A Year in Photos
The Pharcyde wants you to untag with us Opinion Page 4
The highlights of the 2009-2010 school year Spotlight Page 6-7
4875 Grandiflora Road, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
August 24, 2010
Students share stories and photos of their summer trips Student Life Page 8
School offers bus service for students By Hunter Toro News Editor
CHRISTIAN SENDLER / Staff Photographer
Clark steps in as Dean of Students Coach Clark works with the team during an August practice. He will still coach football as Dean of Students.
Mr. Clark, Benjamin graduate and long-term middle school teacher, will take over the position of Dean of Students after Coach Smith’s switch from Dean to Athletic Director. n
By Jared Fishman Co-Editor-in-Chief
Mr. Jim Clark will take over Smith’s old position this year as Dean of Students while also maintaining his involvement with the varsity football team. Mr. Ryan Smith starts this school year replacing Mr. Ron Ream as Upper School Director of Athletics. Rounding out such changes, cur-
rent Director of Athletics of 29 years Mr. Ream will will leave his post to concentrate only on coaching football, teaching upper school math, and leading the on-campus Fellowship of Christian Athletes. About the shift as a whole, Mr. Smith said, “I think it is a great situation because we all will bring new and unique
personalities to our new positions. Coach Ream is electric and dynamic in the classroom; he is truly gifted in that every student enjoys going to his class each day, and Coach Clark will bring new ideas and enthusiasm to Dean of Students office.” Mr. Clark’s movement into an administrative position at the Upper See Clark Page 2
Dress code change frustrates students By Ben Germano Staff Writer
As a result of last year’s dress code violations, this year marks the beginning of a new policy that is angering many girls. Effective immediately, girls’ skirts can rise no more than three inches above the top of the knee. In an effort to monitor skirt lengths without making physical contact, staff will be assessing compliance visually. This new guideline was introduced because the administration felt that last year’s policy, which required skirts to be below the fingertips when shoulders were relaxed, was being consistently violated. Director of Student Services Dr. Amy Taylor justified the decision by explaining the complications with the previous policy. “Unfortunately when we started below the fingertips, it got shorter and shorter and shorter. So, we’re going to go back to the original policy which was three inches above the knee,” said Dr. Taylor.
Dr. Taylor also added that, “At some point it’s less about the length and more about the failure to comply with rules.” While many girls are predictably unhappy about the new restrictions, they are even more displeased regarding how the situation was handled. Sophomore Savannah Johnson is
one student who was more concerned with how the change developed than the change itself. Johnson said, “The situation could have been handled with stricter punishment to the girls with inappropriate skirts. We didn’t need an entirely new dress code.” See Uniform Page 2
The school announced in a letter sent home that bus transportation is now available for students of both the Palm Beach Gardens and North Palm Beach campuses. Morning and afternoon routes will be provided from the most northern and most southern sections of the surrounding geographic area. These routes serve Upper as well as Lower and Middle School students from the Palm Beach Lakes area, the Palm Beach Island area, and the Hobe Sound area, including Jupiter Island. The morning route will first go to the Upper School campus, then to the Lower and Middle School campus. After dismissal time, the routes are reversed with the Lower and Middle School campus being first. Safety is the main concern of this bus system, according to Head of School Mr. Robert Goldberg. He wrote in the letter, “All stops will be made in public places to ensure the safety of all traveling students. Students must be over the age of five to travel on the bus.” According to the letter, “Bus service will be provided by Jupiter School Bus service in an air-conditioned, fully state-compliant yellow school bus with The Benjamin School printed on its side. These buses are operated by screened and background checked drivers.”n
Bus Routes North Route: A.M. 1. Hobe Sound - The Marketplace 2. Tequesta - Gallery Square 3. Upper School 4. Lower/Middle School North Route: P.M. 1. Lower/Middle School 2. Upper School 3. Tequesta - Gallery Square 4. Hobe Sound - The Marketplace South Route: A.M. 1. West Palm Beach- Norton Museum 2. Palm Beach Island Royal Poinciana Plaza 3. Upper School 4. Lower/Middle School South Route: P.M. 1. Lower/Middle School 2. Upper School 3. Palm Beach Island Royal Poinciana Plaza 4. West Palm Beach - Norton Museum
Photos by Matt Murray
Girls wear old skirts at NHS tapping.
Crystal Rosatti tries on a new skirt.
August 24, 2010
TBS graduate Stephen Pitcairn dies at 23 in robbery By Jenna Bernick
being robbed, according to The Baltimore Sun. Stephen Pitcairn, a Benjamin gradu“I am so greatful for all of the wonate, died on July 25 in Baltimore in a rob- derful adventures I shared with Stebery. He was 23 years old. phen. I always told him that he was the According to The Palm Beach Post, most wonderful boy in the world and John Wagner and Lavelva Merrit robbed that I was so glad that he was mine,” and stabbed Stephen as he was walking said Ms. Pitcairn. home from the bus. Stephen’s funeral service was held Stephen was an aspiring physician on July 30 at First Presbyterian Church doing breast cancer research at John in North Palm Beach. Hopkins University. He had been visitHe attended Kalmazoo College in ing with his sisters, graduate Emily Pit- Michigan, from which he graduated in cairn and senior Elise Pitcairn in New 2009. Stephen taught himself Japanese York that day for his birthday. He would and studied abroad at Waseda Universihave been 24 two days later. ty in Japan, while living with a host famHis mother, Ms. Gwen Pitcairn, was ily and teaching English classes. He also on the phone with Stephen when he was conducted and had published stem cell research at Nihon University in Japan. Stephen was given a job at John Hopkins, a very rare honor for an undergraduate student. He was promoted there and became the manager of a lab. The loss of Stephen was and is difficult for many, but the Benjamin community is recalling countless memories of his sense of humor, aspirations, and free spirit. While at Benjamin, Stephen was on both the cross country and track teams. His favorite class was history. He was Vice President of FCA. Stephen attended Benjamin for all 14 years. Ms. Mary-Alice Ditaranto, who taught Stephen and attended Harvard Model Congress with him, considered him an ideal student and person. “I enjoy my job and look forward to school every year,” she said, “but there’s a part of me that’s always on the look Stephen with his host daughter Chica out for another Stephen Pitcairn. He was
in Japan, where he studied abroad.
genuine, upbeat, positive, ready for action, polite, conscientious, smart! I have had students who made me feel worthwhile and productive but Stephen was in a class above the rest,” said Ms. Ditaranto. Along with teaching himself Japanese to a level of fluency, Stephen taught himself Chinese and was semi-fluent. He established a relationship with Dr. Ben Carson, the first doctor to separate twins conjoined at the brain. Dr. Carson wrote one of Stephen’s medical school recommendations. According to his sister Elise, he also loved nature and would walk everywhere, and was a big ‘foodie’ who loved trying the strangest foods. “He loved seeing new places, talking to new and different people, trying new food, and learning about new cultures,” said Elise. Mrs. Linda Twitchell, college counseling secretary, was friends with Stephen when he was at Benjamin, and respected and loved him for his good heart and sense of humor. “He used to have to wait for an hour and half every day to take Elise home from school. He used to bug the living daylights out of me, but he was so darn cute that you just couldn’t kick him out!” said Mrs. Twitchell. Mrs. Ditaranto said, “He had so much more to accomplish and that stolen potential is going to be a loss for those of us still inhabiting the earth.” About her brother, Elise said, “I would call him for advice on high school, colleges & the application process, boys, how to prank someone, and just life in general. He was my partner
Both photos reprinted with permission
Stephen poses for a photo in Japan.
in crime, my confidant, my brother, and my best friend.” Elise and Emily, his other sister, all spent the day together in New York during the day before his death that night. Elise said, “The day he died was the last day I spent with him. That Sunday was the perfect day, a classic day that I will always remember. When we took him to the bus stop, his bus was running late but he didn’t mind and just kept saying “It’s fine it means I get to spend more time with you!” The bus showed up and we all gave him a hug and started to walk away. I turned around and shouted over the crowd “I love you Stu!” and he responded “I love you too Fiz!” I will hold onto to that day and that last moment for the rest of my life. It was perfect.”
