december 2015


Volume 46, Issue 1 December 2015

Manlius Pebble Hill School

Brave New World

19 new students from China triple MPH’s international population

Photo by Debora Han

Left to right: Yura ( 全 晓 蕾 , Xiaolei) Quan, Co-President of Chinese Club Justin ( 丁 其 桢 , Qizhen) Ding, and Caroline King enjoy their second meeting.

By Liam Meisner

and Spencer Krywy

The air is abuzz with conversations

in two different languages as

Chinese Club begins. Junior James

( 徐 泽 正 , Zezheng) Xu leads the

small group in a dumpling-making

activity, as he and other Chinese

students argue back and forth in

their native tongue. They contradict

what he says and give the novice

American students their own tips on

how to craft their dumplings.

Students fill dumpling wrappers

with beef, cabbage and vegetables.

Then they fold the wrappers in half

and pinch them shut so that the filling

doesn’t leak out.

While James carries the trays of

dumplings into the kitchen, the rest

of the students— about half international

and half American— talk and

get to know each other, which is the

point of the club: to bridge the gap

between the international students

and the rest of the student body.

Manlius Pebble Hill has the

highest number of international students

it has hosted since the school’s

international program was officially

certified by the U.S. government in

2006. At the start of the year, there

were 28, 27 of whom were from

China. Two of the new Chinese

students returned home in the fall.

These students not only add a

cultural diversity to the school but

also much needed revenue as well.

After the financial trouble the school

experienced last year, the school’s

enrollment dropped by more than

100 students, and the full tuition

paid by Chinese students helps

compensate for that. But such large

numbers add challenges as well, as

the international students tend to

stick with their own as they adjust to

a new country, a new school and a

new culture.

MPH is not alone. In the past

10 years, while enrollment at private

schools has slowly declined, the Chinese

population at these American

high schools has exploded.

According to the Institute of

International Education, the number

of international students in

American high schools tripled from

2004 to 2013. In 2013, there were

73,000 international students in

American high schools— 46 percent

of these students came from China.

Over roughly the same time period,

overall enrollment in private schools

(grades K through 12) declined by

more than 1 million, according to

the National Center for Education


Given the large numbers of new

Chinese students at MPH, some

worry these students will form a

tightly-knit group and not interact

with the rest of the student body.

That’s evidenced in the lunchroom,

where groups of Chinese students

fill one or two lunch tables. It is also

one of the reasons the school caps

its international student population

at 30.

“A lot of independent schools

have to rely on international students’

tuition to support the school,”

“People don’t know you, but they will just help you for

nothing. That’s different from what you would expect in


-James ( 徐 泽 正 , Zezheng) Xu, international student

said Wei Gao, the International

Student Coordinator. “That’s a fact,

I mean not just MPH... But a lot

of private schools go extreme, they

will have say 100 students in Upper

School, 80 of them will be Chinese.

That is not a thing our school wants

to do.”

Though one of the goals of the

international program is for the

foreign students to experience American

culture, some say it is easier to

spend time with people from their

own country and who speak the

same language as them, rather than

reaching out to people who seem

completely different.

“It’s kind of weird, if you have a

bunch of Chinese kids, and you will

be the one to reach out to the other

American kids and talk to them

instead of talking to people from

your country,” said James, who is

a Chinese student in his third year.

“It’s a pretty hard thing to deal with.”

The transition from living in

China to studying in the United

States is not a simple one. Students

must take several standardized tests

and then apply through agencies

that work to bring international students

to America. Then, students do

interviews and write essays, which,

at MPH, are reviewed by the International

Student Coordinator, Head

of Upper School, and the Director

of Admissions.

Once accepted, students must

be placed with host families, which

isn’t always an easy process. Host

families can be extremely varied;

they can be attentive and generous,

or poorly- equipped to shelter

a foreign student, but the primary

concern many have is experiencing

the real American lifestyle.

Some, including Liam ( 薛 轶 天

Yitian) Xue, a first-year international

student, have had worries about

staying with non-American families

or with too many other Chinese

students. He wants to experience

American culture, but there’s an

adjustment to make.

“I think the most difficulty is the

food,” Liam said. “The difference

between Chinese food and American

food, and I think all international

students have that problem. We

are getting used to having American

food; hamburgers, pizza, pasta.”

Continued on page 7



The Art of Ballot

Being involved in current events is the best way to maintain a sucessful democracy

By Liam Meisner

When the 2016 Presidential elections

roll around in less than a year,

many current seniors and juniors will

have the chance to vote for the first


And if you haven’t been at least

glancing at a few stories regarding

the Democratic and Republican

Presidential primaries, which are the

selection processes to determine the

party candidates in 2016, sometime

within the next few months might be

a good time to start.

It’s important for citizens to be

engaged with current events, but

studies show that interest is declining

among young people. According to a

2012 study by the Pew Research Center,

engagement in politics among

Americans ages 18 to 29 is lower

than it is for all other age groups, and

those numbers are dropping. In 2008,

35 percent of respondents in that category

said they “followed campaign

news very closely,” but that number

dropped to 18 percent in 2012.

Youth should be informed about

issues that are going to affect them,

said Allison Clarke, Teen Coordinator

at the East Area Family YMCA.

She directs the Youth and Government

program, which aims to engage

young people about politics and

to teach them how to express their


“Youth need to care about politics

because they are living in the effects

of the political decisions already,”

Clarke said in an email. “For people

who [believe] it doesn’t impact them

until they are an adult, or able to

vote, I challenge them to think about

all the ways our [country’s] laws are

already affecting them.”

