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The Norwalk High School

Paw Print

DeCeMBeR 2011

In THIs IssUe:


“How the Bears make their mark”

Variation in Classes Causes Disturbance Juliana Cole ’12 Staff Writer



VOLUMe VI, IssUe 2

With over 1,600 students at Norwalk High School, it is not uncommon for different teachers to be teaching the same course. However, students often question whether they are receiving the same treatment as students taking the same course with a different teacher. Students often complain about getting stuck with the “difficult teacher” while other students perceive they are “let off the hook easier”. Teachers who teach the same course as another are required to teach the same material to their students, yet different disciplinary methods and opinions within the classroom can cause one to be seen as easier than the other. “My sophomore year, I was in an honors class that was taught by another teacher as well,” Jessica Serpa (’12) commented. “I had the easier teacher, and the other students complained that their class was much harder when my class would do practically nothing.” Mr. Pagano, who teaches Honors English I along with Ms. Stamos and regular English I in collaboration with Mr.

Segers, shared how they make sure that their classes are being treated equally to avoid such a problem. “The key is to communicate with one another,” he said. “We develop the same assignments and make sure that we are holding our students to the same things.” While other English teachers in the past have been thought to be much easier or much harder than their corresponding teacher, Mr. Pagano, Mr. Segers, and Ms. Stamos have made sure that they take the time to stay on the same page. As the new chair of the science department this year, Mr. Lipp stated, “There are individual data teams in which teachers meet during collaboration times to ensure that they follow the same curriculum, and thereby the courses are taught at the same level.” He continued, “Each teacher might teach with a little more passion and do things a little differently since we aren’t robots, but they shouldn’t be any harder.” As long as teachers are able to work together to ensure that they are looking for the same things from their students, students should not feel that they are being treated unfairly or that they were stuck with the “hard teacher”. Like Mr.Pagano said, “Communication is key.”

Photo Credit: Caitlin Monahan

Candlelight 2011


The ease of Cheating

Caylie Sheridan ’12

Staff Writer “During a test: people look up for inspiration, down for desperation, and left and right for information” according to a random post on twitter. After questioning 100 random students at Norwalk High School, 88% have admitted to cheating or plagiarizing at least once in their life. Cheating can consist of copying and pasting copyrighted information, researching the answers on your phone, hiding a sheet of paper under your exam, or looking at the persons sheet next to you. “People could either text or just simply look at someone else’s paper when the teacher’s not looking. There are some smart ways, but I’m a perfect student, I don’t cheat,” said Michael Sornatale (’12). Cheating can be a major issue depending on if the teacher notices, and how the teacher handles the situation after witnessing it many times. According to E housemaster Mr. Singleton, the first offence to cheating is one to three days suspension, parent notification, and no credit for the assignment. The second offence is one to three days in ISS, parent notification, and no credit for the assignment. The third offence is one to five days in ISS, parent notification, and no credit for the assignment. He then went on to say “I try very hard to prevent cheating from occurring in the first place, said Mr. Arrigo. ...Continued on Page 7

Lessons Force students to Make Choice Chloe Cappo ’12

Staff Writer “Can I go to a lesson?” This has become a question that causes confusion, anger and even fear to students and staff at Norwalk High School. It seems that there is no happy medium. Teachers are becoming more and more frustrated at the fact that students are being pulled from their classes during important teaching times. Music teachers are becoming more and more frustrated that their students’ grades drop because teachers will not let them attend their scheduled lessons. Students are just stuck in the middle. Right now the way the schedule is set up is that a student must go to a lesson either four to five times a quarter. For students these lessons count as 40% of their grade. Because the lesson schedule rotates with the schools rotating eightday schedule a student should only miss a certain class twice within a quarter. The conflict here is some teachers will not let students leave during their lesson period. The lessons are one of the contributing factors as to why

the music department has done so well over the years. However, when teachers do not allow students to go to a lesson it slows down productions and the progress of students. “I understand when a teacher will not let a student go, but it makes other teachers feel more pressured when they let a student go more often,” says Mrs. Burkhalter, Orchestra Director. The lesson schedule was put together to enhance the skills of students in music departments, but is it a fair system? Students who can afford to take private music lessons outside of school have to take fewer lessons in school than those who do not pay. “I don’t have to take lessons in school besides two during the first quarter,” says Jessica Evans (’12) a student who pays for private lessons. Some students see it differently though. ...Continued on Page 2

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Honoring Alumni With NHS Sports Complex


Photo Credit: Carly Mammoliti

NHS opted to hold another ceremony on Veterans Day 2011 to re-dedicate the complex in their honor. Brian Manby ’12 NHS Social Studies teacher and head of the A&E/Opinion Editor Social Studies department, Mr. O’Shaughnessy was While Norwalk Public Schools students sat in class this past directly involved in the ceremony, which included Veterans Day commemorating the lives and service of the men reading the citations of both Shea and Magrath shortly and woman who fight for the nation’s freedom every day, Norwalk after lunch that day. High School individually did something very special to honor two “We were looking for things to do to honor of its most famous alumni. veterans and we know that it’s rare to have two Medal Daniel John Shea and John D. Magrath were two NHS recipients from the same school. It was something graduates who were posthumously bestowed with the highest level many kids didn’t even know about, so we thought the of decoration from the United States Armed Forces: the Medal of ceremony would be a good idea,” Mr. O’Shaughnessy Honor. The two served in the United States Military, although Shea stated. Zach Stack and Jenn Roginski read the citations of both alumni was a soldier during Vietnam and Magrath during World War II, Alongside Mr. O’Shaughnessy were NHS students and were both awarded shortly after their untimely deaths. themselves who were selected to be a part of the John Magrath was killed in action on April 14, 1945 when his company was pinned ceremony as well, such as senior Zach Stack (’12) who said he really enjoyed being by heavy mortar and artillery fire near Castel d’Aiano, Italy. Magrath rose beyond the involved. call of duty by killing multiple German enemies to capture a machinegun nest. With the “We were honoring two heroes that fought and died for their country, in a very newfound weapon, he neutralized two more nests and killed an additional six Germans in courageous way at that. I felt good to be honoring heroes: something that we as students the process until he was mortally wounded. don’t generally do,” Zach added. Likewise, Shea was killed in battle on May 14, 1969 when an enemy force ambushed Evidently, Veterans Day 2011 was certainly one to remember all over Norwalk, and the platoon he led in a rice field. He took drastic measures and dodged enemy fire by the ceremony held in honor of its own two heroes revived a touching memory of exactly carrying four wounded soldiers out of the area before he was fatally wounded as well. how courageous each serviceman and woman truly is. Deservingly so, it is safe to say As a result of their courage and service to the country, NHS decided years ago to that the memories of Daniel Shea and John Magrath will never be lost, and Norwalk High name its sports complex alongside Testa Field in their honor. However, in an effort to School is beyond proud to have such a wonderful facility that bears their names. keep their memory alive and commemorate two of the school’s most prestigious alumni,

Lessons Conflict with Class MVP: Most Valuable Poet continued from Page 1

Lucas Keogh ’13 Sports Editor

Norwalk High School has had many talented students over the past years. Some are athletes, some are scientists, and some are even fellow teachers at the school. One more person has been added to the list of talent these past couple of years; his name is Farlen Alvarado (’12). Farlen has recently won the Scope Magazine contest for writing an essay based on material read from a story. Large amounts of people across the country are expected to have entered this year, and he has triumphed over all of them. This is also his third time winning in the past two years, winning two contests last year. “I was excited, although not as much because winning for the third time in a row is…I’ll say kind of unusual and unexpected,” stated Farlen on his reaction for winning for the third time. Farlen has also gotten some help along the way. Mr. Stein, who introduced him to Scope magazine, has assisted him

with his essays ever since junior year. “My first impressions of Farlen were conscientious, insightful, and interested in schoolwork,” said Mr. Stein. He went on to add “The first time he won, I was happy for him. The second time I was shocked, and the third time…it was amazing!” Farlen’s story was about the curses that ancient Egyptian’s have put inside their pyramids. His first two were Ph ot about a survivor of the holocaust, o and the second one was a story about a girl and a necklace. Each time he has won, he was rewarded a book related to the subject he has written about. “I would just like to thank Mr. Stein for introducing Scope magazine to me. He was my best junior English teacher.” stated Farlen, who received help from Mr. Stein with his essays. When asked about the subject, Mr. Stein said “I wish other students would take the initiative like Farlen has. They should do something not required by school for once.” Farlen will be graduating this school year, but there’s no knowing which talented writer may come as a student next. Congratulations to Farlen and best of luck to winning in future years. Colon uan it: J ed Cr

“There is no avoiding the conflict,” admits Emily Crosby (’12), a student who pays for lessons. “If you are a teacher you cannot say a lesson is not important,” she continues. The conflict between music and academic classes continues to be an on going struggle at NHS. AP teachers especially stress the importance of not missing class because it could drastically affect the AP test scores of students. “Just like the band and orchestra has practices for a performance, we have class time to prepare for the AP exam,” explains Mr. Harriton, an AP teacher in the social studies department. The same constant questions and confusion from music and academic teachers never seem to be answered. “There is a lack of communication between music teachers and academic teachers when it comes to letting students go to lessons,” says Mrs. Pettibone. The lesson schedule has not been modified and students seem to be set in their old ways. There are some teachers that agree with the way the schedule is now. “I’m fine with letting people go as long as they tell me where they are going,”

explained Mrs. Ireland. Other schools such as Brien McMahon and New Canaan High School do not seem to be having the same issues that we are with lessons. Many of their students take their lessons during study halls. “Mr. Benson at BMHS has the time to let students come to lessons during their study halls because he only has two orchestras,” says Mrs. Burkhalter. “Same for New Canaan. They only have one orchestra.” Teachers constantly show their concern when a student misses class. “Music in the schools makes it a better place, but students leaving NHS at the end of their high school career will be focused on academics,” says Mr. Harriton. “The lessons serve as a distraction,” he continues. He agrees that when a student leaves a class they are losing valuable lesson time that cannot be made up. All of the missed days eventually add up and lessons interrupt the curriculum. Harriton does not think that students should have to choose between a lesson and a class. “Kids are put in the middle and it is unfair,” states Harriton. With the lessons becoming a growing issue it seems that we need to find a solution quickly before issues get more out of control.

NBC Sports Leaves New York for Stamford, Conn. as English teachers because of the lack of job openings. Business Technology teacher Mrs. Lasko says that this has Staff Writer been one of the best ideas that could have ever been brought to Fairfield County. “I think it is a good idea if they eventually start NBC Sports has had enough of New York City and decided opening up new jobs,” said Lasko. to bring its studios to “The City That Works” also known as Not only will this bring new jobs to the area but it will Stamford, Connecticut. also help popular businesses. Places like the Stamford Mall, The constantly rising lease prices have convinced NBC Target, Buffalo Wild Wings, and California Pizza Kitchen. Sports to move to Stamford where rent is much cheaper. These popular and successful businesses in downtown Stam According to the Stamford Advocate, Connecticut Governor ford will attract many NBC Sports workers, which will help Dannell Malloy had much feedback. “I’m certainly cognizant the local businesses and also help improve the economical and that people would like to see new employers come to the state,” The new home of NBC Sports in CT will create many jobs overall success of Stamford. says Malloy. A 32-acre site will house office space for NBC Sports, NBC The NBC deal, WTNH reported, involves 440 jobs for a $30 million investment for the company. Not only will this improve the economical Olympics, NBC Sports Digital, and VERSUS. According to, Governor Dannel Malloy commented, “I am strongly success of Stamford but it will also help surrounding towns such as Greenwich, Nor- supportive of this expansion in Stamford because we continue to see the positive impact walk, Westport, Fairfield, and New Canaan. NBC Sports will be all over Fairfield County, which could create massive amounts in the local economy and on the workforce.” E-House Guidance Counselor, Mr. Sullivan, feels that this news will be a great of jobs. It could also give young, intelligent teenagers summer internships with the company to give them an opportunity to work for such a successful and popular impact towards school communities. “Whenever you have a highly professional business move into the area, it attracts local school communities,” said Sullivan. “This company. “I just found out about this considering it was announced weeks ago,” stated English will definitely benefit our students who have a big interest in those fields and they will Teacher Mr. Smith. “I think this was a clever idea and I really hope that it creates a lot be able to experience this at a young age.” more jobs.” He also said that many people want to be journalists, but eventually end up

Andrew Fitzgerald ’12

Photo: Dru Nadler / Stamford Advocate Freelance




Norwalk High Says Goodbye to a Beloved Principal

Nicole Dunsmore ’13

Feature Editor

Not long after the school year began, Principal Leonard Mecca announced that this would be his last. News of his retirement was received with astonishment and disappointment, along with the recurring allegation that ‘he’s not even old!’ Although Mecca has only been the principal at Norwalk High School for five years, his career in education began long ago. “In 1973, my career started as an English teacher. I taught English for ten years at New Rochelle High School. During that time I also coached varsity basketball for five years and girls softball for six years,” narrated Mecca. Ten years later he decided to become a “hotshot administrator”, starting as an assistant principal for four years and then promoting to head principal. Mecca stayed in this position for the next twenty years at Alexander Hamilton High School in Elmsford, New York. “And now this is my fifth year as principal of Norwalk, and this is the best. The newspaper has really progressed to become a viable activity in our school. The music program: extraordinary. I like being part of everything; sharing in the marching band and Candlelight, jazz festivals, productions, Footpath; just incredible. Athletic programs, in my other school we didn’t have the scope of girls’ sports – never had a field hockey; I didn’t even know what the heck it was… It’s been really wonderful.” Among all of his highlights, one of his favorites is the dodge ball tournament with the involvement of such a vast number of students. Mr. Mecca recognizes that the school would not be so exceptional without counting the commendable people and teachers here. The real surprise to him is the amount of great parents who truly support the school and program. As he departs, Mecca laments about the problematic circumstances that he unwillingly dealt with as principal. “I wish I didn’t have to make so many cuts. I think it’s prevented me from moving forward. We could’ve done some things academically; the tech section would have been nice to do more to instead of making cuts. That’s been a major disappointment; I don’t think I accomplished as much academically as I would’ve liked.” The absence of Mr. Mecca will be a tremendous adjustment for the students as they

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lose a principal that truly cares for them individually. “I love how supportive he is of students,” expressed Shannon Vallerie (‘13). “He knows almost everyone’s name and every Friday he tells every lunch table to have a good weekend,” mentioned Meghan Beluk (‘13). “He asks everyone their opinion, like what they thought about the PSATs, and gets involved at all the sports events,” added Toni-ann Mattera (’14). “He walks around at lunch and talks to everyone to get to know them well,” stated Kat Hollyday (’13). Mecca agrees that “some of my routines are bizarre, like standing outside every day, but I really enjoy doing that, I always have. I’m really going to miss making connections with a lot of students. I think what I do and how I do it; I get a chance to touch lives, and I’m Five years after starting at NHS, Mecca retires going to miss that here.” Mr. Mecca will at last have free time and he is eager to experience this new flexibility. “I’m going to do a lot. No, actually what I want to do is not do things. I’ve been doing this for thirty-nine years and beyond that I’ve never had summers off; I’ve never been able to do much travel. I’m kind of looking forward to go places when school isn’t on vacation; I don’t know what that means. I’ve never gone on a vacation in October; I’m looking forward to that. I’m looking forward to taking afternoon naps. I am so happily married, I want to spend more time with my wife and I love spending time with my two grandkids.” Norwalk High will miss their principal deeply and hopes that he will enjoy his retirement, but that he never hesitates to come back to the school whenever he misses it. “People say ‘oh you’ve always been so involved, you’re gonna be bored’. No I don’t see that, I think I’m gonna be fine.”

