Class Olympics, 2017!

 

By: James Baratta, Michael McCabe, and Cody Werner

 

This year’s Class Olympics brought more student involvement than I’ve ever seen before. The effortful hours sacrificed by Student Government, Freshman Class, Sophomore Class, Junior Class and Senior Class to set this passionate event into motion must not go unnoticed. Thanks to them, our school made history. They’ve created a memory for the students at LBHS, especially the seniors, to bring with them as they delve into what life has to offer; entering the real world with a memorable flashback of happiness, passion, and fun.

The day began for most students at around 6 to decorate the halls of LBHS, enveloping pride within the students. The hallways were immaculate. Walking to class felt like walking through a wonderland of colors and creativity. The themes of the classes were especially unique this year. All the classes managed to communicate these themes on a fun, but effective level in that their hallways were the product of an effortful contribution made by those who helped set them up. Firstly, the freshman class was called “Freshman Famers”. Next, the sophomores were known as the “Stranded Sophomores”. Thirdly, the juniors decided to go with “Jet-Lagged Juniors”. Finally, the seniors chose “Sweet Tooth Seniors ”.

During the school day, students were given and deducted spirit points as a result of their spirit and behavior. Faculty members went from class to class, adding spirit points to students in their respective grades if they were wearing attire related to their theme or LBHS. Students that were late and/or roaming the halls were responsible for deducting spirit points from their grade. The school kept the event tight-knit through this. That’s okay though because the competing students had the opportunity to show the faculty how they felt about this later on that day!

As students retired to the bleachers after a short, academic day, the excitement of Class Olympics had begun. The competition began with the tug of war, where the faculty faced the wrath of the students. Although an extraneous effort was put forth by the seniors, the faculty defeated them. Next, was by far the strangest and most amusing event in Class Olympics history. Students from each class paired up and prepared to roll around the gym floor with laundry baskets and wheeled carts. The goal of this event was to snag as many colored balls as they could back to their respective storages. The crowd revved the engines of the contestants through their passionate cheers and they were off! During the event, contestants were seen swerving about the gym at staggering speeds. One student had lost his cart in the chaos but remained determined as did his partner. He then streaked across the clean, laminated floor screaming as if he was charging into battle. Were his screams of pain or of determination? Maybe both, but nevertheless he continued to gather the balls in an attempt to win the event. Finally was musical chairs. Person after person was eliminated and soon enough only two remained. However, before the event had wrapped up, students began to prematurely exit the gym. The event concluded during the stampede and Michael Campione, a senior, emerged victoriously.

The seniors dominated the swimming events. There were an array of unique competitions, but the most memorable had to be the belly flop contest. The LBHS pool became Gotham City when Batman sprawled into the air after peering upon the city in which he would bring justice with his mighty flop. It seemed as if gallons of water had splashed from the pool and into the audience. They cringed at the sound of the vigilante’s forceful slap once he engaged the water. It was truly an epic scene.

That night, the skits were held in the auditorium. It was decorated with each class’ theme. This year bestowed some of the best decorations I’ve seen in my years at LBHS. The skits themselves were effortful and comical. However, the “Jet-Lagged Juniors” emerged victorious. These millennials really know how to put on a show because not only were they victorious this year, but they were in their freshman skit as well.

What a night to remember. Special thanks to the classes who participated and Student Government for making the event reality. I personally look forward to what LBHS has to offer at next year’s Class Olympics.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sister Act Review

 

Jaylyn Umana

 

This past weekend, the Long Beach High School Theatre Department put on the production of Sister Act. I was able to attend opening night and make my way up to the second row to get the best view of the play that I could. Opening nights of theatre productions tend to be the most energetic, but this one exceeded my expectations in terms of energy given off by the performers. I would even go as far to say that this play was greater than a broadway musical that I once saw.

 

Act 1:

In Act 1, the was music absolutely inspiring, and was energetic from the very start. Chills ran down my spine as the harmonized vocals blended sweetly with the wind instruments and strings. The auxiliary percussion was vital to the musical ensemble, as even the most subtle nuances enhanced the experience tenfold. The feel and vibe intensified with every song. Additionally, the acting was truly riveting. As the comedic elements in both the dialogue and songs allowed for you to empathize and identify with the characters.

