The Woodrow Wilson Challenger Winter 2013



The Woodrow Wilson Challenger Winter 2013
The Woodrow Wils
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Edison Township Public Schools
Contributing Members of
Newspaper Club
Noor Amanullah
Anakha Anilkumar Nair
Pooja Bhate
Joheen Chakraborty
Elizabeth Chiu
Stephanie Chiu
Ava Dul
Darlene Fung
Radhika Jois
Peter Maynard
Nathaniel Mumau
Alamu Muthuran
Amulya Mutnari
Nishant Nagalia
Alison Park
Pranavi Parsi
Nirali Patel
Siddhant Pathak
Sanjiv Prasad
Sujit Prasad
Adithya Rachakulla
Tejas Venkatasubramanian
Peter Wu
Chloe Xiang
Jenna Yan
Melissa Yang
Eric Zeng
Daniel Zhan
Student Editor in Chief
Courtney Zeng
Guest Writer
Mr. Marc Gesualdo
Faculty Advisor
Ms. Jaclyn Bartlett
Winter 2013
Meet Woodrow Wilson’s Teacher of the Year:
Mr. Macchiaverna
By: Radhika Jois and Nirali Patel
The Woodrow Wilson Teacher of the Year has
been announced, and it is...Mr. Macchiaverna known
around our building as “Mr. Mac.” As part of the newspaper club, we have had several opportunities to sit
down and talk with Mr. Mac and be inside his classroom.
Everything we have observed from his patience and
dedication with his students to his strong teaching style,
made it clear to us why he was nominated and won
WWMS Teacher of the Year.
This quote from his nomination letter off the
WWMS website states, “If asked to describe Thomas
Macchiaverna, I would have to say friendly, patient and
helpful, but the reason why I choose to nominate him
for the Teacher of the Year award for 2012-13 is because
of his compassion. We often hear about children falling through the cracks, but not
Tom’s kids. He takes on every one of his student’s as his special mission. He fosters
his students, and encourages their independence through socialization,” really says it all.
With that said, on December 3rd, 2012, Mr. Mac had been announced teacher
of the year. With great pleasure, on Friday, December 7th, we had the opportunity to
interview Mr. Mac during the famous Woodrow Wilson Coffee Shop.
How do you feel about earning this honor?
“Honored. It’s nice to see that hard work does not go unnoticed.”
How did you feel about your teachers when you were a kid attending school?
He said that he was very lucky that he had great teachers who inspired him to become a
teacher himself.
What is the secret behind your success?
“Hard work, determination, patience, and thinking outside the box.”
Who do you feel helped you win this award?
“The kids; without them, I’m nothing.”
Any final words?
“Come down to the coffee shop; you’ll leave with a smile!”
Mr. Mac was right. We left the WWMS coffee shop with a huge smile!
Page 2
The Woodrow Wilson
The Magic of the Food Drive: The 7th Grade Community Service Project
By Anakha Anilkumar Nair
This is the Scenario in NJ:
Imagine yourself in a family that gives you enough food and supplies. This might be the way most of you live., therefore, most of you
can connect to this scenario. Your dad and mom, both, have jobs in great companies and they earn enough money to take care of you and your
siblings. Since your parents have great jobs, you have enough money to go to college and even for higher studies. You have a dream career in
mind and you are a hard worker. You have food that is really delicious. Suddenly, out of nowhere, your whole family falls into a big ditch when
your parents lose their jobs. You don’t have enough food for your whole family. You and your siblings have to stop the way that you were living
and learn to live with less. Feeling very confused and helpless, you listen to what your parents tell you about the big change in your daily life.
How would you react to this problem? How would this problem affect your daily life? You may not appreciate it, right? Well, more
than 400, 000 kids like you are struggling with hungry stomachs each day. These kids have to suffer all because of financial problems. This crisis
should stop and you can help stop it very simply. You just have to give a can of food to food shelter. Every can counts! Make a difference in the
world around you. Donate cans of food to the Food Drive at school, or donate food to the local food pantry. Many types of donation centers
opened in U.S.A. The more the people donate, more unfortunate people become happy.
Annual Food Drive:
One of the recent things that happened in our Woodrow Wilson community was the Food Drive in which the 7th graders were sponsoring. As a seventh grader, I am proud to say that this was a total success! Students in the 7th grade raced to collect food for the food drive.
Items being collected were canned soup, fruits, vegetables, tuna, boxes of cereal, pasta, rice, plastic bottles of juice, sauce, gravy, peanut butter,
and other nonperishable items. All food donations were collected in the Social Studies classrooms, and boy was there a lot! When I glanced in a
S.S. classroom, I saw this whole table filled with cans and boxes of food items. There were so many items on the table, that some had to be
placed on the floor! The door to the classroom was even blocked with boxes and bags of food
Magic 98.3 and WWMS Food Drive:
On November 16th, 7th Grade students and teachers dropped off the food to the Community Food Bank. The three 7th graders and Ms. Nilooban (English teacher) were also interviewed
on Magic 98.3, which is one of the areas best radio stations. We are proud to say that staff and students of WW were part of this glorious moment with Magic 98.3.
Interview with One of the Interviewed People:
Every single day, at one time or another, we listen to the radio. One of the coolest radio stations in our area is Magic 98.3. They play
some of the best songs in America right now, and there are small discussions that take place that we eagerly wait to listen. If you are one BIG
fan, imagine this: Pretend that you were part of the Food Drive 2012 and suddenly the people and workers of Magic 98.3 come and interview
you. All the jockeys and show hosts that you hear every single day right in front of you, asking for an interview with you! A dream-come true!
This happened to one of our own teachers...Ms. Nilooban!
This was a dream-come true for Ms. Nilooban. But don’t just take my word for it. Recently, on December 11, 2012, I was lucky
enough to have an interview with Ms. Nilooban about the Food Drive 2012 and about how the interview with Magic 98.3 was. This is how the
discussion went…
What was your feeling when you took part in the Food Drive 2012?
As a teacher, I was extraordinarily proud of 370 pounds of food that the seventh grade was able to collect, especially after Hurricane Sandy.
How can you describe the Community Food Bank?
The Community Food Bank is a large scale operation which services the smaller food banks and pantries of New Jersey. It is massive, so it looks
like BJs or Costco of rows and rows of cardboard boxes that stores and towns donated.
When you were interviewed by Magic 98.3, how did you feel?
It was like meeting a rock star!!! I am a fan of Magic 98.3, and it was a treat. It was fun and I felt like I was
famous. It was exciting!
Would you like to have future events like this in our school?
Absolutely and I have confidence that we will do more and more of these events because Woodrow Wilson MS has always been dedicated to serving the community.
How did you feel representing Woodrow Wilson Middle School and the seventh grade?
I felt proud.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 3
The Magic of the Food Drive: The 7th Grade Community Service Project
Do you think what we did is a good thing?
I think what we did is one small step to a bigger movement of having each student in Woodrow Wilson understand how fortunate they are, and
thinking of others that are less fortunate.
Any message for the readers?
One small gesture can change someone’s life. Every person has the ability to rock our world. So don’t wait...Start today!!!!
Interviewing Ms. Nilooban was a pleasure. I got to learn her experience with Magic 98.3 and I got to know her feelings about the Food Drive
2012. Thank you, Ms. Nilooban for the awesome interview! Additionally, thanks to all who helped make this Food Drive a success. Now, many
of the less fortunate have more supplies to make their lives comfortable. Without the support of our teachers and our peers we couldn’t have
made this Food Drive a big success, so thanking all of you, again!!
Activ Tables in the Classroom
By Nirali Patel
We are getting more and more technology in our school; first the promethean boards, then the iPads, and now
the Activ Tables! Woodrow Wilson Middle School has four Activ Tables being used. The lucky teachers who
get to use them are Ms. Spagnoletti, Ms. Yascko, Ms. Perlin, and Mr. Thomas. Recently, I was lucky enough to
be able to interview Ms. Spagnoletti, a 6th grade social studies teacher.
Do you like working with more technology in your classroom?
She says, she loves working with more technology. She feels that there is a lot more you can do with it to help
you learn. As anyone who was or is in her class would know, she couldn’t wait to get the promethean board.
Since when did you have the Activ Table?
Ms. Spagnoletti got the Activ Table the first week of October.
Did you have to go through some sort of training for it?
She said, she did have to go through training for the Activ Table. So far, she has had two days of training and there are follow up training days to
How would you describe the Activ Table? If someone was to ask what the Activ Table was, how would you describe it?
She describes it as an interactive table, like a giant iPad that allows 6 people to use it, instead of just one. Also, it has many different activities.
Do you use the Activ Table on a daily basis?
Sadly, she does not use it every day because of time and the fact that only 6 people are allowed to work on it at a time. However, she does use it
every few days for small group activities, for reinforcing a concept she has already taught, and for stations.
Are there any games on the Activ Tables? If so, what are the games?
Ms. Spagnoletti personally feels that all the activities are like games, but are educational. She mentioned something called Game Pac that includes
traditional games and math games like chess, Sudoku, Snakes & Ladders, and checkers! Also, there are different puzzles on it!
Do you let the kids use it for fun?
Not right now. She plans on using it for fun later on, in the future, as a “as you finish” activity/ game. The games involve thinking.
Are there any problems you face with the Active Table? Has it ever been unreliable?
Lucky for her, the Activ Table has never failed. Also she hasn’t faced any problems with it either. She has faced a challenge; trying to find the appropriate way to use it for teaching a lesson with the existing software.
Do you want to say any final words on the Activ Table?
“Even though the Activ Table seems very fun, educationally it has a lot of benefits, especially because all kids learn in different ways.” She also said,
“Because you have to collaborate when using the Activ Table, it teaches kids to work together.”
Are you looking forward to work with more technology?
She does as always, but her main priority at this moment is to master the technology she already has!
The Activ Table seems very fun to use! I hope that all our classrooms get Activ Tables, and I can’t wait to use them!
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Meet our NEW School Nurse: Ms. Rodgers
By Amulya Mutnuri
If you have not gotten sick or needed the nurse for anything this school year, you may not have had the opportunity to
meet Ms. Rodgers. However, after interviewing her, I learned a
plethora of interesting and fun information about her. Read our
interview below to learn more about her background, and if you
have not met her, stop by and say hi! Don’t wait until you’re sick...
How was your first month at Woodrow Wilson?
Did you plan to become a nurse?
No. Before I decided to become a nurse, I was a middle school
health and Phys. Ed teacher. I left teaching altogether and owned
my own fitness business and dance studio.
When did you get the idea to become a nurse?
During my business years, one of my clients, which was Princeton
Medical Center’s Birthing Center, mentioned that they thought it
would be a great idea if I became a registered nurse as well. I decided that I would and proceeded to study to become a midwife.
When my son was born, I realized that the school that I would
have to attend for midwifery was too far to attend. Therefore, I
worked instead at St. Peter’s in the Obstetrics department. I took
care of the new moms, and I loved it.
Did you grow up in New Jersey?
Yes, I did. Right here in Metuchen.
What are your hobbies?
I like to play different sports activities. I love to read, cook, and
garden. Anything that’s creative and adventurous.
How else are you involved at Woodrow Wilson outside of
being a nurse?
I am the Best Club advisor.
Did you learn anything from your experience at W.W. so far?
I’ve learned that this is the best school I’ve ever worked in and
I’ve been in a lot of schools! [Thank you!]
Is there anything interesting about you that you think we
should know?
I’ve been a dancer and a choreographer in New York City, owned
a candle making business, and once owned an organic herb farm
and still make herbal vinegars.
What is it that you want most from your experience at W.W.?
I would like to know that the
students here feel comfortable
with me and come to me with
medical concerns and other issues, when necessary.
Any last words?
Thank you, Woodrow Wilson
staff and students, for making me
feel so welcome!
