This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
By Emma Marshall ‘15
The oﬃcial deﬁnition of a bully is a “blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually nadgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.” Recently, Greenport High School has initiated a new bullying prevention program called “Step Up and Stop It.” On the ﬁrst Monday of every month, teachers wear “Step Up and Stop It” t-shirts and the times and lengths of the 9 periods of the school day are altered in order for teachers to discuss bullying with their second period classes. This new program has many people scratching their heads and wondering: is it doing more harm than good, and are the results actually worth the missed class time? This new crackdown on bullying isn’t exclusive to GHS, however. In fact, New York State is requiring that all schools initiate bullying prevention programs, although the speciﬁc program in question is up to each individual school. It’s common knowledge that bullying is an epidemic that is swiftly sweeping the nation, but has it really penetrated GHS? Some would say that one of the perks of attending a small school is that students run less of a risk of facing a bullying problem. Most of the GHS student body has known each other since they were in diapers, and it would be easy to confuse their friendly banter and teasing with bullying. Throughout the last few years, bullying has been at an all-time high, as has teen suicide. Recent school bullying statistics show that in 2013, one in four kids in the US were being bullied on a regular basis. Other bullying statistics show that up to 77% of students have admitted to being the victim of a bully at some point throughout their school years. Recent spikes in bullying can be blamed on social networking sites. Social networking has made it remarkably easy for people to harass one another and has created a new breed of bully: the cyber bully. Physical assaults have been rapidly replaced with cyber assaults in the form of rumor spreading, bashing, and other forms of hazing. This way, bullies are able to avoid direct confrontation by being camouﬂaged by their computers and smart phones. To a bully, cyber bullying is safe; bullies can carry on with their bullying right in front of a teacher at school without anyone but their victims knowing. What should society do to put a stop to cyber bullying? Should we just outlaw Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites? These are the questions that our nation is struggling to answer. Bullying is an extremely sensitive subject. Due to an increase in bullying, the term holds a lot of weight in today’s society. People have to be more vigilant in identifying the signs of bullying. Something as simple and innocent as some harmless teasing may prove catastrophic if done to the wrong person. What may be fun and lighthearted to someone can be hurtful to another. Something as little as hugging someone in the halls without their permission can be considered bullying in the minds of certain individuals. That’s what makes bullying such a delicate subject; the intent may not be hurtful, but the aftermath can be disastrous. At the end of the day, one thing is deﬁnite: action needs to be taken to beat down bullying.
I believe if there’s a serious emergency, teachers should be prepared.
Should teachers carry ﬁrearms? No Yes
Kids could take the gun, teachers could be mentally unstable, accidents happen, and people panic.
2 The Quill - January 2014
Volume 87, Issue III
January 2014 Greenport High School 720 Front St. Greenport NY, 11944 www.gufsd.org
Dear Alice, I’m ﬁnding that I’m spending the money I earned at my summer job way too quickly. I can’t ask my parents for money because I feel bad. I don’t want to get a job during school, but I don’t see any other option. From, Anonymous
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 Emma Marshall Mairi Creedon Lauren Smith Maria Soriano Samantha Henry Angelina Pagano Katie Tuthill Yanet Garcia
Dear Anonymous, Getting a job during the school year isn’t necessarily a bad thing and doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. Try to ﬁnd a job that will work with you and give you ﬂexible hours. Work only on Saturdays or only on Sundays. Then, all of a sudden, you’ll have a paycheck coming in every week. It may be small, but it’s still there! Also, if you have money left over from summer and you're blowing through it too quickly, you can ﬁx that. One word...budgeting! Not many people can budget correctly or can follow a budget. This is time for you to learn. Set a realistic budget considering how much money you have, how much you spend, and what you can sacriﬁce. Sacriﬁce is a very important part. You don’t need to go out to lunch everyday, and instead of going to the movie theater you can watch movies at home with your friends. By making these sacriﬁces, it will be easier to follow your budget. Love, Alice
Dear Alice, I hate my teacher and I hate their class, but I can’t drop it. Help! From, Anonymous Dear Anonymous, I think we’ve all been there. Unfortunately, you are stuck in the class and the only thing you can do is try to make it more bearable. If you hate the class because it isn’t your favorite subject, get a tutor or go to extra help with a teacher you do like. If you're doing ﬁne academically in the class and hate it anyway, you might want to take a step back and look at the situation. Personally, I’ve made myself miserable by hating a class and teacher; it’s made me hate everything. In reality, it was just the teacher that annoyed me; I didn’t actually hate the class itself. I had to recognize that this was my own problem and that I had to accept and deal with the small annoyance. Figure out the real problem and what is causing you to hate the class you’re in. Once you identify the problem, it’ll be easier to deal with it and you may soon start to view everything in a much more positive light. Love, Alice
We welcome any kind of mail! To submit letters to the editor, comments, or suggestions, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.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.
