VS Volume 50
Issue II NOvember 17, 2009
6001 Cassia St. Boise, ID 83709
Letters TO THE Editor
Volume 50 Issue II NOvember 17, 2009
Reader thinks school should honor this year’s National Merit Scholars
Dear Borah Senator,
Despite the entering into the second quarter of this school year, there is a definite stench that reeks of last year that roams the halls. And, I’m not the only one whose nose has been turned up by this: The National Merit Scholars. Don’t get me wrong I knew some of them, and they were great Borah High students. But, that’s the thing: WERE. Isn’t it time to recognize the great students of this
Editor-in-Chief: Ayla Washam Associate Editor: Megan Mizuta Page Editors: Letters to the Editor: Katie Corp Index: Ayla Washam 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: Christine Lawson Nickolas Parenti Lisa Garrard Staff Writers: Alexis Anderson Felicia Arnold Mike Bingham Jesse Conklin Katie Corp Summer Galindo Megan Harrigfeld Katie Helm Kevin Middleton Megan Mizuta Hilary Platt Kari Schuhknecht Parker Simmons Ayla Washam Intern Writers: Justin Kirkham Jamie Jones Samantha Whittaker Zulfiya Amulneyva Text Editor: Megan Mizuta New Media Editor: Kevin Middleton Website Manager: Jordan Rivers Advertising Manager: Kari Schuhknecht Advertising Assistant: Felicia Arnold Adviser: Michelle Harmon
year instead of commemorating the past? Personally, everyday I walk by to see the board unchanged; I feel that the administration doesn’t really care. I doubt it’s that they don’t have time, because someone could easily open the case and at least take them down. Yes they were great scholars, but that is old news. -Seth Leija Senior Letter received 11-3
Visit our website!
BorahToday.com Photo by Katie Corp
National Merit Scholars of 08-09 proudly displayed near the main doors.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
How to send a letter to The Senator: Email your letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Type letter and print out 2. Add printed name and signature 3. Bring letter to room 503
Let the people’s voices be heard! The Borah Senator accepts all letters of school appropriate subjects. The Borah Senator will not accept anonymous letters.
Something new added every week.
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 iI November 17, 2009
What’s inside? Which senior’s legs got the wax treatment? Page 10
“If schools were just judged on sports, like football, Borah would be a disgrace.” Page 6
Where in the world did Chase Young and MaryAnne Bowen go? Page 13
On the cover : Artist Bio By Kari Schuhknecht
With a cover as collaborative as this, it’s not hard to believe it took the effort of three different individuals to make it come to life. Alongside senior Katie Corp, a three-time cover artist for The Borah Senator, was the effort of two juniors— Megan Mizuta and Katie Helm. Combining the creativity of three minds, a cover illustrating a variety of rivalries was born. Though these three ladies may be best known for their photographical abilities, they each spend their time doing other activities as well. Mizuta says she likes to go downtown to the bagel shop for “some eighty cent carbohydrate goodness.” Claiming classical art is outside her capabilities, Mizuta fesses up to breaking out the sewing machine once in a while as a channel for her own form of art. If you can’t find Corp taking photographs for The Borah Senator, it’s likely you’ll find her volunteering at the Idaho Humane Society, playing soccer, cleaning, or working out a mathematical equation. She compares herself to a dog because she changes her mind all the time. Describing her artistic style as “creative,” Helm admits she feels
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 Ayla Washam
From left to right, juniors Katie Helm, Megan Mizuta, and senior Katie Corp, all smile at the fact that their art is displayed on the cover of The Borah Senator.
most challenged when a photo she takes doesn’t come out the way she pictured it. But photography isn’t all Helm spends her free time doing. She, like Corp, enjoys engaging in a game of soccer, hanging out with friends, and listening to music. Though these things are separate activities from her photography she often combines them as she prefers her creative environment to be full of music to “rock out to.” Corp, Helm and Mizuta may each be very diverse individuals, but they will always have one thing in common— their passion for photography.
Volume 50 Issue II November 17, 2009
Community Youth Night celebrated
By Jessie Conklin
Youth Night is known for a night of tolerance, acceptance, socializing, food and fun. The night is meant for people involved in the Allies and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bi, transgender and questioning) community to come together and create a fun and safe space. Students from schools around Boise and Meridian collaborated on this year’s Youth Night’s activities and goals. Such cooperation helped the leaders educate people about issues involved with LGBTQ. “The goal of Youth Night was to get the youth from around the Boise area and give them a night where they can learn about LGBT issues and raise awareness about those problems,” junior Katherine Davis said. After eight weeks of planning and rehearsing, the annual event came together Oct. 30 at the Albertson’s Su-
pervalu headquarters in downtown Boise. “We worked hard trying to put all of this together. It was good to be able to get ideas from other kids that didn’t just go to Borah,” Davis said. The event was organized into icebreakers, fun games that helped to loosen the mood and create a fun space. The game “I Never” got everyone racing around a large circle to find a new spot leaving one person without a spot. The person left without a spot would stand in the ring of people and tell the group one thing he or she had never done in life. If someone else that was standing in the circle also had never done that, then they would run around until each found a new place. “I loved the ‘I Never’ because it was so exciting and chaotic. It really helped to loosen up the atmosphere,” junior Juleen Phillips said. Students were served dinner and dessert in between games, which gave
them a chance to socialize and know one another. “Most of the people that I met that night I don’t think that I would have ever met otherwise. It was a great chance to get to know random people and have fun,” junior Matthew Car-
rillo said. “Overall, the night was very successful,” art teacher Jen Compton said. “We had over 70 students show up from nine different schools. This year we had a nice mix of socializing and education.”
Special needs program taught to give, not take
Art club morphs into three groups for projects
By Jamie Jones
Courtesy of ACE club
ACE club members pose after cleaning up Table Rock. By Jessie Conklin
Photo by Katie Corp
Teenagers from Boise and Meridian line up along a gender scale continuum, one of many activities played on Youth Night at the Supervalu headquarters.
reviously known as Art Club, Art, Community, and Ecology Club or ACE Club. is divided into three committees where they come up with projects that either deal with art, community or ecology, depending on the committee. “We are planning on doing a num-
ber of activities, but they are all student driven. I will facilitate but it is up to the students to run the clubs,” art teacher Pat Rose said. ACE Club members have begun the year with a trip to Table Rock where they picked up 40 to 50 pounds of trash in under an hour. “It’s a good opportunity to help out the environment and community,” junior Juleen Phillips said.
