The Norwalk High School
In THIs Issue:
“How the Bears make their mark”
a down and dirty Look at norwalk High Chloe Cappo ’12 Staff Writer
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:
Ryan Halloran ’12 Staff Writer
While Norwalk Public Schools continue to offer healthier food selections, something other than the students will be gaining weight. Starting in the fall of the 2012–2013 school year, honors classes will receive an extra .5 unit weight. The topic of weighting these classes has been a debate in Norwalk for a couple of years now. However, with a new Superintendent, now in her second year, it did not take much for Dr. Susan Marks to approve the policy. “I was very supportive right from the get go. I do not know why it was not changed before.” Today, NHS Advanced Placement classes follow a different weighting system (A-5, B-4, C-3, etc.) other than the normal marking system (A-4, B-3, C-2, etc.). The new weight will fall in between those two systems (A-4.5, B-3.5, C-2.5, etc.). Dr. Marks is optimistic that the new procedure will benefit students more than the weight itself. She said, “We want students to stretch themselves and take higher level courses. Students will be better prepared for college and work.” Principal Leonard Mecca is hopeful that the new weighting system will encourage students to take classes of higher level. He stated, “The expectation of honors classes remains that the level of work in these classes will be more rigorous than that in similar courses and merits a weighted grade.” ...Continued on Page 3
VoLume VI, Issue 3
Everyday, students and faculty call Norwalk High School their home, and spend countless hours learning and socializing in the halls and classrooms. But students are unaware that they share their home with millions of microscopic germy organisms. All day and everyday students constantly touch doorknobs, keyboards, lockers, desktops, and even fallen pencils. Students are unaware that touching a door or typing on a computer could have more germs than a toilet seat. When asked to do a hand-washing test, using a germ glow gel and black light, some nervous students were rated on a scale of one to ten on how well they wash their hands. Many of the students gave themselves 6’s, 7’s, or 8’s. One student was even confident enough to give themselves a 10, but after the results, many were shocked. “I thought I was a better hand washer,” says Kaitlin Jones (’12) “But now I give myself a 4.” Places all
around the school are scoured with germs that most are unaware of or would not expect. A germ test was done on the school using samples from the A-house stair rail, a cafeteria top table, a students desk top, a door knob, and a toilet seat. NHS uses a Clario Green Seal Certified hand soap in bathrooms and a Betco AF79 disinfectant cleaner for cafeteria table tops and other parts of the school. According to Act 09-81, all school facilities are to be cleaned with all green certified products. Even though NHS going green is a good thing, the actual validity of how well the
green products work has been questioned. “Some do, some don’t; it depends on what and where you are cleaning. As far as disinfection, the products are better,” says Angelus, the head custodian at NHS. “The harder stuff, such as graffiti, won’t always come off but it will be clean.” ...Continued on Page 2
The major minority gap in aP Classes Juan Colon ’12 Staff Writer As you look around an Advanced Placement classroom, one will notice the growing number of minority students. The amount of minority students will either continue to grow or it will stay the same. When asked if he saw a growth in minority enrollment, Mr. Welsh agreed by saying, “Generally speaking yes.” He continued to say, “We would like to narrow that gap if we can.” Some believe that an achievement gap exists between minorities and their majority counterparts in AP classes. However, this seems to be more of an, “across the board,” reality according to Mr. Welsh.
Irvin Saavedra (’12), a minority who is enrolled in AP classes, also agrees with Mr. Welsh by saying, “ In the entire school I see it (the achievement gap).” Mr. Welsh went on to say that the achievement gap is “not as noticeable” in AP classes. “Some of the smartest kids in the school would be classified as minorities,” said Kyle Buswell (’12). But some minorities come from different backgrounds. Saavedra called it a “cultural thing” because “majorities tend to value education a lot more.” Many minority students have parents that did not go to college and are working several jobs just to make ends meet. Therefore, their parents are not as active in their school life and cannot influence them as greatly. “Most of our parents don’t go to college, we have to work twice as hard to succeed,” expressed
Jeffrey Garcia (’12). Although it may be true that minorities would have to work a little bit harder, it does not mean they cannot do it. Mr. Welsh admitted to seeing, “minorities who really work at it and succeed, and whites who really work at it and succeed (and vice versa).” He later added that teachers “like to see everybody achieve.” The reason for minorities not enrolling in AP classes is the same reason why some majority students do not want to enroll. “They feel intimidated by the class”, said Buswell. Majority students are more abundant in the school; therefore, they are more abundant in AP classes. Saavedra ended by saying, “The drive to succeed while in the classroom is in the student.” If a student is really dedicated to their education, they will do whatever it takes to succeed.
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THE PAW PRINT
juliana cole ’12
At the close of each quarter, as report cards are distributed, it seems that the infamous “H” somehow always causes commotion among the student body. Not only are students bothered by the policy itself, but the appeal process as well. Although all students are given the opportunity to appeal an “H,” few students take the time to fill out and submit the appeal form, and even fewer appeals are granted. Students must file their “Attendance Appeal Application” to their housemaster no later than five school days after their report card is issued. However, as stated on pages 8 and 9 of the Norwalk Public Schools Student Handbook, the housemaster always has the final say when it comes to appealing an “H”. Following the distribution of first quarter report cards this year, only five or six students in E-House submitted the appeal paperwork to Mr. Singleton and only one appeal was granted. In A-House, only two students filed for appeals, although many “H”s were issued. In order for the appeal to be honored, it is necessary that the student attach a valid note from a doctor or parent proving the student’s legitimate excuse for their absences. If the excuse is not considered justifiable on page 9 of the Norwalk Public Schools Student Handbook, the housemaster will deny the appeal.
“I wish students would read the handbook more thoroughly and more often,” commented Mr. Singleton, E-House Housemaster. “I just enforce the NPS policy. I don’t understand how students are unclear of the policy.” He continued, “Of course there are always exceptions. We like to help our students; some things we listen to, but other times we have to be firm and listen to what the policy states.” Although some students may think that housemasters use favoritism to determine whose “H”s they appeal, each housemaster uses the same guidelines printed in the handbook when making these decisions. As one of the few students able to appeal their “H”s first quarter, Sophia Theoklitos (’12) stated, “I received “H”s in all eight of my classes last quarter, but I am anemic, so I was able to appeal them with a medical note from my doctor.” Other students, however, were not so lucky. “I skipped a class too many times and received an “H”, so I filled out an appeal form because I thought I only had two cuts, but I actually had three,” said Chris Riordan (’12). “I think the policy is too strict. We should have more leniency and be allowed to have five cuts each quarter.” The “H”ing policy may seem to be a nuisance to just NHS students, yet high schools in Darien, Westport,
Photo Credit:Taylor Greene
WHAT THE H IS THIS “H”?!
Stamford, and New Canaan all follow similar policies; some of which are even stricter. While B-House and D-House were unavailable for comments, Dr. Karagus, A-House housemaster, stated, “Attendance establishes a core work ethic. You can’t survive in the work world if you don’t take attendance seriously.” He continued, “Every time a student is going to lose credit, it is very serious. It’s one of the most devastating things that could happen to a student. It impacts graduation.” Although some students may find the policy to be unfair, good attendance is crucial in order for students to be successful in high school and the real world, which is why it is taken so seriously.
Stress Leads to Sickness and Sickness Leads to Stress
hayley gola ’12
High GPA Expectations
tyler brown ’13
Quarter two report cards are here, and some students are ineligible to play their sport because they did not achieve the minimum 1.7 Grade Point Average (GPA). What most students do not know is that there is also a GPA requirement to participate in the musicals and plays that the Music Department puts on. The Music Department strictly enforces a 2.0 GPA for students participating in any productions. “I don’t think it’s unfair. We just have really high expectations for our students,” Mrs. Pettibone of the Music Department explains. “There should be one GPA for anyone to participate in any extracurricular activities, whether its athletic or artistic,” Ms. Elkas, an English teacher, stated. By Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) law, a student must pass four core subjects per quarter. This means that a student can have four core classes a day, get a D- in each class, and still play their
sport. Norwalk Public Schools requires its students to maintain a 1.7 GPA in order to participate in sports. Most teachers feel that the 1.7 GPA requirement for sports is too low and the student body should be held to higher standards. “I think it should be a 2.0. To get a 1.7, you have to barely do any work,” Ms. Elkas, providing her point of view on the subject, also said. If student athletes are struggling to get a 1.7 GPA they sometimes will ask teachers for make up work that they have missed throughout the quarter to help increase their grades. Many people believe that this is not fair to the rest of the students. Mr. Segers, an English teacher and Baseball Coach, states, “If an athlete comes up and asks ‘can I have make up work to boost my grade?’ and I say yes and then a non-athlete comes and asks me the same question and I say no, then it’s not fair.”
get really sick and then the stress of making up work kills.” Even teachers have noticed how stress affects kids. Mr. VonArter found that the day he gave a test, there were 10 people absent, but the day before the test there were only four people absent. Whether you have heavy stress or mild stress, you cannot deny that stress is an everyday part of life and so is getting sick.
Photo Credit: Taylor Greene
A new school year comes with many new things. New classes, new books, and new ways to get sick. Trying to explain how someone catches a cold is as impossible as trying to sneeze with your eyes open . One factor seems to always pop up: Stress. In an article written by Jane Brody for the New York Times, it was found that personal reasons such as working too hard and sleeping poorly were major reasons in why someone was so susceptible in getting sick. Studies done by Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Virginia all did studies on stress and how it affected someone’s risk of getting a cold. Carnegie Mellon found that people who were under long-term stress (lasting longer than a month) were more likely to catch a cold than people who were under mild stress. Dr. Sheldon Cohen conducted the studies at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Virginia and found that people who had close social relationships were least likely to get a cold.
Dr. Cohen then went on to find which kinds of stress from the earlier studies affected resistance to the common cold. The study again found that long-term stress increased risk of infection and having more than one cause of stress increased risk even more. In a recent poll of high school students of 18 people, 78% percent had gotten a cold more than once in the time span between the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year, and 67% percent said that they had been infected with the cold during a stressful time in their life. “Stress affects students more than sleep or food because stress stays with you”, says Nurse Faccenda when asked if stress affected students. “I have to stay up late up to do work so I don’t get the right amount of sleep”, said Morgan Rochefort (’12) when asked if she thought she was more susceptible to being sick because of her stress level. Both Nurse Faccenda, Nurse Corradino and Rochefort said that lack sleep affects students and their immune systems. “Yes because I had to worry about making up work if I missed school”, said Rochefort. Krystina Lyons (’14) also commented on sickness and stress. “I’m a very sick person, so when I get sick I
A Down and Dirty Look At Norwalk High continued from Page 1 The products used this year compared to those used in the past are even in scale when it comes to how well they clean. When students were asked what they thought the parts of the school has the most germs many said the bathrooms. “I think the bathrooms have the most germs,” said Lauren Madden (’15) Using a Nutrient Agar and swabs from each of these places were taken and placed into plates with the solution. 72 hours later the results showed that the parts of the schools that carried the most germ were the stair handrail and the doorknob, which carried far more germs than the toilet seat. It turns out that these places only get cleaned during the summer. When informed of this Angleus said “I’ll add that to the routines while mopping down the stairwells.” The number one way to prevent the spread of sickness and germs is hand washing. “The majority of students are unaware of the way to properly wash their hands,’ says Ms. Engle a biology and forensics teacher at NHS. To properly wash hands one must first run their hands under warm water. While applying soap make sure to clean all nail beds, cuticles
and crevasses on hands. Dry hands with a paper towel and be sure that hands are completely dry. Do not turn the water off until the hands are dry. “A lot of simple colds and flues can be prevented with hand washing,” says Ms. Engle. “Also sneezing into elbows and covering mouths when we cough keep germs from spreading.” The number of germs food picks up even from falling on a table can cause you to ingest a bad germ. Suddenly the 5 second rule does not seem so much fun anymore. Photo Credit: Chloe Cappo
Petri dishes used while testing students hands for germs
THE PAW PRINT
Look! It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a... Teacher? Matt Brown ’13
and then drive to Norwalk from there” explained Dircector of Technology for the Norwalk Public School District Dr. Robert Posselli Dr. Polselli lives in Charlton, Massachusetts which is about fifty-three miles away from Boston. Polselli actually flies a plane to work on most days. Polselli has about a 115-mile drive or 79 miles to fly from airport to airport and about a 30mile drive to Norwalk. He usually wakes up at about 4:15 in the morning. One the days that he flies to work he drives to Southbridge Municipal Airport in Southbridge Massachusetts and then flies to Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford. Then he drives from Stratford to Norwalk. It takes him about and hour in ten minutes to fly from his home to the airport. No matter how far or how long they take to get from place to place, all of the Norwalk High School students truly appreciate the effort these teachers make when getting to Norwalk High School. They must love going to see the students everyday. Photo Credit: Dr. Polselli
It is five o’clock in the morning and many Norwalk High School students are still sound asleep in their beds, but for some Norwalk High School staff members; this is when they wake up in the morning to start their day. Some teachers are already on the road driving to Norwalk High School and some are even up in the air flying to work. Ms. Gleason, Mr. Lipp, and Mr. O’Shaughnessy are three teachers that begin their day at that hour. They prepare with their morning routines and get ready for school, and go out to their morning commutes. NHS Science Department Chair. Mr. Lipp commutes from Fairfield every morning. He says that it takes about 35 minutes to get to NHS everyday in ideal driving conditions. “I don’t know of anyone who looks forward to a long commute, often it is the lesser of two evils, relocating your family or a longer drive.” stated Lipp on his thoughts on commuting. Someone who does not have as long a commute as Lipp is NHS Social Studies department chair Mr. O’Shaughnessy.
O’Shaughnessy has about a whole five minute commute from NHS to his home. He can get to work in two minutes in ideal driving conditions. O’Shaughnessy knows what it is like to commute from long places away and he believes that there are many benefits of commuting. “The benefits of commuting are that you can get ready for the day, you can think about your thoughts, [commuting] can be a beneficial time.” Lipp and O’Shaughnessy both have unique commutes in the morning, but some people may say that Dr. Robert Polselli has a unique commute. “My commute is atypical in that I am a flight instructor and commercial pilot (fixed wing and helicopter). I own my own aircraft and as often as I can, I fly from Southbridge Municipal Airport to Sikorsky (Bridgeport)
iCheating Creates Catastrophe in NHS Classrooms
Erin Kelly ’13 Staff Writer
iPhones have been owned by students at Norwalk High since Apple first released the product in 2007; however they have begun to be used as a sneaky advantage during tests in class. Because these devices are so small and compact, it is easy for students to put it in their lap and hide it from teachers while taking tests. Combining this factor with the iPhone’s hundreds of thousands of apps- plus 3G Internet connection- makes for a cheater’s dream come true. “They’re only cheating themselves,” claims Dr. Munrow of the Science department. “It’s hard enough to try to keep phones away in general.”
