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the news of communications high school, wall, new jersey

april 15, 2011 vol. 9 issue 4

By BRIAN MURPHY Web Editor CHS will open its doors to more than just freshmen next year with a new transfer program, Principal James Gleason said. Titled the Design Academy, it will be the first fully sanctioned transfer program at any of the five Monmouth County Vocational School District academies. “Our school is about giving an opportunity to kids looking for something different and providing the programs of choice for them,” said Gleason. The Design Academy will do just that, he said. Over a two-year period the Design Academy will replace the aging shared time program, Gleason said. In the current half-day program, shared time students study art and design and also take their math and science requirements here. “When we took 20 students with a wide range of abilities, we struggled to offer a curriculum that covers all of their needs,” Gleason said. “We want to take care of their whole educational program.” Gleason said there is room for roughly 20 students to transfer into the rising juniors’ class. To be eligible for application, prospective students attended one of two open houses, held in the traditional information session format. The application is also similar to the freshman app process, in which students can earn 100 possible points. The 100 points are divided into three portions: academic, portfolio and attendance; worth 60, 30, and 10 points, [see DESIGN, page 10]

NOVEMBER 2002

CHS offers new program with Design Academy

THE FIRST ISSUE

Editors reflect on Inkblot’s history, legacy

BLOT PHOTO BY ALEX PETTIT

Editors-in-chief Jackie Tempera and Ryan Pettit at layout.

By RYAN PETTIT and JACKIE TEMPERA Editors-in-Chief Ask either one of us to name what’s great about working for The Inkblot, and we’d point to the layout sessions and the craziness that it brings. As Mrs. Mulshine blasts her eclectic iTunes library and reads through our work, the staff members sit, typing furiously at their computers, trying to design something that resembles a usable page. Whether it is those nights where we pull out of the CHS parking lot later than 8 p.m. or some of the yelling, laughter or insanity that occurs in Room 107, it is something you never forget. The most important thing is contributing to the legacy of The Inkblot, its worldclass work, in-depth reporting and exciting nature. These fond memories are ones that we cannot imagine reside only within us, the current staff. Those earlier staffers must have felt the same mojo. [see REFLECTION, page 10]

Budget for next year ‘uncertain,’ says Supt. By ALEX PETTIT Video Editor Attendees of the March 3 Parent Student Faculty Association meeting left with a greater understanding of the upcoming year’s budget cuts, thanks to guest speaker Monmouth County Vocational School District Superintendent Timothy McCorkell. “There is good news and there is not so good news,” McCorkell said. The superintendent began his talk with an overview of what Christie is pushing for in this year’s public education budget, citing “a new normal.” “We believe it is going to allow us next year to do all the things we’re doing this year, but that’s about all it’s going to allow us to do,” said McCorkell in reference to the MCVSD’s budget plan. The MCVSD’s budget this year is $40.1 million, he said, which is down $2.1 million from the previous year. The district relies on three main contributors for its budget; the state

government, county government and the school districts that send students to the district’s schools. The state’s contribution of $9 million was cut to $6.9 million, but went back up to about $7.4 million after the state’s additional $411,000 contribution this year, he said. “We thought we would lose more state aid, everyone thought we would,” McCorkell said. The school district prepared for a cut in state aid, planning to raise tuition costs for the sending school districts. McCorkell affirmed that that was the last thing the district wanted to do. Tuition is projected to remain the same for next year. In addition to the possibility of raising tuition rates, the district also coped with the change in state budget by making cuts of their own. MCVSD hopes to go into next year with fewer expenditures, relieving some of the burden placed by less state aid. “There are 19 less people working for the Monmouth County Vocational School

District this year than there were a year ago,” McCorkell stated. This cut in personnel minimally affects CHS. Math teacher Debbie Maher now splits her time between CHS and the Academy of Allied Health and Sciences. AAHS lost one math teacher. “We had to shrink our budget and that’s why we’re able to go into next year with just a small increase in it,” said McCorkell

As McCorkell proceeded with his speech, he touched on the bad news he alluded to earlier. “Fifteen years ago we received $2.5 million in Perkins funding, last year we received about $500,000. So you can see how much it’s gone down over time,” said McCorkell. Perkins funding is money given out by the federal government to colleges and most vocational schools to purchase and maintain equipment. It is also one of two sources that MCVSD relies on

for their capital budget, the other being county money for operating costs. The capital budget makes up the money for equipment and infrastructure in the district. “We are an equipment-laden district,” said McCorkell. The county gave MCVSD $1 million to share across all 15 of their buildings. This money would be used for such things as new roofs or parking lots, not new technology as it may have in the past, said McCorkell.

Looking ahead, the superintendent said he feels confident about the budget’s abilities for the next year, but is not as sure about the years following. “When people are unemployed, when there’s, you know, uncertainty, people are not spending. That means they’re not collecting taxes. People aren’t working, there’s not income coming in. It’s just a vicious cycle,” McCorkell explained. The situation, he said, is “uncertain.”

4 5 12 14

Arab Spring

Neville’s friend helps the revolution from home. P4

Deprived of Electronics

Two days without technology, a student’s account. P5

Tango Troubles

Practice is off premises for Multi-culti dance. P12

Web design a work in progress Gabby Maurer critiques new school website. P14


2 news

the inkblot april 15, 2011

CHS is #1 in language arts statewide By LAURA GLEASON Staff Writer The Class of 2011 was ranked Number 1 this year in New Jersey for the most students achieving “advanced proficient” in the Language Arts section of the High School Proficiency Assessment. CHS’s current seniors scored advanced proficient in all the categories in both tests of the HSPAs and SATs last year. The Class of 2011 earned its top spot with 77.5 percent scoring advanced proficient in the Language Arts section. In the five-academy Monmouth Country Vocational School District, the next to rank was High Technology High School at Number 3. In the Math section of the HSPA, CHS was ranked fifth in New Jersey with 91.5 percent of students scoring advanced proficient. Within the MCVSD, High Technology High School and Biotechnology High School surpassed CHS by placing second and third throughout the state, respectively. Every year, all high school juniors must take HSPAs as a graduation requirement. Also during this

year, many students also take SATs. Last year’s juniors scored ninth overall in the state with an average SAT score of 1874 out of the possible 2400 points. In the math section, CHS scored an average of 626 points out of the possible 800, placing 11th throughout all the vocational schools in New Jersey. Students scored an average of 618 points in writing and 630 points in verbal, securing the Number 8 spot in the state in both.

Within the MCVSD, CHS was outranked by High Technology High School, which scored the number one spot in all categories of the SATs and overall.

CHS’s advanced proficient rankings display a high level of achievement in the Core Curriculum Content Standards of the New Jersey Board of Education. “I’m excited about the improvement of the Class of 2011,” Principal James Gleason said. “And I’d like to continue the growth from last year.”

FLASHBACK

For the December 2007 issue of the Inkblot, students were asked to participate in a survey that graded the school on things like school spirit, theme-related courses and their original expectations. Below are the results.

Admin hopes high for 2011 HSPA test By CONNOR McAULEY Staff Writer Throughout the past couple of weeks student conversation revolved around the High School Proficiency Assessment test, with a certain emphasis on the phrase “100 percent advanced proficient,” encouraged by Principal James Gleason. “It’s a matter of shooting for a goal. Perfection was not the goal, it was advanced proficient or scoring an A,” Gleason said. Gleason wanted the students to know of his expectations for them on the HSPAs: 100 percent advanced proficient in both language arts and mathematics. He relies on his staff to work with the

students and he ensures that the criteria being covered in the classrooms are HSPA related, he said. “We feel that in our department we have an advanced program that would allow students to get very high scores on the HSPA’s,” said math teacher Debbie Maher. “Unlike some schools, we don’t do preparation for the test,” she said. Gleason asked a couple of juniors how they felt they had done. He feels that it’s hard to gauge how well they did because they have never taken the test before. The feedback was similar to that of previous years. “It’s a hard goal, but at the same time

I think it’s possible,” said junior Gabby Maurer of Avon. “But, if people in average districts have to take them, I think we can surpass them,” she said. Some students didn’t feel much pressure. This is because they felt that 100 percent was just a number and it’s about doing your personal best, according to junior Aislinn Brennan of Belmar. “I don’t think that we really achieved that goal because you guys [present seniors] already got to the top, and we could only go down,” said junior Nick Quiles of Middletown. “I took it seriously. I don’t think state

testing is a joke because it affects our school,” he added. Many of the students were serious about doing well on the test. The general consensus afterwards was that it wasn’t difficult. “I did somewhat [take it seriously]. I mean on the writing I took it seriously because [English teacher Robert] Sherman threatened to read them, and I answered all the questions seriously. But, it was hard to take it seriously when the test was such a joke,” said junior Louis Sangiorgio of Colts Neck. “I thought it was pretty easy, probably the easiest standardized test I’ve ever taken,” he said.


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the inkblot april 15, 2011

Boteega website set for shopping By JESSIE KRAUS-LAVY News Editor ­­­ Commerce at school has gone online with the launch of Boteega, an online marketplace designed specifically for students. “Boteega, or ‘botiga’ in its original Catalan, translates to ‘store,’” states the Boteega website. Founding member senior Matt Amato of Long Branch explained that the spelling change was made to prevent students from mispronouncing the company name. Launched on March 17, Boteega offers students the opportunity to shop for their breakfast, buy tickets to school events and find student-produced artwork without ever having to leave the computer. The decision to create a functioning business was an unusual one. “Usually the E-Commerce classes create their own individual businesses, but since our class was so small, only six people, we decided it would be cool to come up with one real business,” said chief financial officer senior Steve Goldberg of Marlboro. Teacher Laura Gesin added that, had the class had the usual 16 students, creating Boteega would have been impossible. Goldberg added that the business seemed like a logical choice for the small class because the start-up cost was minimal. “We only had to purchase the website, which was $12.17,” he said. The site is represented by a bandana-wearing purple octopus, said chief executive officer senior Thom Bell of Atlantic Highlands. “The octopus represents that we have our hand in everything,” said Bell. “Although I’m not sure what the bandana has to do with it.” In conjunction with its own website, Boteega is active on both Twitter and Facebook. Boteega has utilized the social networking media to draw customers in. Each week they hold a drawing for those who are fans of them on Facebook. The winner is rewarded with free breakfast. Chief branding officer, Senior Rachael Gallagher of Wall explained that while it may be difficult to sell art online for this year, students can look forward to purchasing their prom bids on the site later this month. Boteega will also be launching a contest on Twitter to name their mascot Bo’s prom date, in conjunction with prom bid sales.

BLOT PHOTO COURTESY OF RACHEL BELLI

From left, seniors Andrea Massaro, Michael DiGioia, Meghan Kaltenbach and Bryan Scuteri pose with advisor Jennifer Cornine at the competition in Florida.

STN: S is for ‘success’ By ANDREW GOUDSWARD Staff Writer Nine students and Broadcast Club adviser Jennifer Cornine returned from the Student Television Network trip last month with three national awards. The group won second place in the Sweet 16 Film Competition and in the Sweet 16 Broadcast News Competition. The group also won the first and only first place award in the Weather Reporting category Student delegates included juniors Brian Murphy of West Long Branch, Julia Hummel of Neptune, Carly Ferreira of Manalapan, Rachel Belli of Tinton Falls and Nicole Swenerton of Wall and seniors Bryan Scuteri of Manalapan, Andrea Massaro of Oceanport, Meghan Kaltenbach of Freehold and Mike DiGioia of Manalapan. For the film contest, the group had 16 hours to create a film entitled, “What Goes Up Must Come Down,” using a prop picked by the organization­– a yo-yo. In the broadcast category, the group had the same amount of time to put together a 16-minute newscast centered on the word “elevation.” For the weather broadcast, Swenarton and Belli were required to report that a hurricane was about to strike the shoreline. “In addition to the contests where the students won awards, the film team also entered the movie trailer and music video competitions where despite their hard work, they didn’t win any awards,” said Cornine. The Broadcast team also competed in feature reporting and anchoring.

