2017 BMHS PrideTime Magazine

Page 1


Pride Time Goodbye Fear, Hello Information // 9

90’s n io t i Ed

Quiz e k a T ! // 3 e d i s In

What’s Your Story? An Inside Look of McMahon’s Diversity // 6, 7

Magazine Staff Hannah Towey Senior Editor Lexi Ravetto Senior Editor Emely De La Cruz Senior Editor Laura Demee Senior Editor Grace O’Malley Junior Editor Angelika Kyrkos Junior Editor Bryanna Perez Sophomore Editor Magazine Design Team Myah Simms

3 4 5 6-7

Last Class of the 90’s: Quiz: Which 90’s Character Are You?


-The Closer The Bond, The Longer The Life - Binge Watching: Why Are We Really Hooked on TV shows?

BMHS Stories & Successes: -Epidemiology Event Winners -Hero of Harborview

What’s Your Story?:

-Putting Down the Hijab - Friends From Across the World







-An Immigrant Opportunity -Goodbye Fear, Hello Information

Darren Battle Mariana Perales Abigail Dressler Melanie Fuentes

-“The Altar” by Banks Album Review -Diversity On Stage

Justin Louis Cynthia Perez Brenda Sanchez Harmony Smith Ahjunae Williams

- Welcome Back, Stock!

s ast Clas

Top 5 movies


The L of The

Top 5 tv shows

Were you born in the 90’s? Yes

Full House or Friends?

Can’t Touch This or Want it That Way?

Home Alone or The Lion King? Home Alone



Full House

1. the fresh prince of bel air 2. friends 3. saved by the bell 4. Martin 5. full house


Titanic or Friday?

Martin or friends? Family Matters

Fresh Prince

Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems or Poison?

Can’t Touch This

Top 5 songs

Lion King

Fresh Prince or Saved by The bell?


1. titanic 2. home alone 3. friday 4. the lion king 5. toy story


Saved By The Bell

More Money More Problems

No Scrub or Can’t Touch This?

1. no money no problems 2. Smells Like Teen Spirit 3. poison 4. U cant touch this 5. i want it that way

Poison No Scrub

Want it That Way

Crazy Sweatheart



Dope Energetic


Can’t Touch This

Little Menace

Lifestyle 4 The Closer the Bond, the Longer the Life •Yanira Matute

There are 7 billion people in our world. 125 million of those people are twins. When it comes to being a twin, you often get hit with odd questions on a daily basis. Bianca (‘19) and Will Garcia (‘20) are fraternal twins. Bianca says that they have such a close bond that she could

be singing a song in her head and he’ll unexpectedly sing the same song outloud. Although Bianca doesn’t believe that twins feel each others physical pain, she believes they share an emotional bond. Bianca says, “people would be like, so if he physically gets hurt do you feel it? And I don’t

know what to say sometimes because when he hurts emotionally, I start to get emotional.” However, feeling her brother’s emotional pain is an advantage for her in life. Recent studies of the Danish population show that being a twin may actually help you live longer. According to Dr. Mallika Marshall, “Having a twin, a spouse, or a close network of friends can help you be more physically active, can lend a shoulder to cry on, and become a caregiver if you become sick.” The title holder for the world’s oldest twins are Simone Thiot and Paulette

Olivier, who are 104 years old. They said that the secret to staying alive for so long is the relationship they have with each other. “We are alive because we have always stayed close,” they both explained. However, you don’t have to be a twin to receive the same health benefits. David Sharrow, the lead author on this idea explains that, “Most people may not have a twin, but as a society we may choose to invest in social bonds as a way to promote health and longevity.” If you want to receive the same benefits, you just have to be willing to form strong friendships. ​

Binge Watching •Brenda Sanchez

Friday night comes, and you have no plans for the weekend. You sit on your bed and think of what to do until you remember that new show on Netflix everyone is talking about. Episodes and episodes later, you’re hooked. You may find it relaxing, your parents might call it lazy; however, researchers are now referring to it as binge-watching. British psychologist, Edward B. Titchener said, “We become glued to complex, emotionally-charged stories because our ability to recognize the feelings of others.” According to Psychology Today, the average American watches more than 5 hours of television per day, and the new epidemic of binge-watching appears to be the main culprit. In December, Netflix released a study that concluded


61% of 1,500 online respondents (Netflix users) admitted to binge-watching Netflix regularly. Three quarters reported having positive feelings about the behavior. McMahon students are no exception to the increasing trend. Isaias Martinez (‘18) explained how his “addiction” helps him improve as an athlete. He says, “I like the image it creates in my head, it inspires me to reach my full potential on the field and do something outstanding that not everyone does.” As a football player, watching college or professional football inspires him to improve. Binge-watching shows aren’t just about spending hours watching videos or shows anymore. They are about the love these shows make people feel and how they inspire people everyday.


