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Volume 50

Issue III December 16, 2009

6001 Cassia St. Boise, ID 83709

borahtoday.com


Volume 50 Letters TO THE Editor For the record, school spirit can’t be measured by class requirements 2

Dear Borah Senator, I am writing this letter in regards to the article about the Rowdies and the athletes not supporting the band. First of all, where does the band get off acting all high and mighty just because they “support” the football team? Has any band member even stepped foot anywhere near a softball field? A lacrosse field? A soccer field? There are plenty of other sports/activities the band could attend and yet I haven’t seen them at any. Why should they tell us to come support them when they don’t support us? Furthermore, can they really say they are supporting the football team when they are required to be there for a class? How many of the band people would go to the games if it wasn’t required? Secondly, high school students don’t attend music events because they are boring! Those of us who aren’t in band, aren’t for a reason. We don’t want to go sit in silence for hours on end, listening to music that doesn’t interest us! My third and final point involves the cheerleaders. The Rowdies don’t follow their cheers because all of their cheers are meant for cheerleaders, and cheerleaders only! Not all of us were blessed with the ability to be peppy 24/7. The Rowdies just start cheers we can actually do! If the cheerleaders did cheers like “Truckin” and things where we mimic them, they’d be more successful! -Kara Perry Senior Letter received 11-10

Senator Staff

Editor-in-Chief: Ayla Washam Associate Editor: Megan Mizuta Page Editors: Letters to the Editor: Katie Corp Index: Megan Mizuta News: Jesse Conklin/ Alexis Anderson Opinion: Megan Mizuta Center Spread: Ayla Washam Life: Megan Harrigfeld Arts and Entertainment: Felicia Arnold Q&A: Kari Schuhknecht People: Summer Galindo Sports: Parker Simmons/ Katie Helm Fun & Games: Mike Bingham Photo Editor: Katie Corp Assistant Photo Editor: Katie Helm Staff Photographer: Megan Mizuta Graphic Artists: Lisa Garrard, Ryan Hester, Christine Lawson, and Nick Parenti Intern Writers: Zulfiya Amrulayeva, Wendy Aquino, Matt Bergman, Ali Clapier, Maricia Gaddis, Ryan Hester, Kristina Hudson, Hailey Huffield, Jamie Jones, Justin Kirkham, Mersaydeze LeDesky, Becca Leija, Samantha Miller, Shane Norman Cox, Carlee Parsley, Hilary Platt, Nicole Schoenberger, Zach Thomas, Erika Vaudrin, Samantha Whittaker, and Kayla Yack Text Editor: Megan Mizuta Website Editor: Kevin Middleton Website Manager: Jordan Rivers Advertising Manager: Kari Schuhknecht Adviser: Michelle Harmon

Issue III December 16, 2009

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BorahToday.com LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

How to send a letter to The Senator: 1. Type letter 2. Sign it 3. Bring letter to room 503 or Email it to kcorp@borahtoday.com Let the people’s voices be heard! The Borah Senator accepts all letters of school appropriate subjects. The Senator will not accept anonymous letters.

Senator’s Mission Statement The Senator’s duty is to inform and entertain students and faculty in an accurate and timely fashion. The paper covers events and information that affects the student body. The Senator is a non-profit organization. The Senator is published monthly by Borah High School, 6001 Cassia St., Boise, Idaho 83709. Phone 1-208-854-4370 ext. 142. Circulation 1700. The Senator is printed by Idaho Press Tribune. The Senator maintains membership in the National Quill and Scroll Society and the Journalism Education Association. Additional rates are available upon request. All signed commentaries that appear in The Senator are strictly the opinion of that individual and do not necessarily reflect the general opinion of the Senator staff. The Borah Senator received the 2008 George H. Gallup award from Quill and Scroll, the International Honorary Society for High School Journalists. The Quill and Scroll was founded by Dr. Gallup in 1926. High school newspapers considered for this award seek recognition because of overall superiority in informing, influencing, and entertaining.


Volume 50 Issue iII December 16, 2009

What’s Inside? Check out bumper stickers from Borah’s parking lot on pg 8.

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Turn to pg 16 and see if you can complete the scavenger hunt of art around campus.

Who has a javelina in their classroom? Turn to pg 9 to find out.

On the Cover: Artist Bio By Mike Bingham

Nick Parenti, a senior of 17 years and the student behind this issue’s cover, is a brilliant graphic artist who hones his skills off-campus at a graphic design class. He generally prefers a digital medium and has done other projects for the paper earlier in past issues. He creates his art, which can only be described as abstract, without having to draw from other artists for inspiration. Images come quickly and easily to him, and he admits that he had little to no difficulty in creating the cover after editor-in-chief Ayla Washam suggested creating a “wordle” out of the Q&A perceptions of Borah. His current goal is to eventually design clothes and open his own clothing line. “I’m a fan of TV,” he said when asked about his interests. He also enjoys videogames, collectible card games, and tennis. Nick is a proficient tennis player and has been on the team for some time now. He likes listening to music, and is able to enjoy any genre except country. His favorite types of music are Alternative, “Hop of the Hip”, and Screamo. Nick maintains a good relationship with his family, all of whom love to travel during the holidays. This year they’ve

Index

Letters to the Editor……......................................................…………….2 News..…………….......…...........................….........................................................…...4&5 Opinion……….…………..................................................................................………6&7 Spread...................................................................................................................8&9 Life………......……….................................…………...........................................................10 A&E………….......……................…........…………..................................................……...11 Question of the Month........................…………..................................................…..12 People…………......…..................….......………………..................................................…13 Sports……….....……........................……..................................................……….14&15 Fun & Games...........................................…….................................................……..16

Photo by Katie Corp

planned a trip to sunny Florida over the break. On the outside, Nick appears to be very relaxed, and after talking to him for awhile, he appears very relaxed on the inside as well. When confronted with the subject of senioritis, he replied “I don’t do work,” then laughed. He admits some of his classes, like calculus, can be difficult, but he doesn’t take problems too seriously and still finds enjoyment in his art. To sum things up, Nick could be described as a very vague yet talented individual, whose art and style may forever be beyond our understanding.


News

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Volume 50 Issue I October 12, 2009

Program provides supplies to Borah families

By Summer Galindo

The Borah Adopt a Family program is an annual campus event since 1988. Students, teachers, and workers in the community send families experiencing hard times holiday care packages. Although this is an organization run by the school, there are many other Adopt a Family programs around the nation, including the Salvation Army’s as shown at salvationarmy.org. The organization is an anonymous service that social worker Becky Woodland arranges each year. Woodland picks Borah families in need and sets out to help them. She sends a mass e-mail is out to every teacher about how they and their

students can help. Clubs as well as classes sponsor families. Even families can become sponsors. For example, this Thanksgiving the office staff said that they helped a family in need.

