The Storm December edition


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December Issue 2014 In This Issue…       Stress in SJS SJS Takes Condado World News Gift Guide Holiday Editorial Horoscopes Check out the new & improved… THE STORM 2.0 Holiday Edition We would like to thank the Digital Art Class and Genesis Vega for creating our updated logo and visuals for the paper! The Storm Staff: Editor Alessandra De Luca Layout Editors Alessandra De Luca Nicholas Yiu Journalists Claudia Arbona Sila Avilés José Luis Casas Sofía Cintrón-Schröeder Robilee Frederick Hagar Kaminer Olivia Katz Elias Lugo Anna Marrero Adriana Rodríguez Genesis Vega Photographer Sila Avilés Graphic Designer Genesis Vega


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December Issue 2014 SJS LIFE Art and Article By: Genesis Vega Is Stress Affecting Your Wellbeing? Stress /stress/ Noun 1. A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Synonyms: worry, anxiety, pressure, strain, hassle TIPS ON HOW TO BE LESS STRESSED: * Try doing a little of your homework every day instead of cramming everything the night before. * Keep track of your assignments with the school provided planner. *Study in a distraction-free environment (this includes putting your phone away.) *Reward yourself after an accomplishment for motivation. *Have short breaks between classes or assignments (don’t procrastinate). *Budget your time wisely. If you feel like work is overwhelming, there is always the library to use during snack, lunch, after 3P.M, and even free-blocks. *Check the school’s webpage daily and see what you can start doing ahead of time. *During more critical cases, seek help from the school psychologist. If you’re like any average student, you may have experienced stress from work overload. Child psychologist Brenda Bryant, PhD, professor of human development at University of California states, “You are not really truly alive without stress, being challenged makes you learn new things and keeps your brain functioning. In all the major theories of learning, there is stress. But if stress is really interfering with development, that is a problem”. Headaches, low energy, chest pains, rapid heartbeat, and insomnia are common side effects the body excels to due to amounts of stress. Is it necessary for school to employ pressure in order for the students to perform? Sometimes hell week seems endless and you question if you will really make it through the week, or even the semester, this is why with today’s school overload; time management and organization skills are crucial. Online survey of 1,018 US teens (13-17) and 1,950 adults (18+) by Harris Interactive for the American Physiological Associationm August 2013 Frank Pompa, USA TODAY 2


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December Issue 2014 SJS Life Q: How would you rate the amount of workload for your grade level this year? Extremely Stressful Stressful Minor Stress Not Stressful 46% 43% 9% 2% Stress Continued… By: Elias Lugo & José Luis Casas Are you stressed? Is that even a question? Due to the amount of work and rigorous academics José Luis and Elias Lugo ofBy: our school, itCasas is most likely that you’d be at least a bit overwhelmed. A few weeks ago, The Saint John's School newspaper team conducted a survey to find out the levels of stress that students were facing this year. The following statistics are concluded from an anonymous survey answered by 100 students in grades 7th-12th. Q: Do you feel the school expects too much out of its students? Yes Sometimes No 61% 35% 4% Q: After school, do you feel like you have enough time to do things that enjoy like sports or reading? Yes Sometimes No 7% 32% 61% Q: What do you think alleves stress? A: I think that if you take the time over the weekend to do some homework of the following week and do all the projects it will help to get rid of the stress. Though, many people don't do this because they are resting from all stress during the week, like it sometimes happens to me. A: More equally distributed work and not clumped towards the end of the quarter… Q: What stresses you out the most? A: I feel that many teachers act as if their class is the only one we take. I also think that the teachers push our limits on how much work we can do before we have a panic attack. I don't mean to be rude and I know that the teachers have to teach us a certain amount of information by the end of the year, but I think that they should organize themselves. Some teachers overwhelm us with homework the whole year, and others don't teach us anything for during the entire year and at the end, bombard us with everything. A: Having a lot of work and not having enough time to do the work. Many people play sports or have after school activities and sometimes miss practices or games because they have too much to study. Stay tuned for our next issue to find out just how stressed SJS teachers are. Q: How much time do you think you should spend doing homework? 1 Hour 3 Hours 5 Hours An entire afternoon 32% 50% 8% 9% Q: Do you feel that teachers give too much work and that it isn’t distributed equally? Yes Sometimes No Spanish English Math Social Studies Science Electives AP Courses 65% 32% 3% 9% 11% 24% 29% 7% 0% 20% 3 Q: What class stresses you out the most?