Page 4
Meet Miss Goldberg: A 6th and 7th Grade
Social Studies Teacher
By Nishant Nagalia
Recently I had the
pleasure to meet Woodrow
Wilson’s newest Social Studies
Teacher, Miss Goldberg. I
wanted to interview her and ask
her a few questions about her
experience at WWMS. For
those of you who do not know,
Miss Goldberg is a Social Studies teacher for both sixth and
seventh graders. I hope you enjoy reading our interview!
How has your experience been till not at WWMS?
“It has been an excellent time. I’ve had lots of fun and got to know
other teachers.”
Have you ever taught before?
“Yes, I taught seventh grade in Paramus, NJ.”
Do you like participating in the different activities we have
here at WWMS?
“Yes, it is fun interacting with friends.”
Where did you go to college?
“University of Delaware”
Did you always know you wanted to become a teacher? If you
did, what was your motivation?
“Yes. I had an excellent Social Studies teacher, and I wanted to
share the passion.”
Are you involved anywhere else in Woodrow Wilson?
“Yes, I am a Model UN advisor.”
Outside of school, what are your hobbies?
“I am a Yankees Fan. Additionally, I love reading and traveling.
Also, I love watching movies.”
Any last comments?
“I’m very excited to be at WWMS.”
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
The Woodrow Wilson Band Concert
Page 5
By Darlene Fung
On Thursday, December 20th, 2012, the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade band students all
arrived at school to show off what they have accomplished in the past few months at the Woodrow Wilson Middle School Winter Band Concert. As the sixth graders filed into the choir room,
and the seventh and eighth graders into the band room to tune their instruments, the parents
were seated in the auditorium to await the start of the concert.
Pretty soon, the sixth graders were marching up the stage stairs with their instruments, being
careful not to fall off. After a brief introduction from Mr. Fossa, the highly anticipated concert
finally started. The sixth graders played Christmas Fun, arranged by John O’ Reilly; Chorale and Mystic Chant, by Timothy Loest; Chanukah Folk Song, by
Nicholas Forte; and lastly, Frosty the Snow Man, arranged by John Edmonson. When the songs had all been played, Mr. Fossa summed up the sixth grade
section of the concert and added, “You know, these kids have just started to play together in the band, but look at the performance that they pulled off.”
After the sixth graders, came the Lab Jazz band. This group consisted of trumpets, saxophones, and virtually all the instruments that you
would find in a jazz band today. The Lab Jazz band played Two Bits, by Les Taylor; and Fat Burger, by George Vincent, where Ashwin Konkimalla played
a solo part on the alto sax. Despite the fact that they only played two songs, the Lab Jazz band aced both of them. It sounded very “jazzy” to me!
Following the Lab Jazz band was the Clarinet Quartet, although there were seven musicians rather than four. This “Quartet” played three
songs: March Militaire, by Franz Schubert; What Child is This; and Toyland, by Victor Herbert; all arranged by Edward McLin. The three songs were played
with practically no flaws, and amazingly, their only practice time was the last ten minutes of their lunch period!
Next, the Jazz Ensemble performed. They played three songs that included several impressive solos in them. In Birth of the Blues, by Ray Henderson, Sohil Shah played a solo piano part. Afterward, they played Misty, a song by Erroll Garner and Johnny Burke, and arranged by Robert Lowden.
Jason Luo (alto sax), Zach Kibel (trumpet), and Dana Masters (trombone), all played solo parts in the Jazz Ensemble’s final song, On Broadway, by Barry
Mann, Cynthia Weil, Mike Stoller, and Jerry Leiber, arranged by Jerry Noak. They walked up to the microphone and proudly played their solo, then
strode back up to their place on the risers with the audience clapping wildly behind them.
Finally, the seventh and eighth grade band performed. This large group consisted of a wide variety of instruments, including baritone horns,
baritone saxophones, and few tubas. They played A Christmas Tribute, arranged by Mark Williams; Hatikvah, arranged by Elliot Del Borgo; Hymnsong
Variants, by Robert W. Smith; Snow Day Celebration, by Alan Stein; and as a grand finale, Feliz Navidad, by Jose Feliciano, arranged by Andy Clark. The
band sounded absolutely amazing!!! Their concert left the audience awestruck and definitely reflected on all the effort put into the concert, including
waking up early every Wednesday morning to practice together, and of course practicing at home too.
I think everyone can agree that this concert wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for all of the students’ and Mr. Fossa’s hard work. Preparing
for this concert took three months, several rehearsals, and many days of “going down the line” (listening to each student play individually to make sure
everyone is playing the piece perfectly). I’d say it was well worth it in the end, and the parents thought so too! While waiting outside the band and choir
rooms after the concert to pick up their children, they were commenting on how amazed they were that Mr. Fossa was able to work with over one hundred students playing a variety of instruments and practicing at different times, yet still managing to put together such a thrilling concert. This captivating
performance was a total audience-pleaser, and it definitely reflected on all the effort put into it. If you missed the Winter Band Concert, I highly encourage you to attend the band concert in the spring. Based on this terrific concert, the spring concert is bound to be absolutely fantastic!
The Winter Concert
By Melissa Yang and Courtney Zeng
On December 6th, Christmas carols and music filled the air as the Woodrow Wilson choir and strings orchestra performed the annual Winter
Concert. It was a chance for the students to prove their hard work since the beginning of the school year.
First performing was the sixth grade orchestra. First, they played Jolly Night, which was just like its title – the combination of two pieces: Jolly
Old Saint Nicholas and Silent Night. The lively and energetic piece blended to a calm and peaceful song. Next, they performed Chanukah Celebration,
which consisted of two brisk pieces Chanukah, Chanukah and Chanukah oh Chanukah.
Next was the sixth grade choir. For the 6th grade choir, they definitely were on pitch! (Especially since it was their first time.) The first song
they sang was The Snow Carol, which was soothing and peaceful. It was accompanied by Melissa Yang, a 7th grader. The second song was S’vivon, a
song about Hanukkah. It was fast paced and fun. Juliana Martino, a 7th grader (not Martina, as it said in the program) played the piano for this selection.
The last song was Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. It was “jazzy” and the swaying was actually quite cute. Brandon Tang accompanied this song,
and especially since he’s in 6th grade, I think it’s pretty impressive because jazz is not as easy to play on the piano as you think.
Then, the seventh and eighth grade strings orchestra performed. Their program included Christmas Treat, Country Hoedown, Over the
Waves, Viva la Vida, and finally Dueling Jingle Strings. Christmas Treat was a classic blend of Joy to the World and Deck the Halls. Country Hoedown
was also energetic, with a southern taste to it, since it had clapping and stomping. Over the Waves was a melodic piece mimicking the ocean. Viva la
Vida and Dueling Jingle Strings were the “wow factor” in the performance. The upbeat and well known piece Viva la Vida (originally performed by
Coldplay), successfully juxtaposed Dueling Jingle Strings, which was a ragtime piece with the theme of Jingle Bells. The hard work of the sixth, seventh
and eighth grade orchestras, from afterschool rehearsals every other week to night rehearsals, paid off.
The concert ended with a great finish- the seventh and eighth grade choir. The 7th and 8th grade choir was quite impressive (or so I say so
myself). The first song was Aeyaya Balano Sakkad. It was a traditional Indian song on Diwali, which is the Festival of Lights. The piano sounded like a
sitar, a traditional Indian instrument during this song. The person who made the piano sound like one was 8th grader Aditi Singh. The second piece was
Bidi Bom, another Hanukkah song that really surprised the audience in the end, accompanied by Karen Jiang, an 8th grader. The third selection of the
night was Dona Nobis Pacem, which means “Grant Us Peace” in Latin. It is a soothing and peaceful song, and this was played by Shobhana Sridhar, an
8th grader. The fourth song… ,or tongue twister, was Peter Piper, which was sung probably ten times faster than how you can say it! Devina Lohani, an
8th grader played the accompaniment for this ‘tongue twister’. The final piece of the night was
A Charlie Brown Christmas, which was a medley of four songs- O Christmas Tree, Hark the
Herald Angels Sing, Christmas Time Is Here, and Linus and Lucy. I hope everyone had as
much fun watching as they did performing and learning it!
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 6
The Woodrow Babies...
By Ms. Bartlett
Each year, the Woodrow Wilson family grows. This year, we welcomed four new babies to our family. Congratulations to proud parents:
Mr. Denis, Mrs. Columbus, Mrs. Colicchio, and Mrs. Crowley!
Sydney Evelyn Chao Denis
Kylie Rose Columbus
Kaelyn Mia Colicchio
James Henry Crowley V
August 8, 2012
September 13, 2012
December 13, 2012
December 26, 2012
Benchmarks Through Your Road to
By Anakha Anilkumar Nair
There are many types of assessments that we take every
year in school. We take the NJ ASK, the NWEA and the end-ofthe-year assessments. But now, we also take the benchmarks.
These assessments are taken at the end of every marking period.
Benchmarks, when you think about it, seem really tiring and frustrating, right? However, if you believe it or not, the benchmarks
are here for a good cause.
Benchmarks are here to provide us with lots of knowledge for the upcoming NJ ASK and NWEA tests. When you take
the benchmark each marking period, you are revisiting what you
learned that marking period. We all know that each marking period
you learn something very different, so there is a big chance that
you will forget the lessons you learned and not be able to remember the facts for the big assessments. We could say that the benchmarks help us revise our memory and it gives us an advantage to
do well on the NJ ASK and NWEA. The benchmark assessments
are here to help us succeed in life, and on all the tests that will follow as we go through our learning.
Get used to it because Benchmarks are here to stay.
These tests are surely going to help us throughout our road to success. We are able to revise our knowledge from the past to help us
achieve great scores in the future. These assessments, as all of you
might know, are very important, to
where we are standing in the curriculum. If you want to achieve lots of
things and possibly enter an honors
program, you have to have a decent
score and I believe the reinforcement
from the benchmark assessments
will help you get the score you’ll
The School Play- “December Showcase”
By Noor Amanullah
If you were in the cafeteria on Friday, December 14 at
3:30 or 7:00, you saw the best performance (and only) done by
this year’s Theater Club. During dress-rehearsals, I was given a
backstage pass, and the sight was wondrous. What I saw was actors and actresses helping each other out with props while they
waited for their shining moment. I also saw one thing that you
might not see at other school plays. The whole show was student
operated! Even the ropes (which are probably so heavy that I
couldn’t pull them) were all done by students.
At the show, instead of doing one whole performance,
students did small skits, and I’d have to say, each actor and actress
fit into their character’s personality very well. With fun bits like:
First Date, a skit where an innocent girl and a waitress are almost
tricked by… the boogie man, A Short Midsummer’s Night
Dream, a short version of a well-known classic, and Out to
Lunch, about three girls who have a lot of attitude.
All in all, I’d say that the Theater Club Performance deserves major “props” for a job very well done on their first performance of the year.
P.S. Don’t forget to try out for the spring musical, Honk Jr!
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 7
The W.W. Challenger Clubs of Choice: Math-for-Fun Club & Math Competition Team
By Pranavi Parisi
Did you know that the Greeks first created algebra? Did you know that a mathematician in India created the
number “0”? Well, you could learn all these fun facts and more in Woodrow Wilson’s very own Math Clubs! Kids who are
looking forward to challenging themselves or are looking for a fun way to learn math could join one or both of the
WWMS Math Clubs. There are exciting new activities that take place every meeting! Many students come to this club to
learn about math and they enjoy themselves by doing math! Students come here every week looking forward to learning
something new. Now let’s look forward to learning something new, shall we?
