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Greenport High School’s Award-Winning Newspaper Volume 87 Issue I November 2013 Crackdown on Absences Leaves
Greenport High School’s Award-Winning Newspaper
Volume 87
Issue I
November 2013
Crackdown on Absences Leaves No Absence of
Controversy
By Briana Pagano ‘14
Updated absence procedure? Present!
As of late, New York state high schools have experienced a staggering
number of absences. In fact, it has been calculated that an astounding one
in ten students misses at least 10% of school days each year. This shocking
statistic has incited administrators statewide to crack down on absences.
This school year, GHS principal Mr. Skuggevik has adopted a new at-
tendance policy geared toward the promotion of Governor Cuomo’s newly
launched Every Student Present campaign, a public awareness project aimed
at promoting school attendance. This initiative’s foremost goal is to combat
the negative effects repeated absences have on students’ academic prosperity.
As Cuomo was quoted to say, “Ensuring that our students get a good qual-
ity education means making sure they are in the classroom every day.”
>>Page 7
There is undeniably a point at which even the best of students begin to drown in seemingly impossible school-
work after repeated absences, proving that attendance and achievement are inextricably linked. Through its new
method of handling attendance, GHS is doing everything in its power to counteract this unfortunate absence-
induced downfall of education.
>>Page 10
Under GHS’s new practice, after five absences in a single class, students are forbidden from participating in ex-
tracurricular activities and venturing off-campus for lunch until they have made up each of the core classes they
missed after school. This is undoubtedly a much harsher penalty than the former policy’s punishment, in which
students merely had to make up all homework assignments from the quarter.
The hallways of GHS are indubitably abuzz with controversy over this new attendance practice. Some stu-
dents, like senior Cindy Cecaida and junior Rosario Rodriguez, respect the new practice’s initiative, viewing it
as a wise addition to the school. Says Cecaida of the new method of making up missed classes after school, “It
is helpful to those who at some point fell behind because of outside struggles and wish to get ahead.” Says Ro-
driguez, “People who go on vacation for a very long time deserve [the repercussions.]” Cecaida predicts that this
new practice will cut down on vacation-related absences because, “Kids will see that the consequences—missing
extracurricular activities and not being able to go out to lunch—are no fun.”
>>Page 15
Conversely, there are students who gripe about the repercussions of the new practice. Says one student who
wishes to remain anonymous, “There are too many hidden punishments.” Still others question the necessity of
this new practice. Senior Victoria Piechnik, who will surpass the five absence per quarter maximum while on an
18-day vacation to Hawaii this November, says, “I don’t think the new [practice] is necessary. Kids that would
do their work prior to leaving still will and kids that don’t make up assignments probably still won’t either.”
Piechnik has a point. An assiduous, intelligent student will surely catch up more quickly than will an unmoti-
vated student who has a lesser grasp on academics. By this reasoning, GHS’s new attendance policy may, indeed,
be unintentionally reprimanding hard-working students. This, however, is an inevitable downside of a well-
meaning practice.
>>Page 16
At the end of the day, only one thing is certain: this practice may leave GHS with fewer absences, but certainly
not an absence of controversy.
[GHS students] Have you ever not had a lunch period? *Grades 8-12*
Porters’
{
Yes
No
That’s why they make
lunchboxes.
-Sean Walden
{
Perspective
35%
65%
I don’t like it at all. With 2 APs
and no lunch, I can’t perform
to the best of my abilities.
-Brian Tuthill
{
{

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The Quill - November 2013

The Quill

Volume 87, Issue I

November, 2013

Greenport High School 720 Front St. Greenport NY, 11944 www.gufsd.org

Editorial Board

QUILL ADVISOR Mrs. Viggiano

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Briana Pagano

LAYOUT EDITOR Skye Gillispie

LAYOUT ASSISTANTS Sarah Tuthill Shyane Jones Brandi Gonzalez

NEWS ANALYST Neville Reece

STAFF/REPORTERS Katie Tuthill Lauren Smith Angelina Pagano Marina DeLuca Maria Soriano Matthew Drinkwater Cate Creedon Edgar Pocasangre Yanet Garcia

PHOTOGRAPHERs Stephanie Wright Nina Aurichio Charis Stoner

We welcome any kind of mail! To submit letters to the editor, comments, or suggestions, please email us at:

viggiano@gufsd.org!

*The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the individual writers and are not necessarily those of GHS, this publication, or the editors. All articles submitted for publication are subject to editing.

Editorial

AP Classes or Lunch:You Decide

By Marina DeLuca ‘15

AP Classes or Lunch:You Decide By Marina DeLuca ‘15 “Eat a good breakfast on test days!”

“Eat a good breakfast on test days!” This is the usual advice teachers give students, and it applies to more than just breakfast. It is very important for growing kids and teens to get proper nutrition, thus they need to eat healthy meals throughout the day. One of these meals is lunch. How can students focus on their classes when their stomachs are making gurgling sounds and they can practically taste the food they are craving? Having a lunch period allows students to satisfy their hunger, talk to their friends, and study a little more for their next big upcoming test. Lunch helps students to have the energy to get through the day. So why is it that in the past couple of years, there have been masses of students lacking a lunch period?

This epidemic is targeting many of the students involved in AP (advanced placement) classes. These students are the primary targets because many AP classes are only offered during lunch periods, and therefore many of the kids involved in multiple APs don’t have a lunch period. This upsets students to the point where they sometimes drop an AP class in order to have lunch. Junior Sean Walden says, “It sucked [not having a lunch.] I dropped AP Microeconomics so I could have a lunch period.” This lack of lunch periods is causing high caliber students to drop the classes that they belong in.

Not having a lunch period is also particularly hard for students involved in afterschool activities. If they are eating very early, snacking in classes here and there, or not eating at all, they are starving by the time sports and other activities start. Some only have a little time for a quick snack and are forced to continue on in their hectic schedules. Athletes who aren’t eating properly are at risk of passing out when they play, which is something no one wants to happen.

