NY Giants versus Philadelphia Eagles

If you live in any city and like their rival team, there is tension, no matter what the sport is. I like the NY Giants, and that is one of the Philadelphia Eagles main rivals. It’s not my fault that I like the NY Giants; it’s my dad’s. My dad grew up in NY so naturally he was a fan of the NY Giants, NY Yankees and the NY Rangers. Thankfully the Yankees had an owner whom my dad disliked, so I didn’t have to grow up becoming a Yankees fan. The funniest part about living in Philadelphia and liking another team is that when the Eagles lost a Sunday night game. It is funny how every fan is down after a sports team loses. If the Eagles have a Sunday game and they lose to a no-good team then everyone has more trouble fitting into the Monday schedule again. So it’s also awkward to walk into whatever you’re doing Monday morning with a smile and talk about sports. I have learned to watch the Eagle’s game so I can at least talk about what happened. It is quite a funny reaction when I tell some people that I am a NY Giants fan. The reaction is either “I can’t ever talk to you again,” or “How?” I haven’t lost any friends with my sports preferences, but when the Giants and the Eagles play each other, depending on who wins, there is tension. If the Giants win all of Philadelphia is a sad place, except for my family who is happy that the Giants won. If it is the other way around, I am disappointed that the Giants lost and everybody is happy that the Eagles won. So when you first meet someone, try to stay in neutral sports area, meaning that you don’t want to tell someone that you like the rival sport team or you probably have a chance of getting teased when you don’t live up to their expectations. Of course, all sports are in fun, so the teasing is always a kidding kind of teasing. As my dad always says “It’s all in good fun.” Thank goodness for that because otherwise, I would have a lot of rivals!

Are Books Better Than Movies?


Are Books Better Than Movies? He Said, He Said
By Zach Love and Sam Istvan

Hopefullly, we will help to answer this question by stating our opinions and giving proof.

Sam Istvan: Are books better than movies, or is it the other way around? I believe that movies are better than books. An example of a movie I liked better than the book is Narnia: The lion, the witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. In this book/movie, while the movie was action-packed with good acting and just an overall very interesting movie, the book could get boring at some parts.

One of the things about movies is that, even though you are able to create anything from your imagination while reading a book, in a movie you’re able to get a view of the movie director’s imagination and how he/she created it on a screen. Take Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I did like the book, but I found that it was hard to create what the scene looked like in my head because it was very confusing at times as Roald Dahl can be. However, in the movie, the director created wonderful scenes for me so I didn’t have to imagine it and it turned out I liked what the director created on the screen better than what I had created in my head. Now that you’ve read this, I hope I have shifted your opinion a little bit if you’re a book-lover and not a movie-lover, so there you have it about what I think.

Zach Love: Are books better than movies? I think that books are better than movies. Charlotte’s Web, for example, was much better as a book than a movie. After all, some aspects of the book, like Charlotte dying, cannot be put into film. I believe that it is easier to feel the emotions of the story as you read, because if you read, anyone can look like anything, and the story could take place at any time or any place. But the movie made sure that the characters looked like their vision of what the characters looked like; there isn’t much room to make things up. And in The City of Ember, The storyline simply fitted better with a book than a movie. For instance, the scene where the main character and another character were escaping the underground city that they lived in all their life, when they were going down the underground rapids, the main character’s little sister was squealing with delight. In the movie, they decided not to put in that part, and they clipped it because it doesn’t help the plot. But in the book, the plot can wander off as much as the author desires, as long as it gets back on track. When you read this, I hope that this article can influence your decision when you’re deciding whether to watch the movie or read the book.

Whether or not you like movies or books better than the other, they are both great ways to spend a lazy afternoon when you’re looking for something to do.