Does this mean you need to diligently

follow all the news and polls

and keep up with everything that’s

going on in the world? Of course not:

that’s practically a full-time job. But

pay some attention. Read CNN a bit.

Listen to NPR in the car on the way

to school. Watch a debate.

If that’s not up your alley, there

are plenty of other mediums to

consume news. Social media sites

like Twitter and Facebook are commonly

used by those interested in the

perspectives of public figures, and

Twitter especially offers a wide range

of information.

Richard Adams at The Guardian

provides a list of journalists, pollsters

and pundits ranging from Nate Silver

to Jake Tapper, all of whom offer informative

commentary on the news.

Perhaps the most entertaining

content comes from the likes of “The

Daily Show.” Previously hosted by

Jon Stewart, now by Trevor Noah,

this show combines politics with

satire and lampoons the media and

the events the media covers, all while

remaining informational.

MPH History Department Chair

Matt Spear has some of his own

advice on how to stay connected and

understand the news. He describes

how understanding the context of

different events and trends is important

and that young people should

reach out to those around them to

learn these things.

“Young people are going to

inherit a ‘smaller’ more interconnected

world in which they are going

to need a deeper understanding of

the global community,” Spear said

in an email. “This understanding is

essential for fostering development,

empathy and diplomacy.”

Whatever it may be, do something

to inform yourself about the

candidates and the issues so that

when you go to the voting booth on

November 8th, 2016— or whenever

your first chance will be— you’re prepared

to make an informed decision.

The Big Picture

Holiday Treats

Lexie Wiggins shares her tips on how to craft tasty Christmas goodies


Debora Hyemin Han

Managing Editor

Sophia Jeongyoon Han

Art Director

Spencer Krywy

Advice Columnists

Daniel Albanese

Christopher Hunter

Staff Writers

Daniel Albanese

Fiona Cardamone

Sophia Han

Christopher Hunter

Spencer Krywy

Liam Meisner

Suzannah Peckham


Jeanne Albanese

The Rolling Stone

Manlius Pebble Hill School

5300 Jamesville Road,

DeWitt, New York, 13214

By Fiona Cardamone

Photo by Debora Han

For many, the holiday season is considered “The

most wonderful time of the year.”

With Christmas movies, songs and treats, it’s hard

not to love this time of year. Lexie Wiggins, a senior

and a huge Christmas fan, has created a baking You-

Tube channel for her Senior Thesis Project, a yearlong

project in which each senior pursues a topic that they

wish to learn more about.

“I first got interested in baking because my mom

would alway[s] bake a lot when I was a kid and I

thought it was a really grown-up thing to do,” Lexie

said. “Now I like to do it as a stress reliever.”

To get into the Christmas and holiday spirit, she

recommends some fun holiday treats that are simple

to make.

The first treat Lexie recommends is a brownie

with a fun holiday twist. This dessert requires brownie

mix, whipped cream or frosting, and strawberries.

First, she said, make a normal brownie batch. Then

cut off the tops of the strawberries and use either

whipped cream or icing and frost around the base of

the strawberry. Then put the strawberry and whipped

cream/frosting on the brownie. At the end put a dot

of either whipped cream or frosting on top and voila,

you’ve made a tasty Santa hat brownie.

Another fun holiday dessert requires a straw or

small stick of some type, Oreos, icing and sprinkles or

other small items to decorate a face.

First, gently insert the stick into the bottom of the

Oreo, just into the cream in the middle.

“Then you stick the Oreo in some icing (preferably

white) and freeze them,” Lexie said. “After they

are frozen you can take them out and stick on some

sprinkles to make the face of a snowman.”

These fun holiday treats would be great to make

on a cold, snowy day in December.

Lexie hopes to post videos to her YouTube channel

(, once every two weeks.

Each video will present a recipe that she enjoys making.



got dates?

By Dan Albanese

Getting dates can be very intimidating, but

once you know to do it, it’s easy.

First, get date seeds. Growing dates in drier

climates is prefered, but anywhere will work.

Make sure you water your date seeds at least three

times a day at first, and put it in a place where

it can get plenty of sunlight. Soon you will have

your own date tree, which will start growing

dates. Date trees are very slow-growing trees, so

do not be discouraged if it takes a while.

Dates are not pollinated by birds or insects,

but instead by the wind. Early each year, the male

plants produce sheaths of pollen. You need to

spread these sheaths of pollen over the female


Once you have your dates, throw them at everyone.

Establish yourself as the alpha male. Others

will cower to your strength and superiority and

flee the area for their own safety because they’re

probably a bunch of dumb nerds. That’s when

you take advantage of the situation by swooping

in and approaching your target date (the human

kind), and he or she will be impressed because

you just pelted their friends with fruit. This will

totally 100 percent work. Trust me. I’m a scientist.

I know these kinds of things. I do this all the time,

and it works at least, like, 100,000 percent of the


But don’t actually do any of that, though.

That’s not really going to impress anyone anyway.

Just try to be nice and make polite conversation.

Try to find some common interests. Maybe talk

about that date tree you grew. Not many of my

friends know how to grow date trees. That’s pretty

cool. But try not to talk about that too much.

That’s mad boring. Just talk about sports or music

or something. Or better yet, see what they like.

