LE JOURNAL NOTRE DAME DE SION HIGH SCHOOL | FEBRUARY 2018 | VOLUME 36
A Dangerous Trend
GENERATION PHIX A closer look into the factors and risks of teenagers vaping
6 WAYS TO SPEND VALENTINEâ€™S DAY
+ SUSAN STANTON: NEW INTERIM HEAD OF SCHOOL
BEHIND THE OPIOID CRISIS
BLADE & TIMBER NEW AXETHROWING VENUE IN KC
CONTENTS (Photo by Cecilia Mohácsi)
Participants at the March for Life in D.C. march alongside students.
(Photo by Emma Miller)
(Photo by Kelly Nugent)
While practicing for Nationals, sophomore Meg Wilkerson tops the pyramid.
Junior Sarah White practices the front stag on silk ropes.
ON THE COVER
The popular trend of vaping among teenagers poses health risks......14
Freshman Shannon Karlin starts for Varsity Basketball............................08
Rockhurst High School’s Rose Theatre was the location for “Cinderella”..05
Alumna Susan Stanton rejoins the community as the new interim head of school....................................18
New language honor societies begin next year.06
Le Journal staff considers whether manufacturers and teens take vaping seriously................................10
Junior Sarah White practices aerial arts...........22
Kansas City’s street car gains approval for expansion............................06 Two clubs involved in the #TimesUp movement.......07
WHAT’S ONLINE LEJOURNALLIVE.COM
America needs to improve language programs.............12 Reducing trash in everyday lives........................................13
SPORTS Junior Maggie Carr dedicates time to ice skating..................................20 Basketball game honors cheer and dance seniors...................................21 Cheer team competes at Nationals in Dallas..............21
Junior Lohgann Wilson Profile and Timber 25 Blade axe-throwing comes to Kansas City (Photo by Phylicia Barner-Lewis) Denver Airport Conspiracy Two Peas in a Podcast
PHOTO OF THE ISSUE @lejournalsion @lejournalsion www.lejournallive.com Women’s March Lives On
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During senior night, juniors Megan Broomfield and Chandler Rawson, and senior Mary Evans do the splits in the air during halftime of the Jan. 23 St. James Academy basketball game. (Photo by Paige Ritter)
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Comparing chicken throughout KC...................24 Blade and Timber offers unique activity....................25 Justin Timberlake’s ”Man of the Woods” album review...................................25 Alternative ways to spend Valentine’s Day...................26
EDITOR’S INK OUR TIPS
Make 2018 your year
1. Ditch the resolution CONSCIOUS CUTS SIMPLE WAYS TO CUT BACK ON WASTE PG. 13
he year of change. 2018 has already brought countless shifts that are making headlines and challenging societal norms. Celebrities attended the Golden Globes clad in black to support the Time’s Up movement Jan. 7. Former Team U.S.A. gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to as many as 175 years in prison for sexual abuse Jan. 24. Times are changing, Sion. Within the community, there are some important changes on the horizon as well. National Spanish and National French Honor Societies will be introduced next year (pg. 6), and two clubs have planned events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April (pg. 7). Another change to try is to end the bingewatching and pick up a new hobby (pg. 12). Or take time to educate yourself and the people around you on the opioid crisis our society is currently facing (pg. 11). And read about the effects on the environment humans are making (pg. 13). Live a little greener by increasing your awareness of the impact we make on the earth in 2018, and take the steps to minimize the harmful habits. It’s never too late. Speaking of harmful habits, it’s time to address the incredibly dangerous yet popular habit on the rise with teenagers: vaping. This issue, pages 14-17 address the health risks, societal pressures and addictive qualities of the tiny devices in countless hands across the country. This casual and rather common habit should be eradicated as soon as possible. A new year is the perfect time to try something new. Junior Sarah White said “yes” to something new, so there’s no telling what a bit of spontaneity could lead to (pg. 22-23). Read about Interim Head of School Susan Stanton’s leadership positions in the Kansas City area (pg. 18-19), and freshman Shannon Karlin’s basketball journey that landed her a varsity spot (pg. 8-9).
GAME FACE Senior Amaya Adams dribbles down the court during a basketball game against Staley High School in the Blue Valley North tournament Jan. 19. (Photo by Kaitlin Jones)
While a new year may be a perfect time to begin a new routine or hobby, don’t hesitate to start one whenever you feel like it! Carpe diem. Intentional living can be liberating.
2. Try something new Get out of your comfort zone. Whether it be tasting an unusal food, exploring a new place, discovering a passion or making a behavioral change, growth begins here. Taste buds change every seven years, brussel sprouts may be all right now.
3. Maintain balance Juggling school, work, sports, family, a social life and other activites can be overwhelming. This year, figure out what works for you. Set some boundaries and learn to say “no.”
For a fun, unusual Friday night, check out Blade and Timber to relieve some stress (pg. 25). Be bold and keep an open mind, Sion. Justin Timberlake is starting fresh this year with a new sound (pg. 25), so it may be a perfect time to liven up a playlist...or not. If Valentine’s Day has become a dreaded holiday, look at some other ways to spend it sans chocolate candy and romance movies (pg. 26-27). But chocolates are always a bonus. The bottom line is, 2018 has a lot in store. New Year’s resolutions are not necessary for enacting change and making a difference. Besides, those rarely last for an entire year. Try something new, think outside the box and make 2018 one of change any time.
4. Take care of yourself Self care is not selfish, it’s essential for positivity. Make time for yourself and do something that makes you happy. Bubble baths are always a good idea.
5. Be less afraid to fail Failure means you’re trying. Growth is a process, and no one ever got anywhere by staying in the same spot. And no one really gets it right the first time.
Sincerely, Lanie & Meg
LE JOURNAL 2017-2018 LE JOURNAL IS THE OFFICIAL STUDENT PUBLICATION OF NOTRE DAME DE SION HIGH SCHOOL - 10631 WORNALL ROAD - KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI 64114
LANIE JONES MEG SCHWARTZ
PRINT MANAGING EDITOR
NEWS EDITOR MEG TRAVIS
WEBSITE MANAGING EDITOR SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER MCKENNA HEEGN
A&E EDITOR TAYLOR PITZL
REAGAN AMATO PHYLICIA BARNER-LEWIS MOLLY CONWAY LILY DROUIN PRISCILLAH GICHARU MELISSA KOPPERS
FEATURE EDITOR KAITLIN JONES
CO-PHOTO EDITORS MADISEN HANE PAIGE RITTER
LETTERS TO THE EDITORS
NEAL/SETTLE PRINTING GRANDVIEW, MO
MISSOURI INTERSCHOLASTIC PRESS ASSOCIATION NATIONAL SCHOLASTIC PRESS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL QUILL AND SCROLL JOURNALISM EDUCATORS OF METROPOLITAN KANSAS CITY MISSOURI JOURNALISM EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
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LE JOURNAL ACCEPTS LETTERS TO THE EDITORS IN RESPONSE TO PUBLISHED ARTICLES. LETTERS MUST BE SIGNED, VERIFIED AND NO LONGER THAN 200 WORDS. LETTERS MAY BE EDITED FOR LENGTH, GRAMMAR, SPELLING AND CONTENT. LETTERS WILL NOT BE PRINTED IF CONTENT IS OBSCENE, INVASIVE, ENCOURAGING DISRUPTION OF SCHOOL AND/OR IS LIBELOUS.
NEWS IN BRIEF
CVS: NO PHOTOSHOP HAMILTON’S COMING CAREER DAY RECAP CVS Pharmacy, one of the largest sellers of beauty products in the country, has announced that it will stop using airbrushed and photoshopped photos to promote beauty products in its stores and online marketing. CVS will indicate the photo’s authenticity by putting a “CVS Beauty Mark” label on the images later this year. This mark will show that the person in the image did not have any characteristics altered in anyway. “I think that CVS no-photoshopping will be a positive for customers,” senior Carolyn Dickey said. “Keeping it not photoshopped will show what the product looks without all the computer digitalization.” (Photo by Wikicommons)
UPCOMING & LOCAL FEB. 11
FATHER DAUGHTER DANCE Sheraton Overland Park
NO SCHOOL President’s Day
MORP PJ Party
IT’S A SNOW DAY
KCI TO ICELAND Kansas City International Airport announced its first regularly scheduled non-stop transatlantic flight Jan. 9. Icelandair has agreed to host a seasonal flight to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. The first flight will arrive in KCI May 25 and the first departure will be May 26. This service will continue until the end of September. Before, there were only four international connecting or direct flights from KCI. The plane seats 183 passengers, including both economy and business class sections. Icelandair has already offered a $572 roundtrip ticket fare for an adult passenger. “It gives more opportunity to travel to different countries,” Spanish teacher Alicia Gomez said. (Photo by Wikicommons)
Eleven time Tony award-winning musical “Hamilton” is on its way to Kansas City, according to the Kansas City Star. The show will not premiere until the 2018-19 season and will be performed at the Music Hall. “Hamilton” is the story of Alexander Hamilton, a Revolutionary War figure and the first United States treasury secretary. The show premiered in New York, but soon toured to other places including Chicago and San Francisco. “I’m super excited because I knew that there was no way that I would ever be able to travel to Chicago to go see it,” junior Sade-Joy Dugbo said. (Photo by Wikicommons)
1. Communication between the head of school, head of facilities, both principals, and the communications director.
2. Local Comparison Administrators stay updated on schools closing in the area, such as Blue Valley and Lee’s Summit. 3. Weather Apps Administrators check many weather apps such as Accuweather and The Weather Channel. YES
4. Make a Decision Each party casts a vote on whether or not classes should be cancelled.
This process was shared by Principal Natalie McDonough, who also said students have five absences to use if they ever feel unsafe with driving conditions. (Illustrations by Gracie Roberts)
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Alumnae from both Kansas City and all over the country came back Jan. 29 to talk about their professions. From jobs in business management to the fine arts, all women gave advice about college and futures, while discussing their day-to-day routines. The alumnae shared their experiences about challenges of being a woman in the workforce and taking charge of one’s own life. They shared tips on what to do and not to do in college, and encouraged students to make connections early on. “The biggest advantage is getting to hear about different jobs some of us have not thought of before,” sophomore Emma Hutchin said. (Photo by Dani Rotert)
WORLDWIDE Olympics Security Threat The 2018 Winter Olympics are in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and agencies of both the United States and South Korea are concerned that North Korea may attempt to attack during the games. Pyeongchang is 50 miles from South Korea’s frontier with North Korea. Countries including France and Austria threatened to withdraw from the games if adequate security is not assured.
Saudi Arabian Women
Women in Saudi Arabia were allowed to watch a soccer match in the stadium for the first time Jan. 13. They cannot sit with the men, so they sit in designated seating called the “family section.” Female bathrooms were also added. This move is Saudi Arabia’s social reform to grant women more rights. Soon, the world’s only ban on female drivers will be lifted.
A report from the Center for Disease Control has shown that the flu death toll in the United States this year is on track to surpass that of the 2014-2015 flu season, which resulted in 56,000 deaths. and the numbers keep rising. This season has been the deadliest in over a decade. Flu cases are common in winter and usually peak around Christmas, but this year it hit later. This flu strain, H3N2, has been particularly vicious and strong. In the United Kingdom 149 people have died, and in Scotland, 21 people.
