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Journal By and for the students of Guilderland Central High School

Volume 61 Issue 5

Guilderland Center, NY 12085

May 2010


25th Annual Cultural Fair International Club event promotes global awareness Meghan Bodo On Monday, March 29th, the West Gymnasium at Guilderland High School was transformed into a myriad of auras, tastes, sounds and sights from all around the world. Guilderland High School’s 25th annual Cultural Fair was underway, as the GHS community joined together to “open their eyes, tap their feet, and sing along to a different beat.” The Cultural Fair, hosted by International Club, provided an opportunity for GHS students and staff alike to learn about one another in context, heritage, and ethnicity. Striving to help nurture the diversity that exists within our community, the cultural fair hosted a variety of events that allowed everyone to learn about the different cultures of which each of us may be a part. By allowing us to understand the backgrounds, traditions, ideologies and beliefs that contribute to

each of our own views, the events that take place at this event undoubtedly help us have a greater respect for one another and allow for us to more easily empathize with one another. One of the reasons that the cultural fair is so effective in accomplishing this is because an astounding percentage of the community at GHS participates in the fair: students in every grade and teachers all over the building choose to share something about themselves that they might not otherwise share in the traditional classroom setting. Fifty-two countries were represented at this year’s cultural fair. Booths that were set up around the gym each represented a different country and was manned with an informative representative to answer questions, as well as different posters, artifacts and books to deepen the knowledge

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The hidden secrets of the halls An inside look at GHS hall monitors Kiara David

“You need to come clean my table,” the child said. “No, you need to do it,” said Mrs. LaMountain. “This is what you get paid for,” said the student. This conversation between a child and a hall monitor, Mrs. LaMountain, took place at Guilderland High School on an early Tuesday morning and is a fairly common occurence. “People tend to look at you like you’re not intelligent. Most of us had careers. Don’t assume that we are not able to do other things; people are disrespectful,” Mrs. LaMountain, a monitor at Guilderland High School, said of incidences like the one mentioned. She has had her share of good and bad times during her years working at GHS. She has experienced plenty of situations when students think it is her responsibility to clean tables, pick up trash, or mind her own business, when in fact she is only trying to help. Despite all of the negative interactions, that occur during the day, there is one reason why you still see her standing in the hallways during passing time. “I laugh so hard because of the kids, 98% are awesome, funny, smart, and kind. That is why we stay.” One highlight of this year was around Christmas time when a student dropped off cookies at her house, along with a card. Kind gestures like these serve to remind her that she is appreciated by

students at GHS, although they may not always show it during her interactions with them on a daily basis. Another thing she appreciates is when students say “thank you”. The words “thank you”, she said, “come just in time and makes me think ‘okay that’s why I’m here, and I love these kids.’ It’s all worth it,” said Mrs. LaMountain. She thinks that her job title is not important and that it does not define the person that she is. If there is two things she could change, it would be people’s view of hall monitors and the pay scale. “I love my little children and they are all mine while they are here,” stated Mrs. LaMountain. That is what matters most to her. With other monitors, it became clear that the monitors that walk the halls at Guilderland High School have all experienced moments when students have disrespected them, as well as good moments with certain students. A specific occurence which has often left one hall monitor feeling disrespected by students is when they say “F you” to her. Students will use this foul language with the monitors when asked to go to class, which often creates animosity towards them. The students say things like “the monitors are restricting our rights.” Mrs. LaMountain would like the students to understand that the monitors are just doing the job they are paid to do. Most

kids don’t know that many of the hall monitors have had other careers, but they choose to be here because they want to work in a school environment. Mrs. LaMountain spends the majority of her time with students that have behavioral problems, but despite difficulties she faces when dealing with these students, there are parts of the job that she finds reawarding as well. One part of her job that she enjoys is the ability to play various roles such as nurse when a child gets hurt in a Photo by Devin Keenholts/The Journal fight, or mom and dad for those students who feel comHall monitors Susan Warnken (left) and Sheryl fortable enough to let her into Micare (right). their personal lives. She sees herself as a “psychologist Hallways without the pay,” because page 3 a lot of students really do Around Town page 5 enjoy talking to her and other monitors when they Fine Arts page 7 get the chance. Worlds and Culture page 9 Mrs. LaMountain added that a lot of the stuBudget News page10 dents at Guilderland want a mother figure. There Pop Arts page 12 was one instance where Opinions page17 she told a student not to bully another student. Sports page 19



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May 2010

Letter to the Editor... Twenty years ago, I was a single mom with a high school diploma living in Los Angeles. My son was two years old, and I worked as a human resources manager for a small manufacturing company. I earned $40,000 a year and drove a company car. Every day, I ate yogurt and an apple for lunch. This was a self-imposed diet born out of necessity; it was all I could afford. I made too much money to receive any assistance in the form of child or health care. Yet, I could not afford car insurance or a couch for my living room. I could not even afford to pay for a divorce lawyer. Today, I will earn a little over $58,000 this school year. My son will be going to law school next year and my daughter will be a junior here at GHS. I have an associate’s, a bachelor’s, and a master’s degree. I am remarried. However, I voted not to offer the school district a day’s pay to offset next year’s budget. It was a decision I was called upon to make in one day. Even as I listened to the debate during the eve of the vote, I was torn. On the one hand, the offer would be perceived as a gesture of good will during a most difficult year for the whole of the world but also for our own community. On the other hand, a day’s pay is inequitable. Teachers who are closer to retirement will be contributing more. Teachers who have consistently led or attended professional development workshop and classes will be contributing more. The argument sounds logical: these teachers make more money; they should contribute more. Really? We cannot know the circumstances that exist in each teacher’s household. If I had voted yes, I would have done an injustice to my colleagues who are single parents. I would have been voting against my colleagues who are the sole support because their spouses are currently unemployed; some for more than a year. The carefully planned household budgets of those with children attending college would be in disarray. Where does a teacher close to retirement find the added income needed to pay for next year’s tuition? Who will employ a 57-year-old? How many days of work will it take to earn the amount they are contributing? What if they are already working more than one teaching position to pay for college? Our contract is negotiated by the bargaining unit. We trust them to represent our best interests. However, the contract becomes superfluous if the terms can be changed by a majority vote whenever the economy tanks. Who is to say we will not be asked to give more next year? I sense this is just the beginning of a very damaging precedent. One that implies that teachers have disposable

salaries, unneeded funds, extra money to give. Meanwhile, we have reacted too quickly without giving enough consideration to how families will be affected. Moreover, we have presented an offer that is unsatisfactory to almost half of the constituency. What are we to expect next year in return for this overture of good will? No raises. That is certain. Why did we not wait until contract negotiations to make concessions that might at least be more equitable? Teachers are by our very natures altruistic. We give everyday to our students, our schools, our communities. It saddens me that I must contribute a day’s pay to garner good will. Where have my 14 years of hard work gone if one day’s pay does more to affect public perception of me than the students I have taught and the lives that I have affected? I recognize the difficulties we face as a community. Costs are high, interest is low, federal and state aid has been slashed, and taxpayers are already overburdened. Nonetheless, we want to continue to provide every child with the quality education Guilderland is proud to advertise and employ the highly qualified teachers who make that happen, but no one wants to pay. I read Chris Claus’s letter to The Altamont Entreprise and loved the idea. What if every person in our community gave a day’s pay? Better yet, what if everyone in the United States gave a day’s pay? Imagine how much we could raise. The bankers who contributed to the debacle we are currently in and who continue to collect bonuses equivalent to our budget shortfall would be helping to resolve the problems they created. We might find ourselves with enough money to increase programs. Sounds wonderful. But it is not realistic. Why not? Because not everyone can give and not everyone wants to give. I am ashamed. I am ashamed that those who have money are not asked to give and those who do not have must continually give more. I would have gladly written a check had I been given the option. That would have left me feeling the way my other charitable contributions do: generous. Instead I feel used and taken for granted. Thank goodness I am remarried or I would still be eating yogurt for lunch every day.

Mickey Young English Teacher Editor’s note: Ms. Young teaches English at Guilderland High School. For more information and viewpoints on the budget, turn to pages 10 & 11.

2010-2011 Staff

Rachel Rodino On Wednesday, April 7th, 2010, Rachel Rodino passed away after being diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease that took Rachel’s life away at only the age of 8. Her funeral was held on Saturday, April 10th, at Christ the King Church in remembrance of her short but well-cared-for years of life. The event, although solemn and saddening, helped members of the community remember just how inspiring Rachel was and how much she changed others lives in a positive way. The Rodino family did everything they could to make sure Rachel was as comfortable and as happy as possible, even with a disease so violent and life-threatening. Rachel was taken to the Saint Peter’s Hospice earlier the week before she passed away, and Lori, the mother and caretaker of Rachel, assured everyone that her passing was as comfortable and peaceful as possible. Over the past several months, multiple fundraisers have occurred to help the Rodino’s in a time of need, such as the Hiawatha Trails Night Golf event held by the Rodino Foundation, as well as the McDonald’s fundraiser in November. Another fundraising event was held on April 18th at Sutter’s Mill restaurant on Western Avenue to celebrate and remember the inspiring life of Rachel. Bracelets, as well as the butterfly garden stakes sold at previous fundraisers, were sold and are now available for purchase. 100% of the proceeds go to help the Rodino family. Rachel will be greatly missed by all of her friends, family, and community members, and her life will never be forgotten.

Austin Cornell

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-Chiefs Mike Marcantonio and Beatrice Malsky Associate Editor Ved Tanavde Associate Editor Tony Pitkin Managing Editor Greg Barber -ContentHallways Editors Abby Levy and Dev Gingrich Fine Arts Editor Noah Rubin Pop Arts Editor Anastasia Mazur Around Town Editor Haejin Hwang World & Cultures Editor Meghan Bodo Opinions Editor Libby Gioia Sports Editor Kyungduk Rho

Jen Crowley Copy Editors

Introducing our newest section Each of us at Guilderland High School has a unique background that contributes to who we are. Part of this background is our culture. Our culture and heritage play a part in our decisions and everyday life. The World and Cultures section has been created to examine and explore the influence that culture has in the world, in our community and on ourselves. To be informed about global events and having cultural awareness is to be a better global citizen. It is necessary that we embrace our own culture, an celebrate all of the cultures around us if we hope to bring more peace and understanding into the world. Please use this section to its fullest, and take a step back to consider what type of global and cultural citizen you are, or want to be.

Meghan Bodo

Hannah Cohen Jimmy McQuade Larry Gerchikov Hannah Liu Rory Carroll -Design-

Photography Editor Devin Keenholts Graphics Editor Kaydee Bickmore -BusinessBusiness Manager Mike Crupi Advertising Manager Matt Simon Marketing Manager Austin Cornell Layout and Design Editor Mike Dvorscak Faculty Advisor Christopher Mazura Building Principal Brian McCann Superintendent of Schools John McGuire

May 2010

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Spotlight on Mrs. Mackey

Hannah Cohen

When one thinks of unique traditions at Guilderland High School, the cultural fair is definitely one a major thing that comes to mind. With the entire school in attendance and hundreds participating, the event, run by international club, is extremely important here at GHS. Also, since everyone participating in the fair, from dances to henna, must become a member, International Club is the largest club at our school. The fair is run by the esteemed leader of international club, Mrs. Mackey, and was first held in 1985. It had modest beginnings, taking place upstairs in four regular classrooms rather than the new gym where it currently resides. That first fair in 1985 was the brainchild of Mrs. Mackey and a group of ESL students who felt pretty isolated from the mainstream GHS population. The first year was, in Mrs. Mackey’s words “hit or miss,” and while the day didn’t go completely smoothly, the tradition of the cultural fair had begun. Ever since 1985, the fair has steadily grown to the monstrosity that it is now through the hard work of students, teachers, and parents. Even though Mrs. Mackey does a crazy amount of work for the fair, she is quick to acknowledge the hard work of others, especially her colleagues, proclaiming that: “The fair is where I discover all of the

the fair has on the school, and the positive reception that it always receives, it is now on the chopping block due to budget cuts. If international club is cut, the fair cannot continue, which would be a major loss. When asked what she thinks GHS students and faculty would be missing if the fair did not go on, Mrs. Mackey responded, “From where I’m standing, a lot. Because of the fair kids who wouldn’t normally interact join groups and make friends. Students sometimes amaze me with what they do. The fair is truly a community event and to not have it would be a very sad thing.” Indeed, it would be, because the enthusiasm towards the fair is proven. Mrs. Mackey says that she has been told in the past that the day of the cultural fair is one of the highest attenPhoto by Abby Levy / The Journal dance days of the year. No one wants to Social studies teacher Mrs. Mackey smiles with International Club miss out on the experience. Vice President, Sindhura Mandava. Mrs. Mackey also said that the fair has inspired many of her former students to talents of teachers” and “Even teachers example, the cultural fair is the only place who are not directly involved in the fair you’ll find a football player willingly wear start similar events at their colleges, or give up class time to allow their students a skirt, for the Haka dance. Mrs. Mackey even to pursue careers in some area of into attend.” says she often looks at kids participating ternational affairs. It’s hard to believe that The cultural fair is truly a school wide in the fair compared to how they are in one day, one event, has such far reaching event that most look forward to year after the classroom and thinks “Is this the effects, but that is what is so great about year. According to Mrs. Mackey the fair same person?” Something about the fair it. It’s true that the cultural fair is a day “opens doors” and makes students step opens our minds and brings us together that brings us all together, but it’s also a outside their comfort zone, helps form as we learn about world cultural through lot of fun. The Guilderland community friendships, and is an all around enjoyable designated country booths, dances, foods, would be missing out on a lot if it is unable to continue. experience. During cultural fair time, we and ethnic items. see a different side to many people, for Despite the overwhelming effect that

