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is the average amount of money American shoppers plan to spend on Christmas. It’s down from $859 in 2007.

Members of the R&W and yearbook staffs listen to Toys for Tots coordinator Pauline Roberts explain the locations of the toys.


AROUND THE SCHOOL by hillary drumheller, news editor

by briana yablonski, features editor On November 28, 12 members of the R&W and yearbook staffs and adviser Sam Bidleman traveled to help sort and package items for Toys for Tots. This organization, which is run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, collects toys and other items which are given to disadvantaged children for Christmas. Once the students arrived at the local Toys for Tots location in Lewisburg, they began working after receiving instructions from coordinator Pauline Roberts. Their task was to select items from trucks to makeup kits for the recipient children. “It was sad realizing that these were the only presents these kids were going to receive for Christmas,” says yearbook staff member Kirsten Rabinowitz. “I was glad that I could help them.” Each child will receive two small and two large gifts plus other items such as books and stocking stuffers. These items are donated by the public or bought by Roberts with donated funds. Although some toys were in abundance, highly-requested items such as Littlest Pet Shop were scarce. In contrast, the number of needy families continues to grow. “This has been our most demanding year,” says Roberts. “We are waiting for the donations to come in, but with the economy the way it is, I worry about filling the need.” With this being the case, Toys for Tots and its volunteers are more important than ever.

Junior Meghan Ashford helps organize presents brought in for the Angel gift drive.

THE GIFT OF GIVING by luke klingler, sports editor

Student Council hosted the annual Angel Dance on Dec. 19 to help area children have a special Christmas. Over 150 students and staff members chose children’s angels which listed their ages, genders, clothing sizes and Christmas wish lists. Those who participated in the drive used their angel’s gifts as admission into the dance and also received a slice of pizza, compliments of Student Council. All the angel gifts were then taken to St. Columba Catholic Church for delivery on Dec. 20. “I wanted our students to be involved with the spirit of giving and sharing along with bringing back some of the tradition through this dance,” says Student Council adviser James Yates. With about 200 gifts collected this year, Yates was happy with the participation. “I hoped to try and match the same level as past years,” continues Yates. “I wanted our students to enjoy their involvement in helping children who don’t have what they do.”

NHS DISTRIBUTES HOLIDAY TREES by anthony sainclair, news editor

NHS members Corbin Powlus and Matt Tombasco undecorate a tree at TreeFest.

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December 2009

TreeFest is an annual community event held at Caldwell Consistory the two weekends after Thanksgiving. The holiday showcase combines over 100 Christmas trees donated by local growers and the talents of entertainers and artists. Hundreds of volunteers help decorate the trees to personify the spirit of Christmas. Additionally, 50 wreaths are purchased from Heritage Acres, which are also decorated by volunteers and put on sale for $25. Those

profits and the money made by admission, entertainment and food sales benefit the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. On the second Sunday of TreeFest, all the trees and ornaments are given to needy families who qualify. For the past five years, National Honor Society volunteers and other local school groups have helped with these second Sunday activities.

Book Club Before winter break, adviser DeAnne Casteel and members will be meeting to discuss and decide on the club’s next book selection. This newest book will be a classic novel, one featured the Accelerated Reader list. FBLA This group will be traveling to Pennsylvania College of Technology on Jan. 7 for their annual Regional Leadership Conference and Workshop. At that time, some members will be competing in non-school site contests. Robotics Robotics will begin their first project after the Christmas break. “We’re in the developing stage as of now,” says Marshall about their preparation for new machines. TSA TSA just started working on a new project which will continue after returning from break. Class of 2011 The Class of 2011 is selling shirts for red outs during winter games, matches and meets as a fundraiser. The t-shirt design was created by junior Morgan Yartz and features a panther with blue jay feathers in its paws. All profits will go towards the 2010 prom. According to class officers, the prom theme has yet to be decided. FCS Junior FCS III student Mary Gottshall has been in charge of our Warm Up America project. Students and staff members have been knitting and crocheting rectangles to be stitched together to make blankets for those who need them. The class will be continuing the project until Jan. 21. Anyone interested in participating should contact FCS teacher Lois Street at the high school at 570-784-6304. FCS III student Ashley Dunkle is this year’s Meal of the Month project manager. She supervised a dinner which was delivered to the Ronald McDonald House at Geisinger.

Photos by staff

Contract Impasse

First floor custodian Greg Landis appears to be everywhere in this photo illustration taken in Chemistry teacher Todd Davis’ classroom. Landis and the other members of the district’s support staff have been working without a contract since June 2009. Negotiations with the school board have stalled since a fact finder’s report was rejected by both sides.