Talking to someone that you are interested in is

so much easier than you think it is. It really is as

simple as just starting a conversation.

P.S. Don’t complain to me when this doesn’t



Graphic by Chris Hunter

“How do I get a date?”

By Chris Hunter

Well anonymous, you’ve just asked one of the

oldest questions in the book.

It dates back to olden times when cavemen

were first around, and getting a date simply

involved making a fire, at which the ladies would

swoon (not to be gender specific).

Then came the Agricultural Revolution; they

didn’t call it the Fertile Crescent for no reason


People were so perplexed with this question

that right after the rule in Hammurabi’s code that

stated, “If a man has accused another of laying a

nertu (death spell) upon him, but has not proved

it, he shall be put to death,” Hammurabi addressed

the issue of getting dates. He stated, “One

must not use vague signals to acquire a date.”

(Slightly paraphrased and slightly made up.)

What many people don’t know is that Christopher

Columbus actually sailed across the Atlantic

Ocean NOT simply to discover a better trade

route to India, but to more importantly impress a

girl. (Source provided by the Internet.)

Now for some actual advice.

When attempting to find a date, people tend

to look for someone unique. So, go out of your

way to make an impression on someone and he or

she will notice you. This shows confidence, and

confidence is what grabs people’s attention.

If you’ve ever observed peacocks in the wild,

you will know that the males flash their feathers

to attract the females. Be the peacock!

In other words, be confident, and if it doesn’t

work out, don’t worry about it. Sometimes things

weren’t meant to be, and that’s okay.


You Mean, the PRNDL?

The roads may never be safe again

By Suzannah Peckham

The road ahead is open and

quiet. One or two cars pass going the

opposite direction, their lights bright

one second and gone the next. The

hills of Lafayette roll alongside our

car as we drive on the back roads of

the town. Cows and farms dot the

horizon, and the sun sets halfway

beyond the rolling hills. The trees

that separate the sky from the road

are red and gold. I feel invincible and

free as I sit behind the wheel and


Yet, my hands are locked in an

iron grip on the wheel. I forgot to

put in my contacts, which means I

can’t see all that well; and in a rush

to leave my house on time, I also

forgot my permit.

That’s the thing about driving:

you can feel totally free and independent,

but also burdened by a great

responsibility. Driving is freedom.

When I sit in the driver’s seat of that

car, I feel as though I can control

anything. In a sense, I can. I control

how fast I go, where I go and even

when I go.

But just one mistake can have

dire consequences. If I pick up the

phone or look the wrong way, I’m

done. The car has the ability to take

away a life, to end the one thing that

is irreplaceable. So, while a huge

weight is lifted off your shoulders

with your new-found freedom, a new

one is dropped directly onto your

head the moment you learn to drive.

I might feel this more than others

because any time I get behind the

wheel, part of me drifts back to that

one time I was in a car accident

when I was 8.

Still, like any other teenager, I

couldn’t wait to drive. This past summer

on August 13, I turned 16, which

meant that I woke up bright and

early and forced my dad to drive as

quickly as he could to the DMV. The

experience was something I had seen

a thousand times in movies as a kid.

The wait was not long at all. I

took my written test in seven minutes

and passed with a perfect score.

After finishing the test, an attendant

behind the counter printed out my

temporary permit.

But contrary to what teenagers

usually see in movies, driving isn’t

just get the car, drive the car. Driving

is repeated efforts to train your mind

to see everything, absolutely everything,

around your car, even in blind

spots, and to see the what-ifs; which

are found just about everywhere.

The first time I went driving, I

drove with my dad and we went to

the DeWitt Cemetery; he said it was

because I couldn’t kill anyone there.

The second time I went driving I

went with my Driver’s Ed class.

That time, I nearly hit a priest, who

blessed himself when I slammed on

the brake.

Since I have gotten my permit, I

have had a few close calls with other

cars, whether it’s turning too fast

into a busy intersection, or failing to

notice another car coming quickly

in my direction. When I take a turn

too quickly or I come too close to

another car, I remember my accident


Several years ago, I was in the

car with my family and we were hit

by a truck that skidded into our lane

on an icy highway. I can still hear the

sound of the collision— it’s something

you can’t ever forget. It becomes

burned into your brain, the sound of

metal on metal. I am always terrified

that it will happen to me again

when I am driving, yet that doesn’t

dampen my excitement about finally

reaching this rite of passage.

From that very first time behind

the steering wheel, I have come a

long way. I can drive my parents

home from different places. I can

successfully complete a turn without

panicking and being overcome with

fear of failure.

The fear of an accident will always

live in the back of my mind, but

I will also always cherish the freedom

that the car gives me, because

that’s what driving is— freedom.

Photo by Suzannah Peckham



The Secret in the Barn

The mystery behind what makes MPH’s theater program so good

By Chris Hunter

Fifteen Manlius Pebble Hill

actors stand in a semi-circle on the

stage in Coville Theater warming

up for play rehearsal earlier this fall.

Their director, Corinne Tyo, leads

them through their exercises.

First, the students swivel their

hips in the form of SpongeBob

SquarePants’ “Bring It Around

Town” move. Then, they move their

hands back and forth through the air

like Mr. Miyagi’s iconic “Wax On,

Wax Off.”

While they warm up, the actors

crack jokes with each other and with

Tyo; it seems like they all have been

friends for years. Doing such fun exercises

together helps the actors and

actresses bond.

