The Pharcyde asks Student Council to take advantage of their respect Opinion Page 6
4875 Grandiflora Road, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Students question restricted Edline use
“Hookah Me Up”
Long-time teachers and faculty share their fondest TBS memories Spotlight Pages 10-11
October 6, 2010
Students discuss the tobacco trend that is popular among students The Scene Page 15
50th Anniversary Celebration brings current, past communities together Students of all ages, faculty, parents, and alumni all joined together on the Upper School Campus on Oct. 2 for the first event in a series of 50th Anniversary Celebration activities. n
By Riley Burke Staff Writer
Administrators plan to implement Edline, an online program for communicating and processing grades, before the end of the first term; yet, some students are baffled that the school will not give them access. Edline, which the school licensed in August, will let teachers easily export information from GradeQuick, the school’s electronic gradebook, in the form of a progress report that parents can access via the website. “We want to implement Edline to provide a more efficient way of communicating grades and progress reports to parents,” Head of the Upper School Jay Selvig said. “One of the challenges has been that we’ve posted grades on the school’s webpage, but that’s a process that takes 24 to 36 hours. This would be much faster and less cumbersome for all.” Mr. Selvig specified, however, that students and parents will not be able to log in and see grades. He said, “Going into a teacher’s grade book is not going to be an option available. We want to evaluate Edline before we give students access to it.” Currently, students can check their grades only on midquarter progress reports and report cards unless they request to see them from their teacher. Sophomore Kali Chaplin said she does not understand why she will not be allowed to check her grades online. “It just does not make sense to me because it can only benefit our school careers,” she said. “Also, we will think more about our final grades and what we can do to raise them. It will give us motivation to improve our grades.” While some students think having access to Edline would improve their grades, others think differently. “I don’t know if it would improve my grades, but I think it would give me a better understanding of where I am in the class,” freshman Tres Pimentel said. Freshman Alec deFabrique, who is new to Benjamin and See Edline Page 2
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
Left: A little Buccaneer holds his bear he made at the bear-making station. Above: Mayor of North Palm Beach William Manuel gives Head of School Mr. Goldberg proclamation that Oct. 2 is officially The Benjamin School Day.
By Hunter Toro News Editor
On Saturday, Oct. 2, the Upper School campus hosted the 50th Anniversary Kick-Off Celebration. The celebration was a carnival-like event with booths and activities that took place between 2 and 5 pm. With activities like pingpong, chess, laser tag, remote control car races, a live band
and dance floor, a bounce house, a car show, balloon animals and other booths, junior Meredith Anderson found it impossible not to enjoy herself. She said, “The event has been so fun. My favorite part today was the guy who got inside of a huge red balloon and he danced and then he proceeded to put his entire head in the balloon. It was really cool.”
Students and adults alike understood and appreciated the significance of the 50th anniversary. Chorus member, senior Zak Kemp, said, “The 50th Anniversary is really important to me because it’s celebrating a tradition of honor, respect and excellence at Benjamin. I’m really honored to be able to sing the Alma Mater and to honor Mrs. Benjamin and the whole
Benjamin community.” Director of Student Services Dr. Amy Taylor, said, “There are few times in a school’s history when you can reach a 50 year mark. Being here for 28 years myself, this is a very exciting point in the history of the school. I’m excited to see it all come together at the Kickoff See 50th Page 3
TBS, Kenyan students conference via Skype
Three on-campus clubs have organized multiple meetings with Kenyan students to discuss issues of water resources and plan to eventually propose a bill to the United Nations. n
By Austin Matese Staff Writer
One week ago last Saturday, eight students talked face to
face with a group of 30 Kenyan students; however, the Kenyan students were not in America. They were 7,939 miles away
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
The students projected their skype conference on a screen.
using Skype, a video chat software. The Benjamin students, who sat in front of a web cam, consisted of members of The Global Outreach Club, The Environment Club and the Environmental Science course. The Benjamin students, one alumnus and several current and former faculty members in the Global Student Summit (GSS) came to the Upper School library to work with Kenyan students to address water quality and water sustainability issues. The Kenyan students, who participated, attend Ebusiloli, Essaba and Mwituha High Schools in Bunyore, Kenya. Together the students ultimately want to submit a proposal to the UN in hopes of improving water sustainability
internationally. In total, eight conferences, four of which will be video, will take place over the course of this year. The first Skype conference started out with minor technical difficulties, but after they were resolved, it “was an incredible experience” said participating senior, Eliza Williams. She added, “I was almost embarrassed when one boy asked me how we retrieve water, and I had to answer that we don’t.” The Kenyan students took a 45-minute journey from three different parts of Africa to access Skype. The GSS will meet on Saturdays for an hour and thirty minutes and hopes to create a bond through interacting visually. See Kenya Page 2
October 6, 2010
Former teacher, student bring Kenyan issues to TBS From Kenya Page 1 President of the Environmental Club Raquel Bicknell said, “The Skyping conference with the students from Kenya was really eye-opening and really made me think about how privileged we are to always have such a massive amount of water.” One goal of the summit is to educate the individuals associated with the summit about “sensitivity to the living conditions of people in other parts of the world, particularly Kenya,” said Mr. Cummings, a former teacher who was one of the initators of the GSS.
“Benjamin students will make some valuable contributions.” - David Watterson, TBS graduate Another goal is that the Benjamin team wants to make students become more aware of local water resources by visiting
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
Teacher Mr. Bruce Huber and students introduce themselves to their Kenyan counterparts.
Lake Okeechobee. The summit strives to encourage students to create positive change locally as well as internationally. The GSS Campaign Plan says the GSS wants “to empower participants to realize their ability to promote and affect positive change in their community, nation, and world.” The final goal is to involve the governments of different nations and create polices that
promote sustainable water usage. The GSS realizes that the Kenyan students are not the only ones suffering from the lack of sustainable water. This is why GSS wants to apply pressure on world officials to take action about water sustainability. The GSS is going to submit a bill to the United Nations, United States’ Congress and Kenyan
government. This summit is being sponsored in part by the Kijana Educational Empowerment Initiative, which was started by Mr. Cummings. According to the organization’s website, the purpose of the Initiative is to “promote and cultivate youth empowerment through educational development, crosscultural dialogue and environ-
mentally friendly economic growth.” Mr. Cummings and David Watterson, a 2004 graduate of TBS, went on a mission trip to South Africa through The World Challenge in the summer of 2003. Later, when Mr. Watterson attended The Clinton School, he was required to do a graduate project outside of the country for ten weeks to obtain a masters degree in public service. Mr. Cummings convinced Mr. Watterson to use the Kijana Educational Empowerment Initiative for his project. So together they developed the Summit, and Mr. Watterson said, “We decided to involve Benjamin students because we believe they will make some valuable contributions to the program and know from my own experience as a former Benjamin student that it’s easy to become insulated in our beautiful corner of the world.” Mr. Watterson wants the students in this organization to understand what Margaret Mead, an American cultural anthropologist, meant when she stated, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Students rally for full access to Edline program From Edline Page 1 used Edline at All Saints Catholic School, said he misses seeing his grades. “It gave me a chance to look at my grades after a test, so when a report card came out I already knew what I was receiving so that way there were no surprises,” he said. Teachers have split opinions regarding this program. “I think giving the students the ability to access their grades would be beneficial,” social sciences teacher Mr. Wesley Logsdon said. English teacher Mrs. Mary Alice Ditaranto expressed some doubts. “I think monitoring grades too closely can cause a lot of stress or can make students feel too confident and not realize that they still need to work diligently until the end of the quarter,” she said. “The problem is that some quiz grades may be only a few points, and then one poor major test grade can throw off an average before the end of the quarter.” Mrs. Ditaranto said parents’ access to Edline can cause unnecessary worrying. “Parents can over-react before giving their kid the chance to improve,” she said. “That’s the only part I do not like about it. If grades are monitored too
closely there can be panic. I make sure that I give students opportunities to make mistakes and recover.” Mrs. Aimee Franklin, parent of junior Wesley and freshman Abigail, favors letting students see their grades. “Benjamin is really good because you can find out what the grades are eight times a year, so you do know what your kid
“Near the end of each quarter my parents always ask me how my grades are and most of the time I do not have an answer for them,” she said. “Allowing us to check our grades
regularly will be a way for the parents to stay active in the student’s school life.” Mr. Selvig said he has not closed the door to students’ access of Edline.
“Because it is a new program for us, we want to evaluate it thoroughly and try to use it to everyone’s best advantage,” he said.
“I think it would give me a better understanding of where I am in the class.” - Tres Pimentel, freshman is up to,” she said. “But still, I think Edline is a good tool of knowledge not only for the parents, but for the kids. They can go and actually see what their average is.” Parents, as well as students, will benefit from Edline, Chaplin said.
Student report card, reprinted with permission
With the use of Edline, the process by which reports are put online will be more efficient.
October 6, 2010
50th Kickoff celebration a success despite rain From 50th Page 1
celebration.” Not only did the kickoff provide a day for fun, but it also served as a time for bonding. Senior Frank Cunningham said, “This was a great way to kickoff the celebration for the 50th anniversary this year. It was a great way to bring the school together as one. Since the campuses have been separated, we haven’t really had the community feel. But with this, it feels like a community, each campus coming back as one.” Sharing this same idea, se-
nior Bryan Doane said, “It’s really a great opportunity to get the whole school together.”
“Rain does not stop Benjamin fun.” - Brett Rosenthal, senior Junior Jamie Corey said, “The Kickoff really captured the Benjamin spirit. Everyone of all different ages came
together.” While most of the booths were for entertainment, some were to better the community. The Stack the Caps booth and the Build a Benjamin Bear booth both raised money for different benevolent causes. Stack the Caps decorated and sold different hats to raise money for children with cancer. And for ten dollars at the Benjamin Bear booth, people could build a bear that wore a Benjamin shirt. The ten dollars goes to the new Memorial Scholarship Fund at Benjamin.
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
Lower School students watch the band play with their bear from the Benjamin bear station.
The weather proved to be the only problem at the event. But, the general consensus of people was that the rain could not ruin the day. Sophomore Dean Sandquist
“The Kickoff really captured the Benjamin spirit.” - Jamie Corey, junior said, “Although it rained, it was still very fun and festive for all of the families at the school. Rain did not deter us.” Senior Brett Rosenthal said, “Rain does not stop Benjamin fun.” Similarly, Head of School Mr. Goldberg said, “I don’t think this 50th anniversary kickoff could have gone any better. Even the rain didn’t undermine us. Everybody stayed right through the rain storm which is a real symbol of the commitment and loyalty that our families have to this school.” At four pm, the most significant part of the celebration began, the Cake Ceremony. At the Ceremony a balance of students and adults came together to honor the 50th anniversary with the student performances of the Benjamin Dazzlers, drum line and chorus, followed by speeches from the adult speak-
ers. After the speeches and performances, a giant cake was lit, confetti cannons were set off, and free cupcakes were passed around to all of those watching the ceremony. Mr. Goldberg said, “The Cake Ceremony was fantastic. We got to bring up people who were very important to the school for many years and who made a big difference to where we are today in 2010. As far as I’m concerned, this event was an A+, a 10, absolute perfection.” The Cake Ceremony was a presentation to the founder of the school and the guest of honor, Mrs. Benjamin. She said, “I thought it was a wonderful celebration and there were so many former students, it warmed my heart. “ Dr. Taylor explained that there will be many more ongoing celebrations this year in terms of the celebration of the 50th anniversary. She said, “The next [event] is a golf tournament that we hope will bring some alumni back to the campus. In November there will be a Veteran’s Day celebration in honor of Benjamin alumni who have served in the armed forces. The Variety show in January will have a 50th Anniversary theme. And, there will be a closing ceremony where we bury a time capsule and plant trees.” Head of the Performing Arts Department Mrs. Sara Salivar said, “I think [everyone has] a lot to look forward to; it’s going to be a really great year.”
