The Patriot The Student News Site of West Morris Mendham High School Mon, 06 Apr 2020 16:45:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A Day in the Life of Mr. McGoldrick Mon, 06 Apr 2020 16:45:50 +0000 Although we are doing remote learning, that doesn’t mean you can’t catch up with Mr. McGoldrick! Mr. McGoldrick sat down with us to explain what his daily routine is at Mendham High School.

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Featured Artist: Daniel Hellreigel Mon, 06 Apr 2020 16:41:54 +0000 Daniel Hellriegel is a multi-talented junior here at West Morris High School. Over the years he has taken part in theater both as a performer and a student director, sang with the select choir “Mendham Voices,” and both the auditioned and non-auditioned boys acapella groups. He was initially drawn to acapella because of the friendly and fun community. Men In Black is the non-auditioned boy’s acapella group, it’s counterpart being Ladies in Red, and “is a comfortable place where you can talk to everybody.” Daniel joined choir class this school year, and currently sings with

“Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.””

— Kahlil Gibran

. While Daniel has been in choir for just a few months, his musical ability has been cultivated over many years.

In addition to being a great singer, Dan has been practicing the piano since he was in the fifth grade. Daniel views playing the piano as an asset to his singing, as he already knew how to read music and has honed his sight-reading skills over the years. Despite the benefits of both playing the piano and being a part of the choir, Daniel says the two practices are very different. He describes the piano as “much more skill based, and singing is much more subjective,” and greatly appreciates that improvement on the piano is measurable. 

Music, and being around music, has the appeal of being pure fun. Daniel describes himself as a musical kid, and wants to continue to keep music near him into adulthood, however he doesn’t think he would pursue a career in the industry. He wants to continue participating in music simply because it is fun. Daniel’s taste in music is definitely fun, as his favorite style to sing is either jazz or belting. “There is no in between, it’s either growly or screaming.” Dan’s versatility has proved to be very useful, as he has had many solos in acapella songs throughout his choir experience, and can embrace musical challenges with optimism and confidence.

While participating in choir class and the after school groups, Daniel also plays a pivotal part in Mendham Players’ productions as both an actor and a student director. He says that having the lens of a student director has personally been helpful, as he is more aware of what people want to see from the audience. Dan has also found that he has gained a “different respect for getting notes,” and that the directors are simply, “looking for the best product.” Daniel is aware that criticisms are not ill intentioned, and is willing to be flexible and collaborative to create a memorable performance.
Daniel’s artistic ability stretches far, as does his appreciation for the arts. There is no doubt that wherever life takes him, he will excel.

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Behind the Scenes of Rent! Wed, 01 Apr 2020 16:38:35 +0000 Join The Patriot for behind the scenes coverage of our spring musical Rent. Enjoy the interviews with Mr. Barthel (Director), Mrs. Borkowski (Producer), Olive D’Agostino (Student Director), and Lucas Falick (Lead Actor – Mark).

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Coronavirus Update – a Patriot Broadcast Fri, 27 Mar 2020 23:17:29 +0000

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Thinking About and Deeply Dissecting Our Media Isn’t Worthless Fri, 27 Mar 2020 04:46:36 +0000 This is an opinion piece. Elisabeth Sauerman is a senior at Mendham who Writes for Arts & Entertainment. All opinions expressed in the following editorial are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Patriot.


Dissect, according to Merriam-Webster, is “to analyze and interpret minutely”.

People dissect almost every type of media: from books to videogames, television, movies, fictional podcasts; the list goes on and on. Because of the existence of lore, thousands upon thousands of communities have sprung up to dissect and analyze the history found within the media they consume. In more recent times, many YouTube channels and subreddits were founded with the specific purpose of sharing discoveries and coming up with possible applicable theories to the topics they talk about.

Those who dissect media take their understandings in many different directions. Some choose to put together a chronological timeline of events, or to find answers to some of their biggest unanswered questions, or to come up with a cohesive understanding of how certain established systems within the worldbuilding specifically work. Some may take their analysis and take things a step further by connecting the themes and ideas expressed within the piece of media and connect them to the real world. These analyses can take on a more serious or silly tone, but the intention of furthering the general understanding of the piece of media is usually the standard ideal.