The Quill - January 2014
By Neville Reece ‘15
Beginning in September of 2014, GHS will share a superintendent with its closest rival, Southold High School. Southold superintendent, David Gamberg, will begin his new two-year contract in July of 2014 according to a press release from Mr. Comanda. The two schools will equally share Mr. Gamberg’s salary, according to the deal agreed on by the two school boards. This all began when Greenport superintendent Mike Comanda announced his retirement from GHS that will commence after the 2013-2014 school year (though Comanda will still retain his position as superintendent of New Suﬀolk.) According to two Suﬀolk Times articles, Greenport School Board President, Heather Wolf, stated the board was happy to welcome Mr. Gamberg. The board is, according to Ms. Wolf, “committed to supporting [Mr. Gamberg] to the fullest as he takes on this new responsibility.” Southold Board President Paulette Ofrias stated that this is an example of services which “support our long term strategic plan to contain costs,” something that seems to be a key element of the plan. What eﬀect will this development have on Greenport and Southold students? Throughout one article featured in The Suﬀolk Times, the situation’s cost eﬀectiveness is vastly stressed. State Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jeﬀerson) stated that this is a win-win for both communities. LaValle has consistently been a proponent for shared service agreements because of their provided cost-eﬀectiveness. Although the plan may be cost-eﬀective, however, is it worthwhile for the education and well-being of the students? In related news, another Suﬀolk Times article discussed the Mattituck-Cutchogue superintendent James McKenna also announcing his retirement; now, David Gamberg, who was formerly the exclusive Southold superintendent, is conceivably being thought of as the superintendent of all three North Fork school districts. The Suﬀolk Times describes this concept that all three schools would only have to pay one superintendent as “the taxpayers’ dream scenario.” While it may be the taxpayers’ dream scenario, however, is it truly the students’ dream scenario? It must be taken into consideration that the new superintendent would at most spend a third of his time at GHS, a stark contrast to the amount of time Mr. Comanda currently spends at the school. Now, even with the two schools alone, Mr. Gamberg said he would on certain occasions spend half days at each school and on other days dedicate the whole day to one school or the other. On one side, it’s a perfect reconciliation; on the other side, it’s like polygamy—a concept that is nice and appealing, but will just lead to envy in the long run. This idea of “the taxpayer’s dream scenario” may be alarming to some. However, it does not seem likely, for Mr. Gamberg initially said there was no chance of it, and Jerry Diﬄey, Mattituck School Board president, stated Mattituck was in works with BOCES to begin a search for a new superintendent. Within GHS, there is some buzz amongst students as to whether or not they like the idea of sharing a superintendent. Angel Colon, a junior, said that “it’s a bad idea,” stating that Mr. Gamberg simply cannot commit to both schools. Junior Eric Tonyes said that he thinks Mr. Gamberg might as well be superintendent of all three districts. Another GHS junior, Isabelle Simon, said that she didn’t understand the controversy in the ﬁrst place, since Mr. Comanda is already the superintendent of two schools, Greenport and New Suﬀolk, an undertaking that is running smoothly. Simon makes a valid point, though the rivalry between Greenport and Southold creates a unique situation. Junior Matt Drinkwater said, “Anything with Southold doesn’t feed my interest,” implying that the Greenport-Southold rivalry is very competitive. When asked about the divvying of his responsibilities between Greenport and New Suﬀolk, Mr. Comanda stated to spend the ﬁrst hour or so of his school day at New Suﬀolk two or three days a week before ﬁnishing his commute and arriving at Greenport, where he spends the bulk of his day. Can we depend on Mr. Gamberg to dedicate a similar chunk of time to us in Greenport? Now, as Mr. Comanda will be succeeded by Mr. Gamberg, there are a few questions that must be asked. Firstly, how can Mr. Comanda be replaced by someone who can only be here half of the time at most? Secondly, is the superintendent really just a ﬁgurehead for the school, or something more? Thirdly, if the job of superintendent can be done for two schools by one man, why did GHS have an exclusive superintendent for so long? A Newsday article written by David M. Schwartz explained how the Smithtown school district has an interim superintendent, Judith Elias, for now, because the former superintendent retired. Elias is currently the temporary superintendent of a district containing 14,000 students. Mr. Gamberg will be the superintendent of at most 1,400 students—a tenth of a district not even in the metropolitan area, but in Suﬀolk County! So, if you base this decision on the number of students, Mr. Gamberg might be better oﬀ representing the entire East End. If the job for both schools can be done by one individual, and it’s very cost-eﬀective, then what have we been wasting taxpayer dollars on all these years? Is this school district just some sort of money mill where we pay administrators hundreds of thousands of dollars for jobs that are barely even replaced? So, in actuality “the tax payer’s dream scenario” may be the best option since nobody is discussing the education of students anyway. If the taxpayers end up paying for two superintendents between the three North Fork school districts, eventually we’ll notice the money we could be saving, because for better or worse, the fact of the matter is, it’s all about the money.
4 The Quill - January 2014
To Join or Not to Join Shakespeare Club: That is the Question
By Maria Soriano ‘15
In the new school year, students are very fortunate to give life to the Shakespeare club, GHS’s newest extracurricular addition. The Shakespeare club allows students to express their interest in the old English language by working with Shakespeare's literature and doing acting exercises. Now, I know what students must be thinking: why has this club even been established? Why would anyone join this? Is it even worth joining? The students who participate, myself included, along with the club's advisor, math teacher Mr. Tramontana, would answer “of course!” Mr. Tramontana describes the Shakespeare club as “a combination of a club and a class, where kids are able to experience Shakespeare's words in the form of a play, rather than in a form of a book.” Says Tramontana, “You're allowed to play with the language. You're able to speak it, walk it, and breathe it, rather than sitting at a desk and reading it. It's the way Shakespeare wrote; he wrote for the players in a play house. I give students the chance to speak the speeches hopefully in the way they were done 400 years ago. We do diﬀerent exercises at every meeting and hopefully stage sword ﬁghting, too, soon!" At each meeting, Shakespeare club members always check in and do diﬀerent exercises. For example, breathing techniques, stretching (which helps relax facial muscles a lot, something that’s helpful when it comes to preparing to speak a monologue aloud), and acting games like being a queen or king and “executing” fellow club members are all part of warm-ups. I asked senior Kayleigh Commins a few questions about her thoughts of the club. Q) What made you decide to join the Shakespeare club? A) “Well, I've always loved Shakespeare since 9th grade. Once I heard that we were starting a club at our school, I couldn't help but feel happy about it. Reading Shakespeare is what I love to do!” Q) Is the club what you expected it to be? A) “To be honest, no. I was expecting to watch movies of Shakespeare’s plays, talk about them, and then eventually act them out. The way things are being done in the club now are much better!” Q) What is your favorite part of the club that you look forward to at each meeting? A) “I deﬁnitely love it when we feed monologues oﬀ of each other. I just do what I think is right and act the words out naturally. I feel like I'm actually the character in the speech!” The Shakespeare club usually meets Mondays and Wednesdays after school for one-hour sessions in either the auditorium or the chorus room. If students attend the sessions consistently, at the end of the year, depending on how many classes they attended, they’ll receive some form of high school credit.