Like most high schools, the MPH

theater program puts on an Upper

School play and musical for the community

every year. During rehearsals,

actors, actresses, and the tech crew

spend hours and hours together for

weeks, which builds relationships

and tight friendships.

Play practice typically lasts for

several hours every day after school,

and as the day of the play approaches,

cast and crew spend up to eight

hours rehearsing on the weekends.

Such an intense experience with such

a small group creates strong bonds

among cast members that helps make

the theater department’s plays and

musicals among the best in the area.

That’s one of the reasons why MPH

won several awards at last year’s

inaugural 2015 Syracuse High School

Theater Awards.

“I think it’s about our ensemble

and the family feeling that we have as

a group,” said Michele Koziara, the

Performing Arts Department Chair.

“Everyone really pulls their weight

and everyone’s totally committed.”

MPH won three awards out of

the 11 for which it was nominated for

last year’s musical “Cabaret,” which

was directed by Koziara. Koziara

won Outstanding Achievement in

Choreography; Rupert Krueger

won Outstanding Performance by

an Actor in a Leading Role; and the

program won Outstanding Overall

Production of a Musical.

“I knew we had something

special with the cast and crew that

we had,” Koziara said. “I was very

confident with who I had to work

with last year.”

This past October, the MPH crew

performed “The Secret in the Wings”

by Mary Zimmerman. The play is a

re-telling of four lesser-known fairy

tales and included a lot of humor,

some singing and rapping and physical

movements, all of which were

much easier for the actors to perform

since they’re doing it with close


“This play is very cast-bonding,”

said junior Lydia Kelly. “There’s a lot

of trust within us.”

In the spring, MPH will perform

the musical “Urinetown” by playwright

Greg Kotis. The back of the

script describes it as “A grand and

winking love letter to the conventions

of musical theater, and an untempered

satire wherein no one is safe

from scrutiny. Urinetown depicts a

world wracked by ecological disaster,

caught in the throes of corporate

greed, and ultimately felled by the

best intentions.”

One benefit of a smaller cast is

the ability to choose more off-beat

or artistic plays, which also allows

the actors to really dive into the text.

Koziara said she allows the students

to put their own stamp on their roles,

rather than directing them through

every aspect.

“A lot of schools, because they’re

so big, you have 80 people casts, I

don’t know if they’re able to get that

deep into what the show is about,”

she said.

Tyo, who is also a Syracuse Stage

Teaching Artist, agrees.

“My favorite thing is watching

the actors take on the show themselves

and really molding it into what

they want it to be,” she said.

But performing such shows also

offers challenges. Last year’s awardwinning

production of “Cabaret,”

a musical about a love triangle set in

Berlin in the 1930s, raised some eyebrows. even received

a letter from a reader stating that the

content and costumes of Cabaret

was inappropriate for high-school

students. More than 300 comments,

many in support of the play, followed.

Several of the show’s actors

pointed out how much preparation

they had done to ensure the historical

accuracy of the show, including

receiving a lecture from Head of

Upper School John Stegeman on the

Weimar Republic and World War II.

Though some topics are controversial,

Koziara said she uses every

production as a learning experience.

Back in 2009, MPH performed

“Hair;” a musical set in the 1960s

about a man who meets a group of

freewheeling hippies. Koziara said

she had a mandatory meeting with

the actors and their parents about the

play’s content and the fact that they

would be discussing sex and drugs

onstage. Parents are also made aware

of controversial subject matter on

mandatory permission slips.

During preparation for “Hair,”

for example, the cast, crew and pit

band took a trip to Woodstock; someone

from the Veterans Association

came to speak about the Vietnam

War and an expert came to speak

about sex and drug use in the 60s.

When the cast performed “Rent,”

someone from ACR Health come to

speak about HIV/AIDS.

She said there are never any

scenes or productions that are done

just to be controversial and she is

grateful for the opportunities that

MPH allows.

“Here at MPH, I feel like I have

fantastic support for artistic freedom,”

she said.

While there are benefits to the

small cast, there are also challenges,

such as finding enough boys to fill

the male roles. Girls often play male

roles, and boys sometimes play

female roles. But Kelly says that

doesn’t deter the actors and actresses.

“I really trust the people who I

work with outside of school on the

plays because in a way they see me

when I’m most vulnerable,” Kelly


Even with MPH’s financial issues

of last year, there was little change in

the theater program’s routine. According

to Koziara, the MPH theater

doesn’t spend much money. Every

year, the screws and wood from the

previous year’s play are saved and

reused. The theater program is very

green with the materials they have,

and they work with the set very well.

The play and musical change

year to year, but the passion to put on

a good play remains within the artists

who join the cast.

“I still got to hang out with a lot

of these incredibly talented people,

have a great time, put on a good

show,” said senior Seamus Mulhern.

Photo courtesy of Alex Koziara

Left to right: Emery Spina and Maggie Carmen acting out a scene from “The Secret in the Wings.”



MUN-ey Team

MPHMUN expands its fundrasing efforts from one day to a year

MPHMUN hosted a conference on the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.

Photo courtesy of Will Maresco

By Suzannah Peckham

The Manlius Pebble Hill lobby

overflows with chatter on a Saturday

morning in October, as the Manlius

Pebble Hill Model United Nations

(MPHMUN) Conference participants

flood in.

