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The Prism

DEC 2011


Chipotle Incident Prompts Ethics Debate Students Punished for Filling Free Water Cups with Soda BY JEWEL CASTLE said Mr. Turner. “I don’t “They’re stealing know why Packer Three Upfrom other people. can discipline us for per School students It seems like something we do in disciplined for fillnothing, but there’s Chipotle. The working free water cups an ethical breach ers know we fill with soda from the here,” said Richard the water cups with fountain machine at Brownstone, dean of soda, and they’re Chipotle on Monthe Class of 2013. okay with it,” said tague Street are de The three one of the students fending their actions. students who filled involved. When paythe cups with soda, Another stuing at Chipotle one spoke openly to The dent involved said it can either ask for a Prism and defended was unfair that they free water cup or pay their actions, each got punished for it, $1.50 for a SARA KAPLAN because “everyone cup to fill with does it.” soda at the “I think it’s fountain mafine that people do chine. There is that. I don’t think no supervision it’s a problem,” at the masaid Chipotle chine, which is Manager Mayra located some Garcia, when distance away interviewed about from the cash her opinion on registers. filling free water Math cups with soda. Teacher After hearing George Turner about Ms. Garsaid he saw cia’s response, Mr. the students Browstone filling water emailed Patrick cups with Kelly, customer soda. He service representa FILL UP: Campell Weaver (‘12) reported the tive at Chipotle, fills a soda cup at the Chipotle actions to to find out the resfountain. Student choices at the administrataurant’s official popular lunch spot have led to distors, who then policy on the wacussions on ethics and integrity. punished the ter cup situation. students Nov. 16. citing different “Chipotle has The students lost sign reasons why they no corporate reout privileges for two shouldn’t have been sponse on the matweeks. punished. The Prism ter,” said Mr. Kelly, “My students is not naming the in an email response represent my life’s students because they to Mr. Brownstone. work. I want them are minors involved “We certainly to be honorable in a disciplinary mat- do not wish to be the and trustworthy,” ter. soda police, and we

In This Issue


News & Features...................2-7 Opinion................................8-10 Arts & Entertainment.........11-14 Sports.................................15-20

As of Sept. 2012, Advanced Placement (AP) United States History will be history. Read about the cut on page 3.

hope all of our guests behave in a manner that is rooted in honesty and integrity, but we cannot enforce that,” Mr. Kelly wrote. “We do not condone this behavior, but it would be impossible for us to make sure the kids are doing the right thing.” Mr. Brownstone hopes students will think twice about asking for water cups and filling them with soda. “We’re getting stuck because it’s a big corporation, but ethically it’s still completely wrong,” said Upper School Psychologist Carlos Prieto.

The Packer Collegiate Institute 170 Joralemon Street Brooklyn, NY 11201


Inside Chez Packer

BY CATHARINE STRONG During a normal E or F-band Chez Packer is full of students from all divisions lining up for lunch. Genoveva HernandezSistos and Ann Martinez work the cash registers, and Manager of Food Services James Moran, runs the kitchen. There’s so much commotion, and students are scrambling to get to their next class or club. Does anyone ever wonder what goes into your food or how much it costs? The Prism sat down with Mr. Moran to learn more about Chez Packer. Prices on about 50 percent of the food items in Chez Packer increased this year, a modest raise, according to Mr. Moran. “I raise my prices in relation to the quality of the product we’re selling,” said Mr. Moran. “The economy is in bad shape, but I have kept quite consistent with my prices.”

Many factors have helped the kitchen staff keep prices at an affordable rate this year, including the addition of new beverages, including juice, iced tea, and cans of Izze and Polar seltzer. There’s also always constant stream of students and faculty buying food at Chez Packer, said Mr. Moran. What about the quality and nutrition value of the food students regularly get from the cafeteria? “I often go to the farmer’s market and get some produce to mix into the soups and entrees,” said Mr. Moran. Mr. Moran works with Nancy BurgosJackson, an executive chef and account manager at JC-Food, who comes to Packer about twice a week to consult about the food they’re serving. (continued on page 3)


FRESH NOT FROZEN: In an effort to maintain high quality food, prices of several Chez Packer food and drink options have increased.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT SPORTS Read a review of the recent film Hugo. Go to page 13 to read about the film that takes place in the 1930s.

This sports season, several teams are getting swagged out. Read about the new gear on page 17.

FOOD Feel like a sweet treat? Cooking Club will teach you how to bake apple crumb bars. See page 12 .



Marijuana Incident Draws Student and Faculty Response BY BILLY DUDINE

Two incidents involving illegal substances that occurred during the first week of November have drawn a substantial response from students and faculty. During the afternoon of Nov. 2, administrators received a report that a strong scent of marijuana was present in the first-floor boys locker room. According to an announcement made the next day by Head of the Upper School Teri Schrader during Community Meeting, the report prompted an investigation by the Upper School administration. “I feel it’s important that everyone in our school [has] access to important information,” Ms. Schrader said, addressing students. “Yesterday, the deans and I and Mr. Osorio spent a good portion of our day investigating the smell of marijuana in the boys locker room.” Ms.

Schrader’s announcement was also sent via email to all Upper School parents. In a follow-up interview with The Prism, Ms. Schrader declined to comment on the details of the investigation or the events that led to the conclusion of the boys locker room situation, citing student privacy concerns. A second incident involving Upper School students and illegal substances also occurred Nov. 3. Ms. Schrader also declined to comment on the details associated with that incident. “These things happen, and they happen in all schools. It doesn’t make me think ‘Oh we have a huge problem’. It makes me think that we have a school in which we have hundreds of people everyday mostly making really good choices and every once in a while we have a few people who make bad choices. We deal with them as


honestly, as forthrightly and as compassionately as possible,” said Ms. Schrader. The students involved in both incidents were not referred to the Student Faculty Judiciary Committee (SFJC), but instead were given their consequences directly by the administration, according to Upper School Chemistry Teacher and SFJC Advisor Allen Ruch. “Every situation is different. Packer does not

have an automatic and specific way of going about dishing out consequences. I’m very comfortable coming in and working with kids and parents and colleagues to [determine consequences] together and figure out what the responses [should be]. It’s not about how I feel about the incident, it’s more about what I then have to do about it,” added Ms. Schrader. These incidents have generated several student

and teacher reactions. Many students have responded critically to those that brought illegal substances into school. “If they want to do what they want to do outside of school that’s their choice; they should separate their academic and social life and don’t bring what they do outside of school into school,” said Carly Knitzer (’12). “I think it was stupid and not a good decision on their part,” David

Geracioti (’15). Other students said they appreciated the administration’s openness and praised Ms. Schrader’s announcement. “I think that the transparency was good and it’s pretty important. I don’t think that happens at many other schools,” said Storm Alexander (’15). “I think the school has been very tactful and diplomatic being as transparent as possible given their legal restrictions. I always agree with transparency,” said Mr. Ruch. “I’m glad they told us. There wasn’t any really easy way to let everyone know,” said Julia Skrak (’12). “As a teacher and a leader in a school, I want our school to be 100% safe for 100% of [the] people who come here every day,” said Ms. Schrader.

Magellan Soars Through Packer One Again BY TYLER GOLDBERG

Hi All, Hope you had a bird-tastic Thanksgiving! Please tell me you didn’t eat too many of my brethren. Boy do I have some stories for you! A few weeks ago, I went on the trip of a lifetime and Superintendant of Building and Grounds, Craig Kennedy. We went to some awesome places that I am going to be telling y’all about in the coming editions. This issue JOSH BREWER

however, I wanted to show you an extra special place—think of it as my holiday present to you all! We all know the story of the St. Ann’s Church; the home of Packers current Middle School building. The church built from 18671869 by the same firm who constructed the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. The church acquired by Packer in 1969, used the space mainly for storage. In the major 2003 renovation that brought

us the Atrium and the Upper School student center, the then-empty space was overhauled to house the Middle School. An issue that was very important to the school during this renovation was to keep the exterior character and beauty of the old church. So, instead of demolishing the old building and constructing a new one, the school simply placed the Middle School building inside the shell of the old building. Thus, we get what Associate Director

of Pre-Lower School Admissions Denise Schwed calls “the ship in a bottle effect.” The great part about this unique construction technique is that all of the old crawlspaces and rafters of the original church are still intact—perfect places for me to explore. There are two crawl spaces that parallel the fourth floor in the Middle School. After using my beak to pick the lock (well, Mr. Kennedy had a key), I gained access to an area never seen by anyone who wasn’t on staff at Packer. Flying in to this dark, plank-floored, and somewhat creepy space, I must admit the feathers on the back of my neck stood up a tad. What you see when you first enter is a bit of a scary sight. The crawl space itself is used as a storage space for chairs. Look at the picture of me sitting on one of these chars. It seems this row of perfectly arranged


chairs is infinitely long. I never reached the other end, so you never know, it could be! Either way, this musty-smelling place was simply a cool space to be in. But, the awesomeness did not end here. Cooler even than this hidden storage area was the area above it; yes, above

it. But, that’s a story for another time. Until then, may your holiday season be blessed with happiness and fun! Yours truly, Magellan T(he). Pelican



Access Denied, No More Fun and Inside Chez Games Packer (cont.) BY TASSIN BRAVEMAN

A newly-installed Internet filter is now prohibiting Middle and Lower School students from accessing games, social networking sites, or inappropriate content on their laptops. The technology department first started to use the filter, which allows them to block certain websites, on Nov. 28. Students in fifth through eighth grade are affected by the filter. The technology department will work to refine the new filtering program and possibly expand it to include home usage of school-issued computers. Head of the Middle School Mr. Reinhardt explained that a filter like this has been considered by teachers for a while, and is being used for two primary reasons. The first is to take away distractions


LOCKDOWN: Middle School Students will no longer have access to sites such as these. from students during the school day, and the second is to protect them from harmful content on the internet. “Middle School kids for the most part don’t have the capacity to use social media stuff in a way that it doesn’t get them into difficult situations

When asked if filtering was a possibility for Upper School students, Ms. Schrader responded: “If there are ever any changes that we would think about undertaking to our own use of access policy in the Upper School, we would be doing that together.” The new filter does automatically block and report access to peerto-peer sharing sites, which have always been prohibited in school, according to Director of Technology Jim Anderson.

“We collaborate on what we think you guys want, and if we can get the products for those recipes,” said Mr. Moran. “We’re also very high on nutrition,” said Ms. Burgos-Jackson. “We are now using antibiotic free and hormone free meats.” The cafeteria is popular among students and staff members. “I eat here every day, sometimes both breakfast and lunch, but honestly I don’t pay much attention to the prices because they get deducted automatically from my pay check,”

said Rashad Randolph, a Spanish teacher. “I don’t eat any big meals in the cafeteria, but I have snacks there about two times a day,” said Matt Hughes (’14), “The prices seem pretty expensive sometimes, but it doesn’t matter much to me.” The kitchen staff are always welcome to new ideas, whether it’s feedback on a new item they brought out or a great recipe you have. There are also community service opportunities in the cafeteria for those chefs at heart.

with one another” said Mr. Reinhardt. Head of the Upper School Terri Schrader announced the changes to Upper School students in Chapel before Thanksgiving break. The filter will not currently affect Upper School students.

