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THE

PATRIOT Shawnee Mission South March/ 2012

Grinding Gears/ 06 Just My Luck/ 08 Homegrown/ 18

Volume/ 46

Issue/ 06


APR

CONTENTS 18 12 18 12 11 11

CONTRIBUTORS: Editor-in-Chief Ads Design Shelby Johnson A&E Writers Alma Velazquez Trivette Knowles Managing Editor Rachel Rosenstock Griffin Zeller Sports Derek Fuhrmann Casey Lee Miguel Palomino News Garrett Mould Olivia Feathers Luke Holland Opinions Calvin Freeman Adam Mateos Nathan Thimmesch Features Hanan El Shoubaki Hannah Strader Photographers Trevor Gariety Photos Julia Larberg Grace Pritchett Brooke Holmes Web Web Staff Hunter Young Alan Cordry Aaron Whatley Cartoonist Claire Thomas Adviser Julie Fales

On the Cover:

PHOTO BY / TREVOR GARIETY

Junior Ian Roberts tries to clear the ball while playing against the Olathe club.

News /04

Current happenings in and out of school

To Tweet or Not To Tweet /06

20 19 16 / Reviews

Staff reviews recent movies, music and influences of fairy tales on the media

18 / Musically Magic

Staff writer talks about the people behind anonymous twitters

The famous Harry Potter series comes to South in a musical way

Staff writer encourages readers to take care of the earth every day

A glimpse at the new book and movie series that is sweeping the nation

Tree-ting The Earth Well /07 Debate /08

Staff writers debate whether or not we should have a prom court

Tech Attack /09

The editorial staff discuss the effects of technology on society

The Hunted /10

Students talk about the lesser known hobby of hunting

A Different Type of Family /11 South teachers tell their first-hand accounts with adopting children

Tech-knowledge-y /14

How teachers incorporate technology into their curriculum

Blame It On The Ban /15

19 / Let The Games Begin

20 / Lax Bros

The lacrosse team strives to change their former reputation

21 / The P.E. Pros

An inside look at the competitive nature of Team Games

22 / Work Together, Play Together A behind the scenes take at what teams do outside of the game

23 / Sports Briefs What’s going on with SMS athletic scene this spring

24 / Spotlight

Senior performs track rap at spring sports assembly

Revisiting the reasons certain sites are inaccessible at school TOC /APRIL 2012/ 03


MAR

CONTENTS 12

19

1812 CONTRIBUTORS: Editor-in-Chief Ads Design Shelby Johnson A&E Writers Alma Velazquez Trivette Knowles Managing Editor Rachel Rosenstock Griffin Zeller Sports Derek Fuhrmann Casey Lee Miguel Palomino News Garrett Mould Olivia Feathers Luke Holland Opinions Calvin Freeman Adam Mateos Nathan Thimmesch Features Hanan El Shoubaki Hannah Strader Photographers Trevor Gariety Photos Julia Larberg Grace Pritchett Brooke Holmes Web Web Staff Hunter Young Alan Cordry Aaron Whatley Cartoonist Claire Thomas Adviser Julie Fales THE

PATRIOT Shawnee Mission South February/ 2012 Volume/ 46 Issue/ 05

On the Cover:

Students cheer on the Raiders at the basketball game PHOTO BY / CASEY LEE against East Feb. 24. The game’s theme was White Trash. Awarding the Alums/ 05 Just Friends?/ 08

Behind the Label/ 11

News /04

Current happenings in and out of school

Dirty Dancing /06

The recent dance behavior and how it affects future dances

Dancing in the Rain /07 Staff writer shares an eyeopening experience

Debate /08

Students discuss whether or not luck really exists

Leave Room For Decency /09

The editorial staff addresses students’ behavior at WPA

We Killed The Radio Star /10

15 /Web Wonders

An analysis of the influence of today’s most popular sites

16 /Reviews

Recent movies and music, as well as student Oscar picks

18 /Talk of the Town

A guide for those who are staying in town for spring break

19 /The Fighter

Senior reflects on his last wrestling season

20 /Colorful Language

Staff writer discusses the benefits of trash talk in the world of sports

21 /Putting It All Together

Staff writer expresses distaste for this generation’s hit music

A look into what it takes to be a sports coach

Behind the Bleachers /11

22 /Winter Sports Wrap Up

A behind-the-scenes look at how assemblies are made

A look at how South did with winter sports

Stopping Traffic /12

Students reflect on the downsides of teen driving

Getting Creative /14

Senior shares his passion for the written language

23 /Spring Preview

A preview of what’s to come in spring for sports

24 /Spotlight

Cheerleaders perform a festive cheer at the Sweetheart assembly TOC /MARCH 2012/ 03


Senior wins title of Miss Kansas Teen America

BY /HANAN EL SHOUBAKI he audience enjoys the opening number of a pageant show while the girls wait backstage, anticipating the nerve racking moment when they’ll sit in a room with four judges, each one able to ask any question they desire. It could be about personal life, it could be about opinions on certain politics, or they might just ask for a joke. This was just one of the challenges contestants faced at the Miss Kansas Teen America pageant. Last October, senior Mikaela Carson was awarded the title of Miss Kansas Teen America after competing in pageants for about a year. “I was approached after I did a charity fashion show with the Natalie M. Foundation,” Carson said. It was the scholarship opportunities that convinced Carson to begin competing in pageants. “Just by being in the [USA] pageant you get a certain amount of scholarship,” Carson said. “As you go up in the rankings, you get a bigger scholarship. Winner gets a full ride.” Besides scholarship money, Carson said that it was also fun to play dress up and embrace her inner little girl. After being crowned, her new title provided her with connections and opportunities that were not open to her before. “It’s been a chance for me to kick start my anti-bullying program,” Carson said. “That’s something that I’ve wanted to start for years, but I didn’t really have the people skills or the mouthpiece to be able to take it places.” As a pageant title holder, Carson said she was required to have a platform with a cause that she supported. “I noticed that there didn’t seem to be any active [anti-bullying] programs in schools, or at least none that went to speak directly to the students,” Carson said. “I thought I’d provide my own. So, I started just by typing up a pledge that I could take to schools, working on a speech, contacting local schools and asking if they would allow me to come speak to their students.” Through the pageant, Carson has met with the commissioner of education and the governor of Kansas in order to implement the program into more schools. She has visited about six schools so far, including Indian Woods Middle school, where she gave a speech followed by a Q & A. Afterwards, students got to sign pledges that would be posted in the hallways, both as a reminder and as a reassurance that they are not alone. Carson’s goal is to speak to every middle school in the Shawnee Mission District by the end of the academic year. As her responsibilities stack up, Carson says it has only helped her transform into a young woman. “I’ve gotten a lot better at organizing and coordinating my personal life because I have to,” Carson said. “There are so many more responsibilities that I have now and I feel like I’ve kind of grown up as a person since then because I’ve had to take on all these responsibilities.” With her new title, Carson must fulfill certain duties such as being a representative of the Teen America organization by making public appearances and doing philanthropic work. Next month, she will be going to the national Miss Teen America pageant in Nashville, Tennessee. “I’ve had such a great experience with my Teen title. I would love to continue it as I get older,” Carson said. “Maybe Carson visits Dorothy Moody elementary not forever, but just for a little while.”

Kansas Queen

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Speaking Up

PHOTOS COURTESY OF /LISA CARSON

Forensics team reflects on the progress of their season BY /GRIFFIN ZELLER he fear of public speaking tops many lists of phobia surveys, but don’t expect to find any glossophobics in Room 362. Instead, over 50 students who participate in the forensics program can be found intentionally practicing to speak in front of a group. Forensics is a form of competitive speaking where students choose a piece of writing and present it in front of a judge. If the contestants do well, they present the piece in front of three judges in the final rounds. Events range from the theatrical like Duet Acting, to political events like Senate Student Congress. In a recent forensics tournament, freshman Riley Brennan won first place in Poetry, Dara McGreal won first place in Senate and sixth place in Extemporaneous

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04 /MARCH 2012/ NEWS

Speaking, and the duo of Keith Monaghan and Mason Owen won third place in Public Forum Debate. “Everyone is working really hard and trying really hard, and the hard work is really paying off with a lot of top ten finishes,” Mason Owen said. One change the forensics team is adapting to this year is a new coach. “Being a new coach this year has been stressful, overwhelming, and exciting all at the same time, and it’s been great,” Coach Natalie Ashley said. Owen, a returning member is proud of the team’s performance so far. “The performance this year has been pretty good so far, and I know me and Keith have placed at some highly competitive tournaments,” he said.

To prepare for the meets, forensics members first need to choose a topic. Next they have to write a paper and rehearse in front of the class. Once they finalize their piece, they have to memorize it to perfection for the next meet. According to freshman Tionna Allen, despite preparation, the meets are hectic. “They are so long and tiring, and very chaotic. When it is your turn though, it just happens really fast,” Allen said. In addition to hosting a meet the weekend of Feb. 24, the forensics team hopes for successful outcomes at the meets they will compete in the weekend of April 13 at Shawnee Mission East and the state competition at Olathe Northwest May 5.


Team members introduced at the Sweetheart Assembly

Artistic Opportunities Students display work in annual Fashion show

BY /HANAN EL SHOUBAKI band begins to play an instrumental of The Raconteurs’s “Steady As She Goes,” a large crowd applauds, and an MC is heard announcing the start of the show. Girls walk down the runway in student made designs that vary from bright blue and pink feathers to dark Victorian inspired accessories to white aluminum flowers. This year, Shawnee Mission South students Tierra Meysenburg, Michelle Chan and Lauren Brannan participated in Shawnee Mission East’s Annual Fashion Show, a district wide fashion show open to middle school students and high school students to showcase their fashion designs encompassing a theme. As models walked down the runway, there were three judges present scoring each design. In the end, there was a total of $300 in cash prizes awarded to a variety of categories including Best Accessory, Best Styling, Best Altered Design, Best Original Design, Best 2D Artwork and Best 3D Artwork. The event was put together by Shawnee Mission East’s National Art Honors Society, with AP Studio Art and Photo teacher, Adam Finkelston, as their sponsor. “This will be the fifth year that we have it in a gallery downtown,” Finkelston said. It was held at the Studio B Gallery on First Friday, where on the first Friday of each month, the Crossroads Community’s art galleries, studios, and restaurants showcase local and national artists. The event allowed students to display their work to the art community with practicing artists and it also allowed the community to see what schools were doing with their art programs. “It gives students an experience at preparing and really going through the motions of what it takes to get your work together and out in public,” art teacher Jennifer Hudson said. Each year, there is an abstract theme chosen by Finkelston. This year’s theme was resonance, meaning the ability to evoke or suggest images, memories, and emotions. “There’s lots of ways that that word is used in context,” Finkelston said. Meysenburg and Chan worked as a team to design an outfit for Brannan to model. Their design incorporated many influences from the Victorian era. “We decided to go for Victorian modernism,” Chan said. In the end, their design resembled a combination

A AcaDozen Academic Decathalon team wins PHOTO BY /GRACE PRITCHETT

12th state championship

BY /RACHEL ROSENSTOCK he Academic Decathlon team brought home a state title this year, their 12th in a row. The team is made up of all grades, and the students are organized into three teams, Honors, Scholastic, and Varsity, that are organized according to the student’s current GPA. Anyone can join if they have the dedication to study and commit. “It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. And it takes a lot of dedication; you can’t just slack off. But overall you have to be willing to put in the effort and keep doing a good job,” senior Nathaniel Routh, a captain of the team, said. The top two scorers for each team go into the team total, which is then judged against the other competing teams. The points are scored out of 1,000 per category, and just this year they had a close win at state by just 1,200 points, or two categories. Each category is made up of a multiple-choice test, and there are other categories that include impromptu speech, essay, interview and an assigned book. “In AcaDec, an F is a good thing, a 500 is about average so you want to go for about a 600, 700 or even an 800,” senior Connor Crain, a captain, said. Among the categories the team-members study and compete for are art, music, economics, language, literature, math and history. Each year has a different topic, and this past year’s was “The Age of Empires.” The organization provides them with study materials and then the members study on their own and as a team. “The captain usually makes a study schedule to cut down the large amount of reading into more doable page numbers, like maybe five pages a night, break it down and [do] some practice tests to go along with the materials. We also do PowerPoints, where I have old ones that we use, plus students make new ones,” AcaDec sponsor Stan Stern said. Even though the captains, Routh and Crain, admit that studying can be intense for both them and other team members, as well as easy to put off till the last minute, each year they seem to pull it off. “You kind of get thrown in and you try to advise them on study habits that work. Repetition is key, you have to read stuff at least twice if you want to remember it. And also we try to give them certain amounts of time to study, and certain things to study,” Crain said. “You don’t want to study more than two hours a night if you’re just starting off or else your brain is going to get completely fried.” The studying has paid off, and this April the team will travel to nationals in Albuquerque, New Mexico to compete for three days. But next year can the team keep up the streak and make it 13 wins? “I think sometimes the kids feel pressure because they want to keep the streak going. It’s hard to do two things at the same time, trying to get people to do well and try to take the pressure off,” Stern said. “The best part of AcaDec is reading the material and learning so much.”

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Artwork contributed to the show by junior Maddie Fowler

of Victorian modernism mixed with elements found in Alice in Wonderland. While their fashion design was inspired by the Victorian era, other designs were inspired by things such as recycling and music. Juniors Maddie Fowler and Emily Jackson contributed pieces of their artwork to the show. They agreed that music influenced their artwork the most. Jackson made an effort to incorporate music into her piece, claiming that music was a big part of her life. Fowler on the other hand had played violin in the past, and incorporated a violin into her piece. “I pulled the strings off the violin in my picture because it’s like everlasting,” Fowler said. “Those strings go on forever.” Although the group only met a few times before the actual show, Finkelston said that by the time it was time to walk the runway, there was a sense of family between the contestants and the models. That close and friendly environment presented itself once it came to show time, and was easily felt among the audience. “It’s all about building community,” Finkelston said. “And that really, I think, is what happens with these shows.”

A design by Tierra Meysenburg was modeled by sophomore Lauren Brannan

Artwork contributed to the show by junior Emily Jackson PHOTOS BY /JULIA LARBERG NEWS /MARCH 2012/ 05


Dirty Dancing Administration initiates new set of rules due to dancing at WPA BY /DEREK FUHRMANN igh school administrators are beginning to crack down on inappropriate dance moves at school-sponsored dances. Although common, “grinding” has never been as popular as it is today. Recently, the WPA (Women Pay All) dance brought the administration’s attention to the issue of inappropriate dancing. Several witnesses had reported excessive levels of grinding and gyrating, leading the administration to take steps to try to prevent recurring acts. “There was a lot of vulgar dancing and it got to a level where it was very inappropriate,” science teacher Nicolas Deffer said. Students are being told to kindly leave these “simulated sex” acts outside the school setting. Some teachers worry about the image that such dancing may project towards the public. Those who attend the dance, whether it be students, chaperones, or other people involved, are subject to witnessing the acts performed by students. “The DJ told us that our students unfortunately took things to a level he had never seen before,” English teacher and STUCO sponsor Lindsey McFall said. The last thing that the faculty and administration want is for Shawnee Mission South to gain a negative reputation among the community. Taking this in stride, the administration has set new standards as to how students should dance. “We’re going to mention it at the assembly on March 29, and the bottom line is that if people’s dance moves reflect a sexual manner then they will be asked to leave,” Principal Joe Gilhaus said. There will be no frilly-titled rules such as the ‘face to face and leave some space’ rule or the ‘45-degree’ rule. The message that the administration and faculty want to send appears to be clear, if students don’t want to dance appropriately, they can leave. “What people do on their own time is up to them, but when they come to a school dance, there are certain behaviors that are acceptable. This isn’t Jersey Shore; Snooki isn’t a student here,” Gilhaus said. Some of the dance moves that were exhibited caused an uproar within the faculty. “There were girls in short dresses bending over and touching the floor,” McFall said. The Time Warp dance, held March 31, will feature music dating as far back as the 1960’s, which may eliminate the need to express oneself in a provocatively sexual manner. If a student is seen dancing inappropriately, the administration’s response will be cut and dry. “Our supervision at the dances will be as such: we’ll go up to students and if they cannot dance or act in an appropriate manner they’ll be asked to leave. If they want to argue, then the consequences will get greater,” Gilhaus said. Having graduated in 2004, Deffer reflects on why he thinks the overall culture of a dance has changed so greatly. “When I was in high school, the whole dance scene was different. I think that pop culture is a leading cause of these outbreaks of inappropriate dancing,” Deffer said. Future dances under this ‘new era’ will undoubtedly be different from those of years past. Whether or not the student body will play audience to one of Gilhaus’s spring hormone speeches remains to be seen. If a speech were to be delivered, it is presumable that the contents will in some way, shape or form relate to the matter of inappropriate dancing. Nonetheless, spring just isn’t spring without the speech. “There’s a lot of pressure on those speeches! I will do my best to find some time to put one together,” Gilhaus said. With Time Warp comes a blast to the past, but Gilhaus’s message to the student body is straight out of the ’90s. “I’m not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill and I’m not trying to shoot a fly with a shotgun. I’m just trying to say: come up, have fun, be young, drink Pepsi, and dance appropriately,” Gilhaus said.

