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Journal By and for the students of Guilderland Central High School Guilderland Center, NY 12085

Volume 61 Issue 1

October 2009


Seniors capture the 2009 Powder Puff title Mike Marcantonio Powder Puff 2009 turned out to be a wild and frantic night as the Seniors captured the win over the Juniors, 38 to 34. “It was a good game for the viewers,” said Junior Erin Mossop after the game. “There was a lot of energy from both teams, which helped to produce a fabulous game.” The Seniors started off strong with a touchdown by Kim Coonan and a twopoint conversion by Marissa Page, with a little more than ten minutes left in the first half. The Juniors responded quickly with a touchdown by Carleen Farruggia and a two-point conversion by Erin Mossop, with 9:15 left on the clock, tying the score at eight. “The game is [getting] ferocious,” said Senior Mary Kate Nagy after the score was tied. Unfortunately, the game was a little too ferocious. Senior Jenn Casey was injured midway through the first half and was taken to the hospital with a concussion and a knee-related injury. “Go Jenn Casey!” Nagy said at the end of the game on behalf of her teammate. “I am proud to have Jenn on my team, and she showed a lot courage in that situation.”



Jenna Crupi (top left), Rebecca Fitzgerald (right), and a group shot of the Juniors (bottom left).

Photos by Mike Marcantonio / The Journal

Kat Keegan It could have quite possibly been the most important day of the entire year September 21, 2009, when our current President, Barrack Obama made his first debut visit in Troy, NY. President Obama was scheduled to tour the latest technology classroom and then deliver a speech to a small audience at Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) at 11:30 A.M. , which was to be primarily focused on the economy, but more importantly; why our capital region area deserves a considerable amount of recognition. It was the first time in years that a United States President has come to the Capital Region. In fact, it has been fifteen years, when Clinton visited the University of Albany. So as can be imagined; it was a thrilling day for the people of New York State. But it was an even more exciting day for one of Guilderland’s former students, Mckenzie Bourque, a freshman student at HVCC. Bourque was chosen via a lottery system to attend Obama’s speech and was

fortunate to sit within close proximity to him during his presentation. She sat in complete awe as President Obama’s words poured into her ears. “It was completely and utterly surreal” Bourque began; “I still can’t believe it.” Bourque, 18, applied to several four year colleges, yet chose Hudson Valley Community College. “I excelled throughout high school, and got into almost every school I applied to” Bourque said. “But Hudson Valley really has a lot to offer.” Bourque has also enrolled in the Honors Program at Hudson Valley and everyday she says she feels “challenged” by the courses she’s taking. According to Bourque, a theme of Obama’s speech addressed education and its vitality to a growing and recovering economy. “The college is truly serving its community” Bourque said. “We need an affordable and strong education to recover and move forward in this economy.” Also in attendance at Obama’s eco-

nomic speech were many local officials and lawmakers. One of them was New York State Senator, Roy J. McDonald. McDonald is a known republican in the political world. However when asked; “Where you at the speech as a Republican?” McDonald firmly answered: “No.” He then added; “I was there as an American.” Views seemed to be set aside for Obama’s visit to the Capital Region (even Governor David Paterson and President Obama seemed exchanged handshakes prior to the speech and little tension was observed).



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Small club, large appetite Youth Ending Hunger Devon Gingrich and Libby Gioia Most students are well aware of the clubs that do a lot with in the school. The “classic” clubs include; Key Club, SADD, and even The Journal, which make noise through out the school, telling people what they’re about. Some clubs, such as Youth Ending Hunger, don’t do as much work with in the school, so less people may know about it. Mr. Gnirrep, the club’s advisor, Kaydee Bickmore, the president, and K.T. Bierman, the vice president, run the meetings, which occur about every two weeks, on a Tuesday, in room 601. This is the club’s 20th anniversary and when asked if there is anything special planned, Mr. Gnirrep replied, “There isn’t anything special planned really, just hope that the club will continue doing well in years to come.” He’s always cared deeply about the club and helping others through it. Jen Rotermund started the club 20 years ago and Mr. Gnirrep has been the advisor since it began. The main goals of the club have been to educate the public and students about people in the world less fortunate than most in Guilderland, participate in financial and fundraising events to help those less fortunate, and to have a more hands-on approach with helping the community. The club is very hands-on already, in the way that the club members go to soup kitchens, food banks, and have food drives. Youth Ending Hunger has accomplished a lot over the twenty years that it has existed. Mr. Gnirrep believes that the spirit of wanting to help people has been in kids for the past twenty years and is the main reason why the club has been so successful in the past. They’re a relatively small group, averaging out about 12 kids each meeting, and don’t seek much attention but by taking the chance given to them to help make the world a better place, they’ve done just that. Kaydee Bickmore, is the president of the club and K.T. Bierman is the vice president, and newly appointed, Joana Lule, is the secretary and Haejin Hwang is the new treasurer. These four, all juniors, have continued to carry on with the trend of leadership and wanting to help others which has helped the club prosper. Christine Ward, who was the president for three years, revived the club and helped to make it what it is today. The goals have the club have been the same since the start, to help people. Raising awareness is one of the ways they try to help out in the community. A few people from the club go around to different advisories to inform students about others who are hungry through out the world. They then allow the students to participate in an activity called, “Food For Thought,” which consists of the room being broken up into different sections; poor, middle class and wealthy, and having the students be divided up into those groups. This activity is used to show how there are much more people below the poverty line than above it.

When the club began they really focused on fundraising. Now, they’re trying to be even more hands-on than they already are and are going to try to accomplish as much as they can with in the school year, “For a small group, we’ve accomplished a lot,” Gnirrep states. He really believes in the power of this club and believes that they are all great kids who just love helping people. The club meets about every two weeks on Tuesdays in room 601 and is always welcoming new members. The world can always be made happier by students, staff, and others, who want to help out. Every little thing counts and if this small club has made such a difference already in the community, just think about how big an impact it could make if more people joined and the club got bigger.

Graphic courtesy of The Journal

October 2009


The legacy of 2009

Sohee Rho

Like every year we all buzz back to school with stories to share and memories to reminisce, but this past summer seemed particularly eventful. We as a nation witnessed the passing of Pop star Michael Jackson, actress Farrah Fawcett, spokesperson Oscar Mays, and Senator Edward Kennedy, among many other deaths. Much of the news during those hot, humid days was filled with headlines noting their lives filled with achievements and much glory. Each was uniquely important and their mark on history varied, but it’s quite true that they are all legendary. The news of those misfortunes shook me up completely with surprise. As I shockingly absorbed the news, I couldn’t help but realize the frightening uncer-

tainty of life. I spent the next several minutes on my couch fixating on the unpredictable nature of life, but then realized that was not the underlying problem. I was more scared of the fact that I would be forgotten entirely following my own death because really, what have I done? I couldn’t think of a single thing that I had done to better this world, let alone the Guilderland community. It was hard to admit my deeds throughout all these years were so microscopic and even meaningless. I mean I was just another person using up the precious supply of oxygen, going about my day thoughtlessly. Then I knew, while the fate of my future was out my power of control, I could do anything in the present.

The worldly events of this summer really shook me up and set me down in a whole new path. I see now that humans are born everyday to be the building blocks for something better and we cannot do it alone. So, I ask our student body of Guilderland High School to really look inside and see what kind of a legend each of you would like to leave on this school, community and eventually, the world. Yes, we are all busy and very much involved in our own private lives, but remember we have not advanced this far out of selfishness. As President John F. Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Really, ask yourself.

Please visit the new Journal website at:

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2008-2009 Staff The Journal is published by and for the students of Guilderland High School and is the school’s official student newspaper. We publish accounts of, and perspectives on, people, issues, and events that affect members of the school as well as the community. Although initialed by the writer, editorials reflect the majority opinion of the editorial staff. Reviews, columns, commentaries, and letters to the editor, however, represent the view of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the staff. Although we try not to solicit advertisements from competing businesses in a given issue, we cannot guarantee that a conflict involving advertising will not arise. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of their respective advertisements. We are not responsible for printing and/or typographical errors that may occur in a given advertisement. We reserve the right not to print a given advertisement. Also, we cannot assure that columns, editorials, news, reviews or feature stories will not cover issues or events relating to any advertiser in this newspaper. We welcome signed letters from our readers. To be printed, letters must be of a reasonable length and contain neither libelous, slanderous, nor profane material. We reserve the right to reject any letter received. Unless otherwise noted by the editor-in-chief or the managing editor, all accepted letters will be printed in the letters to the editor section. We reserve the right to edit for length, grammar and content.

Mail: The Journal c/o Guilderland High School Guilderland Center, NY 12085 Phone: (518) 861-8591 Ask for The Journal Email:

-ManagementEditor-in-Chief Sohee Rho Associate Editor Lucia Qian Associate Editor Becky Glazier Managing Editor Beatrice Malsky Courtesy of Journal

-ContentHallways Editor Mike Marcantonio Fine Arts Editor Greg Barber Pop Arts Editor Tony Pitkin Around Town Editor Beatrice Malsky Jen Crowley Opinions Editor Meghan Bodo Sports Editors Casey Gerety Brendon Phillips Copyeditors Kyungduk Rho Noah Rubin Ved Tanavde -DesignPhotography Editor Abby Levy Graphics Editor Kaydee Bickmore -Business-

Business Manager Kenny Satterlee Advertising and Distribution John Ciccerelli Libby Gioia Faculty Advisor Christopher Mazura Building Principal Brian McCann Superintendent of Schools John McGuire

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October 2009



Senior shirt causes controversy at GHS

Libby Gioia

If you go to Guilderland High School, you’ve heard about the seniors’ class shirts that were worn on the first day of school. These shirts, which seemed extremely clever to the eye of a student, were thought of as “inappropriate” by administrators. Students thought of the shirt as “harmless” because it didn’t actually refer directly to alcohol, but were asked to turn their shirts inside out or cover part of the symbol, so that the symbols would not show. “The seniors helped to prevent this from turning into a bad situation,” said building principal, Brian McCann. “They were very willing to turn their shirts inside out or cover up part of the symbol.” When asked why the shirts could not even be worn for the rest of the day, he replied, “The dress code is so strictly en-

forced because if someone is wearing something that may not be offensive to them, it could be offensive to others, and people must have respect for others so they can have a pleasant learning environment.” The seniors decided to go along with the requests of the administration. Senior Lauren Ferhevari was not pleased with the fact that they had to turn their shirts inside out or cover part of the picture. “I think it was ridiculous because no where on the shirt did it actually say or spell out Keystone. I don’t think the shirts were a distraction to our learning environ-

Photo by Abby Levy / The Journal

ment, but the announcement that interrupted class was.” Assistant Principal Bailey admitted with a smile, “Of course I thought it was clever. Inappropriate, but clever.” Senior, Karen Lima, thought, “ We a l l thought it was harmless because ‘key’ and ‘stone’ weren’t actually written out.” But even allowing the seniors to wear the shirts for the day was breaking the dress code and was not going to be tolerated, “Seniors can be seniors at home, or off of school grounds and can wear the shirts there, just not in school,” Bailey stated. Students were asked to turn their

shirts inside out or cover up part of the picture once the message made by the pictures on the shirts was figured out. If the Seniors had not, the normal punishment for breaking the dress code would be given, by either asking them to go to in-school or go home. McCann was grateful for the seniors’ cooperation, “they prevented it from becoming a situation. I was pleased with their maturity level that they showed.” The administration thought that the class shirts are a great idea, as long as they’re appropriate. They think that any expression of class and/or school spirit is a great idea, as long as no lines are crossed. The Senior Keystone shirt that was banned on the second day of school by the administration (left and right).

