Seen On Campus: Garbage



The Circuit takes a closer look at a trend seen on campus through still photography and video footage.

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Dressing for success on test days



For freshmanLauren Bodden, test days are a day to dress down into sweatpants and a hoodie. Sophomore Arianne Eskenazi, on the other hand, likes to dress up for tests in order to be more inspired.

Either way, after students have finished all their studying, they have one more thing to think about: what to wear.

Eskenazi is one of the students who would rather dress up for tests.

“I feel lazy if I wear, for example, sweatpants and a tank top,” Eskenazi said. “I feel it helps me do better on the test.”

Eskenazi’s outfit for a test day includes jeans, a nice topand lots of jewelry. She said she will always wear earrings to a test, and that having rings on is especially important to her.

“I dress up for myself. I really think it helps me do better in school,” she said. “I feel better when I dress up nicely. Most people think the exact opposite, but it works for me.”

Eskenazi said dressing classy is the best thing to do. She said if she were to wear a sweatshirt to school then it would feel as if she were supposed to be at home sick.

“The saying ‘dress for success’ describes me perfectly,” she said. “I feel and look better when I dress up. I do better on tests this way.”

Sophomore Ricardo Lacruz said hechooses to dress in his lucky clothing, which usually consists of his black t-shirt and khakis.

“The way I dress is comfortable, and that allows me to focus on my test,” he said. “I do better on tests when I wear my lucky clothing.”

On days when Lacruz does not have tests, he said he will try to dress fancier. He started wearing his lucky outfit when he did well on a difficult test at the beginning of the year.

“I don’t know many people who have a lucky shirt, but I think clearer and feel more relaxed on tests when I am wearing it,” he said.

Contrary to Eskenazi, sophomore Martin Abasto said he chooses to dress down for tests. His outfit for a test consists of cargo shorts, a t-shirt and a sweatshirt.

“It’s comfortable and sometimes, most of the time, it’s really cold in classrooms, so not only is the hoodie comfortable but it keeps me warm,” he said. “I could never take a test if I was freezing cold.”

Mathematics teacher Harry Marshall is one who has noticed this trend.

“I’ve come to realize that on test days the majority of students come in comfortable clothing, which is understandable,” he said. “It tends to be cold in the classroom, so students will come in wearing sweaters.”

Abasto said his wardrobe for a test does not vary much from what he wears on a day-to-day basis. His everyday outfit will consist of shorts or long pants and a shirt.

“It’s really important to me that I have a hoodie for the test. I dress the way I do for tests because it helps me do better,” he said. “I don’t think it’s necessary to dress up for a test. My main focus that day will be the test, so I might as well dress comfortably.”

Bodden is like Abasto in that she believes that dressing down for a test is ideal. She said her outfit for a test will consist of a sweatshirt and sweatpants.

“I feel more comfortable in sweat pants and a hoodie because it feels like I’m at home instead of at school,” she said. “Test days are the type of days when right after I just want to sleep, so dressing the way I do allows me to do that.”

Bodden said she will not wear any jewelry for test days, and that she will dress fancier for non-test days. She said that she does not have to impress anyone the day of a test, so she can dress how she likes.

“I think that dressing comfortably plays a big role in how I do on the test,” she said. “I think that the way I dress does help me do better.”

Although Bodden and Abasto believe that the way they dress for a test influences how well they do, senior Rebecca Kravitz believes the opposite.

“I don’t dress differently on test days,” she said. “I only dress differently when I’m tired, which is not necessarily a test day.”

Kravitz’s everyday outfit will consist of shorts and a nice shirt and this does not vary on a test day.

“I don’t think that they way I dress plays a role in how well I do on the test,” she said. “It doesn’t change anything.”

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Battle of the beverages: Dunkin Donuts vs. Starbucks



It was a bright Monday morning and just like always, junior Stephanie Moreno needed her caffeine boost to start the morning. As she walked into Starbucks, Moreno happily waited in line to order her drink before school.

Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks are among the two most popular hot spots for students to get coffee and some students at the Bay display strong opinions of their favorite choice.