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06 /MARCH 2012/ NEWS

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY /GRACE PRITCHETT


dancing through the

RAIN

Pacesetters share dance for a cause donations, empathy with Joplin dance studio BY /OLIVIA FEATHERS Miles of flat nothingness, homes torn to pieces, and huge parks of relief trailers for homeless refugees greeted the varsity dance team as we drove through Joplin, MO Jan. 28. Having these images stuck in our minds made the Pacesetter’s November Dance Marathon about much more than just a school spirit dance. There are moments in life where you look back on everything you have personally been through and are forced to think, “Wow. That was nothing.” Visiting Karen’s Dance Studio Inc. in Joplin about seven months after the devastating tornado that tore the town apart at its seams was one of those moments. The Pacesetters held their first annual dance marathon in November, and made the decision to donate half of all proceeds to Karen’s Dance Studio Inc., a studio that was completely destroyed in the tornado. This January, after a two hour drive, the team and I pulled into the parking lot and walked into a bright room decorated in purple and blue, the signature colors of Karen’s Dance Studio Inc. We were greeted by Karen’s daughter, Nicole Drouin, along with a few young dance students, and rounded the corner onto the dance floor, which was also a donation to the studio. Nicole gave us a little overview of the devastation in both the town and at the studio, and the horrific events that had taken place that May 22 became more real to all of us who hadn’t lived through it. To say the least, the stories we heard were heart-wrenching. The studio had lost their beloved owner, Karen, just a few months before the tornado hit, and had put on a tribute recital to her just one night before the tornado. There were dancers we met who were attending school at a renovated department store in the local mall, dancers who had lost parents, and dancers who had lost homes. The girl who we were able to scholarship with our donations, came to see us during our visit to the studio. She had lost her home in the tornado and had a new baby sister to help her mother support. As her mother thanked our team, tears welled up in her

eyes. When I saw her cry out of gratitude, I think the biggest question that I had that day came to my mind: How could someone who had lost everything they have manage to cry tears of happiness? I’ve danced my whole life, which is why I was so surprised that spending about an hour and a half with kids that I had never met before could change my perspective of dance so drastically. I’ll admit to times where I dreaded class or rehearsal, either because I was simply tired or had something else that I would rather be doing. The dancers in Joplin didn’t see dancing as a chore- it was their escape. They could go to Karen’s and forget about all the trouble in the town. They could be with other kids who were going through similar experiences, and put their flood of emotions into dance. Those dancers changed what it means to me: it’s a way to escape any worries and lose yourself in dance. Seeing the way we changed those girls lives and seeing that we were able to allow them to use dance as an outlet for the emotional time that they were going through trying to rebuild their town was something I will never forget. The mother’s tears of happiness must have come from knowing that while everything was gone, at least her daughter could dance. Dance is something that has been such a huge part of my life as well as all the Pacesetters’ lives that we were personally touched and honored with the chance to make a difference and help that studio get back on its feet. The mix of emotions: sadness for the town, happiness for being able to help, horror from the stories we had heard, gave us a lot to think about, so the drive back to Kansas City was pretty quiet. When I look back on Joplin, the main thing that comes to my mind is that learning to bounce back from any curve ball that life may throw you may be one of the most important skills a for a person to attain. Maybe this life is all about learning how to dance through the rain.

On 11/11/11 the Pacesetters held a spirit dance fundraiser for Karen’s Dance Studio in Joplin. OPINIONS /MARCH 2012/ 07


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DEBATE

LUCK: PRO FACT OR FICTION? PRO

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY /GRACE PRITCHETT

BY /GARRETT MOULD One can either have good luck, bad luck, or no luck at all, but there is no question that luck exists. Luck is when you’re caught speeding, but get let off with a warning, or when you get the last slice of pepperoni pizza in the lunch line. A perfect, more extreme example of good luck is the luck that a man named John Woods has had. Woods worked for a large legal firm in New York City. His office was located on the 39th floor of the World Trade Center. In 1993, when the building was bombed, he escaped without harm. One might call this luck, but it doesn’t stop there. In 2001, when the World Trade Centers were attacked again, he miraculously escaped with his life. In 1988, the same man was scheduled to fly with Pan-Am Airlines, on a flight to Europe, but cancelled at the last minute due to an office party. The plane he would have been on exploded while flying over Lockerbie, Sweden. One can either have good luck, bad luck, or no luck at all,

but there is no question that luck exists. Luck has the power to make the difference between life or death, as well as financial reward and ruin. Some days nothing goes your way. Maureen Wilcox had one of those days in June of 1980. She bought two lottery tickets, one for the Rhode Island lottery, and the other for the Massachusetts lottery. Incredibly, she managed to pick the winning numbers, but didn’t earn a penny. How did this happen? The numbers on her Rhode Island ticket happened to be the winning numbers for the Massachusetts lottery, and the numbers on her Massachusetts lottery ticket would have been the winning ticket in the Rhode Island lottery. The chances of winning the lottery are extremely slim. In fact, the chances of dying on the way to buy a lottery ticket are greater than the chances of winning the lottery. So did this frustrating situation happen because it

was meant to? Or because of probability? Of course not. The only thing that can explain this is a major case of bad luck. There are obviously some instances that are determined by probability, and not luck. When a mediocre basketball team beats one of the top ranked teams, it isn’t luck; they won because they performed better then the other team. Poker is a very good example of a mix between luck and skill. A player may be skilled at knowing when to fold, check, or go all in. The cards he is dealt, however, is based on luck, and the cards a person receives plays a major role in his chances of winning. Even though luck isn’t always present, and not everything is based on luck, it does exist. People may have good luck, or bad luck, but many events in our everyday life are based on what we call luck, just ask Maureen Wilcox.

BY /CALVIN FREEMAN “Find a penny, pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck.” Certain events that happen in our everyday lives are often labeled “lucky” or “unlucky.” However, Luck is not something that can truly be shown in a statistic. What one person may perceive as good luck another person may view as bad luck. Luck does not exist because it is more of a subjective belief rather than a life changing force. When discussing luck, the similar subjects of karma and fate often come up. Some people believe that if they are a better person or if they treat others better then karma will come into play and they will be rewarded with “good luck.” Others believe that their destiny is already set up for them and that they are just living as part of a predetermined plan. Both of these ideas are merely mindsets and while someone may believe in it, it would not be logical to say they are actually responsible for making things happen.

Lucius Annaeus Senceca, a firstcentury Roman philosopher, once said, “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.” In other words, luck isn’t something that just happens. The whole idea of someone receiving “luck” without any effort on their part isn’t very well thought out. For example, if someone is born into a wealthy family, he or she may believe themselves lucky; however, being born into a wealthy family may have made that person unappreciative or self-centered. As a result, a less wealthy person may argue that being born into a rich family was the worst or most unlucky thing that could have happened to his wealthy friend. It’s the same idea with things like a rabbit’s foot or a horse shoe. If you believe that certain possessions bring you “good luck” then you are probably more confident when you have these items. As a result you may be more successful due

to your confidence, not because of an unexplainable “lucky” force. We create our own luck by how we analyze or adapt to a situation we are in. The less wealthy person chose to believe that he or she was lucky when in reality they created their own perception of luck by being positive and believing that what they did have in their life was more valuable to him or her than what someone else has. If someone views their failures as being “unlucky” and views someone else’s success as being “lucky” then they are probably a pessimist. If someone believes that prior events that lead to a happier life as being “lucky” then they are probably an optimist. Luck as a noun does not actually exist. “Luck” is based purely on perception and how a person views and reflects on past events. The idea that luck is a force that affects our lives and is out of our control can not be reasonably supported.

CON

08 /MARCH 2012/ OPINIONS

Word on the Street

“Yes, because there are just certain things you can’t explain and it has to be luck.”— freshman Sydney Holler

“Yes luck exists because I’m Irish and I’m really lucky.”— sophomore Kelly O’Connor

“I don’t see luck as a mystical force, I see it as fortune or chance.”—senior Nathanial Ruth

“No, luck is based on emotions and actions. Faith is what I believe in.”—sophomore Arionna Washington


Editorial Board

Making the Wrong Move Girls on all fours, dresses pulled above the waist, their dates behind them leaving nothing to the imagination, and raunchy gyrating are what characterized the 2012 WPA dance. The DJ himself had never seen such lewd behavior. Dancing in our generation has significantly evolved from the innocent sock hops of the 1950s into almost bestial displays of dangerously suggestive movements.

DANCING IN CLUBS ISN’T EVEN THAT DIRTY.

Though the obvious purpose of any school dance is to have fun, it’s important to keep in mind the consequences these displays can have on the image of the student body as a whole. As commonplace as grinding has become, when in front of chaperoning teachers and other familiar adults, why let it reach such embarrassing heights? The dance is an opportunity for us students to express ourselves in a school-sponsored setting, so we shouldn’t choose to do so in a bad light. Just because school is not in session, we cannot simply let go of all inhibitions: we

are still representing Shawnee Mission South. Because they are also usually formal events, it’s important to show maturity and maintain a level of class; there is no point in investing time and money into looking elegant when your dancing ends up making you look trashy. Dancing in clubs isn’t even that dirty. A lot of work goes into making dances happen; we shouldn’t take advantage of that and forget our image as students. If you want to express yourself more freely, there’s always the after party.

CARTOON BY /CLAIRE THOMAS

OPINIONS/MARCH 2012/ 09


The

Dark Age Music of

Junior reflects on problems with the current state of the music industry BY /NATHAN THIMMESCH

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urn on the radio nowadays, and you are guaranteed a few things: first, an artist that no one knew about a few years ago and might as well be dead to us in a few years time; second, the bass kicked way up and overpowering the rest of the song; three, voices that are probably so electronically altered that they sound absolutely nothing like the original artist: and fourth, beats and sounds that are computer-generated rather than made by real instruments. In past generations, there have been artists that defined the entire era: in the ’60s it was Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan. In the ’70s it was Aerosmith, The Who, and Elton John. In the ’80s there was Michael Jackson, AC/DC, Whitney Houston, and Prince. In the ’90s, Radiohead, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and Rage Against The Machine dominated the radio, and these bands are still resonating into the better music of today. But what does our generation have? We’re stuck with Lil’ Wayne, LMFAO, Flo Rida, Rihanna, Ke$ha, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and countless other artists that all sound pretty similar. This phenomenon of music turned terrible hasn’t been present in the past few eras of music. I doubt very many people would agree with you if you were to say that “The King of Rock n’ Roll” was a terrible artist, and many people would probably start arguing with you right then and there. If you said the Beatles were a

bad band and unoriginal, you’d be hearing some major opposition from most people. However, if you were to say that T-Pain was a terrible artist who overuses Auto-Tune, I doubt you’d hear too many people oppose you outright. I’ve seen this happen plenty of times. For example, when I hear a song on the radio, I’ll ask whoever is around me who the song is by, or if they know the name of the song, and more often than not the answer is “Uhh... I don’t know,” then they’ll go back to singing it. Then I wonder, “why don’t you learn the artist and song if you seem to like it so much?” I’ve noticed that the radio usually picks one song by an artist and plays and plays and plays it until no one wants to hear it anymore. Then they find another song by that artist and do the same. With some bands or artists, it seems that it’s their better music that isn’t played on the radio. For example, I used to think that Muse’s best song was “Uprising” because that’s the one I’d heard on the radio. Now, having listened to their entire album, I’ve realized that, while “Uprising” is still a good song, they have better songs. What I find really appalling is that the artists who are making this music seem to know that they can get away with making meaningless music that sounds so similar to everything else. In “N***** in Paris,” Jay-Z borrows from the movie Blades Of Glory with the lines

“Nobody knows what it means it’s provocative... gets the people going!” What does this suggest about what he feels about his music? It means that he can get by with a “career” based solely on “music” that will illicit some kind of crazy, high-energy reaction from listening. Am I saying that music shouldn’t illicit some kind of reaction? An emotional response of some kind? Not at all. Music should make you feel something. But is wanting to jump up and down, or grind, or fist pump really an emotional reaction? Think about it this way: could you listen to this song alone in a room and extract some deep meaning from it? No, you couldn’t. Music nowadays doesn’t really have much meaning like it used to. More often than not, music is channeled straight for our need for some excuse to party. We no longer have music which makes us feel something other than hyper. Occasionally, however, we do hear a popular artists on the radio that do have some deeper meaning, like Adele or The Fray, but these artists are few and far between. Despite this, the radio will still find that one song to beat within an inch of its life (“Rolling in the Deep” or “How To Save A Life”). The radio just doesn’t give you the full feel for an artist. It will give you a piece, and usually not the best piece. In a nutshell, music doesn’t give what it used to: heartfelt lyrics, musical talent, and artists that know how to put feeling into their music.


BEFORE THE SHOW A behind-the-scenes look at the makings of assemblies

PHOTOS BY /GRACE PRITCHETT BY /MIGUEL PALIMINO f you’ve ever been to an assembly at Shawnee Mission South, you’ve experienced school pep at its peak. The assemblies involve members of Pep Club running around, dancing and singing at the top of their lungs like a scene straight out of High School Musical. Some people might find it completely uncomfortable and awkward, but others love the liveliness and excitement of all the skits, sports introductions, and the performances by groups like the Pacesetters and cheerleaders. Whether you like it or not, the students who put the assemblies together work really hard and hope their fellow classmates enjoy them. “It’s hard to keep everybody interested. We want everybody to appreciate every sport, we don’t want anybody to feel left out. [We] try to make everything as exciting as possible, and when you’re out there it’s hard to face every part of the crowd, so that you’re not just stand towards the Pep Club. That you’re hitting everybody, that’s a challenge,” senior Gabriel Alaniz said. Pep Club and Student Council put a lot of work into their skits and their intro in between different performances. “I think the most rewarding part is seeing students get excited, because it’s one thing to see a couple of students excited about an assembly, but it’s a completely different thing to see the whole school really be excited for a common cause,” senior Erica Lang said. Behind the scenes during the assemblies usually isn’t as hectic as one might think. Except for the

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occasional moment when someone freaks out because they’ve misplaced a prop, the MCs and the rest of Pep Club are usually pretty calm and organized. “[Sometimes] the music doesn’t work, which happened at our first assembly and it is really awkward, or like our relay doesn’t work out, which happened at our last assembly too,” senior Shilpi Ganguly said. Freshmen may not know it, but the assemblies have changed quite a bit since last year. The assemblies used to consist of corny jokes and awkward puns. Some students miss the timeless old jokes, but others think what’s being done is an improvement. The cringeworthy puns have now been replaced by the pep MC’s getting the whole audience involved in relay races and flash mobs. “People before us would just do little jokes and puns and not everyone really liked that. So we like to kind of go above and beyond and act out things instead of [telling] jokes and do more interactive things and incorporate music and conversation instead of [just] jokes,” senior Haley White said. Another big improvement has been the idea of seating students according to grade. That has greatly helped the MC’s get through to the audience. “I think one of the things that we have really been focusing on this year is really making sure that every side of the gym is able to see our faces and be able to really see what’s happening down here on the floor. But with MCing and with us presenting different things we really do try to face all parts of the crowd,” Lang said.

One of the problems that the assemblies now face is time management, as was seen in the sweetheart assembly. Pep Club and STUCO were scurrying about trying to figure out how they had run out of time for the skits toward the end. “I think one of the problems with the MC’s is we have too much fun with it, so all of our skits last longer than they probably should, just so we can get the point across,” White said. Luckily, they came up with a clever solution: showing the cut portion in seminar. Teachers were supposed to show the skits via YouTube during seminar. The skits were the STUCO reps from each grade performing a song in a creative way. Another problem the MC’s face is making sure the assemblies aren’t repetitive, which can be rather difficult. Thinking of new and fresh ideas that are not only funny for the audience but also aren’t childish can be big challenge. “That’s always a challenging part, but I think because we have the four of us MC’s [Brandon, Gabe, Haley and Erica], we are really able to work together and we’re able to bring some different things to the assembly and just have fun with it,” Lang said. Pep Club puts a lot of work in the assemblies and the main goal is to make sure the student body has a fun and happy experience ...and make sure that they’re having a better time at an assembly than they would in seminar. FEATURES /MARCH 2012/ 11


CRA

COUR

Students shar experie

BY /NATHAN THIMMESCH

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indows down, music up, sun shining, not a care in the world. Teenager drives down the street on her way to pick up her friends. Oh, I love this song! Teenager thinks, so she turns it up. It’s summer, and that means freedom. Teenager can do whatever she wants because it means no school and no responsibility. Teenager doesn’t realize that she is going 10 over the speed limit, and not focusing on the road but instead on the radio and singing along. Crash! Many South students know what it’s like to be a teenage driver, but they do not know what it’s like to be in an accident. They don’t know the instantaneous worry and fear, or what it’s like to be stunned and confused. Then comes the information exchange, the insurance claim, possibly a court date, then getting the car repaired or in some cases, finding a new car. However, there are some that have experienced these misfortunes first-hand. “[The first time I drove by myself, I felt] kind of awesome. Worried and apprehensive because you’re not used to it, but it was fun,” senior Austin Feathers said. Many teens have this same feeling the first time they drive. They feel free, as though they no longer need to rely upon their parents for rides to and from wherever. They feel like they can now go wherever, do whatever, whenever they want. “I was scared, but it felt nice to be able to do my own thing,” junior Gentry Toman said. Teen drivers, however, often face the most problems on the road. From distractions to experience-based difficulties, many seem to have troubles on the road for one reason or another. They also seem to be looked down upon by more experienced drivers. “[They think] we’re bad drivers. That we’re the crazy ones on the road, but for the most part that’s [usually adults],” junior Cynthia Raymer said. Teens also face many pervasive stereotypes from other drivers. Teens are often seen as the worst drivers on the road. They are often seen as the drivers who cause the most wrecks, get in the most wrecks, and don’t know how to drive. “[We face] the pressure to text or talk on the phone or blast music when you’re [in the car with friends] they’re jamming or talking or looking at pictures you

RCH 2012/ FEATURES

want to do it too,” senior Kelsey Ling said. Many students have, unfortunately, experienced different kinds of accidents throughout their time as teenage drivers. Senior Courtney Robles got pulled over for speeding. She was going 86 in a 65 mph zone. The ticket cost her $212, and she realized how much of a financial burden it can be. It has changed her for the better as a driver. “I’m more careful, I actually go the speed limit and I don’t want to get pulled over again and pay another $212,” she said. Toman got into an accident on her way to school when she failed to yield right of way to an oncoming driver. It was dark, and neither of the two drivers saw each other coming, causing the collision. Toman felt bad after the wreck, as if she had some responsibility for the accident and thought that it was reflecting poorly on teenage drivers. “I think a lot of it was me being a teenager, I felt like I was reinforcing stereotypes,” Toman said. Ling got into a similar accident last summer. She was going through a green light when a driver turning left failed to yield to her. The driver turned out in front of her, and they got in an accident. “I just remember sitting there and not knowing what happened,” she said. Feathers got into an accident last winter. He was driving around on a snowy day and lost traction. He went up onto the median and collided with two small trees. The damages were less severe than Toman’s and Ling’s because they could be fixed. The back window had broken, the right front quarter panel and back left panel were dented, but all of these were replaceable or repairable. “I pretty much saw it coming, and it happened and I was basically like ‘Okay this sucks. My parents are going to absolutely destroy me,’” Feathers said. Raymer got into a wreck when driving home about a year ago. She was driving home with a friend, junior Abbey Price, and another friend from another school. When they were going through a green light, they were hit by a drunk driver who did not stop at a red light. “You hear a sound, you feel pain, then you just don’t know what’s going on. I was in shock,” she said. Price was also affected by the shock of the accident.