Many at Borah don’t realize the Special Needs program on campus. Better Employment Skills Training (BEST) is a 19-year-old program that strives to maximize the high school experience and prepare for life after graduation. Pictures of former students line the walls of the woodshop classroom. Most students work by themselves, making everything from wood hearts to award plagues. “It’s simple, not hard,” explained junior Sara Cook. The esteem building goes beyond the classroom as well. During third and fourth periods, students work off campus. Some venture to the Overland Park Cinemas,
Idaho Pizza and retirement homes. This past year, the group adopted a section of the green belt, and during the holidays, they sponsor a family in need. Teacher Neal Jareczek describes the group’s involvement in the International Children’s Surgical Foundation. “I want them to be thought of as contributors, not takers,” said Jareczek. For the past three years, BEST has donated $750 to the program benefiting children in developing countries, who need surgery to correct clef lips and facial disconformities. BEST’s contribution can be seen from the name signs on teachers’ doors to the green picnic tables around campus.
Volume 50 Issue iI November 17, 2009
Program attempts to Spanish National test student learning Honor Society By Megan Mizuta
A new way to assess student learning has reached Borah. Implemented district wide, Look 2 Learning is a program that aims to capture a sample of what students learn in the classroom. Under Look 2 Learning, Principal Bonita Hammer, Assistant Principals Kelly Fossceco, Quane Kenyon, and Bill McKitrick, along with teachers Pam Atkins, Samantha Mora, and Ben Ott will randomly visit classrooms for two to three minutes and perform a walkthrough. The objective of the walkthrough is to get an idea of what students are learning; assessors will have a form that briefly covers curriculum, work, instruction, students, and environment. The Data Collection Form looks at areas such as the engagement level of the classroom, what students are doing in the lesson, and the thinking level, which ranges from Low— which encompasses knowledge and comprehension— to High— which comprises synthesis and evaluation.
Offers a way for Spanish students to acquire recognition, scholarships By Jesse Conklin
Illustration by Lisa Garrard
Fossceco stated that Look 2 Learning is “not a teacher evaluation,” but rather an assessment tool to collect data. The data collected will be put together for departmental review and collaboration groups, according to Fossceco. Walkthroughs began on Nov. 2, but how often each classroom will visited has not been determined, as a schedule has not yet been set.
Horticulture classes transform flowers into bouquets for The Rotary Club
100 bouquets. The classes made the bouquets for the Rotary Club, business leaders and professionals from the Boise community. The Rotary Club, which is a club made up of business leaders and professionals. The Rotary Club sold the bouquets to its members as a fund-raiser for community service projects. Zarbnisky’s horticulture classes did Photo by Ayla Washam the same activity last year. Junior Andrea Jones said that About 90 dozen flowers were or- the experience taught her how to dered from Peru for Darin Zarbni- keep the flowers alive while maksky’s Horticulture classes. The classes ing them. She estimated one person had one day to transform them into could make about six bouquets.
orah has recently joined the Spanish National Honor Society, SNHS, as the first chapter in Idaho. The SNHS is an organization that allows students with outstanding ability in Spanish to receive help and serve the community. “The organization is great to have because it recognizes students that are learning Spanish and gives them a chance to make a difference,” Spanish teacher Samantha Mora said. “By being apart of the Spanish National Honor Society, it gives members a bet-
ter chance for scholarships and looks good on a transcript.” The Spanish National Honor Society requires students’ enrollment in a Spanish class, and their involvement in Spanish classes for two years. Students must have a 3.0 grade point average in pervious Spanish classes to become a member. Twenty members are apart of the club and hopes to work with the Spanish Club. “We would like to be involved with the Spanish Club so we can involve those students that are quite able to get into the Spanish National Honor Society but haven’t yet,” Mora said.
Library recognizes Banned book week with their own display The school library is displaying books that were once banned. Banned Book Week (BBW) is Sept. 26- Oct. 3 and celebrates the freedom to read according to the importance of the First Amendment according to ala.org. BBW was started in 1982 by prominent First Amendment and library activist Judith King. It is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. BBW is meant to encourage people to read challenged books, and to promote intellectual freedom. One book on display is Brave New world by Aldous Huxley that was censored in the Coeur d’Alene School District due to references to sex and drug use. Librarian Jennifer Boyd said that she participates in Banned Book Week to raise public awareness of the “freedom we have to read.” H1N1 vaccinations will be given to the young before Borah High schools are our last priority, stated many local news stations regarding H1N1 vaccinations. The new vaccine hit center stage in elementary schools all over the country. The younger the person, the more of a threat H1N1 is. Many doctors and health organizations want to make sure every child is protected, so health agencies are working to make the vaccine available in schools. Central District Health thought they were prepared to give children in Ada and Canyon Counties the vaccine, but the shot and nasal vaccinations ran out in the first day and a half – the plan was to vaccinate for four full days. Officials do not know when the shots and nasal vaccinations will be available. If children did not receive the immunization already, and would like to receive one, they must attend one of the Saturday clinics located in Boise on Park Center Boulevard or on Street. For more details about H1N1 at Borah, see Nurse Notes on the school’s webpage.
Volume 50 Issue II November 17, 2009
Senator The death of Borah pride Even Rowdies prove to be poor example of school spirit Staff Opinion Staff Editorial
It takes about 11 minutes to get through cafeteria lunch lines.
The Look 2 Learning program is implemented at Borah. The sculpture that held the Olympic flame for the 2009 Special Olympics finds a permanent home at the Boise Airport. Man-made hot springs in Rocky Canyon, Idaho are removed. House passes Health Care Reform Bill. Gwen Stefani sues Band Hero for inappropriately using her likeness. New York Yankees win the World Series.
