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JANUARY 2O1O

BILLINGS WEST HIGH SCHOOL

KODIAK

2201 ST. JOHN’S AVENUE

BILLINGS, MT 59102

Running off to California we go! West High cross-country runners go to California for a national race

Volume 50

Issue 3

A Look Inside This Issue

Wrestling gets down to business page 11

Spanish Club celebrates the holidays page 6

Freshman Brady Davis, Keisha Stensby, Rachel Temme, and senior Leah Davis stand and watch a race at the track in California that the CrossCountry team found to be their hardest track to race on. Photo by Marlene Holm

Marlene Holm

senior staffwriter From December 4 to December 8, 22 West cross-country runners, head coach Lauren Wright and coach Joe Catron went to Anaheim, California to compete in the Footlocker Meet. Schools from more than KODIAK Billings West High School 2201 St. John's Avenue Billings, MT 59102

twelve states were invited. West cross country runner senior Megan Beam said, “I was so excited for the trip, I was excited for both the race and all the other fun stuff we got to do.” The first evening t the meet they went for a run n the course they would race on the next day. Non-Profit Org. US Postage PAID Billings, MT Permit #88

Senior Sami Risa said, “After running the course, I must admit I got a little nervous with all the hills, but I was excited to see how I would do.” On Saturday, the day of the race, the Golden and Lady Bears runners started the day early and continued until noon, finishing with the varsity boys race. In between the first and last race, a new race started every fifteen minutes. Every runner was placed into a specific category; the freshman and sophomore JV race, the junior girl’s race and the senior boys’ race to list a few. Most of the West runners did very well, winning medals which were adwarded to the top 48 runners in each race. “My race went really well; I was happy about my effort, though it was probably the most difficult course I have ever done,” commented senior Sarah Milch after her race.

There were a lot of mixed feelings about the race among the West runners. One thing everyone agreed about, however, was that they were happy it was over because the course had been one of the toughest this season. The rest of the days they were in California they spent on shopping, canoeing, swimming, visiting Hollywood and Disneyland and other activities. One of the funniest things Milch remember from the trip was “when coach Catron drove us in a van full of 11 girls through the slums of LA.” As the best thing on the trip Beams adds that she thought “it might be the whole experience with the race,”It showed, that there is so much fast competition outside Montana, and I definitely got all my expectations fulfilled with more.”

One Class at a Time honors the Kodiak page 4

NEWS

2

FEATURES

4

MPS

8

SPORTS

11

ARTS

13

OPINION

15


NEWS

War in Afghanistan takes its toll on West High students and teachers Tawni Palin Copy Editor

War: there is just something about the word that sends shivers up the spine and strikes fear into the hearts of many people. The U.S. is involved in two foreign wars, and West High students do not realize the impact they have on the school. Sophomore Staci Bastoni and her freshman sister Angela will be experiencing this first hand. Their uncle is to be deployed to Afghanistan anywhere between January and April 2010. He is part of the Marine Corps. “He will be in active combat working with the machines,” Angela stated. “One of the things that all of us are afraid of is that he

[My uncle] will be in active combat working with the machines ... One of the things that all of us are afraid of is that he will be extremely hurt if not killed.

Map above shows two trouble-spots in the Middle East where many United States troops are deployed, Iraq and Afghanistan.The wars in the Middle East impact many West High students and staff who have family in the combat zone.

will be extremely hurt if not killed,” Staci commented. They also added that, once deployed, their uncle will be in Afghanistan for four years. “We wish that he wasn’t going at all,” both said, but they plan to support him as much as they can. Freshman Brenna Curry’s

father, a member of the Army Reserves, just returned from the Camp Taji near Fort Hood. He finally came home in October after a year of service. “He called my mother every day, and we occasionally kept in touch by Skype,” Curry said.

New gum temporarily replaces toothpaste and toothbrush for soldiers in trenches Katie Parish

sophomore staffwriter

Scientists at the University of Kentucky created a gum that can temporarily replace toothpaste and a toothbrush. The gum is called “The Military Gum.” It has a special chemical called KSL, an antimicrobial, anti-adhesive and abrasive agent that disrupts build up on teeth and helps dissolve plaque. For many years veterans have suffered from “trench mouth,” a painful bacterial infection that causes inflammation and gingivitis in the mouth because soldiers do not have access to proper

cleaning materials. About 15 percent of the sick calls coming in from the army involve dental issues.

painful and deadly dental problems. Children that have been born with AIDS are known to have horrible

“[The gum] has limited applications, it’s not a replacement.” If soldiers leave even a small mark from spitting out their toothpaste, it can help the enemy find them. Essentially, chewing this gum can prevent soldiers from getting killed. The gum can also help the poor people in foreign countries by preventing

dental issues as well. The army owns rights to the gum. The equipment that creates the gum costs anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000. The flavor of the gum is crisp wintergreen. Someday the gum will be available over-the counter for

people, but not anytime soon. It is not made to replace toothpaste and a toothbrush for any extended time. Local dentists are just now finding out about the military gum. Dr. James Patterson found out about the new military gum by reading one of his dental magazines. Patterson said, “It has limited applications, it’s not a replacement.” Patterson commented, “It’s like when fluoride was invented and they thought it would put dentists out of business and fluoride is still around. It fixes small problems. You will still need floss, a toothbrush and toothpaste.”

Some of her fears were that he would not be safe or come home in one piece. “He was in a fort right next to Fort Hood. So when we heard about the massacre there, we were so glad he was home.” Curry said. This does not just affect students, but the teachers as well. Sophomore English teacher and Kodiak advisor Caaren Cerise has a brother who has served 18 months in Kuwait with the Army Reserve and may be leaving again this spring. Since he works in the food service with supply and distribution, she was not worried about him being in hand to hand combat. He ran five kitchens in the Middle Eastern Theatre, including one on a ship. He would call at random times, and she would set up Skype chats. “He sent me very expensive hand bags, Coach and Dolce and Gabana; I think his trying to dress me up so he doesn’t have to be ashamed to be seen in public with me,” Cerise laughed. Students and teachers are impacted in many ways by the wars even if it is not directly with the draft or personal deployment.


NEWS

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Due to excessive issues with absenteeism this semester (many students were out with both the traditional flu and the H1N1 virus (swine flu) Kodiak reporters decided to see when the viruses and seasonal colds hit West High students the hardest. We used information from the attendance office and Zangle files to track students marked as excused (gray above) ill (black above) and medically-waived (white above). We averaged the number of absences in each class period for the week to get our numbers. Once we had THAT information, we added those absence numbers together to get an overview of total absences (in the chart below). Using the chart below, it is obvious that the highest number of weekly absences for the semester peaked during the second week of October. Using the chart above to further examine those numbers, it shows that over 900 students were marked as ill that week with over 1300 students being absent in total. The Billings H1NI outbreak occured near the same time, and its impact at West High is obvious. reporting and charts by Chelsea Anderson

West At 50

AVA expands options for research materials Teachers can use videos to plan lessons By David Gammill Sophomore Staff Writer Originally printed December 21, 1989

Research on reports need not stop at the library anymore. Video sources on a wide range of current topics are available through Graham Sims, AVA technician. A growing video library with information from science and technology to arts and humanities is now available to West High students. Every morning Monday through Friday from 7 to 8 Sims records an up-to-date program sponsored by CNN news. Programs include topics such as science and technology, social studies, natural science, arts and humanities and world events. A very large amount of information is available to West High students, but Sims says that few are using his resources. Let’s say for an example a student was going to do a report on the rebuilding of Nuremburg or artificial intelligence in super computers. All the student would have to do is swing by the AVA room and ask about the needed subject. These tapes can also aid the teachers. Each tape comes with a lesson plan on the tape asking key questions about the film. As if that isn’t enough, a list of books to research further is also given. Eventually, after a good size list of tapes has grown, Sims will give a list to the library for cataloging. This will link the AVA and library resources. His collection of this series is small, but growing. How large this library gets depends on the demand of these tapes. If there is a large demand for the tapes the library will continue to grow, otherwise Sims will stop recording.

Changes in policy please teachers and students Madi Miller

freshman staffwriter

West High timplemented a new cell phone policy at the start of the year. The policy states that students can use their cell phones and other electronics during passing times and lunch. Last year, students were not allowed to use their phones or electronics from 6:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. “Do I like it? I love it. It puts the students in charge,” stated associate principal Scott Lynch. “I think it provides so much

freedom to the students who want to communicate with their homeslices,” said freshman Geneva Copeland. “Part of high school is growing up and making good decisions,” said Lynch, referring to the cell phone use in class (which is a very improper time). “Write ups are dangerously close to last year. There is still a lot of improper cell phone use,” commented Lynch. “I actually think [the policy change is] very good, and it turned out well. I feel like people don’t text in class as much,” said

senior Logan McLean. But it seems there has been a lot of improper cell phone use. Freshman Paige Wallas said, “It makes me feel like the world is crashing down on me. I just wish they would give the kids a chance to be free and the kids who don’t abuse [the policy] their chance to keep their privilege.” “My guess would be you would have few seniors at all breaking the policy,” said Lynch. But students like junior Jessika Reinker thought that some of the juniors and seniors are not good influences. “[The students who use their phones in class] seriously need to be talked to and informed that their decisions are stupid and irresponsible,” said Wallas. “Respect the teachers,” said McLean. “I don’t think that we are close to having it [the new policy] taken away. It is being modeled by the upper classmen. Upper classmen willing to talk about it would be great,” says Lynch. Electronic devices are not allowed even in the halls when class is still in session. If a teacher catches a student using their phone during class time, it can be confiscated. “It is simply manners. It is just proper etiquette,” voiced Lynch.


