Layout 1 (Page 1) - West Morris Mendham High School



Layout 1 (Page 1) - West Morris Mendham High School
P e a c e o n E a rt h !
Issue 2 Vol. 22
The Patriot
Mendham High School, Mendham, N.J.
December 2009
Seniors dominate Powder Puff
by Kyle McDevitt
On Sunday November 22, 2009
the senior and junior girls fought for pride,
glory, and bragging rights, but most importantly, they fought against breast cancer.
The senior and junior girls began
the rivalry early, with spirit. The “rocking” seniors started the week off well with a win over
the “country” juniors in a tug-of-war match.
The “snowy” juniors rebounded in a dodge
ball match the next day against the sunny
seniors. A touchdown dance contest the following day had all of the makings of being a
memorable event, but the hippie juniors
could not find their groove and forfeited to
the army seniors.
Marshmallow tossing proved to be
a juniors’ specialty, as both classes supported the fight against breast cancer by
wearing pink. The seniors took the cake in
the cupcake eating contest the next day as
both girls sported their “Powder puffs” shirts.
After winning the pre-Powder Puff
events by a score a 3-2, the seniors planned to
continue their success on Sunday, but the
juniors would not go down without a fight.
The game started at two o’clock, on a hazy
yet surprisingly sunny day. The seniors in
black and white came out looking mean with
X’s and masks drawn on their faces in black.
The juniors, new to Powder Puff this year,
looked excited yet nervous on their sidelines.
Senior coaches Adam Agree and Chris
Gilchrist wore Hawaiian shirts to signify how
much they believed their team has improved since last year, alluding to the Pro
The seniors won the toss and
elected to receive. Junior Robin Chernow
kicked off, and senior Lara Gallagher returned
it past the 40 yard line. The seniors then proceeded to march down the field, resulting in
Photo by E. Phillips
Junior Marie Walker and senior Meade Brewster help raise money for Breast Cancer research.
Bowl which takes place in Hawaii. “Yeah well a touchdown from Steph Bahneman. Senior
last year we gained a lot of experience” says Lindsey Kass then converted the extra point
Agree, “and this year we know all of the tricks and the seniors led 8-0. Kass then kicked off
of the trade and do not expect to be sur- to junior Taylor Harrington. The juniors
prised by anything.”
marched past midfield due to junior Marie
Walker’s exceptional play, but turned the ball
over after failing to convert a fourth down.
The score remained 8-0 until the final seconds of the first half after some controversy.
Initially the referees called senior Claudia
Tango’s run a touchdown, but after some further review, it was concluded that the touchdown would not count because Tango had
not reattached her flag after the previous
play. Five seconds were added to the clock,
and Gallagher scored another touchdown
as time expired. Kass converted the extra
point attempt, expanding the seniors lead by
a score of 16-0. The only other score of the
game occurred when junior Samai Jones
ran it in. Chernow failed to convert the extra
point, leaving the final score at 16-6.
“I'm really happy we won,” says
senior Meade Brewster. “It was closer than I
thought it would be, but it was still a lot of fun.”
More importantly, Powder puff
raised more money than it has ever made,
over $1320, since its start in 1999.
“I am really proud of all of the girls
and coaches’ efforts,” says Lori Wells, organizer of Powder Puff. “We were able to
raise a lot of money for a good cause, and I
am just really happy with what we were able
to accomplish.”
(For additional pictures of Powder
Puff, go to page 11.)
Rymer returns alumni to the field
by Jen Darsie
Thanksgiving is usually a day dedicated to football, but this year the Mendham
boys' soccer program decided to celebrate
turkey day with players from past and present coming together for an alumni game.
In light of the 40th anniversary of
the boy’s soccer program, head coach Tim
Rymer decided to coordinate a soccer game
on Thanksgiving Day that would bring
Mendham soccer players from 1970-2009
together on the same field. In a matter of six
weeks, Rymer reached 80 former soccer
players to reunite on their home turf. Two former players approached Rymer during the
soccer season and expressed interest in an
alumni game. "I had thought about the idea
for a long time," says Rymer about coordinating the game, "and the 40th anniversary
seemed like the perfect time." Rymer started
with a mass email to some former players,
which eventually branched out into a Facebook group which helped spread the word
and determine interest for participation.
Along with the several players who returned
to the school to relive their glory days, former
head coach Bob Lash arrived at the game
ready to recount his time as part of the
Mendham soccer program. Lash started
with the program and coached for 30 years,
achieving just under 400 wins in his career at
The game commenced at eleven
o'clock on Thanksgiving morning. The turf
separated into two fields, one for players
from the years 1970-1999 and the other for
a game of present-day players versus players from the years 2000-2008. Lash
coached the older players while Rymer
coached the younger ones. "Soccer has always been a gentleman's sport,” says senior soccer player Brian Doherty, “and it was
splendid to gather all of the gentlemen from
past generations from Mendham to compete on the pitch." All the players, old and
new, seemed to enjoy playing together. “It
was great to see all the former players and
their families,” adds Coach Rymer. It was all
in all successful event, and Rymer hopes
this will be a lasting tradition at Mendham.
Mendham soccer team alumni gather for group pictures. From left:: Shane Atha (‘06),
Shane Jeffery (‘06), Craig Angelson (‘06), Jim Robertiello (‘06), Jon Gilbert (‘04), Morgan
Castner (‘04), Scott Atha (‘03), Jim Rossi (‘04), Derek Boudreau (‘03).
Photos courtesy of T. Rymer
Page 10
THE PATRIOT December 2009
Lyrics promote good will and change
In each of these articles, the headlines are lyrics taken from popular songs that encourage people to bring about change in their every
day lives. While most of us listen to songs just to hum or sing along, how many of us actually listen to the meaning behind the lyrics? Often
they hold truths and philosophical messages.
“Who Says You Can’t Go Home” -Jon Bon Jovi
by Dimitria Spathakis
The decades of war in
Afghanistan have left children without
parents and homes; however, there is
hope thanks to the efforts of Andeisha
Farid and AFCECO’s (Afghan Child Education and Care Organization) other
volunteers who are building and running orphanages, trying to make a difference for the youth and future of this
war-torn country.
On October 30th NBC News
anchor Brian Williams covered a story
about an orphanage in Kabul,
Afghanistan. A group of volunteers in
2001 founded AFCECO an Afghan nonprofit organization based in Kabul. They
have a total of nine orphanages that
care for 350 Afghan refugee children.
Williams profiled the Executive Director
of the orphanage Andeisha Farid for
Nightly News’ program Making a Differ-
ence. The civil war displaced Farid,
and she grew up as a refugee herself
in Iran. She has made helping other
child refugees her life’s work. Farid
tells Williams that “when she sees the
small children and their happy faces,
she sees a future in them.” Williams describes Farid as, “striking with a solid
determination and a steel will that she’s
clearly passing on to the girls at the orphanage.”
The orphanage is home to 67
girls and 15 boys who come from tragic
backgrounds. All of the children attend
school; however, Farid often fears for
their safety because it’s a dangerous
neighborhood. The orphanages function like a family; the children are truly
loved and cherished. Williams sees the
orphanage as a “small patch of goodwill and hope in the middle of a city that
has experienced so much hardship.”
“What are you waiting for?”
- Lindsay Lohan
by Annie Sexton
Currently overseas in Phnom Penh,
Cambodia, Mendham High School graduate Liz Sexton teaches young women as a
part of a non-profit organization called The
Harpswell Foundation.
The program was founded in 1999
and has continued to flourish ever since.
Program founder Alan Lightman recognizes
the potential of many Cambodian women
and wants to help give them opportunities
for better lives. Their mission of “empower[ing] a new generation of women leaders in Cambodia and the developing world,”
creates hope for the poor yet ambitious people in the country.
Having so much to do in the U.S. in
terms of "doing our part," it can sometimes
be easy to forget the dire needs of the rest of
the world. As a result of the civil war and
harsh rule of Khmer Rouge in the 1970’s,
Cambodia remains one of the poorest and
most devastating countries in Southeast
Asia. The corrupt leader sent at least two
million citizens to their deaths and annihilated the entire educated class. Today over
30% of the population remains illiterate.
However the motivation for change appears
both surprising and encouraging. "The
women started coming up to us, holding their
babies, and said, 'please help us build a
school,' " Lightman has said of his first
visit to the province. “I was just amazed
that in this remote village with no electricity, no plumbing, no toilets, they
were talking about education…I was
overwhelmed by their courage and their ability to think in the long term."
