October 2008 - Abington School District

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October 2008 - Abington School District
abington.k12.pa.us
October 2008
Vol. LXXXVIII, Issue 2
The Abingtonian
Abington Senior High School, Abington, PA 19001
October 2008
Firedup, readytogo! Abingtongivesstanding“O”forObama
By Laura Pempkowski
I doubt that I will ever experience an October 3rd more exhilarating than the one
of this year. Indeed, on Friday October 3, 2008, Senator Barack Obama traveled to
our beloved Abington High School to speak about his campaign for President of the
United States of America!
On Thursday October 2nd, all I heard was talk around school that the Democratic Presidential Nominee would be coming to ASHS the next day. At first, I was
skeptical to believe that something of this grand a scale would ever occur at our
humble school, but when administrators made announcements and released flyers,
the Obama hearsay turned out to be extremely true. With Abington ranked as one of
Senator Barack Obama speaking at Schwarzman Stadium.
the 100 Best Places to Live, it is an appropriate setting for such an incredible event.
Pennsylvania is currently a “battleground state” so any extra support that the Democratic nominee can muster has the potential to swing the state, and the election in his
favor.
“Operation Obama Rally” was in full effect. I thought that getting the chance
to just be present at an event like this was pretty impressive for a high school
student, but I was even more thrilled when I found out that I would have a chance to
be part of the official “Press” in Schwarzman Stadium. What a great opportunity for
an editor of a school newspaper! But when I put it into perspective, I realized that
this was something even bigger than just getting my foot in the door of “real journalism.” The 2008 election may be one of the most influential in American history, and
one small part of it would be happening in our town, at our school! This was definitely one story that I would never forget.
Friday morning, the anxiety was palpable at Abington. I was equipped with my
notebook, and assistant principal Mr. Johnson led me, my Co-Editor-in-Chief, Andrew Slade, and some other students to the “Press Only” entrance near the far end
of Schwarzman Stadium around 8:30 AM. A policeman monitoring the area told me
that people from the community started lining up “around 5:30,” that morning just so
they could get a view of Senator Obama and hear his words. While we all waited
anxiously at the gate, a reporter from the Times Chronicle interviewed Andrew and
me. Finally, it was time for us to enter onto the field. Like the thousands of other
attendees, the “Press” students and I made our way through the security stations,
metal detectors, and passed the bomb-sniffing dogs. I received my real life “Press
Pass” and made my way to the reporters’ area.
With an expectancy of almost 10,000 spectators, enthusiasm was high as we
all awaited Barack Obama. Opening speakers included Pennsylvania State Representative Josh Shapiro, Senator Bob Casey, Governor Ed Rendell, and Pottstown
civilian Bob Rupert.
After a few rounds of “Fired up, ready to go!” Senator Barack Obama jogged
out of the “Guest” locker room, waving and smiling in the most diplomatic fashion.
Festooned with a light blue tie, Obama began with “Thank you, Abington!” He
congratulated his running mate, Joe Biden, on a great job at the Vice-Presidential
Debate the night before for having some, “noteworthy moments.”
As a tie-in to his first point, Obama commented on VP candidate Sarah Palin’s
performance at the debate. He said that the explanation of her plan to get the economy
out of its ditch is a “job-killing” plan. This led Obama into speaking of his policy of
increasing jobs and “put [ting] people first again.” Obama insists that 5 million new
jobs will be created from his plan for new energy.
Senator Obama advocated investing 15 billion dollars in renewable energy
sources, including steel plants for wind turbines, solar panels, and working towards
ceasing our dependence on foreign oil.
The speech then went on to empathize with small businesses by explaining
how Senator Obama, if elected President, would “close corporate loopholes,” as to
“create tax breaks for small business, like the ones here in Abington.” As Obama
paused to take a breath of brisk October air, a chant of “YES WE CAN!” overcame
the crowd, putting a huge smile on the Senator’s face. With this interlude of support,
Obama spoke about his approach to rescuing the current economy and his ideals for
a healthcare reform. He pledges a “free, fair, and honest” administration, free from
“stunts and shenanigans that caused this [economic] crisis.”
When it came to the topic of
education, Obama moralized the need
to raise teachers’ salaries, a focus on
art, music, and the sciences, and ensure that everyone can afford to go
to college. Speaking directly to
Abington’s students planning to attend college, this last point brought
out an enormous applause for the
Senator.
Obama believes in working together as one to overcome all of the
difficulties confronting these United
States. He said that we will “rise and
fall on that journey as one nation,”
not as greedy individuals or dejected
entities. He summed up his speech
by alluding to the symbolic American Dream in that nothing is
achieved without hard work and perYour Editors-in-Chief awaiting entry
severance. Obama idealized that
America is headed in a new direction-for the better. Closing his speech, he declared confidently that, “we’re going to
change this county and change the world!”
Then after a roar from the crowd, Senator Obama jogged back to the locker
room, but not without stopping to meet a few Abingtonians. Alyssa Kress and
Jessica Harris both got to meet Senator Barack Obama and have a brief photo-op.
Shortly after his appearance at Schwarzman Stadium, Obama went to Penny’s Flower
Shop in Glenside and bought his wife, Michelle, flowers for their wedding anniversary.
Having Senator Obama come to Abington was truly a special and rewarding
experience for our school and community. Although the Abington community represented its maroon and white proudly, that day, a little more red, white, and blue
showed through, too. (MORE PHOTOS ON PAGE 9)
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Blitz Breast Cancer
Saturday Night Alive
BIG Word Link
Star Athletes
Olympics at Abington
page 3
page 4
page 7
page 11
page 12
abington.k12.pa.us
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The Abingtonian
Abingtonian
Advice
By Sara Small
Q: My good friend, who I have known since we
were younger, is growing distant from me. He/she is
not going to his/her usual club activities with school,
hanging out with a different group of people, and all of
a sudden not really talking to me. How do I talk to him/
her without
b e i n g
mean, and
still get the
p o i n t
across that
I’m bothered by it?
A :
Having a
friend who
has been
there for
you for a
long time is
a
great
thing to
have. Once
that friend
isn’t there
anymore, it creates a void in your life. The important
thing about friendship (and relationships in general) is
communication. With proper communication, almost
anything is possible.
First, you should call, text message, email, instant
message, or just go up to your friend in school and ask
him/her to hang out. Plan a day to do things that you
normally would do and have a good time. Second, plan
out what you want to say to him/her about how you
feel. Tell him/her how this situation is making you feel,
what you two could do to fix it, and that you’re worried.
Once you talk to this person, things should be back to
the way they’re supposed to.
Communication is something that every individual needs in any relationship, whether it is with a
friend, family member, or boyfriend/girlfriend. The lines
of communication need to be open to have a functional
relationship. The best thing about human interaction, I
think, is no matter what hardships arise within relationships, you may be far apart in physical distance for
some time but never by matters of the heart.