Clubs use Facebook content contract to uphold images
The three most prestigious Benjamin organizations - The National Honor Society, Student Council, and Honor Council - have adopted a contract to monitor the character of members’ behavior or online posting outside of school. n
By Laura Barry Features Editor
The National Honor Society, Honor Council, and Student Council are asking their members to sign a contract stating that they will remove compromising pictures of themselves from the Internet. In its August 2010 issue, The Pharcyde published an editorial that called for members of the school’s prestigious organizations specifically, and other groups more generally, to end the Internet display of photos that depict illegal activities. The Pharcyde created a contract in order to put an end to the flaunting of illegal weekend activities. The National Honor Society, Honor Council, and Student Council have all contacted The Pharcyde and requested to use the contract for their own organizations in order to maintain the organizations’ integrity. Senior Emily Kochman, Honor Council president and National Honor Society secretary, said, “The contract idea presented by The Pharcyde came at the perfect time for Honor Council. We have been talking about ways to make sure that both the legitimacy and the integrity of the Council are
upheld by its members, and the contract ensures just that.” When it comes to enforcing the contract, Kochman thinks it will be relatively easy for the Honor Council because of the size of the organization and the students’ level of integrity. She said, “I plan on using the honor code to enforce the contract. Each person is on his or her honor to keep his or her Internet life appropriate. If I see or find out that the members are not abiding by the contract, then it will be handled accordingly. I have confidence in the fact that once the contracts are signed, the Honor Council members will comply to its fullest extent.” Kochman also said that The National Honor Society’s reasons for implementing the contract are similar to the reasons of Honor Council. She said, “The officers really want to make sure that the members understand that being on NHS is as much of a responsibility as it is an honor. We want the rest of the student body to see that the members don’t stop caring once they are inducted into NHS. It will be hard to enforce the contract because of the number of members, but we have already seen
[Facebook] profiles cleaned up and steps taken in the right direction in order to follow the contract. We expect full compliance and believe that everyone involved in the organization wants to adhere to the contract.” Student Council President, Henry Jamison said that all members of Student Council decided unanimously to take part in the contract. “We decided as a group it was something we wanted to do. Every member who is required to come to meetings (grade representatives, presidents and officers) signed it,” said Jamison. When asked how he planned on implementing the contract, Jamison said, “I am Facebook friends with all of the members and if I see anything inappropriate, I’ll be taking it to that person. If nothing improves, I’ll sit down with that person and the Student Council advisors and decide where to go from there.” Kochman spoke about both Honor Council and National Honor Society when she said, “The members know that they are being held to a higher standard, and they accept it because it is the reason they applied.
Members of both organizations are the role models of the school, and it is important that
the members take their Internet behavior as seriously as they take their in-school behavior.”
The Pharcyde created this contract as a result of its August 24 editorial which addressed the issue of students’ display of illegal activities through Facebook photo posting.
October 6, 2010
Gatewood resigns, administrators Pelican statue, plaque continue search to fill positions to be mounted on block By Hunter Toro News Editor
The administration has started interviewing new candidates for the position of Upper School English teacher after Mr. David Gatewood’s abrupt resignation from his teaching positions three weeks ago. Ms. Sara Misselhorn is now the new advisor of the yearbook replacing Mr. Gatewood in the position. On Monday, Sept. 15, Head of School Mr. Jay Selvig announced the departure of English teacher Mr. David Gatewood to a gym of stunned students during assembly. The only information disclosed was that he resigned for “personal reasons.” Now four of his classes are without a per-
Mr. David Gatewood
manent teacher, but administrators are searching to find a new teacher to fill his classes. Commenting on the hiring process, Mr. Selvig, said, “We are looking for a permanent sub at the moment. Ideally, it would be someone who has a couple of years of teaching experience, and someone who will fit in with the Benjamin community.” According to administrators, the job description is listed on the FCIS website and the TBS website and with two teacher recruiting agencies: Southern Teacher’s Agency, and Carney Sandoe Associates. Students have varying reactions from his departure. Hannah LaBovick, a freshman in one of Mr. Gatewood’s English classes, said, “Mr. Gatewood leaving was a big surprise. It has created tons of confusion for the classes he had. I was shocked that he left so suddenly.” Students also worry that a new teacher will not be able to fill Mr. Gatewood’s seven-year legacy at the school. LaBovick said, “I don’t think anyone can replace Mr. Gatewood. For the little time I had him, he seemed like a great teacher.” Similarly, sophomore DJ Pa-
one said, “I had Mr. Gatewood freshman and sophomore year. I think it will be pretty tough for a teacher to fill his shoes. I loved having him; there was just something about his teaching style. Mr. Gatewood was unique in the way he taught and graded and he was always there if you need help or an explanation on something we went over in class.” Freshman Gabriel Lama said, “I don’t think anyone could replace Mr. Gatewood’s humor and satirical manner or the way he taught.” The faculty is also reeling after the loss of their colleague. English teacher Mr. Simon Behan said, “Mr. Gatewood is a good friend of mine and so his loss has been a tough one to take. He was a prominent figure here at the school, one who influenced many people in a variety of ways, myself included. His sense of humor, his teaching style, and his passion for education will be sorely missed, but we at Benjamin and in the English Department will pull together and pick up where he left off.” Administrators hope to find a substitute as quickly as possible while still fulfilling the necessary requirements of a permanent teacher.
TBS Cheerleaders perform at Sun-Life By Will Sabayrac Opinions Editor
On Sunday, Sept. 20, the Benjamin Cheerleaders had the opportunity to travel to the home of the Florida Marlins, Sun-Life Stadium, and perform a routine before the start of the game.
“This was definitely an experience none of us will ever forget.” - Brenna Tiano,
season, but to them, this performance was something special. Junior Captain, Megan McCraney said, “It was such an amazing opportunity; we worked really hard putting a routine together for such a special event.” The team believes that this was a great opportunity to perform their routine in front of a large crowd and to bring exposure to the program. Tiano went on to say, “It was definitely the most spotlight we’ve ever had on us as a squad. We were video-taped up close and appeared on the big screen throughout our performance.” The girls say they have come
a long way since last season and are all excited to get going into the up-and-coming competitive year. The girls also say that they have become a strong unit as a team throughout the season thanks to their hard work. Commenting on the performance and on the team, sophomore squad member Sally Frankel said, “Not only did we do a great job, but we also had a lot of fun performing. After we finished, I felt extremely proud of what we had accomplished individually, and as a team.” Summing up the moment, Tiano said, “This was definitely an experience that none of us will forget.”
sophomore A Florida Marlins representative approached cheerleading coach Jessy Padon about performing at Sunday’s game against the Cubs. Naturally, the girls sprang into action. Sophomore cheerleader, Brenna Tiano said, “We put together a routine consisting of exciting stunts, high jumps, booty-poppin’ dance moves, and smiling faces.” The team members have been working hard to prepare for football games as well as the up and coming competitive
Photo courtesy of Maria McCraney
The team performed at the beginning of the Marlins game.
in Mr. Wissner’s memory
Mr. Wissner wanted to be reincarnated as a pelican, so administrators decided to place one on his favorite spot on campus in his memory. By Victoria Cribb Staff Writer
The ringing of jokes and one-liners such as “my nerd detector is going off”, has ceased, but the memory of Mr. Dan Wissner still lives on through the memories held by his students and colleagues. To commemorate Mr. Wissner’s 19 year service to Benjamin, administration is going to place a cast resin pelican statue on one of the plinths along the lake. The plaque will read, “In memory of our friend, colleague, and teacher extraordinaire, Dan Wissner. His sense of humor and concern for all are sorely missed.” Mrs. Phyllis Wissner, Chair of the Math Department, and their daughter Caron Martin said that Mr. Wissner had always wanted to be reincarnated as a pelican, so he could eat and sleep all day. Martin even goes on to physically compare the bird to her father, pointing out that both had a bald spot on their heads. Martin said, “Dad loved teaching to a “captive” audience, and having the pelican at the school will be like he’s still there.” Mrs. Wissner said, “After Mr. Wissner died, The Pharcyde interviewed me for their dedication issue to Mr. Wissner. I mentioned that he always loved pelicans and wanted to be incarnated as one when he died. So if you see a crazy pelican flying around, it’s probably Mr. Wissner. After reading that, several administrators thought it would be a great idea to have a pelican statue placed where Mr. Wissner always sat out in the sun.” Although he has been gone more than half a year, members of the community still have strong feelings about the impact Mr. Wissner left on them.“A school really needs someone like him—someone who can cheer you up by cracking one joke. After talking to
him you are able to put things in perspective. I can say that he made me a better teacher and parent because of the advice he gave me. He always knew the right advice to give,” said Mrs. Mary- Alice Ditaranto. Junior Jamie Burke, who had Mr. Wissner for AP U.S. History last year, said, “History isn’t the most exciting subject for me but it was the random comments that he made that made it exciting. He tried so hard to make everyone laugh and always put effort into his class.” A former student of Mr. Wissner, senior Frank Cunningham said, “Mr. Wissner was a great person and his memory lives on in all the students who he taught and touched in his own way. He will never be forgotten and will be forever loved by so many.” According to Mrs. Lola Arbazow, the school is waiting on the weather durable, marble pedestal as well as the plaque to arrive before administration will set a dedication date.
MATT MURRAY / Photo Editor
October 6, 2010
Digging through the trash; Uncovering the truth By Jared Fishman Co-Editor-in-Chief
Recent reports that custodians have been allegedly dumping recycling bins into the regular trash have raised concerns among students about how to make the system more efficient. Despite department head Mr. Jim Adle’s denials, students and school staff claim to have seen custodians emptying recycling bin contents into general trash bins on several separate occasions between spring 2009 and the end of this past August. Upper School assistant to Mr. Didsbury Ms. Lola Arbuzow said, “At least twice I’ve seen maintenance people after school when they come to collect the garbage take the paper recycle bin from my desk and throw it into the black general garbage bag. Both went to the same trash can.” Librarian Ms. Franci Jefferson and senior Ali Colclasure, vice-president of Environmental Club, both report witnessing similar incidents, at locations including the service area behind the gym and the school’s publications classroom. Mr. Juan Jaramillo, Cleaning Crew Supervisor, acknowledged that his own department’s shortcomings contribute to the speculation when he said, “It’s possible we’ve slipped in the past, but we have a short
In response to accusations about the recycling system at TBS, The Pharcyde explored the issue by talking to students, faculty and maintenance staff.
MATT MURRAY / Photograph Editor
period of time to clean up the building and sometimes when we see trash in the recycling bins, we don’t have the time to go through it and take it out. So yes it could end up just getting all thrown away.” These recycling problems, however, stem not just from a lack of custodial concern but
also from student indifference. Senior and Environmental Club member Rachel Fayne said, “If you put your trash in the recycling bin, maintenance has to sort through every bin on campus in order to actually recycle it because they can’t put the trash in the recycling load and
send it to get processed.” Explaining the larger implications of the misuse of the bins, Solid Waste Authority Recycling Manager Ms. Sandra Lees said, “If there is too much trash, it becomes impossible to pick out, and it will end up in the finished product at the re-
cycling mill, and it will not go through. Basically if we get an end product rejected at the mill we either bring it back and resort it again, or we have to put it in the landfill, which of course has the negative environmental impact and essentially negates the entire good done towards the recycling effort.” Green-conscious students believe that student misuse of the recycling bins comes simply out of laziness, and accordingly, senior Raquel Bicknell, president of Environmental Club, has plans to revamp the system in place and to implement a more active awareness program. Bicknell hopes her organization will increase recycling awareness and convenience. She said, “It’s not enough to just put anything into a recycling bin. We need to stress what actually goes in each bin. We want to have signs showing correct usage, and we’re going to have trash cans put next to every recycling bin so students don’t resort to ‘recycling’actual garbage just because it is convenient.” Ms. Lees stressed that a consistent reminder must be present for any scholastic program to be a success. She said, “Basically it’s got to be across the spectrum, all the teachers and [administrators] on board with it and promoting it on a day-today basis.”