Mrs. McManus returns to GHS

Emily Drooby

Ann Marie McManus has returned to Guilderland High School for the 2009/ 2010 calendar year. Last fall McManus and former colleague, Matthew Nelligan, were both transferred to the middle school following a heated debate that received statewide publicity. Mrs. McManus was devastated to be torn away from the bonds that she had created at the high school with the people she had grown to love. Though the transfer was difficult, she always maintained a positive attitude. “Although I didn’t have a choice in the matter, I could choose how to use that experience to grow,” McManus claimed. When asked about the transfer, build-

ing principal, Brian McCann, said that teachers can be switched at any given time. “The final decision of the move down to the middle school came from the school board,” he explained, but Mr. McCann authorized Mrs. McManus’s transfer back to the high school. There are many theories as to why Mrs. McManus was moved back up to the high school. According to Mr. McCann, earlier this year former middle school teacher Mrs. Dougherty asked to be transferred back to the middle school after teaching for one year at GHS. At the same time Mrs. McManus filled a request to be moved back to the high school.

Photos by Abby Levy / The Journal

Mrs. McManus helps students with their homework (left), poses for the camera (middle), and looks for a paper for one of her history classes (right).

Mrs. MacManus said she admits to speaking with administrators throughout the year about switching back up to the high school. “It feels like I am back home and I never left,” said Mrs. McManus. It seems that the simple truth was that the timing worked out perfectly.

Even though Mrs. McManus is back at GHS, the switch did cause her to miss out on many things. She used to be the advisor for the club, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and the co-advisor for the Class of 2010. Since the switch back she is no longer the advisor of SADD, but she has remained co-advisor of the Class of 2010, along with Mr. Corona. “I missed out on you

guys growing up; I missed out on those experiences,” said McManus in reference to being the Class of 2010 co-advisor. Even though she is no longer the advisor for SADD, Mrs. McManus has taken up a new extracurricular. After returning to the high school, she has begun job shadowing Mr. McCann as the building principal. “Since coming back and working with her as an administrative intern, she has brought a lot of enthusiasm and support,” said Mr. McCann. Mrs. McManus couldn’t be happier to back at the high school. She said everyone has been so welcoming.

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October 2009


Seniors win close game 38-34 Continued from page 1

The Seniors didn’t waste anytime getting down to the end of the field. Senior Jenna Crupi scored the next touchdown for the Seniors with 8:30 left in the half. It took a little while for the Juniors to get back into the action, but with five minutes to go in the first half, Liz Tapler threw a long pass to Katie Wood, who caught it in the end zone tying the score at 14. “Juniors are dominating!” exclaimed Junior, Dede Martin just before the end of the first half. Both sides erupted after halftime, scoring touchdowns, one after another. Dallas Colavito made her way to the end zone to make the score 22 to 20, with 13:27 left in the game, Seniors up. The Seniors continued to remain ahead for the rest of the game and clutched their final touchdown, by Kim Coonan, and a two-point conversion, by Jenna Crupi, to make the score 38 to 28. The Juniors replied with a touchdown to make the score 38 to 34, but sadly time was up and the game concluded. “It was a heck of a game,” the Junior co-captain, Nicole Lafreniere, said. “It couldn’t have been closer.” But others disagreed. “Juniors played well, but not well enough,” said Senior Brittney Ginsburg. “Four points!” shouted Junior Libby Gioia. “They could have lost.” “I think I can say on behalf of both classes, that we had a lot of fun,” Senior Rebecca Fitzgerald said. “Hopefully this year’s outcome will not affect future decisions about having the powder puff game.” “This was exciting because we’ve been waiting for this for years,” said Kyra Malamood at the end of the game.

Senior Stickers

Amber Hedjazi

Photos by Mike Marcantonio / The Journal

Construction brings new things to GHS Mike Marcantonio Since April of 2009, Guilderland High School has been under total and complete construction. The objective from the beginning was to create a whole new wing, intended for the foreign language classrooms, so that the district offices could make their way to the high school. According to assistant principle, Brian Bailey, the district offices weren’t suiting the needs for the district; they were becoming less usable, and that’s why the change was necessary. “The district goes through growing and shrinking phases,” claimed Bailey. “Right now, we’re in a growing phase.” In addition to receiving a new wing, GHS added new roofing, which Mr. Bailey said was much needed. The Fo-

cus program has a new and improved location upstairs in the 700 wing. The technology rooms were also remodeled, which will help benefit their technology program, Project Lead the Way, which is a not-for-profit organization that promotes pre-engineering courses for middle and high school students. There are two phases for the construction at GHS. Phase 1 is about halfway done. “Phase 1 is what’s happening now – new technology rooms, new roofs, new focus rooms and the new classrooms being built,” said building principle, Brian McCann Phase 1 is estimated to be done in January of 2010. Phase 2 will begin shortly after, when the district offices

make their way to the high school. The overall completion to construction is planned to be in the beginning of September 2010. “The construction has put a lot of stress on teachers, administrators, custodians and even students”, said Mr. McCann. “The custodian staff has done a tremendous job at minimizing the disturbance.” Mr. McCann wants everyone to hang in there while all the construction comes together. The Sano-Rubin sign on the trailer, which is located outside of GHS, right before the back parking lot (top right) and the new wing, which is in the process of being built for new classrooms (right and bottom left). Photos by Abby Levy/The Journal

Every year on the first day of school, it is a tradition at Guilderland High School for the senior girls to “sticker” the incoming freshmen. Usually the stickers have quirky quotes about the Seniors or something related to the theme the girls dressed as, but every year the stickers seem to be getting more and more provocative, leading to nothing but trouble. “Sexual innuendos” and “wildly inappropriate” are the words assistant principle Aaron Sicotte used to describe the stickers this year. “Many stickers singled out particular students, which can be considered a form of hazing,” he said. Many juniors are now wondering if the sticker tradition will be banned next year, or if there will be repercussions for any lewd stickers. “I don’t think it’s fair to ban the stickers because the administration is not giving the underclassmen a chance to prove that they will not make the stickers as racy,” said junior, Jienaia Harvey. “It’s giving us no credibility.” Mr. Sicotte said that it solely isn’t his decision, but he anticipates that the stickers will not be banned. To many students and teachers, they seemed very offensive and even a form of bullying. “Although many of the stickers were acceptable and funny, I think some of the seniors did take it a little too far,” said junior Megan Malamood. “Some of the stickers had very inappropriate messages on them that were offensive to some people and were unfit for school.” Senior, Annalisa Richardson, who participated in the “stickering” this year said, “Some people really did get inappropriate with them, but it’s tradition, and every year the seniors do it. The administration shouldn’t have made everyone take all of the stickers off, only the bad ones.” Richardson believes that the seniors next year should not be penalized for this year’s seniors’ mistakes. “The seniors next year shouldn’t be punished for our mistakes, but they should learn from this experience.”

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Around Town How thin will our newspapers get?

October 2009

Sohee Rho

Around this time last year, our nation was in a state of panic when the stock market plummeted. Now, about twelve months later, we are slowly creeping out of this unfortunate economic state as President Obama and his administration continue to enforce new regulations. While these new pieces of legislation have shown signs of improvement, the toll of this economic turmoil has made its mark on our society and our lifestyles. Among the numerous cutbacks, the newspaper industry has also been changed by this economic phenomenon. Newspaper businesses across the nation have been making concessions during this past year and the Times Union has been a part of this changing wave. Tena Tyler, Senior Editor of News and Information Services Department, and Reader Representative of the Times Union, reported that there have been fifteen full-time and three part-time worker layoffs in these last several months. These job losses have been from the advertising and circulation departments as well as from inside the news room. She continued to state that other tactics were used to help out the corporation. “We did raise the news stand price to 75 cents per issue from the previous rate of 50 cents,” said Tyler. This increase in

price just another piece of the puzzle to help the Times Union. It was also decided to to create thinner issues for Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. “This change took place before January. We chose to replace the Feature Section with the Unwind segment, which is included weekly in the Sunday issue,” said Tyler. This new approach was designed to save money on newsprint, which is the second largest expense for the Times Union, through publishing less pages and at the same time, this tactic does not completely eliminate the content of the previously distinguished Feature Section. Those articles are placed into a larger section with a variety of different stories, including information like travel. This change, among the other notable adjustments, has been relatively effective for the business of the Times Union. As the format of the issues were “revamped”, the content of articles were also very much affected by the recession. “As soon as the reality of the recession was realized, it [the recession] absolutely influenced our newspaper. The editors got together with the business editors to cover some element of the status of our economy. We pitched the ‘Cost of Living’ series, which looked at people and businesses. It was our first launch of a

series concerning the recession. Then we published the ‘Tales from the Downside’, which looked at specific people and their personal stories during this time of need,” said Tyler. Extensive of attention to the stock market and national economic issues have been an important focus for the editors. Fortunately, there is a silver lining. “The Audit Bureau of Circulation in April of this year reported a net audience of print and online editions of the Times Union increase by 8.7%. This increase translates into the seventh biggest growth, in total for Internet and paper-print readership, in the country,” said Tyler. The Times Union is still thriving and continues to be the main source of new literature, both online and in print, in the Capital Region of New York. While the Times Union and other newspaper corporations seem to weather the storm, the future, however, looks uncertain for the newspaper business. Changes caused by the turn in the economy has indeed created a media world quite different from the past. “We [the media] don’t know what we will look like in the future,” said Tyler. But right now, a thinner Times Union seems to be getting the job done during this volatile economic state.

Graphic Courtesy of Dana McLauglin/The Journal

Price Chopper shoppers benefit from new promotion Kat Keegan

What could possibly be better than cutting your grocery bill and your gas bill all at once? If you believe the answer is “nothing could possibly be better!” then let me clue you in on Price Chopper’s “kill two birds with one stone” promotion, a.k.a. The Price Chopper Fuel Advantage Program. As of early June 2009, local Price Chopper supermarkets have opened up a new promotion to their beloved “chopper shoppers”, giving them not only an opportunity to save money on everyday grocery items, but also on gasoline. Price Chopper teamed up with Sunoco gas company in a mutual business relationship where both companies benefit from a considerably large increase in sales. It is predicted that both companies willgain over 10% in sales over this coming year. To their delight, not only revenue has increased, but also the popularity of both companies. Sunoco colors were presented boldly in the front of Price Chopper’s Supermarket in Guilderland’s 20 mall store this past June. An information table was stationed directly at the entrance of the store. Next to it were red, blue, and yellow balloons that were dangling from life-size posters of gas pumps. Streamers hung from the ceiling and Price Chopper associates sported red and blue t-shirts. This was the start of big business for Price Chopper. From June 2009, the fuel advantage promotion has been the talk of the town. The idea that you can buy your groceries the way you normally would, and then also have the opportunity to get discounts on gas, is incredibly appealing to many people. Those who had never shopped at Price Chopper now stop by to purchase a few items

Graphic by Kat Keegan/The Journal

that are on sale, just so they can get gas credit. Now, the question that everyone must be wondering is: how does the promotion work? Well, the answer is simple: shop at any Price Chopper store for any items you need, whether it’s just a simple snack, a full meal, or an entire grocery shop; then, at the checkout, see how much you have spent. If you reached at least $50, you automatically get a ten cent discount off every gallon of gas on your next fill-up. If you did not spend the $50, the cost of your bill will be used as credit towards the ten cent discount for the next time you shop at participating Price Chopper Supermarkets. Thus, for every $50 you spend at Price Chopper, you will get ten cents off every gallon of gasoline at Sunoco. In order to redeem your savings at Sunoco gast stations, you must have an advantage card (Price Chopper’s store savings card). The best way to obtain an advantage card would be to either go to customer service in the store and fill out a “Advantage Card Application Form” or go online at and fill in your information under the Advantage Card section. The fastest and easiest way would be the online method. It’s much quicker and your card will be delivered by mail in less than one week. So let the competition continue! How much can you save on gas by shopping at Price Chopper? Some have already gotten over three dollars off for every gallon of gas! Unfortunately, they must pay at least ten cents for every gallon of gas and can only fill-up a maximum of twenty gallons with their credit. This means, you cannot get your gas for free, but you can come very close!

