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Albemarle High School 2775 Hydraulic Road. C-ville, VA 22901 December 14 , 2007 Volume 5 Issue 3

Photo courtesy of yearbook.

Virgnia schools prepare for potential problems with MRSA... pg. 2

Photo courtesy of yearbook.

The Revolution catches up with basketball star Arthur Agee... pg. 3

The Vrhovacs reminisce about Zach’s early love for football... pg. 20

Hungarian architect infiltrates the classrooms and minds of students Brandon Agee Staff Reporter

The small plastic cube with 54 squares of six different colors known as Rubik’s Cube is making a comeback. Rearranging all the squares to match with the same colored squares seems like the impossible, all packed into a two and a quarter inch cube. Erno Rubik, a Hungarian professor, invented the cube in 1974. At first the cube was called the Magic Cube, but since then the name evolved into Rubik’s Cube. This change came from the cube’s popularity moving from a single country to the entire world. The cube was popular internationally from 1980-1983. The cube is making a come back because many mathematicians have found new ways to solve the cube that are quicker, leading to more competition of cubing. In the past few years many students have figured out the cube and continue to gain speed and accuracy when solving the cube. At the moment, junior Duncan Townsend holds the school record at under 45 seconds. Townsend came across the cube when he was on a long trip with nothing to do so he picked it up and was interested in figuring it out. “It took me two days to figure out the cube and learn all the algorithms, but after that the first time I tried it I could complete it in five minutes,” Townsend said. Townsend currently averages :50 seconds on each solve. “When other kids tell me to do it again keeps me going on the cube.” Townsend said. Recently Townsend purchased a four by four and a five by five Rubik’s cube, these two are more challenging than the original three by three cube. “The four took me about a day in between classes to figure out,” Townsend said, “and the five took about two days to figure out, but I have them down pretty well now.” Townsend can solve the four in a mind-boggling 10 minutes, and the five in a swift 20 minutes. Junior Jimmy Li is one of the

Photo by Brandon Agee.

Revolution Photo courtesy of yearbook.

the

students who saw Townsend doing the cube in the breezeway and was interested in it. Li got a cube as soon as he could to start working on it. “ I t only took me ten minutes to solve it the first time” Li said, “and that was a horrible start.” L i gets tired of the cube every once in awhile, because he gets annoyed with the same piece Junior Duncan Townsend works on one of plastic all of his Rubik’s Cube. The Cubes are one of day long. the newest fad that has been sweeping the “But, school as more students learn the tricks. the drive to cube always comes back to me,” Li many people could do it so I wanted to said, “and the first cube after the lapse be one of the few who could.” Qin said. “The first time I tried the cube is usually an excellent one.” it took me three to four hours,” Qin Li’s record time at the moment said. is 0:55, and on average he can complete “I only do my cube about twice a cube in 1:10. Li is always practicing a day,” Qin said, “so I do not get tired of his cubing, even during class, lunch cubing the cube.” and in between classes. Qin is not as good as Li at the “Sometimes I just get tied up in cube, but he averages 1:40 with a rethat particular solve, because you have cord of 1:36, still very impressive times. to use different algorithms to solve cerQin continues to do the cube because it tain situations” Li said. keeps him busy when he is bored. He Li had to learn, memorize, and loves to solve mind puzzles such as the practice these maneuvers to obtain cube. speed and accuracy when solving the World Rubik’s games champicube. Li used a “seven-step guide to onship is where many cubists can comsolving Rubik’s cube” to learn the alplete a cube in less than 20 seconds. gorithms, after practice he began doing The cube now costs between $9.99them from memory. $14.99, depending on where you pur Junior Bo Qin is another stuchase it. dent who can solve the cube with speed and accuracy. Qin saw Townsend solv- Rubik’s Cube continues to confuse ing the cube so quickly during school many that come before it, but those few who can solve it in under five minutes and thought he should try it. “When I saw Townsend do it expert cubers for the rest of their lives. I thought it was impressive, and not


News

2

December 14, 2007

MRSA worries school officials Business Editor

Medical advances in the field of antibacterial products have given many a sense of security when it comes to protection from everyday germs. Now, however, misuse and overuse of such weapons against disease have created a friendly environment for “superbugs,” or common germs or illnesses that have developed a resistance to the antibiotics used to treat them. The foremost example of this frightening phenomenon is Methicillin-Resistant Staph Infection, or MRSA. Normal staph bacteria live on the skin and in the nose of nearly every body, but don’t usually cause problems in those with healthy immune systems, according to the Virginia Department of Health. Staph infections in open wounds are the most common type that affect skin; but some strains of staph can be life-threatening because they cannot always be treated with the standard medications and are also highly contagious. The bacteria is most commonly spread through sharing contaminated objects like towels, clothes, and gym equipment, as well as close contact with infected people. MRSA has also become a major threat in hospitals, where high concentrations of susceptible people stay in close range of each other and infections can spread rampantly. A MRSA breakout is also a possibilty in high schools,

especially where athletic equipment spread of germs. and locker rooms are shared and inju- “We have increased and enries occur frequently. hanced custodial cleaning efforts in Such an instance occured in schools. Our standard procedure is to Oct. at Staunton River High School in disinfect restrooms, health clinics and Moneta, where the death of senior Ash- locker rooms in schools daily,” Moran ton Bonds from a severe staph infec- said in her letter to the community. tion forced the “Custodischool to take ans also a serious saniwill now tation evaludisinfect ation of their daily doorpremises, knobs and according to handles, the New York sinks and Times. In counters response, on in classOct. 17, Bedrooms.” ford County A l l shut down all Albemar22 schools in le public order to thorschools oughly clean are also them in hopes School administrators have added new spreading of stopping hand sanitizer dispensers to the locker awareness an outbreak by informrooms and other athletic facilities. of MRSA, but ing athletic The Roanoke teams, diTimes has reported that in the last six rectors and coaches about prevention months at least 11 cases of MRSA have of MRSA, as well as discussing the been diagnosed in children attending importance of effective handwashing various southern Virginia schools. schoolwide. While there have been no ma- Junior Will Gimbel, a football jor outbreaks, the sanitation state of player who once contracted a staph inour own school premises comes into fection, is confident that the school’s question. facilities adequately prevent the spread Albemarle County Superin- of disease. “The locker rooms now have tendent Dr. Pamela Moran assured the hand sanitizer to make them cleaner,” public that the school division is tak- Gimbel said. “Also, during football ing the threat seriously by working the season, Coach [Vrhovac] sanitized our Photo by Liana Bayne.

Jordan Pye

pads.” School nurse Carol Jansenns is confident that appropriate disease prevention measures will be sufficient in protecting Albemarle students. “The custodial staff has cleaning products that kill staph,” Jansenns said, and these same products are also used in the clinic and on gym equipment, including wrestling mats, locker rooms, and weight rooms. But if a time comes when prevention is not enough, Jansenns also said that “if there was an outbreak the County says the first thing we’ll do is consult with the Health Department... which is what they do with other communicable diseases, including whooping cough.” The Health Department urges individuals to keep open wounds clean and covered, and watch out for MRSA’s warning signs: “If a sore or cut becomes red, oozes, causes pain or isn’t healing,” and in the case of a suspected severe staph infection, always consult a doctor. It also advises that if you are prescribed antibiotics, you should finish the entire prescription according to your doctor’s directions even if you are feeling better, because this can prevent the development of drug-resistant “superbugs.” Jansenn’s advice to students is “frequent and thorough hand washing...and covering cuts and open wounds, even just a papercut or hangnail. If you think you have an infection, have a doctor check it out.”

Revolution Reaction

Freshman Bobby Braden “I know they cleaned the schools ... I feel kind of safe.”

Sophomore Courtney Elliott

Photo by Brandon Agee.

Photo by Danielle Bricker.

Photo by Danielle Bricker.

Photo by Danielle Bricker.

What do you think of the school’s effort in informing students about MRSA?

Junior Gabby Sandborn

“I don’t think our school is clean “They could do a little better because enough because it’s really old.” they haven’t really informed us how to protect ourselves.”

Senior Stephen Duffy “I did not know I could learn about that here.”


December 14, 2007

News

3

Back on the rebound:

Arthur Agee advocates athletic aspirations of local students Sean Cudahy

Photo by Jim Cudahy.

privilege,” he said while in Charlotteson Nov. 1, “When you start playing Staff Reporter ville a sport, whether it is just for recreation, One of the most common or to make a team, you want to put dreams for high-school students all forth your best effort, understand the over the United States is to become a team, team rules, and team concept.” Agee offers his advice through professional athlete. It offers the op- speeches to youth, his recently estabpurtunity to play a game for a highlished ‘Hoop Dream Clothing Line,’ paying living. Yet few kids actually and the release of a follow up-film, know the odds they are up against in “Hoop Reality,” which made its world this journey to stardom. premiere at Charlottesville’s Newcomb Recent visitor to Charlottesville Hall on Nov. 1. Arthur Agee knows. He knows because “I wanted to show what it was he failed in his dream to become a pro- like to start fessional atha clothlete. Agee was ing line,” the subject Agee says of the 1994 of “Hoop documenReality,” tary “Hoop Dreams,” “Along a film that the way chronicles [the film] two inner-city changed Chicago Afriinto showcan-American ing how high-school I came students back from through four a ‘hoop years of their dream’ lives. that didn’t happen. Both It sort Agee and his of said, co-star, Wil‘Here’s liam Gates, an opdemonstrated portunity great potenfor you tial at a young to strive age followed Visitor to Charlottesville’s Newcomb for.’” by success Hall, Arthur Agee, speaks about his H e throughout former dreams of playing in the NBA. did admit their highToday, Agee encourages high school that there school basstudents to pursue their aspirations. were fiketball career. n a n c i a l However, they benefits to releasing a new film. While faced poverty and trying conditions in other aspects. Still, both of them had “Hoop Dreams” racked up $10 million, the same goal, placed equally upon neither Agee nor Gates received any them by their parents, society, and profits. Agee went on to explain the themselves: to play in the NBA. message emphasized throughout his Neither of them made it-someclothing line and film. thing that is not included in “Hoop “Throughout all that negativity and Dreams.” staring negativity in the face, you still Now, a decade later, Agee is can live your hoop dream and you conreaching out to teenagers across Amertrol your destiny,” he recited. ica to provide some counseling for their Those involved with the prohoop dreams or whatever dreams they duction of “Hoop Reality” explained may have. “To play basketball is a

that there is a problem when someone school coach. Agee narrates the film is 17 years old and they feel that play- and chronicles Patrick Beverly, a standing a professional sport such as basket- out basketball player at Marshall High ball is their School-the only ticket Chicago to success school of in life. which Agee is an alumW h i l e nus. “ H o o p Agee said Reality” that his does not earlier exencourage periences kids to put in life that all their involved eggs in one “hands on basket, experience they do and going not at all through discourthe rigage them ors” have from havhelped him ing a hoop greatly. dream. “It’s “You can not always make any going to d r e a m go the way happen that you ~ with conplan all fidence,” the time,” Agee said. he said. “You just gotta be able to get In Agee’s case, basketball did yourself up, dust yourself off, get with not turn out to be what he really want- another dream, and keep going.” After ed in life. After playing for three semi- all, “you control your destiny.” professional basketball teams, Agee walked away from the game of basketball in 1997. “Something hit me that there was a bigger picture than basketball,” he said. Agee realized that he could use his University of Virginia Olsson Hall talents to do other things in life while enjoying similar financial benefits offered Computer Science Day by basketball. “Hoop Reality” spends time reinforcing the grueling Last Saturday in February road Agee experienced after Hoop Dreams, a road that included a failed dream and www.cs.virginia.edu the deaths of his father and beloved high

When you start playing a sport, whether it is just for recreation, or to make a team, you want to put forth your best effort.

