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the LION’S



Points South students regard cheating as not only widely practiced, but widely accepted By Kimia Tabatabaei

Photo Illustration By Netta Dror

Newton South High School

· Newton, MA · Est. 1984 · feb. 16, 2018


Boys’ locker room searched without warning Julian Fefer & Sebastian Tsao News Reporter, Sr. News Editor

In late December, the administration sanctioned a search of part of the boys’ locker room, looking for student possessions that violated school policies. Administrators had reason to believe that they would find illicit substances and devices after a student reported finding ecigarettes in the locker room, according to athletics director Patricia Gonzalez. After initially searching lockers without locks, custodians opened the rest by cutting personal locks and replacing them with school-assigned ones. Although the administration defended its decision to enter student lockers, students were displeased, according to junior Brandon Lee. “They snapped my lock, and they put a new lock on it. Thus, I was not able to obtain my belongings,” he said. “I was completely shocked about how they thought they could simply look through my stuff without permission.” According to sophomore Andy Goldberg, controversy arose because of the administration’s poor execution of the locker room search, not its intended purpose. “I think it’s okay to [conduct a search], and I don’t think it’s much of a breach of the students’ privacy, but I think that if they had to do that, they could have done it in a much better way,” he said. “If they had managed it better, the search could have been a very good idea.” After waiting in line for instructions on how to open the school-issued locks that replaced their broken locks, some track athletes found the combinations they received to be incorrect upon reaching the locker room, forcing them to return to the field house after practice for correct ones. “I ended up getting home like an hour and a half or two hours later than I would normally get home, so I had to rush through my homework,” Goldberg said. Gonzalez said wellness classes and team meetings are absolutely crucial to student understanding of what violates school policy. Specifically regarding the use of ecigarettes, Gonzalez said she is worried that students fail to understand the consequences of using e-cigarettes. She hopes that the students become aware of the long-term effects of using these substances. “Vaping is very bad for you because the chemicals that it produces are even worse than nicotine,” she said. “During the health classes, vaping is an important topic. ... That’s part of the education. For our piece, when we do our sports meetings, we talk about all these types of things.” According to Gonzalez, the school is working hard to educate students on the repercussions of e-cigarette usage and encourages parents to teach the same things at home. “The education is a community effort. It’s not just the school’s responsibility” she said. Moving forward, the school will continue to enforce the MIAA rule to suspend 20 percent of an athlete’s season for a single

graphic by Brigitte Tang

violation Gonzalez said. Though most students grudgingly accept justification for the locker room search, the administration could have taken measures to improve its execution, senior Lee Ding The Supreme Court decided that teachers’ and administrators’ said. need to maintain order in schools outweighs students’ privacy “There should [have been] ... some heads up, at least, by the administration,” interests in a case called New Jersey v. TLO. School searches, he said. however, are only justified, according to the Supreme Court, when On Feb. 7, shelves of lockers were taken off their base foundation, opening up the administrators have “reasonable grounds for suspecting that entire floor plan of the boys locker room. the search will turn up evidence that the student has vioSenior Aidan Fitzmaurice said he and other students were under the inital impression lated or is violating either the law or the rules of school.” that the change was related to the December locker search. “I asked the person who was doing it. According to Gonzalez, however, the- removing the lockers once the removal had ... He was pretty vague about the topic, but locker room modification was unrelated to begun. The general lack of communication among students, faculty and administratiors There should [have been] ... some heads up, is something Fitzmaurice said the school should definitely address immediately. at least, by the administration. “It seems like this is really disorganized Lee Ding, class of 2018 and just kind of frustrating because it seems basically he thought that people were being suspicion of drugs; the school had planned like it should be very open — there shouldn’t abnormally disruptive in the locker room or to remove and repair broken lockers over the be this conflict of information” he said “They just in general kind of not behaving well at coming summer. She, along with students, should be clear about why they’re doing it,” school ,” he said. only received word that custodians were Fitzmaurice said.

Why are Locker Searches allowed?

February 16, 2018|page 3


photos by Netta Dror

The pep rally, held on Feb. 9, included the basketball tournament, performances by the dance team, pie-ing of English department head Brian Baron and Principal Joel Stembridge.

2018 pep rally sees changes and new traditions Hope Zhu

News Reporter South’s annual pep rally is always full of energy, noise, orange and blue. Despite the changed date, class officers made sure this year’s was no different, and even with last-minute obstacles like broken bleachers, senior MCs Daniel Korsunsky and Shannon Laughlin kept spirits high. The event’s postponement stirred some controversy, and some students, like junior class president Maddy Epstein, questioned the February date. “When I first heard about it, I thought, ‘Oh, I don’t think this is going to work out,’” she said. “It’s a fun thing to have at the beginning of the year, and it gets the freshmen and any new students into the year. It’s also a good time right before Thanksgiving.” Looking back, however, Epstein said she sees the benefits of the later date. “Now that it’s in February, the term is picking up again, and it’s just a nice getaway from all of the stress put on students,” she said. “Now that people have been in school for probably six months, the freshmen have more of an opportunity to feel connected to

the school. I know when I was a freshman I was like, ‘Oh, I just got here like two months ago. It’s kind of weird to be showing this school spirit.’” While moving back the date may have given the freshmen more time to feel like part of the school, freshman class president Andrew Li said his grade’s energy didn’t match the other grades’. “The freshmen definitely could’ve had more spirit,” said Li. “I think a lot of the freshmen didn’t really know what a pep rally was.” After experiencing his first pep rally, Li said he believes in the event’s importance. “I think the pep rally is, if not the biggest, one of the biggest spirit events at Newton South,” he said. “I think the pep rally is really vital to the spirit of South students.” “It’s a really good opportunity for students, especially people who don’t always feel like they can be included, to be as spirited as other people who go to these sports events,” Epstein said. “I think it’s a really good opportunity for kids like that and just kids in general to be able to show school spirit.” Special education teacher David Goose said the pep rally “brings all different types of people and the freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors all together into the same

building It really promotes school spirit.” “Getting almost 2,000 kids into the same room — it’s crazy,” Epstein added. “The whole school is coming together. … Not a lot of schools do that.” Sophomore Halley Wilson-Thayer said that she enjoyed this year’s pep rally as much as last year’s. “The dances were really interesting to watch,” Wilson-Thayer said. Junior Sean Stack added that the pep rally should have longer like previous years. “I think last year’s was much better because it was longer,” Stack said. Senior class president Adi Shneorson said the school is generating more spirit than in the past.“I think there’s this really annoying stigma that South has no spirit, but … with the lip dub and this revolutionized pep rally and spirit week — with all these new things that we’re trying to do, spirit at South is on the rise,” she said. While Shneorson said she was not upset by the date change, she added that it affected the general attitude towards the pep rally. Shneorson said that kids seemed to have lower expectations for the event, expectations she, among others, worked hard to exceed. This year’s pep rally differed from past years’ in more than just timing. Shneorson

explained how planners tried to incorporate underclassman more than in years past, change the order of the events and performances and add new traditions, like pie throwing in faculty members’ faces. According to Scheneorson, enthusiasm comes from tradition. “[Students’] older brothers and sisters have gone here and they’ve seen them in the pep rally. It’s built this momentum for this event,” she said. “The dance team is going to perform, senior boys are going to perform [and] the basketball tournament is legendary every year.” Dance team captain Nika Faraji said she wished the pep rally had been in November, but she was nonetheless excited to perform. “I only get this opportunity once a year, and this year is my last year,” she said. Despite the changes leading up to the 2018 pep rally, class officers were proud of the final product. Junior class officer Veer Sawhney said the hope for the pep rally was to retain some old customs and adopt some new ones. “Class office has done their best to make it as similar as possible to past pep rallies, while still adding a unique touch for 2018.” Additional reporting by Carina Ramos

page 4|February 16, 2018


Aspen, South’s new Student Information System, receives mixed reviews By Sophie Lu and Jennifer Wang


ue to persistent difficulties with attendance and scheduling, NPS has changed its Student Information System (SIS) from Skyward to Aspen, a SIS used by neighboring school districts. The switch marks South’s third SIS in three years, and administrators and teachers hope that Aspen will provide families and faculty with necessary information and tools. According to Vice Principal Steven Rattendi, Skyward’s inability to meet the needs of schools across the board elicited the move to Aspen. Despite functioning well for students’ purposes, Skyward was not flexible enough to account for South’s varying block lengths, K-12 Instructional Technology Specialist Missy Costello said. “After we adopted Skyward, it had difficulties handling some of the block scheduling that the middle school and high school were moving towards,” she said. “Families and students didn’t see this issue. It was more of administrators, when they are trying to build classes.” Junior Annie Lee-Hassett agreed that Skyward did not present students with the same challenges as it did teachers. Skyward made grade reports easily accessible, sophomore Sage Winkler said. “When I was getting my term grades,

graphic by Michelle Cheng

I honestly liked it a lot better because all of my grades were all in one place, and I soon figured out how to access it whenever I wanted to,” she said. “I also didn’t need my parents to log in for me — I could just use my own student login.” Winkler said her dad, a seventh-grade history teacher at Brown, found Skyward difficult to use as a teacher, sometimes forcing him to spend extra time performing simple tasks like contacting parents. Compared to Skyward, Aspen better accommodates teachers’ daily needs, history teacher Jamie Rinaldi said. “I was never a fan of Skyward. It was cumbersome. It felt like it had too many features for an attendance system,” he said. “Aspen, on the other hand, as far as I can tell is very straightforward, is very user-friendly. It does what it’s supposed to do, and that is take attendance.” Costello added that Skyward’s support systems were largely unhelpful. “The training for Skyward was very difficult,” she said. “If a teacher couldn’t find something or do something, it usually required a human intervention.” The frequent changes between SISs have been disruptive for the Instructional Technology department, Costello said. “It is disruptive to have to make a

switch after two years. We know it’s disruptive for families to have to learn something new every two years,” she said. “It was hard on our department just because of all the data you had to move over. It takes this whole team of people, ... and this adds a whole other job to their jobs.” For Winkler, Skyward has functioned sufficiently, while switching to a new system forced her to learn to use a different website to find her grades. The faculty is optimistic that Aspen will meet NPS’s needs, as many neighboring districts use it without issue, Rattendi said. “From a school-wide scheduling perspective, although we haven’t actually used it to schedule yet, … it’s just better able to handle what we need it to hande in terms of the number of electives that we offer, in terms of our block system and the way our system works,” he said. “This is being hopeful, but based on the fact that a lot of neighboring schools use the software, it should be able to handle it much better than we have had.” According to Costello, the straightforward layout of Aspen will produce benefits beyond smoother attendance and scheduling, particularly in causing teachers less stress. “I think whenever you have a teacher that’s not frustrated by what’s going on [with]

their computers, and they’re not fighting with their technology, then I think students have a better experience in their classes,” she said. Students and families will be able to access Aspen in the next few weeks, once students begin picking classes for next year. “I’m hoping the experience when students and families get on it will be as smooth as it has been for faculty,” Rattendi said. “Parents aren’t in the building, so it’s hard to address questions when they come up, so hopefully there will be good material produced by the district that shows them how to get in and access the information they need.” The lack of communication between faculty and families during the transition is concerning, according to Lee-Hassett, who found out about the change through the school website. While students and parents have yet to provide feedback on the new SIS, Rinaldi said he is hopeful that Aspen will function effectively at South. “At face value, Skyward and Aspen are pretty similar in terms of how you take attendance, .... so anyone familiar with one probably had a pretty easy time making the transition to the other,” he said. “Aspen is fine. Nobody will celebrate it, but no one will hate it.”