In a recent survey of thirty students, twentyfour admitted to cheating on a test by using their iPhones. This number is extremely concerning compared to the six innocent students who chose to take the high road while testing. “Phones have no place in the classroom,” says Principal Lenny Mecca. “It’s an unnecessary appendage.” The iPhone has many positive aspects to a student's life as well. One can use the Calendar or Reminders app to organize homework, test dates, and other class assignments. They can use the Internet connection during study hall to help with research or homework. "Sometimes teachers let me look up definitions and things like that in class,” says Farrah Marin (’12). In addition, there are many apps in the App Store that are devoted to assistance in certain academic subjects,
such as Rocket Math, Flashcards Deluxe, Thesaurus App, and more. iPhone users can also download Microsoft Office software such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, allowing students to get a head start on assignments that require computer-based assignments. "The calculator is often helpful in study hall when I'm practicing math." says Kaitlyn Istona (’15). The iPhone has its various pros and cons to use in the classroom. However, cell phones are still not permitted in class, and teachers must do a better job of enforcing this rule to prevent cheating. Despite beneficial elements that it may come with, students must refrain from being glued to their iPhones throughout the entire school day. Although it is a worthy aid to what is covered throughout the curriculum, nothing should replace student-teacher interactions.
NHS Puts Honors Classes on a Heavier Scale continued from page 1 Teachers had mixed feelings about the new policy, while others were not even informed about it. A teacher of Honors Physics, Mr. Glenn Couture, believes that there should be further standards that the student must reach in order to obtain the weight. “They should not be rewarded with the weighting, regardless of taking the class, unless they meet the honors requirements.” Although debate about the new policy continues to circulate among the administration, the students at NHS could not be happier. Nick Lampman (’13), who is currently taking three honors classes, said, “I favor it because I work hard in these honors classes, yet I receive the same weight as a much easier 5 level class. If the class is designed to be more challenging, then it should be weighted more.” However, what many students fail to recognize is that a majority of colleges “unweigh” the grades to make a universal system. Mark Montgomery, a college counselor, expected, “Colleges want the weighted GPA to reflect your class rank, as well as the relative rigor of your high school course load. But they will not use this weighted GPA in comparing you with other applicants.” Although students will be more motivated to enroll in challenging classes, they must first realize that to some colleges, the word “honors” tends to mean more than the actual weight. Illustration Credit: Nicole Chiaramonte
Doing Democratic Damage Brian Manby ’12
Being Politically Incorrect Carly Mammoliti ’12 A&E and Opinion Editor
With 2012 finally here, the presidential election is beginning to see its light at the end of the tunnel. Though November certainly seems like a lifetime away the students and Ph to oto Cr staff of Norwalk High School, nine months will be here before any one realizes it. F o r most of the seniors, this will be their first time to vote and really get involved with knowing and understanding the presidential candidates. “A good citizen is someone who is informed. Like buying a car. You need to know the background information before you make a decision,” stated Mr. Harriton, a Social Studies teacher. Knowing about politics at a young ed
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age readies the country’s youth to understand how their government works. They need to know how to pay taxes and why they pay taxes; also, the understanding of who they believe should and should not run the country based on that person’s beliefs. “(Knowing about politics) is part of being in a democratic society,” stated Mr. Mecca, who referred to voting as “something that you need.” Though, there are some people like Caylie Sheridan (’12), who believe “Each vote counts;” most seniors, such as Chance Young (’12), do not plan on voting in the next presidential election simply because they do not feel like it. If political awareness was stressed more in and out of the classroom during school, then students would be able to make an informed opinion on whom they want to vote for. According to Harriton, NHS used to house its own mock election the day before the actual presidential one. “We could hold a debate where representatives for each candidates come and speak on their behalves,” stated Harriton, “Voting requires attention, and young people especially must be informed. A democracy can only work if people cooperate.” The media affects how young people, especially, figure out their opinions on politics. “People only know what they hear, and most of the time it isn’t true,” later continued Harriton. Less than half of the population at the ages 18-24 vote, meaning around 64% do not. The United States is a democratic government because people fought and died for the peoples’ right to speak their opinions freely. However, those people need to stop taking their freedom for granted and learn about how to keep it or change what it is they do not like about how the government is being run.
Illustration Credit: Nicole Chiaramonte
As the first Tuesday in November rolls around, 2012 Presidential Race coverage is taking over American media throughout the country. However, rather than bringing attention to the flaws and heroisms of each candidate, there is an equally important problem that is practically going unnoticed. Voting participation among the youth of the United States population has been an element of the electoral process that has lacked recently. Although the 2008 Presidential Election had the second-highest voter turnout among the 18-29 year-old age bracket in electoral history (18% - according to The Tartan), the eagerness to vote particularly within high school and early college students is dramatically low. In a nation whose government is comprised of “We the people…” in its own constitution, one would think that the political involvement of its citizens should be much higher than it really is. In a survey conducted with thirty random high-school seniors, college freshmen, and college sophomores, exactly 50% claimed they were legally registered voters. There is no denying that this statistic sounds excellent for such an infant group of the eligible population, but what was recorded from the other side of the 50% is something even more surprising. The 50% of students who were not voters made a variety of different claims as to why they have yet to register. One nonregistrant, Christian Rivera (’11), went as far to say, “I forgot I even have the right to (vote)!” Another non-voter, Chris Jeffrey (’11), expressed his desire to register soon, but for a reason much different than fulfilling a civic duty as an American citizen: “I will be (registered) soon so I can get extra credit in my political science class!” Unfortunately, that is what the privilege to vote has turned into in many cases: something that gets forgotten or that a student needs to be baited into. Evidently, the will to do so is no longer strengthened by the thought that voting is an imperative principle to democracy, but instead has been subsided. Of the 50% of eligible voters, the rea-
sons for registering were still awry in some cases as well. Donovan Blunt (’12), a Norwalk High School night-school student, claimed he was forced into registering, saying “My granddad made me (register).” Sadly, the mindset of America’s youth who are still in school in regard to voting is flawed. Rather than voting under the moral that it is a central component of democratic process, it seems as though youth voters are registered for other reasons which express their unwillingness. For those who are not registered, the situation is far worse, particularly because it seems as though they do not care. *To register to vote, pick up a voter registration form from the Registrars’ office (Room 122) or the Town Clerk’s office (Room 102) located at Norwalk City Hall, and either mail it or hand it in to the Registrars’ office before the election.
THE PAW PRINT
Metal Detectors Increase Safety at Sporting Events Kendall Sturges ’12
Illustration Credit: Nicole Chiaramonte
High schools across the country are taking extra precautionary safety measures for sporting events this year, and Norwalk High is no exception. New policies have been enforced now that the 2012 winter sports season has begun. A policy that has gained significant recognition is one in which people attending an NHS basketball game against cross town rival Brien McMahon High School, must go through metal detectors before entering the gym due to prior altercations between the two schools. Many students and various sporting event attendees are puzzled by this rule, even though it is not used on a regular basis. NHS athletic director, Mr. Wayne Mones, clarified that passing through the detectors is only enforced during Norwalk and McMahon games as a result of the massive crowd appearances comprised with supporters for both schools. “People are less likely to bring weapons,” said Mones. “This has been discussed for a long time and the Norwalk Police Department has encouraged the people’s safety.” In addition to the protective aspect of the metal detectors, one underlying goal of this policy is to have a good-hearted, pleasant sporting experience. “Some results of the metal detectors have been good crowd support and
behavior,” Mones added.
Students like Jason Cotaling (’12) are active Norwalk High supporters and frequently attend NHS sporting games and related events. Cotaling supports the use of metal detectors for the Norwalk/McMahon basketball games. “They keep the games fun and safe without having to worry about adults or other students getting out of hand.” Speaking on behalf of his fellow peers, Cotaling said, “Most of us thought it was good to produce higher standards of safety, and there was no hassle.” Although the players did not have to enter the gym through the metal detectors, girls center, Emma Oyomba (’13), supported their use as well. “Some people take rivalries too far sometimes, so I did feel safer,” she said. The newest member to the NHS security guard team is Chris Sgritta, who also agreed with the use of the metal detectors and said, “Norwalk takes public safety very seriously. They are a deterrent for people to hide weapons and people were complaint and appreciative because of this protection.” According to security guards and the athletes themselves, the metal detectors fulfilled the purpose of easing the minds of Norwalk fans, teams, and the athletic department members. The safety achieved at Norwalk and McMahon games throughout the winter sports season so far has been a huge success.
THE PAW PRINT
Time to BuildOn at NHS
Anastasia Phillips ’14
Not-So-Progressive Reports Nora Blake ’12 Staff Writer
said Mr. Franco, who is the BuildOn adviser at Norwalk High School. The program is independent and does not receive funding from the school. The funds raised go towards helping build schools. Last year, BuildOn constructed a school in Nicaragua. A few students from BuildOn programs at different schools went to Nicaragua and assisted in constructing a school, including current club president Laura Montenari (14’). That was NHS BuildOn’s second trip to Nicaragua. During the trip last year, students traveled to Nicaragua to help build a school. The trip was for 12 days and students stayed with host families to form bonds and learn the Nicaraguan culture. BuildOn helped build as much of a school as they could over the duration of 12 days, and the other half of the building was left to be finished by the people of the village, once named La Chimpanilla but now called Nueva Eperanza. The main goal of BuildOn is to build schools, but they also do little things in their local communities. In Norwalk, BuildOn members volunteer at clothes and food drives, YMCA Family Fun Night, book distributions at the local libraries, and other little things to help the community. Each year, BuildOn also does Alternative Spring Break, which is a camp for younger kids to help them learn and express themselves. BuildOn, which has been a club at Norwalk High School for at least five years, is dedicated to helping the world and will continue doing this until it is terminated.
Local high school students always look forward to the midway point in a respective marking period, which signifies how well they are doing in an academic class. ‘Interims’, ‘progress reports’, or any combination of the two phrases, are standard customs within most high schools. They not only inform students of their performance in each of their classes, but also give a general idea of their grade halfway through the marking period. Yet many seniors within Fairfield County high schools believe that these ‘progress reports’ are anything but accurate. “Sometimes interims can be an inaccurate representation of my grade in a class because the teacher has only given out one test in a particular quarter. My parents see my grade and are shocked to see the report, even though they don’t realize that I have a whole half of the quarter to improve,” said Staples High School senior Margaux Stamm. While students at Staples have ample time to improve their grade, those at Norwalk High School are often given anywhere from 10 to 13 school days to improve their standing. Other local seniors weighed in on their dissatisfaction of the confusion surrounding interim reports. Kate Buellesbach from Brien McMahon High School said, “I find that the comments teachers give out [are set in stone], and can even give a kid an incentive to want to do well in a class and ask for help, but it can be hard for a teacher or even an administrator to give feedback about the statements.” Norwalk High School senior Carly
Gagstetter (’12) added, “Whenever I get my interim, I always ask myself, what does the phrase ‘achieving satisfactorily’ even mean?” Ms. Jessica Slason, a science teacher at Norwalk, has the same issue with the comments she is allowed to give out to her students. “Comments, specifically ‘achieving satisfactorily’, are extremely vague and do not describe particular problems each unique student may have. Teachers should be able to contribute more about what they are able to say about their students, or at least someone should give some kind of input into finding better adjectives to describe student performance.” Viola Skenderis, an A House guidance counselor, describes ‘achieving satisfactorily’ as a “progress report that portrays a performance level that is beyond passing, and anywhere from a C to low A range.” She agrees with the ambiguous nature of Norwalk High School interim reports, but later shed some light on a potentially more revolutionized method of sharing these statements. “In time, we [as in school administrators] would like to adopt a computer system in which student grades are posted on a secure connection so that progress is constantly viewable. Then students will always know of their academic standing without the aid of a progress report.” While interim reports are a critical aspect of academic performance within higher education, their true meaning and significance are often unclear. With time, that obscurity will lessen and give students a clearer picture of their current and future scholastic success. Photo Credit: Brian Manby
Photot Credit: Duffy Franco
Norwalk High School has several after school programs, including BuildOn. BuildOn is an organization that encourages teenagers to volunteer in their communities and help others. “BuildOn is a service organization and we work to build schools in other countries,” says BuildOn member Anna Massaro (12’). BuildOn has taken on the job of building new schools in countries that do not have the resources to build schools on their own. Schools have been built in Bolivia, Brazil, and India. The only school that has been built by BuildOn in the U.S. is in New Mexico. Over 400 schools have actually been built. The organization has spread worldwide; it is not just a United States project. U.S. locations for BuildOn are Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Philadelphia, New York, and California. Internationally, BuildOn works in Nepal, Mali, Malawi, Haiti, Senegal, and Nicaragua. The BuildOn organization gets its money from fund-raising, private donations, foundations, the government, and corporations. Norwalk High Schools BuildOn program raises money by fundraising. “We do pizza sales, car washes, and coin drives,”
The Frightening Knowledge of Norwalk Gang Activity Staff Writer
Norwalk shootings take place regardless of what anyone says. “Many shootings consist of gang related activity, along with retaliation, and drugs,” according to Norwalk High School’s, School Resource Officer, Chris Sgritta. After being on patrol for two years he then proceeds to say that he feels that the number of crimes have increased. “It all deals with the economy. The more people home and have free time, the more time they have to do things to get in trouble.” So far this year there have been three shootings that have taken place in Norwalk. At this point in time, there is nothing authority figures can do about gang related activities unless names are mentioned. The mantra “snitches get stitches” holds a lot of the community back from releasing any sort of information. “Gangs have been in Norwalk forever. They start getting themselves pretty known; so then we focus in on them.
We usually get a force together from the federal government and well basically do round ups and lock them up and do federal time instead of state time. Federal time is a lot longer, can consist of 20 to 40 years. Once the gang members realize they can go to jail for a long time that is when they start to give up information and that is how we solve a lot of the cases,” said Detective Michael Murray. He also went on to say, “Gangs have no purpose other than to do criminal activity. It’s a drug dealing business and that is how they make their money. We have broken up any gang that has come to be and that is when some other groups try to come in and take their place.” “Since Norwalk Police Department was moved to South Norwalk Norwalk has become safer. It has dispersed some crime, and made downtown more safe,” according to Officer Sgritta. Regardless, shootings are going to take place. Not only in this city, but world wide as well. “Most of the areas in Norwalk are pretty safe and as long as you are not exposing yourself to activities
that criminals are involved in, then you are pretty safe. If you hang out with people that are involved in illegal acts then there is going to be more of a change of bad things occurring,” said Detective Murray. As of this month, the FBI has been involved in Norwalk Shootings. “I’ve been talking to the U.S Attorney about the things they’ve been doing in the region
Photot Credit: The Stamford Advocate
Caylie Sheridan ’12
with gangs,” according to Himes which was stated in the Norwalk Hour. With the FBI being involved, Himes hopes that jobs increasing will decrease the crime rate, and only help benefit youths. “Himes expressed hope that the development of activities for at–risk youths will keep the youths off the street.”
