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Denebola » Andrea Braver http://www.denebolaonline.net The Award-Winning, Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School, Newton, MA Fri, 17 Jun 2011 02:00:19 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.2 Meaning of “arty” continues to evolve http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/11/02/meaning-of-arty-continues-to-evolve/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/11/02/meaning-of-arty-continues-to-evolve/#comments Tue, 02 Nov 2010 08:05:45 +0000 Andrea Braver http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4985 Artsyness: a term used to describe students who dress in a specific way, hang out in a particular section of South, partake in precise activities, and act in similar mannerisms to one another.
The term “artsy has evolved from referring to mediums of art such as acting, singing, photography, and drawing to an image.
The evolution has occurred partially because of students’ fashion choices, partially as a result from the conformist nature of many, and partially for reasons simply unknown to most.
Many South students who engage in artist or theatrical activities dress and present themselves in a way many would call “artsy or “indie.
These arbitrary labels classify students whose fashion picks consist of, for the girls, high-wasted skirts, shorts, and pants, florals, and clothing that is reminiscent of the 80s. For the boys, it consists of straight leg jeans, corduroys, and tighter sweaters and shirts.
While many students who enjoy the arts tend to dress like this, many stray from “artistic dress.
In fact, the definition of “artsyness is incredibly arguable and has strayed from initial intentions.
“I feel as though the term artsy holds no weight anymore, senior Lauren Johnstone said.
She feels as though being “artsy is not something you can change.
Senior Murray Levy, an avid musician and DJ, feels as though his style does not accurately depict his personality.
One’s choice of fashion may or may not represent his interests and hobbies.
“Many people referred to as ‘Ëœartsy’ have no affiliation with the arts and many people who are involved with the arts are not referred to as ‘Ëœartsy,’ Levy said.
At South, a particular group, classified as “artsy, didn’t set out with the intention of redefining themselves to fit into a particular mold.
“When you simplify a group of people into a word you represent them by something that is not truly them, Levy said. “Then people can have their ideas about the idea and end up feeling alienated or in some way have a set of ideas about people they haven’t even met.
Junior Taylor Ollivierre, who has taken a form of Mixed Media/Glass since her freshman year, notes that “artsyness has been limited to specific group of students.
Although she is involved in the arts, Ollivierre would not consider herself “artsy.
“It’s hard to be artsy when you aren’t friends with the particular group that has become known as artsy, she said.
Johnstone agrees.
“There are kids that are perceived as artsy because of simply who they are, she said.
For mainly unknown reasons, the arbitrary label of “artsy has developed into a widespread phenomenon encapsulating only a specific group of students. These students are involved in theatre, music, physical forms of art, anything you can name.
However, what is setting them apart from the rest of the students involved in the arts is arguable. Factors such as dress, attitude, style, personality, and social groups certainly play a role, but it’s not quite enough to explain this deviation from societal regularities and labels.