Cold weather causes bursting pipes, disrupting classes Sophie Goodman and Shoshi Gordon

Sr. News Editor, News Contributor A frozen, split coil in a heating unit created a water leak on Jan. 2, setting off a fire alarm and forcing South students and faculty to evacuate the building. A similar event occurred on Jan. 3. According to custodian John Griffin, the pipes burst due to the extreme cold. “The [pipe] joints are getting weaker, and when the water freezes it expands and can spring a leak,” he said. According to Principal Joel Stem-

bridge, the fire alarm sounded due to a burst sprinkler pipe in a science lab, not as a result of a burst. “There’s no fire — ­ it’s just that the system is saying everyone has to leave the building because the system’s not working anymore,” he said. Science teacher Alan Crosby said that his classroom was affected by the burst pipes. “You can see water damage in the room [and in] the woodwork around the corners of the school and the room,” he said. “It was a very cold snap, that’s true. But you would think construction of the building would be such that it would expect cold snaps in New England.” Sophomore Claire Slack said the missing ceiling tiles in her chemistry classroom have given her cause for concern. “I don’t feel 100 percent safe because there’s still a hole in my chemistry classroom,” she said. According to Stembridge, the facility maintenance staff has been working to amend damaged pipes near the exterior walls. “We’ve

been trying to ventilate those areas so that there’s more heat getting to where the pipes are,” he said. “There’s some ceiling tiles that look like they’re missing. They’re not missing — they’ve just been moved, so that the warm air can get up to where the pipes are in the ceiling there.” “We have this interesting building in that some parts of the building are 15 years old, and some parts of the building are [much],” Stembridge added. “And the parts that are [very old] are not as consistent with the heating as the newer parts.” Custodian David Murphy added that these much-needed repairs will take time. “It’s like driving an older vehicle,” he said. “If something goes in the engine that doesn’t make it run right, you have to order pads for it, so it takes time sometimes to fix these things.” Senior Varun Deshpande said he had to move classrooms in October as a result of an issue with the heating. “My teacher could see that we were all visibly sweating,” he said.

Math teacher Vittoria Macadino said she had to switch rooms every day due to the heating issues combined with extreme cold temperatures. “The other rooms that I had to use were not equipped with what I needed, which would mean I would have to bring all of my stuff including books and things to other rooms,” she said. “We wasted some time moving rooms, and we could have probably used our time more efficiently if we didn’t have this problem,” sophomore Joanna Folta, a student in Macadino’s class, said. Math teacher Amanda Bastien, who also had to move classrooms, agreed that the constant switching was inconvenient. “When you have a California-style building and New England winters, this is the result,” Stembridge said. “And so when it’s nice out, this is a wonderful campus, and when it’s cold out, it’s problematic. You know, the occasional pipe burst and evacuating into the cold air is something that will be in our future every year.”

graphic by Ellen Deng

February 16, 2018|page 5


South debate sweeps Columbia tournament debate champions Sebastian Tsao

and being critical.” In order to achieve the success that they had at Columbia, Alon added that the From Jan. 19 to 21, South’s speech and team sets reasonable goals to ensure their debate team attended a national tournament progression. at Columbia University. Two South debate “One goal of mine throughout my teams, comprised of senior captains Deika debate career was to get first or final at a Albert and Gil Alon and senior captains national tournament. I thought our research Daniel Abdulah and Hannah Phan, closed was really good, and I knew that the compeout the circuit as the top two teams at the tition was probably one of the easiest in the tournament. national circuit, so I knew if we had a chance, Alon credited their success to hours of this was it,” she said. “It was really good to hard work and self-determination. fulfill my goal.” “The people who usually are going to Junior Gaby Lewis said that South’s the tournament success at get together in Columbia is I don’t even think that this kind of victory has happened at a a classroom and significant for tournament as big as Columbia before, so it’s a really huge deal. work out cases the team. and do practice Gaby Lewis, class of 2019 “I d on’t rounds,” she said. even think that “[Practices] usually end somewhere around “From judging rounds to editing cases this kind of victory has happened at a tour5 to 6 p.m.” to critiquing speeches, they’re all really helpful nament as big as Columbia before, so it’s a Sophomore Frank Jiao said these at making us better debaters,” he said. really huge deal,” she said. practices help new debaters gain knowledge Alon also discussed the way captains Sawhney, however, said that he was and skills. interact with the team. not surprised that South debate closed out “When I was a novice, I remember “You have to portray yourself as confi- the Columbia tournament. that the captains would spend a large major- dent, open to criticism, open to hearing other “They’re all really talented debaters who ity of every practice devoted to explaining people and being nice if other people come have worked really hard to become some of the every step of the process of developing a with their concerns,” she said. “It’s about find- best in the country,” he said. “They definitely ing a balance between not being too critical deserve the win.” Sr. News Editor

case,” he said. Senior second-year debater Wiley Chen said varsity debaters spend the week prior to the tournament researching and practicing in their partnerships. “But after, a lot of it has to do with yourself. Either you want more practice or not... It is self driven,” he said. Junior Veer Sawhney said debate’s strong leaders and role models, like on any other team, are well-respected and completely invested in younger debaters, making them largely responsible for the program’s recent success.

Daniel Abdulah, ‘18 Hannah Phan, ‘18 (5-1) Deika Albert, ‘18 Gil Alon, ‘18


Additional Participants: Jay Garg, ‘19 Anika Sridhar, ‘19


Amit Fudim, ‘20 Jack Sinclair, ‘18


What does it mean to “close out”

a tournament? Every public forum debate tournament is composed of six primary rounds. Each round consists of two partnerships photo courtesy of Lisa Honeyman

Debate team captains and tournament Co-Champions (L to R) Alon, Albert, Phan and Abdulah

photo courtesy of David Hu

(CW from top left) Sinclair, Garg, Fudim, Abdulah, Phan and Sridhar

debating head-to-head. Debaters win points and rounds by impressing judges with their speaking proficiency, claim validity and quick thinking. In the Columbia tournament, the top two teams of the national circuit were both from South, so the final round was slated to be South vs. South. Because of this, the final round was unnecessary, seeing as either winner of the final round would have resulted

photo courtesy of Lisa Honeyman

Members of South’s speech and debate team show their awards from the national tournament held at Columbia University from Jan. 19 to 21.

in a victory for South.


the CAT’S

MEOW All the news that’s fit to print ... and then some!

Water pipe breaks down In an open letter to the South community, water pipe Peter Piper expressed regret for his poor performance this winter. He ended his letter, however, on a less apologetic note. “Every last whiny conversation I’ve heard about the evacuations has treated the issue merely as a mechanical breakdown,” he wrote. “Has no one considered that it might have been an emotonal one?” According to the letter, Piper’s seasonal sadness had been pent up behind his rusted iron sides since the building’s construction. This year, he finally decided to let out all the tears. “Please ask me how I’m doing when you pass by,” he concluded. “I know it sucks to be outside in the cold. Trust me. I know.”

Teacher detained English teacher Ty Erd was given an administrative detention by English department head Nolan Nobleman, who had recently returned from his post-pep-rally medical leave. Erd had fallen asleep during A block sophomore English. “He called my topic fascinating in our conference!” sophomore Bo Wring said, having orated four paragraphs of his five-page speech when he noticed soft snores from Erd’s direction. Wring had been delving into the intricacies of packing peanut production in his speech defending the United States Postal Service. “I’d like to point out that I was the fourth person to fall asleep,” Erd said of the incident. “Dang double standard.”

Apple SurPrIsE When senior Bike Rider received word prior to the Feb. 9 pep rally that he’d been chosen to “pie” an administrator, he was ecstatic. He didn’t even remember entering his name and had never heard of such an event before. “The chance to bake for my favorite administrator? Who would pass that up?” Rider exclaimed later that day. He sped home from school and got to work gathering the necessary ingredients to bake a perfect apple pie, baking it to a golden crisp. The next day, he arranged to heat his masterpiece in a cooking classroom, hoping to serve it to English department head (and favorite teacher) Nolan Nobleman piping hot. By the time Rider realized what “pie-ing” meant, it was too late. He’d agreed to pie, and the school’s eyes were on him. Nobleman was rushed to the nurse with first-degree burns to the face.

Until South relieves stress on grades, cheating is inevitable

No high schooler likes having to cheat. It’s not fun depending on others for answers you can’t find yourself, and earning points isn’t rewarding if you know you don’t deserve them. It’s not ideal being one not-so-subtle glance away from a zero, and taking advantage of a hardworking friend always comes with guilt. When it comes to tests, high schoolers generally cheat not because they want to, but because come test day, their desire for an A exceeds any prior motivation to study. If grades remain students’ only concern, rather than their grasp on information or their teacher’s impression of them, they’ll scramble to get the grade they want, regardless of whether they deserve that grade. This single-minded focus on grades drives students to cheat. As long as students chase A’s over understanding, academic integrity won’t be their priority. If students believe their report cards reflect their self-worth, some will do whatever it takes to improve that image,

knowing teachers aren’t looking *that* closely at their homework assignments and aren’t paying *that* close attention to them during tests. Pressure to get high grades does not inspire every kid to work harder; it only makes kids who aren’t confident in their abilities more likely to take extreme mea-

they’re confident there won’t be any consequences. If a student fails to complete homework assignments but still succeeds on tests, that only reflects poorly on those assignments’ value. Completing homework should be necessary for success on assessments. If students can copy every problem set but still

As long as students chase A’s over understanding, academic integrity won’t be their priority. sures on test day. If assignments don’t feel valuable, students will always copy homework for completion credit. While teachers may have introduced homework points as a way to give credit for nightly work or to compensate for low test grades, these grades now encourage kids to copy assignments they otherwise just wouldn’t do. Is dishonesty really better than laziness? A large proportion of homework cheating boils down to laziness, but students will only cheat if

score well on tests, that means the homework assignments are neither necessary nor helpful. Students therefore should not be penalized for failing to complete work that won’t deepen their understanding of the subject matter. Surely, students should not be willing to cheat to get the grade they want. But institutions at South like homework completion grades and excessive stress on grades only push students toward their friends’ papers, toward earning credit without putting in effort.