FEATURES

Kodiak recieves grant from One Class at a Time Kelsey Munsell Web Editor

A Billings KTVQ camera team visited Billings West High on January 15, in order to award a certain class $250 through the One Class at a Time program, and that class was 6th period Kodiak advised by Sophomore English teacher Caaren Cerise. The One Class at a Time grant is a cooperative between First Interstate Bank and Q2 to give a little extra help to classrooms around Montana, more specifically the Billings, Great Falls and Helena areas. A committee of representatives from both organizations convene the second week of each month to decide from the applications put in by students, teachers and parents for the grant which classroom will receive the money. Jenna Hennings, Kodiak News Editor, sent in the application to KTVQ for West High’s journalism class. Among the motives Hennings had for submitting the application to local news station she stated that her main hope was to get more money to upgrade or purchase some new technology for the class. The One Class at a Time team, which included representatives of both KTVQ

and First Interstate Bank, along with West High’s Associate Principal Jeril Hehn, stepped into the chaos of the Kodiak class final, a portfolio of all the work the staffwriters each amassed over the semester, on the second half-day during the week of January 8. Along with presenting Cerise with a check for $250 and a canister of mechanical pencils they took video shots of the

students hard at work and interviewed both Cerise and Hennings. During the interview with Cerise it was admitted that though tough, being an advisor for the Kodiak is a “labor of love.” The money received from the grant be used towards a new camera for journalism staff to use. Since Kodiak won the One

Class at a Time award, the class was featured on the KTVQ news program on the Monday after the class received the check, January 18. The television spot included a brief interview with both Cerise and Hennings, Cerise accepting the check and members of the Kodiak staff at work both in the front room working on portfolios and editors in the backroom concentrating on getting the next issue ready.

Senior Jenna Hennings, News Editor for the Kodiak, stands next to Caaren Cerise, the Kodiak advisor. They hold the check presented to the Kodiak by the One Class at a Time grant. Hennings applied for the grant, which will help the Kodiak with its publications. photo by Nikky Mosure

TWIRP proves to be a fantastic event Majorettes sponsor annual girls choice dance McKeale Anderson junior staffwriter

Saturday, November 21, the Elks Club was packed with students from West High attending the Diamonds Are Forever 2009 TWIRP. TWIRP is sponsored by the Majorettes. Coach Tina Keller thought the theme Diamonds Are Forever would be very special because it is West High’s 50th year.

seniors,” Keller explained. Because all of the high schools were having TWIRP on the same night, West High decided to have theirs at the Elks Club. Keller says it was so much cleaner than the Shrine and the Majorettes did not have to do a lot of the decorating. “It didn’t take that long to prepare because the Elks Club pretty much had everything done for us. We saved a lot on decorations.” Keller explained. Each table contained a martini glass full of diamond

chips and a small ball that blinked a white light to create an ambiance. Clean up afterwards, however, took some time because Majorettes found gum all over the carpet and the little diamonds that were used for decoration scattered everywhere throughout the club. Due to the spitting of the gum on the carpet, the Elks Club may not allow West High to have dances there anymore because it is very hard to clean

the gum off the carpet. Over 800 tickets, both single and double, were sold this year. “We sold all tickets in singles this year to make it more fair to win the diamond,” Keller said. “It was hoppin’! It was hip!” sophomore Jessica Hickel says. Kacee Erickson, a sophomore, explained, “It was really fun. There were a lot of people there. A lot more than last year.”

“We had the air conditioning on and opened the doors to let bodies flow,” said Keller. The winner of the diamond, very surprised junior Riley Jacobson, explained his plan for the diamond. “I’m going to make a lovely ring for my beautiful girlfriend!” Seniors Jessica Dringman and Michael Silvernagel were crowned TWIRP royalty.

The raffle initially started as a genocide assignment. Seniors Porter Hanna and Jesse Costello were assigned to do a report on Carl Wilkens in their Genocide class. Junior Jenna Fiscus was the winner of the Wii. Students said that they wanted to win the Wii, so that is why they bought the tickets. “It would be extraordinarily awesome to win a Wii,” said freshman Alyssa

Radue. Stanton said, “[The purpose of the raffle was] to bring in Carl Wilkens, the only American to stay in Rwanda in their genocide in 1994, [to speak].” The raffle helped students all around West learn something about genocide. “I was supposed to do a report on [Wilkens] and saw that he came and talked to schools [about his experiences

in Rwanda],” Hanna said. Carl Wilkens was an American who was in charge of Adventist Development and Relief Agency International in Rwanda in 1994. Rwanda is a country in east-central Africa with a population around 9.3 million. He helped over 100 children and orphans in his efforts. The Genocide classes are planning a trip to visit Washington D.C.

Between 20 and 30 students will visit the Holocaust Museum to learn even more about that genocide. The students will see it, and the experience will hopefully teach them something and help them remember. Wilkens has a website that people interested in finding out more about him can visit: pedaling2peace.org.

Genocide students hold raffle to raise funds “I also wanted to have something very special for the

V i c ki e C o n t r er az freshman staffwriter

This year, genocide teacher Rob Stanton and senior Porter Hanna decided to hold a raffle to raise funds to bring Carl Wilkens to speak. A Wii was the prize awarded to the winner of the raffle the class held. Tickets were on sale for a week in November and cost only $1 per ticket.


West students help collect food to help local families this winter

FEATURES

JANUARY 2O1O

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Effort made to support Billings Food Bank Jessica Ettleman Copy Editor

Billings West High clubs do many things to help less fortunate people, especially around the holidays. One such charity is the annual food drive sponsored by

Student Council. Food drives go on all over town during the holiday season because the Billings Food Bank needs the food to help families who do not have enough to eat. The food drive helps many families in the past year and will hopefully help just as many this year.

Student Body President Katie Baum stated before the event, “I hope that more classes get more involved this year.” To help get all classes more involved than just bringing few or no items, the school decided that if every fourth period class brought at least 30 pieces of food, the whole school would be

West at 50

GIS Computer works Originally printed April 12, 1979 Dreading the end of you high school years because no plans are set for the future? Specifically, a career? Well, worries could be over, because the guidance office has recently acquired a Guidance Information System (GIS) which shows what career and college one would fit in according to interests. The GIS is a computer based system which gives information about

occupations, colleges, graduate school, and sources of scholarships and financial aids. After discovering a career that interests a person, the computer will give more information about how much school one will need, what kind of work is involved, salary, and everything else anyone needs to know. This information is accurate and up-to-date. This computer

resembles a large typewriter, with lots of letters and numbers, and it types out information at a high rate of speed. The GIS is somewhat complicated to work, so get the help of one of the aides in the counselor’s office. This machine will supply ideas for a career, and also the promise of a secure future.

Students Experience Wall through First-hand Accounts By Tom War Originally printed December 21, 1989

After about 40 years East Germany has finally decided to take down the Berlin Wall. This history-making event hits home as Cindy Hummel, a German teacher at West High, communicates with a vast number of people in the Eastern block countries. “I write one letter out of the country every day,” she says. She is presently communicating with several people from East and West Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Russia. Hummel also assigns her German students to write letters to these people. Annmarie Clark, one of Hummel’s students, communicates with a man in the Soviet Union who told her to ask him anything about the events going on there. “I’m not afraid of the KGB!” he wrote. Another students writes to Poland. However, strangely enough, his letter was returned opened and without the letter inside. Danielle Mead also communicates with a Russian

who told her, “You have an interest in Russia, why?” Hummel has a longstanding interest in Germany. “It actually started in 1935 when my mother met two Germans on a Mediterranean cruise.” Hummel has visited Germany around 15 times where she has acquired many German friends. Three years ago Hummel looked into the possibility for a Rockefeller Scholarship awarded to 100 high school language teachers nationwide. Each applicant had to devise an eight-week study plan and explain how every penny would be spent and what good would be done. The winner would receive $5,000. Hummel knew she needed something different so she started to write her friends in West Germany. She wrote them 20 Christmas cards and asked them about the East Germans. Needless to say, Hummel won the scholarship and went March 1988. Hummel then spent six

weeks in East Germany at two different seminars. She took a cam cord video camera along with her so she could interview the people there. She interviewed one lady who her about her experience with the Berlin Wall. She was a West German pediatrician who could only find a job in East Germany. The Berlin Wall was constructed while she lived in East Germany, thus she was denied her right to return to West Germany. Next, Hummel traveled to Karl-Marx-Stadt for another seminar where she was the only American out of 105 German language teachers. “They treated me like I was dropped from heaven,” Hummel said. Here she lived three weeks with a lady who lives in the Soviet Union. This became her connection with Russia. As of now, Hummel communicates many different people all over the Eastern Block. She is receiving letters every other day.

released 15 minutes early on the last day before break. Although West High did not meet its goal of every fourth period class bringing 30 items, Mr. Cobb still let everyone out 15 minutes early because of the effort from most of the classes. Last year there was a “competition” between Spanish teacher Jenny Polkowske and history teacher Bruce Wendt. The two classes were competing for who could bring in the most food for the drive. Polkowske’s class won, but in the spirit of giving, the fourth period class invited Wendt’s class

to share the Outback lunch with them. “This year, it’s a surprise for me to see what the kids’ plan is for the drive. I thought last year did marvelous, and I only hope that this year does just as well,” stated Wendt. Bottles of water or packages ramen noodles were not accepted this year. The drive lasted from December 2 to the 18. The total amount of items donated was more than 5,000, with Polkowske’s class winning again with over 1,100 items.