Nicole dunsmore ‘13
The search goes on to find the next great Norwalk High Principal.
broad range of areas that we can look at.” The next principal of NHS must be identified by July 1st and Dr. Marks stressed, “I would never recommend a principal to any school that I couldn’t have my own children in that school with that principal. It’s too hard of a job, too important of a job; you have to be an instructional leader and you also have to manage all the extracurricular activities, which are major in a high school.” She continued saying, “also in Norwalk High we’re so proud of our arts and our music and we want somebody who is really going to support that and be able to deal with the many, many different issues that children who are in their teenage years have.” The students at Norwalk High feel that their current principal, Leonard Mecca, has done an impressive job running the school and that any principal following him has big shoes to fill. Hopefully due to the thoroughness of the search process this change starting in the 2012-2013 school
year will not be a drastic one. Dr. Marks concluded that “yes, a high school principal has to walk on water. Absolutely. I know the importance of the principal in the building and nobody ever can replace the person that you had but we want to demonstrate the characteristics that you are looking for because it’s your school, it’s our kids, it’s Norwalk High.” Photo Credit: www.portal.norwalkps.org
Photo Credit: Carly Mammoliti
with students, parents, and teachers; we need to know what you’re looking for Feature Editor in a high school principal. The Human With the departure of a principal comes Resources Department will review all the hiring of a new one. Thus begins the applications to see if all the candidates meticulous process of finding a candidate meet our qualifications.” to fill the soon-to-be empty spot as head of Dr. Susan Marks, Superintendent Norwalk High School. of Norwalk Public Schools expressed, “Looking for a new principal is a “Whether you are chosen to be on the lengthy process. A new principal of a interview committee or not, you have comprehensive high school is key to the input on what you think is important. success of the high school,” stated Assistant I’m not going to send any candidate to the Superintendent, Tony Daddona, chair of Board of Ed that I don’t feel will be an the search committee. excellent principal.” The position for principal will be Parents, staff, and students will complete posted on Educational Weekly in order to a survey to provide the committee with a be available on a national level. characteristic profile compiled from all the “With a high school principal we feel people who have an interest in shaping the the longer the posting, the better, so we upcoming principal. can attract more candidates,” explained Dr. Marks has used this survey in her Daddona. experience to “hire over 150 new principals He added that “there will be focus groups and it really is a good way of trying to see what all of the stakeholders’ feelings are about the principal. I would hope that at the end of the process, people will feel that their voices have been heard.” She announced that the timing of this search is beneficial since “there haven’t been a lot of vacancies, there are people who have been watching for opportunities. Our pools are very, very good and people from out of Superintendent Marks discussed the situation early this year. the state can consider it as well as statewide websites so that we’ll get a
Photo Credit: Emily Crosby
WANTED: Perfect Person for Principal Position
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Mr. Mecca will retire after this schoolyear.
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1/12/12 11:53 AM
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Students Find New Use For Textbooks In Bathrooms Lucas Keogh ’13 Sports Editor
bags in the toilets constantly,” stated Morsanutto. “No graffiti. Things like these just ruin the bathroom for everybody,” he continued. When asked about the situation, Mr. Mecca stated, “We’re working on it.” He then added, “I always see students complaining about the condition of this school, and yet I never see them pick up paper, and they drop trash on the ground too.” As of now, the culprit has not been found, and once he is, he will have to face a fine of $320-$340, but this incident is just a good example of how neglecting to keep the school clean is going too far. It can act as a reminder to all students to pick up their trash, and any other litter they find lying around on the floor, and make our school look cleaner and more presentable. If all the students pitch in, the school can be held at a higher regard.
Photo Credit: Carly Mammoliti and Caitlin Monahan
In early January, Dylan Morsanutto (’12) walked into the B-house boys’ bathroom when he spotted something odd. In the corner stall of the room, he spotted four U.S. history books, stacked up on the floor, covered in urine. Some students at Norwalk High School have a very strange sense of humor. Some like normal jokes, but others go much farther to get a laugh out, and this can even mean doing something against school rules. If there is one thing that is agreed upon by the other students however, it is that these ‘pranks’ are the furthest thing from amusing. “I saw the liquid on the books and at first I thought it was water, but then I realized how close it is to the bathroom stall,” said Morsanutto. The incident however has not been
spread very far to other students and faculty members.Many people, when asked, had not heard about the incident before. Even some custodians who were on shift during the event did not know about the situation. Some security guards who knew about the situation did not want to comment, but seemed to have strong feelings about it. Officer Sgritta, who replaced Officer Murray this past fall, was not very surprised when he heard the news. “NHS has a reputation of being a hard school. Some students are really harsh sometimes,” stated Sgritta. Some people have also seen an incident like this coming for a while, due to the various petty acts of littering and vandalism in the school. Officer Sgritta was quoted as saying he sees similar situations on a regular basis, about once or twice a week. Students like Dylan Morsanutto were not surprised either. “People destroy this school. I see chip
Facebook Fraud Proves No Privacy On The Internet Caitlin Monahan ’12 Staff Writer
Photo Credit: Carly Mammoliti and Caitlin Monahan
Teenagers put every little thing that happens on Facebook but do not realize the damage they are creating before it is too late. The problem is when a person puts pictures and information on a social network; almost anyone can take their information and try to be them. At the present time keeping in touch with people is just a click away on social networking websites and can be accessed daily by users all over the world, however few realize how easy it is for someone to take personal information and come anyone they so please. People of all ages share their information on the social network Facebook as a way to keep up with their friends and family, but some fail to realize how dangerous posting can be. When anything is put on Facebook you are no longer the owner of it, even if it is a picture of you. Facebook owns all rights to your IP content as stated in their “Terms of Service” page that everyone who has a Facebook must agree too. “… You grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sublicensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).
Extra Credit Option For All, but Only Some Take It
F E B R U A R Y : 2/15: Eastside Orchestra Festival @ NHS 2/24: Brien McMahon Jazz Festival
Erin Kelly ’13 Staff Writer
2/25: Open Guard competes at Bethel MAC show Photo Credit: Carly Mammoliti
The majority of teachers at Norwalk High School offer extra credit to students who wish to bring up their grade before the quarter closes. They put in a lot of effort to ascertain that each student has the opportunity for a second chance. A certain student may have been slacking on their homework or not participating enough in class; so the teacher can offer an extra credit assignment, like an essay or project, that may increase their grade just enough to satisfy. Some teachers give extra credit to see which students are determined to go above and beyond. “I like to offer extra credit in the beginning of the quarter to find out who is willing to go the extra mile and get a leg up on their grade. It also helps avoid the end of the quarter stress when all my students are rushing to get all their work in,” stated Ms. Milne, an English Teacher. However, teachers have found that the students who actually participate in extra credit assignments are the ones who
Photography teacher Mr. Franco stated, “In general, people don’t understand how much of their lives they are dumping onto Facebook. They don’t realize how dangerous it can be.” This may seem like this rarely happens but is an ongoing problem at school. “My friend told me that… was pretending to be me,” said Caylie Sheridan (’12). Sheridan had a problem where a girl took her pictures and tried being her’ she had never met the impersonator in her life. Her pictures were accessed through Facebook and another account was created using her content to create another life unbeknownst to her. Even if a Facebook page is on private, teenagers who add people they have heard of, but do not personally know also has access to your content and can do whatever they please with it. “I changed my setting and unfriended a lot of people I don’t really know to be safe,” said Stephanie Meckley (’12), who also has a situation similar to Sheridan with her pictures being taken. Teenagers fail to realize that they add someone on Facebook they do not personally know, but have mutual friends with. Loss of identity and personal content can be prevented if teenagers know who they are adding before they click accept. Facebook users need to be more cautious and aware of whom they share their information with because you never know who might just want to be you.
do not even need the extra boost. “They probably find the assignment easy so they just do it to boost their grade more,” said Vanessa Gaddy (’13). Students who have the work ethic to strive for a guaranteed good grade are more likely to participate in extra credit assignments than those who are not getting a good grade and need the extra boost.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR THIS SPRING: April 27-May 6: Come see the NHS Music Department perform “Bye Bye Birdie” for this year’s spring musical • Bear Fair • Buy a Year Book • Spring Sports Try Outs • Never Too Early To Think AboutPROM
Andrew Fitzgerald ’12
The NHS Film Festival is an event where any student has the opportunity to show their films after months of hard work. Faculty, students, and staff always look forward to this event. The Film Festival was Friday, January 20, 2012, an all day event in the auditorium. It was originally supposed to be in the newly renovated Priority School Room, but since the room was not ready for Friday, it was moved to the auditorium. Over the past two months, each student in the class has been preparing for this exciting event, by creating his or her outstanding films for all to see. “Beyond the Stars & Stripes”, “Before I Graduate”, “Closed Captioning”, “Who is Jacobi Wichita?”, “Self Made”, and “Textaholics” were films that were shown at this years film festival. Mr. Seaburg, creator of the class History in the Making (HITM), has been running the class for the past six years and is always very proud of the hard work his students put into their films. “I was very excited for the film festival, it is an opportunity for the students to show their work and highlight months of effort,” said Seaburg. He also discussed how the day went, “We had about forty people as well as people coming and going throughout the day. Since the film festival is now over, students will have the opportunity to watch the films they missed,” he stated. “This was our ninth year doing the film festival and it was an awesome event.”
Photo Credit: Claudette Quadrini
Film Fest Is a Big Success!
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Dylan Morsanutto (’12), director of “It’s a Deaf Nuff’ Life”, has been anticipating this event for the past few months and his hard work paid off. “I was really excited and could not wait to watch all of the movies,” he said. He also mentioned an overview of the movie, “It is a film centered around the Deaf Community, and how sound and our lives in general, can be taken for granted.” Ashley Rodriguez (’13) Caitlin Monahan, Ariana Quadrini, and Kayla Sodaro winners of the 2012 film festival for their film. and Brandon Conte (’13) worked with Dylan to create (’13). Best Film was awarded to “Before I Graduate, which their highly anticipated film. “It was created by Monahan, Quadrini, and Sodaro. took a while but it was worth it,” said Conte. “Who Is Jacobi Wichita?” won Best Soundtrack, Students in the class won numerous awards for their hard work. Nick Einstman (’12), won Best Director for which was made by Einstman and Joel Montanez (’12). his film “Who is Jacobi Wichita?” The People’s Choice “Before I Graduate” also won best poster. All in all, every Award was given to “Before I Graduate”, created by group did an outstanding job with their film and the Film Caitlin Monahan (’12), Ariana Quadrini (’12), and Kayla Festival was a huge success. Unfortunately, the Film Festival did not take place in Sodaro (’13). Caitlin and Ariana also won Best Editor. Best Artistic the Priority School Room due to the lack of a building Vision was given to “Self Made”, a documentary about permit for the stage. If you have any questions about the Philip Post, created by Kamil Boguski (’13), Tristan class or how to be involved, Mr. Seaburg will answer them Opdahl (’13), Sean Largay (’13), and Carlos Teysseire in room 114B.
Danny Duval Sets Senior Class Straight With Speech
Norwalk High School seniors gathered into the auditorium for what they believed to be another ‘assembly’ about their current status as upperclassmen, but ended up gaining insight into their potential future. Valuable life lessons involving the damaging effects of drugs and alcohol were only the initial ideas the seniors gained from Dan Duval, a lecturer, motivational speaker, and former drug abuser. He came to Norwalk High to speak about his past to those who will soon enter a world filled with such temptations. His raspy voice and honest way of speaking affected all who listened to his stories. Without any support other than a water bottle, Mr. Duval beamed with pride about his wife, his dog, and the many teenagers
he coached or mentored throughout the someone I would never forget,” Blanchet recalled. years. However, this satisfaction Seavers Photography B Stories of drunk driving would be absent if not for a low redit: C fatalities and his multiple point of his life, in which he arrests invoked all was a full blown drug and sorts of emotions in alcohol user. the attendees of the B-House counseling ‘lecture’. intern, Jeff Blanchet, Despite the was responsible for heavy subject bringing Mr. Duval into material, Duval school. never ceased to “I heard him relate to each speak about 11 years student, while pulling ago when I was an at their heartstrings incoming freshman at and effortlessly flowing Quinnipiac University. He between moments of was a mandatory speaker; laughter and contemplation. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. But, after just five Rebecca Pisano (’12) thoroughly enjoyed his lecture and minutes of his speech he had my undivided attention. I thought he was inspiring, and later said, “I liked how he didn’t preach Ph ot o
Nora Blake ’12
Lucas Keogh ’13
HAS THE LIBRARY AFFECTED YOU IN ANY WAY? SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON OUR WEBSITE!
Photo Credit: Carly Mammolitti
Many would think that having a library in their very own school would not be a very good place to work. They would think that a rough environment like school, and a quiet environment like a library would not mix. Many students, however, have found the library to be a quiet getaway compared to the rowdiness of the average high school. “It’s quieter than other study centers,” says Matthew Rizzi (’13) “If you need to take out books there’s a lot of information.” Some people appreciate the place as a nice area to hang out with friends. “I think it’s okay, because you can talk to people too,” stated Magnus Ogazi (’13), a student who frequently goes to the study centers in NHS. The library has not been used for its primary purpose however. When asked, students said that they take out books from the library very rarely, or never. “It’s more of a place to hang out and get away from study hall,” stated Rizzi. Ms. Peyton, one of the librarians at the school library also noted the amount of students doing homework while spending time there. A recent tally noted that almost nine hundred students have come to the library and successfully worked on homework there. Ms. Peyton also went on to add, “People believe high school kids don’t read. It’s a myth. They do read. We just have to provide good books for them.” There are also improvements that students would like to see coming from the library. “There’s no real problem
now, but for better studying they should take away the magazines and couches for less distractions,” stated Rizzi. Ms. Peyton stated that there are high ambitions for the library in the years to come. “We’re trying to get the average date of publication for all the books to go from 1983 to 2008. We need to get everyone on board in order to achieve this.” As for now, the library is keeping many students happy. Many find the place as a good social area in the school, and others find it as a good spot to do homework or study. It is also used for many events such as the art show every year. Matthew Rizzi sums it up best by saying “The library is just a cool place.”
