Page 1

Vol. 20, No. 1 October 2003

aS SIC Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

149-11 Melbourne Avenue, Flushing, NY 11367

Kick-Off Rally adds heat to fiery ·competition by Nataliya Binshteyn Presidential candidates, interest groups, and media representatives convenedonSeptember25amidstpatriotic streamers and spirited fanfare in a charged display of partisanship that foreshadowed the coming weeks of campaigning. The annual event formally ushered in the Presidential Primaries Election Simulation, which is intended to encourage political awareness among students. The simulation will run until Election Day in early November. A vibrant political forum, the kickoff rally featured the ten Democratic presidential candidates who are running against Republican nominee President George W. Bush, represented by Travis Lamprecht, in the election of 2004, as well as their individual teams of campaigners and supporters. Democratic candidates included John Edwards (John Kim), Senators Carol Moseley Braun (Janelle Charles), Joseph Lieberman

(Carlos Campos), John Kerry (Eduardo Zerwes) and Bob Graham (Emanuel Smith), Congressmen Dennis Kucinich (Matthew Pol vi no) and Richard Gephardt (Louis Elrose ), Reverend AI Sharpton (Payton Armstrong), Dr. Howard Dean (Corey Chu), and retired General Wesley Clark (Matthew Hallex), all of whom are vying for their party's nomina- - ___,.., tion. Interest L groups, such as the Sierra Club, the NAACP, and the Nationa! Right to Life Committee, added to the fervor by promoting their respec-

Senior Class Mixer entertains Harrisites despite mediocre attendance by Ann-Margaret Santa-Ines Unlike the average Friday afternoon dismissal during which students hurriedly escape the building to go home, under and upperclas~men alike rushed across the Queens College campus on October 3, eager to let their hair down and usher in the weekend with their classmates at the annual Senior Class Mixer. In keeping with tradition, the event, which lasted from 2:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., provided a venue where work-weary Harrisites could mingle, dance, and have fun. Despite the lengthy, intimidating line to enter the room at the Queens College Student Union Building through the metal detectors, students were enthusiastic to enter the music-filled zone. As with previous mixers at the S.U. building, the center of the dance floor was a sea of excited students of all grades, joining together to celebrate to the sounds of hip-hop, reggae, and salsa. Refreshments were available, ranging from supersized chocolate chip cookies to pretzels, potato chips, sodas, and

bottles of water for those not dancing. Hoping for a good time as well as financial success, the spirited seniors made dozens of cheerful announcements advertising the dance, which, according to Senior Council Vice-President Nina Mozes, made some profit, though not as much as was expected. High attendance was expected, but she approximated that only 140 seniors purchased tickets and/or attended the mixer, which was less than the target number. Fortunately, there were "no problems," said Nina, in reference to last year's counterfeit ticket controversy. Senior Elizabeth Maranon said, "I thought it [the mixer] was very well-organized, and I had a good time. I was a little disappointed that more people didn't come." Plans for next year's mixer are already on the minds of some underclassmen l,ike sophomore Aneta Slotnicka, who would prefer an evening dance. Aside from proposed changes, some, including freshman Sarah Viola, enjoyed the event just as it was.

Commentary: Advertising in Schools


tive issues and voicing support for their candidates of choice. Media outlets, ineluding Meet the Press and I ABCNews,alsolentahand . to the momentous event. Concerns regarding the , nation's future marked a ,. consensus among all candi· dates, irrespective of party lines and affiliations. As President George W. Bush praised America's suecesses in Iraq and the nation's potential for domestic prosperity, Democratic candidates de1 nounced the current ' I administration's decision to ----_--- go to war and urged AmeriEUgene-To cans to support their views on such issues as healthcare reform, education, economic stability, foreign relations, and equality. "Everyone has the gift of equal chance," de-





clared Democratic candidate John Edwards in his "American Dream" speech. An abundance of energy resonated with spectators and candidates, who cited enthusiasm as the most pronounced aspectofthekick-offrally.SeniorEsther Fingerhut, a member of the Howard Dean campaign, was "surprised by people's dedication" while Franco Scardino, Participatory Democracy teacher and Senior Advisor, described the candidates and their supporters as "prepared and enthusiastic." Despite such displays of spirit, certain candidates remained realistic about their odds in the coming weeks. Congressman Dennis Kucinich called his bid for the Deroocratic nomination "an uphill race against the more well-established candidates." Former General Wesley Clark echoed a similar sentiment, stating that "a disparity of manpower" disadvantaged his chances for victory at the polls.