An Historic Event ANDREW RUVKUN


REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE: Students discuss The Market Revolution in Dr. Sarah Strauss’ AP US History Class. BY SABINA GILIOLI

Starting September 2012, Advanced Placement United States History will no longer be part of the sophomore curriculum. Initial discussion of discontinuing the AP U.S. History course started in fall of 2009.

The course was offered to sophomores who demonstrated an aptitude to history in their freshmen year. In place of the AP course, the history department will offer a standardized class for all sophomores. The new class curriculum will replace

AP U.S. History “with a rich, challenging and differentiated American History curriculum which will address the needs of a range of students and be more conducive to the kind of pedagogy which is developmentally appropriate,” wrote Chair of the History and Social

Science Department Erland Zygmuntowicz in an email to Head of School Bruce Dennis. The decision to discontinue the course was not a result of poor student performance on the AP test, said Mr. Zygmuntowicz. Instead, teachers were cognizant

of the immense amount of work the course requires students to complete. Also, the AP class affected other sophomore history classes. “Siphoning off so many of the strongest students deprives the other students of intellectual role models who elevate the discourse in the class,” said Mr. Zygmuntowicz. Some members of the Class of 2015 were worried about whether or not the new American History class would be challenging. Others said they were worried that the elimination of the AP course would lower their chances of getting into certain colleges. “It’s kind of counter productive because they want us to take hard classes but by doing this they are limiting our options,” said Ethan Cohen (’15). “Not offering an AP American History course at the 10th grade will not negatively impact

students’ admissions to college. The college counselors have assured me that if the school does not offer the course, students will not be penalized for not taking it,” said Mr. Zygmuntowicz. Even with the promise of a wellbalanced American History course filled with rigorous and intensive material and interesting research projects, there are still students who see this as a lost opportunity. “I saw my brother with an excessive amount of work, but he did learn a lot and now knows a lot of random facts like the years Andrew Jackson was president. Even if the class didn’t count [towards college] I still [would] want to take it,” said Jack Seibert (’15). A letter informing parents of rising sophomores of the department’s decision will be mailed the first week of December.


Voice of the People


What do you think the Student Council should be doing to help or change the community? DAISY KROLIK






ayeli Gilbertson (’15): “The Student Council should create more opportunities for Upper School bonding. They should have days where we all get to know each other better in some way.”

eronica Lloyd (’15): “ I haven’t heard much about Student Council this year, so by expressing their ideas of how to help the community a bit more, people [might better] understand what they’re doing.”

amie Boucher (’14): “I think the role of the Student Council should be to facilitate the lives of the students. I think they actually do a very good job of that already. They have the Student Council Fund which I think is the worthiest of endeavors and I think is actually having a very positive effect on the student body. I’m not sure I know any things that it could be doing more to help us. I think it’s doing a very good job.”

enichi Kaneda (’13): “I would say that the Student Council needs [to] connect with the students more, in a way that’s easier for the student to receive information, for example, a Facebook group. I know that the Student Council has been thinking about making a Facebook group for some time now. I think that if they act immediately with the Facebook group, I think they can really get information out to the students faster.”

onathan Daniels (’15): “Being in the Student Council, I’ve noticed a lot of times that when someone tries to create a tournament, it’s not known by everyone. I was just talking to my friends about a tournament, and they said, “What tournament?” We’ve had at least five different tournaments outside in the [garden] or in the gym and no one’s noticed. So, if the Student Council wanted to do something better, they should have better organization, better tournaments, more tournaments and more posters so that everyone knows gets to know about the tournaments. We want Packer [students] to have fun.”



More Than Just Getting Out Early

TALL Tuesday is a Learning Experience for Teachers BY JEWEL CASTLE For Upper School students TALL Tuesday means one thing: early dismissal. But for teachers it means something completely different. The reason behind the 2:05 dismissal is so teachers can participate in a mandatory internal teacher development program. Upper School teachers meet in small groups for two-anda-half hours every TALL Tuesday to work on becoming better teachers through both discussion and writingbased meetings. The 11 different TALL Tuesday groups cover a range of topics including homework, iPads, and textbook writing. Each group consists of 6 -12 faculty members and is led by one or two faculty facilitators. The leaders are trained by a group called the Professional Growth and Development Steering Committee, according to Coordinator of Professional Development Eric Baylin, facilitator of the TALL Tuesday program. The program gives teachers a chance to


TEACHERS TAKE P.E. TOO: Teachers Rock! TALL Tuesday group meets in the second-floor gym Nov. 29 incorporate new teaching methods into their classrooms. Members of the “Writing Your Own Textbook” group, led by George Snook, history

teacher, create their own course material. Chair of the Physical Education Department Pippa Mayell, facilitator of the

“Teachers Rock!” TALL Tuesday group, said that in their group they climb the rock wall, and “it’s up to the teachers to decide how they want

to integrate what they’ve done in the group into their teaching.” The “Hands on iPads” group is investigating how iPads

can be integrated into the classroom and how they can enhance curriculum. “Teachers feel like they’re doing real work that supports their jobs as educators, and the students, unbeknownst to them, have benefitted from the work done in the TALL Tuesday meetings,” said Mr. Baylin. The name TALL Tuesday comes from the teacher development program, and is an acronym for Teachers As Leaders and Learners. The program began in 1999 and came about after research showed teachers develop better when working in their own schools with their own colleagues. Packer is one of the only independent schools in New York City to devote time to teacher development, and often teachers are sent to other schools to help talk about the TALL Tuesday program. “It’s as good as you make it, it can be a burden or an opportunity. I choose to make it an opportunity,” said Mr. Snook.

The Science Behind the Art

Photography Students Featured in Video

BY ALEX MCCARTER Upper School Photography Teacher Eric Baylin was having difficulty conveying photographic techniques to his students. “No matter what I tried when teaching the concept of depth of field, students didn’t get it. Something in my teaching was not effective,” said Mr. Baylin. Depth of field is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a picture that appear in sharp focus. So, in 2008 Mr. Baylin brought this teaching dilemma to a revolutionary workshop he attended entitled Neuroscience and Learning. The workshop was a collaboration between Harvard University, the

Smithsonian Institute, and the Annenberg Foundation. After attending the workshop Mr. Baylin decided to focus on the emotional aspects of depth of field rather than the technical. He had students look carefully at photographs and discuss the feelings evoked by different choices of focal points. “It is incredible how the combination of light and dark and focus can be so emotional,” said Adrian Nugent-Head (‘11), one of Mr. Baylin’s former students. When comparing depth of field photographs to fully-focused photographs, students used words such as “sad,” “dreamy,” “mysterious,” and “inspiring” to

describe the depth of field. By concentrating on the emotions of the pictures students began to understand how and why depth of field should be used, and they improved their technique. According to Mr. Baylin connecting emotions to learning “revolutionized the way [he] teach[es] the art of photography.” After successfully bringing his insights and new teaching plan back to the classroom, Mr. Baylin and his Packer students were filmed and featured in a video shown on the Neuroscience and Learning website. You can access the video at: ht t p: // w w w. l e a r n e r. o r g /c o u r s e s / neuroscience/text/text.


This photo of the Chapel illustrates the concept of field of depth.



Making a Splash

New Club Attracts Swimmers BY ZACK GREEN

The newlycreated swim club has rapidly become one of the most popular clubs in the Middle School. A p p r ox i m a t e l y 25 students ranging from fourth to eighth grades have jumped into St. Francis College pool Monday and Wednesday mornings to work on their swimming skills. The students’ abilities range from beginners to competitive swimmers. Chris Ruck, varsity boys baseball coach, instructs the club. Coach Ruck is also helped by Alexander McCarter (’12) and Taylor Hickson (’12). Taylor began swimming at the McBurney YMCA in the fifth grade, and

even raced in states. However, he chose to end his swimming career in the ninth grade because he wanted to focus more on his school work and play both soccer and basketball. The swim club presents him with an opportunity to pass on his knowledge of the sport. “The swim club is very rewarding and a great opportunity. Getting up early in the morning is hard though, but in terms of fitness and working on swimming and helping kids with their techniques are really great,” said Taylor. Coach Ruck shares this affinity for swimming, and he hopes to not only teach kids

how to swim properly, but to also to instill in them his love of the sport. “What I like about [swimming] is that it is very different. There is very little time to sit back and relax, and you can only focus on yourself. Coaching is so important. The first place person, on this level, is just as important as the person who comes in third place,” said Coach Ruck. Cu r rently, the students are only competing against themselves, since the club has yet to be officially considered a team. However, the Athletic Department has big plans for the club’s future. “Right now it’s a developmental swim TAYLOR HICKSON

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: Coach Chris Ruck talks to (from left to right) Graham Rainsby (‘17), Ana Molestina (‘18), Rei Ishii (‘17), and Grace Ryder (‘17), members of the new Middle School swim club.

club; this is to gauge student interest, and to see if hopefully, in the near future, it can become a team. Optimally, by next year it’ll become a team,” said Coach Ruck. The team would not have to start from scratch, as the club currently has three superstars in the making: Ana Molestina (’18), Rebecca Herwitz (’18), and Ellie Story (’17). Ana is currently a member of the swim team the Manhattan Makos, a team she joined two years ago. She began swimming one year ago. “It’s fun and it’s another way to practice swimming because here we get to practice the strokes more and we don’t just have to practice long distance,” said Ana. “I was surprised by the kids’ skill level. We never had a swim club before and we were hoping that we could compete and train the kids. Right now the program is in the Middle School but hopefully, when it becomes a team, the kids will be getting older and we will have some talent,” said Coach Ruck. Coach Ruch was a member of the swim team at his high school; he later was the swim coach at Poly Prep for three years. Coach Ruck provides advice and drills in order to improve the students’ technique.


SPLISH SPLASH: Members of the new Middle School swim club do laps at morning practice. In this club, the end goal is not a trophy or a banner, but is, as Coach Ruch said: “To train the kids on their stroke techniques, for the kids to become comfortable with all of the strokes, and for the word to spread that they are in the pool every Monday and Wednesday working. If they continue to stay this committed and work this hard I will be very happy.” Right now the club is sticking to the

basics, and after winter break the swimmers will be working on their underwater technique.