SUPPORT WITHOUT A CONTRACT For the past six months, the school district’s diverse support staff has been working without a contract as their union and the school board struggle to find a solution to wage demands and health care issues. by ilea franklin


ince June, the support staff, which includes secretarial, custodial, maintenance and cafeteria staffs along with teacher aides has been meeting with their union representative and school board members in an attempt to find a mutually acceptable solution to their contract impasse. But agreeing on a new contract may prove difficult since both sides have displayed what they believe to be the best solution, and neither will budge. Both Sides Rejected Fact Finder’s Report Fact Finder Alex Kaschock from the PA Labor Relations Board presented a compromise report which was rejected by both the Bloomsburg Area Educational Support Professionals PSEA/NEA, which represents the support staff, and by the Bloomsburg Area School District. With the required release of the fact finding report, several negotiating positions were made public. In terms of wages, the school board is offering a higher starting salary but smaller raises over the life of the contract, about $.30 per hour each year. The union countered with raises that would average about $.90 per hour in each of the five years of the new contract if agreed upon. Another sticking point relates to medical insurance. The district proposed changing the existing copayment plan from a fixed dollar amount that would increase slightly to a percentage of the cost of health insurance, which will be

linked to any insurance cost hikes. Support Staff’s Position In the existing contract, each support staff member pays Union representative Matt Gruenlon counters, “There are $910 a year for medical coverage, which is $300 more than people in the support staff who have worked for over 30 what full-time teachers pay, but the total cost to the district years in the district and still do not make over $11 an hour.” is over $10,500, which includes dental, health and eye care. By comparison, a student employed at Weis Markets can “Health care will continue to rise each year, and retirement work Sundays pushing carts for about same hourly wage the doubles every year,” says newly elected school board president district pays the support staff. Thomas Tobin. Second shift custodian Greg Landis is concerned that the “Paying for the staff includes salary, federal taxes, health general perception of the support staff could lead some to care and retirement programs,” says Tobin, who notes that think that their work is not important. “There is a lack of the union’s proposal would respect for the staff because people also increase wages by close do not know how much work “There is a lack of respect for the staff to a dollar per hour, which needs to be done since they have would actually end up $2.00 because people do not know how much never had to do it themselves,” work needs to be done since they have over minimum wage at a says Landis, who has responsibility never had to do it themselves.” time when the community for downstairs classrooms and wants taxes kept as low - Greg Landis a schedule that often includes as possible. “The board setting up for and cleaning up after represents the money and meetings, athletic events and the financial concerns,” says Tobin, who states that the board many teachers and students asking for his assistance. “cannot raise pay without raising taxes.” Negotiations across the table are progressing slowly. On Tobin wishes the district could pay the support staff one side sits a union looking for a new contract that could more, but he says, “We try to go by how much the ‘business be the difference between paying bills or having to look for a market’ pays for these jobs. Would I like to pay them more? second job while on the other side, the school board is trying Yes,” says Tobin. Yet he and the district represent taxpayers, to keep a lid on the ever rising cost of education. [] and that means controlling taxes while giving each staff member what the board sees as fair.

Photo illustration by Courtney Sabo


Impacting the Future



After the last bell rings, most students either participate in athletics or go home to enjoy an afternoon of relaxation.

Statistics from a Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) study conducted by Joseph P. Tierney and Jean Baldwin Grossman show that children mentored through BBBS are:

by tyler lunger


52% 46%

less likely to skip school

ABOVE: Senior Becka Bisset, junior Rachel DeFrain and senior Rachael Wardrop help their littles with their homework at Memorial Elementary School. LEFT: Wardrop and her little brother TJ take a break from his homework to share a snack.

less likely to begin using illegal drugs


less likely to skip a class


collected by briana yablonski, features editor


less likely to hit someone


(Senior Alexis Knorr’s sister)

“I like to play Apples to Apples and Wheel of Fortune.”



“I like playing Apples to Apples, reading and going outside.”

“I like working on my homework with my sister.”

(Senior Rachael Wardrop’s brother)

(Senior Becka Bisset’s sister)

owever, a handful of students head out to provide children as young as six years old with help on their homework and a friend to talk to through the non-profit mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). This program began in 1904, when Ernest Coulter paired children with mentors called older brothers and sisters. Today, these pairs work on schoolwork together or share some time playing games. These simple activities greatly benefit both the children and the volunteers.   Senior Rachael Wardrop became involved with the local BBBS program last winter and has been volunteering ever since. “I wanted to help kids, to give them someone to talk to and to hang out with.”    Working with her 8-year-old little brother TJ has become the perfect experience for Wardrop. She and TJ have gotten so close that Wardrop was invited to attend TJ’s birthday party this year. “I can’t wait for Rachael to come because she is really fun to be around,” says TJ. Changing lives     Local BBBS coordinator Diane Macri has seen the benefits the students bring to the program as well as those they receive from it. “These students provide a one on one experience that makes the younger kids feel important,” says Macri. By making a difference in these children’s lives, volunteers also impact their own. “Helping with the program makes the high school students feel like they’re making a difference with their lives,” says Macri.     A big brother or big sister can schedule visits throughout the week. The local BBBS program also meets every Wednesday at the Memorial Elementary School where these volunteers “help the younger students with their homework, play games and have a snack,” says junior mentor Olivia Klingerman. Helping out    The BBBS program has seen a recent increase in the number of high school students participants. Newcomers include juniors Klingerman, Rachel DeFrain, Mary Mael and Michael Recla. Even with these new faces, the BBBS program could always use more help. High school students can make a difference in another’s life by sharing an hour or two, once a week. Additional information can be obtained by contacting Macri at 570-784-0791 or through e-mail at[] Photos by Briana Yablonski

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Home sweet home


For some, hanging lights on their houses and setting up trees are the extent of holiday traditions, but for one teacher and her students, this merely scratches the surface when it comes to their festive creations. by seth loff


ontinuing a long-standing annual tradition, Family and Consumer Science teacher Lois Street and her FCS students once again participated in the gingerbread construction contest at TreeFest in downtown Bloomsburg, a tradition Street has been involved with for 18 years. “For as long as I can remember, we have taken part in this contest,” says Street. “Since I’ve started teaching, we have made this part of our holiday program, and the kids still enjoy taking part in the contest.”