The Unwritten Rules of Text Messaging Caitlin Monahan ’12

Staff Writer

Photo Credit: Caitlin Monahan

Teenagers are constantly on their cell phones texting each other while following a ‘texting guideline’, which consists of unspoken rules one must follow while writing a text in order to set the tone of the conversation. This is an everyday thing for teenagers although adults have a hard time grasping the concept of it. When asked, many adults have never heard of such a thing and only text the way they were taught using proper grammar. No one really talks about the rules of texting, most teenagers say it is something you “just know”. These guidelines include using certain amount of smiley faces and where you can and cannot place them, the overuse of “lol” and “haha,” and how to set the tone of the text by the usage of periods. “I use dots when I’m mad,” says Olena Khomk (’13). Using periods after writing a text shows the receiver that

the person sending the text is either annoyed or mad. However, to adults, using “…” means there is a pause and by no means meant to come across as they are mad. “I personally just use periods to show that there is an unfinished thought,” says art teacher Mr. Franco, the photography teacher at Norwalk High School. Other rules such as one worded answers followed by a period or “lol” also show that the person sending the text is not happy. “I feel there is a tone of voice depending on how you type,” stated Stephanie Meckley (’12). Although the person who reads the text cannot hear how the person is sounding while saying, the tone of voice that the texter is trying to portray comes through more clearly. “If the person texting is bored, you know it.” Stephanie added. “I had no idea that there was such a guideline” later continued Franco. Although adults have never heard of this, teenagers say this is very real. A text that simply has an extra period, too many smiley faces, or even the placement of ‘lol’ can determine the tone of a text message.

Playing ‘Hide-and-Seek’ With Admissions Officers

Emily Crosby ’12

Staff Writer

Photo Credit:

When applying to college, seniors want to give the best impression possible. No student wants an admissions officer viewing what parties they went to or how they have spent their weekend. Many believe that simply changing a name on Facebook or other social networks that they can prevent someone from being able to see their profile. For many high school students every, aspect their life is broadcasted over Facebook or other social networking sites. When it comes to signing up for a social networking site, many do not think of how much personal information you are allowing anyone to see. Whether your profile is on private or not, things like your email are always available. According to Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities ‘When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).’ After sending out their applications many seniors will often change their name, thinking that simply by switching their first name and last name to first name and middle name with another student they can magically remove the worry of their dream college viewing what they do. “A lot of seniors in my school change their names, either changing their last names or splitting their name up (i.e. Crystal turns into Chris Tull). I

changed my name because I didn’t want to spend my entire senior fall worrying about what I posted. Essentially, I wanted to be able to post whatever I wanted and not worry about a college finding it,” said Lizzie Pinede, a student from Greens Farms Academy Whether admissions officers really do browse through your Facebook page while viewing your application is an on going debate. According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2011 survey of college admissions officers nearly a quarter of respondents have gone to an applicant’s Facebook or other social networking page to learn more about them. “The main reason why I changed it is because I feel that it is just an invasion of privacy on the part of admissions boards. What I post online shouldn’t affect whether I get into a school or not. I have nothing to hide but I feel that you fear you are viewed won’t match those of your ‘dream school’’. If they really want to get to know us, I don’t think a social network is the place to do so.” Said Stephanie Mandujano (’12) Your college application can only give an admissions officer a student’s academic side, but there are always things to be found out from their Facebook page. “The worst part of social networks is that it is all open to interpretation, what the viewer sees, may not be what you want them to,” said Mr. Simonsen. When it comes down to a students Facebook page, changing your name should not be the biggest issue, being cautious as to what goes on Facebook should.

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The Evils of Being an Angel Eating Disorder Epidemic Devin Long ’12

Photo Credit by Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2011

Photo Credit: Caitlin Monhan

sible on the Internet or in doctors’ offices, a healthy BMI falls between 18.5 and 24.9. Staff Writer However, most individuals worldwide fall Millions of viewers watched the Victoria’s into the ‘overweight’ category, with BMIs Secret Fashion Show on the evening of ranging from 25 to 29.9. November 29, updating Facebook statuses Although fashion designers prefer thin and tweeting to express their envy and ad- models because the way clothes hang on miration of the models’ bodies. Curiously, their bodies flatters their designs, the gap as the size of supermodels becomes more between the sizes of models and the averminiscule, the average American waistline age person continues to grow. expands. Marilyn Monroe, the iconic image The average American man has a Body of a woman in the 1950’s, had a BMI of Mass Index (BMI) of 28.46, while the aver- 20, while Kate Moss, who modern models age American woman’s is 28.33, compared most resemble, has a BMI of 16. For into 25.46 and 25.0, respectively, in 1980. stance, Adriana Lima, a favorite of many According to BMI charts, which are acces- Victoria’s Secret fans, stands 5’10”, but weighs merely 112 pounds. The models have shared with the media the exercises they regularly perform to keep their bodies slim, including jump roping and shadow boxing. As if these simple cardio workouts are the secret to attaining a celebrity body, few people consider the extremes that the models go in regard to diet. Lima reported to Telegraph that the last nine days before the annual fashion show, the models get their nutrition strictly from protein shakes. In the final 12 hours, they deprive their bodies of everything, including water. “No liquids at all so you dry out, sometimes you can lose up to eight pounds just from that,” Lima told Telegraph. People debate whether or not Lima, with a BMI of 16, and the other Angels have another eight pounds to lose. One of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2011 models.

Caitlin Monahan ’12

Staff Writer

Societal standards have altered the view of what is ‘beautiful’ it has pressured many teenagers to resort to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Anorexia and bulimia are disorders involved with eating; anorexia is an obsessive need to loose weight by refusing to eat, while bulimia is extreme overeating followed by vomiting or fasting. Both disorders are extremely harmful and can be fatal if not treated. “Eating disorders are common among teens in high school,” said Marybeth Fessler in the NHS health center. She stated that many teenagers go through it without their peers even realizing. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that there are over 8 million Americans suffering from eating disorders and only 50% admit to being fully over the selfharming disorder. Teenagers and young adults are most common to fall victim to these disorders. This is an ongoing problem even at our own school; a survey of 100 girls from Norwalk High School, 57 out of

100 responded that they feel the need to fit into the standards of what the social media finds beautiful. Another survey consisting of 135 students including both boys and girls said that 64 of them knew someone who has or once had an eating disorder. Teenagers feel like they need to fit in with the social media, where beautiful is stick thin. “Students with bulimia feel that that they fit in by joining friends at lunch and either leave the lunch table or ask for a pass to go to the bathroom and purge,” continued Fessler. Many students are oblivious to the signs that their friends may be suffering from this disorder. Teenagers are falling pressure to eating disorders due to society’s pressure to look a certain way to feel that they fit in. The pressure to be a certain kind of thin is when anorexia, to some, is the only way to reach what they feel is accepted by others around them. If you know or think you know anyone with an eating disorder, you should get them to seek help immediately. To get help, call the Anorexia helpline at 888740-4191

NHS Falls Behind in Post-Grad Prep Mikayla Beckwith ’14

Staff Writer

Students all over Fairfield County are sending in their college applications this semester. Whether or not they have career paths prepared shows the inconsistency in the county’s schools. Norwalk High School, along with other schools in the county, prepares students through College and Career Center programs. Some schools are more prepared than others. For instance, Stamford High School has a website with an entire section just on college preparation and careers, including links that offer information on job postings, internship and work experience, and summer opportunities. Staples High School, like Stamford, has a senior internship program. Head Editor of the Staples High newspaper, Julian Clarke (’12), explained how a student in their senior year can leave in the last month of school to participate in a student internship. “You can do any number of things, from working here at Staples as an assistant to a teacher, working at a newspaper like The Hour or The Minuteman, to working in the marketing department at MLB’s offices in New York City,” stated Clarke. NHS provides courses such as Intro to Engineering, Web Page De-

sign, and Food Service Career 1. New Canaan High School provides courses such as Woodworking 1, Business Law, and Car Care. Schools all around us are preparing their students. Now look at Bridgeport Central High School, where the course op-

tions are less extravagant. Schools like Bridgeport Central have less money to spend on the extras like wood shop or fashion design because they are still trying to pay for the necessities. Fairfield County is definitely not distributing their money and curriculums evenly. On average, Bridgeport Central spends $14, 010 per student.

NHS and Stamford High School spend closer to $17,000 per student. Greenwich High School spends $18, 495 on each student. The price difference means to less books, activity funds, and extra classes. “College is extremely important. Further education prepares students for life after high school. A lot of companies require Bachelor or Masters degrees,” commented Career Center worker Mrs. Evon. NHS is taking steps towards better college preparation with the popular college site, Naviance. “It is basically a college and career tool,” said EHouse Guidance Counselor Mr. Sullivan. “Career choices are up to the student,” commented Kelly Mulvehill (’12). The school cannot do everything for the students. Some actions have to be made on their own. Naviance, the Four-Year Plan, and selection of appropriate classes help students to choose career paths and a future. Other programs like summer opportunities, internships, and job fairs promote early selection. Fairfield County schools are encouraging and preparing students to go to college and have career options available sporadically. In order to be effective, schools all over the county need to be consistent.




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Officer Murray Leaves NHS, Sgritta Takes His Place

Ryan Halloran ’12

Staff Writer

C it: ed Cr

n Monahan aitli

After watching his two step-children graduate from Norwalk High School, interacting with both the students and the staff, and attending nearly every sporting event; Officer Michael Murray has left the school after six years of service. After moving security guard Mr. Charles Miller to a middle school due to budget cuts, NHS has lost yet another reliable worker who was familiar with the school rules, policies, and students. Because the Norwalk Police Department lacks detectives due to injury and retirement, Resource School Officer Murray was asked to return there to continue his job. Another officer from the police department, Chris Segura, will fill the vacant position. Murray hopes to help Segura out so the school will not lose consistency. Detective Murray has fulfilled his duties at NHS, which was to investigate sexual assault and child abuse. “Anytime you leave one division and go to another, there are things you will miss. However, I am excited to go back,” said Murray. Principal Leonard Mecca praised all of the hard

work that Officer Murray has contributed to the school for the years he was here. “He made connections with the students and kept us aware of what was going on in the community and how it will affect school life,” explained Mr. Mecca. Mecca also stated that he was always ahead of the curve of trouble because of Murray. “He will be missed.” Students at NHS were very close with the officer Ph and some even considered him their friend. “I oto will miss having him around the school. He did a lot for the students,” stated Emma Vita (’12). Security Guard Scotty Nails stressed how much he will miss Detective Murray. “He was here because he cares about the kids. I consider him not only as a co-worker, but also as a friend.” One thing that many staff members and students do not know is the cooking talents of Officer Murray. When the weather got cold outside, Murray often made a meal for the security staff. Nails called his Stromboli “top of the line”. Although he is leaving, the experience for Murray will not be forgotten. “I have been here for six years now. It has been a pleasure working with the kids and has been very rewarding!” With both Mr. Miller and Officer Murray gone, Norwalk High School will have a void in their security staff. Hopefully the NHS community will see Murray again, but under the right circumstances.

Caylie Sheridan ’12 Staff Writer

As of December 1, 2011 School Recourse Officer, Chris Sgritta, has taken the stand and become the new School Resource Officer. Sgritta has been a cop for two years and his future goals are to become a detective, and one day a sergeant. After the event that had taken place on September 11, 2001, inspired Sgritta to become an officer. “My goal within this job is to ensure a safe environment for the citizens in Norwalk” said Sgritta. After being at NHS for a week Sgritta enjoys not only starting his day off here, but also interacting with the students and he likes what he sees. “The students are shy, and in a way questioning the new guy.” Sgritta wanted to become a School Resource Officer because it was an opportunity that he was able to take from the police department. “I like to be well rounded, make a lot of connections with the students and staff and get the feel of how a School Resource Officer is.” Sgritta picked NHS out of all the other schools because he likes the big diversity between students, as well as sports. Some fun facts about Sgritta are that throughout high school and college he played lacrosse. Also, coached college lacrosse at Eastern CT University for four years. “The same way I coach is the same way I deal with students, SRO, and duties.” Sgritta also volunteered as a firefighter for five years, and enjoys shows as Rescue Me, and True Blood. Officer Murray will be missed, however Sgritta will be just fine.

Teens Try To Kick The Caffeine Craze Taylor Demarco ’12

Staff Writer

Toddlers Take Tour of NHS Take Two danny Muñoz ’12

Staff Writer

Beginning this school year, Norwalk High School welcomed new students; Preschoolers of the class of 2025, which are now located in room 107E, the old child development classroom. The new child development room is now located in room 308D, which is taught by Mrs. Warfield. She said the new program, “is great because child development students can now work hands on with these preschoolers.” This program is located in room 107E, the old child development classroom. “The School Readiness program is the organization that funds the preschoolers in NHS,” stated Mr. Henry, head of the preschooler program. NHS was not a part of this funding, but had a vacant room where the preschoolers could be taught. It is meant to help families with low-income to have a place of daycare for their children throughout the workday. Brien McMahon High School is also offering the School readiness program and has preschoolers of their own with child development students to work with them. At NHS, we have had some new installations such as

two cameras in the area of the preschoolers’ classroom. There is a new camera in the E-house stairwell, and one in the hallway. The classroom door has also had installed a silent alarm every single time their door is opened to notify whom goes in and out of the room. This program has been around for about ten years now helping parents by taking care of the preschoolers and giving high school child development students more

“This is a correction from the Preschool Article we published last issue. We apologize for the mistakes and will not make them in the future.” - The Paw Print Staff hands on work. This is only being heard of now because it now takes place in NHS involving us in their program. It is taking place in our school instead of Naramake Elementary School because there was no room for this program there anymore; since the child development room moved to third floor, NHS had room to take the program in to our own campus, which helps them and gives our students benefits as well.

