Category: Opinions


PRO–Zack Blickensderfer

I actually liked the first 153 pages of Three Cups of Tea. Sure, I join most of my peers in finding the other 200 pages sappy and, sorry David Relin, poorly written. But those first 12 chapters I really enjoyed. I liked the story of how this nobody, coasting through life could become a hero. His Horatio Alger-meets-Mother Teresa story made me believe in the potential of the individual. So, like many others, I was gravely disappointed when I heard that the efforts of Greg Mortenson and his Central Asia Institute (CAI) were now being called into question.
The charges made against Mortenson fall into two categories: misappropriation and lies. He has been accused of misuse of the CAI’s funds and disorganization in the construction of his schools in the Middle East. His stories in Three Cups of Tea have been accused of fabrication—especially those involving his K2-disaster-turned-humanitarian-mission and his kidnapping (except not) by the Taliban (except not).
I make no effort to cloak these accusations in any cosmetic protection for Mortenson. Some completely denounce Mortenson, like Mansur Khan Mahsud, who, after being accused of being a member of the Taliban in the book, calls it “lies from A to Z.” Others say that his work has shown no mismanagement, no lies, and no scandal. Personally, I believe the truth is in between. But the legitimacy of Mortenson’s shortcomings isn’t what I find so debatable in this issue; how we should react is the true question. What should we think of Mortenson now? It all comes back to that one thing that annoyed us students all summer: the book. Should we still read his book, despite the charges against it? I say yes, and I divide my defense of our tea-drinking crusader into three parts:
1: He could do worse. Mortenson did not break into the Watergate Hotel. He did not take steroids, and he certainly didn’t sleep with Monica Lewinski. His lies in Three Cups of Tea were immoral (and unnecessary, seeing as the book still wasn’t very good with them). But that’s all they were: embellishments, maybe thought up by Relin, for the purpose of selling more copies of the book to raise funds for CAI. As for his misuse of those funds, I am not surprised. Mortenson never got a business degree—how could he be qualified to run a multi-million dollar non-profit corporation? It’s not reasonable to expect him to be flawless. And if you want to raise a hand at Mortenson for his charity’s mismanagement, why take a look at your local United Way, whose CEO pocketed $1,037,000 last year.
2: From a literary perspective, it’s okay. We don’t stop reading Lord of the Flies because (spoiler alert) Roger kills Piggy. As we have done in years of English classes, we look past these actions to find the deeper meaning in the story. Purely from a literary standpoint, why wouldn’t we do the same with Three Cups of Tea? Do accusations from outside forces alter what Mortenson was ultimately trying to say? I don’t think so.
3: Deeper meaning, emotions, blah blah blah. What I got out of the book is this: an individual can change the world. What I loved about those first pages was that Mortenson told us how he managed to build a school. He tells us how one man rose from obscurity and changed the world. That story, which is not being accused of fabrication, is proof that one man can accomplish what he sets out to do. And that is a message worthy of being read.

CON–Austin Welch

I think that I am with most fellow Chadwick students when I say that the book Three Cups of Tea isn’t the most action-packed thriller to hit shelves. It isn’t even close, but it does give an inspiring story of one man’s attempted journey to the top of the world. That’s why when I found out that the book was fabricated I was very upset. Not because I care too much about Greg Mortenson, but because we read an entire book that was untrue. Now, let it be known that only a few things are allegedly false in the book and last year there was $11.67 billion in sales of fictional books. That still doesn’t excuse the fact that the stories were fabricated and passed off as true. The book might have been a okay fiction book but instead Greg Mortenson used it to create his Central Asian Institute (CAI).
The CAI has also been subject to much scrutiny. One of the biggest accusations is about the mismanagement of funds. Only 41% of donations make it to the schools and of that, there have been reports that money is being misused. The money is used to build the schools, but the village must maintain them by their own means. When the community can no long keep up the school, they start using it for storage. So, an American who gave $10,000 to build a school in war-torn Pakistan is really donating a very expensive storage shed. Those accusations are terrible because there are children in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other places the CAI works who do need an education.
We have it really good here at Chadwick. When we graduate we aspire to go to a great university. In the places where the CAI works the best job you can get for most people is as a terrorist. At least you know that your family will be taken care of when you die. The point I’m making is that just because Greg Mortenson lied doesn’t mean the action he was taking wasn’t necessary. Keep the stories from the book alive, even if they are made up. The children are still out there. The CAI can still save itself. 41% isn’t even close to the worst operating cost compared to some charities. After 9/11 the Red Cross only got 30% of the over $500 million those who needed it, and they didn’t have to send it half way across the world. My point is that if the CAI still functions and Greg Mortenson leaves, I see no reason why they can’t keep helping and why you shouldn’t keep supporting them. Greg Mortenson is a different matter.
Greg Mortenson is stealing money that he shouldn’t have. A shocking fact is that the books sales of Mortenson’s books don’t go to the CAI. The CAI pays everything from the privet jet to the advertising to the actual printing of the book. That is right, not the profits from the book, but the CAI pays for the printing of the book. 1.6 million dollars from the last filing period alone. A New York Times best seller is living up to its charitable reputation. Instead it goes right into his pocket for his spending discretion. That is the reason no one should ever teach this book. Teach the stories of people who are actually there and fighting to survive. Donate to those people and make their lives easier. Give them an education so they can pass it on to their children. The story of the CAI, Three Cups of Tea and Greg Mortenson is not yet done. We could find out that 60 Minutes is wrong and he really was kidnapped. We could find out that the CAI is really the CIA working to find terrorists and this is all a big government conspiracy. We don’t know yet so stay informed. The people of the world need your help and this is no excuse to ignore them.

Advertisements

by Ryan Duncan and Kyle Ulman

On February 10, singing sensation Rebecca Black released her critically acclaimed new single, “Friday.” Coming from mere obscurity, this luscious teen idol has the looks and charm of a Taylor Swift, yet the ambition and sexiness of a Miley Cyrus. This new pop sensation has hit YouTube and iTunes by storm and is on the verge of global stardom.
Born on June 21, 1997 in Anaheim Hills, she struggled as a youth. Raised in the hills by a pack of Coyotes, she learned the way of the dog. Her normal diet consisted of small mammals that she ate whole as well as grasses and other shrubbery.
But at age ten, much to her dismay, she learned that she was not in fact a coyote. At age 11, she grew so different from her Coyote brethren, that she felt distanced and alone. This is when she claimed that she discovered her musical talents. When feeling alone, she would crawl up the tallest peak in the Anaheim Hills, and howl at the moon. On one of these solemn nights, musical producer Maurice Starr was feeding gazelle when he heard a voice as beautiful as that of the Sirens of the Aegean. He immediately signed her to a record twenty year, one billion-dollar contract.
From the point of her signing, it took Rebecca a mere two years to come up with the lyrical masterpiece of “Friday,” as well as its wonderfully aesthetic music video. The song begins with Rebecca howling, which seems to be a tribute to her coyote roots. Rebecca is then pictured springing out of bed and spewing lyrics so fast she makes Busta Ryhmes look like Barry Manilow. She proceeds to the bus stop where her friends happen to offer her a ride.
With this, Rebecca is confronted with the timeless question that only Socrates and Plato would attempt to answer: which seat should she take? Usually the most common solution would be to take the only available seat in the car, but Rebecca dares to explore other options. She decides to take the back seat, and in an obvious middle finger to authority, she stands erect. And if this isn’t enough of a perturbation, an obviously unlicensed ten-year-old is pictured driving the car with one hand.
In the next scene, Rebecca is shown rolling up to a huge house party, where she continues to howl her little heart out. This leads to the heart and soul of the song where Rebecca reminds us all that when it is Friday, the day before is Thursday and the next day is Saturday with Sunday following immediately after. This line of the song is especially appreciated because it shows the contrast of “Friday’s” artistic lyrics compared to the corporate idiocracy of today’s mainstream music.
The song culminates with a featured performance by the fifty-year-old Maurice “Show Me The Money” Starr as he races in his car to make it in time for Junior High house party. Overall, we believe Rebecca Black’s “Friday” was a huge success. With its timeless lyrics and rhythmic beat, “Friday” can easily be known as the song of our generation.
Nevertheless, the Music Moguls can not wait for her upcoming album, which is dropping in 2012.

by Nicole Stanton

Seniors, we’re nearly done. The Senior Sleepover, Senior Trip, Graduation – it’s all coming at us at full speed. The word “last” has been on all of our minds the past week. Last assembly, last Chadwick performance, last day of class, last test, last free period breakfast, last carpool and so on.
Some of the “lasts” are more welcomed than others. I am sure we all are looking forward to shedding the tremendous workload that has been on our shoulders the past four years. It seems as though Chadwick has forcefully exiled any and all “Senioritis” for the last week of school. We are reminded of how hard we have had to work to get where we are, and that the work is not over until we walk through those graduation gates.
Other “lasts” are much less welcome. Especially those “lasts” that are completely unique to our Chadwick experience. Those “lasts” we will never come by again are much more difficult to let pass. Never again will we sit in the amphitheater surrounded by the entire Chadwick student body, listening to the weekly announcements, including everything from Kapple Facts to Dr. B. giving away flowers. We will have few more opportunities to just sit with our friends on the lawn.
This is the last time we will go to a school where everyone knows us by name, and where our guard is down. We will never again attend a school that contains all of the Chadwick friends we have come to know and love.
Even though those “lasts” are somewhat heartbreaking, the fact that we are leaving has not seemed to hit us quite yet. The gravital finality of the situation as of yet seems unreal.
When the Class of 2010 had their Senior Sleepover, it seemed as if we were more upset than they were. I distinctly remember our grade, in particularly me, crying miserably while our favorite 2010’s comforted us, decked in their college sweatshirts. I now realize why that happened.
As juniors, watching the seniors leave, we only could comprehend an “end” when leaving Chadwick. We understood that they were done with high school and that idea was depressing to us. Now, however, we are in their position, and the finality is closing in. Yes, we have an end very near in sight, but we also have a beginning. One chapter is closing and another is starting right away.
While the knowledge of a new beginning may not be enough to console us entirely, it at least helps a bit. The excitement of a new school and new life has held back the tears and sadness for a long while. When we see each other in our college sweatshirts it will be nearly impossible to only think of the end. Although we are going our separate ways, we still are together in a sense. Yes, our destinations lie in dozens of different cities and states, but all of them are somewhat the same.
We have spent the last four years, some even more, together. In spending this much time with a class so small, we have all witnessed each other change and grow. We have seen the good and the bad, and everything in between. It is undeniable that we are entirely different from our freshman selves. While this change is mostly individual, we are also highly affected and molded by our friends, classmates, and teachers. Not in a negative way, but in a way that allows us to find the best parts of ourselves. We all have molded each other in some way and because of this, we all move on together. Physically we will no longer be present on the small campus that has become our second home, but we take a little bit of everyone along with us, towards whatever our next step may be.
This is the first significant end most of us have had in our lives. High school is over, we’re moving away from home, and we are starting our newly independent lives. This is a big one, but we will have many more “ends,” and even more “lasts” ahead of us. We must acknowledge and accept the end of every great thing, and give it what it deserves.
We can’t waste the last bit of time we have here focusing on the sadness of leaving. Instead, we can focus on the fact that we all are moving forward to an exciting beginning. As we say goodbye to Chadwick, we can find solace in the next step we take together.

by Jared Agnew, Matty Gallas and Blake Range

We listen to music just about everyday.  We hear some good songs and some bad songs, but very few great songs. So what makes a song a classic?  This week we decided to uncover the top 10 greatest songs of all time and find out.

