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Vol. 26 No.4 December 2009

aSSlC Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

149-11 Melbourne Avenue, Flushing, NY 11367

Backpack drive brings holiday gifts by Tracey Wang Amnesty International collected backpacks to send to low-income children all over New York City as part of the

so much, and it's always nice to share the love," said sophomore Gina Chun. Amnesty International participated in the drive

Claus, started to scream with excitement and then proceeded to dance," he said. "It was amazing to see how such a small gift can impact a

Threatened budget cuts spur letter-writing campaign

by Rebecca Seidel adjusted for the spring. The Student Union is In a press release on gearing up fora letter-writing December 13, Mr. Paterson campaign to protest budget announced that he would cuts anticipated for next year, reduce scheduled December and possibly for this spring as payments for school aid at the well. district level by 10 percent. Although the Department This payment reduction of Education hasn't informed is part of a plan to prevent schools of any changes in the New York's .General Fund budget for the current school from ending the month with a year, it has indicated a spring negative cash balance. term cut is likely. The statement went on to Governor Paterson's say that "as sufficient revenue . propo sed Executive Budget becomes available, the State for 20 I0 wou ld reduce School will potentially pay the Aid by 3.3 percent from 2009. amounts that were delayed." However, the state 's budget "I am proceeding as allocation for education is only planned ," Prin cipal Kenneth a fraction of the big picture . Bonamo said, regarding the l's budget is The schoo spring term. "We cannot act on Boxes of toys and backpacks for the Letters to Santa campaign pile up in the Student Union room. derived from many variables broad pronouncements from incorporating funding on the governor." post office's Letters to Santa last year, when they got life in such a great way." federal, state, and city levels , campaign this December. In the meantime, Mr. the opportunity to meet the He continued, "We made so it is still uncertain whether ~" " The club asked for toys families . However, due to their holidays, and they in turn Bonamo said the poss ibili nt-budge~......;l1- t _ and clothing, as well as an incident involving a sex made ours." • backpacks. The president of offende r last year, Amnesty International, junior the post office will Aquib Yacoob, said, "We not be releasing r" 1I urge participants to contribute the adckesses Franco Scard ino, social anything that they feel a child the writers . this .1 I, .: "~ I\'0mt" studies teacher, and sopholiving in New,York City would year. mores Donna Chung, Tyler "In s t e a d ," need this winter or would like Najac and Joshua Solomon Aquib said, "each the holiday season." organized the second annua l Amnesty International letter is given a I lJer tt'c;r= tot fundraiser for this cause . also accepted monetary code and the post "Knowing that I made such donations that were used to office uses the I I'w-e ttl. n a large difference in someone's cover the cost of shipping, as code in place of life, and maybe even saved it, ~ well as to purchase more items the address. This I .. f.Y:C'J~:Z ~""\1'.~~.~' _..l.::tl, ltI~ _tA makes the who le fundraiser for the drive , which ended on takes away from worth it," said Tyler. [the] personal ~t Monday, December 21. Sophomores · circulated Many families affected by connec tion, for ~I~ .. .5c< Ie . around the cafeteria informing . . I the current economic recess ion we never get to students of their cause and socannot buy presents for their phys ically meet liciting donations. children. Tohelp these families , the families." "We're helping children OneofAquib's Amnesty International read in Nepal, and at the same time letters that children have sent most memorable 1 IJlJ L~ we're also socializing and doto Santa (which go to the mome nts from ing something productive with James A. Farley Post Office on the drive last year our lunch bands," said Donna. 8th Avenue) and personalize a wlas wdhe thde ~:5hG J oad h@boak=1 '.'1 am satisfied with the backpack with the gifts they c bu elIvere . . . . . . I . .1. outco me this year, but we can a backpack to asked for. hopefully do even better next Junior Jane Lee, who a girl's home year," noted Joshua. Spanish donated to the drive, said that in Mr. Scardino called the it "will make the children Harlem. participants "the most ephebic "Upon happy as well as the parents of youngsters." the who would really want to see opening Donors are honored on the StQu~L'iJ ' -'her their children smile in these door, wall of the main lobby, where I 1 ··. . elk, .' : ' Q " . mother, who was tough financial times." all of their names are listed on "We have been given dressed as Mrs. This was one of the letter s Amnesty International maps of Nepal. received as part of the Letters for Santa campaign.

Sophomores save 3 girls I==P ' s ~' ._- _._----;;--I-v-J..--J-... from indentured servitude of~a

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Top Ten Songs and Movies of

This Year in Review pgs.4-5 T

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MLIT pg.7

2009 pg. 6 I

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The

Classic

December 2009

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No more MetroCards?

