The Joke Signal Pascack Valley High School
“Where there’s smoke there’s fire”
April 2016 Volume XII, Issue II
New suggested PV courses?
By Sydney Krantz, Staff Writer
With several new initiatives in recent years such as online classes, virtual school days, block scheduling, pascack period courses, and full-year marking periods, it is no secret that our school is on the cutting-edge when it comes to education. Though some of these advancements may face valid criticisms from members of the staff and student body, I for one applaud the administration for their efforts. In fact, if the end goal is to advance our curriculum to the point where it perfectly emulates the ever-developing world in which we live, I believe that our administrators have not nearly gone far enough. Adding new electives, online courses, and a mandatory financial literacy class have certainly put us on the right track, but I have listed below a few suggestions for a new category of courses of my own creation that are necessary to prepare students for the world in which we currently live.
Photo by Curstine Guevarra
Suggestion 1: Public Tweeting
It’s almost like a course in public speaking, but instead is designed for utilizing twitter as a vehicle for sharing opinions and information. Thanks to the English and social studies curriculums nearly everyone in this school has learned how to articulate profound and intelligible opinions, but unfortunately, nobody really cares what you have to say if it is going to take you more than three sentences to do so. Sorry, but I will be the first to admit that my attention span is shorter than the list of people who want to go to prom with me (a whopping zero). The only reason I made a twitter account was for school and it has never been my social media outlet of choice. That being said, I feel as though many students, myself included, would benefit from a class in which we could learn how to assert our opinions or express to someone that their political views are so incredibly backwards that you are willing to start a GoFundMe page so that you and your friends could raise an amount of money so significant that they would be persuaded not to vote in any national or state election ever again in only 140 characters or less. I’m sure a lot of it is learn as you go, but there are some questions that only a qualified educator is capable of answering: “What’s a subtweet?”, “Did she just throw shade at me?”, “Is it rude to livetweet a funeral?”, “How many hashtags should I use when I drag her?”, and “What privacy settings should I use so that the school newspaper doesn’t embed my personal tweets in an article?” are just a few examples.
Suggestion 2: Instamarketing
With the rise of Instagram, the social photo and video-sharing app, instafame is the newest way to feel instant gratification by being widely recognized for doing absolutely nothing, or so it appears. While it may seem like taking clumsily edited pictures of oneself requires minimal effort, there is actually an unimaginable amount of work to be done in order to ensure that each of your scantily clad photos gains you a significant amount of followers. Think of it as an expansion of our new marketing elective. It could integrate elements of the current class like how to identify a target market or determine the stage of a product’s
lifecycle while teaching how to market the most important item anyone could have, oneself. After covering some of the marketing basics, the course could include such units as “Finding Your Selfie Angle”, “How to Determine the Appropriate Filter”, “Classy Not Trashy”, “Picking a WCW or MCM”, and “The Creative Process of Captioning”. While PV offers courses to accommodate students aspiring to achieve stardom through more classic mediums such as music, film, and theater, there is an apparent lack of electives for those seeking to pursue fame via these new forums.
Suggestion 3: Dank Memes 101
Unlike any class before it, this course will answer the slew of burning questions that have no doubt kept thousands if not millions of Americans up at night pondering. How do I get that perfect freeze frame of Trump? Was the dress blue and black or white and gold? Should I brainstorm captions or just wait for the right pun to come to me? Are they really just two gals being pals? How can I get people to identify with my meme on a spiritual level? Which Pepe is the rarest of all? The one thing you won’t be asking yourself is why you took this course as you shove breadsticks into your purse.
Suggestion 4: Steps to Becoming YouTube Famous
Want to learn the secret behind internet stardom? While YouTube fame can be a tricky thing to achieve, a spike in the amount of advertising and sponsorship contracts as well as increasingly lucrative partnerships between YouTube and popular YouTubers are making it as viable a career as ever. While I will concede that PV’s video production classes do cover such things as filming, editing, and script writing, there is still more to be learned about the industry in order to be successful. For instance, what type of infliction should I have in my voice when I say, “Hey, what’s up guys!” at the beginning of each video? Seeing as capitalism is driven by competition, it is important that students learn how to create the next big thing before it happens. Someone starts a dangerous ducktape challenge? You start an even more dangerous flam-
mable underwear challenge. Someone vlogs their vacation? You vlog yourself stealing the US Constitution. This may seem like needless escalation, but you need the stupidity to stay entertaining and you need to stay entertaining to keep your subscribers and you need to keep your subscribers to keep your partnership and you need to keep your partnership because you are twenty-something years old with a minimal to nonexistent college education and you’ve never had a real job and this is all you know how to do.