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December Issue 2014 SJS LIFE By: Olivia Katz SJS Takes Condado We asked a few of the most popular restaurants in the area for the most ordered items on the menu by SJS students and here is what they told us: The Surfer and any of the smoothies Attending school in the heart of Condado has its challenges, while also having its benefits. We might not have a campus, but we definitely have access to restaurants in walking distance of school. As soon as that bell rings at 3:00 p.m. students rush out of school to hang out at the local restaurants. As you walk down Ashford Avenue, you can be sure to find at least three people you know either at restaurants or simply walking around. Within a mile radius there are tons of restaurants to choose from. We are very fortunate to be able to simply cross the street to satisfy a craving. It’s inevitable not to go for a cup of Starbucks or fight off a Pinky’s craving in between study break, lunchtime or after school. Deep Dish, Sundae, Pizza, and Chicken Thumbs The Green Energy Smoothie and the Nutella Acai bowl The Caramel and Chocolate Chocolate Chip Frappuccino 4


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December Issue 2014 SJS LIFE What you need to know about ISIS By: Robi Frederick    o Digital Art By: Hannah McCarly ISIS stands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ISIS used to be called Al Qaeda Goal: Al Qaeda and ISIS wanted to find a Sunni Islamic State; ISIS fighters are Sunnis There are two different types of Islamic religions in Iraq: Sunnis and Shias o Sunnis believe that the leader of Islam should be picked by election.  70% of Muslim population in Iraq is Sunni o Shias believe Islam should only be run by the descendants of Muhammad  30% of Muslim population in Iraq is Shia  Saddam Hussein, president of Iraq from 1979-2003, was a Sunni o During his presidency he spread the notion of Sunnis being the superior and the majority in Iraq (which is false). This led the Sunni population to believe they deserved to have a larger share of the political power in Iraq  Fuad Masum, current president of Iraq, has the Shia Muslims control of the government, and ISIS feels they need have more representation in government’s power  ISIS has a base in Syria, which is why the US is bombing Syria o ISIS is able to keep a lot of weapons in Syria o Syria is a safe zone       ISIS is funded by oil in Syria ISIS has gained territory in Iraq The Iraqi army is very weak and highly disorganized Iran and the United States have been helping Iraq’s army in fighting ISIS The US has set out a campaign to “destroy ISIS” with the help of Iran 5


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December Issue 2014 What you need to know about Ebola By: Claudia Arbona Health workers transport the body of a person suspected to have died of Ebola in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, on Tuesday, October 21. Health officials say the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the deadliest ever. More than 4,500 people have died there, according to the World Health Organization. Photo & caption source: According to and The Mayo Clinic  You can’t get Ebola through the air, water, or food grown or bought in the US  To protect yourself against Ebola (if traveling to an area affected by it): o Wash hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer often. o Avoid contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is sick, and with the bodies of people who have died from Ebola. Seek medical care if you develop a fever of 100.4 °F or higher and headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.  During outbreaks of Ebola, the disease can spread quickly within healthcare settings (like clinics or hospitals). Exposure to the virus can occur where hospital staff is not wearing appropriate protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, and gloves and eye protection.  The risk of Ebola affecting multiple people in the US is very low, as is the risk to pets like cats and dogs. o o Avoid hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated. 6