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Editorial Policy

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 six 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.

February 16, 2018|page 7


Stockpiling memories to carry me EDITOR’S into the next chapter of my life DESK from the

Michelle Cheng Editor-in-Chief

I recently added Owl City’s “Fireflies” to my Spotify playlist — yes, I still know and sing along to every single word. Listening to this song for the first time in years has pushed me into a period of nostalgia of which I have yet to come out. I’ve always been a nostalgic person. I enjoy sitting with my sister and cousins, telling stories we’ve told a million times before, but I’ve been especially nostalgic these past few months. My sister, cousins and I recently watched old home videos. Our cheeks hurt from laughing, our throats were hoarse and our faces were streaked with tears. This was the hardest I had laughed for a long time. After we watched all the videos, we started over, pointing out things we hadn’t noticed the first time. I can spend hours reminiscing about the past, which is probably annoying for everyone I’m talking to. (My sister has begun to recognize the face I make when I’m about to recollect a memory, and she immediately rolls her eyes.) More than just recalling childhood memories, I’ve started doing more things that remind me of my childhood. Playing UNO, Egyptian Ratscrew, ping pong and

Mario Kart is how I have spent my time with my sister and cousins these past few months, just like I did a couple of years ago. And I love it. I want to hold on to my childhood. I’m trying to recreate the part of my life I will miss the most: being with my family. I already have so many memories of time spent with my cousins and sister that I can take with me into the future, but I still want more. The reality that I will be entering

am. I’m also the oldest of my cousins and family friends. I’m turning 18 this month, becoming an adult and going to college. I will have to be independent. I will experience milestones and encounter obstacles they have yet to face. Throughout my life, I’ve experienced events before my sister and cousins have, but — especially in the past few years — we’ve understood each other. The experiences I’ll have at college and in adulthood will be different from my current ones.

Would you rather time move faster, so you can quickly get to the things you want to do, or slower, so you can spend more time in the moments you want to be in? the next stage of my life has finally hit me. Don’t get me wrong — I am excited about the future. I’m excited to leave high school, go to college and embark on the next adventure. But I dread having to leave the people that I have spent all my life with. It feels like I’m entering a new world and leaving a world behind. Granted, I am being hyperbolic. I will still see and spend time with my family and family friends. Yet, this transition feels as though I’m leaving them behind. And I guess in a way, I’m doing just that. My sister is five years younger than I

They’ll be different from those of my sister and cousins, so it very well feels like I’m leaving them behind. My 14-year-old cousin recently asked me, “When you’re in college, will you come back to watch the Super Bowl with us?” That question is so different from: “Will we watch the Super Bowl together next year?” What the two questions are asking is the same, yet their implications are completely different. One implies a sense of separation, the other a sense of closeness. I’ve welcomed the fact that I will be

leaving high school and moving on to college. I’ve fully embraced this implication of turning 18. What I am having difficulty with is accepting the reality that I’m entering adulthood, and my sister and cousins are not coming along with me. That’s why I’m reliving my childhood. I want to replicate the experiences I’ve had with my sister, my cousins and my family friends, so I can create more memories and carry them into the next chapter of my life. I want to have more to remember them by. A couple of weeks ago, I was skiing with my sister. When we were sitting on the lift, she asked me, “Would you rather time move faster, so you can quickly get to the things you want to do, or slower, so you can spend more time in the moments you want to be in?” If she had asked me even just a couple of months ago, I would have said faster — I would have said that I’d want to speed through the college application process, get through senior year and go to college as soon as possible. But now, as Owl City so wisely said, “I’d like to make myself believe that planet Earth turns slowly.” I want to have more time to make memories that I’ll bring with me, so that when I finally do look forward to the future, I won’t have to leave anyone behind.

Volume XXXIV The Lion’s Roar Newton South High School’s Student Newspaper 140 Brandeis Road Newton, MA 02459

Editors-in-Chief Michelle Cheng

Carina Ramos

Managing Editors Thomas Patti

Celine Yung

Section Editors Opinions


Aviva Gershman Dina Zeldin


Sophie Goodman Sophie Lu Sebastian Tsao



Rachel Gu Kimia Tabatabaei

Graphics Managers Ellen Deng Eunice Kim

Business Manager Gaby Smith

Cam Miller Ilan Rotberg Eu Ro Wang

Catherine Granfield Dorra Guermazi

Content Manager Emily Belt

Faculty Advisers Ashley Chapman Faye Cassell

Photo Managers Netta Dror Adam Baker

Local Government Correspondent Michael Ryter


perspectives:|VOLUME 34, ISSUE 6







pirited school environments are welcoming and inclusive, which is especially needed at large and diverse schools like our own. Creating school spirit can also help to unify South students. Generating school spirit should be a priority at South, as students who are proud of their school create a welcoming environment for all. Spirit at South will ease the transition for incoming students to our school. Due to the stressful nature of switching schools, be it from public or private middle school, a goal for any school should be to make its climate as welcoming as possible. New students at South can judge our school immediately by its spirit and how united we are as an entire community. A lack of school spirit correlates to a lack of charisma, making it difficult for individual students to connect to the whole student body. Our school is known for its academically rigorous and competitive atmosphere. Too commonly, we hear talk of grades and college; a fun-filled and spirited atmosphere would provide students with necessary distractions from their stressful lives. Moreover, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations, high school students with school spirit perform better academically, are more engaged in social and civic matters and are generally happier than their less-spirited peers. Essentially, it’s crucial that school be a place of enjoyment in spite of all the stress high schoolers experience. School events like pep rallies, lip dubs and spirit weeks relieve student stress and give our brains a much-needed rest. When we have events meant to increase school spirit, we can enjoy an exciting day rather than stress about our studies. Furthermore, school spirit encourages students to try new activities at our school. Individual connections between students can be a byproduct of school spirit. With more school spirit, more students start new clubs and participate in different school activities. For example, the lip dub featured a host of clubs that could potentially interest a student. When I watched the lip dub, I saw many clubs that I never knew existed until then, and it made me wonder what else our school has to offer. Basically, a school spirit event opened my eyes to new opportunities.

Following high school, most students move on to college. Whether it be a small liberal arts college or a big state university, colleges have extremely vibrant senses of school spirit, even more so than high schools. While preparation for the academic rigor of college is the primary goal of any high school, high schools should also prepare students for nonacademic college life by generating school spirit. Events like the pep rally will help students adjust to the high-spirited nature of college. Although South is primarily a place of academics, our school must be both a center of learning and a community that students enjoy being a part of. Given that students and teachers are at school for a significant portion of the day, we need to make South’s environment more exciting and unified through increased school spirit. By becoming more unified, our school will work more closely to eliminate bullying, harassment and negativity and promote virtues of kindness in the South community. School pride is a catalyst for increased and more diverse student intersection. When the school gathers students from every grade, students meet new peers, allowing them to branch out of their safe bubbles. In conclusion, spreading positivity around our school by promoting school spirit can make our long and stressful days at South sweeter without even realizing it. The school days are long enough, and having a break can make students truly enjoy being at South. School spirit is necessary to ensure that our building and community are as enjoyable as possible. photo illustation by Netta Dror


ecently, there’s been a lot of talk at South about the meaning of school spirit. This year, the administration has been actively attempting to generate more spirit by planning school-wide events in hopes of bringing the student body together. It’s important, however, that we consider the impacts of increased spirit at our school. Sports teams and clubs demonstrate school spirit in their own ways. Clubs generate school spirit by arranging bake sales. By purchasing products, students show their support for the clubs, and thus for the school. The boys cross country team shows its school pride by dressing up on days they have meets, and other sports teams participate in similar rituals. Students show their love for South through support of clubs, sports and activities, thus prompting the question: is it really necessary for South to attempt to foster more school spirit? Evidently, students feel comfortable showing their pride in clubs and sports teams. The school’s attempts at generating school spirit can create tension between participants and non-participants. Consider the lip dub. Students in the background might have felt left out because they were not the people in front of the camera. Even if those students had a chance to be front and center, some of them might have been too intimidated by it. It’s best for individual students to build love for the school in their own ways rather than have the school organize events students might not enjoy. If arranging school events to make students feel like part

of the school isn’t the best solution, what can be done? The best way to improve the school is by listening to and considering student critiques. That way, students can have a say in how the school functions and therefore appreciate the school more. The school should take student suggestions that can help improve life at South. Students should not blindly accept and love the school they attend. We should be able to critique certain aspects of our school to improve it. The school should take advice from students, and students should feel that their opinions are being heard and taken into consideration. A lack of communication between the school and students certainly isn’t going to improve the community we have. A more unified school community will ultimately result in more spirit overall; hence, the school shouldn’t make it a priority to artificially create school spirit with events like the lip dub and spirit week. School spirit is important, however, because students will learn better, engage more in class, work more effectively with peers and express their feelings freely. The administration’s heart is in the right place, but the ways it has acted on its good intentions are simply unnecessary. What South fails to realize is that students should generate spirit by themselves: clubs’ bake sales and sports teams’ traditions are perfect examples of school spirit created by students. Essentially, students already create their own forms of school spirit; you just have to look for them within smaller communities. These administration-planned events simply aren’t helpful. The school should allocate resources elsewhere; the staff, the materials, the money and the time can be better used in clubs and sports teams. With more money in clubs and sports teams, students will have more access and opportunities to explore the world. Individual groups at South will be most effective in generating school spirit and creating the perfect environment for students to learn and grow. In small communities, all students feel included and are able to express themselves better than in a whole school event. South doesn’t need to add unnecessary outlets for students to show their love of the school. Those measures already exist; we just have to learn to see them.

