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Vol. 19, No.5 May 2003

as 149-11 Me bourne Ave

Townsend Harris Hig School at Queens Col ege

Poll shows wide range of opinion regarding war by Marlo Dublin A po ll distributed during the first week of April gave stu dents and faculty the opportunity to express their feelings and opinions regarding the war in Iraq. Out of 284 stude nt responses, roughly 48% expressed dissent toward the war, while 23% approved of it and 29% were und ecided. Of the 19 teachers who returned their polls, 79% replied that they were against the war, while the remaining 21 % stated that they were in favor of the war taking place. The poll consisted of 11 questions, each devised to elicit the full breadth of respondents' views. The first question asked whether or not the poll taker agreed with, disagreed with or was un-

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As the controversial topic of the war in Iraq sparks debate throughout the country, Townsend Harris administrators and teachers have attempted to bring it home by faci litating its discussion in the classroom. The .week in which war was declared, Assistant Principal of the Humanities Susan Getting sent a notice to Social Studies teachers, asking them to discuss the war "in a sensitive way." The notice was accompanied by an article on how to discuss difficult topics, asking teachers to report students who appeared stressed to the guidance department. Principal Thomas Cunningham asked that the notice be given out to all Assistant Principals in an effort to include the entire school community.

decided about President Bush's decision to go to war with Iraq, while the second one asked for the polltaker to explain his reason(s) for approval, disapproval or indecision. A wide variety of explanations were submitted. "I feel that Bush has completely disregarded the opinions of the American people and the Euro ean allies," junior Margo Kakoullis said. " He has not given adequate proof that Iraq is a threat o us, and he has not figured in the possible catastrophic repercussions." Physics teacher Irwin Steinberg approved of the decision to go to war, saying that "weapons of mass destruction are likely to get in terrorist hands" and

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agreed with the decision, saying that "it doesn't have to do with the 'War on Terrorism'" and "it's wrong to use 9/11 as an excuse, and it's wrong to put your own personal interest before that of your official responsibilities and country." History teacher Charlene Levi also disagreed , saying that she does not "feel that the reasons for war are valid reasons. The U.S is a powerful country and should have been more diplomatic in their approach in the Middle East." Student teacher Lori Stahl-Van Brackle also was opposed to the war. "Clearly Presi-

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"If kids want to talk about current events, they should get the chance. The classroom is a good, safe place to have discussions," said Ms. Getting. New York City Public Schools Chancellor Joel Klein sent out a notice to all New York City public schools as well, asking teachers to be alert to students who are stressed. In addition, Mr. Klein sent notices to parents, informing them on how to speak to their children about war and assuring parents of their children's sa fety in school. Mr. Cunningham sent an accompanying letter outlining the School Safety Plan. Economics and history teacher Marc Greenberg responded immediately to the declaration of war by devoting an entire lesson to the geography of Iraq , the history of neighboring regions in the

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"after 9/11, weapons programs can become a threat to our security." Senior Geoffrey Ng agreed, saying, "If not war to get rid of Saddam, then what else? The International community has balked at its responsibility to do anything about a man with weapons of mass destruction. What ot er alternatives would have been effective?" Similarly, an anonymous junior wrote that "Hussein is a cruel dictator who refuses U.S diplomacy" and "action must be taken to oust him before he brings about further destruction." Freshman Alexandra Stergiou dis-

Middle East, and the history of past conflicts in that region of the world. "I think it's important that students know what's goi ng on so that they can make their own decisions," said Mr. Greenberg. Other teachers have discussed the war regularly in classes by incorporating it into the curriculum . Global History teacher Charlene Levi, for example, initiated discussions regarding the similarities between World War I and the present war. Ms . Levi's classes also read articles once a week from different media sources to try to get as balanced a viewpoint as possible, and her classes often discuss the media's portrayal of the situation. She added that to discuss the war every day would be too much. "I don 't think that the war is discussed enough in global cla sses," said

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sophomore Laura D ' Amato, vocalizing the sentiment of many students. 'There's no set formula for how much discussion is going overboard, and how little is not appropriate. But war is one of the most pertinent issues affecting our lives today, and it definitely needs to be discussed," said senior Nicholas Shaman. "Discussion isn't limited to just a social studies class. Just because it's a social studies issue does not mean it can't be discussed in other classes," said Ms . Getting, who encouraged English teachers to discuss the war as well. • Ms. Getting added that teachers should continue to discuss the war in their classes, even though the fighting has stopped. "The process of democratizing the country is the most important part of the entire war," she said.

Reviews pp.13-14


2 -----4 Oh yes, they can take that away from us The Classic May 2003

When the doors of the fifth floor restrooms were unlocked three months Paper towels strewn around the place and toilet paper wads on the ceilago at the request of the Consultative Council, we were awed (come on, . ing don't get in the way of students physically using the bathrooms, but admit it) by the shiny floors, steady supply of paper that is not the point. towels and the fact that relieving ourselves was now Rather, the vandaleasier to do. The re-opening of the fifth floor bathism and the sloppirooms is a good example of what can result from the ness are examples combination of student maturity and the willingness of the indifference of the administration to revisit an old - and what of a few students to seemed to be a closed -issue. maintaining a clean However, their efforts might have been in vain environment for and could end up being flushed down the drain. Firstthemselves and their hand accounts and recent discussions with Principal peers . Even more Thomas Cunningham and members of the custodial than that, it is clear staff have revealed both vandalism and some olddisrespect of the effashioned (and inconsiderate) slobbery taking place forts of the Consulin the previously (almost) spotless fifth floor boys' tative Council and bathroom. Mr. Cunningham has told The Classic the administration about wads of toilet paper stuck to the ceiling, and to make our lives a one of our editors has witnessed paper towels (used little easier. and unused) lying in the sinks and on the ledges and It 's pretty sad scattered over the floor. ~ ""'that this editorial This editorial is meant to comment 'on a situation had to be written, that really stinks. The fifth floor restrooms had been Jonathan Perez because it's just a locked for so long, not to make our lives uncomfortreminder of good able, but rather as a punishment for vandalism that had been taking place. manners at their most basic level. But this idea is lost on some people, as The immaturity of a few caused the entire student body to suffer, and the they are obviously unaware that their continued thoughtlessness is likely to recent irresponsibility has shown that history just might be repeating itself. yank a nice gift away from all of us.

Letters to the Editor: Freshman questions work loadtestschedule

'Graduating' parent takes a look back

To the Editor: To the Editor: After reading the article in The CLasI think that it would be effective to Editor's reply: In reaction to your . sic on Malcolm Rossman, I decided to have an article about the amount of work comments about the test schedule, The write this letter. As is often the case in that the average Townsend Harris stu- Classic obtained a copy of a memo to dent gets . Sometimes it' s just too much, the faculty from Principal Thomas The Classic, the article was well-written, demonstrated sensitivity and a sense and I'm sure that you know this too. We Cunningham that officially spells out the of perspective not frequently on display are expected to join a million clubs and testing schedule for the Spring semesin high school newspapers: The article teams and do community service, all the ter. stated that Mr. Rossman exemplified the while keeping up in school. I understand Exams in English. .Classical Lanspirit and values ofTHHS from the time the administration 's reasoning behind all guages (Latin , Ancient Greek and Heit was "reborn" as a humanities high of this - to prepare us for college, etc. - . brew) and Mathematics can only be school over 15 years ago in a small, but it is too much . given on odd numbered calendar days. rented building on Parsons Boulevard. Another topic is the supposed "test On even numbered calendar days , It is this spirit and those values that schedule." I thought that each depart- tests in SociaL Studies, Science, Modern prompt this communication. ment had certain days that they were al- Languages (French, Spanish and JapaThis June will mark the eleventh year lowed to give tests. I don 't know if this nese), HeaLth, Art and Musi c can be I have been involved with the THHS is still a rule, and if not, it probably given. community. Although I am an Educashould be. It would make everyone's However, according to the memo, "A tional Psychologist and an Assistant academic life just a little bit easier. This short quiz lasting no more than 10 minSuperintendent of School s on Long Isold rule should definitely be enforced, utes may be given on any caLendar day. " land, my connection to THHS is not proand it should be posted in every class . The memo continues, "In June, a comfessional, but very personal. My three This way, not only teachers will know mittee will again convene to evaluate children have all attended .this excepabout the schedule, but students as well. and revise , if needed, our new tional school and I have had an interMaybe writing an article on this topic Schoolwise Testing Schedule Policy. esting perspective watching them grow would help put the rule back into action This policy will be publicized to students and mature in THHS as well as watchand give everyone a chance to know and parents. " ing the school itself change, move to a what it is all about. beautiful new building on the Queens - Isissa Komada-John, freshman Daniel Bloch Jamie Gullen Co- Editors-in-Chief Angela Hom

Jessica Wang Feature Editor

Diane Tiao Entertainment Editor

Jennifer Gong Sarah Schnee

Managing Editor

Co-News Editors

Marlo Dublin

Edilor-at-Large

Hilary HomIer Jennifer Sheth Photography Editors

Food Editor

Karen Hendershot Josh Fox

Rachel Schiffman Emma Xiao

Sports Editor

Art Editors

Steven Lee

Amanda Chen

lisa Cowen

Online Editor

Business Editor

Ad.bor

Principal路 Mr. Thomas Cunningham

News Staff: Samira Annabi, Jessica Bader, Jessica Berger. Nataliya Binshteyn, Chloe Chao. Alyssa Chase, Mimi Chung, Lina Lee. Linda Luu, Jhonathan Pasaoa, Francesca Pizarro. Tanaz Talebpour Feature Staff: Christopher Amanna, Jennifer Bhuiyan, Margo Kakoullis, Sangsoo Kim. Talya Lieberman, Ann Margaret Sanra-Ines, Alexis Serra. Nisha Singh. Stephanie Vance, Maria Wojakowska, TIna Wu Sports Staff: Stephen Berger. Lauren Korzeniewski, Elyse Lee, Michelle Montg oris

Artists: Matthew Barbery, Amy Blauner, Stacey Lee. Doris Onega , Vivian Shibata. Andrea Shliselberg, Samira Zaman, Stephanie Zapata Comic Strip Coordinator: Jonathan Perez Olliine Staff: Diane Lee, Umair Shaikh. Waqas Shaikh Techspert: Zak AnoJic Photography Staff: Penny Chak, Laura D' Amato, Diana Deng, Vera Hendrix. Bryan Kirschen, Marion Mercado. Deepri Nair. Cristin Strining, Julia Stutz, Leticia Wainer, Annabel Zaharieff Layout Staff: Pamela Chan, Matthew Kaufman. Katie Kogan

College campus and adjust to the loss of important administrators and teachers over the years. As I "graduate" this June after 11 years , I want to be sure that you, the students and staff of THHS, have an understanding and appreciation of what you enjoy here. THHS is unique among New York City high schools. Students can take a one shot exam to "test" into Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech high schools, etc. but there is no assurance that these students were well behaved in school, although many are diligent and respectful citizens . THHS students are selected based on standardized test scores and performance in class as reflected in their high grade averages. This creates a school of students who know how to act properly, are respectful and perform well in school and classroom situations, in addition to doing well on tests. As a parent, I have watched my three children benefit from the small size, socially relaxed atmosphere (where else is the change of classes marked by music, Continued on p. 3 Townsend Harris High School at Queens College 149-11 Melbourne Avenue , Flushing, N.Y. 11367

The Classic is an open forum for the expression of student views. The opinions expressed therein should not be taken to represent those of the administration or faculty or student body as a whole. Readers are invited 10 submit letters 10 the editor. Letters should be placed in Ms. Cowen 's mailbox in the general office, The Classic reserves the right to . edit all letters , Letters must include name and official class . Names will be withheld upon request .


