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Denebola » Denebologues 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 Recession hits Newton Center businesses long and hard http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/recession-hits-newton-center-businesses-long-and-hard/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/recession-hits-newton-center-businesses-long-and-hard/#comments Wed, 23 Mar 2011 05:28:33 +0000 Denebola http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5680 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 take their place.
With a new diner, a restaurant taking the place of Pie, a Panera Bread, and a cupcake store opening soon, Newton Center is getting a new look, as well as a new feel.
What used to be mostly takeout restaurants have become more upscale, sit-down eateries.
“Unlike Tango Mango or Subway, the new food places like [the diner] are becoming more of a sit down and stay place, rather than just run in, get food, and leave,” sophomore Eliza Spiegalman said.
Although more stores are now available for a wide range of tastes, Newton Center might not feel a difference in business. “
I don’t think I’ll go there more than I already do, which is at least a few times a week, but what could be bad about cupcakes?” sophomore Jessie Rosen said.
Bringing a unique look to Newton Centre dining, the Deluxe Station Diner on Union Street opened its doors with high hopes that have been met well.
“There is not anything like this anywhere,” said manager Jerry Ullman, “You can come here and have breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just breakfast all day if you want. It’s awesome because that sort of thing appeals to all demographics.”
Unlike Rosen, however, senior Bryan Cheng feels differently about the renovation’s effect on business. “I may go just to try some of the new places out, like the diner or the cupcake place, but as for places like Panera, I doubt it because it’s kind of on the expensive side,” he said.
With all the excitement, it’s easy to forget that other places in Newton have also been hit hard by the economic recession. Rugged Bear, a clothing store for young boys, is closing after many years in business.
The economics woes, however, do
not stop there. Places that have been in Newton for many years, like the Atrium Mall, are closing too.
South students agree that they have outgrown the Atrium Mall, but they still miss certain things about its presence. “The Atrium Mall hasn’t really been the place to go since middle school, but I’ll be sad about Bertuccis closing,” junior Aafreen Rajani said.
Other eateries that have become an institution for Newton have stayed strong throughout the economic downturn.
Cabot’s, an exteremly popular ice cream shop around the Newton North areas has refused to shut down due to their wildly supportive customers; “Cabot’s has been a neighborhood business for too many years to shut down,” North graduate Bohan Leng said. “It’s a big part of the Newton community and everyone knows it.  It just wouldn’t shut down.”
Although the economy may have turned sour, and stores that have been in Newton for years have left, new stores have come to take their place. They have transformed the rustic old Newton Center into a new, nuanced, and very promising atmosphere.

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Adult content in education is… http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/adult-content-in-education-is/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/adult-content-in-education-is/#comments Wed, 23 Mar 2011 04:19:52 +0000 Jarrett Gorin http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5700 PRO
…an 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.

CON
…unnecessary and inappropriate

It was the week before February Vacation. Everyone was excited, and no one wanted to be in school. Then we learn some good news. Movies all week in Spanish!
Normally, this would be a great thing, but unfortunately, there was a problem. In both of the movies, there were some “adult” themes in terms of  American cinema.
The two movies took inappropriate much too far for an “educational” setting.
Take the first movie, Manolito Gafotas. At the beginning, it appeared to be a simple movie about a simple family living in Spain.
Viewers soon saw that we had been deceived, starting with unexpected and superfluous nudity.
There was a scene in which the little brother of the main character needed to use the bathroom. I’m sure you can infer what happened next.
Needless to say, this was too much information for our uncontrollable teenaged minds. We were shocked, the room full of awkward teenagers suddenly getting very uncomfortable.
It didn’t get any better after that. I don’t think any of us had a desire to see Manolito in his underwear, or see him and his father undressing themselves—all of themselves.
The second movie, La Cuarta Planta, was worse. It was a movie about teenagers with cancer, which normally would be sad and emotional. But at the end, instead of feeling moved, I felt deeply disturbed.
The main characters would spend part of their day on the roof, trying to catch a glimpse of a girl through a window. One of the boys claims he saw the girl in a magazine and thinks that she is spectacular. The other boys don’t believe him, and the first boy feels the need to prove himself. In order to do so, he gets his hands on a poster of the half-naked woman.
By now, all of the Spanish students watching the movie had become, in a sense, desensitized. A half-naked woman? Hey, at least she’s got some clothes on.
At this point, our cheeks were bright red, our eyes were glazed over, and our mouths were hanging open. It was the definition of “system overload.” It could not, we reasoned, get any worse. It did.
Anyone who saw the movie has to remember the “bathroom music” scene. It was perhaps the most uncomfortable moment of the whole ordeal, and in addition to it being profoundly shocking it was very, very odd, seeing the boys’ facial expressions change in the mirror, in the center of the screen, and nothing else.
The themes were unsuitable for school and we could not comprehend why our teachers thought it was a good idea—or even a moderately good idea, or a passable idea, or a not bad idea—to show them.
Both of the movies were, quite frankly, inappropriate choices. Yes, they showed us life in Spain. The only problem? They didn’t leave anything out.
Was there even a point to screening the movies? Sure, they took up class time, but to what end? I’m pretty sure I wasn’t any more educated about Spain after watching them than before.
In fact, the only difference in my knowledge before and after the movies was that before I was blissfully unaware that a simple movie shown in Spanish class could cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
There is a line that divides purposeful displays of adult material for educational purposes and gratuitously explicit material. The Spanish movies helped distinguish this boundary, finding themselves beyond the realm of necessary educational experiences.

