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OURNAL 115 School Road, Weston, CT 06883





March 2013 • Year XIII, Issue IV

Weston responds to lockdown, evacuation

On February 27th, at approximately 12:15 pm, Weston High School went into lockdown. As Principal Lisa Wolak’s voice urgently explained on the announcement, “this [was] not a drill.” The following are responses from students and faculty regarding their lockdown experiences. This is not a criticism of the administrative response; rather, this piece is intended to give a fuller picture of how Weston experienced this event.

Emily Weyrauch ‘13 Sarah Gruen ‘13 Editors-in-Chief February 27th 12:15pm: Freshman Ariane Hero’s first reaction to the lockdown was one shared with many of her fellow classmates: stress. “The unplanned lockdown that occurred was definitely a stressful event that put every student as well as teachers in distress.” said Hero. “Hearing that it wasn’t a drill triggered fear and

panic that clearly showed on myself and fellow classmates’ faces.” Hero explained. While in lockdown mode, the “teacher remained calm and collected, but [Ariane] couldn’t help but feel strange seeing [the] teacher in such a vulnerable state.” Minutes into the lockdown, the rumors began to fly due to everyone’s use of technology. Said Hero, “The majority of my class was checking their phones for updates because of the lack of communication during the time

Police officers escort students to the Intermediate School where some wait for more than an hour before being dismissed to their buses or cars. Photographs by Emily Weyrauch spent in the classroom, which only made the situation more suspenseful.” February 27th 12:15pm: “When the lockdown alert went out, I was actually standing in line at the cafeteria for some salad.” Said senior and school president Jordan Berger. “Nobody actually responded to the announcement simply because nobody could hear it in the cafeteria due to the low volume. It was a good thirty seconds after when a staff member ran in yelling, but calm.” Because of

the mass amount of people in the cafeteria, Berger’s lockdown experience was one different than those in classrooms. “We were all quickly moved into the back of the kitchen, gates shut, doors locked, and sat until we were evacuated.” Like Hero, Berger and his fellow classmates found comfort in the responsiveness of the faculty. “All in all, the staff did a fantastic job dealing with the situation, despite that they knew just as little as us about the ordeal.” February 27th 1:00pm:

New teacher Andrew Pasiuk was alone during the lockdown in his classroom for a free period. “I am not sure if having a class at the time would have made it easier or harder. Being isolated, sometimes thoughts run rapidly through our heads since we have no one to converse with and our uncertainty incubates,” said Pasiuk. “Once outside the classroom, however, I was surprised with how calm and orderly the students were. For better or for worse, by this point I

did not encounter a student who was fearful or anxious about their own safety or the safety of others.” Although he was aware of the lockdown procedures, “drills do not account for the human element of emotion—fear, anxiety, anger, etc.— that can occur during a real emergency,” he said. February 27th 1:20pm: At this point, Ms. Wolak came on the loudspeaker and made an announcement regarding evacuation. She explained the Continued on page 4

Company’s Kiss Me, Kate opens with a bang

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Cheating scandal rocks Harvard University

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Coach Viz leads the basketball team to success Page 7

pieces which actors will be using throughout the scenes. The intricate nature of the sets breathe a new and engaging life into this years’ musical.” The participation in the designing of the set this year has been immense, with almost everybody in the cast volunteering time to help out. “I really like helping backstage because it’s my show so I want to make it the best set possible,” says sophomore, Chloe Mandell. “Being able to volunteer and complete such a massive job is Continued on page 3

Is college recruitment unfair? opinion


WHS students return from Builders Beyond Borders

with rehearsal each night as well as tech and art crew duties on the weekends. All hands were are on


This impressive feat certainly did not come together in one day. Students kept busy at work

deck as parents, techies, artists, staff, and actors all pitched in to build the most elaborate sets that Company has ever had. “Well frankly, this year’s set for Kiss Me, Kate is unlike anything I've ever built in my tech crew career,” says junior, Malcolm McClintock. The sets in the show are massive and numerous—there are two overfourteen foot pieces, as well as other structures including two dressing rooms, a fountain, a house, and various arches. “[The set] involves multiple multi-story set

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Entertainment Monthly the potato

The cast members pose during a play within the play. Photograph by Debbie Rehr

out and about

Weston High School Company’s production of Kiss Me, Kate opened this past weekend to cheering crowds and much fanfare. The show-within-a-show (with a score by Cole Porter) tracks the opening of a musical version of Taming of the Shrew in Baltimore, a production featuring a formerly married pair of fading stars—Fred Graham (Jack Seigenthaler) and Lilli Vanessi (Dianna Jean Sturgis)—who find themselves helplessly falling in love once

again, despite the presence of Lilli’s formidable military fiancée, General Harrison Howell (Walker Edelman). Meanwhile, players Bill Calhoun (Bobby Eddy) and Lois Lane (Annabelle Shea) are in a feud of their own: Bill can’t seem to leave his gambling behind, and Lois is insisting he do just that, or she’s moving on. When gangsters (Kevin MacWilliams and Chase Troxell) show up to collect Bill’s gambling debt and set their sights on the near-bankrupt Fred instead, the stage is set for an unforgettable story.

around the campus

Sarah Levin ‘13 Contributing Writer

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EDITORIAL BOARD Sarah Gruen Emily Weyrauch Editors-in-Chief AROUND THE CAMPUS Michael Kalmans Aaron Pomerance Section Editors


Elliott Eglash Senior Section Editor Emily Goldberg Section Editor


Andrew Parks Micah Zirn Section Editors

OPINION&COMMENTARY Olivia Clark Daniel Muller Section Editors

Emily Weyrauch ‘13 Editor-in-Chief Connection is the buzzword of the year. Everything we read is about a faster connection, a better quality connection, the password for the WiFi connection. Technology provides us with these great connections, connections across the world, connections to loved ones, connections with virtually anyone. The modern world speeds by us, forcing into our hands pieces of metal and plastic to hold and obsess over and labeling us the age of connectivity. We spend an increasing amount of time staring at glare-resistant screens and get an increasing amount of “satisfaction.” In the words of our collective grandmother, “isn’t The Facebook great?

Liz Lepore Katie Mitchell Copy Editors Benson Kane Michael Sitver Business Managers Elaine Hong Media Manager Matthew Risoli Andrew Jorge Faculty Advisors

STAFF WRITERS Lucy Chestler Heydar Ensha Sarah Levin Scarlett Machson Natalie Quiles Michaela Troiani Andrea Yankovich

ARTISTS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Asra Ali Boni Wagmeister Lilly Scrimmager Tori Zaharoff

Do you have something to say? Speak up! Write a letter to the editors! All letters should be sent to

Sarah Gruen ‘13 Editor-in-Chief My name is Sarah, and I have been living for the past three weeks with a MASSIVE secret. Readers of The Journal, I’m asking that you don’t judge me any differently after you hear what I am about to say. I just feel that I cannot keep this integral part of me hidden any longer. Ready? Here goes: I failed a test. And (after a lengthy period of reflection and self examination) I liked it. Or at least I’m okay with it. Living with it? Whew. What a weight has been lifted. I know what you are all thinking. Seriously? You’re asking yourselves. Is she for real? I am for real. But this was not a math test or a physics exam. This was no pop Spanish vocab quiz or government reading check. This was the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, a personality exam that tests for four distinctive personality traits: extrovert or introvert, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, judging or perceiving (for

How can I do a Twitter?” Yes, this heightened sense of interconnectivity is something that we need to use, and do so responsibly, in our so-called Digital Age (our own second-wave industrial revolution). It’s here to stay, and so are we. And I’m not here to preach either way. It’s good stuff, this technology we’ve got. Pixels on pixels, megabytes on megabytes, we have the capacity to do so much. The smallest computer chips can hold more information than the world was even aware of centuries ago. The amount of accessible information is the perfect exponential model. And as we all know, once one of those graphs goes up, it’s not coming down any time soon. And I guess I didn’t really think about the power we have until the February 27th lockdown. I was sitting in the dark in a classroom with tens of other students. There was virtually no talking. All that was noticeable was a general artificial glow on every kid’s face, as he or she texted friends, searched the news, checked the amber alert, or addressed a rumor on Facebook. Social networks were buzzing with students’ concern, and for good reason: we were stuck in lockdown

with little to no information, and were left to turn to our small illuminated screens which, unlike our darkly vast physical surroundings, we expected to contain all the information we could need. Except, they didn’t. There was something alarming in that, more startling than the urgent announcements or frightened faces. The world wide web connecting us high school students with the outside world seemed to have detached. For a while there was no information. Pages were refreshed, WiFi connections checked, but nothing changed. All that was different was the steady flow of discourse between students based on equally unfounded rumors from the cafeteria kitchen, talk from the book closet. Students were hushed externally but buzzing on the inside. In time, information presented itself, as it always does. Google searches began to yield results--significant ones, too. We received alert text messages with assurance of safety. Within an hour, the principal made an announcement at the school. Information was again flowing. A nervous chatter started up in the various classrooms. This relatively short disconnect disconcerted me.