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December Issue 2014 World News  As of today, there is no licensed Ebola vaccine, but there are 2 potential candidates undergoing evaluation. There is also no proven treatment. Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are the countries most affected by the virus The virus’s incubation period lasts from 2 to 21 days. Humans are infectious once they develop symptoms. People remain infectious as long as their blood and body fluids contain the virus. Abstinence is recommended for at least 3 months. o First symptoms include: fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat. o The symptoms that follow are vomiting, diarrhea, rash, sometimes internal and external bleeding, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and low white blood cell and platelet counts with elevated lover enzymes.   Garteh Korkoryah, center, is comforted during a memorial service for her son, Thomas Eric Duncan, on Saturday, October 18, in Salisbury, North Carolina. Duncan, a 42-year-old Liberian citizen, died October 8 in a Dallas hospital. He was in the country to visit his son and his son's mother. Photo & caption source:  Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly called Ebola  The virus began in remote Central African villages near  The current West Africa outbreak began in March 2014 hemorrhagic fever, is severe, acute, and often fatal. tropical rainforests. and is the largest outbreak yet, with 12,718 reported cases and 4,922 deaths worldwide since December 2013, as of October 24. On 23 September, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a revised and more accurate case fatality rate of 70.8%. It was declared a global health crisis last August.  It is transmitted from wild animals to people, and then spread through human-to-human transmission. It was introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found sick or dead or in the rainforest. o Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact, through broken skin or mucous membranes, with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.  The average fatality rate is 50%, and rates for recent outbreaks have varied from 25% to 90%.   The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has issued a Warning, Level 3 travel notice for U.S. citizens to avoid travelling to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone unless it is essential. CDC has also issued an Alert, Level 2 travel notice for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. WHO has officially declared the end of the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria, and is now free of the virus’ transmission. 7


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December Issue 2014 SJS LIFE Model UN: La Conferencia Internacional de Las Américas By: Sila Avilés fectio Saint John’s School Model UN was invited for the first time to attend “La Conferencia Internacional de Las Américas (CILA)”. The conference took place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, in Dominican Republic from Wednesday, October 29 to Sunday, November 2. CILA is an event where over 1,500 students from around the world gather to work together, discussing world issues. In the conference students simulate 18 commissions of the United Nations and attend seminars, conferences, workshops, exhibitions. There were also different activities like the Cultural Encounter and the Global concert; were the students showed their musical abilities, and demonstrated their cultural dances. Our school chose 9 students to represent Saint John’s in CILA. Those students were: Gabriela Morgan, Claudia Corral, Erica Fusté, Laura Fernandez, Amanda Perdomo, Patrick Jurkiewicz, Jan Marco de Jesús, Ramón Perícas and Gustavo Avilés. Ms. Olga Alfonso participated as club moderator. Two of our students, Amanda Perdomo (9th) and Patrick Jurkiewicz (11th), won Honorable Mention in their commission “Department of Economics and Social Affairs”. This conference was a great experience for all of them. This event served as an opportunity for students to interact with people from different places around the world. There were 18 others nationalities present; Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Haiti, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Palestine, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, United Nation, United States, and Venezuela. Students had free time to interact with others. They would go eat in different restaurants around the hotel, go to the beach, or just hang around the lobby with other students from the event. On the last night there was a party for all the CILA students; they had a DJ and everyone was singing, dancing, and saying their goodbyes. This conference was an overall great experience for all of them. 8


