Travelling for Dummies

by Lauren


Ever look at an empty suitcase right before you have to leave on a trip? Do you feel the anxiety or frustration creep into you as you throw clothes all over looking for what you think you need? Packing today is not what it used to be. Not only do you have to deal with just getting a full week of necessities ready, you also have the added restrictions from airports and airlines. Hopefully this article will help you get a jump start on the packing that you have dreaded for weeks now.  

Packing 101

The first step to packing is know your destination and the type of clothing you will need. Then you can decide on what is appropriate for the situation. If you are going to the beach, you will want a bathing suit; if you are going sightseeing you will want a comfortable pair of shoes.  The goal to packing is to pack what you will need, not end up with an overflowing suitcase. Packing with variety is a good way to ensure you always have what you need, but if you are going to a beach, a heavy jacket is not going to help you. Just remember to keep it simple and pack for necessity.

Airport Wiz

 Airports today are often hectic and have many rules. To make sure you are on the right side of those rules, always check with your airline on what they allow and what they don’t.  The basic allowed weight for a checked bag without paying extra is 50lbs. If you are carrying your suitcase on, your bag must be no more than 45 inches; length + width + depth of the bag. Additionally, airlines allow you one extra bag aside from your carryon bag that can be stored beneath your feet.  This bag should be small, such as a briefcase, purse, or camera bag.

Any gear you carry onto the plane must pass airport security or TSA. TSA rules state that sharp, flammable, or dangerous items may not be carried onto the plane. For all you guys out there, bringing your pocket knife is not a good idea. TSA also has a rule that any liquids may not exceed 3.4 ounces and must be held in a clear plastic container.  Always remember to double check what you pack; this will help you avoid a surprise bag inspection at airport security.  If you are unsure about a certain item you are packing or any questions, the TSA has a very helpful website:

Out-of-the-Country Essentials

When traveling out of the country, it is important to do your research on the particular country or area you are going to. During your research, check for any warnings such as dangerous areas, a high crime rate, or any other hazardous conditions in your destination.  Also, check if there are restrictions or requirements on goods, certain foods, and information/ identification papers.  Identification and passports are required so double check that you have them before you leave. If you are going to another country, look to see if your resort or hotel has different plugs and outlets, as you may need to purchase an adaptor.

A country’s currency may be different, so compare the value between the currencies and find out where you can exchange it for your destinations.  Usually there is a kiosk in the airport that will be available for an exchange. Packing for an international trip is much harder than staying within your own country. It is always best to pack slowly and ahead of time so you can remember all that you need. 

The Toiletry Bag

                One of the most important pieces in your luggage is your toiletry bag. This contains your liquids and basic hair, face, and body supplies.  Here is a simple list of what you may need.  This does not include everything. If you have a need for glasses, contacts, retainers, or any other supplies, don’t forget to include those. 





Toothbrush & Toothpaste Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Face wash & Moisturizer & Makeup

Face wash & Moisturizer & Shaving Cream & Razor

Hair care products (brush, pony-tails, ect.) Deodorant
Razor Hair gel/product
Deodorant / Perfume Nail care (Nail clippers)
Advil/Tylenol  (medication needed) Advil / Tylenol (medications needed)

A one-week beach vacation

Here is an example of a one week beach vacation clothes packing list. This does not include everything; it is just a simple guide on what you might bring on vacation with you.





7 days of under garments 7 weeks of under garments
6 pairs of shorts 6 pairs of shorts
1 dress 1 pair of pants
1 sweater 1 light jacket
1 beach sandals, 1 sandals, 1 sneakers (socks) 1 beach sandals, 1 sandals, 1 sneakers (socks)
2-5 bathing suits 2-5 swim trunks
Sunglasses, tanning lotion / sun block Sunglasses, tanning lotion / sun block

Now you are all set-good luck, and enjoy your vacation!


Class Enrollment for Dummies

by Lauren


It is weird to say that this year is almost over. Now is the time to start choosing your courses for next year.  For this year’s freshmen or next year’s sophomores, this process can be very overwhelming.  This year will be your first time picking out classes on your own. Today my job is to make this task a little easier for you by explaining a little more about your options.

To sign up for classes, first you must log into your PowerSchool account.  Once you are in the website, proceed to the “Class Registration” section in the toolbar on the side of your computer screen.  You will then be presented with a list of subjects. In the corner of each subject box there is a pencil. Click the pencil to open up another box with all the classes you are eligible to take. Once you have selected all your classes, you may click the “submit” button on the bottom.

