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Denebola » Denebola 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 What is Denebola? http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/02/15/what-is-denebola-2/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/02/15/what-is-denebola-2/#comments Tue, 15 Feb 2011 08:29:02 +0000 Denebola http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5237

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“Give it to me, yeah; No one’s gonna show me how” http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/02/15/give-it-to-me-yeah-no-ones-gonna-show-me-how/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/02/15/give-it-to-me-yeah-no-ones-gonna-show-me-how/#comments Tue, 15 Feb 2011 08:09:24 +0000 Denebola http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5505 It was a dark and stormy night. As we prepared for bed, we tried to forget about how long we had waited for this evening and the news it would bring. But this proved impossible as we heard car doors slam followed by the sound of a doorbell.
Our hearts stopped and we opened the door to find our outgoing senior editors’ smiling faces greeting us with an expertly constructed paper crown (one of which had a Madonna photo; 3 guesses whose…) with cheerful bubble letters indicating our future position: “Editor-in-Chief”.
And now we come to the part of our tale where our experiences diverge.
As Leigh was confronted with the ominous bubble letters, signifying an even more ominous position, she couldn’t believe her eyes and was – of course – overjoyed. But, at the same time, completely terrified, unable to fathom how she would handle the enormous responsibility.
Justin always believed he could do it. Yet as the doorbell rang, his overt confidence was questioned, but ultimately confirmed. He knew it would not be easy, but he was ready for the challenge.
Upon hearing the news, we called each other immediately in excitement. Not only did we just hear about our new positions, but in about three hours we would be on a plane headed for Nicaragua. Unfortunately, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Our trip was postponed yet that failed to damper the excitement we felt.
Sitting here, we are quite experienced in talking about our time on , thanks to the copious number of college interviews we have endured. But there are some things that we have left unsaid.
First of all, there is no question that for every minute a student spends reading our paper, we spend hours interviewing, writing, editing, and laying the pages. But if we let that bother us, we’d be missing the point. We have gotten as much, if not more, from making Denebola as the South community gets from reading it. Denebola has been an integral part of South for the past 50 years, and we are proud to continue the tradition.
Being Editors-in-Chief involves so much more than simply writing and editing. Never have we understood how differently other people think and view the world. Never have we understood how difficult it is to keep track of 60+ high school students, hear their concerns, and take into account their perspectives and ideas.
Overseeing the paper has forced us to put our needs second. Not only by sacrificing countless hours of sleep, but also by integrating the voices of our contributors, editors, and ideally those of every student in the school into the paper.
When leaders say they could never do it without their staff, those who helped them along the way, it sounds cliché. And yet this farewell letter feels incomplete without thanking the many hardworking, creative, and determined members of our staff who have put in as many hours as we have to make our volume, Denebola, and especially the 50th Edition, what they are. There is no feeling like the one we get when an editor shows us a flawlessly completed section, especially a couple days ahead of time.
And there are those who solved the problems that we could not. From midnight phone calls regarding picture formats, to tearful panic attacks about lost files, we owe our lives to those who cared enough to help in moments of desperation.
Now, our time as Editors-in-Chief of Volume 50 is winding down to make way for Volume 51. While we certainly won’t miss the late nights and last-minute issues, we will miss the community Denebola has provided us and so many other students. Just as Denebola will always be strongly linked with South, we will always be strongly linked with Denebola.
So many talented people have been a part of our newspaper and we are honored to join this history as we watch Denebola continue to excel. Every moment has been worth it and we’ve immensely enjoyed sharing them together with the South community.

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A note from “The Fan” http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/02/15/a-note-from-the-fan/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/02/15/a-note-from-the-fan/#comments Tue, 15 Feb 2011 08:07:17 +0000 George Abbott White http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5508 Writing about how she came to write her award-winning account of a spunky little race horse and America during the Great Depression, Laura Hillenbrand said of Seabiscuit, that she became intrigued “how history hides in curious places.”
The story wasn’t lost, Hillenbrand said, “it was scattered…tucked in back pockets and bottom drawers.”
Over the past five weeks, I have been surprised—and pleased to be surprised—by how the Editors and Staff of Denebola put aside the hours every past volume has looked forward to as a respite in January. Instead of not making a paper and instead of resting, they rose to the challenge of making something no Volume had ever made before…a 50th Edition.
At first tentatively turning the pages of those 50 blue bound volumes, Editors, then Staff, started showing up after school, then later in the day, then evenings.
Lists and notes began to appear around the Section cubbies of 9202. Little stuff initially, then long lists, then underlined and colored ones. Post-It notes began to bristle around blue edges and the loose yellowed pages.
Like the ancient carrels at Widener Library, small stacks of blue volumes, little piles began to dot the room where young scholars were…reading. They were reading about their school and their community – and, in effect, about themselves.
By finding their history—no tests, no grades—pretty much on their own, I was reminded of a kind of learning I thought the pressure of SATs and college Applications had all but crushed to powder and scattered to the four winds.
Now, despite this wonderful flowering in chilly New England, all is not perfection. Having discovered or recovered some history of where they have lived and learned, the realization dawns that history is not static but dynamic; they – we – have recovered but a part. And recovered this history for the time­—more (not the rest) a task for the future.
Time and tide (and 64 pages) being what they are, much could not be included. The oldest news story is that of death. Denebola published a dozen or more Obits, thousands of pictures, and, once a month a book review—some 400 Web Exclusives, as we now say.

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“Let me help you out” http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/02/15/let-me-help-you-out/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/02/15/let-me-help-you-out/#comments Tue, 15 Feb 2011 08:05:01 +0000 Jason Agress http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5515 Last week I was talking to two other South grads – each of us having graduated over 10 years apart from each other. We have little in common but our connection to Newton, yet somehow we instinctively agree and anticipate each other’s moves. We’re not close friends, but it feels natural to get along.
Why is this the case? We shortly came to a unanimous conclusion:
It’s the “Newton thing.”
There’s something about growing up in Newton that intangibly impacts you. Wherever you go, it’s in your blood; it permeates your personality and shapes your relationships with others. It’s certainly not negative – but it is unique, and something that few without childhood memories in this city truly understand.
Given the 50th anniversary of this school, the “Newton thing” has become increasingly visible.
Renewed interest in South is bringing alumni back into the school community and interacting with current students. Though no one says it, they all feel a special connection to this community; they feel at home.
For Denebola, this is especially relevant. This 50th Edition is more than a material history of South; more than a 64-page masterpiece; and more than a celebration of the school. It is all of that, but behind this product is a process that engaged 50 years of Denebola alumni, bringing together a diverse group of people working toward a common cause.
While Volume 50 beneficently led the planning and production of this issue, its pages are filled with the work – both archival and fresh – of writers and editors back to Volume 1.
The historical perspectives of alumni were sought from the beginning of the process behind this paper, their presence and contributions through Facebook, in person at Article Ideas and Paste Up, and by their legacies in Denebola’s archives.
Their participation was significant and their impact evident. That “Newton thing” came alive for Volume 50, and the editors began to understand the community they are part of – 50 years of shared experiences and making a paper.
While each volume of Denebola is unique, it became clear that editors past and present must not take for granted the work they’ve done as an institution, nor its legacy as it continues growing.
The extended community created by Denebola – a subset of South’s – is tremendous. Not just in size, but also in the range of skills, personalities, and cultural diversity encompassed within it.
With 50 years come a lot of people – a group bonded together by a common passion for Newton South and its official newspaper. Together, this group made The Fiftieth Edition.
Congratulations to Volume 50 on leading the effort. Job well done.

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