GHS students have found that there is little to no way that they can take multiple AP classes alongside their normal grade level classes and have a lunch period. However, GHS did take steps to try to help AP students to have a lunch period by adding 7th period lunch to kids’ schedules. This new lunch period does help by giving kids who would otherwise not have a scheduled lunch period time to eat, but it is not the perfect solution. Junior Emma Marshall says, “It’s hard to focus on my AP classes because I’m so hungry.” Even though students like Marshall do have a lunch period, they are so hungry throughout the day that they can hardly focus on the tasks in front of them. The cafeteria provides limited food service during 7th period, so students are usually forced to either bring in lunch or go out to eat.

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Editorial continued

Another solution to the lunch problem that oftentimes arises is that kids without lunch periods are granted permission to run to the cafeteria and buy lunch to bring back to class. This also has its downfalls, though. Eating in class can be a distraction to both the student and his or her surrounding peers. Also, if there are a lot of kids in a class who are leaving to get lunch, the start of class is delayed. This can, in turn, cause the teacher to rush through particular topics and spend less time on important subject matter. Students should be given lunch periods to avoid problems like these. Schools should encourage their students to take classes that will challenge them as well as allow them to excel. Now, the known fact that students who take challenging classes may not have lunch is a huge deterrent to many students. This is the last thing school officials should want. When kids go to school, they should be encouraged to challenge themselves, but not to the point where they can’t eat during the school day. Even though this lack of lunch is extremely frustrating, students shouldn’t get too down. Senior Dory Lieblein is working on a petition with the goal of making lunch mandatory. So students who don’t have a lunch period: go and sign her petition!

Ask Alice

Dear Alice,

I don’t really get along well with my junior high classmates.

Most of my friends are high schoolers. Sometimes there are school events and clubs that I can’t go to or join because I’m too young. I hate feeling left out. What should I do?

-Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

I think everyone can relate to the feeling of being left out.

Instead of looking at it negatively, view it in a positive light. When you get to high school, you will have four full years of school events and clubs. Use your time in the present to learn time management and study habits. Just live in the moment and be happy with where you are. Before you know it, you will be in high school and doing all of these things.

Love,

Alice

Dear Alice,

I

My problem may make me sound like a typical girl but then am one. All of my best friends have boyfriends. My friends

again

are always busy hanging out with their boyfriends and I never get to hang out with them. Please help! I hate feeling like a second choice.

-Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

It’s okay to sound like a typical girl; you’re in high school after all. I would suggest talking with your friends and telling them that you want to spend more time with them. Chances are, they will understand and feel the same way. This will force them to make some time for you and give you more time together. I would also advise you to find a few friends who don’t have boyfriends and hang out with them more. This way, you get more time with your best friends and you are still opening up your options and making new friends.

Love,

Alice

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The Quill - November 2013

porter’s corner

Fresh Faces

By Shyane Jones ‘14

Greenport High School is one of the most diverse schools on Long Island. This past year, it has welcomed not one, not two, but 26 new high school students from all over the world. Being the new kid can be very diffi- cult, but here at GHS all new faces are welcome. One new student in particular, senior Alijah Bolling, has been the new girl seven times. Born in the state of Washing- ton, Alijah began the continuous cycle of moving from school to school at the age of 10. She attended elementary school in Maryland and middle school in Pennsyl- vania. Next, she moved back to Maryland for 8th grade, then moved to two different towns in Maryland for grades 10 and 11. At last, she has made her final stop here in Greenport for her senior year.

Alijah says that out of all of her high schools, GHS is the smallest and the one that she likes the most. She says that the other schools she has attended were very urban and huge. Alijah goes on to say that in her 10th grade class, there were 1,000 students. She describes herself as very shy, and says that she was afraid that she wouldn’t make any friends here in Greenport due to the fact that in her past schools, people weren’t very social. After her first day of school here at GHS, however, Alijah says she made a ton of friends and that everyone is so nice and friendly.

Alijah’s brother, ninth grader Darius Bolling, has been through the same mov- ing experience as Alijah but has his own opinions on the matter. Darius says that he loves urban places and big schools, so the move to Greenport was different for him. However, after making friends and attend- ing basketball practices, Darius says he’s started to enjoy Greenport a lot more than he did at first. GHS student Erika Martinez,17, has moved from Hicksville to Hempstead to Southold. This year, she has made her final stop here at Greenport to spend her junior year. Erika says that every time she moved, it became more difficult. She, like many other new students, is very happy that she is now attending GHS.

Code Red

By Skye Gillispie ‘14

As Greenport High School students are picking out their outfits for school each morning, they may be fo- cusing more on whether their outfit passes the school's dress code policy rather than if it is stylish and trendy. Mother Nature has rewarded Greenporters with a warm autumn season, allowing many students to hold onto their summer wardrobes well into October. How- ever, one must choose his or her summer wear carefully Monday through Friday, as teachers and administration are enforcing the dress code with full force. While some teachers try to give students the benefit of the doubt, others parade the halls with rulers, measuring students’ shorts, skirts, and even cheerleading uniforms. For those who are not well aware, the school dress code features regulations banning "extremely brief gar-

ments” such as "bare midriffs

bra straps which are not covered

which are not longer than a person's fingertips

plunging necklines

short shorts or skirts "

Rightfully so, the school must ensure that students are dressing in a safe and appropriate manner in a way that does not disrupt others’ ability to learn. By enforcing the dress code, teachers and administration are simply doing their job. Their rightful duty does not stop stu- dents from protesting and simply disobeying the clearly stated policy, however.

