BLUE VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL Vol. 43 Issue 7 February 2013 Stilwell, Kan.
ANNOTATING ARGUMENT Staffers debate usefulness, point of annotating in Communication Arts classes page 8 CREATING CHEMISTRY Science class offers students opportunity for hands-on experience page 14 RECEIVING RECOGNITION Senior awarded Gatorade Athlete of the Year in Kansas page 21
World of difference: From America to Mexico and
back, freshman recognizes cultural differences. Pages 12-13 Photo illustration by Bailey Outlaw.
Construction displaces sophomore parking, Events calendar creates problems for underclassmen Feb. 14 — Parent-Teacher Conferences, carolinemeinzenbach opinion editor
4-7:30 p.m. in the gym
Due to football stadium renovations, all sophomores parking in the back lot must walk on the access road to get to school. The previous route for many sophomores was through the backside of the stadium and practice fields, and it is now blocked for construction trucks. “Unfortunately, lowly sophomores suffer because there is no place to park,” Campus Police Officer Dennis Randall said. “We are trying to open up access to walk across the visitor side of the stadium for the rest of the school year.” Renovations on the football stadium and the area behind the tennis Spring sports using the stadium and courts have affected many sophomore parking spots. Construction will occur throughout the spring. Photo by Alex Kontopanos. practice fields will be affected by this construction, and tryouts and practices will be “Instead of using common sense and walking, one indimoved to new locations. Sophomore Emily vidual tried to climb the fence,” Randall said. “He got his pants McKinley parks in the back of the access ripped, but he wasn’t hurt. We are no longer selling parking road and said the construction makes it a passes because it is full, so it is running smoother.” hassle to walk into school in the morning. Sophomores participating in after school activities can park “I have to get to school earlier to have in the west parking lot before practice because it is free parktime to walk to class,” she said. “It’s annoying after school. ing because it’s very cold.” “We are hoping construction runs smoothly,” Randall said. According to Randall, a couple of sopho“The home stands will be super. It’ll be more seating and bring mores have tried scaling the fence instead of it up to date.” going around the stadium.
Art Club creates, sells wax-dipped roses for Valentine’s Day sallycochran staff writer You see someone walk into your third hour. This isn’t unusual. Maybe it’s a note from another teacher or a pass. Nope. It’s a wax-dipped rose. Art Club will be taking orders for and selling these roses for Valentine’s Day for three dollars.
Art Club president sophomore Mackenzie Riscoe said students can either make the roses themselves before or after school, or they can have an Art Club member make it for them. “Basically everyone that comes [to Art Club] that week [will help make the roses],” Riscoe said. “We’re going to try to get as many people as we can because it’s a big task. Hopefully, everyone will come.”
“[The wax] preserves the top of it and the shape of it, and, eventually, the rose inside will die, but the wax will still be there,” Riscoe said.
“I had one of my friends write a few poems,” Riscoe said. “We have like five or six poems, and they mean different things, and then we’re also having one traditional poem, which we’re not sure about which one yet.”
“You have to start by melting the wax,” Riscoe said. “Then, you take the live rose and dip it in the wax. We’re going to do different colors of sparkles on them. That’s basically it. It’s really not that hard.”
“[Art club sponsor Cheryl] Mattke’s done it in past years,” Riscoe said. “Not in like near past years, but a while ago, and everyone loved it back then. A bunch of people bought them. That’s actually how we came up with the idea because we were looking at old ideas of stuff people did in Art Club before.”
Feb. 15 — No School Feb. 16 — Sweetheart Dance, 7-11 p.m. Feb. 18 — No School, President’s Day Feb. 20 — Rep Theater Show “Check, Please!” in the Black Box Theater, 7 p.m. Feb. 25 — Spring sports practices begin Feb. 26 — Reading State Assessment Feb. 28 — Reading State Assessment; Music Honor Society Induction, 7 p.m. in the PAC March 1 — Reading State Assessment March 4 — Pizza Hut Fundraiser; Math State Assessment; National Foreign Language Induction, 7 p.m. in the PAC March 11 — Choir Concert, 7:30 p.m. in the PAC March 13 — It’s Paper Day: March Tiger Print issue distributed March 14 — No School: End of Second Semester March 15 - March 24 — No School: Spring Break March 25 — School resumes, end of Spring Break
Check out bvtigernews online for web-exclusive content about student pilot David Coventry and more information about previous BV construction changes
District acquires new property, creates new opportunities for teachers, children, athletes Stories by Danielle Williams.