The Classic . ,

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May 2003

Letters to the Editor (continued) :

reshmen sound off on cursing, school spirit : To the Editor: After reading the article "To curse or not to curse: that is the questi on" by Jason Novick (February 2003), I have many opinions about cursing and the consequences it brings. First of all, I feel that the person who said, "cursing is 'disrespectful' in the presence of authority figures" is wrong. Cursing is not disrespectful in the presence of authority figure s unless the cursing is actually directed at them . If you are cursing to someone else and you just hap pen to be near an authority figure , the authority figure should not [have been] listening in to your conversation in the first place. Second, I disagree with the statement, "Cursing is offensive and inappropriate, and it serves no purpose in everyday conversation ." I believe this is untrue: While cursing may not sound nice or be well -meaning, it's still a way for people to express themselves. It is a good thing that there is more cursing on television , in movies and in music because it gives people a great way to express and understand emotion. People disagree with what rap arti sts like Eminem say, but their music is

still a ·beautiful thing because ocean's exploding" (Eminem , no matter what words they are "Cleanin' Out My Closet"). using, these people are still bar- This shows that while he [is ing their souls . to the whole ' cursing], he is still showing his world. feelings in a beautiful way. Lastly, I disagree with the - Jennifer Kau fman, freshman person who said that "[cursing] To the Editor: detracts from whatever point This is in response to the aryou are trying to make with ticle, "To curse or not to curse: whatever you are saying." This that is the question" that was . is false because, if anything, published in The CLassic (Febcursing adds to the point you ruary 2003). It was an interest. are trying to make. Words that : ing piece on a compelling topic . are known as curse words are I do feel, though, that it could still words. They just have a have been better written. bad reputation . Cursing can The article made several . show any emotion , from anger good points, but some of the ("F*** you!") to happiness information , such as some of ("I'm so f***ing happy I could the origins of the words, seemed cry." - Green Day, "Nice Guys unrealistic. The source of the inFinish Last"). Rap artists, such formation as well didn't appear as Eminem, write beautiful to be exactly reliable. I feel that rhymes that not only make you could have been better rethink but also convey true emosearched. tion . People tend to dislike Also , several points that . Emi~em because he curses so were brought up in interviews much, but they don't care. only showed the opinions of the enough to look beyond the interviewed and not the other curses. If they did, they would . side. For example, the interview see a talented adult who may · with Ms. Chung, who blames be troubled in many ways, but : the media, seems one-sided. . knows what it's like to feel both The article states the 'opinion pain and joy: "Have you ever that TV, music, games, etc , are : . been hated or discriminated to blame but does not 1001( at . against.. .. Sick is the mind of the other side. It would have the m*****f***in ' kid that's been better had it done so be. behind.....Emotions run deep as caus e to say all people who lis-

ten to rap will curse is [like saying] all people who listen to heavy metal will commit suicide, and to make that generalization is illogical. This was an interesting and thought-provoking article, but it could have been better re searched and written. - Kristina Bodetti, freshman

To the Editor: This letter is in response to the article, "To curse or not to curse , that is the question ," written by Jason Novick which was featured in the February 2003 edition of The Classic. Cursing will always be a controversial issue among the members of society. While others feel that it is acceptable, there are also those who choose not to tolerate it. I agree with the latter. . . , . The use of vulgar language has become so widespread in our society that it almost seems appropriate, when in reality, it is not. These words are disrespectful and should not be used under any circumstances, espe. cially not in an educational facility. Parents should read this article and teach their children at a young age not to articulate these particular words. If they

had taken this step earlier, cursing may not be as common as it is today. Cursing is not the only form of self-expression..... - Patricia Tolete, freshman

To the Editor: I am writing to tell you my opinion about pride in our sports teams . The problem is that we don't have any! In other I school s everyone shows up to basketball games and cheers on· . the home team, and here only people directly associated with the players do . I also think that . victories of the team should be announced . Winning doesn't come easily, and I think we take our teams' victories for granted. We should all have victories announced on the PA system .e very day so that maybe the school can get in the spirit. . Another thing : I've been to all the home basketball games, yet our very adorable mascot wa s only at one! I find this appalling. The mascot would add spunk to the games, which they lack terribly. We should be more enthusiastic about our .teams and support our athletes "and all their efforts. It takes a lot of work and they deserve credit. - Denise Martinez, freshman

'Graduating' parent praises a 'unique' place . Continued from p. 2 not bells?) and a challenging, sometimes pressured academic load . In mo st cases , students were supportive and caring of each other, and the atmosphere was one of safety and security. Faculty and administrators, while demanding, clearly appreciated the quality of their students, and the freedom to teach young people with open , inquiring minds. Everyone, it seemed, was a good role model for eac h other. The relati on ship with Queens College is exceptional and unique . All thre e of my children lov ed getting Queen s Colle ge IDs as high school students and having access to the college 's facilities.... The inten sity did not stop at academi cs . The Physical Edu cation department was demanding as any academic subject som etimes overcompensating while doing so. Each of my children had a real opportunity to participate in sports - not necessarily the case in larger high schools. Although THHS had a much smaller population to draw from - and students were not in THHS for their athletic prowess - I often marveled at

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THHS 's teams' successes, built on intelligent and supportive teamwork and the sheer tenacity, motivation and hard work of the student athletes. THHS is a community of teachers, administrators, staff and students - all of whom are part of the learning and teaching process. From them, each of my children - and every student, I expect - learned standards of excellence that they internalized and carried with them ; learned a body ofknowledge and skills that hold them in good stead in co llege and life ; developed intellectual and time management habits that fostered ongoing achievement. There are certai n teachers more than the norm , I think who truly appreciated and were/are dedicated to the students of THHS. Several of these exceptional professionals have demonstrated a caring appreciation and ongoing support of my children that is truly extraordinary. Not bad for a NYC public high school. Of course there were ups and downs over three children and I I years. Not every class, teacher and administrator con-. -

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tact was positive. But overall, there is much to recognize and appreciate . In II years there have been many changes such as the loss of iconic teachers and administrators who knew and expounded on THHS 's exceptional qualities - and perpetuated them as well. It is the challenge of the " new" generation of teachers and administrators to maintain that appreciation and respe ct for the students, the traditions and symb olic value of THHS . It is the challenge for the . classes of students to follow, to live up to and merit all the respect and benefit s th at prior generations of Harri s students have rightfully enjoyed. I hope this letter conveys a sense of the positive influence a good sc hoo l can hav e in a student's life - as it has in my children's lives . I also hope it gives those of you now attending THHS - students strugg ling with the work load and your own internal demands, and administrators and teachers whose responsibility it is to nurture the great potential in their care - an appreciation of the wonderful opportunity you all have as part of the THHS community. - Ari-Zev Anolic, Ph.D.

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The Classic May 2003

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War in traqproducee plethor ofo Continued from p. 1 dent Bush has demonstrated a totallac'k of intelligence in his decision to attack a country that is already suffering from poverty," she said . "He is attempting to divert attention from his ·failure to capture Osama bin Laden and his failure as a leader in general [and] I believe history will serve as ajudge on [his] closeminded, ill-informed and brutally cruel decision to attack Iraq." . ' An anonymous junior was undecided about President Bush's decision to 'go to war, saying "no matter how you look

Are you satisfied with the amount of class discussion h~lci? .

How often do you discuss war in class?

When asked to assess the quality and frequency of war discussion in classes, at home and with friends, 21 % of the students polled responded that they have discussed the war in class once a day, 34% said a few times per week, 27% responded once a week, 6% said that they have never discussed the issue in class, while the remaining 12% indicated some but infrequent class time devoted to the issue. Only I % of the students polled stated that they knew someone living in Iraq, while 11 % said they knew someone cur-

How often do you discuss the war with ·friends and family?

at it, war is a bad thing. People die, chaos is caused and hatred is incarnated . Maybe we really do need to go to war, but it still doesn't make it a good idea ."

When asked about the use of preemptive strikes as a general war strategy, 38% of the respondents approved, 28% did not approve, 30% were undecided and 4% did not respond. In response to the fourth question, 62% of the students and 62% of faculty said they worried about the threat of a terrorist attack, and an overwhelming majority of both students and faculty said they had not taken any measures to deal with a possible terrorist attack . An anonymous sophomore "bought water, canned goods, plastic sheeting for windows, extra towels and extra blankets." Senior Shrimati Balram bought "flashlights, masks and groceries."

rently serving in Iraq . "My cousin Adrienne is a special military commander, almost like a police officer but

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for the Kuwait army," said freshman Danielle Trosa. "She checks the people of that country and is highly needed because she is a female and special officer."[See article on p. 6]. In an attempt to measure the school population's geographical knowledge of the Middle East, the last question asked the poll takers to name as many countries as they could that border Iraq . Of the 9.5% of the students polled who were able to correctly name all six (Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran) , the freshmen had the most correct responses (25% named all six countries). Of the teachers polled, 68% were able to correctly name all six. All were given a chance to jot down additional comments on the survey about the war or other related issues but only several took the opportunity to do so. An anonymous junior stated that he "[disapproves] of war in general because of the destruction it brings. However, [he feels] that Iraq (Saddam) poses a threat to our society and should be stopped." Freshman Nicolas Kolios said that "this war is less about Saddam Hussein's potential threat and more about oil" and that "we have no business [in Iraq] without European and U.N backing." Latin teacher Richard Russo added on his poll, "Euripides writes that war is caused by that 'fear that takes hold when reason flies away.'''

Briefly... Aly~sa Chase, junio r, won the Grand Priz~e in the 2002 American Women in Mathematics (AWM) Essay Contest, and first place at the high school level. Alyssa beat out entries from both college and graduate schools. Juniors Francesca Pizarro and Jason Novick received honorable mentions for their essays.

For the second year in a row, the Fed Challenge team made it to the District Semifinals, one level short of the National competition. Congratulations to the team: senior Aayesha Khan, and ju nior s S te phan ie Herschaft, Amanda Shami, Jodi Smith and Slava Vaynberg, and their advisor, Fra nco Scardi no. Seniors Jonathan Kamler and Diane Park were awarded first place for their science research projects at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair. Jonathan and Di ane were also among the 17 Harrisites given scholarships at Polytechn ic University at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair. Their fellow honorees w~~e seniors Megan Davidow, Jessica

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Hetherington, Bharati Kalasapudi, Katarina Kristic, Iris Liang, Sonia Lim, Rachel Nepomuceno, Arpana Rayannavar, Rachel Schiffman, Jennifer Sheth, Andrea Shliselberg, Vijaya Varadarajan and Samira Zaman, and juniors Amy Ortega and Narissa Puran . The science awards streak continued as the Otto Burgdorf Competition honored seniors Amanda Hafeez, Bharati Kalasapudi, Katarina Kristic, Arpana Rayannavar, Jennifer Sheth, Vijaya Varadarajan, Dmi try Yukhvid and Samira Zaman as finalists, and senior Ishi ta Sheth as an honorable mention. Iris Liang, senior, won Third Place for Scientific Merit in the 2003 New York City Metro Junior Science and Humanities Symposium Competition for her science -research paper on Cardiac Angiogenic' Pathways. Seniors Bharati Kalasapudi, Jonathan Kamler, Katarina Kristic, Iris Liang, Rachel Nepornuceno, Diane Park, Rachel Schiffman, Jennifer Sheth and Samira Zaman, and junor Am y Ortega wereseleeted as Semi-Finalists in the 2003 New York City Metro Junior Science and Humanities Competition .

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The second installment of the City Smarts Academic Team Competition aired on March 31 on Channel 25. The team (seniors Daniel Bloch, Sharon Chin, Bernadette Cruz, Blazej Kesy, and junior Matthew HalIex) soundly defeated Midwood High School. TIme in on Monday, May 26 at 8:00 pm on Channel 25 to see the team take on Environmental Studies High School. The New York Life Foundation has chosen senior Susan Chang as the winner of the New York Life Family Merit Scholarship. Certificates of Merit have been awarded to juniors Jessica Be rger, Dhanwanti Dorna, Elyse Lee, Kathy Mu, Selena Singleto n and Leti ci a Wainer for their essays on women they admire as part of the 2003 Barnard College/CBS Essay Contest. The creati ve works of senior Angela Hom were honored with the Gold Key Scholastic Writing Award and she was honored at an awards ceremony in April. The Moot Court team comsisting of seniors Shrimati Balram, Joshua Fox; Tiffany Luo, Rachel Schiffman and

Mar yann Tan, and juniors Esther Fingerhut, Amanda Shami and Rachel Shirian has qualified for the first round of fall competition. This year's New York City History Day named 19 sophomores who are in the Social Science Research class as winners in the competition: Mariam Ahmad , Rohina Ahmadi, Amudha Balaraman, Emily Berliner, Helen Bravo, Jacqueline Chancer, Elizabeth Feder, Ethan Felder, Melissa Hom, Jea n Marie Krowicki, Kim M anis , Joanna Munoz, Maria Paschalidis, Kristen Radhay, Boris Ryvkin, Alexis Serra, Min Ji Song, Margaret Soria and Nicole Valore. Sharon Ch in and Steven Torem, seniors, were honored for their communi ty service records with the 2003 Prudential Spi rit of Community Awards in New York. Steven received a bronze Distinguished Finalist meda llion for his volunteer role as founder and captain of the youth squad of his local fire department. Sharon was honored with a state-level Certificate of Excellence for her dedication to community service.


