By and for the students of Guilderland Central High School
Volume 65 Issue 4
Guilderland Center, NY 12085 March 2012
This Issue Hairspray holds strong at GHS 4
The three stories of three influential teachers retiring from Guilderland High School this year.
Good morning, Baltimore! This line was one of many that sounded through the halls of GHS this past month. The Guilderland Players musical production team pushed the boundaries even further this year by taking on the musical Hairspray! It took a multitude of well rehearsed practices, run throughs and cans of hairspray. But the end result was another marvelous production by GP,
even with some bumps along the way leading up to the big day. Practice for the making of Hairspray began long before the opening night. It took hours of hard work and numerous dance practices for the cast to get things down. “Sometimes it can be stressful and intimidating,” says senior Jin Lee, who plays little Inez, on learning the dances, “but when we see a video of us dancing or when people tell us how good we look,
we know it’s worth it.” One of the hardest parts, after learning the lines and dances, is the hours that it takes to do the musical over and over until it’s right. It requires the entire pit orchestra, cast, stage crew and all the props. “After February break we would just run through act one or act two and fix trouble spots along the way,” quoted sophomore Annie Walsh.
Trader Joe’s comes to Capital District
Looking for a way to be healthy? Check out a new organic grocery store. 9
Saturday Night Live, better than ever A student writes about the recent string of Saturday Night Live hosts and their contribution to the show’s already hysterical cast.
Social media’s effect Several looks into how social media affects the spread of knowledge, garthering of people and raising of awareness.
Can Taste the Linsanity A cultural look at the effect of Jeremy Lin’s success and the role his background is playing in his fame. Opinions
S.W.A.T. dominates the competition
15 World & Cultures
Photo by Tara Jackson / The Journal
S.W.A.T. seniors Matt Breton and Mike Doynow wind up to strike an opponent at the fourth annual Dodgeball tournament.
War on religion, or war on women?
A student discusses the GOP’s motives to deny women access to contraceptives and the possiblility that this stance will backfire in the 2012 Presidential Election. the
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Every year, the Dodgeball tournament becomes more and more intriguing. The uniqueness of the team names never ceases to amaze, ranging from the Thetas to the Nerd Herd. The diverse group of students participating is phenomenal. A clear example of this was the game in which a team of mostly Varsity basketball players played the team “the Choir.” The intensity was through the roof this year. Not only did the students of Guilderland High come to win, but the teachers showed to be true powerhouses this year. Mr. Renaud of the Nerd Herd was the talk of the night, dominating
every opponent he faced. While the majority of last year’s winners had graduated, the favorite to win had been S.W.A.T., Dodgeball champions of 2010 and runners-up in 2009 and 2011. A team made of only members of the class of 2012; they have made very few changes to their line up these past four years. An accomplishment in itself, S.W.A.T. came in second place when they were only freshmen. The year after, with a few additions including Coach Jette, Connor Drislane and Jackie Brassard, they looked to win it all. “I was so happy to be a part of such an awesome team,” said Brassard.
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With their eye on the prize, the junior version of SWAT went into the tournament of 2011 with confidence and poise but couldn’t pull out the win. “Coming in second as juniors hurt more than when did as freshmen only because we were defending champs and we had lost a key player (Tyler Hynes) from the year before,” said Tim O’Connor, one of S.W.A.T.’s team captains. However, because they landed the number two spot, they were still able to participate in the Suburban Council Tournament, another accomplishment to add to the team’s list.
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The Journal, editorial staff, and advisor would like to apologize for a recent article about the new library catalog system Follett Destiny incorrectly identified cost savings of $85,000. We are unable to confirm the basis of this claim, and thus this statement cannot be viewed as factual. In addition, the following sentence appeared in this article: “With this new technology that this Automation system offers, the librarians have less of a workload to accomplish each day.” Reporters are unable to confirm the assertion that librarian workload would diminish as the result of the implementation of this software. The Journal will address any specific concerns directly. Please send questions, concerns, or comments to the Advisor, Christopher Mazura: email@example.com
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Editors-in-Chief Tara Jackson Mike Dvorscak Tony Pitkin Managing Editor Julianne Legnard -ContentHallways Editors Alexandra Sima, Haewon Hwang Around Town Editor Nina Obwald Pop Arts Editor Austin Cornell World & Cultures Editor Justina Liu Fine Arts Editor Luxi Peng Opinions Editor Matt Simon Sports Editors Bram Peterson, Shelby Iapoce Digital Media Coordinator Hannah Liu
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Journal March 2012
From the streets of Paris to the ruins of Greece to the schools of Costa Rica Laura Tang
From the streets of Paris to the ruins of Greece to the schools of Costa Rica, many Guilderland students and staff have traveled far and wide during the recent week-long break. While much of the student body was catching up on sleep and shivering in New York other students were getting a taste of various different cultures with new stamps on their passports, a slight tan, and a week full of memories to last a lifetime. Azure blue seas, mountains right with the scent of thyme, picturesque villages and the incomparable, magnificent islands make up the trip to Greece and Italy. Sophomore Max Chao enjoyed touring the many ruins and the overnight ferry. Max says, “Our tour guide Rob was the best. He told us many riveting stories about Italy and Greece.” The group also stopped by Trevi Fountain, tossing in coins to ensure a return to the city of Rome.
Photo courtesy of Luxi Peng/ The Journal
Katie Love, a junior at Guilderland, spent her vacation touring the beautiful countries of France and Italy. These two countries are filled with a sense of magic and elegance, offering artistic beauty to all the tourists that stop by. Katie’s group visited the cities of Paris, Milan, Florence, and Rome to experience the rich histories each had to offer. Katie said that she especially loved their travels through a small medieval town called Saint Gimignano, located between Florence and Rome. During her free day in Florence, she fondly remembers the great view overlooking the city from the top of the Duomo, as well as seeing Michelangelo’s Renaissance masterpiece: the statue of David. She also enjoyed walking around and shopping in the streets of Italy. “I remember this group of Italian boys trying to ask us to go to the Discotheque with them in Italian. But when we walked away, they started to speak in English!” Katie recalls.
English teacher Ms. Autrey and a handful of students visited a place much closer to home. Their travels took place just south of the U.S, in the cities of San Jose, Monteverde, La Fortuna, and Jacó, all located in Costa Rica. This tropical country is often seen as the ultimate paradise with its abundance of flora and fauna as well as its sandy beaches. When asked about her favorite part of the trip, Ms. Autrey’s reply was surprisingly none of the above. She recalls a small elementary school they visited, which was entirely different from our school. Students grades K-6 were all taught by one teacher, who taught individually with every grade, in one classroom. The entire school consisted of that one teacher and only 17 students. “They were proud of their school though,” says Ms. Autrey, “They taught us traditional dances and about their culture. They even played soccer with us… and kicked our butts.”
Photo courtesy of Katie Love/ The Journal
Photo courtesy of Kara Carman/ The Journal
R.A.D. program is a must
“Confidence is the unconquerable enemy of fear” - L. Nadeau
The statistics are startling- 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime, yet only 40% of sexual assaults are reported to the police. The Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) is offered to all junior and senior girls at GHS multiple times each year. The two day long course, run by certified teachers officer Ingle and Mrs. Patierne, strives to give women the information needed to avoid compromising situations, while also giving them the tools to fight back in that moment.“To develop and enhance the options of self defense, so they may become viable considerations to the woman who is attacked,” is the objective, in the words of the R.A.D. systems founder. The self-defense course runs for two full days of school. The course teaches that the girls must be prepared for WHEN we are attacked, not IF.
The morning of day one of the course was spent going over risk reduction strategies. Believing “It’s not going to happen to me” is not a valid defense, because no one is invincible. Another shocking statistic- about 2/3 of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. R.A.D. teaches how to be safe at home, out and about, in your vehicle, on public transportation, on a date, online, while exercising, and at parties. These strategies are not necessarily “just common sense.” The people committing these types of crimes do not think or behave as many of us would like to believe. Risk awareness, reduction, recognition, and avoidance are 90% of self defense education! The second portion of day one is learning the other 10% of self defense education- the self defense! Girls will become familiar with the parts of their own body that are the most powerful weapons, as well as the most vulner-
able parts of an aggressor’s body. The motions of self-defense are practiced over and over to commit them to muscle memory. These are realistic strategies that can cause enough serious damage to escape the fight quickly and get help. The traditional portrayals of women flailing around, attempting to bite or scratch the aggressor, are completely ineffective. You need to fight back with 100% of whatever method you choose. One of the most important things learned that day was the power of voice. Girls have been taught from early childhood to be polite and ladylike, so in the situation of attack we have to be ready to yell for help. Officer Ingle pointed out the difference between screaming, which attracts no attention because girls do it all the time, and actually yelling. With each striking motion, kick, elbow, or knee thrust performed, “NO!” was yelled out with growing volume and confidence.
The second day of the R.A.D. program was spent reviewing the most effective defense moves, learning and practicing a few new things, and the simulation. The simulation was the cause of a sleepless night for a few of the girls; they all gathered together in a room in the firehouse to prepare for battle. After developing the defensive mindset “I will survive!” the girls suited up in padding and a helmet. What happened in the simulation room cannot be revealed because the elements of surprise and stress are intended to make the simulation as realistic as possible. After completion, the girls felt that they emerged as different people. Adrenaline coursed through their bodies as they reviewed their respective fights, which were recorded on video, and every girl watched with amazement at what they had learned in just those two days. For more information, visit the RAD website at: http://www.rad-systems.com/
Photos courtesy of Officer Ingle / The Journal
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Forging friendships for life Taylor Tewksbury
Photo by Taylor Tewksbury/ The Journal
Throughout the hallways of GHS, students can be seen walking with their classmates, laughing, joking, and talking about next weekend’s plans. There are, however, other friendships that are not so easily noticed. Best Buddies is a club in which members have the opportunity to meets students with disabilities and develop a one-on-one friendship that extends past club doors. Amanda Markessinis and Ricky have experienced what it means to be part of one of these friendships. “I joined because I really wanted to help others,” says Amanda, a senior at GHS. She joined the club last year and has been buddies with Ricky ever since. The pair enjoys hanging out at the monthly club activities. “Best Buddies is special because I don’t just grow bonds with Ricky, but everyone
else’s buddies and peer buddies. There’s just an overall good feeling.” When asked if he enjoys spending time with Amanda, Ricky grinned. In a cheerful voice, Ricky explained some of his favorite activities in Best Buddies, “We decorated cookies… crafts… a movie… and snacks.”
With all the happiness and laughter, we don’t waste a single second. For some, interacting with a person with a disability can be an unfamiliar and even an uncomfortable experience. “At first you are always going to be nervous. I didn’t know how to act,” Amanda said. “You just have to have conversations. It’s just the same kind of friendship.
Just sit down and talk.” In addition to the meeting, Amanda visits Ricky during lunch and makes visits to his room. “I play whack a mole,” Ricky explains with delight. Whack a mole is one of his favorite games to play in the room when Amanda comes to visit. As for Amanda, she says her favorite parts of their visits are the little things that make her laugh and seeing how much he accomplishes. “With all the happiness and laughter, we don’t waste a single second. Because our time is so limited, it is so precious and we don’t take any time for granted.” She adds that the time she has spent with Ricky has taught her that friendship is not something to be wasted. “He just looks at life in a different way. Even though it’s not always easy, you should look at life and be more positive.”
Three teachers leave their legacy
Photo by Haewon Hwang / The Journal
Photo courtesy of Brien Miceli / The Journal
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Benton / The Journal
As the weather warms and June draws closer, the end of this school year will complete Mr. Lampman’s 40th year of public education. In college, he had dabbled in various majors such as business, philosophy, psychology and sociology until the 2nd semester of junior year, in which he built a diverse background qualifying him for multiple teaching certificates. However, Mr. Lampman did not go into college with teaching in mind, but held aspirations in becoming an engineer or an architect. He tells his students, “When you get to my end of the journey on which you are just starting, you find that you measure happiness in family and friends.” He considers himself fortunate to have many friends in many distinct groups and enjoys spending time with them regularly. Math, to Mr. Lampman, is “work with pure ideas,” and adds that he likes it because it is clear and the results can be proven. However, “Nothing and no one is one -dimensional, or operates in isolation of wider human interests,” says Mr. Lampman. Teaching, he believes, is one of the best decisions he has ever made. He says that working with young people has forced him to push his understanding of both people and knowledge, “[to] help them connect with each other in fundamental, meaningful, and measurable ways.” Mr. Lampman believes that the Gulilderland High School student body is “so full of promise and future, so wanting to do well and to do right.” Personal responsibility and individual effort, and kindness and honesty are of value to Mr. Lampman, stating that “it is what we make of our gifts by our efforts that tell who we are... Not as much in grand gestures as in the little things, the day-today interactions between people.” When asked what he expects of retirement, Mr. Lampman says, “I look forward to finding out.”