Hilltop Campus First Family Church, located off West 143rd Street, closed their doors permanently on Sept. 11, 2011. Due to the fact they were unable to make their payments, the bank took the building and every single thing inside of it. The old church will be turned into something called Hilltop Campus, which is a building for the Blue Valley district that covers three components they are in desperate need of. With construction beginning soon, Executive Director of Facilities and Operations Dave Hill said he hopes the building will be completed by August of 2014. “We are going to break ground this summer,” he said. “We hope to put it out for bids in late spring, and you’ll see us break ground before the start of school next August.” Hill said he believes Hilltop Campus is going to be a success and very beneficial to the Blue Valley District. “To my knowledge, there is not one campus or one building that puts all three of these uses into one building, which is why its so unique,” he said.
Early Childhood Center
Professional Development Center
The first component the Hilltop Campus will offer is an Early Childhood center. “Originally we had planned to build the early childhood center as a stand-alone building on the district office campus,” Hill said. “We had the opportunity to acquire this building from the bank. It wasn’t something we planned to do, but the opportunity presented itself, and we took advantage of it.” The Early Childhood Center is for all the children under the age of five within the district. “It is going to offer a place for early childhood,” Hill said. “It will give all of the children ages zero to five an opportunity to receive early childhood services.” This center will also provide services for children ages 3-5 who are developmentally disabled. “In addition to that, we have what's called a mentor program,” Hill said, “where we match up kids who are normally functioning four to five year olds, like a buddy system.”
The second function of the Hilltop Campus is the Professional Development Center. “[The Professional Development Center] is for the district’s staff to learn to be better teachers and receive instructions on teaching methods and learn new techniques,” Hill said. Hill said this center will help provide teachers with all the necessary materials they need to be successful. “For professional development, all the resources you need to do training and production will be here,” he said. “There will be projection screens for guest speakers and small group activities.” Hill said it’s difficult for the district’s teachers to find good times and locations for meetings, so this center will definitely be beneficial. “Any district teacher can come get training on different types of things,” he said. “They’re constantly doing training, but right now we have to find places for it or do it when children are not in school. It’s a space that doesn’t exist anywhere in the district.”
BV Recreation Commission The third component of the Hilltop Campus will be used for the Blue Valley Recreation Commission. “They’re going to put a substantial building addition on and add an eight-court gymnasium for indoor court space, such as basketball and volleyball,” he said. Hill said the recreational side will resemble a fieldhouse that can accommodate league games or tournaments with lots of teams. “There will be events with lots of parking,” he said. “They’ll be locker rooms, concessions, kitchens and areas for teams to settle down when they’re not playing.” Hill said the reconstruction that must occur is mainly interior. “A lot of what’s in there is not usable to our program,” he said. “So, we will have a lot of construction inside the building and a small amount of addition.” Hill said this is a desirable location because it is easily accessible for all the people in the district. “If you look geographically at [the] 91 square miles that make up the Blue Valley District, it’s virtually in the center,” he said. “It’s central to all schools, so when our staff comes to receive training, it’s an average distance for everyone.”
For more pictures of the Hilltop Campus, check out BV Tiger News Online.
After a vote on April 3, 2012, the Blue Valley District decided to buy the First Family Church property. The District will use the building, renamed Hilltop Campus, for an Early Childhood Center, Professional Development Center and Recreation Commission. Photo by Raine Andrews.
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Our Time time for
Loyal fan may reconsider unwavering support if Royals fail to muster a decent season
colingregory staff writer Let me set the record straight for a minute. I love the Kansas City Royals as much as it’s possible for a fan to love a team. So if it appears that I’m bashing, just know that it’s coming from someone who, at the end of the day, will always have a special place in their heart for baseball in Kansas City. That being said, I, as a fan, have earned the right to complain about the Royals. Because, honestly, being a Royals fan has been worse than a sucker punch to the gonads. The Royals haven’t made the playoffs since 1985. For those of you counting at home, that’s 27 miserable years. I’ve only been alive for 17 of those years, and a conscious Royals fan for roughly nine of them. So my pain has been relatively short-lived compared to some. There are those fans who can still recall the glory of 1985 when the Royals won their first and only World Series. The rest of us can only watch the grainy highlights and witness a rarity: Royals players excelling and their fans celebrating. There are even more fans who remember 2003 — the last time the Royals posted a winning record. But I come from a dangerous generation of Royals fans. Since I can’t recall 2003, the only thing I can associate the Royals with is losing. Not just losing, but losing at an appalling rate, a rate that should make fans embarrassed to admit they root for such a pathetic display of ineptitude. I associate