Shiloh Road is open at last Kaydee Oldham freshman staffwriter

Road construction in Billings has been a problem. Thankfully, Shiloh Road is now open and there are no longer annoying orange cones or road work ahead signs. “It’s nice Shiloh is opened now, I guess. I don’t really like round-a-bouts though,” senior Porter Hanna stated. Some people say they prefer round-a-bouts while others find them an inconvience. Round-a-bouts can lessen traffic if they are used correctly. However, some people do not understand round-a-bouts and that can cause accidents. Shiloh’s new round-a- bouts is to help the flow of traffic. The road construction on Shiloh was near many houses, and people had to take detours to get to their destination on time. This was a problem because the road construction was by peoples’ houses and vehicles were backed up by housing developments. “I think it is convient it’s now opened because I live near Shiloh,” junior Kelsey Oldham

said. With less road construction on Shiloh, accidents in the snow season are less likely to happen. Vehicles are being forced to slow down because the new speed limit is slower. With several new round-abouts, there is not as much traffic, and fewer drivers are on the road. It is now easier to get to a destination faster. Road construction is a challenge that drivers have to face. So when the construction is over, people in the community are glad that new improved roadways can be driven on. Businesses are more pleased that Shiloh is opened because for awhile the street was blocked and they would have fewer customers. “I think it’s great that it is opened. I hated all the road construction,” freshman Tyson Wells mentioned about Shiloh Road. Many drivers are pleased that Shiloh Road is opened and can be driven on. With the new road, people can get where they want faster and traffic is less delayed.

Construction signs like the one above were a common sight on Shiloh Road while new round-a-bouts were being added. submitted photo


Spanish Club sponsors events FEATURES

Vickie Contreraz freshman staffwriter

¡Fiesta a prepratoria oeste! West High’s Spanish club is back in full swing. Leslie Whalen, West High Spanish teacher and Spanish Club adviser, said, “[My favorite thing about Spanish club is] that we sponsor a child from Latin America every year.” The child the club sponsors is from somewhere in Latin America, where a majority of the population speaks Spanish or a form of it. They help to provide most of the basic needs for survival that this child may be without. A majority of the club’s fundraisers support this cause. Some of the fundraisers include things like selling raffle tickets and the fiestas. To help out this child, simply help out the Spanish Club. Whalen also commented that the fiestas have been going really well this year.

JANUARY 2O1O

There was a fiesta this year for Halloween. The events at this party included a piñata for the members to enjoy. Spanish Club also had a fiesta before Christmas break to celebrate the holidays. Students say that they really enjoyed themselves, and the fiestas were great. “[I enjoyed] not having to do the work and the food,” said freshman Alyssa Espinoza. Spanish club t-shirts this year are lime green with black writing on them. The t-shirts, which are available to members and non-members alike, can be ordered in room 132. Freshman Alex Ullman has enjoyed learning Spanish. “I enjoy taking Spanish and learning about the culture,” Ullman said. She also enjoys how fun and laid back the class can be. The club is welcome to all those taking Spanish, and it is a fun place where they can all speak Spanish together.

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Seniors Anna Echeverri, Ashley Hatmaker and Rose Popplar pose together at the Spanish Club fiesta held just before Christmas. submitted photo

Winter activities fundraise with auction Annual event provides funds for many activities at West High V i c ki e C o n t r er az freshman staffwriter

Going once. Going twice. Sold to the lady in the back row. West High’s wrestling, Majorettes, forensics, swimming, cheerleading and boys’ and girls’ basketball teams had their Winter Activities Auction on November 29 from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. The majority of the auctions were silent, however the event

also featured a live auctionl. Members of all the teams brought in a variety of items for the auction. The gym was filled with tables with baskets and items up for bid to members of the community. “[The auction] raised a lot of money for activities that needed funding,” said freshman Natasha Halstvedt, a member of the forensics team. Each team also had a large item that was part of the live auction. These items included hand-made quilts and getaways

to nice places. Teams raised money to help them in their respective activities. For every item that was bought, that money went straight back to their team. Students enjoyed themselves while they were wandering around looking at the items up for bid. Favorite items included the jewelry, quilts, vacations and the benches made of snowboards. The benches were very remarkable, original pieces of furniture that many

of president, she believes it has its pros and cons. “It is both challenging and rewarding because I have a lot of responsibility, but I get to try out and do new events,” commented Pavey. Events that have been done so far this year in German Club are Oktoberfest, concessions and the bead sale for Homecoming. Oktoberfest is a German festival held in Munich, Germany. The festival runs from late September to early October and is the largest festivity in Germany; the festival includes many traditions, not just drinking beer. At West, students celebrate Oktoberfest by drinking root beer and participating in other games and competitions. “My favorite event so far this year was Oktoberfest because we played musical chairs and essen die Speise [ate the food],” stated Nash.

The bead sale and concessions occur during Spirit Week at West. German Club sells spirit beads annually and also fundraises for the club at the Homecoming football game. Cody Hoffman, a junior in German 3, stated,” [My favorite event we have done so far this year was] selling things at the football game concession stand. It was fun.” Future events that German Club will have this year include Weinachtsfest, Crush Bottles, Carnival and the end of the year picnic. The officers of German Club share their favorite sentence, “Es ist nichts besser als der Papagei mit den Dudelsack!” Anyone interested in the translation? To find out what this sentence means, and find out more about German club, visit Frau Campbell in room 121.

Students celebrate German culture Sally Weinand junior staffwriter

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? [Do you speak German?] Among the many clubs offered at West High School, the German club is one of the most active clubs. Any students involved in German Club are given the opportunity to be either an officer or a member. “Deutschvergnügen überall! [German over everything!]” exclaimed junior Rebecca Nash, a member of the club. Natasha Campbell is the advisor of German Club and one of the two German teachers at West High School. This year’s president of German Club is senior Alicia Pavey, who has taken German all four years of high school. She chose to be a leader in German Club because she likes German and likes speaking it with others. Although she enjoys her role

people were set upon winning and because there were only two of them, the competition was high. The quilts were some of the biggest earners for the whole auction. Freshman Megan Kujath, a member of the Majorettes, stated, “The quilts were pretty, and the hot cocoa basket stood out.” “[The quilts] looked professionally made, and [I] thought that it was amazing that somebody would donate

something so special for what we wanted to do,” freshman Rachel Jones of the forensics team said. Many pieces of jewelry had people staring and admiring them all day long. They were bought for a bargain compared to the original pieces. Jones went on to say, “The auction had a great turnout to help the activities. Thanks.”


Boy severely burnt by peers

FEATURES

M cKeal e Anderson junior staffwriter

October 26, 2009 was not a good Monday for 15-year-old Michael Brewer. Brewer owed 15-year-old Matthew Bent $40 for a video game, but had never paid for it. Bent, seeking revenge, then allegedly stole Brewer’s father’s bike. Brewer called the police to report the theft. Soon after, Bent was arrested but sent home shortly after a brief stay in juvenile jail. Afraid Bent might attempt rettribution, Brewer skipped school Monday. Bent was also absent from school on Monday. Monday afternoon, Brewer went over to a friend’s apartment.

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Bent happened to be there also. Brewer was sitting beside the pool when Bent and four others surrounded him. After surrounding Brewer, Bent ordered his friends to douse him in rubbing alcohol then light him on fire. Several different accounts cover what happened afterwards. Some say Brewer jumped into the pool, others say the neighbor extinguished him with a fire extinguisher. Either way, the fire was eventually put out. A lady witnessing the event called 911 and told them that a little boy had just caught on fire and jumped into the pool. Screaming was heard in the background as she tried to aid Brewer. The woman asked Brewer

what happened to him. “Somebody poured stuff on me,” Brewer stated. A paramedic asked him how it happened. He cried: ‘I don’t know! I don’t know!’’ Paramedics later asked him who was responsible for his burns, but he again said he did not know. He was then sent to the Jackson Memorial Ryder Trauma Center in Miami in a helicopter. Brewer was suffering from third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body. Brewer’s attackers were all heard laughing about the assault after their arrests. Brewer says that they were also laughing as he was set on fire. All five are being held in juvenile jail and some, if not all, will be tried as adults. Dr. Nicholas Namias, head

of the burn unit, said Brewer’s face is in pretty good shap. The potential still remains that he may not be able to use his legs and arms as he gets older. Doctors are expecting organ failures. Brewer is also at risk for infections because of the severity of his burns. The state of Florida says that they cannot try one 13-yearold defendant as an adult because he is too young. However, the defendant who allegedly lit the fire is being charged with attempted murder. Meanwhile, doctors say Brewer is making significant improvement. He has so far been able to avoid the most common infections in burning cases, and he continues to make progress every day.

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BNC works to improve community J e s si c a E t t l e m a n Copy Editor

The Bear Necessities Club, otherwise known as BNC, is all about giving back to the community and helping out the less fortunate. During the recent holiday season, BNC participated in a few different charity projects to help out the Billings community. First, the club adopted a family from “The Big J” show, from local radio station Hot 101.9. The family is a singleparent household with six children. The mother is trying to support her six children with a limited income. The club donated blankets, stockings and a DVD player to help the family have a more enjoyable Christmas. The club actually went to the house and decorated it for the holidays to surprise the family. In the spirit of giving, the club also put together some care packages to donate to some soldiers serving their country overseas. The care packages were placed in Ziploc bags and included: magazines, crystal light packs, candy and phone cards. “I think adopt a family went great; it was great helping out the family!” said BNC president, junior Hayley Swain, “I also like how we helped out the soldiers with the care packages.” All of the items that were in the care packages were donated to the BNC. The care packages are still being assembled and distributed to those who need them. “Both charities went really well; we are always looking for helpers and volunteers on these types of things and other charities,” stated BNC officer, senior Rose Poppler. The club intends to participate again next year. The club members also are looking for charity opportunities for the upcoming semester.