Mr. Peter Wachtel has decided that this year will be his last here at GHS. After thirty total years of teaching, twenty of those in Guilderland schools, he has done his time. No one wants to see him go, and there is no doubt that he will leave a footprint deep in the heart of GHS. So why is he retiring? There are multiple answers to that question: family, traveling, and his health among others. Coach Wachtel says, “Three years ago, I was diagnosed with a heart ailment called Dilated Cardiomyopathy, which prevents my heart from pumping blood efficiently.” Along with that, Coach Wachtel’s son’s family lives in South Carolina. The school schedule inhibits him from seeing his granddaughter and her family as much as he would like to. Coach Wachtel also feels that it is his time, and he is ready. Believe it or not, Coach Wachtel has other interests besides teaching. His interests lie in motorcycles and traveling, and he loves seeing his family. He feels that he has been neglecting his family because of work obligations. With his new freedom he would like to take these opportunities back. He says, “I’m turning the page to a new chapter in my life.” Coach Wachtel has had some pretty memorable experiences here at GHS. In Phys. Ed. and coaching, there is one special moment that makes it all worth it. “When a student of mine is working towards a certain goal, and I help them reach it, it gives me the best feeling in the world. Their reaction is priceless and gives me complete happiness and satisfaction.” Also Family Fun Night and the Dodgeball Tournament are two events that he loves to attend, along with many others, because he loves seeing the student body doing things as a community, working together. One last thing that Coach Wachtel would like to share with all of the students at GHS is, “Reach for your dreams. And live by my favorite quote: anything worthwhile isn’t easy.”
Thirty-two years is a hulking epoch to most high school students. This is how long Noreen Benton has devoted her career to the Guilderland High School English department, teaching almost all grade levels and an important component of the Focus program. This year will be Mrs. Benton’s last at GHS. Whether you’ve heard of her as Dr. Benton or Mrs. Benton, her legacy as an invaluable part of the GHS community resonates in every mention of her name. Benton says, “I’ve been blessed to have been among spectacular friends, colleagues, staff and students each year who kept my passion, joy, and energy running strong. To be able to laugh and learn with my students and friends here everyday is a fantastic thing.” Admitting that she is “pretty much an open book,” there is not much of Mrs. Benton and her idiosyncrasies unknown to anyone lucky enough to know her. The vigor she brings to her work and the emphatic nature of her refreshing personality permeates the classroom. Her expertise frees learning from its stoical bonds, to the point where learning becomes a natural. Benton says that she hopes to continue teaching at UAlbany and has “an awful lot of wisdom, energy, stories, and excitement to bring to college students preparing to teach.” She looks favorably towards her future, and even jokes, “Now that I see an extra hour or two on the horizon, and if that horizon has Wi-Fi, well, who knows...” Mrs. Benton views the future with both excitement and anticipation. “I have been lucky to be able to have a life centered around people and work that I love. To have days filled with smart and kind kids and adults whose intelligence, humor and sweetness only grows each year is to have it all. I will be thinking of all of this, as well as all of the beautiful moments to come, when this August I am dancing to Gladys Knight and the Pips’ with my son at his marriage celebration in Washington, D.C.”
S.W.A.T. occupies Dodgeball again
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Cont. from front
Heading into their final shot at victory, the SWAT team of the 2012 was more than ready for the win. With a last minute change in their lineup, SWAT pulled together one last time. “It was a hectic day trying to find another faculty member to replace Coach Johnson who had a family obligation,” said O’Connor, “Mrs. Corey stepped in and did more than we could have asked.” But as the night progressed, the odds weren’t completely in their favor, with two other teams playing exceptionally well, going undefeated for long periods of time. One of those teams, the Wet Bandits, would go undefeated until they faced off against SWAT in the championship round. SWAT would need to win two games in a row in order to be victorious because of the double elimination rule. A true team effort, SWAT took over the court. “I still can’t believe how fast the night went by,” Brassard said on the winning experience, “To be able to win our senior year is such an accomplishment for us because it’s a story that we’re going to be able to carry with us for the rest of our lives. Yeah, it sounds corny, but I know when I’m older, people will ask about my senior year, and I’m fortunate enough to have this as a memory to share.” The legend of SWAT is one of friendship and of triumph, two characteristics of an unstoppable combination.
Photos by Tara Jackson / The Journal
Top: the winning team, SWAT, convenes after a victory. Bottom right: members of teams Schlagkraft and Wet Bandits sprint for the first ball. Bottom left: Lewis Lima of the Wet Bandits gets ready to throw a dodgeball.
Upcycling is the new recycling Cuts in the administration Taylor Tewksbury April is fast approaching, and so is the third annual Recycling Extravaganza at Farnsworth Middle School. This year, it will take place on April 28 in the front parking lot from 8AM to 2PM. This Extravaganza is hosted by Guilderland’s Green Task Force, the driving group for new projects related to the reuse of materials, recycling, and conservation in the community. According to Renee Panetta, the group’s coordinator, it is a place where anyone can have a voice in what to do to help the community. At this event, CDs, plastic grocery bags, regularly recycled plastics, papers and metals, electronics, batteries, and glass bulbs will be accepted. A representative from New York City will be collect ing clothing that will be donated to notfor-profit organizations both overseas and at home. Panetta never expected to receive the amount of support that she did. “Looking around and seeing all the things people are getting rid of, I thought
Graphic courtesy of Mary Powathil / The Journal
there had to be a better way,” says Panetta. “Now we’re collecting more materials that we have in the past. We’re kind of building on what we’ve done before.” A large part of the Green Task Force’s activity has been geared towards reusing materials. Old bicycles have been donated in the past. Bicycles used to be disposed of and then recycled, but now the bikes are restored and given to another not-for-profit organization. “Over sixty bikes got saved from the waste stream,” explains Panetta. “A little girl got a bike and she was so excited.” Bikes aren’t the only things that are going through upcycling, the process of turning a useless product into a new product without recycling. “I want to increase the awareness in the community that many things can be reused.” There have been sneaker collections and some elementary schools have taken an active part by collecting used juiced pouches. Students, Michael Marina and Jacob Eisele, have become pioneers in the recycling initiative in Guilderland. They have taken inventory of the different waste bins of three of the schools so they could be assessed. The two also made laminated signs that could be hung on the bins to provide a visual reminder of where things go. This should be helpful to students and teachers, especially during locker cleanout days. This project follows one of the Green Task Force’s goals. “What I really want is for the students to be involved,” said Panetta, “so we can have more
technically the same as cutting someone Budget cuts… These two words have from their current job. been prominent the past few years in our Currently we have 29.4 Full Time district and have continually had a very Equivalence, or FTEs, as administrators negative connotation associated with serving approximately 5,300 students them. They mean the loss of beloved in the district. This means that for each programs, classes, and staff, among administrator, there are around 181 stuothers. But the cuts over the past few dents. A study was done in 2008-2009 years have raised some eyebrows, as it by a company called Capital Area School may seem that not every group has been Development Association, or CASDA cut equally. to look at how our administrative strucIn the Community Conversation on ture was compared to other schools in February 2nd of this year, Dr. Wiles stat- the suburban council league as well as ed, “There has been a other schools similar perception that certain to ours in New York. groups are targeted During this study, each You can see that absolutely more than others and administrator was inevery single group has felt some groups haven’t terviewed and various the impact of reductions. been reduced at all, and grades were compared as you look at this you between schools. Alcan see that absolutely though the test said every single group has felt the impact our district had a “highly functional of reductions.” Wiles talked about the administrative team,” it also showed that percentage of cuts each group of em- schools similar to ours can function with ployees in our district has taken over the less administrators just as well. Members past two years displayed on a pie chart. of the board at that time were skeptical. Administration was listed with a 5.9% Colleen O’Connell said that the report cut. But, if we look more closely at this was “biased” because it interviewed the number, it’s easy to see that unlike most administrators about their own jobs. other groups, few administrators were Hy Dubowsky said that the study was laid off. “static” and didn’t show what we needed Although there may have been a de- to change, which was the whole point of crease in administrative positions, these the study. positions were unfilled at the time they Few support budget cuts, and all cuts were cut. Even this year this is the case. hurt our district. However, in light of It’s listed that two administrative posi- our fiscal reality we nevertheless should tions will be cut this year, and both are make sure all these cuts are equal in terms due to retirements. Although cutting a of the areas they affect. Will these deciposition is bad for our school district be- sions be clouded by misleading numbers cause it still means a loss of a job, it isn’t as they have been before?
Journal March 2012
Capital District welcomes Trader Joe’s After years of campaigning, the loved franchise will be opening a new store in Colonie Emily Benson After years of perseverance, hard work, and a deep love for good food, a new store is being opened in the town
of Colonie. Trader Joe’s, a grocery store for healthy and tasty food, is a well-loved franchise among those who have access to one. The company is quite selective
of where it places its stores, with only 365 stores in 31 states. It was a big deal for the residents of the Capital District to learn about the arrival of the company, especially for those who have been fighting for a Trader Joe’s in the Capital District for years. Although it may seem like just another grocery store to some, Trader Joe’s has a lot more to offer than meets the eye. The business offers healthy and organic foods that are renowned and recognized as being nutritious and delicious. Also, all the foods in the stores are authentic Trader Joe’s products, unique in name and flavor. The thing that really makes the company special is that the food is not only delectable and unique, but sold at a fair price compared to most health food stores. These are just some of the big reasons why so many people were saying Trader Joe’s should come to our area. “I’ve been saying that for years, eleven years in fact,” said local resident Sandra Foyt, just one of many on the ‘We want Graphic by Mary Powathil / The Journal Trader Joe’s in the Capital District’ com-
mittee. “The stores are clean, inviting, and they smell delicious. There’s always something new and unusual to sample and savor. It’s never boring or routine.” And after almost four years of recruiting, rallying and fighting for a Trader Joe’s, the announcement was made that there was in fact going to be one in the capital area. An email was sent out to everybody on the committee by the head of the group, Bruce Roter. “All our hard work paid off!” Roter announced to the Trader Joe’s group at a celebratory gathering in front of the new home for the store on Wolf Road by Colonie Center. The group bonded as the met other members of the team who all helped to build the town’s goal into a reality. So keep your eyes open in the upcoming weeks for a new place to buy some exquisite snacks and meals. Trader Joe’s isn’t scheduled to open until April or May, but the gap is slowly closing until the store will be up and running, and that’s all any of residents in Albany could ask for!
Relocating the Altamont Free Library
The Altamont Free Library is in the process of moving from its longtime home under the Key Bank to the old train station in Altamont. The library is state, town, and village funded, and provides traditional library resources to all of its visitors. It was first located under the Key Bank in Altamont in 1971, and resided there until August of last year. “After Hurricane Irene, the old library had mold growing on the walls,” said Judith Wines, the head librarian. This obviously made it an unfit location. Since October 2011, the library has been temporarily housed at the Masonic Temple on Maple Avenue in Altamont. Irene was not the only reason for the move to the old train station in Altamont. The library staff realized soon after moving into the Key Bank location that it was not suitable. “We had to climb down two flights of stairs, and there were no windows,” said Wines. “The library should be for everyone, and people who couldn’t use the stairs couldn’t use the old library.” “We are really excited about the move. It’s going to be a really beautiful space. And we’re really thrilled that everyone will be able to use this new library,” Wines said. The staff and patrons of the library have been anxiously awaiting the move since the purchase of the train station location in 2005. “Even before then, we knew we needed a new location, and had been fundraising,” said Wines. “In order to raise funds, we applied for grants, held chicken barbecues, bike races, an art show, and an annual ‘I love my library’ dinner, as well as received individual donations.” There are pros and cons to any change
this big. “It’s expensive—we had to raise a lot of money. It’s also a lot of work,” said Wines. “But it’s a beautiful space, with increased accessibility, much more natural light, and we would be actively preserving a historic building.” The new library will also add several new features that the community could get excited about. New spaces will be reserved for community meetings and story times, and laptops will be available for the library’s visitors. “There will also be more space for kids to play, as well as more children’s playthings,” Wines added. The project is coming along smoothly, thanks to the help of many volunteers. “The whole community is involved with the project; we’ve had dozens of volunteers, many, many donors, and a dedicated library board to speed up the process,” Wines said. “The effort put forth by these people is tremendous.” I volunteered at the train station several times over February break, and was amazed to see the number of people who came to offer their assistance. It really was a community effort. I helped prime all of the wood that was to be used. I also helped paint the electrical room and one of the bathrooms. It was a lot of fun seeing something like this come together, firsthand. I found myself wanting to come back just to see how everything that we had worked on the day before had come together. I also liked being a part of something that my whole community was involved in. It was something that everyone wanted to see; people stopped by with their kids just to see how the project was progressing.
Photos by Justine Polonski / The Journal
Top: The current interior of the Altamont Free Library. Above Left: Volunteer workers showcasing their work. Right: A volunteer at work.
When the library is complete, it will be something spectacular that the whole community can be proud of. “We are really close to finishing. The heat is currently being put in, and then
the floor will go down. After that, all that is left is for the shelves and other furniture to come in,” Wines said. “We are looking for a date in April or May to open the new library to the public.”
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A young girl gone too soon: Madeline Musto Alexandria Schneider
Photos by Alexandria Schneider / The Journal
Top and Left: Maddie smiles for the camera. Right: The entire Musto family.