Photo Credit: Carly Mammolitti
Students Find Luxury in Library
to us and he approached it [the topic] in a relatable and uplifting manner.” Monica Harrington (’12) also stated, “I think it’s important for a lot of people to hear it [his story], especially coming from someone who was like us and would have thought his own message was stupid.” Mr. Duval sincerely learned from his faults as a young drug user. He told his audience of his goal as a speaker: to change one person’s viewpoint on the mistake of abusing drugs. Despite his refusal to use a microphone, that message definitely resonated with each young adult in the auditorium. The senior class roared with applause at the end of his discussion. Dan Duval will be remembered for his sincere and tear jerking stories, but most importantly, his care and concern for young people who will soon go on to do great things.
arts and entertainment
THE PAW PRINT
“Teenage Dream” That Is Not “The One That Got Away”
Caitlin Monahan ’12 Staff Writer
on the list. ‘Teenage Dream’ has been everything Katy Perry could have hoped for. “I want people to kind of like in a way, think of me of that pinup poster in their room or hopefully I can invade their dreams and be their ‘Teenage Dream’.” Stated Perry.
The New Millennium brought the world many new advancements innovations for all aspects of life, including iPods, 3D movies, and social networking. The 2000’s also brought music that to listen to that people either enjoyed or disliked. In October of 2011, VH1 compiled a list of The Greatest Songs of the ‘00s which aired and created whole lists of debates. Fall Out Boy bassist, Pete Wentz, hosted the series. Wentz’s bands own song “Sugar We’re Going Down” happened to be number forty on the list. Many comedians, entertainment journalists, and musicians starred and gave their expert analysis. While watching and listening to each song on the list, I was either amazed or disgusted. While listening to a song, I remember the glory days of elementary school when hearing Avril Lavigne’s Complicated (62), Green Day’s American Idiot (#13) and Snoop Dogg’s Drop It Like Its Hot (66)
were popular. When remembering the tiring, but fun middle school days when I heard songs like Flo Rida’s Low (92), Plain White T’s Hey There Delilah (78), and Lady Gaga’s Poker Face (#3). I also heard great songs from my first year of high school, such as I Got A Feeling (#12) by Black Eyed Peas and Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind (#8). In the end, the top song according to Vh1 was Beyonce feat. Jay-Z’s Crazy In Love. I do agree with Vh1’s pick. I would remember dancing like no one was watching me when that song was on in 3rd grade. It was also interesting to remember these songs when I first was using an iPod. It was a good time when you simply ordered from the iTunes store and order your favorite songs and albums and place them in your iPods. I praise Vh1 for making the great list and helping me remember even more how great the 2000’s were.
Surprisingly, College Can Be Humorous! Chloe Cappo ’12 Staff Writer
As humans become more technologically advanced, they have started to turn away from their T.V.’s and more towards computer screens. One of the newest websites that is popping up on computer screens is College Humor. College Humor is a constantly growing website that has been making people laugh since 1999 when Ricky Van Veen and Josh Abramson started the company when they were in college. There are articles, pictures
Photo Credit: www.collegehumor.com
Photo Credit: http://angelapak.files.wordpress.com
and even news but the main attractions are the mini-episodes they put up every Tuesday, Thursday, and Wednesday. These shows features a number of, “humorous” characters including Amir Blumenfeld, who is co-starring in this years have-to-see movie “A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas.” Each character can be found in different shows on the site such as “Hardly Working”, “Jake and Amir”, “Very Mary Kate”, “Sketch”, “Best of Dorkly”, and many more. College Humor really made its start back when the show “Prank Wars” appear on MTV. This show consisted of Amir Blumenfeld and Streeter Seidell performing multiple hijinks and pranks on each other. The shows are now only featured online but will sometimes be played as reruns on T.V. The website also provides different activities including articles and even its own merchandise site called “Busted Tees”. Here one can find shirts, sweatshirts, posters, and other fun and sometimes-random items. This witty website is enjoyed by many high school and college students. It is loaded with sarcasm and irony about issues and events today while at the same time keeping a viewer entertained. F r o m its’ distinctly shaped building in Chelsea New York, the entertaining episodes and creative characters this is a website that needs to be checked out. Photo Credit: Emily Crosby
Photo Credit: Taylor DeMarco
The world of comedy is a very aggressive place. Many comedians get crushed by the brutal audiences, due to their jokes being unfunny, offensive, or even just a little outdated. Very few rise to fame from the art form, except it seems like some people become famous regardless of talent. Some comedians have grown less and less funny as the years go by, ruining their reputations, and disappointing fans across the world. One of these men…is Adam Sandler. Adam Sandler started out in acting and comedy at a very young age, with a recurring role in The Cosby Show. From then on he got more and more popular, starring in many feature films and becoming a regular on Saturday Night Live. Sandler became known for his goofy voices, loud personality, and childlike characters. Starring in the cult classics Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, he soon became one of the funniest and most famous people in America.
His fame did not last forever, however. As time went on, the general opinion of Sandler and his movies dropped. His movies turned from great ridiculous comedies, to cheap, moneymaking, forgettable ones. His most recent film, Jack and Jill, received the most amount of bad reception. Only 4% of critics gave it a positive review. Some critics have even went as far to call Sandler a scam artist, saying the budget for Jack & Jill, which was roughly half of the expensive blockbuster Titanic, was way too much money for a movie with bad green screen and split screen effects. Sandler’s drop from quality almost mirrors that of famous comedian Eddie Murphy, who was also a top comedian and big movie star until his overuse of playing multiple characters in one movie, specifically The Nutty Professor, made him the laughing stock of the movie industry, and not in a good way. It is almost like these people are blind. They should be able to see how great their old movies were, and how terrible they have become as they changed their humor from hilarious and goofy, to unbearable and goofy. E v e r y celebrity has got to go at some point. It is extremely hard for comedians or actors to keep their credibility for the rest of their lives, and it is difficult to watch the great ones go under this harshly.
Lucas Keogh ’13
The Rise and Fall of Adam Sandler
Matt Brown ’13
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to breaking this record but have fallen short such as Daughtry having three number one hits. Her album is now ahead of Lady Gaga’s ‘The Fame’ and Justin Timberlake’s ‘Future Sex/Love Sounds’ who’s album had made one short of five hits. ‘Teenage Dream’ has received many nominations including nine MTV Video Awards and two Grammy Awards, one for Album of the Year. The 2011 Grammy Awards pending nominations for Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ will be the second year that the album has been nominated for awards. Perry’s latest song released ‘The One That Got Away’ is already on Top 10 of the 100 and has the potential to reach higher
VH1’s Top 100
On the Billboard Hot 100, many artists try to reach number one once, but only two have ever made five songs to reach number one on one album. Katy Perry, one of the most influential female vocalist of 2011, has currently broke a record on the Billboard Hot 100 that only the ‘King Of Pop’ Michael Jackson has been able to break. Perry’s album “Teenage Dream”, was released in August 2010 and has had five number one hits that includes songs such as “Firework”, “California Gurls”, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” Jackson, who had previously been the only one holding the record with the album “Bad” in 1987-1988, had managed to reach five number one hits. However, Jackson’s fame of the album came in a time span of seven weeks while Katy has had the spotlight since 2010 with the first song released ‘California Gurls’. Many artists have come close
arts and entertainment
THE PAW PRINT
Ryan Halloran ’12
If you believe you are the toughest, most athletic individual in Norwalk, then the Ultimate Extreme Soccer League (UXSL) may be right for you. UXSL was created by Ryan Halloran (’12) and Michael Sornatale (’12) after being inspired by Michael Corasaniti (’11), President of the Ultimate Extreme Hockey League. Sornatale explained the reasoning for setting up the league: “With the sudden uprising of soccer fans this year, we thought it would be a good idea to try a league of our own.” UXSL started as pick-up games in the backyard of Nicholas Boccanfuso (’13), but was later moved to regulated-sized fields, such as Norwalk High School and Nathan Hale Middle School, to take the talents of players outside of the limited competition. Although the number of players varies each game, the level of competition remains the same. The league is open to anyone, as players of all sizes, grades, and talents participate, trying their hardest to put the “team on their back”.
Photo Credit: Sharon Cadden
“Ultimates” Have a Ball
Jon Wilkins (’12), an avid participant in the league, said “I am very involved in the league because I am trying to make friends.” The season will officially start in the spring when the weather is more suitable for playing. Auditions will take place over the winter for those who want to be captain because official drafts will be held when the league starts. Because the budgets of the league are so low, players have been spotted trying to raise donations by playing at half time of the boy’s soccer games. To this date, zero Mike Parlanti (’12) plays defense on Gil Araujo (’12) while Michael Sornatale (’12) looks on. dollars have been collected. However, it to get girls.” Mark Snellman, a member of Salisbury players are optimistic that small goals will be purchased when the goals at local fields are unable School, has also been seen at scrimmages. As the months go on, the league plans on acquiring more and more free to be used. Students from other high schools have also participated agents to stimulate the level of competition. in these festivities. AJ Aitoro, a senior at St. Joseph’s High Although real men do not cry, it is almost certain that School, said, “It’s a pretty chill league, but honestly, I do sweat, and a few drops of blood, will be seen during the spring season.
SOPA Causes Controversy
The Walking Dead
Devin Long ’12
Austin Boger ’12
Illustration by: Nicole Chiaramonte
The illegal sharing of copyrighted music and movies that has become commonplace over the last decade may be at risk due to a bill that is currently passing through Congress. The “Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)” enables the government to take legal action against websites that hold pirated material. The bill is currently passing through congress and has much support from both parties, but many claim the bill goes too far in trying to stop online pirating. The bill was proposed to the House of Representatives on October 26 by Texas Republican Lamar Smith, and has since gained widespread bipartisan support. Other supporters include Viacom, NBC-Universal, and the Obama Administration. The bill attempts to combat online pirating by blocking websites from service providers, search engines and advertisers. Copyright holders have the right to seek out court orders against websites that infringe on their property. I would make streaming illegal material a felony. A large opposition has appeared in response to this bill, also from both parties. Opponents include Republican Congressman Ron Paul, Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, the Tea Party, and nearly every major Internet company. Google, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Tumblr and others have expressed opposition to the bill. Opponents claim that SOPA goes too far and will damage the Internet and harm business. One aspect that many have a problem
with is that websites will get punished for material that users may post. For instance, all of Youtube can be blocked from service just because one user posted a video without permission from the owner. Many compare the bill to efforts made by countries such as China and Iran to censor and control the Internet. Proponents of the bill claim that the bill would create jobs and protect intellectual property, but how far should the government go to do this?
the season and compete with major networks like NBC and CBS. I mean Staff Writer they have a whole season already filmed Sunday, November 27, marked the and done, so why postpone it?” airing of the midseason finale of the AMC’s ‘strategy’ attracted a large American Movie Classics (AMC) audience, with 6.6 million viewers of channel’s hit series The the single episode. Walking Dead. The demographic The Walking of the viewers covers Dead is AMC’s a broad range, most successful consisting of 18 to show, and the 54 years of age premiere of on average. So this season while many was recorded N o r w a l k as the most High School watched students are show in US familiar with basic cable the concept of history. This a midseason year, the finale because network has of shows like encouraged Secret Life of more publicity, the American following Teenager or Gossip each episode Girl, which also with Talking Dead, aired its midseason by tha tyo a show in which a host finale in the past month, m um e an.files.wordpress.co and his guests analyze the few teenagers tune into The plot. Walking Dead, or are even aware of The mid-season finale of the its existence. series about the drama of a group of Those who are interested can catch people struggling to survive a zombie up with episodes online and may even apocalypse has marked a break in the watch a video clip that previews the season until February. next new episode. “I think it’s a waste of time,” criticized Jack Kelly (’12). “It’s just a strategy used by AMC to stretch
Glee Turns From “Geeky” to “Getting Freaky”
Lillianna Byington ’14
being “reprehensible” and “the Fox network is reckless for celebrating teen sex.” Glee has gone from geeky to getting freaky. Now, are teens running to gleek out or get provocative? Photo Credit: cdn.teen.com
Controversy struck as the popular television series, Glee, got sexual. Glee the musical, comical, and relatable TV show was one of the most watched programs last year. This show was something most high school students could relate to, as the students learned to be proud of who they are. This show takes pride in doing that, but it is not remaining to be the innocent and moral show it used to be. “The First Time”, an episode that aired November 8, contained sexual conduct. With all of the shows today using sex as their main selling point not only are the characters in the show falling to peer pressure, the writers are as well. Is it really necessary for television shows to include sexual behavior in order to keep their ratings up? Two couples on Glee “did it” for the first time in this
episode. The straight couple, Rachel and Finn, and the homosexual couple, Kurt and Blaine, both exemplify their first time in high school. Originally, in the episode, both of these couples were just going to give up their virginity to gain chemistry on the stage for their high school production of West Side Story. However, it does not work out that way; they do not end up having sex until after the play, nevertheless still feeling the effect of peer pressure. Now Glee is sending a message that it is okay to have sex because the last of the virgins on the show are now not. Glee was an extremely popular show without having an entire episode dedicated to sexual encounters. However, now to keep up with the rest of the sex-obsessed world, Glee is headed in that same direction. Many are not happy with the airing of the episode. According to the Parents Television Council, the show is
One of the controversial scenes from Glee’s episode “Like a Virgin”
THE PAW PRINT
arts and entertainment
ESPN Goes Viral Online
What A Bratty Bunch
Andrew Fitzgerald ’12
Lucas Keogh ’13
go when using ESPN 3 is an Internet connection, whether it is through WiFi or an Ethernet cable. Many devices can be used with ESPN 3, such as a laptop, desktop, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, or Android. The quality of the website is the same from any viewing device that may be used. The stronger the Internet connection, the better quality and the faster the site will operate. With a weak internet connection, one might experience some difficulties with the site speed, but it will still work. Whether on the go or at home, ESPN 3 will give viewers the best quality picture and speed of the big game that they intend to watch. Do not make your life hard by subscribing to other websites that always have technical difficulties, but instead watch live sports for free on the best online sports website in the nation which has the best quality picture and speed.
Photo Credit: espn3.com
As the years go on, American children seem to be getting brattier and brattier with each generation. Any kid ten years old or younger seems to be hung up on the next toy or video game, and they will go through extreme lengths to get it. Simply being in a place like Toys ‘R’ Us or Gamestop for half an hour can guarantee someone front row seats to the crying game. Holiday shopping was a mess for many people because they missed the last copy of the latest “Bratz” doll for their little girl. It seems like they already have enough brats back at home though. As the holidays have passed along, this has meant one thing for these children. Not the act of giving, or loving their family. No selflessness or gratefulness. No, the one thing these kids want is presents, presents, presents. Barbies, Transformers, Spongebob DVD’s, and even Call of Duty, these kids will tear wrapping paper to shreds and scurry off to their room as soon as they get what they want. This activity is not just seasonal, however. Kids will take any opportunity as an excuse to get gifts. Some kids may even go as far to buy a birthday gift for their sibling, that they actually want themselves. This type of behavior actually increases throughout the generations. Kids often deem their parents as ‘too mean’ or ‘really strict’ early on in their lives. They carry through with these accusa-
Photo Credit: Diane Halloran
When a big game is played for college or professional sports, every fan looks forward to the game and the excitement that the event brings. Unfortunately not every sporting event is televised on national television, but with the help of a popular sports website, fans are able to watch those exciting games on the go. ESPN 3 is the solution to this problem. This website is one of the top sports websites in the nation and it gives that dedicated fan the opportunity to watch the game live at home or on the go. With the luxury of this popular website, fans can stream through it to find the game they would like to watch at their convenience. In order to be able to watch live games, one needs to have a valid email address from a television provider such as AT&T, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, or Verizon FiOS. ESPN 3 is free and there are no hidden fees attached with the website. The only thing one would need on the
tions up until adulthood when they have kids on their own. From there, they vow that they will never be as controlling as their parents, and end up letting their kids become the spoiled brats that they are. An article on the Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions website states that “Many baby boomers have owned credit cards for years, but never learned how to use them wisely.” Parents need to grow up before their children do. Just because it is hard to discipline their children does not excuse them from being proper parents. It may even seem like a point of no return, since the spoiled children are not used to not getting what they want, but if someone does not stop them now, the children this country has in 20 years will be the ones in charge.
