September 2007 Issue

Metco future uncertain

By Jason Kuo | Published: September 2007
Two Supreme Court rulings handed down in June could call into question METCO, Boston's school integration program, as well as similar programs nationwide. The rulings, made about school districts in Kentucky and in Washington state, may allow for legal action to be taken against programs that aim to desegregate schools and bring urban minority students into predominantly white suburban schools.

Deck the hallways!

By Denebola | Published: September 2007
By Ally Bernstein   By now, it is likely that you've noticed that the hallway near the library has changed considerably. What was once a simple,non-descript wall, a bevy of smiling creatures have appeared. This colorful addition to Newton South is the work of artist Bren Bataclan of the Smile Boston Project and husband to South history teacher Bob Parlin. The Smile Boston Project, which Bataclan began in 2003, is intended to decorate and enliven public places in the city. Bataclan's playful paintings have adorned walls in homes across Boston and beyond for four years, and he has received much positive feedback about his public art project.

In memory of a fallen hero: Warren J. Payne

By David Han | Published: September 2007
A small crowd of friends and family gathered at the Roxbury Teen Reach Center on September 7 to remember the life of fireman and Newton South parent Warren J. Payne. Payne's fellow West Roxbury firemen gave their respects in the memorial, reminiscing their experiences with him."He was a sincere person, honest, hardworking," firefighter Tommie Campbell said. Payne became a firefighter in 1988 and worked on Ladder 25 alongside Campbell who worked on Engine 30 for more than 20 years. On August 29, he lost his life on duty.

Lanham leaves, Perrin steps in as South’s new Athletic Director

By Andrew Klegman | Published: September 2007
When former athletic director Ron Lanham left Newton South High School at the end of last year, he left behind a gaping hole; luckily, the new Interim Athletic Director Scott Perrin filled that gap. A true local athlete, Perrin grew up in Newton playing football, basketball, and baseball. He attended Newton South High School where he played football and lacrosse for the Lions, graduating in the class of 1988.

View from the Top: Greg Barrett and Han Park

By Greg Barrett and Han Park | Published: September 2007
Really, really fast.The weather is getting chilly, the leaves are turning, you're reacquainted with your longer pants, and school's in session. It's good to see our school full of determined scholars again, including the "newer, smaller ones."Let us, Greg Barrett and Han Park, on behalf of our senior class, welcome everyone back to school, and also welcome the "newer, smaller ones" who are just starting their high school journey. To the junior class-- your year ahead is one of work, excitement, and a little more work. Just remember: Eating and sleeping is just as important as the SATs.  To the sophomore class--you have the "invisible year," where everyone seems to kind of, well...forget about you guys. So don't try so hard-- enjoy the time off.

I like Camp!

By Julia Sklar | Published: September 2007
Middle school is a place teeming with self-conscious adolescents. A time when it is impossible for many students to be who they are because no one really knows what that means yet. When these same people get to high school, some level of uncertainty remains, but it is eventually replaced with a new found confidence. It is not, however, a hop, skip, and a jump from one situation to the other. Students don't just walk into Newton South and magically transform. There must be a connecting piece, an in between, some place to grow.

Opposing Viewpoint: No headstart on dismissal

By Denebola | Published: September 2007
By Harry Kaufer  It's last period and your focus is drifting as the biology lecture drags on. All of a sudden, fifteen some-odd track athletes jolt out of their seats and sprint towards the door. Any remaining concentration is lost and a strong feeling of contempt overcomes you. Playing a sport is an extra-curricular, meaning an activity that students take on in addition to school. Extra-curriculars should not interfere with class, and students should not be allowed to miss class because they have to play a sport. There is only one reason why kids go to school, to learn. The aim of high school is to broaden academic horizons. School sports have nothing to do with a student's education. Missing class to go play in a soccer game or run in a cross country meet is exactly the same thing as missing school to go play video games.

A year abroad in France

By Sarah McIntosh | Published: September 2007
Since I've come back home, many people have asked how about my year in Rennes, France. I always answer that it was spectacular, the best junior year I could have hoped for. I was lucky enough to live with an amazing host family, the Verdiers. My host mother, Catherine, was very interesting. One time, when the family and our friends were going out to a party in downtown Rennes, she missed the turn into the parking lot. On the biggest thoroughfare in Rennes, she fearlessly put her car into reverse, forcing the other cars to back-up, and got us a fantastic parking spot.

Once Upon A Country

By Marshall Cohen | Published: September 2007
Author: Sari Nusseibeh with Anthony David Governments frequently dehumanize their enemies in times of war. It is the only way that soldiers and politicians can overcome their basic human instincts to engage in the inhuman and inhumane actions that war demands. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has raged for over half a century now, and both sides have gone far down the road of dehumanizing the other in order to more effectively continue the struggle. Israeli soldiers are compared to Nazis and Palestinian "gunmen" appear faceless and devoid of the human characteristics that might allow us to empathize with them and consider their plight. Sari Nusseibeh's autobiographical story of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle runs against this trend.     It is a refreshingly personal account of events told from the point of view of an intellectually rigorous child of both the 1960's and of a respected Palestinian family of ancient times. Professor Nusseibeh is exactly my age. The photographs that he includes in the book could have been ripped from my own family album. Comparing albums one can see his hair and my hair expand to ethnic versions of the "Afro" at the same moments in time and predictably turn to thinning mounds of white at another.

Teen chemistry isn’t Rocket Science

By Erica Rose | Published: September 2007
For the past couple of months, movies such as Superbad and Knocked Up have completely blown teenage sexuality out of proportion to the point where watching pathetic fat guys ask girls out is not funny, but rather exhausting. Yet in a casual fashion, Oscar-nominated director Jeffrey Blitz brings the movie Rocket Science to life, fully revitalizing the drowning teen angst genre. Rocket Science is about a seemingly normal teenage boy named Hal Hefner, played by newcomer Reece Thompson. Unlike the notorious playboy Hugh Hefner, Hal is not known for his connections with women.

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