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Vol.ll, No.1, Novembef 1994.

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75-40 Parsons Boulevard. Flushing, NY 11366

'Townsend Harris High School at Queens College '

New building approaches readiness; February occupation a real possibility by Violetta Ostafin Prospects for moving to the new building by the spring semester are looking brighter as work at the Queens College campus site proceeds at an accelerated pace. "It may still look like a disaster, but in November, it will be in great shape. We are hiring more people, and I guarantee that the building will be ready and the kids will be in by February 1," said Project Manager Sam Gordon from E.H. Howell, the main construction company. "For the first time, the contractor [Mr. Gordon] is much more optimistic. This makes me optimistic," said Assistant Principal of OrganizatiOn Malcolm Rossman. "I see a tremendous difference between the building I saw in June and what I am seeing now," commented Mr. Rossman, as he walked through a hallway of the new building on September 28. "Everything seems much brighter. It's as if we could almost move in," he added. Mr. Rossman, Principal Malcolm Largmann, Assistant Principal of Guidance Sheila Orner, Townsend Harris alumnus Julius Graber, parent representatives Sam Voyages and Ronnie Feder, and seniors

Dionne Fraser and Violetta Ostafin were the there was no chance of a fire hazard. The completed. first to tour the new building since last June. building had originally been slated to open According to Lou Gigi, the new project "I'm very happy with the progress. I hope at the beginning of this school year. officer for the School Construction Author, ity, "We're now on an accelerated schedule. When I took over the job, I had to look into the scheduling and reschedule the project so that we could complete the work on time. Weare now justaboutcaughtup." Q) The second floor, which will house the adij ministration, is near completion and most ~ classrooms are partly finished. ~ ''I'm telling you right now that this will be .!::1 a miracle, but that it will be," said Mr. 0"' Gordon. ;:... If the school moves in January or Febru~ ary, the building won't be entire! y finished. ] "The auditorium as well as the fiber optics P. won't be done until after the building is ·occupied," said Mr. Gigi. However, the airWITH NAME AND OUTSIDE GATES IN PLACE, the almost-finished building conditioning and heating are ready for hookup. on the Queens College campus awaits February occupation -· possibly! A positive sign that everything is proI can believe what they're telling me," said With an augmented crew of about 140- gressing well, according to Dr. Largmann Dr. Largmann. 150 workers and eight to ten contractors and Mr.Rossman, is that theBoardofBuildMany factors contributed to the delay in working on its seven floors each day, major ings and Maintenance has hired both a firethe building's completion, the greatest being jobs such as the installation of windows, man, Angel Suez, and a custodian, Joseph a problem with the building's construction: floor tiles, wall tiles, ventilation, heating, DiGiacamo, for the building. Continued on page 14. all the walls had to be checked to make sure and air-conditioning have just about been

10 yea·rs an·d coun·ti.ng: Founders' Day celebrates d.ec·ade ,of success by Bonnie Yee "Alive and kicking," Townsend Harris High School celebrated its 11th birthday ori Friday, October 28th. This year's Founders' Day had a few surprise twists. First, all students attended the assembly, seniors included, for the first time in five years. According to Lynne Greenfield, Assistant Principal of Humanities, seniors have always been welcome, but it was especially emphasized this year, because it is the last Founders' Day before the move to the new building. Secondly, the money usually spent on workshops and performances went toward renting Colden Auditorium, on the Queens College campus, in order for everyone to attend. "Bowne and Parsons were not big

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£ 9

i 'Ms. Garcia' (Tracy Sanford) scolds 'Mr. Kadamani' (Dean Galitsis) during a Founders' Day skit in Colden Auditorium.

Budaet Curs p.3

SAT-I Scoring

pp. 8-9

enough," Ms. Greenfield said. "This was also more accessible for seniors," she added. Although he wasn't able to attend the assembly, Principal Malcblm Largmann was, in fact, present in spirit. "This is a time of celebration," Dr. Largmann said via a speech he prepared, which Sheila Orner, Assistant Principal of Pupil Personnel Services, read. "This is an occasion the whole school has set aside.. [to] thank those who came before us." Other speakers included Marvin Leiner, Director of College Preparatory Programs; Saul Grossman, President of the Alumni Association; Terry Heather, P.T.A. CoPresident; and Dien Taylor, '92 graduate of Townsend Harris High SchooL Mr. Taylor had a few words of wisdom Continued on page 15.

Gun Control

Boys' Soccer

p. 13

p. 15


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1ne \,la&SIC

SAT: boosting mediocrity ATTENTION SAT TAKERS: Now you can score 100 points higher on the SAT and you don't even need a costly review course. The College Board in its infinite wisdom has found a solution to low SAT scores: jack them up. In 1995,the average verbal SATwill rise from 424 to 500, while the average math SATwill increase from 478 to 500. Of course, the College Board heatedly denies that this change is a mere coverupfor.the fact that students are faring dreadfully on the SAT. It says that SATs aren't being weakened, only "recentered." (See College Board•••, p. 8.) The recentering is mere bureaucratic plastic surgery. Even though scores will ~·~---~ rise, a test-taker's percentile- his place among all other test-takers- will not be affected. Then why make the change? According to the College Board, "Most infrequent users of the SAT expect the average to be about 500." So the College -Board's solution is to raise the SAT averages to promote "clarity." If it's clarity that's at issue, there's nothing vague about the SAT now! Each student gets a personalized score report sent to his home that goes something like this: "The national percentile for your verbal score of 550 is 85, indicating that you did better than 85% of the national group of college-bound seniors.'' In addition, the score report states, "The national average in verbal is 424, while the national math average is 478." Someone who can't understand this analysis doesn't deserve a high SAT mark anyway. Townsend Harris: The 'heavyweight' of all high schools Further, in order to insure that admissions officers at universities understand the change, the Board is sending conversion charts tQ them. Colleges will use these charts to take anew "recentered" score and CONVERT it back to the old scorethat is, to show-that a 500 on the 1995 verbal test is tantamount to a 424 on the 1994 test, or that a 670 used to be a 600. Does the College Board really think it's promoting clarity by creating two sets of numbers that mean the same thing? While recentering is a ridiculous concept, it's not a harmless one because it . IBSSIC collapses distinctions at the highest levels of achievement. Anyone previously scoring a 730 in verbal will now score 800. Those who answer four questions in- To the Editor and all Classic staff: I remember the day we came up with the name, "The Classic." And the day Mrs. Rubin correctly will be indistinguishable from those whose tests are perfect. [the ftrst advisor of The Classic) asked us at an organizational meeting which of us had any What recentering does is please the eye and boost self-esteem. Unfortunately, experience in junior high school worldng on a newspaper. Like everything else that even though a score may "look" better, it really isn't in comparison to the old test. tumultous, wonderful year, The Classic was started from scratch. Reading this past issue What recentering does not do is "help to reflect more accurately the diversity of (Volume X, No.3), I was thoroughly impressed with the caliber of the students' writing. students now taking the test," a statement made by the College Boarq. (See "Is I must say that as a teaching assisant for both college undergraduates and Master's level the SAT biased?", p. 9.) How does boosting everyone's score reflect diversity? students, I rarely get to read the kind of persuasive arguments, well-constructed sentences, It doesn't. and interesting thought pieces that were common in this and every issue of the Townsend Instead, boosting SAT scores merely glosses over the fact that our country's Harris High School paper. Dr. Largmann had extremely high standards from the very beeducational system has floundered. According to a N.Y. Times article (6/14/94), the decline in SAT scores occurred because the college track in high schools ginning, and, consequently, I am still proud to be an alumna of such a ftne high school. To across the country was "mediocratized." Grades were inflated. Courses became all the award winners, competition victors, and most of all, to all the students who still less demanding. Less homework was required. Fewer term papers were assigned. believe in the importance of the written word, I extend my congratulations and heartfelt Recentering is hardly the worst instance of the assault on excellence taking place respect. Keep up the excellent work. (Hey, Ms. Nix, are you still making 'em run for 40 minutes?) in our educational system, but it is highly symbolic. These deleterious effects Cheryl Schustack, Feature Editor · · cannot be washed away by inflating SAT scores. The Classic '88 By institutionalizing mediocrity, the College Board ~as sent a direct message to • • • thestudentsofTownsendHarris, whostrivetobethebest: "It 'snotnecessaryto work so hard." \ T 0 th Ed'to • 1 If only every school in the nation could produce students whose GPA's are · I he f r. . ear rom everyone how smart, mature and responst'ble the students at Towensend above average. Then, and only then, would a utopta be reached. Not to worry.... H . H' h S h001 I d. th h ~ · d H . has 1 · m:e. rea m ~ newspaper ow ownsen ams ess vto1ence the statisticians at the College Board are busy working on that. ams •g c than any other school m Queens. Thts makes me wonder, however, why students here are treated like criminals, or incompetent children. At lunchtime, we are confmed in a small cafetorium and not permitted to move from our

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Letters to the Editor

f lrst • f eature Ed ltor • d C'' rea s

Treat HarriSites With trust

Staying safe outside

s~lilool

€lassi C ·

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by Veronica Lee ii!l!i!!iflifl?!i!!!!!Ii!!:!: : : : :::::::::IIIIII\l!l!!!!!i!It! }he !:::::m:;:::::::l!i!I!il!!i!i!i!t!!!!!!i!!!!!!l!!!I!!!!l!!!i!i!!!l:::: We are very proud of the top scores our school re~ived in the recent New York Town.. nd Harris Hl&h School at Queena Colleae Editor-In-Chief: Seth Cohen Times rating of all New York City schools, including our high mark for safety .(NY 75-40 l'llroons Bl•d. F1uahlna. New York 11:M6 Junior Editor: Veronica Lee Times, 10/2/94). It is true that violence in our school is virtually non-existent. How~ver, the moment we exit the building, we must be on guard against any Phyllis Pei Readers are Invited to submit lei· "evils" lurKing in the neighborhood, waiting to prey oh Harris students. Michael Munoz Erik Bloch Sporta Editor tars to the edhor. Latlers should be Fature Editor Only one incident has taken place since September, in which two seniors were NnnEdltor placed In Ms. Cowen's mailbox In the Tara Balabushka general office. The Claaelc reserv~ robbed by several neighborhood kids. Thankfully, the quick actions of the victims therighttoedhaU letters. Lat!ersmuat La:r-out Editor include name and olflcialclasa. Names to get help enabled several school staff members to catch and detain all of the Desiree Oemente & Sarah Kim wiH be withheld upon request. David lankelevich Art Editor offenders until police arrived. One of the offenders, who had been out on parole, l'lloCiolraph:r Edlton Michael Garber was immediately sent to jail. It is very important for students to·inform school BUJI-Maupr personnel and the police of these events right away to prevent further attacks. Dionne Fraser, Wendy Kemp, Beth Mellow, Violetta Ostafm, Kelly Villella, Gina Tuffaro The actions of the school and parents to ensure our safety must be praised. Senior Contrlbudna Edltora Thanks to their efforts, the police have agreed to patrol the school area every day News Staff· Ni<:olc Bruno, Micbocl Garber, Beth Mallu«:i, Cory McCrudcn. Pemmdo M.,..,..,, Jennifer Pore, after dismissal. Louis Ward, President of the Parent Security Patrol, has also llo:albc< Pmnon, B&u Schaabel, Amando! Schoenbora, Lawen Sbuett, Rena Var,chcoo, Man:i Wclbor, Jcmilior Wolf, Bmniio Yoc enlisted the help of several parents to keep watch over students, doubling the Feature Staff - DcmiDika Bednanb, Demotrioo Bertzikio, Jcooica Gazay. Deana Lonaobucco, Natalb Polozynoki, security. RomiDa Ftommo, Sect Scbor, Jcmniior Sll-.ennm, lriDa Tay~oyliD, Doma Vuio, Vcronib Vay-. Micbul Weill While the school and parents are working hard to protect us, we must also take Sports Staff - .Juatin l'al, Htallzr l'olonon, Cory Polonmky, Scot Schc<. Cain: Scllllabel, JODDilior Sll-.ennm, some action ourselves to prevent further attacks. Assistant Principal Malcolm Photoerwher . Diomo P.-..A.t:!;i§!!. Erik Bloch, AI...., Jbarauoo, Otto v.....-, Reua Varghcoo Rossman advises everyone to stay together outside of school, and go directly ~- Docpti Ambooba, Robert Ambolu, Betty a-. Tammy Pq, Namrata Kup<IOI", J...oolio Oflionbadl, home after dismissal. Those who attend after-school meetings should be sure they .Joraida Pcaa, Sbmti Raocbr, ~ Slxal, s......,. Shividw, JIDiio Tona have a ride home or a friend to wait with at the bus stop. Hopefully, when we arrive at the new building on the college campus, there will Advisor • Dsa Cowen Principal • Dr. Malcolm Largmann be fewer problems, but it will always be inwortant for us to stick together and protect each other.