Remember that each year there is a requirement of 35 credits.

To graduate, all students must have:

  • English, 4 Years
  • Social Studies, 1 Year World History
  • Social Studies, 2 Years United States History
  • Mathematics, 3 Years
  • Science, 3 Years (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics)
  • Health-Physical Education, 4 Years
  • 15 Credits in Physical Ed.
  • 5 Credits in Health
  • World Language, 1 Year
  • Visual or Performing Arts, 5 credits (equivalent of 1 Yr.)
  • Career Education – Consumer, Family Life Skills, 5 credits (equivalent of 1 Yr.)
    Vo-Tech Education
  • Financial, Economic, Business and
    Entrepreneurial Literacy 2.5 credits
    (Class of 2014 and beyond)

No need to start panicking—you will have four years to complete this. Financial Literacy, for example, is a required course that you will take one quarter during your sophomore year. This will be in the place of your study hall. This course includes useful information, and is something you can learn more about from talking to your guidance counselor.  If you book an appointment with the freshman guidance counselor, Mr. Lippart, he will help you make a four year plan that will include the courses that fill your requirements, and courses that you like, as well.

All guidance counselors came to English classes and explained how to choose courses on PowerSchool, as well as some of the options that are now available.  I sat down with Mr.Lippart to discuss the best tips and options for freshmen regarding their sophomore year schedule.

A huge difference between choosing classes for freshmen and sophomores is that for sophomores, they have more options to choose from. Also, sophomores have to pay more attention to the state graduate requirements.  Mr. Lippart explained that the best way to pick classes is by choosing what tells “your story” most thoroughly.

“Classes should show demonstrated interest and growth in the challenges you give yourself,” he added.

He urges students to not play “follow the leader” when picking classes. Just because your friends are picking a certain class does not mean you should too.  If you strongly dislike a particular class or topic, it might be a bad idea to take an honors class. 

During freshman year, there were many limitations on which classes you could take. Despite those issues, Ceramics and Woods are typically the most popular. During sophomore year, with more choices, a popular pick is Graphics.  But, it still all matters on your opinion. Mr. Lippart thinks Psychology is a great class, although it is not offered to freshmen or sophomores.  There is, however, an Introduction to Psychology class, a half-year course that is available sophomore year.

A great way to look at the classes and make your four year plan is go on the school website. Under the “Guidance” tab, you can find the course selection section. This area will have all the information you need. Also at the top left hand corner is the course catalog that is extremely helpful.  The catalog has every class described and a great graphic organizer that shows each class a course path you are eligible for each year.   This makes understanding the courses and making that four year plan so much easier.

Now that you have all the information you need to continue choosing classes, the process should be much easier.  Even if you get stuck, you can always ask a teacher or guidance counselor about their opinion.  You are the most important person in this process.  Don’t get stuck in a lame class because you followed your friends.  Go with your gut, and choose what right for you.


Whats Down at “Downton Abbey”

by Lauren


Recently, all the rage has been about the British TV series, Downton AbbeyDownton Abbey takes you back to the 1900’s where you follow the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family. The show first aired in the UK in 2010, but soon came to be the international hit it is today. 

Caution: spoilers ahead! 

This fictional series is filmed at Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England but is called Downton Abbey, where the Crowley family lives.  The first season opens up with the shocking news of the Titanic sinking in the Atlantic Ocean.  During this time,Lady Cora Grantham, mother of the house, had three daughters and no male son to inherit the estate and family fortune. A binding contract on the house states that a male heir must inherit the house. This creates a big dilemma for the Crowley family because their daughter, Lady Mary Crowley, lost her fiancée, the hier to the estate,  in the Titanic. Now, the fortune must go to the next male family member in line.   

This is when we meet Matthew Crawley, an unsophisticated man, who becomes the next heir. Matthew and his mother, Isobel Crawley, move to Downton Abbey and try to become respectable aristocrats.  During this process, Lady Mary tries to find a respectable husband to marry.  That task becomes very hard after a rumor was spread that she had slept with a man, unmarried, and he had been found dead the next day. Without knowing the rumor was true, Mary and Matthew fell in love and became engaged.  This engagement, however, was broken off right as World War I started, and Matthew went to war.