Bloomsburg Bakers Win $100 This year, TreeFest organizers chose Farm and Country as their gingerbread theme. The guidelines dictated that each home needed to be completely edible, held together with a hard-drying, glue-like icing called royal icing and conform to the maximum height of 14 inches. The houses were judged on how well the entries demonstrated the theme, the creativity of the houses and whether or not they followed the entry requirements. While Benton Area High School won the overall competition, Bloomsburg senior Kelsey Plastow and her team received the third-place ribbon. “I was pretty excited when I discovered our creation had placed. I didn’t actually think we would, let alone win,” says Plastow. With six area schools involved in the contest, her team’s creation had to be special. “I tried to make my house into more of a barn-type look instead of the typical gingerbread house,” says Plastow. “The authenticity of my house may have helped mine jump ahead of the others. I created farm animals and other little details to go along with the theme.” For her efforts and creativity, her team won $100.

How to Make a Winning Entry So, what does it take to make a successful gingerbread structure? To begin the baking process, these architects had to first make patterns that would become walls and roofs of their creations. After making sure all the pieces would fit, students made their dough and were set to bake. “The most challenging part was trying to keep the pieces standing after cooling down,” says Plastow. “After that, decorating came easy.” Street says the project forces students to think beyond the basics. “This contest really gives the kids a chance to use their imaginations and learn something new in my class all in one process.” TreeFest is an annual event held during the holiday season that benefits the work of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. The two-weekend program also includes different activities and contests for all ages. With one holiday tradition under wraps for Street and her students, senior Foods and Nutrition student Charles Franklin says, “Overall, I enjoyed going through the entire process r u flo a and being able to d e t f d i p s aking so u eat during our c ½ 2 4 1/ spoon b class.” [] lt a a e s t n 1 oon cinnamo ning p e s t a r e o t sh 1 ger spoon able 1 tea spoon gin veget ar p u c g 1 1 tea up su 3/4 c is s se fy; th molas vanilla d fluf nd mix ne n p a u c t a h 1 o spoon til lig nilla, into 1 tea er un es and va d spices nts to x i m n s olas with redie salt a ixing sugar tes. Add ming soda, sifted ing flour, m ould d n a g f h u k s n o min aini d ba ugh ening cup short about five flour. Ad Add this y add remessary. Do in half, d m a e e . ll c h r an r r e e a g C tak if n easu dou radu aper gethe shouldSift and mnd sift to ix well. G ith hands ly. Divide d wax p at 375 well. of flour a ixture. M . Knead wor crumb well-seale minutes sing a cup reamed m addition not dry . Wrap in for 1O-12 hem off u ate to the c after each orkable - or bricks ay, bake en, level t nd decor eet is Str well iff but w ectangles he next d or unev ssemble a er Lo h c a t d r A s T e . te be ng into rnight. FCS round baking y of shapi erate ove edges are ely after urtes o c e Recip refrig es. If the immediat degre or ruler enjoy! knife taste and your

N E W O S U R U O YO EAD H E K MA GERBR GINedients: Ingr


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The first place gingerbread house from Benton High School won first place in the TreeFest Gingerbread House contest. Photo special to R&W


Allegre art THE DANCES BALLET Origin: Italy Description: Every movement in ballet is an expression of emotion and must be executed flawlessly. The body must progress in unnatural ways but have a graceful and elegant flow, making the movements seem effortless. Ballet is normally performed to classical, slow music in order to tell a story.

JAZZ Origin: United States Description: Originality and improvisation are required for any jazz dancer. Bold, dramatic body movements are commonly used. Jazz tends to be lively with many moves being performed at the same time and keeps the audience’s attention.

IRISH Origin: Ireland Description: Irish performing dance is a form of a step dance. It includes a stiff upper body, straight arms and quick, precise foot movements that give the dance character. It can be performed with either soft or hard shoes and became widely famous after the 1994 show Riverdance.

THE EQUIPMENT BALLET BARRE The ballet barre is a handrail used for warmup exercises and stretching in ballet classes. Construction depends on whether the bar is portable or stationary. The barre plays a key part for beginning dancers to offer support during strenuous exercises. These exercises are normally slow and repetitive and can help build strength or prepare for a dance partner.

BALLET FOOT STRETCHER® The Ballet Foot Stretcher® is a tool used for dancers to not only improve flexibility of their feet but also strengthen their legs. It allows them to stretch without inflicting pressure or stress and without the help of a friend. Since inflammation of ligaments and tearing of muscles is common for avid dancers, the Ballet Foot Stretcher® is a useful implement to have.

