Music helps stimulate studentsʼ brains

Turn to page 10-11 for more

CCHS sailors blow away the competition
Turn to page 20 for more

April 2008


Budget cuts affect schools


Issue V

English class reinstated

The School Board of Broward County has considered cancelling the block schedule in all public high schools, due to the loss in educational funding from Florida’s tax payers. On January 31, 2008, voters across the state approved Amendment One—a tax cut worth an average of $240 a year for Florida homeowners. According to the School Board of Broward County, Florida public schools will lose $2.1 billion in property-tax revenue over the next four years, as a result of this tax relief. “This statewide deficit has caused us to closely examine budget reductions,” Dr. Earlean Smiley, Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction/ Student Support of the School Board of Broward County, said. “It is fiscally important for us to explore every possible measure to reduce spending, which may include getting rid of block scheduling.” Broward County is the sixth largest school district in the country, and has a yearly budget of $5 billion. It is made up of seven smaller district zones, which include 158 elementary schools, 40 middle schools, and 30 high schools, Smiley said. According to the Department of Education, a total of $34 million has been cut from the District, which includes Cooper City High School. “The amount of money that would be cut [from CCHS] has been fluctuating,” Wendy Doll, Principal, said. The School Board is currently mapping out numerous cost-saving measures for the whole District, in order to have the

Ron Ziccardi, guidance counselor, reviews a student schedule for the upcoming year. The school board has been considering switching to a rotator schedule due to recent budget cuts.

least amount of impact on the individual school budgets. According to Doll, if all Broward County Schools shifted to a rotator schedule, rather than a block schedule, the District would save about $27 million. Under a block schedule,

students take four classes each semester that last for ninety minutes in a day. Under a rotating schedule, students take seven classes throughout the whole year; however they are alternated each day so students only have six one-hour periods in one school day. Fewer teachers are Budget cuts continued on page 2

ENC 1101-1102, a year long college English course offered on the Cooper City High campus, was reinstated on March 10 after it was not offered on the initial 2008-2009 course selection sheet. When students received their course selection sheets on March 3, they found that Food Prep and ENC 11011102 were not included on the form. “Students flooded the office and were asking if it was a misprint,” Leslie Rivera, guidance secretary, said. According to Ann Rocco, Assistant Principal, Food Prep was cancelled because the current teacher will not be returning next year. ENC 1101-1102 was originally removed from the classes available due to statewide budget cuts. Cooper City High School is the only high school in Broward County that offers ENC 1101-1102 to its students on campus. Those who take the class their senior year can earn college credit and fulfill their freshman college English requirement without having to pay tuition. According to course intructor Pat Scaffetti, ENC 1101–1102 offers students a college class experience in a high school environment, without setting foot on a college campus. Students can also take the class at Broward Community College as part of the dual enrollment program. The cancellation of ENC 11011102 caused many students to band 1101-1102 continued on page 2

Bright Futures own future cloudy

Michael Worley

Florida Legislators may reduce the amount of financial aid given to students through the Bright Futures scholarship in the next few years. Currently, in order to receive full coverage of tuition expenses at a Florida public university through Bright Futures, students must receive a 1270 on the SAT, or a 28 on the ACT, and to have a cumulative GPA of 3.5. Tight budgets may lead the University system’s Board of Governors to propose a change in this lottery-funded scholarship. Budget cuts for the state’s public universities have increased to $157 million,

and according to the Board of Governors, no increase in tuition can make up for this. For this reason they are looking to reduce the amount of money allotted to Bright Futures. “Rumors have been circulating for years now,” Christine Siwek, BRACE adviser, said. According to her, no bill can be passed until Florida’s spring legislation session. According to The Office of Student Financial Assistance, Bright Futures costs the state more money than what comes in from lottery sales. The lottery money that funds it is growing four times slower than the rising cost Bright futures continued on page 3

Michael Worley
BRACE counselor discusses possible scholarship opportunities with senior . Many students were eligible for Bright Futures this year.

Is IM Speak destroying lanquage?

Obama ignites student political involvement

Inside this issue

Langerado music festival

News...............................1-3 Opinions..........................4-5 Entertainment...................7-12 Trend Story.....................10-11 Features.........................14-17 Sports............................18-20



College class continued from page 1


CTV airs on cable network


The Lariat

together in protest. Students and parents wrote letters to the school and schoolboard. They also formed a Facebook group that reached 281 members. “Both my parents and I were outraged, and the day after we found out about it, my mom called the school”, junior Hannah Breitbart said. Many juniors did not know what classes to choose in place of 11011102. “I really didn’t want to go from taking an AP English class in eleventh grade to an Honors class senior year; I had my mind set on 1101-1102,” junior Andrew Becker said. A week after ENC 1101-1102 was not included in the schedule, an announcement was made that it would be brought back. “Certain cuts will have to be made elsewhere,” Rocco said. But that won’t be determined until we see which classes have the least students signed up.” “I think it was the right decision, and I’m happy to see that students will fight for something if they want it bad enough,” junior Michael Mitrani said.

Mayor Debby Eisinger proclaimed December 11, 2007 as CTV Day in Cooper City, in honor of their recent accomplishments. CTV is Cooper City High School’s student-produced television network well known for its weekly show, CTV News. Besides covering school events, CTV also produces special reports about community events. “I’m really glad CTV is getting recognition because we work harder than most people know, and now that we have this one day of the year, people can understand that,” Dean D’agati, CTV president, said. In September 2007, Eisinger worked with CTV to create a video presentation highlighting Cooper City, after it was chosen as one of the top 10 cities for families by Family Circle magazine. Juniors Monica Berra and Amanda Katz were appointed by CTV adviser Alfredo Pichardo to direct, edit, and produce the video. “The project took about eight weeks in total and turned out to be a huge success,” Katz said.

Michael Worley
CTV president, Dean Dʼagati, captures a segment on film. CTV, a popular show among both students and teachers, helped produce a video presentation for the town of Cooper City and received CTV Day in return.

Eisinger presented the finalized presentation at a mayor’s summit hosted by Family Circle magazine. “quote from Eisinger” During this time, CTV obtained a contract with Comcast to air their show at least once a month before

the city commission meetings aired. They received a half hour time slot; ten minutes longer than their normal Friday CCHS episodes. “I’m inspired and I feel that having CTV aired on Comcast will advance CTV altogether,” Pichardo said.

Video chatting brings people face to face

Cuts threaten schedule
Budget cuts continued from page 1
needed to teach classes under a rotator schedule system, and less materials have to be provided for the students. “I can see the positives in both,” Beverly Childs, Guidance Counselor, said. “This is a very realistic recommendation, and the change could actually be beneficial for some courses, like those that are AP or Foreign Language.” According to Michelle Harding, AP Calculus teacher, year long courses can be beneficial for students because the subject matter can “marinate” longer over a 180 day period rather than the 90 days now. If a change in the schedule system is decided upon, it will not be implemented until after the 2008-2009 school year, Smiley said. The Executive Leadership Team of the Broward School Board has also suggested other approaches for economic efficiency; these range from a reduction in the amount of athletic sporting events, to an emphasis on shutting off the lights when classrooms aren’t in use. “Energy efficiency is a biggie,” Smiley said. “Last year we saved $1 million in energy costs. This year, we saved $1.4 million. We hope to keep that pattern going.” So far, the School Board has also mandated several freezes to benefit cost savings. These include a purchase freeze on all items that are non-essential or unrelated to teaching and learning, such as new textbooks and equipment for vocational classes, a hiring freeze on additional school personnel, and a freeze on giving employees overtime working hours. “My biggest concern is that these restrictions would hold the students back from performing to the best of their ability,” junior Kim Scottaline said. “Many classes require renewed materials, and students should be provided with them if it means giving them a greater learning experience.” According to Doll, although 95 percent of the school’s budget is spent on employee salary, the School Board is trying to avoid the option of staff reduction to save money. Instead, they are encouraging teachers to attain dual certification. By taking and passing a certification test, teachers can verify their qualifications to teach more than one subject. If teachers are dually certified, they could teach multiple courses, which would reduce the need for hiring additional teachers in schools, and therefore would trim salary expenditure. “I hope the School Board keeps the education of kids in mind,” junior Emily Deacon said. “Although they should be concerned about their employees, they should also remember that public schools were created first and foremost to offer the best learning environment for young people.” According to the School Board, as of now, discussion over the block schedule system is projected to last over a year. Board members, Principals, and other District leaders are working together to bring forth recommendations in order to make a final decision. “That is the definition of a quality system,” Smiley said. “When something happens, you should not have a reaction, you should have a plan.”

Videoconferencing, involving a web-enabled camera and a microphone that connects to the computer, has become a new form of global communications technology among people of all ages. “Video chatting is amazing; I basically live on it,” junior Lexi Pomerantz said. “I chat with friends that live far away and even family in other states.” According to students, video chatting is very popular among those in high school and college. Parents of college students who have moved out use video chatting to see their children. They believe it is more effective and satisfying than just talking via text or instant messages. “It allows you to bring emotion to online chatting,” senior Morgan Jacobs said. According to Jacobs, getting started with videoconferencing is a simple process if the correct programs are on the computer. Popular programs include Skype, a platform-free software that can be used with a Mac or Windows

computer, and iChat, which is standard on Macintosh computers. With either of these programs, it’s simply one click on a person on your buddy list and you’re up and chatting, Jacobs said. For this reason, video conferencing has become popular among travelers. Because video chatting is free, they feel that it is easier and more sensible to use it rather than use money on long distance phone calls. According to sophomore Eva Paelinck, fear and awkwardness of eye contact among human beings is a problem. While traditional telephones don’t allow for eye contact, videoconferencing specifically has it, which is the main objective of the communication phenomena. This doesn’t click with some people, who are shy on camera. While video chatting is mostly a tool used on computers, it has slowly made its way onto a few cell phones with online conversation capabilities. Creators hope to keep it a free, convenient way to communicate, just as instant messaging and emailing are after quite a few years of widespread usage.

Quick Facts about budget cuts
-12.5 million in state revenue cuts for the District to begin 2007-08 -21.7 million in new proposed revenue cuts for the District to be voted on by the Florida State Legislature

Jeffy Joseph
Seniors Ryan Verola and Cavin Mui use ichat, a video chatting program on macs, to talk with friends.