June 2008 October 2009

Obama Speaks Continued from page 1 Instead, many students, lawmakers, and officials just listened to his praising words regarding the Capital Region’s astounding success thus far in taking strides towards improving the economy. Obama also recognized a small group of students as he toured several classrooms and tech labs with Jill Biden (Vice President Joseph Biden’s wife). Jill Biden, a teacher herself at community college in Delaware took particular interest in Hudson Valley Community College. She along with the president shook the hands of students and conveyed their appreciation for their efforts in advancing not only themselves, but for the betterment of our society. The president’s speech itself was comparative to those he’s given in the past in terms of length and power. However, to those of Hudson Valley and the Capital Region area; this speech was much more personal. To a small audience filled with eager ears and hopeful hearts, Obama concluded his speech with this final note; “This generation has an unparalleled opportunity that we are called upon to seize. That is what you are doing at Hudson Valley Community College. And that is what we will do as a nation.”

Around Town

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Swine flu hysteria sheds fear over many John Keegan

“There is too much hysteria, there hasn’t been that much danger,” said Ron Paul, Republican from Texas. On April 29th, 2009 the virus, H1N1, also known as Swine Flu crossed borders from Mexico to the United States and was considered an “epidemic.” The conditions in Mexico like dirty crowded streets, make it easier for Swine Flu to spread. The United States has health care for our citizens and other proper pre-cautions for the Swine Flu. Young children and senior citizens are more likely to get Swine Flu, yet the virus is scaring people all over America. People all over the United States are crowding hospitals and doctor’s offices to get scanned for the disease. This is taking the doctor’s attention away from those who need it more, like people who have more serious diseases. “There are other diseases to worry about like malaria that’s killing thousands,” says CNN.

Some colleges, like Brown, are trying to protect against the Swine flu by placing hand sanitizers all over their campus. College students have a greater risk of getting Swine Flu than children who attend elementary school. “At least 17 US colleges had hundreds of students sick with swine flu the first few weeks of school,” All Children’s reports. Colleges recommend covering your mouth when you cough, washing your hands, and using hand sanitizer whenever possible. Many schools are closing from probable cases of Swine Flu. Even GHS students got a letter last spring talking about how they might shut down school if there is an outbreak of Swine Flu at our school. There are cases of flu and other colds that spread through our school like wild fire every flu season. “Every year, the seasonal flu kills around 36,000 to 40,000 Americans and

hospitalizes around 200, 000,” said Alyssa Ivanson in her article Seasonal Flu vs. H1N1. “Right now there are around 100 cases of H1N1 in 11 states and there are several reported deaths,” Ivanson adds. To prevent yourself from catching Swine Flu, take the same precautions normally taken during the Flu Season. One of the only reasons Swine Flu is considered an epidemic is because we don’t know what to expect from this new disease. Take all necessary precautions because Swine Flu is new to the United States and we are not immune to it. I‘m more scared of my sisters declawed cat scratching me than getting then getting the Swine Flu this year though.

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October 2009

Fine Arts

In Mainz, Germany, a different kind of music program What if at a Guilderland school concert intermission (if our school concerts had intermissions, that is) you walked out into the school courtyard to the sight of the Guilderland Music Parents selling fresh bread, large platters of meat, and a variety of cheeses? At first, you might be captivated. But after a moment, you would be revolted. You take your eyes off of the cheese and you notice that most everyone in the courtyard is holding a cup of either wine or beer, and there is a stand where people are purchasing the alcohol. Eveywhere, the students are drinking and no one seems to be concerned at all. What would happen next if this were a real scene at Guilderland High School? Parents would rise up together against the school board, clamoring about a loss of morality and destructive behavior at school. There would be extensive lawsuits and doubly extensive news coverage. This is not so in Germany. Seeing this exact scene during the Pause (intermission) at the Frauenlob Gymnasium (advanced high school) in Mainz, Germany, I too was shocked. But after realizing where I was, it did not seem so odd. Germans, and Europeans in general, are much more culturally and politically liberal about alcohol. While this scene was clearly the most blatant difference I saw in the German music program, it was certainly not the only one. With a history that includes Beethoven, Strauss, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Bach, and other legendary composers, it would be expected that Germans take their classical music very seriously, which is certainly true. Formal classical music concerts receive much more advertisement in Germany and most who I talked to knew of famous operas such as Wagner’s Ring Cycle (another glaring contrast to the United States). But the school concert did not give any indication of this. Walking into the concert hall, I expected to see an orchestra or a wind band, just as in the United States. Instead there was a strangely put together hodgepodge of a few violins, some cellos, trombones, trumpets, horns, clarinets, saxophones, and flutes. It was neither an orchestra nor a wind band. Not quite knowing what to make of it, I looked back and forth many times thinking I had seen incorrectly, but the group was indeed as oddly constructed as I thought, with string instruments sitting right next to saxophones. Their choice of repertoire was equally peculiar from my

perspective. Strangely enough, one of the pieces chosen was “The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music”. Even more curious was the fact that none of the Germans had ever heard of the “The Sound of Music”. All were surprised and amused after I told them that the portrayal of Germans in that musical, complete with Lederhosen, is completely “stereotypisch”. The group even went on to play “God Bless America”, which really seemed to be a parody of American nationalism for many of the musicians. The whole concert, not just the repertoire, seemed informal. All the musicians dressed in jeans and t-shirts with the logos of their musical groups. Audience members clapped whenever they felt compelled, and if the clapping synchronized at the end of a piece, it was a sign that the audience was demanding an encore. Although the group director planned for this with additional pieces, he still was not quite prepared, as the audience did not stop at one or two encores. By the fourth repeat in a row, “Copa Cabana” was a bit obnoxious. This is not to say that the musicians lacked talent. The group had a huge sound of excellent quality, reminiscent of “Big Bands” in the United States. Despite

appearances, I soon found that the music department was not all about jazz and popular music. The Frauenlob Gymnasium certainly offers education in classical music. Though I did not see it, the school has a chamber orchestra in addition to its “band” that plays more traditional repertoire. In addition, students are offered courses in which they can study this traditional repertoire. I visited a class in which students were just completing a yearlong study of classical music from the Baroque to the present, having learned about the major characteristics and composers of each period. Students who wish to do so can even focus on music at school. Unlike in the United States, students at a German Gymnasium choose a few focus subjects (music being a popular one) known as Leistungsfächer, in which they would like to receive higher-level instruction that would normally be reserved for the university. Teachers, like students, have focus subjects, but unlike American teachers must teach two subjects. This means that they have to complete three courses of study at the university: two subjects and education. Seeing the band director lecture about restriction enzymes and genetic engineering in a classroom the next day was nearly as shocking as the concert intermission. After years of studying with the Guilderland Music Department, a German school concert looked very bizarre. Even so, what I saw of German music education seems provide quality instruction that is only diversified by other genres being taught and practiced alongside classical music.

Above and Right : Scenes from the Frauenlob Gymnasium, Mainz, Germany Photo Courtesy Noah Rubin/The Journal

New York City Ballet returns to SPAC with shortened program Gregory Barber July 8th, 2009 marked the opening of the 44th season of the New York City Ballet at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. The Ballet, a long-time tradition and crowd favorite, shortened its stay at SPAC this year to two weeks instead of the usual three because of the current economic state. Twenty ballets, twelve of which were choreographed by company founder George Balanchine, were crammed into

Photo courtesy

the two weeks. The impressive line up included a ballet of special importance to SPAC history. “Coppélia”, a ballet especially composed for and commissioned by SPAC that had its world debut there in 1974, returned to the theatre. The showing of a matinee of the performance, which was a full ballet, attracted more than 4,626 attendees, according to the Times Union. This was the largest crowd attracted to a single ballet in four years.

Although the overall attendance to this season’s ballet was lower than that of last years, the average attendance to each ballet actually increased this season; this was due to the shorter length of the company’s stay at SPAC. Siena College paired with SPAC in offering a special incentive to promote the local economy and boost ticket sales. Couples sitting in the lawn section of the venue were offered a complimentary glass of wine if they attended the show on July 9th. This was part of a Times Union effort called “Date Night Thursdays”. Other incentives were offered at various showing of the ballets. One such incentive was a “Girls Night Out” at the ballet, which featured free chocolate, dance workshops for young girls and free massages among various other things. Throughout the Ballet’s stay at SPAC, there were other goodies to be had as well, such as free Stewarts ice cream on a July evening. Another aspect that made this year’s NYC Ballet performances especially historical was the last performance of

principal dancer Darci Kistler. Kistler is one of the final dancers of the Balanchine era, which made celebrating her last performances bittersweet. She danced as the striptease girl in the performance of “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue”, a comic ballet composed by Balanchine as her final performance at SPAC.

Upcoming Events: 11/19

Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Chamber Strings, Chamber Choir, Jazz Ensemble. 7:30 p.m.


Concert Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Stage Band, Select Tones, SingingDutchmen. 7:30 p.m.


Masterworks Concert. 7:30 p.m.