Season 2 aired in the U.S. on January, 2012, and in the U.K. a year before that. This begins a new journey of finding Mary a husband, and meeting Matthew’s new fiancée, Lavinia.  Mary and Matthew, who are still clearly in love with each other, attempt to become friends, and support each other’s romances. Mary becomes engaged to Sir  Richard, the owner of a popular newspaper in New York, who helps her conceal the rumor of having a relationship with a man while unwed.  Then, while in battle, Matthew is injured in the spine and told he will never walk or have children. This created unease in the Crawley family because they must find another heir. Later in the season, Matthew begins to feel his legs, and can eventually walk again.

Just as you think everything is calm, and wedding preparations are finalized for Matthew and Lavinia, the 1918 flu pandemic comes to Downton.  Many of the household staff and family members are stricken ill. In the end, Lavinia dies. Along with this stunning news, Lady Cora’s third daughter, Sybil, shocks the family with the news she is in love with the chuffer, Tom Branson, and they are getting married. Her father is angryat first, but gives his limited blessing to the couple in the end.  Mary then realizes she is unhappy with Sir Richard and breaks off their engagement, ready to face the old, nasty rumor, which continues to spread.  Mary, who prepared to go to America to escape the papers, is asked by Matthew to marry him once again. The season ends with her agreement to marry him.

Season 3  greets you to the marriage of Matthew and Mary. Now the family no longer needs to worry about an heir, and the estate and fortune stay in the family.  As usual, peace is long to stay, as Sybil and Tom write to the family from their home in Ireland that they are expecting their first child. This shakes the family as they want to reconnect their relationship with Sybil and the new baby. Lady Edith finally gets engaged to an older aristocrat, Sir Anthony, who later leaves her at the altar.   Soon after the wedding, due to complications, Sybil dies during child birth. Tom, names the child after her, and remains at Downton. Mary and William struggle with fertility, but after Mary undergoes a minor surgery, the couple becomes pregnant.  Lady Edith, wanting to be independent while still unmarried, starts writing for a newspaper.  Here she becomes close with the newspaper’s editor, who is married.

Season 3 is continuing to air in the U.S.  A fourth season has been confirmed, and one thing is for sure. It will be nothing short of the jaw-dropping drama that began 3 season ago.   If you have never watched the series, I highly suggest you catch up, and watch away. Downton Abbey has captured many hearts and is well worth the collective seven Primetime Emmy Awards.


What’s in a Password

by Lauren


With all of the technology that is around today, one of the most common problems people face is forgotten passwords.  It seems that the whole world has embraced passwords even if they seem a nuisance. In reality, passwords play a key role in technology.  Why are these locking restrictions needed? What do they do, and more importantly, how can we remember them?  

Today passwords are used to keep information safe. A computer is much like a vault; inside the computer are all your important documents, pictures, and other media information that you may not necessarily want open to all eyes. For the protection of this information, a password is set into place. This acts like the vault’s combination lock, but this one is digitalized.  So in reality, a computer with a password is a computerized vault.

Many people, such as business workers, teachers, and even those super secret spies you see in movies use them.  Passwords not only unlock things now, they also help keep your computer and its files safe from viruses and computer hackers. 

Hackers today are not always after your information.  They might want to get into your emails and send letters that are not from you. They also might want to take photos on your computer.   Also, you can be held responsible for all damage that is done on your computer while it is hacked.

Computer viruses can be also very damaging for the hard drive in your computer.  Once a virus is in your computer, the virus will spread like wildfire. Then after the virus has taken over your computer, the computer will become slow, unresponsive, and may need to be replaced if not fixed.

With all the risk involving no password protection, it is much simpler to just apply a password to your computer and other information-holding files such as an email.  Once you have applied that password, you can be rest assured that your information is perfectly safe.

Choosing a password can be a little tricky.  When creating a password, you want to make one that no one can guess.  If your password was as obvious as your name, then it wouldn’t do much protecting from anyone who knows you. Here are some guidelines on creating a great password:

How to Create a Great Password:

  • Use at least 8 characters (letters, symbols, and numbers)
  • Does not use your real name, user name, or company name, or any personal information
  • Use  a combination of numbers and upper and lowercase letters
  • Get creative
  • Create one that you will remember

When making your password, being creative is not using your name with a bunch of zeros. Combine the name of an old stuffed animal with your favorite age, or your favorite movie with the number of times you have seen it.