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3 Letters to the Editor (Continued) place until we finish eating and clean up our place (page four, item #4 of the Code of Behavior), are not permitted to use the phone unless it is an emergency, and may only use the bathroom for two minutes during lunch period after signing out and leaving our program card to insure our return. How could we not return? Would we attempt an escape past the guards and right out the front door and never return? This school, however, is supposed to be a High School, not a Junior High School and not an Elementary School. We are supposed to be responsible young adults. We deserve to be treated with trust, respect and consideration for our personal and constitutional freedoms. School should encourage us to take responsibility and make the right decisions. This is impossible, however, in an environment where our every move is monitored and every action is controlled. While it's true that education is a school's first and foremost responsibility, I think that it's also important to encourage the development of good social skills and personal responsibility. A suggestion to the administration: perhaps by giving us the freedom to make more personal decisions (when to use the bathroom and the phone, for instance), you may be surprised to find that we will make the decisions that will not only continue to make the school safe and effective but also make it a more pleasant and comfortable place for its students. It might even become a place that students look forward to coming to every morning. I funlly believe that a happy student is not only a successful student but a more relaxed, well-adjusted and healthy person. Veronika Voyages

~Classic

lacks lig,ht touch

To the Editor, If you will permit a few words from an old Harris alumnus (class of June '35!). I have just read through the latest [June] issue of The Classic. I was, of course, impressed with its generally superb reporting and intelligent discussion of the various matters of interest to the current student body. But I was struck by several omissions: principal among these was a total lack of the light touch - not the smidgeon of a sense of humor. The only thing approaching a sense of laughter was the mention of the humorous comments by Dr. Largmann at Commencement. Why not a cartoon or two? or a short humor column? - Secondly was the use, in the article on the meeting.of the Sbakespeare's Sister's Club, in which " ... two hundred and one females and 75 males..." discussed sexual harassment. Females and males! That sounds like a convocation of heifers and bulls or ducks and drakes. What's the matter with "young men and women, " or even "boys and girls"? There's no sense of denigration in these terms, and they make it sound just a nwe_more human. When you are all somewhat older and making your way in the working world, will you still want to be addressed as ~'female or male''? Won't "young lady or young woman" suffice? This, and the generally most serious tone of the paper, make it all sound so - if you will forgive the term- "stodgy." And young people of either persuasion should not yet have achieved ~todginess - plenty of time for that later on. Roger B.Goodman /

More information needed To the Editor: !'am getting accustomed to the school, its faculty and studentswho are all very pleasant. There is one area, however, wherein I am having great difficulty and thatl.s in obtaining information. For example, there are certain activities I have been trying to get information about, such as sports, after-school activities and service credits, but I don'tknow whom to ask; No information is given out. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack. I think information should be posted or made known to the new students so that we would know what programs are available and to whom we should speak:. It would certainly make things a lot easier. Melissa McCarthy

Praising mentors To the Editor: I am writing to The Classic concerning the Mentor Program. My mentor made me feel well-orientated ill this school. 路 The school was smart to ask older students to help freshmen. My mentor told me about clubs and sports activities. She also told me about what teachers were nice and which ones had tempers. She even called me twice. All in all, I think this was a very worthwhile program. Score one for THHS. Michelle Wolman

Not all . mentors helpful To the Editor: September 9, 1994, was the first chance to be inside their new school for the hundreds of new students at Townsend Harris High School. Because this schoolis so selective, many people who came didn't know anyone. To try to solve this problem, Townsend Harris set up a Mentor Program. This program involved having sophomores and juniors meet with new students to help them with getting adjusted to their new school and to give them an Continued on page 15.

Budget takes bi.te out of education by Kelly Villella A $190 million slice out of the Board of Education's current $7.7 billion budget will be one of the heaviest cuts in New York City if Mayor Rudolf Giuliani's new budget plan is approved by the City Council. The proposal comes in addition to the $85 million cuts put into effect last July. According to Assistant Principal of Organization Malcolm Rossman, Townsend Harris may "lose support for extra-curricular activities such as the school newspaper, yearbook, Quantam Cat, and any other publications if cuts go through." Funds for teachers, school aides, sports teams and Enrichment may also fall victim to the cut. Already, Townsend Harris, as well as all of the other public schools across the city, are dealing with fewer teachers, texts, activities and larger classes due to budget cuts imposed on the 1994-1995 school year. The staff of 44 lost two social studies teachers, Steven Eckerd and Leland Fraser. One teacher's aide was also cut, Maureen Kaiser. The cuts were not caused by a smaller budget, but by a surging enrollment of students and an arranged increase of teachers' salaries (NY Times 9/16/94). The money did not stretch far enough 'to cover all those costs. According to Mr. Rossman, Townsend Harris received an eight and one half percent cut. However, after-school activities were cut by 50%. New York Times reporter and former Editor-in-Chief of. The Classic, David Hertzenhom, interviewed Principal Malcolm Largmann, who was quoted in a front-page article on budget cuts. '"This is happening everywhere," Dr. Largmann, said. "This is just a microcosm of what is going on across the city"(NY Times, 9110/94). Assistant Principal of Mathematics Harry Rattien and Assistant Principal of Science Susan Appel wrote to Superintendent Margaret Harrington to requ~st funds. Dr. Harrington granted them extra money in the form of a math/science initiative to enable tutoring, the science magazine Quantum Cat, and the math team to continue. This money also paid for lower level math books. Even though classes became larger, the number of classes did not decrease. 路"The school made a commitment that we wouldn't cut classes," said Mr. Rossman. Students have overcrowded the classes this year. Math cl!tsses range from 35-40 students. About 100 people were packed into Craig Buchalter's ninth period gym class. Students in that class were offered bow ling as an .alternative to reduce the class size and facilitate the instructional process. Throwing her hands in the air,junior Beth Lebwohl said, "I have two classes that are over 40,. and it's craziness!" Teachers who perform compensatory time jobs (special functions outside of the classroom) in the school, and normally teach fewer classes, had to take on more. For example, Attendance Coordinator Harriette Blechman was assigned five classes, rather than four; Program Coordinator Arthur Boulanger took on two classes instead of one; and English teachers Debra Michie- . witz and lisa Cowen now teach five classes instead of four .because their WritingCoordinator positions were eliminated. The assistant principals have also begun teaching

more classes. This increased work-load takes time away from teachers' and supervisors' other duties. Mr. Rattien commented, "I don't have the time to supervise to the level that I'd like to." He also mentioned that the time it took to be interviewed for this article reduced the work that he would complete in school, forcing him to bring work home. The budget eliminated the Cafeteria Coordinator in favor of giving teachers building assignments for lunch duty. English teacher Raquel Chung, math teacher Joseph Hom and Ms. Michlewitz rotate lunch duty for this semester. Three different teachers will replace them next semester.

'The school made a commitment that we wouldn't cut classes.' Bridge Year Coordinator John Hynes provided information about how budget cuts affected the Senior Bridge Year Program, He said that although teachers had not been lost, they needed to pick up more classes. Mr. Hynes also mentioned that in addition to Board of Education cut-backs, the Board of Higher Education also experienced budget reductions that affected the Bridge Year Program. An increased number of students were squeezed into smaller rooms. Senior Participation in Democracy classes suffered .from a shortage of books since funds were not allocated to buy books. There is expected to be a shortage of economics books in the spring. Mr. Rattien said that the high school math department owned enough books, partly due to foresight and partly due to luck. In the last two years, he had ordered books for upper level classes. The math/ science initiative supplied the money for books on the lower levels. . Enrichment and the building of the new school remains untouched by the cutbacks. A separate fund supports the new schooL Sports teams were also unaffected, according to Athletic Coordinator Wanda Nix. She said, however, that the cuts caused crowded classrooms and locker rooms, which "affects the instructional process and causes a safety concern." She was unsure whether basketball intramurals would continue. Junior Tamar Aydin mentioned how the teacher lay-off affected her. "I was involved in a social science project and the fact that Mr. Eckerd [was] leaving ... left me in a difficult situation because I really don't have anyone to talk to on a regular basis [about the project]. The teachers are really a great asset to our school," she said. Mr. Eckerd commented, ''My feeling is thii:tMayor Giuliani wanted cuts to come out of the administration down on Court Street, and not the classes. He really wanted to streamline the bureaucracy. I don't think he ever intended to cut teachers, guidance counselors and those who work directly with the students."


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Halls alive with costumes on Hanoween by Ellen Schnabel act like myself (wild and crazy) commented,"! don't dress up for A yellow M&M, a scarecrow, and actually get away with it." "I Halloween any more because it's and a herd of cows were all con- like the idea of Spirit Days because babyish." However, sophomore testants at a costume pageant spon- ·it takes th~ 'usual pressure off the Dean Galitsis said, "I think it's a sored by the Student Union and the work," remarked junior Becky fun thing to do. People get a chance Student Leadership to relive their class. This event childhood." Anhighlighted the spirit drew Chan, freshday of Halloween. man, offered his The winners of the opinion: "I think contest, five from it [dressing up] is each lunch band, a waste of time. I were treated to a don't want to pizza party during wear a costume Enrichment on Noon the train· or vember 10. bus." Teachers and stu~ Whether people dents dressed up in ' i dressed up or not, costumes ranging ~ most agreed parfrom a Roman gladi>. ticipation was .0 ator to sports figures .9 wayupcompared 0 . and T.V. personali.a_ to previOus years. ties. Nisha Shah, so"'·Kelly Olino, junphomore, said, "Hal.ior, said "I was loween is the day to amazed to see the come dressed up to UDDER CHAOS: Spirited sophomores Jennifer Kroell, number of people school. It's fun seeEmily Rakowicz, Ellen Schnabel, Deana Longobucco, Amy in costume!" Dr. ing everyone's cosLargmann conStockman, Katie Librie, and Lori Ruggiero travel in herd tumes, especially the on Halloween. curred, stating, teachers'. Odile Gar"My impression cia, science teacher, was a scare- Falto. oftoday's Spirit Day was students crow. Georgette Wallace, English Opinions of the Spirit Day var- participated with greater exuberteacher, dressed as a devil. Mark ied. Freshman .Bryan Howell ance than in the past. There was ' Soffer, history more createacher, came tivity by as Ed Norton students from The and teachHoneymooners." ers. Jennifer "For a Kr~ll. sophoc han .g e more, said, there were "My friends some really and I dressed up cute and as a herd of unique coscattle to have tumes this lots of fun." year:Harpo Sophomore Max and Monique Charlie Wheeler said, Chaplin,an "I love Spirit M&M," Days! It's the said junior 'GLADIATOR' Thomas Sweetin guards the goods during lunch. only time I can Nicole Merino. Tho-

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mas Sweetin, the English and Latin teacher who came in the Roman gladiator costume, summed up the day, commenting, "We dress up to show school spirit. It's something unique at Townsend Harris that is not in any other city high .school." Hal-

loween is a real Townsend Harris holiday," said English teacher Harriette Bleechman. "That's when our true personalities emerge." Beth Mattucci, Jennifer Pare, Michael Garber, Brooke lssacs, and Lauren Sharett contributed to this article.