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December Issue 2014 SJS LIFE New Students By: Adriana Rodríguez Continuing the search for getting to know our new students, we caught up with some more of them. This time we buzzed for more fun and random facts about each individual. Jake Grossman 10thgrade Q: Tell us some information about yourself. A: I’m Jake Grossman from New York born and raised all my life until now. Q: Why did your family transfer from Long Island to Puerto Rico? A: My dad is a lawyer and a large part of his business moved here. Q: How was Long Island like? What do you miss most about it? A: It was different, a little bit more stressed and less relaxed. I miss the people the most. Q: What were you looking forward to in Puerto Rico? A: A new school, new experience, and a different culture are always fun to look forward to. The one on the right Jesús Álvarez 9th grade Full name: Jesús Ignacio de la Caridad Álvarez Alfonso Favorite color: White Favorite saying: “La vida es dura” Favorite sport/ Favorite team: Sailing / Oracle Team USA Q: Where do you want to go that you have not been? A: I’ve visited a lot of places, but the place I would most like to go is Greece. Camille Vidal 8th grade Age/Birthday: 13 /January 30, 2001 Q: Where do you come from and what school? A: I am from here and I was in Saint John’s from pk-2nd grade, then I moved to Florida from 3rd4th grade. In 5th grade, I came back to Saint John’s for two months and the rest of 5th and 6th I was in Palmas Academy. Then I went back to Florida in 7th and now I’m back in 8th grade here in Saint John’s. Q: What are your hobbies? A: Going to the beach. Q: What is your favorite sport? A: Volleyball Q: What is you hidden talent? A: Uvula noises Q: What are some of your Q: What school did you used hobbies? to go to? How is it different A: I play tennis and I don’t do anything else. from SJS? A: I moved from San Ignacio which is very different form SJS, but I like it. SJS is a very welcoming place filled with great people. Q: What’s your feedback from the school? A: It is a private school; it is much smaller and tight. Everyone speaks Spanish and says “pero” in every sentence. 9


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December Issue 2014 SJS LIFE Get to Know: New Teachers By: José Luis Casas Mrs. Mendelsohn Ms. Rivera Q: Why did you decide to come to Saint John’s to teach? A: I wanted to work in a place where the teachers were treated as professionals; where they are regarded as an important component of the organization. I came here because I want to grow as a teacher and as a professional. Another thing was that I wanted to work with students who were driven to learn. Q: How is this job different from your previous one? How has the transition been? A: I have taught in other schools before coming to Saint John’s. Here its much more intense, it’s like a completely different world. The students are very demanding in a good way. It’s been really good coming to Saint John’s. Q: What do you like most about teaching in SJS? Wh at’s the most difficult part? A: I really like that my colleagues here are always excited about what they teach. The most difficult part is dealing with completely different personalities in the same classroom. Q: What’s one accomplishment you’re most proud of? A: It would be when I passed the test to become a licensed attorney. It was a really tough exam and I was so proud when I passed it. Q: Random Fact? A: I like to joke a lot, especially with my students. Actually when I walk around the school people see me as a very serious and shy person, but really I’m not. Q: What do you do on your free time; do you have any family here in Puerto Rico? A: I play the piano. I love film; that’s what I studied for my bachelor’s degree. Most of my family lives here in Puerto Rico; other than my sister that lives in Spain. I did live abroad for some time. I did my masters in History in England, and for a time I lived in Chile during law school. Q: Why did you decide to come to Saint John’s to teach? A: I wanted to learn how to change my college teaching skills into prep-high school teaching skills. Q: How is this job different from the your previous one? How has the transition been for you so far? A: The collegiality of faculty and staff is the same, so it’s a nurturing place for me. The students here are capable and curious; it’s fun to teach here. Q: What do you like most about teaching here; what’s the most difficult part for you? A: The most difficult part for me is returning graded work; that’s honesty for you. What I like the most is helping students connect with a pretty exotic and international subject. Q: Tell me about yourself; describe yourself in one way. A: I’ve learned to accept being introverted as a way to be happy; being alone, learning and creating. But you know, I do like other people. Q: What is one accomplishment you’re most proud of? A: Writing and publishing a history of environmental law in the United States. Q: Random Fact? A: I actually taught in the University of Virginia and the University of Maryland between 20112013. Also, when I was young I made retainers out of wire and plastic. Q: What do you do on your free time; do you have any family here in Puerto Rico? A: I like to cook crepes, play basketball, swim, Q: Tell me about yourself; describe yourself in one way. and explore Puerto Rico. I do have family here A: I’m a person with many different interests, so I wouldn’t really in Puerto Rico, I’m married and I have two categorize myself in one way. I love history; but I’m also really interested children: a son in 8th grade and a daughter in in environmental law. I am an easygoing person. elementary school here at Saint John’s. 10