everything about these Royals with losing. The giant crown scoreboard, TV announcer Ryan Lefebvre and that God-awful “Friends In Low Places” song. I kind of liked it the first time Garth Brooks announced on the jumbotron we could sing along, but do we need it every freaking game? Whenever I hear that song, no matter where I am, I think of Jeff Francoeur grounding into a double play, and the bullpen surrendering 4-run leads. I have fought off many an urge to drive my car off a cliff when that travesty of a song comes on the radio. Anyway, so there will absolutely be fans who lose interest and, undoubtedly, those who already have. Especially now that Kansas City has a team that wins, in the form of Sporting Kansas City, the local Major League Soccer team. So, General Manager Dayton Moore knows we need a winning team, and we need it now. Last season, the front office had the brilliant idea to break out the slogan “Our Time.” As in, “it’s Our Time to win and break free from the decades of losing. Our Time to let talk translate to talent, and talent translate to victories. Our Time to finally join our former cellar-dwellers like the Tigers, Rays and Orioles in the playoffs.” However, the Royals once again finished with a paltry record, and “Our Time” became a representation of what is so wrong with Kansas City baseball. It was a promise that this year would be different, a promise that was left horrendously unfulfilled. In the words of comedian Mike Birbiglia, it’s “like being handed a pizza, and then being shot.” Moore knows if this upcoming year turns out to be a dismal one, he will likely lose his job. So he made a major offseason trade, something that Royals fans don’t usually see. He shipped the best hitting prospect in the game, and the team’s best pitching prospect to Tampa Bay, in return for a duo of quality starters. The trade showed the Royals are focusing on the now and are no longer in that rebuild-
Cartoon by Becky Winegarner.
ing stage they were mired in for the better part of the last decade. While I’m not sure the move will manifest itself into real wins, the hope it generated in Kansas City is very real indeed. Not having Bruce “Beer League Softball Pitchers Throw Harder Than I Do” Chen and Luke “I’m Lucky To Be Pitching Past The Third Inning” Hochaver as the top guys on the rotation is admittedly nice. Not official nicknames, by the way. So once again, there’s hope for an upcoming season of Royals baseball. We have a potent offense, and if the pitching holds up there’s a real chance to be playing meaningful games in September. More than anything in the world, I hope that 2013 is, in fact, “Our Time.” Because I’m tired of having our season end in May. Because I’m tired of turning on the TV or making the drive to Stadium, just to watch this team get blown out. Because I’m tired of having to celebrate moral victories rather than tangible ones. Because I’m tired of losing. Because if 2013 isn’t “Our Time,” then you may have one fan reconsidering his loyalties.
Teenagers must change attitude toward peers
rileymiller Z[HɈ^YP[LY We know perfect doesn't exist, but we all want it anyway, and for some reason it’s almost expected more in others than in ourselves. People are judged for things they have no control over. No one ever stops to think, "Wow, maybe that person has something going on in their life," before they say, "God, they look ridiculous today." No one ever stops to consider that just maybe, someone has things really bad. We just judge them — and that's
what's wrong with this world. Ask almost any adult and they’ll probably say high school years are supposed to be some of the best years of anyone's life. They're supposed to be fun and worry-free, but according to save.org, the third leading cause of death for people ages 15-24 years old is suicide. Some might call it ironic, almost, how some people are fighting for their lives every day while others will do anything to just get out and end everything. But in this cruel society we live in, it's easy for a lot of people to understand suicide will be the easy way out for someone who’s struggling. Nobody should be willing to take their own life because of the way they’re treated by others. It’s time for everyone to take a long, hard look at their lives and realize what they’re doing wrong — it’s time for all of us to change.
focus Yes, our New Year’s Resolutions have already been made. Some may have already been broken at this point. But considering the way everyone treats each other, I think it's important that everyone has this one resolution in particular at the top of their list: stop judging others for what we see and consider what they might have going on in their lives. We need to keep that in mind all year round, instead of carelessly not following through with it because it’s too difficult, like the other resolutions attempted. Blue Valley is supposed to be a "first-class school." Students here are supposed to be like family, but there's really nothing first-class about treating our peers as if they don't have feelings. This year will give us all another chance to change our ways and become better people; this year will be different. Think about it, a little less judgement and hatred towards others could actually save someone's life.
Moral standards must take precedent over athletic ability
kellycordingley editor-in-chief Say it ain’t so. By now, the Lance Armstrong doping scandal is a few weeks in the past. He confessed to Oprah Winfrey he had done what he’d been accused of for over a decade — taking performance enhancing drugs to fuel his seven wins in the Tour de France. Armstrong denied the accusations repeatedly, win after win and year after year. And it was just so easy to believe he was the perfect athlete, one who’d struggled through cancer to beat the odds and come back to win it all — seven times. With his fame and fortune, he started a massive foundation, LIVESTRONG, for people with and surviving cancer to cope and regain strength.