There are two different types of math clubs in Woodrow Wilson that are both led by Ms. Jasper. She conducts
the Math-for-Fun Club and The WWMS Math Competition Team. Students who like to challenge themselves with more difficult problems are
advised to attend The WWMS Math Competition Team, whereas students who want to learn but want to have fun at the same time are encouraged to attend the Math-for-Fun Club. I have interviewed the Math Club advisor, Ms. Jasper, about her opinion about the math clubs and how
she feels about teaching the various students that attend either one or both of the math clubs in WWMS. Let us see what she has to say, shall we?
First thing is first, Ms. Jasper, how do you feel about teaching both the Math Clubs you conduct?
I LOVE being the advisor (and the founder) of Woodrow Wilson’s two math clubs again this year! I have an amazing group of sixth, seventh and
eighth grade students who share something special in common - they love math… and who can blame them?? Certainly not me! I understand my
students because I, too, share a great and deep love of math. I love being challenged by tricky problems and enjoy trying to find the fastest and
most efficient & logical way to solve problems … much like my students do! My goal this year is to develop a club atmosphere where we collaborate to help each other find accurate solutions to challenging math problems in the shortest time period possible. This will help us achieve great
results at the many competitions we are participating in this year.
Second, what is your opinion on how well the students in your Math Clubs are doing?
Club members are doing great! We have over 40 students in our two math clubs, with a nice distribution among the grades. It’s great working with
the mature and focused eight graders and fun to watch the energy and enthusiasm of the younger team members. I look forward to seeing my 6th
and 7th graders grow over the course of their middle school years, and become even more masterful “Mathletes” than they already are (sorry…
had to add that term somewhere!). More details will come regarding specific competition results of our Math Competition Team members, so listen
for these messages during morning announcements.
Third, how are you able to manage such a large group of students with the various events that might occur later on in the year compared to that of last year’s?
This is my second year of advising the Math Club and it is our first year with two math clubs. I must admit, the club has grown larger than I expected it to be! My vision was that creating two clubs would make each club a little smaller and more manageable, but the opposite seems to have
happened! Our largest meeting so far has had 46 students! We’re doing great though… the kids are great listeners and since we are all there for the
same goal (to become faster, more proficient and smarter at math) we are managing to get a great deal accomplished during our meetings. Creating
a Math Club website with detailed solutions to club assignments and links to websites with past competition problems (among other things) is helpful, too, because diligent students can continue working past our Math Club meetings. As far as managing out of school events, cooperation from
parents and students will help make the outside competitions run as smoothly as in-house meetings.
Last but not least, what new experiences have you had so far by advising both the math clubs in WWMS?
Every day I learn something new – whether it is something interesting about a particular club member or finding a new math resource or learning
new rules and procedures about a competition or even finding a new approach when solving a tricky problem. I love being part of an organization
that is geared toward pure academic pursuits and I hope my students feel the same! Thanks for interviewing me and thank you, Pranavi, for being
one of the best founding members of Woodrow Wilson’s math club!
As you have seen above, both math clubs in WWMS are very interesting and fun to learn from! Anyone could join both these clubs and
all students are welcome to join. For more information, you could speak with Ms. Jasper in Rm. 124 during homeroom, visit her website on or email her at [email protected] I hope to see you there and so does Ms. Jasper!!!
The Best Club Helps Out Edison Animal Shelter
By Noor Amanullah
On Wednesday, November 28, 2012, The Best Club went to the Animal Shelter to give a donation
and a few lending hands. As you know, these girls have been using their lunch time to collect money for the
local animal shelter. In previous weeks, you could buy a paw, sponsoring a homeless animal, and possibly
making their life a little bit better. The general thought was that if one person bought a paw and felt good
that they were helping an animal in need, then everyone else would too. The YAP (Aftercare Program) also
helped by collecting loose change and other items that the animals at the shelter could really use. In addition,
we would like to thank all of the students at Woodrow for their donations.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 8
The W.W. Challenger Clubs of Choice: Wordplay
By Adithya Rachakulla
Wordplay Club, what is it? It’s the club that includes word games. For example, games like Banana Grams and Taboo are played, and it is
a very fun experience. In the beginning, it started out very small just like the other clubs, and then it started to take huge steps the top. I’m a huge
fan of wordplay club, and in my opinion, I can’t resist but enjoy playing games after school. When I was in sixth grade, a friend asked me to join the
club, and I am glad I did.
The faculty advisor of this club is Mrs. Hoops. The first time I participated in the club, it was fun and an enjoyable club to attend. As to
say some things about Mrs. Hoops, she’s a well-organized and a very kind teacher to have, you’d be lucky to have her. The first thing I noticed
about her is that she’s a fair person, no favorites and doesn’t cheat.
Back to the club, one game I always enjoyed was Taboo. It is a race to the end, and your only help is your partner and your brain. It is a
great game to play in myriad of numbers. The questioner should be from the team that is being asked the question, if the word is giant, and the
words that you can’t use are troll, huge, and terrifying, then you can say opposite of fairies, the NY football team name is …, and they say giants
the get that card correct then they move 1 space for each card. If you say troll for example there would be a person from the other team that
squeezes a toy to let the teacher know that they cheated.
Another club favorite is Apples to Apples. It is a fun game for everyone. Each player is allocated seven "red apple" cards; on each card is
printed a noun or noun phrase. The judge (a chosen player) draws a "green apple" card on which is written
an adjective ("scary", "frivolous", "patriotic", etc.), and places it face-up on the table for everybody to see. Then each player
excluding the judge chooses a card that they think is the best match for the green apple card, and places it face-down. The
judge should pick the match that is "most creative, humorous or interesting”. The player who gave the chosen red apple card
wins the round, and takes the green apple card to suggest the win. All players then draw red cards until they have seven again,
and the role of "judge" may pass to another person. The winner is the first player to collect a suggested number of green
apple cards; the more players, the lower the total.
All in all, if you like word games, then this club is for you. We hope to see you there!
The Winter White Out Dance
By Radhika Jois
“Walking in a winter won-der la-a-a-nd.!” I am serious,
that’s really how it looked the night of December 19th! It
was spectacular! Everyone was wearing clothes as white as snow.
The night was a blast. So many things were happening….Kids
were chatting it up in all areas and hanging out with their friends.
They danced. The sang. They screamed. They yelled. They had
fun. I’m sure everyone there would agree. Miss Bartlett was there
working the concession stand and she even had fun as a teacher!
The student council had people wear white for a reason. The cafeteria was transformed with black lights and a booming deejay. They also provided highlighters that when written on,
you would glow in the dark and find your shirt glowing! Cool,
Additionally, there was a snack concession stand where
you could load yourself up with snacks, water, and soda for the
reasonable price of one dollar. Many people took advantage of
that and shared snacks with their friends. All in all, I think the
dance was awesome, and all of you who missed it, come to the
next one, or you’ll certainly be missing out on a lot! Thank you
again student council members, Mrs. Fischer, and Mrs. Yascko
for putting together an incredible event. I know I can’t wait for
the next one!
Girls Basketball
By Mr. Gesualdo
After losing 8 superstar players from the 2011-2012
squad that posted an undefeated 15-0 record, the Woodrow Wilson girls' basketball team was expected to experience a "down"
year in 2012-2013. Nothing could be further than the truth.
The Challengers bolted out to a 4-0 start with a lastsecond victory over Carteret, a gutsy road win at Dunellen, a terrific defensive effort in a triumph over Highland Park, and an incredibly emotional 37-30 victory over Herbert Hoover on the
Hornets' home floor. Woodrow has since dropped two heartbreaking games, a 4-point loss to powerful Immaculate Conception, and a controversial 23-22 loss at Metuchen, in which the
Challengers rallied from a 6-point deficit in the final minute to
come oh-so-close to pulling it out.
Nonetheless, with 8 regular-season games remaining and
the Edison Tournament at season's end, the Challengers are looking to "run the table" and prevail in each and every contest. If
their hard work and dedication to this point are any indication,
that is EXACTLY what will happen...and Woodrow Wilson girls'
basketball will continue to prove the doubters wrong.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 9
Because We Lived It, We Can’t Stop Talking About It...HURRICANE SANDY
Sandy and Public Attractions
By: Siddhant Pathak
I am sure that many; if not all of you readers have visited an amusement park in New Jersey such as Seaside or Keansburg Amusement Park.
If you have, you probably remember all of the magnificent and thrilling rides along with the fried and sugary funnel cakes and other fried foods.
Well, due to Superstorm Sandy, you might not be able to enjoy these parks for a while to come. This is because of the parks’ location near the
coast. When Sandy arrived, it left a trail of unbelievable destruction. Below, you will be able to see the vast destruction caused by Sandy to both
of these beloved attractions.
Seaside Amusement Park
Before Hurricane Sandy, Seaside was in a more than comfortable
situation, with a very large number of people coming in every year
to pay a visit to one of the United States’ most famous amusement
parks. Even the small businesses on the boardwalk thrived, getting
their fair share of Seaside’s customers.
In this image, it is obvious to see the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
The entire roller coaster is broken up and has changed its location entirely; it is in the ocean. Along with the rides, other small businesses such
as the small family owned restaurants were severely damaged and some
probably will not be able to get back on their feet due to the heavy losses
Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts
By: Elizabeth Chiu
Just three months ago, the east coast of America was
struck with an overwhelming storm, that killed over 100 people, left
a myriad of people homeless, damaged entire communities, left over
8 million homes powerless, elicited major gas shortages, and obliterated many infrastructures costing billions of dollars. Over the last
couple of months, there have been many Hurricane Sandy relief
programs that have volunteered to help those families who have lost
everything they owned in the storm. One specific event to benefit
the victims of the storm was the 12-12-12 Sandy Relief Concert. At
this concert, a huge group of old English musicians gathered at
Madison Square Garden in New York, performing different songs
that relate to the storm. Some of the featured performers included
Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel,
Alicia Keys, Pink Floyd, and John Bon Jovi. This concert attracted
many viewers, and it helped to raise money for many of the victims.
Another program that has been working to help support
these hurricane victims is the Operation Jersey Shore Santa. Unlike
others who work to help reconstruct houses, and lives, this program
has been working to bring Christmas to these families by collecting
items like gift cards, toys, and board games, to give to them as gifts.
They have been collecting all over New Jersey, including the Walmart located near Costco here in Edison.
There are numerous other organizations that have also
been working to help the families who lost their homes to the storm
and many more who are making generous donations. We as citizens,
who have seen the immense damage, and felt the severity of the
storm, should be willing to help by donating to these organizations.
Trick or Treat? Sandy chooses to
give a trick…
By: Nirali Patel
Trick or Treat? This year, the hurricane has a choice of
giving a trick or a treat. Obviously, Hurricane Sandy, also known as
the “Frankenstorm”, decided to give us a trick. It messed with one
of our favorite holidays, Halloween. Because of its time of reaching
New York and New Jersey, and it causing a major power outage,
Halloween was canceled. Lucky for us, Chris Christy was nice
enough to give us a treat; a very special treat. Halloween got rescheduled. Our township decided to reschedule the date to the 9th
of November from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. It was actually a lot of
fun. It was also on a Saturday, so kids didn’t have to worry much
about homework either. Additionally, it was during the daytime, so
it wasn’t dark. So I agree that there were a lot of advantages to having Halloween on the 9th of November. However, I don’t know if
you feel this way too, but for me, when trick or treating on November 9th, I felt that something was missing opposed to trick or
treating on October 31st. I
think that we should only
allow treats from the hurricanes that are coming in the
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 10
The 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
By: Elizabeth Chiu
This year was the 86th Anniversary of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade is a great New York tradition and is usually
attended by 2-4 million people. Over 50 million more watch it on TV. The parade has taken place every year since 1924, except during WWII
due to a lack of materials. It features marching bands, floats carrying celebrities, dancers and cheerleaders; but the highlight are the gigantic helium balloons that tower over the crowd. These balloons are about five to six stories high and are filled with over 10,000 cubic feet of helium.
