Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Boston, MA Permit No. 54523
Vol. XXX · Issue III
Newton South High School’s Student Newspaper · Newton, MA · Established 1984 · October 4, 2013
The End of an Era
Principal Joel Stembridge cancels the annual Powderpuff game, resulting in an onslaught of protests and media coverage
Students uninformed of mayoral election Nathaniel Bolter & Jake Meisel
Sr. News Editor, News Contributor
By Nathaniel Bolter and Amelia Stern Yu-Ching Chang/Denebola
A group of seniors strategizes at last year’s Powderpuff football game. Powderpuff has been a Thanksgiving tradition at South for 15 years.
enior Sky Striar thought it was a joke. game] is our one big thing for the whole looks forward to being a junior or senior just When a friend of Striar posted school to participate in,” she said. for that reason to be able to be on the field, … on Twitter that South’s Powderpuff Sophomore Tiana Gould agreed that say, ‘I’m a junior; let’s go juniors’ and cheer football game had been cancelled, she could the event “is a way to bring not only the on their Powderpuff team,” Grutman said. not believe it. “Someone actually tweeted it, juniors and seniors together but the entire Stembridge, on the other hand, said and I thought it was a joke. Then I had a lot school.” that the reasons stated in the email are not of my friends get back to me and say ‘My Stembridge, however, in the email, meant to be examined individually and that, parents have received emails and stuff like said that the Powderpuff game has nega- in culmination, they lead to a negative atmothat,” she said. tively affected the school environment, cit- sphere. “I listed some reasons, but for me it Senior class president Tom Howe said ing five examples: injuries from the game, wasn’t as much about any one of those reasons his reaction was similarly visceral. “My jaw intimidation and vandalism that occurs in as it was about it just [not being] good for our literally dropped; it was really unexpected the weeks prior to Powderpuff, the pressure school climate,” Stembridge said. “Any one of to cancel the game. It is such a tradition at to participate in the game, the exclusion of those reasons I probably could’ve lived with. South,” he said. “My next reaction was, ‘What underclassmen and the sexist nature of the I’m willing to live with injuries if it’s going are we going to do to fix this?’” game’s name. to be a positive event for our school … the Principal Joel problem here is that I’m willing to live with injuries if it’s going to be a Stembridge anthe event didn’t elevate nounced the discon” positive event for our school […] The problem here is our school. tinuation of the anIn a survey conthat the event didn’t elevate our school. nual Powderpuff girls’ ducted by The Roar, football game in an however, 78.5 percent - Joel Stembridge, Principal email sent to South parents and students on of students said that they disagree with the Howe said that although Stembridge’s decision to discontinue hosting Powderpuff. Sept. 11, eliciting student protest and outrage. The Powderpuff game has been played concerns may be valid, they do not justify Students said that they disagree both yearly between the junior and senior girls on Powderpuff ’s cancellation. “All his reasons with the reasons behind the cancellation and the day before Thanksgiving break begins could be applicable in one way or another, with the decision’s handling. with the intent of elevating school spirit but I don’t agree with the way that it was Eagle said she wishes Stembridge had and promoting class unity, but the game has handled,” Howe said. “These reasons don’t consulted the student government before drawn criticism for dangerous play, sexism outweigh the good that Powderpuff brings making his decision. “I wish he had come to our school.” and intimidation. to us to work around it [and been] like ‘I’m Some reasons listed in the email, how- thinking of a, b and c — can you fix this?’“ Junior class officer Haley Eagle said that the Powderpuff game is a rare oppor- ever, are overtly false, according to junior Eagle said. “He came to us with a final decitunity for students to exhibit school spirit. class officer Roee Grutman. “I think that “South doesn’t have a lot of spirit, and [the [the] intimidation is friendly. Every freshman POWDERPUFF, 2
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Senior professes and explains his love for the Mexican-food chain.
Hot n’ Cold
Student argues fluctuating classroom temperatures impede learning.
The City of Newton’s mayoral election will be held Nov. 5. The preliminary elections were held on Sept. 17. Students remain uninformed of and indifferent toward the mayoral race even as election day approaches, according to students and an informal Roar survey conducted at South. The mayoral race began between four candidates: incumbent Mayor Setti Warren, Alderman Ted Hess-Mahan, Tom Sheff and Jacqueline Sequeira. After the preliminary election Sept. 17, the field narrowed with Warren taking 69 percent of the vote and Hess-Mahan taking 22.3 percent. Hess-Mahan said he cites a recent mishandling of controversial issues as reasons for his candidacy. “What happened with the traffic fiasco in Newton Centre, and what happened with the police department — with the employees suing the city and the mayor over unfair treatment — and the way that the “Engine 6” proposal to create housing for the homeless in Waban [was handled] show that the mayor hasn’t been attentive to the needs of the city,” Hess-Mahan said. Junior Ellie Yorke, however, said she does not see the mayor’s role as especially significant. “I think the mayor deals more with city issues, and they don’t make any drastic changes anyway,” Yorke said. Yorke’s sentiments are not uncommon among South students. In a Roar survey conducted before the preliminary elections, 5.7 percent of students said they consider themselves well informed on the election, and 28.1 percent said they care about the outcome of the election. Five of the 105 students surveyed could name a candidate other than Warren who was actually running — also listed as candidates were State Representative and former mayoral candidate Ruth Balser and Governor Deval Patrick. Senior Lewis Morin, who is 18 years old and registered to vote in November, said he understands the general apathy among South students. “I feel like local politics MAYORAL RACE, 3
Photo Room Students react to the repainting of the photo room’s walls.
NEWS 2 GLOBAL 5 EDITORIALS 6 OPINIONS 9 CENTERFOLD 12 FEATURES 15 SPORTS 20
news volume 30
october 4, 2013
South Spots compiled by Roar editors
No Homework Weekend The first no homework weekend will take place over Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 12-14. Teachers are prohibited from assigning homework due for Tuesday, Oct. 15. “Spring Awakening” The fall musical, “Spring Awakening,” will be performed on Oct. 17-19 at 7:30 p.m. The basis for the rock musical is a 1891 German play, adapted for Broadway in 2006, which follows the lives of three tenagers as they grow up and discover their sexuality. The musical is directed by former performing arts teacher Jeff Knoedler. “Tartuffe” The South Stage will perform its rendition of “Tartuffe,” the fall play, Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. “Tartuffe,” written by the Frenchman Moliére in 1664, is a comedy consisting of alexandrines — 12-syllable lines — of rhyming couplets.
POWDERPUFF, from 1
spirit and unity. “We showed more spirit protesting than we may have actually had participating in Powderpuff,” he said. “I think it sion with no discussion.” ultimately shows unity, teamwork and some of the good qualities According to Stembridge, allowing class officers to participate in that Powderpuff tends to highlight about our school.” the conversa could have portrayed them as having failed to save the Powderpuff ’s cancellation and the resulting protests were game and ultimately culpable for its cancellation. “[Junior and senior featured in articles and videos from the Boston Globe, the Newton class officers] had no input on this decision. I wanted them to be TAB, the Newton Patch, Barstool Sports, the National Review, New able to say to other students [that] this was the principal’s decision,” England Cable News and local affiliates of CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox. Stembridge said. “I wanted to give them that.” The story even made it to the Wichita Eagle of Kansas. But students, their concerns regarding the basis and the mak“I was surprised by the extent to which the video media in ing of the decision notwithstanding, said canceling the game was Boston picked up and ran with the story. I don’t understand … why unnecessary. Students expressed this belief in the days following the it was such big news,” Stembridge said. cancellation with signs bearing the slogan “Don’t end it, amend it.” Striar said that the media coverage validated the case for PowStriar said she believes the game is alterable and that the players derpuff. “Most media seems to be on the side of keeping Powderpuff,” could reduce the intimidation in the same way as the class of 2014 she said. “It shows Mr. Stembridge what a large problem it is. That was able to do previously. “Last year, we worked really hard with the not only students care about it, but people care enough about it for seniors to make sure [Powderpuff] stayed calm because Mr. Stem- it to be put on the news.” bridge warned us that if we didn’t, we would be cancel senior year,” Students said that if these protests fail to restore Powderpuff, Striar said. “And he actually complimented they might hold the game off-campus. Yet us on how calm it was.” Stembridge said he is hopeful that the school Stembridge, however, said that each can host a different event that possesses some class has attempted to improve the game, and I don’t want the fear of los- of the positive aspects of the game. that the problem is not the students playing “It’s just time to see … is it possible that ing a tradition to get in the game, but the game itself. there are some other events ... that we could the way of something that do to maintain all the spirit and the fun and “I think there’s just too much intensity around this day – [Powderpuff] devolved into the camaraderie and the class bonding that I might be better for us. something that wasn’t positive,” Stembridge think students really enjoyed about the day,” said. “I just remember telling [the class of he said. “I have a belief that it is not simply - Joel Stembridge, Principal 2014] that I appreciated their efforts. And I tied to football, that [football] has to be the think they tried.” one thing in the whole world that could create In order to advocate for Powderpuff ’s reinstatement, many this fun day. I don’t want the fear of losing a tradition to get in the students wore orange and blue on Sept. 12 and all-black clothing way of something that might be better for us.” on Sept. 13. Students dressed in black gathered on the stadium Jennifer Huntington, who was the principal of North from 1999 bleachers on the afternoon of Sept. 13 for a photo for the Newton to 2006 and who made the decision to cancel North’s Powderpuff TAB, and chants broke out in support of the game. game, agreed that other events could fill the lack of school spirit left Striar, who organized the protests along with senior Monique by Powderpuff. “One of North’s great strengths is that each season Gould, said their purpose was to demonstrate students’ discontent brings its own rhythm, and other things came … once [Powderpuff] and restraint. “We are really just trying to show how respectful and disappeared,” she said. “What I am trying to say is football, cheerpeaceful we can be because a couple of Mr. Stembridge’s complaints leaders, the Powderpuff game, whatever it was, is not the be all and were that [Powderpuff] was too rowdy and too aggressive,” she said. end all of North’s world. And that’s a good thing.” Senior Jessa Rubera, however, said that the protests got out According to Rubera, however, playing the game is the only of hand with negative chants directed at the administration. “I un- solution. “The only thing we want is to play the game. And if a derstand that a lot of people are angry at [Stembridge] and at his decision has been made and [Stembridge’s] decision isn’t going to decision,” Rubera said. “But ‘Down with Joel’ and whatever other change then we are going to play the game outside of school,” she chants I was hearing that are negative toward him personally, I just said. “So I guess we are all just kind of relaxing until then. We are really didn’t think was ok.” not going to really do anything about it besides play the game that According to Howe, the protests also served to engender school we want to play.”
october 4, 2013
Mayoral race fails to capture student attention
The China threat: more hoax than reality
Politics and Points of View
graphic by Sophie Gallowitz
MAYORAL RACE, from 1
to Hess-Mahan, the candidates have the responsibility of raising awareness as well. “[Students should] read newspapers like the [Newton] Tab and the Boston Globe, which are available online as well as in hard copy,” he said. “I think it also, though, says that we as candidates have to do a better job of getting our message out.” Hess-Mahan operates Twitter and Facebook accounts as well as a website — www.hessmahan4mayor.com — which he updates daily.
have been very political all their lives and it just kind of passed down to me.” isn’t always that much of a concern for high In order for other students to become school kids,” Morin said. “I know who the involved, Henderson said, the candidates mayor is, but I think that I’ll definitely look should interact with students directly. “I into it [more] before I vote. But, as of now, think it would be really cool ... if the canI haven’t really been that educated.” didates came in and talked to high school The idea that students are unaffected students, because I think it is important by local politics, however, is misleading and that we know what’s going on and I think detrimental to their standing as Newton it’s important they know what’s in our heads citizens, according to sophomore Emma too,” she said. Henderson. “I think [the election] will imYorke agreed that a visit to South pact a lot of the ways would be beneficial It is important that we kind of understand what is for both the students money is spent in our town, impacting going on in our world and the way decisions are being and the candidates. “I fees and all that sort think [a candidate’s made, so we can have input. of thing,” Henderson visit] would not only said. “So I think even help the students see - Emma Henderson, Class of 2016 though you might what’s going on ... think it won’t directly affect you, you may Henderson said her father, Bruce but I also think that it could help shape the find things changing, like programs being Henderson, a member of the Parent Teacher candidates’ views on what certain subjects cut that you care about.” Student Organization, ensures that she stays they should take on,” Yorke said. “You can’t Henderson said staying informed is informed. “For as long as I can remember, really make a decision about a school if you’ve necessary to control ones own governance. I’ve always known what is going on in New- never been to it firsthand.” “I think it’s an issue that people don’t know ton politics because my dad is so involved,” Fishman, who submitted a question to what’s going on,” she said. “It is important she said. the four candidates in the Sept. 12 debate, that we kind of understand what is going on Sophomore Sam Fishman said he said he advises students to get involved. in our world and the way decisions are being attributes his political awareness to his “I’d really encourage the student body to made, so we can have input.” upbringing. “As far as I can remember, I’ve get interested in politics,” he said. “Just try Although media coverage can help always just been interested in politics,” Fish- to find one or two issues that they’re really remedy this lack of knowledge, according man said. “My grandparents and my parents passionate about.”