Photo Credit: Caitlin Monahan

When it comes down to a morning routine, having a cup of coffee is a regular for some students here at Norwalk High School. Drinking caffeine in the morning before school “helps” students stay awake and alert to activities during the school day, or so students think. According to MSNBC in 2001, ten percent of visits to gourmet coffee and teashops were by customers under the age of 18. Coffee drinking in teens has not become a big problem over the years, since teens have become apart of the fast-growing culture of coffee, but to Susan McGinnis, it seemed to be a concern. “The ranks of coffee drinkers are trending much younger as more and more teens enjoy cups of java every day, many with the full consent of their parents”, Susan McGinnis reports to, “And that’s causing dieticians to sit up and take notice.” Teenagers are a big part on boosting the $18 billion dollar per year coffee industries all over the United States, according to Some students hear others joke around on how addicted to coffee they really are, when research shows it might be a true addiction. “That addiction”, says nutrientist Elisa Zied to CBS “can occur after consuming it day in and out with kids frequenting coffee bars and hanging out there with their friends, it’s no wonder kids are getting addicted to caffeine.” Coffee addictions can also be found inside NHS, with its addicts consisting of students and teachers. Walking into school every morning, you can find hundreds of students carrying around Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks caffeinated beverages. Thomas Eckert (’13) states that he is a non-drinker, because he is not fond of the

taste. “I don’t see them as anymore different than anyone who does drink coffee”, Thomas continues, “I have heard rumors that caffeine has stunted people’s growth…but I have never heard proof of this fact.” Though it is legal, Caffeine is a commonly used drug that improves on muscle coordination and alertness. However, Caffeine is not just found inside coffee, but in tea, chocolate, and many soft drinks consumed mostly by teenagers. A common rumor of caffeine is that it stunts your growth, which is proven by research to be false. However, if used excessively, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, and can cause many problems to a teenager’s body, such as anxiety and muscle twitching ulcers. If the drinker decides to stop, you must do so over time and not overnight, for it can cause headaches, irritability and fatigue.

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Photo credit: Caitlin Monahan

The New Civic Forum Lydia Krenicki ’12

News Editor

Mr. Seaburg, Mr. Welsh, Mr. O’ Shaughnessy, Mr. Karl, and Mr. Mecca in the soon-to-be Civic Forum.

The priority schoolroom, located on first floor Ahouse will soon be converted into a Civic Forum room used for various projects such as debates, presentations, and simulations, as well as various other activities. The renovation of the room was started when Norwalk High School first went under construction five years ago, but was stopped due to budget cuts. The room is now under construction containing soundproof tiled walls, a 14-foot screen, a platform and 75 brand new chairs. A group of social studies teachers make up a committee focused on funding with the hope of adding more to the room over time. Long-term goals are to have the room equipped with stadium seating for an amphitheater feel, two podiums for debates, and curtains for the back windows in order to play movies.

Strides Made at Shelter Juliana Cole ’12

Staff Writer

Although the Norwalk’s Open Door Shelter has not had the greatest reputation over the years, things are beginning to look up for the homeless of Norwalk as positive changes continue to take place. With the Holidays right around the corner, the shelter’s staff is faced with their busiest time of year as they coordinate Christmas parties for kids, holiday baskets for families, and provide presents to put these individuals in the holiday spirit. For Thanksgiving alone, the “Manna House,” which is in charge of feeding those in need, collected 180 turkeys as donations from generous people all over Fairfield County for homeless families to enjoy. Bill Okwuosa, who was named Executive Director of the Open Door Shelter in February 2011, has already brought forth many impressive changes with his positive approach to helping the homeless. “We want to get rid of our bad reputation and really make this into a transitional shelter, as opposed to just a flop house,” Okwuosa stated. “Residents used to bring alcohol into the home whenever they wanted, but they are no longer allowed to bring drinks inside.” Okwuosa has already changed a majority of the rules at the shelter, by enforc-

ing that all residents do their chores in the morning before either working with “transitional coaches” or going off on their own to try to find jobs each day. With 13 participants in the “Hope Works” program, which uses hands-on training to get the homeless back on their feet so that they can graduate in nine months with a steady job and a place of their own to live, residents are expected to move on from the shelter with a sense of stability and confidence for a better future. Although the homeless situation in Norwalk may never disappear completely, Bill Okwuosa and the rest of the remarkable staff at the Open Door Shelter are certainly taking steps in the right direction to improve such an overwhelming issue. The programs they have put in place should only have positive results. Still, it is up to the rest of the community to step up and really make a difference by offering their assistance whenever possible. The shelter lacks teenage volunteers, as almost all of their helpers are middleaged adults. To set up a time to help out, all one has to do is go to the shelter or make a phone call to speak with one of the staff members. 4 Merritt Street in South Norwalk is just a short, five-minute drive from Norwalk High and could always use another helping hand.

Mr. Welsh, a member of the committee, said, “ I think it will be a comfortable resource for all groups.” The room will not be restricted to the social studies department but will provide a service to the community at large. The room can host any small to medium-sized meeting, containing approximately 100 people. The committee hopes to add an electronic teaching device, such as a SMART Board, to increase the uses of the room. Mr. Welsh continued, “ This is an important step in having students build citizenship skills, learn how to speak comfortably in public, think on their feet, challenge a point of view while using the strengths of a group to achieve a goal.” With the help of this Civic Forum room, NHS hopes to promote ideas into action and create a stronger community within the school. Please contact Ted Welsh (welshe@norwalkps. org) at Norwalk High School with ideas on how to use the room or to make a tax-free contribution.

The Big Bloom at NHS NICOLE CHIARAMONTE ’12 Staff Writer

Norwalk High students welcomed the students from Naramake as they shuffled through the doors of 111D for the first Norwalk Grows meeting on Wednesday, December 7, 2011. In the Norwalk Grows program, NHS students mentor students from Naramake on how to grow and harvest a garden, and they teach them the importance of fresh produce versus processed and canned goods. The program was conceived in hopes to promote healthy lifestyles, academic achievement, environmental stewardship, community development, and to reduce childhood obesity. For their first meeting, the students prepared two recipes using winter squashes: Butternut squash muffins and pumpkin smoothies. These were made using all organic farm vegetables. “We hope to achieve high school and elementary school awareness of sustainability and gardening and food preparation and a better awareness of healthy eating,” said Ms. Dolan, the Norwalk Grows High School Facility Leader. “We also hope to make a con-

nection between where their food comes from and how it affects their wellbeing, their nutrition, and their lifestyle.” Grants from Norwalk Grows and Norwalk Children’s Foundation, with the additional help and financial gift from Tauck World of Giving, led to the installment of the Learn 2 Grow Garden in September 2010. About two hundred people volunteered to help set up the garden, including students from NHS, parents from Naramake and volunteers from Tauck World of Giving. “I think it’s a true mentorship program where the kids learn from each other and in return become leaders to the kids at their school,” said Lisa Lenskold, Director of Norwalk Grows. The Norwalk Grows program runs from two to five, on every other Wednesday each month. To get involved or simply find out more about the program, e-mail Ms. Dolan at

Volunteer Square Makes a Positive New Impression Emily Crosby ’12

Staff Writer

Clubs from B.R.O.W.N to Build On, focus on volunteer activities that can help those in need. But while these clubs indirectly compete for the work they do, none of them take the time to communicate about how everyone’s thoughts can become a bigger picture. Whether these clubs focus on issues that are worldwide or right in the community, there is always an opportunity to help. Volunteer Square gives a whole new aspect to volunteering. It is a social networking site for volunteer groups and activities. Volunteer Square is meant to help encourage high school students to make connections through volunteering and make a bigger impact. “Our main goal is to involve the entire Fairfield County community in a nonprofit way, essentially volunteer square is to educate people in an easy way, and involve many different locations and agencies to make a positive impact,” said Rachel Reese, Executive Director of Volunteer Square. There are over 20 agencies ranging from hunger relief, to animal care, and children’s education. These different agencies are able to post certain activities and opportunities they could use assistance with on

the site, to involve more local students. “There is no limit to how many or what schools decide to be involved with Volunteer Square, we are honored to have NHS become a part of this, and we are always picking up new schools and agencies to join.” Said, Reese. Both St. Luke’s Private School in New Canaan and Brunswick Private School in Greenwich are very involved and contribute a great deal to Volunteer Square. Recently the Executive Director Rachel Reese and the Founder Ned Brokaw visited Norwalk High School to discuss the opportunities NHS has to offer. Though all the extra curricular volunteer groups will remain the same, and still continue with their own group based activities, it is encouraged that these groups look into creating something bigger and better. With the many different volunteer groups Norwalk has to offer, becoming involved in Volunteer Square is a better way to give back, and an even better way to be involved. Sign up for Volunteer Square today at or follow them on twitter @VolunteerSquare!

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Cheaters Inhabit Norwalk High School and Beyond Caylie Sheridan ’12

Staff Writer

(continued from page one) “During a quiz or test, if upon scanning the room I believe that someone may be cheating by copying I will immediately change their seat. Consequences for any other type of cheating that I strongly suspect, or have evidence for depend upon the circumstances. A student may be given a zero on a quiz, test, or he/she may be given a retest. It really depends on the situation.” These consequences can be prevented if a student tries on a test instead of looking at others in desperation. Ms. Abrahamsen, an English teacher has similar con-

“Cheating not only occurs in Norwalk, but places worldwide as well.” -Taylor Perna ’13 sequences when a student is caught cheating. “The first offence is a zero for the assignment, phone call home, and a discussion about the consequences of plagiarism or cheating.” “Cheating not only occurs in Norwalk, but places worldwide as well.” Taylor Perna (’13). Last year, several students from New York were

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caught cheating on the SATS. Six students were accused of paying 19 year-old, Sam Eshagoff to take the college entry test for them. Eshagoff faces up to four years in prison if convicted of those charges. The students that were involved in the situation will face misdemeanor charges. The student that agreed to take the test for the several students has to pay a fine between $1,500 and $2,500 per student according to Fox News. Students may think that cheating is an “easy way out” however, there are harsh consequences depending on how serious the exam is. Other teachers may or may not have the same rule for cheating, but that comes down to how they want to deal with the situation. Only time will tell if cheating can ever be prevented for good.

Is Michael J. DiProspero Worthy of the Wall of Honor? Executive Editor Long-time Norwalk resident Michael J. DiProspero is a man of many accomplishments and is tired of not being recognized by the only city he has ever called home in his 70 years of life. Any person affiliated with NHS is aware of its Wall of Honor in C-House, but not many take the time to stop and look at the plaques that adorn the wall itself, or know how one is put on the wall to begin with. On November 19, DiProspero submitted a letter to the editor of The Hour to explain to Norwalk and Fairfield County why he deserves to be on the NHS Wall of Honor. In the letter, he established the fact that though he never graduated from NHS, he has been one of the most successful people in the city of Norwalk. DiProspero was a senior at NHS in 1959, and was suspended for two weeks for being caught smoking in the boys’ bathroom. Not having been a very good student and being faced with the reality of repeating his senior year,

DiProspero left NHS and enlisted in the Navy. “I was too upset to go back,” said DiProspero, “I was never going to graduate, so I gave up.” However the Norwalk High School Alumni Association’s (NHSAA) website’s Wall of Honor page, specifically states, “Norwalk High School graduates,” when asking for nominees. Matthew Scully (class of ’93), President of the NHSAA and the person in charge of the Wall of Honor, wrote a rebutting letter to The Hour. The letter explains how one would get nominated into the Wall of Honor and how they go about choosing inductees. Scully was polite and did not recognize the fact that DiProspero had never graduated from NHS, but instead concluded with asking either Wood or DiProspero to “submit a biography or resume” for consideration to the NHSAA. DiProspero is looking to be recognized in Norwalk for all of the different things that he has accomplished in his life after NHS. After enlisting in the Navy, he became a Boxing

champion, and later he became a successful real estate agent, building hotels and shopping centers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Once he made enough money, he was able to purchase his own car in the NASCAR Winston Cup, and started DiGard Racing with his brother-in-law. DiGard Racing went on to win 43 races, including the Daytona 500 in 1983 and 1984. DiProspero is adamant about being on the Wall because of his accomplishments. “I think I desereve it,” he stated. “No on has done the things that I have. I am number one.” He does not just want the plaque for his own pride; DiProspero really only wants something to leave his children once he is gone. The NHSAA seems to be cooperative and polite to the 70-year-old man confined to a wheelchair who seems to have done so much in the small city of Norwalk he calls home. A plaque on a wall may even seem as too small of a reward for such a great man.

Exploring the Unexplored Brian Manby ’12 A&E/Opinion Editor

As one of Norwalk High School’s many interesting academic opportunities, Project Explore provides students with an opportunity to do a creative study outside the tests, quizzes, and homework they receive in a conventional classroom setting. Project Explore annually attracts some of Norwalk High’s most creative and innovative seniors to do a yearlong independent study on anything that interests them in exchange for course credit. According to Project Explore advisor Mr. Karl, Project Explore is “for students who are pursuing a study of something that Norwalk High School doesn’t necessarily offer.” By putting in the extra effort throughout the study, students summarize their experience during an “end-ofthe-year” presentation to cap off their high school career. In the past, students’ studies have been extremely eclectic, ranging from researching the origins of mythical creatures to composing their own orchestral symphonies and beyond. Mr. Karl also rattled off a list of topics that students have explored which included book writing, documentary making, and magazine publishing. “The final presentation is on the process from beginning to end. It’s all about time management,” Mr. Karl added. This year, there are fifteen Project Explore participants in the senior class studying a variety of subjects. One participant, Zack Stack (’12), is planning to take the AP World History exam this coming May, even though the course itself is not offered at NHS. He is inde-

pendently teaching himself all that will be covered on the exam in hopes of obtaining college course credit with a high score. “I really wanted to get kids interesting in history. A lot of kids say that history is boring, though to me it is completely fascinating in so many ways,” Zack explained of his desire to participate in Project Explore. The process is not always a piece of cake by any means, however. “I have the APWH textbook, which I read and annoate, and a few times a month I meet with Mr. O’Shaughnessy to talk about a progress, where I want to be in the book next time we meet and any questions I have,” Zack added. Certainly, Project Explore is quite the unique opportunity for NHS seniors to have. Over the years, it has become one of the growing sources of popularity throughout the school and students and the presentations themselves are continually becoming even more creative.


e! rg s r ou eabu c wn r. S . o l ur or M how posa o y l te Kar out e pro a e d Cr Mr. fin plor ne o e t Ex dli ry Se a t ec dea Janu j o s Pr thi



Carly Mammoliti ’12

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Modern Warfare 3 Rises Beyond the ‘Call of Duty’ Kylie Coppola ’13

Staff Writer

‘Tumbling’ to the Top Taylor Demarco ’12

Staff Writer

The Hierarchy of Social Networking

Regis Says Goodbye to TV Juliana Cole ’12

Staff Writer

After spending nearly 28 years on the air from nine to ten a.m. every day of the workweek, Regis Philbin has finally retired from “Live With Regis and Kelly”. At 80 years old, Regis holds the Guinness World Record for the most time spent on television at roughly 17,000 hours. Although he is most known for his witty sense of humor and thick New York accent on “Live,” Regis has also hosted “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” “America’s Got Talent,” and the game show “Million Dollar Password” throughout his long, prosperous career. A three-time Emmy Award winner, Regis has also been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award and was often referred to as “the most hard working man in show business” by other celebrities.