february 16, 2018|page 9



Opinions On

Opinions The Opinions section serves as an important mouthpiece for the South community By Cam Miller, Ilan Rotberg and Eu Ro Wang


t’s always satisfying to hear others validate your opinion. In Newton, where many children grow up with similar socioeconomic backgrounds and political viewpoints, seldom do we hear a genuine clash of ideas. Whether we’re in our homes, in our classrooms or in public, we grow up in an echo chamber. The lack of diversity in discourse at South has made speaking out more difficult for those with differing viewpoints, especially those not comfortable speaking in front of others. Verbal conversations and forums, however, aren’t a young person’s only modes of expression. Newspapers and written discourse are often more effective than spur-of-the-moment discussion, and that’s why we joined the Roar’s Opinions section. Ilan Rotberg Coming from a middle school without a newspaper, I found South’s abundance of publications intriguing. As a freshman, I became especially keen on joining Roar’s Opinions section after my interest in sharing my thoughts culminated in a desire to write. As I became more involved, I more deeply appreciated the unique opportunity that Roar presents to students. Everyone has their own viewpoints, but rarely can any person share them so publicly in an extensive manner. As I began writing for Ops, I found that I could share my thoughts with the community simply by putting them on paper. My ideas were not always the most popular, but they challenged me to thoroughly explain and defend my views. For example, in our graduation issue last year, I wrote an article about how instructors

overwhelmingly lean left on the political spectrum. The article was meant to not only inform, but to persuade and warn of the detrimental effects of a lack of intellectual diversity. Of course, the piece didn’t please many teachers at our school, but that’s the point: to challenge notions and respectfully push the boundaries. In our December issue, I zoomed in, focusing not on the larger community but on my own experience. I wrote about the individuality of religion and faith. The backbone of this article was an outline of my own connection to faith. In sharing my story, I found the Opinions section a pulpit not only for political or social expression, but also for exploring spiritual awareness. Writing can be a vehicle for any kind of expression, but we need to continue fueling that vehicle with creative ideas. Eu Ro Wang I joined the Opinions section for the same reason as Ilan. In any discussion, disagreement is not only welcome, but necessary. Platforms for community-wide discourse are rare, especially in Newton, where liberal and secular ideologies hold hegemony over any public discussion. That’s why I joined the Roar’s Opinions section and applied to be an editor: to encourage expression of differing opinions that may be suppressed in verbal discussion. For our issue last April, we ran an article titled “Toxic Feminism” written by former Opinions editor Cassandra Luca, where she argued that the exclusivity of modern-era feminism has isolated many feminists. Luca fully understood that the article might stir controversy and push-

graphic by Amy Xiao

back, beginning her article by acknowledging that her views are “in the minority” but sharing them for that same reason. While I heard many criticize this article, I also heard people support Luca’s views. Most importantly, it started a dialogue about inclusivity in the feminist community. Furthermore, the Perspectives columns of the Opinions section provide a platform for opposing viewpoints. By showcasing two different perspectives on a topic, readers and the community can see arguments from both sides and choose themselves what to believe. For example, in the aftermath of the 2016 election, the vast majority of South students agreed on two things: Trump’s election was distressing and the Electoral College needed to be changed. Though I was a part of the majority, I argued that we should keep the Electoral College, providing the South community with an often neglected minority perspective. Whether discussing ex-convicts’ right to vote or the value of charter schools, the Perspectives page provides differing opinions on contentious topics, so people can form their own opinions instead of accepting the majority’s perspective as fact. Cameron Miller I came to the Opinions section from a rather unconventional place: Sports. When I first joined Roar, I became a Sports reporter, and I was a Sports editor by

junior year. After Volume 33, I wanted to find another role. On Ops, I found myself enjoying my writing more and more. The freedom I began to experience allows me to write about topics I was truly passionate about. In June, I wrote about the war on drugs and other factors that led to mass incarceration, as well as its implications on families and societies. In November, I discussed the diversity of rap, examining the cultural influences of renowned artists and arguing about the value of rap’s diversity and the danger of oversimplifying all rap into one category. These topics are issues that I really care about, and I believe that these subjects were pertinent to our school and our community. The freedom I had in expressing my own opinions through personal stories and data allows me to make a difference in how others think. This privilege is what makes Opinions so powerful. All in all, we’ve talked about so many different themes in our section, ranging from political discourse to social commentary and spiritual discussion. There is no doubt the three of us are very proud of the range of conversations we’ve hosted in this past year, but it’s all rooted in individuals’ desire to express themselves. Everyone has something to say, and it is impossible to hear everyone — but we can still try. Here at Opinions, every viewpoint is welcome, as long as it’s thoughtful and comes from the heart.

page 10|february 16, 2018


Open Your Ears to Asian American Hip-Hop By Luke ito Last summer, I was scrolling through Youtube’s music section at 1 a.m., watching random rap videos to find up-and-coming Soundcloud rappers. One video came with a four-minute ad, which I initially assumed was just another ad for home security or car insurance — if I were lucky, it would be GEICO. This ad, however, opened with a melody and an Asian guy laying down on a bed of flowers, using a blowtorch to light a cigar. The ad was for a new song, titled “Glow Like Dat.” This was the first time I had ever heard of Rich Brian (formerly known as Rich Chigga) or his music. In fact, it was the first time I had encountered an Asian hip-hop artist in America, so I stayed up for another hour that night watching music videos, interviews and anything else I could find on him. Rich Brian opened my eyes to a whole new world of hip-hop I had never seen. The following morning, I reflected on Asians’ presence in the American music world; I tried to remember if any popular song in the last few years came from an Asian-American musician. Nothing came to mind. In fact, the only Asian artist with a number one single in any musical category since 1990 is Bruno Mars, who is Filipino and was raised in Hawaii, and who has held the top spot for his songs “That’s What I Like” in 2017 and “Uptown Funk” in 2015. That’s two out of 54 total numberone tracks since 1990. This statistic presents a larger problem: Asians are underrepresented in music as compared to white, African American or Latino artists

practice a piece for an hour every other in America. day until finally, at the next lesson, I got We as music consumers need to start thinking about why there aren’t more it right. This dedication and nearly religious popular Asian artists in America. Perhaps concentration on instrumental music Asian American children feel discouris common among Asian children, but aged from entering the commercial music rarely does their musical prowess appear industry, whether that originates from in any setting other than in an orchestra cultural norms or a psychological pheor band. nomenon. This emphasis on classical music According to University of Chicago is responsible for the limited number of Magazine, Asians and Asian-Americans prominent Asian artists in American pop are extremely promimusic. There is a lack of support in nent in instrumental Asian households for a child classical music, but to pursue something that not in vocals. Many doesn’t have strings, keys people with Asian roots or a reed. Even Steve are encouraged to take Aoki, one of the most up some sort of instrupopular Asian artists ment from a young age, in pop music, has often classical ones like made his millions violin, viola, cello or mixing beats and piano. Asian children, playing live sets — not however, are rarely singing. encouraged to pursue The good news is vocals. that times are changing. I wasn’t encourThis past year, multiple aged to pursue any Asian artists found more sort of vocal music mainstream audiences. as a child. My parents Whether it’s artists like Rich had me try a plethora of Brian; Joji, the creator of the instruments, including graphic by Luke Ito Harlem Shake; Higher Brothers, piano, clarinet and violin. the Chinese hip-hop sensations While I gave up on piano and clarinet or BTS, the K-Pop group that has found fairly quickly, I stuck with violin, taksuccess with American audiences, more ing lessons for nine years. I remember and more artists with Eastern roots are hours of practice and lessons, with a strict popping up in music today. teacher looking down her glasses at my Most noticeably in the past decade, every shift in position and every finger Americans have shown an increased willplacement. Then, I would go home and

ingness to let in music from non-English languages. In total, Billboard has seen 16 non-English singles inside of the top 10 of its rankings. This year, however, two of those singles, “Mi Gente” and “Despacito,” both broke through together, taking two spots inside the top 10. “Despacito” was even able to hold the number one spot for 16 weeks. The American public’s openness to foreign languages in music is helping to popularize Asian musicians in America. For example, BTS has acquired great popularity even though most of its songs are not English. As a half-Japanese kid born in America, I’ve been so drawn to these artists’ work because of the sense of connection I feel to them. We both have had to take off our shoes whenever we walk into a house, and we both have had to deal with the strict cultural pressures that come with our heritage. These are artists who have fully embraced their cultural roots and have used them as a platform to grow and develop. For me, that makes them not only artists, but revolutionaries. Before any major movement becomes mainstream, it needs a catalyst, something that will bring it to the forefront of American media. Following its release, Rich Brian’s debut album “Amen” topped the iTunes hip-hop charts, making him the first ever Asian artist to do so. With the continued contributions from artists like Rich Brian, Joji and Higher Brothers, I have high hopes that Asian hip-hop will become a larger part of the American music scene, and that the future of American music will look a lot more diverse.

Mother Knows Best by Caleb lazar People born in and outside of Massachusetts openly mock the Bostonian accent, for its Rs pronounced as Hs. But for me, it was never funny. Growing up with a speech impediment that prevented me from properly pronouncing sounds including Rs meant that the jokes always hit a little too close to home. As a toddler, my family members were the only ones that understood my speech. Even I have difficulty grasping what I was saying when I hear myself in family videos. After attending speech therapy at three years old, I believed that I had conquered my enunciation issues until my third grade teacher suggested to my mom that I try speech therapy again. I put up a strong fight. The idea of spending an hour every Tuesday in somebody’s dining room running through exercises in which I over-exaggerated “r” sounds preceded by every possible vowel combination didn’t seem fun. So, I did what any reasonable nineyear-old would do: I did everything in my power to avoid the weekly sessions. Despite my lack of faith in the system, speech therapy gradually improved my enunciation skills, and in less than a year I was able to correctly pronounce any type of “r.” Throughout the entire process,

however — even after I began to notice improvements in my speech — I refused to acknowledge that my mom did the right thing by taking my teacher’s advice. To me, the short-term inconvenience of those sessions was enough to stop learning how to talk in a way that other people could understand. Fortunately, my mom was stubborn. Her ability to see the bigger picture ensured that I got this necessary experience.

rash and not well thought-out. Unfortunately, the decisions we make now can seriously impact the rest of our lives. If my mom hadn’t sent me to speech therapy, I still wouldn’t be able to speak properly, and I wouldn’t be able to succeed as well in the activities I now enjoy, like debate. Most significantly, I would make worse impressions in important interactions like interviews or meetings, hurting my chances for future opportuni-

While most activities our parents force us into aren't as obviously life-changing as speech therapy, they still make a big difference in the skills we gain and the types of peoople we become. This situation wasn’t the only instance in which I opposed my mom’s advice despite it truly being best for me, and I think most people can say they’ve done the same. As children, we feel like it’s our duty to defy our parents and prove that we know as much as they do. But, the reality is that no matter how much we believe that we know, our parents probably know more about what’s best for us because of their life experiences. When we’re at a point of many changes in our lives, our judgment may be misguided; our decisions are often

ties. Without speech therapy, my entire life would have been drastically different. While most activities our parents force us into aren’t as obviously lifechanging as speech therapy, they still make a big difference in the skills we gain and the types of people we become. Whether it's something as small as a monthly art class or as large as committing to a sport or instrument, there is likely a valid reason for the activities our parents encourage us to participate in. Of course, I’m not saying that we

should just let our parents force us into all of the things that we don’t want to do. There are times when it’s necessary for us to step up and refuse to do certain things we truly don’t want to do. In a neighborhood rampant with overzealous parents, we are often overwhelmed by pressures. We should, however, at least consider why parents make the suggestions that they do because they usually really do have our best interests at heart. Our parents are meant to guide us, and despite our teenage angst, that’s what they’re doing most of the time. Growing up in Newton, we’re lucky to have the resources and opportunities that so many others lack, and our parents are just trying to make sure that we reach our full potential. Even though it may seem like a lot is being pushed onto us, there is a reason for most of this pressure. I certainly know that I would not be the person I am today without the choices my mom made for me. If we all take a moment to reflect on the decisions our parents made, we’ll realize that many of them have helped shape us to be as successful as possible. At the end of the day, sometimes our parents really are right about what’s best for us, so maybe we should listen to them a little more often.

campus chatter february 16, 2018|page 11



9 Valentine’s Day The Oscars

The Lion’s Roar asked ...