Hidden Secrets of the Halls essays. She and I had a nice relationship. The mother of the child being picked When she graduated, she got me a pretty on came to school and set out to find Mrs. gift.” Along with memories like this, she LaMountain and told her “thank you for also values her relationship with her spehelping my child.” It’s the personal con- cial needs friends. She enjoys taking the nections she’s made with certain students time to talk to the kids, and when the kids that really make her job what it is. take time to talk to her. Mrs. Warkin has Another familiar face you can find in GHS for five years, and she still maintains the hallways is Mrs. Warkin, also known her positive outlook, she makes an effort as Sue to most students. She likes the to smile and say “hi” to students in the fact that “the days are not the same, they hallways because she knows that despite can always change, are always interesting, instances of disrespect, they do appreciand can also be very challenging.” She ate seeing a friendly face. goes on to say that “I love A newer additon to coming to my job and beGuilderland is Mrs. ShI love coming to ing able to hear what the eryl Micare, who has only my job and having kids have to say.” During been here for 16 months. her time spent at the high to hear what the kids Like her co-workers, she school, Mrs. Warkin has have to say enjoys when students upone memory that stands date her on what’s new in out as a fairly typical exchange with a their lives. She gives one example , “there student, “During lunch I asked a student is a student, that’s a good writer, and he where he was going because he was try- asks me to read his stories and give my ing to leave. He gave me a lot of mouth feedback on them.” She says, “things along with a few choice words. I told him like this make me feels good because i he was being disrespectful.” The student know he cares about my opinions and then replied, “I don’t care, I don’t respect thoughts.” She also enjoys being able to you at all.” Mrs. Warkin then added, “I socialize with the kids on a daily basis. “I wrote him up. I wasn’t going to chase him like to hear what goes on in their lives.” or have a confrontation. This student was All the hall monitors do their part to being very insubordinate.” connect with the kids. Although they all Along with all the bad, also comes the do experience some negative moments, good. One example is a close relationship they still find their jobs highly rewarding. Mrs. Warkin developed with a female Next time you’re walking the hallways just student. “It was a senior girl that I used say a quick “hello” and maybe get to know to talk to all the time. I helped her with them a little better, they have a lot more her daily problems and read her college to offer than meets the eye. cont’d fromHiddenSecretspage1

Changes to the Reporter Abby Levy

While it is official that there will not be a change to Guilderland High School’s schedule next year, there may be a change to the GHS Reporter. Building cabinet, a group made up of Guilderland teachers, students, administrators, and parents, have discussed changes to the Reporter such as moving it to a different time during advisory, which days it will air, the news content, and the announcement segment. “As opposed to containing students for another two to three minutes to listen to the whole long list of announcements, they will be put on a screen made available for students to see at their leisure, and we don’t hold up the signing of passbooks for students to go do the functions that are most important to be done during advisory,” says advisor of the Reporter, Mr. Viscio regarding a possible change to the announcements. This change would be simple since the same exact announcements that are read on the Reporter can be found on the High School website. Using the new

elmo projectors are now in almost every classroom, teachers would be able to post the announcements from the website on the large projectors for students to read. The cabinet has also discussed limiting the coverage of the reporter to just local

Courtesy of the Journal

news, but that idea was quickly thrown out when it was interpreted as a form of censorship. It was clearly not the intention of cabinet to censor the news that students recieve, and they apologized for the misunderstanding. “I’m not interested as the advisor of this group to promote the censorship of what these students can do. My feeling is that there is not a story topic they cannot cover, if they have the right approach to do it,” said Viscio. As of right now, no official decisions have been made regarding the GHS Reporter program, but students can expect to keep seeing their great news stories sometime during the school day.

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May 2010

Behind the scenes of Guilderland Gold Haewon Hwang In 2003, the class of ’05 decided to plan out a fundraiser that would rake in the dollars for them. It was agreed that one large fundraiser would be more beneficial than many small ones according to Mrs. Gallagher, the advisor of that class and the current freshman class of 2013. Guilderland Gold was intended as a school wide version of the popular show, American Idol. As part of the class of 2013 officers, the rest of the representatives and I are busy at work to make this year’s annual show a success. Over the past weeks before break, several students, male and female alike, came to room 623 to sign up for auditions which were held in the auditorium after school on the 23rd of March, a Tuesday. Over thirty students were signed up to show off their singing abilities to the faculty judges. Unfortunately for the students that were cut, only fifteen to twenty contestants were picked for the final show. At the auditions, the aspiring stars were expected to prepare a song that would impress the judges enough to earn a spot at the competition. The variety of tryouts consisted of guitars, quiet voices, great

presence, and wacky getups. The judges kept straight faces in order to keep their decisions confidential. Students nervously waited outside the auditorium doors to prevent invaders from watching or disrupting the time-crunched auditions. The cuts were tough this year, making this annual show a seat grabber! Annually, Guilderland Gold raises from $2,000 to $3,000 dollars for the hosting class. The class of 2013 advisory worked extremely hard to make brochures and advertisements for the show, which was held on the Friday night of April 16th. The class also worked selling presale tickets to the many students attending, along with the heavy sale of pricier tickets at the door that night leading up to exciting performances. In order for the success of this year’s Guilderland Gold, the freshman class officers had to very quickly hire hosts for the show. The hosts for this year were picked through the process of friend connections and recommendations. The class also made many posters to advertise the fun-filled event. They also sold many tickets to help their class funds. On average, there are about 300 to 350 people

Above: Ian Campbell is presented his winnings from the competition; organized by the class of 2013

in the audience, each student cheering on their favorite singer. Of course, the show would not be ��������������������������������� a success��������������������� if not for���������� the delicious food and concession stands outside. The class officers also had to be present that night to work as ushers or food sellers to help everything run smoothly.

After all the preparations, the show went on and the 15 or so nervous contestants w������������������������������� ere���������������������������� ready for their final judg����� ment. The winner received a $150 reward, a bouquet of flowers, and fame across all of Guilderland High School for having the voice that can charm an audience.

Spotlight on Mr. Ian Campbell- Guilderland Gold Champion Tara Jackson Ian Campbell; he’s a sophomore, he’s a track runner, he’s the guy that always falls in front of you in the hallways, he’s the guy everyone knows, and he’s also this year’s winner of Guilderland Gold! While it may not be as big of a deal as American Idol, Guilderland Gold is a great opportunity for those at GHS to show off their talents to peers, and possibly even score a little extra money to take their significant others out on dates with (hint, hint). The rules of the game are that everyone gets one song to sing in the first round, and then finalists, which there were six of this year, are chosen to enter a second round to sing another song. After this process the judges choose a first and second place winner from these finalists. Ian chose to sing an original song of his for the first round titled “Reality” and then chose to sing his own interpretation of The Beatles’ song, “Blackbird”, for his second. After the announcement that Ian was this year’s champion, I somehow scheduled in a little time to talk with him and ask him a few questions so everyone could learn a little more about their beloved Ian Campbell. When asked why Ian chose his song selections he answered, “I chose ‘Reality’ because it’s the catchiest and most crowd pleasing song I’ve written and I was trying to be original. I chose ‘Blackbird’ just because it’s a retro classic.” I asked Ian what “Reality” was all about and what inspired him to write it. He answered, “It’s (Reality) about the daily pressures of peers expectations on you; saying the right things, looking the right way, all those societal norms.” Ian’s top 5 favorite artists include:

I just write about what’s going on in my head

Top: Winner, Ian Campbell sings his heart out during the competition, Left: Ian poses after his win, Right: 2009 Guilderland Gold champion Cecilia Snow performs

David Ryan Harris, Parachute, Gregory & The Hawk, John Mayer, and Jesse Barrera. His top five influences include: Jesse Barrera, Never Shout Never!, Feist, Justin Beiber, and Amos Lee. I asked Ian what person has the biggest influence on the songs he writes and he stated, “Probably myself, I just write about what’s going on in my head.” Ian said he’s written over 40 complete songs but I know he has a list on his bulletin board of his favorites that he wants to put on an EP sometime soon. He’s been playing guitar for three years now and hopes to someday learn to play the saxophone to add some more jazz into his songs. Ian is a big fan of the genre of jazz. He loves to change chords in any song to jazz chords just to put his own twist on them. When I inquired about Ian’s future goals in music he responded, “To expand my knowledge of music and expose my music to the public more.” He’s been playing some open mics recently to try and get himself out there. But that’s enough about the music, more about the everyday Ian Campbell. When asked what his favorite color is he gave a cliché answer saying, “Green; it’s the color of life.” When I asked Ian what quote he lives by he responded with, “Worry is the misuse of imagination.” Agreed, good thing none of us will have to worry at Guilderland Gold next year! The winner of Guilderland Gold isn’t allowed to compete the next year but instead sings a song as a guest performer. Now that Ian’s out of all of our ways, who will be the next champion? Photos by Devin Keenholts/The Journal

May 2010

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Around Town

A Sea of Patriotism Jim McQuade

The cool, brisk air whirled around as I wandered among those before me, a sea of souls looking upon the living who come and go. Even in the harsh transition from winter to spring, where the snow is gone but the grass and trees are still bereft of color, the landscape around me was fairly pretty – just walking around, I imagined that it would be breath-taking in the spring and summer days to come. And finally, gravestones ranging from an inch to a story tall were lined up along the road and beyond my vision, each one with its own story to tell. Of course, this is the Albany Rural Cemetery. It is no ordinary cemetery, however; it isn’t just a final resting place for our ancestors, or a dark, quiet, ominous area tabooed by society. The Albany Rural Cemetery is a hub of history and should be remembered as one. The Albany Rural Cemetery was created in 1844, just a few miles away in Colonie. It occupies over four hundred acres of space, each of those acres displaying some of the proud history of our country. The most important of everybody buried in the cemetery is our 21st president, Chester Alan Arthur. Although his career as president was less notable than others before and after him, Presi-

dent Arthur was probably best known for fighting the spoils system evident in the federal government and rejecting old machine politics. There were other figures of history buried in the cemetery – people whose impact stayed closer to home. Along with the president, the last patroon Stephen Van Rensselaer resides in Albany Rural Cemetery. What was his significance, you might ask? He founded Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, more commonly known by its acronym, RPI. How about the name Philip Schuyler; does that ring a bell with anyone? He was a general in the Revolutionary War, particularly important for creating the defense plan at the Battle of Saratoga. Later, Schuyler would serve as a senator for New York when the United States government was first formed under the Constitution. Schuyler was also buried at – you guessed it – Albany Rural Cemetery. These are just the most memorable names that lived over the years and currently reside in the cemetery. Other important people, including five governors, eight presidential

cabinet members, and countless senators, congressmen, and judges, also find peace and solace here. So, it’s not just a graveyard filled with deceased people. It’s not a plot of land with stone tablets placed every few feet from each other. It’s a historical site, filled with triumphs and memories that led to our country as it is today. So go out one day and visit this site, and remember those buried at Albany Rural Cemetery as those who helped shape your life as you know it now.

Photos Courtesy of Haejin Hwang/ The Journal

Above: Philip Schuyler’s monument rests on a hill in the Albany Rural Cemetery.