In 2005 a four-room schoolhouse was
built in Tramung Chrum, a village about 50
miles northwest of the capital. Like Sexton,
people who want to make a difference can
volunteer at this school to assist in teaching
eager young students a variety of subjects,
including reading and writing in English.
While this may sound like a daunting task, it
is really quite simple; the girls are incredibly
motivated and ready always ready to work.
The difficult part is stepping outside yourself,
disregarding selfish desires, and realizing the
genuine hope that exists in the simplicity of
disaster. Sexton’s first impression of the
group was that they “sincerely seem to like
each other and laugh more in five minutes
than I sometimes do in five hours.”
Living in extreme poverty and
lamentable conditions does not dishearten the group of girls staying in
Lightman’s dorms. In fact, one of them
will devote a week of her time to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity later this
month. This is someone in need of
help, who is still willing to give her efforts to someone else. That is the kind
of person found in this program: “bright,
funny, motivated, genuine." As Sexton
enjoys the intense yet gratifying experience across the world, “the girls continue to astonish [her] with their energy
and positive dispositions.” She believes
that she and anyone else willing to try
can learn a great deal from these people. Their profound faith is lesson to us
Visit Liz Sexton’s blog at [email protected] to learn
more about her powerful experiences
working with the program.
All of these children have sponsorships; ordinary people from places
throughout the world choose a child
and take care of him or her financially. Sponsors pay around $120
a month which provides the children with clothes, food, healthcare,
education, and the opportunity to
live in a safe environment. Sponsors receive the child’s personal
story, photo, and can read about his
status. The child can read his sponsor’s emails and know that some
kind person living far away cares.
Without AFCECO most of these
children would be on the streets left
to fend for themselves. The orphanages can only remain open if
people continue to support them,
as they rely completely on private
donations and their humanitarian
This story deeply touched
many Nightly News viewers. Many
responded on the blog thanking
Williams for airing the story, asking
if it were possible to adopt one of
the orphans, donating money, and
becoming sponsors. In the time it
took for the news crew to fly back
to New York, viewers had donated
more than $50,000. Farid received
so many donation emails that she
was afraid the server was going to
break down. Of the 150 children
that Farid said were in need if financial support, 130 of them have
now been sponsored. The grateful
children were then featured on a
follow-up, writing thank-you notes
to all of the nightly news viewers
who reached out to help.
The Afghan children at the orphanages learn to respect all human
beings regardless of religion, race, and
gender. AFCECO especially emphasizes teaching the boys to respect
women and avoid any kind of behavior
that promotes gender apartheid.
AFCECO’s goal is to have children
grow up into women who dislike
wearing the scarf or burqa, dare to
speak in public, and believe in gender equality.
Sponsoring these
children is making an investment
for the future of Afghanistan to be
peaceful where democratic ideals
“Waiting o n t he world t o chang e”
-John May er
by Emily Mazzola
Former Vice President Al Gore
hopes to fight against global warming,
inspiring Mendham High School students to join the fight.
Gore’s hit documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, which came out to
the public in 2006, explains the gravity
of the issue. With director Davis
Guggenheim by his side, Gore illustrates environmental problems, giving
examples such as the melting of polar
ice caps and green house gases making the Earth’s atmosphere disintegrate. "Al Gore strips his presentations
of politics, laying out the facts for the
audience to draw their own conclusions
in a charming, funny and engaging
style,” said Guggenheim. “And by the
end has everyone on the edge of their
seats, gripped by his haunting message."
Gore’s message has inspired
people to make a change and help fight
against global warming. “All across the
world, in every kind of environment and
region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end
to the long-running debate over
whether or not climate change is real,”
says President Barack Obama. “Not
only is it real, it's here, and its effects
are giving rise to a frighteningly new
global phenomenon: the man-made
natural disaster.”
Even our own high school is a
part of the fascination that’s been
spreading throughout the United States
and possibly the world. “When I hear
‘global warming,’ I think about the polar
bears,” sophomore Nicole Schenkman
says. “When the ice caps melt, they fall
and drown.” Other students have a positive attitude about Gore’s documentary.
“His speech was amazing,” states
sophomore Bianca Patal. “It really
helped me realize that one person can
make a difference, and the small things
like turning off lights and planting a tree
can really help the environment.”
Gore still tours around the world
today to help engage others to join in
the fight against global warming. In addition, he has written a third book, Our
Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis. He has also expanded the company “Silver Spring,” which produces
hardware to make electricity more “environmentally friendly.”
Gore’s actions on saving the
planet from global warming are a reason why people admire to him. While
other people are “waiting on the world
to change,” people like Gore are standing up and trying to fix it.
Page 11 THE PATRIOT December 2009
Headlines that shaped the millenium
Continued from page 9.
by Kat Huang
10. Swine Flu (2009) First there were the birds, then the spinach, and now, the
swine. In Veracruz, Mexico, a new strain of influenza H1N1 closed schools and scared
mothers nationwide. Hype or hazard? The outbreak is global, and certainly, has the potential to turn deadly. In the age of Purell, a cough seems to signify the black plague, and if you
hear one, shifting glances and whispers of “swine, swine” aren’t far off. However, the majority of transmitted only suffer mild, flu-like symptoms which plenty of liquids will surely alleviate. Diagnosis? Put down the pork chops, wash your hands, and stop watching the news.
9. Terri Schiavo. (2005) In 1990, at the age of 26, Terry Schiavo suffered an
unattributed cardiac-respiratory arrest which left her in a vegetative state. After a
12-year court battle, national right-to-die tug of war pitting her parents against her
husband, Schiavo died, age 41, of dehydration on March 31, 2005 after a courtordered removal of a feeding tube. In the aftermath, right-to-life supporters condemned the removal of life-support as euthanasia and the nation contemplated the
pragmatism of penning living wills. Terry Schiavo was a national centerpiece for
over a decade.
8. Indian Ocean Earthquake (2004) While we were dreaming of presents beneath the tree, on the other side of the world, the second largest earthquake ever
recorded shattered Christmas morning. Estimated to have a magnitude between 9.19.3, the earthquake triggered a devastating Indian Ocean tsunami. Nearly 230,000
were killed in eleven countries, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India among the
hardest hit, making the quake one of the deadliest natural disasters in history. Global
relief efforts came to more than $7 billion.
7. Gay Rights (2003) Church bells may toll, but gays still do not have the
right to walk the aisle, at least, federally. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s
2003 ruling granted homosexuals the right to marry. There was a huge backlash.
The following year, 11 states passed bans on same-sex marriage. Currently in
the U.S., same-sex couples can marry in five states and receive state level benefits, although same-sex marriages have yet to be recognized federally. Several
states offer “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships” and grant all or most of the
state-level rights of marriage. 31 states have voted, but it has yet to win the popular vote.
6. Hurricane Katrina (2005) Hurricane Katrina, the deadliest U.S. hurricane
since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane, flooded New Orleans and devastated the Mississippi and Alabama coastlines. Katrina formed over the Bahamas on August 23 and
crossed southern Florida as a moderate Category 1 hurricane, causing a few civilian
causalities and minor flooding, before rapidly building in the Gulf of Mexico. On the
morning of Monday, August 29, the storm appeared as a Category 3 hurricane in southeast Louisiana, causing severe destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to
Texas, mainly due to the storm surge. The hardest hit was the city of New Orleans, its
levee system proving an incorrigible failure. The storm came and went in only seven
days, leaving more than 1,700 dead and $90 billion in damages in its wake.
5. Afghanistan Invasion (2001) Following the 9/11 attacks, President Bush promised, “The people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” He made
good on his word. On October 7, 2001, U.S. and British forces invaded Afghanistan. In the
first stage of the “war on terrorism,” the Taliban regime, responsible for harboring the alQaeda terrorists, was toppled, although Osama Bin Laden has still eluded capture.
4. The Iraq War (2003) The Iraq War is an ongoing military campaign, which began
on March 20, 2003 during the second Bush Administration. It can best be described in two
parts. Initially, hot off the tail of the 9/11 attacks, U.S. troops had flooded Iraq looking for
“weapons of mass destruction” and ousted dictator Saddam Hussein in the process. Then,
an interminable struggle against insurgency ensued, one that frustrated and continues to
frustrate American troops like no other war since Vietnam.
3. Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme (2009) Bernie Madoff was a man of charisma, a
titan among the power brokers of Wall Street, who was said to have treated his
employees like “family.” He had a work ethic that provided him a Manhattan penthouse, shares in two private jets, and a comfortable mooring spot for his yacht off
the French Riviera. Unfortunately, it was the same work ethic that drove him to orchestrate the largest Ponzi scheme in Wall Street history, defrauding thousands
of investors of approximately $50 billion in total. In March 2009, former chairman
of Nasdaq Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 felonies and was sentenced to
150 years in prison. Undoubtedly, he will have a hard time matching his Italian
cufflinks to his new orange suit.