Mayor implicated in lawsuit against Newton Carter Howe News Reporter
Jeanne Mooney, an executive administrator of the Newton Police Department, has filed a lawsuit against the city of Newton, alleging that both Mayor Setti Warren and former Newton Police Chief Matthew Cummings framed her with charges of larceny in retaliation for her public criticism of Cummings’s behavior. Mooney said that Cummings called her a “b*tch” and a “whore” and kicked her in the ankle — accusations that led to the Cummings’s firing last October. The city of Newton said in a report on Cummings’s firing that “substantial evidence exists to support the conclusion that Chief Cummings made inappropriate and offensive comments to Jeanne Sweeney Mooney.”
Cummings then pressed charges against Mooney, accusing her of stealing $660 in cash and destroying $1,400 in checks of city money. Mooney has been acquitted on those charges, but she maintains they were filed in an attempt to frame her. Cummings, however, said in an affidavit filed on June 12, 2013 in U.S. District Court that he did not act alone and that, ultimately, Warren made the decision. “I did not act independently, and the final decision regarding the filing of the criminal complaint against [Mooney] rested solely with Mayor Warren,” Cummings said in his
sworn deposition. City Solicitor Donnalyn Kahn has said she denies that the mayor made the decision to press charges against Mooney. “The mayor, the Law Department and I personally never suggested, advised, directed or coerced the chief of police to seek the criminal complaint against [Mooney],” Kahn said in her sworn deposition. Mooney originally sought to sue Wa r r e n i n federal court, but after a federal judge rejected the case, Mooney took the case to the Middlesex County Superior Court. Public Domain
The future of America looks grim. It’s always on the news: the decline of America and the simultaneous rise of China. Does China’s rise threaten American hegemony and our role in the world? Are events as dire as analysts predict? The answer is no. The perceived threat of China’s rise leading to American decline has more to do with volatile public opinion than hard data. Looking to the past 100 years, a trend appears. Every decade or so, the U.S. goes through a period of what Harvard professor Joe Nye calls “declinism” — the perception of American decay. The Chinese threat is just another example of the same trend — an example that tells us nothing about the reality of the situation at hand. Now and for the next half-century America will remain unmatched in military, economic and soft power. Even if China’s gross domestic product (GDP) passes that of the United States by 2019, as the Goldman Sachs investment banking firm predicts, America has little to fear from Chinese economic hegemony. GDP doesn’t tell the whole story; size isn’t an indication of composition. Poverty will still abound and per capita incomes will take decades to reach those of the U.S. More importantly, the global economy is a multi-polar world in which no single country can dominate. Second, the American military is by far the most powerful in the world, spending more than all other nations combined — 10 times more than China. The entire Chinese navy is smaller than the U.S. Seventh Fleet in South East Asia alone. Military buildup, however, would not necessarily constitute a threat; Chinese intentions must also be considered. In this age of globalization, the economies of countries such as the U.S. and China are interconnected. Starting a war would put the economies of both countries in jeopardy, and since the Chinese Communist Party has staked its regime on economic growth, it has more to lose than to gain. As the Chinese economy grows, so does China’s stake in world stability, because disruptions on the global scale interrupt economic growth. Over the past 10 years, China has contributed tremendously to global governance and in many cases has cooperated with the U.S. Recently, complying with U.N. sanctions, it has cut imports of Iranian oil and is responsible for bringing North Korea to the table in the six-party talks. Although China may not always agree with the U.S. on the best course of action, it would never undertake any actions that threaten world peace. By no means should the U.S. trust China completely, but China isn’t the future enemy the U.S. must face. If anything, China is a potential ally in a changing global climate, the war against terror and combatting poverty. As professor Aaron Friedberg of Princeton puts it, “China is not an ally, nor is it a trusted friend; it is an increasingly powerful and important country with which the United States seeks cooperation whenever possible.” China’s rise isn’t a threat, but an opportunity.
China’s rapid growth threatens U.S. economic power Oliver Xie
Politics and points of view
China does indeed pose a threat to the U.S. China has affected our economy and international politics, in each of which, China has launched itself forward at the expense of America. Since the Great Recession, America’s economy has been floundering. Only recently did the unemployment rates reach an all time low, 7.4 percent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, was hiding a hideous truth in those seemingly low numbers: because the operational definition for “unemployment” does not include discouraged workers, the number is artificially low. If we take into account the number of workers who have given up on finding a job, the real unemployment rate is hovering around 14 percent. China contributes to this frightening statistic. As seen in a recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, 2.7 million jobs were lost due to our massive trading deficit with China. Perhaps unemployment rate isn’t sufficient to qualify my argument. So let’s look to the effects China has had on our salaries. In another economic study, professor George Borjas of Harvard found that China has reduced the average payroll by 40-60 percent since the influx of Chinese influence. Have I convinced you yet? Perhaps, but let’s look next to international politics. In his article, Dan suggests that China is beneficial to America because China believes in political stability, which is essential for a thriving economic environment. Yet, Dan mistakes short-term stability with long-term stability. In fact, Dan’s argument rests on China’s role in the peace talks with North Korea and Iran. Yet, the U.S. Institute of Peace notes that peace talks with North Korea have been largely ineffective-- there’s a reason Kim Jong-Un is still threatening the United States with nukes. China, on the other hand, has actually helped Iran by buying its embargoed oil for a cheap price. China’s actions allow for Iran to expand its nuclear program without fear of economic retaliation. Syria is the epitome of China’s knack for wreaking havoc. China and Russia have been the sole reasons the U.N. did not intervene earlier in Syria. Russia and China have a minority veto in the U.N. Security Council, so the only international governmental body has been reduced to nothing for the purpose of two countries’ economic gains from Syria. China is screwing with the United States. It declares its allegiance with America only when its interests coincide. Look, nothing is black and white. For one thing, China is the only reason I’m here in the United States! Nevertheless, I stand my ground. China poses a threat to the United States in terms of economics and international relations. That said, don’t discriminate against Chinese people. When we flock to the U.S. we not only bring a beautiful mixture of rice and culture but also increase the gross domestic product!
october 4, 2013
NPS decides to opt out of NEASC Sasha Kuznetzov Sr. News Editor
South has opted out of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and will no longer participate in the evaluation process for 2015. NEASC is an organization that accredits high schools and colleges in the New England area by a set of standards pertaining to curriculum and student achievement. Each academic institution assessed is visited every 10 years by a team of volunteer teachers who evaluate it against its criteria and give it formal accreditation. In Issue 4 of Volume 29 The Roar reported on the South’s preparation for the evaluation of 2015. This year, the school administration has suspended South’s membership in the organization. As South performed the mandatory self-study last year in preparation for the 2015 evaluation, several teachers voiced their disapproval with NEASC’s requirements. Math department head Steven Rattendi said that he particularly disagreed with NEASC’s policy of heterogeneously grouping students of different skill levels in core subject courses. “There’s such a diversity of [those] skills sets that it would be very difficult to have everyone in the same classroom,” he said last year. “It just doesn’t seem to make sense, at least from a standpoint of student learning . Being able to meet everyone’s needs in that wide range would be quite difficult.”
Several students this year agreed that required mixed-level courses would not be beneficial to South’s environment. According to junior Yasmin Yacoby, separated skill levels allow students to learn at rates suitable to their capabilities. “Having people of the same level in the same class is important just because it helps the class move at an [adequate] pace,” she said, “If there are [Curriculum] 2 kids with kids that are supposed to be in honors classes – the class will have to move at [a] very odd [pace].” Fine Arts teacher and former Duxbury High School NEASC evaluation committee member Benjamin Youngman said, however, that NEASC evaluation provides the school with the benefit of assessment by unaffiliated peers of other schooling methods. “I think that [NEASC] serves a very strong purpose in that it is an evaluation system of school systems by [other] school systems instead of a state board that may have political connections,” Youngman said. In addition, last year, principal Joel Stembridge said that besides the direct benefits of assessment, NEASC provides schools with a good reputation. Sophomore Bella Ehrlich said, however, that losing accreditation should not devalue South in any way, as the criteria NEASC requires are not designed for advanced schools. “[If] we get a certification from an organization that already has really
low standards […] that doesn’t say anything special about our school. A worse school can get the same credibility,” Ehrlich said. Junior Jasper Primack agreed that NEASC’s standards were unnecessary as they were designed for schools of lower level than South. “We’re a top-up school; we’re 124th best high school in the nation, and I think that NEASC standards are really designed for schools that do not have the same amount of resources and teaching staff,” Primack said. “I think that switching out was a good idea – we’ve reached a point where we don’t need these standards anymore.” History teacher Rachael McNally said that introspection and self-assessment are important to the success of an academic institution. “I think that forcing yourself ... to reflect and be clear on what your ultimate goals are and how close you are to reaching them is a very healthy and useful process,” McNally said. “I am not in that group to say that it is always a waste of time; its too easy with busy days to not do that.” According to Youngman, NEASC’s appraisals are only a successful asset if the schools assessed thoroughly commit to their evaluation. “NEASC can be very valuable if [the] systems [evaluated] and the NEASC committee go all in,” he said, “If [they] really embrace it and take the suggestions to heart and really work actively to […] change, the practice then I think it is incredibly beneficial.”
South Senate expands focus, agenda Sasha Kuznetzov & David Lee Sr. News Editor, News Editor
In order to ensure continued success, South Senate is looking to improve its public relations and formalize Senate procedure this school year, according to Senate leaders. Senate president senior Jack Lovett said the Senate is focusing on reinforcing past accomplishments. “Last year [...] we had two main goals: make [the Senate] legitimate and also repel the 125 dollar student activity fee,” Lovett said. “I think going into this year there isn’t that big policy thing that has come up like the student activity fee. I think our biggest goal is just making sure that all the reforms we did these past three years stay.” The effort to improve the ground structure of the Senate is included in the Great Community Program, which details Senate’s prospective reforms for the coming school year. Lovett introduced the program at the second annual Senate inauguration Sept. 12. According to the program, the Senate will publish reports on its progress among other procedural reforms in the 2013-2014 school year. Lovett said that by formalizing and documenting its practices, the Senate hopes to establish concrete legislative procedure that will aid efficacy. “When I joined the Senate freshman year, it was a very, very loose organization,” he said. “So our goal is to have it put in writing [...] new practices. We’re hoping that the senate stays functional [and] stays in a productive state.” Senate members also said they expect to advance public relations through open press conferences, Facebook and promotion on a website, all of which will allow Senate to continue to better address the needs of the students. According to Senate vice president junior Peter Klapes, the relationships Sen-
photo courtesy of Yoonchan Choi
Senior Jack Lovett has been slowly transforming South Senate since his freshman year. ate builds within the school are integral to its progress. “Last year we [...] tighten[ed] these critical relationships that we’re making [with] the administration, faculty, the PTSO,” Klapes said. “We’re [now] able to sort of become a little more autonomous.” In order to receive direct feedback from students, the Senators said they plan to institute the Advisory Program, in which Senators would visit advisories twice a semester to listen to students’ suggestions. According to junior Sebastian Lucena, the Advisory Program is an effective medium through which students can maintain contact with their student government. “I think it’s a good idea to keep the students updated and at the same time [for Senators to] offer themselves to hear about [student] problems and how they can change [them],” Lucena said. The Senate agenda also includes add-
ing furniture to common rooms, modifying the parking bill, campaign finance reform and advocating for teachers to make grades accessible to students. Senators also said they expect to pass a Summer Reading Resolution, requesting departments heads to establish clear expectations regarding summer reading assignments.“Sometimes teachers assign summer reading, but you don’t really know what to expect when you come back,” Lovett said. “The goal of the Summer Reading Resolution is to request department heads [...] to [...] standardize that process.” According to Lovett, the Senate’s primary intent remains constant throughout all initiatives. “Our two main goals are: make South a better place but also continue solidifying the Senate and making it an effective voice of the student body,” he said.
october 4, 2013
A Glimpse of the Globe Information compiled by Roar editors from CNN, The Economist, BBC, Al Jazeera, The New York Times, Twitter and the rest of the Internet.