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December 2009

ABOVE: Junior Hayley Miller stretches after teaching a ballet class at the Bloomsburg School of Dance at Sportsplex. In addition to instructing ballet, Miller also teaches acro to kindergarteners. RIGHT TOP: Miller slips on her toe shoes in preparation for class. RIGHT BOTTOM: While practicing for the dance show at the end of the year, Miller perfectly performs an Italian Pas de Chat.


Hayley Miller is not the only student who dances; here’s a look at six more. by morgan lee, features editor With the inspiration of her mother, freshman Morgan Patti turned to dance. She takes hip-hop, jazz and ballet classes for two hours every day. Even with six years of dance experience, Patty still looks forward to it. “It’s fun, and I get to make a lot of friends,” she says.

LIFE EXPRESSIONS At the young age of three, junior Hayley Miller discovered an activity in which she found excellence and poise and has loved ever since. by lauren ball


n all, Miller dances nine and a half hours each week with ballet being her true love. “Ballet is my favorite because it’s graceful and it’s easy to express myself,” says Miller. “Sometimes I won’t be able to say anything, but if I dance, people will get what I’m trying to say or do.”   However, ballet does not come without difficulties. Miller’s costumes cost about $55 each, and her other expenses have to be monitored. “Financially, I have to be careful that I’m not going over budget,” says Miller. In addition to monetary obligations, she has the stereotypical dancer to compete with. “I don’t really fit the body type to be a dancer. I’m not very tall or really, really skinny,” she says.    Miller says the sport of dancing itself has taught her to be disciplined. She has ballet barres at home that she practices on during the weekends. She also comes in willingly and takes lower level ballet classes at least twice a week to help keep up with her technique and skills. “The lower level ballet classes teach more technique, so I get to focus more on ‘Am I doing the moves right?’ and so on,” says Miller. With the five classes she is already taking, an additional two are added just for this practice.  Stiefel Steps    Once a week, Miller takes her talent to Stiefel Steps, a dance studio in Lewisburg run by Erin Stiefel-Inch, who was a principle dancer in a Zurich troop. Miller found out about it from graduate Jocelyn Wright, who is an accomplished

dancer in her own right. “It’s very small; it’s nowhere near as established as the Bloomsburg School of Dance,” says Miller. “The studio is in her basement.” Despite the studio’s size, her instructor is great at teaching technique in ways the dancers can understand it. There, the classes are also smaller with more one-on-one opportunities. “It’s only me and this one other girl so she can actually look at us more and fix our errors. At the Bloomsburg School of Dance, the classes are a lot bigger, and the dance teacher can’t be everywhere at once, so I don’t get as much attention,” says Miller.    Preparing for the Future   Along with all she does herself, Miller finds time to teach beginner level dancers. “Dancing and teaching dance are some things I just enjoy doing,” says Miller. This helps prepares her for her future. Someday, she wants to own a dance school of her own. “Teaching now helps me get a crash course of what it’s going to be like.”    In the next three or four months, Miller will be auditioning for multiple summer ballet programs that run five weeks, six days per week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with evening rehearsals usually from 7 to 9. “The camp’s an intense dance camp for students, but they’re very expensive, so I was only allowed to go one year, and I picked this year to go.” Miller has been dancing for thirteen years, but her passion has not faded. “I just developed such a love for it, I don’t think I could ever stop,” says Miller. “I would be really unhappy if I had to quit. I don’t even know a life without dance.” With her energy and plans for the future, she may never have to. []

Junior Anita Bucher allots seven hours a week to spend at the Bloomsburg Sportsplex in Irish step, ballet, toe, jazz and contemporary classes. Since starting in kindergarten, Bucher has not become bored with the sport. “Dancing is a good way to express myself, and I just love to dance,” says Bucher. When sophomore Cassandra Mandell was only three years old, her mom enrolled her in dance classes. “I would go to my sister’s dance classes and just be that kid running around crazy,” says Mandell. She now participates in it six hours per week with classes in ballet, toe, hip-hop and contemporary. At the age of twelve, sophomore Alyse Wittman was looking for a new way to express herself and turned to dance. She is now enrolled in ballet, jazz and hip-hop classes at Bloomsburg School of Dance four hours a week. “My favorite part is the show at the end of the year,” says Wittman. “It’s the best.” Although junior Alyssa Cadman originally found herself involved in cheerleading, she discovered her true passion in dance. She participates in ballet, jazz, hip-hop and pre-toe classes five hours a week. “I enjoy the discipline,” says Cadman. “It directly shows that hard work can turn into success.” Sophomore Shyanne Shaffer began dancing because of her aunt’s influence but has grown to love the sport. She now participates in ballet, modern, jazz and hip-hop as well as TNT dance competitions. “I like the way I can take all my feelings of the day and channel them into dancing,” says Shaffer. Photos by Morgan Lee


A Question of Time




with Senior English teacher Robin Callahan collected by hillary drumheller, news editor

Q: “How much time do you think students should spend each night and weekends on homework?” A: At least an hour. On the weekends, they should have about an hour or two, depending on long-term projects.

Q: “Do you feel that homework benefits students for their future in education?” A: Yes, I do. I think that it helps overall in getting students ready for college.

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collected by matthew sokoloski December 2009

WHAT FRUSTRATES YOU THE MOST ABOUT HOMEWORK? collected by brittany karpinski

Matt Tombasco




“Homework takes up all of the time when I’m not in school.”