Good Luck,
Sara
AIDS Walk Philly:
More than Just Exercise
By Sarah Bugay
Even though it was a chilly 9:00 on a Sunday
morning, dedicated Abington students participated in
the AIDS Walk in Philadelphia on October 19, 2008.
Students walked to show their support for the research
and awareness of AIDS. Along the twelve-kilometer
walk, there was music playing from the different tents
of radio stations, and plenty of great refreshments as
well. Students enjoyed the workout, knowing that it
not only benefited them, but also helped millions of
others who probably needed their help even more. So
although students may have left the AIDS Walk feeling
sweaty and tired, there was a mutual feeling of happiness in knowing that the walk had benefited millions of
people who are less fortunate.
e
w
October 2008
Politics, teaching, traveling:
Mrs. Hauger does it all
s
By Erin Metzinger
You may have had her for World Civilizations in tenth grade or AP American Government and Politics, or
perhaps you’ve seen her at National Honor Society meetings or even in the social studies wing as you’ve walked
to class. Meet Mrs. Hauger, a dedicated teacher and the current chair of the social studies department.
Mrs. Hauger grew up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh and attended Montour High School and West
Chester University. She started her teaching career at her alma mater, Montour High, and since then she has
taught at eight other high schools, including Abington. She has taught at all girls, all boys, and co-ed schools, in
addition to having worked as an assistant principal and a disciplinarian. She began teaching at Abington in 2002,
and since then has brought back the AP American Government and Politics course. For the past three years, she
ran the National Honor Society. Mrs. Hauger is also a consultant for the College Board, where she instructs on
the teaching of AP American Government and Politics.
Mrs. Hauger’s inspiration for teaching comes from
her own former teachers. During her high school years,
she was lucky enough to have great history teachers
who served as role models and helped to motivate her
to become an educator. Her inspiration for teaching
also comes from her family. Her father was the fire chief
of the community in which she grew up, where her family was always active, belonging to political and civic
groups. Mrs. Hauger has carried on this tradition in her
own life, currently holding an office in her neighborhood, and having been involved in local politics most
of her adult life. Her only son, John, now works for the
Department of Justice.
Along with politics and teaching, Mrs. Hauger
has other passions, one of which is traveling. She has
traveled through most of the United States and internationally as well, visiting London, Prague, Brussels, Belgium, Paris, Aruba and Costa Rica. While traveling in
Costa Rica, Mrs. Hauger got the chance to zip line down
a mountain on a cable, which she considers one of the
most exciting moments of her travels. She is also active
in yoga and is an avid reader, consuming an average of
four to five books a month. One of her recent favorites
is Cormack McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel,
The Road, a bleak and beautifully written tale of a father and son trekking across post-apocalyptic America.
The Social Studies Department Chairperson,
When asked what she loves most about her job,
Mrs. Hauger
Mrs. Hauger did not hesitate to discuss her love of her
students and the outstanding faculty. This is no surprise,
for Mrs. Hauger is a committed and dedicated educator, as shown by her exemplary teaching and her involvement
in school courses and activities. Mrs. Hauger does much more than just go through the motions – she is an
excellent role model and a true example of the importance of being involved in both our school and our community.
ABINGTONIAN
2008-2009
Published by:
Abington Senior High School; Abington, Pennsylvania
Editors-in-Chief: Laura Pempkowski, Andrew Slade
News Editor: Maeve McDermott
Editorial Editor: James McDonald
Features Editor: Nikki Hess
Sports Editor: Alyssa Kress
Promotional Staff: Steph Smith, Rachel O’Neill
Writers:
Sara Small, Sarah Bugay, Erin Metzinger, Lydia Baxter, Sam Gerhardt, Sarah Roethke,
Marc Joseph, Juliette Augustin, Marta Piotrowicz, Casey Koch, Greg Hill, Angelina
Sanchez, Paul Tershakovec, Nia Prater, Melanie Highbloom, Robby Rozansky, Chelsea
Marion, Jacob Feldman, Matt Wilfred, Charles Azuelos
Advisors:
Mr. A. Saylor, Mr. R. Wrigley
Administration:
Dr. J. Fecher, Mr. R. McCuen, Ms. D. Heaven, Mr. E. Johnson
abington.k12.pa.us
October 2008
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The Abingtonian
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w
Can I get another log sheet, please?
By Steph Smith
Seniors listen up! Although this year is known
by some as the “lazy year” or “easiest of them all,” we
have many responsibilities to fulfill, one of those being
senior service projects. Despite the fact that a handful
of seniors have finished their projects, many are still in
disbelief that they actually have to come up with a
project idea. The basis of a senior project is to fulfill at
least twenty hours of service to a specific cause, then
at the end of senior year, create a poster board and
present your project to the class. This sounds simple
but that’s just the basics. Senior’s Brittany Solecki and
Brigid Sullivan have already finished their project, and
have tons of information for seniors still thinking of
ideas; I sat down with Brittany to get the 411 on their
project and advice for seniors who have yet to complete this project.
S: So what exactly was your senior project?
B: When first thinking of a project idea, Brigid
and I both wanted to do something that we wouldn’t
dread. We decided that throwing a charity dance would
be a great idea. Since we wanted to relax our last months
of high school, we thought, why not have a Halloween
Costume Party? It’s early in the year and something
exciting! All the proceeds from our dance party were
sent to kids with Leukemia at Children’s Hospital.
S: How did you decide to choose this specific
cause?
B: This is actually a really good question. Brigid
and I had absolutely no idea what cause to choose. So
we turned to good ole’ Mrs. Jack for her advice. She
told us how she was currently working with Ronald
McDonald House and immediately we decided we
wanted to do something involving kids. What better
place could there be than Children’s Hospital?
3
s
DJ, and she found the place the party would be held.
But even then we’d both end up making the final decisions together.
S: What was the hardest part of the project?
B: The hardest part of our project was probably
having to choose the cause. We knew exactly what we
wanted to do and when to do it, but we had no idea
where we wanted the proceeds to go. We even went to
the library a couple of times and researched different
places and sicknesses that would most benefit from
our earnings.
S: How long did it take to work on this project?
B: You would be surprised with the number of
hours we put into our project! Most people would think
planning a party is no big deal, but trust me it took a lot
of work. In order for our party to be successful, we
wanted to make sure everything was just right. We visited at least 80 businesses with our donation letters,
printed out about 500 flyers and gave them to everyone and hung them everywhere. Also, we painted posters advertising our event, and because we didn’t want
to buy all of our decorations, we made most of them.
Additionally, ironing out the little details such as finding the perfect DJ and perfect place were very time
consuming.
S: Do you think working on this project together
with a friend was helpful? How did you split up the
work?
B: Working with Brigid was most definitely helpful. When either one of us felt overwhelmed or stressed
out with the project, we would be able to vent to each
other because we knew exactly what the other was going through. For the most part, we did all the work together. We went to each business together and both
painted the posters. But one way we did split up the
work was for things like the flyers. I would design them
and Brigid would go to print them. Or when I found the
S: What advice do you give to other seniors who
have yet to pick a cause?