Arthur Agee

ke a T ! ng! ! i ! m e r o c u fut It’s e h t in t r a p


Schools

4

December 14, 2007

Decoding the Dress Code Dress code in full effect, amid controversy Tommy Lopez Sophomore Matt Anderson does not Staff Reporter agree with the rule that students can’t wear t-shirts with “words or pictures “All students are expected to that suggest vulgarity,” the rule that is wear clothing appropriate for school.” in place to prevent students from wearIt is the ambiguous statement that in- ing shirts with explicit words or assotroduces the dress code in every stu- ciations with inappropriate places and dent’s planner. While not all students products. “I think that t-shirts with writagree with the guidelines, teachers and ing on them don’t convey anything,” administrators have the ability to enAnderson said. “If someone is wearing force the dress code as they see fit. a shirt that says Hooters that doesn’t Many teachers feel that the really say anything other than that they dress code does not limit most stuhave been to a restaurant.” dents’ clothing choices. World history Junior Aaron Mackey had just teacher Richard Lindsay believes that heard of the rule that doesn’t permit the dress code does not affect the aversunglasses to be worn in the building. age student. “What most of them wear The rule prevents is fine,” Lindsay said. sunglasses from be Although ing a distraction many students would All students during class. agree with Lindsay that are expected “I’ve been the codes don’t limit to wear wearing them for a their choice of clothlong time,” Mackey ing, other students are appropriate said. “I find [the affected. Students, parclothing for rule] completely ticularly girls, someunnecessary. I can times break the rules school. understand things that state that “shorts such as skinny and skirts should be ~Albemarle straps on tank tops, worn no shorter than Dress Code but I don’t see how four inches above the sunglasses could be knee,” and no “strap considered disruptive or distracting.” tops of less than one inch” and “tank When it comes to enforcement tops” can be worn. it’s the teachers and administrators Junior Megan Bernardino said who have the power to tell students to that it does affect her clothing options. change their attire. Their interpreta“I have a lot of clothes that I don’t wear tion is what counts around the halls to school,” Bernardino said. and the breezeway. The clothing restrictions are “Teachers can take things bealso enforced at dances. Prom-goers cause of their opinions,” junior John had to sign a form saying they would Blair said. abide by the dress codes. English teachDuring spirit week teachers er Denise Pruett helped to enforce the can find it hard to enforce the dress rules by making students “wrap netcode upon students who are showing ting around themselves,” if they were their spirit. Elaborate costumes, comfy “pushing the modesty issue,” Preutt pajamas, and over-the-top “red rage” said.

I have a lot of clothes that I don’t wear to school.

~junior Megan Bernardino

I don’t see how sunglasses could be considered disruptive or distracting.

~junior Aaron Mackey

HOT NOT or

HOT:

Trees From Christmas Trees to the former botanical breezeway giants, it seems trees are on everybody’s mind. Perhaps this will bring more attention to global warming? Doubtful.

HOT:

Daft Punk Even months after a sample of theirs was featured in Kanye West’s smash hit “Stronger,” it seems Daft Punk is still on top of the world. Dec 4 marked the release of their live album, “Alive 2007”, and several viral videos featuring their music have recently hit the web.

HOT:

NOT:

Britney Spears For those of you counting, that’s two months on the NOT list. As you can probably tell, the Britney Spears comeback train isn’t rolling into the station for a long time. I’m starting to doubt its departure entirely.

NOT:

Kevin Federline Listen up, K-Fed. Just because your wife is on the NOT list doesn’t mean you’re on the HOT list. Hang in there K-Fed. You’re almost there.

NOT:

Soulja Boy We get it. Your name is Soulja Boy, and you can dance. Let’s just part our separate ways now.

The weather You’d think global warming would be on holiday break by now, but alas; our NOT: Holiday Trees December is once again full of temI think we all know they’re Christmas peratures more inconsistent than a Bill Trees, so let’s just stop beating around Clinton testimony. the festive shrubbery.

can break the codes. But, despite the alleged leniency of dress code enforcement by teachers during spirit week, Blair found himself in trouble on Halloween. “I dressed up in a pimp costume for Halloween,” Blair said. Although his hat and cane were not in direct violation of the dress code, Blair encountered a teacher who disliked his Halloween spirit. “One of my teachers had an issue with it and asked me for my hat

One of my teachers had an issue with it and asked me for my hat and cane.

~junior John Blair

and cane,” Blair said. “The teacher wrote me up. I didn’t get suspended, but I had to miss two days of school.” Even though the dress code does not enter the thoughts of most students as they get dressed each day, the codes still apply to everyone. Not all students agree with the codes or the enforcement, but, despite minor problems from violators, students and teachers can still interact harmoniously while keeping their attire in check.

I think that t-shirts with writing on them don’t convey anything.

~sophomore Matt Anderson


Schools

December 14, 2007

5

Kaine’s new FLA plan renders questions Neill Dillon

Staff Reporter

A majority of students have sat through a sex education class here at school. Students have also probably heard the always interesting safe sex slogans; “Don’t be a fool, wrap your tool. Don’t be silly wrap your willy.” ; as well as the always popular “No Glove No love”. The hilarious safe sex slogans and public school sex education system are not linked together, due to the fact that abstinence only sex education is the only method taught in public schools. “Abstinence is taught primarily but students are given tools, if they decide to not remain abstinent,” Physical education Department Chair Teri Midolo said. The program is based off of the Albemarle County Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum based of the Standards of Learning. The program stresses abstinence but also teaches contraception. However the principal goal of the program is to “state to its

students, parents, faculty and administration that abstinence is the best choice with regard to alcohol, drugs, or premarital sex.” A secondary goal of the program is to teach the curriculum in a sensitive manner. But a new age of sex Ed is emerging in the public school system with Governor Tim Kaine’s decision to cut funding for abstinenceonly education. Will the governors’ decision hurt Va public schools -Health teacher or lead them into an age of increased information and knowledge? “I feel confident that Governor Kaine has our best interests at heart on education.” Health teacher Loretta Coughlin said, “I know he’s a governor that believes things should be factual.” How would the change affect

the funding that not only AHS but the whole county receives? All of the money that the school receives comes from the county which comes from the state government “If they cut funding the county can change the time that we can teach the family life program,” Midolo said, “It will probably change the counties way of sharing information with students.” “They’ve Loretta Coughlin been teaching family life in Albemarle County for a long time so I don’t think they would cut the program,” Midolo said. This could do either help or harm students. With providing more information based teaching, students have more access to their options. However changing up the curricu-

I feel confident that Governor Kaine has our best interests at heart on education.

lum could create a problem for health teachers across the area. A member of the faculty for three years and someone who taught health classes for 20 years at Longwood University, Coughlin believes that the cuts are a step in the right direction. “I think that is it is something that is constantly evolving. I’m a true believer in knowledge is power, our students need to be educated,” Coughlin said. With the cuts, sex education will now stay away from more political and religious ideologies. Relying on more information-based teaching to educate the young minds of Va. “There is a tendency for certain groups, whether it’s religion or whatever to think its right to put forth misinformation and scare tactics that simply move us backward instead of forward,” Coughlin said. With change on the horizon it is very tough to predict what effect the cuts will have on not only the county but the entire state. Hopefully Kaine’s decision will move the state forward and not backward.

Hurricane City Tees and Design 706 E. Henry Ave. Charlottesville VA (434) 220-3782 bobgirard@yahoo.com

Outfitting Virginia’s teens since 1620.


Schools

6

December 14, 2007

HAWKS helps writers fly: Student volunteers help improve papers Staff Reporter

In high school, it is nearly impossible to write a perfect paper. Everybody is past the middle school stage where you can just use summarization to get an easy A. N o w English classes usually count writing and analysis for at least 50 percent of your grade, meaning that learning to write a good paper is essential for surviving the class. Helping All Writers Kindle Success (HAWKS), a student run organization, advised by English department chair Natasha Heny, understands the student’s situation. “It [HAWKS] is a great opportunity for students to exchange ideas

to make their papers better,” junior Hawker Lena Shi said. The goal of the club is to “help improve the students grades and skills as a writer,” junior hawker Michael Howe said. T h e c l u b meets every eighth period in Natasha Heny’s r o o m and anyone who is willing to put in a little time to get some help on their papers is welcome to attend. “Once we pair up with the student we start the Hawking process by letting them read their paper aloud,” Howe said. “First we let them know what we liked about their papers, then we

First we let them know what we liked about their papers, then we tell them what they could improve on.

turn in a successful paper that they are proud of. If the Hawkers run into any trouble helping the student, they know they can turn to Heny for help. “She [Heny] is a great person as an advisor because she has experience and enthusiasm in writing,” Howe said. Just spending a little time with peers to Hawk your paper during in eighth period can turn an average writer into a great one.

Final Word

Photo by Zach Tyler.