1. Afternoon Delight by Starland Vocal Band
If you’ve ever heard this timeless classic, then you will agree that it deserves to be on our list. Whether you prefer the vocals of Will Ferrell in Anchorman, or those of the Glee cast, this song is a must-have in any iTunes library.
2. Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees
This song owes its fame, in part to Saturday Night Fever, but also to the fact it is one of the catchiest songs out there. Literally everyone has heard this song and danced along at least once. Whether you’re 7 or 70, this song is, and forever will be, one of the greatest of all time.
3. Numa Numa by Ozone
The only way we know this song is from the Youtube video, and if you don’t know what we’re talking about just search Numa Numa. This song is a necessity on our top ten due to its ability to captivate any listener. Seriously, this song is the paragon of stuck-in-head music.
4. I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry
This song is awesome, and it’s either because Katy Perry is a great singer and songwriter, or because she’s smokin’ hot and this music video supports that claim. Our senses say the latter, but the choice is up to you.
5. Thriller by Michael Jackson
He was and still is the King of Pop. His music is played everywhere by everyone.  Thriller, without a doubt, is his most iconic song and deserves to be revered as one of the greatest.
6. Hey Ya by OutKast
Hey Ya is one of the greatest lyrical masterpieces in the last 100 years. The song has everything from cooking advice, “lend me some sugar, I am your neighbor,” to photographic suggestions “shake it like a Polaroid picture.” Such a song is fixture in our a top ten and any party playlist.
7. Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira
As many of you may already know, Shakira has fantastic hips, and similar to Katy Perry, Shakira has an incredible music video.  Her looks alone could have gotten her onto our top ten. Don’t even pretend like you disagree.
8. Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival
This famous song seems to appear in almost every Vietnam related movie. The iconic image of a sleeveless, tan and young soldier seated on the edge of a helicopter in the baking sun comes to the mind whenever this song plays.
9. My Humps by Black Eyed Peas
This famous beat reminds us of the awkward moments at a Middle School dances when everyone danced in a circle of twenty people like complete idiots—its funny to look back on now. However, Middle-Schoolers were not the only ones dancing to this song. The majority of mainstream America was shaking their HUMPS!
10. Donk by Soulja Boy Tell’em
Austen Peterson and Nicole Hutchison forced us to put this song on the list simply “because its so catchy.” Upon further review, this song did not live up to the expectations garnered from Austen and Nicole’s optimism, and should never be listened to by anyone.

by Elyse Werksman

But what’s confusing you
Is just the nature of my game
Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners’ saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
Cause I’m in need of some restraint
 -“Sympathy for the Devil,”
The Rolling Stones

The devil wore an officer’s badge and carried a gun. The story of corruption in the Manhattan Beach police department was as unexpected as it was disappointing. It started with a crash.
On Jan. 31, 2010 three Manhattan Beach police officers were involved in a car accident after drinking at Grunion’s bar in Manhattan Beach. Officers Eccles, Hatten and Thompson were off-duty at the time, and were probably drunk. They smashed the Corvette they were driving into another vehicle. They left the scene, and hid at a nearby Arco station, but not before a witness wrote down the license plate number of the car that fled the scene.
The officer who was called to the scene of the accident, Officer Goodrich, recognized the license plate of the car involved in the crash as belonging to a fellow officer. In his report on the crash, he decided not to mention the hit-and-run, which, in California, can be a felony.
A fifth officer, Officer Klatt, the watch commander at the time of the accident, did not report to the chief that there had been a hit-and-run involving his own officers, although he knew all about it.
In short, the Manhattan Beach police formed a club to protect their own. The fabled  “blue line” became a blue wall of secrecy and deceit.
If you or I were accused of a crime, we would get no such protection from the consequences of our actions. We would spend a night in jail to sober up, we’d have to appear in court to face criminal charges, and our driver’s license would be suspended for at least a year.
Instead, the officers who got drunk and smashed their car into another driver tried to avoid punishment. It took 14-months for the truth to come out, and for the police department to take action against these crooked cops. They were suspended, and are now facing termination and possible criminal prosecution.
One can only wonder how many police reports these five dirty cops fabricated during their careers, and how much other misconduct was overlooked before they were finally busted and brought to justice? In fact, we have good cause to wonder if a culture of corruption exists in the Manhattan Beach police department—were these five bad cops rogues, or was their behavior typical of a “we’re above the law” attitude that is prevalent in the Manhattan Beach police department. One can only hope that this was an isolated incident, and not par for the course.
It is especially troubling to think that those who are sworn to protect us often act as the predators. Some poor driver that night was hit by a Corvette driven by three drunken cops who fled the scene. Who does one turn to when the cops have become the crooks?
The officers now have the rights of any criminal defendant—they get due process, a right to counsel, and cannot be convicted of any crime without proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But, at the very first sign that they had done something wrong, they should have been thrown off the force. There must be a policy of zero tolerance for dishonesty by police officers who, because of their position in society, must be held to the highest standard of honorable and ethical behavior.
If a society cannot trust those sworn to protect it, then the very fabric of our society will unravel.
At Chadwick, we have an honor code because we want to ensure that every student will comport him or herself with the highest standard of ethical behavior. We trust that our classmates, students and friends will not cheat, steal from us, or break the rules of our school. The police officers who guard our safety must be held to no less of a standard.

The girl with the long blond hair greeted us at the entrance. With a body fit for a Baywatch lifeguard, she pushed away the hoards of people in the restaurant guiding us to our table.
Our little Jason Sim almost fell into a trance, but fortunately our waitress, Candy, heroically hoisted him in her arms and carried him to our table. The flair on the walls and the dynamic pulsing neon lights were a bit overwhelming, but Candy’s warm personality and tender touch made us feel right at home. After we found our seats, Ari felt affirmed of his choice. “Am I right or am I right, you guys?” He could have meant heaven, but this time he was right about Hooters.
Everything felt right in this gastronomic temple. Even Chudi felt satisfied, even though he was about to kill Ari if we didn’t make it in time for the Laker game. Luckily, we made it in time, and there were plenty of TV’s for Chudi to cheer on his favorite player, Luke Walton.
Then Jason’s mouth suddenly started to water. He said, “I need some of that sweet stuff.” Thankfully Candy came back to quench his sweet tooth and take the rest of our orders. Chudi, Ari and Larry all wanted Hooters’ self-proclaimed “nearly world famous” wings, and Ari added some lip-smacking fried dill pickle chips to his order. Ari ordered his wings “3-Mile Island” spicy, while Chudi, being a man of simple taste, ordered just “hot.”
Jason, feeling inspired by the wild atmosphere, ordered a pulled pork sandwich. Larry, on the other hand, could not project his soft-spoken voice over the load noise of the Long Beach Grand Prix racecars. His order didn’t get taken, and a sudden wave of sadness drowned him in sorrow. He hadn’t felt that sad since the unexpected death of his Mexican, regaeton-singing hen, Mini Daddy.
Fortunately, Larry placed his order once Candy brought back the drinks. Within minutes, she returned with heaping piles of food.
Ari felt somewhat nervous taking on his Adam Richman-esque challenge of eating Hooters’ spiciest chicken wings, but the grotesque sweating soon subsided after he tasted them.  Chudi, Ari and Larry each agreed that these wings oozed deliciousness; similar to how Jason’s aura oozes poor driving. The crispy golden breading provided a great textural contrast to the moist, tender chicken. The spice level on the Three-Mile Island chicken was a bit underwhelming. In fact, they carried a cloak like our favorite deceiving author, Greg Mortenson. Larry’s wings carried too much sauce for his taste.
Nevertheless, the rolls of paper towels on the table made it easy for this normally animalistic eater to stay clean. Jason liked his sandwich, but he couldn’t fully appreciate it since he was still traumatized from his near-death driving experience on the way to the restaurant. Lastly, the fried dill pickle chips were a crowd favorite. Larry wished fellow guidette Snooki was there to enjoy the dill pickle delight with him.
With our bellies full and Chudi flaring after the Lakers’ loss, we left our beautiful waitress Candy and the fellow Laker fans who shared our sorrow. Candy put Ari’s heart in a lovelock. Though he couldn’t give his heart to her, he ended up leaving a 25% tip, which made the frugal Larry furious.
We left the restaurant with mischievous James Bond music playing, which would have made our sly friend Arjun Reddy feel right at home. Ultimately, Hooters’ combination of impeccable service, lip-smacking food, and beautiful women make it an experience that is hard to beat. It truly is “delightfully tacky, yet unrefined.”
As we walked to our car, we knew we had reached the end of an era. Our time at Chadwick has come to a triumphant finish, and you, our faithful companions, have stuck with us through the good times, the bad times, and the incredibly weird times.
Our four years of high school can never be relived, yet our memories will always stay with us. The guidos could not have done it alone, and you all, our readers, provided us with the courage that kept us motivated throughout these past four years, and for that we thank you. Viva el guido!

