of this meme was extraordi-
nary and became a worldwide sensation. The crazier the dancing and costumes are, the better the video gets. The best thing about the Harlem Shake meme is that there is no one particular way to do it. The people in the video can choose to break out into whatever they desire. “The Harlem Shake can be a unique way to express an individual in a very creative way,” said junior Arjun Nagpal. There was even a video taken at New Hyde Park Memorial by some seniors during Senior Week. Near the end of the pajama day, a bunch of them went into the dead hallway and went insane on camera. “The Harlem Shake was the talk of the school for a while. It was cool seeing the seniors do it and will be something I won’t forget about senior year after I graduate. Sadly I wasn’t in the video but seeing it gave me a good laugh,” said senior Stacy Chirayath Something else to take into consideration here is the fact that one video can make a big difference. Song producers and DJs like Bauuer should realize and acknowledge that if it weren’t for teens, like those in Australia, his and others’ songs would not have had the same popularity that they have experienced.
Red Hot For Red Ginger by Aakash Japi Chinese food has become a staple in modern American culture, as new varieties of “General Tso’s Chicken” and “Sushi” has proliferated into the mainstream. “Chinese takeout” has become a colloquial term, and its convenience and accessibility has made it almost as ubiquitous as fastfood mainstays like Burger King. Red Ginger continues in this tradition, adding an element of class to the otherwise stark settings of Chinese takeout. Located on Jericho Turnpike, at the former “Asian Buffet” site, it offers a full sit down restaurant with a plethora of options. I arrived at Red Ginger at 2:00 on a weekday, greeted by an empty restaurant with a prominent smell of soy sauce permeating throughout. The first thing I noticed was the décor, which attempted to blend Nanking style traditionalism with a modern background, exuding a distinctly American air. This theme of blending persisted, from the fork that was hidden beneath the chopsticks they provided, to the spicy-but-not-too-spicy entrees. The “blending” continued onto the menu, which was a repeat of most Chinese takeout menus, with the ever familiar names of “General Tso’s Chicken” and “Pad Thai Chicken” popping out. The entrees are standard American-Chinese, with little to offer beyond. It is understandable: Red Ginger, is, after all, an American restaurant vying for accessibility to an
American audience; however, I still feel that the entrees could use a little bit more diversity in choice and scope. The food itself was excellent though. I ordered the “Sesame Chicken,” a dish consisting of chicken pieces drenched in a sweet and spicy sauce, served with a side
each seasoned in its own way, and carrying its own distinct taste. The two I tried, “Dragon” and “Tiger,” are both prepared excellently and had a unique but palatable taste. It was very different from anything I’d ever had before. The size was just large enough for a large mouthful, but small
of rice and soup. The chicken was cooked well: not undercooked, but not burnt or toughened either. It didn’t have the sticky and stringy texture usually associated with Chinese takeout; instead, it was easy to cut and even simpler to dig into. All the food was served piping hot (so watch out on the first bite), and the portion sizes are more than enough. I also added an order of sushi. They offered a number of different varieties,
enough to ensure ease in eating. Each sushi dish came on a platter of six, with a small side of wasabi, an incredibly spicy Chinese flavoring that traditionally is eaten with sushi. The food was priced very reasonably: I visited during the 50% off Grand Opening sale, and was able to order an Entrée of the always $7.99 lunch menu and sushi for approximately $14. With respect to cost, the portion sizes and food quality were
fantastic, and the serenity of the postmodern surroundings only added to my satisfaction. The service at Red Ginger was prompt and helpful. I was seated immediately upon entrance, and the server brought our choice of drinks in the first few minutes after we sat down. The orders arrived within 15 minutes, served in separate courses of salad, soup, and the main course, all included in the lunch special. The waitress was extremely helpful, and willingly accommodated my requests for extra forks, napkins, and at one instant, a spilled drink. “We ate in luxury, with our needs quickly provided for and our food exquisite. It was a great dining experience. I’d recommend it to anyone,” said senior Vivek Arora. Red Ginger wasn’t a flawless restaurant. The banal menu items and the constant theme of Americanization clearly showed that. But, it offers friendly service, great-tasting food, large portion sizes, and above all, reasonable pricing, all held together by a serene and inviting atmosphere. Even with the pervasiveness of Chinese food in modern culture, Red Ginger is able to carve a niche for itself as a quality sit-down restaurant, offering typical entrees at good prices. It was a great experience. “I loved Red Ginger: it’s a great Chinese place that combines class, taste, and quality, along with excellent service. I’d recommend it to anyone,” said senior Steve Simon.
