A Final Note From Your Editors

The school year is finally drawing to a close, with the Newspaper class in which we first established our “mission statement” for the year and arranged our first article assignments seeming like just yesterday. However, it is the completion and complete success of this year’s mission that has made this time an important moment to applaud both the hardworking participation of this year’s staff and the ongoing support and readership of the rest of the Village School community. The Villager’s writers have worked hard to meet weekly deadlines and put forth informative articles to address to the student body, whether it’s speaking of VS current events, introducing recent news like the Anniversary of Selma or the new presidential campaign, taking a satirical ride in our Shallot column, or learning more about one of our fellow students. Presenting not only the articles to the school but also providing interactive components for feedback has been one of the initial goals for the Villager, and we’re happy to say that along with our polls (from thoughts on the controversial pop culture dress to votes on the favorite VS trip), comment section, and our newly created cartoon caption contest, we have gone far and beyond in fulfilling many of our main principal objectives.

There will be a new wave of writers the coming year, which means new ideas, new reforms and improvements, but it is the success and development of this year’s that allow the Villager to better and evolve. So, with a final thank you to the Villager’s writers, our advisor Lauren who has worked alongside us to edit and finalize all the work, and of course to you, our readers, we hope to continue the work of the newspaper next year in informing and entertaining through journalism and strive toward bigger and better goals.

Your editors,
Jackie and Ben

What is Gender Identity?

imageOn June 9th, 2015 Vanity Fair magazine will release an issue with the cover featuring Caitlyn Jenner with the words “Call Me Caitlyn” heading the magazine. The cover, which is already released on the internet, along with her sit-down interview with Diane Sawyer, has garnered a lot of controversy and publicity over the revelation of who Caitlyn Jenner really is. While Caitlyn Jenner is famous for winning a gold medal in the 1976 Olympic decathlon, the new topic she addresses today is extremely relevant as gender identity finds its way into the national and international conversation. So, what exactly is gender identity?

Gender identity is the internal sense and feeling of one’s gender. Transgender people’s gender identity does not match that of their sex, assigned at birth. For some people, gender is not apparent. Instead they are classified as “Genderqueer” or “Genderfluid.” In other words, they do not identify themselves as men or women, but rather as somewhere in between, or neither at all.
Trans people should not be treated any differently than any other person. Here are some basic common sense guidelines to follow when talking to a transgender or genderqueer person:

  1. Always use a transgender person’s chosen name.
  2. If possible, ask the person of with which gender they identify and what name they would like to be called. (This is not rude, it’s respectful to address them however they want to be addressed.)
  3. Always use their chosen pronoun. (ex. He/She/They)
  4. When referring to a transgender person’s past life before their transition, use their current gender identity and name, never using their past gender or name.
  5. Transgender people should be treated as any other person and should not be talked down to or given privileges not given to other cis-gendered persons. (In other words, don’t think of them as “transgender” think of them as how they would like you to, a man or a woman or neither, whichever they prefer to identify as is what you should identify them as.)

Always be respectful of people, regardless of their genders. Everyone should be treated with the same respect as you’d like to be given; seriously, it’s dumb to treat someone as if they’re less than you, just because they feel more comfortable identifying with a different gender.

Why Does an EDM Movie- Featuring Zac Efron- Exist?

imageI don’t know! But it does.

For those who don’t know, EDM is an acronym for electronic dance music.

The movie is called “We Are Your Friends” and is an awfully corny title, in my opinion. It will be directed by Max Joseph and will premiere on August 28th, 2015.

Check out the trailer below:

Now, as an actual DJ myself, my hopes for this movie are that music producers and DJs are properly represented and it showcases actual problems and situations we face.

I also hope the film doesn’t inspire people to start DJing if they only part they like is the social aspect. That would be just wrong.

Allegedly, to better understand his role, Zac Efron spent real time with actual big name DJs before the filming of the movie, but hopefully his script allows him to keep it as realistic as possible.

As a side note, in the the film Efron says 128 (beats per minute) is the ‘magic number’, meaning he’s going to be playing different kinds of house and techno music which is not something I can relate to because I play at 75-80 beats per minute. That is a different market altogether.

