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Denebola » Sammie Levin 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 Student recounts February trip to Peru http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/student-recounts-february-trip-to-peru/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/student-recounts-february-trip-to-peru/#comments Wed, 23 Mar 2011 04:52:42 +0000 Sammie Levin http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5695 Along with 14 other South upperclassmen and Spanish teachers Viviana Planine and Marla Weiner,  I recently spent two and one-half weeks in Peru—or as some fondly call it, “Peraah”—on a language and community service trip.
From February 16 through March 4, we toured the country, lived with Peruvian families, took Spanish classes, worked in local orphanages, suffered excruciating stomach pains, and (most importantly) dined on fine cuisine. It was an eye-opening experience that I am sure none of us will ever forget.
In the beginning of the trip, we spent the days sightseeing and the nights staying together in hostels.
We started in Lima, walking and busing around the city, and then took a plane to Cusco and toured neighboring cities and villages.
We saw Incan ruins, learned about ancient rituals and the process of dying and weaving threads, and ate at a lot of buffets.
Since the elevation of Cusco is nearly 11,000 feet, the first few days were spent acclimating to the high altitude with the help of a plethora of medication and mate de coca (an herbal tea made using the leaves of the cocoa plant).
Some fared better than others. We kept a day-by-day log of who on the trip was still “alive”—senior Jenny Fleisher was the final survivor. “What a champ,” senior Max Levine wrote about her on his frequently updated Facebook status.
On Sunday, February 20, we went to Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Words cannot really do Machu Picchu justice—even “majestic,” which almost always gets the job done, sells it short.
To get there, we took a lethal bus ride up a narrow, winding mountain. In 30 minutes, there we were, facing the beautiful, expansive “Lost City of the Incans.”
We walked throughout it as we learned about its history from our fearless guide, Percy. Despite a downpour of rain toward the end, it was amazing. That night we (sans my backpack) traveled back to Cusco to begin the homestay portion of the trip.
For the next two weeks, we stayed with families in houses spread throughout the city. There were two travelers in each house, except for Levine (“El Valiente”), who stayed alone. Senior Blair Borden and I lived with Doris, a lovely 60 year-old woman, and her 90 year-old mother—our dear abuelita—while many other students had younger kids in their houses.
Mondays through Fridays, we took Spanish classes at a nearby school for four hours in the morning. We were divided by level into classes of about two to five students each. They were very different from Spanish classes at South, in the sense that they were conducted entirely in Spanish and were based largely on casual conversations.
“My Spanish improved twofold,” senior Alex Seibel said.
After school, we would all return to our separate houses to eat lunch with our families. In Peru, the custom is to have a large lunch and small dinner. A typical lunch consisted of soup, a main course such as chicken and rice, and fruit.
After lunch, we went to orphanages for approximately three hours. We were divided among several orphanages, some for babies and young kids, and others for adolescents and young adults.
We talked with the kids, taught them English, played games with them, and got our hair braided (or put into cornrows—long hair, don’t care).
Though it was sad to be in the orphanages, many students made lasting bonds with the kids and learned a lot. “Working with the kids in the orphanages was really rewarding and forced us to learn Spanish quickly,” Borden said.
At night, we ate dinner with our families, but since dinners were small, we usually met up afterwards to eat at local cafes and restaurants. Pancakes with caramelized bananas were a group favorite.
On weekends, we did not go to school or the orphanages; instead, we went on sightseeing excursions. We visited several markets, more Incan ruins, and a farm with alpacas and llamas.
We accomplished a lot, covered significant territory, and made countless memories in our two and one-half week stay in Peru. Though there were some things we were ready to say goodbye to—like the lack of oxygen, the reckless drivers, “the trucha,” and the aggressive recruiters of InkaTeam—it was really hard to leave. I strongly recommend the trip and truly hope that I will go back sometime in the future.

