Page 1

Model Behavior TBS student enjoys the life of a teenage model Features pg. 6

A Glimpse into the Closet Trials and tribulations of gay students at Benjamin Spotlight pg. 8-9

Volume XXIX

Singing Scalawags Pirates will invade the stage in spring musical Arts pg. 10

Issue 3

March 12, 2009

Committed to cure, Relay for Life exceeds goal Jenna Bernick Features Editor

On March 7th and 8th, approximately 300 participants joined in Benjamin’s second annual Relay for Life which raised over $46,000 for the American Cancer Society. Twenty teams pitched tents around the track, decorated their campsites, and took turns walking around the track at this year’s ‘Screen on the Green’ moviethemed Relay for Life from 3 p.m. on Saturday to 6 a.m. on Sunday. As Benjamin’s first overnight event, it was a huge success, with roughly 100 participants staying overnight. The event far surpassed its fundraising goal of $35,000. “It was an enormous See Relay for Life pg. 5

Photos by Matt Murray

Raising money day and night - Many of the hundreds of Relay for Life participants joined in on fun activities during the day like the water balloon toss (left), and at night took part in the Luminaria ceremony (right), a silent lap to honor cancer patients and survivors.

Seniors triumph in Chillin’ and Grillin’ Chillin’ and Grillin’ Week aids in alleviating student stress, and unites faculty and students Jason Malone Editor-in-Chief

Photo by Matt Murray

Teachers vs. Students - Mr. Gatewood defends Matt Godown during the student-teacher basketball game last Thursday.

iCheat

Last week students enjoyed a series of creative dress down days and competitions for the Upper School’s annual Chillin’ and Grillin’ Week, and the seniors came out victorious.

Katie Schepps Staff Writer

Jared Fishman Copy Editor

See iPhone Cheating pg. 5

with the final weeks of the quarter. “The idea is to have a relaxed week right before spring break, to add a little fun into the academic day when it is crunch time,” said Student Council Vice President Maddy Cohen. See C&G pg. 4

Faculty log on Facebook despite school’s opinion

Smartphones may be making dishonorable impact at TBS For years, teachers have policed students who pass notes and send text messages in class. However, with devices such as the iPhone in wide use, faculty members may now have more sophisticated things to watch. Some students have found ways to use certain tech devices to violate the school’s honor code. Using either the internet for direct answers or word-processing applications for cheat-sheets, students can take cheating to the next level. One anonymous student said, “I have definitely seen it happen, and I have even [used an iPhone to cheat] myself.” Because both the iPhone and the Blackberry

In anticipation of the high levels of stress that always develop toward the end of the 3rd quarter, Student Council plans Chillin’ and Grillin’ Week before Spring Break as a way to help students deal with intense work load that comes

Photo is an iPhone screenshot

Do you have a Facebook? Students respond to this question without hesitation. The teachers’ reaction, however, if not a confident “no,” is almost always accompanied by a nervous reluctance to reveal the response. Teenagers have become addicted users of the widespread social network called Facebook, with more than 150 million users worldwide. However, it is not only teenagers who are utilizing this website to connect to those around them, but adults as well. This is evidenced by

the fact that several Benjamin teachers have accounts themselves. The administration has “urged” teachers not to have Facebook accounts, but has not prohibited their use. Because of this disapproval, teachers with Facebook profiles are hesitant to speak about the issue. The school highly recommends that teachers do not have accounts because of the possible consequences of crossing a boundary in the studentteacher relationship. Head of the Upper School Jay Selvig said, “Sometimes there is inappropriate communiSee Facebook pg. 4


Editorials

Page 2

March 2009 The Pharcyde

Auditorium, donation necessary to unite campus The lack of an on-campus theater or auditorium is greatly affecting daily upper school life. Despite economic hardships, the auditorium needs to be the school’s paramount priority in terms of expansion. Three times a week, students pack into the gym to listen to the morning announcements. Occasionally students sit through extra long special assemblies on the uncomfortable gym bleachers. An auditorium would provide a proper meeting place in a comfortable environment for the students. The Arts Department is having its abilities limited because of the lack of an auditorium. Over the past few years, it has used off-campus sites to host its performances. Moreover, faculty members are holding theater classes in a normal-sized classroom and are without storage space for sets and props. This theater would provide accessibility for those drama and dance students

for everyday use and seasonal shows. With this performing arts center, the opportunities are endless, and the learning experiences are great for those students with a vested interest in the arts. This new auditorium would create more involvement in the arts which Benjamin needs. Thankfully, Head of School Mr. Robert Goldberg understands the need for a performing arts center. Goldberg said, “It is a necessity for the students to have this theater.” He also agrees that due to our current situation, “the students are not receiving all the opportunities possible.” However this auditorium is not just going to appear on its own. The only way it is going to become a part of this campus is through a generous donation from a family or families who support the arts at Benjamin. It is up to the people associated with the arts to influence outsiders to donate the money. Even though the econo-

Photo is an official artist’s rendering of a future Performing Arts Complex at the Upper School

my is in turmoil, the school received a donation of similar caliber to help construct the on-campus pool. The school needs to find another donor who is willing to fund the auditorium project and plant the financial seed to get operations started. Unfortunately given the logistics of it all, it is going to take several years and a large donation in order to make this dream a reality. That is a shame. On many

levels, an auditorium would unify the school and create more chances for interaction between the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools. Generation after generation of students have gone by without a proper auditorium, but in order for the students to get the most out of their upper school experience and for the arts to really thrive, the Benjamin Upper School campus needs an auditorium. In actuality every single

student would use the auditorium almost every day. Whether it is for morning assembly, drama class, or special assemblies like drinking and driving seminars; an auditorium used by the student body will greatly increase the communal lifestyle of Benjamin students. It is time to rid ourselves of long uncomfortable meetings in the gym and seat ourselves in a new age, the age of an auditorium.

Success of advisor program starts with teacher commitment The main goal of the advisor program is to create stronger relationships between students and teachers; however, the program only seems to benefit some students who have dedicated advisors. With the current program,

students stay with the same group and advisor throughout high school, assuming they do not choose to switch into another group. This policy benefits those groups in which advisors follow through with the program and connect with their stu-

The Pharcyde

Founded in 1980 as The Spectator, now it its 28th year The Pharcyde, the Upper School Newspaper for The Benjamin School, is published four times a year in October, December, March, 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 kdidsbury@benjaminschool.com. The Pharcyde is a member of the Florida Scholastic Press Association.

Editorial Board Editor-in-Chief Jason Malone

Managing Editor Cory Weinberg

Copy Editor Jared Fishman

Features Editor Jenna Bernick

Sports Editor Philip Staiman

Photo Editor Matt Murray

Staff Writers Drew Doherty Garrett Bruno Colin Murphy Jack Borris Will Sabayrac Katie Schepps Ben Young - Artistic Contributor Advisor Mr. Kendall Didsbury

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.

dents, but this change also only further emphasizes the lack of commitment from other advisors. To the knowledge of few students, an actual program of activities and discussion topics exists that every advisor receives at the beginning of the year. “There are ethical situations which we would like them to do for character,” said Taylor. “It’s part of a developmental guidance program.” The goals of the advisor program are practical. In a small school like Benjamin, students and teachers should be able to get to know each other and feel comfortable talking together. With the activities presented by Taylor as well as the opportunity to spend four years with one group of advisees, advisors should be making this happen. The issue lies not within the program itself, but rather in its execution, or lack thereof, by certain advisors. A few advisors in particular have created unbreakable bonds that other advisors should strive to create. “Sra. Tejera actually cares about us like we are her own children,” said sophomore Frank Cunningham. Sophomore Lauren Casasus add-

ed, “Everyday at assembly she makes sure she makes physical contact with us and individually greets us to enforce the strong bond we all share.” Of her advisor, freshman Sara Forrest said, “Mrs. Bozzo is an amazing advisor. She helps [students] if they are having trouble in school, or [with] anything thing else that they need.” As Taylor put it, “[The program is] only as good as the advisor.” Even if an advisor chooses not to follow the provided program, advisors can bond with their students by simply showing interest in their well-being. Advisors should initiate discussion of any sort in order to create a comfortable connection with advisees. “We have in place people who are meant to monitor the program on a daily basis but the truth is that we want people to be treated as professionals so we don’t want to be like big brothers watching. It’s a question of professionalism,” said Tay-

lor. If the main issue of the advisor program is one of commitment by advisors, is it acceptable that the school as a whole tolerates this behavior? Direct constructive criticism from advisees to advisors would be a great first step in creating connections and conversations in advisor groups. However, we cannot be certain that this small step will encourage those advisors who have no personal desire to commit to the program. The solution is to alter the program so that advisors who fulfill his or her responsibilities keep their position and adopt more students into their group, while those advisors who show no interest in the program be assigned different responsibilities. With this change, The Benjamin Upper School advisors program will benefit from having advisors who display the most enthusiasm and it will therefore be unnecessary to question the professionalism of advisors.

Do you want your voice heard? Send a Letter to the Editor

If you want to respond to any article in this issue or discuss any school or local topic of your own, send a letter of 150 words or less to cory.weinberg10@thebenjaminschool.org. Letters must be signed and are not guaranteed to be printed.