Eight different schools have

come to participate this year, and

despite the fact that each school is

competing to win the most awards

today, most who have come will donate

to the charity that MPHMUN

is supporting this year: The Glenn

Paige Nonkilling School, located in

the DR Congo, which teaches the

principles of a larger organization

called the Center for Global Nonkilling


CGNK has spent the last few

decades advocating for a movement

known as nonkilling, which is a

philosophy that teaches the idea of

peace and solving crises in a nonviolent

manner. The school teaches

children affected by war, disease or


“It truly is a great cause,” was

a phrase that resonated throughout

the day.

On conference day, through Jar

Wars and carnation flower sales, the

MUN team raised more than $1,400

for the school. Jar Wars are a conference

tradition in which students pass

jars around their conference rooms

and students drop in donations.

Some donated fistfuls of pennies,

and one participant even slipped in a

twenty-dollar bill.

While it is an MUN tradition

to highlight a charity on conference

days, this year the MPHMUN team

expanded from a single day of raising

money for its selected charity

to spending the entire school year

raising money.

Manlius Pebble Hill has long

been known for its strong MUN

team. The team has won awards

around the world, most recently in

2014, when it won Best Medium

Sized Delegation at the London

International Model United Nations

Conference. But team members want

to show that they’re not just about

debates and conferences. They’re

about much more.

Co-Secretary General Debora

Han said the team has traditionally

focused on those debates and

conferences but hasn’t engaged a lot

with the larger school community.

Fundraising all year will allow team

members to raise more money and

awareness for their selected charity

as well as raise awareness for what

the MUN team does.

“It’s about creating a community

of people that have certain values

and have certain awareness about

what’s going on globally,” said Han,

a senior.

Choosing a charity to support

reflects MUN’s core value of caring.

The charities selected often focus

on the betterment of humanity and

look at the community on an international


“Our goal is to remind the MPH

community that we have a long

way to go as a people, as species, a

human species,” says Jeffery Mangram,

PhD, the returning coach for

the MUN team this year. “There are

a lot of people outside of the North

American context who are really


The team selected the Center for

Global Nonkilling in March, after

Debora and Sophia Han suggested

it. The proposal was submitted to

the CGNK’s Governing Council

and the MPH administration with

the support and guidance of Sarah

Chhablani, history teacher at MPH

and former MPHMUN instructor.

MPHMUN’s involvement with

the CGNK marks the first time that

the conference has collaborated

directly with a UN organization.

The organization has special consultative

status with the UN Economic

and Social Council and is a member

of the World Health Organization

Violence Prevention Alliance.

By supporting the Nonkilling

School, the MUN team was able

to host its conference with direct

collaboration from the CGNK. The

conference keynote speaker was

even a member of the CGNK’s Governing

Council - Maorong Jiang, an

assistant professor of political science

at Creighton University.

Glenn Paige founded the CGNK

in 1988 after serving in the U.S.

Army for four years during the Korean

War. Paige based his philosophy

on the violence he witnessed in

the war, when he realized that killing

is not the answer to global conflicts.

His hope is that people worldwide

will adopt this philosophy, and apply

it to their countries. The CGNK has

worked with more than 70 countries

to espouse its philosophy.

MPHMUN’s contributions

will go directly to the school in the

Congo, which is a nonkilling school

renamed for Paige. The school was

built in 2006 to create a safe environment

where children who are growing

up in a war-torn community

can learn the importance of solving

issues through the idea of nonkilling.

The school was re-named for

Paige in 2009 and he is grateful for

the support of MPH.

“The MPH charity [drive]

provides great moral and material

encouragement for the development

of a unique nonkilling school which

is among unique CGNK nonkilling

innovations,” Paige said in an email.

“MPHMUN’s charity [drive] will be

a pioneering example of recognition

and support for nonkilling education

by high school students, teachers,

and administrators. Others are sure

to follow MPH’s lead.”

MPHMUN hopes to raise

$2,500 for the school, which will use

the donations to complete its current

project: a passenger-ferry boat that

will help provide a steady source of

income for the operation and upkeep

of the school. Paige said the school

needs $2,660 to complete the ferry


The MUN team plans to host

car washes, serve hot chocolate on

cold days and possibly put together

a carnival in order to reach its goal.

All funds raised will go to Global-

Giving, which will then send its

donations to the school.

“MPH is a very caring community,”

Mangram said. “We want

to show our caring ways by finding

ways to support causes and people

not only locally, but also internationally.”



Shelf of Lies

Sometimes, “healthy” is not so nutritious after all

Graphic by Chris Hunter

By Sophia Jeongyoon Han

Low-fat. Made with whole grains.

Diet. All-Natural.

These are some catchphrases food

companies use to draw in consumers

to buy their “healthy” products.

However, many consumers are

suspicious of the claims made by

these companies, and with good

reason. Though the Food and Drug

Administration (FDA) has guidelines

for these claims, they have no real

way to police them. In addition to

misusing such terms, other marketing

gimmicks that can trick consumers

include highlighting one nutritional

benefit of a product while concealing

less admirable qualities and listing

the same ingredient under different


According to Nielsen Holdings, a

global information and measurement

company based in the U.S., almost 80

percent of consumers rarely believe

the pitches companies make through

their product labeling. Nevertheless,

according to Forbes, the healthy-food

industry will grow to $1 trillion by

2017, since 88 percent of consumers

are willing to pay more money for

food with better ingredients, given

that “they are deemed all natural.”

