Volume 80 Issue 3
The Bronx High School of Science
Photo Credit: Juliet Eldred
Intel SemiFinalists Announced By MELANIE NEPOMNYASCHY
“The work really was endless! But the experience was really valuable.” time reading journal articles, looking up terms, analyzing her results, and compiling data for her project. “The work really was endless! But the experience was really valuable. It was my work for Intel that made me realize that I’m really passionate about biology research-it was what elicited me to change my career path,” Chittampalli said. Semi-finalist Amanda Ruiz, whose project was also in the field of immunology, researched mechanisms and regulation of antigen receptor production in children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Like Chittampalli, Ruiz stressed that her Intel project inspired her to pursue her interests in science. Although honored by her placement as a semi-finalist in the Intel competition, Ruiz said: “I’ve learned from this experience to follow my passion in science and to do research for the sake of helping society, and not for accolades and recognition.” Like Amanda, who chose her topic because of her interest in epidemiology and the human body, Megan Bushlow conducted research on the family dynamics of adolescents with eating disorders because of her personal interest in the subject and its relatability to high school students. Bushlow’s research allowed her to work with a well-respected doctor at an adolescent medicine unit that treats eating disorders, which gave her an opportunity to see behind-thescenes activity at the unit. Bushlow gained a new perspective on the issues in writing her research paper. When asked about her experience and work with Intel, she said “One thing that I really liked about [it] was how it was such a long process with all of these little steps along the way, and sometimes it felt like it would never get done and all of the work would have been for nothing, but in the end it all came together!” Indeed, this seems to be true for all the semi-finalists, whose hard work and dedication has finally begun to pay off .
In an unprecedented procedure, students scan out for lunch.
Flu Plagues New York By TOMMASO ANGELINI and SEAN HOBAN Governor Cuomo declared a statewide public health emergency Saturday, January 12th, concluding that New York State has become the latest U.S. region to declare a health emergency due to a flu epidemic, with the number of confirmed cases already four times higher than last year. As a result of this recent influenza outbreak, Bronx Science’s attendance rates have steadily decreased over the past several weeks. According to the attendance department, attendance rates typically range from ninety-eight to ninety-nine percent. However, in recent weeks adminis-
trators and teachers alike have noticed a plummet across the board in student turnout and an increase in absent notes. Even though the at-
New York is experiencing the worst flu season since 2009, Cuomo says. tendance rate has dropped to ninetysix percent in recent months, health experts are hopeful that the worst is over, after recent statistics showed a decrease in flu diagnosis for the first
time since the start of the season. According to the school nurse, more students were sent home with flu-like symptoms in the weeks preceding midyears. When asked how major contagious illnesses has affected this school year, junior Jake Horowitz, responded by saying, “Missing upwards of three school days in a row is excrutiatingly difficult with regards to making up missed work. From personal experience, I highly recommend that all students have someone to contact in each of their classes for missed work.”
What kind of Valentine are you? Take the quiz! Feature, page 6.
The Buxbaum Column Photo Credit: Juliet Eldred
Once again, Bronx Science has excelled at the Intel Science Talent Search competition with six semi-finalists. Seniors Megan Bushlow and Emma Liebman were selected for research in Social Science, while the remaining four winners Yashaswini Chittampalli, Daniel Brian Donenfeld, Rishad Rahman and Amanda Ruiz were selected for their research in Biology. Being selected as a semi-finalist in the nation’s most prestigious pre-college science competition for research is an impressive achievement. Starting from the beginning of Junior year these students have dedicated many hours to their research, working with mentors from prestigious universities all around the city. Yasha Chittampalli’s research project discusses RNA editing in the immune cells of the brain (called microglia) of certain RNA transcripts that are related to Alzheimer’s disease. She commented on her experience with Intel by saying it was both a tiring and fun process. She spent the summer of her junior year working in The Papavasilliou Immunology Lab at Rockefeller University from 9 AM to 7 PM (and sometimes as late as 10 PM) everyday, including most weekends. Even at home she spent her free
Limitless: An Alternate Ending It has been called “steroids for your brain.”
EDITORIAL 2-3 Honors Journalism Comments on Stealing at Bronx Science Ms. Schoenfeld’s Junior Honors Journalism class replies to an article the Survey published in December 2012, titled “Science Unites Against Stealing” by Junior reporter Mehdi El-Habil. NEWS 4-5 Clinton Closing? Recent rumors of Dewitt Clinton High School closing have caused a stir amongst Bronx Science Students. As the two schools have relatively little interaction with one another, many Science students were surprised and even confused by these speculations. FEATURE 6-7 Mid Winter Break Takes Some Time Off Hurricane Sandy swept us all off our feet-literally. Stores were closed, houses lost power, and schools shut their doors. For many students though,
By JOSEPH PIAKER Throughout the halls of Bronx Science and all over Facebook, students are shouting, and typing, “Haaan” at an astounding rate. This phenomenon has become widespread in recent months, specifically among Bronx Science students. But what exactly does “Haaan” mean? According to senior Annas Alokush and junior Fred Rodriguez, “Haaan” has become a term used to express one’s excitement, and most literally equates to “Wooo!” “It’s a way for me to greet people and express my love to them,” said Annas. Liam Moore added that when he uses the word, he feels, “Satisfaction, fulfillment, excitement. Haaan itself exists almost as an embodiment of all of those feelings.” Continued on page 6
the arrival of Sandy couldn’t have brought sweeter relief. For that week, schools screeched to a halt. Projects were put on hold, papers postponed, and college deadlines extended. Students in New York found themselves with a free week to spend as they pleased. When school resumed, students arrived well rested and could look forward to the holiday vacation that was just around the corner. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 8-9 S!NG Preview Joseph Stalin, Les Miserables, “Call Me Maybe,” and How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. This seemingly random and eclectic mix find common ground in this year’s S!NG production. Following a brief one-year hiatus during the 2010-2011 school year, the club was revived under the guidance of 2012 graduates Ben Meyerson and Olivia Munk. In its second year, S!NG has acquired fresh faces and new talent who are ready to uphold the precedent set by last year’s club members.
New Security Procedures By MINAHIL KHAN and MEHDI EL-HEBIL Following the devastating shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, schools nationwide have taken initiative to improve their safety. Bronx Science is no exception. Days after the incident that shook the country, the Bronx Science administration announced that there would be a lockdown drill on December 18th, during which students would practice the procedure that is followed if an intruder enters the building. During the drill, teachers turned off the lights while students hid in classrooms away from any doors, which were all locked. This is the first of many new safety improvements at Bronx Science. In the monthly faculty meeting held in January, teachers and administrators reviewed the three different kinds of emergency procedures; lockdown drills, evacuations, and shelter-ins. Although lockdown drills have been emphasized recently in light of the Connecticut shooting, evacuations and shelter-ins still remain important procedures. For instance, in the case of a hazard inside the school building, such as a fire, students and faculty are instructed to evacuate. Similarly, shelter-ins are used in the case of a hazard outside the school, such as a gas leak, that requires students to remain indoors. Many new security changes were also discussed and confirmed by Ms. Reidy at the January meeting. The new scanning-out policy is one of many that have to do with access to the school. Continued on page 4
Cruz’s Corner: The Fiscal Cliff Social studies teacher and Director of Forensics at the Bronx High School of Science, Jon Cruz, explains the concepts and causes associated with the impending economic crisis that has taken congress by storm. The fiscal cliff, along with federal debt ceiling, affects students all over the country, and therefore students cannot afford to misunderstand them any longer, according to Cruz. Page 3
Like the Survey on Facebook SPOTLIGHT 10-11 Phewtick! Instagram? Snapchat? Move aside, there’s a new kid on the block. In just a matter of days, the mobile application Phewtick exploded onto the scene at Bronx Science. Congregations of students were seen lining the halls between periods, gathered in small groups furiously scanning each other’s codes. Hallways were clogged, stairwells were stagnant, and hundreds of students had their phones out. SPORTS 12 Basketball Battle for the City New York City has struggled to live up to its reputation as “The Mecca of Basketball” in recent years. The city’s lone NBA franchise, the New York Knicks, seemed to be stuck in an everlasting cycle of disappointment; one which they had just barely broken out of at the end of last season by winning their first playoff game in more than a decade. New York’s basketball allure was disappearing quickly.
Editorial SURVEY STAFF Editors-in-Chief
Lucie Felder ‘13 Zach Fredericks ‘13
Jessica Chan ‘13 Ngawang Tsetan ‘13
Eli Rudavsky ‘13 Piper Sheren ‘13
Christina Galanopoulos ‘13 Zoe Mitrofanis ‘13
Clark Tang ‘13
Kate Nasoff ‘13 Logan Verlaque ‘13
Juliet Eldred’13 Cartoonist-
Ngawang Tsetan ‘13
The Buxbaum Column:
Limitless By MATTHEW BUXBAUM
It has been called “steroids for your brain.” Dextroamphetamine is the scientific name for the ADHD medication, Adderall. The suffix “amphetamine” is placed nonchalantly at the end of this scientific gibberish. But do not be fooled, Adderall is a low grade type of “speed.” Adderall is a psychostimulant—it puts the brain into overdrive. Once it is ingested, the mixture of amphetamine salts enters the bloodstream and increases the release of dopamine and norepinephrine. These two hormones increase alertness and concentration in the human brain. This medication is prescribed to teenagers with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), people suffering from ADHD have trouble concentrating, controlling impulsive behaviors, and staying still. But what if Adderall is prescribed to those do not actually have ADHD? Doctors are already becoming skeptical about increasing the distribution of Adderall across the country. The CDCP states that “the percentage of children with a parent-reported ADHD diagnosis increased by 22% between 2003 and 2007.” That is quite a number. One can only think how this number correlates to the rising number of Adderall prescriptions in America. Furthermore, an article from the Huffington Post labels Adderall as “The Most Abused Prescription Drug in America.” It is believed that 20 to 30 percent of college students regularly abuse Adderall. With all of these disconcerting numbers, we should be very concerned with Adderall’s target audience: teenagers. ADHD diagnosis aside: Is it ethical to prescribe such an addictive, performance enhancing drug? Adderall increases your cognitive abilities, especially in those who do not suffer from ADHD. Adderall, due to its amphetamine nature, is highly addictive. It is hard to distinguish when a patient is becoming a junkie. The modern-era is now able to prescribe neuroenhancing medications. Some children are gifted with this powerful orange pill, while others who lack the privileges of healthcare, are forced to work in a more traditional manner. This leads to illegal consumption and distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance. The answer is not to crack down on its illegal use, but its illegal distribution. I’m not talking about punishing the local drug dealer, but to begin at the source. Physicians with the ability to prescribe Adderall should be watched more closely, and the diagnosis of ADHD should be redefined.
