The South Woods Scoop 2015-2016 Edition


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THE SOUTH WOODS SCOOP EXCLUSIVE PUBLICATION OF SOUTH WOODS MIDDLE SCHOOL Volume I A Review of the 2015-2016 School Year Washington D.C. World War II Memorial By Nick Mastandrea This past March, the 8th grade students of South Woods Middle School went on an field trip to Washington D.C., home of many memorials and monuments. For example, Washington D.C. is home to the Jefferson Monument, the Vietnam Memorial and the Korean Memorial. However, one of the monuments that stood out to me the most was the World War II Memorial because of how it was built by architect, Friedrich St. Florian. For starters, there are 56 pillars created with granite that border the memorial, which serves as a beautiful representation of the forty-eight states, seven territories, and the District of Columbia that were all owned at the time of World War II. Each of these pillars are in the order in which they joined the United States, and they are across from one another. For example, Delaware is the first state and Pennsylvania is the second state so the two pillars are adjacent from one another. This pattern is prominent throughout the entirety of the design. On the two opposite ends of the memorial lie four giant pillars holding up a structure similar to that of a rectangular prism. These two buildings represent the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Both of these illustrate how World War II was fought on two different oceans. Inside of these eyesome structures, angels hold up a reef. Another cool feature is the 4,048 stars that are made to represent the more than 400,000 American soldiers that died in that war. The wall that holds the stars is quite large and a water system pumps water out of the top creating a cascade effect that also looks magnificent. Finally, in the center of the memorial lies a gargantuan rainbow fountain that is breathtaking to see. On certain angles, the fountain can be seen with the titanic Washington Memorial situated behind it. In addition, there are many famous World War II quotes from President Frankin D. Roosevelt, Colonel Oveta Culp Hobby, and Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. In summary, the World War II Memorial is quite an incredible memorial to see in person. The main designer, Friedrich St. Florian, did an incredible job designing the memorial. In my opinion, this memorial is a must see if you plan to visit our nation’s capital.


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My Taj Mahal Experience By Ashley Ambookan How to Care for a Pet Hamster By Jordyn Apfel Just recently, I bough a Syrian Hamster because these are known to be the friendliest hamsters who are also great with kids and easy to tame. In general, they make great house pets because they are very low maintenance. When I first got my hamster, I was very excited to begin playing with it, but it really takes some time. I soon learned that patience is very important, and you should really let your hamster adjust to its new environment for a few days before beginning to pick it up and start playing with it. It takes time for hamsters to get used to human hands, and your hamster might be scared of your hands because they don’t know what they are. For the first few days that you have your new pet, you should just let it be and maybe pet their back. If they let you do this, it can already show signs of trust. Once you do this for a few days, you can go in a small area with it and let it walk around and climb on you. If they do this and you notice that they feel comfortable, you can continue. Remember to not be scared of your hamster because I learned that if you make any sudden movements, they get scared and move away from you and even jump in fear. When you are ready to pick up your hamster, make sure you are standing or sitting over something soft just in case it jumps out of your hands. You can practice gently cupping your hamster and letting them sit in your hands. Remember that hamsters are quick and there is a good chance it might squirm out of your hands. You should feed your hamster whenever you notice that there is no food left in their cage. Usually a few pellets, which are relatively big, will take your hamster a couple of days to finish. Hamsters also tend to like carrots, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, oranges, and apples. These fruits and vegetables are good for them. You should plan on cleaning your hamster’s cage about once a week. All you have to do is take out all of their dirty litter and refill it with clean litter. I would recommend wearing gloves for this so you do not get germs on your hands. Another essential part of owning a hamster is letting it have some playtime with you and as much exercise as possible. I would suggest playing with it about once a day if you can. Just let it run around in an enclosed area that is filled with some tubes or other play toys. If you follow these three steps for hamster care, you will be a perfect owner and your hamster will have a happy and healthy life. If you ever have the opportunity to travel to India, make sure you visit the Taj Mahal. Last summer I did have the opportunity to go to India, and while I was there I was excited to actually visit the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1632, and it took 22 years and 20,000 men to build. He created it in memory of his wife to show his love for her to the entire world. Mumtaz Jahan died after the birth of their 14th child. The structure is constructed of white marble and inlaid with semi precious stones. The Taj Mahal complex includes a red stone wall which surrounds it, a mosque, a guest house and many gardens. The Taj Mahal is an extraordinary symbol of Indian history and Mughal architecture. The monument was built on a riverbank and has stood for over 500 years. On the day I visited the Taj Mahal, as I first walked through the opened gate, my tour guide told me to close my eyes. I didn’t open them until we got to the balcony on the other side of the complex. When I opened my eyes and saw the amazing structure, it was breathtaking. There was a line of water fountains leading up to the Taj Mahal. When I reached the front, everyone was required to put booties on their shoes to protect the marble stone. As we walked onto the platform and got closer to the structure, I was able to touch it. When I was up close, I saw the many intricate designs of the various types and colors of the semiprecious stones. We also took a tour to see the Taj Mahal at night under the glow of a full moon. At night, under the light of the moon, the Taj Mahal glows in the dark. This is because the Indian marble that it is built from is translucent, and it changes color throughout the day and glows in the night. I am so lucky to have visited one of the wonders of the world, and I hope to return one day.