Something about the information deadlock proved so grave. It was a time of contrast: Students frozen in a dark school within a bustling town in a high-speed world; teens unspeaking yet speedily communicating technologically; an infinite information well that for once could not keep up with our desperate demands. It wasn’t right. The unease was palpable. Police Chief Troxell talked about how the Weston Police Department has begun a Facebook page to keep everybody up to date on all town happenings--be they emergencies like this one or simple traffic conditions and weather warnings. This is an important step towards diminishing the information lag. But we can’t get rid of it entirely. I said I’m not here to preach, and I’m not. I’m just giving a friendly reminder that as long as we are humans, and as long as we live in a society of free thought, we have to realize that our source of information is limited. Technology is helpful, and in the end it helped every student connect with family and friends during a scary time, but we have to realize that it is only as smart as we are. Then by design, it is imperfect, just like us.

example, an extroverted, sensing, thinking, perceiving person would be an ESTP). This test is fundamentally infallible. There are no “wrong responses;” rather, the indicator is used to examine qualities that “determine how people perceive the world and make decisions.” The reason I took the test to begin with was for college purposes. Some admissions officer mentioned personality types at an info session, and I decided to give this silly, stereotypepromoting, constraining exam (my initial feelings, not those of the admissions person) a try. I looked up “Myers Briggs” when I got home, and immediately was greeted with thousands upon thousands of results. I went to the most reliable source I could find first to get a sense of what the exam was all about. Wikipedia did a fantastic job of explaining. I then scrolled down to the site that read, “Free online Myers Briggs test! No strings attached! We guarantee good results IMMEDIATELY!” Drawn in by what must have been the world’s sketchiest ad campaign (take out “Myers Briggs” and replace with, say, a dating service or a blood test or pet adoption program, and it still works), I settled down and began to take the test. There were 72 questions on the test, most of which were along the lines of “Do you trust reason over feeling?” or “Do you value justice more than mercy?”

I tried my hand at these existential curveballs and confidently finished my test. Even before I pressed “enter,” I was sure of the type that would flash up on the screen. I told myself that it only made sense that I know myself better than anyone. This test would simply reaffirm what I already knew. I had Googled celebrities with the “type” with which I associated. I smiled, knowing that I aced that test. Yet when I got the results of my test back, I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. My heart dropped a little. There was something…off about the personality with which I was presented. Not bad. Just off. I was oddly disappointed and perplexed and confused. So I retook the test. Same. Exact. Results. Past the initial feelings of selfdoubt and discontent, I began to get angry. The website had warned of this…“don’t quit your sales job because you are an introvert…the test is only as accurate as you are honest…you are more than just a test.” I had ignored the warning, not thinking it would apply to me, since I was honest and open and I had nothing to hide. I was no closeted intuitive or perceiver in disguise! I was just a kid looking for some answers in a test that wasn’t a test and hoping that I was who I thought and that I didn’t have multiple personalities and what if I had multiple personalities and oh dear lord, I must have multiple personalities

and perhaps I’m one of those people who looks in the mirror and sees one thing when in reality I’m completely different and what if this is a sign of the end of days!? In hindsight, I overreacted a tad. But as I look back on it now, I think that my worry was justified. To be told by a stranger—in this case, a test that literally millions had taken—that you are not who you think you are is unnerving, especially when that stranger has a pretty good track record of correctly “guessing” people’s personalities. I considered, albeit briefly, consciously adjusting my behavior to align with my new type. For a solid day or two, I made choices based on “Myers Briggs Me.” It was uncomfortable and unnatural, which is why it didn’t last long. What it comes down to is this: there are sixteen combinations of personalities possible for this test. But to say that there are only sixteen types of people is narrow-minded and plain dumb. I am more than a test. I don’t have myself completely figured out, but I have known me much longer than Myers Briggs has. I am Sarah—not Sarah the extrovert or introvert, thinker or feeler, judger or perceiver—just Sarah, the Arrested Development fan, the COMPANY president, the baker, the clarinet player, the crossword puzzle enthusiast, the food blog addict. Find an exam that tests for that.


the campus


WHS Students Repairing the World: One Country at a Time Michaela Troiani ‘14 Staff Writer The Builders Beyond Boarders (B3) organization, which has been making a difference in the world for the past 20 years returned from Guyana, a small South American country nestled between Brazil and Venezuela. With a population of about 777,000, Guyana is comprised of marshy plains, hilly sand and clay regions, rain forests, desert savannahs, and a breathtaking view of the mountains that border Brazil. The B3 members returned with a sense of pride and accomplishment for helping a struggling nation, and felt good about lending their time to a great cause. “The atmosphere in Guyana is exceedingly nurturing and happy. Everyone there is very loving and accepting towards one another,” says Senior Emma Halper, who has been a prominent member

of the organization for the past three years. The B3 members were welcomed kindly by the locals, and

described the purpose of their trip to Guyana: “We built a sand bridge for the natives to cross as well as

arrival, there was much work to be done. “Before we began working on the bridge we were building,

Weston High School students hard at work during B3’s trip to Guyana in February 2013. Photograph by Alexa Levine from day one developed new friendships that broke through cultural barriers and promoted a sense of global community. Emma Halper

cementing the base for a community center. We played soccer and volleyball with the natives and participated in a talent show with them.” Upon

we got a chance to walk across the current bridge they had been using for 65 years: logs with notches in them, lying across a swamp. After seeing

the old bridge, it was really motivational because we knew just how much we could do now to help these people and how a new bridge would benefit the community,” says B3 devotee Quinn Hayward. The bridge building was a strenuous task that involved “6-8 hours on the bridge which consisted of dragging 36' trees through a swamp, cutting down brush, and digging sand out of pits to use as filler,” adds Hayward. Roughly 120 students and adults embarked on multiple trips, including our principal Ms. Wolak, and returned with memories that will last a lifetime. “My most memorable moment was seeing the reactions of the natives after a work day. They were so amazed at our work-ethic and were all thrilled that we were making their dream a reality,” says Senior Charlotte Weseley, another veteran of the B3 organization, going on the annual trip all four years during her

WHS career. This year’s project was a huge success, and the B3 members are always looking for new additions to the “family.” If this sounds like something that you would like to get involved in, contact one of the members of B3 as soon as possible, as the process does take a while. Builders Beyond Borders is a wonderful organization built on the concept of helping others in need; at the same time, it is a great opportunity to make lasting friendships and have experiences that will help you immensely throughout your WHS career and life after high school. Says Hayward: “The trip really helps to broaden your horizons and understand what the rest of the world is like outside of the “bubble” of Weston. Many people may think that the trip is going to be staying in a hotel and doing some light work, but the trip is not that at all. It’s difficult labor, but one of the most rewarding things I’ve experienced.”