FEATURES

JANUARY 2O1O

1O

PAC seeks to inform public about date abuse Date violence causes concern in Billings community McKeale Anderson junior staffwriter

On Thursday January 14, the Parents Advisory Council (PAC), will be sponsoring a meeting open to all parents/guardians, students and teachers regarding abuse in teen dating relationships. The meeting wasl at 7:00 p.m. in the school library or cafeteria. The speaker for these two meetings was Kee Dunning. Dunning explained that students face many types of abuse. Mental, emotional, sexual and physical are the main types. “I think it would be amazing to learn what the needs are of the kids as well as the parents and then teach parents and kids how to listen, how to set boundaries and how to build relationships with all of the people in their lives, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, teachers, bosses, etc. I can hardly wait to come to West High and visit and learn from all

who may attend. This is an exciting opportunity for me.” Dunning said. Dave Cobb, the principal at West High, explains that they picked the topic of teen dating abuse because statistics say that teen dating violence continues to be a growing concern for parents, students and the community. “We’ve had parents and students tell us that having education relating teen dating violence would be valuable,” says Cobb. There are no specific classes at West that teach about teen dating violence; however, Jillian Miller may briefly talk about it in her family and consumer science classes. Cobb wants students, parents and teachers to gain awareness of teen dating violence, and they have resources available for them. “Most importantly, I want them to recognize what teen

dating violence looks like and what is appropriate in dating. I think students need to know what a healthy relationship vs. an unhealthy relationship should look like,” stated Cobb. Cobb hopes students, parents and teachers will learn how to look for signs and symptoms among their children, friends and students. Once they recognize the signs, they can help provide the support and tools needed when students are involved in abusive relationships. Carrie Anderson, PAC president, says that their program in January and February will be about teen dating abuses that occur in relationships. “We have invited students and teachers because it is such an overwhelming problem. Many people think students face just physical abuse or date rape, but it goes so much further than that. Teens, parents and educators need to know all areas to look for.

West High forensics team celebrates Trent Dugger Copy Editor

The forensics team is off and rolling, competing in three more tournaments, Powell being the most recent. The team showed up ready to get the job done on Jan. 8, coming home with a second place finish to the meet. As individuals, duo team senior Colin McRae and junior Alex Bush took first. Two places behind them were juniors Hannah Swanson and Anna Kietzman in third place. Bush also took third in humorous interpretation, and joining him was freshman Bridger Johnson, who placed sixth. Junior Jan Roddy placed sixth with her original oratory. On to the debate events, junior Nathan Fritz was a quarterfinalist in varsity Lincoln Douglas, and freshman Michael Hill took first place in novice Lincoln Douglas Debate. Student Congress had senior Trent Dugger place third. The partnered debate teams got down to business with senior Nikky Mosure and junior Megan Frisk tying as quarterfinalists in public forum. The novice policy teams had two placers, freshman Madidy Drake and sophomore Sean Mitchell as quarterfinalists and freshmen Katherine Cole and Vickie Contreraz took first place. Taking first was not the end for Cole, she also went one step further, receiving first place for top speaker points in novice policy. Before the Christmas break, the forensics team competed in several other tournaments.

The first of four tournaments was Kalispell. Overall, the debate team took second place in sweepstakes, and the entire West High Forensics team placed second in overall team sweeps. Senior Eva Pickett explained Kalispell is her favorite tournament of the year, “We only get to go every other year, and it is a nine-hour ride.” Due to the fact Kalispell is such a long drive, the team receives the privilege of leaving Thursday after school and staying in Missoula that night instead of driving the whole way Friday morning. During the duration of the tournament, the team had in the back of their mind that Bozeman, one of the best teams in the state, was not there. This meant the team had a good chance of being one of the top three teams overall. The team was successful, and many individuals placed in their events; the team took third in the tournament for the first time in quite a few years. As tears flew down head coach Melinda Middleton’s face, she explained, “I had no idea.” The team was lead by a first place individual winning debater. Junior Krista Bailey took first place in Lincoln-Douglas debate, and she stated, “I hope to break again if not take first.” Bailey was not alone on stage. Dugger placed in the top eight for Legislative Debate. Bush took third place in humorous interpretation. Along with him, he and his duo partner senior McRae took fifth in duo. Juniors Nathan Williams and Michael Dunham were one place

shy of first, coming in second. The weekend before Kalispell was the Helena tournament. As a team, the overall placing was fifth place, but new faces arose in the spotlight. In the Helena tournament, Policy Debate and Lincoln Douglas do not compete at the high schools with the other teams; instead, they competed at Carroll College. The team ran into only one major complication during the tournament. Between Friday night, Dec. 4, and Saturday morning, Dec 5, snow had moved into the eastern part of the state, making the returning driving conditions hard. Every tournament concludes with an awards ceremony, but because of the weather and road conditions, the team had to leave Helena as soon as possible in order to safely return home. Junior Jan Roddy placed for her first time and stated, “I was bummed that we were not able to stay for awards, especially since it was my first time placing, but the team and I understood why we needed to leave early.” Roddy was not the only one who did not get to enjoy the award ceremony; in fact, Williams and Dunham competed and took first place. Before the Thanksgiving break, the team had another showing at a tournament. Nov. 13 and 14 was the Great Falls tournament, and the team took fifth overall place with many individuals in the top 8 places.

That is why Mr. Cobb and I decided PAC should open this to everyone,” says Anderson. Anderson goes on to explain that teen dating abuse is gaining more attention and concern. In early December 2009, one of the early evening news channels devoted a segment to teen dating abuse. “I think many teens who are in abusive relationships are so used to seeing abuse at home, on TV and in video games that they think it’s completely normal. They don’t really know who to talk to about it, and they are told by their abuser that they are loved by that person so they think they are in a ‘normal’ relationship,” stated Anderson Teen dating abuse is becoming a local problem. Knowing the various types of abuses can not only protect teens, but also friends and family. Dunning is a child and family psychotherapist in private

practice and was formally an inpatient counselor at the Billings Clinic Psychiatric Unit. Dunning specializes in the care and treatment of troubled youth. Dunning teaches graduate level courses at MSU-Billings, and she is lauded for translating school work into effective practice. At the Tumbleweed Runaway Program, Dunning is valued as a clinical supervisor for therapeutic professionals seeking licensure. At NAMI-Billings, where Dunning volunteers as a trainer and facilitator, she presents a powerful message of hope and healing to children and families dealing with depression, anxiety, OCD and other mental illnesses. Dunning works in all different areas of mental health diagnosis. “It’s a blast!” Dunning explains. “Kids are brilliant and amazing!”

Seniors exercise new found freedoms after turning 18 M cKea le Anderson junior staffwriter

Senior year for most means turning 18, freedom from parents and more privileges. Some of those privileges include getting tattoos and piercings. “My early eighteenth birthday present from my parents was my tattoo which is on my inner wrist. It says Jesus Saves,” stated senior Chelsea Anderson. “I chose it because my beliefs mean a lot to me, and it is a daily reminder that I’m never alone” she explained. Chelsea Anderson explained that her tattoo means that God will not challenge her with something she is not capable of handling. “I also got my tragus pierced about two days after I turned eighteen.” Chelsea Anderson added. “My mom thought my piercing was cute, and my dad just stared at me and asked why I did it.” She got both from Tattoo Art off of Montana Avenue. Her tattoo was $65, and her tragus piercing was $45. “I have one tattoo and nine piercings in all,” Chelsea Anderson added. Jordan Anderson got both a tattoo and a piercing when he turned 18. Jordan Anderson got praying hands on his inner bicep, explaining that it stands for faith. He also got his lip pierced. Jordan Anderson’s tattoo was $120, while his lip piercing was only $5. “It was only $5 because an

apprentice did it and messed up a couple of times,” Jordan Anderson explained. “My parents were a little upset about the tattoo, but they kind of just gave up on me after that” he says. Jordan Anderson got both the piercing and the tattoo at Body Works Tattoo located on 701 24th Street West. Christie McIver decided for her eighteenth birthday that she would get her nose pierced. McIver got her piercing done at Body Works Tattoo for $40. “Are you serious? Is that real?” McIver’s mother asked as soon as she found out. “I think you should be allowed to get piercings done when you’re younger. It’s your body.” McIver commented. Jessica Ettleman, almost 18, stated that as soon as she turns 18, she is getting a tattoo with her best friend, senior Justyne Farnsworth. Ettleman said that she is getting a pink star behind her ear, and Farnsworth is getting a green star. “Our parents don’t think it’s a good idea, but when we turn 18, we’re getting them!” Ettleman commented. “Well, we were initially going to get just one when we were trying to persuade our parents, but we’re planning on getting three stars.” she continued. Ettleman explained that the meaning behind the stars. “Justyne and I are getting them together because we’re both moving away, and we’ll always share that.”


8 January: Conflict in Israel continues as Israeli warplanes attack the Gaza strip. Many civilians die in a ground invasion following the airstirkes. Barrack Obama is inagurated as the 44th president of the United States and begins his term with an 85% approval rating.

February: A $787 billion stimulus package is enacted. Three of Obama’s appointees are revealed to owe large amounts in unpaid taxes.

MP

Failed Vice President Candidate Sarah Palin releases her memoir,Going Rogue . Hot on its heals is the collection of essays, Going Rouge .

March: AIG is caught in a scandal involving wasteful use of government bailout money. President Obama reveals plans to withdraw troops from Iraq by August 2010. He sends additional troops to Afghanistan.

