Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Sparta German Students Shine At Annual German Christmas Market

Written by: Kanita Tariq 

On Saturday, December 2, students from all of Sparta High’s German classes came together on the boardwalk to serenade onlookers with authentic Christmas carols in the language. 

Students had prepared extensively for the event as practice began immediately after Halloween. Performed were some well-known classics, like “O Tannenbaum” and “Rudolf mit Rotem Näschen” (renditions of “O Christmas Tree” and “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer), as well as original German songs such as “Kling Glöckchen” and “Ihr Kinderlein, Kommet.” 

“The German Christmas Market is the opportunity for our students to showcase their singing skills as well as their language skills,” German teacher Frau Wessels says. “It gives students the opportunity to experience an event that is so typical for German-speaking countries in the month of December.” 

The annual German Christmas Market was celebrated for the sixteenth year in Sparta, and much like years prior, the event was a success. “The Sparta Christmas Market does a fabulous job showcasing [authentic German experiences] here in Sparta,” says Frau, adding that, “It even smells like Germany!” 

Much to the enjoyment of the crowd, the young Spartan singers put on an unforgettable performance. “It’s nice to see the students give back to the community and to contribute to the enjoyment of everyone,” reflects Frau Wessels. 

As the German students celebrate another success, there is no doubt next year’s show will be just as incredible! 


Written by: Brandon Drapeau

On Friday night, I had the opportunity to finally see the long-awaited Justice League. If you remember, last week I told you that I would see the movie and tell you if I liked Justice League or Thor: Ragnarok better.
This movie picks up right after Superman’s death and the big fight with Doomsday. Batman, who finally has some faith restored in the world and a regret for his feud with Superman, encounters a battle with a bug-like feature who leaves a symbol he has been seeing all across the world in similar scenarios. After a battle in Wonder Woman's homeland with a villain known as Steppenwolf, he steals one of three cubes, which holds the power to infinite life. Wonder Woman and Batman meet up and realize they need to form a team to take down this powerful super being, who with all three cubes would destroy and rebuild Earth as his own planet. Wonder Woman and Batman travel the world, eventually gaining the allegiance of Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. Having one of the cubes in their possession, they use it  for a secret - which won’t tell you because it will ruin the movie! It has a really intriguing ending - if you watched Batman vs Superman, you would love it.
Comparing both movies, it is very difficult to choose the best . Just the two mixtures of Hulk and Thor, and Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman were just too much fun to watch to really choose a side. But if I had to choose, it would most likely be Thor. I overall thought that Thor had a better story line and funnier characters, and the actors executed their roles better. Also, I personally like the Marvel movies more which may have a bias. Anyway, if you see me in the hallway, let me know which movie you liked better! There are not many good movies I see coming out before December 15th, AKA the day the new Star Wars comes out and I can’t wait to see it. I will definitely be letting you know how I feel about that.

Monday, December 4, 2017

For Better or For Worse, 80s Trends Have Risen From The Grave

Written by: Lauren Groff

Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Back to the Future… the list of iconic movies goes on and on, but one thing is for sure: the iconic fashion of the 1980's is the same. It is said that history repeats itself… well, roughly twenty years later we've found ourselves in the same spot we were before, filled with hauntingly similar styles. In case you haven't noticed the rebirth of 80's culture blossoming, here's a complete list of 80's trends that have made a resurrection.
  1. Scrunchies
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We like to wear them on our wrists and in our ponytails today, but because we think they're “vintage”... secretly, we all want to live in the time when these were in style, for real!

2.  Leggings
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They may not be in neon shades and bold prints as they were before, but leggings - particularly black ones - are running rampant… who doesn't own a pair?

3. Chokers
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We thought they were gone for good… until Forever 21 brought them into their stores. Chokers began popping up all over the internet and now, they're a daily accessory for many.

4. High-waisted Jeans
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High-waisted jeans, or “mom jeans” are in, as are high-waisted shorts and bikinis. We're not quite sure why we like them so much - maybe just because they're so comfy!

5. Oversized Jean Jackets
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Oversized jean jackets now sell for a high price at retailers such as Pacsun or Urban Outfitters, which is an odd thought considering how they were not meant to be such a high-priced item in the 80's. The things we do for fashion.

6. This half-high ponytail hairstyle
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The 2017 version may not be as teased, but the simple half-up half-down hairstyle is reappearing on the internet and in the hallways of SHS. Sometimes, ironically, girls will even tie up the do with a scrunchie!

7. Off-the-shoulder tops
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Again, a very popular and sought-after style sold in popular retailers such as Urban Outfitters, H&M, Hollister, American Eagle… for a much higher price.

8. Bodysuits
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Though they aren't worn as workout clothes as they were back in the day, bodysuits are often worn with high-waisted jeans, shorts, and skirts

9. Lace Tops
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Lace is back and better than ever! But did it ever really go out of style…?

10.  Converse
Converse, white in particular, are back in style. White may have not been as popular in the 80's, but at least we're taking our own spin on things.

While it seems that 2017 has a style of its own creation, we must not forget to credit the fabulous 1980's for its contribution to innovation in fashion. The only downside is that now, everything seems very overpriced for being “vintage”. Maybe our best bet for now is to save our wallets and just go shopping through our parents old clothes.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Sparta DECA Gives Back

Written by: Elise Kerim 

With an overwhelming amount of support from the community in their endeavors, Sparta High School’s DECA Chapter focused their energy into giving back this season.

The DECA chapter recently came together to bake cookies to be delivered to first responders, including the police department, fire department, and EMS team. A large plate of cookies and a letter expressing the students' gratitude was delivered personally delivered as the November holiday season was underway. Sparta DECA officers came together to lead the entire chapter to get together to make the season brighter for those who may be working on the holiday and constantly put their lives on the line to keep Sparta safe.