Kiss Me, Kate (continued)

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great as an actor because I get to be completely involved in every aspect of this amazing show.” Along with set building and painting sessions, the intense rehearsal schedule was a massive commitment. With threehour long rehearsals each night as well as eight required hours of volunteered art and tech crew hours, its incredible how Company members are able to balance their involvement with schoolwork and other extracurricular activities. In busy times like this, the key

to success is superlative time management. Kevin MacWilliams, who plays one of the gangsters in the musical, says that “dedicating certain amounts of time for the many activities I have is the only way I am ever actually able to get them all done on time.” It seems that overall, organization is key for all members involved. This year the cast of over fifty student performers has ten seniors, many of whom have been doing Company productions since they were freshmen. These seniors

Close Encounters

The actors rehearse a dance number. Photograph by Sarah Gruen include actors: Ina Andresen, Michelle Capozza, Walker Edelman, Alessan-

dra Edgar, Rachel Glasberg, Sarah Gruen, Sarah Levin, Dani Narins, An-

nabelle Shea, DJ Sturgis and techie Emily Koller. Annabelle Shea, who stars as Lois Lane, has been involved in Company’s musicals since she was a freshman. “I really am sad to leave Company behind because it's been such a memorable experience for me the last four years. I've made so many close friends through the years and every production I've been a part of has been incredibly enjoyable. I've loved every minute of it.” Although this is only her second production, Dani Narins feels the same.

“I’ve been able to grow very close to everyone even in this short amount of time. Leaving is going to be very bittersweet.” This show has already proven to be an emotional finale for the seniors, it will surely finish their Company careers on a high note. Performances continue this Friday, March 22nd, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 23rd, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at whs-company. com, during lunches at school, and at the door.

By Asra Ali



Stories from the Lockdown (continued) Continued from page 1 procedure, which involved classes being escorted out by police officers. “There will be more to follow upon your arrival at these buildings. Again, this is an unconfirmed threat and we are taking it seriously. This is also a precautionary measure. Calmly and quietly follow the instructions of the police. Thank you Weston High School, we are doing everything to ensure your safety,” she said. February 27th 2:00pm: During fourth block on February 27th, Ross Cohen was in French class when the lockdown announcement was made. Later, when Ms. Wolak made the evacuation announcement, Cohen and his classmates assumed they would be escorted out of the building shortly. However, Cohen realized something was strange when much time had passed, and though many of his friends were already evacuated, his classroom still remained. “It was scary not to have much information.” Cohen explained. “And when we found out that the classrooms around us were being evacuated, we joked a bit that we were being forgotten, [but] none of us imagined that was actually the case!” When Mr. Doak came on the announcements stating that the school had “officially been evacuated,” Cohen realized that his class, still in lockdown, had accidentally been left behind. However, after the announcement, the class went first to the high school lobby. Cohen said that they were then “sent over to WIS une-

scorted” and from there followed the same procedure as the other classes. February 28th, 8:00am: Principal Lisa Wolak addressed the students on the announcements the following day. She stressed that “our school is safe,” and that she is “so very proud

is of our utmost concern.” Though students have questioned the need for police involvement in this event, Wolak maintained, “we defer to the police in the matters of lockdowns and evacuations. This particular day, we were fortunate to have a police officer in the

thread throughout responses was that “most of them also felt comforted by their teachers, who were also in the dark.” Bennett also felt that the lockdown was a learning experience. “I think that the administration feels that they

pan out and we didn’t get the reaction from that person that we were looking for, then we had to go into a phase two situation: the lockdown. We had to basically look at it at face value: if this person [of interest] is saying he’s not the culprit, and the note is still there,

Students are evacuated to the Intermediate School as officers stand by. Photograph by Emily Weyrauch of our students and staff in how they responded to the lockdown and subsequent evacuation.” Calling the 27th a “very challenging day at Weston High School,” Wolak has since been working with the administration and the Weston police to find out the cause of that day’s events and, most importantly, ensure that “this will not happen again.” “Weston High School’s core belief is that we are committed to providing a safe and intellectually challenging environment for our students.” Wolak explained. “Safety

main office when the teacher brought the threat to us.” February 28th: Facing History and AP US History teacher Jean Bennett took a different approach to dealing with the lockdown. “I asked my students to write about their experiences, since it was so unusual and challenging.” Bennett said. The responses she received were varied. “As I suspected, many of them wrote about how fearful they felt and how unprepared they were for this kind of event.” A common

learned where some of the gaps were in dealing with this kind of a situation in the future.” March: With enough time to have perspective on the matter, Weston Chief of Police John Troxell responded to The Journal’s questions. “What we tried to do in the beginning was to not go into lockdown. We had a person of interest that we were monitoring at the time and we had a piece of evidence that we thought was going to link that person to the situation and when that didn’t

then the person who wrote the note could still be out there in the school, so we went into lockdown [...]” Troxell added that he was pleased with the quick response of his fellow officers. “The response that we had from other departments was fantastic. We had state police show up within fifteen minutes, we had surrounding town police departments and officers here within five minutes once we went into lockdown, Troxell continued to explain that the main issue he saw with the drill was the lack of com-

munication. “We’re trying to move forward and improve our communications with everybody involved, and I think that’s going to help.” To do so, he explained, “the police department, to better communicate with kids, just opened up a Facebook account and will also be going on Twitter. With all the rumors that go around with this type of thing, the best thing for us to do start a Facebook page so if something like this happens again we can give people real information in real time and they can monitor it.” Troxell said, “Could we do things better? Hindsight being 20/20: absolutely. But there were also a lot of things that worked very well and we’re also looking at those things very closely. But again we’re always looking for continuous improvement in everything that we do. You learn more from your mistakes than you do from your successes. So we definitely pat ourselves on the back for all of our successes, but when we make a mistake, we like to look at it very closely and see the lessons that can be learned from those mistakes and how to best going forward use that on how to improve what we do.” Troxell added, “I’ve always had an open door policy, so if people want to stop by and ask a question, feel free [...] we are open-minded to listen to negative stuff as well.” Said Wolak, “The bottom line is that everyone was safe which is our primary goal.”

UNICEF Movie Night The WHS UNICEF Club will be showing the Academy Award winning animated film “Brave” at 4pm on Wednesday, March 27th in the High School auditorium.

-Buy tickets for only $5! (at the door) -Raffle with 3 great prizes! -Refreshments will be sold! All proceeds go directly to the UNICEF Tap Project, a fund that provides children from impoverished nations with access to safe, clean water. Only $5 provides a child with drinking water for up to 200 days.

Out and About


Identity Thief: Uninspired, Yet Hilarious

Scarlett Machson ‘16 Staff Writer There’s an old saying that goes “don’t judge a book by its cover.” But maybe for movies, the expression should be “don’t judge a comedy by its plot.” At least, that’s the lesson I learned after watching “Identity Thief.” I was expecting to hate this film for its rather unremarkable storyline, but I was pleasantly surprised. “Identity Thief” is a somewhat rare film, in that it is able to overcome an unimpressive premise solely because of its interesting and funny cast. While by far not an exceptional movie, “Identity Thief” does manage to keep its audience’s attention through the comedic prowess of its characters. Identity Thief is a film about, well, identity theft. Melissa McCarthy stars as Diana, a woman who is able to live very extravagantly thanks to her constant appropriation of others’ credit card

numbers and identities. One such victim is Sandy Patterson, played by Jason Bateman, who decides to pursue Diana and bring her to justice himself. The

mixed with some slapstick and, of course, a heartfelt moment or two. “Identity Thief” doesn’t really do anything to alter this formula, but that isn’t to

do provoke a few laughs. But again, what makes “Identity Thief” worth watching is not the plot, but the actors. McCarthy and Bateman are superb

Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman star in “Identity Thief” Photo courtesy of rest of the movie is more or less what you would expect from this set-up. It’s pretty much just your standard road trip buddy comedy, with trials and conflict along the way,

say it’s not an enjoyable one, even if it is predictable. Although it doesn’t throw anything new into the mix, the specific events that occur on the trip are generally amusing and

comedians, and this performance is no exception. The delivery and timing of their lines is spot-on, and only a handful of their jokes fall flat. McCarthy really does steal the show;

she indulges in some hilarious slapstick. It’s clear that she’s enjoying herself as she acts, and that passion really shines through. Bateman, acting as the comedy foil, is also very amusing. While he might not get as many laughs as McCarthy, his constant deadpanning was enough to keep me invested in his character. He also is the “heart” of the movie, and while the film’s message is made painfully apparent early on, Bateman does a pretty good job of making it seem genuine, or at least as genuine as such a clichéd moral can get. The supporting cast is also very enjoyable. Eric Stonestreet plays a drunken cowboy-like character named Big Chuck. As unoriginal and dull as this character sounds, the “Modern Family” star is hilarious in this role, turning the brief cameo into one of the highlights of the film. The other side characters were interesting as well, if a tad underdeveloped. They had a funny line here

or there, but for the most part, their personalities were nonexistent. That’s not to say they weren’t fun characters, because I did enjoy watching them, but now that the movie’s over, I don’t really remember much about them. But I don’t think that’s what “Identity Thief” is about. It’s not about developing characters, nor about creating an engaging plot, and certainly not about trying anything new. It is a comedy, and as a comedy, its focus is on the characters, and if those characters can hold your interest and keep you entertained, it doesn’t matter if the story is only mediocre at best. This of course by no means makes something like “Identity Thief” a great movie, or even a very good one. What it does do is create a film that is just cinematic junk food: silly and forgettable, but enjoyable enough to amuse you for the two hours it takes to watch it. If that’s what you’re looking for, “Identity Thief” will not disappoint.

Ivy League Cheaters North Korea threatens “Peer collaboration” at Harvard University leads to suspensions

Harvard University has been rocked by a recent cheating scandal Photo courtesy of NBC News Natalie Quiles ‘14 Staff Writer Imagine preparing for your final exam, working with a group of your friends, and feeling confident for your test, but after having your test reviewed, being forced into leaving your dream school, based upon the simple mistake of working with your peers. This was the nightmare for the 125 un-

dergraduate students who were rumored to be involved in a cheating scandal, 60 of whom were forced to withdraw from Harvard University for almost an entire year. The cheating allegations were made after a many students collaborated on a final exam, and the teacher began to notice similarities in the take home tests. Last May, the professor detected obvious signs of plagiarism

in the final exams and decided to investigate further. When the students found questions that had not been explained in class, they pooled their resources and worked together to answer them. According to the students, this may have been the only option, as their professor had canceled his office hours before the exam. It was in the take Continued on page 6

additional aggression

Benson Kane ‘14 Business Manager While the closed regime of North Korea operates autonomously and independently of the outside world, the small, isolated country nonetheless maintains a disproportionately large share of the global spotlight, a share that has grown this month as the North has radically scaled up its rhetoric against the South and her allies. The country’s despotic regime, currently led by Kim Jong-un, has an arsenal of ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads, along with its large army, over one million men strong. Recent inflammatory comments made by the Supreme Leader Kim in response to a new round of continuing sanctions imposed by the United Nations (as punishment for the North’s nuclear program) have put the free world on edge. On March 11, North Korea announced that it would no longer honor the armistice that had brought a ceasefire (though never an official end) to the Korean War in 1953. The Northern regime also announced that its soldiers would “cut the windpipes” of their foes in the South, before severing an emer-

Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of North Korea. Photo courtesy of gency telephone line with the South, implying an end to diplomacy. A surprise Northern assault could be devastating; the densely populated South Korean capital of Seoul lies less than fifty miles from the DMZ, within range of North Korean rocket and artillery fire. Seoul and the surrounding areas are home to over twenty-five million South Koreans; half the country’s inhabitants are in the line of fire of the North Korean military. Even without nuclear weapons, the sheer size of the Northern military machine is enough to pose a serious threat to the South. In the face of the North’s new belligerency, the United States respond-

ed bluntly. White House national security adviser Thomas E. Donilon issued the statement, “North Korea’s claims may be hyperbolic, but as to the policy of the United States, there should be no doubt. We will draw upon the full range of our capabilities to protect against, and to respond to, the threat posed to us and to our allies by North Korea.” The United States maintains a large military presence along the DMZ, in coordination with the South Korean armed forces. Should war break out once again, the consequences could be immense, casualties enormous. We can only hope that the North’s rhetoric is just that.


Harvard Cheating (continued) Continued from page 5 home exam that collaboration was forbidden, but the students had already been used to working together, and stated that, “collaboration was... part of the ‘culture’ of the class and was noted in course reviews.” Students at the school were surprised at the cheating claims. “[The] course’s actual rules on collaboration were unclear,” said student John Lauerman. The Administrative Board decided to review each case of plagiarism individually. Possible punishments include academic withdrawal, which involves a permanent denotation on the student’s transcript. The process in deciding the punishment was strenuous and took a long time, allowing multiple chances for students to make their cases to avoid suspension. “The review of a case long as it needs to take in order to ensure that a student receives a full and fair review,” said Michael Smith, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. For many students involved in this scandal, their reputations, educa-

tion and promising careers were at risk. With these consequences, is it worth it to cheat? Weston High School sophomore Samuel Panton states that, “cheating depends on the person, their morals and beliefs....really, it’s up to the person and what they have to lose.” Assistant Principal Dr. Marotto brings up an interesting point while discussing the motives behind cheating, mentioning that, “we are capable, as human beings, of justifying anything under the right circumstances. [With this in mind,] cheating is the result of just a misunderstanding of ethics, of right and wrong—but some things are wrong all the time, with no special circumstances to justify them.” When questioned about her thoughts on cheating in general, Chemistry teacher Mrs. Charles stated, “[Cheating] is an unfortunate reality of is hard to really reason through all the consequences of your actions when you’re an adolescent, that you may not realize the severity of it.”

Take Five:


Music You Can’t Miss Elliott Eglash ‘13 Senior Section Editor Phoenix’s new single “Entertainment” is a mixed basket. Admittedly, the verses sound great. They’re a perfect example of the quintessential Phoenix style, providing catchy melodies that land firmly in pop-rock. The lyrics are fine—not quite as interesting as those from their last release, “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,” but fine. The chorus, though, features screeching synths and a rather dull melody. However, once you get past that, the song flows rather nicely. Fortunately, the latest single from Cold War Kids, “Miracle Mile,” has none of the musical hiccups that plague Phoenix’s latest release. The song, while not as innovative as anything from “Robbers and Cowards,” their 2007 album, is catchy and smooth. The vocal-centric aesthetic is new for the band, but it works nicely, and compliments their retro style. Who ever said lyrics were important? I’ve been listening to the song “Yayaya” by STRFKR, off of their latest release, “Miracle Mile.” The song is

entirely in their style, combining peppy electronic beats with a pop aura and a touch of indie artist weirdness. The song in question has only one lyric (the word “secrets”), accompanied by titular “yeahs.”

A collaboration between the rapper Childish Gambino and DJ Flux Pavillion may sound unconventional, but the results speak for themselves. “Do or Die,” the result of the partnership, is an all-

Cover art of new STRFKR album, “Miracle Mile” Photo courtesy of And yet, the song stands on its own, mostly due to its melodic ingenuity. Unfortunately, the rest of the album is a bit of a let down— lackluster and unoriginal, it leaves something to be desired. But at least there’s the one good song.

around good song. It combines dubstep beats with Gambino’s unique, witty style. For Gambino, this represents a departure from both his original pop beats and samples and his more recent ventures into more conventional rap beats. But,

knowing him, he’ll probably return to his wheelhouse on his next release. For now, I’m more than content to let his wordplay and Flux Pavillion’s pounding synths do their job. Despite the plethora of great songs this month, I’m most excited about “Amok,” the new album by Atoms for Peace. The band is really Thom Yorke, the frontman of Radiohead. And though it is an entirely separate band, Atoms for Peace clearly borrows heavily from Radiohead’s style. The genre of “Amok” is officially electronic music, but it certainly won’t be in the rotation of many dance clubs. Yorke strives for something much more atmospheric and gentle on this release, as well as ingenuity. The beats are strange, the melodies are stranger, and Yorke’s dancing is…well, it’s better off left alone. (See the music video for “Ingenue” for proof). Yorke has managed to take the electronic genre and twist it for his own artistic purposes, but the results are surprisingly listenable. If you want to hear something that’s not quite like anything you’ve heard before, go check it out.