For the Sweet 16, the teams competed together and in small groups or individually for the specific categories. “I wouldn’t say that we had roles or jobs,” said Massaro. “We all directed, wrote, acted and edited at some point during the process.” “Everyone does a little of everything when the group is that small,” Scuteri said of the film team. He helped write the scripts for the Sweet 16 film and movie trailer. Massaro also worked on the Sweet 16 film and movie trailer. Scuteri, Massaro and fellow competitors were picked to go on the trip through “a highly competitive process,” according to delegate Brian Murphy. About 40 students, all with an interest in television or film, applied and nine were selected. “We all turned in our entries on time, and we’re all proud of what we produced,” said Massaro. “We had fun doing it.” “In almost every competition, we were in the Top Ten,” said Scuteri. “For a team of nine kids from New Jersey, that’s awesome. There are a lot of great schools, and it was great to be among them.” The delegates also had some down time, attending a film festival and dance-carnival. “We went to Universal Studios the first day, went out to eat together, and enjoyed the pool and warm Florida weather,” said Massaro. “Although it was stressful at times, I think everyone had a good time,” said Cornine.

Academy bands battle for brag rights

CHS senior group Suburban Cliché takes third place By SARA WALLACH New Editor Monmouth County Vocational School District’s musical talent gathered at High Technology High School on Friday, March 18, at the annual Battle of the Bands Competition, with CHS’s premiere band, Suburban Cliché, taking third place. About 100 students, friends and parents attended and students stood or sat segregated by school in High Tech’s multipurpose room. CHS had 13 students in attendance. High Tech’s class councils and Student Government Association sponsored the event, said SGA president Betty Liu of Colts Neck. The organizations split up the proceeds and put them toward things like graduation, prom and the yearbook. Six bands competed this year, five of which were made up of High Tech students. They included Sound Oddyssey, Aurora Noodle, Needs More Octopii, Yours Truly and Stopping the Bears. The sixth was CHS band Suburban Cliché, made up of CHS seniors singer and guitarist Cole Gallagher of Eatontown, guitarist Mike Burke of Farmingdale, bassist and singer Frank Talamo of Freehold and drummer Thom Bell of the Highlands. Suburban Cliché played after Sound Oddyssey and Aurora Noodle. Aurora Noodle was “yellowcard-tastic,” said Burke, holding his guitar. “I’m feeling pumped,” said Gallagher, the band’s lead singer, before performing. “I want to rock the stage and show them who’s boss.”

“I don’t know how I feel about the High Tech venue,”

said Bell as he prepared his drum set. The band began by playing a cover of Cee-Lo Green’s “Forget You.” They also played “Tighten Up” by the Black Keys, a 1980’s medley, “El Scorcho” by Weezer and “You May Be Right” by Billy Joel, for which Gallagher and Talamo switched instruments.

During their set, Gallagher entertained the crowd by jumping on one foot while Burke walked into the audience. Bell smiled when Gallagher hit the high notes in “Forget You” and Talamo authenticated “Tighten Up” by whistling at the beginning of the song. “The other bands don’t have what they have,” said senior Connor McAuley of Howell of the band’s stage presence. “They’re fun to watch and they’re skilled with their instruments.” Afterwards, the ska band Needs More Octopii prompted CHS seniors Kelsey Miller of Wall and Mike Smith of Marlboro to dance in the audience. Screamo band Yours Truly caused senior Steph Harrold of Wall to cover her ears while crowd members head-banged. The last band, Stopping the Bears, made the crowd laugh with some brief comedy and played My Chemical Romance covers of “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” and “Dead!” The audience members cast their votes by placing the four orange tickets they were given upon entry into the bags of their favorite bands. Suburban Cliché was awarded third place, Need More Octopii took second and Stopping the Bears won first. “The bears were stopped tonight,” said a Stopping the Bears member. “Also, Suburban Cliché were bros.”

BLOT PHOTO COURTESY STEPH HARROLD

CHS senior Mike Burke tunes his guitar at the Battle of the Bands competition March 18 as the event’s organizers look on. Burke’s band, Suburban Cliché, competed in High Tech’s Battle of the Bands, placing third.


4 news

the inkblot april 15, 2011

Egyptian-American tweets revolution By LAUREN BRIELLE NEVILLE Photo Editor Jackson Township native Hoda Abdolrazek sent out the tweet on Feb. 11, the day her adopted homeland became free. “sODAwithanH: The first step for #Egypt Ousting #Mubarak now for some serious social-economic reforms.” The 20-year-old Rutgers University Student, who studies Information Technology with a concentration in social media, was at work at Johnson & Johnson when a co-worker asked if she was Egyptian. Then, the woman turned her cell phone toward Abdolrazek. It showed the live stream of news that the Mubarak regime was no more. All the weeks of posting on Twitter and Facebook, of helping her friends to get the message of revolution out, had paid off. Abdolrazek sat down with The Inkblot two weeks later. With her laptop displaying the news in one hand and her Blackberry open to Twitter in the other, this EgyptianAmerican told her story.

term limits and scrap existing emergency laws that the group says resulted in police control over the people and the nation. “Thousands and thousands of people showed up in Tahrir Square in Cairo, which was something that they didn’t expect,” said Abdolrazek. Shortly after that protest, the government “paid 50 pounds, the equivalent to $10 and a chicken, to citizens to be pro-Mubarak supporters. People thought that there were a lot of supporters but then they found that they were just being bribed because they needed money and food,” she said. Then the government, “let prisoners out of jail and in Alexandria for two days… they attacked the women. There was not a single police officer in the streets. They were dressed as civilians and they were going into houses and robbing them.” “Through Jan. 25 and Jan. 27, I had been talking to my family on Skype and I said, ‘Listen, this is getting really serious, are you okay?’

Prelude to Revolution

On Jan. 28, the internet and cell phones were all turned off. That’s when people realized this is not a joke; he’s really trying to shut us down from the rest of the world.” She lost contact with her family for six days. Her fear for her family grew. “I started thinking when am I going to see my family, when will I hear from my family? What if something had happened to them?” said Abdolrazek. “Finally the cell phones came back on and I was able to talk to my cousin. He said, ‘We’re standing outside our building with metal pipes and swords and makeshift tools because there are people coming into the houses,’ and they were protecting the women upstairs. “Then during the day, the men would go upstairs and the women would go out in the protests in the street. We had to have our voices heard.” The citizens created their own police force within their streets and made check points to look at ID so the actual police officers could not get passed and break in. The neighborhoods and people of different religious backgrounds bound together for everyone’s safety.

“I was in Egypt for three weeks … ­­­from Dec. 29 to Jan. 17,” she began. She left only a week before the first protests in Egypt broke out on Jan. 25. “I did see misery and poverty. Children were on the street washing cars just because they needed a pound that they couldn’t even buy anything with. The average Egyptian was making $1,800 a year, I make double that in a month!” “Tunisia [had its revolution] while I was there. People would joke, oh Egypt’s next. My cousins said, in order to get something you have to have a ‘hook up.’ You can’t go to school or get a job unless you pay the right person off.  The political system was completely corrupt. And it makes sense because Mubarak was running it. How is he worth 72 billion dollars and the average person in Egypt is making under $2 a day?” Abdolrazek explained the events leading up to the revolution and began discussing how almost a year prior, an Egyptian man by the name Kahled Said shot a video of the corrupt police force selling drugs. He posted this on his YouTube account, but the secret service then captured Said and, she said, “beat him to the point where he was almost unrecognizable and died.” Shortly after, Egyptian Wael Ghonim, who worked for Google, created the Facebook group that would change the country. He named it “We are all Kahled Said,” meaning that, “at anytime they can grab you out of your house and beat you for anything,” explained Abdolrazek. He set the day of protest for Jan. 25, 2011, the national holiday to honor the police force. CNN reported that the group planned to raise the minimum wage, sack the interior minister, create two-term presidential

Mubarak Unplugs Egypt

People’s Revolution is Born

“It’s not a religious uprising; it’s a people’s revolution. Jan. 1 there was a bombing of a church and across the street was a mosque. People thought that Christians and Muslims were going to be fighting all over and I believe that the government was trying to sway the people to think, let’s fight each other instead of fighting together. “But the people were in the streets, it wasn’t just the government, just the Muslims. It was Muslims and Christians standing together, holding hands. I have photos of Muslims praying and Christians

PHOTO COURTESY OF HODA ABDOLRAZEK

Hoda Abdolrazek, 20 of Jackson Township, poses in her Facebook.com profile picture. Abdolrazek assisted Egyptian in the revolution by spreading the word on social networking sites. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

standing holding hands so that the tear gas wouldn’t hit them.” On Jan. 29, the police took Wael Ghonim, who had created the Twitter and Facebook account, and blindfolded him for 12 days. When he got out, he said, “I’m not a hero, the heroes are the people who gave their lives,” she recalled. “He tweeted, ‘I urge every Egyptian, whatever country you’re in to come stand with your brothers and sisters in Tahrir Square in Cairo.’ We all kept reposting it. We were not there, but we were there in spirit just by getting the word out and by protesting all over the U.S. We were standing in Cairo.” “I went to an event last week and one of my professors stood up and said, “How many of you, when you saw those pictures, said, I wished you were there? And we all started clapping because that’s exactly how we felt, but the only way we could be there in a sense was by spreading the word, making people aware and pushing for a movement.”

Egypt Tweets Victory to World

PHOTO by Collin Anderson thru CREATIVE COMMONS

Egyptian citizens revolt on Feb. 5. The protests began on Jan. 25 in Egypt and later spread to many surrounding nations. For more information on the situation, visit www.theinkblotnews.com.

On Thursday, Feb. 10, Abdolrazek watched Mubarak’s address to the nation. “When he came up and said the speech, it was almost like he was saying it through a clenched jaw like he was saying it because he felt like he had to say, ‘I’m not going to step down.’ It reminded me of Nixon. The day before, he said he would never resign and the very next day, he did,” she said. She posted it on Facebook to show that she had not given up. On Friday morning, when the coworker showed her the stream, “My eyes got so teary and I thought, ‘Oh, my god.’ I was thrilled, but it was happiness short lived almost because today we’ll celebrate, but tomorrow morning we will have to go back to protesting because this is just the first step in a very long journey. “Just because the president stepped down doesn’t mean that the government is reformed, we have to create a

new parliament, change parts of the constitution. They have to give more rights. It will probably take five to six years for the country to stabilize to where they want it to be, but as long as they hold strong, I think it’s going to work out.” “I am changing my thesis to discuss the role that social media played in the revolution. Had there not been that Facebook group, yea, there would have sill been that protest, but would the protests have had such a big impact? Would all the other countries have heard about it as much? That’s what I’m going to go out and research.” “I hope to return next winter. I don’t think there is going to be a huge change, but I just know that everyone is so happy. My cousin said, ‘We just changed history. Life is going to get better for us.’ I am really excited to go back because I want to be a part of this.”