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Too loco Four Loko: ban sparks controversy http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/12/06/too-loco-four-loko-ban-sparks-controversy/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/12/06/too-loco-four-loko-ban-sparks-controversy/#comments Mon, 06 Dec 2010 07:30:13 +0000 Sammie Levin http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5154 The infamous drink Four Loko, a hybrid of alcohol and caffeine dubbed “blackout in a can, met its demise nationwide after repeated FDA warnings provoked many states, including Massachusetts, to ban the beverage.
College students everywhere are mourning.
But worse, many have resorted to buying the product in bulk before it disappears from shelves forever.
The website Texts From Last Night, a daily showcase of anonymous texts sent from around the country, is a goldmine of evidence of this phenomenon.
“They told me they were banning Four Lokos so yeah I did have to buy 42 of them, someone from Maryland posted.
Some have even managed to reap financial profits in their efforts, such as an Alabaman that posted, “She has a refrigerator full of Four Loko and is charging $15 a can¦she is like a mini Donald Trump.
A text from a New Yorker’€“Had to use the product locator on the Four Loko website to find them at home. Got to go in the backroom of a grocery store to get them. Dedication’€epitomizes the sentiment shared by patrons of Loko that desperate times call for desperate measures.
Sometimes, however, it seems desperate times also call for celebrations: “These Four Loko going away parties are gonna kill me, an Iowa native said.
Why exactly, amid widespread controversy, has the drink garnered such a cult following? Likely for the same reason it was outlawed.
One can contains roughly as much alcohol as five beers and packs in approximately as much caffeine as an entire cup of coffee.
The FDA has continuously warned against this lethal mixture, deeming it “a public health concern, because caffeine inhibits people from feeling the full extent of their intoxication by counteracting the depressive effects of alcohol with increased alertness.
Consequently, people drinking these two ingredients simultaneously are scientifically proven to be more likely to consume a far greater amount of alcohol, posing a serious problem in the binge-drinking world on campuses.
At Ramapo College in New Jersey, for example, 17 students were hospitalized after drinking Four Lokos, which led the college to prohibit it even before state governments took action.
This is not an isolated incident. According to Socialtik Magazine, one in four students have tried a beverage like Four Loko that mixes alcohol and caffeine and masks it all with “a fruity flavor.
“If you’ve never heard of Four Loko, you probably aren’t in college, a writer for the magazine said.
Hospitalizations following Four Loko consumption have occurred on numerous campuses and there have even been allegations that the drink has been responsible for several deaths, such as 14-year-old Valeria Rodriguez in Texas killed by a driver under the influence of Four Loko.
Yet in face of these incidents that testify to the proven dangers of the drink, the company that manufactures it, Phusion Projects, defends itself on its website, claiming, “We go above and beyond federal and state labeling requirements with multiple labels on all Four products that prominently show that the beverage contains alcohol. Our labels and marketing materials clearly state our message: If you’re 21 or older and choose to drink, please drink responsibly. If you’re under 21, respect the law and don’t drink.
Saturday Night Live recently poked fun at the ludicrousness of this justification by impersonating one of the founders of the company.
Seth Meyers: Well, to be fair, college students have been hospitalized after using your product.
“Founder: Yeah, after misusing the product¦these college kids are drinking the entire can! What are they thinking? It’s called servings, kids.
Seth Meyers: How many servings are in the can?
“Founder: 120.
Though it is obviously that the drink became increasingly popular on college campuses quite rapidly before it was banned, did South students follow the trend as well?
While some students admit that they know of a few people who have tried the drink, the general consensus is that it has not made such an impression here.
“It wasn’t really a big hype, senior Tess Levy said. “I think that everyone knew the reputation of it, so they kind of stayed away.
A relief indeed. Another relief? According to the company website,
“Phusion believes in giving back to the communities in which it operates. Hopefully that involves making up for the nationwide damage and uproar it has caused.