Trump’s First Year As President Donald Trump moves into his second year in office, Americans have seen a plethora of events that have shaped the history of the country. BY MCKENNA HEEGN SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
45% approval rating *according to a Gallup poll
spent on the Disaster Relief Fund by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Tax Cuts & Jobs Act
became law Dec. 22. They will go into effect this year and expire in 2025. This tax plan will eliminate estate tax and corporate income tax rates will be cut from 35 percent to 20 percent.
YOU’RE FIRED! Steve Bannon Chief Strategist Bannon worked under Trump for the first 7 months of his presidency. Sean Spicer Press Secretary Spicer was replaced by Huckabee Sanders after 6 months on the job. James Comey FBI Director Comey was fired for the way he handled the Clinton e-mail probe according to CNN Politics.
DO Building an actual wall along the Mexican border could cost between $15 and $45 billion.
Terms Used in Politics You Should Know
Stock Market up
ISIS territory reduced by
Sophomore Avery Kuhls and Rockhurst junior Sheridan Mirador in the annual winter musical “Cinderella” during dress rehearsal Jan. 18 at Rockhurst High School’s Rose Theater. (Photo by Phylicia Barner-Lewis)
TRAVEL BAN Musical Switches The policy applies to travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, to Rose Theater Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It also affects two non-Muslim countries: blocking travelers from North Korea and some Venezuelan government officials and their families.
Government Shutdown began at midnight Jan. 20 and ended the evening of Jan. 22 after a failure to pass legislation to fund government operations and agencies. CLOSED
As of 2015, there is already 652.7 miles of fencing along the roughly 2,000 mile-long border.
Trump has insisted Mexico will pay for the wall, but it is likely U.S. taxpayers will cover the initial funding.
*according to npr.org
DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is an American immigration policy that allows some individuals who entered the country as minors, and had either entered or remained in the country illegally, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation. Government Shutdown: The process the Executive Branch must enter into when Congress and the President fail to pass legislation funding government operations and agencies. GOP: The Grand Old Party or Republican party.
“Cinderella” performed at Rockhurst High School’s Rose Theater because of construction at Avila University. BY SYDNEY SAN AGUSTIN REPORTER
The annual winter musical, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” was performed at Rockhurst High School’s Rose Theatre this year, after Avila University announced Goppert Theatre would be under construction. “We were struggling and we were like ‘we have to find a new place’,” Music Director Elizabeth Mulkey said. “Rockhurst was really nice to let us in.” Performances of “Cinderella” were Jan. 19-21 and featured sophomore Avery Kuhls as Cinderella. This venue change had pros and cons for the cast and crew, according Mulkey. The biggest benefit was the amount of seating. “Since we had an abundance of seating,” Mulkey said, “we were able to give away more tickets to prospective students and their families who wanted to come see the production.” Along with unforseen burst pipes that delayed a rehearsal, the Rose Theatre did not have an orchestra pit so the orchestra played behind the stage rather than underneath. “The pit is now backstage, which is hard because we used to be able to see the singers but now we [had] to rely on hearing them and certain cues,” sophomore and violinist Ceresa Munjak-Khoury said. Although the sound crew had to learn how to operate new equipment, it worked out for the best. “The sound board was amazing,” Mulkey said. “[It was] so high tech we were able to hook up more microphones then we’ve ever had before.” Another benefit of the Rose Theatre was closer proximity of the stage to the audience. According to sophomore Maya Bair it made the audience feel more involved in the show. “The show turned out great,” Bair, the evil step-mother, said. “I am so blessed to be part of such an amazing group.” FEBRUARY 2018
Language Honor Societies Established BY PRISCILLAH GICHARU REPORTER
SOCIEDAD HONORARIA ´ HISPANICA
S H F
Both a Spanish National Honor Society and French National Honor Society will form beginning next year. Applications are open this year to sophomores and juniors enrolled in second level or higher in French or Spanish. “I am taking French III right now and I am applying because I want to expand my French knowledge and help the French community,” junior Brenna Richart said. Juniors Savana Mayer and Drew Harris spoke with World Languages Curriculum Coordinator April Schendel about starting the societies. Schendel received approval from administration to introduce them for next school year. “We first got the approval from Mrs. Carmody and then we just kind of looked up national standards for both societies and built our requirements around what was the national standard,” Schendel said. SNHS and FNHS are similar to the National Honor Society in that the school has to meet the national standard by ensuring all students accepted have an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher. In their Spanish or French classes alone, students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.5. Membership is based on GPA rather than letter grades because of the weight differences for the girls that are taking ACCP or AP classes, according to Schendel. “We just put a GPA minimum because that was a national standard but overall the GPA should be a 3.0 and the language class your in has to be a 3.5,” Schendel said. At Harris’ previous school, she participated in the SNHS for two years. She liked that it was different from Spanish club and more challenging, since students are required to maintain a certain grade for membership. Harris said she enjoyed participating in the service aspect because it’s geared toward serving the Spanish-speaking community. Mayer was intrigued by SNHS after she heard about it from her friends at other schools freshman year. “My mom encouraged me and told me that I should take initiative to kind of help start it up at Sion,” Mayer said. Next school year is the first year of these honor societies, so the Spanish and French teachers are still working out the requirements of membership for students. Membership will be dependent on the student’s enrollment in either Spanish or French and students might be required to complete 15 hours of service in the Spanish-speaking and French-speaking communities. “I am excited to get our little organization started,” Schendel said. “It always takes a year to get a program to hit its stride and for things to start working like a welloiled machine.”
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Kansas City StreetCar Expansion
The World Languages department announces the establishment of Spanish and French National Honor Societies.
CURRENT ROUTE EXPANDED ROUTE
Y MARKET CIT River Market 3rd Street
Sprint Center Interstate 70
Kauffman Center 18th Street
Crown Center 25th Street
OLD WESTPORT Westport 39th Street
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 47th Street
Country Club Plaza 47th Street University of Missouri-Kansas City 53rd Street
BY KELLY NUGENT WEB EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Jackson County voters approved the expansion for the streetcar Aug. 4 2017. Yet the expansion must be approved through two more elections before proceeding. Breaking ground, if all goes as expected, should be in five years, according to a Kansas City Streetcar representative.
Students Rally for Life Students participated in the March for Life rally in Washington D.C. BY LILY DROUIN REPORTER
Six students traveled to Washington D.C. to show their support for the March for Life rally Jan. 19, according to theology teacher Bonnie Haghirian. The group consisted of freshman Berenice Mendoza, juniors Cecilia Mohacsi, Taylor Pitzl, Keely Roudebush, Lilly Concannon and senior Anneliese Glickley. In this rally, an estimated 100,000 pro-life activists were expected to show up to complete the march, according to Fox News. Many speakers showed up to the rally to talk about the pro-life movement, such as former NFL player Matt Birk. In addition, President Donald Trump live-streamed a message from the White House to the crowd.
“My favorite part was when Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler was speaking, it was such a powerful story,” Concannon said. “People in the crowd could feel the emotion her story conveyed and could relate.” Beutler spoke about her choice to give birth to her daughter despite a one percent survival rate because she did not have kidneys, according to Concannon. “It’s important to march in D.C. so legalizing abortion can be overturned,” Roudebush said. March for Life is an annual pilgrimage marching from Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court and Capitol Building, protesting abortion every year in January. This marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court legalizing abortion in the “Roe vs. Wade” case in 1974. “It all started in D.C., and that’s where the first march was,” Roudebush said.
PRO-LIFE RALLY Crowds march together towards the Capital Building for the illegalization of abortion Jan. 19. (Photo by Cecilia Mohacsi)
Sexual Assault Coverage Prompts Discussion Two clubs advocate for the Time’s Up initiative, a zero-tolerance policy of sexual assault. BY ANNA TOMKA PRINT MANAGING EDITOR
#TIMESUP Award winner Oprah Winfrey wears black during the Golden Globes Jan 7. (Photo by MCT Campus)
#METOO Sexual assault survivors march for the Me Too movement Nov. 12. (Photo by MCT Campus)
Women’s Awareness Club and Social Awareness Community Action Club both commended Time’s Up, which was formed in response to the #MeToo movement and launched on the first of the year as a new year initiative. Time’s Up was recognized at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony Jan. 7, where female attendees did not stroll down the red carpet sporting bright, elaborate, multi-colored gowns. Instead, women including Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington were clad in black to support the initiative which was formed by women in Hollywood and on social media platforms to fight sexual assault. With the increase in media coverage, these clubs have been motivated to continue the conversation in the community, according to senior co-leader of both clubs Lanie Jones. “We already had plans in place to do something in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” Jones said. “But after Time’s Up happened, we thought it was all the more relevant.” Women’s Awareness club broadcasted a video
of Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech during their meeting Jan. 10, according to club sponsor Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator Jennifer Brown-Howerton. Winfrey shared the story of a woman who was raped and never received justice, telling young girls that a new day is coming where people will not have to say “me too” any longer. “Personally, I think as a woman, as a mother and as a teacher at an all girls school that it’s really important to be able to voice the concerns that women have had for a really long time,” BrownHowerton said. During a SACA meeting, Women’s Awareness presented their plans to educate others and their personal thoughts on the Time’s Up movement to the SACA members, according to Women’s Awareness president senior Carolyn Dickey. “I admire the women in Hollywood who use their spotlight to bring attention to the Time’s Up movement and promote change with their voices,” Dickey said. “I’m glad this is something I can discuss with others at school too.” The Time’s Up GoFundMe campaign has already raised 19.3 million of their $20 million goal to support sexual assault victims by helping pay their legal fees. Women’s Awareness and SACA plan to lead presentations to the school in April for national sexual assault awareness month. “The Time’s Up movement is really important to me because it signifies a new era where we are not going to be silent in the face of these injustices,” freshman Riley Weaver said.