India: what is actually happening? News Following the Dec. 16 gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi, protests and movements in India calling for stronger persecution of rapists arose around the country. The attack took place on a moving bus, and the victim, a student who was studying physiotherapy, died a few weeks later after receiving lethal injuries. The six suspects were charged with rape and murder. One of them died in jail following his arrest of an apparent suicide. Another one of the suspects, a minor, was arrested after the other five men and was the first to receive a guilty verdict. He was sentenced to serve three years in a juvenile reform home. India exploded in protests following this sentencing. Many were outraged, saying the sentence the juvenile received was
far too lenient given the crime. They called for stricter laws and harsher sentencing for those convicted of crimes relating to sexual violence. With the media coverage and the civilian movements, Indian lawmakers did seek to reform legislation surrounding sexual crimes. The cases were presented in front of Indian parliament, where further investigation was called for but new anti-rape laws were instated. The five men charged with committing the crime also received guilty verdicts. Their cases were allowed to be tried with the death penalty as a possible sentencing. Following their convictions, they were sentenced to receive the death penalty. Although protesters considered this verdict to be a step in the right direction, applauding
the decision, they still hoped for more legislative reform. Months after the December attack came another high-profile rape case. A photojournalist had been sent to a remote neighborhood in Mumbai with her male colleague. When on assignment, she and her colleague were approached by five men. These men then tied up her colleague and dragged her away, where they brutally raped her. She survived the attack and wanted to get back to work, delivering a hopeful message to victims of sexual assault: “Rape is not the end of life.” Indian police arrested the five men who attacked her, and they are set to stand trial later this year. Around the same time as the photojournalist’s attack, a spiritual leader by the name Bapu Asaram was accused of sexually
harassing a 16-year-old girl. He had made remarks with regards to the New Delhi gang rape case, saying that the girl could have avoided the attack had she begged the forgiveness of her attacks. These comments sparked outrage among the Indian community. Asaram had been on a retreat with the alleged victim’s family and many others when the alleged crime happened. The victim’s parents said that Asaram told them he needed to see their daughter privately and rid her of evil spirits. The victim did not tell her parents until two weeks after the alleged crime, and her parents then made a claim to the police. Police arrested Asaram in early September. Asaram said that he was not fit to stand trial and that the police did not listen to his plea; he was still put in jail.
An Overview: The cases: Three particularly high-profile cases have been making headlines over the past year – the gang rape of a 23-year-old New Delhi university student, the gang rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai and the accusation that a spiritual leader sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl.
Nonsensical News: In childhood dreams, a prancing pony or majestic unicorn typically pops up at one point or another. Most kids don’t realize, however, that horses — which include the aforementioned dream-visitors — could be classified as a ‘vicious’ species. According to a BBC article, the Connecticut Supreme Court has decided to hear a
case regarding horses’ classification. In 2006, an unsuspecting young boy went up to pet a horse named Scuppy at Glendale Farms in Milford, Conn. Without warning Scuppy struck back, biting the boy’s face. Anthony Vendrella, the boy’s father, decided to sue the farm. After losing in a New Haven Court, Vendrella continued onto a Connecticut Appellate Court and won. The court deemed Scuppy’s species to be vicious. The Connecticut Supreme Court has decided to hear the case, the BBC article said. If they rule in favor of the father, horses within the state would become uninsurable, leading to losses for the $211 million horse industry in Connecticut.
On Sept. 27, President Barack Obama called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss nuclear programs, endi ng the direct diplomatic silence that’s been in place since 1979. After a 13-year ban, China will allow the sale of video game consoles in a free-trade zone in Shanghai. The United Nations Secuty Council has unanimously voted 15-0 to adopt the resolution to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapon arsenals. A New Jersey judge declared same-sex marriage legal within the state starting on Oct. 21, although the state’s Governor Chris Christie’s office has stated its intention to appeal the decision.
The controversy: Many believe that the anti-rape laws in India are not strict enough and do not punish the perpetrator as much as they should
Don’t look a Conn. horse in the mouth
Peru has overtaken Colombia as the top producer of the raw material for cocaine, the coca leaf; this past year, Colombia’s production significantly dropped lower than Peru’s.
Fun and informational.
The 99-year old graduate
Most high schoolers receive their diplomas after four years of high school, but Audrey Crabtree waited 85 years to get hers. In early September, at the age of 99, Crabtree received her high school diploma, according to a UPI article. In 1923, Crabtree was a senior at East High School in Waterloo, Iowa. Due to her grandmother’s failing health and her
acquiring an injury, Crabtree missed part of the school year. Not receiving enough credits to graduate, Crabtree dropped out of school. She spent the next 85 years living her life without a high school diploma. Her granddaughter, Shelly Hoffman, contacted Waterloo School officials about honoring her grandmother with the diploma she never received.
Oompa Loompa oopsie It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt — and until Oompa Loompas do the hurting. Louis Gelinas and Matthew Wright, both 20, were recently charged in a London court with disturbing the peace. The two were involved in an alterca-
tion with a 28-year-old man that left the victim injured. Gelinas was sentenced to complete 240 hours of community service, and Wright will spend 10 months in a young offenders’ instituite.
editorials volume 30
october 4, 2013
Meow All the news that’s fit to print ... and then some!
High schools overflowing, new east and west plans announced After repeated complaints from both parents and students, the city of Newton has announced that it will be opening two new High Schools: Newton East and Newton West. Both North and South were overflowing with almost twice the amount of students the buildings were designed for. The original layout was to have a 1:1 student to faculty ratio at North, and a 15:1 ratio at South. Sadly, classes at North have gone as high as five or seven students in a single class. Likewise, at South classes have gotten as large as 30. Superintendent Dave said that the problem was getting out of hand. “Classes at North were almost becoming what we wanted classes at Newton South to look like, it was just unacceptable. We needed somewhere to put all those extra kids,” he said. Instead of creating original school colors and mascots, Newton has decided to draw from the original two high schools. “We combined school colors, so East will be the ‘black ‘n blue bruises’ and West will be ‘the oranges’. Also, both of their mascots will be a housecat, only East will be a black one and West a brown and white one,” Dave said. The construction on East and West is expected to begin as soon as the city pays off its debt from summer construction. The two most expensive projects being the Newton Center intersection failure and the Parker-Rt. 9 traffic lights fiasco.
Hit TV shows found to be addictive, inhibiting school After the hit TV show “Breaking Bad” had it season finale, Principal O. Lee Books, sent out an email urging parents to forbid their children from watching new popular TV shows. In his email, he said how “over 110 percent of students showed up to school on Monday without doing their homework, citing the ‘Breaking Bad’ season finale as a excuse.” The combination of the end of Breaking Bad along with the beginning of “Grey’s Anatomy” has brought homework completion to a 60 year low at Newton South; the only lower rate was from before the school’s founding. Senior Jessica Dilks said that the students had no choice, not watching the episodes live left the risk of finding out what happened before watching it for yourself. “I remember last year, I decided to do my homework instead of watching the new episode of Grey’s Anatomy. It was hands down the worst decision of my life,” she said. “I found out what happened the next day at school and it completely ruined the episode for me.” Principal Books claimed that the TV shows exhibit addictive qualities. “I read some studies recently that said ‘Breaking Bad’ was nearly as addictive as meth amphetamines, and parents are letting their children watch it?” he said. With more TV shows starting up again soon, teachers fear homework completion will drop even further.
Newton youth lack knowledge of mayoral race, should be educated In a recent Roar meeting with about 40 reporters, editors and photographers present, not a single student could name the candidate opposing Mayor Setti Warren in the upcoming mayoral election. South students don’t seem to care about their lack of knowledge, and hardly any of the staff at the meeting felt interested in learning more about the election. The candidates for the election are the current Mayor, Setti Warren, and Alderman Ted HessMahan. Although the election may not drastically change Newton, its outcome will surely affect residents in some sense. High schoolers’ lack of interest is alarming because it demonstrates an indifference to politics. Many students will be voting Americans in a few years, months or even days. In order to ensure we are engaged members of the electorate, The Roar believes that students should be more educated about the mayoral race, regardless of voting ability. Students should educate themselves about the candidates before assuming that the election will have little affect on their lives. Much of what a mayor does influences public education, so students should look into which
candidates have platforms they support. If the students are unmotivated to educate themselves about the mayoral, however, is anyone else responsible for educating them? The Roar believes that South should not bear the burden of teaching the students about a local mayoral election. Teachers should not be required to
The candidates should take it upon themselves to educate Newton high schoolers. teach about the mayoral election because it could interrupt the curriculum. The school’s job, therefore, is not to directly teach students about the election, but to give us the tools necessary to educate ourselves on such issues if we are driven enough to learn about them on our own. By independently researching issues that we find important during the current election, we will develop skills that will prove to be useful for elections for more powerful offices. Students need
to be able to sort through media coverage and ad campaigns to discern a candidate’s stance on important issues and use this information to generate a stance of their own. A local mayoral election is a great entry point into becoming politically active. The Roar also believes that the candidates bear some responsibility to educate Newton high schoolers. To hear first-hand from the candidates about their positions and plans for education would not only help the students learn about the election but also teach them about politics. Holding discussion and debates about prominent issues in Newton could be enlightening for students interested in pursuing politics. The candidates should visit the high schools and speak directly to students about public education and their own platforms. Not doing so blocks out a group of future voters and distances the candidates from the city’s youth. In the end, students must be willing to educate themselves about local government. Parents and the candidates themselves should encourage high schoolers to engage with the mayoral election in order to prerpare them for the numerous elections they will face later in life.
The Lion’s Roar, founded in 1984, is the student newspaper of Newton South High School, acting as a public forum for student views and attitudes. The Lion’s Roar’s right to freedom of expression is protected by the Massachusetts Student Free Expression Law (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 71, Section 82). All content decisions are made by student editors, and the content of The Lion’s Roar in no way reflects the official policy of Newton South, its faculty, or its administration. Editorials are the official opinion of The Lion’s Roar, while opinions and letters are the personal viewpoints of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Lion’s Roar. The Lion’s Roar reserves the right to edit all submitted content, to reject advertising copy for resubmission of new copy that is deemed acceptable by student editors, and to make decisions regarding the submission of letters to the editors, which are welcomed. The Lion’s Roar is printed by Seacoast Newspapers and published every four weeks by Newton South students. All funding comes from advertisers and subscriptions. In-school distribution of The Lion’s Roar is free, but each copy of the paper shall cost one dollar for each copy more than ten (10) that is taken by any individual or by many individuals on behalf of a single individual. Violation of this policy shall constitute theft.
Join The Roar! Monday J Block Room 1201
Positions available for photographers, graphic desigers, writers and editors.
october 4, 2013
EDITOR’S DESK Kylie Walters Editor-in-Chief
When Principal Duvall threatens to cancel prom in “Mean Girls,” the crowd of girls being disciplined for their reckless, cliquey behavior gasps and protests. The movie proceeds to show how the high schoolers work out their problems by participating in a group therapy session. Needless to say, in the end, Principal Duvall doesn’t cancel the prom. When Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan, for those of you who need a memory-jogging) wins Prom Queen, she breaks her crown into pieces, decries the vicious burn book behavior and shares her victory with girls of all popularity. (If you haven’t seen “Mean Girls” and thus don’t know what I’m referring to, I recommend crawling out from the rock you’ve been living under and finding a T.V.) But what does “Mean Girls” have to with anything? Based on the front page of this newspaper and the questionably extensive media coverage of Powderpuff ’s cancellation, I’m hoping you are aware that South’s Thanksgiving female-football tradition was cancelled during the second week of school. From the first assembly about Powderpuff I went to in my junior year, I thought the administration was approaching the issue incorrectly.
Editor critiques administration’s role in cancellation of Powderpuff game demonstrated a lack of trust in the student It was always obvious to me that body to generate positive change and thus Powderpuff, like every other high school is resented. event, was not flawless. But my frustraThe administration also neglected to tion stems from the lack of creativity and candor of the administration in cancelling communicate with or consider the diverse opinions of the students. When adults the event. The administration ignored the valu- attempt to amend the culture of a body of able problem-solving and critical thinking students so distant from them in age and skills a proper education ought to instill in mentality without even hearing one of the almost 2,000 students. voices, something Perhaps Mr. is wrong. Stembridge could The administration ignored If Powhave challenged the grades to pro- the valuable problem-solving derpuff is so bad for our school duce some tangible and critical thinking skills a climate, how is the demonstration of unity in exchange proper education ought to circumventing of student opinion for another year of instill in students. not worse? Powderpuff. As I studied Instead, we different forms of took his cancelgovernment in a class during the week of lation as a challenge and united behind the cancellation, South felt very akin to a cause; but ultimately the response was a dictatorship and far from a democracy. negative. Good leaders don’t wield their powers If we channelled the same energy because they are entitled to them; they and effort that we used to demand media listen to the perspectives of different conattention and protest to organize an annual charity event or volunteer as a school, stituents in hopes that these opinions will help them better protect the best interests it would have resulted in the same coopof the people. eration that the cancellation produced — A principal isn’t an elected official, only positive. but I would hope the same principles of The mere cancellation of Powderleadership apply. puff without proposed alternatives was Due to the lack of open dialogue negative, uninspired and patronizing. It
between the administration and students, students turned to the media to express their disappointment. Our school would have been made stronger if instead a dialogue occurred within the school. At least a J block panel would have helped students get answers to their questions. I don’t want to speculate on how other students feel, nor do I attempt to define the culture of South, but if I have learned one thing from my time here, I’ve learned that South is a school where the students want to be heard. We are no longer of the age when adults can decide what is and what isn’t good for us. As with parenting, if we’re banned from doing something, it’s in our nature to find an alternative way of accomplishing what we want, oftentimes in a more dangerous manner. In this sense, the administration made an irresponsible decision. It backed down from the challenge of making a widely cherished school tradition safer and more inclusive because it decided that it just wasn’t good for the “climate of the school.” I would hope that South’s administration sets a better standard for leadership; there’s something to be learned from “Mean Girls,” and it’s more than the wish that we could all get along like we used to in middle school and bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles.