2. Present Obama (2009) "Change we can believe in." And with the election of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the United States,
“change” it certainly was. Millions flocked to Washington, D.C., our own WMMHS
students flocked to the auditorium, and a nation stared breathlessly as the first
African American took office. Whether or not you support the Healthcare Bill or
sending more troops to Afghanistan, everyone would agree; on January 20, 2009,
we had witnessed history.
1. September 11th (2001) On September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked
four commercial airplanes, crashing two into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center
and the third into the Pentagon, just outside Washington D.C. The fourth jetliner, Flight 93,
crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers had fought to take control from the hijackers. There were no survivors from all four planes. Perhaps no other date
is more synonymous with tragedy and heroism than 9/11. The attacks killed nearly 3,000
people and injured more than 6000, precipitating wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the days
that followed, endless rescue efforts from tireless firefighters and policemen evacuated victims still trapped inside the collapsed towers and wrenched bodies out from the smoky rubble, often at the cost of their own lives. In a time of grief and confusion, America did what it
does best: unite. As police forces and firemen took leaves of absence nationwide to journey
to New York City to provide assistance, financial relief agencies, such as the Coalition of
9/11 Families, were established, and blood donations soared. Memorials and vigils were
held worldwide, and more stringent national security measures were adopted. It is a day that
will live in infamy, a brew of fear and panic, but also overwhelming heroism, and citizen comradery. The eighth anniversary of 9/11 was about three months ago, and if you happened
to be driving by the Hudson coastline, you would’ve seen two beams of light piercing the sky
above Lower Manhattan. The installation piece is simple and stoic, and though 2008 was
declared as the last year the lights would go on, no one seemed to have the heart to turn
them off.
H ou s e passe s ne w health ca r e l e gis la ti o n
by Sam Blaettler
For most American’s health
care is an important issue, and with all
of the talk surrounding the new health
care bills, it is important to know how
the new bills will affect your health care.
Here’s how healthcare would be affected with the current legislation:
Who’s covered?–With the House
bill, about 96% of legal residents under the
age of 65 are covered, compared with the
83% currently covered. Of the uninsured 18 million people under the age
of 65 left, one-third would be illegal immigrants.
The Senate’s version of the bill
aims to cover about 94% of Americans, and
again illegal immigrants would be excluded
from government benefits.
What will it cost? – According to the
Congressional Budget Office, the House bill
is $894 billion but is more likely to cost approximately $1.2 trillion.
Senate leaders hope to keep their bill under
$900 billion over a span of 10 years.
Who pays for it? – The House’s bill
will raise taxes on a single person earning
over $500, 000 a year and couples earning
over $1 million. Also Medicare and Medicaid
will suffer from cuts, and medical device
makers will pay a large fee.
The Senate’s plan to pay for it includes a series of fees, taxes, and fines.
Among those include:
-Fining people who fail to buy coverage.
-New taxes on insurance companies and
other companies in the medical field.
-Slashing Medicaid and Medicare.
Who has to get coverage? – Under
the House bill individuals are required to get
insurance, but can apply for waivers if they
cannot afford coverage. If a person does not
qualify for a waiver and lacks insurance, a
2.5% tax will be levied against his income.
According to the Senate’s plan, as
long as it costs no more than 8% of their income, all families and individuals must buy
coverage. Those who refuse will be fined.
Whom do employers have to cover?
– Under the House plan large companies who
don’t cover their employees will face a
penalty of 8% of the payroll. Companies with
a payroll of less than $750, 000 face lesser
penalties and companies with a payroll
under $500, 000 are exempt.
The Senate bill does not require
companies to offer coverage, but employers
with over 50 full-time workers would pay
heavy fees if the government subsidizes
employees’ coverage.
Will taxes go up? – According to the
house plan there will be a 5.4% income tax on
individuals making over $500, 000 and couples making over $1 million. Also the top income tax rate could go from 35% to 45%.
The Senate’s bill would tax insurance companies, but the cost would most
likely be passed on to consumers
Can I get government help? –
Under the House bill individuals and
families with an annual income of up to
400% of the poverty level would get
subsidies. The Senate bill would offer tax
credits to the same group helped by the
House’s bill. Small employers would also be
eligible for tax credits
How do I pick my health insurance? – Under both bills many people who
currently have employer-based coverage
would not be affected, as long as the company continues to provide coverage.
The House bill would create a national health insurance marketplace where
individuals and small employers could purchase insurance; the exchange will eventually be opened to larger companies as well.
The Senate bill would offer purchasing pools based upon states for selfemployed people, uninsured people, and
small businesses to buy insurance.
How do my pre-existing conditions
affect my insurance? – They don’t. Both bills
prevent insurance companies from denying
coverage on pre-existing conditions and also
prohibit insurers from raising premiums
based on pre-existing conditions or gender.
Page 2
THE PATRIOT December 2009
‘Tis the season
for college
by Erin Alencewicz
As the winter season is
slowly approaching, we all know
what is on everybody’s mind: college acceptances.
Have you ever realized how,
in the past ten years, college has
grown to become the focal point of
high school junior’s and senior’s
lives? These days, it’s impossible to
walk into Kings without having someone ask you where you’re applying to
college. I t ’s t h e t a l k a m o n g s t a l l
the parents, and surprisingly even
younger siblings. But if you think
about it, college has just become
the way it is in the past few years.
Ten years ago, there was no online
CommonApp, and there were no
early action plans or rolling admissions. People didn’t apply to 15
schools, and they didn’t pay hundreds of dollars on college essay
prep. But, today, we do it all. It may
be because more students are
going on to earn college degrees
than ever before, which is why
there is more pressure on students
to do well. And this is why things
like CommonApp and Early Action
are necessary. In a way, we’re making it easier on ourselves, yet on
the other hand there is more pressure than ever.
At Mendham, college is
clearly the main talk among the students. It’d be nearly impossible to
walk down the hallway without
hearing the words college, applications or essay question. After finishing some applications in the fall,
we seniors have been playing the
waiting game. The days slowly go
by, as we anxiously check our emails and mailboxes, hoping to
hear back from just one school.
For the lucky few who have
already received acceptances–congrats! Even though you’re already
in, you still have some work to do!
Whether it is deciding which school
you’ll go to or withdrawing your applications, the college process isn’t
over yet. But, no matter where you
decide to go, get involved! Start
meeting your future classmates.
Join Facebook groups and start
talking to other accepted students.
Research possible courses and
start to explore different fields you
may be interested in. College will
be here before you know it, so
being proactive will only benefit you
For the many who are still
waiting for the big envelopes to
come–stay positive! In just a few
weeks admissions decisions will be
released and your wait will be over.
Until then, show the school’s that
you’re interested. Whether it is talking to a current student or signing
onto the online chat rooms, let the
college know you’re still interested.
This will only help you, so why not?
While getting into college is
exciting and relieving, seniors need
to remember that we’re not done
yet. First semester grades get sent
to all your colleges so keep the
grades up, Senioritis can’t start yet
And finally, to all the underclassmen–start your college process
early. Begin researching some
schools you may be interested in,
and utilize long weekends to take a
road trip to tour them. Most importantly, keep your grades up! Freshman and sophomore year is the
time to boost your GPA before the
junior year, so make sure you work
your hardest. By the time senior
year rolls around you’ll be happy,
trust me!
The Patriot Staff
Editors in Chief – Erin Alencewicz, Sam Blaettler, Jen Darsie, Abby Hennelly, Mia Wiskow
Student Voices Editor – Michael Papili
News Editor – Kaitlin Leung
Features Editor – Gina Modero
School News Editor – Taylor Brady
Fashion Editor – Angelique Onorati
Culture Editors – Jessica Cassera, Kat Huang
Fun Page Editor – Jon Ketzlach
Sports Editors – Greg Keith, Kyle McDevitt
Photo Editor – Kaitlin Leung
Layout Editors – Kaitlin Leung
Cartoonist – Andrea Demoss
Staff – Eileen Burns, Jason Dennison, JacquelineJames, Jenny Keroack,
John Kuhn, Victoria Leonardi, Brian Lynch, Rosalee MacKinnon, Emily Mazzola, Abby McAleney, Ellie Meyers, Colin O’Donnel, Kathryn Rego, Thomas
Rezach, Nicole Schenkman, Samantha Service, Nicholas Servodidio, Anne
Sexton, Dimitria Spathakis
Advisor- Dorothy Palme
Consider This...
by Ellie Meyers
As I was reading Teen Vogue
this past weekend, I came across an article by Jane Shin Park that emphasized the importance of sleep. Statistics
proving the positive effects sleep had
on academic and athletic performances, as well as on skin and body,
were ingrained in my mind for at least
the tenth time, as I have read several
articles supporting this study. Although
the study on the positive effects of
sleep makes sense, I question the purpose of these countless articles that endorse this research.