- Junior Michael Howe

tell them what they could improve on,” Howe said. “When they read their paper it helps improve the overall voice and gets rid of awkward phrasing,” junior Hawker Matt Truwit said. When Hawking a paper, “the main focus is on two categories; grammatical and conceptual,” Howe said. First the Hawkers go through and identify the grammatical errors and help the student to correct them. Next, they try to help the student with the purpose of the paper. “It is easy for the student to come up with ideas, but they find trouble trying to put the ideas onto paper. Sometimes it comes out awkward and we try to help them fix that,” Howe said. W h e n done with the process, the students should have all things they need to

Photo by Liana Bayne.

Zach Tyler

Question: “Why were the trees in the breezeway cut down?”

Junior Ana Mir helps senior Alex Williams with an English paper. Organized by the English Department, Hawkers, such as Mir, come together during 8th periods to help students with their papers.

Answer: “They were all sick. All of the trees were checked, especially the bigger cherry trees. Cherry trees only live for about 30 years; we’ll probably end up replacing them all pretty soon. It’s not the time of year to replace them now, but we’ll replace them with new trees that will be there for the next 30 years.” -Dr. Haas


Schools

December 14, 2007

7

Students adjust to 10 -point grading scale, first quarter grades improve Shannon Bisselink Staff Reporter Albemarle County schools have switched over to a ten point grading scale. It seems that the majority of students enjoy the ten point grading scale, but some older students are not enjoying the new change. Along with Albemarle County schools, Charlottesville High also has a ten p o i n t grading scale. Albemarle County schools switch has made students pleased because of better grades. With better grades come better GPAs. The 10 point grading scale also gives students more room for mistake. The majority of high schools around the country use the ten-point grading scale. Although the sevenpoint grading scale might be considered more “competitive,” it’s actually putting us at a disadvantage. Since most high schools use the ten-point, we will now be able to compete with the majority of high schools with our grades. Although most of the students

seem to be enjoying the new grading scale, seniors in particular are distressed about it. “I don’t like the 10-point grading scale because most colleges look at what kind of grading scale your school has and our last three years of high school it’s been on a seven point,” senior Kaylyn Hopkins said, “Now, in our senior year we have to switch over.” Freshmen, sophomores and juniors seem to love the new grading scale, however. “I really like the ten point grading scale because I made honor roll,” sophomore Chelsea Reece said. “It’s also easier to achieve better grades.” Most students agree with Reece; even if they haven’t made honor roll, their grades still appear better on their transcript. Is achieving better grades necessarily easier though? Realistically, teachers know what an “A” paper or project is no matter if that’s a 93 or 90. Even though students have more leeway for mistakes, it seems that teachers have been adjusting their grades to fit the new ten-point grading scale.

First Quarter Grades 2006-2007

I really like the ten point grading scale because I made honor roll. It’s also easier to achieve better grades.

- Sophomore Chelsea Reece

First Quarter Grades 2007-2008

Service Spot First Night Virginia needs volunteers on New Year’s Eve. First Night would never be able to experience the success it does without lots of help from all of its great volunteers. Sign up to volunteer in two-hour shifts. For only two hours of your time, you’ll get a free admission button and other great perks. Go to http://firstnightva.org/volunteer.html to sign up, or call 975-8269 for more information.


8 Editorial Policy The editorial page is designed to provide a forum for The Revolution staff members and the Albemarle High School community. All materials are subject to editing for libel, obscenity, poor taste, grammar, style and space. Signed commentaries and editorial cartoons represent the opinion of the writer or artist, and do not represent the views of the staff, or any of its affiliations. Unsigned commentaries represent a consensus of The Revolution staff.

Mission Statement The Revolution is the student publication of Albemarle High School, 2775 Hydraulic Road Charlottesville, Virginia 22901. The Revolution will attempt to inform, influence and entertain the Albemarle High School community in a broad, accurate and objective manner. The Revolution is published monthly and will be distributed free of charge to all students and staff at Albemarle High School, as well as advisors, the superintendent of Albemarle County Schools and and other newspaper staffs.

Editorial Follow the Leader? Student leaders spread too thin amongst organizations In these harrowing times of academic competition and transcript padding, a new form of overarchieving blights high schoolers: attack of the student leaders. As college acceptance is becoming increasingly competitive, many students, especially at our school, try to give themselves an edge by joining every honor society, service group, sports team and club they can squeeze themselves into. Even worse, some of these students take a step even further by taking on leadership positions in not just one, but multiple organizations. Whatever happened to clubs and groups being led by students who were passionate about what the group did and just wanted to see it achieve success? Now it seems our leaders are corrupted by ulterior motives when pursuing these offices, especially the desire for their role to bolster their college applications. In a way, our student organizations have turned from modeling the completely democratic institutions we idealize into mini-oligarchies where all the power rests in the hands of a few. While I’m sure that many of these students who take on more than one leadership position in more than one group are probably enthusiastic and capable of fulfilling these requirements, slightly meglomanaical vibes result, regardless of one’s intentions. But unfair assumption aside, leadership domination by a few is not only unfair to other capable and dedicated students who want to fill the same positions, but also to the organizations themselves. It’s difficult enough for one person to manage the complicated duties required of group presidents, advisors and managers when only one group is involved - try throwing in two or three more groups worth of responsibility onto a single

individual. Regardless of how taking on too much can negatively affect individuals, the important issue is that the organization also suffers from such overachievement. Without the undivided attention of a single, dedicated leader or group of students, organizations like honor societies, service groups and clubs are severely stunted in their growth and potential. The fact that a group’s leader is tied up by a multitude of responsibilities that they voluntarily took on shouldn’t mean their group has to miss out on events it could plan, fundraisers or activities it could organize, or important issues it should meet to discuss. For example, if the National Honor Society and the Key Club share the same president, one group would inadverdantly suffer less attention than the o t h e r and miss out on opportunities to host events or benefit from being an active and strong organization. Why should we compromise the effectiveness and quality of our student organizations, just for a few individuals who are too concerned their own academic impressiveness to help these groups reach their full potential? Limiting the number of leadership positions one can hold would help encourage diversity within student groups, since it’s usually the same group of students who dominate leadership positions and leave little room for newcomers capable of serious, positive changes. I’m not trying to disparage the work of students who strive to better their school and community by taking on challenging leadership roles - it’s just time that we make sincerity, not overachievement, a priority.

Why should we compromise the effectiveness and quality of student organizations for a few individuals?

December 14, 2007

The Revolution Editor-in-Chief Danielle Bricker

Design Editor Marie Girard

Managing Editor Liana Bayne

Business Editor Jordan Pye

Staff Writers

Brandon Agee Sohail Ahmad Shannon Bisselink Ben Coffey Hannah Cohoon Sean Cudahy Neill Dillon Kerry Girard Parker Girard Tommy Lopez Patrick McGowan Ben O’Grady Bianca Ragland Patrick Tobin Zach Tyler

Staff Advisor Lori Reaser


9 Opinion Pro/Con: BCS vs. Playoff System December 14, 2007

Since 1998 the B o w l Championship Se-

feel they should not be they are the two best teams over the course of the year. Even in this so, called perfect way to determine a championship who is the person to decide who gets in the playoff. Boise State, ranked ninth in the polls, would still have been left watching the games at home while the eight team playoff was being played out. People who are arguing for the playoff are using the example of last year’s college basketball tournament where George Mason University went on a Cinderella run to the final four. Football is different in many aspects which make it harder for a tournament style postseason. Football teams need a long time prepare for each game because of all the strategy involved. Another reason is football is a much more physical game which results in more injuries and less upsets because the better is usually physically dominant. If teams from smaller conferences feel like they are not getting the respect they should there are many things they can do. They can try and switch to a different conference or just schedule harder games outside of conference play. With system the way it is it makes the regular season much more exciting because most teams can not lose a game if they want to play for the

national championship. If a playoff was created then fewer viewers would tune in to the regular season games. This year the last couple of weeks of the season were some of the best in the history of the game. Each week the teams were playing as hard as they could instead of resting players like in the NFL. Another reason not to create a tournament is the endorsements earned by the schools playing in the BCS bowls and the companies sponsoring them. Each of the bowls have their names but they also have a company attached, Nokia, FedEx, and Tostitos to them which pays to sponsor. In order for a playoff to occur many excecutives would have to take a pay cut in order to make room for all the endorsements. The system in which the games are decided is not just a flip of a coin. People associated with college all year long calculate who should play. The conference champions from each of the BCS conferences automatically get a BCS bowl bid. The rest is decided by three components. The first is a poll created by all of the college coaches voting on which teams they believe are the best. The second is the Harris poll which is a compilation of votes from former coaches, players, and other people who have experience with college football. The last