The Lion’s Roar
Newton South High School’s Student Newspaper The Lion’s Roar 140 Brandeis Road Newton, MA 02459 firstname.lastname@example.org
Editors-in-Chief Yonatan Gazit
Managing Editor Dina Busaba
Business and Production
Chief Copy Editor
Mark Hochberg Charlotte Huth
Section Editors News
Sasha Kuznetsova Nathaniel Bolter David Li
Faith Bergman Hyunnew Choi
Graphics Managers David Gorelik Olivia Hamilton
Carly Meisel Parisa Siddiqui Sophia Fisher Maia Fefer Shelley Friedland
Faculty Advisers Ashley Elpern Paul Estin Brian Baron
Jack McElduff Darren Trementozzi Lizzie Fineman
Veronica Podolny Jack Rabinovitch
Photo Managers Katie Asch Dylan Block Sofia Osorio
october 4, 2013 Columns, rows and squares Each take a digit, falling Between one and nine.
bad haiku by Tony Vashevko & Rob Hass puzzles courtesy of sudokuoftheday.com
N Q D A E B O V I D O H Q Y
S I N K V S S X L T C D F F
J D I Q P G T N A P E P F K
Y T I O H D U L N S V K E U
C O O E Y M M E E N P T Q V
A K V E J N E I M M Y P B E
Y E I O Z W B U R W C E T O
I P S Z O M T U Y Q O P N L
L D I L O U M A O P C U X P
B X L Z A E F B N K T M N S
J A E Q N D L J A B O P A T
H B V U I V O H T I B K P Z
T M T N L M I I A B E I P J
is here! See if you can find all the words Word Search Fall about Halloween and the rest of October.
E S M B C G C B L U E K H P
14. US time band 1. Ovine utterance 15. Computer of 4. Heavywheigh ex- 2004? Word Champion, 16. PC picture forborn 1966 mat 8. Sorrowfully 17. Suit 10. Rugby encoun- 19.Shi’ite religious ter leader 12. More than that! 21.Stewed fruit 13. Seed vessel sweet
F R A H Q E J R N E R N L D
C K I T P V I E S R F S E F
O L C C C V N L D H E G P P
U Q Z X K B H F Y H S S I Q
Y W V B G O F Q C K T Q C E
U L V C B A R T I G D D K V
G L B X L H I T R X G T I G
N N Y L M W J T R N R J N F
V F Q S J R B Q W E G L G F
R P C A I B H D H U A Q H G
1) Autumn 2) Apple Picking 3) Candy 4) Costume 5) Fall 6) Halloween 7) Octoberfest 8) NSHS 9) Pumpkins 10) Spooky 11) Trick or Treat 12) Witches 13) Zombies
J O E L M A R T I N B T A V
22.Socially inept, usually unattractive 23. How come?
Crossword courtesy of ukpuzzle.com
1. Cream 2. Midevil Pseudoscience 3. All that’s up there? 4. Fourth dimension 5. Edible tuber 6. Orkney Islands anchorage 7. Requirement 9. Central notion 11. OT Warrior killed by slingshot 15. Facilitate 16. Unlocked? 17. Explosive 18. 12 people 20. Hallux is one
Embarrassing Roar Staff Photo of the Month:
early morning + Sasha ≠ happy Sasha
opinions volume 30
october 4, 2013
Chipotle offers best food, dining atmosphere
photos by Sofia Osorio
Opinions Contributor Burrito or bowl? Every Chipotle customer faces this dilemma upon arrival, and more often than not, the inexperienced struggle to make the right decision. I imagine that a firsttime customer assumes that the masterpiece named the “burrito” would taste better than a bowl of ingredients set loose with no tortilla holding them together. Over time, however, I believe that all Chipotle customers will recognize the hidden beauty of the burrito bowl. Health-conscious customers are the first to switch over to the burrito bowl, saving themselves a couple hundred calories. Chipotle has large servings — to say the least — and many customers try to cut calories by choosing brown rice over white, chicken over steak and salsa over sour cream. Unknowingly, customers are introduced to the logistically favorable option. Chipotle is not great because of its burritos; Chipotle is great because of its ingredients. Unlike other chain burrito restaurants, you can taste the spice of authenticity in everything that goes into Chipotle’s food. Chipotle prides itself on using local farm produce, as illustrated in Chipotle’s “Scarecrow” series of YouTube videos. The measures Chipotle takes in order to make sure its meals are stuffed with the freshest ingredients reflects in the taste. Really, when it comes to burritos, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. So why bother with the tortilla? Eating one of Chipotle’s massive spherical burritos can become a messy task. Storing the heaping mountain of contents of a Chipotle burrito into any tortilla, no matter how big or strong, is a tough challenge. Chipotle’s burritos may be comparable to competitors’ due to its physical flaws, but their bowls remain unbeaten. Sometimes customers can get an overwhelming confusion when they cannot tell whether they are inside of a restaurant or a party. Chipotle’s background music playing from their surround-sound speakers never fails to set a positive tone. The sharp menu signs and industrial angles found across the restaurant give Chipotle a vibe of infinite coolness. Chipotle’s design, a red theme with metallic furniture, creates a comfortable environment that can be
expected at any Chipotle nationwide. Yet Chipotle is also relatively versatile, as it can also function as a local library for studying. Chipotle’s soundtrack and consistent customer conversation also create a coffeeshop effect. Those who find background sound helpful when focusing would find success in Chipotle, although it’s not credited as one of the hot spots for studying, like Panera or Starbucks. Chipotle has the warm atmosphere and public setting to help students zone in on any kind of work they have. Chipotle’s hearty food and positive atmosphere provides an efficient place for everyday studying. Chipotle’s public relations team also ensures unforgettable customer experiences during significant days on the Chipotle calendar. During special days where deals are featured at Chipotle — such as Halloween and the 20th anniversary of Chipotle — the crowd is unbeatable.
Chipotle knows how to get the public involved in and excited about their events. Specifically on Halloween, bringing in spirited adolescents from far and wide, Chipotle offers burritos at a 2 dollar price per participant dressed in some form of a costume. When I showed up last Halloween with my friend, so many high school students also arrived in full costume that the awkwardness of wearing the same costume as someone else was inevitable. Regardless of the date, however, Chipotle will welcome those striving to participate in its culture and reap the burrito bowl benefits. For work or pleasure, for burrito or bowl, I remain a strong advocate for Chipotle. Chipotle’s natural ingredients, cool aura and sleek design are what make the Chipotle experience a remarkable one.
Calorie Counter Burrito
TORTILLA 290 WHITE RICE 170 BLACK BEANS 120 CHICKEN 160 FAJITA VEGETABLES 20 GUACAMOLE 150 LETTUCE 5 TOTAL 915
BROWN RICE 160 PINTO BEANS 120 STEAK 190 CORN SALSA 80 TOMATO SALSA 20 SOUR CREAM 120 CHEESE 100 TOTAL 790
october 4, 2013
T O H
cold graphic by David Gorelik
The fluctuating temperatures in South’s classrooms cause discomfort and distraction for students By Nathaniel Flemming In a desert the temperature can go from 100 degrees Fahrenheit to -50 in the course of a single day. At South, however, it only takes five minutes — the amount of time given to walk from one classroom to the next. In one classroom. it can feel like the middle of winter, and in the next, the height of summer. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even bother to check the weather forecast because I know that, regardless of the temperature outside, some of my classes will be so hot I’m sweating and others will be so
cold I need to wear a jacket. expensive, couldn’t a little of the of a room shouldn’t be one of the Perhaps in addition to surplus be spent on upgrading distractions a student has to deal getting their block schedules, these systems? Or is the students’ with. students should receive a chart comfort less important than getAt least if every room in showing the average temperating new computers? the school was known to be cold tures of their classrooms. Or It’s obvious that a student students could compensate by students wearing should Perhaps in addition to getting their block sched- warmer have time clothes, ules, students should receive a chart showing the set aside but flucto change tuating average temperatures of their classrooms. clothes in temperabetween classes. The worst part is attending a class in a room that tures means students either have that it seems like nothing can be is so cold they are shivering will to carry around layers (as if our done about this issue. be less focused than a student backpacks weren’t heavy enough Even if repairs to the whose room is heated to a pleasalready) or just suck it up and heating and air conditioning are ant 72 degrees. The temperature deal with it.
In addition to the problems it causes for students, the system cannot be eco-friendly. Recently, in one of my classes, we were forced to open a window because of how cold the air conditioning was making the room, a situation that could have been avoided by turning the system off. The power needed to heat or air condition an entire school (or to do both at the same time) must be substantial. In any case, this problem needs to be dealt with, whether it is for the benefit of students, the environment or both.
Student makes connections through language Rebecca Shaar Opinions Contributor
Many students at South, myself included, are multilingual. Unfortunately, with less time speaking languages other than English, it becomes hard to maintain fluency in other languages. It’s very important to be able to speak multiple languages because the more languages you speak, the larger number of people you can connect to. Malcolm Gladwell, in “Outliers,” wrote, “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing that makes you good.” Without practicing, speaking, reading, writing and listening to a language, mastery is impossible. I found out the hard way that the less I practiced my languages, the greater deteriorated over time. The world language offerings at South allowed me not only to learn new languages, but also to refresh my knowledge of languages I spoke fluently as a child. Until I was five, I spoke primarily Russian and Hebrew. My dad would speak
Hebrew to me, while my mom would speak to me in Russian. I didn’t realize that speaking minimal English would be problematic, but it only took me one day of kindergarten to realize I was different from everyone else. I discovered that my peers did not know of Russian cartoons such as “nu pogodi” (a Russian cartoon about a wolf chasing a rabbit, directly translating to “Just You Wait”) but instead watched “Tom and Jerry.” I felt that being American was cool and being bilingual wasn’t, so I put all my effort into becoming the most proficient English speaker possible. Without realizing it, however, I began to neglect Russian and Hebrew. As my English became more advanced, I began to feel that my Russian remained at the five-year-old level. Although I could fully express my thoughts in English, I could not quite describe what I was thinking using the simple Russian language I remembered. I would speak English more and more, as it was noticeably more comfort-
able for me and helped me better express myself. Because of this choice, my relationship with my grandparents changed; I felt they were disappointed in me. Then I realized that my once-strong language skills had diminished. Throughout elementary school, I was known as the trilingual translator at the table during Thanksgiving dinners, which was something in which I took pride. Adults from both sides of my family would have conversations, and I would be the one who connected them, but I had come to a loss of words. My family influenced me to believe that knowing multiple languages was a gift, and now that I look back at my experiences as a child, I wish I would have held on to my linguistics more. The high school world language offerings have been very helpful to me. First, furthering my knowledge of the Spanish language is very useful for me, considering I go to Mexico every year for vacation. And although my accent may be laughable to the natives, I’m still able to convey my thoughts.
My Russian class has put me in touch with people who are just like me — people who understand the importance of languages, communication with family and revival of the ability to speak a foreign language. I am now able to ponder the cartoons of my childhood during lunch breaks with my class and exchange Russian anecdotes. All of these simple things are what I longed to have as my Russian skills declined throughout the years. Languages are a key part of what can connect or separate people. The decision I made to stay connected with my family and become connected with people of other ethnicities and cultures is greatly supported by the world language offerings at South. South has given me the opportunity to regain what I have lost since I began speaking English. I have learned to embrace my culture because it is not only a defining part of me but also because it makes me different from others, which as a teenager I have grown to appreciate.
october 4, 2013
Jingshan’s arrival in Newton
Jack Rabinovitch Spotlight On China
Transformation Troubles Public Domain
Student argues Miley Cyrus’ transformation is for the worse By Victoria Bergman When I was younger, I considered celebrities to be my role models and strived to be like them. I pictured myself 10 years older, and hoped I would be just as cool as they seemed to be. In elementary school, I idolized Miley Cyrus. Star of the hit Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana,” Cyrus appeared to be a funny, nice and talented teenager with an amazing voice. I learned all of her songs word for word and watched every episode of “Hannah Montana” more than once. She was a respectable teenager with a promising future, and I admired her. Five years later, my opinion of Miley has changed drastically. I no longer view her as an inspirational figure; few still do. It’s hard to believe that at one point I had
face on them and have her name on their lunch boxes; her recent actions speak volumes. “We Can’t Stop” was definitely a change from the old Miley, who had many young fans, but it was still teenager music. But then Miley performed at the Video Music Awards (VMAs) where she twerked and danced — practically naked — on stage. Her dancing at the VMAs was suggestive. It was hard to believe the girl on stage was once the lovable Hannah Montana. Then, “Wrecking Ball” came out, but I didn’t even hear or know of it until social media was buzzing about it. I saw tweets like “Miley Cyrus has changed … clearly not for the better” and “Wrecking Ball is a
being too harsh on her, and I understand that celebrities are people who grow up and change, but Miley has become someone parents don’t want anywhere near their kids. Miley’s transformation seems to be a trend, because the same thing happened to Lindsay Lohan. When I was younger, I recognized Lindsay Lohan from a couple of movies: “Mean Girls,” “Freaky Friday” and “The Parent Trap.” I loved those three movies and watched each of them numerous times. I was one of Lindsey’s fans and thought very highly of her. Because of role models like her, I wanted to be an actress in movies, along with many other little kids.