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Le prof de franÇais http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/le-prof-de-francais/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/le-prof-de-francais/#comments Wed, 23 Mar 2011 04:01:04 +0000 Denebola http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5715 DENEBOLA sat down with French teacher Sebastien Merle to ask him about life in France.

Denebola: Where in France are you from?
Merle: I grew up in Southwestern France, in a small town, with 25,000 people, an hour west of Toulouse, which is one of the biggest cities in France.
[It is] a very rural region. In my town you have pretty much nothing around but villages and farms.
I grew up there, then I moved to Toulouse, and lived there for four years before I moved to the States.
Denebola: How did everyday life in Toulouse when you were a high school student compare to everyday life in Newton?
Merle: It’s very different; I would need a full hour just to describe how different it is. Students have a lot more freedom in a lot of ways; everything is not as structured as it is here.
I feel like you have more responsibilities at a younger age. I didn’t go to very good schools, either, especially my middle school.
Also, my typical high school day would start later, and when I had a free block during the day I would either go to the library or I would go to the student center.
Something that would be really shocking to a lot of Americans would be that this little café was right around the corner, and [my friends and I] would spend our time there, chatting, drinking coffee and playing cards. We didn’t get into trouble, we just spent a lot of time there.
We usually had a 45 minute to a one hour break for lunch and my high school was downtown so it was very easy to go a variety of places, or eat lunch [at school]. The school day was a lot longer; it was very common for me to have classes until 6:00 at night.
Kids in France, they got two weeks [for vacation in February and April], so I remember teachers complaining constantly about the fact that the curriculum was not going to be completed by the end of the year.
Because the curriculum is set up by the government, as opposed to the state, [defining the curriculum like they do] here; it’s much more centralized because it’s a much smaller country.
In France, you hear teachers complain a lot about the fact that you need to wrap up the program by the end of the year and that they don’t have enough time.
Denebola: Are schools structured differently in France than they are in the U.S.?
Merle: No, they’re pretty much the same, except preschool is more developed. Public school starts when you are two or three, because it’s a welfare state, so you pay a lot of taxes, but then the government takes care of your kids from an earlier age.
The other difference is that high school started in tenth grade, the way it used to at South, and then they added a year. But that’s the way it was where I grew up.
I remember growing up, when I was in elementary school, I had Wednesday off, the whole day, and I had to go to school on Saturday morning.
Then, when I switched to middle school, I had school on Wednesday morning only, [in addition to] Monday through Friday. It’s give and take.
Denebola: Newton South has a reputation for being very rigorous academically. How does South compare to your high school experience?
Merle: There’s no comparison; I had pretty bad school experiences. It’s very different [now].
Public education in France is comparable in its advantages and disadvantages to what’s going on in the United States right now.
It’s definitely a buzz word now; you hear “public education” in France when you talk about what’s broken, what we need to fix.
I have the French Channel at home, and they did a pretty interesting documentary about that. You get to college and these kids are so humiliated because they’re so not ready, and a lot of them drop out of college because they can’t handle it.
So, the same problems are right here, with American public schools. My middle school was a zoo. Teachers were extremely violent.
It was a while ago, and I’m sure there have been improvements, but there was this really antiquated system where teachers would be protected to a degree that was really disgusting; they didn’t have to be accountable for anything, so most teachers were absolutely horrendous.
Then, I was fortunate enough to have really amazing teachers in high school, very inspiring. Still a lot of really bad teachers, too, but I had some teachers that really made a difference, and my high school experience was a lot better because of it.