The program is active from November through the winter holidays and helps families stay nourished as well as happy. Students and staff prepare a basket or a box of food, gifts, and other supplies including pet food and donated clothing. Woodland delivers the packages to the families. Adopt a Family helps about 20 families each school year. “It seems to bring us closer together,” said Woodland. “I like that it’s Borah helping Borah. Unlike most school food drives, you know that your donations are going to a nearby family that needs it, the only difference is that you don’t know exactly who.”

Japanese Club By Alexis Anderson

Occupied with anime, costumes, painting, parties, potlucks, and iceskating, this year’s Japanese Club has been very busy with several projects and activities. “We accomplish what we set out to do slow but steady, and have fun while doing it,” commented club president and senior MaryAnne Bowen. The promotions committee is completing a request from history teacher, Amy Everson, to paint a series of murals for her classroom. In addition, they plan on throwing a Christmas party tomorrow. “We have fervently been planning for this party,” explained Bowen. The celebration will include a potluck. They will also dress as anime characters, and have a Secret Santa gift exchange. In the future,

they hope to take an ice-skating trip and skate in costume. They are also hosting Anime Week twice a year, where the Anime committee will bring together anime movie clips that are appropriate for the time of year. “Anime is a big part of Japanese Club,” stated Junior Matt Carrillo. Anime is Japanese animation that began at the start of the 20th century. The Japanese term otaku is used in America as a term for anime fans. “We want the club to be Japanese Club, not Anime Club, so we’re also trying to move away a little bit from Anime,” noted Carrillo. The club holds meetings every Wednesday and uses funny video clips to get everyone’s attention to start the meetings. During the meetings, members discuss future plans.

Illistration by Ryan Hester Alya Washam

Creative Writing elective dropped due to lack of interest, budget Borah lost the Creative Writing elective this year. The class was taught by English teacher Chuck McHenry, and before him Language Arts department head Rod Wray. McHenry said, “It was primarily focused on allowing students to hone their fiction writing skills.” The students wrote three to five major short stories, read 15 to 20 famous short stories, and completed 50 “short writes.” At the end of semester, the students composed a 25+ page portfolio of their best work. By Katie Helm

“If the numbers aren’t there, it’s time to kill it,” McHenry said. Last year 39 students enrolled, but this year McHenry reported that only a couple of students signed up for the class. Wray said, “I am not happy about losing it this year. There are not enough electives in the Language Arts department.” Core requirements are going up, so districts have to use their budgets to fund teachers for the required classes. “Public school programs are like your body when hypothermia sets in: the extremities are sacrificed so the core can survive awhile longer,” McHenry said.

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls, an annual tradition, brings the holidays to the halls. Sophomores, juniors and seniors competed to see who decorated the best door. “We are trying to make it a big deal again,” commented junior Walter Nosalskiy, Student Council member. As for breaking the themes, the sophomores turned C-hall into a Winter Wonderland, juniors made A-hall into the Grinch, and seniors took on Charlie Brown for B-hall. Student

Council decided the themes. “This tradition has been going on for at least 20 years,” added Korrin Rue, Student Council adviser. Over the years, Deck the Halls has regressed from a big deal to a smaller deal that Student Council is bringing back. The Door Decorating, also sponsored by Student Council, is a school wide competition in which students decorate during sixth period. The wining classroom wins an ice cream party provided by Student Council.


Volume 50 Issue iI November 17, 2009

News

Gateway to a creative mind

Art Department’s Open Studio lets community to be artistic By Megan Harrigfeld

Light reaches into the ceramics room as kids and adults alike immerse themselves in the Borah art community. The art department at Borah on Tuesdays from 3-5 p.m. provides a haven to channel creative ideas in a safe place. Open Art Studio is an afterschool program with access to both art rooms, and every so often even the dark room. Art teachers Jennifer Compton and Pat Rose have facilitated the activity for several years. Open Art Studio has a place for everyone, not just school wide, but community wide. “Anyone in our community can come,” said Compton, “it’s a good community builder.”

Tech Center offers interships, certification

Parents, teachers, students, and even an Ambrose Elementary School second grader have attended. “It’s a place to release positive creativity,” commented sophomore Claire Richardson. The program stretches the art department to more people, providing materials such as the clay and potter’s wheel, paint and other supplies for a broad artistic experience. Since the program exists not just for art students, it gives other people the ability to dabble in an art experience. Borah students also can come plainly to do extra work, or finish up a project. “It’s the coolest thing going on during a Tuesday afternoon,” said Rose. “We’re very happy for anyone to come by—the more the merrier.”

By Jesse Conklin

The Dehryl A. Dennis Professional Technical Education Center is one opportunity that students have to collect skills that can help them in life after high school. The Tech Center has more than 55 classes in 30 courses of study. These classes range anywhere from auto body classes to zoology. “The courses are all student interest driven. Every class offers specific benefits that will give them opportunities in either two avenues: one is to go directly into the workforce or to attend a junior college and further their education,” Principal Jim Marconi said. Students who take classes at the Tech Center have the opporunity to gain certifications in their fields or enter internships with businesses around the Boise area that will teach them and give them more hands-on experience. “Only about 10 percent of the 1,000 students that attend the Tech Center get certified or an internship,” Marconi said. Students who have a B average and are entering a third year of a tech subject are eligible to participate.

Photo By Katie Helm

Student begins to spins a pot on the potter’s wheel during Open Studio.

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Borah orginizations offers students a varity of sweets The Student Store and Java Den are more than just places for learners to devour food and purchase Borah paraphernalia. From German chocolates and popcorn to frozen yogurt and empanadas, the stores are hubs for fundraising. The store sells more than just Frazils, pretzels and personal pizzas; everyday, a club is raising money for upcoming activities. Spanish Club sells hot cocoa and bilingual holiday grams while German Club hawks chocolates and taffy. Both groups participate just for fun, saying, “Hi, we’re here!” explained German Club adviser Barbara Beautrow. Marketing classes put their proceeds from the Java Den toward district, state and national championships. Advertising Club also sells candy apple suckers and lanyards in front of the Student Store to help reduce the cost of printing their newspaper.