“Starbucks has much more of a variety of drinks, which is why I would choose Starbucks over Dunkin any day,” Moreno said. “The atmosphere is just of a typical coffee shop, which is why I love it. Dunkin has a few different types of coffee, but Starbucks has so many more different specialty drinks, not to mention the secret menu.”

Moreno said she goes to Starbucks at least three times a week and gets her favorite Java Chip Frappuccino every time.

“The creativity of the drinks and all the different flavors is just mind-blowing,” Moreno said.

On the other hand, junior Morgan Adler said she prefers Dunkin Donuts because Starbucks drinks are simply too fattening.

“I hate coffee and that’s literally all Starbucks has, not to mention that each drink there is so many calories,” she said. “It’s just gross.”

Adler also said she likes how Dunkin Donuts doesn’t just focus on drinks but also serves pastries, bagels, donuts, sandwiches and muffins.

“Even though Starbucks has some foods and sandwiches, the choices are so limited that it just doesn’t compare to Dunkin,” she said.

Sophomore Luisa Rodrigues said even though she likes both Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks, she prefers Starbucks.

“I actually go to them both, but I prefer Starbucks over Dunkin,” Rodrigues said. “Starbucks is just such a great little cafe because you can go to get a drink and then stay to do school work or have a study session with friends.”

Rodrigues also said she really loves how Starbucks has an appreciation for their workers, animals and environment.

“Starbucks is a fair trade company, which means they respect the workers and animals that are used to give Starbucks the materials they need to make their products,” she said. “They’re treated fairly and are paid and treated respectably. Knowing that, it makes me want to go more.”

Rodrigues said she still rotates every morning between Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks but is satisfied wherever she goes.

Junior Natalia Angel said Starbucks is also her preferred place because of the specialty drinks.

“I’m not really a coffee lover, but my favorite drinks are from Starbucks,” she said. “I always get the Vanilla Bean Frappucino with the lemon cake.”

Angel says even though she likes Dunkin Donuts as well, she really likes lemon, and Dunkin Donuts doesn’t really have any lemon-flavored products.

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Senior pursues passion of playing harp



Senior Olivia Aleguas discovered one passion through the inability to perform another.

Although ballet is an important part of Aleguas’ life, constant injuries three years ago forced her to stop and take a longer break period than usual. She took advantage of this time out and began a new journey into the world of playing the harp.

“There are just so many things about playing the harp that make it the best thing. Just getting to have the opportunity to perform for others, for example,” Aleguas said.

The larger-than-usual instrument comes in a variety of sizes and costs. Harps will often range from a price of $3,000 to $189,000 depending on the model. Aleguas’ harp weighs about 45 pounds and stands three inches taller than she. Her instrument is considered small enough to carry; however, other harps often call for specialized carts for specific models.

Even though the harp is a cumbersome instrument to carry around, Aleguas chose the harp due to a unique song done by a singer under the stage name of Gregory and the Hawk.

“Meredith Godreau’s song ‘Landscape’ was actually the song that inspired me to play,” Aleguas said. “I ended up playing for the talent show this year. It was a really big accomplishment for me to be able to play the song that inspired me.”

Playing at the talent show for the Bay Factor also turned out to be one of the most important moments for Aleguas since she originally was not going to perform due to a car accident earlier that week. Knowing that the performance was for a good cause, Aleguas decided to continue with the show despite being shaken by the recent car accident.

“The energy from the crowd was amazing. Their reaction to my performance was just the motivation I needed after the accident,” Aleguas said. “It was a great night filled with friends and encouragement. Definitely a night that I will never forget.”

Playing for the talent show at the Bay has not been her only performance. Aleguas has also done volunteer performances at community centers.

“I always try to do volunteer performances when I can because I think it’s important to spread music,” she said. “I just want to continue playing for as long as I can and hopefully teach others.”

By playing at places in the community such as retirement homes, nature centers, and libraries, Aleguas said new people become exposed to her music and instrument.

“I think it’s really important to get it out there and try to inspire others,” she said.

Aleguas is not alone in these beliefs. Her harp teacher Charlene Conner performs with Aleguas at the American Harp Society’s community concerts. Ms. Conner, also president of the South Florida Chapter in the American Harp Society, exudes pride in Aleguas’ skills.