Dissecting media, and lore specifically (though not limited to videogames), provides many benefits, one of which is the development of critical thinking skills. Most pieces of media do not offer direct or easy answers to questions consumers may pose, and that requires consumers to find the answers themselves by gathering evidence to come to a supported but speculative conclusion. Any piece of media may have an abundance of evidence for consumers to sort through. People have to decide what’s relevant, and what can be tossed out the window. Additionally, they need to stitch together this evidence to come to a cohesive and understandable conclusion with advanced critical thinking skills. Through the continual analysis and dissection of media, critical thinking skills can be developed in new and different ways.

Because of the different amounts of evidence supplied, and the general interconnectedness of these communities, a lot of people feel the need to qualify claims on their own. Through analyzing the validity of different claims, people are able to develop not only their critical thinking skills, but how they think about information presented to them. They won’t think about it at face value, but deeper, which promotes fact-checking.”

In an age where people take information from the internet as true without questioning the accuracy of the claims, deep analysis of media overturns this practice and promotes in-depth research and fact-checking. Almost anyone can make claims about pieces of media in online forums or in a YouTube video, but that person will come under immediate scrutiny if they do not support their claims with ample evidence. Within these communities, new theories and ideas are brought up every day, and the people who come up with these claims qualify the theories to different extents. Because of the different amounts of evidence supplied, and the general interconnectedness of these communities, a lot of people feel the need to qualify claims on their own. Through analyzing the validity of different claims, people are able to develop not only their critical thinking skills, but how they think about information presented to them. They won’t think about it at face value, but deeper, which promotes fact-checking.


Hollow Knight - Wikipedia

Photo Courtesy of Team Cherry.

Deep dissection of media also provides a passion for people to follow through with and can introduce people to new interests they may not have thought about before. This statement can go in many different directions. Because someone consumes articles or videos where people dissect media, they may become interested in the process and start writing articles or making videos of their own. Alternatively, the people that originally put out this type of content might find a new interest or appreciation for a certain topic through something new that they dissect. A third option is that someone who consumes this content might start also consuming the media that is dissected. The third option is certainly true for me. I mainly watch a lot of videos that dissect and analyze various video games. Usually these videos store themselves in the back of my brain, and I’ll remember the games that they are about. Recently, I’ve watched videos about one game in particular—Hollow Knight (2017). Since buying it, I’ve put countless hours into the indie title, and I’ve found enjoyment through playing it. Because of these analyses that I’ve watched, I’ve been able to find a new pastime, and I couldn’t be happier with it.

The benefits of dissecting our media doesn’t just stop at the ones that I’ve listed. While dissecting media serves as a creative outlet for many people, it also provides a community. Through all of the benefits, there is just a group of people talking animatedly about something they’re passionate about. There is a heart beating within these communities, and above all of the benefits related to transferrable skills, analyzing and dissecting media provides a home for people that they may not find through traditional, face-to-face means.

Dissecting and deeply thinking about the media we consume isn’t useless. It’s just curiosity pushed into new territories.

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Feed the Heroes – A Massive Success Wed, 11 Mar 2020 18:34:23 +0000 As the Mendham community entered the February lull, a bright inspiring light shone over the high school. On February 28, many of the English teachers, including Mrs. Shannon, Ms. Rosone, Mrs. Pereira, Ms. Viola, Mrs. Columbro, and Mrs Feury, teamed together to create the Feed the Heroes Event, based on the novel, The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien. This is a unit that the junior class does in their English class where they read the novel, based upon the experiences and war stories of Vietnam veterans. These English teachers decided last year to team up and create this event known as Feed the Heroes, making this year the second annual event. 

Basically, this is an event where 5 veterans spoke at a panel and answered questions from students and other veterans in the audience. This provided many of the students with a chance to simply listen to these veterans’ different stories and gain a different, more personable perspective on something so distant to our daily lives as war. Hosted by Officer Michael Boll, one of Mendham’s SRO’s and leader of the New Jersey Veterans Network, the panel featured Maryann Imroth, Jeff Keock, Cliff Miller, Frank Shupp, and Sarah Bernal. Each one of these panelists provided insightful responses and interesting stories that was an integral part to the success of the night.  

“It is a great opportunity to have some real-world connection to what we read and to take that knowledge and benefit others through an event like this.””