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Is Jonah Reider the next Martha Stewart? http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/12/06/is-jonah-reider-the-next-martha-stewart/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/12/06/is-jonah-reider-the-next-martha-stewart/#comments Mon, 06 Dec 2010 07:05:32 +0000 Sammie Levin http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5164 It is Saturday night at an upperclassman’s house party. The attendants, equipped with their soft drinks, are either chatting with friends or dancing to the music resounding throughout the room.
It is just a typical scene from a run-of-the-mill high school party, until junior Jonah Reider emerges from the kitchen.
He bursts through the door balancing a tray on his outstretched palm, proudly announcing that the first course is served.
The guests stop what they are doing and crowd around the young chef to find shrimp tempura accompanied by a spicy coconut sauce.
One minute later, the plate is empty and Reider is back in the kitchen.
He later presents what he calls, “tenderly roasted fingerling potatoes with sage butter and arugula, and finishes the night on a sweet note with banana filled crepes.
Those unaware of Reider’s talent are amazed to learn that Reider concocted these dishes almost entirely from scratch in the middle of a party, but his friends are used to his habit, though equally amazed by the intricacy and taste of his creations every time.
“It is always a pleasure to see him walk out of the kitchen with a platter of food, junior Hannah Leiken said. “You know that it’s going to be good.
Senior Yudit Bolotovsky has never seen anyone else cook like Reider, and could hardly believe it when she first witnessed it.
“I was very surprised that he made such a big effort¦and that he would rather cook than hang out with the group, she said.
Reider feels that his behavior does not separate him from groups, but rather brings him closer to them.
“There is something to be said about creating a meal to be shared with friends, he said.
“I cook mostly for my friends because it is a great thing to do when a bunch of people get together. It gives everyone something to do.
Reider’s proclivity for voluntarily cooking at social gatherings is rooted in his passion for culinary arts, the intensity of this passion evident in his claim that “ever since [he] was a young lad the world of culinary adventure has enticed [him].
So where exactly did he learn the techniques needed to make such elaborate dishes from the miscellaneous items in his friends’ fridges?
“My dad, he said. “And from traveling the world. By eating food in Thailand, China, India, Indonesia, and Europe I’ve kind of learned all these different flavors.
Bolotovsky, who Reider claims is especially fond of his cuisine, recognizes these distinctive tastes.
“The food is very good in the sense that it tastes unique, she said.
“It’s not something that you can look up on your own. You’ve never had it before.
Reider does not limit his cooking to parties.
He cooks at home too, generally at least once a week. “Just this morning I made a pot of golden beet soup, he said.
Though he does not see himself taking his passion to the professional level, noting some unappealing qualities of “the world of chefs, he is glad to have the skill.
“People like someone who can cook, he said. “It’s a good quality to have.
He is confident that he will continue to cook throughout his life, wherever he goes, because in his words, “the world is like a frying pan.

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Explicit text messages lead to ruined relationships http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/11/02/explicit-text-messages-lead-to-ruined-relationships/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/11/02/explicit-text-messages-lead-to-ruined-relationships/#comments Tue, 02 Nov 2010 09:05:02 +0000 Alexandra Fen http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4968 Dear Generation Y,
You’re scaring us. Just yesterday we attempted to initiate a conversation with you, only to be answered by the staccato rhythm of your texting fingers.
Lips quivering, tears forming, we yearned to simply hear the sound of your voice, but alas, your eyes remained fixed on your Smartphone screen.
We cursed the very technology that took you away from us, yet had no choice but to resort to our own cellular devices to occupy our lonesome selves. There we were, side by side, in our own separate wireless worlds.
The rapid technological advancements that we have grown up with have become such an integral part of our lives, to such an extent that we are eroding the dynamic of our personal relationships by devoting ourselves to digital communication.
This cyber arena we have created allows for even our most intimate exchanges to be shared with the mere click of a button.
Since we are trying to connect with you tech-savvy snoils on a more personal level, we might as well be honest and tell you outright: we’re talking about sexting.
Are you blushing? Or did you just tweet the emoticon equivalent instead? Regardless of your reaction, read carefully because this is a serious issue. Contrary to popular belief, this trend is not just popular among prepubescent middle school girls eager to flaunt their trainingbraless chests, submitting to the pressures of their media-influenced male counterparts.
In fact, celebrities such as Jesse James and Tiger Woods have engaged in the act, offering evidence of their infidelity and staining their reputations. And just last week a high school teacher and soccer coach in Rhode Island was charged with sending sexually inappropriate messages to students. Though South has yet to suffer a scandal of this nature, we have a feeling that sexting is still prevalent and concerning here.
Students may be inclined to sext for a number of reasons. Perhaps they are trying to impress a buddy.
Or maybe they are just taking a homework break. They could just revel in the attention or feel pressured to live up to standards set by the increasingly provocative media.
But, according to our calculations, they most likely listened to Trey Songz’s lyrical masterpiece “LOL smiley face one too many times. (“Shorty sent a twitpic saying come and get this LOL smiley face, LOL smiley face)
Whatever the motivation, the potential consequences are the same. Apart from the illegality of sexting, specifically exchanging suggestive photos that could land you jail time or considerable fines, the trend comes with a variety of detrimental effects.
We all know how easy’€and common’€it is to use a computer or phone as a vehicle to express thoughts we are not comfortable saying in person.
Sexters are all the more likely, therefore, to abandon their inhibitions and say something completely uncharacteristic, something they may later regret.
A problem inherent in sexting is that it lacks the privacy that sexual interactions call for, no matter how private it seems at the time. Sexters often overlook the threat of message forwarders, snoopers, gossipers, blackmailers, and the like. Especially as a teenager, a blow like this to a reputation is hard to come back from. As harmless as that suggestive text or picture seems to you, it could cause uncontrollable damage to your dignity and respectability.
It’s no fun having to make a public apology to mend your reputation. At least that’s what Tiger told us.
The most startling effect of all, however, is on the future of our interactions, our relationships, our society as a whole.
If technology absorbs every form of personal connection, will we still value face-to-face contact at all? If this contact does indeed become obsolete, the world will be a grim, quiet, cold, babyless, place.
So stop sexting, put down your phone, and talk to us.
We’re right here. We’ve been waiting for you.

