Recession hits Newton Center businesses long and hard

By Denebola | Published: March 2011
Recessions hit hard. Every couple decades when the economy takes a swan dive, casualties are seen everywhere. Due the economic downturn in recent months, small businesses such as the Pie Bakery, the Starbucks on the Centre T Station, Tess and Carlos, and the Cold Stone Creamery have been forced to board up their windows and close their doors for good. Although these stores went out of business, new stores step in to ...

Adult content in education is…

By Jarrett Gorin | Published: March 2011
PRO eye-opening experience A debate has emerged as to whether the movies shown in Spanish class the week before February break were “appropriate” to show because the films contained some nudity and other racy situations. The question is: are the movies considered inappropriate due to the content or due to the student’s reaction of shock? In the first movie, Manolito Gafotas, it was, of course, unexpected to see people drop their pants to go to the bathroom or go to sleep, something that one generally doesn’t see in G-rated American movies. But was that inappropriate? The male reproductive organs are intrinsically familiar to the male students, and females have been exposed in South’s freshman Sexual Education course; the movie should not have been such a shock. Sex Ed. teaches students about safe sex practices and the reproductive processes, yet students do not go around complaining that Sex Ed. is inappropriate, so why be so upset about the Spanish movies? Furthermore, much of the dialogue that shocked students actually provided a learning experience of Hispanic culture, which added another level to a film that was originally intended only to improve our language skills. Primarily, students gained insight into the openness of conversation between family members in this culture. Students saw that if Manolito, the main character, has a question, he feels safe and open to share what is on his mind, and in response his father answers his questions without hesitation. We learn that in Hispanic culture, they embrace curiosity, which is admirable, not improper. One might even say that this openness should be encouraged among American families, not dismissed as “inappropriate.” In the second movie shown, La Cuarta Planta, there was a scene in which the four main characters go to the bathroom “to listen to music.” First, let me admit that this scene was a bit shocking, and certainly not something that I’ve ever seen in school before. I should hope, however, that by now we’re mature enough to watch a scene as minor as this one in La Cuarta Planta. It’s clear that the benefits of viewing the film outweigh whatever harm students perceive. What are the benefits? Education on the openness of Spanish culture–the original intention of our teachers when they showed us the movie. So why are we condemning the movie if it promotes openness about natural pleasures? Consider this: any Spaniard would come to the U.S. and call us overly-censored because we think that we should hide what embarrasses us, especially since America, being a liberal and democratic nation, should be the most understanding of all countries in the world. Even if the scenes in the Spanish movies were slightly inappropriate, why are we, the teenagers of America, complaining? We’re always fighting for our freedom to do and see what we want, for more independence and less censorship.We always want the freedom of being an adult, but now that we’ve had our chance, we are squandering it. Most importantly, we have been focusing on a very minor part of these movies. I thought that the screening of both Manolito Gafotas and La Cuarta Planta was valuable because it was a nice way to transition into vacation, it demonstrated the use of the Hispanic lisped accent, and it shows the common life and views of the people in Spain. And yet, somehow there’s no sense of balance or proportion. Out of hours of informative and meaningful film, all some focused on was thirty seconds.

Le prof de franÇais

By Denebola | Published: March 2011
DENEBOLA sat down with French teacher Sebastien Merle to ask him about life in France.

Broken bin wheel stirs trouble

By Hye-Jung Yang | Published: October 2010
A suspicious package sent to Mayor Setti Warren at City Hall put officials on alert and led them to shut down the building for a few hours on October 15. Upon opening, however, the package was found to be harmless, containing a broken segment of a garbage bin wheel and a note sent by a Newton resident irritated by the defective wheels. The package, a large envelope with no return address, ...

State funding to renovate schools

By Astha Agarwal | Published: October 2010
Bowen and Williams Elementary Schools are eligible to receive funding from the state for a new roof and two new boilers, respectively. “Every year the mayor has given the city $1.75 million toward capital improvement project money in schools, but this year “we some extra money from the state, Newton School Committee Chairperson Claire Sokoloff said. “We could apply for the grant money for these two projects since they've ...

North keeps spirit despite tragedies

By Alex Gershanov | Published: October 2010
Despite recent troubling events including the death of one student and the arrest of another, Newton North's students maintain high spirits as the school year progresses. Aided by support from the school's guidance department, North students feel that their community has grown stronger over the course of these events. The school suffered two traumatic incidents in the past two months, spurring action by the guidance department both times. In the first, ...

Marini ends term as superintendent

By Denebola | Published: June 2010
­After returning to the Newton Public Schools as Interim Superintendent, V. James Marini's time in Newton is coming to an end.

The Fan “retires”

By Denebola | Published: June 2010
George Abbott White announced his retirement from the Newton Public Schools as of 30 June 2010. White taught nearly 41 years, initially at Meadowbrook and Bigelow junior highs, at Newton South since 1981.

South Stage show called off for first time in years

By Denebola | Published: June 2010
Last Saturday, South Stage's rendition of the play Proof was unexpectedly cancelled shortly before what was to be the play's third and final performance. Unfortunately, it turns out, one of the play's four performers suddenly fell ill and the director felt the show could not go on.

Parlin named interim History head

By Denebola | Published: June 2010
Principal Joel Stembridge announced on June 9 that Robert Parlin would serve as interim history department chair. Parlin is replacing long time department head Dr. Marshall A. Cohen.

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