October 2009

Fine Arts

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Shaham,Tanglewood celebrate Mendelssohn’s 200th Kyungduk Rho On the evening of August 22, I stretched out comfortably in my green lawn chair, as the sunset cast its last, deep red rays over the Berkshires. The night was set for an All- Mendelssohn program, and many people in the audience shared a glass of red wine as they casually talked over their dinners. Having just completed the Mendelssohn Violin concerto, I anxiously waited for conductor Kurt Masur to lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra into the Koussevitsky Music Shed to tune to the principal oboist’s commanding concert A. The whole ambience of the concert seemed so closely familiar to the orchestra that I was a part of at home. Listening to concert as a more mature musician, I felt that I could experience different aspects of the music that I never understood before, especially since I was so familiar to the solo work. Promptly at 8:30, the orPhoto Courtesy chestra began

its array of pieces with The Hebrides (Fingal’s Cave) Overture. Each musician contributed to the colorful blend of delicate harmonies that allowed the main theme of the piece to be coherently passed around from section to section. Although the overture was played to near perfection, it was merely short of the overwhelming feeling that came over the audience when the soloist Gil Shaham set foot on stage. The Allegro molto appassionato quickly began with a hushed introduction from the orchestra immediately followed by the solo violin. His warm intonation brightly filled the shed within in the first few moments, but soon after, I could feel as though his passion and energy into his performance quickly dissipated. Although there wasn’t a seemingly distracted expression on his face, I could feel that the soloist was very uncomfortable on stage, almost like a rookie pitcher starting his first game. In between the lyrical orchestral passages, the soloist was constantly tuning his instrument. Even so, I tried to pay close attention to all the tiny details and expressions that he included himself as a distinct artist. The cadenza built up Shaham’s speed through rhythmic shifts from ricochet sixteenth notes to quaver-triplets and finally the piece recapitulated to the opening melody, which was now instead played by the orchestra. After smoothly leading to the Presto ending of the first movement, the concerto rolled straight through to the second movement. The Andante, which is conventionally played very relaxed and held back, was awfully rushed by Shaham’s tense vibratos that almost caused him to miss several high pitches on his shifts. After awkwardly finish-

Cellphones, gossip, and Shostakovich Gregory Barber

Amidst a number of, shall we say, “higher” qualities, for high school students, the cello is simply

a fabulous instrument for nothing more than its convenience. When texting. Observations, I might add, not from personal experience, the cello benefits from a larger working space than a violin, and a particular convenience in position when compared to the other large instruments in the orchestra. Yes, a “high school” habit as I said before, texting though has forged its way into unexpected places. And it’s not alone when it comes to annoying impulses. Earlier this summer, I, along with some friends, was given tickets to a dress rehearsal of the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. It all felt oddly stodgy going in, joining a pool of white hair clustered around a stage populated by a comparatively young crowd of casually dressed musicians. They were certainly not there to “perform.” Many onstage seemed to give the audience rather disdainful looks from time to time; Maestro Dutoit even hushed the audience when they failed to quiet between works. He should probably have looked into his own ensemble when, however, when looking for potentially rude behavior. Like a little girl at youth orchestra rehearsal, one of his revered cellists was texting behind her cello in the middle of the Shostakovich 5th Symphony. Behind her, another was practically falling out of her chair laughing, having just leaned far out of her chair to whisper in the ear of the man sitting behind her, feet dangling in the air. Far across the orchestra, at least two violinists appeared to be taking a moment’s nap.

Needless to say, our texting cellist, Gloria de Pasquale, in the orchestra now for thirty-two years, has probably played the Shostakovich 5 just a couple of times in the past. Our napping violinists, too, had had a long night the day before as well. Yo-yo Ma can be a rather demanding soloist to deal with I’m sure. Still though, a rather unexpected show put on by world-class musicians in a worldclass orchestra. Sitting at the front of the cello section, Hae-Ye Ni, meanwhile, appears the quintessential hard-nosed principal player. Always intense, and always on top of everything, she’s probably screaming at her section in private rehearsals, despite being half their age. Similar are the wind player. They, i t seemed, were afraid to even so much as glance at each other. Looking at “the Orchestra,” I’d say the youth orchestra conductors of America are just setting their standards a bit too high. I mean, what do you want us to model after, the Berlin Philharmonic? Maybe they at least rehearse in a cell-phone and gossip – free environment.

ing the Andante, the solo violin and the strings led into a brief fourteen- bar transitional passage. Allegretto non troppo. Allegro molto vivace fueled Shaham with energetic explosion from the constant chromatic scales and arpeggios leading straight up to a brilliant final chord. This concerto is innovative in many angles with many novel techniques used at the time. Although my personal views in respect to interpreting the concerto is slightly different from Shaham’s, I honor Shaham’s interpretation of the piece because music is always written for artists to interpret it in their own ways, and I felt that Shaham’s performance was a great way to commemorate Mendelssohn’s 200th birthday. Photos courtesy


page 10 (The Journal)

School Becky Glazier

Walking down the halls in early October, school spirit was felt in every inch of Guilderland High School. With the powderpuff game and the homecoming game approaching quickly, students and teachers alike smiled and laughed as they merrily walked chatted about the upcoming events. While homecoming week united the grades, one event separated upperclassmen. As students stormed into school the morning of Powder Puff, pink and green “JUNIORS” tie-dye shirts were present in every corner of the school. “SEN10RS” was written on hundreds of senior girls black and purple tops as some senior boys raced down the halls covered in purple to show their support. Tensions built all day as junior and senior girls prepared to fight for the Powder Puff title. After an exciting thirty minutes of play, the seniors came out on top with a 38-34 victory. After senior fans stormed the field for a victory lap with the players, the event culminated with a multitude of music from GHS bands as a massive bonfire was lit. The school spirit continued to build the next day with the 2009 Homecoming Football Game. As students dressed in

red and white, the varsity football players held their heads high as they prepared for the game. After school many members of the Red Sea gathered to prepare to cheer for their team by playing Can Jam, Ladder Ball, and many other games . While this tradition of pre-game activities previously took place in GHS parking lots, the option was unavailable homecoming weekend due to unfortunate circumstances created by a select few GHS students at a previous football game. Students abused the opportunity to get together on school ground, Assistant Principal Aaron Sicotte said. While students have always needed to have direct supervision by a faculty member, recent events have created the need for a more formalized process, he added. As game time approached, GHS bleachers filled with a sea of red and white covered students, parents, administrators, and alumni. The Red Sea stood in the front row leading cheers as the football team rushed onto the field through the lines of cheerleaders. Halfway through the game many students in the row painted their stomachs in red paint spelling “DUTCHMEN” as they continued to cheer for the team. “The Red Sea this year, especially in the

beginning of the year, has been exceptional,” Sicotte said. At halftime, former Homecoming King, Drew Pontillo, and Queen, Marissa Valleta, passed on their crowns to seniors Luke Stark and Rachel Glock. Soon after, many former Dutchmen football players joined the team on the field for a quick reunion before returning to the bleachers to watch the rest of the game. “I came back to see a few of my friends and to see how the team was doing,” 2008 GHS Varsity football graduate Joe Cardillo said. The Dutchmen won the game 19-14 in the presence of GHS school spirit during Spirit Week. “It felt great to win in front of everyone, especially with the day Guilderland had as a community,” junior captain and quarterback Ryan Smith said. “We played great and worked hard for the playoff birth. A lot more than football was riding on that game.”

Students Show Spirit At GHS Monday

Tie-Dye Day


Black and White Day Wednesday Twin Day Thursday College Day/ Powderpuff Game Friday

Red and White Day / Homecoming Game

Has it Gone

(theJournal) page 11

l Spirit: Lucia Qian

Educators have always seen school spirit as a positive reflection of their own investment in student upbringing. Student support for sports teams represents that the school is developing an active, energetic student base that feels proud of its community. Pride in sports teams is an asset for a school, especially in the apathetic climate of today’s “teenage wasteland.” Unfortunately, school spirit does not always manifest itself in the most respectful of ways. At Guilderland High School, administrators have battled with the juxtaposition of school spirit with inappropriate behavior such as underage drinking. Social gatherings in support of sports teams – such as pre-game and post-game parties – have become alcohol parties. The problem is not limited to Guilderland – in fact, the intertwining of school sports and alcohol has become a nationwide issue. The problem of underage drinking is not news to most people. In 2002, Scarsdale High School in Westchester County faced a flurry of alcohol-related activity at its sports games. An embarrassing number of students (nearly 200) showed up drunk at the homecoming

game and dance. Five of the students had to be rushed to the hospital to have their stomachs pumped. At Harrison High School (also in Westchester County), nine football players were suspended for drinking at post-game parties. One Harrison football player even died after being hitting his head on a patio at a beer party. More recently, East Haven High School in Connecticut has been under fire after an alcohol-related controversy. In September of 2009, the police caught several prominent members of the football team and two cheerleaders with alcohol. In the past, East Haven suspended any players who were caught in possession of alcohol from playing sports for the year, but recent protests from devoted fans have been vociferous enough to force the school to cut back on its policy. The high school, which once proclaimed a strict zero-tolerance policy on possession of alcohol, revised its policy to allow the students to continue playing for the team. Peers and parents have made enough noise to convince the school to relax its rules regarding alcohol, which allows the football team to continue to prosper. However, this relaxing of alcohol guidelines is problematic in its inher-

ent meaning. For the sake of the sports team, the administration is backing away from a policy that has every right to stand. While spirited students may be supportive of their peers, they do not always know what is right. Meanwhile, Bow High School in New Hampshire is currently dealing with its own alcohol controversy. On October 1st, eleven students involved in sports activities were caught drinking at a party hosted by the superintendent’s son. Most of the students were taken off the sports teams they played for. At Lincoln-Sudbury High School in Massachusetts, drinking has become such a problem at football games that drinking regulations have been raised in order to curtail the high-profile arrests that happened at last year’s football games. Westwood High School also joined the fight against underage drinking at school sports events after discovering several students under the influence of alcohol at a football game. School sports and alcohol seem to be inextricably related. The greatest difficulty in solving this problem is that most students seem to be unreceptive to any proposals that aim at decreasing

Too Far?

teen drinking. In Westchester County, the widely-publicized scandals caused county officials to suggest penalties for minors caught drinking, but the proposal was met with vehement protest from Scarsdale teenagers. In East Haven, the charges of alcohol possession were completely denied by students and parents, despite prevailing evidence from the police. Many high school students seem completely unwilling to acknowledge that illegal consumption of alcohol is a problem. School spirit at sports activities, while being a positive demonstration of community support, is tainted by its association with partying and drinking. The notorious pre-game tailgating parties in the parking lot of Guilderland High School are by no means an isolated incident. Throughout the nation, underage drinking at high school sports activities is a serious problem – one that cannot easily be remedied.

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October 2009


Pop Arts

What We’re Listening To... Tony Pitkin

Mike Dvorscak

Alex Dvorscak

It is the all too familiar story. The drug afflicted, sex addicted, teenager moves to L.A. with plans to start a riot in his or her own way. Years later what do you have? Davis LeDuke, a fallen product of the United States education system, who’s snarling personality, earned him a punk band on the fast track to success. After all, the new single, “On My Way”, has already landed television spots on Entourage and Gossip Girl, just to name a few. It is clearly evident that Davis has revived his childhood tribulation to create a disastrous lyrical fantasy that we, raised in a composed suburban society, can only dream of. So what happens when all of this nightmarish rebellion inside Davis’s mind is put to pen and paper? The ul�mate result: Drama Junkie Queen, an album described by the band as “hot, wild, abusive, dirty…” and several other adjec�ves and verbs all of which were far too controversial for a school publica�on. Inside this recipe for disaster are influences like The Stooges, Hives, White Stripes, Strokes, and even a sprinkle of Weezer’s Pinkerton. For those who grew up under communis�c household laws, this music will only ensure that you are locked in your room for the rest of your young life. For those who devour Jonas Brother’s music like a Thanksgiving dinner, I can only admonish you of the raunchy topics you are about to encounter. For those tough enough to stomach the filth and fury of punk rock, Drama Junkie Queen is an essen�al for one’s inner rebel. Key Tracks: “On My Way”, “Saturday’s Child”, “4 Leaf Clover”