Graphics by Nick Parenti
More than 1,300 students attend Borah. Of those students, how many go to school sports games, competitions, and concerts? Slim to none. Students need motivation to support fellow students. The Borah Student Council endorses the “Game of the Week,” and occasionally hands out incentives, like candy and rowdy gear. Does hard work mean nothing? Students don’t even make the effort to show their appreciation and witness the hard work of their fellow peers. Students need incentives to attend an event; this is what school spirit comes down to. It’s sad to think that students don’t think it’s important to watch their classmates compete. During football season, a time when school spirit should be at its peak, attendance is poor. Our cheerleaders are laughed at, not appreciated, and prevented from cheerleading. The “fourfathers,” lead-
The Rowdies never come to anything aside from sports events. A high school is not just about competitive sports. ers of the Borah Rowdies, are a sad excuse for a spirit group. These officers are not elected by the student body, which are the people
formed when groups like the Rowdies are dominating the crowd’s reactions. The Rowdies never come to anything aside from sports events. A high school is not just about competitive sports. If schools were just judged on sports, like football, Borah would be a disgrace. It’s a good thing there are so many different programs, like band, choir, orchestra, clubs, and different classes to be proud of. The band’s events are virtually unattended; the logic doesn’t make sense. The Borah band is double the size of the “Rowdies.” The band supports the sports teams, so why can’t the sports teams come and support them? The band actually wins competitions, like their recent victory at District Three. The band is so much more than just a pep band. To hear them at football games is like watching a sports team practice only their fundamental skills. Sullivan suggested that the sport players should be required to come to at least one band event. He described the excuses people make, such as they wouldn’t be the best audience. That is the lamest Illustration by Chris Lawson excuse ever. “Borah students become apathetic they are supposed to represent. This presents itself as a problem when they to other peoples [events],” added Sultake over the cheers and make the livan. Students don’t really care anycheerleaders look like fools when they are jamming it to a different cheer more. It’s the new generation of stufrom the one cheerleaders are leading dents; they would rather be elsewhere than at school events supporting their the crowd to yell. Groups ultimately should work classmates. Those few that show up together toward school spirit, but it to events don’t really watch what’s seems they are against each other. happening. They are more interested This results in the lack of spirit Borah in socializing with their peers than watching the event. students have for their school. Students should appreciate what Band instructor Kevin Sullivan explained the lack of attendance. “The their school is doing. Be proud to be basic student doesn’t come anymore a Lion. A change in attitude is needbecause [he or she doesn’t] feel in- ed. It’s up to the student body to start cluded.” This is caused by the cliques caring.
Volume 50 Issue iI November 17, 2009
Vaccinations save lives, prevent disease By Katie Corp
“When people have children, they love them more than they love themselves,” said the newspaper adviser, Michelle Harmon. For this reason, parents want their children to be protected from harmful diseases. Also, high school students want themselves to be protected, and vaccinations are the way to go. Vaccinations are a great way to keep loved ones safe, and an important resource that should be available to everyone. Projects like free vaccinations for H1N1 to people at high risk are a wonderful and useful part of our community. We know we want to be protected, the question is how effective are the vaccinations? Regular vaccinations such as MMR, Hepatitis A&B, as well as Polio shots are very effective. These diseases can be fatal. The immunization completely protects the person who received it. The only symptom the person could have is a sore arm, which is much better than death. Some believe older vaccinations, such as MMR, work better. This is true because older vaccina-
tions are researched more thoroughly and have been changed many times to improve the quality of the immunization. On the other hand, newer shots and nasal sprays, such as the H1N1 vaccination, have not had time to be studied as much. Therefore the H1N1 vaccine has not been altered as much as older, more common shots have been. New vaccinations need time to grow before they work perfectly; they could still have dangerous side effects. Side effects are preferred to the actual disease or virus, but how bad can those side effects be? In rare cases, vaccinations cause life-threatening complications, although death is much less common than getting the disease one is trying to prevent. Usually a small side effect will appear after a shot is given. For example, the flu shot can have side effects that seem like the flu. It is actually the immune system fighting the shot that has been given to build up immunity. The immune system is working hard which could cause symptoms of muscle aches or fatigue, according to WebMD. Side effects from vaccinations are better than
Illustration by Lisa Garrard
having the real sickness. That being the case, immunizations are wonderful tools that really work. Everyone should have the opportunity to get immunizations. Free Saturday clinics for H1N1 are opportunities to vaccinate loved ones. Central District Health and many other health organizations are really stepping up to help protect the community against the nasty virus. Receiving a vaccination is defense that a family can count on.
Candy, praise undermine honest motivation By Megan Mizuta
Bribery is alive and well at Borah High. It is not traditional bribery that involves large sums of money, but a form that deals in candy, praise, and extra credit. Student Council routinely promises attendees of the Game of the Week candy bars. During Red Ribbon week, it offered candy to anyone who signed a poster pledging to be drug free. Certain teachers dole out “Good work!” comments like Costco hands out free samples—to everyone and anyone in the building. Others offer up a point or so of extra credit to students who complete their assignments on time. This generation’s depen-
dence on positive feedback, second chances, and, yes, candy, is enfeebling us. Our intrinsic motivation is being replaced by bribery; we look too intently at what we stand to gain from others. The majority of teachers realize that empty praise and inflated grades don’t have long term benefits for students. But enough educators never send back a bad paper without a kind word, and enough are willing to take pity on the
kids who really, really want an A, even though they haven’t turned in all their work, and the rest of us aren’t going to do something just for the sake of having done it. Take Student Council as an example. These are some of our most responsible and likable peers, and they are the ones offering up junk food in exchange for not doing drugs. They didn’t start the practice of replacing what students should be
Certain teachers dole out “Good work!” comments like Costco hands out free samples—to everyone and anyone in the building.
expected to do with tangible rewards. Instead, they are a prime product of the trend. They see the student body and realize that we can be set in motion by a measly piece of sugar. It might work short term. Candy might sway a student’s decision to attend a cross country meet or a lacrosse game. A comment from a teacher on the good effort a student makes might encourage some into turning in a decent final product. But in 20 years, where will our reward-driven selves be when the carrot has been taken away, or is at least put on a longer stick? What quality of satisfaction will we get? Praise isn’t something that kudo crav-
ing people can be weaned off of. It is something that we will yearn for throughout our entire lives. The same goes for rewards, even if they happen to be monetary bonuses instead of candy bars. We have been taught to expect rewards, tangible and intangible. We wonder what we did wrong if praise, genuine or not, doesn’t come our way. Dependency on external incentives, of having to be bribed into doing what we should have been doing all along, is crippling. Our society needs to stop, take a look at ourselves, and realize that candy, compliments, and extra credit, along with their adult counterparts, will not sustain us indefinitely.