Block schedule’s fate in hands of wireless classroom learning By Alya Washam

Next year comes with its own surprises “It’s going to be a real opportunity for kids,” Alternative Schooling Director and Borah alumnus Coby Dennis said about a long-distance learning program. Broadband Teaching is a way for students in smaller districts and schools to take classes that schools like Borah offer. Two-way, high-quality digital video allows students to push a button, raise their hands, and watch a live class. “It will be several years before the full swing,” Dennis said. Broadband Teaching is a goal that the district is preparing to launch next year at Borah as a pilot program, but it’s a matter of how many classrooms Borah will have the equipment in. Borah was slated for a modified block schedule next year, like the schedules currently at Timberline and Boise. Since the program would potentially involve other districts, coordinating the two issues has taken priority. Either way, the participating schools need to have the same, if not a very close schedule

as Borah’s. How to coordinate all the details among the schools involved in the Broadband Teaching program is still being determined. Curriculum Director and Borah aumnus Dr. Don Coberly said, “It opens up so many possibilities.” Broadband Teaching allows a student in a town like Weezer to take one of the many AP (advanced placement) courses Borah offers, if their school doesn’t offer them. On the other hand, Coberly said teachers have expressed how important a block schedule is for allowing time to complete labs. “Possibilities of block still depend on who we share the Broadband Teaching with,” Dennis said. Dennis explained that the two separate discussions of making Broadband Teaching available and considering a modified block schedule have to occur simultaneously. “I think Borah is interested in playing this game,” Principal Bonita Hammer said. Borah is slated for some equipment from the IEN (Idaho Education Network) next year, but how much or in how many classrooms is undetermined.


OPINION

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Senator Staff Opinion

Opinion is taken from an anonymous survey of Senator staff members.

Borah sweeps the Economic Summit. BSU earns a berth in the Fiesta Bowl against Texas Christian University (TCU.) Metallica plays soldout concert at the Idaho Center. Panda Tai Shan of the Washington D.C. Zoo is to be transferred to China in early 2010.

Volume 50 Issue III December 16, 2009

Perceptions of Borah

Unity can combat image of cockroaches, chew Staff Editorial

F

irst impressions are often what people base their entire perception of something on and can be difficult to change. However, our school is so diverse that we aren’t known for any one thing, but rather a wide range of great characteristics and grave shortcomings. “Cockroaches and chew,” remarked Timberline senior Monika Svahn with no hesitation. “That’s my perception of Borah.” With the haunting picture of a cockroach engraved in her mind, and having friends at Borah who chew tobacco, Svahn formed this perception. Capital sophomores Katy Jekich and Lucy Herandez view Borah in a similar way. “I think Borah’s pretty much the same as Capital, only you guys have cockroaches,” said Jekich. Borah may be famous for its insect population, but that is not all it is known for. Boise senior Katrine Franks views Borah as an artistic school. “Borah gets a lot of really creative kids. All the kids I’ve met from Borah are really artistic,” reminisced Franks. Other Boise students had no input about Borah, and said that they don’t think anything good or bad about our school. “Boise is the best,” noted Boise junior Connor McLeod. Boise sophomore Roberto Negron agreed saying, “I just like Boise better [than Borah]

Tiger Woods is accused of cheating on his wife. Sarah Palin releases her memoirs, “Going Rogue.” President Obama approves troop increase in Afghanistan. Like

Indifferent

Dislike

Illustrations by Lisa Garrard

because of where we’re located.” W h e n asked their perception of Borah, students all across the valley had a lot to say. Not a single person with a disapproving comment would say anything on the record. The conclusion we gather from this is that most ill feelings toward Borah lack reason— when asked to explain a negative comment, students just shrugged and walked away. The reflection of any school lies in the community feelings about the school. If a school cannot come together as one, then that school will be vulnerable to all criticism. When unified, a school is much stronger and has the ability to easily disprove any pessimistic accusation or comment. Borah’s new principal Bonita Hammer thinks very highly of Borah. “We have diversity in our population, which I think is an advantage,” said Hammer. We would agree that our school is extremely diverse and that diversity has potential to be an advantage, but it’s an advantage that would be solidified if our student body became less divided and more united. What the students, faculty, and parents at Borah think of Borah is what makes or breaks the image we uphold in our community. The perception of Borah isn’t all bad or all good— we suspect it wouldn’t be one hundred percent in either direction for any other high school, either. The only way to improve the perception of Borah is to ignite a stronger feeling of Borah pride within the school itself. We aren’t necessarily lacking in school spirit, but we aren’t fully embracing the diversity we are so lucky to have. If we don’t work together, it is nearly impossible to change first impressions people form from when they meet us individually. No Lion can fulfill his or her full potential among a divided jungle. We are Borah, and we have no reason to hide our pride.


OPINION

Volume 50 Issue iII December 16, 2009

Anchors make mockery of the morning video broadcast By Megan Mizuta

ing anchors. But it doesn’t have to be either or. A line exists between Ron Burgundy tag lines and At the top of second period every day, Borah is MSNBC sign offs. Our anchors are fully capable subject to the morning announcements. Produced of walking that line, and giving us an interesting and anchored by students, the morning broadcast broadcast without eclipsing their purpose of imcan often seem like little more than a bad joke. May- parting information and abusing their platform. be it’s the obese animals pictured behind our an“The purpose [of the announcements] should chors, or that our news has been anchored by Mario be to inform students about what’s going on,” Rupp and Luigi. Maybe it’s the feeling that information stated. But instead the announcements are used to must be dug out from underneath showy transitions “screw around” and for “the anchors to make fools and frothy delivof themselves.” ery. Whatever it is, We want Borah the announcements to produce a proseem more like play gram worth our attime than anything tention and time. else. We need look Senior Challis no further than Popkey, who anCapital to see an chored as Mario, said example of how that often students stellar high school “tune out” the anannouncements can nouncements. She be. Adviser of 10 said the purpose of years Rob Parsons the announcements said that the award is to inform stuwinning program dents, but “at some is “run like a busipoint people just get ness.” This business bored watching.” entails an environHowever, the ment like a TV stamorning broadcast tion, and producing Illustration by Chris Lawson various videos for can sour for viewers when the actual news the community. is buried under wigs and mustaches. Capital students in Video Production II rotate Junior Steven Rupp found the Mario Brothers through different sets of responsibilities: produc“distracting.” Rupp added, “I get nothing out of ing, anchoring, and creating the two sports shows, it.” among others. If Borah were to emulate Capital Senior Mary Shake, who anchored as Luigi, stat- in its use of rotations, we would have fresh aned that the announcements are intended to spread chors, and students in the class would end up better the news, but said that her purpose “is to make rounded. people laugh.” Of the Mario Brothers edition, she But better broadcasting days—in the announcestated, “If I offended anyone, that wasn’t my goal.” ment department at least—are not only the responShake then reiterated that her intent was to bring sibility of our broadcasting class, but of everyone “the little bit of entertainment we get.” who submits an announcement. The announceVideo broadcasting adviser and business teacher ments are limited to five minutes; condensed subBrad Baumberger said that he receives mixed feed- missions would be beneficial to all involved. back on the morning announcements. “Some of If the announcements want our attention, they them like them because they’re entertained; some need to earn it through more than pageantry. What don’t because they think they’re unprofessional.” we would find most captivating is a concise, well put Currently the announcements seem polarized in together broadcast, because we know that’s what favor of entertainment, despite recent blazer-sport- Borah video broadcasting is capable of giving us.