March 2009 The Pharcyde

A case for GSA After widespread student and teacher support for a GayStraight Alliance, parents are inhibiting Benjamin’s growth

Op-Ed

Page 3

Change starts with us Obama called on us to act responsibly amidst the era of corruption

TBS+GSA

Jason Malone Editor-in-Chief

A well run private school should be able to balance the expectations of the students with the expectations of the parents. While the sole focus of the parents should be what is best for the students, many parents forget that their place outside of the school community means that they are sometimes incapable of truly knowing what is best. The recent proposal for a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) has caused a stir across the Upper School. The issue of homosexuality at Benjamin, which for years has been ignored, is finally in the spotlight, and people are talking. Students and teachers alike have shown their overwhelming support for a club that promotes the tolerance and acceptance of homosexual students at Benjamin. A petition with over 70 signatures was put forth by the students, and two teachers stepped forward to act as club advisors, Dean of College Counseling Ms. Kristen Learner and English teacher Mr. Simon Behan. The school’s indecisiveness over the issue of a GSA motivated students to or-

Cartoon by Ben Young

ganize, and tie-dye over 75 white Benjamin shirts and distribute 150 rainbow ribbons which were worn two weeks ago by both students and teachers in support of a GSA However, this club was doomed from the start. It was doomed not because students lacked interest, or because the administration deemed it inappropriate; it was doomed because some Benjamin parents thought they knew better. They thought that The Benjamin School community was not ready for a GSA. Some opposed the GSA because they claimed that encouraging students to come out at school would lead to acts of violence toward openly gay students. Others disagreed with the idea of a GSA completely. However, as parents, none of these people attend Benjamin on a daily basis. They cannot judge the climate of the school, so how can they claim to know what this school is ready for? Homophobia is a prevalent fear in the Benjamin

community, but students and teachers have shown that a large portion of the school is willing to begin working for a more accepting school environment. Acceptance (or at the very least, tolerance) does not happen if the status quo is kept intact. A tolerant community happens when diversity of ideology (or, in this case, sexuality) is allowed out in the open, to be acknowledged, questioned, and discussed. The initial result is always uncomfortable, but by bringing the issue of homosexuality into the open, students will have to acknowledge what may be an unfounded fear of gay students. Many of these people do not actually know any homosexuals, so they create stereotypes and false images, thus allowing them to cling to their irrational fears. Times are changing, and the America that once shunned homosexuality has now begun to celebrate it. We can do the same, or we can sit and do nothing, leaving the decision to those who think they know better.

Cory Weinberg He was speaking to us. That much was obvious. It has been two months since President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address, but I hope you have not forgotten his message. Obama declared that our generation has the power to overcome the shameful acts of greed and corruption that people in power and other Americans have continued to display. The bad news keeps piling on if you are craving integrity from those in the spotlight. I admit that it is utterly depressing, but the facts deserve reflection if we are going to change. As an economic crisis rages on, it becomes quite evident that a downturn in the economy was also the result of a downturn in responsibility from those whom we need it the most. It has become clear that banks and car companies made decisions that reflected a focus only on short-term greed, instead of a collective interest in the future and innovation. Our political leaders and role models have also let us down. Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich continued to tarnish the reputation of our political leaders with his corruption. At a local level, numerous Palm Beach County Commissioners also proved that elected officials often choose selfishness over the service of their constituents. A bickering Congress has continued to

ignore compromise and any semblance of bipartisanship. In the athletic world, baseball icon Alex Rodriguez, one of the last supposedly pure superstars, showed millions of young athletes that it is acceptable to succumb to a steroid culture in an era where thousands of players took the easy way out. Obama called on us to fill the gaping moral holes that our elders have left wide open. In his Inauguration speech, Obama said, “In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.” We need to begin earning that greatness back, and we cannot hold off any longer. It is not an acceptable excuse to cheat or take a shortcut because the academic rigors are a challenge. Instead, embrace the challenge, and realize that these selfish actions only begin in high school. If one sets a standard that it is okay to act selfishly as long as no one else gets hurt, guess what? That line blurs once you exit the Benjamin bubble. If we begin to think about how our actions affect the health of mankind, then we are a step ahead. As the older generation tries to mend our economy and our global moral standing, it is up to us to define a legacy. The present is looking pretty bleak, but it is our job to make the future bright.

the same shock would be given and so on as the day’s schedule goes on. Students who were perpetually late to school or class would have their tasers turned up so that the shock they receive is heavier and more painful. That way, they know they are late. The more times the student is late, the heavier the shock would get until eventually it would knock the student unconscious, leaving him or her paralyzed. Students and parents would not need to worry because a school nurse is ready in the office in case she needs to take care of the students. Those left in wheelchairs, incapable of ever living a nor-

mal life, would be examples for the other students not to be late. With this taser solution, the lives of students and teachers would ultimately be better. Teachers would not have to worry about rambunctious kids; for if they ever get out of line; ZAP! And everything goes back to normal. Also, no longer are students ever going to have to worry about looking up at the clocks because a very light 50,000 volt shock would remind them when class ends. Without the clock problem, The Benjamin School will be a safer and more educational institution than ever before.

Managing Editor

A shocking proposal: The sensible solution to fix TBS’s collapsed clock system Drew Doherty Staff Writer

It is first period, and you are sitting in the middle of an incredibly long lecture about something to which you probably are not paying attention. You are thinking about anything else to fill the void created by countless hours of constantly looking back at the clock, until your neck feels as if it is being hit with a hammer. The bell finally rings at 4:54 and you move to your next class. You sit down at your desk and look at the clock; it reads 2:10. What is wrong with this picture? The continually malfunctioning clock system this

year is the long-running joke of the school. Students with a habit of looking up at the clock to see what time it is find themselves disappointed to see the clock reading something completely different from the real time. The major problem here is that students and teachers can never tell what time it is; therefore, lessons run longer or shorter, and students are regularly late to class. Teachers’ frustration level with the clocks is at an all time high. The school tells the staff weekly that the clocks are fixed, while they continue to flash 12:00. The solution to this clock dilemma, ironically, must

come from the technology department. In order to prevent students from being late to class and classes from running too long or short, administration should put a small black box on every student and teacher. Each device would be attached to the back, near the spinal cord. At 7:55, before school starts, each device would lightly tase the students to warn them that class is about to start. At 8:00, another shock is administered. Those students who are not in a school building at 8:00 would receive a heavier shock. The taser would have a GPS-like system in it to detect where students are at all times. When classes end,


News

Page 4

March 2009 The Pharcyde

Kaye wins annual Table Tennis Classic Jared Fishman Copy Editor

Model Congresses, UN students return home

For four days students attended Yale Model United Nations in New Haven, Connecticut. The conference is for high school students to represent countries around the world and solve global problems. Junior Minh Ly said, “It’s a great learning experience because you get to meet people from around the world, and you get to hear their opinions.” Junior Statesmen of America (JSA) traveled to Washington D.C. where they debating mock legislation at JSA Winter Congress. JSA chapter president Ben Young won his 6th career best speaker gavel. Students also spent five days in Boston, Massachusetts for Harvard Model Congress (HMC), role playing the United States government as Congressmen, Supreme Court Justices, Lobbyists, and Senators.

Prom theme selected

This year’s Prom will be held on April 25th at the International Polo Club and will be an oriental theme. It will take place from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., and will cost $50 per person, $100 per couple. The prom committee expects to raise $12,000 from ticket sales and fundraising. Keeping with previous school sponsored events, party buses will not be permitted, and police will be present to breathalyze everyone before they enter. One guest will be allowed per person.

One Act Play Festival captivates audience

The 2nd annual One Act Play festival was a success, featuring plays by student directors Steven Perlberg, Alex Hinson, and Drew Doherty. Actors Perlberg, Nicole Grabel, Paige Gurba, Victoria Castriz, Hunter Toro, and William Sabayrac participated at the Barker Performing Arts Center on February 13th. Written by Garrett Bruno

On March 2nd, junior Max Kaye beat sophomore Zach Krumholz in the finals of the 2nd Annual Benjamin Table Tennis Classic, a fundraising event that Student Council organized to raise funds for charity. From its 34 competitors, the event raised $340, and winner Kaye elected to donate the money to Relay for Life, a school-supported charity event for cancer. As president of Student Council, Steven Perlberg was enthusiastic about the event and its outcome. About the final match, he said, “[It] was perhaps some of the best pong these eyes have ever seen.” Kaye, having switched schools this year from Suncoast, feels that Benjamin has much to offer in terms of activities. He said, “It’s like a new thing because at Suncoast they don’t have

Photo by Jenna Bernick

Last man standing - Max Kaye defeated Zach Krumholz in the Table Tennis final on March 2nd.

the people or the resources to promote these things. The Benjamin School does a great job of raising these events and having the people who care about these events and who can actually make it fun.” Unlike most of the other competitors in the tournament, Kaye has had experience in ping pong tournaments before. He said, “It was in Boca when I was

13… and when I got there I was really scared because… I didn’t even warm up and everyone else had a coach except for me, and I still won.” Perlberg maintains that the tournament would not have been successful without the help of everyone involved. He said, “My thanks go out to Mrs. Wissner, Mrs. Ditaranto, the rest of Student Council, everyone who par-

ticipated in the tournament, those who lent their tables for us to use, and Will and Mr. Sabayrac for helping get the tables to and from school.” Obviously pleased with the results, Perlberg said, “This year’s tournament certainly was a continuation of the tradition set last year. The passion for ping pong definitely carried over from last year.”

teachers about having Facebook profiles. One Benjamin staff member, who chooses to remain unnamed, said, “In the last week, I’ve gotten in touch with friends who I haven’t seen in ten years.” This source described Facebook as a “useful resource” for communication and admitted to occasionally communicating with current Benjamin students on Facebook. This teacher revealed that in the case of finding anything inappropriate on a student’s profile, it would be her job “to speak to the student face to face.” Although most would agree that Facebook is a method of “communicating with friends,” not all teachers take the same position on whether or not communica-

tion with students through Facebook is appropriate. Another teacher at the school, who is also a Facebook user, said, “Because of incidents in the past, I feel it is probably best only to correspond with kids that I don’t currently teach.” Through Facebook, she“[keeps] track of former students,” but refuses to converse with current Benjamin students on the network. Among Benjamin teachers, one will encounter a wide variety of opinions on Facebook use. One teacher said, “I can imagine that the reasons why young adults and adults use the networking aspects of Facebook are the same.” However, this same teacher expressed a negative view on the social network when he said, “I personally

would never, ever have a Facebook page.” It is uncertain whether the effort to restrict its use has been successful; nonetheless, the administration stands by its suggestion that teachers should take caution while conversing with students in a non-school environment, such as through the network of Facebook. When asked about the possibility of a teacher finding inappropriate content on students’ Facebooks, Mr. Selvig said, “I would hope that the teacher would address it as a concern, particularly if it is a matter of concern to the wellbeing of a student. If it raises a concern, they are obligated to address it by contacting somebody, be it the parent or even the student.”