“W mu and len stu

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r stud e ma iscipli reater ents nage ne. self. men dire ctio t is CON n easi er fo •Stu S r exh dents ove austed becom homrwhel becau e fru •Stu ewor med w se the strated lear dents k they ith th y are and lack ning a have a have ee heavyso •M time nd go loss very pile homore tha for othing to of inte night. of bee ewor n two er ac schoo rest in test n show k assig hours tivities l and •At scores n to l nmen of . owe ts a corr the hi . r sta nigh g e nda t ha and latio h sch rdiz s n exis positi betw ool le ed tent ve e een vel, ffec hom the . ts is d alm ework irect ost non an Karpinski


We have way too uch homework, d all of it is too ngthy for any udent.”

Caressa Snyder

Aspen Ryman



“It frustrates me how we have so much homework or when we have homework that isn’t even relevant to the lesson.”

“It really upsets me when I don’t know an answer to a problem in a homework assignment.”

Photos by Brittany Karpinski, photo illustration and cover illustration by Courtney Sabo




Not many students can imagine participating in the Olympics, but freshman Danny Tloczynski, who lives with Downs Syndrome, has already won several medals and is looking to win more. by adam naessig


t age seven, Danny began competing in the Special Olympics after his father Joseph Tloczynski researched the athletic programs that were available in the Bloomsburg area. “Somebody we knew mentioned it, and we looked up ‘Special Olympics for Bloomsburg’ on the computer. We found out that Laura Davis was running it, so we got in touch with her,” says Joseph. Since then, Danny and his family have traveled to Penn State and Villanova several times to compete in the state Special Olympics games in various events including soccer, tennis and track events such as the 50 meter run, the standing long jump, the baseball throw and the shot-put. Achievements Through all his years of competing at the PA state games, Danny has accumulated 10 medals, five of which are gold. His proudest accomplishment was winning the silver medal in the 50 meter dash, but he also recognizes the most important aspect of sport participation. “I like Special Olympics because it’s fun.” Danny has certainly put in the time and energy to prepare himself to compete at this high level. For the past two years, he has been training at the Bloomsburg YMCA five days each week. “I like lifting because I like to be strong, smart and handsome,” he says. Joseph designed a split workout schedule for Danny and supervises his exercises. “I just basically put him through the workout,” says Joseph. “I’m kind of like his personal trainer.” Future Plans As Danny focuses on this spring’s upcoming games, he and his father are already making plans. “Next year, we want to give powerlifting a shot,” says Joseph. Besides that, Danny wants to be involved with a school sport. “Danny threw shot put at the Villanova Track and Field competition so we are going to give him the opportunity to do that for the track team,” says Joseph, a challenge that Danny says makes him “nervous and excited” for his debut in high school athletics. If Danny’s efforts pay off with even more Olympian golds, he will be back in the gym, hitting the weights and planning for even more athletic success. []

DANNY’S WORKOUT Legs, Chest, Triceps • leg extensions • hamstring curls • leg press • bench press • tricep extensions • tricep pushdowns the treadmill • 15-2O minutes on

eps Back, Shoulders, Bic s • pull down • rows • dumbbell presses • barbell curls rls • incline dumbbell cus and leg lifts) • ab workout (sit up

s as pushdown for p e ic tr s g rm rfo i is preparin czynski pe Danny Tlo p workout. Tloczynsktrack and field n ia p m ly Special Oleg, chest and trice mes and the boys’ part of his Special Olympic ga the spring season.

Photo by Andrea Fronsman

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December 2009



Healthy Choice The saying, “You only get as much out of something as you put in” can be the motto of all activities, but with karate’s intense personal approach, this artistic sport guarantees results in both the body and the mind. by cara mensinger

collected by luke klingler, sports editor

We asked Tang Su Do red stripe Chris Matthews, “Why did you stick with martial arts and what do you enjoy the most about it?” “I stuck with it because I like to fight, and I enjoy it because I get to fight.”

TYPES OF MARTIAL ARTS Collected from various sources


Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques from a mixture of martial arts traditions and non-traditions, to be used in competitions.


Tang Su Do (TSD) is the Korean denomination of a classic martial art whose origin can be traced in the Far East. This type of martial art is especially used for self-defense.


Karate is a traditional Japanese system of unarmed combat. Sharp blows and kicks are given to pressure-sensitive points on the body of the opponent.


Shotokan is a style of karate developed from various martial arts by Gichin Funakoshi and his son Gigo (Yoshitaka) Funakoshi.