Photo Credit:

With many uprising social networks, there is one that seems to be continuously growing: Tumblr. Tumblr is a blogging website, meant to post pictures, text, quotes, dialogue, video, or even audio to one web page. The user may also “reblog” or “like” other posts from other users they “follow” on their “dashboard”. This has a similarity between Twitter’s followers and timeline. Tumblr’s features are similar to Facebook and Twitter combined, making a journal-like blog for other users to read. With posts pictures, video, and text entries, plus featuring audio, quotes, and dialogue, the limits are endless to what the online journal can become. According to, “Tumblr was ranked #10 in the 2010 Top 10 Social Networks.” David Karp with Marco Arment, as lead developers, founded Tumblr in 2007. 75,000 existing bloggers soon switched to this blogging platform, and since then has gained more then 3 million users. According to the Tumblr Staff’s blog, the site is now averaging 11,000,000 posts and over 2 million bloggers, and 20 million visitors. As of 2009, Tumblr had an 85% re-

tention rate, with 40% compared with Twitter. The social network was also named one of “Obama’s Top Five Tech Tools”, in January 2009. The media also thinks Tumblr is a new hit. “Tumblr makes blogging blissfully easy”, stated by The New York Times. “Weblogs? Been there, done that. Facebook? It’s full of kids. Twitter? That’s so 2006, darling.” Continues, “No, the Smart thing to be doing online these days is ‘tumblelogging’ which is to weblogs what text messages are to email: short, to the point, and direct”. Students at Norwalk High School, as well as teens all over Norwalk, are now also starting to do the big switch to this blogging platform to express themselves through an online sanctuary free of parental interference. Tumblr gives students the freedom to post what is on their minds without the 140-character limit, like Twitter has. With the hundreds of themes users can use on their webpage, the mobility of posting anything, like a journal, and “reblogging” pictures and other posts from “followers”, it is no wonder why teenagers are making accounts. With Tumblr, one can truly express his or herself in a whole new way that Facebook and Twitter are unfamiliar with.

I’ve played about three days worth of it. I skipped all of my classes one day and haven’t done any homework since I got it!” said Chris Jeffrey (’11). Coming from a first year college student, that does not leave much hope for all the kids in high school. “I usually finish my homework and stay up for an hour or two later to play,” said Noah Peter (’13). If this keeps up, there will be an issue in grades for students later this year, although it will eventually blow over, it should be stopped regardless. As for sports and other activities, let the Cardinals set an example of what will happen when one becomes so addicted to a video game that he or she loses all focus. Photo Credit: CaitlinMonahan

Photo Credit:

Tuesday November 8th, 2011 was a very big day for video gamers everywhere and a nightmare for parents and teachers, for it was the day Modern Warfare 3 was released. MW3 is the next level of Call of Duty games and is rated M for mature (17+). People were so excited for it there were lines down the street at game shops everywhere while players were eagerly waiting for the midnight release. “The game was everything it was worked up to be and completely worth the two and a half hours in line,” said Andrew Melitsanopoulos (’13). MW3 has had a crazy response since released, and is the only video game known to rake in over $400 million dollars in profits within the first 24 hours of being out, and has already sold well over seven million copies. Although this video game may seem like harmless fun, it has also been noticed to take a toll on everybody. From students, to professional athletes, this game has taken over.

Coach Charlie Strong of the Louisville Cardinals football team placed the blame on their loss against Pittsburgh on the teams’ addiction to MW3 and the fact that “a video game can take control of what’s in your hand, and what you have ahead of you”. For every big video game release, Mountain Dew comes out with a new flavor of Game Fuel. It is only sold for specific games such as Halo 3, and was last on the market when World of Warcraft was released, and now is the official soft drink for MW3. It is not only bringing back its popular cherry-citrus flavor, but also introducing a new tropical flavor under the MW3 label. This drink was not just released for a spunky promotional opportunity, but to serve a certain purpose for the gamers. In actuality, these drinks are designed to help keep the game’s audience awake longer, so they can be able to play more often. MW3 has also been accused of being a huge distraction to all people who participate in playing. Students especially have been having issues managing time between playing MW3, homework, school, and social related activities. “I bought the game four days ago, and at this point

Regis talks with his former co-host Kelly Ripa during an earlier episode of Live.

Back in January, as Regis announced his retirement, he added a typical, funny remark, although his reluctance to make such a life-changing announcement was evident. “There is a time when everything must come to an end for certain people on camera – especially certain old people!” After undergoing several surgeries over the last few years, Regis has decided to enjoy the rest of his life off the air with his wife of over 40 years, Joy Philban, and their four children. Now, just a few weeks after his final show, Regis still remains “the king of talk shows”. He is known almost everywhere for his unique personality and ability to make people laugh, even at nine o’clock on a Monday morning. Even though “Live with Regis and Kelly” comes on the air while students are at school, his presence on the show over the past 28 years has certainly affected students at Norwalk High. “When I was little, I got to go to a “Regis and Kathy” (Regis’ co-host before Kelly Ripa) book reading,” stated Anastasia Koskorelos (’12). “I’ve watched the show since I was little and it won’t be the same without Regis.” Regis will remain a television legend for years to come, even though his time on the talk show has come to an end. He is a remarkable host and person, and should be remembered for a long time. As Jerry Seinfield has said, “Every place he goes is much better for having him, and everyone he’s with is much happier when he’s around.”




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‘Rolling in to Deep’ Trouble Drake ‘Takes Care’ of Fans Kendall Sturges ’12

Caitlin Monahan ’12

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

Making his transition from the big screen to radio, Drake has become viral in the music world. With his distinct monotone voice and playlist collaborations with various artists such as Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and Jay – Z, Drake’s popularity has soared beyond belief. His star-studded album, Thank Me Later, released in 2010, made Drake a worldwide phenomenon. Thank Me Later was Drake’s reflection of himself, and pride in his newfound success approached with a more modest and mellow attitude. Now he is back with Take Care, which was released on November 15, 2011. This latest album further portrays this fame. Take Care is full of hits like “Headlines” and “Make Me Proud”, which have become some of the album’s most popular songs. The album is a product of the accumulated fame that perpetuates during the young rapper’s daily life. Drake’s counteracting characteristics such as modesty, vulnerability in the limelight, and selfindulgence were all major ingredients

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was also a song written angrily about an ex boyfriend. It was rumored to be about Dave Coulier, ‘Joey’ from the show ‘Full House’ about their messy breakup. The song won two Grammy awards, Best Rock Song, and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance and was nominated for many others. Coulier stated that he realized how bad he had hurt Alanis when hearing the song on the radio and wanted to make amends. Both Adele and Morissette had written about their painful breakups and had their pain become number one hits. Although contrary to what Adele’s former lover believes, he had no part in the success to the album or deserves any part of the profits. Adele has never mentioned his name in the song, and she refuses to give out his name to the media. Her old beau needs to be careful about making Adele even more upset because who knows if she will write another charttopping hit song about him! Photo Credit:

After reaching number one on the charts for hits including "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You", Adele is having more problems than she would have expected after her ex boyfriend tried suing for some of her profits. Her hit album, '21' was a follow up from 2008 debut album '19'. Both were inspired by her crude ex boyfriend and having to go through a tough breakup. The songs on both albums were derived from her experiences with her boyfriend. “For about a week he was calling and was deadly serious about it,” Adele told The Sun, a British newspaper. The ex boyfriend demanded royalties for believing that he was a part of Adele's creative process when she wrote the songs. “Finally, I said ‘Well, you made my life hell, so I lived it and now I deserve it,’” Adele added. Adele is not the only one who has called their ex out in a hit song. In 1995, “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette

when creating Take Care. The single, “Headlines” explains Drake’s awareness of his own egotism and carelessness as a result of his fame. His name is known by many and his music is listened to by millions, hence the title of the song. The lyrics, “I might be too strung out on compliments” and “they sayin’ I’m back, I’d agree with that” are excerpts of the carefree confidence Drake has embodied. Listeners and music critics may harshly interpret Drake’s narcissistic overdose, but it is evident that Take Care has added to his musical achievements. His music appeals to many of Norwalk High School’s own students like Jen McCarthy (’12). “I saw him in concert and it was amazing. I knew the lines to every song! Take Care is amazing; it’s one of my favorite albums, and I enjoy every song on it,” said McCarthy. With his looks, charm, and highly acclaimed music, it is no surprise that Drake is a heartthrob and global music icon. There is no doubt that his success will continue to incline, and Take Care is only the beginning.

‘Wrecker Radio’ Reaps Respect in Fairfield County Lucas Keogh ’13

Sports Editor

Photo Credit: WWPT

Walking into the recording studio for Staples High School’s WWPT radio station was like walking into a new world covered in posters of famous concerts, classic movies, and even locally well-known alumni. Groups of students were at tables, desks, and computers, working hard and discussing topics, and sitting in the corner of the room, surrounded

WPT Wrecker Radio Staff going live in 5,4,3,2,1...

by three or so students was Mr. Zito. WWPT is the Staples radio station that broadcasts from Staples High School. Mr. Zito, the man who works as the head of the station, has been there for six years. The radio station, however, has been around for over thirty years, starting as a short wave station, and then working its way up to low power FM radio. “It started as just some guys who wanted to have fun with a close-circuit station,” Mr. Zito stated. “We have one hundred and fifty students now.” Not all the students are working behind the microphone, but are editing audio and video clips, doing intros for the “Live from the Media Lab” concert, and even managing the different sections of the station. “I’m really in here almost every day after school and during school…I do a lot of editing,” said Ana Horn (’14) at Staples, who works as the station manager. “I really like broadcasting, and I think it’s my biggest talent to just sit down and talk.” WWPT is not the only media group in Staples High however; there is also a television network, Staples Television Network, which works in the same studio as the radio station. Aaron Greenspun (’14) at SHS is the director of television broadcasting. “We basically do all the Staples home sports we can do,” he stated. “We broadcast through Cablevision and online.” WWPT also gets high amounts of listeners. For example, when the football team was in the FIAC championships, the number of listeners boasted to about 1,000, including a listener from Indonesia. As for the future of WWPT and its volunteers, there are many options. Some students aspire to be working in radio broadcasting for their careers, while others are just doing the station because they enjoy it. Mr. Zito has also showed interest in a co-broadcast with Norwalk High. This would open up a new club for the school and new opportunities for students. Media broadcasting could very well be the next thing to come to public schools.

NHS1 Behind the Music: A Look At Pumped Up Kicks Executive Editor

Any person turning on the radio today may just hear the song “Pumped Up Kicks,” by Foster The People, but some may just be singing along unknowingly to lyrics that hold much more depth than they think. In the song, the band talks about a man named Robert telling another person to out run his bullet, and how he was ignored by his father as a child. Personally, I never knew what the song really meant or even the fact that some people think it is a direct reference to the Virginia Tech massacre of 2007 or Columbine of 19. Both drastic events in American Society I have sat by my radio for over a month now and listened and loved this song without really knowing the meaning of the lyrics that I was singing, and my thoughts lead me to question why a radio station should be allowed to play a song that con notates such violence. Some people

who love the song when they first here it, have taken to ignoring it now that they know it’s true meaning. The song itself does not sound so violent; in fact it sounds like a very happy upbeat song that makes the listener want to dance. According to, the song’s meaning is a metaphor to all school shootings and the psychological reasoning behind it. It is to show what goes on inside the mind of a child or teenager who is so angry with some one or the world that his morals are lost and decides to take the lives of others. Most songs of today and the past only seem to focus on the sorrow we feel for the lives that were taken, but it makes a person wonder about what type of hardships another would have to go through for them to develop such violent and disturbing thoughts. These teenagers and young adults, who ‘act out’ in such ways, deserve to be noticed, not as a threat, but as a normal person who just needs some help. Can it really be deemed that person’s fault for taking a life when they had no idea of what was going on at the

time? I do not think that the song is to make the idea of a mass killing sound like a good idea, it is to bring awareness to the current issue at hand. Because the brain develops the most from ages 12-to29, the emotional balance in such young adults is not there causing the person to have these thoughts. It should not matter what the lyrics’ true meaning of the song are, just as long as the listener is aware of the meaning. Photo Credit:

Carly Mammoliti ’12

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women are overall the greater gender over men. It is scientifically proven that women mature faster than men mentally, academically and socially, making the boys maturity level in Norwalk High School look like they are still stuck in the seventh grade compared to the girls. Educationally, out of all of the college students in the United States, over 60 percent of degrees are earned by women. The two highest IQ’s ever reported through standardized testing both belong to women. Although men are naturally built with a more athletic body, there are just as many skilled women athletes as there are men. The women’s soccer team has a higher world ranking than the men. Even science is in favor of the female gender as studies have shown that women are naturally better at sports such as long distance running, swimming, and taekwondo. Also, a woman is currently traveling by skis across the South Pole, making her the first person to ever achieve such a trek. In almost every country in the world, the life expectancy for women is higher than men, which means men will eventually have to rely on women to take care of them, but then again, men already do that. From the beginning of time, men have had many more privileges compared to women, yet today in 2011 women have still managed to overpower men not only in college, but in the work force and business world as well.

