Monday, September 14, 2009


Time to Ring Some Changes
by Mr. James Farrelly, Advisor

Welcome to the newest edition of The Silhouette.

If you have made it this far, you already know that our school newspaper has been revived and will take on a different appearance: a fully “digital newspaper.” The Silhouette has "gone green," meaning that there will be no paper or ink needed in its production. Aside from being more eco-friendly, there are a number of other advantages to an online publication as well: first, The Silhouette will be fully archival so that our readers -- students, staff, and the general public -- may re-visit prior issues; second, this approach will allow us not only to publish pictures of events but also videos that help capture what is happening in and beyond our school ; third, we can expand The Silhouette to encompass creative writing and the visual arts in ways we have not been able to do before.

An example of the possibilities of our online connectivity to the world is seen on the left hand side of this page where anyone visiting The Silhouette may view Lieutenant Colonel Todd Hirneisen's personal blog from Afghanistan.  Lt. Col Hirneisen, we thank you for your efforts and the sacrifices of you and your men and women in uniform. We wish you a safe and happy return.

As you scroll down, you will see that The Silhouette is organized within the following sections: The Front Page, Features, Arts and Entertainment, Spirit Week & Homecoming, Seasonal Sports, Editorials, Creative Writing. If you wish to jump to a specific section of The Silhouette, simply click on the name of the department and you'll be taken right there. The Colonial Jam Jukebox is designed to "set the mood" for our first edition. It is set to be "off" when you open the page, but if you want to read the paper at home or keep it on as background music while you study -- there you go. It is meant to reflect the multicultural voices and many tastes within our school (as well as lend a bang on the ear for our new teachers' musical preferences -- See "Elite 8 Interview" below). For continuous play, select the POP OUT PLAYER located in the bottom right corner of the player. Otherwise, the music will stop and reload with each change of page. The Colonial Jam will change from issue to issue. And don't forget to check out our Choose a Caption Contest at the end of our Arts and Entertainment section.

Students wishing to contribute to Free Ink, the creative writing page, may submit either poems, short stories, or essays (not to exceed 1000 words in length). You must have your work saved as a Microsoft Word document. Be sure you have fully proofread and edited your work to the best of your abilities prior to submission. Identify yourself by your full name and grade. Entries may not be returned, nor is their submission a guarantee of its publication.

As you go through the publication, you will also notice pictures of our student production of art work.  We thought it would be good to create a gallery of their works that are spread about in different sections of the publication. More to come in that area as the year progresses. These works were done by students in Mr. Miller's, Mrs. Slonaker's, and Mrs. McLaughlin's art classes. You can read more about our excellent Art Department in the Arts and Entertainment section.

Please let us know what you think of our efforts. Our primary purpose will always be to reflect the many community voices in our midst and serve the community with information that is useful, truthful, and timely. I would ask that teachers consider making contributions to these pages as well—either by submitting "Op-Ed" pieces, creative writing, pictures of artwork, field trip write-ups, or personal vacations with slideshows--something that will allow our students to see and respond to a side of us they may not always see in the classroom.

Finally, if there is anything you are doing within your classes, clubs, or teams that you wish to feature in The Silhouette, please contact me so that I may send a reporter to you.

A special thanks to Mrs. Tami Harbold, the previous editor and advisor of The Silhouette for many years before she assumed the role of high school librarian. She has provided invaluable assistance and advice to me in this transition. Thanks to Mrs. Kay Jones for her help in moving the publication to the front page of our district main page and for providing great publicity for us.

Should you have any comments or suggestions, you may contact me at

And on behalf of Team Silhouette, thank you for reading us.  ENJOY!  

The Journey of Becoming an Educator
by Sarah Rudasill

You may have seen him come into your classroom during lessons, or maybe you passed him in the hallways. Dr. O’Brien is the high school principal who manages to find time to communicate with students while balancing school conferences, the school budget, and any other spur-of-the-moment problems the high school encounters. Dr. O’Brien recently granted The Silhouette an interview, taking time out of his exceptionally busy schedule to not only express his opinion on hot topics but also give students the opportunity to get to know him better.

Silhouette: What made you choose a career in education?

Dr. O’Brien: Probably what made me consider a career as an educator was my involvement in athletics and the fine teachers at New Oxford that I had in the mid-1970s. I also desired to remain athletic and coach.

Silhouette: What high school and college did you attend?

Dr. O’Brien: I graduated from New Oxford as a member of the Class of 1976. I went to Fredrick Junior College in Maryland on a basketball scholarship. Afterward, I joined the Air Force for four years before going into private business. Then, when I was 30, I decided to go to York College to gain a degree in education with an emphasis on science. I then went to McDaniel’s College to gain my Master’s Degree. I went to Immaculata to receive my Doctorate.

Silhouette: So students get to know you a little better, did you play any sports in high school and college? What is your favorite sports team now?

Dr. O’Brien: I played basketball and football. I am really not a huge fan of pro basketball, but I still like pro football. Probably my favorite sports team now would be the Duke Men’s Basketball team.

Silhouette: What is your favorite restaurant?

Dr. O’Brien: My favorite restaurant… hmmm, that’s a little tougher. I am a steak and potatoes lover. I’m going to say probably right now my favorite restaurant is Texas Roadhouse.

Silhouette: What is your favorite all-time movie?

Dr. O’Brien: The Sound of Music. It’s a combination of a story about World War II and Nazis along with a romance.

Silhouette: What does your typical daily schedule look like?

Dr. O’Brien: Probably the best way to describe my day would be spontaneous. I could have five or six things I want to do at the moment, but whatever comes up is what I have to work on. A typical daily schedule with no interruptions would start with the morning announcements. Afterward, I usually have an organizational meeting of some kind, such as with guidance or the superintendent. I make it my goal to get in classes and observe, but I don’t always get the chance to do that. My work includes watching the budget as well as ordering and buying materials for students and teachers. I also assist in shaping our long-range goals. In addition, I help out where needed, such as when Mr. Thomas or Mr. Lawrence may be absent.

Silhouette: What’s the hardest part of being a high school principal?

Dr. O’Brien: The hardest part is finding time to do everything. With the size of our building, we not only have to manage this year, we have to plan for next year as well. While we are in the first semester we manage everything going on right now, but at the same time we plan for semester two. In November we start printing out materials for next year, since students start planning in December or January. On top of that, I want to find time to see all of the sporting, music, and club events going on. Really it’s a matter of prioritizing and balancing your time.

Silhouette: What one accomplishment are you most proud of?

Dr. O’Brien: Professionally, I am very proud of going back to college when I was 30. It goes to show your age doesn’t matter; you can still accomplish your dreams and goals for the future.

Silhouette: What is the plan of action for the high school if there is a sharp increase in swine flu cases this year?

Dr. O’Brien: This is one topic we have limited control over. We take advice from the medical community and follow their directions. Right now, we are being told any student exhibiting swine flu symptoms should be sent home and see their family doctor. We just plan to follow the advice of the medical world.

Silhouette: Several students were wondering about the vandalism that occurred within the courtyard. In what form did this take place and how can it be prevented in the future so all students can continue to enjoy being outside?

Dr. O’Brien: First I’d like to say I am proud of the overall behavior of the students in this school. In the halls we have student artwork hanging, and it has never been vandalized. At New Oxford students have a wide variety of privileges; in the mornings everyone is allowed to immediately come into the building, and at the end of the day at 2:30 students are not run out. These privileges are nice to have, but they can be lost if students mess them up. In the courtyard, students were writing on the stone wall. After the announcement that the courtyard was closed, the students came forth and identified themselves. What that shows me is two things: the students here appreciate their privileges and trust the administrators. The students showed maturity in coming up and cleaning up the vandalism. Everyone makes mistakes, but what you do to correct those mistakes is what defines you.

Silhouette: I know a lot of students are concerned about the increase of standardized tests in recent years. How do you feel they benefit the students?

Dr. O’Brien: The only benefit I see is that standardized tests help to identify strengths and weaknesses. This helps our school know what the students are good at and what we must continue to develop, as well as what we are struggling with and have to work on by making adjustments in the curriculum. I would bet, however, that some politicians could not pass these tests, and they insist on creating the delusion that every child has the same given talents. If you lined up every student in the school and had them run an 100 yard sprint, they wouldn’t all finish at the same time. That is how it is with academics, yet politicians believe schools that don’t perform well should be punished. It’s not only the schools that suffer; the state continually tells students each year that they are not as smart as everybody else, including those who are handicapped. How many times must the state tell students this? Although they are helpful in identifying strengths and weaknesses, they shouldn’t be used as a club to beat down schools and kids.

Silhouette: The Obama administration is considering increasing the length of the school day or the school year. How do you feel about this potential change?

Dr. O’Brien: The point I agree on is that the school calendar was scheduled in a way to allow kids to help their parents on farms. Back when I was in high school, most students still helped on a farm or were the first generation that did not. That is not the case now; we no longer have many students who work on farms. What I would like to see is an earlier start in August with Semester 1 finished in time for the holiday vacation, where students could have a two or three week break before starting Semester 2. During the year we would have occasional breaks for students in order to train staff, and that way we would have a shorter break in the summer. It doesn’t do students much good to be off three months, but I do not think we should go to school 365 days a year, either.

Silhouette: What changes or adjustments do you envision in high school education or within the building in five years?

Dr. O’Brien: Since becoming principal, we have made a lot of changes; for instance, the block schedule. We’ve also added many new electives and totally reconfigured the building, with 9th and 10th graders mainly in the east and 11th and 12th graders in the western area. We also analyzed our math curriculum and switched to CPM, which has steadily increased our math scores. In the next five years, we will continue to monitor the math scores and make changes where necessary. We’ll also constantly look at weaknesses; this doesn’t mean our school isn’t hard-working; we just need to continually get better. In addition to monitoring the courses, curriculum, and generally running the school, we want to work with the development of staff through learning focus schools. An athlete won’t stop and say, “I’m good enough”; they’ll keep working hard to become even better.

Silhouette: What is the best advice you could give a student in high school right now?

Dr. O’Brien: Every student has a talent, even if they have not discovered it yet. The only way to find out your talent is to get involved. I want to tell students to not be afraid to get involved or step outside of your comfort zone. We don’t want students to graduate and say five years later, “I wish I would have done this or that." At New Oxford we offer so many things, so just get involved in what you are interested in.

The Silhouette would like to give Dr. O’Brien a sincere thank you for taking time out of his packed schedule to sit down and answer students’ pressing questions.

Corey Kidwell, Drawing, Portfolio

Swine Flu and You
by Sarah Rudasill

Young kids take precautions against swine flu, courtesy of

Nearly two billion people, or an astonishing one-third of the world’s population, is the latest estimation of the amount of people that will become infected with swine flu this year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). These numbers may seem unbelievable, but countries around the world, including the United States, are preparing for the worst.

Just what is the swine flu and how did it become such a threat to the world? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) tracked the origins of the flu to the small town of La Gloria, Mexico, where young Edgar Hernandez first contracted it from a nearby pig farm earlier this year. The virus wound its way through Mexico until it was first detected in the United States in April 2009. Since then, H1N1, the scientific name given to the virus, has spread to every continent except Antarctica and has claimed the lives of over 2,800 people worldwide.

Keep in mind the common seasonal influenza kills between 250,000 to 500,000 people worldwide every year, and with the swine flu rather harmless at the moment, many people wonder why it is so worrisome. According to officials, however, the new strain can spread quickly since it is rather new and younger people do not have a natural immunity against it.

New flu strains are a source of panic for WHO, which recalls other pandemics in history that have drastically affected human life. In 1918, the Spanish flu killed close to 100 million people worldwide, and just as recently as 1968, a Hong Kong flu pandemic killed one million people. With numbers like these, any flu strain never encountered before should be taken with precaution, but WHO must be careful not to blow it out of proportion. Back in 1976, a type of swine flu virus had an outbreak in Fort Dix, New Jersey, and in preparation, the US government created a massive program to vaccinate 43 million people. The return of the swine flu that winter never occurred, however, and 500 of those vaccinated came down with a rare neurological condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome as a result of the vaccine.

The government insists this case of swine flu is different, since the 1976 virus never spread beyond 240 soldiers at the base. Already 200,000 people in the world have been sickened with H1N1, and with the capability of a broad range of travel, it can spread from country to country, city to city incredibly quickly. WHO currently considers the swine flu to be a moderate pandemic, meaning it will occur over a wide geographic area and affect a high proportion of the world’s population. Being moderate, however, means it is expected that most people will be able to recover from the disease without having to be hospitalized.