In Memory of Lo,is Polansky Artis:t, Teacber aud FrieBd



oe-e p.l

New Teachers

College Stats

pp. 3&6


High School in the Media




· Tne·Classic October 2003

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In memoriam:

School community remembers beloved teacher and creative spirit by Jessica Berger There are teachers that possess the ability to instruct with superb lesson plans, and there are teachers who are able to nurture their students. Lois Polansky truly exemplified both of these characteristics as photography teacher, yearbook advisor, and co-advisor of the Art Club before retiring in the spring semester of2002. Nearly two years later, the Townsend Harris community is saddened by the recent death of a beloved, passionate, and creative teacher, colleague, and mother. As photography teacher, Ms. Polansky enlightened her students with her "kind smile and loving heart," said Senior Laura Baron off. She added, "Always able to lend a helping hand or words of encouragement, she [Ms. Polansky] was a teacher whose relationship with her students stretched beyond that of an average instructor." Her enthusiasm and pride for the Art Club was phenomenal. Current Art Club co-president Diana Lee, senior, said, "She considered Art Club to be her family and came to our meetings even after

she retired, sometimes even bringing doughnuts. I can still imagine her walking down the hallway with this working blouse she used to wear. She was

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always pulling a cart and she was always smiling." Senior Carla Gunther, also copresident of the Art Club, reminisced, "She used to help the Art Club mount 'work before an art show, sometimes staying until late in the evening to make sure .it was set up. She showed th~ Art

Club how to draw live models in charcoal and she used to take the Art Club on field trips to museums." It is incredible for a teacher to make such a lasting impact on her students as Ms. Polansky has. Bryan Kirschen, Class of2003, said, "Ms. Polansky was extremely dedicated to the arts and made sure that every student had an opportunity to express themselves artistically. She was such a kind and generous person, which I realized during my time in the Artists' Workshop. I remember that she came back to visit the Art Club on several occasions after retirement to see various programs taking place within the club. For a teacher to visit so often after her retirement shows such dedication." Aside from her tremendous influence on her students, Ms. Polansky worked her charms on her colleagues, as well. English teacher lisa Cowen, now on study leave, said, "I cannot begin to tell you what my friendship with Lois Polansky has meant to me. She was always there when I needed her sympathy or wisdom, but that was jus_! a part of it. Ms. Polansky showed me new

ways of looking at the world. Ms. Polansky and I team-taught a desktop publishing course called Word to Media. She taught and inspired the graphics and design; I was in charge of the words. She even used to call me 'text' and herself 'image.' Because of Lois Polansky, I will never view art in the same way." Close friend and co-advisor of the Art Club Anthony Morales said, "My memory of her is one that indicates her passion and love of art as genuine. She was willing to take ground breaking chances as a trendsetter and creator. She made our Art Department program very unique and always inspired the members of the Art Club." In addition to her kindness, generosity, and warmth of spirit, Ms. Polansky will be remembered for her artistic talent and desire to share her love of the arts with all who knew her. Carla said, "I remember how happy she was when she was painting and how she always complained that she never had enough time to paint. She was a wonderful artist." As Mr. Morales added," She was the image of a true artist."

Commentary: Cluttered planners spark controversy over commercialization of city schools by Jocelyn Wright These days, wherever there is a blank wall, airspace, or page, there is bound to he an advertisement. All of them have the same message: you have a problem, but we have the product that will solve it. Commercial advertising began in 1850, with Phineas T. Barnum's use of a combination of newspaper ads, leaflets, and broadsides to introduce and raise interest in Jenny Lind, a singer who was unknown in the Unted States. When Ms. Lind finally arrived in the United States, there were 30,000 New Yorkers waiting for her at the dock as a result of the advertising campaign.The rise of marketing research in the 191 0!! also made it possible for advertisers to target specific audiences. As advertisers progressed from newspapers to television, the tremendous captive market in America's schools was not ignored. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, advertisers began to experiment with vending machines in school cafeterias. Corporate products in schools saw a tremendous rise in the 1990s, with over I ,400 company-sponsored educational events like the notorious "Coke In Education Day" at Greenbrier High School. Overall, corporation-school relationships, such as exclusively selling Coke or Pepsi in vending machines, increased

by 495% between 1990 and 1997, with no signs of slowing down between 1997 and 2003. Although students at all grade levels are subjected to it, studies have shown that advertisers direct most of their advertisements at teenagers because they are seen as the primary consumers in society. Perhaps, it is because teenagers are the ones with the most disposable income. Unplagued by living and food expenses, teens are much more likely to walk into RiteAid and pick up a new lipstick on the way home from school for no apparent reason. As if there were not encmgh advertisements encouraging teenagers to whimsically spend their allowance or paychecks, advertisers have found yet another blank page to fill. In September, students at many New York City public high schools and middle schools, Townsend Harris in· eluded, were given Department of Education-issued planners in their morning homeroom classes. At first glance, these planners seemed quite useful. They had many practical tools including maps, writing guidelines, and a table of measurements and conversions. There was even a periodic table of elements and a list of all 43 United States presidents, complete with, though small, full color photo-

graphs. The actual assignment pages of the planner contained interesting facts and quotations, as well as study tips. Most students would agree that the planner is pretty useful, except for the fact that nearly a quarter of the book's 130 pages are filled with advertisements. Companies ranging from Con Edison to Garnier hair products paid a minimum of $28,000 to advertise their products. Though she does not use the planner, freshman Nagma Gargi considered the planner to be a great way to stay organized, adding that the periodic table and record of presidents would be useful. She thought the advertisements made the planners more aesthetically appealing. The scores of complaints about the planners definitely outweighed the praises. Freshman Linda Thei found the ads offensive, but admitted that, "I like the makeup ads." Romik Saha, freshman, is also bothered by the ads, calling them "annoying." Despite his distaste for the advertisments, he still uses the planner. Senior Leticia Wainer said that the planners are very impractical because of their large size. Junior Ksenia Yachmetz added that the size ofthe planners was very irritating, as well as ~he binding and the typeface. She keeps hers