Denebola: South has a lot of extracurricular activities. Are those kinds of opportunities available in France?
Merle: Not at all; it’s because the school day’s so long, there’s no time for anything else. There was a Theatre club, but that was really late, from 6:00 to 9:00 after school, and then you had to go on the weekend.
If you wanted to do sports at the level that you do them at South, or in a lot of American high schools, where you have Varsity [level sports], you have to go to a special school in France, where the afternoon is dedicated to sports, so you have classes in the morning and sports in the afternoon, but that’s a much bigger commitment.
Here, that’s really one strength of the system: you can be such a well-rounded individual.
It gives you much more opportunities to shine in so many different ways, and even if you’re not academically a brilliant student, you can always feel like there’s one area where you’re going to be able to feel good about yourself. So if it’s arts, or sports, that’s a great strength of the American system.
Denebola: Most South students choose to continue their education at college. Is that true in France?
Merle: No, because the system is so based on tracking; you’re tracked at a much earlier level.
You have to choose a specialty at an earlier stage in your academic career. Already when you’re in tenth grade you need to know whether you’re more of a science person or [not].
The emphasis is on sciences; the “smart” kids are the kids who do math and science. It’s a stigma that has always existed in France and will continue for a really long time.
They give you a little bit of flexibility; they tell you that you can take maybe one more math class if you’re on the humanities track, but it’s very limited.
Really, if you’re good academically [in America], you can be a much more well-rounded individual than the French system would allow you to be in a lot of ways.
There’s also the vocational track. If you’re not doing well academically, you’re going to be systematically offered to go into the vocational track. For example, half of my high school was what they call “Générale,” humanities and sciences, and half of the school was vocational. You can get started on a vocational track in eighth grade.
Denebola: A lot of American students worry about SAT, MCAS, and all kinds of standardized testing. Is that a major point of concern in France?
Merle: No, there’s no standardized testing in France.
Denebola: What about the [Baccalauréat (bac), an academic qualification test in France]?
Merle: The bac is not standardized. With standardized tests there’s a very specific set of skills and knowledge that’s being tested. With the bac, there’s no multiple choice, for example.
[The bac] is all essays. You have to come up with a thesis and then organize an essay according to your thesis. It just teaches you a certain way to think.
[You are tested on] your ability to come up with a coherent argument based on you knowledge. In France, you never, ever, give your opinion on anything, because nobody cares.You have to be extremely unbiased. You have what they call the “thèse-anti-thèse”: you take one side of the argument, you argue for that side of the debate, and then the “anti-thèse,” when you have to argue for the exact opposite. Everything has to be backed up by your knowledge, your articles, the data.
That also affects the French mentality. A lot of Americans, when they travel to France, and strike up friendships with French people, [Americans] say, “It’s funny, I say one thing, and French people, they always say the opposite.” And it’s almost that mechanism that’s forged by the educational system.
It’s not that [French people] want to antagonize you, it’s just that they want to debate; it’s just a playfulness.
It’s a very conversational culture. Debating, discussing things is very much a part of the French mentality in a lot of ways.
Denebola: As a teacher with outside perspective, what universal qualities do you notice about students who are both French and American?
Merle: Just that kids are kids. I really feel like there is such a thing as globalization. French teenagers are a lot more similar to American teenagers now than they were in the 1950s and 60s.
[French and American kids] listen to the same music; there are cultural differences of course when it comes to food, make-up, those kinds of things, but there seems to be a common understanding of the same things.

Denebola: Where in France are you from?