— Jen Feury

There were a multitude of interesting and thought-provoking questions that rang out during the panel aspect. For example, Sarah Bernal, who was a speaker at the event and had a large list of accomplishments and leadership opportunities, answered a particular question about her experience with sexism being a female leader in a male-dominated sphere of work. She chuckled at first, since this seemed to be a common question that she answered, but then proceeded to describe how it motivated her to become better than others and if anything, made her stronger.

After this, the veterans and participants were invited to dinner, where many of the students had the opportunity to make one-on-one connections with almost all the veterans at the event and also hear some great stories about their lives. Other than the spectacular pasta dishes and ice cream bar, it is undeniable that many of the veterans were very grateful for this opportunity. Kaitlin Fell, a junior at Mendham who attended the event, described her experience of the event: “It was cool to hear the stories behind people that have experienced more than me and how it still affects them years later.” 

Overall, Feed the Heroes was a very special night that provided many of the veterans an opportunity to share their stories and make a connection with the younger generations, plus for the students to learn from their stories and share some laughs. Mrs. Feury, one of the English teachers working on the project, described Feed the Heroes’ main purpose as “a great opportunity to have some real-world connection to what we read and to take that knowledge and benefit others through an event like this.”

Caroline O’Neill
Photo of Veterans in front of the Photobooth at the event


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Is a Hotdog a Sandwich? No! Tue, 10 Mar 2020 17:23:50 +0000 A hotdog. Since 1870 this classic ballpark and picnic food has been putting a smile on millions of people’s faces. Such a simple concept, sausage in bread, that can bring so much joy to so many people. The wonders and delights of a hotdog are being tainted by the idea that a hotdog is a sandwich; now that’s just wrong!

a hot dog is a hot dog”

— Jimmy Kimmel


Although many claim that because a hotdog is meat inside of bread it can be automatically labeled as a sandwich, they’d be wrong. People don’t mind making this sandwich claim against hotdogs but when the same logic is applied to a hamburger, taco, or dumpling, people are appalled at the sheer thought of it. If a hotdog was truly a sandwich, then why do eating competitions advertise their events as a “hotdog eating contest” and not a “sandwich eating contest”. Picture this, you’re sitting in a ballpark with a vendor screaming “get your sandwiches, sandwiches here”. Now that’s just plain crazy. I’m not the only one that holds this opinion either. Jimmy Kimmel shared his thoughts and said, “By my definition, a hot dog is a hot dog. It’s its own thing with its own specialized bun. If you went into a restaurant and ordered a meat tube sandwich would that make sense? No! They’d probably call the cops on you. I don’t care what anyone says, a hot dog is not a sandwich. And if hot dogs are sandwiches, then cereal is soup! Chew on that one for a while.” Jimmy is absolutely right! If we start calling a hotdog a sandwich, then where does it end? Coffee is dirt water, granola is chili, salad is grass? David Schwimmer, who played Ross on F.R.I.E.N.D.S. also chimed in, saying, “… no [a hotdog isn’t a sandwich], because the bread is joined. I define a sandwich as two pieces of bread with stuff between it.” So much talk over this topic has even prompted professional chefs to join in. Rachel Ray just thinks that “a hot dog is a hot dog.” I couldn’t agree more Rachel.

Anthony Bourdain even said that “If you were to [walk] into any vendor of fine hot dogs, and ask for a hot dog sandwich, they would probably report you to the FBI.” As Anthony said, hotdogs’ biggest fans often lie in a sports arena. The University of Georgia bulldogs said, “Order a sandwich at Saturday’s game and see if they give you a hot dog. There’s your answer.” If a whole college sports team can agree that a hotdog is clearly not a sandwich I think it’s clear to see why it’s correct.

As great as celebrity opinions are, the important information comes from the source itself, The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC). On November 6, 2015, the committee came together to answer the question once and for all, is a hotdog a sandwich? Their conclusion, absolutely not! After consulting several USDA regulations on what defines a sandwich, the committee found that the requirements weren’t clear enough, and therefore, could put a hotdog in its own food category. The USDA stated that for a closed face sandwich, it needed to be 35% meat and no more than 50% bread. For an open-faced sandwich, it cannot be more than 50% meat. Where does a hotdog lie in this? There’s a slit in the bread, but it’s still connected. Since the hotdog doesn’t conform to anything but itself, there’s no way it can be a sandwich. The NHDSC president Janet Riley, better known as ‘Queen of wein’, said, “Limiting the hotdog’s significance by saying it’s ‘just a sandwich’ category is like calling the Dalai Lama ‘just a guy.'” Well said Queen, well said.