People become infected with H1N1 in the same way they get the flu, mostly through the air with people coughing and sneezing or by touching a germ covered surface an ill person has touched. Scientists recently discovered the virus has the ability to survive on surfaces for two to eight hours. The swine flu resembles the typical seasonal flu as well with the typical symptoms--fever, cough, sore throat, congestion, headaches, vomiting, chills, and fatigue. However, the swine flu tends to affect children and young adults more than it affects the elderly and older adults. Doctors say the older the person is, the more likely they have antibodies against the virus, creating immunity within the person. In addition, humans with underlying conditions such as diabetes, asthma, obesity, heart disease, or other diseases that weaken the immune system are more at risk for becoming ill.

When WHO declared the pandemic on June 11 and warned of a harsher, more deadly wave of swine flu during the fall and winter, several people began hosting what are now referred to as swine flu parties. At the gatherings, people would come into close contact with a person currently infected with H1N1 in hopes of becoming sick themselves. The purpose of these "parties" was to create exposure to the mild strain of the disease in order to be less susceptible to the stronger strain of virus expected to circulate in the later part of this year. The CDC warned not to use swine flu parties to protect yourself from the flu, stating there is no way of knowing how your body will react to becoming ill or who you could potentially spread the virus to.

Instead, the CDC gives easy, common sense steps to keep from getting sick, which include covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, washing your hands, and avoiding contact with sick people. If you become ill, it is recommended you stay home until at least 24 hours after your fever breaks to avoid spreading the virus to others.

Meanwhile, our government spent the past few months ordering $1.15 billion worth of vaccines, enough to vaccinate the entire U.S. population. The campaign, which is targeting specific groups of people such as pregnant women, caretakers of young children, healthcare workers, and people with underlying health conditions, seeks to vaccinate half the population within a couple months of the vaccine’s release date. With the 1976 vaccine accident in mind, the government began trials on healthy adults on August 7, and when everything appeared alright, a trial began on younger children on August 18. Still, side effects that are relatively rare will only be discovered after millions of people of all different cultural backgrounds have been vaccinated.

Another concern with the vaccines is the possibility they will have no affect on the virus. Currently, the H1N1 virus is spreading through South America, and if the strain would happen to have a genetic mutation, the effort to vaccinate would be futile. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says he anticipates that up to 50 million doses will be available by October 15, but with school already in full swing, that might be a little too late for many children expected to come down with the illness.

Closer to home, our school district is in step with the federal and state approaches in dealing with the swine flu.  At the start of the year, our school superintendent, Dr. Daniel Trimmer, wrote the following in an online post in regards to the swine flu:

“We have been getting quite a few questions about the swine flu and what are plans are if there is an outbreak this fall. We receive regular updates from the state and federal officials and much of that information can be found on the links provided on our website. We do have emergency plans in place, but first and foremost, we will follow the guidance given to us by the government agencies… there are no hard and fast rules for closing of schools in the case of a widespread outbreak. Of course, we will follow the recommendations of the health professionals and if state officials tell us to close we will, but we may also need to make a decision locally. Obviously, if there are a large number of teachers or students absent, it may be more reasonable to close school for a few days than try to hold classes. However, at this time there is no way to predict if or when such a decision will be needed. Certainly, you will be kept informed of any such decisions. In the meantime, encourage good hygiene by your student and keep him or her home if he or she does become ill.”

Will this new strain of swine flu come back rampant in the fall and winter months, or will it eventually taper off and disappear? Like the old saying, only time will tell whether we are blowing the swine flu out of proportion, but our government is geared up for the possibility of a worst-case scenario. As to whether one should get vaccinated, it is up to their personal preferences. The CDC can only recommend children, young adults, and those with underlying health conditions receive a vaccination, so it is up to you and your family doctor to decide what is best for your situation. With prompt information from the CDC and the cooperation of schools and citizens, the swine flu can be properly contained and dealt with reasonably. One can only hope that the virus, which is unable to be treated by antibiotics, will remain mild throughout the long winter season.

Our Elite Eight

by Hannah Fernandez and Bianca Garcia

We invited our newest teachers to a virtual roundtable at The New Oxford Coffee Shop . We had the chance to ask them some questions about their lives and their budding careers in the field of education. We also learned a few things their students may be surprised to know. Or perhaps it was the coffee talking…?

Silhouette: Are you from this area originally? How many people are in your family, and what can you tell us about them?

Mrs. Bealmar: Yes. I was born in Hanover, moved to Spring Grove until 10th grade, then spent my junior and senior year at Littlestown High School and graduated from LHS. I have two daughters, Arden (8 years old) and Leah (5 years old) who are the most fabulous young ladies I know! Also, I am married to Brian, who I met in 11th grade and was my high school sweetheart. Together, we are blessed to have such a wonderful family!

Mr. Frantz: I am originally for Red Lion and there are 3 people in my family. My Wife Erica and My son Ian. My wife is a teacher and currently works in early child development. My son is two and he is a big fan of Thomas the Train.

Ms. Goff: Yes, I actually grew up outside of New Oxford in New Chester. I taught last year around the State College area, so I have recently moved to Hanover. My father lives in Spring Grove now and my brother is a senior at York College, majoring in Accounting. I also have a large extended family who all lives in the area - it's good to be back close to family and friends!

Mrs. Murren: I am originally from Dover, PA. I graduated from Dover High School. I am married to my husband, Ed, who is originally from Hanover and attended Delone Catholic High School (Boo!). He works as an accountant in Harrisburg. We have a Pomeranian named Scout. We are very close to our immediate families and spend a lot of time with them.

Mrs. Snyder: I grew up in McSherrystown, right down the street from Delone, and I lived there until I graduated from NOHS in 1991. I’ve lived in either Adams or York County ever since, except for two years in Boston. My husband, Ryan, is a mechanical engineer. He graduated from Penn State. We have 4 healthy, intelligent, kind, funny, beautiful children. Kaylin is 15 and a sophomore at Spring Grove. She studies hard and does well in school, but she also spends lots of time running, texting, listening to music and hanging out with her friends and boyfriend. Josh is 9 and is in 4th grade. He loves to play basketball and soccer, and Ryan coaches both teams. Josh also likes to play video games and harass his sisters. Ivy is 7 and she is a second grader. She is always thinking about fashion and is constantly on the look-out for new accessories that might add some flair to her outfits. She enjoys telling the rest of the members of the family what she thinks about our fashion sense. Ivy also plays basketball and soccer. Lily is 4, and is in preschool for the first time this year. For the past two years, my mother kept her while I worked, which was a great situation for all of us. However, Lily is proud to now be attending school like the rest of the kids, and will correct you if you dare to call it a daycare instead of preschool. Lily likes to play restaurant and ‘read’ to her dolls in her spare time.

Mr. Topper: I am originally from the Hanover area. My family has lived in and around the area for at least 160 years and possibly longer. I have a large family consisting of mostly northern European heritage.

Mr. Warner: I graduated New Oxford in 2004 and lived a mile from school my whole life. I lived with my Mom, Dad and two older sisters.

Mrs. Wingert: I grew up in New Jersey and then moved to New York after college. I have 3 sisters and 1 brother, and I'm the youngest. We are an extremely close family and see each other often. Two sisters live in NY, one lives in NJ and my brother lives in Baltimore. My parents are in NJ. They did a great job raising us to be such a close family. I'm married to a wonderful husband and have a step-son who is 8. He goes to CTE.

Silhouette: What are your hobbies/interests outside of school?

Mrs. Bealmar: My hobbies are making stained glass windows, gardening and growing lavender in particular, fixing and building things around my house, and most of all just spending time with my family.

Mr. Frantz: I enjoy reading, running, wrestling, and spending time with my family.

Ms. Goff: I played field hockey while at Millersville University and I still enjoy playing and coaching the sport. I also am involved in running and am planning to complete my second half marathon on Oct. 10th in Baltimore.

Mrs. Murren: My husband and I bought at house last summer, so I have been spending most of my time decorating. I enjoy planting things in our yard and shopping for interior decorations. I also enjoy bargain shopping at some of my favorite stores including Macy’s, New York and Company, and Target.

Mrs. Snyder: I like golfing with my husband, reading, cooking, traveling, visiting friends, and attempting to keep my house organized.

Mr. Topper: I am an avid golfer with less than an avid golfer’s ability. I enjoy weight-lifting, hiking, and taking road trips. Of utmost importance to me is anything Notre Dame related.

Mr. Warner: Spending time with my family, fishing, and WWII enactments.

Mrs. Wingert: I love to travel and visit new places. While at home, I like to stay active by going to the YMCA, running, biking, and hiking. I also enjoy spending time with my husband and my step-son.

Silhouette: Where did you go to college to get your degree? Were there any professors who inspired you in your field of study?

Mrs. Bealmar: I went to York College of PA and received my BS degree in Marketing with minors in Management and Retailing. After several years of working, I attended Mount St. Mary's University and received my Master's of Arts in Teaching. During my time at The Mount, I had a professor named Dr. Gulas, who was previously the principal of Gettysburg High School. He was my most interesting and inspiring professor who made my course work "real". He taught from his heart and his experience.

Mr. Frantz: I went to York College. My supervising teacher John Mann inspired me to be a great teacher.

Ms. Goff: I attended Millersville University and majored in Secondary Social Studies. The education department at Millersville was fantastic! All of the professors were helpful and each had many years of "real world" experience. I enjoyed my years there and feel that I very prepared when I finally went out into the classroom.

Mrs. Murren: I attended Shippensburg University and graduated in 2009. Two of my favorite professors in college were Erica Galioto and Katherine McFarland. Both of these professors were inspiration in my decision to become a teacher.

Mrs. Snyder: I attended Penn State for 3.5 years where I studied biology, then transferred to York College of PA once I decided to become a teacher. I had a very inspiring education professor at York College named Dr. Brian Glandon. I loved his classes; he always made teaching seem like such a noble endeavor.

Mr. Topper: I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Notre Dame and I had many professors who inspired a wide range of interests for me.

Mr. Warner: I went to Millersville University. The person who inspired me to teach was Mr. Sheffer here at New Oxford. The way he relayed his content show that he cared about his career and his students.

Mrs. Wingert: I went to Gettysburg College and majored in French and Management. My French professors inspired me and encouraged me to study abroad in France. It was an amazing experience.

Silhouette: What is your content area and what led you to choose that content area?

Mrs. Bealmar: My content area is Business Education. I have a wealth of experience from my previous career in business. It is great to be able to teach from my experience and share "real-life" situations with my students. In addition, I strongly believe having an understanding of business is extremely important to all career paths chosen by students. Because of this, I find personal value and meaning in teaching my content.

Mr. Frantz: I currently teach World History and I was led to this because of the four years I spent in the Marines travelling all over the world.

Ms. Goff: I am certified to teach Social Studies to 7th through 12th graders. I have always enjoyed my Social Studies classes throughout my years of schooling, whether it be Geography, History, or Economics.

Mrs. Murren: My content area is English. Throughout high school I enjoyed reading, writing, and (gasp!) sentence diagramming. By choosing the English content area, I feel I can be creative in the activities that I create for the students. My goal is to make English class a fun experience for all of the students.

Ms. Snyder: I currently teach chemistry, but I’ve also taught biology and physics. I’ve always loved science—I like having an understanding of how things work.

Mr. Topper: I suppose you could say that my content area is Biology, although I teach math. I have always been interested in Biology so I was just naturally drawn to it.

Mr. Warner: My content area is Tech Ed. and in the woods shop. I chose this area because I'm a hands on type of guy. When I learn how to do something, I like to show others what I have learned.

Mrs. Wingert: My content area is French. I studied French all throughout high school and college and then studied in Avignon, France during my junior year of college. My love of the language and my love of France led me to choose French as my content area.

Silhouette: What is your favorite part about teaching thus far?

Mrs. Bealmar: Seeing students learn and grow and know I had a part in helping.

Mr. Frantz: I love seeing students improve and mature in to responsible adults.

Ms. Goff: My favorite part of teaching so far has been getting to know so many new students! I have great students in my classroom this semester and I am excited to meet many more throughout the school year.

Mrs. Murren: I enjoyed meeting all of my students on the first day. Although I was very overwhelmed with all of the names and new faces, I was excited to see who I would be spending the semester with. I also enjoy seeing the progress that they have made thus far in the school year.

Mrs. Snyder: I think my favorite part of teaching is that it is so challenging. You can always improve… there is so much to learn about doing it well. Also, it’s never boring, because the students make every block different from the others, even when you are teaching basically the same lesson three times a day.

Mr. Topper: I enjoy the camaraderie with my co-workers most.

Mr. Warner: Getting to know the students and being part of their day to day.

Mrs. Wingert: I've been teaching French for 11 years. I think my favorite part about teaching is watching my students become more and more comfortable with the language and then using it. Watching them put it all together and actually communicating is amazing.

Silhouette: What led you to decide to teach here at The Ox?