So, no, he’s not a bad guy. He did still defeat cancer multiple times and helped countless people through his foundation. But he is just another disappointment in the realm of professional athletes. I don’t care he doped for seven major races — I’m sure he wasn’t the only one partaking in the festivities. He just did it better than everyone else, apparently. I’m just disgusted at how far our athletes go — the fraudulent stories, the countless denials and then the web of lies just unravels. What we suspected, but hoped was wrong, comes true. Maybe it is just a matter our sports-loving nation must come to recognize — our athletes are anything but infallible. In the recent past, the child abuse scandal at Pennsylvania State University rocked the nation. Former Penn. State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky horrified everyone when allegations that he’d sexually abused young boys came out and were true. Penn. State football coach and legend Joe Paterno was found to have covered it up. We all recall when golfer Tiger Woods fell from his pedestal because of his affairs — the mistress count was in the double digits. Before that, he was the image of perfection
with a gorgeous Swedish wife, two beautiful children and a golf record that spoke for itself. Around that time, NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was in the middle of sexual assault allegations. Before that, it was NFL player Michael Vick who was charged with running a dogfighting operation. Before that, it was NFL player O.J. Simpson who was tried in court for killing his ex-wife and her friend, but later went to prison on robbery and weapons charges. Before that, heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was charged with rape. Oh, the people we have looked up to. Just because they have outstanding athletic ability certainly doesn’t qualify them to be our role models. Our role models don’t need to have set outstanding records or have the ability to throw a perfect spiral pass. They don’t need to wear a logo and advertise Gatorade. They can be the woman down the street who checks in on the elderly neighbor everyday. They can be our doctors and nurses, our firefighters and police officers, our teachers and principals. Because those people usually have others’ best interests in mind. They contribute to the common good and personify the golden rule much more than some of our athletes do.
Battleof theBooks maddiejewett features editor Picture this: A ten-year-old little girl with brown pigtails runs inside the house, excitement shining in her eyes. She neatly arranges all twelve of her newly checked-out library books across the floor and recites “eenie meenie minie moe” in order to decide which book to read first. She spends her summer days at the pool reading book after book. They take her to far off places, and she can be whoever she wants to be while reading them. And she absolutely loves this. Now, picture this: A sixteen-year-old girl trudges up the stairs after an excruciatingly long day at school and practice. It’s 8 p.m., and not only does she have to read and anno-
tate five chapters of “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, but she also has twenty math problems to compute, three pages of a Chemistry packet to work through and an essay — all due tomorrow. Yes, this bright-eyed, pig-tailed little girl was me. Yes, this exhausted, worn-out girl is also me. I always had this love for reading that was unlike anything else — I read in my free time. I said it: reading for enjoyment. Recently, I have not been reading as much as I would like. It may be because I’m too busy with the craziness that is the life of just about every single high school student in America. But I don’t think that’s the only reason I’ve distanced myself from practically anything that has a cover, pages and words involved. As a high school student, I rarely hear of anyone who “reads for enjoyment”. And quite honestly, I strongly believe that this is largely due to how many books we have to annotate for Communication Arts class in such a short amount of time. We rarely have the opportunity to just read books and legitimately enjoy the stories we are reading.
ading, e r f o t u es joy o k a t g n i t easure l p r o f Annota g es readin g a r u o c dis
odiopole web editor My name is Odi Opole, and I’m that kid you don’t want to have Communication Arts (CA) with. I’m the kid who bugs the teacher about when we’re reading our first book. This year, I was the kid who skipped a day of school and spent the afternoon reading “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. I’m the one who, hell or high water, actually reads the book and knows what happened. Or at least, I’m better at skimming for content than you are. I love CA, and I always have. However, I have a secret. A deep, dark, literary-nerdstyle secret. My name is Odi Opole, and I suck at annotating. Royally. Beyond belief. It’s just not my thing. Friends and teachers alike will probably tell you how often I complain about it — and, speaking of which, I would like to apologize to CA teachers Jennifer Balke and Linda Eagleton for my dismal performance in this area. Mrs. Balke — I actually read “The Awakening” by Kate
Instead, we have to write down every time we see a simile, metaphor, onomatopoeia, personification, analogy, imagery and countless other elements of figurative language and stylistic devices. Personally, I would much rather just read the book and maybe take a quiz or two over it, just so the teacher knows we are actually reading. For once, I’d like to go home, get all my other homework done, and then be able to just lay in bed and read without having to have a pen in hand, marking up every single page of the book. While this may sound lazy, it just takes so much time. And besides, most students just end up writing random stuff in the margins after a while, anyway. I understand that annotating teaches students the valuable skills of reading comprehension and note-taking; however, both of these skills could be taught in various ways other than annotating. In my opinion, annotating entire books is what I like to call a debbie-downer. While annotating may improve our ability to comprehend books and locate various figurative elements, what’s the point of having these skills if 95 percent of us have come to dread reading, even just for fun?