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) 2 1 ’ ( ing It is known by the r e De young, old, big, and small that

Men complain about women’s emotions yet have no clue as to the immense responsibilities women carry. Every human has a ‘threshold’ of pain, which they can only endure a certain amount for so long until it causes death. While giving birth, women exceed this natural threshold that would ultimately cause a man to die. Also, men would not even be on the earth if it were not for women carrying them around for nine long months. Women also feed, educate, comfort and protect their children, usually while still holding down a full time job. Men come home from work wondering what is for dinner and occasionally coach one of their children’s sports teams. That is the most stress they see. It is a trend for men to talk about a women’s place being solely in the kitchen. However, many men fail miserably to realize that a large amount of women actually enjoy cooking. Here is a tip men: 95% of the time if you ask a woman nicely to make you a sandwich, we have no problem doing it. Showing respect to a woman can go a long way, and most of the time you will even get a sandwich out of it. Some of these derogatory jokes often heard about women include “Why did the woman cross the road? She didn’t, there’s no such thing as roads in the kitchen.” Well men, here is a joke for all of you, “Why did the man cross the Disclaim road? He couldn’t. He was hopelessly lost debate re without a woman.” stereotyp When discussing which gender the male is greater, the undeniable and obgender; th vious choice is and always not actua will be: women.

nHs girls Outnumber Boys in aca Nicole Dunsmore ‘13

Feature Editor

Norwalk High School silenced the trite allegation that ‘boys are smarter than girls’. Of the 859 students in the Honors and AP classes at NHS, 534 are female and 325 are male. Due to this separation, high academic classes have an unequal gender distribution. Classes may only have three or four boys but at the same time possess fifteen girls. “At first it’s weird but you get used to it after a while and the class is just a class,” said Edwin Rosales (’13). Although a total of ten classes do carry more boys than girls, such as AP Computer Science and AP Physics. Mathematics literally stands alone as the only department with more males in AP classes than females: forty-six males and eighteen females. The other four departments contain an overwhelming amount of females compared to males. For instance, the English Department has

114 girls in Honors and AP classes but World Languages has eighty-seven bo Less drastic but still noticeable is with 102 boys and 154 girls, also Sc ninety-eight girls. These numbers are percentages from the 2007-2008 schoo NHS population is fifty-one percent m male) yet the Science Department AP male and thirty-two percent female. M amount of boys at fifty-six percent wit On the other hand, the AP courses ment were divided at eighty-three perc percent male. English was also split at twenty-six percent male. Social Studies remained as the onl sion of fifty-one percent male and for

Heard in

Sabrina Hiller (‘15) “Girls think before they act.”

Amanda Miller (‘14) “Girls are awesome.”

Sandra Williams (‘14) “Girls work a lot more than boys.”

Amanda Somma (‘13) “Girls follow their heart.”

Michele Casolino (‘12) “We’re more sensitive to eachother’s feelings.”



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t only forty-two boys. Similarly, oys but 150 girls. s the Social Studies Department cience with forty-eight boys and e fathomable when compared to ol year (which show that the total male and forty-nine percent fecourses were sixty-eight percent Mathematics also had a greater th forty-four percent girls. of the World Languages Departcent female and merely seventeen seventy-four percent female and

ly department with an exact divirty-nine percent female. Though

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es, there are “women’s” tees towards the front of the tee box for them to shoot from! There is no female competitor in this world who can run a 40-yard dash faster than Usain Bolt, shoot a basketball better than Michael Jordan, or hit a golf ball like Tiger Woods. If they can, a urine sample is most certainly needed. In terms of intelligence, a woman’s intellect cannot even be legitimately compared to that of a man. From SAT scores, IQ tests, all the way through post-academic success, women are beyond intellectually inferior to men. Who created Apple? Steve Jobs. Who created Microsoft? Bill Gates : Microsoft. Who created Facebook, the website most women waste countless hours on per day? Mark Zuckerberg : Facebook. The similarity within all three is again undeniable; they are all men. It is undeniable that men are the greatest contributors to the world they cooperatively inhabit with women. Although, there is something that women are surprisingly better at than men: comedy. When it comes to pure entertainment, women are more fun to laugh at. Seriously, what male can listen to all the unnecessary, overdramatic shenanigans they rant about and keep a straight face? One cannot question all that a man has to offer versus a woman. They bring home the bacon, make the moula, and bend over backwards to make sure their family is always satisfied. With morals and good intentions such as those, how is this argument still prevalent? Men will always be the better of the two genders, simply because the effort they put in to creating a successful world is tiring and requiring. Yet, women still complain when a man asks for a simple sandwich.

( nby Ma

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mohandas Gandhi. Bill Gates. Jesus Christ. Michael Jordan. William Shakespeare. Steve Jobs. Barack Obama. When one sees this list of prominent figures rattled off sequentially, many similar characteristics come to mind. Despite being leaders, innovators, icons, peacemakers, and more, each of these renowned individuals shares one unique trait that highlights their superiority. They are all men. The classic gender debate has been ubiquitous since the dawn of time. The constant bickering over who is smarter, a better athlete, more successful, and makes an overall better person is never-ending and has wasted loads of time over the consistent indecision, until now. Fasten thy seatbelts, ladies. It is about to be a bumpy ride. While women mope and complain about every tiny imperfection that consumes their lives amidst stuffing their faces full of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to calm their woes, men are doing the opposite. Rather than sulking in their own sorrows and expecting that every unfortunate listener actually cares about anything they say, men do not hesitate to go outside the confines of their pansy little cheetah-print Snuggies and get exactly what they want out of life. If something happens that does not satisfy them, a man will be the first to make sure their dissatisfaction does not last more than an instant. Why is this? Men are driven. Men are mer: This ambitious. Men are go-getters. Women are epresents the the opposite. pical view of Athletically, men are so and female beyond superior to women that he writers are it is admittedly unfair. ally sexist! Hence why on golf cours-

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the following school year, 2008-2009, (with a population of precisely fifty percent male and fifty percent female) brought the Science Department closer together with fifty-one percent male and forty-nine percent female in AP courses. Additionally, the World Languages Department AP courses improved to thirty-nine percent male and sixty-one percent female. “Efforts to balance gender representation in AP and Honors courses have met with some success…demonstrating that as a committed staff, one can successfully resist the pervasive perception that world languages are female academic pursuits,” stated Mrs. Doeberl, head of the World Languages Department. This 2011-2012 school year has a greater contrast between boys and girls, with females at the head. Hopefully next year more males will step up into the higher courses and balance out the uneven gender scale.

the Halls:

Cameron Prescott (‘12) “We get the girls to do everything for us.”

Aaron Peterson (‘13) “We’re stronger, smarter, and better looking.”

Matt Favazzo (‘13) “We can drive cars better.”

Joey Ferraro (‘14) “We don’t have to worry about that much stuff like hair and makeup.”

Shivam Patel (‘15) “We don’t gossip like girls do.”

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Staff Box The Paw Print

Norwalk High School 23 Calvin Murphy Drive Norwalk, CT 06851 (203) 838-4481 ext. 1808 The Paw Print would like to thank all Journalism students for their work in the creation of this newspaper. The following names are the students who worked to produce the paper.

executive editors Hayley Gola Carly Mammoliti ___________Design Team___________ news editor Lydia Krenicki Feature editor Nicole Dunsmore Opinion editor Brian Manby sports editor Lucas Keogh arts and entertainment editor Brian Manby web editor Matthew Brown Mikayla Beckwith Nora Blake Austin Boger Tyler Brown Lillianna Byington Kyle Capone Nicole Chiaramonte Juan Colon Chloe Cappo Kylie Coppola Juliana Cole Emily Crosby Jennie Deering Taylor Demarco Andrew Fitzgerald Ana Lucía Galarza

Stephanie Gonzalez Taylor Greene Ryan Halloran Zoe Harris Erin Kelly Devin Long Greta Mcconnell Eloisa Melendez Caitlin Monahan Crystal Montero Daniel Munoz Anastasia Phillips Jennifer Sanchez Caylie Sheridan Jared Smith Kendall Sturges



Discretion At Norwalk High Carly Mammoliti ’12 and Hayley Gola ’12 Executive Editors

Teenagers complain day in and day out about not having any freedom and responsibilities, but yet they seem to abuse those that they already have. Rules are set up around Norwalk High School to enable a safe and happy environment, but it seems that not all members of the Bear community agree with the administration’s views on how to keep the peace. Students are not allowed to have electronic devices such as cell phones and iPods during school hours, yet are seen using such devices not only in their free time, but during class time as well. The administration attempt to restrict such use of these electronics due to the distractions they cause. However, students are frequently seen texting and updating their statuses on social networks. These actions defy the rules of NHS and create doubt of the administration’s hold on the students, which undermines their authority. This total lack of acknowlegement of the authority leaves an open door for the disreguard of discretion in NHS. An example of total disregard of the rules was when a student at NHS saw blood splatters on the floor near the vending machines by the gym, and automatically updated their Facebook status to tell people there was a stabbing at the school. High school students all over the country want freedom to have their phones out during free and lunch periods, but administrators are telling them other wise. Adults cannot trust teens to refrain from sending messages that could potentially cause the school legal problems in the future. In order for teenagers to receive the privileges that they beg for, they must first show that their maturity level exceeds that of a child. If a person can legally drive a car, join the military, or vote for the future leaders of America, then they are too old to be throwing tantrums about electronic devices. We are just like any other teenager and are practically glued to our cell phones and computers. However, that does not mean that we appreciate our time in class to learn being interrupted by a teacher telling other students to put their electronics away when they should not even be out to start with.

Letter To The Editor: Thank You To The Fans

A letter from a grateful coach.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Bear Pack and the staff that showed such tremendous school spirit during this past fall sport season. Watching two bus loads of students walk into the state final game wearing the green and white made me proud to be a teacher and coach at our school. As the field hockey team arrived at the boys soccer semi final game after our loss the supportive comments and cheers that the Bear Pack had for my players helped them realize that they were successful. I sat in the stands watching Norwalk High students cheer on their classmates with both class and dignity. My hope and challenge to all the students at Norwalk High is to build upon this success. Those of you that go to school events know this is what being part of a community is about. It is simple if we want this school to be a better place then support each other in all we do, go to a game, attend a play, check out the art show become a part of the world you live in. I know for a fact that you will have fun.

staff writers: advisor: Mr. Karl

Kyle Seaburg Social Studies Department Head Field Hockey Coach


CONGRATULATIONS TO KATIE SCHMIDT AND NICK ZUNIGA FOR BOTH BEING * sharon Cadden for making her photos NOMINATED FOR available to the staff. FCIAC PLAYER OF THE YEAR. AND TO Mr. Seaburg , Mr Ireland, & Ms, * security for everything they have helped the staff accomplish. Rubin for being Coaches of the Year

Policies: Our newspaper reserves the right to edit all submissions for space and clarity. All entries must include name, year in school, and phone number for verification.

Please let us know what you think. Students are welcome to submit writing in person to room 116B.



“Ayo Miss, Get Ova Here” nora blake ’12

Staff Writer

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Respect for the Veterans Dear Paw Print Readers,

The date of November 11 holds a very special place in my heart. As the son of a veteran, I know how much this holiday means to the service men and women around the country. Veterans have sacrificed their lives to preserve our freedom and there are many people who take that for granted. In the past years, Veterans Day has been a day off for students here in Norwalk but this year all Norwalk Public School students were attending school on Friday, November 11, 2011. It bothers me to see that not many people actually know about Veterans Day, an actual holiday, yet everybody knows when Halloween and Valentine’s Day are and they are not real holidays. There are many people who take that offensively and it is disrespectful to the men and women who sacrificed their freedom to protect your freedom. The things that veterans encounter can be brutal. Veterans have seen action in wars such as World War II, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War and most recently: Iraq and Afghanistan. This action can be traumatic to many of the people who serve, especially the young nineteen and twenty year olds. Many of them return having witnessed brutal deaths and gruesome injuries and need to know that their fellow countrymen are there to help them and are thankful for what they do. We have to give a huge thanks to those who were injured and had to give a part of their body for our freedom. We cannot fail to remember how these men and women risked their lives and were willing to give the ultimate sacrifice. Celebrating Veterans Day does not take much effort at all. Veterans are everywhere and all you need to do is say, “Thank you for your service,” and make sure they know that you appreciate what you do. Every veteran loves to hear someone say “thank you” because of the pride they get. You can also wear red, white and blue, or apparel from different branches of the military. Next time November 11 comes around, take the time to say “thank you” and wear red, white and blue. It shows your support for these courageous people who desperately need it and most importantly, deserve it.


Juan Colon ’12 Staff Writer

Bromantic Bromances Staff Writer

28 Camp Ave, Darien, CT 06820 Toll Free: 888-424-7193 24hr: 888-424-7193 Local: 203-599-0603

Photo Credit: Hayley Gola

We have all heard about those guy friends who come in between relationships and drive boyfriends away from their girlfriends, but there are also guy friends who are stable influences on relationships. One should not immediately assume that the boyfriend’s best friend is a rival for attention, affection, and time. The fact that one’s boyfriend can have a genuine and frank bromance can mean that he can have a stable relationship with their girlfriend as well. Experts say that bromance, which is the complex love and affection shared by two straight guys should be accepted, even encouraged. Geoffrey Greif, Professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and author of Buddy System: Understanding Male Friendships says, “bromance are all the rage because they are more socially accepted nowadays for men to express their feelings for platonic male friends and the benefits are enormous.”

Dr. William Pollack from Harvard University believes “having a close male buddy is the single most important thing in a man’s life.” Countless studies show that men live shorter lives than women, but guys with close friends live longer lives than men without close friendships. Men who have close guy friends are more likely to exercise or to start working out if they do not do so already. B r o mance can also benefit men’s health by helping lower blood pressure, wear off depression, and speed healing after an injury. Also, it helps men stay intellectually stimulated because best friends push each other to try news things that can keep them both mentally engaged. Boyfriends will appreciate their girlfriends more if she lets him conserve his friendships and gets to know his closest friends. Friends are a reflection of ourselves and one’s boyfriend and his best friend may be similar so why not get to know him? One may make a new friend whom to go to when one needs to talk about their boyfriend and the relationship.

Photo Credit: Nicole Chairamonte

ana lucía galarza ’13

or shop online at...

Photo Credit: Carly Mammoliti

Photo Credit: Greta McConnell

Honorifics are expressions in numerous languages that express designation. Without even recognizing it, most students never realize they use honorifics, although referring to teachers as ‘Mister’ or ‘Miss’ instead of their professional titles is one ill-mannered way of using such phrases. Another example also includes shouting “Yo Miss… when’s our test?” in the middle of SHouse instead of politely walking up to a teacher’s desk and asking about an upcoming exam. Norwalk High School would not be the same without the continuous “Ayo miss!” or “What’s Good Mister?” utterances heard throughout the hallways. Numerous students have been found guilty of referring to teachers by their ‘honorific’ titles, and some do not find this rude at all. More often than not, students not only refer to their teachers as ‘Miss’ or ‘Mister’, but also fail to even make an effort to learn the teacher’s actual name. Other students even go so far as to ignorantly ‘forget’ that the person up in the front of the room is a teacher, and call that person exclusively by their last name.