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“Strong Interest” test results justify cost, even if students don’t like them By Mike Bingham

Recently, seniors were given a survey known as the “Strong Interest Inventory.” The survey asked questions about students’ interests, opinions, and preferences. Based on the data, outbound graduates were matched to potential jobs and careers. Interesting enough, but are these tests really worth Borah’s time and money? Some students have complained about their results, claiming to have been matched with careers they would never consider. They were confused at not having gotten the jobs that they were expecting. In some people’s minds, the tests are a pointless expense because they provide unhelpful information, and the time and money could be used better elsewhere. But it’s possible that these people are missing the point. The Strong survey has plenty of pros to outweigh the cons. While it’s true that the district pays over $13,000 to distribute them to students, it only comes out to around $7 per person. Compared to the almost $100 that it would cost to take the survey at a career counseling center, it’s definitely a good deal. Students, in fact, take an entire period to answer the questions and don’t have to pay a cent, so they’re the ones benefitting the most. The problems with the results are actually the cause of an ignorant misconception. The tests run students’ answers against answers from professionals in various trades. If a student’s results correspond to an undesirable job--car-salesman, for example--it doesn’t mean the student lacks the skill necessary for the profession they had hoped to get, and it definitely doesn’t mean that they’re qualified for the profession they tested for. It simply means that their interests match the interests of people who hold jobs in the areas the student received on their results. And honestly, if a student is deliberately trying to match up with their dream profession, then they’re not taking the survey correctly. They’re the ones wasting the district’s resources, rather than the other way around. The Strong Interest Inventory is really more of a matchmaking service, rather than a skills evaluation, and if more people understood that, then perhaps they’d see it as a more worthwhile endeavor.


AboutBor

8 The borah senator

Bumper stickers express the many personalities in the Borah parking lot By Felicia Dawn

Walking around Borah’s parking lots before school, lunch, and even after school, one may recognize the many use them as a way to express thembumper stickers on fellow students’ selves, even as a promotion for larger cars. companies such as Boise Weekly and the Record Exchange. “The funniest bumper sticker I’ve ever seen was ‘My kid can beat up your The rules require a permit, license and registration to park on campus, but there aren’t any specific rules on the type of stickers on a car. “I don’t mind them at all as long as Honor student,’” stated Student Rethey aren’t offensive or derogative to- source Officer Steve Kincheloe. wards a specific group of people,” statIronically, the ed Assistant Principal only rule regarding Quane Kenyon. bumper stickers is People who prefer vulgarity, which is not bumper stickers on allowed on a vehicle, their cars normally unless it isn’t visible.

However, some stickers around campus might be considered stretching the rules. For example, the most unique stickers that are around campus are ‘I got pierced at Imperial’, ‘Record Exchange’, ‘Mr. Zogs original Sex Wax: the best for your stick’, ‘I’m a Liberal, it’s okay if you’re not!’ ,‘We Won the Science Fair’, ‘Patagonia organic’, and ‘Buy hemp ‘n’ let the trees grow’.

“In my opinion, I like bumper stickers that are comedic, more than the ones that attack other people’s opinions,” said Kincheloe. Students who have bumper stickers like to have meaning behind them, for example, some of them are vegetarians who support all natural things, and

Club t-shirts turn heads

others just like to show their support of their favorite bands or sports. Students’ opinions, other unique humor, and inspirational quotes can also be found. “I think people put organic bumper stickers on their cars for attention. That way they let the people know behind them that they can prove something they may not be, Photos by Katie Helm and be like ‘Hey, I’m organic,” stated sophomore Stephen Winter. “They unlock the key to awesomeness,” Key club’s adviser Jayne Davis stated about Key Club’s 2009-10 shirts. They were a team effort and were voted on with an almost unanimous result.

By Summer Galindo

Club T-shirts have become something of a tradition. Each one is unique and has its own theme, according to club mottos and goals. Clubs have shirts made each year including German, French, Key Club, Student Council and the Rowdies. However, some clubs produce their own. The Rowdies also had a scheme planned. The attire was formed by the “fourfathers”: seniors Sydney Porter, Bryce Johnson, Katie Moden, and Eddie Charters. It was a group effort and Johnson drew the final product.

French Club’s group effort was the backbone of their shirts. Each member added his or her own personal “doodle” to the design, said adviser Isabelle Hope. “They turned out perfect!” Photos by Katie Helm

German Club’s design was developed by junior Katharine Breithaupt. The shirt shows the German flag’s colors as well as the quote, “with the heart of a lion,” written in German.

This year, ACE Club’s design included tie-dye, which each person created themselves during a club meeting. The idea came from junior Kelsey Wonacott and was then voted on by the class. Student Council’s t-shirts were also different from the rest. Senior, Matthew Fouts, came up with the idea for the arrangement and design that has long sleeves, which makes them “special,” Fouts said.


rah.com

Volume 50 Issue Iii December 16, 2009

Looking closer at a teacher’s desk

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By Megan Mizuta

Photos by Megan Mizuta

AP language and senior English teacher Chuck McHenry is known amongst his students for not only his frequent witticisms, but for his eclectic classroom décor. McHenry described his room to one of his AP language classes as channeling a “grandfather’s den.” Contained even within the small desk space is a sampling representative of the rest of the classroom. The javelina has been housed in M c H e n r y ’s room, just above his desk, for five or six years. McHenry acquired it from Steve Tipping’s biology room. McHenry said that he originally “wanted this sweet Turkey Vulture, but it was spoken for.” He then settled for the javelina instead, having seen them run wild in his southwest childhood home.

McHenry became the owner of these Edward Scissorhand-like shears after being entrusted with them by a former Borah librarian.