This is enough helium to lift 746 pounds. Macy’s, who is the sponsor of the parade, is the second largest consumer of helium after the United
States government.
This year, I was very excited to attend the parade and view the festivities first hand. There were massive crowds and as we waited for
the parade to start, the air was charged with anticipation. When the first float came into view, a deafening cheer erupted from the crowd! Over a
3-hour time period we watched 56 balloons float by. Four of these were flying for the first time (Elf on the Shelf, Papa Smurf, Hello Kitty, and
Companion by KAWS). Other (repeat) balloons included, Spiderman, Kermit the frog, Buzz Lightyear, Kung Fu Panda, Diary of a Wimpy Kid,
and Pikachu. Among the many celebrities at the 2012 parade were Carly Rae Jepsen who performed “This Kiss”, Karmin who performed
“Brokenhearted”, and the British band, The Wanted who performed “I Found You”. The Fab5 gymnastic gold medal Olympians were also a
great crowd pleaser. Every street was packed with a sea of people desperate to see the parade with people
standing on everything they could, and trying to push their way through the crowds to see the amazing floats,
and balloons. It was an awesome experience.
One interesting fact that came to light after the parade were reports of information being exposed
in the confetti that was thrown up into the air. It was reported that the confetti was poorly shredded and the
people were able to see confidential information such as license plate numbers and incident reports. Officials
are still trying to figure out how these reports got there in the first place. Despite this odd finding, the 2012
parade was again a great success.
The Holidays in New York City
By: Ava Dul
There is always something fun to do in New York City, and during the holiday season, there are special things to see and do. If you are
wishing to see a play or show, there are several options. Elf is a hilarious story about a human named Buddy, who thinks he is an elf. However,
once he travels to New York City, he learns his father is on the “naughty list,” and his brother doesn’t believe in Santa. Throughout the play,
Buddy tries to teach his family the true meaning of Christmas. Radio City Spectacular is the classic holiday show and has now been going on for 85
years! Even if you have seen it already, there is always something new and the Rockettes dancing are amazing. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a
movie everyone loves, and now, it is popular play! The narrator is Max the Dog, the Grinch’s pet. The Grinch hates Christmas and wants to get
rid of it, but in the end, the Grinch learns Christmas is more than what he thought and finds love and acceptance.
To kick off the annual Jewish Festival of Lights, visitors gathered around the 32-foot-high, gold-colored, 4,000-pound steel holiday Menorah at the Grand Army Plaza. It was located across the street from The Plaza Hotel, Central Park, and FAO Schwartz toy store. The first lighting
occurred on December 8th, and the last lighting was on the December 16th, when the Sabbath ended. Also in the area, Chanukah on Ice was held on
December 10th at Trump Wollman Rink in Central Park. The event had a giant, hand-carved ice Menorah, which was lit. Skaters at night listened
to Jewish music and enjoyed complimentary Kosher food. For kids, there were games, crafts, puzzles, stories, comics, and movies to watch.
There are many free activities if you don’t have much money to spend. You can take a walk down Fifth Avenue (FAO Schwartz to
Rockefeller Center) to see all of the lights and the decorated windows at Saks Fifth Avenue, which has a light show in the evening. Once at Rockefeller Center, you can see the giant tree with the many colorful lights or skate at the ice rink.
If you find yourself south of Rockefeller Center, check out Bryant Park. There is a carousel, ice skating rink, pretty decorations, and lots
of shops. Macy’s also has great decorated windows and is just a few blocks away. Further downtown at Union Square, there is an outside farmer’s
market, and shops are set up during the holiday season selling everything from food to candles to pocketbooks – perfect gift items. There is also a
great place for lunch or dinner for chocolate lovers called Max Brenner. The theme is chocolate, and the menu is delicious with fondue, crepes,
S’mores, and even the meals have a bit of chocolate added to them.
Great for kids and candy lovers of any age, there are also two candy stores on the Upper
East Side. First, is Serendipity 3, which is also a restaurant and is known for their frozen hot
chocolate drinks. Down the street is Dylan’s Candy Bar, which has several levels of candy, chocolate, fudge, ice cream, and candy merchandise. Even though it is very busy, you don’t want to miss
out. William Greenberg’s Desserts, also on the Upper East Side, has Hanukkah and Christmas
cookies, gingerbread cookies, and the traditional Hanukkah jelly donuts.
If you have time this holiday season for some family time, New York City has something
for everyone. Feel free to wear your Santa costume, too. This past weekend the streets were full of
people dressed as Santa and elves. There were hundreds on every street and in the subway – a
Santa parade! Happy Holidays!
The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 11
By: Chloe Xiang
As the end of the year nears, many of us look forward to the holidays. People celebrate different holidays and traditions that are special to their religion
and beliefs. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanza it is a merry time of year and full of happiness.
Christmas is a wildly celebrated holiday by millions of people each year on December 25. They celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ
on this day. People decorate their homes with nativity scenes, the scene of Jesus as a baby, born in hay in a farm setting. Christmas
trees are also a part of the Christmas tradition. They originated in Germany when people began to cut down trees and bring them
home to decorate. Nowadays, we keep the tradition alive and continue to decorate trees using ornaments and lights. Each Christmas, presents are usually placed underneath this tree. Santa Claus is described as a jolly, joyous old man who is said to bring gifts
to children on Christmas by using a sled, driven by magical reindeer. Although Santa may not be a true person, his giving spirit is
always alive. Since there are many songs written about Christmas, many people enjoy Christmas caroling during this season. They
go from house to house and wish everyone happy holidays.
The holiday of Hanukkah is celebrated by Jewish families. This holiday is observed for eight days and nights and usually falls during late November or early December. It honors the event which a miracle occurred. The Jewish temple was seized by the SyrianGreeks. The king forced everyone to worship Greek gods and take on the Greeks’ religion. Finally, the Jewish people were able to
regain control over their town. The Jewish troops were persistent in purifying the Temple by burning oil in a menorah. To their
dismay, they only had one day’s worth of oil left. However, they still did their ritual. Surprisingly, it lasted for eight days and nights.
Many families enjoy eating festive meals together. The traditional foods include, latkes, which are potato pancakes usually served
with applesauce and sour cream, and jelly doughnuts, also known as sufganiyo. On each of the eight days, you are given presents by
family and friends. Families light the menorah each day of this holiday, using the middle candle to light each one. Playing with the
dreidel is very popular. Players start out with the equal amount of money, gold coins, etc. and they gain or lose them depending on
what letter they land on when spinning the dreidel.
Kwanzaa is a week long holiday celebrated by African Americans from December 26 to January 1st. It is a holiday to honor the
African Americans’ culture and keep their heritage alive. Kwanzaa is modeled after eight principles, titled Kawaida. The traits
are: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. This holiday
tells people to stay close and in touch with their roots. Different items and display are shown during this holiday. People place
items such as corn or crops on a special mat on a table. They put up flags with the colors red, green, and black. These colors represent Africa and the crops symbolize the harvest.
The kinara is a significant part of Kwanza. The kinara is a candleholder similar to the Menorah used during Hanukkah. Unlike the
menorah, it has seven candles that are different colors. Three of the candles are green, three are red, and there is one black one in
the center. The red represents blood and the green represents the lands of Africa. Each day is marked by a different principle;
therefore one candle is lit each day. Just like Hanukkah, the middle candle is used to light the others. Every December 31st, families
gather together to eat a grand feast, called the Great Feast of Karamu. Dishes that are usually eaten include peanuts, sesame seeds,
sweet potatoes or collard greens, which are a type of vegetable that are grown in Africa.
Holiday Survey
Our schoolmates in Woodrow especially enjoy this winter holiday season. In order to find out how our students celebrate winter holidays and their holiday wishes, I did a small survey to a population of 20 students, ranging from 6th to 8th grade with different genders and ethnic backgrounds.
The first question was, “What are you most looking forward to this holiday season.” “Spending time with family,” overpopulated the other answers greatly. Other answers included “receiving presents” and “holiday shopping”, which tied in second and “going on vacation” came in last.
“If you could ask for anything what would it be,” was the second question. “Peace” was the one that most people would ask for. Coming in second were “No disease”, “Electronics”, and “Other.” Some unique “other” answers included “a new house or my aunt and grandma living nearer,” or
“Marvel action figures,” and “more sleep”.
The next question was “What is the best present you’ve ever received?” Most people enjoy their electronics, while coming close behind was
“other”. This was full of very unique answers such as “charm bracelet,” or “super hero squad action figures,” and “getting more sleep”. “Books” came
behind the two and no one choose “clothes”.
The fourth question was, “What do you love about the holidays that are specifically done around this time of year.” “Eating pies and drinking
cider/mocha, etc.” and “other” tied for first. Once again, “other” was full of special answers. Varying from “all of the above” to “relaxing and watching
football.” Coming next was “Putting up the Christmas tree, menorah, etc.” and following it was “Listening/singing holiday music.”
The final question was “What winter holiday do you celebrate?” Out of everyone I surveyed, all celebrated Christmas, except for one person, who
doesn’t celebrate any winter holiday.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 12
Black Friday
Cyber Monday
By: Amulya Mutnuri and Pranavi Parsi
All over the United States of America, Canada, and many other countries, on Thursday evenings after Thanksgiving dinner, people stand in bunches outside of stores and malls, waiting for
that clock to indicate the store opening. Black Friday is a shopping spree on a huge scale, with
items at prices that were reduced a lot. It’s not uncommon to see huge lines, people shoving each
other for items, and hands trying to grabs things first on this busy day.
Black Friday’s name first originated in Philadelphia. It was called that because of the immense
traffic on the day after Thanksgiving. Some time after that, another explanation came: Black Friday meant that the sellers would get an immense profit. (That’s also called being “in the black”.)
Isn’t it ironic that Black Friday is right after Thanksgiving? After people had been thankful of
what they had, that same night, they were lining outside of stores to buy more goods! People
don’t exactly get a impression of you that is thankful!
During Black Friday, a lot of money was spent. People bought many of the products from
Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. Plus, according to CNN, $52.4 billion dollars were spent on
Black Friday! This was 16% more than the sales of last year! Gadgets and apparel were most
popular and were sold out in the blink of an eye this year. Some of the popular electronics that
were sold this year were tablets and smart phones. As many as 212 million people went shopping
on Black Friday in stores. The sales this year were much better than last year’s, but people think
they could do better.
Even though you get many good deals on Black Friday, you might also get a good deal of
being pepper-sprayed in stores! Many shoppers this year were pepper-sprayed by angry customers
because of last minute products or because “the early bird wanted to catch the worm.” There
were also many arguments amongst the shoppers and shop-owners
about thefts, robberies, riots, and even shootings occurred in many
different stores across the world. Angry customers did everything
they could to get what they wanted, like creating a lot of violence. So,
the next time you go Black Friday shopping, I suggest being very
careful and extremely cautious, but by all means, buy until you drop!
By: Nirali Patel
Do you like shopping with big discounts but can’t make it to the store? If so,
Cyber Monday is your lucky day. Cyber
Monday is the term for the Monday following Black Friday. This day is a big day for
online shopping. There are all sorts of sales
online. Unlike Black Friday, you can be part
of this event at home, at work, basically anywhere. Even better, Cyber Monday is not
only for people living in USA, but in some
other nations too such as Canada, Germany,
Chile, United Kingdom, Portugal, France,
and Germany! You can shop from your computers, iPads, iPods, phones, basically any
device where internet is available! Not only
that, but with the holidays coming up the
next month, this is a great day to buy gifts
for your friends and family as well! Happy
Brrr, It’s Cold Outside! Cold Weather Safety
By: Sujit Prasad
If you are planning to wander or play around in the cold weather, wearing appropriate clothing
is vital for your safety. This will keep you comfortable and warm for the time you are outside and
prevent you from getting sick. I will provide you with some advice as to how to dress for the outdoors during the cold weather.