Madeline Elizabeth Musto was a remarkable little girl with a beautiful smile and an even more beautiful heart. She could light up an entire room and her love for life was infectious. She saw beauty in the little things that most people would fail to even acknowledge. Her mother, Erin Musto, and her father, Matthew Musto, love Maddie and her two little sisters, Amelia and Lucy, unconditionally. On February 3rd, at the age of five, Maddie was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. After spending the night in the hospital enduring test after test, the doctors announced that she only had a short time left with her loved ones. Immediately, friends and family began setting up fundraisers and collecting donations to make sure Maddie had as many “best day evers” as possible. Thanks to the Make a Wish Foundation, Maddie had the opportunity to go to Disney World with her parents and little sisters. Instead, Maddie decided that she wanted to go to Lake Placid with her entire extended family to be with everyone she loved. Maddie had such a love for her family that it was no surprise that she chose to be with them instead of going to Disney World yet, still, this is very touching. Madeline got to spend her last days surrounded by the people she loved and who loved her. On February 8th, just five days after getting the diagnosis, Maddie’s life was taken far too soon. Everyone who knew and adored her now had to accept the fact
that she was gone. Maddie taught everyone around her so much about life. She appreciated the little things and saw the beauty in everything around her, especially butterflies and the color purple. There was more love in her little heart than most adults are capable of feeling. She had such a patience for her little sisters, coupled with insight and wisdom that were beyond her years. More than anything Maddie taught everyone who knew her to never take one single moment for granted. She showed everyone that it is so important to appreciate and to embrace life because every day, every minute, every second, means something. Maddie’s calling hours were held on Sunday, February 12th at Demarco Stone in Rotterdam, where there was an overwhelming crowd of people waiting over an hour in line to say their goodbyes. The funeral mass was held at St. Madeline Sophie on the following Monday morning with the burial right after. The hearts of anyone who knows the Musto’s or has heard this story aches for their family. They have inspired so many people with their strength and continue to hold fundraisers. The family’s many supporters are hoping to raise money in order to create a scholarship fund in Madeline’s name to keep her memory alive for all who miss her. You can visit maddiesmark.org to find out more information about Maddie and the scholarship being created in her name.
GlowGolf: Mini Golf in a new light Yono’s The newest attraction in Crossgates puts a spin on traditional mini golf Restaurant Nick Schwartz Jordan Scott
When I first walked into Yono’s, in the heart of Albany at 25 Chapel Street, I saw the classic bar scene: people happily chatting over drinks with groups of friends. I noticed a man in a chef ’s uniform sitting at one of the tables, animatedly talking and laughing. As soon as he noticed my group, he jumped up and gave everyone a big hug. I soon realized this was the famous Yono, whom my fellow diners knew very well. He personally led us to the back dining room, and it felt as if we were leaving one world and entering an entirely different one. The dining area was stunning. Hanging in the center of the room was a magnificent crystal chandelier, and everything it sparkled on glowed with a golden sheen. Adding to that glow was a fire-place, which we luckily were seated next to, that only enhanced the sense of romance and intimacy. There were tables with exquisite plates and silverware atop crisp white table cloths, servers dressed immaculately, and a pianist and cellist playing in one corner of the room. Live music is always appreciated in a restaurant as it adds to the sense that you’re receiving a one of a kind evening, making the restaurant original and imaginative. To read more, visit theghsjournal.com
Earlier this year, a new mini golf place opened up in Crossgates Mall. In many ways, it is a rather typical mini golf course complete with inconveniently placed wind-mills and fun music. However, there is one thing that makes this new course different from any other that I have ever seen. The entire course is glow in the dark. As I walked into GlowGolf and saw the dark, black-lit interior, it reminded me of Zero-Gravity, the local laser tag arena familiar to many GHS students. Everything that is white glows an eerie blue; every person in the place shows off frighteningly bright pearly whites with each and every smile. GlowGolf incorporates a 36 hole mini golf course into this interesting ambiance beautifully. Each hole is decorated with brightly glowing adornments and the walls are lined with glow in the dark murals of animals and
sea creatures. Even the balls themselves are glow in the dark. Overall, the aesthetics of the whole place are very impressive. As for the actual mini golf, GlowGolf continued to impress me. Except for a few holes that are hopelessly difficult, most holes are well designed and feature fun and challenging obstacles. Everything from loop-the-loops to wind-mills to giant seahorses tries to stop you from success. Despite the difficulty of the course, I found myself having good fun throughout. Perhaps the best part of the whole experience was the music. Throughout my entire time there, I literally did not hear a single song that I didn’t like. Though that might not sound terribly significant to the overall experience, I found that it actually made everything much more fun. Between the extravagant appearance of the glowing course, the fun yet challenging holes, and the nonstop good
music, a round of golf at GlowGolf is certainly an enjoyable time. So whether it is a first date, a family outing, or just some friends looking for an hour of fun, this new addition to Crossgates Mall is a great place to go.
Photos courtesy of Nick Schwartz / The Journal
Top: The windmill poses a challenge to all players. Bottom: The GlowGolf sign advertises Crossgates newest attraction. Left: One of the holes on the course.
Journal March 2012
Pop Arts The Artist, Hugo wipe the floor at Oscars Christian Meola
The 84th Academy Awards took place on Sunday, February 26th at 7 EST with an unexpected 34,341,000 households tuning in. For those who missed it, the show’s better ratings than the previous year were due most likely to Billy Crystal’s return as host of the evening, after James Franco and Anne Hathaway’s disappointing job. As usual, the evening brought together Hollywood’s biggest stars to celebrate the acclaimed films of the year. The Academy selected the winners fairly and in some cases unexpectedly, making the four hours I sat on the couch watching the show time well spent. Every year in January, the Oscar nominated movies are announced to the general public a month prior to the big day. This year, the Best Picture category made history by only including nine contenders, rather than in previous years when there were either five or 10 nominees. The Best Picture films were diverse, ranging from early cinema tributes, to baseball, to the city of Paris, and even a few
novel adaptations. Most of the films deserved to be there, and a few would have definitely taken the prize if they had not fallen into the same year as The Artist. Hugo was most likely the second best choice, followed by the book adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best seller The Help. This year the competition for Best Picture went not surprisingly to The Artist, the silent film that gained attention and critical acclaim back in December. The real toss up this year did not reside in Best Picture, but rather in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories. Oscar followers knew it would come down to either Jean Dujardin of The Artist or George Clooney for The Descendants, and Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady or Viola Davis in The Help. All actors had their own advantages. Dujardin and Clooney both won separate awards earlier in the season, each winning a Golden Globe for their performances. Despite the praise from critics Clooney received for his performance, it was
Jean Dujardin who won the prize. Speculation for the winner of Best Actress was not so clear. Both Streep and Davis gave notable performances, and showcased their commendable acting abilities in different ways. Streep is universally acknowledged as one of the world’s finest actresses, and completely adapted to her role as Margaret Thatcher. On the other hand, Viola Davis’ portrayal of a black maid suffering in 1960’s Missisippi in the end was deeply moving. In the end, award veteran Meryl Streep took home the trophy, her third win since 1982 for Sophie’s Choice. Both The Artist and Hugo took home most of the technical awards. Hugo won Best Cinematography, Art Direction, Film Editing, and Visual Effects (the possibility of Martin Scorsese winning Best Directing grew as the night continued). The Artist didn’t win as many production awards as Hugo, only taking home Best Costumes and Original Score, but it won the ultimate award of Best Directing for Michel Hazanavicius. Many people thought it
was absurd that a silent film could win a Best Directing award. While I personally believe Scorsese deserved this it, The Artist was the next best choice. Through his film, Hazanavicius brought viewers back to a time forgotten due to today’s overwhelming amount of technology, while at the same time created a film that had a heart and soul without being tacky. This is an achievement that deserves accolades on its own, regardless of the other films it was up against. After watching the show and seeing every nominated film, it is safe to say that this year’s anticipated show was entertaining, and overall worthwhile. To me, the most wonderful aspect of the Oscars is that is reminds me that Hollywood isn’t dead. While countless films are produced and released for a profit, The Academy supports actors, writers, directors, and everybody behind the movies who are still working and creating art. Even if I don’t agree with every film selected, as I leave the theater I find myself thanking the Academy for praising films that people invest all of their money and soul into. They give me something to anticipate throughout the dreary winter months, and something to dream about as I spend my school day planning my speech for when I meet Mr. Oscar himself.
Safe House shockingly FOX brings down the House shallow Vivian Dai
The recent release of highly anticipated Safe House has sent many running to the theatre. The week after its release, the movie was second in the box office after The Vow (according to Box Office Mojo), and I can personally testify that the theatre was full on the 17th. But is the movie really worth your money? Well, if you’re looking for a good, gritty action movie, then it certainly is. There aren’t five minutes when people aren’t fighting in some form, whether it’s fist fighting, gun shooting, car crashing, torture by suffocation, or verbal attacks. The virtually nonstop movement on the screen and the constant deafening sounds of “BAM”, “BANG”, and “BOOM” makes your head hurt. Even so, the intense, exciting, and believable action would’ve contributed greatly to the film—if half of it was necessary. But then again, it’s rather hard to fit 115 minutes of action into a plot that could essentially be summed up in five sentences. Indeed, the storyline of “rookie CIA agent takes a notorious ex-agent on a race to survive and find the truth after their safe house is breeched by an insid-
er” seems way too simple and cliché for such an action-packed movie. Though the movie has good intentions and the potential to give off the suspenseful, intelligent, political thriller vibe, it just isn’t as cool as it pretends to be. The one thing that purely contributed to the film in a positive way is the acting. Matt Weston, the abovementioned rookie CIA, is played by Ryan Reynolds, and Tobin Frost, the notorious ex-agent, is played by Denzel Washington. Both gave convincing performances, though one could argue that Denzel Washington is incapable of giving a bad performance. However, it seems that the talent has gone to waste— both actors spent more time pretending to shoot someone or doubling over from being shot than actually portraying a character with depth and emotion. Not to say that the characters of Weston and Frost didn’t have depth—they did—but they could’ve been developed so much more if there was half as much dialogue and emotional interactions between characters as there was violence. In general, Safe House is a pretty safe bet to put your money if you just want to see a formulaic action thriller, but if you want to see something with deep meaning and a subtle message, I don’t suggest it.
Nina Obwald For seven years, eight seasons, and more than 150 episodes, the diseases, cures, and countless sarcastic remarks have enamored an audience of millions. It’s time for the last problem to be solved, the last patient to be cured, and the last remark to be heard, for one of the most beloved series on TV is approaching its finale. It was announced on February 8th by executive producers David Shore, Katie Jacobs, and Hugh Laurie that season eight would be the last for House. House takes place at the fictional Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. The title character, Dr. Gregory House, is an eccentric and unconventional doctor played by Hugh Laurie who leads the Department of Diagnostic Medicine. Perhaps executive producer David Shore summed it up best when he said, “Any time you try to summarize a show in one word, you sound like an ass. It’s about truth.” Dr. House is known for telling the truth no matter how harsh or unfeeling it may sound. But, there will be no more truth, no more intriguing cases, no more laughable oneliners, no more Dr. House. Season eight is scheduled to end in May. While fans will most definitely mourn the end of House, one can also admire the success that the show has had. Two Golden Globes and nine People’s Choice Awards are listed among its many impressive achievements. It was also named the
most watched show in the world in 2008, with 81.8 million viewers watching from 66 countries. For the mourning fans, a loss of viewers may be to blame for the show’s cancellation. During its first season, House averaged 13.34 million viewers per episode. The number of viewers peaked during season 3, when the average was 19.95 viewers, and has steadily declined since then. Last year’s seventh season averaged 10.32 million viewers, while the premier of season 8 had only 9.77 million viewers. The decline in viewership may be the result of Lisa Edelstein’s leaving the show. Edelstein played House’s love interest and the hospital’s dean of medicine. House will surely be missed among each and every loyal viewer. Shore, Jacob, and Laurie ended their melancholy announcement with a hope that the show will be remembered: “If the show lives on somewhere, with somebody, as a fond memory, then that is a precious feat of which we will always be proud.” Scan this QR code on your smartphone to continue reading “Bon Iver”
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Glee finally receives competition Bryce Goyer
It seems to be in the past few years the new trend in television are shows with musical components. Ever since 2009, when a group of high school outcasts sang their way into America’s heart in the hit show Glee, a-several shows have come out with the same element included: music. The new hit Smash on NBC latched on to this new fad of musical television dramas, and debuting the pilot episode on February 6, 2012. Smash and Glee both brought to attention the arts in our entertainment culture. Glee features modern songs that would be heard on Top 40 radio. Glee helped many Americans appreciate the arts, music, and theater in a new way but in the eyes of many theatre lovers, Glee fell short to accurately represent their culture. Glee makes theater seem corny and all about having the spotlight. How often do you see people start singing and dancing through the halls? No, that never happens in real life, even if you’re a dedicated theatre lover. Glee’s random musical numbers make no sense and are
cheesy. The talent on Glee is mediocre at best. Glee started out with some promise of having true, raw talent on it but shortly after proved destroyed those hopes. Glee has Broadway veterans staring as some of the most important characters, such as Matthew Morrison who plays Mr. Schuester, and Lea Michele who plays Rachel Berry. These Broadway stars have the most talent on the show but rarely get to show the true range of their talent. Everyone on Glee is so auto-tuned that it’s obvious when watching that no
natural sound remains in their voice. The cast members who were on Broadway can sing live and it’s a shame they don’t let them. If the Broadway veterans were to sing live it would make the show
Graphic by Rachel Gingrich / The Journal
more believable and more impressive. Glee also cast some characters who, even with the help of auto-tune, sound like cats dying. If a person can’t sing why cast them in a show solely about singing? Also the story lines of Glee are closer to a soap opera then a primetime comedy. After 3 brutal seasons of Glee it had begun
to look like Hollywood was killing the magic of musicals. However, then came Smash. Many have referred to Smash as an adult Glee, but it is much better than that. Another reason Smash should become you’re newest favorite musical drama is the musical numbers make sense. In Smash people don’t just start randomly singing, they sing for a purpose. The musical numbers take place during rehearsals for the show or during auditions. Smash has so much talent that it is sure to become favorite show for many. Even if you don’t enjoy musicals or Broadway, Smash has a little something for everyone. Smash explores family life, relationships, and for all those sports fans, there is even a whole musical number devoted to baseball. Smash makes Glee seem like a silly kids show whose time on air has run out. Smash outshines Glee in every way imaginable.