B: HURRY UP AND GET IT OVER WITH! If you
have no idea what you want to even do, I advise you to
choose something that you’ll enjoy doing. If you like
sports, do something like coaching little kids in soccer
or organizing a flagged football fundraiser. You don’t
want your project to be something that seems like a
waste of time. You want those twenty hours to fly by. If
you are really having trouble, I suggest talking to Ms.
Jack or Ms. Rogers; I’m sure they will be able to guide
you more so than I.
Schwarzman Stadium vs. Breast Cancer
By: Erin Metzinger
Pink became the new trend Friday October 17, as students raced to Mrs. Jack’s room
to buy their Blitz Breast Cancer t-shirts before were they sold out. These pink and white
shirts, just ten dollars each, included free admission to the second annual Breast Cancer Awareness football game held at the Abington Senior High’s Schwarzman Stadium.
Students worked endlessly all week prior to the game making baked goods, posters,
and selling t-shirts during their lunches. The t-shirts, sold by Key Club students, were sold out
by fourth period Friday morning. The shirts were pink and featured a white Breast Cancer
ribbon and football on the front with Abington vs. Bensalem written on the back. The halls of
Abington and the stadium were a total pink out because in addition to the students buying the
pink shirts, teachers and family members also purchased and wore them Friday.
At the game, the stands were packed-pink by the masses: students, parents, teachers,
and other Abingtonians wearing their shirts and supporting the Galloping Ghosts. Many students were decked out in more than just their pink shirts; some wore pink socks, sweatshirts,
hats, jewelry, etc. This year the Black Student Union, MCA Steppers, World Affairs Council, French Club, Key Club, and Leo Club all sold baked
goods throughout the game. The Abington Football Booster Club, Abington Senior High Band Parents Association, and the Abington Cheerleaders
Parents Association sold Abington gear and clothing and also donated to Breast
Cancer research. National Honors Society contributed by selling pink ribbons and
the Garden Club contributed by selling cactus plants. The World Affairs Council
was a big hit as they made and sold cotton candy. From the concession stand,
Student Council sold Pink Lemonade. This game also doubled as the Homecoming
game so Student Council sold tickets to the Homecoming dance Saturday night.
The homecoming events took place during half time as each king and queen
hopefuls courted each other across the field. Students in the running were, David
Osei courting Alex Casey; Bryan Schwoebel courting Brittany Solecki; Rob Verderame
courting Jamie Swift; Gary Donnelly courting Katie Delgado; and Justin Miles courting Liz Layton.
The Breast Cancer research organizations receiving the proceeds are the Susan
G. Komen Foundation, the Abington Hospital Rosenfeld Cancer Center, the Terry
Hannifin Scholarship Fund, and the Breathing Room. Some of these organizations
including the Breathing Room and the Susan G. Komen Foundation had information
tables set up at the entrance of the stadium for people to learn more about Breast
Cancer. In between the third and fourth quarter, Key Club vice president Jacob Feldman
thanked the numerous clubs, associations, and fans for their help and support. The
Ghosts beat Bensalem in an easy win 38-13. This game was a bigger success than last year and no doubt raised more money than before. Hopefully,
participation will grow even bigger next year so this game can remain a lasting tradition at Abington Senior High.
abington.k12.pa.us
The Abingtonian
4
October 2008
E d i t o r i a l s
Up to Us…
By Lydia Baxter
Gossip Girl: Not
As Realistic As
We Are Led to
Believe
By James McDonald
The CW’s infamously racy show, Gossip Girl,
tackles a wide range of issues, from everyday life of
wealthy New York teens, to drug use and homosexuality. Yet October 13th’s episode portrayed a college admissions process that embodies the worst fear for any
university aspiring student.
Over the summer, I witnessed this episode being
filmed at Columbia University (Yale in the show) and
had the opportunity to meet the cast. Therefore, settling in to watch the episode air with two friends that
accompanied me, the excitement that filled the room
was more than palpable. However, amidst shouts of
excitement, and yes the occasional tear of joy, I could
not help but be disappointed at the show’s approach
to college admissions. Private dinners at the Dean’s
residence, contests to get a place on the “short list” for
early admission, and interviews with, and advice from
the Dean of Admissions are all good and dandy if your
name appears constantly in the newspapers and tabloids, i.e. Serena and Chuck, but what about all of us
normal folk? If this is how one gets into the university
of their dreams, it would seem the entire process was
rife with intrigue and corruption. Thankfully, such is
not the case.
Students at Yale University were quick to voice
their outrage at the stuffy portrayal of their school. The
Dean of Admissions, in addition to saying he does not
advise potential students or meet personally with them,
said, “I certainly do not hold or attend private dinners
for candidates.” It would seem that the show, used to
highlighting the advantages these privileged teenagers receive, overstepped the bounds, a bit too far for
collegiate taste. One cannot deny, however, that the
plot as it was, made for an exciting episode, especially
with the full out brawl between Serena and Blaire and
the Skull and Bone’s kidnapping of Chuck. Yet, for all
of you who were slightly shaken by the message the
show emitted, just remember in the real world, there are
no such advantages given to the rich and famous.
Schools admit students based on the work they have
done, not on the level of one’s stardom. So I urge everyone to continue to enjoy the crazy world of
Manhattan’s elite while keeping in mind that it is, in the
end, a fictional and highly exaggerated TV show that
should not be used as a basis for anything of real importance.
The night of October 15th was a jam-packed one. People throughout Philadelphia had to choose what to
watch – the new episode of Project Runway, the Phillies game, or the final presidential debate. If you were
anything like me, you were very thankful for the invention of the “last channel” button on your remote.
Our generation has the future in its hands. But the question is, are we ready to step up to the plate? To be
honest, I don’t think so. High-schoolers nowadays are so self-involved and ignorant to what is happening in the
world around them. This apathy makes us the perfect targets for propaganda and buying into false data. McCain’s
campaign ads constantly flaunt that Obama’s tax plan is going to raise the average American’s taxes. This is
plainly untrue. Senator Obama’s tax plan does not raise the middle class’s taxes at all. In fact, he plans on giving
a TAX CUT to 95% of working Americans. In contrast, McCain wants to provide 200 billion dollar tax breaks to
some of the wealthiest corporations in the country; oil company Exxon-Mobil, for example, would receive an extra
four million in tax breaks with McCain’s tax plan. Who would you rather support – the everyday worker (like the
teenagers and employees who work at a small business) or the affluent, well-off CEOs of corporate America? This
is just one of the decisions our generation will have to make when it casts its vote this November.
In my opinion, it is up to us to go out and fight for what we believe is right. It is up to us to use accurate facts
to support our opinions. Most importantly, it is up to us not to just settle for the false, sub-par knowledge that the
media decides to bestow on us. We’re better than that! We shouldn’t settle for anything less than the truth! To
John F. Kennedy’s question, “What [can you] do for your country?” The answer is simple: go out with the facts
and vote accordingly.