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South runners reunite http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/11/02/south-runners-reunite/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/11/02/south-runners-reunite/#comments Tue, 02 Nov 2010 07:00:55 +0000 Andrea Braver http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4998 By Andrea Braver
From size to location, a number of factors are taken into consideration in the college selection process. For senior Kathy O’Keefe, one specific factor played a crucial role: running.
O’Keefe, a 10-time Dual County League All-Star in Cross Country and Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, is widely acclaimed in the world of competitive high school Cross Country and Track and Field.
She has not only qualified to compete at National meets, where the top high school athletes from all over the country gather for the sole purpose of running, but she has earned a spot as All-American, finishing in the top six places, on countless occasions.
In addition, she is a national champion in events such as the 4×1-mile relay.
Like the majority of South seniors looking to attend college, O’Keefe began her decision-making process by compiling a list of potential schools she was interested in.
“I had long list of schools I liked regardless of Cross Country and Track and Field, she said.
The next step, in narrowing down this large list of schools, was to decide which of the schools she had put on her list would allow her to run Division-I Cross Country and Track and Field.
O’Keefe is an immensely strong runner who is skilled in a variety of events, ranging from the 400 meters to the three-plus-mile Cross Country circuit.
The experience, talent, and drive that O’Keefe possesses are uncanny. As a reward for her hard work and efforts, she was bombarded by with letters from coaches from colleges asking her to consider being on their team.
After narrowing it down to schools that both fit her academic and athletic needs, O’Keefe found herself still unsure as to which she should choose.
The three schools in which she had to decide upon were Boston College (BC), Dartmouth College, and Duke University.
O’Keefe, after heavy consideration, eventually decided BC was a perfect fit for her for a number of reasons, beginning with the promising full scholarship she received to the college, as opposed to the partial scholarships she was offered from Dartmouth and Duke.
In addition, two members of BC’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams had been O’Keefe’s teammates at South.
Alumni Bridget Dahlberg (’09) and Madeleine Reed (’10) had not only been on the same team as O’Keefe, but were on her relay teams and remain close friends of hers to this day.
“Reuniting our old relay team would be fun, O’Keefe said. “I hadn’t given it much thought, but it might be possible.
Aside from matters pertaining to her running career, O’Keefe found that BC met her needs academically.
From speaking with student athletes at Dartmouth and Duke, O’Keefe learned that balancing athletics with academics could be difficult at those schools.
“I didn’t want to be overwhelmed with academics and I found that BC students felt the academic level was more comfortable, O’Keefe said.
O’Keefe had initially planned to leave the Boston area to attend a college farther away, but was pleasantly surprised with the opportunities BC presented.
“At first I thought I wouldn’t want to go to a school that both was in the same city I have been living in and has my old teammates on it, but the environment of the team and school in general gave me the impression that I could easily fit in, O’Keefe said.
While many students, if given the option, would choose an Ivy League school such as Dartmouth, or a school known as the “Harvard of the South, such as Duke, O’Keefe has been able to transcend the pressuring environment.
She acknowledges that BC is less acclaimed than a few of the other schools she was choosing between, but felt that a decision this vital should not be based on the status of a school.
The opportunity to reunite with her old teammates and potentially running on a relay team with them again is one she could not pass up.
“[Reed, Dahlberg, and I, if on a relay team together,] could wear orange spandex under our uniforms to keep the South spirit alive, O’Keefe said.

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Opposing Viewpoints: Question three is going to deplete state resources http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/opposing-viewpoints-question-three-is-going-to-deplete-state-resources/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/opposing-viewpoints-question-three-is-going-to-deplete-state-resources/#comments Thu, 28 Oct 2010 10:05:50 +0000 Andrea Braver http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4787 The three percent Sales Tax Relief Act, which will appear on the November 2 ballot all over Massachusetts, questions whether or not our state should decrease sales taxes from the current 6.25 percent to the lowered three percent.
Enacting a law lowering the Massachusetts sales tax sounds appealing to many consumers. However, what voters fail to realize is the severity of this action.
While most voters who vote for the reduction of the sales tax are doing so for the sole purpose of saving themselves’€and for that matter, only themselves’€money, the truth of the matter is this selfish intent is harmful for the state of Massachusetts. A higher sales tax, while it is seemingly stolen out of our very pockets, goes directly toward improving our state.
The Massachusetts Coalition for Our Communities, which is funded by the Massachusetts Teachers Association, is opposed to this drastic reduction. These groups are aware of the repercussions the extreme lowering of sales taxes would cause and have made a selfless sacrifice for the better of our state.
Members of the coalition are aware of the fact that lowering sales taxes in Massachusetts does not rid the state of the problems it encounters and salaries it is required to pay.
What a majority of voters who are voting for the sales tax reduction fail to realize is that the money earned in sales tax goes toward our government funding.
Teachers, for example, and public government workers, are paid from state funding. A decrease in the sales taxes would either forcibly lower these hard workers’ salaries drastically, or take the money necessary to maintain their salaries from elsewhere.
If the sales tax is decreased, the money lost from the former sales tax needs to be made up somehow.
The government will not make up for this lack of money on its own; it will take the money through additional, higher taxes. Citizens of Massachusetts end up paying money either way’€whether it is in sales taxes or in monthly salary taxes, it is irrelevant. Citizens are still paying money and it is still being detracted from their salaries in some way or other.
In addition, the sales tax is an extremely fair tax that everyone pays.
Every single person who buys an item’€ranging from a pencil to a wide-screen television’€in Massachusetts pays sales tax on this object. No one receives a “get out of jail free card, allowing him/her to evade paying this tax.
It is inevitable and there is no way around it. If 1 million people buy an item in Massachusetts and subsequently, pay the 6.25 percent sales tax for it, a hefty amount of money is raised.
However, if the same number of people each buys an item, while paying a mere three percent sales tax, significantly less money is raised.
Due to the fact that the money is still necessary for Massachusetts, it will need to be raised elsewhere.
As a result, it will come out of the incomes of average citizens of Massachusetts who may not be able to afford such an item in the first place.
In addition, since taxes do not include minors and those who are not citizens of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, the amount of money extracted from citizens may very well be higher than if there were simply a higher sales tax.
After all, short-term struggle equals long term gain’€not vice versa.