Where would you like to travel to? Why? “I’d like to go to China. I’ve been taking Chinese for a while, and I think it would be really interesting to finally see the culture and finally use the skills I’ve been developing for the past six years.”

Pep rally

Celtics playing well Black History Month

- Gannon Barnett, Class of 2018

“Probably Dubai because it was really fun the last time I went. I went to the desert, and it was just really nice.”

- Andrew Badaoui, Class of 2019

World Nutella Day

“I’d want to go to Iceland. I know a couple of people that have been to Iceland, and they say it’s really pretty and that they have volcanoes and stuff like that.”

February break Black Panther

- Nina Khan, Class of 2020

End-of-season sales

Chinese New Year

“I would like to travel to Hawaii because I think it’s really pretty and nice. I just like tropical places and warm places.”

- Andrea Tchesnovsky, Class of 2021



photos by Ben Freier

Album Review: “Blue Madonna” by ANNA ZHANG

Valentine’s Day Super Bowl loss Six more weeks of winter Bad movies Standardized testing Dirty snow Semi/Prom stress Sophomore speech Flu season

It’s been two years since alternative artist Garrett Borns released his debut studio album, “Dopamine,” praised by Rolling Stone as “glam with the natural sparkle of West Coast sunshine.” Charting on Billboard’s Top 200 and Alternative charts, “Dopamine” is full of indie-pop ballads. Now, BØRNS is back with his sophomore album, “Blue Madonna.” While some tracks on “Blue Madonna” are reminiscent of “Dopamine,” BØRNS’s music has evolved to a more complex and refined sound. In this album, he presents listeners with a new, vulnerable side to his music, proving he’s matured as an artist. “Blue Madonna” introduces softer, nostalgic vocals, straying away from the intense guitar and percussion of “Dopamine.” The album also includes two collaborations with Lana Del Rey and a brief interlude titled “Tension.” These new elements indicate that BØRNS is exploring new possibilities for his music after “Dopamine.” The album opens with “God Save Our Young Blood” (with backing vocals from Lana Del Rey) and “Faded Heart,” both reminiscent of “Dopamine’s” indiepop, radio-friendly sound. From there on, however, the tone deviates. “Sweet Dreams,” a hazy track with heavy bass,

shares the neo-psychedelia sound of Currents-era Tame Impala, a recurrent sound throughout the album, particularly in “Iceberg” and “I Don’t Want U Back.” BØRNS experiments with a new sound in “We Don’t Care,” a twangy, glam rock song. And the intense chorus of “Second Night of Summer” is a shift from the mellow aura of the previous tracks. “I Don’t Want U Back” is immediately followed by “Tension,” an interlude that sounds like its name, filled with unexpected chords. He closes the album with slow, mellow tracks “Blue Madonna” and “Bye-bye Darling.” “Blue Madonna” features uncredited background vocals from Lana Del Rey. The song itself could very well be part of her discography, as it shares the same hollow glamour found in her own work. In “Blue Madonna,” BØRNS stays true to his signature dreamy tone before experimenting with a softer, more vulnerable sound, and it ultimately works well. While “Dopamine” certainly sounds like its name, “Blue Madonna” takes listeners to a whole new level of euphoria.

photos from Interscope Records


Students attribute prevalent cheating to excessive press By Kimia Tabatabaei

“If I had to guess, I’d say four out of five kids cheat at South,” junior Lexi Francisca said. Pointing out students sitting near her during lunch, Francisca said, “I know they cheat and they cheat. Everyone cheats.” While the actual rate of cheating at South is unknown, senior Elana Volfinzon said that school’s competitive environment compels students to do whatever it takes to secure a good grade. The problem of cheating is not, however, unique to South. According to the Educational Testing Service (ETS), 60 to 70 percent of high school students report they have cheated. “I thought it would be somewhere at 85 percent,” Volfinzon said of the national statistic. “From Newton South and the people that I’m around, it’s hard to realistically name

someone who hasn’t cheated at all.” Academic cheating is broadly defined as taking credit for others’ work, from copying assignments and assessments to purchasing a paper online. According to ETS, while it was previously thought that lazy or unmotivated students were more likely to cheat, determined, college-bound students are now cheating just as frequently. ETS also found that over the past 50 years, cheating among high school students has risen dramatically. Even as a sophomore, Gal Rocabado said seeing seniors’ admission to highly competitive colleges

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Deana Shi has made her “constantly feel the pressure” to get good grades. “When I got an 86 on a test and, looking to my left, my friend got a 90, it’s like, ‘I should have gotten that grade,’” she said. “I could have worked harder, and that’s why we all feel the need to find the easiest way to get the best answer, and that’s why we rely on cheating.” According to David L. Jaffe of Stanford University, during high school, cheating increases as the stigma around it decreases tremendously, a trend Rocabado noticed at South. “In middle s cho ol, [cheating] was definitely a lot

increases applicatio “I k who just work in g ied every worked on she said. “ in the per future’ ve homewor ing to see the home Acc Research by Donald Klebe Tre factors, li and fears


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mmon, and it used to bigger deal,” she said. glish teacher Michael y said he attributes this in cheating in part to oolers’ age. dolescence is a time of enting, [and] cheating e of experimentation, rt of human nature to t what the boundaries said. “‘Can I do this? do this? Can I get away What if I get caught?’ e all very adolescent, opriate questions for t to explore.” nior Deana Shirasb pressure to achieve, ry factor in cheating,

tors, like classroom culture, teacher personality and influence of peers, affect students’ cheating behavior. They found that contextual factors, such as teacher enthusiasm, have a larger impact on students’ cheating behavior than individual factors. While Kennedy said he does not see how a teacher’s attitude or expectations could foster an environment of cheating, he recognized the positive impact enthusiastic teachers can have on their students’ academic honesty. “When you’re in a classroom with a teacher who’s passionate about his or her material [and] the discipline, it’s infec-

uture’ versus ‘this one night’s homework,’ the value in [doing the homework]

irasb, Class of 2018

s during the college on process. know multiple people stopped doing homegeneral and just copyone else’s work and n college applications,” “I understand because rspective of ‘this is my ersus ‘this is one night’s rk,’ you’re just not goe the value in [doing ework].” cording to an article in h in Higher Education d L. McCabe and Linda evino, both individual ike motivations, goals s, and contextual fac-

tious,” he said, “When students respect the teachers, I think they’re less willing to cheat.” In a Frontiers in Psychology exploratory questionnaire study, researchers found that students cheated less on exams of teachers who were perceived as fair and enthusiastic. Students who believe in their ability to succeed are less likely to cheat, junior Rebecca Friedman said. Conversely, according to Volfinzon, a lack of confidence causes students to cheat. “They don’t think that they can do as well if it’s just them working on the test, so they

might feel like they have a better grip if they use someone else’s knowledge as well,” she said. Researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education concluded that the immorality of cheating is often insufficient in stopping students from committing the act. “When you’re cheating, you don’t think about the consequences that may come later as a result of not learning the material yourself,” junior Josie Langan said. In high-achieving schools, researchers found that “a community-wide ethos of cheating can develop … when the cheating is framed by the community as Continued on next page

page 14|february 16, 2018

Continued from previous page altruistic, to help others.” While students learn that cheating is wrong because they receive credit or a grade they did not deserve, an article in The Atlantic states that students may cheat for this very reason. “Students who cheat often feel justified in what they are doing,” ETS wrote. “They cheat because they see others cheat, and they think they will be unfairly disadvantaged.” Math teacher Amanda Bastien said students may resort to cheating to get the grade they feel they deserve. “They already see kids who are naturally better at certain subjects than them,” she said. “There’s the kid who doesn’t have to study and gets an A, and then there’s the kid who’s studying for hours and gets a B-.” “With a strict teacher, you’re afraid to mess up,” sophomore Emenike Anigbogu said. “You feel obligated to cheat to get everything right.” Volfinzon said she feels greatly pressured by other students to earn good grades. “Within the student culture, there’s a lot of comparison,” she said. “You want to get into a good school because your friends got into a good school, … so I think it’s more student-enforced.” After getting a test back, Volfinzon added, students immediately turn and ask their neighbors about their grades, continually enforcing the notion that grades are all that matter. “When a student chooses to cheat, I don’t think of them as cheaters,” Kennedy said. “I think of them as a stressed student who probably has too much on their plate, and they’re looking for a quick answer to a complicated situation.” First and foremost, Anigbogu said, students should develop honesty in high school

centerfold||THE LION’S ROAR

to avoid harsher penalties in the future. “[Students] feel the standards are the same in college, but you don’t really get a second chance in college,” he added. “If you get caught cheating, you’re out, so the foundation [of avoiding cheating] needs to be laid in high school.” “I try to have a zero-tolerance policy,” Bastien added. “It usually ends up that the first time is like a tap on the wrist. You get a warning, basically. If you do it again, that means it’s a pattern, and that means it’s your coping mechanism. ... I’m giving you a zero.” While enforcing a stricter anticheating policy is important, Kennedy said a school-wide discussion about cheating would help students and teachers better understand each other’s perspectives. “We might be able to get at the emotional basis that’s there, that students are angry that they have too much work, and teachers need to hear that,” he said. “But then students could hear how teachers know that if we want to have a system that’s preparing students legitimately for college with actual skills, doing homework is part of that.” According to The Atlantic, academic cheating is not solely the fault of students or teachers, but rather a result of a culture that values learning’s final destination more than the journey. “If we could get to a place where we returned to learning as a process, and grades will follow from that learning, then we might be able to invite students back into that process,” Kennedy said. “If one day you get caught, I mean it sucks. It really does, and it holds you back. The guilt is just so much worse than the grade,” Rocabado said.“But being a teenager is hard. Being in high school is hard. Keeping up with your work is hard. But try your best.” Additional reporting by Carina Ramos