Merle: I grew up in Southwestern France, in a small town, with 25,000 people, an hour west of Toulouse, which is one of the biggest cities in France. [It is] a very rural region. In my town you have pretty much nothing around but villages and farms. I grew up there, then I moved to Toulouse, and lived there for four years before I moved to the States.

Denebola: How did everyday life in Toulouse when you were a high school student compare to everyday life in Newton?

Merle: It’s very different; I would need a full hour just to describe how different it is. Students have a lot more freedom in a lot of ways; everything is not as structured as it is here. I feel like you have more responsibilities at a younger age. I didn’t go to very good schools, either, especially my middle school. Also, my typical high school day would start later, and when I had a free block during the day I would either go to the library or I would go to the student center. Something that would be really shocking to a lot of Americans would be that this little café was right around the corner, and [my friends and I] would spend our time there, chatting, drinking coffee and playing cards. We didn’t get into trouble, we just spent a lot of time there. We usually had a 45 minute to a one hour break for lunch and my high school was downtown so it was very easy to go a variety of places, or eat lunch [at school]. The school day was a lot longer; it was very common for me to have classes until 6:00 at night.Kids in France, they got two weeks [for vacation in February and April], so I remember teachers complaining constantly about the fact that the curriculum was not going to be completed by the end of the year. Because the curriculum is set up by the government, as opposed to the state, [defining the curriculum like they do] here; it’s much more centralized because it’s a much smaller country. In France, you hear teachers complain a lot about the fact that you need to wrap up the program by the end of the year and that they don’t have enough time.

Denebola: Are schools structured differently in France than they are in the U.S.?

Merle: No, they’re pretty much the same, except preschool is more developed. Public school starts when you are two or three, because it’s a welfare state, so you pay a lot of taxes, but then the government takes care of your kids from an earlier age. The other difference is that high school started in tenth grade, the way it used to at South, and then they added a year. But that’s the way it was where I grew up.I remember growing up, when I was in elementary school, I had Wednesday off, the whole day, and I had to go to school on Saturday morning. Then, when I switched to middle school, I had school on Wednesday morning only, [in addition to] Monday through Friday. It’s give and take.

Denebola: Newton South has a reputation for being very rigorous academically. How does South compare to your high school experience?

Merle: There’s no comparison; I had pretty bad school experiences. It’s very different [now]. Public education in France is comparable in its advantages and disadvantages to what’s going on in the United States right now. It’s definitely a buzz word now; you hear “public education” in France when you talk about what’s broken, what we need to fix. I have the French Channel at home, and they did a pretty interesting documentary about that. You get to college and these kids are so humiliated because they’re so not ready, and a lot of them drop out of college because they can’t handle it. So, the same problems are right here, with American public schools. My middle school was a zoo. Teachers were extremely violent. It was a while ago, and I’m sure there have been improvements, but there was this really antiquated system where teachers would be protected to a degree that was really disgusting; they didn’t have to be accountable for anything, so most teachers were absolutely horrendous. Then, I was fortunate enough to have really amazing teachers in high school, very inspiring. Still a lot of really bad teachers, too, but I had some teachers that really made a difference, and my high school experience was a lot better because of it.

Denebola: South has a lot of extracurricular activities. Are those kinds of opportunities available in France?

Merle: Not at all; it’s because the school day’s so long, there’s no time for anything else. There was a Theatre club, but that was really late, from 6:00 to 9:00 after school, and then you had to go on the weekend. If you wanted to do sports at the level that you do them at South, or in a lot of American high schools, where you have Varsity [level sports], you have to go to a special school in France, where the afternoon is dedicated to sports, so you have classes in the morning and sports in the afternoon, but that’s a much bigger commitment. Here, that’s really one strength of the system: you can be such a well-rounded individual. It gives you much more opportunities to shine in so many different ways, and even if you’re not academically a brilliant student, you can always feel like there’s one area where you’re going to be able to feel good about yourself. So if it’s arts, or sports, that’s a great strength of the American system.

Denebola: Most South students choose to continue their education at college. Is that true in France?