April: President Obama attends the G-20 summit in London. On tax day angry Americans hold “Tea Parties” in protest of excessive government spending. Texas Governer Rick Perry even suggests that Texas might secede from the union. North Korea, ignoring the threat of new sanctions, fires a weapon capable of reaching Alaska or Hawaii. British singer, Susan Boyle gains over night fame, recieving more hits on Youtube than the presidential inauguration.

June: The New Hampshire governor signs a same sex marriage bill along with that the congress extends all rights to same sex marriage couples. There was a shooting at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum that killed a guard. The supreme court ruled that inmates do not have rights to DNA testing to prove innocence long after a proven crime. Michael Jackson dies this month.

July: This month Sarah Palin resigns as governor of Alaska. The conformation hearings for supreme court justice Sotomayor begins this month. Russia opened air space for the United States for the war in Afghanistan. Serena Williams and Roger Federer won Wimbeldon. Plane crash in Iran kills 168 people.

August: Sotomayor is confirmed into the United States Supreme court. They rule that Michael Jackson’s death was a homicide. A small plane and helicopter crash over Hudson kills nine.North Korea pardons American journalists. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Inaugurated as President of Iran. Taliban leader in Pakistan is reportedly killed.

September: An earthquake in Indonesia kills 60 people, another one kills 700.China promises to reduce their emissions. Flooding in Turkey kills 30 people. Federal ruling shows that New York discriminates the mentally ill. Obama delivers his back to school address and tells kids to stay in school and work hard. It is suggested that more troops are needed in Afghanistan.

October: Iran agrees to send its enriched Uranium to Russia. Rio De Janiero wins the bid for 2016 Olympics. Bombings in Baghdad kill over 155 making it the dealiest since 2007. Texting while driving is banned for federal employees. It is released that students abilities in math show no improvement since No Child Left Behind has been passed. No more federal prosecution for medical marijuana is announced. Obama announces the end of the ban on HIV-positive patients entering the United States. November: Three American hikers were accused of espionage in Iran. In Afghanistan their president starts his second term. Terrorist bomb on a train in Russia kills at least 25 people. Maine voters overturn a law allowing same-sex-marriage in the state. New York Yankees win the world series. There is a shooting at Fort Hood that kills 13 people and wounds 31.

December: In Italy a jury found an American student guilty of murder. The U.S. and other nations work on a climate control deal. Eight Americans are killed in a suicide bombing at a CIA base in Afghanistan. Obama presents his plan to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and offers a timeline for withdrawl. New York senate votes down gay marriage bill. Guanténamo bay prisoners will be transferred to Illinois prison. The government sets a three hour limit on Tarmac waiting. The senate passes the health care reform bill. Attempted suicide bombing on a United States bound flight from Amsterdam.

Above: President Obama sits wit late Senator Edward Teddy Kennedy

Left: Suprem Court Justice Soni Sotomayor is the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice and the third woman Supreme Court Justice


PS

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Songs of the Year 2009

According to Billboard 1. Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas 2. Poker Face - Lady Gaga 3. Just Dance - Lady Gaga ft. Colby O’ Donis 4. I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas 5. Love Story - Taylor Swift 6. Right Round - Flo Rida 7.I’m Yours - Jason Mraz 8. Single Ladies - Beyonce 9. Heartless - Kanye West 10. Gives You Hell - All-American Rejects 11. You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift 12. Dead and Gone - T.I. ft. Justin Timberlake 13. You Found Me - The Fray 14. Use Somebody - Kings of Leon 15. Knock You Down - Keri Hilson ft. Kanye West and Ne-Yo

Movies of 2009

As chosen by the Kodiak Editors

1.Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - awaited sequel to the modern day representation of Transformers 2.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - the second to last film of the books that took over the world 3. Up - Pixar has done it again with this witty film 4.Star Trek- Modern day representation awaited by all 5.The Twil ight Saga: New Moon - the second in the trilogy that has taken the Vampire craze to a new level 6.Monsters vs. Al iens- Dreamworks trying to show monsters are not all bad 7.X-Men Origins: Wolverine - the new X-Men movie has finally arrived 8.Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian follow up to the entertaining Night at the Museum 9. Zombieland - By far the most quoted movie 10. Paranormal Activity - said to be the scariest movie of all time 11. Fast and the Furious - more cars and more racing 12.Princess and The Frog - The most contiversial movie Disney has produced this century 13. My Sister’s Keeper - the ong awaited movie adaptation of Jodi Picoult’s novel 14. Gran Torino - Cl int Eastwood shows audiences exactly why he’s a legend 15. The Bl indside - a heartwarming true story

Celebrity Deaths in 2009

January 3- Pat Higle, actor (Splendor in the Grass, Batman) January 21- Shane Dronett 38, Atlanta Falcons player March 18- Nathasha Richardson, 45, actress (The Parent Trap) April 25- Bea Arthur, 86, actress (The Golden Girls) June 23- Ed MacMahon, 86, pitchman June 25- Farrah Fawcett, 62, actress (Charlie’s Angels) June 25- Michael Jackson, 50, pop musician June 29- Billy Mays, 50, infomercial pitchman July 4- Steve McNair 36, Tennessee Titans Quarterback July 17- Walter Cronkite, 92, news anchor July 21- Gidget, 15, Taco Bell dog August 13- LesPaul, 94, Guitarist August 25- Edward Kennedy, 77, U.S. Senator August 28- DJ AM (Adam Golstein), 36, musician September 14-Patrick Swayze, 54, actor (Dirty Dancing, Ghost) December 20- Brittany Murphy, 32, actress (Cluesless, 8 Mile)

Top Internet Searches According to Yahoo.com

1. Michael Jackson 2. Twilight Saga 3. WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) 4. Megan Fox 5. Britney Spears 6. Naruto 7. American Idol 8. Kim Kardashian 9. NASCAR 10. Rune Scape


SPORTS

Wrestling begins with a bang Katie Parish

sophomore staffwriter

Only five tournaments into the season and doing well. Coach Jeremy Hernandez said, “[The wrestlers are] doing good [and] improving, everyone is working hard everyday.” This season, there are 44 wrestlers. During the Billings Invitational, which was a takedown tournament, junior Tyler Girard and senior Zane Seader placed third, senior Josh McPherson placed fifth, and junior David Kersten placed sixth. The Golden Bears came in the middle of the pack out of seventeen teams that were at the Billings Invitational. Coach Joe Rambin mentioned, “[My expectations for this season are] to definitely make improvements in state, [get] fifth or sixth place.” Senior Tony Scheffelman said, “[I hope] to place in state.”

Sub- varsity corner

A look at the Highlights from all sub-varsity teams Tawni Palin Copy Editor

Girl Basketball The freshmen Lady Bear basketball team headed to Sheridan on Dec. 6. The game ended 29 to 19 with a loss to the Sheridan Lady Broncos. On December 8, they played Home School for their first win of the season, 41- 22. The sophomore Lady Bears won their game against Sheridan on Dec. 6 with a score or 37 to 34. Their game against the Home School Lady Knights was also a success, 61 to 25. Against the Skyview Lady Falcons, they won 49 to 35. JV has so far only played one team which is the Sheridan Lady Broncos and won 53 to 14 on Dec. 6. Boys Basketball The freshmen Bears beat Sheridan on Dec. 5 in their first game with a score of 55 to 44. Their second game against Skyview Dec. 12 ended 67 to 47 with a win for the Bears. They won their third game against the

Home School Knights 63 to 9 on Dec. 7. The sophomore Bears have been successful, as well, with two wins against both Home School on Dec. 7 and Sheridan on Dec. 5; however, they ended up losing by two to Skyview on Dec. 10. The JV team has played two games so far this season. Their first game was against Sheridan 69 to 34 leaving West with the win on Dec. 5. On Dec. 15, they beat crosstown rival Senior Broncs by ten points, ending the game at 47 to 37. Wrestling JV Boys competed in the Billings Invitational on Dec. 6 and 7. It was take down tournament, so no wrestlers “placed.” On December 15, they had a dual against Sheridan which ended 5-5 (wins to losses). “One of the main players would be sophomore Mercer Pickens,” said coach Jeremy Hernandez. Pickens is 152 pounds, and took down his man in his second period.

Zane Seader tries to take down his oppponent at the home meet in the West High gym

Rambin continued, “I know our kids can do it; they have just got to believe in themselves.” Manager Dani Repka stated, “The boys are doing really well.” Trainer Mathew Goodrich’s job is to “tape to prevent further

injuries and also apply first aid, such as cleaning up bloody noses and applying Band-Aids.” Sophomore Gage McCann said, “The team is gradually improving into a better team. [We have] a lot of potential, a lot of freshmen.” McCann continued, “Getting

Photo by Katie Patish

into shape and teaching the freshmen, the season will be uphill from here.” Junior Tyler Girard mentioned, “The team has had a lot of improvements since last year.” Scheffelman said, “On a personal level, I am doing fair; so far, [this season is] pretty good.”