Not to Fear, Internships Still Here Summer Program Places Students at Jobs BY ELIZABETH OWENS It’s quite common to find high school students scrambling for ways to spend their summers. Working as an intern is one solution. However, it can sometimes be hard for high school students to compete against college students. Packer’s Summer Internship Program is here for you! The program was started four years ago by Packer parent Rene Devlin. It is co-led by fellow Packer parent Lisa

Cohen, who joined two years ago. Ms. Devlin started the program because her daughter, Keely Weiss (’10), was having trouble finding an internship at a magazine company. “It’s very difficult for high school students to get good internships because there are so many college students and college graduates who want the internships. I thought that there might be Packer parents who would be willing to offer

internships to Packer students because their own students study at Packer,” said Ms. Devlin. Although this will be the program’s fifth summer, it hasn’t been very popular in the past; the organizers think that is probably due to a lack of advertising. An average of six to eight kids participate each summer, but Ms. Devlin and Mrs. Cohen are eager for more students. The internships, which last about four

to eight weeks, cover a variety of interests including fashion (Marc Jacobs), education (Rebecca School for Autistic children), literature (David Black Literary Agency), and finance (Fascet LLC Finance and Tech Firm). Internship opportunities are posted on Firstclass following Thanksgiving break. Anne Wenk (’11) said she had a “remarkable experience” interning for Packer

parent Second Circuit Court Judge Denny Chin: “Over my time in his office, I watched Judge Chin try cases, sentence defendants, and prepare appellate decisions,” said Anne. “It was a unique experience to be a part of his chambers and to hear his thoughts on different cases, issues, and lawyers. I was given research assignments on good moral character and sentencing that allowed me to explore new topics in depth and to see how

Judge Chin paired legal and non-legal references in his opinions. It was a truly incredible summer.” The Summer Internship Program isn’t to be confused with the Senior Internship Program, which will start up for the first time this year. The Senior Internship Program is a three-week internship in May exclusively for seniors.



Finding Your Inner Zen Junior Starts Clothing Line BY NICK STRONG It started with a pile of dirty laundry. Over the summer, Jamaal DeGraffe (’13) was attending an academic program at Philips Academy when he began to notice how quickly he ran out of wearable shirts. “Laundry was just really hard to do so we thought maybe we should just start making our own shirts because it had gotten to the point where we had no clothes,” Jamaal said. Thus Zen New York, Jamaal’s line of t-shirts, was born. The company remained only a concept as Jamaal returned to school at the end of the summer

Adobe Photoshop. The images come from a variety of locations, though most come from the Public Domain, a library containing artwork of various mediums that does not hold copyrights, making it available for commercial use at no cost. Jamaal also uses his own work on his t-shirts, taking photographs or generating original designs. Once he compiles the artwork, Jamaal designs the shirt, a process he says can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour depending on the complexity of the concept. According to Jamaal, Zen does not have

cities because I grew up here in Brooklyn and seeing everything change around me has been an inspiration,” said Jamaal. “I’ve always found beauty in architecture, especially of urban areas and I know a lot of the people I’m trying to reach are people who live in cites and speak to that natural beauty cities have. Other shirts in Zen’s collection feature images of natural landscapes. Mountain Mists depicts a sweeping view of a snow-capped mountain set against the hue of a light blue sky. Winter Sunset shows a backcountry road during a winter sunset.

Hong-Kong and began to devote all of his time to school work. It wasn’t until he met David Wells, a former Abercrombie employee, in late September that his idea began to turn into a functioning business. He hopes to begin commercial production this month. J a m a a l ’ s collection contains about 200 designs and a line of pocket t-shirts, all ready to be printed once a full- time publisher is contracted. Jamaal creates the shirts almost exclusively through the program


an overriding theme to its design as its concept simply stems from “wanting to create some cool t-shirts that I know people would like and that I would like myself.” While the designs and imagery used in Zen’s shirts do not conform to a larger theme, there are trends present within the company’s current collection. Much of the work already published by Jamaal features cityscapes, including Hong Kong, set to be printed as part of Zen New York’s debut collection. “I really like using

Jamaal said that the feedback he has received has been “overwhelmingly positive,” especially as the company’s fan base expands to include more than Jamaal’s immediate social network. “We have fans in Paris, Hong Kong, London and all across the U.S., and a lot of those people are spreading the word as well,” said Jamaal. Social media has played a large role in the expansion of Zen’s fan base ever since the company created a Facebook page Oct. 29.

Grey Wolf The page has provided Zen an effective vehicle to share both t-shirts designs and happenings within the company, such as printing dates, with its fan base. The page has also created a forum for fans to express their opinions on various t-shirts by either “liking” a design or commenting on it. “Shut up and take my money” commented Russell Shelp (’12), on the design of the shirt title Grey Wolf. Jamaal says that he has already received an “overwhelming” number of people wanting to place orders with him before the shirts have even been

printed. He expects the first order of the shirts to be done printing on Dec. 15. Zen’s initial order will include 300 shirts containing five different designs. While Jamaal did not release the names of all five shirts set to be printed, he did confirm that both Wacked Out and Hong Kong, two of the most popular shirts on Zen’s Facebook page, would be part of the collection. The shirts from the current order will be available for sale both from Jamaal and at Zen New York’s internet storefront at zennewyork.

Mountain Mists for $45 until the full Zen New York site is completed. Jamaal will also be selling shirts in a SoHo pop-up shop for one day, though the date has not been set. Shirts will also be available for retail purchase at Homage, a skate apparel shop at 151 Smith Street and at the chain Atrium, which has locations in Flatbush, the East Village, and Miami.


The Prism December 2011 Editor-in-Chief Josh Brewer


Managing Editor Billy Dudine


News & Features Editors Taylor Hickson


Joe Seibert


Arts & Entertainment Editor Sabina Gilioli


Sports Editor

Gabi Weintraub


Photo Editor Sara Kaplan


Copy Editor

Tyler Goldberg


Web Editor Nick Strong


The Problem with Independent Study In an attempt to provide students with more opportunities to get physical education credit, the P.E. Department has recently expanded the Independent Study program. Independent Study is for students who don’t participate in either a gym class or sports team. In order to earn credit, students can be either involved in sports outside of school, or they can go to the Fitness Center. Students who go to the Fitness Center are required to complete 15 45-minute workout sessions per quarter. When they are done with their exercise, students must fill out a log and have it signed by a Fitness Center monitor. While the idea of letting students complete their physical activity requirement on their own does seem like it would work, the Independent Study system still needs a lot of improvement. First,

students aren’t assessed on the intensity of their workout, but on the amount of time spent in the Fitness Center. Students who push themselves get the same amount of credit as someone who sits around for 45 minutes. In addition, the grading system is inconsistent. In the first quarter, one student completed the required 15 sessions and received a B+. Another student, who completed 14 sessions, received an A and a third student completed 13 and received an A-. The student who completed the most sessions got the lowest grade out of the three students surveyed, something that clearly shouldn’t happen Not only is the grading inconsistent, but there is no way for the supervisors to confirm students have done their workouts. Students can write down whatever exercises they completed and aren’t questioned.

Want To Contribute to The Prism?

You don’t have to be in journalism class to contribute to The Prism. If you are interested in bringing out your inner reporter, simply email Josh Brewer (jobrewer@packer. edu) or Billy Dudine ( and we’ll set you up with an assignment. You can write a sports article, review a TV show or movie, or cover current news around Packer. Want to take some photos for The Prism? Contact Sara Kaplan (sakaplan@packer. edu) and she can send you an assignment, and if need be, allow you to use The Prism’s camera. If you want to submit an editorial (which for those

that don’t know, is essentially a piece in a newspaper or magazine that expresses the opinion of its author) about anything that you wish (really, anything) you can talk to Josh or Billy, or just send it to editorials@ Not all content submitted is guaranteed to be published, but everyone should still submit if they so desire!

Works Cited:

In an effort to more properly give credit to some of our photo sources, we have created a works cited section. Apple Bar Image: “ Apple Crumble Bars » Annie’s Eats.”Annie’s Eats » Making your days taste better.. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2011. <>. Hugo Image: “The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Movie Trailer.” Movie Horizon | Movie news everyday. N.p., 26 Nov. 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2011. <>.

Business Manager

The Office Image: “The Daily RotationRumors Circulating about The Office’s Upcoming Season.”The Daily RotationThe Daily Rotation » Bringing You The Freshest Content On The Web. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2011. <>.


Drake Image: “The Tracklist For Drake’s New Album “Take Care” Looks Incredibly Promising - Business Insider.”Featured Articles From The Business Insider. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2011. <http://articles.>.

Jonah Burstein

Faculty Advisor Amy Montemerlo



Sudoku Puzzle: “Sudoku Puzzles : easy sudoku puzzle 193.” Sudoku Today : Sudoku, Sudoku Puzzles, Daily Sudoku Puzzles. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2011. <>. Fantasy Football Logo: N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2011.      <       espn-fantasy-football-logo-298x238.png>. St. Francis Athletics Logo: St. Francis College, n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2011.       <>. Billy Hunter Image: N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2011. <       -6Kl9l4Wa6YQ/TtKXBAZSpjI/AAAAAAAAAUo/YNyiaoAI1qw/s1600/       billyhunterandstern.jpg>.

While some students do complete their workouts honestly, several students may be seen walking around or talking and not exercising. Compared to a sports team, Independent Study is more unfair to those who actually physically push themselves in the Fitness Center. Packer wants all students to have a good physical education. On a sports team, there is a coach (and usually assistant coaches) present at all times. In the Independent Study system, the supervisors are often working out themselves or on their laptop, which severely hinders their ability to oversee the productivity of students. The Prism would suggest that the supervisors in the Fitness Center spend more time watching over students by actively supervising their workouts. If the supervisors become more active, not only will students

be forced to actually exercise, but it will help students maintain their physical condition, prevent injuries, and make the workout experience more fulfilling overall. We agree with the P.E. Department’s decision to open the Fitness Center to students during select bands throughout the day. It helps relieve crowding after school and is more convenient for some. The P.E. Department is headed in the right direction but has not yet made the sufficient changes in order for the Independent Study system to be working at its highest efficiency.


News and Features: An article about Student Council’s proposal to eat food in the Student Center incorrectly stated that Lucas Slevin was in the Class of 2011. He is Class of 2012. An article about the dismissal of a coach incorrectly stated that Bill Knauer is the head of school. He is the assistant head of school. In an article about early dismissal, Sam Aviles (‘13) was misquoted. He missed G-band health classes due to early dismissal during the the 2010-2011 school year. Arts and Entertainment: In the photo caption of the article about Mr. Miller’s art being displayed in subways, the word ‘art’ was accidentally repeated. Sports: In an article about varsity girls soccer, Coach Rich Domanico’s name was spelled incorrectly. In the same article, the single season goal record is held by Maria Yatrakis, a member of the Class of 1998, not 1996. In an article about Adam Mathieu’s (‘12) commitment to Columbia University for fencing, it was incorrectly stated that the Cobra Fencing Club is located in Long Island City. It is located in Jersey City. An article about varsity boys soccer incorrectly stated that Austin Gericke is in the Class of 2013. He is actually in the class of 2014.

Thumbs Up Image: Digital image. Soda Head., 23 Oct. 2011. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://www.sodahead. com/fun/i-have-something-to-say-to-you-yeah-you-you-phaet-members/question-2240967/?link=ibaf&q =&imgurl=>. Thumbs Down Image: Digital image. Forbes., 25 July 2011. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. < kenrapoza/2011/07/25/is-us-debt-downgrade-inevitable/>.