If the official Sausage Committee wasn’t enough proof that hotdogs aren’t sandwiches, it turns out, most Americans agree with them anyways. In a survey conducted by ibotta, it was found that only 36% of respondents believed that a hotdog was a sandwich. California led the group with 49% of their respondents saying they believe that a hotdog is a sandwich. On the contrary, Vermont led the pro-hotdog pack, with 79% of their respondents saying they don’t believe a hotdog is a sandwich. It seems that this issue may be even more pressing than what was originally thought. Is it an east-coast, west-coast thing? Is there gang affiliation? Is it political? Is a hotdog political?

After absorbing all of this information, it’s clear to see that a hotdog is most definitely, certainly, confirmed, 100% NOT a sandwich. If you still believe that a hotdog is a sandwich, I challenge you; go to Nathans and ask for a sandwich, let me know how it goes!


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The Redskins Should Change Their Name Mon, 09 Mar 2020 16:20:37 +0000 Traditions are not worth keeping if they’re wrong. If the world was dictated by traditions, then women would have no rights, the guillotine would still be used to execute people and African Americans would still be slaves working on plantations. The world is constantly changing and norms should change with it. This concept should be applied to the Redskins, a Washington football team that is in dire need of a name change. 

The throwback name is stained with the genocide of Native Americans and offensive derogatory slur. According to the Oxford dictionary, the term redskin is “dated, offensive” showing how disrespectful and racist the term is. “Redskin” is the equivalent of calling an African American the n-word. How is this appropriate for a team that is representing the United State’s capital? 


Traditionalists believe that it is unfair to hold history to modern standards. However, something that is morally wrong, is wrong no matter what time period you are in. For instance, with Columbus Day many people had been celebrating Columbus because since we were kids we were ingrained with the saying, “Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492”. But as more information about Columbus surfaced, it became clear that Columbus caused violence and slavery, forced conversion of native peoples to Christianity, and introduced a host of new diseases. Even though Columbus committed mass genocide against the native people, some still want to celebrate Columbus Day because they claim that you can’t judge the past based on today’s standards. Many people, however, have rejected the national holiday and now in New Jersey, we do not get a day off at all. Change is possible and must be taken if something is wrong. 


Lalo Alcaraz illustrates Native American misappropriation by Redskins fans

Traditionalists also only want what they grew up with because they are uncomfortable with change. This type of narrow perspective prevents actions that could end racism and promote equality in multiple areas. The term “Redskins” is inappropriate, just because it is a tradition does not mean that change should not occur. In the 2016 annual NFL poll, 77% of all white fans believe the name should not be changed, 38% of African-American and 33% of Latino fans agree. This creates a double standard because a derogatory mascot name wouldn’t be tolerated with other ethnicities and races. In essence, Americans simply have either not been paying attention or just consider sports teams more important than morality. I hate to rain on fans’ parades, but sports are not important enough to offend someone. Sports team names do not make your players better or worse. A team nickname is just a word.

In addition, Native Americans are people, not mascots. How would you feel if someone was shouting a name that personally offended you like it was an intimidating word? The word “Redskins” paints indigenous peoples like savages or animals. Jacqueline Pata from the National Congress of American Indians commented on this saying that, “the NFL [has no place] to continue marketing, promoting, and profiting off of a dictionary-defined racial slur-one that tells people outside of our community to view us as mascots.”


Pullquote Photo

the NFL [has no place] to continue marketing, promoting, and profiting off of a dictionary-defined racial slur-one that tells people outside of our community to view us as mascots”

— Jacqueline Pata


If that was not enough for Dan Snyder, the Redskins manager, to change the name, Native Americans are unhappy about the name too. A poll that was published in the Washington Post in 2019 claimed that “the majority of Native Americans still aren’t offended by the name of Washington Redskins.” However, the study was conducted by a survey by phone with 500 “self-identified” Native Americans. There was also an emphasis on the Native Americans who approve of the Washington Redskins, leading to questionable credibility of the findings. “My tribe doesn’t identify as ‘redskins’ – this is a derogatory term coined by colonialists often historically used interchangeably with ‘savages’. We don’t need polls by newspapers to understand that racial slurs are offensive,” says Angelina Newsom, a writer for the Independent. Polls like these stifle the voices of many Indengious activists who are working towards progress and change. They also can convince many non-Native Americans that this term is not offensive and alright to use. An individual’s right to not be called a particular word is more important than your right to use that word. The name must be changed because we must treat all people with respect and dignity.