The Banana Effect


by Cassie Coale        

Admit it. You’ve thought about it. Global warming, environmental footprint, carbon dioxide, we all have. The question is, what impact do we at GFS make? We have recycling bins, compost piles, even an Environmental Action Club. With all of this action, how big really is our school’s environmental footprint? Though we can’t find an exact number, we can estimate.  And it starts with bananas. I know I might buy about two bananas a week in the cafeteria.  At the end of the year, that turns into 104 bananas, shipped with many other bananas, using about 5 times as much gas as an SUV. Imagine all of the other kids buying my average of bananas. It’s a lot to think about. Starting with the cafeteria, every time a person throws away an imported fruit or any kind of food, they are also throwing away the gas from the truck, gas from the plane, energy from refrigeration, and the packaging that was used to get it to you. Also, most of the packaging is made of environmentally harmful materials, such as Styrofoam, and plastic.  You are even throwing away the energy used to make the packaging.

Sometimes we even underestimate things that seem to have always been here. Computers, for example. Buying and using just one computer, rapidly increase your environmental footprint. Every time you throw away a computer, you throw away even more than the food in the Cafeteria. Fix your old computers before you throw them away). When you print something out (though it is a necessity in Middle school) you’re still wasting a tree. Try recycled paper and use the other side. Then there are these things called sweaters. One of the easiest environmental solutions is an extra layer. As our previous president Jimmy Carter once recommended, “Don’t crank the heat up high! Just save some bucks to buy better sweaters.”

Our school is relatively environmentally friendly, and we really have done a good job keeping our footprint in check, but there are some things we aren’t entirely desperate enough to do anything about.  What are we going to do? Outlaw bananas? Never throw away a broken computer? In the Upper School, Middle School, and Lower School, we all have the same problems. It’s safe to say everyone in the school is trying to help the environment, whether it’s picking up a piece of trash floating by, or raising money to clean up oil spills. We all know that future generations are going to inherit the Earth, so let’s eat our vegetables! We pretty much have done everything in our price range to save the environment, but you know, with the new science building, and our awesome environmental clubs, GFS has a pretty green future.

EAC 2011-2012

by Ishmael Bynum

The Upper School E.A.C (Environmental Action Club), lead by Ian Van Wert has already been hard at work. The E.A.C has continued the tradition of a Wissahickon woods clean up;  The E.A.C has also decided to sponsor a ‘’reduce your carbon footprint’’ week. They are promoting the dos and don’ts of composting and are also considering a battery-recycling program.

The Middle School E.A.C has a large agenda for the coming year as well. Tara Goss is leading the E.A.C and has come up with multiple projects. The E.A.C is planning to make videos and songs on how to compost. Also, they are trying to get funds for planting trees. Surveys are being passed on why or why don’t people compost. For the future, the E.A.C is going to tell us why birds and their habitat are so important.

Volt Up

By Gabe Goldberg 

Chevy has come out with a brand new hybrid vehicle . They have called this car the Chevy Volt.

The Volt has tons of new features such as electricity. The Volt mostly runs on electricity, but not completely. In the commercial, a man stops at a gas station. There is a kid there who asks why the man is there if he has a Chevy Volt.  The man says that gas will still help him go farther. The joke is that the kid knows that the chevy volt owner has to use the bathroom because he doesn’t need to fill up with gas. Watch the  Chevy Volt Ad

“It is very eco friendly and it is very stylish,” Alex Mirage, a sixth grader said. It is eco friendly because of how little gas it needs.  Simon Rabinowitz, another sixth grader says he would have this car and he wants it in blue. The car comes in many colors. Ishmael Bynum, another sixth grader asked what I thought of the car and all I can say is that is a big improvement for Chevy.

The Chevy Volt is cool and everybody that wants one should Volt Up. Read these impressive Volt Stats from Edmunds.com

95 city/93 highway
300 mile  maximum range
can go between 25-50 miles without a single drop of gas
Around $44,000 for a 4 door hatchback gas/electric hybrid

The Volt has Goodyear 17 – inch wheels. You can get a navigation system adjusted in your dashboard. In a review, John Voelcker said that it doesn’t make any shift sounds. He also said that it “drives like a normal car” and its acceleration from stop is continuous.