Let’s be honest here, how
many of us teens are actually getting
the suggested nine hours of sleep a
night? I know I am not. By the time I get
home from sports practice (if I’m lucky
and don’t have a game or meet), it is
5:30 P.M. and I have at least three
hours of homework to do. On a good
night, I’m fortunate enough to get to
country experiencing symptoms of depression. There are other factors that
contribute to this statistic, such as
Facebook (yes, Facebook has been receiving some negative press lately),
caffeine consumption, and social issues, but the stress of school and the
threat of the college process that lurk
above our head greatly contribute to
this growing trend. Trust me; I am a junior this year. I know. Sleep would sig-
bed at around 11:30. That is six and a
half hours of sleep, which is nowhere
near the suggested amount of time for
a teenager. Today, teachers and parents encourage kids to balance so
many scholastic and extracurricular activities that teens start to consider sleep
secondary. Sure, sleep is important,
but how are teens today supposed
to catch up on our sleep when
homework is thrust upon us mercilessly and extracurricular activities
fill our schedules profusely?
Most of our parents received
half as much homework when they
were in school as we do today, but
times are different. The college
process is even more competitive
today, as well as finding work when
schooling is finally completed, especially in this economic recession.
It is beneficial that we students are
being well prepared for the upcoming
years, but anxiety, depression, and suicide rates are higher than ever today as
well, with 20% of teens around the
nificantly assist in easing the stress of
students today. But the consequence of
all of the homework assigned to us is a
lack of time to rest, which contradicts
the efforts of scientific studies to encourage us to sleep.
In this particular situation, the
problem is simple, but the solution is
not. Because of our heavy workload,
we are biologically predisposed to staying up late and sleeping late. School
does not comply with this pattern, as it
causes us to stay up late completing
homework assignments but also opens
its doors bright and early in the morning. Current adolescent issues, such as
a high rate of car accidents among
teens, obesity, and anxiety/depression
disorders, are linked to a widespread
lack of sleep amongst teens today. Unless the school boards make a decision
to lessen the homework load, I do not
see a pragmatic resolution to this problem. However, lucky for us, college is
the near future, and I foresee more
sleep in the upcoming years!
Page 3
Reality shows
mock marriage
by Abby Hennelly
As the world watches the collapse of
Jon and Kate Gosselin’s marriage, viewers
begin to notice a trend in the split of reality tele-
vision show couples. Are reality TV programs
contributing to the demise of marriages?
Many believe reality television has become the kiss of death to marriages on television, and people’s perception of marriage in real
life. The first reality television couple to fall apart
was Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. The
couple stayed married for two years from 2003
until the end of 2005. Simpson and Lachey
starred in the show Newlyweds. In an interview
with People Magazine, Lachey claimed, "It became a really blurred line. There was a question
about what truly was our reality."
A year later, Carmen Electra and Dave
Navarro ended their marriage. The duo had
filmed two reality shows, Carmen and Dave: A
Love Story and Till Death Do Us Part. After the
split, rumors of the show's being staged instead
of “reality” spread. Another famous couple,
Linda and Hulk Hogan, split after 24 years of
marriage. The couple raised two children together and had a reality show for two years prior
to the divorce. Hogan discovered out about his
wife’s desire for a divorce from a local television
Another couple doomed for disaster was
Travis Barker and Shanna Moakler, the stars
of Meet the Barkers. The marriage lasted only
a year, along with the show. Even starlet Britney
Spears has not been immune to the reality romance curse. Spears and ex-husband Kevin
Federline filmed Britney and Kevin: Chaotic
which also ended in a breakup. The premise of
the show was a collection of home videos documenting the life of the well known couple. Unfortunately the marriage could not even handle
home videos.
In yet another famous split Whitney
Houston and Bobby Brown occurred after the
airing of Being Bobby Brown. From The Real
Housewives of New York, Count and Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, married 16 years, split
after the season ended. Even Hugh Hefner and
three of his favorite girlfriends Holly Madison,
Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson could
not keep it together after the airing of the Girls
Next Door.
The reality television shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, which are geared towards a happy ending for the contenders, has
only once resulted in a happy marriage. Diane
Thurlow, a counselor at Healthy Marriage
Counseling in Oregon said to the Daily Emerald in an interview, “Shows like The Bachelor
ignore important steps in developing strong relationships. I think they minimize the vows people make to each other when they get married."
THE PATRIOT December 2009
Happy Kwanzaa falls
on deaf ears
by Kaitlin Leung
In Mendham it is without a
doubt that Kwanzaa is sometimes a forgotten holiday; however, that does not
mean that it should be disregarded.
As the holiday season draws
near, it is nearly impossible to keep the
holidays out of one’s mind. Thoughts of
Christmas and Hanukkah pervade our
contemplations and occupy our daydreams. However, it is easy to overlook
other holidays around this time, for example, Kwanzaa. Recently, I was disturbed to hear a classmate denounce
Kwanzaa, stating that it was not a real
holiday. Living in a predominantly Caucasian community, it is easy to overlook
the holidays of other cultures, but to say
that they are inferior to more commonly
celebrated holidays in the area is narrow-minded, ignorant, ethnocentric in
the worst way, and let’s just put it out
there, stupid.
In a world where Christmas
and Hanukkah seem to have departed
from their original religious meanings to
being simply a time of material things
and exorbitantly rich meals, it seems
amazing that one could even think that
one holiday is superior to another, let
alone assert such a statement.
To clarify the apparent lines between holiday and “not a holiday,” here
is some information on Kwanzaa. It is a
week-long African American celebration
that, while young (having been founded
in 1966) emphasizes strong traditional
values such as the importance of family, caring for the community, and selfimprovement. One may be led to
believe that Christmas and Hanukkah
are more legitimate due to their religious origins, but the values celebrated
during Kwanzaa are just as important
as the religious events celebrated during other holidays. For those who argue
that Kwanzaa is not a national holiday,
Hanukkah is not one either.
However, after reasoning
Kwanzaa’s legitimacy as a holiday,
what remains in the original dispute is
undisguised racism. While such statements may have been made in jest, this
occurrence merely serves to remind us
that racism is truly alive, not only in our
rural town, but also in the United
States. With the holidays fast-approaching, we should bear in mind the
importance of acknowledging, not denouncing, our differences.
Consider this…I love the 2000’s
by Kat Huang
We are the children of the new millennium, characterized by high-speed Internet connection, Red Bull jitters, and short
attention spans. We live in phases and
quick-starts, our keypads soundless only
when our thumbs cramp. The 2000s was
drastic, perhaps purposely, perhaps inadvertently; the ball dropped and the world saw
a shift. As we tottered around the play-
ground, trading Pokémon cards and Crazy
Bones, the shapers and shifters were busy
reinventing the word vicarious. A few
years later, skin slightly bluish from too
many hours in front of the computer, we
huddled over The Sims, Rollercoaster Tycoon, and rummaged through our ipods.
The 2000s was Apple, Paris Hilton, socialnetworking, and before Napoleon Dynamite
was so passé, no one could go a day
without hearing, “Tina, you fat lard,
come get some dinner!” 70’s was glam
rock, 90’s was grunge rock, and the
2000’s saw the dominance of hip hop
and the rise of emo. The latter had the
same simple hooks leftover from Blink182 of the 90’s but with more guyliner,
less angst, and more anguish. Started
on January 1, 2001, our decade will
end on December 31, 2009, and with
that, a significant part of our childhood.
Perhaps “golden age” is too
perfect a phrase to describe our millen-
nium; after all, it housed 9/11 and some
of the worst natural disasters in history, but
we had some good times. Pause and think:
The 2000’s are ending, and pretty soon VH1
will be playing “I love the 2000’s” and your
kids will be laughing. Savor the moments:
watch your flat-screen, login to Facebook,
and stalk Michael Phelps.
Page 4
THE PATRIOT December 2009
Musical talent bands among students
by Jessica Cassera
Senior Rosalee Mackinnon,
started a musical group, Vantage Point, during her junior year with now college students
Joseph Zavodney and Chris Sanborn.