The Quill - January 2014
NJROTC Salutes 2013
By Maria Soriano ‘15
The Naval Junior Reserve Oﬃcer Training Corps (NJROTC) is an organized unit that is sponsored by the Navy and can be taught by retired Navy, Army, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard oﬃcers. The curriculum that is given to the cadets emphasizes citizenship, leadership development, maritime heritage, seamanship, and much more. Besides attending class, cadets also spend time on community service, drill competitions, and visiting Naval or other sites and activities. You might think it seems like a bit too much for someone to handle and may even be asking: what's so great about NJROTC? Allow me to enlighten you, and you shall see. Drill Competitions and Being #1: The Southold-Greenport-Mattituck NJROTC unit is incomparable. Fun fact: our unit is the only unit in the entire nation composed of three diﬀerent school districts! In drill competitions this year, we had many accomplishments. In SUNY Maritime, we received overall #1 for the ninth year in a row! In the Bethel Drill Competition, we dominated in the freshmen and varsity divisions despite the early departure. Leadership Academy, BLT (no, not the food), and "Freshies": During summer 2013, junior GHS cadet Sarah Tuthill represented Greenport when she attended Leadership Academy/Sailing Training, a two-week event in Newport, Rhode Island. There was much PT (physical training), sail training, and expanding cadets’ knowledge of sea power while increasing their leadership skills. When asked how the whole experience aﬀected her, Tuthill stated that, "Leadership Academy was a great experience. It forced me to become a leader and work with others as a team. The experience got me to think of how I can improve our unit and how I can get more involved." In addition, I asked Tuthill the following questions: Q) The transition of being a Freshies (usually a freshman/new cadet) three years ago to being an ensign/platoon commander/cadre as a junior is a tremendous leap forward. Were you nervous during BLT to lead and teach the new cadets? A) “At ﬁrst I was a little nervous; I didn't want to let my platoon down. But as time went on, I was more conﬁdent, and my platoon learned a lot.” Q) From all of 2013, what are some of your favorite NJROTC memories? A) “My favorite memories of 2013 would have to be Military Ball, LA/ST, and being a cadre in BLT.” As for the Freshies, they have a lot to learn. Many of the freshmen are highly motivated, rapidly earning their ribbons, and seem to like the program. An anonymous cadet said that their reason for joining NJROTC was because they may consider joining the military after high school. As the cadet stated, "I needed some straightening out and I thought NJROTC would be a good place to start." Most cadets in their ﬁrst year attend BLT (Basic Leadership Training). The anonymous cadet also added that they expected it to be easy. "I didn't think we would need to remember Chain of Commands and take tests. Other than that, I do really like ROTC, and if I were to join the military, I'd join the Navy." Here is a helpful NJROTC tidbit: whatever you wish to do in the future, you will have the instructors and fellow cadets to help you out! Other motivated cadets, like junior NS3 Liz Powe, know what it's like to accomplish things in the unit. In her freshmen year, Powe was able to go to Area 4 Finals. She enjoys interacting with the other Southold and Mattituck cadets at drill and during ﬁeld trips. When asked what type of advice she would give to someone who is debating whether or not to join ROTC, Powe said, " Go for it! I remember when I was in 8th grade and I took a leap of faith. Now I'm nineteen ribbons and ﬁve medals later." As you can see from diﬀerent perspectives, ROTC is far from boring. Not convinced 100% yet? Okay, how does sleeping overnight at a haunted fort sound? What about sleeping in the USS Massachusetts, visiting Navy bases, going on a ﬁeld trip on a boat, going to drill competitions, and meeting and talking with recruiters and active enlisted people? You can be part of the academic, unarmed, drill, athletic, or armed team and compete to be #1! One thing is for sure; the Southold-Greenport-Mattituck NJROTC isn’t just "a unit," but a huge family.