Suggestion 5: How to Control Your Middle-Aged Mom on Facebook Reasoning with mothers can often times prove difficult, but you are a mature high school student now and it is time you lay down the law. Through a unique blend of psychology, technology, and language composition education, this course’s one of a kind curriculum will teach you how to respectfully tell your middle-aged mom what’s what. By the time this half-year class is over, you will have the newfound confidence and linguistic skills to tell Linda to stop stalking her kids’ friends’ profiles and stop stalking her friends’ kids’ profiles. You will be able to write a polished essay explaining to Judith why it is an invasion of personal space to comment on each and every one of your pictures. Her only friends on there are you, Dad, Aunt Susan, and the members of her wine Mom book club, and the rest of them sure aren’t going to do it. You will also have the technological knowhow to prevent Nancy from compulsively posting any more of those awful inspirational quotes. The only one they inspire is you… to unfriend her. If you ever want to enjoy social media again, you will take this class.
Other course suggestions include “How to Deal with Mobile Phone Separation Anxiety”, “Proper Texting Etiquette 201”, “Emoji Literacy” (still unsure if it counts as a an English or foreign Language class), “Congrats, You Got a 2360 on Your SATs Now Learn How to Code Yourself Some Friends”, and “Aesthetic Hunting”. Hopefully, Pascack Valley administrators will take these suggestions into consideration as they continue to innovate and educate into the future.
PV teacher recounts best student pranks
The Kids in the Hall By Madison Gallo and Kayla Barry Staff Editors
A golf ball, a turkey, and the GS Parkway
So many kids wandering the halls, so many classes they need to be in. Have you ever wondered what they were thinking? What are they doing in the halls? Let’s meet the hall wanderers of Pascack Valley. Q: What’s your name? A: Kevin.
Q: What’s your name? A: Laszlo.
Q: Grade? A: Freshman.
Q: Grade? A: Junior.
Q: Where are you supposed to be right now? A: Foods and Nutrition. Q: Do you have a favorite season? A: Yeah. Summer by a long shot. Q: What’s your favorite fast food place? A: Does Panera count? Q: What’s your order at Panera? A: Mac and cheese and sometimes a tuna sandwich. Q: Do you get the bread or the chips? A: Bread. Q: If you could name a new day of the week, what would it be? A: Funday! Q: Anything else you’d like to share? A: I’m a white girl on the inside.
By Karen Kosch PV History teacher
Q: Favorite color? A: Green. Q: Pepsi or Coke? A: Coke.
Q: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? A: A hamburger and fries. You got your protein and everything you need with that. Q: Who are you most like from Harry Potter? A: Draco, because I am more towards Slytherin. I am more badass. Q: Why do you like being American? A: I kind of don’t. We are more privileged, but some people take it for granted. I guess I don’t take it for granted. Q: Where will you be in 50 years? A: Probably dead.
Photo by Vanessa Rutigliano
Mrs. Karen Kosch, PV history teacher, shows off her Smoke Singal t-shirt. Students and faculty can purchase t-shirts by contacting Editor in Chief Vanessa Rutigliano (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Q: What would your last words be? A: See ya!
Laszlo Q: What’s your name? A: Sarah. Q: Grade? A: Junior. Q: Can you say a sentence in another language? A: Ugh fine. Mi chiamo Sarah. Q: Why are you in the hall right now? A: I just came from the blood drive, but they couldn’t find a vein, so now I am going back to math. Q: Can you tell us a secret? A: One time I broke my ankle tripping over myself, but I told everyone that I fell down the stairs. Q: McDonalds or Burger King?: A: I go to Wendy’s. Q: Could you tell us how your weekend went in 10 words or less? A: Yeah. Stressful.
Q: Any thoughts that just popped into your head? A: If I could maybe just not go to math, that would be awesome.
During a class around Thanksgiving a number of years ago, I shared a very sad but very real story of a teenager on Long Island who threw a frozen turkey from an overpass on a very busy highway. Although it may have drawn an immediate laugh from a class of freshmen, any smile or laugh quickly turned to a gasp when students heard that an elderly woman was killed and her middle-aged daughter was critically injured when the frozen turkey broke through their windshield while traveling under the overpass. After the students got over the shock of it and all agreed that this young man certainly did not think of the tragic result of his actions, we went on with the lesson. A young man in my class, Billy, sitting front row and center could not stop laughing; he was laughing so hard that his face was beet red and he had tears coming down his face. I tried to ignore his behavior until I couldn’t any longer. Finally I asked, “Billy, what is wrong?? How can you be laughing at what we just agreed was a horrible incident?” He tried very hard to control his laughter and to try to explain why he was laughing. Billy told us that the story of the turkey reminded him of what he and his friend Anthony used to do in his back yard.