Girls Basketball rockin’ the house again Basketball season is here again and Lady Bears are setting the bar . Kaydee Oldham freshman staffwriter

Winter sports have started up this year for West, and Lady Bear basketball is one of them. The coaches say the teams are off to a good start and hopefully a good finish. “We’re 2-0 and are starting to play as a team together. I really like the way we are pushing the ball on offense and pressuring other team’s on defense,” Amy Schillinger, coach of the sophomore team, said. The girls’ basketball team focuses more on the team success rather than just individual. The coaches are confident because many players can play several different positions. With the flu season here, coaches are concerned that players will become sick or ill. Schillinger mentioned that a few girls are out because of sickness, but she is hoping that they can play a game with all eleven girls. “Right now we need to continue to develop our scoring. We are getting good looks at the basket, but [we] need to knock a few more shots down. They are working hard in practices and are truly developing as

a team,” Coach Randy Chase, the varsity coach, explained. There are nine girls on the varsity team. Juniors Danielle Muri and Janiel Olson, have consistently been the leading scorers and rebounders. Seniors Mikensi Romersa, Cassie Langstraat, Jessica Sharbono, Jessica Johnson, and Kaci Hutton have all contributed to many critical plays during the game as well. “It’s fun. We lost our first

game but won our second so far. I’ve played [basketball] since the sixth grade. I love it when games get really intense,” freshman Sigrid McLean said about the games she has played. McLean went on to say she has no concerns and has improved a lot with traveling ball. According to the players, the girls basketball is off to a good season and the coaches have high expectations for all of their players.


Up and down the court they go

SPORTS

JANUARY 2O1O

12

The dream of another AA championship looks to be within reach for boys basketball Ma rle n e Hol m

senior staffwriter The 2010 season of boys basketball all started out with tryouts. “Around 90 kids tried out,” said Golden Bears basketball head coach Doug Robison. Robinson comments, “It was very difficult to pick, but I knew most of them, and I am sure I picked the right ones.” Last year, the Golden Bears team lost eight seniors, meaning eight spots now had to be filled by new people. Five of those spaces are filled by seniors Derek

Dennehy, Brian Muller, Chase Vinger, Danny Robinson and Jacob Hellyer. These five boys are a big part of the plan coach Robison has to repeat as State AA Champs this year. Robison commented, “Of course as I coach I have to believe in my team, but I really do think we have great chances of winning again this year, as long as we beat Great Falls Charles M. Russell and Bozeman, which is going to be our greatest challenge.” Despite the upcoming challenges for the team this season, Robinson remains confident, saying, “I am sure we

could win it all.” Forward player Vinger still thinks that it is a little bit too early to say if they are going to win State or not. “I think because we are a short team this year, there aren’t that many tall players on the team, that our biggest problem is a big guy, so when we learn how to guard a tall guy, we are good going,” stated Vinger. Vinger has been practicing all summer for this season; he has been playing on a special team at West, who played against other teams. Also, Vinger prepared for the season by attending basket-

ball camps, for instance at Gonzaga in Washington. Now Vinger is just happy the season has begun so he can play the game for real, and together with point guard Danny Robinson he is more anxious and excited for the next games than nervous. Robinson, who has been playing since he was four, said, “I am very excited for the season.” “I love playing basketball, and I think it’s gonna be even more fun this year when I am playing as a senior,” Robinson said. The West High Boy’s basketball season had a promising

Swimmers loving the water West High swimmers are going strong M adi Mi ll e r

freshman staffwriter

This year, the Golden and Lady Bear’s swim teams have done extraordinarily well in the beginning of their season. “The girls’ side is doing

very well,” said Matt Santala, the West High girls swim coach. The first two swim meets at Rocky Mountain College and Hardin were an incredible success, with the Lady Bear’s team maintaining the lead in

first place in both meets. A few of the returning swimmers have seen a decrease in their set times from last year, showing the improvement of the swimmers this year, and a few are beating their previous personal bests. “The boys’ team was a bit of a concern,” stated Santala, “but in January, we should be able to put a boys relay together and grab a few more points for the boys’ side.” The boys’ team consists of only four members. All four of these members must continue to participate on the team because the number of members on a team must be complete in a relay. The four male swimmers are seniors Zach Rivera and Skyler Peterson and freshmen Parker Smith and Jacob Needham. For freshman Anna Rambold, the season has been going very well. “I have dropped time,” declared Rambold. She said that the upper-

classmen were very welcoming and not intimidating. “[Swimming is] good. It’s a lot of fun and not challenging,” said Rambold. The Great Falls meet was mediocre for the West swimmers. But the girls “A” team did very well. They placed in almost every single relay except for the 200 meter butterfly and the 200 meter

start, beginning out great with a win against Sheridan Wyoming, 79-69, on December 5. The games against Missoula-Hellgate on Friday, December 11 and against Missoula-Sentinel on Saturday, December 12 also went well. Golden Bears also won both of those without any troubles as well as the games against Bozeman and Central. West students are eagerly awaiting another amazing performance by the basketball team, hoping for another strong finish.

freestyle. For sophomore swimmer Kelly Walker, the season has been going great. “I love swimming. We have a lot of fun at meets and stuff,” Walker exclaims. “I have been doing fairly well. I have dropped time.” “The swimmers are working really hard this year,” commented Santala.

West At 50

A story about our past wrestling team Matmen Keep On Pinning Originally printed January 25, 1978

The three remaining senior wrestlers on the varsity team are Scott Brockway, Kevin Hoffman and Larry Reather. Randy Reed is out for the rest of the season. When asked why they chose wrestling as a winter sport, Scott answered, “I like the competition, it keeps me in shape, and stronger.” Larry states, “Wrestling builds the body, it’s self-satisfying, I enjoy the competition, and it’s an individual sport.” About how long are the practices? Kevin commented, “The practices are about 2½ to 3 hours long after school, not counting the running before school.” In their spare time Kevin participates in “weight lifting, skiing and eating.” Larry comments, “ i n t r a m u r a l s . ” Are there any plans for college? Scott says, “I plan to

go to MSU,” comments Kevin. Larry says, “I have no plans, really, for college. Kevin wants to become an engineer and Larry adds, “I’m considering going into law e n f o r c e m e n t . ” CMR Out Wrestles West The wrestling team went up against CMR, the defending state champions. West lost by a 39-16 score. West put up a good fight and won four m a t c h e s . Randy Reed, Larry Reather and Mike Shong all won by decisions. Scott Brockway won with a pin in 2:16 minutes.. CMR dominated the meet by winning eight of the twelve matches. The West JV team regained some lost pride as they won 39-18.


ARTS

West High’s music department joins forces to perform one concert

The band, orchestra and choir share a single stage Nikky Mosure Opinion Editor

Once a year the music department gets the opportunity to come together and perform together and for each other at one grand concert. This year, that concert was the winter concert held on December 16 in the West High auditorium at 7:30 p.m. This concert featured a little bit of everything for the holiday season. In previous years, the music

department has had another concert where all three sections come together to entertain anyone who would like to attend. This concert is held at Alberta Bair Theater and features a combined piece performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra, Meistersingers and the Symphonic Band. The percussion ensemble played a very interesting compilation of “Deck Them Halls” that was strictly percussion instruments. The Percussion ensemble

Billings Studio Theatre puts on Peter Pan

will be performing their own concert with Chanobi at the Babbcock Thaetre later this month. Next, the symphonic band brought back a classic when it played “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and also added a fun new rock vibe with a variation of “Joy to the World.” The concert and chamber bands combined to play two pieces that night featuring the classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Senior Allison Molin stated, “I was impressed by how much both bands were able to a c c o m p l i sh with their semester.”

Sally Weinand junior staffwriter

“All you need is faith and trust, and a little bit of pixie dust.” Billings Studio Theatre performed the classic tale of Peter Pan directed by Chae Clearwood. The production was performed from November 20 through December 20 with a total of 17 days of performances. Two West High students had roles in Peter Pan, Konner Howell and Bridger Johnson. Howell is technically an eighth grader at Will James Middle School who travels to West High in mornings for his math class. Johnson is a freshman at West. The two have both participated in several theatre productions at Billings Studio Theatre and both really like their director for this show. “She is really young and fun! She has done a lot of plays before, so she is really good,” explained Howell. The audition differed from other auditions according to Howell. “[The audition] was really kid friendly, and they divided it into groups. All the kids under one age went one night. [Then], all the adults and teenagers went on another night,” commented Howell. Johnson has been in Guys and Dolls, Tom Sawyer and had the title role in Oliver. Howell has participated in Little Red Riding Hood, Guys and Dolls and Tom Sawyer.

West at 50

Seniors Caylee Daem and Steven Marsac perform at the concert.

Johnson played the role of Slightly, one of the Lost Boys who is second in command. “I was one of the oldest boys in the cast, but I liked being second in command,” stated Johnson. Howell played the role of John, Wendy’s younger brother, and found that there were aspects of his character that he can relate to. “[John] is smart in school like me, but I am not really smart alicky like him,” noted Howell. The two had a lot of fun in their opening night performance. Howell explained, “It was good; there were quite a few people, and they all laughed at all of the funny parts in the play, which there are several of.” “Yeah, it was pretty good; we had a really good audience, and it really gave us the first real taste of how the audience would react to it,” agreed Johnson. The performance was used to make the characters really come to life by giving them the ability to fly. Howell believes that the flying and the sets used in Peter Pan were “really cool” and that the cast was a lot of fun.