by Hank Trumbull and Jim Simmons

Every spring, all junior bros start to worry about college. Finding the right college for any man isn’t as easy as one might think. While parties and the quality of women are top priorities on all lists, sports and the fraternity scene are important as well.
Everyone knows that we won’t be paying 50 grand a year just to study, so we would like to focus on the more important aspects of the experience. We have come to find that there are so many colleges around the nation that there is a perfect place for everyone.
After going on our college visits, we concluded that the East Coast is a tough place for a man. The harsh winters and pale women can’t supply the needs of a Californian bro. We walked on to campuses and needed to put our “East Coast Goggles” on to find attractive women. We really wish they could all be California girls.
As well, no bro can survive in an environment that looks at “68 degrees” as a great day, because that’s the temperature of our ocean. You can have as many snow days as you want, but we can buy a snow cone from the Ice Cream man and that’s wintery enough for us.         Unless you can play a sport and get into a good college, leave your fears of losing your bronze behind—go West Coast. There is truly nothing better than surfing the warm pacific waters while Harrison works on his puzzle record in the East Coast blizzards. As junior Kyle Ulman best put it, “Everybody dies, but not everybody lives,” and we therefore recommend picking West Coast schools.
However, sports are a main role in the college decision process and should be considered before picking a school. Playing a sport is a great way to meet people and have fun your freshman year, so make sure your team doesn’t go 1-7 in the NESCAC. If you have the talent, we generally recommend picking an Ivy League school. Even though we have our doubts about the East Coast, Ivy League schools have strong academics and are way more serious about winning than the other East Coast football leagues. If the East Coast doesn’t work out, football in Texas or California is always a great option.
There may not be a single factor more important than the quality of women at a college. The most influential moment in picking a college may just be how hot the tour guide was. “The boy-to-girl ratio at Georgia Tech is 3:1, but when I saw my tour guide I got butterflies in my stomach and knew there was hope,” said senior Larry Feygin.
Just like bros, good-looking women love warm weather and a laid-back environment. Finding this kind of combination in a school isn’t as easy as you might think. For this reason, Florida, Arizona and California all are states where you can’t go wrong. At  schools like USC or ASU, beautiful women flourish. They gather in packs called sororities, and the increased competition makes them easier to hang out with.
Luckily if you are also smart, if you end up at an Ivy League, don’t lose all hope on possible women. Almost all females care about their education, so women are plentiful even at the hardest of institutions. Just look at Hermione Granger; she makes studying sexy.
The Greek life at any school will affect the floor you wake up on every Sunday morning, so at any frat make sure the rugs can keep you warm. Having solid fraternities at any school makes dudes’ lives a lot easier. Not only will a frat house have a cozier feel than a dorm, but also fraternities are where you make your best friends.
College is known as a time that separates the men from the boys. Don’t make a foolish decision by putting little thought into where you will take your talents. With these culminating suggestions, hopefully you choose a school that fits you..

“You better lose yourself in the music, the moment / You own it, you’d  better never let it go,” sings Eminem in a song most of you probably know. I don’t listen to Eminem (other than right before the Cross Country State Meet), so I can’t really say for sure what he means. However, I know all about losing myself in the moment, and you might know too.
Mrs. Bradbury, Mrs. Ramos, and I are reading a book on motivation called Drive by Dan Pink.  (Go to http://www.ted.com and search his name to hear Pink give a presentation on the book.)  Research on motivation has yielded some surprising results. External incentives such as rewards and punishments can 1) kill your internal motivation, 2) weaken your performance, 3) stifle creativity, 4) inhibit moral thinking, 5) encourage dishonesty, 6) become addicting, and 7) encourage short-term thinking.
Need an example of an external incentive? Grades come to mind. When students have their minds on grades (short term) rather than on learning (long term), they can see school as a chore, learn less, focus on routines rather than higher-level thinking, think that the ends justify the means (an attitude), cheat, crave A’s at the expense of wellness, and memorize to pass the test rather than to master the material for future use. Perhaps you’ve experienced some of these negative effects of grading in your time at school.
What works better in the long run than external motivators? Internal drive! In his book, Pink uses the example of Wikipedia, whose contributors don’t get paid. Say what?! The people who write the biggest encyclopedia in the world don’t get paid? Well, why do they bother then? Do you use Firefox to browse the Web? Nearly all of its producers work on a voluntary basis. Have you seen the video for “This Too Shall Pass” by OK Go, the one with the Rube Goldberg project? Its fifteen designers shared a relatively small sum to create it, but the additional forty-five workers who helped them build it did so for free, at night, after having worked at their normal jobs all day (as reported in an interview on The Nerdist podcast). Why would someone do anything without asking for something in return?
For fun! For fulfillment! Pink highlights three conditions that lead to this internally motivated behavior: autonomy, mastery and purpose. He writes that this behavior “is self-directed. It is devoted to becoming better and better at something that matters. And it connects that quest for excellence to a larger purpose.” Wikipedia and Firefox both have contributors who choose what area they want to work in, they want to make the best product possible, and they want to make their respective domains (knowledge and the Internet) the best they can be. The builders of the Rube Goldberg for OK Go? If you’ve seen the video, you know that they built a project that runs for the exact length of the song in sync with its beat–a nearly impossible task, but a worthy one. They wanted to make a viral video (26,464,452 views!) and master an impossible challenge.
Internal motivation can lead to a mental state called “flow.”  When you experience flow, you become so engaged and focused on your task that you can see your goal clearly, what you have to do and what you can do perfectly aligns, and you lose yourself in your work so deeply that you lose your sense of time, place, and even self–you lose yourself.
Have you experienced flow? Have you ever lost yourself in a task that you found fulfilling, one in which you sacrificed more than you seemingly gained? Perhaps you have. If you’re an athlete who’s passionate about your sport, you’ve experienced flow. If you   act, you’ve experienced flow. If you have a class that you enjoy, maybe you’ve happily lost yourself in learning the material or working on a project.
I’m talking about passion, people! Yes, if you go to school, you’ll get graded, and one day you’ll need a job that pays in order for you to lead your life. But once you can find a purpose in your life that matches your passion, you won’t need a lot of external motivators like cash or grades or gratitude; you’ll be so fulfilled that the work itself will serve as your reward. I sincerely hope that one day, all of you can find flow. You’ll lose yourself in a really good way.

What can writing cure?

by John Matson, English Teacher

You wake up in the middle of a night
after a day during which you could hardly wait
to stop hearing the sound of your own voice—
talking so feeble and fake and futile
that you don’t even remember it,
much less feel any remorse for it,
or release from it.
You didn’t say anything wrong,
but you didn’t say anything right, either.
You worry about talking yourself into a deeper hole,
since, to make matters worse,
you feel like you have to talk
to someone about all your idle talk.

You then remember a way
to make all this right: you write.
You put your confession of pointless prolixity
away in the kindest of coffins,
a shut up talking book that no one
need ever hear, least of all you—
a mute memorandum, an aspiring antiquity,
most precious when it is finally buried,
once and for all; to be excavated
only in the case of a catastrophe—
a quaking of the heavens or the earth;
a sudden need to show and thus soothe
some born again blight—
that binds us to the work of unsealing it.

What can writing cure?

The wound that comes
from taking things too personally;
then the scar that grows over this wound—
the scar: the mark of lost power
to take things personally enough.
The love letter:
not the one that asks for something,
but confesses something, rather,
and no longer hopes for personal benefit,
but rather a public good
and glory which,
however satisfying to the self,
is nothing you can take to the bank.

by Nicole Stanton

Well, Seniors, we made it. After filling out countless college applications and surviving one of the most taxing academic semesters of our lives, we have finally seen the light. However, we have been waiting for second semester for what feels like forever, but now what do we do?
Similar to post-Christmas morning when you are surrounded by countless presents, as a second semester senior we are supplied with a new freedom that we aren’t quite sure how to approach.
First of all, what does being a second semester senior even mean? Well, we no longer have expectations to reach. We have goals and things to strive for, but they are on our own terms. We don’t need our GPA to be raised by a tenth to get into our dream school, and we are not expected to fill every single waking moment as a leader of this or a member of that.
Additionally, some of 2011 has noticed a lightening of the homework load. Whether it be the teacher’s knowledge of our lack of focus or maybe just luck on our part, the lessening of work is something to relish.
Finally, and most importantly, as second semester seniors we realize that all we have to do is enjoy. The stress is gone, the work is lessened, and we realize that we are left with all of the things we love about Chadwick. Free time, the people we love and the school we have come to know, are just waiting in front of us and are ready to be savored.
My first piece of advice has to do with free time. An interesting suggestion I have heard is to initiate a new TV obsession. Many have been taking part in this activity, including myself. Whether it be Friday Night Lights, Modern Family or 90210, filling your life with something non-educational and seemingly pointless feels pretty good.
All of those times you have avoided the drama of a television series for fear of distracting yourself from studying for a calculus test now can be avenged.
And to those who feel as if television is unfulfilling and accomplishes little, make your obsession into a goal. Watch an episode a day, a season a week, whatever suits your needing-to-please anxieties. So, second semester senior, make a date with the couch and a remote and fulfill your long-stifled temptation.
My second suggestion is in regards to the friends we must enjoy. While focused on ridiculous amounts of business we tend to neglect our friends. We realize how important they are, and we know how badly we want to turn on iChat, respond to their text, or go on Facebook to talk to them, but most of the time can’t find a way to justify it. The first semester  excuses of imminent tests and essays apply, but no more! We can now turn on every one of the countless modes of communication we possess and socialize to our hearts content.
Even more importantly, we will come to discover the purpose of a weekend. It actually is not made for extra homework time or to cram in a project. Weekends are for this thing called a social life. Let’s get to know this thing very well. Make friends with your friends again and go on adventures, lie around and do absolutely nothing, go out to dinner, do whatever, but just spend time with the people you’ve neglected for so long.
My final piece of advice is to enjoy the present to its fullest extent. Although this semester has just begun, we all realize the odd nature of our situation. We are in this in-between state in which our minds are filled to capacity with high school knowledge. We are anxiously waiting for college news. And, we are extremely conscious of the countless good byes which are looming right on the horizon.
Let’s commit ourselves to focusing on the good. We can save the nostalgia for a later date. All we love about high school is in our grasp, so let’s embrace it.