Jessica Berger Editor-in-Chief Lina Lee Francesca Pizarro

Lindaluu News Editor

Co-Feature Edit.,...

tucked away in her locker and has never used it. Abby Rani, freshman, said, "I think the planners help keep us organized, but I don't think as many guys will use it because the advertisements are very girl-oriented." It is the students' prerogative to use or lose the planners, but the potential business drummed up by the advertisements is too hard to resist for many corporations. Then again, for Maybelline, Snapple, and the New York Times, $28,000 is merely pocket change. Sources: Duke University Website. "Emergence of Advertising in America I 8501920." Online. 2000. <http:// timeline.html>. Molnar, Alex. "Sponsored Schools and Commercial Classrooms." Online. 1998. < educ/epsi/CERU/Annual%20reports/ case-98-0 l.htm>.

Townsend Harris High School at Queens Collqe 1'49·11 Melbourne Avenue, Flushing, N.Y. 11367 Alyssa Chase Food and Enlerlaia-nl Editor

Eugene To

Stephen Berger

Art Edilor

Sporl!l Edihll'

Managinc Editor

Leticia Wainer PIIOIOJlraploy Editur

Peter Wamsteker Susan Getting

Amanda Chen

Sports Staff: Lauren Korzeniew~ki. Elyse Lee. Michelle Montgoris. Alex Rush. WendyYan

Nataliya Binshteyn Artists: Mitchell Bader. Rowena Eng. Muriel Leung


Principal· Mr. Thomas Cunningham

Husi"""" Edilor

Photography Stall': L.uuru D' Amato. Diana Deng. Anna Kozanecka. Mauhew Molina. Alexandm Stergiou. Anne Tan. Fan Zhang Business Staff: Janet Hwang. Sharon Park. Sorah Park. Ann-Margaret Santa-lues

LayiNII Stall': Diana Shum

Tire Classic Is an open forum for the expression ot student views. The opinions expressed therein should not he taken to represent those ot the admlnistntlon or faculty or student hody as a whole. Readers are inviled to submilleners to the editor. letters should be placed in Mr. Wamsteker's mailbox in Room 315 or e·mailed lo The C/m·.•ic reserves the right lo edit all leiters. leiters must include name und official class. Names will be withheld upon request.

The Classic


October 2003

New faces grace new places ... 0



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Also, the student body is organized and strong academically, eager to learn.'' Ms. Kouklanakis looks forward to a bright, productive future here. She said,"l'dliketothinkl'mpartofagroup of people interested in classical studies. I'd like to settle in here."


Joseph Canzoneri by Maria Wojakowski "I enjoy challenging the students and being challenged by them," said new English teacher Joseph Canzoneri about his first few weeks at Townsend Harris High School. With one freshman class, three junior classes, and one senior Humanities class, Mr. Canzoneri is feeling the pressures of Townsend Harris. "With six collaterals, I anticipate a lot of. paperwork." However, he is enjoying working with the students. "Most teachers prefer working with as hright a student body as they can get their hands on. In that regard, I'm ecstatic!" The native New Yorker, whose two passions are William Shakespeare and the Yankees, has taught at Forest Hills High School for nine years and at John F. Kennedy High School for two years. He has also been an adjunct English professor at Queens College for seven years. He has been teaching for 12 years. Outside ofthe classroom, Mr. Canzoneri is a theater-enthusiast and loves spending time with his daughter and twin boys. He will direct the school play and advise the drama club this year. Mr. Canzoneri finds interesting "anything that can be looked on from more than one perspective." He wants his students to "take notes and think for themselves. Just because something is not written on the board doesn't mean it is not important." His advice for future students : "Get involved!"

Andrea Kouklanakis by Sangsoo Kim Andrea Kouklanakis is a long way from her native Brazil, but she is quickly feeling right at home as the new teacher of Greek, Latin and French. Prior to Townsend Harris, Ms. .Kouklanakis taught at Fredrick Douglass Academy. She has also taught at an English as a Second Language (ESL) school, colleges and middle schools. She has been teaching for more than a decade. 路 路 Ms. Kouklanakis began her classical studies in Latin in 1986, and in Greek three years later. She learned French while growing up as a child in Brazil. As an adult, she moved to New York, where she continues to enjoy watching movies, listening to jazz, writing, and going for walks. Ms. Kouklanakis said, "I feel that it [Townsend Harris] has a foreign language department rich in its resources.

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Shari Basis by Donna Mordente "I always heard that Townsend Harris was a wonderful place," said new faculty memhcr Shari Basis. With 28 years teaching experience, Ms. Basis joins the physical education and health department. As a former teacher at the Thomas Jefferson High School of East New York, Ms. Basis served as health and physical education instructor, as well as volleyball coach. After having taught at Jefferson for fifteen years, Ms. Basis cited the "willingness to help and professionalism of the faculty" as one of the factors in her relatively smooth Iransition. While fond of her fellow colleagues, Ms. Basis also held high praise for the students, noting that she appreciates their focus and motivation in the classroom . She hopes that she can have a positive impact on each Harrisite hy offering them a, " ...knowledge of healthful behaviors" that will henefit each student's well-being in the future. In discussing her own personal high school experience, Ms. Basis explained that she first decided to hccome a teacher of health education while under the instruction of her own health instructor, retired Townsend Harris faculty member, Ellen Schwartz. In addition to dedicating herself to teaching, Basis engages in sports as an avid tennis and paddlehall player to maintain her health while setting a valuable example for her students. Continually growing more comfortable in THHS, Ms. Basis offers her sincere gratitude to the student body and teaching staff. She said, "Thanks to everyone who has worked hard to make me feel at home."