My tribe doesn’t identify as ‘redskins’ – this is a derogatory term coined by colonialists often historically used interchangeably with ‘savages’. We don’t need polls by newspapers to understand that racial slurs are offensive”

— Angelina Newsom

Not only is it a question of morals but it is also in the Universal Declaration of Rights. Changing the name might make stadium location negotiations easier and eliminate an ongoing public relations problem.


This name must be changed. Traditions must be discarded if they are wrong. Sports is no place for racism, as is the entire world. How are we supposed to end stereotypes and prejudice, if even our sports teams have derogatory names? The only thing we can do is to file complaints and boycott until Synder swallows his pride and does what is right. Indigenous people are counting on you. Equality is counting on you. 


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Mrs. Ellis Brings the Kitchen to the Classroom through Culinary Arts Tue, 03 Mar 2020 17:25:32 +0000 One of the most cherished classes WMMHS has to offer is Culinary Arts. Students all over Mendham including myself always look forward to the point of the day in which we get to hone our cooking skills, crafting delicious, healthy platters for everyone to enjoy. This class is run by no other than Mrs. Ellis, whose bright passions for cooking and teaching light up the room. 


As I ventured to A-floor and entered the Culinary Arts room, Mrs. Ellis was taking her free time to cook a spice blend for a staff event. “It’s a blend of spices for lots of different stuff. It’s an Ethiopian recipe by New York City chef Marcus Samuelsson who owns lots of restaurants, there’s one particular in Harlem.” Seeing my cooking teacher selflessly craft a unique item of food in her free time only further reinforced my faith in Mendham’s cooking program.


To say the least, Mrs. Ellis is an experienced chef. She has been cooking for roughly thirty years. Aside from cooking at home, Mrs. Ellis attended the Culinary Institute of America for two years immediately after highschool. It didn’t stop there. “I did professional chef work for about seven years, then I quit that, got married, had children, and then went into teaching.” From learning to doing to teaching, Mrs. Ellis is what every aspiring chef would want their teacher to be. Furthermore, Mrs. Ellis is extremely passionate about the classes she teaches and realizes the importance of a course like this at a school like Mendham. “I think as far as my students are concerned, it’s a place for them to unwind, integrate with other students from other grades in a safe setting, and also learn essential life skills.” Well said, Mrs. Ellis.


Due to the massive amounts of positive feedback from her classes, Culinary Arts is extremely limited to students. I was lucky enough to participate in this course, but I can’t say the same for various others who have actively voiced their disappointment in not being able to join. 


However, when I brought this up, Mrs. Ellis came up with a perfect solution to the issue- an extracurricular cooking club. “I would encourage students who either have cooking and want to improve their skills even more to join and also open it up to students who have not had the opportunity to take it. It would probably meet once every two weeks, there would most likely be dues so we could purchase ingredients, and I would probably run it in a seasonal manner, utilizing fresh ingredients that are available.” Essentially, the after-school cooking club would be an extra Culinary Arts, giving students a chance to cook a little more in a learning setting along with giving them some freedom in choosing what to cook! Furthermore, Mrs. Ellis mentioned incorporating the organic school garden in which she has managed for over eleven years. “If I had a cooking club, then that would be a natural progression to combining the stuff we do in the garden with the meals we cook in the club.”

“It would probably meet once every two weeks, there would most likely be dues so we could purchase ingredients, and I would probably run it in a seasonal manner, utilizing fresh ingredients that are available.””

— Mrs. Ellis


Mrs. Ellis brought this idea up in the past to the administration, which has been previously rejected due to the already large amount of extracurricular activities that exist. Teachers receive stipends, which are essentially how they get paid for extracurricular activities, and funding for additional clubs is limited. While this is sad news, it doesn’t mean that the cooking club cannot exist. Realistically, with if students paid for their own ingredients and expressed a motivation to form this group, we could most likely see this becoming a thing in the near-future. As a senior who is about to graduate very soon, I ask those of you who are younger to consider this, and potentially make it a reality. If you are interested in the idea of a cooking club, make your voice heard!