59 percent of high school students admit to cheating on a test in the past year

One-third of high school students admit to using the Internet to plagiarize an assignment infographic by Ilan Rotberg source of information: The Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics photo illustration by Kimia Tabatabaei


educated but unprepared Some students find themselves leaving South without having learned basic life skills By Linda Chang and Lisa Jiang


hen junior Isabelle Gloria’s older brothers left South and went to college, she said they were academically prepared, but they had not learned to live on their own, lacking essential skills like cooking. Though South offers classes like personal finance and international cuisine that help prepare students for life after high school, senior Benjamin Anderson-Krim said many students can’t find room in their schedueles for all of the courses they wish to take. “All of these courses are already provided at South, but the issue is the vast majority of students don’t take them,” he said. “If these life skills are incorporated within other related mandatory curriculums, more students can take advantage of this life skills education.” According to junior Bobby Lovett, South values college prepara-

tion more than life readiness. “[South] provides a potential opportunity to prepare for [life] beyond academics, but sometimes it doesn’t provide that outreach enough,” he said. Some students who do not take these life skills courses at South may never learn how to take care of them-

have someone to take care of things at home or to take care of the kids.” After high school, most students are inadequately prepared for life, Lovett said, but college can be a time for students to transition and acquire these life skills. “There might be some societal

Phan said, which can prepare students for their learning careers after high school. “South teaches us why we learn and how to learn, rather than [just] what we learn,” she said. South’s focus on academic skills may disadvantage students who do not want to go to college after high school, If you learn the hard stuff in high school, you can figure Kopf said. “[South] tends to overlook the out the rest of the stuff once you get out. kids that just maybe want to pursue Ethan Kopf, class of 2020 being a mechanic or an electrician or a plumber after high school,” he said. selves, partially due to privilege, Gloria aspects that are like, ‘You should be “They just assume that everyone wants able to do this right now’, which is sort to go to college.” said. “I feel like Newton is definitely of why things like college and graduate Gloria said implementing a school exist, in some ways, to extend a bubble,” she said. “We have a lot of life skills course in the wellness curthat time, to give you that time to [families] where both parents work, riculum would benefit many students. and they have a lot of time where they figure things out before living alone,” “I feel like if [life skills] was one are not at home, and they have to he said. of the wellness classes people would For sophomore Ethan Kopf, actually take it because it wouldn’t be South’s focus on academic prepara- that hard and is essentially a home tion makes sense. [economics] class, and we used to “You can’t just teach have those,” she said. yourself high algebra, but Lovett added that integrating life you can sort of learn skills into the pre-existing curriculum how to do your taxes,” could potentially eliminate the need he said. “If you learn the for a new course. hard stuff in high school, “As somebody who has had my you can figure out the schedule pretty much filled every year, rest of the stuff once you it’s hard to do everything you want,” get out.” he said. “Instead of creating a new South gives students class for [life skills], why not incorpoa new approach on how rate those elements into our already to learn, senior Hannah existing core classes?” Ultimately, Gloria said, possessing life skills is necessary for survival and independence in the modern world. “Everyone needs to know a basic level of how to take care of themselves, how to make food that’s good for you and tastes good and is good for you and how to freaking wash your clothes.” photo illustration by Netta Dror

page 16|February 16, 2018


graphic by Ellan Suder

GOING DIGITAL South students fight crticism as they use technology to create new forms of art By Julian Fu and Talia Raffel

graphic by Alice Zilberberg

graphic by Naomi Liftman

graphic by Ellan Suder

Senior Brigitte Tang discovered her love for digital art at a young age. “When I was 10 or 11, I saw these videos online. Somebody animated these talking cats, and I was like ‘Whoa, that’s really cool, how’d they do that?’” she said. Although she lacked the tools at first, she used what she had to create digital art. “I didn’t have a tablet, so I was just using my mouse. And then when I was 11 or 12 I got a tablet, and that’s when I actually started drawing,” she said. Artists at South are experimenting with digital techniques but still struggle with critics who assume it is less difficult than “conventional art,” according to junior Alice Zilberberg. “A lot of people like to assume [digital art] is easier and therefore disregard it as an art, but if you look around you, it requires so much skill and patience,” she said. According to senior Isabel Bulman, digital art is a valuable creative outlet for her. “Art is a way to express yourself visually and express your emotions, your interests,” she said. “Digital art is just another form of that. There’s sculpture, there’s pencil; there’s all types of mediums, and digital art is just another one.” “To me, art is, to some extent, about communication, so you can be communicating emotions, ideals or trying to make someone happy,” freshman Sonja Igussa said. “Anything is art—cooking, music, drawing [or] animating.”

Digital art can be diffuicult, digital art teacher Carol Ober said. Supplies can be very expensive, and therefore not accessible to every art student. “You do have to have money to do it. You need a computer, and there’s a learning curve,” she said. The lack of tangible materials required for digital work is partially why it is misunderstood by the general public, Ober added. “You win the ability to make changes quickly and experiment across a broad range of elements, changing them infinitely, as opposed to making a painting. It would take 100 times longer to make the same changes. You lose the tactile qualities,” she said. “Because of that loss, a lot of people just can’t see it as art.” For some, the definition of art is rigid, Ober added, and digital imagery does not fit this definition. “Art is narrowly defined as something where I can see the hand of the artist, the brushstrokes, how the artist physically manipulated the material,” she said. Ultimately, digital art is art, and it does not deserve criticism and judgement it receives, Zilberberg said. For Zilberberg, digital art helps break boundaries and push limits of traditional art. “I’ve been drawing ... ever since I could hold a pencil, but it often felt limiting because I didn’t have the tools I wanted [or] the tools I needed to accomplish what I wanted,” she said. “Digital art was a good way to get around that.”

FEbruary 16, 2018|page 17


Bey nd the FilteRS VSCO provides an outlet for sharing provocative content in the name of art By Sophie Lewis and Carrie Ryter


crolling through her Instagram profile, junior Carli Heras scrutinizes her pictures, a habit brought about by the platform’s increasing social pressure to appear perfect in every post. “I’m constantly deleting [pictures] or being like, ‘Aw, should I have posted that? I didn’t get enough likes, or I didn’t get enough comments,’” she said. Now, however, Heras said she has found a safe haven in VSCO, a social media app that allows neither likes nor comments on pictures, creating an environment seemingly free of social pressure. “I never second-guess the things I post on it, and I rarely delete the pictures I post,” she said. The low-pressure, intimate platform has made users feel more comfortable posting photos they may not want to share on Instagram, resulting in both more artistic and more risqué content. Created in 2011, VSCO is marketed as a social media app for self-expression and creation, an idea junior Allie Riklin found attractive. Like Heras, Riklin found the app to be more freeing than Instagram. “You post [on Instagram] to get likes usually, but VSCO is really more about the artistic side of things,” she said. “I value my art a lot, so I wanted to put it on something like VSCO, where I didn’t have to care about likes or comments.” “You post on it more for yourself,” junior Eva Sours added. Riklin argued that racy or suggestive photos on VSCO are modes of expression. “If someone posts nudes, it’s an artistic statement, not just posting nudes,” she said. Despite the fact that profiles are accessible to anyone with a user’s profile link, sophomore Charlotte Saunders added that actually finding profiles is fairly difficult, granting users some security that their content will remain in their exclusive circles. “I’m pretty sure the only people who see mine are my friends,” she said. Sophomore Sophia Pechan agreed, adding that if people view your photos, you have no way of knowing, giving an air of anonymity to the platform. “It’s become a sort of secretive social media where you can just put anything,” she said. Heras said she, too, has found comfort in VSCO’s smaller, more personal community, allowing her to post pictures of herself she would hesitate to post on other social media platforms. Many users make VSCO their outlet

graphic by Isabella Xie

to show more skin or smoke, which they would refrain from posting on Instagram. “People don’t really care because they know that there’s a lesser chance of someone who could get them in trouble seeing it,” sophomore Micaela Greene added. “That’s one of the appeals; that’s

she was smoking,” she said. “Her mom found the picture and then got really upset about it.” According to South’s Intervention and Prevention Counselor Brian Deleskey, social media platforms like VSCO can romanticize illicit behaviors, making

“It’s become a sort of secretive social media where you can just put anything.” Sophia Pechan, class of 2020 one of the aesthetics.” According to Heras, however, VSCO accounts can still be tracked down, citing one instance when a friend posted a photo on VSCO of herself smoking and faced punishment from her parents. “She didn’t put an emoji or anything over [the smoke], so you could clearly see

students more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol as methods to relieve stress from school and to conform to what they deem popular social media content. “Social media … might give kids the idea that everyone is doing it, and if they’re open about [it on social media], then it’s that much more acceptable,” he


Other people’s posts are influential, Heras said, when it comes to deciding what to post. “You’ll see two very pretty girls posing in a mirror in their bikinis that they normally wouldn’t post anywhere else, and you’ll be like, ‘Oh I have to do that [because] that’s such a cool picture,’” she said. “Girls are more into … taking pictures and posting them and editing photos to make them look prettier, and that is what VSCO is, in essence,” junior Hayley Beaver added. Riklin said she primarily appreciates VSCO as a platform to share artwork, even if those photos cross the line of what other social media platforms deem appropriate. “It’s really become [a platform] where artists are trying to … express themselves,” she said, concurring with Sours. “Expressing yourself is always positive.”

page 18|February 16, 2018


A New Rhythm



Artist Spotlight In 2017, I became more involved with music. I crossed the line from fan to active creator and performer. This new lens gave me a fresh perspective on what music means to me. While rehearsing, practicing and performing with other musicians, I discovered that South’s music community was more than just a “hangout group.” Participating in musical projects has provided me with a feeling of purpose, developed my social-networking skills and created magical memories. My high school music experience started when I joined the six-member pit band for South Stage’s 2017 production of RENT. We spent every Tuesday rehearsing the show’s thick pile of sheet music together for three months. I’d never had to practice and sight-read so much music in my life. I felt a ton of pressure to stay in rhythm with the actors — missing one note could ruin the show. I learned to deal with this pressure by forming connections with audiences and fellow pit-band members. RENT band’s members were some of the most talented people I have met at South. We became friends over our shared love of music, and they helped me improve. I learned skills that developed my musicianship. Previously, I played shows for myself, but when playing with and for other people, I cared that I sounded good, looked cool and contributed to the ensemble. I learned that it’s more important to play for everyone involved. On the day of the final performance of RENT, I was nervous but prepared. At the end of the play, one character begins to die after a long battle with AIDS, and I played the solo guitar accompanying this scene. It felt powerful to have accomplished something so intense as only a freshman. I have also played in musical projects organized by friends and fellow musicians. These nonchalant DIY projects are my favorite part of playing music. While rehearsal with music teachers is still fun, creating music with friends results in magical performances. Organizing gigs and rehearsing without an instructor’s help taught me the importance of hard work and organization in becoming a successful musician. I also realized the many challenges of the music world. There were too many moments in 2017 when I found myself playing with musicians with whom I did not connect. Producing quality music with others and having fun while doing so only works if you develop a connection. After establishing that connection, the primary focus is on the music and nothing else, resulting in fantastic memories of people connecting and music flowing. The opportunities that music offered me in 2017 solidified the year as a successful and joy-filled. I hope 2018 brings more experiences that strengthen my ever-evolving relationship with music.