“Bye Bye Birdie” Hello Entertainment Nicole Chiaramonte ’12 Staff Writer
Photo Credit: Hayley Gola
Photo Credit: Hayley Gola
to C red
Pho it: a rca
It is time to draw back the curtains once again as Norwalk High School prepares for it’s forty-fourth musical, ByeBye Birdie (BBB). Of course, not many people know what goes on behind the scenes. Mrs. Pettibone, the choir teacher, has been putting together the Spring Musical for as long as she has been teaching here; seventeen years. When it comes to preparing for the musical, she said they start as early as the end of a current show. For example, when Guys and Dolls finished up last year, they were already planning Bye-Bye Birdie. The average cost to put on a Norwalk High School musical is about forty thousand dollars. BBB is estimated to cost about thirty-seven thousand dollars. It may seem like a lot, but the numbers add up. In order to put on the show, the musical staff must get the rights to run the show, costumes and props must be rented and bought as well as equipment, and advertising is not cheap either. The money to put on the show is given up front to the music department from Marching Bears Incorporated (MBI). No money is given from the city. Because ticket sales alone do not cover the debt to
MBI, the cast and crew must sell ads, raffle tickets, and Butter-Braid Bread. Whatever profit the musical makes is used to buy equipment, such as microphones and cables, and to make sure the stage is a safe place to work. Depending on the show and the year, about seventyfive to one hundred students audition for the play, of which only fifty to fifty-five make the cut. Most of those fifty are the ensemble, while a much smaller portion land the lead roles. This year, lead roles went to Michael O’Callaghan (’12), Emily Rybnick (’13), Sophie Katz (’13), Megan O’Callaghan (’13), Krystina Lyons (’13), Max Helfand (’14), Saige Bryan (’12), Jordan Jaques (’15), Ryan Page (’13), Max Libre (’15), and Shelby Vetare (’13). The cast and crew are a vitally important part of putting on a show, but it would not be possible without the organization and direction of the staff. Mrs. Pettibone is the show director, the music director, the set constructor and also in charge of props, but her staff is what makes it work. Mr. Rivera is the producer and orchestra director, Mrs. Benfield is the assistant director, Hayley Gola (’12) is the production assistant, Bradford Blake is the choreographer and set designer, Lesley Neilson-Bowan is the costumer, Ms. Burkhalter is in charge of make-up, Richard Pettibone is the publicist (designs the covers and posters) and dresses the set, and Ricky Taggart is the set construction assistant. The staff of the musical does not get paid to put on the musical. It is their love of the theater and the outstanding outcome each year that keeps them so dedicated and involved. “I’m psyched to do this show,” said Pettibone. “I really love it.”
Opening Night: April 27 Shows April 28&29 May 4,5, & 6 Ticket information on school website
What’s in your
name: Mikayla Beckwith
Back-bending Backpacks When looking into buying a backpack for high school, students often times buy for the looks, not the functionality. Not a lot of people know that the decision they make can be the start to horrible back problems. Researchers have proven that back pain, back problems, and even scoliosis can be rooted from heavy bags and improperly worn bags. These problems can lead to some serious health issues that are possibly permanent. Symptoms of scoliosis include backache and lower back pain, fatigue, the shoulders and hips appear uneven, and the spine curves abnormally to the side. Many students do not know this, but all of these symptoms are not common and should be brought to attention. In bad cases, the long-term effects include back braces and spine surgery. “According to the National Scoliosis Foundation, scoliosis, the condition of sideways curvature of the spine, affects two to three percent of the population, or roughly 6 million people in the United States,” stated East-side.org. Back problems are a serious thing and when the students of NHS are lugging around 20 pound backpacks, our spines cannot take it. Student Taylor Demarco (’12) can recall her fight with scoliosis. She was diagnosed with the problem in third grade and from seventh to ninth, she had
to deal with a brace. “It was horrible and embarrassing,” commented Demarco. The NHS nurse’s office has had people come in complaining of back pain. The pains can come from a number of causes but the most common is heavy bags. “I can definitely say that heavy backpacks aggravate back problems,” commented the school’s nurses, Jim Corradino and Barbara Faccenda For years, Connecticut public schools were authorized to have yearly spine screenings, but as of three years ago, these tests were removed. When ninth graders enter the school, they are required to come with a physical exam, and apparently the spine testing must now come from their doctors. Not every student is able to do this, so the testing should come from the schools. In Connecticut, 11% of the entire population does not have health insurance. This number includes students The heavy workloads that NHS and other schools apply to their students can be causing more harm than good. Having to carry around a bag that is a fifth of your body weight can severely damage and ruin your spine.
Heard in the Halls:
Connor Madden ‘15
Tamara Williams ‘14
Christian Velasquez ‘13
Julia Keehn ‘12
Jon Wilkins ‘12
“My wallet, cell phone, planner, “My iPad, Beats headphones, “My charger, lotions, books, pen- “Books, notebooks, and lots of “A notebook, eye drops, cils, and gym clothes.” cologne, gum, headphones, iPod, pencils, books, iPod, lotion.” iPod, one 5-subject notebook, chapstick.” phone charger.” water bottle.”
Sabrina Goulart ‘15 “A mini canvas pad.”
Katie Quick ‘13
“My Civics quote book, planner, water bottles, books, gum, chapstick.”
Will Hessert ‘14
“A broken candycane.”
Eddie Skeen ‘12
“I don’t carry a backpack.”
Felicity Henson ‘14
“Scissors, tape, books, a stapler.”
“Researchers have proven that back pain, back problems, and even scoliosis can be rooted from heavy bags and improperly worn bags.” -Mikayla Beckwith ‘14
“A backpack should never be more than 15 percent of your child’s body weight and it should not rest lower than the base of the child’s back.” -backpacksafe.com
St e p h nsmore u D
“I like that it’s easier to carry than a purse but different from the usual backpack.” Photo Credit: Caitlin Monahan, Emily Crosby, Carly Mammoliti, Caylie Sheridan
“I haven’t used a backpack in so long I would feel weird carrying one.”
le ‘12 o C
e Gonzale i n
“I like it ‘cause my favorite color is cheetah print.”
h‘ eog 1 3
“My backpack is so big that I don’t have to go to my locker during the day.”
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 Brian Manby ___________design Team___________ news editor Lydia Krenicki Feature editor Nicole Dunsmore opinion editor Carly Mammolitti sports editor Lucas Keogh arts and entertainment editor Carly Mammolitti web editor Matthew Brown staff writers: 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
THE PAW PRINT
2012: Chaos and Creation Brian Manby ’12 and Hayley Gola ’12 Executive Editors
With each new year come new ideas, new goals, and new resolutions. Day in and out people look for new ways to improve their lives and make themselves feel even better. But 2012 is special. The prophesized “Armageddon”, according to the ancient Mayan calendar, has caused all sorts of commotion around the world. Both believers and nonbelievers in the prophecy have gone out of their way to cross off a few of their goals from their bucket list, which have given New Year’s resolutions a whole new meaning. Rather than adopting goals to improve one’s self for the year, this year’s batch of resolutions are implemented with the hopes of achieving a permanent result. People are trying new things and are pushing to accomplish the tasks that they have always wanted to in order to spice up their daily lives. Whether it is traveling to a place previously unvisited, losing a certain amount of weight, or something as simple as starting each day off with a smile, the New Year is the motivating factor that encourages people to better themselves. With such little time remaining before the “apocalypse”, the dwindling days promote a way of life that most people are afraid to live; one with dare, excitement, experiment, and fulfillment. In most cases, each New Year brings out a side in people that others are typically unfamiliar with. Whether it brings out their best or their worst, each resolution is a direct reflection of the person striving to conquer it That is what makes 2012 such a special year; it encourages people to live their lives like never before, since each day is one closer to their last. But at the same time, it is bringing out a side of people that others may have never seen before. Along with the people who will be changing, the environment will not remain unscathed either. Starting in September, many unfamiliar changes will be taking place around Norwalk High School as well. Come the fall, Honors classes will receive more weight in their GPA values and the daily schedule will become non-rotating like that of the school’s crosstown rival, Brien McMahon High School. Likewise, there will be a new face greeting students and parents at the dropoff area in front of the school at the start of each day due to Principal Mecca’s retirement. As of now the new principal has not been named and Superintendent Dr. Mark’s interview process is bound to begin very soon. However, no matter the result or whatever it takes to get to the point of accomplishment, 2012 has effectively united people under one common goal: to better themselves and no longer take each breath for granted. Despite changes within the human population and the environment at large, it will be unquestionably exciting to see how the next ten months of 2012 continue.
Dear Students and Staff of Norwalk High School, Unfortunately, Norwalk High School’s first ever Indoor Campus Cleanup, which was scheduled for this past Saturday, February 11th, had to be cancelled due to budget constraints. Student Government was excited to start a new tradition at NHS and to make significant improvements inside the school, yet the tight budget could not permit a custodian to be paid, which is a requirement to have at school events. It is unfortunate that Norwalk Public School System’s diminishing budget is preventing positive events from happening; however, Student Government is hoping to make other beneficial changes within the school from now until the end of the year. Although Indoor Campus Cleanup has been postponed and possibly cancelled altogether, we still hope to find ways to improve the appearance of NHS so that students can be proud to walk into this building every day. We encourages all students who are enthusiastic about the goodness of their school to join Student Government and help bring forth positive changes. In the remainder of the year, we hope to put together a new peer-tutoring program, finalize the installation of a bus shelter, and plan an enjoyable event for students outside of school. All who are interested in making a difference are welcome to run in the upcoming election, which will determine next year’s Student Government officers. If you are looking to help in a smaller way, however, an Open Session will be held within the next month, and all students are welcome to attend to voice their opinions. On behalf of all Student Government members, we hope to make the rest of the year a positive, memorable experience for all NHS students.
advisor: Mr. Karl
THANK YOU! * sharon Cadden for making her photos available to the staff. * dr. susan marks for coming to visit the staff. we loved having you!
Please let us know what you think. Students are welcome to submit writing either in person to room 116B.
Sincerely, Juliana Cole Student Government President
Make sure to visit our website at www.norwalkhighschoolpawprint.wordpress. com to read all of the articles From our staff that were not featured in this issue! 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.
THE PAW PRINT
The Risks of Concussions
Tyler Brown ’11 Staff Writer
Concern for Teen Safety Results in Safe Rides Emily Crosby ’12
The first few years that teenagers have their license, they may end up in some sort of crash. According to the Teenage Drunk Driving website, sixty percent of all teen deaths in car accidents are alcohol related. Many young teen drivers have heard about the program Safe Rides. Safe Rides is a program meant to prevent teens from drinking and driving. It is able to provide teens with secure rides home preventing the issue of getting into a alcohol related car crash. Whether one is intoxicated, or does not feel comfortable getting in a car with someone who was drinking, he or she can anonymously call Safe Rides to get a free ride home, no questions asked. It has been studied that in Connecticut teenage alcohol consumption is 20% above the national average. Darien was one of the first towns to promote the Safe Rides program, followed by Fairfield, Weston and Greenwich. Students in the local high schools have taken it upon themselves to work with this program to prevent alcohol related deaths within the town. Rarely, is there that one teen that wants to be the “DD,” or designated driver. Many do not tend to think about the issues of drinking and driving, and what can happen from it. A few years ago, students from Norwalk High School tried to get a Safe Rides program going. The main issue of starting this program is typically finding a base and being able to support it. The four local towns have taken it
Photo Credit: http://06880danwoog.com
Photo Credit: Sharon Cadden
It was three hours after I was hit when I finally came to it and realized what had happened to me. A concussion is a head injury with temporary loss of brain function that causes a variety of physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. Upon impact, the brain shakes inside the head and bangs against the walls of the skull. This contact between the brain and the skull causes the brain to function abnormally. This malfunction in the brain can occur for a few hours and up to two weeks. When I experienced my concussion from playing lacrosse, I was living on my couch for 5 days. The only reason I would get up was to use the bathroom or move to my bed at night to sleep. Physical symptoms of concussions include headaches, which are the most common, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and loss of coordination as well as ringing in the ears. The physical symptoms of concussions usually last a few weeks. Visual symptoms include sensitivity to bright lights, doubled vision, and blurred vision. Cognitive symptoms, or mental symptoms include disorientation, confusion, and trouble focusing your attention. When a person is hit he or she may not know simple questions such as where they are, what
they are doing, how old they are, who the president is, or where their house is. The victim of the concussion may ask the same questions multiple times, be slow to answer questions or react to directions, have a blank stare and have slurred speech. When I was hit I blacked out and fell straight to the floor. I could not move for about two minutes. When I was able to move on my own I walked to the sidelines and sat down. This is where my coach proceeded to ask me questions such as who the president is, what day it is, and what my phone number is. The only answer I got correct, or even responded fully to, was the day. My coach knew right away that I was concussed. The physical and cognitive symptoms combine to make it very hard for victims of concussions to perform everyday activities because they effect their concentration, reasoning and may even change their sleep patterns. There is no official medical treatment to cure concussions. “You need to lay in a dark room, curtains closed, television off, and no text messaging. When you are in the light you cannot get better”, said Dr. Lori Smith, Bay Street Pediatrics. Many students in Norwalk High School have suffered from concussions this year and many, including me, have suffered in academics because of their concussions.
upon themselves to promote the Safe Rides programs to make it a priority that their town is provided with these safety precautions. It seems that the more ‘privileged’ towns are in higher ranks to promote this program while other towns like Norwalk struggle to get them going. It seems that while towns like Darien, Fairfield, Weston and Greenwich can pick up a program like Safe Rides and immediately get it up and running, you would think that a larger city like Norwalk do not have the same amount of funds and resources to support such a program. Safe Rides is a program that does not promote teen drinking. However it provides the option to keep teenagers safe. Safe Rides should not be a privilege; it should be a resource open to everyone that can help keep teens safe.