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What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Feasting on the perfect mixture of traditional dishes http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/11/02/what-does-thanksgiving-mean-to-you-feasting-on-the-perfect-mixture-of-traditional-dishes/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/11/02/what-does-thanksgiving-mean-to-you-feasting-on-the-perfect-mixture-of-traditional-dishes/#comments Tue, 02 Nov 2010 06:05:47 +0000 Sammie Levin http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5017 The main reason why I love the American nation is because of the blessed Thanksgiving vacation.
Not because it is a break from our grueling education, but simply for the feast that comes at its initiation.
I wait 364 days in undying anticipation for that one single meal, an unparalleled creation.
You may think that this is a dramatization, but I promise it is no falsification.
In order to bring you to the realization that nothing I’m saying is an exaggeration, I am willing to give a detailed explanation of each wondrous dish that provides such elation.
Well, first off, the turkey, considered the foundation, is best when served in a heaping donation, rather than a measly ration with a strict limitation for which I would undoubtedly feel a great perturbation.
The stuffing inside is more than a decoration, more than a superficial display of ostentation.
It is a savory medley, a masterful combination of delicious ingredients that require little refrigeration; therefore, it is worthy of the utmost admiration.
But, there is another side dish deserving such laudation. It causes an inundation of grand jubilation within the spectators watching its preparation.
The mashed potatoes, of course, are the subjects of fascination because the creamy dish is the perfect compilation of potatoes, butter, milk, salt, and temptation.
The cranberry sauce complements it all, a tangy sensation, and the pie brings the meal to a sweet finalization.
As my family sits round the table in unification, I stare at the meal, such a glorious presentation.
My stomach pangs in anxious starvation, while my excitement grows with each palpitation.
And though I remind myself to eat in moderation, I end up consuming it all in one eager inhalation.
I later regret it after the instant gratification and I am overwhelmed with devastation for the meal has caused me apparent impregnation’€yet, even that does not take away from my infatuation.
So here’s to the people of Plymouth Plantation. I am forever thankful that they started this tradition of joyous celebration.
I will now conclude my ode with one simple summarization: I really like Thanksgiving.