 

I even had the chance to ask a few questions to members of the pit orchestra concerning the guitar’s place in the music and the overall experience…

 

“The music for this show really requires the guitar…”

 

“It’s a real learning experience, and it has been everyday…”

 

“This is very much different from regular pit orchestra…”

 

Act 2:

The guest appearances were astounding by the most unexpected parties. The quality and characters of the play, respectively, have a meteoric rise. I have very few words, as words can barely describe how amazing this production is.

 

However, cast members were able to express how they felt; including leading lady Mikayla Faria:

 

“There were neverending backstage antics…”

 

“Great cast! I’m gonna miss all the seniors; it was better than I ever expected…”

 

“Absolutely incredible…”

 

“There was a lot of bonding with classmates more than you would outside of class. It took a great deal of hard work. There was a great social aspect to it all…”

 

With that, I can easily say that not only were both acts riveting as was the music!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CULTURE COLLISION

Culture Collision

By James Baratta

 

On Thursday, April 6th ASPIRA Club is hosting this year’s annual Culture Collision! The event will start at 6:00 and end at 8:30 in the Long Beach High School cafeteria. Admission is $4.00 and for anyone 10 or below, it’s free. Although ASPIRA club is hosting the event, African American Club and Asian Culture Club will also be involved.

At the event, there will be trays and trays of delicious food from an array of different cultures. There will also be music and a dance performed by the “aspirantes”, which are students who participate in ASPIRA. Be sure to come out for the festivities and fun change of pace!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Video Game Review: Battlefield 1

Play as a Soldier in the War to End All Wars!

By Anthony Dusold

 

Battlefield 1 takes place along the many different fronts of World War 1. From the muddy trenches of the western front, to the arid wastes of the Sinai Desert. On the battlefield the player will witness the war as the real soldiers saw it over 100 years ago! Tanks, airplanes, machine guns and toxic gas, the players abilities in battle will be strained.

 

Battlefield 1 Classes Breakdown:

 

Assault – Although it is the least popular class, its advantages on the battlefield are often overlooked. The assault uses anti-tank weaponry such as dynamite, anti-tank cannon and mines. Rushing is a favorable strategy employed by many players who use this class. A common method is to strap a gas mask on, hurl mustard gas at opponents and charge wielding a shotgun or submachine gun!

 

Medic – The medic uses a syringe to revive players before they can opt to respawn, supply wounded teammates with medic kits/crates and can also heal themselves. Then how can you heal someone while your enemy is shooting at you? After all, all soldiers need a weapon! The medics are equipped with an array of semi-automatic rifles (rifles that can reload bullets into the chamber without manual reload).

 

Support – This class mainly uses LMGs (light machine guns), ammo kits/crates and can repair vehicles. They can also give other forms of support via mortars and explosive crossbows. As far as I can say about this class, the “BAR 1918” is the best LMG (excluding any Downloadable Content or DLC’s). Trust me, you’ll fall in love with it!

 

Scout – Known as the overseer of the battlefield, the scout use both bolt action rifles and snipers. There are a few variants that the player can use. The infantry variant is mainly the rifle itself, lacking a scope which makes it better suited for short range combat. Meanwhile, the sniper and marksman variants are the rifles are outfitted with scopes. All the classes have different variants for every primary weapon, most of them having slight differences in their performances which include range, damage, etc.

 

Battlefield 1 is coming out with a brand new DLC called “They Shall Not Pass” where the French Army comes into play, with new weapons (specifically French issued), maps, game modes and behemoths! Behemoths are massive vehicles issued to the losing team or when they need it. They are extremely powerful and allow for the losing team to make a comeback!