BMHS Stories & Successes Epidemiology Event Winners • Harmony Smith

McMahon Sophomore, Elizabeth Pacifico, and Junior, Diana Muteba, won a medal on Wednesday, March 22nd, for first and third place repsectively, in the Epidemiology Event in North Haven. HOSA or the Health Occupatios for Students of America supports students who are interested in careeers in healthcare and leadership. It’s an organization of around 9,000 people and has been operating for over 30 year.s This organization also manages the blood drive here in McMahon.

Hero of Harborview •Grace O’Malley Despite the cheers of joy heard when Norwalk Public Schools announces no school due to inclement weather, for some, the next “day-off ” could mean much more. Camille Clark (‘20) experienced this first-hand: the 2012 superstorm, Hurricane Sandy. Dealing with the destruction of her home and her neighborhood in Norwalk has radically changed her views on living in an area where storms are inevitable. Hurricane Sandy hit Norwalk just days before Halloween, 2012. President Barack Obama had announced a state of emergency within Connecticut, and the American Red Cross arrived to Camille’s neighborhood, Harborview. “I remember helping the Red Cross spread the urgent message, telling everyone to evacuate before it’s too late,” Camille said. Before she left, Camille quickly prepared her house for the storm and packed any items that she didn’t want to get destroyed. After spending nearly two days at her aunt’s house in New Haven, Camille returned home to a patio floating down the street and a staircase lying in the neighborhood playground. “One of the most heartbreaking things to see were personal journals, family albums, and peoples’ clothing strung up the side of the fallen fences. It looked like an aftermath of the apocalypse.” Things only got more difficult after Hurricane Sandy ended. Camille’s home was one of the 8 million houses and businesses without power. “Not only was Harborview out of power, but it was un-

inhabitable for a lot of families. I remember the Red Cross coming and handing out instant food.” Camille and her family also had to leave to take showers, borrow space heaters from friends, and camp-out upstairs on her sister's bedroom floor. After two weeks, Camille’s family moved into a small cottage.They lived there for fourteen months until she finally returned to her home. Once Camille and her Harborview friends went back to school, they realized how difficult it was to assimilate back to everyday life. “I remember after the Hurricane, all of my friends would say, ‘The only thing that happened to us was our power went out for a couple hours, but it was great because we had no school.” For the students of McMahon, the Hurricane meant a week off, but for those who were affected, it meant much more. Hurricane Sandy has cost New York state alone $41.9 billion to cover damages and lead to 233 total deaths, counting four in Connecticut. ​“I will always remember Hurricane Sandy being the worst days of my life, but after seeing my neighborhood overcome this natural disaster, I know now to always have hope and persevere through any kind of situation.” Follow us @BMHS_pride_time


Cover Story

Putting Down the Hijab • Hannah Towey

On Friday the 13th of 2015, the Islamic State militant group killed and wounded hundreds in Paris, France—the series of shootings and suicide-bombings soon refered to as the “Paris Attacks.” The following day, between the hours of 8 and 9pm, Rafa Salsabil (’17) undertook what would be the most dangerous endeavor of her life—walking home. She was walking back to a hotel in the Bronx when Rafa heard a series of anti-Muslim slurs coming from a group of men trailing behind her. She ignored the brutal commentary, initiating a protective numbness first learned at 4 years old— when Rafa moved to the U.S from Bangladesh. But then one of the men stepped up from behind her and the numbness was at once, shattered. “Where do Follow us @BMHS_pride_time

you think you’re going?” he demanded, blocking Rafa’s path. Rafa, voice cracking, answered the man, “Home.” He quickly responded, “Oh, so are you guys done bombing France, now you want to bomb the U.S again?” The “you guys” this man was supposedly referring to were Muslims. At the time, Rafa was part of the estimated 430,000 Muslim women in America who wear a hijab, a traditional head covering that represents modesty. Rafa began wearing the hijab her Freshman year, after she was inspired during her religion classes at the local mosque. When she first wore the hijab to Brien McMahon, many of her friends even draped their infinity scarves over their hair in support. That night; however, alone and far from Norwalk, Rafa’s hijab was no longer just a visible expression of her faith— it was a target— and one that this man was not letting out of his sight. He took another step towards her and demanded, “Why don’t you take it off? I want you to take it off right now.” The man then reached towards her head and attempted to snatch off her hijab. “If you don’t cooperate, we have guns,” he spat out. “They’re not going to do anything about you, cause, what, you’re a Muslim, the country would probably be proud of us for killing you.” Tears now streaming down Rafa’s face, sirens were soon heard wailing around the corner— propelling the men to finally sprint away. Rafa made it home that night, but she returned changed forever.