Stars Wars returns, again SNL leads 2012 with Andrew Fedorov
So why has this series that started We all know Star Wars. The world of off as a ripoff of a Flash Gordon serial lightsabers, hyperdrives and midichlo- survived and passed through so many rians has, through the force of its own g e n - erations? Why do people flock unreal reality, seeped into our world to every rerelease and DVD and become part of our culture. release, as they do with Our parents learned of it from almost nothing else the original release and we but Sherlock Holmes either through our parents, and Shakespeare? the prequels, or plainly It was one its prevalence in culture. of the first of Through George Luthe moder n cas’ lazy money lust the blockbusters film has been passed even though to multiple g enit only erations through took 11 multiple releases. million Lucas claims, dollars “In essence, to make films never get a n d finished, they when get abandoned. it was Graphic by Rachel Gingrich / The Journal At some point, m a d e you’re dragged off the picture kicking n e a r l y no one wo r k and screaming while somebody says, i n g o n i t t o o k i t s e r i o u s l y. ‘Okay, it’s done.’ That isn’t really the way Yet, after the absurd circumit should work.” stances of its inception today, the mytholBut, with each release, less and less is ogy is passed to a new generation with the changed and more and more money is full force of popular technology. As far accrued in the giant safes of Skywalker as I can tell the 3D doesn’t add much. It’s Ranch. Since the original release in the just an extra version whose only merit is late 70s and early 80s, we have seen rer- that a new generation receives the wonder eleases in 1997, the prequels released in of Star Wars and George Lucas gets a little the late 90s and 2000s and, after a few more money. cartoon series today, the 3D releases.
hysterical hosts Sydney Campbell
Saturday Night Live has been an American entertainment tradition since 1975. However, a new tradition seems to have started in 2012; great hosts paired with phenomenal musical guests to make some of the best episodes yet. On February 11th, quirky actress Zooey Deschanel was given her first chance to host the sketch comedy show. Most famous for her performance in 500 Days of Summer, her band “She and Him”, and her breakout hit show New Girl, Deschanel wowed America with her dynamic performance. She had plenty of material to work with, performi n g t h e week following the Super Bowl and the week bef o r e Valentine’s Day, as well as in the midst of presidential campaigns. The recurring cast poked fun at
Bon Iver takes home two Grammys Hannah Liu
To be honest, I had never heard of Bon Iver until after their double win at the Grammy’s. They were nominated for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year for their song “Holocene”. But who are they? Their band name is derived from the French phrase “Bon Hiver” which means “Good Winter”.
The songs in the album blend well – they all have heavy instrumentation and Vernon’s style of a murmuring vocal line. Bon Iver is actually their second album. Their first, For Emma, Forever Ago, was produced by Vernon alone. For Emma also focuses more on the lyrics, and Bon Iver focuses more on the music itself. Although both have their own qualities,
their differences are so large that some fans of the first album have had negative responses to. But after listening to the album, I find that the core of the band is undeniably present. To continue reading, scan the QR code on page 8 using your smartphone.
Deschanel’s signature eccentricity when they performed a skit of a show entitled “Bein’ Quirky with Zooey Deschanel” in which Abby Elliott played Zooey while Zooey played Mary-Kate Olsen, along with Taran Killam as Michael Cera. The mockery was in good spirits though, and Deschanel received the jokes well. Musical guest Karmin performed hits “Brokenhearted” and “I Told You So” during the show, resonating well with the crowd. Other host-and-musical-guest pairings this year have included: basketball legend Charles Barkley and American Idol Kelly Clarkson; Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe with Lana Del Ray; actor Channing Tatum with indie rock group Bon Iver; and most recently, Superbad actor Jonah Hill with The Shins. All shows had the crowds in stitches and the musical acts were widely enjoyed. On Saturday, March 13, crowd-pleasing sketch “Weekend Update” with Seth Meyers featured Kristen Wiig as Paula Deen, gorging on a chicken leg and stick of butter and answering questions about her diagnosis with diabetes and the recent sexual harassment claims against her and her brother. Arguably the funniest sketch of the night, the crowd was hysterical and Wiig even broke character to laugh a number of times. SNL’s 37th season continues April 7 with Modern Family actress Sofia Vergara and British boy band One Direction. Hopefully, the new trend of exceptional episodes will carry on through this episode and the ones to come. Graphic by Madi Taylor / The Journal
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Can Lexi Rabadi
It has been said
that we are growing up in the information generation. We are the “screen-agers” of today and the leaders of the tomorrow, living in a world that is connected by and thrives on technology and the media- particularly social media. Too often we hear our elders reflecting on “the good ol’ days” in which “people actually communicated face to face.” We are often admonished for our excessive use of social networking mediums, but is it really so bad? Social networking has become so much more than a place for tweens to post pictures and quote pop songs- it has become revolutionary. With social websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr, people are able to help fight cancer with the click of a button, and that one click of a button
has the potential to reach millions across the world. What is so bad about letting the world know what is important, and then providing them with the means to take action with just one little hyperlink? Us “screen-agers” have the power to influence millions literally at our fingertips, and we are not afraid to use that power. Whether we are spreading the word about Joseph Kony and his rebels in Uganda with a simple Tweet, or we are updating and informing others about the Occupy movements on Facebook, there is no question that social networking is changing the face of the world and the information that circulates within it. What is so bad about that? How effective is it really? There is no single answer or magic word to satisfy every question or belief out there. However, one thing is for certain no matter who you are: times are changing and there is no looking back now.
Update actions, not statuses Isaac Malsky
One of the great marvels of the 21st century is the power of social media. News is spread on an unprecedented scale, mostly thanks to the propagation of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It is now possible to wake up, check what’s going on halfway around the world, and then get out of bed. Everyone with access to a Smartphone is constantly barraged with an incoming stream of tweets, pokes, and updates. Lost though, is the filter of peer review that is often needed with such information. The dissemination of information about breast cancer on social media has led to a generation that whole heartedly supports the cause, but doesn’t understand the movement that they’re behind. One of the best-publicized causes of the last decade is breast cancer. Breast cancer has become such a ubiquitous image in our lives that society sometimes loses track of what the search is for. The reality is that early detection and the treatment for breast cancer is much more muddled than the pink ribbons make it out to be. Early screenings are not the Holy Grail that the medical community was looking for. While awareness is important, the oversimplification of the cause can lead to as many problems as it solves. The information that gets circulated over the internet is not the medical information that needs to be spread, such as the risk factors for breast cancer or what the signs of early stage cancer are. Instead, optimistic phrases have replaced actual content, partially because of the nature in which they are spread. Because, in truth, tweets about the harsh reality of cancer don’t garner as many followers as “live strong.” The most interesting aspect of the breast cancer movement is the demographic that has taken up the cause. Although breast cancer is most dangerous to women over 40, it seems that it is generation Z who are most active. Just last year, a rash of Facebook statuses were written by mostly teenage women about where they leave their purse. The statuses did cause many people to think about the movement, and even more to stare perplexedly at their screen, but it missed several key points. First of all, the demographic that read the statuses was not at risk and are not advised to
get mammograms till they are 40. Only 7% of breast cancer cases are in women under 40. Secondly, the updates had nothing to do with the medical side breast cancer and did little actual good. A study done by the National Breast Cancer coalition showed that while virtually all women were aware of Breast cancer there were several misconceptions that were prevalent among the subjects. For example, 80% believed 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year when that statistic is for lifetime rates. Another fad in recent years has been the wristbands often touted in school with phrases ranging from the sincere to the explicit. While it is true that a certain portion of the proceeds go to finding a cure for breast cancer or raising awareness, many students do take this into account. If you need proof, just look at the silly bands that flooded the schools several years ago. They supported no cause and yet virtually everyone in middle school was wearing them—until a week later when nobody would be caught dead in them. It has become a status symbol to support breast cancer, not because of the cause itself, but because of how simple it has become to be “for” something and go along with the pack. Breast cancer is not even the leading cause of cancer death in the United States among women. The leading cancer is lung cancer, something not nearly as hyped over social media, despite its deadliness. Simply because it is not as marketable of an image, lung cancer lies out of the public eye while less dangerous diseases become cultural movements. What is concerning is not the rise of social media and fashion fads that have sprung up, but the rift left in their place when they pass. Students get a sense of placation by updating their status on Facebook. The sense of contributing to a cause when little to no effort has been committed means that students don’t feel the need to commit anything more. But breast cancer will remain a problem even when it has faded from the public eye. Women will still be diagnosed with breast cancer even if there are no more Facebook movements or sales of wristbands. Because cancer is a disease, not a movement.
Making Kony visible
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The recent online campain to stop Joseph Kony
he movement to stop Joseph Kony, a rebel military leader in central Africa, has recently grown wild. Spread largely through social media such as Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, the 30 minute film created by parent organization Invisible Children has received over 77 million views on YouTube since first being uploaded on March 5. However, various media sources, particularly blogs, have been questioning the organization’s allocation of funds and the relevance of the Joseph Kony/LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) issue, among other problems. What’s more surprising than the criticism the organization has drawn, though, is how fast the criticism has spread – nearly as fast as the Kony video itself. A key component to the video’s success is that it’s primarily targeted towards a young audience. The organization has stated that its mission is to “inspire America’s youth to ‘do more than just watch’.” Targeting American youth has been the key to the video’s spread – it’s safe to say that no other population more actively utilizes social media and the Internet. With youth especially though, awareness does not usually equal activism. The average high schooler now knows who Joseph Kony is and his basic crimes, but are they going to do anything about it? Can most of them even point out Uganda on a map of Africa? A click of a mouse to share or retweet a video is miles away from writing letters to Congressmen or phoning Bill Gates. In a statement issued on their website in response to the criticism they have received, Invisible Children said, “We are committed, and always have been, to be 100% financially transparent and to communicate in plain language the mission of the organization so that everyone can make an informed decision about whether they want to support our strategy.” Other organizations may wish to take note of the fact that spreading a message through social media carries as many risks as it does benefits. The Kony video reached millions of people in a matter of days, but so did the widespread doubt and criticism targeted towards Invisible Children. Furthermore, if one’s goal is to fix a problem somewhere in the world, posting a video to the internet may get you attention, but it won’t necessarily contribute to helping the situation.
@China #disconnected http://bit.ly/yTZsWH Justina Liu What is a life led, without Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube? While Internet censorship restricts residents of the People’s Republic from accessing popular western social media, Chinese users remain active on China social platforms and share an online experience to ours. Zhang Fanbo, 25 years old and a resident of China, says that users use media to “relax, stress, enhance communications between friends, and build strong relationships.” As an active user, she mentions that negative aspects include “inevitable time wasting and lowering of efficiency when doing work.” While Zhang is not concerned about the govern-
ment seeing her online activity, she notices government intervention. There have been incidents where she was unable to pursue further interest in a topic that caught her attention. “The webpage had been deleted, or could not be opened anymore.” Chen Xinping, 24 years old, grew up in the People’s Republic, and moved to Australia in 2008. He remembers the restrictions on political opinions and news topics, similar to those described by Fanquan. Zhang says that she would only desire to access western outlets if her means of online interactions were disabled. After moving to Australia, Chen created a Facebook account with the initial purpose to stay in touch
with Australian friends. While he does notice a big difference in social functionality, he believes that “it is one of the most important searching tools.” “One can search to see what people are talking about now,” he says, in addition to finding out things from great restaurants to breaking news. “Some western social media outlets,” Chen says, “are faster than news-broadcasting networks.” Chen, who has seen the KONY video, says that he felt both surprised and inspired. He adds, “Some of my views have been changed by western social media,” Chen says, “particularly about the religion, politics and life style.”