*It should be noted that all statistics used in this article came straight from the last presidential debate.*
Saturday Night Alive
By Sam Gerhardt
It is becoming increasingly more difficult to differentiate between comedian
Tina Fey and Republican vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin. While the Alaskan
governor’s hockey mom banter and Joe six-pack lines have attracted the national
spotlight, Tina Fey has “out-Palined” Palin herself. Fey’s uncanny impersonation
has left voters wondering who the real Palin is.
It is not Fey’s striking resemblance to Palin, or even her dead-pan accent that
is jarring to Saturday Night Live’s viewers, but her use of Palin’s words, nearly
verbatim. During Palin’s prime time interview with Katie Couric, she was asked if the
$700 billion Wall Street bailout would be better spent helping out middle-class
families. She replied, saying, “That’s why I say I, like every American I’m speaking
with, we’re ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers
looking to bail out…But ultimately what the bailout does is help those who are
concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help our economy. Helping
the-it’s got to be all about job creation too, suring up our economy and putting it
back on the right track.” She continued to speak about tax reductions, trade, and
economic opportunity. This material became that of comedic gold for Fey, raising
ratings over fifty percent during the show’s 34th season.
It has become immensely difficult for voters to understand the difference
between fiction and reality during this year’s election. Poking fun at Palin’s lack of
foreign policy credentials, Fey spewed out from behind the podium that she “could
see Russia from her house.” While Palin did claim that being the governor of Alaska
supplied her with a sufficient amount of foreign policy experience, thousands, if not
millions of voters, hold her responsible to Fey’s quote. SNL has even been able to
transform the term “maverick” into a common household phrase.
Fey has taken advantage of the sudden scrutiny of both the governor’s family, and political life by the media, for her personal gain. Recently winning several
Emmys for her writing and acting on NBC’s 30 Rock, Tina has just signed a lucrative
contract with Little, Brown Book Group to write a humorous book. Palin and McCain
have not found the same success that Fey has, as they continue to lose ground with
independent voters. The Rasmussen poll, taken at the beginning of October, found
that nearly forty-three percent of independent voters felt that Palin was negatively
impacting McCain’s chances to win the election. Similarly, forty-nine percent of
voters polled by CNN/Opinion Research Corporation believe that Palin does not
possess the experience or leadership skills that a president should have.
While the Republican Party’s poll ratings continue to fall, Fey has restored
the power that the media plays in controlling the presidential election. If McCain
and Palin are able to make a comeback from this damaging point loss, and win the
election, you can bet there will be much more discussion of pitbulls wearing lipstick,
and, of course, Mavericks.
abington.k12.pa.us
The Abingtonian
October 2008
5
Point / Counterpoint
Staying the path
By Marc Joseph
Americans are shortsighted. It is a sad fact that we must deal with from time to
time, but at the end of the day the citizens of this country don’t like to see things
through to their natural conclusions. This lack of attention span is increased exponentially when something else comes along to confuse us and directs us away from
the path we have taken, often leaving our first task unfinished…with dire results.
The Iraq War is one such enterprise, and needless to say our attention has wavered,
causing a general outcry to withdraw from Iraq.
To put it simply, this would be a very bad mistake. A quick look at US history
shows numerous examples of the United States going off half-cocked in missions
not so dissimilar to Operation Enduring Freedom, and when the American people
got lazy, thousands died. The perfect example of this is Somalia. A UN mandated
force entered the country, brought peace to the region, and then left before the
Somali government was completely secure. This was 1993; the Somali Civil War is
still going on. Another excellent example of this “pull out syndrome” is the former
Yugoslavia. We did not exert our full effort into the operation, and to this day there
are still brushfire wars
claiming lives, from the attempted ethnic cleansing
by Slobodan Milosevic to
the recent declaration of
independence
by
Kosovo.
Yet despite these
clear historical examples
of the US not finishing
the job, there is still a general outcry to leave Iraq
while the government is
unstable. This is a mistake. The plan agreed on
by General David
Petraeus and the Iraqi
foreign minister (which
has yet to be voted on by
the Iraqi Parliament)
would have a phased
withdrawal of US troops
at a slow enough rate that
the Iraqi security forces
can pick up the slack. If
we follow the much
flaunted sixteen-month plan of Barack Obama, we risk pulling out before the Iraqis
can take over, causing the government to collapse. There is no way to calculate the
deaths this would cause…but it would be our fault entirely.
To add to the compelling reasons to remain until the job is done, is the indisputable fact that the surge worked. Attacks are down to their lowest levels in years,
both on civilian and military targets. A recent operation against Shiite militia leader
Muqtada Al-Sadr in Mosul left a minimum of seven hundred militiamen dead with
only six U.S. fatalities. The Sunni triangle is quiet, and the cities of Ramadi, Basra,
and Fallujah-formerly the three most violent cities in Iraq-are now some of the most
peaceful, with minimal US presence.
Thirty years from now, our economy will have recovered. The election will be
over. Alternative fuels will probably be the norm. The question will be whether or not
Iraq is a safe, whole country…or a barren, lifeless warzone.
Take off the bandaid and
see what happens
By Andrew Slade
In March of 2003, the United States and its “coalition of the willing” invaded
Iraq based on the argument that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,
and was therefore a threat to America. This claim was based on the fraudulent
“Italian Letter,” which was delivered to the US embassy in Rome, stating that Niger
had agreed to sell uranium to Iraq. The validity of the letter from the president of
Niger, to Saddam Hussein, was immediately questioned, leading to the involvement
of former US Ambassador, Joseph Wilson. Wilson investigated the matter, concluding that Iraq was not, in fact, in the market for African uranium. This, however, was
not the answer the Bush Administration was looking for. They disregarded Ambassador Wilson’s report, and when he pushed the matter, they leaked the identity of
his wife, who was then an undercover CIA agent. Vice President Cheney’s chief of
staff, Scooter Libby, has since been convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury,
relating to said leak. Obviously we are
still in Iraq, losing thousands of lives and
over half of a trillion dollars.
All of this, though, is old news, and
I say it not to beat a dead horse, but to
make the point that victory is extremely
difficult, if not impossible to attain when
your entire objective is disproven. That
is to say, our fear (or the fear created by a
party that thrives in times of international
unrest) was that Iraq had WMDs, which
Saddam Hussein could use against our
allies or us. Had that been the case, success could have been judged based on
whether or not we neutralized the threat
that led to our involvement. Since the
threat was entirely fabricated, there is no
way to know when we will have succeeded. I imagine this is why for years
the best the president could come up with
was, “stay the course.” When you’re
dealing without a full deck of cards, it can
understandably take a while to think of a
way to appease those who dare question
when we might be able to bring our troops
home from a made-up war.