“It was scary, we were all so shaken up by it,” Price said. Junior Ahmed Alasmar got into a wreck rather recently. He was slowing down to stop at a red light when the driver behind him did not seem to see him slow down. The driver rear ended him. Car wrecks can be scary, possibly harmful, and very inconvenient for those involved. Accidents can result in many different expenses, from tickets to getting cars repaired to finding new cars. The financial burden can be lightened by insurance, but even then accidents can take a toll on the driver’s confidence. “I was terrified because I thought that it was probably my fault even though I went through a green light,” Ling said. After an accident, it can be hard for a driver to feel comfortable on the road again, even when they are not the ones driving. Not only is confidence an issue for teens, but simply being on the road when other drivers could possibly cause the accident. “I was traumatized to the point I didn’t want to drive. Even sitting in a car, you would see someone behind you pull up and you weren’t sure if they were going to hit you again, so it was traumatizing,” Raymer said. Even when teenagers do get back on the road after an accident, they are often apprehensive. If they are not, they have at least learned from their mistake, or learned to be more wary of other drivers or certain conditions that can make driving a hazard. “I’m a much more careful driver. I might be doing something then that yellow light comes on in my head, and I remember ‘Okay, don’t want to do that again,’” Feathers said. Teens are often viewed as the worst drivers on the road, but they also have the least experience. Even statistics say that teens are involved in the most crashes, but that does not mean that they are the cause for all of these accidents. Teens will inevitably face stereotypes and other difficulties that can be attributed to the fact that they have just begun driving. Though in some cases accidents are inevitable, teens can attempt to prevent them by remaining aware of their surroundings and practicing defensive driving.


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re their traffic ences

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PHOTOS BY /GRACE PRITCHETT

GETTING DISTRACTED DRINK Drivers who use their hands to multitask are four times as likely to get in injury-causing accidents than other drivers.

16 percent of drivers under 20 involved in fatal car accidents reported having been distracted while driving. These distractions can be visual, manual, or cognitive. Manual involves drivers taking their hands off the wheel. Cognitive involves drivers taking their mind off what they’re doing.

CD/ RADIO

PHONE Texting while driving makes someone 23 times more likely to crash. It also results in accidents that kill an average of 11 teens a day and 330,000 injuries a year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2008 approximated that one in six fatal accidents were due to a distracted driver.

CLIMATE CONTROLS

Statistics courtesy of Allstate Teen Text Pledge and Thomas J Henry Law

FEATURES /MARCH 20


a Way With Words

PHOTOS BY /JULIA LARBERG

Senior shares his experience with writer’s workshop and his passion for prose BY /RACHEL ROSENSTOCK

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ne of the perks of being a writer is the ability to share your finished work with others, so they can enjoy your passion too. But creating this finished piece takes dedication and love, and not just for one game or for a two hour practice after school, but every day that you feel inspired, which for some, is an entire life. One of these people is Mustafa Said, a senior this year currently taking English teacher Lindsey McFall’s writer’s workshop for the fifth time. He writes 10 or more hours a week, and his longest work to date is a 285-page-plus novel, titled Destiny, which he wrote sophomore year. Said’s specialty in his stories is dark, science fiction fantasy tales with a deep underlying meaning. “There seems to be demonic, endof-the-world kind of themes. I guess I write better when I’m writing something serious,” Mustafa said. Fellow writers workshop classmate Sidney Holler also sees these tendencies. “Mustafa usually does stuff that’s really deep, but not deep sad, it [just] makes you think. I remember a lot of his pieces had a war, like an apocalypsetype thing going on. Something with the mind, something crazy,” she said. Despite his dark tendencies, Said’s inspiration comes from normal, every day, occurrences. “What inspires me is living, breathing. Life itself inspires me,” Mustafa said. Said cites authors such J.K. Rowling, Ted Decker and Lemony Snicket as role models he looks up to when writing. “When I first started writing in the fifth grade, I started modeling [my work] after Lemony Snicket, because I was reading A Series of Unfortunate Events and it hooked me from the first book. The first story I ever started writing, you could call it plagiarism, because I took A Series of Unfortunate Events and just changed the names, and I liked that,” Mustafa said. “And then one day I thought, I don’t like this at all. I want to try to make something of my own work. So that’s what got me to writing.” Like these successful writers, Said 14 /MARCH 2012/ FEATURES

Why byIMustafa Write Said

I write for the stories that aren’t able to be told, To the tales dragged to people’s graves, And the mysteries that have yet to be solved. I write to fill in the blanks, The cracks that history left, The stories with no endings. I write so I may never lose my inner child, So I can keep some sort of innocence from past years Always within my heart. I write for the smiles on people’s faces when they read my work, The small moment of happiness that I created. I write for happier times, for a brighter future, So that I may look back someday and think to myself, Even through the good times and bad, Through the happy and sad, Through the tears of joy and pain, It was all worth it And that I have lived a life surely blessed. hopes to one day get his work published. He wants other people to be able to experience his fictional world. “People can see my work out there, and say ‘Oh you wrote that.’ It makes you happy at least someone’s going to read my work, someday,” Mustafa said. But Said’s writing didn’t always start out ready to be published, his writing came from a general place in the beginning and his stories have evolved into what writer’s workshop teacher Lindsey McFall calls “showing, not telling.” “So what that means is you’re not giving a general overview of the story, you’re actually creating that scene and showing it so your readers can visualize it,” McFall said. “A lot of kids come into the class telling and [eventually] get into more showing, and they have more detail and they can create a vivid scene for the reader.” Said credits McFall with helping him

grow and improve in his writing the past three years he has been taking the class. “Mrs. McFall is an amazing teacher. I’ve known her for so long and she’s always been there, encouraged me to read my stories in front of the class, encouraged me to write the best that I can,” he said. Taking the class five times has helped Said come up with new ideas for the same assignments, and creating inspiration. “What’s interesting about taking the class multiple times is I can take the same assignment and think of new ways to rewrite it, so it’s never the same assignment the same way I wrote it. It’s always something different. A year goes by and I think new things and I write new things,” Mustafa said. The assignments in the creative writing class are geared towards stimulating the student’s thought processes and improving the way they write and construct stories. “[I learned] how to write stories with your imagination and not hold back. It wasn’t really like an English class, so she really just encouraged you to do whatever,” Holler said. One of the main parts of the class is reading your stories to the class and getting feedback from the other students and the teacher. Students don’t have to read them, but are encouraged to. “The class has helped me a lot because I’ve gotten a lot of feedback over the years as to how I write, what I should write, and generally help me figure out what I like writing, what I don’t like writing,” Mustafa said. “With every class comes a whole new generation of writers and [a] whole new perspective.” Other students have noticed Said’s writing skills in the creative writing class. “I think that people look at him as kind of an expert in the class. He’s met so many people who I’m sure he considers as friends now, so I would say that people definitely look up to him. And they look forward to him sharing his assignments,” McFall said. Graduation looms for Said, and after he has plans to continue his creative writing training and career.

“I have plans to go to college and major in creative writing. I’m going to JUCO, [but] I want to try and leave Kansas and just get out into the world,” Mustafa said. Said admits that the end of the year will bring about one of his saddest moments: when he has to leave the creative writing class forever. “With every day that passes by it brings me closer and closer to the day that I never wanted to come: the day I have to say goodbye to writer’s workshop,” Mustafa said. “I don’t want to say goodbye to be perfectly honest. So really it’s hard for me to move on and it’s going to be hard for me to say goodbye.”

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PHOTOS BY /JULIA LARBERG

01 Senior Mustafa Said shares his work with the writer’s workshop class. 02 Said concentrates as he works to finish an assignment for creative writing.


REVIEWS: THE LATEST IN MUSIC AND MOVIES

MOVIES

The Lorax BY /HANNAH STRADER On March 2, Dr. Seuss would have been 108 years old. It was on this 108th birthday that Universal Pictures released its new animated take on the classic children’s story that has never been more relevant. Only Dr. Seuss could take environmental issues and make them interesting to kids. Only the creators of Despicable Me could make it appealing to an audience of all ages. The story is centered around 12-year-old Ted [Zac Efron], who embarks on a journey to impress his older neighbor Audrey [Taylor Swift]. Audrey has an affinity for Truffula Trees and in a world where air is bottled and everything is plastic, real trees are hard to come by. As a result, and with a little help from his Grammy Norma, Ted makes his way out of Thneedville in search of the mysterious Once-ler who is rumored to know much about Truffula Trees. While the story itself is verbatim to the book, one can’t help but feel disappointed when the entire movie doesn’t take place in rhyme. Fortunately, there are musical numbers to take away some of your despair. And if you’re worried about hearing Taylor Swift or Zac Efron open up and start singing, don’t fret: they don’t (this was one of my biggest worries too). We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. The movie was pretty great, all around. Definitely no worse than any of the other movies I’ve wasted money on in 2012. While you may feel a bit childish and immature when you’re giggling beside a pack of 7-year-olds, it’s kind of worth it. There are bursts of humor throughout that even adults can’t help but laugh at, and a few jokes that the kids aren’t old enough yet to appreciate. The animation is brilliantly done, and while watching it in 2-D is satisfying, you shiver at the thought of watching it in its full glory in 3-D. The scenes are identical to those painted in the book, and it’s like watching a childhood dream play out on the big screen. This movie really taught me two things: that you’re never too old for Dr. Seuss, and that “unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Project X

BY /GRIFFIN ZELLER First off, let me say that AMC is the biggest ripoff of all time. Ten dollars for a movie, go to Cinemark. But I digress, this review isn’t about the theatre it’s about Project X. In the vein of other found footage movies like Paranormal Activity, Project X is the story of three friends who try to throw the ultimate party to change the game and make themselves popular. On Thomas’s (Thomas Mann) birthday his parents go on a short vacation to celebrate their anniversary. His parents don’t worry about leaving their son alone because they sadly think that he is a loser. His parents leave and Thomas’ s friend, Costa (Oliver Cooper), makes it his goal to invite as many people as he can. He buys an ad on Craigslist and makes an announcement at school; he doesn’t care that Thomas said only 50 people could come. By the time the party is supposed to start no one is there except the crew: Thomas, Costa, JB, Kirby, and Dax, the cameraman. But, at about 9:30 people come, lots of people come. People showed up and it gets crazy. The DJ was playing some tight music, and there were so many beautiful girls, and some illegal things. But, then the neighbor comes and security, two 12-year-old kids, taze the man. It is all good, but then the cops come. They get off smooth and the party continues. This is the greatest party of all time. Thomas becomes a legend and stands on his roof as he asks Costa,”Is this big enough to be cool?” Then jumps off onto the bouncy house. Then everything goes wrong and a dude shows up with a flamethrower and things go badly. The movie is funny. But, the characters and the plot are predictable. During the party the director tries to move the plot along, but with the sterotypical high school characters and predictable narrative it doesn’t work. The found footage angle was cool. Project X is not as funny as Superbad, but the party is tight.

REAL RESULTS: THE OSCARS BY /TRIVETTE KNOWLES

An event that happens every February for 84 years has been an ongoing tradition in the United States. The Oscars have a history of nominating the best and most deserving movies, actors and directors. From Gone With The Wind to Rocky, from Sidney Poitier to Natalie Portman, from 1929 to 2012 Oscar winners have been established as the cream of the crop when pertaining to acting, directing, and cinematography in general. 16 /MARCH 2012/ A&E

Each year, however, the Oscars nominate and choose a winner that sometimes the majority of the population disagrees with. Blogs and TV shows dedicate time and effort to show what they think. Approximately 105 students also devoted their time by completing surveys to decide who really should have won. Here are the results of many students’ opinions on the 84th Academy Awards.

Best Picture:

34%

THE HELP

actual winner: The Artist


Tyga: Careless World: Rise of the Last King

MUSIC

BY /TRIVETTE KNOWLES Tyga’s album, Careless World: Rise of the Last King, simply put, is average. Many tracks are boring and than others you will most definitely keep on repeat. Any song Tyga had a featured artist from Young Money the overall performance improved. With amazing beats but basic rhymes the second album of Tyga’s career really didn’t meet the expectations of his fellow Young Money members. When Tyga would try and pull a Drake and become deep and sing in his songs, all interest was lost automatically. Trying to reach into the audiences’ heart is not what Tyga is known. When he would act like the Tyga we all know and love, listeners could rely on an excellent song to be produced. Do not be confused. Everything about this album was not a disappointment. “Break this MutthaF***a Up” and “Rack City” will be played for months and months to come. As stated earlier the beats are outstanding for almost every single song. Each one has a its own unique style that you couldn’t find in most songs of any artist. Certain aspects of the Careless World are very interesting. Titles of each individual track were symbolic to show how Tyga really doesn’t care. When listening to the album and his earlier songs you can tell Tyga has made the development pretty quickly. At the beginning of his career he sounded like any regular rapper who just got a lucky break. Now he sounds more mature. The verdict of this Careless World is an average album, nothing special and some good songs. The two biggest factors of why this album is not very good is because every song Tyga goes solo, the song suffers. Having to listen to Tyga without having any breaks for a straight four minutes is more of a punishment than enjoyment. The other reason is for all the attempts Tyga has when he tries to sing about the difficulties of life. Each time is just another bad example of why if you’re a rapper and your name is not Drake, do not try to sing.

Craig Morgan: This Ole Boy BY /DEREK FUHRMANN Craig Morgan is showing no signs of slowing down at age 47. His seventh release, This Ole Boy, has lived up to the expectations that he would put out a “feel good” album, depicting himself as the “regular guy” that he is. The album is filled with nostalgic tracks that bring out memories of the “good ole days.” The title track “This Ole Boy” has become a fixture on radio stations, and for good reason. Morgan sets the tone for this album by showing things through his point of view, the point of view of your everyday, down-to-earth country boy. Tracks such as “The Whole World Needs A Kitchen” and “Fish Weren’t Biting” exemplify the simple life at its best by describing home-cooked meals and fishing on a quiet lake. Through uncomplicated songs like these, Morgan tells a story that rivals top country stars. Unfortunately, this album is not perfect. It spirals out of control on tracks such as “Corn Star”, (I hope that you can see the innuendo there) and “Show Me Your Tattoo”, which is a well written song but sounds a bit awkward coming from the 47 year old’s mouth. Although Morgan’s voice is extremely versatile and wholesome, it may have been a better idea to sell the rights to the likes of younger singers, such as Luke Bryan or Chase Rice. As with all country albums, a slow romantic song is a must have, so Morgan fills the bill with “Love Loves A Long Night.” This is perhaps his most impressive vocal display to date. Morgan displays his ability to sing not just up-tempo summer anthems, but slowed down ballads as well. Overall, This Ole Boy is an incredibly likeable album that is easy to listen to. Bits and pieces of Morgan’s life are infused into the tracks which adds to the sincerity that this album possesses. I can honestly say that this is one of the strongest country releases in the last 12 months. Expect this album to become a smash hit and a staple of local country stations. I hope that Craig Morgan’s tour runs through Kansas City, as I will definitely buy a ticket to see him.

Best Leading Actress:

42%

VIOLA DAVIS

The Help actual winner: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Best Leading Actor:

46%

BRAD PITT

Moneyball actual winner: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Best Supporting Actress:

Best Supporting Actor:

36%

51%

MELISSA MCCARTHY

Bridesmaids actual winner: Octavia Spencer, The Help

JONAH HILL Moneyball

actual winner: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

A&E /MARCH 2012/ 17


PHOTO BY /GRACE PRITCHETT

It’s finally his turn, the moment he’s been thinking about all day with undivided attention. Excitement, enjoyment, and a twinge of nervousness surge through senior JW Pabst. But those feelings dissolve as he steps onto the mat, facing his next faceless opponent. He zones out the crowd, his teammates, his coach, and his own feelings to focus on the task at hand: winning. Pabst started wrestling in the second grade, when his best friend invited him to come to practice. Ever since he started showing up to those practices, his life has been filled with intermittent wrestling. He started off high school in the 130 lb weight class and is in 145 for his senior year. He achieved his 100th win this year, and he has also gone to state his sophomore and junior years. Coach Rios described him as “good all around,” “a bonus in many ways,” and “a very strong wrestler.” “In the beginning it was a big deal, but after a while it starts to wear on your body. But I do still enjoy it,” Pabst said. His teammates and coach believe that Pabst is a crucial component to the team. His drive and dedication are evident and contagious among the other wrestlers. “He’s a great wrestler, he brings in points, and he’s motivating. He wants to see the good of the team,” senior Brandon Jenkins said. The significance of the physical training aspect of wrestling is enormous. Pabst has to constantly condition and improve on techniques, as well as work on cutting weight. It gets even more difficult during two day tournaments. “Two-day tournaments are hard,” Pabst said. “You can’t eat a lot, and you get really tired.” Pabst brings a unique and

inspiring attitude and mood not only to the varsity team, but to the younger wrestlers as well. According to Rios he is a good leader, and provides leadership both verbally and through his example to his fellow wrestlers on the varsity, JV, and freshman teams. “He can be funny, but he knows when to buckle down and get things done,” Jenkins said. His varsity teammates acknowledge that he has a different attitude when it comes to meets and tournaments. He balances his feelings and actions between practices and meets, putting himself in the state of mind required to do well in whatever situation he is in. “He’s serious when it comes to the different atmosphere at meets; he stays focused,” senior Clay Pearce said. Everyone seems confident in JW’s wrestling abilities, which earned him his way into state finals this year, and that if he wanted to he could pursue wrestling at higher levels. Pearce and Jenkins both believe that he could wrestle in college if he desired too, and that their teammates as well as Coach Rios share the same opinion. JW himself is not so sure, however. “If I get any scholarships, than yeah, I would wrestle in college, but otherwise probably not,” Pabst said. Though he has enjoyed it for the 11 years that he has played, he feels that after high school he may want to settle down and give himself a much-deserved break. However, Rios is still optimistic about the possibilities of Pabst’s future wrestling. “Oh yeah, if he wants to, then yes I would say that he has the ability to wrestle at the next level,” Rios said. BY /LUKE HOLLAND

state records qualified: JW Pabst, Clay Pearce, Brandon

Jenkins, Grant Jongerius, Reis Humphrey, Rasheed Brady, Skylar Olson

placed:

2nd - Clay Pearce 3rd - Reis Humphrey

PURSUING

pabst

145 pounds - wrestler

Senior wrestler reflects on accomplishments SPORTS /MARCH 2012/ 19


$M@SHING SM@CK TA!K $1,000

Fine for either a coach or a player for a technical foul during the regular season. $1,500 for the sixth through 10th technicals. $2,000 each for the 11th through 15th technicals $2,500 plus a one game suspension for the 16th and each additional one there after.