Teen Role Models Send the Wrong Message to Fans Caitlin Monahan ’12
Staff Writer Teen celebrities are common role models for kids and preteens as they are someone to model themselves after. However, many of the young stars are not someone who should be looked up to for all of their controversial activities such as sending nude pictures of themselves, broadcasting drug use, and even teen pregnancy. It becomes a problem when their producers ignore the promiscuous behavior they display. Stars such as Miley Cyrus, who has been caught sending nude pictures to her boyfriends, had videos of her smoking at sketchy parties
posted on the internet, and making negative comments that, if it were said by anyone else, would be kicked out of a job. However, since she has a hit show and is constantly either on tour or starring in movies, her behavior is quickly disregarded. Disgusting is not even the word to describe these stars’ behaviors. The fact that these “role models” promote activities such as ‘sexting’ and drug use is beyond me. Millions of kids admire stars like Miley Cyrus and want to be just like them, but being like them includes having no self-respect for themselves or for others around them. There are some teen stars that have not given up their reputation for some quick fun such as Selena Gomez. The Disney star has not been apart of any risqué conduct
in the limelight such as her peers and has kept up a role model status. She starred in the show ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’, was in “Monte Carlo,” has her own clothing line at K-Mart, and even has out her own album. Things are looking bright for Gomez’s future including her acting and singing career. It is sad that kids have these types of stars to look up to. Instead of having respectable role models displaying appropriate acts for their age, they are broadcasting negative behavior that kids are now looking up to.There needs to be more young teenagers who are in the limelight that do not give kids mixed messages. Nowadays, the new teen role models are something to look down upon.
VISIT THE NHS PAWPRINT WEBSITE!
This is the staff’s second shot at starting a website! Check it out and tell us what you think. There are even more articles, surveys, and links to share all that goes on at NHS. Tell us how we can improve the site! Or even better, take Journalism to voice your own opinions, report on issues you feel passionate about, and take a spot on our website. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
“HOW THE BEARS MAKE THEIR MARK” http://norwalkhighschoolpawprint.wordpress.com/
THE PAW PRINT
Students Sleep Schedules Get Shorter and Shorter
Danny Muñoz ’12
difficulties. Lack of sleep can contribute to acne and make a teenager more prone to pimples. It can also lead to aggressive or inappropriate behavior such as being impatient with teachers or family members. When All around Norwalk High School in the mornings one can easily sleep deprived, driving skills are as impaired see and hear how many students are complaining about not getting as driving with the blood alcohol content of enough sleep and being exhausted. Studentpulse.com quoted .08%, which is illegal in many states. that “eighty-two percent of both middle and high school students say In a survey of 100 students, eight sleep that they woke up tired, unrefreshed, or have trouble concentrating one to three hours sleep at night, fifty-three in school, compared to the eight percent of high school students that sleep four to six hours, twenty-seven sleep get enough sleep on an average school night.” seven to eight hours, and twelve sleep nine Teens need about an average eight to nine hours of sleep each to ten hours at night. Twenty-seven out of night to function best, yet most students tend to sleep less than one hundred get the right amount of sleep recommended. “It’s hard to fall asleep at night. I probably get around every night. Most of the students that slept five hours of sleep on school nights, if school didn’t start so early four to six hours at night said they just I think it would be easier to stay awake in school,” said Marlon could not fall asleep. Garrido (`13). A couple ways to help students fall One thing that gets in the way of students sleeping is their asleep at night are to attempt to take thirtyirregular sleeping patterns that vary from week to weekends. Most minute naps after school, encourage a Danny Muñoz (‘12) is one student who cannot stay awake in class. teens tend to stay up late and sleep in late on the weekends, which regular bedtime routine to help them unwind, dim can affect their biological clocks and hurt the quality of their sleep. This limits students’ the lights as bedtime approaches. These are some ways to help sleep get the best sleep at ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems. night and wake up the next morning with energy. There are many other consequences of not getting enough sleep or having sleep Staff Writer
Photo Credit: Carly Mammoliti
Quit your yawning! And take our sleep survey on the official Norwalk High School Paw Print website http://norwalkhighschoolpawprint.wordpress.com
Starting School Later May Solve Lack of Sleep Problem Lydia Krenicki ’12
First period at Norwalk High School is accompanied by large cups of coffee, yawning, and the sleepy eyed looks that overcome students’ faces. This is largely the result of lack of sleep from the night before, an by issue that could be solved by the school day starting mily Cros E : t i just one hour later. red oC It is a proven fact that growing teenagers Phot need as much sleep as a young child; meaning ten to twelve hours of sleep. For a student at NHS to receive the recommended amount of sleep they would have to go to sleep at around seven o’clock the night before. Not only is this unreasonable, but it is almost impossible with the amount of homework and extracurricular activities students are expected to do. Getting more sleep would not only allow students to be more awake during class but improve the overall learning occurring in the first few classes of the day. Wilton High School starts their day almost a full hour later than Norwalk High, with their first period starting at 8:20 am.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, “ Not getting enough sleep or having sleep difficulties can limit your ability to learn, listen, concentrate, and solve problems. You may even forget important information like names, numbers, your homework, or a date with a special person in your life.” The website also said that, “Teens need about 9 1/4 hours of sleep each night to function best (for some, 8 1/2 hours is enough). Most teens do not get enough sleep — one study found that only 15% reported sleeping 8 1/2 hours on school nights.” While a personal choice is still involved and students may just chose to stay up later instead of using the extra time to sleep, this solution will eliminate the excuse that students do not have enough time to do all of their homework and get the recommended amount of sleep. With a little bit more sleep students would be able to function better and learn more, as well as create a more pleasant environment for both the students and the teachers.
Amount of Homework Presents Problem for NHS Taylor Greene ’12
Photo Credit: Emily Crosby
Homework was at first a hassle. Now, it is a complete nuisance. In high school, there are already so many distractions. With all the different boys, girls, phones and the Internet it is close to impossible to focus on anything requiring thinking. This, of course, is the student’s problem, but still teenagers need motivation. Despite how much teachers know that homework is a hated tradition some continue to pile on the workload, perhaps trying to prepare their classes for their future of doing things they wish they did not have to. It teaches one to be responsible and constructive with their time. Classes may have four to five projects due a month while others have one, if that. Some would argue that it is because that teacher cares too much or too little but what about the student? A student who has seven classes has at least a threehour workload of just homework on top of projects. A student who has a lower class level may have an hour of homework one night and no homework the next. The upper classmen have it hard enough. For the
students with hours of homework at night, more homework equals staying up later, staying up later equals falling asleep in class, which starts a cycle of missing important information for the homework only to learn it while trying to do one’s homework. For seniors the added workload is unfair, plus college worries. Junior year is stressful enough with everyone telling a student ‘it is the most important year’ and that ‘this year is the one that truly matters’. It is stressing the students out for no reason. Would one not want to enjoy their time here? Instead students tend to hate school for all the stress it represents. Every student realizes that school prepares them for the lives they want to lead but parents and adults need to realize that school has changed from back when they were in high school too. It is irritating when a parent asks ‘Why are you so tired? You did nothing all day.’ Well only if going to seven classes, running around for a sport then maybe going to work to earn money for college, only to come home to homework and college applications, then finally going to sleep around one-thirty, two a.m. only to wake up at five-thirty to do it all again is nothing.
Upperclassmen get about three hours worth of homework per night.
THE PAW PRINT
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THE PAW PRINT
Kyle Capone ’12
While in class I always hear someone with loud music playing. It is either heavy metal or hardcore rap with bad lyrics. Besides a couple, there really are no musically talented artists out there today. People back in the day used to listen to The Beatles, Marvin Gaye or Frank Sinatra. The music today is full of supposed bassdrops and autotune. So really it is not even like they are even playing an instrument with any notes, they are just machines. Firstly, music today is really made for money instead of actual songwriting and caring of expression of lyrics. You have Big Time Rush who was made by Nickelodeon for girls to like and buy their product. Then Justin Bieber who was founded by Usher on Youtube. The truth is he really is not that talented as everyone thinks he is. He has people actually write music for him and then he sings it in his twelve-year-old voice, and when one girl screams, all the rest scream with them. Second, is the new latest rage going on through music
now Dubstep. I cannot lie, when I am in a dance or social event and someone turns on Dubstep its fun to dance to. It originated in the UK and then came to the US. I just do not see how people can listen to it all the time. If you consider it, all the bass drops are the same. There really is no difference between the songs. DeadMau5 is just a guy that is in a really cool mouse helmet who uses a bass drop and autotune to make himself sing. Then Skrillex was actually part of a metal band first then became a Dubstep DJ. It really is just a type of garage techno music with bass. Finally is hardcore metal and rap. All metal requires are simple power chords, a double bass drum pedal, and most importantly someone screaming into a microphone. Then there is rap. Artists like Kanye West and Jay-Z seem to have gone weak from where they originally came from and let the fame ruin their music. Real rap was when artists would convert their poetry into music like Biggie Smalls and Tupac had done. Honestly rap songs are about drugs, sex or money today. I believe that music today should have more work put
Photo Credit: Carly Mammoliti
What Happened to Good Music?
Kyle Capone listens to his iPod while looking at the band Nirvana on the computer.
into it and not just for money. Artists like The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Miles Davis are all classic, because their music actually has meaning to it and they wrote it and produced it! If you would like to listen to any good albums pick up Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, Blood Sugar Sex Magik By Red Hot Chili Peppers or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
The Truth About the Apocalypse NHS Does Not ‘Suck’
Devin Long ’12
Photo Credit: Devin Long
After years of anticipation, the year is finally here: 2012. Although many people insist that December 21 will be yet another potential doomsday, few realize the absurdity of such an event. First off, December 21 is not the end of the Mayan calendar; it is simply the last day of a cycle, the same way our calendar ends on December 31 and begins again on January 1, as pointed out by NASA on their website. NASA, consisting of highly educated scientists and researchers, would know better than anyone else whether the planet is going to collide with an asteroid, align with the other planets, or anything else regarding the atmosphere and space that could potentially demolish the human race. What most people also do not know is that this apocalypse was originally predicted for May 2003. When the original day went by like any other, Nancy Lieder, a self-declared psychic who that predicted aliens from a
fictional planet would invade Earth on doomsday, rescheduled for this December. Although most people dismiss claims of extraterrestrial sightings, it seems that a significant number of people are convinced that the world will end this year, or at least most people are not entirely against the idea. The media, even legitimate publications, have entertained the idea of the apocalypse. Several successful movies and television shows are about an apocalypse or its aftermath, such as The Walking Dead, The Day After Tomorrow, and I Am Legend. In its first issue of the new year, Time magazine featured a humorous article about the apocalypse as well as a diagram showing the different ways people will react to it. 2012 the movie made nearly $770 million from worldwide viewers, which gives an idea of how many people have been paying attention to this bogus. Although not everyone believes in the apocalypse, it is receiving plenty of undeserved attention.
Austin Boger ’12 Staff Writer
Many students at Norwalk High School complain that their school ‘sucks.’ It is a phrase heard all too often, but is Norwalk High really so bad? I used to think the school was awful, but halfway through my senior year, I am starting to realize that it is not that bad at all. In fact, I actually enjoy going here. I said the same thing about Nathan Hale Middle School when I went there. I could not wait to get to high school, but as soon as I got here I really missed Nathan Hale and wished I had not taken it for granted. You do not realize how important something is to you until it is gone. I have learned from my mistakes and decided to cherish the time I have left at NHS because I know after I graduate I will want to return. The real world is much more harsh than high “I used to think the school was school. Adults must awful, but halfway through my find a way to provide for themselves and senior year, I am starting to they find little help. realize that it is not that bad at High school is not that all.” hard in comparison. Norwalk High School specifically is quite extraordinary. One reason for this is the diversity of its students. The students at Norwalk High come from all sorts of backgrounds. It would be boring to attend a school in Westport or Bridgeport, where all of the students are similar. They all come from similar ethnic and economic backgrounds. Norwalk High also has some of the best teachers available. There are so many eccentric and entertaining teachers that make school fun. I have never had a teacher I disliked. There were many classes I disliked at the time, but in hindsight, those classes were just challenging in preparation for the future. My days at NHS are limited, and I am dreading graduation. I have had so many memorable experiences here. Norwalk High has helped shape me into the person I am today. This is not trying to change your opinion on Norwalk High; but do not take your time here for granted, because it will be over before you know it.
Many Different Sports, Each As Pointless As The Next
Anastasia Phillips ’14
when it is real it is enjoyable. Boxing is the same way. The goal of the sport is to punch people out, but the purpose is to feel accomplished for the fighting skills that the boxers have. Sports do not seem to have a purpose other than to entertain and be good exercise, overexciting many people. Those are decent reasons for a sport to be created, but these sports are popular even though they are aimless. Popular sports should be the sports that have an aim. to C Pho
redit: www.pitt.e du
Avidly participating in a sport would not be a lot of people’s first choice for an extracurricular activity. Many sports are like stories with the same ideas but different plots. Most sports do not make sense. Basketball is bouncing a ball around to get it in a hoop. There is no purpose in getting the ball in the hoop other than gaining points to win the game. The game itself has no relevance or importance, even though it is popular. Football is a copy of rugby, an English sport with a similar goal. In football, a ball is carried and thrown around to get a touchdown. The reason to get a touchdown is to gain points and win the game.
Baseball is hitting a ball with a bat. If a player get three strikes they are out, but they are not out of the game permanently. It would make more sense for them to be out of the whole game, and to win a team would have to get all of the players of the opposite team out. It was stolen from the game cricket. The only decent games are boxing and wrestling. Though they have no real aim, they are entertaining and help embellish or destroy a person’s honor. In wrestling, people fight for the purpose of showing their strength and gaining pride. On television, wrestling is simulated and brainless, but
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THE PAW PRINT
Teens Turn to Plan B The “Morning After” Plan A Fails Ana Galarza ’13
Photo Credit: www.scrapetv.com
Today’s society encourages the education of birth control to teenagers, but this makes them more likely to become sexually active since birth control is an effective solution to help prevent unwanted pregnancies. Lust seems to dominate a teen’s mind, but there should be no hurry to be sexually active, especially if no values exist in the relationship, such as commitment, respect, and love. According to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen an Unplanned Pregnancy, six in ten teens who have had sex say they wish they had waited. This demonstrates that most relationships that occur during high school are too fast paced and when the relationship is over teens regret
having participated in sex. Every guy’s glory is to engage in sexual behavior with as many girls as he wants knowing that none of them will get pregnant if they practice safe sex or if the girl takes the “morning after pill” (emergency contraception) after engaging in unprotected sex. Most teens rely on condoms, but if they had unprotected sex, emergency contraception is available at drug stores under the brand names ella, Next Choice, and Plan B One-Step to anyone who is 17 or older, (both males and females), but younger teens must get a prescription. There is no law requiring that parents be notified when their teen gets birth control. By not notifying parents or asking for their consent the lack of communication between parents and teens expands. Teens act promiscuous and not
only disrespect themselves, but their parents as well, who under the law do not have to know how they their child acts when they are not being observed. The teen section of the site eclocator.not-2-late.com, operated by the Office of Population Research at Princeton University and by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals states: “Mishaps happen with sex, but a broken condom, unprotected sex, or an incident of being forced don’t have to lead to pregnancy.” For public health and population matters it is better if fewer women are having babies, especially within an adolescent population, but the statement suggests a subliminal message that strongly promotes the use of emergency contraception to teens, even encouraging routinely and repeated use. The use of emergency contraception is acceptable if the woman was a victim of sexual exploitation or abuse, but teen girls should not put themselves in an unpleasant situation where they have to worry about being pregnant. Teens should consider the options if the girl got pregnant: abortion, adoption, or keeping the baby. Many teen girls have babysat their younger siblings or neighbors, but no one is going to be paying them when they have to take care of their child 24/7.
