Feel the Bern

Bernie Sanders has promised his supporters tons of free things, which our country should be excited for. This man has promised us the world: free college, free money, free everything! At first, I didn’t think he even knew what the word “free” meant. I thought the man was a complete fool until I heard an interview FOX News conducted, in hopes to stump him regarding where he’d get all the money for the “free life” he plans to give Americans, should he become President. But, when he was asked about his economic policies, he responded with unbelievably incredible answers.

The Future $100 BillAs it turns out, Bernie Sanders is an economic genius! He has revolutionary ideas about ways to fund his plans. His first response was amazing. “Well, the first way that we can get money is obvious, we can just print hundreds of times more dollars than we do now. This has caused inflation in other countries in the past, but we have a foolproof way of preventing an economic meltdown.” I was surprised. Then, his next idea was the most intelligent thing I’d heard from any of the 2016 presidential candidates, the most outstanding improvement to our economy ever proposed, “The foolproof way to do this is to use less paper. If we use less paper, we’ll still be printing the same amount of paper, just more money. We can use thinner paper, smaller bills, who wants to have those big, hard-to-fit bills in their wallet anyway?” Revolutionary. Feel the Bern.

It is clear that a revolution is looming on the horizon. Bernie Sanders is the modern George Washingtonson. His genius is unrivaled, his economic and social ideas unparalleled. Unemployment will no longer be a bad thing, because jobs won’t be necessary to make money and live healthily. Motivation will no longer be required. The poor will no longer be poor. The rich will no longer have salaries thousands of times higher than that of the middle class. Bernie Sanders will turn America into the most amazing and prosperous place in the universe. There will be no more war, no more suffering. Poverty will be eliminated along with homelessness.

FEEL. THE. BERN.

Trump and Sanders Take New Hampshire

The winners of the New Hampshire primary.

The winners of the New Hampshire primary.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders won in a landslide during the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, with each garnering a 20 point lead in their respective party, causing speculation that voters are fed up with regular politicians. Both men were projected to win by the statistical forecasting website “538”, which gave Trump a 68% chance of winning, versus Bernie’s 99%. Voters came out in record numbers, and some of the results were surprising. In the Republican primary, John Kasich surprised everyone by coming in second place and receiving roughly 15% of the vote; he was followed closely by Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush who both received approximately 11% of the vote.

After votes have been tabulated, they are then converted– using each state’s respective idiosyncratic system– into pledged delegates, which are then combined with un-pledged delegates, typically prominent politicians who are not bound to vote for any particular candidate, in order to identify the candidate who yields a majority of the delegation. If no such majority exists, then a brokered convention occurs, during which a frontrunner is chosen based on political bartering. Brokered conventions are atypical, since in recent years a clear frontrunner has emerged with enough traction to avoid such a situation.

This delegate system endows New Hampshire’s primary rules with special significance. New Hampshire awards delegates proportionally, as one might intuitively expect, but only if they exceed a certain threshold– at least 10% in this case. Candidates who don’t exceed the threshold have their share of the delegation stripped from them and given to the front runner. Republicans compete for a New Hampshire delegation consisting of 23 pledged delegates in total, versus the 24 reserved for the Democrats.

Putting aside the technical aspects of the primary convention, the results of New Hampshire are (roughly) as follows: Sanders gets 15 pledged delegates, Trump gets 10, Clinton gets 9, Kasich gets 4, Cruz, Rubio, and Bush get 3, and everyone else gets a pat on the back.

In total the pledged delegate breakdown (combining the results of Iowa and New Hampshire) looks like this: Sanders 36, Clinton 32, Trump 17, Cruz 11, Rubio 10, Kasich 5, Bush 4, and Carson 3. Republicans need 1,237 delegates to win their nomination, and Democrats need 2,382.

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.

#LoveWithoutLocks

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.

 

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.

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.

image

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.

Celebrating a 200 Year Anniversary

THE HISTORY OF GREAT NECK SCHOOL DISTRICT

The Great Neck School District 7 was created in 1814 which was about 200 years ago. This means we have an old district; two years after New York was started to have a statewide public school system. In this time period, it was common practice for schools to be open for 6 days instead of 5 for the whole year, so the students could divide their school year into quarters. This way they could drop out for a few months during crop season to help their family or friends.

Fairview Aveunue school, used from 1840- 1869.

Fairview Aveunue school, used from 1840- 1869.

Arrandale, which was originally Fairview Avenue School, was pretty interesting. Since paper was scarce, students had to bring in their own slate and sponge for their work, sitting in double-row desks and seats. The things that they learned consisted of reading, writing and arithmetic. The recreational time that the kids had were separated between girls and boys with a fence in between their spaces. Also, if they got thirsty some student had to get a bucket and go to the well.

In January 1895, the district became a Union free school district. Moses R. Schenck, who was the first chairman, served a few years before being succeeded by John C. Baker. His wife, Elizabeth M. Baker, was an ex-schoolteacher who joined after her husband resigned and later became board president. On October 7, 1895, the first high school in this district was created! The district bought a $29 microscope and models of the human eye, ear and heart to offer its first science class just to qualify for Regents certification.

In 1900, the district spent $24,000 to make a new 3-story building in Arrandale from grades 1-12. It was a nice school but sadly burnt down in the 1920’s. Great Neck’s population began to rise due to the opening from the Queensboro Bridge and the building of the Long Island Railroad.

In 1914, the district built a gymnasium which was one of the the nicest gyms in the country. The school didn’t have a gym teacher but the students still made a football team and played their home games on a cow pasture.