Stephen Mazza by Diana Bell Another hectic year has begun at Townsend Harris High School, and new math teacher Stephen Mazza couldn't he happier. "I love it," he smiles, relaying with three heartfelt words his impressions of our school. Mr. Mazza teaches Math 5 and Pre-

Calculus. to tenth and eleventh graders respectively. "In a lot of ways. it's easier to teach here." he said. He hopes to "improve the math team" after assuming the role of advisor formerly held by Magdalena Kalinowska. Mr. Mazza transferred. in from Newtown High School, where he taught for eight years. He was waiting to make a crossover into a new school, but admits, "I didn't want to make a change until I felt it was a step up. When the opportunity presented itself, [I felt this] was a good place to be." Before he began his ten-year career in education in New York City, Mr. Mazza taught junior high school mathematics as a mcmher of the Peace Corps for three years in the Solomon Islands. a small region in the South Pacific. During his stay he underwent language training to learn Pidgin English, the most common of the RO different languages spoken there. "It was fun," he said, recalling how he grew from this experience. Mr. Mazza believes that teaching at Townsend Harris will he a lnsting experience for him. "You can teach higher courses [here I... The students work harder [and arc I very courteous and respectful!" As far as his future plans arc concerned, Mr. Mazza said he would stay forever ''if they let me."

Aliza Sherman by Alyssa Chase "I want to hecomc a great teacher. Townsend Harris is the best place to become a great teacher because the standards are high," said Aliza Sherman, the new ninth and tenth grade global teacher, who is striving to provide the best possihlc learning experience for her students. Through her work at Townsend Harris and her religious community, Ms. Sherman hopes to leave her city "greater than she found it." At Townsend Harris, Ms. Shennan seeks to inspire and motivate her students. "Since I'm in the hest possible learning environment, I hope to make a difference in someone's life," she said. Ms. Sherman enjoys collaborating with her colleagues and with students who are "always striving to learn." She added, "I thought it would be a good challenge to take on teaching motivated students." A lover of history, she attained numerous history credits in college and enhanced her teaching abilities with a part-time job as a teacher in a Hehrew school. She later worked at John Adams High School for eight years. Ms. Sherman manages to balance her work at Townsend Harris with a variety of other activities. She is a mother of three school-aged children and a branch manager at a mortgage office. She is also an active member in her synagogue and enjoys traveling to Israel and throughout the United States.

Peter Wamsteker by Jessica Bader Parent, teacher, writer, marathon runncr, and once-aspiring astronaut Peter Wamstcker currently teaches English I, Journalism, and the Participatory Democracy class responsible for the production of print and radio media for the election simulation. He is also serving as advisor to The Classic while Humanities teacher and long-time Classic advisor lisa Cowen is on temporary study leave in Massachusetts. Mr. Wamstekcr, who spent five 路years working for daily and weekly newspapers in New York and New Jersey, hopes that he "can share the hencfits of [his l experience with I The Classic I" and sees his role as a source of support for the editors. Mr. Wamstckcr's prior teaching experience includes three years as an English teacher and dchatc team coach at W.E.B . DuBois High School in Brooklyn. Townsend Harris's "sterling reputation" and "students and parents who arc serious about learning" arc what attracted him, he said . Mr. Wamstckcr explained that the most surprising aspect of teaching at THHS "is that when students promise to do something, they' II actually do it. They' rc good to their word ." In his spare time, Mr. Wamstekcr enjoys reading and prefers novels that arc historically based. He also enjoys writing, cooking, and watching movies, particularly those hy German director Win Wcndcrs. If he could give his students one piece of advice, Mr. Wamstckcr said that he would lcll them to recognize that even those things that may seem insignificant may have a ICsson to teach, an idea expressed in the following quotation hy Henry James: "Try to he one upon whom nothing is lost."

Beatriz Ezquerra by Christopher Amanna Spanish teacher Beatriz Ezquerra is not only new to our school, but new to the United States. Ms. Ezquerra, who teaches both Regents-level and literature courses, hails from Zaragoza, Spain; a northern town located between Madrid and Barcelona. This is her first time in the United States and she is still getting accustomed to the American way of life. Ms. Ezquerra has experienced a great deal of culture shock since her arrival here two months ago. "New York is very exciting and fast paced," she explains. However, this can prove stressful. "I value time and need time to understand

