The Patriot

November 2015, Volume 16, Issue 2

Welcome 2015-2016

The John Jay Patriot is proud to present the first newspaper of the 2015-2016 school year! Inside are stories from games to pumpkin spice to college to selfies. You can also find pictures of Spirit Week, the pep rally, scoreboards and messages from clubs!

Generation Z By Chelsea C

What does it mean to be Generation Z?

Besides the obvious date of birth aspect (ranging from the 1990-2000s) and the stereotyped dependence on technology, there is much more to the so-called Generation Z. It has been said by older generations that we are lazy, self absorbed, and always in a hurry, but I believe that many attributes of this new generation aren't being recognized. Although GenZ are more self-aware than their predecessors, they are definitely more aware and informed than them due to social media. They see all the terrorism, victims of war, murders and more by a tap of a screen or a click of a button, and while this method of obtaining information is convenient, it doesn't make GenZ lazy. Every new generation is thought to be lazy by their previous generations. The advances in the world make it seem as if newer generations are lazy, but it is only because the younger ones learn to adopt new technology faster, despite the fact that these previous gen-baby boomers are also quite reliant on technology too.

When it comes to fashion for the new generation, fashion is very different around the world, but in America, we are very casual. Generation Z has adopted an “expensive casual” style, called so because having a surplus of income for extended periods of time makes people dress more casually while spending just as much or even more money. Since kids from this generation get allowances of about $16 per week, they spend their own money on clothing and even food. It is likely that they are trying to enjoy their financial independence by spending so much because they are perceived to be financial pessimist, meaning that they are realistic about their future debt (likely student loans) and job opportunities.

Last, but definitely not least is the entertainment for Generation Z. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and— most importantly—Youtube are the main leisure activities of an average American teen. Such social media sites help them connect with others around the world and keep them occupied. But these outlets are very self-based; Twitter, for example, is an update on your life, and so is Snapchat, just through different mediums. Instagram and Youtube are popular because they allow teens to express themselves. All these can be viewed around the world. No wonder our generation is always in our rooms! And even for those who do not make content, the silent majority, they still take part in the social media frenzy. This is just the beginning of it all.

5 Things I Would Tell My Freshmen Self By Caitlin T

As a senior, high school is nearly over for me. And while I’m happy about that, thinking back, there are a few things I would do differently during my high school years. So if I could, here’s 5 things I would tell my freshman self:

1. Join clubs. They’re fun, I promise. I didn’t join any school clubs as a freshman and sophomore, and once I got involved as a junior, I realized how much I had missed. There are so many different clubs at our school, so odds are, there’s probably one that you’ll like. It’s never too late to join a club—and plus, extracurriculars look great on college applications.

2. On the same note, go to some football games. And John Jay Man, Homecoming, and other school events. Have a little bit of school spirit; it won’t kill you. As a freshman, I avoided school events because I thought they were lame, but they’re really not. Just go, enjoy yourself, and make some memories.

3. None of the petty drama matters...but your grades do. Instead of reading that Twitter fight or over-thinking what so-and-so said about you for the 100th time, study for that math test you have tomorrow. Your grades matter, even as an underclassman. When it comes to your GPA, every point makes a difference and has an impact on what colleges you can get into. Take your classes seriously.

4. Ask for help when you need it. Ask for help with anything—school work, emotional problems, conflicts, whatever. Silence won’t do you any good, and there’s no need to suffer. There are people out there who are willing to help, you just have to speak up.

5. A lot will happen in these 4 years. Just go with it. Have fun, do stupid things with your friends, go to concerts, try new things. Express yourself. Find out who you want to be. High school goes by really quickly, and before you know it, you’ll be a senior filling out college applications, wondering what happened to that scared, little freshman. Enjoy everything while it’s happening.

Talented, Determined & Passionate By Melissa V

A variety of competition shows airing on television are filled with very talented, hardworking, and determined contestants. Some popular ones currently on air include including “Dancing With the Stars,” “The Voice,” and “La Banda,”

In “DWTS,” several celebrities, ranging from Internet sensations to courageous, life saving heroes, demonstrate their dancing skills in front of professional dancing judges. Each week, the celebrity has a different type of dance and theme to perform on stage. Although most of the "stars" have never danced a day in their life, they leave the judges speechless with each performance, with some emotional performances, like “The Most Important Year” dance, leaving the judges and the audience filled with tears. One by one, the celebrities get eliminated, but they gain a great experience.