Not so fast. Manlius Pebble Hill

Health and Wellness Teacher Lida

Buniak warns that food companies

have been caught stretching their

claims almost to the point that they

are untrue. If a product does have one

desirable “healthy” feature, the companies

will brand that feature heavily.

“They will present that forward

and market that in order to ring in the

consumer,” she said.

Take the Chocolate Chip Clif Bar.

Clif Bar & Company states on the

front of the package that the snack

is made of “organic rolled oats” and

serves as “nutrition for sustained

energy,” but strategically chooses not

to highlight its 23 grams of sugar per

serving. The estimated daily recommended

amount of sugar for adults?

According to the Center for Disease

Control and Prevention (CDC), 25


The bar’s protein content? A mere

10 grams. With such disproportionate

content servings, the bar could

be considered no more than a candy

bar, according to Heather Neely,

RD, CDN, a Registered Dietician at

Crouse Hospital.

“If the sugar is higher than the

protein content,” she said, “it is a

candy bar, not a protein bar.”

In efforts to conceal the true

amount of sugar— which any health

expert would recommend avoiding—

some companies use other ingredient

names to make it appear that sugar

isn’t even used, or at least, is not used

as much. According to Prevention.

com, there are 57 different names for

sugar that might appear on a label.

According to the CDC, equally

or even more unhealthy alternatives to

sugar include: high fructose corn syrup,

fructose, fruit juice concentrates,

honey, syrup, corn syrup, sucrose and


Aside from being wary of various

forms of an ingredient, Neely strongly

recommends consumers read out loud

the ingredients listed on the back of a


“If you can’t pronounce it, then

you shouldn’t be eating it,” she said.

For example, MPH’s Campus

Shop sells Vitamin Water Zero XXX

Acai-Blueberry-Pomegranate. Some

ingredients in the drink are: erythritol,

ascorbic acid, niacinamide, calcium

pantothenate, cyanocobalamin and

pyridoxine hydrochloride.

So how are companies like Clif

Bar & Company allowed to use these

tactics and improperly use nutrition

terms on packaging? According to the

Brookings Institute, a private research

organization, the FDA has long had

the power to regulate and investigate

misleading claims on food products,

and the Nutrition and Labeling Education

Act (NLEA) of 1990 further

allowed the agency to “regulate health

claims on food packaging, standardize

nutrient content claims, and

require that more detailed nutritional

information be included on product


However, the FDA does not have

an effective enforcement authority

that will motivate food companies

to fix their misleading claims. The

FDA’s strongest enforcement tool is to

send a warning letter, but the company

has no obligation to act upon

that warning.

The FDA can only act punitively

towards a company when a food

product leads to death or is dangerous

to health, which is why KIND

Healthy Snacks, which was sent a

warning letter last March, continues

to sell not-so-healthy bars.

The FDA’s letter to KIND CEO

Daniel Lubetzky expressed dissatisfaction

with Kind for failing to meet

the requirements for a product to be

“healthy,” even though, according to

the letter, KIND bars are labeled as

“Healthy and tasty, convenient and


According to the FDA, one

requirement for a product to be

“healthy” is that it has to contain less

than 1 gram of saturated fat. The

KIND Fruit & Nut Almond & Coconut

Bar exceeds this by 4 grams.

In addition, many KIND products

failed to meet the requirements

for having “low saturated fat,” or one

gram or less of saturated fat. They

also failed to meet the requirements

of “antioxidant-rich, and “good

source of fiber,” all of which were

terms the company used (and still

uses) on their products.

Low-fat is another term that

companies use to lure consumers to

choose certain products. But MPH junior

Julia Mettler-Grove, who writes

a healthy lifestyle blog, warns against

falling for it.

“[Low-Fat] means [the product is]

going to be higher in sugar content,

which is actually worse for you,” she

said. “It can cause you to gain more


But many consumers like Mettler-

Grove are truly seeking healthier

alternatives. Documentaries such

as “Food Inc.” have made viewers

question their choice of meals at fastfood

restaurants. First Lady Michelle

Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign

has encouraged schools to promote

daily exercising and healthier school

lunches. Thousands of accounts on

Instagram and Twitter are devoted

purely to sharing food recipes, such as

the Instagram account “@livingthehealthychoice.”

Clean eating— which

touts eating whole and unprocessed

foods— is a booming trend.

One way to to ensure a healthy

diet is to avoid those labels all together.

“The more we can eat of raw

food, of fruits and vegetables,” Buniak

said, “the healthier we’ll actually

be, rather than things that are in boxes

or bags.”



A New Start

With a new Head of School, things are looking up for MPH

By Spencer Krywy

A year ago, Manlius Pebble Hill

was in serious financial trouble. With

a debt of $3 million, no one knew if

the school would open in the fall.

Yet, after a successful fundraising

effort, substantial changes to

the school’s financial management,

and some belt-tightening under a

new Head of School, MPH’s doors

reopened and classes began for the

2015-2016 school year.

Two months into the school

year, Jim Dunaway, who was hired

as Interim Head of School last year,

was named to a permanent position

as Head of School.

Earlier this year, Dunaway said

the goals now are to keep the budget

balanced, increase enrollment and

get the school’s name out into the

community with a new marketing


MPH started the school year

with 312 students in grades K

through 12, a loss of 111 students


But, on the flip side, Dunaway

said that in early October the school

had 40 percent of the overall revenue

from tuition needed to run the

school. Last year at that time, it had

only 7 percent.