“Olivia is a very dedicated and fine harpist and a well rounded person with many strengths,” Ms. Conner said.

Aleguas has also spread inspiration and emotion into her family with her playing. Aleguas’ sister, sophomore Marisa Aleguas, said Olivia exudes raw beauty in her playing.

“Olivia’s playing inspires me to work hard and rise up to my full potential as she demonstrates she has done with each and every song,” Marisa said.

Marisa said her sister is able to portray intelligence and a bubbly, genuine personality behind every note. As she listens at home, Marisa is able to feel Olivia’s attitude, cheerfulness, and concentration behind every note during any practice.

Aleguas is able to deliver lyrical performances, which involve singing as well. In the end, she said her disadvantage in ballet created a new advantage in the unusual instrument of the harp by expressing herself in a way other than words.

“There are just so many things about playing the harp that make it the best thing. Just getting to have the opportunity to perform for others,” she said, “that’s probably the biggest thing that I like about playing the harp.”

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Bitcoins get mixed reviews as online currency

BY COLE WINTONbitcoingraphic

A new form of virtual currency known as bitcoins has become more widely used. Bitcoins don’t physically exist. They have to be purchased from a computer.

“It’s a form of virtual currency that you mine with your computer,” sophomore Jordan Press said. “The faster your computer, the quicker you can mine them.”

With a stronger computer and better Internet connection, bitcoins can be added to an account, which functions similarly to a PayPal account, at a faster rate.  Someone looking to buy bitcoins simply has to go to and click on the “create a wallet” button.

“People use their computer’s processing power to get this currency from a program,” Press said.

Bitcoins don’t function and aren’t supported like normal currency.  They aren’t heavily regulated, as an unknown amount of them exists, and they are exchanged for objects, not necessarily cash.

“It’s a decentralized currency that doesn’t have a main bank. It’s created by users,” senior Omer Bensaadon said.

Junior Justin Krumper pointed out that the Sacramento Kings basketball team currently accepts bitcoins as payment for tickets and merchandise.  The bitcoin store can be accessed at  From there, checkout is completed normally, using a bitcoin account rather than a PayPal account or credit card number.

People don’t just use bitcoins to buy items online.  They also can make money strictly off of investing in the company.

“I think it’s a good way to invest,” Bensaadon said. “I was about to buy some bitcoins. I thought they would go down, but the next day they shot up to $1,000. I had the account set up and everything but they became too expensive.”

Bitcoins provide a certain benefit that normal currencies don’t: users can buy and sell bitcoins anonymously, as the currency can’t be traced due to its encryption.  Crypto-currency has no central bank and can’t be easily traced.

“I think they’re good,” Bensaadon said. “I think everything that doesn’t require government regulation is probably a good thing so I can do whatever I want with it.”

Due to the fact that its movement can’t be tracked, users exploit the currency in illegal ways.  The Silk Road, an online drug market, accepts bitcoins as payment. The currency was also in the news recently because of the theft of bitcoins.

There are mixed opinions on the impact of bitcoins. While some students say they are beneficial, others argue that they are misused.

“It’s both good and bad. They are a form of currency that is available to you all the time, but if you need to pay for something cash-wise, it’s going to be hard considering you invest all this money in an online currency,” Krumper said.

Even though Press recognizes the dangers of bitcoins, like people using them for illegal purposes, he still thinks there can be benefits.

“They can be good because some people like having their privacy and security,” he said.

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Recent graduate creates self-owned company




Cycling up the mountains of Durango, pedaling down the snowy streets of Forest Avenue and riding through the corridors of the Fort Lewis College campus in Colorado, Cypress Bay alumnus Max Thilen is on the move, not only with his cycling, but also with his own business.

Since November 2013, Thilen has been running his own company, The Max Factory, where he creates, produces and sells his own T-shirts that are marketed to cyclers. After successfully owning an auto detailing company while he attended the Bay, Thilen said his passion for business and designing now meshes with his love for cycling.

“I started the Max Factory to help support my cycling career,” said Thilen, who graduated from the Bay in 2013. “I needed money to be able to travel but no one here in Durango would hire me because of how frequently I travel. In hindsight, no one wanting to hire me was a good thing because it motivated me to start something on my own.”