Fire drills ensure safety Bright futures
Bright futures continued from page 1



On March 24, Cooper City High had its latest fire drill, forcing the school to evacuate for the eleventh time of the year according to Thomas Correa, Assistant Principal. School Board policy requires every Broward County school to have at least 10 fire drills per year, two of which must be within the first two weeks of the school year. “We should have a few more this year,” Correa said. “One per month is required.” According to Anthony Valachovic, Assistant Principal, the fire alarm can be triggered by many things other than a fire. This year alarms have been set off due to pressure cleaning, construction around school, malfunctioning censors and steam from the Food Prep classes. The school’s fire alarm system is made up of a network of smoke detectors and heat censors. “The censors are all set very sensitive,” Valachovic said. “When in doubt, we want to get everyone out of the school so we can check it out. Better safe than sorry.” This year the evacuation policy was modified by Correa. Every class is assigned a specifically numbered spot in either the bleachers on the football

Fire drills are a common occurrence on campus. The school is required to evacuate at least once per month during the year.

field or the overflow parking lot in the back of the school. According to Correa, the school board requires students to evacuate at least 150 feet away from the school. “The further we can get students away, the better,” he said. “It might take a little longer, but if we had to dismiss students directly from outside because the school was not safe to go back into, it would make things much easier,” Valachovic said. There is a monitor in the main office of the school that detects

exactly where the alarm was triggered from within instants. Even if it is determined to be a false alarm, the school’s policy is to proceed with a full evacuation. “We need to stay consistent,” Correa said. “We can’t stop the drill halfway through. We don’t want anyone to think that we are not taking a drill seriously.” When an alarm goes off that is not a planned drill, the school can still count that as their fire drill for the month, Correa said.

of Bright Futures. “We’ve reached the point that we can no longer fund our growth,” state Senator Jeremy Ring said in his Bright Futures bill revision. “We will look to other revenue streams to fund the incentive program.” “I think there are other ways to help the economy,” junior Amanda Katz said. “The state could lower the price of college, and take away all needless spending.” The $400 million it currently takes to completely fund the merit scholarship is projected to reach $1 billion in 10 years. Without funding, the “Change it to Save it” campaign indicates that the Bright Futures scholarship may have trouble being maintained. This difficulty could cause a change in the form of a more intense criterion for both the 75% and the 100% tuition scholarships. “There would probably be way more competition for Bright Futures,” Katz said. “Students would overwork and burn themselves out just for the limited space.” According to Siwek, any changes to the scholarship they would not affect existing users as they are considered already “grandfathered in.”

Relay for Life raises cancer awareness Club News

Michael Worley

Cooper City High hosted the American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life, a twenty four hour walkathon, on March 15. The Relay for Life is a bi-city activity that is meant to “celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost to the disease, and to fight back against a disease that takes too much,” according to It brought together friends, families, neighborhoods, and school clubs and organizations, in an effort to raise money for cancer research. Clubs such as the National Honor Society, Key Club, Class of 2011, and Cowboys Walk It Out participated in the annual event in an effort to raise money for the American Cancer Society and a cure for cancer. Cowboys Walk It Out collected donations from local sponsors and sold raffle tickets for Starbucks gift baskets. “We hoped to raise a lot of money,” junior Ali Tishman said. “It was a great deal, $5 for a $50 basket.” The Relay began with an opening lap in honor of the Cancer survivors, who were led by the CCHS drumline. When they finished, teams sent members to walk on the track, as one person from each team had to be walking at all times. quote about walking, being tiring camping The teams fundraised before and during Relay for Life by recruiting sponsors or selling items at the event. They also raised money for charities, clubs, organizations, and businesses seeking to promote themselves.

Vendors got into the spirit of the event, going the extra mile to raise money for the Relay for Life foundation. All proceeds from the vendors was donated to the charity.

“I was with the Love Cures organization, which raised money and awareness for leukemia,” junior Christine Leverett said. “Our booth offered Guitar Hero, mosaics, face painting, and sweets.” Luminaries, decorated bags representing someone who has battled cancer or passed away from it, were sold. At night they were lit and set up around the track and on the bleachers . “We lit a luminary for my mom

because she survived breast cancer,” senior Shelly Kruger said. Several other activities were available for groups of all different ages including team skits, hula-hoop and limbo contests, and group dancing. The entertainment ranged from Elvis Presley impersonations to Hawaiian dancers. “I had a lot of fun,” Kruger said. “I got to be with my friends and support an amazing cause all in one night.”

-DECA had 55 members make it to The International Conference in Atlanta -Junior Felicia Willis is the new FASC Vice President -Youth Crime Watch is hosting its Miss Cooper City High Pageant on April 25 at 7 pm -Spanish Honor Society is collecting tooth paste for people in Guatemala -National Honor Society has upcoming elections for its officers -Debate Club Senior Michael Worley finished off the year once again as a nationally ranked competitor by placing at the Crestian National Debate Tournament

Abby Lande

4 The Lariat
Editorial Board: Adviser: Tom Grozan Editors-in-Chief: David Tintner Ann Nacknouck Managing Editor: Robert Yanks News: Rebecca Weiss Opinions: Shaina Coogan Features: Jennifer Pritchard Entertainment: Taylor Cohen Jaime Sloane Sports: Robert Yanks Chief Photographer: Michael Worley Business Manager: Sara Leiter Graphics Designer: Ashley Valdivia

April 2008
Staff Writers: Jolly Attia Monica Berra Michael Eisenberg Ashley Fierman Scott Gershkow Jonathan Griffith Lane Hacker Jeffy Joseph Max Levy Michael Llerena David Nathanson Ryan Parker Lindsey Rolls Alex Wild

The Lariat
part of the event. Personally, I see the point being made every day on CNN, and that seems sufficient. As the issue in Asia seems to be acknowledged across the world, having one or two nations take a stand for the “brutally suppressed” Tibetans by forgoing their participation in a sporting event is fairly insignificant. If the countries, America or not, truly cared enough to cause a big scandal concerning their absence from the Olympics, they should try to help out Tibet directly rather than calling for help. Bush, among a plethora of other leaders, chose to opt out of the boycott. However, this does not mean that the Olympics will be as expected. The problem with Chinese subjugation and oppression against independence efforts will most likely still linger come time for the games. But why should all the attention go towards China’s issues? There are countless problems in the world that are growing exponentially in severity as time progresses. Overlooking those problems is no way less serious than (wisely) choosing not to boycott the Olympics. There is no reason to bridge the gap between sports and politics. After all, it’s just a game, and if I can’t use monopoly money to buy tickets to a Lupe Fiasco concert, why should a nation be able to use a skip card from UNO on the Olympics?

Torch or no torch?
Should countries boycott the Olympics because of China’s politics?

The Lariat firmly believes in upholding the first amendment but also recognizes the responsibility of a publication to be accurate and factual.


Reaching our values
In society, values are constantly expressed through a variety of mediums: literature, art, film, music, posters with half eaten apples and, most recently, stairwells. Many students observed in early March that something new had arrived at Cooper, something with red and black lettering, something of value. With the help of SGA, our school had painted the “Character Core” values on the old building steps. Many self-proclaimed cynics immediately pointed out the irony of “walking all over our values,” yet The Lariat has come to see its deeper meaning. A flight of stairs is an important symbol in art. Whether it’s painted on canvas like M. C. Escher’s masterpiece “House of Stairs,” caught on film while Sylvester Stallone runs atop it, or on a vinyl record such as that found on Zeppelin IV, the stairway has held its own as a key symbol in our time; a symbol of hope, a symbol of a journey, a symbol of the future. By painting these values on such an important symbol within our school, a larger message is being sent: practicing these values will allow one to step above the difficulties in life and reach lofty goals, no matter how high they may lie. The Lariat severely doubts that such philosophical aims were the original intention of our student government’s project, but we sure wish people could think of it that way. Responsibility, citizenship, kindness, respect, honesty, self-control, tolerance, and cooperation sure sound like clichés, yet the need for their presence in today’s society cannot be overstated.

Move over steroid abuse, there is a new party pooper in town. No, a domestic terrorist isn’t going to set off a bomb (Atlanta 1996), no Israelis will be kidnapped (Munich 1972), and I highly doubt Nazi’s will use the games as propaganda (Berlin 1936). But what may happen is not something new to the Olympic tradition. Talk has been circulating in the media lately about possible boycotts of the 2008 Olympics being held in Beijing this summer. Unlike the last string of boycotts in the 1976, 1980, 1984 games, this possibility arises from national irresponsibility. Forty-nine years ago China, a communist nation, exiled Tibet’s (then independent) ruler, Tenzin Gyatso - the Dalai Lama. Only recently though did matters intensify as the Chinese chose their own successor to the Dalai Lama’s throne. Riots have broken out in the region in an attempt to restore Tibetan independence. The attempts to re-establish independence are being met with great disapproval among the Chinese causing the Tibetans to be “brutally suppressed and denied basic fundamental rights and echo their call for independence,” according to the president of the Tibetan Youth Conference, Tsewang Rigzin. What can be considered a regional affair has become a worldwide issue, however. With the Olympics in Beijing soon,

The most important freedom
In the last issue of The Lariat, a column appeared in the opinions section that set off a controversy across the Cooper City High campus. Many students were vehement either in their support for or against the column. The confederate flag is a volatile topic. It always has been and always will be. But that should not keep it from being discussed. The column initiated a dialogue and sparked debate. Several teachers either read the column to their classes or allotted class time for discussion. A few teachers even incorporated the column into their lesson plans and created assignments from it. This was a chance for students to experience their lesson firsthand. They got to live and breathe first amendment issues, American history, and the inner workings of social dynamics. As a newspaper, that is exactly what The Lariat strives for. In today’s day and age few people still read the newspaper, and even fewer still believe it can have an effect. Au contraire. Some of the most influential movements throughout history began with writing. Abraham Lincoln referred to Harriet Beecher Stowe after the publication of her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin as “the little lady who started the Civil War.” The Russian revolution, Cold War and stained relations with Cuba can all be traced back to Marx and Engel’s Communist Manifesto. Corruption in the White House was exposed and Nixon was forced to resign following a series of articles published in the Washington Post. Even in our fast paced society, the power of the pen should not be underestimated. The freedom to express one’s beliefs is something that should not be taken for granted. We are lucky to live in a country where we can speak out. The Lariat respects all opinions and encourages the students of Cooper City High School to share them. The newspaper is intended to be a forum for discussion. Letters to the editor are printed in our opinions section, but we also hope to ignite discourse throughout the school. It is important that differences of opinion are not regarded with fear, but rather openmindedness. There are two sides to every argument, and the only way to make responsible decisions is to understand both.
Grade 12