Social Media is New Journalism

Dorian Langlais, producer of CNBC told The Inkblot that, “Each network has own Twitter feed. We use those on a daily basis, particularly on the revolution. Given that we work in the TV business, the problem is it’s expensive to have cameras everywhere. It allows journalists to break news even if there is not a camera. It has given us another pipeline toward audiences. “Social media has allowed reporters and producers to interact with their audience. With Twitter, you can hear back right away. If they are following CNBC, they can send a message and then we respond. We could get a feel for the audience and a feel for their thoughts. It’s real time. “It helps us all be connected around the world. I think that’s the unique thing about social media. It organized on the ground, but it also informed others around the world. People are learning about things. It allowed governments and allies to move quickly and apply the pressure sooner than they would have. It’s gotten so big. It’s not just kids, it’s everybody.”


features 5

the inkblot april 15, 2011

Tech-less: 48 hours without electronics Senior pulls plug on digital luxuries By SARA WALLACH News Editor Apparently, I rely on technology for everything. I can’t even wake up in the morning without it. It’s true – my cell phone is my alarm clock. I went without technology for two days. This may not seem like a substantial amount of time, but no technology meant no cell phone, no computer, no iPod and no television. Granted, all these items can be considered luxuries, but I admit it, I love ‘em. Before going to sleep the night before the challenge began, I had to dig around my closet for an alarm clock. It was coated in a layer of dust. I plugged it in, set my alarm and drifted to sleep. I was jarred awake by loud, grating static because, being the intelligent person that I am, I didn’t tune the radio to any station in particular. As the morning progressed, I already began to see limitations. I couldn’t check the New York Times online like I typically do before school. I would have to wait until I got to school to

find out what was happening in Egypt. In the car on the way there, I had this inexplicable urge to listen to the song “Runaway” by Del Shannon. My iPod was off-limits, so I had to settle for radio 104.3 which, don’t get me wrong, is a great station. But it doesn’t play any Del Shannon, and I think the morning DJs are incredibly annoying. The only classes I had problems with at school were Advanced Journalism and Advanced Studio Production. In Advanced Journalism, one of the main focuses is online media. While my class used the Internet to find their news, I scanned some newspapers. In Advanced Studio Production, we were starting profiles about our classmates. I couldn’t type a summary of my interview, so I handwrote the whole story. After school, I took a nap for three hours. I knew that without the distractions of the Internet or my phone, I could get all my homework done in half an hour. And I did. Then, because frankly I didn’t have anything better to do, I went back to sleep. I remembered to tune the radio that night, so instead of the static jolting me into consciousness the next day, it was an

BLOT PHOTO BY LAUREN BRIELLE NEVILLE

Wallach searches for news the old fashioned way in Advanced Journalism class.

BLOT PHOTO BY LAUREN BRIELLE NEVILLE

Sara Wallach resorts to alternative methods other than electronics in order to obtain information.

AutoZone commercial. Get in the zone, AutoZone. That day was my sister’s 13th birthday. I knew she was going to be mad at me because I didn’t wish her “Happy Birthday” on Facebook, but I did it the old-fashioned way and bombarded her with hugs as she brushed her teeth. She was happy to see me go off to school. At school, I faced problems in those same two classes again. For Advanced Studio Production, I had to script my classmate’s portfolio short-film by hand. In Advanced Journalism, Mulshine wanted us to start our blogs, and I told her I wanted to do research for mine. She told me to “walk to the library.”

That, I told her, was impossible. I live in Millstone; the closest library is half an hour away in Manalapan. And, shocker, their database is all computerized. My parents tell me all the time about how they had to do all their researching at libraries with little index cards and whatnot. But I don’t live in Brooklyn. It’s not realistic. Plus, it was my sister’s birthday. I had to get a birthday gift and head home. I went to the mall after school to do just that. Walking around without my cell phone, I felt naked. I realized that, without my phone to alert me, I have no sense

of time whatsoever. My cell phone is my watch. At home, I promptly completed my homework and celebrated my sister’s birthday with my family. Soon after, I had to leave the room because they wanted to watch American Idol. And so, I read and slept. During my time technology-less, I realized how important technology is to me. In this day and age, it is unrealistic to wish for simpler days. Why go to the library and look through two books when you can find 20 articles online? There is so much information right at our fingertips, and the world moves quickly. Things are constantly being updated, changed and improved. Because the world moves fast, so do our lives. What I missed most about not using technology was the ability for constant communication. I have friends that I don’t see every day and sometimes, even with the ones I do, there isn’t a chance to talk. I rely on Facebook, e-mail or texting to stay connected and up-to-date. And so, I will not participate in this experiment again. I will put my alarm clock back in the closet so it can continue collecting dust like the good little alarm clock that it is.

Cartoons from the past

republished Volume 6 Issue 1 by Michael Smith, ‘08


6 opinion

the inkblot april 15, 2011

see pg 14 & 15 for more opinion Editorial

Leave Twain’s masterpiece alone

Welcome our new artists The Communications High School administration this month announced the creation of the Design Academy – the first fully sanctioned transfer program inside any of the MCVSD academies. The new school-within-a-school is a solution to many problems, one of which seems to have gone unnoticed by students. Each school year, an average of 77 students matriculate into Communications High School. At that rate, the enrollment will ideally hover near 310. Up until recently, this goal has been met. Between 2007 and 2011, however, the total enrollment at Communications High School has decreased by 28 students. For the 2009-2010 school year, there were 283 students attending CHS. This issue is most pressing to the student body, as they themselves are dwindling. Still, instead of being excited for the opportunity to widen the school’s perspective, some students have already sentenced the perspective new “fulltimers” to isolation at their own lunch table in the cafeteria. We at The Inkblot are appalled by the student body’s reaction to the idea of the Design Academy. Although many students are in support of the Design Academy, far to many students have said, “No thanks.” The student body should take advantage of the new opportunities presented by the Design Academy, such as new classes and new friends, instead of assuming a superiority complex. T he current 283 individuals at CHS are not the only ones entitled to the school’s education. It was not long ago that the Sophomore Class, for example, was in eighth grade and anxiously awaiting an admission decision from CHS. In addition, The Inkblot sees no potential inequalities in the caliber of student that will be accepted into the Design Academy, in comparison to the regular freshman admission process. If anything, gaining admission into the school for a Design Academy spot will be more difficult than regular admission. The Inkblot calls upon the student body to welcome next year’s additions to the school as our own. Ignoring them is reprehensible and rejecting them is disgraceful. Saying that they do not deserve the same diploma as current students is saddening.

By COLE GALLAGHER Staff Writer

BLOT ILLUSTRATION BY AUSTIN SMITH

Letters to the Editor Proposition is bad idea

To the Editor, These are just a few thoughts in response to the editorial,“ A New Direction for Fundraising,” in the Feb. 28 edition. The concept of “sharing” the money that a club has with another club is not new. Actually, it was suggested long before the district trimmed $2.1 million from its budget and long before Mr. Christie became the governor of the state of New Jersey. Last year, the club donated $300 to another club to help with the cost of a trip. My assessment of the situation then was exactly the same that it is today. There are a few questions that I ask myself when making this assessment, •Who spent three 10-hour days during Christmas at Barnes & Nobles wrapping books? The Cultural Communications Club did. •Who organized and made the arrangements to get monthly “zumba” sessions at no cost? The Cultural Communications Club did. •Who came out with a new concept of what an amazing breakfast is? The Cultural Communications Club did. •Who spent many after school hours making beautiful bracelets from magazines and sold 200 of them? The Cultural Communications Club did. In addition, there is an ethical concept that must be considered when

making “this suggestion.” As everybody in school knows, every year the Cultural Communications Club chooses a charity to which the money is sent at the end of the school year. Over the years we have helped the Red Cross-Haiti, Doctors without Borders, CHAD-ET, and The Peace Corps. This year we are fundraising for Saint Jude’s Hospital. As everybody knows, Saint Jude’s is a children’s hospital located in Memphis that researches and treats children from all over the country without charging medical fees when the family cannot pay for them. Saint Jude’s is also the major cancer pediatric researcher in the world. Thanks to these researchers, one out of three children that suffer from cancer today is cured. The people who donate money at Barnes&Nobles, who attend “zumba,” and who buy our breakfast and bracelets think that their money is going to help the children who go to Saint Jude. How would they feel if they knew that, instead, their money was going to pay for somebody’s trip to take part in another club’s competition? While we cannot, in good conscience, offer money to another club, we are willing to brainstorm fundraising ideas with anybody that needs help. Sabina Campbell Spanish teacher Adviser to Cultural Communications Club

Prom: the ladies definitely have more fun By KIERA BRENNAN Staff Writer About the issue of prom, I was initially torn. Early on, the process of finding a dress, being told plans and arrangements and listening to others stress turned me off to the whole ordeal. Then, I remembered – I’ve been (secretly) excited about it for months. Men, you will never understand prom. There is a reason that you all dress identically, when women strive to avoid wearing the same dress as another prom attendee. Prom is not about you. You are there to dance with us and coordinate outfits. That settled, I do understand why you complain about girls and prom. Yes, it is just a dance. Yes, it is one night. And yes, it probably does cause more trouble than it’s worth, especially when it is still two months away. At this point, I should probably address

the fact that I am indeed a sophomore, and I’m actually quite lucky to be going at all. I’ve been involved in little to no drama, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to dress up. Then again, I also don’t know what to expect from prom. With that in mind, I have a few theories as to why prom talk has started so early. For one thing – it’s a gray, disgusting, boring and cold time of year. If you can come up with something else to talk about, please do. We’d all appreciate it. Also, the whole finding a date/dress takes more time than you would expect. In CHS, effort is required to physically see a male, so you can imagine the effort required to find a date. Plus, you were never a little girl. In elementary school, I read the prom catalogues compulsively. In second grade, I distinctly remember my friend describing her ideal prom dress. When it came to men, we didn’t have a chance. And yes, I see you over there – that girl saying, “I don’t care about prom. Everyone

else is stupid.” Don’t lie to me. I see you looking at dresses online. So men, stop complaining. Two months go by a lot faster than you’d think. Go pick out a tie and smile and nod when we talk about it. Basically, just leave prom to the experts.

c/o Communications High School 1740 New Bedford Road Wall, NJ 07719 (732) 681-1010 The Inkblot is published up to six times per year by students at Communications High School. The Inkblot is a public forum for student expression and encourages all sides to voice their opinions. Our writers will honor the highest standards of journalism by striving for truth, accuracy and fairness first.

Books are art. It’s really that simple. The artist, the author, starts out with blank pages much like a blank canvas, and each word typed is comparable to a brush stroke. Now imagine you’re that artist and someone goes all Jackson Pollack on your work and throws paint all over it, just because you painted about a touchy subject. Censoring a book is the same thing. You’re changing what’s on that canvas. You’re scribbling over it, you’re throwing paint on it and saying it never happened. That’s exactly what NewSouth Books, the publishing company, is doing with Mark Twain’s classic Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain was one of the best authors when it came to writing regional novels. He showed exactly how the South was and wrote exactly as it was. He was a realist, and unfortunately one of the realties of the South was racism, and Mark Twain did not shy away from including that theme in Huckleberry Finn. The “n-word” is used profusely in this book, 219 times, to be exact. Yes, that does seem senseless and completely unnecessary, but that’s the point. Mark Twain shows how racial slurs ran rampant in the South. His role as a regional novelist was to exactly portray the Southern way of life. The use of the “n-word” so many times in that book showed future generations that a time existed in this country where racial slurs were socially acceptable, and how far we’ve come as a country. In the book, the title character helps a slave escape. NewSouth’s decision to replace every instance of the “n-word” with the word “slave” is like saying that it never happened. The only reason for this is money. The book is still banned in many schools across America for its extensive use of the “n-word.” If NewSouth replaces the slur, schools will purchase copies of the book from them. Censorship for cash; there’s no other way to describe it. It’s a shame to see that money triumphs over accuracy and art. This isn’t a case of not wanting to censor for the sake of artistic purity. This is a case of not wanting to censor in order educate the masses about the past, and to stay true to Mark Twain’s intentions. Editors-in-Chief Ryan Pettit and Jackie Tempera Managing Editor Mary Beery News Editors Sara Wallach and Jessie Kraus-Lavy Features Editors Laura Reilly and Sarah Gleason Opinion Editors Cole Gallagher and Ally Kowalski Sports Editors Mike Smith and Frank Talamo Photo Editors Brielle Neville and Mike DeSocio Layout Directors Thom Bell and Sarah Soltes Web Editor Brian Murphy Adviser Mrs. Andi Mulshine


504948474645 The 50th Edition

april 15, 2011

a pullout supplement to The Inkblot

the news of communications high school, wall, new jersey

december 23, 2010 vol. 9 issue 2

Holiday shopping alive: Committed Economy heats up in cold winter to honor By FRANCESCA COCCHI Staff Writer

A code of conduct outlining guidelines for academic honesty and integrity is on the horizon at CHS as the new honor code committee plans to battle cheating at the school.