Remembering Dawn Warner

On Nov. 29 the Packer community lost a vibrant, loving, and caring member. Dawn Warner, a long-time Upper and Middle School Spanish and French teacher, passed away after a battle with cancer. Ms. Warner touched many members of the community with her charm, grace, and friendship. On Dec. 5, teachers, students, and community members gathered in the Chapel to celebrate her life and share stories. Over the last week, The Prism has collected more memories from students, teachers, and alumni members. Some of their responses are below.

She was just like a mom away from home. She wasn' t scared to comment on dress and skirt length.... or pant-waist height!- Maddie Fraser (’13)

I never had her as friends did. She wasa student but many of my vibrant and colorful pe truly one of the most actually considered ta ople I have ever met. I her as a teacher. Butking Spanish just to have have to be in her cl I realized that you didn' t her. The Packer comass to know her and love than words. So will I. munity will miss her more - Anonymous

We often look back on our educational careers and identify a teacher or an administrator as an individual who influenced our lives. An educator who did something to make themselves stand out, and separate him or herself from the rest of the pack. But then again, there are few teachers, and few people, who are like Dawn Warner. Ms. Warner touched the lives of countless students with her unmistakable passion and effervescent teaching methods in the classroom. If you did not have the privilege of being in one of Ms. Warner’s classes, you enjoyed her humor in homeroom, chuckled at her wit on a senior trip, or simply smiled at her grace and persona when seeing her in passing. In the classroom, Dawn was a pioneer. Ms. Warner brought a refreshing sense of fervor and genuine attention to every class she taught. While classes were upbeat and unique by the standards of most, academics were not amiss. Having had the privilege of being taught by Ms. Warner my junior and senior years, I witnessed that first hand. Ms. Warner’s passion for what she taught only extended

to her students and piqued their curiosity for language. Her unique methodologies in the classroom only facilitated learning, as students felt comfortable in a foreign subject. I was truly saddened to hear the news of Ms. Warner’s passing. Upon receiving an email from Packer, my phone was quickly buzzing with messages from members of my Spanish classes with Ms. Warner who were as distraught as I was. The outpouring support on Facebook painted personal anecdotes and memories of a woman who had left a footprint on the academic journey of many a Packer student. The one thing I will truly remember about Ms. Warner is her warmth. Never had I experienced an educator who sincerely cared not only for my academic endeavors, but also about my mental health and social life. Ms. Warner was as much a teacher as she was a friend. And it is always sad to lose a friend.

Senora Warner was the friendliest person to ever walk in Packer. She brightened my mood every day and I didn' t even have her as a teacher. Somehow she knew almost every kid's name at Packer and managed to touch every single one of their hearts. I remember one time just sitting with her at lunch talking about Packer gossip like one of my classmates or friends. That's exactly what she was though. A friend.- Anonymous

Ms. Warner w ne k r ve ne I h ug Altho g to the people in en st li st ju , ly al on pers orial gave me a em m r he at e ok sp who It was a sad . as w e sh ho w of e sens ous celebration y jo a so al t bu , on si occa much too short d an ul rf de on w r he of 17) life.- Jordan Tayeh (’

With a heavy heart, Evan Sporer, Class of 2010 Photos Courtesy Of Susanna Ciotti

OP-ED Homework- to Have, or Not to Have? BY SHANNON RHODES H o m e wo r k has become a hot topic recently among students and faculty after Alfie Kohn’s visit to Packer a few weeks ago. His talks to both parents and teachers have sent a shockwave of response throughout the school. Do his arguments against homework have merit? Is it right for Packer to reconsider their homework policies? According to Emily Polidore, an Upper School learning specialist, Mr.Kohn raised some interesting points about the moral issue of giving homework to students, but offered no suggestions about if or how homework should be reformed. Danielle Fallon, an Upper School math teacher, felt his lecture served as a good reminder for teachers to assign quality and worthwhile homework. Other teachers have taken more drastic measures, including changing their course curriculum to either lessen or completely eliminate homework. I object to these changes in policies. Homework is an essential part of learning a concept. It is a form of practicing skills that are used in class; it’s an opportunity for the individual to test whether one can do the work correctly alone. The lesson “practice makes perfect” holds true for homework. We practice playing the trumpet or shooting a basketball to

figure out how to do it and improve. This is the same as doing math homework to practice our ability to solve types of problems. Homework is also used to cover massive amounts of material in certain classes, such as AP Art History or English 11. Without reading assignments for homework, it would probably take an English class the whole year to read Hamlet. Often the classes with the most homework reap the most rewards, such as a class with Upper School History Teacher George Snook or Upper School Latin Teacher Tim Flannery. The elimination of homework seems drastic to me. Is it a good practice if a French teacher gives no homework, but a Spanish teacher at the same level gives the usual amount? Eliminating homework can also hurt athletes, especially because they already miss a lot of class time for early dismissals. If no work is being done outside of class, then the athlete has a decreased capacity to learn. Also, if homework is eliminated from a class, the percentage of a quarter grade made up of homework assignments is also eliminated. Without homework even more weight will be placed on tests, hurting students who are challenged test takers. Moreover, Celeste Tramontin, an Upper School English teacher,

pointed out that if students have difficulty staying on task during class, there will be even less learning without homework. Teachers may hear students complain about homework, but this isn’t a good reason to change the policy. I think the responsibility falls on the students who aren’t efficient enough at handling the amount of work. Packer is supposed to push and challenge students in order to prepare them for college and give them a comprehensive foundational education across several subjects. The workload that is taken on may be less than what other schools encounter, and Jeffrey Jordan ’85, the recent Founder’s Day speaker, highlighted that Packer students don’t understand how far ahead they are of other students. Yes, students are overscheduled and stressed, but that’s the way the real world works too. Ms. Tramontin put it simply: “We work a lot, and so does society.” H o m e wo r k gives students the time and space to think. Students: try to take homework in stride and enjoy the benefits that an amazing education offers. Teachers: assign homework that isn’t busy work and enhances your students’ learning. There is no need to eliminate homework from the SARA KAPLAN curriculum.

Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down

The Prism Gives a Thumbs Up To:

• The end of the NBA Lockout • The president of the ACLU visiting Packer • Seltzer in the cafeteria • Winter Break finally arriving • The Class of 2012 for taking the college process in stride

The Prism Gives a Thumbs Down To: • An unseasonably warm December • Jose Reyes joining the Miami Marlins • No more Iced Teas in the cafeteria • The billions of tests right before Winter Break • Packer’s internet troubles


Reflections on the Cancellation of AP U.S. BY NICK STRONG I always save AP U.S. History homework for last. It seems that when it gets to be 11:00 p.m., there is no other homework able to keep me up like AP U.S. A reading of Emerson will cause me to yawn, while math problems cause my eyes to droop. Even writing this oped would not keep me awake the same way my history homework does. It was for this reason I felt as if I had been punched in the gut when I walked into an editors’ meeting just a few weeks ago and saw “AP U.S. cancelled” written on the board in a list of story ideas. There is no class quite like AP U.S. Not only does it explore almost all considerable happenings in the history of our own people, it structures and presents information in such a way that students taking the class gain a comprehensive view of American History with all of its patterns and intricacies. For a history nerd and academic junkie like me, it’s like being let loose in a candy shop. So why was I staring at the words “AP U.S. Cancelled”? There was no way, I believed, that Upper School administrators could make a decision so large, and in my opinion, wrong, without formally consulting or notifying the student body. Sadly, this belief was wrong. As it turns out, the decision to remove AP U.S. from the Upper School curriculum began formulating during the end of the 2009 school year, when my eighth-grade classmates and I were being whirled around from Upper School class to Upper School class in an attempt to discourage us from taking our talents, or lack thereof, to another school. It was on that day I made my decision to continue my education at Packer after sitting in on an AP class. I was immediately struck by how smoothly the class flowed. The teacher would ask a broad question and students would respond with detail after detail, each more descriptive than its preceding one. The members of the class were fully engaged, building on each other’s comments and partaking in healthy debate. Unlike the other classes that I had visited on that day in which students seemed to perpetually gaze out the windows and check the clock, everyone in that AP U.S. class not only seemed like they wanted to be there, but also seemed as if they were truly enjoying themselves. For me it was a revelation. “Packer’s Upper School must be a pretty cool place!” I thought. It’s sad to think that I am going to be part of the last class of high school students to take AP U.S. at Packer. While admittedly the only direct effect the removal of AP U.S. will have on me is that I won’t have anyone to sell my textbook to, it pains me to think of how this decision could change

Packer’s community. What will happen once prospective freshman don’t have the opportunity to have that “WOW” moment I did? For me, it was the difference between Packer and another school. I can understand the reasons the administration had for removing this class from the curriculum; the workload includes at least an hour of work every night and can dominate any evening. My quarrel with the decision is not so much in its content, as it is with how it was made. This decision should not have taken place behind closed doors, or without significant student input. This is the aspect of this situation that a leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. The removal of AP U.S. was a decision that should have been made with input from history students, not just an isolated group of teachers and administrators. Packer is an institution that is more than capable of fostering a vibrant, interesting, and above all, honorable community. I truly believe that I receive my education from a place that not only contains a hard-working and engaging student body, but also holds a qualified and talented group of teachers and administrators. If these two groups are able to come together in a collaborative manner, then I have little doubt in my mind that Packer’s community will reflect the integrity and consciousness that separate a school from a true community. However, the administration must make a commitment to making themselves transparent to the student body. If we hope to create a utopian community within Packer then all of its members must participate, not just administrators. At the end of the day Packer does not belong to the administration, just as it does not belong to the students. It belongs to all of us. For this reason no decision in this community should be made unless all members have an opportunity to voice their opinion.

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Arabian Nights: A Magic Carpet Ride BY KAI ARRINDELL When faced with death, what would you do to survive? Would you try to flee town? Or, maybe you would stay and fight for your life? For Scheherazade, played by Gemma Schreier ('13), the answer was to delay murder by telling 1001 tales. Set in old Arabia, the Upper School play The Arabian Nights, by Mary Zimmerman opened Nov. 10-12 in the Pratt Theater .

Overall, the play was outstanding. The set had a variety of characteristics that helped enhance the atmosphere.

One thousand and one good reviews for the Upper School play The Arabian Nights.