6 The Quill - January 2014
Ice Pop Residue
Sickly sweet summer days, Coated in ice pop residue. Columbus? Magellan? Who had anything on us? We were adventurers of the sea, The greatest of all time. Treasure hunters. Partners in crime. Captains of Make Believe. We were the ultimate dreamers. But our energy? It wasn't just solar powered. For the calendar was all-mighty, And it stole away our days. Left us in the dark, Coated in ice pop residue. By Briana Pagano ‘14
Blazing strokes of vibrant magenta and neon orange Dance across the clear sky. The sky is a mere blank canvas; The dazzling sunset is the artist’s marvelous work, Shining brightly for all to be mesmerized by. Yet, not all people look; They live life ignoring the sheer beauty Right in front of them. They shield themselves from the grace of life, Their emotions manifested in a diﬀerent world. So look up, Even in the darkest dusk stars can shine. By Angelina Pagano ‘17
The Quill - January 2014
By Mairi Creedon ‘14
In 2011, the United States spent $8,508 per capita on healthcare, more than double the next highest spender, with the United Kingdom coming in at $3,405 per capita. 17.7% of the American GDP is devoted to healthcare related costs, and yet we are ranked 33rd worldwide for average life expectancy. Despite the fact that American taxpayers foot about half of the bill, most don’t receive subsidized health care. Compared to other developed nations, they also don’t go to the doctor that frequently. So why is healthcare in the United States the most expensive in the world? Since 1960, healthcare costs have risen 818%, compared to only a 168% increase in GDP and a mere 16% increase in wages. This incredible increase can be explained by viewing the cost of standard procedures in the U.S. compared to other nations. According to Dr. Hamilton Moses of Johns Hopkins University, “Price of professional services, drugs and devices, and administrative costs, not demand for services or aging of the population, produced 91 percent of cost increases since 2000.” Hospital stays in the U.S. are the most expensive worldwide, despite not being the longest. Commonly prescribed medications such as Cymbalta and Lipitor cost almost three times as much in the US as they do in the second most expensive country, France. Prescription spending per capita in the U.S. ranks the highest at $947, whereas the second highest, Canada, came in at $692 in 2011. Common surgeries are practically double the cost in America than anywhere else. And despite high rates of hospitalization for chronic diseases, mortality and amputation rates are among the greatest worldwide. These already exorbitant costs are predicted to more than double in the next decade. Healthcare in the U.S. places its primary focus on treatment rather than prevention. 84% of costs among the entire population in 2011 were related to chronic illnesses. Why is our healthcare system focused on expensive treatments for preventable problems, rather than preventing health issues in the ﬁrst place (as can be done by greater emphasis on diet and exercise)? Because our healthcare system that existed before the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, also known as Obamacare, was incredibly inﬂuenced by pharmaceutical corporations, insurance companies, and privately owned hospitals that beneﬁted enormously from the high costs. After all, high costs equal greater proﬁts. The fact is that in the United States, healthcare is an industry just like any other industry and the sole goal of those invested is to turn a proﬁt at the expense of our population’s health. However, with the passage of the Aﬀordable Care Act, health care is slowly becoming more of a basic right than a luxury granted to those who can aﬀord it. We are ﬁnally progressing to the point that all other developed nations have been at for years: guaranteed universal health care coverage for all citizens. How is Obamacare set up? According to obamacarefacts.com, “Come 2014, you will either need to keep your current insurance plan, purchase coverage, face a penalty tax or get an exemption.” However, 85% of Americans already have health insurance, and thus this only aﬀects “...the 15% of Americans who don't currently have health insurance…” who “...will either have to obtain health insurance, get an exemption, or pay a per month fee on their tax returns for every month they are without health coverage starting in 2014. About half of uninsured Americans will be able to get cost assistance subsidies for lower premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs or Medicaid using their States' health insurance marketplace and some who ﬁnd coverage costing more than 8% of their families income after subsidies will be exempt due to cost. In 2015 all large employers will have to provide their workers with health beneﬁts…” Although the Aﬀordable Care Act doesn’t address the issue of the high cost of health care in the United States, by providing healthcare to all Americans it ensures that these high prices will not be deterrents to Americans seeking care. Through more frequent doctor visits and thus more of an emphasis on disease prevention, this will ultimately lead to a healthier population.
8 The Quill - January 2014
By Shyane Jones ‘14
GHS oﬀers many diﬀerent extracurricular activities and sports that students can partake in such as baseball, football, cheerleading, volleyball, and numerous others. However, there are a few activities that GHS does not oﬀer, and so three GHS students in particular have decided to pursue their unique passions outside of school. Senior Eddie Rogers motocross races. He started riding at the age of four and began racing at seven years old. When asked what interested him the most about motocross, Rogers answered, “I ﬁnd it relaxing when I’m on the track.” Continued Rogers, “Even though there may be 20 other guys out on the track with me, I always feels calm.” Rogers has also taken part in competitions, and has in fact ﬁnished ﬁnished in 1st place 16 times and been on the podium a total of 24 times. Sophomore Malyssa DelGaudio is a horseback rider who started riding when she was only 2 years old! When she turned 6, DelGaudio began to take horseback riding seriously. DelGaudio, like Rogers, also partakes in competitions for her sport. This past September, she went to the Marshall & Sterling ﬁnals and competed against the top 86 riders in the country, ﬁnishing in 6th place! DelGaudio rides every day for between 3 and 4 hours, occasionally riding more than 8 times a day! Talk about not having enough time in day! DelGaudio feels that the reason why she is so passionate about horseback riding is because not only has she been doing it her whole life, but she also thinks that it’s very important to have a trusting connection with an animal. DelGaudio says that while most people have a connection with a dog or cat, she would rather have one with a horse. Explained DelGaudio, ”Even though horses can be dangerous, just like any other animal, it is all worth it in the end when you’re doing what you love.” Senior Laura Casanueva has played the viola since the young age of 8 years old, ﬁrst starting in Spain. She attended a conservatory, which is a music school, after going to regular school everyday. When asked if she sees viola in her long-term future, Casanueva said that there is no doubt that viola will forever be a part of her life. Casanueva loves music, and she believes that playing the viola is one way for her to really be involved with her passion. Making music while playing the viola, says Casanueva, is one of the greatest feelings. Rogers, DelGaudio, and Casanueva are great examples of GHS students who pursue their favorite activities outside of school.