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Golf team’s drive for success on hold until next season http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/golf-teams-drive-for-success-on-hold-until-next-season/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/golf-teams-drive-for-success-on-hold-until-next-season/#comments Thu, 28 Oct 2010 07:31:28 +0000 Andrea Braver http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4879 The South Golf team, defending Dual County League (DCL) Champions, experienced a disappointing season, being unable to both defend the team’s title as DCL Champion and qualify for the State tournament.
Although the team had graduated a few strong athletes from last season, it should not have been the main source of adversity this season.
Graduates Jesse Zorfas, Ray Heinrich, and Bobby Marulli were the three of the team’s top competitors last season.
The loss of these three athletes contributed to this year’s outcome; however, other factors were major causes of the disappointing record as well.
“The season started out great with six wins and one loss, but we hit a cold streak towards the middle of the season, senior and captain Zach Rothschild said. “We ended up [with a record of] 6-7 and missed the tournament qualification by one match.
Last year, the Varsity Golf team was able to qualify for the State tournament and advance to the Sectional qualifiers.
Many in the South community expected the team to have similar results this season.
Rothschild, along with senior and co-captain Michael Josephson, has been on the team since his freshman year, and was on Varsity since his sophomore year. Senior and co-captain Dean Carney has played on Varsity since his junior year.
Senior Chad Stumpo, who made the Varsity team his freshman year at South, returned to play for the team this year after attending a golf school in Florida for his sophomore and junior years.
Although Stumpo currently attends an online high school, he lives within the South district and is allowed to play on the team.
With his addition to the team’s roster for this season, the team was expected to be incredibly successful.
With this talented group of veterans, many had high expectations for the team.
“Even though we lost some great players, we still had most of our talent left and had depth on our roster, Rothschild said. “We thought this would help us get into States.
The upset that the South Golf team experienced can be attributed to a variety of factors.
Some players were faced with personal concerns, resulting in their sudden withdrawals from some matches.
“We had the talent but were unable to play our best players at all times, Carney said.
Aside from the impediment of personal matters, once the team experienced the beginning of a losing streak, it became increasingly difficult for the team to keep its head up and get back on track.
“We lost confidence after losing a couple of matches, senior Kyle Russo said.
Russo, who noted that the team continued to work hard during practices and games, was aware of the psychological aspect of the game.
“Golf is a very mental game, he said. “And we let [the mental aspect of it] get the better of us.
Rothschild shared similar sentiment by acknowledging the downsides to the psychological role, resulting in occurrences such as seemingly unbearable pressure, in the sport of Golf.
“Many kids were inconsistent so it was hard to win matches, he said.
The team’s overall lack of confidence after losing a few matches helped lead to losing more matches, and as a result, not qualifying for the State tournament nor defending the DCL title.
The team’s falling short by one match of meeting the qualification for the State tournament will hopefully resonate with the golfers, allowing them to build on their experiences have a more successful season next year.