To students who find that teachers deserve more respect than a ‘Miss’ yell whenever they need help in class, the idea of prejudice also comes into play. Most find that the same people who are so ignorant as to not remember a last name when having a conversation with an adult also segregate those same adults by gender and disposition. In other words, refusing to recall the last name of their history teacher because they do not like them or the way in which the teacher’s class is set up. In most regards, teachers deserve more gratitude and respect. Keep in mind they have to deal with millions of questions, piles of work to correct, and also teach a classroom of students every fortyfive minutes or so. Regardless of their attitude on a particular day, not having the common courtesy to remember one’s name is just rude. Teachers continue to deal with these instances every day, and nothing really ever gets done about it. Honorifics are used to refer to someone with dignity and respect, and the Norwalk High student body probably just needs to treat their elders with some of the honor they deserve.


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THE GREAT HOMEWORK DEBATE Not enough homework Too much Homework Austin Boger ’12

Staff Writer Since the beginning of education, a common complaint heard by students and teachers alike is that they receive too much homework. It is so frequent that you rarely hear the other side of the argument. This may sound odd coming from a student. What kind of person wishes for more work? Most students at Norwalk High School should be assigned more homework. Of course there is an exception to this stance. Many Honors classes and certainly Advanced Placement classes expect college-level work, and often have a large amount of homework. One could even argue that it may be too much, but there is a large homework gap between the honors classes and the level five and eight classes. As a student in mostly stanine eight classes, I receive little to no homework. Usually when I get homework, it is so brief that it can usually be completed in study hall. In fact, it can often times be completed as the teacher is walking around the room checking for homework. I see my peers in higher-level classes getting so much homework, and I cannot help but envy them. The reason for it is simple: homework

prevents my instinctive lazy tendencies from dominating my life. I need homework, for if I am without it, I do not work as hard on rare occasions when I do have a decent amount of work to do. I need to stay on top of my schoolwork, and homework would be a constant reminder. Homework is essential for creating a strong work ethic and helping students build learning skills that they will need in the future. Many argue that homework does not help students learn, but that is not the point. The original purpose of homework is to expose students to the large amounts of work they will most likely be bombarded with for the rest of their lives. Basically, it gets them accustomed to a lot of work so they can succeed in life. Duke Professor Harris Cooper recommends that students should have ten minutes of homework for every grade level for optimal achievement. So a First grader would receive 10 minutes of homework, a Second grader would receive 20 minutes, and so forth. That would mean that a senior at Norwalk High School should be receiving two hours of homework a night. I receive maybe 10 to 20 minutes of homework a night.

Mikayla Beckwith ’14

Staff Writer

It seems Norwalk High School encourages homework to be given to students on a daily basis, but when teachers take up an entire class period to go over homework, it is doing more harm than good. “Research on homework indicates that it should be approached not as an afterthought to the school day, but as a focused strategy for increasing understanding,” wrote Northwest Educational Technology Consortium. Certain classes at NHS give between 30 minutes to two hours of homework a night, depending on the class. An Advanced Placement class most likely will give more time consuming homework than a Stanine Eight. A few of my peers have noticed a reoccurring theme in some teachers. Homework is assigned to continue and test one’s learning of a subject after school hours. How teachers spend class time is the issue. They certainly should not be wasting it going over something learned the previous day. On top of it all, the homework assigned for the next night is not taught in class due to insufficient time constraints.


In March 2003, National Public Radio aired their opinion on homework. “Some influential researchers say homework does little to improve a student’s academic abilities. Others believe homework is excessive, and doing more harm than good.” The situations in some of my classes and my peers’ classes prove the “more harm than good” comment. When class time is used to go over work that was already learned, the students are not learning anything new. Certain classes are not necessarily fun to be in. I know as a student that sometimes I feel like I want to go to sleep in some of my classes. When my mind is not stimulated by new material, I want to just shut down. Instead of going over the entire assignment, my recommendation is to pick and choose certain sections for review. This way the work gets covered and there is still time for in class discussion and lessons. When students go to school they expect to learn and their parents expect them to learn. If entire periods are spent going over homework than the students are not getting the best education they can get.

Motivational Posters Invade Classrooms At NHS

Zoe Harris ’12

To Teach or Not To Teach?

Lydia Krenicki ’12

News Editor After being absent for two days in a row, I came back to school anxious about the amount of work I had missed; however, to my advantage I had not missed much. This year, Norwalk High School does not have midterms, classes on Veteran’s Day, and a shortened February break all with the goal of increasing class time. However, increasing the time we have in class does nothing for the students if that time is not used wisely. On half days, movies are often watched or fun games played to pass the time, time that could have been used productively. Classes at NHS are only forty-six minutes. If you break down that time, the first couple of minutes consist of talking and taking attendance. The last five minutes consist of students packing up in anticipation of the bell. The time in between is used to go over homework and then whatever time is left is used for actual learning. This leaves limited time for the actual les-

Photo Credit: Caitlin Monahan

Staff Writer Motivational posters are very beneficial to Norwalk High’s atmosphere. Posters are scattered all over the school. Students and staff can see them in house offices, hallways, and of course, classrooms. There are countless inspirational paintings and posters targeted towards students, but sometimes to teachers as well. I love seeing these posters evolve from school to school. However, sometimes a motivational poster can influence a teacher as well. Ms. Gardiner, a math teacher at NHS, has about three motivational posters in her room. One of which reads “If you don’t have time to do it right, you must have time to do it over.” Another says “Make an effort. Not an excuse.” “I live by that. They stick out to me,” stated Ms. Gardiner about her posters. These posters are spread throughout the front of the classroom where students can easily see them. When

asked what audience these are aimed towards, she said, “It’s more for the freshmen. You’re not going to learn anything if you don’t try.” Students might catch sight of the quote by Elvis Presley above the E-house office: “I’ve got to follow that dream wherever that dream may lead. I’ve got to follow that dream to find the love I need.” These quotes and even sometimes murals help students who would rather not ask for help or advice. Others find spare time in class to glance up at the walls and challenge themselves to live up to what that poster entails. It is a great way to motivate students and make the walls of NHS look better and more colorful. I have seen these posters since elementary school; they are all over the Norwalk Public Schools. It is so that if I lose concentration in a class, I can look up and see one of these posters, which immediately makes me motivated to pay more attention.

son for the day. In addition to the lack of time, classes often get sidetracked with conversations about sports teams or the latest gossip in the hallway; when what we should be doing is learning the material we need to graduate. Teachers have forty-five minutes, five days a week for ten months to teach the required materials for their course. Dropped classes, music lessons, vacation time, and absences add to the already tight schedule. But what bothers me the most is after all of the discussions and actions taken to improve class time, we watch movies in class that have no relation to the topic being studied or free time is given because there is “nothing better to do.” Before taking action and trying to solve the problem of “class time,” someone should look into what is actually happening with the class time we already have.

Labels Cause Concern Anastasia Phillips ’14 Staff Writer A label is a predetermined thought of someone, often based on what they like or whom they socialize with. It is a way to show dislike for people that are a certain way. Labeling people is wrong because it leads to hurt feelings. Common labels are geek, goth, nerd, emo, and prep. Geeks have obsessions with things like video games and anime. Nerds are smart and love school. Goths wear a lot of black and are always depressed. Emo kids are satanic and suicidal. Preps wear all bright colors, and they are happy and snobbish. These words are used to categorize people and they damage their self-esteem. It hurts to be labeled. Some people are haunted all their lives by mean names they were given by their peers. One word is used to describe hundreds of individuals, and it groups them into one person. All of these people are not the same. The way a person dresses should not determine what people think of them, and whom they are friends with

does not determine who they are. People who label others are bullies. They hurt people who they do not even truly know with harsh words. It is cruel to judge people by what they look like or whom they associate with. Labels are not only words; they are daggers. They can be used to hurt people. It is like the stories of online bullying; words can lead to a lot of pain. Many people hurt themselves because of things other people say and do. People are only under these labels if they believe that they are these types of people. A label is a word to call someone, but how many of these labels are liked by those who are given them? Why would a person call another person a geek or a goth or a nerd if they really do not even know them? It is not the right way to treat someone. Sticks and stones can break bones, but words can break hearts.




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Upperclassmen Defend Credibility of Double Open-End Danny Muñoz ’12

Staff Writer

Open end is a privilege that has been given to upperclassmen for a very long time. Open end passes are used as a way to either leave school early if a student has study-hall last time block, or come to school late if they have studyhall first time block. Open-end is a form of “privilege for upperclassmen” as quoted by Mrs. Verel, guidance counselor in D-house. This is a way to cut students some slack now as they are nearing the end of their high school career and moving on to college. Some students happen to have two study halls back to back and question whether or not this gives them the ability to have what some like to call Double Open-End. In the Norwalk High School Student Handbook, under

“I have had double open-end twice in my schedule, and so far I have not had a problem with security or anyone.” - Reed Carter ’12 the section where it speaks about open-end policies, it is written that double open-end is not allowed. When asked about why double open-end is not allowed, Dr. Lawler, DHousemaster said that she was not informed on why this is not allowed, but, “Maybe it’s for more educational purposes to make students take up more elective or necessary courses.” Double open-end does not harm the student body at all in anyway. It would be more of a privilege than anything else for those students that have enough credits to be eligible for these passes. It does not affect the school day

cycle of a student in any way; if perhaps a student were to have double open-end in the morning, they would come in to school in perfect time for the attendance period and start the day off normally. “I have had double open-end twice in my schedule, and so far I have not had a problem with security or anyone,” said Reed Carter (`12). If a student were to have double open-end at the end of the day, then the student would leave depending on what the lunch schedule of his fifth time block period class is. Upperclassmen around Norwalk High say that there has never been a hassle or consequence for using their openend passes for double open-end. Not being allowed to have double open-end sounds like a policy that is neither affecting the students in NHS negatively way, nor getting in the way of their educational day. The rule against Double Open-End should be erased from our open-end policies.

Jennie Deering ’12

Staff Writer

In late October, Norwalk High School students took a trip to middle schools, Nathan Hale and West Rocks, to talk to the incoming freshman about all that Norwalk High has to offer. Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Segers, and Mr. Pagano created the vast program that includes an informational video and speeches by teachers from all of the departments at NHS. The hope of the program is to interest as many eighth graders as possible to choose NHS as their high school. In eighth grade as the class of 2012 sat listening as various high schools spoke, NHS was one of the only options of schools to attend. Today in 2011, with the great amount of financial aid and various choices of private and technical schools, many students’ first choices are not NHS. Unfortunately, for those people they are underestimating the great experience and pride of bear country. This experience was a realization that by the time senior year comes around; it is easy to forget just how much NHS does for their students. Today it is impossible to imagine having gone to any other high school. I have gotten not only an amazing edu-

cation that was completely free, but also friendships that will last a lifetime with students and teachers alike. NHS has a wide variety of personalities and ethnicities of students and teachers. The school is a preview of what the real world is like, unlike the sheltered version you would experience at a private school. Each student at NHS is a giant step ahead in being able to face the real world right from graduation. It is ridiculous to have to pay up to $36,000 a year to go to a private high school, such as King Low Heywood in Stamford, CT, when a great education and much more is offered for free at NHS. Both mentally and educationally, NHS has provided me with the confidence to be ready for college, something that cannot be taught but is exactly what NHS has given. Sitting in the auditoriums at West Rocks and Nathan Hale the only hope is that the incoming class of 2016 chooses to go to the place I have called home for the past four years. To get the best experience here at NHS it is necessary to try and reap the numerous opportunities that are supplied to each student every day. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Go Celebrate Somewhere Else Mikayla Beckwith ’14

Staff Writer

t.b spo log

Burger Breakdown

Lucas Keogh ’13

Sports Editor Norwalk is a city that is full of culture. Citizens can check out the latest movie, go to the world’s largest dairy store, or visit the local art shows. If there is one thing that any Norwalker knows, it is that there are the many fast food restaurants lined up along Westport Ave. People usually think of fast food as McDonalds, Taco Bell, and KFC, but there is a new medium that is coming to the industry, which are burger places with better burgers and higher prices. These restaurants, such as Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Shake Shack in Westport, maintain a slightly higher reputation in terms of hygiene, so people see working there as not just another burger-flipping job. These places, however, are just like any other burger joint. Sure, the food may taste better, and they do get a lot more business, but the prices go through the roof. For example, a cheeseburger at any local McDonalds is 99 cents, which is a good price for a small snack. On the other hand, Five Guys charges $4.49 for a “Little Cheeseburger”, which is just the same thing as any other cheeseburger. Another factor is calories. One Big Mac at McDonalds goes for 540 calories. Just a normal hamburger at Five Guys however, is a total of 700 calories. That is 160 more calories than the most famous “big” burger at McDonalds. This is not to say that McDonalds is always the place to go for burgers either. Many of these fast-food restaurants have extremely caloriedense burgers, and are both direct and indirect causes of obesity in many people’s lives. Many people decide that since they can get four and a half McDonalds cheeseburgers for the price of one Five Guys cheeseburger, it would be economic to buy that many burgers from McDonalds. This is far from true. Everyone who frequently goes to these burger restaurants needs to realize that McDonalds, although it is cheap, is an extremely unhealthy place to eat, and places like Five Guys and Shake Shack, although they present themselves as higher-class, are not much better.