“I’ve had a mug the last couple of years that some seniors had made for me that suggested I’m a -- and I’m paraphrasing here -- “cranky teacher who hates everybody,” which, of course, is patently untrue. I thought a change was in order this year, so I went with a polarized version of the cranky teacher image; and I think that’s Tinkerbell. True, she’s sort of a prankster, but a benevolent one, I think. Plus, it’s just harder to get angry with your students when you’re holding a pink coffee mug with a Disney fairy on it.”

New this year are the neon signs taped to the front of McHenry’s metal desk. McHenry said they were created by “Some kid with too much spare time and too many highlighters...”

This bust of Earnest Hemingway serves as a bookend for several volumes of Shakespeare, among others.

the Hillcrest Library’s weekly teen programs with a Manga night on Dec. 22, and a “special events” night on Dec. 29, according to the public libraries web site. Get athleticism on at the YMCA and the Front Climbing club. The YMCA offers Teen Nights the first and fourth night of every month. Enjoy bouldering on plastic rocks any day at the Front Climbing Club on Chinden.

Then there are the people who simply have an objective to avoid people. “[I plan on] not seeing a single teenager,” said English teacher Stefan de Vries. Students like sophomore Caytlin Green choose to go “hooky bobbing,” an activity in which a rope is tied to the back of a car and the participant slides on his/her feet on snowy streets; but these days most slide on a sled. “I’ll go shred some pow,” said junior Jake Busche. In other words, he will go to a ski resort to snowboard. When all else fails, it’s time to go up to a ski hill to do what many think snow is meant for.

Winter break allows for alternative activities By Megan Harrigfeld

Charters about how his winter-break days were going to be taken up. Two days until winter break, and Junior Jordan Taylor also plans to anticipation is rising. spend his vacation hunting. However, Winter break has virtually arrived f a i r - w e a t h e r and students will have a break from hunters, such tests, labs, and socializing. How to oc- as junior Soncupy 336 hours can become a bit of ny Hobdey, a trial. plans to just Although snowboarding/skiing hang out with and going out of town are obvious op- friends and tions for taking up the winter days that avoid the late are blank with no school, Boise offers hunting season a plethora of activities when there’s chill. nothing good on TV. Events around the valley are boom“Goose hunting, lots and lots of ing due to the season as well. City ligoose hunting,” said senior Eddy braries are hosting events, including

“[I plan on] not seeing a single teenager,” -- Stefan de Vries English Teacher


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Life

Volume 50 Issue 3 DECEMBER 16, 2009

260 less chances to get swine flu By Megan Harrigfeld

Last Thursday, Borah did its part to cooperate with the government’s pandemic flu plan, making H1N1 vaccinations available to all students and faculty in the new gym free of charge. “It’s important to get immunized,” said nurse Barb Thomas. H1N1, or the swine flu, has been very prevalent here, according to Thomas; she estimated 100 to 150 students have been infected with the virus when it hit the hardest during and around Homecoming week. Approximately 260 people got the immunization Dec. 10, but other students such as sophomore Lauren Spengler got it before the vaccine was offered at school. The number of immunizations was surprisingly low, considering that the school blocked out more then three class periods in anticipation that many students would be eager to have more peace of mind. However, some didn’t even get the vaccination by choice. Seniors Tyler Castor and Carrington O’ Leary report their parents are the people that

pushed them to get the vaccination. There are, on the other hand, students that simply choose to be healthy, such as seniors Bryce Johnson and Challis Popkey. Although the virus has seemingly gone down, medical professionals are saying that the virus will come back in the near future. “[The virus] seems to be affecting younger people in a more serious way,” said Central District Health worker Sonja Redden. Commenting that the virus is very contagious, she strongly urges people to get it. Photo by Katie Corp “It lingers longer in the air,” Sophomore Mason Bilger gets the facts straight about H1N1 from she added, “all it takes to get it is nurse Barb Thomas. for someone [infected] to sneeze.” Since the vaccination has been available, it has regardless of health condition. only been an option to certain, high-risk groups of The next point of dispensing for the vaccine will people. Now that it is more accessible, the vaccina- be this Monday from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the former tion is open to all people ages six months to 65 years Comp USA store.

Coffee is the new cup of tea

Photo by Katie Corp

By Katie Corp

“Black Gold, Texas Tea.” Just as the Beverly Hillbilly’s struck it rich with oil, some of Borah’s enterprising business students are finding value in selling their own black gold. “Coffee is a gift from the gods,” said health fanatic Steve Tipping, a biology teacher. One of Tipping’s famous lines is “[coffee] is good in moderation.” Senior Mary Shake agreed with Tipping; “Don’t drink too much, but once in a while it’s ok.” Shake is supervisor of the Java Den’s 10 employees who raise money for Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) and Business Professionals of America (BPA), two

campus clubs. Shake said the Java Den is “the best business experience you can get in high school.” According to Shake and BPA adviser Brad Baumberger, this represents the most profitable year in the Java Den; 30 cups on average are sold every day. Before Baumberger began teaching at Borah, he said coffee sales were non-existent due to lack of advertising. The newly added mural, painted by Borah ’09 graduate Emily Konkel, attracts customers. Why doesn’t the Student Store sell coffee? The answer is found in health laws. Last year many non-nutritional food items such as Airhead candies, Pop-tarts and sodas were sold on a regular basis in the Student Store.

This year those items were taken out because the health department requires a certain percentage of food sold in schools be nutritional. Coffee can be sold in the store now that such items have been discontinued. Baumberger and DECA adviser Mark Bilger plan to sell coffee for the first time in the Student Store after winter break. “It is the perfect time to start sales, when it is cold,” said Baumberger. He also said hot chocolate, cider and tea are available for healthier non-caffeinated alternatives. Caffeinated tea is also available. The coffee flavors in the Java Den are Swiss Mocha, French Vanilla and another flavor that changes periodically; currently the choice is mint chocolate.


A&E

Volume 50 Issue iiI december 16, 2009

Remakes have become too cheesy “I feel this generation loves the special effects and that is what pulls us in to the most important part, the story line.” --Teacher Micheal Gibbons

By Parker Simmons

Everybody these days loves special effects. It’s what attracts so many adults and kids of all ages. With movies such as the re-make of “Star Trek” out, the question is which is better, the original version or the modern version? Economics teacher Michael Gibbons said, “I really like the old version because where they lack in special

effects they make up for in the story line.” If you’ve ever seen the new “Land of the Lost” starring Will Ferrell, you might say it’s really funny, but kind of tacky. The old version far exceeds all cheesiness imaginable. “As a kid, it didn’t take much to impress me, but now it’s so bad. How did I stand watching that?” Gibbons said. “Land of the Lost” is a combination of dinosaurs and aliens. The confusing mixture fascinated people of that time and the special effects were very advanced. However as times change, past technology becomes obsolete. The new version of “Land of the Lost” is still corny, but not because of the special effects. It’s the story line that has been cheapened. The fact that these strange alien creatures are attacking the characters along with massive dinosaurs is a bit of a head scratcher.