1/90th

When a player receives a technical foul, ejection, suspension (1/90th of his annual salary per game) or other fine, the money is split evenly between the league and Players Association. Each then donates its share to a charity or charities of their choosing.

20 /MARCH 2012/ SPORTS

A look at how trash talk and fighting has increased in sports BY /CASEY LEE Everything seems in order, then all of a sudden a player throws a punch and two players are on the ground. Most spectators know that when you’re watching sports, nothing is more exciting than when a fight breaks out. It all comes down to who hit who, who said what, and who said it first. Whether you threw the first punch or he did, it all started because of one thing: Trash Talk. Trash talk can differ on many different levels, but most can be identified as one of two types. Type one is a grump that is usually pretty angry and likes to fill his mouth with profanity. Type two is the comedian that uses sarcasm to piss off the grumpy ones. It ranges anywhere from “you bleepity bleep” to “at least ask me on a date first.” Both types do it purely for their own benefit. The angry ones get so mad they will drop you and end up throwing a ridiculous foul, but it tends to make them feel better. The nice ones love messing with the angry ones because it can throw off their game. If they throw a ridiculous foul the team gets a free kick, free throw etc. Either way, trash talk benefits them both. However, sometimes players get too mad. When this happens it usually results in a red card or ejection. Last May, the NBA suspended Andrew Bynum for five games for his flagrant foul on J.J. Barea and fined him $25,000 for taking off his jersey as he left the court. Excessive much? Is this to encourage sportsmanship or to give the NBA an extra payday? Boasting and insulting used to be a common and well loved part of the game, until people started going one step too far. Racial slurs, homosexual slurs, or any action

that can harm another player have never been accepted in the game. And now, a player can’t say or do anything without being caught on a camera recording them from every angle. With instant replay and high-tech recording, players can’t get away with anything. Smack talk used to be a fun way to mess with your opponent and get in their heads. Now, messing with your opponent comes at a huge price. On Feb. 3, the NBA fined Dallas owner Mark Cuban $75,000 for criticizing the refs following the Dal-OKC game. Last April the NBA fined Kobe Bryant $100,000 for calling a ref a derogatory homosexual slur. The list goes on and on. If high school players got fined every time they said something to the other team they’d go bankrupt before they even graduated. Instead of getting a $100,000 fine, we get yellow cards, red cards and ejections. High school is a bit different from major leagues and the professionals. Our hormones are constantly raging and most of the time we are easily frustrated. We also love to impress our fans; it’s easy to get caught up in the game. I’ve had plenty of experience with fights and trash talk; I guess you could say I’m easily frustrated. Yellow cards and red cards are a common occurrence during my games. I’ve gotten them anywhere from making stupid comments to the refs, to punching players. I do have funny stories to tell my friends, but I do not recommend this behavior. If you’re truly interested in playing in college, the last thing a college scout is looking for is a player with a bad attitude.


PHOTOS BY /BROOKE HOLMES

play-makers the A look at how coaches impact the game BY /ADAM MATEOS

When watching a sporting event, the camera may occasionally wander to a close-up of the coach’s face. He may be filled with joy, five gallons of Gatorade poured all over his head, infuriated at a bad play or call, or crushed as time expires and his team is not victorious. Although the head coach usually gets thrown into the spotlight more than anyone else involved with the team, most do not understand what it takes to be a coach and the dedication and passion they hold for their game. Throughout their term as the leader of the team, a head coaches have to deal with more than they are given credit for. They may not be the ones winning the game physically, but every play, every score, was orchestrated by one person who spent hours mentally exhausting themselves over how to trump their opponent and come away as the victor. And it’s not only coaches that are making millions of dollars, at some of the most prestigious college or pro teams, that are dedicated to their craft. All coaches have to have a certain swagger about them to be able to get a group of people to dedicate themselves, mentally and physically, to a sport. That is why, if you ask most people who the most influential person in their life has been, they will mention a past or present coach. To know how coaches got to where they are, one must look at where they have been. Throughout the years of playing a sport, one can gather a whole plethora of experience. Learning what makes winners, and what causes a team to lose in those last crucial minutes of the big game. And more importantly how to bounce back and learn from the past and prepare for future competition. “The templates have been laid down from the college or the high school practice and trying to use those to come set a practice. And then as you coach you learn more teaching techniques and skill sets and practice plans to supplement your style,” varsity soccer coach Travis Gatewood said. But having that information isn’t enough. After years spent playing and learning, they must now tweak those things they have learned to make them strategies that are unique and unprecedented. Hours must be spent learning the game in a different aspect. Delving deeper into the depths of obsession, because for a coach there is no off-season. They must constantly be looking for ways to guarantee the success of their team. “There isn’t any one best way [to coach]. Good coaches are going to take a little bit from everywhere and learn along the way from other successful coaches, and kinda

make it their own. For me, I have a little bit of Olathe North, a little bit of Pitt State, a little bit of Shawnee Mission West and a little bit from my high school and it’s all kind of mushed together,” varsity football head coach Ryan Lonergan said. Not everyone that has played a sport can turn that experience into a coaching career. One must have an astronomical amount of leadership to steer a team in the right direction. They must have know how to turn a game around at halftime with a speech. Making their players hungry for the opportunity to be back on the field of competition. A coach must inspire players to dig deep within themselves to put every ounce of physical ability on the line. Gaining that kind of respect from a person is a phenomenon in itself. But to do it consistently from year to year, team to team, player to player, over a long period of time is unheard of. “If you could get kids to understand what you know as coach because you see things totally differently. You see the whole scheme instead of your position. You understand why certain things happen; it all kinda happens as a result of something else. So you have to build that knowledge, and as a coach you try to instill that in your kids,” Lonergan said. As can be said about most coaches, they aren’t only doing it for themselves. They do just as much, if not more, for the young minds that they are nurturing and helping develop. It’s almost like a family tree, one coach inspires a kid and then that kid takes information from that coach and himself and uses that to teach another kid, who teaches another kid, and another. “You want to invest in the kids and let them know that they’re important. The real reason I do this, isn’t for myself, it’s for them, because the biggest enjoyment is seeing kids grow and seeing kids have fun and to learn how to be a good person or a good man. Probably the biggest sense of joy is when you have kids sign to go on and play college and knowing that you’ve had a huge impact on the rest of their lives,” Lonergan said. No matter what the sport or activity, a coach can be an incredible influence on any young athlete. If you were to go to YouTube and search “Inspirational Speeches” over half of the results would be coaches talking to their players. Inspiring actions with words is a skill that not everyone possesses, and it is essential to being a successful coach. All coaches can get a group of people to rally around them and believe that what they are doing is going to giving them the best possible end result.

SPORTS /MARCH 2012/ 21


winter wrap-up substate champs

PHOTOS COURTESY OF /TAYLOR MCDOWELL

bowling The Raider bowlers finished up their season with a plethora of stellar performances. The boys placed 2nd at the Regional competition with a record of an astounding 2,600 total pins. Junior Alex Brown and sophomore Josh Hasenleder placed 3rd and 8th at Regionals. Sophomore Nia Madison also ended her season well. The team traveled to the State tournament in Wichita and placed a respectable 6th place out of 74 teams. Senior Eric Steffee came within one pin of placing individually. With a strong finish, the team looks to dominate in 2013.

CURRENT AS OF /March 5 BY /DEREK FUHRMANN

swimming

girls basketball Brendan Curran, in his first year as girls varsity head coach, has filled Coach Millard’s shoes quite nicely, taking the girls to the State tournament in Wichita. With the leadership of the seniors, the girls are finally in the “big dance.” With the State tournament come the last games of the seniors’ careers here at South. Next year will yield a predominantly young team with little combined varsity experience. However, with this berth in the tourney, there are high expectations for the Lady Raiders come next winter. Coach Curran is off to a great start in his head coaching career. Expect nothing but greatness from him in years to come.

bowling

boys basketball

The boys ended this season with an impressive 16-6 overall, going 8-3 in the Sunflower League. The Raiders were led by Seniors Dylan Christie and Eric Weber. This season was marked by the emergence of freshman Dainan Swoope and the two victories over rival Shawnee Mission East. The boys made it all the way to the final substate game, but lost to Blue Valley North. Regardless of that fact, the Raiders pack a star-studded lineup that will be filled with varsity experience. One can only look forward to what the next few years hold.

The boys swim team shared in a prosperous State experience by placing 9th in the State finals out of 32 teams. Freshman Ryan Sweat captured two medals in the 100 free and 200 fly and was recognized as a 2nd team all-state swimmer. The 200 free relay team of Sweat, Tommy Leach, Joe Slickman and Kenny Bergman placed as well. Head coach Bruce Bove won Coach of the Year, a very prestigious honor. With the loss of seven seniors, the team will be relatively young come next year. Look for underclassmen to step up, much like Sweat has this year. With the Coach of the Year at the helm, the boys swim team will look to repeat another successful season.

wrestling09

Seven proved to be the lucky number for the Raider wrestlers this year, as that was how many boys went to State. J.W. Pabst, Clay Pearce, Brandon Jenkins, Grant Jongerius, Reis Humphrey, Rasheed Brady, and Skylar Olsen all wrestled at the State tournament. Pearce and Humphrey reached the podium as they placed second and third. The future looks bright for the wrestlers as next year’s team will possess years of varsity experience, and the leadership needed to put together another successful season.

PHOTOS BY /CASEY LEE

sports game highlight/ boys basketball The East rivalry has dated back since South was first established in 1967. When these two teams met in December, South utilized their opportunity, and beat East 55-31 on their home court. After the buzzer rang, fans rushed the court to congratulate their players and celebrate the win. Since the win, fans had been anticipating the next time the teams met. After the whopping 24 point win earlier in the season, South was expected to blow them out. When they played again Feb. 24, however, that wasn’t the case. It was the basketball players and cheerleaders senior night and the stands were packed with the most fans South had seen all year. Tensions were high as the fans chanted back and forth vigorously throughout the entire game, and even during halftime. The score stayed close throughout the entire game, with a close score at halftime. As the game continued, the fouls, tensions, and chanting increased. As

22 MARCH 2012/ SPORTS

BY /CASEY LEE

the clock wound down, South was ahead 53-50 and were assured they’d earned a win. But with nine seconds left on the clock, East put in a three to tie it up and send the game into overtime. Before overtime started South fans screamed their usual “I believe...” chant, and both sets of fans were excited and hyped up. Metro Sports was recording the game and the atmosphere was crazy. The game stayed close throughout overtime and as the clock wound down South gained a victory of 68-63. As the buzzer rang, the fans rushed the court to congratulate the team and the stands went crazy. Metro Sports rewarded the game as sports game of the week, and once again, South beat their rivals in an intense, nail biting win.


Spring Sports Preview

2012

softball Big Game to Watch for: I’m new to the school. I’ve been told our rival is SME... I guess you could say that game. Biggest Challenge: Having the girls adapt to my philosophy and changing the culture to have a winning attitude. How to Overcome this Challenge: Deal with it head on. When issues arise confront them instead of letting them fester. Work every day on building confidence and striving towards goals we have laid out for the season. Star Returning Players: Not sure on this one. Some good players haven’t had a chance to tryout yet due to basketball and sickness. I will say that I believe a few players have all-state potential. If I could give out an MVP for tryouts it would be Justice Scales. She played her freshman, but not sophomore year, for South. She’s a speedy lefty outfielder, has power and can slap. — Olivia Abney

2011 SPRING SEASON PHOTOS BY /ALI LACY

girls swimming Big Meet to Watch for: League and State Biggest Challenge: new people and getting them used to the system How to Overcome this Challenge: We’re going to coach Star Returning Players: Paige Meredith, Caroline Busch, Anne Stollsteimer, Shelby Johnson, JeriAnn Ward, Susan Kroh —Bruce Bove

track

Big Meet to Watch for: SM South Relays (March 31), Sunflower League Championship (May 11) Biggest Challenge: Maintaining the rich tradition of SMS Track & Field How to Overcome this Challenge: Encourage our juniors and seniors to be leaders and to pass on the traditions of SMS Track & Field Star Returning Players: Clare Bingaman, Nora Bingaman, Lauren McCarthy, Brooke Holmes, Maddie Fowler, Monica Funk, Bethany Webb, Arie Thompson, Kelsey Miller, Kailey Zvosec, Michael Gawlick, Jack Powell, Brett Schauwecker, Scott Leonard, Curtis Cline, Shawn Laurent, Colin Bond, Jeramie Fischer — J.J. Wannamaker

baseball

Big Game to Watch for: East game, all of them. Biggest Challenge: Compete on the mound How to Overcome this Challenge: Believe, practice, and compete Star Returning Players: Dylan Christie, Colson Bayles, Tyler Lohuis, Alex Forslund —Mitch Wiles

boys tennis

girls soccer Big Game to Watch for: We always look forward to playing our rival SM East. The Sunflower League has many top level teams, so we will need to bring our best efforts every night. Biggest Challenge: With many new faces and young players, we need to work on developing positive team chemistry. How to Overcome this Challenge: We will be working on team goals and activities that promote better unity among the girls. Star Returning Players: We have a great base of talent on this year’s team and we look forward to having all players step up and contribute. —Travis Gatewood

Big Meet to Watch for: All Biggest Challenge: New players and a tough league How to Overcome this Challenge: Team bonding and hard practices Star Returning Players: Raj Selvaraj, Kevin Kochesburger, Ben Bernard —Scott Hirons

boys golf

Big Match to Watch for: Sunflower League competition and regional tournament. Big Challenge: Play consistent high quality golf. How to Overcome this Challenge: Improve every day Star Returning Players: We have no stars, but we do have five returning letter winners: Cole Larsen, Joe Reid, Duncan Stanton, Andrew Barton and Parker Ling. — Lyle Wingate SPORTS /MARCH 2012/ 23


SMS

SPOTLIGHT

[I WAS] EXCITED, HAPPY, BUT ALSO KIND OF SAD KNOWING THIS WILL BE MY LAST YEAR CHEERING.—SENIOR ANISA BOLEN


THE

PATRIOT Shawnee Mission South March/ 2012

Grinding Gears/ 06 Just My Luck/ 08 Homegrown/ 18

Volume/ 46

Issue/ 06


2.5

THE

PATRIOT

ONLINE

www.smspatriot.org


MAR

CONTENTS 12

19

1812 CONTRIBUTORS: Editor-in-Chief Ads Design Shelby Johnson A&E Writers Alma Velazquez Trivette Knowles Managing Editor Rachel Rosenstock Griffin Zeller Sports Derek Fuhrmann Casey Lee Miguel Palomino News Garrett Mould Olivia Feathers Luke Holland Opinions Calvin Freeman Adam Mateos Nathan Thimmesch Features Hanan El Shoubaki Hannah Strader Photographers Trevor Gariety Photos Julia Larberg Grace Pritchett Brooke Holmes Web Web Staff Hunter Young Alan Cordry Aaron Whatley Cartoonist Claire Thomas Adviser Julie Fales THE

PATRIOT Shawnee Mission South February/ 2012 Volume/ 46 Issue/ 05

On the Cover:

Students cheer on the Raiders at the basketball game PHOTO BY / CASEY LEE against East Feb. 24. The game’s theme was White Trash. Awarding the Alums/ 05 Just Friends?/ 08

Behind the Label/ 11

News /04

Current happenings in and out of school

Dirty Dancing /06

The recent dance behavior and how it affects future dances

Dancing in the Rain /07 Staff writer shares an eyeopening experience

Debate /08

Students discuss whether or not luck really exists

Leave Room For Decency /09

The editorial staff addresses students’ behavior at WPA

We Killed The Radio Star /10

15 /Web Wonders

An analysis of the influence of today’s most popular sites

16 /Reviews

Recent movies and music, as well as student Oscar picks

18 /Talk of the Town

A guide for those who are staying in town for spring break

19 /The Fighter

Senior reflects on his last wrestling season

20 /Colorful Language

Staff writer discusses the benefits of trash talk in the world of sports

21 /Putting It All Together

Staff writer expresses distaste for this generation’s hit music

A look into what it takes to be a sports coach

Behind the Bleachers /11

22 /Winter Sports Wrap Up

A behind-the-scenes look at how assemblies are made

A look at how South did with winter sports

Stopping Traffic /12

Students reflect on the downsides of teen driving

Getting Creative /14

Senior shares his passion for the written language

23 /Spring Preview

A preview of what’s to come in spring for sports

24 /Spotlight

Cheerleaders perform a festive cheer at the Sweetheart assembly TOC /MARCH 2012/ 03


Senior wins title of Miss Kansas Teen America

BY /HANAN EL SHOUBAKI he audience enjoys the opening number of a pageant show while the girls wait backstage, anticipating the nerve racking moment when they’ll sit in a room with four judges, each one able to ask any question they desire. It could be about personal life, it could be about opinions on certain politics, or they might just ask for a joke. This was just one of the challenges contestants faced at the Miss Kansas Teen America pageant. Last October, senior Mikaela Carson was awarded the title of Miss Kansas Teen America after competing in pageants for about a year. “I was approached after I did a charity fashion show with the Natalie M. Foundation,” Carson said. It was the scholarship opportunities that convinced Carson to begin competing in pageants. “Just by being in the [USA] pageant you get a certain amount of scholarship,” Carson said. “As you go up in the rankings, you get a bigger scholarship. Winner gets a full ride.” Besides scholarship money, Carson said that it was also fun to play dress up and embrace her inner little girl. After being crowned, her new title provided her with connections and opportunities that were not open to her before. “It’s been a chance for me to kick start my anti-bullying program,” Carson said. “That’s something that I’ve wanted to start for years, but I didn’t really have the people skills or the mouthpiece to be able to take it places.” As a pageant title holder, Carson said she was required to have a platform with a cause that she supported. “I noticed that there didn’t seem to be any active [anti-bullying] programs in schools, or at least none that went to speak directly to the students,” Carson said. “I thought I’d provide my own. So, I started just by typing up a pledge that I could take to schools, working on a speech, contacting local schools and asking if they would allow me to come speak to their students.” Through the pageant, Carson has met with the commissioner of education and the governor of Kansas in order to implement the program into more schools. She has visited about six schools so far, including Indian Woods Middle school, where she gave a speech followed by a Q & A. Afterwards, students got to sign pledges that would be posted in the hallways, both as a reminder and as a reassurance that they are not alone. Carson’s goal is to speak to every middle school in the Shawnee Mission District by the end of the academic year. As her responsibilities stack up, Carson says it has only helped her transform into a young woman. “I’ve gotten a lot better at organizing and coordinating my personal life because I have to,” Carson said. “There are so many more responsibilities that I have now and I feel like I’ve kind of grown up as a person since then because I’ve had to take on all these responsibilities.” With her new title, Carson must fulfill certain duties such as being a representative of the Teen America organization by making public appearances and doing philanthropic work. Next month, she will be going to the national Miss Teen America pageant in Nashville, Tennessee. “I’ve had such a great experience with my Teen title. I would love to continue it as I get older,” Carson said. “Maybe Carson visits Dorothy Moody elementary not forever, but just for a little while.”