“I saw a movie called Vantage
Point. I liked it and we needed to pick a
name so we chose that,” Mackinnon explains. Vantage Point categorizes their
sound as classic rock and alternative,
with influences of The Clash and The
Arctic Monkeys. The band formed when
Sanborn was looking for a drummer
and posted his search on Facebook.
One of Rosalee’s friends introduced the two
and they hit it off. Vantage Point mostly covers song by artists such as The Arctic Monkeys and Train and Vain, but they also
wrote a song when they were just playing
around with their instruments. Rehearsals
usually consist of hanging out and deciding
what songs they want to play. “It’s really
comfortable and fun,” Sanborn adds. The
biggest challenge the band faces to date is
finding time to practice, especially now that
two of its members are in college. In contrast, shows quickly pull together in the end,
where they perform at coffee houses and
have mini concerts for their friends. As for advice for other students wishing to start their
own bands Mackinnon advises, “Set aside
time to practice, make it happen, always be
looking for new people and ideas, and don’t
be afraid to put yourself out there.”
Senior PJ Serrani also formed his
own band, recruiting lead singer junior
Chelsea Gross, junior Fernando Camacho,
along with Dave Juliano (Desales University), Josh Weston (West Morris
Central, and Max Aidala (West Morris gether. Finding a drummer is really hard, and
when I heard PJ play everything fell into
Called A Noise from the Attic, they place. He’s the best drummer I’ve ever
formed a few months ago but plan to per- heard,” Juliano recalls. Bleed the Enemy
form at shows such as Battle of the Bands White as a whole is still experimenting with
at Mendham and Central High School. their sound and has covered remixes of R.
Their influences range from lesser known Kelly as well as writing their own songs. “We
bands such as Attack Attack, Brand New, were playing around with our instruments
and Bayside, to
one day we kind of
more well-known
stumbled upon it. It
bands such as
took about ten minAngels and Airutes to write,” Juliano
w a v e s ,
says of their new
Paramore, and
song. “It was magithe Offspring.
cal,” Aidala added.
However Bleed
who has been
the Enemy White
singing and persays they have their
forming since she
challenges. “The hardwas little, usually
est thing is to find time. I
sings about growhave work, and Dave
ing up, love, and
goes to school and
reality, and classilives far away. We
fies her singing
usually practice on the
style as alternaweekends, mostly
tive. The rest of
Sundays,” Serrani
the band has
explains. But their
been playing their
passion and love for
instruments from
around the age of
drives the band, and
14 years old.
they plan to keep
They were in- Sophomore Josh Walter is just one student who en- writing, performing,
spired to makejoys performing outside of school.
and reaching out to
music together
soon-to-be fans.
when Serrani and Aidala were hanging out
Sophomore Josh Walter is a solo
and playing their instruments, which led act who has performed at places such as
them to the idea of the band. “Our friendship the Dark Horse in Morristown and BB
evolved with music. We all have a passion Kings in New York City. His sound is
for it, and the first time we met we played to- blues-like, with influences from John Mayer,
Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and BB
King. Walter has been playing his guitar
since seventh grade. “I’d been asking
my mom since first grade, and I got one
in fifth. It’s been so natural ever since that.
I also started playing the piano seriously in fifth grade,” Walter elaborates.
He performs covers of singers such as
John Mayer and Jack Johnson, but he also
writes his own music. “I like writing things that
people can relate to, love, lust, and loss.”
Walter describes his writing process as
spontaneous and rehearsals are scheduled
but relaxed. His music has evolved over the
years and he recounts switching genres numerous times, but notes, “More and more
feeling has been added to the music I play
as I go along.” Walter considers his biggest
challenge to be his age, which may affect
managers to take him seriously.
However, he has beaten their
stereotype by putting on great shows in numerous places and plans to play bigger and
more famous venues as he continues to
pursue music. For anyone who wants to
play music but may be afraid to go solo, Walter believes, “I feel anybody could make
music, solo or in a band. So you should get
started on your own, and emerge into a
band of people who get along with and like
to play the genre you prefer.” Fans can gain
access to Walter’s music through his personal Myspace, and his fan page on Facebook.
Walter left with a powerful message to music
lovers and performers. “Music has a lot of
lessons it’s willing to teach, but there’s one
important one- when you lose soul in what
you play, you lose the music itself.”
Top 10 changes at Mendham
in the last 10 years
by Taylor Brady
1.The Entrance by the Parking Lot- 2003
2.The Band Wing- 2003
3.A Police Officer on Campus- 2004
4.The Fountain- 2005
5.The Press Box- 2005
6.The Time Capsule- 2006
7.The Veteran’s Memorial- 2007
8.The Freshman Wing- 2008
9.The Turf Field- 2008
10.The Tennis Courts- 2009
Photos by T. Brady
Page 5
THE PATRIOT December 2009
Appel supports global Bugs invade faculty mailboxes
development in Africa
by Abby McAleney
Through the Global Leadership
Adventure program (GLA), senior Giselle
Appel spent two weeks and three days in
Tanzania, Africa this past summer, her second mission trip to support global development.
Appel had to choose among 20
different worldwide locations to begin her volunteer work, but she opted for Africa because she wanted to immerse herself in a
completely different culture. After a 24 flight
Appel and 12 other GLA students arrived in
Tanzania, nervous but eager to lend a
helping hand. Although Appel could not
get to sleep the first few nights of her
stay in the hostel, afraid of her new surrounding, she reports that she was excited to “get a first hand experience of a
completely different part of the world.”
Appel found it exhilarating and
extremely eye-opening to be in a different part of the world, to experience a
unknown culture, and to live a life completely different from her own. The students travelled in communal vans and
interacted with natives of the land.
Appel stresses how welcoming and
grateful the natives were in allowing the
students into their living spaces and informing them about their lives. Also
Appel acknowledges the appreciation
they have made her gain for her family and
the life she has. Forming deep relationships
with the natives her age made Appel re-prioritize her life as she adopted a more worldly
and realistic view.
Reminiscing on the impact this trip
had on her, Appel shares that she “wanted to
volunteer for a long time.” She adds, “Experiencing the realities of another culture and
the lifestyle made me appreciate what I
have.” Having to depart back to the US after
spending two weeks with the people
made Appel sad to know she will most
likely never see some of her new
friends again, but grateful for her amazing experience. She is eager to return
to Africa, finding the trip engaging, rewarding, and emotional. Appel recalls
feeling the connection between her and
her new friends, despite the distance in
between their homes’ and cultures’.
Students like Appel can inspire
others with her story to hop on a plane
and travel the world, experiencing and
aiding those in need. Appel shares that
by going to and asking to
speak with Jessica Miller, any student
can gain the knowledge and insight she
did, as well as make a difference in any
part of the world.
by Angelique Onorati
dents, he enjoys reading and writing about
Technology teacher Benjamin technology, sociology and philosophy. In adMitchell combines his love of robotics and his dition Mitchell is interested in exploring the latpassion for teaching, creating a hands-on learn- est innovations in teaching technology and
ing experience.
how they relate to spirituality and the human
Now in his second year at Mendham, condition. Technology impacts language,
Mitchell has assumed the
changing definitions and
role of advisor to the Robotethics in regard to a sense
ics club. To raise money for
of responsibility in changthe club, he, along with club
ing the world. His theory
members, are selling insectreflects the attitude that
shaped, touch-activated rotechnological advances
botic “HexBugs.”
alter world views. He
response to this new gadget
would ultimately like to
has been overwhelming,
teach a course that examcertainly “exceeding his
ines the relationship bewildest expectations.”
tween language and
Mitchell first betechnology.
came involved with Techtechnology-oriented
nology Education when he
classes are engaging.
Photo by A. Onorati
was in fifth grade. One of his
“You don’t want to miss his
favorite activities was “take apart”- dismantling class,” says freshman Alice Cheng. “You learn
old electronic gadgets and appliances to see in a fun way.”
how they work. He then became fascinated
Mitchell appreciates the support for
with mechanical design and helped design staff and students towards the Robotics club.
robot for his high school’s robotics team.
“It is wonderful that so many people believe
Mitchell earned his undergraduate in the value of the activity.” He is especially
degree in Technology Education from The appreciative of the support from the faculty
College of New Jersey. Currently he takes and the administration. “Everyone I’ve met
classes online at Ball State University working has had a positive and progressive philosotoward his MA in Technology Education.
phy about teaching, and it is amazing to see
Other than furthering his academic education so many people share a passion for what
and contributing to the education of his stu- they do.”
Turrini directs to the stars
by Taylor Brady
Junior Madeline Turrini recently
debuted her directing skills at this
year’s fall play, Blithe Spirit.