by Jim Simmons and Hank Trumbull

In our five years here, we have seen almost all that Chadwick has to offer between the two of us. We have spent more time hanging around ’wick on the long fall days and late winter nights than most of the student body.
In all this time we have seen people and things come and go, but the one thing we have yet to see is a meal made by the cafeteria that is manly enough for our hearty tastes. The Chadwick cafeteria provides a light snack for the average freshman girl, but we hungry men are looking for a sandwich that has the big meat.
Here is the problem: as growing teenage boys, we look for a meal that will taste good, fill us up and is cheap. The cafeteria often fulfills a few of these requirements, but we have yet to see a meal that can meet all of our needs.
Sometimes, the cafeteria will provide a hearty meal of beef with a side of a surprise meat sauce, but we must refuse the entree in fear of spending our football practices throwing up in the bushes. Even though this meal is definitely large enough to fill us up, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t stay down.
On the other hand, the buffalo wings are always tasty, but we aren’t trying to pay $3 for something that couldn’t keep us full for more than an hour. We don’t want to pay a dollar a buffalo wing at school, when we can get a feast of buffalo wings delivered by Dominos for half the price. Worst of all, the Arizona Ice Tea says 99 cents on the bottle, but the cafeteria manages to sell it for $1.75. We were tired of these unfair deals and decided to take matters into our own hands.
Being the intelligent men we are, we decided to do a little research on our topic. We started with the question, how much does a quality meal that fills us up cost in the real world?
We visited our three favorite places to fill up where we go when we have the muchies: Taco Bell, Sandos and AM-PM. We loaded up on Crunch Wrap Supremes, THCs (turkey, ham and cheese sanwiches) and ICEEs until we couldn’t take any more.
We made sure to get as much food as desired, and after our fast food fiesta we totaled the prices to get an average amount paid for an excellent meal. After all that food, it only totaled up to be an inexpensive $6 dollar cost for a high-content meal. “Why can’t it be like this at Chadwick?” Dr. Ba (junior Jared Agnew) asked.
At ’wick the average break snack consists of a bagel, a Snapple, at least three buffalo wings, two bananas (one to eat, one for birdman) and a bag of chips. This all totals up to be around $8, and it only fills us up till lunch time. We finally understood  that the added convenience of the cafeteria was truly not worth the extra money.
Now, we decided, it was time to work towards a solution to our culinary problems. The obvious plan was to skip the cafeteria and go out to lunch every day, but being juniors, we could only do this a limited number of times before getting caught and forced back onto campus.
We needed a constant source of superb food as bad as Nala needed a manlier nickname. After pondering our problem for many hours on end, the solution hit us with a bang. Why pay all this money for food, when the absolute best food source available was right in front of us?
The answer was simple: home- made lunches from our mothers. We had forgotten about the beautiful, filling sandwiches our mothers had made back in the days of elementary school. Rather than complaining about the cafeteria food, we could just enjoy the food we had been eating since Day 1. Yet again, our mothers had solved all of our problems and now we are happy once again.

by Ari Kassardjian and Larry Feygin

As we reached our last milestone as Chadwick students by becoming second semester seniors, we finally could embrace the guido lifestyle to the fullest without the hassles of college applications, constant pressure from teachers and parents and jam-packed weekends full of homework. Thus, we finished our last midterm with perfection and sped north towards the cornerstone of every Chadwick student’s experience, Mammoth Mountain.
Our expectations increased exponentially during the prior weeks, yet as the moment came when we were pushed into the role of second semester seniors, the positive expectations became a looming cloud of stress because of the big shoes we need to fill. However, as you know, the guidos never disappoint.
After a fun day frolicking in the snow or barreling down a mountainside with your closest friends, nothing remains more satisfactory as the simplicity of a pita sandwich from Pita Pit.
So, as the extremely long second day of Mammoth winded down to a close, we decided to take a 1 am trip to Pita Pit joined by seniors Michael Kogan, Luigi Cervantes, Justin Hsu, Sean Ouye, Cotter Phinney, Harrison Kidd, Brian Shaw, Ben Krauss, Ryan Hood, Kevin Wang, James Calhoun, Saagar Shah, Jonathan “Jlew” Lewis, Chudi Iregbulem and Omar Qazi. With delirious and unrested minds, we trekked through the oncoming snowstorm after a night of debauchery. Our legs sank ankle deep into the white snow, highly reminiscent of the hobbits’ winding journey to Mordor in Lord of the Rings.
Once we arrived at Pita Pit, Chudi immediately lurched at the glass door and caressed its naked frame, relieved after the long journey we took. The literal and figurative warmth of the comfortable interior provided a sacred space for the gluttonous guidos to partake in our late-night gastronomic indulgence.
Ari ordered his usual chicken caesar pita with lettuce, tomatoes, hummus, olives, sautéed mushrooms, sprouts and banana peppers. Larry occupied his flatbread abode with grilled lamb, tzatziki sauce, grilled onions, cucumbers and banana peppers. The cooks could see our intense hunger through our eyes, so they quickly started concocting our pitas.
Fortunately, the rambunctious atmosphere in the restaurant provided some entertainment while we waited. Larry was so entranced at the way the good looking girl prepared his pita that he immediately dropped his sandwich on the floor, which he proceeded to clean up with the towels from the bathroom.
Jlew ordered an excessive amount of bean sprouts that were bunching out of his sandwich, but he was able to gingerly consume them one by one before complaining of extreme exhaustion, and he eventually had to retire early.
As we searched for a table, four young ruffians were sprawled across multiple tables that we needed to sit on, and they squeaked in their Middle School voices, “Sorry, these tables are full.” Now, as second semester seniors, this type of comment should never pass without a mature reaction that reflects our superiority. Consequently, as the mature seventeen- and eighteen-year-olds that we are, we proceeded to flip the young men out of their chairs while jabbing them in the ribs and screaming obscenities as their surmounting fear compelled them to leave immediately.
After the chaos died down, we all sat down and slowly enjoyed our pitas, but Harrison finished three pitas before anybody else finished one: a record of Mammoth proportions.
Cartoon pitas and vegetables decorated the cozy interior walls, reminding Luigi of his  carefree childhood days of watching Veggie Tales, which added to our “good vibrations” along with the surrounding sound of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s amazing one-hit-wonder playing loudly on the overhead radio.
With our bellies full, we reminisced on the past generations of Chadwick seniors sitting in the very same seats we were in; they were big shoes to fill. Only four more months remained until graduation, and then another slew of kids would take our place as our imprint on Chadwick eventually recedes. But, what do not recede are our everlasting memories.
Our hearts sank with the thought of never returning to Pita Pit, or Mammoth, again, but our minds focused on the bright  golden future awaiting us. Thus, we walked back to our room 3329 with our heads held high and proud with the notion of squeezing the life out of our remaining months. And, as mentioned earlier, the guidos never disappoint.

Value: 7.5/10

Ambiance: 8.3/10

Food: 6.6/10

Facilities: 1/3

by Kyle Ulman and Ryan Duncan

In May of 2010, local Hermosa Beach band Sand Section, released their first major album Truth Over Harmony. Sand Section’s sound is a mixture of South Bay punk and reggae. Their style could be compared to the legendary Long Beach band Sublime, though listeners have had difficulty classifying them in a specific genre.
The band consists of lead guitarist and vocalist Jeff Nisen, bass guitarist and vocalist Tony Gonella and percussionist Sam Mandelbaum. The band members initially began playing together in middle school, yet Sand Section was not officially formed until 2008.
Once formed, the band spent a lot of time commuting between shows at UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz, the alma maters of both Nisen and Gonella. After graduating in 2009, the band decided to focus their careers towards music.
Recently, Sand Section has been on tour, throughout Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and other Los Angeles areas.
The album Truth Over Harmony includes twelve tracks, with the song “Doubled Over” being the most popular. The album is a warm, summery reflection of the easy-going lifestyles in the South Bay. What makes Sand Section different from the other similar bands are their upbeat rhythms and melodious vocals.
Sand Section is further separated from previous rock-reggae bands by abstaining from the playing the overused guitar upstroke. Sand Section transforms the stereotypical “Surfer Band” into an original art form.
Their most well known song to date, “Doubled Over,” is an excellent example of Sand Section’s lyrical storytelling ability coupled with Nisen’s harmonious vocals. The song begins with the characteristics of a soft acoustic introduction, yet the melody quickly builds intensity and momentum as the song progresses. The intensity reaches its highest during the chorus, producing a toe-tapping rhythmic motif. Even more impressive is the breakdown after the chorus, showing the band’s versatility and adeptness at using contrasting tempos within a single song.
The second most well-known song, “Undertow,” is a song about a long-distance relationship and the love for a girl. Unlike the slow buildup of “Doubled Over,” Undertow begins the song immediately in an upbeat fashion. This clever use of an early peak in rhythm instantly hooks you into the song and utterly embodies the excitement of love. The allegro pace continues until the chorus in which the tempo slows. The chorus allows  Nisen to truly demonstrate his versatile vocal ability. “Undertow” finishes with a striking combination of the fast-paced introduction motifs and the melodic vocals of the chorus.
Through an online survey, it was indicated that only 30% of Chadwick students have even heard of the band. With the release of Truth Over Harmony, the band will hopefully gain more widespread fame, a significantly larger fan base  and the popularity that it definitely deserves. Sand Section is the ultimate example of a diamond in the rough.

by Blake Range, Matty Gallas, Jared Agnew

2011 has started off with a bang.  To commemorate the past year, and kick off the new one, we have compiled a list of the top ten most noteworthy relationships of 2010.

1. George Cullen, Georgia and Football
George Cullen is originally from the state of Georgia. However, this past year, George’s move to California has put a strain on this triangle of love. His affair with the state runs deep, and he misses Georgia dearly.  Thankfully, he still has football, and, as George put it, “I would die without football!”
2. Dylan Barbour and His Ego
When asked about his ego, Dylan was at a loss for words.  But, after an explanation of what an “ego”is, Barbour said, “Yeah, I’m tight, get off me.”
3. Girls Water Polo and Will Didinger
Over the past the past two years, the Girls  Water Polo team has grown more than just fond of Coach Will Didinger. Their relationship has blossomed into what some might call obsession. Dana and Kari Ayoob, captains on the team, explained, “WE LOVE WILL.” When asked about the girls, Didinger said, “What can I say? Who doesn’t love me?” Whatever is going on beneath the surface seems to be helping the team: the girls are undefeated in league.
4. Jim Simmons and Drama
Jim is by far the biggest drama queen on campus. We do not have enough space to talk about them all.  But, when confronted, Simmons said, “I LOVE DRAMA!”
5. Chudi and Sky N9ne
With his one claim to fame being Sky N9ne, Chudi has successfully emerged as the school’s most high-profile blogger. Nicole Hutchison told us, “Every day on Facebook I see a new Sky N9ne update, and Chudi likes it.” With all his constant “likes” and posts, even Facebook is getting annoyed.
6. The Eighth Grade and Snitches
Many have lived and abided by the rule: “snitches get stitches.” However, this is not so with the Class of 2015. Many of the boys in that grade have been extremely nervous about their futures and refrained from giving a quote for fear of being told on.
7. Kevin and Orisue
The very idea of Orisue follows Kevin Wang wherever he goes.  With the emblem on Facebook and on his clothes, it is easy to see the connection between the two.  But what is Orisue? Frankly, we have no idea. However, upon further research we discovered that Orisue is a clothing company based out of our very own Southern California and specializes in “unique” clothing. So next time you see Kevin Wang around school, make sure you smile and compliment him on his quest to become more unique.
8. Brian Shaw and Lyrics
In case you haven’t noticed, all of Brian Shaw’s attempts to serenade his formal dates in the past have never been successfully completed.  When asked about these lapses, B-Shaw confidently declared, “It’s not about the lyrics, only the message.”  Ok Brian, keep up the good work.
9. Nicole Stanton and Tears
Nicole isn’t sad about anything. She simply finds herself in situations where she lacks words to describe her feelings. So if you are confused by a sighting of Nicole in tears, don’t worry; things are just getting a little overwhelming. We would include a quote about this relationship, but Nicole became too emotional and incomprehensible to answer our questions.
10. The Actual Couples
Here’s a shout out to all the real, long-term couples. You know who you are!