Most of the revenue comes in

over time, Dunaway said, not all at

once. The remaining 60 percent is

expected to come in through monthly

tuition payments, he adds. In order to

keep the budget in check, the amount

of money coming in must be balanced

with the money being spent.

To help boost enrollment, Dunaway

is relying on some new ideas,

including exploring new types of

marketing. He said in an email to the

school community earlier this fall

that MPH has partnered with Crane

MetaMarketing Ltd., an agency that

specializes in working with schools

and nonprofits.

He wants MPH to have a

“brand,” something that really defines

the school.

“I want to make sure that there’s

a way we talk about ourselves,” he

said. “That I talk about us that way,

that you talk about us that way, that

your parents talk about us that way.

That we all say, ‘That’s who we really


MPH Director of Admissions

Nicole Cicoria has been meeting

with realtors to encourage them to

put the school’s name out there with

prospective clients. Dunaway has

had meetings with the presidents

of Onondaga Community College

and LeMoyne College, as well as the

chancellor of Syracuse University,

to tell them that MPH can be beneficial

to them in the same way that

local colleges and universities can be

beneficial to it.

Dunaway said hopefully these

tactics will help to bring up enrollment,

which will make balancing the

budget that much easier.

With Dunaway confirmed as the

permanent head of school things are

looking in the right direction.

“I’m getting on a plane tomorrow,”

Dunaway said, “and if you told

me beforehand, ‘Oh by the way, this

plane plans to crash land,’ I’m not

getting on. But I got on this plane

because I believe it will fly and it will


Continued from page 1

Cecilia ( 张 意 昕 , Yixin) Zhang, a

new junior, voiced concerns regarding

joining a new school so late into

her high school career.

“The community between the old

students is already formed, so it’s

very hard for me to fit in,” Cecilia


Gao has started a mentorship

program which, in addition to

Chinese Club, helps international

students branch out. In the program,

American students in her Chinese

class will partner with a new Chinese

student to work to form a


Head of School Jim Dunaway

agrees that fostering friendships

between students is important.

“I think that too seldom those

[international] students and our

local students know each other,”

Dunaway said. “I want a Chinese

teenager to be talking to American

teenagers about what it’s like to be

a teenager in China. Do kids rebel

against their parents there? Do they

talk back to them? Do they drink?

Use drugs? How’s their educational

system different? Do they have pets

at home?”

The point of the mentorship

program is to have American

students usher foreign students into

the “friend groups” of American

students. The American and foreign

student work out a schedule to meet

and spend time together. In late October,

the international students and

their mentors went on a trip to the

Adirondacks, and the group plans

to go on more trips throughout the

year. Gao hopes the mentorship

relationships will help mix things up

in the lunchroom as well.

“Just intentionally seek them

out,” Gao said. “Lead them to your

lunch table and introduce them to

your lunch table.”

Justin ( 丁 其 桢 , Qizhen) Ding

also believes that encouragement is

necessary. He’s in his third year at

MPH and described his efforts to

reach out to the new students and

encourage them to make friends

with American students. He was

happy that there has been some significant

success this year in getting

the “newbies,” as he calls them, to

step out of their comfort zone.

“It turned out we had pretty

good results, like I knew a couple of

kids, I mean newbies, had a really

strong and tight relationship with

American kids,” he said. “They

worked really hard to blend in the

group, and I feel really happy for

them because that’s why they came.”

However, some new students

haven’t felt that they’ve had the

same success.

“It’s a small school,” Liam said,

“but everyone has their friends. It’s

not easy to get into them.”

Despite the challenges, James

and others like the community here,

and have expressed that they feel

this is a good place to be.

“People would just give me tours

on the first day,” James said. “I remember

two years ago when I came

there were ice-breaking activities, remembering

names, having name tags,

getting a tour of campus and stuff.

That’s pretty cool and that’s friendly.

People don’t know you but they will

just help you for nothing. That’s different

from what you would expect

in China.”

Photo by Debora Han

Left to right: Aiden Meyer, Nick Jerge, and Carly Arbon making dumplings

in Chinese Club.

8 Sports

Dazed and Confused

Concussions are in the news more than ever, and schools have their heads up

By Dan Albanese

Concussions. Horror stories are

everywhere. In just the past two calendar

years, four Syracuse University

football players have been medically

disqualified from playing football

following several head injuries. That

means they’ll never play football at

SU again.

The latest Syracuse player to be

disqualified is sophomore quarterback

AJ Long, whose college football

career ended only six games into the

2015-2016 season.

The NCAA defines a concussion

as “a change in brain function

following a force to the head, which

may be accompanied by temporary

loss of consciousness, but is identified

in awake individual by measures

of neurologic and cognitive dysfunction.”

Short-term symptoms include

headaches, blurred vision, nausea,

vomiting, confusion and trouble

concentrating. Long term symptoms

could include things as drastic as

memory loss, dementia, and in some

cases, CTE. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

is a progressive degenerative

brain disease first discovered

in NFL players that has helped raise

awareness of the dangers of concussions

at all levels of play.

Bonnie Adams, MPH’s Registered

Nurse, said concussions can

have vicious short- term and longterm


“There can be post-concussion

symptoms that go away after a few

weeks,” she said. “There are situations

where it is prolonged over a

month, and we’ve had the case where

it has been prolonged almost an entire

school year.”