All Aboard the U.S.S. Slater! Julianne Legnard

Ahoy! All readers on deck! Here in Albany, available just in time for the newfound warm weather, is the U.S.S. Slater destroyer escort World War II ship. The Slater, residing in Albany since 1997, has annually brought in over 15,000 tourists to come see what the legendary navy combat boat has to offer. The ship’s captain, Tim Rizzuto, and several devoted tour guides, work to introduce the citizens of Albany to the rich naval history of WWII and the Slater’s role throughout the American-won conflict. The U.S.S. Slater was first built in a Tampa Florida shipping yard in March of 1943. It was then sent up to NYC and used as a torpedo “dummy ship”, helping missile launchers practice their aim. It was hastily fixed

Graphic Courtesy of Haejin Hwang/ The Journal

up and commissioned in 1944, serving three faithful years as a U.S. naval vessel. As a destroyer escort, the Slater had two main jobs. First, it was in charge of guiding important ships on convoy missions, transporting men or materials considered essential to the war effort. Its second job entailed sinking all suspected U-boats; German submarines trying to blow up U.S. aid ships. These two objectives sent the Slater out on five convoy runs to England as well as several voyages through the Panama Canal and around Japan, scoping out kamikaze planes that were attempting to destroy opposing vessels. Although the U.S.S. Slater was fortunate enough not to see a lot of true combat, it endured several close calls, even mistakenly hitting a whale presumed to be a U-boat on May 11, 1945. However, the ship performed up to the highest of naval standards, earning a well-deserved purple heart later presented

to Albany mayor, Jerry Jennings, in 1997. Presently, the U.S.S. Slater is undergoing winter renovations to get ready for its tourist season which runs from April 21st into late next fall. It will be docked on the Albany waterfront and open for business on Wednesdays through Sundays, 10 AM to 4 PM. Since its major renovation back in 1997, when the boat was brought up from NYC, it has been restored back to its original WWII state, based on old blueprints and documented photos. “We really got it looking decent around 2001”, states Captain Tim Rizzuto, “ Pe o ple really appreciate the

changes that have happened since we’ve moved up here”. The people of Albany truly have done their part, coming out to the Slater to show their support. Most of the tourists consist of students, families, and naval groups. In fact, the ship gets most of its profit from old sailors meeting up for crew reunions. “The Navy people are our most loyal group”, says Rizzuto, “But we have people from all walks of life”. So what does the U.S.S. Slater have to offer teens? “This ship gives teens a sense of history and what their grandfathers went through”, adds the Captain. The Slater gives teens a glimpse of a simpler time, back when the old traditional American values thrived, and the war effort brought the nation together. The Slater has not only brought revenue and business back to the Albany waterfront, but has also reminded us that the prospect of war does not always have t o tear our great nation apart. The Slater helps promote an unstressed message to Albany’s youth; war has the possibility to educate and strengthen us on the homefront. It can remind us of our duty to support and remember what our countrymen have historically done for us. So there you have it, if you have a free afternoon in the summer, take a timeout to tour the U.S.S. Slater. To schedule a visit, check out… Happy Sailing!

page 6(


May 2010

Metamorphosis in the Capital Region Haewon Hwang

Attracting close to 3,000 visitors annually, the Butterf ly House at Farnsworth Middle School is proud to announce its thirteenth summer running this year.

The program, founded my Dr. Alan Fiero, boasts a beautiful butterfly garden, an organic garden, informational student-led tours, a metamorphosis room, a gift shop, and an arts & crafts room for children. Visitors from across the town, capital region, state, and often times country, come and learn from avid student volunteers who are equipped with fascinating facts. “The butterfly garden consists of three sections. First we have hundreds of plants that may be used by butterflies for nectar or larval food. We have the larval food for almost every local native butterfly. Secondly, there are areas growing native Pine Bush plants to showcase them to the community. Lastly, we have native Pine Bush plants that we grow for seeds,” explains Dr. Fiero when he was asked to describe major details of the butterfly garden. Twelve years ago, Dr. Fiero started the butterfly program to expose community members to “ideas about the Pine Bush and habitat restoration.” What’s so important about the Pine Bush, one may ask? The Pine Bush used to be buried beneath a moving glacier, which left behind massive amounts of sand. What we didn’t know was that it was home to several native plants, trees, and most importantly, the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly. “The Karner Blue butterfly is a symbol for all  endangered species and specifically for the endangered Pine Bush ecosystem. We are lucky enough to have one of the few remaining populations right here in our own town. The Karner Blue was actually

named after our community. It would be a tremendous loss if it was no longer found here,” interprets Dr. Fiero. According to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve website, less than 20% of the original Albany Pine Bush ecosystem still survives today. This sand barren, formed 15,000 years ago, is now divided by interstate highways, shopping malls (including the popular Crossgates Mall), and industrial parks, and is threatened by further habitat loss. One of the most important programs for the Pine Bush is the controlled fire, which the rare ecosystem is dependent upon to survive as a unique area. Invading species, plants and animals alike, are driven out while the native organisms are revived in the fires. Every summer, over sixty students sign up to volunteer at the station for service learning. The students spend two to three weeks maintaining the

“The Karner Blue butterfly is a symbol for all endangered species and specifically for the endangered Pine Bush ecosystem...” organic garden, leading tours, and acting as mentors in the Butterfly Bonanza and Butterfly 101 programs for younger children learning about butterflies. In the first week of each three-week session (excluding the third and last session, which runs only two weeks), the students learn about the Pine Bush, native butterflies, and gardening strategies. They then take several tests to ensure that their knowledge can be spread to the rest of the community. Every day around noon, the volunteers walk out to the organic garden to pull unwanted

The enterence to the Pine Bush research center displays a pretty mural of the Karner Blue butterfly and other species of this rare ecosystem. Photo by Devin Keenholts/The Journal

weeds, harvest the new vegetables (tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, etc.), and plant seeds for the coming season. When the student volunteers are ready, they take yet another test to memorize the tour speech and when they pass it, they are rewarded with a neat butterfly station tee shirt and cap. The remaining two weeks consist of public tours, gardening, ������� educating young children, and catching butterflies! Each tour star ts with welcoming the visitor to the But���� terfly Station and leading them to the butterfly house in the courtyard while listing the many sponsors of the program. In the butterfly house, many common butterflies fly about, however many more butterflies are collected and brought to the house. The courtyard is also home to the Columbia Space Shuttle Memorial. Back in the school and down the hallway lie the metamorphosis room, museum, arts and crafts room, and gift shop. The metamorphosis room contains hundreds of caterpillars,

chrysalises, and eggs ready to hatch and morph into the beautiful butterflies we all adore. The museum is, what it is: a museum. There are several tick slides under microscopes, petrified moths and butterflies, and even some puzzles exclusively for kids. The gift shop is also located in the museum where the visitor can buy water bottles, handmade bags, seeds, and organic tealeaves, just to name a few. The arts and crafts room is by far the most popular to visitors with children. They can get their face painted, make butterfly bookmarks and door handles, and color in butterfly stencils. Finally, the guest is reminded to visit the organic garden where they can buy all organic vegetables before they depart. Dr. Fiero stresses, “T he Pine Bush Preserve is in constant need of maintenance and restoration if it is to survive in a constantly growing community. They are in constant need of volunteers.” For more information on how to volunteer, visit the Albany Pine Bush Preserve website or the Albany Pine Bush “Discovery Center sponsored by TrustCo.”

Anyone up for some Pizza Gram Plus? Bernadette Javier

With an informal and down-to-earth atmosphere, it’s easy to depict Pizza Gram Plus as the perfect place to eat when you’re uninterested in being prim and proper at an elegant restaurant. At first glance, Pizza Gram Plus has a homey, cabin-like facade with wooden walls surrounding the gleaming hardwood floors that surely won’t be as glossy at the end of the night with the amount of cars in the parking lot. Most of the time, the majority of the people parked outside populate the back section of the restaurant, which consists of all the takeout orders ranging from the different topping pizzas, chicken wings, etc. Other times, people occupy the front section of Pizza Gram Plus, which is the main dining room that consists of tables, a bar, and televisions that broadcast a variety of sports. It is the perfect hotspot for families and teens that are looking for the

perfect All-American style restaurant. The menu has a wide range to offer, varying from steak and chicken to pasta and pizza. So yes, there are other types of food other than pizza, just in case you weren’t aware. The instant you walk into the restaurant, your stomach immediately protests in hunger as the smell of a newly grilled steak lingers under your nose and the sight of a chicken parm on a plate reaches your line of view. The large portions of food you receive will honestly boggle your mind! Depending on how hungry you are, two or three people can probably finish one order of chicken parm. In other words, you get double the amount of food in Pizza Gram than you do in a fancy pants restaurant for about the same price.  Unlike other restaurants, the service in Pizza Gram Plus is also a major thumbsup. The waiting staff is completely attentive and patient, no matter how ridiculous

Pizza Gram Plus is located at 2514 Western Avanue/Route 20

the orders and the amount of people there are. They hustle quickly to bring you your food and meet other customers’ demands. They constantly make sure you have everything you need, whether it’s another bowl of soup or a refill of iced tea. Your money will not be wasted on

Photo By Bernadette Javier/The Journal

paying that extra service pay, I assure you. Although the name is a bit misleading, Pizza Gram Plus is far from being just another pizza place and it certainly will not disappoint your appetite.

May 2010


Fine Arts

Journal) page 7

With the Guilderland Players, “Anything Goes!” Clare Ladd and Sharon Lin

“It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s…delovely!” On March 11th through March 14th, the Guilderland Players returned to Guilderland High School to present another stage classic: Anything Goes, a musical written by Cole Porter. With cheerful singing accompanied by upbeat orchestral music and intense, beautifully choreographed dancing (including spectacular, challenging tap dances), GP’s performance left the audience in awe, and thus, the Guilderland Players were able to produce one of their best shows ever in history. This classic 1930s musical consists of zany, madcap adventures aboard the SS American, on a voyage from New York to London. Protagonist Bill Crocker stows away on the ship to pursue Hope Harcourt, the heiress he fell for recently at a party. Unfortunately for him, she’s with her fiancé, stuffy British Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Also on board are Elisha Whitney, Billy’s boss, who thinks he’s still in New York, a goofy mobster named Moonface Martin and his girlfriend Erma (who gave Billy the fake passport of their friend, Public Enemy No. 1, Snake Eyes Johnson, for whom Billy is later mistaken), and Billy’s friend Reno Sweeney, an evangelist-turned-nightclub singer, who, along with her four Angels, is providing leave the audience wanting even more. the ship’s entertainment. Adventures, However, without the Stage Crew and laughs, and love triangles ensue, and, of the Pit Orchestra, the show would not be course, many show-stopping numbers, as wonderful as it including “Anything was. Both the Goes”, and “Blow, crew and the pit Gabriel, Blow.” All these elements worked worked alongAll of the members together to give the show side the cast in of the Guilderland Play- the ‘life and action’ that it needed order to bring ers, whether they were to be completely life and action part of the cast, crew, or unforgettable. into the propit orchestra, worked duction. The hard and devoted crew created an much time into putamazing, two-level set that looked very ting together one of the most enjoyable much like a real ship, and the orchestra shows in the history of the Guilderland did a fantastic job of bringing Cole PorPlayers. Four flawless performances ter’s fantastic score to life. All these ele(five if you count the one performance ments worked together to give the show on Wednesday, March 10th, specifically the “life and action” that it needed to be for 8th graders in Guilderland) were the completely unforgettable. result of each member’s dedication to “I’ve heard my family say that this creating a wonderful show that would year’s show was the best they had seen

Cecilia Snow as Reno Sweeney (left) and members of the ship’s crew (right)

in twenty years,” Alex Benninger, a cast member who portrayed Elisha Whitney, remarks. “…Our new director, Olivia Mars, was truly great to work with, and her vision for a show she truly loved was one I’ll remember always. She gave me my first break out role, and I loved all the shenanigans that I got to perform, and the changing of my voice. Congrats to Ms. Mars and Anything Goes 2.0!” Even though the Guilderland Players rehearsed daily without much rest, they were still able to create a show that, according to Benninger, was “the best [my family] had seen in twenty years.” Alex Tomaso, who played the ship’s purser, says, “We had rehearsals everyday and once the musical ended I was sitting at home thinking, ‘I have free time? What is this? What am I supposed to do now?’ It’s just sad to know that I don’t have practice the next day and we don’t have to perform

the musical anymore.” She reflected on the performance of Anything Goes: “It was everything I hoped it would be and much more.” As the curtains gave a final close, everyone that had to do with the play (the cast, the crew, the pit orchestra, and even the audience) lamented for the fact that it was the last production from the Guilderland Players of the 2009-2010 school year. To anyone who missed the result of hard work and diligence, I would have to feel very sorry for you. If you did see it, you surely know how much of a tragedy it would be to cut funding from this marvelous group, which stands out as one of the best among area high schools. It was definitely a musical that would leave anyone much more than proud. Just as Cole Porter wrote, all those decades ago, this show was “delightful, delicious, and de-lovely.”