Seniors Hannah Fagersten (left)
and Shelby Kapp

While the local community is important, Sparta DECA wanted to reach the entire spectrum and give back on the grandest scale possible. After the Veterans Day Program at SHS, DECA was most definitely touched by the heartwarming stories shared by the veterans and the fact that if many of them could start fresh, they would go back and fight for our country all over again. In their respective marketing classes, students wrote letters to soldiers that will be away during the holiday season fighting for this country. Knowing how fortunate we are and how dedicated the soldiers are, DECA sent letters through Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit that sends care packages to American soldiers. Common themes in the letters were expressing gratitude, being thankful for their bravery, and recognizing their selfless service. Along with addressing them, the DECA members included a little information about themselves for the soldiers to connect and feel as if they had someone they were truly conversing with.

With more to come from the involved Sparta DECA chapter, make sure you stay tuned to The Oracle to be updated on their latest community service acts.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Exciting Road Trips For A Long Weekend

Written by: Kanita Tariq

The holiday season has officially begun, and everyone’s buzzing about their thrilling vacations and flashy planned adventures. Sound familiar if you can’t even remember the last time you stepped foot out of New Jersey? Not to worry! Take your own mini-vacation and flaunt those ‘gram-worthy pics to your friends with no shame!

Here are four of the biggest cities on the East Coast only a few hours away by road. So hop in a car with your family and enjoy your time off like a pro!

  1. New York, New York
It’s not so easy to forget that you live so close to the cultural capital of the world. NYC has something for everyone! Artist? Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, parading the world’s greatest masterpieces for your own enjoyment. Nature enthusiast? Take a stroll through Central Park, and if you’re just there for the sights, the Big Apple is nothing short of tourism. Foodie? The possibilities are endless! Take the Staten Island Ferry for a view of the Statue of Liberty, or pose with the many famous buildings scattered in the metropolis. We promise, you won’t be bored!
Credit: National Geographic Kids

  1. Boston
We learn about the significance of Boston in U.S. History, but could you ever have imagined the home of the Sons of Liberty to be one of the most happening cities in New England? Besides the many historical landmarks sprinkled through Boston, check out all the more-modern attractions (via the duck tour!). Whether it’s Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox, or the Skywalk Observatory in Prudential Tower, there’s loads to do in this millennial city.

Credit: Social Venue Partners

  1. Philadelphia
Another historic capital of America and the hometown of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, Philadelphia is a haven for history geeks everywhere. With museums, meeting houses, and more, every corner of the street has something new to learn. Not a fan? Don’t worry! Philly’s downtown has much to offer, including those world-famous cheesesteaks.
Credit: Lonely Planet

  1. Washington D.C.
The symbol of democracy and freedom, Washington D.C. is the place to go to feel some pride for your country. Museums, monuments, and memorials galore, D.C. is representative of every era in American history, from independence to modern day. Not only is it a groundbreaking historical city, but also a place to discover the inner workings of our government. Take a tour of the Capitol Building or visit the White House for a sneak peak into our country’s legislative and judicial branch. Even just a day in Washington could turn you into a patriotic pro like no other.

Credit: National Geographic Kids

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

December Concerts That Are Bound To Take Your Breath Away

Written by: Kanita Tariq

The holiday season is in full swing, and while family time is always a must, a show here and there can do no harm! Here are only some concerts for you to look forward to with family or friends in these cold months:

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
Credit: Ticketmaster
  • The Wellmont Theater
Montclair, NJ
December 21, 2017
  • The Garth Brooks World Tour Sponsored By Amazon Music Unlimited
Credit: Ticketmaster
  • Prudential Center
Newark, NJ
December 2, 2017
December 3, 2017
  • A Pentatonix Christmas Tour
Credit: Ticketmaster
  • Beacon Theatre
New York, NY
December 19, 2017
December 20, 2017
  • Rick Ross
Credit: Ticketmaster
  • The Wellmont Theater
Montclair, NJ
December 29, 2017

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

With Field Hockey Coming To An End, Coach Lindsley Looks Ahead

Written by: Lauren Groff

This past weekend at the Lafayette House restaurant and banquet hall, the Sparta Field Hockey team officially closed out their 2017-2018 fall season. Recognizing the hard work the girls put in beginning in early August, the team and their family members enjoyed a plentiful brunch and dessert buffet while awards were presented, memories were happily recounted, and a slideshow, courtesy of senior defender Lauren Zanetakos, was projected for all to see. Maria Strongilos, Alexis Gudenkauf, Lauren Zanetakos, goalie Angela Elzind, and captains Hope Nafis and Jillian VanFleet, all graduating Varsity seniors, were awarded with blankets embroidered with their jersey number as well as numerous accolades including the Coach’s Award presented to Alexis Gudenkauf and scholarship awards from the field hockey booster club.
Varsity Junior Caroline Kepler (left) with
Varsity sophomore Ashley Nyhan

With a large number of graduating seniors with starting positions on the field, the team’s success for next year's season now lies with the returning Varsity underclassmen: Sophomores Kenzie Merwin, Lauren Groff, Taylor Canfield, Allie McGuire, Audrey Krajicek, Stephanie Villar, and Ashley Nyhan. There are only three returning Varsity Junior players on the team, all of whom were named Senior captains for the 2018-2019 season: Caroline Kepler, Isabella Tracy, and Lucie Wolfson.

Though it may be a difficult building year ahead, Lindsley and her girls know better than anyone else in the Patriot League how to keep their heads up and keep working hard.

JV Sophomores Haley Capeci, Raina Dhand,
Ashley Nyhan (Varsity) and Yasmeen Caswell
JV sophomore Jessica Fenners (left) and Varsity
sophomore Lauren Groff