Wearing clothes in layers is the best way to keep warm. Use many thin, warm layers rather than
a few thick layers. It will insulate better and will allow you to take off layers if the temperature
increases. The three main layers of clothing are wicking, insulating and weather protection. First of
all, the innermost layer should have clothes made of light fabric that absorbs sweat. Wool and silk
are the best materials of clothes you should wear. You should wear thermal undergarments because it keeps you warm. You should avoid cotton because it retains moisture and will keep you
cold. The second layer should consist of a sweater or sweatshirt. The purpose of this layer is to
keep heat in and cold out, which happens by trapping air between the fibers of the clothes. You should avoid a sweatshirt with a hood when you
are going to wear a coat with a hood because it causes too much bulk beneath the layers of clothing. In the outermost layer, be sure to wear a waterproof or water-resistant coat or jacket. This will keep you warm from water, sleet, hail, or snow. After these layers, wrap a scarf around your neck.
You can also wrap the scarf around your mouth to guard against cold air. Before going outside, you should wear earmuffs, mittens, or thick gloves.
Up to 60 percent of your body's heat can escape from an uncovered head, so wearing a hat is essential in cold weather.
Did you know that drinking liquid is important even during cold weather? The body loses a large amount of water in form of vapor during
breathing. Drinking soup will not only help you keep warm, but will also keep you well hydrated.
Shivering, chattering of the teeth, feeling dizzy or weak indicates that the temperature of your body is decreasing. If you are beginning to exhibit
these symptoms, take a break inside for a while until you are ready to have fun outside again. Wintertime is an exciting and fun time to play outside,
but you have to make sure you are well-prepared and well-dressed to enjoy the cold weather.
If you are going to be outside in the snow, remember to bring sunglasses and sunscreen. Look for 100 percent UV protection in sunglasses. The
sun light reflects off of the white snow, which creates a very bright environment. This bright environment causes eye strain.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 13
Battery Farming
By Siddhant Pathak
I am sure that many of you have eaten eggs at least once in your life. But, do you know that a huge
chunk of those eggs that you eat are from chickens that are underprivileged? I have written this article
to inform all of you about the despicable treatment of the birds which feed us every day with their eggs.
For starters, a battery farm is characterized by small living space and inhumane living conditions. Battery farming really boomed when chicken farmers realized that they could increase their profits expoFigure 1– Many chickens cramped tonentially by cramming a huge number of chickens into one cage to increase the number of eggs laid.
gether in a single cage in a battery farm They took all steps to ensure that there would be a highest yield as possible. For example, they created
sloped walls to make sure that all the eggs would go properly in a basket. Also, the cages were made in
such a way that the chicken’s feces would fall into a trench and not interfere with the chicken’s egg production. You must be wondering how the
chickens could produce an excess of eggs if they were so cramped. The reason that this was possible was because the battery farmers overfed the
chickens in such a way that they could not even stand. It is very possible that the eggs that you are eating as an omelet could be filled with growth
hormones that the chicken was fed or the improper diet that the chicken was on.
Battery farming is also bad for the underpaid workers who work there. The bacteria that a diseased chicken might have could also make
the person ill and potentially kill them. Another con about battery farming for workers is the fact that the workers are treated like garbage and are
pressured or threatened from revealing the chicken company’s secrets. In one recent incident, a whole factory of workers was killed in a fire since
the factory owner had blocked the fire escapes to make sure that the workers would not steal any chicken. As ridiculous as this may sound, this is true. The chicken companies such as Tyson and Perdue target struggling farmers and
pressure workers into growing chickens the way that helps in their selling scam.
I would like to encourage all of you to stop buying these brands of chicken and only buy egg cartons or
chickens that are free-range or organic. Generally, these brands are reliable because they grow their chickens without
hormones and feed them a proper diet that a chicken must be fed. For additional information, watch the documentary “Food Inc.”. This eye-opening documentary will shed some light on the mistreatment of other animals as well as Figure 2– Another image
of a battery farm
chickens. If we all make the organic change, then hopefully, the battery farming industry will collapse.
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple: The Richest among the Richest
By Anakha Anilkumar Nair
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, or also known as Sri Padmanabhaswamy kṣētṟaṁ (which means “Temple” in Malayalam [Malayalam is the
language of Kerala]) was a normal temple in Kerala which belonged to the royal family of Travancore (Trivandrum). This divine temple was dedicated to Sri Padmanabhan, which is another name for Lord Vishnu (One of the three most powerful and most worshipped deities of Hindu mythology). The fact that the temple is visited by lots of people made it famous in Kerala. Like any other temple, it was important but only the people of
Kerala knew about it. After, April 2011, the whole impression that the world had on this temple changed drastically.
The royal family’s temple had one big secret that could make us all shocked. Inside the temple, there are 6 vaults (Kallaras) which are classified from letters “A-F” There were large amounts of valuable things in the Kallaras which includes large amounts of gold, precious stones, diamond
jewelry, golden utensils, weapons, golden idols, golden elephants idols and diamond necklaces having 500 kilograms weight and 18 feet length and
bags full of golden coins of different nations, including Napoleon and Italian coins. All the valuables equal approximately some 32,000 crore or 320
billion (US$5.82 billion) in gold, coins and other assets. It is estimated that the value of the massive items is close to 1.2 lakh crore or 1.2 trillion (US
$21.84 billion), making it the richest temple in the world.
For many years, the Travancore royal family was taking care of the temple and the riches inside it. The temple belonged to the royal family
and the king and his family was referred to as “Padmanabha Dasa” which means the servant of Sri Padmanabhaswamy. The reason why the big secret
was spilled out was because of an ordinary man named T P Sundara Rajan. This man, who was really close with the royal family of Travancore,
somehow knew about the riches that were in the temple. He filed a case in the Kerala State Court, saying that there was lots of gold in this temple
and that he wanted to open the vaults because of mismanaging and poorly guarding the temple. Now, the case is in the Supreme Court of India, the
highest court in India. But, the Supreme Court opened five out of the six vaults. They are discussing about opening the “B” kallara because the
priests of the temple said that the person that opens the vault will be cursed. Opening that vault is not appreciated by the main god and that this
move will bring bad luck to the openers. Because of this case, the fact about the riches of this temple are spread all over the world now.
The Supreme Court of India wanted a report or review about the treasures of the temple. When observing the Kallaras, several 18th century
Napoleonic era coins were found. [Just a side note: The Napoleonic era is a period in the history of France and Europe. The Napoleonic Era is generally noted as the fourth and final stage of the French Revolution.] This means that there was trade between the French and the Travancore kingdom from the olden times and that the Travancore kingdom was really rich even from the French Revolution time period.
In the temple, there was the three-and-a-half foot tall gold idol of Mahavishnu (the main god of the temple) studded with rubies and emeralds, and royal attire for decorating the deity in the form of 16-part gold anki weighing almost 66 pounds together with gold coconut shells, ones
studded with rubies and emeralds.
Because of the riches that are in the temple, the temple is the richest temple in the world and Sri Padmanabhaswamy or Lord Vishnu is the richest god in the world, making Hinduism the richest religion in the world. No one would
have expected this in an ordinary temple, in an ordinary district, in an ordinary state. The people of Kerala were shocked
and impressed about the riches that were kept secret in the temple. Now, that is just the massive amounts of riches in one
temple; can you think about the others?
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 14
How Healthy are Energy Drinks?
By Courtney Zeng
You wake up in the morning, feeling sluggish, with your head throbbing. The stress on your
shoulders is overwhelming, and as you think about the number of tasks you have to do today, you realize you
need more energy. For our age group, when problems arrive like this, many people resort to energy drinks to
give them the boost they need. Energy drinks are thought to be a convenient way to keep yourself awake. But
how healthy are they? Recently, FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, decided to conduct a study on the
energy drinks. They believe that the recent thirteen deaths of people are linked to Five Hour Energy drink.
The case of energy drinks was brought to attention when a fourteen year old girl’s parents sued
Monster Energy Drink for causing the death to their daughter. After the autopsy was done, it stated that her
death was attributed to “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity.” In 5 Hour Energy Drink, it contains 207
milligrams of caffeine, which is approximately how much caffeine there is in two cups of coffee. It also
contains healthy aspects, like vitamins and amino acids. However, with the amount of caffeine it contains, and
the high amounts of sugar, many people oppose energy drinks. Caffeine intoxication can cause restlessness,
nervousness, heart palpitations (irregular heart beat), insomnia (sleeping problems), and stomach problems.
Children and teenagers are more likely to develop heart palpitations than adults.
Most people think energy drinks are okay because they are already approved by the FDA. The FDA
says that one thousand milligrams of caffeine are needed to kill a person. They have a certain limit of caffeine in a drink, but many
brands, like the 5 Hour Energy Drink, can get around the limitations by putting “natural” on the container. Other choices can be made
to have energy, but not rely on artificial chemicals. Getting at least eight hours of sleep; eating healthy, especially for breakfast; and
exercising routinely can help provide an even better source of energy, without the crash, and without the high doses of caffeine and
sugar. There are much more healthier and natural alternatives that can be chosen.
The World is Going to End; Or is It?
By Anakha Anilkumar Nair
For the past year, many people have been worrying about the ending of the world that was
going to happen on December 21st, 2012. After the movie “2012” came out, the whole world started
getting scared and frightened about what was going to happen to the people. But, the people that don’t
believe in the “world-going-to-end” scheme see it as a funny joke or a never-going-to-happen myth.
However, a large percentage of the people in our society did wonder if this was actually real or true.
The movie “2012” was showing a big catastrophe in which tsunamis and earthquakes throw
the world into a big mayhem. All sorts of weird and terrible things happen which causes the world to
plunge into terrible misfortune. None of these things were ever told or predicted by the Mayans. Then,
how did this rumor even begin?
Many people started to say that the myth of the world ending even from the time of the Romans, and the story still continues. The observation that could have affected us this time was the myth
that the world is going to end in December 21st, 2012. The reason why the people are believing that the world was going to end was
because of the Mayan apocalypse at the start of the 14th b'ak'tun. The myth was that the Earth would be destroyed by an asteroid,
Nibiru, or some other interplanetary object: an alien invasion or a supernova. Many people including the Scientists from NASA, along
with expert archeologists, stated that none of those events were possible or could happen in real life. However, still, some of the
superstitious people in the world believed that the world was going to end.
Turns out, none of the things that were predicted occurred. The Mayan calendar, people now say, didn’t mean anything about
us dying or the whole world going to end. What the Mayans actually meant was that their calendar (The Mayan calendar) was going to
end. Surprisingly, many of the people got scared and disturbed by the fact that the calendar was going to end. It was quite natural,
When our calendars that we use each and every year end, do we say that the world is going to end? No, and that is the same
case here. The Mayans only said that their calendar is ending. As a matter of fact, the Mayan calendar is not counted in one year like our
calendars. It is counted over 18,980 days, approximately 52 years, so after that many years, the calendar ended. On December 21st, 2012,
the calendar ended and that is what the Mayans said.
Now, we know that the world didn’t end because we are living! So, the superstition that the world is going to end is false. The
Mayans were only meaning that their calendar was going to end and nothing else. The world-going-to-end myth is over for now, but the
same old things will repeat on May 19th, 2013 because of the Jesus Christ's return. Oh Boy! Here we go again!!!