The play opens when the King Shahyar, portrayed by Isaac Easton (‘14), discovers the truth about his wife’s infidelity. As a result of his rage, he murders her and then develops a plot to marry a young girl each day and kill her the same night. After years of this monstrous activity, many young girls have either been killed or have fled with their families. His next victim

is Scheherazade, who end up saving her life and the lives of many other women by telling her enchanting 1001 stories each night. Overall, the play was outstanding. The set had a variety of characteristics that helped enhance the atmosphere. For example, lanterns hung on different levels all around the stage, while the floor was covered with

Middle Eastern rugs. The costumes also added to the set. All of the characters were dressed in classic Middle Eastern outfits, including harem pants and head jewelry. Clearly all 1001 stories could not be included, but Debbie Pressman, head of the arts department, did an excellent job selecting stories to highlight the

Tension in The Air

humorous, deep, and captivating aspects of the collection. In addition to the incredible back drop, the acting level was high. Many of the characters completely gave themselves to the story and actions of their characters. The acting was enjoyable and convincing to watch. The stories began with Scheherazade speaking,

while the story slowly came to life on stage in front of her. The characters in the story mirrored the actions of Scheherazade, an unexpected but appreciated detail. In another scene, which takes place in an insane asylum, every single actor was involved, although the focus was on one character. While that character told his story, the other actors were twitching, looking around frantically, and murmuring to themselves. It was a small detail that occurred in the background, but I thought that it made an impact on the believability of the play. It showed me that all the actors were completely dedicated to acting out that scene, which was impressive. There were many sexual references throughout the play. Personally, I did not have an issue with them, (although there was the occasional raised eyebrow), but parents bringing their younger children to the play should have been warned of the suggestive content. The references were necessary to portray the kind of passionate relationship the characters

had. Without them, the relationships would have lacked a believable sexual connection, which would make the play boring to watch. Without it, The Arabian Nights would not be the same kind of story. Right before the play ended, a strange sound went off. It sounded like a motor. Although the actors reacted to the noise, the audience was left confused. When I later inquired about the noise, I discovered that it was supposed to represent an air raid, used to symbolize the current warfare that exists there now. Although they were trying to make a political point, the reference and significance was lost on the audience, and thus ended up being just a weird noise. Aside from these minor details, I still thoroughly enjoyed the play, and I think the rest of the audience would have agreed with me.

Play Review


BY DANIEL KELLY It’s not easy balancing school, homework, and rock stardom, but Jack Staffen (’13) manages to make it seem so. Jack’s rock band, The Tension, dropped their first studio album in October. The album features 10 songs and is the best quality album a student band could possibly have created. I was immediately impressed by the crisp and tight sound of the drumming, the thick, powerful guitar chords and Jack’s entrancing vocals. The music that The Tension plays sounds a bit like The Mars Volta, a rock band from El Paso, Texas that incorporates genres like progressive rock and math rock—a style of experimental and rhythmically complex

guitar sounds. Though they sound similar to The Mars Volta, they aren’t exactly the same. The Tension doesn’t tread too far from the waters of classic rock, but it does incorporate some vocal and guitar effects that may seem obscure to a classic rock fanatic. Jack, a fan of The Mars Volta, said that some aspects of his singing style are inspired by them. Over all my favorite songs were “Jaded,” “1984,” and “March to Mt. Tom.” “Jaded” was particularly interesting because the opening guitar riff (a cluster or sequence of notes or chords) made good use of the hypnotizing phaser sound (a musical effect achieved by splitting the incoming signal and changing the phasing of it). This sounded very

Pink Floyd-esque, and I was impressed by how well the chords were strummed. I closed my eyes and lost myself in the sound. Track number nine had an energized introduction and headbumping guitar riffs that were great. Each guitar chord landed perfectly with every beat of the bass drum and produced

The album features 10 songs and is the best quality album a student band could possibly have created. a rocking tune. The last song had a very wild introduction, which was a nice change from the usual rock and roll style. The excellence with

which the song’s “grindy” guitar chords were played pleasantly surprised me. Though all of the songs were well-played and well-produced, some of them needed tweaking. On a couple of tracks the instruments were just a bit too loud and overpowered Jack’s voice. I found myself searching for Jack’s voice underneath the thick layers of guitar and drums. Other than that very minor fault,this album was very well done and was a great kick-off for The Tension’s career. Visit The Tension’s Facebook page: http:// w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / TheTension1 Follow on Twitter: @ TheTensionBand

Album Review




The Office Struggles

Dunder Mifflin Paper Company isn’t all that’s Failing in The Office. BY GABI WEINTRAUB

Scranton, PA is home to Michael Scott’s (Steve Carrell) chaotic, disorganized, and failing branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, the subject of NBC’s comedy, The Office. But sadly, the immature, inappropriate, and overly-friendly office manager is gone this season, and so is the show’s spark. What’s left is a show that’s missing a star, purpose, and a lot of fan support. The Office has been one of the mostwatched and enjoyed television shows over the past decade. Each of the seven seasons continuously became more hilarious. In fact, moments in the seventh season had me literally falling off of my chair laughing. It was that good. The fourth episode, “Sex-Ed,” was easily the most hilarious. Michael arrives to the office with a fake mustache to hide a pimple on his lip. However, Michael follows the strong suggestion of coworker Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), and gets in touch with all of his ex-lovers in an attempt to nullify any “herpes” that he may have spread. The hilarity comes when these women, all of whom wish they can forget about Michael, are alarmed at his appearance and even more alarmed at the fact that he may have spread a sexually-transmitted disease. To make matters worse, co-worker Pam Beasley (Jenna Fischer) is unfortunately reminded that her boss, once dated her mom, Helene, which sets the scene for an already super awkward episode. My interest in the show piqued in season seven, probably due to the fact that Carrell announced that this would be his final one on the show. Executive producers Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant,head writer/ actor B.J. Novak (Ryan Howard) plus other stars

The Office: The iconic Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) is missing from The Office . including John Krasinski (Jim Halpert) all succeeded in making this, in my opinion, the best season of any show in the history of television. Michael went out with a bang as the season concluded after 26 hysterical episodes. The season was so good, that I had hoped that the show would continue the momentum into season eight even though Carrell would be missing.

The Office has been one of the most-watched and enjoyed television shows over the past decade. Each of the seven seasons continuously became more hilarious. Nick Strong It only took a couple of episodes into season eight for me to realize how wrong I was. Season seven was so great because of Michael and his leaving only killed the show’s momentum. The Office now lacks a consistent character, any relevant plotlines, awkwardly uproarious encounters, and a general idea. Simply, it has become a show about nothing. While the writers can still throw in a funny oneliner every now and then, The Office shows no real sign of direction. It’s now unpredictable (in a bad way), as viewers have no clue where each episode is going or where the show

is headed as a whole. The show now has no over-arching theme or plot. Rather, each episode has its own, random themes which have ranged from the warehouse staff quitting after winning the lottery to the office staff taking a field trip to Gettysburg. Between seasons seven and eight, the only real intrigue that the show had to offer was who would take Michael’s place as the next Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch. As soon as this question was answered in the premiere of season eight, the show lost its only cliffhanger and flopped. It was decided that Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) would take over as the head in Scranton. Although his dramatic, semantics can occasionally be humorous, Andy does not fill Michael’s shoes. Andy can’t even get his foot into those shoes. Overall, the show has not declined so much that all viewers should quit watching it. However, fans who want to follow an actual plot with sensible and intriguing storylines should consider logging onto Netflix and re-watching the first seven seasons. The Office is on NBC every Thursday at 9:00 p.m.


Cooking: Apple Crumb Bars BY KAI ARRINDELL AND GIANNA DEFILIPPIS Are you craving an apple dessert, but are intimidated by pie? This beginner-friendly apple crumb bar recipe will be perfect for you!

What You’ll Need:

9x13 Baking Pan Mixing Bowls Mixing Spoon (or hands) Ingredients: 4 cups flour 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 cups sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 1/2 cups butter, softened 6 cups granny smith (or a variety of your choice) apples, skinned and diced (about 5 apples) lemon juice (enough to coat apples) 1 tsp cinnamon Directions: 1. Preheat the oven o to 350 F then grease and flour a 9×13 baking pan 2. Peel and dice up the apples into small cubes and add some

lemon juice 3. Combine the flour, salt, white sugar and brown sugar in a separate bowl or large measuring cup 4. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients, using either your hands or some sort of spoon to crush it all together (it should look crumb-y) 5. Take 1 cup of the crumb mixture and mix it with the apples and add the cinnamon 6. Take 1/2 of your remaining crumb mixture and press it into the bottom of the pan 7. Bake for 10 minutes 8. Remove the crust from the oven, pour in the apple mixture and top with last of the crumbs 9. Put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes or until the top is a beautiful golden brown 10. Allow the bars to cool completely (I usually stick mine in the freezer for a few minutes)

11. Cut into bars after they’ve completely cooled These mouthwatering bars are so simple to make and are absolutely scrumptious. Believe it or not, these are even better the day after when they’ve cooled! All the steps are straight forward, although peeling and dicing all the apples can be a bit tedious. But it is still worth the trouble for the end product! Once the bars have finished baking, the apples still have the same texture, which is great since no one really wants to eat a mushy apple anyway, right? Personally, I’m a huge fan of cinnamon, so I especially loved the little touch of flavor that always makes me feel cozy. This is a fall favorite that I will continue to come back to for a long time.

Television review APPLE CRUMBLE BARS: These delicious bars will light up your day.



This Child Will Capture Your Heart Hugo Succeeds on the Big Screen BY JOE SEIBERT When you think about robot movies, Terminator, or even Wall-E might come to mind. In Hugo, the robot is an automaton; merely a vehicle that ties together the stories and lives of a young child and an old man in a heartwarming story about the meaning of dreams and purpose in one’s life. Hugo, adapted from the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, and directed by Martin Scorsese, opened Nov. 23 and tells the story of Hugo Cabret, a young orphan who lives in the Parisian equivalent of Grand Central Station, winding the clocks for a living.

I can definitely say that in terms of cinematic quality, Hugo is the best movie I’ve seen in a very long time. The film opens with a camera zooming through the rooms of the

Take some time to see Hugo.

train station, acquainting us with amiable characters, including Station Inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), whose comedic interludes are humorous highlights throughout the movie. As the camera stops, we see the face of young Hugo (Asa Butterfield), peering through a numeral in a giant clock. We then see

him speeding through the inner workings of the train station, from clock to clock. Peering through a different clock, we are introduced to George Méliès (Ben Kingsley), owner of a toy repair kiosk in the station, who seems to have fallen asleep. Hugo sneaks out of his sanctuary in the clocks and tries to steal a toy mouse from him.

Best He’s Ever Had BY LENA YOUNG AND SYDNEY UTENDAHL Rapper Aubrey Drake Graham, a.k.a. Drake, debuted his second major album Nov 15. While his new album Take Care is similar in overall style to his previous album Thank Me Later and mix tape So Far Gone, it has a smoother and softer feel to it. The album also features collaborations with Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Andre 3000, Lil Wayne, Stevie Wonder, and many others. Most of his song lyrics in Take Care touch on failed romantic relationships, family, and growing fame. They also address Drake’s “haters” within the hiphop industry. He defends himself in a confident manner without crossing the line of being arrogant. In his songs “Headlines,” “Thank Me Later,” and “Forever,” he addresses the hate he receives while boosting up his own selfesteem.