Snowballs and the (seven?) geese By Karen Kosch PV History teacher
On any day when there was snow on the ground, we all could count on the Principal at the time, Dr. Sapienza, to make an announcement: “Anyone caught throwing snowballs will be suspended.” It never failed; any day it snowed or snow was in the forecast, we knew the announcement was coming. One day after a heavy snowfall, I entered my classroom downstairs, in the area that is now the media center. From the classroom was a door, leading out to the back of the school. When I walked into class, the door was open and one of my students, Melissa, was outside running after geese, beaning them with snowballs, one at a time. She was taking great pride in this and seemed very satisfied as I and other students entering the room began to watch her. When she came inside with a sinister look on her face, I asked, “Melissa, what were you doing??” She replied, “I hate geese, Kosch, I wanted to get them…” and then laughed a very sinister laugh. Without thinking,
I quickly said, “Well, Melissa, someone on the second floor or next door must have seen you because you just got called down to the office. You heard the announcement this morning, anyone who throws snowballs will be suspended.” With that her face froze and her sinister look and laugh disappeared. The students in my class knew there was no truth to this and I was making it up on the fly. Melissa asked, “What should I do?” I said, “You better go down to see the Principal.” With that the students in the class asked me what I was going to do so I quickly went to the phone and called Dr. Sapienza. Fortunately, she answered and I asked her if she was up for a little joke. She said “sure, what’ s up?” I told her what we witnessed with Melissa (the snowballs and the geese), but I made her promise that Melissa would not get in trouble. Dr. Sapienza assured me and said she would take care of it. Ok, I told her that Melissa was on her way to her office. My students in the class were hysterical and I told them to settle in, let’s go on with the
lesson and just see what happens. About 5-10 minutes later, Melissa walked back into class. She looked really upset, almost about to cry and she came in to gather her things because, as she said, she had gotten suspended! All of us could not believe it and then the Principal walked in, she paused while Mellissa was getting her bag and quietly said to me, “Ms. Kosch, do you have something you want to tell Melissa?” So I said, “GOTCHA!” With that Melissa was ready to throw her backpack at me. She yelled, “I can’t believe you, I hate you Kosch, I will get you back!!” As we all laughed she eventually calmed down she was able to smile. When she left class, she was relieved that she wasn’t suspended and sure not to throw any more snowballs at any geese or people. But, she did say once again, “I will get you back, Kosch!” Fast forward a few months and she did get me back. It was a Monday morning, on a day of a softball game. I was coaching at the time and we had a really tough game against Ramsey coming up that day. I got into school at
Of course, then I had to ask, “What did you do that reminded you of this story”? He said that he and his friend Anthony would hit golf balls with baseball bats from his yard towards the area of the Garden State Parkway. I then asked him, ”Billy, did you ever think that you could hurt someone? “ He said, “no, never.” By now, he was able to calm down a bit and the laughter seemed to subside as he thought about what he and Anthony had done in “fun”. Then I asked Billy, “Who did you say you did this with?“ He told me it was Anthony. “Anthony from my sixth period class?” “Yes!” Ok then, I had a plan. I told Billy and the third period class not to say a word but that in sixth period later that day I planned to tell the same current event story of the tragedy on Long Island but I was going to add a little to it. I was going to say that the story reminded me of one time when I was travelling north on the Garden State Parkway and OUT OF NOWHERE came a golf ball, crashed through my windshield, broke the glass, and caused me to careen off the road and land in a ditch. My car crashed and I needed to be taken away by ambulance. AND IF I EVER CAUGHT THE ONES WHO SENT THAT GOLF BALL INTO THE PARKWAY...
The class went wild. Billy said, “Yes, do it!” A few students from period three even came to period six to watch the reaction, saying that they had missed class and needed to make it up. I did what I said – I opened with the story of the turkey on Long Island and then went into my totally fictitious story. As I was speaking, Anthony, who sat in the back, could not lift his head. No one else in the room, except the students from period three, knew it was all fake. They felt so bad for me that I was injured in such a terrible golf ball accident and they too felt the intensity of … IF I EVER CAUGHT THE ONES WHO DID IT… Anthony was visibly beside himself, stuck with his head in his laptop and unwilling to lift it up the entire class. After the story, I went on with the lesson. Apparently while I was talking Anthony was emailing Billy: “Billy, Billy, I think we hit Ms. Kosch’s car with one of our golf balls!” Billy responded to the e-mail: “I know, she told our class the story of her accident too.” So class ended and Anthony left the room and we let him go most of the day believing that he and Billy were responsible for forcing me off the road with one of their launched golf balls. By evening, Anthony realized it was a joke. When he walked in to class the next day I simply said, “hello Billy” and he with his head down said “Hi Ms. Kosch.”