Merle: No, because the system is so based on tracking; you’re tracked at a much earlier level. You have to choose a specialty at an earlier stage in your academic career. Already when you’re in tenth grade you need to know whether you’re more of a science person or [not]. The emphasis is on sciences; the “smart” kids are the kids who do math and science. It’s a stigma that has always existed in France and will continue for a really long time. They give you a little bit of flexibility; they tell you that you can take maybe one more math class if you’re on the humanities track, but it’s very limited. Really, if you’re good academically [in America], you can be a much more well-rounded individual than the French system would allow you to be in a lot of ways.There’s also the vocational track. If you’re not doing well academically, you’re going to be systematically offered to go into the vocational track. For example, half of my high school was what they call “Générale,” humanities and sciences, and half of the school was vocational. You can get started on a vocational track in eighth grade.

Denebola: A lot of American students worry about SAT, MCAS, and all kinds of standardized testing. Is that a major point of concern in France?

Merle: No, there’s no standardized testing in France.

Denebola: What about the [Baccalauréat (bac), an academic qualification test in France]?

Merle: The bac is not standardized. With standardized tests there’s a very specific set of skills and knowledge that’s being tested. With the bac, there’s no multiple choice, for example.[The bac] is all essays. You have to come up with a thesis and then organize an essay according to your thesis. It just teaches you a certain way to think. [You are tested on] your ability to come up with a coherent argument based on you knowledge. In France, you never, ever, give your opinion on anything, because nobody cares.You have to be extremely unbiased. You have what they call the “thèse-anti-thèse”: you take one side of the argument, you argue for that side of the debate, and then the “anti-thèse,” when you have to argue for the exact opposite. Everything has to be backed up by your knowledge, your articles, the data. That also affects the French mentality. A lot of Americans, when they travel to France, and strike up friendships with French people, [Americans] say, “It’s funny, I say one thing, and French people, they always say the opposite.” And it’s almost that mechanism that’s forged by the educational system. It’s not that [French people] want to antagonize you, it’s just that they want to debate; it’s just a playfulness. It’s a very conversational culture. Debating, discussing things is very much a part of the French mentality in a lot of ways.

Denebola: As a teacher with outside perspective, what universal qualities do you notice about students who are both French and American?

Merle: Just that kids are kids. I really feel like there is such a thing as globalization. French teenagers are a lot more similar to American teenagers now than they were in the 1950s and 60s.[French and American kids] listen to the same music; there are cultural differences of course when it comes to food, make-up, those kinds of things, but there seems to be a common understanding of the same things.

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Broken bin wheel stirs trouble http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/broken-bin-wheel-stirs-trouble/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/broken-bin-wheel-stirs-trouble/#comments Thu, 28 Oct 2010 11:02:50 +0000 Hye-Jung Yang http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4779 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, was in the shape of a cylinder, leading the mail carriers at City Hall to mark it as an object of caution. In response, the entire building emptied around 10:30 am and officials called the FBI and State Police to investigate.
After the teams X-rayed the package and tested for chemicals and explosives, however, they opened the package under safe conditions and deemed the object to be non-threatening. The building was reopened at 12:30 pm.
Defective wheels on garbage bins have been an issue in Newton for some time, according to the Boston Globe. Currently, residents can call into the city’s Department of Public Welfare to schedule a replacement time for wheels; some, however, are still dissatisfied with this solution.
According to officials, the commotion arose from an unintentional misunderstanding, and the Newton resident is not in trouble for sending the package.

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State funding to renovate schools http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/state-funding-to-renovate-schools/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/state-funding-to-renovate-schools/#comments Thu, 28 Oct 2010 11:01:18 +0000 Astha Agarwal http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4781 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 [may receive] 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 already been renovated.
When the School Committee agreed upon the repairs last year, the Massachusetts School Building Authority was providing grants for elementary school projects that would have positive environmental effects on the school. At the time, Bowen and Williams were the only two elementary schools in Newton needing repairs, and had already been renovated a few years ago. The School Committee submitted an application for the grant, but has not received a reply as of yet.
The repairs, however, are already on the committee’s schedule for the year, and will be completed regardless of whether the state provides funding. While the grant will not affect the completion of the projects, it may be able to move it to an earlier date.