Album Review

ON TOP OF HIS GAME: Take Care has reached number one on the top seller list. The tracks in this album have good beats that combine rap and R&B, this multitalented artist brings a unique sound to the Young Money label. Some of the songs featured in Take Care are slightly disappointing because of their somber and slow tone. The opening song “Over My Dead Body” sets this tone for the album by using slow beats and sleepy melodies. The album does

feature more upbeat, great songs such as “Headlines,” and “Make Me Proud.” “Headlines,” a personal favorite, has catchy beats and clever rhymes. The entire album is a mix of easy, chill music that is still great for parties as well as hanging out at home after a long day. Released Nov 15, Take Care has reached number one on the top seller list. It can be purchased on iTunes for $14.99.

However, Méliès is merely pretending to snooze, and he snatches his hand, causing the mouse to fall and break. Hugo is revealed as to having stolen several things from the toy-mechanic, and all these are returned, including a notebook which seems precious to Hugo. I’m going to stop there, for fear of giving

away too much of the plot. However, the plot wasn’t the only thing about Hugo that was captivating. In general, I’m not a fan of child actors. I find that they’re usually cast more for an emotional value than for actual acting talent. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the skills of Butterfield and his female counterpart, Chloë Grace

Moretz, better known as Hit-Girl from Kick-Ass. They were exponentially better than most child actors you see on the screen. T h e cinematography was fantastic. The variety, as well as the sheer clarity of the shots kept the film fresh and interesting, whether you were watching actions from inside a closet or the standard camera shots following the protagonists. Overall, Hugo didn’t disappoint. Not having read the book, I can’t judge the accuracy of the movie for those of you that are questioning, but I can definitely say that in terms of cinematic quality, Hugo is the best movie I’ve seen in a very long time. Hugo is playing at all major cinemas, and each ticket costs around $13.50. Movie Review

Sudoku Challenge



Food Review: Orders Up BY TAYLOR HICKSON Where should we go for lunch? It may be the first question you and your friends consider at the start of E-Band, when you have about 50 minutes to scarf down as much food as you can before your next class. But what should you do when you can’t agree? There is one easy answer: the classic American diner. A diner offers plenty of options and variety, ranging from pancakes to hamburgers. There are many diners around Brooklyn Heights, and choosing can be hard. Let’s narrow the list to three: Happy Days, Grand Canyon, and Clark’s.

long hallway, narrow and long, with sparkling teal booths running alongside the length of the interior. Its only real redeeming aesthetic quality was the collection of oldfashioned black and white photographs hanging from the walls. Service-wise, Happy Days was decent. The waiter faced away from me while I ordered, but the food arrived in a timely manner. The menu offers a standard variety of diner food ranging from eggs to burgers. I decided take my chances with a vanilla milkshake and a medium deluxe bacon cheese burger with Swiss cheese Nothing about the meal was particularly Jesse Douglas

NOT SO GOOD TIMES: Out of the three diners Happy Days doesn’t measure up to the other two. bad, but nothing was Happy Days is located particularly good on the south side of either. The milkshake, Montague St. between while sporting a rather Clinton St. and Henry delectable vanilla bean St. It’s the closest flavor, was the same diner to Packer, but, size as the water glass unfortunately, that where they gave me, and left the pros cease. Inside, me wanting more. The the diner is more like a burger was a little bit rare,

Jesse Douglas GRAND STANDARD: The Grand Canyon Diner is a popular choice for many eaters on Montague St. but still juicy, and was sandwiched between two thin, floppy pieces of what I can only describe as air bread. The only stand-out component of the dish was the thin, crunchy fries accompanying the burger. Despite its mediocre food, Happy Days is the cheapest of the three diners as the combination of the burger and the shake came to a total of $15. Happy Days doesn’t quite hit the mark, but earned 2.5 out of 5 stars. Now, if you are feeling really adventurous and care to travel an additional 20 feet, across the road from Happy Days you will find yourself in Grand Canyon, the most well-rounded of the three diners. Grand Canyon has a really nice outdoor seating area and a variety of places to sit inside. From the name you could probably already guess the theme of the diner, a classic old western, which was pulled off nicely by the wooden paneling,

the old coke signs, and pictures of the desert. Although it was dimly-lit in some areas, it is not so low that you have to strain your eyes to see your food. The service at Grand Canyon was great. The waiter was fast, friendly, and attentive. As for the food, their menu is almost identical to Happy Days, although they do offer a few additional entrée options. The milkshake, although more syrupy than the Happy Days shake, was about double the size for the same price, and the burger, despite not looking so good, was wonderfully juicy. The meat was cooked just right and the tomato, bacon, and cheese additions were all welcome pieces. The price was about the same as Happy Day’s coming in around $16.50 for the whole meal. For its location, service, and great food, Grand Canyon rated 4 out of 5 stars.

A Middle Eastern Taste of Islamic Art BY PHOEBE MIRMAN

After eight years, of reorganizing and redesigning the exhibit, the Islamic wing of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art finally opened to great fanfare Nov. 1. The full name of the new galleries, “Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia,” was specifically chosen to show the expansive influence of Islamic culture. The exhibit showcases work that spans 13,000 years, starting in the seventh century, and covers geographic territory from Spain, to North Africa, to India. The Met’s own permanent collection has more than 12,000 works of Islamic art, 1,200 of which are showcased

The third and final stop on my Brooklyn Heights diner tour was Clark’s, which is on the corner of Clark St. and Henry St. Clark’s, is the furthest away from Packer. I wouldn’t suggest going there if you don’t have a bunch of free periods because, unless you sprint, you will be late to class). The actual space itself was quite nice. The diner has long huge window walls that are good for peoplewatching. Unlike Happy Days and Grand Canyon, Clark’s doesn’t have a theme, but the owners did manage to celebrate the current holiday spirit by hanging a number of holiday ornaments. Clark’s is more polished than the other two diners and serves a nicer (and significantly more expensive) variety of entrées, including seafood. The service was average as the waiter was more refined and quiet, which made the diner more

elegant, but much less of a relaxed environment where one would want to bring friends. As for the food, the vanilla shake was similar in size to that of Grand Canyon’s shake, and not syrupy. The deluxe bacon cheese burger came with the pleasant surprise of onion rings in addition to French fries. The burger was also nicely cooked with just the right amount of juice, and it was sandwiched nicely between crisp, toasted buns. Although the bacon was less flavorful and too crispy, the cheese, tomato, and lettuce were wonderful embellishments. In terms of pricing, with a total cost of $17 for the meal, Clark’s is the most expensive of the three diners even when just ordering a normal lunch meal. Despite its shortcoming in both pricing and location, Clark’s had the highest quality food and most appealing space resulting in the diner receiving 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Natan Misak CROWDED AT CLARK’S: Clark’s Restaurant will always attract customers.

Art Review

Phoebe Mirman

ISLAMIC ART: One of many new rooms in the Met showing off Islamic Art, an new exhibit that opened November 1st. in 15 galleries arranged to the art in that gallery. by time period and Individual plaques next geographic location. This to each piece also explain way, the visitor can see the origin and relevance Iranian art and artifacts of the piece to the period from the Medieval and place in which it was period, for example, in made. one gallery and Islamic The hope of Sheila influenced Indian art of Canby, the curator in the eighteenth century in charge of the department another. of Islamic art at the Met, The purpose of the is to overturn prejudice exhibit is to educate the with beauty. public of Islamic culture “There is a great and its vast history. The potential for changing plaques on the wall of people’s opinions, and the each gallery summarize reason is that we provide the history applicable a lot of information that is

historical, so people have an opportunity to come to a neutral space where there is no political point of view,” said Ms. Canby, in an interview with Payvand News of Iran. Contrary to the viewer’s expectation of seeing only paintings in an art exhibition, the new Islamic art galleries showcase a wide array of utilitarian objects, allowing me, as a viewer, to more fully understand ancient Islamic life. The artists included detailed design and decoration in their creations that were used daily. The beauty and inventiveness of their art is shown in carpets, jewelry, glassware, ceramics, weaponry, and the religious books on display. I found the most

fascinating part of the exhibit was the extensive number of extremely old Qur’ans on display. To me they were able to epitomize just the amount of Islamic history that one document can contain, while also being intricately designed and extremely beautiful to look at. Only fragments of some of the books are still in existence and the Met is fortunate to have a portion of one of the oldest Qur’an manuscripts. It was made in the late eighth to early ninth century in Syria on parchment that has survived for approximately 1,200 years. Before it made its way to New York City, it is believed to have been taken along the Silk Road from North Africa and then to St. Petersburg,

Russia in 1868 where it became part of the Russian National Library. The Met has also undertaken a comprehensive program to accompany the new galleries. In addition to the ubiquitous audio guides, the Met is presenting musical performances, lecture series and panels, guided gallery talks, films, and family, teen, and teacher programs. At virtually any time during the day or evening, there is some event in which to participate. The museum is open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., and Sunday, 12:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., and is located at 5th Avenue and East 83rd Street in Manhattan.



7 A.M. Sweat-Fest

Squash Schedule and Results

Squash Popularity Leads to Early Morning Practices BY SHANNON RHODES At 7:00 Thursday morning, it’s normal for members of the squash team to hear the squeaking of their shoes against the floor and the ping of racquets as they smash the ball into the white wall. A few mornings every week, players from the varsity boys and newly-created varsity girls squash teams arrive at nearby Eastern Athletic Club before school starts for an intense workout. This year, the squash team is carrying 34 players with a girls team and a separate boys team, which is split into three different squads: an A team, a B team, and a developmental team. Due to the large roster with wide ranges of skill, court space is limited and early morning practices are necessary so that most team members can practice at least three times a week. The developmental team only works out twice a week. Some members of the developmental team were originally reluctant to commit to early morning practices. “At first I thought it was really bad, but it’s not that bad because you get woken up pretty quickly,” said Peter Simotas (’15). Coach Maura Bisogni is surprised at how smoothly everything is running. She is also really excited about the addition of the girls team.


PRACTICE AT EASTERN: The varsity girls squash team prepares for their inaugural season at the Eastern Athletic Club. The girls roster currently has eight players, with one player serving an alternate. The gender division made complete sense to Coach Bisogni. “It gets more girls involved in playing. Even now as the boys team gets better and better their numbers limit the amount of girls who can play on that team to two or three, keeping less girls from participating. It also takes away from the boys,” said Coach Bisogni. Maddie Fraser (’13), an athlete who is starting her second year on the team, conveyed her exhilaration for the upcoming girls season. She had reservations about previously matching

up against boys. “Some of the time it was good practice but I felt I couldn’t contribute to the team because of the obstacle of playing boys. They definitely have different styles and tend to hit it really hard,” said Maddie. Both Maddie and Coach Bisogni believe the girls team will be strong. “Maddie Fraser (’13), Keegan Mendez (’13), Helen Bernhard (’15), and Hope Johnson (’13) are a great core. We play with a seven person ladder and we need four people to win their matches in order to win the meet. Those four are strong players and we have Phoebe Mirman (’12) who is a captain

Hispanic Games Ivy Meet #3


@ Poly Prep L 1-6

Vs. Spence W 7-0

Vs. Horace Mann W 4-3

Vs. Poly Prep W 5-2

@ Riverdale W 6-1

Vs. Chapin W 4-3

@ St. Ann’s 12/14

@ Brearly 12/14

Vs. Friends Seminary 1/10/12

Vs. Pingry 1/9/12

Vs. Riverdale 1/11/12

Vs. Friends Seminary 1/10/12

Vs. Trinity 1/13/12

Vs. Riverdale 1/11/12

@ Street Squash 1/20/12

@ Spence 1/13/12

Girls Basketball Schedule and Results

Indoor Track Schedule and Results Ivy Meet #2

with a ton of experience. We are really looking for people to fill out the last three spots,” said Coach Bisogni. The varsity girls squash team is testing out a new schedule. The Athletic Association of Independent Schools (AAIS) is starting a league and the girls will compete against certain schools that have genderseparated teams, such as Poly Prep. At the end of the season, the team will compete at High School Nationals March 3. Their season opened Nov. 30 with a win against Spence (7-0), and the varsity boys will compete in their first match against Poly Prep Dec. 12.