features contributor

The Roar follows four seniors with different interests as they navigate the college application process and will reveal their identities and college plans as they make their decisions

By Dina Zeldin


aroline* auditioned at 13 schools after sending in her academic transcripts. Auditioning nearly every weekend since December has given Caroline new insight into the programs she is applying to. “The vibe that you get from an audition can really say a lot about the program and the school,” she said. “You’re just surrounded by people who are so passionate ... because you can’t go through this audition process unless you really want it.” She said Emerson University and the Boston Conservatory remain high on her list of prospective schools for their intense training and close location, but that after auditions, she is considering other schools, such as the Royal Conservatory of Scotland in Glasgow. “It was a very different audition than all the other ones I’ve done, but I really enjoyed it,” she said. “They were super nice and receptive.” “[The school] only accepts 18 people total and usually only five are American.” But after being invited back for a dance call, Caroline said she is excited to have a chance, even if only a slim one. No matter the outcome of the auditions, Caroline said the process was worth the worry. “I ... learned a lot about myself and what I want in a school ... and my relationship with these auditions and these songs and monologues,” she said. “It’s been really nice to become very in touch with myself. I was under a lot of pressure but the mindset really takes off the pressure.”


harlie* sent in his applications for regular decision schools and heard back from his five early action schools. Visiting Boston College for admitted students night affirmed his interest to attend. “I got to talk to a lot of students, got to see some lectures [and] go around campus,” he said. “That definitely pushed me towards [going to] B.C.” He also said he is reconsidering Case Western Reserve University after the school offered him a financial aid package. “Cost isn’t a huge factor, but it’s still something I’m keeping in mind,” he said. “I’m very lucky in that my brother ... got a full ride from the school he’s going to, so [my parents] only have to pay for one [of us]. That gave me more freedom.” Even though many of his peers have begun the much-anticipated senior slump, Charlie said he is still motivated. “You sort of want to cruise through most of your classes, but I think being interested in politics and government [makes me] want to be there [in U.S. Gov. class] and learn.” Charlie said he is looking forward to the rest of senior year, especially after finishing the college application process. “Throughout high school, everything is … working towards this goal of creating this really nice college resume, but now ... there’s definitely less pressure,” he said. “The weather’s getting nicer, everybody’s gearing up to move on and classes are going to start winding down, so I’m looking forward to that part of the year.”


graphics by Celine Yung

nnabelle* is waiting to hear back from eight of the 12 colleges she applied to. Now more than ever, she said she is excited to attend college in Canada. “It’s a new change, ... and they have a different college culture, and I kind of want to experience that,” she said. Unfortunately, she said, she has to take an additional chemistry course to fulfill requirements for Canadian schools. “It’s so annoying, [but] if I get in after having taken the class, then that’s good,” she said. Annabelle added that as a Canadian citizen, tuition would be much more affordable, a consideration both she and her parents have agreed is key when weighing her options. “There’s no such thing as a bad college, [and] my parents like where I’m applying to, so if I get into any of them and it’s cheaper than the others, that would be really nice,” she said. She said she is currently sending transcripts and filling out paperwork for American financial aid. Right now, Annabelle added, she finds herself frustrated with teachers’ tight grip on seniors as she and others attempt to slump having finished their applications. “Teachers are still keeping the same pace. ... It’s just too much — I’m just not in the mood to do work,” she said. “I come home [and] watch a Disney movie — it’s so fun!” *Names changed to protect students’ identities

FEBRUARY 16, 2018|page 19


South Crime Watch

Yes, we heard you say that.

Editors’ Note: Individuals are presumed guilty until proven innocent.

graphic by Sophie Galowitz

Overheard at SOUTH

FRAUD Feb. 2, English office An A block English teacher reported that a class of juniors attempted to give themselves As. As evidence, the teacher pointed to the top-right corner of each paper, which read: “2/1/18 A.”

THEFT Feb. 5, Math office On the morning of the freshman math midyear, students discovered that the math office’s extra graphing calculators had been stolen. Rival math block suspected.

IDENTITY THEFT Feb. 8, Preschool Four seniors enrolled in South’s preschool, but have since been reported by Early Childhood Development students. The seniors were found hiding in the Little Tikes playhouse.

ATTEMPTED ARSON Feb. 16, Hallways Roar staff has been accused of distributing flammable material around South’s campus. Students leaving copies on the ground may be tried as accomplices.

Sleep-deprived senior: “You can tell how tired I am by the quality of my integral symbols.” Clothing-conscious sophomore: “On a scale from one to 10, how bad is the hole in the back of my pants?” In-class explication writer: “I’m the last generation of critical thinkers.” Fantasy Winter Olympics fanatic: “Oh my God, Norway is feasting right now.” Knowledgable Roar adviser: “I didn’t study for Jeopardy because I already knew everything. My mind is full. I can’t add any more information.” Squeaky-clean sophomore: “I wash my hair for special occasions. Like the pep rally.”

Embarrassing Roar Staff Photo Gallery:

Ramos “spreads her wings and learns how to fly,” five months too early.

Miller’s crotch tiger raises doubts about his allegiance to Roar.

Wang admires his chicken wang.

“That’s So Granfield!”



South athletes find competition, community and recreation through rock climbing By Catherine Granfield and Shaw Miller


cour L rew of D tesy man


not meant to compete,” she said. “We’re not a team. We just go and have fun. ... It’s an effort, and it can be difficult to make it up the walls, but you have your friends there, and it’s relaxing and nice.” The club climbs on the dance studio walls, the outdoor climbing structure and at Central Rock on group trips. South wellness teacher and rock climbing club advisor Amy Aransky said rock climbing has many merits outside the gym. “It’s great for mind, body and strength,” she said. “It takes mental toughness. It’s really the root of problem solving, trying to figure out what handholds to use, what footholds work, how to work your way up different routes.” Ma agreed that rock climbing helps students’ mental health and resiliency. “It’s kind of a mental challenge as well as a physical challenge,” he said. “You can get over the fear of climbing really high or going through a lot of pain.” Aransky added that climbing with a group helps students conquer fears in a supportive environment. Matthews agreed, saying that rock climbing helps athletes gain confidence. “Before I went to climbing, I was just this anxious, super energetic little kid. I feel like it really transformed me into someone who knows what they want to do with their life and [has] a passion that they want to excel at,” she said. “It just changed me into a more dedicated, intrepid person.” Additional reporting by Izzy Klein

o phot

ophomore Sidney Ma’s climbing career got off to a rocky start. “We went to the rock gym, and I did awfully,” he said. “I could barely get up the wall, and I was super scared. ... It was a total disaster.” Despite his fear, Ma went back a week later, “a little more ambitious. I wanted to try a few more things, and that time I had a lot more fun,” he said. Almost five years later, Ma is a 2017 National Qualifier on the Elite team at Central Rock Gym in Watertown. Though South has no rock climbing team, many students climb either competitively or recreationally at Central Rock. Senior Ariana Matthews, for example, has competed at nationals for the past three years, placing in the top five and advancing to the IFSC World Youth Championship each year. She said she has competed in both speed climbs and bouldering — an unharnessed climb that focuses on endurance. Before placing sixth at the world championship in Austria, Matthews placed second at nationals in Georgia for speed climbing this July. “The first day is qualifiers for speed, and everyone goes and gets two runs on the standardized routes,” she said. “You’re getting in your zone and not really thinking about anything besides what you’re about to do.” Representing Team USA in Guangzhou, China in 2016, Matthews placed eighth. She said the variety of people she met there made it her most interesting competition. “It’s amazing to meet people from all over the world and just see them united by their passion for climbing,” she said. Matthews trains individually with two coaches. Some climbers, like sophomores Malcolm McGraw and Ellie Creedon, train with teams at Central Rock. Creedon said the sport is still individual despite competing as a team. She added, however, that the team environment makes the sport more enjoyable. “[Being on the team] is the best thing ever,” she said. “I love them. They’re like my best friends, and we’re like a family.” McGraw, who began climbing competitively last year, agreed that the climbing community keeps him coming back to the sport. “Climbing is sort of a less popular sport, so there are fewer people, which makes it a closer community,” he said. “Everyone helps each other out, and we’re all working on getting better.” This past fall marked the revival of a rock climbing club at South. According to club leader and junior Annie Lee-Hassett, the club is non-competitive. “We created the club to be very laid-back, so we’re

Matthews at the 2017 Boston Boulder Brawl. photo courtesy of Drew Lederman


NO PUCKING AROUND Girls hockey team combines with Brookline to boost competiton level By Dorra Guermazi, Caleb Lazar and Jiwon Shon

photos courtesy of Image Flo

(Bottom) Sophomore Emily Autor chases the puck during the girls ice hockey team’s Jan. 10 match against Weymouth (0-1).