The

Classic

May 2003

Guidance department advice aims to ease w-orries by Daniel Bloch Until recently, war has not been a reality - or even something familiar -- for the current generation of Harrisites, Yet as American troops continue to serve in Iraq, students are left with questions and concerns, wondering where answers lie and where certainty can be.found . A new guidance program provided by a grant from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, "Project Liberty" is offering after-school coun seling in the Guidance Suite. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, College Advisor Marilyn Blier is available in room 314; Guidance Counselor Cheryl Kramer on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in room 312J and Guidance Counselor Antoinette Teague on Wednesdays and Thursdays in room 312F. According to Janet Solomon, Assistant Principal of Guidance, these coun-

seling sessions were set up "to talk with kids about issues related to 9111, the war, fears and anxiety, whether individually or in small groups. [The program is] open to the entire Harris community - students, staff and family ." As the war erupted in Iraq, members of the guidance staff offered suggestions on how students could make sense of the situation on their own, even as they were bombarded with images of bombings and battles. "It's important for kids to express themselves, be it their anger, fear or confusion," said Mark Duke, the school's SPARK counselor. He believes that the various counseling services in the school offer forums in which students can "speak their minds and their fears" in an environment that is "nonjudgmental" and "not necessarily political."

. Mr. Duke strongly advises students to seek out information about the war from a variety of sources, not just the mainstream American media. He said they should look at "independent, non-commercial media as a source of information," such as alternative and international news sources, because "you're likely to get a greater cross-section of background and historical information than in the mainstream media." "Getting information and knowledge empowers people. Once we get information, we're not in this void of 'What's happening?'" Mr. Duke explained. Ms. Solomon added that much of the students' fear and anxiety "hearkens back to 9111 . Fear of uncertainty is especially hard on...teenagers, and [there has been a feeling of) uncertainty oflife, especially after 9111, for all New York-

ers." Guidance Counselor Antoinette Teague offered more advice to the students: "Try to live your life as normally as possible," she said. "Limit the amount of news you listen to and read. Of course you need to be informed, but if you [read or listen to the news] constantly, it might make you more stressed." Ms. Teague also highlighted the importance of maintaining close relationships and keeping healthy eating and sleeping habits as ways to combat stress and anxiety. In addition, the Global Kids program will be sending representatives to Global History 4 classes in May to discuss world issues, including the war in Iraq. This program is also a part of the FEMA grant. Global Kids is an organization focused on heightening global awareness in students.

Iraq: Facts at a Glance by Jessica Wang National population: The former Iraqi government put its nation's population at 27 million. Some United Nations agencies, however, estimate the population at 22 mi llion to 25 million. Approximate sizeor nation: 169, 000 square miles (approximately the size of California) Officlallanguage: Arabic Bordering Countries: Turkey, Kuwait, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria Capital: Baghdad Population of Baghdad: Over five million

lizations throughout history. These civilizations include Sumer, Bablyon and Assyria. The area was controlled by the Ottoman Empire for centuries until the British took military control during World War 1 Iraq became an independent monarchy in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was

was driven out in 1991 by Ameri can forces. According to E van Thomas' March 31 Newsweek article, the Saudis suggested that the American Ce ntral Intelligence Agency attempt to depose Hussein, but this was not carried out in President George H. W. Bush's administration.

Sources: "Exiles agree 0 11 post-Saddam Iraq." CNN.com. 17 Dec 2002. Online. 22 Mar 2003. <http://www.cnn.corI'J200']}

WORLD/rneastl12l171 sprojeet.icq.london.iraql index.htmb-

Basic population breakdown: There are two Muslim sects in Iraq, the Shiites and the Sunnis. Shiite Muslims live mainly in southern Iraq and make up about 65 percent of the MPulation. The Sunni Muslims live predominantly in central Iraq and have controlled Iraqi politics and the military for decades. The Kurds, a minority ethnic group in the country, comprise about 20 percent of the population and live mostly in northern Iraq.

Other prominent cities: Mosul, Kirku k , Umm Qasr, Basra, a nd Nasiriya Historical events: Modern day Iraq covers most of the area of ancient Mesopotamia, which has been a dwelling place for numerous civi-

'were forc ed to leave the country-because Iraq ceased 'cooperating with them. Deposing Huss ein was not one of President Bush's top priorities initially, but this chan ged after September 11, 2001, when President Bush decided not onl y to apprehend terrorists but also to go after countries that ha rbored j hem, and saw Iraq under Hussein.as an .enormous threat. .

-c.,:-f. Stacey Lee

overthrown and Iraq became a republic . Saddam Hussein came to power in 1979 . Iraq invaded Iran in 1980, and war between the two nations lasted until 1988. The US got involved in the war in 1987, pro viding inteIligencefor Iraq because Iran had been attacking Kuwaiti oil transports in the Persiap Gulf. In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwai t, but

The United Nations tried to co ntain Hussein 's power by using economic sanctions and arm s inspections . Under the Cli nton administration. the CIA did make attempts to overthrow Hussein, but these coups failed. When George W. Bush becam e president in 200 1, economic sanctions aga inst Iraq seemed to be loosening and UN arms inspectors

"Humanitarian aid a top priority." CNN.com. 21 Mar 2003. Online. 22 Mar 2003. <http://www;cnn.comf 2003IWORLD/rneastl031211 splj.irq.oil.foodlindex.html> Iraq, Map. CNN.com. Mnrch 2003. Online. 24 Mar 2003. <http:// www.cnn.comlSPECIALSI2003/ iraqlrnapslindex.html» Thomas,Evan and John Barry. "Saddam's War." Newsweek. 17 Mar 2003: 24-31. "The J2-YearItch." Newswe ek. 31 Mar 2003: 54·65 .

''1imeline: Iraq." BBC News. 22 Mar 2003. Online. 24 Mar 2603.

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The Classic May 2003

Close tie to soldiers person radio that they wouldn't allow troops by Jennifer Gong and Angela Hom The United States Marine Corps and to talk online because of the possibilArmy are actively involved in the cur- ity that Iraqi intelligence might inter~ rent Iraqi conflict, doing their best to cept the messages," explained Sarah. serve their country. Many around the Now that the war has come to an end, nation have adorned their houses and however, she has been in contact with neighborhood trees with yellow ribbons him and knows that he is in Iraq . "It was such an incredible relief to in support of these troops and feel distant connections to them; however, there speak to him again after not hearing are some who are feeling the brunt of from him for so long. He was back to the war more than others. These include relatives and close friends of soldiers stationed in the Middle East or those involved in Homeland Security. Career Sergeants "I feel that all of the soldiers out there are heroes," said Security Agent Alice Gatling. This includes her nephew Algie Gatling, a sergeant -5 in the United States Army, who has " c53 been with the force for 15 years and ~ is currently serving in Iraq . One of ~ his main tasks has been disarming ~ landmines that were set in the roads. ~ When Agent Gatling found out s: that her nephew was in combat, she was "upset," but not only for her nephew. "I am upset for all the sol- Security Agent Alice Gatling's nephew Algie diers out there," she said. "One loss Galling is an army sergeant currently serving in is too many as far as a mother's Iraq. Her son Staff Sergeant Mark Alexander Gatling will be leaving for Kuwait on August 18. child. [When I hear of a casualty,] I take it personally, because it is still his normal fun self. He kept laughing somebody's child." Algie was featured in an article in The and joking around with me and was New York Times while he was serving in glad to be coming home soon," said Kuwait. "It was about coming home to Sarah. Although Sarah does think that "war visit his mother," who was concerned with Algie being away for so long, said is never a good thing because armed Agent Gatling. "In it, he said something forces as well as civilians die," she also [along the lines of] ' It's not over until feels as though people should support the troops that are out there. "I read a the President says it's over.", lot of these anti-war e-mails that target Agent Gatling's son, Staff Sergeant the soldiers specifically, that they Mark Alexander, is currently preparing spread death, and it gets me upset," she to go out into Kuwait and will be leaving on August 18 to help rebuild the said . "They are just trying to do what country. He, like Algie, is making a ca- they think is right, trying to serve their reer out of his term in the armed forces . country," Sarah added. Even though combat in Iraq seems "It doesn't matter how they feel personally about the war," said Agent Gatling. to have ended, sophomore Venus "They must support their commander-in- Cheung still doesn't have much information about the location of her older chief." "I'm not happy," said Agent Gatling brother, Jacky, a marksman in the Maabout her son's duties. However, "I guess rines who might be in Kuwait or Iraq. I'm a lot luckier than other mothers be- Venus spoke to her brother a few cause he's not going into combat, but I months ago for only "a 15 second talk." Venus is able to contact her brother know that they still have to be on point, solely through letters, which she sends as the saying goes," she said. to an address provided to her family Out of Contact Senior Sarah Schnee met her close by the wife of a sergeant in the Mafriend Evan Hsieh a few years ago while rines. "She told us where to send them working at the Flushing YMCA. She saw and what we can send [with] them," him almost every day over the summer said Venus . Some commodities that and talked to him regularly through in- were suggested included bug repellent, stant messages on the internet, but these bottled water, and deodorant. At the moment, Venus hasn't reexchanges disappeared when Evan's Marines Reserve force was called to serve ceived her brother's response to her last in Kuwait. "They gave him one week's letter and she's unsure as to whether notice," said Sarah. "He was supposed "he's just really busy or the letters to graduate from Stony brook [Univer- haven't reached us yet." One of her sity] in May and his term was almost only worries is that "if something hapover. This was something that he did on pened to him, I wouldn't know until the very end" because of the lack of weekends." Evan, who is an infantryman and elec- information that can be released contrician in the Marines, left for the Middle cerning the troops. Jacky originally joined the Marines - East about two months ago. "About a because "he wanted a challenge," said week before the war [began], he wasn't Venus. "He was going to Binghamton online anymore. I heard a report on the

"e

r o many

[University} and had friends [in the Marines] who liked it, and he wanted to try it out. He was in the Marines for two summers and didn't expect to go to war," she explained. Going into the conflict with Iraq, Jacky was scared because "it's dangerous out there," said Venus, but then again, "he likes to live on the dangerous side." Frederick Ortiz joined the Marines in January of last year "on a whim," according to his cousin, freshman Christy Tomecek. "His friend was joining and the paycheck ~as good," she said. Then, as he left for the Middle East, Frederick, a lance corporal in the force, was "eager to see combat and to defend his country," said Christy. "He was excited to go," she added . . Christy, however, who last saw her cousin at a family get-together over the holidays, was "very nervous" when she found out that Frederick would be fighting "because I didn't support the war," she said, and has been experiencing "lingering jitters" ever since. "I hope the war ends soon and that he comes home soon," she said. Mixed Emotions One senior, who wishes to remain anonymous, has many family members in the military. Her sister and her mother are both in the Navy, her godfather is in the Air Force, and several of her relatives who have been retired are planning to re-activate because of the war. She also has friends in the Marines, This senior faces "mixed emotions" towards the involvement of her friends and family. "Of course I am afraid of someday receiving news of the death of someone I love," she said in the early days of the war. "Of course f feel a great sadness when my mother tries to prepare me for her own departure ; But at the same time, I feel great pride each time I see them in uniform . . . All I can do now is support them and their cause." She does not see the necessity of this