@ Trevor Day (Dalton Invitational)

L 28-39

@ Calhoun School (Dalton Invitational)

L 17-43

1/04/12 1/09/12

Vs. Martin Luther High School

@ Columbia Preparatory

Millrose Game Trials

L 22-30 L 49-52


NYC Half Marathon


NYC Mayor’s Cup Championship


@ Léman Manhattan Preparatory School Vs. St. Ann’s

Vs. Chapin

W 34-29 1/4/12 1/6/12


Servin’ it Up


Ping Pong a Hit with Students

BY JOSH BREWER Throughout the year, some dedicated students constantly find themselves in the Atrium Overlook playing what some may call “the most competitive game in Packer.” Of course, they are talking about Ping-Pong. Ever since the tables arrived during the 20082009 school year, students have flocked to them in hopes of relieving stress, playing a competitive game, or just wasting time. “I love the competition. I’m really competitive and I want to be the best. I play PingPong about once a day. Personally, I think it helps me academically. I go up there during my frees and get a lot of stress out,” said Oliver Wade (’13). While some students have quit since their freshman year, several others have played for years in hopes of becoming the best in the school. It is a sport that attracts students from all grades, and there’s usually someone playing on the tables every period. In response to the game’s popularity, Student Council held a tournament in 2009 which included 49 student and faculty participants. The tournament was won by William Douglass (’13). Even after the tournament, students continued to use the ping pong tables as a gathering.

BRENDAN STURM PING PONG=STRESS RELIEF: George Platt (‘15) and Cameron Ewan (‘15) take advantage of table tennis during a free period. This year there is an “Intramural PingPong Association” which consists of 12 players battling to become the top player in the school. The league, which started Nov. 17, runs through the rest of the year and will include an “all-star week” as well as a bracket-style tournament to determine the champion. Most players acknowledge that the best players in the school are William, Oliver, Brandon Ortiz (’14), Nicky Bowe

(’13), and Michael Kerr (’12). The next tier of players consists of Hope Johnson (’13), Fletcher Sherrod (’14), and Alex Popovic (’12). “It’s a very satisfying way to spend my time at Packer. If I’m feeling stressed for a day, I can really take it out on somebody. It allows for a lot of competition… [Ping-Pong] is a nice way to close out the day with a little stress release,” said Michael. While some enjoy Ping-Pong because of the

competition, others find more reasons to play. Fletcher, for example, is a varsity baseball player and he sees a correlation between Ping- Pong and baseball. “It helps you keep your hand eye coordination up to par which, in my point of view, helps me be a better hitter,” said Fletcher. “I’ve been playing since 7th grade every single day,” said Brandon. “It’s just really fun, I guess. I don’t know why, I just find it really fun.

Rising to New Heights

Five Pelicans Selected to NY Post All-Brooklyn Tea BY JOSH BREWER After leading their respective teams to their championship games, forward Mikey Savino (’12) and midfielders Shannon Rhodes (’12) and Jake Shapiro (’13) were named to The New York Post’s AllBrooklyn soccer team. Angus MacIntyre (’12) and Keegan Mendez (’13) received honorable mentions. Shannon and Keegan helped lead the varsity girls team to their second straight championship game during which

they lost to archrival St. Ann’s 1-0 in a shootout. Shannon scored 32 goals this season, falling one goal shy of setting the school record. Keegan added 30 goals, marking the first time two players reached the 30-goal mark in the same season. “I was excited to make The New York Post All-Brooklyn team this year, especially as a junior,” said Keegan. “I feel that I had a successful season and I am happy to have been chosen.” “It’s always an honor

to receive an award from The Post. I just wish I could’ve secured the All-Brooklyn player of the year which is only given to league winners and players from teams that compete in the state tournament,” said Shannon. Mikey finished the season with 25 goals and received an invitation to play in the Mayor’s Cup while Jake added 20 goals and 20 assists to help pace the offense. The team lost the ACIS Championship to UNIS and fell to

Collegiate in the NYSAIS tournament. Angus, in his second year as the starting goalie, had eight shutouts. “I feel honored. I think it’s great that Packer athletics are getting more recognition. Hopefully we can continue this success,” said Jake. Jake, Angus, and Mikey were also all selected as ACIS AllStars while Keegan and Shannon were both chosen as AAIS All-Stars.

[I play] any time I get a chance. [I play] about six times a week plus sometimes after school. It’s more of just a relaxing game to play whenever I get the chance.” Others enjoy the game because you can play all throughout the year. “It’s a great way to move around in the school especially because you can play at any time of the day; it doesn’t have to be nice out or anything and it’s a great sport,” said Nicky.

The Ping-Pong tables were first installed in the 2008-2009 school year The tables where replaced in the 2009-2010 school year with heavier, more durable ones because the old ones couldn’t handle the constant use. “As a department, we thought that [ping pong] would be a great idea and eventually ended up with four [tables], two in the Middle School and two in the Upper School,” said Chair of the Physical Education Department Pippa Mayell. “I think it’s become a great place for students to relax. It’s fun to have some way to be active in their free time. I think it’s a good place for new, incoming students to get into the mix, and an informal way for students and teachers to mix,” said Ms. Mayell. On occasion, students may be surprised to see teachers and faculty members playing. Head of School Bruce Dennis, English Teacher Peter Melman, Assistant Head of School Bill Knauer, all participated in Student Council’s tournament and have been spotted at the tables from time to time.



Who Let the Dogs Out?

Some of the Best Basketball in New York is Right Across the Street George Platt (’15) is an avid college basketball fan. However, he had no idea that Packer’s neighbor, St. Francis College, had a Division I basketball team. St. Francis is a member of the Northeast Conference (NEC), one of the 34 conferences in Division I. The ultimate winner of the conference championship receives an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Yes, The St. Francis College Terriers, a team that competes just steps from Packer, could be one of these 68 teams fortunate enough to participate in this tournament. Last season, a fellow Brooklyn school, Long Island University, which is located in Fort Green, represented the league in the field of 68 and gave powerhouse University of North Carolina a very tough game in the first round. St. Francis was competitive throughout the NEC regular season, finishing fifth out of 12

Terriers second-year Head Coach Glenn Braica coaches his star guard, sophomore Ben Mockford, in the team’s season opener vs. Seton Hall University. teams. This season the Terriers are a much younger team. However, early results this season have proven that talent is still present. “We are very young this season. We just want to get better each day and develop as a group. If we work hard and stay

focused we have a chance to be a good team,” said second-year Head Coach Glenn Braica. The inexperienced yet skilled team has already shown potential by coming dangerously close to knocking off Seton Hall University, a school belonging to the Big East Conference,

one of the best Division I conferences. The Terriers had control of the whole game, when a last second buzzer beater by Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore sent the game into overtime where they eventually prevailed 7571. Despite the high level of basketball, attending a

game at the campus’ Pope Physical Education Center offers entertainment for everyone. Tickets are very affordable (under $10) and are for general admission. This means that basketball fans who have always dreamed off sitting courtside at a game can now turn this dream into a reality and watch

the local Terriers right before your eyes. “I think watching these games could help me because they are at a much higher level than I’m currently at and it shows me the level that I would need to get at to further develop my game,” said Daniel Chin (’13). What makes college basketball really special is that teams have the strong support of the entire school community during games. Packer students have the opportunity come out and make a difference while supporting their local St. Francis Terriers. Coach Braica agreed that the added fan support could have a large effect on the team’s success and hopes to see more Packer students. For schedules, standings, results, statistics and everything else you need to know about St. Francis College basketball, visit

Sports Teams Swag Out Varsity Teams Don New Duds BY ANGUS CINTYRE


Each spring, the varsity boys baseball team walks, or rather struts, out of the dugout in Tampa, Florida for their preseason games. In the past this may have been due to excitement for the upcoming season, but more recently it may be attributed to the influx of new gear, from bats and helmets to warm-up sweatshirts and batting gloves. This flood of new sports apparel is not limited to the baseball team. Other teams, including the varsity boys soccer and basketball teams, as well as varsity girls cross country, soccer, basketball, and volleyball teams, are sporting new uniforms and gear. Some teams

The new pelican logo, which was created last year, is one of the many new initiatives by the Athletic Department. have also elected to take a step away from Packer’s traditional maroon and grey colors. The varsity boys soccer team’s new warm-ups are black. “I like to see it,” said Vincent Dudine (’15). “In any community, it’s important to have pride and camaraderie and support the players in

what they do. Having the gear is a positive way to say [athletes] are on a team and represent Packer.” Athletic Director Darrin Fallick was clear to make a distinction between gear (uniforms and equipment paid for by the school) and apparel (ordered and paid for by

the team). “Generally uniforms should get replaced every three years. So right now we’re working our way into a cycle so that every three years I will replace a large set of uniforms,” said Mr. Fallick. Apparel can range from team shoes or cleats to sweatshirts and warm-

ups. These purchases, which are billed to student accounts, help raise spirit, said Mr. Fallick. “[I want to] get kids excited about athletics again. If kids want to do something, I’m happy to facilitate it,” said Mr. Fallick. Some students say the new gear makes teams

appear more intimidating to opponents. Nick Morton (‘12) disagrees. “ I don’t think of it as an intimidation factor. I think a school might look at us and say ‘Oh, wow why can’t we get that?’ but not ‘oh, wow they must be good,’ because you obviously need to be good on the field,” said Nick. “The increase in apparel may be because of the success of the teams and the fact that people enjoy having their name on something. Getting new apparel could make a team feel more united,” said Shannon Rhodes..



SPORTS Master Hallmaster Marco Sylla Excels in Jiu Jitsu Over the summer, Hallmaster Marco Sylla took an intensive course in military-style Jiu Jitsu in New Jersey. Jiu Jitsu is a Japanese martial art in which one uses few weapons to defend oneself from an armed adversary in close combat. Over a week, Mr. Sylla learned to protect himself. Mr. Sylla said

forgot to wear his contact lenses, a move that made fighting hard as his opponent appeared as a blob. “I didn’t know where his hands were coming from. I was trying to figure out how to fight him. He upper cut me and then he came across my face. He beat my butt,” said Mr. Sylla.