“The Voice” includes singers from around the country with different tastes of music. There are about three or four stages in this competition. First, the four successful, celebrity judges fight for the people with unique voices. Then, they choose final contestants from within their own group, and each judge asks their singers to compete against each other. Finally, the public picks their choice; the contestant with the most votes wins. These singers put their sweat and effort into their singing, and with the help of the judges, they improve their voices and performing skills.

Finally, for all the Univision viewers, a brand new show just came out this September. It includes aspiring boy bands and screaming fans. “La Banda” is on a quest for five teen boys who have the “look,” the charisma, and the musicality to pursue a career in music. Ricky Martin along with two infamous Latino judges give the boys advice and are given the rough decision of eliminating a few boys each week. The competition involves individual evaluation and group performances that test musical ability and social skills. The boys not only have to win the votes of the judges, but also the hearts of the girls in the audience.

All these shows start around the beginning of the school year and go on for a couple months until there is a winner or, in some cases, five winners. These great family shows keep you on the edge of your seat and leaves you hoping that the contestant you like does not get eliminated.

We Don’t Need Roads By Andrew M

Trending in October month was “Back to the Future Day,” an event which took place on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, as per second movie’s prediction. This unofficial fan day celebrates the legacy of the sequel, as well as the 30th anniversary of the first, which was earlier this year. The sequel is best known for its ingenious product placement and technology depicted during the “future” scenes. Some inventions include non-handheld video game consoles, auto-lacing sneakers (when, Nike? when?), and hover boards (not currently available to the general public, but still in development).

And with these iconic product placements, corporations get very angry letters from fans asking the companies to make these create and sell these desired products. Naturally, some companies jumped to exploit this opportunity. In 2011, Nike released a sneaker designed by Tinker Hatfield, a replication of the pair from the movie. The end result of 6 years of back-breaking work? Nike Air Mags. They are the most expensive light-up shoes on the planet, and unfortunately, they do not self-lace. These shoes cost a “pretty penny” ($5,000-15,000) and are not intended for daily use.

This year, as the fan day slowly arrived, the hype snowballed: Pepsi, whose product is named after the “Pepsi Perfect” drink in the film, arrived on Amazon and Walmart on “Back to the Future Day.” It is the regular Pepsi-Cola with real sugar, but comes with a plastic holder as it does in the movie, along with a special case—racking up a grand total price of $20.15 per bottle. NikeLabs re-released the version of the Nike Bruins that Michael J. Fox wore in the first film as Marty McFly.

So don’t be a bojo, join in on all the fun. Unless you’re chicken, McFly!

Make the John Jay Intersection Safer By Mia R

On October 2, 2015, rain poured down as John Jay’s football league played a challenging Homecoming Game against Roy C. Ketcham. Tuned into the match, John Jay supporters cheered on their fellow Patriots, and by the time half-time came around, many students took a welcomed break from the cold winds and walked across the street to the plaza. On this rainy night, one senior year got hurt while crossing the street. News of the accident spread throughout the school; questions were being asked, rumors spread—soon the whole student body knew.

The accident that happened at our Homecoming Game is just one of the many accidents that have happened at that particular intersection between our school and the plaza—and some of these accidents involved students who went to John Jay. Let’s admit it: it’s not unusual to see groups of teens crossing the street, heading to the plaza. We see it every day, especially when school is dismissed. Many kids can be found with their eyes glued to their phone, earbuds in their ears, oblivious to their surroundings

Streets are dangerous in general as the probability of a car accident is always present, but that particular part of Route 52 is one of the most dangerous streets in Hopewell Junction, mainly because of the amount of people who cross it on a daily basis. Having a traffic light helps make the road safer, but it is not enough.

What would make the road a lot safer is a pedestrian crosswalk light at the intersection. Used in cities because of the large amount of people there, it tells people when it is safe to cross a street by using symbols. Furthermore, because these symbols light up, we would not only benefit from a crosswalk light during the day, but also late at night, making the intersection safer for people who cross the street after open house, a late football game, or after a concert.

I acknowledge that, while the school can place as many safety precautions as possible, it is still up to students to stay cautious and awary. Everyone who crosses that part of Route 52 and walks to the plaza should have a reason. It is their choice to go across the street. However, there are many who walk home or need to get food after their extracurricular activities. And for those students, the probability of accidents needs to be as little as possible. The streets should be as safe as they can possible be for all pedestrians.