ue to the limited number of South students interested in joining the girls ice hockey team, South and Brookline come together each winter to form a joint team. This year, however, numbers are high enough to form two teams, one varsity and one JV, giving the girls a competitve advantage. Head coach Meg Lloyd said she supported combining the teams. “It makes us a stronger group of kids because we’re coming from two different schools,” she said. Dividing into two levels has made the team more safe and successful, lightening the load on each player, Lloyd said. Junior Daphne Frantzis added the combined team makes her hockey experience more enjoyable. “I have a lot of good friends from Brookline, [and] it’s nice to meet new people,” she said. “I don’t see them at school, but I still get to see them every day.” “I love playing with Brookline because we get to meet new girls and it’s just a lot of fun,” junior Willa Frantzis agreed. Sophomore Emily Autor, however, said that because Brookline contributes many more players than South does, South players at first struggled to connect with the Brookline players. The team, however, is becoming more tightly-knit, according to Autor. “We are all coming together as a team,” she said. “We are actually talking and communicating and hanging out with each other.” Sophomore Taylor Paterson added that this year’s team is cooperative and has strong teamwork skills, which ultimately

leads to their success. “We all listen to each other, so when we give each other feedback, we try to act on it and improve our playing,” she said. Daphne, however, said the team often has rocky starts in games. “We’ve had trouble getting enough energy when we start our game,” she said. “[We’ve been] trying to figure out how we can change our warm-ups.” She added that the team’s initial three-defender setup limited its defensive protection, prompting coaches to change the setup in the past few games. Paterson said offense had things to work on as well. “We have issues getting accurate shots during the games, giving 100 percent for all three periods and communicating on the ice,” she said. Lloyd added that another challenge the team faced was training inexperienced freshmen. “A lot of us are working on adjusting to the pace of high school,” she said. “We usually have a smaller cohort of kids that are adjusting to the pace of hockey.” Autor said that the practice rinks are far away from South, and the long travel time is hard on the athletes’ schedules. Paterson added that practices usually run until 8 or 9 p.m., impacting her academics and sleep. “We defenitely need to try get homework done after school, but obviously that doesn’t happen that much, so I’ve been going to bed at like 12 every night,” she said. “When games are far away, ... it’s definitely tricky.” The preparation for games and

practices is time-consuming as well, Autor said, noting the 30 to 35 minutes the girls spend dressing and warming up. Despite the obstacles the athletes face, Lloyd said they learn many life skills from their experience on the ice. “Hard work is one skill [the girls learn] because what you put in is what you get out,” she said. “They have to be ... mentally and emotionally flexible because we’re making decisions on the fly.” Autor added that she has learned the importance of positivity from her experience on the team. “We all do a lot better when we are all positive and helping each other out, and I think we’ve all learned how to come together as a team,” she said. “I think that’s a super big life skill — just being positive and making the best out of things. If we are losing a game, we can make the best out of it.” “I think communication with your teammates is a really big factor in hockey, both on the ice and off the ice,” Willa added. Paterson said she has learned to persist even through tough times. “You have to learn how to overcome challenges and how to keep working hard no matter what the score is or no matter what’s happening,” she said. “You just have to push through.” Lloyd said the team’s recent success makes her hopeful for the rest of the season. “Recently we’ve played some really consistent games, and our energy has been up,” she said. “Kids are excited about the sport— sort of like a revitalized energy.”

February 16, 2018|page 21


the penalty box Tom Brady had nothing left to prove. Entering the 2017 season, Brady already had two MVPs and five Super Bowl rings. He had already set NFL records in total wins by a quarterback (208) and playoff passing yards (9,094). According to many players, coaches, media and fans, Brady was already the greatest of all time. Neither this recognition nor the age of 40, however, urged Brady to ease his foot off the gas this season. Earlier this month, he added a third MVP trophy to his storied collection. Then, with over 500 yards and three touchdowns, he nearly dragged the Pats’ depleted receiving core and sorry defense to a sixth title. But Brady isn’t the only GOAT who padded his legacy in a big way this winter. On Jan. 28, Roger Federer continued his 20-year run of unparalleled dominance by claiming his second-straight Australian Open crown and 20th Grand Slam title, more than any other man. Especially on the men’s side, where American players have struggled to stay relevant for well over a decade, tennis receives little attention in the States. Americans cannot, however, ignore Federer’s achievements. Since the start of his career, the Swiss star has held the top world ranking for a record 302 weeks. His 30 Grand Slam finals appearances are the most ever on the men’s side, and his titles include eight at Wimbledon and five at the US Open. One of only eight men to ever complete the career Grand Slam, Federer possesses the signature characteristic of any GOAT: the ability to rise to his competition and perform under pressure. Despite all the records, Federer has faced his fair share of adversity. Back and knee injuries hampered his play for much of 2013 and 2016. Ahead of him in the current world rankings sits Spaniard Rafael Nadal, Federer’s longtime rival who holds a 23-15 all-time record against him. These challenges, however, should take away little from Federer’s legacy; after all, similar obstacles have made little impact on Brady’s. Based on his 2-0 Super Bowl record against Brady, Eli Manning might seem to deserve GOAT consideration; however, what has always separated TB12 from his toughest competitors is his long history of rebounding stronger than ever. Federer is no different. As Brady continues to shatter records as a 40-year-old on football’s biggest stage, Federer continues to match his every stride. At 36, he is the secondoldest man to ever win a majors title — and he’s won three in the past 12 months. His current contract has him on track to play at least through 2019. “I just got to keep a good schedule, stay hungry,” he once said. “Then maybe good things can happen.” Federer’s command of the pro tennis scene at 36 deserves the highest of praise, more so than we grant him on this side of the Atlantic. As our very own GOAT continues to redefine the limits of a 40-year-old human body, we shouldn’t forget that another GOAT is currently in our midst. With respect to Brady, Roger Federer has been going for just as long — and he’s finishing just as strong.

page 22|February 16, 2018


Wrestling program sees new growth, success Jake Freudberg, Damian Mathews & Jackson Slater Sports reporters

Following a decrease in team enrollment — culminating in a low 17-man team last year — wrestling coaches and wellness teachers Alan Rotatori and Bill Fagen recognized the need for change. With the era when football captains filled the upper weight classes long gone, the coaches had difficulty recruiting larger athletes. “I see [athletes] in the weight room, I see them on the football team, I walk by them in the hallways,” Rotatori said. “But we just can’t, for whatever reason, get them [to join].” In the wake of a season with only 17 kids on the roster, the coaches implemented a minor overhaul to the entire program, Rotatori said. “Coach Fagen and I brainstormed some ideas, and we came up with some ideas of things we could change and make it a little more user-friendly for students

here at South who are more academically driven,” he said. Rotatori organized an intramural wrestling tournament before the season, inviting anyone interested in the sport to participate. Twenty-six students attended. By cutting back on Saturday competitions, shortening practices and allotting designated days off, coaches ensured wrestlers still had time for school work. To make the program more entertaining, coaches incorporated “adventure games” like Balls to the Wall, a game involving hitting large yoga balls across Gym B. South also left the DCL Large division for the DCL Small division and added specific JV meets to the schedule, where rookie wrestlers have the opportunity to wrestle in two to three matches. “A lot of those [DCL Large] schools are state-ranked right now,” Rotatori said. “We’re just not at a point right now in the program where we can even compete at that level, so we’ve got to start somewhere. The good news is that we’re seeing that we’re better than most of the DCL Smalls.”

Better team functionality brought about an increase in numbers, driving the team to success, he added. “We had five seniors walk into the program this year, and that’s unusual,” Rotatori said. “But we’re really looking really good, and we have a couple of experienced young wrestlers coming into the program, and I think we can just ride them a little bit and generate a little more interest that way, too.” According to Rotatori, drawing interest for a commonly misconceived sport like wrestling is difficult, though he added that the strength of the wrestling community should incentivize enrollment. “Family is really the priority,” he said. “You’ve got to be together in order to get through some of the things we get through.” Freshman Devin MacBain, a firsttime wrestler, said he fell in love with the sport and the team this winter. “Everyone’s amazing, everyone’s happy; we’re like a big ol’ family,” he said. “It’s a very supportive community. You’re encouraged to learn more [and] everyone

has your back.” “The team really bonds because we’re all working hard, and you become sort of like a family,” sophomore wrestler Adam Bernhardt said. Wrestling helps wrestlers’ personal growth, according to senior captains Joe Vedensky and Eli Beutel. The six minutes in the ring and the grueling practices make athletes both disciplined and optimistic about other challenges in life, Vedensky said. “I sit down to write a paper, and of course it’s not fun, but after experiencing the grind of wrestling it feels like I can get through this, and I get it done,” he said. “You have to be tough enough that you want to win, more so than you want to be comfortable,” Beutel said. “Pretty much anything you don’t want to do isn’t that bad once you’ve wrestled and know what that grind is.” “Wrestling taught me so much about discipline — managing my time, eating right, being a good teammate [and] being a good leader,” Rotatori said. “The nature of that sport basically builds character.”

Taking the State

On Feb. 9, the combined North and South boys gymnastics team placed first at states

Photos By Netta Dror

Clockwise from top left: Sam Arber, Avery Wright, Sam Arber and Jake Forbes compete at the state tournament on Feb. 9, winning the state title for the fourth consecutive year.

February 16, 2018|page 23


Sports Spotlights

indoor indad track Track

RAVEN FERNANDES sports contibuter

floating column

Senior indoor track captain Seanna McGraw does hurdling drills with seniors Vicky Shevchenko and Samantha Smith on Jan 23.

I think we’ve gained a bunch of confidence from this season and just having another track season under our belt, for people who do both seasons, is really helpful. Seanna McGraw, ’18, indoor track captain photos by Netta Dror

Diving photo by Netta Dror

Jordi Boulerice dives at the Newton North meet on Feb.1.

Cheering on the team

swimming photo by Netta Dror

South particpiates at the meet on Feb.1 at Newton North.

It’s a supportive team — nobody is trying to out-dive somebody else. Everyone is teaching each other, and everyone is helping each other out.

Our greatest strength was our versatility. We have so much depth this year in so many different events.

Andrea Tartaglia, ’18, diver

Luca Hensch, ‘18, swimming captain

EDITOR’S NOTE: Every issue, The Roar publishes a different athlete’s perspective from his or her experience on a sports team. Contact srstaff@thelionsroar. com if you are interested in writing this column. Every cheerleader gets annoyed when someone says cheerleading isn’t a real sport. If those skeptics spent any amount of time learning about the craft, they would realize that the intricacies and physical demands of cheerleading is nothing to be mocked. Let me just tell you something: cheerleading is hardcore. Most sports use protective gear, but in cheerleading, dance and gymnastics, you attend meets wearing only your uniform. Well, that and the occasional ankle, wrist or knee brace, as joint injuries are common. Cheerleading involves just as much physical strain as other sports — with less protection. Now let me tell you everything you can learn from cheerleading. Participation in this sport can encourage you to keep pushing yourself to reach your goals. When I was younger, and even more recently, people told me I was not good at what I did and made me feel like I could never accomplish anything. When I started cheerleading, I didn’t feel confident in myself. With every move I made, I felt like my peers would laugh at me and disrespect me for who I was. Over the years, I’ve learned through cheerleading to never be afraid of taking a risk when an opportunity comes my way. For example, I have been a part of theater, poetry and rapping. All I have to say is that if I was never involved in cheerleading, I would have never pursued my other hobbies. Along with giving me the condence to join other activities, cheerleading has made me see that there are people in this world who actually care about my presence. It is easier for me to start friendships in cheerleading because my teammates support one another and encourage each other to be the best we can be. Of course, when you are having a bad cheer practice, someone is inevitably going to start blaming you for each and every mistake. It’s happened to me before. At the end of the day, however, we all know cheerleading is not easy. Our team is always quick to turn our frustration into understanding and support. Academically at South, you are competing with everyone around you, and no kid should ever have to feel like this while attending school. Cheerleading, however, is a friendly sport. We practice good sportsmanship toward other people because the whole team has so much love for the sport and for each other. To everyone who says cheerleading isn’t a real sport: you should never discredit someone’s passion. You know you would not appreciate someone doing that to you.



The Lion's Roar 34-6  
The Lion's Roar 34-6