A Love Story

A Love Story…

It is Wednesday, 12:47 PM, April 27th, 2011, activity period in the middle school. The 8th graders on the newspaper staff are in a total frenzy. Science night looms over their heads.  To say that they are struggling mightily to muster the necessary enthusiasm and focus required to turn out the last issue of the newspaper would be a grave understatement. Jesse, our editor in chief, is literally drawing squares in Photoshop in an attempt to finish an art project, Schuyler, our usually dependable managing editor, seems to have lost all sense of priorities abandoning her staff mates to make up a math test. Joanna and Jane, film critic and fashion editor respectively, have been caught up in an impenetrable torrent of giggles for at least 20 minutes, poor Joe, our tech guy, is trying in vane to keep things together while newbie reporter Hannah is still under the illusion that something will actually be accomplished in the next half an hour.  When I glance over and see Olenka lying on the floor and Magda upside down in her chair, whirling around face covered by her spinning hair, I’m certain that all hope is lost. In one final act of pure desperation, they ask me to write an article.

So, I stop my high-pitched vocalizations (otherwise referred to as screaming) and look at them.  Just for a moment, I  sit helplessly and just look.  Just five more weeks. In five short weeks, I will attend a Meeting and watch as they move on to their upper school selves. Then they will be gone.  Again.  Not just the newspaper staff.  They will all be gone: the ones I watched peck and claw their way out of their lower school shells, the ones I watched tentatively dip their big toes into the river of 7th grade before diving in head first, the ones I nagged relentlessly about late homework and poor focus, the ones who messed with the system settings on the lab computers and yes, even the ones whose sole criminal act was their very presence during one of my migraines.

Some will leave GFS, but even those who stay on will be gone. The most I can reasonably expect is a smile and brief exchange of greetings when we pass on campus or, perhaps, an unannounced return to the computer lab to use the color printer.

As a middle school teacher, I have often wondered if I have ever done anything that actually mattered in a student’s life or contributed to the person he or she will eventually become.  I’m not talking about making a huge impression on their life, just a tiny dent, a little educational fender bender, if you will, would be just fine with me.  I’m not proud to admit that I have often fantasized that while watching the Oscars, I would be amazed to watch a former student emerge from the crowd, clutch the podium and in a voice crackling with gratitude, thank me for changing the course of his or her life. Of course, I haven’t quite worked out the part about how such a well earned accolade relates back to my oft repeated instructions on how to save to the server with a greater than 50/50 chance of actually being able to retrieve a document sometime in the not so distant future.

More than occasionally, I’ve felt that teaching in the middle school is a lot like dating someone on the rebound, after you have been traumatically dumped by your first love and before you actually meet Mr. or Ms. Right. Somehow, for most, those interim memories of middle school life quickly fade away in a torrent of hormones and chaos forever wandering in the murkiness of lost adolescence.

It doesn’t really matter though.  Whether they remember me is not the point.  I am confident that on some future occasion, I will be lucky enough to catch a peripheral glimpse of their exact whereabouts on life’s path. Then I will remember. Again.

So go, why don’t you all!  Just hurry up and go and don’t look back kids.  You won’t get me again. I have absolutely no more room for memories. Wait just a minute. I forgot to mention something. I love you. Now get out of here!

The Scottish Exchange

Last month, on April 10th, four girls from Scotland came to stay at GFS. They came from St. George’s, a uniformed, girls school in Edinburgh. The first week of their stay, they were amazed by the difference between their school and ours. One of the exchanges saw a student hug one of their teachers and was completely shocked. This was a level of informality they had never experienced. By the end of the exchange, however, they loved the easy-going atmosphere of GFS and were readily hugging teachers.

They also noticed the different words that Americans use as opposed to people from the United Kingdom.

Here is a list of some of the words.