Students welcome Clark as new Dean From Clark Page 1 School comes after eight years teaching in the Middle School and coaching in both varsity football and track. Intending this to be a smooth transition, he said, “My initial goal is to pick up where Mr. Smith left off. I want the teachers to know that they will have my full support, and I want the students to know that I will not only see to the overall discipline of the student body but also be easily approachable and helpful.” About managing students at entirely different stages in life, Clark said, “The age gap cannot be ignored. However, those differences will in no way, shape, or form be a problem. I will act in the same manner as I’ve always acted towards Benjamin students, regardless of age, and that will be with respect and kindness, two things I expect to receive in return.” Mr. Smith relinquishes his position with gusto, having full faith in his colleague and friend of 20 years. He said, “He is an extremely loyal and devoted individual who truly cares for The Benjamin School.” He added, “Coach Clark has
all the tools to be successful in his new role. He will step right in and gain the respect of the students, faculty, and staff. He is in great situation as he has taught many of the students in the Middle School and coached some also.” Senior Teddy Dwork, varsity football quarterback, affirmed this sentiment when he said, “I’ve known Coach Clark my entire Benjamin School career and more closely as a football coach during my high school career and I think he will do an excellent job as dean. If you ask me, I think the management of the school will be run just as smoothly.” Expressing her belief in Mr. Smith, senior Jen Wallshein said, “He has coached and played a variety of sports himself and knows what needs to be accomplished athletically.” Mr. Smith does in fact head into his new position with specific goals in mind. He said, “Priority #1 is continuing to be recognized by the FHSAA as one of 25 schools in the entire state which have displayed exemplary sportsmanship. Character and integrity have always been a priority for Coach Ream and will continue to be while I
Students, faculty split on new rule From Uniform Page 1
CHRISTIAN SENDLER / Staff Photographer
Coach Clark throws a pass during an Aug. football practice.
serve as athletic director.” Smith said, “There will not be as much daily interaction that I had as Dean of Students. However, I am going to try my
best to make a priority each day to get out on campus and interact with the students as much as possible so I maintain those relationships.”
Senior Jamie Burke agreed with Johnson. She said, “I feel that stricter enforcement regarding skirt lengths last year could have prevented girls’ wearing such short skirts.” Acknowledging the girls’ concerns, Dr. Taylor said, “The girls are probably right, but the finger tip rule had a lot of nuances that made it difficult to enforce.” Last year’s Dean of Students Mr. Ryan Smith suggested that the new policy is a step in the right direction. “The previous dress code policy was unclear and difficult to enforce, so hopefully the new policy will give greater clarity and allow for it be enforced more easily,” said Mr. Smith. Junior Malena Ohl is unhappy that, because of inefficiencies in the administration’s old policy, she is forced to invest in new uniforms. “An improved enforcement system would have been a better solution than punishing everybody by making us buy longer skirts. A dress code is only as strong as its enforcement system,” said Ohl.
August 24, 2010
Trio of new teachers ready to join TBS community
By Olivia Loving Copy Editor
Three additions to our history and arts departments, Mr. Logsdon, Mr. Peal, and Mrs. Dolan, share a bit about themselves. These Q & A’s cover what courses they’ll be teaching to their favorite colors, and everything in between.
Did you go to high school here?
I went to Cardinal Newman.
What made you decide to look at Benjamin instead of Cardinal Newman?
My wife is teaching there now [in the lower school], so that’s why.
How long have you been teaching? This will be my fourth year. I’m coming from Orlando (East Ridge High School).
Favorite color? Blue.
What courses will you be teaching?
Government and World History and I have a Psychology course in the spring.
What got you into your subject of interest?
I’ve taught government, economics, and law and political science for the last three years. The government thing is more of what I’ve been doing. I have a law degree, so anything dealing with the government, I like.
I’ve played baseball all through high school and college. I coach baseball – I’ve coached the last three years, from where I was at – and I’ll probably be helping out coaching at Benjamin – baseball, that is. I play a lot of golf. I am big into the beach and going out to the boat and fishing and diving are concerned. I love to spearfish.
Where did you go to college?
Two years on a scholarship for Palm Beach Community College, where I played baseball, and I transferred up to Piedmont College in Georgia, where I played baseball there for two years.
What got you into your subject of interest?
I have always had a fondness for art since I was a kid. Yet, I did not develop my skill until high school under a very strict and demanding art teacher!
How long have you been teaching?
Where did you go to school and grow up?
For over a decade, the last eight of which I was at a private coed boarding school owned by Bendictine monks called Portsmouth Abbey School. I was head of the art department for my final three years.
Where are you coming from?
Newport, Rhode Island, where my husband and I still have a home
I am originally from St. Louis, Missouri. I attended an all girls Catholic High School called Villa Duchesne. Then I went on to the University of Kansas for my B.F.A. and Webster University for my Master of Arts in Teaching.
What’s your favorite color?
What courses will you be teaching? 2D, Portfolio, & AP Studio Art
Do you have any pets? I have two horses and a cat.
I’m most looking forward to getting to know students. The teaching part I’ve done before, [but] I’m enjoying getting to know students and young people.
Will you be doing anything else at Benjamin outside of teaching?
I’ll be helping with the baseball program.
How long have you been teaching? I have for three years in North Carolina before going to NYC to do a Master’s Program. I did it at Columbia University, and I got a Master’s [degree] in private school leadership.
What courses will you be teaching?
One section of world history, three sections of AP United States History, and one elective of psychology.
What got you into your subject of interest?
For me, it was just a lifelong love of history, so when I went to college, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher, but I didn’t want to be in a public school, so I decided to major in history and work outside of the public school sector.
I have two labs.
You and Mr. Logsdon seem to have a lot in common.
Yeah. We’ve pretty much decided that we’re the same person.
My favorite movie is Forrest Gump. My favorite book is called A Heartbreaking of Staggering Genius [by Dave Eggers]. I like how it’s a biographical book and I like how it’s candid yet pretty comical.
Where did you go to school? University of Georgia [in Athens, Georgia].
Q: What are you most looking forward to?
I guess the biggest thing about me is that my wife and I are expecting a baby boy in October, and that’s probably the biggest piece of…. what will happen in my life right now.