I understand and respect that even celebrities are people who grow up and change, but Miley has become someone parents don’t want anywhere near their kids. a Hannah Montana lunch box, listened to her music, wore a t-shirt with her face on it and asked my parents to buy me tickets to her concert. Seeing how Miley Cyrus has changed appalls me. I remember watching her music video for “The Climb,” a good song with an appropriate video. The lyrics were meaningful, and the song was a motivational ballad encouraging listeners to never give up. But Miley is not a role model for little kids anymore. No longer do I believe that little kids should memorize and sing along to her songs, wear clothes with her
disturbance to my eyes and my ears.” I did not know what to expect when I went on YouTube. The music video left me in utter shock. I could not believe that Miley had really made the switch from a kid-friendly artist to something that teenagers don’t even want to see. For half of the music video, Miley is swinging on a metal ball naked, and for the other half, she is wearing a provocative outfit while licking a sledgehammer. It was only a three minute and 42 second video, but it completely transformed my opinion of her. Some may think that people are
Lohan has been in court multiple times for allegedly punching someone, three times related to a car crash, and she recently had her bank accounts seized by the IRS. She has also been charged with driving under the influence and being in possession of cocaine. This is not how I think anyone would have expected her to turn out, and it is completely astonishing to me. Kids will always look up to actresses and singers. I just hope that after seeing Miley Cyrus’ and Lindsay Lohan’s decisions, other celebrities will strive to cast a better image in being role models.
The day was growing old, and though my family finished dinner and my eyes were growing heavy with the promise of sleep, my family got in the car and began a surprisingly short drive to Logan Airport. We waited among the other host families. When the Jingshan students arrived, they were welcomed in a great applause, still wearing their uniforms and a thick veil of jet lag induced sleepiness. The exchange students from China have joined us at school. Two are attending South and five are attending North, with one teacher at each school. For their first week in Newton, the exchange students have been struggling with their jetlag and shadowing their exchange buddies — the person who they are paired with for this half of the exchange — until they get their own schedule. Life has gotten much busier. Not only has junior year come with a newer and heavier workload, with the stress of looking at colleges and the tire of longer nights studying, but also the introduction of the Jingshan has given new responsibility to my fellow bounders — the people who will accompany me to Jingshan in January — and the students from Jingshan. The stress of school is actually minimized by the anticipation of leaving for China. Instead of having to look forward to a whole year of school in the same place, I am looking toward one semester here, and one semester there; though equally stressful, the division of the year into two contrasting parts makes surviving the year much easier. The responsibility of committing to such a group as the exchange program also has opened up doors to a new group of people who are not used to life in America. With these new students comes the prospect of showing people all the small but fun aspects of being in the Boston area, such as apple picking, trick-or-treating, taking day trips to the harbor isles, listening to Western music and visiting the relatively-fresh-aired and sparsely populated city of Boston. The experience of seeing the new students in Newton has made the reality of leaving here for China all the more real. I can see the difficulties of living in a country that doesn’t speak your native language, and their English is much better than my Chinese. But these factors are only motivation to work harder at Chinese and to be more talkative in Chinese to the students and teachers as well as to other friends who speak Chinese, and this real world application is the most effective way to learn the language. The experiences are making my excitement for China grow as well. I cannot wait to be in a foreign land, learning and becoming more comfortable until it becomes a new home away from home. If you ever see any of the exchange students, in classes, in the hallways or otherwise, don’t hesitate to introduce yourself!
The Roar surveyed 194 students on Sept. 27 concerning sexism Have you ever experienced or witnessed sexism at South?
TODAY The Roar investigates how sexism continues to manifest itself in different forms Faith Bergman & Kylie Walters
are headed by men.” Sophomore Anthony DeNitto said that America’s history of only Sr. Centerfold Editor, Editor-in-Chief male presidents is reflective of modern When Spanish teacher Viviana conceptions about men and women. Planine went to high school in Italy, her “We have not had a women president female teacher was arbitrarily replaced yet,” he said. “Society views men as a with a male one. “He came in the door on strong figure and [feels] that they should the first day of class, and didn’t even look be capable of doing things in a strong at the students and said, ‘I see there are manner.” women here. What are they doing here? Freshman Deana Korsunsky said that They should be home knitting.’ Some she sometimes finds herself making these of these women became researchers in stereotypes based on gender. “Even myself, science, and they had incredible minds, but I picture more women as, say, kindergarten according to our teacher we should have teachers, and men as working in business,” been home knitting.” she said. Planine’s experience in high school Planine said was years ago and in a foreign country, that powerful female but she and others said that sexism still professionals are pervades many aspects of society today, especially critical in manifesting in different forms. improving gender equalities they serve as examples for younger In the workforce women. “It’s important to According to the U.S. Department of have models — women to Labor, in 2010, women working full time look up to and see in an environment where earned 81 percent of what men earned. they are working like men,” Planine said. Junior Hannah Elbaum said that this statistic makes her worry about her future. “I don’t want to go into the In the media workforce and only make 81 cents for Senior Celina Siegel said that media every dollar the guy next to me makes,” she and movies especially can enforce sexual said. stereotypes just by the way they frame History teacher Robert Parlin women. “So many times in a movie a said that gender inequality is especially woman is portrayed as she enters the prominent in the workforce. room,” she said. “She is filmed from her “We have never elected a female feet up to her head, so you can see her president; most of our senate and House of entire body; you can see all of her curves Representatives are men,” Parlin said. “The and everything about her.” heads of the top Fortune 500 companies Rani Neutill, a professor of history are almost all men [and] almost all banks and literature at Harvard University who
focuses on gender studies, said that Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video released this year, objectifies women. Neutill said that issues with the music video arise from how viewers comprehend what they are seeing, not with what is being shown. “The problem isn’t about the fact that there’s some woman walking around without their clothes on, but the problem is with who’s looking at [the video] and how they’re interpreting it,” she said. Elbaum said that the music video demonstrates a lack of understanding of gender politics. “There are arguments
appearance than on a man’s. “In the news, they always talk about what a woman is wearing, her haircut — things they would not say about a man,” she said. “All you talk about is certain superficials and appearances, which is not the case for men.” Neutill said Miley Cyrus’s performance at the Video Music Awards with Robin Thicke particularly furthered sexist views. “Miley Cyrus was acting loose. She was acting sexual, she was doing something wrong and she was acting vulgar. The song is precisely asking for the women to act that way, so I found it really
occurs at South based on social norms. “It was a huge deal when [two boys] joined the field hockey team because it was like boys playing field hockey, which is a team that’s all girls,” he said. “A few years ago, when there was a girl on the wrestling team, everyone was like, ‘that must be really weird.’” Senior Tal Golan said there is inequality in the treatment of girls’ sports and boys’ sports. “People don’t really watch girls’ sports,” he said. “Like, compare In athletics student attendance at like the football game Junior Ellie Yorke said that though to attendance at like the girls volleyball sexism may not be a pressing issue at game.” South, she still witnesses Senior Andrew Dembling said that it frequently. “I see it teenagers sometimes talk to each other all the time around about the opposite gender in a casual, school, even if it’s not sexist way. a huge deal,” she said. “Like even the way kids in high “I’ve heard people say school talk about girls, and like, ‘oh this is that guys are meant for a sausage fest, so lets bring more girls here’ sports and girls aren’t; [is sexist]. They treat them like objects. it’s just that’s the way That still goes totally unquestioned, you evolution is.” know? It’s accepted as the norm,” Dembling Korsunsky agreed that sexism is still said. “I think that is more what feminism prevalent in sports. strives to end.” “Right now it’s just a modern time Golan said that one manifestation where people are definitely not as sexist of sexist norms is the tradition of males as they were, say, even 10 years ago, but asking females to school dances. “Why there are still stereotypes going around, does the guy have to ask the girl to semi? like sometimes maybe a woman can’t do I mean, you have to do it,” he said. “It’s a sports,” Korsunsky said. “I remember once social norm that’s kind of sexist [...] We maybe when I was in fifth grade […] a conform to precedents. It’s just the culture bunch of boys wouldn’t let me play baseball around us.” because I ‘was a girl’ and I couldn’t throw Planine said that though gender or hit.’” equality has progressed since she was in high school, there is still much to be done. “There is a glass ceiling that we haven’t At South broken,” she said. “I think we have more Senior Daniel Friedman said sexism opportunity, but we haven’t broken it yet.” Zaff said. “It doesn’t really like put any positive light on the female characters. They’re basically all just strippers and whores.” Online blogs and articles decry many modern video games for sexualized violence and borderline nude outfits that female characters often wear, “daddy issues,” damsels in distress and the use of gender as a class.
Right now it’s just a modern time where people are definitely not as sexist as they were, say, even 10 years ago, but there are still [sexist] stereotypes going around. - Deana Korsunsky, Class of 2016 on both sides. [Some say ‘Blurred Lines’ is] empowering to women, and other arguments say that the lyrics of the song are words that rapists say,” Elbaum said. “The fact that there are arguments on both sides is not acceptable, and it shows that society doesn’t know what’s okay and what’s not.” Parlin agreed that women are often objectified in the music industry. “There are very few music videos that do not have women being objectified,” he said. “Even women musicians have often objectified women.” Planine said the media always places a stronger emphasis on a woman’s
disturbing that all of the spotlight was on her and not him.” Siegal also said sexism frequently appears in the video game industry and manifests itself both in games and reality, where online harassment is rampant. “I hear a lot of girl gamers getting insulted and objectified,” she said. Elbaum said that oftentimes the content of video games is sexist. “[In] a lot of video games, big manly men are supposed to kill the women,” she said. Senior Josh Zaff said that Grand Theft Auto V portrays women in a negative way. “Grand Theft Auto V is very sexist,”
NO 31% YES 69% Students were asked whether they found the following statements sexist.
“Men are inherently more athletic than women are.”
it is sexist
52% “Women are more sensitive and emotional than men are.”
it is sexist
october 4, 2013
IS THE POWDERPUFF GAME SEXIST?
Administration cancels Powderpuff due to concerns of sexism, inciting debate over the nature of the girl’s football game photos courtesy of Yu-Ching Chang
IT IS SEXIST
IT IS NOT SEXIST
People don’t necessarily go to the game to watch athletes play. It’s more [to see] girls playing football.
[The cancellation] is sexist because [the administration] is saying that girls cannot play football safely when guys can.
- Sam Walkes, Class of 2014
- Noa Leiter, Class of 2016
[The name] implies that [girls] are ... just going to prance around and fix [their] makeup instead of [...] showing real qualities of sportsmanship. - Marina Rakhlin, Class of 2014
Society sees football as a manly sport, but with Powderpuff, we switch roles. [The game] gives people a different perspective. - Along Jamir, Class of 2015
[The game] tries to blur the gender lines [...] but [women playing football and men cheerleading] reinforces them.
Powderpuff is a tribute to women,
- Samuel Fishman, Class of 2016
- Meaghan McDonald, Class of 2015
rather than a bash on them. Girls playing football [...] for school spirit should not be a big deal.
photos by Dylan Block, Sofia Osorio and Kylie Walters
features volume 30
october 4, 2013
photos courtesy of Bob Bouchal
Before they were repainted, the walls in the photography classroom contained messages, artwork and other creations from current and past students; the wall is currently empty.