aids g n i t a t o ng, ann i y o n n t skills a n a h t r g o u p o h T ining im a g n i s t studen
Chopin three times, and I really enjoyed it. I just didn’t feel like squeezing my thoughts into the miniscule margins of my book, and I agree I deserved that 50 percent. Mrs. Eagleton — I swear, I tried really hard in the last two weeks of summer to annotate “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley. But between actually having fun, and the fact that I’d read and re-read the book over the summer anyway, I just couldn’t annotate past chapter nine. Also, that book just weirded me out after a certain point. Now, my fellow students may be completely confused by my apologies. Allow me to explain. As much as I’ve come to hate annotating, I can’t deny its value. Yes, it sucks to have to buy a book just to destroy it by writing in it. Yes, it sucks to have to — heaven forbid — think about what you’re reading, instead of just absorbing the words. And finding literary and linguistic devices in books and novels will never get easier, I’m afraid. But annotating has its perks, as well. You have to think about what you’re reading. And not only do you have to think — you have to think critically and at a higher level. What madness is this? High school students learning skills we’re going to need for the rest of our lives? A skill we can actually use in real life? That doesn’t happen — does it? According to an article by Illinois teacher Carol Porter-
O’Donnell, annotating helps students understand content more completely, aids in comprehension skills, promotes “active reading” and improves our writing. Every single kid in an Advanced Placement History or CA class needs to stop and re-read that right now because those are all skills that will get you an A in the class and a 5 on the exam. Trust me — I know from experience. And even if you’re not in an AP class, look at it this way: You’re going to have to read heavier, drier material in college, and nobody’s going to spend a class period discussing it with you or re-hashing the plot. There will not be a quiz over chapters 1-6. You will read it, and you’ll understand it. Or maybe you won’t. But nobody’s going to check and see which scenario played out for you. If you make annotating while reading part of the routine, it makes a huge difference in all the reading you do — whether it’s your assigned reading for CA, your Chemistry textbook, a Nicholas Sparks novel or an Ikea building instructions manual. You will learn to look for words you don’t understand and define them. You will learn to recognize important sections of text and understand them more deeply. The things you gain from reading will be more cemented in your mind, because rather than simply reading them and moving on, you will have read, digested, thought and stored the information for safe keeping. And if it’s a Nicholas Sparks novel, or any other book you read for fun, you’re going to be able to super-nerd about it. Your friends will be jealous of your knowledge.
staffeditorial TIGER THE
editor-in-chief Kelly Cordingley website editor Odi Opole photo editor Bailey Outlaw
design and news editor Hailey McEntee features editor Maddie Jewett
business manager, managing editor Anna Wonderlich staff writers Raine Andrews Sally Cochran Gennifer Geer Colin Gregory Meghan Kennedy Riley Miller Mitch Sundquist Danielle Williams
photographers Megan Ball entertainment editor Molly Johnson Abby Bamburg Alex Kontopanos Cartoon by Becky Winegarner.
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Same course, different teacher. Same course, different book. Same course, different lesson plan. No matter if the classes are the same, it is never completely consistent. Sometimes while one class is doing reports and essays, the other is watching movies and doing worksheets. But it is the same course. It’s unfair to the students spending all hour doing a written assessment, while the other teacher’s class is doing a 15-minute multiple-choice quiz. It’s quite clear which teachers are the “easier” teachers. They watch the
movies and give easy quizzes. It’s also quite clear which teachers have the more difficult classes. They are teaching the same material, but they do it so differently, you can’t even tell it’s the same course. Sometimes they even have different books for the same course. This makes switching classes at any point during the year even more difficult. Chances are no two classes are at the exact same spot in the curriculum. Of course this leaves students with easy-going teachers happy and students with the tough teachers annoyed. They do more work but get the same grades as the easier classes, or even worse grades depending on how the teacher grades. These changes also occur between different schools. Different schools are reading different summer reading assignment
books. Physics is especially different between the schools. Unlike Blue Valley High, most schools use textbooks. So, don’t try and ask your friend from Blue Valley West for any help. They probably won’t even be on the same unit as your class. This is a big problem in some Advanced Placement classes. They originally are supposed to be consistent across the entire U.S. but, in fact, aren’t even consistent in our school. AP students will be on totally different schedules and learn different things and not be prepared equally for the exam. Inconsistencies between the same classes are causing major issues. It shouldn’t be this difficult to teach the same things at the same time. If this can be accomplished, it will benefit the students and the teachers.