After five years of traveling around the world for competitive cycling, Thilen is now a member of the Airgas Development Cycling team, which is a semi-professional team. He is also a member of the second best Division1 collegiate cycling team at Fort Lewis.

“My experience with bikes has been in a more competitive setting, but I love the way bicycles offer a sense of freedom to kids. More than anything, that’s what I would love to promote,” he said.

Since his company is still growing, Thilen said for the moment he is only producing T-shirts. However, he plans to branch out to produce hats, beanies and other accessories.

“When I first started, I was focusing solely on cycling related designs, but now I’m trying to branch out past that niche,” he said. “I want to build my brand as a street wear clothing company and hopefully become known for my playful designs.”

Thilen’s cycling team director Chris Johnson of Airgas Pro Cycling said he works closely with Thilen and helps him expand his business. Johnson said Thilen’s ambition and creativity has allowed the business to expand at a rapid rate.

“Starting your own business is a great learning experience and I could see that Max was already putting the pieces together and realizing that it was feasible,” Johnson said. “I’m continually impressed with the designs and the materials he produces to promote his company.”

Thilen said the shirts he creates are all produced in the United States, sweatshop free. He said his main focus is ensuring high quality in his products.

“I’ve spent a lot of time and money focusing on little details like hand-stitched hem tags and screen-printed size labels,” he said. “There are plenty of things that I could have done to widen my profit margins and decrease my overhead, but I wanted to create a product that I believe in. Attention to detail is incredibly important to me. I think that this is really evident when you see my shirts.”

In addition to making sure his company produces the highest quality shirts, Thilen said he also tries to appeal to his customers by shipping a special surprise gift with every purchase.

“I’ve worked to create an experience for my customers,” he said. “To create this experience, all shirts come gift wrapped in a custom box. Since everyone loves surprises, every order comes with a special gift. The gift always changes. It might be a button, candy or a Lego figure.”

Johnson said Thilen truly cares about his work, and that shines through his business.

“I think that the energy Max brings to The Max Factory is one of the obvious traits that has helped propel his business forward,” he said. “He doesn’t take shortcuts and from his products to his packaging you can tell that he cares about what he is doing and that means a lot.”

Thilen advertises his company through social media.

“Almost all of my marketing is through social media and word of mouth. I think that in this day and age, if you want to start a business you don’t really need to pay for advertising,” he said.

Even though the majority of the publicity his company gets is online, he said his preferred form of advertising is talking directly with a customer in person.

“I always carry promo cards and buttons with me to hand out whenever I meet new people,” he said. “I want to create a personal feel with my brand which is what led me to use my face as a logo. I think that when people know the story behind my brand and that they’re buying something from a college kid rather than some big box online retailer, they’re more willing to spend money on a shirt.”

Not only does Johnson serve as Thilen’s mentor for cycling, but also for running the business.

“I try and help Max by being someone he can shoot ideas off and I try to listen a lot and then also give ideas and encourage him,” he said. “Starting your our business is a roller coaster and I have just tried to be there for Max as a mentor. Max has asked me about a number of issues ranging for specific designs to more general business decisions.”

Thilen said he receives tremendous support for his business from his family.

“Currently, I get most of my web traffic through social media referrals,” he said. “Whenever I’m getting ready to release a new shirt, my friends and family help a lot by offering their opinions on the new designs.”

Although he is not currently working with any charities or organizations, Thilen said he plans on contributing to a children’s foundation with the profits he receives from his company.

“I’ve been trying to find the right foundation but I’d like to work with a charity that donates bikes to underprivileged kids,” he said. “Because of the impact bicycles have had on my life, I’d love to be able to help make bicycles a part of more children’s lives. Hopefully, I can make shirts for charity and really make an impact is a huge goal of mine.”

Even though he is currently training on the developmental team for Airgas Cycling, Thilen said he has hopes to eventually move up the ranks and become a member of the professional team.

“If I do well this season, I’m on a team where I could jump right up to the professional team,” he said. “I’d like to move up in the future, but I am struggling with a knee injury right now. Moving up would happen hopefully this following season.”

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Junior plays piano, composes music



Although for most just listening to music is sufficient, junior Sam Friefeld takes his passion for music a step further by producing his own.