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Koolaidria sparks facebook name changing phenomenon http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/09/30/koolaidria-sparks-facebook-name-changing-phenomenon/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/09/30/koolaidria-sparks-facebook-name-changing-phenomenon/#comments Thu, 30 Sep 2010 06:05:41 +0000 Andrea Braver http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4648 A teenager’s Facebook often serves as a window into his or her life. But how would you feel if the college of your choice took a peak?  Recently, a wave of South seniors have decided to take the plunge and change their Facebook names to fabricated ones in order to remain unnoticed by college admission officers..
Many of the seniors who changed their Facebook names from their real name believe that doing so will prevent college admissions counselors from seeing their profiles when they type their names into the website’s search engine.
Senior Elena Origlio, who changed her name on Facebook in an attempt to conceal her identity to colleges, is aware that colleges look at certain pictures posted and comments made on social networking sites such as Facebook.
“Because although I am a good student, I am a teenager and may have some less than professional pictures or comments up, Origlio said.
It has been discovered, however, that this name-changing act does not actually prevent college admissions counselors from seeing students’ Facebook profiles. For those seniors who have done so in order to deceive colleges, unfortunately there will be no deception.
Due to the fact that many students have changed their names only recently and their real names were associated with their profiles for far longer, their real profiles will pop up when their real name is typed into the search engine of Facebook.
Some seniors do have something to be nervous about. The rumor that colleges check social networking websites to monitor and observe their applicants’ behavior has been confirmed as true.
According to Kaplan, an ACT/SAT prep company, one out of 10 college admissions counselors from the top 500 schools in America utilize the ability to view their applicants’ social networking pages.  Senior Dan Sazer, who spearheaded the name-changing revolution, changed his name to “Koolaidria Razor as a way of expressing his creativity and sense of humor.
While he did plan on reaping the college-related benefits, once he realized that admissions counselors could still access his profile, he didn’t find the need to change his name back.
Kaplan also reported that 25% of the time admissions counselors look at their applicants’ online pages, the result is a positive one. However, conversely, 38% of the time, doing so invokes a negative affect.
These results can be scary and it makes sense for students to want to hide from colleges.
Origlio found that she, along with a good majority of her friends, changed their names on Facebook because of colleges.
“It doesn’t mean we are bad kids, it just means getting into college is important to us, Origlio said.
Sazer agreed, feeling that while he changed his name for reasons other than deceiving colleges, a multitude of students changed theirs because of solely college. “I think the trend will continue until kids are safely into college, Sazer said.
But how far is too far when it comes to colleges seeking information on their applicants. Senior Anastasia Lymar believes this line has already been crossed. “What kids post on their own pages is private, and what they communicate to their friends does not reflect on their academics, she said.
Senior Jacob Tepper disagrees. “I don’t think colleges searching applicants on Facebook is inherently wrong. If students are posting material on the Internet they are doing so for people to see and have to understand that, he said.
On the other hand senior Michele Goldstein is a bit ambivalent about the subject. “I think kids should be able to have their own private lives, but if they are misrepresenting themselves on their application colleges have a right to know, she said.
Seniors Grant Henderson and Bryan Cheng, however, entered this recent college admission related fad for entirely different reasons.
Cheng expressed that he changed his name for fun and felt that the reasoning behind his decision mirrored that of most of the people he knows who made the shift.
“I feel it’s rare that colleges will go on one’s Facebook page¦there are a lot of other ways you can hide your Facebook, Cheng said, regarding the name change, “Plus, changing your name doesn’t make you hidden from colleges.
Henderson, who loves a particular song, chose to put this song’s title into his newly improved Facebook name. Similarly to Cheng, he didn’t change his name with the intention of avoiding the wrath of colleges.
Henderson, however, did admit that colleges not being able to view his profile would be a bonus.
Regardless of the discrepancies in motivation, this name-changing event has become a quickly spreading phenomenon. And as for the overtired and disinterested admissions officers, these pseudonyms are sure to provide a humorous diversion.

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Senior Cup: Chenzhe Cao & Ariel Kirshenbaum http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/senior-cup-chenzhe-cao-ariel-kirshenbaum/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/senior-cup-chenzhe-cao-ariel-kirshenbaum/#comments Thu, 10 Jun 2010 12:21:55 +0000 Andrea Braver http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4415 Every year, two seniors are chosen to receive the prestigious Senior Cup award. Seniors Chenzhe Cao and Ariel Kirshenbaum were selected this year as recipients of the award, announced at the Graduation ceremony.

Throughout his years at South, Cao has exhibited exceptional leadership, beginning with positions in Class Office, including two Vice Presidencies and the seat of President his senior year.

According to his teachers, Cao’s impressive natural leadership abilities have led him to succeed and stand out amongst his peers.

“Chen is a leader in so many facets of school, but certainly his role of class [President] is his hallmark, British Literature teacher Corrine Popp said. “[He] loves helping his fellow students and his unifying presence has made such a difference in our school.

Math Department Head Steven Rattendi shares similar sentiments, admiring Cao’s leadership qualities as well. “My first experience seeing Chen in action as a leader was during the pep rally earlier in the year. I was amazed at the way he was able to interact with a large crowd of students, Rattendi said.

Cao is extremely involved in other aspects of the South community as well, such as being a member of the Band, and the web editor of Denebola.

“Chen is an excellent musician, band teacher Lisa Linde said. “His discipline shows in his playing.

Cao combined his talent for technology and passion for music by creating a website for the school’s band.

He continually updated the website, each time accommodating the band’s needs. Cao’s determination and tendency to exceed expectations is what makes him such a beloved member of the senior class. He is valued for his friendliness and approachability. “Students seem comfortable talking with him, Popp said, “He is always smiling and laughing.

Cao is able to balance his extracurricular activities, the pressures of high school, and added stress in his life. “When all the seniors seemed to be at the end of their rope and beyond stressed, Chen remained consistently calm and composed, French teacher Sebastien Merle said.

Cao is also a hardworking and dedicated standout student who “always goes beyond the expectations of the assignment, Popp said.

Next fall, Cao will be attending Boston University.

Ariel Kirshenbaum, a talented student, athlete, and artist, exhibits admirable qualities. She was an integral member of both the Varsity Girls’ Soccer and Gymnastics teams since her freshman year. Kirshenbaum became a captain of both of these sports during her senior year.

Kirshenbaum’s gymnastics coach, Greg Beaupre, could not say enough about her.

“She is incredibly talented, yet incredibly humble, Beaupre said.

When she initially joined the gymnastics team her freshman year, Kirshenbaum knew nothing about the sport; however, she was extremely athletic, dedicated, and quick to learn, which resulted in her rapid success in the sport. In fact, her athleticism was a contributing factor in her team’s tremendously successful season this year.

Kirshenbaum is a phenomenal student and person as a whole.“Ariel puts 100 percent into everything she does, Beaupre said. “She is very gifted, kind, and supportive of people academically and athletically.

Kirshenbaum’s Journalism teacher, Alexander Kaplan, agreed. “She is an academic star, but you would never know it by sitting in a class with her, he said.

She does not openly exhibit her intelligence; “Ariel tries not to stand out from her peers, Kaplan said.

Kirshenbaum demonstrates exceptional skill in art. She was one of three recipients of the annual Newton South High School Drawing and Painting Award.

“Ariel never settles for mediocre results in art and life. She faces challenges head on, grappling until she can come out on top with the best possible results, art teacher Megan Leary-Crist said.

Along with her talents in a plethora of different activities, she was also the Sophomore Speech winner.

One can hear her laugh across the halls; she has a vibrant countenance and a winning smile. Along with a stellar personality, Kirshenbaum has an incredible sense of humor.

Many were left in hysterical laughter after reading her monthly column in the Lion’s Roar.

Next fall, Kirshenbaum will be attending Yale University.

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Post-AP nothingness thankfully proves to be a myth http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/post-ap-nothingness-thankfully-proves-to-be-a-myth/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/post-ap-nothingness-thankfully-proves-to-be-a-myth/#comments Thu, 10 Jun 2010 08:03:01 +0000 Andrea Braver http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4506 For many, once the middle of May passes, everything “becomes a joke. After all, for those who load themselves with Advanced Placement courses, after taking those AP exams, they feel as though there isn’t anything of importance left to learn in those classes. This is just incorrect, however.

A multitude of students at South who take AP classes for the first time assume that after they finish taking their AP tests, their teachers will assign them hardly any work.

If a teacher assigns you to research a Blue-Footed Boobie or find a current events article, for example, don’t complain about it just because you have taken the AP already.

I really hate to break it to you but taking an AP test doesn’t mean you have aced the test of life, thus deserving a long- standing break consisting of, well, no work for the rest of the school year.

In fact, some’€dare I say idiotic’€students who are enrolled in four or five AP classes not only believed, but altogether broadcasted that once they took their AP exams, they would have no classes.