Mixer kicks off New Year by Michael Munoz - Mid-October is famous for many things: heated football games, changing leaves, the PSAT's and, of course, the annual Townsend Harris mixer. Harrisites have become accustomed to the dance that is held after classes. at the Queens College Student Union building. This year brought some changes . A different D.J. presided over the dance, and instead of arriving early as was planned, he came an hour late. Students were undaunted, however, and hit the dance floor as soon as the music started playing. Opinions on the new D.J. were mixed. Junior Isabelle Sawicki felt, "The music was good because there was a wide variety played and it was easy to dance to." George Zapantis, a sophomore, said, "There should have been a wider variety of music. By playing a variety of music, the party remains lively. Instead everyone got bored."· In past years, students had several complaints about how the mixer was run. Most grievances had to do with. the hassle of getting in and out of the Student Union building. In an effort to expedite the process, Senior Advisor Thomas Sweetin, working with Senior Council representatives and Queens College officials, devised several new procedures. Anyone who has been to previous mixers will remember long

lines and even longer waits at the bookbag and coat check-in points as a handful of Queens College workers tried to accommodate hundreds ofhigh school students. "They threw my bookbag into a pile, and getting it back was a disaster," recalls junior · Noel Rosa. "There was only one guy doing it and it took forever." This year, however, the check-in was run by Townsend seniors on the first floor of the building. The seniors brought the bags and coats into a large room and organized them into numerical piles. "I got my bookbag back fast and I didn't have to wait in a long line," said freshman Jennifer Tramonte. Unlike previous mixers, this dance was largely run by Townsend staff, not Queens College employees. Teachers more familiar with the students were able to admit them into the building faster. It also avoided misunderstandings between Queens · College security and Townsend students. This change was brought about largely because of an incident last year in which a quarrel erupted between a student and a security guard. As for the actual dance, most who went said they had a good time. "I thought it was really fun," said junior Melissa Rosenblatt. "Some kids went .with an attitude like, 'this is going to be boring; I'm not going to like it,' but if you went to dance and have a good time, you definitely did." This was evidenced by the hundreds ofkids crowding the dance floor.


5 Hu_gs, hats, pajamas _ Dressed-up lockers brighten halls Highlight Spirit Week by Michael Munoz In a place where'homework and · report cards reign, is there room for spirit? Apparently there is, as students of all grades adorned themselves with colored face paint, bathrobes, and hats October 11-14. The animal Spirit Week, consisting of Hug Day, Pajama: Day, Color War Day, and Hat Day, welcomed students back to school and tried to ·inject a little flavor into their routine. Sponsored by the Student Union, the week's activities generated responses that varied from enthusiasm to annoyance. Nathalia Katz, freshman, said, "I think it was good to do something different from what we do every other day. It's a good way to express yourself." Sophomore Lauren Lang agreed. "I participated in Spirit Week because I wanted to raise school spirit," she said. However, Jennifer Kroel, sophomore, said, ~·1 think it was a lame attempt to create school spirit." "The whole idea was pretty stupid!" said freshman Stacy Shanahan. "People with P.J .' s looked like idiots." PSAT'S on Hug Day Hug Day kicked off the week's events. All day long, students were to see how many hugs they could give to and receive. Hug Day also happened to be PSAT day for sophomores and juniors. "I didn't see anyone hug," said Eugene DePasquale, sophomore. "Who's going to hug when you think you failedthePSAT's?" However,sophomore Erica Kapetanakos said," I loved Hug Day because it was also PSAT day and I needed the hugs." Next up was Pajama Day, by consensus the least popular.of the four. "I thought Spirit Week was a good idea but they should have more realistic ones, unlike Pajama Day," said junior Taslim Dhanji. Anthony Galati, a junior, said, "I wouldn't wear pajamas · even if they paid me." On the other hand, sophomore Angela Kim said, "I ·1ik~ P~jama Day because I like to see people in their pajamas." Junior Chiara Bartlett also reacted positively. "Pajama Day let me go to school comfortably dressed," she said. Color War Day followed, a day on which seniors were supposed· to wear green clothes; the juniors, black; sophomores, red; and freshmen, white. An increase in participation was noted this day, especially among lower classmen. "I love Color Day!" said Nicole Anello, sophomore. "It was a good idea to make the freshmen wear white; now they're even more

noticeable." Legal Hats The final Spirit Day gave everyone license to wear usually-prohibited headgear. Most students donned ordinary caps, but some were more creative. Among these wen! several sock hats, a couple of hard hats; and one ten-gallon hat from Great Adventure. "It was a good opportunity to wear a hat and a great time to tell teachers, 'I'm W<~aring a hat and there's nothing you can do about it!"' said tenthgrader Eddie Perez. "Hat Day was great," said junior Ayeshah Wiltshire. "I didn'thavetodomyhair." Many students found fault with the flyers that were taped on every locker outlining the week's events. "The school didn't need 1,000 sheets of paper to be informed about it," said sophomore Mirella de Rose. "Fifteen or 20 are enough.'' Valerie Billy, librarian, had arrother point. "Some lockers were still decorated and the tape probably ruined them," she said. The Student Union, which helped plan the week, was targeted by some: students for its own lack of spirit. It: announced Enrichments would be: checked on Color Day to determine which grade had the most participation. However, when the time rolled around, no count was taken. "Theydidn'tevencountparticipants, so what was the point?" asked junior Carla Rocco. Seth Cohen, President of the Student Union, responded by saying, "If it wasn't done, I don't know why. I was disappointed with the lac~ of participation by the Student Union during Spirit Week, but I think this was due to the fact that Ms. Biener wasn't around to keep tabs on everyone.'' Coordinator of Student Affairs, Judy Biener, was absent at the beginning of the term due to a · foot injury. Some stuoents criticized their peers for not being more involved in the activities. "It's a good idea but hardly anyone partic\pated, so it was pointless," said sophomore Nicole Cohen. Tenth-grader Nisha Shah agreed. "Unfortunately, not thatmanypeopleworehatsorwore their pajamas. For those who did, it was fun," she said. Pamela Chhabra, sophomore, took part in the festivities and had a good time. "I am very surprised because I actually participated in every day ofthis Spirit Week," she said. "Spirit Week made school exciting, which otherwise would be boring as usual. Seeing people go all out in wacky pajamas and huge hats made people smile and talk about something other than tests or homework."

Members of the journalism class contributed to this article.

by Rena Varghese and Lauren Sharett In the celebration of the October 6 adorned the lockers were Spanish cern about how the custodians birthday of Townsend Harris, the homework, Saran Wrap, poetry, would react when the decorations namesake of our school, students hockey masks and various dis- on the lockers got shabby. Assistant to the custodian Louis Lopez, participated in "Decorate Your plays of artistic talent. Locker Day" on September 30. Freshman, sophom~res, and jun-· iors adorned approximately .170 lockers with motifs ranging from pages of the telephone book to an explanation of"What does it mean to wrap a locker?'' This event, the first of many spirit days, was sponsored by the Stu- dent Union in order to make the school look more festive. "If the rest of the year is as spirited, then this year will be a lot of fun," said Michael Garber Freshman/ Sophomore Vice-President. '.'Decorate Your Locker Day" resulted in 33% of all, and almost half of freshman, lockers being decorated. "I decorated my locker with John Starks because he is the most gargeous man in America and he also plays for the New York Knicks," said freshman Kimberly Finneran Ninth grader Linda Sulsona said, "It was fun and it made me feel more welcome." Many students, however, approached "Decorate Your Locker Day" with mixed react_ions. Freshman, Alicia Polardi, although she decorated her locker, felt that "this idea may get you into the spirit of . "It added some color to the said, "I'm all for school spirit but I decorating your locker but I found building and there was also the think that this was a big, stupid it unnecessary.'' element of creativity," said Latin idea. Already two or three kids Senior Jesse Strauss shared the teacher Richard Russo. "For ex- have come running to me. They opinion. "Creative spirit days like ample, there was the locker that can't get their lockers open beDecorate Your Locker Day detract was decorated with delany cards. cause they have too much junk in attention from the real issues that Now we'll know who to go after them.When we clean the lockers, the school faces, such as overis ashortage of delany we will have to scrape off the tape when there crowding and our inadequate stuand sometimes the paint comes off cards." dentgovernmentstructure,''hesaid. too. This permanently defaces the Other members of the faculty In response, junior Angela Minlocker and we don 't.appreciate it." expressed their appreciation of ielli said, "Jesse is wrong. Spirit "Decorate Your Locker Day". Guy Taldi, another custodial days make the poor conditions we assistant, felt that there was a school "Wonderful!" exclaimed Assisare subject to in this school more standpoint and custodial standpoint tantPrincipal Malcolm Rossman. bearable.'' from which the issue could be "I loved all the colors and I love Other students felt that the spirit approached. "School-wise it is a concentrated birthday celebratons, day was notenvironmentally sound. gooa idea but from a custodial even if it was for someone who Eleventh grader Yvette Lopez said, "Locker Day was a bad idea be- died 190 years ago.'' Spanish standpoint, I have to agree with cause it was wasteful. The paper teacher Michael Piane said, "The Louie that this does deface the gets off the lockers, falls on the lockers were quite original and lockers. I'm not in favor of widefloor and causes litter in the hall" creative. I enjoyed looking at spread disregard for the cleaniness them. It definitely lifted my spir- of Townsend Harris. However, I way.'' did like the one [locker] with the Junior Raquel Agramonte felt that itS.'' "I wonder why it took ten years hands." there was another problem, "There to think of it," mused principal Cory McCruden, Ernestine Ward is a tradition in this .school that Malcolm Largmann. and Ellen Schnabel contributed to when it's a person's birthday, you Largmann expressed con· Dr. this article. · wrap their locker. Now since all the lockers are wrapped, wecan'tmake them feel special anymore." Reasons people didn't wrap their lockers included that they forgot, they didn't have enough time or theydidn'tfeellikeit. Junior Marlin .f E \\' E L F. H S Daniels said, "I didn't decorate my locker but now I wish I had because I see that it was a lot of fun." 153-77A Cross Island Parkway •Whitestone, NewYork 11357 Among the glittery wrapping (718) 767-3110 . paper, bows and ribbons that

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Teachers return energized after time off by Veronica Lee knownamongyoungerreadersforhisseries After spending one or two semesters tak- of children's book~ called the Chronicles of ing courses, traveling, educating and re- Narnia. They believed that Latin should be searching, teachers Michael Anzel, Raquel · taught to students via the more accessible Chung, Linda Mandell, and Richard Russo medieval texts. In an article published in have returned, ready to begin a new school Humanities, a professional joilmal, Mr. year. Mr. Anzel and Mr. Russo took a one- Russo wrote, "I will teach the material over year sabbatlcal, and Ms. Mandell, a half- the next couple of years, allowing my stuyear sabbatical, while Ms. Chung taught in dents to critique it to test what works with another high them and-make school. modifications as Mr. Russo, a needed .. .Inabout Latin and Greek five years, I exteacher for 26 pect to have it years, was the reready to send to a cipientofthe 1993 publisher." National Endow• In respect to her ment for the Huspring sabbatim an i t i e s I cal,Ms.Mandell, Reader's Digest amathandglobal Richard Russo historyteacheras Teacher-Scholar Fellowship Award. He spent his year off developing a textbook which will feature medieval work as well~ a running vocabulary and notes to aid students in the interpretation of the Latin language. Mr. Russo's desire to write a book was influenced by the ideas of Dorothy L. Sayers and C.S. Lewis. Sayers is the author of the Lord Peter Whimsey mysteries; Lewis, an English novelist and essayist, is well-

well as school treasurer, claimed, "I've been teaching forever - since the beginning of time. I needed time to catch up on things for myself."_ Ms. Mandell took several classes at Queensborough Community College, including a computer course and classes in logic, health, and philosophy. She had hoped to do a study project on the history of mathematics instead, but she wasn't able to get

permission from the superintendent. In August, Ms. Mandell spent three weeks in France, and felt it was "very relaxing," but September soon arrived, and she was on her way back to school. "The nicest thing

On her return to Harris, Ms. Chung said, "I was happy to come back. I know most of the students and staff well, and I find it very stimulating here. Townsend Harris kids show a great interest in their work."

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about coming back is seeing the wonderful students, but it's very hard to get back into this schedule," she said. Mr. Anzel, a 25-year veteran of the teaching profession, said his main reason for taking a sabbatical was he felt tired and needed time for himself. "Also, I wanted to find out what retirement would be like," he added. During his year away, Mr. Anzel attended computer and art history classes at SUNY in Old Westbury. He also traveled to Italy and France. "It was a good rest and very invigorating. I think students should be able to take a year off too," he said.