is the most controversial section which is the computer rankings. Stats such as strength of schedule and margin of victory are entered into six computers and the highest and lowest scores are taken out. The remaining four are averaged ries (BCS) and that is how they are decided. has cre The BCS is very complicated ated conbut it is a system that has worked for troversy years in deciding the games. No system Ben O’Grady over which will be perfect because one team will alStaff Reporter two colways feelthey have been left out of the lege footpicture. If a playoff was put in place for ball teams should play for the national this year a team like Wisconsin, ranked championship. It controls which teams seventh in the polls but did not play in will play in the four BCS bowls: the the BCS, would probably be left out of Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, and Orange. the playoff as well. The system is not perfect but it Smaller conference teams have has been modified over the years, like had rules created to help them get into last year when a fifth bowl called the the BCS but these rules would create National Championship game being controversy in a playoff as well. created. With underdog school Boise Three teams in one conference State winning its game against Oklacan not all make it into a BCS game but homa and the fight between Michigan in a playoff the team left out would feel and Florida to see should play Ohio they got ripped off. Another new rule is State, playoff talks heated up which a small conference team which is undewould almost ruin the college football feated and ranked inside the top twelve regular season. automatically receives a BCS bowl bid. This season there is going to be The rule would create a problem in another controversy to see who should the playoff system when a 10th ranked play in the final game. Although there team from a smaller conference gets in are many teams that could play the ahead of the 7th ranked team that is computers will pick the best two and it third in a bigger conference will be a competitive game with a lot of If a playoff is created many talented players. Each person will have people would think of college football their own opinion but the computer like the NFL and that would lose viewSuggested Playoff give an unbiased opinion on who to put ers. Creating a playoff would just be the in the championship game after all the (1)Ohio St. vs (8)Hawaii same story as the BCS but disguised. A games have been played. playoff would ruin the regular season, Winners play LSU and Ohio State are playlose money for many people, and creing this year and although some people ate more problems than it solves. (4)Georgia vs (5)Kansas College National Champion             Boise State couldn’t have played football a better season, but still didn’t get the (3)VT vs (6)USC is unique chance to compete for a championship.  from all If a playoff system was in place, who Winners play o t h e r knows how far the underdog Bulldogs sports in could have gone?  the fact (2)LSU vs (7)Oklahoma             Who will be left out of a shot at that it a championship this year, could it be d o e s n ’ t             This has caused many ill feelings smaller conference than that of the undefeated Hawaii ?   cap its sea- from fans towards the current system SEC, Big East, Big Ten, Big Twelve             The answer to this flawed system  Zach Tyler with in place.  Last year it was the Michigan ACC, or Pac Ten it is still an outrage for is simple: implement an eight team Staff Reporter son a playoff.  fans who got disappointed as they were them to go through the regular season playoff system.  Let the players decide Instead it left out of the championship game, with a flawless record and still be left the championship on the field, not the uses a system of polls combined with even though they had the same record out of the chance to play for a champi- computers and poll voters.  Give the computer formulas to determine the as second place Florida . onship.  The sad part is, this scenario smaller conferences a chance to prove top two teams in the country, who then             By not implementing a playoff happens each year. themselves.  Give the strong teams compete against each other in a major system, college football doesn’t capi-             Last year it was Boise State out with one fluke loss a second chance. talize on post-season excitement like of the less known WAC conference who             Those against this proposed idea, bowl game to decide the champion.             This system sounds great in the- in March Madness.  There really aren’t finished the regular season undefeated.  that is growing in popularity, complain ory, but over the past few years it has many “Cinderella” stories because But, did they get a chance to play for that it would make the season too long.  caused controversy.  It is impossible teams are matched up pretty evenly go- a championship?  No.  Boise State had Solution: start the playoffs earlier and to choose only two worthy candidates ing into the bowl games.  Fans love to to settle for the Fiesta Bowl in which run them through the holidays.  This to play for the championship out of see upsets and, with the current system they played the powerhouse Oklahoma could make the holidays more enjoythe 100 plus teams in college football in place, their dreams can’t become a .  The experts gave the Bulldogs no shot able.  After all, no one wants to watch because all the teams do not play each reality. at beating the Sooners, but they won the Continental Tire Bowl.              Even if a team comes from a despite the odds.  other. 


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Features

December 14, 2007

Money in the bank

Part two of Maus’s and Brown’s money management

Danielle Bricker Editor-in-Chief

months. “I don’t think I’ll be able to set up the level of fall-back money I wanted by just doing chores for my parents,” Maus explained. “The bank account was a given, but it looks like I’ll have to earn a bit more before I actually open one [because of] interest rates and fees.” Maus’s main roadblock in completing his goal has been his age. “I’ve done research into local laws about 15-year-olds getting jobs,” he said. “Hiring a 15-year-old is a good deal more work than the person hiring has to do. There are plenty of 16-yearolds looking as well.” “[Also, there are] not very complete listings of jobs,” he continued. “Are people looking to hire? It wold be much more helpful if they posted that in a more visible way.” Brown, on the other hand, has found a quite different obstacle in achieving her goal of starting a retirement fund. “I’m not as far as I hoped. Like any other junior, I’m being overcome by work and I have swim team tryouts and I play for UVA,” she said. “My money management may be decent but

Photo by Danielle Bricker.

my time management is going out the ing care of my money. It’s an entirely window.” different thing when other people are The bulk of Brown’s process in charge of your money,” Maus said. will be While With midterm exams around c o m Maus’s the corner, students are frantically paring studying previously unopened texts Maus’s Bank Account Options l e a r n i n g compaexperiand poring over lecture notes before nies and ence has Dec. 18 strikes. Sophomore Everett deciding Sun Trust been rathMaus and junior Rachel Brown, howevSavings account offered w h i c h (favored plan) er indeer, have other matters on their minds. No student account option one whe p e n d ent, Last month, these two ambiInterest rate: 2.8% would Brown is tious students took it upon themselves like to getting all to improve their money management start a Credit Union the help Savings account offered skills by setting specific goals. Brown f u n d she can sought to start a retirement fund, while No known student account with. find. She Maus chose to work at setting up a Interest rate: unknown noted her stash of “fall-back money.” “I hongrandfa After taking some practical e s t l y Bank of America Savings account offered ther and steps towards reaching his goal, Maus thought her mothStudent account offered stands by his objective. it would er as key “It still seems like a valid goal Interest rate: unknown take a mentors as far as being able to do it and it’s a phone for her useful thing to do. It still seems feasicall to one company...now I have to throughout the process. ble,” he said. “[So far] I’ve saved about look into interest rates, long-term pay- “My grandfather, especially, $50.” ments and benefits of each company,” because he has experience being in re Maus’s original goal was to Brown said. tirement,” she said. “Both of them have save up to $200. In the past few weeks, “The larger the minimum pay- more financial experience than I do.” he has discovered the importance of ment, the more difficult it will be to Like Maus, Brown thinks she creating a more stable financial situstart at this stage of my financial life,” has already learned a lot from her aspiation and intends to open a bank acshe continued. ration. count and find a job in the next two Interestingly, deciding “It’s a really eye-opening expefactors like interest rates rience. You see your parents writing a and opening fees are com- check and you say, ‘Oh, I can do that,’” mon to both Brown and Brown said. “[But] it’s something I Maus. have to watch from when I start it to Maus has completed when I use it.” about 10 to 20 hours of re- The whole course of action has search so far, not only re- also made Brown more appreciative of garding employment laws, her money management course with but also relating to local teacher Bill Henry. banks. “Finances are a really mature “I’m finding out what thing,” she said. “It does have to start a good bank to open an ac- young. You should be introduced to count in would be,” he said. terms, like what an interest rate is. Par“I probably am going to be ents usually don’t teach you until you calling around banks in the get your first job.” next few weeks [and] see- Although Brown and Maus ing if they have youth dis- have already learned a great deal about counts. I know some banks financial matters through their handsoffer them.” on experience, they both have a long 20 hours of research way to go. The two have just begun may seem excessive, par- their comparison of banks and comticularly for an under- panies to trust with their hard-earned classman, but Maus feels cash. the process has been very Next month, the Revolution worthwhile. will depict the overall outcome of Sophomore Everett Maus looks for the number of a potential employer. “I learned about vari- Brown’s and Maus’s goals and explore Maus has found getting a job particularly difficult because he is too ous things, like monthly how students can improve their own young to work without a permit. fees, because I’ve been tak- money management.


Features

December 14, 2007

Top ten sweet treats for the holidays Ben Coffey

Staff Reporter

With the feeling of brisk, cold air on your cheeks and the sight brightly colored lights decorated all around town, one cannot help but notice that the holiday season is upon us, bringing a sense of joy and cheer to the community. It is a time to celebrate the different cultural holidays of the time, including Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanzaa. There is no better way to optimize the pure bliss that comes out of this holiday season than to spend time with friends and family, enjoying the great desserts that accompany this special time of the year. Provided below is a list of ten of the best desserts of various cultural celebrations of the season.

7. Benne Wafers- “Benne”

4. Gingerbread House

Taken from the story of Hansel and Gretel, where two kids find themselves in a house made of gingerbread and candy, this dessert is a great holiday tradition that’s fun to make and eat. The simple taste of gingerbread combined with the elaborate, colorful details that accompany making the house make the dessert delicious, as well as providing an activity for the family to get together during the season of giving.

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meaning sesame seed, these traditional Kwanzaa crispy cookies are eaten for good luck in the future. The slaves of West Africa introduced the dessert which was later brought over to America.

6. Sufganyot This dessert fills a deep fried doughnut made with homemade grape jelly. The discrete taste of a lightly glazed donught combined with the intense flavor of grape makes this a great dessert. The oil used to fry the doughnuts represents the oil that burned a historic Temple in the town of Jerusalem. They are commonly eaten in Israel during the time of the celebration of Hannukah.

1. Milk and Cookies An original combination celebrated throughout the world that puts a delicious smile on everyone’s faces, not to mention it’s the favorite dessert of the big man on the sleigh. The pure joy and delight this simple dessert brings to millions across the globe places it at number one on the top 10 list of Holiday Desserts.

8. Dreidel Cake- A delicious, honey covered cake shaped in the form of the traditional Hannukah toy, the dreidle, is sure to please kids and parents alike. The recipe for dreidel cake can be found at www.jellybelly. com.

5. Fudge

2 . Sauteed Ripe Plantain A customary Kwanzaa dessert, the delicious plantains topped with brown sugar are a source of originality and are very when in the mood for a new, different type of dessert. A recipe for this dessert can be found at www.recipezaar.com.

3. Plum Pudding- An old British recipe made during the holidays takes the eggs, wheat, and flower out of the traditional Christmas Cake, creating a delicious pudding filled with raisins. In the 1800’s, many confused plum’s with raisins, thus creating the name of the dessert “plum pudding.”

Fudge is one of the most popularly eaten desserts of the holiday season. Coming in various flavors, the dessert is well liked throughout the world. The most popular of these flavors during this time of the year are chocolate and peanut butter. When at it’s best, fudge is extremely rich with flavor, and can only be eaten in small portions. Although minute, these portions provide one with intense flavor and seem to always bring a smile to the recipients face.

9. Rum Balls

10. Namurrah

A very popular Christmas dessert, rum balls combine the taste of slightly stale cake with chocolate and rum, resulting in a delicious dessert. The balls are covered in coconut and chocolate sprinkles, topping off an already great dessert. Often times, the rum is taken out of the dessert so that children can eat them, and are referred to as “moon balls.”

A traditional Kwanzaa cake, more often known as “Cream of Wheat Cake”, it’s subtle taste results in a great light dessert for the holidays. It is topped off with almonds and provides a sweet dessert for those watching their weight. A recipe for this delicious dessert can be found at www.recipesource.com.

Recipe for Namurrah Yield: 12 servings 2 c Cream of Wheat, plain, dry 1/2 c Water 2 c Yogurt, plain 1 ts Orange Blossom Water (opt) 2 c Sugar 1 tb Lemon juice 2 ts Baking powder 2 ts Vanilla 1/2 c Almonds, slivered or sliced 1 c Coconut, shredded (opt) 1 c Sugar In large bowl, combine dry cream of wheat with yogurt, 2 c sugar, baking powder and vanilla. If desired, add coconut. Stir until thoroughly blended. Pour into greased or sprayed cake pan. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 425 until golden brown. While baking, heat 1 c sugar and 1/2 c water to boiling on stove. Allow to boil long enough to come to a thin syrup. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 lemon juice and orange blosom water. When cake is still warm, pour syrup over top. Serve warm or cold. Delicious with hot tea.