Blogging as a tool of revolution. By Andrew Fedorov On the day of the first major protest of election fraud in Russia in December Alexey Navalny, the popular anti-corruption blogger, wrote from prison “We are neither cattle nor slaves. We have a voice and we have the strength to preserve it.” That voice in Russia before any major protests had taken place was blogging. It is and for a very long time has been among the most foolish of notions to be an honest journalist for a real news paper or to be a relatively known dissident in Russia. As a consequence having been deprived of outlets the turtleneck clad Russian intellectual community fled to blogging and social media. The largest blogging site in Russia is Live Journal. It has about 2 million users and a very large readership. Among many notable users Navalny has used Live Journal most effectively. He organized a way for people to collect documents as evidence of corruption by even the most insignificant of bureaucrats and made it abundantly clear to anyone who cared to check the blog that corruption is rampant in Russia and that it really is run by swindlers and thieves. His efforts got him noticed by several Western publications When the protests began Live Journal, along with several other social media sites was used to direct people when and where to go. According to Wired, Live Journal is considered enough of a threat to be monitored by the Kremlin. More important than organization the blogs have given people a sense of solidarity. Before they met them in the squares it gave people disappointed with the system the knowledge that they weren’t alone and that there were even some people fighting against corruption. But in the end these people are protesting that they have been treated as the tools of oligarchs and dictators. The true story is not the tools they use but the people protesting. Now after a recent electoral victory by Putin his confidence is back and protesters are again being beaten and protest will have to retreat to the realms of the internet. #Russia
theJournal March 2012
Continued from Page 1 The amount of hours that it takes for the cast to go through the play is grueling. “It’s a lot more, though, than I expected,” director Mr. Maycock quoted, “We’re doing a kind of live TV-show feed at the same time, for the episodes of The Corny Collins Show that take place onstage. So in a sense, sometimes I’m directing just a stage play, and sometimes it’s a stage play and a TV show at the same time.” The making of Hairspray was no doubt a difficult task because the story is
Photos by Madi Taylor / The Journal
full of twists and turns. The plot of the musical is about an overweight teenager named Tracy Turnblad, growing up in the 1960’s where being different means being left out of the crowd. Tracy has big hopes of getting on The Corny Collins Show and becoming famous. When it finally happens, it’s a dream come true. But, things get in the way when the head dancer, Amber Von Tussle and her equally evil mother, Velma, try to get Tracy off the show so things stay normal. The plot thickens even more when Tracy tries to
racially integrate The Corny Collins Show to help out her friend Seaweed and his sister little Inez. The differences between the movie Hairspray and the musical are just a few. Extra numbers and a change up in the placement of dances and songs is the main separation between the two works. The plot and main songs to the production still remain, even if they had to be changed a little for spacing. And, some scenes have a bigger effect on the audience when they’re seen in person. “I like both versions,” Lee told us. “In the musical, I love how people have fun when we act it out, and I also love the choreography that our teacher’s made for us. And in the movie, I like how they made up songs and dances.” “I did love the movie but being in the production on stage and in front a live audience is much more satisfying for me,” says senior Rachel Young, who plays Tracey. It’s all preference, though no matter what version you prefer, the central point of the story will always be there. Much of the student body at Guilderland was stirred by the choice of production in the start of the school year. The break up in the diversity of the cast could come off as offensive to some people, though that’s not at all the intention of the show. “This show displays how people can be hateful towards anyone who does not exactly ‘fit in,’” Rachel pointed out, “Whether it is due to their skin color or weight, people will find a reason to be hateful. This production shows those people fighting back and taking a stand for what is right.” It was these morals that made Hairspray such a good pick for this year, with anti bullying encouragement at a high.
“I think Hairspray would be controversial if the excluded characters were mean or angry, or had chips on their shoulders, or were violent. Or if they were caricatures of some stereotype. But they’re not,” says Young. And this is what makes it such a great show! There’s romance, lots of comedy and great morals built into the story. To all Guilderland students who have yet to see the show, make sure you attend. And, if you can’t go, for some reason or another, remember that there’s always next year – whatever the production is, it’s sure to be fantastic. Top: Motormouth Maybelle (played by Lexi Adams) belts a note to back of the auditorium. Clockwise from left: Seaweed (Geoffrey Snow) busts a move, Amber Von Tussle (Karissa Murray) steals the spotlight, and Edna Turnblad shares a moment with her husband, Wilbur. Bottom: Cast locked up for protesting.
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ASO hosts “Cellobration” at Skidmore
Juilliard students and local musicians alike celebrate the cello together
Sharon Lin You might be surprised to learn that the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the area’s premier professional orchestra, does more than just give thrilling performances of classical and modern music. Every year, the organization hosts many events and several programs, many of which are dedicated to the youth of the area. From Adopt-A-School, where ASO musicians meet elementary school students and introduce them to the vari-
to broaden its audience and introduce orchestral music to everyone in the area. One such event occurred on February 19th, at 7:30 PM in the Arthur Zankel
The students were so much fun to listen to and watch.
Music Hall in Skidmore College. Cellists of all ages and ability levels came to this hall to “cellobrate” one of Albany SymThe organization hosts phony Orchestra conductor David Alan many events... dedicated Miller’s favorite instruments - the cello! The “Cello Jam,” as it was called, was to the youth of the area. part of a larger festival that circulated around the cello called a “Cellobration” that started on Saturday, February 18th. ous instruments in the orchestra, to fun- The Cellobration consisted of the Profesfilled Sunday Symphony family concerts sor of Cello from the Juilliard School of (featuring conductor David Alan Miller Music, Richard Aaron, bringing several in full costume), the organization strives of his most prestigious students to the Capital Region to present concerts, in-depth explorations, master classes, and a general appreciation for the “most soulful instrument in the orchestra.” Bethlehem High School senior Elias Miller and the son of David Alan Miller, excitedly stated that, “the cellists [from Juilliard] were truly incredible musicians.” Each student of Richard Aaron’s had different techniques and different ways Above: The Albany Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of maestro David Alan Miller in concert. The of approaching a note, but they all were tied together orchestra is the capital district’s premier orchestra by Aaron’s masterful teachand has played in such world renowned venues as ing style. Carnegie Hall Before the conclusion of the Cellobration, the
Albany Symphony Orchestra gave a concert at 3:00 PM in the Zankel Music Hall. The concert was, as can be inferred, dedicated to the cello. Cello concertos made up the repertoire as Richard Aaron’s talented students took the stage in turn, each showcasing their most prestigious technique and their most professional sound. Then, to conclude the two day event, the Cello Jam took place, where cellists of all ages gathered to read all
Graphic bySharon Lin / The Journal
kinds of music from all types of people, from Mozart to Apocalyptica. Says Elias Miller, the students were “so much fun to listen to and watch. They did things differently ...but they also shared many similarities, probably [because] they all have the same teacher.” It was clear, from the excited faces in the crowd, that everyone in the room , young and old, appreciated the ability of Aaron’s students.
theJournal March 2012
World & Cultures From music school to Afghanistan A mother tells the story of a son going to war Justina Liu Weeks preceding the start of a new school year, herds of freshman flock to their respective colleges to participate in a day of orientation. Sean Teeter, GHS class of 2009, had strolled the campus of Schenectady County Community College during the closing days of sumnmer. Surrounding him was a career in music, and like most college freshmen, he had begun laying down his foundation years before. That evening, Sean revealed this family that music school no longer felt like the right choice. “He came home that day and had a heart to heart with his father and I,” his mother, Rae Jean Teeter recalls, “because he had been pulled towards wanting to serve in the military.” Rae Jean Teeter is the Director of Vocal Music at GHS. Her son, Sean Teeter, will soon be deployed to serve in the army in upcoming months. His location cannot be disclosed for safety reasons but Sean’s mission will involve dealing with foreign troops. Teeter and her family are proud of Sean and his decision. Initially scheduled to be deployed in December, Sean has quit his full time job and devoted himself to various preparation regiments. He underwent three weeks of training in September and four weeks in October. Many details have not played out according to plan. Sean’s deployment date and his mission descriptions have been subject to change. Originally Sean was told that he would be stationed in Afghanistan, and then he was told he’d be sent to Kuwait. “He was going to be a tenor feature in our chamber choir this past Saturday,”
Teeter mentions, “but he got called to be on duty this weekend.” During his high school years, Sean was highly involved in the music department. By senior year, he had achieved titles such as all-state alternate percussionist, and all-eastern tenor—both highly prestigious honors. It was just days before the start of his freshman year at college that Sean revealed his sense of duty. He was very convicted about it, Teeter says, “it was a decision he made on his own.” Sean eventually told his friends about his choice, but many could not understand his reason for leaving music school to serve in the military. “Since his sophomore year his music really took off, and by junior year his voice was just unbelievable,” Teeter explains, “we had always expected, as he did, that he was going to music school.” SCCC had granted him a scholarship; it seemed only natural to Sean’s friends that he would pursue a musical education. However, since leaving SCCC, Sean has received a significant amount of training from the military. At 20 years old, he is the youngest certified master driver in his unit, and is capable of driving every military vehicle on the base. Such skills are marketable in many sectors of industries. “It’s not that they look down on it,” Teeter says, “I think it’s hard for people to understand why you’d give something like that up to serve in the military.” Teeter’s father takes great pride in his service in the Marines, Teeter explains. Sean is very close with his grandfather, “I think it was part of his upbringing,” she says, “It was something Seam felt he needed to do too.”
Teeter says that she does not know what exactly prompted Sean to serve, but has always recognized a sensitivity for helping others, “I think that need to help has always been there.” Sean’s family remains strong behind his decision, and it has been their goal to make the situation least stressful on Sean. Teeter adds that her daughter has actually been stressed about making sure no one causing Sean to be stressed. Sean’s 12 year old brother, Michael, shares a close relaPhoto courtesy of Rae Jean Teeter tionship with his big brother. “He tells all Sean Teeter (right) with friend, Quin, in uniform of his friends that his brother is in the only had to be vaguely aware of the war. Army, that he’s over there defending all A pacifist at heart, she was never in favor of us.” of the war and still is not. Adjusting has been especially hard on However, as a parent of a soldier, Michael, Teeter says. After a small pause, Teeter said that she has developed a much she adds, “I’m not sure how we’ll all deeper appreciation for the nation’s songs handle it, when he actually goes.” and sees meaning into them. Small things have changed, she says. “I can disagree with the reason we’re The Pledge of Allegiance sounds dif- there,” Teeter explained, “and still be in ferent than it had before. And when the support of those young men who are choir sings the National Anthem brings, sacrificing everything—to do something she is brought to tears. “It has a very dif- that a lot of us don’t understand.” ferent meaning,” she says. Before Sean’s decision, Teeter admits that she chose to be ignorant, that she
Fraud in Putin’s reelection: 107% vote in Chechnya Andrew Fedorov If you follow news about Russia, the articles and protests may seem to be repetitive. That’s because nothing changes in Russia. On March 4th, 2012 Vladimir Putin was elected to his 3rd term as the President of Russia after a break of four years because of consecutive term limits. Even in the break he, as prime minister, wielded his puppet Dmitri Medvedev. He has effectively been in power for more than 12 years and even though there has been an election nothing has changed. On December 31,1999, Boris Yeltsin resigned as the president of Russia. The ex-prime minister and new president, Vladimir Putin, addressed the nation on the midnight New Year’s address, beginning the new millennium in Russia and his rule. Putin went from being the head of the FSB, the successor agency of the KGB, to being the president. The KGB never went away, it just took over the country. In 2000, Putin won by 53.4%, and in 2004 he won by 71.9%. In 2008, Med-
vedev won by 70.28%. In this election viet Union and see nothing but a shirtless Putin won with 64.18%, with a 107% turn Putin on television hunting, diving for out in Chechnya, beating out the ancient pottery, and doing judo. But second place communist he certainly did not get 64.18% candidate and the third of the votes fairly. His party, place closest-thingUnited Russia, widely to-opposition known as “the party candidate, of swindlers and Mikhail thieves”, has Prokhoshown in elecrov. These tions again numbers and again are the ofthat they are ficial numnot beyond bers and stuffing bags none of and bags of them are accufalse votes into rate. ballot boxes. Putin probably Because of did get a good the massive and percentag e bepersistent protest cause of the ignorant movements inspired poor and the greedy rich by last Decemwho vote for stability. b e r ’s r i g g e d Because of the elderly people, who were Duma(parliament) Graphic by Madi Taylor / The Journal politicized by the Soelections by an awak-
ened and politicized middle class who in this election voted for anyone but Putin those numbers should have decreased even more significantly. In a true democracy Putin would still have won but by a largely decreased percentage. If he succeeds in 2018, he will have a hold on power for 20 years, including his time as prime minister. In Russia, the party in power is an oligarchy that will not relinquish power. For years, the Russian people seemed apathetic, and just last year they awakened into protest. And if the Duma elections didn’t wake enough people up, this election acting as A Clockwork Orange-esque eye opening machine will. “I don’t know how much longer this will last because the power structure he has built rests on fear and personal connections and money and the fear has been taken out of the equation,” Putin biographer, Masha Gessen, says, “and that means the whole thing is going to collapse and I think it’s going to happen soon.”
World & Cultures
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European Union: united at all? Nate Matala Our economic recession is nothing new. We have been hearing about the fragile state of our economy for the past few years. And most of us have probably heard news about Europe’s sinking economy. However, what most people don’t take into consideration is that the European economy is not one entity. The economy is made up of the independent workings of the many nations that make up the continent. Unlike the United States, the European Union functions as many independent countries in a loose contract rather than states in a country. And as such, not all of the European countries have fared the same. For instance, the economy of Greece has been failing enormously. Greece’s GDP shrank a horrifying six percent in 2011, and is expected to fall another three percent in 2012. Greece’s public debt is at 144%, and even the best economic plans for the country see its public debt only being reduced to 120%. This means that country has more debt than it makes per year. The terrible economic situation is further reinforced when you look at Greece’s startling 21% unemployment rate. So how did the Greek economy fall into such turmoil? “Numerous factors combined to hurt the Greek economy,” says Professor Jeffrey Mondak of the University of Illinois. One major issue,
explains Mondak, is that Greece’s government was spending at a high level, but was failing to collect the tax revenues it needed, in part because of severe problems with tax evasion. “Once the global economic downturn hit, this situation became extremely precarious for Greece,” Mondak says, “severe austerity measures have been imposed, but the Greek economy continues to struggle.” H owever, while Greece’s economy has been nothing less than a nightmare, other European Union countries are showing signs of hope. In the past few years, Poland has been one of the few rising countries in Europe. In fact, in 2011 Poland was the only European country to post a positive financial outcome. The Polish economy rose a solid four percent in 2011, and it is predicted to continue rising throughout 2012. Poland’s public debt is only at 47%, and Poland has the sixth largest economy in the European Union. This growth has led many investors to believe that Poland’s economy is built on stable ground. Poland’s growth can be attributed to the Polish government’s strong encouragement for the success of small businesses, and its relatively weak currency promoting competition amongst exporters. While Poland may provide a ray of hope for the seemingly failing European Union, it isn’t certain if the good tidings will last. Mondak says that one reason
Poland has done well is that the government has moved to privatize many industries and has made strong efforts to help small business to succeed. “But those sorts of efforts can only continue for so long,” Mondak continues, “at some point, the businesses will have to succeed on their own.” According to Mondak, a second factor is that the Polish currency had been weak. He continus, “it helped matters in terms of the national economy because it made it easier for Polish exporters to be competitive.” However, Mondak predicts that this, too, is probably a short-term situation. As the currency strengthens, exports probably will slow. “So, the bottom line is that Poland has done unusually well the past few years,” says Mondak, “but that success does not necessarily mean that similar growth can be expected in the next few years. “ So will Greece ultimately be able to pull itself out of its economic hole? Will Poland be able to continue down the path of success? Only time will tell.