After a few years of contemplation, it was decided that we needed to increase
the number of troops in Iraq, so as to make us better bastions of democracy, by
supporting their new government. Democracy is a wonderful thing, but to believe
that it is the quick fix to a conflict that has been taking place between rival tribes,
ethnic and religious groups for thousands of years, is naive. Was life perfect in Iraq
before we came? Not in the least. Tragically, though, life has gotten worse since
2003. We’ve obliterated their military, and now we’re facing an insurgency. There are
obviously exceptions, but the majority of Iraqis view us as imperialists, shoving our
democratic beliefs down their throats, and killing civilians in the process. That said,
has violence in Iraq decreased since the start of the surge? Yes, it has. Does that
mean that the surge is the answer to all our problems? NO! We threw more money,
soldiers and guns into Iraq, and, surprise, surprise, violence decreased. Our military
is now spread even thinner, and our focus has been further drawn away from the
truly serious matter of Afghanistan. The surge in Iraq is a Bandaid. Things seem
great for now, but once we take those additional troops, and that additional funding
out of Iraq, do you think everything is going to be honky-dory? I know I don’t.
Do you have suggestions that
could improve the Abingtonian?
Come to our next meeting and
become a member of the
Abingtonian staff! Listen to
announcements for further
information about meeting
times and places.
abington.k12.pa.us
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Environmental Tip of the Month
By Sarah Roethke
Would you like to save energy and money at the same time? Instead of using Google, Yahoo, or
another search engine, try www.Blackle.com. It’s the same as any other search engine, but it uses a
completely black screen which uses significantly less energy. This will save you and your parents money
by making your energy bill cost less! For more ideas on how to save the environment, join Ecology Club.
It’s never too late to help the environment. Don’t be a biohazard- be a biohelper!
Halloween Wordsearch
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Deli Comes
Through Despite
Economic
“Pickle”
By Nikki Hess
Currently, America’s economy is in the gutter. We
have unpaid mortgages, a panicked Wall Street, and a
stock market in dire need of rescuing. The nation’s current state of pandemonium has led to a much greater
awareness of our finances, and a drastic increase in
frugality among U.S. residents. Never before would I
have stood in the aisle of a supermarket for ten minutes
trying to determine which of two detergents was
cheaper, nor would I have thought twice about going
out to eat rather than staying in. The same goes for
stores and restaurants. I’m an active member of Building with Books, and I was fundraising for the Bowl-AThon, which is scheduled for November 7. I sought
donations from stores and restaurants in and around
the Pavilion in Jenkintown. I was shocked to find that
only one place out of the fifteen I went to, made a contribution to the cause. Just because some stores didn’t
or couldn’t make a donation does not make them “bad
people.” But considering this almost-depression, those
who chose to make a donation are certainly noteworthy in both character and kindness.
While Applebee’s and Hibachi could only offer
gift cards because they are corporate chains, Steinman’s
Deli was the sole contributor to my cause with a check
to sponsor two lanes at the bowling alley. Besides this
article being an attempt to encourage people to attend
the Bowl-A-Thon, (to benefit Nicaraguan children) it is
also, in a sense, a thank you to the men and women of
Steinman’s Deli who chose to help both BWB’s and a
cause that I am personally passionate about.
For nearly two hours I was turned down left and
right, and finally, Steinman’s pulled through. They simultaneously raised my spirits and my funds, and demonstrated the power of kindness and generosity. Although the current world may seem cold and selfish,
goodness really does exist, even if it’s just in a small
deli. This is why I recommend Steinman’s to anyone
who is craving some tasty matzah ball soup or roast
beef on rye. It certainly is a deli that runs its business
through the concepts of bigheartedness and hard work.
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High School Fashionista: The Wizard of Ozz
Jacket Required
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By Casey Koch
With the cool days of the fall season approaching, the need for outerwear to
keep us warm is increasing. While it is a little too hot for a heavy winter coat, it is also
too chilly for just a cardigan. The perfect solution to this problem is the classic
blazer. This fundamental piece in menswear has made a great transition from the
business world to the world of fashion, where it has become a practical and versatile
option for young women to sport this season.
Thanks to Gossip Girl, prep school blazers have entered the fashion forefront. Details like school insignias and bright trimming make any masculine-wardrobe staple, feminine and chic! Not only do they give shape to roomy and shapeless
tops, creating a streamlined top half, but they look great when paired with either
skinny or wide leg jeans. A structured jacket would also look wonderful with a
voluminous skirt or dress. The grouping of these two opposites creates a classic
look with a twist.
Another trend in blazers is a longer and looser style that resembles a typical
tuxedo jacket. These relaxed fitting jackets are terrific when completed by skinny
jeans and boots. As proven by several celebrities including trendsetter, Rihanna,
blazers look amazing with certain red carpet dresses. They look especially chic when
paired with short and fun cocktail dresses along with a blazer and tights. Some sort
of blazer will be a great addition to your wardrobe this fall because it has the ability
to pull together any outfit, and nothing beats its endless versatility. Keep in mind
the option of your date’s sport coat as your outer layer for the next school dance!
Dr. Horrible
By Marta Piotrowicz
Word Link (The biggest one yet!)
By Laura Pempkowski (assisted by Greg Hill)
Hey, word puzzle-lovers! Frustrated by Sudoku? I’ve made
a new labyrinth of letters to discover. You play by creating a link
of compound words from the first word all the way to the last.
The first and second words link to make a compound word, like
in the example: Guitar and string connect to be guitar string.
String links with band to make a string band; then band and
camp make band camp. Some of the words even have letters
filled in to help you out.
Answers from last month’s puzzle: PUNK - ROCK - SALT - WATER FALL - DOWN - UNDER - GROUND - LEVEL - HEADED
E G Y P T I A N
__ O __ T O __
__ __ N __ Y
__ __ __ __
__ __ C K __ D
__ P
T __ W__
__ Q __ __ R __
D A __ __ __
__ L __ B
S __ __ A
__ O __
S __ __ __
__ I __ __
S T I C K S
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Back when the writers were striking, and we were all left watching some truly terrible reality TV, something good was in the works.
Joss Weadon came up with the idea for a small internet project
called Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Only about 40 minutes long,
the three separate acts were released online and through iTunes,
where it quickly topped the charts in most downloaded video. Although it seemed a bit odd to have a musical about superheroes,
this phenomenon quickly swept the nation.
Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris) is a rising super villain, balancing the difficulties of getting into the Evil League of Evil and
finding a girlfriend. His nemesis, Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion)
is an overly buff knucklehead determined to ruin Dr. Horrible’s life.
The girl of Dr. Horrible’s dreams, Penny (Felicia Day) knows him
only as Billy, the cute guy from the Laundromat. When Captain
Hammer and Penny begin dating, Dr. Horrible decides the only way
to win the girl and take over the world is to defeat Captain Hammer.
His attempts are documented through his video blog and the show
tunes he sings throughout.