opinion editor Caroline Meinzenbach sports editor Jansen Hess
cartoonist Becky Winegarner adviser Michelle Wilmes
The Tiger Print is published 10 times a year for students, faculty, and the surrounding community of Blue Valley High School. It is an open forum for student expression. Therefore, the opinions expressed within this paper do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrations of Blue Valley Unified School District #229. Letters to the editor and reader responses are encouraged for publication. The Tiger Print reserves the right to edit all submissions for both language and content and encourages letters to be no more than 350 words. Letters should be submitted to room 450, emailed to email@example.com or mailed to: The Tiger Print c/o Blue Valley High School 6001 W. 159th St. Stilwell, KS 66085 phone: 913-239-4800 Pacemaker winner, 2012. Pacemaker finalist, 2009, 2010, 2012. Member, Kansas Scholastic Press Association, National Scholastic Press Association and Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
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Junior Sami Miller said she joined tech crew because her brother performed in the musical. “My brother [graduate Jake Miller] was really into theater when he was at school, and I had to wait after school for him to get done,” she said. “I thought, ‘I might as well join the show, too.’ But I was too afraid to be onstage, so I decided to Miller be backstage.” She still works on tech crew even after Jake graduated. “The more he did it, the more I did it because I had to be with him anyway,” she said. “After he left this year, I had made some strong friendships with people, so we wanted to do it together.” She said she enjoys making new friends through tech crew. “My favorite memory was probably getting to know people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, and spending time with them and creating friendships,” she said. She said working backstage is stressful at times. “Everything can depend on one movement,” she said. “You have to count on other people, and you have to hope that everyone’s where they’re supposed to be, doing what they’re doing when they’re supposed to be doing it.” Miller said the show is rewarding. “During the show, I get really nervous, and I hope that everything goes well,” she said. “After, when everything has gone well, and everything went smoothly, it’s a great accomplishment. The people are clapping, and you know you did a good job.”
Tech crew students contribute to musical performance backstage
Sophomore Cody Nelson enjoys the closeness of the tech crew. “In theater, everyone’s, you know, the theater family,” he said. “The tech kind of has their own family, and we work behind the scenes in kind of a part. But, when the show’s done working with lighting and all that other stuff, there’s Nelson the family there also.” Nelson worked on spotlight last year as well. He said it is a large time commitment. “On Friday, we went and stayed until 2:10 that morning doing lights because we had to do gels and all that stuff because we couldn’t do that when the actors were onstage,” he said. The bay, located above the PAC, is where the spotlight operators work. “It is very hot because all the lights are up there,” Nelson said. “It’s not super cramped because it’s just the open roof area, and you can kind of see the structure. It’s kind of cool being up there. Hot’s really the first word that comes to mind though.” He said that as the shows go on, he becomes less anxious. “You know, for that first show it’s kind of nervous because you don’t know if all that work’s going to pay off,” Nelson said. “Then, after that first show, if that was a good show and you can see your work paying off, then the other shows that you perform are just, you know, you’re very relaxed, and you’re having a blast.”
Sophomore Jennifer Helmick joined the tech crew last year as a spotlight. “I wanted to be part of the musical, but I didn’t know what I wanted to be a part of,” she said. “I knew I wanted to do something important, so [senior] Broc [Thorne] kind of forced me into being assistant stage Helmick manager [this year].” She said she enjoys the tech crew family. “My favorite part [of being on tech crew] is probably just the family that tech crew is,” she said. “Everybody just has fun together when we all get together.” Helmick said she is usually at school until 6 or 6:30 p.m. “The other day, there were three people here until like 2 in the morning hanging lights,” she said. “It’s a huge time commitment.” She said that when the show goes on, it’s awesome. “During rehearsal, I get this anxiety, like, ‘Oh my god. Why can’t we just run through this and get it all over with?’” Helmick said. “But, then, it’s like the rewarding factor when we finally do put it all together.” She said being backstage can be crazy. “It’s really, really hectic,” Helmick said. “The other day I almost got run over by the train set. It’s also very loud because people just won’t shut up.”
#twinning haileymcentee design & news editor
Someone to be a best friend. Someone to talk to all the time. Someone to lend a helping hand. Someone to stick with you through everything. These are just a few of the roles twins can take on in each others’ lives. While walking down the halls you might notice a few similar faces — these might be a couple of the several pairs of twins at BV.
Pictured from left to right: Josh Krestine and Jessica Krestine.
Pictured from left to right: Elizabeth Rudiger and Abby Rudiger.