Debaters get High honors

by Rena Varghese Arguing whether freedom of expression is of greatet value than political correctness, the Townsend Harris Debate Team brought home the silver trophy plus a number of other honors at the Lincoln- Douglas Singles Debates sponsored by the Brooklyn-Queens Catholic Forensics League. The event took II place at Brooklyn Technical High School on Saturday, October 22. "We had so few people that we really didn't expect to win a trophy." said sophomore Irene Biniaris. "It was a total surprise SUCCESS because I gave up all hope after they anTUOY SKill ... Total Educational Services nounced fifth place. We were up against >-I.IEIJORY....J schools like Brooklyn Technical who had so How is your child doing in school? many more people. We worked hard," she lo!OTIVATIOIJ Our "At Home" tutoring service will help said. ATifllnON-' S "As always, when the going gets tough the your child: SHF-ESTHiol ::;a people at Townsend Harris can really dei liver," said debate coach John Francis. "This ) ~ is especially true now that I am on a sabbati* £ cal. I was able to coach the t~m only by , 9 phone and at weekend meetings," he added. .g,0 Freshman Kathryn Rube, who debated for * the very first time, came away from the competition as the champion in the Novice Level. Junior Rena Varghese woR second This year, Mr. Anzel is teaching chemis- place in the Varsity Division. Both Irene and try as well as physics, a subject he has not Ernestine Ward made it into t~e finals. taught in over 20 years. "There are more "It was a wonderful experience," said physics classes due to a bigger enrollment, Ernestine. "I met kids from so many differbut I find it more challenging," he said. ent schools. I was excited to break into the Challenging work and students are also finals the first time I debated. I was tired and favored by Ms. Chung, who returned to had a headache. It was long but it was all Townsend Harris after teaching a year at worth it,'' she said. Madison High School in Brooklyn. "I was · "We have to thank everybody who supexcessed to Madison becauseofbudgetcuts,'~ ported us," said freshman Nathalia Katz, reshe explained. "I taught junior English and ferring to Spanish teacher, Eileen Marcus ESL (English as a Second Language)classes, and Barbra Giudice, mother of Charles and I found that the kids there were harder to .Giudice, who attended the debates in order work with," she said. to serve as judges. "We also have to express Ms. Chung also taught part-time at the appreciation towards Ms. [Nancy] Leib, who Elite Academy in Flushing, helping students is doing a great job of conducting the Enrichment," Nathalia said. 1!;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;!1 prepare for specialized tests.

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New liaison fosters college-high schoo·l link by Wendy Kemp Quite a few seniors experienced a moment of panic when their hearts leaped into their throats as they stared at the contents of an envelope. The culprit? A letter which, in the faded gray print of a computer that had printed hundreds of copies with the same ribbon, was labeled, "College Tuition Bill." As a result of this, chaos reigned on the opening day of senior classes at Queens College as student after student reported to the Townsend Harris office located on campus. All wanted to know the same thing: if they really had to fork over the money, which in some cases, totaled more than $1000. Through it all, new college liaison Marvin Leiner was the one who had to field

not completed his doctorate and aspired to become a professor, Dr. Leiner spent his teaching days as a student too, pursuing his degree at New York University. If teachers were measured by how many important positions they have held, Dr. Leiner would be near the top of the list. Once . he received his doctorate, Dr. Leiner served as a visiting professor at Yale University for two years, where he taught a sociology seminar on educating children in cities, as well as a course in Latin American studies. He also served as the chairman of the Elementary Education Department at Queens College for a number of years. Ten years ago, when the resurrection of Townsend Harris High School took place,

school. "We weren't taking college classes like the seniors do now," Dr. Leiner said, speaking about the students of the original school, "But we were in college. College seemed so strange and foreign to me [in those days], and there I was in the college!" The idea of working closely with the college is a concept the new Townsend Harris shares with its predecessor. Another trait the two schools have in common is the fact that the students were not all from one small area. ''The students came from all over the city," he said. "We all felt special because we were at Townsend Harris, and that felt good." When Dr. Leiner became involved in the new Townsend Harris, it was more to him than just a bra,nd new school with the same name as his alma mater. "I have always felt love and strong feeling for Harris," he remarked. "It was like returning home and bringing my new experi· ence with me." "I look forward to the collaboration between the college and the high school, as well as the opening of the new Townsend Harris," Dr. Leiner said"Because it will be right on campus, students will be able to go right across the campus and work with the university professors."

"There are some people who say that the new building will be finished in February," Dr. Leiner said. "I just hope it opens before [the seniors] graduate." Dr. Leiner feels that Townsend Harris High School of the present is special, not only considering that very few high schools nowadays have studef!tS who spend their senior year on a college campus and taking classes, but also because of the students themselves. "I have been meeting with students in the Bridge Year,"he said, "And I'm impressed with their spirit, their intelligence, . and their desire to learn." However, there still remains some work to be done. In the future, Dr. Leiner plans to bring the two worlds - the high school and the college - together even more. He wants to "meet with the faculty and students ...and move on, finding new ways that the professors can innovate with the high school teachers to form new curriculum and direction." "I am hoping to find new ways," he said, "whether in science and math, or English, which will be useful for Townsend Harris and also provide a model for other schools." "The future of Townsend Harris," he concluded, "rests in the tradition of the school, the cooperation of Queens College and the high school, and the community."

IS YOUR SAT TUTOR AN SAT EXPERT? r

College Liaison Marvin Leiner is a new addition to the Townsend Harris family.

Does your SAT tutor ... the questions and set the record straight for each one of them. "It was a shocking opening day," herecalled. "Ti.~re had been a mistake in the college office -Townsend Harris stu~cnts were not supposed to be charged for tuition. All the students were standing outside my office with their bills in hand, and I had to tell all of them that it was a mistake, that tuition was supposed to be waived.'' Dr. Leiner, who has just recently replaced Dr. Ronald Scapp as the new college liaison, did not always spend his days on the job straightening out money matters. His first teaching position was at Public School24 in Brooklyn, where he taught primarily the sixth grade. Later on, he served as an assistant principal at P.S. 105, a Rockaway elementary school. After a while, Queens College offered him a job as a "teacher's teacher." He prepared student teachers for their l,lpcoming jobs, taught classes on the methods of teaching, and instructed teachers who were studying for their Masters degree. He also helped schools thafwere ,'Yotldngclosely with the college, such as the Lquis Armstrong Middle School. "I wante'd to~elp the school become better and improve its quality of education," he said. However, since he himself still had

Dr. Leiner was on the planning committee, and helped create the guidelines for the school. Recently, he was offered the position as Director of College Preparatory Programs, and is now the liaison between the college and the high school. When asked _why he was hired, Dr. Leiner said, "I work well with youngsters, and I have been a professor at Queens College for many years. I was also recommended by a number of people." This was not his first involvement with a school by the name of Townsend Harris. Dr. Leiner spent his freshman year of high school in the originalTownsend Harris, which was located on 23rd Street in Manhattan. The school closed after he finished his first year. "It's been many years [since then]," he said, "but the memories are warm and positive and proud." According to Dr. Leiner, yesterday's Townsend Harris was very diff~rent from today's. First of all, it was an all-boys school, and students only spent three years there instead of four. In addition, eve.n though the high school itself filled a few. floors in the building of"City College Downtown" (as it used to be called since th.e ma!n part of the · college was uptown on 145th Street), the boys stayed within the confines of the high

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CoUege Board to increase S~AT scores 100 p• by Seth Cohen Beginning in April 1995, the College Board will be recalibrating its scoring of the new SAT-1 (Scholastic Assessment Test) so that the score of the average American high School student will go up 100 points. While tire familiar 200 to 800 anchor points on both the "Verbal" and "Math" exams will not be altered, the norming reference group will be updated from 1941 test takers to a pool of current college-bound seniors, beginning with the high school graduating class of 1996. · As a result, the average score will be set at 500 on each year's tests for both the math and verbal sections (The College Board Recentering Information, 1994). The Original Balance - the 1941 Scale The group of test takers who took the SAT in 1941 consisted of about 10,000 students applying to the_most selective colleges in the country. The average score for this group ·was 500 for both "Verbal" and "Math" on 'the College board scale of 200 (lowest) to 800 (highest). This group has been used since 1941 as a reference to which all other test takers are compared. Over the years, the average SAT score has changed from 500 to 424 for verbal and478 for math. According to the College Board, the flux in the average SAT scores can be attributed to "changes in the test-taking population, increasedvolume of test takers (nearly 1.2 million students take the SAT yearly), and changes in how and what studentS are taught in school" (The College Board Recentering Information). So the College Board officials have decided to "recenter" the scale, re-adjusting it so that the average student will once again get scores of 500 on the verbal and math tests,· using a new reference group from the 1990s. "Recentering will affect all scores, but this doesn't mean that the SAT is getting easier,"

said a spokesman from ETS (Educational Test- America. A total score of 1400 next year won't ing Service: the writers of the SAT). be viewed the same way a 1400 is this year. With our conversion tables, we 'II be able to see What Will Recentering Accomplish? what a student is really scoring," he said. The problems don't end there. The College The College Board says that the sole purpose Board points out in its Recentering Pamphlet of recentering is to make the verbal and math that the "Recentered SAT-1 will increase the ability to predict a student's success in college" scores easier to coin pare. ' . "On the current scale, percentiles are needed to compare math and verbal reasoning scores. That's because the average math and verbal scores are different (478 and 4,24, respectively)," said Karen Orton, a representative of FairTest, a standardized testing advocacy organization. "So if students score higher in math it's not necessarily true that they are better in math than in verbal skills based on their scores." According to a recent study by the College Board, students have the incorrect notion that a 500 math score and a 400 verbal score on the present SAT-I means that they are in fact a better math student (N.Y. Times, 6/14/94). With recentering, the average math and verbal score will .be the same, so if a student scores 500 on math and 400 on verbal, the student did better in m~th than in verbal.

said Susan Borja, an Assistant Director at The Princeton Review, a test preparatory coaching organization. "In fact," she said, "it's a biased, and a terribly written test." (See side-bar.) "The recentered SAT ignores the fact that students are scoring lower," said Mr. LeManger. "Yes, students are doing worse, and the College Board figures 'the median should be ..-- ··· -·--;:j~~ ..-: -:t.-t" {...;.. Qr]LoQtN H, .:-----.... ~ 't" 8t lJ "'l - I 1. ·, · s.o.s.~ ~1 ~,_, ·

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Controversies Arise As the College Board prepares to revise the SAT scoring system for the first time in half a century, a storm of controversy has surfaced regarding the intent behind the change. "Recentering is a silly notion," said Steve LeManger, Associate Dean of Admissions at Princeton University. "We at college admissions offices will be given conversion tables by the College Board which will enable us to convert the recentered score back to the old score. That totally defeats the purpose," he said. Mr. LeManger pointed out thatscoring higher on the SAT-1 will not necessarily mean easier admission into the upper echelon schools. "I feel bad for parents and students throughout

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and indicate "how well a student has achieved in high school." However, most SAT experts agree that the SAT doesn't measure past or future achievement, but rather how well a student can take an SAT. "The SAT doesn't measure the kind of activities performed in high school, nor does it indicate if a student can apply what he's learned,"

500, so lets make it that way.' That is a terrible solution to the pressing problem of a deteriorating education system," he said. SAT-1: The "Only Common Denominator'' Despite the flaws of the SAT, it remains the ·

WHAT IS When 1he SAT w"" rirsl odmini<tered in 1941. 1h of 1he 200-800 ocale. As lime went on and the n1 overare •cores dropped 10 the cunenllevel of 4] Bnd Verbal score!l makes the score!~ dirficull to it 4~0Mf420V probobly feels 1hot he/she is slronrl euctly overore (obout SOih percenlile). Wilh-rt 500V. Thi~ me11n$ that the everase score on the provide student!~ and colleaes with an e•sier WI) SAT will not chonse AT AI..!..; justlhe ocorins d

WHO DOES THI S1Uden" en1erin! their ;':inior year 1hjs fall (CII! recentered ocole. This will be slightly confusinJ they miJhltry to compare !heir sophomore "old won't cause panic. becau~e this year's score wi~ .corin! will be administered in April 1995.