Here is a good example of what he might play in the film:

And an example of what I play (produced by yours truly):

Hopefully, this film showcases DJing as it really is.


imagePont de Arts, also known as the ‘Bridge of Love’ in Paris has begun the process of removing nearly a million padlocks. Over the course of ten years, thousands of couples visiting from all over the world came to Paris and attached a lock to the metal railing of the bridge and threw the key into the river as a symbol of everlasting love.

These symbols of undying love have become a huge safety hazard as they add an extra 45 tons to the bridge. Phileas Le cléateur, a Parisian locksmith, and his wife started a passion project in early November to save as many “love locks” as possible from the bridge by using his vast collection of antique skeleton keys. Le cléateur has been using his keys to salvage as many padlocks as he can, in hopes of reuniting them with their original owners. He has rescued about 400 locks so far. He and his wife are now are beginning to post pictures of the locks that have been saved on Instagram and other social media sites to help reunite them with their rightful owner.


Wake Up, People! Have You Heard About the Chinese Cruise Ship Disaster?

Quick News Brief:

(150602) -- JIANLI, June 2, 2015 (Xinhua) -- Rescuers save a survivor from the overturned passenger ship in the Jianli section of the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei Province June 2, 2015. The ship, named Dongfangzhixing, or Eastern Star, sank at around 9:28 p.m. (1328 GMT) on Monday after being caught in a cyclone in the Jianli section of the Yangtze River. Carrying 405 passengers, five travel agency workers and 47 crew members, the ship was heading from Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, for southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. (Xinhua/Cheng Min) (lfj)

 JIANLI, June 2, 2015 (Xinhua) — Rescuers save a survivor from the overturned passenger ship in the Jianli section of the Yangtze River in central China’s Hubei Province June 2, 2015. The ship was carrying 405 passengers, five travel agency workers and 47 crew members.

This Monday, June 1st, a Chinese cruise broke apart and sank after colliding with a tornado during a storm. As it stands now, there are 14 survivors and 18 people confirmed dead, and hundreds other not yet found, but thought to have died as well.

Past records on the ship indicate that it was cited for safety violations two years ago and even though it had a safety raft boat, the raft couldn’t have supported against a storm with winds up to 80mph. With the storm of that size, there there was no hope for a lot of people, leaving many mourning the loss of their family members.

New Eyes, Blue Eyes

imageWish you had blue eyes? If so, they will soon be available at Strōma Medical. No incision needed and no, they’re not contacts. Strōma Medical is still in its research phase but they have discovered multiple advances in the eye surgery field.

We all have blue eyes, those with brown eyes just have a layer of pigment on top. What this procedure does is skim that layer off to reveal your genuine eye color. It’s done with a low- energy laser and takes approximately twenty seconds per eye.

How is this different from other procedures? Two current types of surgeries, BrightOcular and NewColorIris, are procedures that make an incision in the cornea and then insert a colored disc.

Strōma Medical’s procedure permanent and even a skilled ophthalmologist shouldn’t be able to tell the difference. But they say you might end up with a ring around your new eyes. But that isn’t too much of a negative side effect since it is actually considered a very attractive feature as it outlines the blue color, making eyes stand out even more. On the Strōma page, it links its viewers to the famous photograph of Sharbat Gula as an example of this look.

As of this moment, patient’s can’t choose their own eye colors because the procedure only reveals the natural color of the eye. After the procedure, gradually eyes will darken for a week before lightening to a blue color, which can range from blue gray, blue violet etc.

The company is based in California, so as long as you’re over 18 (other physicians may have stricter age limits) and you have plane fare, you access your “true” eye color.

Lost In Your Own Mind

Don’t front – I’m pretty sure that you’ve wondered about the way dreams work. How things can appear in dreams and then continue to appear as you see them in real life.
Sometimes you wake up because you thought you were falling. I’m pretty sure the reasoning behind this is that angels were trying to take you to heaven, but they were a little clumsy on the way up, and let you slip.

Now that you’ve successfully contemplated everything you’ve ever believed, I’ll go in depth with my research on dreaming.

Dreaming is evidence for the activeness of the conscience. Dreams can consist of thoughts flying through one’s head during the day: wants, wishes, and desires. However, the real science behind the active sub-conscience continues to be a mystery. It is believed to have a more spiritual aspect to it, but one can’t be too sure. Why would evolution ever decide that dreaming was beneficial to the survival of a species? How is it possible that people can envision situations before they happen? Confusion about the dream world is honestimagely one of life’s mysteries that no one seems too bothered about.