challenge? They will have to face and accept the ugliness of war. .. The most important thing to do now is to unite," she said. Freshman Danielle Trosa's cousin, Adrienne, has been a part of the United States Army for about a year and has been serving in Kuwait since January. In the army, Adrienne is a special military officer and searches Iraqi suspects for weapons and other such items. "She's in high demand because she's a woman and a specialized soldier," said Danielle. Adrienne was involved in special training to serve in the military police and is the only female in her unit. Although Adrienne is "scared and doesn't get much sleep, she is proud be serving her country," said Danielle, who sends letters and care packages to her cousin once in a while. These packages include basic amenities such as snacks, lotion, antibacterial soaps and eyedrops . Danielle said that it is a "little scary" to know somebody who is out in Iraq. However, "I know she's tough and can get through it," she said . "I have no worries." "It hasn't quite hit me that there's a possibility that he won't come back," said senior Diana Hsiao, whose cousin, Daniel Wang, has been in Kuwait serving as a part of the United States Army since the end of February. Daniel has been in the Army for about one and a half to two years since the age of 18. . Before he'Ieft to serve, Daniel called his family on the telephone to say his goodbyes. "I took it lightly because we hadn't talked to each other for a long time, and we just caught up. It was a 'How've you been? What have you been up to?' kind of thing," she said . "After we hung up with him, our whole family spent the next hour praying for him." Homeland Security For Jessica Hetherington, senior, the involvement of a close family member in the war effort is closer to home. Her father, Christopher Hetherington, is the First Deputy Commissioner of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Office of Emergency Management (OEM). She feels that the war is necessary. "Knowing what my father does for a living gives me a little more insight than most, and I am able to say that war is necessary to maintain our freedom and protec~ tion. We need to trust our govern~ ment and believe that everything . ~ is in our best interest," she said. ] Jessica trusts that her father 1i'will remain safe throughout the ~ duration of this war. She believes ..c:: 0.. that he "is very intelligent and would not put himself in danger. The OEM is advanced enough to Senior Sarah Schnee is all smiles after hearing from her close friend Evan Hsieh, an engineer in the Marines, avoid danger." She is proud of who has been serving in Iraq. him, and feels that "there is no one war, and "cannot even express [her] an- else who could do his job," which inger towards our president," but she feels cludes being part of the management that "all we can do now is support our team at OEM. "I believe that everything troops." "Who am I to voice any oppo- happens for a reason, so his being in sition I might have when, clearly, my [OEM] is the best thing for everyone," friends and family a~e up for a greater said Jessica. e,


The Classic May 2003

Bye Bye Birdie brings audience back i time by Ann-Margaret Santa Ines, In addition, one random lucky fan club her 'baby boy' go. Jennifer Gong and Sarah Schnee member would be chosen to give When the Ed Sullivan Show finally Choruses of "We love you , Conrad" Conrad his last kiss . arrives, Rosie, upset with Albert for not brought audience members back to a Kim Macafee (junior Devin telling Mae his plans to dissolve their time of swooning teenage girls and their Sugameli) of Sweet Apple, Ohio is the company, and Kim's boyfriend Hugo Rock and Roll idols. The Townsend one chosen to represent her fellow (senior Geoffrey Ng), upset with Kim Harris rendition of Bye Bye Birdie, per- Conrad followers and welcome Conrad for her plans to kiss Conrad in public, formed on April 11-12, follows the to her hometown . In Sweet Apple, decide to ruin Conrad's last public perpopular 1960 Broadformance . Rosie convinces Hugo that way musical into the .he should take action to fight for Kim 1950s era of poodle and Hugo decides to punch Conrad on skirts and the Ed live television, interrupting his perforo :0 Sullivan Show. The mance of Albert's song. = c?i play was directed by The play continues with energetic ~ E English teacher musical numbers choreographed by se.5 nior Danielle Fischer with musical Harriette Blechman , co U with help from student 'o director J e ss ic a ~ Cardona, senior, and 1":: = o o produced by Assistant o by Tina Wu Principal of Humanities ..c: c, Mu Alpha Theta, a national honor Susan Getting. society that recognizes the achieveThe musical mirrors Teenage girls faint at the sight of Conrad Birdie (senior ments of high school students in maththe obsessed fan -fol- Steven Torem) in the Harris rendition of Bye Bye Birdie. ematic s, inducted this year's honorees lowing of rock legend into the Townsend Harris chapter on Elvi s Presley with the April 15. . similar, yet fictional , pelvi s-thrusting Conr ad causes quite a stir, making all These students, invited based on heartthrob Conrad Birdie , played by se- the teenage girls as well as the mayor 's their skills in mathematics beyond level nior Steven Torem. At the height of his wife (junior Angela Tolano) faint as he Course III and in other subject areas , career, Conrad is drafted for war, dev- sings and shake s in Town Square. "See"have demonstrated the qualities of inastating his network of female fans. ing Steve dancing in that metallic gold Conrad 's departure into the Army jumpsuit was disturbing," said senior dustry, initiative and reliability," said also affects his songwriter, Albert Cyrell Preposi . "But it was also hilari- Ellen Fee, Assistant Principal (AP) of Peterson (junior Erik Scott), whose ous, and made the play more enjoyable ," Mathematics and Mu Alpha Theta Advisor. faithful secretary Rose Alvarez (senior he added. Mu Alpha Th~ta has over 1000 other Amanda Lorenz) then comes up with the Bye Bye Birdie also focuses on the chapters in the United States and overidea for Conrad to appear for the final relationship between Albert and Rosie, seas. "It honors the best and brightest time on the Ed Sullivan Show before who want to get married and live a life high school and college mathematics joining the army. However, there is a away from show business . Albert has students, and its principal purpose is to catch to the premise. Conrad's last per- always dreamed of becoming an English stimulate a deeper enjoyment and unformance would consist of Albert's song teacher; however, he is afraid to leave derstanding of mathematics," said Ms. "One Last Kiss," which would then have his agency and switch careers out of Fee . high hopes of selling millions of copies concern for his overbear ing mother Mae In the induction ceremony, held in and bring economic stability to Albert. (junior Liza Shapiro), who refuses to let Vl

accompanment from pianist Heather Edwards of Queens College. The Sweet Apple backdrop for Bye Bye Birdie was designed by Rita Rothenberg, an art teacher that used to substitute teach for Townsend Harris, and other scenery was created with the help of Scenic Designer Annette Lorenz, mother of Amanda and an elementary school teacher interested in theatre and art. "I thought that the play was very interesting and well put together," said senior Chia Ling Wu. "I could really tell that the entire cast and the various directors put a lot of effort into their performances and it paid off."

Mu Alpha Theta celebrates mathematical achievements

"

an rak â&#x20AC;˘

the auditorium, each of the students was presented with a certificate of achievement and a Mu Alpha Theta sticker. Principal Mr. Thomas Cunningham commended the st ude nts for "dernonstratling] ability and strong work ethics," and noted the versatility of math, from the practical use in the "balancing of a checkbook, to the theory ofrelativi ty. " Mathematics teachers Magda Kalinowska and Eleanor Reilly were each presented with a stress ball; and former Assistant Principal of Mathematics Harry Rattien made a guest appearance. The ceremony also featured musical interludes and surprise events. Juniors Allysa Ng on the piano, and Nina Mozes on the flute, performed solos of Mozart's Sonata K. 300, Allegretto and Debussy's Syrinx. Events included raffles for the attending students and their parents, with prizes such as stress balls, chocolates, and a scientific and graphing calculator.

oma s join Cu ningham as Principal

by Samira Annabi Alumnus Ervin Drake, '35, who wrote the Townsend Harris alma mater, and Executive Editor of New York magazine John Homans joined ¡Thomas Cunningham as "principals" of the school on April 3 as part of the Principal for a Day program. Escorted by Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Drake and Mr. Homans visited classes and engaged in the "normal" activities of the day. The Department of Education , in collaboration with the not-for-profit organization Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning (PENCIL), selected Mr. Homans as one of the Principals for a Day. Mr. Cunningham and the school executive board chose Mr. Drake, who was accompanied by his wife, as the second guest. In addition to meeting with teachers and assistant principals, both guests joined the editors of The Classic for lunch in the Principal's Conference room. They spoke about their life expe riences and careers and participated in a question and answer session with the editors. Mr. Cunningham hopes that the visitors "will spread the word about the dedicated staff and students and the school's national excellence." After graduating from the original

have [an alma mater]." of America," Mr. Drake said, "but I Mr. Drake also played a large role learned that the Townsend Harris student in the re-establishment of this school. of today is a superior young adult." Before his visit to Townsend Harris, He accepted an offer made to him by the City Council to Mr. Homans had only known about it be one of the from an article that New York magazine founders of the new did in October about the best high schools Townsend Harris . in New York City. He sat in on a junior He asked that young English class that was discussing The women also be ad- Great Gatsby. "I thought everyone had mitted, as the origi- well-thought-out opinions. I was imnal school was only pressed .by that," he said. Mr. Homans said he had been curious ... open to boys. He ] felt that it was to see what a high school environment :f: "rather criminal to was like these days, because he has not ]' have barred young been in one since he graduated from high ~ women from attend- school himself. Mr. Homans ' belief that "schools are ~ ing Townsend Har~ ris. Having an all- important institutions that are being unmale school was es- der-funded" and his desire to help as a pecially wrong in an journalist spurred his interest in public educational institu- schools. His involvement in the system Principals for a Day John Homans and Ervin Drake, along with Mr. Drake's wife, eat'lunch with real Principal Thomas Cunningham tion with so much to is also personal, because his son attends and the editorial staff of The Classic. offer. .. [and I am] kindergarten in a public school and may continue his education in the system in Sinatra, with whom he became very gratified that others felt the same ." good friends after writing "When I Was After his visit, Mr. Drake said he the future. He expressed the importance Seventeen." When Mr. Drake learned was impressed with the multi-ethnic of the effort to "build civic commitment that his re-established high school didn't backgrounds and diligence of the stu- for the schools" and the need to engage "the community at large, which is not have an alma mater, he wrote one, based dents . "I had feared that such intelligence involved as it should be," and hopes to on what he remembered of the school and what he hoped for its future on the and commitment [in students] would be able to contribute to improving the belief that "a great institution should suffer from the recent 'dumbing down' . public educational syste~. _ .:

Townsend Harris, Mr. Drake became a professional songwriter, writing for many artists including Billie Holiday, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand and Frank


8

The

Classic

May 2003

I

Guest dance attracts more than anticipated by J ennifer Bhuiyan Flashing lights of green, red, blue, and yellow danced along with students . in the gymnasium on Friday , April 4 for the second guest dance of the year. A variety of music, from fast-paced techno to smooth reggae, gave Harrisites and their guests the opportunity to show off all types of dance moves, from rav ing to break dancing. Some opted to relax with their friends in the bleachers listening to, rather than dancing to, the tunes . Throughout the night, an upbeat atmosphere prevailed and many found the guest dance to be a big success. "So far, the dance has been great. My guests are enjoying themselves and so am I," said sophomore Hyon-Jin Chong. The dance, however, did not begin as smoothly. As students entered the building, they joined a line of countless others impatiently waiting to hit the dance floor, but were stopped by an extensive security check. Like a scene out of an airlines terminal, Harrisites and "