Teachers with Facebooks face moral dilemmas From Facebook pg. 1

-cation that occurs between students and teachers. It is my understanding that on Facebook you can see the whole correspondence that occurs between the person you are friends with and other people.” When students and teachers communicate beyond the walls of the classroom, a complication can emerge. Given the personal aspect of Facebook, why would teachers voluntarily involve themselves with students in a non-school environment? Does the teacher have the right to report inappropriate content found on the Facebook accounts of students? In such a situation, the teacher would be faced with a moral dilemma; the administration thus warns

Students, teachers face off in fun activities From C&G pg. 1

Photo by Matt Murray

Rabid fans - Sophomores Anjali Shetty and Crystal Rosatti cheer for the sophomore basketball team during Chillin’ and Grilin’.

While the elaborate costumes provide a distraction during the academic day English teacher Mr. David Gatewood believes that the spirit of Chillin’ and Grillin’ is a positive influence on the students. Gatewood said, “I like activities that break up the routine, that try to get the school to do something together, and thus, even though there is certainly some distraction during Chillin’ and Grillin’, I think

that’s an acceptable tradeoff. It’s good to have a little fun and blow off steam.” Not only does Chillin’ and Grillin’ help students destress, it also helps bring the school together, with events like “Name That Tune” and the teacher-student basketball game, allowing the faculty to take a break from teaching and enjoy spirited competition with their students. The dress up days for this week’s Chillin’ and

Grillin’ were Pajama Day on Monday, Fantasy Day on Tuesday, Disney Channel Original Movie Day on Wednesday, Video Game Day on Thursday, and Blue and Orange Day on Friday. The competition was close, with the juniors taking the lead with best dressed wins, and the freshmen dominating the dodgeball game. However the seniors swept the basketball games, ensuring their victory, and the coveted “Golden Spatula.”


March 2009 The Pharcyde

News

Page 5

Witnesses give accounts of smartphone cheating From iPhone cheating pg. 1

have fast internet browsers, the entirety of the web is available for cheaters to access covertly at their desk or in the restroom. Another anonymous student described how easily students use technology to get around school cheating policies. He said, “I feel like teachers will have a hard time monitoring this. People who I have talked to just ask to use the bathroom and have full use of the internet right there.”

The student later added, “And it’s not like they have to sneak textbooks or notes in there before class, which makes it much easier to avoid getting caught. If there is any suspicion, it’s not like you have anything that’s by itself suspicious. It’s just a phone.” A different witness to iPhone and Blackberry cheating described it as just a different form of cheating that has gone on for years. He specifically referenced

the iPhone’s notepad application, in which users can type anything, as they would in any word processor. He said, “A student looking at notes they saved on the iPhone’s notepad is doing the same thing as a student who hides a cheat-sheet in their shirt and sneaks looks at it during class.” Another witness to the cheating problem explained that while he does not commonly see his peers physically in the act of cheating,

he hears about it before and after tests. He believes that cheating with the use of technology will increase as students have larger amounts of information available in more personal devices. He said, “Cheating this way is inevitable and can’t be stopped unless the teacher walks around the class looking for it the entire time.” Advisor to the Honor Council Dr. David Spielberg, while not having any students put on trial for

cheating using an iPhone, believes that in cheating the same principle is violated regardless of the method used. Accordingly, he plans to take action against any student caught using an iPhone to cheat. Dr. Spielberg said, “The Honor Council is like Quality Control. We are not responsible for making students behave honorably; we are responsible for punishing them when they do not behave honorably.”

Dazzlers earn state title in Florida dance team competition Dancers become state champions despite competing against larger schools Katie Schepps Staff Writer

For the first time in Dazzler history, The Benjamin School Dance Team took the state title in two divisions at the Florida Dance Team Directors Association dance competition at Oviedo High School. In the Valentine’s Day Weekend competition, the team performed a dance to Dream On by Aerosmith, which the school will see for the very first time at the upcoming Dance Concert. For this piece, the Dazzlers not only took first place for the small schools category, but they scored higher than the teams in all of the other divisions as well. The Dazzlers also took the title for the “Team Dance,” the student-

run Homecoming half-time number, choreographed by captains Ali McCraney and Gabi Garcia. Coach Sara Salivar referred to this piece as one that incorporates “a little bit of hip-hop, funk, jazz, and the kick line, which we are known for.” The girls participated in five big group numbers, with most dancers in at least two to three of them. Brittany Bigelow and Katherine Davis, Ali McCraney and Gabi Garcia, and Kayla Foriere and Elise Pitcairn all performed duets. Juniors Alex Slawson, Summer Reedy, and Andrea Geiger performed a trio for the first time. Ali McCraney was awarded first place for the soloist piece she performed. Commenting on McCraney’s suc-

cess, Salivar said, “The thing that I loved about Ali was that she was so classy and technical in her routine, and her artistry came through.” At the competition, the Dazzlers, a team of only 13 dancers, competed against much larger teams, those of 3A, 4A, 5A, and even 6A schools. One team, from Seminole High School in Gainesville, competed with a team of ninety dancers. Salivar said, “Considering the relatively small size of the dance team program, it is very impressive that the girls took two overall state titles in addition to placing well within their division.” Agreeing with Salivar McCraney added, “I did not expect us to do as well as we did, but the team really pulled through.”

Photo by Mrs. Sara Saliver

Hardware - The Dazzlers hold their trophies after finishing first.

Relay includes games under sun and stars From Relay for Life pg. 1

growth from last year, and relatively speaking it was a job well done in terms of making it a larger event,” said Maddy Cohen, Co-chair of the event. “We ran a full event yesterday, one that brought in a lot of [The Benjamin School] community and a lot of the surrounding community, one that had a 15 hour DJ, an enormous amount of food and a movie…continuous movement… for over 18 hours, [and] one that will donate $50,000 to the American Cancer Society.” With an early start on fundraising this year led by Co-chairs Cohen and Laura Baker-Finch, teams were setting and resetting goals, ultimately resulting in the tens of thousands of dollars raised. Fundraising sales, ac-

tivites, and games planned by individual team’s such as cotton candy sales, ping pong tournament, and an ultimate frisbee game all contributed to Saturday’s schedule of events. On Saturday evening, the Luminaria candles were lit and all participants joined in a powerful silent lap around

the track in memory and honor of past and present cancer patients. ‘The Dark Knight’ was then played on an inflatable screen outside in conjunction with the Benjamin Parents’ Association’s Movie Night. Activities continued through 6 a.m. Sunday morning.

Photo by Matt Murray

Tug of love - The Dance Team and Girls Varsity Soccer team battle it out in a tug of war to raise money for Relay for Life.


Page 6

Features Model student

March 2009 The Pharcyde

Sophomore Jade Scarmazzo saw instant success in the modeling industry, and is now gaining experience Jenna Bernick Features Editor

For most high schoolers, Friday afternoon means heading home from school, and maybe seeing a movie, or hanging out with friends. For sophomore Jade Scarmazzo, Friday afternoon means something quite different: heading to her modeling agency in Miami for a European magazine casting.

Not-so-shaky start

Since her debut only two years ago, Scarmazzo has appeared in magazines including Girl’s Life, Seventeen, Glamour, Palm Beach International, In Fashion World Miami, Dutch CosmoGirl, and French and Italian magazines called Clam and Gratzia, respectively. She has also appeared in Wal-Mart and Kohl’s catalogues and in ad campaigns for Abercrombie and Celebrity Pink. Scarmazzo has been modeling since eighth grade, but the industry has been calling her name for even longer. “When I was younger, scouts would come to me from agencies and ask me to model for them,” said Scarmazzo, “but my mom wanted me to wait until I was older…” It was well worth the wait. In eighth grade, Scarmazzo’s mom took her to P models, a small agency out of Boca, which became her first agency. Scarmazzo later signed with Ford Models and then switched over

to her current agency, Next Models.

Strike a pose

Scarmazzo’s photoshoot with Abercrombie for the 2008 spring catalogue took place in December 2007 in Islamorada, Florida. Scarmazzo said “I got to shoot with a world-renowned photographer named Bruce Weber, and he’s fantastic.” Weber is a fashion photographer known for his work for Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Elle, and Rolling Stone. When chosen to appear in Seventeen, Scarmazzo was just as surprised as everyone else. “Usually you have to go to a big casting for a magazine like that. They look through tons of girls and then they finally pick one, but Seventeen actually came to us,” she said. The eight-page spread in Seventeen’s February 2009 issue was her second appearance there. “My first time was in the summer when I did an ad campaign for a company called Celebrity Pink and the billboard for that was in Times Square,” said Scarmazzo. Other recent exposure includes her appearance in Glamour’s January 2009 issue. Scarmazzo said “that was also a surprise; they saw a picture of me and kind of just called up. My agency does a very good job with getting jobs like that; it’s always such a surprise though.”

Photos courtesy of Dutch Cosmo Girl

Going international - Although many of her peers know that Jade Scarmazzo was featured in Seventeen and Glamour, she has also been in magazines around the world like Dutch Cosmo (above).

Model material

Scarmazzo didn’t always want to model. “It just kind of came to me,” said Scarmazzo. “I model because I can— my mom is thin, my dad is tall and thin… I mean sometimes I just do crunches, but I don’t really work out or eat differently,” said Scarmazzo, who does not seem affected by pressures of the industry. “It’s important to stay healthy but I mean if I want a piece of chocolate cake I’m going to eat a piece of chocolate cake!” Scarmazzo remains positive during shoots. “There are about eight to ten people at one shoot, including the makeup artist, stylist, photographer, creative director, editor of the magazine, and respective assistants. A lot

of girls look at it as if all the pressure is on her, but I just can’t look at it like that. Basically the model just pulls everything together,” she said.