Juniors Jessica and Josh Krestine are another pair of Blue Valley twins. Jessica said overall she likes having a twin brother. “We fight a lot, but, at the end of the day, I still know that he has my back and I love him,” Jessica said. “I know he will always be here for me no matter what.” Josh said there are perks to having a twin sister. “She gives me good advice sometimes, and I like her friends always being around.” Jessica said he enjoyed growing up with Josh. “When we were little, we were always outside with neighborhood friends,” she said. Jessica said there are many pros to
Sophomores Abby and Elizabeth Rudiger are one of the many pairs of twins at Blue Valley. Elizabeth said she considers Abby and her to be the stereotypical twins. “We are really close,” Elizabeth said. “I’d describe our relationship as being best friends. We kind of do everything together, except for cross country.” Abby and Elizabeth participate in activities together such as basketball and soccer. Elizabeth said she and Abby get along well. “If we fight, which isn’t often at all, it is just about stupid little things,” she said. Since they are identical twins, Elizabeth said she and Abby used to enjoy confusing people about who was who.
having a twin brother. “It’s nice having someone to go through everything with,” she said. “You grow up with them and they are there with you through everything.” Jessica said there’s also a downside to having a twin. “There’s a lot of fighting and having to share a lot of things,” she said. “We’ve had to share birthdays, our first car — everything.” Josh said he has mixed emotions about having a twin sister. “There are lots of benefits, but a lot of downfalls, as well,” he said. Jessica said she will always love her brother. “It’s good to know that I can turn to him whenever I need to,” she said. “I love the kid no matter how much we fight.”
“We used to dress up exactly the same for a day, but we never actually switched places,” Elizabeth said. “That was back in elementary school when we had the same teacher, so the whole day our teacher was really confused.” Elizabeth said she loved growing up with her sister. “When we were little, we always wore a certain color — like Abby would be wearing this color and I would be wearing that color,” she said Abby said she likes how she and Elizabeth can make life easier for each other. “I like how we can help each other with our homework, and she is always there to talk to,” she said. “We don’t keep secrets from each other. We basically tell each other everything.”
I was scared, and I was sad because I didn’t want to leave. I was a shy girl, but at the same time I talked to the whole world. Everybody in my middle school knew me ever since I was a little girl in kindergarten. Everybody was heartbroken, and I was heartbroken, too. I did have best friends, and I did have to leave them. It was just sad. My older brother kind of explained to me that these are your childhood friends—the true friends you have with you will stay with you until the day you die, and the rest will just be your childhood friends and will be awesome memories. Later on it won’t seem as heartbreaking as you think it is.
jansenhess sports editor A shy, 12-year-old girl lives the typical American life. She has a mom, a dad, two brothers and a sister. She has some of the best friends she’s known since kindergarten. One day, she’s told she will be moving roughly 2,000 miles away from the only life she’s ever known. Her classmates and friends are heartbroken. She can’t help but be scared and sad. Although born in Los Angeles, freshman Monica Munguia was raised in Idaho for 10 years. “When I was 2 years [old], we moved up there, and my whole life was there in Idaho,” she said. “It’s kind of the same thing as Kansas. It was just like your basic American life. It was just normal.” At age 12, she moved from Idaho to Mexico. Munguia moved to Mexico because her parents were fixing their immigration papers, since both of her parents were born and raised in Mexico. At first, it was just Monica, her mom and her sister who went to meet family in Mexico. “I’d never met my grandparents, or my uncles or my cousins there,” she said. “But I guess something happened with the papers. When my dad crossed the border, he couldn’t go back.” Her parents missed their interview to fix the papers, and, if you miss an interview, it’s not easy to reopen the case. Munguia’s dad was looking for a good place to raise his family, a good school system and a place where he could get a job. “We went to Cabos,” she said. “There’s lots of tourists, so my dad got a job because he can speak English and Spanish, and that’s what they were looking for.” Although both of her parents speak Spanish, she said her Spanish was horrible before she moved to Mexico. She was too shy to speak. The change for Munguia was very drastic. “Where my cousins are from, it’s not [modernized], but they’re not oldfashioned at the same time,” she said. “It was a ranch, basically. And the schools were normal, but my parents wanted me in the best school. It was hard for me to open up. Not only was it a culture shock to come to a completely different lifestyle, but knowing so many people who apparently knew me when I was a little baby. I had no idea who they were. It was too much.” When she was 16, she picked up her life again and came to Kansas, except she left her family behind in Mexico. She lives with her guardians Bob and Jodi Hileman, who are friends of her father. “Randomly, one day, I got a phone call from them saying, if I wanted to, I could go to Kansas and stay with them,” she said. “They were going to put me in the best school that they could find, and obviously provide food, clothing and a place to stay until I can get a job of my own.” Munguia has no plans to get a job until her sophomore year. For now, she wants to focus on her studies. Although Munguia is 16 years old, she has to take mostly freshman classes. “I lost two years,” she said. “It’s really complicated. When I got [to Mexico],