Brouillac stays in U.S., at TBS n
Although Ms. Brouillac thought she would soon be leaving the country at the end of last school year, she will stay in Florida and at the school for one more year. By Jenna Bernick Co-Editor-in-Chief
Thanks to a loophole in the H1-B visa system, Ms. Nathalie Brouillac will be able to teach French at Benjamin for one more year, contrary to what had been reported in The Pharcyde in February. In the spring of the 2009-2010 school year, school officials announced a policy regarding non-U.S. citizen employees, which, as reported in February, is that the school will not sponsor a permanent visa, or green card, for foreign workers. The policy remains unchanged. After consulting with an immigration attorney and working with the school to provide necessary documentation Ms. Brouillac was able to prove to government authorities that she has one year remaining on her H1-B visa, which normally allows a foreign worker to stay in the U.S. for six years. The loophole allows a prolonged residency for each day of the six years that the worker spends out of the U.S.
Although Ms. Brouillac’s six years expired, the number of days spent overseas during these years amounted to another full year in the U.S. “In my case,” said Ms. Brouillac, “my frequent travels and the fact that my first visa started on Oct. 1st, 2004, and the last one finished on June 5, 2010, gave me an unusual amount of days to recapture that could make one more year.” The school agreed to offer Ms. Brouillac a contract as long as she could renew her visa before Aug. 15. Ms. Brouillac agreed to pay all of the fees included in this process. “Unfortunately,” she said, “I learned this in May, and therefore I will not be able to use this time to start a green card application as my employer does not do [green card sponsorships].” “Nevertheless, I will be able to enjoy working and living in Florida for one more year. I am looking forward to a great last year in the Benjamin School,” said Ms. Brouillac.
August 24, 2010
Cheers Musical Chairs
Jeers Uniform Change
Staff changes have brought Coach Clark to the Upper School.
The new uniform rule for girls’ skirts is yielding angered reactions.
Editorial The opinion of The Pharcyde
Come In, We’re Open (to your feedback) Whether you are picking up The Pharcyde for the first time, are an avid reader, or as we have named you endearingly, are a Pharcyde Phan - thank you. The simple act of opening this newspaper means a lot to us - The Pharcyde staff. This paper has come a very long way in just a few years thanks to some collective hard work and dedication and some very progressive leadership. We are ecstatic that the trend has shifted from students either refusing a free Pharcyde on the walk out of assembly or trashing it at the first green bin to asking when the next issue will be out,and begging for sneak-peaks. We thank you sincerely for your readership. In making this paper, we often remind ourselves that our aim is to educate and entertain The Benjamin School community. That means that even within this short Back-to-School issue, we offer a balanced mix of articles that we think you should read, and articles we think you will want to read. Our hope is that those who normally lean towards the ‘need to know’ will take a peek at the more fun pieces, and that those who flip straight to The Echo and The Student Life pages will wander over to the Opinion and News Pages. But let us repeat - you’ve picked it up. Thank you. As we said, this issue is shorter than most. In the coming months you can expect either five or six more print issues of The Pharcyde, probably 20 pages each. We say ‘print issues’ because our work no longer ends with the print version of The Pharcyde. Launched
in December of 2009 was the PharBlog.com - “The Allthe-Time Pharcyde.” And that’s exactly what we strive for the PharBlog to be. It’s not just a compilation of our past issues, it’s an internet form of The Pharcyde that we update, during the school year, on an almost-daily basis. We are proud of this site because we can bring you more news than before. With a 6- or 7-issues-ayear publication, it’s pretty hard to break news, or even cover news in a timely fashion. With PharBlog.com, we can bring you sports updates, movie and book reviews, and school news as it happens, or as soon as possible.
An introduction to The Benjamin School’s student newspaper, The Pharcyde The PharBlog, like The Pharcyde itself, has gained some credibility among students. We have ‘regular readers.’ We are very proud of that. But one of our goals with the PharBlog was never quite realized, and that’s where we’re looking for some help from you. In creating the PharBlog, we thought, “Great, now we can get instant feedback on articles as opposed to waiting for the Letters to the Editor that we know will never come.” Yes, some of our readers are very good at giving us feedback, the positive and the negative, after each issue. We love hearing what you loved and we love hearing what you hated. But sadly that feedback
only comes from a select few. So with the comment feature of PharBlog.com we figured people would let us know what they think about articles and would not be as hesitant as they might be to send one of us an email or to write a Letter to the Editor. We didn’t get as much feedback as expected. Save one or two faculty members who love to leave us comments, we don’t get much. Help us out there. This is your paper. We work as hard as we do only to get this paper out to you, so it should reflect your own desires for it. We do a lot of constructive criticism with The Pharcyde, and we do even more controversial-issueexposing. It’s controversial! React! If you talked about it with a friend, or even had a second thought about it while reading it, let us know what you are thinking. Please. That is our only request from you this year. Give us your feedback, whether it be by speaking to one of us, sending an email, writing a Letter to the Editor (150 word pieces, to be emailed to Jared Fishman or Jenna Bernick), or commenting on The PharBlog. Other than that, just keep reading and keep discussing. Above all we aim to be a medium of change and improvement in this community, and change comes about through transparency and discussion. We work hard to present the issues - it’s your job to discuss and take action on them. So, two requests. Give us feedback about our work, and then act on it. Happy reading, and happy school year.
A Few Clicks from Class The Pharcyde staff is taking a symbolic step towards respect. Join us. “Respectful, Responsible, and Honorable to and for self and others.” Mr. Jay Selvig, Head of the Upper School, speaks these words during the first assembly of each school year. These are the words we are meant to live by at Benjamin. In our May 2010 issue, we published an Op-Ed that drew attention to the alleged identity crisis of Benjamin’s chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS). It addressed the concept that, despite the high standards NHS claims to represent, many members not only engage in illegal activities but display these acts through Facebook albums. When one sees a photo of exclusively NHS members posing with drinks together, suspicions arise that these students may be mocking their own organization. These students, as stated in the May Op-Ed, are “indirectly admitting that the institution has lost its credibility.”