A sense of balance

High fashion and commercial modeling are both important aspects of Scarmazzo’s career. “I do both because all the money is in commercial modeling but you need the high fashion to get exposure. I just prefer high fashion because it comes more naturally.” Scarmazzo has learned to balance school and modeling. “I’ve had the opportunity to drop out of school for a semester and go work in Europe in an agency over there,” said Scarmazzo, “but it’s important to stay

in school because my education will last me.”

Coming attractions?

After seeing her photos in Glamour and Seventeen magazines, Cosmopolitan has shown interest in shooting Scarmazzo for an upcoming issue. “What I’m doing now is having my manager send my pictures around to agencies in Europe to get a contract for the summer,” Scarmazzo said. Scarmazzo’s most recent modeling shoot was for Mia magazine from Spain. Does Jade want to make a career out of modeling? “I don’t know,” she said. “You just have to take things one step at a time… but I definitely want to pursue it.”

Unfair or legitimate? Teachers, students discuss use of tutors The statistics show that many TBS students may use their tutors to gain an unfair advantage Drew Doherty Staff Writer

In a recent Pharcyde survey polling students about using outside academic support for schoolwork, a significant number of students admitted to getting help that constituted an unfair advantage. Twenty-three percent of the 138 respondents stated that they use a tutor to help them with their classwork. Roughly 25% of students who admitted to having tutors said that they thought their teachers would be up-

set about the level of support tutors are giving them. The same number of respondents in another question confirmed that they felt that such work represented an unfair advantage. When asked about said advantage, 76% of those who responded said that their grades had improved because of their tutors. Given the opportunity to comment on this, one anonymous student who uses a tutor said “If I don’t understand something and I don’t get it, then I guess she would help me along doing some of

the work for me.” However the only reason this student uses her tutor is that she felt pressure from her class, saying, “I never used one last year but half of my math class did where the homework would be graded. So I am using it [this year] because I had an unfair disadvantage when I would get 5 out of 10’s on the homework because I didn’t know how to do it, and then learn from my mistakes and the other kids would get 10 out of 10 every single time.” Another anonymous student who does not use a tu-

tor said “I know many of my friends who have tutors who have just written papers for them and said that they were just doing their job.” English teacher Mr. Henry Hamilton believes that tutors can be harmful but also helpful to students. He said, “I’m not opposed to students using tutors if they are used in the right way. Where we get into problems is when students hand in papers that don’t sound like the way they write, or they speak, or they think; and it becomes fairly clear that the student didn’t do enough of

the actual writing of the paper.” He continued to say in defense of using tutors, “Not to say that students shouldn’t use tutors to help them write papers, but there is a balance that needs to be struck, and if teachers and tutors work together a little bit more we could find a happy medium where everyone wins.” Unfortunately that balance may be missing, as 84% of the respondents to the survey admitted that their tutors do not work with their teachers.


March 2009 The Pharcyde

Features

Page 7

Freshmen finally online, but are laptops helpful? Late arriving freshmen laptops provide insight into the technology program, and student and teacher reactions are mixed Garrett Bruno Staff Writer

Photo by Matt Murray

Rule of thirds - Sophomore photo student Alexis Gilbert snaps a photo as part of a class project.

classes, teachers offer Picture perfect: Photo students creative opportunities Matt Murray Photo Editor

Each semester, dozens of students are drawn to the elective photo courses not only by a love of photography but by two popular teachers who create a positive and enjoyable environment. Mr. Christopher Oakes, who teaches all three levels of photography, approaches his classroom in a relaxed, comedic fashion. Oakes said, “I believe that, particularly with teenagers, if you have them in a creative environment where they are having fun and they’re happy and relaxed, you will get much better results than if you treat it like a vocational program.” Students are able to enjoy themselves while exploring the many different elements of photography, especially with the creative assignments Mr. Oakes gives his students. Said sophomore Nicóle Paine, “The assignments he gives us are always fun because they help me look at things in different ways to create a better photo.” Although she approaches her class in a more structured fashion, Mrs. Melissa Ford is also stress-free, and students certainly enjoy and benefit from her classes. “I think that there needs to be a fair amount of discipline in any artistic endeavor to really correctly explore it,” said Ford. “I welcome anybody to come in with ideas of things they want to learn or photos they’d like to create, but at the same time there are certain benchmarks that I want each class to know how to do.” Ford explained

Photo by Morgan Matese

On point - Photo student Morgan Matese shot the above photos for a project in Mrs. Ford’s class to reflect students’ hobbies.

that this structure allows her to feel comfortable that students can go out into the world and know what they need to do and how to do it. Sophomore Hannah Flah, an intermediate level students, said, “I really love the arts, and just discovered this year that I love taking pictures…Mrs. Ford gives us assignments telling us…what rule to follow but other than that, what we take pictures of is our own subject choice. I like that because she allows us to express what we feel the assignment is with our own ideas represented in the pictures, too.” The teachers base the introductory class on the darkroom and film development. Students learn basic photographic techniques while tying in basic elements of design. The only rule students must abide by is the rule of thirds. This rule requires students to section their photographs and place the subject in either the left third or right third of the space. As students progress to

the intermediate level, teachers expect them to merge their technical and artistic skills and think more conceptually about the image they are creating. Moving on to the advanced level means students must not build conceptually and approach their images in abstract ways. Students not only have to take a photo but have that photo tell a story. While students plan which arts courses to take, Mrs. Ford explained that “interest in the photography classes is constantly growing, with students exploring all different types of subject matter with their work.” Mrs. Ford said that she anticipates an even greater number of students in the photo program as Photojournalism is introduced in the fall. As photography continues to grow at Benjamin, teachers expect that students will enjoy the course. Mr. Oakes said, “Who wouldn’t want to sign up for fun class that challenges your [artistic] sensibilities?”

Without laptops for the first nine weeks of the ‘08‘09 school year, the freshman class provides a unique angle on the Benjamin high school experience. By reviewing the freshman’s experience, one can see that while it has its flaws, the laptop program is ultimately succeeding. Due to manufacturing complications with Gateway, the Class of 2012 did not receive laptops until nine weeks after school started. While frustrating for them, their experience provides an unprecedented insight into whether or not the laptop program is succeeding in its original goal: to enhance the educational experience of the students. When asked about his experience without the laptops, freshman Daniel Ditaranto said, “It held us back, there were so many things we had to do through the computer.” The teachers were also affected by the lack of laptops. In the beginning, they found it burdensome not having email communication with their students. English teacher Ms. Mary-Alice Ditaranto said, “That was the pitfall for me…. how I could communicate with them. I couldn’t send them the syllabus, I had to copy everything.” However, many teachers noticed a change in the freshmen’s behavior once the laptops finally did arrive.

“It has been my observation that they have obviously been more distracted,” said social studies teacher Mr. Jamie McVicar. Both teachers and students agreed that the laptops caused attention levels in the students to go down. Freshman Christian Sendler said, “I find that although it makes work easier and opens up a lot of opportunities, it can also be very distracting when trying to get work done.” Freshman Biology teacher Ms. Mary Spino said, “If the day starts with a freshman class, it takes them longer to settle down because a lot of them are distracted by new emails.” However, the overall benefit of the laptops made up for the slight loss in attention. Mrs. Spino said, “Overall the communication is much better with computers….In science computers are a must. I send them pictures and diagrams. This cuts down on the colored ink, paper and increases their understanding of form and function.” Freshman Rachel Rosen said, “when we finally got them, it was a lot less stressful.” When asked whether teaching the students was different with and without laptops, Mr. McVicar said, “It is my philosophy that the students have the choice between being distracted with online shopping, emailing, gaming, or they have a choice of being engaged in the class discussion.”

Photo by Matt Murray

Finally connected - Alana Dresner works on her laptop in class. Freshmen now must decide whether to use laptops responsibly.


Spotlight

Page 8

March 2009 The Pharcyde

Searching for acceptance The past, present, and future for gay students at Benjamin Cory Weinberg Managing Editor

During his sophomore year at The Benjamin School, Brandon Peterson’s* (an asterisk indicates a name change) mind swirled uncontrollably with one issue dominating his thoughts: how would his family and friends react when he told them that he’s gay? He struggled to fit in at Benjamin, and his grades plummeted. School administrators noticed his plight, and said, according to Peterson, that Benjamin was probably not the right fit for him. “It wasn’t because I got in trouble, it was because I’m gay,” said Peterson. Although school officials did not intend their suggestion as an ultimatum for withdrawal, they did admit what gay Benjamin students of past and present are now also saying. Gay students and other prominent school figures claim that the school’s embedded conservative culture, including parent agendas, past student homophobia, and a history of blissful ignorance, keeps students in the closet and stifles them from being open about their homosexuality.

Despite homosexuality becoming increasingly accepted in modern American society, Peterson felt unwelcome at times by some of his classmates. Now a senior at Benjamin, Peterson said he stayed hushed in some classes because he knew people would think he was gay. “My voice does give it off and my mannerisms too. I just try not to talk at Benjamin as much,” said Peterson. “Teachers ask, ‘Why don’t you speak up in class or participate?’ I have to lie and say, ‘I just don’t know the answer.’” When teachers found out that Peterson is gay, some tried to help him adjust in school but also drew unwanted attention to his sexuality. This was a breaking point for him. “I try not to think of it so much because it brings me down. Now I just accept it and the reality of Benjamin,” said Peterson. “I just don’t know any other school like this. I just don’t.” Although Peterson experienced some prejudice and scorn as an underclassman, school life has improved as he has gotten older and his peers have matured and become more open-minded. Current Benja-

Joining hands for GSA

Photo by Cory Weinberg

Tie Dye Friday - Seniors Elliot Larkin, Laura Baker-Finch, and Ben Young walk into school on February 27th. They were 3 of nearly 80 students who tie-dyed their school uniform shirts to support the proposed Gay Straight Alliance; about 150 students and teachers also wore rainbow pins and bracelets to support the cause. School administrators have yet to approve the GSA.

min senior Eric Cooper* said “it is generally known” amongst upperclassmen that Cooper is gay, but denies noticing much evidence of student prejudice. This suggests that in the social hierarchy of Benjamin, once you’re an upperclassman, contempt evaporates. “I’ve noticed that nobody really cares [that I’m gay],” said Cooper. “Maybe it’s just because I’m a senior, but it changes. I get some dirty looks now, but that’s it.” Recent student support for the proposed Gay Straight Alliance club has instilled a more optimistic outlook from those who support the cause, although the concern remains. Student Council President Steven Perlberg said, “Overall I think Benjamin is an impressively accepting community, as recent demonstrations clearly show. However....homosexuality is still taboo at Benjamin. Whether it’s using the word ‘gay’ as a pejorative term or simply enabling the ‘off limits’ nature of homosexuality at Benjamin, a small minority sometimes provokes a homophobic atmosphere.”