Student Forum:
Letters to the editor
Amendment. For me the Confederate flag represented a nation that, once formed, wanted to be left alone in peace. I believe like the United States, it went to war to defend its homelands and beliefs. In my opinion, the Civil War was not fought to end the perpetration of slavery and that the North wished to preserve the Union and protect the ideals of freedom our forefathers vouched for us. Others view the Confederate flag as racist because hate groups use it. I believe hate groups have desecrated the image of the Confederate flag in the same way they have desecrated the human race. To me the flag has nothing to do with hate and everything to do with a proud Southern history. After reading this, I hope that any who view the flag as a racist symbol have changed their minds. For people like me the Confederate flag is a symbol of heritage, not hate, and it should be our right to display it.
Grade 11

national discussions are rising regarding whether or not to get involved in the political matters of the 2008 Olympic host nation. Yet to make a proper decision of what to do, we must understand what the Olympics stand for. The games have been around practically since the dinosaurs and ever since day one they have stood solely for sporting purposes. Wars would cease in lieu of naked Greek foot races and friendly competition. Boycotting the Olympics based on a political matter is beyond unfair to both the athletes and the legacy of the event. After all, what message would that send? That just because there’a controversy somewhere in the world, an athlete can’t compete at the international level. Not to belittle the often overlooked nature of world issues, but the Olympics were made in part to honor the seperation between games and politics. This, of course, brings light to a different option: boycotting the opening ceremony. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who became the first world leader to suggest a national boycott of the ceremony, could very well end up doing so. He has already explicitly ruled out the possibility of withdrawing France from the games, as have several nations worldwide. The reason behind this is rather logical. Boycotting the entire games can only hamper a nation, as opposed to making a statement by boycotting only

Confederate Flag Support

Online Newspaper
In this modern day and age, I find it hard to believe that our high school newspaper does not have its own online site. While I do take pleasure from reading things on printed paper, there’s no limit to the power of the internet. While my eyes may protest, it’s a lot more convenient for me to read little vignettes of school life while I surf online than during school hours when I’m busy pretending to look busy. It might enhance reader interaction with the paper itself, leading to whole new dimensions of journalism the likes of which our school has never even dreamed about. Then again, this is Cooper City, where the contrast of the high tech and the backward is a normal, everyday occurence that usually amounts to piles upon piles of inefficiency.

The Confederate flag: a symbol of racism or a symbol of heritage? Some people in this school think that the Confederate battle flag is a racist symbol. In my opinion, I think that David Tintner’s column on the Confederate flag was wrong. I respect others opinions on the matter but to people like me the Confederate flag is a symbol of southern heritage. To me the flag represents all Confederates, and is the symbol of less government, fewer taxes, and the right for the people to govern themselves. We wear or fly the flag in memory of our Confederate ancestors who willingly shed their blood for Southern independence. To many Southerneners, the flag is the symbol of their culture and homeland. I believe people who wear the Confederate flag also have the constitutional right to their heritage under the Ninth

Submit your 250-word letter to Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity and should pertain to any topic previously printed in the newspaper or issue relevant to Cooper City High School and its students.

Last month, I received a letter from the University of Chicago. “Dear Shaina, You are not your test scores. Someday you will sum up the events in your life, your friends and accomplishments, your triumphs and your disappointments, and your standardized test scores will be long forgotten.” Not my scores, University of Chicago? I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Collegeboard’s report for the University of Chicago stated the middle 50 percent of SAT scores of first-year students as being between 1330 and 1530. Their ACT scores were similarly high, between 28 and 33. Alas, it had been quite a romantic notion. Who couldn’t resist a school willing to accept you for who you are, rather than a set of numbers? Far too much emphasis is placed on standardized test scores that often do not accurately represent a student’s potential to succeed. explains that admission test scores are one of the “big three” determining factors colleges look for, the other two being grades and class rank. Though some schools may not even consider SAT scores during the admission process, they are few and far between. In fact, “Only 12 percent of schools acknowledged admission test scores as having ‘limited’ or ‘no’ importance. The remaining 88 percent want to see you score big.” In reality, standardized tests have been struggling to keep up with changing times. In 2001, University of California president Richard Atkinson suggested dropping SAT scores as an admission requirement for UC. Largely due to his complaints, the SAT-I was altered to include a writing section in 2005. It encompasses a student-written essay and two multiple-choice grammar sections. Unfortunately, this addition hindered more than it helped. Dr. Les Perelman, a director of undergraduate writing at M.I.T., found an almost direct correlation between essay length and score: the more you wrote, the higher your score. This held true even for essays riddled with factual errors. Basically, it encouraged students to write as much as possible with little regard for validity. This undermines the qualities of brevity and accuracy in composition, making it a complete refutation of what any English teacher strives to instill in his or her students. Standardized test scores even infiltrate high school life. In order to



The Local View
enroll in English 1101 and/or 1102, one must earn a minimum of 440 on the verbal section of the SAT. These classes are offered not only at BCC but on our very own campus as well. Considering high school students may enroll in these classes, admission should be based on “high school” standards: past success in English courses and willingness to work. A simple SAT score should have no bearing. Though letter grades are by no means a valid method of judging intelligence or success in high school, they are a much more accurate gauge than standardized test scores. Grades are cumulative averages of a year’s worth of time and effort; SAT scores are generated in a few hours’ time, meaning that, if you’re caught on a bad day, there’s no opportunity to fix them. In the end, why are standardized test scores so integral to the college admission process? They tell a school nothing of a prospective student’s academic performance, extracurricular involvement, or personal attributes. Perhaps realizing this, colleges around the country are no longer requiring applicants to submit standardized test scores. Several schools have already jumped on the SAT-optional bandwagon, including Bates College, Drew University, and Sarah Lawrence College. In addition, Sarah Lawrence not only follows the SAT-optional policy, but completely disregards SAT scores during its admission process. True, Sarah Lawrence may not be Brown University or Harvard College, but it has produced several well-known, successful individuals. Among them are acclaimed producer of Lost and Cloverfield, J.J. Abrams, and famed broadcast journalist Barbara Walters. I believe that, unlike Ivy League schools, Sarah Lawrence is judging its students on the right criteria. The school’s most important admission factors include an application essay, recommendation letters, and the rigor of the applicant’s secondary school record. Academic GPA is much, much further down on the list; it’s even ranked below personal qualities and extracurricular activities. This is how it should be. Students should be able to present themselves not through their numbers, but through their experiences and ideas. Overemphasis on vastly imperfect standardized test scores undermines real success and effort, only reinforcing the notion that we are nothing but how we look on paper.

The National View
Some people write in diaries, others in journals or notepads; yet, right now in Japan, the preferred medium for writing some of the most popular novels is cellular telephones. According to the New York Times, five out of the current top ten best selling books in Tokyo were originally cell phone novels, written in short hand “instant-message speak,” mainly by young women. This might be one of the most bizarre social trends in literature of the 21st century, not to mention one of the most damaging. In the words of Rita Mae Brown, an American novelist, “language is the roadmap of a culture. It tells you where its people came from and where they are going.” If this holds true, our culture is heading into a dark time of Orwellian newspeak, a time in which our language is pounded into smaller, more simplified sentences. Like a termite that eats away silently inside the wall of a home, this trend is tearing away, unnoticed, at the foundation of our language. The disintegration of the human language through the proliferation of shorter, grammatically incorrect phrases poses a threat to our culture and society at large. The cultural effect ‘instant messaging language’ has had on society may prove to be incredibly damaging in the future. This is becoming more and more visible among young people, the side effects of which are becoming rapidly apparent. “You don’t ask people what their number is anymore,” said senior Pol Paelinck, “you ask them [for] their screen name.” Feelings of isolation and depression have erupted in recent years due to the meteoric rise of messaging systems that catalyze users, according to Berkley University, to “start losing social skills in the real world as [they] master [their] social skills chatting behind a computer screen.” This is a dangerous precedent to set in a world in which reported cases of teenage depression are at an all time high (nearly two million cases reported each year, according to the Boston Globe.) This internet jargon has also changed the way people talk, both young and old. Hearing someone say, “LOL” or “BRB” in public is no longer a rarity; it has become accepted diction. One of the defining qualities of the Western world has been our love literature. From William Shakespeare to Mark Twain, the written word has proven to be our largest cultural export to the rest of the world. It was the elegant words of Hamlet and the sarcastic diction of A Yankee in King Arthur’s Court that made these authors so important. It was the wide variety of words expressing all sorts of emotion that captured readers and turned mere words into cultural cornerstones. IM jargon damages that severely. The Miami Herald recently reported that many teachers in Miami had become frustrated after their students used online abbreviations in essays and other writing assignments, a very negative harbinger of what our culture is moving towards. The largest threat posed by condensed language is that of increased stratification within our social classes. This has already occurred in many areas of America. Ebonics in urban neighborhoods, Southern drawl in rural areas, and New England slang in neighborhoods of Boston, New York, and Buffalo have all been cultural cornerstones in those areas. Despite their tradition, these vernaculars undermine the standard English language. Unlike the development of the aforementioned slang, IM Speak didn’t develop from the lack of urban and rural literacy; it developed from a society that favors speed and convenience over quality and intelligent thought. It’s that difference that makes IM Speak so dangerous. This new form of illiterate communication has blossomed not out of poor, underprivileged communities, but from a capitalistic society that markets this form of language as culturally acceptable. It will be much harder to reverse this trend as long as the businesses that perpetuate it are allowed to continue these marketing campaigns. Ultimately, it will be the same teachers who taught their students new vocabulary who will now teach them why using such eloquent words is so important. That might be the greatest challenge of our generation: convincing students that the SAT isn’t the only reason to expand their literacy, to use proper grammar, to spell words correctly, or to use punctuation. If our generation cannot meet that challenge, we will eventually face the threat of a disintegrating language –a threat greater than any war or conflict we have ever, or will ever, face. In a society of Blackberries, iPods and broadband internet, the need to enrich our youth’s language has never been greater; yet it will be this challenge that will set our generation apart forever. 2 b or not 2 b? That is the question.