Teacher Profiles Continued on p.6


The Classic October 2003


--- -- -

Ballpark Figures: what it takes to by Linda Lou

Students interested in hitting a home run by getting into the college of their choice may be interested in the acceptance statistics of the graduating class of 2003. Regardless of whether you are a senior currently applying to colleges or an underclassman pondering the institution of your dreams, acceptance fig-

ures may determine which schools are the best fit for you. SAT scores provided "are not the low- · est SAT scores accepted, nor the highest SAT scores rejected, by the school," said Marilyn Blier, college counselor. "They are the SAT scores of the person who had the lowest average accepted, or the SAT scores of the person who had the



highest average rejected." Considering the fact that acceptance to colleges is becoming "more competitive year after year," the class of2003 "was generally a strong class, even though results differed from pool to pool," stated Ms. Blier. Graduates were accepted to a wide range of schools, and the class as a whole re-

ceived $22 million in scholarship mot Last year's applicants showed a table interest in Southern colleges. ~ dents applied to Florida State, Vander in Tennessee and Tulane in Louisi< Still, major universities in the North1 continued to appeal to Harrisites. 62 • dents applied to Boston University, w 96 students applied to New York Uni·

1 Howard University 1 Illinois Institute of Technology 4 Jon a ' 2 Ithaca 1 James Madison 11 Johns Hopkins ' 3 U.U. -Brooklyn : 2 Lafayette 1 Lehiah 4 ~ Loyola of Maryland 4 M.I.T. 3 Manhattan College ' 2 Manhattanville ' 3 Marist 1 Maritime College 1 McGill 2 Michigan State •' ' 2 Middlebury College 2 Mt. Holyoke ' 2 Mt. St. Mary { 6 Mt. St. Vincent 2 Muhlenbera 3 N.J. Institute of Technology 2 N.Y. Institute of Technology • 1 N.Y.U. Education 94 5: N.Y.U. (A&S/Stern) 1 New York University (SA) 5 Northeastern ( 1 Northeastern- Ohio U. ( 4 Northwestern ( 2 Notre Dame 1 Nyack 1 i Oberlin 1 i Oberlin Cons. Of Music 1 Ohio State ' 2 Ohio Wesleyan ( 1 Oxford University 4 Pace - Brooklyn ' 3 Pace-Pleasantville 2 Parsons School of Design 2' 21 •Penn State 1 Penn State - Schuylkill ! 5 Penn State- Altoona 1 Point Park 2 Polytechnic 2 : Pomona 3 Pratt 5 Princeton 2 Providence 4 Quinnipi,ac 5 Rensselaer I 2 Rhode Island School of Design I 1 Rice 1 Richmond Un. (London) : 5 Rochester lnst. Of Technology I 8 Rutgers 2 Sarah Lawrence 1 Sienna I 6 Skidmore 3 : Smith 1 Southampton I 1 Southern Methodist University s. 55 St. John's f)!:_!V)a_ry's C~ll~g~. of Maryland . _ _ ·- _·--- ·"- ----·


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The Classic


October 2003

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Jet into the cQIIege of your choice sity. According to Ms. Blier, City University of New York (CUNY) Honors was also popular among the. class of 2003, and she hopes for it to be as strong this year. An approximate average of93 and an SAT score of 1340 are needed for this highly competitive prograll1. As for the Ivy League .institutions,

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Stonehill . Swarthmore Syracuse Tampa University Temple Trinity Tufts Tulane U. of Central Florida U. of Chicago U. of Connecticut U. of Delaware U. of Hartford U. of Illinois U. of Maryland U. of Massachusetts U. of Massachusetts-Amherst U. of Miami U. of Michigan U. of New Hampshire U. of North Carolina -Chapel Hill U. of Pennsylvania U. of Pittsburgh --U. of Rhode Island U. of Rochester U. of South Florida U. of the Sciences- Philadelphia U. of Vermont U. of Virginia U.CAS. (England) . , ._ U.C.L.A. Union United States Army . Vanderbilt .· Vassar Villanova Washington University-St. Louis · Wellesley Wesleyan Wesleyan SA Williams Yale --


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cess, additional factors such as essays. teacher recommendations, interviews, extracurricular activities, special talents and family legacy are also taken into consideration when colleges evaluate their applicant pool.

applied. "Princeton University has always been a highly rigorous and selective school," said Ms. Blier. She believes that with more students applying to that particular university. it may be possible for an applicant to be accepted in the future. Although GPAand SAT scores play an important role in the admissions pro-

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Brown accepted 4 of the 15 applicants; Columbia accepted 7 out of 44 applicants; Cornell took in 23 out of 62 students; Dartmouth took 2 of the 6 applicants; University of Pennsylvania accepted 6 out of 22; and Harvard and Yale accepted one Harrisite each. Princeton University, once again, rejected all Townsend Harris seniors who