Kansas Queen

T

Speaking Up

PHOTOS COURTESY OF /LISA CARSON

Forensics team reflects on the progress of their season BY /GRIFFIN ZELLER he fear of public speaking tops many lists of phobia surveys, but don’t expect to find any glossophobics in Room 362. Instead, over 50 students who participate in the forensics program can be found intentionally practicing to speak in front of a group. Forensics is a form of competitive speaking where students choose a piece of writing and present it in front of a judge. If the contestants do well, they present the piece in front of three judges in the final rounds. Events range from the theatrical like Duet Acting, to political events like Senate Student Congress. In a recent forensics tournament, freshman Riley Brennan won first place in Poetry, Dara McGreal won first place in Senate and sixth place in Extemporaneous

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04 /MARCH 2012/ NEWS

Speaking, and the duo of Keith Monaghan and Mason Owen won third place in Public Forum Debate. “Everyone is working really hard and trying really hard, and the hard work is really paying off with a lot of top ten finishes,” Mason Owen said. One change the forensics team is adapting to this year is a new coach. “Being a new coach this year has been stressful, overwhelming, and exciting all at the same time, and it’s been great,” Coach Natalie Ashley said. Owen, a returning member is proud of the team’s performance so far. “The performance this year has been pretty good so far, and I know me and Keith have placed at some highly competitive tournaments,” he said.

To prepare for the meets, forensics members first need to choose a topic. Next they have to write a paper and rehearse in front of the class. Once they finalize their piece, they have to memorize it to perfection for the next meet. According to freshman Tionna Allen, despite preparation, the meets are hectic. “They are so long and tiring, and very chaotic. When it is your turn though, it just happens really fast,” Allen said. In addition to hosting a meet the weekend of Feb. 24, the forensics team hopes for successful outcomes at the meets they will compete in the weekend of April 13 at Shawnee Mission East and the state competition at Olathe Northwest May 5.


Team members introduced at the Sweetheart Assembly

Artistic Opportunities Students display work in annual Fashion show

BY /HANAN EL SHOUBAKI band begins to play an instrumental of The Raconteurs’s “Steady As She Goes,” a large crowd applauds, and an MC is heard announcing the start of the show. Girls walk down the runway in student made designs that vary from bright blue and pink feathers to dark Victorian inspired accessories to white aluminum flowers. This year, Shawnee Mission South students Tierra Meysenburg, Michelle Chan and Lauren Brannan participated in Shawnee Mission East’s Annual Fashion Show, a district wide fashion show open to middle school students and high school students to showcase their fashion designs encompassing a theme. As models walked down the runway, there were three judges present scoring each design. In the end, there was a total of $300 in cash prizes awarded to a variety of categories including Best Accessory, Best Styling, Best Altered Design, Best Original Design, Best 2D Artwork and Best 3D Artwork. The event was put together by Shawnee Mission East’s National Art Honors Society, with AP Studio Art and Photo teacher, Adam Finkelston, as their sponsor. “This will be the fifth year that we have it in a gallery downtown,” Finkelston said. It was held at the Studio B Gallery on First Friday, where on the first Friday of each month, the Crossroads Community’s art galleries, studios, and restaurants showcase local and national artists. The event allowed students to display their work to the art community with practicing artists and it also allowed the community to see what schools were doing with their art programs. “It gives students an experience at preparing and really going through the motions of what it takes to get your work together and out in public,” art teacher Jennifer Hudson said. Each year, there is an abstract theme chosen by Finkelston. This year’s theme was resonance, meaning the ability to evoke or suggest images, memories, and emotions. “There’s lots of ways that that word is used in context,” Finkelston said. Meysenburg and Chan worked as a team to design an outfit for Brannan to model. Their design incorporated many influences from the Victorian era. “We decided to go for Victorian modernism,” Chan said. In the end, their design resembled a combination

A AcaDozen Academic Decathalon team wins PHOTO BY /GRACE PRITCHETT

12th state championship

BY /RACHEL ROSENSTOCK he Academic Decathlon team brought home a state title this year, their 12th in a row. The team is made up of all grades, and the students are organized into three teams, Honors, Scholastic, and Varsity, that are organized according to the student’s current GPA. Anyone can join if they have the dedication to study and commit. “It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. And it takes a lot of dedication; you can’t just slack off. But overall you have to be willing to put in the effort and keep doing a good job,” senior Nathaniel Routh, a captain of the team, said. The top two scorers for each team go into the team total, which is then judged against the other competing teams. The points are scored out of 1,000 per category, and just this year they had a close win at state by just 1,200 points, or two categories. Each category is made up of a multiple-choice test, and there are other categories that include impromptu speech, essay, interview and an assigned book. “In AcaDec, an F is a good thing, a 500 is about average so you want to go for about a 600, 700 or even an 800,” senior Connor Crain, a captain, said. Among the categories the team-members study and compete for are art, music, economics, language, literature, math and history. Each year has a different topic, and this past year’s was “The Age of Empires.” The organization provides them with study materials and then the members study on their own and as a team. “The captain usually makes a study schedule to cut down the large amount of reading into more doable page numbers, like maybe five pages a night, break it down and [do] some practice tests to go along with the materials. We also do PowerPoints, where I have old ones that we use, plus students make new ones,” AcaDec sponsor Stan Stern said. Even though the captains, Routh and Crain, admit that studying can be intense for both them and other team members, as well as easy to put off till the last minute, each year they seem to pull it off. “You kind of get thrown in and you try to advise them on study habits that work. Repetition is key, you have to read stuff at least twice if you want to remember it. And also we try to give them certain amounts of time to study, and certain things to study,” Crain said. “You don’t want to study more than two hours a night if you’re just starting off or else your brain is going to get completely fried.” The studying has paid off, and this April the team will travel to nationals in Albuquerque, New Mexico to compete for three days. But next year can the team keep up the streak and make it 13 wins? “I think sometimes the kids feel pressure because they want to keep the streak going. It’s hard to do two things at the same time, trying to get people to do well and try to take the pressure off,” Stern said. “The best part of AcaDec is reading the material and learning so much.”

T

Artwork contributed to the show by junior Maddie Fowler

of Victorian modernism mixed with elements found in Alice in Wonderland. While their fashion design was inspired by the Victorian era, other designs were inspired by things such as recycling and music. Juniors Maddie Fowler and Emily Jackson contributed pieces of their artwork to the show. They agreed that music influenced their artwork the most. Jackson made an effort to incorporate music into her piece, claiming that music was a big part of her life. Fowler on the other hand had played violin in the past, and incorporated a violin into her piece. “I pulled the strings off the violin in my picture because it’s like everlasting,” Fowler said. “Those strings go on forever.” Although the group only met a few times before the actual show, Finkelston said that by the time it was time to walk the runway, there was a sense of family between the contestants and the models. That close and friendly environment presented itself once it came to show time, and was easily felt among the audience. “It’s all about building community,” Finkelston said. “And that really, I think, is what happens with these shows.”

A design by Tierra Meysenburg was modeled by sophomore Lauren Brannan

Artwork contributed to the show by junior Emily Jackson PHOTOS BY /JULIA LARBERG NEWS /MARCH 2012/ 05


Dirty Dancing Administration initiates new set of rules due to dancing at WPA BY /DEREK FUHRMANN igh school administrators are beginning to crack down on inappropriate dance moves at school-sponsored dances. Although common, “grinding” has never been as popular as it is today. Recently, the WPA (Women Pay All) dance brought the administration’s attention to the issue of inappropriate dancing. Several witnesses had reported excessive levels of grinding and gyrating, leading the administration to take steps to try to prevent recurring acts. “There was a lot of vulgar dancing and it got to a level where it was very inappropriate,” science teacher Nicolas Deffer said. Students are being told to kindly leave these “simulated sex” acts outside the school setting. Some teachers worry about the image that such dancing may project towards the public. Those who attend the dance, whether it be students, chaperones, or other people involved, are subject to witnessing the acts performed by students. “The DJ told us that our students unfortunately took things to a level he had never seen before,” English teacher and STUCO sponsor Lindsey McFall said. The last thing that the faculty and administration want is for Shawnee Mission South to gain a negative reputation among the community. Taking this in stride, the administration has set new standards as to how students should dance. “We’re going to mention it at the assembly on March 29, and the bottom line is that if people’s dance moves reflect a sexual manner then they will be asked to leave,” Principal Joe Gilhaus said. There will be no frilly-titled rules such as the ‘face to face and leave some space’ rule or the ‘45-degree’ rule. The message that the administration and faculty want to send appears to be clear, if students don’t want to dance appropriately, they can leave. “What people do on their own time is up to them, but when they come to a school dance, there are certain behaviors that are acceptable. This isn’t Jersey Shore; Snooki isn’t a student here,” Gilhaus said. Some of the dance moves that were exhibited caused an uproar within the faculty. “There were girls in short dresses bending over and touching the floor,” McFall said. The Time Warp dance, held March 31, will feature music dating as far back as the 1960’s, which may eliminate the need to express oneself in a provocatively sexual manner. If a student is seen dancing inappropriately, the administration’s response will be cut and dry. “Our supervision at the dances will be as such: we’ll go up to students and if they cannot dance or act in an appropriate manner they’ll be asked to leave. If they want to argue, then the consequences will get greater,” Gilhaus said. Having graduated in 2004, Deffer reflects on why he thinks the overall culture of a dance has changed so greatly. “When I was in high school, the whole dance scene was different. I think that pop culture is a leading cause of these outbreaks of inappropriate dancing,” Deffer said. Future dances under this ‘new era’ will undoubtedly be different from those of years past. Whether or not the student body will play audience to one of Gilhaus’s spring hormone speeches remains to be seen. If a speech were to be delivered, it is presumable that the contents will in some way, shape or form relate to the matter of inappropriate dancing. Nonetheless, spring just isn’t spring without the speech. “There’s a lot of pressure on those speeches! I will do my best to find some time to put one together,” Gilhaus said. With Time Warp comes a blast to the past, but Gilhaus’s message to the student body is straight out of the ’90s. “I’m not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill and I’m not trying to shoot a fly with a shotgun. I’m just trying to say: come up, have fun, be young, drink Pepsi, and dance appropriately,” Gilhaus said.

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06 /MARCH 2012/ NEWS

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY /GRACE PRITCHETT


dancing through the

RAIN

Pacesetters share dance for a cause donations, empathy with Joplin dance studio BY /OLIVIA FEATHERS Miles of flat nothingness, homes torn to pieces, and huge parks of relief trailers for homeless refugees greeted the varsity dance team as we drove through Joplin, MO Jan. 28. Having these images stuck in our minds made the Pacesetter’s November Dance Marathon about much more than just a school spirit dance. There are moments in life where you look back on everything you have personally been through and are forced to think, “Wow. That was nothing.” Visiting Karen’s Dance Studio Inc. in Joplin about seven months after the devastating tornado that tore the town apart at its seams was one of those moments. The Pacesetters held their first annual dance marathon in November, and made the decision to donate half of all proceeds to Karen’s Dance Studio Inc., a studio that was completely destroyed in the tornado. This January, after a two hour drive, the team and I pulled into the parking lot and walked into a bright room decorated in purple and blue, the signature colors of Karen’s Dance Studio Inc. We were greeted by Karen’s daughter, Nicole Drouin, along with a few young dance students, and rounded the corner onto the dance floor, which was also a donation to the studio. Nicole gave us a little overview of the devastation in both the town and at the studio, and the horrific events that had taken place that May 22 became more real to all of us who hadn’t lived through it. To say the least, the stories we heard were heart-wrenching. The studio had lost their beloved owner, Karen, just a few months before the tornado hit, and had put on a tribute recital to her just one night before the tornado. There were dancers we met who were attending school at a renovated department store in the local mall, dancers who had lost parents, and dancers who had lost homes. The girl who we were able to scholarship with our donations, came to see us during our visit to the studio. She had lost her home in the tornado and had a new baby sister to help her mother support. As her mother thanked our team, tears welled up in her

eyes. When I saw her cry out of gratitude, I think the biggest question that I had that day came to my mind: How could someone who had lost everything they have manage to cry tears of happiness? I’ve danced my whole life, which is why I was so surprised that spending about an hour and a half with kids that I had never met before could change my perspective of dance so drastically. I’ll admit to times where I dreaded class or rehearsal, either because I was simply tired or had something else that I would rather be doing. The dancers in Joplin didn’t see dancing as a chore- it was their escape. They could go to Karen’s and forget about all the trouble in the town. They could be with other kids who were going through similar experiences, and put their flood of emotions into dance. Those dancers changed what it means to me: it’s a way to escape any worries and lose yourself in dance. Seeing the way we changed those girls lives and seeing that we were able to allow them to use dance as an outlet for the emotional time that they were going through trying to rebuild their town was something I will never forget. The mother’s tears of happiness must have come from knowing that while everything was gone, at least her daughter could dance. Dance is something that has been such a huge part of my life as well as all the Pacesetters’ lives that we were personally touched and honored with the chance to make a difference and help that studio get back on its feet. The mix of emotions: sadness for the town, happiness for being able to help, horror from the stories we had heard, gave us a lot to think about, so the drive back to Kansas City was pretty quiet. When I look back on Joplin, the main thing that comes to my mind is that learning to bounce back from any curve ball that life may throw you may be one of the most important skills a for a person to attain. Maybe this life is all about learning how to dance through the rain.

On 11/11/11 the Pacesetters held a spirit dance fundraiser for Karen’s Dance Studio in Joplin. OPINIONS /MARCH 2012/ 07


TH

DEBATE

LUCK: PRO FACT OR FICTION? PRO

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY /GRACE PRITCHETT

BY /GARRETT MOULD One can either have good luck, bad luck, or no luck at all, but there is no question that luck exists. Luck is when you’re caught speeding, but get let off with a warning, or when you get the last slice of pepperoni pizza in the lunch line. A perfect, more extreme example of good luck is the luck that a man named John Woods has had. Woods worked for a large legal firm in New York City. His office was located on the 39th floor of the World Trade Center. In 1993, when the building was bombed, he escaped without harm. One might call this luck, but it doesn’t stop there. In 2001, when the World Trade Centers were attacked again, he miraculously escaped with his life. In 1988, the same man was scheduled to fly with Pan-Am Airlines, on a flight to Europe, but cancelled at the last minute due to an office party. The plane he would have been on exploded while flying over Lockerbie, Sweden. One can either have good luck, bad luck, or no luck at all,

but there is no question that luck exists. Luck has the power to make the difference between life or death, as well as financial reward and ruin. Some days nothing goes your way. Maureen Wilcox had one of those days in June of 1980. She bought two lottery tickets, one for the Rhode Island lottery, and the other for the Massachusetts lottery. Incredibly, she managed to pick the winning numbers, but didn’t earn a penny. How did this happen? The numbers on her Rhode Island ticket happened to be the winning numbers for the Massachusetts lottery, and the numbers on her Massachusetts lottery ticket would have been the winning ticket in the Rhode Island lottery. The chances of winning the lottery are extremely slim. In fact, the chances of dying on the way to buy a lottery ticket are greater than the chances of winning the lottery. So did this frustrating situation happen because it

was meant to? Or because of probability? Of course not. The only thing that can explain this is a major case of bad luck. There are obviously some instances that are determined by probability, and not luck. When a mediocre basketball team beats one of the top ranked teams, it isn’t luck; they won because they performed better then the other team. Poker is a very good example of a mix between luck and skill. A player may be skilled at knowing when to fold, check, or go all in. The cards he is dealt, however, is based on luck, and the cards a person receives plays a major role in his chances of winning. Even though luck isn’t always present, and not everything is based on luck, it does exist. People may have good luck, or bad luck, but many events in our everyday life are based on what we call luck, just ask Maureen Wilcox.

BY /CALVIN FREEMAN “Find a penny, pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck.” Certain events that happen in our everyday lives are often labeled “lucky” or “unlucky.” However, Luck is not something that can truly be shown in a statistic. What one person may perceive as good luck another person may view as bad luck. Luck does not exist because it is more of a subjective belief rather than a life changing force. When discussing luck, the similar subjects of karma and fate often come up. Some people believe that if they are a better person or if they treat others better then karma will come into play and they will be rewarded with “good luck.” Others believe that their destiny is already set up for them and that they are just living as part of a predetermined plan. Both of these ideas are merely mindsets and while someone may believe in it, it would not be logical to say they are actually responsible for making things happen.