In stores like this across the country, clothes piled up to prepare for the holiday season.

BLOT PHOTO BY MIKE DESOCIO

Perkins grants new equipment School departments to get new gear

“No definite decisions have been made yet,” said Principal James Gleason. “We have only had two meetings so far, but I think there will be many more to come as the year goes on.” The committee began when seniors Thom Bell of the Highlands and Ryan Pettit of Manasquan, acting on behalf of the Student Government Assoication, approached the Instructional Council with the idea of creating an honor system for the entire school in response last year’s cheating incidents. Foreseeing this idea as a large project, several students and teachers created a completely new committee to put the idea into action. The committee includes both students and teachers, and parents may be able to join soon, Gleason said. They chose additional student members by using a lottery. According to Thom Bell, the committee hopes to create an honor code document that every current student in the school will sign, as well as incoming freshman with each new school year. “The code will include general honesty among students, but cheating is the main focus,” stated committee member Mike DeSocio of Middletown. The system will also address plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty that have been prevalent recently at school.

Editor’s Note: One edition, Volume 7, Issue 6, from 2007-2008 is missing. If you or someone you know has a copy, please contact The Inkblot. We would love to complete our collection. By BRIAN MURPHY Web Editor Three theme-related departments, television, film, and graphic communication, will receive new equipment paid for by federal funds, said Principal James Gleason. The departments have all qualified to receive this new equipment paid for by the federal Perkins Grant. Funds from the Perkins Grant are first handed down to district level administration, leaving it up to the district to decide how the money will be distributed across the nine schools within the district. According to Gleason, the money allotted to the school is not as much as in years past. Last year, the Perkins Grant money was used to purchase a new high-production digital press, currently in use by the graphic communications department. The Perkins Grant is part of the Carl Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998, and shoots to help offset the high costs of equipment for career and technical education environments. A school must have a vocational program, like

CHS, in order to qualify. “We are probably going to see the equipment during the second semester of this year,” Gleason said. “The money allotted to the TV studio is going towards purchasing six new cameras, which we desperately need,” said television production teacher Jennifer Cornine. The money will also be used to purchase a second Tricaster system, a computer based television control system currently in use by the television department. In the graphic communications department, the money has been allotted to purchase additional accessories for the printing systems already in place. At this time, all requests have been approved at the district level and are out to bid. Students like junior Rachel Belli of Tinton Falls, are excited about the new equipment. “We definitely need more working cameras. I’m not sure if we have one complete working set, with camera, tripod, and audio,” Belli said. All requests for equipment were put in nine months ago.

4 56 9 Tea Partiers

Learn about the new political party; grizzly style. P4

TV Class Drama

What students think of the Junior year class. P5

Holiday Happenings

The Inkblot provides shopping tips & the scoop on holiday decorations. P6

High School Reunion

Find out what teachers went back to high school. P9

“For now, the code is just for CHS. But in the future, it could possibly be implemented across the district,” said Bell. The new system has caused much discussion among students. While cheating incidents have become more common, there is incongruity regarding how to handle the problem. “It’s cute, but if someone wants to cheat, they aren’t going to think to themselves, ‘Oh, I signed that paper. I better not,’” said junior James Larisch of Manasquan. Sophomore Taylor Hoskins of Freehold Township agreed that the system may not be completely effective. “I think it’s a good idea and may stop some students, but I think a good amount of students will disregard and forget about it, unfortunately,” she said.

“Cheating is cheating,” said Larisch. “You make rules to punish those who do it. That’s about all you can do.” For the committee and its members, the process to reduce cheating at CHS is just beginning. “Nothing is set in stone,” said Bell. “We are still in the planning stages.”

4344454647484950


Evolution of a Blot Classic: His and Hers changes faces, topics

By SARA WALLACH are disappointing, “Secretly, I rather like the idea of putting inks on their News Editor like [CHS}” and, “You are a bunch bodies and eventually getting blood The “His and Hers” column, a of entertaining, creative kids and poisoning. Fine. Who am I to judge?” loveable and entertaining asset of the my favorite part of CHS.” McCon- McCabe said that tattoos reminded Inkblot, was not always a battle of non agreed. She said that CHS has its him of the words “trashy, regrettable, wit and words between the genders. drawbacks, like long bus rides and no gross {…] inappropriate, vulgar, lowIn the first issue of the Inkblot, new people, but she loved the things class, and, most importantly, permapublished November 2002, this col- that made her think, “only at CHS.” nent.” umn did not even exist. There was a In that same issue, senior writer In the April 2009 issue, Rainone similar column, though, called “Op- Christian Wagner wrote opposite of and Lavin picked up their pens to posing Views.” freshmen writers Val Feldman and write their “His and Hers” award“Each month,” said the subhead, Jackie Tempera in a special “Seniors winning piece titled, “Prom-iscuous.” “the Ink Blot hopes to run a column vs. Freshmen” column on “lockers,” Rainone started his piece by of interest to our readers on an issue arguing about the school’s newly in- alerting the student body that, “your of interest to our readers.” Writers s t a t e d p o l i c y entire social life and reputation is balJenna Gough and Amanda MaGuire ancing on this one four-hour period tackled the question “Is cheerleading of your life. If you blow this one, no a sport?” one will ever talk to you again.” He Gough said that, “cheerleaders then wrote a step-by-step list of what will argue that because they particia boy must do for prom – get a date pate in competitions, cheerleading who is a “foxx,” don’t wear a t-shirt is obviously a sport,” but “math tux, go and vote for him for prom league also competes and you king and then get “tanked” at post don’t hear them whining about prom because all the cool kids are how their club status should be doing it. changed to an athletic one.” Ma“Then again,” he said, “all Guire countered that cheerleadthe cool kids are also puking ing is “gymnastics and dance their brains all over the place combined, as well as lifts,” and and trying to explain to their that, “if danger is the measure parents why the car is in a pile of whether a physical activity is a on the side of the Parkway.” sport, cheerleading qualifies.” In Lavin’s piece, she noted In the March 2003 issue, writthat prom season means ,“the ers Alyssa Gardina and Zachary twin threats of ridiculously exTownsend answered the question pensive dresses and obligatory “Should we be at war in Iraq?” Simisex are in the air.” She detailed larly, in the April 2003 issue, Gardina the horror of an “ambiguous and Townsend answered, “Are redate” where the people porters in Iraq going too far?” involved don’t know Gardina, who video-chatted whether they are dates or with CHS this year on Cafriends, and if an “assBLOT ILLUSTRATIONS By MIKE DESOCIO reer Day, said yes on both out hug,” kiss or sex is ABOVE:, Earlier this year Juniors Andy Cernera and Aislinn Brentopics. She supported her appropriate. In the end, nan went head-to-head over holiday gifts. BELOW: Graduates opinion by saying, “For Lauren Richmond and Liam McCabe, both of the class of 2010, she said, it’s going to be hundreds of years, the discussed tatoos in a 2009 column. awkward and “prom is a United States of Amerimating ritual.” ca has been viewed as a protector on keeping lockers shut. Wagner In the June 2009 issue, Richto weak and powerless countries said that although he thought “one mond fought freshman Kira Desomaround the world.” On the second of the school’s greatest appeals was ma in a point-counterpoint piece, topic, Gardina said that because of students’ freedom,” he was happy junior vs. freshman, on ‘Thefts at a reporter who announced military for a change. Feldman and Tempera school.’ Richmond felt that “the issue plans for heading off the Taliban, and argued that “if they are comfortable of theft in the school is hugely blown successfully ruin said plans, “we’re leaving their belongings in there with out of proportion,” while Desomma on a need-to-know basis, and if it’s it open, shouldn’t they be allowed said that, “One theft is one theft too going to hurt others, I don’t need to to?” many.” know.” After a yearlong absence, the Townsend disagreed with Gar“His and Her” column made a comedina on the issues, saying that the back this year. real enemy is terrorism; the country In the December 2010 issue, had “failed to grasp how a symwriters Andy Cernera and Aislinn metric terror transforms the power Brennan wrote about holiday gifts relationships on the globe.” On for your boyfriend or girlfriend. reporters, he said that Gardina’s Cernera said, “It has always “problems and points do not justify been my firm belief that if enough journalistic silence,” and journalists expensive shiny objects are thrown are needed to be the public’s “true at a girl, she will begin to love you.” looking glass into the world.” He proceeded to instruct boys Then the column disappeared on how to mathematically find the for a few years. When it came back relationship between a girl’s hapin October 2006, it was the “His and piness, cost of a gift and shininess, Hers” column CHS now knows and and told them steps on how to buy loves. Writers Patrick Burgess and a gift. Amanda McConnon explained to Brennan explained that, beCHS, “Why we date older guys.” cause girls have no clue about what Burgess said that boys date to get guys, they give them thoughtyounger girls because underclassful and homemade things that don’t men “are just looking to have some cost a dime while boys break the fun,” and are innocent and inexbank. She said that the main gifts to perienced, which “are definitely stick to are CDs, “I owe you’s” and oddly attractive to guys,” while baked goods because a way to a “older girls are intimidating.” boy’s heart is through his stomach. McConnon wrote that “girls maIn the February 2011 issue, ture more quickly than boys” and Cernera and Gabby Maurer tackled younger boys don’t have the pathe issue of texting as it pertains to tience to try to understand girls. She relationships. Cernera noted that, also added that there is more free“Smiles make or break a texting condom with an older guy, and there is a In the November 2007 issue, versation” and one must “master the rebellious and coolness factor. writer Drew D’Amico challenged art of the smiley.” Maurer said that, Burgess and McConnon wrote McConnon “On school discipline,” “to me, and to most of the girls on columns that year “On public dis- and writers Alex Rainone and Meg the planet, a good relationship is one plays of affection,” “Is chivalry Lavin debuted their first “His and with communication,” and, “texting dead,” “Prom” and “Is the dress code Hers” in December 2007 on “Gifts can make or break a relationship.” realistic?” and the holidays.” The “His and Hers” column has In October 2007, Burgess and The next year’s “His and Hers” deviated and evolved from its origiMcConnon wrote a “His and Hers” were started off with Lauren Rich- nal form to become the column it is on “The wonder and woe of CHS,” as mond and Liam McCabe writing “On today. But as addressed by the writreminiscent seniors. body art” in October 2008. Richmond ers of the first Inkblot, its purpose is Burgess said that although the stated her opinion by saying, “I’m to interest its readers. It never fails to lack of school spirit and parking lot perfectly alright with people who do just that.

At the top: A look

2001

2002

2003

Where are they now? Past Inkblot editors and staffers reflect on their time in high school and today.