Respectful, Responsible, and Honorable to and for self and others. So the question becomes, how do we rid ourselves of this potential accusation and embarrassment? The Pharcyde staff has decided to take a symbolic step. We want to take a leadership role, but as a paper that challenges the school on issues like this, we need to heed our own advice as well. We want to be more responsible for our actions, but also more respectful of the school and the organizations to which we belong. We are not looking to end teen drinking or partying, but we are looking to end the flaunting of this by students who represent groups which stand for more than that. We are looking to protect our images as members of the prestigious organizations to which we belong, and to protect the integrity of these organizations even if we don’t fully rise to the occasion. All members of our staff will agree to remove, or at least to untag, any Facebook photos of themselves
participating in illegal activities. They will sign a contract stating that they plan to do so, and the editors will make sure that the staffers follow through. Yes, the photos might still be out there. The actions are never erased, but we feel that this is as close as we can get to redeeming ourselves. We are not accusing any of our staff members of anything. Maybe none of the people on our staff have an inappropriate photo on their Facebook. Maybe half do. Maybe every student does. In any case, we are all agreeing to take this symbolic step, in order to respect ourselves, our paper, and our school. With each weekend comes not only a country concert or house party, but plenty of Facebook photo albums to follow. It is the albums like these, often including photos with students participating in illegal activities, that have caused an underground uproar within the school community. Facebook is public. You may have adjusted your privacy settings, but the truth is that what you post is out there. You post it, and it is on the Internet, for perhaps more people to see than we may even know. Although you might never admit it, you know where your classmates went for spring break despite the fact that you may never have spoken to them in person, and you know what they wore to the party that you couldn’t attend. But that is not what we’re worried about. What scares us more are the red cups, bathroom portraits, and the booze. We know it happens, but to keep school and party life separate, these things just cannot be on the internet. We invite all of you to join us. We invite the members of the National Honor Society. We invite Student Council. We invite Honor Council. And we invite any other club, organization, advisor group, or individual who wants to join us. It’s as simple as a few clicks, and it could save us from the kinds of accusations and punishments that anyone would want to avoid. To those of you who choose to join us: it is as simple as writing up a short contract stating what it is you are asking of your members. Have them sign these contracts, and trust that they will follow through. We are not expecting to start a Facebook photo rev-
olution here. We’re kids too. We get it. But, as we like to do on The Pharcyde, we’re trying to take just a step up in hopes of positive action from others. This issue has been uncovered, but so too have many photos, and students are losing respect for the values of the organizations of which they claim to be proud members. We’re only looking out for the students. So please feel free to join us.
The Pharcyde Founded in 1980 as The Spectator
Jenna Bernick, Co-Editor-in-Chief Jared Fishman, Co-Editor-in-Chief Katie Schepps, Managing Editor Jeanelle Ackerman, News Editor Hunter Toro, News Editor Laura Barry, Features Editor Phil Staiman, Sports Editor Will Sabayrac, Opinions Editor Matt Murray, Photography Editor Olivia Loving, Copy Editor
Summer Staff Writers
Alana Dresner, Ben Germano
Staff Photographer Christian Sendler
Mr. Kendall Didsbury The Pharcyde, the Upper School Newspaper for The Benjamin School, is published seven times a year in August, October, November, January, February, April and May. Editorial offices are located at 4875 Grandiflora Road, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418. The phone number is 561-472-3485, and the fax number is 561-691-8823. The advisor can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com. The Pharcyde is a member of the Florida Scholastic Press Association, American Scholastic Press Association, and Columbia Scholastic Press Association, and the National Scholastic Press Asscociation. The Pharcyde solicits advertisements at the following rates: The price of a full page ad is $200.00/ issue.The price of a half page ad is $120.00/ issue. The price of a quarter page ad is $90.00/ issue. The price of a business card ad is $50.00/ issue. If you or anyone you know would like to place an ad in The Pharcyde, please contact Mr. Didsbury. *The editorials in this paper are the opinion of the writer and/or The Pharcyde staff as a whole. They are not the opinion of The Benjamin School or our advertisers.
August 24, 2010
In One Ear and Out the Other
Sophomore Ben Germano discusses what you might have disregarded during the countless freshman orientations By Ben Germano Staff Writer
Perhaps a few too many times, the administration has familiarized you with your new way of life at the Upper School. In what you thought were tedious orientations, they acquainted you with our campus, and, most importantly, informed you of the opportunity that is available here. Because they are administrators and you were boredout-of-your-mind students, you naturally took their standard pitch of what is available as a monotonous load of useless advice. We’ve all been there, but looking back, it was actually more like a monotonous load of legitimate advice. The formality and redundancy of the orientations sounded more like a car salesman’s pitch to a potential buyer than applicable guidance, but it was reality. You really do have the opportunity
to be as good of a student as you are willing to be, as active as you are willing to be, and as committed a person as you decide to be. However, this opportunity to be any type of person extends far beyond what you heard in the orientations regarding being the best student ever, a quadruple sport athlete, or the class president. What is special about Benjamin is that you are able to be active in any capacity of your choosing. On our campus, being active does not translate only to a trillion community service hours or being the leading fundraiser in every charity event; it also applies to the students who pursue their true interests, be they in academics, athletics, or wherever else their curiosity lies. Unlike how high school is often portrayed in media, here you are allowed to get good grades, have a healthy number of friends, and play sports. This
is the real opportunity at the Upper School: Multiple traditional high school stereotypes can be filled simultaenously by anyone and everyone, in any number of variations, and in any capacity. The Upper School has the resources for you to be whatever caliber of student you desire. You have access to a staff of passionate teachers who care about what they are teaching; you are also allowed to care. With each new year, you will be able to engage in a more specialized schedule tuned to fit the subjects you are enthusiastic about. Take your freshman year to figure out what your interests are, and those interests can be reflected in your future schedules. If you find the arts motivating, adjust your schedule towards creative electives. If math is your passion, plan it out so you can take AP Calc. As regards athletics, you are required to play a sport. While
this stubborn fact may be a nuisance to some, it is also an opening to take part in any sport. Be the person that takes on a sport you find appealing, regardless of whether your friends deem it cool. During the orientations, you heard the administration overuse the phrase “create a club.” You were sitting there knowing that, as a freshman, there was no way you were going to walk on the campus and create a club, and you were probably right (maybe next year). However, that is not to say the current club environment is not one of ever accommodating proportions. Find a club you think you will be interested in, and try it out. If you are not satisfied, try another one. Despite what you heard in the orientations, joining a club is not a legally binding action to which you will be forever held accountable. In fact, most clubs
send out a school wide email inviting anyone to every meeting. Don’t be afraid of what you think the club will want from you because there are no expectations. It’s about what you make of the club because you want to. The point is that being active in clubs is a huge part of the opportunity at Benjamin, and not something you want to miss because you were vegetating on the sidelines of involvement. Yes, in the orientations the administration focused on making the school sound flawless, and its attempt to articulate the school’s perfection made students skeptical. However, most of what they said is in fact, despite all odds, genuine. The opportunity they speak of exists and initiative is its only cost. What came across as folklore was actually their message of how you can be successful at the Upper School; the ball is in your court now.
Testing New Waters It was 7 am, awfully early for a summer morning, a time notorious for adolescent hibernation, but I had big plans: I was going sailing. But I wasn’t just sailing with just the family or some friends; I was racing in the Black Point Regatta with three total strangers. The Black Point Regatta is an annual sailing race held in the southern island chain of the Bahamas called the Exumas. The regatta consists of two main races: one around Black Point Harbor and the other a five mile dash from another island called the Ocean Race. Yet the regatta is more than a couple of sailing races; it’s a local festival and most residents’ favorite time of year. The day before the races, the hours after each race, and the day after the races are times filled with parties and barbeques for the whole community. Simply said, the last weekend in July is the best weekend to visit the Exumas. How I found my way onto a boat with three complete strangers in the most revered race of their year is kind of a funny story. I should preface the rest of this column with the following fact: Aside from sailing a few times with my mom as a youngster, I’ve really never sailed before. Anyways, a Bahamian friend of mine, one I’ve known for over ten years, thought it would be a great experience for me to sail with his kinsmen. Without my knowing, he slyly told his friends that I sail for my school back in Florida and that I would be a great
Guest Column Henry Jamison
Student Council President
asset. Next thing I knew, I was on a boat in the most cherished 5-mile journey of the Exumas as the sole American in a crew of 51 sailors on 13 boats. Needless to say, I was lost before the race even started. Of course, not wanting to hold the team back or to devastate my ego and admit that I was clueless, I didn’t mention to my company that my sailing experience was minimal at best. Once the race began, there was no time to rethink that decision; I was too busy trying to gauge what needed to be done and how to do it. Very quickly I found myself immersed in more ropes and whirring gizmos than I could have ever imagined. Who knew a 17-foot homemade wooden sailboat could be so complex? I sure didn’t, but that didn’t matter. My three Bahamian crewmates expected that I knew what to do at all times as they shouted commands like “pull in the jib” or “PRY, get on the pry.” If they weren’t shouting commands, they were “rowling” at opponents (rowling, by my friend’s definition, is friendly and harmless, but loud yelling, insulting, and criticizing of other teams, very common among the islanders).