Following the band department came Cantus. They sang “Bidi Bom” and joined with the next group, the Chantrelles, to sing “Carol of the Bells” to transition Cantus off

the risers and to lead the Chantrelles on to them. The Chantrelles ended with the classic “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Senior Alicia Connolly said of the choir, “This year’s freshman girls’ choir has shown a lot of potential, especially at the winter concert. They will continue to enhance the choral excellence here at West High.” Next on stage was the Chamber Orchestra which performed two songs that included the classic “The Little Drummer Boy.” The Concert Choir interrupted the orchestra groups to perform three songs and was accompanied by the Philharmonic Orchestra on two of them, “All is Well” and “Gloria.” The Philharmonic Orchestra was the end of the concert. They started things with a light show titled “Wizards in Winter” and ended with a classic winter song “Sleigh Ride.” Every other year, the band and orchestra departments take turns finishing the concert with this classic. Admission to the concert could be exchanged for a donation the Billings Food Bank or for the normal charge of a West High concert.

submitted photo

Originally printed January 25, 1990

Musical legends Mark Day

senior staffwriter

Rock music has changed considerably since its dawning in ‘50s; even to the regressed stage of rap music (if you can call rap music). But the question remains, where have all the people gone (long time passing)? Some have simply dropped out of the music spectrum altogether, such as certain members of the Beatles. Others have quite simply died; for example, the tragic death of Buddy Holly, or Jimi Hendrix’s fatal overdose. Still others, i.e.

the Stones (Rolling, that is), have upheld standards in music and have maintained an unparallel level of excellence. Some lesser-known talents have also managed to survive in the hard-nosed world of music. Joe Strummer is one of these fellows who has produced musical success for over a decade. For the musically ignorant, Strummer was originally with the Clash; and has since assisted in the production of B.A.D. (Big Audio Dynamite) albums and even more recently produced a solo album entitled Earthquake Weather. Other names of decent

renown would be the Bonham family name. In spite of the senior’s death (formerly with Led Zeppelin), the young Bonham has established a new “hard rock” sound that closely follows his father’s style. There are many new and interesting musical styles emerging onto the scene today. Whether one enjoys rap, pop, new wave, or even blues, it is very reassuring to know that at least a few of the greats have withstood the test of time.


ARTS

West at 50 JANUARY 2O1O

Originally printed March 31, 2005

14

Original play composed at Venture Theatre around high school actors Andrew Smith

Circulation Manager

Venture Theatre took a new approach this year to the topic of “teen dating.” Venture Theatre’s youth conservatory board decided to commission an original play for the teenage actor dealing with this specific issue. Artistic Director of Venture Theatre, Mace Archer, directed the play and chose to be a part of the unique process. “We look for a diverse group of actors,” said Archer, “The more diverse the group the better.” Once the actors were chosen, they spent one week digging into the lives of high school students to try to find what dating is really like in high school. The actors shared

stories of love, life and most of all, dating. The group is from all over Billings. Students from Senior include sophomore Ava Shearer, junior Mark Peters and senior Jesse Schneider. Students from Skyview High are juniors Chae Clearwood and Lukas Miller. Students from West High include sophomore Lia Petriccione, and junior Andrew Smith. Also in the cast are junior Dawn Carter from Shepard and senior Tiffany Melia, who is home schooled. The group shared stories together of dating and how it influences their lives. They grew closer together every day that they shared deep stories. “At first it took a while to connect with the actors; some weren’t the usual Venture peo-

ple,” commented Petriccione. “They are all really cool people,” stated Peters, “and fun to work with.” Playwright Lydia O’Neil then took the ideas of the teens and transformed them into pieces of theatre art. The script was given to the actors in chunks, not all of it was made on the spot. O’Neil wrote the play as it came to her mind. “I read it scene by scene, and then I ran out of scene, but the story wasn’t over yet,” stated Melia. “I got so excited when I watched my character develop with each scene.” The playwright kept working on the play and giving them new pages of the script every day. The actors then took the script and memorized it while Archer was working with a different group

of actors in another scene. “We basically needed to have the lines memorized as soon as we got the pages,” stated Schneider. The actors performed in Venture’s Café Theatre, the smallest of the three Venture theatres. The Black-Box Theatre and The Roebling Theatre were both being used for the plays House and Garden, so the cast was forced into a smaller space. “It’s a smaller space than I’m used to working in,” commented Petriccione. The show went regardless of the space issue. The process piece was an exciting adventure at Venture. Clearwood states, “I’m excited about doing a completely original script. We get to expose something completely new to the theatre-

season. This year was no exception. Sophomore Ashlee Fritzler, an audience member in the performance, explained, “I think my favorite part was the snow dance.

It snowed! It was a pretty awesome play!” Ballet Idaho joined local ballet dancers, Rimrock Opera’s Chorus for Kids and the Billings Symphony in the annual performance at the Alberta Bair Theatre on November 28 and 29. Rehearsals for the production began two months before opening night and were on Saturday every week. The Nutcracker is a two-act ballet with music written by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. The performance of the Nutcracker has become an annual Christmas routine for local families. The contribution of the local dancers showcased local talent.

Two West High students participated in the Nutcracker this year: freshmen Delaney Fredricks and Hannah Frichtl. Fredricks performed as a Party Girl and a Soldier. Frichtl performed as an Angel and a Salt Water Taffy Sailor. “Being a Party Girl was my favorite part I have ever played,” commented Fredricks. Both were very excited to be given the opportunity to perform in front of the large audiences. Frichtl explained, “I really didn’t think about it on Sunday, but I thought about it on Saturday night because a lot of my friends and family went that night. It was really exciting!” “Yeah, it was really exciting, but actually it was also really nerve-racking because the audience expected a professional performance,” agreed Fredricks. Frichtl has been dancing for twelve years and takes lessons in ballet, jazz, modern and point. She has done the Nutcracker all twelve years she has danced and has performed in several different

going public.” Archer states, “The actors had the opportunity to organize characters that have never been seen before. They influence the work and the process so much. They got to ask different questions on a new play. When you are doing an already existing work, you ask ‘what is the best way to do this piece of writing?’ In a new play you can actually ask, ‘is this the way the writing should be?’ You can literally change anything you want as you go.” The process piece About Saturday was performed at Venture Theatre March 17-20, 2005. The cast will perform it again in June. For more information, go to www.venturetheatre.org.

Annual performance of The Nutcracker wows audiences this holiday season Sally Weinand junior staffwriter

Every year, the presentation of the Nutcracker wows audiences and kicks off the Christmas

roles throughout the years. Some of the roles she has played include a Sugar Baby, Ladybug, Angel, Party Child, Waltz of the Flowers and Salt Water Taffy Salor, which are all characters from the Nutcracker. Fredricks takes lessons in ballet, jazz, lyrical and hip hop and has been in the Nutcracker for four years. She has played the roles of Ladybug, Party Kid and Soldier. Both girls plan to audition for the Nutcracker again next year. Frichtl commented, “I watched [The Nutcracker] when I was a little girl, and I have always wanted to be in it since.” Fredricks also watched the Nutcracker when she was younger, she explained, “I watched the Nutcracker and I have always wanted to be in it. I always thought it looked really fun, and I think it is an honor to be able to work with professionals.”


OPINION

Less mammograms girls

Doctors suggest later age for check Nikky Mosure Opinion Editor

Recently an earthquake rocked the world of women’s health. This is not referring to healthcare reform that has currently passed through the senate and house. This earthquake is referring to the new guidelines that have been placed on mammograms. Before the new guidelines were released, women were expected to start seeing their doctor for a mammogram at age 40 and also perform selfexaminations on a regular basis beginning in high school. The new guidelines ask women, unless they are at risk, to begin their mammograms at age

50 and to have them performed less often. As well as being screened at a later age and less often. The new guidelines are discouraging doctors from teaching patients how to perform selfexaminations at all. I think the new guidelines are atrocious. Ninety percent of diagnosis’ have been found by women performing selfexaminations. This new standard makes no sense. Another aspect to examine is how many women were not at risk and under the age of 50 but were still diagnosed. Look at all the women who are not at risk and are under the age 40 who have been diagnosed.

It is wrong to move the standard back ten years and tell women they should not perform a vital step to help catch cancer that could kill them. The new guidelines are hurting women who are not in high risk categories but still could be affected by this deadly disease. Take into consideration that these undiagnosed women could go untreated, and cancer, if left untreated, can spread throughout the entire body and become untreatable. If this happens, breast cancer becomes a terminal illness that could have been treated with early diagnosis. Unfortunately, early diagnosis did not happen because the new guidelines

eliminated the possibility. The key to treating cancer is early diagnosis. It is the most critical thing for a doctor to do. If cancer is detected early, it is easier to treat, and the chance of survival is greater. By passing these new guidelines, we are doing nothing but harming the women of America. We should be protecting women: our mothers, our teachers, our doctors, our nurses and our friends by informing them they need to have these screening done. They need to perform self examinations at home. It could save their lives.

A students first American Christmas Denamrk exchange student experiences the traditional American Christmas

Marlene Holm

senior staffwriter Christmas is the time of holiness, the time every little kid looks forward to after their birthday, the big day of Christianity, the day of Jesus birth. A big part of Christmas is December, the month counting down to the big night. In Denmark, December is a really special month, a lot of stuff happens in December. We make or buy these candles with the numbers 1-24 on them. Starting with 1 (on Dec. 1), and then every day after that, we light the candles and burn them down to the right date.