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Seasons Club offers opportunity to embrace great outdoors http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/seasons-club-offers-opportunity-to-embrace-great-outdoors/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/seasons-club-offers-opportunity-to-embrace-great-outdoors/#comments Thu, 28 Oct 2010 07:05:45 +0000 Sammie Levin http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4891 New Englanders have the benefit of distinctly experiencing all four seasons. Leaves change colors and fall from the trees, snowflakes powder branches and coat the ground, flowers bloom, and temperatures change day to day.
To ensure that South students take the time to notice and appreciate these changes, senior Martha Schnee has founded a club devoted to celebrating all that each season has to offer.
“Last year in my math class, Ms. Hollingsworth had us go outside and observe a tree for the last five minutes of class periodically throughout the year. It was nice to see the changes in the tree as the seasons shifted over time, Schnee said.
Inspired by this idea, Schnee developed the framework for the Seasons Club.
She discussed the idea with Hollingsworth, who agreed to be the club’s advisor, and then pitched it to club coordinator Lenny Libenzon earlier this year.
Schnee explained to Libenzon that, “at South, we move so quickly that we often forget to stop, look around, and appreciate our environment. Seasons Club will help people slow down and embrace each season.
She devised a list of activities and outings that club members could participate in, such as apple picking, jumping in leaf piles, carving pumpkins, tracing hand turkeys, sledding, sipping hot chocolate, and making gingerbread houses.
Libenzon was impressed and intrigued, agreeing that the club would help students “be less stressed and notice the little things.
“I think she really struck a chord. It is amazing, Libenzon said.
He approved the club and even hung the list of activities on his office door.
After receiving the seal of approval, Schnee began advertising by putting up a sign in the Senior Commons. She started there to not only raise awareness about the club among fellow seniors, but also because the Commons will be the site of many Seasons Club festivities.
“We are going to decorate the Commons based on the current season. We will cut paper snowflakes and hang them on the walls, Schnee said.“And bring in pumpkins and squash for the harvest season, senior Chloe Rothman said.
Underclassmen will be permitted to enter the commons to partake in these special events.
Schnee also advertised at the club fair and was pleasantly surprised by how many potential members she was able to recruit. She has also been successful in recruiting many of her friends to join, such as senior Yudit Bolotovsky.
“When I first heard that Seasons Club was happening, I could not be happier. I was so excited to sign up, Bolotovsky said.
Senior Jeff Hurray, on the other hand, is unsure of whether or not he will be joining after facing severe humiliation and disappointment due to misinterpreting the name of the club.
“I originally believed Martha had created a club about seasonings. I was so excited that I planted more parsley in my garden than usual so I could share it with my Seasons Club comrades, Hurray said.
He added, “I thought I would finally be able to connect with students that had the same passion for garnishing food with culinary herbs that I do, but alas, I had been led astray.
He is still considering joining, however, and will continue to search for an outlet for his herbal fixation.
Schnee and club members do not let mockery like Hurray’s belittle their cause.
“A lot of people make fun of the club, but it’s real. It’s real, Rothman said.
So if you are looking to learn about the seasons, engage in fun activities, and have a chance to prematurely step foot in the senior commons, stop by room 4207 during Wednesday J-Blocks to join Seasons Club.

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Senior commons: a lost cause or work in progress? http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/09/30/senior-commons-a-lost-cause-or-work-in-progress/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/09/30/senior-commons-a-lost-cause-or-work-in-progress/#comments Thu, 30 Sep 2010 10:01:31 +0000 Sammie Levin http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4719 If it weren’t for the titles of Facebook albums announcing that it is senior year, I truthfully do not think I would know.
I certainly don’t feel like a senior.
Apparently I do not look like one either, as I was mistaken for a freshman on the first day of school.
Sick!
I know it is far too early in the year to make any substantial judgments, but so far senior year is not all its cracked up to be.
Why?
Well, if I had to pinpoint one source of disappointment, it would be the fact that the sought-after senior c ommons is simply a room.
Naturally, I assumed it would be a wonderland more magical than C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, but not quite as magical as James Cameron’s Pandora’€in other words, approximately equally as magical as May Fen’s dumplings.
But alas, it is nothing more than a square space with worn-out chairs and a poster endorsing Cindy Creem.
To cope with this grave reality, I have come up with a list of common sense solutions to improve the common’s sense.

1. Replace the flooring with a trampoline.

Why senior slump when you could senior jump?
And according to the new class slogan, the Class of 2011 is Down to Flop.
Flopping around on a trampoline in between classes would be a great way to relieve stress, bond with peers, and curb childhood obesity.
What fun! Complications to this plan include plausibility, cost, and potential fatal injuries, but I think it is pretty apparent that the benefits outweigh these concerns.

2. Entertainment.

The senior class is filled with raw talent that we must nurture, which is just one of the many reasons why we should implement a daily rotation of performances in the commons.
The musically inclined folks could provide beats for everyone to bounce to on the trampoline in unison, giving us the opportunity to live out the teenage dream as the cast of High School Musical Four, starring recently discovered theatrical star Sam Dorfman.
Next, stay tuned for the Comedic Stylings of Max Clary.
The last resort for entertainment is a showcase of ballroom dancers; however, we cannot rely on them to give a lengthy performance because, in case you have not noticed, they are often rushin’.

3. Freshen the air.

This suggestion is perhaps the most commonsensical’€or rather, commonscentsical’€of all.
If our class budget allows for clown noses on every table at Semi, I think we can afford to buy a few Glade plug-ins to make the commons more aromatic. In fact, with all the beans we will be consuming, investing in air fresheners is absotootly critical.