(Sources- Wikipedia, Google,,
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 15
Recycling in America
By Jenna Yan
Recycling is important to the communities in America. You may have heard people tell you to recycle paper, plastic bottles, cans, or aluminum. But have you ever thought about recycling something once a day can really make a difference? Every month, Americans throw out enough
glass bottles to build a skyscraper. In one year, there would be twelve skyscrapers, which are equivalent to twelve Empire State Buildings! All of
those glass bottles could either be recycled or reused. The U.S. uses 100 million tons of wood in a year. Imagine if none of it was recycled. Then,
you would have wasted 17 trees. By wasting those trees, 250 pounds of carbon dioxide is added to the air. Trees help to draw out the carbon dioxide from the air. Without them, carbon dioxide would cause air pollution. It is all a chain reaction.
The first step in the process of recycling takes place anywhere. Recycle anything you can in the blue plastic bins at your house, the library,
the airport, or even school. The bins are then taken outside to be collected. The contents inside are collected and then brought to recycling centers.
At the centers, different materials are differently recycled and sorted. For instance, glass is sorted by color and then brought to a processing facility.
Plastic and aluminum are brought to a recycling plant, whereas paper is brought to a pulping facility. Because of their differences in composition and
material, they are recycled in different ways.
Glass is made up of the easiest material to recycle. After glass is brought to the recycling center, it is brought to a processing facility to be
cleaned and crushed. The fine crushed glass is called the cullet. The cullet is brought to a manufacturing plant to be mixed with sand, soda ash, and
limestone. After that, the mixture is heated in a furnace and turned to liquid form. The liquid is poured into molds to be shaped and reused again
for other products.
Plastic is a raw, man-made material that consists of petroleum and crude oil. It is very important to recycle plastic, because the gases it
contains are toxic to the air. After plastic is brought to the recycling centers, it is sorted and brought to a recycling plant to be washed and inspected.
It is then chopped into tiny flakes and separated in a flotation tank. Plastic flakes are dried and then melted into liquid. The liquid is fed into a
screen for more cleaning and comes out in long strands. They are then cooled and cut into pellets to make new products for manufacturers.
Aluminum is the fastest mineral material to be recycled. A soda can you recycle today could be back at the store in two months. Aluminum is brought to recycling centers, and then brought to a recycling plant where it is shredded and melted. Melted aluminum is cooled then shaped
into a slab called ingot. Ingot are then made into sheets and then used to make brand new products.
Paper is the last main important item to recycle. It is made of tiny, coarse, fibers. Fibers eventually become weak.
Because of this, paper cannot be recycled multiple times. Different types of paper make it harder to recycle. There are many
types of paper like glossy coating paper, waxy coating paper, newspapers, white paper, colored paper, or cardboard. Paper is
first brought to the recycling centers like all materials to be sorted. Then, it is soaked in heated vats to become pulp again.
Pulp is when the paper is made of wet fibers. The pulp is cleaned and screened to remove glue, ink, or other rubbish remains
on it. Pulp is refined, beaten, and then fed into a machine where paper sheets are formed. The paper sheets are rolled and
dried. They are ready to be used as a newspaper or for an assignment.
Next time you eat a Hershey Kiss, think of this: the aluminum foil wrap of a Hersey Kiss is recyclable. Remember to
recycle that little piece of aluminum to make a difference. How much you recycle each day, and how often you do it, is up to
you. Set an example to everyone around you. Keep our environment clean by recycling!
New Garbage Collectors…Sweden?
Longer Days of School?
By Alison Park
By Radhika Jois
Sweden has decided to be different from other countries and
collect garbage instead of trying to get rid of it. As you may know, the
U.S., and many other countries have been struggling with their huge
amount of garbage; having a hard time figuring out where they can put
all their waste. But while this is happening, scientists in Sweden have
figured out a way to reduce their trash and also found a way to benefit
from it.
Last year, Sweden collected over 850,000 tons of trash and was
paid to do so, planning to use all of this garbage for a waste-to-energy
project. It all started in the 1940’s, when most of the world did not even
think of recycling, when Sweden actually started making a program that
incinerated their trash to energy!
The energy produced from these plants has continually grown
overtime that now, it can provide energy for about 20 percent or 810,000
homes in Sweden and electricity in 250,000! Additionally, only 4 percent
of Sweden’s waste ends up in a landfill. Already, neighboring countries
near Sweden have imported trash to them, and still
many others are questioning to take the chance and
send garbage as well.
Hopefully, America’s scientists will find a
way to use our trash for energy as Sweden has
done, and who knows, maybe a year from now
there will be no landfills!
That is one question that has a universal answer from the students. No
one wants longer days of school. Of all the states in our country, only five
states: Colorado, Connecticut, Tennessee, Massachusetts and New York,
will be adding 300 hours of extra class time to the next academic school
year. Their goal is to help the children’s education improve. Some teachers
and education board directors think it is a wonderful idea. “As an agency,
we encourage schools to be as innovative as possible to increase academic
achievement for students,” said New Jersey Department of Education
spokesman Richard Vespucci. He claims that there was no talk about extending the school days, because the schools have a minimum of days, and
academic hours.
Our school days are 6 hours and 53 minutes long including lunch and
passing time. We have to have 180 days of school per academic year by
law. Whether the weather is good or bad, we have to have be present in
school at least 180 days.
Of all the changes in school scheduling and course-work that have
occurred over the years, Chris Strano, a South Jersey Board of Education
President said extending the school day has never been necessary. “I don’t
know, per se, if extending the school day is the absolute answer,” Strano
said. “The better question is how can you get more efficient and effective
in the education process with the time we have.” And I agree with him.
Some kids lose interest in just that little time we have. If we
make the time in class interesting, maybe kids will be able to
do better and we won’t need to extend the school hours.
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Page 16
Stay Smart- Don’t Puff Your Life Away
By Sanjiv Prasad
Often, on the news, you might be seeing an increasing amount of children going to jail because of smoking or drinking
underage. Some kids think smoking makes them look better in front of their friends, yet it does the complete opposite. In this article, I
will describe how smoking negatively affects the body and how to prevent or deal with it.
There are many rumors from smokers about the health “benefits” of smoking, yet these myths are to simply help the smokers
assure themselves. Some smokers think smoking less cigarettes have no effect whatsoever on them. However, it still has the same health
hazards as regular cigarettes. Many also believe that they lose weight by smoking, but they actually gain weight. More importantly, these
smokers strongly believe that they are the only ones being affected, whereas the smoke affects the health and habits of those around
them, too.
Smoking can greatly affect the health of your body. It results in gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, and yellow teeth. Smokers
commonly have headaches, mainly because of the narrower blood vessels leading to the brain, which also results in strokes. Hydrogen
and other toxic chemicals attach to the walls of your bronchi, “tubes” that bring oxygen to the lungs. In fact, a smoker is 10 times more
likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer compared to a nonsmoker.
“40% of men die from
The results on the heart are devastating. Raised blood pressure makes blood clot easily. Also,
smoking-related problems
more cholesterol is raised in the arteries, and there is a higher risk of a heart attack. The possibilities
include throat/stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, and kidney cancer. All three of these are deadly and
before the retirement age.”
fatal. In fact, more than 40% of men die from smoking-related problems before the retirement age.
If you ever encounter a smoker who asked you to try a cigarette, ignore them, say no, or in some cases, run away. As soon as
they leave, notify an adult about the incident. Many steps are being taken to prevent smoking, especially the combined efforts of families,
schools, communities, and policy makers. Parents can set a positive example for their children by not smoking, and school
prevention programs aid to educate students about the dangers of smoking.
In conclusion, smoking can lead to worsening health-related problems and bad habits. Always avoid smokers,
and do whatever you can to stay out of the way. For more information about smoking, refer to the awareness poster on
page 22 of the school’s planner before the “Notes” section.
The Food Stamp Challenge
By Pooja Bhate
Have you ever heard of food stamps? Do you know anyone who is living off of food stamps? Well, 842,973 people in New
Jersey alone were enrolled in the food stamp program as of August 2012. Additionally, there are 46 million people on food stamps
across the country. This isn’t one of hurricane Sandy’s destructions! This is a problem, and yet, hardly anybody knows about it.
To raise awareness about this issue, Newark City’s Mayor Booker took the challenge into his own hands. He will be living on
what he can afford with food stamps for one week. This pledge got national attention from many television networks such as CNN,
Yahoo News, and Christian Science Monitor. Because of this pledge, he encountered a heated debate with one of his 1.3 million Twitter
followers. The unnamed tweeter, going by the name “TwitWit” who is a 39 year old North Carolinian woman, posed questions, such as:
Why is there a family today that is “too poor to afford breakfast”? are they not already receiving food stamps?
Mayor Booker then responded, the famous challenge: Lets you and I try to live on food stamps in New Jersey (high cost of living) and feed a
family for a week or month. U game?
The North Carolinian woman responded with a yes.
Now, he has to live on $29 (which is a little more than the average) worth of food for a week. He purchased, 17 cans of beans,
seven yams, two bags of frozen vegetables and two apples, for the whole entire week. Can you imagine living off of about $25 for a
week? Some of us spend that much money for 4 days of lunch!
During The Challenge
Booker tweeted during the week, “To conserve food + lessen cravings
I'm eating small meals w/ more frequency. Meal 1: Apple," This was quite a surprise, since he only had 2 apples per week. He also burnt one of his 2 yams, and
ended up eating it anyways, since he was so hungry. The challenge started on December 4th, and ended on December 11th. Mayor Cory Booker now realizes how
hard it is for those people who are currently living on food stamps.
Mayor Cory Booker Of Newark, NJ, looking at
the food that will have to last him a whole week.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 17
The Food Stamp Challenge Continued…
Food Stamp Eligibility
To be eligible for food stamps, one must qualify
the following requirements. Their average monthly income
must be the amount given, or lower, depending on how
many people are in their household. The money is sent to
them through a variety of ways, including stamps, which
can be used at whichever grocery store they choose (WalMart, Target, Pathmark, Shop & Stop). See the chart on the
right for further clarification.
Average Monthly Income
(Can be lower)
Each additional person
People In Household
(Sources: )
What’s the Deal with Cheese?
By: Daniel Zhan
Many people think
that cheese is healthy.
We think. People eat
enormous amounts of
cheese for its nutrition.
This article is to inform you of the fact that cheese
might not be as good as you think.
Cheese is full of saturated fat and cholesterol
which clog the arteries. When an artery is completely clogged, the blood that carries the oxygen
to the heart via the blocked artery will be prevented from flowing. This will trigger a heart attack. The only way to stop the heart attack is to
perform surgery which is expensive and hard for
the surgeons to do. That is also the only way to
get rid of the plaque that builds up in your arteries.
Besides that, cheese has many other bad qualities to it. Obesity is a huge problem in the U.S.,
and cheese may be a big cause of it. It also tends
to have lots of calories and sodium. Some websites like claim that cheese has
harmful bacteria, cow pus, and animal enzymes.
Speaking about cows, they are treated like milk
machines and their babies are ripped away from
them at birth for the unhealthy cheese you are
eating. Luckily, there is an alternative.
Try vegan cheese today! It is made entirely
of plant foods. This type has no cholesterol or fat,
and somehow still tastes the same. Brands like
Daiya and Tofutti sell these products without having to abuse cows. Vegan cheese is more popular
now and can be bought at stores that sell other
kinds of cheeses because of the increasing number
of people that are becoming aware of the stuff
that they’re eating. Make it a healthy day or not,
the choice is yours.
Adventures & Beyond: A Personal Narrative
By: Alamu Muthuran
There I was, going into the middle of the ocean trying to catch a wave.
Right when I was about to stand up on the surfboard, a humongous wave totally
crashed into me. At that moment, I couldn’t see anything. My eyes were closed
shut. All I felt was water overflowing in and around me. I vaguely remember
having thoughts of dying, flat on my back in the middle of the ocean, where no
one would find me except for sharks and jelly fish.