Three years since there breakthrough album Louder N o w , Ta k i n g Back Sunday is back at it again. Armed with new guitarist Matt Fazzi, Taking Back Sunday released New Again, a fitting name after three lineup changes over the course of four albums. The album starts off with Matt Rubino’s gut bustin’ fuzz bass line on the title track, “New Again”. The song then transforms into a crunchy verse, then into the classic Taking Back Sunday chorus; smooth guitars mixed with a tight bass line. Next comes the albums single, “Sink Into Me”, a great upbeat song that starts with showering cries of “HEY” firing full throttle on all cylinders. Another standout song is “Where My Mouth Is”, one of the few Taking Back Sunday songs ever to feature an acoustic guitar. But don’t be fooled, it may start with an acoustic guitar but the song builds, eventually turning into a very powerful song. Another standout song on the album is “Capital M-E”. Recently featured on the Transformers 2 soundtrack, “Capital M-E” is a very catchy song with a great hook and a fantastic vocal performance by Adam Lazarra. New Again is a great album for both album for hardened souls, but also the sensitive type. Key Tracks: “New Again”, “Sink Into Me”, “Where Your Mouth Is”

This summer Dave Mathews Band released their 7 t h studio album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux, and it was arguably their best. The album is named after the late LeRoi Moore “Gr ux”, who played saxophone in the band for 17 years. The album both opens and closes with solos recorded by him before his death, a death due to complications from an ATV accident. It’s a very concise album; less jamming then songs from their famous past, yet the songs are of the same caliber and old fans remain pleased with the new material. One major difference is found with the addition of Tim Reynolds on electric guitar. He adds a new dynamic to the band and is showcased on the song “Shake Me Like a Monkey” and has a great solo on the slower tune “Dive In”. The album clearly has a central theme based off of its hit single “Funny The Way It Is” which talks about all the opposites present in the world and how everything doesn’t always work out. Love is shown to be the only thing to fall back on as exemplified on the track “Spaceman”. The album ends with two of the prettiest love songs Dave has ever written; showcasing his acoustic guitar on “Baby Blue” and “You and Me”. Dave Mathews Band’s new studio album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux, is their best since the nineties and arguably one of the greatest releases this summer. Key Tracks: “Funny The Way It Is”, “Baby Blue”, “Why I Am”

Anastasia Mazur

Dev Gingrich

Tony Pitkin

Formed in the wake of successful pop-rock bands such as Green Day, Blink-182, and Fall Out Boy, All Time Low is a popular up-andcoming act. Their third album, humorously titled Nothing Personal, was released this past summer on July 7th. The album features the familiar ATL tongue and cheek humor in catchy songs like “Break Your Little Heart” and “Keep The Change, You Filthy Animal”. While those songs make this album very fun, the sound comes across as commercial and at times seems very repetitive with their older albums. Contrasting that however are softer sounding, slower songs like “Therapy” and “Too Much” in which their usual bold cockiness doesn’t seem to shine. These teen heart throbs pack the album with new emotion and its fair share of dance hits, even combining efforts with close friends Cobra Starship to remix “Lost In Stereo” for the album’s bonus track. While they might not be hitting the airwaves soon, Nothing Personal is certainly worth giving a listen to. Key Tracks: “Weightless”, “Hello Brooklyn”, “Therapy”

After finally returning to his roots as a solo artist, singer and song writer Brendan Benson released his four th album late this summer. Giving us the great catchy power pop typical of Benson, My Old, Familiar Friend doesn’t disappoint. Slightly more moody than before, Benson is clearly out to impress. Having just come from touring with super group The Raconteurs (with Jack White) Benson truly delivers on this album. Showing a great range of slower, emotion filled songs alongside catchy, 70’s inspired, power pop ones that keep you singing for days. My Old, Familiar Friend keeps a listener attentive with no lulls anywhere throughout the eleven tracks. This radio friendly release, filled with nonstop hooks, is sure to be a favorite for indie rockers everywhere. Key Tracks: “A Whole Lot Better”, “Garbage Day”

All photos courtesy of Amazon

In a world were countless bands continue to venture into the all too prosaic Blink – 182 knock off genre known as “punk-pop”, it’s good to have some originality. It is hard to detest a group that features a charismatic, fiery, redhaired, 20 year old female lead singer by the name of Haley Williams. On September 29, 2009, the nationally recognized platinum group, Paramore, released their 3rd album, Brand New Eyes. They have victoriously blended the emotion from past songs like “We Are Broken” and combined it with the punch and bite that earned them the national spotlight in the first place. Haley sings in “Looking Up” that “I can’t believe we almost hung it up, we’re just getting started!” After listening to their latest stab at pop-punk goodness, it’s a damn good thing they didn’t hang it up. Songs like “All I Wanted” feature some of the most stunning vocals I’ve ever heard out of a 20 year-old. Age aside, Williams and company are years of experience beyond what’s written on paper. Brand New Eyes shows a new, baffling maturity from the group and is easily one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time. Key Tracks: “Careful”, “Ignorance”, “Brick By Boring Brick”

October 2009

Pop Arts



Journal) page 13

Weezer Steals the Show Brianna Reed Arriving at the Blink 182 concert on August 31 st my friends and I were so pumped. We were about to see one of the most influential bands of the past 20 years. We entered Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) and as expected, there was a giant line waiting to get in. Along the way to enter the line I ran into a woman who wasn’t necessarily the most reliable source since she was running around the parking lot and slurring words, but let’s not get into that…the point is, she was telling everyone who was entering the concert that Blink wasn’t going to play. Most people, including myself, didn’t believe it at first, especially coming from an extremely drunken woman. After thinking about the recent and all too sudden death of DJ AM, it began to make sense. For those of you who do not know, DJ AM and Travis Barker (the drummer of Blink 182) were best friends and have done several tours together. Understandably, Travis declined to play so that he could mourn the death of his nearest friend. While waiting in the line to enter SPAC the hot topic of discussion was whether or not Blink was going to play. Several radio stations had announced earlier that day that they would continue on through the tough times; however the friend I made walking in didn’t seem to agree. It was not until we reached the front of the line a person who worked for SPAC told

everyone that Blink 182 was not playing. They offered reimbursement for tickets, but let everyone know Blink was not going to reschedule to play. Almost everyone was disappointed that they were not going to play, but many people stayed for the concert since Chester French, Taking Back Sunday, and Weezer was still a great lineup. The concert started out with Chester French, a group many were unfamiliar with, and they were horrible. Unless you like tambourine playing, wanna-be punks, you wouldn’t have liked them. Not only was the music bad, their set up was a bunch of blow up palm trees and monkeys, cheap, right? After

finishing their short set, Chester French was booed off the stage and many people left after hearing them play. The next band up was Taking Back Sunday and anyone who listens to their music knows they are amazing and can change the mood of an audience in the snap of a finger. Taking Back Sunday (TBS) did not disappoint. They rocked classic TBS songs including, “Cute Without an ‘E’”, “MakeDamnSure”, and “A Decade Under The Influence”. The most amazing part about their performance was that their guitarist Matthew Fazzi had a broken foot and still sucked it up and played an amazing show. Fazzi’s toughness did raise a question,

if he can play with a broken foot how come Travis couldn’t play with a broken heart? That question went across the big screens around SPAC, which displayed texts that the audience members sent in, several times. The audience reached its best mood though when Weezer, the now headlining band entered the stage. They made an announcement they were taking over and that their sympathy goes out to Travis Barker and ours should too. Weezer also told the audience they were pretty much improvising because them playing a long set was not at all planned. Although Weezer said they didn’t plan out their performance very well, they still did an amazing job. The crowd was screaming and singing along to “Island In The Sun” and “Pork and Beans”. They also played several of their unreleased new songs that the lead singer didn’t even memorize yet, he still had the lyric sheet in front of him, which was really cool to watch. Weezer also performed “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga mixed with the song “Kids” by MGMT, which was a huge surprise and was amusing to say the least. The concert was definitely not the same without Blink 182, but regardless I would say it’s one of the best summer concerts I have seen. Taking Back Sunday and Weezer did a phenomenal job and I do not regret staying for the concert at all. Photo by Rachel Weston/ The Journal

Lil’ Wayne “Weezy” Raps For SPAC Christain Meola

My friend and I arrived at the Lil’ sportedmiddle of a torrential downpour. I was skeptical about going to the show not because of the weather, but because I thought maybe the “hottest rapper alive” had changed his sound after announcing that his upcoming album, Rebirth (set for a November release), will replace his current rap style for one that is more rock-influenced. Those worries faded the minute Lil’ Wayne stepped on the stage for his July 29th concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). While walking into SPAC I could tell the rain wasn’t keep fans away because of the insane amount of traffic bombarding all of the park’s entrances and the long line we waited in just to get through the gates. We quickly purchased t-shirts and headed to our seats. The line-up even before Lil’ Wayne hit the stage was epic. Young Jeezy kicked off the show, followed by upcoming rapper Drake, who made the crowd dance with his hot, summer single “Best I Ever Had”. Drake was entertaining and performed to the best of his ability despite a foot injury that threatened to sideline him. He played a short set, but he sounded great and it made me want to download some of his music. Then the lights dimmed and fans

screamed at the top of their lungs in anticipation of the headlining performer, Lil’ Wayne, also known as Weezy to his fans. Excitement built as a projection screen descended from the ceiling showing Weezy walking backstage up to the entrance of the platform. Lil’ Wayne started off strong with “Cannon”, a song popular with die-hard fans. His performance was

filled with his swagger and energy. Afterwards he dove right into his hit singles, “A Milli” and “Got Money”. That’s when the audience went ballistic, dancing and singing along to all of the songs. The show had a strong set list that included a large number of tracks from each of his albums and his mix tapes. Lil’ Wayne also took some of today’s popular

artists’ singles and performed his own version of the music. And, he changed some of the lyrics to his songs by adding extra verses or different lyrics to make them more interesting. The show flowed smoothly and it wasn’t just all music — it included skits, and musical breaks with different artists from his record label, Young Money Records, like Birdman and Nikki Minage. He brought his guests out to help him perform many of his songs. My favorites were a duet with Weezy and Drake to “Mrs. Officer” and the show’s conclusion with Weezy all of his friends singing “Every Girl”. He also made a dedication to Michael Jackson, including a medley of Michael Jackson’s songs and a brief pause in the set in memory of the “King of Pop Music”. The concert was definitely one of the highlights of my summer, and it ranks highly as one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. Lil’ Wayne was charismatic, energetic, and he didn’t seem tired even after a 2 ½ hour set. The set list was amazing, the featured performers were excellent, and my friend and I left tired but fortunate to have seen the best rapper alive in person doing what he does best...

rap and not rock!