Another Link in the Chain
By Yanet Garcia ‘15
Anyone who drives through Riverhead's busy Main Street can't help but notice the amount of work being done and the abundance of empty land getting prepared for businesses to take over. The Riverhead Town supervisor is said to foresee a boost in tax revenue, economic development, and job creation. Riverhead has been undergoing multifarious business and economic changes for quite some time now. From the look of its drastic remodeling, Walmart in particular seems to be one of the many businesses ready for an economic boost. A 145,000-square-foot store, Walmart is slated to open up in early 2014. The store’s relocation not only may have an eﬀect on the chain store, but may also leave a drastic impact on its former Riverhead Plaza business neighbors. There are currently two other major retail developments underway along Route 58 in the Town of Riverhead: Costco at The Shops at Riverhead and Super Walmart. In the year 2014, it looks as if sporting goods should be the last worry on anyone’s mind, because Riverhead has got us all covered. Sporting goods department stores—Dick’s, Sport’s Authority, Edwards Sports Center, and Modell’s—seem to be walking on a thin line of competition. Dick's initiated its three-day grand opening on October 25th at the retailer's new 1779 Old Country Road location; the celebration continued through October 27th. Christmas Tree Stop is the third retailer in the new Route 58 shopping complex east of Riverhead Raceway. Located in the same plaza as Dick's, Christmas Tree Stop had its grand opening on November 22nd, welcoming customers in search of seasonal holiday décor. The 34,000-square-foot Riverhead store sells a variety of continuously changing merchandise, including home goods, gifts, cleaning supplies, health and beauty products, and snacks. This area is also home to a recently opened Dick’s Sporting Goods and Five Below. Starbucks, Buﬀalo Wild Wings and The Vitamin Shoppe—all located in the same shopping center— are additionally slated to open in the next few months. Riverhead seems to be successfully innovating its businesses as well as gradually expanding clientele. However, there has been controversy regarding noise, dust, and extreme tree evictions. Costco's construction has disturbed more than 50 people from nearby communities via noise and dust from the work site. When asked what plans are being made to combat this problem, the business said it foresees building a berm or a fence for privacy. One of the planning board members has promised that the town's code enforcement department would eventually put a fence up. As Route 58 advances its contraction and businesses continue to pop up, many residents believe it's a shame that enormous parking lots have replaced trees. They argue that this is killing "the countryside.” On the opposition, others argue that this innovation will provide jobs, build the tax base, and reduce resident gas bills due to the convenient distances between all of these businesses. Change is going to happen whether we all agree with it or not. Innovation is all around us and bound to occur one way or another; all we can do is take it as it comes and assimilate to the changes surrounding us.
Thank you Cross Sound Ferry for your generous donation to our Outing Club!
The Quill - January 2014
The Greasy Truth
By Angelina Pagano ‘17
Mmm, kids everywhere bite into an iconic PB & J. Or maybe…DUN DUN DUN…they're consuming ﬁlthy rodent hair without even knowing—scrumptious; dig in, children! Society is fully aware that not all foods are sanitary, but one can wonder: to what extent have our food standards deteriorated? Society has been trying to discover the truth behind this predicament for decades. One speciﬁc individual comes to mind when pondering food reform—Upton Sinclair. Upton Sinclair, an American writer and reformer, dedicated his life to exposing the sickening truth of food industries. Sinclair is famous for writing The Jungle, an early 20th century muckraking novel about the meatpacking industry. This novel speculates on the hazardous and decrepit environment of food corporations. Sinclair’s work was eye-opening, inciting massive changes. Below are some utterly revolting food facts. Brace yourself, and enjoy! ~ Jelly beans, coﬀee beans, and candy corn are covered in shellac (which is made from excretions of female lac insects). Shellac makes objects shiny, so jelly beans are often coated in shellac. ~ FDA regulations allow up to ten insects and 35 fruit ﬂy eggs per 8 oz. of raisins. ~ The FDA allows four rodent hairs per 100 grams of peanut butter. ~ Meat is treated with carbon monoxide to make it appear fresher. ~ Food dye is made from cochineal, which is made from ground up beetles. ~ Rennet is a group of enzymes for digesting mother's milk and a vital part of making cheese. It is obtained from a calf's stomach. ~ The FDA allows 19 maggots and 74 mites in a 3.5ounce can of mushrooms. ~ Castoreum is an extract that shows up in baked goods, especially as vanilla ﬂavoring. It is made from beaver glands. ~ Some salad dressings, creamers, and icings may contain the same chemicals as sunscreen. This chemical is titanium dioxide (found in paint and sunscreen). Food manufacturers add it to their products to make them appear whiter. ~ Food dye colors such as Yellow #5, Yellow #6, and Red #40 could cause hyperactivity in children. ~ The FDA states that about 45% of frozen strawberries bags can legally contain traces of mold. ~ The FDA allows up to 450 insect fragments in every one-pound box of pasta. The average American consumes about 20 pounds of noodles every year, meaning they could be eating 9,000 bug fragments annually. ~ Propylene Glycerol is used for antifreeze, and also keeps salads crispy. Skin and eye irritation are said to occur if this chemical comes in contact with the human body.
10 The Quill - January 2014
*Please note: punctuation counts as a space!
The Quill - January 2014
Defying the Alphabet: Z’s Before A’s
By Briana Pagano ‘14
Quite contrary to the rules of the alphabet, in the world of academia, Z's come before the ever-coveted A’s. Sleep is the desired elixir that enables academic success; however, it is also growing further and further out of reach for high school students, spiraling out of control into a phenomenon I like to dub the “Z’s travesty.” Society direly needs to open its eyes to the stunning shocker that is sleep deprivation, for its adverse eﬀects are truly astonishing. Studies show that sleep deprivation limits one’s ability to learn, listen, concentrate, and solve problems—skills that are all essential in a school atmosphere. Sleep-deprived students are also more prone to memory loss, mental fatigue, decreased creativity, socialization, and humor, increased irritability and anxiety, aggressive behavior, overeating, increased caﬀeine and nicotine use, decreased resistance against illnesses, and increased acne. Long-term eﬀects of consistent sleep deprivation include diabetes, serious sleep problems, rebelliousness, cigarette smoking, depression, heart disease, obesity, and even a shortened lifespan. According to scientiﬁc studies, teens require approximately 9 ¼ hours of sleep each night for optimal functionality. Since GHS’s ﬁrst bell rings at 7:45 AM and students normally awaken at least an hour prior to eat breakfast, get dressed, and be transported to school, achieving the desired amount of sleep would entail students going to bed at 9:30 every night. On paper, such a task may seem feasible, but when put in context with students’ numerous extracurricular, athletic, and academic commitments, such a bedtime becomes increasingly impossible. For instance, GHS’s 2013 musical, Guys & Dolls, held mandatory dress rehearsals for all cast members that ran until post-10 o’clock the week leading up to opening night. Similarly, numerous athletic teams host away games that entail so much travel time that athletes ﬁnd themselves returning to the locker room far past dinnertime and unable to ﬁt enough sleep into their schedules. These commitments themselves render catching enough Z’s literally impossible; couple them with homework and studying time, and many serious students ﬁnd themselves unable to hit the hay until as late as 3 AM. For those serious about their studies, the infamous question oftentimes arises: what should be sacriﬁced—a good test grade or some substantial shuteye? Either alternative entails seriously grumpy eﬀects. Considering this unfortunate truth, it comes as no surprise that in a national study, a mere 15% of teens reported catching a minimum of 8 ½ hours of sleep on school nights. This Z’s travesty has sent a ripple eﬀect throughout the nation, and signs of it can be spotted in the purple and gold halls of GHS itself. Junior Neville Reece can be seen covertly stuﬃng a pillow into his locker midway through the school day. When asked about his opinion on sleep deprivation among high school students, Reece simply ﬂuﬀed his pillow and quipped, "What do you think the pillow is for?" Some lucky students have study hall ﬁrst period, so they can catch some extra shuteye before their true school day begins. Other students, however, are not as fortunate. A prime example of this would be all members of Mr. Haas’s Excelsior Calculus class, which is notorious for annually being scheduled for 1st period. Mmm, who needs coffee when you can have a nice, steaming slice of π? Forget Folgers in my cup; derivatives and limits are my best part of waking up! As noted in an online study, students’ brains and bodies are still in biological sleep mode during the ﬁrst 2 hours of the school day. For this reason, it is no surprise that on snowy days, students ﬁnd two-hour delays to be a respite from their normal groggy-eyed stupors; the extra 120 minutes of sleep truly makes a diﬀerence. “A human body can be compared to a car,” notes freshman Angelina Pagano in a cleverly crafted metaphor. “It requires fuel to run efﬁciently, and in the case of humans, this fuel is sleep. Without fuel, a car cannot reach its desired destination, and the same can be said for sleep-deprived students.” Studies show that when one is sleep deprived, he is as impaired as someone driving with a blood alcohol content of .08%, which is illegal for drivers in many states. When faced with this reality, one can’t help but question the potential quality of students’ schoolwork were they to catch the proper amount of sleep on a nightly basis. While a later start time to the school day and lesser quantities of homework would certainly aid this Z’s travesty, there are steps students can take themselves to combat this troublesome phenomenon. First and foremost, students should book the next ﬂight out of Procrastination Nation and cut all ties with Public Enemy No. 1: procrastination. Any high school student who claims never to have procrastinated doing schoolwork a day in his life is either a blatant liar or Superman, for in this day and age, high school and procrastination oftentimes goes hand in hand. Inevitably, high school students are faced with rigorous coursework and are sometimes doled out seemingly insuﬃcient time to complete said assignments. Come crunch time, students ironically turn to the biggest time-squanderer of all…procrastination. To combat this and gain a few sacred hours of sleep, students should take earnest strides to isolate themselves from social media. While in the moment, a spontaneous rendezvous with iMessage or Instagram may seem to be students’ most enticing option, their sleep deprived bodies will surely curse them the following morning. Until society opens its eyes to this Z’s travesty, groggy students can console themselves with at least one truth: college lurks on the horizon, and it is notorious for its abundance of naptimes.
12 The Quill - January 2014
Gun Control Perspective
By Lauren Smith ‘14
It seems like every month or so, yet another horriﬁc tragedy occurs. Headlines like “Gunman in School” or “Mass Murder” seem to pop up constantly, one after another. In 2013 alone, there was a startling number of 22 school shootings as well as a total of 18 deaths and 49 injuries. What should society make of this rapid increase in violence? Without question, politicians will use this evidence to push for tighter gun control laws. A little over one year ago, nearly 20 children and 6 adults were murdered in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The momentum this tragedy has created to secure America through revised gun laws, however, has led to few changes in policy. The scary truth of it all? Children ages 5-14 in America are 13 times more likely to be murdered with guns than children in other industrialized countries. Will heavy gun restrictions really solve this problem? This is the question that has yet to be answered.
Since 1950, every public mass shooting (with the exception of just one) in the U.S. has occurred in a place where civilians are banned from carrying ﬁrearms. Although guns have been the prominent weapon of choice for many mass shootings, they are not entirely to blame. Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. Guns are not necessarily the problem, but the unstable, mentally ill obtainers are. Gun-free zones provide a false sense of security, deceiving us to believe that “it can’t happen here.” Would a “Gun-free Zone” sign really prevent a mass murder from entering a public area, though? It’s unlikely that the murderer would willingly put the gun down and call it a day. Ultimately, gun-free zones are not the most eﬀective solution to mass murders, for statistically, shootings are more likely to occur when the shooter believes there is less resistance. Banning guns is not the answer. The real answer is to control those who are eligible to own and carry guns. The violence caused by guns is the fault of the person who is on the other end of the gun, not the gun itself. The ones who make the choice to pull the trigger are responsible. These people are the criminals, the mentally ill, and the uneducated who have guns in their possession. Violence will always exist in every country, state, city, and town, regardless of the presence of guns
The Quill - January 2014
Frozen is Red-Hot
By Briana Pagano '14
Spiraling its way past Disney's legendary The Lion King to its current spot as the highest grossing Disney-produced animated movie of all time, Frozen has melted the hearts of viewers worldwide in a blustery ﬂurry. Among Frozen’s remarkable repertoire of achievements is a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature and the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 albumsales chart (Frozen is only the fourth animated ﬁlm soundtrack in the chart's 58-year history to do so). Given its massive—and much deserved—success, it's no wonder that Frozen is slated to hit Broadway stages in the near future. Frozen is a tale of love, loss, and the indestructible superglue that is family. It will have viewers everywhere spellbound, eagerly anticipating Disney’s continuation into what appears to be a very auspicious golden age of animated movies. Classic Disney movies are renowned for centering around romance and "true love's kiss." Frozen, however, deﬁes this standard with a charming twist, instead casting the spotlight on the raw bond that is sisterhood. While there is indisputable chemistry and romance alluded to throughout the ﬁlm, not once does the sisterly bond between the movie's two protagonists, Princess Anna and Princess Elsa, take the sideline. Disney fans will ﬁnd themselves enraptured by the new era of princesses that Frozen introduces—ones who aren’t afraid to be real. Song lyrics like, “Can’t tell if I’m elated or gassy, but I’m somewhere in that zone,” will evoke laughter in audiences who are refreshed to ﬁnally see a Disney princess let her guard down. Frozen’s smile-inducing humor is complemented with equally enchanting vocal masterpieces, such as the show stopping “Let It Go,” sung by Broadway powerhouse Idina Menzel, who is most popular for her role of Elphaba in Wicked. Additional fan favorites include the eﬀervescent yet heartrending tune "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" and the riotous "In Summer," Olaf the snowman's earnest jingle about all of the—ahem—joy the sizzling summer sun will bring him. The character of Olaf comes as a pleasant surprise to moviegoers, proving to be one of Frozen’s preeminent highlights. Not only does Olaf add an extra dollop of whimsy to the screen through his adorable witticisms, but he also ultimately delivers the ﬁlm’s most poignant line, “Some people are worth melting for,” which could thaw even the iciest of hearts. Even amidst winter's most brutal polar vortices, Frozen will have viewers worldwide belting the ﬁlm’s signature lyric, "The cold never bothered me anyway," without abandon.
(answer key on page 16)
14 The Quill - January 2014
By Lauren Smith ‘14
Aries (March 21 - April 20) If you have a relationship you really care about, you should pay attention to your signiﬁcant other’s emotions more often. Challenges will keep coming, but your hardworking attitude will get you through this stressful time. Taurus (April 21 - May 20) Long distance and foreign connections will be favored this month. You also may be feeling more romantic and passionate lately. Now is a good time to express yourself imaginatively through love. Gemini (May 22 - June 21) Once again, you may need to focus on monetary matters. Clearing out “psychic junk,” or ridding yourself of bad habits, may be part of the picture now. You are more than willing to explore life’s secrets. Don’t hold back. Cancer (June 22 - July 22) This month, the focus shifts to people and relationships—ranging from personal to professional. You will realize that in order to succeed, your people skills need to be honed. Remain sharp-witted and alert in order to identify potential threats to your progress. Leo (July 23 - August 22) You’ll focus on your work the most this month, although largely in terms of what you can gain from it. Romantic and social activities may alter your work environment. Don’t worry; you are genuinely well-liked and respected. Virgo (August 23 - September 22) This is a very playful period of the year for you, Virgo. You are inspired creatively and emotionally. You are now more spontaneous and willing to take risks. Don’t hold back! Libra (September 23 - October 22) You are very mentally active and making interesting changes. Don’t overspend. Overextending yourself will actually detract from the ambience, not add to it. Scorpio (October 23 - November 21) You still need to learn how to relate better to others. Now, it is on a more personal and intimate level. Family ties, linkages of love, caring, and sharing should now take the forefront. Sagittarius (November 22 - Dec 21) This is a time when you truly need to “talk the talk.” Stand by your beliefs and convictions. You will have a lot on your plate and a lot will pertain to money. You are up for the challenge. Capricorn (Dec 22 - Jan 20) It may be a good time to make a thorough scrutiny of the real you. Assess your face, ﬁgure, health, and assets. The truly intimate you needs to be examined. You’ll like what you discover. Aquarius (Jan 21- Feb 19) There could be some hard feelings and rivalry this month that may lead up to physical and emotional reactions. Go with the ﬂow. The outcome will be in your favor. Pisces (Feb 20 - March 20) You must extend warmth and friendship. As you reach out to people, you are connecting and forming valuable relationships. Let your guard down and appreciate others.
The Quill - January 2014
Long-term Effects of High School Sports
By Katie Tuthill ‘17
Whenever any adult is asked about his or her high school sports career, the answers that arise are endless. Many adults who once played sports are now noticing the eﬀects of their reckless teenage lives—lots of pain and money. Research has shown that the wear and tear on the body most often doesn’t aﬀect teens until they are older. The consequences of playing sports can be severe. When teens play sports in high school, their young bodies aren’t completely developed. This can lead to numerous possible injuries. Most teens are in the prime of their sports career during high school, and this leads to serious health problems later in life. A lot of injuries young athletes suﬀer include issues with knees, hips, and shoulders. If young athletes don’t properly take care of their injuries now, they will be aﬀected later on. As teenagers, people don’t think about what a little injury will do to their bodies as they continue to grow older. However, as teens grow and develop, come adulthood, their bodies can be dramatically aﬀected by sports. Obviously, football does a lot to the body, but almost any sport can damage the body in the long run. Sports that have a high risk in injury include, but are not limited to, basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, softball, hockey, and baseball. All of these sports are very intense and could hurt one’s bones, tendons, and muscles. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases recommends the following tips to prevent long term injuries: · Make warm-ups part of your routine. Warm-up exercises, such as stretching or light jogging, can help minimize the chances of muscle strain or other soft tissue injury. They also make the body's tissues warmer and more ﬂexible. · Avoid bending knees past 90 degrees when doing half-knee bends. · Avoid twisting knees by keeping feet as ﬂat as possible during stretches. · When jumping, land with your knees bent. · Wear appropriate protective gear. · Know how to use athletic equipment. · Avoid playing when very tired or in pain. For teen athletes, taking care of the body while it is still young is essential for a healthy future.