Features AHS Standing on their own two feet: pro December 14, 2007

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Sohail Ahmad Staff Reporter

having and maintaining a cooperative spirit.” For many people step just means fancy moves to beats and rhythms, but what they do not realize is that step has a theme and, as Reynolds put it, a vision. “Step is never losing one’s vision and holding true to that vision. It is not to become competition-minded but to create relationships with other teams, to greet them with care and respect and to invite them to your own shows and thus create a community,” Reynolds said. For the competition piece in Norfolk last Saturday, the team stepped to the theme of Hurricane Katrina. The purpose was to symbolize the struggle and triumph of the survivors of Katrina and to remember those who are living on the edge of hope. The steps go through the storm and show the rebuilding of life. These step routines come from many different sources of step. “Steps are examples of black fraternity/sorority steps that you find in college Greek organizations as well as steps we created from specific beats that we like,” Reynolds said. The team derives its beats from everything-- from modern hip-hop all the way back to the days of the sock hop, go-go, MoTown, the 40s, reggae, Harlem Renaissance and much more. “It is where you build your theme. The step is very organized in a militaristic fashion, the sound is pure and you have beautiful themes which you follow throughout,” Reynolds said. Another surprising aspect of the team is that it follows the same format of tryouts as other sports. Participants are rated based on their originality, energy, creativity, form and endurance. Photo by Liana Bayne.

The Albemarle and Monticello step teams collaborated once more in a Dec. 8 competition in Norfolk. The schools intend to continue their brotherhood through their art. Sure Shots, a promotional group in Norfolk, sponsored the competition. For both performances $1,000 of prize money was thrown in the mix. In general about 10 to 15 teams battle it out for bragging rights, but for the AHS-MHS team, step is much more than competition. Step team director Gwen Reynolds takes her team of 18 years out into the community to shelters, school events and community events such as MAACA, the African American Festival and many others to raise awareness of

the team’s objective. “Our goal in step is to bring the community together under a common purpose and goal, to show the beauty and power of different forms of art,” Reynolds said. She also takes them to elementary and middle school assemblies to teach the rigor and history of step. This holds true to the team’s aim: to show that two schools can coexist as a cultural art form with a history that goes back to the goldmines of South Africa and many other places, and to show and represent that culture. “This step team has been combined for 10 years. We are happy to be connected in a way that promotes community and not competition between two high schools,” Reynolds said. “As the step sponsor, AHS holds a dear spot in my heart and I consider us to be sister schools that represent the best in

Sophomore Gregory “G.T.” Thomas pulls a freestyle during a step practice.

In all there are 22 members on the step team, 12 of whom come from AHS. Sophomore Britney Burch alongside Airaka Elliott (MHS) are the captains representing the two schools. For Burch, the responsibility of captain means being in the zone and exerting control out on the floor. “I would not say that it is stressful, and it is definitely fun, but you have to know what you are doing. It is a lot of work and you have to know all of the steps,” Burch said. The position of captain is not as easy as some make it out to be because it requires not only physical strength to lead the team, but also mental strength to get the job This “hurricane done. Katrina. The ro “You have to be tough, you have to be patient and, overall, you have to be in control. You have to let JV and varsity know that you are in charge, otherwise things will get out of control,” Burch said. Reynolds and her team want the public to realize that step is important in its own unique way. “It is not only entertainment and a sport, it is history. It is what makes America what it is. Step started with the cake walk, with slaves showing off their dances to slave masters to see who had the best dance,” Burch said. “And these s l a v e s [had] an equal share in making this society Thomas finishes his step r


13 Features S, MHS students step in sync, omote inter-school harmony AP study groups: Photo by Liana Bayne.

December 14, 2007

e” move is part of the step routine developed in honor of Hurricane outine was showcased at a pep rally last fall and is still performed. what it is today. They showed step in the way the Europeans did with ballroom dancing.” Every Tuesday and Thursday the team has practice after school. Stepping is year round with steppers performing their own shows and in the spring participating in competitions in and out of state. Practices for the most

Photo by Liana Bayne.

part are held at MHS, but Reynolds tries to split it between the schools. Reynolds further does her own shows and invites Sutherland, Greer, Burley and others who have dance teams to raise money, give them a chance to show off their move and, ultimately, bring the community together. Reynolds also holds teacher workshops because teachers in both schools request to be taught to step. “A teacher becomes the student of step and the student becomes the teacher of step and you cannot beat that,” Reynolds said. In particular, english teacher Tracey Aglio really enjoyed the experience. “It was fun and funny, we enjoyed the students’ reactions,” Aglio said. In the 18 years of the team, it has participated in seven competitions always taking 2nd place. It is due to the fact that Reynolds is not afraid to go outside the box and bring out the true theme of the group, which is to broaden the horizon and experiment with new beats and steps. “It is one of those things that judges may not like, but in the end it is all about the vision,” routine with a solid face of determination. Reynolds said.

No pain, no gain for juniors Ben O’Grady

Staff Reporter

Along with the workload and tough tests that come with the AP classes there is something new to many students with their 11th grade U.S. history course. Each week students meet in groups to discuss secondary readings and write a list of things based on the article. “I thought it was a lot of work at first, but it was really hard to find the time for every person in my group to meet,” senior Jason Truwitt said. With up to five students in each group it sometimes calls for extreme m e a sures to find time and get the job done. “ M y group ended up having to m e e t at 7:30 in the morning right before we had the class that it was due in,” Truwitt said. Other groups have been able to utilize 8th period at the end of the day in order to get the job. Although its only 90 minutes it can provide a background for one individual to finish after school. “8th period makes it easier for us to meet, but people have things to do sometimes or just can’t get out of class. We just work with out them and have do more the next time we meet,” junior Walker McKusick. The reading work that comes with each assignment requires a lot of detail and hard work. The group must explain each readings thesis, purpose, main points, and evaluate the effectiveness of the author. “I hadn’t done anything like it before, but as the year went on we learned what Weisand wanted in the work,” Truwitt said. “ He gave us great feedback and it was so much easier in the group then when we had to do them on our on later in the year.” McKusick also agreed that it is

new for him since he is taking AP U.S history currently. ”It’s a different experience having a regular project due, especially with relatively high level readings.” The readings are taken from Eric Foner’s The Story of American Freedom and After the Fact by James West which are high reading levels for high school students. The readings emphasize the significance of certain historical events and give students good practice for the rest of the class. The time it takes for the work can make it difficult once the group meets to get other work done. Each group chooses a member to write up the assignment after the group discusses it. “ I t helps being in groups because we can spread out the work from week to week,” McKusick said, “If you had to work on it by yourself, you would need two weeks to do each reading.” The work prepares student for next years Government classes. “We have started to do them in Government but I feel more prepared from having them all the time last year,” Truwitt said. The groups can also turn bad if members decide not to show up to the meetings or do a bad job on their writing portion. Groups have a couple of options if they have problems. The group can either kick the kid out of the group or continue to put their name on the work even though they do not do the work. The best thing to do is to just pick responsible group members at the beginning of the year and hope they keep up the good work.

It’s a different experience having a regular project due, especially with relatively high level readings.

-Junior Walker McKusick

The experience of AP U.S. history prepares and helps teach students a new way of learning. The secondary reading groups allow students to interact with each other and make the class a little easier.


People

14 Monticello offers hour-long tours through Mr. Jefferson’s historic home. The tour focuses on the traditional holiday celebrations during colonial times. Tours begin at 5:30 and 5:45 and cost $40. Tour dates: Saturday, Dec. 15 Tuesday, Dec. 18 Thursday, Dec. 20 Thursday, Dec. 27 Saturday, Dec. 29 Key Club is selling Christmas trees in the Office Depot parking lot today through Dec. 23rd. All proceeds go to the Kiawanis Club. The Nebraska Theatre Caravan brings their production of “A Christmas Carol” to the Paramount Theater of Charlottesville on Saturday, December 15 at 3 and 7 PM. Relive the classic story of Ebenezeer Scrooge in a live setting. Tickets range from $25.50 to $45.50. First Night Virginia is back to ring in ‘08 in style in and around the Downtown Mall. Enjoy magic shows, swordfighting exhibitions, storytelling, live music, and of course fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Adult buttons are only $15 and are available now at Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Dippin’ Dots, F-Stop Photo Studios, Plan 9, The Paramount Theater, Timberlake’s Drug Store, Side Tracks, The UPS Store, Volvo of Charlottesville, and www.firstnightva.org. Starting December 29, tickets are also available at the Omni Hotel.

Sophomore Nick Matherne revives zeal for politics as leader of Young Liberals Marie Girard

Design Editor

“He did a great job getting doesn’t make me stupider than the rest people motivated and involved in the of them.” Connie Brennan campaign [Virginia Matherne’s age doesn’t seem house of delegates candidate] this fall. to be a problem with older members. The Albemarle club made up a signifi- “I actually thought that he was cant portion of the best volunteers for a senior,” senior club member Anna the campaign,” Klarman said. Kovatcheva said. “I think he’s trying, “We are looking into care pack- and I think he’s probably doing a betages or soup kitchen type work. After ter job than any of us could do. He’s that we always send people to Pro- really enthusiastic.” Choice Lobby Day,” he said, referring Klarman, who actually helped to the annual event regarding women’s to create the club during her sophorights in more year with fellow Washington students Stephanie D.C. Matherne, Sam Law and Lyle Boller, said Even though “The fact that he’s Matherne is a sophomore didn’t a younger worry me. I think the president, he most important thing hasn’t had is that the person in any trouble charge is involved and with people cares about working listening to ~sophomore Nick Matherne with the Democratic him. Party in Charlottes “It’s just that sometimes when ville and Albemarle.” we disagree, the order kinda falls into Matherne summed up his disarray, but overall we are good about thoughts on involvement easily. listening to each other,” he said. “I “I want my voice to be heard. don’t think that being young has much I mean, like most people, I think that I to do with authority. People listen to me have a decent idea of how things should because I know what is going on and work, I mean, I don’t know everything, how to get involved. People in my club but I want to have some input into how realize that just because I am younger the country I live in is run.”