Mrs. Bealmar: New Oxford has a reputation of being a great place to work with supportive co-workers and great students. Since starting, I realize this reputation is reality! I am delighted and honored to be here!

Mr. Frantz: This is a great district with a lot of tradition, a tremendous staff and administration. The students here should also be commended for their dedication and determination.

Ms. Goff: I was excited when I saw the job opening here because I have heard many good things about the school district -- that the students are excited to learn, staff is friendly, and the New Oxford community is very supportive. So far, everyone has been very welcoming and I am having a great year!

Mrs. Murren: I student taught at New Oxford last Spring. I really enjoyed my time that I spent here with the students and the staff. The English department has phenomenal team members and I knew that I could benefit from their influence and support.

Mrs. Snyder: I’m happy to be teaching in the district I attended—it feels like home. It’s nice to work with some of the same teachers I had in school. Also, I am seeing many students who are related somehow to people I know, which is fun. Two other big reasons for the change were that the people here are so friendly and helpful, and the facilities are very nice.

Mr. Topper: I heard that teachers are well-taken care of here, and it is just a good place to work.

Mr. Warner: I graduated from here and I know that it is a great school district to be in. Everyone knows you.

Mrs. Wingert: I had heard great things about New Oxford High School throughout the community, and I was excited to have the opportunity to teach here. So far everything I've heard has been correct. I love it here.

Silhouette: Who was your favorite teacher in high school?

Mrs. Bealmar: Mr. Rule, my 12th grade English teacher, was my favorite teacher. He was always fair and supportive and helped me to "believe" I had the ability to reach my goals. I remember stories he shared regarding having a work ethic and his experiences in life. With hard work and a good work ethic, all things are truly possible.

Mr. Frantz: My favorite teacher was Tom Garin. He taught me that there was more to life than what I might find in Red Lion, PA.

Ms. Goff: My favorite teacher in high school was my math teacher as well as my field hockey coach. She ran a very disciplined, efficient classroom. She taught me that preparation was key! (especially after receiving a lunch detention for forgetting my homework!)

Mrs. Murren: My senior AP English teacher, Mrs. Ney, was my favorite teacher. It wasn’t until my senior year that I realized I thrived in the English classroom. She influenced me to apply for scholarships and enter writing contests. If it wasn’t for her, I do not know if I would have realized my potential as an English teacher.

Mrs. Snyder: My favorite teacher was Mr. Meszaros. He was my 7th and 9th grade life science/ biology teacher. He always made class fun, while still teaching us a lot and keeping things running smoothly. I decided to study biology after taking his classes. I also remember that my seventh grade teachers, Mr. Meszaros, Mr. Weidler, Ms. Swope and Mr. Monn, always seemed to be having a good time working together, which made teaching seem like a pretty enjoyable career.

Mr. Topper: My favorite teacher in high school was Bill Smith. He showed me that science can be difficult, interesting, and/or fun depending upon your outlook alone.

Mr. Warner: Mr. Sheffer, hands down. He told us many times that he would come in and teach us for free if he had to. With that one statement, he showed us that he treated each and every student like they were his own children. I can't wait until I arrive at that point in my career.

Mrs. Wingert: I think my favorite teacher was Mr. Wasserman ("Was"). He was also my field hockey and basketball coach freshman and sophomore year. He was one of my math teachers. He made us all feel comfortable in class, and he encouraged us to do our very best. He was always available if we had questions because he wanted us to succeed and to understand the subject matter.

Silhouette: What might we be surprised to learn about you?

Mrs. Bealmar: Even though I haven't done it lately, I love to kick box.

Mr. Frantz: Uh, my age....

Mrs. Murren: You might be surprised to know that I love to sing. In fact, I was in select ensembles all throughout high school and college. As a part of an international tour, I sang in Spain with Shippensburg University Madrigal Singers. It was amazing and you’ll often here me humming a tune throughout the halls.

Mrs. Snyder: Someday I’d like to become a reading specialist—I’m taking classes for this now so that down the road, I’ll have the option. When I was in middle school, Dr. Eck helped me to get training to teach illiterate adults to read, and ever since, I’ve wanted to work with struggling readers in some capacity.

Mr. Topper: I am a pretty good poker player.

Mr. Warner: I married my 7th grade sweetheart and we have a 5 month old son. I also learned to solve a Rubik's cube because students that I had during student teaching challenged me to. I worked the stage crew for Recycled Percussion (from America's got Talent) when they came to Millersville. They should have won, not that chicken farmer!!!!

Mrs. Wingert: Ummm. I don't know. The tip of my finger was chopped off when I was 9. I now have an ugly nail and a mis-shaped finger to show for it. Is that surprising??? Tough question.

Silhouette: Who is your favorite musician or band? Did you attend any concerts this summer?

Mrs. Bealmar: I always liked U2 and have seen them many times. Unfortunately, I did not get to any concerts this summer.   : - (
(* Editor's note: Perhaps the CJ MP 3 will turn that frown upside down?)

Mr. Frantz: Modest Mouse and I did not attend any concerts this summer. I was very busy.

Ms. Goff: I enjoy a variety of music, from country to classic rock. I'd have to say country music is my favorite. I usually attend a few concerts a summer, but in between moving to my apartment and getting my new classroom ready - I didn't have a chance this summer! I guess there's always next year!

Mrs. Murren: I enjoy all types of music, so to limit myself to one artist would be difficult. Instead, I will tell you what I am currently listening to in my c.d. player. I am listening to Michael Jackson’s, Number One Hits.

Mrs. Snyder: My all-time favorite band is U2. I was able to see them while I was in college, and they were incredible. Actually, my husband was going to get tickets for us to see them tonight in DC, but it would have been too hard to get there and then be back for school tomorrow.  This summer I went to a Nickelback/Papa Roach/Hinder concert because a friend had an extra ticket—I thought it a good show, but obviously not in the same league as U2.

Mr. Topper: I am a huge fan of country music in general, but this was the first summer in awhile that I didn’t attend any concerts.

Mr. Warner: I don't have a favorite band or genre. I listen to almost everything. I listen to more alternative music.

Mrs. Wingert: I love all kinds of music, especially top 40, but I have to say that my favorite band is Coldplay. No concerts this summer. The last concert I saw was John Legend with Corrine Bailey Rae. I love them, too.

Silhouette: What is your favorite “wake-me-up”-- Coffee or Tea?

Mrs. Bealmar: Coffee!

Mr. Frantz: Coffee, please?

Ms. Goff: I always drink a cup of hot tea in the morning. It's the perfect "wake-me-up".

Mrs. Murren: Definitely coffee!

Mrs. Snyder: I’m definitely a tea drinker, and my favorite is chai tea latte from Starbucks.

Mr. Topper: Neither. I enjoy a glass of orange juice and granola every morning. A cold shower is sometimes utilized if it’s a really rough morning. (* Editor's Note -- Spoken like a true Irishman!)

Mr. Warner: COFFEE ! Did I just shout that?

Mrs. Wingert: TEA!!! I hate coffee, even coffee ice cream. (* Editor's note: Fear not, gentle readers, a struggle did not ensue between our disputants).

Thanks to all of our new teachers for helping us get to know you better. Best wishes for a long and rewarding career in teaching. We hope you enjoyed the coffee, tea, and the sweet music inside Colonial Jam.

Don't Call It a Hobby by Livy Long (and Prosper), Art 2

The Never-Ending Debate on Health Care
by Sarah Rudasill

“The time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action…now is the time to deliver on health care,” stated President Barack Obama in his speech addressing the issue of health care in front of Congress. The health care controversy has been broiling all summer long, and it is bound to get worse as Congress reconvenes and an attempt at a compromise is made.

Health insurance is a contract between you and the insurance company that guarantees a portion of your medical expenses will be paid by the insurance company if you get sick or hurt. In return, you pay a premium each month in order to be covered under a plan. According to President Obama, our health care system currently leaves nearly 46.7 million Americans uninsured, or 17% of the population. Leading Republican analysts, however, dispute this number. They claim the 46.7 million number includes 9.7 million illegal immigrants, 9.1 million individuals who earn over $75,000 dollars but choose not to have coverage, and 6.4 million undercounts currently on Medicare, for people ages 65 and older, or Medicaid, for low-income families. These statistics bring the actual total down to 21.5 million Americans, or 7% of the population.

The problem with health care is that costs are skyrocketing; our government currently spends four times more on health care than it does on national defense. People with pre-existing medical conditions are often turned down health insurance because the insurers know they tend to need more medical treatments. In addition, premiums increase for older citizens who are more susceptible to diseases and other medical situations such as debilitating falls. Not only that, but many treatments or extra screenings are not covered by insurance plans. Both Republicans and Democrats agree reform is necessary, but they question the best way to go about changing our health care system.

This summer the Democrats proposed the possibility of a public option, which is a government run program for anyone unhappy with options from private insurers. Republicans against the suggestion said it could create a monopoly in the health care field so the government would eventually run everyone’s health care. The 1,000 page bill detailing the plan was vague, and as the summer went on, shocking new reports were released on just what the bill may give the government the power to do. Some claimed it could potentially give free health care to illegal immigrants. Another organization reported the bill would give the government the ability to look into bank accounts and charge people more for care if they are wealthier. Advertisements have run on television, warning Americans that we could get rationed care like the systems in Canada and England. Even more astonishing was the rumor of a “death pamphlet” which would give end-of-life counseling to veterans and their families. The Obama administration maintains the gossip is spurious and assured the American people the reports were misleading.

Needless to say, Democratic members of Congress went on summer break determined to convince the American people of their health care bill. They held town hall meetings in various cities across the country in order to explain the goals of the bill and hold question and answer sessions for concerned citizens. Much to their surprise, these town halls went awry very quickly. When it became evident to the crowds in attendance that their Senators could not directly answer their questions about the bill, protests began and the once calm citizens became dubbed mobs. In fact, some people have gone as far as carrying signs comparing President Obama to Hitler, and many have been interrupting speeches to convey their disregard for the bill.

“One day God’s going to stand before you, and he’s going to judge you… and then you’ll get your desserts,” one man shouted at Pennsylvanian Senator Arlen Specter before leaving. Specter hasn’t been the only Senator facing tough crowds, however; "tea parties" have been held as thousands of people came out to protest large government ownership.

In response to the eventful and at times rambunctious debate, President Obama delivered an essential keynote speech giving an in-depth look at the health care bill to a joint session of Congress, addressing common questions and explaining complications. Among other statements, President Obama promised the health care bill would not add to the already deep budget deficit, a major concern for Republicans and conservative Democrats alike. The price tag is $900 billion dollars over ten years, but President Obama stressed that this cost would be met upfront through an increase in taxes on those making over $250,000 a year as well as by eliminating waste. The basic concept of the plan is to establish a nonprofit government insurance program to compete with private insurance companies with the goal of keeping costs low. The plan would also provide need-based credit to individuals who couldn’t afford the premium.

President Obama insisted that illegal immigrants would not be covered, to which Representative John Wilson of South Carolina interrupted, shouting “You lie!”. Although Wilson apologized the next day, the act of speaking out highlighted the tension between parties as the health care debate rages on. Other key points made during the speech included requiring preventive care coverage, limiting out-of-pocket expenses, making it illegal to deny people with pre-existing conditions coverage, and getting rid of annual or lifetime caps on payments. Republicans raised questions over malpractice, stating there should be a limit on the amount someone can sue for, but President Obama made no acknowledgement of this. He claims the bill will cut the cost for the average family by $2,500, but he was vague on just how this would be done.

Reactions to the President’s speech were mixed. Some felt he was incredibly emotional and heartfelt, especially when he spoke of the late Senator Ted Kennedy; others say he did not satisfactorily answer questions. His approval rating stands at 55% after dropping steadily from his induction into office.

Whether health care of any form will be passed is dependent upon the ability of Congress to pass a bipartisan bill acceptable to both sides. The new suggestion of a “trigger” option could be promising, where if private health care insurers did not meet specific goals, a government option could come into play. Whatever the outcome, Republicans and Democrats alike need to pass a bill that will ultimately help the citizens of America.

Adam Groft, Art 2


Experiencing Life
in America  
by Sarah Rudasill

Inge (L) and Anna (R)

It is hard to imagine leaving your country of origin to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of immersing yourself in another culture. Yet that is exactly what junior Anna Thomas decided to do when she enrolled in the Foreign Exchange Program from Bad Durkheim, Germany. The purpose of the program is to promote understanding between countries and give students a unique perspective on the culture of another country. 

Anna agreed to give an interview to us on how she became a foreign exchange student and how she is adapting to living in America.

Silhouette: Why did you decide to become a foreign exchange student?

Anna: “Well, I wanted to go to an American high school. I really wanted to learn the American way of life. My friends have done [the foreign exchange program] before, and I have traveled to America in the past. Also, I wanted to perfect my English.”