If You Care, Be Aware By Stacy V

Every year, teens die at the hands of a mass killer—car crashes.

At John Jay, the C.H.R.I.S. Foundation, encourages members of the community to unite for the same cause of encouraging safety behind the wheel. Once a month, students and parents gather to discuss consequences, restrictions, and solutions.

This year, National Teen Driver Safety Week took place from October 18th to October 24th. Announcements, health class presentations, and banner signing all encouraged students to become involved.

Monday through Friday, members of the C.H.R.I.S. Foundation used the PA system to share facts and statistics about teen driving. Did you know that the risk of death increases 44% with one young passenger, doubles with two young passengers, and quadruples with three or more young passengers? It is important for teens and parents to be aware of these risks, risks that could end fatally.

Monday through Wednesday, students had the opportunity to sign their names on a banner, pledging their allegiance to teen driver safety. In addition, health class presentations shared videos, discussion questions, and Mr. and Mrs. Ulanmo’s story—a story of losing a son in a car crash and finding hope in spreading awareness to others. It is necessary for prospective, new, and experienced drivers to understand that drinking and driving has to stop, that texting and driving can wait, that properly wearing a seatbelt is important, and that speeding is never cool. We must be aware of the responsibilities that come with a license, aware of the risks of distracted driving, and aware of the devastation that comes with the loss of loved ones.

Oh My God, Delete it By Maryam S

We are in a period of self-consciousness. From selfies to political campaigning, Americans are looking inwards towards the flaws within themselves and society. It’s an undercurrent of introspection that’s ironing out the kinks in our best dress shirt. What started out as harmless narcissism in the form of indulgent pictures and trends has branched out into various movements to eradicate our blemishes.

Miley Cyrus, a complicated source at best, said, “You can’t really be a [jerk] with your [breasts] out.” While her statement can be taken in many different ways, it is reflective of the today’s introspective mentality: in a society that is increasingly self-centered and self-indulgent, it’s impossible and almost ridiculous to continue with pretenses. When you spend so much time looking at yourself, you’re eventually going to find something undesirable—and it’s ridiculous to pretend otherwise. You eventually have to face the music: you’re not perfect and neither is America.

Americans don’t watch the news. But they do watch the game, the show, the concert. What better way to provoke social reform than to send the message through the mediums that people are watching? Celebrities are becoming voices of instigation, vehemently calling us to action. Nowadays, it’s hard to find a celebrity who isn’t passionately campaigning for an issue, who doesn’t speak out. Before, it was all about appearances—how people perceived celebrities and the concepts they symbolized whether it be glamour, grit, or glory)—but now, celebrities are forgoing most pretenses. Instead, now, in the same way teenagers pick apart their selfie, celebrities are picking apart the systems that affect not only themselves, but all of us.

Today, we turn on our ears and listen to celebrities as our pundits of injustices. Works by artists like Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj and Zendaya empower girls and encourage them to take control of their sexuality and agency. They highlight the racial and gender inequalities sewn into the foundations of institutions prevalent in society. Donald Trump is a foil to our entire political system. As outrageous as he is, he forces Americans to look at the flaws of our system and political ideologies by stripping away the political language that normally inhibits people from truly understanding the topic.

Through celebrities, social movements are gaining momentum simply through the increasing number of people talking about the ideas, the increasing number of people who feel emboldened by these public figures whose careers are sustained through their connection to their fanbases. Celebrities are using rhetoric accessible to the common man, and as a result, they are reaching younger generations who can relate (#sorelateable) to and discuss the critical issues at hand.

It’s like a makeup tutorial, we’re removing our makeup and building it back up slowly so that we can learn from our mistakes and look picture-perfect at the end.

Your News from the Stars By Emma Y

Greetings, I am Emma Charlotte, and from a young age, I have had the gift of reading the alignment of the stars and occasionally aligning them in your favor—for a small fee, of course.

You’ve been back to school for a few months, but you won’t feel used to it until late April at best, when your life has already slipped beyond your control. If you’re lost this year, I’m here to help. As Janis Ian once said, “Where you sit in the cafeteria is crucial.” But where are you supposed to sit? Luckily, your horoscope may have your answer.

Aries (21 March-20 April): Preps—Mostly everyone else hates you, but hey, at least you're rich.