4. Table.

If all the previous plans are rejected, then the addition of a mere table would suffice.
Just because we have apparently outgrown the cafeteria does not mean we have outgrown the dependence on a table to have a comfortable dining experience.
Speaking of the cafeteria, I heard that the salad and sandwich bars have been scrapped, which I have been persuaded to believe is part of a plan to wipe out the vegetarian population.
Neglected and starved, the veggies are now forced to scrounge for food, some even resorting to handfuls of ketchup and mustard packets for nourishment.
We must stop this madness before they go extinct.
Otherwise, who will be there to remind us that we are lesser, soulless monsters when we eat meat?
I end by imploring you to join me in my quest to improve the commons.
According to Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense, “The Sun never shined on a cause of greater worth.

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North seniors face trouble adapting to a school without Main Street http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/09/30/north-seniors-face-trouble-adapting-to-a-school-without-main-street/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/09/30/north-seniors-face-trouble-adapting-to-a-school-without-main-street/#comments Thu, 30 Sep 2010 06:03:55 +0000 Sammie Levin http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4663 197 million dollars later, the new Newton North opened its doors this September. The new school is equipped with two theaters, a pool, a print shop, an auto body shop, two gymnasiums, a student café, and SMART boards in every classroom, but can it posses the same spirit and character ingrained in the old Newton North?
Many North seniors argue no. After growing attached to the old building over the past three years, the seniors “on the other side of Comm Ave are having trouble adapting to their new school.
When asked if she would answer questions about the new school, senior Isabel Dover passionately sais, “Yes please, I’ll tell you how much I hate it. Dover explained that though it is “nice to have windows to look out of and floors that the five second rule actually applies to, the building does not have places to hang out in between classes.
“I hardly see my friends during school¦it’s just really strange and I miss seeing people all the time, Dover said.
In the old Newton North, there was a wide hallway running from one end of the school to the other named “Main Street where students congregated between classes and during lunch.
The hallway was divided into four colors, each of which was designated to a grade as their official section to hang out in.
Like Dover, seniors Olivia Wilker and Zach Knotts also lament the absence of Main Street.
“[Main Street] was a big part of the old building; it was the ‘Ëœsocial scene.’ Everyone liked it because you could see your friends in between classes easily. Now in the new building its rare to see people in the hallway, Wilker said.
Knotts agreed, claiming, “the building is very nice but its not the same without a Main Street.
In addition to the lack of an area like Main Street, other changes in the new building are causing distress among the seniors.
“We aren’t allowed to eat anywhere besides the cafeteria, but its honestly not big enough for everyone to fit. We have been eating outside so far, but what happens when it gets cold out? Dover said.
She adds that the vast layout of the building makes it take longer to get from class to class, and that the new traffic light at the entrance causes “really bad traffic in the morning.
Wilker feels that the new building does not have the same spirit that characterized the old building. “There are no murals¦no colors, Wilker said.
Dover echoes this feeling as she thinks that “its harder to have school spirit because everyone misses the old school.
“Whenever I pictured my senior year it was always in the old building and it’s just weird having everything be different, Dover said.
Dover recognizes that the building “is great for freshman and sophomores that did not really get to experience the old building but she honestly wishes that the new school was built a year later. “I used to love school¦now I hate it. I know it’s dramatic but it’s true, Dover said.
Although many seniors are quick to point out how they miss the old building they were so fond of, they realize that the new building has a lot to offer.
Knotts, for example, talks of the benefits of the new technology.
“I’m hoping that the building will affect students’ grades in general positively because of all the new technology in the classrooms. I would say that having the SMART boards is one of the best parts of the new school, Knotts said.
Senior Nicole Goldberg commends the new facilities and cleanliness. “The outside is really beautiful and so is the new stadium where we can enjoy sporting events. Also, it’s nice to not see mold when you look up at the ceiling, Goldberg said.
Goldberg thinks that it is hard to adjust to the new school right now because everyone feels separated but she is hopeful that the students that were accustomed to the old school will get used to the new building in time.
Similarly, senior Matt Laredo expresses that he likes the new building less but thinks he will like it more by the end of the year once he is used to it.
“Lots of people are complaining, but they are being spoiled and unappreciative. It’s a really nice school and new facilities all for us, Laredo said.
Whether vehemently against the new school or hopeful of its benefits, the general consensus among the North seniors is that though $197 million is enough to buy top of the line facilities, technology, equipment, and more, it cannot buy spirit and character.
Hopefully they are able to find a new place to call Main Street in the 413,000-square-foot building over the course of the year. If they’re really desperate, they could always commute over to South and hang out in the senior commons. Hopefully the chewed-up chairs will entice them to make the journey.