We also have candy calendars. Everybody has a candy calendar, the bigger the better. We open one hatch per day and get a candy everyday for 24 days. Another thing we also do to countdown to Christmas is a Christmas series on television. One example for little kids is a story about some kids who had to find their way to Santa because if they did not make it, Christmas would be ruined. They show one episode every day, and on the 24th, they save Christmas, of course. There is a different series for adults, too. I noticed the school did not do anything for Christmas, and I was really, really surprised because we make such a great big deal out of other stuff, but we didn’t even have a day where we

decorated the classes or anything. Every year in Denmark, right in the beginning of December, we have a whole day where we don’t have normal school; we cut out our own decorations and decorate the classrooms instead. There are always big fights between classes over which class is going to be the best, and then for the rest of the month, we sit in nicely-decorated class rooms. The things I have noticed people in America do in December to make the Christmas spirit, which isn’t that big of a tradition in Denmark, is all the Christmas lights. I love it. It is so nice, and in most cases really pretty. We do have lights in Denmark, but they are boring. Most people only have white lights on one little tree, but I won’t even dream about how much money people spend on

lights here. Then there is the Christmas tree. It was the first, and most likely the last, time I have had a fake Christmas tree for Christmas. It was a bit weird, but I do give my family’s tree pretty good credit. It looked really real, and wow, they had a lot of ornaments. I really liked it. I might say that when we were done with all of the ornaments, lights and everything, I think it might have been the prettiest tree I have ever seen. On Christmas Eve, the traditions are pretty much the same. We go to church, have a big dinner, eat cookies and open presents. One fun tradition, though, everybody does in Denmark, before we get presents, is lighting some real candles on the tree, and then we turn of all

West At 50

other lights and walk around the tree holding each other’s hands around the tree while singing Christmas songs. After that, we then open our presents. Then here in America, you have the tradition with stockings and putting out cookies and milk for Santa Claus. We don’t do that in Denmark. Some people do I think, but very few, and that’s a fun tradition I think. After Christmas Eve, Christmas is pretty much over, then a lot of people go have Christmas dinners at family and friend’s homes the following days after Christmas, but Christmas Eve is the only real big traditional day of Christmas in Denmark. My Christmas in the United States was a really fun experience. I really liked it, but I missed Danish Christmas just a little bit, of course.

West High Snobs – A Superior Race? Originally printed May, 9 1975

The world is full of bigots, and the majority of them are males and females. It is, however, unfortunate that we who are not members of this elite club have to put up with the percentage of bigots who go to West High. Could it be that Archie Bunker has brought together a new religion? I know it’s your right to act however you want, uphold your image and all that, but I

would appreciate it if you would step down off the pedestal for a minute and hear me out. Although most of us don’t realize it or don’t want to, we are not perfect. Nope, although some of us are pretty close, we’re not there. To make matters worse, we look down on others. You deny it, of course. Let me take a famous quote, “Look at that kid, God, he’s fat and ugly!”

. . . Don’t remember? How about this one – “I hate North Dakotans and redheads.” Well you get the idea. All of us have cut up someone behind his back one time or another. Usually one time, and for many, 5 or 6 million times. People are what they are. It might cut down on suicides if the majority of the population wouldn’t crack up laughing

every time a fat and ugly redheaded North Dakotan shows his face or faces. In fairness I don’t think anyone would want to trade places. We’re all Don Rickles, and the rest of the people are targets. “Go out and getting hot and bothered, good business for Right Guard, right?” Wrong. Don Rickles is a Jewish Radical conspiring against the people. You see, if

people look at themselves before they knock down others, our problems might be solved. “So she is a slob, what are you? He’s an exhibitionist, so what, let him exhibit.” I hope you see my point. Thank you for your time. You prideful people can get back up on your pedestals. As Adolph Hitler put it, “You are… the superior race.” J.M.


Wishing you a special holiday

OPINION

JANUARY 2O1O

16

No matter what holiday you celebrate Kyra Nelson

Features Editor

I’d like to start my article by wishing you a Merry Christmas, but I’d hate to accidentally offend somebody by expressing hope that they have a nice December 25. So perhaps instead I should say Happy Holidays, even though I’d still be thinking Merry Christmas. Something about the fact that my good intentions could cause so much distress seems a little odd to me. But I’m told that going around saying Merry Christmas will grossly offend nonChristians. Never mind that a lot about Christmas is secular. Sure, there are people who put up their nativities. However, there are plenty of people for whom it’s

just a night when a fat, old guy in a red suit breaks into their house and steals their cookies. Of course the origins are religious, and why should we pretend that they aren’t? Disregarding this doesn’t make it any less true. It just makes you look ignorant. Besides, you can call a Christmas tree a Holiday tree, but that won’t change what it is or what it represents. Really, if you want something to be religion neutral, you don’t steal something that is religiously symbolic and rename it. You think of something new that doesn’t have any ties to religion. Not that I think there is anything wrong with not celebrating Christmas, but that’s different than being offended by somebody wishing you Merry

Christmas. In light of these overly sensitive types, we’ve decided to pretend Christmas is some sort of neutral holiday. In compliance with the generic holiday, we will disregard the usual traditions and instead sing holiday carols, hang holiday stockings and wreathes and maybe even light a holiday menorah. For the sake of not even risking offending somebody, we’ll also put up a statue of the flying spaghetti monster with a Santa hat on his head. I don’t agree with trying to force beliefs or customs on other people. But it’s not like we’re shoving candy canes down people’s throats. We’re just trying to celebrate a holiday. So why the attempts to eliminate all references to

Christmas from the public scene? A state establishing a church is wrong, but is it really so wrong for a state to acknowledge one religion as long as all religions are acknowledged? Pretending something doesn’t exist won’t make it not exist. Unless we’re trying to force our views on other people, there’s nothing wrong with openly celebrating. It’s time we all learn to be mature enough to not be offended by something meant kindly, especially in a season that should be about warm feelings and spreading joy. I don’t celebrate Hanukah, Kwanza or Festivus, but I wouldn’t be offended at being told to have a Happy Hanukah or a nice Kwanza or someone offering their good wishes for

any other holiday. I’d take it for what it is, a kind remark. No matter your background, whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukah or Kwanza or Festivus, this is a special time of year where we can put aside our differences. When we forget things that don’t matter, and avoid being offended when we shouldn’t be, we can come together. We can make it the best time of the year, but not if we’re quarreling about something like what to call a decorated tree. When we can maintain the diversity of culture that America prides itself on without causing contention, we’ll all be happier. That’s my wish this Christmas season: that we can all learn to be more tolerant, more understanding, more forgiving and ultimately more loving.

hard it is to deal with people who do not understand an other’s condition or even do not care or bother to ask what is wrong. Dealing with these people can be highly stressful, especially when they are teachers, and students need their help or for them to

understand. It is also horrible to stereotype people by their diagnosis. Instead of joking about mental or physical disorders and diseases, one should learn the facts. One shall never know, their crude comment could be what pushes another over the edge.

More to Depression than what students show to the world Depression is not just being sad Shadoe Adams junior staffwriter

Depression is an umbrella term for several serious mental disorders. Every type of depression effects the sufferer’s way of life. Most Americans associate depression mainly with sadness, which is ignorant; that is just one minor symptom in most of the illnesses. One of the most common types of depression in America, especially among the youth, is clinical depression. Nearly 2 million teens suffer from this draining mental condition, but only one third of all sufferers seek medical help, which is a horrid mistake. Many teens feel alone or feel they will be alienated by peers once they are diagnosed with depression. The cause of this thinking might be the social misconception of depressions in general. Depression is given a negative stereotype by people who do not quite understand the disorder. All disorders that fall under the umbrella of the broad term depression have unique symptoms and shared symptoms. People with traumatic pasts do suffer from depression most often, but sometimes depression can occur spontaneously with no seeming explanation in people

with “normal” lives. Most depression sufferers deal with prolonged sadness, which can result from guilt, hopelessness, prolonged unhealthy stress and/or unexplained overwhelming feelings. Just having a bad day does not count as depression, and such an ignorant statement makes the speaker seem rather ill-informed on basic understanding of the disease. Having any type of depression is serious. In some cases it can lead to suicide – or thinking or attempting the act. In fact, depression leads to nearly half of all annual suicide successes in the United States. Even with mounds of evidence that certain prescription drugs and routine visits to psychologists can cure or treat the disorders, some people still think depression can be cured by psychologist’s help alone. In some cases, that is true because all people cope differently – especially if they have a minor form of depression - but if one suffers from clinical depression, for example, medication is needed. People with clinical depression suffer constant fatigue, suicidal thoughts, disruption in their sleep schedule, lack of concentration and many other serious symptoms. Those who oppose the use

of medication have no right to not allow others to use it. In many cases, especially among teens in high school, patients will resort to suicide if the mental anguish of all the symptoms become over bearing. If you think you might have any mental illness, you should seek professional help. If you do not know with whom to talk, make an appointment with West’s school psychologist, Evey LaMont; you do not have to go through any illness alone. Personally, I suffer from clinical depression. I have been diagnosed by several professionals, and yet my father did not want me to take the medication advised - even though I suffered daily from my symptoms. It is true that some medications used to treat depression can have serious side affects on the patient; it is uncommon for the side effects to be dangerous or lifethreatening – or at least, most medications take awhile to cause that amount of damage. Doctors can easily lower dosage or change prescriptions depending on their patients needs and complaints. During school, I struggled everyday to concentrate on lessons, movies, or even what I was writing. I lost focus easily and fought to regain control. I know, personally, how

KODIAK

BILLINGS WEST HIGH SCHOOL

2201 ST. JOHN’S AVENUE

BILLINGS, MT 59102

ARTS EDITOR

ADVISER

FEATURES EDITOR

PRINCIPAL

NEWS EDITOR

STAFF WRITERS

Pat Bush

Kyra Nelson

Jenna Hennings

OPINION EDITOR Nikky Mosure

COPY EDITORS Trent Dugger Jessica Ettleman Tawni Palin Erin Kusek

WEB EDITOR Kelsey Munsell

Caaren Cerise Dave Cobb

Shadoe Adams Ashlynn Andersen Chelsea Anderson McKeale Anderson Vicki Contreraz Marlene Holm Christa Lyons Madi Miller Kaydee Oldham Katie Parish Angel Shandy Sally Weinand

The Billings West High Kodiak is an open forum for student expression that aims to publish information suitable for West High students of all ages.

Letters to the editor must be signed; the Editorial Board reserves the right to edit letters for length, accuracy and repetition.


January 1, 2010