Graphic by Justina Liu / The Journal
Lin’s attributes outshine racial jeers Emily Honen When most people think of professional basketball or basketball in general, the Asian ethnicity is not the first thing on their minds. And when people think of amazing professional basketball teams that are most certainly not struggling, they unfortunately do not think of our home state’s Knicks. Those assumptions, however, have all just been crushed by surprise breakout basketball whiz and Harvard graduate Jeremy Lin. Notice Jeremy’s last name. Not only is it great for punning (which quite a few NBA announcers and journalists have taken advantage of), it also distinguishes him as Taiwanese-American, making him stand out in two ways in the world of professional basketball. Lin is not only a basketball prodigy who brought the Knicks out of a career slump and into a glorious winning streak, he is AsianAmerican as well. This fact presents a very interesting case that may change the way we stereotype specific nationalities and races with specific strengths and weaknesses. For those of you who either live under a rock or pay no attention to sports or pop culture, I’ll fill you in on Jeremy’s specific feats. After being rejected from his top-choice college, Stanford University, Lin was accepted to Harvard (on NO athletic scholarships). He graduated with a 3.1 GPA and a degree in economics, and Lin was drafted to his home state’s team, California’s Golden State Warriors, in mid-2010. As such, he was regarded
mostly as a low-skilled rookie, although fans from the heavily Asian-populated San Francisco Bay cheered loudly whenever Lin even had a chance to touch the ball. In late 2011, Lin was drafted to the New York Knicks. Little did Coach Mike D’Antoni know that destiny was lurking right around the corner. D’Antoni initially allowed Lin very little playing time, but eventually gave Lin some court time. The rest, as we say, is history. Lin led the formerly struggling team to seven consecutive wins, including one incredibly dramatic game against the Lakers in which Lin clinched the win with a three-pointer with less than a second left in the game. The effect was immediate and enormous. Somewhat similar to the “Tebowing” craze that swept across America a few months ago, the much-larger-scale “Linsanity” has now taken both our country and Lin’s proud native country, Taiwan, by storm. Hardly a day goes by when one doesn’t see some sort of pun on Jeremy’s surname on a newspaper or website. Unfortunately, Lin has also been the target of quite a bit of racial issues fed by the media. Some of these actually are offensive, such as a picture of Lin with a caption reading “Chink in the Armor” on the ESPN website. He was often jeered at in his early basketball games, with spectators reportedly shouting things such as “Wonton soup!” and “Go back to China!” An ice cream has even been dedicated to the Lin, featuring pieces of fortune
cookie. However, most of the country has “Tasted the Linsanity”, and approved. And it seems like the taste buds of several Guilderland students have been delighted along with the rest of America. “I think he has a lot going for him,” said freshman basketball player, Brandon Peda. “Usually I think these guys have too much hype, but I think he’s for real.” Asian-American freshman Jarita Liang approves of Lin as well. “I think he’s a very good role model for the AsianAmerican community.” So, to summarize: Jeremy Lin. Graduated from Harvard. Led the Knicks to seven consecutive wins. Evangelical Christian. Good-natured. Good-looking. Proud of his Taiwanese heritage. He’s gone from crashing on his older brother’s couch to owning a pretty swank condo. And if all that isn’t enough for you, he’s even collaborated with Internet stars nigahiga and KevJumba to make some pretty funny YouTube videos. Racist comments and jeering ice cream flavors? They’re in the shadow of the most unique blend of character in existence: Jeremy Lin. Graphic by Zack Fashouer / The Journal
Journal March 2012
Opinions Someone should help Syria, but not U.S.
Foreign opinion of the U.S.A. has not been remarkably high in the last decade, especially in the Middle East. Critics have labeled U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as imperialistic and aggressive. However, as the conflict in Syria becomes protracted and no heroic nation has stepped forth as champion of the Syrian people, the international community should do well to remember the U.S.’s record when it comes to directly intervening across the globe to defend human rights. With this in mind, the international community should give genuine aid to Syria or forever cease its criticism of America. On the issue of Iraq, we’ve heard it all: from George Bush invaded to finish what his father started, to the U.S. only ever wanted Iraq’s oil. However, many critics abroad and at home forget that Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who executed thousands of political prisoners and opposition members between the years 1997-2001 alone, according to the State Department, and was responsible for an estimated several hundred thousand deaths during ethnic cleansings during the late 1980s early 1990s. The U.S. stepped in twice, and an awful dictator is gone. Look too to Libya, if you’re not convinced, where the “NATO” led assistance to the anti-Qaddafi revolutionaries was funded by and composed of mostly U.S. resources. Yes, Libya has large oil reserves, and of course that influenced our decision to involve ourselves. Yet, just as
in Iraq, we were instrumental in removing a horrible despot. So what if we were hoping for a return on our investment? Now we’re tied up, wrapping up a decade’s long war in Iraq with another full blown war still raging in Afghanistan. The federal budget is strained to bursting. Given these realities the U.S. cannot donate its time, resources, and lives of the
recently declared the Syrian rebels’ best hope was uniting, and that outside help would do them no good. What gives? France was certainly willing to take a leading role in Libya, but of course that was symbolic, with the U.S. doing most of the heavy lifting. Now, when a former colonial holding of France’s has fallen to pieces, they don’t seem very interested in
Syrian people, no matter how deserving of aid they are- but that does not mean another country can’t. What of France, our vocal critics of the war in Iraq? French president Nicolas Sarkozy has given the go-ahead to shut down France’s embassy in Damascus, but what does Syrian President (and hopeful nominee for this year’s worst war criminal) Bashar Assad care if France has no ambassador in Syria? Any hope of France aiding the Syrians was lost when Sarkozy
helping. The Arab League- a cooperative group of twenty-odd primarily Arab nationshas also done little to actually help the Syrian people. Despite almost unanimously condemning the U.S.’s involvement in Iraq, the Arab League now contents itself with sitting around waiting for the international community to become engaged. Due to their proximity with Syria (an Arab League nation whose membership is currently suspended due to the
their private lives. Women’s livelihoods are being used as political bait. There’s no doubt that we’re watching- and we will remember at the polls in November. Leaders of the Catholic Church preach against the use of contraceptives, believing that their use encourages sexual activity outside of its purpose of procreation. I respect this belief entirely. However, employers, regardless of their faith, are legally required to offer their employees health coverage and should not have the authority to dictate an employee’s medi-
issue. In a newly released poll conducted by The New York Times, when Catholics were asked whether they “support or oppose a recent federal requirement that private health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control for their female patients,” 67 percent voiced support and a mere 25 percent opposed. When they were asked if this requirement should specifically apply to faith-affiliated hospitals and universities, 57 percent agreed and only 36 percent disagreed. The nonpartisan Guttmacher Institute, which
Graphic by Madi Taylor / The Journal
ongoing humanitarian crisis) it would be more convenient for the Arab League nations to intervene in Syria than any other body. Why wait? With the Syrian death toll reaching 8,000, why doesn’t the Arab League demonstrate to the U.S. how they would intervene to end the humanitarian crisis? While there had been some talk of intervention through military means, a Saudi leader recently confirmed that no such action will be taken, and went as far as to say that arming the Syrian opposition is not a preference of the Arab League either. It seems that when the U.S. isn’t there to save the day, no one else will. No other nation will take the time to stop throwing stones from the cheap seats, the ones that carry no cost in money and citizens’ lives, and show the U.S. up at humanitarian intervention- to prove how inept and inappropriately we’ve been acting all these years- and provide the world an example as to the responsible way to depose an evil despot. There is nothing I would rather do than eat my words; for another nation to step in an give the Syrian people the aid they so desperately need would be saving untold lives in the process. That, however, is unlikely, and until then I can only hope that Secretary Clinton- who has done a phenomenal job rallying sympathy for the Syrian peoplecan ratchet up the guilt on those countries that are available to assist, and which have spoken so passionately about the tyranny of Bashar Assad, but as of yet have done nothing concrete to save the lives of the Syrian people.
Women are watching
It’s no secret. A large percentage of students at Guilderland High School use a form of contraception for a variety of reasons whether it be to help treat medical disorders, a method of birth control, or to prevent the transmission of STDs. We’ve been taught again and again in Health class the importance of preventative healthcare and using protection, but what about those who are unable to pay the staggering price tag? Last month, despite blistering attacks from Republicans in Congress and conservative pundits, President Obama refused to play political games with women’s health and reinforced his commitment to provide access to contraception for those who would like to use it. While Republicans claim the government is forcing Catholics to “support gravely immoral activity” and is violating their freedom of religion, their persistence on the issue is simply an unsuccessful effort to galvanize the conservative base. With the economy improving and a presidential election right around the corner, the GOP is eager to crank up the hyperbole about a supposed “war on religion” in hopes of alienating Catholics from the Democratic Party. But their arguments are weak and they seem blind as to how most Catholic women conduct
cal choices. If a faith-affiliated institution serves the general public, receives public money, and hires workers from outside the faith, it should abide by the rules that apply to everyone else. If religious officials are able to refuse coverage of the pill, a drug that is often prescribed for non-contraceptive health reasons, can an organic foods manager who is a dedicated vegan refuse to pay for prescriptions to help their meat-eating employees with clogged arteries? Church leaders are naturally upset, but they don’t speak for most Catholics on the
Graphic by Taylor Tewksbury / The Journal
tracks reproductive health in America, reported last year that 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women have used some form of contraception and the largest Catholic college in America, DePaul University, routinely offers birth-control coverage among its employee benefits. Yet the GOP continues to fight. The supposed “war on religion” seems to be a “war on women” as the GOP has proven to be relentless on the issue. On March 1st, the Senate narrowly (51-48) rejected an amendment sponsored by Sen.
Roy Blunt (R-MO) that would have overridden the new contraception coverage rule and allowed any employer to refuse to cover any kind of health care service by citing “moral reasons”. They have barred women from the debate and, in the case of Georgetown student Sandra Fluke, degraded those who do speak out. Conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh responded to Fluke’s plea for contraception coverage asserting, “It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute.” Republicans are in deep trouble with women, with their bewildering decision to stress “religious rights” at the expense of women’s lives. It’s difficult to grasp why Republicans would want to launch a sustained attack on birth control, align themselves with the most conservative voices in the Catholic Church, and risk alienating both women and the youth in November. Women vote in greater percentages then men and have favored the Democratic presidential candidate in five straight elections-and we’re watching. The GOP is paving the way for Obama’s landslide victory by repeatedly attempting to pocket the healthcare rights of women instead of focusing on the pressing issues of the time, like high unemployment. And last time I checked, there weren’t any jobs in my uterus.