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The Classic

6 New faces grace new places October 2003

continued from p. 6 [the English language]." She discussed how in America she has little spare time but in Spain, "I had time to have fun." Other differences Ms. Ezquerra noted include the dirty conditions of the city's streets and the unreliable schedule of the transit system. She was also amazed by the amount of noise generated in Manhattan. Not everything she said was negative. Mz. Ezquerra is deeply touched by the diversity of New York. "There are all different types of people. It's a mezcla, a mixture of all nationalities. There are blacks, whites, Chinese, Indians and Italians. Es bonita (it is beautiful)." She is also astonished by all the different languages she hears when walking down the street. Ms. Ezquerra says, "to come to New York is like coming to the whole world." Townsend Harris High School also helped in improving her impressions of the city. Ms. Ezquerra was hired after she attended a job fair' for international teachers. There she met Lisa Mars, Assistant Principal of Fmeign Languages, who assigned her the position after an interview. Ms. Ezquerra likes everything about the school including the cleanliness of the building, the behavior of the students, and the small student body. She also explains that supplies arc always readily available. "If you need chalk, there is chalk. If you need photocopies made, they are made. If you need to use a computer, there is one you can use." She has also taught courses in geography, Spanish history, language, and literature in Krakow, Poland; Spanish classes in Paderborn, Germany; and a German language course at the university in Zaragoza. She noted the many differences between teaching in the United States and in other foreign countries. She is not accustomed to using such formallcsson plans. She also explained that developing communication skills in foreign languages is emphasized less in America. Differences aside, Ms. Ezquerra loves to teach. She said, "It is un intercambio, an exchange. As I teach, I learn more and more from my students." Besides teaching, Ms. Ezquerra loves 'the movies and reading. She also enjoys conversing with her friends. She describes herself as "a talker; I love to talk." She hopes that her experiences in America will improve her English skills and enrich her professional experience in America.

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Francesca P1zarro

Mariko Sato by Tina Wu "I really enjoy teaching [both] Japanese and music since language arts and musical arts are [part of the] core of human cultures," said new Japanese teacher Mariko Sato, affectionately called "Sato-

sensei" by her students ("sensei" is a Japanese honorific for "~eacher"). "[Music] was my life for a long time," said Ms. Sato, who spent thirty years teaching it (mostly piano, ensembles and music theory) and performing at prmninent locations such as Carnegie Hall, before she decided to teach the Japanese language and music. Sherecalled the long hours of practice required to devote her life to music, but said that she felt a longing for "identity," which led her to take teachertraining courses. Ms. Sato received her college degree in her native Japan before coming to the United States. Three years ago, when there was a demand for Japanese teachers on Long Island, she was offered an opportunity to work inside the classroom. Since then, she has "absolutely loved it." Ms. Sato recently had the chance to expand her horizons when she studied at a summer program offered by Columbia University. There, she met Japanese teachers from all over the world. "[It was I very, very interesting Ito] share the same ideas and mission," she said. Ms. Sato is also fascinated by other Asian languages and cultures, and their intluences on Japan. She believes that "Japanese culture doesn't stand alone." Aside from discovering "the differences between cultures," Ms. Sato is also fond of karate, a Japanese art of fighting. "I started pretty late," she said. "Being a mother in New York, I didn't wanno be physically helpless." What started as a method of self-defense has now become a hobby and a form of"mental and physical training." She particularly admires the "spiritual and mental discipline" that comes with the art of karate. When she is not 'practicing karate, Ms. Sato can be found reading or writing. When she was 12 years old, she was "inspired by The Diary (~l Anne Frank" to keep a journal. I used to write religiously," she said. "I don't do it as often now, but I still do it." Ms. Sato uses her journal to record her thoughts and ideas, especially when she is moved by a piece of music or writing.

Katherine Ludvik by Francesca Pizarro New biology and chemistry teacher Katherine Ludvik leaps into .the classroom setting for the first time after having taught gymnastics for seven years. She was sure that "standing in front of a classroom for the first time would have made [her] nervous," but she feels that her prior teaching experience "fully prepared [her] for teaching in a classroom. It gave me time to recognize the difference between teaching gymnastics and teaching science, and

accommodate for them." So far, the experience has been great. She noted that her colleagues' "willingness to help" was essential to her successful transition into the school. "The students have been wonderful," since "[they] work very hard and their motivation is boundless," said Ms. Ludvik. It is Ms. Ludvik's hope to continue in this school atmosphere for many years. She would love to someday share her passion for gymnastics and dance by starting a dance team. She hopes to start an anatomy Club or an AP class, as well. For now, it is her goal to help her students "increase their knowledge and expand their horizons" in the sciences.

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Nadine Lewis by Priti Shah and Jessica Berger New English teacher Nadine Lewis cannot be defined by any single interest since she loves to shop, to hike, and to attend sporting events. However, her ardor for literature, as well as her enthusiasm for working with children, prompted Ms. Lewis to become an English teacher in her native Jamaica, rather than choose any other profession. At Townsend Harris, Ms. Lewis has undertaken the responsibility of teaching English 3 and the Writing Process. She noted that, "Nothing can top [her] love of reading," which led Ms. Lewis to lead the Readers' Theater during the IOth band on Tuesdays in addition to her regular classes. Ms. Lewis' favorite book is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and her favorite poem is "And Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou. Though Ms. Lewis is uncertain as to whether she will still be teaching a decade from now, sheis definitely enjoying her current teaching environment, so far. She added, "The students are so selfmotivated. They are involved in many extra-curricular activities." Although she may not be teaching forever, Ms. Lewis plans on teaching as long as she can to make a difference in her students' lives and to help them achieve success. She finds that the most rewarding part about teaching is to "see the success of the students."