Volume 48 Issue II NOVEMBER 12, 2007
8 The borah senator
The Flicks versus Edwards
By Megan Harrigfeld
On weekends, when talking to friends about the latest gossip isn’t enough, the burning thought may become, “What movies are out?” Some may think first of the new Gerard Butler movie playing at Edwards Cinema, and others consider the new French film showing at the Flicks. “I go there because it’s a cool scene and you see a lot of different kinds of people,” commented sophomore Mariel Elkins about the Flicks movie theatre. The Flicks is located in Boise’s North End, just a few blocks from Edwards downtown location.
By Mike Bingham
If food is the main reason for hitting the movies, the Flicks may be the best bet. The Flicks has an extensive menu offering over 40 food choices, from popcorn to a garden burger. Although Edwards Cinema isn’t the lead in cuisine selection, Edwards has more familiar, big-budget movies in its line-up. The Flicks plays primarily independent films, while Edwards plays them only when the Idaho Independent Film Festival comes to town. Cost is about the same for both theaters. The Flicks offers slightly lower prices, but gives the same discounted prices for children, seniors, and students as Edwards CinPhotos by Megan Mizuta ema.
PC Versus MAC
PC and Macintosh owners have long argued over which is the superior computer. The question has led to much debate in the form of articles, commercials, and viral video campaigns. Despite opinions, though, both systems have their pros and cons. PCs are mainly business oriented, utilizing office programs like Word and Excel to format work documents. They also have higher gaming capabilities than Macs, which attracts quite a few gamers around the world. A PC is often at risk for a larger number of
viruses than a Macintosh, and more likely to suffer from computer errors and glitches. Macs are usually more user friendly, with colorful displays and helpful applications that provide an overall more convenient experience. They tend to be commonly used for art related projects and multimedia design. Macs are often considered too user friendly, bogging down the experience with unnecessary sparkle. Also, while they can run Microsoft programs such as word and excel, they are often less sophisticated than the PC versions.
Student-run Clubs Versus ADviser-run clubs
Student-run and adviser-run, Borah’s clubs range from Japanese to Political science, Spanish to Invisible Children, active and thriving to not so active and thriving. Japanese club is just one example of a successful student-run club. Active co-president of the club, senior MaryAnne Bowen, appreciates the
open-ended aspect of a student-run club. “It makes students feel like it’s their club, more special and creative.” Invisible Children is recognized as an adviser-run club. But club adviser and Spanish teacher Samantha Mora remarked, “All clubs
By Alexis Anderson
should be student run.” Although Invisible Children is acknowlPhotos by Katie Helm edged as an adviserrun club, it will eventually morph into a student-run club, added Mora.
The Satchel Versus the Bag
than a regular backpack.” Junior Leah Gibson said that she likes bags because “they’re cuter than satchels or backpacks, and you just put it on one shoulder rather than two.” Some express the downsides to these fashionable bags and convenient satchels. According to Ramsey, satchels strain her shoulder due to the weight difference on her shoulders. This is the same downside Gibson mentioned about bags. Junior Leah Gibson
Junior Coriann Ramsey
The new trend is lugging schoolbooks around in satchels and bags, rather than backpacks. A satchel is a bag carried on the shoulder by a long strap and is usually closed by a flap. It is also known as a messenger bag. A tote bag, which is a large bag worn on the shoulder, does not have a flap. Junior Coriann Ramsey stated that she prefers satchels because “they’re easier to get stuff out of
Borah club participants commented that student run clubs definitely put a lot more pressure on their members. When the adviser is running the show, there is a lot less strain on the students to make the club successful and meet expectations of funding. Bowen said, when it comes to being a student-run club, members really have to “dedicate themselves to the project [at hand.]”
Photos by Megan Mizuta
By Megan Harrigfeld
Photos by Katie Corp
College versus Alternative
By Alexis Anderson
Is going to college after high school always the best decision? Some think that people should go straight to work. According to importanceofcollege.com, college graduates earn on average around double the amount as high school graduates. People are concerned about money. The estimated cost to attend Boise State University is $16,668 per year. Among financial aid are grants. Grants are awards based on need and do not have to be repaid upon completion of
By Felicia Arnold
to skills, abilities, talents, and interest, and may be based on financial need. According to importanceofcollege. com, the earnings of college graduates on average far outweigh the tuition fees and all other costs. Another concern is that colleges might not accept applications due to students’ poor grades in high school. Attending a community college to build a basic education to attend a desired college is one choice. The downside is that it usually costs more money
a degree. Another funding source is scholarships. Scholarships are gift aid based on academic achievements particular
Photos by Katie Corp
to go to a community college first then attend a desired school.
Boise Weekly versus The Idaho Statesman’s Scene
Boise Weekly is a local newspaper that has articles that range from news to opinion, arts and entertainment to previews/reviews, interviews with extraordinary people, and letters to the editor. Boise Weekly comes out every Wednesday. “We do cover some of the same stories as the Statesman--that’s always going to be the case for media outlets in a relatively small market--but we
work to cover them differently, from different angles, with a different voice. Better,” stated Boise Weekly’s A&E Editor, Amy Atkins. Boise Weekly’s competitor is The Idaho Statesman Scene magazine. Scene is a local magazine that expands the community’s horizons and publishes more articles about news, entertainment, reviews, interviews, and calendar listings. “We focus exclusively on entertainment. They don’t. They’re free. We’re not. Our circulation is twice theirs. Re-
ally, it’s sort of apples and oranges,” commented Michael Deeds, Scene editor. Boise Weekly and Scene both have their advantages. The Idaho Statesman’s Scene is a little larger, and not free, whereas the Boise Weekly is free and about things around town.
Swine Flu versus Seasonal Flu
By Katie Helm
“If I had to estimate, about 10 percent of kids were sick during the worst week,” said School Nurse Barb Thomas regarding the H1N1 virus. Symptoms of the H1N1 virus are similar to ones of the seasonal flu. They include fever, chills, aches, fatigue,
By Parker Simmons
Volume 50 Issue II November 17, 2009 9
rapid-onset dry coughing, chest discomfort, and, in some more serious cases, vomiting and diarrhea. “You can be sick for seven to 10 days or shorter,” Thomas said. This is the same with seasonal flu, although the cough may last several weeks afterwards. H1N1 is a
Photos from Google
new strain of the flu. “H1N1 is spreading so rapidly because people have no immunity against
VS Photo by Megan Mizuta
it,” Thomas commented. A person with H1N1 is contagious to others 24 hours before his or her symptoms appear and 48 hours after the fever breaks, according to Primary Health, an urgent health care facility throughout Boise. Doctors are only testing patients in the hospital that show symptoms of H1N1.