20


demonstrations of students using their first amendment rights to share information with other students at the four flags of the paper

004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Past editors reflect on the unfogettable and important By SARAH GLEASON & FRANCESCA COCCHI Staff Writers The very first Inkblot brushed the fingertips of students during lunch one day in 2002. Hundreds of stories and numerous awards later, and The Inkblot staff celebrates its 50th issue of the school newspaper’s publication. Throughout the years The Inkblot has seen 10 editors-in-chief run the paper. All had different personalities and styles, and each has contributed to The Inkblot with their own brand of journalism. Past editors expressed their praises specifically for the stories with in-depth reporting as well as personal flavor. Tom Evancho, the editor-in-chief during the 20072008 school year, mentioned Stefanie Dazio’s article “Survey Says: School Gets a B Average” as a doubletruck that was “really meaningful to the progress of the school and The Inkblot.” Evancho said Dazio, who went on to become editor-in-chief in 2008, was “the best journalist I knew at CHS throughout my four years there.” According to Evancho, Dazio completed other memorable stories that year, including one covering the death of a former student and another article called, “How Much Do We Cost?” “The research for that story was very in-depth and it came out really well, pretty much like everything else she did,” Evancho said. Megan Berkowitz, the editor-in-chief during the 2009-2010 school year, listed Sarah Wallach’s story, “Alone” as the most outstanding. The story, written in first-person, discussed Wallach’s experiences and views about eating disorders. According to Evancho, another memorable Inkblot moment was a double-truck created by Evancho, Dazio, Ann DeStefano and Amanda McConnon regarding the Virginia Tech shootings. However, Evancho said the best double-truck during his years at The Inkblot was one about cheating in the school. “It was a really good combination of research and explanation,” said Evancho. Evancho felt Jessie Shabin’s award-winning editorial was the most effective part of the truck. “It was definitely one of the most insightful things ever put in the paper,” he said. Stefanie Dazio said the 2008 presidential election was the most important issue the 2008-2009 Inkblotters put together. “We covered the CHS mock presidential election from every angle possible,” said Dazio. “Using cartoons, photos, opinion pieces, news stories and features, we managed to put out a paper in two weeks — and handed it out on Election Day.” “I couldn’t have been more proud of that issue.” Andi Mulshine, a former journalist, The Inkblot’s adviser and journalism teacher, explained that the stories with the biggest success, the ones we remember most, are the stories that go the deepest. “Writing isn’t of critical importance when trying to inform [an audience],” Mulshine said. Reporting is the most important job a journalist does. “I’ve known reporters who couldn’t write their way out of a paper bag and they were some of the best journalists I ever met. Editors will clean up your writing. For a reporter, it’s all about the digging and the research.”

april 15, 2011 The Inkblot page 8 & 9

Jon Laing - ‘07

Steff Dazio - ‘09

Tamra Wroblesky - ‘07

Marty Stern - ‘08

The design skills I learned in Judy Sobko’s program were and are still invaluable to me. I use a great deal of them everyday. The fact that I was so comfortable with the Adobe Creative Suite (and software like it) gave me a real edge and allowed me to get past just learning the basics of the software, where many of my classmates were stuck.

Working at The Inkblot taught me so much about journalism, about managing a staff, and about life. I know how lucky I am to have been taught so much so early on in my “career.” A lot of my writers for The Eagle say they wrote for their high school paper, but I can guarantee you, their papers weren’t half as good as The Inkblot.

Even though I did not pursue journalism in college, writing was an important component of my life as a history major. Knowing how to write effectively and under a deadline helped me balance all of my many tasks. As an editor for the Inkblot, I also learned the importance of being prepared for whatever crazy situation life throws at you.

Communications teaches at a high level and I have found that the rigor of classes is quite comparable to college level classes, especially with regards to English and History. I think the empahsis on writing gave me an advantage over my collegiate peers. At the very least, college seems so much easier than CHS did.


Fun Facts: how many

of these ‘Blot’ trivia did you know? There are over 50 staff members, making The Inkblot one of the largest clubs at CHS.

It costs roughly $500 to print one edition of The Inkblot. Each student gets a copy.

The first issue of The Inkblot was published in November 2002.

Each page takes about 3 hours to create, edit, revise and prepare to print.

The staff has won more than three dozen state and national awards over the years.

Mrs. Mulshine is known to blast Lady Gaga or Beyonce music during layout sessions.

The staff won the 2009 and 2010 award for Distinguished Journalism, one of the top New Jersey awards.

For the first time. the 2010-2011 editorial board contains two editors-in-chief.

The Inkblot has had four flags, the most recent debuting with the 2009-2010 volume.

Each issue uses a different spot color- this year has seen a blue, red and orange issue.

Each year, the edit board gives out “Inkie” awards for the best work of the year.

Next year will be the 10th year of The Inkblot.

When Issue 1 was published current editor-in-chief Jackie Tempera was in fourth grade, working on her own publication The Puppy Press.

The Inkblot has had 10 editors-in-chief, including the two from this year.

The newest position on the editorial board, Web Editor, was added for the 2008-2009 year.

[DESIGN, from page 1] respectively. Of the three, the academic component carries the most weight. Final freshman scores and scores from the first half of the sophomore year will be considered, Gleason said. “We will look at the classes that were available to [applicants], and dictate the caliber of where they are,” Gleason said. “Not every high school offers the same type of [academic] tracking.” Gleason predicted that the science track will be the most difficult to arrange, and that most design academy students will be taking physics in their junior year. The art portfolio requirement asks students to submit three pieces. They will be evaluated based on a rubric created by art department teachers Laura Fallon and Shelly Ortner. A review of attendance from the freshman and sophomore years composes the final section of the application.

For as long as Mrs. Mulshine can remember, Wendy’s has been the food of choice for layout sessions.

[REFLECTION, from page 1] Sophomore Sarah Dean calls the program a “bad idea.” “I think it’s stupid – they are not really thinking how it will affect [current students]. We don’t have enough room for them,” Dean said. She also found the application process to be unfair, as prospective students do not have to take a standardized admissions test. Fellow sophomore Mike DeSocio of Middletown is more optimistic. “I am looking forward to the new group of students, from a social aspect. But I am not looking forward to increased class sizes,” he said. “Most of the students’ fear comes from not knowing enough about it, I think,” said Gleason. “Change is a difficult thing,.Take it one step at a time.” Editor’s Note: Features Editor Laura Reilly also contributed to this story.

Inkblotters were on the scene for presidential elections, the acceleration of social networking, political and natural disasters, popular culture and of course, the triumphs and tribulations that occurred within our walls. The Inkblot always does its best to move with the times. The best example of this progression was the launching of theinkblotnews.com, along with a Twitter account and a Facebook page. This movement is credited the editorial board of the 2009-2010 school year, and though it got a rocky start, it’s moving in the right direction. The publication holds fast to its beliefs to be independent and free of prior review. This ability is due wholly to the cooperation between The Inkblot and MCVSD administration and the staff’s unceasing passion in the rights and abilities handed to all publications, groups and people from the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. The importance of this right is immeasurable, and thus the seriousness with which The Inkblot also takes it really is a recurring theme worth commendation. The Inkblot has managed to create 50 issues during its nine years of circulation. The distance from home to school for many is a hike, virtually all Inkblotters are spread thin with other extracurricular pursuits and coursework is no walk in the park, either. That being said, even now we both

chuckle at the absolute nightmare it can sometimes be to put a paper to bed: Assign stories, photography and art, receive stories, edit stories, resend for corrections, receive stories, re-edit stories, submit stories, receive art and photography, prep and finalize photography and art, layout, search for missing stories, photography and art, copy edit, check for layout mistakes, send to printer, die. Wait about two weeks and repeat. We’re laughing, literally laughing right as we write that out. Regardless, that age-old, trying process is one that we and all Inkblotters have loved. The times got tough, the heat intensified and the sweat and even sometimes tears emerged but in the end, we always managed to pull together and publish another successful issue. We consider The Inkblot a staple in the student life of this school. Every press run is followed by hallways and a cafeteria of open Inkblots, every contest results in awards for our Wall Township school and, of course, no matter the day, event or ceremony, it is likely you’ll see a reporter and photographer working to tell the story. It’s a tradition nine years running, 50 issues strong and always one editorial board, exhausted and in happy little pieces.


features 11

the inkblot april 15, 2011

‘Slaughterhouse’ is sci-fi wonder

Cast members Mike Smith, Bri Merriman, Emily Sakowski, Emily Walsh, and Kerry Vollherbst serenade lead actor Cole Gallagher in Act 2 (left). Senior Lauren Brielle Neville (top right) and sophomore Owen Grove (bottom right) deliver monologues during the performance.

By VALERIE SAEGER Staff Writer The cast of Drama Club’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” performed the Kurt Vonnegut classic on March 24 and 25. After the traditional pre-performance game of “Hokey Pokey” with the entire club, the cast and crew started to loosen up and get into character an hour before the first showing, sophomore set changer Austin Smith said. Senior Cole Gallagher said he was, “chillin’ like a villain,” before his sixth and final performance as a member of the club, who starred as a lead in “Slaughterhouse-

50th Issue

Opinion Flashback

Originally published 2006

Five.” “I’m excited. It’s such a good feeling to say your lines in front of an audience that actually reacts,” said Gallagher. Smith said he had concerns about the confusing nature of the plot of the play, which follows a World War II veteran in his delusions and posttraumatic stress disorder. “People will be slightly confused because it’s a play where you have to think to relate the events and not just sit there and watch,” Smith said. “I’m nervous that someone will end up not liking it even though we all worked

really hard on it,” he added. Director Rachel Belli, a junior, said it was certainly not a single-handed production. “I had so much help from so many talented people that took on responsibilities. I couldn’t have done it alone,” she said. After the play, sophomore Lauren Sorrentino shared her thoughts. “The acting was really good but I’m beyond the point of liking it or not because I was really confused,” Sorrentino said. As for freshman Sean Brennan, he expressed his emotions in one word, “perplexed.”

BLOT PHOTOS BY CAITI BORRUSO

Belli was pleased with the turnout. “I looked around at everyone and just thought ‘Wow, we finally made it to this point.’ After the last show, I felt such relief that it went as well as it did,” Belli said. Another lead actor, sophomore Mike Smeaton said he was both nervous and excited to perform in his first play at the school. “I think the stress is over because I finally performed in front of a large audience and can’t wait to do it again,” said Smeaton. Belli said the club’s hard work paid off, everything being worth it in the end.