Silhouette: How is the culture here different from the culture in Germany?

Anna: “It’s hard to explain, but everything is bigger. The streets are wider, the houses are larger, and we always use a car to travel over here. In Germany, most people walk instead of driving a car everywhere, but here you cannot do that because it is more spread out.”

Silhouette: How is our school different from your previous school in Germany?

Anna: “My previous school is a lot different from our school here. School in Germany starts at 8:00 a.m., and school ends at 1:00 p.m., although older students in 11th or 12th grade sometimes attend school longer. We had a schedule of six classes that lasted 45 minutes each; in addition, we did not have a wellness or health program over in Germany as a class. We just played sports for gym class. Overall, I would have to say my school in Germany was a lot harder than the school here.”

Silhouette: What has been the funniest experience you have had in America so far?

Anna: “I can’t think really of any one thing. I just think it is fun talking to everyone. I actually met someone who lived in Germany just about 15 minutes from where I live, and we met each other over here in America. I just thought that was funny.”

Silhouette: What are some of your favorite hobbies?

Anna: “I love playing tennis and listening to hip-hop music. Other than that, I just like to hang out and go shopping. Here in our school, I’m involved in varsity tennis and the Interact club.”

Silhouette: What is your favorite food in America? What was your favorite food in Germany?

Anna: “I absolutely love ribs over here in America! And although it is hard for me to pick my favorite food in Germany, I would have to say German ice cream and chocolate is the best.”

Silhouette: What do you want to learn from this experience?

Anna: “I really want to become more open to new cultures. All over the world is different, and I think it is important to understand every country’s perspective. I also want to become more self-confident; I wasn’t shy before, but I want to be more secure in myself. I think by getting more self-confident, I’ll grow from this experience as well as learn to be independent.”

Silhouette: When do you plan on going back to Germany? Where are you considering going to college?

Anna: “I’ll go back to Germany when school is over in June. As for college, I might come back to America, but I am not sure yet.”

Silhouette: What would you like to do in the future?

Anna: “I have no idea what I want to do. I’m just experiencing everything now and trying out different fields to see what I like best.”

Thank you to Anna for granting an interview on what it is like to be a foreign exchange student. We would like to welcome her with open arms to New Oxford High School and wish her the best of luck here in America.  

Stay tuned to the next edition of The Silhouette when we feature our other friends from abroad,
Moritz Bauer and Laura Anki.

Meet Our Friend from Lebanon: Shadi Al-Husseini

by Bianca Garcia

I am sitting in the guidance office waiting for Shadi. I am a little nervous since I have never interviewed a foreign exchange student. I wonder what Shadi will look like and how he will feel about the questions I have prepared for him. The image of the stereo-typical Middle Eastern person comes to my mind, but I quickly shake it off because I realize there is no such thing as a stereotypical person—as an Hispanic American, I have had to confront such issues in my life. America is the home where we welcome all peoples, all faiths to come together in a common striving – the dream of peace and prosperity.

A few minutes later, a tall, fair-skinned young man walks in. As he walks up to the secretary, I can hear smooth English, flavored with an “exotic” accent as he says, “Someone called for me.” I rise to greet him, introduce myself, and ask him to follow me to the library where we can sit and talk in a comfortable, open space.

Silhouette: What part of Lebanon are you from?

Shadi:  Beirut.

Silhouette: Why did you choose to become a foreign exchange student?

Shadi: I won a scholarship which enabled me to come here; I was very curious about America and American life.


Silhouette: What are the biggest differences between the school system of New Oxford High School and your school in Lebanon?

Shadi: In my school in Lebanon, the teachers move from class to class as opposed to the students moving from one class to the next.

Silhouette:  It must be very different moving between classes as opposed to being in one classroom and rotating teachers there.  How different is your  hometown from New Oxford?

Shadi: Well, Beirut is a city not a town. It’s similar to New York City, but on a smaller scale. There’s obviously a very big difference.

Silhouette: What are your hobbies or your interests?

Shadi: I really like basketball.

Silhouette: Do you have a career goal in mind?

Shadi: I want to be a journalist. (editor's note-- you are hereby invited to write a guest column or three for The Silhouette, Shadi!!!  We'd love to hear your perspectives on American life or any other ideas that are close to your heart.)

Silhouette: What do you like the most about New Oxford High School?

Shadi: I like the idea of electives when I get to choose my classes.

Silhouette: What do you dislike the most?

Shadi: I don’t like the food very much. It’s not that it’s foreign exactly. I eat some of the same stuff in Lebanon, but it’s prepared very differently here.

Silhouette: What do you miss the most about Lebanon?

Shadi: I miss my family and friends a lot.

Silhouette: How do you spend your weekend in Lebanon?

Shadi: I go out with my family and friends. We go to the malls and to the gym.

Silhouette: Well, that sounds familiar…so how do you or how have you spent your American weekends?

Shadi: I spend time with my host family, Blaine and Judy Trump. We go to the car races sometimes. I also go out to the movies with friends.

Silhouette: What do you expect to get out of this experience?

Shadi: I just want to know what American life is like and experience it.

Silhouette: Are there major differences between New Oxford/American students and Lebanese students?

Shadi: No, not really.

Silhouette: What do you want American students to learn about your culture/country?

Shadi:  I want people here to learn that we aren’t too different. Also, it is important that people not be judged based on their country of origin or what a name sounds like.

Thank-you, Shadi, for helping us get to know you better. We hope your time with us is instructive and beneficial and that when it is time to return home, you will send our good will and good wishes to your friends, family, and all the people of Lebanon.

Our Friend from The Netherlands: Inge van Lankveld
by James Arrison

Silhouette: What’s your favorite part of America so far?

Inge: I don’t know... I’d say the culture; it's all very nice.

Silhouette: What’s the biggest difference between living in America and the Netherlands?

Inge: In the Netherlands I can take my bicycle anywhere I need to go and get there in five minutes. Here--everything is very far away. In the Netherlands, school starts at 8:30, but sometimes 12 Noon -- it varies depending on the classes you are taking. Here--it is always the same.

Silhouette: If you could live anywhere else in America, where would you go?

Inge: As long as your host family is nice, it doesn’t matter. Everywhere is nice here.

Silhouette: So what are your hobbies?

Inge: Field hockey, fashion, and shopping.

Silhouette: What is your favorite tradition in America?

Inge: Definitely Christmas.

Silhouette: What is an American tradition that is weird to you?

Inge: When everyone stands to say the Pledge of Allegiance. I had no idea what was happening... I saw everyone do it all at once.

Silhouette: What’s the difference between fashion in the Netherlands and America?

Inge: Fashion in America is much different; no one really seems to care very much about what they're wearing. People don’t say, “Look what she’s wearing!”  It seems to be much more relaxed. People wear sweatpants to school at home. but not as much as here.

Silhouette: Do you feel at home yet?

Inge: Yes, I feel comfortable like I’m at home; it's still different, but I feel at home.

Silhouette: What’s the one thing you don’t like about America?

Inge: We have different tastes; eating can be unhealthy over here. At home, for breakfast I eat only cereal; for lunch, I usually just have two slices of bread; for dinner, we have two vegetables and a salad. My dad has a garden and we make a salad from all of the fresh vegetables he grows.

Silhouette: What is a tradition in the Netherlands that you like?

Inge: Sinterklaas and New Year's. Sinterklaas is a man on a horse who comes from Spain to the Netherlands. He helps wherever there is a need and gives little gifts to children.

Thank you, Inge. We hope you enjoy your Christmas holiday and get to experience the hustle and bustle of shopping in our area businesses. Perhaps you will bring us some Netherland-inspired winter for us so we can have a white Christmas. We hope Sinterklaas is good to you!

An Unforgettable Trip
by Jade Fitzgerald

Our school is fortunate enough to send students in French and Spanish classes to France and Mexico. Unfortunately, trips to China or Japan present some difficulties. Luckily for the Japanese students, we have our own way to go on a Japanese class trip. Our distance learning teacher, Mrs. Sumpter in Easton signs up with EF tours for trips to Japan. Any one of her students who wish to go can sign up on the tour under her name. One of these Japanese class trips happened this summer, two students of New Oxford High School went on that trip. I was one of those most fortunate students.

The Japanese class in New Oxford High School is a distance learning class that takes place in the back of our media center.  The school we get our Japanese class from is Easton High School in Easton, Pennsylvania. Easton High doesn’t have block scheduling; the have eight period days; therefore, our Japanese class is only about forty minutes long. There are currently nine NOHS students taking Japanese. There are six in Japanese I which takes place during ourflex period ;  two students in Japanese II during our second block,; and then I am in a class by myself in Japanese III during  fourth block. When we are in class, we connect to Easton High through two way teleconference.

Our sensei (pronounced "sen-say" and meaning "teacher") has come to NOHS. to visit her students in the past, and plans to do so again this year. She teaches Japanese to seven different schools each day. She teaches Easton, New Oxford, Emmaus, Parkland, Valley View, Wilson and Nazareth, the last six via distance learning. When I asked her for an interview she was happy to answer my questions:

Silhouette: How many times have you gone to Japan?

Mrs. Sumpter: I have been to Japan a total of 4 times if you count the time I lived there as once.

Silhouette: What is the longest amount of time you’ve spent in Japan?

Mrs. Sumpter: I lived in Japan for three and a half years between 1988 and 1997.

Silhouette: Where is your favorite place to go? Why?

Mrs. Sumpter:  Although I always enjoy the ancient capital city of Kyoto, I love to visit new places. That is why I particularly enjoyed our last trip to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Silhouette: Have there ever been any problems when on the school trips?

Mrs. Sumpter: There have not been any real problems so far. There are always a few students who don't enjoy rooming together, and that can be unpleasant, but not serious.

Silhouette: Why did you choose to teach Japanese?

Mrs. Sumpter:  When I lived in Japan, I taught English to Japanese people, and really enjoyed teaching. It seemed natural to reverse the process and teach Japanese to English speakers. I had also chosen to stay in Madison, Wisconsin on my return to the states, and they had a Japanese teaching certification program.

Silhouette: Do you plan on going back to Japan?

Mrs. Sumpter:  Yes, at present I am planning another tour in 2011. I would also like to go back on my own and continue my studies of Japanese.

Our Sensei, Mrs. Sumpter

Silhouette: What is your favorite thing about the Japanese language or Japanese culture? Why?

Mrs. Sumpter: This question is really difficult for me to answer because I like so many things about Japanese language and culture. The more I learn about each, the more connected they seem. Japan has a long and varied history and that's what makes it so fascinating.

Silhouette: How do you like teaching New Oxford, Emmaus, Parkland, Valley View, Wilson and Nazareth via distance learning?

Mrs. Sumpter: I love teaching Japanese. I love working with new students. I just hate the thought that there are people who want to study Japanese, and can't, so I love doing it. I also like making connections between different schools. New Oxford has a special place in my heart because it was our first distance learning school.

Silhouette: Is teaching a distance learning class harder than just teaching those in Easton High School? How so?

Mrs. Sumpter: I had to adjust my teaching style to spend more time in front of the classroom. In a regular classroom, I move around much more, and walk up and down the aisles. I have to be more careful about speaking on mike, and keeping materials visible. On the other hand, I like having the equipment, especially the doc reader.

Silhouette: Have you met with all of the students you teach via distance learning in person?

Mrs. Sumpter: I try to do so. One year I didn't make it out to New Oxford, and last year I didn't go to Valley View. Sometimes it's difficult to schedule or to get permission from Easton administration, but I think it's really important.

Silhouette: What is the hardest part of taking a group of your students to Japan?

Mrs. Sumpter: Most of the hard work is before we leave. Recruiting, communicating with families, making sure that everyone has their passport, etc. Then the hard part is shepherding people through airports and customs. I worry about losing a traveler, but it hasn't happened yet. Once we are in Japan, the tour director takes care of most things, so I just try to count heads and check in to be sure that people are enjoying themselves.

I was also able to interview Amber Loveland. Amber, now a senior at Easton High. went on the Japanese trip and together we roomed in the hotels along with one other student. We all became fast friends, so when I asked for an interview, not only did she answer my questions, but she sent along some of the pictures she took on our trip.

Silhouette: How did you like sharing your Japanese class with New Oxford and Emmaus?

Amber: It was great, I met some amazing people.

Silhouette: Why did you choose to learn Japanese?

Amber: I was really interested in learning about the language and culture of Japan.

Silhouette: What made you decide to go on the Japanese class trip?

Amber: I wanted to see everything; buildings, shrines, temples, their beautiful pottery, just for their culture in general…and for some of the Anime.

Silhouette: What was your favorite part of the trip and why?

Amber: I didn't really have a favorite part since I loved everything about being in Japan..