A second before, I remember hearing all my friends, chanting my name,
“Go Alamu, you can do it.” Also, I remember feeling really nervous, mainly because I was right in the middle of the ocean, but still, I knew I would be able to
swim back to the shallow areas. I obviously had confidence.
After that, a huge wave totally bumped me down. I fell inside the ocean
and all the way to the bottom. I actually felt as if I was drowning. Even though I
couldn’t see anything, I still heard waves roaring all around me in circles. I barely
remember seeing light blue water and a lot of sand and seaweed. I remember
feeling sand and seashells dancing across my feet. It felt as if there were fish rising and biting me everywhere. After a few seconds, I tried jumping up again like a
rabbit, but I still couldn’t reach the surface.
Lucky for me, I already knew that I could hold my breath under water a
little longer than most people, mainly because I have really strong lungs. I’m
pretty sure I could hold my breath for about a minute. Still, my time was starting
to run out fast. Also, I knew that if I had opened my mouth, I would inhale all
the salty water which would eventually make me drown.
Just as I was about to jump up again, I noticed my surfboard about
twenty feet away, and I knew my new aim was to get that surfboard. Obviously, I
knew that, that was my only chance left of surviving. Then, just as I was about to
get that surfboard, I was slowly starting to run out of more air. Quickly, I lunged
above the surface of the water and held on tightly to the surfboard. Then, I was
slowly inhaling deep breaths of sweet, fresh air.
I knew I was really weak now, but still managed to swim back to the
shallow areas, where my parents would be. As soon as I saw my parents and my
family friends, they all were really happy to see me ok and not
hurt. After a few minutes everyone started asking me where I was.
Then, I had to explain the whole story all over again, just like how
it happened in the first place. If you plan on surfing, I would like
everyone to know that you should always be supervised wherever
you are, ocean or sea.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 18
A New Milestone: Facebook Reaches One Billion Users
By: Peter Wu
As of October 4th, 2012, Facebook, a world- wide social networking site finally reached its new
milestone… one-billion users per month, or one person in every seven people that is currently participating in
Facebook. In 2010, Facebook had already reached 500 million users. It took only two extra years to double that
amount. In the words of Mark Zuckerburg, founder and CEO of Facebook, “ If you’re reading this: thank you
for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you. Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling,
and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life.” It should be, considering that this world- wide media mogul
started out in a measly Harvard dormitory.
In the beginning, it was just a website called he created with his classmates Andrew McCollum, Chris Hughes,
and Dustin Moskovitz. This simple website took photos from Harvard’s “facebooks” that were meant to help students stay connected.
These photos were matched up against one another in a game where the students chose which of the two were hot, and which of the two
were not. This later developed into the ever popular was an earlier form of Facebook that had already reached twelve to fifteen hundred registrants in the first
twenty- four hours. Six days later, three Harvard seniors accused Mark of stealing their idea, and then producing a rival product. This led
to an investigation from The Harvard Crimson. Mark then hacked into two reporters’ e-mail accounts, which then led to a lawsuit filed
against him. The charges, however, were soon dropped.
Initially, this website was restricted to Harvard students only. However, it spread to almost all the universities in Canada and
America. Soon after, was soon altered to after it had purchased the domain name
Today, Facebook, as you all know, is a world- wide social networking site. Its net worth is over 500 million dollars. The one
billion users that encompass the whole entire world will be a stepping stone for bigger and broader dreams. In an interview, Mark
Zuckerburg claimed that they all got together and started counting down when they realized that Facebook would in fact reach one
billion users. Who is to say that they won’t be doing that in the near future when they reach two billion users? In the meantime, you
Facebook followers, be proud of this glorious milestone!
Technology in Our Homes
By: Pooja Bhate
Everyone is aware of today’s technology… iPods, iPhones, TV’s, and iPads. But do you know tomorrow’s technology? Of
course you do! Its robots doing everything for us, right? Well, you’ve got it all wrong. Companies like Apple and GE are investing in
making Internet connected appliances.
Household appliances such as your refrigerator, TV, heater, AC, Lights, Water Heater, Oven, Microwave…etc., are going to
have their own IP addresses. IP means Internet Protocol, and each Internet connected device has one. To find yours, type in “whats my
ip” onto Google, and it will tell you what your IP address is.
Anyway, in the future, you could sit down somewhere, anywhere, and converse with your appliances using your phone. You
could tell some to turn on, others to turn off. You could even tell your heater to start warming your house before you even reach home.
Energy at home will also be consumed in smarter ways. For example, based on weather conditions outside, and past data-how warm/
cold you like your house, your heater will make its own decision. To maintain the optimal energy conservation of your neighborhood
(city), your energy meter will decide when to run your dishwater or dryer.
Also, everyday items like a calendar, could remember what
you have scheduled. It can also change settings of the home for this.
For example, my friend is coming over tomorrow at 4 pm for dinner. My calendar remembers me putting this in maybe 3 years back,
and remembers the house temperature during her visit, and if the
house was clean or not. I may or may not be home at this time, but
my vacuum cleaner robot would start working at around 3pm, so
the house was clean before she got there. Then, the heaters/AC
Units would communicate with the calendar, and start to heat or
cool my house.
Cool right? Wouldn’t you love to live in a futuristic life
where you could control your home with your 15th generation
iPhone, where you could sit around and be lazy all day, and not have
someone yell at you because you didn’t clean your room? It’s coming, and, pretty fast!
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 19
The New and Improved Windows 8
By: Joheen Chakraborty
In this article, I attempt to explore perilous uncharted territories filled with precarious challenges and do something never done
before: write a completely unbiased review on the newest operating system on the market, Microsoft’s Windows 8, which happens to be
shrouded with a huge controversy. Released on October 26th, 2012, Windows 8 introduces a complete aesthetic makeover to the Windows operating system or (OS), shifting over to a tiled design. An image depicting the Windows 8 start screen is shown here.
User Interface
The first criteria I will be covering is user interface. Upon starting up the computer, the first thing you will see is the start screen (shown
above). The start screen is a customizable screen that can hold various tiles for applications. Tiles can be removed and added to this
screen. Apps can no longer be minimized or re-sized, and they always run at full-screen. Along with the establishment of Windows 8, the
start button has been removed. That is, just as long as you don’t need it; when hovering over the lower-left corner of the screen, it appears, and then disappears when the mouse is moved. Windows 8 isn’t all about tiles, though; if you looked closely at the picture above,
you can see a tile called the “desktop”. Clicking on this tile bring you out of the start screen and into the standard desktop screen from
previous Windows versions, Mac OS, and Linux. From there, the experience is more similar to that of Windows 7.
Personalization/Security Options
Windows 8 features the opportunity of much more personalization. The start screen is customizable, as you can add, subtract
and move tiles. A Windows 8 laptop comes with several default tiles including Internet Explorer 10, the Windows Store, Desktop, People, Music, Games and more. In addition, apps and games downloaded from the Internet and other sources can be pinned to the start
screen as tiles of their own, as can web pages. Once a shortcut for a web page or application is clicked, it is opened in the desktop. Windows 8 also introduces a stronger security system. SmartScreen (originally an Internet Explorer security feature) was added to Windows 8
to prevent unrecognized apps from running, Windows Defender, a built-in antivirus, was added, as was Secure Boot, which makes sure
none of the files on the computer have been tampered with.
Built-In Apps, Multitasking, and Charms Bar
New Windows 8 computers come with several built-in applications (all of which, of course, are from Microsoft). These include
a Mail app, Calendars, Windows Store (which comes with the features of Games, Music, and Videos) and People. Windows 8 multitasking is just as fluid, if not more than, Windows 7; apps can be hidden, shown, and run split-screen. Next up is the Charms Bar. This is a
bar at the side of the screen that is hidden until you hover over at the side. The functions of the charms bar include: Search, Share, Start,
Settings, and Devices. Search lets you search for any installed apps, Share allows you to share content with others, Start allows you to go
back to the Start screen, Settings allows you to change and save the computer’s setting options, and Devices allow you to transfer content and connect with other devices. The Charms Bar can be accessed while running any app.
Windows 8 is definitely the largest change Windows has ever seen. Microsoft tried improving the Windows OS family; whether
they succeeded or not is up to you.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 20
The 2012 NFL Regular Season Wrap Up
By: Tejas Venkatasubramanian
Have you NFL fans tried to predict how the season will end? Well, the season just ended and I have reviewed it for you. First, we will discuss what happened in the off season to many teams. First off, in the off season
the Indianapolis Colts, the worst team in the NFL in 2011, (2-14) received first round pick Quarterback Andrew
Luck out of Stanford University. The New York Giants received Running back David Wilson out of Virginia Tech,
the Dallas Cowboys receiving Corner back Morris Claiborne out of Louisiana State. Finally, the Washington Redskins received very high picks in Running back Alfred Morris out of Florida Atlantic and Quarterback Robert Griffin III out of Baylor University.
After the preseason finished, the regular season began with the defending Super Bowl champion New York
Giants playing their bitter rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. That game ended with the Cowboys pulling off a huge upset by
defeating New York 24-17. The week was capped off with the San Diego Chargers beating the Oakland Raiders. The
rest of the weeks began to fly by with the Atlanta Falcons (13-3) and Houston Texans (12-4) sporting the best records in their respective leagues. In week 17, the drama that usually surrounds the NFL was at its highest when many teams competed for playoff spots. The week started off with the desperate New York Giants (9-7) fighting for their playoff lives by defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 427. However, later in the day, the Giants were eliminated from playoff contention when the Chicago Bears (10-6) ousted the Detroit Lions (4-12)
26-24. A couple hours later though the Bears switched from the eliminators to the eliminated when their bitter rivals, the Minnesota Vikings
(10-6) beat the Green Bay Packers ( 11-5) to claim the final playoff spot. The week capped off with the Dallas Cowboys (8-8) playing against the
Washington Redskins (10-6) for NFC East title. The game ended with the Redskins prevailing over the Cowboys by a score of 28-18, and with
Washington clinching the division for the first time since 1999.
Even though the Redskins won the East, I am very upset that the Dallas Cowboys were eliminated from the playoffs for the third
straight year. The Cowboys had begun their season with a 3-6 record and had no chance of catching the New York Giants. The Cowboys then
surprised the NFL world by going on a huge run for the title, to end up having their “Cinderella” season to come to a crashing halt. Even
though they lost this year, I think the Cowboys will win the NFC East next year and probably win it all. On that hopeful note, I sign off.
The MLS Cup 2012
NBA 2012-2013
By: Eric Zeng
By: Tejas Venkatasubramanian
The MLS (Major League Soccer) cup was an exciting event many people has watched. It was held on December 1, 2012 in the Home Depot Arena. It
was the Los Angeles Galaxy vs. the Houston Dynamo as they squared off in an
epic, exciting battle. These were also the same teams that played in the MLS
Cup last year. As the Galaxy go for their second final in a row, Dynamo was
seeking revenge.
After the first half where LA was trailing the Dynamo 1-0, Omar
Gonzales, Landon Donavon, and Robbie Keane made 3 goals in the second
half. Two of their goals were based off on penalty kicks, which gave them a 3-1
lead. The final was 3-1 as LA Galaxy won their 2nd MLS Cup in a row! It was a
remarkable turnaround for the Galaxy as they score 2 goals in a 5-minute span.
Gonzales does a great header after Carr’s Goal for the Dynamo, which now tied
the score. Five minutes later, Donavon scored a penalty because of Ricardo
Clark’s handball. Now it was 2-1 with LA Galaxy on top. Keane finished it off
with another penalty kick caused by the Dynamo’s goalkeeper who tripped him.
It was now 3-1 with very little time left on the clock. It was officially LA Galaxy’s win now!
When David Beckham was substituted, there was a raucous applause.