PRO

by Nicole Compton

With the increasing amount of gun violence in this country, it is difficult for me not to be a supporter of government gun control.  A statistic was released stating that every day 80 American die from firearms.  Roughly 16,272 murders were committed in the United States during 2008, and about 67% of these were committed with firearms.  The Second Amendment does not need to be repealed, but the right to bears arms needs to be re-evaluated to match the realities of modern society.  Some would argue that measures to control the use of guns are already in place, but I am advocating additional regulations that would make it more difficult for people to obtain guns. The first critique against gun control would be the presence of the Second Amendment; however, I would like to point out that the Second Amendment was created in a very different time and for reasons that no longer pertain to present-day society.  The Founding Fathers created the Second Amendment when most of the country was unpopulated.  Many people only had a gun to protect themselves. Hunting was also more popular, not only for entertainment but also as a source of food.  Now, with a decreased need for hunting, it should be more difficult for one to possess guns today.  I also do not understand why some feel they need to possess a gun for their own protection.  The fact that they feel the need for a gun proves my point that guns should be regulated more closely.  If people weren’t afraid of others with guns, there would be not need for guns as a source of self-protection.  I especially do not see the rationale behind semi-automatic weapons being necessary in American homes.  Handguns or rifles are one thing, but the abundance of more powerful weapons has become absurd, causing gun advocates to lose what credibility they had.  I am not criticizing the Second Amendment, but rather stating that different times call for different measures.
States have the power to determine specific regulations on which guns are prohibited and where “open carry” is permitted.  Although most states have guidelines for those who possess guns and perform background checks before issuing permits, gun violence has not decreased.   The Second Amendment does not need to be repealed, but rather gun control should be taken to the federal level, not the state, in order for it to have any real impact. 
The best evidence to persuade those who do not favor gun control would be to highlight the recent horrific events in this country because of guns. These recent events should make every citizen at least start to consider tougher gun control laws.  Criminals or the mentally unstable will find a way to obtain a weapon as long as there are ways for others to do so.  The Arizona shooting, the recent incident of two children being killed by their mother in Florida and the increasing number of teen suicides and armed robberies all display concrete evidence as to the danger of faulty gun regulation. Jared Loughner, the Arizona shooter, would not have been able to kill the people he did a month ago if it had been more difficult for him to buy a gun.  The mother in Florida would not have been able to kill their children out of rage, it a background check had been done to identify her emotional instability,  The number of guns possessed by citizens needs to decrease to reduce unnecessary violence.  A man’s right to hunt and “protect himself” needs to be reconsidered to help save the lives that are being ended by gun violence every day.

CON

by Natalie Tecimer

Thirty-four percent of United States households have a gun. About one hundred million people in the country have a gun in their homes. Yet, the war against guns continues.
Yes, a gun can be bought to kill. However, there is a bigger reason why guns are important. Here is an interesting statistic to consider: sixty percent of felons polled agreed that criminals will not “mess around” with victims that are armed with guns. A gun’s purpose is also to provide self defense; the threat of its presence may even be enough to ward off aggressors.
Guns are often used by mentally unstable people who choose to commit homicide or suicide most likely because they offer a quick and easy death. If guns are removed from the home, the homicide and suicide rates will not decline; people will just find other weapons.
The National Rifle Association has gun-safety programs, such as the Eddie Eagle Gun Safe Program, in which kids are taught what to do if they find a gun. In the Eddie Eagle program, four easy steps are presented by the child friendly Eddie Eagle. The steps are as follows: stop, don’t touch, leave the area, and tell an adult. Guns are necessary for self defense, will not change homicide and suicide risks, and have a very low percent of fatal accidents.
Gun control is a violation of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. This amendment to the states that people have the right to keep and bear arms, yet basic rights of U.S. citizens are being taken away through gun control. William Caffrey, a speaker on the gun debate, claims that most people who “advocate gun control also advocate intrusive laws.” Supporters of gun control have proposed searches in houses as well as extensive background checks. This is an invasion of privacy, and it goes against the Fourth Amendment of the constitution, the right to have  protection against unreasonable search or arrest. Forbidding people the right to bear arms goes would lead to a further reduction of the individual rights of U.S. citizens.
In crisis situations, civilians need guns to stop crimes and to ensure that the criminals are not the only ones armed. When civilians are armed, they are able to thwart a criminal’s attempt at firing a shot and possibly murdering an innocent person.  This scene also portrays a major reason of why people buy guns: for self-defense. In January of 2002, a Virginian Law Student killed three, but was stopped from killing more by two students who retrieved guns from their cars. The law-abiding students remained unarmed long enough for three people to be killed.  Because it is illegal in most states including Virginia to carry a concealed weapon, the students had to keep their guns away from the school as required by law, and  if they had been carrying weapons on the scene, perhaps there would have not been any fatalities. In the case of the homicide at Virginia Tech, a gunman shot and killed thirty-three because “there were not enough people carrying guns to neutralize the gunman once he began his rampage,” as stated by a member of the Future of Freedom Foundation. The only man walking around with a concealed weapon was the gunman, who had even obtained a permit for his gun.
It would simply be impossible to get rid of guns completely, and that action would also risk security. The common man has the right to keep and to bear arms. He has this right for the safety of himself and others.

Words from the Wise: Dr. Alana Wallace

EDUCATION GIVES INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITIES

When asked to write this article, I had an immediate inspiration perhaps best summarized by a quote from a 101-year-old lady named Claire Holm, who said, “A sage knows there is both the wisdom of the universe and a wisdom of man and finds a balance between the two.”
I was privileged and lucky to have attended college not only during one of the most socially progressive periods in recent times, but also scientifically inspiring. We landed a man on the moon, the atomic age was born, and computers first appeared on college campuses.
It was also during this heyday of such explosive scientific advances that C.P. Snow delivered to the British House of Commons his influential and much debated treatise on “Two Cultures.” During this lecture he focused on the burgeoning and dangerous divide that he perceived arising between scientists and literary intellectuals, and the very troubling consequences that such a schism presented.  Half a century has passed since “Two Cultures” was first debated, and the gulf between scientific understanding and scientific illiteracy has only widened.
Today, one only has to listen to the nightly news and current politicians to hear the resurgence of this reoccurring rebellion against science, against objective knowledge.
This brings me to the need to stress the value of your science education at Chadwick.  Do not succumb to anti-intellectual dialogue which praises minimal academic achievement as a valuable asset or a badge of honor to be worn proudly; be wary of those who are hostile and distrustful of scientific evidence even if they happen to speak with arrogantly loud voices as perhaps they are just arrogantly ignorant.  Rather, fear of science is generally based on the inability of the protagonists to understand the wisdom of evidence based on honest observation.
As scientific knowledge continues to expand, this gulf between “understanders” and “non-understanders” will only continue to grow at an exacerbated rate. It is therefore crucial that each of you, as educated young adults, continue to embrace your responsibility to remain informed citizens.
This does not mean that every Chadwick student will attain a level of expertise in all areas of science, but rather you should understand enough science so that you are able to engage in intelligent  and informed discussions on ethical questions, technology, and scientific concepts.
Listen to qualified scientists who attempt to translate complex scientific information into political decisions.  Likewise, be wary of those who masquerade scientific claims as legitimate when such claims have not undergone careful scrutiny, or claims that have been deliberately contrived for either personal or commercial reasons.
Our nation and its citizens must learn to do a better job at marshaling its scientific resources into sound scientific policy.
Superficial science does little for the advancement of knowledge, progress of technology, or transcendence of political boundaries.  And therefore, while scientific knowledge may not be essential for an individual’s personal economic success, it is an essential ingredient in the success of a modern democratic society.  Countries and people that live within the walls of scientific illiteracy soon find themselves separated from an advancing world.
Therefore, I hope that as future Chadwick graduates,  each of you will use your education as an engine to promote ideas based on fact and reason and not unsubstantiated rhetoric.
Your education has given you the opportunity to be both articulate and sensible in your approach to problem solving.  Embrace debate with tolerance, vigor, truth, and intellectual strength of thought.  Do not let ignorance trump knowledge, mediocrity trump excellence, or rhetoric trump truth.

PRO: Natalie Tecimer, Senior

A big, green lawn is full of potential. Birds can nest in its trees, plant life can grow abundantly, and microorganisms beneath the soil can assist in the natural carbonic processes of life.
Chadwick’s Main Lawn has many other important attributes as well. It is a bonding place for students. Senior Paulyne Lee says, “In terms of the campus structure of Chadwick, the Main Lawn is a significant part” and is a place of “many of Chadwick’s traditions.” Starting as early as the Village School Halloween parade, even the youngest of Chadwick’s students get to experience a quintessential aspect of Chadwick culture. The Main Lawn is the place where all of Chadwick truly becomes a community.
What would happen if we took away the Main Lawn?
Math teacher Bill Park explains what he feels would be the major differences. “For most people, an expansive green lawn with trees interspersed is a visual delight.”
When one sits in this splendor, one becomes tranquil and relaxed. Contrast that with schools that have brick, mortar, and concrete only. There’s no place where one can easily become relaxed. Throw in the benefits of Vitamin D from the sunshine, fresh air, and companionship, and you’ve got the makings of a very therapeutic experience.
I cannot even imagine what Chadwick would be like with concrete instead of grass. Not only would the school lose its visual appeal, but also students would be so much more stressed. A gray “lawn” would take away the cheery and happy atmosphere that is currently at Chadwick.
If I were given the choice to sit on the grass or to sit on a bench in a concrete area, I would choose the grass every time. I would choose the grass even in the rain because being surrounded by life makes me feel better about everything. Concrete is dead. Grass is alive. Concrete, or even fake grass does not invite warm and friendly feelings that students feel on the Main Lawn.
Freshman Andres Valencia says, “I get to spend time and enjoy the companionship of my friends while enjoying nature.”
The Main Lawn is also a melting pot of grade levels. Other than during my activities, I would have no opportunities to go talk to my friends in younger grades if I didn’t have a comfortable place to do so. On the Main Lawn, age and gender barriers are broken, and every Chadwick student is on the same level. Circles of friends can be found on any given day eating lunch and doing homework. Clusters of people often sit under the shade of the beautiful trees on a hot and sunny day or even sunbathe on a cooler one. On rainy days, I know that I gaze longingly at the lawn and wish that it weren’t too muddy to sit down and relax.
There is something to be said for getting in touch with nature. The earliest human beings relied on their environment for everything, but do we? When was the last time any of us took a benefit from our surroundings and then gave back to it? With Chadwick’s Main Lawn, we can do these things. I will acknowledge that from a sustainability standpoint, the Main Lawn is costly and uses a lot of resources. However, the Main Lawn allows students to appreciate the simple beauty of nature. It teaches us not to litter because why would we want to ruin something so perfect? It teaches us to step out of a world of constant technology and stress.
Most importantly, the Main Lawn teaches us to look inside ourselves, and it gives us a unique and rare opportunity to do so.