Taurus (21 April-21 May): Tough Guys—The stars aren't sure if you're here for the moral purpose of serving your country or to prove that you can do more push-ups than the guy next to you.

Gemini (22 May-21 June): Cool Kids—You don't have to be Asian to join; you only have to have a love of eyeliner, a passion for Korean dramas, and the endurance to learn the most painstakingly, vigorous languages in the universe. No backing out, though. This is where you're meant to be.

Cancer (22 May-22 July): Freshmen—You're bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to rule the school! Except you don't. And you're standing in the middle of the hallway. And I need to get to class. Please move.

Leo (23 July-23 August): Varsity Jocks—Because ball is life.

Virgo (24 August-23 September): Channel #5’s—Some are born popular, some achieve popularity, and some have popularity thrust upon them. You’re none of the three. However, if you twirl your hair and give a half-hearted smile, you may be able to convince yourself you're actually happy. It's all about materials, anyway.

Libra (24 September-23 October): The Plastics—Under your nefarious schemes and wicked attitude, you may have the potential to be a good person. But until you reach that potential, you can sit with the Plastics and talk about boys and hair and stuff. Just don’t forget: on Wednesday, we wear pink.

Scorpio (24 October-22 November): JV Jocks—Because ball is life, but you're not good enough for Varsity.

Sagittarius (23 November-21 December): Self-Proclaimed Hipsters—You know you should get off Tumblr, but that’s not going to happen any time soon. Until then, come over to the “hipster” table. We have goldfish, condolences, and pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch to sob over!

Capricorn (22 December-20 January): Musical Types—Sure you practice with all your might and you finally fixed that fingering problem, but you still can't get rid of that awful screeching noise. Maybe the oboe just isn’t for you.

Aquarius (21 January-19 February): Art Types—Hey, Art Freaks. You're great at dying your hair all kinds of unnatural colors, so don't let anyone drag you down.

Pisces (20 February-20 March): Geek Chic—Do you love your science teacher more than your parents? Do you sleep with your TI-84 Plus? Yeah, the stars thought so. Luckily, there's a quiet table for you where you can park your violin and get in some quality studying time.

October: National Bullying Awareness Month By Jessica P

Just a few years ago, in 2006, PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center dedicated the month of October to bullying awareness. The nationwide campaign was held in October to educate and raise awareness and to end the hurt caused by others. Bullying can cause a person to be physically and mentally torn down: mentally, the abuse can happen from words or looks, while physical abuse would take the form of kicking or punching.

In our society, many repeat the clever word phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." While this saying may be true, people can still get hurt from the words. People often forget that bullying is both physical and mental; someone does not have to touch their victims to bully them, and the mental abuse is as harmful—if not more—as physical bullying.

It is ridiculous how people try to put others down to make themselves feel superior, to feel as if they were the better person. Note to the bullies: look in the mirror and reevaluate how your actions are making other people feel. Note to the bullied: seek help and end the pain that is caused by those who do not understand the consequences of their immaturity. Finally, here’s a note to everyone else: speak up. You can make the difference. Everyone can.

Is College Just for the Rich? By Ester W

My grandfather never attended college. And at the time, a substantial percent of society did not either; it was acceptable—often even encouraged—to forego the luxurious college campuses for a practical apprenticeship in one’s desired field. So after three years as an apprentice, my grandfather was proclaimed a dentist.

Needless to say, modern society is quite different. Today, to obtain a respectable, well-paying job, it seems that a college education is not only recommended, but also compulsory. A growing number of fields require prerequisite knowledge acquired solely within university classrooms, through university lectures, and by university professors. Since education is so ubiquitous, is it not reasonable to assume that furthering one’s knowledge should be, if not free, at least more affordable?

After all, education is not a privilege. It is not reserved for only a select few. In our country, the right to an education is considered an innate right—although the decision to exercise this right is entirely a matter of choice. Nonetheless, due to the rising cost of attendance, millions worldwide are simply not offered the option of going to college. Despite the blatant demand for affordability, colleges continue to multiply their prices, creating an intensely unequal playing field for applicants: according to the College Board, the average tuition has skyrocketed 225% in the past thirty years. For poorer students, this increase may cause bright futures to suddenly seem bleak and hopeless. In making tuitions so inordinately expensive, colleges are not only essentially discriminating against the less affluent, but also directly inhibiting an inherent entitlement.