Twitter takes flight among students By ALEX CROS and MARY SAYDAH Staff Writers The newest social media trend to hit the school is Twitter, leaving many students wondering, to tweet or not to tweet? Twitter is a website which offers a social networking and microblogging service, enabling its users to send and read messages called ‘tweets,‘ that do not exceed 140 characters. The website launched in 2006, and has since spread worldwide. Recently, many students and teachers have set up Twitter accounts. A portion of the students were encouraged to make an account by teachers Laura Gesin for Web Design, an elective offered to juniors and seniors, and Andi Mulshine for Advanced Journalism, an elective offered to seniors. “Twitter is enabling my students to become news aggregators,” Mulshine said. “Our students know about what’s going on in the world, and they can let other people know about it.” Part of the class’s curriculum includes creating news blogs, and the objective is that students tweet whenever they post a new story on their blog, said Mulshine. Twitter also allows users to gather news that is tailored to their interests, she said. “If they chose the right news sources to follow, they will get not only general information but specifics according to each person’s interest,” Mulshine said. “If you were a science writer, you could follow sources that can sculpt your stories with a scientific bent.” Some students are enjoying the website outside of the class. Senior Alex Pettit of Manasquan is a student in the Advanced Journalism class said that he enjoys Twitter and believes the website surpasses Facebook. “I tweet all sorts of things. Mostly things I find are funny and therefore want to share with the world in the hopes that they find it funny, too,” Pettit said. “Just like random witticisms, funny things that happen to me, and I’ll retweet interesting and humorous things people say.” Senior Lloyd Burman of Manalapan created an account last year in Gesin’s class and continues using it in Mulshine’s class. “I tweet about whatever is on my mind at the particular moment I decide to open the app. It can range from how I feel, to school angst, to tweeting at celebrities, to making jokes at people,” Burman said. “I dislike that you can only use 140 characters,” freshman Emily Forcillo of Manasquan said. “I don’t have time to get involved in that,” teacher Bill Bengle said. The e-commerce class, an elective offered to seniors taught by Gesin, created an online marketplace called “Boteega,” this

BLOT ILLUSTRATION BY SARAH SOLTES

Whether for class or pleasure, many students recently activated a Twitter account. The school’s newly designed website also has a Twitter feed.

semester. The students involved in the business decided to use Twitter as their primary source for communicating with the public. “We decided Twitter was the best outlet for us to update our potential customers since “tweets” are short little blurbs where we can convey what we are doing at the moment,” senior and e-commerce student Thom Bell of Atlantic Highlands said. “Twitter also seems to be really increasing in popularity this year and being an online company, we need to stay current.” The website is also used for entertainment in addition to news gathering and public relations. “It’s also fun. I follow Snooki from the Jersey Shore, just cause it’s usually funny. If you’re having a tough day, you can open up your twitter feed and have a laugh,” Mulshine said. “It is incalculable the amount of time I spend on Twitter every day,” Pettit said. “I can constantly look down and check it in a matter of seconds, but Twitter is a savage beast. It consumes many seconds.” Many students and teachers believe that the website will catch on with the rest of the school eventually. “I think Twitter is the future,” Mulshine said. “We all need our news in 140 characters or less. It is a perfect fit.


12 features

1 in 300:

Smooth Sailor

BLOT PHOTO BY CAITI BORRUSO

By GINA TALAMO Staff Writer There was hardly any breeze at the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club one afternoon in 2008, a condition that freshman and sailor Charlotte List of Fair Haven dreaded. She knew that smaller kids typically go faster, and that she would most likely float slowly in the lake since there was no wind. The whistle blew and the race began, with List slowly rounding the first mark in tenth place. Unsatisfied, List pulled ahead through the conditions, reaching second place with only ten feet between her boat and the finish line. Keeping her boat calm, still but moving as fast as possible, List closed the distance, earning her first place in the regatta. List is a sailor for her home high school, Rumson-Fair Haven High School. She is also a member of the Garden State Optimist Club, a youth sailing club. List began sailing at the age of eight, when a yacht club in Cape May caught her interest. “My parents signed me up just to try it, but I ended up really liking it,” List said. “I’m a very competitive person, and I love the water.” Rumson-Fair Haven’s sailing team consists of about 10 players who compete during the fall and spring. Different yacht clubs host their sailing competitions called regattas. Smaller regattas are hosted at Toms River Yacht Club. List also noted that she likes the strategy behind sailing. “You are always thinking about wind direction and how you can gain leverage on the other boats around you,” she said. In 2010, List raced in Texas, qualifying her for placement in the United States National Team. In July, she raced in the Optimist National Championship in England. List placed 64th out of 164 participants, and she was pleased with the outcome. “I like how you’re able to meet people from all over the country,” she said. “You also get to compete against people from other countries, which is also really cool.” List’s team has also competed at Atlantic Coast Championships in Norfolk, Virginia, where schools from all along the coast competed. “You learn a lot. I was sailing with a senior, and he taught me a lot of stuff I didn’t know. Just being in the boat more gives you more opportunities.”

John Liang, ‘07 2007 National 3rd place in editorial cartooning

the inkblot april 15, 2011

Spring Break Getaway Students share plans for their week off By FRANCESCA COCCHI Staff Writer With the summer vacation not far off, many students will say “Bon Voyage” to New Jersey as they travel abroad on spring break. Sophomore Christian Kelly of Brielle travels frequently to other countries with his family, including his mom, who is a flight attendant. This year, he will travel to Melbourne, Australia. He previously visited Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef, but this time his trip is not just for pleasure, he said. “The main thing we are going to do is look into the University of Melbourne because they offer a bachelor of film and television degree. Plus, college is three years instead of four, and it’s a third of the price,” Kelly said. Some students are leaving mostly for a taste of summer weather and fun. Sophomore Ashley Pinnola of Freehold will attend a Western Caribbean cruise.

The ship will make stops in Mexico, Belize and some private islands. Pinnola and her family takes cruises every spring break. In past years, she visited Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and Greece. Although she has never used this particular cruise line before, she said she looks forward to making friends at the kids’ club on the ship. Junior Monica Marrone of Howell is also no stranger to cruises and foreign countries. Since her first spring break as a high school student, she visited Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Malta and Egypt. This year, Marrone, her family and her friend will attend a two-week cruise overseas. They will travel from Venice to Bari in Italy, Olympia, Santorini and Rhodes in Greece and Dubrovnik in Croatia. “Croatia is such a random place

but is actually the prettiest place I’ve been to so I am excited to go back,” said Marrone. Her trip will mostly consist of sightseeing, viewing ancient ruins and architecture, shopping and walking around different cities, she said. “I will probably see the Rialto Bridge and the Piazza San Marco and maybe go to Murano where they create glass,” Marrone said. “Croatia has this amazing wall that surrounds the city of Dubrovnik that you can walk around and see the entire city from.” Besides offering a break from school, spring vacation for many students is an opportunity for spending time with family and friends. For Marrone, going to new places and seeing different lifestyles is what she loves about her trips.

By VALERIE SAEGER Staff Writer Members of the Cultural Communications Club are taking their prefestival tango lessons at Gold’s Gym this year to satisfy a requirement that in-school instructors be insured. The club’s dance instructor, who previously worked with the club in its Zumba fundraisers, is not insured, club adviser Sabina Campbell explained. “It’s just that we’ve had people come in to teach the kids how to dance before, and Mr. Gleason never did anything to interfere,” said Campbell. Principal James Gleason said insurance is a requirement for students’ protection. “I recommend that the club finds

an instructor that has liability insurance. Just because it took place in the past and procedures weren’t followed, doesn’t mean you keep doing something that needs to be corrected,” Gleason said. “The thing is, I don’t want anybody else. I’ve worked with her at all the Zumba lessons and I like her,” Campbell said. “If somebody were to get hurt,” Gleason said, “we need that insurance.” Campbell will no longer bring the instructor to the students, but bring the students to the instructor. The tango classes will be held at Gold’s Gym in Howell where Campbell held the previous Zumba fundraisers, she said.

Campbell said it was not the plan she had in mind, but as long as kids still sign up to dance in the festival, everything will work out. Seniors Bryan Brown of Manasquan, Meghan Fredericks of Sea Girt and Kayla Tice of Matawan said they look forward to their participation in the tango. “My favorite part is how everyone works together toward a common goal,” said Brown. Fredericks added that the last year’s Zumba class was, “a strange mix of people,” but by the end everyone got along and became really close. Tice emphasized how all participants in the Tango dance can’t be self-conscious. She said she loves how everyone gets into the dancing.

“There is always something new in every place you go,” she said.

Tango lessons at Gold’s this year


features 13

the inkblot april 15, 2011

4 seniors win scholarships

While the Common App essay is often regarded as the most important part of the college application process, thinking of a topic is difficult.

BLOT CARTOON BY LAUREN B. NEVILLE

Students share common app essays

BY LAURA REILLY Features Editor As the college acceptance flags begin to cover the perimeter of the cafeteria, many juniors are thinking about the whole college application process. Seniors say the most important step is the common app. As stated on the official website, “The Common Application is a non-for-profit organization that serves students and member institutions by providing an admission application – online and in print – that students may submit to any of our 415 members.” Guidance counselor Joseph Senerchia said. “There’s the student app which includes the personal info, where you provide your academics, extracurricular activities, and parental information. Then there are teacher evaluation forms and letters of recommendation. There’s also the secondary school report.” There is also an essay, he said.

There are six essay topics to choose from, the last giving the students the option to pick their own topic. Senior Tom Sweeney of Millstone chose the sixth option, which is the “topic of choice.” “I wrote mine about a quote by Aristotle that means a lot to me, and how it affected my life,” Sweeney said. Sweeney believes that the common application is useful and an organizational tool for students to handle the application process. He plans on attending Rutgers University, which did not accept the common application. Senior Alex Winchell of Keyport chose to indicate a person who has had a significant influence on him and to describe that influence. “I wrote about this time I met a girl on a school trip, and while we were talking I realized I liked her a lot, and that we would never see each other again,” Winchell said. “I wrote

in some stuff about Japanese philosophy; because there was a concept I came across which really fit how I felt about the whole thing.” Winchell, who has not decided where he is attending college, yet, said that he is in favor of the common application. “I would have hated filling out a separate thing for every school,” he said. Not every student used the common application process. “I only applied to four schools and three of them didn’t use the common app, so I didn’t use it,” senior Nate Rais of Marlboro said. “It’s probably amazing if you’re applying to twelve different common app schools, because then it’ll save you hours and hours of time.” Rais plans to attend Drexel U. Seniors who want to start working on their Common Application should not register until after July 31, said Senerchia.

By SARAH DEAN Staff Writer Three seniors – Tyler Paige of Millstone and Erin McFadden and Steph Harrold of Wall – have received offers of full scholarships to their prospective schools. Paige won acceptance into Cooper Union, a private art school that completely pays for all of their students’ tuition. “Because it only accepts 60 students per year, they can afford to give all of the students scholarships,” said Paige. “Every student who gets into Cooper gets their entire tuition paid for all four years.” Acceptance into this elite school does not come easily. Paige describes the application process as “one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.” He had to submit a sketchbook, a portfolio and a home test that consisted of six prompts. All of that hard work seems to have paid off for Paige. “I’m a weird mix of happy anxious, and completely freaked out when I think about actually attending there,” Paige said. “It’s such an honor to be accepted, but going there means I will be held to a higher standard, which is scary.” McFadden received scholarships that greatly impacted her college decision. She received two presidential

scholarships from Rutgers University, one from the School of Arts and Sciences and one from Mason Gross School of the Arts, for her double major in photography and English. Although Rutgers was not her first choice school, McFadden took her time to consider the opportunity that the scholarship offered. “I was really conflicted when I found out about the first one, because it makes my college decision significantly harder,” McFadden said. “Up until that point, Fordham College at Lincoln center was my first choice school, but I’m the oldest of three kids and taking this scholarship would make things a lot easier on my parents. Not to mention how awesome it would be to graduate and not be thousands of dollars in debt,” McFadden said. Harrold also received a special scholarship that will significantly alleviate the high cost of college tuition for her and her family. She received the Presidential Award from Virginia Commonwealth University, which provides her with a full ride. “It’s the most money I could have hoped to receive from VCU,” Harrold said. “I’m thrilled about the situation.” Editor’s Note: Just before press time senior Amanda Zukofski of Freehold also won acceptance to Cooper Union.