 

CON: Martin Byhower, 7th Grade Science Teacher

Humans probably have an innate affinity for lawns. Human physical and societal evolution might have been spurred, at least in part, by the existence of extensive grasslands in much of the world between and during past ice ages.
From the Middle Ages through Elizabethan times, particularly in England, having a lawn in one’s yard was a status symbol.  Nowadays, most Americans keep lawns out of habit and tradition.
Unfortunately, due to changing rainfall patterns, deteriorating water supply systems, competition for water sent over vast distances, disappearing groundwater supplies, and an ever-thirstier population, we are about to experience an unprecedented water crisis in Southern California. In many arid or highly populated areas of the state and country, it is actually now illegal to even have a lawn (or at least to use the amount of water required to maintain a lawn). In just a few years, we may be told to get rid of our lawn, whether we like it or not!
From an ecological and economic standpoint, lawns are a disaster; they are the antithesis of sustainability. Most lawns are water-hungry monocultures, composed of a single, non-native grass species. They greatly reduce biodiversity, especially when the lawn covers a large area. Lawn grasses typically require extensive maintenance, not to mention the addition of fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. The energy cost due to the petroleum that is burned in order to pump water to So CA (and to make it drinkable) is huge, as is the ecological impact to the areas from which we take our water.
We have site-specific “lawn challenges” as well. The clay soil that underlies our lawn is impermeable, meaning the lawn requires constant aeration, irrigation, and reseeding. Instead of sinking into the groundwater table, rain floods the lawns into a muddy mess. Constant foot traffic overwhelms our Main Lawn, so that much of the time we can’t use it anyway, navigating our way around it while we wait for portions of it to recover. I wonder how much money we could save and how much important work the school’s limited and overworked Maintenance Staff could accomplish without the hours and resources spent on trying to keep the Main Lawn emerald green, let alone alive?
What to do? First, let’s figure out how we use the lawn, and if there are alternatives. If we need a pretty, sunny place to sit and converse, let’s do what truly sustainable campuses are doing–coordinating groups of handy and creative students to use locally available materials (cut trees, stone, clay, and even mud) and/or recycled plastic and lumber to construct a large number of benches and seating areas that are naturally integrated into the surroundings. Native plants and trees can still provide structure and shade, while beautiful native bunchgrasses and shrubs can accent areas containing local rock, woodchips generated by trimming our trees and shrubs, and other permeable surfaces. Excess water can drain into natural-looking channels and then be captured and stored for later use.
We should keep our athletic fields, of course; the water we save by getting rid of the Main Lawn can help irrigate them!  But the Main Lawn should go. Sometimes to be truly green you need to remove some green. Think about the message we send when we demonstrate that we are willing to take some chances and make some sacrifices in order to come up with new, sustainable ways of living—ways that we might even come to appreciate as much as we currently appreciate our lawn! As an educational institution and as members of both a local and global community, we have an obligation to do no less.

How to encapsulate four years onto a page

By Nicole Stanton

So, seniors—another task for your “to-do” list. You can put this one up there with college supplements, SAT practice tests, interviews, countless essays, schoolwork, college counseling meetings, sports practices, and of course attempting to have a social life. The task: creating a senior page.

The assignment itself seems pretty simple. Put some pictures of you and your friends on a page, and Google a quote if you’d like. But if you’re like most Chadwick students, you tend to overthink things. In reality, we are actually being asked to encapsulate four years of high school memories onto one page. Herein lies the challenge.

Imagine opening your yearbook in twenty years. You’ll have one page that entirely represents your high school self. You will show your children, and in their minds, that page will let them see who you were so many years ago. Then, consider your classmates. We have spent four years together and have shaped each others’ lives whether or not we care to notice. That impact is entirely permanent even if you never again see the girl who sat next to you in math class. Your only window to take you back to this time, right now, and the people who define your high school experience, is the yearbook. Memories serve us well, but we won’t always remember who was on our volleyball team or what our history teacher’s name was. We realize the importance of the yearbook for ourselves, but we must also realize that it’s the same for every other member of our class. The girl who sat next to you in math class will remember you based on that page in the yearbook. So, the question is, how do you want to be remembered?

Our concerns over our senior page right now will be considered trivial in a matter of time, but in the present they are fairly monumental. Despite what we try to convince ourselves, being hurt by exclusion isn’t something that only happened in middle school. It might have hurt a little more then, because our self-esteem was beyond fragile, but even as seniors in high school you still get that wave of sadness when you don’t get invited to a party or when you’re sitting alone on the lawn and everyone is out to lunch without you. Those invitations are just temporary. The party will pass, and everyone will get back from lunch in an hour. Being excluded from a senior page, however, is permanent. And as much as you don’t want to be the excluded, it is even worse to be the excluder. This task is nothing but daunting. How are we expected to include everyone who is important to us? Most of us would need the entire yearbook to give credit to all those who deserve it.

Then consider your personality. As teenagers we are entirely complex beings. Our personalities are nothing but planar, and each one of us represents a multi-dimensional persona. Just one person could be an athlete, an actor, a math genius, and Harry Potter obsessed. Now, do you choose which part of you is most important? How does this work? Is it okay to make the page funny? Should you want to be remembered as the comical one? But, what about the times when you’re entirely serious? That’s a part of you—shouldn’t it be represented? You want your children to realize that you weren’t the girl who just “let the good times roll.” You want your classmates to remember more than your name and what your face looked like. But how?

So, you now face the challenge of fitting your personality, your friends, your favorite memories, your family, and the quote that changed your life onto one page. Here’s the answer: step outside of your over-think-everything Chadwick personalities and be yourself. For something like this, we need to realize that it’s impossible to achieve “enough.” No matter how finely crafted, there will always be one friend you left out or a better quote you could have included. Frankly, as seniors in high school we don’t even have the time to attempt “enough.” The deadline is fast approaching, and few of us have even started encapsulating ourselves onto a page. Let’s put things into perspective. Yes, the page is incredibly significant and we realize that. But in reality, this page is not what we’re leaving behind. It’s not so essential that the girl who sat next to you in math class remembers every aspect of your being. What’s more impactful is the legacy you have left behind. It’s the clubs you started, the changes you made, and the people whose lives you helped shape that will be your memorial. This page is just a piece of that.

By Ari Kassardjian and Larry Feygin

Stumped with deciding on our next guido-filled culinary destination, we took to the streets and asked some of our best buds for their recommendations.

When we asked Ryan “Nala” Duncan for a suggestion, he repeated over and over again “Sandos,” which he described as “a hole in the wall, having only three seats, and with Connect-Four.” Larry originally had other plans in mind, but Nala’s great rhetorical skill convinced both Ari and Larry to take the risk and head to Sandos.

With Ari, Larry and Luigi piling into the Mini Cooper, we set off once again to Manhattan Beach. Larry wore a neon orange shirt and could barely fit into the Mini with the massive girth of his body and length of his legs. After this threesome finally reached Manhattan Beach, Nala and Hammerin’ Hank Trumbull joined us to turn this threesome into a big party.

We luckily found parking right outside Sandos on the corner of Highland and Rosecrans. The outside of the restaurant was Rastafarian colored, reflecting Sandos’ relaxed atmosphere.

Hank, wearing his bro-tank and swim trunks, threw open the door and exclaimed, “Ahoy, broskis!” to which the attractive lady behind the counter replied, “Hey, Hank, your THC will be right up.” Turns out, however, that Hank was not ordering marijuana, but a turkey, ham, and Cubano sandwich. The fact that it happened to be a sandwich salvaged Hank, especially after “Randy Speaks” gave his marijuana talk earlier in the week.

Not being regulars, Larry, Ari, Luigi and Will went with their gut instincts on their food choices. The menu only listed the day’s specials and Sando’s all-time great concoctions, which made it easier on the four to choose what to eat. Among the other things we heard about Sando’s was the fact that the THC and the OBS (Original Breakfast Sandwich) were must-gets. Ari followed Hank with the THC while Will and Nala got the OBS. Larry got the “Tig-ol-Bitty,” Sando’s’ play on the classic Philly cheese steak, while Luigi got himself the Eastwood Burger. He said he got it because “Clint Eastwood was AMAZING in Million Dollar Baby. I was hoping that the burger would give me the same pizzazz that Eastwood gave Hillary Swank in the movie.”

One of the best parts about all of our sandwiches was the bread. The crusty crucible provided a nice contrast in texture to the melted cheese and tender meat inside. The Guidos have often found that bad bread can turn a good sandwich into a soggy mess.

The THC got Hank and Ari high in all the right ways. Ari said, “Forget Prop 19. I’m proposing a bill that makes all convenience stores sell the THC.” The turkey, ham and cheese were all pronounced in flavor, making the ensemble into a memorable sandwich.

Larry’s Tig-ol-Bitty was made with freshly shredded beef, smoky bacon, and provolone cheese. The sandwich was studded with French fries throughout, giving Larry a pleasant textural and sensual surprise. He said, “I rank it much higher than Big Mike’s cheese steaks. The cheese steaks there last year were good, but the beef in the ones here is of much higher quality.” Because Larry has never been a finisher, some of his sandwich remained untouched. Nala and Will got the OBS to watch their spectacular figures since breakfast sandwiches are half the size of regular ones, but the bacon, sausage, eggs, fries and cheese more than made up for the lost calories. Luigi liked his Eastwood burger, but described it as “grintristing,” since he was somewhat unfamiliar with Western style burgers.

Overall, each and every sandwich was a winner. The fact that we could all sit on a counter looking over downtown Manhattan Beach and the ocean made it all the better. Best of all, the Eastwood burger gave Luigi enough courage to find his long lost brother Mario, who happened be a Filipino guy in a karaoke bar down the street dressed in a Mario costume.

What the Guidos loved most about Sandos was the modesty that it showed in its greatness. They have a high rating on Yelp, made the cover of Los Angeles magazine, and were mentioned in the Los Angeles Times, yet only one of these honors is hung up in the restaurant. In addition, we found out that they only use local products from their website, in contrast to gourmet sandwich shops that take every chance they get to advertise their focus on local products. In the end, we thought Sandos truly did redefine the sandwich. As goes their motto: “Sandwiches aren’t sandwiches anymore, they’re Sandos.”