Photos courtesy Andrew Maycock/The Guilderland Players


Fine Arts

Journal) page 8

May 2010

Spotlight: Student artist Lauren Slezak Mike Reluzco

Lauren Slezak, a current Guilderland senior and an avid artist, made an unintentional but odd discovery at the young age of four. She could draw in perspective. “I had no idea I was drawing in perspective,” she says, “but I saw things differently than other people.” Indeed, at around eight or nine she discovered her special drawing abilities. But it wasn’t until fifth grade that she began to take her talent more seriously and actively pursue art. That active pursuit has continued to this very day. Slezak likes to “dip her brush” in as many areas of art as possible in order to elucidate her true interests. At the moment, she is taking on an artistically heavy course load that includes Advanced Art II, Sculpture, Digital Photography, and Photoshop. But she has a particular penchant for working with acrylic paints, oil pastel, graphite, and colored pencil. It’s that traditionalism in genre choice that differentiates her from many student artists. “I’ve been very interested in still life, surprisingly,” she says. “I like a more classical approach to subjects; the boring fruit and figure take if you will.” But her traditionalism doesn’t stop her from experimenting in other areas. At the moment, Slezak is exploring oil painting. She hopes to complete her second work in oil

paint soon. While Slezak enjoys experimenting and expanding her artistic horizons, her future interests will probably remain somewhat more narrowed. “I really love working in Photoshop, maybe I’ll end up taking a class or two, but that’s as far as I’ll go with it,” she concedes. Slezak plans to attend SUNY Geneseo next year, but it appears that painting will take a backseat. Slezak plans to study French and Art History, a slight digression from her interest in visual art. “I’ve always enjoyed making art, but I want to keep that aspect personal,” she admits. “I’m much more interested in the art history field.” But while her studies will be a departure from her role as an artist, she says she will still paint and draw for her own enjoyment. But if there’s one thing that Slezak is absolutely sure of, it’s that she was made an artist. “People are born with talent,” she explains. “Whether or not they choose to develop it is what makes them artists.”

But if there’s one thing that Slezak is absolutely sure of, it’s that she was made an artist.

One of Slezak’s recent still life works (above) and a dramatic self-portrait (below).

The Guilderland Players bid farewell to seniors Rebecca Fitzgerald

Cecilia Snow Even at a young age, Cecilia Snow loved musicals. The senior lead never thought she would be so passionate about show business, but now years later, she can’t imagine life without it. Snow began musical theatre when she was a freshman in high school, right when she joined GP. She was one of the six fortunate freshmen who were casted. She wasn’t nearly as nervous as others. “Because I was a dancer beforehand, it made it easy to get up onstage for auditions and performances,” she says. Just four years later, Snow has danced and acted her way through 10 shows, her 11th will be Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at Park Playhouse this summer. Yet her favorite show was the recent Anything Goes. “I’m into the old school musicals. The ones where people stop and sing about their emotions and break out into a time step,” Snow continued. “I also loved the era it took place in. I love the 20’s and the 30’s, all the jazz and the constant dancing.” Snow says that the musical really called her name. Snow will attend college in the fall. But she does not intend to get her Bachelor’s in theatre. Instead, she is planning to get a Master’s Degree in Musical Theatre from NYU or somewhere in the city. “I hope to make a career out of it someday, but for now, we’ll take one step at a time,” she says.

Gabby Formica For Gabby Formica, the shows are really adding up. Formica debuted in the sixth grade at Farnworth Middle School with FMS Mask. Since then, she has performed in a total of 21 shows. With such experience, you would have thought that Formica’s family had a showbiz background. But surprisingly, there was none. In fact, Formica started with theatre, her beloved hobby out of curiosity.“I just kind of randomly decided to try theater, and after that first bow, I was hooked and it became a ridiculous obsession.” At the same time though, she struggles to explain that obsession. “It’s not something that words can articulate. It’s an amazing feeling of pride for all of the work you and your cast did, but also great excitement for all of the recognition that you’ll get,” she said with a laugh. “To be on-stage and perform is the best feeling in the world. It’s the best escape I’ve found.” Formica is excited to attend SUNY Geneseo in the fall. But she’s definitely not excited to leave the close-knit Guilderland Players family that she has known and enjoyed for so long. “The people I have met are the best friends I have ever had. I have learned so much from all of them and I wouldn’t want to spend my time with anyone else. There’s no doubt in my mind GP has changed me for the better.”

Lauren Burgasser Lauren Burgasser played Purity, one of three of Reno Sweeney’s angels. As Burgasser describes them, the angels are big dancers, fun, energetic, and very, very perky. As a spectator at the musical, what was interesting about the angels was that they seemed so well-played. Burgasser pointed out that the trick was that the girls were just playing themselves. At least that’s what Burgasser loved about playing Purity. Burgasser truly believes that GP is what made her high school years as exciting as they were. To Burgasser, and the rest of the seniors, GP was their high school experience. Without GP, high school would have been entirely different. “GP changed my life.” Alex Tomaso It takes guts to step up on stage and perform in front of your peers, families and friends. What’s even more difficult is stepping up to this task as a senior, when others have been performing since childhood. Alex Tomaso was new on the cast of this year’s Guilderland Players musical. She began performing when she was younger, and she eventually joined the Guilderland Shakespeare Society last year. “I have always loved to sing and watch musicals and I thought it would be a great experience to tryout [for GP] this year.” Even as a newcomer to the Guilderland

Players, Tomaso recognized the passion of the group, and it became her favorite part about GP. “Everyone comes together and that sense of family forms.” Tomaso continued, “I’ll miss everyone who was involved. This group is extremely talented and everyone is so nice to each other.” This is just Tomaso’s beginning. Departing for college in the fall, she hopes to minor in theatre, but will definitely continue to audition for plays and musicals. Justine Chun and Marissa Swyer Never underestimate the Ensemble. The Ensemble is the larger group of actors, actresses and dancers that don’t have a specific role. Instead, they join the cast with the bigger dances and songs. Justine Chun and Marissa Swyer both participated in the Ensemble from the recent musical. This was Chun’ s fourth year in GP, and Swyer’s first. Chun has been in the Ensemble each year, but she says this year was her favorite year because Anything Goes involved numerous dances that she was able to learn. Without those, she wouldn’t have been able to improve her dancing skills as much. Swyer has always found theater interesting, but she ultimately decided to audition for the musical because of her three senior GP friends: Cecilia Snow, CJ Higgins, and Serena Stevens. Like the rest of the graduating Players, she felt the comfort of family on and off the stage.

May 2010

World & Cultures

World bands together to support Haiti relief efforts

Mary Powathil

“We are the world, we are the children, and we are the ones who make a brighter day so let’s keep givin’.” What does that mean for us? It means that we have the ability to make a change. Haiti has gone through some tough times in the past few months. Like New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, many were lost in the earthquakes and those who survived were left hungry and without homes. Many lost their families and many children were left homeless. The earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12th lasted about 35 seconds. Yet there was such a great amount of damage done to the country that it took almost two months to fully recover from the devastation it brought to the country. There was little to no warning of this earthquake that scarred the lives of many. It was said to have been totally normal one minute, and the next, “the world began to shake,” one survivor recalls. Thankfully the world seemed to catch up with this disaster and began to pitch in by donating money, food, and services to the Haiti government. Yet when aid

came to Haiti, there was another problem, stealing. The people were in such a dire state that when they soon came to realize where the supplies were being dropped off, they went there to take more than their portions of food to help their

starving families, etc. It was then found that when the men came to take the food, they would often bring it to their own black markets and sell it that way. So what they were doing was making sure they (the strongest and fit) would have food and shelter, while the others’ lives

were being endangered by the constant lack of supplies. But finally the government took action and blocked off where the planes with supplies were to land. After that, some sort of shelter and way of living was set up. Though there was safety of some sorts shown in Haiti, no one could make up for the amount of missing people that brought grief upon many of the survivors. Even as aid struggled to arrive, relief groups all around the world came together for this one cause. As they worked to bring peace and help to this nation or hurt and sorrow, they cried out one message for all those who were desperate: “You are not alone.”. Graphic Courtesy of Katherine Bickmore/the Journal

Nuclear world summit yields gains World nations agree to significantly decrease their possesion of nuclear materials Hannah Cohen Following in the footsteps of presidents before him, President Obama has decided to address an issue that may not be in the forefront of our minds, but is certainly something that cannot be ignored: nuclear security. He hosted a two-day summit in Washington D.C. with 47 world nations in attendance to discuss the only weapons with which we could truly destroy each other and our world. Russia and the United States set the tone for the summit by signing a treaty under which both countries agreed to reduce their nuclear stockpiles the week before the summit began. In the treaty both countries agreed to dispose of 34 metric tons of plutonium, which is enough material to produce 17,000 nuclear weapons. The summit is a centerpiece to Obama’s objective of stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, especially to countries heavily involved in terrorist activities, namely Iran. According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, some of the main concerns that the United States have and wish to address are out-of-date weapons possessed by countries like Russia that don’t have the

safeguards that more modern weapons do, and also to address the threat of Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations who are working to obtain nuclear materials with which they could wreak havoc. Obama hopes to “lock down” nuclear material and looks to countries like South Africa, who began developing a nuclear weapons program and later dismantled it, for support. The countries in attendance at the summit were Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and Vietnam. The United Nations, the European Union, and the International Atomic Energy Agency were also represented. Some achievements at the summit in-

clude the Ukraine’s decision to get rid of its stores of highly enriched Uranium and the announcement of a law in Egypt that will be passed to strengthen the country’s nuclear security. It has also produced more of an overall feeling of camaraderie among the attending nations in regards to nuclear security and how the world should proceed in securing nuclear weapons. Obama has faced criticism in regards to his attitude towards nuclear security from republican leaders, who feel that his strategy is too weak in regards to major nuclear threats Iran and North Korea. No new specific policy towards the two countries was established at the summit due to hesitation from countries such as China to involve themselves in such policies. This thought process is specifically in regards to Iran because there is reason to worry about possible economic ramifications if aggressive action of some kind were to be taken. It is clear that the Obama administration feels that the summit has been a successful first step in establishing worldwide nuclear security. South Korea is set to hold a follow-up summit in 2012.


Journal) page 9

Mission of Hope: Adventures in Nicaragua Bobby Ruggles On my flight to Houston from Newark, NJ, where I would make my connection to Managua, my head was buzzing with thought. Going to Nicaragua with Mission of Hope was a new kind of experience for e. Never in my life had I done something like this. What was it like down there? What would I do? What would happen to me? And the thought that lapped my mind the most, am I going to be changed when I come back? I think that was the biggest fear that I had. If I was going to be changed as much as people said I was going to be. Mission of Hope is a group dedicated to service in Nicaragua that has been on a total of 35 missions. Through this group I made my way into a week of service. Everyday I did something different to help those in need in Nicaragua. I built homes, distributed rice and beans, I painted murals inside of a clinic that was located inside of a dump where people lived. Through my many experiences in Nicaragua I gained a valuable bit of information. I started to view the people in a different way than when I first arrived. As we were driving down the road to get where we were staying I got to witness my first bit of Nicaragua. Tin shacks slapped together with the shabbiest of materials. People were walking in the middle of the road trying to sell their wares, shouting to you if your window was open, and if it wasn’t they would knock on it to get your attention. This is a completely different world. And this was only mere miles away from the international airport located in Nicaragua. After spending time with the families and the children I saw how happy they are. Even though most of them live in shacks and huts, they still have so much love for each other and the people who help them. You also become great friends with the Nicaraguans. Being a Spanish speaker I think I got more out of the experience. Being able to have a conversation with the natives was a mind blowing experience. Learning how to speak Spanish is one level of understanding, but actually being able to use it in an actual situation is another experience entirely. Having a conversation with a native speaker is something that will live with me for the rest of my life. But that was the effect of this trip. It will be with me the rest of my life. The friends I have made, American and Nicaraguan. I will remember all of the times I had made a small child smile simply by taking their picture or giving them a sticker. I will remember the looks of those who received a home-shelter. I will remember walking into a dump where people carve out homes in the mountain of filth and garbage simply because they have nowhere else to live. But the memory engrained in my mind will always be the children waving goodbye as we left to go to the airport smiling, being in the same position, a year older, when I return next February.


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ing environment here at Guilderland and deserve a funded place in our budget. I speak on behalf of all the athletes, sports fans, and Guilderland athletic parents when I say that cutting sports at any level here at Guilderland would be an enormous mistake. To cut sports, is to destroy the bonds that have been created over the years throughout sports teams, teammates, coaches, and parents. Sports have built character and strengthen students in far more ways than any class I have ever taken. The lessons taught on an athletic field or court is invaluable to any adolescent. I wish everyone was apart of such an outstanding experience. When you think about cutting sports, think about how far each of our athletic programs has come. Just a few years ago, the boys’ basketball team played at the Times Union Center in the final rounds of section two sectionals. That same year, our boys’ football team was top in the state and managed to make it to the super bowl after a tremendous season. Last year, the boys’ soccer team went on a wild ride towards a state championship. Today, the boys’ baseball team is gearing towards a section title and the boys’ lacrosse team is going for another. Not to mention, the girls’ lacrosse team which is once again on track for another state championship-go-around. For many listed reasons, regardless of any money issues, sports at Guilderland need to stay.