Lucius Annaeus Senceca, a firstcentury Roman philosopher, once said, “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.” In other words, luck isn’t something that just happens. The whole idea of someone receiving “luck” without any effort on their part isn’t very well thought out. For example, if someone is born into a wealthy family, he or she may believe themselves lucky; however, being born into a wealthy family may have made that person unappreciative or self-centered. As a result, a less wealthy person may argue that being born into a rich family was the worst or most unlucky thing that could have happened to his wealthy friend. It’s the same idea with things like a rabbit’s foot or a horse shoe. If you believe that certain possessions bring you “good luck” then you are probably more confident when you have these items. As a result you may be more successful due

to your confidence, not because of an unexplainable “lucky” force. We create our own luck by how we analyze or adapt to a situation we are in. The less wealthy person chose to believe that he or she was lucky when in reality they created their own perception of luck by being positive and believing that what they did have in their life was more valuable to him or her than what someone else has. If someone views their failures as being “unlucky” and views someone else’s success as being “lucky” then they are probably a pessimist. If someone believes that prior events that lead to a happier life as being “lucky” then they are probably an optimist. Luck as a noun does not actually exist. “Luck” is based purely on perception and how a person views and reflects on past events. The idea that luck is a force that affects our lives and is out of our control can not be reasonably supported.

CON

08 /MARCH 2012/ OPINIONS

Word on the Street

“Yes, because there are just certain things you can’t explain and it has to be luck.”— freshman Sydney Holler

“Yes luck exists because I’m Irish and I’m really lucky.”— sophomore Kelly O’Connor

“I don’t see luck as a mystical force, I see it as fortune or chance.”—senior Nathanial Ruth

“No, luck is based on emotions and actions. Faith is what I believe in.”—sophomore Arionna Washington


Editorial Board

Making the Wrong Move Girls on all fours, dresses pulled above the waist, their dates behind them leaving nothing to the imagination, and raunchy gyrating are what characterized the 2012 WPA dance. The DJ himself had never seen such lewd behavior. Dancing in our generation has significantly evolved from the innocent sock hops of the 1950s into almost bestial displays of dangerously suggestive movements.

DANCING IN CLUBS ISN’T EVEN THAT DIRTY.

Though the obvious purpose of any school dance is to have fun, it’s important to keep in mind the consequences these displays can have on the image of the student body as a whole. As commonplace as grinding has become, when in front of chaperoning teachers and other familiar adults, why let it reach such embarrassing heights? The dance is an opportunity for us students to express ourselves in a school-sponsored setting, so we shouldn’t choose to do so in a bad light. Just because school is not in session, we cannot simply let go of all inhibitions: we

are still representing Shawnee Mission South. Because they are also usually formal events, it’s important to show maturity and maintain a level of class; there is no point in investing time and money into looking elegant when your dancing ends up making you look trashy. Dancing in clubs isn’t even that dirty. A lot of work goes into making dances happen; we shouldn’t take advantage of that and forget our image as students. If you want to express yourself more freely, there’s always the after party.

CARTOON BY /CLAIRE THOMAS

OPINIONS/MARCH 2012/ 09


The

Dark Age Music of

Junior reflects on problems with the current state of the music industry BY /NATHAN THIMMESCH

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urn on the radio nowadays, and you are guaranteed a few things: first, an artist that no one knew about a few years ago and might as well be dead to us in a few years time; second, the bass kicked way up and overpowering the rest of the song; three, voices that are probably so electronically altered that they sound absolutely nothing like the original artist: and fourth, beats and sounds that are computer-generated rather than made by real instruments. In past generations, there have been artists that defined the entire era: in the ’60s it was Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan. In the ’70s it was Aerosmith, The Who, and Elton John. In the ’80s there was Michael Jackson, AC/DC, Whitney Houston, and Prince. In the ’90s, Radiohead, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and Rage Against The Machine dominated the radio, and these bands are still resonating into the better music of today. But what does our generation have? We’re stuck with Lil’ Wayne, LMFAO, Flo Rida, Rihanna, Ke$ha, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and countless other artists that all sound pretty similar. This phenomenon of music turned terrible hasn’t been present in the past few eras of music. I doubt very many people would agree with you if you were to say that “The King of Rock n’ Roll” was a terrible artist, and many people would probably start arguing with you right then and there. If you said the Beatles were a

bad band and unoriginal, you’d be hearing some major opposition from most people. However, if you were to say that T-Pain was a terrible artist who overuses Auto-Tune, I doubt you’d hear too many people oppose you outright. I’ve seen this happen plenty of times. For example, when I hear a song on the radio, I’ll ask whoever is around me who the song is by, or if they know the name of the song, and more often than not the answer is “Uhh... I don’t know,” then they’ll go back to singing it. Then I wonder, “why don’t you learn the artist and song if you seem to like it so much?” I’ve noticed that the radio usually picks one song by an artist and plays and plays and plays it until no one wants to hear it anymore. Then they find another song by that artist and do the same. With some bands or artists, it seems that it’s their better music that isn’t played on the radio. For example, I used to think that Muse’s best song was “Uprising” because that’s the one I’d heard on the radio. Now, having listened to their entire album, I’ve realized that, while “Uprising” is still a good song, they have better songs. What I find really appalling is that the artists who are making this music seem to know that they can get away with making meaningless music that sounds so similar to everything else. In “N***** in Paris,” Jay-Z borrows from the movie Blades Of Glory with the lines

“Nobody knows what it means it’s provocative... gets the people going!” What does this suggest about what he feels about his music? It means that he can get by with a “career” based solely on “music” that will illicit some kind of crazy, high-energy reaction from listening. Am I saying that music shouldn’t illicit some kind of reaction? An emotional response of some kind? Not at all. Music should make you feel something. But is wanting to jump up and down, or grind, or fist pump really an emotional reaction? Think about it this way: could you listen to this song alone in a room and extract some deep meaning from it? No, you couldn’t. Music nowadays doesn’t really have much meaning like it used to. More often than not, music is channeled straight for our need for some excuse to party. We no longer have music which makes us feel something other than hyper. Occasionally, however, we do hear a popular artists on the radio that do have some deeper meaning, like Adele or The Fray, but these artists are few and far between. Despite this, the radio will still find that one song to beat within an inch of its life (“Rolling in the Deep” or “How To Save A Life”). The radio just doesn’t give you the full feel for an artist. It will give you a piece, and usually not the best piece. In a nutshell, music doesn’t give what it used to: heartfelt lyrics, musical talent, and artists that know how to put feeling into their music.


BEFORE THE SHOW A behind-the-scenes look at the makings of assemblies

PHOTOS BY /GRACE PRITCHETT BY /MIGUEL PALIMINO f you’ve ever been to an assembly at Shawnee Mission South, you’ve experienced school pep at its peak. The assemblies involve members of Pep Club running around, dancing and singing at the top of their lungs like a scene straight out of High School Musical. Some people might find it completely uncomfortable and awkward, but others love the liveliness and excitement of all the skits, sports introductions, and the performances by groups like the Pacesetters and cheerleaders. Whether you like it or not, the students who put the assemblies together work really hard and hope their fellow classmates enjoy them. “It’s hard to keep everybody interested. We want everybody to appreciate every sport, we don’t want anybody to feel left out. [We] try to make everything as exciting as possible, and when you’re out there it’s hard to face every part of the crowd, so that you’re not just stand towards the Pep Club. That you’re hitting everybody, that’s a challenge,” senior Gabriel Alaniz said. Pep Club and Student Council put a lot of work into their skits and their intro in between different performances. “I think the most rewarding part is seeing students get excited, because it’s one thing to see a couple of students excited about an assembly, but it’s a completely different thing to see the whole school really be excited for a common cause,” senior Erica Lang said. Behind the scenes during the assemblies usually isn’t as hectic as one might think. Except for the

I

occasional moment when someone freaks out because they’ve misplaced a prop, the MCs and the rest of Pep Club are usually pretty calm and organized. “[Sometimes] the music doesn’t work, which happened at our first assembly and it is really awkward, or like our relay doesn’t work out, which happened at our last assembly too,” senior Shilpi Ganguly said. Freshmen may not know it, but the assemblies have changed quite a bit since last year. The assemblies used to consist of corny jokes and awkward puns. Some students miss the timeless old jokes, but others think what’s being done is an improvement. The cringeworthy puns have now been replaced by the pep MC’s getting the whole audience involved in relay races and flash mobs. “People before us would just do little jokes and puns and not everyone really liked that. So we like to kind of go above and beyond and act out things instead of [telling] jokes and do more interactive things and incorporate music and conversation instead of [just] jokes,” senior Haley White said. Another big improvement has been the idea of seating students according to grade. That has greatly helped the MC’s get through to the audience. “I think one of the things that we have really been focusing on this year is really making sure that every side of the gym is able to see our faces and be able to really see what’s happening down here on the floor. But with MCing and with us presenting different things we really do try to face all parts of the crowd,” Lang said.

One of the problems that the assemblies now face is time management, as was seen in the sweetheart assembly. Pep Club and STUCO were scurrying about trying to figure out how they had run out of time for the skits toward the end. “I think one of the problems with the MC’s is we have too much fun with it, so all of our skits last longer than they probably should, just so we can get the point across,” White said. Luckily, they came up with a clever solution: showing the cut portion in seminar. Teachers were supposed to show the skits via YouTube during seminar. The skits were the STUCO reps from each grade performing a song in a creative way. Another problem the MC’s face is making sure the assemblies aren’t repetitive, which can be rather difficult. Thinking of new and fresh ideas that are not only funny for the audience but also aren’t childish can be big challenge. “That’s always a challenging part, but I think because we have the four of us MC’s [Brandon, Gabe, Haley and Erica], we are really able to work together and we’re able to bring some different things to the assembly and just have fun with it,” Lang said. Pep Club puts a lot of work in the assemblies and the main goal is to make sure the student body has a fun and happy experience ...and make sure that they’re having a better time at an assembly than they would in seminar. FEATURES /MARCH 2012/ 11


^

CRASH Students share their traffic experiences

BY /NATHAN THIMMESCH indows down, music up, sun shining, not a care in the world. Teenager drives down the street on her way to pick up her friends. Oh, I love this song! Teenager thinks, so she turns it up. It’s summer, and that means freedom. Teenager can do whatever she wants because it means no school and no responsibility. Teenager doesn’t realize that she is going 10 over the speed limit, and not focusing on the road but instead on the radio and singing along. Crash! Many South students know what it’s like to be a teenage driver, but they do not know what it’s like to be in an accident. They don’t know the instantaneous worry and fear, or what it’s like to be stunned and confused. Then comes the information exchange, the insurance claim, possibly a court date, then getting the car repaired or in some cases, finding a new car. However, there are some that have experienced these misfortunes first-hand. “[The first time I drove by myself, I felt] kind of awesome. Worried and apprehensive because you’re not used to it, but it was fun,” senior Austin Feathers said. Many teens have this same feeling the first time they drive. They feel free, as though they no longer need to rely upon their parents for rides to and from wherever. They feel like they can now go wherever, do whatever, whenever they want. “I was scared, but it felt nice to be able to do my own thing,” junior Gentry Toman said. Teen drivers, however, often face the most problems on the road. From distractions to experience-based difficulties, many seem to have troubles on the road for one reason or another. They also seem to be looked down upon by more experienced drivers. “[They think] we’re bad drivers. That we’re the crazy ones on the road, but for the most part that’s [usually adults],” junior Cynthia Raymer said. Teens also face many pervasive stereotypes from other drivers. Teens are often seen as the worst drivers on the road. They are often seen as the drivers who cause the most wrecks, get in the most wrecks, and don’t know how to drive. “[We face] the pressure to text or talk on the phone or blast music when you’re [in the car with friends] they’re jamming or talking or looking at pictures you want to do it

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12 /MARCH 2012/ FEATURES

^

COURSE

PHOTOS BY /GRACE PRITCHETT

too,” senior Kelsey Ling said. Many students have, unfortunately, experienced different kinds of accidents throughout their time as teenage drivers. Senior Courtney Robles got pulled over for speeding. She was going 86 in a 65 mph zone. The ticket cost her $212, and she realized how much of a financial burden it can be. It has changed her for the better as a driver. “I’m more careful, I actually go the speed limit and I don’t want to get pulled over again and pay another $212,” she said. Toman got into an accident on her way to school when she failed to yield right of way to an oncoming driver. It was dark, and neither of the two drivers saw each other coming, causing the collision. Toman felt bad after the wreck, as if she had some responsibility for the accident and thought that it was reflecting poorly on teenage drivers. “I think a lot of it was me being a teenager, I felt like I was reinforcing stereotypes,” Toman said. Ling got into a similar accident last summer. She was going through a green light when a driver turning left failed to yield to her. The driver turned out in front of her, and they got in an accident. “I just remember sitting there and not knowing what happened,” she said. Feathers got into an accident last winter. He was driving around on a snowy day and lost traction. He went up onto the median and collided with two small trees. The damages were less severe than Toman’s and Ling’s because they could be fixed. The back window had broken, the right front quarter panel and back left panel were dented, but all of these were replaceable or repairable. “I pretty much saw it coming, and it happened and I was basically like ‘Okay this sucks. My parents are going to absolutely destroy me,’” Feathers said. Raymer got into a wreck when driving home about a year ago. She was driving home with a friend, junior Abbey Price, and another friend from another school. When they were going through a green light, they were hit by a drunk driver who did not stop at a red light. “You hear a sound, you feel pain, then you just don’t know what’s going on. I was in shock,” she said. Price was also affected by the shock of the accident.

“It was scary, we were all so shaken up by it,” Price said. Junior Ahmed Alasmar got into a wreck rather recently. He was slowing down to stop at a red light when the driver behind him did not seem to see him slow down. The driver rear ended him. Car wrecks can be scary, possibly harmful, and very inconvenient for those involved. Accidents can result in many different expenses, from tickets to getting cars repaired to finding new cars. The financial burden can be lightened by insurance, but even then accidents can take a toll on the driver’s confidence. “I was terrified because I thought that it was probably my fault even though I went through a green light,” Ling said. After an accident, it can be hard for a driver to feel comfortable on the road again, even when they are not the ones driving. Not only is confidence an issue for teens, but simply being on the road when other drivers could possibly cause the accident. “I was traumatized to the point I didn’t want to drive. Even sitting in a car, you would see someone behind you pull up and you weren’t sure if they were going to hit you again, so it was traumatizing,” Raymer said. Even when teenagers do get back on the road after an accident, they are often apprehensive. If they are not, they have at least learned from their mistake, or learned to be more wary of other drivers or certain conditions that can make driving a hazard. “I’m a much more careful driver. I might be doing something then that yellow light comes on in my head, and I remember ‘Okay, don’t want to do that again,’” Feathers said. Teens are often viewed as the worst drivers on the road, but they also have the least experience. Even statistics say that teens are involved in the most crashes, but that does not mean that they are the cause for all of these accidents. Teens will inevitably face stereotypes and other difficulties that can be attributed to the fact that they have just begun driving. Though in some cases accidents are inevitable, teens can attempt to prevent them by remaining aware of their surroundings and practicing defensive driving.

GETTING DISTRACTED DRINK Drivers who use their hands to multitask are four times as likely to get in injury-causing accidents than other drivers.

16 percent of drivers under 20 involved in fatal car accidents reported having been distracted while driving. These distractions can be visual, manual, or cognitive. Manual involves drivers taking their hands off the wheel. Cognitive involves drivers taking their mind off what they’re doing.

CD/ RADIO

PHONE Texting while driving makes someone 23 times more likely to crash. It also results in accidents that kill an average of 11 teens a day and 330,000 injuries a year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2008 approximated that one in six fatal accidents were due to a distracted driver.