Regardless of the chaos that filled the boat for the entire 5-mile race, I had the time of my life. There is no thrill like that of sitting on a plank of wood over clear ocean water in order to even out the weight and avoid capsizing, or bailing water as if your life depends on it. But I didn’t tell the story of my sailing race to glorify the
sport; my aim is much broader. Sailing was new to me, but I entered this famous race and had an unforgettable experience. It was new and I was afraid, but it was worth it in the end. As this school year opens with a clean slate for all, my hope is that you guys will all try something you’ve never done before. Obviously, freshmen should get out of their shells and try something new and blah blah blah, but often forgotten in this conversation are the seniors. Everyone seems to think that because you’re a senior, there’s no time or need or desire to do something new. While it’s
your last year in high school, and college applications can be overwhelming, trying something new could provide that outlet from stress that you’ve been looking for. Try a new sport, talk to someone you barely know, or pick up a new hobby that you’ve never even heard of. You have roughly nine months left at the school that has shaped your modern life; why not take a risk and step out onto a limb that you’ve always avoided? You may have never sailed before, and you may be getting into a boat with three strangers, but give it a try. You might end up with a great story to tell.
Photo courtesy of Budge Jamison
President Henry Jamison poses with his new friends as they sail in the Black Point Regatta.
August 24, 2010
A Year in Phot
From Swine Flu outbreaks to State Championships and Pathfinders to jet Here are some of The Pharcyde’s best ph
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
Economics teacher Ms. Nidhi Pardue stacks caps onto the senior class’ pole during the Stack the Caps ceremony on Feb. 19. Juniors Jamie Corey and Hayley Miller organized this event, which became part of the Chillin’ and Grillin’ competitions. This event collects hats for children with cancer. TBS stacked 24 feet, 10 inches.
During the Class of 2011’s homecoming skit, Zach Krumholz, dressed as a hunt Farmville Freshmen. Krumholz’ gorilla sidekick Henry Jamison stands aside to the
Pharcyde File Photo
Senior Brett Rosenthal goes up for his last shot of the game against Coral Springs Christian, which CSC won by two points in the last seven seconds of the game. The Bucs lost to Coral Springs Christian in this regional championship after having won the district title in a 62-48 game against rival American Heritage.
The 2010 day of sc take pho in the lak
August 24, 2010
t-skis in the lake, the 2009-2010 school year brought plenty of excitement. hotos of some of last year’s best moments.
Photo courtesy of Bill Ferris
The varsity boys lacrosse team dog piles in celebration of senior Josh Stauffer’s winning goal during their Florida Club state championship win against Tampa Jesuit in a sudden-death overtime. This was the team’s first ever state title.
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
ter of the Jungle Book Juniors strangles classmate Phil Siragusa, representing the e left, and Ali Bernstein, dressed as a Psychedelic Sophomore stands off to the right.
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
MATT MURRAY / Photography Editor
0 seniors went beyond the usual senior lake-jump tradition on the last chool on May 3, seniors’ last day. Teachers and students look on and otos as 2010 Graduates John Heinrich and Jared Strasser drive a jet-ski ke. Their classmate Scott Fricker trailed behind on a skim board.
2010 Graduate Alex Hinson speaks to the ensemble cast before We Bessech Thee, a number in November’s musical Godspell. The concept of the ensemble cast in director Mr. Henry Hamilton’s rendering of the musical eliminated the concept of a lead role.
Photo Essay layout by Jenna Bernick
August 24, 2010
@Pharblog.com: Students attend Close-Up program in DC
Students broaden their horizons with service, travel By Katie Schepps
Managing Editor For many Benjamin students, summer is a time to kick back and relax. For others, it’s an opportunity to travel the world, experience a new culture, become a certified scuba diver, teach underprivileged children, climb Alaskan mountains, or rebuild a community. Ana Garcia and Nataly Lambert During the month of July, Sophomores Nataly Lambert and Ana Garcia traveled to Australia and Fiji for both service and adventure. Their group started off in Cairns, Australia, where they white water rafted and earned their scuba diving certifications on the famous Great Barrier Reef. After traveling to Sydney, the girls spent a week in a village in Fiji. Staying in the homes of the natives, the group taught in a school and worked with cement to create a walkway. Her favorite part of the trip, Lambert said, “was being welcomed into someone’s home and learning their customs. It made me aware how different American culture is compared to the rest of the world.” Kelly Christiansen and Katie Wallshein Sophomores Kelly Christiansen and Katie Wallshein spent part of their summer with the Sail Caribbean program, traveling to the British Virgin Islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and Anegada. Here, they snorkeled, sailed, hiked, tubed, and completed 35 hours of community service by tagging turtles, observing coral reefs, and cleaning up beaches. Wallshein said, “We hiked through a place called ‘The Baths,’ which was an island of caves, and we got to go swimming in different spots throughout the island. Christiansen spoke about one of her most vivid memories of the trip when she said, “On our night dive, we saw luminescent plankton all around us, and it looked like magic.” While the girls had the opportunity to visit places all throughout the islands, to give back to the marine life, and to participate in various water sports, the trip was still rustic at
times. Wallshein said, “Living on the boat was really hard because there wasn’t much space and all of our meals were limited to eating carbs.” Annie Loppert Junior Annie Loppert traveled with Adventures Cross Country to Greece and Italy. Not only did Loppert and her group backpack across Europe, sightsee in Rome, and learn to sail, scuba dive, and windsurf on the Greek islands, but they also experienced the true hype of one of the biggest sporting events across the globe. She said, “It was really exciting to be in Europe for the World Cup because during the final game, every store shut down on this Greek island named Parga and [the people] put big screens out and set up chairs and everyone watched.” Henry Jamison Back in the USA, senior Henry Jamison traveled to Alaska for three weeks with senior Taylor Aguirre, the boys’
fathers, and 2010 grad Sterling Lambert. The crew traveled to Anchorage and McCarthy where they did a five day hike. Having hiked 12 hours until 2 a.m. one day, Jamison described this hike as “impossible.” “We hiked on glaciers and over them and it’s so cool because they’re literally solid ice and you wear these spiked things called crampons on your shoes to help you grip the ice,” he said. In Seward, the group went kayaking to discover orcas, humpbacks, seals, sea lions, puffins, and other marine creatures. They kayaked up to a glacier, which they were able to circle and explore inside. They watched the calving of a glacier, a phenomenon in which huge chunks of ice separate from the main structure and fall into the water from enormous heights. At a place called Brooks Falls, Jamison and the rest
Sophomore girls visit the British Virgin Islands over break.