WHAT DOES THIS REAl Nol much. Since the score change will •ffectlh 5ludent'!l M:nre m11y increase considerably comp proportion It> ench other. In other words. the d scoreJ .are effected in the same way.

HOW ARE WE Dl Very simply. n.. ocore olthe top of 1 score rep teoc:hero and students can eully compare scores repons thotlndic:oles what their ocore would be a 530M and n.. next pase rives you tl eumpte. if you received S60M and on th

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ints; New averages: 500 Math, 500 Verbal tly accepted way of comparing students from [ferent areas of the world. "Because course loads vary from state to ate, it is virtually impossible to compare a dent from Kentucky and one from New ,rk City," said Mr. LeManger. "The recen·ed SAT may not be perfect but it's the only denominator. Therefore, its a useful

time when selective colleges will abandon the SAT," said Mr. LeManger. "When all is said and done, the recentering isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be," said Ms. Borja. "Sure, it doesn't make sense, but we're accustomed to that from the College Board by now. If scores go up on the SAT-1, the College Board will look better. Consider it as a little beautification surgery," she said Beautification or not, next year's SAT scores are bound to put bigger smiles on the face of test-takers.

SOURCES: (for pages 8 and 9)

...

1. FairTest: The National Center for Fair and Open Testing 2. Phyllis Roser, The SAT Gender Gap: Center for Women's ·studies (1989) 3. The Co(/ttge Bound Senior Report, The College Board, 1993 4. David Owen, None of the Above, 1985 5. Susan Borja, Assistant Director, Marketing, The Princeton Review 6. Steve LeManger, Associate Dean of Admissions, Princeton University 7. Representative from ETS (name withheld upon request)

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put together a freshman class, they t just accept students based on SAT scores Grade Point Averages because they're ""•ed in orchestras and sports, and want a of backgrounds. Yet, I can't think of a

~OOM/500V, which i~ tf1e mid-roinl and their demogrophics changed, the ETS feels that the di•rarity In the overage Moth (l(her words, the overoge student with 1 score nr than In verbal. In feet, eoch 11f the!!e sc11res Is ETS will brinsthe avense scores blOCk to SOOM/ by neorly 100 f>Oints. ETS feelsthotthls will to lnterrret and comP"re scores. Note lhot the 101•1 to change.

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Arrivals adjust to crowds, bands, demands OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS:

Newcomers·.contend MANY RULES? with life in shoebox TOO I> ·. .. >I by Dominika Bednarska Attention Townsend Harris! I am here to speak on behalf of those lost, wandering people you see roaming the halls who keep whining about how they miss junior high school. We are doing our best to adapt to the strange new ways of this horizontal shoebox of a school. However, it just seems somewhat impossible at times. A perfect living example was my battle with the combination lock from hell. This happened on the very first day of classes. My combination went something like40 times to the Iefton 33.3, 20 times to the right on 44 1/3, stop. After my 104th time trying to open this, I decided three very important things: a) this was all part of a conspiracy to give us freshmen hernias from carrying all our textbooks; b) they were just taunting us with the too-good-to be-true, can-only-be-used-in-the fifthand-fourth-second-of the-fifth, sixth-bands-except-for-Wednesdays idea oflockers; and c) it was time to go to the crowbar. Unfortunately, the bell rang, so I had to carry the crowbar in my bookbag with the 2000 textbooks and a binder the size of Texas. I now had to walk through the calm, crowded hallway. (This must have been what the World Trade Center evacuation was like.) My first period was math, and after that I waited for the bell to ring (which, as I now know, would have been a really lm1g wait if I hadn't decided that calculus is nqt a freshman course). So I had to climb back up the stairs and back through the bomb evacuation hallways to the wonderous land ofbio lab where what is supposed to be dead is alive and vice-versa. Twenty minutes into the period, I found out the right organism was dead. (No wonder it hadn't reponded to the explosion.) With five minutes left in the period, I finally got a live specimen, which decided to nap. My lab report was done in a minute and a half on a napping worm. (At least it only counts for 60% of my grade.) I went through three more periods of delany cards and arranged seating before lunch. I got down to lunch and there was only one seat left, so I wedged myself in a spot meant for Kate Moss, and realized that I hadn't bought lunch yet. Since all the lunch choices seemed to be more alive than the worm I'd observed in bio lab, I bribed the cook with my crowbar to make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This sandwich was on three slices of bread. In my wedged seat spot, I finished my sandwich and discovered I was the only one left in the cafeteria. I went to my next class where my teacher, like all those before her, managed to mispronounce every name from mine to Jane. Also by this time I had discovered there are 20 people with the same name in the same class, and every time that name was called, someone yelled, "Which one?" The teacher would stare at her attendance list as though this is a deep and difficult question which cannot be answered by the average human. Then she'd out a last name which none of the twenty people have. Finally the bell rang. School was over, and this calm World Trade Center evacuation crowd had turned into the Indianapolis 500 with9ut flashy cars. I got on the U-haul with all my homework and went home. Despite this discouraging day, I have faith that I and the rest of Townsend Harris' new additions will conquer the challenges of a heavy work load, locks from hell and living cafeteria food because; after all, we all want to become sophomores and juniors so we can make fun of those lost oeoole wandering the halls and whining about iunior high.

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by Donna Vasic Townsend Harris is a school with rules and regulations. Many of them. Maybe even too many. You need a pass if you want to go anywhere. When leaving the cafetorium, you need to sign yourself out, leave your program card at the desk, get a pass, and sign yourself back in when you return. This pass will take you about as far as the bathroom. You need a special pass to walk up to the first floor. When leaving a classroom, you need to sign yourself out and get a pink pass (again with the passes). When it comes to hall lockers, there are also rules. You can't go to your lockers (or anywhere near them) until 8:00a.m.; you can only use your locker in the morning, five minutes at the beg,inning of your lunch band, five minutes at the end, and at the end of classes. Are these rules and many others really necessary? Have there been very serious proble!J!s in the past with people trying to cut classes or leave school? The school itself seems too small to get away with this. It appears that the same people who speak of the studious, conscientious, "Townsend HarrisS tudent" are putting these rules into effect. What does this say about their faith in our abilities to govern ourselves? Do they really believe in what they're telling us? And if they do, why do we need to be so closely monitored? A little bit of personal freedom never turns anyone into a criminal. If anything, it helps prepare a person for the real world.

[r·N \ _· 'onfil _v .r>l by Irina Tsytsylin Rules, rules and even more rules seem to be an immense part of Townsend Harris life. Although they may seem tedious and unjust in the eyes of newcomers, through the eyes of an optimistic junior, I must state that these restrictions serve a meaningful and beneficial purpose. Although it may seem ridiculous to be a victim of a locked bathroom in between "bands," it is equally ridiculous to imagine 700 students trampling over themselves while running out of a shoebox- size restroom, late for class. • It's hard to envision the positive aspects of Townsend Harris celebrated academic rules. Requirements such as having to write three collaterals in English, one collateral in every other class and the possible risk of failing because of tJtree missed homeworks, may seem exceptionally difficult to deal with. However, when you are faced with ten classes and five term papers in the college of your choice, your preparation to deal with that situation will exceed'that of most other students. Finally, because the school is extremely small, crowded hallways and classr90ms make rules a necessity in order to perserve order and safety. It is because these rules and restrictions have proven to be so successful that Townsend Harris remains one of the most prominent schools in the city.

So~ ph. omo. re's by Amanda Schoenberg "Pleading Insanity" is no longer just a legal term, thanks to incoming sophomore Thomas Palma and his rock band. Thomas says that "Pleading Insanity" is well-known for hard rock, especially at Whitestone and Col-

Freshmen step up to plate y Cory Polonetsky The Townsend Harris ballgame tarts off with the pre-game show. his encompasses arriving at the uilding on time and getting to our official class. After a short est in the dugout, it's time for the ationalanthem.Achorusofvoices an clearly be heard cheering for he red, white, and blue, as well as ·or the crimson and gold. It is now ime to check the starting lineup. irst up is Spanish, followed by ath and English. Word processng i_s ~ itt _t~e~ fl~n~l!P. spgt, JQl;

lowed by biology and physical education. Lunch, global studies, and Latin make up the rest of the order. "Play ball!" shouts the umpire. It's time for the first inning to start. The fans rise to their feet. They applaud in celebration of the start of the game. Many are still searching for their seats, while others have made their way to the concession stand for a drink. At last, all are settled in their chairs, the'lucky ones in the front row; and the ball, . . gaJl\e.qti) &UJit.. -~

Since many of us find the early innings tedious, I'll summarize the beginning of the game for you. Townsend Harris scatters six hits over six innings, with a homerun in each inning. It's tied for the seventh inning stretch. Thisisatimeforrest, relaxation,andsomegoodfoodfrom the ballpark foOd stand, but don't get too relaxed. Two big innings are due up next · Towensend Harris is now up under pressure, and in the clutch, smashes tw() monstrous homers for a ninerun win!

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lege Point, where they often play. In fact, the group is beginning to makeasfzeableprofit,allofwhich goes right back into buying new equipment. The band is made up of five young men, none of whom go to Townsend Harris except for Thomas. Thomas says that while the band takes a lot of haid work, it is definitely worth it. Part of what takes so much time and effort is the song writing process. "Plead~ ing Insanity" writes all their own songs, which Thomas claims they do simply by "sitting down and writing out the lyrics, then fitting them to music." They are so well-renowned that a contract from Warner Brothers wasalmostapossibility. Theband already has a demo tape with four songs on it, which they submitted to Warner Brothers. Thomas stated that theWarner representa. tive "doesn't want anything to do with us until lte hears us live."

Soon the group hopes to have more gigs, probably at the Village Vault, in Manhattan. Thomas, who plays the drums, claims, ''There is still a chance for us to get a contract"- if they play live as much as possible, that is. When asked why he decided to come to Townsend Harris, Thomas replied, "I heard it was an awesome school." Already he is noticing, though, that the band interferes with his schoolwork. He spends at least two afternoons per week practicing with the band as well as weekends, but he seems to believe he can handle the conflict. Could being in a band become a profession for Thomas? He gives an emphatic nod, "Definitely!" he asserts. Thomas has been playing the drums for the past five years, but he thinks that "Pleading Insanity" has :been his best work so far. In fact, Thomas declares that in all the time lte has been playing, "I've never been in a band that got as big as this one.~·.


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Blechman visits Nazi camps; meets alumna in by Michael Garber The Holocaust, one of the most important events in the 20th century, is a subject that has touched English teacher Harriette Blech~ man deeply. Though she fortunately did not lose any relatives to the concentration cainps, she conducts an elective on the Holocaust, and for the past six years has been a member of an instructional group for high school teachers that focuses on the Holocaust. Last July, Ms. Blechman joined 44 other secondary school teachers on a trip through Poland's concentration camps. This one-week trip took them throughout Poland and gave Ms. Bechman a touch history. The group, led by Vladka Meed, a survivor of the Holocaust, and Charlotte Wollheim whose husband was also a survivor, toured Warsaw and Krakow, and Auschwitz, Treblinka and Maidanek camps, where many vic-

tims of the Holocaust were exterminated. In Poland, Ms. Blechman also experienced some of her own past by meeting a graduate ofTown send Harris, Anita Trawinska. Ms. Blechman wrote to Anita to notify her that she would be coming to Poland. They arranged to meet each other in Warsaw, where· Anita, class of 1992, is now living with her family. Anita gave Ms. Blechman a tour of her city and they went shopping in the market square. "It. was wonderful to meet her in her own country and to have her teach me about Poland," commented Ms. Blechman. Anita, who is now attending the University of Warsaw, explained to Ms.

Blechman how valuable her Townsend Harris ex: perience was. She said the education she received here, along with her knowledge of English, will put her in demand for job opportunities. She is now studying applied linguistics at the university. The group Ms. Blechman went with is in its tenth year now. Its pur" pose is to encourage secondary school teachers '0 to educate their students ~ about the Holocaust and ~ everlasting effects s the thatithad. Ms. Meed and 8 8 Ms. Wollheim are the leaders of the organization. Every year, they bring 45 teachers with Harriette Blechman, English teacher, is rethem to Poland and Isunited with her former Harris student, Anita rael for intense study on Trawinska, in Poland.