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December Issue 2014 SJS LIFE Get to Know: Ms. Erickson By: Robi Frederick Ms. Erickson’s famous hot rod bike Q: How long have you been teaching for? A: This is my fifth year at St. Johns and I’ve been teaching for eleven years. Q: How would you compare St. Johns to the previous schools you taught at? A: Well, I used to work in the public school system in New York and my students just had different kinds of needs. They were fighting constantly outside of school, so when they would come to school they would also fight. And so for us teachers it was about calming them and transitioning from physical fighting or even verbal fighting to fighting for their education. Here, it is more about channeling talents that you all have so that you see a bigger picture then St. Johns. I feel like St. Johns students are much more worldly, but the same they live in their own little bubble, and so its more about using education to learn about the world so they can become citizen of the world. Q: What did you do before you became a teacher? A: I’ve worked with a veterinarian, in the hotel business for a long time, and in pediatric asthma prevention in the emergency room at a children hospital in Washington D.C. I was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay (where I learned Spanish). Q: Out of all places, why Puerto Rico? A: Warmth and that I am a block away from the beach. But mostly the main reason why I moved here is because I live bilingually. I have the perfect bilingual life. I work in my native language and have my social life in Spanish. Q: What is something we don’t know about you? A: My favorite color is not red. It’s Elmo!! And Robi? Her rooftop Herb garden 11


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October Issue 2014 Digital Art By: Silvia de Jesus Player Spotlight: Eva Torruella By: Elias Lugo Fellow senior and volleyball star, Eva Torruella will be attending Florida State University this upcoming fall on a beach volleyball scholarship. Eva received numerous scholarship offers from many great universities, but she felt that FSU was the perfect fit for her. Eva is looking forward to this upcoming challenge and hopes to keep living her dream. Q: What motivated you to begin playing volleyball? A: Living in front of the beach was the key factor to start playing volleyball as I started playing beach before indoor. Q: Why did you choose playing beach volleyball instead of indoor volleyball? A: Beach volleyball requires different all around player skills. You are involved in every play since there are only two players, you and your partner. This means you have more responsibility in your actions to cover the court and win the point. Q: Why did you choose FSU? Was it your dream college? A: When FSU had first offered me a full scholarship, I was in spring break in sophomore year. It was my top choice as I was contemplating to play both, indoor and beach. Before committing to FSU, I had already received offers for indoor from universities like Rice University, Northeastern University, University San Diego, among others. On the other hand, I was just about to accept an offer from USC to play beach volleyball only and that’s when the FSU coach asked me to visit the university before accepting the offer. When I visited FSU it felt like the right place for me. Of all of the campuses that I had visited in the past, that one blew me away. Q: Are you nervous for the high level competition you’re going to be competing in? A: I’m actually very excited for the high level of competition. I’m ready for the challenge. Another aspect that’s going to help me make this transition easier is the fact that I am redshirted. That means that the first year I get to college I am not allowed to compete, even though I practice with the team. The next four years I am allowed to compete. Even though its going to be hard not being able to play and travel with my team the first year, I am going to be more prepared after and it gives me a chance to leave Florida State with a masters. Q: What are you doing in order to prepare yourself? A: To prepare myself I have to be in the best shape as possible. Presently, I am working out with a Texas based company that trains high performance athletes. Also, I am practicing with the help of Puerto Rico's men's champion, Roberto Rodriguez, and Guatemala's women's beach volleyball national team player, Lula Ramirez. Q: Do you want to go pro after your collegial career if not what do you plan on doing? A: I would love to go pro after my collegial experience. Even though its too early to decide, I could either go abroad in indoor, living in places in Europe, or joining the pro tour in beach, touring throughout the whole world. My ultimate goal would be to go play at the Olympics. 12