Silhouette: How was the food in Japan? What was your favorite dish?

Amber: The food was amazing, I’d have to say that my favorite dish was the Ramen or the one dish with the noodles that looked like it could eat you. I can't remember the name but I do have a picture of it.

                           Dear Reader: This is Okonomiyaki and it is even better than it looks : - ) 

                                  (Editor's note: Let us test this hypothesis with a recipe....please?)

Silhouette: What towns or cities did you visit? Which one was your favorite?

Amber: Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fukuoka, and some other places I can’t really remember the names of. I didn’t really have a favorite they were all great places to go to.

Silhouette: Would you ever want to go back to Japan? Why?

Amber: Of course I would love to go back someday; it's so beautiful there!

Silhouette: What types of activities did you do in Japan? What was your favorite?

Amber: We visited shrines, temples, and we also did a lot of shopping. My favorites were the shrines and temples.

Silhouette: Did you buy anything? If so, what types of things did you buy?

Amber: I bought a bunch of stuff, some fans, a little change purse type thing, a couple tea sets, a kimono jacket, a sake bottle, a shirt, and a lot of other things.

Silhouette: Did you learn anything about the Japanese culture? How different is it from American culture?

Amber: Yes, the people there are so friendly and polite to foreigners and it's completely different from American culture.

Silhouette: Did you have any friends that you went with? Did you make any friends on the trip?

Amber: Yes, I knew Ryan before the trip and I made a few new friends like Jade, Alex, Ricky, and a few others.

Silhouette: How do you like the distance learning? Is it harder than your other classes?

I think the distance learning class is really fun. Other than the fact that you aren’t in the same classroom with the teacher. It’s pretty much like any other language class. I’d even say it’s easier because I have a lot more time to work on my homework in class than they do in Easton. 

We carve jack-o-lanterns; the Japanese carve bread masks...spooky, eh?

Thank you to Mrs. Sumpter for her years of dedication in getting the Japanese distance learning program up and running at New Oxford. And ,of course, a special thanks to our own guidance department and administration for allowing our students to be enriched through this fine program even when enrollment numbers may be low. Finally, a heartfelt thanks to Amber Loveland for sharing with us her impressions of the trip to Japan.

Japan: A Personal Perspective
by Jade Fitzgerald

Since I was a kid, I’ve liked learning about other cultures. For some reason, Japanese culture always stood out more than any others to me.  I also like the fact that when I talk in Japanese, other than my Kohai (underclassmen in a lower level of Japanese instruction), nobody knows what I’m really saying.
Ever since my early interest in all things Japanese, I wanted to see what the country was really like and if it matched up with the image I had of it and what I had heard from others who had been there. I was pretty close, but there were a lot of things that I had never known that I learned on the trip.

My favorite part of the trip was being immersed in Japanese culture. We visited Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Hiroshima.  We breathed in the atmosphere of the ancient temples, gazed in awe at the second biggest Buddha in the world. We went to Nara and did a little exploring in every city we went to.

One of my favorite parts was our personal time. After our tours of the day, we were able to go out by ourselves or with our friends and explore city life. The food was really good. There were a lot of different varieties and tons of junk food.  My favorite dish would have to be the okonomiyaki. (Okonomiyaki is usually referred as “Japanese Pizza” in America. What it really is, is a kind of batter mixed in with cabbage and any type of toppings or ingredients you want, and has okonomiyaki sauce on top. Mine had a type of noodles, cabbage, and shrimp in it.)  Also, after we went back to the hotels after exploring at the end of the day, we (six of us from the Pennsylvania group) played cards and other games in one of the hotel rooms. 

Of course, I bought a lot of souvenirs for friends and family: handmade fans that are both decorative and functional, a Japanese cup set, chopsticks, key chains, charms, a few necklaces and bracelets, and an oni mask. I especially liked watching their faces when I told them about eating dried squid. Actually, it is not as bad as it sounds. There are different spices they add to the dried squid to make it taste different. Unfortunately for them,  I could only praise the delicious ice cream flavors of rose or roasted green tea. I wasn't about to try to bring home a quart of that on the plane. And it would not have survived long after take-off anyway.

I learned a lot of neat things about the culture of Japan. One of the biggest things an American traveller notices is that the streets are clean and trash free. As hard as we looked we could only find one piece of graffiti. Another thing I noticed was that all the cars were at the most four years old. Most of the cars on the streets looked new; however, most people chose to use mass transit by bus, subways, or bullet trains.

While I didn’t really know anyone at the beginning of our journey, by the end of the trip our entire "Pennsylvania Group" -- ten of us in all (two of whom were from New Oxford, myself and Chris Thompson) had become close friends and didn’t want to leave one another. I still talk to some of the kids in Easton--in Japanese, of course. 

Oni Masks

Making the Most of Our Fitness Routine
by Kristen Gregory

Doing hours of cardio a week is no guarantee that we will lose those few extra pounds. What is most important, according to several fitness experts, is maximizing our workout. By correcting our workout mistakes, it will maximize our time in the gym. The following guide lines by Gina Lombardi are meant to help us make the most of our exercise routine. The entertainment business is familiar with Gina and her one-on-one personal coaching. In 1993, she was invited to join a special development team at the National Strength and Conditioning Association to create a nationally accredited certified personal trainer program. She has also received an award from the NSCA for her contributions and work devoted to the Personal Trainer Program.  By following Gina’s workout tips, we can begin to make the most out of every workout.

Staying fit and exercising is imperative to our health and longevity, maintaining energy throughout our day, and it’s a great outlet for getting rid of stress. “Setting a goal is a deadline with a dream,” says Napoleon Hill. A good way to start getting in shape, or setting a personal goal is by setting a deadline. A deadline helps us keep on track with a program and makes us push ourselves to reach the end result. Gina has created many different workout programs/techniques for anyone to use. One technique often used by her is the PHA workouts (Peripheral Heart Action), similar to circuit training but completed with heavier weights and designed to put the cardiovascular system into high gear. No equipment workout was created for people with busy lives that can’t always get to the gym. The outlines of the ‘no equipment’ plan are a series of resistance exercises such as lunges, crunches, and push-ups. Another technique for getting stronger requires repetition. Repetition is useful--if you don’t change the workout routine too often. By keeping balance between diversity and continuity is to change half of our exercises every four weeks.  “Improper technique is very common to see when people are weight lifting,” says Gina. When lifting correctly, the feeling of tension through the target muscles will be felt, but no pain or discomfort in the associated joint. If we question if our weight lifting is correct or not, it is a good idea to ask for help from a trainer on duty in order to certify that the proper technique is preformed. We must realize working out sometimes isn’t enough to make us lose weight. Knowing how to eat properly is essential to our health. If we change little things in our diet, such as learning the proper portion size of food, or balancing out our food groups, it will make us not only feel better, but we will start to notice weight loss. These are just a few of Gina’s tips to help us stay at our best physical form. To find out more on fitness tips from Gina Lombardi, go to Fit Nation on the Discovery Channel where she is the host of the program FitTV.

Healthy Snacks on the Go

by Ryan Leib

There are many ways to stay healthy, but the best way is to eat healthy. Most people think that it is hard to find a quick snack that is healthy. Eating for wellness is actually easier than one may think.  First, we need to be wary consumners and exercise control and discrimination. Too many of the so-called "on-the-go snacks" are filled with trans fats and high sodium--killers in waiting.

Choosing a healthy eating plan leads to wiser lifestyle choices as well. There are many foods that can help you lower your cholesterol and blood pressure--giving you the kind of energy you need to get outdoors and engage in fitness activities.

The food pyramid is an easy guide to follow for on the go healthy snacks. The food pyramid consists of six regions. The biggest region is the grains. The smallest region in the food pyramid is oils and fats-- in other words, sweets and candies. The food in this region has basically no nutritional value at all. Fruits and vegetables are the next biggest regions on the food pyramid.

Wherever we may go, finding healthy and quick snacks is fairly easy. A quick, easy, and healthy snack is small containers of cottage cheese with celery or carrots. A fresh apple and skim milk are another healthy choice. Half a wheat bagel with cream cheese is a smart choice, also. Whole grain bagels are packed with fiber. Wheat thins and string cheese? Sure, this snack can curb your hunger for the rest of day. There are some fruit grain bars out there that are filled with calories, but some are actually good for the body. Nutrigrain fruit bars have only 140 calories; this could be a great snack during a work day or a school day. A small bag of plain pretzels is a good choice if you get pangs of hunger while filling up at the gas station.  Avoid those creme-filled doughnuts crammed full of fat and empty calories. Insstead, opt for the whole wheat crackers with peanut butter--you know, they are not far from the donut bin, just turn around and walk slowly to the crackers. At a movie theater, the best choice is child size popcorn; it consists of about eight grams of fiber. Anything that is jumbo sized in a movie theater is the worst pick. At a sporting event, peanuts in their shells are the best pick--and don't go sobbing for a hot dog or Boog's Beef Grandissimo's when the team starts getting blasted. Stick with the peanuts...they're relatively inexpensive and they have protein and no saturated fats. All of these choices can help lead an on-the-go person to a healthier lifestyle.


New Oxford Has Color:
The NOHS Art Department

by Shaiann Daniels and Sarah Coutts

(Artwork left by Jess Cruise, Art 2)

Red, blue, and yellow make up the primary colors on the color wheel. Without them, we would not have the secondary or tertiary colors. In the same way, Mr. Miller, Mrs. McLaughlin, and Mrs. Slonaker blend together to form the variety and excellence of our Art Department.

The students of the Art I, II, III and 3D classes, have enrolled for different reasons. Some come to improve their art. Some come for the credit, but many others come for the love of it. This year the art classes will be working on wire sculptures and the influences that contour lines have in everyday art.

Many lucky teenagers from NOHS have gotten the privilege to meet and learn from Mr. Miller in Arts II, III, IV, or Art Portfolio, and even some independent study.  Mr. Miller has been here long enough for his fellow colleagues to remember and cherish being students in his classroom.Mrs. Slonaker said that she was his student once and that "he was an amazing art teacher." To many of his students, Mr. Miller is an idol. To others, he is an everyday hero who shows us how to love our work. Sadly, Mr. Miller will be moving on to paint greener pastures as he plans to retire at the end of this year. But he and the members of the Art Department were kind enough to take some time and tell us more about the program which continues to produce so many talented students.

New this year for Mrs. Slonaker’s class are the design works, relief sculptors. In her class, students will even get the chance to attempt mosaics. A few in the advanced art category will get the chance to expand independently when they take 3D portfolio.

Where do the secondary colors come from? They evolve from the primary.  Art teachers get their ideas for projects by simply opening their eyes to the world around us. An act as simple as walking down the street and seeing something in a store window can provide a moment of inspiration. They also get their ideas from other teachers, computers, museums, or their own creative imagination.

Mrs. Slonaker and Mrs. McLaughlin wouldn’t change much, but if they could, they say they would change the size of the art rooms. So many students want to take art that they can’t accept all of them due to the small room size. They would like to add another room with another teacher. A larger class room would allow them to offer something new, like art history. If they had more room in their classrooms, they could also add more pottery wheels.

All of our art  teachers have had prior teaching experience. Mrs. Slonaker has taught middle school for thirteen years before she moved to the high school. She says that younger children are difficult to teach especially when they don’t enjoy art. Mrs. McLaughlin has taught all of the grades except the first grade. Both teachers would agree that high school teaching is their preference since students elect to take the course instead of having to take it.

What makes a teacher want to teach, let alone teach art? For Mr. Miller, who has been teaching for 33 years, it is the sense of accomplishment he instills within the child who has a burning desire to become better: “Well, one is seeing students who are really interested go on and make a career out of it. I’m really proud of them. Also, having a student come in and saying at first, ' I’m not that great....'  but then making something that looks amazing. They light up, and I love it. It’s just great.” A child learns from the things they do, and those around them affect what they will grow up to be like. Mrs. McLaughlin always knew that she was going to do something with her love of art, “Both my parents did things with art, my dad was a carpenter and my mom was always crafty.” Mrs. Slonaker was an artist from an early age. “I always loved art, it wasn’t until I went off to college that my mom showed me that I had drawn all over her mattress as a child.”

Blue-green, red-orange and yellow-green are tertiary colors. Without the influence of the primary colors and the secondary colors there would be no blue-green. Mrs. McLaughlin stated that all teachers are happy to see a good percentage of their students going to art school and all the positive things they will learn there. The teachers of New Oxford High School Art Department are a blessing to have and have influenced many to go on with what they truly love.

New Oxford is fortunate to have an Art Department that is supported by the district, unlike some schools, where art sometimes finds itself on the bottom crust of the expenses list.

Thank you to all the teachers and students of our Art Department for helping to beautify our world.

Erica Hemler, Portfolio Project

NOHS Band Goes All Medieval on Us! 

by Hannah Fernandez

“Drum Majors, is your band ready?"

The New Oxford Marching Band (NOMB) is ready to take the field for this year’s show entitled Medieval Images. The music in this show is based on the music Upon a King written by Frank Sullivan. Mr. Rohrbaugh is hard at work, making this a one-of-a kind show. All the elements of the medieval era, from the guard uniforms, to the battle-scenes, to the feel of “early music” instrumentation will enhance this year's presentation.

In June, they began practicing for a season that had only just begun. Every Wednesday until August, the band and guard came for a weekly practice where they learned the music and the marching and color scheme. In August, they began the perennial Band Camp. Their “camp” is held back at New Oxford High School Monday through Friday for one full week. On the final day of camp, they give a show for family and friends which gives them a look at what has been accomplished at camp. For the next 14 weeks, they will be at school almost every night working to perfect the show. With every passing week, championships are getting closer, and that means the end of the season and for some, a good-bye to New Oxford Marching Band.

Mr. Rohrbaugh and his staff decided on the show after listening to an array of possible choices. They chose Medieval Images for the “intensity of the music, and the many different visual options that we could explore.”

Medieval Images is a four part show that presents the chief features of this bygone age. From the unique piece the guard uses to announce readiness to the final note sounded by the band, everything about this show conjures up images of the age of chivalry. That "unique piece" is a sword like no other band has, and has been especially made for the talents and kinteticism of the guard. It was designed by the guard staff, Mr. Rohrbaugh, Karen Rohrbaugh, and Deb Warntz, and built by the Sheaffer family.  Mr Rohrbaugh provided us with an overview of the show:

“The first part of our show is a call to arms as our knight prepares for battle. The second movement is the actual battle scene which involves the entire band using swords, sticks, and shields. The third movement starts with a reflective section on what has occurred and then leads into a slow section which depicts our valiant warrior being knighted for his duty in battle. The final movement sees our knight heading off to battle again to face a dragon and ultimately being triumphant in his quest.”

When you watch the band next time, see if they take you back to the time of chivalry, honor, glory, knights and dragons.

“New Oxford High School Marching Band, you may take the field in competition!”

           Video Credit and Photo Credit (above): Michelle Fernandez

A New Elective for Piano Lovers: Class Piano 1

A new wave in music education has begun this year with the help of Miss Knorr and the Music Department—Class Piano 1. We had the chance to ask Miss Knorr some questions about this new and exciting program because we all know that music education is a vital facet of learning. We are sure that it won’t be long before her students begin to make sweet music that will give them joy over many years to come.

Silhouette: How did the idea for the new piano course come about? What are its aims?

Miss Knorr: For many years, the music department has been working on creating additional electives in music that meet the needs of our student population. We offer courses for non-musicians (That’s Entertainment), for musical performers (Band, Orchestra, Girls Chorus, and Concert Choir), and for those who were planning to become professional musicians or music teachers (Music Theory). Outside of band and orchestral instruments, the two most popular instruments are the guitar and the piano. We’ve added guitar instruction to the 8th grade general music curriculum and two years ago decided to add piano instruction to the high school course offerings. Our aim is to offer a wide variety of musical options to the students at NOHS, so that we can work with as many students as possible who are interested in learning more about music.

We began the process by piloting piano instruction in the Music Theory course two years ago. Students who elected music theory were given approximately two weeks of piano instruction as part of the theory course. At this time, the school only owned two electronic keyboards, so we enlisted the help of faculty members throughout the district. Using keyboards that we borrowed from faculty, we were able to pilot the course that first year.

After evaluating the success of the pilot program, we began the process of designing the course and proposing it to the Curriculum Cabinet (which makes all curricular decisions for the district). As a part of this proposal, we conducted a survey of student interest in the course. The response was overwhelmingly positive and almost 100 students indicated an interest in electing the course during their high school years. Armed with this information, we investigated the cost of the course, researched the equipment and materials we would need to purchase, wrote the course curriculum, and presented our proposal to the faculty, the administration, and to the Curriculum Cabinet. The proposal was approved and the course was offered this year.

Silhouette: How many “slots” are available in this course and are there any pre-requisites in signing up for it?

Miss Knorr: We have room for 15 students each semester. All 30 available “slots” are taken for this year. We decided on 15 as our maximum number due to space limitations. We also wanted to be sure that there was a reasonable student to teacher ratio so the teacher could spend as much one-on-one time with students as possible.

There are no pre-requisites for the course. We are looking for students who have very little or no previous piano background. Everyone begins at the beginning!

Silhouette: Is it possible that higher level piano courses could be added at a later date?

Miss Knorr: We have discussed adding Class Piano 2 at a later date. I teach Class Piano 1 and we would have Miss Mack teach Class Piano 2 if it becomes available. Class Piano 2 would concentrate more on technique and working with the acoustic piano, rather than the electronic keyboard. At this point, if a student wants to pursue a second level of piano instruction, it would have to been done through an independent study in music.

Silhouette: Can you tell us about the piano lab itself—the kinds of pianos that we have and how they came to be chosen? Are there any special features like recording / playback of performances, rhythm / drum accompaniment within the digital pianos that aid in student learning?

Miss Knorr: We purchased Yamaha YPG235 Portable Digital Grand Piano keyboards. It was important that we choose keyboards that met our needs and were cost efficient. The Yamahas we purchased fit the bill perfectly. They have 76 full-sized keys (regular pianos have 88) and best simulated the response and touch of an acoustic piano of the keyboards we found in our price range. We were looking for keyboards that are MIDI capable, so that we have that feature available if we are ever fortunate enough to add a computer component to the lab. They have additional features, but we use these mainly for variety when practicing.

Silhouette: So when will the record come out?

Miss Knorr: No records, but we will be presenting a recital at the end of each semester for parents and friends. Plan to come and see how well we’ve done!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thanks to Miss Knorr for taking the time to tell us about this new and exciting program. In speaking with some of the students in the class, it is clear that they are finding the individualized instruction with state of the art electric pianos a very rewarding experience. Of her time in the course, Nicole Rondeau has said: “The course is fun and  interesting. We’re working from the Adult Piano Adventures book series at a good pace. While I already know a little bit about playing the piano, it doesn’t hurt to have more practice at learning the notes and sight-reading.”

Another student in the class, Bianca Garcia likes the learn-at -your- own pace aspect of the class, She says that “while I don’t really plan on becoming a pianist, I have a deeper appreciation now for the way music works. And if I ever strike it rich, I’ll be sure to get a beautiful grand piano just to help jazz up the VIP parties at my estate.”

It is good to know that with Miss Knorr’s professional guidance and the curiosity and work of her students, the timeless and universal language of music will keep being spoken into the next generation.

In closing, we’d like to share a highly educational video entitled "The History of the Piano" for the benefit of the new Class Piano 1 along with an audition video we have just received from a possible future student. Enjoy!

Meet Your Makers:
An Interview with the Creators of Film School
by Bianca Garcia, Jimmy Arrison, & Villain Teacher

There is a first time for everything, and we’re pretty sure that the production of Film School represents a first in the history of our school. First, as in never done before; first, as in outstanding achievement of  independent film making.

I am referring to the film that was written, produced, and directed by seniors Andy Robinson and Derek Sullivan, starring various and sundry eager high school students and teachers. The film enjoyed its red carpet premier last year in Mrs. McLaughlin’s room. Since then, Film School has taken on underground cult status going on to limited release in living rooms throughout the New Oxford and Hanover area. Perhaps in twenty years, we will see these gentlemen on James Lipton's Inside the Actor's Studio.

The Silhouette caught up with Andy and Derek to ask them about their love of films and what motivated them to produce a satirical “day in the life” of a typical New Oxford teen. The film features Tim Baublitz, who plays the part of “Student” – a young man who wonders what he is going to do with the rest of his life; Jake Smith, who plays the part of "The Dude;" Erich Miller, whose role as "Guidance Counselor" will forever change the life of said "Student;" and Livy Long, who plays the unforgettable role of "The Don," an art student who knows how to twist some arms to get things done.  There are a number of other great cameos by Jon Abend and Erica Hemler in addition to a whole host of teachers who volunteered to be directed by Andy and Derek.  You will just have to see the film to enjoy any of these Oscar-worthy performances.

Silhouette: Can you tell us about the genesis of the film? What led you to undertake the project?

Andy : When I realized that the graduation project was a requirement, I wanted to do anything but Apple Harvest. Seriously, I wanted to do something that had meaning for me personally, something memorable.

Derek : I remember Andy coming up to me on the bus and asking me if I’d want to join up.

Andy : Yeah, we were on the same bus, still are….and I got to thinking, you know Derek knows movies; he’d be perfect for helping get at some of the film jokes that only a real movie buff could understand.

Derek : So I said, awesome, let’s give it a shot. And here we are.

Silhouette: What interests you most about doing films? I mean, judging from what you have done with the movie, it appears films have taken on a kind of obsession for you.

Derek : In a good film, you have the combination of every medium – there’s literature, music, cinematography, good acting.

Andy : Yes, it is for us, the easiest outlet to get ideas "out there."

Derek : Think about it…more people will go to a movie than will go an art gallery these days or read my haiku. Or maybe I just like the thought of being able to project my ideas into impressionable young minds.

Silhouette: Can you remember when the idea of making films first hit you?

Derek : Well, when I was 12, I happened to come upon Pulp Fiction quite by accident—it was the made for TV version—but I thought, man, this is the coolest thing ever.

Andy : I must have been a late bloomer. For me, it was in Mr. Sheffer’s class and we were watching The Sting. I thought that Paul Newman was just great—the whole buddy comedy thing against the backdrop of the depression era of the 1930’s. I thought how much better this film was to the kinds of films that get put out nowadays. I hate how directors use explosions to drive the plot. You have to have a totally believable storyline or the movie is DOA. I thought it would be worthwhile trying to come up with a story that had the kinds of elements that I like to see in films. And I’ll watch any film with Paul Newman.

Silhouette: So what makes a great film?

Andy : Writing is essential; without a strong script, there is no hope for the film. Everything starts right there in the writing room.

Derek : You have to have strong performances from your actors to carry the story along, too. Casting is big.

Andy : Yep. A lot of times, we’ll just look at the names of the actors we’ve enjoyed and know that most times it’s going to be worth watching. Another thing, most movie-goers want that element of escapism. The movie has got to take them somewhere away from the stuff that’s happening in their everyday lives.

Silhouette: Now that the “Film School” project has had close to a year to “stew,” how do you feel about the whole experience?

Andy : For the way everything came together pretty fast-- putting up the posters, holding auditions, making a shooting schedule, just all of the contributions from people who wanted to make this thing happen – brilliant.

Derek : For a first shot, getting everyone on board and committed to making something we’d all enjoy, pretty good. A lot of what people see in the film were done as first takes, too. We wanted to keep the spontaneity in it and make it fun for everyone. Nothing too artsy.

Andy : First takes? There was one day…we must have had ten takes with Jon Abend in the library scene. I just could not stop cracking up...."Here, smell the book." -- just the way he kept delivering that line. If I'm going to be shooting films, I guess I'll need to work on that.

Silhouette: So then can we expect a sequel at some point—or perhaps something new?

Andy : Hmmmm.....I feel a road trip movie coming on. 

Derek : Yeah, the van....sweet.

Sihouette: Thanks, Andy and Derek. We wish you all the best in your future artistic endeavors.

Andy Robinson (R) and Derek Sullivan (L), the co-creators of "Film School"

Our Up and Coming Fab Five: An Interview with The Hopefuls
by Ace Black

I recently had the chance to sit down with our local band, The Hopefuls. This Christian band is on the rise, ready to light up New Oxford. From just sitting down with the band, I could feel the energy they want to share with the rest of you. Here’s a little Q and A with four out of the five hopefuls.

Silhouette: Who are The Hopefuls?  

The Hopefuls are: Zach Knight (vocals, rhythm guitar), Jordan Britton (drums), Luke Stoltzfoos (Keyboard), Alex Brown (guitar), and Zade Roth (Bass). These guys consider themselves a Christian band that started out in 8th grade. They are also out to prove that there’s a meaning behind their music. 

Silhouette: Who came up with the name and is there any meaning behind it?

Zach: The man on the keyboard Luke came up with the name while the band was practicing one day. The band believes Christians are “hopeful” in what they do and that “hope + faith = trust”. ...that’s what The Hopefuls are all about.

Silhouette: Are you working on anything right now?

Zach: We’re working on a lot of songs as of right now.

Jordan: Mostly just working on finishing tracks we’ve already started. We are also heading towards an alternative sound and hope to put out a CD soon.

Silhouette: What are your goals as a band?

Zach: The Hopefuls have many goals as a band, such as playing the best we can and just having fun while doing so.

Luke and Jordan: We're also all about spreading our message to others.

Silhouette: Who is the “leader” in the band?

Alex: We all kind of “co-lead” in different ways. Although they all balance each other out, Jordan is in charge of scheduling for the band.

Jordan: Yes, but let us not forget--Zach leads with his beard.

Silhouette: What made you want to make Christian music?

Luke: We all basically grew up in Christian households. We also have many influences from our parents.

Jordan: Most of us don’t fit in with this new music you hear on the radio with certain language and of course the sex appeal. We try to go opposite of that as a band.

Silhouette: Do you guys plan to play the talent show?

Zach: The Hopefuls have a something more than just one show planned for us.

Jordan: We plan on doing three or four different shows with different people besides of course playing as a band. Zach and I have been talking about performing something acoustic. Maybe a rap or hip hop song featuring some talented dancers from the junior class.

Silhouette: What’s one way you get your band “out there”?

Zach: The Hopefuls mainly use the Internet world to reach the public. We also hand out demos occasionally.

Luke: We play certain parades and of course play the talent show every year.

Silhouette: What’s the next step for The Hopefuls?

Zach: The band is currently working on putting out a CD.

Jordan:  Hopefully, the next thing we accomplish is getting an official CD finished. The Hopefuls are also very excited about competing in a fine arts contest.

Good luck to the band. We look forward to hearing your music in the months and years to come. Anyone interested in hearing performances by The Hopefuls may visit the link above. Enjoy!

Child Star Checks In
by Kristen Gregory

The sudden fame, the adoring fans, the lavish parties - these trappings of the Hollywood and TV industry are sometimes too much for an adult to handle. So imagine what it might be like for a child to endure the pressures of becoming a star. The path may be different, but the end is the same: too often these children grow up to find themselves in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation facility. Many stay addicted and struggle their whole life with this problem. One child star in particular is on the road to recovery after escaping from a turn down the blind alley of addictions--Drew Barrymore.

Her father was none other than John Drew Barrymore Jr., an in - demand Hollywood screen actor who later became known for his drug arrest and hippie lifestyle during the 1960’s. Her mother is Ildyko Jad Barrymore, an actress and model, who gave birth to a baby girl on February 22, 1975 in Los Angeles, California.  The Barrymores didn’t waste any time before putting their little girl in front of the cameras. As an 11 month baby, she made cuter- than- ever commercials to sell Puppy Chow. Soon she was acting in top films at the age of 5. As a popular young star, there were high expectations for her to behave in a way proper to her celebrity socialite lifestyle. She was found dancing until 2 a.m. at a New York City nightclub--not exactly the most normal life for a child.  Looking back on these times in her childhood, Drew has said,  “I was this 7-year-old who was expected to be going on a mature 29.”  At the age of 9, she was drinking heavily and often became drunk at parties. At 10, she was smoking pot;  by her thirteenth year, she had escalated to cocaine. At such a young age with so many problems, her mom had her checked into ASAP Family Treatment Center, a private drug and alcohol rehab hospital in 1988. But she stayed for only 12 days before leaving to film Far from Home.

After checking in and out of rehab at 14, she attempted suicide and was admitted once again back into rehab for three months. Afterwards, she spent three months with musician David Crosby and his wife, Jan Dance, both survivors of alcohol and drug abuse. The relationship with her mother had gone sour after rehab, and her relationship with her father had been non-existent for years. At 15, she went to court with an emancipation decree which granted her legal adult status with the same rights and privileges as an 18 year old.  She argued that her mother had been a bad influence on her, and apparently the judge agreed. Living on her own, she did not exactly graduate to adulthood responsbilities. She called this period of her teenage years "Little Girl Lost"--which in 1989 became the sad title for the memoir chonicling her struggles to find herself. In the book she writes of those years when she modeled for a series of racy Guess ads.  Fortunately, her last chapters allow a more mature and positive person to emerge. Despite all of her difficult times, she carried on and was filmed in respectable movies such as Boys on the Side. This helped her get back on track so that she could aspire to become a more serious actress.

Drew Barrymore is a rehab success story. While she had a rough start in life, she survived her struggles and overcame many difficulties. Drew Barrymore has become a well known and respected actress in Hollywood.

Halo Wars Game Review
by Dustin Schultz

It is February, 4th, 2531… you are Sergeant John Forge, on a routine Scout patrol when you get a distress signal from the command base. You look over the summit and see them, the enemy. They are not the terrorists of a bygone era; that is, they are not human terrorists. Your enemies are aliens, and not the phone-home ET kind—these creatures are genocidal aliens, hellbent on the destruction of all mankind. But you are Sergeant John Forge, and you are ready to answer the call and show them that they picked the wrong race to attack.

Halo Wars, the fourth game in the Halo series, is a real time strategy game, meaning that you and your enemies constantly create units to battle one another. The Halo series has proven very popular with gamers, since its inception with Halo: Combat Evolved, released for X-Box on November 15, 2001.

The Halo Wars Campaign takes place twenty years before the events in Halo: Combat Evolved. You take control of the ship Spirit of Fire, to combat the Covenant, alien beings bent on the destruction of mankind. The game begins as the main protagonist, Sergeant Forge is patrolling an area when the Covenant strike. Whether the game ends depends on you.

There are a few modes to play Halo Wars, including a 15 level campaign, Basic and Advanced tutorial for beginners (referred to online as Noobs), offline skirmish, and online skirmish. The game supports up to 3 versus 3 on X-box Live. Both campaign and offline skirmish have 4 levels of play: easy, normal, heroic, and legendary. Most players can beat the game under par time on easy and normal, but only serious players can beat it on heroic. Legendary is reserved for the truly elite—the kind that may lead to Sergeant John Forge knocking on your door for possible recruitment.

I would consider that you buy this game and take it up on every difficulty by yourself at first. Then move on to X-box Live, where you will have hours of fun invested in Halo Wars, creating your own strategies and trying them against the rest of the world.

5 out of 5 scarabs

Book Review: The Giver 
by Shaiann Daniels

A perfect world is a fantasy people love to dream about, but what if that perfect world was built on a lie?

The Giver by Lois Lowry is about a boy named Jonas who lives in a “perfect” community. Everything is the same. There are family units with a mother, a father, a son, and a daughter. No child is biologically related to their parents though for reasons that we will see as we go deeper into the book. As the years progress, the children get something for each ceremony they take part in. The ceremony of 12, the most important of all ceremonies, begins to mold Jonas’ life throughout the rest of the novel. He is not assigned to a job, but selected out of everyone to be the new receiver. This job, however, comes with physical pain, and Jonas isn’t sure if it will be such a great idea. When he starts receiving memories from the Giver, he learns that his community isn’t so perfect at all. There are no colors, no love, no grandparents, and the worst part is, Jonas can’t do anything about it.

This book is a thrilling fantasy/fiction novel. It’s one of those books that I could not put down until I had read it all. While the cover of the book could be better—the wrinkly, grey-bearded old man is not the best choice for a story about a young boy-- we have to remember that "you can’t judge a book by its cover". Once the reader gets past the gnarly cover, the story itself is a journey that we don’t want to end with its astonishing twists and turns. It captures readers by going deep into their wildest imagination. Highly recommended.

Nightmares and Dreamscapes: 
A Review of Stephen King's Collection of Short Stories
by Kari Herren

Just in time for Halloween, Stephen King's Nightmares & Dreamscapes is ready to take us on a journey into the darker realms of the human mind.  With titles such as "Head Down," "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band," "Dolan’s Cadillac," and "The Fifth Quarter." There are twenty-four entries in this book, some of which have made it to the big screen in 2006. Nightmares & Dreamscapes is his first short story collection since Skeleton Crew in 1985. In this collection, Stephen King paints a set of characters that allow the reader to see themselves in each character of the story. Because of that, the horror that inhabits these tales becomes even more frightening.

In "Dolan’s Cadillac" we are introduced to the narrator, Robinson (no first name given), who confesses to us that he is a childless widower.  We learn that a man named Dolan, a wealthy crime-boss, has had Robinson's wife murdered in order to prevent her from testifying against him. The murder (by ignition bomb on her 1968 Chevrolet) is never solved, and Robinson, unskilled in the arts of revenge, has no recourse. Over a seven-year period, however, haunted mentally by his wife's voice, Robinson devises a scheme of retaliation. Discovering that Dolan regularly makes the same cross-country road trip in his gray/silver Cadillac, Robinson sets an elaborate trap on a desert road in Nevada:  he takes on a summer job with a road - paving crew just so that he can learn to operate the heavy equipment he needs to execute his plan - excavating a funnel-shaped ditch just long and deep enough to contain a car, but not so wide as to allow escape through the doors.

The trap works. Dolan is stuck in his Cadillac in the bottom of the pit. One of the goons in the car with Dolan is killed instantly in the crash; the other, crushed by the engine block, screams at the top of his lungs out of pain and panic, prompting Dolan to silence him with his gun. Robinson then greets Dolan and announces his intent to bury him alive. Dolan then asks his tormentor, "Is your name Robinson?" Surprise prompts him to lean over the roof of the car, just as Dolan fires a few bullets skyward. He misses Robinson, who proceeds with the burial. Dolan, who becomes more increasingly desperate, pleading with Robinson for his freedom. He offers him a large sum of cash (which Robinson refuses without question), before Robinson advises him he will be released if he can scream "as loud as eight sticks of dynamite taped to the ignition of a 1968 Chevrolet." Robinson gleefully listens to Dolan's screams as he completes the burial and paves over the car. With what must be the last gasp of air left to him, Dolan screams out, "For the love of God, Robinson!" --as the latter drops the last piece of paving into place.

Robinson pays a relatively small price of undergoing much physical and mental exhaustion, but he feels satisfied that he has done a great service to the memory of his late wife, whose voice finally falls silent. The press report Dolan missing, ironically joking that he is "playing dominos or shooting pool somewhere with Jimmy Hoffa."

In the short story entitled "The End of the Whole Mess," we are introduced to Howard Fornoy as he records his life in the form of a personal journal.  Fornoy recounts the life of his genius younger brother, Robert. Bobby, a child prodigy whose adult interests led him to study a variety of scientific disciplines, discovers a chemical that reduces the aggressive tendencies of humans and other organisms. While doing sociological research in Texas, Bobby collects crime statistics and comes up with a sort of topographic map that displays  geographical patterns of violent crime. Examining the map, Robert noted high levels of crime centered around the town of La Plata. But when he arrives to investigate, he finds that this town has never had any violent crime. Bobby is ultimately able to determine that the cause of the non-aggression is the presence of a chemical to the town's water supply. Even a small amount of exposure to the chemical will calm down an angry person or animal, and Bobby works to isolate the chemical and reduce it to a concentrated form.

At a time of international chaos, suggestive of an approaching total nuclear war, Bobby and Howard, with the aid of a volcano, disperse a large quantity of this substance throughout the world, in the hope of preventing a catastrophe. Indeed, the effects are quick and expected: a massive decrease in hostilities around the globe.

Several months pass and  it is discovered that, to the Fornoys' horror, there was another constant about La Plata that was not studied until after the substance was released. While it eliminates aggression, it does the job too well. The chemical builds up, multiplying out of control, in any subject's system, ultimately giving them symptoms resembling dementia or Alzheimer's disease and eventually resulting in death. Howard's journal entries after this point begin to include increasing amounts of grammar, spelling, and other mistakes, eventually devolving into incoherence as Howard succumbs to the effects of the chemical and (presumably) dies. It is implied the human race will also eventually die out as adults start to forget how to care for newborn children.

"Brooklyn August" is a departure from the other stories in that it is presented as a reflective poem that takes a a nostalgic look back at what many consider to be the glory days of baseball as America's national past-time. We are led back to the time when the team we call The Los Angeles Dodgers made their home in Brooklyn and were the toast of the town. The Dodgers were then under the management of Walter Alston. The poems' title reflects the tone of the poem, as it describes the team's 1956 heyday at their Ebbets Field Polo Ground, now long since demolished (but forever remembered as the place where Willie Mays made one of the greatest outfield catches of all-time). The poem mentions many of the players associated with the club, celebrating their accomplishments and ends on a wistful note. The persona can still see it if he closes his eyes, again bringing in the main theme of the poem -- the golden age of baseball.

In the story, "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band," we meet Clark and Mary Rivingham, a young couple traveling through the forested regions of Oregon. Clark's job as a computer programmer will soon take him to another state, so the two head for the peace of the Oregonian woods. The two plan to visit Tokokee Falls, and Clark insists on taking a road through the deepest forest. Mary disagrees, but Clark is adamant. The two drive off, and eventually become lost on a stretch of bad road.