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Group of upperclassmen friends are loco for fro-yo at Chill http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/09/30/group-of-upperclassmen-friends-are-loco-for-fro-yo-at-chill/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/09/30/group-of-upperclassmen-friends-are-loco-for-fro-yo-at-chill/#comments Thu, 30 Sep 2010 06:00:07 +0000 Sammie Levin http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4673 Frozen yogurt joints are popping up rapidly all over the country in reaction to the ever-growing demand for the cool treat. This summer, a group of South upperclassmen got their fro-fix at Chill, a new asset to Cleveland Circle that the owners describe as a “tart yogurt ice cream shop.
Chill serves several flavors of frozen yogurt, regular ice cream, smoothies, and drinks-all at reasonable prices. Like many other frozen yogurt shops such as Pinkberry, Red Mango, and Berry Freeze, Chill offers countless toppings, ranging from fresh fruit to cereal to candy.
Besides the plentiful toppings, what is it about Chill that drew so many South students from regular ice cream establishments and motivated them to make the journey to Brighton territory?
“The flavors,senior Sam Dorfman said. He raved, “They have so many flavors of frozen yogurt and you feel healthier eating it. Their slogan is ‘ËœChill out, it’s good for you.’ That’s genius.
Dorfman was a regular customer at Chill this summer, venturing there many nights, sometimes even four times a week. He took full advantage of the Chill card, a free card that is stamped with each purchase as an incentive to keep coming back in order to get ten stamps for a free ice cream.
“I have ten stamps right now so the next time I go in I’m getting my free one, Dorfman said, proudly.
Senior Rebecca Shait frequented Chill this summer as well, but she went to enjoy the social experience as opposed to the yogurt itself.
“I personally do not like the taste of the yogurt. It’s too tart, Shait said. Though she is not a fan of the yogurt, she felt it was worthwhile to go to Chill because “it is a great place to go with friends because the people that work there are nice and it is in a cool area.
She explains that she typically ordered ice cream floats there while her friends all usually got the yogurt.
Senior Alex Bennett is perhaps Chill’s most devoted customer. He claims that he went there almost every night over the summer, and continues to go on weekends.
“I started going because I heard about it from a friend and I was tired of going to J.P Licks all the time, Bennett said. Soon after his first visit, he was hooked.
“I like how the yogurt has its own unique flavor and how you can be creative by twisting flavors and mixing up the topping combinations each time you go, Bennett said.
He added that it is “worth going the distance because it is a place to go and hang out due to its popular location in Cleveland Circle. The only negative aspect to Chill he mentioned was its limited parking.
Though some of Bennett’s friends often accompany him to Chill, they are not as fond of the place as he is.
“I went with a massive amount of hype but was disappointed because it ís just like Pinkberry, senior Harrison Douglass said. “But at least I saved calories.
Senior Curtis Robbins agreed with Douglass, adding that “it is alright but  overrated by Alex Bennett.
Junior Isabelle Granahan-Field and her friends enjoyed going to Chill this summer as well, often going with valued customers Dorfman and Bennett.
“The product and the atmosphere make it a lot more appealing than other places. I also like that it used to be pretty unknown and a place where you wouldn’t necessarily see people you know, Granahan-Field said.
She expressed that she thinks that frozen yogurt is becoming increasingly popular because “it is a lot healthier than ice cream and makes you feel better about eating it.
Aside from the appealing environment and healthfulness, Granahan-Field and her friends liked going there to “hang out and visit our friend who works there. Although Granahan-Field typically goes to Chill once a week, she resents that it is “not exactly convenient to get to and is kind of pricy.
Junior Jessie Zelle is the friend of Granahan-Field that works at Chill. Zelle first heard about Chill from a close friend, and loved it from the first time she went.
“I wanted a job at the end of last year for the summer because I knew I would not much else to do so I applied for a job at Chill, Zelle said.
“Since I’m such a big fan of the place as it is, I don’t mind being there working, Zelle said. She added that her job is especially enjoyable when people that she knows come in. The staff makes her job “all the more fun.
“All the workers at chill are.. for lack for a better word, really chill, Zelle said.
She explains that the down side to working at Chill is the schedule.
“Our hours are noon until 11 everyday, but once we close at 11 it generally takes 1.5-2 hours to really close. It’s also extremely time consuming…and when I have bad shifts I have to just deal with it.
Chill is not only popular among this particular group of friends. Since Cleveland Circle is a common place for college students to go at night, Chill has become a favorite destination for students at schools such as Boston College.
Freshman at Boston College and former South student Merry Berman noted that, “people go to Chill a lot because it is a convenient location.
So, if you are looking for a place to get frozen yogurt or ice cream, follow in the footsteps of Dorfman, Bennett, and friends and Chill out.