Students, administrators react diversely to TBS bullying issues By Jenna Bernick Co-Editor-in-Chief
Following a recent assembly about the departure of a student who said she was bullied, both administrators and students have been rethinking their potential role in addressing the problem During a late September assembly, Head of Upper School Mr. Jay Selvig deferred all student announcements so that he and Dean of Students Mr. Jimmy Clark could address this recent incidence of bullying. They explained that a female junior left the school the week before and transferred to another high school because she had been bullied. Mr. Selvig spoke of how sad this situation was for the school, and Mr. Clark expressed both his personal disappointment with the situation as an alumnus and his professional determination as Dean of Students to end tolerance of bullying at Benjamin. This incident also directed the attention of the school community to the issue of bullying as a whole. In Mr. Clark’s speech, which he later told a Pharcyde reporter “was intended to be a kind of emotional speech,” he said that he would have a no-tolerance policy for issues of bullying. Although the girl who left and her alleged bully remained unnamed throughout the
speech, many students knew exactly who left and who the alleged bully was. So, in the following days, students were confused about how and why the bully was still at school. Three seniors and leaders in the school community went to Mr. Clark’s office to identify the bully. They figured that they had an obligation to bring this information to the Dean after his speech in assembly. However, the students felt his intial response was unsatisfactory. Mr. Clark had to tell the students that although they and probably many others knew who the bully was, the issue was much more complex than one of simply finding the culprit. Student accusations and rumors were not enough to expel a student, and an in-depth investigation would have to occur before administrators make a decision. One of the students who went to Mr. Clark, Student Council President Henry Jamison, feels strongly about this instance in particular but knows that the issue at hand reaches more people than just the girl who left and the student accused of bullying. Jamison said, “Like Coach Clark said, I don’t think bullies have a place at TBS. In terms of how the school is proceeding with the recent events, I’m definitely not thrilled. I know that the administration is pas-
sionate about making Benjamin a good place for everyone and wants something to be done, but the bureaucratic red tape that blocks them from taking immediate action is embarrassing. I just wish TBS had a more severe code of conduct in which bullies and the like were swiftly taken care of with the hand of justice.” In speaking to The Pharcyde, Mr. Clark clarified the intent of his speech. Although he outlined a no-
“We have an ongoing factgatherin process occuring and we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks or months.” - Mr. Jimmy Clark, Dean of Students tolerance policy in his speech, Mr. Clark now says that the policy he spoke of was his personal policy as the Dean of Students, but that he will not be the final judge in this case. Mr. Clark also clarified that the intent of his speech was not
only to address this one specific instance, but to make a bold statement about bullying in general. He said, “It’s the start of the school year and I wanted to make a very, very broad, big, forceful statement that we are not going to tolerate this.” Bullying is, according to Mr. Clark, very high up on his “totem pole” of misdemeanors. However, he also said that he can only recommend action to those administrators who will make the ultimate decision. “If I personally have enough evidence from whatever sources— testimony, documentation, et cetera, that harassment is going on, it will be my recommendation that the student in question is either suspended or dismissed,” he said. Despite these statements, students are still highly concerned about the situation, both in the context of this specific instance and about bullying occurring at Benjamin in general. Some peers said that the girl had already planned on leaving, while classmates echoed the administration’s passionate desire to see the alleged bully expelled. In an exchange of emails with a Pharcyde reporter, the girl who left the school asserted that although the bullying issue was one contributing factor to her departure, she had been wanting to leave the school
since freshman year for various social reasons unassociated with bullying. The bullying was the decision-maker. Senior class president Frank Cunningham believes that at this point, why she left or what the administration does is out of students’ hands and that students must now take a more direct role in the monitoring of student issues like bullying by their own initiative. Cunningham said, “The student body has to become a strong group of people. We have to get to the point where if we see [bullying], we have to stop it. Student Council, Peer Counseling: we have to become present in this school now.” Cunningham feels that it is up to the students to come forward with specific details about the alleged bully to help administrators come to a conclusion. “In the end,” he said, “it comes down to administrators and what they want to do, but we need to be the ones to give them the facts and the details to let them go through with this the right way, because if we don’t step up they can’t do anything.” Mr. Clark said, “What is ultimately done about it remains to be seen. We have an ongoing fact-gathering sort of process occurring and we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks or months.”
October 6, 2010
Cheers Back to Basics
Students and faculty can breathe again with the second new schedule.
The Pharcyde Jeers FWD: Send to All
The reinforced rule prohibiting student announcments has caused an email overload
Editorial The opinion of The Pharcyde
Think [too] Fast
When administrators look to solve issues quickly, they may overlook the simpler options. At the beginning of the school year, PharBlog.com reported on a change to the daily schedule which had caused a major uproar in the school community. The change, which affected block days—Wednesdays and Thursdays—removed the 30-minute break from the schedule completely, moved advisor period from before first period to in between first and second block, shortened lunch, and lengthened each block period, except the 45-minute one at the end of the day, by ten minutes. Students were not happy. Teachers were not happy. Since then, Head of Upper School Mr. Jay Selvig announced that the schedule would be changed again to one proposed by Mrs. Phyllis Wissner and her Multivariable Calculus class. Block day now starts with a block period, and advisor period occurs before split block. In an Aug. 22 Pharblog.com article, Mr. Selvig explained that we would try out the schedule and address any concerns as they arose. We, The Pharcyde, are satisfied that administrators took student and teacher opinion into consideration because, in the end, the schedule affects students and teachers most directly. However, the real issue lies in the decision-making process. The school community could have avoided four weeks of complaints and cha-
os with a different approach to the problem. Of course, administrators made the original change for a reason. In the Aug. 22 article, Mr. Selvig said, “A major factor in deciding was that people were treating advisor period as an option.” Students were simply not adhering to the schedule, and this is obviously something of concern for administrators; however, the way administrators dealt with this issue was backwards. This issue is more significant than the botched schedule itself. We are more concerned with the process than the decision. Why did school officials not work to enforce the current schedule rather than make drastic changes to an otherwise effective schedule? Sound familiar? Another change in policies at the beginning of this year was the new uniform skirt rule. The new change in length forced many girls to buy new skirts. Despite this drastic change and promises that this new rule would yield easier enforcement, skirts are still short. Once again, why could administrators not have worked on enforcement before making unnecessary changes? Of course, administrators are human too. They have big decisions to make and often have to make them quickly. People make mistakes; however, these two decisions follow a frightening pattern.
Administrators appear to be shying away from disciplining students. Feasible disciplinary solutions exist, but the school is choosing to create new, inconvenient rules and punish everyone for the offenses of a minority. The reasonable decision would have been to enforce the rules already in place and to have faith as an administration in their power. Granted, uniform discrepancies have and will always exist, but the daily schedule has been working well for years. Administrators need to reevaluate the way they address issues like these. We are looking to help the administration maintain its authority. Problem: Kids are skipping advisor and are often in the parking lot instead. Solution: Place a security guard in the parking lot. Extra cost? Perhaps. Less havoc? Definitely. Problem: Girls are disobeying uniform rules. Solution: Find a new punishment for disobeying the rules. It seems to many students that, instead of challenging students to live up to the school’s standards, administrators are avoiding enforcement and disciplinary action by creating new rules. We would hope that in a place such as The Benjamin School, our leaders would avoid taking what might appear to be the easy way out.
The Next Step for Student Council
Student Council has been organizing activities and charity events for years, but with the respect they have from the school community, they have the potential to take on and put their efforts towards some more serious school issues. Throughout their formulaic speeches, Student Council hopefuls habitually promise their dedication to the school and their fundamental desire to act as couriers of our ideas. Unfortunately, they typically act only as creators of our pajama-day perils and powderpuff rosters, and rarely as representatives of student opinion regarding more serious matters. Because we are challenged by dress code controversy, faulty block schedule changes, and unfair club proposal rejections, an elected group of respected individuals needs to step up to be the voice of the students. This is the role of Student Council. In the first line of a lengthy mission statement, the Benjamin website declares Student Council to be “the liaison between the students and the administration and faculty,” along with its other responsibilities as an organizer of student functions. It is time its members live up to the entirety of their stated mission.
Letter to the Editor
For the past few years, members of the student body have been fighting what is looking now to be an impossible fight: We have been trying to start a GayStraight Alliance. My sophomore year, there was a very strong and united senior class that took initiative in order to create a Gay-Straight Alliance club at Benjamin. The club was proposed with the intent of ensuring that students wouldn’t feel hopeless with issues pertaining to sexual orientation within the school community. The Class of 2009 initiated the effort through a petition to pass the club, a tie-dyed shirt demonstration, Day of Silence, and Pharcyde coverage. Since the graduation of that class, the efforts have been more subtle, but just as prevalent, in the community. And now, with an alarming amount of suicides in the nation due to the troubles many face because of their sexuality, this issue is clearly something we must address. Over the past few years, students have amended the club proposal several
Student Council does a fine job with its event coordination and spirit week management. However, the aptitude they demonstrate while executing their limited role begs the question of why they do not do more. Instead of observing a chaotic outcry every time an undesirable situation arises, Student Council needs to be the unilateral voice of its classmates’ discontent. Its members do not need to evaluate student opinion on every bothersome detail to determine that a broken water fountain should be fixed. However, when a clear instance of student aggravation emerges, they need to take action. A simple alternate proposal or letter of dissatisfaction would suffice. Members of Student Council are the recognized leaders of our campus. Elected by their peers, through popularity contest or not, they clearly have the potential to represent the student body more effectively. In addition to being the proud sponsor of homecoming times, each attempt appearing more futile than the last. The students have sounded off on the fact that we want this club at the school, and although many faculty and powerful administrators have voiced their desire for the club at the school, no changes have surfaced. I know I speak on behalf of my fellow students when I urge the school –administrators and board members alike – to reconsider its position on the issue. The proposed club, whose name has been changed from Gay-Straight Alliance to Allied in Pride, is the necessary next step in order to further the diversity efforts at The Benjamin School. The opportunities that Benjamin offers are endless, which is all the more of a reason why it would be a shame to see the club not get passed for the third year in a row. Financial implications must at some point be reconsidered when discussing the issues of human rights within a school which, in most other aspects, provides for its students. - Emily Kochman, Honor Council President, senior
themes, they also need to represent our opinions on issues of significant gravity. Yes, Student Council is a considerable force for good on our campus, given its members are responsible for enjoyable spirit weeks and charitable events. However, the reality is that providing us with a good time is simply not enough. Student Council is not failing us through its action, but rather through its inaction.
The Pharcyde Founded in 1980 as The Spectator
Editorial Board Jenna Bernick, Co-Editor-in-Chief Jared Fishman, Co-Editor-in-Chief Katie Schepps, Managing Editor Jeanelle Ackerman, News Editor Hunter Toro, News Editor Laura Barry, Features Editor Phil Staiman, Sports Editor Will Sabayrac, Opinions Editor Matt Murray, Photography Editor Olivia Loving, Copy Editor Olivia Campanella, Special Projects
Davina Dresbach, Meredith Berger, Victoria Cribb, Alana Dresner, Salvatore Tiano, Lauren Bernick, Ben Germano, Rachel Smith, Riley Burke, Austin Matese, Casey Pearce
Mr. Kendall Didsbury The Pharcyde, the Upper School Newspaper for The Benjamin School, is published seven times a year in August, October, November, January, February, April and May. Editorial offices are located at 4875 Grandiflora Road, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418. The phone number is 561-472-3485, and the fax number is 561-691-8823. The advisor can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com. The Pharcyde is a member of the Florida Scholastic Press Association, American Scholastic Press Association, and Columbia Scholastic Press Association, and the National Scholastic Press Asscociation. The Pharcyde solicits advertisements at the following rates: The price of a full page ad is $200.00/ issue.The price of a half page ad is $120.00/ issue. The price of a quarter page ad is $90.00/ issue. The price of a business card ad is $50.00/ issue. If you or anyone you know would like to place an ad in The Pharcyde, please contact Mr. Didsbury. *The editorials in this paper are the opinion of the writer and/or The Pharcyde staff as a whole. They are not the opinion of The Benjamin School or our advertisers.
October 6, 2010 Page
Science and experience proves that teachers often are biased in grading, but anonymity could put an end to this. By Laura Barry Features Editor
Just about every time teachers hand back essays, students hear the typical complaint, “That’s not fair; the teacher doesn’t like me, and I deserved a much higher grade than that.” Students also hear other students bragging that they do not have to actually earn their good grades, simply because their teacher loves them. If someone were to ask teachers if they grade based on favoritism, they would all answer with a resounding no. While teachers may have the best intentions, English, history, world language, and sometimes other subjects have assignments that cannot be easily graded objectively, and therefore the teachers’ personal opinions are the basis of their grading instead of a calculated formula. Teachers may be subconsciously biased in their grading without realizing it, and this is not fair to students. According to psychologists at Harvard, the University of Virginia, and the University of Washington, “Scientific research has demonstrated that biases
thought to be absent or extinguished remain as ‘mental residue’ in most of us. “Studies show people can be consciously committed to egalitarianism, and deliberately work to behave without prejudice, yet still possess hidden negative prejudices or stereotypes.” The psychologists also went on to say, “Studies have found, for example, that school teachers clearly telegraph prejudices…” even to the extent that they said, “…children in the same classroom effectively receive different educations.”