SHANNON GETS HER
SHOT Freshman Shannon Karlin devotes her time to becoming a better teammate and player. BY DANI ROTERT BREAKING NEWS EDITOR
BREAK AWAY During a game against St. Teresa's Academy Nov. 17, freshman Shannon Karlin dribbles down the court to make a shot. The Storm defeated STA 63-51. (Photo by Paige Ritter)
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ith the crowd chanting behind her and her team yelling from the bench, she takes a deep breath and shoots. Her first high school game, her first rivalry game and one of the biggest games of the year. All of the early practices and summer workouts have come to this moment, with all eyes on her and a leather ball in her hand. From a young age, freshman Shannon Karlin had a strong connection to the basketball court. Her older siblings would give her pointers and allowed her to practice with them. They also played one-on-one whenever they were able to be at home. “They give me a great example to follow,” Karlin said. “It’s fun to have them around and I feel I am better at talking to adults and older people than most people.” This competitive atmosphere between Karlin and her siblings allowed her to quickly learn how to play against tough competition. Playing against her brothers taught Karlin to play hard against larger opponents. “Shannon showed a very strong drive to play basketball,” Karlin’s mother Judy Karlin said. “She was aggressive and determined to dribble and shoot. She wanted to be the first on her team to do a left handed lay up properly.” Karlin’s mother helped her to play basketball at a young age. To Karlin, her mother was one of the reasons she started playing basketball in the first place. Karlin also describes her mother as one of her inspirations to continue to play basketball. “[Karlin] was in tap class and begged me to quit dance and play more basketball,” Judy said. “Her sister went to Sion and was on their dance team so I wanted [her] to explore all options, but basketball was her love.” Karlin was finally able to join a team when she was in kindergarten with her mother as her coach. Judy saw Karlin’s love for the game and from then on Karlin was engrossed with every aspect of the game. “My mom was my first basketball coach,” Karlin said. “Ever since then she’s always given me tips, rebounded for me and encouraged me to do my best.” With six seniors on the varsity team this year, playing time can be hard to
"I JUST DO THE BEST I CAN WHENEVER I HAVE THE CHANCE." - FRESHMAN SHANNON KARLIN
get, especially for an underclassman. However, Karlin takes every opportunity she can get to show her coaches what she is capable of and to improve upon the skills she has in her repertoire. “It’s a lot of pressure because they have all been here for longer than I have and we are all playing for the same starting spots,” Karlin said. “So, I just do the best I can when ever I have a chance.” Karlin is now starting most of the varsity games coming off the bench at the beginning of the season. From the start of the season, Karlin has contributed a lot to the team, according to senior co-captain Sarah Totta. “She is always an offensive threat which is exactly what our team needs,” Totta said. “I can tell how passionate she is about the sport because she works extremely hard inside and outside of practice.” Not only does Karlin play for the varsity team, she also plays on the competitive team Next Level Eclipse. The team participates in showcases across the country for college recruiters and scouts. Since joining the team in 2010, she has gone to a number of different collegiate tournaments and camps to help improve her basketball skills in the hopes of recruitment. “Summer basketball league is different from Sion or really any high school league because the point of it is to get scouted,” sophomore teammate Kamryn Rogers said. “Your coaches give you more freedom and don’t make you run as many plays.” This past summer, Rogers played on Next Level Eclipse with Karlin for most of their games. Even though playing on a competitive team is different than the varsity team, Karlin is still a huge asset to the team, according to Rogers. “Shannon is a very well-rounded player and when I played with her over the summer, I could see her dedication and talent,” Rogers said. “Now that we are playing high school, I think it took her a moment to adjust to the more structured way of play but she has adapted well.” Next summer, Karlin is going on a trip with her competitive team to play in front of colleges from all across the United States. Nearly the entire month of June will be filled for Karlin with playing in these collegiate tournaments and showcases. Through her competitive team, Karlin hopes it will continue to better her skills and boost her chances at getting a college scholarship. “I love playing the game,” Karlin said. “I’ve played it most of my life and I want to play in college.”
THAT'S OUR FRESHMAN (left) After drawing the foul during a game in the Blue Valley North Tournament Jan. 18, freshman Shannon Karlin lines up her free throw shot. (Photo by Paige Ritter) YOUNG VICTORIES (far left) After winning a tournament with her team Next Level Eclipse at eight years old, freshman Shannon Karlin poses with her first place trophy. (Photo submitted by Shannon Karlin)
(Photo by Lanie Jones)
Clouding the Risks of Vaping Manufacturers and teens need to take vaping risks more seriously.
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(Illustrations by Taylor Pitzl)
erusing the online market, the options are endless. With flavors ranging from the nostalgia-inducing Peanut Butter Jelly time to the more mature Baristaâ€™s Blend, there seems to be an e-juice flavor for every preference. However, purchasing these nicotinecontaining flavors is a lot more dangerous than risking $20 on a potentially disgusting flavor. Lured in by attractive flavors such as cotton candy and watermelon, teens can gain hold of vapes through online shops, easily bypassing the age verification system. Manufacturers and teens do not take vaping risks seriously enough for underage users. Teens also often underestimate the risks of vaping, overlooking the facts about the dangers of nicotine and other risk factors that come with vaping. Teens often take up vaping as a safer alternative for smoking. While vaping may be healthier than smoking, it is by no means harmless. Vaping has been linked to gum disease, lowered immunity and bloody sores in the mouth and throat, according to Science News. Also, many e-juices contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. Studies have shown that it is even more addictive than cocaine or heroin, according to the CDC. Different e-juices have different levels of nicotine, but pods for JUULs, a popular brand of vape pen, contain more
nicotine in a single pod than in a whole packet of cigarettes, according to their website. This leads to teenagers becoming addicted to nicotine and their vapes, with detrimental health consequences. Due to the changes in the adolescent brain, they are more susceptible to nicotine addiction than adults, according to the National Institute of Health. Teenagers who regularly vape are also more likely than non vaping teens to start smoking cigarettes according to a study by the University of California, San Francisco. Whether they intend to or not, manufacturers directly market to teenagers by selling enticing flavors. San Francisco, California banned the sale of flavored tobacco products, including vapes, in June 2017, set to become effective in April. This legislation is an attempt to deter youth from tobacco use via cigarettes or vape products. This is beneficial because ridding the vapes of the flavor will reduce the allure to teenagers. Stopping teenagers before they start vaping is the best way to ensure their continued health and the continuing decrease of teenage cigarette use. Manufacturers and the Food and Drug Administration have a responsibility to protect teenagers. Many teenagers gain access to vapes through the internet from the many online marketplaces. While the FDA has regulations to prevent underage customers from completing a purchase, these regulations are not nearly rigorous enough. Age verification systems and requiring an adult to sign for the package are mandated; however,
16% of American teenagers vape on a regular basis, according to the United States Surgeon General
these measures are rarely successful. Teenagers can easily steal their parentâ€™s information to trick the age verification systems and the adult signature is often forgotten or ignored. This easy access completely defeats the purpose of age restrictions. Manufacturers need to put greed aside and create fool-proof age verification systems or stop selling vapes altogether online. The profits of a company should never be put above the health of the society. The vape industry needs to realize this and eliminate their trade practices such as online sales and teenage-focused flavors. In order to combat the risks of vaping for teenagers, the FDA should increase their regulations on e-cigarettes and other non-smoking nicotine delivery devices. Banning online sales or mandating and enforcing accurate dual-check age verification will greatly reduce the number of teenagers who have access to these vapes. A wide reaching flavor ban should also be considered to reduce the appeal of e-cigarettes to teenagers. Finally, education about the risks factors of vaping needs to reach teenagers and middle schoolers. Many users just view vaping as a safe, healthy alternative to smoking and disregard the risks. Manufacturers need to take responsibility for the safety of all who use their products and take measures to prevent teenagers from befalling to the dangers of vaping. This editorial reflects the views of the Le Journal staff. Twenty-seven out of 27 staff members voted in favor of this editorial.
7 out of 10 teenagers have been exposed to E-cigarette advertisements, according to the CDC
Teens who vape are 29 percent more likely to start smoking than non-users, according to the CDC
U.S. Opioid Crisis Calls for Fewer Prescriptions Due to the opioid addiction epidemic, doctors should reconsider prescriptions. BY REAGAN AMATO REPORTER
From Tom Petty to Prince, opioid deaths have been featured in the media more and more. And it isn’t only celebrities who are being affected. Every day more than 90 Americans die of an opioid overdose, relating to both prescription and non prescription opioid consumption, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The solution lies in the extreme reduction of the use of prescription opioids. In order to get to the root of the problem, it is necessary to look at how the crisis first started. In the ‘90s, pharmaceutical companies told the public that opioid medications (morphine, oxycodone, percocet, vicodin. etc.) were safe and effective treatment options. Since then, the prescription of opioids for chronic pain has nearly quadrupled, according to the Center for Disease Control. Today, opioids are the “standard of the world” when it comes to treatment of severe and chronic pain, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. It is
YouTube In light of YouTuber controversy, content screening must increase. BY ANA PENDERGAST REPORTER
In the wake of vlogger Logan Paul’s graphic and vulgar video, it seems as if all the internet is reconsidering how we use YouTube. After discovering a suicide victim in a forest, and posting it to his vlog, Paul received harsh criticism from much of the country. Paul has over 15 million subscribers and with over 1 billion YouTube users of all ages online everyday, the potential audience is expansive and unchecked. YouTube needs to have more restrictions on videos and needs to implement a more-effective and proactive screening process for videos. Since YouTube is available to anyone with internet access and videos can be posted without restriction kids are easily exposed to content that is inappropriate for them. Although YouTube monitors
One in 12 doctors receive some sort true that opioids are and effective treatment, but it is also of extra payment from opioid companies, true that they are overprescribed. according to Boston Medical Center. These Around 20 percent of people diagnosed with non-cancer or pain-related diseases are given benefits range from something as small as a free lunch to an actual cash payment. In all, opioid prescriptions, according to the CDC. Despite tens of millions of dollars are spent the dramatic increase in opioid prescriptions, there is no reported marketing opioids to doctors. On top of monetary benefits, many doctors increase in Americans who suffer from pain related diseases. This increase haven’t been trained in chronic pain or addiction. According to Harvard Health in prescription has led to an increase in Publishing, doctors have little training opioid dependency. With the increase in prescription opioid in “safely prescribing pain medications, recognize patients at high risk for use came an increase in non-prescription opioid use and prescription abuse according overdose, intervening when patients need to be taken off of opioids, and adequately to the US NLM. According to the National treat opioid addiction.” Survey on Drug Use and Health, first time abusers of prescription opioids rose from Over the counter Acetaminophen, found in Tylenol, is the recommended 628,000 in 1990 to 2.4 million in 2004 and visits to the emergency room for reasons first treatment for pain by the American College of Rheumatology. If a stronger involving prescription opioid abuse increased by 45 percent between 2000 and dosage is needed Nonsteroidal AntiInflammatory Drugs are available 2002 alone. These statistics don’t even in weaker over the counter doses or account for overdoses. Nearly 100 million Americans suffer (Photo by Meg Schwartz) in higher prescription doses. Other options include corticosteroids, Serotonin and from chronic pain and rely on opioid medication to get through their day. This demographic is often used Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors or even just exercise. Despite these proven solutions, as a reason why doctors shouldn’t decrease opioid use. However, the patients are not the problem. Rather, it is doctors still turn to opioids first. Only when doctors begin to stop writing the doctors who are overambitious and generous when excessive opioid prescriptions will the opioid it comes to prescribing opioids and who often earn extra crisis improve. with the prescriptions they give.
Content Restrictions Are Imperative its site for inappropriate material, videos can be posted without screening. In the case of Paul’s vulgar video, the video was allowed to be posted and monetized without any restrictions or warnings, until it was publicly brought to YouTube’s attention. Many of Paul’s subscribers are under the age of 18 and watched the video before it was taken down. This could have been prevented if there was a screening process, as the video would have not passed. YouTube videos should be screened for harmful material before they are able to be posted. Other websites, such as Issuu, include a waiting period before users are allowed to publish in order to screen harmful material. Vlogging has now become more than just a hobby and has become a job for many YouTube celebrities. In order to make money from YouTube, users must become a partner, which is based on popularity, according to YouTube’s policy. The more views the videos get, the more money the YouTuber makes. Just as all videos posted to YouTube, there is no screening process for channels
allowed to join the YouTube Partner Program. Paul’s video forced YouTube to evaluate its policies. Videos now must be screened and the YouTuber must have 1,000 subscribers and have over 4,000 hours of watched videos in order to make money from their videos. Although this stops rewarding YouTubers who post inappropriate content onto their channels, it doesn’t address the overbearing problem. Inappropriate videos can still be posted and can be viewed by thousands of people of all ages before being taken down. As the content and audiences of YouTube change, so must the policies of YouTube. Mistakes such as Paul’s must be taken seriously, and YouTube should be stricter with the videos allowed to be posted to their website.
LEJ Up Next
Sam Pepper: This YouTuber is notorious for his pranks, oftentimes verging on sexual harassment. Six women have stepped forward to claim he assaulted them.
Marina Joyce: #SaveMarinaJoyce went viral due to a video where the blogger appeared to be in distress. Many viewers began to believe she was in danger, earning her 1.4 million followers.
LeLe Pons: She posted a video that showed her donating her hair to Locks of Love, but they were extensions and a lie. She’s also been accused of stealing other’s ideas. (All photos by Creative Commons)
Vlogger Logan Paul. (Photo by MCT Campus)
At a Loss for Words The United States is falling behind when it comes to learning languages.
It’s Time to Bring Back Hobbies As the technological world advances, leisure activities are nearing extinction. BY LANIE JONES PRINT CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Snow days in elementary school had to have been some of the greatest days of my life as a kid. There’s no better feeling than sleeping in, waking up to throw on comfortable, warm clothes and bundling up in color-coordinated Land’s End gear to go sledding or build a snowman. In the more recent years, my snow days remain consistent with the sleeping in, but often have an agenda of no more than binge watching my new obsession on Netflix. During the day, the only muscles I move are the ones required to press ‘continue’ in response to the annoying, slightly insulting question, “Are you still watching?” This dilemma goes far beyond snow days. It seems like every second of free time is filled with mindless scrolling through social media, admiring the lives we wish we had. Social media idolizes (and even pays) “public figures” who travel the world and do cool things, and somehow living vicariously through them is enough for us. Further, we’ve lost simplicity in life. eReaders have robbed society of the joy of physical copies, and video game consoles make us more likely to play soccer staring at a screen than outside in the fresh air. Dinner dates have become a competition to see who will cave and check their phone first, signaling the psychological addiction to stare at screens. It’s time to start physically doing things again, people. No more living through avatars and famous Instagrammers. When it comes time to look for or begin a new hobby, chances are we get distracted by the same vicious cycle. What happened to stamp collections and painting classes, or knitting and embroidery? Nowadays, it seems like the only results from hobbies such as these are immediate granny status, which is beyond sad and disappointing. There’s no point in shaming those who want to spend their time doing activities that are actually productive. In moderation, social media and streaming services are not a horrible thing. The problem enters when it soaks up all spare time we have. We beg and plead for more free time to escape our stress, then spend it wasting our lives away looking at little screens that seem to do more harm than good. This new year, 2018, is the year of the hobby. No longer will we lounge around for entire weekends binge watching Netflix while simultaneously Instagram-stalking famous people. We will get up, go out and do something. We will make crafts, garden, go bird watching, start a rock collection, learn a new language, sew and thrift shop. We will have better conversation topics than what we’re watching right now, and give more exciting answers when prompted with the question “What do you do in your free time?” This year, we will say “No, Netflix, we’re not still watching.”
comes with many benefits, including positive changes in the brain. Multilingual people have to be able to switch between different structures of speech. These skills BY CECILIA MOHÁCSI make multilingual people better EDITORIAL EDITOR multitaskers, as their brains are used to changing between language quickly, according to Pennsylvania For many students, a State University. Attention, memory foreign language is nothing but a and standardized test scores have requirement. Sitting, taking notes been shown to improve. These in Spanish is just something they’re benefits are accessible through never going to use in the future. something as simple as studying a In reality, a second language is so valuable and a skill that every person different language. Knowing another language can should have. With more than half the world speaking at least two languages open a variety of doors to people. From travel, to work, to learning according to the Dana Foundation, U.S. school systems need to step it up about other countries, knowing a second language can be useful. Some in order to effectively teach students of the most widely spoken languages another language. around the world are Learning a language Chinese, Spanish is a skill that takes HOLA HELLO and English, all of time to master, BONJOUR which come in the and the best time HALLO top 10, according to learn a language to Ethnologue. is at a young age. Traveling to other Children’s brains are countries is much wired for soaking easier for those that up and processing Photos and illustrations by Cecilia know another language. information at a fast Mohácsi and Wiki Commons They can read signs pace for the first and talk to people they otherwise few years of their lives, according would not be able to. In business to University of California, Los Angeles neurology professor Dr. Paul and medicine, a second language makes communicating with clients Thompson. By the time puberty hits, this fast-paced processing shuts down easier. The most effective way to and learning a new language becomes learn a second language is by being in an immersion program, according more difficult. In Europe, 73 percent of primary to studies at the Cornell Language Acquisition Lab. Programs like this students, ages 5 through 11, were exist in the United States such as learning English in recent years, the Académie Lafayette in Kansas according to the Pew Research City where French is the primary Center. In comparison, only one in language spoken in school. However, five students in the United States not enough of these programs exist to were enrolled in a foreign language class, according to The National K-12 reach each student. With so many added benefits Foreign Language Enrollment Survey. and advantages to learning another The vast majority of children who language, there is no reason are the prime age to learn a second to be lacking the right foreign language are doing so in Europe, but language programs to teach them. the United States is far behind those Implementing new language numbers. Schools need stronger programs that reach a greater language courses in grade schools number of students will create many so students get the proper exposure more opportunities for them in years early on. to come. Learning a second language
88% 56% 73%
of students took a language class before high school *200 students polled
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of students of students said described that class class was less than as slow and not an hour long progressive
Americans must prioritize reducing day-to-day waste in order to sustain the welfare of the planet. BY MEG SCHWARTZ PRINT CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
very purchase of a snack or a soda, every delivery of an online order and everytime a previously beloved object loses its value is followed by the mindless motions of walking over to the trash can and dropping whatever remnant of an article remains. Wrappers, clothing tags, packaging and even magazines like this one fill up the numerous bins around each household globally. What may seem like small “out of sight, out of mind” acts on the part of the consumer are actually significant contributions to the unsustainable nature of our current living standards as well as to the health of humans and animals alike. Americans represent 5 percent of the world’s population yet generate 30 percent of the world’s garbage, with the average American contributing 4.40 pounds of waste per day, according to a study by University of Utah and the Environmental Protection Agency. This heinous collection of unnecessary food waste, plastic containers and grotesque amounts of single-use packaging such as fast food and protein bar wrappers is a physical representation of America’s gluttonous use of resources. The irresponsible entitlement to these resources that America has held for decades is what has expanded the standard of living in terms of convenience of packaging and disposables beyond what the earth is physically able to sustain. For everyone on the planet to live as the average American does, four more earths would be
necessary to support their lifestyle, according to the BBC. Furthermore, the statistics regarding the disposal of waste in America only account for what ends up in landfills. Much of what is thrown away ends up being carried into the streets, the oceans and around the globe by wind, water and human contact. Irresponsible disposal of certain products lead to phenomenons such as “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” in the Pacific Ocean, an “island” of waste particles and debris heavily comprised of plastic, as every piece of plastic ever produced is still in existence today, according to the EPA. Not only does garbage look ugly in landfills, oceans and in the streets, it also has an ugly impact on the health of humans and animals. No regulations are placed on production of goods in regards to the long-term, end of usage stage of the good. Due to this lack of regulation, bioaccumulative and toxic contaminants can be released into the ecosystem by mismanaged disposal, according to the EPA. Consequentially, these contaminants are often consumed by animals and often killing them, and are also prone to contaminating seafood. To a certain extent, trash is an unfortunate and unavoidable result of consumerism. However, as a responsible citizen, every consumer can take small steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Simple changes such as bringing a reusable thermos to the coffee shop or making coffee at home, switching from disposable to reusable straws, packing a lunch everyday in class containers and reusable snack bags and bringing reusable shopping bags to stores are just a few of a multitude of simple ways to reduce one’s negative environmental impact. With responsible consumerism and conscientious usage of resources, Americans can create a more sustainable planet, one reusable straw at a time.
ACT NOW TO SAVE THE PLANET
WEANING OFF WASTE Easy, affordable swaps to more sustainable everyday products will reduce your day-to-day waste.
Pick a reusable water bottle and stick to it. Getting a new water bottle with each trend defeats the purpose of conserving resources.
Ditch traditional takeout boxes. Bring your own tupperware when you eat out to bring home your leftovers in.
Stop using single-use, disposable plastic straws. Replace these by purchasing reusable straws at the grocery store to wash after each use.
(Illustrations by Vecteezy and Meg Schwartz)
Vaping and the culture surrounding it has infiltrated the adolescent social environment and poses serious problems in overall lack of awareness in mental and physical health consequences. This growing trend is much reflected in the relatively new marketing strategies of vaping companies targeting a young demographic. BY NEWS EDITOR MEG TRAVIS, FEATURE EDITOR KAITLIN JONES AND REPORTER MOLLY CONWAY
apes, e-cigarettes, Juuls, Phixes: regardless of the names they go by, vaping devices have grown to be a major presence and problem in adolescent populations. The upsurge in numbers of uneducated teenagers picking up these devices amid their marketed popularity is now posing brand new risks in health and development of addiction, according to a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The entire student body even attended a presentation Nov. 16 about the effects of vaping. Students Against Destructive Decisions senior co-presidents Mariah Lynn and Haley Ulowetz wanted to educate the student body about what’s in a pod and the effects of vaping. “After the presentation, I was surprised at the amount of students who were shocked with the effects from phixing,” Lynn said. “Many teachers sent Haley and I e-mails about how well we did. Overall I was happy with the presentation.” However, throughout the local community, the trend still persists.
When people pick up their vape to casually inhale and exhale they don’t realize what the vapors they are inhaling can do to their body.
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Teenagers in today’s society are normalizing the vape culture. Forty-three percent of people have used a vaping device before and eight percent of people have been in an environment with someone using one, according to a Le Journal poll. “There is kind of a normal experimental phase in the middle school, high school and young adult years which is one of the reasons that you have to be careful with what you are goofing around with,” pediatrician Dr. Rick Espe M.D. said. Vapes were originally intended as a temporary substitute for those giving up smoking cigarettes. The American Heart Association says that vapes should only be used as a last resource when giving up smoking. But the trend of vaping has infiltrated adolescents of today. “It’s just a way to expose your body to nicotine,” Espe said. “The kids that say they get a buzz from it, that buzz is from the nicotine, and that’s what makes the smokers keep buying cigarettes their whole life even though they know it’s bad for them they know they want to quit.” Regardless of the brand, all vaping devices work the same way. All vapes have containers filled with a liquid that contains a various amount of nicotine, flavorings, and chemicals. It also contains a heating device that converts the liquid into a vapor, which is what the user inhales. Not only ...Story continued on page 16
COVER STORY ...Story continued from page 14
do the vapors increase numerous health risks, but the toxic metals such as nickel, chromium, and manganese may cause cancer or significantly harm the nervous system, according to WebMD. “Vaping is becoming too normalized in today’s world,” Ulowetz said. “Kids think that they look cool doing vape tricks for fun or getting that tiny buzz of nicotine. But little do they know, the nicotine is addictive and now teens and preteens are hooked to the point that they cannot go a day without their vape. It’s just sad.” Several vape juices that are considered harmless have the ability to turn toxic when heated up by the hot coils inside the vape, according to WebMD. Health risks from the vapor include stunted reproduction of lung cells, impaired wound healing and increased risk of gum disease. The hotter the vape liquid gets, the harsher its effects are on cells. “In vaping with the fragrances and the flavors there is no telling what possible side effects could come down the road, mostly to your lungs but you don’t know if it’s going to affect you in other ways such as your brain or your kidneys,” Espe said. “From a public health point of view, it just opens up another avenue for another generation to get addicted to nicotine.” Vapes are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so it is impossible to know what is being inhaled. Some vapes contain formaldehyde, which is a chemical frequently used in antifreeze and building materials, according to WebMD. Since vaping doesn’t provide users with a burning sensation, people aren’t as aware of its toxins. “It’s scary how unaware I was of all the toxins I was inhaling when I used a vape,” local high school student Ashley Davis* said. “In all the hype about vaping, they do not make buyers aware of these things.” Another major health risk of vaping is developing chronic bronchitis. Similar to smokers’ cough, vapers’ cough develops from extensive use of a vaping device and causes the user to have shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness or discomfort and a cough. “I’ve noticed respiratory problems since I’ve started vaping. I’m constantly congested even when I’m not sick and usually have a bad cough,” local high school student Renae Johnson* said. “I also have a harder time breathing when I work out. And I know a few friends [that] experience the same thing, especially swimmers, who say that it’s been hard for them to keep up with where they were before they started vaping.” Adolescents who vape are six times more likely to try cigarettes than kids who don’t vape, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of Pediatrics. “Kids that are regularly vaping almost for sure will become cigarette smokers,” Espe said. “Nicotine is a fairly powerfully addictive substance and it both calms you and stimulates you at the same time and that’s what makes it addictive.” RISK FACTORS AND ADDICTION The significant growth in numbers of adolescents beginning to experiment with vaping and its relatives in even the last 10 years is creating
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“[IT’S] THE FACT THAT WE MAY BE CALLED ‘UNCOOL’ FOR NOT DOING SOMETHING THAT HARMS YOUR BODY. THAT DEFINITELY MEANS THAT IT’S A PROBLEM IN SOCIETY.” -FRESHMAN GABBY GAITHER
say they will continue to vape no matter the health risks
have used a vaping device
12.5% own a vaping device
use it nearly every day
PHIX FACTS *based on a poll of 168 students
a much more intense and dangerous problem: addiction. “There are a number of concerns regarding what is going on with this whole vaping process,” psychiatrist Dr. Colin Mackenzie said. “There are studies showing that though vaping was designed to get people off tobacco products. There is a bidirectionality to this in that people who start vaping, who have never used tobacco products before, are at higher risk of going to use them.” This bidirectionality is especially prevalent in adolescents, whose developing brains have higher tendency towards impulsive and risky behavior and are at a much higher risk of developing an addiction, according to the Center on Addiction. “The neurons are particularly vulnerable in this stage of development, so when they are exposed to abnormal stressors from the environment, such as when people ingest substances or drugs, the effects it has is very different in the adolescent as opposed to the adult,” Mackenzie said. “They are much more susceptible to abnormal things happening and to cell death, as well as the prohibitions in their normal function.” Before one even picks up a vaping device, there are already many risk factors that make one more likely to become an addict. Much of this comes from the peer pressure in the teenage social environment and the desire to not be ostracized and fit in with a particular group. “I think most common is the unspoken, implicit peer pressure. Consider being in a room with a number of your friends and they are all using a substance and you’re not,” Mackenzie said. “If the person does not obviously participate, it is understood but not spoken that you just might not be in that group anymore.” The danger that accompanies this pressure is the lack of awareness and a sort of immortality complex in many young people who begin vaping, unaware of the consequences of the road they are putting themselves down until it becomes a fullblown addiction. “It’s so frustrating because we tell kids all of these side effects and stuff and they’re just like ‘Oh that’s never going to happen to me, I’ll be fine,’” Ulowetz said. “Then it actually does happen to one of them and they’re too deep into it at that point that their body thrives off of nicotine so they can’t stop.” Another major issue that poses higher risk of vaping addiction is the fact of it being a legal substance. This ready accessibility implants the idea that if e-cigarettes are lawful, then they must not be dangerous. “The research shows that the likelihood of a teenager using a drug is directly correlated with their appraisal as to its harmfulness,” Mackenzie said. “The less harmful they believe it is, the more likely they are to use it. And when something becomes legalized people assume that it is safe.” This overall ignorance and general desire to “fit in” drives many teenagers to partake in vaping, thus creating a sort of black hole that then attracts others to fall into a similar trap. “Lots of people do it just to be cool or on the ‘popular’ side of their school. Or the people they are hanging around could tell them that it’s ‘safe,’” freshman Genevieve Klobe said. “They need to learn more about health. There is always
someone who will try to get around the rules for themselves and not realize that it can affect others and themselves.” Principal Natalie McDonough believes education and positive peer pressure can be part of the solution. “I think teens and young students erroneously see it as a safe alternative to smoking other substances. They think ‘I’m just vaping cherry steam.’ So I think the more they can get educated on the real dangers like the popcorn lung and the carcinogen effect, then maybe it can change,” McDonough said. “Education and then positive peer pressure is really the most effective way.” But even more influential to behavioral tendencies is genetics, which accounts for a significant percentage of one’s susceptibility towards addiction, according to Mackenzie. “Genes account for at least 50 to 60 percent of the very ability of one’s risk to developing an addiction. A huge amount, much more than we ever imagined,” Mackenzie said. “This probably also explains why we see addiction in multiple family members.” An extension of this factor is the fairly new studies surrounding “epigenetics,” a combination of both nature and nurture in the influence of a person’s health and genetic makeup. The environment and decisions a person makes can actually remodel the composition of DNA at cellular or even organismic levels. So for example, when someone uses a drug or substance, it magnifies the production of those proteins that contribute to addiction and increases the chance of those altered genes being passed down to any offspring, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “There is a contribution to what is directly inherited through our DNA that we get from our parents,” Mackenzie said. “Epigenetics is a very hot area of genetic research now; these experiments demonstrate how exposure to environmental factors can determine which genes in our body are turned off or turned on.” That initial decision to ingest a substance has a myriad of consequences, skyrocketing dopamine levels in the brain, creating a remembrance of that feeling and leaving a sense of craving for a repetition of that experience, according to Mackenzie. “Drugs hijack this pleasure center of the brain that then sends off signals to multiple areas, so the drugs are now impacting this whole structure of the brain and start to mobilize those structures to seek out and use more of that thing that gave you that sense of pleasure,” Mackenzie said. “The drugs are influencing all these structures that then facilitate not just the memory, but the seeking of the drug, the going out, finding and then administering the drug and remembering the drug.” This develops then into a dangerous cycle by which a level of tolerance begins to take hold and one begins to seek larger doses and the addiction starts to consume multiple aspects of one’s life, according to Mackenzie. “There’s a number of things that go on biochemically to try and balance things out because the body and brain want homeostasis, and so now they’ve got to counter the exposure to this
abnormal substance that they’re getting exposed to,” Mackenzie said. “So now they’re spending more time, more effort, more money on seeking more and using more to the point where they’re using it almost all day long and at the expense of doing anything else in their life.” At this point, even if one manages to stop taking the substance, there is a high chance of relapse occurring. At that point, one’s tolerance
WHAT’S IN A POD? Propylene Oxide* Propylene Glycol Glycidol*
Nicotine Formaldehyde* Vegetable Glycerol
* indicates a probable carcinogen levels are much lower. If they take a high enough dosage, there is an increased risk of an overdose. “What commonly happens in a lot of addiction is that when people stop for a period, their tolerance goes down, so now their bodies are very sensitive to the drug again,” Mackenzie said, “and when they relapse and use a similar amount that they were using before, with their tolerance being low, it is a lethal overdose.” A CULTURE CRAZE Over the past decade, more and more major vaporizer companies like JUUL, Phix and XFire have been popping up across the United States with new innovative ways to ingest nicotine. However, this rise in selection of products has increased demand, especially in those who are not legally able to buy or consume these products. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, use of e-cigarettes by middle and high school students nearly tripled from 2013 to 2014. “On average, I have to turn away five to six customers a day who try to use fake IDs to purchase tobacco products,” Exotic KC Vape N Smoke employee Roque Munoz said. In Kansas and Missouri the law for purchasing and possessing these products sets the age at 18. However in October, Kansas City, Independence, Olathe, Lenexa, Prairie Village, Gladstone, Bonner Springs, Lansing and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas raised the bar. Each passed an ordinance restricting tobacco sales, as well as e-cigarettes, to customers 21 and older. So teenagers searching for a vape look to their peers for products, like flavored pods and the vaporizers themselves. Some are buying these products in bulk with fake IDs and then selling the merchandise at a profit, according to Johnson. “Freshmen buy [pods] from older kids all the time and the older kids usually overcharge them,” Johnson said.
According to the school handbook on page 14 under serious student offense, ‘Smoking, e-cigarettes or the use of alcohol or illegal drugs on the premises or at school-sponsored events’ will/can result in ‘an automatic detention, a parent conference, suspension, and/or expulsion at the discretion of the Administration.’ “It’s an illegal substance, so yes there would definitely be significant consequences for getting caught at school because it’s illegal for their age,” McDonough said. “At minimum you’d have to do an assessment and be out of school. Of course we would want education as part of that punishment and we’d certainly believe in giving people second chances. Selling it takes it up to a whole different level.” The increased demand in underage consumers can be attributed to the growing “vape culture” within Kansas City and the United States specialized in those who want the “biggest, baddest vape that can produce the best clouds,” according to Munoz. Social media is a huge motivator to those interested in vaping. From vape tricks with music compilations or important information from your local vape “benders,” you can find it all. This movement is based on how to impress people with your “box” or “pen,” even now having one is seen as cool. It is a word of mouth business, according to Munoz. “People see each other’s vapes and say ‘I want one’ or ‘That looks so cool. Where’d you get that?’ Without social media this industry would definitely not be as popular,” Munoz said. The JUUL in particular is one of KC Smokz largest selling vape products. A starter kit with four pods costs $50. It has over a dozen flavors varying from “crème brûlée” to “cool cucumber” and are available in packs of four. “If it were really meant for adults there wouldn’t be flavors like “cucumber” to hide the taste of tobacco,” sophomore Maggie Duncan said.
*names have been changed to protect identity
QUICK FACTS ABOUT VAPING Vapes were originally intended as a temporary substitute for those giving up smoking. Vapes are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so it is impossible to know what is actually being inhaled. Vaping can lead to chronic bronchitis. Adolescents who vape are six times more likely to try cigarettes than kids who don’t vape. Vape juice can be harmless but when it is heated up by the hot coils inside, it can turn toxic.
LIFELONG LEADER Alumna and Interim Head of School Susan Stanton has led different businesses and non-for-profits in the Kansas City community and now heads her alma mater. (Photos by Paige Ritter and Wikicommons)
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EADING A legacy of leadership and change follows Interim Head of School Susan Stanton after years of dedication to the Kansas City community. BY CO-PHOTO EDITOR PAIGE RITTER
’ll try it” would seem the perfect motto for the woman that has done it all. Head of the Jackson County Jail. President & CEO of Payless Cashways. Executive positions with H & R Block, La Petite Academy and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Interim head of Operation Breakthrough, ArtsKC Regional Council, United Way and KCPT-TV Channel 19. Over 20 years as a volunteer and board member at Operation Breakthrough and Alvin Ailey. Founding board member and over 20 years of service to Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault. A career not confined to any one field has placed alumna and Interim Head of School Susan Stanton’s footprints throughout Kansas City. Steps anyone wanting to make a difference in the community can look to follow. As a “Hall of Fame” alumnae, Stanton’s experience as an effective interim head made her The Board of Trustees first choice, according to Board Chair Ann Uryasz. “The example she sets for girls currently enrolled at the high school is one of a calm, effective leader who is confident and genuinely interested in understanding and listening to those around her,” Uryasz said. Stanton began her life of trailblazing as an 8th grader. Rather than following her mother and sister’s legacy of attending St. Teresa’s Academy, Stanton decided Notre Dame de Sion was the right high school for her. “I just decided to be an individual and strike out on my own,” Stanton said. “Sion was a big course changer for me.” After graduating from Sion in 1966, Stanton went on to graduate from the University of Santa Clara and received her masters in Political Science and Government from the University of Houston. She moved back to Kansas City in 1972 ready to begin “changing the world through public policy.” “I believe strongly in public policy and how it impacts people individually,” Stanton said. “We still have to work for the common good.” Working at the Jackson County Commissioner’s office, Stanton felt she could do more. After letting her Jackson County Executive, George Lehr, know she was bored he sent her on an assignment to the prison. She took on more and more, a trademark of Stanton’s career, until she was
eventually running the Jackson County Jail, 500 men held atop the Courthouse. At the same time, Stanton spent her free time dancing with the Westport Ballet. One of the inmates drew a picture of her dressed as the Lilac Fairy with jail keys attached to the tutu. She was then known as the “Dancing Jailer.” The dynamic of a young woman running an all male prison was definitely different, but Stanton didn’t let it impact her effectiveness. “I behaved like a lady and the men treated me like a lady,” Stanton said. “I set a standard of how we would communicate, let them know what I was able and would do, helping calm things down.” After 11 years at the jail Stanton entered the corporate world, hoping to find better opportunities for advancement and executive level positions. She found herself advancing, but on the sidelines of the business, working the infamous “pink-collar ghetto” positions of the corporate world reserved for women in the ‘80s. When an upper level executive position opened up within Payless Cashways, Stanton opened her own door and walked into the world she was ready to lead. “I went home that night and thought ‘I want that job.’ I went the next day and told them ‘I want that job’ and they gave it to me,” Stanton said. “It made a big difference in my career because I became a core part of the business.” As Stanton made her way up, she took on positions and did work the business and public world of Kansas City had scarcely allowed women to do. The ATHENA Award is presented to “a person who has achieved the highest level of professional excellence, devoted time and energy to the community, and, especially, opened the doors of leadership opportunity to women.” The Kansas City Chamber For a Greater Kansas City believed Stanton embodied these characteristics, granting her the ATHENA Award in 2008. “Never forget you’re a woman, be proud of it and don’t think you have to be like the guys,” Stanton said. “After that, don’t focus on being a woman.” As an interim head, Stanton is constantly learning about new industries, people and experiences. Her life as a student began at Sion, and she took it with her into every new job, according to Stanton. As much the success in her
career has been determined by how well she can relate to and get the best work from other people, her priority has always been to maintain her effectiveness, not her ego. “How well you do or don’t do has to do with how well you can relate to people and get them to relate to you or work alongside them,” Stanton said. “I try to listen a lot, become a student, not make hasty judgments. I try and learn from people already there, trying to incorporate others into the decisions I make.” In her work with different companies and foundations, Stanton made her mark in Kansas City. She wasn’t just a face to different companies, but worked with and for people in the workplace and community. “She is a tireless worker and is so clearly passionate about being as successful as she can be in any task she takes on,” Uryasz said. Working with people is the common factor to her life, according to Stanton. Current CEO of Operation Breakthrough, Mary Esselman, spoke to the over 15 years of service and contributions Stanton has given to the foundation. “She has devoted so many hours, years of her life here because she believes in the potential of our children and wants them to succeed,” Esselman said. “She wants no recognition, but she has been critically important to keeping Operation Breakthrough’s doors open to the children who need us most.” Stanton continues to calm communities in times of change, try new and bigger positions and learn from others. As she works to help companies and foundations move forward, she continues to make Kansas City a better place. Beginning as a student at Sion and now continuing her involvement, she is not only making new memories, but leaving her footprint here as an amazing woman and leader. “At a time of life when most people are hoping to slow down a little, travel, play some golf, Susan has stepped up to lead over and over again in Kansas City when nonprofit organizations have needed her help,” Esselman said. “How many people would take on such intense work when they could be relaxing? Susan is one of a kind. And Kansas City is a better place because she is here.”
SPORTS IN BRIEF
IRISH CUP PREVIEW
DANCE TEAM STATE
WIN FOR KC LUNCH
Swim and dive soundly defeated St. Teresa’s Academy Jan. 24 with a final score of 112-74 during the senior night meet. Six senior swimmers, two senior divers and one manager were honored, including senior swimmer and co-captain Ellie Magsamen. “Senior night was really sentimental because as a freshman and sophomore I looked up to the seniors on the team. And now I’m in the same position they were,” Magsamen said. “The season went by so fast.” (Photo by Ava Rawson)
The Varsity Basketball team will play St. Teresa’s Academy in the annual Irish Cup game Feb. 22 at Rockhurst University due to renovations at STA. Sion currently holds the cup for their victory over the Stars last season. This will be the last time the six senior players, including cocaptain Mariah Lynn will compete in the rivalry game. “We are definitely motivated to keep the cup and it will be different this year playing in a neutral gym,” Lynn said. (Photo by Paige Ritter)
Dance team will travel to St. Louis to participate in the annual State competition Feb. 24. The team currently holds the State title for nine years in a row. Senior and co-captain Mary Evans is pictured above performing the team’s kick routine during senior night Jan. 22. “We always hope that we continue our streak of State titles but we really focus on ending our year on a good note with a performance that reflects our hard work,” Evans said. (Photo by Paige Ritter)
Freshmen Megan Propeck, Lia Johnson and Caroline Giocondo and sophomores Barbara Mae King and Helen Willis were recognized at the Win For KC banquet for all State Champions Feb. 7 at the Kansas City Convention Center. Bronze medalist fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad spoke at the luncheon. Junior Gretta Allen and senior Chigozie Okuagu also attended and spoke with Muhammad. “I was super excited to meet [her] and learn about her story,” Allen said. (Photo by Gretta Allen)
STORM SCHEDULE *FEB 15-16 SWIM AND DIVE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP ST. PETER’S REC-PLEX ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
*FEB 23 SION OLYMPICS
*FEB 26 FIRST DAY OF SPRING SPORTS TRYOUTS
*FEB 27- MAR 3 VARSITY BASKETBALL DISTRICT TOURNAMENT CENTER HIGH SCHOOL
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Carr-ving Her Way
“I love skating so much because there’s a lot of bad days,” Carr said, “yet you keep going back because the good ones make you feel so happy and make it all worth it.” Carr practices skating every day of the BY MADISEN HANE week except for Sunday at KC Ice Center in CO-PHOTO EDITOR Shawnee. Many days she practices early in the It is still dark outside and junior Maggie morning before school as well as after school. Carr is on the ice, spinning, jumping and “Sometimes it can be hard to fit in gliding. She weaves between nearly a dozen practices depending on how much homework I other skaters before expertly skidding to a halt have,” Carr said. “Although now my routine has next to her coach. Soft, classical music plays become more of a second nature.” from speakers overhead and she effortlessly Carr also receives support and motivation pushes off of the wall to the middle of the rink to continue her routine from her parents. to begin her routine. As a competitive figure “Maggie has always been so happy figure skater, this is her practice time to perfect her skating that it makes it so enjoyable for me sport. to watch her on the ice,” Carr’s mother, Katie While living in Kansas City when she Carr, said. “U.S. Figure Skating’s motto is ‘Get was young, Carr frequently asked her mother Up’. That is what Maggie has always done on the to take her ice skating at the outdoor rink in ice—gotten up and kept trying.” Crown Center. Spending so much time skating has meant However, her devotion to the sport really that Carr has formed relationships with her began when her family relocated to Toronto, coaches that she works with. Ontario in 2006. “While Maggie is very dedicated to “I was 5 years old and I started taking her sport of figure skating, she is also a well lessons right away,” Carr said. “Skating is so rounded individual,” Wendy David, Carr’s accessible and common in Canada.” coach said. Over the past 11 years, Carr has worked Despite attending multiple practices a her way through group classes and day and bearing the workload as a result, Carr private lessons to achieve the level of continues to skate and rise in national rankings. skill that she performs at today. She “Skating teaches you a lot about selfnow ranks in the top 3 percent of discipline and work ethic,” Carr said. “I’ve (Photo by Madisen Hane) all figure skaters in the United States. grown as a person because of it.”
Junior Maggie Carr has developed a passion for skating that has taken her to the top of national rankings.
Cheer Performs in National Competition Cheer performed with a record number of seniors and attended Nationals for the third year in a row in Dallas, Texas. BY MELISSA KOPPERS REPORTER
Four thousand high school girls flocked into the dark arena with the music blaring. All they are waiting for was the results from their performances at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Cheer competed in several categories this year at nationals Jan. 27 and 28, improving in many aspects from last year, according to Cheer Coach Lisa Lauck. “It’s stress free because we don’t have to perform anymore but we’re always anxious to hear the results,” senior Angela Sandoval said. The team placed fifth in Time Out dance, third in Advanced Non-Tumbling, eighth place in Fight song and 10th place in the Time Out cheer, according to Lauck. “Our scores in all three of our Game Time categories increased by four to five points over last year,” Lauck said, “and we increased our technical scores in all nine categories from preliminaries throughout finals in our Advanced Non Tumbling
performance.” Game time includes three categories: Time Out cheer, Time Out dance and a Fight Song, according to Lauck. Since cheer does not have their own fight song, they used the Kansas State fight song. “Our goal first and foremost is self and team improvement,” Lauck said, “and we certainly achieved it.” This year, cheer competed in Advanced Non-Tumbling, which means that the team can compete in any level stunts that they want without tumbling. Other events that they competed in were Time Out dance. “My favorite performance is the Pom dance because it’s full of energy and so fun to do,” senior cheerleader Gabi Atchity said. “Every time we perform it gets better and everyone enjoys it more.” Looking ahead to next year, freshman Jane Oltjen already has a plan. “My goals for next year are to hit zero deductions with my team and improve my skills.”
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT Senior Gabi Atchity, center, smiles while performing their “Fight Song” Nationals routine at the cheer showcase Jan. 24. (Photo by Kelly Nugent)
Zero deductions means the team has no stunt bobbles, falls or tumbling touchdowns and that the girls precisely hit everything in the routine, according to Oltjen. Though this goal was not achieved at this year’s competition, it was still a sentimental one for Lauck. “These seniors are my first group that I had all four years which makes them very special,” Lauck said. “I will certainly miss their diverse and amazing personalities, talents and leadership.”
Basketball Game Doubles as Fundraiser and Senior Celebration The varsity basketball game against St. James Academy Jan. 22 served as a celebration for 16 cheer and dance seniors as well as a fundraising opportunity. BY OLIVIA DOPHEIDE WEB MANAGING EDITOR
The varsity basketball game against St. James Academy Jan. 22 had a slightly longer introduction than normal. Sixteen seniors between the cheer and dance teams were honored before the start of the basketball game for their participation and leadership. Also that night, juniors Kaitlin Jones and Kendall Rogers continued their campaign to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Setting up a booth in the New Grande Salle, they encouraged people to donate to add on to their $300 total raised from their previous pancake and waffle breakfast. Jones and Rogers both have personal connections to the society and wanted to raise money through a student competition to hopefully win scholarships. “I chose [the society] because I had a cousin who died of it when I was
younger and Kaitlin had a family member that died of it as well,” Rogers said. The joint senior nights also served as unofficial send offs for each team to their respective Nationals. Cheer traveled to Dallas, Texas Jan. 26 to compete in the National Cheerleading Association Nationals. Eleven seniors on cheer play roles in the leadership aspect during competitions, summer camp and throughout the season, according to Physical Education teacher and Cheer Coach Lisa Lauck. “Honestly with that many seniors you can have a conflict because there are so many with so many ideas but they work really well together,” Lauck said. “They know each other and are so comfortable with each other that they just mesh.” The senior celebration for dance team was similarly bittersweet, according to senior officer Livy Wood. The team debuted their kick routine to a remix to the song “Message in a Bottle” by The Police. They also won fifth place with this routine at Nationals in Orlando, Florida Feb. 3-4. This was the only time the five graduating seniors would perform kick in the home gym this year. “We got such a good response from our performance and we all genuinely felt like that was the best we’ve ever performed this routine,” Wood said. LAST HURRAH (left) Senior Angela Sandoval walks to mid court, escorted by her parents Angel and Maria Sandoval, as she’s announced during senior night Jan. 23. Sandoval has been on cheer all four years. (Photo by Paige Ritter) HIGH TO THE SKY (far left) Juniors Megan Broomfield and Chandler Rawson and senior Mary Evans perform a new kick routine during halftime of the varsity basketball game against St. James Academy Jan. 23. (Photo by Paige Ritter)
FINDING NEW FORMS Junior Sarah White’s adventurous and dedicated spirit has allowed her to discover a new passion for aerial silks and create a new medium for music and artistry. BY EMMA MILLER REPORTER
D “PIANO AND SILKS BOTH REQUIRE A LOT OF WORK BEING DONE, BUT THE OUTCOME IS REALLY BEAUTIFUL.” - JUNIOR SARAH WHITE
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etermined students and instructors fill the studio. Though smaller than an average gymnasium and tucked away behind Bravo in Town Center, Lucia Aerial Performing Arts has become a home to those who want to test their limits and see the ground from a new perspective. For junior Sarah White, Lucia has become a place for her to try new things and discover a new passion. White scaled the suspended fabric with grace and ease. Her next move transformed her figure into an artful shape in the air while still keeping hold of the silk material. White pointed her toes and exerted the strength and flexibility the poses demand, one would never guess White has been practicing this art for less than a year. “I have a friend who is really talented, and I saw her do silks,” White said. “I wanted to try it, so I just went with a group of friends, and we tried a trial class. I just really liked it from then on.” White went with a friend who introduced her to aerial silks in May of last year and since then has attended a class every week to improve her strength and flexibility. “I was really intimidated for the first class, I thought that it would be really hard core,” White said. White found a love for the aerial silks at Lucia. The allure of the art was its challenge and grace. “I really like the challenge.” White said. “It’s really a workout, and I like how it’s unique and it’s really cool to seem like Cirque du Soleil.” White is no stranger to hard work. She has played the piano for 7 years and earned many distinctions for her talent. “She got a one at Districts and then a two at State,” visual and performing arts teacher Elizabeth Mulkey said. “I’ve always been super impressed by how much practice
time she puts in because you can tell.” Hearing White play at Masses and school concerts indicates her talent and discipline to the art. “Last year I gave her a ton of music and was always prepared and always looked at it and always worked hard,” Mulkey said. “So in that sense she’s just super impressive.” White balanced practicing piano with classes and conditioning sessions to build endurace. Aerial silks requires training and patience to develop flexibility and strength. “The flexibility makes it look prettier,” White said. “I definitely want to try some new drops and just improve my form.” Gymnastics was a big part of White’s early life, she participated in the sport requiring similar focus and dedication for six years, until she was 11. “I really missed gymnastics when I quit,” White said. “I think aerial silks is kind of like gymnastics but it’s more fun and unique to me.” Past gymnastics experience has aided White in her new endeavor as well as her love and dedication to the arts through music. “She’s had a little gymnastics background, but this is a really difficult skill to learn and she just jumped right in and tried her hardest and she is getting really good,” junior Sam Wilson said. Wilson attended aerial silks classes with White before refocusing her time on dance and has witnessed White’s expanding interests and improvement in the arts. “To see her branch out into more of a movement art form was kind of interesting, and I know that she picked it up pretty quick,” Wilson said. “She has that artistic nuance it takes to do stuff like that.” White is now in Level Two which focuses on conditioning and form. Lucia offers three different levels along with a Master Class.
In addition to practices at White’s current level is the creation of choreographing routines to music, causing more creativity to be involved with the workouts. “Every other Thursday we do music plays, so the teacher will play a song and we have to make a short little sequence,” White said. While strength and form is important to be able to grasp the silk and lift oneself, flexibility is an important aspect of the art. White has noticed improvement in both her strength and flexibility. “It’s a lot easier to lift myself up just with my arms,” White said. “I’m more flexible than I was when I started, but I still can’t do the splits.” Lucia has not only become a place to challenge White and teach her new aerial skills, the community there makes her experience even more enjoyable. “It’s really fun,” White said. “The instructors from other classes will come and talk to you about random things.” White has found a new community and way to use the arts for both expression and enjoyment. “Piano and silks both require a lot of work being done, but the outcome is really beautiful,” White said.
rebecca splits arabesque
pagoda drop egg roll
STRETCH IT OUT Junior Sarah White said her flexibility has improved with aerial silks as she works on the skill of doing the splits in the air. (Photos by Emma Miller)
A Spin on the South The newer, southern fried chicken restaurant Gus’s joins the classic Stroud’s and RC’s, giving Kansas City multiple great options for fried chicken. BY CATHERINE FRERKER SPORTS EDITOR
The most talked about restaurants are often new and trendy. They sell an atmosphere and aesthetic more than just food. But when it comes to good food, Kansas City has much more to offer. Although the city is best known for its barbecue, fried chicken is another staple that both reflects the city’s southern influences and offers a nice change from the long list of bland restaurants that offer nothing but a cold, overused aesthetic. Three of the best places in Kansas City for fried chicken are Stroud’s, RC’s, and Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, in that order. Stroud’s and RC’s are wellestablished chicken joints on the Kansas City food scene. They’re local and have existed for decades. Their food is strikingly similar– each chicken meal consists of fried chicken, soup or salad and choice of potatoes STROUD’S and green beans, all served family style. The difference in the actual taste of the food is almost indistinguishable, and while it’s not perfect, it’s hard to find better comfort food anywhere else. The atmosphere is what sets Stroud’s apart from RC’s. Checkered tablecloths, friendly service, family style dining and a bustling crowd creates a warm and inviting experience. RC’s also has friendly service and food served family style, but the tables and walls are mostly bare and the restaurant is divided into smaller rooms, producing a quieter, more secluded feel. It’s not unpleasant, but the overall vibe isn’t as warm as one would expect at a fried chicken restaurant. Both Stroud’s and RC’s are most renowned for their crispy, juicy fried chicken. The biscuit and RC’S gravy at RC’s is buttery and delicious, and the cinnamon rolls at Stroud’s are the perfect combination of cinnamon, sugar and bread. The
other sides are average at both restaurants– the green beans seem to come from the can and the fries and mashed potatoes have minimal flavor. Stroud’s and RC’s fried chicken lacks flavor in comparison to the fiery spices of chicken from Gus’s. Gus’s is a chain hailing from Tennessee that expanded to Kansas City in 2016. The atmosphere is definitely southern– country blues and jazz mix with the checkered tablecloths wooden chairs, to create a truly unique atmosphere. Unique dishes like fried okra and chess pie, which is a southern dessert made with eggs, sugar, butter and flour, add to the southern feel. The sides at Gus’s, like at Stroud’s and RC’s, are nothing special– the lukewarm beans, coleslaw and white bread lack unique flavor. The shining star of each of these restaurants is the chicken, and the other food, while not bad, is not exceptional either. For a more casual chain, Gus’s gives Stroud’s and RC’s an impressive run for their money. The total cost of a meal is much lower, though the serving size is also smaller. The atmosphere is unique, the food tastes great and the servers are friendly, but GUS’S it still can’t compare to Stroud’s and RC’s. The family-style dining, huge portion sizes and friendly atmospheres of the other two more traditional restaurants create a warmer and more satisfying overall experience than Gus’s. Gus’s, located on 47th Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas, is a great place to stop for a casual bite to eat. It’s much less expensive—the least costly plate is $6.95—and the food tastes spicy and unique. Stroud’s is located on 135th Street in Overland Park and on Shawnee Mission Parkway in Fairway. It also caters. RC’s stands on 135th Street in Martin City. Both Stroud’s and RC’s are more expensive, but customers are paying for the full dining experience as well as some of the best chicken around. At Stroud’s entrées range in price from $12.95 to $28.95, and at RC’s from $10.99 to $29.99. Their menus are more expansive than Gus’s, offering salad and sandwich options. Overall, Stroud’s, Gus’s and RC’s are all great restaurants that everyone should visit at some point. The difference in quality from restaurant to restaurant is minute, and each promises a satisfying experience.
LOCATION // 8301 W 135th St. Overland Park, KS 66223 OR 4200 Shawnee Mission Pkwy Fairway, KS 66205 PRICE // $18.95 for a leg, wing, thigh and breast RATING //
LOCATION // 330 E 135th St Kansas City, MO 64145 PRICE // $15.99 for a leg, wing, thigh and breast RATING //
LOCATION // 2816 47th Ave Kansas City, KS 66103 PRICE // $13.45 for a leg, wing, thigh and breast RATING //
NEON LIGHTS Bright signs show the way to Stroud’s, RC’s and Gus’s, where each piece of fried chicken is cooked in a unique way. (Photos by Catherine Frerker)
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JT Highlights: Before the Bowl Timberlake shared the spotlight with celebrities like Britney Spears, Ryan Gosling and more on Mickey Mouse Club in 1993.
From 1994 to 2002, Timberlake was in the popular boyband *NSYNC. The group later performed reunited in 2013 at the MTV Video Music Awards.
In 2010, Timberlake played Napster creator Sean Parker in the movie “The Social Network.”
In 2013 after a seven year hiatus, Timbelake dropped a 10-song album that later took home one People’s Choice award, two Billboard awards and an American Music award.
Timberlake was named GQ’s Hashtag of the 2013 due to his performance at the White House, new album, role movies and viral videos with Jimmy Fallon.
Timberlake’s Change Challenge Justin Timberlake’s album “Man of the Woods” has an unorganized flow that makes it hard to listen too. BY ANNIE SCHORGL REPORTER
From the Mickey Mouse Club to *NSYNC to becoming a solo artist in the early 2000s, Justin Timberlake is one of the biggest music phenomenons of the 21st century. However, in his latest album “Man of the Woods,” Timberlake tried something new with his music which turned out not to appealing. In the past, Timberlake has shone in his music. However in this album, Timberlake puts more of an emphasis on techno aspects, showcasing little of his singing voice. Timberlake has had an undeniable singing talent since he was little, so why all of a sudden is he changing up his whole persona? If a music artist came up with the same sounding music all the time,
it would get quite boring. But, there are some artists who have taken that idea to the extreme, which Timberlake is doing. In the song “Filthy,” the beginning is a lot of random noises the listener cannot vibe with easily. “Filthy” is considered an “electro pop” route, which is completely different from what he has done in the past. Despite this, the song reached number one on the U.S. Billboard charts and number five on the Canadian charts. But the song is really a mess and does not have any flow nor really a grove. It is not easy listening, and not even something listeners could really dance to either. The second song that was released, “Supplies,” is almost identical to “Filthy” in its musical qualities. It is really hard to sing to, and the lyrics do not really make much sense. Similar to “Filthy,” the song has no flow at all and really no musical or lyrical purpose to it. It doesn’t relate to listeners, it does not send a message and it really is not something to dance too. This
AXE-pert in Training New axe throwing place in the West Bottoms should be the new craze. BY PHYLICIA BARNER-LEWIS REPORTER
Neighboring haunted houses Chambers of Edgar Allan Poe and Edge of Hell on Mulberry Street, Blade and Timber just popped up two months ago. This establishment makes axe throwing competitive and casual. Wednesday through Sunday, anyone with $20 and the need of a new hobby should head up north and learn to throw axes. Welcomed with a smile, the smell of wood and visitors in flannels, the environment adds a homelike log cabin feel. Be ready to present a picture of the completed online waiver, or do it at the front desk of the venue. After just a short time, patrons are lead to a throwing lane and given a quick 10 minute lesson and instructions about technique. With both hands on the handle of the axe, thumbs should face up “like golf,” lean back and the throw should be felt the core. After bouncing the axe off the target a few times and finding the sweet spot in the lane to toss, the axe will finally begin to cut into the board. On the tables in front of the targets, Blade and Timber offers sheets of different games to play while throwing. Visitors can play Cricket, where the goal is to hit each circle of the target three times. Another popular game is BLADE, which is played like the basketball game HORSE, but with axes.
Throwing axes at Blade and Timber does not require much. They ask that attendees wear closed toed shoes and, due to legal reasons, customers may not bring their own axe. They allow outside food and drinks, but also offer snacks and beverages such as chips, salsa, popcorn, water and soda in the building. Afterwards, head across the building to take four cute photo booth pictures that will be put together to make a gif with great lighting, axe props and a lumberjack beard. The Blade and Timber experience is great for people who are competitive and willing to take a little time to learn something new. Buy a gift card, throw a party, or join a league. Everyone should throw at least one axe in their life.
is honestly the worst song on the whole album. Whoever wrote this is definitely not a lyrical genius. Even the chorus doesn’t really have a meaning. Also, whoever wrote the song, which is unknown at this point, did not do a very good job. The first lyrics to the song are “Ain’t no need of stopping, girl, yeah, there ain’t no need of stopping, girl yeah, okay.” The third-released song “Say Something,” took quite the country turn. It is really quite unusual how he would do this 360 turn, because the first two songs released were so techno. The song features country singer Chris Stapleton. The song again, does not showcase what Timberlake is really good at—pop music. The question is, why is Timberlake doing other genres, and not sticking with his usual sound that has always been successful for him? The album was released Feb. 2 on iTunes, Spotify and in stores. The price of the album on iTunes is listed as $12.99.
Q&A with General Manager of Blade and Timber Zach Watkins Where did the idea come from? We saw something similar up north. Is this a KC establishment only or are there other locations? If not, is there a plan to expand and make this a chain? We are a KC only establishment as of right now. We are working on an expansion plan right now. How do you personally feel about axe throwing? I thoroughly enjoy axe throwing and so do all of my employees. One of my biggest indicators for success was when all our employees started bribing their friends and family to throw, not just me. What reasons would you give for people to try axe throwing? I would say people should try it because it is something new to learn, is usually a fear you can overcome and because it is really satisfying to learn. What are some tips to axe throwing? You always want to start out throwing with two hands and only one full rotation at a time! Make sure you keep it straight over head and release at eye level. TARGET PRACTICE At Blade and Timber, 10 lanes with targets at the end fill the building. Taking a beating from every throw, the targets are often replaced throughout the day depending on business. (Photo by Phylicia Barner-Lewis)
VALENTINE’S DAY Valentine’s Day comes at a time of long gone New Year’s resolutions and a case of the second semester slumps. But here are some activities to ensure that this year’s Valentine’s Day does not go overlooked. BY AVA RAWSON REPORTER
For the tech savvy valentine, think about using a coloring app on your phone. Coloring is an easy way to reduce stress. Having a free coloring app like Colorfy or Sandbox on your portable device allows you to take your weapon of mass de-stressing anywhere. With adult coloring books trending and all the rage there is no reason we can’t have this throwback on our phones as well. Coloring apps are a super easy way to have fun with art without having to buying the necessary paints and materials needed for coloring in the real world. Having the app allows for easy sharing of your masterpieces with friends for potential Valentine’s Day messages.
DATE IDEAS THAT ARE RIGHT UP YOUR ALLEY
There is never a bad time for bowling. Seize this opportunity to have a cost effective chance to hurl a sphere representation of your love towards 10 perfectly upright pins just begging to be knocked down. Going bowling has a number of advantages as it is an activity for every level of interaction. Bowling is a great first date option too. It is a group setting in a kind of dark place, but not as dark as a movie theater where you also wouldn’t be able to talk. There are no such restrictions at a bowling alley. Bowling is a perfect fun filled evening for both friends and special friends alike so why The most important person on any given day of your year is you. not head to the local bowling alley this This Valentine’s Day is perfect for giving yourself some Valentine’s Day? much deserved time off. So besides chanting “you are worth it into the mirror,” try some opulent themed me-time activities. Show yourself you care by trying some beauty DIYs, like a Sephora $6 face mask. Then spend time making a playlist filled with songs that genuinely makes you happy and then listen to it while taking a bubble bath with an $8.95 LUSH bath bomb. And for the icing on the cake, top the night off with some sleep which we could all get a little more of.
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GALENTINE’S DAY Show your appreciation for your gal pals with a Parks and Rec. themed party. Galentine’s day is officially Feb. 13 but can easily spill over onto Valentines Day. In Leslie Knope’s own hallowed words Galentine’s Day is “Only the best day of the year. Every Feb. 13, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies.” Celebrate Galentine’s Day by kicking off the night with the Parks and Rec. Galentine’s Day Episode (Season two, episode 16) and then everyone picks their favorite episode after that. A Parks and Rec. marathon is the perfect bonding opportunity between friends, and if someone doesn’t have a favorite episode or hasn’t seen Parks and Rec. before then the only option is for you to watch them all!
TI O N ECREA PAR R D KS AN
FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD Whether it be sharing a meal, breaking bread or just a late night
LIKE A LOVE SONG CHECK OUT LE JOURNAL STAFF’S FAVORITE LOVE SONGS PLAYLIST ON LEJOURNALLIVE.COM
LOVE THE EARTH
If anything is deserving of some love, it’s the planet. Show our beautiful Earth it is not just some rock floating through space, it’s our rock floating through space. This can easily be achieved a number of ways, but for Valentine’s Day consider buying a small indoor plant that goes with your rooms #Aesthetic. Every time you go to water the plant say something that you are thankful for. Should a person be your special someone and not the planet, consider a date spent out appreciating nature or being eco-conscious when gifting. Think vegan free-trade chocolates, or a heart shaped birdseed feeder.
snack, Valentine’s Day is a is a great way to treat yourself to a favorite dish or two. Dreams of decadent chocolate can be actualized this holiday season, especially with Russel Stover in such close proximity. This holiday, falling just before the ides of February, is the perfect opportunity to go beyond Valentine’s Day chocolatey reputation with other love inspired meals. Such as a heartshaped pizza which can be found at Minsky’s Pizza. Order this heartshaped, medium pizza with two of your favorite toppings for $15.67 Feb. 13 through 15. Remember, you are what you eat, so this Valentine’s Day eat something that makes you feel like a million bucks.
1. 1. HAPPILY EVER AFTER At the end of the song “10 minutes ago,” sophomore Avery Kuhls and Rockhurst junior Sheridan Mirador finish the waltz in “Cinderella.” “After this scene I was super relieved because I just finished the waltz and I got every step down,” Kuhls said. (Photo by Phylicia Barner-Lewis)
2. MOTHER KNOWS BEST
Looking out into the crowd, junior Jordan Harrison sings “Boys and Girls” as the prince’s mother in “Cinderalla.” “I liked how mature my character could be played out and how she is the one controlling everything behind the scenes,” Harrison said. (Photo by Lanie Jones)
3. MAJOR MELTDOWN As one of Cinderella’s step-sister, junior Elizabeth Ericson screams as she notices there are mice running around her kitchen. “Grace was a dream role for me, so I loved being able to bring that character to life,” Ericson said. (Photo by Phylicia BarnerLewis)
4. FAMILY TIES Singing “Lovely Night,” juniors Tess Prusa, Elizabeth Ericson, and sophomores Avery Kuhls and Maya Bair come together to reminisce about the night at the ball. “Normally we would be yelling at Cinderella but in this scene I got to dance and sing with her and I loved that,” Prusa said. (Photo by Lanie Jones)
5. PERFECT PUPPETEERS
While puppeteering the mice, sophomores Erika Sesler, Cara Hiatt, Lilly Denning and Payton Wade join in singing “Lovely Night.” “At first we didn’t know how the puppets were going to work on stage,” Hiatt said. “But once we figured everything out we had a lot of fun getting into it.” (Photo by Lanie Jones)
28 FEBRUARY 2018