Many GHS students find the dress code to be a corruption of character as it discourages students from dying their hair an exotic color or wearing excessive amounts of makeup, claiming these things may disrupt the educational pro- cess. When asked to comment on these new rules, senior Paige Con- fort said, "It's my style and fashion and I don't want to have to change who I am because the school tells me I have to." On the contrary, ju- nior Neville Reece says, "What are people objecting to? I see nothing wrong with the dress code." As an expected frigid winter season rapidly approaches, the dress code will slowly slip into most students’ subconscious. It won't be long, however, before warm weather returns and GHS faculty and students must work together to find a balance as to what is deemed “school appropriate” and what is too showy or provocative.

must work together to find a balance as to what is deemed “school appropriate” and what

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porter’s corner

PSAT Powerhouse

By Maria Soriano ‘15

Senior Mairi Creedon can be found in the school hallways, practicing on the varsity field hockey field, or even working down- town at The Market. Those who know Mairi can easily say that she is a hard worker and incredibly intelligent, and many say that these qualities have definitely paid off. This fall, Mairi was honored with a letter of commendation for her outstanding perfor- mance on the PSAT. Out of 1.5 million of students who took the exam, Mairi successfully placed herself in the top five percent of the nation. I had the honor of interviewing Mairi soon after she discovered her remarkable accomplishment.

soon after she discovered her remarkable accomplishment. Q: What was your first reaction when Mr. Skuggevik

Q: What was your first reaction when Mr. Skuggevik announced your ac- complishment over the school’s intercom? A: “Well, I didn’t even know at the time that I had received the letter of commendation, so I was very surprised.”

Q: Did you ever think that you would place up so high, like in the top five percent? A: “No, not really. I knew I would do well, but never like this.”

Q: Are you still blown away by the fact that you’ve made it into the top five percent? A: “No, not really. This award doesn’t affect my life much other than being something I can put on college applications to make me stand out a bit more.”

Q: Dealing with AP classes, SATs, and other tests must be a lot to handle. What kind of tricks do you do besides studying? A: “Besides studying, I try to get eight hours of sleep the night before a big test. That’s about it.”

Q: What advice can you give to other students who strive to do well throughout their high school career?

A: “I would say prepare ahead of time last minute.”

relax

and do not wait until the

We are all very proud of Mairi and wish her the best of luck the rest in her senior year and college studies!

Greenport Goes Green

By Edgar Pocasangre ‘14

In the past couple of years, Greenport High School has un- dergone numerous major improvements. For instance, many new classes have been offered. However, our school has not only improved academically; there have also been a lot of changes within the building.

While everybody was off enjoying summer break, our build- ing was under construction. New changes to the school include the replacement of our old boiler, installation of new windows, and the renovation of our auditorium. GHS’s most recent ad- ditions are updated science rooms, the newly renovated play- ground, and solar panels.

GHS’s newly installed solar panels are projected to help our school immensely. Says GHS principal Mr. Skuggevik, " Over time, they're going to save so much energy as well as money by making us independent of oil and gas." Construction of solar panels was never an idea at the top on GHS’s list since Mr. Comanda, superintendent, also had constructing an air wind generator in mind. However, says Skuggevik, "The cost of the solar panels was lower and they provide more electricity." Ultimately, this is how the decision for the construction of the solar panels was made, with the administration always keeping in mind what is best for our school.

The decision to renovate GHS’s science rooms was made with the same mentality. Mr. Skuggevik describes the school’s newly renovated science rooms as “more flowing, equipped, updated, and safe for the environment.” Says Skuggevik, “The old science rooms were all scratched, outdated, and hard to move around in. The new rooms are much more comfortable.” Agrees science teacher Mr. Taylor, ”It’s really nice to work in a real laboratory room.”

Another improvement that took place over the summer was the reconstruction of the playground. Now, the school’s play- ground is modern and vastly improved. When asked to reveal their inspiration to carry out this project, superintendent Mr. Comanda and principal Mr. Skuggevik revealed, "The smile on the little kid faces.” Says Skuggevik of the old playground, "It was old, too. Having a place where little kids are safe and enjoy themselves is important to us."

Undoubtedly, Mr. Comanda and Mr. Skuggevik both deserve many thanks for their hard effort on improving every aspect of our school.

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The Quill - November 2013

International News

Seriously Syria

By Neville Reece ‘15

Syria, a country located in the Middle East right up against the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, has, since March of 2011, fought against pro-democracy protesters who were—and still are—looking for the Assad regime to collapse. Bashar al-Assad, who took over the country in place of his father in 2000 to continue the family’s 42-year regime, has resorted to mili- tary action in response to the demonstrators. Death tolls in the conflict have reached over a hundred thousand—more than 20,000 of which are said to be rebel fighters. The Syr- ian Observatory For Human Rights has said the death toll for civilians during the 29-month carnage has reached over 40,000, including just fewer than 6,000 children. Hundreds of these deaths have come from a chemical weapon attack said to be carried out by the Assad regime. Though the Syrian government denies the allegations, Russia, an ally of Syria, has offered to become a facilitator in terms of removing the chemical weap- ons. After the horrific effects of poison gas in World War I, there has been a strong movement to eradicate all chemical weapons. The Or- ganization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW, was formed in 1997, and 98% of the world’s countries are now part of this organization. Two countries signed the chemical weapons convention but have not ratified it—Israel and Burma. They are five countries that have neither signed nor ratified the convention: Angola, Egypt, North Korea, South Sudan (the world’s newest country) and Syria. According to the Rules of War, the use of poisons, poisoned weapons, and poisonous gases by any branch of the armed forces is flatly prohibited, as is the use of bacteriological materials and devices that spread disease. Despite this, neither the Syrian government nor any- one else has been punished in any way, although the reports of the usage of chemical weapons have been confirmed. Due to the fact that it violates the Chemical Weapons Convention, the usage of chemical weapons has been the focus of most reports on Syria since the attack. As one can only imagine, this isn’t the only fear coming out of Syria.There are now also reports of child starva- tion because many children’s parents died fighting for themselves and their posterity. The massacre taking place in Syria has, since the US government shutdown, been driven out of the top news headlines, although as many people as ever have been dying. Apparently, the US media finds more interest in the Affordable Care Act than the bloodbath in Syria, which depending on your perspective, can be a good or a bad thing. Despite Assad’s usage of chemical weapons and a violation of the Rules of War, there has been no repercussion for the carnage from the United Nations or any other international group. The idea that these rules can be violated without consequence makes one wonder: why have the rules to begin with?