And what of scholarships? Often, even financial aid cannot benefit an individual of significantly low income, especially if the student wishes to attend an Ivy League or prestigious university. In such situations, going to college becomes a singularly monetary issue, regardless of a student’s exceptional aptitude, and it is this inability of a talented student to overcome the barrier that tuition creates that desperately warrants reform.

Most importantly, our society must realize the critical role that a college experience plays in an individual’s likelihood of success in today’s competitive job markets. Furthermore, the more college graduates that enter the working world, the brighter, more informed communities we will develop. Increased education will mitigate ignorance and prejudice, and as a result, more intelligent decisions in areas such as politics and the environment will be made. Creating easier access to education to everyone, not just the wealthy, benefits society as a whole.

Ideally, college should be made available to all those who wish to expand their academic and social horizons. And while, the need for increased profit in a rapidly inflating global market has made doing so challenging, a reduction in college tuitions is not an unreasonable appeal. In fact, it is a vital aspect in the enhancement of our society. And perhaps if the expenses begin to ease, we—unlike my grandfather—will be able to attend the colleges that we have worked so gruelingly to attain.

The Rise of the Pumpkin Spice By Airika Y

As we enter into the fall season, it’s time to break out those warm blankets and cable-knit sweaters. Fall has always been known for its brisk mornings and changing leaves, but lately there has been one staple item that has begun to define the season of Halloween. And it is the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Pumpkin Spice Latte is made with steamed milk, espresso, and traditional fall spice flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove—all topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice. Over time, the latte has become synonymous with autumn.

Over the last 10 years, Starbucks has sold more than 200 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes, an astonishing figure that has raked in an annual revenue of $80 million for the company. Sales continue to soar despite the fact that the drink contains more Caramel Color Class IV than it does actual pumpkin; in fact, the drink does not contain any pumpkin at all, seeking instead to recreate the “spicy components of homemade pumpkin pie,” rather than actual pumpkin. With the Pumpkin Spice Latte overshadowing previous crowd favorites, it may be difficult to understand exactly what it is—besides its cinnamony goodness—that makes the drink so popular.

One popular train of thought revolves around the drink’s impermanence. The “Limited Time Only” label means that by the time fall rolls around, Pumpkin Spice Latte drinkers will be more than prepared for its return onto the menu. According to Forbes, “products that are available only for a limited time have a kind of built-in marketing that can grow in impact over time."

Moreover, this latte’s popularity skyrocketed due to the promotion of this drink through the media, thus building this notion of Pumpkin Spice Latte as a “trend.” Starbucks’ marketing strategy established the drink as a social media icon, even creating a separate social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter and creating the hashtag, #PSL, which has been known to exceed 12 million timeline deliveries in a single day. By maintaining a constant presence on the internet, Starbucks has built up a strong connection with the younger generation; over time, this connection solidified into a cultural phenomenon.

And while the specifics can be debated, the cultural impact of the latte cannot. The appeal of the Pumpkin Spice Latte has been translated to pumpkin spice lotions, candles, shampoos, and other various items. It has reached a point where the craze has exacerbated to, what various fashion blogs are calling, the Pumpkin Spice hair color trend. The obsession with all things pumpkin spice has established Pumpkin Spice Lattes as an essential aspect of “basic” culture, in which the drink can even hold negative connotations.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes have become a part of our daily lives, seeping in through not only our choice of morning beverages, but also through media and common products. And the fact is, regardless of how the drink gained its popularity, it’s not going anywhere soon.

Volleyball Pink Out By Ishita A

Clad with shades of pink, the Varsity Girls Volleyball Team at John Jay took on Lourdes Friday, October 9th and dominated. It was my first game, and the night felt electric with Patriot pride. Even with subpar cheering, the crowd was engaged with the entire event as many are with sporting events here at John Jay.

The first set went by so fast, as our team combined great skills and experience and won 25-11. But even with a winning first set, the game did not get easier since the girls needed to win two more sets. In the next set, Lourdes stepped up their game—literally. The points went back and forth like a game of ping pong, leaving me on the edge of my seat. The set ended 25-20, with the Patriots ahead. Likewise, the last set was characterized with the same back and forth because of errors by both teams, such as hitting outside and missing serves. It also ended 25-20. And with that, John Jay beat Lourdes in three straight sets.