Photo Credit:

the school environment where there are multiple different religions practiced by students. Students like myself who do not believe in religion feel uncomfortable when a cross is at the head of the room or if the Star of David is on a teachers desk for everyone to see. Public school teachers should not be making their students uncomfortable. Other decorations, such as snowmen and snowflakes that represent winter, the holiday time, are acceptable because they do not suggest Photo the practice or influence of a specific reliCre dit: iff ers gion. lit tl Music also becomes an issue during the holidays. Playing music that includes the birth of Jesus Christ or simply just the religious aspects of the holidays is inappropriate. I am not trying to create a set of rules to justify the holiday season but what some teachers are doing makes students uncomfortable. I am simply trying to explain how certain actions during this very religious time can be over the top and unprofessional. “Teachers and school administrators, when acting in those capacities, are representatives of the state, and, in those capacities, are themselves prohibited from encouraging or soliciting student religious or anti-religious activity,” reported the American Civil Liberties Union. Students and teachers are free to practice their own religious beliefs in school and outside of school on their own time, but they have no requirements to do so and they certainly cannot make anyone else do so. es en

With the holidays approaching, laws may be violated by decorating rooms with pro-religious symbols and items. Teachers of Norwalk High School and other public schools often decorate their rooms for the holiday festivities. Christmas trees, menorahs, and similar symbols line the desks and walls of the classrooms. As of 1995, federal law mandated that forced religion in public schools is illegal. By law a teacher may not influence a student to be religious and follow a certain religion. By decorating with religious specific symbols, this law is violated. “Teachers and administrators are prohibited from either encouraging or discouraging religious activity and from participating in such activity with students,” stated Adherentis. com, Federal Guidelines for Religious Expression in Public Schools. The rules and laws are made to make sure freedom of religion is protected in public schools. By exhibiting a menorah, a symbol for the Jewish holiday Hanukah, the teacher is showing they follow the Jewish religion. If a teacher included a nativity scene in their room, it would be influencing the Christian religion, and so forth. The teacher of course has the right to exhibit this decoration, but it may not be appropriate in

Photo Credit: Jennie Deering

NHS Bears Talk To Future Cubs

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DeCeMBeR 2011


“Rated R” Does Not Stop Students in the Audience Matt Brown ’13

For the first fifteen years of my life, every time I saw an incredible trailer for a movie, I would tell the person next to me, “I want to see that movie, so bad.” Then once I see the rating, it says it is rated R, then I am shocked and depressed into tears. Now that I am older and more mature, watching a rated R film is not as hard as it use to be. The “R” in rated R films stands for “restricted”. According to the “Motion Pictures Association of America’s (MPAA) rating system, “Under 17 Require Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian.” The MPAA also states “An R-rated motion picture, in the view of the Rating Board, contains some adult material. An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously.” Now, rated R films are films that most people can have a desire to go to, whether it shows inappropriate or laugh-out loud comedies such as SuperBad or Pineapple Express. Some people go to a rated R film so that they can watch a good movie. Some of the most critically acclaimed films such, as Schnedler’s List and Saving Private Ryan are R-rated films. No matter what, people will find a way to see a rated R film.

When asked, Christian McKinnon (’14) said, “they are more violent and funnier than other rated films and they are just about the only movies that I go to.” McKinnon also said “no it is not easy to sneak into a rated R film, I sometimes sneak in the back door.” Rated R films are something that almost all students in high school want to see, and it really could be difficult to see without a parent. One thing that may trouble students is going to a rated R film and watching a sex scene with their mom or dad. There should be some way that students can watch a good rated R film without watching it with their parents. In 2004, GKC Theatres now (Carmike Cinemas) had ‘R-Cards’ that let teens see R-rated films without adult accompaniment. Now, I believe that there should be some kind of system that allows you to watch a rated R film without a parent. Until that day comes, students may have to watch awkward scenes with their parents or just sneak into another R-rated movie.

Lillianna Byington ’14

Taylor Greene ’12

Web Content

Road Rage in the Hallway Staff Writer

beat the late bell, will be the speeders. Those who follow regulations and travel at a normal pace will be those who follow the speed limit. The ones conversing with their friends, holding others up will be those babbling on their cell phones. Those who text in the halls, will do the same in a car. Those who cut corners short and crash into other students will do the same on the roads. Photo Credit: Greta McConnell

If the traffic in the hallways is any sign of our future drivers, the Norwalk Police Department better plan on increasing the traffic patrol on our local streets. There are so many different ways to get into an accident when racing through life. The question is if there is a way to predict how someone will drive before they become licensed. The accident rate is increasing higher than ever each day. Will one drive recklessly or cautiously? Well, there is one way to tell. The hallways of Norwalk High School can translate directly to how drivers will act. Think about the amount of times people walk down the halls glued to cell phones or conversing with friends and not paying attention to their surroundings. Would any of these things be done in a car? If not, then why is it done in the hallways? A common conversation is about the traffic in the hallways. If you cannot deal with the crowded hallways, how are you going to deal with jam-packed traffic in a vehicle? The hallways display how one will be as a driver. The runners, always racing to

Tickets in essence are detention slips that are distributed by school security acting as if they are the police. Entering through the wrong door and driving on the wrong side of the road are one in the same. Violating dress code equates to knowingly operating a vehicle with expired plates. The laws are known but still violated. So, next time while in the hallway, honestly think about what you are doing because most likely the same thing will be done in a car as a driver.

Living the Life of a Liar

with things, for multiple reasons actually.” When asked how many times a day he feels Staff Writer a teenager lies, he commented saying, “I The average teenager lies every day, at think at least three.” least that is what a seventeen year old Taylor Kennerly (’12) when asked how would perceive watching what goes on many times a day she thinks she lies, she around them. The problem with this is it said, “Oh my god probably about a thoucreates a chain effect that no one can ever sand times more or less.” comprehend. Many Teens do not even know why When Norwalk High School had a they lie. Gabriella Rajkumar (’12) made rumor started about a stabbing by the A the statement, “Teens lie because it is easier house vending machines, it took only a then telling the truth.” half an hour for chaos to break loose in When every interviewee was asked the administrative world. What would what his or her definition of a lie was, all make the person start the rumor? had around the same answer, the dictionary Teenagers lie to get themselves out definition, that it is not a truth. of trouble. They also lie so they may get Di’Azia Keel (’15) said, “To not tell the permission to go somewhere on the week- truth, what else would it be?” Aldana went end. on to say, “A lie is omitting the truth.” Jennifer Sanchez (’14) said, “I think When asked who they feel lies more, teenagers lie at least ten times a day.” She Eric Lewis said “ I think it is a three way continued to say, “Teenagers do not really tie, adults, calling out from work when they notice when they lie, it just comes natu- are not sick. Kids saying homework is done rally. Even those little white lies count.” when it is not and the biggest lie with teenTe e n a g agers is ‘I got ers do not “Teenagers do not really notice when open end, that’s understand why I left.’” that even they lie, it just comes naturally. Even So retelling half ally lying in those little white lies count.” the truth is teenagers is a - Jennifer Sanchez’14 still a lie. given not an Alejandra option. In retAldana (’12) rospect teenagsaid, “To a ers should try to cut back on lying. certain extent it depends on what it is.” “ That is lying by omission,” added Kelly Troy (’12). Many people have their own ideas on why teens lie though. Eric Lewis, a security guard at Norwalk High, said “ They lie to get away

Teenagers Bring a Truce to Domestic Abuse Jennifer Sanchez ’14

Staff Writer

Photo Credit:

People who have never been in an abusive relationship would say if they were ever put in that situation they would leave their significant other without a second thought. However statistics show “Nearly 80% of girls who have been physically abused in their intimate relationships continue to date their abuser” according to

It’s horrifying to realize the number of girls who stay in an abusive relationship. Their insecurity makes it harder for them to walk away from an abusive relationship. states, “Many individuals in an abusive relationship have been consistently told and shown they are not of value, nor worth’’ being told something over and over again people somewhat start to believe it. Imagine how awful it must feel to be called worthless everyday. People who stay in abusive relationships are usually scared. The most common reason people stay in abusive relationships would be fear. Another is that they probably hope the abuser will eventually change. They are afraid to what the abuser would do if they ever were to leave the relationship. Teenage/against/ states, “One in three teenagers report knowing a friend or peer who has

been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, choked or physically hurt by their partner.” If a person is a victim of an abusive relationship here are a couple of tips to help them. Let them know there are people there to support and listen to them. Be very positive and reassure them that it is not her fault that the relationship is not perfect. Make sure they have no contact with the abuser. Most importantly seek help from adults. There are different kinds of abuses: emotional and physical. Emotional abuse is when a boyfriend or girlfriend is using words to hurt you instead of fists. Emotional abuse consists of threats, insults, and is trying to keep you isolated from every body else except him, and he thinks he has control. Physical abuse is when your boyfriend or girlfriend is punching, pushing, pulling, or being forceful to you. Help stop abuse by always speaking up if a person you know is in an abusive relationship there are always people to help. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.



DeCeMBeR 2011

The Brighter side Of norwalk Juliana Cole ’12

Staff Writer

Photo Credit:

Your Life story in 500 words Hayley Gola’12

Executive Editor

If there were anything more stressful than filling out college application after college application, it would be the essay that comes along with them. For as long as students can remember, there have been college applications and college essays. Many have seen older siblings and family members “freak out” over the topic of the essay and how it will affect their chances of getting into college. Students put pressure on themselves to write amazing essays; essays that will most likely not even affect whether or not they receive that big envelope. In an article, written by Andrew Ferguson in Newsweek Magazine, it was said that many admissions officers spend less than a couple of minutes on each application, including the essay. In a study, one in 10 admissions officers say the essay is of very little importance. How can it be that something every student works hard on can be tossed aside so easily? Everyone is biased when it comes to their essay, thinking that their essay is the perfect essay. Colleges on the other hand, only think of you and

your application as another one of the many that they get each year. The whole essay starts with an idea. But before you begin to write, you must see whether or not your idea fits into the mold of the “perfect essay topic”. It has always been said not to write about the four D’s in your essay: Death, Divorce, Disease, and Debt, but the banned list of topics has grown to include essays about family trips to Europe or Asia, and re-used book reports turned into essays. So how does one go about writing the perfect essay? Between pressure and the fact that most colleges do not even dive into your essay, how does one find the motivation to write one at all? For average students like myself, the essay actually is important. I have average grades and not perfect SAT scores, so I spent countless hours over my essay. It is shocking and upsetting to think that my essay, and all of my hard work may not even make a difference after all. So yes, the 500-word count may be daunting, and you may never be happy with the topic you choose, but the most important thing you can talk about is YOU.

Where Do Crop-Tops Stop? Staff Writer Crop tops are shirts that cut off in the front of the shirt, and have become an up and coming trend among the females of Norwalk. While most adults tend not to feel comfortable with teenage girls wearing crop tops, the young rebellious females around NHS still continue to wear them. A huge debate in regard to crop tops is the length of the shirt. When shopping, and getting dressed most females tend to forget to keep in mind: how short is too short? Personally it is a bit disturbing to see some girls walk around with little to no clothing on. Crop tops are rather comfortable and stylish, but only if worn in an appropriate manner. Tye Bell (’12) said, “I love to wear crop tops, but once they are shorter than your belly button, you’re pushing the fine line between appropriate and trashy.” Most feel that there is a limit to an appropriate length, but not all females feel this way. “Crop tops make me feel confident. Regardless of how others view my body, I love my body and the freedom that I get from crop tops,” exclaimed Tiffany Volpe (’12). The pressure to wear crop tops keeps increasing as stores such as Forever 21 and Abercrombie & Fitch keep producing shorter and shorter clothing. Even though crop tops provide freedom and reward those who are comfortable inside of their own skin, ladies need to remember that in public, less is not more. So unless you are in the privacy of your

Ryan Halloran ’12

Staff Writer

After spending two months in National Honor Society, I have learned that there is more to life than receiving good grades in school and participating in sports. Being a member, it is expected of me to receive at least four hours of community service each month. However, as I continued to help out my community, the more I was willing to strive for more than four hours because of the feeling I received after. I believe that all students at Norwalk High School should be exposed to helping out the community after spending twelve years in public schooling. Often, kids in Norwalk complain about how dirty and boring it is here. However, if we all chipped in to helping our community become a cleaner, happier place, we can really make Norwalk something other than its reputation. Everyone who has participated in Campus Cleanup at NHS one year or another has left smiling because they did something really good for our school. If you take those same actions outside of NHS, our city and the homeless people can also share those smiles with us. If a class of 300 kids put at least one hour a month during the school year into helping the community, by the end of the year that class will have put in 3,000 hours of making our community a better place to live in. Apply that same policy to the whole school, and maybe even Brien McMahon High School, and the end results will be remarkable. Just spending one hour to get away from your friends and put down the video games can really make a difference. Many kids do not know where to start when trying to attempt a project, but a good way to start is to go to the Career Center to see the numerous activities offered. There are activities suitable for everyone’s interests: from volunteering at the Maritime Aquarium, to helping out at the Norwalk Hospital, to staying more local and to tutor at our own high school. Also, one can join the club B.R.O.W.N. which offers service projects as well. Community service is not only something beneficial to the community, but also gives students something to put on their college resume. Norwalk will not become a better placing by tweeting and complaining about how boring it is. Instead, go out and make a difference!

Save the Date !

Photo Credit: Caitlin Monahan

Stephanie Gonzalez ’12

The Value of Service

Photo Credit: Caitlin Monahan

Walking through the halls of Norwalk High, it is not uncommon to hear students complaining about how “wack” Norwalk is or how there is never anything fun to do. But is Norwalk really as bad as some people make it out to be? An hour train ride away from New York City, a five minute drive to Main Street in Westport, and with restaurants, movie theaters, and even shops right in our own town, there are a lot worse places to live than in Norwalk. As much as people like to complain about the lack of activities to do in Norwalk, a number of towns in Connecticut do not have half the things that Norwalk does. The 854 people living in Union, Connecticut, for example, would probably be more than happy to have a movie theater just five minutes away

from their home. Norwalk may not be New York City, but it certainly has a lot more to offer than other towns throughout the state and country. With the holidays just around the corner, Christmas tree lightings, Mr. Setti’s decorated home, and little cafes in South Norwalk are all fun places to drop by. And if the holiday activities in Norwalk leave you wanting more, New York City has hundreds of options for visitors to choose from. Whether you’re going in to view the magnificent tree, ice-skate in Rockefeller Center, or see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City, there is no way anyone can complain about living just an hour away from such an amazing place. So, next time you’re tempted to whine about having nothing to do in our little area of the country, think of the people who live in towns where a game of BINGO is exciting, and be grateful for the Bowtie Cinema on Westport Ave.

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1)Febuary 11th - Indoor campus cleanup 2)Peer Tuortering if GPA is a 3.4 or higher every day in the library

creative services print and web



own home or at the beach, make sure the length of your shirt is appropriate. Please remember, keep it cute, or put it on mute, and as Gil Araujo (’12) said, “there is a time and place for every outfit.”

OFFICE: 203-838-7111 CELL: 203-952-8045

contact: ian kelly p: 203-613-4105 f: 203-846-6943

CHARLES HARRIS 11 Belden Ave, First Floow Norwalk Connecticut 06850

FAX: 203-845-0772 EMAIL:

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DeCeMBeR 2011


No “Husky” Surprises for 2011-2012 Basketball Season brian manby ’12

A&E/Opinion Editor

for fans in the U.S. and hoops addicts will find have to find solace in the semi-pro action. Despite the expected competition ahead of Calhoun’s crew, the ambiance of this season is equally as exciting as it was when the Huskies cut down the nets last year. Another avid UConn fan and NHS senior Mike Parlanti (’12) said that he expects the team to head to another championship game, while jokingly adding that he is “looking forward to seeing the swag of Shabazz Napier.” All in all, the bar has been raised for the Huskies, and it is clear that they have their work cut out for them this season.