Boise State Versus The University of Idaho
Boise State University vs. The University of Idaho--who’s better? Boise State football has dominated the past 10 years. Idaho has a reputation for having great academics, supposedly surpassing Boise State. The rivalry is epic, the tradition is rich, and the school pride is overwhelming at times between these two
schools. Everybody has an opinion, but which one is the better school? BSU quite obviously has the football team advantage for now. However, back in the 80s and 90s it was the Vandals who ruled the rivalry. In 1998, Idaho made it to the Humanitarian Bowl, which is played at Boise State, and won the game. Since then, the Vandals have
lost 10 straight times. But so far this college football season, the Vandals have made an incredible turnaround going 7-3 at press time, and gunning for their first bowl appearance since 1998. Academically, one could make a strong argument for the University of Idaho. But is BSU really that bad? Referring back to sports, Boise State is ranked first in the
Western Athletic Conference for academic performance rating and first in five of its 18 sports. Idaho has an engineering department that earned the Outstanding Structural Engineering Achievement award in 1976 for its indoor football field, the Kibbie Dome. People often fall victim to the myth that Idaho is academically superior, but is it?
Volume 50 Issue II November 17, 2009
Play that music, Ms. DJ By Summer Galindo
Music fills the air and the thumping of the bass comes through the floor. The lights shine intensely around the gym, which is crowded with friends, peers and strangers. Soon a recognizable song comes through the large speakers and excitement takes over the room. The dance takes off and all due to student D.J., Borah senior, Summer Sleight. “My sister’s friend was a D.J. and so he started teaching me about it. I decided to get my license so that I could perform,” Sleight stated happily when asked about her experience with disc jockeying. Key Club organizes Homecoming, and, as president of Key Club, Sleight was
presented with a few normal questions that come with putting on a dance: where would it be? What night? And lastly, who will D.J.? Homecoming is not only a school event, but also a huge club fundraiser. “Why pay a D.J. half of our profits to do something that we can legally do ourselves perfectly fine?” was a main point of Sleight’s. Her thoughts were proven true when the profits from the dance were mainly kept for the club’s use instead of payment of the dance’s costs. D.J.s are used for weddings, dances, parties, even funerals. Not only are D.J.s needed often, but they also have the ability to be paid big bucks. In most countries, including the U.S., a license is required to be a public D.J.
Getting one is fairly simple and can be done online. Not only is a license required, but also permission for the usage of songs must be secured. The costs of songs that a D.J. plays vary just as they do for the average buyer and can be purchased as an album, or as singles. For this reason, most D.J.s require a fee, and the average fee can be anywhere from $400 to $600. Others, however, decide to donate their services for good causes. One such example is Sleight, who stepped in to help with a main part of Homecoming, the music. “The dance was really fun, and the music was great! I didn’t even realize that someone from our school was taking charge!” exclaimed junior Kylie Persinger.
Math club gets waxed By Jesse Conklin
in a similar way. “We had to finish what has already been started. It Members of Math Club, (the Nair) burned for awhile seniors Andrew Ward, Jabut it got better when it was cob Buche, and Nick Parenti all over,” senior Nick Parenti volunteered to get their legs said. Although Math Club’s waxed to raise money at the event drew a big Homecoming carnicrowd, the adviser val. said they would make “The idea started changes next time. with Andy Ward. He “Students just payreally was the one to ing to wax someone’s break the ice to get the leg seemed too easy. other two involved,” It should be more of math teacher and club an earned privilege,” adviser Vic Hofstetter Hofstetter said. said. “If we decide to Students paid $1 to do this next year, we receive a strip of wax will definitely make and choose an area of one of the memPhoto by Katie Corp the students work for it, maybe have a math bers’ legs to wax. Junior Rasmus Brødholt waxed senior Nick problem to solve.” “When they waxed Parenti’s leg at this year’s Homecoming carnival. my leg, most of it was an element of acting, but when they got back behind the knees, that’s when it hurt the most,” Ward said. All volunteers dealt with the aftermath of the waxing
Who likes Short Shorts?
By Megan Harrigfeld
Short shorts have evolved from regular athletic wear to standard casual dress for summers, and are now up and around the legs of the Rowdies at varsity sporting events. This display of pasty legs leaves little to the imagination, but could be just what Borah needs to recover from the less then successful football season. Seniors Eddy Charters and Bryce Johnson are prime participants who have been seen wearing this definable piece of wardrobe. “We just had them and we thought we all looked ridiculous in them,” said Charters. The short shorts are in no way a uniform, but more a tag of recognition. John-
son commented, “You wear what you want to wear, but you have to get people to look at you and say, ‘Oh my god, what are you wearing?’ ” The shorts are not yet considered a tradition, since only the past few gradua t e d classes of Rowdies have clothed themselves in the barely theres. However, there is a garment that has become a 14year custom. Johnson has a hat that has been passed down to each group of Rowdy seniors since 1995. The hat was given to him by 2009 graduate Bryce Weaver, and will continue to be passed down to the “loudest person that shows up to [almost] every varsity game,” said Johnson.
“‘Oh my god, what are you wearing?’”
Eye-grabbing costume-play is a popular, creative pastime By Mike Bingham
Halloween comes only once a year, yet there still remain some who find more than one occasion to dress up. Cosplay,Costume-Play, is a hobby shared by dozens of anime and manga fans around Borah. These students go to conventions and other events dressed up as various heroes and villains; a tribute to their favorite characters. Cosplayers regularly gather at anime conventions, where they are popular
subjects for photos. Contests are often held at the conventions with prizes awarded for best looking or most creative costume. Outfits are often custom made by more artistic fans, and have become a successful business for some of them. Today, there is a growing market for specialized cosplay attire. Other businesses have utilized cosplay as well. Some companies have used cosplay as an eye-grabbing technique at public events or to advertise in commercials and promotional videos.