Talentsh wease features artistic fortes f r second year in a row

by Una Lee trumpet, flute and voice reflected a ditheir guests had to empty belongings "Why is abbreviation such a long versity of musical skills. into a small basket while security guards word ?" "So what was the best thing be"Singing is a hobby for me. I have used hand-held metal detectors to search fore sliced bread?" Aseries of questions performed publicly on stage but it was them for any dangerous possessions . Yet that "make you go 'hmm ...", were asked different here because of the lively aumany felt these precautions were necto audience members between perfor- dience," said freshman Katherine Byrns, essary. "Although it was a hassle, I think mances at the secw ho sang "Some that they [the security guards] were takond annua l Talent Peo ple " by Steven ing proper measures to ensure ou r" Showcase on FriSon dheim. safety," said sophomore Nisha Singh. day , March 21. A total of 40 tickets The guest dance was held the night Organized by the was sold for $2 each . before the SATs were to be adm inisPoor attendance, beDrama Club and tered, and therefore, some juniors deadvisor Charlene cau se of a sudden cided not to attend . "As a college-conLevi, the show rainshower and inconscious junior, I had created a schedule venient timing of the provided an opfor myself of when to take SATs and portunity for stuii show, created an inti..c:: SAT IIs, and had planned to take the dents to display ~ mate and comfortable SATs on Apri l 5th," said junior Nina ~ their talents on 'a atmosphere for both c: Ma zes. "I feel badly for not supporting. stage in front of ~ the performers and the my school by attending the dance, but I }; audience, fostering Principal Thomas o wanted to have a tense-free evening beCunningham, ] their constant interacfore a morning that could potentially c, tion throughout the teachers and their determine my future!" 'Dancing Queen,' sophomore Yeseniya show . "I didn't peers. Despite the lack of junior attendance, The 20 selected Aronota, displays her abilities at the know we had such tal250 tickets were sold which was "more secondannual Talent Show performers ellented people in our than we expected," according to SU . pressed their artistic talents through school and it was definitely better than Vice President Maryann Tan, senior. dance, instruments, voice, and rhyme. I expected. The poor attendance did not "The experience was essential for my bother me because I still had fun. I hope artistic development. Performing is the to go again next year," said junior Erik hardest part for me, so the more I do it Scott. the easier it becomes. I feel privileged Because of the low attendance, it is because of reasons ranging from band to share my love of music with the not certain if there will be a talent show cancellations and scheduling conflicts Townsend community," said senior next year. "We're thinking about comto a snowstorm. Talya Leiberman who played the piano. bining the Battle of the Bands with the Angel started with a total of 13 Other performances featuring guitar, Talent Show," said Ms . Levi. bands, but at one point all of the m changed their minds and cancelled. Although at the final date six bands performed, only three of them included a Townsend Harris student, a rule that is Rachel Nepomuceno , Stephanie specified for Battle of the Bands by the by Una Lee Exemplary students who showed Kazane, Amanda Chen, Jenifer Arcila, school. They were, however, allowed to their dedication to the Ephebic Oath by Jamie Mersten, Payton Armstrong, and perform. "Most of the people from school had truly leaving their "city not .any less but Lina Lee, to pass onto the incoming friends that play in a band and told me rather greater than" they found it were board, Cecelia K im , A m y Wong, they would be involved, so I agreed to honored at the seventeenth an nual Ar- Kathryn Dubowski , and Michae l let them play. However, at the last chon induction, held in the auditorium Schwartz, their responsibilities and duties. minute some of the students decided on Tuesday March 25. "The cere mony went very well but "I look upon the members as future they no longer wanted to be on stage. Musicians are extremely fick le," said leaders. These are the people who will the only complaint that I have is that not 100% of the people showed up. I bechange the world. These students are An gel. For about 20 minutes, each band truly commendable because they do so lieve it is a great honor and so I do n't understand why some stude nts did not muc h for their community and they played original songs except for bands State of Mind and Glass Prison, which don't ask for anything in return," said attend," said Mr. Stonehill. About 70 members of the 200 were played cover songs from Metallica and second year Archon Advisor Ad am other groups. Guitarist Molly Owens, Stonehill. The students expressed their not present at the ceremony, partially sophomore, of State of Mind, guitarist generosity even during the ceremony by due to confusion concern ing the number of Archon meetings some stud ents Andrew Danilovic.junior, of Viscid, and donating baby food for a charity. thought they had to attend in order to be Pins and certificates were give n to guitarist Mikhail Khaimov, senior, voinducted . Ear lie r in ..th e year, M r. each of the 200 members as awards. calis t Alan Fishman, senior, and bassist Stonehill had said that returning memFramed certificates of merit were speJulio Castillo, junior, of Glass Prison all bers could only miss a maxi mum of two cially made for the five fourth year agreed that they had fun performing on Archon meetings. Reportedly, however, members, seniors Amanda Candan, Jodi stage. several students who had missed more Fierstein, Brya n Kirschen, Joana Wong, Bands without a Townsend Harris than two mee tings were still inducted. and Katrina Yee. student included Down by I and Dotted "You need to come to all the meetLaudatory remarks were made by i. A member of Dotted i had a great time ings, except if you 're a firs t-year memPrincipal Thomas Cunningham and Mr. pe rforming as we ll. Guitarist Paul ber. This might've caused some confuStone hill whopersonally congratulated Alfonso from Stuyvesant High School sion," explai ned Mr. Stonehill. "The the Arch on Inductees for their acco msaid, "The students' eyes say academmain thing regardless of whether you plishments as benefactors' to society. ics but their hearts screa m rock 'n roll." come to meetings, though, is the com"The speeches made us feel proud and There was also a solo performance by it also made us want to give more to munity service aspect." Mike Lorenz, senior Amanda Lorenz' To become a member of the honor c hari ty," said first-year member, brother, on bass guitar, and kareoke was society a stude nt must have a minimum Rebecca Niknam, soph omore. offered throughout the night for those total of 80 hours of community serv ice, The remarks were followe d by the who wanted to go on stage to perform a two school activities and particip ation traditional Flower Ceremony that alsong of their choo sing while the next in three walks . lowed the outgoing executive board, band was setting up.

troversy threatens ate of annual Battle of th n by Diane Tiao Controversy over one band's lyrics and other complications at this year's Battle of the Bands could mean the end of this annual showcase of musical talent. According to Coordinator of ~tu足 dent Activities (COSA) Adam Stonehill, there was an issue over the level of attendance and the chosen song lyrics . Of the six groups that performed, the final act, 23Skadoo was forced by Mr. Stonehill to end early because of an inappropriate use of language. Band members made references to drugs in a drug rap as well as used derogatory four letter words. "There are concerns over allowing band members to express themse lves with complete and utter freedom," Mr. Stonehill said. "For example, the band did not literally advocate the use of drugs in their rap, but when 'marijuana' is sung repeatedly in the chorus, that impression could be made ." Although Mistress of Ceremony and student coordinator senior Angel Yau faced a number of difficulties in organizing the evening's entertainment, she believes that "Battle of the Bands lets students display their musical talent and allows the audie nce to take a break from all the stress of their daily lives . That' s what's so important abou t this event and why it shou ld be continued," she said. "There were many obstacles that we had to overcome this year for this event to take place, but Angel did a phenornenaljob.As for next year, we' ll see when we cross that bridge. If a studen t is willing to take charge, the possibility for the event still exists . Decisions will be made next September," said Mr. Stonehill. Originally plan ned for T hursday, December 12, the date for the event was changed to Friday, February 7. However, it was fina lly he ld on Friday, March 7 at 6:00 PM in the auditor ium

ual Archo n induction honors new and returning club members


The Classic

--9 May 2003

Festiv I of Natio s draws in large audience by Alyssa C hase an d Maria freshman Cynthia Schweitzer, a particiWojakowski pant in the African Step Dance. According to sophomore Nora The Festival of Nations attracted a throng of family members, Harr isites an d faculty to the auditori um o n Thursday, March 20. For th ree hours, the 579 s tude nt performers entertaine d spectato rs, who filled the seats and stood in the ais les, with cultural skits, d a nc e s and songs . Assistant Principal of Foreign Languages and Fine Arts Lisa M ars sai d that this year's event pulled i n "bigger crowds than ever before." So me who ar- The traditionai Korean fan dance was one of a variety of cultural acts featured at the annual Festival of Nations. rived without previously purchased tickets were turned O'Brien, the best part of the evening was the integration of cultures, espeaway at the door. "We might have to offer it over...Thursday and Friday nights," cially at this time . "I think that the Festival of Nations came at a perfect time rather than only Thursday, said Ms. because of the war. It's a good way to Mars. celebrate multiculturalism," she said. In fact, the show was so packed that "I want the Festival of Nations to reparticipants were unable to sneak into the back to watch other performances mind us of unity during this time of war," added sophomore Cecilia Kim . of the night and were directed to the "It was particularly poignant to see hallway, lobby and music rooms as teachers and security guards monitored different cultures come together at this the doors. "It's not fair. It's not right," distressful time," said Spanish and said junior Elena Papageorgio u, a Latin teacher Sarah Laderoute. "It prodancer in the Greek Pentozali. "We vided much needed escapism from should be able to see it too . They should today's turmoil." Ms. Mars organized the annual have two shows," so that the performevent that marked the end of a ers can also be spectators, she suggested. "I still wanted to see what other weeklong celebration of cultures, pe ople ' s cultures were like ;" added Multicultural Week, and did everything

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from creati ng the programs to monitoring and organizing students throughout six weeks of rehearsals in the lobby. "It was pretty intensive," she said. "However, besides being exhausting..Jr was exhilarating." "I think it's a wonderful show," said princ ipal Thomas C unn ing ham . "I think it shows the talents and skills of a majority of our students. I'm pleased and proud." John Talay, a parent, complimented the "amazing costumes" and said, ::::.., "T his is my first ye ar [attending the .~ Festival of Nations.] I find it thor..r:: oughly amazing and extensive." ~ ] The Festival of Nations gave stug dents the opportunity to experience ~ and participate in cultures other than ..0 . .9 their own. "Seeing other cultures of o if other people is new and exciting," said junior Caitlin Gilbride, a participant in the Latin and Hebrew performances. "I'm not Jewish. I was just interested in learning something new," she said of her part in the show.

"It is very interesting to see different cultures' activities, dances, etc.," agreed sophomore Pamela Chan, a performer in the Chinese Lion Dance and the Kung Fu demonstration. "People feel that they belong to a cul ture, and they can experience other cultures as wel l." T he eve nt, which had 28 acts, also lasted longer than expected. Originally plan ned for 7PM to 9 PM , the show ended at 10:15. "The lack of tech scri pts and rehearsals really slowed things down," said sophomore Elina Zakinova, a member of the Medi a Tech Squad. " We've been practici ng for three wee ks. We ' re going to do our best, no m atter what," said senior So nia Lim, moments before going on stage to perform in a traditional fan dance from Korea. "I had never been to the Festival of Nations before this year, but I' m really glad I went. The effort that the performers put into the show was evident and it paid off," said senior Rita Ratner.

participation marks a Multic Itural Week in March by Linda Luu more to allow people to prepare. MakMulticultural Week traditionally ing certain foods might require prepahighlights the unity among the diverse ration time and people should have student population, but minimal particimore notice," said junior Jessica Berger. pation this year diminished the overall "The same goes for costume day as effect. well." The weeklong "Make a bigger celebration, orgadeal of it!" j unior nized by the StuShirley Lau exdent Union (SU), claimed . "Remind kicked off Monpeople constantly. day, March 17, Otherwise it goes in and culminated one ear and out the with the annual other." Along the Festival of Nasame lines, junior tions on Thursday, Diana L e e sugMarc h 20. The gested that in the fuweek showcased ture "somehow pubvar ious ethnic licize this thing to fo ods , costumes ~ make it seem like and entertainment ~ something attractive on designated ~ that people would days, but the ac~ want to participate ..J . M a k e It . seem aptivities planned for E In. the week d id ,not .9 peali ng and fun ." o generate the same Ho wever, Coo rlevel of response dinator of Student Activities (COS A), as In previous Juniors Rutbn Tab assum and Vibh a Mu rt hy years. Adam S tone hi II model traditional Indian outfits for Cultural "I did not see as Dress Day during Multicultural Week. "thought it was pubmany participants licized well, espeas we [the Student Union] would have cially with the handouts, and yet parliked," commented senior Jaime Sackett, ticipation was minimal." Student Union President. Even so, there are certain Harrisites Junior Rachelle Solis agreed with this who believe that the weeklong festividea. "I thought that Multicultural Week ity was not a total disappointment. " I was j ust like any other week," she stated. think Mu lticultural Week was success"I don ' t know how it can be improved. ful," said one sophomore. "It was cool It seems like we've tried so many methto see people have pride in their nat ive ods," she added, refe rring to the lack of co untr ies." "[ Multicultural Week] opened our participation in some other school events as well. eyes to the seven shades of humanity, Some Harrisites attributed this dearth to colors and tones we never saw beof spirit to the failure of communication fore: food, flag, custom, music, clothing, language and history," remarked amo ng members of the school com munity. "The days should be publicized senior Steven Lee.