These ignorant children would go around declaring that come mid May, they would have “like nine-thousand free blocks and only one class for the remainder of the school year. Now, to clarify, this is simply a blatant lie.

One can wonder where these kids even got that idea from. To any upcoming juniors or seniors reading this who have yet to dip their feet in the sparkling waters of Advanced Placement classes, I will repeat myself.

No, you do not get to roam the halls of South, chill in the Goldrick Commons, or even whip out your car keys and head to Starbucks to pick up a Carmel Macchiato come June.

After taking an AP, you still have to attend class. Your teacher will continue to do what they do best’€teach.

You will continue to attend class and complete assignments¦ but I mean, hey, that’s only if you want to pass the class.

Consequently, your life after AP exams will be virtually the same. The work load should decrease a bit, but that is all.

Due to the fact that if you are enrolled in an AP class, you are a child of at least moderate intelligence level, your life will not become this “joke that everyone speaks of.

What even is this illustrious joke? For some reason, I’m not in on it.

In my opinion, one should never expect post-AP classes to either a) cease to give out homework once the AP is done, or b) CANCEL ENTIRELY.

If there were no essays, homework, or projects assigned after the AP, students taking APs would receive no fourth term grades.

Imagine that; the slot on the report card where students’ fourth term grades are supposed to go would not include a simple letter grade, but the statement, “This student was enrolled in an AP class¦no need to worry, he/she slaved away studying for the test for the other three terms this year, so we simply didn’t feel inclined to assign him/her any work after the completion of it. Hopefully, you can understand.

Conversely, while after taking their AP tests, students are still expected to study hard and put adequate time into their assignments, it is not to be said that there should be superfluous amounts of work assigned to them at that time.

It is completely fair for students, following their completion of a three hour exam, to look forward to a slight decrease in school work in that particular class.

After all, following the completion of the test, logically speaking, there shouldn’t be a tremendous amount of material to still be learned in that class.

What one should expect from their teachers is assignments such as projects and essays that sum up what was learned in the class throughout the year, or extra chapters that the College Board didn’t feel was significant enough to be included in their exams.

It would be appropriate for AP classes to, during the time elated from mid-may through the end of June, review and learn fun and exciting portions of their particular subject that were left out of the original curriculum.

For example, there are still a multitude of battles, revolutions, and ideas that are prevalent to American History that the College Board or even Newton Public Schools didn’t see fit to teach its students and further more, test them on it.

Post-AP testing would be an opportune time for teachers to show their students different perspectives and ideals, to review the entire year, or fill in the holes from the curriculum, not to overwhelm kids with more tests and meticulous essays.

However, with that being said, the majority of AP classes that exist at South do just that. Despite what a plethora of students regularly complain about, teachers are not assigning excessive amounts of work and forcing arbitrary facts down their students’ throats’€they are finding an appropriate balance of assignments on the more tedious side and those that are simply fun and dare I say, “a joke.

It is about as fair as it gets here in the halls of South, so do us all a favor and quit complaining and actually use those ever-increasing brains of yours. Go research the cute bird whose feet in are in that dazzling shade of blue. After all, your teacher didn’t pick that particular bird for kicks. At least probably not.

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Opposing Viewpoints: ParentConnect is a great tool to keep us on track http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/opposing-viewpoints-parentconnect-is-a-great-tool-to-keep-us-on-track/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/opposing-viewpoints-parentconnect-is-a-great-tool-to-keep-us-on-track/#comments Thu, 10 Jun 2010 07:13:24 +0000 Andrea Braver http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4572 South, along with Brown Middle School, and Williams Elementary School, will be piloting new software next fall. This software, called ParentConnect, allows parents to take a look their child’s attendance in class as well as their homework assignment grades, and eventually overall grades.

The software called ParentConnect is a supplement to the online-based software produced by Pearson, which Newton Public Schools already use, thus being provided to Newton at a low cost.

It may appear unjust at first; however, after careful thought, one will soon come to realize its true importance. South, which many of its students refer to as an excellent school, is substantially dropping in the rankings state’€and of course nation’€wide.

The reason behind this is the following: students have been cutting class more often than ever, trekking to Dunkin’ Donuts or Bob’s instead of attending class. Students have also been not completing their homework, as they should.