The Kensington school was built in 1921 and during this time period, many actors, artists and writers lived in the community.  This included F. Scott Fitzgerald, George M. Cohan, Ed Wynn, Groucho Marx and Eddie Cantor.

Lakeville

Lakeville

Great Neck North was made with a $1,500,000 bond issue and opened in 1929. The structure was created so nicely that it caught newspapers’ eyes. The same time, Lakeville school opened in District 8 (Lakeville). Lakeville and district 7 (Great Neck common school) combined to make the district we have today.

May 12, 1938, was the most debatable day in history of Great Neck. About 800-1200 students left their classrooms to go to the auditorium to hear student leader speech’s about the administrators decisions to get rid of teachers that had been working there for many years. The reporters were there. Two hours later the principal tried telling everyone to go to class but it drew an even bigger crowd of about 1,500 people and parents. The Board of Education wanted to fire the four teachers, the principal and the dean met, so they met 11 times in two weeks and made parent teacher investigation committees. Later that fall, the New York State Tenure took effect and created the Great Neck Teacher Association.

After World War 2, John L. Miller had to deal with four times the amount of students than in the preceding 20 years, and still only had four schools. New schools were built within the next ten years.

CELEBRATING THE DISTRICT

banner200With the 200 year celebration just over a week ago, schools in the district are holding special events. Our principal, Steve, told me that here, at Village, we are having a bbq with trivia and some traditional food that was eaten 200 years ago.  Hopefully, people will enjoy it! North High made an episode on the Guide Post. South Middle School’s TV production crew created a film on the history of the Great Neck Schools. Steve also mentioned how this past Sunday, all the high schools: North, South, and Village, chose an alumnus that represents the population; they made speeches and introduced themselves to everyone.

IN STEVE’S WORDS…

What makes Great Neck so great to celebrate?

“I’ve been working in this district for 20 years, and with everyone I have ever spoken to in 20 years, that worked anywhere else, it’s just not the same. Great Neck education can open doors to kids. This is a district that is, I think, ranked third in the country, but in my opinion, best in the country because of its attitude and the way that it thinks. So what we’re dealing with here is, kids go to good colleges, everything from Ivy League to community colleges and everything in between, and there are programs and schools like Village School, SEAL or the ACE program at North or [The] Peak [Experience Program] at South. Every kid that exists in this town, has a place to go to, where they can feel like the place was just about created for them which gives them confidence, [and] sets them on the right path after high school. And the reason that all these programs exist is not because of any political reasons, but because Great Neck cares for their kids, and it really does. It’s an educated community, it’s wonderful educators who want to be in this community, and all of this to me, makes the school district worth celebrating.”

The Soviet Sniper

The beautiful and deadly, Roza Shanina.

The beautiful and deadly, Roza Shanina.

There are a lot of people that you may know who were around in 1941 such as Joe DiMaggio, Frank Sinatra, and Walt Disney.  But here is someone you might not know.
Her name was Roza Shanina and she was a college- educated kindergarten teacher during World War II. In 1941, her first brother was killed on the front line, so Roza decided to enlist. Initially, she was turned away because of how hot it was in the front.

But after loosing two more siblings in 1942, she finally succeeded in joining the Soviet Army as a female sniper. Roza made it through Central Female Sniper Academy with no problem.The Soviet military believed that women made good snipers because of their greater flexibility, patience, and ability to endure combat hardships better than their male counterparts.

In April 1944,  Roza killed her first Nazi soldier and within a month she killed about 17 more. One brisk day, when Roza was under heavy artillery fire and her commanders told her to withdrawal but she ignored the orders and continued to support the advancing infantry. Roza was a fighter and that’s where she felt at home. She excelled at shooting doublets, which means hitting two targets in rapid succession. Her bravery earned her military commendations and wide renown among her countrymen.

Before she died, Roza had killed 59 people in a 8 month span when stacked up with other great snipers, she had the most kills in the least amount of time. In comparison, Carlos Hathcock who was a American fighting in the Vietnam war killed 96 people in a 2 year period and Chris Kyle who fought in Fallujah and Ramadi, killed 255 people in 10 years.

Rosa’s short tour of duty finally came to an end On January 27, 1945 when she was severely injured while shielding a wounded artillery officer. She was found by two soldiers disemboweled, with her chest torn open by a shell fragment.

And that is the story of the young, beautiful and extremely deadly Roza Shanina.

#RelieftoNepal

imageA 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal near the capital of Kathmandu. More than 4,000 people were killed and 2,000 remain to be in serious conditions. Thousands of people are shaken from the event, forced to sleep in the open due to the fact that their homes have been destroyed. Others are afraid to stay in buildings that may be vulnerable to aftershocks. Aid groups have not been able to reach remote areas near the quake’s epicenter, which could in fact may be among the places most severely hit. There are many ways you are able to help relieve and prevent future occurrences in Nepal.

  • To donate to Nepal Earthquake’s Children’s Relief fund, click here.
  • To donate to Global Giving Nepal Earthquake Relief fund, click here.
  • To donate to Lutheran World Relief organization, click here.
  • Doctors without borders have sent eight teams to Nepal to assist those in need, including a highly-skilled surgical team that will set up mobile clinics in the hopes of reaching people in remote areas. If you want to donate, click here.
  • Clean water is also a very important thing at a time like this. People in Nepal need significant help accessing clean water. To send clean water, click here.

Other options that do not require monetary donations include spreading awareness to others through social media. The people of Nepal need our help.