No solace in the closet

Benjamin’s supposed resistance to homosexuality also affects those who remain in the closet throughout high school. Peterson said, “There are definitely kids at school that I know who are in the closet. They’re just uncomfortable with themselves, especially in this environment.” Three gay Benjamin students refused to speak on the record for this article, as they did not want to risk others finding out about their sexuality, even if they spoke anonymously. Former Benjamin student Chris Madison* comfortably coped with coming out after leaving the school two years ago, but acknowledged that not all gay teens see it as such an easy task. They believe ignoring their homosexuality in high school is a better alternative than the dread of social exile. Madison said, “It’s the fear that it’s going to change everyone’s perception about you entirely, like they don’t know you anymore. It scares people. They get to the point where they don’t want to deal with this rapid change and they just ignore it.” This path of burying themselves in the closet may significantly damage teenagers’ confidence in their identity and cause depression as they seek normalcy, acceptance, and approval. Madison said, “It’s really self-

destructive. [Some gay teens think] that they should be trying as hard as they can to ignore or destroy it. I think it inhibits their ability to relate to anyone else as well. It isolates them essentially. It makes them feel like they’re hopeless.”

A ‘medieval’ experience

James Kaufman*, another former Benjamin student, can attest that being gay at Benjamin did not provide the smoothest school experience. Although bullying transpired in his lower years, Kaufman humorously noted that sometimes fighting stereotypes was the greatest strain. Kaufman, who is now in college, said, “Yes, I’m gay, but apparently when someone hears that, all of a sudden I’m every woman’s best friend, I’m the best interior designer in the room, and I can dress you for any ball that you’ll be attending.” That prejudice germinated in middle school, as some classmates would mock Kaufman because of their suspicions of his homosexuality. “Compared to other schools, Benjamin’s always been a bit medieval social doctrine-wise. [Some students’] level of harassment of me in middle school was incredible. I [told] them one time: ‘You seem to pay a lot of attention to someone [even when] you don’t know if he’s gay or straight.’ Then they took my trombone and threw it.” In high school, Kaufman observed the ubiquitous fashion in which students spewed out gay jokes during classes without facing consequences. Kaufman said, “There [were] so many gay jokes during classes, it annoyed me. No kind of joke like that really got to me…but


March 2009 The Pharcyde

Spotlight

Peterson, pointing to those at the top of the school, said, “They’re denying the fact that we even have gay students at our school. They just ignore it.” English teacher Mrs. Lynne Feyk said, “To pretend there aren’t gay students at Benjamin is ridiculous. I feel bad that [some alumni], who are now openly gay, won’t come back to the school because they [still] feel the stigma when they come back here. We’re missing some wonderful alumni who felt that having to be closeted was a very bad part of their high school experience.” In the eyes of some students, the school ignores homosexuality because of the upper class status and conservative values of most Benjamin families. If parents – paying a hefty tuition check every year – do not want the school to subject their children to discussions about homosexuality, or any sexuality for that matter, then why should the school open the conversation anyway? Because, according to gay students, discussion breeds acceptance – which they claim is something to which every student is entitled. Kaufman added, “I honestly believe that some families are imposing their beliefs into the school doctrine, which is unfortunate, but that’s how a private school like that functions.”

Building an Alliance Photo by Jason Malone

just the number of them and the fact that teachers never did anything about it. That alone was offensive. The jokes didn’t offend me, but the lack of action against them did.” During Kaufman’s junior year, he decided to come out to his closest friends. Kaufman said, “For my specific group of friends, I was their first actually gay friend. They evolved accordingly and did a wonderful job. [They] did better than they thought they would.”

The parent problem

Students and teachers say that outbursts of rampant student homophobia is no longer the problem, but rather the problem is now a conscious refusal from administrators and a conservative parent base to recognize gay students and the struggles that they may endure. Although student attitudes have changed, the culture may still keep gay teens from coming out.

During the early months of 2009, students have worked to break down the barrier of homophobia at Benjamin by attempting to found a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). Students across the country use GSA clubs to help foster a sense of acceptance for gay teens in their school and to act as a discussion group to help students cope with their sexuality. After drafting a club proposal and a petition with 74 student signees in support of the club, students also organized a demonstration to show support for the club: tiedyed uniform shirts. On February 27th, nearly 80 students wore their tie dyed, rainbow uniform shirts to school, and 150 students and faculty donned rainbow ribbons and bracelets in support of the cause. School administrators have yet to officially approve or deny the GSA. English Department Chair Mr. Perry Feyk said, “When it comes to dealing with the issue of homo-

sexuality, I think that people have so many ‘beliefs’ of what it is, I think that people really have no idea. A Gay Straight Alliance is a chance to find out that these perceptions that we have are unfounded.” Said Head of School Mr. Robert Goldberg, “I believe that these discussions are healthful for and helpful to our school community. However, the issues surrounding the formation of a formalized club to address homosexuality at Benjamin are complicated. This year we have 1,250 students from 900 families populating grades PK through 12. “The opinions regarding a GSA at a school of this size are varied and conflicting. For many folks, this issue is an extremely sensitive topic, one not to be explored in a high school setting, or at least not at this high school. Respectful of the diversity of opinion on this issue, the faculty and administration, nevertheless, need to ensure that all students feel safe, secure, and supported in a way that will maximize their potential in school. We do not want any of our students to suffer quietly for fear of retribution. “It is a difficult balance to achieve when so many points of view must be taken into consideration. I will continue to seek the wise counsel of my colleagues, who care so much about providing the best possible experiences for our students.” Despite parent concerns about the club’s validity in school, local GSA chapters claim that their newly established clubs have already improved tolerance in their schools.

5,000

Nearly high schools in the U.S. have a GSA.

Aaron Robin, GSA President for Pine Crest School in Ft. Lauderdale – a secular private school like Benjamin – said the 3-year-old club has already had a school-wide effect. The club organizes an Ally Week in October, which encourages students to be allies against anti-gay harassment, and participates in community service like the AIDS Walk. Said Robin, “We help kids outside the club to realize how their words affect people, and we help those inside the club to realize that

Page 9 being gay doesn’t define them. Half of it is having a support group and half of it is changing the mindset of people outside the support group. Our thinking is that ignorance can be fixed.” Jupiter High School’s GSA has also led the charge in spreading peace amidst a hostile atmosphere for gay students. Jupiter GSA Presi-

The average high school student hears

25

gay slurs daily. dent Ryan Scott said, “A big part of the GSA is just to open people’s eyes. We don’t try to change people’s minds; we just try to stop people from harassing others. You’re entitled to your own beliefs or own ideas but that doesn’t mean you have to go around trying to hurt or insult other people just because you don’t view things their way.” Along with spreading tolerance outside of the club’s walls, the Jupiter GSA also ensures gay students a safe place to discuss both their highs and lows. “The first semester of school I spend a lot of time on the phone with people trying to keep them from killing themselves. I’m trying to help people with how to come out to their parents and to their peers. My main focus is that it’s a support group. It keeps people safe and at least for an hour every two weeks is a place to vent and a place to be themselves,” said Scott. Supporters of a potential Benjamin GSA point to the mental anguish that some gay teens endure as cause for the club. Eric Cooper* (a gay Benjamin student mentioned earlier) said, “It’s important for the mental health of the students to whom it caters. A GSA would be a symbol of hope for a closeted and frightened freshman who is wondering whether he or she is the only gay student at Benjamin.” Said Peterson, “I think the barrier [against homosexuality] is getting weaker and weaker, and the final step is a GSA. I believe [a GSA] would have helped me through the tough times that I went through. Benjamin students are evolving and becoming more aware, and now it’s just up to the school and the parents to accept the reality.”

Students Sound off: Would you support the founding of a Gay-Straight Alliance at Benjamin?

“I think that for a school that promotes diversity as much as Benjamin does, the addition of this club is a necessity. There is so much student support for a GSA, and it would be a shame to see a club that so many people are so passionate about not be available to the student body.” -Emily Kochman, Sophomore

“I support the club and what it would do for the teenagers trying to come out. I can only imagine how difficult it is for a [gay teen] to come out. I would think that the school environment that The Benjamin School promotes would be tolerant enough to comply with these students’ simple request. -Josh Weinstein, Junior

“I am in complete support of a GSA at Benjamin. In a school that claims to welcome diversity, we should embrace the diversity we have and seek to create an understanding, accepting environment for everyone. I don’t see how opposition to this club can be viewed as anything but discrimination.”

-Kerry Stern, Senior


Arts

Page 10

March 2009 The Pharcyde

Changes to musical inspire Pirates cast as show draws near Musical changes style, directors, and venue, but cast still expects Pirates of Penzance to be a swashbuckling success Will Sabayrac Staff Writer

On April 3rd and 4th the Drama Club will transform the Barker Performing Arts Center into a pirate ship, where students will swing from the mast and sing tunes from an innovative production of the musical The Pirates of Penzance. This comic operetta is the story of a young man named Frederick who, on his 21st birthday, becomes free of his indentures to the Pirates of Penzance. He spends his life among these pirates and encounters the daughters of the Major General. Fredrick falls in love with the daughter named Mabel, resulting in a conflict between Fredrick and the Pirates of Penzance. This year’s show is “a different style of musical,” said Co-director Mr. Christopher Douglas. “[The show is] more musically driven with very little dialogue. [The show has a] modern style of music, rather than jazz and big band music,” said Mr. Douglas. Mr. Douglas also enjoys

working with more directors this year. These directors include Mrs. Lynne Feyk, Mr. Henry Hamilton, and Ms. Nathalie Brouillac. Each director is concentrating on one area of expertise. Mr. Douglas feels that this “collaboration” is going to make for a great show. Previously held at The Jupiter Maltz Theater, this year’s production will take place in the Barker Performing Arts Center on the lower school campus. The actors and directors will have had their hands full adapting to this drastic transition. The auditorium offers restrictions in terms of space: the crew’s dress and storage space has been practically cut in half. For this show to be a complete success, the audience also has to play a role in understanding this production. Senior cast member Kerry Stern said, “The challenge of this show lies not only in the hands of the cast members, but extends to the audience as well. We’re hoping for an audience that can … rise to the show’s el-

Photo by Jason Malone

Stage combat - Senior cast members Steven Perlberg and Santiago Zindel come face to face as they rehearse a scene in the drama room for the upcoming spring musical The Pirates of Penzance.

evated style, listen carefully (a lot of the humor is embedded in the quickly delivered lyrics), and be open to a different kind of musical.” Despite the drastic changes in the rehearsal process, the relationships between cast members are what really build this show. Freshman Hunter Toro said, “Everyone is really easy to get along with and rehearsals are always a lot of fun…. [I have] been able to establish new relationships with the cast.” Toro believes that her involvement in the musical has allowed her to grow and develop as an actress. She said, “Being a part of the produc-

tion has helped improve both my singing and acting abilities. My vocal range has gotten better with the difficult music. I also learned to take more risks in my acting, and I feel more comfortable on stage.” This year’s musical is shaping up to be drastically different from years past, but Stern feels optimistic. She said, “It certainly is a challenging production, and

the directors and cast are all working hard to make sure everything comes together and that this ‘road less traveled’ leads to success.”

Musicians try to pursue passions despite evident obstacles Colin Murphy Staff Writer

Jacqueline Cassell and Crystal Rosatti spend several hours a day practicing, studying, and listening to music. They are some of Benjamin’s premier musicians, and they are definitely going places in the music world. But where exactly are they going? Cassell is already on the fast track for her drumming ability, with several sponsors from various companies, and a network of suppliers and producers to rival any professional’s. She regularly posts videos of her various drumming pieces on YouTube under the screen name “jackiecas1,” postings which have had over a million views. Cassell brings to light the garage band side of the music world, and what aspiring musicians and bands have

Photo by Colin Murphy

Musical duo - Junior Jacqueline Cassell and sophomore Crystal Rosatti will decide on where to go with their music passions.

to do to thrive in that world. Given a hypothetical situation about a musician who had recorded several demo tracks and was looking to get started, she explained, “If you were looking for a

band, you’d check online communities and local message boards, but other than that there aren’t really any other options, I’m kind of stuck in the same position.” Even when a musician

has found a band, she says, it is still fairly difficult to get recognized, adding, “It’d still be pretty difficult. It all comes down to two things, networking and luck.” Cassell claimed the biggest component to success is luck, and said, “Luck on whether you get noticed by the right people or not is huge. Bands that are signed now usually have parents, relatives, or close friends in the industries, and all the good bands are hiding over in the corner because they remain undiscovered, which is unfortunate.” She also plans to continue studying music in college, specifically majoring in music buisness. Unlike Cassell, Crystal Rosatti has the ability to choose either the orchestral or garage band path in the music world because of her numerous musical talents. She is a skilled vocalist, pia-

nist, and trombonist; and has sung both for classical occasions and for a band. However, she said, “Personally, I’m not that comfortable singing in front of people a lot, and trombone really isn’t my favorite instrument.” The piano, however, is a different story. This is obvious to anyone who has heard her play, but she said, “I don’t think I could be a professional [with the piano], because I don’t think I’m at that level yet. But I definitely want to continue it in college and minor in it.” So why not wait to make that decision until senior year, given that she has two years left to perfect her art? “I think the one thing preventing me from practicing all that much right now is sports. The only real time I have to practice is study hall,” Rosatti said.


March 2009 The Pharcyde

Entertainment

Page 11

Photos are screenshots

No ticket necessary - Illegal websites like MegaVideo (left) and legal websites like Hulu (right) provide the opportunity to watch movies and TV shows anytime.

Internet provides stream of opportunity for movie buffs Garrett Bruno Staff Writer

Recently, a Benjamin junior watched the movie Frost/Nixon a week before it came out in theaters. He was not alone, for Benjamin students are increasingly watching high quality, illegally obtained movies posted by anonymous pirates on streaming video host sites like Surfthechannel.com. Users can view these movies on their computer, play and pause them at any time, access them 24/7, and best of all, watch them for free. Because of widely available broadband access and a new wave of user-friendly streaming websites, it has become surprisingly easy to watch pirated movies online—sometimes even before the movies are released in theaters. While users have illegally swapped music, shows, and movies for

years, the development of streaming these media has taken the internet by storm. Websites like Surfthechannel.com, Quicksilverscreen.com, and OVguide. com compile links to movies ranging from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to Casablanca. These “link farms,” as they are called, guide users to stashes of copyrighted content spread around the Web and redirect the user to sites like Youku. com (the Chinese equivalent to Youtube), Tudou.com, and Megavideo.com. These websites stream high quality versions of the latest movies and television shows. Junior Sarah VorderBruegge said, “The only website I’ve used is movie6. net….the quality is decent. I watched the movie Taken…. It was good because I could play and pause it.” The anonymous Benja-

min student mentioned previously said, “I use SurftheChannel at least once a week to watch movies. Just a few months ago I watched Frost/Nixon before it came out in theaters. It’s really high quality most of the time, but sometimes it has Chinese subtitles or advertisements, but for the most part it’s such an easy way to watch a movie for free.” Because many of the sites that stream these illegal movies are located in countries like China, with lackluster piracy enforcement, it is difficult for media companies to stop the practice. However, once one gains access to these movies, it is much like watching a video on Youtube, allowing the user to start watching the video immediately without downloading anything to his or her hard drive. So, whether one wants

to relive his childhood by watching long lost episodes of Hey Arnold!, or simply does not feel like paying $10.00 to see Watchmen, these websites provide that option. However, the question becomes, isn’t this illegal? The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) definition of Internet piracy —”obtaining movies by either downloading them from the Internet without paying or acquiring hard copies of illegally downloaded movies”—does not technically cover streaming video. This is because the user is not downloading anything to his hard drive, and thus he is not creating a physical copy. Some students from Benjamin use the less controversial website Hulu.com, which offers a less subversive and better-known way

of watching both movies and shows; though they also include commercials. Fox and NBC collaborated to create Hulu.com as a way of reaching out to the popularity of streaming video on the internet. “I watch One Tree Hill and Lost on Hulu.com, and it’s annoying how there are commercials in the middle of it….I don’t really have time to watch them at home at night, so I watch them in study hall,” said junior Summer Reedy. Overall, the idea of watching pirated movies or shows on a small computer screen has yet to compare to going to the movie theater with friends or watching a show with family. While streaming video may be the piracy wave of the future, many still believe that going to the movies or watching a favorite show provides a better experience.

Not your typical superheroes Imperfect heroes is a perfect formula in Watchmen Cory Weinberg Managing Editor

Who said superheroes should have superpowers? Fanboys of Alan Moore’s 1985 graphic novel Watchmen have been clamoring for the film for decades. Hollywood has been fighting tooth and nail for its production rights since 1986. The hype appears to have been worth it. Although at 162 minutes, Watchmen does require you to clear your schedule for longer than most movies, the fascinating character backgrounds and ‘who-dunnit’ plot twists keep the viewer engaged. In Watchmen, costumed, powerless, and idealistic “superheroes” have banded together since the 1920s to fight crimes. Now in 1985, however, Richard Nixon is still President, and the United States remains entrenched in the fear mongering Cold

War with the USSR. The US’s primary weapon, Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup) – a blue-skinned, actual superhero who gained the power to vaporize anything because of the typical experiment-gone-wrong – only heightens the tension between the two nations.

Photo from Watchmen press kit

The weapon - Much of Watchmen revolves around Dr. Manhattan’s struggle to relate to humans.

Watchmen’s opening scene sets up a murder mystery for the rest of the film, as a former Watchmen superhero known as “The Comedian” (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is thrown through a highrise window to his death. As the opening credits roll, the viewer is introduced into the world of the Watchmen, in which these once beloved superheroes have

become washed up and obsolete. Congress and Nixon have ordered the Watchmen to disband; most of the few remaining heroes hang up their uniforms, but a brooding, ink-blotted masked Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) continues the search for justice and The Comedian’s assassin. The intricate backstories, revealing the personalities and even melodramas of each hero, are intertwined throughout the story like the gears in a watchpiece, and it keeps the movie ticking.

As expected, Watchmen is visually captivating, as director Zack Snyder reproduces the magic of the novel. Devotees of the novel, including those who read it for the Benjamin summer reading curriculum for AP English Language, may cringe at the altered ending in the movie, but film is actually quite faithful to the original text. The tragic flaw of the film is that it does not appear to always take itself seriously, as evidenced by some head scratching music choices,

including “Hallelujah” during a painfully awkward superhero sex scene. It’s unfortunate, because between the comic book violence and elaborate visualizations, the intellectual themes shine through. The solution is not black and white, but a cloudy gray that, like any good novel, causes one to reflect on the bigger picture. It’s deep and it may not be what you want out of a superhero movie. But then again, these are not technically superheroes.


Page 12

Counterpoints

March 2009 The Pharcyde A risky shot - Bucs’ attack Dylan Sloane takes a shot in the Bucs February 25th 7-6 home loss against Dwyer. Sloane’s teammate, Kyle Gilmore missed the beginning of the lacrosse season because of an injury that occurred while playing on a travel team during the offseason. Benjamin athletes now contemplate whether or not playing one sport during the offseason is beneficial or detrimental.

Blurred offseasons

Should goal-oriented athletes play sports all year or take a rest?

Take a rest! Keep playing! Mental and physical failures Athletes need to display occur if focus is on one sport commitment to reach goals Phil Staiman Sports Editor

Having an offseason to heal the body and adjust the mind can be essential to an athlete’s in-season success. Although many coaches at the high school level use the phrase “players are made in the offseason,” it would be wise for athletes to stay cautious during their time off. Coaches who use this phrase have hopes that the athletes will recognize their skill-related weaknesses, dissect them, and then work hard enough during the offseason to strengthen them for the upcoming season. Specializing in sports medicine and trauma, Dr. Frank Cook of the Palm Beach Orthopedic Institute believes that an offseason should not be spent continuously playing the sport in which one may want to pursue a college scholarship. Dr. Cook said, “Players are [crying out] for an offseason. When playing only one sport year-round, athletes are not afforded the opportunity to play other sports. When you play other sports, you develop different muscle groups, and different coordination patterns that will help you succeed in the sport that you may want to play in college.” Dr. Cook then added, “At the collegiate level, coaches are looking for all-around athletes. By playing a couple different sports, you will develop your body so that you will be able to perform multiple different functions. I think that it is a misconception that you need to play one sport and specialize in it.” The opportunity to play different

sports is not the only reason why players deserve an offseason. If athletes focus all of their time and attention to one sport, they may eventually grow tired of it. Dave Bailey, the Head Athletic Trainer at the Benjamin School, is one who believes that the mental part of sports is vital to one’s success. Bailey said, “I have had excellent athletes train during the off season, and peak early on in their season, only to have nothing left for post season playoffs. For me, the most extreme example is not physical, but mental. [If] too much time is spent on one sport you may get burned out.” Junior Kyle Gilmore is a perfect example of why players should be cautious all throughout the offseason. During his offseason, Gilmore was participating in a travel lacrosse tournament in Tampa, when he suddenly suffered an injury that put the beginning of his high school lacrosse season on hold. Pushed from behind, Gilmore broke his fibula, and the injury forced him to miss the first month of the lacrosse season. About the injury, Gilmore said, “I believe you can get hurt at any point in time in any sport. It just stinks that it had to happen during the offseason. It’s terrible to know that I can’t play lacrosse right away, and I have to sit on the sidelines and watch practices for another three weeks before I am ready to go.” Although it is reasonable to believe that “players are made in the offseason,” it is also wise to give the body some time to rejuvenate. If athletes do not spend their offseason intelligently, they face the possibility of having consequences far worse than those of Gilmore’s.

Jack Borris Staff Writer Many student-athletes at Benjamin dream about playing sports in college at a very competitive level. These same athletes also tend to ask how they can raise their game in order to reach their goal. Although athletes should not run themselves into the ground, it is not possible to play a sport in college if one does not train year-round. For the high-school athlete who wishes to pursue a career in high level sports, few elements are as important as dedication and focus. For example, if Varsity Basketball players are intent on playing at the rigorous college level, no matter what division, it makes sense that they should direct all of their sport-related attention to basketball, and not only during the basketball season. Benjamin Men’s Varsity Basketball Head Coach Jeff Cavallo said, “I believe each person is a ‘10’ or possesses a passion for something… I feel a person should maximize his or her strengths and minimize the areas of improvement or weaknesses.” Cavallo continued to say, “If a person is proficient in an area and is passionate and willing to pay a price for success in that specific area or discipline, he or she should give all they have to that area. I mean a total commitment: the food that is consumed, building a bigger, faster, stronger body, skill development, and planting positive mental “seeds” or thoughts. I think the questions each individual needs [to ask are]: ‘Why are you playing or performing or training?’ and ‘How

hard do I want to work at being the best?’” Usually when a student-athlete plays a specific sport all year round, that athlete typically plays on an “Amateur Athletic Union” team, or better known as an “AAU” team, or a travel team. These teams, depending on the sport, usually travel to different counties within the state, or in some cases travel out of state to participate in tournaments within the athlete’s age group. When Boys Varsity Basketball Assistant Coach Greg Schneider was asked how he felt about the issue of playing year round, he said, “I do believe that it is good for players to have the opportunity to play basketball year round. It is also a good chance to play against some more skilled and athletic competition.” If one truly wants to pursue a career in a specific sport, or play on the “big stage” of the college level, the athlete must focus all energy and focus into that one sport to be 100% successful. No distractions can come into play, outside of that one sport. Someone who would know best, Hall of Fame coach and ten-time NCAA Men’s Basketball champion John Wooden once said, “Success is a peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” If athletes truly want to discover their best capabilities, they need to challenge themselves throughout the year. Their goals and their dreams depend on true commitment, and this means showing a desire that lasts all 12 months.


Sports

Page 14

Spring Sports Update: Boys Lacrosse

March 2009 The Pharcyde

Get ready for Madness Breaking down the potential Final Four Jack Borris Staff Writer

Photo by Matt Murray

Aggressive behavior - Benjamin player Taylor Whitt defends against Dwyer in the Bucs’ only loss.

Did you think the Benjamin Boys Varsity Lacrosse program would ever stop their winning ways? Guess again. This year’s team is ranked 3rd in the state in the Florida Club division, and as of March 9th, boasts a 6-1 re-

cord. That one blemish came at the hands of district rival and across-the-street foe, Dwyer. The Bucs sought to avenge the loss on Tuesday March 10th (result was past deadline). After close wins against district opponents Palm

Beach Gardens and Jupiter, the Bucs only have to get by Dwyer to be ranked first in their district. Senior Griffin Farriss leads the team with 32 goals and 9 assists, and junior Taylor Smith has come through with 10 goals and 5 assists.

Many factors lead to shrinking rosters Many female athletes are dropping to one sport due to commitment issues and stress, but how are their teams affected? Katie Schepps Staff Writer

A loss of interest in girls’ basketball and softball has forced both teams to discontinue their Junior Varsity programs. Girls Varsity Basketball Coach Steven Hamel offered a variety of reasons for the drastic decline in interest among female basketball players this past season. Acknowledging that basketball can be “too physical,” Hamel revealed that the Benjamin basketball program is a huge, time-consuming commitment. With practices six days a week, sometimes the girls would get home as late as ten or eleven at night. Not to mention, the season is very long and often cuts into vacation. According to Hamel, the Benjamin basketball program “demanded a larger commitment in order to be more successful,” which he felt could be too overwhelming for some student athletes. The softball team has also recently undergone a loss of players. Coach Suzanne Ball suggested that “the correlation between PE and sports credit” is contributing to the

dwindling number of players. In other words, as athletes approach their junior year and no longer face the requirement to participate in PE, they go out for one sport only to satisfy their sports credit. However, softball has lost long-time players for other reasons as well. Sophomore Maren McRoberts, who has been a member of the Varsity Softball team since middle school, has switched to lacrosse. McRoberts emphasized her need for a change when she said, “I played softball for 10 years, and simply am burned out.” The tendency for onesport athletes to make a larger commitment to one area of athletics is another factor inspiring this recent shift of interest. Sophomore Kelly Okun, who played Varsity Basketball last year, said, “I wanted to focus on golf because I want to play in college and hopefully later on in my life.” Sophomore Christie Nicklaus has also moved on from Varsity Softball to pursue travel volleyball. Sophomore Jamie Burke said, “I did not play volleyball and I am not running track this

year so that I can focus on basketball. If you’re serious about a certain sport, making a larger commitment to that sport is extremely beneficial, and you don’t run the risk of getting injured in another sport.” The recent loss of players, on some level, was advantageous to the basketball season. Burke said, “I think having a small team was a good thing because girls who just wanted a sports credit didn’t play, and people who actually wanted to play, played.” The Girls Basketball team was composed of only nine players, one of whom was in 7th grade. Because of this small number, the team felt a real sense of unity and developed a family-like mentality. Moreover, 2001 Girls Varsity Basketball Team took the state title with only six players, proving that small teams can still have successful seasons. Athletic Director Coach Ron Ream said, “The basketball team had a few more returning starters and a little more experience than softball does, but I hope that they have the same success as they get in their groove.”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is that time; get out those brackets and start tuning in to ESPN Bracketology because March Madness begins March 19th. Most Benjamin students agree on who will be in the Final Four, but who will take it all? When it comes to March Madness, most college basketball lovers tend to dwell more on who will be in the Final Four, rather than any of the other rounds. After reading Jay Bilas’ columns and doing extensive research, most of the college fanatics agree the true top four teams in the country are UNC, Pittsburgh, UConn, and Duke. The favorite to win it all is Pittsburgh because of its experience, depth, and the talent of Sam Young, Dejuan Blair, and Jermaine Dixon. Young and Blair are both averaging close to 18 points apiece, and lead the team in rebounding. Blair is an absolute beast in the post and short corner and creates mismatches with his size and deceptive quickness. Others say Duke has what it takes to be the last team standing. Sophomore Chase Diwik said, “It’s simple: when they shoot the ball well, they win. Duke will either be a contender this year in the tournament and get to the Final Four like I’m predicting, or lose very early. If they can hold their opponents to fewer than 75

points a game, then they win. In each of their four losses this year, they have given up over 75 points.” When it comes to UConn, most people only think about Hasheem Thabeet being their entire team, which is the unfortunate truth. Thabeet is averaging a double-double each game, but just his presence in the middle is already enough, as Thabeet stands at a towering 7’3” inches. UConn does have a major weakness however, considering starting guard Jerome Dyson is out for the remainder of the season. That is just one of UConn’s major weaknesses, and considering they fell earlier to Pitt, they may not have an easy road to make it out victorious. Last, but not least, is the powerhouse of college basketball: North Carolina. Without a doubt UNC has the most talented starting five in all of college basketball with names including Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green, and Deon Thompson. With UNC’s only losses being to Boston College and #8 Wake Forest, and a minor bump in the road, an overtime loss to Maryland, the Tar Heels may also be considered a favorite. With teams falling in and out of the Top 10 each week, this college basketball season has been one of the most unpredictable in years. Now it is your turn to predict who will make it out of the field of 65.