Ever since he was 8 years old, Friefeld has been playing the piano, taking after his father and older brother, who play as well.

“I started playing mostly because my dad wanted me to, but I’ve grown to love it over the years,” Friefeld said.

Even though Friefeld said he loves playing the piano, and often participating in recitals, practicing once a week with his teacher didn’t satisfy his need to be more involved with music. About two years ago, after experimenting with the piano, trumpet, saxophone and drums, Friefeld realized he wanted to produce his own music.

“I really got into electronic music because there’s a whole plethora of things that you can do and different noises and songs you can make,” Friefeld said. “I really like it because it allows you to express your inner feelings and beliefs and how you are at the moment, and even your spirit, in the form of music.”

Friefeld’s family has gotten used to him playing the piano, and has recently gotten used to him blasting his mixes.

“Sam’s always been playing the piano, and when he started using computer programs to edit his music, I thought it was really unique,” said Emily Friefeld, Sam’s twin sister, who also plays the piano.

Friefeld said he was inspired after going to Ultra Music Festival in March 2013 because he had the chance to see what it’s really like to produce and mix music.

“After seeing Madeon’s set, I realized how cool it would be to produce my own music, especially after seeing someone my age that does it,” said Friefeld, referring to a producer from France. “I then realized I could be doing the same thing and really enjoying it. He’s such an inspiration because he uses things like mini-pads to make his music.”

Friefeld’s mom, Ayala Friefeld, said Sam’s music interests have shifted since he started playing at age 8.

“Sam went from listening to classical music every night to enjoying electronic and rap music even more,” Mrs. Friefeld said. “But he’s always enjoyed composing his own music and playing the piano.”

Friefeld taught himself how to produce and mix his songs. Using programs like Fruity Loops, Logic Pro 10, Native Instruments and Abelton, Friefeld said he learned how to incorporate his musical skills to a techno-sounding music genre. He uses sites such as SoundCloud and iTunes to publish his creations.

“In my songs, I incorporate piano by first playing it and recording it, and then transferring it to the song,” he said.

Even if it’s just producing a few songs, Friefeld said producing music will always stay with him.

“I can’t see myself doing something that doesn’t involve music,” Friefeld said.

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Waking up early for school requires different forms of motivation


Freshman Kirian Sanchez lost his alarm clock in the morning.  He didn’t simply misplace his alarm clock and forget where he put it but the alarm clock ran away and hid when it was time to wake up.

“I have a run-away alarm clock to wake me up in the morning,” said Sanchez, referring to the novelty item that moves as it rings. “It is a good way to wake up because I am forced to get out of bed to chase down my beeping alarm clock in order to shut it off.  By the time I get to the alarm clock, I am awake enough that I don’t want to go back to bed.”

postwake up motivation

Students are motivated in different ways to wake up in the morning and arrive to school when the sun is still rising. Parents or siblings may wake them up; others use novelty items like Sanchez’s; and some rely on a set routine to get them going.

Sanchez said he sets his alarm in the morning at an early time so he has enough time to wake himself up and get ready for school. Along with the alarm clock, he internally motivates himself to wake up for school because he doesn’t like making up assignments that he misses.

“I set my alarm to the time I want to wake up and I set it on a desk less than five feet tall so it falls down off of the desk without breaking,” he said.  “In the morning it goes off like a normal alarm clock, but then it falls off the desk and starts running around my room.”

Kimberly Patterson, an AP Psychology teacher, said all students need an appropriate amount of sleep so they can wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and awake.

“It’s always best to wake up to soft music that gradually increases and light that gradually increases because it imitates the natural soft sounds of nature and sunrise,” Ms. Patterson said. “It is within our biological comfort zone.”

Ms. Patterson said people wake up still tired anytime they are hit with loud noises, bright lights, or a loud scream.  She said another bad way to wake up is to press the snooze button.

“Snooze buttons are the devil,” Ms. Patterson said. “People think that it wakes them up and then they think they are getting more sleep when they hit the snooze button but they go into a stage of light sleep and the brain doesn’t get to sleep at all in this state.”