CLIMATE CONTROLS

Statistics courtesy of Allstate Teen Text Pledge and Thomas J Henry Law FEATURES /MARCH 2012/ 13


a Way With Words

PHOTOS BY /JULIA LARBERG

Senior shares his experience with writer’s workshop and his passion for prose BY /RACHEL ROSENSTOCK

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ne of the perks of being a writer is the ability to share your finished work with others, so they can enjoy your passion too. But creating this finished piece takes dedication and love, and not just for one game or for a two hour practice after school, but every day that you feel inspired, which for some, is an entire life. One of these people is Mustafa Said, a senior this year currently taking English teacher Lindsey McFall’s writer’s workshop for the fifth time. He writes 10 or more hours a week, and his longest work to date is a 285-page-plus novel, titled Destiny, which he wrote sophomore year. Said’s specialty in his stories is dark, science fiction fantasy tales with a deep underlying meaning. “There seems to be demonic, endof-the-world kind of themes. I guess I write better when I’m writing something serious,” Mustafa said. Fellow writers workshop classmate Sidney Holler also sees these tendencies. “Mustafa usually does stuff that’s really deep, but not deep sad, it [just] makes you think. I remember a lot of his pieces had a war, like an apocalypsetype thing going on. Something with the mind, something crazy,” she said. Despite his dark tendencies, Said’s inspiration comes from normal, every day, occurrences. “What inspires me is living, breathing. Life itself inspires me,” Mustafa said. Said cites authors such J.K. Rowling, Ted Decker and Lemony Snicket as role models he looks up to when writing. “When I first started writing in the fifth grade, I started modeling [my work] after Lemony Snicket, because I was reading A Series of Unfortunate Events and it hooked me from the first book. The first story I ever started writing, you could call it plagiarism, because I took A Series of Unfortunate Events and just changed the names, and I liked that,” Mustafa said. “And then one day I thought, I don’t like this at all. I want to try to make something of my own work. So that’s what got me to writing.” Like these successful writers, Said 14 /MARCH 2012/ FEATURES

Why byIMustafa Write Said

I write for the stories that aren’t able to be told, To the tales dragged to people’s graves, And the mysteries that have yet to be solved. I write to fill in the blanks, The cracks that history left, The stories with no endings. I write so I may never lose my inner child, So I can keep some sort of innocence from past years Always within my heart. I write for the smiles on people’s faces when they read my work, The small moment of happiness that I created. I write for happier times, for a brighter future, So that I may look back someday and think to myself, Even through the good times and bad, Through the happy and sad, Through the tears of joy and pain, It was all worth it And that I have lived a life surely blessed. hopes to one day get his work published. He wants other people to be able to experience his fictional world. “People can see my work out there, and say ‘Oh you wrote that.’ It makes you happy at least someone’s going to read my work, someday,” Mustafa said. But Said’s writing didn’t always start out ready to be published, his writing came from a general place in the beginning and his stories have evolved into what writer’s workshop teacher Lindsey McFall calls “showing, not telling.” “So what that means is you’re not giving a general overview of the story, you’re actually creating that scene and showing it so your readers can visualize it,” McFall said. “A lot of kids come into the class telling and [eventually] get into more showing, and they have more detail and they can create a vivid scene for the reader.” Said credits McFall with helping him

grow and improve in his writing the past three years he has been taking the class. “Mrs. McFall is an amazing teacher. I’ve known her for so long and she’s always been there, encouraged me to read my stories in front of the class, encouraged me to write the best that I can,” he said. Taking the class five times has helped Said come up with new ideas for the same assignments, and creating inspiration. “What’s interesting about taking the class multiple times is I can take the same assignment and think of new ways to rewrite it, so it’s never the same assignment the same way I wrote it. It’s always something different. A year goes by and I think new things and I write new things,” Mustafa said. The assignments in the creative writing class are geared towards stimulating the student’s thought processes and improving the way they write and construct stories. “[I learned] how to write stories with your imagination and not hold back. It wasn’t really like an English class, so she really just encouraged you to do whatever,” Holler said. One of the main parts of the class is reading your stories to the class and getting feedback from the other students and the teacher. Students don’t have to read them, but are encouraged to. “The class has helped me a lot because I’ve gotten a lot of feedback over the years as to how I write, what I should write, and generally help me figure out what I like writing, what I don’t like writing,” Mustafa said. “With every class comes a whole new generation of writers and [a] whole new perspective.” Other students have noticed Said’s writing skills in the creative writing class. “I think that people look at him as kind of an expert in the class. He’s met so many people who I’m sure he considers as friends now, so I would say that people definitely look up to him. And they look forward to him sharing his assignments,” McFall said. Graduation looms for Said, and after he has plans to continue his creative writing training and career.

“I have plans to go to college and major in creative writing. I’m going to JUCO, [but] I want to try and leave Kansas and just get out into the world,” Mustafa said. Said admits that the end of the year will bring about one of his saddest moments: when he has to leave the creative writing class forever. “With every day that passes by it brings me closer and closer to the day that I never wanted to come: the day I have to say goodbye to writer’s workshop,” Mustafa said. “I don’t want to say goodbye to be perfectly honest. So really it’s hard for me to move on and it’s going to be hard for me to say goodbye.”

01

02

PHOTOS BY /JULIA LARBERG

01 Senior Mustafa Said shares his work with the writer’s workshop class. 02 Said concentrates as he works to finish an assignment for creative writing.


websites:

THEN&NOW A LOOK BACK ON INFLUENTIAL WEBSITES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT BY /GARRETT MOULD

W

hen sophomore Jo Jones gets out of school, one of the first things she does is get on Facebook. “I like being able to stay in touch with friends, and being able to keep track of my pictures,” Jones said about Facebook. High School students are not the only ones who use social networks. Studies show that 65 percent of adults who use the Internet regularly use a social networking site. This may be related to the new innovative features that CEO Mark Zuckerburg and the Facebook staff have continued to create. Many other high school students find themselves on Facebook throughout the day. Facebook isn’t the only websites that students become addicted to, however. Senior Molly Litzler discovered a website called Pinterest, and has been using it ever since. “I used to get on Pinterest a lot,” Litzler said. “but I’ve slowed down. I get on once every few days, now I

do it during my free time, or when I don’t want to do homework.” There are many websites that high school students use every day, but what makes a website so addicting? Is it the innovative features? Or the fancy looks? “I look at the homepage, to see how nice it looks. Accessibility too, that’s always important,” sophomore Cole Bunker said. Accessibility, looks, and the website’s popularity are all common answers. Now, with smart phones becoming more common, websites are also becoming more innovative. Most sites now have mobile apps, where users can log onto their favorite websites on the go, where ever they are. Social networks such as Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook, demonstrate a good example of innovation. Twitter has a unique system of communicating, where tweeters use hash tags and other symbols to express their thoughts. Tumblr is one of many websites that

focuses on using pictures, instead of text posts. Despite the increasing number of users, there are many people who think changes still need to be made. “I avoid Facebook when I can because of the drama. Sadly some of that drama is making its way to Twitter,” Jones said. While drama can’t be controlled by the website’s staff, Bunker has a few suggestions about other possible changes. “On Facebook and MySpace, there are a lot of old men. It’s kind of creepy, and I look down on that stuff,” Bunker said. Whether we use websites for their availability, looks, or popularity, each social networking site offers their own unique ways of connecting with friends. If a websites fails to innovate, it is usually replaced with new, sleeker sites on which to connect.

FACEBOOK & TWITTER AIM AIM stands for AOL Instant Messenger. Released in May of 1997, AIM provides users with a way to chat instantly with friends, anywhere, anytime. Sounds great, right? It was, at least in 2007, when it had close to 35 million users, more than any other instant messaging website. Since then, it has seen a dramatic loss in members. In 2009, AIM had only 17 million users, drastically less then Yahoo’s instant messenger, which peaked at nearly 40 million users at around the same time. In the last year, it isn’t only AIM that is becoming less popular. The only IM site to add users was Windows Live, which still only had 15 million. The reason is simple: ways of communicating through technology have become much easier. Text messaging has taken over, and left Instant Messaging sites in the dust. They released video chat in 2002, but that has recently become less popular due to the emergence of Skype and FaceTime.

MYSPACE MySpace was created in 2003. It consecutively earned the title of most visited website from 2005 until 2008. From then on, it began a drastic decline in number of users, as many people migrated to newer social networks such as Facebook. Many people have ideas as to why the site became obsolete so quickly. One claim is that the website failed to innovate, while Twitter and Facebook have continued to launch new features. Another theory is their lack of child safety. In 2009, the company had to delete 29,000 accounts, all belonging to known sex offenders. In 2006, a 13-yearold girl, Megan Meier, committed suicide after she was bullied online by the mother of Meier’s friend. Because of the decline in members, MySpace, who at one point had 1,600 employees, has gone through many rounds of lay offs, and now only 200 employees work for the company. Last year, it was the 138th most visited website, coming in far behind both Twitter and Facebook.

Recently, these two social networking sites have run the show, leaving other websites wondering what to do. It’s unusual to find a teenager without a Facebook, and most teens log into Facebook multiple times per day. Twitter, a social networking site which emphasizes using as few words as possible, has seen a recent growth in users. Many teens have become aware of Twitter through its media publicity. Many famous actors, musicians and athletes have a Twitter, which they use to update fans on their actions and thoughts throughout the day. Despite the celebrities, Facebook has far more users than Twitter. At the beginning of this year, Facebook confirmed that it had 350 million users, and that 150 million of those users log in every day. Twitter, on the other hand, has around 100 million users, and only half of those users have more than two followers. Despite the gap in users between the two social networks, both are gaining popularity, and show no signs of slowing down.

PINTEREST & STUMBLEUPON

Pinterest is a fairly new, vision board style website. It is basically an online bulletin board, where people can post anything that interests them. It’s goal is to connect people around the world with similar interests. Users can like, comment, and repin the original posts. The more “re-pins” a post has, the more likely it is to be seen. This website is mainly used by women, but shares many characteristics with StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon is a site where you can enter your interests, and the computer displays websites that pertain to that category. For example, if you are interested in rap music, the website will display rap songs, music videos, and information on different rap artists. You can like these posts, and they will be saved on your profile, where you can refer back to them at any time. StumbleUpon was launched in 2001, and has seen an increase in users since. Pinterest was founded more recently, in 2010. It has quickly gained popularity, and was chosen for the “Top 50 Websites of 2011,” by Time Magazine.

A&E /MARCH 2012/ 15


REVIEWS: THE LATEST IN MUSIC AND MOVIES

MOVIES

The Lorax BY /HANNAH STRADER On March 2, Dr. Seuss would have been 108 years old. It was on this 108th birthday that Universal Pictures released its new animated take on the classic children’s story that has never been more relevant. Only Dr. Seuss could take environmental issues and make them interesting to kids. Only the creators of Despicable Me could make it appealing to an audience of all ages. The story is centered around 12-year-old Ted [Zac Efron], who embarks on a journey to impress his older neighbor Audrey [Taylor Swift]. Audrey has an affinity for Truffula Trees and in a world where air is bottled and everything is plastic, real trees are hard to come by. As a result, and with a little help from his Grammy Norma, Ted makes his way out of Thneedville in search of the mysterious Once-ler who is rumored to know much about Truffula Trees. While the story itself is verbatim to the book, one can’t help but feel disappointed when the entire movie doesn’t take place in rhyme. Fortunately, there are musical numbers to take away some of your despair. And if you’re worried about hearing Taylor Swift or Zac Efron open up and start singing, don’t fret: they don’t (this was one of my biggest worries too). We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. The movie was pretty great, all around. Definitely no worse than any of the other movies I’ve wasted money on in 2012. While you may feel a bit childish and immature when you’re giggling beside a pack of 7-year-olds, it’s kind of worth it. There are bursts of humor throughout that even adults can’t help but laugh at, and a few jokes that the kids aren’t old enough yet to appreciate. The animation is brilliantly done, and while watching it in 2-D is satisfying, you shiver at the thought of watching it in its full glory in 3-D. The scenes are identical to those painted in the book, and it’s like watching a childhood dream play out on the big screen. This movie really taught me two things: that you’re never too old for Dr. Seuss, and that “unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Project X

BY /GRIFFIN ZELLER First off, let me say that AMC is the biggest ripoff of all time. Ten dollars for a movie, go to Cinemark. But I digress, this review isn’t about the theatre it’s about Project X. In the vein of other found footage movies like Paranormal Activity, Project X is the story of three friends who try to throw the ultimate party to change the game and make themselves popular. On Thomas’s (Thomas Mann) birthday his parents go on a short vacation to celebrate their anniversary. His parents don’t worry about leaving their son alone because they sadly think that he is a loser. His parents leave and Thomas’ s friend, Costa (Oliver Cooper), makes it his goal to invite as many people as he can. He buys an ad on Craigslist and makes an announcement at school; he doesn’t care that Thomas said only 50 people could come. By the time the party is supposed to start no one is there except the crew: Thomas, Costa, JB, Kirby, and Dax, the cameraman. But, at about 9:30 people come, lots of people come. People showed up and it gets crazy. The DJ was playing some tight music, and there were so many beautiful girls, and some illegal things. But, then the neighbor comes and security, two 12-year-old kids, taze the man. It is all good, but then the cops come. They get off smooth and the party continues. This is the greatest party of all time. Thomas becomes a legend and stands on his roof as he asks Costa,”Is this big enough to be cool?” Then jumps off onto the bouncy house. Then everything goes wrong and a dude shows up with a flamethrower and things go badly. The movie is funny. But, the characters and the plot are predictable. During the party the director tries to move the plot along, but with the sterotypical high school characters and predictable narrative it doesn’t work. The found footage angle was cool. Project X is not as funny as Superbad, but the party is tight.

REAL RESULTS: THE OSCARS BY /TRIVETTE KNOWLES

An event that happens every February for 84 years has been an ongoing tradition in the United States. The Oscars have a history of nominating the best and most deserving movies, actors and directors. From Gone With The Wind to Rocky, from Sidney Poitier to Natalie Portman, from 1929 to 2012 Oscar winners have been established as the cream of the crop when pertaining to acting, directing, and cinematography in general. 16 /MARCH 2012/ A&E

Each year, however, the Oscars nominate and choose a winner that sometimes the majority of the population disagrees with. Blogs and TV shows dedicate time and effort to show what they think. Approximately 105 students also devoted their time by completing surveys to decide who really should have won. Here are the results of many students’ opinions on the 84th Academy Awards.

Best Picture:

34%

THE HELP

actual winner: The Artist


Tyga: Careless World: Rise of the Last King

MUSIC

BY /TRIVETTE KNOWLES Tyga’s album, Careless World: Rise of the Last King, simply put, is average. Many tracks are boring and than others you will most definitely keep on repeat. Any song Tyga had a featured artist from Young Money the overall performance improved. With amazing beats but basic rhymes the second album of Tyga’s career really didn’t meet the expectations of his fellow Young Money members. When Tyga would try and pull a Drake and become deep and sing in his songs, all interest was lost automatically. Trying to reach into the audiences’ heart is not what Tyga is known. When he would act like the Tyga we all know and love, listeners could rely on an excellent song to be produced. Do not be confused. Everything about this album was not a disappointment. “Break this MutthaF***a Up” and “Rack City” will be played for months and months to come. As stated earlier the beats are outstanding for almost every single song. Each one has a its own unique style that you couldn’t find in most songs of any artist. Certain aspects of the Careless World are very interesting. Titles of each individual track were symbolic to show how Tyga really doesn’t care. When listening to the album and his earlier songs you can tell Tyga has made the development pretty quickly. At the beginning of his career he sounded like any regular rapper who just got a lucky break. Now he sounds more mature. The verdict of this Careless World is an average album, nothing special and some good songs. The two biggest factors of why this album is not very good is because every song Tyga goes solo, the song suffers. Having to listen to Tyga without having any breaks for a straight four minutes is more of a punishment than enjoyment. The other reason is for all the attempts Tyga has when he tries to sing about the difficulties of life. Each time is just another bad example of why if you’re a rapper and your name is not Drake, do not try to sing.

Craig Morgan: This Ole Boy BY /DEREK FUHRMANN Craig Morgan is showing no signs of slowing down at age 47. His seventh release, This Ole Boy, has lived up to the expectations that he would put out a “feel good” album, depicting himself as the “regular guy” that he is. The album is filled with nostalgic tracks that bring out memories of the “good ole days.” The title track “This Ole Boy” has become a fixture on radio stations, and for good reason. Morgan sets the tone for this album by showing things through his point of view, the point of view of your everyday, down-to-earth country boy. Tracks such as “The Whole World Needs A Kitchen” and “Fish Weren’t Biting” exemplify the simple life at its best by describing home-cooked meals and fishing on a quiet lake. Through uncomplicated songs like these, Morgan tells a story that rivals top country stars. Unfortunately, this album is not perfect. It spirals out of control on tracks such as “Corn Star”, (I hope that you can see the innuendo there) and “Show Me Your Tattoo”, which is a well written song but sounds a bit awkward coming from the 47 year old’s mouth. Although Morgan’s voice is extremely versatile and wholesome, it may have been a better idea to sell the rights to the likes of younger singers, such as Luke Bryan or Chase Rice. As with all country albums, a slow romantic song is a must have, so Morgan fills the bill with “Love Loves A Long Night.” This is perhaps his most impressive vocal display to date. Morgan displays his ability to sing not just up-tempo summer anthems, but slowed down ballads as well. Overall, This Ole Boy is an incredibly likeable album that is easy to listen to. Bits and pieces of Morgan’s life are infused into the tracks which adds to the sincerity that this album possesses. I can honestly say that this is one of the strongest country releases in the last 12 months. Expect this album to become a smash hit and a staple of local country stations. I hope that Craig Morgan’s tour runs through Kansas City, as I will definitely buy a ticket to see him.

Best Leading Actress:

42%

VIOLA DAVIS

The Help actual winner: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Best Leading Actor:

46%

BRAD PITT

Moneyball actual winner: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Best Supporting Actress:

Best Supporting Actor:

36%

51%

MELISSA MCCARTHY

Bridesmaids actual winner: Octavia Spencer, The Help

JONAH HILL Moneyball

actual winner: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

A&E /MARCH 2012/ 17


out&about Entertainment in the metro area for a local spring break

01

zona rosa

Located in Kansas City, Mo. on the northwest corner of Interstate 29 and Barry Road, Zona Rosa features over 100 stores and 20 restaurants. If you want Italian visit Bravo! Cucina Italian or maybe you’re craving barbecue, then mosey on over to Smokehouse BBQ. Maybe you’d rather spend your money on clothes. Zona Rosa has almost every store imaginable from Dick’s sporting goods to Express. Zona Rosa is also great for having a relaxing day strolling around all the stores and courtyards with anybody, even your dog. Zona Rosa is pet friendly and some stores even allow dogs inside. One new attraction to Zona Rosa is Maze Craze, which has three attractions, two mazes, one mirror and the other laser, and laser tag. There’s no way you can’t find something to do.

02

kauffman

The Kauffman Center for Performing Arts is located at 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo. It’s the perfect place for anybody that loves the arts. The Kauffman Center is new to the metro area and can be seen from a distance. Its exterior resembles a futuristic sea shell. It’s a 285,000 square foot facility with two main performance halls. The exterior is made up of glass, concrete, and bead-blasted stainless steel. Kauffman Center will also feature Nixon in China March 10, 14, 16, at 7:30 p.m. and on the 18 at 2 p.m.. Nixon in China is the opera rendition of former president Nixon’s trip to China in 1972 to make peace with Chairman Mao, president of China. Red Star Red Army Chorus & Dance Ensemble perform March 16 at 8 p.m.. The singers, dancers and instruments will leave audiences in awe.

05

03

ny dog pound

Located on Shawnee Mission Parkway in Overland Park, the family-owned New York Dawg Pound brings East Coast tastes to the Midwest. It may not seem like much from the outside, but the small quaint restaurant will surprise many. Dawg Pound offers over 18 different types of hot dogs each unique in its own way and they’re all pretty good. The restaurant’s warm and lively family atmosphere is great for any occasion.

brobeck’s

Brobeck’s is the place for some good old Kansas barbecue and maybe even one of the best in Kansas. Located on Indian Creek Parkway, in Overland Park Kansas. The aroma of barbecue fills your nostrils before you even walk through the door, leaving your stomach with a lustful appetite. Brobeck’s brings the small town diner setting to the suburbs, which is actually quite clever and ingenious, if you think about it. Brobeck’s is owned by the original owner of the Stillwell smokehouse and has been open since 2007.