“Blithe Spirit is about a man
who is in his second marriage,” Turrini
explains, “[He] accidentally summons
the ghost of his first wife from the
dead.” As it is expected, she causes
drama and turmoil in the play. Turrini
says that overall she thought the play
went well. She thoroughly enjoyed
working with the cast. “They were wonderful and I am so proud of [them].”
Turrini helped with every aspect of the
play, from casting to curtain calls. Her
collaboration with Director Tony Ross,
was rewarding as they worked extremely well together, bouncing ideas
off of each other. If Ross could not
make a rehearsal, Turrini took over.
Ross focused on the basics of acting
and movements while Turrini contributed creative ideas and other small
ways to make the play better.
Turrini has been interested in
the arts since she was a young girl.
Taking dance classes for many years,
she works in New York for theatre
throughout the year. She puts her writing and make up skills to the test when
she works in New York City for various
entertainment projects. An extremely
impressive resume includes Turrini’s
four years at the Shakespeare Theatre
of New Jersey and her stints as a
make-up artist for on-demand films.
She has also been writing and helping
with the script of a show.
Surprisingly, Turrini’s grade did
not slip with this extra responsibility. In
fact she did not even really stay up that
late to finish her homework. Turrini
claims that the teachers were very understanding to her situation and some
even gave her an extra day to finish her
Having worked both behind the
scenes and on stage, Turrini admits
that she definitely prefers the fun and
excitement behind the scenes. When
it comes down to it, Turrini says she
loves being the boss and she can do
that while working behind the scenes.
Page 6
THE PATRIOT December 2009
Get me one, Mom!
by Jen Darsie and Kyle McDevitt
Remember those toys that we absolutely had to have? Every year there was always that one thing that we begged, sometimes even threatened our parents for and if we
didn’t get it, our lives were pretty much over. We’ve compiled a list to remind you of the true
reason we all love the holidays. Here are some of the best toys from our childhood.
Best Girls Toys:
1. Skipit: How many times could you skip it?
2. American Girl Doll: Which one did you have?
3. Polly Pocket: Travel-sized fun.
4. Easy Bake Oven: Encouraging childhood obesity since 1963.
5. Hit Clips: Greatest thing until the iPod.
6. Barbie: Accurate role models for girls everywhere.
7. Tomegotchi: When it died, I cried.
8. Beanie Babies: How many did you have?
9. Cabbage Patch Dolls: One of a kind.
10. Furby: Why?
Best Boys Toys:
1. Lego’s: Lego my ego.
2. Pokémon Cards: Gotta catch ‘em all.
3. Hot Wheels: How hot were your wheels?
4. Nintendo 64: Wii’s got nothin’ on N64.
5. Razor Scooter: It was one way to get around.
6. Pogs: Don’t be a hog, share your pogs.
7. Super soaker: That was one super toy.
8. Power riding cars: Come on, you know you thought you were cool.
9. Lite Brite: I’ll bet those little pegs are lying around somewhere.
10. Game Boy: You know you still have yours.
Music serves as Bruno’s sanctuary
by Erin Alencewicz
Senior Will Bruno continues his
lifelong passion for music as he recently completed his first CD.
Bruno’s passion for singing
started well before high school, even
though he had never had a guitar until
his freshman year. He started singing
when he was just a “baby” and has
been improving his vocals throughout his life, working with a private
voice coach outside of school. After
improving his vocal skills, he decided to pick up guitar at 14, and
started improving with a guitar
teacher. Now, Bruno plays acoustic
songs which highlight his talent for
both vocal and guitar.
Many students have probably
seen Bruno on the Mendham stage in
many of our school’s musicals. Hoping
to incorporate his love for music into another aspect of his life, Bruno entered
the theatre world in 8th grade. He tried
out for his school’s musical just for fun,
not expecting to experience such a
passion. After his first musical he became involved in Mendham’s choir and
also participated in several other theatrical performances throughout the
years. “I never expected to love theatre
so much,” said Bruno. “I like that theatre allows me to use music another
way in my life.”
Now in the middle of the college application process, Bruno has
created his first CD to serve has his college audition, a requirement to be accepted into any music department. His
CD features “Vanished,” his first original song. Bruno hopes to pursue a career as a music therapist, which would
allow him to work with music professionally as well as with other people. “I
couldn’t see myself doing anything
else,” said Bruno. “I love music and I
would love to
share it with as
many people as I
It is not
Bruno’s friends to
get a surprise
hanging out. “I
love playing for
my friends because it allows
them to hear my
music but is also
great for feedback,” he adds. Bruno
does not only play original songs, but
also does covers of Dispatch, John
Mayer, and Jack Johnson. “Will is phenomenal,” says senior Rebecca
Williams. “He brought his guitar on a
Habitat for Humanity trip and we all
sang along as he played. It was great.”
Throughout his life, Bruno has
found music as “a sanctuary for relaxation.” He hopes that his music can
speak to his peers and hopefully have
the same effect on them. “I would love
to share my music with as many people
as I can.”
New restaurant in
Chester pleases
pizza lovers
by Ellie Meyers
Located in the heart of Chester, Bella
Pizza Gourmet Deli offers more than just pizza.
Serving an array of hot and cold Italian sandwiches, paninis, soups, and salads,
the real star here is the pizza. Whether you
like thin crust or Sicilian style, the pizza at Bella
Pizza is always cooked to perfection. Favorites include margherita pizza, which features the signature Bella tomato sauce, fresh
mozzarella, and basil.
Bella will make any pizza to order
using an assortment of toppings. Some of my
favorites including, mushroom, eggplant,
broccoli, and baked ziti. Delicious! A wide selection of pizza slices is available, such as
chicken parmigiana pizza, barbecued chicken
pizza, and sausage pizza.
The specialty sandwiches are worth
exploring. One of the greats is the Eggplant
Supreme, which consists of baked eggplant
topped with fresh mozzarella, basil, layered
between two pieces of crispy Italian bread.
Bella Pizza’s food will satisfy your pizza
hankerings without leaving a hole in your wallet.
The restaurant’s pizzas and sandwiches are
conveniently priced in line with other pizza
places in the area. Eat in or take-out, either
way, Bella Pizza is a great addition to the local
area and will satisfy your Italian food cravings.
Page 7
Why we love
Mystery Google
by Jenny Keroack
Google is search engine created
people find exactly what they’re looking
for, however, Mystery Google exists to
do just the opposite.
By typing “banana” into Mystery
Google, one comes up with a result of
“World of Warcraft” the first time, “spongebob squarepants” the second time, and “no
fat chicks” the third time. How can this be
possible? Because Mystery Google operates by giving whoever
searches whatever the
person before them
searched for. In other
words, if the person to
who used Mystery
Google before you typed in “I love Sirius
Black” no matter what you entered, your
search would still yield “I love Sirius Black.”
The site itself explains “you get what the person before you searched for.”
So why do teens love Mystery
Google? “This one time I searched something and ‘TURN AROUND THERE’S
was so funny,” said sophomore Katie
The complete and utter ran-
domness of Mystery Google can yield
many more hilarious results.
“I typed in ‘llama’ and got ‘I’m a
pedo.’ It’s so entertaining,” explained
sophomore Nicole Schenkman.
Writing funny comments can
be just as much fun as getting them.
The idea that someone who could live
anywhere from down the street to California could be getting a search is captivating to teens.
“I type in
‘voldemort is always
watching’ to scare
people and make
them laugh,” said
Some funny results:
Mendham High School--the elf flies at midnight
Europe--Cats will rule the world
Ignorance is bliss--Join Sciencetology!
Eleanor Roosevelt--a girlfriend who lives in
Mystery Google, with its neverending stream of randomness is the perfect
way to relax and have a laugh.
Make your own love potion
by Jenny Keroack
A bubbling caldron full of love potion might sound like something out of a
Harry Potter book, but muggle scientists are
getting closer every day. In the future, you
and your boyfriend or girlfriend can seal your
promises of undying devotion with a kiss and
insure it with a potion.
Ingredient number one: phenylethylamine. Side effects include sweaty palms,
shaking knees, and general restlessness.
The brain releases ‘the love molecule,’ as it
is commonly referred to, from apparently
simple actions. The meeting of eyes, touching hands, or even a hello from that special
someone can trigger a jolt of phenylethylamine. This will cause racing hearts, heady
emotions, and heavy breathing. Interestingly,
large amounts of phenylethylamine exist in
Pheylethylamine actually works by
speeding up reactions between cells. With
the help of dopamine and norepinephrine, it
causes the first stage of love, infatuation. For
a time, a person’s entire existence seems to
depend on the object of his or her affections.