Arts & Entertainment Graham Campbell ‘13 Tara Wu ‘13
Reporters Spotlight Diana Litsas ‘13 Marissa Raskin ‘13
Sports John Bahr de Stefano ‘13 Griffin Small ‘13
Business Managers Madeline Tien ‘13 Tara Wu ’13 Advisor Leslie Berger
Alexia Alurralde*, Tommaso Angelini, Johanna Burstein*, Matthew Buxbaum*, Clarence Cheng, Ray Edelman, Mehdi El Hebil, Jenny Ferreiras*, Sean Hoban*, Minahil Khan, Tomer Langer, Michael Levin*, Jenna Lue*, Madeleine Manasse, Melanie Nepomnyaschy, Bar Oron*, Joey Piaker, Alexandra Scheman, Zoe Stern, Helen Zou *Senior reporter
Stereotype of the Internet-Addicted Teen By JULIET ELDRED The stereotypical image of a teenager is an internet-addicted young adult, alone in a dark room, conducting all social interaction by proxy. Yet this image could not be farther from the truth. Fears of diminished productivity and social skills, as well as “stranger danger” run rampant. Teachers and parents mince no words when they tell us to stop wasting time on the computer. Accusations of internet use leading to reduced face-to-face social interaction are unfounded. But for what reason? The internet, especially social networking, has changed the way in which we learn and interact. Though the internet has provided more ways to communicate over long distances, it has also created new ways to interact with people in “real life.” For example, Facebook’s “Events” feature allows people to invite their friends to real-life events: concerts, baby showers, or birthday parties. Other websites like Meetup and Tumblr enable users to organize real-life meetups based on common interests. These are just a few examples of ways the internet helps get people out of the house, rather than stuck inside. However, despite these positive aspects, the internet has unintentionally created a technological generation gap. Those used to traditional methods of learning and communication as well as adolescents who like to complain about our generation’s perceived apathy, love
to blame the internet for our apparent “flaws.” But, the exact opposite is true. In short, the internet will not “destroy” our generation, because it will make us the most knowledgeable, connected, and cosmopolitan one yet. The amount of information on the internet is unprecedented, and access to it is easier than ever before. Anyone who has ignored their teachers’ instructions to avoid websites like Wikipedia knows how easy it is to find accurate information on nearly any subject, from general topics such as American military history to those as esoteric as Cameroonian Pidgin English. The wealth of knowledge available is also a great way to explore interests not covered in school. Websites like WikiHow and Instructables offer free tutorials on how to do anything from making homemade potato chips to solving a Rubik’s cube. While the internet contains many time-wasting resources, the quantity of ideas available allows everyone to learn and supplement the knowledge they receive in school. The internet is a source of creation as much as it is consumption. “Crowdsourcing” websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow people to fund creative projects that would be otherwise impossible to start. Flickr and DeviantArt provide users with the ability to post photographs and art, and get their work out to a larger audience. The “blogosphere” allows
those with similar interests to interact, discuss, create, and exchange ideas on the topics they care about. Even more importantly, the internet reduces barriers of distance; you can discuss cooking with Canadians or television with Tunisians without even leaving your house. A lot of what I’ve said here is just preaching to the choir: based on anecdotal evidence, the majority of Bronx Science students are avid internet users. But, at the same time, I’ve heard far too many people my age complain about how social networking is making us lazier and more apathetic. It is a shame that those who enjoy its benefits are under this misconception. Global connectivity breaks down barriers of communication and facilitates crosscultural understanding. Access to information allows us to explore our interests and expand our worldviews. Social movements have commenced, and entire governments have been toppled with the help of social networking. The cruelest irony of all is that the generation who criticizes teens for using the internet is the same generation who created it. We are chastised for using technology, but have to adapt to the realities of this hyper-networked information age that we did not create. Maybe it is naive of me to say so, but I believe that the internet, particularly social networking, is a positive force for change, rather than a pointless time-waster or an unsafe distraction.
Is Bronx Science a Part of the 21st Century? By TOMMASO ANGELINI Imagine not having to lug heavy books to school. You can stop imagining; it’s possible. Electronic books, or e-books as most may call them, are becoming quite a craze among educational institutions around the country. Cushing Academy, a private school outside Boston, transitioned to e-books back in 2009. Another school, Monticello High School in Virginia, has taken e-books to another level; smart-phones and iPod Touches are encouraged for active use during class. English teacher Mae Craddock of Monticello High School told CBS News that she bases many of her lessons around the new technology—instructing students to research, read, and write on their handheld devices.
Apart from using technology to download textbooks, many schools give their students the option of bringing in laptops or tablets into class. Some private schools in New York City, such as the Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, allow their students to take notes with the use of electronic devices. One recent study, “Learning from Laptops,” by media and technology analyst Saul Rockman, found that technology within the classroom is an asset, not a distraction, as some teachers fear. The study, assessing the performance of schools in Virginia allowing the implementation of laptops, found schools that incorporated laptops into their learning curric-
ulum enjoyed a 40% higher percentage of students above the Virginia Standards of Learning. It is unfortunate that our science-focused school, which abides by the strict guidelines of the DOE, forbids the use of electronics. Permitting electronics would advance our school to the technology age of the 21st century and make the lives of both teachers and students infinitely easier. Yes, no more illegible handwriting, disorganized binders or over-stuffed lockers; this dream is all within reach. Well, not quite. All we can do is hope our school, along with the rest of the public high schools in NYC, can advance to the 21st century before it ends.
Editorial Teacher’s Corner: Fiscal Cliff 101
By PIPER SHEREN In August of 2012, a group of boys from Steubenville, Ohio, took revenge on a friend’s exgirlfriend by drugging her and giving her alcohol until she was unconscious. While brutally raping her as they dragged her from party to party, they took pictures and live-tweeted the incident. And then, after they were done having their way with her unresponsive body, the boys from Steubenville took her back to her West Virginia home, dumped her on her parents’ lawn, and left only after urinating on her. Charges are minimal at best due to conflicts of interest in the local government. In Delhi, protests have sprung from the gang rape and death of a young woman. The coverage is endless. These men in India are being tried in court—the boys in Steubenville are not. India, a country that most Bronx Science students believe to be less developed than the United States, unites in outrage while over here, we remain complacent. Why do we not admit that we have a rape problem here in America?
Cases where women know their attacker are more common than left-handedness, alcoholism, and heart attacks.
Photo Credit: Humans of New York
Just Another Rape
By JON CRUZ SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER DIRECTOR OF FORENSICS In the summer of 2011, Congress produced a spectacle that provided an example of poor teamwork for students across the country. The United States has a “ceiling” of how much money it can legally borrow to pay for government operations, and the government requires congressional approval to raise it. Opponents to raising the debt ceiling felt that it was important to curtail federal spending, but neither side provided a long-term solution to stave off future debates over the debt ceiling. In the process, one of the three major international credit-rating agencies downgraded the credit rating—the equivalent of a credit score, but for an entire country—of the United States for the first time in our nation’s history. Rather than solve the problem, both Democrats and Republicans agreed to a package of automatic spending cuts and the expiration of tax cuts that neither side would find palatable. The idea was to create a scenario so unthinkable that both sides would come up with a solution before the country fell off this socalled “fiscal cliff.” The deadline was set at December 31, 2012. Going over the fiscal cliff would have been a nightmarish scenario for any college-board student. With less cash on hand, cuts to workstudy programs would have been likely, and the amount of money given
in need-based grants would have definitely decreased. These types of opportunities help students avoid taking out additional student loans, but, unfortunately, the fiscal cliff scenario would likely have had a significant impact on the interest subsidies that make federal loans more manageable for students and recent graduates. (With subsidized loans, the Department of Education pays the interest on your behalf while you are in school, just after you’ve graduated, and during periods in which you apply for deferment. With more severe borrowing limits and less cash on hand, such payments would be difficult, if not impossible.) Congress has overcome this scenario not by solving the problem, but by again delaying. The Department of the Treasury estimates we will again hit the debt ceiling in late February. The country will soon face a new series of debates over revenue and expenditures. Bronx Science students would be doing themselves a service by following this debate carefully. It will not only show us if Congress is better able now than before to bridge differences and make tough concessions on both sides—as a combination of revenue increases and a government spending reductions seems the most reasonable way to reduce our tremendous national deficit—but will also give current students a better sense of where they will be financially after college.
According to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, one in every four women and one out of thirty-three men have experienced the legal definition of rape or attempted rape at some point in their life. Every 2.5 minutes, another woman is sexually assaulted in America. Only 46% of rapes get reported and out of those, only 3% of rapists will ever spend a day in prison. So where are our protests? Why are we not outraged? Why is America tacitly complacent about a crime that the FBI says is only second in violence to murder? Because we live in a society that does not care about the well being of others. We trivialize rape by using it in everyday language, even here in Bronx science. “Dude, I totally raped that test” or “the Yankees totally got raped last night.” We blame the victims by calling them “sluts” and saying that they are “asking for it” because of their style of dress or their state of intoxication. Some politicians say that rape is “a gift of god,” that some girls “rape so easy,” or more famously try to distinguish between “legitimate” and “illegitimate” rape. We can stop this, starting here at Bronx Science, by combating rape friendly culture. We can stop using rape in casual context and stop victim blaming. We can listen to survivors of sexual assault and realize if someone is drunk, underage, mentally incompetent, or unconscious, she is not consenting to sex. We should realize that this is not an abstract concept; Steubenvilles are happening every 2.5 minutes. These victims are your mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, neighbors, teachers, and biology lab partners. They are scared. They have been through hell and back. And they deserve respect. They deserve your outrage.