AP Photo/Sara D. Davis

Tourney Time - UNC star Tyler Hansborough dunks vs. Miami.


Sports

March 2009 The Pharcyde

Getting an edge Student-athletes turn to legal sports supplements to enhance their training Colin Murphy Staff Writer

Every day after school sophomore Connor Davidson, a varsity football player, takes half a dozen pills to help his performance in sports and weightlifting, all of them legal. Davidson’s goal in taking these is “to get strong for football.” He is not alone; many Benjamin athletes use similar legal substances to boost their training ability. Protein supplements, metabolism boosters, and creatine are all supplements that modern student athletes

use in order to help improve performance. So how prevalent are these legal performance boosters at Benjamin? How effective are they? And do they hurt more than they help? “I take Creal-alykanine (creatine), an energy boost (metabolism booster), and a protein supplement,” said Davidson. “Most guys on the team only take protein.” Protein supplements come in various forms and are a standard addition to a student-athletes’ regimen, and students at Benjamin are no different.“

Said Davidson’s teammate, junior Jake Rosow, “I just take protein, because that’s all that the coaches recommend that you take.” According to Glanbia Nutritionals, sports supplements are a booming market, making $337 billion dollars in profit a year. The term “sports supplements” can refer to anything from simple protein pills to creatine, which works by blocking the chemical pathways associated with apoptosis,

Page 15 or cell death, and is recommended only to dedicated sports buffs and weightlifters. Very few studies have been done on creatine itself, or sports supplements in general, simply because the field is so vast. The lack of statistics fuels the controversy; the only evidence for effectiveness is personal anecdotes, some of which one can hear from Benjamin students. “I wouldn’t say you need them to be competitive, but [sports supplements] definitely give you an edge,” said Davidson. Athletic Director Mr. Ron Ream makes his position on the matter quite clear: “I don’t mind a student athlete using supplements as long as they let their parents know, and they let their doctor know. Because sometimes, these supplements will have things in [them] that the body doesn’t really

need.” Indeed, according to researchers from multiple organizations, including the Olympic Health Committee, artificially created substances like creatine are not metabolized by the body, and thus, if they are not taken with exorbitant amounts of water, can damage or even shut down the kidneys and liver. This raises a serious question. Sports supplements obviously help the athlete, but are they more beneficial than detrimental? The potential for damage if one is not careful certainly is there; however, Davidson said, “I’ve never personally seen any negative side effects.” Rosow backs up his teammate, and said, “The worst side effect I’ve ever seen is stomach pain, and that’s just because the body doesn’t process creatine.”

Young baseball teams gains experience as bats provide punch Phil Staiman Sports Editor

The team may not have known it at the time, but freshman, five-foot-five Jonathan Taylor’s two-home run game in the regular season opener was purely a microcosm of what the Bucs will try to achieve this season. Youthful, inexperienced, and maybe not even the most talented, the Bucs will also try to do the impossible: win the district title. Currently, the Bucs hold an overall record of 3-4, and a 3-3 record in district play. Although this team is one of the youngest to have ever been coached by Mark Holbert, he believes that it is also the one with the most potential. Holbert said, “We are much further ahead at this point of the season, more so than any of the prior years. The hitters are up to speed; all that needs to happen now

Photo by Jenna Bernick

Swing for the fences - Freshman Tim Lynch takes a hack in the Bucs’ victory vs. Jupiter Christian.

is for the pitchers to come along. We are a young team with a lot of underclassmen. The lone senior and

the five juniors have been instrumental in helping the younger players adapt to high school baseball.”

At first glance, a record of 3-4 may look mediocre, but returning only four starters from last year’s team,

the Bucs are excited about the mild success that they are currently achieving. Junior Brian Taylor said, “We are a great hitting team; the coaches have all said that this is the best hitting team that they have seen in at Benjamin. As of late, the Bucs have been enjoying a great amount of success in district play. Sitting in fourth place, the team does not believe that they need much in order to make a run at the district title. Junior Bradley Springer said, “To make a serious run I think we need to improve defensively, and also in our pitching. If we sure up those holes, we have a serious shot at winning the district.” The Bucs will try to see those improvements happen fast, as they play against teams across the country in the Sunshine Baseball Classic in Ft. Lauderdale during Spring Break next week.

Spring Sports Update: Boys & Girls Tennis Boys Tennis

Photo by Phil Staiman

Forehand - Rishi Loungani returns the ball in a March 3rd match.

The Boys Varsity Tennis Team has set a high standard for their 2009 season: States or bust. Last year was a major success and the team hopes for nothing less this year. The team has a record of 4-0 as of March 9th, after key wins against St. Andrew’s and Cardinal Newman. Senior Rishi Loungani feels his last season will result in an appearance at the State tournament. Sophomore Zach Krumholz has

the bar set high for this year, and “expects the team to make it to states.” He said, “The team is stronger than ever and has a great shot at going very far this year.” Newcomers senior Eric Petterson, junior Max Kaye, and sophomore Tanner Torres have joined veterans Krumholz, Loungani, seniors Ben Meyer and John Harrison, and freshman Tory Tiano to help lead the Bucs to their desired goal.

Girls Tennis

After a loss of some key performers from last season, the Girls Varsity Tennis Team is trying to rebound from a less-than-ideal start. As of March 9th, the team is 1-3, beating Jenson Beach in their first match but falling in the rest. Seniors Alexadra Browne, Amanda Meyer, and Sara Merson have taken the helm for the team, and junior Angela Rosatti and three middle school players round out the roster.


Page 16

March 2009

Mere-a-thon:

Freshman Meredith Anderson expects to complete her big goals

Phil Staiman Sports Editor

While many freshman athletes compete with juniors and seniors for spots on the varsity team, Meredith Anderson is already competing with the top runners in the state for spots on the state championship podium.

“I

believe that if I really work hard, I could have a chance to be a state champion in track.” - Meredith Anderson As the fifth Anderson to attend The Benjamin School, Meredith has a long legacy to live up to with sisters Morgan, Mercedes, and Nano already claiming school records in both cross country and track. In September of 2008, as a 9th grader, Meredith joined them with her record-breaking time of 18.19 minutes in the 3.1 mile run. Coming from a family of very athletic runners, Meredith has many places to look for inspiration. Anderson said, “All of my sisters are great, but Morgan and I are both the same kind of runners; we are both distance, so we can relate to one another. She currently is running at Duke. A few months ago

Photo by Matt Murray

Sprint to the finish - Meredith Anderson runs as part of the Bucs relay team in a meet at Dwyer. Anderson has won seven of eight of her track races so far this season to lead to team.

I went to go race in North Carolina, and Morgan came along to help motivate and support me as well as give me advice. Morgan and I go on runs together, and we share a special relationship because of this mutual passion for the sport.” Anderson has already

Spring Sports Update: Girls Lacrosse

Photo by Jason Malone

Contact sport - Junior captain Kelsey Meany fights for possession in a March 3rd 16-5 home victory against Palm Beach Central.

made strides towards becoming a state champion, either as a cross country runner or a track star. This year, Anderson took first place in eight cross country meets. In track and field, she has won seven of her eight races. Anderson runs in the mile, the two mile, and the four by The Girls Varsity Lacrosse team’s 1-4 start to the season may not have been a dream beginning, but their recent strong play and domination vs. Palm Beach Central and Suncoast puts the season back in order. With a 3-4 record as of March 9th, the Bucs are confident about a quick turnaround. Said junior co-captain Kelsey Meany, “We’ve pulled it together. We really have a shot at districts and I have very high expectations for the rest of the season.” The Bucs have been led on attack by Lizzi and Nicole Connaughton, Codi Mimun, and Meany, and on defense by Kelly Ford, Casey Taylor, and Sarah Lazow.

eight hundred. Anderson is not only known for her gifted running ability, but also the hard work that she incorporates into every workout she performs. Senior Lyndsay Daubert said, “Meredith Anderson is a very gifted and hardworking athlete.

Boys Track

Photo by Matt Murray

Giant leap - Sophomore Chase Diwik competes in the long jump in a meet at Dwyer.

She could easily win races on just her talent, but the fact that she puts a good deal of effort into practices is what makes her an extraordinary runner. Mere’s hard work, combined with her desire and talent, is what puts her at the top.” Although much of the acclaim for Anderson’s success stems from her own ability, she was quick to acknowledge her coaches. She said, “I definitely give credit to my coaches; they have taught me pretty much everything I know about running and training.” Anderson often remains humble, but when pushed, she will admit to one day wanting to become a state champion. Anderson said, “I believe that if I really work hard, I could have a chance to be a state champion in track. If I continue to put in the hard work, and barring any setback from injury, I believe that I will have a chance at a state title.” Girls Varsity Track Assistant Coach Coach Erica Lazarus believes that although Anderson has already performed at an incredibly high level for two years now, her talent has yet to peak. Lazarus said, “Without a doubt our star distance runner is Meredith Anderson. She is only in the 9th grader, and she has already broken numerous school records. She has still not reached her full potential. I believe that by her senior year she will be considered to be one of the superior runners in the state. The best has yet to come from Meredith Anderson.” Although the Boys Varsity Track team may have thus far displayed respectable team results in meets, the individual performances truly stand out. Pole vaulter Michael Edwards is ranked 3rd in the state for 1A. Coleman Romfh won the 800 meters twice and is ranked 13th in the state for 1A. Michael Colee is leading a strong group of shot put and discus throwers, and is ranked 5th in the state in shot put for 1A. Said Romfh, “We expect to improve even more as the season goes on so that when we get to districts, we are performing our best so that we can make a run for states.”

The Pharcyde - March 2009  

The Benjamin Upper School Newspaper - Volume XIX, Issue 3

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