Photo courtesy of

page 14 (theJournal)

Pop Arts

October 2009

Fame’s a shame

Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince Kallie Swyer

Fame follows a handful of teens attending the New York Academy of Performing Arts. High anticipation led me to have high expectations for this remake film. The original 1980 version of Fame led to a television series & spin-off, stage musical, and led to a 2009 remake. I expected a lot more. I was disappointed with the rushed story lines; all four years of high school were depicted which I thought rushed some of the more thoughtful and touching storylines. I do however think the 2009 remake did the 1980 version justice. The breakout star was classical pianist turned hiphop singer, Denise, played by Naturi Naughton. On the movie’s soundtrack Naturi sings “Fame” and “Out Here on My Own”. If anything caught my attention it was the catchy music. Everything from beautiful ballads to hardcore rap songs; filled the white space between the never ending dialogue. The movie had a well rounded cast including Kay Panabaker, Collins Pennie, Disney’s Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, VFactory’s Asher Book and Notorious’ Naturi Naughton. Kay played Jenny Garrison, a committed actor who would do anything to get the job or get “famous.” Collins played Malik, a disturbed boy whose dad left, little sister was shot and had trouble with admitting his problems to himself. Asher played Jenny’s love interest Marco, he had pure natural talent. The viewer

The next installment of the record sion, when in the movie, his curiosity breaking “Harry Potter” films, The Half barely lasts a scene. None the less it was Blood Prince, premiered over the sum- still entertaining. It’ll keep you on the mer on July 15. The movie continues edge of your seat; anxious, even though to follow the complex storyline of J.K. you may know the ending. Different than Rowling’s books, with protagonist Harry its prequels, the Half Blood Prince focuses more on the relationships of the who is the “chosen one.” He finds this characters Harry and Ginny, and out in the end of the fifth novel, Hermione and Ron, who find and after learning this he starts priout they have feelings for each vate training with his other. These newfound roheadmaster (and idol) mances are intertwined Albus Dumbledore. with action and lots of Dumbledore takes Harry humor throughout the into the unknown whole thing, always past of the wizard keeping the audience he is destined to laughing. There are also destroy; Voldemort. some pretty neat special But while planning the effects, which have only imDark Lords demise, Harry proved since the debut of the happens upon and old Pofirst HP movie in 2001, Harry Potter tions book that is scribbled Stone. and the Sorcerer’s Stone in by someone claiming to be Daniel Radcliffe, the Although “the Half Blood Prince.” actor who plays Harry Potter, may lack Being the third to last stunning acting skills, he still is able to film of the series, fans portray all the emotions that his character already know that the must be dealing with; anger, for being books are usually chosen for something he never wanted, better than the confusion because he’s in love with his movies, which best friends little sister, and anticipation wa s l i ke w i s e for this one. Graphic By Jasmine Andres at the battle that is inevitably soon in his future. If you are interested in the One thing series, and haven’t yet seen this movie, that made it worse was the lack of information about the mysterious being the I recommend you do so. The movie is ‘Half Blood Prince.’ In the book, finding quite entertaining even if in the book, out who that person is, is Harry’s obses- the plot was more advanced. But if you do, be prepared; you’re in for a magical time!

Allison Potolski

can quickly connect to the characters. I felt for them when things didn’t work out the way they wanted or planned. The performing arts are a very tough industry and its upsetting to see young teens getting their dreams crushed. There was definately an emotional factor to this movie, you feel emotionally attached to the characters. The teachers had a great impact on the characters in Fame. Two teachers that greatly impacted two students were Ms. Kraft and Mr. James Dowd. Ms. Kraft was the head of the ballet department and had to hold a difficult conversation with Kevin, basically saying that he wasn’t good enough to make it professionally in ballet. That was his childhood dream and now it wasn’t coming true. The teachers have a difficult responsibility to tell their students the truth. Mr. James Dowd was a head of the acting department. In order for Malik to become the best actor he could be he needed to admit to himself the way he felt about his difficult past. Mr. James Dowd guided Malik and really made a difference. Fame had good messages but I think it would have been more convincing and successful if it was aimed for an older audience. Overall I thought the movie could have been stronger. However, the music and dance scenes were top notch. I’m glad I saw it, but it’s not something I would go out of my way and see again.


October 2009

Opinions 2009-10 School Year brings Changes to Physical Education Policies

Abby Levy The Physical Education Department has made two major changes to its structure this year. The first is their new grading policy. The other is a new curriculum that includes a mandated activity each semester for students in each grade. Last year and in previous years, physical education grades were based on sixty percent participation, and forty percent knowledge. Each class you were assessed on a three-point rubric based on participation and effort. The participation grade was focused on coming to class and being prepared. It was also based on showing effort and leadership skills, and being respectful. The knowledge portion came from quizzes, homework, projects, and in-class assignments. With only about twenty physical educational classes per semester, last years policy enabled students to miss or come unprepared to class about four or five times without making them up, and still pass. This was because of the forty percent of their grade based on knowledge. Students who did well on a quiz, project, or classroom assignment, were able boost up their failing average to passing, even with a low participation grade. On the other hand, students who were coming to class prepared and showing could have a poor average because of a bad quiz or other knowledge grade. For the aforementioned reasons, the grading policy has changed. Eighty percent of your grade is now based on participation, and only twenty percent on knowledge. Each class, participation is evaluated on a four-point scale, instead of a three, making it more challenging to receive full credit. “I think the 3 point scale from last year is better than the 4 point scale from this year because not everyone can go above and beyond. Even if you do the satisfactory job you’re suppose to do you can’t get full credit; it’s just not fair,” says junior Kyra Malamood. To receive a four, or full credit, the “student is prepared for class. Student demonstrates fair play and appropriate competitive behavior. Student participates energetically and safely, demonstration self-control and respect for the positive and safe experience of others,” according to the course syllabus. You are being graded on the effort and attitude you put forth each class. “We decided our class is a participa-

Photo Courtesy of Casey Morris / The Journal

tion based class, so we wanted to see more emphasis on that,” says Physical Education teacher, Coach Allison Relyea. The new grading policy makes it much harder for students to obtain an S+ average (90-100) if they do not make up a class they missed. If they were unprepared, it will have a signficant impact on their grade. They no longer can just get a good knowledge grade to pass. On the flip side, a student who regularly participates cannot fail because of one bad knowledge grade. “Overall we’re looking at character, energetic behavior, and participating in class. We’ve looked at that in the past, but now we’re just putting more emphasis on participating when it comes to grades,” says Relyea. Another change in this year’s physical education program is in its curriculum. Each ninth and tenth, and eleventh and twelfth grade class has a mandated activity each semester. This means that no matter what physical education class you are in, or who your teacher is, one of your activities will be the same as in all the other classes. Incoming freshman, and all classes after them, will have eight mandated classes completed when they graduate in addition to other activities. Some of those activites are volleyball, basketball, cardiowalking and fitness. “We reinvented the entire curriculum and looking at how we’re doing our offerings,” stated Relyea.

This new physical education grading policy is receiving both positive and negative feedback by students. It requires you to show up and show effort that goes above and beyond old expectations to exceed. “I think it’s fair to change participation to 80/20 but not the grading rubric, I don’t think they should have done both,” stated Malamood. But is it really that hard to pass physical education? Are they really asking that much out of students, to show some effort for just eighty-five minutes, one day a week? This new grading policy pushes students to succeed unlike before. Students know that in order to succeed, in physical education, they have to participate, show good behavior and character, and not just do well on a quiz. They have to work hard every class and not just a few, which is a good change. “I think that the students will be asked to do a little bit more but because of that structure. Most students like structure, they like to do well in classes, they like to perform well,” says Relyea. The new mandated activities as well as the new grading policy are going to greatly improve the physical education department. Throughout the rest of Guilderland students’ high school careers, they will be open to more activities and not just always repeating activities from previous years. The changes made by the Guilderland physical education department are going to prove to be beneficial to students in months to come. They give students an opportunity to see what they can do, how much effort their going to put forth, and to excel to the best of their ability. They provide students with a variety of activities by mandating them and encourage students to be respectful and leaders. “We’re trying to teach a variety of activities, and give them the tools that they need to live a healthy and active lifestyle. And through changing the curriculum and grading policy and grading rubric, we as a department are now offering a better program for students. I think that’s important for them to recognize,” states Relyea. Photo Courtesy of Abby Levy/The Journal

Journal) page 15

The I m p l i c at i o ns o f M o d e rn Te c h no l o g y Josh Santos

You’re on your way to school and you forgot what you had to have for your first class. No problem, you just take out your cell phone and text a friend that has the same class. You’re doing a report on the civil war and you need information about a certain battle. No problem, just google it and find a website, or you could just go on Facebook and procrastinate for a while. Either way, technology is there for us to use for things ranging from education to recreational purposes. But when is too much? Since the age of the World Wide Web, people have been able to access information and services more easily than ever before. It has progressed to the point where you can carry around a mini computer in a pocket. Many things could be done from an iPod alone, from checking your bank accounts to making charts for work. There are other “apps” such as Tap Tap Revenge and Bubble Wrap. The question is, though, are Teens too reliant on electronics? Many people might not think so, but how many teens can do long division without using a calculator? How many teens know how to research without using Google or Wikipedia? It’s the day and age when almost anything can be done on a computer. Writing papers, chatting with friends, finding out about current events, learning via twitter that your friend is now taking a nap, all of these and more can be done on a computer. Music is just a touch away thanks to mp3 players. They become oblivious to the outside world when they have those buds in their ears. They no longer need the radio that most people used to listen to if they wanted music or news. They can watch TV shows right on their little handheld device. How many teens do you know that can write a letter and correctly address it without anyone’s help? E-mail and texting has almost eliminated regular, old fashioned mail for most teenagers. Even some phones nowadays have GPS systems built in, so that you can find a route to where you’re going without having to stop for directions or plan the route in advance. The old fashioned ways of doing things has changed drastically in these past few years. Researching via books in the library has become almost obsolete, and writing papers by hand is found to be outrageous to most teens. Communication has become easier and more efficient, allowing people to talk to each other around the world. If these things were suddenly taken away, teenagers, and even adults, would have a hard time readjusting; some might even lose all hope entirely. Just keep in mind, if you’re out somewhere with your friends and need to find a place to grab a quick snack, there’s an app for that.

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October 2009

Boiling Over Ved Tanavde

American politics has always been a theater full of performers. Movers and shakers, crooks and phonies – the players vary in attitudes, yet one thing remains the same. No matter their religion, their demeanor, or their status – they are all actors in one great opera. The past year has been no different in its supply of histrionics. If we clear the air of gaffes, blunders, and comedic fodder, we are left with a climactic third act. As the President pushes his healthcare reform and other political aims, pundits and the less qualified are tearing through his agenda, a scene where the American crowd now takes center stage to decide the fate of the nation. We have entered hot water and it’s quickly boiling over. We the people, the citizens of America and the voice of all that is right, have always paraded around with a sense of entitlement, but with good reason, right? Though claims of American superiority are products of this entitlement, it comes to little fault of the people for they have historically been fed with a silver spoon; at least, those who do have a voice have enjoyed pomp and privilege, things they will not give up without a fight. And that is a truly noble, and wholly American sentiment, isn’t it? The truth remains uncertain for America is made up of a mixture of attitudes, but this is the one that most prevails; this is the kind of attitude that is fueled by the words of talk-radio personalities and fellow television pundits. Americans have always been stubborn, believing that their view is the only correct one. However, the stubborn attitudes of individuals are becoming more problematic. Internal fights are growing, and with the kind of headstrong approach that most Americans have, they are all very tense. If one has paid attention to the healthcare debate within the past few months, it is clear that America remains as divided in opinion as it had been nearly 150 years ago, when it was on the precipice of civil war.