To this day, Rafa has yet to put her hijab back on, explaining,“In that moment, when I was in there, I was scared for my life. And then the next morning I stopped wearing it…They made me think that even if my death, or my community if someone dies, it’s not going to matter to this country...

And since then, I never had the courage to ya know, wear it again.” Rafa is not alone in being forced to choose between expressing her faith and maintaining a sense of personal safety. According to the Pew Research Center, total anti-Muslim hate crimes have risen 67% from 2014, with women wearing hijab’s bearing the brunt of the attacks. “I’m not ashamed, but then again I’m just scared,” Rafa confessed, “That day I thought I was going to die. One of these days things will happen and it will be much better, that is the hope you are living with.” But for now, Rafa, and the hundreds of women like her, are forced to choose.


Friends From Across the World • Laura Demée 7,370 miles away, in Shanghai, China, lives 16 year-old Qiao Yan. On February 1st, she embarked on a 16+ hour journey to New York where she would stay in the home of an Amer-

ican teenager for 4 days. Katie Stadler (‘18) is one of the many students in CGS who decided to take part in this year’s exchange program with Guangming High School from Shanghai, China. Hoping to prac-

tice her language skills, Stadler took the opportunity not only to meet a Chinese tutor, but soon to be long life friend. “You are able to build special relationships with people half-way across the world. I have made a wonderful friend who I was able to connect with instantly,” Stadler said. Although becoming close with a stranger seems like a rare occurrence, the majority of homestays do. Finding the similarities instead of focusing on the differences is something CGS students have grown to learn. By having this exchange program, students are able to challenge themselves and leave their comfort zone to experience a cultural immersion. With 2017 marking the 11th Anniversary of the Chinese exchange program, Julie Parham, CGS director explained why it’s continued to stick around: “ We get all kinds of different exposure. We get to learn what teenagers are like from different countries. It’s surprising and delightful to find

that they are very similar to teenagers in the United States. Students get to learn little nuances of culture that we didn’t know they had even though we study their language.” Stadler clearly agreed, stating: “Now I see her as a sister to me. I never imagined us to ever be so close.”

What’s your story: What is one tragic experi- Why did you leave Puerto What is something that at a Glance ence you have been through you have learned in life in Rico and come to

Luis Daniel

in the last year?



“10 months ago I lost my mom. I was always with her. She was my bestfriend, and im the one that found her dead.”

“I did it for my mom. The one thing my mom wanted was for me to finish high school.”

“I learned that we have to live life like it’s the end, we never know whats happeneing or when we lose somebody.”

To tell your story, put your name up on the wall outside of Mr. Carrolls room


Local News

An Immigrants Opportunity • Laura Demée

Four rolling, dry erase boards move swiftly across the linoleum tiles as English classes are being put into session. The murmur of the Barcelona soccer games plays in the background as day workers catch a game of pool. The line of computers which hug the wall are occupied by their users to complete homework. A warm smile greets their guests as immigrants embrace new found opportunities. Located in Stamford, CT, Building One Community is a nonprofit organization that helps adjust low income immigrants to their communities. A few of the many services the center offers include ESL classes, free childcare and health services, citizenship courses, and computer classes. “It is important to understand the needs of the community that you are trying to help by having their “voice” be a part of their programs,” founder, Catalina Horak shared with PrideTime. Her inspiration to begin such an organization stemmed from her own experiences as an immigrant, along with a history of management experience. Being in its 6th year of operation, the center has impacted the many communities around it, such as Stamford, Norwalk, and Bridgeport. An important staple to the overall program is making sure a proficient level of English is reached. To accomplish this, the center administers an English test when one arrives at the Center. After the level of known English is determined, people are placed in classes which meet their needs. Many high school students from neighboring towns volunteer their time to teach Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced English. The most popular classes are offered on Monday and Wednesday nights from 6-8pm to accommodate the schedule of day workers. Horak made clear that the recent negative stigma towards immigrants, filtrated through the media and certain politicians, has attracted new donors and volunteers to the program. She stated in an interview.: “Our work is more important now than ever, and the community around us recognizes it.” To be apart of Building 1 Community, please visit http://building1community.org/ to sign up to volunteer or donate. BMHSPridetime.com