Here is an example of a good passwords:  

  • SpiderMan8
  • Harvard101
  • GaGa247


  • Use the same passwords for multiple important accounts (such as Gmail and Banking).
  • Tell anyone else your passwords.

Now you are all set to create your own password. Follow this simple guide and your information will be as safe as a vault.


Hurricane Sandy: Returning to Normalcy

by Emily


On October 29th 2012, a 900-mile wide storm struck the east coast and caused about $62 billion in damage and at least 125 deaths in the United States. Hurricane Sandy was an unexpected tragedy that affected millions of people, not only in the U.S but in the Caribbean, as well. Months later, the devastation of Sandy continues to linger over the New York- New Jersey area, as buildings and towns that have become ruins wait to be rebuilt, and those who have lost everything, try to return to normalcy.

Luckily, these people are not alone. Almost immediately after the storm, campaigns and fundraisers emerged that were both creative and successful. Some of the most successful efforts were led by the American Red Cross, opening public donation centers around the country where anyone could donate supplies that varied from articles of clothing to non-perishable food items. These generous donations,  collected throughout the nation were given to families living in shelters with very few items to call their own.

On a larger scale, celebrities did their part in raising public awareness, as well as money, for Sandy victims. On 12/12/12, a benefit concert was held at Madison Square Garden where all proceeds went to charities such as the Robin Hood Relief Fund. The Robin Hood Relief Fund is the largest organization in the New York area that fights poverty. The 12/12/12 concert featured Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Dave Grohl, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Chris Martin, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Eddie Vedder, Roger Waters, Kanye West, The Who, Paul McCartney and even more. The fundraiser was more successful than anyone imagined; these musical icons came together to raise $300 million alone just in ticket sales. The concert was broadcast to about 2 billion people around the world, and merchandise is still being sold world-wide.

Other efforts included the “Restore the Shore” campaign led by MTV. On November 15th, MTV invited viewers around the country to tune in to watch special messages by pop-icons such as One Direction, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, and Nicki Minaj. These celebrities, encouraged viewers to get involved in some way or another. The Restore the Shore efforts took off and began selling hoodies, T-shirts, and other merchandise with the Restore the Shore logo. Proceeds from the sales goes to Architecture for Humanity, a non-profit organization that helps rebuild communities in need or recovering from natural disasters, such as Seaside Heights. To get involved in Restore the Shore efforta, simply text a number to donate something as small as $10. In all, The Restore the Shore Campaign is still raising millions of dollars for Hurricane Sandy relief, making a big difference in the wake of this disaster.

Whether it’s multi-million dollar celebrities performing a sold-out concert, donating non-perishable foods to a community center, or even buying a Restore the Store T-shirt, anyone can aid in Sandy Relief efforts. Hurricane Sandy definitely took it’s toll on the east coast. Billions of dollars in damage and crushed dreams cannot be fixed overnight, but the fundraisers discussed in this article are sure doing a good job to get there as soon as possible. In the wake of such a devastating natural disaster, Hurricane Sandy has reminded Americans what really matters. It has reminded us that coming together to make a difference in any way is more powerful than any one could imagine.


“Believe:” An Evening with Eric LeGrand

by Lauren


On January 11, 2013, Eric LeGrand came to RFH for a motivational speaking seminar. Students were encouraged to come see the former footballer speak about his past and the tackle that changed his life.

LeGrand was originally scheduled to speak at RFH in November, but the event was rescheduled due to Hurricane Sandy. LeGrand spoke about his book, Believe: My Faith and the Tackle That Changed My Life, which is about his journey after his injury.

Nicole Forlenza, who was in attendance, said, “It was really inspirational. I didn’t know that BELIEVE, an inspirational word to LeGrand, was because it has his initials in it.”

It all started when Eric LeGrand began playing football for the Colonia High School Patriot where he played middle linebacker. Then with the recognition from scouts, became ranked among the best high school middle line backers in the nation. This led the four-year starter to be recruited by Rutgers University his senior year.

During his first season with the Scarlet Knights, his position was changed to defensive lineman. On September 11th, 2008 he made his debut against the North Carolina Tar Heels. From then on, he played in the last 12 games in his season. Then, in 2009, his position changed again as the backup defensive tackle to Charlie Noonan. That led him to play in all 13 games in the season.