Repainting of meaningful wall angers students Sophia Fisher & Shelley Friedland Features Editors
Although 2012 South alumnus Adam Macalister took photo classes at South for four years and won a National Gold Key for his work, he can still remember his first time developing film as a freshman. Like several other South photographers, Macalister wrote on the wall in marker to keep track of his developing time in the photo room. “I had [written] my tally marks on the wall somewhere,” he said. “My friend boxed it out and wrote ‘Adam’s first time’ on it.” On a visit back to South after graduating, Macalister noticed that the words were still written on the wall. “I thought that was so cool,” he said. “I’m deeply invested in photo now, and that was the first time I’d ever developed negatives. I was pretty nostalgic about that.” Macalister’s tally marks, along with many other students’ tallies, drawings, notes and signatures from the past several years covered the walls of the photo room, fosters a unique culture of its own, according to students. “[The walls] made the room a fun place,” sophomore Brad Weissel said. “You walk in there and you could just read people’s little names and stories.” Junior Katherine Cullen said that the walls represented a history of the school year. “[The photo room] was sort of like a little scrapbook of the year,” she said. This summer, however, the school administration decided to
paint the walls white, generating controversy among a number of photo students. Some said that the act of drawing on the photo room’s walls created a sense of community among photography students. “[Drawing on the walls] was sort of like a rite of passage of photo,” Cullen said. “Once you drew on the wall, you really felt like you were part of [the photo community].” Sophomore Sitara Pal agreed with Cullen. “I feel like everyone who takes photo felt really bonded over [writing on the walls],” she said. “Everyone knew about the walls. It was also a thing for only photo people, because if you don’t take photo, you don’t write on the walls.” Senior Nikita Roy added that the walls represented the creative aspect of photography. “The photo room itself was just a complete mural of expression, and there was so much character in that room because that’s what photography is; it’s art,” Roy said. “We kind of just put all of our thoughts and everything into the walls, and it made it beautiful.” According to Macalister, writing on the walls also helped integrate students into the photo environment. “After tallying on the walls and leaving whatever mark you had there, it really helps you become part of not only the curriculum but the culture in photo,” he said. “It’s very overwhelming at first, but once
you get used to it you really learn to love it.” According to Roy, several students she has spoken to were disappointed by the walls being painted over. “Everyone I’ve talked to was really upset [about the walls being painted over],” Roy said. “People I’ve talked to say it had so much character and now it’s just expressionless and there’s nothing. I keep comparing [the wall] to what it looked like before and now it’s just a blank wall.” “[The photo room] is very relaxed,” Macalister said. “It’s somewhere you can go to hang out. It doesn’t feel like a typical classroom … the walls kind of helped make it feel less sterile,
of the photo room walls’ unique features. “It’s a conversation between [years of South students],” she said. “People would write something in 2000, 2005, 2011. People would keep responding to things that had been written in layers and layers of conversations that just got bigger and bigger between generations, and everyone’s connected.” Alhough it is unknown exactly how many years the art on the photo room walls documented, several photo students said that they were disappointed by the erasing of such history. “That was years of people who went through school, so it’s just disappointing that their art and their words were just painted over just like that,” Roy said. Weissel also said he is disappointed. “I’m really upset about [the walls being painted over] because the whole point of that room was to be really fun and you could express yourself,” Weissel said. “Now you walk in there and it’s just white.” Macalister agreed. “There were notes and messages and pictures from people who I just never met before, years before my time,” he said. “It really had a history to it that I think is being lost by painting over everything.” Pal expressed similar dissapointment over the repainting. “If [the administration] thought that people were writing things that were concerning on the walls, that I would understand,
The photo room itself was just a complete mural of expression, and there was so much character in that room because that’s what photography is; it’s art. - Nikita Roy, Class of 2014
more homey, more lived in.” Pal said the white walls take away the originality of the room. “It’s a very rigid type of design,” Pal said of the photo room’s current appearance. “I feel like the photo room is more of a flowy, creative type of vibe, and it doesn’t really fit … You’d write in here because you feel like you can talk,” she said. “You’re not restricted or anything.” Pal cited a transgenerational conversation as another
but mostly people were just signing their names or writing tally marks,” she said. “It was just like an expression of peoples’ personality and I don’t think anyone has enjoyed the way that this has changed.” Cullen said that the sudden change was a suprise to students. “It was sort of like our space,” she said. “I think people were really shocked that they just took it away.” According to Macalister, the photo room’s culture is worth being preserved. “There were little things, like how you interact with Mr. B. and how you behave in the photo room and what kinds of people it draws. It’s really passed down,” Macalister said. “If you cut the chain, it would really rob the next generations of many, many years of developed culture and attitude.” “The school should invest in [the photo room] because it’s a part of the school that the kids love,” Pal said. “People come in here and eat instead of the cafeteria. People love it here. And it feels like the school should care about making this a nice place and about allowing people to express themselves here, because it’s a place that people love.” Alhough some students, such as Pal, said that they are saddened by the end of this tradition, photography teacher Bob Bouchal is determined to cheer up his current crop of students and optimistic. “We’re a particularly creative crew,” he said. “I’m sure that as we work together we’ll inevitably discover a positive and productive pathway for dealing with this unexpected and unfortunate turn of events.”
october 4, 2013
THE COMMON APPLICATION
The Roar will follow four seniors with different interests as they navigate their way through the college process over the course of the school year and will reveal their identities and final decisions in June By Parisa Siddiqui
yan* has visited and stayed over at Macalester College. “I stayed with [the] team. It was good, it was fun,” he said. “I hung out with the team, played some pickup with them.” While at Macalester, Ryan was able to tour the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. He has begun to interview with schools and interviewed at Macalester while there. “I met with the coaches and did an interview with … an admissions officer or a director. I don’t know what her title was, but I did an interview with her,” he said. Ryan was also able to sit in on an economics class at Macalester. He said he is hoping to major in economics. Ryan said Macalester fits his criteria of a college with good academics and a Division III program for his sport. He is planning on going to Haverford for the second time; he also saw Bates, Bowdoin and Colby this summer. He retook the ACT in late September and has requested a recommendation from one of his teachers from junior year. Ryan said that the greatest challenge for him at the moment is narrowing down his list of schools. “I don’t have a top choice right now because I haven’t visited all the schools yet,” he said. Ryan said that he has not yet begun to fill out the Common Application, and he has not yet written his supplemental essays. “I haven’t looked at anything in the college packs,” he said. According to him, the schools he has looked at are schools with which he shares mutual interest. “I’ve spoken to other coaches, and I’ve got emails and calls from about 15 or 20 schools, but I’m not interested because from an academic standpoint, they are not what I’m looking for,” Ryan said.
llison* is preparing to retake the SAT in early October. “I’m trying to get in as much studying as possible right now,” she said. She has asked her English teacher from last year for a recommendation. She has not fully completed the Common Application, but her SAT tutor has been helping her fill it out. Allison has filled out all of the Common Application with the exception of the “activities” section. Allison has seen a college counselor a few times to prepare for the application process. Additionally, she is preparing to interview at some of the schools to which she is applying. “I’m going to see if Skidmore has an interviewer locally,” she said. “I was hoping to interview with UVM, but they actually don’t have interviews, but I am hoping to also interview at UMass Amherst.” She said that UMass Amherst is currently her top choice. Allison said she will prepare in advance for the interviews. “I’d make sure I knew what I found so unique and exciting about [a] particular school so that if they asked me, I’d be able to answer that because that’s something I can’t necessarily think of off the top of my head,” she said. Allison has decided to apply Early Action, for which applications are due in early November, to UVM, UMass Amherst and Ithaca College. “I’ve visited BU, BC, Skidmore, UVM, Connecticut College, Ithaca, UMass Amherst, University of Rochester and I looked at Cornell a tiny bit,” she said. “My favorite campus is UMass Amherst.” Allison is looking forward to receiving an acceptance. “I’m looking forward to the first acceptance letter. I’ll know that I’m in somewhere,” she said. “That’ll probably be the best feeling. Hopefully, it’ll be one of my top choices.”
eorge* has worked on the supplemental essays for Whitman College. “My Common Application essay, it’s pretty much done. I just need to read over it a couple more times,” he said. He is applying Early Decision to his top choice, St. Lawrence University, for which the application date is Nov. 1. “I interviewed with them when I went to visit, which was over the summer, and then I worked on all of the three supplemental essays for St. Lawrence,” he said. George has not yet asked for any teacher recommendations. He has taken the SAT and the SAT II in World History and Math I. “Preparing for the SATs was a pain, but I took them and I did well. I’m pretty happy with my score,” he said. “Now that it’s over with, it’s nice.” “I’m interviewing with a few more schools over the course of the fall. I’m interviewing with Colby College, Lewis and Clark College and Hobart and William Smith and Colorado College as well,” he said. Though he said that he has considered going into engineering or computer sciences, George is unsure what his major will be. “I’ll probably go [to college] and be undecided as a major,” he said. According to George, writing the supplemental issues will be the most difficult part because of the amount he has to write. “Obviously the supplements are a bit of pain, but I’m sure once I get through them, I’ll be fine,” he said. “There’s a decent amount of time to [write] them, and I think I’ll be able to do them.” George said that his mother has been helpful in the college process. “My mom is helping me to schedule interviews,” he said.
graphics by David Gorelik
ennifer* is focused on her Common Application essay, which she recently began writing. “In English class, I know we will have an opportunity to turn a [college essay] draft in to the teacher and get him to comment a little bit, so that’ll be good,” she said. Jennifer has also expanded her list of colleges to include Rice, Duke and Northeastern. She has not yet decided whether she will apply anywhere Early Action or Early Decision. “At this point, I’m not sure. There’s a good chance I am not [applying early],” she said. She has completed most of the Common Application. Along with working on her college essays, Jennifer is trying to familiarize herself with her counselor. “I just got a new guidance counselor this year, so one of my main priorities is — so she can write the recommendation — that I get to know her a little bit better,” Jennifer said. She is also finalizing the list of colleges with which she will interview. “I’m definitely thinking about interviews. I know the deadline to contact colleges for interviews is pretty early,” she said. “I’ll probably interview with MIT and another one of my reach [schools], I haven’t chosen yet.” Jennifer will take the Math II SAT Subject Test in October. “I’ve already taken calc, and this is more precalculus level, so I’m not too worried about it. I’m mostly just taking it because MIT requires it. I’ll study a little bit beforehand, but I’m not too worried about it,” she said. “A lot of people are using different approaches to the college process, and it’s really interesting to see how they are doing it. I think that I’m somewhere in the middle,” she said. “I’ve started thinking about college essays and colleges and I’ve talked to my guidance counselor a bit about it, so I don’t feel unprepared.”
october 4, 2013
South’s Gachitronics club implements new changes to be more open this year Maia Fefer & Nicole Yu Features Editor, Features Reporter
Over the summer, a group of students gathered to develop and discuss ideas for inventions that they hoped to eventually build. Gachitronics, previously known as MOSFETs (metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor) has transformed this year, setting new goals to create, innovate and invent. MOSFETs was a South club focused on electrical application in electrical engineering. Senior Albert Lee, the founder and president of the new club, said he decided to reinvent the club into something in which anyone could participate. “I decided that it would appeal to a greater variety of people if we changed the name and we rebranded it as a club [that] anybody … could get into instead of it only being for people with a very complex knowledge of electrical engineering,” Lee said. Physics teacher and club adviser Hema Roychowdury agreed that the previous club was restrictive to students who were not very experienced with building. “It was a very specialized project and I guess most of the kids couldn’t identify with that because it was very specialized, very focused,” Roychowdury said. “They couldn’t get a lot of kids interested in that.” Lee said he hopes that the club will foster an environment in which a variety of people will collaborate to make their ideas realities. “We have all these different kinds of people come together and fund a versatile community where we can work together on different types of projects,” he said. According to Lee, he named the club Gachitronics to inspire this goal of united collaboration; gachi means “high energy” in Japanese and “together” in Korean. Roychowdury said the club is a place for students who enjoy construction or electronics. “One of the ideas is to give such kids
an avenue to seriously explore an interest that might have remained [hidden] had it not been for the club,” she said. Senior Jackson Fried, a member of Gachitronics, agreed with Roychowdury. “The idea of this club was to make [it] more accessible and to have a platform for people with ideas to learn how to actually implement them and for people with an interest in building things to get some building experience,” he said. Although the club is new and has had few meetings so far, Fried said the club’s base has been very supportive.
