MarchApril 2002
Vol. II Issue 5

A Small Learning Community


March 2002

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: DaVaughn Bryan; Lillian Agyei; Melissa Creech; Oy Ying Fung; Ulrich Hemans-Bender; Mariam Khan; Ephraim Vazquez and Alexcia White. WEB DESIGN AND CREATIVE STAFF: DaVaughn Bryan, Jeffrey Canales, Omar Canales, Javier Santana, Maurice Walker; FACULTY ADVISOR: Paul Munsinger.

Top Stories
--Melissa Creech

--DaVaughn Bryan

--Lillian Agyei

--Susan Auslander


--Emmanuel Torres


--Alexcia White

--DaVaugh Bryan

School Scanners
--Miriam Khan

Article 8

Article 9

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Previous Issues
Feb. 2002
Jan. 2002
Dec. 2001
Oct./Nov. 2001
May/June 2001


The Blarney Stone is a major part of St. Patrick�s Day. The Stone is located in the wall of the Blarney Castle in one of its towers in the Irish Village of Blarney. Of course the Irish Village is in Ireland. The castle was built back in 1446 by Cormac McCarthy. The Blarney Stone has an incredible history which you are about to read.

For one thing, it is said to have magical powers which it got in the most unusual way. It is believed that kissing the stone will bring the kisser the gift of persuasive eloquence (blarney). The legend has it that the stone got its magical powers by an old women who cast a spell on it to reward the king that saved her from drowning. Kissing the stone while under the spell gave the king the ability to speak sweet and convincingly.

Nowadays it�s hard to kiss the stone because it�s between the main castle wall and the parapet. So, tourists who want to kiss the stone have to lie on their backs, bend backwards and downward. While doing this they are holding on to iron bars for support. Everyone kissing the stone hopes they will get the gift of persuasive eloquence.

So, now how do you feel about the stone?


by DaVaughn Bryan

We enter his biology class every day and the discussion begins on the subject of cells, body functions and homeostasis. We learn what we need to and then leave. But how much do we know about Mr. Jonathan Patrick Daly?

Son of Bernard (a.k.a. Brian) and Julia (a.k.a. Sheila), this 26-year-old was born in Ticknevin, Carbury, County Kildare Ireland. He grew up in the countryside, a place known as the bog lands of Ireland because of the marsh-like land. The oldest of three, he has one brother who is a senior at the University of New Haven and a sister that attends Marymount of Manhattan.

He attended a very small primary school, with only eight kids in his class. Mr. Daly left his homeland in 1989 at the age of 14. He speaks of having many memories of his childhood. When asked about his fondest, he said, "I remember spending summer nights fishing in the canal and the river by my house and also playing soccer at lunch time at school. The whole school would play, both boys and girls. In the late summer, many of the men would play the younger lads on the soccer field behind the school in the evenings".

After arriving in America his educational pursuits took precedence. He attended Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx for three and a half years. He skipped 8th grade. From there he attended Concordia College in New York on a soccer scholarship and received a degree in biology. "Then I attended New York Medical School in Valhalla for two whole weeks before leaving to lifeguard and play soccer in the local leagues." He then worked as an investment banker in the world trade center for three years (luckily he left before 9/11!!) before coming to Columbus.

He was drawn to the field of Biology because he liked the fact that it was always looked upon as one of the tougher courses; and being an athlete he had the pleasure of meeting many great people in the medical field. So he wanted to be a doc. (I can see it now: Doctor Jonathan Patrick Daly.)

When asked to explain the differences between Irish and American educational systems he had this to say: "In Ireland you have two major exams in high school. One is called the "inter" exam and this is taken at age 16. It tests everything you have learned so far. Then in the senior year, or fifth year, (yes you take 5 yrs. of secondary school!), you take your "leaving cert" exam, which tests everything in your high school career and determines who gets to go to college. So, many times kids pass this exam, but do not score high enough to get into college. Only a small percentage of students get to go based on scores on these exams. Naturally this puts a lot of stress on the students.