The Smoke Signal Staff 2015-2016 Editor in Chief: Vanessa Rutigliano Associate Editor in Chief: Brianna Ruback Managing Editor: Lauren Cohen Sports Editor: Claudia Ralph Photo Editor: Curstine Guevarra Social Media Coordinator: Ashley Lagrosa Adviser: Mr. Bill Rawson Principal: Mr. Tom DeMaio Website: pvsmokesignal.com Facebook: The Smoke Signal Twitter: @pvsmokesignal Instagram: @pvsmokesignal Snapchat: pvsmokesignal YouTube: Smoke Signal The Smoke Signal welcomes input from all members of the Pascack Valley High School community. Please contact Mr. Rawson for information (email@example.com). Since the Smoke Signal is the voice of the student body of Pascack Valley High School, opinions expressed in this newspaper do not necessarily reflect those of other Pascack Valley students, teachers, administrators or the Board of Education. Articles are often reproductions that first appeared online and were deemed accurate at the time of original publication.
7:30 or so and within a few minutes I received a call from Dr. Sapienza asking if I had a minute to come down to her office. When I got there, sitting in the office was Melissa, my second baseman, our pitcher, our shortstop, and the Dean
of Students, Mr. Heinz. They were all sitting in Dr. Sapienza’s office. I entered and Dr. Sapienza told me sit down and that she had something to tell me.
see SNOWBALLS on Page 4
SNOWBALLS from Page 3 She said that the girls seated in the office were caught at a party Saturday night. They weren’t actually caught at the party but Mr. Heinz saw them at 7-11 buying slurpies and he was sure that they had been at a party where there was drinking. They each had signed an
athletic policy at the beginning of the season, which said anyone caught would be suspended from their teams for two weeks. Dr. Sapienza said these three girls would have to be suspended. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and so I asked the girls to explain themselves. With that they began to tell me, “Kosch, yeah, we were at a party, it was great, you should have been there!”
They were so “light” about it all and I could not believe what I was hearing again so I started to get quite annoyed and as I was standing up out of total frustration, Dr. Sapienza quietly said, “Mellissa, do you have something to say to Ms. Kosch?” She said, “GOTCHA!“ Payback happened for sure, months later when I did not expect it at all.
Be sure to check out The Smoke Signal’s official website, pvsmokesignal.com, for more “Joke Signal” stories. Among these will be exclusive video content:
TEACHERS ROAST TEACHERS: Jerome Vs.
WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE HANDSOME:
Photo from Twitter
Two years ago, the senior class pulled a prank by riding scooters to school and using them in the school hallways before class.
The Bobberino Edition
PV students speak about their favorite pranks
Photo by Vanessa Rutigliano
PV history and psychology teacher Mr. Ryan Walter tried to access the Pascack Valley Regional District homepage one day and received this message on his laptop. Finding it ironic, he pressed print, laminated the page, and hung it up in his classroom. By Emily Bonner Staff Writer April Fools Day is the one day a year that people can guiltlessly trick their friends and family. The students at PV definitely enjoy this holiday by pulling their own pranks or being pranked themselves. Here are some favorite pranks from PV freshmen:
Ruby Comiskey: “One time in first grade someone said that a giant spider fell on my head, and I believed them.” Julia Fiskin: “My birthday is on April 2nd so last year my friends pretended to forget my birthday as a belated April fools joke.” Katherine Sandt: “It was probably 10 or 11 and it was around 3am, and my dad ran
into my room and said, ‘Come outside quick, there’s a UFO, there’s a UFO right above our house!’ So I jumped up and ran outside with my sisters and then he said ‘April Fools!’” Some pranks can be a little more sneaky, though. Students confessed their most creative pranks: Kassandra Mulholland: “You can put hair dye in some-
one’s shampoo to dye their hair.” Danielle King: “Change the alarm clocks to ‘past school time’ so they think they are late.” Olivia Catalano: “I switched all the cereals to different boxes so when someone pours it out, they are confused. When my family found the boxes, they thought that there
was some kind of manufacturing defect.” Whether they are being pranked or they are pranking someone else, everyone enjoys them, as shown by students here at PV. All here at The Smoke Signal advise you to watch your back today… you never know when or by who you are going to be fooled!
In the spirit of April Fool's day, this print edition of the Smoke Signal (dubbed "The Joke Signal") takes a humorous look at Pascack Valley...
Published on Apr 1, 2016
In the spirit of April Fool's day, this print edition of the Smoke Signal (dubbed "The Joke Signal") takes a humorous look at Pascack Valley...