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The Classic May 2003

with live performances At least once a year, a group, such has gained inspiration from various pub- Mr. Lustig's daughter at many perforby Sangsoo Kim At almost every major event, such as jazz bands that include professors and lic schools, such as Martin van Buren mances, most recently at the Winter ~as Commencement, Founder's Day and graduate students from Queens College, High School, and private schools, at Concert. Since she was six weeks old, the Arista induction, music teacher Pe- comes to perform at Townsend Harris . which he previously taught. she has always attended important ocHis family has been a source of great casions at Townsend Harris. ter Lustig is there, waving his arms, con- ' Mr. Lustig hopes that in the future, the ducting the Concert Band. He In 1993, Mr. Lustig organized also teaches beginner and intera jazz ensemble that was both mediate band and arranges other popular and successful. After musical programs at the school. around five years, budget cuts and "I tried to believe in making lack of attendance caused the jazz bands as active as possible in ensemble to end . Because of this, various events," said Mr. Lustig. Mr. Lustig keeps on trying to proHe also stated that he tries to demote a jazz ensemble as an elecvelop the bands to the highest tive, so that more students could level possible by encouraging be driven to become involved in students showing promise in beJazz . ginner band to take intermediate According to Paula Zarmon, diband as an elective. From there, rector of the string ensemble, Mr. a student may be able to advance Lustig has "done a great job in the to Concert Band . bands, in developing students' muMr. Lustig also arranges for sical talents and technical knowloutside musical groups to come edge," she said . "I can see that he to Townsend Harris. For ex-5 enjoys what he is doing and so do <0 ample , a few months ago, a brass r5i the students. He is active in helpquintet from the top United ~ ing the students become more inStates army band, Pershing's ~ volved with music and he listens Own, visited and performed. ~ to their needs ." The army band plays for many ~ Mr. Lustig can play many inbig national occasions, such as ~ struments, although he is most prothe Presidental Inauguration. ficient on the trombone . He can play all brass instruments, the flute, This brass quintet performed for Tooting his own horn, music teacher Peter Lustig plays the trombone for one of his band the clarinet, the saxophone, and the the intermediate and concert classes. While he is most experienced on the trombone, he plays several other instruments. electric bass. In addition, he has bands. The New York State some knowledge of the oboe and School Music Association (NYSSMA) organized this particular bands will interact with the students by support for him and he is grateful that bassoon. During his spare time, he plays visit and paid for everything the quintet giving them actual pointers. In other his wife is always there for him. "My a lot of music in bands. He currently parwords, he wants a band clinic, or small wife supports me totally, both as a mu- ticipates in a swing jazz band , and over needed. "The representative [of NYSSMAJ, group lessons for the musical bands at sician and as a teacher, never objecting the years, he has played Latin music, or complaining about times we miss such as salsa. who had the list of top musical programs Townsend Harris. Laughing, he said, "My daughter Mr. Lustig has been teaching at being together," he said. of schools, called me and arranged for Students and faculty may have seen takes up most of my time." the quintet to come to our school," said Townsend Harris for about 10 years, but Mr. Lustig.

p ets share Ii r y work wit peers in pac ked lib by Stephanie Vance The chance to see teachers and peers share their written work lured a large crowd to the library for "Nothing Gold Can Stay," the poetry reading sponsored by the literary magazine the Phoenix on March 21.

ans. Both student and teacher participants chose to read works from a variety of genres. The works spanned the centuries from Beowulf to fiery, urban rap, and included poems by contemporary Townsend Harris poets. Freshman Melanie Freedman humor-

laureate Billy Collins' poem "Nine Horses," while history teacher Marc Greenberg shared a joke with the audience before reading a poem that he wrote. After her reading, freshman Belinda Chang said, "I really liked being a part of the whole experience. It all felt very welcoming." Freshman E1ysse Preposi commented, "I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the reading. There was a mature, cultured feel to it." After the reading, both performers

and listeners were invited across the hall for refreshments in Principal Thomas Cunningham's conference room. Senior Hilary HomIer, a literary staff member of The Phoenix, said, "There were a lot of really great and original poems read, and I wish that some of them had been submitted to The Phoenix this year." Phoenix advisor Robert Babstock said he was very impressed with the quality of the reading and hopes to have as fine a turnout when the poets gather next year.

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Mathematl Andrea Shliselberg

The event commenced with a reading of Robert Frost's poem "Nature's First Green is Gold." A line fJ ._. 01 this poem was the inspiration for the title of this year's reading. Some were new to the poetry reading while others were seasoned veter-

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ously pointed out the cruel quirks of the school in her "Ode to Townsend Harris." Allison Kornblatt, also a freshman, entertained the audience with her parody of Beowulf. Senior Carlos Romero performed two poems in rap style. Librarian Valerie Billy read the poet

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The Classic May 2003

ayannvar places first in citywlde Brain Bee, garners sixth in international competition by Francesca Pizarro For which disorder is lithium used as a treatment? If you didn't know already, the answer is manic-depressive illness. It was senior Arpana Rayannvar's response to the last question of this year's Brain Bee Finalist Competition. Beating Stuyvesant High School and Hunter High School in the final round , Arpana was awarded the opportunity to represent New York City and received sixth place at the international competition. After completing against about 15 to 20 high schools in the New York Brain Bee, held in the New York Academy of Sciences on February 27, Arpana went to Baltimore, Maryland on March 14 and 15 to participate in the international competition. She was one of about 26 students from different high

schools throughout the United States and Canada. The contest was made up of many segments. The first segment, a neuroanatomy portion, consisted of contestants identifying the specific structures of a real human brain that had been dissected into halves and slices . According to Arpana, it was the first time she had seen a real brain and found it to be "very different from what you see in textbooks." Another part of the competition was a Brain Facts segment in which students were tested on their knowledge of random facts about the human brain, its functions, diseases and cures. Arpana received a perfect score in this section . To study for the Brain Bee, Arpana used books provided by the organization that ran the competition, as well as

books she had taken out of the library. In addition to taking part in the international contest, the participants

Arpana Rayannvar

Smith earns internship at investment firm by Jessica Berger "Entering the competition was a great experience," exclaimed Jodi Smith, junior, upon winning a summer internship at Standard and Poor 's for her contest entry on economic globalization . The contest, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, re-

oping nations by the IMF (International Monetary Fund), may not be in the best interests of those countries." Once Jodi received notice that she was qualified for the final round of the competition, she prepared for a 10-15 minute oral presentation, complete with visual aids, as well as a question and answer session in which she responded to

toured the Maryland area , visiting such sites as the National Institute of Health, the National Library of Medicine, and the fifth oldest medical school in the United States, which is now only open for tourists. This was the first year that a student

from Townsend Harris has participated in this competition and Arpana is proud to have received the opportunity to do so. "I was able to meet many people, including students from all around in the international competition," she said . She also said that she "met some of the smartest and most dedicated people." Arpana is currently the vice president of Amnesty International and plays an active role in other clubs .Among her volunteer efforts are coordinating activities for the youth club ather Hindu temple, providing tutoring outside of school on weekends, and helping out at a hospital. She plans on becoming a pediatrician . Arpana learned about the Brain Bee in her Advanced Placement Psychology class, which she decided to take because her friends who had taken it previously "tremendously enjoyed the course." For future participants of the Brain Bee, she advises that they "have fun and concentrate on learning the material for [themselves] ."

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Jodi Smith quired competitors to compose a fivepage paper on the advantages and drawbacks of modern globalization policie s, and their impact on the economies of developing nations such as Argentina and Malaysia. "My paper focused on the positive effects of globalization," said Jodi. "I believe that whether or not globalization is favorable or unfavorable for developing nations is a moot point since globalization is inevitable. One main weakness of globalization policies is that such policies, forced on devel-

questions such as "is globalization inevitable, how will globalization affect the wages of workers in developing nations, and what is the purpose of the World Bank?" Jodi said, "I was extremely nervous before the presentation round , but I was excited as well." Though she does not know what her internship at Standard and Poor 's has in store, Jodi said that she is "eager to take advantage of whatever this experience has to offer."

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The Classic

12----iiiiiiiiiIiiiii May 2003

Online Xangajournals provide open forum for expression, heighten sense of community by Alyssa Chase After a day of tests, gym and lugging a 35-pound book bag, Townsend Harris students seek to relieve some of their stress by turning to Xanga. Xanga.com contains hundreds of public journals that are filled with such words as "collateral" and "tirnot.' The popular new fad of maintaining an online journal has resulted in a greater unity within the Townsend Harris community among students of all grade levels. Xanga provides each of its members with certain tools that assist in the creation of a unique webpage. According to sophomore Andrea Mock, the individuality of Xanga pages can allow members to become more intimate with each other. "It provides members with a way of expressing themselves by having different backgrounds, colors and styles . Each color can represent a different mood," she said. Both members and non-members can view Xanga websites . However, only those with Xanga accounts can post comments in response to another user's journal entry. A female freshman says that she enjoys writing comments. "My friends always want me to, and if

something is funny or interesting in their entries, I want to comment on it," she explained. Those submitting comments have the option of keeping their messages private bye-mailing their remarks. Other comments that are posted on the webpage can be read by anyone who visits the Xanga site. The Xanga community has been flooded with new Townsend Harris members in recent months . A female senior explained the reason for her attraction to Xanga: "People are always looking for ways to get things off their mind, whether people are going through something or just wanted to say something funny, and they've found it in Xanga ... As a senior, you find new friendships being formed and old pretenses being discarded . It's always been like that. I think that ~anga has helped even more with this 'bonding.' You learn certain things about certain people that, otherwise, you would have never known because I think many people are more comfortable or are more drawn to writing about themselves. Even if it's just a one-sentence entry saying hello or a nonsensical entry of comic strips, you can't help but feel just a little closer t~ these people." , ,I "

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"It's something teens can go to, to let out their emotions," added Andrea. Senior Angel Yau said that she keeps a Xanga journal "to let others, either friends or strangers, know a bit more

cause it shows their school spirit, so I established a blogring myself. I guess it was successful bringing Harrisites together. Many people joined, which is good news. You can view a list of people

Matthew Barbery

about [me] and what goes on in [my] daily life, and since you get those eprops and comments, you feel that you might be of some importance to someone out there ." Angel added, "If you are a writer, it is nice to have your words read and then get comments on how cool you are." In response to why she has a Xanga, Senior Bernadette Cruz said, "because I'm bored." Xanga.com gives its users the option to establish or join communities of Xanga users called "blogrings.' Junior Diana Lee is the leader of "Harrisites,' one of the blogrings whose 188 members are Townsend Harris students . Diana says, "I saw that people from other schools had their own blogrings, which was kind of cool be-

in the blogring, so people are able to click around and read other people 's entries, which is always very interesting." Other Harris-related Xanga blogrings include"Townsend Harris High School" (81 members); "THHS: Class of '03, BabY" (61); "Townsend Harris HS Friends Connection" (49); "THHS '05'06" (38) ; "Townsend Harris High School Alumni-Class of 2002" (21); "Townsend Harris Class '04" (20) and "OL Harrisites/Townsend Grads" (3). Xanga has allowed Townsend Harris students to become more intimate with each other. Writing in one's online journal has become a therapeutic way to relieve stress and other emotional burdens. A Xanga account is free, and one can be set up at http:// www.xanga.com.

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The Classic May 2003

Model United Nation presents by Christopher Amanna If you accidentally walked into the auditorium after school on Monday, March 4, you were not imagining things if you saw approximately 20 students enthralled with an Indian movie. The ' Model United Nations Club was screening the acclaimed film Lagaan as the second installment of its three-part film festival. The club previously showed the Australian picture Picnic at Hanging Rock on Thursday February 6. Lagaan, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Film category in 2002. It represents the best of "Bollywood," or Indian cinema. It blends action, comedy, romance and serious historical subject matter into a spectacularly large-scale singing and dancing production. This film was chosen because Model UN advisor Susan Getting "was particularly impressed with Lagoon when she saw it over the summer in London," said Co-Vice President Bharati Kalasapudi. "Having seen it many times before, we, Preeti Dixit, my Co-Vice President and I, agreed to show it." Lagoon tells the fictional story of the Indian village of Champaner during 1893. The people of the small farming community are forced into giving a portion of their crop to the British as a tax called lagoon. However, the village is being devastated by a drought and the people can barely feed themselves. The villagers decide to confront their British ruler, Captain Russell (Paul Blackthorne), after he doubles the lagoon. The audacious and manipulative

Grave of the

Briton responds to the villagers' plea by saying he will revoke the tax for the next three years, but only if the locals defeat the British in a game of cricket. If the British win, a triple lagoon will be imposed on the people. The movie's protagonist, Bhuvan (Aamir Khan), accepts the offer, which creates great discord ' among the people of Champaner.None

of the locals have ever seen, let alone played, the game before and are convinced that a victory against the British is impossible. However, all types of people, including Hindus, Muslims, and even outcastes, eventually unite and form a team. Such a union was usually unheard of in class-conscience India. , Lagaan reaches its climax during the last game of the cricket match. Suspense is built as the Indian team begins to lose its lead, only to tum the situation around, and then lose its grip once more. During the screening, tensions mounted in the auditorium when sev-