Freshman Camille Morar said many of her friends stay up late at night working on homework or watching their favorite TV shows which makes waking up a difficult task for them.  She said she has a routine that she tries to stick to every morning to ensure she is ready for school.

“I set my alarm an hour before I wake up in the morning so I can mentally prepare myself to wake up,” Morar said. “It’s a process I have to go through every morning before school.”

Morar said she sets her alarm early and then hits the snooze button a couple of times until it is 6 a.m.  Once it is 6 a.m. she is ready to get out of bed and start her day.

“I do a five minute workout in the morning after I get out of bed to get the blood flowing in my body,” Morar said.  “I do a series of crunches, stretches and planks.  Then I go to the kitchen and make hot tea.”

Sophomore Romina Palmero said waking up before the sun rises can makes getting out of bed extremely difficult. She has her own methods.

“In the morning after my alarm goes off for the second time, I count down from 25 and then when I finally reach number one, I tell myself that I have to get up,” Palmero said. “So far my method of counting down has worked.  Sometimes when I am really tired and I am dreading getting out of bed and go to school, I count really slowly to extend my time lying in bed.”

Palmero said sometimes she hits the snooze button multiple times before she actually starts counting down.  She becomes more tired the more times she hits the snooze button.

Sophomore Gabrielle Ferguson said she uses a basic alarm clock to wake up.

“I have eight alarms and they are all different sounds so that I don’t get used to one sound and I will wake up right away,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson said alarm clocks are a good because they have repeated sounds that force your brain to drift out of sleep mode and into reality. She relies on her alarm clocks every morning to wake her up so she can keep up her attendance record.

“I hate missing school. I haven’t missed one day of school this year and I don’t want to start missing school now because I couldn’t wake up when my alarm clock goes off,” Ferguson said. “I usually wake up after the fourth or fifth ring and I don’t usually get to the last alarm ring.”

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Authentic meals, cultural foods are important to all ethnicities


Sophomore Michelle Kaae has grown up in a multicultural background, her mother being Mexican and her father being Danish. She said she has different dinners almost every night, the foods varying from spicy tacos to salty herring.

Like Kaae, there are other students and teachers on campus who come from different cultural backgrounds. They have grown up eating ethnic foods that aren’t typically on mainstream menus. The foods can either be easy to find in the local markets or extremely difficult to find in specialty stores.

“Danish food isn’t that easy to find,” Kaae said. “We only really get it when my family and I visit Denmark and bring it home. The stores only sell the basic foods, such as meats or veggies, but things like herring and fish eggs aren’t generally found. Since we live in South Florida, Mexican food isn’t that hard to find. We have been able to find a couple of Latin markets. But the certain, specific brands that are more central and ethnic to the region that I am from are really only found back home.”

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Sophomore Sabrina Rutner said she has grown up in a Jewish household, which has meant plenty of Israeli dishes and foods that must be kosher.

“Kosher snacks are easy to find at the local supermarkets,” Rutner said. “Meats and dairies are also easy to find as well. However, some must be found at special markets such as Aroma.”

Math teacher Joseph Despagne is from Haiti and said the ethnic foods that he eats are not that hard to find.

“Some foods that I eat would include greo, which is basically fried pork served with fried plantains, or I eat a simple rice with beans dish,” Mr. Despagne said. “The ingredients found in these dishes are basic foods and easy to find.”

Kaae said there aren’t that many great Danish restaurants locally, but there is an abundance of Mexican restaurants, some just aren’t as ethnic.

“There is really only one authentic Danish restaurant locally called Cafe Vienna,” Kaae said. “As for Mexican restaurants, we have found quite a few, the closest being I Love Tacos right here in Weston. The restaurant serves very authentic and ethnic foods. It is the best Mexican food I have eaten outside of Mexico.”

Kaae said when she and her family can’t find a good, authentic restaurant, either Danish or Mexican, she prefers home-cooked meals.

“My dad usually makes a dish called frickadeller, which are just Danish meatballs,” Kaae said. “My mom likes to make tacos with different kinds of meats, chilis and fresh herbs. Or she makes another dish called posole, which is chicken soup with corn and vegetables.”

Rutner said there really aren’t that many Israeli restaurants locally, let alone places that cook strictly kosher foods.