ParentConnect will allow parents to see when their children have been skipping class or not completing homework assignments on time.

Now, keep in mind that this is simply a pilot program’€if it does not work or seems to be unbeneficial to the masses, the program will labeled a failure and consequently dropped from the Newton Public Schools.

This program is not an automatic recipe for success. There is no guarantee that it will serve as the sole factor in increasing the success and excellence of South; however, this is not a valid reason for us to not give it a try.

For the vast majority of students at South, who regularly complete homework assignments and attend class, the installation of this software into their parents’ computer should change nothing in their lives. After all, if one isn’t doing anything wrong, nothing will appear on his/her parents’ software.

Due to the fact that many students are achieving well, this program will not be affecting them at all.

Conversely, however, those students at South who consistently skip class or don’t complete their homework on time’€or ever’€will be in for a rude awakening. The parents of said students will indeed be notified via ParentConnect every time their child fails to attend class without an excused absence or completely their homework on time.

This software will allow parents who may be unaware of just how often their child is skipping class or not completing his/her homework to get an idea of what is going on with their child.

While the school does notify parents when their child skips a couple of classes in one day, the system is deeply flawed.

Due to the fact that secretaries or housemasters are the ones informing parents when their child has been skipping classes, miscommunications between teachers and these housemasters/secretaries are inevitable.

This new software will take the middleman out of the system of informing parents; teachers have access to the program and thus can update each student’s status regularly. Along with facilitating and correcting the system of calls to parents, this new software makes the lives of housemasters/secretaries much easier.

Another great thing about this software is that parents are by no means obliged to download it and accept it onto their e-mails. For examples, if the parents of a phenomenal student do not wish to proctor their child’s success and schooling, they simply do not need to sign up for the program.

If this is the case, for these parents, it will be as though the software doesn’t exist, thus mirroring the old ways of South’s student tracking system.

Setting up this software was definitely a very smart move of the Newton Public Schools Committee. The system will allow concerned parents who are currently boxed out of their children’s life to delve into their grades and assignment results.

If nothing else results from this new system, a majority of students will at least be more motivated to try harder in school and attend class due to the fact that their parents are now watching their every move.

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COINCIDENCE? http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/05/21/coincidence/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/05/21/coincidence/#comments Fri, 21 May 2010 08:00:43 +0000 Andrea Braver http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4336 You should probably quit spending your Saturday nights studying for that illustrious AP. It would behoove you to give up on everything you have ever wanted. In fact, you might as well speed up the inevitable process of your demise and kill yourself now.

If you haven’t heard, the world is coming to an end. The day is December 21, 2012. That is the day in which the Earth will spontaneously combust, blowing up into tiny shreds, right before your eyes. Nah, just kidding. You wouldn’t actually have eyes to see this atrocity due to the fact that you will be blown up into shreds as well.  Consequently, your soul will be no longer and life as we know it will cease to exist.

Does anyone actually believe that?!?

There is legitimate scientific proof showing that December 21, 2012 will be just like any other day. Initially on May 27, 2003, a planet discovered by the Sumerians, called Nibiru, was supposed to align in its orbital pattern with that of Earth’s, resulting in the end of the world. This occurrence, however, didn’t happen. All that hype was for nothing and on May 28, 2003, thousands of gullible, ignorant human beings were left dumbstruck and simply looking foolish. With nothing left to say, people on Earth commenced reading the Mayan calendar and came across the next day in which a catastrophe was set to occur. They had to scroll through nine and a half years on the calendar to come across the day which was seemingly arbitrarily selected as End of the World: Take Two.

Now, what new, legitimate proof is out there that truly validates December 21, 2012 as being as official a date for the end of the world as Denebola is our school newspaper? None. The answer is none. According to NASA, every December, the Earth and sun align with the center of the Milky Way Galaxy; however, as previously stated, this event occurs each and every December, and the December in 2012 will be no abnormality or exception to the norm.

The Mayans claim that the planet Nibiru or Planet X is approaching our planet at a rapid pace. This, however, can simply not be true, seeing as if there were such a planet in close proximity to us, not only would it be visible to the naked eye, but it would be visible to astronomers who track our solar system and galaxy for anything out of the ordinary.