18 /MARCH 2012/ A&E

PHOTOS BY /TREVOR GARIETY

04

BY /MIGUEL PALOMINO

arboretum

For beautiful and calm scenery, the Arboretum, located at 8909 W. 179th St., Overland Park, is perfect for anybody that loves to be out in nature. Over 300 acres, it contains eight different breathtaking gardens and a 5 mile hiking trail. Activities at the Arboretum range anywhere from spending a relaxing evening at the flower gardens to going on an adventurous hiking trip. Also, for runners, these surroundings allow for exercising with a view. During Feb. 1- April 30 the Arboretum will have a flower photo contest that gives young photographers a chance to show off their skills.


PHOTO BY /GRACE PRITCHETT

It’s finally his turn, the moment he’s been thinking about all day with undivided attention. Excitement, enjoyment, and a twinge of nervousness surge through senior JW Pabst. But those feelings dissolve as he steps onto the mat, facing his next faceless opponent. He zones out the crowd, his teammates, his coach, and his own feelings to focus on the task at hand: winning. Pabst started wrestling in the second grade, when his best friend invited him to come to practice. Ever since he started showing up to those practices, his life has been filled with intermittent wrestling. He started off high school in the 130 lb weight class and is in 145 for his senior year. He achieved his 100th win this year, and he has also gone to state his sophomore and junior years. Coach Rios described him as “good all around,” “a bonus in many ways,” and “a very strong wrestler.” “In the beginning it was a big deal, but after a while it starts to wear on your body. But I do still enjoy it,” Pabst said. His teammates and coach believe that Pabst is a crucial component to the team. His drive and dedication are evident and contagious among the other wrestlers. “He’s a great wrestler, he brings in points, and he’s motivating. He wants to see the good of the team,” senior Brandon Jenkins said. The significance of the physical training aspect of wrestling is enormous. Pabst has to constantly condition and improve on techniques, as well as work on cutting weight. It gets even more difficult during two day tournaments. “Two-day tournaments are hard,” Pabst said. “You can’t eat a lot, and you get really tired.” Pabst brings a unique and

inspiring attitude and mood not only to the varsity team, but to the younger wrestlers as well. According to Rios he is a good leader, and provides leadership both verbally and through his example to his fellow wrestlers on the varsity, JV, and freshman teams. “He can be funny, but he knows when to buckle down and get things done,” Jenkins said. His varsity teammates acknowledge that he has a different attitude when it comes to meets and tournaments. He balances his feelings and actions between practices and meets, putting himself in the state of mind required to do well in whatever situation he is in. “He’s serious when it comes to the different atmosphere at meets; he stays focused,” senior Clay Pearce said. Everyone seems confident in JW’s wrestling abilities, which earned him his way into state finals this year, and that if he wanted to he could pursue wrestling at higher levels. Pearce and Jenkins both believe that he could wrestle in college if he desired too, and that their teammates as well as Coach Rios share the same opinion. JW himself is not so sure, however. “If I get any scholarships, than yeah, I would wrestle in college, but otherwise probably not,” Pabst said. Though he has enjoyed it for the 11 years that he has played, he feels that after high school he may want to settle down and give himself a much-deserved break. However, Rios is still optimistic about the possibilities of Pabst’s future wrestling. “Oh yeah, if he wants to, then yes I would say that he has the ability to wrestle at the next level,” Rios said. BY /LUKE HOLLAND

state records qualified: JW Pabst, Clay Pearce, Brandon

Jenkins, Grant Jongerius, Reis Humphrey, Rasheed Brady, Skylar Olson

placed:

2nd - Clay Pearce 3rd - Reis Humphrey

PURSUING

pabst

145 pounds - wrestler

Senior wrestler reflects on accomplishments SPORTS /MARCH 2012/ 19


$M@SHING SM@CK TA!K $1,000

Fine for either a coach or a player for a technical foul during the regular season. $1,500 for the sixth through 10th technicals. $2,000 each for the 11th through 15th technicals $2,500 plus a one game suspension for the 16th and each additional one there after.

1/90th

When a player receives a technical foul, ejection, suspension (1/90th of his annual salary per game) or other fine, the money is split evenly between the league and Players Association. Each then donates its share to a charity or charities of their choosing.

20 /MARCH 2012/ SPORTS

A look at how trash talk and fighting has increased in sports BY /CASEY LEE Everything seems in order, then all of a sudden a player throws a punch and two players are on the ground. Most spectators know that when you’re watching sports, nothing is more exciting than when a fight breaks out. It all comes down to who hit who, who said what, and who said it first. Whether you threw the first punch or he did, it all started because of one thing: Trash Talk. Trash talk can differ on many different levels, but most can be identified as one of two types. Type one is a grump that is usually pretty angry and likes to fill his mouth with profanity. Type two is the comedian that uses sarcasm to piss off the grumpy ones. It ranges anywhere from “you bleepity bleep” to “at least ask me on a date first.” Both types do it purely for their own benefit. The angry ones get so mad they will drop you and end up throwing a ridiculous foul, but it tends to make them feel better. The nice ones love messing with the angry ones because it can throw off their game. If they throw a ridiculous foul the team gets a free kick, free throw etc. Either way, trash talk benefits them both. However, sometimes players get too mad. When this happens it usually results in a red card or ejection. Last May, the NBA suspended Andrew Bynum for five games for his flagrant foul on J.J. Barea and fined him $25,000 for taking off his jersey as he left the court. Excessive much? Is this to encourage sportsmanship or to give the NBA an extra payday? Boasting and insulting used to be a common and well loved part of the game, until people started going one step too far. Racial slurs, homosexual slurs, or any action

that can harm another player have never been accepted in the game. And now, a player can’t say or do anything without being caught on a camera recording them from every angle. With instant replay and high-tech recording, players can’t get away with anything. Smack talk used to be a fun way to mess with your opponent and get in their heads. Now, messing with your opponent comes at a huge price. On Feb. 3, the NBA fined Dallas owner Mark Cuban $75,000 for criticizing the refs following the Dal-OKC game. Last April the NBA fined Kobe Bryant $100,000 for calling a ref a derogatory homosexual slur. The list goes on and on. If high school players got fined every time they said something to the other team they’d go bankrupt before they even graduated. Instead of getting a $100,000 fine, we get yellow cards, red cards and ejections. High school is a bit different from major leagues and the professionals. Our hormones are constantly raging and most of the time we are easily frustrated. We also love to impress our fans; it’s easy to get caught up in the game. I’ve had plenty of experience with fights and trash talk; I guess you could say I’m easily frustrated. Yellow cards and red cards are a common occurrence during my games. I’ve gotten them anywhere from making stupid comments to the refs, to punching players. I do have funny stories to tell my friends, but I do not recommend this behavior. If you’re truly interested in playing in college, the last thing a college scout is looking for is a player with a bad attitude.


PHOTOS BY /BROOKE HOLMES

play-makers the A look at how coaches impact the game BY /ADAM MATEOS

When watching a sporting event, the camera may occasionally wander to a close-up of the coach’s face. He may be filled with joy, five gallons of Gatorade poured all over his head, infuriated at a bad play or call, or crushed as time expires and his team is not victorious. Although the head coach usually gets thrown into the spotlight more than anyone else involved with the team, most do not understand what it takes to be a coach and the dedication and passion they hold for their game. Throughout their term as the leader of the team, a head coaches have to deal with more than they are given credit for. They may not be the ones winning the game physically, but every play, every score, was orchestrated by one person who spent hours mentally exhausting themselves over how to trump their opponent and come away as the victor. And it’s not only coaches that are making millions of dollars, at some of the most prestigious college or pro teams, that are dedicated to their craft. All coaches have to have a certain swagger about them to be able to get a group of people to dedicate themselves, mentally and physically, to a sport. That is why, if you ask most people who the most influential person in their life has been, they will mention a past or present coach. To know how coaches got to where they are, one must look at where they have been. Throughout the years of playing a sport, one can gather a whole plethora of experience. Learning what makes winners, and what causes a team to lose in those last crucial minutes of the big game. And more importantly how to bounce back and learn from the past and prepare for future competition. “The templates have been laid down from the college or the high school practice and trying to use those to come set a practice. And then as you coach you learn more teaching techniques and skill sets and practice plans to supplement your style,” varsity soccer coach Travis Gatewood said. But having that information isn’t enough. After years spent playing and learning, they must now tweak those things they have learned to make them strategies that are unique and unprecedented. Hours must be spent learning the game in a different aspect. Delving deeper into the depths of obsession, because for a coach there is no off-season. They must constantly be looking for ways to guarantee the success of their team. “There isn’t any one best way [to coach]. Good coaches are going to take a little bit from everywhere and learn along the way from other successful coaches, and kinda

make it their own. For me, I have a little bit of Olathe North, a little bit of Pitt State, a little bit of Shawnee Mission West and a little bit from my high school and it’s all kind of mushed together,” varsity football head coach Ryan Lonergan said. Not everyone that has played a sport can turn that experience into a coaching career. One must have an astronomical amount of leadership to steer a team in the right direction. They must have know how to turn a game around at halftime with a speech. Making their players hungry for the opportunity to be back on the field of competition. A coach must inspire players to dig deep within themselves to put every ounce of physical ability on the line. Gaining that kind of respect from a person is a phenomenon in itself. But to do it consistently from year to year, team to team, player to player, over a long period of time is unheard of. “If you could get kids to understand what you know as coach because you see things totally differently. You see the whole scheme instead of your position. You understand why certain things happen; it all kinda happens as a result of something else. So you have to build that knowledge, and as a coach you try to instill that in your kids,” Lonergan said. As can be said about most coaches, they aren’t only doing it for themselves. They do just as much, if not more, for the young minds that they are nurturing and helping develop. It’s almost like a family tree, one coach inspires a kid and then that kid takes information from that coach and himself and uses that to teach another kid, who teaches another kid, and another. “You want to invest in the kids and let them know that they’re important. The real reason I do this, isn’t for myself, it’s for them, because the biggest enjoyment is seeing kids grow and seeing kids have fun and to learn how to be a good person or a good man. Probably the biggest sense of joy is when you have kids sign to go on and play college and knowing that you’ve had a huge impact on the rest of their lives,” Lonergan said. No matter what the sport or activity, a coach can be an incredible influence on any young athlete. If you were to go to YouTube and search “Inspirational Speeches” over half of the results would be coaches talking to their players. Inspiring actions with words is a skill that not everyone possesses, and it is essential to being a successful coach. All coaches can get a group of people to rally around them and believe that what they are doing is going to giving them the best possible end result.

SPORTS /MARCH 2012/ 21


winter wrap-up substate champs

PHOTOS COURTESY OF /TAYLOR MCDOWELL

bowling The Raider bowlers finished up their season with a plethora of stellar performances. The boys placed 2nd at the Regional competition with a record of an astounding 2,600 total pins. Junior Alex Brown and sophomore Josh Hasenleder placed 3rd and 8th at Regionals. Sophomore Nia Madison also ended her season well. The team traveled to the State tournament in Wichita and placed a respectable 6th place out of 74 teams. Senior Eric Steffee came within one pin of placing individually. With a strong finish, the team looks to dominate in 2013.

CURRENT AS OF /March 5 BY /DEREK FUHRMANN

swimming

girls basketball Brendan Curran, in his first year as girls varsity head coach, has filled Coach Millard’s shoes quite nicely, taking the girls to the State tournament in Wichita. With the leadership of the seniors, the girls are finally in the “big dance.” With the State tournament come the last games of the seniors’ careers here at South. Next year will yield a predominantly young team with little combined varsity experience. However, with this berth in the tourney, there are high expectations for the Lady Raiders come next winter. Coach Curran is off to a great start in his head coaching career. Expect nothing but greatness from him in years to come.

bowling

boys basketball

The boys ended this season with an impressive 16-6 overall, going 8-3 in the Sunflower League. The Raiders were led by Seniors Dylan Christie and Eric Weber. This season was marked by the emergence of freshman Dainan Swoope and the two victories over rival Shawnee Mission East. The boys made it all the way to the final substate game, but lost to Blue Valley North. Regardless of that fact, the Raiders pack a star-studded lineup that will be filled with varsity experience. One can only look forward to what the next few years hold.

The boys swim team shared in a prosperous State experience by placing 9th in the State finals out of 32 teams. Freshman Ryan Sweat captured two medals in the 100 free and 200 fly and was recognized as a 2nd team all-state swimmer. The 200 free relay team of Sweat, Tommy Leach, Joe Slickman and Kenny Bergman placed as well. Head coach Bruce Bove won Coach of the Year, a very prestigious honor. With the loss of seven seniors, the team will be relatively young come next year. Look for underclassmen to step up, much like Sweat has this year. With the Coach of the Year at the helm, the boys swim team will look to repeat another successful season.

wrestling09

Seven proved to be the lucky number for the Raider wrestlers this year, as that was how many boys went to State. J.W. Pabst, Clay Pearce, Brandon Jenkins, Grant Jongerius, Reis Humphrey, Rasheed Brady, and Skylar Olsen all wrestled at the State tournament. Pearce and Humphrey reached the podium as they placed second and third. The future looks bright for the wrestlers as next year’s team will possess years of varsity experience, and the leadership needed to put together another successful season.

PHOTOS BY /CASEY LEE

sports game highlight/ boys basketball The East rivalry has dated back since South was first established in 1967. When these two teams met in December, South utilized their opportunity, and beat East 55-31 on their home court. After the buzzer rang, fans rushed the court to congratulate their players and celebrate the win. Since the win, fans had been anticipating the next time the teams met. After the whopping 24 point win earlier in the season, South was expected to blow them out. When they played again Feb. 24, however, that wasn’t the case. It was the basketball players and cheerleaders senior night and the stands were packed with the most fans South had seen all year. Tensions were high as the fans chanted back and forth vigorously throughout the entire game, and even during halftime. The score stayed close throughout the entire game, with a close score at halftime. As the game continued, the fouls, tensions, and chanting increased. As

22 MARCH 2012/ SPORTS

BY /CASEY LEE

the clock wound down, South was ahead 53-50 and were assured they’d earned a win. But with nine seconds left on the clock, East put in a three to tie it up and send the game into overtime. Before overtime started South fans screamed their usual “I believe...” chant, and both sets of fans were excited and hyped up. Metro Sports was recording the game and the atmosphere was crazy. The game stayed close throughout overtime and as the clock wound down South gained a victory of 68-63. As the buzzer rang, the fans rushed the court to congratulate the team and the stands went crazy. Metro Sports rewarded the game as sports game of the week, and once again, South beat their rivals in an intense, nail biting win.


Spring Sports Preview

2012

softball Big Game to Watch for: I’m new to the school. I’ve been told our rival is SME... I guess you could say that game. Biggest Challenge: Having the girls adapt to my philosophy and changing the culture to have a winning attitude. How to Overcome this Challenge: Deal with it head on. When issues arise confront them instead of letting them fester. Work every day on building confidence and striving towards goals we have laid out for the season. Star Returning Players: Not sure on this one. Some good players haven’t had a chance to tryout yet due to basketball and sickness. I will say that I believe a few players have all-state potential. If I could give out an MVP for tryouts it would be Justice Scales. She played her freshman, but not sophomore year, for South. She’s a speedy lefty outfielder, has power and can slap. — Olivia Abney

2011 SPRING SEASON PHOTOS BY /ALI LACY

girls swimming Big Meet to Watch for: League and State Biggest Challenge: new people and getting them used to the system How to Overcome this Challenge: We’re going to coach Star Returning Players: Paige Meredith, Caroline Busch, Anne Stollsteimer, Shelby Johnson, JeriAnn Ward, Susan Kroh —Bruce Bove

track

Big Meet to Watch for: SM South Relays (March 31), Sunflower League Championship (May 11) Biggest Challenge: Maintaining the rich tradition of SMS Track & Field How to Overcome this Challenge: Encourage our juniors and seniors to be leaders and to pass on the traditions of SMS Track & Field Star Returning Players: Clare Bingaman, Nora Bingaman, Lauren McCarthy, Brooke Holmes, Maddie Fowler, Monica Funk, Bethany Webb, Arie Thompson, Kelsey Miller, Kailey Zvosec, Michael Gawlick, Jack Powell, Brett Schauwecker, Scott Leonard, Curtis Cline, Shawn Laurent, Colin Bond, Jeramie Fischer — J.J. Wannamaker

baseball

Big Game to Watch for: East game, all of them. Biggest Challenge: Compete on the mound How to Overcome this Challenge: Believe, practice, and compete Star Returning Players: Dylan Christie, Colson Bayles, Tyler Lohuis, Alex Forslund —Mitch Wiles

boys tennis

girls soccer Big Game to Watch for: We always look forward to playing our rival SM East. The Sunflower League has many top level teams, so we will need to bring our best efforts every night. Biggest Challenge: With many new faces and young players, we need to work on developing positive team chemistry. How to Overcome this Challenge: We will be working on team goals and activities that promote better unity among the girls. Star Returning Players: We have a great base of talent on this year’s team and we look forward to having all players step up and contribute. —Travis Gatewood

Big Meet to Watch for: All Biggest Challenge: New players and a tough league How to Overcome this Challenge: Team bonding and hard practices Star Returning Players: Raj Selvaraj, Kevin Kochesburger, Ben Bernard —Scott Hirons

boys golf

Big Match to Watch for: Sunflower League competition and regional tournament. Big Challenge: Play consistent high quality golf. How to Overcome this Challenge: Improve every day Star Returning Players: We have no stars, but we do have five returning letter winners: Cole Larsen, Joe Reid, Duncan Stanton, Andrew Barton and Parker Ling. — Lyle Wingate SPORTS /MARCH 2012/ 23


SMS

SPOTLIGHT

[I WAS] EXCITED, HAPPY, BUT ALSO KIND OF SAD KNOWING THIS WILL BE MY LAST YEAR CHEERING.—SENIOR ANISA BOLEN

Shawnee Mission South Patriot March 2012  

Shawnee Mission South's monthly news magazine

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