Letters to the Editor: Ms. Schoenfeld’s Class Chimes In To the Editor,
To the Editor:
To the Editor
In the recent piece, “Science Unites Against Stealing”, Mehdi El-Hebil asserts that the only way to curb the recent string of thefts at Bronx Science is for students to always have their personal items on their person or in a secure location. While protecting your items does help remove the opportunity for thieves to steal, it does nothing to deter thieves from attempting to commit the crime of theft. Instead of simply accepting the fact that thieves exist, the administration should use the threat of punishment to help remove thieves from the Bronx Science community. If the school were to investigate the thefts thoroughly, the school might possibly uncover the identities of some of these bandits. Though the administration has a responsibility to deter and, if necessary, discipline the thieves, students must also keep their valuables in a safe area, be that with a friend or in a locker. Students should be responsible for where they store their personal items.
Mehdi El-Hebil offers a thorough overview of the issue of thievery in Bronx Science. Although I am thankful that I have never been the victim of such a case, I have seen my friends and fellow classmates lose their valuable possessions to a lurking thief too many times. While it is unfortunate that many students constantly have their items stolen, I believe that no one is more deserving of blame than these students themselves. For most of the students who have had their valuable possessions taken from them, it was because these students had left their items unattended. This point was alluded to in Mehdi’s article, but I feel that it should be stressed more. By leaving their things in unsecured lockers, students only make it easier for thieves to strike. There is only so much the school can do to limit instances of thievery. Most of it is in the hands of the students. If students begin to take more responsibity in securing their valuables and keeping an eye on them, I guarantee that the issue of thievery in this school will diminish.
In response to the news article by Mehdi El-Hebil titled, “Science Unites Against Stealing”, I would have to agree that the increase in thievery in Bronx Science is due to student negligence. Students requesting the return of their stolen goods in Bronx Science has become a norm. People have begun posting on Facebook pages in the hopes of crowd-sourcing regarding their stolen valuables. Thanks in part to working as a group and modern technology (GPS trackers that can be downloaded onto phones), some thieves have been caught and the valuables have been returned but many have yet to be apprehended. Although students may feel as if the school has a responsibility to ensure the safety of their items, it really just boils down to the student and how he or she maintains her personal belongings. The school provides as much as it needs to; lockers, cameras and school security. Since these thefts involve private items, students have a private responsibility of keeping them safe.
Want your voice to be heard? Submit your own letters to Ms. Berger’s mailbox!
News New Security Procedures
Continued from Front Page
Photo Credit: www.nytimes.com
By ZOE STERN Recent rumors of Dewitt Clinton High School closing have caused a stir amongst Bronx Science Students. As the two schools have relatively little interaction with one another - aside from sporting events many Science students were surprised and even confused by the announcement. It appears that Clinton students, faculty, and the general Bronx community are now uncertain about the school’s fate as well. In 1999, US News and World Report listed Clinton as one of ninety-six outstanding schools in the country. However, since then, things have taken a turn for the worse. This year, Clinton received its second consecutive “F” on its annual school Progress Report. Still, despite the bad grade, many express concerns that the Department of Education (DOE) is not telling the whole story. When the DOE formulates a school’s grade, it takes many things into account. Each school receives a “student progress” grade that monitors the improvement students make toward meeting their state’s graduation requirements. In addition, a school earns a “student performance” grade, which is based on how many students graduate and the types of diplomas they earn. Schools also receive a “school environment” grade, which is based on student attendance, and results of the school’s NYC school survey. Clinton received F’s on all three of these criteria, which caused it to get an F overall. However, it did receive a B in the “college and career readiness” section. This measures how well students are prepared for life after high school on the basis of passing advanced courses, meeting English and math standards, and
enrolling in a post-secondary institution. Many concerned teachers and parents claim that the DOE is to blame for Clinton’s decline. They say that the DOE has been placing large numbers of “high needs” students into Dewitt Clinton, and assert that the influx of these children has consequently led to declining test scores. For example, according to an article published in the Riverdale Press this past December, 19 percent of the students at Clinton are English Language Learners, and 13 percent are Special Education students. These students are warmly welcomed at Clinton and ultimately prosper, even though they may not initially do well on standardized tests. According to the Riverdale Press, 60 percent of Clinton’s students earn at least thirty credits in their first two years at college, which practically matches New York’s state average of 61.5 percent. Still, bad scores on standardized tests are what stand out, as opposed to the later improvements students make. This, in turn, hurts the school when the DOE formulates the grade. In addition, the DOE places a lot of students at Clinton who were classified as having long-term absences in middle school. Approximately 100 of these kids were admitted to Clinton this fall, and their continued poor attendance patterns also hurt Clinton’s Progress Report grade. This past August, the NY Daily News rated Dewitt Clinton as the city’s most heavily armed student body, due to the many confiscations of guns and knives reported throughout each school year. Although Clinton remains a relatively dangerous school, with some disobedient and, at times vio-
lent students, most members of the Clinton community do not want it to be shut down. Clinton history teacher and tennis coach Jack Israel expressed skepticism about the potential closing. “Although my students are confused, frustrated, and demoralized by the continuous rumors about what will actually happen to Clinton, I do not believe that Clinton is going to close for a variety of reasons. Clinton is a legendary part of Bronx and New York City history. And as of now, Clinton is receiving a 9th grade class in the fall, which is encouraging news.” Many students, as well, were surprised to hear that the Department of Education is considering closing the institution that graduated the creators of Spiderman, Batman, fifty-five New York state Supreme Court judges, and countless professional athletes. For now, the community is trying to remain positive. Mr. Israel notes that there is still “a great sense of school spirit at Clinton. We have 21 athletic teams, a multitude of clubs, and a strong core of teachers and administrators. The teachers have worked tirelessly to re-assure our students and provide them with the best education possible.” Still, many wonder how the rumors and potential closing could affect life at Bronx Science. Junior Julia Britt noted, “They were our greatest competition in softball. It will be weird if they aren’t in our league anymore.” And Junior Kenza Belhachmi expressed concerns for the dislocated students. “It’s sad to see a school have to potentially close down. All of the teachers and students will have to go elsewhere, and that’s pretty scary.”
NYC Prepares For a New Mayor By ALEX SCHEMAN For as long as most students at Bronx Science can remember, the mayor of New York City has been Michael R. Bloomberg. 2013 marks Bloomberg’s twelfth year in office, and the final year of his third term. This October, a new mayor of New York City will be elected. Mayor Bloomberg, a billionaire who has often used his affluence to promote his agenda, leaves big shoes for vying candidates to fill. Although the Democratic and Republican primaries are not until June, there are several probable candidates in the running, including one who attended Bronx SciJohn Liu, NYC comptroller and Bronx Science graduate ence. John Liu, a 1985 Bronx Science graduate and the current New York City comptroller, is a notable contender for the mayoral position. Liu was allegedly involved in fundraising irregularities and foreign fundraising issues a few years back, but still has wide, undeniable experience in political office and the City Council. Although City Council speaker Christine Quinn has not announced her decision to run for mayor, she is a probable front-runner in the election. Quinn, a forty-six year old Democrat, would be the first woman and first openly gay mayor of New York City. Quinn’s main concern throughout her career has been education, and she
Photo Credit: comptroller.nyc.gov
Rumors of this change had already spread amongst the student body, and Ms. Reidy confirmed that the new procedure would be implemented in February. The reasoning behind the “scan-out policy” is that, without it, if a student goes missing, the school has no record of what time(s) he or she left the building, and it becomes much harder to locate the student in an emergency. There have been many complaints about the increased body-traffic that will result from a swiping-out policy. However, these concerns can be dispelled by the fact that this practice has existed for years at Stuyvesant and has not caused trouble there. In fact, the administration at Bronx Science has been in contact with that of Stuyvesant in inquiry about the policy in its early developmental stages.To compensate for the increased traffic, Ms. Reidy said new swiping machines, known as CAASS systems, may be installed as well. She feels it is very important to fix this hole in the security of Bronx Science. Senior Rafid Azad said of the new practices and policies: "Initially, I felt the same way every student felt about the lockdown and the new scanning out policy. I believed the drill was a waste of time and scanning out would be another annoying task. But after thinking about it, these new policies will prepare us for any scenario and help maintain the safe environment at Bronx Science." Freshman Eve Alterman, too, expressed a fear that resulted from the Connecticut shooting, but also a sense of safety that comes from improving security measures in the school. "The lockdown drill was definitely overwhelming, but reassuring at the same time. It's good to know that the school has some sort of plan if anything were to happen." Indeed, this policy has been on the table for discussion for about a year now, but the Connecticut shooting was the tipping point in actually implementing it. Security is ultimately more important than a little bit of inconvenience, according to Ms. Reidy. Safety is the primary concern. Further, the “scan-out policy” will only be practiced during school hours from first period to eighth period, and feedback from students will be considered in the future of the implementation of the policy. Other proposed security changes include alterations in the various entrances to the school. From now on, only one door in the front entrance will be open: the door closest to the security desk. Additionally, the parking lot door that is located in the back of the school will be locked all day. To guarantee absolute safety, alarms have also been installed in the doors of the cafeteria that open up to the courtyard. Another entrance that was deemed a security hazard, but had often gone unnoticed, was the door used by the kitchen staff in the back of the building. In response, a new alarm has been installed there. The new measures require all visitors to have an appointment. These guests, upon entrance, have to give their names to security and scan their identification cards in a new machine called Raptor, which provides them with a sticker version of their ID to visibly place on their clothing. Guests are to be escorted everywhere in the building, and handed off from faculty member to faculty member. No guest is allowed to roam the building alone anymore, including parents. Faculty members are also required to wear IDs from now on. It is important to note that even before the shootings, security was very up to date at Bronx Science. There were training sessions for teachers, and new policies in security were discussed constantly. The Department of Education had also required lockdown drills before the shooting in Connecticut. The last one to take place at Bronx Science before this year was in 2007. Tragic events often cause others to act to make sure such an event never occurs again. Although the Connecticut shooting was not due to holes in the security, it is important to make sure that an intruder cannot enter the building in any way. It has been suggested that Bronx Science’s well-known reputation makes it more susceptible to attacks, so though change may be inconvenient, it has been deemed necessary. Ms. Reidy summed it in an email sent to the Bronx Science population a few weeks ago. “Recent events in Connecticut have not only saddened us, but also highlighted the need for heightened vigilance...[and] we are always working on ways to improve the security and safety of our school community.”
helped raise 1.5 million dollars after Hurricane Sandy to provide 30,000 displaced students with backpacks filled with school supplies and books. With regard to her long-term plans for education reform, Quinn has expressed a desire to decrease the emphasis on testing in schools. Though she doesn’t have the power to limit the number of tests that teachers give students, she wants to limit the overwhelming effects that tests have on students and their grades. Another likely candidate is William Thompson Jr., a fifty-nine year old Democratic Party and Working Families party member who ran and lost to Bloomberg in 2009. He is also New York City’s former comptroller. Thompson has been actively involved with New York City’s public education system, serving five consecutive terms as the president of the New York City Department of Education beginning in 1994. He advocated for greater student achievement, reforms for school overcrowding, and the expansion of physical education programs. A fourth possible candidate is Bill De Blasio, a city public advocate who has served in regional politics for twenty years. He also served as a federal regional housing director for President Bill Clinton. The fiftyone year old has verbalized his views on education and has made it clear that his goal is to have students start learning earlier and for longer. He proposed extending middle school after-school programs from 3pm to 6pm and giving all children the opportunity to attend pre-kindergarten. In anticipation of the upcoming election, many students are not sure what to expect. “Mayor Bloomberg has been around as long as I can remember,” said sophomore Gianna Finz. “It’ll be an interesting change for New York City.”
News MTA Hikes Prices
Possible Gym Renovations By TOMER LANGER Recently, several teachers from the PhysiPhoto credit: Noah Morrison
cal Education department got together to discuss the possibility of renovating Bronx Science’s gymnasium. For now these talks about a possible renovation are only in the preliminary stage; however they do offer a glimmer of hope for students and teachers who have been clamoring for improvements to be made. The physical education teachers are looking to improve the wellness and the benefit of the class to students. Many of the gym periods have five separate classes go-
By ALEX SCHEMAN
ing on at once, which doesn’t leave much
For New York City subway riders, as
trum, from daily Metrocards to monthly-
fee”, which would impose a $1 Metro-
the New Year kicks off, so do Metro-
unlimited ones, affecting all subway rid-
card fee when buying a new card instead
card prices. An MTA Board vote in De-
ers. The fare for a single ride metrocard
of refilling an existing one, but this ap-
cember 2011 determined that in March
will be raised by $0.25, making it $2.50.
proved proposal was never implemented.
2013, subway fares would raise across
The weekly metrocard will bump up a dol-
Though the recent price increases may
room, as well as finding a new space (aside
room for all the teachers and the students. Amongst the topics being discussed is the possibility of expanding the weight
the board to contribute to the revenue that
lar to $30, and the monthly unlimited card
seem small, MTA hopes to generate an
from the east and west Gyms, the appara-
New York’s transit system vitally needs.
will be raised $8, making it $112. In addi-
additional $20 million in revenue each
tus room, and room 008) for gym class-
The MTA not only spends money to
tion, the pay-per-ride bonus that many rid-
year through this hike, as well as through
es and sports teams to take advantage of.
keep subways up and running twenty-four
ers appreciate will lower from 7% to 5%.
bridge and tunnel toll price increases.
The extra space would be used as a well-
hours a day, seven days a week, but also
However, MTA Chairman and CEO,
Green student Metrocards allow Bronx
ness center/strength and conditioning center.
must allocate funds for expenses such as
Joseph Lhota, wanted to keep the eco-
Science students to completely evade MTA
The hope is for the center to be focused
debt service, energy, healthcare for em-
nomically disadvantaged in mind when
fares on weekdays, but on weekends and dur-
ployees and retirees, and pensions that
drafting a proposal. In a press conference,
ing the summer, students across the city will
els and the resources available to them.
continuously increase and bear an eco-
Lhota called this plan “...an effort to bal-
have to pull even more out of their pocket
nomic burden on the MTA. Now, the cor-
ance these sometimes competing objec-
to travel in NYC. It is an economic change
poration believes it has found solution
tives.” “The fare increase,” he claimed,
that all subway riders will have to adapt to
to its economic problems: Hiking prices.
“is essential to the MTA’s revenue.”
and anticipate as a new addition to 2013.
MTA fares will increase across the spec-
This plan also proposed a “green
Ideally, the space would include treadmills, bikes, and rowing machines. The TRX machine would also be moved there. Another possible development is an improvement of the sports equipment used
The Bronx High School of Science has composed a “wish list” for the next five years that includes some exciting future plans. Renovations to the Biology and Chemistry wings topped the list, priced at $500,000 per laboratory. However, perhaps the most exciting item that made the list was an Olympic sized swimming pool, for a cool $2,000,000. The Gala will act as an incredible fundraiser for the school, while bringing together some of the greatest minds ever to ever through Bronx Science’s doors. Some alumni speakers at the Gala will include Daniel Libeskind, the architect of the Freedom Tower, Majora Carter, a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant, and David Saperstein, the screenwriter of Oscar winning film, “Tony Marx.” Also on the guest list are President of the NY Public Library, Jon Favreau, Hollywood
teams. Much of the equipment that is currently in the gym is twenty years old, though P.E. teacher Mr. McGrath stated that, “We
By MICHAEL LEVIN To celebrate its 75th birthday, Bronx Science will be hosting a Gala at the Waldorf-Astoria on April 20th, 2013. The elegant dinner was put together by Bronx Science’s Alumni Association and the Endowment Fund. Unfortunately, such an event does not come cheap. For guests in attendance, a donation to the Bronx Science Endowment Fund is required. Donations range from $1,000 for one guest to $100,000 for a premiere table that seats ten guests. The money, however, will be well spent.
by regular gym classes and various school
director, producer, actor, and writer, Laurence R. Young, Professor of
will try to salvage what we can that’s usable.”
the Apollo Program at MIT and E.L. Doctorow, a renowned author. “We hope to net $1 million from the Gala,” said Chris Bater, who is chairing the event, “but more importantly, we want to create a culture of philanthropy within our alumni community. The Gala is a vehicle to engage and cultivate new donors.” Indeed, those who are fortunate enough to attend will be doing just that. Some alumni, however, seem less than inclined to donate with the prices held so high. Alumna Amelia Rosner (Class of ‘71), for instance, humorously noted that, “For me to go to an alumni dinner at $1000 a head, the entertainment would have to be Jay-Z and the old lady from the subway.” Still, Bronx Science students past and present can rest assured that the lavish gala is only the first of many events to be sponsored by the Alumni Association this year. The grand opening of the currently under-construction Holocaust Center is scheduled for this April, and a big birthday celebration will be held at the school in June. In addition, Science will host smaller gatherings of notable alumni speakers throughout the next several months. For more information on the 75th Anniversary fundraising, visit www.bronxscienceendowmentfund.org.
Dean Collins added, “We are looking to get vendors to bring in equipment they have to help the students.” The Physical Education department is currently in the process of getting various cost estimates for the new space and equipment. While the possibility of an improved gym sounds very enticing, it is not a sure thing. As Dean Collins put it, “Nothing is written in stone.” There are many obstacles to overcome, a major one being the need for proper funding to be allocated for this project. Still, the Physical Education Department is optimistic that the administration is on board with the plan and that this gym expansion will come into fruition. It is their hope that the renovation process will begin during the spring, and will be complete by the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.
Bronx Science Debate Does it Again
By MADELINE MANASSE
hour tournament, which permits only one team per school to compete. Belhachmi and Kazteridis’ win is an impressive triumph for Bronx Science. In fact, no Science team has reached the semifinals of the MBA tournament since Regan Bozeman and Andrew Markoff in 2009. Belhachmi and Kazteridis are proud to hold the new third place title for the Montgomery Bell Acadmey Southern Forum. “To be able to say that my partner Anastasia Kazteridis and I were only the second team in Bronx Science history to do that is very rewarding and only motivates me to continue putting in time and
effort in the activity, “ said Belhachmi. “It was hard juggling college apps and debate work for this tournament over the break, and I don't know how, but we were able to round something up in the nick of time for the MBA weekend. The tournament itself was very physically and mentally exhausting but it was all worth it having the opportunity to enter Bronx Science that Tuesday morning carrying the giant MBA bell -- hands down one of the coolest trophies I've ever received in my life.” Congratulations to Belhachmi, Kazteridis and the Speech and Debate team for honoring Bronx Science with another outstanding win.
Photo credit: Juliet Eldred
Bronx Science senior policy debate pair Abla Belhachmi and Anastasia Kazteridis recently took home the third place trophy from the Montgomery Bell Academy Southern Bell Forum in Tennessee. Policy debate is one of the most rigorous types of debate competition, where teams of two argue for and against policy change, usually regarding the federal government. Although only twenty-five years old, the MBA Southern Bell Forum is one of the most prestigious debate tournaments in the country. Debaters from across the nation come to compete in the grueling thirty-two
Policy debaters, Abla Belhachmi and Anastasia Kazteridis
SCIENCE SURVEY CELEBRATES 80 VOLUMES
By ALEXIA ALURRALDE Bronx Science is known for multiple Nobel Prize winners, a large range of AP and honors classes, as well as a diverse student body. However, not much credit is given to the school’s own newspaper. The Science Survey has been reporting ever since the school was founded- 75 years ago. As Bronx Science experienced all sorts of changes, the Science Survey was always there, like a trusty sidekick-covering stories and updating everyone. The oldest known Science Survey issue dates back to 1974. Back then, most of the newspaper just kept the students up to date with new policies and interesting news that occurred throughout the year. Yet it always managed to keep in touch with the student body, the staff, and the overall atmosphere of the school, and managed to print out a successful paper. With each issue, the reporters aimed to entertain as well as inform the student body. The Science Survey was always present to cover top news stories. 1979 was the first year that the Big Sibs program started. Originally, the Big Sibs program was limited to only 100 seniors, and each freshman received a personalized card with the name and address of their Big Sib. It was one of the most exciting times to be both a senior and freshmen. The freshmen were thankful that they were able to create a strong bond with one person, and the seniors in the program were overjoyed to be able to help freshmen transition from middle school to high school. In 1980, co-ed Physical Education was
first introduced. Can you imagine the excitement and the wonder of being in gym class with both boys and girls? Before, girls were in one gym class, while boys were in another. Although it was a big change to merge the two, it was something unique in that time period and united the student body. The upperclassmen classes were even able to enjoy a yearly Junior-Senior football tournament, which further enhanced school spirit among students. Throughout previous years, there were times when select students managed to go on trips outside of the state. For example, in 1991, the senior class was divided into four groups and embarked to Cancun for their senior trip. It was a giant success and was greatly appreciated by the senior class. In 1995, 142 students voyaged out the Bronx Science doors and onto the snowcovered slopes for a ski trip. During the past
Mid Winter Break Takes Some Time Off
What kind of Valentine are you?
By CLARENCE CHENG Hurricane Sandy swept us all off our feet-literally. Stores were closed, houses lost power, and schools shut their doors. For many students, despite the treacherous weather, the arrival of Sandy could not have brought sweeter relief. For that week, schools screeched to a halt. Projects were put on hold, papers were postponed, and college deadlines were extended. Students in New York found themselves with a free week to spend as they pleased. When school resumed, students arrived well rested and already awaiting the holiday vacation that was just around the corner. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. School administrators felt pressed for time because with the “Sandy Vacation,” schools fell short of the state-mandated 180 days of instruction. Because of this, Midwinter break, originally a break to last from Monday, February 18th, to Friday, February 22nd, has been shortened by three days. Students will now only have the Monday and Tuesday off, and will resume school Wednesday the 20th, to make up for time lost to the hurricane. The gloomy clouds of Sandy are thus still hanging over the heads of many. The shortened break comes as a disappointment for students everywhere, including Junior Soobin Joo, whose plans for the break were interrupted by the cancellation. “While the shortening of the break is fair, since we lost so much school time, it is unfortunate, and does interfere with peoples’ plans. My church had a retreat planned for that week, and now the students living in New York won’t be able to go,” she said sadly. Joo, like many other of her peers, believed that the extension of school into July would’ve been a better alternative. However, extending school into July is prohibited by the United Federation of Teachers. This break cancellation could not have been more disappointing for many students. The idea of another full week off of school doesn’t sound so bad. But rules are rules. Schools and teachers have tried to other ways to make up the time lost, but there just is not another way. Sophomore Tomás Cabo-Hervada shared, “Every February break, I visit family in Pennsylvania for about six days. This is very unfair, because now as a result of this shortened break, my family and I won’t be able to do that this year.” The February break shortening has become the source of a lot of grumbling among students, especially those who had travel plans. Yet, the NYC DOE tells these disgruntled students that it is under a time crunch, and that this is the only way to get back on track. School is a lengthy production, and no matter what problems arise, the show must go on.
decades, school trips were widely talked about and desired by many people. Who knows, maybe in the future, we will be able to go on school trips and we will get featured in the Science Survey as well. The Science Survey also reported catastrophic events. During times of war, the newspaper placed ads about students enlisting into the army. Many students today cannot even imagine what it must have felt like to think about defending one’s own country while still in high school. In 2001, when the tragic events of September 11th occurred, the newspaper wrote editorials and articles, trying to reach out and unite the student body during tragic times. Throughout the years, sports have always triumphed at Bronx Science. There are countless stories of champions, winners, and new record placeholders. Despite our emphasis on the curriculum, Bronx Science never fails to excel in all sports. When Mrs. Valerie Reidy was given the title of principal, it was one of the Survey’s biggest headlines. Everyone wanted to be informed about the new principal, and thanks to the school’s newspaper, students got to know the leader who would be in charge for the next decade. The Science Survey, as well as Bronx Science, has experienced many events, both good and bad. Each event will be remembered in a Science Survey issue. Now in 2013, with the addition of the online supplement to the Science Survey, the legacy of the school newspaper will live on into the future.
By JENNA LUE Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. When the big day of love rolls around don’t you want to know what kind of Valentine you are? Take the quiz to find out!
Looking forward to Valentine’s Day?
Like flowers and chocolate?
Want a fancy meal by candlelight? YES
Are you hoping for a spontaneous date?
Perhaps a funny greeting card?
Is it all for a laugh?
Do you want a serious declaration of love
Incredibly Indifferent Bah humbug! You’re the Scrooge of Valentine’s Day seeking to distance yourself from the lovey-dovey couples and trite greeting cards. Even though it’s not your favorite holiday, remember there is candy and a few chuckles in it for you.
Flirty Fun Adventure and excitement are what you look for and your ideal Valentine’s Day is no different. So grab your date’s hand and take a walk on the wild side! Spontaneity and laughter go hand-in-hand when you’re around.
Recklessly Romantic Cue the sappy oneliners and kisses in the rain. You’re one lovesick puppy pining for the perfect Valentine’s Day. Expecting nothing less than a remake of The Notebook, your valentine has a lot to live up to.
By ALEXIA ALURRALDE and JOHANNA BURNSTEIN Make your Valentine’s Day memorable and prepare warm meals for your loved one! Whether it is a surprise breakfast, a picnic in the park, or a romantic candlelit dinner, there are many ways to create a special moment. If you want your special someone to wake up to the smell of a homemade breakfast, chocolate waffles is definitely the way to go. Grab some eggs, milk, flour, and sugar and make your loved one a delicious waffle. If you want to make it even more special, you can always add powdered sugar in a heart shaped pattern. If your special someone is a chocolate lover, add small chocolate chips to sweeten things up. For a scrumptious fruity taste, add small slices of fruit on top of the waffle, like strawberries. If you decide that you would rather spend the day outdoors with a picnic, you cannot go wrong with French croissants. The crisp and buttery outer layers and a soft, delicate interior will definitely melt in your mouth. You could also prepare a homemade sandwich cut into a heart-shape to let your special someone know how much they mean to you. Every girl or guy loves candy hearts, so scatter them around for your special someone to find. Their loving messages will be sure to get many smiles. For dinner, going out on a nice date is sure to be romantic. Call up your local restaurant and be sure to make reservations beforehand, as many places will probably be packed. However, if you are looking for a cheap dinner, you can always order a pizza. To make it romantic, you can add heart-shaped mushrooms, pepperoni, or any other topping. Many might find this a little tacky, but when you see the huge smile, you’ll know you have hit the spot and melted your loved one’s heart. To top off any meal, chocolate mousse is a delectable dessert. All you need is chocolate, coffee, sugar, water, and egg white. To create this dessert, melt chocolate, Irish Cream, and espresso over low heat. Then, in a separate pan, simmer sugar and water until the temperature reaches 224 to 230°F. Whip the egg whites until stiff and glossy. Add sugar syrup to whites and continue to whip about eight minutes until eggs have increased in volume and mixture has cooled; fold into chocolate mixture. Next, whip heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Mix chocolate mixture/eggs/sugar with syrup mixture. Pour the chocolate mousse into molds or a serving dish. Put in fridge to set. Garnish with chocolate shavings and fresh seasonal berries. Whether you choose to surprise your special someone for breakfast, a cute lunch, or a romantic dinner, you can definitely not go wrong with any of these meals.
Feature 75 Years of the Science Survey
By HELEN ZOU
HAAAAAAAN? Continued from Front Page
- Federal Title IX statute mandates all schools establish unisex physical education classes (October 1976, Volume 78 No. 1) - Two rovers land on Mars (February 2004, Volume 71 No.4) - President George W. Bush pass No Child Left Behind Act affecting all New York City public school students (October 2005, Volume 73 Issue 1)
- New cell phone policy in Bronx Science allows students to bring cell phones to school (April 2004, Volume 71 No. 5)
- The Bronx Science administration decides for students to begin using Naviance to register for the next year’s courses (February 2006, Volume 73 Issue 3)
- Science alum David Politzer awarded Nobel Prize in Physics (December 2004, Volume 72 Issue 3)
However, the meaning and usage of the word “Haaan” is not clearly defined, and varies from person to person. Self-proclaimed “Haaan-ologist” sophomore Will Mosko stated, “I use ‘Haaan’ as a sentence enhancer. If I want to add that extra kick to prove my point, I’ll throw in a casual ‘Haaan’ to spice things up.” When asked when it was most appropriate to use the word “Haaan,” junior Alfred Henderson replied, “I use it whenever it is a ‘Haaan-moment’. You just feel it in your gut. You just know when to say it.” Beyond the many meanings, the pronunciation and even the spelling of the word are also loosely defined. For Henderson, “It sounds like you’re about to say ‘hand’ but you stop yourself before you get to the end.” However, other students prefer to make it sound more like ‘Hayne’. And in terms of spelling, according to Liam Moore, “One can add as many ‘H’s’, ‘A’s’ or ‘N’s’ as he or she likes. It can be capitalized or not, and can be said with any number of inflections. In a way, ‘Haaan’ is a means of expression rather than a dictionary-defined word.” But where did this term come from? And why did Bronx Science students start to say it in the first place? “I first heard it in Kanye West’s ‘Mercy’,”
said Liam Moore, “but since then I have also heard French Montana take over the phrase.” Attempting to take credit for the widespread usage of “Haaan” amongst Bronx Science students, Annas Alokush added, “My best friend, Gamel Finley [‘12], and I actually started saying it together in the hallways and everyone followed.” Both Will Mosko and Alfred Henderson said that they began to use “Haaan” only because Kanye West did so in some of his hit songs. “A lot of students in our school listen to Kanye’s music and I think because of this and because of rap culture, it naturally translated into our hallways, cafeteria, and courtyard.” Fred Rodriguez pointed out that “Haaan’s” popularity and adoption by the Bronx Science student body is not so unusual asother word frenzys have taken over Bronx Science in the past. “Other examples of terms adopted from hip hop by our school and beyond are ‘Swag’ and ‘Yolo’.” Clearly, “Haaan” has captured the minds of Bronx Science students, but much to the chagrin of avid “Haaan” users, its future does not look too bright according to Will Mosko. “I think that although Haaan is definitely fun to use, it will most likely die out. After all, it does get annoying after a while. HAAAAN.”