Volume 50 Issue ii november 17, 2009
Band wins first; first time in 18 years By Ayla Washam
District Three (DIII) comes along every year with great expectations from the bands in the area. Borah filled these expectations this year by winning first place in the 5A small category. The group won first place in two sub captions, Best General Effect and Best Visual Performance; Color Guard received third place in the Auxiliary category. All of the places contributed to the band’s overall first place title. Band instructor Kevin Sullivan explained, “I had a feeling that this band could win [this year].” Two years ago they received fourth, and last year second place. Of Sullivan’s 18 years at Borah,
this is the first time the band took first place at DIII. Sullivan said they won by “practicing hard, and having a dedication of time. It’s not magic, but hard work.” The band’s overall per-
do well,” he added. DIII is a subjective competition— it’s judged, not scored. “It’s not like a football game where the score determines who wins,” he explained. It doesn’t matter if a band is the best; if the judges don’t like what the band has put forward, then a band can’t win. He said the only aspect that the band can control is the performance it puts forward for the judges. The competition is separated into five groups based on size and location of the bands. The categories are 5A large, 5A small, 4A, 3A, and 2A. This was the competition’s 45th year in running and all bands in Boise compete.
formance “didn’t all come together until DIII.” He said, “A band is only as good as its worst marchers.” Every single marcher is important to the overall appearance of the formation and performance. “It‘s fun to work hard and
Marching Band Awards Outstanding: Sophomore: Megan Gehrke Junior: Lane Wade Senior: James Whitlock Best Woodwind: Paul Callahan Best Brass: Griff Jenkins Best Percussion (includes pit): Kaleb Zohner, Jordan Bishop Best Colorguard: Marissa Hancook Outstanding Marcher: Lane Wade Outstanding Musician: Paul Callahan Mr. and Miss Roaring Lion: Mr. Nate Szuch Miss Maureen Lavelle
Photo by Katie Corp
“It’s fun to work hard and do well.” --Band Director Kevin Sullivan
Downtown ‘eats’ serves quick homemade meals By Felicia Arnold
Upon entering the Brick Oven Bistro, a calm and relaxed vibe is immediately felt. With its classical feel and large homemade meals, it feels like a moment at the dinner table with family. When arriving at the Bistro, the first sight is the staff openly prePhoto by Katie Corp paring food. The Overview of Downtown’s Brick Oven Bistro on 801 W. Main St. # 107 staff is very knowledgeable about its and seasonal specials made The Brick Oven Bistro has menus and prices, and always from scratch. The desserts, been around for more than provides useful information however, are made for every 20 years. The overall vibe on seasonal specials. sweet tooth. The Brick Oven in the restaurant is classical, The menus at the Brick Bistro specializes in differ- with cheesy neon beer lights Oven Bistro mainly consist ent desserts, mainly revolving and art from downtown Boise of homemade soups, salads, around the season. since its beginning.
Volume 50 Issue II November 17, 2009 “BLACK and GOLD! I have never worn blue and orange together... I make sure of it before I leave the house! I would NEVER want to be mistaken for a Bronco. I graduated from THE University of Idaho!” Jeremy Dovel, algebra 2 and geometry teacher
“Although I personally dislike the color combination of blue and orange, and probably wouldn’t ever physically wear them, they are what I would pick. I’d much rather go to Boise State than The University of Idaho.” Jessica Reif, senior
“Blue and orange is what I’d most likely wear. First of all we had Ian Johnson— number 41— on our team. Also, this is the team I grew up with.” Douglas Richards, sophomore
Are you more likely to be seen wearing blue and orange or black and gold? Why?
“Neither. I’m not a fan of football and I hate those colors.” Tristan Stillings, Photos by Katie Corp sophomore
“I bleed blue and orange!” Andy Ward, senior “I am more likely to be seen wearing blue and orange. This is where all my family lives and I can’t just leave them. BSU is also a great college to attend. It has easy access around the campus, and many majors to decide on.” Cathryn McDaid, sophomore “Black and gold. Not for the colleges but because I prefer those colors.” Wendy Nelson, sophomore “Blue and orange. My sister went to BSU and so did a lot of my friends. Also, they have a really good team.” Ali Clogston, junior “Blue and orange! BSU is the school I have been planning to go to since I was 6! Plus I love football! Who better to root for than our beloved Broncos?” Christine Smith, senior
“Neither. I don’t like football, or sports, or Idaho colleges, really. I suppose I’d be seen in black, but without the gold.” Megan Wirtz-Gilb, sophomore
“Black and gold because I think the Broncos are overrated. Also, I look better in black and gold.” Howard Sharp, junior
“Definitely blue and orange. I was born and raised here. BSU are our boys. Yes, U of I is a part of Idaho, but it’s not as personal in Moscow as it is in Boise.” Zachary Buker, junior
“I would definitely wear black and gold. U of I! I don’t even think I own any orange and blue clothing. You can’t get away with
wearing blue and orange without someone commenting on how it’s BSU colors.” Hannah Peters, sophomore
“I don’t know. I like blue and orange for the football team but black and gold for their academics.” Jessica Powell, junior “I would never wear blue and orange for the simple fact that those are BSU colors.” Chase Young, senior “I would rather wear black and gold because I always root for the underdog. U of I is having an excellent season and I support them fully! BSU is overrated! Go U of I!” Caroline Eggers, senior
Volume 50 Issue II November 17, 2009
Students experience foreign culture
Seniors Chase Young and MaryAnne Bowen travel to Japan finding a variety of new food, people, surroundings
Photo courtesy of Chase Young
Young stands in front of an antique building in Japan. By Justin Kirkham
From raw horsemeat and baby eels to plethora of traditional, hand-cooked Japanese meals, seniors Chase Young and Mary Anne Bowen’s excursion to Japan, through a partial scholarship from Youth for Understanding, gave them a close up view of life and culture in Japan. Each taught English to young elementary students and was placed in a Japanese home; they went to school, ate, went sightseeing, and spent quality time with their non-English-speaking host families. “The more I was there, the more I realized how little I knew of the language,” said Bowen. She and Young had two years of high school Japanese courses under their belts, which they described as barely adequate to hold in-depth conversations. After experiencing the struggles of the language barrier, Bowen remarked on how much confidence she gained, “I know I can accomplish anything here in America because I can speak the language.” On the plane ride back to America, Young developed a sore throat. “I talked the whole 10 hours,” he said, “It was great to be able to speak to people that knew my language!” After a successful day of teaching English to Japanese elementary students, Young would be bombarded by little hands and fingers. “They would touch my arms and run their hands through my hair,” said Young, blushing. Japanese rarely encoun-
ter someone of such height and blond hair color. “I kind of liked it,” admitted the senior. “It made me feel superior.” Young was sometimes stopped on the streets by Japanese girls who wanted a picture taken with him. “I would have to hold them up or else they would fall to the ground in awe,” said Young. “I ate so much!” remarked Bowen. “We had like six dishes for breakfast, and I would still be hungry by lunchtime.” The Japanese enthusiast further explained how the Japanese don’t have all the “yucky trans fats” that we have in America. Bowen’s Japanese mother hand-made every meal of the day. “I had to get used to having to cook for myself when I came home,” said the senior.