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the Nazi camps. Every February, the group, sponsored by the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors, the United Federation of Teachers, and the Jewish Labor Committee, meets in Washington D.C. to discuss how to educate students about the Holocaust. Ms. Blechman first went to Israel with the group in 1988 and asked to join them in Poland this year. The rest of the group went on to Israel to do the program that Ms. Blechman did in 1988, but she came home. "It is very special to do this twice," said Ms. Blechman. "It was very eye-opening. I got to see what I have studied and think I came back with a new commitment to educating about the Holocaust and making people aware of its effects," she said. Ms. Blechman is also a part of the planning committee for the organization.

Vee joins N~wsday IBuchalter coaches future Knicks As summer intern by Marci Welber After two years of working on The Classic, junior Bonnie Yee made it to the Big-time this summer, and saw what it was like to write for a New York newspaper. Bonnie, who served as an intern at New York Newsday, says, this "certainly was a summer to remember." Bonnie has grown to love writ-

Bonnie Yee ingmorethanever. "Injuniorhigh I liked to write poems and stories, but now I love the experience of being a real journalist," she said. Bonnie was accepted into a July journalism program for minority students at Queens College, sponsored by the Dow Jones Corpora- · tion. She learned a lot from instructor E.R. Shipp, a thirteen-year veteran of the New York Times, who now has a personal column in the Daily News. " Shipp was just wonderful. She

really knows all the tricks of the trade and passed them along to us," Bonnie said. At a conference at City Hall, Bonnie had the opportunity to meet Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former Mayor David Dinkins. "I was sonervousabouthowtoactarot:md them because they are prominent figures today," she said. At the termination of the course, the months' works were compiled into a newspaper and printed. Bonnie's story- on a local pool that was free from sexual assaults known as 'whirlpooling'- appeared on the front page. ' When Ms. Shipp had to selecttwoofherbestwriters to participate in the internship atNew. YorkNewsday, Bonnie was chosen . . "I was shocked," she remembered. "I was so happy that Shipp valued my work," she said. So what did Bonnie do atNewsday?"Istartedout writing briefs, which are stories people send in and want to have printed. We shorten them, and basically make them sound good," she said. Bonnie then went on to repmtnewsstories. She spoke with different people about issues ranging from sexual harassment to pro bono divorce cases, those in which a lawyer does not charge a fee to his or her clients. "Most people do not get this chance until they are in college. I'm sixteen and already doing it,"

by Bonnie. Yee After five weeks of coaching at the New York Knicks Summer Program Basketball Camp, Craig Buchalter has learned that being a basketball star isn't always a ball. Buchalter, a physical education instructor, worked at the King's .Point, Long Island's New York Knicks camp coaching 16 to 18year-old boys on defense techniques. A typical day at the camp consis ted of station training, where different skills of the game were broken up into small work areas: a lecture, where one of the New York Knicks or a coach from the

Bonnie said. According to Bonnie, you have to have patience to be a reporter. "If people do not give you enough information, you must press until they do. Everyone has a hidden agenda. They tell you what you want to hear; and not the whole truth. You have to have thick skin to be a journalist," she said. BonnieworkedatNewsday with Paul Goldstein, President of the Queens County Bar Association; Richard · Brown, Queens County District Attorney; and Dan Hevisi, son of politician Alan Hevisi. She had her own cubicle with a computer and phone. "Everything was done on computer. It was like pens did not even exist," Bonnie said. In the future, Bonnie would like to be a journalist for a New York newspaper. She said, "This was a wonderful opportunity, and it put a jump start on my career."

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Mr. Buchalter said. "As a high school varsity basketball coach, I'm always very eager to learn from those people with more know ledge and experience than myself." It's not everyday that you get to meet a super star. For Mr. Buchalter, coming face-to face with his idols was a huge thrill. "It was the first time that I've been that close to millionaires. It was exciting, because they had just lost the NBA championship," Buchalter said. According to Mr. Buchalter, it is not easy to play basketball as a prof~ssional; it is an all-day job. For the Knicks, four hours are devoted strictly to building endurance, two hours are spent on practicing and two hours go toward playing a game. From all of his experience and from what he's learned from the pros, Mr. Buchalter has a piece of advice for budding basketball players: "When you go out and practi_ce, make your practice conditions resemble game conditions in the best way you can."

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Caraboo mocks the royals of Georgian England by Beth Mattucci , The eagerly anticipated film, Princess 路 Carabao, opened in theaters recently. The movie, featuring a large ensemble cast of talented actors, takes a comedic look at England in the 1800's by route of a complex case of mistaken (or is it?) identity. The question of"Is she or isn't she?" teases us all through the film, but never are we given the opportunity to answer it. Still, the pleasure of watching this amusing plot unfold proves . sufficient, all the way up to its surprise ending. The story takes place in London in 1817. One day Caraboo, played by Phoebe Cates, who delivers a terrific performance (even though she barely has any lines), is discoveredinafieldbytwoworkers.Thinkingthat this mysterious girl is a vagrant, they take her to the Warralls' estate. TheWarralls are a wealthy British couple. Mr. Warrall is away when Caraboo is first brought to the house, so the kind-hearted Mrs. Warrall gladly takes in this strange foreigner who, by this time, has totaily

mystified the entire staff as well. The hospitality soon ends, however, when Mr. Warrall comes home. He is furious to f learn that his wife has taken in Caraboo, whom he takes as a mere beggfll', and immediately seeks her arrest. At this time in history, begging was a crime, usually punishable by hanging. Nevertheless, Caraboo escapes this fate. As she stands before the judge, she manages to convince the court that her father is a king of a faraway land. With the help of Mrs. Warrall's testimony, she is released back into theWarralls' custody. At this point, the movie really takes off. . Princess Carabao is a hilarious commentary on how English society views royalty. Caraboo is about to be hanged, and for the sole reasons of being pretty and possibly a princess, she is allowed to go free. Once Caraboo is believed to be a princess, everyone treats her differently. Mr. Warrall, who was ready to send her out into the streets, now welcomes her with open arms.

The movie is filled with a diverse cast of characters, all of whom are trying to decide for themselves whether Caraboo is a princess or an imposter. Mrs. Warrall is really taken wiiliCaraboo, whileherhusbandonlyseesdollarsignsand increased popularity by having the princess stay with them. For these reasons, theWarrallstrytofindoutasmuchaspossibleabout Caraboo, and even begin to assimilate to her unknown culture. Mrs. Warrall starts wearing turbans to keep up with the latest style, and a flag from Caraboo' s homeland is displayed at the estate for all the world to see. The story is told by a journalist named Gutch (Stephen Rea). His goal at first is to 路 uncover the truth about Caraboo and expose hertrueidentity.Heishopingtoputallthose in the high society to shame for treating an ordinary girl like royalty. However, in the process of doing so, he becomes romantically interested in Caraboo. Kevin Kline plays the role of Flixos, the pompous Greek butler who is also trying to prove that Caraboo is not a princess, as well as giving inside information to Gutch for his

expose on her. Flixos is the main comedic force in the movie, and he adds a lot of spice to it. Then there is the Oxford scholar, Wilkinson (John Lithgow), who comes to the estate to examine Caraboo and do extensive language tests. He also believes that she is a phony since he cannot recognize her language, but nonetheless, he is also thoroug.hly smitten with her because of her innocent face and winning ways. Tlie movie is filled with highly amusing antics and a wonderful cast of characters. It is an extremely entertaining film (based on a true story) that is not only enjoyable, but also teaches you a valuable lesson: don't always believe what you are told. It makes you question some of the values h our society and the things on which we place importance. Princess Carabao will keep you guessing about her true identity up to the very last scene, and Cates, who spends the bulk of the film wearing an expressionless face, emerges with her enchanting smile, winning the hearts of the audience.

'River' takes viewers on wild ride by Romina Perrone The River Wild has adventure and real intensity. It teaches you to suspect ~veryone and trust no one. The movie takes place on a rafting trip, and every time you look up, you feel as if you're getting knocked down , Qy a wave. This movie makes your time and money worthwhile. Starring Meryl Streep (who also starred in Death Becomes Her), Kevin Bacon (from He Said, She Said), and David Strathairn (from A League of Their Own), The. River Wild is a story with a solid cast, as well as a good plot. Meryl Streep, plays Gail, an ex-guide in whitewater rafting, a mother of two children and the wife of a workaholic husband, Tom (Strathaim). As a yearly ritual on the son's birthday, they take him whitewater rafting. This year Tom, actually decides to leave his paper~ work and go with his family to try to work out his marriage and his father/son relationship, but ends up taking his briefcase with him anyway. However, this family outing soon takes a

rocky turn when Gail (Streep) decides to help two men, Roy and Wade (Kevin Bacon) along their trip. What she doesn't know is that they are really bank robbers trying to skip town fora little while. Knowing she's an expert, they tell Gail (Streep) at gun point to ride along with them th.Iough the rough side of the river and they hold the whole family hostage. Still, even with their rough captors, and even rougher rapids, the three victims manage to save themselves. The action is very effective because of the way that the characters fight against the water. When you are sitting watching the movie you almost feel as if you are getting wet yourself. The water effects in the movie are stumiing. The scenery is also beautiful. The River Wild is directed by Curtis Hanson (also the diiector of The Hand That Rocks The Cradle). It is rated PG 13. It keeps you on the edge 9f your seat and makes every scene unpredictable. So, if you have time, the movie to see this weekend is The River Wild.

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Darth Vader and Obi-Wan will be around for a .few more films.

Force is with us for three more films by Michael Weiss When asked by TV Guide if there were going to be three new _films added to the blockbuster trilogy of the 70's and 80's Star Wars producer George Lucas replied, "Yes." This question has arisen since tlie end of the production of the ftrst three ftlms. Luckily for all you Star War fanatics, it means more light sabers, more short little green Jedi masters and more Star Destroyers. The original movies captured the hearts of all science fiction lovers for the duration of three continuous films - the original "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back" and" The Return ofthe Jedi." As any Star Wars maniac will tell you, the first trilogy was comprised of parts 4, 5 and 6. This was done deliberateiy so that some day Lucasfilm Productions could spend another couple of millions on parts 1, 2 and 3: an innovative approach for planning

sequels (or in this case! "prequels"). Lucas was also asked if talk of Kenneth Branagh playing the young Obi-Wan J(enobi in the prequels was true. Unfortunately, the talented Branagh will not be a Star Wars character in the upcoming films. According to Lucas, this was j'!st a rumor in the British tabloids. Having answered the two most talkedabout questions involving SW Wars, there was still one more ques~on that Lucas had to be asked: "Will there be a Star War~ parts 7, 8, and 9, based on the recently published novels?" Right now we have no answer, but who knows? Maybe the Empire still has a few tricks up its sleeve and George (Lucas) will like the idea of Han and Leia having two Jedi twins. With the Force, anything is possible.