“I haven’t really found any authentic Israeli restaurants that the serve classic foods,” Rutner said. “It becomes especially hard when looking for kosher food, barely any restaurants do it. I prefer to eat home-cooked Israeli meals made by either my grandma or my mom.”

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No need to check in when hotel is home



Sophomore Sescily Connell does not live in a house. She lives in a hotel.

Connell has been living in the Marriot Residence Inn for more than a year.

Connell’s mom Cristina Connell moved into the hotel due to financial reasons and were given a contract allowing them to stay in the Marriot Residence Inn longer then seasonal guests do.

“The opportunity came up when the manager offered me a contract to stay for at least a year,” Ms. Connell said. “At the moment I felt accepting the contract was the best thing for me and Sescily due to financial problems at the time.”

Before living in the hotel, the two lived in San Michelle.

“The move from San Michelle to the Marriot was not very dramatic because it was really close and all we had to bring over were our clothes,” she said.

Connell said that even though she did have to move, she was happy to be able to stay in Weston so she could still go to the Bay with her close friends.

“I would have been devastated if I had to switch schools and leave all my friends,” she said. “Not having to change schools in my eyes was all I cared about when moving.”

Connell said she was hesitant about living in a hotel in the beginning, but now she has gotten used to it.

“I have started to call the hotel home because it truly has become a part of my life,” she said. “Living in the hotel for so long now, I can’t imagine living in a normal house.”

Connell said she would compare her hotel room to a mini apartment.

“My room has two beds, a couch, televisions, one bathroom, and a little kitchen,” she said. “Living in a hotel is like living in an apartment, but it is a little smaller and has lots of amenities.”

The biggest amenity is the complimentary breakfast served every morning, she said.

“I love being able to just wake up and all I have to do is go downstairs to be served a delicious meal,” Connell said. “The food is always tasty and puts me in a good mood for school.”

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights Connell is also served a complimentary dinner in the hotel dining room, which is catered by Carolina Ale House.

“The advantage of not having to cook every night is really helpful when my mom works late as a realtor,” she said.

Connell said having the availability to have her room cleaned by maids daily helps her keep herself organized.

“I love coming home every day to a clean room and a made bed,” she said. “I used to hate having to clean my room when I was a little kid, so it being done for me now is a dream come true.”

Due to the fact the Marriot Residence Inn does not have a gym on the premises, all guests have a membership to the gym Midtown Athletic Club located on Royal Palm Boulevard while staying at the hotel. Connell said she’s never lived anywhere with a pool before moving to the hotel so that is an exciting perk as well.

Ms. Connell said she finds there to be many advantages as well as disadvantages living in the hotel.


“My favorite part of living in the hotel is always feeling safe knowing the security is always watching out,” Ms. Connell said. “The only thing I do get annoyed of though is the small space Sescily and I share in the single hotel room.”

Ms. Connell said she does feel bad that Sescily does not have that much room to herself.

“I wish I was able to give Sescily at least her own room because the single room we share is small and she does not have that much privacy,” she said.

Connell said she wished she had friends her age staying at the hotel because most the guests are adults.

“The Cleveland Clinic hospital is across the street so most of the guests are friends and family of patients,” she said. “I wish I had a couple friends at the hotel, because even when I finally do meet someone nice, they usually are on vacation and are leaving soon.”

Connell said that throughout her stay at the hotel, she has made friends, though, with hotel staff members.

“The concierges are super friendly and warm. They have almost filled in the role as having neighbors,” Connell said. “The staff always makes my mom and I feel welcome.”

Friend Barbara Gil said visiting Connell at the Marriot is always so much fun especially when they have sleepovers.

“I love going to the Marriot and hanging out with Sescily,” said Gil, a sophomore. “We always have the best times either at the pool or just hanging out in the lobby. Whenever I go over I feel like we’re living the life of ‘The Sweet Life of Zach and Cody,’ a TV show on Disney channel.”

Even though she and her mom’s contract will be up in June, Connell said they do not have any definite plans so far as to where they will be going.

“I have truly grown to love the Marriot and I’m going to miss it a lot when I leave,” Connell said. “Maybe I will move into a house or maybe just another hotel.”

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