group. The idea that these rules can be violated without consequence makes one wonder: why have

The Quill - November 2013

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International News

Dear Brasil

By Cate Creedon ‘15 (exchange student)

Dear Brasil, Please stop making me so addicted to yummy food that is so unhealthy, dishes I will never be able to find in the US. Stop mak- ing me fall in love with all of your people. Stop making me love your culture more than my own. Please stop, because this is all so fantastic now, but in the year to come,

will miss you something terrible. But Brasil, thank you for making me so happy so far from home. Thank you host families for basically adopt- ing me and doing so much for me. And thank you especially host mother, for understanding me and helping me but also giving me the kick I needed to do things alone and to make my exchange great. Most of all, thank you for teaching me that my exchange is what I make of it, because guess what? I choose to make it great. What has Brasil taught me so far? I've learned that if you are going to waste energy on being scared of bugs, you're going to not have any energy left. I've learned that Google Translate is even more horrible than people say it is. I know this, because I've learned Portuguese. I don't speak it very well yet, but I am now able to proofread the transla-

I

It is in moments like these that appreciation hits you hard.

My happiness level depends almost solely on my ability to communicate and understand. During my first months in Brasil, I went through periods of almost depression. One day, I faked sick, only venturing outside once to cross the driveway to get to my host grandmother’s house for lunch. I stayed in my pajamas the entire day. Now, three months into my exchange, I do still run into difficulty, but not so often, and I'm super happy. I've been in this country for just three months. Just three months ago, I im- mersed myself in this culture and met all of these incredible people. I may have been in Brasil for a mere three months, but I can honestly say that I belong here. I've made a home for myself, and I've done it alone, without the help of the people I've known my entire life. I have new families, new friends, and new favorite foods and activities. I also have new views and opinions. I've done a lot of growing up, but I know there's a lot more to do. Some- times, I feel very childlike and I think, "You want me to do WHAT? Alone? But I'm not an adult!" But then I do it, and I prove I can.

incredible.

I can't really describe how

I prove I can. incredible . I can't really describe how tions and they are just

tions and they are just awful. I've learned that when Brazilians say something, they mean it. You really are welcome to make yourself at home or invite yourself over when you want to. I've learned that the English language makes no sense. As my Portuguese gets bet- ter, English grammar gets harder and harder. I’ve learned to say what I feel and mean what I say, because communication is key.

I never realized just how vital communication is until I went on

exchange. You don't notice these things if you've never struggled to ask where the bathroom is or to determine if the type of food someone wants you to try is vegan. You take these things for grant- ed until someone gets frustrated and yells “levanta” at you for the fourth time, as if speaking louder will suddenly make you under- stand that word.

My host mother is

somehow. She manages to mother and spoil me while simulta- neously forcing me to become an adult. She was an exchange student too, once upon a time. She knows exactly what I do and don't need, and how much she should help me.

Stereotypes: True or False?

Crazy Brazilian drivers? TRUE. They text while driving, speed like heck, and tailgate like it’s nobody's business. The whole affair is ter- rifying.

Brazilian kiss is better? True AND false. Brazilian kisses are either better than American ones or like face rape. There’s no in between.

Brazilians dance better? TRUE. So much better, and I’m happy to report, that I have learned how to dance better as well.

Brazilians speak Spanish? FALSE. Brazilians speak PORTUGUESE.

Monkeys are everywhere? FALSE. Brazil is immense, containing many different regions.

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The Quill - November 2013

Homecoming 2013

8 The Quill - November 2013 Homecoming 2013

The Quill - November 2013

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Education Deterioration

By Neville Reece ‘15

Recently, there have been big pushes for reformation of the educa- tional system—some of which include new technologies and some of which involve new teachers and teaching methods. People always seem to be trying to fix things, but first, numerous big questions must be asked: how broken is the system that we’ve been using for the past decades, what are we replacing, and why? How have stan- dardized tests and technologies impacted the education of America’s posterity? It looks as if there are hasty pushes to change the way the average high school student learns; how is this impacting teachers’ approaches and students’ educations? Most importantly, is it for the better or worse in terms of students’ educations? The clear purpose of standardized tests is to judge students nation- wide and determine their ability amongst their peers. The same goes with teachers; if their students lack good marks on their standard- ized tests, they are deemed less effective than teachers whose stu- dents excel. The most predominant standardized test is the SAT, which has been taken by about 1.5 million people every year for the past de- cade or so. Each year, some 300 to 400 students get a perfect score on the SAT, which is less than .1% of test takers according to the College Board. Although the SATs are the most impactful test in colleges’ deter- mination of whom to accept and decline, there are many other tests that students take throughout their public school experience. Here in Greenport, students are required to take a multitude of Regents exams in subjects spanning from biology to chemistry and integrat- ed algebra to trigonometry. Last year, The Washington Post reported that in Florida students in certain districts were given up to a whop- ping sixty-two tests per year! Here in GHS, there are many opinionated individuals with much to say on the issue of education. Some say that the importance placed on standardized tests is stressful; however, when asked if he felt pressure while taking Regents exams, junior William Armstrong said, “Not at all.” Armstrong also added that he hasn’t been particu- larly successful on these very tests. Neena Waters, a junior, is not very fond of standardized tests and thinks they should be done away with. Junior David Krumenacker, on the other hand, said that when he sees a Regents test on his schedule, he doesn’t even “bat an eye.” Science teacher Mr. Buckley said there needs to be some standard so schools know all students are learning something. A Regents chemis- try teacher now in his fifth year of teaching at GHS, Buckley stated that he, however, goes “above and beyond” the Regents material when teaching his chemistry course. Buckley added that although some standard is required, the amount of testing high school kids endure is far too much. Many people in New York—from parents to students to teachers —agree with Buckley’s claim. Excessive testing has actually incited some calls for the New York State education commissioner John King to resign. King advocates the amount of tests that are issued to students, although his very own children attend a private Montes- sori school whose students are not required to take these state tests, according to Adam Chodak of 13WHAM-TV. Essentially, King firmly believes that all New York state students should take these tests, except his own kids.