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North keeps spirit despite tragedies http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/north-keeps-spirit-despite-tragedies/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/north-keeps-spirit-despite-tragedies/#comments Thu, 28 Oct 2010 11:00:17 +0000 Alex Gershanov http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4783 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, North senior Adam London lost control of his car traveling down a wet and winding Newton road and slammed into a tree on August 23. Despite efforts by rescue crews and hospital staff, Adam could not be revived. North opened prior to the beginning of the school year to offer students a place to gather, talk, and grieve.
Just over a month later on October 1, a current North senior and a 2010 North graduate were arrested and charged with murder in connection with a shooting of a 29-year-old Waltham resident. North’s guidance department was on hand the following Monday to work with students who needed to discuss the incident.
North senior Sasha Land believes that students are coping well with the events and have had a lot of support from each other and the guidance department.
“[Both of the incidents] are pretty traumatic, especially for our grade, she said. “We’ve had two students die, two faculty die, but I think it has brought us together. Our grade has been through a lot, but the guidance department is very understanding of what’s going on and the effect it has on students.

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Marini ends term as superintendent http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/marini-ends-term-as-superintendent-2/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/marini-ends-term-as-superintendent-2/#comments Thu, 10 Jun 2010 11:03:33 +0000 Denebola http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4439 ­After returning to the Newton Public Schools as Interim Superintendent, V. James Marini’s time in Newton is coming to an end.

Dr. Marini’s legacy in Newton is considerable; it would be a surprise to meet anyone who lived in Newton any time not knowing him. Marini first taught at the then-Day Junior High School, and before departing the Newton Public School system in 2002, served a long and valued tenure as principal of Newton North. Now, in 2010, Marini has made another bright mark on Newton as the interim superintendent.

Marini was asked to lead the district after former Superintendent Jeff Young resigned to take the job of superintendent in Cambridge.

Marini’s appointment was well received by many in the Newton community. Veteran and younger colleagues alike regard him as a true teacher and natural leader whose experience in Newton made him an especially trusted and effective interim superintendent.

The superintendent was both consistent and reliable during his term. In one of the most changed administrations in recent years, Marini was able to fuse different, new personalities to generate a smooth, flawless school year. Marini’s steady contribution in a time of vulnerability makes him the epitome of the ideal superintendent.

Marini’s contributions throughout his career in the city will make him missed by many in the Newton community.

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The Fan “retires” http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/the-fan-retires/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/the-fan-retires/#comments Thu, 10 Jun 2010 11:02:54 +0000 Denebola http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4445 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.

His classes included freshman, juniors and seniors, at all levels, with particular interest in American History & Literature and journalism.

White has advised Denebola since 1989 and has been co-director of the Prague Spring program since 1990. He also taught college and university, and is the author or editor of a dozen books and several hundred articles on literature, history, politics and photography.

He received a sabbatical, Horace Mann grant, and the Robert Barram Award.

“Working in Newton has been challenging and exhausting work, White said. “A good deal harder than making cars at Ford’s River Rouge plant, but easily a thousand times more rewarding.

White said other “deeply satisfying elements, outside the classroom, were “new and old friendships with colleagues, and “getting to know students, their parents and the extraordinary range, diversity and creativity of the Newton community.

He added that seeing students and learning what they had achieved years later was “one of the most fulfilling aspects of being a teacher.

White now hopes to conclude two long-term book projects, and will return to South in September, teaching a single class and continuing with Prague Spring and advising Denebola.

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South Stage show called off for first time in years http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/south-stage-show-called-off-for-first-time-in-years/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/south-stage-show-called-off-for-first-time-in-years/#comments Thu, 10 Jun 2010 11:01:26 +0000 Denebola http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4448 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.

As a result, the cast selected this past Wednesday to be the date of the of the play’s rescheduled final performance.

This event exemplifies a professional way of dealing with an unfortunate situation. The cast of Proof was able to effectively reschedule the show, thus not furthering the disappointment of its audience members.

The director and cast of Proof can be commended for successfully overcoming a simply unlucky incident.

The performance went well and the performer who was feeling ill on Saturday has fully recovered and is feeling well again.

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Parlin named interim History head http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/parlin-named-interim-history-head/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/parlin-named-interim-history-head/#comments Thu, 10 Jun 2010 11:00:47 +0000 Denebola http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4451 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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