Controversial soda limitations banned Emily Goldberg ‘13 Section Editor On Friday, March 11, New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling ruled that the New York City health board could not limit or ban a legal item under the guise of “controlling a chronic disease,” according to usatoday. com. This ruling bans Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s law that was going to be put into place on March 12th limiting beverages with more than 25 calories per 8 ounces to 16 ounces in New York City restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues, and other locations. According to the New York Times, Judge Tingling ruled that Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed law was “arbitrary and capricious” due to the fact that it bans large drinks in some dining establishments but not others and doesn’t include other beverages that have higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners or calories than the ones banned. Additionally, the judge did not think the ban would effectively reduce obesity because consumers can still buy two smaller drinks or get free refills instead of buying a bigger drink. Weston High School senior Brandon Abrams agrees with

Judge Tingling on this matter. “People will find other ways to eat sugary and unhealthy things so preventing large sodas won’t make a dent in the problem [of obesity],” he said. New York City soda consumers and vendors rejoiced at this decision. According to, the National Association of Theatre Owners released a written statement on the matter,

this law equally bothered WHS junior Eric Jespersen, who said, “I don’t support Bloomberg because it’s my decision what I want to buy and where. I’m well aware it is unhealthy to consume a lot of soda/sugary drinks, so I make good choices. I do not need government telling me how I should live my life.” Although Abrams acknowledged that it is “nice that they

Are oversized sodas fueling America’s obesity epidemic? Photo courtesy of saying, “We are elated with today’s decision. This issue was never about obesity, nor about soda. This was all about power. The court rejected the mayor’s attempt to unilaterally tell New Yorkers what to drink.” For the same reason,

want to look out for everyone’s’ health,” he also said, “I don’t think it’s constitutional because people have the right to consume what they want.” Senior Daniel Muller completely disagrees with this. “Frankly, saying that it infring-

es upon a consumer’s personal liberty is ridiculous. People still have the liberty to choose what drink and how much up to a certain point, and the laws are created with the best interests of the people in mind.” Mayor Bloomberg’s administration plans on appealing the decision right away. They had expected the law to pass and were busy preparing to enforce the ban when they received Judge Tingling’s decision. The administration was hoping to set a new precedent to control obesity in the United States, starting in New York City. Muller wholeheartedly agrees with them and thinks that the law would truly make a difference. “I think that there are people making awful decisions regarding their health in this country. Taking into account that the United States has one of the highest adult obesity rates in the world at 33%, we had to set examples for how to stay healthy. The ban encouraged healthy habits and making lifestyle changes, something that is unfortunately not more widespread,” he said. With the Bloomberg administration hard at work to appeal the decision, there is no telling who will get the last word in this debate.





Shakira & Usher

Cee Lo Green & Christina Aguilera

Justin Timberlake

Justin Bieber

Spirit Week




Sports and Athletics

The Saga of Coach “Viz”

Aaron Pomerance ‘13 Andrew Parks ‘13 Section Editors Many people are aware of the situation regarding Boy’s Varsity head basketball coach, Coach Hvizdo. There are many rumors circulating throughout the school and community, with no concrete answers to be found. A few weeks ago (find date), Coach “Viz” was dismissed after an unknown source gave an anonymous tip to the school regarding the coach’s involvement in what the source deemed an inappropriate and sexual short film. The video, titled

Colleen Palmer, met in order to determine the proper way to proceed with the matter. The administration reached the decision that the coach would be dismissed. Following the firing of Coach Viz, which occurred just prior to the state playoff tournament, both parents and students of the Weston community began to voice their opinions in support of their beloved coach. Among them were some of the Varsity players, including Jordan Schaffer and Senior captain Charlie DiPasquale. Schaffer, a sophomore on the team, felt that “the way he was fired was wrong and

Coach Hvizdo during a game. Photograph courtesy of The Norwalk Hour “Forbidden Fruit,” was a nine minute black and white comedy in which Coach Viz played a role before pursuing a career as a basketball coach. Following this anonymous tip, the administration, led by Superintendent Dr.

it really blindsided us all,” and that Coach Viz’s role in the short production “had no impact on his abilities to be a coach or a leader. I know who he really is and he was simply playing a role in a comedy film.” DiPasquale,

who shares the same opinions as his underclassman teammate, tried to take a more optimistic and poised approach to the situation. His focus now is on the rest of their season, “especially for the playoffs, and no one is looking back. Coach Viz came back and didn’t dwell on it, he was just so happy to get his job back. The most important thing is that we’re winning.” No one wants this situation to become a distraction for the Varsity team as they are in the middle of an amazing playoff run. Despite the adamant and clear opinion of the players, which represent that of the student body and many parents of Weston, Prinicipal Wolak and Athletic Director “Coach” Berkowitz are more reserved in regards to the situation. Ms. Wolak, one of the most enthusiastic and supportive fans of Weston’s sports teams (and a soccer-mom herself), is focused on the basketball team’s great sportsmanship. “We are a proud winner of the Michael’s Cup and have one of the most outstanding programs in the state,” as well as their current playoff run. “At this point, our focus is to move forward with the program and we are thrilled that our boys’ basketball has made it to the state semi-finals!” Ms. Wolak’s concern is our school’s high standard of sportsmanship and our

Lacrosse Preview Micah Zirn ‘15 Section Editor On March 18th, the Weston boys’ lacrosse team will step out onto the field for their first official practice of the year. The team has high hopes for the season ahead, and students always rely on the lacrosse team to punch a ticket into the playoffs so that they can watch thrilling late-season games.

one. During the 2011-2012 season, the team finished with excellent results, winning the SWC tournament and competing in States. However, with the graduation of several star players and also the loss of a couple other key contributors who are quitting for different sports, it will be difficult for the team to pull off the same achievements as last year. That isn’t to say that the lineup doesn’t have talent; Grey Bradshaw-Mack

Junior Grant Limone makes a save during a game last season. Photograph courtesy of Grant Limone This year, the boys’ lacrosse team is lead by senior captains Grey BradshawMack and Sean Fumai and junior captain Grant Lim-

will play at Wesleyan next year and Fumai at Gettysburg, and goalie Grant Limone is a commit to

nationally ranked Loyola. Coach John Matthews expects several underclassmen to take an important role during the season, and various seniors, either returning to the sport or beginning for the first time, will have to step up as well. The boys’ team opens the season at home April 9th against Masuk, and another important home game is against Newtown on April 16th. The girls’ team will play at home for the first time against Brookfield on April 4th. This year, the boys’ and girls’ teams play Joel Barlow away. All in all, the boys’ team already has the date of the State finals in mind and is working towards that as a goal. That being said, the team has a range of potential, but with rival teams looking mediocre at best anything is possible. The girls’ team, also coming off of a successful season last year, will hope to outdo their achievements with several returning star players. Doubtlessly, the spring sports season will see very successful and fire-powered Weston lacrosse teams.

athletic success this year. Coach Berkowitz also focused on the general sportsmanship at Weston High School. When asked

feelings of the team, Coach Berkowitz said that he “didn’t see any added determination in their losing their coach or in his return


These 30 kids are like my sons and they were ripped away from me.” Luckily, Coach Hvizdo was recently reinstated as head coach.

Charlie DiPasquale takes a shot during the state championship at Mohegan Sun. Photograph by Tori Zaharoff about the effect of the situation on the athletic program, Coach Berkowitz didn’t “believe this affects our athletic program as a whole at all. We have built a tradition of excellence here and with the help of great athletes and great coaches we will maintain that tradition. Our image obviously took a hit in the short term but I am very confident that the good we do and have done will far outweigh this one incident and our athletes will carry on and build upon our excellent reputation.” When asked about the

but I am sure they found that the situation brought them closer together which always helps around playoff time. They are making a great run and everyone involved with the basketball program should be commended for the manner in which they have represented our school during this run.” In an interview with CBS New York, Coach Hvizdo said that “coaching basketball is my biggest passion and I believe if you don’t have passion in life, you’re not living.