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Kat Keegan When I look back on my High School experience, I’ll remember first my experience on the multiple sports teams I have been apart of. Countless hours of practice, summer camps, game after game, and many memorable times with my teammates are among the short list of things that Guilderland athletics has brought to my life. It seems so surreal that with the recent budget cuts that anyone would even consider to cut sports from Guilderland High School. To me, it’s ridiculous, insane, unnecessary, and unfair to those who have invested their time and energy into these activities. High school is supposed to be a time of development mentally, physically, and holistically. What helps for many of the students at Guilderland, is to participate in high school sports to develop time management, teamwork, perseverance, strength, courage, and leadership abilities. Most of the sports teams here at Guilderland do statistically better in the classroom than those who go directly home after school. Just think, with sports cuts, it means several kids going home after school with less structure than they are used to, which can affect the way they manage their time and go about the remainder of their day. While I understand money is always an issue, I do not understand how cutting sports should even be under consideration. They are much too valuable to our cooperative learn-



pring is usually characterized by the budding of trees, the growing of plants and the onset of warmer weather. Instead, here in Guilderland, spring is characterized by the school budget – anything and everything that has to do with it. The proposed budget for the 2010-11 school year has got taxpayers alarmed, district officials trying to please everyone, and teachers worried about being cut. Most importantly, students are pained with the thought that their favorite teacher won’t be here next year, and the sport team that they’re currently on will be no more. On April 13, the Guilderland Board of Education unanimously adopted an $87,447,715 spending plan for the 2010-11 school year after countless amounts of hours, days and even weeks went into balancing the budget. The proposal represents an increase in spending of 2.49 percent over the current year’s budget and will go before district voters on May 18. The proposed budget cuts jobs, cancels school programs, and has other substantial effects. This budget comes in $68,000 shy of the superintendent’s proposed budget and does include the restoration of some district jobs and a numerous number of programs. This restoration was made feasible by several cost saving measures such as Guilderland teachers sacrificing one day’s pay to give a total of $220,000 to the district. In addition, the district will delay the repayment of a bond that will temporarily save $1.15 million for a year (but it must be paid next year, along with next year’s payment, plus interest), and $73,000 will be saved by eliminating a majority of freshman sports

ones. “In terms of [in sports], it might h involve [freshmen] ha worry the only thing to handle that. I wou into consideration.” S do have to play on hig going to get as much develop their skill.

“I don’t think freshman sports should be cut because it will negatively affect all sports programs,” stated junior, Kyra Malamood. “From my experience with the soccer program, the freshman level is a great opportunity for 8th graders to play above modified sports, but more importantly it lowers the competition to make a JV or Varsity team. Now, without freshman teams, many athletes will be without a team to play on because of the heightened competition.” Freshman, Adam Pitkin, who is currently on the freshman baseball team, feels the same way as Malamood. “It [the elimination of freshman sports] will add chaos to JV tryouts because there will be more people competing for a spot,” he claimed. “While freshmen could play in recreational sport leagues, I know most desire the intense competition in school sports.” On the other hand, tax-payer, Rita Tetreault, who has had three children go through the Guilderland School District, playing sports throughout their high school career, said that if there’s going to be one part of the sports that get cut freshman sports are probably the most practicable

“It is hard to ima athletics, extra-curric miliar faces of faculty expressed a GHS teac as we approach the ne This teacher point trict is asking for a 3.5 across the state are a average). According t this is “a blanket comp some small districts a base. That would impa been forced to adopt “Bottom line, it’s a ministration and the sc McCann stated. “If o doing, we put out a 5 have detrimental effec not forget, it’s the tax ing to pull the lever o

Unlike the propo includes a full reinst activities for the midd ing the district $156, an additional part-tim $18,040, the special ed ing $111,600, AP and costing $33,500, and school, costing $40,20 Not all jobs were full-time equivalent s cut: 10 full-time equ time equivalent teach equivalent supervisor full-time equivalent n posed spending plan e Start Program (FLES


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Main article written by Michael Marcantonio with reporting contributed by Tony Pitkin and Gregory Barber. Layout by Beatrice Malsky and Mike Dvorscak.

(That ’s $ 8 7 , 4 4 7 , 7 1 5 )

C l u b s Michael Schaffer valuable things and give back to our community. The international club and cultural fair has given many students the opportunity to learn about many different countries and cultures that we don’t learn about in class. Clubs have sponsored many charity events around our school, helping us donate money for those less fortunate then us. When we participate in clubs, that we truly enjoy, we get a place where we belong, and friends that we wouldn’t otherwise have met. The clubs that we have have affected each and every student at GHS, whether you belong to any clubs or not. Bake sales, fund raisers, and large school wide events have an impact on us all. And for Some students who are planning on getting into the best colleges possible, clubs give them the opportunity to stay competitive with students from other districts. Although not everyone participates in clubs, I believe we can all agree that they are an important part of our High School experience.

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Unfortunately our school is short on money and some things need to be cut. Clubs (stipends for teacher advisors) were going to be one of those things. Fortunately they were put back in, in the final budget. Unfortunately freshmen sports, fall cheerleading and some other things were cut. Are clubs as important as teachers or students classroom activities? No they aren’t. But are clubs more important then some of the other things cut? As important as freshmen sports are, I believe so. Clubs offer a lot of things that classes don’t. As a student myself I enjoy the opportunities to learn outside of class that clubs provide. I take pride in my club, Mock Trial, and because it’s completely optional to my high school experience I can fully enjoy the learning opportunities that it offers, without worrying about a grade. Clubs all over GHS give students the chance to excel in areas that they couldn’t normally have the chance to. Our club experience at GHS helps us learn many

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agine Guilderland Schools without cular activities, and some of the fay and support staff in our hallways,” cher, “But that may be the stark reality ext few years of financial insecurity.” ted out that Guilderland School Dis59 percent tax increase when districts asking for 5-7 percent increases (on to building principal, Brian McCann, parison across the state. For example, across the state have a very small tax act how much of a tax increase they’re t in these tough economic times.” a balancing act that calls for the adschool board to know its community,” only to match what other schools are 5-7 percent tax increase, that would ct on our community trust. And let’s x-payer and the community that’s goon the budget.”

The case for

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osed budget, the adopted budget tallation of after school clubs and dle school and the high school, cost,660. Also included in the budget is me nursing position at FMS, costing ducation administrator at FMS, costd SUPA courses at the high school, earth science classes at the middle 00. saved in the budget. A total of 56 staff positions district-wide will be uivalent teaching positions; 24 fullhing assistant positions; 3 full-time r and coordinator positions; and 19 non-instructional positions. The proeliminates the Foreign Language Early S) for students in grades K-3, as well.

GHS business teacher, Kate Lawler, agreed with McCann. “Guilderland has always been really low [in taxes],” she stated in response to the 3.59 percent tax increase. “To be honest, I’m ok with the increase. I am involved in real estate a little bit, so I know what the taxes are around [the region], whether it be in Bethlehem or the in Shenendehowa district; Guilderland always fairs very well with that. I think it’s a very fair increase and will help our school district continue on.” While, Brian Hartson, a Guilderland tax-payer, claimed that this increase could have been avoided if the school board hadn’t approved full-day kindergarten last year. “We had no business approving full-day kindergarten when we knew that the funding was only going to be there for two years in Washington,” Hartson stated. “They should have backed away from a full-day kindergarten, it never should have happened.” He continued to say that the board should have waited to approve this program, but only when things improved economically. For the average tax-payer, the tax increase amounts to $140 per year (based on a $200,000 tax assessment), according to the Informal Budget Hearing for the 2010-11 school year on March 23. One GHS teacher believes these district-wide cuts and elimination of sport/club programs would not have been necessary if the district had asked for more reasonable tax increases in the last three years. Lawler believes that there is no way to determine exactly where we’d be if taxes were greatly increased over the last three years. “You couldn’t have predicted what would have happened with the economy, you never know what’s going to happen. The goal is always to make both the voters happy, while keeping the best interests of the district in mind.” With this budget, there is growing concern from taxpayers and/or parents as to whether or not teacher cuts will affect the education of Guilderland students. Tetreault said that we’re very fortunate to have a good teacher-student ratio and is worried to see that diminish. “When you have special needs or require extra time, it may be difficult for teachers with a higher number of kids within the classroom without having the support systems from the teaching assistants. It’s going to be tough for them to give adequate time [to each student],” she claimed. “I don’t know how it cannot have an impact on the quality of the education that the kids are going to receive.” According to assistant principal, Aaron Sicotte, class sizes will be higher across the district and there will be limits on classes being run, due to insufficient funds and not enough teachers. “There’s no doubt that students will feel a direct impact, but I believe we can handle the cuts we are faced with and the challenges that are presented,” Sicotte stated. “Uncomfortable decisions have to be made..

1,723.99 atYears Harvard

f Guilderland remaining competitive have an impact,” she stated. “It may aving to play at a higher level and I with that is if physically they’re able uld hope the coaches would take that She also expressed the fact that if kids gher level teams, they’re probably not h playing time and be able to further

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Journal) page 11

Copies of Hitchhiker’s 8573305.3 Guide to the Galaxy

May 2010

World and Cultures


Journal) page 12

Cultural Fair 2010

“Clap your hands, tap your feet, and sing along to a different beat.” GHS held its 25th annual Cultural Fair on March 29th, 2010 where all joined together to celebrate the cultures of the world. cont’dfrompg1 available on the country. “My favorite thing about the fair is all the new people you get to meet; the whole school is there so you get to talk to people who aren’t in your classes,” junior Leslie Shaffer commented about the event. When one was not walking around learning about different countries, he or she had the opportunity to get an authentic Henna tattoo by a talented GHS artist. Another option was to bargain for goods from other countries at the Ethnic Items table, where things like bamboo, pins, jewelry and other artifacts from around the world were available. And if one found their stomach grumbling, they could barter for authentically cooked dishes at the Food Booth, where breakfast, lunch, main courses and desserts tempted all of the visitors. “Everyone was very willing to try all of the different foods that were foreign to them, and there was no food that no one tried,” junior Hannah Cohen reminisced about working at the Food Booth. In the center of the gymnasium, a performance was constantly taking place. Along with a plethora of different dances, including Haka, Indian, Hula, Arabian, Cambodian Flower Petal Dance, Step, Irish Step, Fusion, Greek, Israeli, African, and Hip-Hop were several musical performances: Mr.Ouckama treated us with a traditional Guyanese musical performance, eighth grader Ryker Bodo played the bagpipes, and visitor Mrs.Wellen treated us with traditional Italian music. There was also a karate demonstration. “I really liked doing the Cultural Fair. The dances are so much fun, and I loved seeing all of the costumes,” junior Dev Gingrich adds about the dance performances. Undoubtedly, it was difficult for one to leave the fair without learning something about another culture. The cultural fair was another successful attempt at celebrating the different cultures of which each are all a part at Guilderland High School.

It’s probably one of the best experiences that I have had in all four years of high school, and I really hope that in college I will have another opportunity to celebrate culture like this because it has truly been awesome. - Lucia Qian, senior

Photos courtesy of Dev Keenholts and Mike Marcantonio/the Journal


May 2010

Journal) page 13

Pop Arts

Envy On The Coast: Q & A

A inside look at the philosophies of lead singer Ryan Hunter.