In the U.S., students are tested more frequently and on less material. (Is that why he is so hard on us?). If you are a person who knows Mr. D, you know that he is a music lover. His favorite kind of music is, of course, the Irish band U2, but he likes all music; and believe it or not, he's a a big rap, hip-hop fan.

By far the most interesting fact I came across is the fact that he no longer thinks there is a life for him in Ireland. He likes Europe better, but the U.S. is his home now. In 20 years he hopes to be one of two things: a college professor or a doctor of some kind. But it looks more to him like it will be a professor or maybe a job in administration.

I wish him all the best, whatever his future may hold.


Lillian Agyei

St. Patrick was born about 390 AD in Roman Britain. As a youth he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland. He escaped six years later and fled to a place called Gaul. After several years of dedicating his life to religion, he returned to Ireland in 432 AD as a missionary to the people there.

Legend has it that he drove all of the snakes out of the country (hmmm). It is also said that he used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the concept of the Trinity; for that reason its strong association with his day and name. (Doesn't tt benefit sometimes where you know where certain things originated from?)

St. Patrick is a hero in Ireland. In fact, there are about 60 churches and cathedrals named for him in Ireland alone. That must be really confusing when when trying to go to church! One of the most famous cathedrals is St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. These grounds bear the mark of the place where St. Patrick baptized his converts.

Green is associated with Saint Patrick's Day because it is the color of spring, Ireland, and the shamrock. Leprechauns are also associated with this holiday. According to the legend, the Leprechaun is an Irish fairy. It is told that Leprechauns are unsociable, unfriendly and live alone. Also, they make shoes and possess a hidden pot of gold (and I believe this!). The legend says that if the Leprechaun is caught by a treasure hunter, then he must tell where his treasure is, unless the Leprechaun can trick the hunter and vanish.

Today, St. Patrick's Day, also known as Saint Paddy's day, is celebrated by people of all backgrounds worldwide (aaah) and has become what people would say, the "Hallmark" of Ireland.

There are also some traditions on St. Patrick's Day that is said to bring good luck too. I think I should try them and see if it works for me. Finding a four-leaf clover (that's double the good luck it usually is). Or maybe wearing green. (School children have decided to contribute to this tradition by pinching friends who don't wear green on this holiday). Or kissing a Blarney Stone. Hey, it's no Prince Charming --but if it brings good luck. Ditto!


Ms. Susan Auslander

Recently the math faculty of College Now collaborated with two other disciplines in a project with one of our freshman classes. The project involved math, English and computer applications. We started with the following hypothetical situation: Our parents had decided that if we did well in school, they would reward us by orderihg more movie channels from our cable company; but we had to decide which company gave us the better deal. Best Cable Company charged $26 per month and $10 per premium channel. Excel Cable Company charged a monthly fee of $32 and $8 per permium channel.

The class had to decide the amount of channels each one offered for the same price. Then, which company they should order from if they wanted eight premium channels.

The students then wrote either a persuasive essay or a letter defending which company they thought was better for their situation. After the math aspect, they worked on the writing in their English class with Mr. Clausi. Then they produced their final product in the computer lab with Mr. Munsinger. Finally, the evolution of their work was mounted on poster boards and displayed at a College Now retreat at Hunter College.


by Emmanuel Torres

Love is worthless
Love is a crime.
Love is a waste of my time.
Love is a well that the powerless use.
Love is a shield that is used to confuse.
Love is an excuse for pettyness.
Love is a thing made up in our minds.
Love is a pair of scissors that shields you from friends.
Love is a promise I'm not willing to hear,
Love is worthless for those who know
How that four-letter curse came about.



Alexcia White

Most people don�t like that we have to pay for the school gym clothes. Some students say that there is no point in buying the uniform if it is only required for freshman and sophomore year.

The gym uniforms don�t even fit some students--so why should we have to buy them if they don�t even have some of our sizes?