We have all these different kinds of people come together and fund a versatile community where we can work together on different types of projects. - Albert Lee, Class of 2014 “The club supports you in trying to move forward,” Fried said. “I do find that it attracts multiple types of people, which is very interesting … I think it draws a lot of interesting talents together to make something new.” Freshman Matty King said that the club allows him pursue his passion for building. “It’s just really fun, and it’s for someone who loves to build and also to get hands on [experience] but also kind of their ‘brains on,’” he said. “It’s kind of the perfect club for me.” Gachitronics’s hierarchy is different from those of many other South clubs. “I think it’s different because it does have the company structure rather than the traditional club structure where you just have a president, and the president dictates what’s going on in the club,” Fried said. “But that being said, it still does have the feeling that we are all high school students. We’re doing this because we want
According to King, the atypical structure of the club has benefitted the community. “It really feels real. [You feel] like you are actually building a product and [...] trying to get funding from companies and stuff,” he said. In addition, the commitment of the members also makes Gachitronics unique, according to Lee. “[Club members] are doing this on their free time and that is something that I think is really great about Gachitronics,” he said. “Over the summer, the kids in this club were willing to spend a considerable amount of time.” Although the club promotes creativity and supports everyone’s ideas, there are limits to what a school club can do, Lee said. Soliciting has become their main way of obtaining expensive electrical components. The club must fundraise to pay for the costly equipment required for building. “What we are trying to do is go to different companies in the general vicinity of South and trying to contact them on whether they have any surplus equipment,” Lee said. According to Roychowdhury, the lack of funds distracts club members from the main purpose of the club. “[In] all that time that [they are] thinking about money, [they are] not thinking about the projects,” she said “That is kind of my least favorite part. I wish that money factor was somehow taken out of the picture so that the kids could really be thinking about inventing and doing rather than fundraising.” According to senior Dan Ehrlich, the club is very different from other clubs at South. “There is no inventions club at school,” he said. “There is no club that tries to use technology and design to solve problems. For example there’s a lot of community service clubs, but none of them are trying to use technology to solve the problem.”
Relationships: The Modern Cupid
EDITOR’S NOTE: Every issue, The Roar publishes a different anonymous student’s perspective on relationships. The views expressed in the “Relationships Column” do not reflect the official views of The Lion’s Roar, nor are they intended as a guide or source of advice for others.
Relationships are not what they once were. The times when a boy would walk five miles to the ice cream shop just to see his sweetheart are over. Forgotten are the nights spent wondering if the other person was thinking about you as you pick the petals off of flowers. Long gone are the times when loverss would stand awkwardly in the middle of their respective kitchens twirling the home-phone’s cord in their fingers as a group of curious family members listen in. This is the age of technology. I have a girlfriend, and we text one another every night. Sometimes it’s about happy things, and sometimes it’s a sad conversation; sometimes we even fight. It doesn’t matter what the conversation is about; the important part is that we are conversing. Smartphones, laptops, tablets and the Internet provide our generation with numerous ways to connect with others. Social media introduces us to people virtually anywhere, people we would have never otherwise met. Today, relationships and technology go hand in hand, but should we feel bad about it? The answer is simple. It’s human nature to want to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of asking a girl or guy out. Nobody wants to stand out in the open with his heart on his sleeve. It’s far safer and less vulnerable to hide behind the keyboard. It’s not necessarily bad- it’s our innate defensive behavior, and the only reason previous generations didn’t do the same is that they didn’t have the means to do so. There have been things I said to my girlfriend during a fight that I truly believe but would never have had the guts to say to her face. In fact, it’s safe to say that technology has, at times, severely hurt our relationship because it’s essentially a verbal free-for-all. Dating with the involvement of technology is not all doom and gloom, though; many happy couples would have likely never met or gotten together without the helping hand of various devices. We’ve become accustomed to someone actually asking, “how was your day?” or “how are you feeling?” nearly every night. Yet once the casual beginning stage of a relationsip is over and you really begin to form a bond with the person, technology shifts in its use. My girlfriend and I may not have stayed together last summer if it weren’t for texting. The long durations spent apart would have ruined our relationship if we didn’t have a way to talk to one another. More than a mender of issues, technology allows us to stay connected with the person we’ve grown close to. With hours of school work, sports and other complications, we need a way of communicating. It may have its flaws, but technology is truly the modern-day Cupid.
october 4, 2013
A Fr e sh Sta rt By Feli Kuperwasser and Jill Oliver
New students discuss their first month at South and how they are adjusting to the school
Victoria rust, class of 2015
photo courtesy of Victoria Rust
unior Victoria Rust moved to Newton from Mooresville, NC in the second week of the school year. Rust said she has enjoyed her time at South so far. “It’s a nice school. It’s a lot similar to my old school and everyone is really welcoming,” Rust said. Rust said South’s curriculum differed from her old school’s, Lake Norman High’s, curriculum. “Our school was basically separated into eight different classes and we would do four classes in the first semester and four new classes in the second semester,” she said. “It’s a lot different
coming from a school with different curriculums.” Rust also said that she was impressed with South’s diverse electives. “Ceramics, art classes, and the publication classes that they offer [here] weren’t offered at my other school.” Rust said that she has felt welcome in the South community. “When I walk through the halls, and I’m lost or something, people seem to see that and they always offer to help. It’s really nice because it just makes you feel more welcome as a new student coming to a different state where you don’t really know anyone,”
she said. According to Rust, she has found new friends at South without previously knowing anybody. “I’ve made quite a few friends,” she said. Rust also said that she appreciates the amount of school spirit at South; she said that her least favorite thing about South was “that [the administration] cancelled Powderpuff.” According to Rust, her new teachers have been helpful to her since she started here. “They help you out in class, and help you catch up [...] because I came a few days late so I didn’t start on time,” she said.
rachel Goose, class of 2016
ophomore Rachel Goose recently moved to Newton from Natick after attending Gann Academy, a private school, for her freshman year. According to Goose, the demographics of South are a refreshing change from her class of 65 at Gann. “[At] my old school [...] the people were all the same really. Everyone there had the same attitude and the same kind of history,” she said. “At South, everyone is very different, and more willing to be themselves, which is a lot better.” Not only is South’s environment different from the one Goose expe-
rienced at Gann, she said the change from private to public school was a shocking during her first few days. “[Going from Gann to South] was a big change, because even though I went to public school for middle school, it wasn’t as big of a school as South is, and so then my change from a grade of 65 to my grade of 450-something now, was a big change. I have bigger classes with like 25 kids in them, whereas at Gann when I was in classes of like 11,” she said. “It was kind of scary at first, but everyone was really nice about it, and people were very welcoming, so it wasn’t as bad
after the first two days.” Goose said she has felt welcomed into the community by her fellow peers and teachers. “I’m comfortable going to school everyday,” Goose said. “People will actually talk to me and try to be friends […] And on the first day of school when I was lost, teachers would tell me where to go, and sometimes would walk with me there.” Goose said both Gann and South have their pros and cons. “I like both schools equally, I mean there’s certain aspects of both of them that I like more,” she said. “I’d have to say it’s a really close tie.”
photo courtesy of Rachel Goose
acia Gankin, class of 2015
photo courtesy of Acia Gankin
unior Acia Gankin has lived in Newton for the past six years, but switched to South after attending the British School of Boston in Jamaica Plain. “I wanted to broaden my horizons and have more opportunities school-wise, because my old school was very small, and it’s a great place, but because it’s so new, there isn’t that much that one can do,” she said. Gankin said she liked the welcoming attitude of the South community and the energy of the student body. “I think [the students are] a great group of people. They have really good energy — for example, the Powderpuff protest
and everything that happened with that and it was very exciting. It was awesome to see so much spirit at the school,” she said. According to Gankin, one of the most exciting things about South is the size of the student body. “It was basically a culture shock because at my old school I had 25 people in my grade, about 50 in the whole high school, so going from there to South was crazy because I was used to knowing everyone in the hallway, and now I’m lucky if I see a face that I know in between classes.” Gankin said she feels that her teachers care about the performance of
her and her peers and love what they teach. “[In] my old school [...] the teachers really cared about the students, and the teachers that taught clearly really liked their subject, and were passionate about it, and that’s something I noticed that is common at South.” Gankin said she has felt accepted and at ease within the South community. “Whenever I get lost I can come up to anyone, basically, and everyone’s really nice, and they help me find my way, and people come and introduce themselves, and they don’t make me feel left out — it’s great,” she said.
october 4, 2013
Nina Berezin is...
Every issue, The Roar randomly selects a student and explores what makes him or her unique.
photos courtesy of Nina Berezin
Sophomore Nina Berezin enjoys painting designs on nails and canvases; she said she considers painting to be not just a hobby but a passion and a job, as she works at a nail salon.
said Nina has come to love this passion. “[Nina] really likes [nail art]. It’s something that she does as a hobby … She’s really into being artistic,” she said. Sophomore Mia Tocci, Nina’s friend, agreed with Natasha. “As long as I’ve known her, [Nina] has been really good at nails,” Tocci said. “They come out really well whenever she does it.” Nina started an Instagram account
makes some money and it teaches her responsibility and work ethic, so I do like it,” Bill said. Natasha agreed. “I think it’s good for responsibility and knowing the concept of money and how to be in a workplace. It matures a person to have a job with hours and pay,” she said. According to Nina’s friend, sophomore Harrison Samuels, her personality
young to do that.” While Nina occasionally is allowed Sr. Features Editor to paint customers’ nails, she is not alThree days a week, sophomore Nina lowed to cut the nails. Berezin walks into Salon Joie de Vie, takes “I never get to cut the nails, since a seat behind the reception desk and beyou need a license to do that, but I do gins answering phone calls. sometimes do the polish,” she said. “Last year … I walked into a salon In addition to nails and art, Nina and I had a really cool design, I guess, and has an interest in cosmetics and fashion. they kind of just offered me a job on the “I do a lot of my friends’ makeup and hair, spot. That was how I got a job as just overall beauty things … Nail a receptionist at a nail salon,” she trumps everything, but I’m I do a lot of my friends’ makeup and hair, just overall beauty polish said. definitely into hair and makeup and Nina has displayed her love fashion,” she said. things ... Nail polish trumps everything, but I’m definitely into of art and design on her Instagram Nina said she looks to a Los hair and makeup and fashion. account “nailswithnina”, and she Angeles nail salon, esNAIL, as an one day hopes to open a salon in inspiration for her own salon. - Nina Berezin, Class of 2016 New York. “You have to book your appointNina said that she has an over the summer to post photos of her nail should positively affect the success of her ment so far ahead and it’s so exclusive. interest in painting from an early age, designs and has approximately 500 followers. job. That’s not a role model for me, but that’s which eventually led to her enthusiasm “I started an Instagram, which is not really a “[Nina] is really nice, energetic, fun- something I want to be. I want to have for nail art. “As far as I can remember, I’ve blog, but it’s kind of like a blog. It’s become ny, … and she’s really good with people,” my own nail salon like that, so I aspire to been interested in art, and that’s what led a little passion for me,” she said. Samuels said. maybe work there and open up my own to nail art,” she said. “Around fifth grade, I “It’s kind of like an art portfolio but Tocci agreed. “[Nina] is a really care- salon,” she said. noticed I was really good at nail art. That with nails. To me, [nails are] a lot of little free, smart girl. She’s very nice … and she’s According to Nina, her dream is to started this whole craze for me. I would canvases. It’s kind of a way I like to express very creative,” she said. open a celebrity nail salon in New York. keep doing it a lot.” myself.” Nina goal is to get 1,000 followers Nina said that she always stays busy “[In college,] I definitely want to major in Her father, Bill Berezin, said that by mid-November. while working at the salon. design because I could never picture myNina has been taking art classes for several Bill said that Nina’s job at Salon Joie “Once in a while … when it’s reself working behind a desk,” Nina said. years. “She was doing this very small and de Vie in Newton Highlands has helped ally busy, I’ll do a couple manicures. It is “I don’t want to go to beauty school; delicate graphic design, and that kind of her develop professional habits. mostly taking calls and being a receptionI want to go to an art college because for moved into the nail art area,” he said. “I like the fact that she has a job. ist, but I do occasionally do nail art, which me, all my inspiration for nail art comes Senior Natasha Berezin, Nina’s sister, It gives her a sense of what work is. She is really cool, especially since I’m kind of from art.”
sports volume 30
october 4, 2013
WHEN COMES TO
South community reflects on qualities of good and bad coaches, worries althletes are pushed too hard By Hyunnew Choi, Clare Martin, Omry Meirav and Darren Trementozzi
graphic by Alex Cohen graphic by Alex Cohen
Junior Zoe Beutel stood on the soccer field, taking quick glances at her coaches. Anxiety washed over her as she anticipated their reactions to her performance. After two years of such nervewracking practices and games, she realized the time had come for her to quit. “The whole sport became me trying to please the coaches […] so I got so nervous during practices,” Beutel said. “I feel like [the coaches] didn’t care enough to have that relationship with me and know where I stood. Them not caring much […] showed me how much I didn’t seem to matter, so why should I put so many hours into something I’m not appreciated for?” Beutel and coaches alike said that coaches have certain responsibilities to fulfill in order to foster healthy relationships with students. According to Ted Dalicandro, head coach of the South football team, coaches need to push their athletes to their boundaries and, by doing so, encourage motivation. “A coach is trying to get the most out of their players, and when the coach
a personal relatioship with her. Dalicandro agreed that a close condoes over-push, nection with individual athletes on the they’re doing it because team is essential. “For me, part of coachthey want to test the limit of the players’ ing is getting to know the kids personally, boundaries, and they want to make sure and as you get to know the kids, you get to that the player is pushing themselves,” he know how far you can push them,” he said. said. South parent Sam Doner agreed that Dalicandro, however, said that a a coach must be aware of individual playskilled coach has the ability to recognize ers’ needs at any given time. when to limit excessive pushing. “You have “Unan inner feelderstanding ing that [says] the players ‘you’ve pushed and underenough, and standing how the kids have to approach worked hard them and enough,’” he how to mosaid. tivate them Beutel and undersaid that alstanding what though stueach player dents are often - Carl Beckmann, South parent needs at the able to withright time stand difficult [makes a good coach], ” Doner said. practices, coaches often fail to recognize According to junior Ryan Boey, athletes’ improvements and efforts. understanding players and their concerns “I can take harsh coaching […] [but] is especially important for a coach because the coach needs to recognize the player’s failure to form strong connections can hard work,” she said. Beutel said that her lead to negative effects on athletes. “[A decision to quit playing soccer at school good coache] comes to games everyday was mainly based on one of her coaches’ inability to appreciate her efforts and build prepared to help [his or her] players …
The sport should never seem like a chore for a kid [...] I think a good coach emphasizes sportsmanship over sort of winning at all costs.