 

Battlefield 1 came to have a liking of plenty Call of Duty and Battlefield players at the same time because of it’s originality and how Electronic Arts (EA) and DICE decided to take time in making their game unlike Activision and Infinity Ward who constantly pump out games to secure a constant inflow of profit. It’s important to note the massive distaste of Call of Duty Infinite Warfare by many Call of Duty players because it strayed from the “boots on the ground” style desired for the next Call of Duty. Historically, there haven’t been many games that take place in World War 1. It was a win-win for DICE and EA. However, as the game was coming out, they announced that the French Army was coming in a form of a DLC, which was ridiculous in many people’s eyes, considering the extensive effort the French in World War 1 just to defend their homeland. Personally, this is a valid argument for Battlefield gamers and for people that know their history. However, you never know if this move was intentional before the announcement. What if something went wrong, or maybe there wasn’t enough time to thoroughly develop this new side in the war to end all wars? Again, I agree with some fans and gamers that this was a poor move by DICE and EA. Of course, they plan to charge the DLC for $14.99, but if you purchased premium (which was around $50) you get all the DLCs for free when they are released! My advice would be to save up for premium because the end result will be that you spent more on buying DLCs individually than the person who bought premium and saved more money. If you have decided to buy the game or have the game already and want to know more about what happened in World War 1, talk to your history teachers!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nine Inch Nails – Not The Actual Events (EP): Album Review

Nine Inch Nails – Not The Actual Events (EP): Album Review

By Jaylyn Umana     

 

After a long three years, Nine Inch Nails made a return with their newest release; a new EP entitled Not The Actual Events. Lead singer and mastermind behind the group and its music, Trent Reznor, had been making the statement that the band would follow up their 2013 release Hesitation Marks with new material in 2016. I remember learning that the EP would be released the week before our winter/holiday recess and I was ecstatic. The year had produced so much great material from some of my favorite bands, but the end of 2016 saw my favorite record of the year come to light. Not The Actual Events is a subtle callback to the Nine Inch Nails of the 1990’s, but is also a very clear record of the present day. This is not in any way a bad thing, as this EP brought back the heavy industrial aspects to Nine Inch Nails (although Trent Reznor doesn’t particularly like that label), contrary to their previous release in 2013. Additionally, this release marks the announcement of Atticus Ross as a full-time member of NIN.

The EP features 5 tracks: “Branches/Bones”, “Dear World,”, “She’s Gone Away”, “The Idea of You”, and “Burning Bright (Field on Fire)”. This Nine Inch Nails extended play has a length of just seconds over 21 minutes, and trust me when I say that every second is worth it. Not The Actual Events being released on Trent’s own label reflects that this is exactly what he wanted to be released, and thus there were little to no hindrances in his expression on this record.

Allow me to entice you to listen to this release as I walk you through each song. The first track, “Branches/Bones” is very high energy and I feel that it prepares the listener for the rest of the tracks. During this song you are guaranteed to want to move any part of your body to the rhythm. At the very least, you will feel the music is compelling you to express yourself in some way shape or form. This song, however, is very short, as it clocks in at around a minute and forty-six seconds. The song is short and cuts off abruptly for a very important reason. “Dear World,”, the second track, is quit an easy going song for the most part in that it is both mind-numbing and mind-activating simultaneously in the best way possible. The track is ever-building on top of itself; layers building upon layers to create a visual in your mind purely from audio. You will know what I mean if you listen to it, because your mind will race so fast that it seems to slow down and chills are sure to run down your spine. “Dear World,” is approximately four minutes in length. The third track is entitled “She’s Gone Away”, and it is mellow through and through, despite the noise rock undertones. The song is a real thinker, in the sense that in order to unveil the entire song to your mind, you must focus on each of the various layers that you may hear while others don’t. Melodies and basslines become one in this song and it is a genius concept come to life through sound. The song last for approximately six minutes, and it is the longest track on the record. Up next is my personal favorite track on the record; “The Idea of You”. This track is very reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails’ 1992 EP, Broken. Dave Grohl is the featured drummer on the track and that is a plus to everything that this song is. All aspects of this song cannot be described by any word other than awesome. From the powerful bass/tone equilibrium of the guitar and bass guitar, the drumming that can only be described as the perfection for the song, to the gritty and distorted vocals; this song makes you feel like a person paying your mind a quick visit, as it is now foreign land to you now that you’ve allowed for the magnificence that is this song to flourish in there. “The Idea of You” lasts for about three and a half minutes, and you will want to hear every last bit of it. This leads me to the final track on the album; featuring Dave Navarro on guitar, the song is “Burning Bright (Field on Fire)”. The track itself is one symbiotic colony of sound in the form of a tidal wave. This is one tidal that you will want to get swept away in, however, because it works for all music listeners. There’s a very heavy wall of guitar chords and a calvary of feedback from the instruments. What may sound like pure fuzz in the background is just another layer to the song that you have just uncovered, amazingly to find a symphony of guitar solos, synthesizer notes {as NIN seems to be one of those groups who really have perfected its use}, and screaming vocals. “Burning Bright (Field on Fire)” is five minutes and forty-nine seconds in length.