Democracy by Austin Welch

Democracy is alive in America—and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Our forefathers established this country as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Over 200 years later, that dream still lives on. Many successful political movements have been started by normal, working class citizens fighting for their best interests. We have one vote for every man or woman regardless of race or religion. Being rich doesn’t give you any more say than a person living on the streets. We live in a democracy where it is not only your right, but also your responsibility, to run for office, and we see that everyday.

If you go by the definitions, it is obvious that the free and equal right of every person to participate in a system of government is still alive and well. However, one may say even though anyone can run and vote, it makes no difference because the ads bought with rich people’s money will sway others’ votes. Make no mistake, it takes money to run an election and get your message out, but with a persuasive enough platform, you can raise money in small increments. Plus, if you can sway people enough with large enough microphones, anything is possible.

One of the most resent examples is the “Rent is 2 Damn High Party” led by Jimmy McMillan. He had nothing more than an idea, a catchy name, and a microphone to spread his message. Even though he didn’t win, he brought up a debate. Has the cost of housing become too much of a burden on those who are poor? His website has had over 21.5 million hits. He is giving a voice to many people who would otherwise have been silent. He is the perfect example of how an interesting idea with some theatrics can change the way we think.

The recent prop 19 battle to legalize marijuana was fought not with money, but with arguments on different platforms of the media. On TV, many major cable news shows such as CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC brought “experts” to debate. This battle was fought with less than $100,000 for the NO on Prop 19 campaign, and less than $1.6 million dollars on the YES side. For a statewide battle, this is nothing, and it still sparked debate. Even though the proposition failed, it was a giant win for those who want the decriminalization of marijuana. With next to no money, they started a discussion about a social issue. If America is a plutocracy, there would not be anything close to a debate. This shows how little money is needed to change the country.

There are many points against America being a democracy, and the one that comes up often is that the rich influence media coverage. Even though in some cases this may be true, the public has more control than you might think. When a story breaks, anyone can go to hundreds of different news sources, from TV  to the Internet, and the number of sources prevent overbias. As long as we don’t consolidate news coverage to fewer media outlets, there will never be a monopoly on our media. As long as we can go to a dozen different places to get our news in fewer than fifteen minutes, the rich will never monopolize our news.

If America has become a true plutocracy, you would be able to buy a seat of power. That, however, has been disproved by the recent defeat of Meg Whitman. This is the best example of democracy beating plutocracy. Whitman spent about $150 million to get elected Governor of California. If America really was a plutocracy, she would have won with record numbers. Even with all the ads on TV, Internet, and radio, she still lost. Political pundits may say that it was because she had scandals, but the real reason is that every person has one vote. Add one vote to another enough times, and no amount of money can stop democracy. That is why America is, and always will be, a fair and equal democracy.

 

Plutocracy by Michelle Cerami

America has always prided itself in being the land of opportunity. Since the country’s founding, immigrants have sought opportunities and fortune in this country, with and without success.

Now, in the modern day, people who immigrate to this country still come for success. However, there is no way they can achieve it—America has become a plutocracy.

Early America strived to achieve an equal opportunity democracy that benefitted not only the country, but also the people. The founding fathers made sure that every citizen in the United States could be able to prosper, and prosper some did.

Currently, it is hard to prosper in the United States. The education system fails its students, seeing as students in the United States score low on standardized testing. Even third world countries like Costa Rica have a higher literacy rate than the US. How can we claim to be a land of prosperity and opportunity if third world countries outperform us in education? How can we expect immigrants to prosper in the United States with our poor education system?

The wealthy are able to afford a proper education for their children. Meanwhile, immigrants are left sending their children to a failing public school education system with minimal funding. Education is the key to success in this country, so the wealthy rise ahead and become our leaders in government. This leaves the immigrants left behind and confused. Where is this land of equal opportunity and fortune that they have been promised? Where is the equality in government representation, if the lower class does not have the tools to rise in society? How can we call ourselves a government with representation, if there is no representation for these immigrants?

Our country was founded with the right intentions. Our founding fathers sought to create a society of equal opportunity with no bias. In those days, the bias was towards religion, which was why the settlers sought to leave England in the first place. These days, I believe, the persecution and bias is not only towards religion, but race and socio-economic status. I tutor at Wilmington Middle School, and their literacy coach, Mrs. Sachs, has told us that their main goal is to give them a proper education to direct them towards college and a job. However, some public schools maintain the mindset that a certain group or sects of social economic status are not going to perform, and then they don’t. You must believe it is possible in order for it to be achieved. This is where I believe our plutocratic government has gone wrong; they continue to cut funding from schools such as Wilmington Middle School, and by doing so, lose the opportunity for students of said immigrants to rise in society and wean off of government dependency.

The government provides financial and medical assistance for those not financially able. Therein lies the problem—the more assistance you give a person, the more dependent they become. If you do not give people the tools they need, like education, there is no hope for them to ever be truly independent from the government’s aid; it is a vicious cycle that will cease to end.

As Americans, it is difficult to look at this issue without being defensive. Of course, we would love to think that we have a perfect democracy that caters to all members of our country, but this is not the case. The United States does not have a perfect democracy—we have a plutocracy that fails all members of society. To fix this issue of plutocracy, however, we will need to address the issues in our public education system. The only way all members of our society will be treated equal is to have a better pubic educational system.

By Hank Trumbull and Jim Simmons

In our bro-packed lives we sometimes find ourselves lounging around and doing nothing. While this is relaxing most of the time, bros always need action in their lives and we are constantly looking for new activities.

After spending enough time making stupid comments on Facebook, we realized that we needed to be using our time more efficiently. We made list of all the fun things we do when we are bored, and it is time to share our knowledge with everyone.

If you ever find yourself mashing your potatoes for excessive amounts of time, refer to our list of Bro-tivities that are fun for everyone!

1. Making New Friends- Whether they are from Peninsula High School and you meet them on MySpace, or they are from El Segundo and you meet them on Chatroulette, making new friends is always fun to do. It is always great to have friends to talk to on the Internet.

2. Puzzles- Complete a fun puzzle with your friends. Senior Harrison Kidd holds the school record in the puzzle competition when he finished a puzzle in forty-five seconds. With Mainsheet alumni Mark Kassardjian now gone, Kidd will now be the fastest finisher at the puzzle Olympics.

3. Game Show Network- Nothing like watching an amazing game of Deal or No Deal. Our favorite is kicking back and watching some exciting deals being made. Once this gets boring, you can switch to ESPN, which is a bro favorite.

4. Watching a Movie Marathon- One of our favorite activities on a Saturday is to cuddle up with three other friends at James Calhoun’s house with a bowl of popcorn. We watch lots of movies, and when we get bored of one movie we just switch to a different movie.

5. Experiment with Make-up- This is junior Matty Gallas’s specialty. He has been known to experiment with powder makeup on his face. “I like to look like a ghost!” said Gallas.

6. Dancing in a Bathroom- Whenever we are bored at school, we all go to the bathroom and have a dance party. Roessler bathroom is always a great meeting spot during long block periods. “I love dancing in the bathroom!” says freshman Brad Boboc.

7. Making Bets with Friends- There can be bets about anything, but in the end make sure that you always pay your bets. With enough money, people will eat things off the ground as senior Nicole Stanton did.

8. Bake a Cake- Bros sometimes need to show their softer side by making baked goods. By baking, we can express our love for eating and impressing women at the same time. This activity can become manlier and more fun if you throw the baked goods at a friend like Matty Gallas.

9. Going to the Beach- Going to the beach is a win-win for everyone. You can hang out with all your friends behind the lifeguard stand, and have memories that will last a lifetime. Going to the beach is also a key step in the GTL lifestyle (Gym, Tan, Laundry).

So this weekend, don’t sit around and do homework, but go outside with friends and have a good time!

Always remember to be safe and respectful of others, because sharing is caring and nobody likes a Negative Nancy. So when you are bored, turn that frown upside down and go take part in some bro-tivities.

By Jasmine Love

Back in the early Sixties, (yes I am that old), I went to what we then called “private” schools. My parents felt that as African American Indian children, it would be better for my siblings and me to attend a private school, especially given the climate in the country.                                     If you know American history, you know the Sixties were turbulent times with a lot of violent tension between different races that sometimes spilled into schools.

I was born during the Civil Rights movement, six years before Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.

Integration was still a new concept for many people, and the public schools in the city where I grew up were not particularly safe places for children with dark skin, either physically or emotionally.

There were parents who did not want their children going to school with African American students, and even some teachers who thought that we were not as smart.

So my parents researched and chose a private school where they hoped their children would be safe and receive an equal education. There we were able to embrace our African and Indian roots.

There were only four students “of color” in my school, and two were related to me. It was very difficult being in the minority and feeling every day like there was a big spotlight on me.

Now over 40 years later, (I told you I was old), I choose to work in independent schools, and like my parents, feel they can be places where everyone is accepted and feel like they belong.

I learned about Chadwick through Ms. Sykes, long before she was thinking about leaving. I held the same job in another school, so she and I would share resources and talk about what our schools were doing.

When she told me Chadwick was looking for her replacement, I jumped at the chance. Not only would I get to teach history, I would also be the “Director of Multiculturalism and Inclusion” just like at my last job. In short, I feel like my job is to help to make sure everyone feels like they belong at Chadwick. AND THAT MEANS EVERYONE!

When I came for my interview, it was the first time I’d been on the beautiful Chadwick campus. I was thrilled to see so many different races and cultures represented. But I also know that you cannot see ninety percent of who a person is, so even more diversity existed underneath the surface.

As I learned more about Mrs. Chadwick, I feel that she was the original Director of Multiculturalism and Inclusion. Seventy-five years ago, she welcomed diverse children of all races and religions into this school, which was unheard of at the time.

I believe that this school has had a big head start in understanding differences, and this means that we can continue to have courageous conversations around issues of diversity.

I believe that every single person is a person of diversity. As people told me their stories, I learned that we have one of the most diverse and interesting groups of students, faculty and staff that I have ever met.

That diversity comes in the form of experiences, age, race, culture, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity (which is not the same as sexual orientation), ability levels, religion, language, region, and on and on and on. We can’t make any assumptions about who people are. In fact, if we let people self-identify, we learn so much more.

Sometimes people feel very uncomfortable talking about differences, but I want to encourage everyone to lean into that discomfort and talk about why. Thank goodness we are not all the same. Being different makes us stronger. But we share a lot of commonalities as well, so I like to find the parallels and intersections.

On a final note, Chadwick is taking fifteen faculty and staff and eleven students to the People of Color Conference and the Student Diversity Leadership Conference in San Diego. What a commitment! I really feel like I’ve landed in heaven.

No, I am not naïve, I know there is lots of work to do, but we are ahead of the game.

I know this isn’t paradise, but in my world, it’s pretty darn close. Plus check it out: teachers get to write in the student newspaper!