Neil Patrick Harris boasts an impressive set of lungs, singing
songs about being in love and building a “freeze ray.” He also
offers an amazing performance as the conflicted super villain. Playing the hero, Nathan Fillion delivers his lines in a wonderfully cheesy
way and belts out songs about himself saving the world and his
hair. As the object of Dr. Horrible’s affections, Felicia Day sings
about helping the homeless with a voice that only four years of
opera training could allow. Even the smaller characters such as Dr.
Horrible’s sidekick, Moist and the chorus of cowboys put on a
commendable performance.
Without the incredible writing that went into this production,
those performances wouldn’t have been as memorable. Joss
Weadon, writer/creator of cult classics Buffy the Vampire Slayer
and Firefly, fills the mini-episodes with the wittiest and most quotable dialogue since Scrubs. The songs are hilarious, and pretty
soon you’ll be singing along with them. He’s able to perfectly balance the fantasy world of heroes and villains with real life.
Although it was made in under a week on an incredibly tiny
budget, Dr. Horrible has raised the bar in terms of internet productions. Dr. Horrible and its soundtrack are both available on iTunes
for download.
Ozzy Osbourne is often noted as one of the more infamous musicians to come
to America. Ozzy was the lead singer of Black Sabbath, one great musical product of
England, that wowed their fans with their twist of hardcore rock and 80’s classic
rock. Songs such as “Crazy Train” and “No More Tears” show their hardcore rock
and heavy metal twist. “Mama I’m Coming Home” and “So Tired” however, present
a more tender style, making Black Sabbath versatile and well-rounded. When Ozzy
left Black Sabbath, he created a solo album that helped solidify his status. Still alive
and somewhat well, Ozzy Osbourne participates in shows all over the world. Ozzy
will forever be one of the greatest heavy metal frontmen in the history of music.
W
WO
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D LL II N
NK
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By Juliette Augustin
abington.k12.pa.us
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Domo arigato,
Mr. Kiku chef
By Paul Tershakovec
As last year’s readers may remember, I see myself as somewhat of a sushi connoisseur. Last year, I
reviewed Cho Cho San, a restaurant in North Wales
after my first time there. Recently, I revisited one of
Abington’s local sushi venues, Kiku. Though small
and unassuming from the outside, inside, Kiku’s traditional sushi chefs deliver dishes to tantalize the palate
and the eyes.
I sat down and perused the menu, which had
both Japanese and Korean selections. Immediately, I
focused my attention on the sushi. There were dozens
of rolls from which to choose. The ones that caught
my eye on this occasion were the Kiku Special Roll, the
White Dragon Roll, the Sakura Roll and the Florida Roll.
Because the menu simply listed the ingredients in each
roll, I had to imagine the presentation and flavor combination of each roll. I ordered, and since I was sitting at
the sushi bar, I had the best seat in the house to view
the artistry of the sushi chef at work.
When the edible masterpieces were placed on
the counter in front of me, the most difficult decision
was where to start. My first selection was the White
Dragon—an inside-out roll made with eel, cucumber
and tabiko on the inside, and sticky rice on the outside
with a white tuna and avocado cover. Once I finished
this tantalizing combination, I set my sights on roll number two—the Sakura Roll. As was true of the White
Dragon Roll, the Sakura Roll was also presented inside-out, except this time, the roll was filled with spicy
tuna and cucumber and covered with white tuna and
mango. The surprisingly different textures and flavors
of the two tunas blended together seamlessly and the
mango provided a tangy sweetness that leaves the taste
buds reeling. Roll number three was the Florida Roll.
This roll featured spicy yellowtail and scallions on the
inside, with yellowtail, tuna and avocado on top. Both
the avocado and yellowtail offered distinct, but mellow
tastes, which balanced perfectly in this roll. I saved the
extraordinary Kiku Special Roll for last. This roll bombarded me with a myriad of flavors: spicy tuna, regular
tuna, avocado, mango, cucumber, crabmeat and tempura
flakes. This delectable roll included many of the same
fillings as the previous three, but somehow, the combination and presentation made it strikingly novel.
I look forward to my next visit to Kiku, at which
time I will continue my culinary quest to sample every
corner of the menu.
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Outraged With
Angelina Sanchez
Prodded by a flood of media promotions, I found myself Tuesday night
sitting on the couch during a monstrous rain storm, anticipating the arrival of
Paris Hilton’s My New BFF. Not a Hilton fan whatsoever, what irritates me
about Paris, other than her non-talented self, is her ability to grab attention
for no reason. No matter how much you hate or love her, I guarantee that
you will be addicted to watching this show. I guess you could compare this to
the hate/love relationship between my thighs and carbs.
There is such a wide range of characters on Hilton’s show. You have
your average small
town girls and then you
have boys who claim
they are the best of
both worlds providing
an amazing girlfriend
and guy friend.
Don’t get me
wrong; while watching
this show, I did learn a
few things from Paris.
I guess calling your
best friend a be-otch
isn’t in anymore, note
that “pet” is the appropriate name to use
when you’re talking
with your bestie.
Never be the last to
leave a party and apparently, “debies”
means desperate. I
hope everyone who is reading this article is highlighting these important facts!
Don’t feel overwhelmed; I am learning as I go along too, young Padawan.
Vampire Love Story Truly Bites
By Nia Prater
Hey! Have you heard? Edward Cullen is beautiful, gorgeous, majestic, god-like, captivating, dazzling, brilliant, magnificent, glorious, angelic, and… a vampire. Now,
if you’re staring at that sentence with a mix of confusion, hilarity and quite possibly nausea, you know exactly how I felt when I read Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. This
novel— and I use that term very loosely—has become the obsession of millions of teenage girls. Well, I do not feel that way. In my opinion, Twilight may well be the most
overrated book I have ever read.
The book’s main character is Isabella Swan who has a name that sounds like it belongs in a Disney princess movie. So, Bella moves from Phoenix, Arizona to Forks,
Washington to live with her father. For what seemed like a hundred pages, all Bella does is complain about how much she hates Forks and more or less has a mental
breakdown about the first day of school. Constantly in this book, Meyer tries to show us how normal Bella is and how much girls can relate to her. In a nutshell, Bella is
more intelligent than any of her classmates could ever be, and is so beautiful that it seems all the boys in her school would do anything for her, but she’s just like you. Does
that make sense? I didn’t think so. Meyer must have noticed this and given Bella two flaws: clumsiness and hypersensitivity. What could happen to someone so normal?
Vampires, apparently.
A vampire named Edward Cullen. Not a single page could go by without Bella or someone else saying how good-looking he is. Even if it were possible for someone
to be that attractive, I don’t need that fact shoved down my throat every waking moment. I’m sorry to disappoint you ladies, but Edward Cullen doesn’t exist. There are
no extremely gorgeous, super-humanly strong vampires who want to suck your blood, but love you too much to do so. It would be entirely different if Meyer could write
that and pull it off, but she can’t. Her writing style is dull and unimaginative, and she tries to cover up that fact by sprinkling dialogue with vocabulary words that only a
professor would know. Here is an example of a Stephanie Meyer sentence: “He lay perfectly still in the grass, his shirt open over his sculpted, incandescent chest, his
scintillating arms bare.” (pg 260) I’ll let that speak for itself. In the end, if you wish to read a book with a paper-thin plot, uncreative characters and enough wordy dialogue
to have Shakespeare asking for Advil, you’ll love this book.
abington.k12.pa.us
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More photos from the candidate’s visit
Senator Barack Obama’s supporters cheering behind his podium.