With Every High School Student, A Rumor is Attached taylor demarco ’12
Photo Credit: Emily Crosby
Rumors are a leading cause of drama for high school students. Most people at one point or another tell a rumor, knowing if it’s true or not. Rumors can range from all sorts of ideas, like who’s dating who, and who was talking badly about another classmate. Rumors can form into school bullying, which is a type of bullying that occurs in connection with classmates from the education program. Bullying can range from verbal, emotional and physical abuse in all high schools. In this case, rumors are most likely going to lead into Emotional Bullying. Emotional Bullying, or Psychological abuse, can go into different forms, from spreading malicious rumors, to keeping certain people out of a clique. This can also lead to provocation, harassment, eye rolling, keeping secrets, and losing friendships. In today’s day and age, there is always something to
make fun of. From a person’s sexuality to the way their hair looks, there will always be emotions torn to pieces. According to bullyingstatistics.blogspot.com, a recent study shows that 77% of the students said they had been bullied. 14% of those who were bullies said they have experienced severe reactions to the abuse. 36% of high school students also say that they don’t feel safe at their own schools. Everyone can fall under these “attacks”. It can cause drama, and even worse, loss of friendships. Norwalk High School, like any other high school, has plenty of drama everyday, between all the fights we have and our verbal disagreements. Rumors spread about who is cheating on who, personal lives of “weirdos ” or even who’s puking in the bathroom after lunch. All can be vicious attacks, and can lead to serious and permanent consequences, such as suicide or injury and fatality of others. Make Beats not Beat downs (also known as MBNBD) is a website created to “make a sound for a voice
unheard”. So be different; stop the rumors and violence. Sometimes it can be easier said than done, but for a gateway of a drama-free lifestyle is to stop spreading, and start acting.
The Bear Fair Offers a New Way for the Bears to Party Nicole chiaramonte ’12
Planning a school festival is no easy task, so, many people are asking why I decided to plan one for my Project Explore. Although the work is complicated, the answer is simple: The hardest tasks are the ones most
worth it in the end. My independent study is called the Bear Fair, and with my partner Susan Hatchman, we plan to make this a festival no one will ever forget. The Bear Fair is a school festival aimed at clubs, school departments, and sports teams. Booths will be rented out to these specific areas so that they may raise funds, or simply raise awareness about their organization. Our goal is to raise funds, spread school spirit, and celebrate the nearing end to another school year. There will be food, games, and many other activities for all
ages. One of the largest hardships is getting a committee together. Many different tactics have been tried to get people interested and involved, such as talking to classes and putting posters around the school, but these tactics have only resulted in about a handful of volunteers. There is even a Facebook group, and though there are 39 people in that group, only about eight to ten are involved. The other issue is getting everyone to the meetings. One may think that it is easier to get meetings together with a small group, but that is not the case. Since we have a small group, one person is given a significant number of assignments, and if they are not at the meeting it is hard to continue it. If the group were bigger, the work would be dispersed in a more efficient way that puts less stress on everyone. Also, if a few members in a sub group cannot make a meeting, at least the rest of the group is
ITALIA PIZZERIA RESTAURANT 285 Main Av. Norwalk, CT 06851-6103 203-846-2555 Illustration Credit: Nicole Chiaramonte
there to take notes. Still, as we have had our issues, we have also had our triumphs. We got a date set for the festival, May 12, 2012, and we have a significant number of clubs interested in renting a booth. The Father’s Club has also agreed to help us with our task by instructing us in what needs to get done, how to get it done, and the best way to make a successful fundraiser. Though our group is small, we have volunteers who are very talented and dedicated to making this festival happen. Susan and I have high hopes that if this project goes over well, the festival will become an annual event. Working on this festival counts as community service, and looks good on scholarship applications. For anyone interested, please e-mail NHSbearfair@ gmail.com.
May 12, 2012
THE PAW PRINT
Courtyards Should Open for Students During Lunch
Throughout my four years at Norwalk High, nothing has given me more annoyance than the cafeteria. All students are required to go to the cafeteria during the lunch period, for their lunch shift, which is 30 minutes. The problem with this is you do not get the freedom of choosing where you want to eat. When I go down to the cafeteria, I may want to sit with certain people, but since we all have different shifts, I might not be able to do that. Lunch is free time. We should not have to be subjected to a certain place, especially one so stuffy. The cafeteria is possibly the hottest room in the building. Couple this with a hundred people and it can get up to summer weather down there. This is not fair to the students, teachers, and security supervising, to first obligate them to be there and then to have the temperature in the 90’s.
About five years ago, students ate lunch with teachers or in different rooms. There was a problem with leaving food around and attracting bugs. This resulted in students being required to eat in the cafeteria, supervised by security and teachers. By having so many rules about the lunch period, the school administration is just asking for rules to be broken. If NHS is so bent on having these specific rules, then it should at least make a welcoming atmosphere. I suggest that in the spring, the students who have proved their trustworthiness be able to eat in the courtyards. There are students involved in campus cleanup, in the honors society, and in numerous clubs. These students should have the privilege of being trusted by the staff not to litter and respect the courtyards or wherever they go. Being able to eat in the courtyards or out of the cafeteria is an honor. By eating in the courtyards, the pest problem the teachers experienced in their classrooms before would not be realistic anymore. Students deserve a chance to prove their honesty.
Human Body Censored in Art Classes
nicole chiaramonte ’12 Staff Writer
105 Years of Celebrating New Year’s at Times Square
lillianna byington ’14 Staff Writer One million people crowded into Times Square to watch the last moments of 2011. Reporters covered multiple channels and displayed their live views coming straight from the people packed hot spot. One can say it becomes difficult to miss watching the extravaganza. People standing, elbow-to-elbow, with not an inch to spare, it is surely not a place for the claustrophobic. All eyes were intently watching and waiting, whether in the city or sitting comfortably in your favorite chair at home. Everyone was awaiting the big countdown. Though I may be happy sitting on my couch many crazy people like the thrill of watching it live. Even with cheesy hosts and corrny jokes, Time Square has been the New Years Eve spot since 1904. It has truly become the pride of New York City. Performances by Drake, Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Lady Gaga, Cee Lo Green, and so many others on the NIVEA Kiss stage made the crowds go wild. Not a soul wanted to miss the great show and the thrill of the tradition of watching the ball drop. The fantastic ball covered with 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles dropped 70
feet and caused masses to scream and kiss. Voices were lost and tongues were tired as 2012 began. People, clothing, music, and economies have drastically changed since the first ball dropped in 1907, but the attraction to this spot, at this time, has proven to be everlasting. No event has been able to top the start of the New Year in the famous American landmark of Times Square. Its audience resonates throughout the entire nation and the attendance rate is remarkably high. This day has been and will be distinguished as one of the biggest celebrations for Americans. Therefore, even though times have changed, some things will always remain the same. New Years Eve at Times Square is one of the time-honored traditions that will carry on for generations to come. Resolutions were made and hopes were refurbished as 2012 commenced. No one can tell what this year has to hold, but it sure started off with a bang.
o i nc Vi Di
When it comes to art, the human body is one of its most complicated subjects. It is not something that can be studied and understood within a day, and it is almost impossible to truly understand while learning in a public school. That is because the human body is referenced as ‘explicit. In order to draw people, I have to start by drawing a basic human outline, without any details. However, when people see it, they automatically assume that I am drawing naked people and am some kind of pervert. I cannot feel comfortable drawing people until the outer layer of clothing is drawn, which is a completely different type of art itself. Clothing is drapery, and to know how the clothing falls, one must first know how the body underneath it works. To me, the human body is just flaps of skin, but, because of other people’s reactions, I feel more comfortable looking at all the muscles exposed underneath the skin. That is more naked than being unclothed will ever be. The skin itself is only one organ, so why is it socially and economically unacceptable within a school to try to understand it? Art students are at a serious disadvantage if they want to master the human body because the school eliminates
Phot oC red it: Le o
Photo Credit: Caitlin Monahan
ZOE HARRIS ’12
A Student Eating In A Courtyard at NHS
all resources by blocking useful websites and not allowing live models into the building. How can one even imagine how to draw a realistic human body if they do not know where the clavicle is, or how long the rib cage should be, or the differences in length between the femur and radius? Since my options of learning about the human body in art class were limited, I decided to take our school’s Anatomy and Physiology course, which led to mixed results. I did learn some useful information, but the class only stayed on those topics for a few weeks. The course moved on, and I spent the rest of the year trying to get through the class. What is the most trouble to understand is, why is it okay to see ‘explicit art’ in an anatomy textbook, yet it is forbidden in an AP Studio Art class? In fact, I watched a video of a live dissection of a human body in Anatomy and they also had a live, nude model with drawings on him. Why did I have to take a whole scientific course to learn about the human body, when it should be simply taught in an art classroom. What is the difference? I suggest an “Anatomy for Artists” course. This course would provide a basic understanding of the human body that would fit an artist’s standard, but not a doctor’s standard. It is an important need for artists to be able to understand the human body if they want to be able to improve.
What are your thoughts on the cafeteria? Do you think the human body should not be censored in art classes? Share your thoughts on our website!
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Caylie Sheridan ’12 Staff Writer
Irish dancing is a type of traditional dance that generally associates with ‘step dance’, or in other words the ceili dance. Not only is Irish Dancing popular in the United States, but also in countries overseas such as Ireland, England, and Scotland. Many people are aware of this type of dance, however some are not. “When I hear the word “Irish dancing” I think of the Disney Channel movie “The Luck Of The Irish,” said Karolyn Collins, (’12). “When I hear “irish dancing” I think of big curly hair, and complicated dances that take a lot of psychical strength” said Alexandra Palermo (’12). Irish dancing competitions get intense, more intense then ones would ever imagine. The competitor not only dances with two other girls on stage at the same time, but when it comes down to it, it’s a fight between which dancer gets the judges attention. The other competitors are from other dance schools all trying to do the one thing, beat their opponent. This sport should be acknowledged as more of a sport because it consists of hard work, dedication, blood, sweat, and even tears.
Not only are practices long, and exhausting but a great work out as well. Lydia Krenicki, (‘12) a student at Pender Keady Acadamy of Irish Dance wants people to know that it is not the traditional “jig”, but so much more then that. “People do not know the competitive aspects of it and a lot of people are not aware of the competitive nature. “Personally I used to get really nervous when I would compete especially a big competition. That feeling never really goes away however, I let that feeling help me rather then affect my dance skills in a negative way,” stated Krenicki. This talented student has been dancing for 12 years now. People do not realize how difficult this sport may be however, Lydia loves that she has the ability to be able to say that she competes at such a high level and travels worldwide. Irish Step Dancing is not only an Irish tradition but also a sport to many people that compete worldwide. Many people are not aware of the beautiful tradition. As time goes on, however, maybe that will change.
Time to Rest Or Play?
Photo Credit: Pender Keady Academy of Irish Dance
The Hidden Intensity of Irish Dancing
Competitive Irish Dancing is done by people of all ages and all around the world.
Stamford Native to Take Over the Boston Red Sox
Greta McConnell ’14 Staff Writer
Many students argue that the off-season is teenagers may not be able to afford all of a place to tone it down and unwind from a the clinics or leagues, so another way long season of running and injuries. While many students are staying in shape and this may be true, some others feel that the getting the physical activity they need is off-season is the most important part of any by joining another high school team. “I’m always going online and training or sport. “If you don’t train in the off season, your looking up summer camps, or clinics,” not going to be as good,” said sophomore says sophomore Shannon O’Malley. Not only does participating in a club Nicolette Kassimis Coaches and parents urge the students or a league during the off season allow of Norwalk High School to not only stay in you to work on your skills, the off season touch with team mates and keep up good also allows you to meet no people, and see there style of grades, they are also urging students to join “The off season is incredibly work. “I’d rather an off season league or important for high school them work clinic. “The off season is sports, since the season is so together, and work for the common incredibly important short.” -Coach Laughton goal rather than for high school sports, working with other since the season is so short. We only have 2 weeks to prepare schools” Coach Laughton. for the season, so what you do in the off Whether the off-season is the most season is very important,” says the Norwalk important part of high school training or High School boys soccer coach, Coach not, many students at Norwalk High are using this to stay or get in shape for their Laughton. Whether joining for parents, coaches, sport. or even themselves many students around Norwalk are joining off-season sports. Some
Ana Galarza ’13 Staff Writer
The Boston Red Sox announced Bobby Valentine, a native of Stamford, Connecticut, as their new manager. Valentine agreed to a two-year deal with club options for 2014 and 2015 during news conference at Fenway Park’s premium club on December 1. After being introduced as the new manager, Valentine said he’s honored, humbled and “pretty damn excited,” “I understand how difficult this was for the organization. I understand the rich tradition of baseball in this city, of sports in this community. I understand the great rivalries that this team has, and I understand the great talent that has been assembled here,” continued Valentine. Ben Cherington, the new Red Sox general manager said, “One of the best parts of today is that it brings some closure to 2011 and now we can look forward to 2012. Now we have a manager in place who is excited to be here and it feels like a fresh start.” Certainly, Valentine will be under heavy scrutiny, trying to guide the Red Sox back to the playoffs for the first
time in three years and without a postseason victory since 2008. Valentine, with 40 years of professional baseball experience, (15 seasons as a big league manager) has never won a division title in the 12 years he was with the Texas Rangers or the New York Mets, however, he won two wild-card spots and the 2000 National League pennant. His greatest success was in Japan, leading the Chiba Marines to their first Japan Series title in 31 years and a championship in the inaugural Asia Series. Bobby Valentine has been out of Major League Baseball since 2002, when the New York Mets fired him. He was a baseball analyst for ESPN this past baseball season and held the position of director for the Office of Public Safety, Health, and Welfare in Stamford since last January. The Mayor of Stamford, Michael Pavia, overlooked the outcome of Bobby Valentine becoming the new manager for the Boston Red Sox and applauds his move to Boston expecting him to heat up the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry event though he will need to find a replacement for the position.