There was some outstanding playing from our varsity girls. Maddie Barberan had eight kills, nine digs and an ace; Alyssa Ashley has twelve assists; Sam Fitzgerald had eight kills and an ace; Robin Sarica had eight digs; and Skylar Kellam had two great saves.

But the greatest contribution to the charged crowd and motived players was the event’s cause for breast cancer awareness. From T-shirt sales, baked items, and raffles during the game, the volleyball team raised more than $2,000 to donate to the local Miles of Hope Foundation. Most of our crowd wore either pink or Patriot colors, and overall, the John Jay Volleyball team did outstanding work in supporting breast cancer awareness. Great job, girls!

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Regents Exams Can Take a Hike By Rachael E

Every year, students of all grades prep for an exam that can ultimately boost their final average or determine if they will sign their souls away to summer school. For over 180 days, students dread having to sit in a crowded gym and waste three hours of their lives. Oh yes, the five words every person cherishes during their education: New York State Regents Exams. Among all the exams taken during the school year, excluding AP Exams, studies have proven that New York State students gain the most stress from the Regents Exams, and many students do not even pass with a 64.

The State Board of Regents has been aware of this issue, yet continues to do nothing to improve testing. The last change to all Regents Exams was ten years ago, back in 2000, which stated that the assessments enabled the Board to demand action on the issue that has been of greatest concern—the achievement gap. In 2005, students had to obtain a 55 or higher to pass a Regents Exams. The Board believed in some way, it would be able to meet a middle ground on fixing the achievement gap. The board identified 136 high schools in 12 school districts with exam rates below 70 percent; this included the highest proportion of students taking three or fewer exams.

The Regents Board has considered a strategy to help those students, but no action was taken besides blaming educators. Officials of the Board have stated, “Educators have not met the standards for passing on regents material to prepare students,” later asserting that the requirements for learning Regents material should be enforced by each district superintendent. These indulging comments from the Board did bring about a change—and a quite ridiculous one at that. Instead of strategizing on how to improve Regents grades, the Board rose the standard of passing to a 65 or above. Outrageous.
Now in 2015, the NYS Regents Board has decided on a new strategy. In 2014, the Board decided to eliminate the 9th grade Algebra Regents Exams and replace them with the Common Core Examinations. Observing this to be ten times harder than a Regents Exam, parents and students are outraged and frustrated with the situation. Not only has Common Core been added to ninth grade curriculum, but freshman must also resume taking Regents Exams in other classes.

The fact simply is that these Regents Exams have failed to meet the goal that the Board set out to achieve. Moreover, they are hurting students. Exams continue to increase in difficulty each year, and students feel lucky to get a score above 75, knowing they have passed both the class and exam. But what about the students who fail or even barely pass their exams? For starters, teachers are blamed for the low score, as it is assumed that they are not teaching the curriculum properly. However, the blame should not be placed either the teacher or the student, as these exams are constantly a surprise to everyone each year. Secondly, these exams are graded unfairly. For a six point, long-answer question on the most current math Regents, a student is only eligible for 3 points for shown work if they get the overall question wrong. If test contains only four of these types of questions, they receive a minimum of 12 out of 24 points for showing work, thus failing the long-answer portion section.

Finally, the overall grading system works against the students, adding extra pressure and anxiety: a student is not graded based on four quarters, but five. The regents exams acts as fifth quarter which is added onto the student’s yearly final average, and by failing the exam, he or she has failed the fifth quarter. When adding all quarters together, this will bring down the final average significantly, thus potentially causing the student to fail the entire year.
New York State is the only state in the U.S. that requires students to take these obnoxious exams. What is the real purpose to keep this form of testing around? Teachers and students should not have to waste valuable time and knowledge on an exam that possesses the possibility of harming a student’s average. Forty-nine states do not give in to this examination–why not New York?

Il Mese de Patrimonio Italiano By Taylor D

For those who couldn't understand the title, Il Mese di Patrimonio Italiano means Italian Heritage Month! October was an important month for one language in particular: Italian. October is an entire month dedicated to promoting the Italian language and culture. Many Italian-Americans celebrate all month long; after all, there are more than 26 million Americans of Italian descent today. That's surely a reason to celebrate!

Many festivals and parades take place during October, especially near Columbus Day. These events are opportunities for people to celebrate their nationality and their family. Italian-Americans celebrate by discovering how their families came to America and uncovering their Italian roots. Sadly, these festivities only last for one month out of the entire year—but no worries! John Jay students can spread Italian pride year-round by participating in Società Onoraria Italica (Italian Honor Society), if eligible, or simply by taking Italian as their foreign language elective.