To summarize, Not The Actual Events is a great release that I urge everyone to checkout on their streaming service or any online source for music, because this may easily become someone’s favorite record as a result of all the musical elements coming together to form it. I am not a musical connoisseur, I just listen to the good stuff.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stop Doing Your Homework

Stop Doing Your Homework

By,

Jack Palmer

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. ”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

According to Overflow Data, 90.1% of households in Nassau County have some sort of computer. Then why are LBHS students continuing to carry books back and forth to school? Why do I take dozens of sheets of homework home every week? Why do I have textbooks under my bed? Why are paper scantrons still a thing?!

 

According to “Tablets in Schools: Saving Money and Trees,” the average high school uses 74 trees a year, spends between $30,000 and $50,000 a year on paper and in total uses an average of 5,955,000 sheets per year. There aren’t even 74 trees in Long Beach.

 

Long Beach High School is making short strides towards using Chromebooks for class. Only 2 of my 9 classes are digital. Each computer costs over $250, yet most of my teachers haven’t embraced them.

 

Transferring paper based learning to computer based learning should be a top priority, and more teachers should try it. I receive overwhelming amounts of paper for one time use in my classes while a brand new Chromebook is sitting, useless, in the bottom of my bag.

 

Using Chromebooks are a great way to save the environment, make school more convenient for students and teachers alike, save the school thousands of dollars per year, and give the school a good image. The days of six page, single sided answer key packets should be over.

 

Don’t do your homework on paper! One sheet of paper saved is another step towards helping a damaged environment. It’ll save money for our school, and make life easier for teachers and students alike.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Her Story: A Writing Workshop

 

By James Baratta

 

The Her Story program mandated an unforgettable and beneficial experience to the writers who participated. The workshop itself is run by Barbara Levin at Hofstra University and Kelly Dass. It was founded by Erika Duncan. The participants are a mix of college and high school students. A select few of high school students (interns) are chosen for this program and it is considered an honor to even be recommended for it. The writers work together over a 10 week course to critique the writing of others and write personal memoirs.  

 

The program itself began to support women who had a history of domestic abuse where, in a safe environment they could write their story. It then branched out into a workshop program where members were urged to undertake the “dare to care” challenge. This challenge was used to promote awareness for other struggles present in other people’s lives in order to become more empathetic as a person. They were also encouraged to write their “one page moment” which outlined their struggle or struggles.

 

One student said “I felt like I had a voice and the opportunity to truly be myself. I was able to finally be honest with myself and share my problems, my joy, my sadness, my story with other people who actually wanted to listen”.

 

Something I noticed, after being a part of the program for a couple years, was that the critique given focuses on the development of the story rather than the implementation of correct grammar; for the most part the stories flowed. The writers came already with knowledge as to how to construct pieces of such a caliber. As a writer, I feel as if each piece flowed because of the genuine value of the writer’s emotions during its construction.

 

The stories shared impacted me in such a profound way. Every Tuesday, I had to prepare myself to face the wrath of reality and cross my mental doorstep. The program truly opened my eyes to the struggles different people undergo on a daily basis. I live now with a more clear understanding that somewhere, not so far away, there is someone facing the unspeakable.

 

However, when sharing these uncut versions of reality with each other a bond, similar to that lifelong friends share, was formed. It felt as if the other members had been there the whole time, supporting each individual when life became merciless. Another student mentions “we connected on many levels and comforted each other in our times of need”. I couldn’t agree more, this program has changed my life and directed my energies to improving myself. It has also urged me to be aware of other people and their stories.

 

I see the perception attained after being a part of this program as a gift. I now understand that everyone has something they face in life they wish wasn’t a part of it. It’s not just me and not you either, everyone goes through something at some point in their lives.

 

That is what I can share with you, but what I can’t share, are the cruel, genuine circumstances, certain individuals have faced. This unfairness is astonishing and persuasive in its desire to truly dare someone to care.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment