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the rebellion ISSUE 1 | OCT. 2013

INSIDE: What’s New at RHS | Rep. Mike Quigley Visits RHS | A Summer of Snowden





table of contents RHS 6 7 8

Happening Around RHS Mike Quigley Visit & New Courses New Teachers

9 New Coaches 10 New Clubs 11 Rebels Ask


12 Syria: A Brief Synopsis 13 A Syrian Perspective 14 Today In Tech


16 A Summer of Snowden

18 Leaked 19 On the Run 20 The Documents & Verbatim 21 Fiction v. Reality


24 Guess We’re Switching Over

to Krispy Kreme


26 Passion for Art &

My Heart and the Dove 27 Editors’ Pics

the rebellion

22 Cultivate Festival

25 Pajama Take Over

28 The Cursed Mask 29 Comic 30 Q&A with Dr. Lupo


the rebellion VOLUME 28 | ISSUE 1 | OCT. 2013

EDITORIAL STAFF Editors-in-Chief Alex Hanns Skirmante Survilaite Copy Editor Jola Pach Graphic Designers Joe Barnas Alex Hanns Aga Jarzabek Gustavo Pereira Advisor Mark Lippstreuer The Rebellion is written and edited by Ridgewood High School students. Opinions expressed in The Rebellion are the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily a reflection of the entire staff or the school district. Anyone is welcome to submit articles to the editors. Send them to the advisor at: The Rebellion reserves the right to edit for article length and content.

Ridgewood High School 7500 W. Montrose Ave. Norridge, IL 60706 Visit us online at:

Letters from the Editors Welcome back to another school year here at RHS. As you have noticed, The Rebellion has changed again from last year. First and foremost, the issue that you are holding in your hand (or reading online) is now 32 pages, 33% more than last year! And we didn’t just fill it up with anything, we have quality journalism that covers a new spectrum of topics. We now have five distinct sections: RHS, News, Feature, Commentary (opinions), and Tidbits (everything else). These sections were designed over the summer to ensure that we cover a mix of subjects that would interest you, our readers. Also new this year is our brand new website! It has finally come to fruition, after years of it being only a dream. Visit to learn about current events and hear the opinions of our writers. The website also features a commenting system that allows readers like you to join the conversation. And the last thing that is new, or at least new with a title, is the other Editor-in-Chief. Skirmante has been working her tail off all of last year, assigning articles and editing every single one that was written. This year, as I am updating the look of The Rebellion and handling the business end of things, she pledged to amp up the writing to make this newsmagazine something that people want to read. With our combined efforts, The Rebellion will transform into something that Ridgewood has never seen before: the talk of the school. Happy reading everyone! -Alex Hanns

Hey Ridgewood! Welcome to a new year, new school, and (somewhat) new Rebellion! As one Ridgewood student posted on Facebook not too long ago, “outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates.” As your Editor-in-Chief numero dos, my goal for this year is to accomplish just that- an inner beauty that captivates. That is, turn the Rebellion into precisely what a school newspaper should be: a vehicle for the expression of the student body. So, perhaps our gorgeously sleek new magazine attracted your eyes. Or maybe it was the feel of the glossy, shiny new paper as your fingers caressed it. Or even, perhaps, the delicate rustling of the pages as you deftly turned them. How many senses have I covered so far? But anyways, my point is, it’s all fine and dandy that the Rebellion looks hot, my goal is to make the writing awesome as well. I want it to become a high-school newspaper/magazine (we’re still quite confused as to our true identity, but this is run by teenagers after all) that you, the students and faculty, will actually want to read. It pains me at times that even some teachers don’t know about The Rebellion and have to ask what the school’s newspaper is named. And I know that even if you deigned to pick this up because it looked nice and you perhaps had an inkling of an intention to read it, you’re probably still not going to read this because, well, who ever reads the letters from the editors? Even I don’t, I’m sorry to admit. But if you read this, thanks! If you even picked this paper up, thanks! And one more thing, if after you are done with the paper you refrain from depositing it ever so unkindly on the ground, thank you. Have a nice day! -Skirmante Survilaite

news highlights CONGRESSMAN MIKE QUIGLEY has recently

IN DECEMBER OF 2011 (not a

issued a new warning of damage to Lake Michigan and problems for homeowners as a result of climate change. Not only have these measures been taken, but, to top it all off he has been complaining (yes, he’s gone so far to express his dissatisfaction as complaining) that Congress is not doing enough to pass legislation about climate change. Perhaps this is an instance of the pot calling the kettle black?

On September 26th, 19 year old Jared James Abrahams was arrested for hacking 100+ women’s computers and using the webcams to take inappropriate pictures and then using those to blackmail the women. Taking technological misuse to a whole new level.

A FEW WEEKS AGO, a molasses pipeline in

Honolulu Harbor, Hawaii sprung a leak and dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of molasses into the ocean, killing thousands of fish. What’s next, humanity?

recent highlight, but still…) a Sika deer in Russia was discovered torn apart in the forest without cause. Luckily, a camera was set up nearby to capture images of Siberian Tigers. The cause of the deer’s death as recorded by the camera? It was attacked by a golden eagle. Anyone else find this difference in eagles from America to Russia interesting?

An inmate was released from the Cook County Jail System. On accident. And this is the fourth time this has happened. Just… Why? How? Cook County… Come on! Two times already between September 6th and the 26th, APPLE MAPS has led travelers looking for their terminal at an Alaskan airport across the tarmac instead. What’s the next story of misleading directions from Apple Maps? A route to the moon?

No need to fret, the government shutdown was not nearly as big of a deal as it was made out to be. Mr. Joe Biden was merely having some fun with the “clap on, clap off” lights his walk-in closet was recently outfitted with, and through a small glitch in the wiring between the time-space continuum and “clap on, clap off” lights, he clapped the government off. However, being unable to master this blasted new-age technology and, in his horror, being unable to articulate an explanation, Biden was unable to solve the problem and it was blamed on petty political problems. The government needs to realize who the true enemy is! Not the ridiculously unproductive war between Democrats and Republicans, but the blasphemous new-age technology that makes life so difficult. IMAGE CREDITS: Computer:; Directions:; Eagle:; Fish:; Obama:; Quigley:



Happening Around RHS by Skirmante Survilaite, senior

Welcome Back

New Pet

Seeing as how this is the first issue of The Rebellion this year, the following might be worth mentioning: welcome back, Rebels! Another year of learning, of homework, of fun and of stress, and, of course, of The Rebellion trying to be funny!

Mr. Falicetti has recently obtained a class pet: a goldfish named Carl Francis Gatsby! The (un)lucky creature found his way into Falicetti’s arms during the Homecoming Carnival at the hands of his AP Chem class. Sadly, Carl Francis Gatsby passed away one week into his life in the Falicetti classroom. However, students in the AP Chem class already have plans to introduce a new

Hero in the Classroom Congratulations to Mrs. Netterstrom for being one of only 16 Chicagoland teachers to receive the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award! A little background about the nomination process: the teacher nominated must be a K-12 teacher within Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will County who has made a real difference in students’ lives, gone above and beyond in his/her day-to-day responsibilities, and helped students build life skills. Sadly, not many students are familiar with Ms. Nett except for knowing her as the cute little blonde that is seen romping around the school between helping students better their reading skills and winning awards for being a wonderful person. Well, Mrs. Nett, the newspaper loves you! Congrats!

Homecoming Homecoming week was as busy as ever, chock full of classagainst-class competition, teachers stressing about how much class their students are missing, and everyone having a good time. And the dance…. Well… Nothing the newspaper can publish about that without pushing a few boundaries of propriety.



member of the Chem family. It is yet to be decided who the next victim, err, pet, will be, but the polls are now open as to how long the next fish will live! The Ridgewood Rebellion in no way condones betting, gambling, or death in any way. Or shape. Or form.

Construction Another year of construction at Ridgewood has given the school a noticeable facelift. Walking in through the Visitor’s Entrance, students this year are met with a view much different than they were used to! Well, not the freshmen. But who cares about the freshies? (The Rebellion is kidding, we find you cute, freshmen. Sometimes.) For starters, Ridgewood’s pet monster apparently decided to take a chomp out of the wall and replaced the corner with a new display case and… a column… But it looks cool! And the Wall of Fame has also been updated! Ridgewood looks pretty darn classy now. Although the Visitor’s Entrance is the most recent update, the Main Entrance also deserves to be mentionedRidgewood can now be proud of its beautiful Main Entrance, which for once is recognizable as a main entrance and not just another door. Shout out to Ms. Koumas and Mr. T for manning the doors in the morning! Ridgewood’s students are quite pampered this year with automated doors that open with the push of the button.

Rep. Mike Quigley Visits AP Government Class by Alex Hanns, senior

U.S. Representative Mike Quigley, of our home district, came to visit an AP Government class at Ridgewood last month. This finally came after last year’s class sent letters to the Congressman’s office asking him to share his experiences in politics and government. Getting involved in politics and government as a young adult is crucial according to the congressman. “My concern is the lack of involvement and the distancing of themselves from politics,” Quigley said. He advises students to follow in his footsteps. In high school, Quigley said that he “took every government class my high school had to offer.” He also said that when he was of voting age that he registered to vote and immediately got involved in local politics while in high school. “It’s not a spectator sport,” he said. “At your age, you’re old enough, smart enough, and capable enough to get involved in political campaigns.” But he also advocates taking a broad spectrum of classes while in college. “I don’t think you need to take all political science classes to become a politician. If you want to understand politics, read Shakespeare. There are Lady Macbeths out there, there are Iagos out there, there are Othellos out there. Understand your

history. If you understand history, it will help you make decisions that I have to make: Should we go to war in Syria? I actually believe that an undergrad degree in liberal arts prepares you to be a very successful MBA. So don’t limit yourself.” When asked about a something he said on a radio interview just a day before, Quigley warned against social media and reminded the students that “everything you say [lasts] forever when you’re an elected official.” Returning to the quote, he said that, “when I got [to Congress], Mark Kirk said to me, ‘Everything here happens in the middle.’ Think of things in terms of compromise. I’m not criticizing Republicans, I’m criticizing the ones at the extremes who don’t want to compromise.” Rep. Quigley has been serving Illinois’s 5th district since 2009, when he took Rahm Emanuel’s seat when he moved on to the White House to become President Obama’s Chief of Staff. After winning the special election in 2009, he won reelection in 2010 and 2012.

New Options Available for Ambitious Students in 2013-2014 School Year by Alex Hanns, senior

RHS students have taken advantage many new options to further their education this school year. These are three notable programs that have started up this year.

Apex Courses that are not (or have never been) offered at Ridgewood this school year are available for students to take online through Apex. Seven students are currently enrolled in five different AP classes online, including biology, macroeconomics, microeconomics, physics, and statistics. While online learning presents its challenges and limitations, students are now able to take a class in something that they may want to major in once in college.

AP Music Theory After surveying last year’s band students, Band Director Steve Klaus has made an AP Music Theory study group possible for students interested in furthering their knowledge in music. IMAGE CREDIT: Quigley:

About half a dozen students are meeting with Klaus on Thursdays before jazz band to prepare for the AP Exam in May and better understand music everywhere. They are learning to “ listen with your eyes and see with your ears.” And the best thing? This knowledge can be applied to any instrument of the students’ choosing.

Mentoring & Leadership Course As an extension of Carol Valentino-Barry’s mentoring endeavor, she has introduced a course that “bridges the gap between academics and real-world application.” This course teaches many lessons, including task analysis, prioritizing, identifying strengths, following through to a resolution, time management (effectiveness and efficiency), and social impact. Students are taught through the use of case studies from Harvard Universities and are led in discussion by Charles Duncan, a vice president of United Airlines. 7


What’s New at RHS?

THE NEW TEACHERS AND COACHES ROAMING THE HALLS AND GYMS visit to read the extended interviews

David Herbst, Science Department

Welcome to one of our new science teachers! Aside from the fact that he is a science fanatic, he enjoys eating sushi, playing darts, making educational YouTube videos, and the ever-so-popular “sitting down if there is no need for standing.” He is “totally digging [his] experience at Ridgewood so far. [His] students are pretty awesome and they don’t seem to mind [him] so that’s pretty tubular.” We welcome Mr. Herbst to the Ridgewood family! -EVELINA PACHEL, junior

James Kline, Science Department Ridgewood welcomes our new teacher, James Kline! He received a Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University and majored in Chemistry with a minor in Physics. He has brought his experience in the sciences to Ridgewood, currently teaching Physics and Chemistry. His favorite class is Physics. We wish you many years at Ridgewood High School, Mr. Kline! -ANDREEA GULER, senior

Rebecca Kritzberg, Math Department

Rebecca Kritzberg is teaching her first year as a full-time teacher at Ridgewood. She is “really enjoying [her] experience here at Ridgewood. The students are funny and keep [her] smiling; the staff is full of great personalities that make [her] feel a little less weird everyday.” The most important thing she would want her students to know: “My door is always open… I also never give up; if someone is struggling, I have a strong drive to continue to work with them and help them master the material.” -ANDREEA GULER, senior

Eric Lasky, Math Department

Mr. Lasky is new at Ridgewood, but he definitely is not new to teaching. This is his 14th year teaching. “I enjoy motivating students and helping them to be successful. The great part about teaching high school is you see the students enter as kids and leave as young adults.” He is also a beast at basketball; he has coached 40 high school seasons. “Champions are not born, they are made” is a motto he uses when he coaches. Well, Mr. Lasky is definitely a champion teacher! -KAMILA CZACHOROWSKI, sophomore 8

Robert Morressey, Social Studies Department

As a new teacher and soccer coach, Mr. Morrissey says he has “a duty to teach the kids social studies and essentially teach them how to grow up and be responsible citizens”. He teaches Practical Law, World Cultures, Economics, and next semester, Psychology. He loves Practical Law the most because it’s “controversial and confrontational”. He even said that if he was stranded on an island for a year, he would bring “…[his] Practical Law book, haha. And several bars of soap. That’d be nice.” -ANDREEA GULER, senior

Amanda Stanko, Math Department

Ridgewood’s new math teacher, Amanda Stanko, teaches Geometry, Geometry Concepts & Skills, and Algebra 1. However, her favorite class to teach has been Algebra 2. “There are ‘cool’ skills that are acquired in that course that are very applicable to real life! [Geometry] offers a challenge that offers that great feeling of accomplishment once conquered.” She was inspired by her own high school geometry teacher to become a teacher herself. “She made the subject easy to understand.” -ANDREEA GULER, senior

Cheerleading: Ryan Griesmeyer

Ridgewood High School is honored to welcome a new head cheerleading coach, Ryan Griesmeyer. Ryan has been cheering for a total of eight years and has many years of coaching experience. Now, Ryan is bringing all her expertise to Ridgewood High School. Her plans for this year are to “push the cheer team to the next level and raise the bar for not only competition, but school spirit.” She plans on making Rebel cheerleading a name that the school will be proud of and other schools will know about. -DEANA HANNS, junior

Cross Country: Tony Guagenti

Although it seems like meets have only just begun, the Rebel runners are already more than halfway into their season. The once-tiny team has experienced a boost in numbers thanks to new head coach Tony Guagenti. He intends to bring a new philosophy to cross countrylooking at “the bigger picture.” He believes Ridgewood can qualify for the sectionals this year. It’s his positive outlook and attitude that motivates his team to realize their talent and embrace the hard work that’ll take them past regionals. -MARISSA MARCHESE, senior

Soccer: Robert Morressey

Coach Morrissey has played soccer since he was only five years old. “I actually made the U of I team - for one day”. The next day, he was cut. The team kept five when they were only supposed to keep three. What he says about the experience now? “…It makes for a funny story. Is it something that I would’ve stuck with for the next four years in college? I don’t know… Once you get into college, your focus shifts from sports to academics.” -ANDREEA GULER, senior IMAGE CREDITS: Cross Country:; Soccer:



What’s New at RHS?


Garden Club

The club is run by the one and only, Mr. Anastasiades. When asked if he would consider himself a professional chess player, he replied: “No, because I never got paid.” Before getting into more about the chess club, let’s learn a little about who Mr.A is. Has anyone ever pronounced his name correctly? Nope. Would he ever shave his head? “…Probably not because I

Though Ridgewood’s new garden club has just taken root, it has made significant progress. After nurturing our plants with a couple rain dances and a lot of Lumineers songs, in addition to watering and weeding, we raised what one might scientifically call a “heck lot” of food. We grew everything from regular crops like tomatoes, peppers, corn, squash, and potatoes to

would like to stay married but maybe if it was for a good cause”. What is the most embarrassing moment of his life? “Every day of high school… and grammar school.” Mr. A played chess at his own high school and after being given a suggestion to start a chess club at Ridgewood by one of his coworkers, decided to do it. He was inspired to start the club not only because the opportunity was there but also because “it gets your mind thinking about what move to make” and how that move will affect his next move and the move after that. This domino effect is “kind of like life.” The club is open to all Ridgewood students. If you’d like to see what it’s all about, take the opportunity to meet and join them every Monday and Thursday after school. -CASSIE LACEY, junior

strangely wonderful things like dragon egg cucumbers and ground cherries. The best part? We were able to donate fresh food to the Salvation Army and our own school, all while learning to maintain a small business. Under the wise direction of garden guru Miss Goodman, business expert Kathleen Ermitage, and is-there-anything-sheisn’t-involved-in Mrs. Barry, we were able to follow through with a project that seemed almost impossible to accomplish. Together, we made a name for our experiment at several farmers markets and sent our end results to the kitchen counters of happy customers. Our “fresh season” is now at an end, but we’re not stopping here. Before we arrive at next year’s planting, we’re going to help Rebel Roots grow in one way or another. Come join us! -JOLA PACH, senior

Glee Club The Glee Club is a new singing club at RHS. It was started from students’ interest in a singing group or some kind of choir. They approached a teacher here who they asked to start a singing group. That teacher told them, “Well we used to have a choir group, and we have a choir teacher: Mrs. Hansen.” This teacher approached Hansen, and from there, kicked off starting up a club again. There are a number of students coming in and “just [having] a lot of fun”. The club is open to any students with a musical interest. “We have students who have sung at church and we have students who have never sung before. We sing glee-type music, very popular music. We let the club members vote on which songs to work on.” The club has about 15 regular members as of now. Practices are on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 P.M. Here is a piece the club is currently working on: songs from Bella’s Finals which is a compilation of Price Tag, Don’t You Forget about Me, and Give Me Everything. They are also working on Some Nights by Fun and Seasons of Love, which is from a musical. When I asked Hansen what she would like to say to potential members, she optimistically said: “If anyone’s ever told you that you can’t sing, don’t believe them. Everyone can learn to sing. You just may not have had any experience with it. I get that response from many students that they ‘can’t sing.’ If you want to sing, we’ll get you to sing! It just takes a little bit of practice.” -ANDREEA GULER, senior 10

Italian National Honor Society (INHS) The Italian National Honor Society has finally made its debut as an official activity. While the Ridgewood chapter of the INHS was created 11 years ago by Italian teacher Dolores Miller, it was just at the end of last school year that Michael Jorgensen and Jared Kruger, then juniors, spearheaded the process to make INHS a club. INHS is hosting two main events this year: Festa Italiana and Italian Immersion Day. Festa Italiana is an annual celebration of Italian culture focusing on food, music, and language. Last year, this event drew 500 people into the cafeteria for a night of fun. This year, the festival will take place on December 4. Italian Immersion Day is new this year. For an entire day, students of AP Italian and Italian 4 must only speak in Italian. In the evening, INHS will host an event during which students from many other schools will come to Ridgewood and participate in cultural activities and communicate their ideas with their peers entirely in Italian. In addition to these two main events, the Society will learn more about Italy through educational activities, including art day, Jeopardy games, cooking lessons, and a monument scavenger hunt. INHS will also be doing community service work such as tutoring students in Italian and corresponding with the retirees at Villa Scalabrini retirement home. Ridgewood’s chapter is named after the Renaissance Man, Leonardo da Vinci. Miller, a member of the American Association of Teachers of Italian, explained her rationale for choosing Da Vinci as the face of the club: “Da Vinci was an extraordinary man. He strived to educate himself in every subject.” But that wasn’t the only reason that Da Vinci was chosen. He also created Vitruvian Man, a famous drawing of the proportions of humans, which serves as Ridgewood High’s school symbol. As Miller said, “given that the Vitruvian Man is our school symbol, and that Da Vinci himself pursued the educational ideal for which Ridgewood strives, it seemed wonderfully apt to call our chapter of the INHS the Da Vinci Society.” -ALEX HANNS, senior

the rebellion

Coming soon! REBELS ASK

Introducing... Rebels Ask! The RHS Rebellion’s version of “Dear Abby” -where students ask questions pertaining to real-life issues and get real advice. Confused on what to do in a situation? Want advice to help you get through something? Need someone to talk to about anything? Any questions about... ...relationships? ...home life? ...friends? ...“friends”? ...your future? ...anything that’s happening in your life? are confused about something? And remember: confidentiality is a priority if you do wish to remain anonymous!

Find the Rebels Ask questions box in the library on the circulation desk (right next to Ms. Goodman) ...ask away rebels! 11


A Brief Synopsis of the Tensions in Syria AND THE ROLE OF THE UNITED STATES IN THEIR CIVIL WAR by Claudia Kubarycz-Hoszowska, sophomore

There is no longer time to celebrate the return of soldiers from Iraq or the closure of a never ending battle because to every end, there is a new beginning. Each day pulls the United States towards the perilous war being fought between the government of Syria and its people. The U.S. claims that the mistreatment of the people of Syria, and the use of chemical weapons against them, cannot and will not be tolerated any longer. This chaos is no longer a mere fight between opposing forces, but a battle for the morals that hold this country together: human rights. For the past two years, Syria has had an on-going civil war between its people and the government. The conflict sprouted in February 2011 and has only grown since then. In 2011, fifteen students painted graffiti that had an anti-government message on the school wall. It read “The people want to topple the regime.” Soon after, the children were arrested. Word spread around the nation that the children were being abused while serving their sentences. This was not taken lightly by the people of Syria, and as a result, people protested and security forces opened fire, killing four people. The amount of protesters and violence grew and created complete chaos from that day. However, President Bashar al-Assad pulled the last straw when he criticized the protesters of Daraa. He delivered a speech in March 2011 in which he stated that Daraa was home to “conspirators [...] that have been waiting to cause conflict.” This speech riled Syria instantly. Even those who wanted to support the government no longer felt its actions were justified. Two days later, protests formed against the government and ordered the removal of the entire al-Assad regime. About a hundred thousand lives were lost during these protests. Although these events occurred over the course of two years, the recent use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government has crossed the line and caught the world’s attention. The fact that Syria used chemical weapons against its own people cannot be tolerated not only by the United States, but also by most nations in the world. Chemical weapons are crossing the line according to White House spokesman Jay Carney: “The use of chemical weapons is contrary to the standards adopted by the vast majority of nations and international efforts since World War I to eliminate the use of such weapons … the use of these weapons on a mass scale and a threat of proliferation is a threat to our national interests and a concern to the entire world.” 12

Several months after the outbreak of violence, the United States claimed that it would be able to provide the rebels (those fighting against the regime) with ammunition, small arms, and possibly anti-tank weapons. However, the reason it took the U.S. so long to help the rebels was the fact that many of the rebels are militants who feel loyalty towards al-Qaeda (the same group that the U.S. fought in Iraq and Afghanistan). Thus, sending weapons to the rebels could have resulted in dire consequences, yet, keeping in mind the immediate danger of the rebels in Syria, the United States made the decision to help. However, not all nations are on the rebels’ side. Russia is very much in a different boat than the United States on this issue. Russia and Syria have had an alliance long before this outbreak of events. Russia and Syria are economically bound because Russia sells weapons to Syria. Just from 2007 to 2010, Russia earned five billion dollars from shipping weapons to the Syrian Government. For Russia, ending this alliance in order to help the United States could be considered “economic suicide.” Additionally, Russia may also take care to secure its friendship with Syria because Russia’s only naval base in the Mediterranean is located on the Syrian coast. Russia is not going to give up its alliance and may in fact get involved in this dispute. There is an excessive amount of tension between the rebels and the Syrian government as it is, and to make matters worse, religion is also involved. The problem is that the al-Assad family belongs to the Alawite, which is a helpless minority compared to the Sunni. With this in mind, al-Assad appointed positions in government to extended family members and supporters. Therefore, the Syrian regime is made of Alawite and fighting against a country that is mostly Sunni. This difference in religion only fuels the tension. This war is far from being resolved and threatens to pull other countries in. This may be problematic as the Middle East has not been in peace for decades upon decades. As this part of the world unfolds into pure violence and unrest, the rest of the world will get involved- the United States being among them. In the end, one question remains on America’s mind: is getting ourselves into another war worth it? As the American population begins to become skeptical about the government’s decision to get involved, it is important to remember that history repeats itself. America wants to take the initiative to prevent that from happening and try to provide others with the rights we have the right to call our own. IMAGE CREDIT:

A Syrian Perspective

AN INTERVIEW WITH A SYRIAN STUDENT by Claudia Kubarycz-Hoszowska, sophomore

What was living in Syria like? It was peaceful. It was a nice place to live. It’s something that I grew up with and got used to, you know? There were no conflicts since I lived there up to about three years ago. It was fine. Everyone was happy. Did you still live in Syria when the conflicts began breaking out? Yeah, I lived there when it all started for a year. I moved to Chicago a year and a half ago. So how did this all really start? It started about three years ago with people just protesting against the government. They wanted to change the government. Some interactions happened. They said government started shooting at the people so then you have rebels, you have the government and they started fighting against each other. Do you think the government is not taking appropriate action? Are they not taking the people’s protests seriously? I mean, they’re not taking this people-wise, they just think that it’s people from the outside coming into their country trying to wreck it and get them [the government officials] out of their spot. Have you been directly affected by this violence between the people and the government? Have you lost any friends or family? Yeah, I’ve lost like friends. They’re not really close friends, mostly people I know. I’ve lost people and know people that have lost people. But me personally, I have not lost anybody close. The area, the capital city where I live, it wasn’t as bad as around it. So I have not lost any family or anyone close yet. Thank God. So this conflict is not only hurting people physically, but taking a toll on everyone around the breakouts of violence as well? Everybody’s been going through tough times whether you lost somebody or not. It’s tough to see your country and the place you grew up in fall apart.

The rising conflict in Syria has turned the heads of many nations and caught the full the attention of the President of the United States. The conflict that has been going on for the past three years has grown to an international scale. When one turns on the news or goes online, all the headlines ever mention are chemical weapons, war, rebels, and the government. But what is really going on? Has Syria always been in an on-going state of chaos? Ridgewood student and former resident of Syria, Hasan Majthoub, has a more personal view on the situation. He lived in Syria for eight years and returned to the states a year and a half ago. In those eight years he experienced Syria’s peace and witnessed his country slowly fall apart. Are people trying to escape their life in Syria? A lot of people are. I mean, whoever can escape. They’re going for it but if they have nowhere to go or have no way to get out. A lot of countries are denying Syrians to go there right now. Whenever someone from the other countries needed a place to go, Syria was always open. It was never closed to anybody. But now, when Syrians need a place to go, they’re locked out. They’re cornered in their own countries. The bordering countries are not helping at all? Yeah, even the countries around there. It’s all politics. But a lot of countries aren’t letting all the Syrians in. Was the conflict ever mentioned at the school you attended in Syria? Oh yeah, they talked about it a lot. But, they didn’t want a lot of political stuff because there were people with the government and there were people against it and it was causing fights. A lot of schools had a lot of fights in them because of that. The same thing would happen in the city. Two people, even two friends, would fight. One of them was with the government the other was not. The argument would lead up to them not ever talking again just because of their differences. I think everyone should respect everyone else’s opinion, which a lot of people don’t do. Any thoughts about how this conflict is being carried out? I just think that they shouldn’t have started it with violence, because it’s never going to end good. It’s just going to keep going on and on. The only way it’s going to end is either the government is gone or the country is going to be destroyed which pretty much nothing left in it. Unless somebody decides to intervene, it’s going to happen.

The situation in Syria is only becoming more and more serious. Restoring its original peace will be no easy task and it may take many years. However, the question that concerns us, the United States, is whether we should take action or stay out of it. On this issue, Hasan commented, “The U.S. does not need to get involved. It’s not their problem. But people are dying so …” The REAL question is, do we stay out of Syria to remain in our comfort zone, or do we go out and fight for the human rights that are the foundation of our country? the rebellion

visit to read the extended interview with Hasan



Today in Tech

by Gustavo Pereira, senior Moto X

Samsung Galaxy Gear

Motorola’s flagship phone has finally arrived! However, it might not be the high end phone you were expecting. Modern high end devices currently sport screens that are 400+ ppi, meaning that there are more pixels per inch on the screen of the device making the images sharper. However, the Moto X features a screen that has 316 ppi. This screen lags behind the already outdated 3 year old Apple retina display. Another thing this device falters in

Not much to say about this device however it is pretty nifty. It features a 1.6 inch Super AMOLED touch screen display, which isn’t bad considering that it’s a watch; however, the main attraction is the fact that it has a 1.9 megapixel camera that’s able to shoot video in HD! So if you’re the watch kind of guy and like being surrounded by the latest technology then this would be a great buy for you! However it’ll come at the cost of $400, and

is in its processing speed. Current high end phones such as the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 have quad core processors installed but the Moto X only has a dual core chip. So, if you demand the most performance from modern technology then maybe the Moto X isn’t for you. BUT where the Moto X really shines is in its software and customizability. The Moto X comes with some software add-ons from Motorola - like active notifications and always-on voice recognition, for touchless voice search (how cool is that?!). The Moto X also happens to be the most customizable device on the market currently. As of writing, we can only customize it with AT&T but through the customization process one is able to change nearly everything regarding the outside colors on the device. From the color of the volume buttons to the front bezel color. So if adding your own personal touch to your phone is what you seek, then the Moto X is the way to go!

without a Galaxy smartphone many features are useless.

Cortana “Beep beep! What can I help you with?” Oh nothing, but thanks for asking, Siri! Now that Cortana is poised to hit the market early next year, Microsoft lovers will be finally able to get their own personal assistant. What’s a Cortana? Why Cortana? Cortana isn’t just an odd name Microsoft developers decided to come up with in efforts to try to top the peculiar name ‘Siri’ but in fact there’s actually a story behind it. Everyone, or at least almost everyone, has heard of the popular game series Halo. Well, that series is primarily published by Microsoft and within that game series there is an artificial intelligence called Cortana. Not only is the name the same but some of their features are as well, the most important being: they are both constantly learning and adapting. Cortana, the nonfictional one that is, will also play a central role in all major Microsoft devices such as Windows Phone 8 and the Xbox One providing a more holistic personal assistant experience. So don’t expect Cortana to just be a voice coming from your phone that can tell you something that you can easily find out by opening a window. Expect a more complete Windows experience.


IMAGE CREDITS: Moto Logo:; Moto X:; Galaxy Gear:

HTC One vs. Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. LG G2 vs. Apple iPhone 5S The four biggest and baddest high-end phones on the market today! All are also the flagship devices from the respective companies, meaning that companies such as HTC and Samsung are going to be pushing these devices really hard this holiday season. Anyways, let’s get started with the four-way review! Both the HTC One and the iPhone 5S are made of premium materials, meaning you won’t really see any plastic on the device; you’ll mainly see aircraft grade aluminum, whereas the Galaxy S4 and the G2 are made almost entirely of plastic. So in terms of build design and quality, the iPhone and the One win. Next up is the screen! The iPhone is automatically out not only because it has the smallest screen, but it also has the lowest resolution as well… now its in between the remaining three. The HTC One only has a 4.7 inch display, but it has the highest pixel density, so you’ll get the sharpest image. The LG G2 has a 5.2 inch display, but it has the lowest pixel density (still not as low as the iPhone however). And the Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 5 inch screen and a pixel density between the One and the G2. So I guess this is a three way tie! Next up is processor, and without a doubt the G2 wins. Enough said. The last and final big category being compared here is the camera; the HTC One wins with its 4 Ultra Pixel camera but only by a slim margin due to its very realistic color representation. Close behind are both the G2 and the S4, both sporting 13 megapixel shooters. Bringing up the rear is the iPhone 5S with an 8 mega pixel camera. So there you have it, a breakdown of some of the most important specs on some of the newest phones. I won’t declare a winner *cough* HTC One *cough* but then again, it’s all personal preference. ONE specific phone might not be good for everyone!

Material Display Processor Camera Battery Life HTC One


4.7” (468 ppi)

1.7 GHz quad

4 Ultra Pixel

2300 mAh

Samsung Galaxy S4


5.0” (441 ppi)

1.9 GHz quad

13 MP

2600 mAh



5.2” (424 ppi)

2.26 GHz quad

13 MP

3000 mAh

Apple iPhone 5S


4.0” (326 ppi)

A7 (dual) w/ M7

8 MP

1440 mAh

IMAGE CREDITS: HTC:; Samsung:; LG:; Apple:





by Joe Barnas, sophomore




On June 5th, 2013, journalist Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian posted an article detailing the forced handover of Verizon calls. The next day another article was posted, this time detailing PRISM- a governmental system that has access to the Internet giants’ servers. Those two days will forever be remembered in American history for the magnitude of information and the fallout that ensued. The majority of the leaked information originated from a top secret Powerpoint presentation, with each major issue being explained within only a slide or two. This classified presentation totaled 41 slides, all documents included, in the possession of Glenn Greenwald and his associates around the world. The day after brought with it another bombshell. The Guardian reported of a program used by the NSA named ‘Boundless Informant’. As the name suggests, the program sucked information from all over the world on a country-by-country basis. Just a few days into the leaks, the whistleblower revealed himself. He exposed himself in a video, speaking to reporter Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras. His motive was clear - Edward Snowden was the 30 year old computer specialist that couldn’t bear to see the public so oblivious to what was happening. Jumping ahead to roughly July 31st, The Guardian reports of another program - this time named XKeyscore. XKeyscore is similar to Boundless Informant but can collect nearly everything a user does on the internet. That collection may include email, chat, and browsing history. Prior to any of the leaks, James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, was questioned under oath whether or not the NSA collected domestic data. He firmly replied no, saying it was only possible under certain circumstances. As the Boundless Informant leaks showed, he lied. Boundless Informant brought in more data from inside the United States than it did from the majority of other countries. Clapper later did admit to lying, or at least, to not exactly telling the “whole truth”. The news began to die down; no more bombshell reports surfaced. But The Guardian continued to hammer finer details in subsequent articles. Such articles saw leaks proving that US judges allowed the NSA to listen in on domestic calls without a warrant. Also, The Guardian posted articles detailing the involvement of the GCHQ (the UK’s NSA equivalent) - which included access to the PRISM database, and even intercepted com18

munications of foreign leaders when they hosted the 2009 G20 summit. Recent developments suggest that the NSA and GCHQ worked together to weaken encryption systems to tap into email and internet communications. Even now, articles involving the NSA and its immense power are still being written. Out of all 41 slides, less than half have been released. Some may never see the light of day, for they are too sensitive for broad distribution. If so much information has already been leaked, what else is there to possibly be released? That’s the scary part: there is so much we don’t know. Opposing groups are still vehemently fighting against these powers, with no end in sight.


IMAGE CREDITS: Flag:; Snowden:

On the Run

On the other side of all these leaks is a story only seen in action movies. It all began with a man named Edward Snowden, an employee employed by Booz Allen Hamilton to work for the NSA. Snowden lived in Hawaii and made over a hundred thousand dollars annually. Why would this man throw his life away as he did? As he says in Part 1 of the video “Prism Whistleblower” by filmmaker Laura Poitras, “The public is owed an explanation … the public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong…”. This story spans the globe- from Hong Kong, to New York City, to Russia- and involves three major players: Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras, and Glenn Greenwald. Laura Poitras is an Emmy nominated documentary filmmaker. Glenn Greenwald is a reporter for The Guardian. It is late 2012. Snowden contacts Greenwald, but they stop talking after Glenn Greenwald feels that the level of secrecy and encryption used in their conversations is too troublesome. From there Snowden contacts Laura Poitras. Poitras then urges Greenwald to listen to Snowden. It is May 20th, 2013. Edward Snowden is walking through the airport carrying bags containing multiple computers and hard drives which hold some of the US Government’s most secret documents. He is about to embark on a one way flight to Hong Kong, with no intention of ever touching US soil again. When he arrives, he checks into a hotel and sets up his connection. Now, this room is his home. Glenn Greenwald and some associates pore over the loads of documents, on the verge of one of (if not the) most important leaks of the 21st century. Snowden then filmed a video with Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, in which he introduced himself to the world and spoke about the nature of his work and his motivations. A few days later, a couple of people were able to identify the hotel he was staying in based on the background in the video. Snowden promptly checked out and moved to a different hotel while the media converged on the hotel he had just vacated. After the video went live, the Obama Administration addressed the issue and pressed Hong Kong to extradite him. Pressure was mounting on Hong Kong while Snowden still remained free and on the loose. While trying to fight for asylum, Snowden had to dodge the authorities as well. He left Hong Kong in the the rebellion

nick of time, just as authorities were readying to extradite him. Many believed he left for Cuba, for he had reserved a seat on a flight to Cuba, yet he was a no-show. It was later revealed that Snowden arrived in Moscow and was staying under Snowden, Edward guard in a room whose Born: 06/21/1983 territory is not affiliated Occupation: System Administrator with any country. The Employer: Booz Allen Hamilton Residence: Russia (temporary asylum) Obama AdministraCharges: Theft of government property, tion had some strong unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful words for Russia for communication of classified intelligence harboring Edward to an unauthorized person (June 2013). Snowden. From that room, Snowden ate, slept and conversed with lawyers and human rights activists. He applied to over 20 countries for asylum. Venezuela and Bolivia did extend asylum proposals to Snowden. However, out of the blue, Snowden was granted one year of asylum in Russia. These events set off a political firestorm. Even in London the pressure tightened, where officials detained David Miranda, Glenn Greenwald’s partner, for nine hours in the hopes of forcing out information he didn’t even have. The GCHQ even tried compromising data from The Guardian, but instead The Guardian destroyed the hard drives of information in front of their eyes. The only people to have the original files are supposedly Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. Edward Snowden released control of the documents to them, and even if the government tried to destroy or compromise them- they can’t. In the next year we will undoubtedly see more leaks, and more pressure from both the US government and British government. Edward Snowden may have the right to roam free in Russia, but once the one year runs out, he’ll be back on the run. The international chase will continue, but one thing will be certain: we’ll all be awaiting the Edward Snowden action thriller. 19


The Documents

Boundless Informant



is a program to collect data by country. In the presentation that Snowden came into possession of, there was a screenshot of the program. The screenshot showed a world map that had each country in a color, ranging from different shades of green to red. Iran was shown to have some of the most data collected from by the NSA. Even though governmental officials have reassured us that they cannot

has been the most talked about leak from the bunch. It is basically a computer system that allows the National Security Agency to have direct access to servers of the biggest internet companies. Those companies include, Gmail, Google, Yahoo, Apple, and Facebook. Working under the Patriot Act, the NSA (supposedly) first needs a plan approved by a secret (FISA) court, then it may re-

is used to record data in real time, data like email, Facebook chats, browsing history, and more. Approximately over 41 billion pieces of information in 2012 were stored for 30 days. Not being able to keep data for a prolonged time period is one of the main limits on this system. NSA analysts, as well as private contractors (like Edward Snowden) had access to this database, though. Through XKey-

spy domestically without very strong motive - the US is is yellow on the Boundless Informant map. In March 2013, Boundless Informant collected 97 billion pieces of data worldwide - 3 billion of which were from within the United States.

quire data from the companies. Since the FISA courts operate in secret, many are worried that this violates the privacy and constitutional rights.

score, an analyst could find person by name, phone number, email address, IP address, and more. XKeyscore is used to find unusual instances, that when found interesting or different, can be then moved to another server where it is stored for up to five years.

Verbatim “The government blew it.” -Mark Zuckerburg, CEO of Facebook

“[Edward Snowden] condemned himself to a rather difficult life.” -Russian President Vladimir Putin

“He’s a traitor.” -Speaker Of The House John Boehner on what he thinks about NSA leaker Edward Snowden

“I think it’s important to understand that you can’t have 100 percent security and then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. We’re going to have to make some choices as a society.” -President Barack Obama

“President Obama said he welcomes a national debate over our surveillance policies. He said that’s a debate we wouldn’t have had five years ago. Five years ago? It’s a debate we wouldn’t have had two weeks ago if they all hadn’t gotten caught.” -Jay Leno, Tonight Show comedian


The Shocking Similarities Between Fiction and Reality by Alex Hanns, senior

When reading about the latest intrusion of American privacy by the government, this didn’t sound so unique. I had heard this all before. On “Scandal,” a political thriller aired by ABC, an NSA employee was about to leak the details of a program that spied on American citizens. Sounds familiar? Well in real life, a contractor for the NSA did leak the details of several programs that spied on American citizens. The Edward Snowden in the fiction version of the story is named Artie Hornbacher. He had been working for the NSA for years when he finally decided to expose what they were doing. Snowden was a network administrator and Hornbacher was a data entry specialist, but both had access to top-secret files and programs. Thorngate, Prism’s equivalent, could tap into any audio or video feed, even from encrypted systems. To expose this breach of privacy Snowden chose to release documentation of their existence to the newspaper The Guardian. Hornbacher’s strategy, with the help of his crisis management expert Olivia Pope, was have an interview on national television. Unfortunately, in the fiction version of the story, top level officials find out about the stolen program before an interview can be done. The government forces the TV network to not have the interview. But Pope doesn’t stop just because the government won’t let her move on. She is a fixer and anything that gets in her way is only an obstacle that will be dodged. To get around this one, she meets with network executives to show them the true potential of the program. With Thorngate, they were able to show live video from the CEO’s home surveillance. They even see the CEO’s wife complaining about him on the phone in his own bedroom folding the laundry. This finally convinced the network executive to expose the program. While these two stories don’t exactly match up, they carry the same idea throughout them: the government is spying on its citizens. Even though one is completely fictional, airing in late

October of last year, both of these programs raise the question of what the government is really up to. And to top it all off, the shocking similarities between the two programs are probably only the tip of the iceberg. Only a small group of people, made up of past presidents and directors of agencies of the intelligence community, know the whole truth. The average citizen will never truly know what is happening and why it is happening. The only thing we can do now, with the knowledge that we are constantly being spied on, is be more careful, and even that may not be enough.


SIDE NOTE Scandal is a fantastic show. It’s all about the dirty politics that plague our nation’s capital. The main character, Olivia Pope, is a crisis management expert working for high profile clients. Check it out on Thursdays at 9:00 CST on ABC. NSA:; Scandal:; Verizon:; Uncle Sam:




Not many of you will remember this, most likely, but last year two of Ridgewood’s editors went to the Cultivate Festival hosted by Chipotle Mexican Grill in Lincoln Park and, as editors do, wrote an article. Well, long story short, we Chipotle addicts fell in love with “Chipotle Fest” and immediately made plans for one year into the future: 2013’s Cultivate Festival. And here we go again, ranting about just how wonderful it was! This year, the third annual Cultivate Chicago festival was on Saturday, September 7 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Lincoln Park, the same venue as both years past. It really is a nice venue, surrounded by Downtown’s beauty in the gorgeous last days of summer.

by Skirmante Survilaite, senior

2012 FUN FACTS 29,200 Attendees 73 Degrees Fahrenheit 136 Kegs Tapped 636 Bottles of Wine Consumed 5,561 Tacos Consumed 2,317 Carnitas Tortas Consumed 2,474 ShopHouse Bowls Consumed 5,000 Organic Valley Snacks Distributed 5 Musical Acts 10 Celebrity Chef Demos 22

GROWING WITH CULTIVATE It’s quite remarkable how quickly the festival is growing; last year, its second year in Chicago, the official numbers were reported at 30,000 people. This year, there were an estimated 50,000 people, and next year the number is only expected to grow! This is all for good reason- it is an unforgettable experience. Here are a few highlights from this year’s festival: -Free stuff! Everything from free Tabasco to free Izze. Yes, that’s right, free Izze! An upgrade from last year: limited edition promotional Izze chapsticks were being given out as well. And, if you stayed to the end, free Izze t-shirts! -More free stuff, yay! Coupons for a free burrito at any Chipotle location were being given out. See below for how to obtain a free burrito coupon at Chipotle Fest! -Super cool interactive “Experiences” that taught visitors about everything, including: California Avocados (complete with free avocados, of course), cheese-making, Tabasco (free Tabasco!), and fresh versus processed foods, among other things. -Popular bands like Walk the Moon, the Mowglis, and Youngblood Hawke. Just like everything else, the music will also only get better in coming years as the festival’s popularity increases! -Demos were given all day long by various famous chefs, including Food Network chefs and owners of various popular bistros and restaurants. Might we mention, more free food? -The “Artisan Hall”- featuring 13 local artisans selling almost everything food-related, a foodie’s paradise! A few products in the Artisan Hall: bacon bratwurst, organic snow cones, various mushrooms, kombucha, delicious tamales, pastries, interesting noodles, and cool preserves and jams.

THE FOOD For the part everyone has been waiting for: the food! If it means anything, one of the biggest motivating factors for us to go back to the festival was in fact the food. Everyone already knows that Chipotle has amazing burritos. However, once a year, Chipotle goes all out. At Cultivate, wild new Chipotle creations surface, namely: gorditas, esquites, and an asian-themed rice bowl. It goes without saying that these offerings are everything Chipotle has been made out to be- absolutely wonderful. the rebellion

Now, if you don’t know what in the world these are, don’t fret! Neither did we! However, we have the answers: -GORDITAS: Grilled flat bread with steak or braised pork, escabeche, sour cream, and queso fresco. -ESQUITES: A salad of charred corn, shredded cabbage, and crispy tortillas, tossed with roasted tomatillos, sour cream, pickled onions, and cotija cheese. -SHOP HOUSE RICE BOWL: Jasmine rice with pork and chicken meatballs or organic tofu, charred green beans, green curry, and green papaya slaw. Just a friendly warning: Chipotle does make their food spicy! But that does not detract at all from the wonderfulness (and yes, that is a word). And, for those visitors that are over 21 years of age, there was a selection of 14 different brewers to visit in the Tasting Hall.

FREE BURRITOS Just like the year before, all you had to do was go to the Information booth and obtain an informational brochure, in which there were 6 little circles for stamps. They corresponded with 6 informational “Experiences” that taught visitors about everything, including: California Avocados (complete with free avocados, of course), cheese-making, Tabasco (free Tabasco!), processed foods, and Chipotle-related arcade games among other things. You needed only to visit 4 of these Experiences and receive a stamp from a Chipotle staff member, and once you gathered 4 of these stamps, the final step was to bring it back to the Information booth for a coupon for a free burrito!

IN THE FUTURE Cultivate Chicago is quickly becoming an end-of-summer Chicago food phenomenon. Just as Chipotle Mexican Grill is growing, so is its festival. What does this mean? Well, for starters, more food! More people! More music and, most of all, more fun! All you Rebels out there: enjoy Chicago while you still call it your home and get out next summer; go Downtown! Come on out to the Cultivate festival with your friends for some good food, laughs, and truly unforgettable experiences. And seriously, just get out and see the world and all it has to offer!



Guess We’re Switching Over to Krispy Kreme by Jola Pach, senior

21ST century America has thrown itself into a mania. Trying to make up for racist mistakes of the past, we are now paranoid, seeing racism where it does not exist. But when does this oversensitivity cross the line? And when does it risk creating the same monster it’s trying to stop?

Hope you don’t run on your morning Dunkaccino because, according to paranoid American business leaders everywhere, Dunkin Donuts is a flagrant racist. This, of course, comes from DD’s latest campaign in Thailand featuring a young woman painted black to advertise the new “Charcoal” doughnut. Here in America, we may realize that in reality, human complexion does not reach the tone of “black” but brown, but we just don’t care. We love outing the crazy racists. Along the same note, Wonderbread, mustard, and Hershey chocolate syrup are causing panic for the public, with their obviously ignorant and hateful messages. Public spokesmen are advising a ban on any products that aren’t strictly blue, green, pink, or purpleorange was safe until the cast of Jersey Shore started demanding that they get the rights guaranteed to them by the 1st Amendment. Now, don’t get me wrong- I’ll be the last to deny that racism is a huge problem in America. It is definitely an issue that needs more attention and more action. However, this obsession that we have fallen into is not the answer. Frankly, it’s a little ridiculous. The campaign isn’t degrading the young 24

woman in black. She is cast in a positive light, which makes sense because the whole point of the “racist” campaign is to make us want the dang doughnut. If DD were trying to sell a vanilla doughnut and the young woman were painted in white, not a single “caring” American would bat an eyelash. And what strikes me as most ironic is that the loudest voices in combating the campaign have been those of white people. Because of the oversensitivity in America, business leaders are more than eager to jump on anything that could be remotely connected to a racial statement and stamp it out so that the public knows that they are the “heroes” saving America from racism. If anything, maybe this whole fiasco will allow us to finally see that equality isn’t achieved by this mania any more than by segregation. Equality is about finding a balance, not about hopping from extreme to extreme and hoping that one of them will pan out. If we want complexion to have as big of an importance in our society as eye color, then maybe we should reevaluate what we consider “racist”. Sometimes a doughnut is just a doughnut, not a regression back to the Civil War.

IMAGE CREDITS: Charcoal:; Tim:; Donut:

Pajama Take Over “CASUALWEAR” HAS TAKEN ON A NEW MEANING by Desiree Ovalle, sophomore In today’s fashion, pajamas are in! Wait... What? Did pajamas seriously outrule formal and casual wear? What is this world coming to? Even uniforms would look better than wearing pajamas all day. Kids are coming to school looking like they rolled out of bed and called it a day. Everywhere I go there are kids in pajamas. This is complete madness. Whatever happened to button up shirts and nice pants? It has gotten to the point where kids are even wearing slippers to school. Pajamas are supposed to be worn at home where no one can see you. That way you can wear your stained baggy shirts and your holey pants. Not in public where it makes you look like you do not have time for real clothes. But what defines “real clothes”? If the rules for clothes were stricter than what they are now, would you follow them? What if the rules stated you can only wear sweats once a week, or else they would send you home to change? Or even worse, what if they made us wear uniforms? These days in school we could use a change of scenery. Over the years, kids’ clothing gets lazier and lazier. As a freshman you want to look good because you’re new to the school and may not know the ins and outs here. A senior however will dress nice the first week and then go back to their normal bummy ways after the second week. Halfway through the year everyone looks the same. Even sophomores and juniors follow almost the same rules as seniors. But they are not written rules. There is no rule that says only freshman have to look nice. Then why do we do it? Now, a typical outfit for girls at Ridgewood is: a baggy sweater, hair up, leggings, and sandals/moccasins. When walking down the hallways it is not that easy to separate who is who. When everyone dresses the same, we all look identical to one another. The


only thing that can separate us is our height differences and even then it is not that big of a difference. I dress this way sometimes too but I still don’t fully understand why we do it. What if one day I randomly wore a dress? Would it become a trend? Or would I be made fun for the way I dressed? Is that what is stopping us? If we can make pajamas a trend why can’t we bring nice clothes back as a trend? Imagine it you walked down the halls and saw not pajamas but, clothes! The way most of us dress today is okay once in a while, when we really do not have time to get dressed up, but not every single day. If it makes it easier, lay clothes out the night before. That way you do not have to waste time in the morning looking for what to wear. If you’re laying out clothes, think before you choose. At this point even sweat pants (that do not have holes or stains) would look better. Everyone does not want to see you walking around in footy pajamas or your Scooby-Doo PJ pants. How does that make you feel about yourself? Don’t you feel weird about walking around like that? Please, as your fellow classmate and friend, I ask that you try dressing up a bit. I understand that dressing up sounds like suits and dresses, but it does not have to be. Wearing nice clothes makes school a better place to be. It gives off a great vibe to the people around you. Pajamas give a tired and sad mood to school. Why put others down when you can make yourself and the people around you happy and positive? Who knows, maybe it will even feel like the day goes by faster? Think about it, nice clothes could mean a new you. In all honesty, wouldn’t you want to see a better Ridgewood? To see a difference, even the slightest?



Future Rebel Has a Passion for Art

by Andreea Guler, senior

I’m blessed to have been born in an extremely artistic and musical family that constantly inspires me. One of these family members is my little sister, Rachel Guler. These past couple of years, I’ve been in awe at how expressive and intricate her art pieces have become. I asked her to write down what she thinks about when she draws and how art has become such a significant part of her life. The passage below is what she wrote. *** For as long as I could remember, I’ve been drawing. It has always been my passion. I love the way the pencil would feel in my hand and when I pressed it down on a paper to make different shapes and shade. Usually, when I draw, I travel into a different world of imagination. Usually I would imagine elves, fairies, wisps: things that would never exist in real life. My best friend, Enola, made a huge impact on me to continue my art. She told me that I was going to be something in life, and that I’m not a loser and that God gave me this gift. Those words made me have hope. She gave me hope. It’s like there was a river flowing but it was stopped by rocks that were in the way. She took those rocks out. If she wasn’t in my life, I probably wouldn’t have done art. I express my thought and imagination through pencil and paper. Art is a feeling. An expression. A thought. I try to imagine a world without art. Even the expressions on our faces are pieces of art. We are pieces of art. When I feel sad, I draw. When I feel happy, I draw. When I want to relax, I draw. Some people write, and some people sing, but I draw.

art by rachel guler

My Heart and the Dove by Christy DeVol, senior

My heart, empty without love Cries to sing for the dove Flying in the sky, away from the heart Beating against the rhythm Farther from my part. My heart, full with prance Flies to catch for the love Crying in the sky toward the dove That beats with the heart Closer to my part. 26

IMAGE CREDITS: Dove:; Face: Rachel Guler; Heart:

Editors’ Pics FIRE IN THE SKY

the rebellion




The Cursed Mask by Patrick Misiak, junior

“Uncle, why did you buy this awful mask?” my nephew asked me. “I wanted something different,” I said, taking the mask from my nephew’s hands. It was a black mask with markings around the eyes and a blank expression; the mask itself also bore brown streaks that appeared to be dried blood splattered around it. I looked at the mask’s empty eyes and set it on the fireplace, from which it could look over my study; my study itself was rather large, filled with a small library of books. My nephew had come with me to the auction in the small town of Arkham from which we purchased the mask from a vendor. He was a tall old man, balding, with a very sharp chin. I spotted the mask among other trinkets; when I asked, the man offered it for a pound. I accepted for it was...... strange. It seemed to speak to me as if I could feel it in my head. Once I had purchased it, I returned to my estate and placed it over my fireplace where it stood watching, contently watching, always watching, never stopping and always watching. “Are you alright, Uncle?” my nephew asked, causing me to awaken from my trance. “Yes I am fine I...simply had dozed off for a minute it seems.” “More like ten, are you sure uncle, that you’re well?” my nephew asked a second time- I nodded my head in agreement. My nephew looked at me carefully. “You must be tired,” he said before leaving, but his expression filled with slight worry. Once it became nightfall, I changed into my sleeping attire and the dark green bathrobe that wore over it. I retired to bed for the night in hopes that I may get a good night’s rest; however, in my sleep I began to hear voices. “You’re going to perish soon.” I woke up quickly hoping to see where the voice had come from. “It must have been my imagination, I’m quite tired after all,” I said to myself, thinking logically. After a while I heard the voice again. “Is someone there?” I yelled, but only silence answered me. I slowly got up from my bed and exited my room. I looked around hoping to find the source of the voice but it only made it harder to find. “You will never find me,” it spoke again. I yelled even louder than before, “Show yourself, you fiend, I 28

wish not to be toyed with,” but the voice did not answer, and I was growing restless, more so now. I looked around my house once more and saw nothing, I turned my attention to my study seeing as it was the last room to be checked, I walked slowly to the door, anxiety filled inside of me as I reached the door, my hands cold and shaking as I turned the knob hoping to find the source of the voice. The door creaked as I walked in, the room was empty, fireplace unlit, library untouched and the mask placed quietly on the fireplace mantle as it once was, it stared at me with its cold eyes watching, always watching, never stopping, constantly and quietly watching. I rubbed my eyes in defeat, not knowing what to do. “You’re going to perish soon,” the voice spoke out again. “Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!” I yelled for a third time, slowly turning my gaze over to where I had the mask and realized that it was gone. My mouth was open and my mind filled with the madness of a lunatic trying to explain where my mask had gone too. “It must have fallen off, I might have placed somewhere!” I said loudly. “Foolish, foolish man,” the voice said to me, only louder and from behind me; I turned around only to see the most horrendous of beasts, a tall being with claw appendages, a grotesque body that looked like rock- instead of feet, thousands of tentacles supported it’s body; its hair was like black ooze never dripping further than its neck, but on its face it wore a mask, the mask I had purchased, the mask that was always watching, quietly yet firmly watching, the mask that was watching diligently. I fell to the ground and crawled toward a wall, and as the monster came toward me, I shook, screaming in horror as blackness surrounded me. The next morning, the uncle’s nephew returned to check up on him- to his surprise he found him against the wall crying in fright, he yelled about a mask, the cursed mask, the wretched mask and how it was evil, but all the nephew saw was the mask sitting on the fireplace watching, quietly watching, peacefully watching, painfully watching, watching with nothing but a smile plastered on its face. THE



COMIC: Fishy Fish & Octavius the Octopus Return by Agneiszka Jarzabek, senior

the rebellion



Questions & Answers An Interview with Superintendent Dr. Robert Lupo EDUCATION BACKGROUND In high school, what career did you think you were going to go into? Well, interestingly enough, if you find a copy of Who’s Who in American High School Students from 1971, you will find that I said I wanted to be a school superintendent. You usually don’t hear kids who are 18 years old that say they want to be a school superintendent, because most kids who are 18 years old don’t

Aside from when you’re at Ridgewood, what do you like to do in your free time? I love to read - English teacher, obviously. I love swimming and cooking as

High School: Ridgewood HS, Class of 1971 Bachelor’s: Northwestern U: English & Secondary Education Master’s: Northeastern Illinois U: Literature Master’s: Northern Illinois U: Educational Administration Doctorate: Northern Illinois U: Instructional Technology Post-doctoral work: Western Illinois U to get superintendent certification

even know what a school superintendent is.


So what does a superintendent do?

If you could sit down and have a conversation with anyone, alive or dead, who would you pick and what would you talk about?

The superintendent’s role is primarily to be the CEO of the school district. And that means, though I nominally have control of all of the operations of the school, I report to the Board of Education. The Board of Education hires me, they set my goals and my priorities. But I have responsibility for the financial, academic, social, and athletic aspects of the school. My job is really to be the face of the school in the community and to be the chief executive officer of the school in terms of working with the Board of Education.

There are two people that come to mind. One of them would be John Kennedy. I really don’t think we know who he was because I think he was still becoming who he was going to become. Also, I’d go back and talk to Plato because I really don’t get a lot of stuff that I read. There are some contradictory things and, since my world has been education for most of my career and he wrote a lot about education, I’d like to hear him expand a little bit more about what he said.

What’s your favorite part of being a superintendent?

How tech savvy would you describe yourself?

My favorite part of the job is talking to students, and I like to still be able to talk to students and work with teachers. In most districts, the superintendent doesn’t have the opportunity to work as closely with teachers as I do here.

Well, I think today I am moderately tech savvy. I do have a Twitter account! It’s @rlupo234. I need some followers, because I seem to be tweeting into the void at the moment!

On the topic of Twitter, how would you describe yourself in a tweet? Would you like to share any stories of a student that has inspired you? I had a student that ended up going to Harvard, he ended up getting an M.B.A. from Stanford, things like that. And he has inspired me over the years, simply because he always seems to be on a quest to be better, to contribute more and to do more. There are students that are very good academically, but there’s more to it than that. They reach out to the community, they try to use their talents, or stretch their talents in different ways.

What are the most important values students should have? I think students should learn how to be true to themselves. It’s not for nothing that Shakespeare wrote that in Hamlet - “to thy own self be true” - because if you are, you will never be false to anyone else.


I would describe myself as curious and hopeful and that I believe in the power of education and in the power individuals to change the world.

What is one of your favorite quotes? One of my favorite quotes is a Yeats quote: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

If you could be any character in a book or play, who would you be? Well I think I’d like to be Harry Potter! I think Harry Potter has all of those characteristics of integrity and honor that we represent, and plus he gets to do a lot of cool things because of who he is. I’ve spent a lot of time with Harry Potter, reading books and seeing movies and everything. So I think that would be a good one. visit to read the extended interview with Dr. Lupo -ALEX HANNS, senior the rebellion


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The Rebellion, Volume 28, Issue 1  
The Rebellion, Volume 28, Issue 1