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Constant communication: for better or for worse? http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/constant-communication-for-better-or-for-worse/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/constant-communication-for-better-or-for-worse/#comments Thu, 10 Jun 2010 07:09:53 +0000 Sammie Levin http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4552 In the popular television series Gossip Girl, an anonymous blogger, “the one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite, receives “blasts of gossip about characters on the show and posts them on the internet for all to see, never failing to stir up rampant drama.

Though no blogger of this sort exists in the South community, the technology that students use on a daily basis to be in constant communication with peers can, in some cases, have a similar effect.

In the age of texting, instant messaging, Facebook, and Formspring, it only takes the click of a button to spread gossip, publicize opinions, start rumors, or generate drama.

“Gossip and drama are spread through technology because it’s faster and easier to do. I find that a lot of people will find it easier to say something on a text or on Facebook then they would in real life, junior Alex Seibel said.

Sophomore Isabelle Granahan-Field also recognizes this phenomenon and points out how problems can be caused unintentionally as well, since tone is lost in technology.

“Sometimes messages aren’t portrayed the way you mean them to be or they aren’t interpreted right, Granahan-Field said.

She also notices a new trend that has developed as a result of Facebook, explaining that “sometimes people do things and take pictures of it just to put it on Facebook.

“When people are taking pictures they sometimes are already considering who will see them, what the album title will be named, or what will be tagged, junior Yudit Bolotovsky said.

She added that this publicizing of photos has made Facebook “essentially like Gossip Girl.

Although texting is not a public exchange of information, it expedites the process of spreading gossip. “People usually text their friends the second they find out about something interesting, Bolotovsky said.

Texting can also cause drama when a text meant just for the intended receiver is shown to others, something that happens very often with instant messaging as well.

People often think that their conversations with people over texts and instant messages are completely private, overlooking the fact that whatever they are saying could be easily forwarded or copied and pasted to someone else.

This often results in increased circulation of gossip, damaged friendships, or hurt feelings.

A new site, Formspring, allows people to anonymously ask users questions about anything. Not surprisingly, this anonymity leads people to ask questions less along the lines of “what’s your favorite color? and more along the lines of “I hate you, why are you so annoying?

Technology of this sort, in eliminating the challenges or implications that come with saying something to someone’s face, lead people to feel entitled and confident to say whatever they please. Again, this can lead to drama and hurt feelings.

Despite all of these negative effects of communicating through technology, there are positive effects as well.

As cited in a recent article published in the New York Times, Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer, author of a book called Making Friends: A Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Child’s Friendships, believes that “the electronic media is helping kids be in touch much more and for longer.

Granahan-Field supports this belief, claiming, “Facebook and texting can make relationships stronger because it lets me stay in touch with people.

In spite of the unfavorable aspects she emphasized about Facebook, Bolotovsky also finds many positive components.

“It helps me communicate with people in my classes about homework, keeps me social, is good for organizing events, and helps me get my mind off things, she said. Simlarly, junior Rachel Davidson uses Facebook “to communicate with people for schoolwork that I may have no other way of contacting.

“I think Facebook helps some people branch out and brings people closer, and I think texting is helpful because it lets me get quick answers, Davidson said.

Regardless of the pros and cons of texting and Facebook and the like, communicating through technology has become such an integral part of daily life that it seems impossible to imagine how life would continue without it.

But don’t worry Upper East Siders, this form of communication is not likely to disappear or decrease in popularity any time soon.

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