With a simple change in process, students and teachers could easily avoid allegedly biased grading and prejudice. The only way to truly make grading fair is to make assignments anonymous. The quality of a student’s work should be the basis of a teacher’s grading instead of how often a student comes to visit them during the day or if the student brings them gifts for their birthday. If the assignments were anonymous, students would stop focusing on how “unfair” their grade is and start focusing on becoming a better student in order to truly earn the grade that they are
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
looking for. One good solution to this problem ensures that students will have the opportunity to be graded fairly. It is extremely beneficial and entails only a few simple steps. Before each assignment, students must make up their own code (which is different from a code that has been used before) to put on the top of their paper. When the teacher receives the students’ assignments, he or she will then grade the assignments without knowing who the student is and therefore without any subconscious bias. After the teacher grades all of the assignments, he or she then calls out the codes in order to identify which paper belongs to whom without showing the grade on the paper so that the students do not know their grades until they receive their paper.
Each teacher should decide when this system will be put into place, and when to use the old system in his or her classroom. This anonymity may not be necessary on every small reading quiz or assignment, but when it comes to large essays or assignments worth a larger number of points, the anonymity could really make a difference in a student’s grades. This new system will ensure that teachers will grade fairly and without prejudice. Although it will take the teachers a few extra minutes to hand out assignments, students will undoubtedly appreciate the fairness of the system and will no longer have subjective explanations for their grades. With this new grading system, teachers will review assignments solely on a student’s aca-
Progress reports with a false sense of progress n
The school is adopting Edline to speed up the process of distributing grades, but it could be used more efficiently. By Will Sabayrac Opinions Editor
The Benjamin School soon will incorporate Edline into its technological arsenal. However, unless it is utilized properly, students will miss out on an opportunity to become more organized and independent with their studies. For years, Benjamin has prided itself on being ahead of the curve in terms of technology. The school has provided
computers and even a stable network for its students to use. All of these programs have been implemented to make the lives of the student easier and more enjoyable. Edline is designed to do the same thing. Edline is essentially an online grade book that teachers can update and students and parents could check regularly. Students would no longer have to ‘stay after class’ to check their average or even wait for mid-quarter reports. By supplying grades on a regular basis, the teachers could help students keep track of how they are doing in all of their classes on a day-to-day basis. However, the school is choosing to use Edline without taking advantage of this feature. The school will still provide the grades eight times a year; however, Edline will just complete this process quickly and more efficiently. By not providing grades with more frequency as Edline allows, the admin-
istration is missing an opportunity that Pharcyde staff writer Riley Burke explains well in her companion article, “Students question restricted Edline use.”
If school officials are choosing to adopt a new computer program, they might as well use it to its full potential by allowing students to benefit. This is a chance for the students and teachers to become more connected and operate efficiently.
In the past, the school has done a good job providing students with cutting edge technology. Having this technology is a privilege and has allowed our students to perform admirably. Edline would even further the development of our students if they were permitted to use it to its full potential. By choosing not to use this one key feature of Edline, the school is also contradicting its very own mission. Not allowing this feature to exist, we are not encouraging the students to grow intellectually to their full potential. It is up to administration to allow, and the students to take advantage of, all that Edline has to offer. Edline can alleviate a stressful process for both students and teachers. In the past, Benjamin has utilized its resources properly. The use of Edline should be no different. Incorporate this valuable program, and use it right.
Page 8 October 6, 2010
50th Anniversary Celebration
On Saturday, Oct. 2, the entire Benjamin community met on the Upper School campus for a day of celebration. Activities included a car show, chess, a live band, singing, dancing, arts and crafts, and bear-building for kids.
Junior Meredith Anderson hangs a written wish on one of the new wish trees. Two trees will be planted - one at the Lower School and one at the Upper School.
The TBS Buccaneer mascot shows his teeth with Upper School students, both of whom are dressed to represent a decade in Benjamin history.
Co-founder of The Benjamin School Mrs. Nancy Benjamin sings along with junior Jamie Corey, a member of The Benjamin Upper School Chorus. A band peformed throughout the event.
The TBS Dazzlers, the Upper School dance team, performed during Friday’s assembly as a kickoff to the 50th Anniversary Celebration and a preview to their performance at the actual event. Upper School students hosted a hat painting station for the younger kids to make. The hats, which cost five dollars to make, were for cancer patients who lose their hair during treatment. Saturday’s rain delayed the drying of the hats.
Upper School students dressed to represent different decades in The Benajmin School’s history at the celebration. These students dressed up for an assembly during the week to entice classmates to attend.
Photos by Matt Murray Page Design by Jenna Bernick
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(Above) On Friday, Sept. 24, the Buccaneers won 28-12 against Woods Haven Preporatory in a thoroughly drenched game. The Bucs came back in the second half after a lacking performance in the first. The team started the game in orange uniforms but switched to blue after halftime to symbolize their reclaim of focus for the rest of the game. (Right) The Dazzlers flaunt their team ponchos, having performed throughout the game opposite the TBS cheerleaders. In anticipation of the game, students participated in an orange-out during school with the most spirited dresser receoiving a prize at the game. The Dazzlers kept spirits high despite the rain.
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Wednesday, Nov. 17
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Saturday, Dec. 11
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To schedule a personal tour call 561-237-7545 or go online to www.lynn.edu/stayclose
October 6, 2010
Hoping to uncover the true essence of Benjamin’s 50-year history, The Pharcyde sa With their first-hand experience, the community can not only trace the school’s history throu My fondest memory of Benjamin is a little different than most, but it is without a doubt the Sunday evenings that my Dad and I would spend time working out together on the football field. I can remember walking down from the parking lot around 6:00 p.m. every Sunday; the school and field would be completely empty and peaceful. My Dad and I would spend at least an hour throwing the football and going through various drills. There was something about the quietness of the campus on Sundays at that time. Most importantly, it was a time for my Dad and I to spend together interacting and doing the things we loved most. I think this is one of the great assets of Benjamin is that I always felt a part of the community and the Benjamin family.
- Mr. Ryan Smith ‘93, faculty member of 8 years
Reporter Katie Schepps sits down with
Katie Schepps: Why did you decide to start a school? Mrs. Nancy Benjamin: Mr. Benjamin never saw a school that he approved o port. We were always looking for property, and that’s how we found where
KS: When you started the school in 1960, you had 3 classes and 17 student NB: Just one. We had a lady to teach art because I was doing all the music an ematics in one we had art.
little room. I had the big room, which had actually bee
KS: How much of the construction did you do yourselves?
NB: We did all of it. He had some help with cement work, and I reme rooms, and it was literally a construction project. We put the floor down, put
KS: How did you decide what to teach at the school? How has the curricul
NB: The curriculum didn’t change much after we met Ms. Carden beca learned, though some were a little slower to learn. Ms. Carden always said, i we were interested in. There were no failures. That’s what the Carden system and a half, listened to everything she said, wrote everything down, and cam
Photos courtesy of Nancy Benjamin
Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin started North Palm Beach Private School with just one school room which now serves as Head of School Mr. Goldberg’s office.
One of my fondest memories of The Benjamin School, when I was a student here, was leaving for the state football championship game my senior year, and the entire Lower, Middle, and Upper School student bodies stood shoulder to shoulder forming a two-line path for us to walk from the locker room to the bus. As we were walking to the bus, kids ranging in age from 5 years old to 18 years old were cheering for us. It was one of the best feelings in the world and really captivated what a tight family we are here at TBS. When I came back to teach and coach at Benjamin, several of the seniors, who I was coaching at the time, came up to me and told me they were part of that line of students that cheered for us that day. This truly is a special, special place.
- Mr. Jim Clark ‘95, faculty member of 10 years
KS: Music and Languages were important to your program. Why did you m NB: Yes, some parents were saying that there wasn’t enough math taught. M where we got the curriculum. He asked what company we got all of our mat them what we thought they ought to know! And music is very basic to that, KS: Can you remember the initial tuition? NB: I think it was something around $17 dollars were taking five year olds to teach them to read.
a month. It was am
KS: When was the school renamed from North Palm Beach Private School NB: When the Middle School was created, the board said we couldn’t sell th called that.
KS: Everyone has heard the legend of Mr. Benjamin and the woodshed. D so as Trevor Romaine’s Treasures from our Tree suggests? NB: Yes, he paddled kids. But he never paddled anybody except for those w
woodshed was that it was psychological. He’d make them wait ou very psychological. They were going to be so good before he even touched t
KS: What has surprised you most about the way things have turned out at NB: I think it surprises me that it has to be so expensive. We never, ever thou when she was in lower school, “Why does everybody have to pay for their li school, it doesn’t cost as much for the rest of the children to come.” And of c
child as it did the first child. You’ve got to make money, or you can’t exist. It we were doing well by doing good. It’s very much more of a business now. B
Mrs. Joanna Hogan has been teaching poetry and mythology for 40 years at TBS. The same bell that stands on the Lower School today was a part of the original campus.
Photos courtesy of TBS archives
When I started working at the school I was a widow with 2 young sons. Some everyday occurrences became challenges because there wasn’t a man around our house. Mr. B taught my older son to tie his Friday tie. My younger son was struggling with learning to ride his bicycle and not liking instruction from his mother at all. Mr. B suggested that I bring the bike to school. Under his tutelage he was off and riding solo in no time. His personal attention to the individual needs and talents of his students (and faculty) was one of the many remarkable qualities of this outstanding person.
KS: If Mr. B were here today, what would make him most proud? NB: The fact that so many teachers have stayed, and the fact that so many st
they raise a family, and then they send their children back. I th are people all over town whose grandchildren are coming, and that’s really n KS: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
NB: Mr. Benjamin always said, “Remember to SMILE.” It’s so im pus and when they see young people helping or offering to show them the w point of the school; the basis of the school. We’re trying to have people care f Something else I always told the students is that when adults come down th the time. I think nobody should get away with poor manners. It’s a small thi
- Mrs. Joanna Hogan, teacher of 40 years
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1960: On the tract of land between US1 and Ellison Wilson, Marshall and Nancy Benjamin open The North Palm Beach Private School. With a group of four-year-olds in two bedroom-turned-classrooms, the Benjamins start teaching the children the skills to learn: how to hold a pencil, take turns, and follow directions. Their main goal? To teach the students how to read so they will be enabled to teach themselves.
Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin started North Palm Beach Private Sch Today, the school’s program has evolved into some Starting with an original 24 kindergartners, each year, the school expanded: adding a new class, new teacher, and a new classroom. North Palm Beach Private expanded until it reached the sixth grade. Music, art, athletics, and recess all became a part of school daily life.
1970s: Parents raise money to create a Middle School
1974: Grades 7 and 8 are added, and the school is renamed The Benjamin School. Grades 9-12 are added.
1989: The Board of Trustees merges North Palm Beach Private’s Pre-K- 6 with the Benjamin School’s grades 7-12. The nonprofit school is renamed The Benjamin School.
October 6, 2010
at down with co-founder Mrs. Nancy Benjamin and other long-time Buccaneers. ugh facts and figures, but through the moments that have allowed us to reach this milestone.
h TBS co-founder Mrs. Nancy Benjamin:
of. We had a little kindergarten where we taught phonetics out by the airthe little school [Ellison Wilson] is now. That’s what we started with.
ts. How many teachers were there other than yourselves? nd games and poetry, and Mr. Benjamin was teaching reading and math-
en a garage, because I was teaching dancing and singing. In another room
ember being on a ladder all the time painting. We started with just two t the ceiling up, and it worked.
lum changed over time?
ause we fell for her form of teaching. It was absolutely perfect. Every child if you follow these steps, every child will read, and of course that was what m is. And it’s just fantastic. We sat at her knee for maybe a week, a week me back and started to teach that way.
make them a part of the school? Did you encounter resistance? Mr. Graham, who was a headmaster here for many years, once asked me terial from. How did we know what to teach? I told him, we just taught as is art, and reading, writing, and arithmetic.
mazingly low. It all started when we sent out flyers telling everyone that we
l to The Benjamin School? he school unless we used our name. Mr. Benjamin never wanted it to be
Did Mr. Benjamin actually ever paddle kids? Or did he just pretend to do
who broke the two rules: harming people or property. The thing about the
utside and then he’d slowly open the door, I expect it creaked, and it was all them. Of course, he never spanked girls.
t Benjamin? ught in terms of it having to cost so much money. My own daughter said ittle children? Over at St. Clare’s, if your older brother or sister goes to the course, I had to tell her, it costs just as much to educate the second or third
Photo courtesy of Nancy Benjamin
The late Mr. Marshall Benjamin, co-founder of North Palm Beach Private School, worked on the construction of the campus in its very beginning stages. The school started off at the current Ellison Wilson campus.
The Benjamin School has been a major part of my life since age 5 when I began attending the school as a kindergartner in 1961. I had the privilege of having had both Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin as teachers. These wonderful educators both inspired and challenged me. It is truly an honor to teach at the school they founded. As North Palm Beach Private School students, we weren’t required to wear school uniforms. Everyone really dressed-up on Fridays, when the boys wore their jackets and ties for “Lecture Day.” Mr. and Mrs. B., as we affectionately called them, firmly believed that the way a student dressed correlated directly with his or her behavior. Halloween was always a special day and remains so today at the Lower School. Mr. B., as master of ceremonies, wearing fake glasses with nose and mustache, a hat and striped vest would begin the parade by leading his Kindergarten class through all the other classrooms. It was a proud moment as we all received our 6th grade diplomas as students of the first graduating class of the North Palm Beach Private School. Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin had instilled in us the greatest of gifts; a love of learning, a sense of respect for ourselves and others and the feeling that each one of us was an important, unique individual. We were fortunate students who had benefited from an elementary education that was truly second to none.
- Mrs. Lisa Arline, teacher of 33 years
t is a business, and that’s the hardest thing for me. I always thought But thank goodness we have people who are business people to run it!
tudents have come back to teach or even just for a little while. And then
hink that’s the most telling thing about the school and its program. There nice. We are a good school, and we are known.
mportant, and I think it’s somewhat lacking now. People come on our camway, or opening a car door, or saying ‘May I help you?’ that’s the whole for people because it’s the only answer to world problems. he path, you step over... and they did. I think we have to hammer on that all ing and it’s not particularly academic, but it’s very important. Photo courtesy of Lisa Arline
Research by Katie Schepps Page Design by Jenna Bernick
Mrs. Lisa Arline, pictured in the red dress in the second row, was in the first graduating class of North Palm Beach Private School. She now teaches French in the Lower School at TBS.
hool with a simple vision. That was, to teach children to read. ething even Mr. Benjamin could not have predicted. 1990s: New buildings are added throughout the entire campus. The Peltz Middle School Building for grades 6-8 is created, and the Fine Arts Building is renovated to accommodate vocal, instrumental, dance, and visual art classes.
1999: The Board of Trustees purchases 50 acres of land along Central Boulevard and Donald Ross to construct a new Upper School campus.
2003: The new Upper School campus, on Grandiflora Road, officially breaks ground.
2004: 400 upper school students begin the year in five new wireless access buildings. At the original North Palm Beach campus, 825 K-8 students are housed with a number of remodeled facilities.
Today: With more than 1150 students, over 190 faculty and staff, 18 advanced placement courses, 47 sports teams , state-of-the-art classroom and campus technologies, college counseling and support services, the Benjamin School is recognized as an elite independent school in the greater Palm Beach County area. Marshall and Nancy Benjamin’s vision- to provide an education that is second to none remains the school’s motto.
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October 6, 2010
Conran cheerful despite hurdles as first male cheerleader By Lauren Bernick Staff Writer
Will Conran, like most other students, practices for his sport of choice every day. However, he is not a cross country runner, football player, or even a bowler. He is a cheerleader. Contrary to the prevalent stereotype that cheerleading is not a sport, Conran wants to prove to the Benjamin community that it is. This is Conran’s second year as a Benjamin varsity cheerleader. He is the first male cheerleader in Benjamin’s history, according to Head Cheerleading Coach Mrs. Tiffany Langino. Mrs. Langino believes that Conran has faced a huge challenge. “I’d like to say how much I admire Will’s courage. It isn’t easy to go ‘against the grain’ in any way in high school, and gender roles are perhaps the most stringent and unyielding that students face. There’s an unfortunate stigma attached to cheerleading as a male at Benjamin, and it existed long before Will considered trying out,” she said. Conran decided to become a male cheerleader before he entered high school. "It was towards the end of my 8th grade year and I was just looking for something new to do; I had grown sick of soccer and lacrosse," he said. According to Conran, his main inspiration came from his two sisters who had both been cheerleaders. Conran’s middle school teacher and current cheerleading coach Mrs. Langino influenced him as well. "When he was my eighth grade student, I convinced him to try out,” Mrs. Langino said. Despite his regular practices and commitment to the team,
Conran is not allowed to partake in competitions. According to Mrs. Langino, the FHSAA permits male cheerleaders to compete only in the tumbling division. Though the squad has six very talented tumblers, this is not enough to compete in a strictly tumbling division. Conran does not allow his inability to compete stop him from cheering on the squad. “I don't mind not competing, although I would like to, because I wouldn't want to put my team at a disadvantage in the division where almost all the teams are full squad tumbling,” said Conran. Mrs. Langino said that, despite the fact that he cannot compete, Conran participates in every football game and fills in for girls who are unavailable. “He’s as much a part of the squad as everyone else, and he will be traveling with our team to the competitions,” she said. Cheerleading is not all fun and games, said Conran. He faces his own obstacles which he strives to overcome. “The difficult part of being a male cheerleader for me is definitely upper body strength and flexibility, but I am working on both,” he said. In response to the infamous stereotype that cheerleading is not a sport, Conran defended his passion. “Cheerleading is a sport because to be able to do all the things we do, you must have athletic ability. For example, if you're a tumbler you have to have strength in your legs to push off and do tricks such as back handsprings. If you are a flyer, you have to have the ability to propel yourself off the ground and you must be flexible,” said Conran. As the only male on the
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
Sophomore Will Conran cheers in a pep rally this September.
team, Conran covers tasks that the girls alone would struggle with, said Mrs. Langino. “Will is a huge help to the squad both in terms of his attitude and his physical ability. His height and strength enable us to put up stunts that would be much more difficult with a smaller female back spot,” she said. Team captain junior Megan McCraney, said that Conran does get some accommoda-
tions. “He doesn't have to use poms-poms and gets to do different motions if he doesn't like the ones that the girls are doing. Will has really changed the cheerleading program. Hopefully he has proven to other boys interested in cheerleading that it's okay to be a male cheerleader,” she said. One essential factor in Conran’s performances is the electricity he feels from the au-
dience. “I feel that everyone acknowledges and supports me, especially during games on the sidelines. I thrive on their enthusiasm,” he said. A common spectator at football games, sophomore Austin Rosenthal said, “Will brings forth a whole new level of energy. He’s always smiling and I can tell he puts his best into every halftime and sideline performance.” According to Conran, another reason why he has stuck with cheering is that he has formed a strong relationship with the team. McCraney and the rest of the girls love having Will on the team. “Having Will on the squad as a male cheerleader is great. All the girls love him! He bakes the best desserts, so it's always exciting to see what he brings to practice,” she said. Conran said that he has immensely benefitted physically from this experience, but most importantly he has gained a great deal of knowledge about individualism and himself. “Being a male cheerleader has made me realize that when you are given an opportunity to do something different or fun, do it. It's your life and you only have one chance. You have to learn to ignore the negative comments and move on,” he said. He also said that he plans to continue his cheerleading career throughout the rest of high school. Depending on which college he attends, he hopes to pursue cheering there as well. “To those of you who say cheerleading is not a sport, the team and I take offense. We would like to see you tumble, lift people in the air, and perform the way we do,” he said.
Formspring.com an outlet for anonymous cyber-bullying By Casey Pearce Staff Writer
“When I think of you, I basically throw up.” Junior Roman Petty received this comment when he logged onto his Formspring two weeks ago. “thats gross, but im sure if i knew who you were the feeling would be mutual ;),” Petty wrote back. Rather than finding the comment offensive, Roman “laughed really hard” upon receiving it. However, he doesn’t take the same approach to questions that involve his friends or family. “They can say whatever they want about me, but if they say anything about my friends or my girlfriend, I get really pissed.” Formspring, a new social networking site, has inspired a discussion about students receiving abusive messages and why people are still subscribing
to Formspring. Some students love it; others do not. Formspring gives people an opportunity to post anonymous questions or statements on others’ profiles. The person who receives these messages has the option of responding to or ignoring them. Responding to a message instantly makes the message publicly available. While students claim Formspring is positive, they’re prepared for abusive questions. Some people who subscribed to Formspring will abusively write things on people’s walls to scare them and to get a laugh out of the person’s reaction. Some Formspring users sign off with comments like “Yours truly, your worst enemy; you ruined my life. I’m going to ruin yours.” Formspring allows the users to “ask anything,” regardless of how abusive the mes-
From Formspring.com, reprinted with permission
Formspring.com allows users to post anonymous questions, with many people choosing to write abusively.
sage is. The abusive messages have no repercussion because they can be made anonymously and, thus, people are not able to identify the author of the question or statement. Despite the offensive content, a number of students think Formspring is a great social network. Freshman Rebecca Grimpe said she would respond to awful messages she receives because she “doesn’t care what people think [of her].” Many students are omitting
their Formsprings as a result of abusive messaging. Senior Brittany Bigelow, who deleted her Formspring after one day, thinks Formspring is a horrible idea. She said, “Of course people are going to abuse it and turn it into a way to attack people anonymously.” Rooney feels strongly about Formspring and said, “It is a bad idea because people in the online world feel they can write whatever they want and they don’t have a conscience about it because it’s anonymous and
they just don’t care.” Some students try to dilute the abusive responses by writing positive ones. Bigelow writes optimistic things on her fellow classmates’ Formsprings after seeing all the abusive messages people receive. She said, “No one needs to hear all the negative things people like to say about them, true or untrue.” Many people feel as if Formspring could be used as a good social networking site. Rooney thinks people should be able to use Formspring and not be abused through this site. Students want Formsprings but feel that, if they get one, it will be badly abused and the unwanted truth will come out. Schlechter spoke for many when she said, “If you can’t say it in person or without the person knowing it is coming from you then it probably shouldn’t be said at all.”
October 6, 2010 Page
The Senior Hallway: No seniors allowed
Students and faculty at odds about this year’s more strongly enforced hallway congregation law By Davina Dresbach Staff Writer
The administration is enforcing hallway rules more strictly this year, and seniors feel they are being robbed of a senior tradition. Every year, the seniors look forward to moving into the senior hallway; the hallway seniors believe to be their inherited area and a privilege that comes with their newfound seniority. However, on the opening day of this school year, faculty and administrators told seniors they are not allowed to eat in the senior hallway and asked them to move outside or to an approved classroom. Administration informed seniors that the hallway is not a senior privilege and the hallway rules still apply. The hallway rules consist of no eating in the halls and no loitering, but the myth amongst students is these rules do not apply to the senior hallway. Dr. Amy Taylor said, “The senior hallway is no different from any other hallway in the school. The rules applying to all hallways in the upper school campus also apply to the senior hallway.” Due to constant reinforcement by the faculty and administration, students are aware they are not permitted to eat or socialize in the hallways in buildings 4 and 5. Senior Talia Brody-Barre said, “When we would eat in the hallways, teachers would always approach us and tell us to leave.” The senior hallway privilege remains a common misconception and seniors are confused as to why the administration is enforcing rules more firmly this year than in the past. Students said they have seen seniors dance, eat, throw footballs, play lacrosse, celebrate each other’s birthday and study within the senior hallway. Seniors feel the rules should not apply to the senior hallway because it contains two non-
Matt Murray / Photography Editor
While once often occupied by Benjamin 12th-graders, this year’s senior hallway is under stricter rules against loitering.
academic classrooms, the dance room and the band room and it is also the only indoor hallway which has lockers. Senior Crystal Rosatti said, “Since I was a freshman, I always saw people eat lunch there, hang out there and I even studied there as junior. I thought it was free for students’ leisure.” Students are not alone in their belief they are being denied a privilege. When asked about senior privileges, Dr. David Spielberg said, “Seniors have survived three rigorous years at Benjamin and deserve more concessions than a senior food line.” However, Dr. Taylor explained that the reason why students are not allowed in the hall is that student’s noise levels disrupting classes and the lack of cleanliness after eating
in the hall. Dr. Taylor said seniors had the privilege of the senior lounge for one year, but the administration removed the lounge after it was continuously left unclean and mistreated. Current alternatives to the senior hallway are the college placement lounge and the library. Seniors find it unfair that the administration based the rules upon the actions and behavior of previous classes. Zahringer said, “I think they should give us a trial period. If we keep it clean and abide by whatever rules they apply, then it shows that we should have the privilege of being in there. If we can’t do what they ask, then obviously revoke those privileges.” Dr. Spielberg agrees the stu-
“I think it’s generally unnecessary. I don’t see why we as students shouldn’t be allowed to be in the hallways. I mean I rarely heard distractions during classes. Especially during band.” - Bryan Doane
dents are not given enough opportunity to prove their level of responsibility. He said, “We don’t have a place the seniors can really call their own…. If you want students to behave in a certain way, you should assume that they are able to. “ Though the senior hallway is off limits, Coach Clark said, “There should definitely be a place for only seniors, such as a lounge. It has not been talked about this year, but it will be talked about.” The issue of the senior hallway has been brought up by faculty in the past. Dr. Spielberg said, “Over many years I have tried to encourage the school to honor the seniors more. We don’t show the seniors enough respect as the leaders of the school.”
“I think there’s a valid point for enforcing the rule for the hallways in 4 or 5 but that the rule against hanging out or ‘chillin’ in the senior hallway is unnessary seeing as that is the point of the senior hallway in the first place ” - Teddy Dwork
When asked why the topic had been addressed in the past and not acted upon, Dr. Spielberg said, “I think in starting a new campus and changing headmasters, administration has had other challenging priorities that came before tackling senior privileges, but I think now the time is right.” Seniors hope potential discussions amongst the administrators will lead to a senior hallway privilege. Seniors will continue to want the privilege of the senior hallway but, for now, the rules will remain the same; No eating, socializing or loitering in the halls. Senior Ryan Farriss asked the echoing question amongst other seniors, “Why is there a senior hallway if the seniors are not allowed to be in it?”
“It doesn’t bother me that much because I just will stay in the library or leave school during study hall. It would be nice though if we could be there during lunch.” - Christie Nicklaus
Page 14 October 6, 2010
Students adopt videochatting as study-group replacement S k y p e, i C h at, a n d O ovoo are tak ing over the space between study partners By Jeanelle Ackerman News Editor
Students have always been finding ways to utilize new technology such as online books and PowerPoint’s for academic purposes. Now students are using video chat, most commonly Skype or iChat, as one of the newest ways to study face to face with friends without having to leave the comfort of their own homes. Sophomore Dj Paone uses video chat to study and check notes with friends, mostly in the subjects of history and science. "I am much better if I have someone to study with than when I am alone. By quizzing each other, we’re basically taking a practice test,” Paone said. Students previously used phones to help one another study but are now taking it a
step up by adding the visual aspect that makes it seem like they are only a few feet away. Rachel Fayne, senior, said, "It is a lot better than talking on the phone because you can see it in the other person's face when there is something they don’t understand." Many students find benefits in the convenience of video chatting. "It is kind of perfect that I don't have to leave my desk and I can have a study session with a friend before a big test,” Paone said. With all of the new technology, some may wonder why this is not just another addition to the list of student distractions. "It limits distractions because the other person can see if you've gone off track,” Fayne said. "When you talk on the phone, sometimes you get distracted by Facebook or other
things going on and it's easy to fake like you’re actually listening." Cali Cramer, junior, discovered this study habit as a result of using it for social networking purposes. "I would be video chatting with a friend and we would start talking about a subject and end up quizzing each other and studying together." Students find video chatting particularly useful for certain subjects including science, history, and foreign language. “Last year I noticed that when I used Skype for Biology, it was very helpful for both my friend and me and we usually did pretty well on the tests,” Paone said. “I don’t know if it made that much of a difference compared to just sitting down and studying on my own, but either way, the results were good.”
Photo courtesy of Rachel Fayne
No longer vid-chatting only for social purposes, Benjamin students are including their textbooks in their study-Skyping.
Mac Attack: Students break rules for their machine of choice
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
Without permission, students such as senior Lexi Coudert use Apple latops instad of school-approved ones, making such scenes common across campus classrooms.
By Tory Tiano Staff Writer
Although the Benjamin School technological ecosystem is PC-exclusive, more than 15 dissenting students are willing to brave numerous inconveniences to use their machine of choice, the Macintosh. The Technology Department has limited what computers students can purchase for in-school use, but many want to avoid the usage of a product they believe to be inferior. Benjamin School Mac-users face problems including being unable to explore the Internet or print to a school printer, but this does not stop students who remain loyal to their Macs. Senior Stefan Theofilos is one of the rebellious Mac-using students. He said, “I believe we should be able to use whatever computer we want. I find Macs a lot easier to use than Windows.” When asked what makes it worth it to bring the Mac to school despite these inconve-
niences, Senior Milan Delatorre, an avid Mac user, said, “I still use it anyways because it makes my life so much easier with organizing my documents and files and I think the setup is easier to use.” While the Fujitsu suffices for many students, other students who wish to edit photos, music, and videos use a Mac which in the creative art world, they believe, is the machine of choice. Theofilos said, “I use programs such as Pro Tools to record and produce for my own band as well as for other students’ bands. I also use Logic Pro to make rap and R&B beats.” Programs such as Pro Tools and Logic Pro are only available on Macs and thus make it a logical choice for professionals. Some students even believe that the inconveniences imposed on them are somewhat beneficial. Those restricted from the Internet find that they are able to stay on task more actively than they could with the web at their fingertips. De-
latorre said, “I find that being unable to access the Internet is helpful for my school work because it allows me to maintain focus in the classroom whereas on another computer it would prove to be a distraction.” So why then, might someone ask, would Macs not be allowed in school? The answer lies in the administrative decision established seven years ago. Upper School Head Mr. Jay Selvig said, “We looked at the options, and went with a PC platform. Tech is specifically trained for PC’s, they have their license to do repairs and are geared for them, not on the Macs. Secondly the network and DyKnow in particular is not supported by a Mac.” When the Benjamin School Technology Department chose the base model of computer that they would use and require for students to use, they regarded the training of their associates as well as the gear available to them. Director of Technology at the Upper School Mr. Russell
Tepper said, “We are trained to use and repair a PC platform. The gear we have is supportive only to PCs, such as the loaners and rentals we have to offer. To switch to Macs would be more expensive regarding the training of our professionals and the cost of infrastructure allowing Macs to connect properly.” Despite the recent warning given at assembly telling students to leave their Macs at home, some teachers have a lax policy regarding what sort of computer students use. Theofilos said, “I don’t have any trouble at all using a Mac. A teacher has never told me to get a school computer.” According to the administration, faculty members are taking action on this and are confronting students about their use of Macs in the classroom. Some students have even found a way to overcome the obstacles Mac users face. An anonymous student said, “I was able to attain an Internet card
and therefore I have Internet on my Mac and am able to do any of the things other students do on their school computers.” Benjamin Mac users appear to be more emotionally involved in their machines and feel strongly that they should be allowed to bring their computers to school. Theofilos speaks for many when he says, “I use Macs because they do not break down, they are more user-friendly, and they are one of the most popular computers for a reason and it’s because it works.” Luckily, for students such as Theofilos who prefer to use a Mac in the classroom, hope is evident for the future. Mr. Tepper said, “We reevaluate the issue constantly, it’s not just Macs, it’s all platforms and all computers. The end goal would be to switch away from a very lockdown model of a laptop system ,although it was placed there for many reasons, to a more widely based system including Macs. This process will
October 6, 2010 Page
The Piercing Truth: By Meredith Berger Staff Writer
Recently, ear piercing has become almost as trendy as sporting Sperry Docksiders or toting Tory Burch bags. These piercings have reached a whole new level with female students puncturing their cartilages and adorning them with glittery jewelry. (above, below,
Morgan Cox; Lexi Altman)
Not just for lobes anymore, ear-rings have a trendy new place to be. With both her lobes and cartilage pierced, sophomore Brenna Tiano said, “I definitely think that the number of girls with piercings has increased in the past year. I know that in my grade when one or two girls got their cartilages pierced, a bunch more of their friends did, and the trend definitely
MATT MURRAY / Photo Editor
spread.” “Through my observation, I’ve noticed that the majority of girls at Benjamin prefer the piercing of ear cartilage to any alternative piercings,” she added. Having gotten her cartilage pierced this summer, Junior Alexa Altman said, "There wasn't anything that really made me want to get my cartilage pierced besides seeing how cute it looked on some people." Cartilage is the fibrous connective tissue found in the body. It is very dense, and can result in an extremely painful piercing, depending on the pain threshold of the person getting it done. This pain, which is triggered by touch, can persist and become a constant burning if the piercing becomes infected. "I fortunately didn't have any infections after getting my cartilage pierced, but it was excruciatingly painful for about a month after. It got extremely swollen and it hurt whenever pressure was put on it. I had to
Students reveal new trend in cartilage jewelery
make sure that I didn't sleep on it or roll over onto it in the middle of the night,” said Tiano. According to many girls, these piercings remain popular at Benjamin despite the reported pain and threat of infection. However, some people question whether or not displaying these piercings is appropriate for school. Dean of Students Mr. Jim Clark said, "I personally have no problem with body piercings as long as they are not visible on the school campus or at school events. If a person wants to express himself or herself outside of school, I am all for it. However, while on a school campus or at a school event, I firmly believe that certain piercings are an unnecessary distraction.” Like Coach Clark, English teacher Mrs. Mary Alice Ditaranto believes that piercings should be allowed, but only to a certain extent. “I personally think it looks painful, but everyone is entitled to their own thing. I believe stu-
dents can wear whatever they want at public events, unless the student is competing in an athletic or academic event,” She said. Mrs. Ditaranto speaks for many faculty when she says that piercings should be allowed as long as they are not deemed outrageous. According to Altman, being discreet is key. “If we continue to be modest with our forms of expression, then teachers and parents will allow us to change from trend to trend without intervening.” For female students at Benjamin, piercing has become more than just something fun to do. According to the girls, getting these piercings is a way to be cool, a way to be attractive and a way to keep up with fads of fickle teenagers. Senior Morgan Cox said, “What we as high school students consider trendy is constantly changing. We’ve gone from Uggs, to Silly Bandz, to cartilage piercings. Who knows what could be next?”
Stoked to Smoke: Kids hooked on hookah By Olivia Campanella
Staff Writer Cigarettes and drinking: Benjamin students have explored these underground activities for years, but a new activity has been added to the list: smoking hookah. This new popular trend has been going on for decades in India, but has just recently moved its way to reaching South Florida. A hookah is a single or multi water pipe for smoking. When one hears the word smoking, one thinks that people smoke hookah in the same way they smoke a cigarette; this is simply not the case. Hookah operates by water filtration and indirect heat. It is designed to heat the tobacco rather than burn it. Hookah is made of a combination of tobacco leaves and sweeteners, such as honey and dried fruit. Flavors range from mango to cappuccino. Javon Hawthorne* (asterisk indicates name change) said, “I smoke hookah out of my Three Foot Maya, which is a type of Hookah pipe. The best way to use it is to put ice in the base and keep the hose in the fridge or freezer to create the smoothest hits possible.” A local establishment in West Palm Beach that some students go to is called “Hookah Me Up.” Hawthorne said, “Each hookah session typically lasts about 30 minutes, and consists of 50 – 200 puffs. Hookah Me Up is about five minutes away from my house. Their hookahs are rather cheap, and they have good “star buzz”- a type of tobacco. The place is simple, and they have some really tasty hookahs.” Students are often under the impression that hookah is less harmful than cigarettes; how-
From Facebook, reprinted with permission
Hookah-smoking has caught fire among Benjamin students for its social appeal.
ever, studies by tobacco companies have shown the use of hookah over numerous sessions can be as harmful to a person’s health as smoking cigarettes. According to a study published in May of 2008 in CNN News, on hookah smoking and cancer, researcher Sajid KM said, “It seems the water moisture
induced by the hookah makes the smoke less nauseating, and may give a false sense of safety and reduce concerns about its true health effects.” Under the United States “Controlled Substance Act,” users must be at least 18 years old to be eligible to purchase any hookahs or tobacco.
According to students, smoking hookah does not satisfy the craving for nicotine that smoking does. Richmond said, “I smoke cigarettes and hookah. Hookah does not give me the same effect as smoking a cigarette does. I think cigarettes are better than hookah though because it takes
time to set up the hookah pipe, and it is also takes time to clean it up. You can’t just pull a hookah out of your pocket and light it.” Hawthorne said, “I smoke hookah because it helps relax me. I do not smoke hookah to get “high.” Smoking hookah helps put me to sleep, after a long day.” Richmond said, “Smoking hookah with your friends is a fun social event. Smoking Shisha, which is a flavored tobacco, tastes really good. I smoke hookah about once a month being that I play sports during the year. Shisha, a type of hookah, can be addictive though, so if you do it, don’t do it every day.” Dr. David Burns, a professor of family medicine at the University of California San Diego and an author of the WHO study as well as several U.S. surgeon general’s reports on tobacco said, “Hookah use is something we know very little about in terms of the long-term disease consequences. But we know people are ingesting the same toxins, facing the same potential to facilitate addiction as well as the additional risk of transmitting communicable diseases by sharing the tip of the pipes.” Upper School nurse, Mrs. Donaldson said, “It continues to be surprising that all of the efforts spent to educate students about the dangers of smoking fall on deaf ears. Hookah is another marketing ploy to convince susceptible people that they can smoke without ill effects. Students should recognize smoking hookah for what it is: a very bad idea. I would hope that those students who are doing this would think again and stop doing it.”
Page 16 October 6, 2010
Cafeteria, Schmafeteria! At TBS, we’ll eat wherever forever!
JARED FISHMAN / Co-Editor-in-Chief
By Jeanelle Ackerman News Editor
One of the most frequent questions I get asked by new students or visitors is, “Where is the cafeteria?” This assumption that all schools actually need a cafeteria is a common misconception, and apparently, we were the only ones to see through it. While most schools would place building a cafeteria higher on the construction to-do list than building a lake, Benjamin decided to take the road less traveled… And fortunately for us, the school got its priorities straight and realized that we really didn’t need a cafeteria after all! While most people would view not having a cafeteria as a disadvantage, I encourage the Benjamin students to realize that this has opened all sorts of doors for us! So instead of complaining that we don’t necessarily have an official place to eat, think of all the health benefits! Scientific studies have proven that standing while you eat improves your digestion. Forget the fact that it’s physically impossible to get a sandwich out of a baggie while holding the remainder of your lunch; your digestion tract will thank you. And, of course, half your lunch may end up on you, rather than
in you…But wouldn’t you rather that, knowing that at least your stomach was comfortable while you ate? No matter which position you choose to eat in, everyone who eats outside shares another health benefit: resistance to various bacteria and viruses. As a student who eats on the floor of the outdoor hallways on a daily basis, I have found that because of the lack of sanitation, my body has learned to build immunities. Just think, where one student ate their lunch today, another could have coughed yesterday…Recall how many students were able to avoid the Swine Flu this past year! Not having a place to eat on a daily basis also promotes creativity in the search to find a lunch spot. Think of it as trying to find a place to eat on the playground while 400 other students also try to do the same. It requires strategy and an imagination. Students learn to avoid places like right outside of the bathroom door… (Think of this as the swing of the jungle gym). Throughout the year, many students also learn that if you choose to eat on one of the seven benches that the school has, you’ll want to try to steer clear of the ends. This precarious spot has “spills” written all
over it. Not only may you take one, but everyone will know it just by looking at your khakis. These various seating hazards are not, in fact, the downside of the seating arrangement at Benjamin… Quite the opposite! Students grow intellectually and learn to take notes on what places to avoid. The benefits of the seating arrangement, at first glance, only seem as if they apply to the students, but they also affect maintenance employees as well. Instead of all the trash concentrated in one area of the school, the garbage is scattered all around, providing the maintenance team with plenty of work and a fun game of Hide and Seek! Think of how much fun their jobs must be if they get to search for it (You’re welcome, Maintenance! - Love, The Benjamin School) The trash also becomes less noticeable if it is dispersed. Imagine visitors seeing an overload of filled trashcans in a cafeteria…they would think it were a pigsty! Whereas, if each grouping of students leaves their own trash in their respective spots, it may be more trash on the ground, but less condensed. What is more noticeable: 20 trashcans or 80 plastic baggies that are shoved into bushes or under backpacks?
The Benjamin School also cares about students’ social development. Instead of being able to bond over their common eating area, students are able to bond over the joys of not having one! It also becomes easier to meet friends because students constantly have to ask others to move because they are blocking the lockers. (This is a great conversation starter; mention to your new pal that you were in their position last week!) The various options also allow students to meet others who have similar interests. As mentioned before, this not only makes it easier for cliques to get together, but to spend quality time with people similar to themselves. For example, the students who eat under the stairs are able to bond because they prefer a more secluded, dark area while other groups enjoy sitting with large packs of their kind in the sun. Although the school’s plan is to eventually build a cafeteria, Benjamin may be better off taking into account the various benefits that we have working for us without one. So, Benjamin School, please consider my humble proposal of leaving it as it is! With the money saved, we could buy something more useful… like fun little row boats for the lake!
High School Gourmet: An easy food fix to do yourself It began rebelliously. In our house, it’s the same schedule every week: fish on Mondays (unless a test falls on another day; mercury’s good for the brain), meat on Tuesday, order-in on Wednesday, pasta on Thursday, and Fend-For-Yourself Friday. I wasn’t surprised when my mother wrote “lamb chops” on the grocery list for the week, but I made sure to catch her in the kitchen before she left. “I think I want to get my own meal today.” There. I’d said it. “So, only two lamb chops then?” she asked. I was shocked. Her tone was so neutral. It wasn’t like this happened every night. But maybe it could. Fast forward a few weeks. I’ve gotten pretty good at my “substitute recipe,” and pretty soon my mother and her husband are asking me to make it for them. I’ve become a success. I’m Julia Child. I’m your new food columnist. - Olivia Loving
Preparation Instructions: Ingredients:
- Bagels (as many as desired) - Smoked salmon - Dijon mustard - Olive oil - Capers (optional) - Lemons
* Cut the bagel in half, using a proper bread knife or bagel-slicer.
* Peel one layer off the salmon and layer it on the bagel. Repeat as desired. * Pour 1/4 cup olive oil into a cup. * Mix a forkful of Dijon mustard with the olive oil Use a fork to spread mustard and olive oil onto the salmon. * Use 1/4 lemon to squeeze onto the smoked salmon. Be generous! Use capers as desired. * A slightly fancy after-school snack or a healthy dinner or breakfast. It’s easy to make (<10 minutes) and not hard to get right every time.
October 6, 2010 Page
Paging Doctor Dresner: A Day in the Life of Dave
By Alana Dresner Columnist
First things first: Dave is the MAN. For an athletic trainer who only comes to school when classes get out, Dave* is quite possibly the most popular personality at TBS. I can only imagine how lonely and jealous other faculty members must feel watching kids pile into Dave’s office day after day. Dave comes to school from his other job at Palm Beach Orthopedic Institute anywhere from 2:00 to 2:30 every day, where he then plans the rest of his day around whatever athletic events are going on. What is it that makes Dave so much cooler than most faculty members? Is it because he’s always so interested in what everyone’s up to? Or is it because he can tell if you’ve broken a bone just by looking at you? I decided to follow him around TBS for a few days and see what’s up. When I asked Dave what his schedule was like, he basically told me that he has a guaranteed 20 minute rush hour from 3:00-3:20 p.m. daily. Not only was he terrifyingly accurate, but every day was just like clockwork--the exact same groups of people came in at the
same times every day. The first wave of people is what I like to call “The Real Deal,” only because it’s apparent that these kids (usually football players) are truly injured. The second wave is “The Volleyball Girls…and People Who Come to Dave Right Before Practice Starts (PWCDRBPS).” The volleyball girls practice and have games a little later than other sports, so there really is no need for them to come in earlier. However, the PWCDRBPS are the ones who see Dave and pray that their “sore ankles” turns into conditioning practice-ending injuries. The third wave is Kendall Zahringer – enough said. I concluded that the most annoying kids who go and see Dave are the ones who just go in order to avoid a tough practice. I should know; I usually am that person. Unlike most kids, I rejoice and sing “Joy to the World” whenever I develop a blister. What people don’t know is that when attending to a blister, Dave doesn’t simply slap on some Neosporin and a Band Aid. Every blistered victim receives the following treatment: a very cold, yet refreshing sanitizing spray, Sec-
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
Alana Dresner gets behind the scenes in the office of Benjamin’s favorite sports therapist.
ond Skin (which is heavenly), a Band Aid, and a full foot wrap that can fool anyone (including your coach) into thinking you sprained your ankle. Coach Chaplin – just because now you know my tactic, a.k.a The Blister Blitz, doesn’t mean I don’t have more tricks up my sleeve for this year’s soccer season. Mwahaha. Call me the girliest girl on the planet, but I think one of the coolest parts of Dave’s job is the gruesome injuries that he sees on a regular basis. One day, about eight people in Dave’s office were having a discussion and a photo sharing session on the topic of dislocated limbs. It’s amazing how many people were giggling when Dave de-
scribed what a disjointed knee looks like. Ever since that conversation, I’ve spent my spare time (school time, obviously) looking at pictures of out-ofplace shoulders and watching muted videos of “The World’s Most Painful Leg Breaks.” Fair warning to all who wish to DyKnow my computer: I am not responsible for your body’s response when you see the many pictures of dislocated toes on my screen. While I was shadowing Dave, I realized he is so wellliked for a variety of reasons. The first is that he can entertain just about anybody, whether he’s telling a funny story or playing the “Can you do THIS with your body?” game to mea-
sure body flexibility. Another reason is that Dave is always so cheerful and positive despite the fact that his work days are longer than those of most TBS students and faculty members. It only took one visit to Dave to refresh my memory about why sitting in his office and listening to the daily conversation tops my list of “Things To Do on Campus After School.” Let’s just say that this athletic year, when everyone’s wondering where I am during those tough conditioning practices, I’ll be chilling with Kendall. * For those of you living in a cave, Dave is the Benjamin athletic trainer.
The Social Network worthwhile for its smart, techy appeal By Olivia Loving Copy Editor
The title of “The Social Network,” released Friday, October 1, could have very well been “Mark Zuckerberg’s Social Network, circa 2003.” Referred to as “the Facebook movie” by more than one person entering the movie theater, The Social Network is not, as its shortened name would suggest, a discussion about society’s online evolution. The trailer is misleading. A full one-third of it features photos of Facebook users to the eerie soundtrack of a choral version of “Creep” by Radiohead. From the photos, it’s easy to see that Facebook is universal; it’s a venting room; it’s a place for photos from trips to China and trips to the hospital. This somewhat sentimental sequence is not featured in the movie, which focuses on the dynamics behind Facebook’s founding. Within the first three minutes of the movie, Zuckerberg’s character becomes rapidly annoying. He talks quickly and radiates insecurity. When his girlfriend breaks up with him, he releases his feelings using a blog and a six-pack. He creates a website, which rates various
comfortable lounges abound. Dorm rooms are unrealistically neat, as though college students are mini-adults, not adolescents still shucking off their teen years. Even the two settings of the movie are so polarly opposite: Cambridge and Palo Alto. When Zuckerberg ventures out to California (the land of new opportunity), Saverin expresses hesitation at leaving school. The movie is sparked with enough humor not to get sucked too much into the “drama” category. This humor is mostly due to Jesse Eisenberg’s sarcastic and wry portrayal of Zuckerberg. While much of Photo from Onlinemovieshut.com, reprinted with permission the movie’s focus is on ZuckJesse Eisenberg (left) plays Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in hit fall film The Social Network. erberg’s friends and enemies, it Harvard girls and catches the his company (and Palo Alto, trast. Zuckerberg is painted ultimately lets the viewer walk attention of two fellow under- California, where he establishes as a genius who is simultane- away believing that Zuckerberg graduates with a similar net- it), and boardroom arguments ously lazy and hardworking: is truly the sole mastermind beworking idea. Their relation- with lawyers and Zuckerberg’s During business meetings, he’s hind Facebook. It’s a must-see ship with Zuckerberg is brief, accusers. It’s not hard to side bored and restless, but when for those intrigued by fame and but it becomes a major point of with Eduardo Saverin, Zuck- “wired in” to the computer, his genius and quirky characters. long-term tension. Three weeks erberg’s college roommate and Ivy League education shines Maybe the movie caters to our after their meeting, Zuckerberg co-founder, who is eventually through. Saverin, on the other willingness to believe in solifounds Thefacebook.com, a site (and heartbreakingly) bought hand, is a nervous and com- tary heroes – Bill Gates, Steve based on an allegedly stolen out of the company. He’s origi- pulsive well-dresser who, in a Jobs – or our fascination with idea. nally left with the messy paper- moment of confusion and fury, people who accomplish more The subsequent progres- work and behind-the-scenes criticizes Zuckerberg’s sweat- in a few years than most can sion of events is viewed from detail while Zuckerberg reaps shirt-and-jeans attire. Zucker- in their lifetimes. If anything, it a distance. The movie flashes the benefits of being smart and berg’s Harvard is old school: sparks an interest – but not necbetween scenes of Zuckerberg’s laidback. The quad-centered campus essarily a liking – in the story life at Harvard, where he begins The movie is one of con- is quiet and cold, and brown, behind the site.