NICK STRONG TOP OF THE MORNING: Mr. Sylla practiced Jiu Jitsu this summer. that this course was the most intense physical fitness he had ever done. “It still hurts. I think I need to go to a chiropractor,” said Mr. Sylla. Over the course of a day at the training camp, Mr. Sylla endured the rigor of intense fighting and beating without being able to use pain killers. He started his day as early as 5:30 a.m. to stretch. At 7:30 a.m., he completed a one-hour warmup routine, which consisted of rolls, lunges, and squats. He was allowed two breaks of ten minutes, which were followed by lunch at 11:30 AM. By 1:30 p.m., Mr. Sylla began punching and reviewed his lessons from the morning. Although there wasn’t much hitting in the first few days, after the third day, he was initiated into a full beating by some of the instructors. By 3:30 p.m., they were now at “full contact” and throwing punches. After a long day of work, Mr. Sylla typically went back to his room to prepare for the next day. One day Mr. Sylla

The Staff’s NBA Picks Josh Brewer, Editor-in-Chief


During one of the most physicallydemanding days, the instructors decided to complete their four rounds of punching in the morning rather than the afternoon. “You are not allowed to fight back. There were a lot of black eyes and one mild concussion,” said Mr. Sylla. Although he trained for 40 hours this summer, he has only reached Level 1 in the course. Mr. Sylla said that he would have an interest in taking on Level 2 next summer.


Billy Dudine, Managing Editor

Eastern Conference Standings: 1. Miami Heat 2. Chicago Bulls 3. Boston Celtics 4. Atlanta Hawks 5. New York Knicks 6. Orlando Magic 7. Philadelphia 76ers 8. New Jersey Nets

Eastern Conference Standings: 1. Chicago Bulls 2. Miami Heat 3. New York Knicks 4. Orlando Magic 5. Boston Celtics 6. Atlanta Hawks 7. Indiana Pacers 8. Milaukee Bucks

Western Conference Standings: 1. Los Angeles Lakers 2. Dallas Mavericks 3. San Antonio Spurs 4. Oklahoma City Thunder 5. Portland Trailblazers 6. New Orleans Hornets 7. Memphis Grizzlies 8. Phoenix Suns

Western Conference Standings: 1. Oklahoma City Thunder 2. Los Angeles Lakers 3. Dallas Mavericks 4. San Antonio Spurs 5. Memphis Grizzlies 6. Houston Rockets 7. Portland Trailblazers 8. Denver Nuggets

Playoffs: Heat over Bulls (Eastern Conference Finals) Lakers over Mavericks (Western Conference Finals) Lakers over Heat (NBA Finals)

Playoffs: Heat over Bulls (Eastern Conference Finals) Thunder over Lakers (Western Conference Finals) Heat over Thunder (NBA Finals)

Most Valuable Player: Kevin Durant (OKC)

Most Valuable Player: Kevin Durant (OKC)

Rookie of the Year: Kemba Walker (CHA)

Rookie of the Year: Derrick Williams (MIN)

All-NBA First Team: Derrick Rose (CHI) Kobe Bryant (LAL) Lebron James (MIA) Kevin Durant (OKC) Dwight Howard (ORL)

All-NBA First Team: Derrick Rose (CHI) Dwyane Wade (MIA) Lebron James (MIA) Kevin Durant (OKC) Dwight Howard (ORL)

Gabi Weintraub, Sports Editor

William Douglass, Reporter

Eastern Conference Standings: 1. Miami Heat 2. Chicago Bulls 3. New York Knicks 4. Atlanta Hawks 5. Boston Celtics 6. Indiana Pacers 7. New Jersey Nets 8. Orlando Magic

Eastern Conference Standings: 1. Boston Celtics 2. Miami Heat 3. Chicago Bulls 4. New York Knicks 5. Atlants Hawks 6. New Jersey Nets 7. Philadelphia 76ers 8. Detroit Pistons

Western Conference Standings: 1. Los Angeles Lakers 2. Oklahoma City Thunder 3. Dallas Mavericks 4. Denver Nuggets 5. Memphis Grizzlies 6. Los Angeles Clippers 7. San Antonio Spurs 8. Golden State Warriors

Western Conference Standings: 1. Oklahoma City Thunder 2. Dallas Mavericks 3. Los Angeles Lakers 4. San Antonio Spurs 5. Los Angeles Clippers 6. Memphis Grizzlies 7. Portland Trailblazers 8. Houston Rockets

Playoffs: Heat over Knicks (Eastern Conference Finals) Thunder over Nuggets (Western Conference Finals) Thunder over Heat (NBA Finals)

Playoffs: Celtics over Heat (Eastern Conference Finals) Thunder over Mavericks (Western Conference Finals) Celtics over Thunder (NBA Finals)

Most Valuable Player: Derrick Rose (CHI)

Most Valuable Player: Kevin Durant (OKC)

Rookie of the Year: Derrick Williams (MIN)

Rookie of the Year: Ricky Rubio (MIN)

All-NBA First Team: Derrick Rose (CHI) Dwyane Wade (MIA) Kevin Durant (OKC) Blake Griffin (LAC) Dwight Howard (ORL)

All-NBA First Team: Deron Williams (NJ) Dwyane Wade (MIA) Lebron James (MIA) Kevin Durant (OKC) Dwight Howard (ORL)



Professional Sports Column: NBA Lockout Special Basketball’s Finally Back, But What Took So Long? BY GABI WEINTRAUB This past month, the sports world was filled with stories that included some of the worst, most demoralizing conflicts that I can ever remember in one month of news. There were childmolestation accusations in two prestigious universities, professional football players stomping on each other, and multimillionaire basketball players and owners disputing how they should fairly distribute billions of dollars of revenue. Bad news to say the least. Well, thankfully one of those dilemmas has been solved. The NBA Players Association, lead by Union-Head Billy Hunter and Lakers Guard Derek Fisher, finally agreed to a deal with NBA Commissioner David Stern and the rest of the owners that included a shortened 66 game season (usually 82 games) to begin on Christmas Day. Coincidence? I think not. Basketball on Christmas was always inevitable, whether it be 50 days into the season or its tipoff. Which ties it all back to the originally issue; everything has to

do with money. For 149 long days, the players and owners acted as selfish as they wanted to as they “negotiated,” while completely ignoring the sense of urgency and deprivation felt by the rest of the world.

“Basketball on Christmas was always inevitable, whether it be 50 days into the season or its tipoff. “ After many months of negotiations, Union-Head of the Players Association Billy Hunter and NBA They didn’t care Commisioner David Stern finally agreed to a new deal to start the season. about the unemployed of dollars that they already the negotiating process was then, or never. However, for whatever arena employees or profit from. I had lost so both sides took the The main question self-seeking reason, the the sports bars and much hope in this foolish approach of “us vs. them,” that I’ve heard many NBA didn’t feel a sense of memorabilia shops and unnecessary war that and “we’re going to people ask is why couldn’t urgency until the holiday surrounding arenas that I strongly doubted an stand our ground and not they just negotiate earlier? season rolled around, made their profits before NBA season. give in.” In the end this After hearing this debated well into the “supposed” and after NBA games. This is where it all approach could only go so by experts, analysts and start of the NBA season. Most importantly, they comes back to that issue far. The NBA was going fans, the only plausible I may have been tortured didn’t care about the of money. Families watch to need a minimum of answer is that they simply throughout all 149 days, basketball-deprived fans football on Thanksgiving, four weeks after agreeing did not care. When the but all I can do now is be forced to watch hockey baseball on July 4, and to a deal before they NFL was locked out, thankful that there is at for two months out of basketball on Christmas. could start their season. they finally felt a sense of least some portion of the pure boredom. Instead, The NBA couldn’t afford And you guessed it; they urgency weeks before the season, look forward to their priority was to risk to miss their lucrative agreed to a deal just over season was supposed to the opening games, and potentially cancelling a television package on four weeks before Dec. begin and finally agreed get ready to feel like a kid full year of basketball just Christmas Day. Despite 25. Christmas was the to a deal that would on Christmas morning, to fight for an extra one or the fact that throughout NBA’s “doomsday.” It start the season on time. literally. two percent of the billions

In a League of Our Own: December Edition BY PRISM STAFF After 13 weeks of tough matchups, trash talking, and intense football, the playoffs of The Prism’s fantasy football league are set to begin (as of week 14). Team Dudine, managed by Managing Editor Billy Dudine (’12), won the regular season championship by finishing 9-3. Led by San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers, who averaged 15 points per week despite leading the NFL with 21 turnovers, Team Dudine had finished the season on a high note. As the top seed in the playoffs, he will take on Team Tombline, led by Physical Education Teacher Russell Tombline, in round one.

Queens We Out, managed by Editor-inChief Josh Brewer (’12) was able to capture the West Division by finishing 7-5 with a 5-1 record against the division. Green Bay Packers quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers averaged 26.2 points per week for the West champions as they were able to claim the number two seed. Queens We Out will take on Randolph’s Raiders, managed by Spanish Teacher Rashad Randolph in the first round. Randolph’s Raiders feature Denver Broncos makeshift quarterback Tim Tebow. Since he came into the league, Tebow has averaged 11.3 points

per week. The powerful trio of runningbacks Arian Foster, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Willis McGahee have supplied a total 562 points, the most in the league at that position. The team also scored the most total points in the league with a whopping 1232. Student Council President Lucas Slevin’s (’12) team did not manage a win in the regular season, and finished with a 0-12 record. Team Slevin looked to quarterback Tom Brady for offensive assurance, but the team was significantly plagued by injuries with three players on the injured reserve and several others out for many weeks. Team Slevin was the only team

to not reach the 1000 point plateau. The upcoming playoffs will last for four weeks total with two weeks dedicated to each round. #1 seed Team Dudine will take on #4 Team Tombline and #2 Queens We Out faces #3 Randolph’s Raiders. The winner of each matchup will then meet in weeks 16 and 17 to decide the ultimate champion of The Prism’s first annual fantasy football league.

Taking Flight

Young team starts 2-0 start in ACIS

Ethan Feldman (‘14) drives against Dalton’s Idris Brewster (‘12). Packer, who took second place at the Dalton Invitational Tournament, won their first league game against Berkley Carroll Friday, Dec. 9. Ethan scored 25 points and Daniel Chin (‘13) had 21 rebounds. Ethan also scored the winning basket in a Dec. 12 game against Dwight. DATE


12/15/11 Browning 01/04/12 Brooklyn Friends 01/06/12 St. Ann’s 01/10/12 Little Red Elizabeth Irwin 01/11/12 Staten Island Academy 01/13/12 United Nations Int’l 01/23/12 Dwight 01/27/12 Brooklyn Friends



02/01/12 02/02/12 02/03/12 02/08/12 02/10/12 02/11/12 02/14/12 02/15/12 02/17/12

Staten Island Academy Berkeley Carroll St. Ann’s Martin Luther United Nations Int’l Masters School Friends Seminary Columbia Prep Trinity

December 2011  

The December edition of The Prism

December 2011  

The December edition of The Prism