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Chester Bagel, the Best Local Bagel Spot? Tue, 03 Mar 2020 16:47:07 +0000 After a long night of festivities, the morning after can be extremely rough. The groggy eyes, headache, and mild stomach pains after hours of raging can take a toll on anyone. However, there is an antidote, the special serum to help individuals such as me and you gain a newfound purpose in life. This remedy goes by the name of Chester Bagel. Eating breakfast here has similar effects to the Fountain of Youth; I’ve seen old men enter the establishment only to leave youthful and vibrant. As a weekly Chagel consumer, I decided to document this weekend’s trip in order to emulate the experience into words in the best way possible.


To start off, I have been a passionate bagel eater for roughly four years. My usual Chagle order is a Taylor ham egg and cheese on a plain bagel, toasted, with salt pepper and ketchup. I find this to be Chester Bagel’s star child; their greenest patch of grass. Furthermore, once I receive this bagel, I make sure to stop at the sauce station, in which I douse it with dangerous amounts of hot sauce and sometimes a tad bit of ketchup if it needs some more. I find these sauces to be half the reason I come to Chagle so much; the dressing beckons me.

Post bagel saucing, getting ready to dig in!

Another big chunk of my commitment to this establishment falls under the fact that the staff is extremely friendly- seeing the Chester Bagel team brightens my day up just as much as their bagels do! On this particular morning, I was fiending for a bagel more so than normal. It was the morning after the super bowl, and I legitimately thought I was going to either freak out or die if I didn’t get a bagel in me soon. With that being said, I headed to my safe haven and placed my order, shivering with anticipation. Sure enough, my bagel came out, steaming and resonating with comfort. I sauced it up to the max, and walked back to my table as the bagel bled with Chagel’s famous “Hot Sause” (the brand is unknown, contents derive from an off-brand bottle.) I can honestly say I had no complaints about my meal, this trip only assured me even further that while many things in life will hurt you, Chagel never gives up on you. I love you Chagel, you give my life a purpose. Aside from myself, I figured I would share this trip with two others in order to hopefully gain multiple perspectives on the concept of Bagels.


Meet senior TJ Gembala, a breakfast sandwich aficionado with a strong affiliation towards Chagle. I chose TJ to come with me due to a peculiar paradox; despite being an avid Chester Bagel fan, TJ does not in fact go for the bagels. His regular order is a Taylor ham egg and cheese on a roll with salt pepper and ketchup, which he has gotten for the past two years. Gembala ordered his meal and when he received it, I could feel the pure happiness radiating off of him. For the next five minutes, TJ became one with his bagel, eating it in pure bliss. I did not wish to disrupt the man from his bagel-dream so I decided to interview him once he finished. He had no complaints. Immediately, Gembala stated that he is a “dedicated Chagel customer” due to the fact that “the customer service is top notch, very high quality. They make you feel like a family member there.” When asked why he gets the order he gets, TJ responded with “A lot of people prefer the bagels at Chagel, considering it is Chester Bagel, and this is no attempt to diss my Chagel friends, but I usually get it on a roll just because i’m there for the Taylor ham and I feel like sometimes bagels can be a little too hard and crunchy, pushing the contents out to the side.” Gembala chooses Taylor Ham because a TEC (short for Taylor ham egg and cheese) is “like a breakfast burger,” bringing TJ’s favorite meal into the morning sector of the day.

Looks like we got one hungry boy over here!

“Taylor ham is the closest thing you can get to ground beef for breakfast.” Upon hearing this, concerned passerby Rhys Heraghty chimed in, shining light on the fact that Steak and Eggs exist, but Gembala shot back, claiming that it would probably be more expensive as opposed to the cheap, fast production of a singular TEC unit. Gembala strongly believes that Chagle has the best breakfast sandwiches in the Mendham/Chester area, even opposing locations such as Mendham’s Wicker Basket, which I strongly agree with due to their shoddily-made food and extremely low level of customer service. TJ goes to Chester Bagel once or twice a week. When asked how Chagle has affected his life, TJ’s response almost made me shed a tear. “It’s given me a reason to wake up earlier than noon in the morning and eat breakfast. I usually don’t eat breakfast. Shoutout to my Chagle homies, one of the guys there knows me by my face. They treat you very well, and if you are kind to them they will never let you go. Also shoutout Shane Carey, you are my best friend, you are the light of my world, you are the shining star in the darkness that is my life.” 