The most recent partition of the American public is being led primarily by the conservative media, mostly as a result of political circumstances. Those not in the seats of majority power are often the source of the greatest outcry. The Bush era brought much opposition from the left wing, with Democrats and liberals leading the fight against Bush’s policies. And now, the Republicans have taken that spot as the Democrats are behind the reigns of the political trinity of American legislation: the Senate, the House, and the executive branch. Conservative radio and television hosts like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are seeing rising numbers of listeners and viewers. Their words have set the American public, or at least a part of it, in chaotic motion. Town halls are flooded with angry, concerned, and frustrated citizens. The angriest, and often the most uninformed, inundate the news with words of rancor and ignorance. Commentators like Beck are to be blamed for fanning unnecessary anger, diluting the actual message of upset Americans. The words of the ignorant and paranoid are often, and wrongly, taken to be the voice of the entire right-wing. After the arrest of noted scholar of African-American culture, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and the subsequent conciliatory “beer summit” held at the White House, Beck denounced President Obama as a racist for seemingly siding with Gates. Beck went on further to accuse President Obama of having “ a deep-seated hatred for white people,” antagonizing the already tense race relations within America. In reaction to a recent school bus incident where two Black students assaulted a White student, Limbaugh decried that “We need

segregated buses,” and went on to describe the incident, where “white kids… [got] beat up with the black kids cheering,” as part of “Obama’s America.” The irresponsibility of

both commentators, and their colleagues, has gone too far. The impact of both can be seen in any of the number of protests going on across the nation, with signs quoting Beck and Limbaugh, pairing their images with messages against the so-called tyranny of President Obama. The sheer stupidity of what these commentators say can be unbelievable, and it is clear that their words are meant to arouse hateful opposition. In August, Limbaugh went as far as to liken Obama’s new healthcare logo to the Nazi swastika. Viewers and listeners blindly accepted Limbaugh’s words and continued the trend of foolishness, claiming Obama to be a Nazi. To compare the group responsible for the genocide of 11 million people to President Obama and his staff is rash and asinine. These people are joined by protesters wielding assault rifles (as an exercise of their rights) and people writing death threats against the President. Though the public might be setting up such precarious situations, irresponsible commentators are only lighting the powdered keg. At the same time, their irresponsibility is only adding on to the list of problems. The Republican Party and unaffiliated conservatives are being inadvertently slandered by the words of ignorant observers. With demonstrators and television hosts spreading biting, fallacious words, it becomes difficult to hear those who are trying to make legitimate arguments. In turn, the members of the right-wing, notably the Republican Party, are being characterized

by the words and outbursts by a few, ignorant people. The recent outburst of Republican Representative Joe Wilson, during President Obama’s health care address to a joint session of Congress, only reflects this. That a 62 year old Representative shouted “You Lie!” during a Presidential speech is absurd and completely disrespectful. Such an event might set a precedent for future outbursts, and the fact that Wilson is now being lauded shows that nothing substantial has been learned from it. Those who control the media and those who are in the seats of power are inciting pandemonium within America. There is one thing to be learned from everything that is going on: if those in power and those with the louder voices are destroying everything, it is up to the public to make the change. It is up to the American public to decide whether or not Beck, Limbaugh, and others should dictate their views and words. America had passed its boiling point long ago and everything is starting to boil over. If those controlling the media control the voice of the public, the entire nation will delve into the political turmoil one can see on any news channel. Ignorance, stupidity, and hate are poisoning efforts at reform from both directions and soon, everyone will suffer. It is time for the media to stop being so irresponsible and for Americans to become more informed; we are past stagnation, instead sinking further and further into despair. We must admonish the absurd and undo our tainted minds. It is time to stop our destructive thoughts or else everything will boil over.

Obama reaches out to students Hannah Cohen

With the beginning of the school year looming, it seemed as though our country was focused more on town hall meetings and healthcare disputes than school supplies. But even as these problems remained unsolved, President Barack Obama did not hesitate to take time out of his schedule to address students in Arlington, Virginia, and across the country, whose worries had more to do with the impending workload than death panels. As he addressed the crowd of excited students, our President first saw to it that he included every kid listening, from kindergarteners just starting out their school careers to seniors counting down the days until they walk out of high school for the last time. As students snapped shots of the President on their camera phones, he spoke to them about the value of their education and their responsibility, as well as their parent’s and teacher’s, to get as much out of it as possible. He told us something we already knew, but it could not hurt to hear it again: even if insurmountable effort was put into giving us boundless

opportunities, it is up to us to put that dream into action. We have to work hard, listen to the advice of our parents and teachers, and above all, show up. We may not all agree with the politics of our President, but I think his message about education is pretty universal. We are only going to get out of school what we put into it. We can have all the potential in the world but nothing will come of it unless we apply ourselves. We have to face it, as much as we do not want to hear the alarm clock go off at six A.M. signaling another day that could be, in our opinions, much better spent investing in leisurely activities, an education is essential to our

success in society. President Obama made sure to emphasize the importance of each and every one of us to the future of our country. We currently are facing a lot of obstacles, namely our economic situation. We all know that this is not going to go away overnight. Right now, most of us cannot vote and the government is determining the course of action for us, but before we know it, it will be up to our generation to bear the burden of these problems. Artfully avoiding seeming insensitive, Obama told the tale of his struggles growing up, showing understanding for the obstacles we face, for things in our lives that sometimes make it hard for us to do well in school. Graphic by Haejin Hwang/The Journal

Not all of us have the nuclear family, with two loving parents there to support and encourage us, but overcoming that makes success even sweeter. Although these factors may make it more difficult to succeed as students, Mr.Obama made it clear that they did not count as excuses for “slacker” behavior. We can take our challenges and transform them into assets, things that we learn from which make us stronger. We do not all have to stand out like the students he mentioned in his speech, but we are all capable of sitting down to finish our homework. Although we should all appreciate our president reaching out to us, it is hard to say whether sitting down and listening to him speak will really change how we go about our education. But if we really think about it, we know that he is right. All of us are students despite our multitude of differences, and we all have the potential to succeed in school, and in life. Keeping that in mind, maybe we should all take a moment to think about the choices that we are making and see how we can apply them to our president’s message.


October 2009


Journal) page 17

To ‘X’ or Not to ‘X’? Devon Gingrich

Going to Guilderland High School means that among about a million other things, everyone has the choice to take either traditional separate English and History classes or the X program that combines the two classes. It has been an option for a while but many of us still do not understand the concept of this ‘X’ program. Is the X program just combining two classes, or is it something more? Over the last two years I have been able to experience each of the two programs. I took X as a freshman with Mr. Gnirrep and Mr. Mapstone, only to be followed by global with King Renaud as a sophomore; needless to say it was pretty stiff competition. Looking back, what I liked most about X was how in such a short time we just became like one big X family. Having a community like that and meeting everyday is so completely different from when I took separate English and Global classes as sophomore. The classes were good, there is no denying that, but they still did not have that sense of community and creativity that I had enjoyed with X. That being said, I had a dilemma for deciding what to take junior year. Deciding what classes to take for my junior year was hard for because I was so torn between separates and X. My more

Photo by Abby Levy / The Journal

creative side that remembered loving 9X wanted to go back, but having just come off of a great sophomore year taking separates posed an issue. The other issue that came up was dealing with the AP classes. I think this creates a dilemma because everyone wants to get AP credits to look good for college and for the future, as did I. At the same time, I really wanted to go back to X, and also I did not think I could commit to three hours a night of homework, every night. After thinking it

Battle of the Sexes

Amber Hedjazi

Eighteen year old Caster Semenya ran the fastest 800 meter time of the year in August at the World Championships in Berlin. She ran the time 1:55.45 minutes, beating the previous fastest 800 meter time by almost 2.45 seconds. After the race, the International Association of Athletics Federation ran drug and gender test to determine whether or not she was a female and whether or not she was using performance enhancing drugs. The tests were brought back stating that she has internal testicles, allowing her to produce more testosterone than the average female. A higher level of testosterone allows her to run faster. She does not have ovaries or a uterus. This means she has both male and female sex organs. This result has prompted many to ask whether or not her time be allowed to count. Even though Semenya does have higher levels of testosterone, allowing her to build larger muscles which in turn give her more power to run faster than a typical woman, I think her time should still count. She is the 5th woman from Africa to run under two minutes in the 800, so completing this task obviously is not impossible. Just because she has a higher level of testosterone does not mean she doesn’t work hard in all of her practices. She also has to give up things to be a good runner. If Semenya were to compete with men she would not be able to compete with them. So why is she considered to be more of a man than a woman? Her times are not that much faster than those of any other woman. She still has not obtained the world record for this event as a woman. Therefore, the IAAF, the

public and fans should not be deeming her such a threat to the sport. She worked hard for her gold medal, so why would the IAAF consider stripping that title away from her? She was raised as a woman, and that is the only way she knows so why try to call her a man? She did not take testosterone enhancing drugs to run faster, her body just naturally produces more. She is not cheating or, even trying to. She is just trying to go out, run, and do her best, for which no one should be penalized. Graphic courtesy of The Journal

over I finally chose 11X which I am really happy with, but those AP credits are always a nagging thought. The argument has been made that X as an easier option to separate honors English and Global, even when taking X at the honors level. It is just how you think about it and how you learn. True, in class it might not be as challenging. However once projects start up it gets much harder and certainly is not something that I don’t have to work at. I feel like the classes can

have pretty similar difficulties. It is just how it’s spaced out that makes it seem so different. For traditional classes there is definitely more homework assigned each night making everyday a little bit harder than X. However with X all that work is condensed into very intense projects where you go a little crazy for a week or two before calming back down. Another issue that is a good and bad thing about X is that it meets everyday. Having class everyday creates a little “X family”. At the same time it can be annoying by not having any break from the class or the people. However all of this really just depends on your personal opinion. I am not trying to force anyone to take a particular class but I do think that some people shy away from X because of the group projects and missing out on the AP credits, among other reasons, but I think X is more than just that and combining the classes. X is about the atmosphere that is created and the family it forms with people that sometimes you didn’t even know before. X really is a great program and definitely a privilege, since it is exclusively a Guilderland course. For at least one year in high school everyone should take X, because it could be a while before you will get an opportunity like it.



Journal) page 18

October 2009

MLB Playoffs Championship Series Preview Brendon Phillips

After the first round of the Major League Playoffs featured three series that resulted in sweeps, and one that took four games, the Championship Series are already before us. In the American League, the Angels made quick work of the Red Sox, sweeping them away in three games. The Sox, whose bullpen failed to show up in any of the games, resulted in their quick exit. The Angels, who feature a top to bottom lineup with


top of the line pitching easily outmatched the Red Sox. In the other ALDS matchup, the Yankees dominated the Minnesota Twins, also sweeping them. The Twins whose pitching was no match for the Yankees offense sputtered when the bullpen was called on. Twins closer Joe Nathan blew a save in game two, and the

Twins never recovered. In the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers swept the Cardinals before anyone saw it happen. The Dodgers flew past the Cardinals in three games behind solid pitching and above average hitting. Dodgers manager Joe Torre is no

Pitcher: C.C. Sabathia Expect the Yankees to pull this one out in a tough series. The Yankees have the advantage, with better Catcher: Jorge Posada pitching, and a better lineup, but the Angels are always pesky. The weather will be a big factor, whether or not First Base: Mark Teixeria the Yankees are able to go with a three man rotation Second Base: Robinson Cano or not will be key. The Yankees starting pitching will the upper hand, unless the weather forces postThird Base: Alex Rodriguez have ponements. Whether or not Chad Gaudin is forced to start or not against Scott Kazmir in game four could Shortshop: Derek Jeter be a deciding factor. The Angels, will have to take adLeft Field: Johnny Damon vantage of their speed on the basepaths, and hope they can generate runs that way. In the end, the team with Center Field: Melky Cabrera better hitting and pitching should win, and move on to the World Series Right Field: Nick Swisher Closer: Mariano Rivera



Expect the Dodgers to come away victorious in this one. The Phillies who won last year, don’t have the star power to match up with the Dodgers. The Phillies have the better pitching, but the Dodgers have the lineup and star power to balance it. The Dodgers lineup will have to continue their hot hitting and Manny Rameriz will have jumpstar the offense. The Phillies, while having the superior pitching are starting Cliff Lee who is in his first playoffs, and J.A. Happ, a rookie.. Cole Hamels has the experience, pitching in the World Series last year, but it won’t be enough. Also, manager Joe Torre of the Dodgers is back in the postseason, where he has his best successes.