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December Issue 2014 Player Spotlight: Miranda Rivera Miranda Sailing the High Seas By: Robi Frederick Q: What do you enjoy most about sailing? A:I think what I love the most is that unlike other people where they practice afterschool on a court or a field, I get to go to the beach and do the thing I love in the water. I’ve always enjoyed being in the water. I’m so lucky because its something that not a lot of people can do. Q: Do you plan on representing Puerto Rico in other competitions in the future? A: I’m supposed to participate in a qualifier for the Pan-American games. However, I’m still deciding because I’m going to the states to study so it’ll be hard to train at the level that I’m training now. Q: What was it like competing in the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games? A: It was really an honor to have Puerto Rico on my shirt and represent my home. Q: How long have you been sailing for? A: I started when I was ten years old and began training rigorously when I was thirteen. Q: What was your favorite part during the competition? A: My favorite part was being surrounded by all different types of athletes and being a part of the Puerto Rican delegation. I was lucky enough to be in a special environment, being one of the most important athletes because you feel so privileged to be around people doing the same thing as you are. A lot of people look up to us such as young athletes that are just beginning and have a dream. “Thank you for the school support and all the people that supported me, it meant more than you know.” 13


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December Issue 2014 First is the Worst, Second is the Best By: Robi Frederick & Elias Lugo On October 30, the varsity girls’ volleyball team On November 5, the Saint John's boys’ varsity participated in the PRHSAA finals for the 3rd consecutive soccer team took part in the PRHSAA soccer finals for the time. This year, the hurricanes had a huge win against first time in 14 years. After defeating Robinson in the one of the toughest teams in the league, Baldwin, to play quarterfinals and Baldwin in the semis, Saint John’s in the finals against Bonneville. The Hurricanes had advanced to the final against Tasis. The varsity boys had already defeated Bonneville in a tight three game match already faced Tasis earlier on in the season and the game during the league. The first game was a neck-to-neck resulted in a draw; the finals game was hyped to be the loss of 22-25, but Saint Johns kept fighting. In the same neck-to-neck game from earlier on in the season. second set the Hurricanes brought up their energy and The game was very physical from the start, after a couple fought for the score to be 19-18. However, luck was not of missed opportunities by both teams, Tasis was finally on the Hurricanes side this time, for Saint John’s a able to capitalize on two consecutive chances, and after the end of the first half, Tasis was on top with a 2-0 lead. devastating 23-25. As the second half began, Saint John's came out attacking looking to tie up the score, but after a couple of another The Storm asked 10th grader Julian Ocasio about his missed opportunities, Tasis was able to score once again. thoughts on the game. Down 3-0 the Hurricanes kept attacking and finally 11th grader, Stephan Riquelme was able to put Saint John's on the scoreboard with a goal, but unfortunately this “I have to admit, it was a dreadful defeat. Our opponent wasn't enough to overcome the Tasis attack. After a caught us off guard and made the best of that opportunity to last minute goal by Brandon Morgan, the game was beat us. After the game, I felt resentful because I knew what we over, and the Tasis team had triumphed over the were made of and that we could've done so much more, but I Hurricanes 6-2. was grateful to be part of such an amazing team and having an amazing season. Nevertheless, I believe that failures like these are necessary for us to recognize our flaws and be wary of the capability of our opponents. We will take this defeat and make the most of it to become an even better team than we were before. This might have been the first time Saint John's reaches the varsity soccer final in fourteen years, but I assure you it isn't the last and they will see a lot more from us in the years to come.” - Julian Ocasio 10th grade 14


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December Issue 2014 Arts and Leisure Nothing is better than the holidays! These next few months are filled with celebration, happiness, memories, food, friends, and family. It has become a ritual to give gifts to the special people in our lives. Presents are a way for someone to show their gratitude and appreciation towards another person. They don't need to be expensive or fancy; the best gifts are small and meaningful. If you look at the right stores then you don’t need to worry about spending too much money. Some great stores which have deals throughout the holidays are: By: Olivia Katz 15



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