Spirit of Giving

Each morning, more than half a million students board the bus and subway to arrive at school. Some of them are from low-income "I shall not leave my city any less but rather greater than I found families. Their families aren't always able to afford new clothes, it," you said on Founders' Day, your freshman year. Kudos to you for electricity, or food, but with the free or reduced-fare MetroCards, finally following through! From freeing enslaved Nepali girls to building they are able to afford an education. wells in Africa to bringing holiday cheer to underprivileged youth, HarNow, the Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) may take risites are finally embodying the principles of the Ephebic Oath. these passes away. On December 16, the cash-strapped MTA board Though Harris has taken on community service projects in the past, voted 12-0 for draconian budget cuts, including a proposal to phase this year has witnessed an explosion of participation. Whereas past enout student MetroCards. If the cuts go into effect, students will be deavors may not have been fully embraced, the donation box for Free given half-fare passes in September 2010, and then expected to pay the Children's Project Sunshine is brimming with picture books. Many full price by September 2011. students attended "Are You Smarter than a Harrisite," the event whose The MTA's highly irresponsible proposal will negatively impact . proceeds went directly to the charity:water campaign. All the grades supstudents throughout the city. The agency has estimated that public ported the sophomores in raising funds to save Nepali children, and most transportation costs amount to approximately $1000 per student. are bringing in Cups Noodles to send to American soldiers. Many families won't be able to afford such costs. Such a financial The walls of the building testify to the success of these fundraisers. A strain may even force students to drop out of school. giant yellow thermometer boasts the $1625 raised so far for charity:water. The policy will not only affect low-income families. ReducedCutouts ofred construction paper reveal the names ofthe 56 who pledged fare and free MetroCards are distributed to high school and middle to donate in the blood drive. Blue and yellow maps of Nepal displayed school students regardless of income. Whether a student receives a near the lobby's Peace Dove show just how many students have contribreduced-fare or free pass depends on how far away he or she lives uted to the sophomore class fundraiser. from the school. Middle-class families will also have to sacrifice This charitable drive is thoroughly commendable. But ifyou find that greatly to provide their children with an education. Many may even schoolwork leaves you unaffected by this contagious pursuit of helping be forced to go to their zoned schools to reduce transportation costs, others, ask yourself: Are collaterals more important than clean drinking rather than attending a school that more closely matches their interwater? . ests and abilities. Some might have to cut classes because they cannot afford traveling each day. The MTA will decide on the final cuts early next year, after a round of public hearings and another vote by its board. The Classic urges the Harris community to campaign against the proposed bud- To the Editors: I would like to take you to point on your recent article, Coming-of-age Celebrations get cuts by attending the public hearings and contacting their elected Honor Tradition. This article is a clear display of padding, in my opinion. When so officials. Governor Paterson promised that he will do what he can to many more pertinent topics could be covered, in school and out, you choose to run a keep the student MetroCards. We must hold him to that promise.

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Letters to the Editors

To the Editors: I agree with the opinion stated in your editorial "Library lunch pass policy should be reversed." Not only are library lunch passes unnecessary, they are also a waste of paper. Besides library lunch passes, another paper-waster is the attendance sheets for people who have a free band. Since I have zero band volleyball, I have 7th band free and every day I have to go off-course to the 3rd floor just to sign in. I don't understand the reasoning behind this. It does not prevent cutting, because who would cut a free band? Most Harrisites actually feel pressured to make full use of the band to study or do homework, which is why people even choose volleyball gym as their gym elective. If we aren't able to get rid of this policy, I suggest that we at least organize the attendance sheet so that all the names of people with a free band can fit onto one page. They currently organize the attendance sheets by bands (one sheet for people who have Ist free, one for 2nd, and so on). I'm the only person who has 7th band free, and they waste a whole sheet of paper each day just for me to sign my name. If we combined all the names, we would probably only have to use up one paper a day! If the school cannot eliminate the attendance sheets completely, they should at least consider abridging the amount of paper used for attendance to one sheet. Ellie Wu, junior

Sarah Mahmood Editor-in-Chief Pearl Bhatnagar Esther Whang

piece on what could be easily be learned by a cursory parsing ofWikipedia. This seems more than a little suspect. If! were you, I would aim to run articles more fitting a newspaper, instead of a teen magazine or a similar publication. If the goal of The Classic is to educate students on issues, you've done your job in a literal sense, but not in the journalistic sense. Why not cover something more globally interesting, like real-world news or even more in-school events? Off the top of my head, perhaps overviews of electives to better educate us on our choices? As a Classic reader, I would be chagrined for this publication to fall into predictable, boring info-dump stories. . Max Bachhuber, sophomore

The Classic, like most newspapers, caters to a variety of readers. Past issues have covered more 'serious' topics such as global warming, the Obama inauguration, and student obsession with grades. However, it is not fair to say that only 'serious' stories are newsworthy; even the New York Times has a weekly fashion section. It is important to remember that different people appreciate different types ofstories. . Still, the Classic has always given priority to news stories. Feature stories are only published when there is space after covering pressing issues. To the Editors: I completely agree with the perspective mentioned in the editorial "Library lunch pass policy should "be reversed." Having a lunch pass as a requirement to go to the library seems unnecessary if not cumbersome. When I want to go to the library during my lunch band after going down to the cafeteria to get a pass, or after I eat, it becomes nearly impossible to get a -computer, and borrowing textbooks to study from also becomes tricky. If I were able to get into the library earlier in the band, the resources held there would be much more accessible. If a student so chooses to prioritize work over eating, it is their decision as an individual. If a policy is not beneficial and truly more of a hindrance than anything else to those whom it affects, then in all fairness, it should be revoked as soon as possible. Rebecca Enis, sophomore

News Staff': Allison Bennett, Candace Burton, FrankCorazza, Hayley Desmond, Caroline Egan, Eunice Lau,Nicholas Lupo, Freddy Milbin Jr., Lory Martinez, Kristina Rudolfo, Rupeshi Shah, GraceShin,Rebecca Suzuki. Tracey Wang

Rebecca Seidel Feature Staff:

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â&#x20AC;˘ . Feature Editor Chandi Ghuman, Margaret Jia, Abigail Komer,Ella Leviyeva, The <;IaSS1C IS an open forum f~r .the exGennaMastellon, Salma Mohamed, Catherine Moskos, Dem- pressiea of student views. The opInions exLiz Kussman etta Panagiotopoulos, Katherine Valles,Yuval Solomon pressed therein should not be taken to repEilin Perez Sharmin Rashed Art Editor resent those of the administration or faculty Sports Editor Photography Editor Sports Staff: RahulBhasin, Benjamin Horowitz, OliverLee, or student body as a whole. Daniel Pecoraro, EilinPerez, Grace Shin,Arthur Tarley Aliza Altman Dipabali Chowdhury AI' H Readers are invited to submit letters the edi' B '11 Ed d F uh Business Managers " .to , Art Staff.: Richie om a, war arq arson, Ice ung, Katherine Valles, AmyWang, AmyYuan tor. Letters should be placed In Ms. Cowen s Kenneth Bonamo mailbox or e-mailed to thhsclassic@gmail. Usa Cowen Caroline Cross Principal Photography Staff': PearlBhatnagar, Rebecca Chu,Nicole Go- com. The Classic reserves the right to edit all Co-Advisors dreau, Samiha Khan, Karen Rose Kim, Misty Kim, Nicolette letters. Letters must include name anti official Nanton, Marissa Shieh,Yuval Solomon class. Names will be withheld upon request.

News Co-Editors

Indira Abiskaroon, Quinn Batten, Emma Court,

Townsend Harris IDgh School at Queens College 149-11 Melbourne Avenue, Flushing, NY 11367


The Classic December 2009

trounce students in Jeopardy! Health teachers offer tips byTeachers Rebecca Seidel the Girls Room, which alludes chine to determine who had At the Trivia and Knowl- to a skit from the Amanda buzzed in first. for healthy holiday eating edge Club's Jeopardy! show- Show, and Team Winners. Mayhem ensued when the healthy, but she usually can't. down on December 15, the This time, as club mem- hosts accidentally revealed an I usually cook myself, because only person missing was Alex ber, Marc Reisner, senior, answer under the wrong catthen I know it's going to be Trebek. explained, these two teams egory, giving away upcoming healthy," he said. The game pitted three "joined forces to produce the answers. These answers were Mr. Hanson offered advice "teams" against each other: the Winners Room" in order to eliminated from the game. on healthy cooking. "If you "Winners Room," consisting combat the competition. Jeopardy! isn't the only can make your own desserts, ofclub members in attendance; game the Trivia and Knowl"I knew that Ms. Cross and it's 'better, because then you the "Jedi Masters," comprised Dr. Colakis were going to win, edge Club plays during its know what's in it," he said. of Classical Languages teach- because they both have an ex- meetings. "Use small amounts of dark er Marianthe Colakis and chocolate. Take the sorbets in- English teacher Caroline stead of the Haagen Dazs." Cross; and senior Daniel When a recipe ' asks for Pecoraro, president of the butter or margarine, Mr. Han- club, who competed as his son uses neither. "If it says own team. "' oS a cup of oil, you use apple Dr. Colakis and Ms. e= sauce. Do you know how Cross were the clear winmany calories you replace that ners, raking in a score of e '5b way?" he asked, pointing out $21,600. The Winners = = that oils have more than twice Room came in second, with =-= as many calories per gram as $5,200, and Daniel ended II= apple sauce. up with a score of zero after 8 For healthy recipes, he wagering all his money for ~ £ advised, "Go to Realage.com. Final Jeopardy. Take the test, and they will Ms. Cross, who has g. email you free recipes and been a contestant on the health tips every day." actual game show JeopRealage.com's medically ardy! as well as Who Wants accepted test collects informa- to be a Millionaire?, called tion about daily habits, calcu- the win "awesome but unsur- tensive knowledge of trivia," "I'm not a fan of playing lating the theoretical amount prising." Marc said, "but we hoped that it consecutive weeks, because ofaging that your body She directed this comment we could beat Daniel Pecora- then we become the Jeopardy! at Daniel; the two had been ro, especially since it was our Club - and we're not," said 'If it says a cup of oil, you has undergone. Ms. Nix feels dif- jokingly threatening each oth- whole big team against just Daniel. "We generally mix it use apple sauce. Do you ferently .. about oils. er for days prior to the show- him." up with World Series of Pop know how many calories "I am a proponent of down. Seniors Giovanni Barce- Culture, Scene It?, The Game butter," she said. "I "Although the result was nes and Cynthia Perez and of Knowledge, and Cranium." you replace that way?' , use either olive oil or definitely not in my, ..fav or, junior~An8cla..Khn. .h<:>&_-""""­ doubtedly have a 'grudge butteL I never keep I still had a lot of fun," said show, reading off the quesmatch' like this sometime in Daniel. "I like everyone play- tions (actually, answers) and meals," he advised, explain- margarine in my house." Mayor June, and we always operating the computer game ing that it takes your brain 20 Butter is about 80% pure ing against me!" This was the first time that simulated the real Jeop- have some fun games and trivminutes to register the fact that saturated fat, which raises ia lectures up our sleeve." there's food in your stomach. your levels of bad cholesterol teachers participated in the ardy! graphics. The club meets every The contestants had buzzgame. The club usually divides "[So when you eat] slower, (LDL). Thursday in Room 510. you wind up eating less," he Margarine, however, con- its members into two teams: ers, which connected to a masaid. tains trans fat, which lowers Otherwise, "your brain levels of "good" cholesterol doesn't have time to register (HDL) while raising LDL.This your first plate, which should can contribute to cardiovascube vegetables. You should lar disease. wait 15-20 minutes before you Both teachers use organic reach for seconds." foods, which are grown with"Also," he added, "drink out artificial steroids, antibiotby Freddy MllbiD Jr. two glasses of water before ics, radiation, or any artificial One of the most famous musical composers ofall time, reaching for seconds." additives or preservatives, and Richard Rodgers, isn't technically an alumnus of Harris Ms. Nix recalled her fami- without most ordinary pestihe left the school before he flunked out. ly's holiday eating habits, say- cides. Still, the school has claimed him as its own, featuring ing, "It's almost like Thanks"Organic food is healthihis songs at Founders' Day celebrations. Rodgers, who degiving all over again [on er," said Ms. Nix. voted much of his time to extracurricular activities rather Christmas], but we add ham : However, she added that than studying, showed an affinity for music early on. He and corn and ... other starches; "some things are healthier orbegan playing the piano at six and composed some of his it ends up being a 12-course ganic than others." first songs when he was a teenager. meal." She pointed out that cerRodgers met Lorenz Hart when he was attending CoShe isn't alone. Raymond tain fruits and vegetables, such lumbia University, and from there, they wrote the score Adamkiewicz, physical educa- as apples, whose edible surface for their first Broadway musical, The Garrick Gaieties, in tion teacher, admits that during is sprayed with pesticides, are 1925. Rodgers and Hart worked together for more than the holidays, he enjoys "lots of better bought organic; two decades, producing music for shows such as I MarItalian food." "If you're going to peel ried an Angel, The Boys from Syracuse, and Pal Joey . "I don't eat anything it, like bananas or pomegranRodgers started working with Oscar Hammerstein healthy," he said. "I normally ates, you don't need to [buy it III, Hart's friend, after Hart's death. They created classic eat small meals throughout the organic]," said Mr. Hanson. soundtracks like Oklahoma! , South Pacific, The Sound ofMusic and The King and I. As a day, so' when it comes to the In the aftermath of the team, Rodgers and Hammerstein won multitudes of awards, including 35 Tony Awards, 15 bigger meals, I don't eat as holiday season, many people Oscars, two Emmys, two Pulitzer Prizes, and two Grammys. much." pledge to reform their diet After Hammerstein's death, Rodgers went on to compose the music for the musical Mr. Hanson, on the other and exercise habits, and many No Strings before teaming up with other songwriters such as Stephen Sondheim, Sheldon hand, doesn't see the holidays times these resolutions prove Harnick and Martin Charnin. Richard Rodgers died on December 30, 1979 at the age of77. as an excuse for unhealthy eat- soft. Eleven years later, a Broadway theater was named after him. ing. Ms. Nix belives that these Reknowned for his storied musical career, Richard Rodgers is one of only two people "Even if [my family and resolutions aren't worth much. to win a Tony, an Oscar, an Emmy, a Pulitzer Prize, and a Grammy. His music forever lives I are] going to relatives, we "If you weren't on a diet beon as some of the most memorable tunes ever composed . bring most of the food," he forehand, I don't think you're said. "My sister wants to cook going to be on a diet afterwards," she said,

by Demetra Panagiotopoulos The aroma of food prowls around your nostrils. Signs of impending demise flash before you as you see aesthetic arrangements of sweets, pastries and gingerbread houses in every window. Everywhere is a trap. But are all the unhealthy foods that people normally enjoy over the holidays really something to stress about? "I think you [should] go and have your unhealthy food," said Wanda Nix, physical education teacher. "It's part of the holidays; you look forward to it." She added, however, that "portion control" is key. "Don't deny yourself, just have a little," she explained. "If you don't have any, you're grouchy. Who wants to be grouchy?" Keith Hanson, health teacher, offered some tips on how to cut down on portion size. "Everybody should slow down when they eat holiday

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Alumnus of the 'M onth RICHARD RODGERS


The Classic

4-December 2009

The new year may be just around the comer, but that doesn't mean we're going to forget everything that happened in 2009. Our roving reporters wanted to know what you thought about some of the year's most memorable events.

THIS YEA A New BarackObam

Michael Jackson's Death "It was reall Seeing it at s on and didn' -Olivia Scan

Michael Jackson, often referred to as the King ofPop, diedfrom cardiac arrest on June 24, 2009

-"I don't think people should've gone overboard and gotten tattoos ofhim...or waited out in tents for his [posthumously released concert] movie." -Nicole Lopilato, sophomore

"He was really big. In the Dominican Republic, every single night on this [improv] show there, they would pick a guy to play Michael Jackson. He was recognized everywhere, not just the U.S." -Nicole Kandinova, sophomore

"I get sad When people die, regardless of who they are. It was a sad day even though I wasn't as upset probably as one of his fans. Some of the media was making it too big of a deal. Like leeching off it. They were somewhat disrespectful. In the beginng it was meant well, but then it got away from honoring him." -Erin Harrington, freshman

"It was such a shock....I thought I would be 30 and still be watch-

ing Michael Jackson. His music is so versatile that...you could pick one song of his and it would help you. And his music is just...fun. When you think of music, you think of Michael Jackson. [When he died] I kept getting phone calls from my friends asking me if I'd heard. We started singing his songs. We put on Billy Jean." -Jehanne Belange, senior

Kanye West's Interruption At the 2009 MTV 路Video Music Awards, a.s singer Taylor Swift was accepting her award for Best Female Video, rapper Kanye West interrupted her to say that Beyonce s video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), " which was also nominatedfor the award, was "one ofthe best videos ofall time. "

"No one would have cared if he had interrupted Miley Cyrus! The entire situation was made larger than it was because Taylor Swift is this innocent and sweet girl." -Dimitra Xenopoulou, freshman

"Kanye's interruption was totally inappropriate. It was Taylor Swift's moment to shine, and I was waiting anxiously for it! I applaud Beyonce for giving Taylor a second chance to speak." . -Isabella Ocampo, senior

"I didn't really care. I thought Kanye West was obnoxious, but it made me laugh." -Lindsay Sovem, senior

Other Events "There were a lot of scandals this year, like the Tiger Woods scandaL.one of my shows [VHl's Megan Wants a Millionaire] got cancelled when Ryan Jenkins murdered Jasmine Fiore." -Cynthia Perez and Vipattra Nimboochaj, seniors

"In the beginning, it [swine flu] was slightly scary but it's not as different from the regular flu. The media ...really blew it out of proportion." -Anne Johnson, sophomore "The Yankees won the WOI was nice for a New York tc -Ellie Wu, junior


The Classic

December 2009

IN REVIEW resident The Inauguration taugurated as the 44th President of the United States on January 20, 2009.

unerica needs a change and some help. lly helped me understand what was going ne to do further research."

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"I think it was a historic moment because it was the inauguration of the first AfricanAmerican president. It was filled with a lot ofhype. 1 don 't think it [the presidency] will be the change we were hoping for. He has disappointed me both in his domestic and foreign policies." -Daniel Milyavski, senior

"A fabulous, exciting Performance from the entertainers, especially Beyonce. I had predicted that Barack Obarna would win from the very beginning because 1 felt that America was , ready for a change and for a dream." -Alice Gatling, security agent

"The Inauguration was all right, but the actual presidency? Completely overplayed. People only like him because of his race being a milestone in history. Although being president is a difficult thing to do, he isn't God. People are cutting him a lot of slack. And he won the Nobel Peace Prize! Why? He is sending over 30,000 troops back into war!" -Ariella Wagner, sophomore

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"It wa s my hope that there would be a greater sense of change of ownership in the last year in America. While 1 had a higher expectation, it is my belief that we are in the pathway to a much greater success." -Lauren Caiaccia, physical education teacher

Winning the Nobel Peace Prize In a controversial move that surprised President Obama himself, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. "

~:l;1 "Although he's made manyetIors for peace

around d1e world, I feel like it's part ofhis job. I'm not sayinghe doesn't deserve the award. It just seems like a very controvenrial reason for" the award". -Shoba Persaud, sophomore

"There's only so much one person can do especially with Republicans going against him all the time. He has tried to bring peace but it's hard to see that when he's just sent 30,000 troops." -Amanda Quezada, freshman

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"The Nobel Prize commitee's decision to give Mr. Obama dre Nobel Peace Prize is more of an afront to President Bush than praise for Mr. Obama. I ask where is the change Mr. Obama has promised us? If sending 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan is change, I applaud him... -Keegan Valbuena, senior

Other Events " We are too addicted to easy solutions to rough problems and we are not nearly as thoughtful and justice-minded a society as we were when I was my students' age. I believe the bank bailout and the forced introduction ofcorporate business practices into education are malignantly undemocratic. We are becoming a democratic people who despise democracy. For the non-rich, America has indisputably become a much harsher place to survive." -RobertBabstoek, English teacher

! It came as a shock and it in after so long!"

"I think the election of Bloomberg [was a very importantevent this year], because his pofu:ies are going to have a significant .impact on our school - on all the schools." -Jamie Byrne, histoty teacber

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6- The Classic

December 2009

Top Ten Movies of 2009 Princess and the Frog is worth a watch by Freddy Millan Jr. With the Oscars now nominating 10 films for Best Picture, it seems as though some filmmakers have really stepped up their game to get one of the coveted spots. Here is my list of 10 films that the academy would be remiss to ignore.

1) Up Pixar's 10 t h film is also quite possibly its magnum opus, beating out even the amazing Wall-E for this distinction. Mixing a tea rjerke r opening with a funny and action-filled plot, Up sustai ns a compe lling and touching narrative throughout. It t ruly deserves to be nominated for Best Picture.

2) Coraline Superb stop-motion animation brings th is eer ily beautiful .rnovle to life, from its bland real world to the weird "Other World."

3) Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

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Precious goes where other movies dare not tread, ~ dealing with issues like rape, incest , illiteracy, abuse, and teen pregnancy. Great performances are given by the entire cast, but the standout here is Mo'Nique, who plays Precious's evil and sadistic mother.

4) Where the Wild Things Are Somehow, this terrific movie was made from a book only 10 sentences long. Albeit a bit slow and dark at times, this beautiful movie takes time to let the scenery sink in and allow the viewer to contemplate its message about imagination and being a kid .

by Freddy Millan Jr. The Princess and the Frog is Disney's attempt to return to the hand-drawn imagery that brought it to glory. It focuses on Tiana, a waitress in New Orleans, who wants to fulfill her late father's dreams of owning a restaurant. The handsome and broke Prince Naveen arrives in order to marry the mayor's daughter, Charlotte La Bouff, and to take her money. Through a series of events involving a masquerade ball, an evil voodoo magician, and Tiana's wish upon a star, both Naveen and Tiana are turned into frogs. They must travel through the bayou to ask voodoo priestess Mama Odie to turn them back into humans. This cast of characters in this movie is a mixed bag. Tiana is likeable, but it gets tiring when she endlessly reprimands others for not working hard enough. Naveen is snobby, entitled, and arrogant. Dr. Facilier is a very good villain. He is suave, smart, and uses his charisma, charm, and magic to get others to do the dirty work for him. Mama Odie is so much fun

to watch. From the way she moves and talks to just the way she iooks, she is a great character,

The two best characters, though, are Ray and Louis. They have what are easily the most hilarious and, at times, touching moments in the entire film. The one big elephant in the room is Tiana. There have been a few ethnic princesses, such as Mulan and Jasmine, but Tiana is the first black Disney princess. Unless you read into the fact that the white Charlotte . is rich and the black Tiana is poor, the movie makes absolutely no mention of ethnicity, and maybe it's better this way. Naveen, who comes from the non-existent country of Maldonia, has romances with both Charlotte and Tiana, focusing on monetary standing rather than race.. Like most Disney fare, the movie is a musical, with songs spanning such genres as gospel, jazz, and zydeco. Though the songs are pleasant, they are not too memorable. . The one exception is "When We're Human," sung by Tiana, Louis, and Naveen,

which has a catchy tune and is quite funny. The other songs, such as Tiana's "Almost There" and Mama Odie's "Dig a Little Deeper," are okay, but don't match up to classics like "The Circle of Life" or "Under the Sea." The animation is bright and beautiful, and all of the songs are accompanied by dancing. But when every song has such extravagant animation, it takes away from the music's effects. At points in the film, I was reminded of older Disney movies. An evil magician delivers the song,"Friend's onthe Other Side," which is reminiscent of the "Oogie Boogie Song" from The Nightmare Before Christmas; his plan is similar to Ursula's in The Little Mermaid. Am I saying that The Princess and the Frog is a bad movie? No. Is it Disney's best movie? No. Should you go see it anyway? Yes, most definitely. Though it may not live up to the pinnacle of the Disney Renaissance, it is still head and shoulders abovemost animated films and deserves a look.

Top 路Ten Songs of 2009

S) Orphan

by Frank Corazza

Usually, horror and suspense films don't appear on top 10 lists, but Orphan is a definite exception . A talented cast saves the movie from horror rnedlocrltv, most notably the incredible Isabelle Fuhrman as the titular orphan, who deserves a Best Actress nomination that she will never receive.

The electronic/rap duo 30H!3 breakout hlt might just make you '(do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips."

1) Don't Trust Me - 30H!3

6) Drag Me to Hell

2) Pokerface - Lady GaGa

Following her #1 hit, Lady GaGa's electro-pop single was an instant hit with a catchy chorus and brilliant lyrics.

3) Single Ladies - Beyonce

This is another great horror movie because it doesn't contain any horror movie cliches. From " the villa in's various incarnations to the twist ending, Drag Me to Hell will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat the entire time.

7) Zombieland Zombie/and takes everything that the zombie subgenre holds dear and parodies it all . Filled with hilarious references to zombie movie mainstays, this film is t he action-filled, big-budget spoof that zomb ie movie fans have been waiting for.

The song is very upbeat with addictive lyrics and great rhythm.

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4) Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas The Black Eyed Peas uses a blend of dance pop, hip-hop, and electro-hop. The song uses some auto-tune effects to its advantage.

S) You Found Me - Th e Fray 路 The Fray always has awesome lyrics that stand out in today's mainstream pop music.

6) Fireflies - Owl City 8) (SOO) Days of Summer

With it s synthesized melod ies and lyrics about fi reflies, insomnia, and dancing, it's not a surp rise that t his alternat ive/electro pop single recentl y reached number 1 on A sweet and funny romantic comedy, (500) Days of th e Billboards Hot 100. Summer strays from overused cliches. Unlike most other romantic comedies, you can't predict the ending . Most 7) Empi re State of Mind - Jay Z feat. Alicia Keys of these movies need more of that kind of originality. This hip-hop song was Jay- Z's first # 1 on t he Billboard Hot 100 as a lead artist .

9) District 9 . ,.

.

In an odd turn of events fo r a SCI-fi mov ie, the aliens have already landed, and every~ne know~ that they exist. District 9 deals with apartheid and racism.

10) Julie an d Juli a There is one name t hat make any movie immediately worth seeing: Meryl Streep. Put her together with another wonderfu l actress, Amy Adams, and you get a pretty darn good comedy about food .

...

Honorable Ment ions: Funny People The Invention of Lying The Hangover

8) Waking up in Vegas - Katy Perry

.

Katy Per ry 's energetic pop single has an interest ing story With a steady beat and a catchy chorus.

9 ) Dont Sto p Believin' - Glee Cast The musical comedy TV show G/ee remade Journey's hit song "Don't Stop Believin'" with a clever, modern twist.

10) Use Somebody - Kings of Leon This American pop rock song has a solid sound with soothing chorus and is nominated for the 52nd Grammy Awards in the categories of Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Rock Song.


The Classic December 2009

Things to Do Over Break by Lory Martinez and Pearl Bhatnagar While you push those stressful tests, collaterals and hours of AP homework to the furthest your mind this upcoming break, you may wonder what to do with all your free time. Here' days of 2009: suggestions for the final ,

1. Head to the Trump Wollman Rink in Central Park, where you afternoon with some friends and the warmth of a cup of hot chocolate for less than $20.

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2. Or you can make like Tom Cruise in Risky Business and slide around room in socks and undies. 3. Check out the Tim Burton exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. From his earliest childhood famous works in film and animation, get ready to delve into Burton's imagination.

your living

drawings to his more

4. Or plop yourself down on the couch and watch Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. 5. Speaking of movies, have yourself a holiday movie marathon. Favorites include Eight Crazy the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol, Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, and Jingle

Nights, Dr. Seuss's How All the Way.

6. Or you can catch A Christmas Story on TNT. Be careful not to miss it; it'll only be playing for 24

straight hours!

7. To get into the holiday spirit, roast some marshmallows in your fire place. 8. Or use the deluxe microwave your father picked up on Black Friday. 9. If you prefer to do some shopping, go to Bryant Park's Holiday shops on 42nd street. There you'll find knickknacks made by artisans from all over the world. For more information, go to www.bryantpark.org/amenities/shops. 10. Or if you're too cheap to shop, grab a cup of coffee and stare at the windows of the Macy's on 34th Street. For more information, visit www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/HolidayWindows.jsp.

School gears up for letter-writing campaign

My Life is Townsend Life is Stressful Today Today, I had to translate sentences from English to Hebrew. I couldn't tell if my translation of a certain word was in Latin, French, or Hebrew. It was in Spanish, my first language. MLIT. Today, a classmate and I diagnosed ourselves with a condition called PESO: Post Exam Stress Disorder. MLiT. Today, I really wished that the school had dorms, just so that I have more time to do homework. MLIT. Today, at senior meeting we were told to sit "facing east" on the third floor. I decided to be a rebel and sit facing west. MLiT. I got a demerit for my rebelliousness. MLIT. Today, I started to feel better after a weekend of throwing up. I then proceeded to do an AP US outline. MLiT. Today, I told Ms. Figelman that I couldn't work out in gym because I had sprained my ankle. She told me that I could still work on my upper-body. MLiT. Today, I heard a reading of the Iliad. Helen's voice was sultry, Agamemnon's comical, and Hector's noble and valiant. They were all Mr. Babstock. MLIT. Today, I found out that students have to apply for detention. MLiT. Today, while joining Facebook groups, I realized that my "Just for fun" ones have to do with Latin. MLiT. Please send your submissions thhsclassic@gmail.com.

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continuedfrom pg 1 first step is crucial. We need affect us at all." of a school budget cut beyond to ensure that all students have Aquib cited the . Mayor Bloomberg's already- some way to simply contact results of last year's letterannounced citywide reduction their officials and locate their writing campaign as an of 1.5 percent for the 2010- information." incentive to try again. 2011 school year looks very Aquib Yacoob, Vice Last year, he recalled, "we likely. President of the junior class, were able to send many letters By conducting a school- suggested the letter-writing to our local representatives wide letter-writing campaign, campaign at a Student Union and hold a small rally outside the Student Union hopes to board meeting. of City Hall. It's true that He said that the primary our budget suffered great combat cuts to a budget that is already stretched to cuts; however,.. .it was its limit. because of these "We just don't minor actions that 'It appears that those making the know .where we we were saved executive decisions have absolutely can cut because from a catastrophic no connection to the students our budget is cut, which would so bare-boned," have resulted in themselves.•..They are under the said Ellen Fee, staff reduction and impression that [budget cuts] do the Assistant Principal loss of many not affect us at all.' of Organization. extracurricular Mr.Bonamo activities." explained that a Mr. Bonamo cut of 1.5 percent is said, "When we write equivalent to about $100,000. aim of the . letters is "to tell letters to elected officials, it's . "I don't think we'd be the recipient how the cuts are very important to be specific able to sustain that cut without going to affect you as students. about what our needs are." some sort of staff reduction," It appears that those making He added that while he said. the executive decisions have students should "certainly get Since it is still unclear absolutely no connection to ready" to respond to potential how much the state cuts will . the students themselves.... budget cuts, they should "wait affect Harris, the letter-writing They are under the impression until we know" more before campaign is still in its planning that [the budget cuts] do not proceeding to write the letters. stage. "Currently,we're gathering the contact informationoflocal Tel. (718) 263-4946 (718) 263-4947 government officials, and are planning to create a master list as well as a link on the school S&J SERVICE STATION INC. homepage so that students can Complete Auto Repairs • ForeIgn & Domestic write to their local councilman State Inspection • Tires & Batteries • Quick Lube or councilwoman," said senior Roger Station Manager board member Sherry Leung. Shop Open 7AM - 7PM 72·09 Main Street Sheadded, "I think thatthis Open Sunday • Closed Saturday Flushing, NY 11367

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The Classic

._- - - - - - _.. - - - - .. Hawks soar past Leopards, land in 2nd place December 2009

'Lady Hawks stifle John Adams

by Eilin Per ez this fast break opportunity from the. comer to shorten the Boys' Varsity elicited a loud cheer from the Hawks' lead to 50-46. The "We let down defensively Basketball team defeated Harris faithful, and gave the the High School for Law team momentum going into and gave them shots down the stretch . We didn't do a great Enforcement and Public halftime. After halftime, the Hawks job of getting back on defense, Safety Leopards by a score of 53-50. The Hawks dictated the came out of the locker room either," said Tsatsis. tempo throughout the game with hopes of putting the game Afterwards, another and fended off a last-quarter push by the Leopards. In the first quarter, the Hawks came out with a fastpaced offensive onslaught, catalyzed by tough defense and accentuated ,... I § ee by fast break '0 opportuni ties . ... ... 00 -; Their effort ;e resulted in a 13-9 ;., .c lead going into the .se second quarter. .... .= _ c.. Said coach Frank Denunzio, Senior Thomas Tsat sis goes into a crowd of defenders for a lay-up. "We did a good job of scoring away. Following the third Leopard scored on a hotly in transition. We remained quarter, the Hawks gained a contested lay-up to bring the patient and seized the lead on the Leopards, 39-24. oppone nt within two points of opportunities that our defense Between the third quarter and the Hawks. provided for us." the end of the fourth quarter, With 9 seconds left, Tsatsis Before the end of the they saw their lead dwindle was fouled . He made one ofhis second quarter, senior captain before their eyes. two free throws to cement the Thomas Tsatsis fired an outlet Senior captain Simranjit Hawks' lead at 53-50. Tsatsis pass to fellow captain John Singh was able to troubleshoot scored a team-high 25 points . Murray, who banked in a lay- the problem right away. "We "We've played a lot of up with one second to spare needed to limit turnovers and games the past few days, so before halftime. keep possession of the ball. fatigue played a factor. As "I was slow coming back We generally tend to rush a result, we missed key free on defense, and Thomas down the 'court when it's not throws down the stretch," said trapped [a Leopard] in the necessary," he explained. coach Denunzio. comer. [Thomas] anticipated The Leopards made a final Despite the fatigue the player's movement, poked .push in the fourth quarter, accumulated after a long' the ball out, and passed itto me hitting tough shot after tough week, the Hawks' will to win on the other end for the score," shot: With less than one minute surpassed their weariness in a: said Murray. in the game, an opposing game in which they outlasted The conversion of player drained a three-pointer the Leopards.