“The trip changed my life!” --Senior, MaryAnne Bowen In Young’s family, his father brought home the meat. “Dad came home one time with this big piece of meat. I asked him what it was and he said it was raw horsemeat,” said Young, “It was actually pretty good!” The Japanese have lots of different kinds of bread, where the filling is inside of a roll. “You would never know what was inside your bread. It could be really good or really bad,” exclaimed Young. “Oh, the squatters,” said Bowen, covering her eyes with her hands and shaking her head, “There are either really nice toilets, or the squatters.” These squatters were little toilet bowls on the ground. “I was able to use them when I wore pants. I was so proud of myself,” said Bowen as she happily showed how to correctly squat, “but in a skirt, I just couldn’t do it.” Young, sighing, admitted that he never used the squatters. Getting to school was an adventure in and of itself for Young. He had two bikes, one to ride to the train, and one to ride after the train ride to school.
Photo courtesy of Chase Young
Young posing with his exchange family
“I would ride the trains along the coastline right when the sun rose in the morning and when it set in the evening,” remarked the senior. “Sometimes I would get home so late that the bus would be full of drunken guys back from the bar. It was funny to watch them stumble around,” Young said. “My school was the best in the area, and we didn’t have uniforms!” said Young. Even though Bowen’s school was more typical of Japanese schools that do have uniforms, Bowen exclaimed, “The schools were really, really nice!” Sleeping quarters in Japan were quite different than in America. “The tatami mat was super soft,” said Bowen. In addition to her tatami mat, the senior also had a futon, to which she took a great liking. “It was like a giant cushion,” she remarked. After rolling up the futon in the morning, Bowen enjoyed the vast space in her room. Near the end of her stay, the senior became slightly homesick, “I missed my cat because my Japanese family didn’t have any pets!” Bowen, describing her Japanese mother, said, “She was the best cook ever, but she also liked to tease me a lot!” For both students, it was difficult to communicate with their family members at first, for the host families spoke little English. “My dad would remember the most random words in English, like the word ‘revolution’,” remarked Bowen, “I would think, great, I know that word, too, but I don’t know how we would use it!” “The trip change my life!” said Bowen. Bowen said she would love to work as a Japanese English teacher, and Young said he finds the idea of joining some kind of foreign service appealing.
Volume 50 Issue II November 17, 2009
Team free falls into a 0-9 ring of fire By Parker Simmons
The good news is that there are no more games to be lost. The bad news is that’s because the season is over. The Borah football team finished the season 0-9 sitting alone at the bottom of the 5A Southern Idaho Conference as the only winless team. The team lost to Madison 8-0 in the last game of the year to polish off the winless record. Since then, plenty of rumors have swirled about Chester Grey being fired from his head coaching position. If the rumor were true, Borah’s Athletic Director Vince Mann would be the person firing
him. But according to Mann, this rumor is false. This season has really shown that, even in high school football, losing is not taken lightly. In professional football, the National Football League players and coaches are paid millions of dollars to win football games. When teams lose, players are criticized and coaches are fired. High school coaches are also paid to win, but has this year gone too far? This is high school football. Coaches are high school teachers, and players are high school students. Yet the frenzy and criticism that erupted this year is something that seems
controversial for a high school football team. On the bright side, Borah football might have something to look forward to. The Borah Freshman team, which is made up of 9th graders from both South and West, beat Timberline’s freshman team 30-6 in the city championship game. This means that in a few years, Borah could potentially have an elite football team once again. Photo by Megan Mizuta Although West Jr. Lions huddle during their loss to Capital in the second game of the season. High and South Jr. High possibility that the next group that return Borah to its glory have had elite teams in the past five years, there is a of youngsters will be the ones days.
Road To the BCS
undefeated Boise State inches closer to bowl game
Photo by Megan Mizuta
Boise State plays its home games at Bronco stadium, pictured here from its east side. By Parker Simmons
The wheels on Boise State’s blue and orange school bus are still turning. The 11-0 Broncos are lead by their Heisman hopeful, quarterback Kellen Moore, who is ranked sixth in the Heisman race. The Heisman is annually awarded to
the best college football player of the year. Moore’s chances are slim because of the conference he plays in but he is putting up Heisman-like stats. He currently leads the nation in passing efficiency, and is second in total passing touchdowns. Because Boise State has no
more ranked opponents on its schedule, it must win the rest of its games by a large margin to show the BCS computers and voters that it is nowhere near challenged and can compete with a powerhouse team. This is another example of why the BCS format is under so much pressure. Oregon’s rout of the University of Southern California’s Trojans in week nine was extremely helpful for the Broncos because they beat Oregon in week one. Basically, if USC is known as a powerhouse, but Oregon beat them, that should mean Oregon is better than USC. And because BSU beat Oregon, this should mean the Broncos are better than both USC and Oregon, possibly making them a legitimate BCS buster. Confusing? Absolutely. Another noteworthy topic
is how BSU dropped in the polls even though it hasn’t lost. This happened after Texas Christian University, TCU, who are in the Mountain West Conference emphatically beat a then top 25 ranked BYU team in week eight, and leapfrogged over Boise State in the polls becoming the favorite to reach a BCS bowl game. If a MWC team goes undefeated along with the Broncos, the MWC team will most likely be chosen to play in a BCS bowl game over Boise State, because the Mountain West is a more challenging conference. If the Horned Frogs finish the rest of their season without losing, they will almost surely be in a BCS bowl game. However, with a loss and an undefeated Boise State season, it will be the Broncos playing in early January.