“Satisfaction,fulfillment, and excitement. Haaan itself exists almost as an embodiment of all of those feelings.”
Sophomore Will Mosko
Senior Liam Moore
Fashion Throughout The Years By ZOE STERN Skinny jeans, belly shirts, body piercings, and tattoos—it seems that the new century has introduced a new level of objectification of women. Girls are now dressing more suggestively than ever. Take the new fad, the “crop top.” This small, usually tight shirt shows the midriff and has become increasingly popular among teenage girls. Back in the 1900’s, when women wore gowns and suits, clothing was meant to show off a woman’s tightly corseted torso. Yet as a woman’s role in society began to change, particularly with the idea of female empowerment, traditional fashion taboos gradually loosened. By the 1920’s, teens started wearing shorter skirts and clothing that conformed to a woman’s body rather than clothing that forced the body to conform to a specific shape. During World War I, fashion trends were simplified because many shops were closed down nationwide. “Ready-to-wear” fashion became in. But by the 1950’s and 60’s, with the introduction of glamour and rock n’ roll, young girls stopped looking like their mothers and adopted a youthful look. Clothing that would have been considered
risqué beforehand, finally became acceptable. Hippie clothes, go-go boots, psychedelic t-shirts and the miniskirt became popular, as did the bikini and false eyelashes. By the 80’s and 90’s, teenagers began to start looking grungy, as rocker shirts, hoop earrings, thigh-high stockings, and “anything” denim became considered cool. In the 21st century, tight and small clothing has become fashionable. Arianne Lapidus, trendy Bronx Science junior, feels that “society has placed definite expectations on women. No matter how we dress we are judged. And, the stereotypes placed upon us, such as being super model thin, are worse now than ever before.” Women used to be forced to wear corsets so tight that they caused severe damage to their bodies. However, now given the freedom to dress in whatever way they want to, women are compelled to objectify themselves even more. So one may ask: have current social norms constricted women’s bodies just the same as they did 100 years ago? The best advice is to simply be yourself, and try to avoid listening to how society thinks women should dress. Just do you!
Arts & Entertainment Oscar Preview By ALEX SCHEMAN
Behind the Scenes at SING! By JENNA LUE Joseph Stalin, Les Misérables, “Call Me Maybe,” and How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. This seemingly random and eclectic mix find common ground in this year’s S!NG production. Following a brief one-year hiatus during the 2010-2011 school year, the club was revived under the guidance of 2012 graduates Ben Meyerson and Olivia Munk. In its second year, S!NG has acquired fresh faces and new talent who are ready to uphold the precedent set by last year’s club members. Looking to tap into the often overlooked Bronx Science talents in the arts and humanities, S!NG offers a third performance opportunity for students to partake in, aside from the school play and musical. The completely student-run production is once again headed by the dynamic duo of former teacher Ms. Kress and current member of the English Department, Ms. McGuigan. From the viewpoint of Ms. Kress, S!NG is unique as it “gives [the students] a chance to create something in their own voice that they feel
is important for their community to see.” Taking a page from Victor Hugo’s acclaimed work, Les Misérables, the upperclassmen are advocating rebellion. Under the direction of senior Gary Liku and junior Sofie Somoroff, a revolt against the oppressive tyrant Principal Treaty is in the works in their show entitled “The Miserables.” Liku and Somoroff depict the struggle students face as they strive to overthrow what is seen as an unjust authority. With a twist ending and unexpected hero, the upperclassmen’s satirical and witty show is sure to be a hit. Choosing a less radical, though still highly relevant topic are the underclassmen co-directors, sophomores Kevin Garcia and Emily Joyce. Following the journey of Bronx Science freshman, Timothy, “How to Succeed in Bronx Science without Really Trying” acts as a commentary on becoming an individual. Originally relying on the student handbook as his guide, Timothy soon finds written rules are not the only form of guidance. Complete with young love and references to
the well-know Science honor code, the underclassmen are ready to wow the audience. Despite the obvious plot differences and elements of competition, both the upper and underclassmen chose to convey their respective messages through the medium of parodied songs. With the influence of Broadway evident in the production, Somoroff’s assertion that S!NG “tries to incorporate musicals in a way that a science-oriented student body can appreciate,” certainly rings true. As February approaches, be sure to keep an eye on the brewing rivalry between the two shows. With rehearsals having spanned from November to the New Year, the competition is stiff. The dedication shown by all S!ING club members is evident in the “five hour weekend rehearsals, soon to be extended to nine hours,” as Garcia proudly boasted. Fellow Bronx Science-ites get ready to show your support as every ballot cast after the performances on the 7th, 8th, and 9th will be counted. Who will be the reigning champion?
Mark Boal: The Man of the Hour By TOMMASO ANGELINI
Photo Credit: eonline.
It may seem hard to believe that an award-winning writer and producer once walked the halls of this school. Mark Boal Class of ’91 was recently nominated for the Academy Awards and Golden Globes for Best Writing in Original screenplay of his latest film Zero Dark Thirty, a summary of the 11-year manhunt for Osama Bin Laden. Despite such prestigious recognition, even the most prominent screenwriters receive some kind of disapproval. A major criticism and the first major criticism of Zero Dark Thirty is that it presents torture in a positive light. Zero Dark Thirty opens with CIA agents torturing a detainee, named Ammar, apparently with links to many Saudi Arabian terrorists. As the movie progresses, more torturing is involved as the protagonist Maya, recently reassigned to work in Pakistan, tries to procure more information regarding the identity of Osama Bin Laden’s personal courier. In the British newspaper The Guardian, political journalist Glenn Greenwald accuses the film of taking a pro-torture stance, and later went on to describe it as “pernicious propaganda…[presenting] torture as its CIA proponents and administrators see it: as a dirty, ugly business that is necessary to protect America.” Other criticisms, such as one made by American journalist Frank Bruni, similarly concluded that the film appears to make the case, “No water boarding, no Bin Laden.” Another aspect of the movie that was heavily criticized was its accuracy. Many scenes depict CIA agents torturing detainees and suspected terrorists, while in actuality most of the torturing and interrogating was done at Guantanamo Bay. However, Boal countered critics and defended himself against charges of factual inaccuracies by saying in an interview with CBS, “This is a movie that’s riveting, a movie that’s powerful, a movie that’s exciting, and a movie that takes you behind the scenes of a world that quite frankly is usually cloaked from public view.” Boal has been surrounded by debate all his life. During his time at Bronx Science, Boal was a member of the Speech and Debate team. Following high school, he attended Oberlin College where he majored in philosophy. After graduating in 1995, Boal worked as a freelance journalist and screenwriter. He then began to contribute to magazines such as Rolling Stone, Playboy, and The Village Voice. During his early journalistic career, Boal wrote many articles about war, and spent much of his time with bomb squads and troops from Iraq. Boal’s claim to fame was his original screenplay The Hurt Locker, which was based on his interviews and observations in the Middle East. When asked about what he thought about Boal having attended Bronx Science, Junior Aaron Kirshenberg said, “When I found out, I honestly couldn’t say I was very shocked. He is a phenomenal screenwriter as seen in the movies The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, and I’m sure his time at Bronx Science helped shape who he is today.”
Photo Credit: sundancenow.com
Photo Credit: Wong Photography
Sing cast poses for the camera.
It is time for the Oscars again—the nominations have been released, and on February 24th, Hollywood’s Dolby Theater will host the 85th annual Academy Awards. In his Oscar-hosting debut, Seth MacFarlane will take the stage as 2012’s Academy Awards host. Best known as the creator of “Family Guy,” MacFarlane is a popular figure in the entertainment business. The movies this past year have stretched across a wide span of genres, ranging from the historical drama of Lincoln to the musical romance of Les Misérables, and once again Hollywood does not cease to impress. This year’s Oscars will determine 2012’s best of the best, as it has done for the past eightyfour years, and hopefully many more to come. When asked the question of what makes a movie “Oscar-worthy,” President of the Classic Film Club, Josh Flaherty responded, “I think that an Oscar winning movie generally makes a statement about an aspect of society with great artistic value that one can truly appreciate.” The nominations were released on January 10th, giving moviegoers plenty of time to catch up on the movies they haven’t seen yet. This year’s Best Picture nominees offer viewers a variety of films to choose from. Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, in the lead with twelve nominations, competes with the thrilling and highly controversial Zero Dark Thirty, a chronicle of the search for al-Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden. In addition, Beasts of the Southern Wild, depicts the struggle of a young girl faced with a shorttempered father and a home being washed away by melting icecaps. There is a lot of excitement surrounding the nine nominees for Best Picture. People have begun debating about who will take home the prize for Best Male Actor. The nominees consist of Bradley Cooper for his unique and unconventional role in Silver Linings Playbook, and Daniel Day-Lewis in the memorable performance of Lincoln. Lewis, a two-time Academy Award winner for Best Male Actor, is looking for a third Oscar to take home. These are just a few actors up for nomination for this year’s Best Actor Award. The nominations have also begun to stir up excitement on the female side for Best Actress. Actresses such as Jessica Chastain starring in Zero Dark Thirty, and Quvenzhané Wallis, starring in Beasts of the Southern Wild, are just two of the five possible candidates vying for an Academy Award. Nine year-old Wallis, the youngest actress to receive a nomination for Best Actress, played the touching role of Hushpuppy in the award-winning drama. From the red carpet to center stage, the Academy Awards will be an exciting night to watch unfold.