rosswinds Martial Arts owner and instructor Robert Tomaino is quick to note the difference between karate and other sports. “A sport is something you decide to do for a season or two. An art like martial arts is something you dedicate your life to.” And to those who study any of these arts, the challenge starts with mastering the body. “In karate, you would not just learn ways to bend and move your body and others,” says art teacher Dr. Mark Jones, who is a member of Bloomsburg Health & Fitness and has studied martial arts since the age of twelve. “You gain an understanding of your own mental and physical toughness, confidence and self discipline from it.” Jones now studies Tang Su Do. All types of martial arts are difficult, and mastery may take a lifetime. “For example, karate is a type of martial art and has about five main styles. But in these styles, there are hundreds of different sub-styles of it,” says sophomore Christopher Keller, who has attained a black belt in Goju Ryu. “These may have a slightly different philosophy, depending on the teacher.” One needs to be aware of the risks before dedicating to any type of martial art. Junior Derrick Walsh, who studies mixed martial arts at Crosswinds, warns that there is a constant chance of permanently damaging the body. “You can get scars, concussions, broken bones and worn ligaments since all muscles are used in one way or another,” says Walsh. “Taking care of your body is important with this type of art.” Health Benefits Since this is a lifetime art, people of all ages and experience levels are involved. Jones has

previously had an operation to have a pacemaker put in, yet he still manages to dedicate himself to his long-time love of martial arts. “You really can’t get a much better fitness workout than this.” Tomaino has a great point when he suggests, “Karate is better than weight lifting since it utilizes tendons, bones and ligaments rather than just muscle.” In the classes that he teaches, there isn’t a single muscle group left out or unaffected. But karate has another less obvious benefit. “If you can protect yourself at any point or even once in your entire lifetime, isn’t it is definitely worth taking these classes for years and years?” asks Tomaino. Building self-confidence It is always wise to gain some aspects of self-defense, and martial art holds some key components to this. “I haven’t had to defend myself personally using what I know. However, I do know how to use some techniques as a way of responding to end an arising situation or to make the other person feel uncomfortable so I don’t have to hurt them,” admits Jones. To its many participants, martial arts is seen as a lifechanging experience. “If you’d know how you’d feel both physically and mentally five years down the road after taking these classes, you’d never want to miss a single class,” says Tomaino, a point of view supported by Keller. “Try it because it will definitely change you for the better in at least one way or another. I’m glad I made the commitment to try it.” []

S T R A Danville High School graduate Aaron Gray, now a 19-year-old freshman at Bloomsburg University, strikes a basic martial arts stance.

Photo special to R&W



A FAMILY AFFAIR The typical student inherits genes that relate to appearance, but some athletes display a more dominant gene: the swimming gene.

by matthew sokoloski, sports editor


ine of the current twenty-one swimmers have brothers or sisters who are now on the team this year or who were in the past. Both McCann girls have contributed to the team, and current junior Morgan McCann admits that her older sister Caitlyn’s All State legacy drives her to do more. “I always want to push myself to get to her level. She gives me pointers, and I try to take her criticism and make myself a better swimmer,” says Morgan who will set the pace in the 50 free and 100 back. Sophomore distance specialist Stefan Szilagyi is lucky enough to call his older brother Alek his teammate and his motivation. “Having Alek swim with me makes me work harder because I want to have better times then he does,” says Szilagyi. Like Morgan, Stefan has been glad to hear constructive criticism. “If I know something is wrong with my stroke, he helps me correct it,” says the youngest Szilagyi. The Stephens have sent two of their three children into prestige college swimming programs, and three of the four earned high school All State honors. Senior Zachary Stephens, who earned his All State status last year with a second place finish in the 100 breaststroke, was not pressured into following the family tradition. “It was my choice to start swimming. I thought it would be fun,” says Zachary. With the success that these swim families have had, it’s obvious that those who will be swimming for BHS records this season will be the newest part of their families’ legacies. []

Freshman Sam Calhoun goes through a freestyle warm-up in this photo illustration. Calhoun should make immediate impact on the varsity program.

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December 2009



This year, the reputable swimming program knows ‘new’ like the back of their swim caps with a new coach who has set goals high above water level. The team is ready to get this season started.

teammates lost to the 2009 graduation


by meghan ashford


ictorious in the past and planning on keeping things that way, the girls’ and boys’ swim teams are facing a change this year that practically ensures that their aspirations will become reality – a new coach with a great mindset and great expectations. Mark Barnes is a Bloomsburg alumni and former Danville High School swimming coach who got the Bloomsburg job after the retirement of Mike Campbell, the only swim coach Bloomsburg ever had.    Barnes himself swam for Campbell from 1996-99 and is honored to be returning to his home pool. He joins the program after leading Danville to four winning seasons. “Coaching for my school is a dream come true. I never thought I would have the opportunity,” says Barnes. “Last year when Mike Campbell stepped down from coaching, I sort of thought, ‘Should I apply for it?’ or ‘Should I not?’ and I applied and eventually got the job.”    Athletic director William Perkins says he chose Barnes because “he was the most qualified person that applied. In Danville, he did a great job.” Keeping Constancy and Clout     Replacing the winningest coach in Bloomsburg’s history, Barnes is hoping to continue a successful tradition. “The swimmers are going to start showing the rest of their district that they can compete with everybody else, and that’s my goal. I want to have them set the foundation for the years to come,” Barnes says.    Barnes, dishing out a full serving of intense training, has already pumped up the swimming program from past years, a change that’s not going unnoticed by the team. “There is a definite improvement,” says girls’ team captain April LaBelle. “Last year, our first practice was 3,000 yards, and this year it was 6,300. Because of our preseason conditioning, we can handle the yardage.”    On the boys’ side, similar opinions are surfacing. “Barnes’ practices are a lot of yardage, but it’s all working towards making us better swimmers,” notes boys’ team captain Alek Szilagyi. A Flawless Few As the new routine begins to flow with Barnes, empty lanes left by last year’s heavily-contributing seniors are affecting the boys’ team. “There are shoes to fill,” says Szilagyi, a returning leg of one of the State-placing relay teams of last year, and those shoes will have to be filled with fewer swimmers. This year, only about twenty athletes suit up for both squads. Consequently, more focus will be placed on individual swimmer’s goals, especially in the postseason, rather than in the teams’ regular season.     Barnes can be forgiven if he overlooks one part of the team since the decorated diving program, less weighed down than the swimmers, returns with larger numbers and State finalists Alec Lane and Lauren Ball already in mid-season form.     This may be Barnes’ first year, but he is certainly looking forward to a seasoned and veteran team to help him make it a memorable one. []