Pitcher: Cliff Lee Catcher: Carlos Ruiz First Base: Ryan Howard Second Base: Chase Utley Third Base: Pedro Feliz Shortstop: Jimmy Rollins Left Field: Raul Ibanez Center Field: Shane Victornio Right Field: Jayson Werth Closer: Brad Lidge


newbie to the playoffs, and will have the Dodgers playing superior ball throughout. On the other side, the Phillies made it past the Rockies in four games, with some frigid conditions in Colorado. Game three was postponed due to below freezing temperatures and snow, but the east coast Phillies were not thrown off track, winning the next two games, and the series.

ANGELS Pitcher: John Lackey Catcher: Mike Napoli First Base: Kendry Morales Second Base: Howie Kendrick Third Base: Chone Figgins Shortstop: Erick Aybar Left Field: Juan Rivera Center Field: Torii Hunter Right Field: Bobby Abreu Closer: Brian Fuentes


Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw Catcher: Russell Martin First Base: James Loney Second Bae: Orlando Hudson Third Base: Casey Blake Shortstop: Rafael Furcal Left Field: Manny Rameriz Center Field: Matt Kemp Right Field: Andre Either Closer: Jonathon Broxton

Derek Jeter Makes History By: Nicholas Buonanno

History was made on the eighth anniversary of September 11 2001 in New York City. The New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter is now the all time hits leader in the Yankees legendary franchise. Jeter struggled as he tried to reach Lou Gehrig’s milestone of 2,721 career hits as a Yankee. Going into the game 0-12 on September 11,2009, after a rain delay at the start of the game, Jeter hit an opposite field single past Luke Scott in his second at bat, passing Gehrig with 2,722 career hits. After he touched first base the crowd went crazy , he got a loud ovation, and all of his teammates came out from the

dugout and hugged Derek and congratulated him. With his family watching from the stands, Jeter saluted them along with all of the New York fans. Derek was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1992 with the six overall pick, and he got his first major league hit in 1995. Many hits later Jeter can now say that he is the all-time Yankees hit leader. Gehrig held his record for over 70 years. With good health ahead, Jeter is on track to get over 3,000 career hits. His record breaking hit was the first of many memories to come in the new Yankee stadium.

Derek Jeter Career Stats: Games: 2138 Hits: 2747 Runs: 1574 Average: .317 Home Runs: 224 RBIS: 1068


October 2009

(theJournal) page 19

Fencing 101 Russel Oliver

While it may not be the most common sport, everyone has heard of fencing at least once. Whether in a movie or online, everyone is aware of it. Why do only a few people actually play the sport? It is partly because it is not advertised as much as other sports. Commercials and broadcasted games of sports like football, basketball, and baseball, are common, but not fencing. It’s not only a physical challenge, but it’s also a challenge in its mental perspective. Fencing produces a great workout, working the legs and arms in both agility and strength. First off, there are no teams, it’s just a competitor against everyone else involved in the tournament. This has both good and bad aspects like many sports. This sport centers around self awareness and self improvement. The advantage of individualized sports is that unlike team sports, many factors can influence the outcome. It can be the other players’ inability to successfully compete or poor team dynamics. The movements in a match are mainly forward and backward down the “strip,” the area where one fences on. This limited mobility does not make it any less of a physical challenge. Matches can be very strenuous depending on how much effort is exerted and the difficultly of the moves that are used. Fencing is a sport that focuses on the

two opponents. Each bout goes to a total of five points. There is also a judge who determines who gets certain points and keeps track of the score. A five point bout can last up to three minutes. There are also fifteen point bouts, which is similar to a five point bout except that every three minutes there is a one minute break. In a fifteen point bout there are three, three minute periods, so fifteen point bouts can reach up to nine minutes long excluding the breaks.

control of one‘s energy. If too many advanced moves are used in a short period of time, their lack of energy could allow the opponent to take the advantage. When fencing, it is required to where certain equipment. First, is the blade. There are three different kinds of blades depending on the kind of fencing. There’s the foil, the sabre, and the épée. The foil is less aggressive, but more tactical than the other two. Each different type of blade has an entirely different set of rules and movements. The second piece of equipment which is almost as important as the blade is the mask. The mask is to protect one’s face from any incoming attacks from the opponent. The mask is crucial to wear at all

times during a match in order to prevent injury. Thirdly, is the glove, which provides a better grip on the blade and protects the fencers hand. The fourth piece of equipment is the plastron. This goes over the fencing hand under the jacket and serves an extra protection. The fifth and final piece of equipment is the jacket, which goes over the entire upper body. This padding protects one from injury when receiving a hit, which is likely to happen in any fencing match. The jacket maps out which areas are “on target” and “off target”. The “on target” areas are the back and front of the upper body, excluding the arms and head. Bouts are fencing matches between

NFL Roundup Brenon Phillips

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS With five weeks in the book this NFL season has been full of some surprises, some let downs and quite a few interesting weeks ahead. From the start, we saw some teams fall and rise quickly with some shockers in the middle. The Tennesse Titans still winless? It was the Titans who last year were undefeated through week 12. And the Denver Broncos undefeated? After a rocky offseason with many question marks, the Broncos have silenced their doubters, and are among the leagues best.

QUICK THOUGHTS How about a brother vs. brother Super Bowl? Eli vs. Peyton. If the Rams can’t get past the Lions and Titans, they have a good chance of finishing the season winless. Wade Phillips, Dick Jauron and Jim Zorn should be nervous, they’re on the hotseat and could be on their way out. If Michael Crabtree comes up big, the 49ers have a good chance at the playoffs with Vernon Davis lining up next to him.


There’s no stopping Peyton Manning and co. Manning’s already leading the league in touchdown passes with 12 and isn’t feeling the loss of Anthony Gonzalez yet. The wide receivers in Indy feature one of the leagues best with Reggie Wayne, and standout rookie Austin Collie. After a bye in week six the Colts will look to keep rolling with the Rams, 49ers and Texans scheduled.


With easily the best offense in the league, the defense was iffy coming into the season. The Saints are third in the league in yards allowed and points allowed. Darren Sharper remains a threat at corner, leading the league with five interceptions. The firepower of the Saints offense can’t be matched either, with Drew Brees leading the way. Leading the league in points per game, Drew Brees can always find an open man, or dump it off to running backs Reggie Bush or Pierre Thomas.

Can any defense stop him? Peterson is second in the league in rushing yards, and leads the league in touchdowns.

NEW YORK GIANTS The biggest question coming into the season was the Giants wide receivers. The biggest question now? Who can stop the Giants. Steve Smith leads all of the NFL with 481 receiving yards and is tied for the most touchdowns with four. The defense has always been good, and are not letting up. The G-Men have allowed the least total yards, least yards per game


Adrian Peterson

The number of moves in fencing are numerous and range in different experience levels. Some of the basic moves are the lunge, parry, and riposte. A lunge is a basic attack where the fencer launches their front foot forward and extends their blade, hitting the opponent. A parry is a blocking action made with the blade. It blocks an incoming attack and protects the fencer from getting hit. A riposte occurs after a parry. Once an attack is blocked, the fencer immediately comes forward with their own lunge. There are many other moves that can be used. Fencing moves work as a wheel. One move can defeat the next move. Eventually, the circle goes back to the beginning, a simple lunge attack.

Yes, the Broncos are this good. Despite many doubters, Josh McDaniels and Kyle Orton find themselves atop the AFC West. Kyle Orton has finally clicked with Brandon Marshall, and their new Wild Horses formation is sure to cause confusion. The next four weeks the Broncos will face tough tests against the Chargers, Ravens and Steelers, but won’t be backing down.


Peyton Manning

No one can argue with 1600 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and a 114.1 passer rating through 5 weeks.

Eli Manning

Right up there with big brother, Eli is right behind Peyton with 10 touchdowns and a 111.7 passer rating.

Cedric Benson

Benson deserves consideration. No one expected him to lead the league in rushing yards and carry the Bengals to a 4-1 record.


page 20 (theJournal)

October 2009

Photos courtesy of Abby Levy/The Journal

From left to right: Alli Cropsey swims on for the Guilderville girl’s swim team. Next: Jaclyn Levy takes a dive. Far right: The Guilderland Football plays under the lights.


Girl’s Field Hockey

Crew is a sport that not many people know about. It is unfortunately not supported by the High school, creating many dilemans for the people interested in the sport. SGS rowing is a mix of Guilderland, Schenectady and ScotiaGlenville rowers. This year, our team has been doing fantastic. We have won many medals from our past two regattas (races). Many of the girls and guys hope to acquire more medals in the upcoming regattas. Last spring, we had one boat come in eleventh place at the National High school regatta. SGS would love to send many more boats to nationals in the coming years.

The Guilderland field hockey team started the season with a 1-0 win to Burnt Hills to be undefeated for the first time in it’s history. They have an intense offensive line and a rock solid defense. Led by captains Kat Keegan, Chelsea Weston and Beth Meyers, the team hopes to find themselves to be in a good seed for sectionals. On friday, October 9th, the team played at Columbia on their new turf field and came out with a 1-0. Currently, the team has a record of 6-5 with five shutouts. -Commentary by Beth Meyers

-Commentary by Sara Cooper

Lady Dutch Soccer The Guilderland Lady Dutch soccer team had an impressive win against Columbia for their senior night game. They had an early lead, wrapping up the first half with four goals and ending the game, 6-0 overall. They so far, have a record of 7-4-3. The team has high hopes for doing well in the upcoming sectional games. -Commentary by Casey Gerety

Graphic Courtesy of Casey Gerety

Swimming and Diving The Guilderville Geese have been enjoying this fall season with great competition. They have a current record of 2-5, with sectionals soon coming up. Coach Autrey and the three captains, Alli Cropsey, Brittney Ginsberg and Kaylee Bar, have been working the team to reach new heights and have enjoyed this seasons’ well-rounded team. -Commentary by Casey Gerety

Dutchmen Soccer The Dutchmen Boys soccer team has had an exciting sesason with an overall record of 9-4-1. Seniors, Nick Cannistrachi and Dylan Tate, lead the team with top goals and assists. In their most recent game, the boys coasted to a 7-0 victory over Averil Park. In the wrap-up of the fall season, fans have high expectations for the team in late sectional rounds. -Commentary by Casey Gerety

Above photo courtesy of Zoe King/The Journal

Above: The Dutchmen Varsity Football team gain some yards in a game against Bethlehem.

Above: Andrew Klug races for Guilderland crosscountry. On right: Abby Levy comes close to the finsh for the girl’s team. Left and below photos courtesy of Meghan Sheehan/The Journal


October 2009, vol. 61-1  

The Journal Guilderland High School October 2009 Volume 61 Issue 1

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