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Lunar Eclipse on September 27, 2015 By Azim Gangat If you were lucky to get outside on Sunday, September 27, 2015, you may have a seen a natural phenomenon: a lunar eclipse. The event took place over four hours, from roughly 8 p.m. to midnight. However, this eclipse was unlike other eclipses in the past due to several scientific reasons. During the eclipse, the moon was at its closest position to Earth in its Lunar Cycle and it was a full moon. This made the moon visible and appear extremely close to Earth in some areas. During a lunar eclipse, the moon blocks out the sunlight, which creates an almost “glowing” moon. Due to the moon’s close proximity to Earth, the moon appeared copper-red because of the sun’s rays being blocked by the moon. In fact, there will not be another eclipse like this until the year 2033! This lunar eclipse earned the nickname “blood moon” from some, as the moon was so visibly red. Astronomers watched from massive telescopes, taking incredible photographs of the event. People just interested in viewing the event went outside with their families and took many photographs to show friends. My family went outside around 8:30 that night and from our backyard we could see the moon so clearly because it appeared to be the largest object in the sky. In the past, people thought that weird and strange things would occur during lunar eclipses, but most people don’t believe in that any more. Regardless, it was really awesome to see! The National Holocaust Museum By Matt Kaboolian While on a 3 day trip to our Nation’s capital, I was privileged to tour the National Holocaust Museum. First, after we entered the museum, we were given an identity to increase the realism. I was Gad Beck who was born in Berlin in 1923. As soon as we got out identities, we were sent to the highest floor. As you traveled through each floor, you traveled through chronological order from Adolf Hitler’s coming to power and ending with the Holocaust. On the first floor from the roof, there were many different pre-Hitler German propaganda displayed where they claimed Jews were to blame for the Great Depression. They tried to claim that because of a stereotype that Jewish people owned banks. There was a stack of Western books and Communist ideas which were labeled Anti-Nazi. There was a cart from the Warsaw Ghetto along with a paving stone that filled the street. In a room all by itself was a display for Kristallnacht. There was even a wall with all the names of the shops that had been targeted. On display we also saw the scratched and partially burned doorway of a synagogue in Vienna. On the second floor from the top there was a walkway with the names of every village burned and wiped out by the Nazis. As you entered the room, there was a cattle car which lead Jews into Auschwitz. The cattle car would be packed full of people until there was no room and they couldn’t breathe. The next section was dedicated to Auschwitz, and you even walked under the entrance sign that read Arbeit Macht Frei…”Work will make you free.” As you passed under the sign, there was a gutted barracks which included a model of the gas chambers. This was a sickening sight since we know that they were disguised as showers. Just outside there was a stack of rocks from the


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stack of mines where the miners were brutally beaten and murdered by the SS guards. At the very end of that floor there were pictures of whole families who were wiped out by SS soldiers in Auschwitz alone. On the final floor, the final few months of the war were displayed. The Soviet Union was quickly approaching from the East and the U.S. was now approaching from the West. The Nazis burned nearly all of their records and lead survivors on death marches. There were stories of survival and love. On a piece of marble, there were the names of people who protected Jews in Europe during this devastating time period. Surprisingly, most were from Germany and Arlington National Cemetery By Ethan Wood During our trip to Washington D.C., we went to Arlington National Cemetery. A highlight of the excursion was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Our visit took place during one of the guard switches which occur every hour. The switching of the guard consists of a routine to check the gun for proper function and the current guard prepares the new guard for duty. The Netherlands. For example, the solider must wet his Finally, I learned that my identify for the day, gloves in order to assure he keeps hold of the Mr. Beck, had actually survived the Holocaust and rifle. When the ritual starts, the guard walks 21 emigrated to Palestine after the war and then back to paces across the tombs. When finished, he Berlin. I was deeply moved since my family, though not directly involved in the Holocaust, was involved in pauses for 21 seconds. The reason for 21 the Armenian Genocide during World War I. This fact seconds is because it serves to represent the 21 only strengthened my respect for this experience. gun salute which is the highest honor in the military. Did you know? The remains of the Vietnam Unknown Soldier were exhumed on May 14, 1998. Based on mitochondrial DNA testing, the Department of Defense scientists were able to identify the remains as those of Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie, who was shot down near An Loc, Vietnam, in 1972. It has been decided that the crypt that contained the final remains of the Vietnam Unknown will remain vacant.