Arts & Entertainment Bronx Science’s New Canvas
By JC BAHR-DE STEFANO
If you’re interested in visiting student art websites, check out: www.thecanvasbx.com and www.therevelpage.com.
STUDENT BANDS By MELANIE NEPOMNYASCHY
Photo Credit: Melanie Nepomnyaschy
Photo Credit: Annie Appleweis
Three weeks ago, the dimly lit basement of The Yippie Cafe, a small cafe in NoHo, played host to the teen band Jappy, two members of which are juniors at Bronx Science. The first act of the night, they performed a set of ten songs, all written and performed by band members Josh Fieger, the lead singer, and Harry Shapiro, the lead guitarist, and accompanied by Josh’s brother on bass, and Bouba Diallo on drums. To find out more about Jappy and other student bands at Bronx Science, read the rest of this article at www.bxscinewspaper.com.
one’s favorite superhero, Superman. Probably the funniest movie to come out in 2013 will be Anchorman: The Legend Continues, set to come out December 20th, starring Will Ferrell, playing San Diego’s top rated newsman. As the movie follows him and his team, it is sure to be filled with laughs if it is anywhere near as funny as the first. Marc Forster’s World War Z, set to come out in late June, stars Brad Pitt as he travels the world in an attempt to stop the impending zombie apocalypse. Another exciting movie based on a book that nearly everyone read as a kid is Ender’s Game. Coming out November 1st, 2013, this movie is about an unusually gifted kid who is sent to a special military school to prepare for a future invasion. It follows his life as he trains and prepares for the upcoming attack. The movies coming out this year contain all different types of genres, brought to life by a handful of talented directors and actors, are highly antiticapted. Look forward to 2013, get excited for this explosion of blockbuster greatness, and escape from the stresses of school by indulging in some fantastic cinema. Photo Credit: most-wanted-thing.blogspot.com
to find art and culture in a school full of math and science.” The site has a calendar of upcoming dates of cultural events, and posts reviews of movies, plays, expositions and concerts. When asked about the site, freshman Julia Lauer said, “I think that it’s great--in a school where everything is so centered around the sciences and mathematics, where things often become a lot about grades, it’s easy for creativity to be neglected. This site allows not only the opportunity to be reminded that this school is filled with more than just booksmart students, but also serves as a form of expression that normally cannot be expressed through tests, essays, etc. It’s a great way to discover mutual bonds between people... .” The website, which has a poll page and is extremely interactive, was meant to provide new perspectives and give students the opportunity for creative expression.
By BAR ORON and GRAHAM CAMPBELL One of the best places to go to run away from the stresses of high school is the movie theater. With this being said, 2013 is an exciting year for cinema. There is a plethora of movies coming out this year ranging from comedy to action to sci-fi, all worth going to see. Atop the list of anticipated movies is the sci-fi spectacular Star Trek Into Darkness, releasing May 17, 2013. The crew of The Enterprise must battle with a terrible force working inside the organization. To fight that, Captain Kirk, along with his team, lead a manhunt to stop this one-man army (hoping to prevent imminent danger). Next on the list, coming out May 10, 2013, is Baz Luhrrman’s The Great Gatsby. This movie, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, will feature actors, like Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Joel Edgerton. Edgerton portrays Nick Carraway as he is drawn to the lavish lifestyle of Jay Gatsby, played by DiCaprio. If the movie is as good as the book, it is sure to be a hit. The next sure-to-be blockbuster is the much anticipated Man of Steel. This action movie, which comes out June 14th, 2013, is the newest take on the classic tale of every-
Photo Credit: impawards.com
Bronx Science’s excellence in both math and science has people outside of our community believing the school to be strictly a school for whizzes in only these fields. But, there is often much more than meets the eye in our eclectic student body. The Bronx Science student body is overflowing with talented students who study the arts: the Jazz Band has always been a fan favorite and many students at the school have written award-winning poetry. There seems to be artistic vision and talent everywhere. Juniors Sofia Vainesman and Ally Mueller asked themselves, “What if there were a website on which Bronx Science students could post any type of art that their hearts desire?” From Van Gogh-esque landscapes to notebook doodling, paintings, poems, songs, and stories. The website they have created is called “the canvas,” and its purpose is to offer students a haven where they can express their creativity through any artistic medium. Regarding the site, one of the creators, Sofia Vainesman, said, “Ally and I are just really excited about the whole thing. We think that it will be a fantastic opportunity for kids
movie preview 2013
Spotlight Spotlight 10 Alumni Discuss a Mr. Cruz Receives Bronx Science Before Outstanding Debate Coach Award & After Going Coed
By HELEN ZOU
By ZOE STERN and MINAHIL KHAN The Bronx High School of Science was founded in 1938 as a specialized science and math high school for boys. What started as a 400-student institution became the first specialized high school to turn co-ed in 1946. To gain better perspective on this revolutionary change in the history of this school, The Survey was able meet with alumni who graduated before and after this revolutionary time. Martin Schnapp, a graduate of 1947, age 82, described Science as an all-boys establishment just six years old and still building its reputation. With no AP’s and smaller class sizes, Bronx Science might seem simple by today’s standards. However, Schnapp confirmed that just passing classes took a lot of hard work. “I had to study damn hard,” Schnapp confirmed, claiming that his preparation at Science made his college classes seem easy. While computer classes were not yet prevalent, the Science curriculum had “no emphasis on humanities.” This seems fitting as Schnapp, who is a business consultant, claimed that most of his classmates became doctors or engineers. “[You were] good at math, you got an education.” The alumnus joined most of his classmates in taking a test that earned him a free college education at City College. Schnapp was a sophomore in college when
Jessica Stern, age 80, class of ‘49 graduated as a member the first co-ed class at Bronx Science. Stern describes her time at Science as a “very pleasant,” though the decision to attend the mostly boys school was her parents’, not her own. Regarding any intimidation she might have felt being one of the first girls in the school, Stern claimed that the environment was “Fine. The boys were all very nice. Ever since I was little, boys have always liked me. ” Still, she took gym separately from the boys, and, unlike them, wasn’t allowed to swim. Stern described the demographic as being largely Jewish, with few Asian students. Since then, the school’s demographic has not only shifted, but the population has also doubled. Attending Bronx Science inspired Stern’s career, as she explained that,“I had great teachers at Bronx Science, and teaching really seemed like something I wanted to go into.” Stern earned her teaching degree from Teacher’s College after attending Barnard College. Stern’s expressed that, “I really look back on the school with a lot of affection and appreciation,” evident by the fact that she sent her children to attend Bronx Science. Although the school has changed a great deal, these alumni confirm that our identity as a diligent student body hasn’t changed.
Mr. Cruz has been the director of the Bronx Science Speech & Debate program since 2004. Because of his success in coordinating the top National Forensic League chapter, Mr. Cruz received the John Edie Holiday Debate Tournament’s Outstanding Coach Award in December 2012. This is a prestigious honor given out annually to only the most prominent debate coaches. The Science Survey was able to speak with Mr. Cruz about his reaction: Science Survey: What does the award mean to you? Were you expecting it? Jon Cruz: I was not expecting the award, so it was an incredibly powerful and flattering surprise. I consider the award a testament to the hard work of all of my debaters. The leader often gets the credit, but it is the very talented and hard-working students who make the team’s successes possible.
Photo credit: Helen Zou
“I consider the award a testament to the hard work of all of my debaters.”
SS: What did it take to win the award? JC: Colleagues from other schools nominated me, and previous recipients of the award gave their input as well. The award is meant to recognize a person who has considerable success as a coach, and who has contributed to the national debate community. I am honored to have been validated by my colleagues from across the country in this way.
SS: What is the most rewarding aspect of being director of the Speech & Debate program? JC: This is my eighth year as director of the team. I have been fortunate to coach many students who have won major championships. But what I am proudest of is how many Bronx Science students participate in the program. Over my eight years here, the Bronx Science team has grown into the largest speech and debate program in the United States. I do not believe in cuts or in tryouts. It is an incredible experience to watch young people with no previous experience in public speaking become more confident in communicating ideas and become more skilled in forming arguments. SS: What are your goals for the debate team this year? JC: We are working hard to maintain the standing we had last year from the National Forensic League as the top-ranked speech and debate team in the country. We have had several team performances this season at which students in every speech and debate event advanced into the elimination rounds; I would like to keep this up. We are again the only school in the country to have qualified entries to the National High School Tournament of Champions in all four debate events. I’d like to see this success continue at the Tournament of Champions in April.