American to English – Dictionary

Bangs    –   A Fringe

Butt     –    Bottom

Chips    –   Crisps

Cleats  –   Studs (spikes)

Flats    –   Pumps

Make up    –   Pull, snog

Mall     –    Shopping Centre

Soda            –    Fizzy Drinks

Sidewalk    –    Pavement

Sneakers   –    Trainers

Soccer   –   Football

Pumps   –   High Heels

Vacation   –    Holiday

Trash can   –   Rubbish Bin

Trash   –   Rubbish

Period   –   Full Stop

Truck    –   Lorry

White-out   –   Tip-ex

By Magda Andrews-Hoke and Olenka Jain


Bob Lynam has been heard to say, “If you are thinking about procrastinating – DON’T.” Despite the wisdom of this advice, a recent survey given out to eighth graders in the middle school shows that almost all students procrastinate, whether once in a while or every night. Fifty-five percent of students taking the survey said they procrastinate ‘occasionally’, while almost a third said they procrastinate ‘frequently’. Many students feel that they can get away with lots of procrastination and that it does not affect their grades when, in truth, it almost certainly does, and putting homework off until late at night also means you’re probably not getting enough sleep.

Although many students procrastinate, almost all wish that they didn’t. One student that is an admitted procrastinator said, “Though you can get away with procrastination, it isn’t a good habit to get into. Just do your work and you won’t have to stress over it later.” There is a constant feeling among middle school students that too much homework is given, and this may be true some of the time, but when long-term projects are procrastinated on, the end result is an overwhelmed, and extremely stressed student.

Procrastinating also has a ‘snowball’ effect. When one thing is put off until tomorrow, it means that what was put off has to be done in the place of other things, and those things are done later in the place of other things. Eventually you are in a constant cycle of procrastination that is hard to escape. Of course, students have other important things to do in their lives, what with sports and music lessons and friends. These things shouldn’t be put off for school work, but it is extremely important to budget your time so that you don’t end up frantic and trying to come up with excuses.

In the survey given out, 78 percent of students taking the survey said that they did most of their weekend homework on Sunday. Only 2 percent said they did their weekend homework on Friday. While some of the 78 percent who do their homework on Sunday may just be very busy every Friday and Saturday, many will look at homework on Friday night and feel like they have forever to do the work. Much more quickly than they think, however, Sunday night sneaks up, and they are cramming homework in at 10 o’ clock. 68 percent of eighth graders said that this sudden realization of the deadline approaching is what makes them get over their procrastinating and do the work before it’s too late. 20 percent also said that what helps them stop procrastinating is other students reporting that they have done the work. This could be viewed as a kind of peer pressure, but it helps students get their work done.

One student who took the survey said, “Love it or hate it, [procrastination] is the only way to still have a social life with the workload we get.” There are two arguments in this. The workload that students get does often seem overwhelming and intimidating projects can actually encourage procrastination. Also, social life and friends are essential parts of every middle school student’s life, and although schoolwork shouldn’t be put off for hanging out with friends, it’s very important as well and shouldn’t be counted out as one of the many commitments that middle school student have.

With so many demands on students, procrastination is almost inevitable. As one eighth grader said, “I am [procrastinating] right now, taking this survey instead of doing homework! Yeah, it’s a problem for me.”

By Magda Andrews-Hoke
Cartoon by Elizabeth Wallace

Carnivore Foods

The Best Generic Carnivore Foods

This article mostly covers generic styles of foods that include meat. I’m not covering seafood. Your local restaurant may have a version of these foods that is different. But, I’m just covering the basic foods. These are not in any particular order. Feel free to comment on the recommendations at the end and throughout.

Tandoori Chicken is one of the best generic carnivore foods. I find it to be the best Indian food for several reasons. The meat, cooked in a specialized Tandoori oven with spices, tastes incredible. The Tandoori style of cooking makes almost every meat taste incredible, but Tandoori Chicken is in my opinion the best Tandoori food. The chicken’s skin has a reddish coloring because of the many spices. Though it is a little spicy, but the average carnivore can handle it.

The Pulled Pork Sandwich is also incredible. Without any pesky bones, it is much easier to eat than a pork-chop. The meat is cooked entirely, instead of being completely cooked outside, and barely on the inside. It is best with hot sauce, which brings out the pork’s natural flavor. No restaurant makes it badly, but some make it better than others.