In 2010, LeGrand’s life was changed forever. On October 16th, during a game against the West Point Black Knights, he collided with Malcolm Brown, Army’s kickoff returner. After the collision, LeGrand lay on the ground unable to move until he was carried off the field. As he was carried off, LeGrand tried to shoot thumbs up to his inspiration, Mike Utley, a paralytic who used to play for the Detroit Lions, but was unsuccessful. He was quoted later saying, “It felt like a thousand pounds.”

After being rushed to the hospital, LeGrand was diagnosed with paralysis from the neck down. LeGrand was told that due to his injury, he might need the help of a respirator for the rest of his life. During his recovery he worked on breathing so he could one day be without a ventilator or respirator.

“It’s not even whether you keep breathing; it’s whether you keep breathing how you want to breathe,” he said. It seemed that his unstoppable will brought him to victory; before Thanksgiving, he was able to breathe on his own.

On January 6, 2011, through Rutgers, LeGrand announced he had regained movement in his solders and feeling in his entire body. Then in the summer of 2011 LeGrand posted a picture of himself standing with the help of a metal frame on Twitter. The following school year, LeGrand resumed his classes via Skype and was also seen at spring football practices.

May 2, 2012, LeGrand symbolically signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This means he was on the team roster.  However, because of his injury, he wouldn’t actually play. LeGrand taking up an able bodied person’s place on the team, meaning that person could not play. This left LeGrand with a big decision. On July 26 he officially retired from football. This gave up his symbolic spot on the team, and left it to another able-bodied player.

However, retirement hasn’t slowed him down; LeGrand is still very involved in the sports world. He has just become one of Subway‘s athlete promoters, joining athletes like Michael Phelps and Apollo Ohno.

Eric LeGrand is now one of the biggest supporters of disability charities. He continues to inform and shock the world with his progress through Twitter. He also announced during his seminar at RFH that he is working on walking, and hopefully will be able to soon.

LeGrand continues to be an inspiration to all. Believing in yourself is the best thing you can do, and Eric LeGrand has achieved so much because he does.


Safe, Sound, and Secure

by Lauren


Beware, students of RFH, no opening the doors for anyone, even if you know who they are.

After winter break, all the students of RFH returned to school. Upon returning, during homeroom, an announcement was made. Effective that day, new security precautions would be taken to protect the student body of RFH. One of the more interesting rules was that students were not longer permitted to exit the building and walk to their classes outside.

All of these were a part of the response to the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut this past December.

“That is my worst nightmare,” stated Mrs. Handerhan, RFH principal, commenting on the situation that left 26 dead.  As an educator, Mrs. Handerhan also expressed that she had to believe that some good will have to come out of that situation, such as the fact that now schools everywhere will be more aware of how to protect its students.

Rumson-Fair-Haven-Regional-High-School3An email was sent before break warning the student body that new precautions would soon go into effect. Then, over the winter break, the staff sat down and looked at what it could do to make sure the school was the safest it could be. Luckily, before the tragedy in Connecticut, RFH signed up to be in a training seminar in Maryland that will teach some RFH advisors the most effective methods for student protection.

During the safety discussions over winter break, RFH came up with a plan. The biggest change was the students no longer permitted outside. This is reinforced by supervisors stationed in hallways and by doors at all times, making sure no one enters or exits the building without permission. Also, teachers, parents, and students will no longer be warned for evacuation or any other type of drills. Another change is that most doors will now be locked. Only the three main doors will be open in the morning for arriving to school, and then those will be locked as well.

Mrs. Handerhan was upset that some of the unique things at RFH, like walking outside, are no longer permitted. She believes, however, that safety is the number one priority, and you can never be too safe. The biggest thing to take away from all of this is that students should never let anyone inside the building. Mrs. Handerhan talked about having the nicest student population, one that would open the doors for anyone if need. Sadly now, no visitor can enter the building without signing in at the main office.

RFH has always been working on new ways to keep its students safe. Earlier this year, new room numbers were added to every room. In a case of emergency it is much easier to navigate the building. The new room numbers also go with the new phone system. When calling another school phone, the receiver’s screen will tell them the exact room that’s calling, and who is calling them.

This all sounds like a well oiled machine to me. Despite the recent school tragedy that shocked America, RFH has come out stronger and ready to protect its students. I guess you could say Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School is safe and secure.


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