Talia Brody-Barre (right) does New Orleans service work.
watched bears fish and catch salmon as they fly-fished themselves. Jamison said, “At one point there were about twelve bears in one spot on the river fishing. Every time we hooked a fish, we’d have to make sure no bears were around, because if the bears saw the fish, they might charge us and try to steal the fish. We’d have to cut the line and move away fast.” Talia Brody-Barre While senior Talia BrodyBarre stayed closer to home, she too had a cultural, eye-opening experience as she went to New Orleans with Rustic Pathways, a program that offers travel programs for a variety of groups. Her group mainly worked with an organization known as the St. Bernard Project, a team dedicated to rebuilding New Orleans. Speaking about the physical work that went into the reconstruction, Talia said, “Our group was the first group to work on one of the houses. The site supervisors said that the house had probably been abandoned since before the storm. When we arrived, the entire front and back yards were covered in weeds. After clearing and mowing the yards, we went inside the house and did demolition work. We knocked down tile and drywall and took down all the old insulation.” Though Brody-Barre originally hoped to travel to Central America for community service, she soon learned that there was just as much to do as close to home as New Orleans. “I was completely ignorant about post-Katrina New
Orleans. I never assumed that the area would be perfectly restored, but I thought that the city was largely repaired. I was wrong. In parts of the 9th Ward, it looks as if Katrina hit yesterday,” she said. The group not only worked on homes, but also went to a local charter school to help organize a library. They also worked at an organic farm. While the trip was centered on community service, Talia was also able to explore the New Orleans culture, visiting places such as the French Quarter and the Preservation Hall. “New Orleans culture is far different from that of any other United States area that I have visited. The people there are always open and friendly. They are passionate about their culture: the jazz music, the Cajun and Creole food, and Louisiana’s history,” she said. Traveling to New Orleans, Brody-Barre experienced how the natives are affected not only by existing Katrina issues, but also by the BP oil spill. She said, “The oil spill greatly affects Louisiana’s economy in that many people’s incomes in Louisiana are dependent upon the sale of seafood. Also, part of what makes the oil spill so dangerous for Louisiana is that if there is a hurricane, the oil will be scattered all over the land.” Summing up her experience this summer, Brody-Barre said, “I loved my trip to NOLA- the service was fun and rewarding, I made great friends, and I was exposed to an amazing culture.”
Annie Loppert (center) visits Italy on a backpacking trip. All photos courtesy of those included.
August 24, 2010 Page
Balance bracelets the latest fashion trend up to bat
as promised. Benz said, “I honestly feel a difference when I wear it. You can really tell that it works when you do the tests.” These three tests are on the Power Balance web site: the Balance Test, the Strength Test, and the Flexibility Test. Each of these tests must be repeated twice. The first test will be conducted without a Power Balance Bracelet, and the second will be conducted with one.
By Hunter Toro News Editor
Benjamin has had many fashion trends, but never has a sports fad taken over the wrists of so many in the school. Although the word trend implies a new craze, this latest sports trend is far from new, say many baseball players. Before balance bracelets like the Power Balance became popular among a different variety of sports, a titanium balance necklace, the Phiten, was used among baseball players. The Phiten promises to improve athletes’ energy flow. The Phiten web site, www. Phitenusa.com, says, “Anyone can benefit from wearing our products to help aid in counteracting the stress and fatigue of everyday life. Phiten products work with your body’s energy system, helping to regulate and balance the flow of energy throughout your body. Proper energy balance helps to alleviate discomfort, speed recovery, and counteract fatigue. Further benefits of Phiten’s exclusive technology are more relaxed muscles leading to less stress and a greater range of motion that can be of great benefit to an athlete or anyone in any walk of life.” Baseball player and sophomore Matt Bicknell said, “I started wearing a Phiten two years back. The only players I've seen wearing [balance jewelry] were from baseball, so it probably started with the baseball trend. I don’t want to say that other
“There’s a good chance it might be magic.” - Thomas Benz, junior HUNTER TORO / News Editor
Sophomore Matt Bicknell displays his Power Balance bracelet while in his baseball uniform.
sports copied baseball, but now that this balance technology is becoming a big deal in the general sports world, not just baseball, it seems like everyone is wearing one.” Junior Thomas Benz, a balance bracelet-flaunting lacrosse player, said, “I didn’t notice the balance jewelry because of baseball players. I got mine at a lacrosse tournament because I wanted to see if they worked, and because the salesperson told me that it would bring out my eyes.” Sophomore Katie Wallshein claims she copied the trend from hairdressers, not athletes.
Wallshein said, “I bought it because I saw the hair dresser wearing one along with all of her employees and customers. Everyone seemed to really like them. I think baseball players wear similar balance jewelry, but it doesn’t have anything to do with my purchasing of this bracelet.” Wallshein bought the bracelet to gain the balance it provides to ward off motion sickness. She said, “I went on a sailing trip for 18 days and I thought it could possibly help with seasickness.” For approximately 30 dollars, these silicone wrist bands
claim to tap into the body’s natural energy and balance it according to its needs. Power Balance web site, www.Powerbalance.com, says, “When the static Power Balance Hologram comes in contact with your body’s energy field, it begins to resonate in accordance with each individual’s biological [makeup], creating a harmonic loop that optimizes your energy field and maintains maximum energy flow while clearing the pathways so the electro-chemical exchange functions like the well-tuned generator it was meant to be.” For some, the bracelet does
Bicknell, owner of a Phiten necklace and a Power Balance bracelet, is more skeptical of the abilities of balance jewelry. He said, “To be honest, I think the balance equipment is purely psychological. If it does work, it does very little. But the actual technology that goes into performance enhancement persuades me otherwise. There's a good chance it could be magic though.” He adds, “Although it might not be much, the balance technology does add to the whole athletic concept, so those that are looking for equipment that will give them a small edge should try the balance bracelets.”
Students discuss keys to standardized test success
By Laura Barry Features Editor
With ACT and SAT being most high school students least favorite acronyms, it can be tempting to try to ignore them and put off the work these tests demand. But according to many students, the key to success is preparation, both in content practice and simply knowing the ins and outs of what you must inevitably face. Senior Jamie Burke said, “My advice to the juniors is start early and become familiar with all aspects of both tests.” Students should be aware that the ACT is mostly curriculum-based whereas the SAT includes more general reasoning and problem solving skills. They both last roughly three hours, with the ACT testing both science and trigonometry and the SAT involving neither of those subjects. To prepare, many students enroll in ACT or SAT classes or enlist the services of a private tutor. Senior Rachel Fayne said,
“I’ve always had really low standardized test scores, so I was really concerned about the SAT and ACT. I started tutoring my sophomore year to help build my critical reading skills because that was always the section I had the most difficulty with.” She added, “The most helpful thing about having a tutor is that it forces you to really sit down and do the practice tests. They are the most grueling things to have to do because it feels like additional work on top of all the other stresses of junior year. Doing all those practice tests was extremely helpful in the end though, because by the time I took the SAT I was completely comfortable and knew exactly what to expect. “ Junior Cameron Kaplan spent time this summer preparing in an attempt to curb the year’s regular school workload. He said, “I took an SAT course this summer at Georgetown that really helped me. What was great about it was the fact
that I was given textbooks and practice tests that I felt really prepared me for the test.” As with anything, many roads lead to success, and many students prepare on their own. Senior Sean Marshall found himself just as successful without outside instruction. He said, “I never used a tutor; I studied by myself doing practice tests. I think as long as someone prepares and stays calm they have the ability to do well.” Senior Brett Rosenthal described a previous pitfall of his own when he said, “I [used to] put way too much pressure on myself. My biggest problem with these tests was not the reading or the math or for that matter any particular section, but more that I mentally psyched myself out. My helpful advice would be to just relax and know that this isn’t the end-all, be-all. There is always the opportunity to retake the test if you aren’t particularly happy with your score.”