Tony Pitkin Long Island emo-rockers Envy on the Coast would’ve never imagined their band reaching the point they have, especially after FYE alegedly published, Lucy Gray, their first full length, under the name Easy on the Coast. That album then went on to peak at #11 on the alternative charts that year. With their most recent release, Lowcountry, and a cover on the latest Punk Goes... series, it’s easy to see how the fans helped them reach national recognition. Tony: As a band it has to be so helpful to have such a dedicated fan base. As far as the fans go, what is the craziest, most dedicated one you ever met? Ryan: We played St. Louis once, and met this gentleman who ended up become a friend of ours. Jeremy and I were outside the venue and we met this guy who said he worked at a restaurant down the block and he took us down there and bought us full dinners of muscles and all this amazing Italian food, and then brought us back to his house, hooked us up with a bunch of other stuff for the road. He spent a good amount of money and yeah, it was all kinda spur of the moment. I don’t know, that was pretty crazy, I’ve never had a guy walk up to me in the back of an alley and be like, “Oh I’m going to hook you up with a huge Italian dinner.” Tony: When you guys aren’t busy touring, what do you like to do back home? Ryan: We all kind of like to do different things, we all have our own interests and hobbies back home. A few of us are big hockey fans, Jeremy spends a lot of time going to shows when he’s home in the city and Brooklyn, I don’t know what the f*** Sal does. No I’m kidding, Sal plays basketball a lot. We all try to stay pretty active, hang out with our friends, same things anyone else would do when they’re home. We spend a lot of time with our family; we’re all very family oriented. We got spoiled; we were home for a lot of this time making this record so leaving for this tour was a little bit difficult, it was like leaving for the first time all over again. Tony: Every artist can tell a story about when they hit their “moment of fame”, when they knew they’d made it, have you guys had that moment yet? Ryan: No, and I don’t think we’ll ever be a band that thinks that or ever reaches that point. Every band has their own way of judging their success, and all the bands we’ve toured with, no matter how high up they are they always have a band that they look up to and want to achieve their level of success. It’s kind of sad, that it’s like, the grass is always greener kind of situation. The way we’ve always done things here is we’re still out here, and people are coming to shows, and we don’t have to go home and get jobs to pay the bills. We’re happy, we’re still able to play music every night and hopefully we always will be. We’re still a punk rock band at the core; everyone still goes home and worries about bills. We’re able to use the money we make on the road to pay for things back home, some bands can’t even do that, but we were all making trips

to Coin Star and searching through the cash machines before leaving for this tour. Tony: Many artists in the industry right now are pitching in to help out with the Haiti relief efforts, are you guys doing anything to help? Ryan: A good friend of ours, Andy, who has helped us out with a lot of things, just being proactive, and he hit us up and asked us to do this Haiti benefit at Special Sauce, a skateboard shop in Huntington. Kids were awesome, they brought supplies, someone from Gatorade came and didn’t even bring Gatorade there, they had it shipped directly to the airport. It was just such a cool thing, Sal felt like we should keep it going and do whatever we can, and we set up the merch store now so that some of the money that comes in can go down to help out. It’s been rad, we have really cool fans, every time they show up it just show up and do whatever they can. Tony: As far as making money goes, have you guys felt the hit of the huge increase in people who illegally download music? Ryan: I don’t know, I think we started touring during the beginning of the transitional phase, it feels like we’re in between things, I feel like the industry is going to change, and there’s not going to be record labels. I don’t know, something’s going to happen. Everyone’s trying to figure everything out in this new place, therefore, I don’t give a {explicitive}, I’m all for it. I think ultimately, people are going to find your band, and there’s different ways to survive, you don’t have to live off record sales. I’m all for it, it’s going to be free eventually anyway so why fight it. Kids are going to get music however they’re going to get it, as long as they like the band and come to a show, buy a t-shirt, it’s fine by me. Tony: You guys recently recorded a cover of “All Along The Watchtower” for Punk Goes Classic Rock, a song played by the likes of Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix, did you feel a certain amount of pressure going into that? Ryan: Well, we figured, if we’re going to do this Punk Goes Classic Rock thing, we looked at the list of songs, and we we’re like, alright, pretty much covering any one of these is: dangerous, disgraceful, and ballsy. So let’s go ahead and take the one that no one’s going to touch cause it’s insulting to the artist, and yeah, let’s go ahead and do that one. I also think it was the one that most related to the influences in our band. Yeah, Hendrix is the man, obviously, but we figured {explicitive} it. Tony: Where do you see the band headed in the next couple of years? Ryan: Right now, I see us headed to San Francisco, because that’s where we’re headed. I don’t know, we take it day by day. We try not to look too far into the future, hopefully people dig this record, we’re having a fun time playing it, and hopefully we’ll be on the road for the next year playing the songs off it. Kids are really into the new stuff, and I don’t remember if we had this type of reaction,

Pictured above and below, Ryan Hunter, lead singer of Envy on the Coast. Photos by Haley Anderson/The Journal

I don’t know if maybe I’m just excited about the new record, but I don’t think it’s ever been the frequency as it is now of people coming up saying, “Yo, we’re stoked, we love the new material”. Yeah, people are digging it. Tony: This last question I sort of pulled out of nowhere because I really wanted to get some cool responses from you guys, what’s one thing each of you wants to do before you die? Ryan: One thing I want to do before I die? ...I recently had this conversation with a friend of mine and we discussed this whole situation and I feel like if you can answer that question than you’re not really that stoked on what you’re doing. I feel like if I want to do something, I’m going to {explicitive} do it. I feel

like if I die tomorrow, I’ve done a lot of cool {explicitive}. Hold on…(asks Jeremy what he would do.) Jeremy: I would jump off of an airplane, without a parachute, so I would take care of the whole before you die and dying thing all in one shot. Tony: Alright, I’ll let you guys go, and congratulations on the new record and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of it. Ryan: Thank you man, really means a lot.

For more on the band and their new album, Lowcountry, check out their website @


Journal) page 14

May 2010

Pop Arts

Coheed and Cambria invade Northern Lights Maggie Rogers

Northern Lights, a small concert venue in a strip mall in Clifton Park, is perhaps one of the most popular venues in the Capital Region. Despite its size and location it draws famous acts from around the country and even the world. On March 25th, Northern Lights welcomed the internationally famous band Coheed and Cambria, a band from New York City. Opening for Coheed and Cambria was Earl Greyhound, a band from Brooklyn. The trio, made up of Matt Whyte (vocals, guitar), Kamara Thomas (vocals, bass, keyboard), and Ricc Sheridan (drums) is a blues-rock band, influenced by bluesrock and hard rock from the 70s. Matt and Kamara were both dressed the part, and their intertwined vocal parts were interesting and the main focus of their set. Earl Greyhound’s set was full of energy, and it was clear that they were trying to pump up the crowd, most of whom had never heard of the trio. Earl Greyhound was good-natured though, and joked with the crowd, trying to work in their favor. Earl Greyhound played a few songs from their old album, Soft Targets, and a few from their upcoming album, Suspicious Package, which will release on April 13th. They played to a stationary crowd. The audience stood silent, rooted to the spot, not knowing what to make of the loud trio. Audience members were polite and gave the band a chance, but when they said their goodnights we cheered, excited that the band we were all waiting for would be taking the stage. There was a short break while the stage was being set up for Coheed’s set. Crowd members chatted amongst themselves

Photos courtesy of Maggie Rogers

while they waited. But as soon as the lights dimmed the crowd came alive. Everyone pushed forward in an endless fight to get as close to the stage as possible. Coheed and Cambria opened their show with an intro called “One” and a new song from their upcoming album, Year of the Black Rainbow. If Earl Greyhound was energetic, Coheed, a four-piece group plus a touring keyboardist, was absolutely crazy. The crowd fed off their energy, and the temperature in the room raised what felt like 30 degrees within the first few minutes. Coheed played a mix of mostly their older songs, along with four off their new album. Everyone in the audience

Coheed and Barenaked Cambria Ladies Mike Pultz

Benjamin Segal

It’s a sad fact that most bands decline in quality as time goes on. They make unoriginal albums that sound like their last ones, or they experiment too much and lose the qualities that made them popular. Impressively, Coheed & Cambria manages to avoid that with their 5th studio album, Year of the Black Rainbow. Rainbow is introduced by “One”. Melancholy piano and creepy industrial sounds create a suspenseful atmosphere, and foreshadow the major change in C&C’s signature punk-metal sound: electronic elements are present in nearly every song, giving them fullness and variety. “One” fades into “The Broken”, which wastes no time introducing vocalist Claudio Sanchez. You either love or hate Claudio’s distinctive singing (and his tendency to repeat choruses too often), but you can’t deny that he sings Rainbow’s well-written lyrics of love, loss and regret with unmatched passion. Other highlights include token ballad “Pearl of the Stars”, and the fast-paced “World of Lines.” The frantic cacophony that makes up the final track, “The Black Rainbow” closes the album perfectly; glitchy electronics, mournful guitar, and Claudio’s yelling all overlap, growing louder and louder until they are suddenly silenced. It’s a dramatic conclusion that perfectly suits Year of the Black Rainbow. Key Tracks: The Broken, Guns of Summer, The Black Rainbow

Known for their upbeat, funny lyrics, and jiberish type styled music, Barenaked Ladies recently came out with their 12th album, All in Good Time. This is the first album they recorded without their bands founding member and lead guitarist/vocalist, Steve Page, and it clearly shows. Although the band was able to put together a few decent upbeat songs, similar to their unique sound, the rest were awful and not near the quality of the distinct sound of the original Barenaked Ladies. While the new album has drawn some new fans for the band, The Barenaked Ladies have also lost many of their loyal ones as well. Key tracks: Another Heartbreak, Golden Boy, and Every Subway Car.

was there for Coheed, so everyone knew the lyrics to the songs; the audience even knew the lyrics of some of the new songs, because a few were on the band’s Myspace. After a hectic set, Coheed left the stage. Immediately the crowd started a chant of “Coheed!”. That one failed and another started, this one “Let’s go Coheed, let’s go!” complete with clapping. It was reminiscent of a school cheer. But it worked, and Coheed and Cambria took the stage once again for a three-song encore. The first song of the encore was an acoustic from the new album titled “Far” and the crowd was calmer. Right after “Far”, the band jumped into their most

popular song, “Welcome Home”. After that they played “21:13”, a ten-minute song that the crowd went crazy over. After the show there was the opportunity for anyone with ten dollars to buy a presale card for Year of the Black Rainbow, which was also a pass to go meet Coheed and Cambria. An hour later, a line of people stretched around the venue to meet the band they all were there to see. The band was friendly and joked with their fans, signing whatever was put in front of them. Claudio Sanchez, the singer and rhythm guitarist, signed many copies of the comic that the lyrics of the band’s songs are based off of, and that he wrote. The members of the band gladly posed for photos, sometimes making goofy faces. When I asked them what I should say about the concert they smiled real big and said, “Write, ‘It was AWESOME!!’”. It was clear that they enjoyed what they were doing, and that made the night one of the best concerts I’ve been to in a while.

Guitar Strikes a Chord

A review of the Ovation CC057

Tara Jackson Are you a guitar player looking for a new guitar? Or maybe just a guy that needs a new way to pick up chicks? I’ve found the answer, the Celebrity Ovation CC057 acoustic-electric guitar. A lot of guitarists have preconceived notions about bowel back guitars, however this one is very light and contrary to popular belief sounds fantastic plugged or unplugged, especially for a guitar under five hundred dollars. The action on this guitar, which was a problem with my last, was surprisingly good without any adjusting. The bridge understring pickup works great and catches all tones

no matter how you strum. The Ovation is a very reliable guitar and for the multiple years I’ve had mine, it has not failed me once. Durability however, is this guitar’s greatest downfall. The neck join with the bowel back, on mine at least, was not as strong as I would have liked it to be and I recently broke the neck. Yes, the tears started flowing after that until I later realized it could just be brought somewhere to get fixed. Once I did this, it was back to me in full condition in less than a week. All in all this is an awesome guitar that I recommend 100% for any type of guitar player out there.

Photos courtesy of

Pop Arts

May 2010

Music Video Trends A look into creativity Anastasia Mazur The music industry is in a constant state of ebb and flow, changing to fit with the varying taste of music lovers, and that includes the videos that promote the songs. It seems times are indeed changing from the artificial monotonous music videos of girls in skimpy outfits thrashing around in provocative dance moves to a new era of music videos reminiscent of Peter Gabriel’s from the eighties; where creativity counts. In the past few years with the steady increase in the popularity of alternative music like that from Kings of Leon so are the music videos changing from cookie cutter replicas of themselves to thought provoking “How’d they do that?” moments.

One of the best representatives of this growing trend is Ok Go’s latest

music video that has been eating up media’s attention. Once a small group of friends interested in art and music, they have now captivated the hearts and minds of millions with their latest Youtube debuted video of “This Too Shall Pass”; a wild Rube Goldberg concoction filled with an assortment of household objects turned, literally, into a vast domino effect. And who could forget the Grammy award winning music video, “Here it Goes Again”; who knew treadmills could be so

entertaining? Besides Ok Go, others have pursued a sense of originality through music videos; Coldplay’s “Strawberry Swing” tastefully combines stop-motion animation and chalk, and The White Stripes’ “Fell in Love with a Girl” uses dazzling Lego animations that would make anyone want to try it out for themselves. Hopefully these leaders in creativity and ingenuity will continue to inspire and fully engage the watcher and, of course, encourage other bands to do the same. Photos courtesy

Album Reviews

Before Their Eyes MGMT


Journal) page 15

Kate Nash: have you heard? Clare Ladd If you aren’t already a fan of Kate Nash, the British pop singer/ songwriter, the release of her new album, My Best Friend Is You, released April 20 th , is giving you a g reat chance to become one. The lead single “Do-WahDoo” came out before the release, along with three demos of other songs posted on her MySpace page. These songs show her ability to craft simple, extremely catchy pop tunes, (made even more memorable by her strong, Lily Allen-esque London accent) just as she did on her 2007 debut, Made of Bricks. Her demos for: “Kiss That Grrrl”, “Take Me To A Higher Plane”, and “I’ve Got a Secret”

are very low quality, but they still demonstrate her talent at creating and performing catchy, danceable songs. Her lyrics are clever, and sometimes repetitive, but not in a boring way at all. I know I’m excited to hear everything this great artist had to offer, and I hope you are as well.