“It’s given me a reason to wake up earlier than noon in the morning and eat breakfast.””

— TJ Gembala


While TJ and I have a deep fondness for Chester Bagel and Deli, it is important to understand that there are two sides to everything. Due to this, I had senior Nick Berry accompany us on our Chagel journey, giving out his own unique opinion on the enterprise. Nick has been eating bagels since September 7th, 2001. His birthday. Being from New Jersey his entire life, Berry claims to “know a thing or two about bagels.” He lives for the groggy bagel breakfast as well as the sporadic afternoon bagel snack. Berry ordered a plain bagel toasted with cream cheese, and requested to be interviewed as he was eating his bagel. Following these accommodations, I hit start on my voice recorder as Nick took his first bite. I noticed a look of dismay as he slowly chewed on his meal, a face of regret, perhaps a mild disgust. Intrigued by this, I initially asked him if he was a big bagel fan. Berry responded with this; “Kiril, if there’s one thing I know in this world, its good food, a quality eatery. And I can tell you right now, I’m part of a small and vocal minority in this town that is not for Chester Bagel. In a town as culturally rich as Mendham, in an area full of good bagel eateries, this just doesn’t cut it.” Confused, I pressed on as to why Nick was not having a good meal. He was quick to respond. “This bagel, aesthetically it’s pleasing to me. It’s got a good selection of poppy seeds, sesame seeds and onions. But I took that bite into it, and that first bite, it’s supposed to change your life. This just does not cut it. I would recommend Time for a Bagel.

Someone’s a little angry!

The fluffiness isn’t there, the texture isn’t there. They somehow overdid and underdid the cream cheese.” Nick wished that the bagel had more of a soft and tender bite, something that would melt in his mouth. He claimed that these traits would be found at locations such as Time for a Bagel in Morris Plains, or Alfa Bagels in Randolph. “I love Time for a Bagel, that’s one of the greatest eateries ever established in this country, you know? They make the bagels in front of you, there’s fanfare in that. Here? You have to pay cash only. What is this? It’s not 1960 anymore. The future is now.” I was stupefied. Berry continued. “It’s cool, everyone’s gonna hate me. Oh, why doesn’t he like Chagel, we like Chagel. I’m okay being the villain. I stand up for what I believe in.” Despite Nick’s negative opinion towards Chester Bagel, he at least deemed it better than Mendham Bagel, another local bagel spot. As I watched Nick eat his bagel, I noticed that the cream cheese shot out of the sides, making a mess. I didn’t want to admit it, but this evidence could be used against Chagel. I questioned Berry on this and he said “You can always judge a good bagel by its cream cheese ejection ratio. This is when you take a bite of a cream cheese bagel, you can tell how well made it is if immediately all the cream cheese goes flying out the sides. I can tell you by this bagel, it might as well not have cream cheese on it. The hallmark of a badly made bagel is that everything escapes it.” Although Nick deeply despised his bagel, he did give the Chagel team props on being “liberal” with the bagel’s seeds. “You go into some of these grocery stores, and the bagels they sell might as well be plain bagels. They got nothing on them. You get one or two poppy seeds.” Seems like we can thank the boomers for that one. Finally, I dropped the capstone question and asked Berry how Chester Bagel has affected his life. “I live deep in Mendham, on the border of Morristown, so Chagles not a place I stop by often, and even if it was close, I wouldn’t come here often, I’ll give you my two cents on the issue. But, you know, Chagle seems to be a good place people like, and if they want to spend their money on an average bagel, so be it.”

“You can always judge a good bagel by its cream cheese ejection ratio.””

— Nick Berry


Throughout all of the facts, opinions, and arguments made throughout this article, one thing is clear. We all have that one spot, which is Chester Bagel for people like me and TJ. However, no matter what, we must respect opposing opinions from people such as Nick, whose spot is Time for a Bagel.

Whatever or wherever that one place may be, there will be lovers and there will be haters, so ultimately, I ask whoever is reading this to get themselves a Chester Bagel in order to truly see for themselves if it has what it takes to be the best!

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