October 6, 2010
@ Pharblog.com Full recaps of the last two home football games
Stepping Up: By Phil Staiman Sports Editor
The changes to the Healey Athletic Complex are visible evidence that Mr. Ryan Smith is making his mark on the program as Athletic Director. In addition to adding a new navy border along the walls, Smith has revamped the athletic facility’s appearance. These changes include the installation of photographs of collegiate athletes who have graduated Benjamin. He also plans on mounting individual and state championship plaques as well as having the baseball dugouts painted by January of 2011.
“I am just going to try and build upon [Ream’s] success.” - Mr. Ryan Smith, Athletic Dean These enhancements are not the only projects that Mr. Smith has been working on. Mr. Smith has created the Benjamin School Hall of Fame, and according to Mr. Smith, the purpose of the Hall of Fame is to draw alumni back to the Benjamin community. The inductions for the Hall of Fame will occur once every two years. In order to qualify for a
Smith focuses on facility renovation, alumni connections, and garnering student input in first quarter as dean of Athletics
nomination to the Benjamin Hall of Fame, one must be out of Benjamin for at least 5 years. The potential nominee must have been an athlete at the school or somehow contributed to Benjamin athletics for 10 or more years. Benjamin alumni, along with others affiliated with Benjamin, nominate the people whom they would like to see in the Hall of Fame, and then the members of the HOF committee vote on 4 inductees. Mr. Smith has also created a student athlete advisory committee called the “The Buccaneer Society.” Head coaches of each varsity program (i.e. boys basketball, girls lacrosse, etc.) will appoint a single student athlete to participate in this committee. “The purpose of the committee is for the athletes to get together with the Athletic Department and discuss leadership on and off the field,” he said. Smith also said, “We would like to get a better view of the athlete’s perspective. A lot of the time, we, as coaches, think we know what is going on with our players, but we really don't.” Through this committee, Mr. Smith is hoping to establish a community service initiative, called "Buccaneers for Better Society.” Representative athletes from each athletic team are
going to head these projects. During the offseason of each sport, athletes will have the opportunity to give back to the community. Instead of a twohour practice, the athlete will dedicate that time to help either the Benjamin community or an organization outside of Benjamin. Although Mr. Smith has great respect for the way that the former Athletic Director, Mr. Ron Ream, ran his Athletic Department, Mr. Smith believes that he can bring the Athletic Department to the next level. "Obviously, the Athletic Department, with the help of Coach Ream, Coach Hamel, and Coach Harbeck, has been a bright spot for this school for a very long time. I am just going to try and build upon that success with some new ideas,” Mr. Smith said. Mr. Ream, the man responsible for the development of Benjamin’s Athletic Program, is elated to have handed the Athletic Department to someone with the experience that Mr. Smith has. "It's a good feeling to turn it over to someone who has some of the same ideas that I had, but will still institute new ideas, in order to take the Athletic Department to the new era." said Mr. Ream. Dean of Students, Mr. Jim Clark, has watched Mr. Smith
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
Mr. Ryan Smith remains coaching with this year’s position swap.
and Mr. Ream develop a strong bond over the many years that they have been working together. "I know that Coach Smith looked up to him as a man of great integrity. Coach Smith wants to be that kind of Athletic
Director. Coach Ream's Athletic Department was his; and Coach Smith's Athletic Department is going to be his own. I think both he and Coach Ream are fine with that,” said Mr. Clark.
Volleyball team given fresh outlook thanks to new libero By Phil Staiman Sports Editor
After establishing themselves as the premiere team in the district last year, the Lady Buccaneer volleyball team has lived up to the expectations that come with the title of defending champions. With more than half of the season complete, the Lady Bucs hold an overall record of 8-3 and a record of 5-1 in district play. According to the girls, much of this can be attributed to their new head coach, Ms. Alex Plummer. Although this is the second coaching change in four years, the team believes that the changes have not affected their level of play. “The transition wasn't that difficult because she was our assistant coach last year. The year before that, Christie Nicklaus and I had her as a travel coach. She has been very helpful because she puts forth just as much energy into the games as we do,” said senior co-captain Christine Casey. Plummer’s experience on the volleyball court extends further than just coaching. Plummer played volleyball at Florida State University as a libero, so she has a high understanding of the game.
TORI CRIBB / Staff Writer
Senior Christine Casey jumps up to spike the ball against district rival St. Edwards School.
Another addition that has helped the Lady Bucs stay atop the district is junior Anna Dwyer. Dwyer moved here from Santa Barbara, California, and she is considered by most to be the best defensive player on the team. “When I first moved here, I was most nervous about how accepting the team would be,
but they were very welcoming from day one. I feel like we have really connected as a team both on and off the court, and we have great leadership from our captains Christie Nicklaus and Christine Casey. We all push each other to get better every day in practice and hopefully this chemistry will take us to states,”
said Dwyer. Although the record indicates that the volleyball team has been performing at a high level, the girls believe that there is room for improvement. “We made goals at the beginning of the season that we want to accomplish, and one of them was to play consistently every game. We have not been do-
ing that recently and we really need to improve on that since the end of our season is when we play the better teams,” said senior co-captain Christie Nicklaus. With only three weeks of regular season games left, the Lady Bucs are looking toward the district tournament. According to Nicklaus, they are preparing for districts by attempting to beat all of their district opponents prior to the tournament. “We are 5-1 so far in districts and we have one district game left. I think we have a very good chance at winning again this year because we are definitely one of the better teams. We have evenly spread talent and that really sets us apart,” said Nicklaus. Casey is also of the belief that the team has the ability to win districts, but she thinks that the team’s defensive mindset is what is going to get them the trophy. “Our biggest asset this year has been our defense because in order for us to score points we have to be able to return serves, and pass the ball well. In order to repeat as district champs, we have to stay together as a team and just always play to our best ability,” said Casey.
October 6, 2010
Premier horsebackrider Schor brings equestrian to TBS
Photo Courtesy of Lisa Schor
Junior Sydney Schor competes in a September 25th Boca Equestrian Center competition, bringing home 2nd place.
By Rachel Smith Staff Writer
On Saturday, September 25th, the newly created Equestrian Club participated in its first competition, receiving Reserved Champion, second place, as a team. Recently named #1 in Florida in the American Eventing Championships (AECs), long-time horseback rider Sydney Schor has decided to share her love for riding with the school community by creating an Equestrian Club. Although Schor, a junior, aims to
maintain a balance between her school life and the demands of riding, she has found a way to bring them both together. The Equestrian Club is part of the national Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) which is already organized with a show schedule and local competitors in place. The team plans to compete once a month. Schor’s mom, Lisa, who has helped her with some of the legwork for the club, said, “They also have included a community service aspect to the club as well and have several venues where the
team is volunteering - like helping disabled riders ride once a week and helping volunteer at local horse shows.” Three members of the new club, juniors Victoria Cribb, Kyra Huertas and Sydney Schor traveled south to the Boca Equestrian Center in Delray Beach to show in the recent competition. It was a Colligate Style Hunt Seat show, in which participants bring two horses of their own to contribute but are not allowed to ride their own horse. Schor brought two of her own horses, Danny and Magic. Along with the other
horses brought to the show, they were entered into a pool. The team’s trainer, Erin Brotemarkle, drew every individual rider a horse for each of the two classes they would be competing in. The riders had to use the saddle and bridle already on the horse instead of their own. Cribb further explained this process by saying, “We were allowed two warm up jumps with the horse, then we went into the ring to jump a six jump course. Then we came out of the ring and had to get on the second horse whose name we pulled, and ride that horse.” Schor explained that, because the show was Colligate Style Hunt Seat, the competition was “more challenging.” Each rider competed in two Varsity classes. Schor participated in the 2’6 jumping class and a flat class. Cribb competed in a 2’0 jumping class and a flat class as well. Huertas did cross rails. The show was judged on equitation, or based solely on the riders’ performance. The team had a positive outcome with Cribb achieving 1st place in both classes, Huertas receiving 2nd place in flat and 3rd in jumping, and Schor placing 5th in her flat class. Schor said, “The first show went really well, especially because we were just figuring out the format of IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association) shows because they’re completely different from any rated or unrated show any of us had ever been to before.” Anticipating their upcoming shows and the club’s future, the three participants are hopeful more members of Benjamin’s new Equestrian Club will soon join the IEA. This will assure greater participation in the team’s future shows. Schor said, “I think [the show] was a very good start for the club, hopefully we can be champions next time!”
Athletes modernize training with biomechanic workouts By Tori Cribb Staff Writer
Meredith Berger / Staff Writer
Baseball player DJ Paone, sophomore, does pullups at AD Performance.
Working out at the gym has long been a craze among Benjamin athletes, but baseball and lacrosse players have recently replaced gym time with biomechanic fitness at the AD Performance facility in Jupiter. Bio-mechanic fitness is different from regular weight lifting. Junior Robie Mendoza said, “Bio-mechanics uses the idea of ‘prehab.’ ‘Prehab’ is finding the faults with your body and correcting them so that they don’t become an even bigger problem in the future. It goes beyond that in the sense that it teaches you how to fire all of your muscles to get the maximum efficiency and best performance.” “Every other day we alternate workouts,” said Mendoza. “One workout is focused around squatting and forward movements coupled with dumb bell presses. The other is focused around Romanian dead lifts and kettle bell
swings and coupled with lateral movements.” Most of the 20 or so participants started training because assistant lacrosse coach Shane Rye and head baseball coach Brian Kaplan recently opened their own facility which specializes in bio-mechanic fitness. When applied to lacrosse, this training, according to senior Josh Stauffer, helps to maximize strength and torque for making a shot while also improving balance and speed and helping players to dodge and move better on the field. Agreeing with Stauffer, junior Nick Gardner said, “I have already seen a couple differences in my lacrosse playing. My legs have been trained to fire more productively and my shot has greatly increased in speed from the training of my obliques and hips.” Baseball players involved in biomechanic training carry out baseballspecific exercises targeting strength for batting and throwing and speed for
running bases. According to sophomore Kody Reudisili, not only has the training improved his skills and corrected his weaknesses, but it also alleviates the aches and pains from continuously playing all season. As a result of participating in these baseball-specific exercises, sophomore DJ Paone said, “My arm has gotten a lot stronger which helps so much in the outfield. And when I am base-running and chasing down balls in the outfield, I found that my first step and all my movements are more explosive.” For some athletes using this training, their goals lie beyond simply expanding their ranges of motion. Stauffer said, “I hope to become faster, stronger, and quicker in order to achieve my goal of being an All-American this year.” Paone said, “Overall the training has made me a much better baseball player and from the strength and balance exercises we do, I find myself doing things that I could never do.”
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
Bouncing Back - This yearâ€™s dance team is aiming to impress despite a 8-member decline since last year.
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
Flying High - 2 pep rallies and a performance at a Marlins game have kept this yearâ€™s cheer squad with their hands full.
MEREDITH BERGER / Staff Writer
Life In The Fast Lane - 39 bowlers for 10 spots: the competition was fierce for membership on the newly prestigious team.
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
Picking Up The Pace - Benjamin hosted its first oncampus crosscountry meet September 10, with girls taking first place and boys taking second.
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor JENNA BERNICK / Co-Editor-in-Chief
Head First - Sophomore Anthony Mercadante faces strong regional competition this year as the only member of the Benjamin Diving Team.
Team Rehab - With the loss of its first-string quarterback senior Teddy Dwork after his grade 3 shoulder separation this September at Archbishop Curly, the 3-and-1 football team is moving full speed ahead thanks to support from senior Charly Schooley filling in at the QB position Page design by Jared Fishman