Firefli~s:

by Tina Wu During the later years of World War '. II, American military tactics included , the dropping of napalm canisters on Japanese cities. These canisters, created to detonate upon landing, left civilian residential areas across Japan in flames. Consumed by the fires, neighborhoods made of wood and paper were easily destroyed, leaving hundreds of civilians without homes,shelters or even their lives . In the animated film, Grave of the Fireflies (1988) , two innocent Japanese children of Kobe are caught in the havoc of the air raids and the tragedies of war. Their father is an officer serving the Japanese Navy far from home. Their mother, already failing in health, is soon killed in the bombings . In this way, fourteen-year-old, Seita and his four-yearold sister, Setsuko, become homeless orphans struggling to survive. Grave of the Fireflies, based on a popular semi-autobiographical Japanese novel, presents the story of these two children and their experiences during the war. The movie, though animated, and therefore often overlooked, is incredibly ' realistic in plot, and even more so in its intense emotional impact. It is immediately obvious when we see Seita struggling to carry his sister on his back, running to safety during the air raids, that

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eral scenes of the film were fast for- . warded and brief synopses were given in their place. When asked about this, Bharati said, "We were actually prepared to abridge the movie because of its three- hour and forty-minute length. The auditorium seats are quite uncomfortable for such a long time, so we wanted to cut it down a bit without losing anything im,portant." Although there were some complaints about the skipped ~cenes, they ~idn't interfere with Lagaan's ~ransfixing nature. Despite the fast forwarding, the audience generally agreed that the film was Vivian Shibata brilliant. Freshman Amber Samalot summed up this feeling when she said that the movie was simply "wonderful." Bharati added, "Everyone who saw the film enjoyed it very much and actually asked whete they could rent it so that they could see the fast forwarded parts!" Tickets for the festival were five dollars, which included refreshments that were graciously, but untimely, distributed as the audience left the auditorium. Approximately $120 'Vas raised . Bharati commented on the meager attendance: "I was disappointed with the number of tickets sold. I thought we publicized very actively and many

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people showed interest in coming, but there were very few people there. In fact, we had a greater attendance for our first movie which we had barely one week to publicize." The proceeds will benefit the Model United Nations club . Members will be attending a conference at the actual United Nations headquarters and at the Javits Center this May. The team will be representing Botswana, El Salvador and Italy in mock debates in several of the UN's councils and committees. This will help the team to better understand the parliamentary procedures and diplomacy of the United Nations, while exploring the many problems facing these nations. When the Model UN is not preparing for conferences, current world issues are discussed from different perspectives. , The next film festival will be held after school on Thursday May 22 in the auditorium. The Red Violin will be shown. The movie centers around the auction of a magnificent violin. Through the use of flashbacks, the stories of those who have historically possessed the violin are depicted, The story of the violin spans centuries, bringing the viewer to l Zth-century Italy, Imperial Vienna in the 1790s, Victorian England in the late 1800s a~d eventually to China in the mid - 1960s.; Tickets for The Red Violin can be purchased from Model UN members. The team "appreciates the support of those who attend and hopes they realize how valuable their support and encouragement is." They would also like to remind students that new members are always welcome.

Film views World War II through eyes of orphans

this is not a cheery Disney cartoon. We experience pain when Seita and Setsuko must sell their mother's precious kimono for rice, and we feel Seita's anguish when his young sister cries for their missing parents. This powerful film is in every way adult, not in terms of sex, ' language and violence, but in the heartbreaking ernotions evoked, and the grave theme of war. Simple yet profoundly tragic, Grave of the Fireflies has been compared to Schindler's List by critic Ernest Rister, and has been regarded as "[one] of the greatest war films ever made" by critic Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times. In art, as in cinematic content, the film soars beyond standards. Directed by Isao Takahata, the movie is a production of Studio Ghibli, the same company that released the 2003 Academy-

Award winning film, Spirited Away, by characters, and of course those great big Hayao Miyazaki. In fact, Takahata and eyes), but it also gracefully captures deMiyazaki are long-time friends and col- ' tails, like in the scene where Seita and Setsuko are playing in the water. Any way you look at it, the art is simply beautiful. Grave of the Fireflies is available on video and DVD, in both original Japanese with subtitles, ,.andla version dubbed in English. It is known among anime fans that dubs, ranging from the not-too-bad to the downright appalling, often fail to recreate the experience ofthe original Japanese production. But don't worry ; in the American version of Grave of the Fireflies, the Japanese original is smoothly translated into English, with little loss in content or emotional force. . $0 whether you are looking for a dr'amatic storyline, moving characters, or spectacular animation, or are simply eager to enjoy a wonderful film in any language, with Grave of the Fireflies, you won't Eugene To be let down. Come enjoy this cinematic masleagues, and it shows . The animation in terpiece on the big screen! The Anime Grave ofthe Fireflies greatly resembles Club is showing the dubbed version of that in Spirited Away, Princess Grave ofthe Fireflies in the school auMononoke and other works by ditorium, after school on Friday, May Miyazaki. It is refined, elegant, exag- 16. All Townsend Harris students and gerated, yes (especially the bodies of staff are welcome, free of charge.


14

The Classic May 2003

d

Authentic Spanish ambiance and flavors converge at Cafe Cafe Espanol 172 Bleecker Street Greenwich Village New York, 10012 Tel: (212) 505-0657/ (212) 353-2317 Call restaurant for hours of operation by Marlo Dublin One popular misconception about dining out is that for one to be guaranteed an exceptional experience, he must choose a restaurant that is visually appealing. Bright signs, intricately adorned windows and flashy awnings might temporarily serve to tempt hungry patrons , but often fail to promise exceptional food and service . One single plastic curtain was shielding the weathered granite entrance to Cafe Espanol when I approached. The outside appearance of the restaurant made me hesitant to enter. How could such a place , lacking in outer refinement and flare, offer fine cuisine as well as a comfortable atmosphere? The answer was simple: make your customers feel like they are relaxing in an authentic villa on the outskirts of Barcelona while sampling some of the country's signature dishes . My sister and I arrived at Cafe Espanol several weeks ago with the intention of having a light dinner before catching a performance of the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center. Little did we know, the orchestration of our meal would be just as breathtaking as the show we were about to see. After hang-

ing up our coats, we were seated in a rather secluded nook of the restaurant's main dining area which was small, yet cozy. I couldn't help but be amazed by the art adorning the sponge -painted walls; flowers, landscapes and abstract forms

in pewter frames added a touch of color to the restaurant's placid environment. Cobblestone flooring paved the way for the team of black tie-clad waiters who were constantly refilling water glasses and acting in response to your every gesture. Furthermore, the dim lighting added a touch of intimacy to the restaurant's ambiance, one which made me feel as if I were part of a large family rather than a room full of strangers. Though I had never visited Spain, at that moment I felt as if I were part of a heri-

tage rich in color, emotion and, as I would soon realize, taste. Glancing over the menu, I was startled to see that the least expensive dish was $14 and suggested to my sister that we share an entree and make up for the lost portion with an appetizer. She agreed , so we ordered a Tortilla Espanol for starters. A fluffy omelette filled with finely chopped onions and potatoes, this dish was bursting with flavor and not at all leaky like your traditional diner's messy imitation . Neither greasy nor flaky, this pillowy treat was quite filling and made me understand how, in Spain, it would often serve as a complete lunch. Following the appetizer, we were each served a small portion of Cafe Espanol's special salad with savory dressing. Laced with garlic , this vinaigrette was like no other I had tried previously. Tasting somewhat like a cross between French and balsamic vinegar, it added a special touch to the crisp lettuce, cherry tomatoes and carrot shreds . Pollo at ajillo , the entree we had agreed to share, arrived in a metal cauldron . This dish featured two chicken breasts, as well as three wings, bathed in a light brown sauce which contained roasted garlic cloves. Tasting somewhat like meatloaf gravy but not nearly as thick or salty, the sauce complemented the chicken, which slid off the bone with every fork prod . The flesh was sweet and, when dipped in the garlic broth,

tasted sensational. Not one drop of this manna-like mixture was left when the chicken disappeared, because the sauce doubled as an excellent dipping sauce for the rolls we were served . Dessert seemed to be the most exciting part of our meal , for the menu tempted us with several treats. Flan, tiramisu, cheesecake and chocolate mousse cake all sounded delicious, but we decided to try the fried ice cream. The dish consisted of a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream that had been dou sed in maple syrup, rolled in cornflakes and then flash-fried for three seconds atop a plate glazed with raspberry syrup and powdered sugar. It was amazing how this dish clearly defied scientific law by not melting after being exposed to such heat; but then again, the time I spent with my sister that evening exhibited similar properties, for everything in Cafe Espanol seemed too good to be true. Dining at Cafe Espanol was a treat for many reasons . Not only did it allow me to realize how fortunate I am to live in a city where each street is teeming with diversity, as can be seen by the variety of restaurants in business, but it also made me realize how the best experience can arise from taking a chance and looking beyond superficial appearance. Cafe Espanol may seem like an eyesore to your average passerby, but in reality, it offers a tranquil dining environment and fine Spanish cuisine.

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The Classic

May 2003

15

Continued improvement gives Girls' track vows repeat as champs playoff hopes for baseball team by Michelle Montgoris stop there as the Hawks had the top four by Stephen Berger Dominant pitching and very clutch ior, who went 2-4 with an RBI and two hitting led the Hawks to a spirited vic- stolen bases. After the victory against Wagner, the tory against Wagner on April 29. Starting pitcher Christopher Guillo went the Hawks lifted their regular season record distance and pitched seven innings to 6-2. A problem that has occurred throughwhile scattering seven hits. allowing out the early portion two runs; walked five of the season has been and struck out seven cold. rainy the batters. Guillo was , throwing a shutout weather. There have been four postponed until Wagner fought games that will be back to tie the Hawks made up at a later by scoring one run in date. Currently, the the fifth inning. With Hawks are a half a the score notched at game behind the one run apiece. the Queens "B" division, Hawks unleashed one leading Franklin K. of their famous ralLane, who holds a lies. This opened the record of six wins and game and extended Potent hitting outfielder only one loss. the score to 9-1. Christopher Fuchs waits for the Third year head Leading the way right pitch in a recent game against Wagner. coach Steven for the Hawks offenLieberman has led sively were first baseman John Boneta, senior. who bat- "this team to improving records in each ted 2-4 with an RBI, second baseman of the past three seasons. His first year. Michael Schwartz, junior, who was 1-3 in 2001, the Hawks finished two games with an RBI and two stolen bases. and over .500 at 8-6, and the team ended with centerfielder Maurice Stevenson, jun- a much stronger 11-5 record last year.

Huttner serves up tennis victory by Lauren Korneziewski First singles player Sophia Huttner, senior, led the way for the Girls' Varsity Tennis team in their match up against Martin Van Buren on April 28. She was victorious 10-1 and began what was another brilliant afternoon for the Hawks. Sophomore Jacquel Chancer won her singles match 10-7, while junior Alyssa Ng defeated her opponent from Van Buren 10-2. As for the doubles competition. the tandems of senior Jodi Fierstein and sophomore Chantal Bruno , and freshman Allison Kornblatt and sophomore Christina Tsirkas, won their matches 10-2 and 10-] respectively. The Hawks so far have had an almost perfect season. Despite a forfeit defeat in the opener against Francis Lewis on March 25. the 2003 squad

has reeled off six straight victories . However. in the most competitive division in Queens. the Queens I division. the Hawks are up against very tough competition. They have yet to face Benjamin Cardozo. and have a pair of bouts with the undefeated first place team in order to close out the regular season. Currently, the Hawks sit in the standings behind the Cardozo Judges, and Francis Lewis. Townsend Harris beat Lewis in their only actual encounter this year. when the Hawks were victorious three games to two. In that meeting on April 10, the Hawks seemed to be devastated when their first two singles stars, Huttner and Chancer, fell by scores of 10-8 and 106. Luckily for the Hawks, the third singles player, Alyssa Ng, and the two doubles teams came out on top and recovered to win the match.

