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Denebola » Rebecca Penzias 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 Math Team to States http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/03/25/math-team-to-states/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/03/25/math-team-to-states/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2009 05:00:12 +0000 Rebecca Penzias http://www.sandbox.denebolaonline.net/?p=1991 After a year of relatively successful meets, the South Math team will participate in the state championships on April 3 for the first time in seven years.

The team has worked hard all year by meeting regularly to improve their mathematics skills. In addition to the incredibly talented students on the team this year, the captains, seniors Kenny Lu, David Weng, and Jie-Yoon Yang, have worked hard training the team.

They have effectively organized runoffs, tests that determine the members of the team participating in the main competition. “Our organization this year has been better, Weng said. “We’re putting more effort into practices.

Sophomore Jolie Yu attributes the team’s success to their excellent captains. Yu believes that the captains’ passionate involvement brought the team to states this year. “They are very serious about practices and runoffs, she said. “They care about Math team so much. Math team advisor, Steven Rattendi, agreed and said, “They’re more committed this year.

Sophomore Tomer Reiter agrees that this year’s excellent leadership has given them the edge they need to succeed in the state championships and even make it to the New England competition. “[The captains] kept us on track, gave sufficient practice, and made good team selections every meet, Reiter said.

While the members of the team are confident in their abilities, they are aware of the challenge that awaits them at states. “We could potentially place in the top three, Weng said. “But it could range anywhere from three to six. Reiter believes that Lexington, Canton, Belmont, Acton-Boxborough, Weston, and Concord Carlisle are the top contenders of the 15 teams participating in the competition.

The main differences between the state championship and a regular meet include the difficulty of math problems, the length of the meet, and the number of schools in attendance.

Reiter believes that this years team is “dominated by rookies with exceptional talent, which added to its success. Both Yu and Reiter hope that the team will succeed in the state championship and perhaps move on to the New England competition.

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Colleges turn to feared wait list http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/04/16/colleges-turn-to-feared-wait-list/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/04/16/colleges-turn-to-feared-wait-list/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2008 06:55:32 +0000 Rebecca Penzias http://denebolaonline.net/wordpress/?p=285 Instead of being accepted or rejected by schools this year, an unusually large number of Newton South seniors are in the most dreaded sort of college limbo: the wait list.
According to South’s College and Career Councilor Barbara Brown, a combination of record high numbers of applicants and a high number of applications per student is behind the waitlist phenomenon.
As the numbers of applications grow, colleges fear that they may enroll more students than they have capacity for. Because applicants are considering more and more colleges, however, schools also fear undershooting. This all makes it increasingly uncertain for colleges to know just how many students will show up in September.
Only a very small percentage of waitlisted students usually get accepted. According to Brown, most schools with less than 2,000 undergraduates don’t even use their waitlists.
The number of applicants on waitlists who are ultimately admitted often varies from year to year. Macalester College, for example, admitted 30 to 60 applicants from the waitlist every year between 2005 and 2007. From 2001 to 2004, however, Macalester only admitted six total.
Senior Charles Li was waitlisted at several of his top choice schools. He was, however, accepted by New York University
“Basically, I’m in purgatory, he said. “Do I enroll in NYU or do I wait to see if I get in a school that sounds slightly better?
Senior Siddhi Krishna was waitlisted at several of her top choice schools. She advocates applying early decision, a decision she is somewhat regretting not making, in light of the increase in regular applicants.
“I think [applying early] is something that every junior should consider, she said.
Selective schools such as those in the Ivy League have posted record low acceptance rates this year due to these demographic trends. As more and more students apply to college, these selective schools have to turn more and more away.
Harvard University only accepted 7.1 percent of its applicants this year. Yale and Princeton University accepted 8.3 and 9.25 percent, respectively.
Small, selective liberal arts colleges also turned away many this year. Amherst College only accepted 14.2 percent, down from 18 percent last year. At the same time, it received a 17 percent increase in applications. Swarthmore College’s acceptance rate fell from 17 percent last year to 15 percent this year.
In addition, Harvard and Princeton’s elimination of early admittance programs has keeps the thousands who would have been accepted early still in the regular acceptance pool, further increasing competition.
Fortunately for sophomores and freshmen, the number of applicants nationwide may be hitting its peak. This year, around 3.32 million seniors will graduate high school in the US. While 3.33 million are expected to graduate next year, experts expect the trend to level off in coming years.
Students have to send in their the deposits to their chosen school by May 1. If they get in off the waitlist at another school and enroll there instead, they lose that deposit.
College councilors encourage students to put down a deposit at their second-choice school and write to their first-choice school to declare a continued interest to attend. Colleges also encourage those on their waitlist to put down a deposit in another school, in case they don’t get in off the waitlist.

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South Stage may swap productions http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/10/25/south-stage-may-swap-productions/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/10/25/south-stage-may-swap-productions/#comments Fri, 26 Oct 2007 04:00:46 +0000 Rebecca Penzias http://denebolaonline.net/wordpress/?p=80 A possible change in the South Stage production schedule has created alarm among theatre students.
Concerns within the South theatre department over an uneven distribution of talent between all plays sparked interest in a change of schedule.

Potential changes could involve swapping the fall drama and the spring Shakespeare production, denying seniors directing the spring One Act plays or full length the chance to act in the year’s drama.
Under the current theatre schedule, the modern drama of the year occurs in fall, while the Shakespeare production and student-directed plays take place in spring. Typically, experienced senior actors would participate in the dramatic fall play and then direct a show later in the year if selected.

As many seniors choose to direct the One Act plays, the other spring plays lose some of the most experienced actors.

“This creates problems for productions in the spring,” head of Newton South theatre production, Jeff Knoedler, said. “With so many parts available and a handful of senior actors directing their own shows, the casting pool gets shallow.”

Knoedler believes that if the Shakespeare production, one of the more challenging and less-accessible shows, took place in the fall, more experienced actors would audition for it, improving its quality.

Furthermore, if South Stage goes through with the change, the fall drama would require a much smaller cast, opening up a wider range of shows to choose from.

Despite some benefits, if the theatre department enacts the plan, director of the past fall dramas, Nancy Cromwillis, may not be able to direct under the new schedule.

There are a range of reactions to this proposal, but several theatre students are upset. Juniors would be the most affected by this change as many have been looking forward to directing as well as participating in the 2008-2009 drama.

“We have been looking forward to [it] for the past three years,” junior Alex Caron said.

Caron feels that the switch is “unjustified overall” and that it will start an “unnecessary conflict” between actors and administrators.

Junior Anya Whelan-Smith understands where administrators are coming from but is unhappy with the change as well.

She feels that the swap “strips us of our only big, non-classical drama” and forces very dedicated committed members of South Stage to make a difficult decision.

“I completely understand and appreciate Mr. Knoedler’s reasoning for switching around the order of the shows for next year,” junior David Broyles said. “But I am sure that he and the students can come across some sort of agreement that meets the needs of both parties.”

Junior Maddie Sharton, who plays Wendy in this fall’s Peter Pan, is also upset by some of the changes, but thinks she can handle them. “I completely understand why they’re doing this. It makes complete
sense,” she said. She had wanted to direct a show, but was also looking forward to her senior fall play. Given the choice, she would pick directing. Sharton remains optimistic and said she would audition for Shakespeare now that she has the chance.

Junior Sam Levenson, a cast member of Peter Pan, is supportive of theproposal, but he currently does not plan to direct during his senior
year.

“I can understand the frustration of people who want to be in the big fall play,” Levenson said, “but that’s what change is: it’s compromise.”

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