Basketball team looks to avenge last years state tournament loss A brand new basketball season is right around the corner with tryouts over and the first game scheduled for Dec. 3. With the seniors of last year out and the new seniors in, the team will look for strong leadership from its most experienced player in Craig Spjute, a senior. “We will work to build a strong team bond,” said Spjute. Playing since sophomore year, this will be Spjute’s third year on the varsity team. Spjute is a strong believer in teamwork. “We need to focus on working to get better for each other and not for ourselves,” said Spjute. Last year’s team suffered a devastating loss in the first game of the state tournament. “It’s vital to learn from our mistakes,” said senior Tony Buzzini.
Volume 50 Issue ii November 17, 2009
Boys soccer earns second in state
‘It was exciting to make it so far and have the support of Borah’
By Katie Helm
“It was a complete success,” said senior Nick Elam regarding the 2009 soccer season. The boys soccer team was seeded fifth in districts and ended in second place after a loss to Centennial on Oct. 24. This year’s record was 14-5-1. Coach Steve Tipping said, “We had the highest winning percentage this year.” “Having a home field was much more convenient, and it was nice to have Borah students be able to support the team,” Tipping added. The home field helped by letting them
raise money to make improvements for the team. “We came into the season with nothing in common, and grew together like family on the first practice,” Elam said. The team made it to the state game for the first time since 2006. “The (Centennial) game was unlucky but we did everything that we possibly could have done,” Elam comPhoto Courtsey of Dorian Photography mented. Borah The boys soccer team is all smiles after the winning season. played Eagle for the consolation competition. Tipping added, “This season went game and won 2-1. Elam commented, “It was exciting really well.” Compared to a regular season to make it so far and have the support Junior varsity lost to Vallivue in the game, more fans attended the state of Borah.” first round of districts.
“We came into the season with nothing in common, and grew together like family on the first practice,” -Nick Elam
Volleyball travels to Coeur d’ Alene, carries home third place state trophy By Hilary Platt
tournament and won the third place trophy. It lost its first game to Idaho The Lady Lions volleyball team Falls, but then beat Lewiston, Post went to Coeur d’ Alene for the state Falls, and Centennial. In their last match, the players fell to the state champions, the Eagle Mustangs. The girls came a long way and are proud to be a part of this year. “As a senior, I’m so proud of our accomplishment as a team, and, without every one of our teammates, we wouldn’t have been able to make it as Photo courtesy of Laurie Moden far as we did,” said The Lady Lions smiled after they placed third at state for the Emylie Schleis. first time in 21 years.
Freestyle skiing: Student wants to form new club By Megan Harrigfeld
here on home turf. Without an adviser willing to take on the team so far, freestyle at Borah has yet to become an official club. “If we could find an adviser, I’d try to start it within the next month so we could do it this year,” stated Martin.
“[This is] for the kids that don’t want to be racers,” said junior Christin Martin when asked about a potential freestyle ski team at Borah. The team would be separate from the existing ski club, doing only freestyle skiing, which involves jumps and is an acrobatic form of technical and aerial skiing. The team would have little to no competitions. Although this would not be a racing team, students already involved in the ski team could join. The team would be a group of intermediate to expert skiers that go up to a ski resort and just ride, anything from “jumps to moguls to just plain free-ride.” Martin has been on freestyle teams Photo courtesy of Nikki Martin in the past and is eager to start one Jounior Nikki Martin performs a “daffy” off of a jump at Tamarack Ski Resort.
FUN & Games
Volume 50 Issue II November 17, 2009
LGBT who? A free dinner can Name Game: Everybody wants make learning worthwhile to be a Jessica By Mike Bingham
There are 1,346 students attending Borah. A name belongs to every one of them. Parents bestow a name on their children with pride; however, this pride is sometimes shared by many students. The commonality of names at Borah is pretty surprising. How many students do you know who share these common names? Megan
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
6 8 2
5 5 9
In the entire English language, two words can cause a man to leap outside his comfort zone and try taking a new perspective on life, and those words are “free food.” This was more or less what motivated me to attend the Youth Night hosted by the Gay Straight Alliance at the Albertson’s headquarters downtown. Not normally having much of an opinion on the gay/straight issue, I figured that it would be a good idea to learn what I could about it during the parts that didn’t involve food. Complications arose fairly quickly when I attempted to find the Albertson’s building that, according to MapQuest, was located somewhere outside the fabric of space and time. By some fortunate twist of fate, though, I managed to arrive only an hour late. Inside the building, a random helpful man pointed me toward the party. The hallway was marked by roughly a hundred thousand balloons taped to the walls, which were much easier to follow than the MapQuest directions. The room at the end of the hall was heavily decorated with rainbows, so I assumed I was at the right place. When I walked in, I was greeted by about 70 people, all of whom were engaged in the exciting act of… sitting down. I didn’t detect any food in the area, and felt more than a little cheated, but before I could protest, I was
shepherded over to the group to join in the festivities… Which, as hungry as I was, still managed to be interesting. In one instance, our group played a game that defined different types of sexual orientation. I learned the meaning of FTM (female to male), MTF (male to fax machine), and LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and… the letter “Q”) and plenty of other politically correct acronyms that the government seems to churn out with an inappropriate obsession. At another time, the group was asked to draw self-portraits and label them with all the stereotypes that they thought applied. Then they tacked the pictures on a scale between masculine and feminine (I put mine slightly away from the masculine side, because I’d recently said “Thank You” to someone). I enjoyed this activity because it awakened in me something I’d once learned, but had since forgot, namely, that crayons are perfectly edible if you’re hungry enough. Finally, the time came for everyone to eat dinner: tacos and fresh produce topped off with soda. I was relieved when I saw the meal laid out, because the night started to seem worthwhile. For the rest of the night, I felt very content, if not completely lost. There was a Jeopardy knockoff featuring facts about people who I never knew were gay (or existed, for that matter), and yes, I did end up running a race in women’s clothing. But the best part of the event was general feeling of acceptance. People accepted my sarcastic remarks, or at least didn’t maim me for them, and although the activities didn’t really do much to change my opinion (or lack thereof) on the gay/straight issue, I didn’t feel pressed into making the effort. So, if ever you’re given the chance to broaden your horizons and take a trip outside your comfort zone, I sincerely urge you to go… the food is free.