Howard K wait by Lina Lee Howard Kwait, a former high school social studies teacher, is the new Assistant Principal of Organization, a position temporarily held by Dean Wanda Nix. A new member of the Townsend Harris administration, he has already taken on many management responsibilities including budgeting, maintaining school safety, organizing the staff, and other tasks that allow the school system to run efficiently and productively. "I do not have a set time schedule. I am here depending on what is needed to be done for the day," said Mr. Kwait. When he is not in his office in room 311 handling phone calls and writing letters, he is walking around the building to maintain constant communication with Principal Thomas Cunningham, the custodial staff, and individual members of the faculty. He said, "I'd rather have a conversation than write three papers." With a background in administration and in the Department of Education, Mr. Kwait is able to handle his responsibilities by using his skills and previous experiences. "I have had a great amount of experience in this kind of work, but every day is challenging because something new always arises. I'm always learning new things," he added. Noting the "uniqueness" of Townsend Harris, Mr. Kwait pointed out events such as Spirit Week as an example. He said, "I had heard about the numerous events [at Townsend Harris], the high aptitude of the college office, and the dedication of the caring teachers before I even arrived here. I have found all of this to be true." While maintaining the set standards, Mr. Kwait also hopes to venture into academics at Harris by visiting classrooms. He also hopes to create new Townsend Harris identification cards in the near future by pur,chasing additional equipment for the school. "When I was a teacher, I always 路 ended every class with a quotation borrowed from a past teacher," said Mr. Kwail. "He always said 'Remember to be kind to each 路Other out there.' "


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Community debates realism of T.V. shows about teenagers by Andrea Gavora You just had a huge fight with your best friend, and as a result your friend starts hanging out with the "wrong crowd" and getting into trouble. You don't know what to do to win your friend back, so you get help from your English teacher, who ironically lives with your best friend. Finally, after venting your problems to your teacher, you get the guts to talk to your best friend before he does something stupid. The next thing you know, the two of you are best buds again and everything is back to normal. Does this seem like a typical day in your high school life? With the exception of your friend living with your English teacher, this scenario seems pretty plausible. There are many televis~n shows, both old and new, that concentrate on the topic of teens attending high school. However, high school life is not always portrayed realistically. For example, the previous scenario was an episode taken from the TV show Boy Meets World. The scene exaggerated the studentteacher relationship and solved the conflict too easily. One senior girl states, "TV shows exaggerate and glamorize everything. Every problem on TV shows is solved within the episode." TV shows such as Boston Public, Boy Meets World, Popular, and Saved by the Bell all revolve around high school life. Boston Public, produced by David E. Kelly, is the most recent of the four shows. Boston Public takes place in Winslow High School,which is located in an urban Boston neighborhood and is comprised of a racially mixed student body and faculty. The social classes are mixed as well since the characters run the gamut from middle class to lower class. "I really like Boston Public," says one 12'h grade girl, "not for its realism, but for its portrayal of serious teen issues." While this show does tackle serious issues that occur in schools today, many agree it exaggerates these problems. "It [Boston Public] takes every single thing that could ever happen and makes it happen all in one school," said senior Steven Gross. Boy Meets World began in I 993, and was cancelled in 2000 after it'> seventh consecutive season. Now, only reruns are being played on the Disney .Chan- nel. Created by Michael Jacobs, the show takes place in the Philadelphia suburbs at fictional John Adams High, where the students come from mixed social classes. For ·example, while the main character Corey Matthews is from a middle class family, his best friend, Shawn Hunter, lives in a trailer park. The plot focuses on the life of Corey Matthews, his friends, and his relationships, throughout his high school years. "I enjoy Boy Meets World," said junior Katherine lncantalupo. "It's funny, and it's still pretty realistic. They deal with everyday problems, not life-threatening ones like on Boston has a good story line as well." A female freshman commented, "In Boy Meets

World, Corey and Topanga are in love with each other for so long, and in real life that would never happen." "It's all right 'cause I'm saved by the .. . it's all right 'cause I'm saved by the Bell!" Just hearing the line from that famous theme song makes you think of Zach, Screech, and the whole gang from the hit show Saved hy the Bell. The sho·w was created by Sam Bobrick in 1987, but was cancelled in 2000 after its last season, Saved hy the Bell: The New .Class. Even though it was cancelled, the show still airs reruns on TBS. A female junior feels that "Saved hy the Bell is the perfect com-

dent body is not very racially diverse. The social classes. on the other hand, stretch from one character struggling to pay rent to another that is living lavishly in a mansion. One female junior stated, "I disliked Popular because of the lack of realism and poor structure the show provided. The characters were silly and unlike anyone I've ever mci." Another female junior, however, disagreed, and arg~cd, "Popular is a good show because it shows teens like us who experience problems similar to ours - problems such as obesity, bulimia and anorexia ." 'They only concentrate on a .few

bination of comedy, romance and a hint of teenage angst." Saved by the Bell takes place in the fictional Bayside High School, which is located in a suburban neighborhood in the Palisades of California. In Bayside High, the student body as well as the faculty is racially mixed; however, the majority of the students belong to the uppermiddle class. Junior Harrison Magee said, "Saved by the Bell is a comic display of things that normally don't happen in high schools." Popular, created by Morgan Wandell, "delivers a skillful blend of contemporary laughs and real-life drama set against the universal quest for popularity," according to "What Dies the WB say'!". The show wa'\ cancelled a few years ago and currently does not air reruns. · The show takes place at Kennedy High and focuses on the struggles of the students fighting for a position on the social ladder. Everyone is trying to become "popular," while struggling with his or her other problems at the same time. The stu-