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Gu.n control: a necessity in today's society by Ishie Y1 Park Every two and a half minutes in the United States, someone is injured by a handgun. This means by the time you finish watching your favorite T.V. show, at least twelve more people will have been hurt by the use of a firearm . By the time you get out of school,there will be 192 more casualities in this senseless war. Gun Control is definitely necessary in our society. History Gun control is defined as govemment regulation of the possession and use of firearms by private citizens. The main reason legislation is so hard to pass on this issue dates back to the colonial period, and a certain document called the Bill ofRights. The Second Amendment of the Constitution specifically states, "A well-regulated militia being necessary to thesecurity of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Two hundred years of controversy and heated debate has surrounded these 27 words. It goes unsaid that one cannot paSs a law that is deemed unconstitutional, yet the document itself is flexible and open to variousinterpretations.However,here ~the c~rre~t hard facts concern-mg the SituatiOn. Statistics - 60 to 65 million Americans own firearms - ThereareenoughgunsintheU.S. to arm every man, woman, and child living here. - Fireatms are on the premises of more than half of all U.S. homes; - Every day in the U.S., ten children ages 18 and under are killed by handguns. - One out of every ten American youths who die is killed with a

gun. - In the U.S., firearms kill more people between the ages of 15 and 24 than do all natural causes combined. - Firearms were used in appro ximately 3 out of 5 murders committed in the U.S. in 1993. The numbers are frightening. Obviousl y, this has grown to become a problem that concerns everyone, especially American youths living in an urban area. What is being done about it? Gun Control Efforts In light of these discouraging statistics,strongereffortsare being made to reduce the number of guns on the street. One of the most recent is the Guns for Goods campaign.A$100giftcertificate and $75 in casharegiventothose who hand in a firearm atparticipatingstores and local police precincts. The certificates can be used for anything from sneakers to mattresses to fur coats. Donors are anonyJl!ous and no records are kept on them. So far the program has been enormously successful, bringing in more than 3,000 weapons in just the first four months of its existence. The Brady HIll was also passed early this year, now making a sevenday waiting period one of the nationwide mandatory requirements for purchasing a gun. Under the Gun Control Act, guns cannot be sold to minors, convicted criminals, drugaddicts,andthementally

mcompetent. Iromcally, New York happens to be one of the hardest states in which to legally purchase afirearm.Inordertodoso,onemust have: - an application and waiting period - a permit to purchase -registration - a license to carry openly - a license to carry concealed Views What do local Harrisites think about gun control? Senior Gina Tufaro said, "I feel that in a society where the bad guys outnumber the good guys, protection is essential." One frequently used argument by those ~ho oppose gun control is that '

"guns don't kill, people do." Mark Reichelsheimer, an incoming sophomore, supports this point of view· "Guns aren't the only problem; it's a combination of everything - the mindset of the people and of this society. There's violence all over, and if it's not with guns, it's with knives and fists. The government

should provide · peace programs and educational centers so that wecanreallygettothecoreofthis problem, which lies in us." Senior Luiza Girlea said "Of co~rse there should be stricte~ gun control laws. I also think there should belongerprisonsentences for those caught with guns and a more ·thorough backcheck on people who apply for licenses." ''I'mallforstricterlaws,"agreed Danny Gingerich, senior. "I don't know why anybody really needs to tarry a gun besides cops and other people who have dangerous professions." Although most of the people asked were in favor of stricter gun controllaws, a few were skeptical of their overalleffectiveness. "I don't think gun control laws will really help because usually teenagers get their guns from the black market," said junior Jessica Rodriguez. Todd Price, senior,stated,"Icould get a gun easily if I wantedone.Forteenagers in general, it's easy." Senior Karin Castillo who did a resear~h report with Ishle Yi Park on the subject, looked at the big picture. "The inner-city communities have become thriving market places for guns to be illegally smuggled in. Growing up in such decaying neighborhoods,youths haveacasual attitude about their lifestyle, dealing drugs for easy money and carrying semi-automaticweaoons

by their sides for protection. With this type of lifestyle so easily accessible and attractive, they see it as their only way to go _up the finanCial ladder of society. Drug rings form and complicate the situation. Out of fear, other teenagers find that they, too, have to arm themselves for protection. It's like an arms race within our country, and crime turns out to be a continuous cycle which seems impossible to break." · Getting Involved After all is said and done, what can a student like an average Townsend Harrisite do to make a difference? The first step is selfeducation. Visit the local library or the local precinct and learn about the problem, and try your best not to become part of it. Organize a group in school to help educate. others. Have an open debate, finding speakers for both sides of the issue. "Reach out and touch someone." Call your senator or Congress member at (202) 224-3121 and ask for the individual by nanie. Feel free to voice your opinion to theWhiteHouseat(202)456-1414. Or dust off that pen and write to your local senator at the U.S . Senate, Washington D.C. 20510. The bottom line isjustdon'tgive upon ... the fight because where there's a Bill, there's a way. Sources Bender,' Davis Earl. America's Prisons(l991);Ifill,Gwen.'"Victory' Over Crime, At Least _ Politically" New York Times, 8(28/ 94; Krone, Wetter .Drugs and Guns in America (1991); National Center for Health Statistics;.Sanchez, Ray. "The Gun-free Way" N.Y. Newsday,l1/93; Stateof New York Division of Criminal Justice Services .

Banning handguns v·iolates citizens' rights . by Mike Pinto When this country was created, its founding fathers drew up a document to lay down the rules of the land. They called this document the Constitution. Written in the Constitution was a special provision to guarantee that the rights of private citizens "to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." That provision was known as the Second Amendment. Two hundred years later, groups such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms seem intent on destroying the Second Amendment, and stripping legal, lawabidingcitizensof their rights. The regulation of guns is a necessity in this country, but there's no justification to ban private ownership of handguns, or any "legitimate" type of firearms in the United States. The only types of firearms that

are "illegitimate" are those which have no other purpose than to end human lives. I'm not referring to "assault" (a term which I personally don't like) rifles as many may think. The reason is, they can be and are adopted for hunting and target shooting. Examples of these weapons are the AR-15, the SKS, andtheM-14. Theseriflesare,on the average, three to four feet long. It's very hard to walk down the street with one of these hidden under your jacket What I am referring to are combat, thirty- round magazine- carrying machine pistols such as the Tec-9,Mac-10,andtheUZI. These weapons are far too inaccurate to be used for anything but close quarter room-clearing. There's no place for these implements of destruction anywhere in our society. With that said, we can now focus

our attention on the types of firearms which pose the biggest threat: the handguns. Some anti-gunners claimthatsimplyhavingagunforces the owner to use it. I'd like some proof to support that claim. There are thousands of registered gun owners in New York City, and yet a very small percentage of them are everchargedwithanycrimes. Why? B.ecause the crimes aren't committed by decent, law-abiding citizens whoacqiured their weapons through proper channels. The crimes are being committed by criminals who steal or buy their guns illegally. The most frequently stated reason given on applications for New York City carry permits is fear - fear that the "other guy" will have a weapon and the applicant will have no way to protect himself. The criminals are the ones who should

be punished: the criminals who give a bad name to all gun owners. The answeris not penalizing those who act in accordance with the rules set by their elected offtcials. . . There are optiOns beside the complete out~awin~ o~ h~dguns. Th~ ~rad~.B1ll, .w•th ·~ ~rve-~y wruungpenod,g•vesofficialsume to run checks on hopeful gun ~uyers to assu~ that ~nly the nght people r~e1ve their weapons. It was passed by Congress last December. With properly enforced regulation, we c~ keep the legal gunsinthehandsofonlythemost qualified. . Unfortunatly, legal guns ar~ the least of the problem. The real 1ssue is illegal weapons sold on s~eet comers, in schools, and various other places around the city. Banning handguns in the United

States won' t make a bit of difference. The ban ~ould only effect those guns sold.m legal g~~ st~res. Guns brought •~to the ~Illes Illegallywouldcontmuetoshpthroug,h the cracks. The ~ov~mment can t outlaw g~n~ .which It haP no con- . trol ?ver. miiJally. Cnme IS the sy~ptom, but hand-

g~nsarenotthed1sease.Ther~was en me before hand~~ns were •.ntro- ~

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B~mng h~dg~ns from ~e Amen.can pubhc will do n~thmg b~ts~p honest people of the I~ constit~tiOnal~y guaranteed n ghts, while leavmg the~ open to attack by the ~e~s of society· .I f ~ou m~e guns cnmmal, only cnmmals will have guns.


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·Top FBI man .lays down policy year, pointing out the success FBI agents had that enabled them "to prevent the ... destruction of government buildings ...and tunnels, which eould have resulted potentially in the death of thousands of people." Because ofthe·FBI's efforts to counteract terrorism, Mr. Freeh said, ~he U .S. has been · "remarkably fortunate in this country in terms of minimizing terrorism." . When asked about industrial espionage against U.S. corporations,-Freeh noted that that the U.S. does not have a trade secrets act to Jlalt the thef~ of industrial secrets. He is trying to influence Congress to amend current statutes to protect corporate secrets. Mr. Freeh stated, "In most of our offices we have squads who ate devoted to this particular kind of crime and it's an area [in which] we'll become much more active." Although juvenile crime is a concern to the FBI, Mr. Freeh admits that the bureau has little jurisdiction in this area; however, he points out that the FBI assists local law enforcement by providing a support role thorugh laboratory and forensic services. All in all, it's clear that the FBI's direction is changing dramatically under Louis Freeh 's stewardship. His relations with Congress, which controls his over two billion-dollara-year budget, have been congenial; and, as he directs the FBI's resources into new areas, his imprint as FBI Director could affect everyone in one way or another. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - He also defended the FBI's handling of the World Trade Center bombing case last by Tara Seary Describing the recent appearance of highly enriched radioactive material in Germany and other places as "very alarming," FBI Director Louis Freeh expressed concern about the potential misuse of nuclear stockpiles currently in Russia. "A lot of these materials ...are not under the strictest of controls," he said. Freeh held an exclusive interview with The Classic at his office in Washington, D.C. on September 14. Citing the four seizures of nuclear material this year by German authorities, Freeh indicated there is a growing market for these materials. The FBI Director also envisioned a scenario where a criminal group could !)lreaten water supplies to ex tort money from a government. Mr. Freeh pointed out that it is relatively easy "to move and transmit this materialmuch easier in some respects than narcotics or firearms.'~ Because of this concern, the · Russian government gave permission for the FBI to open an office in Moscow this July to track organized crime. Mr. Freeh also revealed during the interview that he seeking permission to open offices in Prague and Poland. Mr. Freeh indicated that the FBI has "seen a couple of cases where Russian organized

crime has been working with American or• George Bush, Mr. Freeh at 42 was nomi" nated by ganized crime President to bring heroin Clinton last into New York City, [and] year to a tenwhere the Cali year term as cartel and RusFBI Director. Under ·his sian organized guidance, the crime have FBI has worked to bring moved agcocaine into St. gressively. to Petersburg." combat enviBecause of this ronmental growth, he is crimes. Citing seeking to dejurisdiction velop good under the working relationships with · Clean Air and Clean Water counterparts in Acts, Mr. other countries. Freeh conHe first tends the FBI achieved nationa! recogni- : 2 has "a very tion a decade activecriminal 0 ago, success- i _ " a enforcement fully prosecut- , program with ing the "Pizza I . respect to enConnection" Senior Tara Seary interrogatesFBI Director vironmental case, which Louis Freeh in his Washington,D.C. office. crime.'' As an broke up an international drug-smuggling example, he pointed out that the FBI has ring. Later named as a Federal judge by made some major arrests recently in .the New York area, charging a number of people "who were discarding highly toxic waste." 1'

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· New ·building on campus approaches readiness (Continued from page 1)

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"Evidently, they feel that there is a place for them and things for them to do," said Dr. Largmann. "I'm in shock with all there is to learn," commented Mr. Suez. "This building is so large. It's going to be beautiful." "The building is looking good. When it does open, I will do my utmost to create an environment of cleanliness, safty and security for the students and staff of the school," said Mr. DiGiacamo.. , According to Mr. Gordon, they have already ordered most of the necessary furniture from the Bureau of Supplies and some has already been received. Mr. Rossman stated that the order forms are coming back to him updated. Further, Sandy Kliener of the Division of High School Office of Facilities has recommended that packing begin

even before the Christmas break. "The new building will be wonderful. I can't wait to move because it's too crowded here," said freshman Courtney Weiser. However, students have mixed feelings about the move. "I'm happy about the new building, but I'm glad that we started here so we got to appreciate this Townsend Harris," said freshman Marine Lyaunzon. "I think it will be impossible for us to move a whole school in one week," commented senior Melissa Dassie. "The new school building is very modem compared.to the one I attended at City College. It's going to be beautiful," said Mr. Graber. "The whole process,should work out fine," commented Irv Kravitz, school aide.''It's the space we need."

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Boys' Varsity Soccer breaks losing streak · by Scot Scher At the beginning of the 1994 season, Boys' Varsity Soccer team captains David Iankelovich and Connor Kilpatrick, seniors, had one main objective; they were determined to give their team its first win in more than four years. On November 1, this goal was accomplished. In a non-divisional scrimmage against Francis Lewis High School, the team won 51. The players who scored were seniors David Iankelovich, Conner Kilpatrick and Harry Dounis, along with juniors Manuel Zavaleta and Achmed DeFritas. Coach James Murray believes they won by so much because, "We went for more of an offensive surge instead of a defensive one. We moved our stronger defenders to

the forward position and we played much more aggressively. John Melo, senior, agrees. "Instead of letting our opponent's offense come unchallenged until they met. our defense deep in our territory, we met them midfield and took the ball away from them there," he said. "It is a good feeling to finally win a game," said David. In their next game against Aviation High School, the team tried the same approach. In their first match of the season, Aviation had beaten them by a comfortable margin. However, this time, Harris had a 3-2lead going into halftime. Aviation then managed to score three more goals in the second half to win the game. The team also lost the/i~t game of their season.