and doesn’t force [their] players into a bad situation they don’t want to be in,” Boey said. South parent Jenny Martin said that she has noticed an increasing level of coaches’ overreaching push on students compared to that of her high school tennis coaches. “I think coaches nowadays are maybe under more pressure to win or to do well than they used to back in my day,” she said. South parent Carl Beckmann said that coaches must resist giving into such pressure and should focus instead on the need to facilitate healthy attitudes among players. “The sport should never seem like a chore for a kid, so I think a good coach gets them excited about it and keeps them focused on the sport, and I think a good coach emphasizes sportsmanship over sort of winning at all costs,” Beckmann said. Beckmann added that while she understands coaches’ desire to encourage a certain level of competitiveness within the team, coaches have the responsibility of creating and protecting healthy relationships with his or her students over anything else. “Coaches do want to get the best out of their athletes,” he said. “They know that kids want to be competitive and win, but maybe coaches get carried away with that [and] forget that it’s just a game.”
october 4, 2013
ON THE TURF
with Sophie MacArthur ‘14
The Roar’s Jack McElduff talked to senior girls soccer captain Sophie MacArthur about her experience playing for South and her hopes for the season Jack McElduff: When
JM: How has coach Doug
did you start playing soccer? McCarthy helped the team win? Sophie MacArthur: I’ve been playing soccer as long SM: He’s really good with as I can remember, but I the motivational side of think I started playing orthings and carrying on traganized soccer when I was ditions. That helps us kind four or five. of get psyched up. There are certain songs that have JM: What would you say is always been pump-up songs that he gives to us. There are one of your proudest moments in your soccer career? certain letters and quotations that he has to help us stay motivated. SM: When I was a freshman, I scored a goal in the game that we won to qualify JM: What sort of responfor the tournament and that sibilities come with being a captain? was a big deal for me.
NUMBERS THIS SEASON
SM: You have to be the
hardest worker on our team. If for some reason you can’t work as hard, you have to be pushing others and leading by example. You have to speak and motivate and be the mix between the coaches and the team. There are lots of things that coaches can’t do and so you have to do things the coaches can’t do.
photo by Sofia Osorio
JM: What are your expectations for this season?
SM: I would say its pretty
photo by Aaron Edelstein
Senior Sophie MacArthur, a four-year varsity soccer player, practices on South’s turf.
quite a few injured players that are on their way back. I’ve really seen a lot of potential; we work hard and we’re really invested in each other. I think we can do big things.
JM: What are you going to miss most about soccer at South?
unexpected right now. I think we’ve showed a lot of promise. It could really go SM: Playing with my friends and kind of the sisany way because we have
terhood of the soccer team.
JM: What sort of advice
would you give to younger players?
SM: You just have to work
as hard as you possibly can and you don’t really have that much else to worry about. As long as you’re working as hard as you possibly can, everything else will fall into place.
october 4, 2013
Annual Friday night lights game cancelled Sam Detjen, Robby Fineman & Helen Haskin Sports Reporters As students protested the cancellation of South’s annual Powderpuff tradition in the weeks after the decision, few decried the cancellation of another athletic tradition: the Friday night lights football game. Principal Joel Stembridge said that the cancellation was due to the other teams’s lack of interest in playing South’s football team. “The teams that we could have played on Friday nights didn’t want to play on Friday night,” Stembridge said. Athletic director Scott Perrin declined to comment on the cancellation. Senior football captain Jake Alexander said he wishes South could have consistent lighting for games like other schools. “Everywhere else, they’re playing Friday night games and it’s unfortunate that we don’t have lights at the school,” Alexander said. Neighbors of South have prevented the school from having permanent lighting on the fields, but the cancellation of this year’s game is due to a lack of opponent, not an issue with neighbors. Sophomore Andrew Theall, who lives near South, said that he sees no problmes with the game. “I don’t see that there’s anything wrong with having it one night a year, and I think it increases school pride and support for our sports teams,” Theall said.
photo courtesy of Kira Tsivkin
South defeated Boston Latin on Sept. 20, a Friday night game, in South Boston. South will not host its own Friday night game this year.
Alexander also said that the most important aspect of school spirit comes from those who pay their way into the stadium. “In general, school spirit comes
from the people,” he said. “It’s just nice that everyone came out to support for that one game [vs. Brookline].” When asked if the event would be reinstated next year, Stembridge said that
if other teams permit it, he hopes to see the game played. “Absolutely, I loved that event,” he said. “[But] it doesn’t have to be football to bring the school together.”
Cheerleading team grows in numbers, pride Lizzie Fineman Sports Editor
Pom-poms and positive attitudes now constitute the atmosphere for the new-and-improved South cheerleading team. Despite only regaining varsity recognition a few years ago, South cheerleaders have made an effort to rebuild their program and improve their routines. “I think that [the program has] improved […] attitude wise, and people are more dedicated,” senior and captain Keeayra Boswell-Grasyon said. Veteran cheerleaders said the influx of new squad members has resulted in a
somewhat inexperienced but dedicated team. Senior captain Myanna Grannum said that in past years, the freshman turnout has been minimal, but now both underclassmen and upperclassman make up the team’s roster. “We have a lot of new girls, and it’s taking the team a little while to learn all the stuff, but we are doing really well,” she said. Junior Jelysa Durham said the team is confident in its leadership. “The seniors that we have that are captains […] have a lot of experience, and they know what they’re doing,” she said. “We put a lot of
photo by Katie Asch
South cheerleaders said that the team has grown in size and commitment this season.
trust in them.” Sophomore Marissa Grannum, a newcomer to South’s team, feels that her improvement stems from the positive encouragement of her teammates and coach. “Since I began, I didn’t know how to do any tumbling work, like cartwheels and stuff like that. I can do a roundoff and I’m working on doing backflips and things like that […] They motivate us by […] just saying that we can do it,” she said. “It’s very helpful.” Myanna Grannum believes that the freshmen listen to the seniors’ advice and respect them. “We’re all like one big family,” she said. Coach Elizabeth Sullivan’s previous work with young cheerleaders has also helped the team develop. According to Boswell-Grayson, Sullivan’s three years at South have helped her improve her methods and her understanding of the athletes and their needs. Sullivan, a Pop Warner cheerleading coach for seven years, is accustomed to starting from scratch with new cheerleaders. “We start at the basics and move on from there and usually girls pick it up really quick,” Sullivan said. The team has also begun to participate in local competitions, which players said has introduced a new aspect of motivation. “[They’ve grown] tremendously. They’ve gone from just a program that cheers at games to their first competitive season this year,” Sullivan said. The team has earned second place at both of its most recent competitions. “Before, we weren’t really going to
competitions, so I feel like for us going to our first [one] and getting second place is a big step,” Boswell-Grayson said. Boswell-Grayson said the cheerleaders’ dedication to teamwork, positivity and changing the squad’s reputation have worked well so far. “What people thought of the cheerleaders was negative, and we want to portray a strong image of not just girls dancing in skirts. We’re more than that, and we tell the freshman girls that we want them to dress in proper uniform,” she said. “Everything must be perfect. We don’t want [anyone] doing any negative acts that would make the team look bad […] It’s really strict when it comes to rules.” Sullivan said that the team’s diligence and perseverance are also factors in its success. “We’ve taught them how their hard work can pay off and shown them that there is more to cheerleading than just cheering at games like stunting, tumbling and all the aspects of cheerleading to make them more competitive,” she said. Sullivan said that the team works harder than many expect. “I kind of laugh when people say that cheerleading isn’t a sport,” Sullivan said. “There’s at least a half an hour of conditioning every practice and that’s five days a week […] on top of [that] they cheer at every game, home and away, during football season. They do a lot of lifting. There’s a lot of upper body strength that they’ve learned and they learn how to maneuver like that. It’s not all about just dancing and cheering. It’s more.”
october 4, 2013
MISCONCEPTIONS photo by Kylie Walters
Two juniors debunk common lifting misconceptions and give their personal tips
By Sumit Hariawala and Andy Wang
o you think your workout is optimal for the best results? Well, you might want to reconsider what you’re doing after reading this. Lifting can be daunting if approached in the wrong way. Many inexperienced lifters will enter a gym, unaware that what they are doing has a negative effect on their health and athletic performance. Although both benching and curling are two of the most popular exercises, they shouldn’t be the only parts of a workout. Your chest and biceps shouldn’t be the only muscles you train. We all know that every guy wants a chiseled chest and bulging biceps, but neglecting other muscle groups leads to muscular imbalances and future injuries. It’s better to focus on compound movements for the entire body such as benching, squatting, deadlifting, overhead pressing and horizontal/vertical pulling movements. Routines should be designed around these compound lifts. Auxiliary exercises can be added in at the end of a workout, including bicep curling, triceps push down, leg extensions and calf-raises. Compound movements activate multiple muscle groups, requiring more effort than isolated exercises. Student athletes don’t have much time to lift, so doing compound lifts kills two birds with one stone. Not only will these compound lifts help your strength progress more quickly, but they will also optimize the time you spend in the gym. As noted, student athletes should spend most of their time doing exercises that will benefit their overall athletic performance. Upper body development is necessary to be balanced, but lower body strength will develop attributes such as speed, explosiveness and agility. Ignoring your lower body may be tempting at times, but the benefits of training your legs will be noticeable not only to yourself, but also to your teammates and your coaches, providing a competitive edge. Squatting and deadlifting will increase an athlete’s overall power and performance. For most athletes, however, this raw strength does not directly translate into success in their sport, so incorporating speed and agility will convert strength into functional abilities. A balance between both weight training and plyometrics is necessary for an athlete to take his or her game to the next level. There are rumors that lifting will stunt growth or hurt you, but these statements only hold true if you use improper techniques. Lifting form is essential to a safe and optimal workout. As young lifters, form should be prioritized over weight. Everyone loves showing off how much weight they can lift, but when was the last time you heard someone ask, “how good is your form?” Most of the time peers ask each
other, “how much can you bench?” This popular question forces individuals to lift more weight than they can handle, breaking down their form just to impress their friends. Improper lifting can actually stunt your growth, so those myths are partially true. Lifting with correct form, however, can only benefit you. When performing an exercise incorrectly, you can put additional strain on muscles that are not meant to be targeted. Curls are a common exercise that people do incorrectly all the time. Many people will swing their arms and use their back to help them perform the curl, risking a lower back injury. Next time you go to the gym and lift, consider leaving your ego at the door. After that, it’s time for stretching and warming up. A common misconception is that warm ups are unnecessary, but a proper warm up can actually improve your performance. Very light cardio can increase your heart rate as part of your warm up. Following this cardio workout, dynamic stretching should be performed. This stretching may be different from the normal interpretation of holding a position for a prolonged period of time. Dynamic stretching increases range of motion and blood flow to the muscle tissue, allowing the body to prepare for physical activities. Now is it time to lift? Almost. The last piece is acclimating your body to the weight you want to lift. This means you should start out with lighter weight so your muscles are ready to handle the target weight. You could start off with 20 percent of the weight you want to lift and slowly increase by 15 to 20 percent until you have reached the desired weight. The rep scheme should be enough to prepare your body but not exhaust you. This allows your body to adapt to the weight and warm yourself up before actually doing your first working set. After lifting, you may feel inclined to leave, but you’re missing another key component: post-workout stretching. This can be as simple as static stretching, holding a stretch for a desired amount of time. Stretching after your blood has filled your muscles will allow them to be more pliable. Lifting can be a great hobby to pursue, but at the same time, it can be confusing to many newcomers. Information from the media often misleads an inexperienced lifter. Companies give information in an attempt to make money, not to help you succeed. Don’t worry, though, we are here to debunk those myths and help you reach your goal.
Everyone loves showing off how much weight they can lift, but when was the last time you heard someone ask ‘how good is your form?’
october 4, 2013
Published on Oct 4, 2013