Dr. Dog

Anastasia Mazur

Mike Dvorscak

Beatrice Malsky

Before Their Eyes isn’t your typical band. Formed in Ohio, they didn’t start off in the ideal place to start a post-hardcore band, or for that matter, a Christian post-hardcore band. Yet somehow they made it. They signed onto Rise Records and have just recently released their third album titled Untouchable. Before Their Eyes have a distinct sound, one, with half hard guitar riffs below throaty screams and the other, a softer punk style with melodic ballads. It doesn’t sound appealing at first, but those who’ve listened to them before will recall they’ve pulled it off. This album starts off with a bang, the first song, “Hey Dude!” continues with a certain familiarity; the thumping underbelly of the drums and cymbals signaling Nick Moore’s rasping vocals. While that is the band’s strong suit the album loses a bit of its charge when it comes to the songs, “Start with Today” and “Not Alone.” They are the only two songs completely lacking any hardcore elements and it leaves the album feeling a bit disorganized, and the listener a tad confused as to what sound the band is going for. Overall, the individual songs are very well crafted with can’t-get-outof-your-head lyrics; it is mostly just the order in the album that could use some adjustment. Key Tracks: Finding A Way, Bulletproof, Hey Dude!

Indie Rockers MGMT, consisting of Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, strike again with their sophomore album, Congratulations, released April 13th. The album has a much different feel than the energetic dance beats of their first album, Oracular Spectacular, turning instead to massive psychedelic compositions, some that would fit beautifully on The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or on Pink Floyd’s rock opera, The Wall. Think The Kooks, mixed with Prince, a touch of the Beach Boys, stir in some Queen, a heaping of Pink Floyd and a pinch of the Bee Gees, let to simmer in a pot of indie rock, served with a pile of 80’s pop. The standout track on the album is the single, “Flash Delirium”. The song is a mix of every genre constantly changing between light quick guitar rifts to heavy synth induced choruses. At a little more than four minutes the track moves so quickly with so many changes that it seems over before it even began. Another fantastic track on the album was the title track, which also served as the closing track: “Congratulations”. It’s a slow acoustic ballad, set apart from the other tracks, that really shows a mellower side of the band. Although Congratulations as an album might not receive much radio time, hardcore fans will remain delighted. Key Tracks: Flash Delerium, Song for Dan Tracey, Brian Eno

Philadelphia quintet Dr. Dog pulls a neat trick with their album Shame, Shame; carried entirely with it a feeling of déjà vu, a completely unplaceable notion of “well of course that songs was already around somewhere in the back my head, it’s probably just been awhile and really it’s very nice to be reminded of it.” The incredible part, however, is that Shame, Shame (which was released April 6th) is not overly derivative; it has an immediately identifiable and distinctive sound. However, some comparisons must be drawn to ‘60s and ’70s pop-rock. Beach Boy-style harmonies abound, along with Beatles-esque guitar hooks and even a little bit of Randy Newman smoothness (think Toy Story). The album’s title at first seems like an admonishment, but it soon becomes apparent that it is a lament. The songs tell tales of lost opportunities and squandered lives, insecurities and indecisiveness. A theme that keeps resurfacing is unfamiliarity with oneself. In “I Only Wear Blue,” one of the album’s folksier tracks, singer Scott McMicken notes “When you can’t be yourself / There’s just too much to be” Even if the characters in the songs are having identity crises, Dr. Dog themselves has no such problem. They have a well-established and very accessible sound. Shame, Shame sounds like tomorrow’s nostalgia. Key Tracks: Later, I Only Wear Blue, Jackie Wants a Black Eye

Photos courtesy of Amazon

From top: Untouchable; Before Their Eyes Congratulations; MGMT Shame, Shame; Dr. Dog

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How to Train Your Dragon: An Unexpected Hit

Photos Courtesy of Amazon

Russell Oliver

Nowadays most animated films are all about fart jokes and morallycorrect storylines; each film made with the same formula and ending on the same ‘everyone lives happily ever-after’ note. Some of these remarks are true to say about DreamWorks latest animated film, How to Train Your Dragon, but this film, which has a smartly written script and numerous well-known voice actors including Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera and Jonah Hill, differentiates as it sets the bar for future animated films in 2010 in more than one way. The movie’s setting is a Viking village called Berk resting on an island. As stated in the film, the worst thing about Berk is the dragons, which frequently ransack the village and steal the villages’ livestock. Dragons are depicted as vicious and violent creatures. Naturally, it is considered a sport in the village to kill dragons. This is where the film’s protagonist comes in. His name is Hiccup (Baruchel) and he differs

from most Vikings do to his clumsy and gentle nature. Hiccup’s father (Gerard Butler), named Stoick, is the chief of the village and has a strained relationship with his son which comes from their multiple differences. Another problem that plagues Hiccup is his failure to slay a dragon. This is apparent when Hiccup fails to kill a dragon he captures. He later befriends this dragon; naming him Toothless and grasping the fact the dragons aren’t as malevolent as he thought. The picture continues with Hiccup training and growing closer to his dragon, while impressing the village with his growing knowledge of dragons. This knowledge attracts the attention of Astrid (Ferrera) a tough and competitive girl who is the first to find out about Hiccup’s secret double life as a dragon trainer. The entire village soon finds out about it too, leading Hiccup’s father to reject him. The film finishes with an epic climatic battle between dragon and Viking. The movie’s extreme

plot is thanks to a wellwritten script, which has the films moral structure lightly tied with the plot-

line. The beginning of the movie starts out slow but quickly picks up the pace, with a lot of exhilarating flight sequences and action. The film has a lot of character development, centrally on Hiccup, in this classic film that has the primary character’s outlook change. Some laughs come from the father-son and boy-dragon relationship, but the script is mainly sharp, not comedic. Still, the film is an adventure ride that will keep you interested and wishing that the film wouldn’t end. The films animation is also top-notch. The world is vividly detailed, with lots of colors and energy. The 3D animation is the best I’ve seen in an animated film yet. This is especially noticeable in the heart-pounding flight sequences. The voice acting in the film is also great, with the animations matching the words perfectly. The film may be directed at children, but it’ll be enjoyed by adults as well. The film has heart, action, and a good script to boot. How to Train Your Dragon is exceptional and is right up with Pixar-films as far as high-quality animated movies go.

May 2010

The Journal’s Playlist Compiled by Anastasia Mazur

Been looking for a new tune? Look no further, these colorful songs were chosen by students from The Journal. From all of us, hope you like them! Flashing Red Light Means Go- The Boxer Rebellion Red Right Hands- Harlem Shakes Red Right Ankle- The Decem berists Red Rain- The White Stripes Red Light- The StrokesThings

That Rhyme with Orange- I Set My Friends on Fire Sweet Tang erine- T he Hush Sound Pumpkin Soup- Kate Nash Yellow- Coldplay Yellow Submarine- The Beatles Golden Youth- Neverstore

Pale Green Things- The Mountain Goats Greenshirt- Elvis Costello Mr. Blue Sky- E.L.O. Dark Blue- Jack’s Mannequin Blue Sky Happiness- Single File Start Wearing Purple- Gogol Bordello Supermassive Black Hole- Muse Black Rose Dying- Bless the Fall


May 2010


Soda Tax Should Help America Mary Powathil Most of us have heard of David Paterson’s shocking soda tax proposal. Last year, Paterson proposed a similar tax that was rejected by legislators. Paterson’s proposal would add another cent per ounce to the price of regular soda, and according to those who support the tax, would raise an extra $1 billion for the state. The tax would not apply to diet sodas or to juices. Soft drink companies have complained about the tax affecting their sales, but adding an extra 12 cents on their soda would not put off that many people from buying soft drinks; there would always be the non-taxed diet sodas and juices, not to mention water. By taxing regular sodas, it would help to cut down on sugar intake, which would lead to, at the very least, a slightly healthier diet. Also, it could potentially Graphic by Nikki Smolenski lead to a decrease in obesity-related health issues, health care costs

and generated revenue that could go to the state’s schools and other programs. Other people in New York agree. According to a poll done by Quinnipiac University, 76% of New York voters favored a tax on sugary drinks to help balance the budget. Paterson is not the only one to propose a soda tax. States such as Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alabama, West Virginia, and Tennessee already have soda taxes, and Congress is exploring the idea of a tax on the sugary drinks for the nation as a whole. The tax on soda comes with many benefits, including a smaller impact on the jobs of people who work at the soda companies. Those who normally buy regular soft drinks would be able to buy the non-taxed diet soda, therefore not causing the soft drink companies a loss in profit. All that the proposal needs now is support.

Books turned to movies continue to be a success Rachael Ellenbogen

Books have always been turned into movies, but it seems that, now more than ever, movies are being based off of novels. Many people think that turning books into movies is bad for one reason or another, but I feel that overall it is a good thing. When books are turned into movies you know that the movie will have a good plot or the adaptation would never have occurred in the first place. Moviemakers are starting to run out of ideas, so why not use the ideas already established in popular books in order to bring these novels to life. Granted the movie is never as good as the book, but that’s inevitable. Books let you use your own imagination to create the perfect scene for the selection of words you are reading. The good thing about movies is that they allow you to truly see a scene come to life. Turning books into movies also allows readers to learn about good, Photos taken from popular books. I had never heard of the Twilight series by Stephenie

Meyer, the book My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, or the books Dear John and The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks before I saw the previews for their respective movie. I saw the movie for all of the books and I have to say that they were all pretty good. I always make sure to read the book first because the movie usually lacks the depth of the original story and movie directors often change parts of the storyline when they make their adaptations. In both the movies, Dear John and My Sister’s Keeper the endings were completely flipflopped from the books but I think that that is a good thing! There is not enough of a point to go pay money to see a movie if it is exactly the same as the book but if the story is changed then you get to have the same story with alternate-endings. Then you can decide for yourself which you like better. Movies that are based on books can be tricky to get right but I think its always worth a try. Reading the book first is always necessary in order to receive the full effect and detail of the original story. I am glad that more books are being made into movies and I look forward to hearing about more good books through seeing previews for their upcoming movie adaptations.

Journal) page 17

New Technology In School Is it a good or bad thing? Mary Powathil We have entered a new age that some may call the “age of technology.” We constantly hear of faster phones with touch screens for “easier” maneuverability. We hear of slimmer and lighter laptops that they say, “Are the best ones yet.” And now, we are beginning to hear of a dawn of new technology for the average school teacher. If you haven’t noticed some changes in the past few months, a lot has been going around our school. Electricians, mechanics, and the occasional plumbers have been coming to work on what may be the biggest leap we have taken yet. Started from the end of last year and finally finished during February break, the new addition to our school has been a project on its own. Now even after that costly project, we are investing on even more, ELMO. ELMO is a company with tons of ideas to help brighten the future and those dreams are soon becoming a reality in our school and many other workplaces. With many different types of “ELMO’s” and also a wide variety of projectors, this company can work with not just students but doctors, lawyers, and many other professionals. The estimated cost for just one of these “over-sized magnifying projectors,” ranges from 620760 dollars. The school would most probably get a discount for the overall price of equipping the whole building with this new technology. I would guess about 20% at most. So about 100 ELMO’s, about the same number of projectors and screens, and also the additional work cost, but is it worth it? Then what about the security cameras? After an incident in the hallways earlier in the year, these small black and white, round spheres started to pop up around our school. In no way should it harm our privacy in any manner, but two in the same hallway? I may see this situation from the mind of our principal or superintendent as a way to control and bring awareness to the students who refuse to act in a way that follows our code of conduct. Or maybe by seeing or hearing of that past incident, they have lost trust in us. Yet even so, maybe they believe we do more damage to the building and that would cost more than just plopping a few security cameras in the hallways. Maybe my greatest fear in this overall expenditure of money is the way it will affect our lives and the lives of other students to come. I always think of whether or not our clubs and classes would be in danger if our school had not frivolously spent this amount of money on the new technology that seems to make little to no difference on the way we learn. I think that our teacher used these contraptions maybe 2 times in the whole 85 minute class, for about 20 minutes each. Sometimes, I feel as though the technology and overall spending of money is a way for our school to boast the amount of money our school has… Believe it or not, we are the future of our world. Whether we choose to make a difference and use the amount of power and capabilities we have this age, it is our own choice in which you can either take one path, or the other. I believe we have all been born with some sort of mind, and whether you also choose to use it is another important decision that is made in these important high school years. So think about this question I ask you throughout, Are these expenditures needed, and will they in fact help, or hurt our learning abilities?