Mary notices that the telephone poles have disappeared along the roads; the car's tape player malfunctions, ruining and melting the tape in a cassette. Mary begs Clark to turn around, but he notices a large sign in the distance. The two near, and read the lettering: "Welcome to Rock and Roll Heaven." The previously unmarked road instantly becomes clean and well-marked. Mary still asks Clark to turn around, but Clark insists on taking the "good" road they've been so lucky to find. They discover that "Rock and Roll Heaven" is a small town, with a strong 1950-era atmosphere. They also begin to notice that the people in the town have a strange resemblance to some of their favorite rock and roll stars, you know, the ones who are dead!  The mayor of the town looks an awful lot like Elvis. .... then there are guys who look like Jimi Hendrix and  Buddy Holly.

"Rock and Roll Heaven" is described as looking identical to a Norman Rockwell painting. But Mary grows worried about the "perfect" town, citing the short stories of Ray Bradbury and Hansel and Gretel. Clark is irritated at Mary's fear, and the two argue. Clark eventually wears Mary down, and the two venture into the town. He pulls up to a diner and enters; Mary follows, afraid to be alone. Inside, the diner's friendly proprietor greets and jokes with them. A weary-looking young waitress leads the two to the counter--she is a dead ringer for Janis Joplin. Mary and Clark sit down, and Clark notices that the proprietor, cleaning the authentic jukebox, bears a strong resemblance to Janis Joplin. Mary observes this and has a panic attack, as she feels that somehow, the waitress is Joplin. Without giving too much away, find out what happens next!

Those are just  four out of twenty-four writings in Stephen King's collection, Nightmares & Dreamscapes. There are many more awaiting you!  If you like a thrill, you picked the right book. Check it out now, you will fall in love with Stephen King's writing, just like I did.

Funny Girl
by Kensy Hernandez

As a shy, nerdy student in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, she wrote a satirical column for The Acorn, her school newspaper, taking aim at the usual subjects -- rigid teachers and even more rigid school policies. Her writing didn't propel her to cool kid status, but it did make people laugh. She is Tina Fey, who rose to become an American writer,comedian, and actress, best known for her work on Saturday Night Live.

Tina Fey quickly made her way to Chicago's famed Second City after finishing drama studies at the University of Virginia in 1992, maintaining her livelihood with a job at the local YMCA and rapidly excelling through Second City's exhausting course load. Advised by her instructor to skip forward to the more selective Second City Training Center Fey took him up on his advice and, though rejected at first, she was eventually accepted into the fold. When Saturday Night Live came to Second City seeking some fresh new talent in 1995, Fey and friend Adam McKay stood out from the pack. It was McKay's prompting that eventually found Fey hired as a writer for the enduring sketch comedy series. In addition to opening the door for her entrance into SNL, her tenure at Second City also found Fey making the acquaintance of future husband Jeff Richmond, who served as director for the Chicago comedy troupe. After joining the cast as a staff writer in 1997, Fey soon made history as SNL's first female writing supervisor two short years later. She was Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program three years in a row from 2001-2003, and her mark both behind the scenes and as one-half of the Weekend Update crew (opposite SNL favorite Jimmy Fallon) was unmistakable. In the midst of her hectic schedule at Studio 8H, Fey somehow found time to perform the critically praised two-woman comedy show Dratch and Fey in both Chicago (1999) and New York (2000). Fey's other work has included writing for such programs as the confrontational comedy series The Colin Quinn Show, shown on pay-cable mainstay Comedy Central. If fans had wondered when -- as all high-profile SNL cast members eventually do, Fey would set her sights on feature films, their curiosity would soon be answered when it was announced that Fey would be writing and appearing in Mean Girls (2004), an adaptation of author Rosalind Wiseman's popular book Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Boyfriends and Other Realities of Adolescence.

In September and October 2008, Fey guest appeared on SNL to perform a serious of skits as Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. On the 34th season premiere episode, aired September 13, 2008, Fey imitated Palin in a sketch, alongside Amy Poehler as Hilary Clinton. Their repartee included Clinton needling Palin about her "Tina Fey glasses". The sketch quickly became NBC's most-watched viral videos ever, with 5.7 million views by the following Wednesday. Fey reprised this role on the October 4 show, and on the October 18 show where she was joined by the real Sarah Palin. The October 18 show had the best ratings of any SNL show since 1994.The following year Fey won an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Guest Actress In a Comedy Series for her impersonation of Palin.

After completing nine seasons as head writer, cast member and co-anchor of the "Weekend Update" segment on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." Fey became an Emmy winner and two-time Writers Guild Award winner for her writing on "Saturday Night Live."

Since her transition to being in front of the camera, she has won much acclaim, including being named The Associated Press' Entertainer of the Year in 2008, one of Entertainment Weekly's Entertainers of the Year, one of People Magazine's "Most Beautiful People" (three times), and one of Time magazine's "Prestigious Time 100."Tina Fey writes, executive produces and stars as Liz Lemon in NBC's two-time Emmy Award-winning comedy series 30 Rock, a workplace comedy where the workplace exists behind-the-scenes of a live variety show. Her performance as 'Liz Lemon' has earned Fey an Emmy, two Golden Globes, two SAG Awards and a People's Choice Award. This past year, 30 Rock was nominated for 17 Emmy Awards. 30 Rock"has earned her two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series, a Golden Globe for Outstanding Comedy Series, a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, two Writers Guild Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series and two Producers Guild Awards. She has also won two Gracie Awards and a Made in New York Award.

Movie Review: The Time Traveler's Wife
by Sidra Veriatch

Movies based on books can be dangerous enterprises. The Time Traveler's Wife is no exception.
Based on a popular best- seller by Audry Niffenegger and directed by Robert Schwentke, The Time Traveler's Wife is a romance story wrapped up within a science fiction scenario .

Eric Bana plays Henry DeTamble, a research librarian from Chicago, who also suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Chrono Impairment. The disease causes him to vanish at any given moment and travel through time and space. He has been time-traveling since birth, and there are no known causes or cures for his condition. During all of his many travels, he keeps mysteriously returning to one person who is central to his life--Clare Abshire, who is played by Rachel McAdams.

Henry first meets Clare when she is only six years old. The older she grows and the more she sees Henry, she falls in love with him. She believes that they are destined to be together. While he's working at a library, he bumps into her again, and they fall in love when he realizes that he's met her somewhere before. They soon decide to get married and have children. Clare finally has a baby after several unfortunate miscarriages. She tries to build a normal life and family with Henry, especially challenging when dealing with the uncertainty of not knowing when he will vanish or re-appear. The movie showcases their love's struggle and desperate attempt at making the marriage work.

Henry tries to do his part by finding a geneticist to help his condition in hopes that he can lead a normal life; however, he soon realizes that his conditions is incurable. He can't change the past, present, future or his fate. He's stuck with the "disease" and must accept the bitter reality of leaving his friends and family with no warning and the life to which he will inevitably be transported. Juggling one reality is tough enough for most people, but two...?

Many people watched the movie after reading this fine novel, only to be crushed by the two dimensional compression of the storyline. The movie had hopes of being a  touching, tear-jerker romance, but instead it leaves viewers confused. The movie doesn't explain why Henry can't change anything when he travels, which could leave people confused. If you think of the contradictions and logical difficulties involved, it's hard not to come out of the movie scratching your head.

The movie is rated PG-13 due to the several semi - nude scenes.  And poor Henry loses all of his clothes each time he is ripped out of his present moment.  Another reason for the PG-13 rating is from a birth scene when Clare delivers her baby. That scene might be a little too graphic for younger viewers. However, with some deft fast forwarding maneuvers with the remote, it's possible to enjoy this as a good family movie.

The plus side of the movie has to be the casting. Both Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams deliver stellar performances. They are likable together and manage to easily pull off the love connection they are supposed to have over their lifetime.

The Robert Schwentke directed film crams too much into the movie, and, to this writer, loses the beauty of the novel. We recommend watching the movie with some low expectations...or better yet, read the book. Since, as often happens, the page is sometimes livelier than the stage.

The Return of  George Romero 
by Aaron Marks

This article is about none other than George Romero, the grand daddy of all zombie film makers. George Romero was born on February 4th, 1940 New York City.  Before he made it to the big screen in living ghoulish color, Romero was directing banal commercials. One of his first commercial films was for Mister Rogers’s Neighborhood; Mister Rogers was getting a tonsillectomy which is very painful. Apparently, poor Mr. Roger's trip to the hospital got him thinking about the attack of zombies in the Pittsburgh area. And that is what started George Romero’s horror career.

In 1968, he made his first film the most renowned film, The Night of the Living Dead. He also made the commercial for Resident Evil 2 the video game. He also made the original Dawn of the Dead in 1978, but he was not involved in the remake in 2004. He also did Land of the Dead in 2006. This zombie film had the highest budget of his movies, a whopping $16 million. Romero has also has done many other movies, including The Crazies, There’s Always Vanilla, and Jack's Wife.

George Romero has been worked with many other famous people. For example, he and Stephen King are collaborating on The Creep Show, a collection of five different horror stories designed to frighten us into losing our popcorn.

George is one of the most celebrated movie makers of all time in the area of "cult films." He is credited with having started the beloved and much lampooned zombie movie craze.  Before Shaun of the Dead let us chew on our funnybone, we feasted upon the zombie banquet known as  Dawn of the Dead.

The Power of the Far Side:  The Life of Gary Larson
by Brant Seal

Gary Larson was born August 14, 1950 in Tacoma, Washington. His father sold cars his mother was a secretary.

At a young age, Gary had a desire to draw. Even though his classmates preferred to draw tanks, cars and other machines, Gary drew animals. Gary didn’t take any drawing classes; he didn’t even expect to become an artist.

Once in high school, Gary concentrated on music and playing jazz on his guitar. After he graduated, Gary went college in Washington (Washington State College). At college he majored in communication. After college he hoped to do work in advertisement to get rid of the old and bring in the new and more interesting ones. While in college, he also took science classes.

After he graduated in 1972, he didn’t immediately start a career in advertisements. Instead he started a jazz band and during the day worked in a music store. Even though Gary had doubts in his music career, he still pursed it.

In 1976, Gary revived a sorely neglected hobby of drawing and sketched six cartoons. Gary submitted them to a local magazine and was surprised when they offered him $90 for the collection. Gary then managed to convince them for $3 for every weekly cartoon. In 1979, Gary was finally hired full time by the Seattle Times, drawing the feature cartoon “Natures Way”.

Gary didn’t stop at the publicity and money. Instead he drove to San Francisco and waited a full week in the receptionist area of the San Francisco Chronicle before being interviewed. To Gary’s surprise, the Chronicle wanted him to do a cartoon called “The Far Side” for thirty issues around the country. When Gary retuned home he found a letter saying that the Seattle Times had dropped his cartoon due to too many complaints of dark, bizarre humor.

As it turns out, the quirky and sometimes bizarre humor was just what the American public began to appreciate more and more. The Far Side cartoon gained in popularity, appearing in more newspapers even though some controversy still continued in its tracks. By 1983, the cartoon was being published in 80 papers, but the figures jumped to 200 in 1985. At its zenith, Larson’s “gallery” made it into 20,000 different newspapers in 17 different languages.

In 1987, Gary married an archeologist named Toni Carmichel. Starting in 1988 and continuing for about fourteen months , ary took a long vacation from drawing cartoons. He spent more time with his wife, playing the guitar and traveling the world. When Gary got back, he negotiated his way to draw five cartoons instead of seven.

Gary decided to retire from drawing cartoons on January 1, 1995. For fourteen years, the Far Side legacy generated loyal fans and thousands of books. Gary went to make two movies even though he is retired. The two movies are “Tales from the Far Side” I and II. Today, Gary is still in retirement and spending lots of time with his family. But the Far Side cartoon books continue to sell like hotcakes at an all-you-can eat ant picnic.

There are many fan sites on the Internet. You might enjoy this one.

Create - a - Caption Poll and Contest !
by the Silhouette Staff

One of the most popular websites on the Internet is I Can Has Cheezburger, an interactive website that specializes in "posterizing" cats in their--or their owners-- most psychologically revealing moments. We will be doing a feature article on for the next issue. We thought it might be fun to host a "create a caption contest" and have the student body vote on the caption they like best. You may need to click and zoom on the photos here for a larger view.

So to kick things off, vote on the best caption you like for the first picture (the bassett hound in the air) based on entries from our Journalism class. The choices are given below courtesy members of the Period 1 Journalism class.

And for the second picture (the "singing" cat), turn in your entries to Mr. Farrelly by writing them down and turning them in to him in Room 586. We will pick the best five and then in our Winter issue, allow the student body to vote on the best captions. This will be open to students and faculty alike.

If your pets at home would like to star in one of these contests, please send us a pic as long as they fit the bill. .

And for your own creative captions, may I introduce to you.....