Center for Disease Control Expects Pandemic Level Proportions of Senioritis Next Semester

By Joshua Gottlieb

This past Tuesday, director Thomas Frieden announced that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) expects an alarming number of high school seniors to come down with Senioritis at Briarcliff High School. According to Frieden, “this could be worse than Ebola.”

Senioritis, also known as Second Semester Senior Syndrome (SSSS), can be characterized by its debilitating symptoms. Symptoms of Senioritis include a depressed GPA, uncontrollably saying “I don’t care anymore,” and homework intolerance. Senioritis has always been a problem at Briarcliff High School, but the amount of seniors to come down with it this year is expected to be unprecedented.

In order to get a medical perspective on this devastating disease, I spoke with resident Briarcliff High School doctor, Dr. Kenney. I asked him about possible cures for the disease and Dr. Kenney responded, “Josh, how many times do I have to tell you? I am not a medical doctor. I got my PhD in English Literature.” He then went on to say, “But since I am talking to you, I wanted to let you know that you owe me fourteen homework assignments. You are not going to graduate.”

After hearing this quote from our school’s top medical professional, it appears as if there is no hope. What makes Senioritis so frightening is that it is so contagious, and studies have found a direct correlation between college acceptance and severity of Senioritis. Back in the day, Second Semester Senior Syndrome could only be spread via snail mail. However, over the past couple of decades the disease has mutated so that it can be now be spread via email. As a result, many have hypothesized that the school took away the computers in the library in order to prevent the spread of Senioritis (seriously though, does anyone know where those computers went?).

Overall, it is clear that Senioritis is a problem that should be taken seriously; however, the response can only be described as inept. I should be more worried, but in all honesty, “I don’t care anymore.”

IPhone 6 Plus: It Bends

By: Maddy Albert

It’s a Droid! It’s a Samsung Galaxy S3! No, it’s an iPhone 6. The model’s motto, “Bigger than bigger,” is true to its word, as the release not only included a bigger and better model of the iPhone 5s, but a bigger and better model of the iPhone 6 called the 6 Plus, at 5.5 inches. Another lead selling point of this newest generation is that it’s not only larger than ever, but thinner than ever. Its 7 millimeter thickness makes it all the more sexy to whip out in awkward situations where being social just doesn’t seem possible, whether you’re aiming to keep your own seat on the morning bus or avoiding the gaze of that creepy kid across the library. Yeah, you’re unavailable AND you have the newest generation of the iPhone. Therefore, you are too in for them anyway. Don’t even think about sitting here. Although the unbalanced proportions have led to some controversial bending situations, Apple would never disappoint its trend hungry consumers by releasing an iPhone that had simply been engineered to coexist with the newest software, iOS 8, or that simply offered a superior Retina display. Size is always more significant. So, if durability means less to you than size and chicness, the iPhone 6/ 6 Plus may be your perfect match.

I Sold My Soul to the Cloud – and You May Have Too

By Feroze Mohideen

Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz probably said it best in a conversation from a hit movie of this year:

Jay: “It went up! It went up to the cloud!”
Annie: “And you can’t get it down from the cloud?”
Jay: “Nobody understands the cloud! It’s a [expletive] mystery!”

Jay was right; the “cloud” can be a riddle, wrapped in a [expletive] mystery, inside an enigma for many people. Its inner machinations are so difficult to comprehend that I doubt even veteran computer geeks understand how it works. Fortunately for us laymen, we can reap the vast benefits of this marvelous service without scratching our heads in confusion too much.

The cloud is simply a way to store our data. Instead of storing information in our computers, information is broken up and copied into giant mass-storage centers all over the country or even the world. These centers are owned by companies like Apple, Dropbox, Netflix, Amazon, Flickr, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo – just to name a few. The services provided by these companies allow us to save time and energy; one can start an episode of Parks and Recreation on a computer at home, continue it on his or her tablet on a commute, and finish it on a laptop at work, for example. This versatility of data exchange is becoming ever-apparent in the technology sphere – almost to the point at which “the cloud” and “the machine” are one and inseparable.

So is this a bad thing for us poor humans? Is this the start of a covert robot revolution, seeking to slowly gather our personal information and use it against us in the near future? Perhaps that future in itself is a bit far-fetched; however, with the advent of cloud computing, the number of sinister hackers looking to access the 400 billion photos posted by Facebook users (and other irreplaceable pieces of data, of course) has indubitably risen. Some of these attempts are successful (readers may remember the iCloud photo “discharge” of recent months), while the vast majority fail, thanks in part to the intense security measures being put in place by companies.

These companies provide an important concern themselves; what exactly are they doing with our data? Is a photo from your iPhone really deleted at the touch of a button? One would certainly hope so, yet a true techie knows that there is a good chance that that same photo is still stored in an iCloud facility somewhere around the globe. Furthermore, an increasing number of reports have proven that companies are exploiting our data for marketing purposes in order to probe us for how we behave as consumers, a postulation that is somewhat disconcerting.

Whether we like it or not, we are subjected to the cloud every day of our lives. There may come a time when all of us have chips implanted into our brains connecting us to a conglomerate data service. Until that happens, I’d advise saving those old floppy drives for a rainy day.