ACTA is a roadblock to free trade Dan Ferris
Following in the wake of controversy surrounding SOPA and PIPA is the AntiCounterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA. Unlike SOPA and PIPA, ACTA is a multinational treaty that has already garnered representative signatures from countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan. This past January, member-states of the European Union agreed to sign the treaty, bringing the total number of signatories up to 31. While the treaty has yet to be ratified by any of the signatories, all it would take is six separate ratifications for global enforcement to go into place. Primary concerns regarding ACTA are similar to those surrounding SOPA and PIPA; critics fear that the treaty will limit the extent of digital rights and enable rampant internet censorship. These concerns are not ungrounded; provi-
sions made by ACTA would enable third party organizations (such as the Motion Picture Association of America, one of ACTA’s largest supporters and a constant figure in the ongoing debate between the entertainment industry and online
piracy) to alert an appointed enforcement committee of alleged copyright infringement. This committee would then be enabled to shut down said offenders, putting the power in the hands of larger
organizations such as the MPAA and leaving smaller groups to suffer under the looming threat of complete shutdown. On top of enforcing strict regulations towards digital rights, ACTA would also criminalize generic drugs, as the treaty makes no attempt to discern between “generic” and “counterfeit” and assumes the two are one and the same. ACTA, from whose inception has been pockmarked by shady negotiations far away from the public eye, is a threat not only to digital rights and freedoms but to those of free trade. ACTA enables big business to monopolize and eliminate anyone seen as even the vaguest threat to business. To ensure that the internet, which has revolutionized commerce and communication like no other technology has ever done, remains free, it is imperative that ACTA be shut down before it can be loosed upon global trade.
mentally retarded. Though this broad and booming sentence is now recognized as inaccurate, its harmful effects continue to inflict pain upon those it once referred to. It’s time for GHS teens to consider what they say; in unloading this phrase as an insult, we are only spreading ignorance. Recent strides in the IDD movement have helped improve the natural rights of the mentally impaired. One such breakthrough came with the passage of Rosa’s Law in 2010, sparked by the struggle of an 8 year old girl with Down Syndrome. Labeled with the epithet “mentally retarded” upon entering a Maryland school, Rosa Marcellino sought to stop this stigma. Now, the new medical diagnosis “intellectually disabled” has retired the insensitive former. Organizations such as the Special Olympics, Best Buddies, and Center for Disability Services have given the intellectually disabled a new opportunity. Offering social support, job training and one-to-one friendships, these groups ensure that kids with IDD have the chance to lead a purposeful life. The members of Best Buddies already have big plans about the future. Some have gotten a jump start, gaining work ex-
perience with the Guilderland Special Ed. Department’s “School to Work” program. Preparing meals at the 99, clerical work at Celtic Tours travel agency, and caring for kids at Rainbows N’ Clouds daycare are only a few of the ways these students have demonstrated their compassion and capabilities around Guilderland. “School to Work” has especially helped GHS senior Maddy Hannon pursue her passion for cooking; “I want to be a baker”, says Hannon, having serviced elderly at the Teresian House, “cookies are my favorite thing to make.” So far, the residents have given her confections high reviews. All of these students have bright futures. Considering the horrible history and disproven descriptions associated with the “r-word”, it’s easy to see how its presence deters progress. Instead, let’s speak to the feats the IDD community has accomplished. With a vow to end its use and greater awareness of the issue, GHS students can create a supportive setting in which their peers can succeed. Why not start today? Cultivate and demonstrate respect for those with intellectual disabilities, admiring the attributes of all who contribute.
Graphic by Helen Ratner / The Journal
Spread the word to end the word Julianne Legnard
I shut my locker and immediately I wince…there it is again. “Retard”. I hear it, you hear it, and they hear it. The word echoes in our hallways, and in the minds of those defined by it. Coined from the former medical diagnosis “mental retardation”, this derogatory term has become a source of belittlement to the people it alludes to. Given its connection with past oppression, current advancement of the intellectually disabled and hardworking nature of the IDD (Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled) community, this word is destructive and entirely unfitting. Together, we can drown out the utterance of “retard”, replacing it with the similar sound of “respect”. Imagine yourself confined by whitewash walls, void of human contact or meaningful stimulation. Shock therapy and sterilization are regular practices, while education and trips outside are unheard of. Hidden away in anguish for most of the 20th century, millions of children with IQ’s below 70 were condemned to institutions never to be re-evaluated. In today’s progressive world, we may ask in shock, how was this justified? Two words:
Fans of fatality flock to deceased musicians Sydney Campbell
The death of Whitney Houston was a tragic loss to the music industry, her fan base, and her loved ones. Twitter as well as other social media websites exploded, as the world was shocked; Houston died at the young age of 48. Trending topics on Twitter included “Rip Whitney Houston” along with “I Will Always Love You Whitney”, playing on her trademark 1992 ballad. So called “fans” of Whitney ran out of the woodwork, and though I’m all for respecting the deceased I don’t
Graphic by Glen Brittell / The Journal
believe a person should suddenly pretend they’re a fan of an artist solely because they’ve died. Respecting an artist for their work should be done throughout their careers, if such respect is genuine. Respecting the deceased is important. However, showing it doesn’t necessarily mean you are a fan. If you were a fan before an artist’s death, then I fully understand why you would express your fandom to the world in memoriam. But, pretending you’re a fan of the artist because they’ve died is entirely unnecessary, and quite frankly a little ridiculous. While I admire Houston’s contribution to the musical world as well as her inspiration to many aspiring artists, I can honestly say I was not a fan of her before her death, and the fact that she died will not change that. This is not a new trend in celebrity deaths, and the most famous example that comes to mind is the death of Michael
Jackson in 2009. Jackson was easily one of the greatest influences in the music industry to date, starting from a young age with the Jackson Five, until his death when he was scheduled to go on tour that summer. As the King of Pop, Jackson created hits that inspired millions. Later in his life, he began to receive a bad rap. His negatively received surgical procedures as well as multiple child sex abuse allegations tarnished his image. Although he was acquitted from the charges, the negative connotations continued to follow him. However, at his death, those who days before insisted he was creepy, now claimed that they’d been diehard fans throughout Jackson’s career. While it’s the right idea to respect the dead, pretending to be a fan just because they’ve died is uncalled for and diminishes the validity of those who were truly fans of the deceased before and after their death.
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Minimum wage to $8.50? Clarissa Schmidt Yes, that’s right. It has been proposed for the minimum wage in New York state to be increased a whole dollar and 25 cents from what it is right now at $7.25. Keep your fingers crossed, minimum wage paid employees! By increasing minimum wage, it would help more than 600,000 struggling unemployed workers. It would stimulate the economy, create more jobs, lessen the gap between the rich and poor and benefit small businesses. Sheldon Silver, assembly speaker, agrees that in addition to that, minimum wage should be adjusted each year for inflation purposes. This idea was also proposed. New York would then have one of the highest rates in the country. However, the opposing side says it would actually create the opposite effect- raise costs of operating small businesses, lead to layoffs and store closings. New York has a minimum wage lower than 18 states including its neighbors and District of Columbia. Although not all of it is of urban living, most of it is, geographically speaking. To just make ends meet, it takes about $15,000 annually to survive in New York City. Living off of a $7.25 paycheck to paycheck is barely enough for students, young adults, nonetheless families.
Graphic by Madi Taylor / The Journal
There are money-starved students who are trying their hardest to save for college, pay off debts, and help their parents pay for an endless amount of things as well. The current minimum wage just doesn’t cut it. An increase is honestly critical right now. Knowing first-hand, as a senior with a part-time job, living middle class just doesn’t cut it like it used to. I get paid minimum wage every two weeks and with that, I am responsible for most of my money usage on most of my materialistic wants, school field trips, a Ball dress, outings with friends, and definitely college. “With all of the taxes being taken out, $7.25 just isn’t enough for me financially and my parents really depend on me to help pay for college.” says senior, Sadie Schroeter. About 84% of young New York working adults would benefit from a jump in minimum wage tremendously. If passed, the new minimum wage would begin in January of 2013, with the CPI (Consumer Price Index) annual adjustments beginning in January of 2014. For now, I’m just keeping my fingers crossed.
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Drug searches harm education Matt Simon What is it that disrupts education more: the presence of marijuana or invasive searches for the drug? Though administration claims their crusade against cannabis is in the name of education, they fail to provide concrete reasons as to why reducing the amount of marijuana in school and the parking lot will help us learn. However, they don’t hesitate to pull students out of class for searches, and they seem more than happy to suspend anyone caught with any drugs. If students can’t learn when they have dime bags in their cars, I doubt they can learn while they’re sitting at home or in the principal’s office. What is it about marijuana that is so disruptive to education? Kids walk into school openly consuming caffeine and this behavior is condoned and imitated by administration. But if there is the slightest suspicion that a student has marijuana, the administration searches the student’s person and property. I honestly encourage someone to inform me how the presence of marijuana inherently disrupts education. And what about a little bit of pot residing in a locked car in the parking lot? Who is that harming? What educational process is that disrupting? These aren’t rhetorical questions; I would love to hear answers to them. Without clear answers, a drug search policy based on tips and suspicion does not make sense.
Graphic by Madi Taylor / The Journal
Searching students on faulty suspicion is worse than worthless. A kid got caught with pot at our school and named some names as to other kids who might be breaking the rules. These kids were taken out of class for a couple of hours and subjected to invasive procedures to see if they were high or in possession of marijuana. One student, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of further persecution, says one administrator was forcefully accusing him of being under the influence, though, as all tests confirmed, he was not. None of those accused were found to be in possession or high. These searches on weak hints harm the educational process by making students miss class and endure this type of nonsense. What about those kids who are caught? For marijuana possession, Principal Lutsic gives out the strongest punishment he can without consulting the board: a five day suspension. Missing a week of school is no easy task. Students are left trailing in their educations. Sure, maybe they learned their lessons; they won’t bring pot in their cars to school. Is that going to help them learn? Will it ‘protect’ other students? I fail to see how a drug search policy in which administration conducts thorough violations of privacy for each tip they hear is going to improve our high school in any way.
Red Sea raises eyebrows Jackie Brassard
On February 14th, the administration called down over a dozen senior guys to the office to discuss the use of “profanity” at recent basketball games. The administrators informed the boys that if they continued, the senior guys would be kicked out of the games, and possibly suspended if any more negative remarks were geared towards opposing players and/or teams. But the administration is just trying to give Guilderland a good name right? According to an article in the March 8th issue of the Altamont Enterprise, Principal Lutsic was quoted saying that he doesn’t want the student fans to represent the school in a negative way, and some of the cheering doesn’t “pass for a good image”. Although Lutsic also made claims of not disciplining any Red Sea members, just a week prior, senior Sean Klim was kicked out of a basketball game for yelling “air ball”, even though most of the Red Sea had been following his lead. Poking fun at other teams and players has always been a way of the game, no matter what sport. I remember being only six years old holding up a pair of keys at a UAlbany basketball game with my family shouting “warm up the bus”, and yet, I wasn’t being looked down upon, I was just being viewed as a little girl enjoying the game with her family. The cheering is what gives the game that school spirit, attracting spectators in ridiculous costumes and sporting the school colors. According to the Enterprise, senior boys were told by the administration that the Red Sea has no impact on the outcome
of the games, and that the teams would be fine without the infamous cheering section. Athletes including: Alex Gaines (basketball), Connor Drislane (football), Sean Klim (lacrosse), and Tim O’Connor (baseball) disagree. Varsity basketball player Alex Gaines says that when the Red Sea is more into the game, the players play harder. When other players or opposing fans try to get into his head with silly chants, he plays even harder, just to prove to them that he and his team can rise above it. Alex, being an athlete for many years now, can take the negative feedback and turn it into positive. Guilderland isn’t the only school that has an avid cheering section. What are other schools doing about these students? They have spectators of their own cheering things that the kids of the Red Sea
can’t even think to say because administration is right there ready to shush them. Bethlehem, Averill Park, and Colonie are just some of the schools that we have seen call out our players, and yell basic chants like “air ball”. We have yet to see administrators from their schools traveling with their fan base to control them. On any game day, you see teams dressed up in their uniforms, and nonathletes supporting them with their Guilderland attire. The fan base breaks barriers that you students don’t normally think to cross during the school day. The Red Sea has one purpose and it’s to bring spirit to the games. The Red Sea teaches students something that you can’t learn in any classroom. Unity. I call upon GHS administrators to be less strict at games and allow the students to cheer freely.
Photo by Dev Keenholtz / The Journal
Socialism flounders in Greece Andrew Fedorov
In a rotten environment even the best of ideas rot. Scandinavian Socialism has worked fantastically well in the areas of its origin. This is a socialist system that seeks to protect and not control its citizens. There, to a great extent, capitalistic urges are not restrained and high taxes provide a cushion for all citizens. The system has allowed those countries that have adopted it to weather multiple financial crisis very well and even thrive in this competitive world. But when exported south, to areas like Greece, the idea of democratic socialism seems to spoil in the swimming rays of the hot sun. Generally the excuse of compromisers is that socialism only works in small homogeneous populations. Theoretically Greece should be a perfect democratic socialist state. It is very similar to the model Scandinavian democratic socialist states. It is relatively small in population. It only has 10 million people, though it’s larger than the population of 6 million in Sweden it is significantly smaller than the 16.7 million population in the Netherlands. Greece is relatively homogeneous in that it is 93% ethnic greek and 98% greek orthodox. Yet despite their similarities their economic stability and position differ greatly. Greece has a 20.9% unemployment rate while Norway has a 7.6% rate and Sweden
has a 5.2% rate. Greece’s public debt is 165.4% of GDP, while Norway’s rate is 64.4% and Sweden’s rate is 36.8%. So Greece’s problems do not arise from the fact that they have a bad governmental system, but from the fact that they have the wrong economic culture base to support it. Apart from the trouble that like the Northern countries they have an undiversified economy the main troubles is an unwillingness to perform civic duties, such as paying taxes. Because of the large government sector in Greece a large number of people, having greater job security are disinclined to work as hard. The other issue is mass tax evasion, which plainly does not work in a socialist country. According to Greece’s central bank the what Greek tax payers paid in 2010 was a third of what was owed. Though Greek workers work on average 42 hours a week, as compared to the average 40 in the eurozone hours, those hours are not as efficient and productive. A greek worker’s productivity is $35 an hour, an EU worker’s productivity is $49 and hour, and an American worker’s is $58 an hour. Though with an increased work week productivity may be expected to drop slightly; the drop should not be that drastic. The very atmosphere of Greece is lazy with drooping, limp trees, and dreamy
rolling hills. It’s beautiful when the sun shines and it doesn’t seem hard to fall into the delusion that work need not be done. In northern Europe awareness of a harsh reality is ingrained in the culture: if you don’t work hard enough the cold winter will mercilessly swallow you and you will end up just another icicle in the tundra. Because of their culture not meshing with democratic socialism the economic recession has been particularly harsh on the Greeks. They protest cuts. Sometimes agitation by anarchists turns the protests violent. Cuts are necessary in a society that can not afford anything if it’s citizens do not contribute. The Greek people have come to expect benifits that they do not work for and therefore socialism fails in their country. Greece’s downfall is not the fault of Socialism but of Greeks. If the Greeks had been willing to work for the benefits they received perhaps they would live in a sustainable paradise but because of their negligence their dream is now collapsing.