If this planet were really headed for Earth, it would be obvious in our records and there wouldn’t even be a debate over whether or not it exists.

To further validate the fact that the world isn’t ending, Mayan elder Apolinario Chile Pixtun revealed the truth about the mythical doomsday.

“I came back from England last year and, man, they had me fed up with this stuff, Pixtun said. He claimed that the whole idea wasn’t even that of the Mayans, but the Western World.

Mayan archaeologist, Jose Huchim, backs up Pixtun’s claim that the Mayans weren’t even the civilization to assert the idea that the world would end in 2012.
“If I went to some Mayan-speaking communities and asked people what is going to happen in 2012, they wouldn’t have any idea, Huchim said. “If I told them that the world is going to end, they  wouldn’t believe me. We have real concerns these days, like rain.

The fact that even an archaeologist studying Mayans believes that the Mayans themselves knew nothing about the claim that the world was going to end validates Pixtun’s assertion that it isn’t the Mayans’ claim. Furthermore, if the Mayan calendar really does state that the world may end in 2012, why would the Mayans not have knowledge about it or believe it?

Also, as stated by Huchim, rain is more of a catastrophe for us humans to have to deal with than the notion that the world could end in 2012 is. Rain. When rain is described as a “real concern, you know have entered period of legitimate distress. A true crisis.

The only chance that the world would end in 2012 is if it were solely minuscule raindrops that managed to bring about the demise of our beautiful planet Earth.

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Fashion Focus: Carlos Morales http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/05/21/fashion-focus-carlos-morales/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/05/21/fashion-focus-carlos-morales/#comments Fri, 21 May 2010 07:00:46 +0000 Andrea Braver http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4352 Many students at South deliberately aim to blend in with the crowd, choosing to not stand out from their peers. Whether it’s in the food they eat’€perhaps choosing to go vegan because their friends have decided that animals are too cute to be eaten’€or in the clothing they choose to wear, individuality is something that many a student struggle to attain.  Nevertheless, in a world of black and white, one South student lights up the color spectrum: junior Carlos Morales.

Morales initially made the decision to surround himself with different monochromatic Under Armor brand sweat suits during the fall of his sophomore year. He was inspired when his aunt bought him his first navy blue polo and hoodie. Morales felt that the Under Armor brand was “comfier than other brands he tended to wear.

“I figured I could just go crazy with color matching, Morales said. Before he knew it, he was starting a fashion revolution.
While sporting those monochromatic Under Armor sweat suit outfits is a passion, Morales does own other brands and forms of clothing. “I do have jeans in my closet, I just don’t typically wear them¦they’re not the most comfy thing ever, Morales said. Comfort level is clearly an utmost priority of his.

Morales has definitely exploited his Under Armor apparel. “I wear this clothing year-round, regardless of weather, he said. In addition to wearing his Under Armor clothing to school, Morales also wears it to his gymnastics practices.

Morales has gone through lengths to attain his wardrobe of vast numbers of pricey Under Armor apparel.

Morales, who has six Under Armor sweat suits, 13 t-shirts/polos, and six pairs of shorts, realizes that he has spent a solid chunk of money on clothing alone. With each article of clothing ranging from $40-$50 a piece, his wardrobe costs an estimated grand total of $1200.

Although spending $1200 solely on clothing may seem a bit extreme, Morales has no regrets. In fact, Morales did not go out and buy all of it himself nor was it necessarily all at full price. Morales received a few hoodies, polos, and sweatpants as gifts from relatives, such as his aunt and brother.

Morales buys his gears online on the Under Armor website, and at the Under Armor retailer stores’€such as the Natick Collection, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Modell’s, and last but not least, the Under Armor Outlet Store. Purchasing clothing from the outlet has allowed Morales to save money on his apparel.

Unfortunately, Morales’s shopping sprees for Under Armor are coming to a close.

“Once I get brown pants, I’m done¦I don’t need anymore, Morales said. “I’ve run out of colors on the website.

Besides the fact that Under Armor has no other colors left for Morales, his parents are not advocates of his obsession.  Both parents want him to change up his wardrobe.  With that in mind, Morales is no longer completely opposed to buying new and unique clothing brands.

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