‘Impossible’ assignments cause student distress BY SARAH GLEASON Features Editor Few assignments have reputations that precede them. The teacher thinks the work is challenging, the student thinks its impossible and everyone knows the work has to get done. Here are the assignments we don’t soon forget. U.S. History II – Sophomore year Sophomore history teacher Bill Clark assigns each student a seven- to 10-page research paper on the topic of his or her choosing, which will have significant impact on the final marking period average. “It’s long and there are high expectations,” Clark said about his paper. “There’s no hand-holding and I’m not going to teach you MLA format and how to write a simple sentence when it’s something you should have already learned,” he added. “It’s more intense than other papers because of all the test grades it counts for,” said sophomore Brian Principe of Hazlet, who wrote his paper on the construction of the transcontinental railroad. Some students seek the aid of a tutor while writing Clark’s paper. Sophomore Kevin Erskine of Eatontown worked with senior Megan Towey of Holmdel on his paper, after being recommended a tutor when his rough draft was returned. Towey then created certain deadlines for Erskine to comply with so that she could proofread and make corrections where necessary. “When I wrote it by myself it was spewed and unorganized, but Megan was a really good tutor and she kept me on task,” Erskine said. “The paper itself is hard to write because you have so much creative freedom.” World History – Sophomore year In addition, because of its writing intensive nature, history teacher Sharyn

O’Keefe’s tests cause students to stress. “On the study guide she doesn’t give the actual facts, she gives the general topics,” said freshman Savanna Eosso of Matawan. “I don’t know what to say besides they were awful,” said sophomore Jacob Pirogovsky, remembering the tests he took during his second semester of freshman year. “It’s not the type of test they’re used to from middle school,” said O’Keefe. “They’re heavy on the writing and a lot of the times students are worried about finishing.” Freshman Alex Cros of Ocean confirmed this. “It’s all writing so unless you know the material very well, you’re going to have a hard time. You also have to write your essay well because she grades both content and structure,” she said. O’Keefe said that the reputation of her tests makes them seem scarier than they are. English III – unior year According to junior Will Kashdan of Long Branch, every Friday the English III class plays silent ball before the vocabulary quiz. English teacher Robert Sherman says the definition of the word and then each member of the class is expected to know the stressed syllable in the word, what part or parts of speech the word is, two synonyms and two antonyms. “It ensures that they’re properly prepared for the tests and quizzes. The scores have improved dramatically and it’s for their own good,” said Sherman. “You kind of accept it after a while,” said junior Jackie Curran of Manalapan. Junior Jen Hout of Middletown explains how the system works. “You get minus ten points on the quiz if you get out,” she said. “If you’re lucky

BLOT PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY KEVIN ERSKINE

Sophomore history teacher Mr. Bill Clark grades one of his infamous research papers. The paper was the first major assignment for students in Clark’s spring semester class.

enough to stay in, you get plus three on your quiz.” “It’s the incentive they need to do well,” said Sherman. “A 90 doesn’t suck completely,” Curran added. English III – Junior year Junior Kristen Lapolla of Manalapan said that even compared to Sherman’s silent ball, physics was “easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” Hout was quick to agree. “Anyway he explained it to me it was still hard,” she said. Sophomore Casey Cleffi of Manasquan said that physics ranked as her hardest class of her sophomore year. “I feel like in class I always understood everything that we talked about, and some-

times I didn’t even need to pay attention, but then I would get the test and just stare at it. My mind would blank and forget everything,” she said. “As much as I love Mr. Godkin and his enthusiasm, by the end of class I just felt like a cartoon character with a blank stare on my face and a speech bubble that just has an ellipses and a question mark,” said sophomore Sarah Soltes of Ocean. “However that may also be a result of the massive amount of doodles in my notebook,” she added. Cleffi added, “There were just so many concepts and formulas and different information that it just got all jumbled up and made the tests basically unbearable.” “I think I actually almost cried after one of Godkin’s tests because it was so hard,” she said.


14 opinion

the inkblot april 15, 2011

Let’s work together on CHS website By GABBY MAURER Staff Writer When I learned about Communications in eighth grade, the first thing I did was go on my computer and check out the website. I was already impressed; I logged on to pictures of the television studio, of the radio studio, then I went to the gallery link, where I could see the different videos, artº and websites students had created. I was so excited to apply there; everything looked so cool and so much fun. This website, however, is no longer in existence. At first, in its place was a white background with seven simple links. It had no pictures of our school, no paragraph about who we are. It is getting better, little by little. I’m not complaining because I think it’s bad, but because I think we can do so much better. Here we are, devoting a large portion of front page to our new design academy, but lacking a cohesive design on the actual website. Our website should be like us: creative and full of life. I really like the addition of a Twitter account, and I think it’s a great way to communicate with the students. The newly added Vimeo account is a great way to showcase our films. But I also think it should have more; maybe a monthly spotlight on a student, showcasing his or her art or photography. We could create a Flickr for our Photo Club, with pictures of all of our events. The Shutterfly account our school has is practically unknown and very difficult to find. There could even be a Facebook page, which could help spread the word about the design academy. Even Biotech, a school in our district, has some of these things – and they are not the design-based academy. Right now, you have to search through the entire website just to find a link for The Inkblot’s website. There are a few ways to solve this problem. We have many classes in computer programming and design: web design, advanced web design, and java programming. Maybe a project for one of these classes could be to design a web site for the school, and then the best can be chosen as the new website. Possibly the National Art Honor Society could hold a schoolwide contest for a new design, with a small charge to enter, benefitting both the club and the school. Principal James Gleason, who designed the current website, commented that he just thought the old website needed an update, and took it upon himself to make a new one. “I definitely think it could continue to grow and refresh,” Gleason explained. Gleason has no problem with allowing students to design the website, as long as they take the initiative themselves. “If anyone is outraged by my supreme web design skills, feel free to step up and make one,” Gleason said. We are at a school where we design everything; we make murals on the walls, design our own yearbook, lay out our newspaper – why not the website, too?

Comedy routine hits one bad note at Mr. CHS By SARA WALLACH News Editor

Sheen-anigans

BLOT CARTOON BY SARAH SOLTES

Open letter to $2 million man who’s rushing to toss it all away By BRIANNA MERRIMAN Staff Writer I’m just going to say it: Charlie Sheen, you are NOT winning. Last time I checked, you were an ancient sitcom star with an approaching expiration date. There seems to be a rain check on your sense of reality, and now you think you’re a warlock controlling God-knowswhat galaxy. I can see the drugs have settled in. “Two-and-a-Half Men” used to be such a successful program. It gained one of the highest ratings on television, had over 13 million viewers this past November and Sheen was reaping all of the benefits. His salary granted him $2 million per episode. With all of this success, I would expect any sane individual to embrace the opportunity and do everything in his or her power to make it work. But we’re talking about someone with tiger blood pumping through his overly pompous veins. His track record is pretty harsh, including charges for substance abuse, domestic abuse and intoxication. He

visited rehab so many times that I predict he will soon receive a season pass in the mail. Now, CBS has officially kicked him off his show and is already looking for a replacement star to soak up his spotlight. But is he even trying to gain forgiveness for his sloppy moves so he can get his job back? No, no he is not. Listening to this washed-out druggie rant about his magical insanity tends to be quite hysterical, actually. The way he answers interview questions is so arrogant and sarcastic that you cannot look away. I mean, come on, Charlie Sheen. You say that you are better than Thomas Jefferson, who penned the Declaration of Independence. You say that other people wouldn’t be able to handle you brain because it is not from this particular terrestrial realm. Who do you think you are? Oh, that’s right: Charlie Sheen. It’s only a matter of time before he wakes up from his fantasy and realizes that he is, in fact, bi-losing.

Design academy a gift, not a burden By LAURA REILLY Features Editor The new Design Academy, which will integrate approximately 15 students as full time students into the Class of 2013, has been met with harsh criticism and skepticism from some current students. Really? Are the ‘best and brightest’ of Monmouth County foolish enough to think that we are the only ones who get to call ourselves that? The application process for the Design Academy consists of an academic, attendance and portfolio review. Of the three, academics are the most heavily considered. The students admitted into

the program will have to show that they excelled in their schoolwork during their first two years of high school, and took classes that fulfill our school’s requirements. We’ve been told almost every day since freshman year how special our school is and how hard we work, and how smart we are. All of this praise has given many of us the false impression that anyone at a hometown school is below us. There are plenty of students that meet our standards, and it is horrible of us to deny a student the opportunity to experience our school if they deserve it. Just because someone did not get into CHS, does not mean they are

incapable or undeserving of attending. The Design Academy students have far more to lose that we do. They are giving up their own school, friends and classes because they are passionate about attending a school we are privileged enough to have for four years. The current students, particularly the current sophomore class, need to embrace these new students, because we aren’t the only people alive that have the right to get the most out of high school. Plus nearly everyone has complained at some point that they are tired of the same people in their grade, or that they wished there was a new face in the crowd. Well CHS, here’s your chance.

At the annual Mr. CHS competition on Friday, Feb. 27, junior Andy Cernera of Freehold advanced to the talent portion of the competition. His talent, unsurprisingly, was standup comedy. He didn’t use a script, he later said. He just “wrote down the general topics that I was going to discuss on my hand.” One of those topics was his nose. He made fun of it mercilessly and at one point decided to tell the audience an anecdote. One day, Cernera went to Perkins. A little girl stared at him and said to her mother “what’s wrong with that man?” The mother responded “move along honey, don’t stare,” which Cernera said made him seem like a “side-show.” In the competition he said he wanted to kneel down in front of the girl and say, “You know, one in four girls has an eating disorder. Big nose isn’t too bad now, fatty.” When I heard this, I froze. I thought about everything my family and peers said to me when I was an overweight little kid. I thought about what I would have felt if a stranger had actually said that to me. Needless to say, I didn’t laugh. Though I’ve suffered from body dysmorphic disorder and an eating disorder, I wasn’t offended by the comment. It just stung a little. Although he’s a funny guy, that type of humor is not appropriate for school. Eating disorders are classified as mental illnesses. One would never think to make fun of any other mental illness in a stand-up act at school. It would be rejected by the administration and by a majority of the students. This is no different, especially in a school where the majority of the student body is made up of teenage girls. I know that many of these girls have battled with eating disorders and selfimage issues. “We all have our insecurities, and that is fine,” said Cernera. “But we can’t all go into an uproar once someone even mentions something related to them.” So do these girls have a right to be offended by Cernera’s comment? Yes, because this is a disorder for which you can be hospitalized. It can kill you. Hating your nose can’t do that. “I wanted to punch him in the face,” said junior Caiti Borruso of Matawan, who has suffered from an eating disorder. “It was rude and painful to listen to not only was it an unnecessary comment in general, at the time the comment was made, it was National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which only made it worse.” But Cernera said it was, “a harmless joke.” “I don’t want to say that everyone who was offended is being oversensitive exactly, but that is the only word comes to mind,” he said. I don’t think these people are oversensitive, but I do think that it is really hard to understand where they’re coming from if you haven’t been there. We shouldn’t be mad at Cernera. If you are, you should tell him why. Tell him how it feels to look in the mirror everyday and tell him why having an eating disorder is nothing to joke about. So Cernera, stick to making jokes about your nose. And let’s be realistic. It’s not even that big. I should know, I’m Jewish.


opinion 15

the inkblot april 15, 2011

Julian Assange

He’s no media madman

By ALLY KOWALSKI Opinion Editor Among the things I am addicted to are coffee, the show “Community” and Julian Assange. I know, such a cohesive list. But to me, they all have the same effect: one sip, and suddenly I’m guzzling down as much of it as I can until I crash at 1 a.m. I cannot stop following any of these things. It has led to one point or another where 16 used mugs have been left in my locker, making so many references that even the people who understand them are starting to get annoyed and an unusual amount of newspapers and political magazines for a 17-year-old. They fit in quite awkwardly next to my Seventeen magazines. What sets Julian Assange aside is, of course, his fantastic effect on the political scenes all around the world. Plus, it’s always cool when you start talking about him and someone interrupts you to pronounce his name in a more

pretentious voice, just because they think they know how to say it better. The thing I think that has grabbed me the most out of the stories following his website “Wikileaks” is not even the great exercise of the First Amendment, but what it really exposes about the government. Yes, our government has done things that are not necessarily the best or most ethically sound, but we all have expected that at one point or another. What really surprised me is how much the release of these documents bothered them, and how embarrassed they actually were. As a country that theoretically wants to progress and move forward, shouldn’t the government be embracing their mistakes and trying to find some positive spin on it? This release does not have to make them look that bad. In fact, half of every scandal is how well it is handled publicly. And only the guiltiest people attack those who call them out on their mistakes.