Girls kick into gear as soccer season heats up by Elyse Lee Despite the encouraging start to the season for the Girls' Varsity Soccer team, featuring the most recent 5-0 shutout victory against John Adams on April 30, the Hawks are still mulling over their devastating 5-4 defeat at the hands of the first place. the undefeated Cardozo Judges. The Hawks sit three points behind the 10-0 Judges and a full game back in the standings. In the meeting on April 4, Cardozo edged out Harris with three more shots on goal. But goalkeeper. Lauren Poretta, senior. was solid.

posting 10 saves. In all nine of their victories, the Hawks have posted consistent shutouts and are proud of their accomplishments. "Our defense has been solid and most teams have been unable to stop our potent offensive attack." Poretta said. The team has benefitted from strong senior leadership this year. Coach Chris Hackney has formed a great bond for the last three years with his oldest group which includes Andrea Strauss. Jaclyn Miccio, Lauren Poretta, Jessica Hetherington, Stacy Christoforidis, and Patti Babio.

The Girls ' Varsity Outdoor Track team continued their brilliant start to the outdoor season in their performance at the Queens Spring Series meet on April 14. The team nearly swept top finishes in the races in which they ran. Senior Jessica Krivac ran to a first place finish with two minutes and 38.8 seconds in the 800-meter run. Freshman Amanda Pneuman, who notched a time of two minutes and 39.7 seconds. followed her in the race. The Hawks had four of the top five finishers in the 800-meter run. In the 3000-meter run, sophomore Po Yee Cheung came in second place with a time of 12minutes and 22.9 seconds, just about 20 seconds away from a first place win. The success did not

Volleyball players face tough opponents by Elyse Lee In a mid-season attempt to both move their record above .500 and, at the same time , defeat previously undefeated Cardozo High School, the Boys' Volleyball squad met nothing but disappointment. The Hawks were swept two games to none in the match. by scores of 25-12 and 25-18. The team was simply outworked in..~very statistical category at the match . Cardozo shutout Harris in aces, 6-0, had more service points by a 33-] 0 count , had nine more blocks and 13 more digs. as well as 20 more kills than the Hawks . The Hawks have a record of three wins and four losses midway through this season, which is better than last year's disappointing 2-8 record. This season, though, the Hawks hoped for a more successful beginning. "Looking up at Cardozo and Francis Lewis every year gets very difficult," said coach Elizabeth Dempster. Some of the main contributors not only on the court, but who provide invaluable leadership off the court, include seniors Alvin Gottoc, Ashish Hansoty, Michael Huang, Varun Jain, Timothy Murphy. Carlos Romero, Ben Sec, Matthew Stuart. and Tarun Suri. The future of the team lies in the hands of junior Payton Armstrong. sophomore Timothy Andersen, and freshmen Woo Yon Kwak, and Jason Yeoun. The Hawks hope to salvage the season and finish on a high note.

finishers in the 1500-meter walk competition. The order was junior Rosalind Adams. sophomore Elizabeth Fede r. and then freshmen Sarah Fadika and Ann Matthews. "That was big." said Sarah. "It's a good start." The girls have entered the outdoor track season after prosperous fall and winter campaigns . Coach Joseph Horn considers this a wonderful team that has grown strong through the seasons . The outdoor squad is built to continue that success. The team has meshed experience with new talent. The roster consists of 23 girls who have run cross-country, indoor, and are now running outdoor track. Freshman Christine Archdiacono, who has run all three seasons, thinks the mix will work well. "The veterans will help a lot this season, " she said. "The freshmen who ran all three seasons have improved a lot also. Some have cut their time by two, three. even four whole minutes."

Softball team seeks spot in playoffs by Stephen Berger Afterthe four games to start the year were suspended or postponed due to inclement weather, the Girls' Varsity Softball team lost against William C. Bryant on April 16 and on April 29 against Bayside. Bryant and Bayside sit atop the Queens "A" division, and represent the stiffest competition thus far this season . In the team's most recent defeat, starting pitcher Melissa Tubens, senior, was shelled, giving up 15 runs, only eight earned, on 14 hits, walking five and striking out two. Offensively the story is not much better.. The Hawks hoped their 18-0 win over Van Buren. a forfeit victory against Van Buren and a 17-0 shutout victory against Adams would spark a winning streak, but these victories came against the lowest rung of the division. Veteran coach Lawrence Ceraulo thinks this team has potential, but "needs to have everything work right for consistent victories." "We definitely see ourselves reserving a spot in the playoffs and going at least to the third or fourth round , if not further." stated offensive star Jodi Wright . sophomore.

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The Classic May 2003

ndball squad serves up victorious season so far

Boys ' tennis strives for playoff bid

by Michelle Montgoris of the entire season so far, with the team Dom inance was the only word to boasting five straight shutout victories. descr ibe the Girls' Handball team 's They have played Van Buren and the High r-IQl'I.o)(iJI' School for Arts and Business perf ormance on April r. twice , Grover Cleveland, 28 ag a i nst the High Sc ho o l for Arts and ~~~~ and the High School for Arts ... ~ and Business twice . The Business. In the singles compet it ions, senior or team is in first place in the Bernadette Cruz ': - Queens I division, but has pas ted a 21- I score, " - ., g,o yet to play the other undewith two kills and six ~ feated team , John Adams . aces. Sophomore ยง That crucial meet will take Emi ly Berliner posted "" place on May 15. a 21-2 score over her "This year's team is one of the strongest, most wellad versary, w ith four kills and nine aces . Sebalanced team I've had in a n io r Karen Denis LinnaFang,senior,serves long time," coach James rounded out the singles during handball practice. Jordan said "I can deficompetition with a 21-2 win, posting nitely see a return to the final four. My goal for the team is to win the ci ty six kills and eight aces. This victory was only a microcosm champs. "

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ack team geari ng for Queens championship by Step hen Berger The Hawks competed at the Penn Relays on April 25 and 26 and ran two races. A team composed of juniors Jahoon Kim, Andrew Rivera, and Louis Elrose, as well as senior Carlos Gonzalez finished ninth in the 4x I00 relay and, according to senior Dmitry Yukhvid, "Ran very well, as ex pected." In the second race, a 4x400 relay, seniors Seth Steinhoff and Mikhail Khaimov, as well as freshmen Evan Hundley and Joey Rodriguez, placed twelfth. Yukhvid said, "It is difficult to evaluate the placing finishes because

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the Queens standin gs; however, they are miles away from the dominant Cardozo team , that boasts an undefea ted 8-0 record . The Haw ks will try to dent Cardozo's pe rfect season when they mee t on Ap ril 30. Second year coach Howard Furm an, vows to improve on last year 's 5-5 finish. "We have much improved players, and great hope for the future with a fairly young squad," he said. The team also i ncludes se niors Jonathan Kam ler and Geoffrey Ng,junior Corey Chu, and sophomores David Bocchi and Irfan Taqi. Coach Furman added, "All our singles players are returning from last season, and they are very strong. We lost some of our doubles players, and hopefully we can make up for that loss. We would absolutely love to make the playoffs."

Boys handed tough competitlcn by Michelle Montgoris

the Penn Relays is such a big track meet and the weather conditions were not ideal." A great sign this team has seen throughout the entire year, not just this outdoor track season, is the performance of the freshmen . Coach George Rio said, "The freshmen have shown tremendous improvement throughout the year and are able to compete on the varsity level." In prepartion for the ultimate competition of the year, the Queens Championship on May 16, the Hawks continue to do speed work and various other running drills on the Queens College track on a daily basis.

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by Lauren Korzeniewski Sophomore Ari Gayer led the way for the Boys ' Varsity Tennis team on April 28 by dominating Hicham AI Kandry of Bryant in an 8-1 rout. This was only the beginning of a brilliant day for the Hawks. Junior Matthew Kirschner won his match by a convinci ng 8-3 score, and sop homore Sotiri s Georgiou notched an 8-6 win to sweep the singles competition during the day. As for the doubles results, sophomores Ethan Felder and Dain Lee ousted Bryant's tandem by an 8-3 margin, and the second doubles squad of junior Corey Chu and sophomore Irfan Taqi sneaked away with an 8-6 win. The Hawks came away with a 5-0 shutout and improved their record to 3-2. The Hawks now sit in third place in

The 2003 Boys' Handball team has experienced a bittersweet beginning to their season. Their record is a modest 2-1; however, both their wins came in forfeits against Campus Magnet. The loss the Hawks suffered came at the hands of undefeated Francis Lewis and in a matchup on April 7 against undefeated Cardozo, the Hawks: were lucky to have the game postponed as they were clearly overmatched. Senior Matthew Barbery commented that in both games, "Cardozo and Francis Lewis just had more precision on their shot s, and they hit the ball con-

els.

stantly low or just on the line, making it impossible to get." It was clear from the two meets the Hawks have had with Francis Lewis and Cardozo that this year's squad does not stack up with the elite of the Queens III division. The team is trying to improve upon last year's .500 record, of 5 wins and 5 losses. "But last year was definitely not what I had hoped for. This year's team is deeper than it has been in the past. I'm going to predict a third place finish, because we're in a very competitive division," said coach Adam Stonehill.

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by.J osh F, While watching the NFL playoffs a few months ago, the Wild Card game bet ween the New York Giants and the San Francisco 4gers. I was left with a very bad taste in my mou th. No, it was not because of the 24 point lead the Giants ble w to the 4gers. It was not even due to the terrible call the referees made at the end of the game regarding the penalty that was missed. The glaring memory I have from that game was the immature, poo r sportsmanship by the outspoken rookie Jeremy Shockey of the Giants. During the game , when the Giants were winning, Shockey showed his middle finger to members of the San Francisco crowd, as well as the millions of viewers watching at home. In addition, Shockey, in an attem pt to taunt the fans. threw several pieces of ice at a few people sitting in the stands. As a sports journalist, an avid fan of sports, and just a citizen of a country that is engulfed in the ups and downs of the sporting world, I asked myself, should 1 continually look up to athletes like Jeremy Shockey and make them my ro le models? Is it healthy to value and perhaps imitate their actions, on or off the field. po sitive or negative? Should I Jose sleep over their controversial view poin ts and should their misbehavior come as a shock to me? Or sho uld I basically only read the box scores in the morning, caring about how they perform ed on the field, and disregard their other shenanigans? As much as I woul d like to deny it, the fact remains that childre n in our soc iety emulate what these athletes do. Their imitation could be as harm less as overly celebrating on the field afte r a good play, like all athletes do now, or it unfortunately could be as destructive as spe wing derogatory words to others durin g competition because they have seen one of their favor ite basketball players do the same. . In the early 19908, pro basketball superstar Charles Barkley proclaimed that children should not view him as a role mod el, for he was just a basketball player, He said that his job was not to raise the kids of the 2()lb Cen tury, just put a ball in the basket. At first glance, I thou ght that this was a gutless and

patheti c excuse to give to the millions of fans who support the self- proclaimed "Sir Charles," and view him as their role model. After much thought, I have come to the conclusion tha t Charles Barkely's sta tement is in fact accurate, albei t disappointing to his fans . Magic Johnson was a great basketbaU player. Michael Jordan was a great basketball player. Mike Piazza is a great baseball player. Noth ing else sho uld matter. These athletes ' performances on the field should be enough to those superstars' respective fans . It is true that their lives are constantly in the public eye, making their flaws, mistakes and poor beh avior vulnerable to being exposed and criticized . But just like you and me. they are human beings. If all the students and faculty of this school were scruti n ized to the extent of these athletes, some information might arise that co uld change the way you woul d view those same people. However, should I feel sorry for M ichael Jordan because the me dia foun d out that he had a gambling problem and marriage trou ble ? M ichael Jordan earns more in one week than I probably will in 20 lifetimes. Does he need my sympathy? One might say that our leaders, whose lives are essentially public property, have to accept the risks of having their secrets and troubles exposed along with the stardom that they consistently receive bec ause it co mes with the territory. The y are our soc ial icons, representatives of our ge neration forever, and sho uld be held in a higher regard. While that may be true, as fans, it is our responsibility not to allow their character flaws and off the field mistakes to either come as a surprise to us or allow them to personally hurt us. If you ever find yourself questioning the role of ath letes in the broader scope of society, beyond their performances on the field, j ust think of the words of Charles Barkley. A thletes are j ust a large pool ofhumari beings; there are good ones and there are bad ones. but they all mak e mi stakes. Root, cheer, hate, love and enjoy sports and these stars , but do not turn them into gods because it will be our fau lt when we realize they are not.


Classic newspaper Volume 19 Issue no. 5