It was another remarkable season for him. This was David’s last time playing
with the Galaxy or even the whole MLS. He rode off into sunset as he played
his last and final game with LA. Beckham had changed a lot in the MLS, as
many people know. It is very sad that he will go England to play soccer next
year. Although the galaxy won another title, they will also lose a great soccer
It was another great final to watch as LA took the trophy from Houston. The team that I wanted to win was the New York Red Bulls,
but they lost against DC United. I am satisfied with this result because David Beckham should have a happy ending in the MLS. The
next MLS cup will be a NY win next year, I hope. I can’t wait for
the next MLS Cup because things are about to get crazy!
Have you NBA fans out
there been enjoying the current season? Well, the season is underway.
First off, one big thing that happened
over the offseason was that the Nets
moved from Newark to Brooklyn,
got a new stadium called the Barclays
Center and brand new logos. Another big thing that happened over the offseason was that the Dallas Mavericks had
many of their star players depart, Jason Kidd joining the
Knicks, and Jason Terry joining the Boston Celtics. Finally,
the Los Angeles Lakers heavily upgraded their offense by
signing Steve Nash, and Dwight Howard.
things happened in the offseason, but let’s go to the present, the new look Brooklyn Nets are shining stars and have
earned themselves a spot in the top of the Eastern Conference standings. The New York Knicks are on fire, beating
everyone that comes in their path. In the Western Conference the Los Angeles Lakers are struggling mightily as they
are currently below .500% and are slipping out of the playoff hunt, the San Antonio Spurs are not disappointing as
they are trampling other teams that come in their path.
Although, this season may be going great for all
teams, my beloved Dallas Mavericks are slowly slipping out
of the playoff race and below .500%. Although, they have a
bad record, I believe the Mavericks are going to pull off
another playoff push and possibly win it all. On that note, I
sign off.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
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Movies & Music
Christopher Nolan: The Man, The Myth, The Legend
By: Siddhant Pathak and Tejas Venkatasubramania
I’m sure most of you readers have watched films such as the Dark Knight or Inception. Though
the actors’ work was remarkable, the man behind these films was the one and only, Chris Nolan. His
desire for film-making started at the tender age of 7 when he made his first short film. Since his parents were multicultural, his mother being American and his father being British, Nolan moved between Chicago and London. He later studied English literature in the University College London. In
the following years, he created short films such as Tarantula, Larceny, and Doodlebug. The movie
which brought attention to Nolan which was the black and white movie, Following. The reason that
people were interested in his work is because his ideas were unconventional and out of the ordinary.
His film, Memento, received two Oscar nominations for editing and screenplay. An interesting fact
about this movie is that Chris turned the book that his brother, Jonathan Nolan wrote into this film.
Later and later, his fame skyrocketed along with the profits that his movies made.
Christopher Nolan’s fame started to spread in the U.S.A with his films like Following and Insomnia. After those two films received very high ratings, Nolan began production on the beginning of a new Batman series. During the production of the film Nolan put
together a star cast for the film. The cast consisted of Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, and Morgan Freeman.
In 2005, the film was released, and within days the film gained a lot of money, in all the movie’s gross revenue was $372,710,015. Nolan
didn’t stop there. He began to make more movies like the Prestige which consisted of another extraordinary cast. In 2008, Nolan’s second Batman film The Dark Knight was released. Like Batman Begins, this film was sold out most of the time and had a very high grossing revenue of $1,001,921,825. After these two films Nolan was one of the most holy decorated directors in the business. Nolan then
produced another film called Inception which starred Leonardo Dicaprio and Joseph Gordon Levitt. In 2012, Nolan finished the Batman
series by releasing the Dark Knight Rises, this film’s gross revenue was $1,081,008,499. In all, the Dark Knight trilogy grossed
$2,455,640,339, one of the highest grossing revenues in the world.
My partner Siddhant and I both think that Christopher Nolan is a great director and has made all his movies spectacular. We
encourage you to watch his films because you will then see the true mastery he has put into his movies. On that note, we sign off.
Music Reviews
By Nathaniel Mumau
By Owl City
Lyrics: Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen recently worked together on the song “Good Time”, so I was interested to read
Owl City’s “Fireflies” lyrics. While “Good Time” was mostly about partying the night away, “Fireflies” seemed more
poetic and thoughtful. This is one of the rare songs that isn’t about girlfriends or break-ups. This guy is watching fireflies, and describing his sleep patterns. The lyrics were a little confusing though, and he contradicts himself often
throughout the song.
Music Video: By pressing the “Magic” button on his piano, Owl City’s entire room comes to life. Picture Toy Story, except with disco
balls and strobe light FX. My favorite scene is when the “FunShip” toy blimp flies out of the closet, and the whole room literally goes
berserk. I saw so many play- things, vintage and modern. This is probably one of my all time favorite music videos, and I cannot recommend it enough.
This Too Shall Pass
By Ok Go
Lyrics: The music video for “This Too Shall Pass” was shown at an Odyssey of the Mind after school meeting, so
you can be assured that the lyrics are appropriate. When I looked them over, the worst thing I could find is when
he sings to “run like heck.” Otherwise, the same verse is just repeated throughout most of the song.
Music Video: There are two variations of this music video. One of them shows this really complex chain reaction,
which we watched at O.M., and the other shows a cool marching band routine. I watched both of the videos, and both are appropriate
and very, very awesome. I encourage you to watch both, just to see how much work has been put into them.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 22
Book Review
By: Stephanie Chiu
The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan
Here it is another one of Rick Riordan’s award winning series!! This story
carries you away into the wondrous land of ancient Egypt and the mysteries of
Egyptian mythology. His writing brings you into the Kane family from Brooklyn,
NY and together you go through exciting and heartbreaking experiences. In the
Kane family there are two extraordinary siblings, Sadie and Carter Kane, who are
able to channel the powers of the Gods. They succeed in many battles, but the final
war is soon to come. This time the stakes are much higher. It is not only about
saving lives of loved ones, but also preserving the history of Egyptian mythology.
Sadie and Carter must reunite all the Gods in order to defeat the rising serpent that
will kill the god of sun, Ra. If they do not succeed it will leave the gods unable to
communicate with the mortal world, and plunge the world into eternal darkness….
Book Review
By Darlene Fung
Book Review
By Anakha Anilkumar Nair
Dolphin Song by Lauren St. John
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Martine Allen is forced to go on a
school field trip to have fun in the
ocean and see the Sardine Run, which
is “one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth,” as her teacher, Miss
Volkner says. It seems great and all,
but there is one slight problem; Martine loathes swimming! She dreads the
trip, but goes anyway.
Once on the boat, there is more bad luck. Their
ship, the Sea Kestrel, is hit by a massive storm. Martine is
thrown overboard and into her worst nightmare, along
with a few of her classmates. Thankfully, they are saved
by a pod of dolphins that give them rides to a deserted
island. They must work together to survive, and on top
of that, help the dolphins who saved them when danger
threatens their lives.
Read about the adventures of Martine Allen in
Dolphin Song, by Lauren St. John. This thrilling novel is a
book you’ll want to read over and over again. I say it deserves five stars. What do you think?
It’s winter time, now!!! The perfect book to
read during the winter time to give you the Christmas
cheer and spirit is none other than, A Christmas Carol,
by Charles Dickens. This book revolves around the life
of Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser that once hated
Christmas. After the visit of three ghosts, Scrooge’s life
turns upside-down. The ghosts show Scrooge events
from his past that has affected Scrooge. Next, another
ghost showed the present time period and how many
characters are affected by Scrooge and his rudeness.
The third and final ghost showed the future of Scrooge
if he doesn’t change his attitude towards the people of
the world. These ghosts teach Scrooge a memorable
lesson that stays in Scrooge’s heart forever!!! He turns
into a good soul which loves Christmas and has the
Christmas Spirit. There are lots of unforgettable characters that makes the story more interesting. More than
that, there is a good moral for the people of the world
that the reader will figure out after reading the book. So, what are you waiting
for? This book is a great treat for you to
read during the winter time and you will
you surely enjoy the book, if you read it.
That’s for sure!!
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 23
Violence in Video Games
By Peter Maynard
Why must today’s youth be so absorbed with all of these killing video games? Why do they now
disrespect the Nintendo systems with fun, colorful games with catchy music, whereas past generations
loved them when they were black & white pixels with 8-bit music? And why do I sound like a parent
who is concerned with the direction that today’s youth is headed?
To answer the third question, with all of the kids so obsessed, I don’t see many of their parents complaining. In fact, I have a relative whose mom wants him to play when his friends are online.
In the 6th grade, I wrote a persuasive essay to parents about how they should veto these games, but it
had no impact, because the only adults who read it were my parents and my English teacher, which won’t make much
change, especially since none of them have children obsessed with those games. So now, I’m writing to the youth, to be exact, the students at Woodrow Wilson Middle School.
Really, the games have a negative impact on the brain; since the people who are inside of the game enough do the
following things: Curse a lot, gruesomely shoot stuff, and the players enjoy it! War, in the best possible way of putting it, is
the worst thing the human race has ever done. So, I want to ask, WHO TOOK THE WORST THING IMAGINABLE,
AND PUT IT IN A VIDEO GAME!?!?! With this understood, do you see why I dislike these games. If you say there are
violent things in a Nintendo (which has actually happened), here’s a comparison. In a violent scenario, you shoot or Knife
someone, including some gruesome details I shouldn’t mention. In Mario, Kirby, Pokémon, or any other game like those,
you attack something with less brutal weapons and it simply, just goes off screen, or is knocked out, with no blood or gore.
So please, try and take these violent video games out of your life. There are so many more fun alternatives,
with bright colors and fun music! So go, and play a fun video game that doesn’t involve shooting and blood. And
yes, video games like that actually exist.
Video Games turn 40!
By Noor Amanullah
This past November, Pong, the video game that “started them all” reached it’s 40th year. Pong was a “tennis” like
video game. This original arcade game was first invented for outside of home fun, but later, as technology began to advance,
a home version was created, similar to our modern day Wii’s and Xbox’s.
The game's popularity not only marked the beginning of today's exciting video game industry, but was also, the start
of the millions of obsessed video game fans that remain in our world to this day and probably will for the rest of our lives.
We all probably have some kind of video game system lying around the house somewhere, and we all take it for
granted. When video games like Pong were first invented, they were meant as coin operated arcade games that you had to
go out to use. Only after so many years was the idea of a home gaming system thought of.
So if you’re as big of a gaming freak as most are, than be thankful that Alan Alcorn who had never had any previous
gaming experience decided to create a new beginning for gamers all over the world for many years.
The Coin Operated Arcade
Video Game
The Home Video Game
Friends playing Pong with
their home game system
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Page 24
The Joke Page
By The Newspaper Club
(Taken from a variety of sources)
1. What music do ghosts dance to?
2. What do you get if you cross a snowman and a vampire?
3. Why did the tomato turn red?
4. What do you call a multi-story pig pen?
5. What do you call a cowboy dinosaur?
6. What did the alien say to the garden?
7. What movies do mice go to?
8. What kind of hotel do birds go to?
9. What do get when you cross one principal with another principal?
15. Because he wanted his lesson to
eggs, and whip cream.
14. Because they batter fish, beat
be very clear!
10. Why was the music teacher not able to open his class
13. Because it has a million degrees!
12. Every lunch it went back four
11. What do you do if a teacher rolls her eyes at you?
11. Pick them up and roll them back to
12. Why did the clock in the cafeteria always run slow?
10. Because his keys were on the
like to be crossed!
9. I wouldn't do it, principals don't
13. Why doesn't the sun go to college?
8. A “Cheep Cheep” Hotel
7. Cheesy ones
6. Take me to your weeder
14. Why are school cafeteria workers cruel?
5. Tyrannosaurus Tex
4. A styscraper
3. It saw the salad dressing.
2. Frostbite
1. Soul Music
15.Why did the teacher draw on the window?