PHOTO TAKEN FROM CREATIVE COMMONS While many claim Julian Assange’s work on WikiLeaks is un-American, some protestors passion- ately believe in it. By responding as they did, they are I’m not saying the United States should be pleased this information was released. only making themselves an even more Instead, they should try to respond in a vulnerable target for the next attack. way that is more productive than trying to Because, let’s face it – if there’s one thing a prosecute the tattle-tale. secret is good at doing, it’s getting out.

Libya war would cost U.S. labor and young lives By KATE EVANS Staff Writer The Libyan government’s assaults on the rebel forces have sparked an international debate over whether or not to provide military assistance to the rebels. The Obama administration has yet to declare what it will do, but the best option is to keep the military out of Libya. The United States has already been caught up in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These wars have had a negative impact on the United States, costing thousands of lives and billions of dollars. The last thing America needs is to go down the same rabbit hole again. As tragic as it is, war usually produces money for a country, but in recent years this country has gained no money from its wars. Adding another war would stretch our resources too far and would only widen the deficit. Our military involvement has turned Iraq and Afghanistan into war ravaged zones with insecure, corrupt

governments under constant threats from terrorists. As exhibited by Egypt, Middle Eastern countries do not need American military assistance to free themselves of dictatorship, and are probably better off without our help. Egypt was different from Libya in the fact that it was far less violent. What Libya needs is humanitarian aid, not military aid. Also, assisting the rebels could endanger the United States. During the Cold War, the Americans engaged in a war in Afghanistan and through Pakistan funded Afghan rebels along with rebels from other countries. After the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan and funding ceased, these rebels

Just give it time: Facebook will fall to Twitter By COLE GALLAGHER Opinion Editor “Facebook me.” This phrase has become second nature to everyone. Facebook has been such an integral part of everyone’s lives over the last few years, and it seemingly has a monopoly on social networking sites. One of the few other sites that comes to peoples minds when they hear “social networking” is Twitter. When someone doesn’t know what Twitter is all about, it is usually described to that person as “Facebook, except just statuses.” If I was Twitter, I’d be insulted. Twitter’s much more than that. Twitter is perfect. I see it as a streamlined version of Facebook. I’ll start with the basics. Twitter probably best known for its 140-character “tweet” limit. This means you avoid the posts exclaiming to everyone that life is so tough when it’s raining, or the people who live their lives by

Avenged Sevenfold lyrics and decided to post the entire first verse to “The Beast and the Harlot.” People have to keep it short and simple. This forces the tweeter to think about what they’re tweeting and make sure that they derive more value out of every word. People don’t waste tweets to say it’s raining. I find that most tweets make me think, or laugh, or at least invoke some sort of emotional reaction, other than hiding them on my news feed. Personally, I think the best thing about Twitter is how everyone is on the same playing field. I just think it’s so cool to tweet at a celebrity, instead of liking them on Facebook and posting on the fan page, which has no affiliation with the actual celebrity. On Twitter, “@” is all I need to talk to a teacher, politician, musician, author or best friend. Twitter is a great equalizer. The other symbol that makes life easier on Twitter

is “#”, known as the “hashtag.” Everything’s organized. Let’s say scientists found a cure for cancer. Search #cancercure on Twitter and you’re bound to find something on it, whether it be an opinion or a link to a news story. Good luck searching for a topic on Facebook. If you’re friends don’t post a status about it, you won’t see their opinions on it. With Twitter you can get a global view on the topic. Yes, I’m aware Twitter isn’t new, but I’m surprised that more people aren’t utilizing it. Facebook is just boring to me now. It’s just a chaotic collection of people’s complaints. It’s as if Oscar the Grouch were a whiny teenager and he spread all over the Internet. When people ask for a description of Twitter, it’s not just a bunch of Facebook statuses. It’s so much more. If you want a description of Facebook however, it’s basically Twitter except filled with nothing important.

eventually formed al Qaeda who along with other terrorist groups are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans. They have used the training we gave them against us. Assisting the Libyan rebels could have the same outcome if the United States is not careful. The United States should not become involved – it would be too costly. We’ve lost too many soldiers and too much money in previous wars in the region. We need to help where we can in a peaceful manner.


16 sports

the inkblot april 15, 2011

Down but not out

Bargaining for trouble NFL shutdown is bad for business

Senior Marr determined to succeed at Rider

By MIKE SMITH Sports Editor It started off just like any other practice. Senior wrestler Andrew Marr, 18, of Millstone, had just recovered from arthroscopic knee surgery and was eager to get back on the mat for the Wall Knights. He started, simply enough, with a drill facing his coach. Marr tried tackling low, and the next thing he knew, he was on the ground. “My head was pounded,” said Marr. “I kept trying to get up and walk it off, but I knew it wasn’t good. I stumbled and fell every time.” Marr had suffered a severe blow to the head during that exercise. He was later diagnosed by Dr. Tariq Rizvi with a concussion, which made it impossible for him to compete for the remainder of the season. “Even before [Dr. Rizvi] diagnosed me, we all knew it was coming,” said Marr, who had been ranked third in the state in the 215-pound weight class. “When my coach told me that I wouldn’t pass [the field test], I broke down. Eight years out the door. Eight years of hard work,” he said. Fellow wrestler and friend of Marr, Mitch Seigel of Marlboro, was stunned, but at the same time relieved by Marr’s untimely exit of high school wrestling.

“Next year is the start of a whole new journey.” ... Andrew Marr

“I couldn’t and wouldn’t believe it because he’s been suffering from a knee injury for a couple years and I know he’s been working hard to get better and to win states,” said Seigel, who has wrestled Marr twice. “But one side of me is happy because that opens up the field for me to win the Region VI title.” Marr will attend Rider University next year with a scholarship for his achievements in high school wrestling. In his eyes and the eyes of others looking on, the future looks bright. “Next year is the start of a whole new journey,” said Marr. “I didn’t really show everyone

BLOT PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDREW MARR Marr as he wins a bout last season. The Millstone native is looking forward to picking up where he left off next year at Rider University.

what I really had even though I came close this year. It’s going to keep me hungry and I’m going to work hard and show everyone what I can do.” Fitness instructor Virginia Clevenger, who has followed her students’ successes over the past four years, said she is “heartbroken,” but also optimistic about his future. “He has overcome many injuries, and he will again,” said Clevenger. “He will do great and we will be watching. Rider is very lucky to have him.” “It’s not an easy thing to admit that you have to retire from your senior year of wrestling due to injury, and miss out on districts, regions and states,” said Seigel. “Knowing Andrew’s attitude, determination and mentality, I know he will only use these emotions towards accomplishing whatever goals he has for college, athletically and academically.”

Sporting spring fever By BLAKE STIMPSON & BRIAN PRINCIPE Staff Writers The winter is coming to a close and as the weather is warming up, so are many athletes that are ready to jump back into another sports season. Throughout CHS, numerous fans and players are buzzing with excitement. Among the sports set to begin anew are baseball, softball, lacrosse, track and golf. Sophomore Brian Perkins, of Neptune, is hoping to have an impact this year on the baseball diamond. “I’m definitely going to play a lot on the JV team,” Perkins said, although he noted that it might be harder to play on a higher level. “If I go up to varsity, I probably won’t have as much of an impact.” One obstacle Perkins faces is an injury that has hampered him so far. His team has begun to practice, but he has yet to suit up for the club. “Practice started last Friday, but I can’t play yet because I broke my wrist,” he said.

However, he anticipates on contributing very soon after getting clearance from his doctor. Sophomore Taylor Hoskins of Freehold hopes to help continue a winning tradition for Freehold Township lacrosse. “Our varsity team has been A North champions the past four years so we’re hoping for a fifth,” Hoskins said. To ensure success, Hoskins said that she has been running to keep in shape. And while going to an MCVSD school may be a hindrance for some, she believes that her season has gone smoothly thus far. “My coach understands that I don’t go to [Freehold] Township,” said Hoskins. “There’s a girl on my team that goes to Biotech, so it’s good to have someone else in the same boast as me.” Hoskins has a positive mindset going into the season. “My personal goal is to be on varsity,” she said. “I’m really hoping for some time in the big games.”

By FRANK TALAMO Sports Editor Sundays: a big dinner, the end of the weekend and … lockouts? This is an idea the National Football League owners and the Players Association are desperately trying to avoid. When the two sides’ collective bargaining agreement, a series of labor agreements set by the NFL Player’s Association (NFLPA) and the owners, was about to expire on March 3, the deadline was moved back a day, and then moved back a week. When the third deadline hit, the NFL entered a work stoppage for the first time since 1987. “It’s a bunch of millionaire and billionaires arguing over even more money,” said Nate Rais, a senior from Manalapan and a die-hard Giants fan, “and the fans are getting the short end of the stick because of their greed.” This, of course, could have massive effects for not only the NFL, but for the economy. For every game not played due to a strike, about $20 million will be lost, claims the NFLPA. Though this will be a great financial loss for the NFL and everyone associated with it. Let’s face it: the, coaches, owners and most players are financially prepared for the lockout, with the exception of Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco who has voiced a desire to try out for a Major League Soccer team. The real loser, aside from the stadium workers and low-ranking team employees, is the economy. Any kind of loss in this climate is extremely dangerous, and if one of the country’s most profitable industries goes under, the results could be catastrophic. According to Edgeworth Economics, up to 3,000 jobs will be lost if the lockout isn’t resolved by the beginning of the season. Of course, half of those are players, but the others that can’t find another job in such an unforgiving job market will be thrown into unemployment. The owners and the Players Association need to work out their differences or there will be dire consequences for not only them, but for the entire U.S. economy.

Backman heading to Temple University BY LLOYD BURMAN Staff Writer Next year Senior Natasha Backman will suit up for the field hockey squad of the Temple Owls of the Atlantic Ten Conference. Backman had multiple offers from other Division I schools, including Monmouth, Siena, Holy Cross, Radford, Quinnipiac, Longwood and Colgate, but in the end she chose Temple because of the instant connection she felt to the program. “The girls there were passionate about the game, and you could see that by watching them play,” Backman said. “They were also very witty and a lot of fun to spend time with.” She said she admires the style of the program’s head coach, Amanda Janney, who Backman has described as “a passionate and positive leader.” The campus, located in North Philadelphia, is one of Backman’s favorite aspects about her decision. “It was the only campus I visited where I truly enjoyed myself,” Backman said. Her parents are also excited about their daughter’s opportunity, and have gone as far as to buy Backman a book all about Philadelphia. An added perk for Backman is the notorious Philadelphia food. “First on the list is to taste Pat’s and Geno’s Cheesesteaks,” she said. Backman will not only be going to play for a Division I field hockey powerhouse. She will also attend classes and begin her college academics in

BLOT PHOTO BY KEVIN ERSKINE

Senior Natasha Backman will be playing field hockey for the Temple Owls next season.

University Studies. “Temple has a great business program and was the best fit for me academically,” said Backman. Her commitment also has a few drawbacks, one being that she will see a lot of bench time in her freshman year. “I know the difference between D-I and high school is huge. I could have played at schools where I would be starting next year, but I chose Temple because it has a more competitive program. I can’t wait to be a part of such an incredible team, even if it means not playing much my first year,” Backman said. But beyond this season, she hopes to make an impact of the school’s prestigious program. “I intend to become a leader on the field,” she said.

The Inkblot - Volume 9, Issue 4  

Published: April 15th, 2011 The Inkblot is the independent student-produced newspaper of Communications High School, Wall, NJ. All work i...