Though, this food is a little corny or childish to some, Chicken Fingers. Deliciously fried, and compatible with almost every sauce. Chicken Fingers are available at most restaurants. You can order it on the kids’ menu at places like Dave&Busters and the Cheesecake Factory. McDonalds chicken finger’s are in my opinion the best, but they are not healthy. Also called Chicken Selects, Chicken fingers are a great food.

Fried Chicken is varies from restaurant to restaurant, but in general has all of the unhealthiness and oiliness that carnivores love. This is the one food that both chain restaurants and family restaurants make. You can also make fried chicken at home. There are many different styles of making it; you can cook it with extra skin, no skin, deep-fried, lighter fried, and  it doesn’t matter fried chicken will always be incredible.

Skirt Steak, a lesser-known version of steak is very delicious. It melts in your mouth and tastes great. In my opinion, it is made best Brazilian-style. Spice selection may vary from restaurant to restaurant, but the melt in your mouth flavor stays. The style of cooking brings out the meat’s flavor. It is perhaps the only style of steak that doesn’t need steak sauce.

Rack of Lamb is the best choice for those of you that can’t eat pork or beef. Getting it Middle-Eastern-style is best, but Indian-style works too. Outback Steakhouse (which is the best place for non-chicken meats) makes it well too, with great Australian Flavor. Any of these styles gives it a spiced flavor; not necessarily spicy, but a nice spiced flavor. Because this food really varies from restaurant to restaurant, I can’t say that much about it.

Fillet Mignon, is generally a little pricey but worth it. The beef is always high quality, and the bacon is generally too. For good Fillet Mignon, my suggestion is to order from Omaha Steaks. But, be warned, if ordering by mail, pins are put in to keep steak together and bacon on the steak.

Alligator, a rather exotic meat, which is sold a lot near Louisiana and Florida, is incredible. It is a chunky meat that tastes a bit like chicken. I’m not sure what sauce could work for it, but it is fun to experiment with. With alligator populations going down, this should only really be a once or twice in a lifetime food.

Buffalo meat is incredible. Like alligator, overhunting could get rid of the animal for everyone. It is good spiced, but just tastes good normally. I would say that buffalo is the best meat ever. Though, only a good cook can make it properly.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich is a very good food. It’s always crispy and delicious, but the spiciness can range. Find out about the “heat level” before you get it, because it can be super mild to moderately spicy.

Buffalo Chicken Wings are perhaps the best specialty wing. Or at least at one point they were in Buffalo, NY, but they’ve spread everywhere. I don’t know what’s better. the sauce or the actual wing. Beware, if you buy it frozen, it can give you food poisoning and make you barf. I say that from experience, only eat them fresh.

These are just my personal favorites, if I missed anything then please comment.

The next section only covers chain-restaurants.

For Fried Chicken:
Church’s’ Chicken (best, or so I’ve heard)
Kentucky Fried Chicken (most common)
Popeye’s (unhealthiest, but my personal favorite)

For Tandoori Chicken:
Palace of Asia

For Rack of Lamb:
Outback Steakhouse

Invasive Carp? Now We Got a Problem!

Think of some bad invasive species that is eating all the algae and small organisms, in turn starving the other species in the habitat. Now add the fact that those species are huge carp, that can jump 8-10 feet out of the water. The general name for this species is Asian carp. These carp were imported to the southern U.S. to keep water facilities clean. When some escaped in 1980, they have been infesting and overpopulating the Mississippi River up to the Great Lakes. The carp eat all that they can, ranging from around 20% of their average weight of 30-40 pounds, but some have been recorded as 100 pounds!!

The movie above showed how high these carp can jump, and as you can see, they are everywhere. The carp, eating out all the smaller organisms that other aquatic creatures feed on, reproduces incredibly fast. Some female carp produce 200,000 to 1 million eggs a year! There are tries to controll these carp though, like on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. This has an elecr=trical barrier, not completely failsafe though. The barrier only might stun them, not kill them. Flooding in this area could also bring the carp up and over the canal. Some of the problems these carp bring are that when they fully reach the great lakes, it will attract many fishermen and fish catchers. They would also totally skew the food chain, disrupting many specie

Rhonda’s Take on the New Website Layout

Hi, I’m Tunde Sogo, I sat down with Rhonda about the new layout.