Springing Into Fashion transform that daytime outfit into an outfit for a night out. For a night on the town, throw on a color-blocked or bandaged body con dress. These fitted dresses create an absolutely
to be distinguished from everyone else! Even the most minute details in style are important- even nail color. There is literally no end to possibilities when it comes to your nails. Scarlet reds, bubble-
stunning silhouette to compliment and accent beautiful female curves. Body con dresses can be found in an abundance of colors, designs, and cuts that look great with a bold heels or pumps. Spring also means the return of floral prints. The trend became prominent last spring, and survived the cold weather to bloom again this season. The many floral patterns give women the ability to follow the fashion trend and maintain the ability
gum pinks, lilac purples, sky blues, mint greens, and pastel yellows are the way to go. You can find these in Essie’s new spring collection, “Nothing inspires like Madison Ave-hue” that has dozens of shades to choose from. And on top of that, you can add different patterns and designs. Concerning makeup, try neutral eyes with bold lipsticks or vice versa. Play to your strengths! Long, voluminous lashes
Photo Credits: Cressa Maica Vidad
by Yasmin Mathews Spring is all about fashion and looking good. With warm weather approaching, people are given a greater freedom to express themselves without the restrictions of cold weather. Jeans are replaced by shorts and skirts; sweaters are replaced by t-shirts and tank tops. As the weather brightens up, you can take out those sundresses again. Before you know it, everyone will be following new spring fashion trends. Hair is the easiest and most common part of a person to spruce up. Big flowers, bows, and braided metallic headbands are some of the many accessories available. Using hair flatirons and hair curlers are the worst things you can do to a healthy head of hear, so why damage and destroy your luscious, natural waves when the look is in? They’re an effortless, bold, and flirty way to change up your hairstyle, and less damage will also be done to your hair. Peplum blouses and dresses are also back in fashion. The peplum blouse was a major part of fashion since fall 2012 and its popularity seems to be carrying through to the spring of 2013. A peplum style blouse or dress creates that flattering, curvy illusion that every girl wants. You can pair a peplum blouse with tight skinny jeans, trousers, pencil skirts, or leather accented leggings. By accenting casual outfits with leather, you can quickly
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and softly smudged eyeliners are a musthave this spring 2013 to play up the eye without over bearing. Other than that, keep it natural and minimal. Finish your makeup by quickly spraying your face with MAC’s finishing spray, for an everlasting glow that keeps your makeup looking fresh. Shoes this spring 2013 are about a multitudes of colors,patterns, and materials. Color blocking and mixing patterns with different material are also a major trend that you will see a lot of. Many shoes will be accented with gold heels to pair with your favorite black dress. Let’s not also forget about what’s trending for men this season. This season vibrant colors are here to replace boring dreary winter colors. You will see a lot of different shades of vibrant blues, yellows, and oranges. Another growing trend is the camouflage print. Pair a denim vest with a white or black t- shirt and throw on a pair of camouflage printed jeans or shorts with a pair of sneakers. Urban Outfitters has a great selection of camouflage shorts and jeans, along with denim vests for men. In addition to Urban Outfitters, you can also find camouflage shorts at American Eagle, Macy’s, Sears, and Kohl’s. Neon and fluorescent colors will also be taking the spotlight this spring 2013 for men! Get your sunglasses out for a season of bright colors!
by Zayneb Almiggabber As the years go by, television constantly transforms as producers and directors put out brand new ideas for the world to see. Lately in the industry, a number of historical series have been quite successful. Now, the History Channel is airing its first scripted television show: Vikings. The show is set during the medieval Scandinavian period, and follows the tale of the infamous Viking warrior Ragnar Lodbrok, who possesses great ambitions of traveling to the western world in discovery of new cultures and riches. Ragnar defies the authority of their village lord, Earl Haraldson, by conversing with a shipbuilder named Floki in secret, making plans to travel west in retaliation to the Earl’s cruel ways. He brings his brother Rollo, a group of fellow warriors, and his wife Lagertha, who also stands as a powerful shield-maiden. Ragnar’s discovery of the western world leaves him in awe of
the separation in cultures, and brings back with him several treasures after conquering a church in the Northumbrian kingdom. Through a young priest named Athelstan, held as a slave in Ragnar’s home, Ragnar learns about western culture and religion, which differ greatly from the lesscivilized ways of the Vikings as well as the Scandinavian polytheistic beliefs in Odin, Thor, and other Norse gods. In return, Athelstan begins to express curiosity towards Viking customs and eventually, desires to cease being a slave and become a free man. Yet things are much more convoluted than they seem on this show. The Earl is killing innocents in an attempt to greedily maintain treasures that don’t rightfully belong to him, begins to torture innocents in fear of Ragnar’s rise to power, and with his frequent raids and conquests, Ragnar is making many enemies quickly. The show provides a probable insight into how the Vikings may have lived, and is evidently enjoyable in its own essence.
The Return of Sexy by Abin Thannickal Justin Timberlake has reinvented himself through breathtaking new songs that seek to challenge the musical norms of the generation. With his first hit album since 2006, The 20/20 Experience rushed to the top of the American music chart, rivaling that of David Bowie. After six and a half years of conquering the music charts with his sensual and futuristic album, Futuresex/ Lovesounds, Timberlake has come back with a more relaxed version of himself. From boy band wonder, to solo pop sensation, Timberlake has redefined what it means to be a pop star in this day and age. With Timberlake’s new and improved persona, a forties vibe mixed with a contemporary voice seems to reintroduce a lost style of music that he seeks to bring back in an era of changing music. Along with his recent appearance on Saturday Night Live, in which he hosted for the fifth time, coupled with his numerous recent talk show appearances, Timberlake is resurfacing and getting back on the world stage. His forties style is surely not the defining factor in his music as the leading song in this album, “Suit and Tie” mixed a very soulful voice with the more hip-hop variation of Timbaland. Timberlake is able to make vintage-sounding songs with
a modern touch that create a melodious ballad from start to finish. Other songs brag at a similar structure, moving through multiple melodies and rhythms like those in “That Girl” and “Pusher Love Girl.” These songs, combined with the classic jazz feel that he incorporates into his music, place Timberlake as one of the most talented and creative composers and singers in pop culture. Timberlake holds The 20/20 Experience together with lyrics that stay decisively on the topic of romance, easily swaying his listeners with music reminiscent of a young Robin Thicke or a lesser Michael Buble. His voice is one of a few that can produce long, lyrical music that enchants the listeners ears and becomes a classic in the music world. The albums cover, which places a great emphasis on perception, feels secondary to Timberlake’s prevailing theme of love throughout his entire album. Without a doubt, Timberlake will disappear again, but will come back to shine in the spotlight once more, and stun audiences with his uniquely defined and enticing music. Timberlake always brings a surprise factor to his listeners, thus bridging the gaps that many musicians and composers are afraid to enter. Only Justin Timberlake can “Bring Sexy Back” the right way.