minutes Zachary Stephens had the 2009 state record


swimmers on the team this year




7000 yards swum at each swim practice

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Photos by Morgan Lee, photo illustration by Courtney Sabo


Something to Say


Bloomsburg High School 1200 Railroad Street Bloomsburg, PA 17815 December 2009 V87 N3

Editor-in-Chief Courtney Sabo


Senior Editor Hillary Drumheller Associate Editor Anthony Sainclair


Senior Editor Briana Yablonski Associate Editors Andrea Fronsman, Morgan Lee


Senior Editor Matthew Sokoloski Associate Editor Luke Klingler


Senior Editor Morgan Lee Associate Editor Andrea Fronsman


Illustration Editor Briana Yablonski Production Editor Courtney Sabo


Writers Meghan Ashford, Lauren Ball, Brittany Karpinski, Seth Loff, Tyler Lunger, Cara Mensinger, Adam Naessig, Casey Ward Adviser Sam Bidleman

The R&W is the magazine serving the students, faculty and administration of the Bloomsburg High School community, written, designed and published by the Journalism I and II classes. Views expressed in the R&W represent those of the writer, not necessarily those of the high school. Unsigned commentary represents views of the Editorial Board. Find us on the web @ bloomsburg/bhs Follow us on Twitter: The R&W is printed by the Press Enterprise, 3185 Lackawanna Avenue, Bloomsburg, PA 17815 Kathy Malkoskie, PE Customer Service Representative Letters Policy The Editorial Board welcomes all comments and letters. Please sign and send all letters to room 215 or our online address: The Board does not condone abuse deviated from the subject matter directed at one or more individuals. PA School Code 22 Chapter 12.9 Students have the right to express themselves unless the expression interferes with the educational process, threatens serious harm, encourages unlawful activity, or interferes with individual rights. School officials may not censor material simply because it is critical of the school or its administrations The R&W is a proud member of the Pennsylvania School Press Association.

14 R&W

December 2009


ommentary Since we were young children, all of us kicked off our Christmas seasons in much the same way.


e would make our gift lists, help a little bit more around the house and travel from farm to farm with our families until we all could agree on the perfect tree. A few days later, we would decorate it with hundreds of ornaments and if we were lucky, we would be listening to Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer over and over. We were the happiest of children as the big day drew closer. Family would gather, and on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we would all be together for the few hours of dinner and gift opening. Those were the days, and even though ’tis the season to be jolly once again, how jolly can we be when the meaningful aspects of the holiday have been replaced by an expensive, materialist event that centers around the newest iPod or digital camera? What happened to good will toward men, peace on earth? In the never-ending days that are our lives, filled with classes, a quick lunch, practices, games and a personal view by editor Courtney Sabo homework, we have lost touch with Almost three weeks ago, my dad found a cat on our friends and families, those who our porch, and this cat refused to leave our property. remembered us during these difficult Within a few days, we gave up trying to keep him economic times. We have so quickly out of our house. He now spends most of his day and so typically forgotten the children indoors. helped by Toys for Tots or those He is a bit different, though. For example, he accidentally slid down a banister, tripped over a chair young angels who will celebrate the leg and has even fallen while trying to jump on a holiday only because of Student counter. Also, his meow sounds like a pterodactyl Council’s gift drive or those smiling call, and he has ran and slid into cupboards enough faces from Rwandan memories who times to learn his lesson: don’t try to stop on the rug only wanted some attention rather when chasing a ball. than the newest must-have. My first attempt in holding him failed when I completely dropped him. Hey, he clawed me first. So, we try. Often we succeed. Speaking of that, I have never felt so weak when he Sometimes, we fail. Should we have began to crawl under my bed. I tried to move him, added a popularity contest to the but he dug his claws so deep in the carpet that all Angel Dance when everyone who hope was lost. helped was a prince, a princess, a king Despite his craziness and my inability to pick him up, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful and a queen to the children we gave friendship. the best Christmas to? Should we have donated only two hours to Toys for Tots when the need for our time is obviously so great? What happened to the attention we gave to Gary Clarke’s homeless pleas of this past year printed in this very magazine? Have we done enough? Can we ever do enough? But many of us have faith that we will prevail. We continue our efforts at the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard. We spend a Sunday night at TreeFest dismantling decorated trees and then loading them in cars for a second life as they wonder in a child’s eye. We provide pride in our school even though very few take the time to recognize our efforts. We are the current generation of hope. We carry the burden of pointing out the inequities of a support staff contract that financially could add so many adults we see and work with each day into the same situation as those we have dedicated the season to help. Yet we look at our fledgling part-time paychecks and decide that quite a few of us cannot give anything else. We all do so much, but we can all do so much more. So, let’s make these next few days ones of new efforts. Dig deeper, show some respect, show some support, show some love. Let’s revisit those days of our childhood when we were not so jaded, before we had so much homework, when we were dazzled by all the lights and the anticipation of the important stuff: our families and our friends. Everyone has a perfect tree waiting to be found. We just need the will to care. []

Just saying

Illustration by Courtney Sabo

Points of View



just Asking

by hillary drumheller, news editor

“What is your favorite Christmas movie and why?” collected by matthew sokoloski, sports editor




“A Charlie Brown Christmas because it kicks off the ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas movie marathon every year.”

