DPOSTM hands reins to another socially inept trio
January 14, 2005, 5:00 am·
After its most successful year ever, DPOSTM -- The Daily Pennsylvanian's Only Staff That Matters -- will usher in a new staff of editors this weekend.
And it is with great satisfaction that the old editors introduce this motley crew to you, the reader.
From a Star Wars nerd to a math nerd to a stoner/nerd, they all have one thing in common -- they will lose several friends this year.
Additionally, they will walk away from their experience as editors with much less of a social life than when they started.
Moreover, their grades will decrease significantly over the next two semesters, and their chances with the ladies -- which weren't that great to begin with -- will be virtually nonexistent.
So without further ado, let us present to you the sports editors of the 121st Board of The Daily Pennsylvanian.
Josh Hirsch might not be the coolest incoming senior sports editor of the DP, but he's certainly in the top 10.
This guy definitely defies the Ivy League stereotype of being a nerd.
Would nerds be "completely obsessed with Star Wars," as Hirsch's father, Rob, notes? I didn't think so.
Ladies, don't be surprised if you go out on a date with Josh and he whispers sweet nothings from Attack of the Clones into your ear.
Maybe if you're lucky, he'll take you back to his place to watch Return of the Jedi, where he'll point out how the DVD version differs slightly from the original film. Talk about cool.
Oh, and if you're ever interested in building an intergalactic spacecraft, ask Hirsch. Often called "Mr. Popular" by nobody, he has detailed blueprints for all of the film's ships.
But Hirsch -- who attended elementary school with Star Wars actress Natalie Portman -- defies the Penn stereotype in so many other ways.
For example, how many other Jews do you know on campus?
Hirsch is one of the rare few. He even attended a Jewish high school, Solomon Schechter, and Jewish summer camp, Ramah.
Also, Hirsch is one of those unique students who comes to Penn from Long Island.
But this Roslyn, N.Y., native has more talents than just being able to reconstruct the Millennium Falcon.
Unbeknownst to most, he is an accomplished thespian.
He played Mr. Smee in a camp production of Peter Pan.
In elementary school, he played an angel. His teachers spotted his amazing acting talent, giving him the complex role of velcroing a flower to a fake tree.
Unfortunately Hirsch must have had his mind on Qui-Gon Jinn and Chewbaca, as he could not accomplish this difficult task.
Of course, Hirsch's other love is sports.
He was recently upset when he heard that he would have to get an operation on his shoulder. But Hirsch was not angered that he would temporarily have to wear a sling.
"He was hoping he got Tommy John surgery," says his mom, Judy.
His high school athletic department gives out the "Annual Joshua Hirsch Award."
"We're not quite sure the criteria for this award," Hirsch's father says.
What about Hirsch's talent on the field?
"He gave up being on the Yankees a long time ago," his mom says.
He should fit in fine as senior sports editor.
Zachary Levine is no stranger to the limelight. He was a star long before he gained city-wide notoriety for his remarkably successful "Levine on the Scene" series.
Back in high school, Zac became famous in his hometown of Albany, N.Y., for his role on the TV show Mastermind, which ran locally.
DPOSTM's newest sports editor competed on a team of five contestants in a trivia game.
"He did very well," lifelong friend Jed Segal says with a chuckle. "He even ended up on a commercial. He says, 'Isaiah!' It was great, he got a little bit of fame."
That Zac would do well on a trivia show is a surprise to no one. This is a young man who, according to his mother, Lori, started paying attention to license plates and mailboxes when he was two years old because he liked the numbers.
By the time he got to sixth grade, he was taking college level math courses.
"The kid was doing postgraduate work in like the seventh or eighth grade," Zachary's uncle, Leon Aronowitz, says. "He was drawing numbers on our driveway before he was a year old."
But not everything has come easy for Mr. Levine. When asked how her son has changed since arriving at Penn in August 2003, Zachary's mother beams with pride.
"He makes his bed and does his laundry," Mrs. Levine says. "He never did that before."
His mother's absence has forced Zac to start taking more responsibility for himself. But it has opened up other doors, namely getting his fill of the thoroughbreds.
"He wants to be in turf writing," Aronowitz says. "He likes to bet. He'd be at the races all the time if it weren't for his mother."
With Lori blocking his path to the racetrack, Zac had to find other ways to entertain himself.
"He loved to play sports, but as much as he liked playing, he liked doing other things, like statkeeping or refing," Lori says. "I think he liked the control. He liked the whistle."
A statkeeping control freak with a whistle? Well, he obviously came to the right place.
The newspaper business runs at a very fast pace. But it's not fast enough for Jeff Greenwald. The 5-foot-10 incoming sports editor has enough energy for someone twice that size.
Greenwald, or "Hookah" as he's known in some circles, cannot sit still for even a minute.
"He's very high strung," Bruce Greenwald says of his son. "Everything is last minute with him."
So it's fortunate for the DP that the concept of deadlines is very familiar to Greenwald. He'll be working under a lot of time pressure in his long nights at the office this year. And meeting deadline will be both essential and challenging, considering Greenwald has one of the most highly skilled positions in the sports department -- copying and pasting. This job makes nuclear physics look like baking a cake.
So it goes without saying that the DP brought in a highly qualified candidate to fill that role.
Greenwald's passion for sports began when he was growing up in Ohio -- despite the fact that the state is devoid of a real professional team except for the Buckeyes of The Ohio State University.
Even living in the cradle of NCAA violations didn't deter Greenwald from pursuing his true passion: ice hockey. Not only did he begin skating at age two, but he has made quite a name for himself on the Penn men's club team.
And this fourth-line winger, who captained his JV team in high school, is already on his way to the NHL, if there ever is an NHL again.
Garrett Young, a teammate of Greenwald and incoming DP managing editor, had this to say about Jeff's chances of going pro: "Well, he does show up everyday." Young notes that Greenwald regularly enjoys keeping himself "entertained" in the locker room.
Nothing like the ol' "A for effort."
But hey, everyone's a winner in DPOSTM.
He may have been a handful as a child -- in fact, his father's first words when asked about Jeff are, "What has he done now?" -- but Greenwald should strive here in DPOSTM, as long has he's adequately sedated.