After the parting of president Rachael Klarman and all the former officers for the Young Liberals club last year, many students thought the club was over. The few meetings last year coupled with the lack of participation created an apathy about the club’s future with club members. But,sophomore Nick Matherne wanted to keep a place for students that lean slightly to the left. “[Last year’s] leadership was good. The active members of the club did a lot but we were thrown off... because of our sponsor’s schedule,” Matherne, now a sophomore, said. Brown didn’t have a permanent room, and last year’s group had meetings problems. “Ms. Brown and the rest of us would be there ready to have a meeting, but we wouldn’t have a room. A couple of times we actually ended up meeting outside of the teacher’s lounge on the second floor, huddled around the bench outside Ms. Dyer’s room,” previous president, Rachael Klarman. Then, last year’s sponsor, English teacher Maury Brown, transferred to Western Albemarle. “When we were talking about who would be in charge this year, we talked about a couple different people, but in the end Nick was the one who had been the most involved,” Klarman said. Matherne has been involved with local politics and was extremely active in the 2006 congressional race for Democrat Al Weed. “He spent basically all of election day weekend working for Al and whenever I asked him to do something he did it. So in the end I nominated him for president and he won,” Klarman said. Klarman helped get Matherne involved with the local Democratic office. “I originally chose to be involved [in local politics] because Rachael Klarman and my sister told me I had to, but after that I really enjoyed being out there and doing something for someone,” Matherne said. Matherne has already been working to get the club involved in local politics. Sophomore Nick Matherne is the president of Young Liberals.

I want to have some kind of input into how the country I live in is run.

Photo by Marie Girard.

Community Update

December 14, 2007


December 14, 2007

People

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Random Freshman: Mollica finds her niche on girls’ field hockey

Photo by Shannon Bisselink

ESOL Student Spotlight

Kerry Girard

spirited people get on days or for sports,” Staff Reporter spirit Mollica said. Mollica has always Coming into high school is al- been involved with sports. ways a scare, but the transition proved She’s danced, played vola lot easier for freshman Brittany Molleyball and soccer for a lica. few years. But this year “A lot of my friends were really she has discovered a new nervous about coming,” Mollica said, love: field hockey. “but I really wasn’t.” “The team is real One of the only worries that ly nice, and we were pretty Mollica had was the homework load. close,” Mollica said. “Before high school, I didn’t have any “ W e idea how d i d n ’ t m u c h win many homeg a m es,” work I M o l l ica would said, “but h a v e , it was a lot and I ~freshman Brittany Mollica of fun and wasn’t we played sure if hard.” it’d be “ [ T h e do-able. But now I realize there’s time coaches] were really nice to do it,” Mollica said. and supportive and made Despite the obvious increase practice fun. We always in work, there are plenty of advantages got along well with our to being in high school. “I like all the coaches,” Mollica said. time you have to socialize compared to Being on a team middle school,” Mollica said. “Having definitely helped with Moving around Colorado and then to eight minutes between classes is aweCharlottesville taught Mollica to be outsome and it feels so much longer than Mollica’s entrance into going and funny, and helped ease the high school. “I felt like the three minutes we got at SutherI really belonged to the friend-making process. land.” school,” Mollica said. do with the fact that she spent her ear “I doubt any of us would want “I was a lot more stressed lier years moving? “I guess it makes it to go back to middle school,” Mollica [during the season], but it didn’t really easier for me to make new friends or said. affect my grades,” Mollica said. get used to a new place or situation,” “I love the breezeway and how Another add- Mollica said. ed bonus to help Mollica lived in Vail, ColoraMollica coming into do at first, but then moved to Pagosa high school is that Sprints, Colorado. Mollica came to she is, as described Charlottesville in second grade and has by her friends, very been here ever since. “All the kids here outgoing. were really nice,” Mollica said. “Every year Her friends are more than happy to I’ve gotten more out- have her here too. going,” Mollica said. “She just makes me laugh,” “It’s cool because said sophomore teammate Rachel I think if I was as Hochstetler. “She’s very spontaneous. shy as I used to be, “She’s really funny and is alI probably wouldn’t ways laughing,” freshman Emily Davihave made nearly as son said. “She’s a really hard worker many new friends and usually does really well.” when coming into While she’s just getting the middle and high high school thing down, she’s still school.” thought about what she might want to Mollica found relief in the realization that Maybe her do when she’s older. “I thought being a outgoing personal- teacher would be cool, or a cook.” Molhigh school, despite notorious homework ity has something to lica said. loads, still leaves her time for field hockey.

Every year I’ve

Photo by Kerry Girard.

gotten more outgoing.

Photo by Kerry Girard.

team during transition into high school life

Name: Jolie Nyira Grade: 10th Country: Congo Q: How difficult has learning the English language been for you? A: “It was a little bit hard. People talked faster, but now I’m starting to understand.’ Q: What have been the hardest things about learning the language? A: “To speak and talk to people.” Q: What are some of the differences between school in Congo and the U.S.? A: “It’s very different because in Congo we started at 7am to 12pm.” Q: What are the main differences between life in Congo and in the U.S.? A: “A lot of things are different, like different food and style of clothing.” Q: What are some of the things you do outside of school for fun? A: “I like to listen to music, especially Fall Out Boy.”


16

People

December 14, 2007

Ancient skill of dowsing alive in area Brandon Agee Staff Reporter

Need to drill a well? Need to find the water on your property? Drilling wells is expensive, meaning you want to be right the first time. Sounds like a job for dowser Bill Henry, a dowser. Dowsing is a method of detecting hidden water in the ground. It is used to decide where to drill wells for homes and businesses. “Dowsing is a thought process similar to meditation. You have to focus on the question you are asking and tune everything else out,” Henry said. “Everyone has the power to dowse if they put themselves to it.” “I got into it when I was young. I saw some books on it and was very curious so I began to read and read, and eventually I attempted it,” Henry said. He continued to practice, as you have to focus when dowsing, or you will not get the correct reactions. Henry then contacted the American Society of Dowsers (ASD) for more information. They provided him with more books to read and more in-depth studies of dowsing. There are many different instruments for dowsing, such as a Y-shaped twig, L-shaped rods, a pendulum, and some do not use an instrument. Henry prefers the L-shaped rod method, in which the rod will turn on its own to

answer the question. Another common instrument for dowsing is the pendulum. The pendulum will swing to provide an answer; many dowsers that use their hand feel it heat up on the palm. “Dowsing gives a position suggested for drilling wells,” Henry said, “you have to ask a yes or no question and your instrument will respond with a yes or no motion.” With the Lshaped rod it will rotate in one direction for a yes and the rod will not move for a no. Henry is not an advertised dowser Teacher Bill Henry uses a metal L-rod to because he feels that if detect water in a dowsing demonstration. you advertise you gain a reputation. Henry does not want racy rate is around 85%,” Henry said. a reputation because he feels many This is because it is hard to be people do not understand it and many 100% correct and sometimes the job people think dowsers are a bit on the can be tricky depending on the geocrazy side. Also, it is not how he makes graphic setup. his living, he does it because he has an Some dowsers claim they can interest in dowsing. Henry gets his state the depth of the water, based jobs by word of mouth, usually from on the current conditions of water previous customers, many of whom he resources and geography. However got from friends’ references. Henry does not state a depth because “At the moment I feel my accu- if he is off by 100 feet and the customer

Photo by Brandon Agee.

Henry uses meditation skills to detect underground water could have found it if they kept drilling, he would feel responsible. “I do not get myself hung up on the depth because I am interested in finding where the water is,” Henry said. “It is more the customers’ decision on how far to drill.” The recent drought has not brought in more business for Henry because it is not severe enough, but the drought four years ago brought in more jobs for Henry to complete. “The droughts also make the job harder, because the water is deeper so it is harder to detect,” Henry said. Henry charges between $50 and $75, depending on how far away the job is because of the increasing gas prices. Henry mainly does jobs independently, but he has worked for a drilling company in Nelson that needed a dowser. Currently there is some controversy on dowsing. Some people today do not believe that one can sense water with an instrument. Also many claim that dowsers are crazy, but how would they know they have never dowsed before. Many of these claims have no way of justification, and dowsers tend to put all the controversy behind them and continue as normal. Dowsing is not a common thing among the population but according to Henry many people are missing out on the fun.

Health Watch As the winter months kick in and flu season hits its stride, high school students everywhere need to be aware of the infectious influenza. What is the flu and how can it be avoided? Sometimes confused with common colds, the flu can be much more troublesome. Symptoms can include body aches, coughing, sneezing, fever,

fatigue, headaches, and congestion. Usually the flu is transmitted by coughing or sneezing. The flu can also be spread by contact with contaminated feces or blood. “Staying clean” by hand washing can often be the best way to avoid the flu. Each year the flu virus changes and causes the vaccines to cease to be effective. The World Health

Organization makes and distributes new vaccines to cover the new strains of the virus. Most doctors’ offices have the vaccine available. While doctors encourage getting a flu vaccine, if people do get hit by the virus antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu and Relenza are designed to terminate the spread of the virus in the body and can be very helpful in reducing the time that

the virus spends in the body. Most people don’t know that the flu kills 36,000 people annually in the United States. The flu can be a troublesome virus to deal with and it can prevent people from going to school or work and from doing their everyday activities. To steer clear of the flu this season get vaccinated and stay clean.