Varsity runners place high in City Championships By Justin Fox, Cory Polonetsky and Phyllis Pei Going into the Track City Championships held in Van Cortlandt Park on November 11, Keith T. Hanson, coach of the Boys' CrossCountryTrackteam predicted, "We're , not going to do well because it's been two weeks since our last meet. It's been too long of a break, which is not good." However, Jose Melendez, sophomore, placed second out of seven varsity runners from the entire city in theB1 racewithatime of 18.21 for the 3.1 mile event. Stephen Schuh,freshman,camein 13th with a 1~1

15

.Undefeated Ladies' Swim team Looks to City Championships £

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.a Junior Noel Rosa rips through the water during a Swim Team practice. by Jessica Gazsy With a total of 25 swimmers and a 5-0 record so far this season, the 1994 Ladies' Varsity Swim team hopes to hold on to its title as Queens Division Champions and perhaps do even better. Coach James Jordan is aiming to finish within the top three in the city. Last year the team ranked fourth. Regarding the team's chanc~s for winning the city championships, he said, "Anything is possible!" Elisha Ramos, junior, has already qualified for the OpensSwimmingChampionshipswith27.8 seconds for the 50m freestyle event. Kate Rube, freshman, took first place in the 1OOm freestyle against Andrew Jackson High SchoolonOctober28whileJenniferLopez, junior, won first place in the lOOm butterfly. Although four swimmers have graduated since last season, seven new ones have re-

placed them. Chris Matheson, senior, says, "Despite the fact that we lost a lot of our , good upperclassmen, we've been lucky enough to have acquired many new swimmers with a lot of potential." "We always try our best," commented Taslim Dhanji, junior,"But we also have fun." Jennifer Heggers, junior says, "This is the best team there is. It's also a great way to meet new people." Rookie swimmer Kate Rube said, "I think we're doing pretty well and I hope that we'll continue to do well in the future." StephanieJosephson,sophomore,isconfident about the team's future position. She says, "We have a very good team and it's going to stay that way because we have great swimmers and team spirit." "I think we're in a position to win the City Champs," Taslim adde(j.

time. The team ranks third among all the B 1 teams in the city. The team is currently third in the Queens B 1 Division and has a 3-2 season record. Jose Melendez, Eddie Perez-Cortez, sophomores, and freshman Stephen Schuh are the top three runners on the team. Before the City Championships, Jose held the best time on the team, 18.50 for the 3.1 mile event. However, he was able to break his own best time during the competition. "He runs better at Van Cortlandt (Continued from page3.) than at Cunningham Park," commented opportunity to meet their upperclassmen. Mr. Hanson, which helped Jose. For some people, the Mentor Program wa~ a good way to learn about the school and to make them feel better about starting a new school. This program helped them because, unlike a teacher, mentors were not that much older than they were and would tell them things that would be of more interest to them. (For example, many mentors told the students about their never change. Third band was set aside for teachers in a way that another teacher never could.) For many, the mentors relieved any ethnic sharing. Some of the things brought worries that they had about starting a new school. in to familiarize students with other cuiHowever, for others, the mentors didn't make a difference at all. All of the things that the tures included knishes, cornbread, dolls mentor said were things the students would find out anyway. They didn't know the answer displaying native costumes, a wine cup to many of the questions we wanted to know. In some cases, the mentors even worried the for Sabbath, and a Greek evil eye. students more by telling them about how bad their teachers were or how much work they "I like the fact that everyone gets to would get. bring in things to show their heritage," The mentors gave us a tour of the school which wasn 'treally necessary because the building said junior Jamal Mitchell. "This way is not so big and complicated, that it is hard to find anything. . people will be informed [about other cuiPersonally, I feel that the Mentor Program is a waste; You talk to this person for about hour, tures] and won't make assumptions that get a quick tour of the school and then you never see him or her again. After that Friday, my they shouldn't." mentor came into my homeroom once and that was it. She never called me or said "hi" iQ the Forthe last three years, a service campo- hall or even pretended that she knew me. Maybe she didn't remember who I was, but if she nent has beenincorporated into Founders' didn't, what kind of me!ltor was she? If she did remember and just didn't say anything, then Day and this year was no exception. that's just as bad. , · Each student was asked to contribute a According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a mentor is "a wise and trusted caunselor can of food to City Harvest for the needy. or teacher." If the mentors at Townsend Harris followed this definition more closely, then Last year's canned food drive yielded 260 the Mentor program would be a great help to many incoming students. pounds of food, but if every studuent Jennifer Silverman brought in a can, it would be possible to raise approximatly 900 pounds. "This is so important because it'sa way for people who are better off to help the lessfortunate,"saidjuniorMarlonDaniels. MUKETPLACI "Everyone should help, because these are • REST AuaANT just people who ran into some bad luck." Many students, said this was the best 254-51 Horace Harding Founders' Day in a long time because everyone was together to celebrate. "FamiLittle Neck, New York 11362 lies do things together,"said sophomore CandiceLi. "Townsend Harris is a family. We should do things together more often."

Letters to-the Editor

Founders' Day celebrates success (Continued from page 1) for current students. "It's time to squash the egos ... , to quit patting ourselves on the back... Don't just take; give. Don't just complain; advocate change," he said. For many, the highlight of the assembly was the presentation of the winning Founders' Day Challenge entries. This year's submissions included a top ten Iistofliesfacultytellfreshmen(thenumber one lie being, "We'll move into the new building before the tum oLthe century); imitations of teachers, including Adel Kadamani (chemistry), Craig Buchalter(physical education), and Odile Garcia (biology); and a line of products students can purchase to make life at Townsend Harris easier, such as an "Automatic Handwriting Translator," and a "Hanson Intimidator," a device which enables a student to endure the rigors of Keith Hanson's physical education class. Musical presentations played a large part in this year's assembly. These included J.S. Bach's "Adagio, Minuet 1 and 2," with Stefania Heim playing the flute and Jana Zielonka playing ·the piano; Chopin's "Impromptu in F# Major;'' Opus 36, with Sylvia Yue playing the piano; "Moving Out," with Seth Cohen on vocals, Frank D'Elia playing the piano, and Ian Katz playing the alto saxaphone; and "Jamaican Farewell," sung by the Townsend Harris chorus. Aithough this year's celebration differed somewhat frgm last year's, some things

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Boys' Bowling team finishes third; Girls' ·team makes play-offs by Claire Schnabel .& Jennifer Silverman victory of the season against Francis Lewis , The Boys' Bowling team finished third in their division with a 5-5 season record. The girls ended their season with a 6-2 record and placed second in Queens Division 1. Coach Ellen Schwartz commented, "We always have a very strong team. You [Harrisites] are all high achievers and it carries into athletic activities. Therefore, there's always a need to win." Jason Mandl, sophomore, bowled a 214, leading the team to their first victory of the season against Franklin K. Lane High School, 2-1. : However, after losing four games and their last meet against John Adams' High School, they failed to make the play~offs. The girls' first match of the season was against Bayside High School. It was the first time the girls bowled against Bayside. However, they won 2-1. Senior, Nicole Nardi, who bowled a 133, led the team to this victory. Then Christine Grant, junior, who bowled a 145, led the team to their second

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High School. In their 2-1 victory against i Forest Hills High School. Grant was once again the high scorer with a 183 while . . . . . .. . . .. . · · · · · senior Jennifer Conlisk and sophomore Latoya Burgess bowled a 143. However, on October 7, the ladies lost to Francis Lewis 0-3 even with sophomore Nicole Cohen bowling a 157. Then Jennifer Conlisk bowled a 170, leading the team to another victory against Bayside by 3-0. · "Keeping up with the tradition of the team, we once again made the play-offs, coming in second in our division. We were by Scot Scher and Phyllis Pei happy to have a senior bowler, Nicole Nardi, with us for the first time. She really made a difference and helped us make the play-offs," 8aid Ms. Schwartz. "Every time a sports team wins, it's another feather in our cap because we get to prove that we're not only academically strong," said Dr. Largmann, commenting on the bowling teams' success.

Queens Cham pions hips, but lost for • • • • •flte••••c.ity. Detailsjn next isslle ..

Girls' Varsity Volleyball takes third; Cardozo finishes second in tie-break

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Who would you Stan

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Stan and Joe are both intelligent high !?chool students. Stan and Joe both registered to take the SAT. Stan felt that he was ready to take the SAT. Joe knew better. He had heard of the Princeton Review. Over the· past eight years, four independent studies found The Princeton Review's score increases to range from 110 to 160 points on the SAT.

Joe thought that would help. The Princeton Review guarantees its results. Joe's parents thought that would help. So Joe sacrificed some hours and took The Princeton · Review cours·e while Stan t>ried another course. Stan ,ind Joe both took the SAT. Both used "number two'~ pencils. Both applied to the same colleges. Who would YOU rather be'?

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WARMING UP at a practice, Jennifer Tam, senior, slams one over the net Ending the 1994 season with a 7-4 record placed the Girls' Varsity Volleyball team in third place within Queens' Division lA. The team's initial season record, 7-3, tied with that of Cardozo High School; there-

fore, an additional game had to be played to decide who would go to the play-offs. Cardozo won this tie-breaker in three straight sets. This is the second year the team did not make the play-offs since joining the division seven years ago. Losing seven team members including three "strong" players from last season may have hurt the t~am. However, coach Wanda Nix was very optimistic from the beginning of the season. "This year's 16 players are hardworking and they are certainly capable of filling in their [players who have graduated] positi9ns," she said. This season's record is an improvement from last season's 5-5 record. Queens' Division 1A includes Bayside, Cardozo, Francis Lewis, Martin Van Buren and Flushing high schools. The team lost twice to Flushing , which is first in the division, because, according to Ms. Nix,"We didn't take advantage of our opport,unities, and although we played the best we have ever played, they simply played better." Ngoc-Diep To,junior, said," Once again we played a good game against Flushing. However, we still made too many unforced errors." "This season was a lot of fun and hardwork. Everybody put in a lot towards the team and next year, we'll definitely be division champs," said junior Christine Han.

Girls' Cross Country runs eighth in city by Heather Paterson and Phyllis Pei Improving from last season's 12th place finish, the Girls' Varsity and Junior Varsity Cross Country track teams ranked eighth in the entire city after the City Championships on November 11. Cheryl Ryder, junior, is also the first runner in team history to qualify for the New York State Championships. The team is currently one of the top three in Queens. Cheryl Ryder, varsity runner, placed 25th in the City Championships out of approximately 160 runners. She had the best time for the team with a 22.31 for the 3.1 mile event, which was also her personal best time. This made Cheryl the 12th qualifier for the New York State Championships to be held in Poughkeepsie, NY on November 18 and 19. · The Varsity runners achieved their highest place finish in the Queens Championships by finishing secorid with a total of 65 · points. Last year, they ranked fifth in Queens and six times previously, they have placed third, but never second. "This was the most

exciting championship race in Townsend Harris history. It was a real accomplishment to have beaten Jamaica," said coach Joseph ' Horn. · Sportsmanship went along with competitiveness during the Queens Championship races when senior Andrea Levine encouraged an August Martin runner in front of her to continue after this girl injured,her leg. Andrea finished third while Cheryl Ryder placed sixth. The freshmen and sophomore runners were also successful this season. The freshman team won the Queens Championships and Sarah Sidar ranks as the Queens Freshman Champion. Also, Carlene Duncan, freshman, became the Junior Varsity Queens champion. The sophomores finished second in Queens, and ChristinaJuva broke the school record for the 2.5 mile event with a time of 18.12. Both teams matched last years' finishes. "Everyone did exceptionally well and I'm very proud of them," said Mr. Horn.

The Classic newspaper Volume 11 Issue no. 1  
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