Journal) page 18

May 2010

A message of hope: The victory that is health care Ved Tanavde

It is a President’s duty to work for the good of the nation as a whole. The aim is to ensure the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Social reform, then, is something that should be praised. However, the March 2010 health care bill was met with a lukewarm response. Why exactly is this bill so hated? The answer is relatively simple. We are living in tumultuous times, in dire economic conditions we had not foreseen two or three years ago. Medicare costs have been skyrocketing and more and more people are finding themselves without work, oftentimes leaving their jobs without any health care plan to provide for their families’ coverage. With the passage of the health care bill, we will see an end to unfair policies that left many people uncovered for conditions that were often outside of their control. Furthermore, the bill will help alleviate the costs of health insurance for families and small businesses. Additionally, $1.5 billion in funding will be provided to support the next generation of doctors, nurses and other primary care practitioners. This bill is essentially one for the public, one that will provide and strengthen consumer protections against private health insurance practices. But why is this bad? It isn’t easy to criticize a bill for introducing sorely

needed reform, yet somehow this bill has been beaten to death for more than a year, plagued by aspersions that shouldn’t merit any attention. It seems the image of the bill has been thoroughly distorted. The bill isn’t perfect, but by no means is it as bad as it has been made out to be. It seems that there are three main arguments against it. One, the bill will only benefit the poor and uninsured, two, the bill will be a tremendous burden on the economy, and three, the government will have excessive control over public policies in the realm of health care. Quite simply, these arguments are tenuous and based on a foundation of distrust, confusion, and partisanship. The health care bill will not benefit only the poor and uninsured. In fact, the bill promises tax breaks for employersponsored health care insurance, aiding those with middle class jobs, people who are certainly not poor. Many people wrongly see this bill as aiding lazy, blue collar workers without any health care coverage. In reality, the vast majority of people who will be aided are not lazy but instead ignored, left behind by the system which has run a despicable course for far too long.

For the first time in a long while, we have a government that actually cares for its people.

The second argument is far more rea- hellish. sonable, though still misinformed. This Now, there are some minor bits of the bill will cost $940 billion over ten years – a bill that aren’t quite favorable, though it is hefty sum even for the United States. In still an overwhelmingly good thing. The comparison, however, close to $1 trillion truth is, the bill will cost quite a lot and is apportioned for defense spending each the middle and upper classes will have to year. More than 40% of global military pay more taxes, though it seems the cost is expenditures are from the U.S. alone. worth the cause. A sizeable portion of the That’s more than that of China, France, middle class is stuck in limbo, however, the U.K., Russia, Germany, Japan, and forced to pay greater taxes with minimal other global superpowers combined. It benefits presented to them. This is someonly seems fair that some of the nation’s thing that seems true for many things budget should be spent for the good of outside of the health care bill, too. This the people. We are a country that spends group represents the foundation of our far more on death than anything else. society and it seems equitable solutions The third argument is, by far, the to their predicament should be addressed most distorted, misinformed, and con- in the near future. voluted statement The lasting to come out message from of the pubthis bill, howThis bill is essentially lic’s mouths. ever, should not one for the public, one There are no be one of hatred. “death panThere is no need that will provide and els” that decide to blame anyone. strengthen consumer who should or This bill was soreshouldn’t live. ly needed. If we protections against Further more, are to remain a private health insurance modern-day suthe public option is just that perpower, we practices. – an option. must have a sysAnyone who tem of health says othercare that mainwise is doing a tremendous disservice to tains the well-being and posterity of this this nation. It is quite disappointing that it nation. For the first time in a long while, took so long to pass this bill, in fact. The we have a government that actually cares Republican Party delayed progress and for its people. This bill represents the first proved to be a roadblock to change. The steps on the avenue of progress. That Democrat Party, too, followed a course alone should be cause for celebration. of partisanship. The process in getting this bill passed can only be described as

Mistakes were made but Tiger is still a champ Kelsey Ryan

The scandal of Tiger Woods. It is a juicy one, one you would never expect to happen, but it has happened. And people need to get over it. Yes, Tiger did cheat on his wife. Multiple times with multiple women. But honestly who am I to judge? Or you, for that matter. First off, I’m not married, so I have no idea what happens in a marriage and no one knows what was happening in Tiger’s marriage! I don’t even believe that all the women that claim it happened actually had an affair with him. How can we be sure t h a t they’re all telling the truth? Tiger Woods is an idol to a lot of people in our the world, whether they’re golf fans or not. His epic tournament wins have brought crazy interest in golf. I do not follow golf whatsoever, but I’ve known Tig er Wood’s name for years, he’s just an icon in our lives. An Graphic by Helen Ratner icon who did a few shady

things. I say forget about it, come on people. Let the man play golf, do his thing, and without getting harassed. So do we forgive Tiger? Yes, we do! We look to him for his golf expertise, not his social life. Honestly, who of you reading this knew of his wife’s name before all this stuff happened? I sure didn’t, and I still don’t care! This is business for his family, not for the world to dissect and tear apart until they’re happy with what they have, because the truth is they probably will never be happy! We’ve been able to forgive shady characters in the past and let them keep doing their thing, it’s not like Tiger did anything to hurt our country in any way. He’s even gone to rehab, and it wasn’t for alcohol abuse or drugs, it was to figure out what’s going on in his head, and from the press conferences I think he has a good head on his shoulders for all the craziness going on right now in his life. I support Tiger Woods in his continuation with golf tournaments and hope he wins many more! Graphic by Dana McLaughlin

(theJournal) page 19

May 2010


Why high school sports? Joshua Kraushaar

Let’s say you are sick of your current body image, and you want to get in shape. Maybe you wish to prop up your college applications with an extracurricular. Or you want to get back in touch with an old friend. Maybe you just have too much time on your hands, and feel like you should do something more with your life. For whatever reason, you join a sports team. But what keeps you participating in that sport? Joining a sports team may be the solution to one problem, but it results in many others. Guilderland students involved in sports typically devote over two hours of each day to their team, and may sacrifice even more of their time on the weekdays, when special practices, meets, matches or games are held. This adds up to a major commitment, and a major drain on free time; it also means that students do not always have the time they need to complete projects or study for tests. This forces them to make some tough decisions. Furthermore, sports frequently result in injury, and not always the type that can be walked away from. In sports like football, arm and head injuries are common (statistic), swimmers can suffer from conditions such as ‘swimmer’s ear’, and in track, injuries like ‘shin splints’, stress fractures and planar fascitiis are not considered frequent so much as inevitable. Even athletes who do not incur serious injuries can grow sore and fatigued as time goes on, especially during the early weeks of sports, which primarily focuses on ‘conditioning’.

So with all these problems, why do people continue to participate in sports? Plenty of kids quit, but a considerable amount stick with the team. As it turns out, there are several factors that keep people involved in team activities.

It’s not always obvious, but sports provide a big return for the initial investment, and greatly enrich the participants’ quality of life.

First of all, humans are highly social creatures, who not only want social interaction but actually need it. People deprived of human contact begin to suffer serious psychological issues, leading to insomnia and depression. However, physical and mental health are more closely linked than most realize. Mental isolation also has physi-

cal ramifications: it is linked to ailments such as higher blood pressure and gastrointestinal disturbances. Sports teams provide a fairly stable environment for developing new friendships and a place where people can bond over a common interest. Once one has made those friends, the team becomes an important meeting place, and thus, since accessibility is a major factor in the survival of relationships, a crucial part of keeping those new friendships alive. Just as your mental state affects your physical state, your physical state affects your mental state. Frequent exercise is more effective at curing depression than taking prescription medication, any prescription medication. Exercise also works to reduce anxiety, alleviating worry and self-doubt, and increasing the quality (restfulness and duration) of sleep. Of course, exercise has physical benefits as well. While the results of routine physical activity are not always immediate, anyone who lasts for an entire season can attest to the notable improvements in fitness, including weight loss and muscle gain. Once improvements become apparent, they can motivate an athlete to continue pursuing an involvement in team sports. While sports teams are not for everyone, they are a great thing to join. It’s not always obvious, but they provide a big return for the initial investment, and greatly enrich thethe participants’ quality of life. And once this becomes apparent, it is no surprise that so many people stick with a team.

Sports Spotlight on... Rebecca Fitzgerald

At the young age of eight, Kat Keegan found her calling. She began with basketball, then lacrosse, and finally, field hockey. Keegan stated that she loves all sports, but basketball has a special place in her heart. “Whatever season I’m in, I love that sport. In the fall, I love playing field hockey. In the winter, I love basketball and in the spring, I love lacrosse.” In the second grade, Keegan began her athletic career by joining a local basketball league. Her family had recently moved, and her parents wanted her to meet other children. “They signed me up for as many sports as they possibly could, because they knew I had a lot of energy and athleticism,” Keegan stated. Three years later, Keegan picked up a lacrosse stick. She immediately hated it and quit. A few years later, in the eighth grade, she tried lacrosse again and made the Farnsworth modified team. Soon

after, in her sophomore year in high school, she stopped, yet again. “I didn’t play because I was trying to focus on basketball.” As anticipated, Keegan played once again in her junior year. “What got me back into playing again was practicing with my younger brother John, who is a huge lacrosse fan.” Keegan could not stay away from the fast paced game, filled with the exciting strategies that she loved in basketball. “John made me realize how great the sport really is.” Now a year later, Keegan is actively participating in all three sports. The senior all-star has not finalized any posthigh school plans yet. She has, however, decided to play lacrosse at a competitive NCAA level, despite her greater love for basketball. “I will be be attending Marist College, a Division I school.”

Kat Keegan

Kat Keegan goes up for a lay up against Suburban Council rival, Ballston Spa. Photo courtesy of Kat Keegan/the Journal

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May 2010


(theJournal) page 20

Senior Brian Cucinelli to be Division I fencer

David Marinstein In your average high school, there are always groups of athletes. The football, basketball, baseball and soccer teams all have their moments throughout the year. It’s not very often, however, that an athlete from your high school goes on to compete at a top Division 1 program. Next year, GHS senior Brian Cucinelli will be doing just that. Brian began fencing in September of 2001. “My dad had been fencing for a little while on weeknights. He used to have to stay home and watch me some nights instead of going fencing…I began going with him so he wouldn’t have to babysit me. I have kept with it since, although a lot has changed about how I treat the sport now.” Almost 9 years later, Brian is still working on his fencing, a

sport unfamiliar to most. Fencing comprises of many vigorous workouts and it is not an easy sport to excel at. Brian explained the training for the sport: “Training consists of several aspects: strength training, conditioning, footwork, blade work and bouting [sparring].” Brian takes each individual aspect into his own hands and works extremely hard to succeed. “I do strength and conditioning on my own…the other three I do at my local fencing club…fencing involves a lot of one on one work, so I mainly take private lessons with my coach.” Each of these aspects takes an incredible amount of dedication and they are very time consuming. Brian explained that currently, he trains 12 hours a week. But, when he was between the ages of 14

and 16, he used to train for approximately 20 hours a week. The most intense consumption of time he has trained for was 25 hours a week back during the summer of 2008. Throughout his fencing career, Brian has competed in numerous USFA events (such as the Junior Olympics, North American Cups, Summer Nationals and even the Olympic Trials) and has traveled all around the world for some competitions. “Domestically, I’ve been to around 35 states over the course of 8 years. Internationally, I have been to Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and Hungary.” When asked of his greatest fencing accomplishment Brian told of making his first world cup in Poland as a member of the US National Cadet Team

(under age 17). He says “It was very rewarding as only the top fencers qualify based on national rankings.” According to the United States Fencing Association as of early January 2010, Brian was 19th in the nation in Junior Men’s Saber (under age 20). He has since stopped competing nationally to prepare for NCAA. Brian’s college career will be an impressive addition to his fencing resume. Next year Brian will be a member of the fencing team at Duke University where he aims to earn All-American honors as a Blue Devil. Above, senior Brian Cucinelli at the Junior Olympics. Photo courtesy of Brian Cucinelli /The Journal

Participate in Relay for Life! a life-changing event that brings together more than 3.5 million people each year

Celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue to fight. Remember loved ones lost to t h e disease. At Relay, people who have walked alongside those

battling cancer can grieve and find healing. Fight Back. We Relay because we have been touched by cancer and desperately want to put an end to the disease. Make a commitment to save lives by taking up the fight. Heres how you can help: ~ Be a Part of a Team! Get a group of family and/ or friends together from your workplace, school, church, temple, club or neighborhood. ~ Collect Sponsorship money. Ask everyone you know to help fight cancer by sponsoring a walker; every dollar counts! ~Volunteer Day of the Event! Help make this years relay run smoothly! Join the Committee! Join the volunteer committee and help us plan this year’s event! With your help we will help to make cancer a thing of the past!

When: Event Start: Friday, June 18th @ 7 pm Event End: Saturday, June 19th @ 7am Where: Guilderland High School Why: Relay for Life is an overnight team relay event supporting the American Cancer Society’s mission to fight cancer on four fronts: research, education, advocacy, and patient services.

Please contact Jessica Giles at 518-454-4031 or jessica.giles@cancer. org Visit us at:


Volume 61 Issue 5  

The GHS Journal Volume 61, 2009-2010 Issue 5, May 2010

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