A Passion for Fashion:
Halloween!
By Melanie Highbloom
Alyssa Kress and Jessica Harris in their VIP place.
Senator Barack Obama running to the stage.
If you open a fashion magazine or
read any fashion blog, you are likely to see
one of the two main trends this season:
“Hippie Chic” or “Go Green!” Since Halloween is approaching, I’m sure you are all
wondering how to look spirited and fashionable in your Halloween costume.
Ladies, you have a few options, my
personal favorite is the hippie look. Not only
does it make a fabulous costume, but it is
easy to be a hippie because you can wear
things you already own. And if you don’t
have every item to be a flower child, you
need only buy a few simple pieces to add to
your already dazzling ensemble. This little
trick can save you a trip to the Halloween
store and a little money. First, you want to
start with the shirt; the tunic top style is
preferable and works
best with tights or leggings underneath. Remember: it is going to be cold. Throw
some fabulous boots in with it and you’re halfway there! A great top in a fun pattern
with bright colors could also work perfectly for your costume. A funky pattern or
paisley style is just right! Throw on a tight-waist belt in a brown leather style over
your top to accentuate the hippie theme. Of course, a great bag always adds something fun to your look, so try a brown leather messenger-style bag or a recycled “gogreen” bag that can double as your candy sack if you’re going trick-or-treating.
Last, but definitely not least, carefully choose your jewelry to complete the look! Go
through your accessories at home and pull out all of your peace signs, big bangles,
and hoops earrings. Layer as much jewelry as you want because it’s Halloween…so
have fun with it! Cute bracelets that go all the way up your arm and necklaces in
varying lengths are just perfect for hanging out at a fun party. Now that you have
the perfect costume, have a fun and Fashionable Halloween! If you have any
fashion emergencies or questions, definitely email me at [email protected]!!!
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Abington Tennis “Love”
By Jacob Feldman
At the beginning of the season, the Girls’ Varsity Tennis Team had high hopes
for a successful season, coming off a year in which the team marched into the State
Tournament and finished 5th. Now, they are set to return, this time as District 1
Champions, with a combined record of 18-2. To properly review the season, I asked
team captain Julie Powers a few questions about one of Abington’s more successful
teams.
There are two big obstacles that any high school team trying to make a repeat
performance has to overcome. The first is the time off between seasons, which this
team dealt with by improving the skills of the singles players and creating stronger
doubles teams. They also tried to stay optimistic by thinking positively and visualizing success. The other problem is the loss of last year’s seniors, which turned out
to be a strength for this team. Due to holes in the lineup, Amy Schafer and Lauren
Stern were able to step up and make a difference at the top of the doubles ladder to
replace Alyssa Schroeder and Brittany Waters. Also, freshmen Gabby Nyirjesy,
Tamara Hass, and Kathy Del Beccaro were able to make an impact by competing in
the 1st, 2nd, and 4th doubles teams.
If any of those freshmen sound familiar, it is because the tennis team is a family
affair. Even at the risk of sounding corny, Julie goes as far as saying that the team is
a family. “The whole team is very close, and we’re unified more than we ever have
been before. We have sing-a-longs and cheer each other on no matter what. We’re
also extremely hard-working and very optimistic.”
Although the team was successful, it was not without setbacks. The team had
to win many games that they were “supposed” to lose. After a 6-1 loss against
Radnor, the team was handed an unfair seed for the district playoffs and had to
defeat powerhouse teams West Chester Henderson, Radnor, Wissahickon, and
Conestoga to win the title. The team beat Radnor just one week after their regular
season loss to the same team.
The team is very excited about the State Championships coming up, and they
should be. Although many have come close, they are the first Abington team to win
the District 1 Championship Title in any sport since the girls’ tennis team in 1996. So,
support the Lady Tennis Ghosts as they go to states and continue their pursuit of
victory.
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Championship déjà vu
s
By Matt Wilfred
We all know that the Philadelphia Phillies are playing in the 2008 World Series
of baseball after Carlos Ruiz caught a pop-up in foul territory for the final out in game
five of the National League Championship Series in Los Angeles. With the Phils
advancing, the question remains: What does this achievement really mean to the
city of brotherly love?
No current Abington student has ever seen a professional sports team from
Philadelphia win a championship. Any Philly sports fan remembers the Eagles’ heartbreaking loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX. In 2001, the 76ers lost to the Los
Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals in five games. In 1997, the Flyers were swept by
the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals.
It has been 25 years since the city of Philadelphia has won a championship.
The last time this city was able to raise a championship trophy was in 1983 when the
Sixers beat the Lakers in four straight games. The Phillies last won the World Series
in 1980 versus the Kansas City Royals. It is 2008 and our generation has not felt the
elation that comes with winning a championship. Whether you’re an avid sports fan
or not, when any Philadelphia sports team has a chance to be world champions,
cheer as loudly as you can. There is history to be made and one huge parade to
occur on the streets of Philadelphia that has eluded us for 25 long years.
Looking toward the phuture Did you just say girls’
volleyball and playoffs in
the same sentence?
By Charles Azuelos
With the 2008 baseball season in the books, it’s time to look ahead to the 2009
season, and the off-season changes that come with it. One important decision the
management of the Philadelphia Phillies must make is the role of the rookies on the
2009 Phillies squad. When it comes to the Phillies’ farm system, talent and depth is
certainly not an issue. These four particular prospects could, and in some cases,
should, be in the lineup by the middle of the 2009 campaign.
J.A. Happ: Before the start of the season, many would not have believed that
Happ would make the Phillies’ postseason roster, but by October, the move wasn’t
much of a surprise to anyone. Happ, who won the Paul Owens award as the Phillies’
top pitching prospect, has a style similar to that of Cole Hamels. He is arguably the
minor leaguer most prepared to enter the big leagues. Unless the Phillies sign a bigname free agent this winter, such as C.C. Sabathia, look for Happ to take Kyle
Kendrick’s or Adam Eaton’s place in the rotation in 2009.
Lou Marson: While Phils’ fans know Marson as the starting catcher on the
U.S Olympic team this past summer in Beijing, they might also get to know him as
their catcher in 2009. If the tandem of Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste continues to
sputter on offense next year, Marson, the other Paul Owens award winner, may get
the job as the backup or even starting catcher for the Phillies. Coaches love his bat
(his huge homerun on the last day of the 2008 season tells why), and Marson drew
almost as many walks as he did strikeouts. However, if he wants to crack the starting
lineup on the big-league squad, he has to show he can handle a quality pitching
staff – one of Ruiz’s strengths.