Italian is truly fascinating, and by far, my favorite subject in school. Students who take Italian do not just learn about the language itself; they learn about culture, pronunciation, and daily life in Italia. Although October ended just a short time ago, we Italians will continue to strive to promote this wonderful culture and language to the best of our ability, every day of the year.

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New York Knicks Title Contenders By Justin L

Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. Knicks down 2 against the San Antonio Spurs. Kristaps Porzingis catches the ball in the corner with 3 seconds left. Takes two dribbles, pump fakes, shoots over Lamarcus Aldridge’s in! Knicks win the NBA Championship!

At least is what every delusional Knicks fan thinks will happen this year.

Here’s the deal: the New York Knicks were one of the worst, if not the worst team in the NBA last year. They had an inexperienced coach, Derek Fisher, an injury ridden team with overpaid veterans, and 17 wins to their credit. In order to fix this, the Knicks traded away players such as J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to make room for new players in 2016. The team’s future seemed to look brighter. Fans envisioned signing All Star free agents such as Kevin Love, Lamarcus Aldridge, and Marc Gasol. However, such players realized that not even their skills could lift the Knicks from its worst season in franchise history. Instead, New York signed role players Robin Lopez, Aaron Afflalo, Derrick Williams, and Kevin Seraphin. These were nice moves made by the Knicks and will definitely add depth to their lineup; however, none of these players will make a difference and none of them are close to the talent level of other free agents that went elsewhere.

In addition to a mediocre free agency, New York also drafted Kristaps Porzingis (4th pick) and traded for rookie Jerian Grant. Porzingis, a 7’3” PF from Latvia, is considered a high risk high reward draft pick due to his slight frame (240 lbs.) but incredible shooting ability and height. Grant, a guard from Notre Dame, is a skilled and athletic distributor. Both players have the potential to be solid NBA players. However, neither player, especially Porzingis, can turn the Knicks into title contenders in their rookie seasons. New York Knicks Title Contenders? They need time to develop, and being in New York with impatient fans may even hurt their growth.

One man who can lift this team to more wins is Carmelo Anthony. The 8x All Star had missed half of the 2014-15 season with a knee injury. Now fully healthy, Anthony looks to lead the Knicks with his scoring. While his return may result in a few more wins, Melo’s selfish play and lackluster defense has never resulted in a deep postseason run, and this coming season looks no different. Even though the Knicks have made minor improvements and play in a weak conference, a playoff berth seems unrealistic. Unless the Knick’s signees have career years, Porzingis becomes an NBA superstar, and Carmelo Anthony increases his scoring and plays within the team, New York is headed back to the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

Patriot Pride By Madeline L

Congratulations to the Varsity Football Team for winning this year's Homecoming Game! The team played well, or at least they did from what I could see over the crowd’s maze of umbrella. That night was a cold, windy, and wet night for the spectators in those metal bleachers, with the exception of a rare few who had taken the necessary precautions towards the weather situation.

If you are contemplating on going to an upcoming game, then make sure you check the weather beforehand, and dress appropriately. There are a few tips when it comes to keeping your toes from turning blue at the next game. One is to grab a heavy sweater or jacket before you go, preferably one with a hood in case you need to battle wild winds or heavy rain. Even if you aren’t sure whether or not you will need an extra jacket, bring one just in case as it is always safer to be prepared for anything. Also, if you are one of the few people who suffer from insanely cold hands, then hand warmers are just for you. Hand warmers are a great replacement for those big bulky gloves you hate wearing. Finally, if you can't stand the cold breeze on the back of your neck, you can buy a heavy wool scarf to keep you warm. And while you’re picking something out.

Equal Pay? By Isaac l

Earlier this month, Jennifer Lawrence made headlines, not for her various films and awards, but rather for her essay about earning less than her male counterparts in the film American Hustle. Lawrence states that she was content with her pay due to the success of a couple other franchises, yet “[she] saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man [she] was working with definitely didn’t worry about being “difficult” or “spoiled.”"

Her experience may seem like just another Hollywood problem, but many women around the world face similar situations at the workplace. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women on average make 78 cents for every dollar a man makes. Women of color face more setbacks: black and latina women earn even less at 64 and 56 cents, respectively. Although the Equal Pay Act is still in action, it is evident that women still face variations of compensation for equal or greater work than men. It is time we fix this inequality.