Graphic by Madi Taylor / The Journal
theJournal March 2012
March Madness 2012
With the high quality teams in college basketball this season, consisting of the two loss teams Syracuse and Kentucky, the power mid majors of UNLV, VCU, Gonzaga, Creighton, Wichita State and Murray State, and other strong teams from around the nation, college basketball is in for another entertaining tournament this year. Over the past few years, there has been a major change of the college basketball landscape, which now consists of more talent at the mid major level and more parity around the nation. T his trend started back in 2006
when George Mason became the first true mid major to make it to the Final Four. Following this run in 2006, Davidson, Butler, Xavier, VCU, and others made runs in recent years to Elite Eights, Final Fours, and Championship Games. The tournament runs by these mid major teams and others has helped even the recruiting platform around the nation, allowing for a more even distribution of talent around the country. Prior to the 2000’s, these types of Cinderella runs were unprecedented and the tournaments were primarily dominated by power conference teams. This new trend in college hoops has made the tournament more unpredictable and interesting for fans, who have been watching more of the early round games, which decades ago, weren’t as popular;
according to an article from the “TV by the Numbers” website, CBS and the Turner Channels (TNT, TBS, and truTV) compiled the highest ratings for the 2nd round of the tournament since 1991, thanks to this trend. For this year’s tournament, there are also quality power conference teams, who are more than capable of winning the tournament. The 1 seeds this year are Kentucky, Syracuse, Michigan State, and North Carolina, four perennial college basketball programs with multiple national championships. The 2 seed line is just as strong and consists of Kansas, Duke, Missouri, and Ohio State, followed by Georgetown, Florida State, Baylor, and Marquette in the 3 seed line. With the parity between these top 12 seeds, there will be plenty of
drama, as all of these teams are capable of winning the dance, or just as easily losing in the preliminary rounds. Even Syracuse is not guaranteed an easy time, as they have a potential third round match up with 8 seed Kansas State, who has already pulled two major upsets this year with wins over Baylor and Missouri. And matchup wise, Kansas State is capable of gaining a rebounding advantage, which during the conference season, has been the only major weakness for Syracuse. The tournemant filed this year is composed of many very good teams and no truly “great teams”, the tournament ensures to be unpredictable and very entertaining. Graphics by Madi Taylor/ The Journal
Varsity Baseball looks to recapture Section title
In attempt to fill the shoes of a state finalist team, last year’s Varsity Baseball team finished the season with a record of 9-7, placing them approximately in the middle of the suburban council standings. The team was knocked out of sectionals last year by Troy in a disappointing loss. Returning players such as senior Devin Fisher describe the team’s failure of winning sectionals in 2011 as “very troubling.” The team does, however, look forward to the upcoming season. Fisher says that “While analyzing the fragrance of this year’s team in the pre-season, losing is not detected under my nose.”
Fisher added that “We’ve been hitting the weights, running the halls, and drinking the water. We really want wins under our belt, that’s what this is all about. We have a lot of great returners and new guys who will help us in our assured success.” One of the “new guys” that Fisher speaks of is junior outfielder, Lewis Lima. Lewis was called up to play with the varsity team late last year during sectionals, but being a part of the team from the start is “going to be a new experience,” Lima says. Similarly to Fisher, Lewis is going into the season with a positive attitude saying that “I think we’re going to be good this year. We have plenty of
Bowling places third, sends Van Buren to State Tourney Devin Fisher A confident Dutchmen varsity bowling team was ready to continue dominating its competition this year. After graduating a few of its senior members who helped lead last year’s team to an outstanding 14 wins and 2 losses season, the new squad still had the taste of victory in its mouth. This year’s season was hardly rough as the team ended with a record of 12 wins and 4 losses against the tough competition in Section II. “We have been great, and we are continuing to be great,” said Louis Marino, a science teacher at Guilderland High School who has been coaching the bowling team since 1999. “We never really felt down and out,” Marino continued. When asked how the team played, senior Matt Trestick agreed with his coach, saying, “We stuck together as a group; everyone stepped up and acted like team players, even the younger players.” For the first time in 13 years, the Dutchmen bowler’s took down the Section II powerhouse Colonie. After taking
a lead and putting pressure on Colonie, the Colonie coach tried to make an illegal move to push his team out of the corner that Guilderland had backed them into. The mistake lead to a disqualification and the Dutchmen had much to cheer about on the bus ride back to Guilderland. The bowling team placed 3rd in sectionals this year, missing the top two spots by a narrow margin. After being in 12th after the team’s first three morning games, they battled back in the afternoon’s three games to reach their position. Coach Marino was very pleased at the way his team played, saying his players were “focused, driven, extremely competitive, and fun.” Sophomore bowler Austin Van Buren qualified for State Championships this year, saying, “Bowling at states is the biggest accomplishment oneself can make… I had a lot of fun and it was a great learning experience.” Van Buren and the Section II all star team placed fourth in the state tournemant, with Van Buren bowling 1203 through six games.
pitchers who have a lot to offer. If we hit we’re going to win a lot of games. It is going to come down to that, how we hit. We’re legitimate and have a good chance at winning sectionals this year. As long as we stick together as one team, one family, we will be fine.” Senior pitcher, Adam “Gersh” Gersowitz (also known as “Big Dog”) made some confident predictions saying that “Considering our ability, anything less than a sectional title for us this year is a failure, in my opinion.” Gersh explained that “[the team] has a lot of big contributors from last year’s squad back on the team this year. We have some young talent
coming up into the system as well. It’s a whole new ball game up in here. As long as everybody knows their role, our chemistry should click, and we will succeed.” Reflecting on last year’s season, Gersh also said that “We didn’t make it very far in sectionals which was extremely disappointing. We all have to make sure that disappointment is avoided this year.” Players on the team seem to agree that last year was upsetting, but they are also confident that this year will not be the same. As the team gets into the driver’s seat, with motivation as their fuel, support will always be appreciated as the team goes forth in tackling this year’s season.
Indoor Track runners finds success at State Championships Sydney Campbell The Guilderland indoor track team brought three competitors to the New York State Indoor Track and Field championships at Cornell University in Ithaca. Kendra Lizotte cleared ten feet in the pole vault, the qualifying height for the state meet, at the state qualifier meet held the previous weekend at UAlbany. While Shenendehowa senior Maddesen Weekes took first place by clearing 11’9”, Lizotte finished twelfth of 25 vaulters in Ithaca with a finishing height of 9’9”, not quite able to clear the next height at 10’6”. “I was a little disappointed because I know I can do a lot better, but I thank God that I even got to go to states. It was a great honor to be there and I had a lot of fun,” said Lizotte, a junior. However, Kendra holds the school record for pole vault with 10’6”, which she set during her freshman year outdoor track season in 2010. She is currently ranked 12th in the state in the indoor track and field pole vault. Dejana Harris, a hurdler and sprinter, competed at states in the 55 meter
hurdles. She took 27th in the preliminary heat with a time of 9.46 seconds. She did not continue to the semifinals, but represented Guilderland well. Harris will finish her indoor career with a personal best of 8.74 in the 55 hurdles, which she set this season on December 28th. She is currently ranked 26th in the state for the 55 hurdles. Harris, a senior, is a school record holder for the 55 hurdles, and will continue to run next year in college at Division 1 Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Joe Cornell, a sophomore, placed 4th in the 300 meter dash at the state qualifier meet, one place from qualifying for the 300 at States. Despite this falling short, he did qualify to run in the intersectional medley relay at States as a Section 2 representative. His relay team ran a total time of 8:57.40, second to the Section 5 team out of 11 total relay teams in the event. Unfortunately, though none qualified for the New Balance Indoor Track and Field Nationals. All will rejoin the outdoor track and field team this coming spring.
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SMS Basketball gears up for Finals Bram Peterson
As March Madness is just beginning, the SMS basketball league is coming to an exciting finale, as a champion will be determined on Sunday, March 18th. Blue Squad and Green Squad are set to face off in the winner’s bracket final to see who will receive a berth to the championship game, while the loser will travel to the loser’s bracket among Purple, Black, Red, Orange and Gray Squad to battle for another opportunity to make it to the championship game. Blue Squad heated up just in time for the playoffs, knocking off Maroon Squad in the first round and then going on to upset Black Squad, which placed first in the league during the regular season. Led by Guilderland seniors Tyler Fronte and Will Scotti, Black Squad couldn’t stand up to the momentum amassed by Blue,
Final Standings SMS Basketball Black: Green: Gray: Gold: Purple: Red: Orange: Blue: Maroon:
6-1 6-1 5-3 5-3 4-4 4-4 3-5 2-6 0-8
led by Guilderland senior Wonki Sohn’s 24 points in the victory. Blue Squad went on to beat Red Squad as well, with Sohn and Guilderland juniors Alex Burns and Mike Gallo each recording double digit points in the win. Both these wins came despite missing their leading scorer Nick Iurono, who was ninth in the league in scoring for the regular season. The rest of the team stepped up and came together to string together some wins in hopes of continuing their playoff run. Green will be a very formidable opponent in the winner’s bracket final, being led by the “Big Three”, Guilderland seniors Peter Libertucci, Sean Klim and Tony Stanish, who finished first, second, and fifth in the league for regular season scoring, respectively. Green knocked off Orange and Purple on their way to the winner’s bracket final, with each member of the “Big Three” scoring in the double digits in both games. Green will be a tough opponent for Blue to continue their streak against, in what will surely be a very competitive game as both teams battle for a championship bid. In the loser’s bracket, Purple Squad, led by Guilderland juniors Marcus Spinnato, Andrew Antoinette and senior Connor McLachlan will look to recover from their loss to Green and defeat Black Squad. Black, after being upset by Blue, narrowly ousted Gold Squad in a 51-49 victory, and will look to get back on the winning track in order to make it to the championship.
Also in the loser’s bracket, Guilderland seniors Zach Kronick, Ryan Ghizzoni and Andrew Ehlinger will look to push their Orange Squad onto the next round, facing off against Gray Squad who also suffered a first round loss. Coming up on the short side of a narrow 55-51 loss, Gray is still a dangerous team, led by Guilderland seniors Dylan Collett and Adam Gersowitz who are hungry for more wins. The winner of this matchup will take on Guilderland junior Ray Siu, third leading scorer during the regular season, and the Red Squad, both teams with plenty of potential to travel deep into the bracket. Although Varsity basketball may be over, the spotlight has not diminished, but merely shifted to a league that goes much beyond an ordinary recreational basketball league. Guilderland students will take to the court for one last weekend, battling it out for bragging rights and a championship.
Photos by Dev Keenholts/ The Journal
Returning starters look to lead Boys’ Lacrosse Shelby Iapoce The Guilderland boy’s lacrosse team is looking to have another winning campaign this spring, returning 8 of their 10 starters for the 2012 season. “We’ve got some good sophomores and juniors coming up this year as well,” said senior defender, Danny Santandrea. Santandrea, senior attackman Connor Drislane, senior midfielder Patrick Wood and senior goalie Sean Klim, the latter two being returning captains, all agree that the experience and chemistry that the team has, especially among the senior members on the squad, will be one of their biggest assets. “The team chemistry that we have this year is better than any of my previous varsity years,” said Klim, who’s been on the team since his sophomore year. “Along with our experience, we have a lot of speed and pure athleticism,” added Wood. “We are a team that looks to push in transition, and we use that to our advantage.” To maximize the athleticism and speed that the Dutchmen have, they lifted weights as a team, played in an indoor league, and worked stick skills in open gym sessions throughout the fall and winter. The fact that at least four of the Dutchmen are committed to play college lacrosse couldn’t hurt either- Wood is headed to Stony Brook, Santandrea to LeMoyne, senior attackman Connor McLaughlin to Mercy, and junior mid-
fielder Stephen Polsinelli to Siena. The Dutchmen went 8-7 in the Suburban Council league last year, and made it to the sectional quarterfinals, before falling to Niskayuna, who made it to the sectional finals where they lost to Shenendehowa. “I’m really excited to see what we can do as a team this year,” said Klim of the 2012 season “I think we can do something special and surprise people with how far we go.” The first game of the season will be held in Washington on March 25th, versus the Oregon 2011 state champions, Lincoln High School. The Dutchmen will be residing with the Mercer Island (Washington) lacrosse team, and they’ll also play Bellevue, another team from Washington. “Lincoln will be one of our toughest games this year. It’ll be especially beneficial for us to play them, because we aren’t used to competing with them every year,” said Drislane, “Niskayuna and Shenendehowa are always great competitors too. We also get the opportunity to play Arlington again, a team we lost to last year.” ESPN ranked Niskayuna 31st nationally among all high school lacrosse teams. Photos by Dev Keenholts/ The Journal “We have a ton of potential, and we need to work hard to get better every day,” said Wood on the season ahead, Top: Junior Connor Gallup takes the ball upfield around a defender. Left: The Dutchmen look on as a teamate fights for the ball at a face off. Right: Senior “Nothing is guaranteed, and nothing will Captain Patrick Wood takes a shot on goal. be handed to us.”