With more than 7 million kids

playing sports, there’s more being

done now to keep kids safe than ever

before. New York state has a concussion

management protocol that all

public high schools are required to

follow. MPH follows the state guidelines,

even though it isn’t required

to as a private school. These protocols

help student-athletes who have

sustained a concussion transition

back to the classroom, as well as the

playing field, with reduced activity

and academic modifications.

Within the first four months of

school at MPH, three students have

sustained concussions.

“The short of it is they are not

allowed to participate or do anything

until they are cleared by their doctor,”

said MPH Athletic Director

Don Ridall.

MPH uses a five-day re-immersion

program to help students get

back into the classroom and onto

the field. Ridall said once a student

is cleared by their doctor, then the

protocol starts with limited activity

and leads up to full activity.

According to the CDC, 1.6 million

- 3.8 million concussions occurred

in 2012, double that reported

in 2002. According to the NCAA,15

percent of students-athletes reported

experiencing a concussion or what

they thought was a concussion.

Cady Ridall, an MPH senior,

suffered a concussion last year after a

kicked ball hit her in the head during

a soccer game.

“My initial reaction was a lightsout

sort of thing,” she said in an

email. “I fell to the ground instantly

and blacked out for a brief few seconds.

My coach, Ms. B, asked me,

‘Are you okay?’ And I remember

Photo courtesy of Concussion mechanics.svg

responding, ‘I think so.’ Tears were

running down my face but I don’t

remember feeling too much pain because

I think I was in so much shock.

I actually went back into the game

and continued to head the ball.”

Don Ridall said concussions have

only come to the foreground of discussion

within the past several years.

“I think what really put the

movement on has been football,” he

said. “Starting from the top to the

bottom, you’ve been seeing more

football players that have been getting

concussions and they’re going back

too soon and causing brain damage

and injury, and in some cases possibly

death, because there was no

protocol there.”

The NFL recently settled a classaction

lawsuit with thousands of former

players who claimed the league

hid the dangers of concussions. Since

then, the NFL has said it is dedicated

to implementing rules and protocols

to help keep players safe.

A new movie, “Concussion,”

starring Will Smith, is an adaptation

of the events that led Dr. Bennet Omalu

to discover the first documented

cases of CTE in ex-NFL players and

Omalu’s critical comments of the

NFL’s handling of brain injuries.

The movie, which will be released

on Christmas, has not been without

controversy of its own. According to

The New York Times, leaked emails

revealed that Sony executives altered

some scenes in the movie to avoid

antagonizing the NFL.

CTE is described by the Center

for Disease Control as progressive

degeneration of the brain with symptoms

like memory loss, depression,

thoughts of suicide, and, eventually,

progressive dementia. There’s news

all the time of ex-football players

who suffer from brain damage and

have become shells of their former

selves. Three years ago, NFL legend

Junior Seau shot himself in the chest.

This may seem like a strange occurrence,

but this is not the first time a

former NFL player has committed

suicide with a shot to the chest rather

than the head. Seau sensed that there

was something wrong, and wanted

his brain to be studied.

The healthy brain of a 65 year old man v.s. a brain affected by CTE.

Dave Duerson, the star safety for

the 1985 NFL champion Chicago

Bears took his life in 2011 by shooting

himself in the chest. Examinations

of both players’ brains revealed

they suffered from CTE.

Researchers in the Department

of Veteran Affairs at Boston University

discovered traces of CTE in the

post-mortem brains of 96 percent of

NFL player brains they examined

in 2015. In total, the research group

found full-blown CTE in the brains

of 131 out of 165 individuals who

played football, ranging from the

professional level to high school.

The NFL isn’t the only major

sports organization enacting changes

to help players. The United States

Soccer Federation recently unveiled

new protocol banning children under

age 10 from heading the ball. Players

are also taking notice of the problem.

U.S Soccer’s Ali Krieger wore a headband

manufactured to help prevent

concussions during international

matches in the World Cup this past

summer. Two girls’ soccer players

at MPH also wear concussion headbands.

At the college level, the NCAA

is also working to keep athletes safe.

Brad Pike, Assistant Athletic Director

for Sports Medicine at Syracuse

University, said the NCAA developed

its concussion guidelines in


Pike said SU has worked hard to

implement policies to help students

transition back to the classroom and

back to athletics. This past summer,

Pike re-wrote SU’s concussion-management

policy in part to meet the

NCAA’s standards on the return-tolearn

policy and in part just to take a

stronger stance overall.

“A part of our concussion policy

is we have a return-to-classroom,

or a return-to-learn program,” Pike

said. “Basically anybody who gets

a documented concussion by our

doctor, we send a note over to our

learning specialist, who has a liaison

to the Office of Disability Services,

and we’ll make sure that the Office

of Disability Services will help assess

the student-athlete and monitor their


Pike said if a player gets a concussion,

he or she is out of action,

even practice, for several days until

the player is 100 percent symptom


“Well you can’t put a finite [number],”

he said. “Typically I’d say the

least amount would be a week. Basically

you have to be symptom-free

before you can go into our returnto-play

protocol, so whenever your

symptoms clear, it’s going to take at

least between six or seven days to get

through that progressive return to

play protocol.”

Pike also said that too many

people associate concussions with

only football.

“Everybody wants to just say

football, football, football with concussions,”

he said, “but concussions

happen in all sports.”

Photo courtesy of MPH

Jordan Dunaway-Barlow is one of

two MPH players who wear concussion

headbands while playing soccer.

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