Medication has also been linked to the altering and warping of the sub-conscience.  Medication has a tendency to drastically strengthen this confusion and plunge dreamers into a muddled and insecure state of existence. These side effect are mostly recognized in treatment for mental illness. Regardless, dreaming does have a bad habit of confusing the dreamer between what is reality and what remains in the mind’s eye.

The most reasonable explanation in dream analysis is that dreams are the manifestation of thoughts. These thoughts may not have been actively realized, but they are present and recognized with a sense of nostalgia.

Beware the inception of the sleeping realm, or you might be lost in it.

Optical Illusions are Pretty Cool

If you look away before 20 seconds, you're inferior.

If you look away before 20 seconds, you’re inferior.

Have you ever seen an illusion and immediately gotten a headache? If so, then you’re a weakling.

Optical Illusions can use color, light, and patterns to create images that can be deceptive or misleading to our brains. The information gathered by the eye is processed by the brain, creating a perception that in reality, does not match the true image. Illusions have a long history, going as far back as the ancient Greeks.

In 350 BC, Aristotle wrote that “our senses can be trusted but they can be easily fooled”. He noticed that if you watch a waterfall and shift your gaze to static rocks, the rocks appear to move in the opposite direction of the flow of water, an effect we now call “motion aftereffect” or the waterfall illusion. Tracking the flow of the water seems to “wear out” certain neurons in the brain as they adapt to the motion. When you then shift your gaze to the rocks, other competing neurons overcompensate, causing the illusion of movement in the other direction.

In the 19th century, studying illusions had a real boom because of the increase in scientists studying perception. A school of these scientists created simple illusions that showed how the brain perceives patterns, shapes and colors. This allowed us to understand more greatly that our eyes can play tricks on us.

The Fight of the Century

As many of you probably know, one of the biggest boxing fights happened last Saturday, May 2nd.

imageThe competitors were Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr and Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao.

It was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and tickets cost between 3,500 and 25,000 dollars depending in the various seating arrangements in the arena.

Or an everyday boxing enthusiasts could stay at home and watch it on Pay-Per-View for 100 dollars.

It was a twelve round fight, and spectators say it was an average fight in terms of content.

Floyd Mayweather won the fight, upholding his unbeatable streak, and he walked away with 190 million dollars.

While Manny Pacquiao did not bring home the championship, he didn’t really lose because he left with 120 million dollars and without major harm.

He however did sustain a shoulder injury before the fight that did not get to a painful stage until after the fight.

The New Superintendent (according to Steve..)

I recently interviewed Steven Goldberg, principal of Great Neck Village School, about our district’s new superintendent, Dr. Teresa Prendergast.


Dr. Teresa Prendergast

My first question was about the history of superintendents. He mentioned sadness to see Tom Dolan leave, which all of you probably know. He’s soon-to-be former superintendent. From Steve’s knowledge, Dr. William A. Shine was superintendent for 24 years, followed by Dr. Ronald Friedman, and most recently, Dr. Tom Dolan.

And if you’re wondering why you should continue reading this article, it’s actually really important when a new superintendent is chosen because it actually is an extremely big deal. Steve used words like “educational leader” and “top-notch”. Not only that, Steve went on to say that the board of education has an exceptional skill set to be able to fill the positions of Great Neck educators. The superintendent is the go-to person for school principals and anyone in between. Aimagend Dr. Prendergast now has the power to make the majority, if not all, of the educational decisions. So, it’s a big deal.

There is no question about the qualifications of the superintendent because the job requires a bunch of degrees. Starting with an SDA, which stands for School District Administrative Degree, next is an SBA, (School Building Administrative degree), and with some other credits you’re qualified to be a superintendent. (If you didn’t know, Steve actually is qualified to be a superintendent too!), but he’s fully satisfied as principal.

After acquiring those degrees, it takes a while to climb to the top. You can jump from position to position very fast either, because you want word to get out that you’ve been good at each and every position. It takes a while. Steve said he’s never met a superintendent under 45.

Steve continued on to say that Dr. Prendergast was very kind, competent, and eager to teach, as well as learn. She is probably going to come to our Village School graduation as well.

Wrapping up the interview, he wanted to thank the board of education for having a talent for finding amazing people to keep Great Neck, well… Great.