Juyoung Lee

The Lariat
Contributing Writer

High School movies move beyond stereotypes
After an hour and forty-five minutes of artsy-girl-yearning-fordreamy-jock frustration, our leading lady finally ditches the glasses and overalls for a shiny prom dress and the guy of her dreams. The audience, consisting mainly of teenage girls and their reluctant boyfriends, bursts out in applause punctuated by sobs of relief. If only all stories had such perfectly scripted endings… For decades, teens have queued up outside of theaters to catch the latest “high school movie.” Although commercially popular, this underrated subgenre, which encompasses everything from Sixteen Candles and Mean Girls to Superbad and Rushmore, is often denied the credit it deserves. Despite what the critics may say, movies with a high school backdrop are not always banal fantasies; many simply use the commonplace setting to tell a story in a relatable way. The truth is, almost everyone shares some similar experiences in high school, regardless of era or social category, and high school movies simply tap into those commonalities to make the audience laugh, cry, or think. In the 1980’s, John Hughes films defined a generation by defining their roles in high school. Movies such as The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink portray a highly stratified social structure in which jocks, nerds, and freaks never intermingle (unless physically forced to in Saturday school). But was high school really like this, or did teenagers feel the need to fill the roles set for them by movies? In a way, it’s the question of the chicken or the egg. “Cliques exist,” CCHS English Cooper City- although the cops aren’t as cool and the situations aren’t always as hilarious.” Continuing the trend of high school movies, the coming of age story, Juno, tells the tale of a 16-year-old girl who gets pregnant after her first sexual experience. We follow Juno over the next nine months as she swims in a sea of decisions “way beyond her maturity level” – a sentiment teens can relate to. “I connect with Juno because she is your average high school studentjust wittier and with a better vocabulary.” CCHS junior Tatum Norrell said. “Although most students don’t share her predicament (thankfully), we can all identify with a situation that has forced us to grow up.” As the golden child of this year’s Oscars, Juno is the first high school movie in ages to receive such high critical acclaim. And although it’s not the first in this genre to address a taboo subject, Juno is an important landmark in the progression of teen film because it shows that young viewers are mature enough to handle, and even excited to watch, a movie that is not cliché or over formulated. This new wave of high school films deemphasizes cliques and stereotypes and shows the individuality of our generation; that’s certainly something to be excited about. Ranging from the fantastical and formulated to the realistic and clever, teen movies always manage to weave a relatable thread through the story. The pioneers of this genre may have played up certain aspects of high school, but their themes of young love, identity, and teen angst have proved to be timeless. So even though Superbad and The Breakfast Club may seem to be as different as night and day, they are loved equally by today’s teens simply because some things never change. In my favorite movie “Almost Famous”, Jeff Bebe (front man of the fictional rock and roll band Stillwater) put it in better terms: “Some people have a hard time explaining rock and roll. I don’t think anyone can really explain rock and roll. Except Pete Townshend, but that’s okay. Rock and roll is a lifestyle and a way of thinking, and it’s not about money and popularity. It’s a voice that says, “Here I am, and **** *** if you can’t understand me.” And one of these people is going to save the world. And that means that rock and roll can save the world, all of us together. What it all comes down to is that thing. The indefinable thing when people catch something in your music.” In my humble estimation, rock and roll is the combination of belted out lyrics, fast-paced chords, and intense drum solos that make the listener’s heart beat a few paces faster. Don’t misinterpret my intentions, I love Bob Dylan and Dan Fogelberg (both members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) but their music doesn’t make me want to flail my body around like a headless chicken the way rock and roll should. If a folk-rock hall of fame were ever to be established, they’d be on the top of my nomination list, but for now, being the true to my roots, rebellious rocker that I am, I would vote to keep them out of this Hall of Fame. Will other rock and roll fanatics’ voices who feel the same way be heard and listened to? Who knows. I guess the answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind…

April 2008


The delinquent, jock, weirdo, prom queen and nerd as defined in 1980’s cult classic “The Breakfast Club.”

teacher and 80’s teen Rob Boone said, “but social gaps are exaggerated to tell the story.” While on-screen “popular girls” could have reflected the queen bees of this time, it’s also quite possible that young girls subconsciously mimicked their catty ways in order to become what they interpreted as “cool.” Likewise, freaks and geeks may have felt less intimidated by the jocks if movies hadn’t drawn an un-crossable line between them. In this golden age of teen film, it’s likely that stereotypes were a selffulfilling prophecy. Perhaps this cycle can be best explained by the intensity of classic teen movie archetypes. In these films, the cool kids are never the nice kids; they’re always jerks with fancy cars and a D average. Nerds, on the other hand are never portrayed as misunderstood intellectuals, but rather socially inept losers with taped glasses and eternal wedgies. Of course these social extremes

may have existed, but their exaggeration is anything but normal. Without a caste of cliques or cliché storylines, today’s cinema is much more realistic. Movies like Superbad and Juno are not all caught up in defining what high school should be, but instead they show these strange four years as what they really are. Superbad stars Michael Cera and Jonah Hill as best friends trying desperately to score alcohol and chicks while dealing with the threat of separation after graduation. The lead characters are outsiders, but like most kids in high school Seth and Evan fit somewhere in between the stereotypes of teen movies. And as for their mouth-breathing tagalong friend Fogell, well, everyone knows a McLovin. “I think Superbad is the most accurate high school movie,” junior Michelle Blanck said, “The story is so realistic that it could actually happen in

Upcoming Movies
May 2 Made of Honor Iron Man May 9 Speed Racer May 16 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian May 23 Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull June 13 The Incredible Hulk June 27 Wall-E Wanted July 18 The Dark Knight Mamma Mia

Here we are, now entertain us
A hearty helping of rock and roll always needs to be served with a great big side order of controversy, and the 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony fulfilled the menu requirements perfectly. On Monday March 2nd, the Hall welcomed Madonna, John Mellencamp, Leonard Cohen, the Ventures, the Dave Clark Five, and Little Walter to its hallowed corridors. Outrage swept over the nation as confused music fans everywhere sent frustrated emails and made frantic phone calls to the Hall questioning the new inductees. I started to wonder; who spiked the punch bowl before the voting process began? How exactly does an artist get nominated to become a potential inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and what does it take to actually get in? After tireless research on past and present winners, I realized there doesn’t seem to be much rhyme, reason, or rhythm to the process. While some inductees such as AC/DC make perfect sense with their booming guitar riffs, screaming lyrics, and thunderous bass line, others such as Madonna, inducted last night, are enough to make a rock fan’s head spin. The nomination process is controlled by a few individuals, such as founder Jann Wenner (best known as the founder of Rolling Stone Magazine), former foundation director Suzan Evans, and writer Dave Marsh. The entire election is purely subjective, voted on by taste and not by talent in the genre of rock. But the nomination choices weren’t always so controversial and skewed. In 1986, when the Hall was created, true rock and roll was in its 9th inning and slowly fading away. The first group of inductees included Chuck Berry, James Brown, Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, and Ray Charles. This trend of obvious picks continued for a little more than a decade, and included The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin. But in 1999 when Billy Joel was inducted, the Hall of Fame induction game became fair play for anyone and everyone who could pick up a guitar. In the good old days of Zeppelin, Floyd, and Hendrix (all Hall of Fame members), true rock and roll wasn’t questionable. Now, there’s many factors that go into what’s “rock” and what’s not. Through its existence, rock and roll has branched off into other styles like “pop rock” and “punk rock”. However, the last time I checked, prancing around in leggings, sweatbands, and dangling earrings, singing Material Girl in too high of a pitch is not “rock and roll”. So I decided to stop and ask the pressing question: what exactly is “rock and roll”?

By Jaime Sloane

The Lariat

On the road to success


Senior Brittany Mullen is set to tour the world this summer
go on tour. Her first tour will be with Armed Forces Entertainment. The tour will start with a 12-day trip through the Caribbean to entertain soldiers whose spirits are in need of a lift. From the Caribbean, she will be off to Europe with a band of musicians and promoters to perform her music overseas. If all goes well in Europe, she will go on to do the same thing in Japan, hoping to thereafter come home and promote in The States. Although her future looks promising, Mullen is determined to cover all of her bases in full. She is planning to attend UM’s elite music program, hopefully on scholarship. Beyond college, Mullen has connections with acclaimed producers such as Rush Reagan and Clive Davis. She is enthralled about both of these opportunities, but remains elegantly nonchalant. “If it works it works, if it doesn’t it doesn’t… but it’d be nice if it worked,” Mullen said. Coming from humble beginnings, trials and letdowns, Mullen is well on her way to making it to the “big-times”. “It would be amazing to do what I love to do for a living, I wouldn’t work well in an office setting,” Mullen said. It is safe to say that, with the right connections and help, Mullen is going places with her love of song, and will continue to do so until she reaches the top. “I feel like the longest part of my album is going to be the credits, there are so many people I have to thank,” Mullen said.

A talented, young aspiring popcountry artist walks into a room filled with snobbish, overanalyzing critics and producers, anxious and overcome with emotion. Her hard work, dedication, and determination, has finally all paid off. Maybe this will be her big break? She presents herself, after years of preparation, feeling as if she’s at the top of her game, only to be crushed by the bias ideals and opinions of those she formerly admired. CCHS student Brittany Mullen (stage name Nicole Patrick), student board member and aspiring pop-country star is well seasoned for this type of situation. But it seems as if she is finally begining to see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. “It’s a great feeling to finally get some success out of so much time and effort,” Mullen said. Mullen is 100% dedicated to her future. CTV has covered her involvement with Disney, sporadic music videos, and constant trips to Nashville to work on her recording. What CTV failed to manifest in their stories is her future; what’s in store for Nicole Patrick. This March, Mullen got on a plane to Nashville to finish her first solo album entitled ‘Everyone Who’s Anyone’. The album consists of 10 songs, four of which she co-wrote and two of which she wrote herself. Not only has she just finished her first album and is on German radio station “X-radio”, Mullen is now taking the 2nd step in stardom; preparing to

Michael Worley


ROCK BAND revolution rocks CCHS
real instruments, players can create their own band and play songs ranging from Weezer’s “Say it ain’t so,” to South Park’s “Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld. “Maps [by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs] is by far the best song” sophomore Taylor Millovan, drummer for “The Fingerpntrs”, said. “The thing about Rock Band is that they provide songs people actually listen to.” Harmonix, Guitar Hero’s original designer, sold the franchise to Activision in 2006. Thus, forfeiting temporarily the right to design a game that lets gamers such as Waksman assume the identity of Jimi Hendrix. But Rock Band’s release marks their return to the virtual music business. This of course means that the two games are now competing for supporters. “I like Rock Band better,” Millovan said. Although a Guitar Hero supporter herself, Waksman agrees with Millovan with the fact that “for social purposes, Rock Band is the better game.” Possibly the most revolutionary of the Rock Band instruments is the microphone. Many seem to enjoy making a fool of themselves, bringing the band down with them in doing so. Sure this may be a pessimistic outlook on the singing abilities of the average person, but some amateur singers can without a doubt substantiate this case. Senior Ben Schlang was recently recorded while singing “Say it ain’t so.” The performance- in a very loose sense of the word- wasn’t too good. The video, exemplifying the humorous aspect to

Brittany Mullen, also known as Nicole Patrick, plays her heart out in the school parking lot.

America: where people go to pursue their most sought after dreams and aspirations. Well, anyone outside of their cozy naive bubble can tell you that isn’t exactly true, unless you aspire to put down 2000 calories in 15 seconds. But luckily, for someone whose dream is to tour the nation with inked up rockers, a big break now exists. On November 20th, 2007, Rock Band hit the shelves, and was sold out within the blink of an eye. The game, along with its predecessors Guitar Hero I, II, and III, revolutionized the idea of what video games are, and what they could become. Contrary to popular belief, the revolution did not start with the Guitar Hero series. Actually, the first game of its kind fit in neither a Playstation nor an Xbox. Instead, the originator, GuitarFreaks, was designed for arcades in 1999. GuitarFreaks was an inspiration for Harmonix, motivating them to launch their unexpectedly successful franchise. Going from a $1 million dollar budget to a first week revenue of $115 million, the newly popularized gaming genre has met undeniable success. “It’s the new thing,” junior Joelle Waksman, Guitar Hero guitarist, said. “It gives people the opportunity to show off insane jamming skills.” The newest game, Rock Band, allows unjustifiably confident teens to put their mediocre skills to the test on any one of four “instruments” (drums, bass guitar, guitar, and microphone). On these overly simplified models of

Michael Worley

Sophomore Joey Truscello shows that real guitars are for old people.

having a microphone in Rock Band, is currently on Facebook. “The singing is actually more efficient than I expected,” singing sensation Nicole Patrick said. And the singing is not limited to just the songs that come with the game. Bonus tracks and downloadable (purchasable) tracks enhance the already time consuming nature of Rock Band. “The game is very addictive,” junior Eric Munoz, lead guitarist of The Goonz, said. “The ultimate goal is to get better for bragging rights, which takes plenty of time.” Whether it be for the drums,

bass, guitar or microphone, teens find unquestionable joy in “living the life” of a rock star. And this gaming revolution has infiltrated not only the video game community, but also the network of videos on the Internet. When searching songs (that happen to be in the games)on YouTube, expect to encounter an inescapable barrage of “Dani California guitar on Expirt!!!!!” (spelling error intended). But the games bring plenty to the table, raising the bar along with the interactivity of their games. Gamers can only hope that more games will follow suit. If so, they should look forward to a dangerously realistic Halo 4.

6`jsm466 6 6 6 6 6 6 `jsm46
10 April

music and
as Hungary, Netherlands and Japan, all place high emphasis and commitment to vocal and instrumental music education. Despite the extensive list of beneficial effects of instrumental music on the brain and the research to back it up, the arts are facing difficult times in public schools. Here in America, schools face constant budget cuts and art programs are suffering a continuing war of funding cut backs. On the national average, only four percent of the $450 billion spent on teaching children goes to music, which means that 55 percent of our students aren’t getting adequate music education. “ “I think the budget cuts are awful,” Arbulu said. “We don’t have “ any money; the band is in debt.” To make matters worse, President George W. Bush submitted his Fiscal Year 2009 budget, in which there was a $16.3 million cut in support for the National Endowment for the Arts. As of right now, there is a hiring freeze for Broward County Schools, which means that if a program ends or is cut back teachers will be reassigned or make use of dual certification. The budget crisis has music programs finding alternative solutions to their needs. “ “Traditionally, Chorus has received a stipend to purchase new music, but due to the current budget crisis, we’re forgoing new sheet music and pulling from CCHS’s Music Department library” Katina Dziewiatkowski, CCHS chorus teacher, said. “ “The lack of money is preventing us from learning a lot of things in band because we can’t always buy and use the proper equipment,” Arbulu said. Music affects mood, concentration, and creativity, but most importantly, it affects the brain’s ability to learn. The sound of music helps us in the learning process by increasing attention, improving memory, and releasing tension by establishing a positive learning environment. For example, when listening to classical music such as Mozart, there is a 60 beat per minute pattern that is repeated throughout his pieces, known as the Mozart effect. This effect activates the action potentials in the brain, and strengthens the connection between the left and right hemispheres.


Mikey Arbulu has been playing the clarinet for seven years, beginning his musical training at Pioneer Middle’s school band and continuing on to do four years with our Cooper City High School’s Sound of Pride. He has spent three of his four years with the Sound of Pride as the drum major. Even with all the time and energy Arbulu spends with his music, he continues to excel at academics , with his weighted high school GPA at a 4.9. “ “My music training has helped me process information differently and think about things with a new prospective,” Arbulu said. Arbulu attributes his self-discipline in school to his extensive musical training. “ “I’ve gotten A’s in all the classes I’ve taken in high school,” Arbulu said. The world’s top a c a d e m i c countries such



The Lariat

Langerado experience transcends music


Six years ago, Ethan Schwartz and Mark Brown teamed up to create the largest music festival in Florida. In keeping with the tradition of kooky names for big music festivals (Bonnaroo, Sasquatch), they decided to christen it “Langerado”. This year Langerado was held on March 6-9 in the middle of the Everglades. My photographer Mike Worley and I went to investigate. We left right after school on Thursday, got some necessary provisions like gas, ice, and Mike and Ike’s, and hit the road. The line of cars to enter Langerado was long, but after a two hour wait, we finally arrived on the campgrounds. After setting up our tent and unpacking our things, Mike and I walked to the festival site. The area consisted of five stages, food vendors, craftsmen selling unique products, and other fun activities. The first thing that caught my eye were the dreadlocked hippies. They surrounded me in every direction, as far as the eye could see. Dreadlocked individuals covered in body paint, dancing and grooving to the music. Not that I minded; it was a nice culture shock and

they made for great company. T h u rs d ay night was when we first started to feel the festival’s momentum. There were always decisions to be made, because at any given time there were numerous bands playing on five different stages. The first show we caught was That 1 Guy (Mike Silverman), who played his homemade instrument, dubbed “The Magic Pipe”. The crowd really got into it, dancing and yelling their way through the set. Langerado is known for having a plethora of jam bands, and this year was no exception. A perfect example was Dark Star Orchestra, a Grateful Dead tribute band. Their set was loose and free flowing, and they played well into the night. The next morning I awoke with bug bites all over my body. Camping was a mix of heat, dirt, insects, loud music blasting from cars, clouds of smoke floating above, and walking. The campgrounds were huge, with thousands of tents, flags waving and policemen patrolling on horses. My feet became worn out pretty quickly. The Port-

Clockwise from top left: G Love performs for adoring fans. Campers at Langerado display signs of politcal activism and environmental conservation around the reservation. 311 performs on the “Everglades” Stage. The trombonist from Ozomatli takes a solo.

Left: Fans jam out as Ozomatli performs. Center: CCHS senior Juyoung Lee and Cypress Bay senior Victoria Guida take a seat in the crowd as they wait for the next band to come on the stage.

A-Potties were also in horrid condition; they were temporary portals to hell. It began raining at noon on Friday, but the bad weather passed fairly quickly. In no time I was back enjoying music, albeit with an increasingly sunburned neck, as we had forgotten to bring sunscreen. “That’s something every Fest goer must know, bring sunscreen and bug spray,” senior Chloe Morin said. I stored that common sense for future reference. I saw Bret Dennen, who was spectacular, and The Walkmen, who captivated the audience. I took a break from music to watch some Alligator Wrestling. Since the Festival was on an Indian Reservation, there was a heavy Seminole vibe. I saw a man dressed up in an alligator suit, and another who looked like a Native American Chief. As I was heading over to catch The Wailers, who used to tour with Bob Marley, I passed

a dreadlocked, halfnaked man standing very still and looking straight ahead. Random people were walking up to him, waving their hands in his face and doing whatever they could to make him blink, yet he would not move a muscle. I guessed it was a form of meditation, but really I had no idea. Strange sights like this were common throughout Lanerado. The Wailers were fun, and reggae phenom Matisyahu sang a tune with them as well. The crowd danced along, arms in the air, each person doing his own thing. That was one of my favorite aspects of the Festival, how everyone was so free, and not caring what anybody else thought. It was a joy to witness. After The Wailers, I made my way to watch !!! (pronounced “Chk Chk Chk”). I thought this was, by far, the best performance of Langerado. “The music was groovy, and the lead singer (Nick Offer) was really fun to watch. H i s

dance moves were insane,” Morin said. The stage was a frenzy of lights, the band sounded amazing, and the crowd loved it. Senior Sierra Manno, who was in the front row, said she even got to sing into the mic when Offer jumped off stage into the crowd. After !!! were done, I watched The Roots, ate dinner, and headed over to the main stage to watch the headlining act, The Beastie Boys. Much to my disappointment, they were unimpressive. “The sound was horribly low, and it just wasn’t their night,” Manno said. At this point, with Mike feeling a bit sick and the both of us so sunburned it hurt to move, we decided to head home. Langerado truly was a fantastic experience, bringing people from all over the country together for the sole purpose of having a blast while listening to some great music. Maybe they should call it LangerFUNdo next year

All photos by Michael Worley


April 2008

The Lariat

Obama inspires young voters

After the New Hampshire primaries, Barack Obama addressed an exuberant crowd, spotlighting the progressive attitude of the voters on that day. “There is something happening,” he said, “when Americans who are young in age and in spirit, and who’ve never participated in politics before, turn out in numbers we have never seen because they know in their hearts that this time must be different.” The crowd, a myriad of young and old voters, responded with an applause lasting for eighteen seconds. For the remainder of his speech, the crowd seemed barely able to compose themselves as they clung to the edges of their seats. Senator Obama continued speaking and introduced a simple slogan that was, for the first time in years, plausible: “Yes we can.” His words roared through the room as they were carried on by the chant of the audience, “Yes we can. Yes we can. Yes we can.” Over the past year, Barack Obama’s words have been distributed to listeners everywhere. This is evoking a genuine belief that he is the best candidate, and that he’ll bring about the most change in Washington, and most importantly, that he can. Though many of the other candidates have offered valid arguments to prove they are the best presidential candidate, Barack Obama seems to appeal more to the youth of America as both a presidential hopeful, and a celebrity. “Obama relates to [people] on a more personal level,” senior and firsttime voter Solange Colin said. “He tends to reach out to the younger population more so than the other candidates do— he’s very cool.” While other politicians strive to appear vibrant and calm when addressing the youth, Barack Obama does this naturally. “I tend to lose interest when politicians speak about national and worldwide issues,” Colin said. “But Barack is easy to understand, and he speaks about issues that directly affect me more, like getting money for college and finding a job easily after I graduate.” Obama’s plan, the American Opportunity Tax Credit, promises an almost-free tuition to colleges and

Did YOU know...
• Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and raised in Indonesia for several years. • He spent his first night in New York on the streets. • Has published two New York Times Best Selling books. • He was the first African - American President of The Harvard Law Review.
universities. About two thirds of tuition will be granted for most public university bound students; those who plan on attending local community colleges pay close to nothing. He also plans to simplify the process for Financial Aid, which currently consists of 127 questions distributed throughout a five page packet. A poll in the Politics Application on showed that Obama was the most popular among Facebook users, with 82.98% of the vote. Last year, the New York Times conducted a

survey in which Barack Obama was also the most favorable candidate for voters between the ages of 17 and 29. In fact, the official Students for Barack Obama Coalition, “one of the largest grassroots student organizations in history,” originally began as a Facebook petition founded by a few students in 2006. According to Obamites, the future of the war in Iraq plays a cardinal role in which candidates they choose to support. Barack, who initially opposed the war, plans to immediately withdraw

troops, and according to his campaign site, “remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.” “He knows how to compromise, without compromising what’s important,” junior Anna Walters said. Over the past few pivotal months on the campaign trail, Barack Obama has incurred a fan-base very different from that of the other presidential hopefuls. He has the facebook fanatics, he’s been on MTV and Monday Night Football, and of course, there’s Obama Girl’s YouTube sensation “I Got a Crush on Obama” music video. Fanatic supporters like these perceive Obama as a fad rather than a leader. However, Barack Obama does arise skepticism amongst his competition. Former mentor and esteemed opponent Hilary Clinton called Barack Obama “a man with little national [and] international experience.” Because Obama is still a newbie, as Senator of Illinois, he’s developed the reputation of a buoyant, overambitious dreamer, one who cannot fulfill the responsibilities that accompany the position of Commander in Chief. Of course, many students still uphold their faith. “He’s someone that could bring change, not just because of his policies,” sophomore Oliver Doren said. “He symbolizes social progress and diversity in the U.S.” “He’s more than just a fresh face in Washington,” Walters said. “He plans to repair the damage Bush has done to our economy, while reducing political lobbying and making us more energy efficient. His promises aren’t that far-fetched; people have just lost hope because of the struggle we’ve had in the past eight years.” Undoubtedly, students have regained hope in Barack Obama, and restoring our country has proven to be the sole foundation for this year’s presidential election. “I’m asking you to believe, not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington… I’m asking you to believe in yours,” an enthusiastic Obama said. Whether or not this statement is conceivable is up to the youth—the young revolutionaries, the unbiased minds, the future of this country.

“He’s got the charisma. People, like Hillary Clinton, say he’s all talk, but he seems the most passionate, and kids, whether they are indifferent in the political world or not, are drawn to that.”
Junior Nick Ramos Senior Brian Vitale

“This is a big concern for people my age because the longer the war goes on, the more likely the draft could be reinstated.”


Iguanas invade South Florida
the biggest of the three, and if needed, would cause the most damage from a bite or a tail lash. Ctenosaura similis and Ctenosaura pectinata are the other two species of iguana that can be found. Fortunately, these iguanas aren’t as ferocious as they look and do not attack unless cornered. Or so they say. “Most iguanas carry salmonella in their feces which can be spread to humans or pets who come in contact with it,” Maler said. “Iguanas like to defecate in and around water, such as swimming pools, so this can be a potential for infection.” Iguanas are also decimating the vegetation, plants, and vegetables found in nearby gardens and fields, their favorite being hibiscus flowers. “Iguanas cause damage by eating native, ornamental, or crop plants and digging nesting burrows along canals and lakes, leading to soil erosion and sea wall collapse,” Maler said. “They also displace native animal species such as native lizards and amphibians.” As non-native species, iguanas have no natural predators, which allows the population to go unchecked and continue to grow. Originally from tropical climates such as Beliz, iguanas thrive in the South Florida heat, according to Maler. On the opposite end, because they are cold-blooded, their systems shut down and they will die in the event of a freeze. This is the reason why many iguanas are seen lying on the pavement during a Florida ‘cold spell.’



An iguana bathes himself in the warm South Florida sun. Feral iguana’s have become a nuisance in residental areas.


The temperature outside is 50 degrees and to some Floridians this means that the world is freezing over. To an iguana lying in the middle of a cul-de-sac, it very well could be. Lying motionless on the cold pavement, passerbys are unaware if this creature is dead or alive. So would this iguana’s death be a major loss to the population as a whole? These creatures are non-native to Florida yet can be found all over the state.

“They’ve been here since at least the 1970’s in small numbers,” Chris Maler, ex-iguana trapper, said. “The population has really exploded during the 1990’s with the commercialization of exotic pet stores.” According to Maler, the feral iguana population explosion is a result of owners releasing their pets into the wild once they outgrow their cages or once the owner gets tired of having them. There are three species of iguanas that can be found in South Florida areas. The most prominent in Broward County is the Iguana iguana, also known as the green iguana. It is

Although they may be lying motionless and seem harmless, many people think that the iguana population is getting out of control. “There is no way to remove or eradicate of all the iguanas. The best we can hope for is to reduce the populations to acceptable levels, through countywide and state-wide control,” Maler said. “Most county governments don’t consider iguana control as a necessary public service, so they aren’t addressing the issue.” Others enjoy seeing the iguanas and think of them as part of the pleasant landscape and exotic wildlife. “I love iguanas!” senior Katie Golembieski said. “I enjoy looking for them as I drive down the road.” Needless to say, iguanas have begun to appear more around the state of Florida, but it is illegal to kill, move, or relocate iguanas anywhere in the state. “The iguana must either be given a home as a pet, or euthanized in a humane manner recognized by the state,” Maler said. “If it is in an area where it causes a health threat, call a trapper to remove it because neither Animal Control nor Wildlife officers handle iguana calls.” As the sun and temperature begin to rise, the brown-green iguana feels the warmth re-enter his body. Looking around, as not to get hit by a car, he crosses the street into the neighbor’s garden for a tasty snack. This will not be the end of his iguana years, he vows as he runs back for a quick nap.

Tom Grozan

State president is homegrown
Ricky Oxenhandler battled childhood difficulties to rise to success as the Florida DECA president

Ricky Oxenhandler took the podium at the Florida DECA Conference exuding confidence, intellect, and excitement. His first speech in front of thousands was a brilliant success. He spoke concerning his plans for the future of Florida DECA, as the newly elected President of the statewide business marketing club. The journey to the presidency began as a freshman here at Cooper City High School. He was convinced to join DECA by his sister’s experiences with the club. “My sister, Lea, had done it before me and I knew what a great time she had as a member, so I decided to join,” Ricky said. After competing at the state level freshman year and proceeding to international competition sophomore year while holding a position in the Cooper City High School chapter office, Ricky decided to run for state office in his junior year. “In a way, it’s a Catch-22 for me as an adviser,” Brian Chalk,DECA Adviser, said, “On one hand, I wanted to see Ricky run for state office with his outstanding leadership skills. On the other hand, you hate to lose good people from the chapter.” Over the course of his term as President, Ricky has seen his leadership skills tested as he’s dealt with the various tasks that accompany the title. “Ricky works well with just

about every type of person,” Mr. Chalk said, “He is the ideal officer because he gets along with everybody.” Ricky has attended and helped plan all of the Florida DECA conferences, making sure everything ran smoothly. He also wrote monthly web blogs, while visiting schools around Florida to talk about DECA. He has traveled as an officer to Clearwater, Orlando, Washington D.C, and West Palm Beach. “I don’t know anybody with better qualifications than Ricky for the state presidency,” Senior Sam Schlang said, “He really dedicated himself to the office and put a lot of time and effort into it.” Many of the characteristics that make Ricky a great officer stem from the adversity he faced as a child. One morning in 4th grade, Ricky woke up to the revelation that he had lost his ability to walk. He was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, a disease that occurs in children, causing joint pain and inflammation. Over the years, through various medications and hours of physical therapy, he moved from a wheelchair to a walker, and then from a walker to his own two legs. It was a true test of his patience, perseverance, and temperament. Today, however, Ricky realizes that this adversity played a part in shaping him into the individual he is today. “Ultimately, I think the challenge of arthritis was beneficial,” Ricky said, “It puts everything in perspective.” Through DECA, Ricky has been exposed to the real business world,

Lea Oxenhandler

Ricky Oxenhandler delivering the key note address at the DECA states competition.

gaining valuable experience for his intended future in the field. “I’ve become experienced with public speaking and acting professionally, while also gaining knowledge about business through competition,” Ricky said. That experience should be valuable as Ricky plans to attend Wharton School of Business at the

University of Pennsylvania in the fall, a school ranking among the top business schools in the world. After being diagnosed with juvenile arthritis in the fourth grade, Ricky has beaten the odds and achieved success both academically and socially today. He has a bright future to look forward to and tons of untapped potential in the tank.


Finding the cure for ‘65 Roses’


The Lariat

For four-year-old Richard Weiss, it is difficult to pronounce the name Cystic Fibrosis. A carrier of the disease, Richard Weiss inspired his worried mother to begin volunteering with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, seeking financial support for CF research. With all three of her little boys suffering from the disease, Mary G. Weiss began working nearly full time for the foundation. Along with young Richard, millions of children with CF have used the term “65 roses” to describe their disease, merely because it was easier to pronounce. From this, “65 Roses” quickly turned into the CFF’s symbol, standing for love and hope. Cystic Fibrosis, or CF, is an inherited genetic disorder that leads to breathing problems and other difficulties with the digestive system. Sticky mucus clogs the lungs and causes threatening lung infections, stopping natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. CF makes it extremely difficult for those who suffer from it to participate in any activity that involves heavy lung work, such as running track or even swimming distances. Affecting only about 30,000 children and adults in the United States, there are not many who know about this rare disorder. In an effort to promote awareness and hopefully find a cure, Joel Herbst, our area superintendent,

Students bought cards to create a mural in the cafeteria in support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The SGA sponsored project aims to raise $2000.

has decided to have all Broward County public schools participate in raising money.

“Cystic Fibrosis is a heartbreaking disease in which the afflicted are burdened with unfathomable pain and

suffering.,” vice president of SGA, senior Jared Frieder said. To do their part in making a difference, SGA has decided to raise money for the CFF. The plan of action began with SGA’s Trick-or-Treat for Change, a charity where members would walk around during the Halloween season with egg noodle boxes asking for any loose change for CF. About $500.00 was raised from just that one night, but they were in need of more. In a second attempt, SGA decided to open the charity to the entire school with Hat Day. Students were able to purchase a voucher allowing them to wear a hat to school without being hassled by the school’s staff. Only about $126 was raised. “So far we’ve raised about $600, which leaves us to still raise $1, 400,” SGA sponsor, Linda Snider said. The Rose Garden was SGA’s final CF fundraising activity. All four grade levels and the staff will competed against each other in buying the most cards to build a mural in the cafeteria. “Raising money for this foundation will generate more notoriety for the foundation and hopefully get more money to help find a cure for this disease,” Toni Megna, Vice President of SGA, said. With all going well, SGA hopes to adopt and continue this year after year. If it is made a Broward County project, it could be continued until a cure is found.

Driving expenses leave teens without licenses

Michael Worley

Driving has long been the golden key that could unlock the doors to adulthood and freedom for teenagers. However, according to statistics from the Federal Highway Administration the number of 16-year-olds nationwide that hold driver’s licenses has dropped from nearly half to less than one third. There is more than one culprit to blame for this downward spiral of licensed teenagers. In addition to fewer schools offering courses in driver’s education, car insurance costs have skyrocketed, in addition to the passing of stricter driving laws. In the 70’s, drivers-ed was a class taught by teachers in the school parking lot during the summer. Students learned first hand how to drive and gained well-needed experience. At the end of the course, students were tested, and earned their license if they passed. The system was brilliant; make sure all of the new drivers on the road had hands-on experience. But due to high costs, drivers-ed has slowly faded out of the school system. The number of high schools that offer the program has plunged from 90% to 20%. As a mixed blessing, private driving academies have stepped in. While the instructors are experts and can assist the students in more advanced ways, prices for an average course are expensive. “The prices are absurd, I’ll just learn with my parents instead,” Sophomore Elia Magari said. Insurance is another problem.

While parents were once able to add their teens to their policies for a reasonable fee, according to spokesperson for the Allstate Corporation, Raleigh Floyd, it now costs 80% to 100% more to add a 16year-old to a family’s auto policy . In general, teenage drivers have the highest crash risk of any group. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accidents account for one-third of all deaths of 16 to 18-year olds. “Graduated driver-licensing laws, which delay awarding a full license until a teenager spends time with a parent or driving under certain conditions, are also keeping down the number of 16year olds on the road, “ Fredrik Mottola, Executive Director of the National Institute for Driver Behavior said. These laws were created a decade ago, helping to reduce the number of fatal crashes involving 16-year-old drivers by 11%, according to a 2006 study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Strict laws intimidate teens out of attempting to get their licenses. Under Florida DMV guidelines, one may not apply for a learner’s permit until his 15th Birthday. Once the permit is obtained, the teen must hold the learner’s permit license for at least twelve months before applying for a full license. “I know that if I got my permit, I’d feel it burning a hole in my pocket, and the wait for my license would be too hard. I’ll just get it later when it’s less of a big deal,” Sophomore Brigitta Holtheur said. It seems as if the teens of the 21st

Michael Worley
Cooper City students may find empty parking lots because of the drop in number of licensed teenage drivers. The rising cost of drivers education and insurance are keeping many off the road.

century are holding off on buyingthat expensive new car and hitching rides from friends instead. This gradual

setback will not only lessen the amount of gas exhaust toxins in the air, but also make the roads a safer place to be.


Hollywood Snoballs roll through town
during the summer months. He made his way down to Hollywood, beginning in a trailer among the palm trees along Sheridan and 64th Avenue in February, 2004. In September, McKaig had a shed delivered that eventually became his trademark “Snoball Stand.” Unfortunately, the 2004 hurricanes caused him to focus more on reinforcing his investment than drumming up business. Four years later, however, business is booming, with CCHS students making up some of McKaig’s most enthusiastic patrons. “My mom saw Snoballs in the newspaper,” sophomore Daniella Ohayon said. “When we were driving, we saw the sign on the side of the road and decided to try it. I love that they have an infinite amount of flavors, and I especially love piña colada.” “Everyone goes after going to Hollywood B e a c h , ” sophomore C a r o l i n e Lashbrook, raspberry fan, said. “My




For something that has taken the CCHS student population by storm, at first glance, one might not expect much from Snoballs. At the end of a row of flower and hot dog stands, the shed’s only identifying feature is a large purple and orange sign, proclaiming “SNOBALLS” for any and all to see. Only when one wanders up to the window do they see the extensive menu and meet the smiling Matt McKaig, exmilitary man and snow cone connoisseur. It’s only at first bite that one really falls in love. McKaig’s first experiences with flavored ice stem from his job at a Maryland snow cone shop when he was fourteen. His ultimate dream was to open shop in sunny South Florida, where his icy treats could be sold year-round instead of only

Shaina Coogan

The Snoballs stand is a very popular choice for Cooper City students. The low prices make the product affordable for teenagers.

friends told me about it, and I loved it.” McKaig believes his innovative techniques are the secret to his success. “My ice is soft and fluffy, as opposed to crunchy. I also make all of the syrups myself.” That’s certainly no small feat, for his menu compiles over fifty different flavors. His shed’s fare includes everything from the sweet (cherry and pineapple) to the sour (Blue Raspberry Warhead) to the just plain strange (egg custard and flan). “Up in Maryland, egg custard is a favorite,” McKaig said. “Down here, a lot of people seem reluctant to try it – even I am, and I know it’s good.” Some of the more popular flavors are just as exotic, including

“monkey juice” and “tiger’s blood,” a fruity coconut concoction. However, Snoball fans seem to stick to the basics, with cherry, banana, pineapple, and coconut among their favorites. As for prices, Snoballs can’t be beat. The smallest size costs $1.25, with the largest cup of ice (“ginormous,” and it lives up to its name) only $3. For the adventurous, all sizes and flavors can be topped with marshmallow or condensed milk for only 25 extra cents. After my first taste of “Skylite,” which could be described as a “creamy cotton candy,” a Snoball fan was born, one more amongst a sea of CCHS loyalty. Snoballs is a shining (and delicious) example of the age-old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover.”


Following the leader

Leadership Projects
- Sexual Assualt Treatment Center Holiday gift drive and party. Made Easter baskets. - Souperbowl of Caring canned food drive. - Class Elections organized and supervised. - Teacher Luncheon in support of teacher appreciation week. - Flick on the Field gave students a chance to watch Night At The Roxbury during homecoming week. - Cutest Cowboy Pageant raised money for the Student Government Association. - Beach Cleanup helped to decrease pollution on Hollywood Beach.

Leadership teacher Linda Snider begins her day at the crack of dawn, waking up at 4:30 a.m. She arrives at the doors of Cooper City High two hours later, where she faces painstaking multi-tasking. As head of SGA, she oversees most matters concerning the school, as well as teaching her leadership and computer classes. In fact, she is in school for such long periods that she has her own fridge, microwave, and private office. All she is missing is a nice, cozy cot. Often times, leadership’s work in these programs goes unnoticed. In fact, there are many misconceptions about them. Many students assume that all they do is paint banners. “We don’t just paint banners,” Freshman Carolina Echeverri said. One of the most important things we do is planning all of the events around the school.” Naturally, the kids of leadership do not start out as professional event organizers. “In this class, we try to facilitate the training of officers in their duties. We teach them basic skills, like phone conversation etiquette, planning projects, and filling out project approvals,” Snider said. This particular leadership class in unlike many in the Broward County school system. “Many other schools don’t offer leadership as a class, but as an after school extracurricular activity,” Snider said. “Kids are forced to stay after school to do their work, which eliminates time for sports or a part-time job. Our

Michael Worley

Leadership student Carolina Echeverria putting together an easter basket for abused children.

system really benefits the kids.” Aside from participating in larger endeavors, the students also have their day to day clerical work. “When you first start in this class, you don’t understand things like parliamentary procedure, but you learn a lot as you go through the class,” sophomore Brock Snider said.

At the end of the day, after Mrs. Snider has finished signing her eight billionth project approval form, she finally exits the doors of Cooper City High. Suddenly, she asks herself “Did I finish writing my lesson plan for leadership class?” Then she recalls “Yes, I finished it right after I faxed that purchase order.”

As I see it

April 2008

The Lariat

Should athletes be considered role models?
Athletes can get caught with drugs or guns in their possession, they can beat their wives and even drive drunk, yet children around the country still idolize them. Society is always ready to turn the other cheek to their run-ins with the law. For this reason, athletes should set a good example for students to ensure that America’s future is not filled with crime and corruption. No matter what happens, kids will always idolize athletes. Roscoe Parrish was recently convicted of driving under the influence. Jamal Lewis was found to be the middleman in a drug trafficking deal. Yet both their jerseys remain among the most popular sellers in the NFL. Each of these convictions not only endangers the athletes themselves, but also the people around them. Children should not think of these actions to be acceptable in today’s society. Unfortunately, when such popular figures get away with breaking the law, it seems as though society tolerates negative behavior. Although there are many incidents in which athletes portray themselves in a negative light, this does not mean that younger athletes should not idolize professional ones at all. A great athletic role model is Alonzo Mourning of the Miami Heat. If all athletes were the person that Mourning is, the nation would not have to worry about athletes having a negative influence. Mourning is one of the finest humanitarians in any sport. He runs his own charitable organization and donates millions of dollars every year to help the needy while maintaining great character on and off the court. He is highly respected in the athletic community and does not need to act like a rebel to earn this honor. Other athletes share the charisma of Alonzo Mourning to better society even though they have once experienced troubles with the law. Muhammad Ali once refused to serve in Vietnam after being drafted and although the public, for not supporting the governments’ decision harshly criticized him, he was at least standing up for a principle that he strongly believed in. The decision he made to act against something he believed was wrong and unfair was very courageous and taught the youth of the nation to stand up for things that they feel strongly about. Kids should look up to these humanitarians instead of perpetual trouble makers like Michael Vick. Vick’s previous legal battles, including 23 months behind bars on account of dog fighting charges, show just how corrupt of a person he is. This is not what students should be living up to. As a professional athlete, you are constantly in the national spotlight. Being in the spotlight, you’re held to a higher standard of conduct to set a good example for others. Athletes that do not live up to these standards do not deserve to be role models. Athletes that live up to these rules or go beyond them should be the ones that are idolized. Society should not praise athletes based on how well they play or how popular they are, but instead, their morals and character.

Robert Yanks

Building more than muscle

Varsity football team player, Tommy Steele, does a decline dumbell chest press as junior Ryan Anderson spots the weight from behind. The football team weight trains everyday after school in the weight room.

In about a year from now, Cooper City High is scheduled to break ground on building a state of the art weight room. The new building will be situated between where the softball fields and the gym currently sit. Workers will begin construction on the new weight room to replace the existing one after the new cafeteria, pool house, and locker rooms are completed. Right now, it remains questionable as to whether or not the weight room will be shared by both athletes and weight lifting classes. The school is hoping to provide both athletic teams and classes with separate weight rooms, but the cost may be too high to do so. Administration must wait for the school board to approve the proposed budget before they begin the building process. “We probably won’t get the weight rooms the way we want them due

to the expense,” Anthony Valachovic, 12th grade administrator, said. Sixty percent of the new gym equipment is expected to be Hammer Strength equipment and the other 40 percent will be Life Fitness cardio equipment. The Hammer Strength machines utilize free weight plates to allow users to adjust their resistance workload. The Life Fitness cardio equipment consists of cardio and strength training machines with set weights to choose from. These percentages are consistent with the weight room that is currently used by the school. The new weight room will be three to four times as big as the current one with a couple hundred machines more than what we currently have. “The current weight room is very small considering the large population of students that we have at the high school,” Sam Schlang, senior soccer player said. The existing weight room is

inadequate due to its limited size. Certain teams can only fit either the varsity or the junior varsity in the weight room at one time. Scott Sodergren, the wrestling coach, enjoys the current weight room but doesn’t like how “only one wrestling team can fit at a time.” The location of the power lines at the back of the school is currently hindering the construction process. The school is deciding how they could remove the power lines to bring the construction efforts back up to speed. After the power line issue is resolved, the school will begin working on phase one and two of the new building. “An up to date and modern weight room will help our athletic teams compete at a higher level and hopefully make Cooper City High a power house in sports,” Tommy Steele, varsity football player, said.

Robert Yanks

Freshman junior varsity football player, Ian “Pubes” Pubillones, does 40-pound bicep curls with the aged dumbells of the existing weight room. Athletes like Pubillones benefit from the use of the weight room.


Leading the pack




You may have noticed senior Travis Burch representing our school on the gridiron, going head to head against defensive linemen twice his size, or performing hilarious skits and vignettes on CTV every Friday. However, you may have failed to realize that he is a key asset of the boys volleyball team. Travis is one of two seniors that plays on the team along with Matt Bente, but is actually the only senior who is in his fourth year competing with the team. Unlike football, basketball and baseball, the volleyball team is not separated between the upperclassmen and the underclassmen; there is no junior varsity team. Burch likes mentoring the freshmen and sophomores who play along the same side of the volleyball court as him. In fact he seems to enjoy the idea of being a sort of fatherly figure to them. “They look up to me,” Burch said. He is definitely taking the senior leader role seriously and there is no doubt that he is the clear-cut captain. Finally being in control of the team, he has the power to influence younger comrades. “Being a senior on the team is empowering as I demand respect from the underclassmen,” Burch said. When practicing with teammates, Burch leads by example

Robert Yanks

Travis Burch (second from right) displays an act of good sportsmanship by shaking hands with the opposing team following a match. The Cowboys defeated Pembroke Pines Charter School three games to none.

and makes sure his younger teammates always remain on task toward the teams goals. “Travis is an excellent leader and always keeps his teammates enthused,” Warren Denise, the boys volleyball coach said. “Coaching Travis is a pleasure as you only need to tell him something once and he’ll do it.” Even though Burch has been a member of the volleyball team since his freshmen year of high school, his volleyball roots go much deeper. His mother was a volleyball player as well, and was the one who encouraged Travis to join the team in his seventh grade year

while attending Pioneer Middle School. Upon entering high school, Burch had to find a way to incorporate volleyball with his other school activities such as football and CTV. He was forced to take some kidding from his football teammates since they considered volleyball a lesser sport. “When Travis told me that he made the volleyball team I wanted to go buy him a pair of ballet shoes and a tutu to go along with his newfound talent,” Bryan Vitale, senior varsity football player said. Thankfully, Burch was able to overcome his football teammates’ playful ribbing and he now has successful careers in

both football and volleyball. The volleyball team has contended for the district title year after year, but they have also been rich in seniors throughout these years. It is now up to Burch, the most experienced player on the team, to lead this group of young athletes through a season that will have numerous ups and downs. With the heralded character and remarkable talents that Burch has to offer, the team is in great hands. Burch has proved to be an integral part of the team throughout the duration of his high school career and hopefully his younger teammates will strive to follow in his footsteps.

No ‘love’ for the tennis team
practice. The girls go over to Pioneer Middle School where three courts are available, and the boys go to the courts at the Embassy Lakes Clubhouse. “Since I don’t have a car, I’m glad that our practices are nearby and within walking distance,” sophomore Jennifer Gutierrez said. For some of the tennis players it’s hard to see the bright side of not having courts at the school, especially when it comes to a sport that you love playing. “I understand that the tennis team is a small group of people, but there should be no reason why we don’t have home courts because it’s a huge disadvantage to play on unfamiliar territory for every match,” junior Amanda Tucker said. The girl’s team has 10 scheduled matches and the boy’s team has 12, but out of all the matches, only one of them doesn’t require a bus. “It’s a major inconvenience to arrange all of the matches because we’re dependent upon the other schools as to whether the match will be played since they’re the ones with the courts,” Chris Tully, the boy’s tennis coach said. Sometimes the teams won’t know if the match is cancelled until they arrive at the other school. Earlier in the season, the boys team traveled to Miramar only to find out that their match had been cancelled. However, out of all the disadvantages that comes from not having a home court to practice or play matches on, one of the biggest issues that both the girl’s and boy’s tennis teams face is fan support. “We would definitely benefit from having our own courts because then it wouldn’t be as hard for all of our families to come to the matches if they were closer to the school,” Jared Frieder, the captain of the boy’s team said. There have been a lot of organization and equipment issues, but both teams have been doing their best to overcome these setbacks and come out on top. “Even though there are disadvantages across the board, the better team will almost always win whether the match is home or away,” Tully said. The tennis teams wish that they had the proper facilities considering the hassles of never having a home match, but all of the players along with their coaches don’t make excuses. They go into every match with this mentality that the court doesn’t decide the game, but each member of the team agrees that home courts would make life much easier.

Photos by Robert Yanks

Above: Amanda Tucker returns a volley on the tennis courts of Pioneer Middle School. Inset: Jared Frieder serves to open a game on an Embassy Lakes Clubhouse court.


As she returned the ball to her opponent, Amanda Tucker found the barren, desert-like surface of the tennis courts to be hindering her ability to play at her highest potential. The cracks and crevices scattering the tennis court are just one of the many

disadvantages in not having a home court. For three years, the tennis team has been without home courts during the school’s renovation process began. According to Assistant Principal, Anthony Valachovic, the tennis teams won’t have their own courts for at least another full school year. “I’ve played on the tennis team throughout high school, unfortunately, I’ve only played on campus during my freshman year,” disappointed

senior Danielle Barmann said. Even though the tennis teams are at a disadvantage without home courts, the teams are thankful to have Mr. Megna who has done a fantastic job coordinating transportation. “One advantage is that the team isn’t distracted by friends or other after school activities such as track or band,” Sherry Cardona, the girl’s tennis team coach said. As a result of not having tennis courts at the school, the two teams split up when they




Sophomore Eva Paelinck (right) leans over the side of a Hobe Cat to prevent wind from flipping the vessel over while senior Sierra Manno steers the ship to safety. The two sail every weekend in their spare time.

Breaking the waves
Sierra Manno of Cooper City High. The two share a passion in competitive sailing and enjoy catching the forceful South Florida gusts in their sails while gliding through open waters. “There’s no better feeling than swerving your boat through the water while listening to the wind whistling through the sails,” Paelinck said. “It gives you a sense of freedom and happiness.” Both Paelinck and Manno are members of the Miami Yacht Club on Watson Island. The 81-year old establishment is where the two train for races, better known as regattas in the boating world, take lessons from coaches and in Manno’s case, teach youngsters how to sail. “I’ve been sailing since I was twelve years old,” Manno said. “In that time I have learned quite a bit about sailing and I enjoy passing my knowledge down to children who are also looking to compete in the sport. Plus it’s a pretty good paying job that I don’t mind doing.” Whether the job pays well or not, Paelinck highly values the character she has built through her sailing efforts. “When I first began sailing I spent more time preparing the ship to sail than I actually did sailing… it was very frustrating,” Paelinck said. “The more work and practice that I put into it, the quicker I became. It basically taught me to never give up and to use patience.” Although the two have their own sailing partners and do not normally sail together, they occasionally work with one another to maneuver a Hobie Cat, a small catamaran appealing for its size and high performance. “It’s nice to sail with a friend every once in awhile,” Manno said. “There’s always a chance to learn something new and it’s a lot more fun when you have somebody to share the experience with.” Manno doesn’t enjoy traditional sports like softball and basketball as much as she does water activities. After spending her freshman and sophomore years at American Heritage High School on an athletic scholarship with the swimming team, she gave up swimming and focused on her other hobby, sailing. The result… numerous regatta wins including the Conch Regatta, an annual race hosted by the Miami Yacht Club. Paelinck, who is more of a newcomer to the sport, is just beginning to use the more powerful vessels. She competes in numerous regattas as well and is beginning to contend for the title at each of them. The sun melts into the horizon as boats cruise to shore. Sails drop from the mast and the bodies of the catamarans are


It was another brilliant Sunday afternoon in South Florida. Rays of sunshine peaked through the scattered balls of cotton in the sky and shimmered off the calm, rippling waters of Biscayne Bay. Locals took to the beach to enjoy a relaxing barbecue or soothing lounge on the sand, but just a short distance off shore, it was a whole other story. Slicing through the once tranquil waters of the bay, you can find sophomore Eva Paelinck and senior

thoroughly cleaned. Carefully, they are stored in trailers and the day officially comes to a close. Paelinck and Manno leave the yacht club tired and sore, each anxiously awaiting the next time they will cut through the bay again.

All photos by Robert Yanks

Sophomore Eva Paelinck (left) and senior Sierra Manno prepare the sail to be hoisted onto the mast.