Infatuation causes people to feel energetic,
like they are walking on air. Increased levels
of dopamine, ‘the happy molecule,’ and norepinephrine, which stimulates the production
of adrenalin, cause these happy feelings.
The chemicals released by infatuation can
be addictive. Unable to sustain a relationship in which the initial rush of love, and
therefore chemicals, dwindles, these love
junkies become chronic lechers, addicted to
infidelity and the high each relationship
Humans technically are not monog-
THE PATRIOT December 2009
Why not New Jersey?
by Mia Wiskow
Junior and senior year are
stressful and exciting times as students
begin to search for the right college, but
compared to other states, New Jersey
colleges fail to retain in-state residents.
In the late 19th century, nearly
all New Jersey state schools focused
mainly on training teachers. Times have
changed significantly today, and New
Jersey colleges have come a long way,
yet the colleges do not give students reasons to want to attend. Is it because they do
not provide enough benefits to convince instate students to submit their applications?
With shorter applications and significantly
lower tuition costs some states such as
Maryland offer tremendous incentive to stay
in-state for college. At the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 88% of
the school’s population actually lives in
North Carolina. In New Jersey, there is
no state law that requires a minimum
number of in-state residents.
In some cases, colleges are
not perceived in the same light by
New Jersey residents as they are
by people from states farther away.
Students from New Jersey also
may look to other states because
the tuition is the same, and they are
able to go further away from home
for a whole new environment and
experience. Senior Mike Maus
chose not to apply to any New Jersey schools because he believes
that “college is a great opportunity
to meet people outside New Jersey
and to become familiar with a whole
new area.”
In the last ten years, New Jersey college funding has not been accommodating with the exception of a
few schools. County College of Morris
created the S.T.A.R.S. program which
grants students in the top 15% of their
graduating class free tuition for two
years at any New Jersey state school
after attending County College for two
years. This is one of the first attempts
to market to students from New Jersey
to attend a college in their own state.
Although it is not their top choice, seniors Maddy Epstein and Kristen Orchard applied to Rutgers and note that
“tuition is affordable and the school is
widely recognized for academics and
athletic programs.” TCNJ has also marketed well and is considered a “best
buy” because the tuition has been lowered and the facilities and quality of education enhanced to almost match an
Ivy League university.
It is understandable for students from New Jersey to choose to
look elsewhere for college because
they want a new experience, however,
with today’s financial climate staying in
state may just be a sensible move.
Overall, New Jersey colleges need to
do more marketing and provide more financial aid to in-state residents if they
want students to have interest in their
by Katie Rego
Soles4Souls is a nonprofit
charity organization that donates shoes
to people in need
all around the
After the
tragic tsunami hit
Southeast Asia in
Elsey, like many of
us, felt compelled
to help the people
affected. He was
not sure what exactly he could do
to help, until one
night, while watching the new,s he
noticed a single
shoe wash up on
the beach, and an
idea came to him: he could donate
shoes to the victims. He made some
calls to other shoe executives and
ended up donating over a quarter million pairs. A year later hurricane Katrina
hit the Gulf Coast, and Elsey felt compelled to help again. He made more
calls and donated shoes to the people
in need. Elsey realized that many peo-
ple in the world do not have the luxury
of owning a decent pair of shoes. This
inspired him to begin donating all year
round, to various
places, by creating
his nonprofit organization, Soles4Souls.
Elsey quit his executive job, and became
Soles4Souls has
grown tremendously
as a nonprofit organization. They help
donate to over one
125 countries, and all
50 states. Churches,
schools, and many
companies are all
Soles4Souls and hold shoe drives nationwide. Elsey is very excited about
the progress Soles4Souls has made.
“We have given away more than five
million pairs of shoes since we began
this thing, and that translates to one
pair every 13 seconds” Elsey said, “we
are adding staff member every other
month just to keep up!”
Soles4Souls benefits
over 125 countries
amous animals. Only 3% of animals are.
Those animals possess a chemical called
vasopressin, the monogamy chemical. Experiments have shown the human males
injected with vasopressin become infatuated
with women to whom they were formerly indifferent after mating. This chemical would
be key for anyone creating a long-term love
Another must is oxytoxin, the cuddling chemical. Oxytoxin promotes the need
to be held and touched. A look, smell, or
even a fantasy can release oxytoxin.
Final recipe:
Half a cup of Phenylethylamine
Two teaspoons of Dopamine
One teaspoon of Norepinephrine
One tablespoon of Vasopressin
Two teaspoons of Oxytoxin
Stir and inject for the perfect absolutely devoted boyfriend or girlfriend!
By creating this love cocktail, humans can create their own perfect lovers.
Straight out of an Orson Wells' novel, the reality of a love potion grows closer every day.
Watch out Professor Snape, muggles are
taking back the caldrons.
Page 8
THE PATRIOTDecember 2009
Paint us a story
“painterly realism.” While the context of his work is still figurative,
Marrero opts for much more fluid
and spontaneous brushwork than
seen in linear painting (smooth
blending, fine edges, etc.). Inspired
by “everything, mostly light (except
for fluorescent)” and the works of
John Singer Sargent, Marrero gravitates toward the human form and
landscapes, citing Hedden Park in NJ
as one of his favorite places to paint.
A bag of Quaker Oats
has been sitting on Marrero’s
desk for weeks now. As you
Marrero helps art student, Gaby Charmont, create the gape at the rich oil paintings and
perfect effect. (Photo by K. Huang)
then glimpse the quiet man
by Kat Huang
working at his computer, you can’t help
He walks these halls, his work is unbut wonder if maybe Marrero’s granola
mistakable, and he even has a fan club on
contains magical properties.
Facebook; the man, the myth, the legend Neil
It’s like a chapter from Tuck EverMarrero casts off the enigma and talks about lasting; he never ages. Marrero claims
chicken knuckles, going to a private Catholic “young people,” namely, we, are his foungirls’ school, and what keeps him young.
tain of youth, always brimming with fresh
With a sweeping gesture of the perspectives and crazy, newfangled
hand, his thick rings glinting the dim light, he ideas. His huge anti-aging secret was acconfirms what you already knew: Neil Mar- tually somewhat of a letdown, but how
rero oozes cool. Inside the heavy red doors can we not smile with such a compliof Room 142, his indie tracks hit you like ment? “I love helping kids make decisions,”
waves of patchouli and you can’t help but Marrero continues, and particularly relishes
bob along with the pencil tucked behind his impassioning students about art. “Art
teaches people logic, how to be more coear. But imagine a world where the Marrero
gent thinkers.” Maybe the marine biology
we know today may not have been, well, the wouldn’t have worked out, but Marrero arguMarrero that we know today. At a tentative ments sounds pretty scientifically sound.
age, we tend to choose professions that de- Advice from the artist virtuoso? “Never
viate greatly from the ones we actually end wait for inspiration. Find something to do
up with and likewise, Marrero may have and just do it. If you draw a hand one million times, draw it one more time. You
traded in his brushes for a scuba-suit.
In high school, Marrero flirted with just might find your breakthrough.”
Everyone has a particularly humilthe idea of becoming an oceanographer. But
despite his love for “observing fish,” Marrero iating first job and Marrero was no excepwas not too keen on science and quickly tion. “Imagine a Cuban kid living in America
dropped the notion. As a young Cooper working at Jewish deli in a German, Italian
Union grad in 1980, Marrero sought teach- neighborhood.” It’s difficult. It was a “great
ing opportunities with one primary objective: learning experience” but is Marrero one for
“solid pay.” He held several part time teach- nostalgia? Never. “It was gross.” The deli
ing jobs, including one at a private Catholic- was more of a butcher shop than anything
girls’ school two days a week. Soon, part else and come closing hour, Marrero would
time became full time and WMMHS art be wading through a gelatin of coagulated
blood, hearing the crunch of chicken knuckteacher Neil Marrero was born.
Marrero describes his style as les underfoot as he trekked toward the exit.
Teens rush to new fast food chain
by Jon Ketzlach
As of 2003, Five Guys Burgers and
Fries have started to pop up in states around
the country, including New Jersey.
Five Guys offers a unique menu as
well as a different kind of environment which
drives patrons back for more. When customers
walk through the doors, they are not hit with
that disgusting fast food feel. The store is kept
clean and the employees seem happy to be
working. The menu features traditional hamburgers with a few twists.