These are the questions and her feedback:

Will the new website layout impact readership?

The new features will attract potential readers and keep current ones.

Online reading is becoming increasingly popular, and streamlining access will help with this.

Why did you change the layout?

Sarah and I have been meaning to change the layout for a while.

Middle School students prefer reading online, so we should make it easier.

It gives us a broader viewing spectrum of our paper.

Did you need to change the layout?

No we didn’t, it was a choice.

Is the new layout an improvement, a downgrade, or the same level?

An improvement: because of cosmetic tweaks, a flexible blog format, and easier-to-access resources.

What do you think of the new layout?

I love it, it’s fresh, and it showcases the talent and creativity of the staff that Sarah and I love.

Now, please think about the answers to these questions:

Is this layout better?

It this layout worse?

Is this layout the same as the old one?

Take the Poll:

The Found

Everyone loses stuff. If you’re anybody, it might be a good idea to visit the lost and found. Go into the building and down the echoing stairwell next to the bathrooms. Down a flight, there’s a big brown chest, stuffed in the corner under the stairs. It’s filled with all sorts of things. There may be things of yours, and things belonging to your friends. Looking closer, one would find all sorts of junk that has been sitting there rotting for years (like a lunchbox from who-knows- when with a moldy sandwich inside).

In lower school, the lost and found in the Cary Building is always filled with gloves, coats, lunch boxes, and maybe a shoe. But, every 6 months or so, the lost and found items are put on display in the Cary Building lobby for a week or two so the kids that never bother to look in the lost and found can find their lost items. Then, all the remaining things are taken and donated to a charity and the lost and found is empty, though not for long. The Middle School doesn’t have that kind of system. Middle School faculty expects kids to be more responsible. Or maybe everyone is just too lazy. Either way, that box is never emptied.

If the lightweight lid of the chest is pushed open and propped carefully against the wall behind it, an unpleasant stench will waft up. Scrunching up one’s nose, one might push through the junk, hoping to recognize something of theirs in the dim light. There’s a notebook on top of a pile of coats. “Joi Dallas, 2007-2008”. The notebook is filled with English notes from Will “Terri’s” 7th grade English class. Though the notes mean nothing to her now, one can’t help wondering; was is it lost before or after the end of the year? Along with the notebook is all of her 7th grade science work, including a test that the 7th graders just took. A medium-sized Sure deodorant labeled with somebody’s name (who preferred to not have his name mentioned) sits near a ruined Santa hat. If the piles of sweatshirts had faces then they would have long, graying beards.

The lost and found is really just the found, because no one knows what they’ve lost. “He-who-shall-not-be-named” probably has new deodorant, and it’s most likely that Joi Dallas doesn’t need her 7th grade work anymore. It would be nice if the so-called lost and found didn’t smell like rotting lunches and mildewy winter coats, so please take a minute out of your day, and find what needs to be found.

strikes in wisconsin

You have no doubt heard in the news about the union strikes in Wisconsin. But what’s really going on? Is this a sign of the unions attempting to grab power or the government oppressing a group of middle class workers? Lets find out.

Here is a basic recap. It started when the Governor of Wisconsin wanted to make up a 3.6 billion gap by cutting funding to both health care and pensions to the union workers in Wisconsin. The state workers then responded by requesting to increase their pension and health care benefit contribution by 5 and then 12 percent. The Governor responded by calling a law to remove the state workers bargaining rights. This is when the strikes started. The strike on Saturday gathered more then 68,000 people!

When the Governor called for a vote many democratic senators fled the state in order to postpone the vote for as long as possible. The situation is still developing but if I were forced to say who is the bad guy here, I would say it is Scott Walker. He is the governor of Wisconsin who decided to cut the union’s healthcare in the first place. But no matter where you stand, everyone acknowledges this will be a historic moment in US history