Free the Tampons

• Jescie Holmes and Darren Battle On February 10th, 2017, the year-long process of getting free feminine hygiene products in the girl’s bathrooms at Brien McMahon was finally completed. However, with high hopes of having free feminine products in every bathroom throughout Connecticut and America, Gabriella Duran (‘18) is not stopping quite yet. The liberation of McMahon’s tampons began in February of 2016 when Gabriella Duran, Frida Avila (‘19), and Valerie Chavez (‘19) decided to join the national fight to supply free feminine products in public bathrooms. The goals of their proposal, as stated by McMahon’s Center for Youth Leadership is to, “(a) minimize the class time that girls miss by having to walk to the nurse for a product; (b) remove any embarrassment a girl may feel by excusing herself from class; and (c) promote tampons and pads as essential school supplies - just like toilet tissue and hand soap.” Additionally, many students can’t afford tampons and pads, the products costing an estimated total of $18,000 in a lifetime. Gabriella explained the lack of interest held by the higher adminis-

tration, stating, “I think the Board of Education doesn’t realize how big this issue is. They didn’t seem that interested in this issue which is surprising since it affects ALL of their female students”. Despite minor setbacks from the administration, the project was later approved by Mr. Hurwitz and Mr. Abdus Salaam. Athletic director, Joe Madaffari, then donated the products, allowing a feminine hygiene station to finally become available in the science-wing bathroom. Ultimately, Duran hopes to empower the district and state to follow the lead of New York City, the first city in the nation to legally require free menstrual products to be provided in public schools, shelters, and jails. Throughout the process Gabriella admitted she felt like giving up, stating, “I got a lot of negative comments and backlash, especially since I wanted them to be free.” The dedication has provided more than just a goodie basket for McMahon’s female students-- each free tampon representing an end to menstrual shame and stigma, period.


GoodBye Fear, Hello Information • Hannah Towey

Just a few weeks ago, rumors that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) was conducting immigration raids in Norwalk spread throughout Brien McMahon and the rest of the city, circulating especially among high school social media accounts. On Twitter, some even claimed that Norwalk residents

had been detained and deported. In order to prevent future fear should similar confusion arise within the Norwalk community, PrideTime asked Police Chief Thomas E. Kulhawik to answer some questions concerning the aforementioned rumors and rights of undocumented immigrants:

How should students react in the future if ICE rumors reemerge?

“We encourage anyone who hears rumors such as this to reach out to their community leaders and/or the police department or myself directly. Once we were alerted to these rumors we were able to quickly determine that they were false.”

“Animamos a cualquiera que oiga ru- . mores como éste a comunicarse directamente con sus líderes comunitarios y / o con el departamento de policía o con mí mismo. Una vez que nos alertaron de estos rumores pudimos determinar rápidamente que eran falsos.”

¿Cómo deben reaccionar los estudiantes en el futuro si los rumores de ICE?

If ICE were to come to Norwalk, do they notify the local police first?

“I would hope out of a courtesy that they would make us aware, but they are not under any obligation to advise us. The Norwalk Police does not enforce immigration laws. We would only assist in law enforcement operations or as a matter of public safety.”

“Espero que por cortesía nos hagan conscientes, pero no están bajo ninguna obligación de alertarnos. La policía de Norwalk no hace cumplir las leyes de inmigración. Sólo ayudaríamos en operaciones de aplicación de la ley o como una cuestión de seguridad pública.”

Si el ICE llegara a Norwalk, ¿Lo notifican primero a la policía local?

“La policía de Norwalk no pregunta acerca del estatus inmigratorio. Si alguien es arrestado sus huellas dactilares serán tomadas y analizadas a través del sistema nacional. Este sería el único momento en que seríamos notificados si un individuo es deseado.”

¿Cuál es el procedimiento para que la policía de Norwalk comunique el estado de los convictos

“Creo que es importante enfatizar que todos deben sentirse seguros aquí en Norwalk y saber que si ellos son víctimas, testigos o reclamantes en un crimen, deben sentirse cómodos contactando a la policía ya que no vamos a pedir su estatus inmigratorio.

¿Pueden los inmigrantes indocumentados llamar al 911?

What is the procedure for Norwalk police in reporting the status of convicted undocuCan undocumented immigrants call 911?