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Must Read: J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series By Sara Rabinowitz If you’re as big a reader as I am and are always looking for great books to read, I have a suggestion! You must try the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling. Harry Potter is a well known series with a whole wide world of fans, yet some people haven’t yet begun their journey into the wizarding world. If you are one of those people, then please listen up! The Harry Potter series consists of 7 books that follow the story of a boy with a sad past and a dark future. Harry’s life consists of struggles with friends, enemies, death and an entire new world that he never even knew he was a part of. From the minute you pick up the first book, you will be enthralled in an amazing story with important lessons. All 7 books are so fantastic that you’ll truly find it almost impossible to pick your favorite! (Although I admit Book 5 is exceptionally good). Plus, the story doesn’t end once you finish the books. With movies, a website run by the author, new theories constantly popping up and even theme parks, the Harry Potter universe will never fade away. I guarantee that if you take my advice and indulge in these novels, you won’t regret it. You have a long summer ahead of you, and it’s the perfect time to enter the Harry Potter world! 8th Grade Trip to Washington D.C. By Jordyn Apfel Our 8th Grade trip to Washington D.C. was an amazing trip that I will never forget. Not only did I visit some really cool places that I had never seen before, but I got to stay in a hotel and sleep in a room with my friends. We were able to experience and see so many historic places such as Arlington National Cemetery, the Memorials for World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. It was really so amazing that these memorials listed all the names of people who died fighting in service for our country. Our visit to the Newseum was all really great because we were able to see many of the important U.S. events that were broadcast on the news. We even got to see a 4D movie which we all really enjoyed. Another interesting part of our trip was visiting the memorials for past U.S. Presidents. I really appreciated the Memorial for Franklin D. Roosevelt because it was such a pretty walkespecially as the sun was setting. My favorite site in D.C. was definitely the Holocaust Museum. It was so moving to see all of the people who were affected during this dark time period. We were able to see the actual clothes the Jewish people wore while in the concentrations camps. They were displayed in a glass box so that they would be preserved for future generations. I also read what people in the camps wrote down, and I couldn’t believe the horrors that they were forced to experience. One interesting fact that the tour guide explained to us was that the building itself looked old and prison like on purpose. Overall, our trip to Washington D.C. was an unforgettable trip that none of us will forget!


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Memorial Day At Calverton National Cemetery By Michael Gadinis Memorial Day is one of the most significant and solemn holidays celebrated by our nation. This single day is to remember the millions of brave American men and women who selflessly served in our national armed forces. Some of these courageous veterans are buried in Calverton National Cemetery in Suffolk County.  Did You Know? Long Island Facts Deep Hollow Ranch in Montauk is the site of the oldest cattle ranch in America, built in 1658, and birthplace of the American cowboy. The Lunar Module which landed men on the moon in 1969, was built on Long Island by the Grumman Corp. The only working water mill and windmill in the US are located in the Long Island community of Water Mill. Mastic was the home of William Floyd, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The first radio transmission, by wireless inventor Guglielmo Marconi, was in 1901 on Fire Island Avenue in Babylon. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field, as he embarked on the first non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. America's first supermarket, King Kullen, started on Long Island in 1930. Levittown, the first suburbia in the U.S., was built on Long Island in 1947. President Richard Nixon's deceased dog, Checkers, is buried at Long Island's Bide-a-Wee Pet Cemetery. Long Island is the largest island among the 48 contiguous states. Long Island is the most populated island in the United States and the 17th most populated island in the world.     Calverton National Cemetery is our nation’s largest burial site for members of our armed forces. The cemetery covers 1,045 acres of land and, currently, is one of the only national cemeteries with vacancies. As of now, the cemetery houses over 250,000 of our brave nation’s deceased veterans, as over 7,000 are buried each year. Once I arrived, I was astonished at what I saw: each one of the over 250,000 headstones were decorated with American flags. Immediately, I became curious as to who put all of these flags on the headstones. After speaking to the Calverton office, I found out that Boy Scout troops from across the state come to the cemetery on the Sunday before Memorial Day every year. They divide amongst each troop specific areas and somehow manage to place hundreds of thousands of flags in one day. This year they did it in 92 degree weather. In reality, this act of kindness is truly a small but great gesture in memorial of the many who died for our freedom.      


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South Woods Middle School 99 Pell Lane Syosset, NY 11791 (516) 364-5621 South Woods Scoop Writers Azim Gangat Ashley Ambookan Sara Rabinowitz Jordyn Apfel Matt Kaboolian Ethan Wood Michael Gadinis Ms. Burget Principal Ms. T. Berke, Ms. E. Burke Assistant Principals Mr. K. Oswald Administrative Assistant Ms. D. Gounaris Newspaper Club Advisor



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