PRO

by Lucas Lebovitz, Senior

Our country stands at the edge of a cliff, leaning over the edge. I will say in no uncertain terms that to prohibit the construction of Park51 will mark the degeneration of our country’s values and the beginning of the next wave of hatred, inequality and racism.

As students we learn that our country has stood at this precipice many times before, often toppling right over the edge into bigotry and discrimination. Throughout its history the United States has marginalized minority group after minority group.

Now, peering into the abyss once again, our country has another decision to make: do we discriminate once again, persecuting Muslims this time, marginalizing an entire religion? Or do we instead progress towards equality, holding true to the values we have struggled to uphold throughout the lifespan of our nation? The answer should be pure and simple: To prohibit the building of this mosque would symbolize the subjugation of yet another minority in our already troubling history. We cannot allow Muslims to fall from equality.

We have heard the arguments against the construction of this Mosque and Islamic Cultural Center. We hear words such as “disrespectful,” and “offensive.” Sarah Palin tells us that, “to build a mosque at Ground Zero is a stab in the heart of the families of the innocent victims of those horrific attacks.” The September 11th attacks tore American families apart. That day took the lives of many innocent Americans of all religions, including Islam. Muslims were just as equally injured by that day as any other group of Americans, and it is unfair to prohibit just Muslims from repairing their wounds as best they can.

The crux of the issue arises out of the fact that the terrorists were Muslim extremists. Many associate the extremists who committed the terrible acts of violence with the Muslim citizens of our country, and therein lie the issues many Americans, especially New Yorkers who were personally hurt by the event, have with the construction of this building. This kind of generalization, grouping American citizens with extremist terrorist who both happen to be of the Islamic faith, is dangerous and cannot occur.

Islam, like any other major religion of the world, does not condone violence. The scriptures do not support nor defend the actions of extremists who twist the religion in order to serve their own ends. Islam teaches us peace, charity, and a unity with God. To generalize the millions of peaceful, law abiding Muslims in our country with terrorists is offensive to all those who practice Islam, not condoning the violent actions of the extremist minority. All religions have fanatics who manipulate scripture to justify their actions.

So long as they proceed in accordance with all local laws and ordinances, the builders of Park51 have every constitutional right to build the mosque. Disregarding completely the bigoted spirit of the idea, prohibiting the construction of this mosque violates the constitutional rights of American citizens. Critics must understand the line we cross, when we take those supposedly “inalienable” rights away from Muslims.

Park51 provides a beautiful replacement so that Muslims in New York City have an equal opportunity to worship as any other worshiper of another religion. Originally named the Cordoba House, after the ancient city in Spain where Muslims, Christians and Jews coexisted peacefully, Park51 is designed, according to their website, as “a nonsectarian community, cultural and interfaith spiritual center along with a Muslim prayer area and a monument to honor all those we lost on 9/11.”

The builders have every constitutional right to build, and any prohibition of Park51’s construction is a clear demonstration of taking away Muslim citizens’ rights. The mosque must be allowed to exist in order for Muslims to be treated equally in this country, and for our nation not to slide back into discrimination and racism.

CON

by Gen Baumann, Junior

Of the thousands of Americans murdered on September 11th, eleven of these heroes were Muslim. Twelve if you count Rahma Salie, who was with child.. My real question is: who were the perpetrators? Who caused this slaughter? Extremist Muslims: intent on proving a point. Intent on desecrating American soil. Intent on what else, perhaps? Intent on marking their territory. And they succeeded. No matter how we think of 9/11 or Ground Zero, the site and the terrorists who created it shall forever be linked in our minds.

As I stated before, eleven of our fellow Americans who were Muslim were killed that day in the World Trade Center. Eleven hardworking, honorable Americans were killed. They were Americans first, as we all should be. The values of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all include love, generosity, loyalty, respect, and fairness. Such religious values are intertwined with our own American values. So you see the similarities.

But more than just 12 of these people were killed on that day. Over 3,000 people were massacred that day. And for what?  So the most despicable subset of people could assert themselves. Prove themselves. .

There are over 100 mosques located in the boroughs of New York City. Did anyone try to prevent those from being built? Was it a national issue? Of course not. This is not a matter of freedom of religion. This is more the measure of how good of a person you are and who these Muslims are. How affected you were. Can you still feel for those victims and their families, even though 9/11 happened almost 9 years ago? If you can how do you rationalize the construction of this mosque?

Who is trying to build this mosque? Who is that insensitive, that they need a mosque near Ground Zero? Not the thousands upon thousands of Muslims who peacefully worship God and still pay their respects to our fellow Americans every year on September 11th. Not our American-Muslims who have delayed the start of Eid, a holiday celebration that happens to fall on September 11th, for more than a week. In fact one Kabir Jeddy, the treasurer of the Muslim Association of the Puget Sound laments, “It’s out of respect. It’s not that we are putting our lives on hold altogether, but it’s not a day we want to be out celebrating.”

But some do want to be celebrating. This Muslim Imam needs to mark his territory. He is an extremist. He is uncompassionate to the thousands of families that lost loved ones to other extremists. Maybe he is not violent or a terrorist.

The extremist “Christian” in Florida is just as much at fault for threatening to burn the Koran. No one can stop him because that’s his freedom of expression. But any decent hearted person would put a stop to that. It is not about how we are impeding these people’s rights. No. Let them build this mosque. Let them justify it with their excuses. Let them try to reason their way through it. That it is their right. But if they were truly compassionate, kindhearted people then they would not insult America’s pain. They would not mark any more territory for the cowards who crashed those planes into our civilians. This is not a testimony that all Muslims are to blame. This is a sentiment that one group of people is to blame for September 11th, and a very different group is responsible for the insult that is this mosque. They both happen to be of the same religion.

It is for these people, who need to assert themselves as dominant, that that mosque is really being built for. It is for those Christian supremacists in Florida that need that Koran to burn. It is all for their own vain self-assurance. It is these people who give a bad name to Christianity or Islam. It’s not the everyday citizens who are capable of seeing what is actually important.

As for me, I say that the American spirit lives on in too many of our hearts, whether they are Muslim hearts or Jewish hearts or Christian hearts or atheists hearts, to stand by while yet another extremist is victorious in his quest in his “jihad bis saif.”

by Michelle Ling

In addition to the print version, The Mainsheet will be be going online in The Mainsheet Blog.  Junior Elyse Werksman developed the idea to bring what is on paper online. According to Werksman, if everything goes accordingly, it should be up and running within the next week.

In the last few years, people start getting much of their information and news online. “If every other newspaper organization was going online, I figured that The Mainsheet should as well” says Werksman.

Many have wondered what the purpose of posting a newspaper online is.  Freshman Blake Dittman says, “The whole point of a newspaper is to have something to carry around and read.  Putting it online defeats the purpose of a newspaper.”

In addition, Senior Katie Starke remember that “When The Mainsheet comes out, everyone has it in class.”

According to Werksman, The Mainsheet Blog will be a way for more people to read the paper, with more accessibility. It will be more convenient for those who do not have time to grab a newspaper.

“I think that this digitalization of  The Mainsheet will only augment the accessibility and efficiency of reading the school paper.  It might also motivate more students to read it!” Werksman said. She also pointed out that alumni, who are not always capable of getting a paper version of The Mainsheet, will now be able to read it online to keep up with the current events on campus.

The online version of The Mainsheet will be very similar to, if not exactly the same as, the paper hardcopy.  “I am going to try my best to keep it as true to the paper version as possible, in such a way that it involves the same sections, columnists, and articles.  I guess it’ll just have a bit more of an ‘edge’ to how someone gets to read it,” said Werksman.

Some believe that one version is better than the other, but people now have the choice: a hardcopy or an online version.  No matter whether or not paper or online, the newspaper will strive to provide the same information, the same opinions, while providing entertainment for the Chadwick community, Werksman said.

Life’s Faces

You never really know where you’ll end up. Elyse finds me walking up the Vanderlip Lawn: “Do you know what I’m going to ask you? You do, don’t you?” She smiles at me and asks me to write this article. So here’s what’s been happening in my world recently, and take from this whatever you desire.

A couple of weeks ago I was casually opening my Facebook page, and one of those message icons is lit. Honestly thinking it’s my mother in Ireland, I click on it, and instead it’s an old friend who’s found me on Facebook and has invited me to my high school reunion.

Apart from being shocked at being found on Facebook (I was so sure my account was locked from all viewing abilities, and my name has changed completely from my high school days), I gaze closer at the picture of the face grinning back at me from the web—OMG! I start clicking on images and find the faces of people I used to share car rides home with, the people I laughed with, the people with whom I did the silliest of things, and now I’ve clicked on their Facebook accounts and am reading stuff I do not feel comfortable reading—like seriously … this is how they turned out?! The loneliness, the frustration with trying to get so much for nothing, the complaining about how unfair life has been for them; I can’t believe I’m reading this… this can’t be how they really feel! I think about how they had so much more than me, and question at what point their lives took a different course from mine.

I look down the invited/responded/declined list for the reunion and cannot help clicking on some oh so familiar names. Memories flood back of the pretty girls, the party people, the nasty people, the geeks, the hunks, and the worker bees. I find the name of the richest girl I ever knew and remember how some people would have done anything to be her friend—she had an amazing house and is the only person (even to this day) that I know who has a heated outdoor pool in Northern Ireland. The saddest thing about being her was she really had no friends, only acquaintances, and I think she knew it. So, I’m looking at her picture and reading her latest entries—she’s struggling. Her life has changed so much since I last knew her—no pool, no big house, two marriages, two children, and she’s claiming welfare in order to survive—whatever happened…?

I certainly wasn’t the most popular kid. I didn’t go to a lot of dances because my parents wouldn’t allow me. I thought it was so unfair at the time and remember lots of moody stomping about the house in protest of how unjust and inhumane my treatment was. My parents worked very hard to give me all the things and opportunities they didn’t have, and my guilt is that only now as the aged Facebook faces stare back at me I realize that if my parents had let me loose to complete all my teenage desires, it would be someone else sitting on my comfy chair, watching my TV, surfing the internet on my computer, and living in the warmth of LA.

The party girls I remember being SO jealous of were now staring back at me from the computer screen, looking old and tired, but as I read on about their failed relationships, their struggles and little happiness, the smile fading quickly, as I realized they were still searching for where they were meant to be in this world.

I truly feel that everything happens for a reason, and we will all make mistakes, but as long as you work as hard as you can, and be the best person you can be, everyone will be so proud of you. Please don’t ever be that face staring back at me from Facebook so sad, stressed, and lonely. Make sure your heart is full of joy and you feel successful in whatever you choose to do, and most importantly, you’re happy just being you! I love you all so very, very much, and I cannot wait to see where you’ll end up!