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by Grace Shin gressive in the first quarter." The Girls' Varsity Basket- She added, "It 's my hope ball team defeated John Ad- that we come out stronger in ams High School on Decem- the first quarter in [future] ber 8 with a score of 53-36. It games." was their third division win, ' Sophomore guard Niwith their first loss coming colette Nanton commented, against William Cullen Bryant "The game went a little slow High School. at first, but it went really well.

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Senior Ivan a Ilie displays her defensive prowess.

The team's highest scorer was senior Allison Donovan, who scored 17 points. Sophomore Christina Dunn, center, was second on the team in points. "I had my career high so far -14 points," said Dunn. "The game was really competitive. We started out a little slow, but it picked up." Coach Lauren Caiaccia echoed the sentiment, saying, "It's the beginning of the season, so we need to set the tone from the start and implement it. We have to come out ag-

We developed a good flow." Sophomore Danielle Corbisiero, guard, remarked, "It was a good game, but it was surprising for them [John Adams] not to have a huge crowd. It was at their school." "When we play each [school] the first time, we want to have a strong start," said Ms. Caiaccia . She added, "Our goal for the second half of the season is to fix what we didn't do well against the teams the first time. We need . to put ourselves in a position to win the game."

Wrestling team cradles Sheepshead Bay, earns first win of season by Rahul Bhasin pin to give the Hawks an early important his victory was, the score 27-23, senior Joseph drop down and left himself With two losses to open 6-0 lead. Hum improved his Teboul responded, "Every Halkias stepped onto the mat open, I took him down and was the season, the Hawks knew career record to 11-2 in league victory is huge when you're with a thunderous roar and able to pull off the cradle." that they needed to defeat matches. down that many points. We chants of "HAL-KI-AS." He Promising freshman SheepsheadBayin amatchupof Hum said, "I tried were just lucky that when we immediately fed off the energy Terell Drayton wrestled at 171 two 0-2 teams trying to salvage to wrestle with pounds, fresh off his first place their seasons. Desperate for a technique and just let finish at a rookie tournament. win and cognizant of the fact [my opponent] wear However, he couldn't that their season was hanging down . When he gave continue his ' impressive run. in the balance, the Hawks me room, I was able Drayton was pinned in the .rebounded from a 27-6 early to reverse and get the third round of a hard-fought on deficit by winning seven win." match. of their next eight matches to After five losses Paul Suwada, senior, overpower Sheepshead Bay by by the Hawks, four bumped up to 189 pounds, a score of 50-33. by pin and one by pinned his opponent in the Senior Jerry Yang said, tech, junior Gavriel first round . Jerry Yang put "This win was huge because Gulamov began to the icing on the cake with a we didn't want to start the shift momentum ÂŁ pin before freshmen Khalid season 0-3. We stayed positive with a first round ~ Abdin and Bohang Liu scored and didn't let the early deficit pin. Following him -g, wins via points and a forfeit, get to us." _ _ _ _' ', respectively. were the Hawks' . . Sophomore Marco Countryman attempts a takedown. The resiliency of the two dommant semor The Hawks showed Hawks was on display as they wrestlers, co-captain Isaac matched our best wrestlers and cradled his opponent, one resolve and weren't flustered waited for their opponents Teboul and captain Joseph with theirs, we were able to of wrestl ing's most difficult in the face of adversity. With to make mistakes before Halkias. The confidence the win. You don't want to lose maneuvers to come out of, a strong schedule remaining, exploiting their weaknesses Hawks attained from these the first three matches of the achiev ing six points in a mere they 'll have to remain and taking advantage of them. matches was apparent. season and we know that our 51 seconds . focused if they want to make Sophomore Brian Hum Isaac .Teboul was electric team has the ability to pin the Halkias said, "Every the playoffs. With a strong wrestled an excellent match; and demolis hed his opponent opponent any given match." time I step on the mat, I give nucleus of senior wrestlers after being overwhelmed in in the 145 pound weight class, After sophomore it 110%. As captain , I have and promising underc lassmen, round one, he gained leverage defeating him 16-0 and forcing Christopher Dayarmani to set an example for the the Hawks have a chance to in the second round and a tech. received a forfeit in the 152 underclassmen." He added, be a stout force in the A-East reversed his opponent into a how pound weight class, making "When my opponent didn't Division. asked When


Classic newspaper Volume 26 Issue no. 4