Greg Golson: A first round pick of the Phillies back in 2004, Golson can do it
all: hit for power, hit for average, run, throw, and strikeout – 130 times in 106 games
this year. If Golson wants to take Pat Burrell’s starting spot, should the Phillies
choose not to resign Burrell, he must cut down on his high strikeout number.
Jason Donald: Donald was the 2nd Phillies player, along with Marson, to travel
to Beijing this past summer and compete in the Olympic Games. Donald could possibly take over as 2009’s Eric Bruntlett: a back-up infielder who can provide a bat off
the bench.
By Chelsea Marion
I’m going to be honest; I didn’t even know Abington had a volleyball team
until tenth grade. And while I’m being honest, once I found out we had a volleyball
team, I made an unjust assumption: if I hadn’t heard of them and people weren’t
talking about them, the volleyball team must not be any good. In my defense, the
girls’ less than stellar record over the past few years doesn’t exactly prove my
theory wrong.
But this year was the year the girls broke the streak, proving every misconception I had about them wrong. This season, the team managed to pull together ten
wins, slightly more than Abington volleyball teams of previous years, and just
enough to secure the girls a nice seat in the playoffs, a first for Abington girls’
volleyball.
On Tuesday, October 21, the girls geared up to face their first opponent, the
eleventh seeded Penncrest. Though the Ghosts started with a 2-1 lead, they were
unfortunately unable to pull out a win in the end. Penncrest defeated Abington in
just one round, leaving the hard working lady Ghosts disappointed and eliminated
from further competition in this year’s District One playoffs.
Most of the girls declined to speak on the Penncrest game. It was understandable, considering they were so close to victory. However, it is important to remember
that these girls made history at Abington, and that completely outshines any of their
losses. It doesn’t matter that they didn’t end their season with a win and or get to
hang a championship flag in the gym. These girls have given not only me but many
other students a new perception of the girls’ volleyball team and that to me is a great
achievement in itself.
abington.k12.pa.us
October 2008
S
p
The Abingtonian
o
r
t
Congratulations to the star
athletes of the month!
Greg Hill
Soccer
Jessica Viola
Field Hockey
Jen Kelly
Volleyball
Eleazor
Cardoso
Cross
Country
11
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abington.k12.pa.us
12
S
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The Abingtonian
o
Olympics at Abington
By Rachel O’Neill
Susan Francia moved to America at the age of two with her family from Hungary. Growing up, she was never much of an athlete, despite her athletic build (she
was her current height of six foot two in ninth grade). In her own words, she claimed
that when it came to
sports she seemed to
get “worse every year,”
if that’s possible.
But once she
graduated
from
Abington, Francia majored in criminology at
the University of Pennsylvania. She happened
to fall into her major
when her advisor placed
her in it freshmen year.
When asked about her
future plans in the field,
Francia talks about working in victim rehabilitation or crime prevention.
What she is most famous for is not her “Most Spirited” award from the crosscountry team, or how Abington prepared her for life at UPenn, but for her gold
medal.
It happened by accident, after Francia decided track and field was not for her,
“At the welcome meeting, they told us we were going to go and cheer on the cross
country team… then run six miles. I don’t like running. I left and went to crew.”
Something just clicked in rowing for Francia. Her natural talent and height, alongside determination caused the US Women’s Crew Team Coach to notice her and
offer her a spot on the team. Four years later, practicing for three two-hour circuits
six days out of the week, Francia fought her way to the US Women’s Eight Olympic
Rowing team. At the summer Olympics in Beijing the team placed first, securing
gold. When talking about her experience, Francia smiles as she talks about her
proudest moment, standing at the top of the podium, hearing her national anthem
play as she and her team received their medals.
However, China wasn’t all about the rowing. Susan also talked about how she
happened upon the US Men’s Basketball Team in line for McDonalds in Athletes
Village, and her nickname from Kobe Bryant, “Abington.”
Susan Francia is not what one expects in an Olympic athlete. She is down-toearth, funny, and smart. She talks about joining the rowing team in her sophomore
year by accident, making jokes, signing autographs, and imparting wisdom to crowds
of high school students. She wandered the halls of Abington, flanked by two seniors, talking as if they’ve all known each other, rather than meeting her a few
minutes earlier. She stops in the halls to talk to the aide she remembers, Derek. She
stops in classrooms to visit old teachers. She even lets kids try on her medal.
She’s won gold in the Olympics, yet she still comes back to her roots. Who
would’ve thought?
ATTENTION SENIORS!
Do not forget to fill out
your senior profile for the
yearbook. Find it online
on the ASHS homepage.
Also, vote for senior
superlatives. No one
can win “Best Smile”
without your vote!
r
October 2008
t
s
The Ultimate Club
By Robbie Rozansky
It’s fall once again, the perfect season for everybody’s favorite sport: Ultimate
Frisbee! The Ultimate Frisbee Club is returning this year after a one-year hiatus.
Since the beginning of the year, the club has nearly doubled in size; almost thirty
people showed up at the last meeting. The games are as intense as ever.
Oddly enough, some people seem to know nothing about Ultimate Frisbee,
but lots about obscure sports like football and baseball. For those who aren’t familiar with this sport, it is a game similar to handball except it’s played with a frisbee. In
Ultimate Frisbee, two teams each try to move the frisbee down the field to the other
team’s end zone. However, there is a catch (pun intended). When a person is in
control of the frisbee, he or she may not move (although pivoting on one foot is
allowed); the only option is to throw it to a teammate. In this way, whoever has the
frisbee at any time is his or her team’s “quarterback.” The other team members may
run, cut, jump, dive, or do whatever it takes to “get open” and catch the frisbee. If the
frisbee is intercepted by the defending team or touches the ground, it is given to the
other team, which is now on the offense. If one team successfully throws and
catches the frisbee in the other team’s end zone, the team scores a point.
At the Ultimate
Frisbee Club, each meeting
begins with a quick warmup consisting of throwing
the frisbee around in a
circle. After that, everybody divides up into teams
for a pickup game. Occasionally, the club runs practice drills, works on alternative frisbee-throws such as
the “flick” and “hammer,”
and practices offensive
and defensive strategies including “zones” and
“stacking.” An addition to
the club this year is the formation of a competitive
team, which will play against other schools, like Abington Friends.
The Ultimate Frisbee Club meets every Monday after school on the Copper
Beech Field (you can get to it by walking along the path that runs behind the
stadium). The meetings generally start at 2:50 P.M. and end around 4:00 P.M. The
season will run through fall, until it is too cold to play, and it will resume in the spring.
So if you’re looking to play competitive Ultimate Frisbee, or just have some
fun with a casual pickup game, the Ultimate Frisbee Club is a great way to spend
those Monday afternoons.
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Have a happy
and safe Halloween
truly, THE ABINGTONIAN STAFF