state students should take these tests, except his own kids. The effects of technology in school

The effects of technology in school are hard to judge considering that technology in the classroom is a relatively new experiment. Regents exams, conversely, have been around since November of 1866, so they possess more information to base an opinion on. Despite GHS’s short-lived technological advance- ments, I asked GHS principal Mr. Skuggevik what he thought of students using their phones or other technologies to text in class and he said, “It’s the same as them staring out the window.” The former chancellor of New York City’s public schools, Joel Klein, is now the chief executive of a company which creates and sells tablets for school kids. According to Klein, who was chancel- lor from 2002 to 2011, “K-12 isn’t working.” Apparently, Klein thinks that the distribution of tablets will change that, although he did state that the success of the tablets will depend on the exploita- tion of them by teachers. Free enterprise has made its way into this commotion, too; Ap- ple’s iPad is one of the competitors trying to make sales on schools like GHS that have decided to provide every student and teacher with a device. On one side, it’s a fierce race to educate kids, and on the other side, it’s a fierce race to sell tablets, depending on who you ask. The whole idea of school classes is changing along with newly available technologies. There is a new concept embraced by a few college classes around the country called the Flipped Classroom. This term is used to depict a classroom where pre-recorded les- sons are viewed before in-class exercises. The only reason this came about was because now the technology required is finally available for testing. Are we using all this technology in classrooms for the betterment of students’ educations or merely for the sake of using technology? Carlo Rotella of The New York Times described all this technology in schools as “the overvaluing of technology and the undervalu- ing of people.” She went on to refer to it as “the tendency to turn to the market to address social problems.” In other words, we’re so overwhelmed by how amazing technology is that we forget the beauty of human interaction.

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The Quill - November 2013

39 Steps to Success

By Briana Pagano ‘14

This November 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, for the second consecutive year, purple and gold fused with red and white as the Green- port and Southold High School drama clubs joined forces to perform Broadway’s longest running comedy, The 39 Steps. Spearheaded by the Southold directorial dream team, Mr. Rooney and Mrs. Ellwood, The 39 Steps skyrocketed to success. Judging by the constant cacophony of laughter that reverber- ated off of the newly renovated auditorium walls, the audience was head over heels in love with this zany Alfred Hitchcock satire. Know that wacko second-cousin-twice-removed, Crazy Earl, who shows up every Christmas Eve drunk on eggnog and sends you rolling on the floor in laughter with his absurd antics? The 39 Steps is Crazy Earl. Featuring everything from roaming lin- gerie salesmen to sleuthing spies to scandalous stockings to the debonair leading man himself, Richard Hannay, and his infa- mous “very attractive pencil moustache,” The 39 Steps is chock- full of absolutely every character imaginable. Plane crashes, train chases, and even the popular 1930s dance, the jitterbug, found their way onto the stage in this side- splitting crowd-pleaser. Additionally, a hilarious use of panto- mime stretched the imagination of actors and audience mem- bers alike. Remarks senior GHS drama club member Dory Lieblein, “Each actor fully committed to [their] character, even when [they] had to do absolutely ridiculous things.” The show’s three female leads were played by GHS seniors Dory Lieblein (Annabella) and Briana Pagano (Pamela) alongside Southold senior Amy Kandora (Margaret). The show-stopping lead man, Richard Hannay, was portrayed by Southold freshman Eddie Ward while GHS freshman Jackson

Cocciolone (Crofter, Mr. McGarrigle) gave an uproarious perfor- mance as the supporting male lead. A notable eccentricity of The 39 Steps was its diverse conglomera- tion of accents. Remarks senior drama club member Cindy Cecaida, “It was amazing to see how our cast was able to work with different accents from different parts of the world.” One actress with a heaping challenge on her plate was senior Dory Lieblein. Alongside playing the German spy, Annabella, Lieblein portrayed the British housewife, Mrs. Jordan, and a Scottish thug called Heavy 1. Says Lieblein, “It was a challenge trying to mas- ter three different accents. Sometimes I'd switch to German in the middle of my British monologue accidentally!” However, admits Lieblein, “It was really a lot of fun.” The cherry on top of this side-splitting production, however, was not the obvious humor or action, but rather the heart-warming camaraderie that exuded from the stage. Under the spotlight, the actors and actresses were stripped bare of all Southold-Greenport rivalries and rendered a solitary unit—a family. Says GHS drama club advisor Mrs. Peterson, “One aspect of this combined effort that is a favorite is the opportunity for cast and crew to expand their horizons and venture beyond their comfort zone of their home school.” Concludes Lieblein seamlessly, “I think Greenport and Southold combining for theatre was the smartest decision our schools have ever made.” One thing’s for certain; Greenport and Southold have undoubtedly taken 39 giant steps toward success with this smashing collaboration.

for certain; Greenport and Southold have undoubtedly taken 39 giant steps toward success with this smashing

The Quill - November 2013

11

Foreign Legends

ByYanet Garcia ‘15

Urban legends are an important aspect of popular culture, experts say, offering insight into human fears and the state of society. They're also just good fun, fitting right in at the time of year when infamous Halloween movie marathons dance across TVs everywhere. Many people, however, are unfamiliar with urban legends. I love the history behind scary legends and myths and see legends as a way a culture can keep its people to adhere to traditional habits. I think legends are a great way to get children to go to sleep and to stay in the house. Just kidding…but when young children are allowed to experience the emotion of fear vicariously—that is to say, sitting on the lap of a loved family member with whom they feel safe—they get the hang of the tingly sensation associated with fear. It's like exercising a muscle that isn’t used often. Due to my ethnic background, I myself am familiar with a handful of urban legends. One of the most famous and legendary (pun intended) myths is called "La Llorona." Many say that this is a true story, but on the other hand, there are always provincial skeptics who think it's all a bunch of bologna. Forcing a belief on anyone is the last thing I want to do, but I personally do believe in foreign legends because I've come across a handful of people who have experienced abnormal events, to the point where all they could do was pray. "La Llorona" (The Weeper) is a legend based on morale and unselfishness. Parents warn their children that bad behavior will cause La Llorona to abduct them and that being outside after dark will result in her visitation. The tale also warns young women not to be enticed by status, wealth, material goods, or by men who make declarations of love or lavish promises. This legend centers around a young girl, Maria, who resided in Mexico. She was characterized as a very boastful and selfish young girl. She felt too proud for any common man. When she finally came across a handsome wealthy man, she decided it was him who she wanted to marry. She didn't play easy to get though; the man had to work to marry her. They moved mountains and mountains away from their town to a small house near a river. They had two kids, but slowly and surely Maria’s beauty started to fade, causing her hus- band to become blatantly disinterested in her. Desperate for her husband's attention, Maria began to go insane. Her last resort for attention was her children, and so she drowned her two innocent kids in the lake near their house. With noth- ing in her way now, Maria assumed her husband would begin to give her more attention. Her selfish plan completely backfired, though, for her husband neglected her completely after. Maria then drowned herself in a lake in Mexico City. Challenged at the gates of heaven as to the whereabouts of her children, she was not permitted to enter the afterlife until she had found them. Maria was thus forced to wander the Earth for all of eternity, searching in vain for her drowned offspring. Trapped between the living world and the spirit world, Maria’s constant weeping gave her the name “La Llorona.” Throughout Central and South America, it is said that people hear the wom- an weeping, and experiences of La Llorona luring men into solitary dark places at night to kill them are not uncommon. The beauty of culture is the oral bequeathment that spans for centuries. Keeping traditions is the root of all cultures, and not only are legends fun, but they also teach important lessons. Through legends such as La Llorona, aspects of a certain culture are enabled to live on in the minds--and fears--of individuals forever.

Skate Park

By Jillian Golden ‘19

Is Greenport’s beloved and treasured skate park ready to retire? Will the community finally get rid of this place where so many skaters go to express their creativity? Believe it or not, all the rumors that have been floating around are false; the skate park is stationary and will remain so. However, some curious locals wonder why it isn’t retired, considering the state it is in. Anyone who has ever visited has probably asked the same question. The Greenport skate park is filled with graffiti and offensive messages as well as large holes that are full of unwanted trash. In an old Suffolk Times article, a woman stated that “because it’s unsupervised and has a reputation as a place where kids go to fool around, there is no respect or ownership.” When a group of GHS upperclassmen were asked their opinion on the issue, they agreed that the skate park is infamous for being a place where kids go to mess around and do inappropriate things. However, they also claimed that this is not a reason to get rid of the skate park, but rather a reason to improve its conditions so more young people can enjoy it. The park opened in 1998, but its budget couldn’t help the cost of insurance and a

garbage pickup patrol, which is one of the reasons the park is in terrible condition to-

day. It would be a shame to see it go, but luckily it won’t be retired and recycled

yet.

is in terrible condition to- day. It would be a shame to see it go, but

12

The Quill - November 2013

Crossword Puzzle

12 The Quill - November 2013 Crossword Puzzle Sudoku Across 2. new shop in town 6.

Sudoku

Across

2.

new shop in town

6.

synonym for fall

9.

Spirited Shakespeare club adviser

12.

NY Giants' coach of the week

13.

homecoming opponent

14.

our football field is named after this man

15.

what does the

say

16.

this white pest will soon be swirling our way

18.

home of our foreign exchange student

19.

new local taco shop and bar

Down

1.

Greenport Union Free School

3.

month of Halloween

4.

new AP class offered

5.

most popular Halloween spot in town

7.

alternative to textbooks

8.

Walter White is the main character on this TV

show

10.

the school store's new product

11.

World Series Contender

17.

popular spot in the center of town

10. the school store's new product 11. World Series Contender 17. popular spot in the center

The Quill - November 2013

13

November Horoscopes

By Lauren Smith ‘14

Aries (March 21st-April 19th)- Surprising news may catch you off guard, but it’s all about interpretation. Don’t make any rash decisions, because you might regret it later. To clear your mind, do some reorganizing; clean out all of that clutter and start fresh!

Taurus (April 20th- May 20th)- There are a few bumps and blocks in the road, but these are just the kind of obstacles that bring people together. You'll need a favor to clear the path and get where you want to go.

Gemini (May 21st- June 20th)- Think before you speak. You may be getting mixed signals from someone you care about; be honest and you’ll get the same truth in return. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t go your way.

Cancer (June 21st- July 22nd)- A close relative or friend may seem distant creating tension between you two, but remember not to lash out impulsively. Things will pass, just give it time.

Leo (July 23- August 22nd) - In order to make the best of the circumstances around you, you must respond to your current situa- tion with rational sensibility. Avoiding unrealistic schemes now helps you remain on track.

Virgo (August 23rd- September 22nd)- Although you may be having second thoughts about a previous relationship, before re- kindling the flame remember why you are no longer close, and cut the ties for good.

Libra (September 23rd- October 22nd)- Being skeptical may not always be a bad thing, but by trying new things you might sur- prise yourself and be interested in something you once were so quick to judge. There may not always be an answer for everything, so don’t be so hard on yourself trying to figure it out.

Scorpio (October 23rd- November 21st) - You may have to make some important decisions this month, but nothing you can’t handle without assurance from a close friend or family member. Having a third party may help you make a final conclusion

Sagittarius (November 22nd- December 21st)- Someone from your past may be reappearing in your thoughts leaving you to wonder if you can still work it out. Think things through before you make drastic changes you may regret later.

Capricorn (December 22nd- January 19th)- Although you may feel the need to intervene and fix things for people, the best thing you can do is let them sort their messes out on their own. Getting your hands dirty will only cause trouble for yourself.

Aquarius (January 20th- February 18th)- Don’t ignore a new piece of information just because you weren’t prepared for it. Fate is finding a way to get your attention. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you learn once you stop resisting the unknown.

Pisces (February 19th- March 20th)- Entertain as many possibilities as you can and then choose the course of least resistance. There are many ways to make your dreams come true.

as you can and then choose the course of least resistance. There are many ways to

14

The Quill - November 2013

The College Craze

By Briana Pagano ‘14

Whoever said senior year is a breeze must have had a nose longer than Pinocchio's.

Sure, senior year buzzes with the bittersweet exhilaration of doing everything for the last time, but it also resembles an Olympian’s mad dash to the finish line. Running, running, always running, stu- dents sprint toward the ultimate goal: big, fat envelopes granting admittance to dream colleges.

“SAT” and “ACT” are two terms that constantly swirl through most seniors’ minds. And don’t even get me started on the dreaded Common App. Filling out college applications is terrifying, to say the least. Putting one’s entire life down on paper and sending it off to the big, bad admissions committee feels akin to jumping off of a cliff and praying there’s a giant trampoline waiting at the bottom.

In today’s cutthroat college admissions game, being an applicant feels more like volunteering as tribute for the Hunger Games. Even a sky-high SAT score no longer guarantees applicants a golden ticket to the college of one’s dreams. With college acceptance rates sinking to as low as 7% at some of the nation’s elite institutions, applicants can’t help but wonder: what can I do to be one of the chosen ones?

CROSSWORD ANSWERS

Across

Down

2.

One Love

1. District

6.

autumn

3. October

9.

Mr. Tramontana

4. AP World History

12.

Mr. Martilotta

5. Cedar Fields

13.

Center Moriches

7. iPads

14.

Dorrie Jackson

8. Breaking Bad

15.

fox

10. ramen noodles

16.

snow

11. Cardinals

18.

Brazil

17. Mitchell Park

19.

Lucharitos

Although this is a million-dollar question and the answer certainly cannot be found in the mind of a seventeen-year-old, I will venture my guess at what it truly takes to push an application into the elusive promise land — acceptance territory.

1. Devote yourself to activities you are truly passionate about. College admissions officers won’t be

fooled by the student who joins a zillion and three activities merely to look “well-rounded.” Don’t be that applicant. If Wall Street is calling your name, join DECA; however, if Broadway is the city street that’s always held your heart, maybe you’d be better off auditioning for the latest high school musical. No matter what, do what makes you feel alive.

2. Venture outside of your comfort zone. Do that one thing you’ve always been intimidated to be-

fore it’s too late. Run for class president, join the sports team you’ve always craved to be a part of, or sign up for the AP class that’s always sparked your interest. Make a mark on your school.

3. Keep academics in the forefront. As much as you may wish to allow your studies to slip to the

back burner at times, this will only come back to bite you when you’re holding a rejection letter from your dream college that you were just slightly under par for academically. GPAs make a world of difference in college admissions, and the elation of seeing the words “Congratulations, you’re in!” will more than compensate for the late nights spent studying for a big test.

SUDOKU ANSWERS

late nights spent studying for a big test. SUDOKU ANSWERS 4. Don’t save all of your

4. Don’t save all of your applications for the last minute (that’s right; this one goes out to all of the

student inhabitants of Procrastination Nation.) You should truly let your personality bleed onto your

applications, and it’s hard to encapsulate an entire persona when you’re crunched for time.

5. Write an absolutely killer essay. If you’re not the next Hemingway or Bradbury, seek all the help

you can get, because the essay is your biggest shot at gaining an acceptance from a “reach” school. If your essay makes members of the admissions committee do a double take, catch their breath, or emit a stunned “wow,” the decision you receive back from colleges could be life-altering. Intrigue the admissions committee; write essays that are so good colleges can’t possibly reject you.

6. After your applications have been handed in, take a deep breath and relax (you’d forgotten the

meaning of the word amidst the chaotic college craze, hadn’t you?) It’s out of your hands now. Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be. Remember, it isn’t where you spend your college years that mat-

ters, but rather what you decide to do with those years. Doors will always open for those who aren’t too lazy to jiggle the knobs.

The Quill - November 2013

15

#MEDIAMADNESS

By Angelina Pagano ‘17

the presses; I need to make a

quick Facebook status. Oh, and of course which filter should I choose for my new Ins-

tagram pic—Valencia or Amaro? Actually, I’m looking #pretty Then I need to check Vine and Twitter and—STOP!

OMG, I just have to tweet about this #now! Wait

Okay, okay

everyone’s

stop

to tweet about this #now! Wait Okay, okay everyone’s stop let me take a quick selfie.

let

me take a quick selfie.

guilty of this electronic obsession at times. As a society, however,

it’s time for us to step back and wonder: are we exposed to excessive amounts of media?

Should we really feel the need to document every second of our lives? Why do people care what other people are eating, or how scrumptious it is? Maybe everyone should just…dare

turn Nowadays, just about everyone is linked into social media sites in some way. With a plethora of media sites such as Instagram, Vine, Twitter, and Facebook at hand, it seems as if media is always just a touch away. This influx of technology has had a massive effect upon society. There are myriad pros and cons associated with social media. These sites radiate positive effects by enabling individuals to stay entertained, keep in touch with friends and family, be creative, get inspired, get noticed, make friendships, and collect memories. These networks also give off negative effects, however, by wasting users’ time, making people develop insecu- rities through exposure to over edited "Barbies,” enabling bullying, lowering users’ IQs as well as social skills, causing users to experience a growing fear of physical interaction, posing health threats from the overuse of technology, and inspiring people to check social media sites in places they shouldn’t, like bathrooms, cars, sidewalks, and classrooms. Also, social media encourage ridiculous trends like the duck face. What enables these social networks to give off such huge effects? The answer is popularity and profit. Unlike social media-ob- sessed high school students, businesses don’t care about whether coral is their “power color” or if OMG Becky likes Caleb! No, instead, they care about money of course! These sites all compete to be the best in social networking; however, which one is actually the most preferred? According to Apple's App Store, out of all the free apps, Instagram is ranked 8th, Facebook is 10th, Vine is 13th, and Twitter comes in 20th. Below are some additional disturbing facts about social media:

it be said

off the electronics for a mere moment?

media: it be said off the electronics for a mere moment? -31% of young adults freely

-31% of young adults freely admit to feeding their social media addiction while on the toilet. -37% of high school students admit to finding social networking updates more important and interesting than listening in the class room. -The average amount of time a person spends on Facebook per month is a whopping 15 hours and 33 minutes.