“The Norwalk Police does not inquire regarding immigration status. If someone is arrested there fingerprints are taken and run through the national system. It is only at that time we would be notified if an individual was wanted.” “I think it is important to emphasize that everyone should feel safe here in Norwalk and know that should they be victims, witnesses or complainants in a crime, they should feel comfortable contacting the police as we will not ask their immigration status.”

Follow us @BMHS_pride_time



Diversity on Stage

“The Altar” By Banks

• Abbie Dressler

•Melissa Burnham

Banks is back. On September 30th 2016, she released her new alternative R&B album, “The Altar”. The album alternates between fast paced beats and slow acoustic songs, usually with dark or depressing lyrics sung in catchy pop vocals.

world,” Grace O’Malley (‘18) explained, an avid fan of Banks.

Nevertheless, the contemporary feel has struck a cord for some at McMahon, “It’s really futuristic...I feel like I’m in some sort of robot movie. Lots of neon and bright lights. And I’m a superhero out to save the

trend, it still might be worth spending some time to listen to the up and coming artist, as this certainly won’t be the last time you hear from her.

Her albums, and even her songs, ultimately feels like a roller coaster ride of emotions. It can also evoke a wide range of inner troubles. “Banks makes me feel really empowDespite much praise, the ered and independent. When I album hasn’t been accepted listen to her music, I feel like I by all. Pitchfork, a trusted mu- could do anything, and really I sic and art magazine, wrote in love how aggressive her lyrics a recent article saying that her are,” O’Malley said. overcompensation of emotion Even if you come to the and beat was an attempt to conclusion that Banks is an cover her lacking vocals. imposter, or just following a


Princesses have been commonly known to be fair skinned, with blue eyes and blonde hair, but this all changed when Keke Palmer (23) became the first African American to play Cinderella on Broadway in “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” in 2013. At BMHS, the Drama department has followed the footsteps set by Palmer by casting Laura Demée , who is a mix of Chinese and German descent, for McMahon’s production of Cinderella. When asked about her reaction to being casted as Cinderella, Laura said, “I wasn’t expecting it at all”. She commented: “I think having a chance to represent someone who shares the same cultural background as I am, provides them with inspiration and hope...having a diverse stage allows more creativity and defies sterotypes. It’s nice to see a change in things.”



2016/17 McMahon Fall & Winter Sports Stats



in 600m (Track): Akeim Murphy

Welcome Back, Stock! • Justin Louis & Matt Saint-Louis The spring sport season is here at Brien McMahon High School, and since then the Boy’s Lacrosse team has entered a new chapter in their program. The team has welcomed back Andy Stockfisch, a teacher at McMahon, who stepped down as head coach two years ago, and rejoins the boys as an assistant coach. In his first stint as head coach at McMahon (201315), he lead the team to two state tournament appearances and an FCIAC appearance in 2014. He had an overall record of 19-18. Before his coaching career in McMahon, he coached at Ridgefield High School, where he led Ridgefield to the state championship game in his second year. After losing in the FCIAC quarterfinals in 2015, he retired as Head Coach.

Since he had a child on the way, Stockfisch had come to a point where he had to put his family over his job. His presence as head coach was certainly missed by his players. “Not having him around last season was a little difficult for the seniors and juniors because we were so used to having him around. It’s nice having someone you are comfortable with and know, someone you can talk to during school and someone you can go to whenever,” said player Brendan Quinlan-Huertas. The following year, the Lacrosse team faced a difficult season as they struggled through a mediocre 5-11 season.The season last year did take a toll on this year’s, captain, Shane Kilcoyne (‘17). “Last season was definitely a shock to the system.



in 1000m (Track): Ajax Diamandis


The new coach, Jon Dana, brought in a new vibe and a new way of doing things. It had it’s growing Assists (Hockey): pains like everything else Will Haskell does, but I think this year, kids are a lot more use to the expectations and how he wants things done.” With the new season on Points: Top Scorer the horizon, and Stockfisch being now back on (Basketball): the team, new goals are Eric Day II set out to be achieved. Shane Kilcoyne says, “I want us to make States and FCIACs, that’s my goal. I want us to go there, Goals Scored in Season perform well, and who (Soccer): knows, maybe come back Peyton McNamara & with a championship Chloe Ortolano if everything goes well and, if we work hard.”




Justin Forde new High Jump record since 1985 Follow us @BMHS_pride_time

“Once a Senator, Always a Senator” Follow us @BMHS_pride_time

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