Dr. Palmer, Superintendent of Weston schools, was unavailable for comment. The run the team had was particularly impressive. The team knocked off Enfield High School by a score of 53-47 to reach the Class M championship game. Enfield had eliminated Weston in last year’s state tournament. Weston (14-10) played Valley Regional (22-2) on March 15th at the Mohegan Sun Arena, with Coach Hvizdo leading the team. They lost in by just seven points in a very close game (52-45).

Softball Preview Lucy Chestler ‘16 Staff Writer With the snow melting and temperatures rising, its time to start thinking about spring sports and Weston High School Softball! Last year the Trojans finished with a record of 5-15 and had 8 seniors graduate. These seniors were Captains Kaidy Wollman, Kelsey Sacane and Lianna Hursh. With them were Sophie Santacatarina, Sammi Briggs, Morgan Folger, Erika Wollman and Jordan Dunn. These seniors didn't just leave behind their leadership roles, but they also left vacant their positions on the field. As a result, the Trojans have numerous spots to fill this season. This year Senior Captains Devon Brostoff and Staci Goldstein along with Junior Shelby Merberg lead the Trojans. Head Coach Dave Lustberg says that "the team is very young and inexperienced; there are only four returning varsity starters and only three in the same position." All three captains agree with what they have in store for

them and are excited for the season to begin. According to Captain Shelby Merberg, "for the most part we are a very, very young team with a lot of potential and several spots to fill. But, I think we can have a positive season with the new way we have organized the JV and varsity schedule, and I think we should be able to have a good year!" Captain Staci Goldstein goes on to add that "it is going to be a tough season adjusting to the changes, but in the end it will let underclassmen gain the experience for years to come." The Captains are not the only one's who are excited to start playing. Freshman Emily Abrams says "she is excited about playing because she loves it, and she is excited to get to know everybody on the team!" Sophomore Olivia Tartaglia, who will be pitching for both the Varsity and JV teams this year, agrees: "the Trojans softball team is a very fun and great team bonding," she says. Although they are a young and inexperienced team with a first-time varsity pitcher, the Trojans

will work very hard and continue to be competitive so that they will improve their record. There is a lot of pressure on Tartaglia, and she said that, "I don't really know what to expect. I've been doing work in the off-season and hopefully I am able to come through in this season." In order to make the state tournament the team needs at least 8 wins. To reach their desired goals the team needs to work extremely hard so that the younger players get used to varsity softball. "My goal is to improve, make the state tournament and win at least 10," said Lustberg. The Trojans hope to be outside and on the field starting March 18, but if the field is not ready, they need to start indoors. Prior to their season opener, the Trojans will scrimmage with Staples, Fairfield Ludlowe, Wilton, Shepaug Valley, and Joel Barlow to help get them ready for the season. The Trojans host Abbot Tech at 4p.m to officially start the season. So come on out on the 3rd and support the softball team!


and commentary


Nemo’s Chilly Grip and Sweaty Palms

One student’s experience with the storm of the century Heydar Ensha ‘14 Staff Writer The winter storm named Nemo visited the East Coast on Friday, February 8th and gave Weston a healthy coat of pristine snow, perfect for building snowmen, igloos, and scale sculptures of the Sistine Chapel. It forced school to close and to cancel all weekend activities, giving us a delightful threeday mini vacation from academic rigor and stress. Many students took full advantage of this Winter Wonderland to frolic in the snow, updating their profile pictures on Facebook, enhanced with a touch of a sepia to give it that “je ne sais quoi” feel. By the time Monday arrived, students were rejuvenated and feeling “phresh,” ready to learn…or were they? Did the snow day really have a beneficial effect? Can two feet of snow actually lift a student’s spirit? Was this a Winter Wonderland or a Winter Disaster? Some students were strong enough to brave the frozen tundra of their backyards, enjoying themselves as they pranced in the snow. For others, it was not as easy. Igloo-collapsing accidents reached an unprecedentedly high number and many igloo residents were trapped in their wintery jail. Quinn Hayward, a fellow ju-

The exact iceberg that sunk the Titanic was found in the senior parking lot of the high school. Photograph by Emily Weyrauch. nior at Weston High, had problems of his own. Said Hayward, “after watching Frosty the Snowman as a kid, I’ve always been terrified of snowmen.” As I pried further into his traumatized life, I found that this irrational fear of snowmen prevents him from fully enjoying himself in the snow. Constantly paranoid of a snowman just around the corner, Hayward admits that he has “definitely wa-

tered up a few times” in the same way one cries while watching The Notebook (except with a more dread and panic). With extensive research on Yahoo Answers, I’ve found that Hayward suffers from a condition called hominochionophobia, a hybrid of the words chionophobia, a fear of snow, and hominophobia, a fear of men. Nemo also pushed back the last day of school for students and

raised concern on whether the Class of 2013 would ever graduate. Senior Shawnee Sloop, distressed at the thought of a fifth year of high school questioned, “Will I ever get to leave, will I be a super senior?” When I further questioned Sloop if she was content with her accomplishments in life so far, she replied definitively, “absolutely not; all because of Nemo.” It seems that this blizzard

has rudely stuck its grubby hands in the spirit and morale of Weston High. The snowstorm may have even impacted the health of the students. Extending my research beyond Yahoo Answers, I decided to ask Sophie Renaud, a current student of Ms. Greenberg’s Human Anatomy and Physiology course, on the various health implications that snow could cause. Before I asked her any ques-

tions though, I made sure to do a little preliminary background investigation so that I would not misrepresent the WHS Journal by being ill informed. Renaud started off by stating that “cold temperatures for extended periods of time can be very destructive towards body tissue and [body] function,” especially with conditions like hypothermia and frostbite that “can become an issue if one isn’t wearing enough clothing or stays out too long.” She continued, saying that “bacteria can get past your stressed and weakened immune system” during cold climates, causing colds and even pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs. When I asked her if I could get by the Bubonic Plague by playing in the snow, she responded that the disease is only spread through the bites of fleas and rats and that the likelihood of that happening during winter would be slight. I then inquired if one could contract Chlamydia while in the snow. A bit confused, she responded that that if a pregnant mother with Chlamydia gave birth in the snow, which is “known to increase labor rate,” she would pass that disease to her child. I then asked about the chances of contracting other medical conditions such as salmonella, ganContinued on page 9

College Recruitment: A Justified Measure A recruited athlete’s take on the oft-criticized process

Olivia Clark ‘13 Section Editor “Did you get in because of swimming?” “Did the coach get you in?” “Why do you get help in admissions?” “It’s not fair.” I’ve heard these comments and questions all year from classmates, others’ parents, doctors, and friends. Yes, I understand where they’re coming from, but I also know the other side of the story. I am a recruited athlete, and the fact is, sometimes it’s a little scary to say that. I’m not saying I’m an Olympic hopeful, or that all the best Division I schools were desperate to have me on their team, but I am proud that my hard work that has gotten me to the place I

am in swimming. I have put hours upon hours of physical work, mental stress, and effort into my sport. Additionally, I have had to balance my sport with the same classes, the same extracurricular activities, and all the same other commitments of high school. To me, that warrants a bit of assistance in the admissions office, especially if I will be a valuable member of a team, and a valuable member of the school’s community. I do think that perhaps the preferential treatment athletes receive can go a little overboard sometimes. Maybe it’s not fair that athletes are admitted to colleges or universities with lower SAT or ACT scores than other applicants, and maybe sports are valued more than other

activities, but I think varsity athletes are essential to forming a university’s identity, and their value must be recognized. When I think of the quintessential college experience, I think of sports events, of mascots and school spirit. Athletes, especially athletes who compete at a high level, are committed, dedicated, and motivated in general; they create the environment the school is looking to promote. I am not saying that other students lack these qualities, but in athletes they manifest themselves in concrete ways in years of grueling practices and high-pressure competitions, where they have to stand behind their teammates and push through challenging situations. Athletes, many would say, just have to be