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With the 2011-2012 NCAA men’s college basketball season underway, the defending national champion Connecticut Huskies and their Coach Jim Calhoun are well on their way to obtain the title for the second time in a row. UConn’s season tipped off in an impressive fashion on November 11 with a 13-point victory over the visiting Columbia Lions, following up last season’s run that earned the program its third national title. In the Huskies’ first few games thus far, fans have witnessed respectable performances from many of this season’s key returning players such as sophomore guard, Jeremy Lamb. After losing last season’s superstar guard Kemba Walker who was selected in 2011 NBA Draft, the leadership role on the court at Gampel Pavillion will undoubtedly fall in the hands of Lamb: the 6’6” Norcross, GA product who saw significant playing time last season as a gifted freshman. Also returning to the Huskies’ starting lineup are junior forward/center Alex Oriakhi, sophomore forwards Tyler Olander and Roscoe Smith, and sophomore guard Shabazz Napier alongside Lamb in the backcourt. Coming off the bench for the Calhoun and Co. this winter however is 6’11 270-pound freshman powerhouse Andre Drummond. The Mount Vernon, NY native who attended St. Thomas More in Oakdale, CT was widely con-

sidered by ESPN to be the number one college recruit in the class of 2012, but graduated early in order to commit to the Huskies this past August. Husky fans are ecstatic about the addition of the nation’s top prospect, and are eager to see him develop into a role player over the next few seasons. Norwalk High School senior and Husky fanatic Jason Cotaling (’12) has high expectations for Drummond this year. “Hopefully he will support Alex Oriakhi down low, and will create another shot blocker in the paint.” “This will allow the backcourt to relieve pressure from Jeremy Lamb, and allow the forwards to be a force,” added the optimistic Cotaling. However, the road to repeating a championship run will not necessarily come easy for the pre-season ranked number four team in the country despite the returning experience on the hardwood. The Huskies will encounter a strenuous stretch of games among the likes of Big East conference powerhouses Syracuse, Louisville, and St. John’s beginning before the New Year. Among them are equally difficult out-of-conference games against Rutgers and West Virginia that should test the resiliency of this year’s team as well. Surely, the Huskies fan-base as well as the attention they will receive this season is expected to surmount the basketball world with the NBA lockout in full effect. Now, college games are the only televised basketball available

UConn’s Jeremy Lamb after a dunk during the 2011 National Championship game.

Private “Recruiting” vs Public “District Only” athletics jennie deering ’12

Staff Writer

On Saturday, December 3, 2011, the Norwalk football team played the private school Xavier to fight for who will move on to the Connecticut state finals. Many people may not know that Xavier is a private, all boys school, in upstate Connecticut that is allowed to ‘draw in’ student athletes from any part of the state to play for its various sports teams. The Xavier School has a recruiting like style, that although they are not allowed to offer money to student athletes to play for them, they can offer financial aid to those who ‘need it’. The requirements to receive

this financial aid are unknown. Norwalk High School, not being a private school, is only allowed to use athletes that live in the district of the school. “Private schools including Xavier are allowed to draw from multiple towns giving them more talent to choose from, as well as an advantage over Norwalk High,” stated Mr. Mones. In situations like fighting for a spot in the state championship game in football or a regular season basketball game, NHS or any public schools should not have to play a school that is able to gather any student athlete to play for them; an obvious disadvantage for all of the public schools that they play.

nBa Finally Unlocked

jared smith ’14

Staff Writer

no Ice for girls in 2011

makes twenty-four million a year. The urge for the players to get back on the court was so strong that some players are going overseas to keep playing. Some of these players would include Ty Lawson of the Denver Nuggets, who will play in Lithuania, while his teammate Kenyon Martin will play in China. These two players are two high-caliber players in the NBA together averaging nineteen points a game and around 6 assists. Then others who play in the U.S. in competitive games without the league. Some players like Lebron James and Dwayne Wade both of the Miami Heat picked teams and made a pickup game at U.S. Century Bank Arena at Florida International University. All the money they made was donated to charity. One thing is clear the players are ready to get back on the court and play again while the fans are waiting for another exciting season of the NBA. People around the U.S. should be happy that they were able to work this problem out before the season was completely canceled and enjoy the upcoming NBA season. Photo Credit:

Over the last several months the National Basketball Association (NBA) has had some tough times with the players wanting more money and owners not giving it to them and a result is a lockout. A lockout is when employees and employers do not agree with the terms of payment and employees do not work until they make a deal they both agree with. The season has been delayed until Christmas Day, which is two months later than a normal season. S o m e fans were upset about the cancellations. Now that the season has started late there will only be a 66 game season. “The stars already make enough money they are just being greedy.” explained Malcolm Charles (’14) why he thought there is a lockout. These professional athletes have tremendous talent and have the money to show for it. The average salary for an NBA player is six million dollars a year and because of the diversity of the salaries it is hard to make a fair average. Some players can make five hundred thousand dollars, such as Taylor Griffin of the Phoenix Suns, while Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest players of all time

Private and public schools should be separated not only by class size but also by conferences, due to the immense advantage. From the size to the variety of players that the private schools are able to choose from, public schools are left with a constant disadvantage. Throughout the school year, NHS plays various private schools including: Trinity Catholic High School, Notre Dame Catholic High School, St. Luke’s High School, and St Joseph High School. Instead of continuing this fight of public vs. private schools, a fair change needs to be made to remove the many advantages these private schools have.

Greta mcconnel ’14 Staff Writer

Many girls at Norwalk High School are lacing up their shoes, pulling up their skirts, and slipping on their basketball shorts, to get ready for this winters basketball, cheerleading, and indoor track season. Other girls are questioning why there is no girls’ ice hockey team. Girls in the Norwalk area are upset that there is not a Norwalk-McMahon girls’ ice hockey team. While there is a field hockey team in the fall, many are wondering why they cannot practice their skills on the ice. Not only does ice hockey let the player work on their skating, but many players also use it to get ready for other sports. Girls across the country use ice hockey to work on their stick skills for field hockey and other variations of hockey, such as street hockey. Though the topic of cutting sports comes up, it would only be fair to have a girls’ team if there is a boys’ team. Like soccer, lacrosse, basketball,

and many other sports at Norwalk High there would be a girls’ and boys’ ice hockey team. Not having a specific sports team for the opposite gender may leave some feeling left out. Many students do not know that there is an option to play on the opposite gender’s team. If they go through the tryouts, they would be treated the same. Students also do not know that they have the option to play on another schools team, if their own school does not have that specific sport. While many may think that is the best option if the player gets to play the sport they want with their gender. While being on a team at another school you might not have access to all of the benefits of the other players. Others like myself also might not want to wear another schools colors, due to the fact that it is not very school spirited. I believe the best solution for that problem here at NHS is to have our own team.


Lack of Fields Becoming a Problem Zoe Harris ’12

Staff Writer

sports coaches get together to make a practice schedule. Once there is a change to this schedule, then everything must be changed, even game times. Members of the Athletic Department in Norwalk High feel relieved though because as of now efforts are being put forth to cover the two fields at Nathan Hale with turf. The Athletic Department estimates that this project will be done in two years. Because of this field problem that NHS has, it is affecting sports teams and the individual players involved. Hopefully the new turf fields at Nathan Hale will benefit the teams in the future.


XC Track Team runs far in the Junior Olympics Matt Brown ’13

Web Content December 10th, 2011 was a life-changing day for Norwalk High School cross-country runners Edwin Rosales (‘13), Dashiell Murphy (‘14), and Clair Turner (’14). Rosales, Murphy, and Turner both qualified in the 2011 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships. This monumental race was held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at the Whispering Pines Golf Course. Close to 3000 student athletes across the country competed in this championship and three of those runners will be Norwalk High School students. “I am extremely excited and it is a great opportunity,” said Murphy. Murphy stated this is was an important race to him because the race was in Myrtle Beach. “Myrtle Beach is where my grandparents live. I will spend time with them and they can see me run,” stated Murphy. Murphy placed in 90th place out of 188 runners in the Intermediate Men Division 1 mile split running the race in 5:15.79. He also competed in the 5k races and he placed 120th out of 188 runners. He ran the 5k in Photo Credit: Lucas Keogh

Norwalk High sports teams are not working up to their best potential due to the lack of fields that NHS has to offer. NHS has two fields, one gymnasium, weight and wrestling rooms, and a pool on campus. There are approximately 1500 students in Norwalk High and about one third of those students are involved in a sport. However most teams have to commute to other schools, Andrew’s Field, and even to the City Hall field to practice. Mr. Wayne Mones, Director of the Athletic Department stated, “Our kids have to be more disciplined and have more passion. There’s no regularity to our students’ athletic days.” It is a privilege to be able to use the turf field at the front of the school for many teams. The varsity girls’ soccer team, the football team, girls’ field hockey, and boys’ soccer all have to share this field. Despite this crazy schedule, all of these teams come together in the end and really give it their all in games and meets. Cecily Stearns (’15), a varsity soccer player, said, “The varsity home games were always really late because we had to use the turf but other teams would be practicing on it after school.” At the beginning of the year, the


Track members run on the Testa Field track

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17:46.68. Boys Cross Country captain Edwin Rosales (‘13) said that he was very excited for the race. “The best part is the opportunity that comes with it and running with the best runners in the county. I like the competitive opportunity” Rosales competed in the 1 mile split in the Young Men division. He placed in 48th out of 99 runners in that race running the race in 5:14. He also competed in the 5k race and he ran the race in 18:03.65. He placed 80th out of 101 runners. Being the only girl from Norwalk High School competing in the Junior Olympics, Clair Turner was very appreciative and very optimistic with running in this race. “Nationals were very exciting and I was grateful to run in them,” explained Turner. Turner also explained “When I look back on Nationals I will remember that I beat my best time by four seconds” Turner placed 55th out of 138 runners and ran the race in 6:27 in the Intermediate Girls 1 mile split. In the 5k race, Turner ran a 20:16.11 placing 60th out of 139 runners. Turner also wanted to say that she was happy to share her experience with her two great friends. Rosales, Murphy, and Turner have led the cross-country team with big strides as well as a winning season. They both ran well and opened a lot of eyes in the Norwalk High School community.


Indoor Track

“We are looking forward to a great season, we are glad that we have a lot of great runners and we will have a lot of fun.” - Ian McGrath ’13

Boys Basketball “We want to go far into FCIACs and States by working hard, practicing hard, and being a team. Taking each game one at a time.” - Rasheen Thompson ’12

Wrestling “We have kids putting a lot of effort this year which will help us succeed in the long run. We have a lot of heart.” - Evan Reish ’13

Girls Basketball

“Our goal is to make sure we work hard everyday each time we step onto the court, but also make sure that we find a good balance between being serious and having fun.” - Zayna Fulton ’12

Swimming “Even though we lost some good swimmers last year, I feel that everyone will step up and help us to have a great season this year.” -Jason Castorina ’13


“Our goal every year is to make states, but my fellow Seniors and I are going to work even harder to try and make it happen for out last year.” - Mike McRoy ’12


A Summary in Fall Sports from an NHS Senior Staff Writer


S it: ed Cr

on C har

n adde

After attending Norwalk High School for my fourth year, I have sat through many winning and losing seasons. However, none of these seasons compares to the one I witnessed this fall. Being side-by-side with the Bear Pack, inspiration was given to both the players and the coaches, contributing to the success of the NHS sports teams. Whether we painted our faces, waved our flags, or lost our voices screaming, I can honestly say that I always looked forward to the games after school. The most exciting games came when the Bear Pack traveled the 135 miles from Norwalk High School, to Wethersfield, to West Haven, and back home to support our teams. The boy’s soccer team placed top four in States and the girl’s field hockey team placed second. Just ten days later, we took another bus to West Hartford to support the boy’s football team as they took on Conard and another to West Haven as they played Xavier. The boy’s soccer team took over from where they left off last year under the wings of co-captains Nick Zuniga (’12) and Chris Puente (’12). However, the team received heartbreaking news after Puente had to undergo surgery, which motivated the team that much more. With a regular season record of 13-1-2, they were ranked number one in FCIACS and

number two in the State. The field hockey team was the most successful of the fall teams, placing second in the State after a devastating 1-0 loss to Cheshire. They were ranked third in States and were led by three senior captains: Katie Schmidt (’12), Thenya Taiyanides (’12), and Christine Mace (’12). Both Schmidt and Mace will be playing on the MSG All Regional Team Ph ot after their showcasing their talent this season. This year, at my last Thanksgiving game as a student, I could not have asked for a better game to watch. New head coach, Sean Ireland, led the football team to States for the first time in 13 years with a record of 8-1 after shutting out BMHS 17-0. The boys made history, being the first football team in NHS history to win a States game. Furthermore, nine players from the team were awarded First Team All FCIAC. Although the girl’s soccer team was not as successful, their record does not reflect the amount of work they put into each and every practice. Although every player contributed to each and every game, the backbone of the team was Karolyn Collins (’12), a standout defender who played all four years on Varsity. She was awarded First Team All FCIAC and All State and will be playing Division 1 soccer at Fairfield University next year.

The swimming team showed the Board of Education exactly why the sport should not be cut due to budgets as they drowned their opponents in a 7-2 season. Katie Baritz (’12) and Ashley Balunek (’12), two motivated captains, credit the team’s success to the new Freshman as well as the different work ethics the team used this year. The volleyball team was led by captains Michele Casolino (’12), Christina Franco (’12) and Alexis Noonan (’12) .The games were full of noise as the gym echoed with every word spoken and every foot stomped. The Bear Pack was limited to these games, but the enclosed gym made it sound like there were hundreds of us there. Although the cross country team competed as individuals, each and every effort contributed to the team’s success. Both the boy’s and girl’s teams could be seen running every day after school, rain or shine, qualifying both teams for States. The effort paid off, as the boy’s placed 7th in FCIACS, 3rd in the Wickham Invitational, and 2nd in the Wilton Invitational. The coaches played a huge role in the success of the teams this year as three of them were awarded coach of the year. Congratulations to Sean Ireland, Kyle Seaburg, and Rebecca Rubin for being named Coach of the Year. As we conclude our fall sports season, it is easy to say that NHS is full of talent and spirit. Six different teams made it to States and I am optimistic that a few more fan buses will be purchased to support the winter and spring sports in States.

Congratulations to the Fall NHS Sports Teams for all of their hard work this season!

Photo credits: Sharon Cadden

Photo Credits: Jason Cotaling

Ryan Halloran ’12

December 2011 Issue  

The December Issue of the Norwalk High School newspaper “The Paw Print” will release its next issue of The Paw Print will be released. Stori...

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