Although it can certainly be debated whether media has ultimately helped or hurt mankind, one thing is for sure; it definitely makes a retweet-worthy impact.

Maritime Makeover

By Brandi Gonzalez ‘14

Every year, over 40,000 people flock into Greenport for the highly anticipated Maritime Festival. This year, the Maritime Festival was a three-day event beginning with a ship viewing and ending with an art exhibit and wine tasting. In between, thanks to the Maritime committee, there was everything from a Bug Light cruise to fireworks to a snapper-fishing contest. This year’s 24th annual Maritime Festival was a bit different than previous years’ festivals, however. For instance, this year’s Maritime Festival did not include the popular and well-loved chowder contest. In past years, the chowder contest had always been a huge success, drawing in many people who came to the festival solely for the contest. At the last minute, the Greenport Farmers’ Markert attempted to bring the chowder contest back for Maritime 2013, but unfortunately was met with no success. The elimination of the chowder contest wasn’t the only change to the festival, however. Instead of hiring professional pirates this year, the town asked GHS drama club members to walk around dressed as pirates, something that was certainly a change of tradition. Even with the changes, though, everyone seemed to enjoy the seaside festival for yet another year.

16

The Quill - November 2013

A New Era for Porters Football: Midseason Perspective*

By Matthew Drinkwater ‘15

*Due to the fact that this was written as a midseason perspective, statistics are not up-to-date. After a losing streak spanning back 13 games to 2011, the Greenport Porters have finally found themselves a new niche in the game winning. The Porters, having a perfect first half of the season, are currently 4 and 0. There are many notable additions to the team that have greatly attributed to the Porters’s newfound success. Senior transfer from McGann Mercy High School, Owen Finnegan, is one of these new notables. 6’5, 300 lb Finnegan contributes greatly to the passing and running game as center. Another prized player is senior defensive end Jarred Schenone. Schenone was sidelined for the entirety of the 2012 season and 2013 preseason for a wrist injury and an appendix problem, respectively. However, he has now taken the league by storm with some very impressive plays, adding to the already strong Porters defense. Possibly the most notable addition to the team is not a player, but the new offensive coordinator, Chris Robinson. The ex-NFL practice squad and long time Arena Football League line- backer has brought with him a mass of knowledge and a new offense to the Porters. The Porters have some true playmakers on the field this year, and they continue to display their ability to spread the ball around the field and score points. The Porters currently have four players ranked in Newsday’s football categories. Mattituck senior Franky Si- erra is currently ranked 14th in running backs on Long Island. Sierra has 565 yards with 8 touchdowns in 100 attempts, giving him just over five and a half yards per carry. Mattituck senior and wide receiver Eugene Allen is currently ranked 9th in receivers. With 253 yards and 6 touchdowns in 18 attempts, Allen is one of the premiere receivers on Long Island. Greenport junior John Drinkwater is currently tied for the position of 5th kicker in New York state with 25 points and two field goals (25 and 37 yards.) Drinkwater has brought a consistently dominant kicking game to the Porters. Along with all these tremendous players I myself am ranked 22nd on Long Island among quarterbacks, with 700 multi purpose yards (400 passing, 300 rushing) and 8 touchdowns (7 passing and 1 rushing). Aided by a large offensive line featuring seniors Codey Fisher and Joe O'Brien and junior Willie Riggins, the Porters’s offense has been almost unstoppable, outscoring opponents 141-27 in the first four games. The Porters’s defense has yet to be scored on in the sec- ond half, and has also yet to be scored on at home. The Porters’s dynamic offense combined with its incredibly hard hitting defense has left a pile of baffled opponents in its wake. One of the Porters’s most effective weapons is not a player in particular, but the team's offseason training and extensive conditioning work. The Porters’s physical condition as a team couple with its massive line has proven too tough for opponents to handle in the second half. The Porters’s season only looks up from here. With this senior-heavy roster and a perfect beginning of the season, the Porters have their sights set on the post season. The team is currently ranked 3rd in the power rankings in Suffolk Division VI football. A finish in the top 4 would give the Porters a home playoff game. A finish in the top two would give the Porters an opportunity at 2 home playoff games. The Porters are beginning to demand respect and these blowout victories are starting to strike fear in opponents. The Porters, a team that was counted out before the season even began, just continues to keep on rolling. As a team, they have proven just how wrong their critics were as they take Long Island football by storm. A 4 and 0 start is outstanding, but the Porters are not satisfied. They have their goals set on an undefeated season and a Long Island championship. Only time will tell if this talented Porters team can achieve these goals, but what is known is that this team is full of talent, potential, and momentum--a very dangerous combination as the second half of the season commences.

Improvement on the Field

By Katie Tuthill ‘17

This year, the Clippers field hockey team got off to a great start, beating Port Jefferson with 4 seconds remaining in overtime. Last year’s 2012 season was rough, with only one win after the team lost 11 seniors and the head coach in 2011. This young 2013 team is starting to work together and is gaining experience. Head coach Rebecca Cartselos is proud of the way the Clippers played in the season opener and all season long. Captain and junior Sarah Tuthill says, “This season is a great improvement from last season. The team is working very hard and it shows on the field. We are looking forward to being even better next year.” The Clippers ended the season with 5 wins and 9 losses but made it to playoffs regardless. They lost their playoff game against Southampton with a score of 5-1. Freshman Toni Esposito and senior Brandi Gonzalez were both recog- nized by Newsday as “Players of the Week.” The Clippers will miss their departing seniors, Mairi Creedon, Kelly Dacimo, Brandi Gonzalez, Victoria Hilton, and Gina Seas.

Clippers will miss their departing seniors, Mairi Creedon, Kelly Dacimo, Brandi Gonzalez, Victoria Hilton, and Gina