(top right) Will Ferrell in the 2009 release of ‘Land of the Lost’ has a look of exaggerated fear.

This may go to show that not only are the special effects evolving, but so are the storylines. Storylines from years ago are no longer up to par with modern storylines. This raises the question, do viewers watch movies for the special effects, or the storyline? Senior Jared Wood said, “Our generation is used to the advanced technology with action packed films compared to past generations who were used to story driven films.”

Gibbons however, doesn’t feel the new generation lacks respect for the story line. “I feel this generation loves the special effects and that is what pulls us in to the most important part, the story line.” The movie experience is ever evolving. The next generation may look back at movies these days and laugh. It’s a strange thought but one day we will be in Gibbons’ shoes asking ourselves, how did I watch that?

Sarah Evans concert

Country music show manages to massacre holiday cheer

The original cast of ‘Star Trek’

By Katie Helm

Photos from Google images

YOUR

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interested? E-mail: senator_borah@ yahoo.com

Walking into Qwest Arena on Nov. 29, any person with a Sarah Evans concert ticket was probably not expecting a horror show. For one thing, I am not a country fan at all, but I kept an open mind. For another, only about 100 people attended, and they were mostly the elderly and young children. Evans finally bolts onto the stage singing a glass-breaking high note. The sound is about eight times louder than it should be. I don’t know if it was to compensate for all the old people’s hearing or just the lack of letting the sane people stay sane. After the third or fourth song, I re-

alized that she sounds just as bad in person as on the radio. At this point, I came to the decision that it was going to be a long night filled with horrible music. Evans decided to break the concert into halves, one of just her hits and the other of Christmas music. I felt a sense of relief, since nobody can ruin Christmas music. Well Evans was able to. Not only did she flatten Christmas music, but also had the guts to impersonate Elvis. Once again she failed miserably. All in all this was the worst concert I have ever attended. The best part of the whole show was the 10 minute intermission; pure quiet bliss.


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Q&A

Volume 50 Issue III December 16, 2009

What is your perception of Borah?

“Borah High School— land of the lions— all I can say is that it’s falling into a spiraling, self-destructive, shamble of the original potential in 1959. Broken classrooms and people are ignored, and the collapsing infrastructure is glided over. I don’t hate Borah, by all means I take it in stride like most pension— it’s just obviously clear that its reputation is deluded into Katharine Breithaupt, junior grandeur presumptions.” “I feel that Borah’s exterior does not reflect its interior. I feel that the people at Borah are awesome, yet our facilities seem old and out of date.” Spencer Nelson, junior

“When I think of Borah, I think of stuck up people who never leave their cliques; people who do not accept outsiders, or those who are different. I think of when I had to fight to be able to take normal classes. In the end, I can say Borah is an isolated ignorant island.” Jessica Meyers, junior

Photos by Katie Corp “I think that it is a very good and all around respectable school. The teachers are great, the school is clean, and the administration is helpful. Borah students have a lot of pride and respect for the school. We as a school are a big part of the community. We also have some of the most talented and bright kids around. Borah is what it always has been: a fantastic Jeff Flaherty, junior school.” “Borah is a cool school, but would be better with a decent football team. We’re not as ghetto as everyone thinks, either.” Savannah Tjaden, sophomore “I have no spirit in Borah. The bathrooms stink and as far as I know, Borah doesn’t even have enough money to replace the bathroom stall doors in the math hall, which have been missing for the past two years that I’ve been here.” Dan Lackaff, junior

“Beautifully Original, Radiant, Awesome High School.” Melissa Lee, junior “My perception of Borah is like a car crash. You like to watch, but not be in one.” Ryan Clark, senior “As a student body, Borah has no school spirit.” Courtney Connor, senior “You ever been in a place you don’t want to be, but you have to? “Big, Original, Righteous, Accepting, Happy.” Roxanne Lewers, junior That’s how I feel about Borah.” Ryan Dodson, junior “I think that Borah is perceived by other schools as ghetto and the poor school, but in reality Borah is probably one of the best schools out there. We have a great staff, who, in my personal experience, actually care about the students. They’re always there to ask what’s up or how things are going, and I know that my teachers can always tell when things aren’t ‘peachy.’ We also have a pretty decent sized student body, too, so the student to teacher ratio isn’t as good as other schools, but the teachers still try. So we may be ghetto and poor to other schools, but we do have one of the best faculties possible. I’m glad to be known as a Borah lion.” Tawni Beierlorzer, junior

“The diversity of Borah’s student body creates a great environment for students to develop cultural and ethnic awareness and open-mindedness (which is of obvious importance). Also, the varying styles of talent (whether athletic or non-athletic) displayed by the students of Borah provide creative avenues for all interests. Thus, the diversity of Borah’s students and their talents create a perception of high creativity and cultural diversity. I would encourage everyone to come out to some extracurricular events and support your lions.” Alex LaChance, teacher

For more responses, please visit pages 8 & 9.


People

Volume 50 Issue iII December 16, 2009

Counselor retires after 36 years of service

By Megan Harrigfeld

B

orah is losing a hard-working academic counselor at the end of this semester. Counselor Sylvia Johnson is retiring in January to move on to what she described as peaceful, more relaxing things. Johnson has been in education in the Boise School District for 36 years and a counselor here for 10. Before her career as a school counselor, Johnson taught child development and foods/nutrition classes here. Working at the same place for so long leaves a lot of time for personal relationships to develop. She reports that she has made “a lot of good friends” in her profession. “It just becomes part of your life,” she said. This wasn’t, however, Johnson’s initial career plan. Exploring many angles in college, from administration and counseling, to family consumer science, it wasn’t until she began student teaching that she discovered her passion for it. Johnson said she was shy and didn’t know what to expect from the experience. Many of her colleagues mention what a joy she is to be around. Comments about her sense of humor go on and on. “We love Sylvia,” commented Counselor Dawn Tolan, “she’s a wonderful lady with a big heart.” By Katie Corp Johnson remarked that she isn’t worried at Counselor Sylvia Johnson learned that her passion is to all about how she is going help students, parents and those involved in the school to be spending her time community. once retired. “I will just do whatever I want,” said Johnson. While involved in the district, Johnson has put in her fair share of involvement and accumulated achievements. She was involved with the first W.E.B. Dinner, where her students cooked the meal. Johnson was also one of the first people on the committee to start the high school Career Day here in Boise. But Johnson hasn’t just been a part of events to benefit the students. One of her other noteworthy career legacies is Parent Survival classes, in which parents learned how to cope with troubled adolescents. “Sylvia is a tremendous voice of reason,” noted counselor Cary Cada, “and has been absolutely a treat to work with—I’m really going to miss working with her.” The new hire will have some warm, smiley shoes to fill.