A Gift-Giving Guide for This Holiday Season

By: Kelsey Horowitz

Holiday season is coming up and there is one thing on everyone’s mind – presents! If you are unsure of what to get a loved one or what you want this holiday season, keep on reading! One junior, Krissy Wall, says, “Well since my phone cracked, I would like to replace my phone. I would also maybe want a new watch and some new sweaters.” Freshman Liv Gonseth wants a biology tutor, and a new set of golf clubs for Christmas. When asked about what she would get her family, she said, “I think a good gift would be something that someone would use every day. I’m getting my mother a new pair of snow boots and a wallet. For my brothers, I’m getting them really nice tooth brushes. And for my dad, it’s ties, a new work bag, and a Starbucks Gift card.” If you are participating in Secret Santa, senior Allison Kaye would suggest getting a scarf, an Artizia gift card, or a bracelet. After asking around, many boys would want speakers, something sports related, or money. You can also never go wrong with food! Happy holidays!

Briarcliff Cross Country Team Finishes Strong

By Jasmine Bar

Fall sports are over at Briarcliff High School, but Briarcliff’s cross country team has left a laudable legacy behind. In particular, the girls ranked highly at an impressive amount of meets and were recognized on various levels for their excellence.

One of the co-captains of the girls team, Blake Elwood, spoke with great pride. “We’ve come a long way. A few years ago, we didn’t even have enough people to qualify as a legitimate team.” This season, the girls team had ten strong runners who each contributed a great deal to the group’s success.

At the League Championships, the girls came in first place out of five schools. At both the section championships (about 20 schools) and at the country championships (about 40-45 schools), the girls were runner-ups to Bronxville. In addition to these major meets, the girls also collectively ranked notably high at numerous invitationals. Overall, the girls team was ranked 8th in New York State.

In addition to team wins, there have been multiple all-county and all-league individuals. Caroline Pennachio and Ryan Gallagher were recognized as league champs. Recently, Caroline Pennachio, Ian Wax, and Cole DiNome all qualified for the New York State Championships, which was held at SUNY Canton. Caroline finished in 11th place for the Girls Class C Championship – the second Section 1 finisher in her race. Ian and Cole also ran extremely well, finishing 13th and 67th, respectively, in their competitive race.

Amid intense training and a plethora of meets, the cross country team proves to be more than just a sports team. “We do lots of team bonding,” said Mary Donoghue, a member of the team. “Whether it is a city trip or a team dinner, we always find time to spend together.”

It seems that persisting through early morning practices and running on excessively muddy fields has paid off in the case of the Briarcliff’s cross country runners. Only the future can tell if next year’s team can live up to these remarkable feets.

Future of Music Department Trips

By Eli Karp 

Many students probably know that recently, on October 29, the band, orchestra and some of Mrs. Carnahan’s history students went on a trip to see Les Misérables, the musical, in the city. After hearing that the play had been brought back to Broadway, band director Ms. Montenegro suggested that the class go see it. It so happened that the band had been working on musical selections from Les Misérables and Mrs. Carnahan’s students had been studying the French Revolution. A special addition of the trip was the opportunity to have a private Q&A session with the stage manager and two of the leading actors, arranged by a student’s dad. Ms. Montenegro said the trip was “a huge success, mixing some entertainment, education and personal bonding with classmates.” So now many students are wondering, “What do they have planned for an encore?” This trip just so happened to work out nicely with the overlapping studies, but what’s next? Ms. Montenegro said she has many ideas but now would be too early to give them. When asked about the incident that occurred on the overnight trip a couple of years ago, Ms. Montenegro said that it “has no bearing on the future of overnight trips” and that an overnight trip is in the planning stages. Nothing is finalized. She says what will really determine the trip is the commitment of students to go on the trip, as they would be performing and there cannot be a trip without a “viable team or adequate ensemble instruction.” Overall, Ms. Montenegro hopes to keep taking her students on trips that she hopes are providing “experiences and opportunities that grow upon work that is done in the classroom.” So band, orchestra, chorus (and maybe even history) students, be on high alert for music trip mentions, as they are likely to be noteworthy.

Fall Sports Wrap-Up

By Alex Horowitz

It is now November, which means another successful season of Briarcliff Varsity Fall sports has wrapped up. Alex Horowitz of The Briarcliff Bulletin sat down with several of these star student-athletes to get an inside look at how their teams faired this season.

  • Senior quarterback Matt Heyda, on the Varsity Football season:

“The whole team, especially the seniors, was pretty disappointed with our record of only winning a few games. There were a lot of injuries across our roster and it was tough to lose some close games like the Westlake game and the especially the Pleasantville game. We had the talent, but just couldn’t put it all together. But it was a huge step up from last year and we hope the team can keep getting better and win some big games next year and the years to follow.”

  • Senior Allison Kaye, on the Varsity Tennis season:

“Even though we had such a big team this year, the girls really bonded nicely, which made the sport enjoyable. We also had a very strong 1st singles player this year, [Junior] Loren Haukova.

  • Senior Jordana Kaltner on the Varsity Girls Volleyball season:

“We had a pretty strong team this year. We played some hard teams but worked hard and won a lot of games. We started off strong, but unfortunately lost in the first round of sectionals.”

  • Senior Michael Terilli, on the Varsity Cross Country season:

“Our girls team was second in the county and second in Section 1, Class C. They won the league, while the boys team was league runner up. Cole DiNome, Ian Wax, and Caroline Pennachio all went to states.”

  • Senior Ian Wax, on competing at states for the Varsity Cross Country team:

“An amazing experience that clearly shows the growth of the Briarcliff running program”

  • Senior Jenna Heitzler, on the Varsity Girls Soccer season:

“I’m very proud of how our team played this season. All of the hard work during practice and all of the bonding outside of school really helped us get all the way to the section finals.”

It was certainly an impressive season for our fall-sport athletes, and we are hoping that this success translates to the winter varsity teams, who began their first practices this week.