Page 10 August 24, 2010
The Pharcyde @Pharblog.com: The joys and absurdities of our generation’s favorite three-quel.
Curtain Call: A Performing Artist’s Guide to Life By Hunter Toro News Editor
It’s five minutes until curtain. The voices of the audience hum in the background. The only thing drowning out their noise is the excruciatingly loud thumping of your heart. The butterflies in your stomach multiply, you sweat beneath your costume, and you pray you don’t forget your lines. Then, you feel the person next to you squeeze your hand for dear life, knowing they feel just as you do, and you feel a wave of relief wash over you. You don’t think about what grade this person is in, or what his or her social ranking is. You just feel comforted by this fellow cast member. Recalling Mr. Hamilton’s recurring mantra, “be extraordinary,” you squeeze back, knowing that you’ll do whatever it takes to
protect your Thespian peers on stage and that they’ll do the same for you. Because by the end of it, we are more than just cast mates; we are family. If this type of bond appeals to you, then consider being a part of it. If you have the slightest feeling that you could see yourself singing, dancing, acting, be sure to get involved in events like the Fall Play, Spring Musical, the Variety Show, or the One Act Play Festival. If you love the idea of being a part of this but lack the confidence to perform, we can always use help in the makeup, costume, and technology departments. Get involved, and you’ll find that the arts really are a great hands-on way to learn the virtues boasted by Benjamin’s pillars. You’ll learn acceptance when you talk to people you
normally wouldn’t find yourself associating with and by finding yourself coexisting and working peacefully with them. You’ll learn dedication when you memorize your lines because you want to do the best you can, and you don’t want to let the cast down. And, of course, you’ll learn confidence. After performing on stage for hundreds, giving a speech in class seems trivial. For those who refrain from the arts because they fear the packed schedules or the audition process, rest assured. Yes, all of these performances require the dedication inherent with hours of rehearsals, and yes, the auditions can be a little nerve-wracking. But the audition atmosphere is a positive one. After performing a short two-minute monologue and possibly singing a one minute
clip from a song accompanied by Dr. Nagy on piano, the stress is over. Because you have only Mr. Hamilton to impress, with your peers safely away and out of sight, the process is never damaging. Freshmen, this is your only opportunity to make a first impression, your first chance to create your reputation, your first chance to make a name for yourself. The easiest way to make new friends and find a place to fit in is the arts. Start your first year off right, be courageous, and join us! And seniors, don’t you want to make a mark on Benjamin culture that will last forever? How better than to leave a picture of yourself performing on the walls of the senior hallway to be seen by generations of students to come? This is your last chance to get to know more
people, make lasting memories, and showcase the talents no one knew you had. Be part of something greater than yourself. After high school, you aren’t going to look back and remember sitting in class answering problem number four on your math test. But you do have the chance to look back and remember those fun and sometimes difficult rehearsals, the challenges of nailing your lines, the relationships you formed with cast mates, how it felt when the spot light hit you, and that feeling of complete satisfaction and pride when it’s all over. Those are things you won’t forget. All the world’s a stage. So take a chance, discover a new passion, unleash your hidden talents, and make new friends and incredible memories. See you at auditions!
(Clockwise from bottom left) Senior Brittany Bigelow sings alongside 2010 grad Alex Hinson in Godspell. The Dazzlers perform in the 2010 Variety Show at the Eissey Theater. Sophomore Jordi Zindel performs as a solo act during this spring’s Rock for Relief concert to benefit Haiti. All Photos by Photography Editor Matt Murray.
“Grease. I’d actually audition for it. Those leather pants are tempting.” - Austin Pepper, junior
“Beauty and the Beast. Benjamin hasn’t really done any Disney musicals and they have a lot of fun characters and numbers.” - Cara Cecchini, senior
“Spring Awakening. It’s youthful and the soundtrack doesn’t have classical lameness. It’s a needed curveball.” - Phil Siragusa, senior
August 24, 2010 Page
Turn off, drop out: One week unconnected By Alana Dresner Columnist
For those of you who were wondering why I wasn’t returning any BBMs, Facebook messages, texts, and pokes between July 28 and Aug. 3: I wasn’t ignoring you! For seven days I lived a lonely, technology-free life. I felt like a less attractive, less Native American, less nature-obsessed, and all-around less cool version of Pocahon-
tas. At least my girl ‘Hontas could talk to her raccoon friend and that acid trip-inspired willow tree; I didn’t communicate with ANYONE (mom and dad: love you, but you don’t count). That’s right, no iPod, phone, TV, or computer for one week. Envy me. Hearing about this endeavor, everyone asked me the same question: “Alana, what did you do witcho time, girl?!” To keep myself entertained, I wrote po-
etry, flossed my teeth, and experimented with my shampoo. Summer ’10, so crazy! My poetry isn’t exactly like Green Eggs and Ham. It contains some explicit language because, trust me, if you were as out of the social loop as I was, you wouldn’t have been writing poems about newborn kittens and cotton candy. If Emily Dickinson and Tupac Shakur had had a child, this kid’s poetry would probably be similar
Photo courtesy of Jeff Dresner
Alana Dresner relishes her final moments of connectedness before starting a no-tech week.