Sticks for Soliders Helps the Wounded
Tyler Brown ’13 Staff Writer
There is only one thing better then a Saturday filled with lacrosse, which is a Saturday filled with lacrosse to raise money for the wounded troops. The Sticks for Soldiers Lacrosse Tournament is a charity event held in Fairfield, Connecticut in order to raise money for the men and women who put their lives on the line and are fighting for our country. The tournament has taken place since 2006, and in those five years approximately $105,000 has been raised. Through this tournament, high school students from across Connecticut can come play lacrosse and become aware of the sacrifices that the soldiers make for their country. This fundraiser is a way of saying ‘Thanks for your support’ to the troops. This tournament is not just a fundraiser; it is one of the most anticipated fall lacrosse tournaments of the year. This 7-on-7 competition features Varsity, Junior Varsity, and
Photo Credit: Pender Keady Academy of Irish Dance
THE PAW PRINT
Photo Credit: sticksforsoliders.com
Photo Credit: sticksforsoliders.com
Freshman teams from schools such as Norwalk High School, St. Josephs, and Ridgefield. In 2010, a single soldier was chosen to be the beneficiary of the funds raised that year. Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco was the first to survive a quadruple amputee. $60,000 was raised that year and all the money went to building a complete wheelchair accessible home for him. For this years tournament there are three soldiers who will benefit from the funds. Private First Class Joshua Budd of Cheshire, CT, was injured after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded while he was in Afghanistan. His left leg was amputated and is suffering internal injuries. Sergeant Liam Dwyer of Litchfield, CT, was also injured by an IED. His left leg was amputated above the knee; his right arm and right leg was damaged as well in the explosion. Technical Sergeant Joe Wilkinson of the United States Air Force has progressive leg paralysis and strength loss due to a compromised spinal cord with an unknown cause. All three of these dedicated soldiers are benefiting from of the funds that were raised at the tournament.
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Boys’ Basketball Shoots For the Stars
Caitlin Monahan ’12
Girls’ Basketball Brings High Aspirations to Court Stephanie Gonzalez ’12 Staff Writer
Photo Credit: Sharon Cadden
Bridgeport Central on the 13 of February and their final game will be on the 20 of February in Danbury. The team is excited for their final weeks of the season and plan on finishing it with a bang. “We plan on qualifying for the FCIACS,” concluded Stringfellow. Things are looking up for the boys basketball team but will still need to keep improving if they wish to continue playing after regular season is over.
Rebounding from a great season, the Lady Bears Basketball team is looking to expand on their 9-5 season this winter. Led by Co-captains Alexis Noonan (’12), Katie Schmidt (’12) and Zayna Fulton (’12), the girls are determined to leave their mark in the FCIAC. “Our goal is to make sure we work hard everyday each time we step onto the court, but also to make sure that we find a good balance between being serious and having fun,” stated Co-captain Zayna Fulton (’12). Through hard work and dedication, Coach Fuller is determined to push the ladies to their limit. “My goal is to improve upon last years seventh place in the FCIAC as well as get the girls to qualify for states,” exclaimed Fuller. “We have a solid line up because we have a lot of returning seniors that have varsity experience, and with the addition of Emma Oyomba (’13) and Erica Cohens (’14) we have a good base,” added Co-captain Alexis Noonan (’12). Co-captain Zayna Fulton (’12) further added, “we have had a couple of rough losses this season but we are using them as
motivation to work hard, play hard, and fight for a spot in the FCIAC playoffs.” With the return of seven seniors, adding two key players into the line up, and having the right mind mentality, the girls have high aspirations in regards to making playoffs. With the season going underway, stay tuned with Bear Pack for the girls basketball schedule and be sure come out and support the NHS Girls Basketball team!
Photo Credit: Sharon Cadden
The Norwalk High School Boys Basketball team has had a great season thus far. This year’s captains are seniors Robert Stringfellow, Rasheen Thompson, and Spencer Murray. “The senior core are the leaders,” said guidance athletic director Mr. Mones, “The team is balanced with seniors, juniors, sophomores, and even a freshman (Roy Kane),” he continued. This year’s team has made great achievements such as beating their rival school, Brien McMahon, avenging their last year’s loss. They have also gone against St. Joseph’s basketball team and only lost by five points. The boys record this year has been 9-7, they have improved greatly compared to the previous year’s season and have already qualified for the State’s playoffs. “I think we have done a complete 180 degrees from last year,” says Stringfellow. “Our team is doing pretty good.” If the team wins the next four games, they will also qualify for the FCIAC playoffs. Their final games include
THE PAW PRINT
Hockey Team Hopes to Skate their Way to States Kylie Coppola ’13
The Norwalk/McMahon hockey season kicked off their first practice on Black Friday, November 25, getting pumped and prepared in every way possible for the upcoming season. Head coach Dan Feighan leads the team to victory this year along with assistant coaches Kevin Von Arter, Mike Cox, and Derick Benny. Co-captains Mike McRoy (’12) and Rocco Bocchetta (’12) also help take the team in the right direction to a season to be proud of. This hockey league involves not just Norwalk High School, but also town rivals Brien McMahon. They are in the district to join the team as well, and between the two
schools, this team shows real potential to go far. The team has not made it to a state tournament in several years, and every season it is the biggest goal that is set to be accomplished. Although it may seem far out of reach when looking at past records the team has had the support of its fans and each other and has the drive to make it happen. “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 our last year!” said two-year captain Mike McRoy (’12). Ending off last season with a 6 – 14 record, lead by captain’s Dylan Bryne, Luke Aubrey, Patrick Odierno, and Mike McRoy, this team plans on going nowhere but up. “It was not too bad but not what we wanted. People might look at 6-14 and say it was not very good, but it was better
than previous years,” said McRoy. “Our biggest competition this year will most likely be Housatonic. Two years ago we beat them for our first win in three years, and also lost to them once, but last year we beat them twice. This year should be another good battle against them”, said Bocchetta (’12) when talking about the biggest competition he is expecting this season. Norwalk’s first home game is on Wednesday December 21 at 8:40 p.m at the Darien Ice Rink. Second year team manager, Breanna LaRochelle (’13) said, “Every season the team has a pretty loyal following, not only their families but people from school too.” With that in mind, keep the adrenaline pumping and the support coming and watch our team take us all the way to states.
Photo Credit: Emily Crosby
NHS Indoor Track Runs Its Way to the FCIACs Matt Brown ’13
After a short season, the Indoor Track team had big strides during the winter season. Runner and throwers made a true difference this season. One of the aspects that made Indoor Track have good season is because they worked together as a family. Sprinter Captain Alexa Connors (’12) explained “Track is like a family because you spend a lot of time with people. Since the meets can be as long as four hours, people spend a lot of time with each other and know people personally. Everyone supports and cheers for each other”. The FCIAC Indoor Track Championships were held on February 2 at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Connecticut. About 20 athletes competed in the meet. The Indoor Track team was able to place in fourth place in the FCIACs with a total of twenty-five points in the stand-
ings. In the fifty-five meter hurdle race, Norwalk High’s own Adam Robertino (’12) took home the FCIAC crown by running the race in 7.78 seconds. One particular group of athletes that did sensationally well in the FCIACs, that is the Indoor Track’s throwing team. Norwalk had about twelve throwers this year and the objective in their event is to see who can throw a shot put, a heavy throwing ball, the farthest. Boys throw a shot that is twelve pounds and girls throw eight pounds and eight ounces. Out of the twelve throwers four of them qualified for FCIACS. These throwers were Pat Whalen (’12), Verne McCrae (’12), Ashley Balunek (’12), and Eddie Skeen (’12). “I think the throwing team is unique because it is a obscure sport. You need good body control to do it,” ex-
plained the throwing coach Lea Johnson. She added, “I haveed coach for four seasons, this was by far the best season” Out of the four throwers, Whalen, Baulnek, and McCrae will compete in CIAC Class LL State Championship on February 9. Baulnek threw a total of 28 feet 3 inches at FCIACs. McCrae threw 31 feet 4 inches at FCIAC’s placing in fourth in the FCIAC conference for the girls division. Whalen was able to throw a total of 41 feet 9 inches at the meet placing in fourth place in the FCIAC for the boys division. “I am so pumped to be in fourth place, and I was happy to have a my personal best,” stated Whalen Whether they jumped into sand, threw a shot put, jumped over hurdles, or ran a race on the track, the NHS community applauds the NHS indoor track team.
THE PAW PRINT
Norwalk High Wrestling Team Goes For The Gold Caitlin Monahan ’12
Sports Teach Responsibility Mikayla Beckwith ’14
Norwalk High School has been home to many terrific athletes, from team captains to all-star players. This year, however NHS students have been noticing a new star player on their own wrestling team, and his name is Brandon Riggins. “I lived in Oklahoma before Norwalk. I moved here last year around this time,” stated Riggins (’12), who added, “My record before I left there was 17-3.” Brandon has been wrestling since the 8th grade, and it is surprising to see how much he has achieved in just 5 years. “My greatest accomplishment is when I made it to the finals of the New England tournament,” said Riggins, who has wrestled in many tournaments throughout his career. Brandon also seems to motivate his peers as well. According to coach Fernandez, the head coach of the wrestling team, Brandon is a large contribution for the whole team. “The combination of experience and exposure to a wrestler of Brandon’s caliber has been a huger factor in the overall improvement of the program,” stated Fernandez, who went on to include, “As with anything else, the more you train and practice a sport, the more you improve. This, coupled with the opportunity to watch Brandon excel, has motivated many of the boys to actualize their athletic potential.” Brandon also gained a reputation in the school for dis-
arming a fellow student during a fight in the hallways. “Last year I was in the history resource center on the first floor, and I saw a fight outside the door” said Riggins, and added, “Without thinking I just jumped up and pulled one off while another teacher grabbed the other student.” Wrestling is not the only thing on Brandon’s mind, after high school and college, he has plans to become a State Trooper. It is great to see the NHS wrestling team do so well with Brandon as a member, and to see such acts of courage in the halls of our school. Norwalk High would like to wish Brandon good luck with the rest of his wrestling career, and to the wrestling team as a whole.
These Bears are Swimming to States Juliana Cole ’12 Staff Writer
As winter sports teams begin to wrap up their seasons, the boys swim team has proved that its determination and strong potential have been major factors in their success so far this season. Mr. Marchetti returned for his tenth year as the head coach and was excited to have the assistance of Marc Castorina, who was a member of the boys swim team when he was a student at Norwalk High School. All season, starting with their first meet on December 21st, the team has shown its enthusiasm and ability to always perform to the best of its ability, which has pleased Coach Marchetti. “At this point in the season, I am very happy with where we are. Our record doesn’t necessarily show it, but the guys are swimming very well,” Marchetti stated. “They are positioning themselves nicely for the championship part of our season.” With two wins under their belt in the regular season, the boys are ready to perform well in FCIACs and States.
As junior swimmers, Jake St. John and Jason Castorina were excited to lead the team as this year’s captains. Each meet, they have participated in a variety of events to earn as many points as possible for the team. “We’re doing really well for what we have,” stated St. John. “We have real talent. We just struggle with the numbers. We are holding our own against teams three times our size and are even winning some.” The team was also happy to welcome students from other schools onto their team. Sherman Lau (’13), who attends AITE, worked extremely hard in the off-season and has continued to make his teammates and Coach Marchetti proud throughout the regular season. “We’ve gotten great seasons out of Jake and Sherman, and our freshmen have swam very well,” said Marchetti. “It’s been a great group of kids to work with, and they have worked really hard,” he continued. Although they have not won as many meets as they had hoped, the boys swim team has still pulled together a successful season. They have practiced hard, worked together, and will hopefully make it far into the post-season. Photo Credit: Emily Crosby
Norwalk High has been home to many great athletes throughout the years, and many of them have been on varsity teams since their freshman and sophomore years. These athletes also have to deal with the pressure of school on top of being in such a commitment very early in their high school careers. NHS has multiple teams, ranging from outdoor sports such as lacrosse, field hockey, and track, to indoor sports like girls’ and boys’ swimming, basketball, and wrestling. Every team has its fair share of variety in its students, all with different styles, personalities, and most importantly, different ages. School can be very stressful and those who are committed to a varsity team may be adding to the load they have to bare. Vacations are cut short, practices run long, and games can last many hours, allowing little to no time to focus on their studies. “Since I am the youngest on the team, they really push me,” commented girls’ varsity basketball player Denisha Gardener (’15). “It’s actually really hard. It’s a lot of pressure but school comes before sports; you have to maintain good grades.” Freshman and sophomore players have to deal with the heavy work loads of classes, game and practice schedules, and on top of it, being new to the school. Freshmen coming into varsity teams in the fall season have no time to adjust to the demanding life of an athlete. Softball player Tori Dugan (’14) is a NHS athlete who has been on varsity since her freshman year and plans on continuing to play through her senior year. “You have to try your hardest. Even if you make a mistake, you have to work up to your potential and work hard,” stated Dugan. “When you go into tryouts or practice or a game, you cannot put yourself down. Stay confident! There is a reason why you are there,” continued Dugan. Simple decisions can help out the balancing act though. If an athlete has three hours worth of homework, maybe watching a two-hour movie with friends after practice is not the best idea. While on the bus to a meet or game, do your work to get some of it done. Find time to manage your after school commitments. Striving for a spot on the varsity team is always a rewarding goal. Playing a sport and getting on a varsity team as a younger student can give a much greater advantage than disadvantage, so players should not be discouraged to play because of their young age.
Lucas Keogh ’13
Photo Credit: Sharon Cadden
The Norwalk High School Wrestling team has a very optimistic outlook this year with all of their new additions to the team this season. This year’s captains are Brandon Riggins (’12) and Evan Reisch (’13) and each have their own qualities that benefit the team. Coach Fernandez stated “Both individuals were chosen as captains for different reasons. Evan is a vocal leader and always encourages his teammates to improve and to complete tasks that are set forth by coach and staff. Brandon is a very skilled wrestler and has achieved more in a short time… younger members will look up to him.” “We are a very young team this year so I have not expected a lot from them, but they are performing very well and if they commit to this sport then a lot of them will be very successful in the future,” says Reisch. Players who are new to the team are facing the challenges of wrestling head on. “It’s tough because experience only makes you better,” says Jimmy McInerney (’13), who is also a newcomer to the team. “It’s the hardest I’ve worked for in any sport in Norwalk High School.” “I think we’re going to continue to improve our team… this season is typically for building a knowledge base and understanding of the sport. Therefore, our success cannot be measured in wins and losses.” according to Fernandez. Although the team may have new wrestlers, they show great determination to grow as a team.
Brandon Riggins Dominates Everyone in His Path
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