by Christina Lorper Released on the 8th of March 2013, The Next Day was the best kept secret from even the most devout Ziggy Stardust fans. With twenty-four other records under his glittery belt, David Bowie’s much unexpected album serves as a joyfully and intriguingly bizarre masterpiece, beautiful in its own essence. Embracing his old age, Bowie doesn’t attempt to revive nor outdo his earlier works, such as the shockingly psychedelic Aladdin Sane from 1973. However, Bowie throws the listener into the harmonious chaos at the very first start of The Next Day with the song of the same name. Unlike other comeback albums, The Next Day complements David Bowie’s slightly aged voice—which was beautifully shaky and raspy to begin with—and is especially reflected in the fifth song of the album, titled “Where Are We Now?” Also standing as the single released before the rest of the album, it’s evident that Bowie’s aged voice perfects his vibrato within the song, which is further perfected by the accompanying piano notes. Its music video also featured British actress Tilda Swinton, who happens to be a friend of Bowie’s. It perfectly displays the wistful emotion in his words. His track“Dirty Boys” possesses sounds of the saxophone that are reminiscent of Bowie’s golden years. Each song bleeds into the other and entrances the listener. Even the four and a half minute pause in the middle of the album just seems to make sense. David Bowie never ceases to shock the members of his audience, and The Next Day is only one more entrancing album added onto a long list of uniquely beautiful records.
by Eve Kaczmarczyk Having aired for three years, Downton Abbey is an intriguing television show that revolves around a British family in the early twentieth century, before and after World War I. The show also provides the unique perspectives of the servants and the drama amongst them. With butlers and housekeepers waiting on wealthy lords and ladies, Downton Abbey gives viewers a probable glimpse into the past. With the loss of the family’s heir in the sinking of the Titanic, the Crawleys must contact a distant relative and learn to trust him. Their second cousin Matthew and his mother visit Downton with the potential of him becoming the legal heir. Relationships are formed and tested, especially those of the three daughters of the current heir. Mary, the eldest daughter, is to be married off, and Matthew seems to be the perfect suitor. While each daughter is eager to be married, there doesn’t seem to be an abundance of eligible suitors. The second daughter, Edith, appears to be the one who will end up growing old without love. She is determined, however, to prove everyone wrong. The youngest daughter, Sybil, is a strong advocate for women’s equality and has no trouble spending time with people of lower classes, and even begins to spend much time with the family chauffeur, an Irishman, in secret. Additionally, the servants have secrets of their own; full of greed, envy, deceit, and ambition. As World War I unfolds, an uncertain atmosphere is placed over the estate as many men are forced to go off to war; servants and high lords alike. With the war comes loss, and with loss comes a great deal of heartache. Even as the ownership of the estate comes into jeopardy and the Crawleys fear they will lose everything, their value of family is the most important aspect of their lives. The Spanish flu provides another unsettling time and accurately displays the history. It caused many people to fall ill while some faci tragic and unfortunate deaths. Downton Abbey proves the idea that one must adapt to survive. With changing times, new inventions, and scandals, the show expresses the characters’ humorous awe and perplexity at the creation of the telephone, not understanding its function or its purpose. Downton Abbey is all about moving forward but also maintaining tradition. Considering the time period, traditions were important in that they were maintained broken, especially to the Crawley girls’ witty grandmother. The show is becoming popular due to relationships, secrets, mysteries and fortunes within it. The characters are easily lovable as well as relatable. Although an unfamiliar time, the audience feels a connection due to the similar emotions expressed. This dramapacked show is created by BBC and airs on PBS. It currently has three seasons out, and has just been renewed for a fourth season.