'popular' people but in a high school there· is a whole student hody," said junior Emily Berliner on whether television shows about high school arc realistic. "There's too much e.xaggcration, and portrayal that high school is all about socialization and social events," added Bharati Kalasapudi, Class of 2003. A poll was taken of I 60 Harrisites asking them to answer questions discussing the accuracy or inaccuracy of these four shows. In addition, they were asked to rate these four shows on their accuracy on a scale of one to five, five being the most realistic and one being the least realistic. Boy Meets World was voted the most realistic of the four with an ovenill score ofthree and a half. Boston Public came in second with a three and Saved By the Bell received a score of two and a half. Popular was ranked the least realistic with an overall score of a two. A large majority- 86% of the students polled- agreed with Emily and Bharati in thinking that TV shows were too idealistic and fake. "Television shows are generally inaccurate because

the creators and writers of the shows portray high school life as how they believe it is. They are adults and they don't know what's really going on in high schools today. so they tend to usc a lot of stereotypes," said Kathe ri ne . "TV shows arc so exaggerated," said junior Sabrina Colosi . "They always beat everyone up in the hallways . How likely is that to happen?" While all these students may be complaining ahout how fake these television shows arc, Harrison responded hy saying. "No show can reenact what goes on at any given schooL All schools arc different and all students have different academic lives." Another reason students found these shows unrealistic was a lack of focus on scholastic issues. ''I've never seen people on TV do work," said Steven. ' "They never study, and they don't focus on the actual schoolwork." This may be true. For example, how many times have you ever seen Corey Mallhcws or Zach Morris doing their homework? Usually Corey is at Chuhhy's after school hanging out with Shawn and Topanga. Reality at Townsend Harris, however, may differ from reality at some other high schools. "We go to a very unique school," pointed out Emily. "Here at Townsend, we arc used to a lot of work so the work given on TV shows seems like nothing." Another problem that students had with television shows portraying high school life was the quality of their problems and how easily they were solved. Junior Inna Kitaychik said that "the main characters arc always perfect, and no one is really like that." Relationships were another area felt to he inaccurately depicted. One female sophomore polled, "Everyone always has either a girlfriend or boyfriend. No one is ever single on TV" A senior girl agreed: "They portray teenagers in love triangles, adult situations, and all the main characters fall in love at least once. Real life is the complete opposite. There arc love triangles, but not as often and not as intense as portrayed on TV." Of the 160 students polled, 14% believe that the shows arc true representations of what high school life is really like. "Besides fitting in all the jokes, most shows arc realistic," stated junior Josh Levy. Eleventh grader Amudha · Balaraman said, "They show the peer pressure that both girls and guys go through. They deal with issues concerning all teens today such as drug·s, sex, etc." Sophomore Vanessa Petgrave agreed, adding, "As in regular society, there are social classes, which is the same in high school. Most shows portray high school social classes accurately." Works Cited "What Docs the WB Say?" Online. 13 October 2000. <>


The Classic October 2003

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Near Eastern cuisine offers magic carpet ride for senses The Kabul Kabab House startlingly sour substance, yet I am un42-51 Main Street able to drink even a teaspoon. Don't "do Flushing, New York 11355 the doogh." 718-461-1919 For our main course, we order the by Alyssa Chase kabab kobideh and the kab'ab barg. The Exotic aromas diffuse from an unas- kobideh, or kofta, consists of charbroiled suming eatery nestled amongst sari ground beef marinated in seasonings and shops and Halal supermarkets in down- saffron. The barg is filet mignon manitown Flushing. Upon entering the res- fest with ethnic flavors. Both delicacies taurant, my friends and I are enveloped are served with basmati ~ice and salad. by the soothing scent of spices, and are The enormous platter of food steams and welcomed as honorary members of the sizzles sumptuously and beckons us to Middle Eastern culture. lavish our plates with the romance of flaMy friends and I are promptly seated vors. The taste is overwhelmingly wonand immediately served a decorative derful, adding feelings of euphoria to the basket of warm pita bread. The white atmosphere of bliss. Entrees: $8.45- $25.95 walls, sculpted into artistic arcs, are embellished with colorful paintings depicting aspects of the Middle Eastern heritage. The menu is an eclectic fusion of Afghani and Persian delights. Though most of the dishes are meat and poultry specialties, the menu incorporates vegetarian and fish entrees along with its long, interesting list of appetizers, beverages, and desserts. We order dolma, grape leaves embedded with ground beef and rice, as an _ appetizer. Exotic herbs are infused in the grape leaves and conquer the flavor of the meat and rice. While the dolma has an interesting flavor, it is difficult to consume in large portions. The herbal taste is overpowering. I decide to sample doogh, which is described by the menu as a "carbonated yogurt drink." The beverage is overpowered by its bitterness and enfeebled by the absense of a dizzying, or even subtle, fizz. I am given a tremendous tub of this I

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Classic newspaper Volume 20 Issue no. 1  
Classic newspaper Volume 20 Issue no. 1