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Art teacher travels to Middle East on humanities grant “They work so hard making things better, while we wait to get something better given to us.”--Jen Compton

By Zack Thomas

Each person and their own travel adventure offer its own bit of character, and art teacher Jen Compton recently lived the character of Jordan. “We got to do a lot of things,” she said. “We started out in Amman, a big city of two million people.” While in the Middle East, she toured Roman ruins and the largest mosque in the country. After the capital city, they headed south through Karak and Petra. While in Petra, Compton said she was very attracted to the art. “It had such value with ancient culture in it,” she said. “It was the history of humans in art.” The art contained three of the world’s largest religions within them. Compton mentioned riding camels and having a tea ceremony and even a traditional dinner with some Bedouin’s nomadic people. She made her way to the Red Sea for a night and up North to the Dead Sea where she saw Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Bethlehem. The group of educators selected by Project Citizen spent one more night on the Jordan River where they visited the location of Jesus’ baptism and then returned to Amman. “One of the main things I found fascinating was our cultural ignorance about the area,” she said, “I think we only get little snippets and sound bites of the area that don’t betray a round picture of things that are actually happening there.” She gained a closer look at how a Palestinian all girls school handles conflict. She observed sophomores identify a school problem and work together to solve it. “They spoke fluent Arabic and English,” she added. “They were also very open minded.” Such experiences gave her better awareness of this culture. For example, water is trucked in or collected from rain. She observed how sparingly water is rationed. “We don’t realize how lucky we have it,” she continued. “They work so hard making things better, while we wait to get something better given to us.” She emphasized the hope the girls have even despite their personal and legal struggles: They not only are refugees sponsored by the United Nations, but they also have no legal status to earn citizenship. “As far as my favorite day it would be Petra.” There she got to unravel some history, but not only that. She also dug in to the art of the culture. “It was stunning; the desert landscapes and the incredible, huge, Mashhad with a mixture of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman architecture carved out of the sandstones.” Project Citizen sponsored Compton’s and other Idaho educators’ travel to Jordan. Compton said the application was simple and, having been selected, requires her to create a lesson plan. She plans to teach a unit on Islamic art.


Sports

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Volume 50 Issue III december 16, 2009

No spots in weight class for regulars Students not partaking in a school sport are trimmed from weightlifting classes

By Ayla Washam

Weightlifting class enrollment depends on numbers. “We have to have guidelines,” counselor Cary Cada said. The weightlifting program at Borah tries to accommodate regular students, but athletes come first. Cada said that the coaches are trying to be consistent with the enrollment of the weightlifting class. “You’ve got to work with the numbers,” physical education teacher and football coach Chester Grey said. Depending on the year, 10 to 20 students are denied enrollment in the weightlifting class. For sophomores, the class is labeled Acc. Physical Education, for juniors and seniors, it’s labeled Physical Fitness. Some students’ schedules conflict with the weightlifting class, but for those who aren’t able to take the class

Photo by Katie Corp

The weightlifting room is open to anyone after school which these two students are taking advantage of.

during school, and still want to lift, the weight room is open after school. “If I know you are an athlete and you represent the school, you deserve to be in the class,” Grey said. Grey explained that if a student isn’t involved in a sport, it’s hard for him or her to find motivation to work hard.

“Agility, cardiovascular,” Grey said, “we hit all bases of fitness.” Grey emphasized that the class is not a stroll in the park, but a class with high expectations. Athletic Director Vince Mann said, “The weight room is needed for athletes to keep them safe.” He explained

that athletes need to build their bodies to protect their bodies. Currently uninvolved in sports, senior Alen Kuljancic said, “As long as I’m trying out for a sport, I can be in there.” Kuljancic is trying out for track in the spring and is in fifth period weightlifting class, which had an enrollment slightly lower than other periods. Lifetime Fitness is a class in which regular students who don’t play sports can work on fitness, including using the weight room. Due to lack of interest and enrollment, the class was taken off the schedule this year. Grey said that the class was “off and on,” and only with increased interest from the students will it be offered again next year. This class, if reinstated, could cover the over enrollment. Grey and Mann both agree that the system now set in place is the one Borah should stick with.

Road to the BCS

The Broncos are Fiesta Bowl bound for the second time By Parker Simmons

Photo by Katie Corp

Senior Craig Spjute made the game winning, buzzer beater shot to beat Boise High 45-44. He finished the game with 28 points leading Borah in scoring.

Boise State head football coach Chris Peterson emphasized all year that if the team takes care of what they can control, he trusts the Bowl Championship Series system to put them into a bowl game. Now that the Broncos are undefeated with an overall regular season record of 130, and have another Western Athletic Conference title, they are headed to their second Fiesta Bowl appearance in three years against Texas Christian University (TCU). It was a bit of a surprise to see the BSU vs. TCU match up. It’s the first time ever two non-BCS teams will play each other in a BCS bowl game. For some, it couldn’t get any better, but for others, it’s less than ideal. The most interesting thing about the BSU vs. TCU match up is the fact

that the two teams played each other one year ago in the Poinsettia Bowl. It was a hard fought game that BSU had every chance to win but fell just short and lost 17-16. This is where you find unhappy TCU fans. They see it as they’ve already beat the Broncos, and they want a powerhouse opponent so they can really prove themselves against a BCS conference team. On the other hand, most Bronco fans are happy to be in another BCS bowl game, with a chance to avenge last year’s devastating loss against TCU. The last week of the regular season, week 14, was a wild one in college football. An important game for BSU was the match up between the University of Texas and the University of Nebraska. Nebraska came in ranked number 22 in the nation with Texas at number three. When number two Alabama beat then number one ranked

Florida, all Texas had to do was win the game and they would play in the national championship. However, Nebraska played an unbelievable game and both defenses played great. The final score was 1312 as Texas won it on a last second, game winning field goal. Had Nebraska won the game, BSU may have been kicked out of the BCS and TCU could have been considered for the national championship game. Fortunately, that didn’t happen and all is well for the Broncos as they have their BCS bowl. The BSU vs. TCU match up already is being talked up by some sports analysts as the second best bowl game this year, behind only the national championship game. While some may be calling it the “non-BCS” national championship game, it is nevertheless expected to be a great game between two talented teams.