Personal Perspective On Travel Teams
By Samantha Henry ‘15
Participating in a traveling team is a huge commitment that consists of dedication, hard work, and time. The high intensity and level of play isn’t for everyone. One has to have great passion for his or her sport of choice. Besides the desire to play, one also needs to try out for their sport, so he or she needs to be at a certain skill level. Even an acceptance to a travel team doesn’t guarantee an athlete a position on the team—unless said athlete is willing to pay the cost, which, from personal experience, can range from $1,500 to $3,000. Sure, it’s an expensive price, but it is worth it for athletes who have the lasting persistence to learn and improve as the season progresses. While advancement of skills is the main beneﬁt of participating in travel sports, one also obtains a lot more for their money. This year, I’m on a traveling team for Long Island Blaze, which is centralized in Center Moriches. The cost for this speciﬁc club’s 17’s team is $2,350, which covers coaching fees, practice location fees, and tournament fees. This money also goes toward the providal of gear like backpacks, uniforms, and shoes. Travel teams also serve as a place for athletes to meet others who enjoy the same thing as themselves. The friendships that can be made through travel teams is one of my personal favorite supplements to being a member of a traveling team. Plus, travel teams allow athletes the chance to venture out of Greenport and explore places like Washington D.C., where one of my tournaments takes place. Tournaments also provide athletes contact with college scouts, who travel to tournaments to recruit. Travel teams give athletes great opportunities, increasing athletes’ odds of being able to participate on a college team. While I personally feel that the travel team experience is worth it, I wouldn’t suggest it for everyone. The truth is that travel sports take a lot of time; I travel two to three nights a week to Center Moriches for two-hour practices. Most of the time, I don’t get home until 11 PM. I have little to no time for school activities and to complete homework. Because of travel volleyball, my weekends are basically nonexistent, since I have to travel to so many tournaments. I leave for tournaments early in the morning and do not return home until late at night. Sometimes, travel athletes don’t even go home; instead, they make hotel reservations and stay there for the entire weekend! Athletes should debate with themselves to decide whether or not they have true passion for their sport. Could they play it every day for hours at a time? Do they want to give up their free time? Can they persist even after the ﬁfth month? For me, the answer is yes. For anyone who is truly interested in travel sports and dedicated enough to follow through, I’d suggest looking into joining a travel team, because it is an extremely fulﬁlling experience!
16 The Quill - January 2014
By Neville Reece ‘15
Last year, The Porters lost in their ﬁrst playoﬀ game against the Pierson Whalers and their ﬁnal game coached by Al Edwards. But now, as Everett Corwin, the previous JV coach and varsity assistant, takes the helm of the varsity squad, a familiar face has returned to take Corwin’s old position. Ryan Creighton is New York State’s second highest scorer of all time, second only to Lance Stephenson, a starter on the NBA’s best team. Creighton is also the all-time scoring leader of Long Island. Now, he’s back in Greenport, where just a few years ago, he ﬁnished oﬀ his 2,799-point high school basketball career. From the years 2006 to 2009, Creighton led the Porters to three consecutive trips to the New York State Final Four in Glens Falls. He has now returned to accomplish the same goal, but from a diﬀerent perspective. According to Creighton, Ev Corwin spoke to him about the job opening and he was immediately on board. Though he’s now back ensconced in the game, coaching in Greenport, playing in a men’s league up the island, and even playing for Greenport in last year’s alumni game, he did admit that after losing in the ﬁnals during his senior year, he lost some enthusiasm for the game. “It was really tough to make it that far and lose in the ﬁnals,” said Creighton. “We didn’t win it all, but we made our mark,” he continued. The six purple and gold banners hanging in the south-east corner of the gym attest to that very “mark. Recently, Creighton has made it a point to stay active. Part of the reason behind this decision was so that as a coach, he could “demonstrate plays.” Said Creighton, “A lot of people learn diﬀerently.” He stated that he “wanted to be able to show” his players the things that most coaches are only capable of merely explain. Creighton now stands on the very court that gave him what he likes to call “great memories” once more. He is dedicated to see this year’s Porters teams reach their full potential. Said Creighton of the varsity basketball team, “This team…Brian [Tuthill], Gavin [Dibble], Austin [Hooks]...they deserve to win a playoﬀ game.” Creighton continually emphasizes the fact that he now has an opportunity to “give back” to the very community that gave him so much. His #34 jersey now hangs in the very gym in which he now works and used to—as the slang basketball term says—”do work” in.
ACROSS: 1. Cookies 4. Chanukah 6. Mr Gamberg 10. Soccer 11. February 12. Chimney 13. Mr. Comanda 15. Stairs 16. Presents 17. Eggnog 18. Hump day 19. Ball 20. Southold DOWN: 2. Ev Corwin 3. X Factor 5. Gifts 7. Ryan Creighton 8. Friday 9. Beyonce 14. Kwanza