The Prison System in the US By Kinza A

Did you know that the United States has locked up more people than any other country? Believe it or not, according to the New York and Global Research by Vicky Pelaez, it’s true. Even China, which has a population that is five times greater than that of the U.S., has less inmates incarcerated. Research shows that every year more and more people in the U.S. are being incarcerated. More people are being incarcerated which leads to less space to put them in. There are now 100 private prisons in the country with 62,000 inmates, 6% of whom suffer from a mental illness.

The U.S. prison system is also starting to violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by using the method of solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is a form of punishment for violent inmates in which inmates are placed into a room without any interaction with the outside world. Inmates could be locked up for months, even years. Locking a criminal in a room does not teach or help them improve; instead, it can make them more violent.

Solitary confinement shouldn’t be a method used to control an inmate. Open up mental or rehab institutions instead. We need to see the main issue why these people are so violent so we can help them change. Furthermore, think of the moral issue of forcing someone into seclusion. Solitary confinement can have negative psychological effects by messing up the inmate’s mind. It is abuse and a violation of human rights.

Lost in the John Jay High School Cafeteria By Jamie C

Adolescents saunter through a high school cafeteria in herds. A doctor, a surgeon, an accountant, an attorney, a representative from a college hundreds of miles away, and more are all present; all take time out of their professional lives to educate the next generation, a generation of youth merely searching for booths providing candy and pens and bracelets. They gather in masses, discussing anything but their future. Their phones are essential. Millennials, self-absorbed and apathetic.

We are anything but apathetic. We are a generation of the concerned and future-anxious, self-absorbed with reason.

We fear that we can never work hard enough, forgetting that our opportunities as millennials are simply not the same as those of our parents. As difficult as it is to meander through adolescence and discover who we are along the way, it becomes more difficult when above us looms the sense that who we are and want we want to be are not sustainable. We are constantly told the terrifying idea that unless we work hard towards X, Y, and Z in adolescence, we will live a life dedicated to the daily grind.

We work hard to get accepted into a prestigious college to ultimately do what we feel we're meant to do. In practice, the path is rarely linear. As an investment—often considered the greatest of our lives—high school can provide no promise. The demand for jobs is disproportionate to their supply, and the disparity only increases. Just as machines replaced a need for manual labor in the twentieth century, now machines replace the need for mental labor. Competition, embedded into our culture and healthy in moderation, now overtakes us, as many compete for fewer and fewer positions.

Creative careers in the fine and performing arts and the humanities remain impractical to the public. And when careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics have become scarce too, what is left for us? Human nature demands that we do what we must to survive and be happy too, but when the path to doing so becomes increasingly murkier, how can we be blamed when we struggle?

So we scout out candy instead because it is easier to swallow.

College Admissions By Monique B

It’s that time of year again. High school seniors are starting to apply to the college of their choices, in order to achieve their career dreams. However, by now, we all know that colleges aren’t just looking at good grades anymore; there looking for more than the numbers on a student’s transcript. That’s the reason why more and more students are taking multiple advanced classes, joining numerous clubs, and trying their best to earn the top scores on their SATs and ACTs.

Despite focusing solely on grades or even standardized tests, many colleges across the country are starting to see that test scores are not the determining factor of a student. In fact, William Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, said that while more than 35,000 applications flood their admissions office, in the end they look for more personal factors than test scores, saying scores are “relatively unimportant.”

Many college admissions officials say that campus visits and meetings with admissions officials are becoming more important, along with the completion of high school AP classes or community college courses, both which demonstrate strong academic ability. Furthermore, officials state that a student’s presence on social media, whether positive or negative, can influence some colleges’ decisions.

However, while the attitude of standardized tests may have changed in recent years, the need for a powerful academic transcript will not. And even though many college officials will publicly claim the decreasing importance of standardized testings, the simple fact is that a good SAT or ACT score only improves your resume and increases your chances of being accepted.

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Message Board from the Clubs

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Contact Us

Advisors: Mr. Casey & Mrs. Hooper

President/Editor-in-Chief: Taylor Dowd
Vice-President/Formatter: Maryam S
Co-VP: Rachael E
Treasurer: Ishita A
Editor: Airika Y

Meetings every first and third Tuesday of the month in Room 216! New members are always welcome!