Volume 50 Issue iiI December 16, 2009

Sports

Wrestling benefits with a full roster By Parker Simmons

With wrestling season underway, one of the new exciting and promising aspects for success is a full team, according to senior Josh Bundschuh. “We have a full roster for the first time since I’ve been here and what that means is that we have players that can fill in for players out with injuries or any other reasons.” Last year Bundschuh sat out much of the season with a knee injury. This year however, Bundschuh is looking to be a key element in Borah’s success. “I’m looking forward to Tournament of Champions in Reno,” Bundschuh said. Tournament of Champions (TOC) is a nationally ranked tournament where wrestlers from all over the country compete in front of several college coaches from all around the U.S. Borah will be sending a select few from the varsity squad to compete in the tournament. Also competing in TOC is junior wrestler Patrick Evans. “I will be competing in Reno,” said Evans. “It’s a tough tournament that I’ve competed in before.”

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Last year Evans led the team in pins. “I only placed sixth in state last year, but I led the team in pins and that has given me an edge this year, to break it.” The record Evans will be gunning for is 22 pins; first set by Brad Price in 2005, and tied by Jake West in 2006. Evans entered this season with an optimistic and positive outlook. “I am wrestling much more aggressively than I did at state and, so far, I’ve only lost two matches this year by one point,” said Evans. The team’s lineup consists of three players returning from state tournament places. Head coach Bill West said, “We want to prove our stronger line up from top to bottom.” Part of this entails “staying healthy, finishing with a winning record, and placing at Tournament of Champions, along with Photo By Katie Helm a return visit to the state tournament,” said Borah Wrestler________130 weight class takes on Eagle in the first match of the season. Borah comes out with a victory, the final score Bundschuh. According to West, “We need to build of the match was 58-18. around the kids we have with experience.”

Track athletes get a step up on their game with season of indoor track practice By Megan Mizuta

Senior Katie Moden practices throwing at the indoor facility.

It may be December, and there may be snow on the ground, but Borah track and field athletes are up and running, jumping, and throwing, and they’re doing it indoors. The indoor track and field season is sponsored by the Photos By Megan Mizuta YMCA, and has attracted several Borah athletes, among Coach Jeremy Doval gives Megan Suitts advice them senior Erik Diehl. In his fourth season of indoor, Dieon throwing. hl said “anytime I have the option to pole vault, I’ll take it, because it’s my passion.” The indoor season runs from late November to mid February, and houses its athletes at the Jacksons Indoor Track Facility in Nampa. The facility accommodates a banked 200m track, as well as jumping pits and a shot put and discus area. Of running on the banked track, senior Carrington O’Leary said that it is “way different” and “actually helps quite a bit.” Participants, who number a little over 100 according to O’Leary, practice two hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Jacksons Track.


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FUN & Games

Spot the art!

Directions: Each row, column and block must have numbers from 1 to 9 in them. No number can appear more than once in any row, column, or block. When the entire puzzle is filled, with all the rules above, then the puzzle is solved. Level: Medium

By Felicia Arnold

Art is all around us at school, above and below. While walking around with some friends, use these clues to help you find the following pieces. * “Welcome” from around the world: 60 strides of greetings meet you each step as you start the day. * 2009 Senior Gift: Westward lion sleeps here tonight; rests with Anne Frank. * Colors of the Rainbow: find the pot of gold on your way to math class. * Coffee Drinker: Above Meet the caffeine host of “The Den” entrance. The following art pieces are in Jen Compton’s room 408: The longer you’re there, the more interesting things you find. * The Blue Tree: You figure it out.” Man or God?” Up. * Joe Brown ’05: Count every 4th grey tile in the paint room and look up. * Beautiful Songbird: Music notes will guide you on your way to Kristin Chastain ’08. * Octopus Below the Sea: Behind the cart awaits the beast of 2010. * Punk Teddy Bear: With his rebel attitude, it’s hard to miss Chef the’07 bear.

Merry

a m a R By Mike Bingham

The holidays are a time of festivity and merriment, but in this day and age, political correctness is prevalent throughout society, and it’s hard to throw an acceptable celebration without offending some group or another. So this year, I’m going to help you plan the perfect politically correct holiday party; something that’s completely all-inclusive and non-offensive. Throwing a PC party is easy. Say you normally celebrate Christmas, for example. You probably have a tree, some lights, mistletoe, and a plastic Santa or two already set up haphazardly around your house. These

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Volume 50 Issue IIi December 16, 2009

you should carefully take down, and place in a large pile in your backyard. Then douse them with petrol and set them on fire, as these symbols are affiliated primarily with Christmas and will only serve to exclude anyone who doesn’t celebrate it. No holiday party is complete without food. However, remember that gingerbread houses and fruitcake will offend those of Non-Christian religions (fruitcake, in fact, will offend everyone regardless) so you should avoid these foods at all costs. Meats and cheeses will offend vegetarians, so it’s best to serve substitutes such as tofu and non-dairy cheeses. Unfortunately, they’re about as appetizing as stale cardboard, so no one’s actually going to be eating them.

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The next part you need to plan is the entertainment. Everyone will no doubt have their own favorite way of celebrating the holidays, and forgetting to include even one of them might offend someone. Consequently, you should only plan activities that everyone can enjoy, like sitting around the table and occasionally coughing politely. Songs can be a source of wholesome entertainment during parties, but since many traditional songs can deeply offend those who don’t celebrate certain holidays, it can be tough to find appropriate musical material. Luckily, the pitches “B Flat” and “G” are currently regarded as ethnically neutral, and your guests should be able to hum these two notes to their hearts content. The most important pieces of the party are the guests. Obviously you can’t leave out any of the world’s many ethnicities, because that would make you an inconsiderate, racist bigot. You should also remember not

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to invite more of one group than another. No religion should outnumber another, and there should be exactly one woman for every man. Essentially, you should have an even number of people from every race, every religion, and every gender in the entire world. I’m not smart enough to work out the exact numbers, but I’d say that if your headcount hasn’t hit the sixfigure mark yet, you’ve probably left someone out. When everything’s prepared, you can all gather around the table (a round table, so no one’s excluded) for the celebration. Everyone will enjoy staring blankly at the disgusting food while humming “B flat” and coughing occasionally. It’s sure to be the greatest holiday party ever thrown. Of course, your other option is simply to go about your normal preparations, celebrating your own holiday while shamelessly excluding anyone who doesn’t want to celebrate with you. That’s what I’ll be doing, anyway. Merry Christmas!


December 16, 2009