“ Elf because Will Ferrell is really funny. Elf puts me in the Christmas spirit. I also really like elves.”

“ Home Alone because it is a funny movie and has a really good story line, but it makes me feel bad for Kevin McAllister since he’s left alone for such a long time.”

We all have those little hidden talents within us waiting to be discovered. Physical education teacher Andrea Heckman’s talent was found during her junior year in her all-girl Catholic school. Each year, her school’s junior class was in charge of producing a talent show. Her class of just eight had to make the show larger for that year which meant that each person would have to participate. From a young age, Heckman always knew that picking up small items with her feet was just as simple as using her hands. Heckman would even turn on her cassette player and put the cassette in with her feet. “We were messing around,” says Heckman, whose demonstration led her to try another trick. And in no time, Heckman was writing with her feet and was the star of the talent show. Heckman has several normal talents. “I can also juggle.”

OUR FAVORITE IMAGE OF THE MONTH IS WORTH by andrea fronsman, photographer

While planning the swimming photo manipulation for pages 8-9, fellow photographer Morgan Lee and I tried to determine which road would be suitable for the image. We decided on one of the school’s surrounding streets, and one afternoon we set out with Illustration Editor Briana Yablonski on a mission to get the shots we needed. This required someone to stand in the middle of the road with the other two flanking them to warn of oncoming traffic. Hilarity ensued as we jokingly yelled, “Truck!” which every time caused a panicked scramble followed by angry scowls and laughter from the offending party. In this photo, news editor Briana Yablonski laughs while hanging off of the curb, trying to get the perfect shot. Photos by staff




collected by morgan lee, features editor

I’m buying properties! Why does the banker have more 100s? I need a break. It’s 3 a.m. This sucks. Somebody shoot me.

0 hours

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& Nothing Else Matters

UNBOXED a look at the new stuff


by casey ward

by hillary drumheller, news editor

Napoli’s Pizza located on East Street has the best pizza in town, according to News Editor Hillary Drumheller.

Some define the perfect pizza by the aroma you smell as you walk past the little Italian restaurant on the corner or possibly it’s the taste of the cheese and sauce medley freshly baked freshly on a warm doughy crust. With so many different criteria needed for the perfect slice, I thought deciding a winner would be challenging. However, after returning from my quest to find the perfect pizza in town, it is clear to say that Naps on East Street has the best. The crust is not too thin, the sauce is just right and the cheese sits all warm and gooey on top. Though, if plain pizza is not your thing, Carini’s has the perfect pepperoni pizza, La Fontana serves the best bacontopped pizza and Rose Marie’s sells the perfect Buffalo Chicken pizza. With the array of choices, one can be sure to find something pleasing to satisfy their taste buds even in the small town of Bloomsburg.


With about 85,000 applications in Apple’s App Store, you can find almost anything you want. Not all of them are games used for wasting time, and many apps are free. Here’s a look at four apps we thought you would find interesting.

by casey ward Voices


SAT Connect


Christmas Tree Decorator


All-In-1 Gamebox

2010 AUDI R8 5.2 If you want to go fast and look good at the same time, this car is for you. With a V10 engine, this man machine of a vehicle can top out at 220 mph. With a price of $148,400, this car is one of the hot toys out on the market.

FLO TV PERSONAL TELEVISION The portable television has a 3.5’’ touch screen that hooks up to the Flo TV multicast network. The battery life is about five hours. The Flo TV comes with parental control settings with 24/7 coverage. Priced to sell at $249.99.


FLIP VIDEO CAMCORDER This video/camera is a simple, easy, fun way of recording videos, as well as uploading the recordings. With only four buttons, it is extremely simple and the least technological savvy person can use it with ease. It contains 1GB of memory, stores sixty minutes of video and comes to a reasonable price at $150. Record your friends, family or teachers talking, then morph their voices into choices that include Darth Vader, Emily Rose from The Exorcist or the classic helium balloon.

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December 2009

Studying for the SATs has never been easier with this app. You can review over 500 pages of material, take diagnostic tests and review over 800 questions with solutions.

Decorate a Christmas tree in four different locations in this app. Choose from decorative ornaments, garland and candy canes. Be careful not to miss the tree, or the ornaments will break.

With this cool app you receive fifteen games all in one bundle. From Ancient War to 2009 Roadmaster, these games are the full versions. Photos by Andrea Fronsman


is the average amount of money American shoppers plan to spend on Christmas. It’s down from $859 in 2007. TSA TSA just started working on a...