tougher. They are just as well-rounded as any other applicant, and usually equally as qualified, they just have an additional aspect of their resume that takes up massive amounts of time and energy. It is also important to remember that athletes aren’t the only ones getting special treatment in admissions. Guidance counselor Gary Meunier said, “Colleges and universities that make exceptions to their admissions profile for athletes get the most attention, but in reality they make exceptions for a range of academic majors, fine arts programs and various other interests that support the institution's mission. When an admissions office builds an incoming class, they make decisions that are

fair to that particular college or university, which many deferred or rejected applicants decide is unfair to them. I routinely see exceptions for musicians, artists, dancers, first generation college attendees, racial and geographic minorities, etc. Some schools believe legacy to be a part of their core values and use a different standard for alumni and faculty kids. Certainly in any economic climate, exceptions are made for students whose families represent a significant opportunity for capital recruitment in the form of substantial donations, though we are talking about more than sizable annual giving here, we are talking about building a new library or research center. Rightfully so, institutions of higher educa-

tion have an obligation to be a little selfish in meeting their own institutional needs. It may not always be fair, but it certainly not limited to athletes.” Recruitment can easily seem unfair to those on the outside, but I believe it is not (in moderation, of course). I think recruitment is a justifiable way of building a college or university’s class, and that it allows the university to uphold its core values through selecting students that suit its needs. I also believe that athletes, and other students that have dedicated substantial chunks of their time to their sport or activity, should receive some sort of reward for their commitment in the form of some preferential treatment in admissions.



Taking advantage of Senior Intership

Daniel Muller ‘13 Section Editor

Senior Alexa Levine helps build a structure in Guyana this February on her final B3 excursion. Photo courtesy of Martine Trinka

Each year, the seniors at Weston High School and several high schools in the surrounding area have the opportunity to take off the last several weeks of their high school careers and explore a profession of their choice. A relatively new program here, the intern-

classroom. Yes, there are the occasional field trips, but apart from that, there have been units, curricular instruction, and guidelines. With the Senior Internship Project, we get to leave and experience life outside of the classroom, learning how to function on our own. A large component of the desire to leave is just the desire to decompress. While much of school

Big Benefits of Builders Beyond Borders Michael Sitver ‘15 Business Manager As several WHS students were in the air on their way to Georgetown, Guyana, thousands of miles away a debate raged on on the merits of their very trip. With the loss of February break to the weather, Builders Beyond Borders (B3) Students traveling in February had to miss several days of school. Was B3’s trip to Guyana a valuable enough experience to merit the loss of several days of class in the packed month of February? Based on my own B3 experience, and my interviews with students who attended this very trip, I’m positive that this experience was way more valuable than anything the students would have learned while in class. B3 as an organization is designed as our education should be. Sugata Mitra, a prize winning professor of educational science appropriately commented in a New York Times interview this week on reforming education, that based on his research, “I found that if you left [kids] alone, working in groups, they could learn almost anything”. B3 teaches by doing, providing the foundation for students to learn on their own, in their groups. The entire experience essentially serves as the curriculum. Students travel to a foreign country, work on a project to improve a local community for a week, and along the way they pick up new knowledge of the world that they wouldn’t find in the classroom.

Alexa Levine, a WHS senior who was part of the group sent to Guyana, commented “While I learn a lot in school, B3 brings experience that can't be gained while sitting in a classroom”. The textbook and essay methods of traditional education are completely inferior to this “learn by doing attitude”. Beyond the traditional educational value, B3 also encourages good global citizenship, and community service. On this year’s trip, Levine’s team, team Odyssey, “built a community center in Festival City, a small town near Georgetown, Guyana. At the end of the week we had built the entire foundation for the building along with several walls”. Giving students the opportunity to give back to the world, and to needy communities exposes them to the many underserved needs existing outside Weston. Caroline Cannon, a junior who is also on team Odyssey, observed that “the Guyanese are a very appreciative people. They believe a lot in work ethic and charity, and they are all happy no matter how their living conditions are”. It’s these unique experiences and discoveries that make B3 such a valuable and rewarding experience. It encourages a life time of service, and reminds the often-sheltered kids of Fairfield County that not all areas are as fortunate as we are. Finally, it’s just so valuable to disconnect from the internet, and society as a whole for a week. When you’re without phones, and laptops, you’re forced

to be social, and make friends, and it leads to very thought-provoking conversations, and lasting relationships. Levine and Cannon both went on to point out all of the people they’ve come to know and befriend that they wouldn’t have likely known otherwise. If I weren’t going on B3 this April, I would probably be spending my time in a museum, learning something, and I would learn direct facts, but I wouldn’t grow from it, or truly pick up something valuable. What I’ve personally picked up from B3 is that no museum or book can teach you more than actual engagement with the native people of a foreign land, and working alongside them. Ultimately the decision on the value comes down to the individual, but based upon chats with the students that went on this trip, and my own personal experience on my first B3 trip last year, I’m positive that B3 is one of the most valuable experiences out there, and I’ve come to the conclusion that missing a few days of school will never have anywhere near the lifelong impact that a B3 trip has. Beyond the value of the trip itself, we should also be looking to B3 as a model for how education should be, with education in independent teams, learning on their own, as we reform our school to create something more valuable for the 21st century. Signups are (obviously) closed for this season’s trips, but you can get a head start on applying for B3’s trip next year by heading to www.builde r s b e y o n d b o r d e r s . o rg .

Many seniors chose to intern at doctors’ offices like this one. Photo courtesy of ship experience is becoming more and more appealing to those who want to ready themselves for the post-high school career. Originally, I was daunted by the task of choosing a senior internship. There are so many options – actually, almost any office or company in the surrounding area is willing to take on a teen. But I was naturally drawn to the area of public policy, as I love policy as well as medicine. Although I know that I will get a lot out of the experience, possibly redirecting my life away from a profession on which I had set my heart, there is so much more that is part of the experience; I finally get to thrive on my own. Over the last 4 years, learning has been confined to the

is finished by this time, school itself still has the association with work. Many seniors, myself included, know that a guarantee of no schoolwork is only possible when we’re not actually in school. Most of us have worked hard throughout our four years in this school, and want that final break to enjoy our time together before we all head our separate ways. This internship is our last hurrah, our last chance to prove ourselves worthy of graduating high school and ready to move into the world. Although some students may mostly see this as a “get out of school free” pass, the administration would probably see the internship program differently, as several members of our class do as well. I know

that for me, it’s the experience that counts. Senior Devon Brostoff agreed: “I’m studying business in college so the internship is a great opportunity to experience firsthand how to work in business,” she commented. Krishna Lal, another senior who will be interning at a small media production studio called RmediA in Danbury, had similar views, stating that he “thinks [the internship] is a great way for seniors to get a taste of the real world before going to college. It is also a great opportunity to explore areas that we are interested in, but may never get to work in.” Even students who are not seniors are beginning to anticipate and look forward to the senior internship. Alden Daniel, a junior who plans on participating in the internship program next year, says “it would give me a chance to go out and experience part of the real world. It is an interesting and hopefully fun alternative to the last weeks of senior year.” Even Sam Glasberg, a freshman, believes that the internships “give a good view of the outside world and gives some use to the unimportant postAP exam senior year.” I agree with all the stated opinions. Everyone understands that high school itself is not the same as life after high school. This desire for experience requires maturity among the students to see past what appears to just be a break from school. Experience is crucial for all of us who are leaving next year to join the outside world, and we are incredibly lucky to have such a supportive administration like Weston’s to help us guide our future.