The clothing might be too big and there is a possibility of tripping on the clothes. They talk about hazards and not fooling around on the machines, but that�s a fire hazard right there. If something were to happen which would necessitate everyone having to rush out, some people would get hurt because the clothes would be too big on them causing them to trip or stumble. This would be a way for them to sue the school.

How do you feel about the regulations?



by DaVaughn Bryan

As all interviews begin, we started with friendly conversation --How is everything? How�s your mom? Classes? And so on. However, to begin I needed to form a stable base for the interview, so I asked the fundamental question: "In your words what is College Now --not its technical term, but what it means to you?"

His reply was not at all surprising. His first point was that there have always been programs for the very bright and the very weak student; but seldomly are there programs designed with the purpose of helping the middle-ranged students who have the ability to either excel or to fail.

College Now, he proceeded, is an intensive support program created to provide these mid-range kids with the support they need to be successful in high school; and to help them make a smooth transition when the time comes to move on to college.

My next question was somewhat simple, but his reply was most unexpected. "How has your opinion of changed in the time of its conception to now?" The expected reply would have been that it has either gone up or that is has declined. Without even thinking he said the three words that made this reporter very proud to be a part of this program. Those words were that it has not. He had always envisioned College Now as a success; however he made it a point to say that was pleasantly surprised with its successes. His opinion overall has not changed.

My next question was really a test, and Mr. Garfin skillfully answered it and passed with an A+. "What do you think of the abilities of the College Now students compared to other students in the school? If he had answered by saying that the abilities of College Now students were above those of the other students, he would have risked upsetting a great deal of the student population. At the same time, if he were to say our abilities were below the other students, it would have proven to be a mighty blow to our egos and pride. His answer, however, appeases both sides.

"I believe that you all have the same abilities. The difference is the support College Now gets --such as double periods and mandated classes�.

My next question challenged the imagination of our principal. "Where do you see College Now in a few years? What are your expectations?" It is his wish for Columbus that College Now become the model for the reform movement across the country.

As Principal Garfin had so many positive things to say, I wondered if he found any drawbacks or disadvantages. His answer was not at all surprising. In fact, it is a problem that the students of college now had already been aware of. "The only drawback I can find with this house is that they are isolated. However they can participate in any activity in the school --sports, arts, and so on. Also, we don�t yet know the true results of College Now --such as how its students will perform on the regents exams and what parentage will graduate on time. But summarize, I find no drawbacks; just unknowns�.

With this last quote my interview with Principal Garfin came to an end. As I left I thanked him for his time.


by Mariam Khan
There are many different problems in Columbus High School. One major problem is the scanning in the morning. Many people come to school early to get to their classes on time but end up being late to their classes. It�s all because of the scanning machines. Many people say that there is no point in having the scanning machines because many people still get into school with things that are not allowed in the first place. For example, kids are not allowed to have cell phones in school, yet there are many of them that get pass the metal detectors. What�s the main reason for having the scanning machines if they�re not really going to do their jobs?

After interviewing a few kids and listening to their opinions on the scanning machines, I have come to a conclusion that the only reason why we have scanning machines is because the school wants us to have them. No matter what we try to do, the scanning machines are still going to be where they�re normally at every morning.

So, if you want to get to class on time, try coming to school a little earlier than you usually do so you can get the scanning over with and go on with the rest of the day.

February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001




COLLEGE NOW TEAM: Jane Aronoff, Asst. Principal; Paul Munsinger, Coordinator, Elizabeth Maybruch and Joy Silverman, Guidance; Teachers: Susan Auslander, Joseph Clausi, Mindy Dacillo, Jonathan Daly, Javier Escudero, Edward Liu, Larry Minetti, James New, Douglas Novak, Kenneth Rodgers; House Assistant, Maureen Vielandi; LEHMAN COLLEGE: Pedro Baez Director; David Gantz, Coordinator; David Hyman, Liaison; Isadora Rodriguez and Sarita Ramlochan, Tutors; Khema Chan, Admin. Assistant.

Copyright � 2002 Paul Munsinger and Christopher Columbus High School.
All rights reserved.