Staff Music Picks Deaf Havana - Little White Lies Arctic Monkeys - Fluorescent Adolescent Broken Bells - Vaporize Hoody Allen - No Interruption Emeli Sande - Next To Me Crosby, Stills & Nash - Teach Your Children Kid Cudi - Red Eye Sublime - Greatest Hits Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Readymade Tyler the Creator - Jamba The Fray - Over My Head
by Shaianne Hugh Roger Ebert, the legendary film critic, recently passed away on April 4th 2013 at the age of 70 after a long battle with thyroid cancer. Ebert was one of the world’s most notoriously influential film critics, as well as a New York Times bestselling author and screenwriter. Despite his illness, Ebert continued to write and critique on his website until his unfortunate death. He lived a remarkable life in which he got to spend his life doing what he loved: working for the Chicago Sun and critiquing films. For 46 years Ebert’s reviews continued to deliver excellent quality. His work was praised by moviegoers and moviemakers alike, and received numerous amounts of recognition. He was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism and the first to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ebert revolutionized the movie-going experience in several ways. For many years he co-hosted numerous television shows in which he reviewed recently released films with Gene Siskel. If both Ebert and Siskel agreed that a movie was worth seeing, they would give it “two thumbs up,” and they trademarked this phrase and it eventually became a huge part of American culture. Ebert’s reviews had a huge influence on moviegoers, in which many counted on him to rightfully judge films and let the public know of which ones were seeable and which were not. America would know
that it was a must see film if it was given “two thumbs up” from Ebert, and many trusted his judgment. One thing Ebert was excellent at was pleasing everyone. He knew that every film had a different audience, so whatever
Some favored aspects of Ebert’s reviews were his humorous negative ones. He was not afraid to give a movie the review it deserved. He judged based on content and quality; just because a film cost millions of dollars to make and starred a
film he was reviewing, he was purposefully writing to that specific target audience. Another reason why he was so respected by moviegoers was because he didn’t simply watch the big box office hits; he took his time to watch documentaries and independent films as well. Often times he reviewed films that the general public would not have known about if it wasn’t for him, but they ended up as classics because Ebert gave them four star reviews.
large group of A-list actors, overly promoted through unnecessary hype did not necessarily imply that it was a good film. In fact, many found it more enjoyable to read about the movies he hated rather than the ones he loved. He even published several books solely featuring his negative reviews. Ebert was always determined to do what he loved, even while he was struggling with his illness. When he received
surgery on his jaw, it left him without any physical voice. As a result, Ebert compensated for it by posting all his work online; on his personal website as well as other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. It was always impressive that despite his age and fragile physical condition, Ebert possessed the ability to adapt to the changing technology. It was one of the many things that set him apart from other critics. Ebert once said,“we must try to contribute joy to the world. That is no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try.” Evidently, he wrote his reviews to make others happy, as well as make himself happy. He seemed to be a man who reached true self-actualization, content with his life as well as his career. Furthermore, his writings put smiles on peoples’ faces, made peoples’ days, and was a huge inspiration to many other writers, critics, and film-lovers alike. Ebert was a truly unique figure, a genuine individual in his own sense, and no matter how good other critics could possibly be, their influence will always be derived from his genius works. He will be missed by film-lovers as well as filmmakers, and had his own special place in Hollywood as well as the entertainment industry as a whole. Ebert’s impact in the film industry is noteworthy so enjoy your lives as he did, and as he would frequently say, “I’ll see you at the movies.”
Following the Yellow Brick Road
by Rebecca Lewis Oz the Great and Powerful is the latest movie from Sam Raimi, director of horror cult classic The Evil Dead and the previous Spiderman trilogy. The movie is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. It tells the story of a young Oscar Diggs, or Oz, (James Franco) a magician with a travelling circus in 1905, who is magically transported to the Land of Oz. Upon arrival, he is found by Theodora (Mila Kunis), a witch who mistakes him for a powerful wizard foretold in legend and who would become their new ruler. She brings him to her sister Evanora (Rachel Weisz) who tells Oz that he must destroy the wicked witch (Michelle Williams). But this wicked witch turns out to be Glinda the Good. The movie is definitely visually stunning with its special effects as well as cinematography. The movie starts in black and white, alluding to the original Wizard of Oz, and then switches to color when the setting changes to the Land of Oz. Monaural sound is also used at the beginning to recreate that old movie feel, switching to surround sound at the same time it switches to color. The idea is simple but well done, and the allusion is well appreciated. It just didn’t really add any originality points. But the Land of Oz is beautiful and fun to look at. Raimi’s use of wide and
panoramic shots allow the viewer to see the hard work of the artists who designed and created this magical world. People of all ages can appreciate this. This was probably the best part of movie. The same goes for the music. It was just like that carnival and music box feel,
movie had a lot of opportunity to delve into the iconic characters, but it didn’t. I feel this is especially true with Oz. Franco portrays him to be very over-thetop. While this is fitting for the character most of the time, something just didn’t feel right. He was the right person to cast,
but it added some depth to an otherwise one dimensional movie. It fit the feel of the film and nicely complimented the stunning Land of Oz. As for the rest of the movie, it’s aimed at a younger audience and most likely wouldn’t appeal to anyone older. The characters are all kind of “hammy” and campy; again, one dimensional. The
but he could have played the character differently; maybe a little darker or with more depth, not that he was alone in this. Kunis’ character was not explored, and her character’s fate didn’t do her any justice. Williams and Weisz did a decent job with what they were given, the former as the evil and lying wicked witch Evanora and the latter as the kind yet candidly
good witch, Glinda. The parts were not written to be very serious, so they could not really give outstanding performances. There aren’t too many of Raimi’s movies, but the Spiderman trilogy had the same problem with characterization. Here, it would be Tobey McGuire as Spiderman. Incidentally, Franco did a much better job in these Spiderman films than he did in Oz the Great and Powerful. The entire movie just felt very cliché. Good versus evil and a person turned evil because of a broken heart. It very much seemed as if Raimi was trying too hard to make this movie like the original Wizard of Oz, but what was ground-breaking then is no longer in relation to now. It did not have a lot of originality and did not take advantage of the numerous doors this movie could have opened creativity-wise and for the mythos of The Wizard of Oz. That is the problem that prequels sometimes have. It was entertaining, but it is very much a children’s film. Anyone older would probably not enjoy this movie a whole lot since it was quite one dimensional. There were some humorous parts, but they tended to overshadow any points where characterization was explored at all. Overall, it would personally receive about two and a half stars. Not the best, but it could be fun to watch on a rainy day.
Moneyball: The Salary Cap and its Effect on Sports by James Colgan As the NFL Free Agent signing period commences, fans will now hear terms such as restricted and unrestricted Free Agents, Salary Cap Restructuring, pay cuts, teams over the cap limit, etc. The salary cap was implemented into professional sports as a way of making sure that no one team could buy their way into contention. It would ensure that the competitive balance of the sport remains intact. However, as a result of the restraints put on the teams, there has been a decrease in the number of“Homegrown” players. In the past, if players was drafted or signed by a team and had great success (i.e. John Elway, Derek Jeter, and Michael Jordan), they would spend their careers with that one team. Bill Madison, a sports marketing major from Niagara University, had this to say about the effect of the salary cap on “Homegrown players,” “Eventually players start demanding higher salaries, and [because of the cap] have to be traded or let go of entirely. With the ‘salary cap’ philosophy we lose the Walter Paytons and the Michael Jordans who become household names with their respective teams.” The average time that a player spends on a team that uses an official salary cap is around 3 years (NFL.com). Although
the salary cap has benefited teams with lesser-owners over the years, it has entirely changed the way that teams are operated. With these obvious changes in sports there are differences in the way that sport teams are run, as well as the way the public views the business side of a sports
turn those players into stars. This idea was further elaborated on by self-described lifelong sports super fan Kevin McCormick, of East Islip, who said, “When a general manager is limited by not being able to give large, long term deals, their success relies even more on their ability to draft and
team. For example, in baseball and basketball, (two of the major sports which do not have a hard or unbreakable salary cap), a top General Manager can “shake things up” and execute the big trade. However, in the salary cap-using sports such as the NFL, the highest rated GM’s are the ones that make savvy lateround draft picks; the ones that pick up players who most have never heard of, and
mold younger players. Instead of being able to go out and pay a proven commodity each year, general managers HAVE to make their draft picks with the feeling that each drafted player is going to contribute immediately and for the length of their rookie deals.” This mindset has become the benchmark for success amongst GM’s, and has been the formula that championship-winning teams are recognized for having. These GM’s are often rewarded with awards and (most impor-
tantly) perennial contending teams. It is likely that the public would mostly agree with what Ralph Vacchiano, NFL beat writer for the New York Daily News, said when reached for a comment, “It’s about the only thing that guarantees competitive balance in the league [speaking of the NFL]”. The use of the salary cap in the NFL and NHL (and for the most part the NBA, although their salary cap has many exceptions) has led to a widespread call for change in the world of professional Baseball. In a recent ESPN. com poll, over 70% of all voters (20,000 in total) voted “Yes” when asked the question “Does Major League Baseball need a salary cap?” Although no change was made at this year’s Winter Meetings among MLB owners: many are calling for change; a change that could turn the complexion of the sport as a whole. The use of the salary cap in professional sports has led to some franchise’s most beloved players leaving, but it has also led to the teams with the smallest of markets making improbable playoff runs that never would have been possible had there been free spending by big market teams. However you view the salary cap, everyone can agree that its role in sports will only intensify.
Spring In Full Swing by Samip Delhiwala and Jerryl Abraham As the weather begins to get warmer, only one thing comes to mind for avid sports fans: the return of Major League Baseball. With many teams having changed their rosters during the offseason, most fans are excited for what’s to come. As for the teams from New York, the dominant Yankees are looking for a 28th championship after a disappointing playoff exit in 2012, while the rebuilding Mets will try to spark some hope and satisfaction for their fans after suffering several unpleasant seasons in a row. Last season, the Yankees were swept and eliminated from the ALCS, much to the dismay of their fans. This year, they will look to bounce back and have a phenomenal season while attempting to win a 28th championship. Unfortunately, that goal has already been put in jeopardy due to some injuries. All-star first baseman Mark Teixeira has been injured and is expected to be out for ten weeks with a strained right wrist. This doesn’t seem to make much of a difference, considering his traditionally horrendous Aprils. However, there are speculations that he might have to go through season ending surgery, which would be a huge blow to the Yankees’ lineup. Curtis “The Grandy Man” Granderson is also expected to miss ten weeks due to a broken forearm, removing many home runs from the lineup. And how can we leave out Alexander the Great? The steroid laden, injury stricken
Alex Rodriguez will have another hip surgery and will be out for a big chunk of the year, possibly even the entire season. The Yankees also let go of fan favorite Nick Swisher, catcher Russell Martin, and rejected Johnny Damon’s desire to play for them. How will the Yankees make up for this missing power? Well, they signed former Red Sock Kevin Youkilis, as well as Travis Hafner. Derek Jeter will also return from his scary playoff ankle injury, so current injuries could possibly be coped with. Now let’s switch gears to the pitching rotation. It will likely consist of the same names as last year, including ace CC Sabathia, the young Ivan Nova, and the great Andy Pettitte. Despite the depressing news of this season being legendary closer Mariano Rivera’s last, pitchers such as Michael Pineda and Joba Chamberlain, who were injured all or most of last year, will likely return. To fill all of the empty holes, players such as Youkilis and Francisco Cervelli have chances to prove themselves. There is very high optimism for this season despite injuries, setbacks, and the increased competitiveness of the divison (like the Toronto Blue Jays’ sudden rise of talent). success. New Hyde Park Memorial junior and lifelong Yankees fan Rafsun Alam says, “The Yankees’ 2013 season will be full of excitement because I expect the team to have much success. Despite a disappointing end to the 2012 season, and injuries to key players, the Yankees
will learn to play without their all-stars and make a push for their 28th championship.” So, how will the Yankees perform this season? We predict they will win the AL East division and go deep into the playoffs, but will another championship arise? Coach Rotondaro, a Yankee fan, says, “You can’t make any predictions in any sport. You have to play it day by day. If you play today, you win today.” The Mets for the past few years have been the embarrassment of New York professional sports (although a convincing case could be made for the Jets: rumors have surfaced of the return of Jersey Shore with Rex Ryan sunbathing on the shore while female drama spots are filled in by Sanchez, Tebow and McElroy). The Mets were simply horrendous in 2012. The only bright spot of the season was the CyYoung worthy season of R.A. Dickey. Conventional wisdom would dictate that they would build their team around a Cy Young winner. But the Mets decided to trade him to Toronto, a move that still baffles many, but could be justified by the acquisition of 2 excellent catchers. Another reason behind the trade could be the hope that the addition of Zach Wheeler and Matt Harvey could somehow make up for the loss of Dickey. Truth be told, one tremendous season does not guarantee that Dickey would have been the C.C. Sabathia type ace the Mets were looking for. But the trade did lead to a number of ticked off fans that were waiting for good news
from this crumbling organization. Fans breathed a sigh of relief when recently named captain David Wright, one of the few remaining members of the 2006 glory days, signed an eight year, $138 million contract. The Mets at this point hope that Wright will play a Derek Jeter like role in uniting and pushing the team forward. His recent injury at the World Baseball Classic put some doubt on that hope or at least postponed it. Without spectacular play from Wright, his young teammates will never follow along. In general, fans can’t hope for much this season from the Mets. Senior and avid Mets fan Andrew Korpacz shares the view saying, “I don’t really expect much from them. I would hope to see them finish in 3rd place with an above .500 record.” Right now they’re in a rebuilding stage, so give them a couple more years and then they’ll be something with all the young talent they have.” Perhaps the Mets are like the Washington Nationals: a predator hidden in tall grass waiting for the right moment to pounce. Will the Mets be successful in their rebuilding phase? And when will they be a championship contending team? These questions remain unanswered today. But we can’t get too caught up in predictions; that prevents us from feeling the magic of baseball. Sometimes, teams surprise us, like the 1969 Mets. Sports are just crazy like that.
Spring Sports Overview by Eydid Ali Spring has emerged; the temperature has risen, and in comes a new realm of sports: the spring sports. As the seasons have been cyclically changing, so too have been the players and the sports, allowing for the seniors to have one last season to cherish and conquer. But do the sports in this season mark an end for all these senior players? Nevertheless, it is now the time for lacrosse, baseball, softball, and of course, track and field. To begin with baseball, players have been training and persevering during the off seasons, trying to open the doors to a better season, wishing to take home a conference championship. As many have been waiting for this sport to commence, many players have been shining for their immense efforts and talents in this sport. In the batter’s box, there have been many that have been hitting in an uncanny fashion, posting batting averages of over .400. These individuals include Anthony Simone, Franchesco Terrero, and John Tomasini, all of which are seniors. In addition, a very particular individual, Anthony Vaglica, a junior, has gotten of to a strong start as well and was responsible in giving New Hyde Park its first homerun of the season. On the mound, some pitchers have played excellently, clearly deserving
acclaim. Nick Perrone has pitched adeptly: he already has two wins in a season that hasn’t even reached its halfway point. Will Hickey was able to add another win this week, as Brendon Parnell picked up a wellearned save. It’s no question that the Gladiators are playing well right now evidenced by their winning record of 4 wins and 2 losses, 1 draw. As baseball commenced, so too did softball, which of course, has its own list of deserving players. Versatility is a major part of any sport. Currently, Geena Fornutaro has been under the spotlight. “She has been doing really well [with] her pitching and hitting! We are undefeated and she has had the most homeruns this year thus far,” said the senior catcher, Amanda Turner. That is a true definition of versatility as players attain a success in both offense and defense. Amanda Turner tirelessly caught every game this year and has gone 3 for 5 in yesterday’s game, hitting three doubles, and earning 3 RBIs. Add another win! Being undefeated is no easy task, for it requires a coherent group of players, yearning for a title, dedicating the sport to his/her life. Moving onto lacrosse, many players of its own are thriving and are reaching stability as a team. For boy’s varsity lacrosse, individuals such as Bryan Baracaldo, Christian Trasolini, and Greg Hoerter
have all been having a season to remember, as they all cherish their last season of sports in New Hyde Park. “We are not the only ones playing well,” says Bryan Baracaldo, “because everyone has been doing well. We’ve been working really hard and everything is coming together nicely, maybe because we have all been playing for a couple of years so that helps.” It’s great to hear content from the players because it shows the appreciation for the entire team and is clear proof of the strong chemistry that exists between all the teammates. Currently the lax team is 2-2, looking for ways to improve on its game. In girl’s varsity lacrosse, a bunch of resourceful, talented players have emerged. Jill Graziano is one of the team’s most key and versatile players in every way. Jennifer Spagnuolo, another senior, has dropped to defense for the first time this year and has really stepped up her game. Furthermore, Regina Sicilliano is also an above average defender and Ana Bisciello has improved her fielding, improving her stick handling and her groundball skills. Laura Rice, in addition, has sparked in every way to bring cohesion to this determined team. Katie Colgan, a senior, has said, “We have had some sophomores and juniors really step up and play various positions. We have a really good group of girls and I’m
so happy we’re all so close.” Team cohesion and familiarity can be a huge factor on how successful a team can be, and with the way things are look for these girls, one thing is certain; they can play, and they can play together. To conclude with track and field, there have been many dedicated players bringing such great force to New Hyde Park. Track consists of four sections: long distance, mid distance, sprinters, and then throwers. In the sprinters, Juniors Steve Sumba and Paul Grivas have both been impressive in their efforts as they have hit personal records every time they took to the track. In long distance, Gabe Skugor, a senior, has been able to fly past racers and earn himself great acclaim thanks to his stamina. In the throwers, Eric Bialcyzck, a senior, has been a key component of the success New Hyde Park has had. Every member in track titles him as the best thrower. With a whole season ahead of all these teams, New Hyde Park Sports have a bright future ahead of them. Our teams combine their natural chemistry with their skills, leading inevitably to success and victory. They really show passion and love for the sport they play. Their performance is a credit to the students, the facutly, and the school.
by Michael Kemmet Being a good student athlete involves a tremendous amount of dedication. Day by day, a student athlete is required to give his all both on and off the field. From classroom to locker room, a countless number of strenuous hours are spent in an attempt to ultimately surpass the high level of expectations set by the athlete himself, as well as, teachers, coaches, and peers alike. It is fair to say that being a superior student athlete is no easy task for sure. Although a number of New Hyde Park Memorial Gladiators meet the qualifications of a good student athlete, freshman Joe Gardella is well deserving of credit for both his academic and athletic achievements. His achievements on the playing field are unprecedented. When asked to speak about Gardella, New Hyde Park Varsity Lacrosse’s Coach Milio said, “He’s a hardworking kid that always puts the team first. He understands to sacrifice yourself for your team.” It is clear that the freshman’s work ethic has paid off for him; he is currently a starting midfielder on the varsity lacrosse team. Gardella is ahead of the game in comparison to most his age as he is a ninth grade student who is enrolled in advanced classes and is currently playing lacrosse at the varsity level. It takes a great level of dedication to participate in a varsity sport, especially as a ninth grader. It is even more difficult to find a balance between
Creds to: Audrey Lew
Gardella is Stellar
school and sports, in order to succeed in both arenas. Joe Gardella has clearly found that balance. Such success can be attributed to his drive to better himself through focus and hard work. In Joe’s words, “Give everything your all and the rest will take care of itself.” Lacrosse is not the only sport the midfielder excels in. The freshman was
moved up to be the starting running back on the JV football team last fall and will most likely join his teammates again this coming season and become a member of the Varsity football team as well. Coach Milio, who has had Gardella on his roster for both lacrosse and football, is clearly excited to have him for another three years. “He is always moving in the right
direction, and he gets better every day,” he said, “He has a great understanding of the fact that he can always improve.” With the combination of his talent and work ethic Gardella continues to prove himself a worthy recipient of the success he has accomplished to this point in his high school career and continues to epitomize the meaning of a true student athlete.
Draft or Degree: A Daunting Dilemma by Tim Foley With the NFL Draft approaching and March Madness coming to a close, college athletics are a major focal point of American society. While fans decide on how to arrange their brackets and mock drafts, college players will be making decisions that are slightly more significant. They will have to decide whether to remain in college and risk injury, or to go straight to a career as a professional athlete and risk failure. This decision is one that a number of college athletes must make every year. In fact, the number of athletes who are faced with this decision has increased exponentially over the past few decades. In the first round of the 1990 NBA Draft, 25 of the 27 drafted players were seniors. In 2013, out of the 30 players drafted in the first round only four were seniors. Even in the NFL, where the minimum age requirement to enter the draft is 21, last year over half of the players drafted in the first round had not finished their college careers. Compared to 1990, where only three players did this, the trend is quite apparent. Of those three non-seniors drafted in 1990, two of them were Junior Seau and Emmitt Smith. In other words, in the past only superstars were drafted prior to their college graduation. There is no set equation that proves whether leaving from college early is beneficial or detrimental to the career of a player. For every LeBron James, there is a James Lang (never heard of him, right?). Lang was selected as the 48th overall pick of the 2003 NBA Draft (the same year LeBron was drafted) by the Washington Wizards, just after graduating from Central Park Christian High School.
He suffered from back problems and never panned out as an NBA player. LeBron, on the other hand, was not only the number one pick in 2003, but his success in the league made him number one on Forbes’ “20 Richest Stars Under 25” list in 2007. Likewise, for every Tim Duncan (the three time NBA Finals MVP who spent all four years at Wake Forest to earn his degree), there is a Paul Grant. Grant, drafted the same year as Duncan, received his degree from Wisconsin but only lasted in the NBA for two years before transferring to the Continental Basketball Association. Given that there is no concrete indication of which path is better, players are left to rely on the influence of coaches, agents, and family members to make their decisions. It is difficult for a coach to encourage players to enter the draft prematurely. Leaving college early means one more void for the coach to fill with recruiting for the next season. It is not easy for coaches to take a diplomatic, unbiased approach to the matter, but New Hyde Park Varsity Basketball’s Coach Rood acknowledged that, “As a coach, you have to present the pros and cons.” On the contrary, Coach Dolan, the head coach of the varsity football team, made it very clear that he would attempt to get his players to stay if he was a college coach. “I’m counting on these kids to win football games,” he said, “my career as a coach depends on them.” Coach John Calipari of the University of Kentucky has a very different opinion. He encourages his players to go straight to the NBA after one year at Kentucky, and begin earning money immediately. Of course, this is not as difficult for him
as it would be for other coaches, since Kentucky traditionally reels in some of the best recruits in the nation. Therefore, he can easily recruit “one and done” players, knowing that the following year he will be able to pick from the top of the recruiting class again. Coach Rood discussed the different methods of recruiting, “You can go after the best high school players, knowing that they will only be with you for a year or two, or you can set up a developmental program. Schools like Butler, George Mason, and VCU have players that stay for four years, and as a result, the team chemistry improves and they have had great success. If you have a team of ‘one and done’ players, there is a lot more pressure to recruit the right guys.” While both methods have proven effective and may lead to triumph at the college level, there is no indication of which system breeds more successful professional athletes. For a player, the money offered by a professional career is extremely enticing. The temptation of instant wealth is hard to resist. However, a player must also look at the situation from a realistic perspective. The reality is that an incredibly low percentage of players who are drafted go on to have illustrious careers. This backand-forth battle is torturous for college athletes. New Hyde Park’s junior varsity basketball coach, Coach Pickett, who played college basketball at Adelphi, voiced in on the matter. “I can understand both sides,” he said, “you can go pro and make money, or you can stay in college, and increase the risk of injury and the loss of draft stock.” Despite this risk, he did not overlook the importance of an education, “Finishing
their college career is the best thing for these guys,” he asserted, “players can easily get hurt in the NBA and then have nothing else.” One player in particular, Jadeveon Clowney, the hard hitting defensive end from South Carolina, is struggling with a decision that has captured the attention of sports enthusiasts. After an excellent sophomore season at South Carolina, Clowney is clearly fit for the NFL. However, his age (only 20 years old) poses a major issue. Clowney will not turn 21 until next year, and he is therefore ineligible for the NFL Draft. This became the issue of debate: should he play out his junior year and risk getting hurt, or spend the entire year preparing for the NFL Scouting Combine in an attempt to avoid injury? Coach Dolan offered his opinion. “This is the same issue we face at New Hyde Park,” he stated, “how hard should we hit in practice? Where should we draw the line? But in the end, you can’t deal from fear. You don’t get better by not playing. That kid could blow out an ACL playing racquetball just as easily as when doing a defensive lineman drill. He has got to play.” It seems that Clowney has taken Coach Dolan’s advice. He intends to play next fall, despite the possibility of injury. So while fans lament some of the poor decisions they made in creating their NCAA tournament brackets, they must bear in mind that for college athletes, making a wrong decision could cost them quite a bit more than a few dollars or a smidgen of personal pride. They are making a decision that will affect the rest of their lives.
The Kick Heard Around the World by Roberto Varela It was a moment that left viewers and spectators in awe. When Lauren Silberman, a 28-year-old former college club soccer player, stepped foot on the NFL Regional Combine field at the Jets Facilities. Lauren Silberman, the graduate from the University of Wisconsin and MIT entered herself into a hit or miss opportunity that no women had ever taken until now. Football is one of the most male dominating sports, but this wasn’t going to define Lauren Silberman’s attitude. The NFL Combine observes from the very beginning and thoroughly evaluates every player, to see if they reflect NFL performance. Silberman’s try out came days after driver Danica Patrick contended against men in motor sports. Danica Patrick led her way to motor sport history when she became the first woman to lead a lap and sit on the pole position at the Daytona 500, finishing in 8th place. Despite the daunting level of adversity, Silberman maintained the ambition to perform at the
Combine. Over 300 players tried out at the Combine held at the Jets Facilities and only a few would be successful. Certainly, Lauren Silberman did not believe she was going to be one of the hundreds of player that was going to be rejected at the NFL
could kick a football. On her first kick from the 35-yard line, she took over 20 seconds to place the ball on the tee, and her kick barely crossed midfield. The second one did not even make it past the 50 yard line. “I think it was a great attempt
Regional Combine. While Silberman remained confident in her abilities, upon arriving at the Jets facilities she had no idea how far she
for a female to try out for the NFL as it shows the confidence she has for a sport that requires years of training,” said junior Arjun Nagpal.
Even though nerves and sore muscle affected Silberman attempt to kick her way to NFL history, she remained positive through the experience. Silberman lack of experience as a football player certainly hurt her chances at excelling at the combine. As many note that becoming an NFL player is a dream to some, but hard work for others, many believe that Silberman’s attempt for the NFL was just a dream. She may have tried out simply to make a statement. “I think more women will try to seek opportunities in sports such as football, where mostly men dominate the teams. I think this would be a good and interesting thing to see because everyone deserves a shot at what they want to do. And sports are not only for men, so it would be good to see women fight for equality in that sense,” sophomore Vinny Nicosia said. Silberman can at least content herself with some notoriety. She quotes “I might be the first woman trying out for the NFL, but I certainly hope I’m not the last.”