December 14, 2007

17 People Christmas, Chanukkah...Solstice? Jackie Evans keeps in touch with nature through Wicca Junior Jackie Evans will not be lighting candles for Advent, Chanukkah or Kwanzaa this winter. Instead, she will be lighting candles for her peaceful Wiccan ritual of feasting at the Winter Solstice. Wicca is a nature-based pagan religion that focuses on complimentary pairs like men and women, light and dark, etc. In most sects, the worshipped Goddess and God are not rulers or judges, but friends and mentors.” “It’s a very flexible religion… built around embracing change. We believe that humans have choice in every matter,” Evans said. “If someone chooses to do evil, then they alone are to blame. The Goddess and the God are not rulers or judges, but friends and mentors.” “The one rule to Wicca is the

Wiccan Rede; if it harms no one, do what you want,” Evans said. “Basic values include…celebrating life, loving your friends and family, accepting and learning from differences in the people around you, and honoring the Goddess and her counterpart in whatever way you choose.” Evans discovered Wicca by mistake when she stumbled across a book on the subject. She found that it expressed her religious views in a way she had yet to put into words. “I was raised a Christian, and I left the Episcopalian church…when I was 11 or 12,” said Evans. “It just wasn’t right for me, and I didn’t agree with a lot of the teachings. I had beliefs then, too, and when I found out about Wicca, it was like a revelation to find a religion with the exact same beliefs as my own.” A fundamental icon of Wicca is the pentagram, or star, which is

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incorporated into rituals. “It’s a symbol of equality and protection, and the five points stand for the five key elements… of Wicca -Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit,” Evans said. Evans conducts rituals that incorporate the pentagram. “A circle Junior Jackie Evans practices a Wiccan ritual. of protec- Wicca is a peaceful alternative religion that is a tion is cast, symbol of nonviolence as well as communion with which basi- nature. cally means a circle into which nothing harmful can sponses when Evans reveals her relienter. Candles are used to represent gion. “Reactions range from laughthe element of Fire; likewise incense ter to suspicion. Most people just give for Air, water for-you guessed it-Wame a funny look and a wary nod…but ter, and dirt or salt for Earth,” Evans some are outright hostile,” Evans said. said. “I have a couple friends who “Depending on what the ritual are devoutly Christian,” Evans said. “I is for, you’d have various materials intry to avoid the subject [of religion], side the circle with you when you cast it, such as fruits, bits of wood, a sacred but I was told I was going to Hell and knife called an athame, a mirror, what- it really upset me-not because I actually thought I was going to Hell, but ever.” because they understood that little.” Rituals refresh the spirit or “Another time, I bought this celebrate holidays like the eight Sabbook called Solitary Wicca and the guy bats which correspond with solar and at the counter gave me this look and lunar equinoxes. was like, ‘Do you actually believe this Evans plans to celebrate Yule, stuff?’” Evans said. “It was a totally difthe winter solstice on December 22, by ferent take on it from most people, but feasting with her friends. just as insulting.” Contrary to popular belief, “I wish people would be more which Evans believes is promoted accepting, but if they’re not, it’s not my through the media, Wicca is not devilproblem…that’s their mistake,” Evans worship, is not the same as witchcraft, said. “Different does not always mean nor is it anti-Christian. bad.” Evans dispelled another mis“Wicca has definitely had a conception. “[There are] no sacrifices big impact on my life. Practicing Wicof any kind-unless you count fruit. ca has given me what every religion Blood is not to be spilled in the name should give its practitioners: strength of religion,” she said. and faith in both myself and life,” Ev These misunderstandings may ans said. be to blame for the often negative rePhoto courtesy of Jackie Evans.

Hannah Cohoon Staff Reporter


Sports

18

Winter Sports Preview: Ben

takes a look at the upcoming seasons

Ben Coffey

Staff Reporter

Wrestling Head Coach: Donnell Hopkins Key Returning Wrestlers: Bryan Waller, Patrick Tobin, Tyler Carpenter, James Wittwer Key Wrestlers Lost: Cory Hale, Robbie Taylor, Josh Hill Outlook: The team returns an incredible amount of its best wrestlers in each weight division, including Waller, Tobin, and Carpenter. The team also has a massive amount of experience due to the amount of returners. Because of this, they are a top contender for the district title, and should show very well in individual competitions too. Quote: “We should do really well this season. We don’t have a lot of senior experience by the team is full of new talent,” junior James Wittwer All photos by K. Aust.

December 14 , 2007

Boys Basketball Head Coach: Greg Maynard Key Returning Players: Jake Hochstetler, Adam Utz, Zach Vrahovac, Cameron Anderson Player’s Lost: Mickey White, Denzel Wilson, Drew Maynard, Dominique Turner Outlook: This winter will be a rebuilding season for the Boys Basketball team after three of the best players in school history, White, Wilson, and Maynard, played their final season last year. The team will rely on young players to step their game up, including sophomore center Anderson, and junior guards Utz and Vrahovac. Quote: “With the entire starting five players gone, the team this year must play together as a whole in order to compete in the Commonwealth, as well as continue our bragging rights around the county. We must also play very physical and with a lot of hear and speed. That is the key to this years basketball success,” junior Zach Vrhovac Indoor Track Head Coach: Buzz Male Key Returning Runners: Boys- Garrett Bradley, Luke Noble Girls- Liz Barclay, Emily Stephens, Lena Shi Key Runners Lost: Boys- Chris Best, Chris Carter Girls- Rachel Rose Outlook: The team loses two of the best runners to go through AHS in Rachel Rose and Chris Best, taking away from their amount of stand-out runners. The team is solid throughout though, which should amount to consistent performances and a shot at the district title. Quote: “We will be very solid this year especially with Luke [Noble] and Liz [Barclay]. We lost some really good runners but our young runners are very good,” junior Garrett Bradley


December 14, 2007

Sports

Girls Basketball Head Coach: Anita Jenkins Key Returning Players: Laura Gomez, Cynthia Jackson, Cassie Kirby, Katie Tubridy Key Players Lost: Emileigh Lambert, Megan Williams Outlook: With the loss of senior captains Lambert and Williams, the team looks to the incoming senior players such as Kirby for leadership. The team returns almost everyone except Lambert and Williams though, and should be one of the top teams in the district this season. Quote: “Our goal this year is to win Districts. I think our team is going to do really well because we have most of the returners coming back, and lots of experience,” sophomore Abby Hendrix

19

Swimming Head Coach: Lindsay Howe Key Returning Swimmers: Boys- Andrew Starr, Luke Robbins, Jack McHugh, C.J Trachta Girls- Ally Beckenstein, Abbie Deal, Kiara Franco Key Swimmers Lost: Boys- Nelson Glennie Girls- Bethany Mextorf, Miriam Kaplan, Katie Patronik Outlook: With the loss of head coach Kyle Wilson, the swimming team will have a very emotional season. Returning great swimmers and massive amounts of talent, both the boys and girls look to repeat last year’s performance of winning the District. The team, with an incredible amount of individual talent, in swimmers such as Starr and Beckenstein, will most likely make a great showing in the state competition. Quote: “Both the boys and girls teams should compete well within the district this year. We have solid swimmers throughout both teams, which should lead us to success and possibly a District Title,” junior Walker McKusick


Sports

20

Flying “V”s:

December 14 , 2007

Father-son combo leads the Patriots on the field

Photo by Kathy Pfeifer.

camaraderie with the players. “He knew the mood of the team,” Coach Vrhovac explained. Junior Zach Vrhovac has been “There were times when he knew he paving his road to athletic success could sit in the back of the bus with the since an early age. With the help of his boys and there were other times when father, head varsity football coach Rick he knew that he needed to stay in the Vrhovac, Zach has worked to become a front.” key member of the team. Coach Vrhovac attributed “Zach has been around foot- Zach’s success today partially to the ball his whole life,” Coach Vrhovac fact that Zach was always ready and said. “[And] my life has been coaching willing to spend more time on the field football.” playing with the older boys. Playing Coach Vrhovac began coaching with the team helped him to learn the high school football at Lousia County game of football long before most. High School a year after he finished “He learned at a very young college. When Zach was five years old, age how to do things the right way. I’m he started helping the team, acting as a firm believer that you learn someball boy for home games. By the time thing every day. The high school foothe was seven, he attended every game ball players have always been a positive the team played, including away games. influence [on Zach],” Coach Vrhovac He also began going to team camps said. over the summer. Zach agreed. “They would al “I was always on the field,” ways encourage me,” he said. Zach said. “I was always helping out.” One player who both Vrhovacs But Zach didn’t simply help remember fondly is R.J. Archer, now take the balls on and off the field during a junior quarterback at the College of games. He also had a certain amount of William and Mary. “ I remember Zach hanging around the locker room and field as long as I was at AHS. He always tried to play with the older guys even if we were just messing around after practice,” Archer said. “It was always fun to have him around the team.” A s a coach, Coach Vrhovac feels that not only did the older team members have a positive influence on Junior Zach Vrhovac sits on the bench while the Zach, Zach defense is on the field. Vrhovac played on offense had a posiand special teams, so rests were well deserved.

Photo by Kathy Pfeifer.

Liana Bayne Managing Editor

Zach lines up with fellow receivers Taylor Knight and Jordan Hill. The offense was explosive this year with Vrhovac leading the team in touchdown catches and receiving yards. tive influence on them. “It taught them about making smart decisions when little kids are around,” Coach Vrhovac said. Often, when Zach was with the team, the players would refrain from using profane language or engaging in other inappropriate behaviors. Coach Vrhovac emphasized that Zach’s early participation in games and team camps was voluntary. “I never said, ‘Zach, you have to go.’ [But] he always did everything I was doing,” he said. Now, as a varsity starter, Zach is reaping benefits from so many hours spent on the field. He has exploded onto the scene this season with an energy that doesn’t look like it will die down any time soon. “He’s earned his varsity position,” Coach Vrhovac said. “He works extremely hard in the off-season [and] he’s carried his weight.” With over 20 catches and 11 touchdowns so far this season, there is no doubt that Zach is doing something right. “I think this year I’ve proved my ability to a lot of people, especially bigger people like reporters and colleges,” Zach said. While Zach is a standout on the team, he doesn’t feel that he gets treated differently than any of the other players. “It’s not really that different,” he said, “He’s not really my dad on the field.”

Coach Vrhovac agreed that they have “a good relationship. It’s pretty natural,” he said, “and I give [Zach] a lot of credit for that.” Zach also plays basketball and runs spring track, two things that Coach Vrhovac feels help Zach’s football abilities and his overall fitness as an athlete. “He’s been helped to become a better runner,” Coach Vrhovac said. Zach tries to translate his speed from track into football, and his power from football into track. “I concentrate on each sport during each season,” Zach said, “but being in the weight room really helps me with all of them.” Though still unsure about his future plans, Zach knows that whatever he decides to do, Coach Vrhovac, along with the rest of the Vrhovac family, will support his decisions. “My dad has been a really big influence,” Zach said, “not just athletically, but also in school. My whole family really supports me.” He cited a recent away game that his entire family, including his sisters and grandparents, attended, even though it was 30 degrees outside. “It really meant a lot to me that they were all there,” he said. Wherever the future leads Zach, Coach Vrhovac is confident that it will be in the direction of success. “God put him in the direction to do something athletically,” he said.