The menu starts with a list of burgers: hamburger, cheeseburger, bacon burger,
and bacon cheeseburger, with the option of
getting the “little” snack size. Burgers can be
topped with mayonnaise, relish, onions, lettuce,
pickles, tomatoes, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, ketchup, mustard, jalapeno peppers,
green peppers, A-1 sauce, Bar-B-Q sauce,
and hot sauce. Also, a variety of hotdogs sets
Five Guys apart from McDonald’s or Burger
King. The best part of a Five Guys meal is the
french fries, Cajun style, and traditional.
Unlike the more familiar fast food
restaurants, Five Guys doesn’t serve food in
less than two minutes. Instead, they take the
time to create personal selections in a reasonable amount of time. The burgers and fries are
worth the wait. While customers await their
menu course, buckets of peanuts provide an
Five Guys prices, while steep, offer
exceptional food and a great environment, to
enjoy a meal with friends. The most convenient
Five Guys restaurant is located in Parsippany.
If you are willing to take the drive, Five Guys is
the way to go.
Free rice strives to end
world hunger
by Nicole Schenkman
A child dies of starvation every six
seconds; since its 2007 creation by John
Breen, Free Rice ( has been
putting a dent in that number, becoming one
of the most successful efforts to promote the
end of world hunger.
Free Rice is a non-profit organization that donates all of its money to the UN
World Food Program. The Berkman Center
for Internet & Society at Harvard University
maintains the site as a special project.
The site generates money by allowing visitors to play simple multiple choice
games with a topic and difficulty level of their
preference. The topics include English, Art,
Chemistry, Geography, Language Learning,
and Math. For every question answered correctly, ten grains of rice are donated to the
UN’s fund. The site generates the money to
buy the rice from banners located at the bottom of the game’s screen. These banners
are provided by hunger relief and private
Due to regular participation every
day, Free Rice has been able to raise over
70 billion grains of rice since it started almost
three years ago. The rice has been distributed to some of the most impoverished and
affected countries in the world such as Cambodia, Uganda, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar,
and many others. Free Rice purchases most
of its rice inside the country that it is being
distributed in. This helps boost the country’s
economy as well as supply the much
needed rice.
Free Rice has become somewhat
of a fad with younger and older generations
alike. Whether people are playing to entertain themselves at work, school, or
home, they are increasing their knowledge and at the same time contributing
to a meaningful cause. The website educates users about alternative ways to donate money to the World Food Program and
also shows the growing statistics of purchased rice in previous years. Free Rice believes “that when enough people around the
world become knowledgeable about
hunger, it will no longer be tolerated.”
K y le ’ s L it Corner
Senior Kyle Dumovic returns with a new set of
pictures inspired by various novels from the English department. Can you
guess which books each
of these shots reflects? To
help you out is a clue for
each one.
Top: Not quite 1369.
Right: "Would 'A' rose by
any other name smell as
Answers to last issue:
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Page 9
THE PATRIOT December 2009
Headlining stories of the 2000s
In conjunction with this issue’s center on the past decade, we decided to examine the major news stories of the 2000s. Read on to
remember the natural disasters, the wars, the economy, and the aspects of daily life that changed before our eyes, the issues that pervaded the newspapers, the Internet, the television, and the radio. (Continued on page 13.)
Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 10 years
by Sam Blaettler
While for many Americans the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have seemed
to wage on for a lifetime, it is important to remember that only 10 years ago the United
States was not involved militarily in Iraq or
Prior to the September 11th,
2001 terrorist attacks, and the 2003 US
led invasion of Iraq, in search of
weapons of mass destruction, both Iraq
and Afghanistan were ruled by tyrants
with iron fists. Saddam Hussein and his
henchmen terrorized any citizens who
dissented against their reimes. People
who spoke out against the government
were tortured and imprisoned in secret
prisons. In Afghanistan the Taliban
ruled the country with an equally iron
grip. Women were not allowed outside
without first covering their faces’ with
burqas, music, television, and movies
were outlawed, and the celebration of
the traditional new year of Nowroz was
After the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, the US promptly launched the
invasion of Afghanistan, Operation Enduring
Freedom, on October 7th, 2001. The US
plan to topple the Taliban and capture key
terrorists, such as head of Al-Qaeda and the
9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden. While
the US has failed to capture Bin Laden
as of December 2009, the Taliban was
toppled and many key terrorists were
captured. Afghanistan quickly fell out of
the spotlight though as the War in Iraq
was launched in early 2003.
Late 2000s
with economic
by Mia Wiskow
The declining economy has been
one of the most significant changes the
United States has faced over the last ten
Some government officials compare the recent economic downfall to that of
the Great Depression. Both large and small
businesses were affected drastically, and trillions of dollars were lost as a result of the financial crisis. Stocks decreased in value, real
estate plummeted and banks closed because they were unable to pay back debts.
During this stressful time, many
families’ homes were foreclosed. Americans
were forced to take loans that only pushed
them further into debt. Some citizens blamed
the government for not preparing stimulus
plans to stabilize the economy. The government was also held responsible for providing
excessive company bailouts. America is currently in the process of ending the recent
economic downfall.
President Obama plans to make
changes in taxes, health care, foreign policy
and to gradually end the expensive war in
Iraq. Although some citizens and politicians are dissatisfied with Obama’s
progress, he was elected in the midst
of a tremendous crisis that could not be
easily mended.
On March 20th, 2003 the US led
the invasion of Iraq in search of WMD’s.
While no WMD’s were ever discovered,
the US did capture many key figures,
including dictator Saddam Hussein.
The US has also been working on repairing the infrastructure and bringing
Democracy to the country. Despite the
fact that the invasion only lasted for
three months, the US has remained in Iraq
since the invasion. Only now has the withdrawal of US troops begun. The War in Iraq
has overshadowed the War in Afghanistan,
due to a violent insurgency that resulted in
many deaths. Only now has Afghanistan
begun to eclipse Iraq in the news.
As of December 2009, the US is
gradually withdrawing troops from Iraq while
having a troop buildup in Afghanistan. Despite the buildup of troops in Afghanistan, a
gradual plan for withdrawal is planned for
Currently 4, 284 US troops have
been killed in Iraq and 934 troops have
been killed in Afghanistan.
Ris ing gas p ric e s
hit Ame ric ans
at the p ump
by Sam Blaettler
Dollars Per Gallon
2000- $1.48
2001- $1.42
2002- $1.35
2003- $1.56
2004- $1.85
2005- $2.27
2006- $2.57
2007- $2.80
2008- $3.25
Americans remember Hurricane
Katrina four years later
(Above and Below) Someimages from
the recent economic recession.
by Colin O’Donnell
Hurricane Katrina hit the
United States over four years ago, and
it continues to have an effect on inhabitants of the coastal south today resulting in a vast amount of relief efforts to
take place.
One of the most devastating
natural disasters in our nation’s history,
Katrina’s continuous impact in areas
such as New Orleans is immense.
Homes and entire neighborhoods remain non-existent in some places.
Many inhabitants of the coastal south
have still not repaired their homes
today, often living in temporary housing.
Once one of the most culturally exciting
cities in the world, New Orleans is now
hampered by crime and extreme
poverty as the city still feels the effects
of the storm. The reconstruction of
these cities and homes remains an ongoing process, even as the years pass
since the disaster occurred.
Hurricane Katrina altered the
lives of many living in the coastal south,
with damages totaling over $80 billion.
Overall, the government classified 22
counties in the coastal sections of
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and
Florida as disaster areas dispersing
residents across the country. The vast
ruin of buildings and homes as well as
flooding display the destruction of these
areas. In New Orleans, about 80 % of
the city was hit by flooding with some
parts under as much as 15 feet of
The effect Katrina has played in
the United States has encouraged
many relief efforts. People from all over
the country have decided to aid those
in need. Even some students of Mendham High School have participated in
efforts such as the reconstruction of
homes. Senior Caleb DeMoss participated in a group that rebuilt homes in
New Orleans. His experience was
“breathtaking” as he “would drive down
a street and see stranded boats and
flooded cars.” When rebuilding homes,
DeMoss noted, “Houses had to be gutted four feet and under because of the
flood damage.” Junior Ben Alderman
also took part in the rebuilding of
homes in New Orleans. He admitted
that it was “ridiculous to see on certain
streets that some houses are still completely destroyed or completely missing. All that remain of some to this day
are the front three steps.”
While problems still remain, Alderman sees the progress though. “It
was amazing to see the growth that the
city [New Orleans] has made from
something so devastating as Katrina.”
While four years have passed since
Hurricane Katrina first hit, New Orleans
and the other areas of devastation
hope to return to what once existed, before the week long tragedy of September 2005.