to mine. You know how on the back of a shampoo bottle the instructions usually say, “Lather, rinse, repeat”? Unlike you lame-o’s, I had time to repeat. Sure, my arms started to hurt, but all I could think about was the perfect Lindy Bradford-esque hair I had in store. My hair looked the same and I was furious, “manely” because it turned out to be a total waste of shampoo. I knew I hit rock bottom when I tried flossing my teeth for fun. My experience helped reinforce my prior belief that dental floss is like Hell in a minty string form. I always wondered why the dentist’s assistant is so feisty with the floss, but then I realized that it doesn’t matter how carefully you floss because bleeding is inevitable. In conclusion, I’ll probably never floss outside of the dentist’s office again. Gingi-
vitis, come and get me! The easiest device to avoid was my computer, which I use for two things: Facebook and looking at mug shots of new inmates in the Palm Beach County jail. Sure, I missed playing the “Guess What Crime This Guy Committed” game, but not enough to play it and in turn cheat myself, The Pharcyde, or our Phans. I realized that the only time I truly crave Facebook is when I should be studying for an important test that is likely to determine my grade for the quarter. With that said, I’m pretty sure the saddest part of my summer was when I noticed how exciting it actually is to see the red notifications indicator on my home page. My eyes even lit up when I saw the “School of Wizardry” invitation that someone sent me. Sweet life, Alana
Broken Glass Park an engaging foreign drama By Olivia Loving Copy Editor
Broken Glass Park, a 2008 novel by Russian-born artist Alina Bronsky, chronicles the life of seventeen-year-old Sascha Naimann. Like Bronsky, Sascha moved from her native Russia to Germany as a teenager. But the resemblance stops there. The crux of Sascha’s problems precede the first page of the novel, where she vows to “kill Vadim,” her stepfather, and, by doing so, avenge her mother’s murder. Broken Glass Park is a unique book. It comes from Europa Editions, an Italian-based company founded in 2005. Since then, the company has enjoyed a loyal and steadily growing
fan base. According to Motoko Rich, a New York Times writer, the company depends on independent bookstores and remains “without an e-book or vampire in sight.” Europa Editions, then, is the antithesis of most mainstream publishers. As Rich’s Feb. 25, 2009 article about Europa Editions noted, Americans are notoriously single-minded about their reading habits. Europa Editions is all set to change that. As an international company, it strives to bring otherwise-unknown European books to an Englishspeaking public. One of Broken Glass Park’s quirks is that it is chapter-less. Even without these imposed breaks, the book moves quick-
ly and grippingly. Sascha approaches her situation with wit and determination. If anything, she’s almost too gritty, too suspicious of both old and new friends and critical of those who are soft. She says of her late mother, “she wasn’t stupid, but she was too sentimental.” Events normally described at length become single sentences (“We’re visited regularly by the hyphenated names from the department of family services”). Sascha eschews real help even when she first seeks it out. All too often, she turns to quick and unhealthy methods as a release. Readers become familiarized with Sascha; they are gratified when she makes the right move and have to remind
themselves of her past when she doesn’t. It’s surprising that a book about issues so remote to American readers (German projects, a double murder, and a more-than-dysfunctional family) resonates so strongly. Maybe the book is so attractive because the reader is constantly a step behind Sascha. She is an enigma, even on the page. The reader has to work for her trust, just as her acquaintances do. Sascha is guarded, and yet, her guardedness is what makes her so vulnerable and endearing. These traits slip out occasionally and inappropriately. She can talk about her mother’s death with sarcastic ease, but yells at her brother for torturing a small animal.
As the book progresses, Sascha begins to soften. She is so immersed in hate for her stepfather that she often cannot realize others’ problems until they confront her. And when they do, she faces a personal reckoning. Maybe a book written by a different author, or with a different protagonist, would be depressing and tedious. But Broken Glass Park is not your typical sympathy read. I’m sure that if you told Sascha you pitied her, she would slap you. She’s the kind of girl whom adults approach, ready to smother, only to find themselves stepping back with their hands in the air and saying, “OK, OK. You win.”
August 24, 2010
Football team revamps for fall season
Be A Fan.
This season’s opening dates:
Aug. 27 Football vs. Martin County @ Home
Sept. 1 Boys Golf vs. PBG HS @ Home (Bear’s Club)
Sept. 8 Swimming vs. Suncoast @ Home (NPB) CHRISTIAN SENDLER / Staff Photographer
Junior players prepare for the fall season during an August two-a-days practice. Their first game is Aug. 27 at home.
By Phil Staiman Sports Editor
After going 6-4 and missing the playoff cut last season, the Benjamin Buccaneer football team is looking to reassert itself as a contender for this year’s district title. The team began to prepare for the upcoming season on Aug. 9th, with two-a-day practices. “The past two days have been some of my hottest and hardest practices ever, and I really think that this is helping the team come together,” said junior tight end Collier Logan. The Bucs open up their 2010
campaign against the Martin County Tigers in their annual Kickoff Classic at Theofilos Field on August 27th at 7 PM. Last season, the team was primarily known for its ability to run the football because of its depth at the running back position. Now with both an experienced starting quarterback and a strong receiving corps, that will not be the case. Senior Teddy Dwork, who will be entering his second year as starting quarterback, threw for 1151 yards and 12 touchdowns on 81 completions last year. Along with putting up sol-
id numbers, Dwork also proved that he is capable of taking care of the football by throwing only five interceptions, a Benjamin school record. “We are much deeper and more experienced at the wide receiver position this year, and our offense will focus more on the passing game. I have really been working on my timing with my receivers this summer, and this will likely translate into much better numbers in the passing game,” said Dwork. The front five are returning four starters, including junior Trent Saunders who is already
receiving nationwide attention, with many on the team believing that he has the potential to be one of the top left tackles to ever play at Benjamin. Although the Bucs believe that they have a strong team, they know that they will face many challenges on their way to the district title. “Our greatest challenges this year will be in the district when we play the defending state champions, American Heritage, and our biggest rival, Kings Academy. I believe that we can beat both teams if we stay focused and control the tempo,” said Logan.
Sept. 8 Girls Golf vs. Jensen Beach @ Home (Admiral’s Cove)
Sept. 15 Volleyball vs. St. Edward’s @ Home
Athletes seek summer programs for college attention By Phil Staiman Sports Editor
For many students, the summer break is used as a time for rest and relaxation; however, this is not the case for the athletes at Benjamin who are trying to play at the collegiate level. Instead of traveling the world, these dedicated student athletes use their summer time to attend intense, competitive camps that will help increase their skill level, and also their exposure to college scouts. At a small, private high school like Benjamin, it is very hard for talented athletes to win over college recruiters, regardless of their performance on the athletic field. Senior point guard Brett Rosenthal, who has attended five showcase basketball camps
JENNA BERNICK / Co-Editor-in-Chief
Junior point guard Brett Rosenthal ball-handles last season.
since his sophomore year, said, “Most college coaches believe that the competition between the smaller level schools is not as legitimate as the competition between the larger high
schools.” Because of this, athletic summer showcase camps have become an integral part of the recruiting process for college scouts. “These camps allow for
all of the talented athletes, from both small and big schools, to come and play against one another. This affords the college recruiters the opportunity to see whether or not small school athletes can compete with, or possibly even dominate, the larger school athletes,” said Rosenthal. Senior Josh Stauffer, attacker for the defending state champion lacrosse team, believes that while it is imperative for an athlete wishing to pursue their sport at the collegiate level to train during the summer, whether or not he or she has to attend recruiting camps entirely depends on his or her sport and location. “Playing lacrosse in Florida, I have to attend these camps throughout the summer in order to be seen by college coach-
es. If an athlete plays in his or her sport’s “hotbed,” a place where the talent is known to be better than anywhere else in the country, such as lacrosse in the Northeast, or football in Texas, it wouldn’t be as important for them to get exposure during the summer. Coaches just go and watch them during their high school seasons. But, if one plays somewhere that isn’t known for producing highly touted recruits in their sport, it is important to be proactive in getting your name out there during the summer,” said Stauffer. Hoping for the best, Rosenthal and Stauffer now must wait and see if their hard work over the summer pays off with increased interest in them from college recruiters.