Phewtick Phase Fades Out Photo credit: Minahil Khan
By CLARK TANG
Photo credit: Zoe Stern
Martin Schnapp: Then & Now
Jessica Stern: Then & Now
Instagram? Snapchat? Move aside, there’s a new kid on the block. In just a matter of days, the mobile application Phewtick exploded onto the scene at Bronx Science. Congregations of students were seen lining the halls between periods, gathered in small groups furiously scanning each other’s codes. Hallways were clogged, stairwells were stagnant, and hundreds of students had their phones out. Phewtick, the newest craze that took Bronx Science by storm, is meant to be used as a “promoter of social interactions.” Users are given uniquely generated codes that other users scan. When each scan is processed, an interaction is recorded and each user receives a random amount of points that can be cashed in for money. The points randomly fluctuate from 10 to 500,000 points, but usually users earn between 10-70 points per scan. Sound too good to be true? This has yet to be seen. There are many factors to consider when determining the legitimacy of free money. Phewtick has a fluctuating conversion rate that is determined by the company, as it considers its growing customer base. As of December 27th, 2012, the conversion rate was $0.0116 for every 10 points but it was $0.0155 per 10 points on October 16th, 2012, a 25% decrease in value. Though Phewtick might seem to many as “sketchy,” there is a lot of room for profit in the service it’s providing. Do not forget that many applications begin by offering free goods and services in order to build a customer base. Once they obtain a sizable customer base, they can imple-
ment their business plans and begin to profit off of their service, through advertisements or other means of creating a profit margin. For example, Phewtick could sell “points” to restaurants and shops and could promote these locations on Phewtick and encourage users to meet up at these locations for extra points. Several Bronx Science students have vouched for Phewtick and testified that they did in fact receive their money. ”Phewtick sent me my $30 [through PayPal], 10 days after I cashed out,” Senior Ada Situ said. Though Phewtick may be legitimate, there are negative aspects to actively Phewticking. When asked about Phewtick’s business model, AP Economics teacher Mr. Noody said, “I doubt that Phewtick can sustain-- it’s a fad.” Mr. Noody’s comments raise interesting questions-- How will Phewtick keep its users? Will Phewtick stay alive long enough to become profitable? To counter the Phewtick fanatacism, Bronx Science countered with an enforcement of school policy. “Phones should never be out in school,” school aide supervisor Ms. Robinson said. The Phewtick phenomenon has been so prevalent that teachers have been instructed to specifically be on the lookout for groups of Phewtick scanners. “In the last two days I’ve gotten at least twenty-five phones,” Ms. Robinson said (on January 11th). Much of the Bronx Science Phewtick craze has died out already. The incessant cries of “Phew-
tick? Phewtick? Phewtick?” have all but disappeared. Many eager Phewtickers have had their phones confiscated, as per school policy, and the remaining Phewtickers have learned better than to scan in the halls. “A teacher took my phone, as well as my 4 other friends’ phones,” an anonymous student commented. “There aren’t many people scanning
Photo credit: Clark Tang
in the halls anymore because there are no more phones to scan!” The scanning craze has long gone, and Bronx Science has returned to its usual state. One day there were hundreds of students scanning, and the next day, the halls were deserted. Like a hurricane, the gales of Phewtick have long gone, and the peace in Bronx Science has been restored.
Two students using Phewtick in the hallways
A Look at Neil deGrasse Tyson By JOSEPH PIAKER On January 24th, renowned astrophysicist and Bronx Science alum Neil deGrasse Tyson stopped by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to discuss the dangers of smog in China...wearing a bathrobe. This is not the first time Tyson has been featured on The Daily Show. Arguably one of the country’s best-known astrophysicists, Bronx Science Class of ’76, has been on The Colbert Report and Real Time with Bill Maher. He has also hosted a television show on PBS called NOVA scienceNOW. Tyson’s recent recognition started after being one of the scientists to allegedly “kill,” or reclassify Pluto as a dwarf planet. Currently, he is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium in Manhattan and a research associate in astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. It is no surprise that Tyson won “Coolest Job” at his 20th Bronx Science reunion. After high school, Tyson graduated from Harvard University
and went on to earn degrees at the University of Texas at Austin and Columbia University. In his biography, The Sky Is Not The Limit, Tyson explains that what first attracted him to astrophysics was simply looking up at the night sky. He knew as a nine year-old boy, before being able to even pronounce the word, that he wanted to be an astrophysicist. “I had been called. The study of the universe would be my career, and no force on Earth would stop me.” Without any doubt of who he wanted to become, Tyson rose to the top of the “astrophysics world” quickly to become the most famous one there is today. Due to his high demand, he was unavailable to comment. However, Science students are still able to find inspiration from his work. Even if they don’t find their passion at a young age just as Tyson did, they’re encouraged to follow their dreams-- even if it they may be “out of this world.”
Volume 80 Issue 3
The Bronx High School of Science
wrestling hits hard
By TOMER LANGER
The Bronx Science wrestling team won the Bronx/Manhattan division this year with a 9-1 record in one of their best seasons in team history. Following second and third place finishes the team broke through for the division crown. Junior Damien Halpern, who was on the team last year, felt that the year of experience gave the team the preparation they needed for the success this season. He said, “It helped with allowing me to know what to expect for practices and what an actual match would be like to attend.” The team started off strong, racing off to a 4-0 start. However, five days after a win over Hunter (that was not as close in score,) Bronx Science was defeated by Eagles Academy 6718. However, the team did not crumble, winning the rest of their games including a big game over rival Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy on January 4th. RKA was one of the major challenges that Bronx Science faced after its loss to Eagles Academy as they have been one of the stronger teams in the division for awhile. The win was put into perspective by Halpern when he said, “Winning over them was important because without that win we technically wouldn’t be division champs, we would be be tied for first with the Eagles. Even though the wrestling team had a great season, some wrestlers felt that Bronx Science students did not give as much sup- Wrestlers stretch before a match port to the team as they could have. The tion of the wrestling team’s matches or wins on the daily annumber of students who attended wrestling competitions is nouncements. This is partly because most kids coming into much smaller than the fans who attended basketball games. the school do not know we have a wrestling team.” HowJunior Yeiro Rodriguez said, “I barely heard any recogniever the team rallied and put together a successful season.
RECRUITED ATHLETES AT BRONX SCIENCE SPOTLIGHT: PIER BERKMANS By MADDY MANASSE Photo Credit: JC Bahr De Stefano
Basketball Battle for the City
Photo Credit: of Humans of Bronx Science
By JOEY PIAKER and RAY EDELMAN New York City has struggled to live up to its reputation as “The Mecca of Basketball” in recent years. The city’s lone NBA franchise, the New York Knicks, seemed to be stuck in an everlasting cycle of disappointment; one which they had just barely broken out of at the end of last season by winning their first playoff game in more than a decade. New York’s basketball allure was fast disappearing. However, all of this has changed this season. The city introduced its second franchise: the Brooklyn Nets. Both the Nets and the Knicks have enjoyed tremendous success thus far. The Nets, formerly located in New Jersey, crossed the Hudson for the 2012/13 NBA Season and brought with them a new atmosphere to the Big Apple. Their presence has been undoubtedly felt, as it rekindled their long-lost rivalry with the Knicks. The basketball rivalry between these two teams has even spread off the court, as each team tries to claim New York City for its own.
Even non-basketball fans are noticing. “I don’t even follow sports and all I hear anyone talk about in the hallways are the Knicks and Nets. New Yorkers are definitely starting to become more invested in basketball,” says Sophmore Ava Kaplan. The change of scenery for the Nets has inspired both teams to play to their full potential. The Knicks stand at 25-14 and the Nets are not far behind at 25-16 as of January 23rd. Each team’s goal has been to establish itself over its counterpart as the Basketball Kings of New York. While this position has yet to be determined, there remains an unexplainable intensity that had been sorely lacking in past years every time these two teams compete against one another. The Knicks and Nets have battled each other four times during the season thus far, and have split the series at two wins apiece. All four of these games were extremely competitive and came down to the wire, in which the most recent
one ended with a near-miss at the buzzer by J.R. Smith of the Knicks. Junior Harry Bloom, an avid Knicks fan, is ecstatic about the new sporting scene in New York, “The Knicks are doing great this year and they haven’t been this successful in a long time!” he said. “Ball is definitely back in the city.” Junior Nav Randhawa, who has been a Nets supporter since the Jersey days, has a similar outlook, “The Nets have brought a new culture to Brooklyn. The rivalry is more intense now than ever before. Each team wants to prove it’s the best, and it’s fun to watch.” While the Knicks and Nets are not scheduled to play each other for the rest of the regular season, if they continue to rack up wins and stay atop the Eastern Conference, they will have a good chance at seeing one another in the playoffs. In which case the intensity and excitement surrounding basketball in the city will only be that much greater.
Basketball Stats and Standings Boys Varsity Basketball
Girls Varsity Basketball
Standings: Bronx A West
Standings: Bronx A South
School……………………….....................Record Taft Educational Campus……………...11-2 Walton Campus…………………….............10-4 Roosevelt Educational Campus……...9-4 Dewitt Clinton………………………..........6-7 Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy…….4-10 Bronx HS Of Science……………….........3-12
Mott Haven Educational Campus….…13-2 Bronx HS Of Science……………….............11-2 Dewitt Clinton………………………............11-3 Morris Educational Campus………..........7-7 Taft Educational Campus…………….......2-12 South Bronx………………………..................0-15
Team Leaders Points: Jerry Henriquez’13…......…….13.8 Rebounds: Jerry Henriquez’13…..........5.1 Assists: Eli Rudavsky’13……….................1.5
Team Leaders Points: Michelle Liu’14……………............12.5 Rebounds: Diana Listas’13………..........…10.8 Assists: Michelle Liu’14………..……............3.9
Pier (on right) wins the 3200m at the Mayor’s Cup Top Colleges are fighting over Bronx Science runner Pier Berkmans, one of the fastest juniors in New York City. Although the college sports recruitment process officially begins senior year, schools will often start to notify phenomenal athletes of their recruitment potential in their junior year. More than a dozen coaches and athletic scouts from division one colleges such as Brown, Wesleyan, and the Naval Academy have already been in contact with Berkmans regarding their desire to admit him to their programs. When recruiting athletes, renowned schools take into account not only their athletic qualifications but all that the prospective student has to offer. Berkmans has an impressive school transcript in addition to his athletic appeal. “Pier is so fast it is unbelievable,” says fellow track runner Ian Patterson, “but he is so modest about it. He also gets really good grades so he can pretty much go to whatever school he wants.” Using the word fast to describe Berkmans is an understatement. A combination of sheer talent and year round running including Cross Country, Indoor, Outdoor, and offseason summer training has enabled him to achieve astonishing times. Berkmans can run two miles in nine minutes and thirty seconds, one mile in four minutes and twenty-one seconds, and one thousand meters in two minutes and thirty three seconds. Running as much as Berkmans seems unfathomable to most people, but despite his lack of free time, he has no trouble finding inspiration to run. “I have a very competitive nature and I love racing as well as working to become faster,” Berkmans insists. “Also, running is extremely addicting. There’s something about pushing yourself through hard workouts and competitions that helps develop mental strength and gives emotional satisfaction.” For Berkmans, track is more than just a sport, it is an integral part of his life. After college, he plans to continue running. “I would love to run professionally after college if I became fast enough,”