Nemo (Continued)

Continued from page 8 grene, and scurvy. Unfortunately, Renaud refused to respond to these questions. Despite my unsettled curiosities, I had gained a very strong sense that the snow had a very detrimental effect, both physically and mentally. From the few students interviewed, it is apparent that extreme measures must be taken in order to protect those in need from the snow. Ideas proposed include a snow shelter, a cozy place where anyone can escape the frigid wasteland and not be worried by exhausting snow shoveling or thoughts of graduation, a place where snowmen do not exist, where no one can catch

Unfortunately, the trash bins outside of WHS could not be reached for comment. Phototograph by Emily Weyrauch a virus, plague, or sexually transmitted infection. On the bright side, no power outages were reported and there was only one minor snow re-

lated incident where a pickup truck slid off the road and into a ditch; but no injuries were reported. Other than that, it wasn’t that bad of a snowstorm.


A Sexist Epidemic

Slut-shaming in today’s Internet society Andrea Yankovich ‘14 Staff Writer Throughout history, women have made great progress in terms of social equality. A lot of people like to believe that anti-feminism has been completely abolished from our society, but that’s far from true. Slut-shaming is one of the most common modernday forms of gender-based discrimination, and I see it almost daily. How many of you have seen this picture? (See image on right.) Who has seen Youtuber Jenna Marbles’ video “Things I Don’t Understand About Girls Part 2: Slut Edition”? About a month ago, one of my Facebook friends liked a photo comparing side-by-side images of conservatively dressed young women from the 50s with young women from today dressed in short dresses. These are just a few examples of slut-shaming, the practice of attacking or shaming women based on their sexual choices—a notion on which Alon Levy (a feminist blogger) elaborates with the idea that, “if a woman has sex that traditional society disapproves of, she should feel guilty and inferior.” It is blatant prejudice— so why do so many people think it’s okay? An anonymous Weston High School Senior suggests that being a “slut,” which, all connotations aside, is simply a term for a female who has or has had many sexual partners, is

a sure indicator that a woman lacks self-respect, and is reason for others not to respect her. This seems to be a popular opinion; a team of University of Michigan psychologists found that “women who accepted a casual sex offer were viewed as more promiscuous,

person that his or her personal, safe, consensual choices must reflect certain irrelevant standards in order to earn society’s respect, and directing guilt towards a person whose choices do not fall under those standards, is dehumanizing. Therefore, treating promiscu-

A ubiquitous photo that was circulating the Internet earlier this year. It promotes slut-shaming. Image from less intelligent, less mentally healthy, less competent, and more risky than men who accepted the same offer.” In reality, while promiscuous behavior is not necessarily an issue about self-respect, slut-shaming is necessarily an issue about control, unwarranted judgment, and ultimately, dehumanization. Of the many reasons slutshaming is a problem, this is a significant one. Regardless of the circumstances, telling a

ous women as though their behavior disqualifies them from the human race teaches them, as well as everybody else, that those women need not be treated as humans. This is not an issue of women disrespecting themselves; this is an issue of others disrespecting women. A woman who respects herself makes choices based on what suits her and her own principles, not what pleases her sex, the opposite sex, or societal expectations.

It is important to remember that this concept of dehumanization is absolutely not limited to women who engage in sexual activity with many partners. No, sex is just one of the many criterion women are told they must satisfy in order to earn their title as a Good Girl. Women who wear revealing clothing? They must be self-exploiting attention-seekers! Women who do not want children? How selfish of them to shirk their womanly duties to devote their bodies procreation and their lives to motherhood! Women with large breasts? There’s nothing to her but those big boobs! C'mon. This mentality is harmful, but has been hammered into our heads our whole lives. Isabel Kerr, a sophomore, believes that, while “sexual behavior is private and the business of the individual,” people should also be “aware that [promiscuous] behavior is easily judged and should take into consideration possible repercussions.” And she has a point. Although the feminist movement has made many strides over the years, this attitude remains prevalent. We live in a judgmental society. Can we please respect women who are celibate? Women who are promiscuous? Can we focus on how women, men, boys, girls, people treat one another? That is what respect is really about. Do you have an opinion on this topic? Write the editors with your commentary at


Hatred strikes liberal college campus Michael Kalmans ‘13 Section Editor It is the twenty-first century, and one would hope that racial hatred has been dispelled from society. However, the freedom and equality that the United States is built upon has been shockingly shaken by the words of hatred in an unexpected place. Oberlin College, located in the state of Ohio, prides itself on being progressive and inclusive, however, students have begun to ask, “how bad does it have to get?” In the past couple of weeks, there have been a series of hate message released publicly on campus targeting African Americans, Jewish individuals, and homosexuals. Then on Monday, March 4th, the university decided to cancel classes when an individual was sighted dressed as a KKK member. After more than a dozen hate messages were found on campus, students at Oberlin are on edge, and are frightened that their community has been invaded by unwarranted acts of prejudice. What is truly shocking about this situation is the fact that Oberlin College has a reputation for being a very liberal and open campus, where anyone from any walk of life can step onto campus and feel accepted. This college of 2,900 students has an important place in our nation’s Civil Rights movement. Oberlin was a vital stop on the Underground Railroad, and was a major center for abolitionist gatherings. Rachel Glasberg, a senior, explains her reaction to hearing the news about Oberlin: “I am

honestly shocked that a school known for being so liberal and forward thinking would have students that would do such hateful and immature acts on campus. I only hope that these incidents will stop soon, for they are hurting members of the community and putting unnecessary shame on the college.” Another senior, Daniel Muller, adds, “The fact that such hatred and insensitivity is fostered in a community like that scares me for the other campuses and people in this country.” When that sense of security was threatened weeks ago, the student body instantaneously was frightened, and the feeling was shared by the WHS seniors who discussed the events at Oberlin in health class. For the majority of the graduating seniors, college will be our next stop. With four years of our lives to be spent in a completely different environment, comfort level and sense of security among college communities is key when deciding on where to attend. To learn that any of our next environments could fall vulnerable to hate speech and demonstrations just didn’t sit well with students. These incidents are just a reminder that racism is still present. It may not be as visible as it was 50 years ago, but it is still here. Even in the year 2013, we, as students, and as citizens of the United States, need to remain headstrong in the fight against hate, especially in our own communities. We have a duty to our nation’s history to continue to dispel the works of hatred, and acknowledge that hate is useless. Love should reign supreme.


EntertainmentMonthly The Journal’s recap of all things gossip

Pope Idol Wednesday, March 13th was the finale of Pope Idol, the hottest new reality TV competition to find the next big Pope Star. The fiery latino. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, bested out his other fourteen competetors in

tyrants and Tiaras

as Madonna, Shakira, and Rihanna, Bergoglio decided to go by his stage They’re baaaaack! And fiercer name only: Francis. than ever! This season’s Tyrants With his new-found fame, Pope and Tiaras has recently had a few Francis I is planning on starring in explosive turns of events. another hit show, My Super Sweet For those few non-fans out there, this show is the epitome of fabulous. Dictators from all corners of the globe compete in the Little Princess of da World Pageant, a ferocious display of glitter, feathers, and false eyelashes. After Hugo Chavez’s withdrawal from the competition, Kim Jong Un made an aggressive push to knock Who wore it best? Journal readers can vote online. out the competition. His translator Photos from and tells us that he said “Down with America,” but one can assume it a heated finale that kept all of The Sistine. was just the language barrier, and Vatican at the edge of their pews. The winner thanks his friends, that he meant to say the similarly Many attribute Bergoglio’s suc- family, fans, and God (in no parpronounced, “My special juice is cess to his stunning rendition of ticular order). gonna help me win.” “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina,” There was palpable tension in the Raul Castro has his own motivawhich received a higher score room as Pope Francis confronted tions for participating in the pagthan American candidate Timothy Pope Benedict on the red carpeteant: sibling rivalry. He claims that Dolan’s “American Pie.” -wearing the same robes! Who do though he is “obviously the more Like many other pop icons such YOU think wore it best? glamorous Casto,” big brother Fidel

Chavez competes in the talent portion of the competition. Photo from

“has always hogged the spotlight.” Though the season is far from over, our sources tell us that in the next few episodes, there will be a whole lot more glitz, glamour, and meltdowns of nuclear proportions.

March 2013  

Flip through to read about the Weston High lockdown, the spring musical, and Builders Beyond Borders. Plus, look for the special satire sect...