21 Sports Roller coaster season for Pats: December 14, 2007

Football team struggles to a .500 record Staff Reporter

As the football season came to a close on Nov. 9, the team pulled out a win against River Bend, ending the year with a 5-5 record. The team managed to keep a neutral season, despite the loss of star players such as former seniors Dustin Degnan, who now plays for William and Mary, and Jerrod Smith, who plays for Bucknell, as well as the premature loss of former junior Den-

zel Wilson to Fork Union Military Academy. Senior Josh Hill contributed a large portion to the team’s success, consistently rushing over 100 yards a game, running for a combined 1007 yards for the season, and scoring eight touchdowns. But for those who remember the city/county domination and winning district record of last year’s team, this season may have fallen short of many expectations. “We shouldn’t have lost as many

Student Art Spotlight

Collage by Matthew Dalton in Art II.

games as we did,” Hill said. With the early staggering loss to, now state champions, Monticello, the team’s future looked uncertain, but with the shut out of cross-town rival Western, as well as a strong win against Charlottesville, hope was revived. The rest of the season found Albemarle on a proverbial roller coaster, consistently switching between wins and losses every week against the district teams. With the close of the season and the departure of the senior class, the team already has a solid lineup for next year. With the return of first team all-district star receiver, junior Zach

Vrahovac, for his 3rd year of varsity play, as well as other returning juniors such as receiver Adam Utz, second team all-district defensive back Jeremy Robinson, linebacker Matt Henderson, and defensive lineman Jon Pfeifer, the team will have a strong base to work from. “It is disappointing that we lost as many games as we did, because I know we have a lot of talent,” Utz said, “I think we have a real strong line-up for next year, we should be really nice.” “The season just ended and I’m already looking forward to next year,” junior Matt Henderson said. Photo by Kathy Pfeifer.

Patrick Tobin

Senior quarterback Jake Hochstetler looks down field for an open receiver downfield. Along with fellow quarterback junior Jeremy Robinson, they threw tons of touchdowns to the group of talented Patriot wide receivers though out the season.


A&E A Very Outdated Christmas 22

20 years later, some Christmas songs have just gotten old Parker Girard Staff Reporter With the coming of the holiday season, certain things are to be expected. One of those things is the myriad release of Christmas albums in attempt to make a little extra money from the holiday season. This year is no exception, but it does mark a milestone as far as Christmas albums go. Christmas 2007 marks the 20th anniversary of the “A Very Special Christmas” collection, a CD compilation released in 1987 to raise money for the Special Olympics. But can a CD first pressed 20 years ago still capture the spirit of a timeless celebration like Christmas? The answer, quite simply, is no. While this might seem harsh to some, there is a perfectly good explanation for this: the songs are just too dated and gimmicky. “A Very Special Christmas” starts out with a version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by the Pointer Sisters. First of all, does anyone even remember the Pointer Sisters? Secondly, this might just be the worst rendition of this song I’ve ever heard. The added dialogue at the beginFinal Grade: ning of the song is one of the most obnoxious sounds I’ve ever heard, making my eyeballs instantly roll into the back of my head and forcing my mouth to yield a groan previously unheard by human ears.

C-

The next few songs aren’t much better. A version of “Winter Wonderland” by Eurythmics might have been seen as interesting or modern in 1987, but today it just feels dated and reminiscent of everything bad about the 80’s. Whitney Houston’s “Do You Hear What I Hear?” is perhaps the “best” of the songs so far, but still lacking in grandeur to make up for its shortcomings. Madonna’s “Santa Baby” reminded me of how much I hate the 80s as much as all the previous songs combined. Sure I’m not a Madonna fan, but I don’t know how anyone can be after this song. I was told that it was intended to sound like Betty Boop, but it sounds more like a toddler on a drinking binge. It’s not singing; it’s whining. It’s probably not the stupidest thing she’s done in the last 20 years, but that’s okay. I can still hate her for it anyway. My least favorite song on the album may very well be Bon Jovi’s “Back Door Santa,” a song with a title as ridiculous as its dated synthesizer opening and its incredibly 80s repeated “Ho Ho Ho” chant with the crowd. Enough said. It’s horrible. The album isn’t all bad. Bruce Springsteen doing a version of “Merry Christmas Baby” is actually quite refreshing given the neighboring songs,

and is complete with everything from whining saxophone to the jingling of Christmas bells. Springsteen’s contribution is quite welcome and reminded me of everything good about music in the eighties. I have yet to even mention my favorite track on the album yet: “Christmas in Hollis” by hiphop superstars Run-DMC. This song has been a favorite of mine for quite a few years (previous to my hearing of this album) and is a mustown for any fan of 80’s hip-hop. I’ve even caught myself listening to this song during the summer, it’s that good. I highly recommend picking up this track, even if you don’t pick up the rest of the album. Even with a track as great as “Christmas In Hollis,” the album falls flat on its face after 20 years. Sure star power is great (and this compilation may seem like the “dream team” of Christmas albums), but as far as content goes, this is mediocre at best. However, chances are if you don’t own this album you’re probably not going to pick it up, and if you do own this album it’s probably stuck in a drawer in between the Nat King Cole Christmas album and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Let’s just hope it stays there.

Happy Holidays

from

The Revolution staff

December 14, 2007

CD/Movie Releases Albums December 18 Lil’ Wayne “Tha Carter III”

Movies

To Theaters in Dec.

I am Legend National Treasure 2 The Great Debaters Waterhorse Golden Compass

On Video Superbad Pirates of the Caribbean:At World’s End Bourne Ultimatum Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


December 14, 2007

LIT MAG TAKES FIRST PLACE:

Fine Arts Notes The Lantern’s “Pitch and Roll” edition won first place in the 2007 Lit Mag competition. The staff is currently gearing up for the March interactive showing of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Meanwhile, the photography department continues to be thrilled by their new UVB light in class that gives students a whole new view of transparencies. They also have provided various prints that can be found around school walls.

A&E

23

Imani All Mine:

A quaint adventure Revolution

through motherhood Patrons’ List Bianca Ragland Staff Reporter

Have you ever had a secret that you couldn’t tell your parents? In the novel Imani All Mines, main character Tasha’s secret is that she was raped and became pregnant. Tasha is a young teen that lives in the ghetto with her mother and daughter Imani. Tasha met a stranger at the bowling alley. Not thinking any better, she took a walk with him and he raped her in the woods behind the bowling alley. Tasha found herself taking care of a daughter at the age of fifteen. Tasha deals with self-esteem problems. Tasha is not only dealing with motherhood, but she sees her rapist at school. She is wondering if he going to hurt again or strip from her dignity a second time. Tasha is forced to deal with school and motherhood at the same time. I usually

don’t read but when I read the first chapter of Imani All Mine, I didn’t wont to stop reading. It was interesting because she’s keeping a secret. I like that she stands own her own as a mother at just fifteen. Tasha makes a great example of a young teen mother struggling with a baby, yet she still manages to stay in school and be successful in life. I don’t like how Tasha handles her self esteem in the story. I recommend this book to young teen who is dealing with a baby or that have self-steam in there life. If you Final Grade: want to k n o w what the secret is you have to read, “Imani all mines”.

B

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Tippie Koenig Gayle Rainey The Shifflett Family

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Calendar Dec. 18 6th exam Dec. 19 1st/3rd exams Dec. 20 2nd/4th exams Dec. 21 5th/7th exams Dec. 24 - Jan. 1 Holiday Jan. 14 Holiday Jan. 17 Social Clubs Jan 21 Holiday

Etc.

Ponies! My growing anticipation for “the most wonderful time of the year” started roughly two months ago, when Parker Girard to Staff Reporter aK rtrip oger ended up reminding me of a certain upcoming holiday. “Oh yeah, it’s almost Halloween,” I thought to myself, as I pushed my cart past copious amounts of candy displays. “Wait a second, is that a giant mechanical Santa Claus on top of a large pile of Coca-Cola products?” Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He’s been at Kroger since the middle of October. No wonder he hasn’t written back.

20 Parker comments on his most ideal holiday season

But thank God the holiday season is finally here. If I had to wait any longer, I’d probably have to hijack a snowmobile and drive it into the nearest glacier in an attempt to suffice my inherent desire for cold weather. However, considering it’s hard enough to find a glacier as it is (and I hold Al Gore personally responsible), I decided I could wait it out. Frankly, there’s nothing I don’t love about the holiday season. From canned holiday scent (which I had the pleasure of smelling outside of Journeys on my last trip to the mall) and non-denominational “holiday trees” to the O’Reily “War On Christmas” rants and Black F r i d a y stampedes, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. I like to play a game during the holiday season: every time I hear a nondenominational holiday greeting from a man on TV trying to sell me a Lexus, I pour myself a nice tall glass of Egg Nog and throw it at my 32 inch Zenith television Parker checks his Christmas stocking for early set in rage. signs of Santa. Parker gets worried each year I also around this time that he’s on the naughty list.

take special care to buy any product, no matter how horrible and , as long as it is officially endorsed by Santa. If you can fly around the world in one night, I’d buy your product too. Don’t thank me, I’m just doing my part in the war on Christmas. But of course, all of the previously described activities will take place before Christmas. When the big day draws near, I’ll have my own personal itinerary. First, on Christmas Eve my plans involve sitting in front of a nice warm fire, enjoying the finer things in life: Mountain Dew Game Fuel, Twinkies, and a 1996 movie starring Hulk Hogan, in which he plays an evil millionaire who gets amnesia and thinks he is Santa Claus. An instant holiday classic. I wouldn’t want to be “naughty” if I knew Hulk Hogan was coming after me. I would, however, want to be “Macho Man” Randy Savage. After finishing the movie and laughing uncontrollably at an unpredictable plot twist (oh, that Hulk Hogan!), I’ll pop in another traditional Christmas movie: 1964’s “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians,” in which Martian leaders capture Santa Claus in order to bring joy to the children of Mars. Based on a true story. After remarking on Director Nicholas Webber’s uncanny ability to capture human emotion (*tear*), I will most likely hear the gentle patter of reindeer on my rooftop, and will scurry off to bed in my finest pajama bottoms, awaiting the coming of morning. I can go one of two ways at this juncture. I could either peacefully sleep to the sound of gentle Christmas carols in nice, warm linens, or stay up all night, unable to curb the anticipation of the upcoming holiday, just hours away. It’s happened before. And then, Christmas morning comes, and I walk slowly down the stairs to see... ... Ponies! He did get my letter!

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He’s been at Kroger since the middle of October. No wonder he hasn’t written back.

Photo by Erik Frender.

December 14, 2007


Revolution 12/14/07  
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