I got really, really depressed — I did no middle school — well, here it’s middle I didn’t finish that.” Munguia wanted to go into her first to because she lacked a year in elemen “My mom did a lot for me,” she said the principals and stuff, and they could way it is and you’re going to have to re high, and right in the middle of my thi back, so now I’m a freshman.” Munguia also lost a year of schoolin into junior high in Mexico. Munguia said the main differences tion and discipline, and they go hand i “The schools — that’s the difference tion, but there are so many distraction In Mexico, at age 18, one becomes a and party. But Munguia said most kids 15. “That’s what I’ve noticed; that most so young,” she said. “That’s the differen just skip [school]. It’s so easy to do wha with things.” She said the discipline is horrible in “That’s why the education here is a said. “But it’s not because of the school cause of the school. It starts at home. Th and they start getting deeper into it. Yo it with some of my friends, and it’s kin Munguia said having the opportun she needed to regain focus in her scho “It was like a wake-up call,” she said attention to my decisions. Their main f Munguia said she likes how, in Kan watch movies, eat junk food and just h “The thing I like about here is it’s so she said. “I like how, here, they can do but still enjoy a few parties. Over there to find people who actually do someth have something to do.” Overall, Munguia said she was glad “I have so many good friends down I’ve made mistakes; I’ve learned from t learn from. It’s just helped me open up Now I’m more fun, more outgoing, and so many wonderful memories there. I’m picture my future — living in the State — strange, but possible.”
Freshman moves from Mexico to US, notes varying cultures
not want to live there at all. I didnâ€™t finish e school; there itâ€™s elementary school. But
st year of junior high but was not allowed ntary school. id. â€œShe went to the superior bosses of ldnâ€™t do anything. They just said thatâ€™s the epeat it. I studied for three years in junior hird year, which is ninth grade, I came
ing while she was trying to get admitted
s between Mexico and the U.S. are educain hand. ce,â€? she said. â€œYou can get a good educans. Kids are kind of crazy over there.â€? an adult and can begin to legally drink ds were already doing those things at age
t kids live life to the fullest when theyâ€™re nce as far as discipline goes. Itâ€™s so easy to hatever you want. Itâ€™s so easy to get away
n the majority of the kids in Mexico. a lot better than it is over there,â€? Munguia ol systems â€” thatâ€™s my theory. Itâ€™s not beThere are kids that start getting problems, You canâ€™t drag them out of there. Iâ€™ve seen nd of sad.â€? nity to move to the U.S. was the chance ool work. d. â€œI was losing control. I wouldnâ€™t pay focus is partying, and thatâ€™s it.â€? nsas, she can go over to a friends house, hang out. so calm and so mellow, and thatâ€™s me,â€? o the same things I can and still like it, re, youâ€™re boring if you do that. Itâ€™s hard hing because itâ€™s fun. Theyâ€™ll do it just to
d she had the chance to live in Mexico. n there,â€? she said. â€œIâ€™ve learned so much. them. Iâ€™ve done good things that I still p more so I can have more friends. nd I thought it was just awesome. I have Iâ€™m hoping I will go back. Thatâ€™s how I es and living in Mexico. Itâ€™s strange, yes
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chemistry !"#!"!$%"#& meghankennedy staff writer As you walk into your Chemistry classroom, you immediately notice it’s completely dark — all lights off, with just a single flame, dimly lighting the front of the room. You take your seat. Whispers fill the air, as your classmates ask if anyone knows what’s going on. As your teacher carefully pours ethanol gas in a Culligan water jug, everyone stares with curiosity. Sparks ignite as your teacher strikes a match and holds it over the jug. Within the blink of an eye, the entire room is illuminated by a sudden flash of fire shooting out of the jug. Your jaw drops in awe, as a fire blazes five feet away from you. Whoosh. This “whoosh bottle demo” is just one of the many labs Blue Valley chemistry students experience in their classes. Sophomore Sarah Supple said her Sophomore Chemistry class takes many precautions before completing a lab. “We always make sure we have the right materials, the equipment is safe and there are no cracks in the glass equipment,” she said. “Before starting, we always look over the lab so we know what to expect.” Supple said her class occasionally has follow-up work such as turning in worksheets, collecting data and answering questions. She said her favorite lab was when her class burned different chemicals and materials to create differentcolored flames. “The lab was fun, and we got to do it as a class,” Supple said. “We got to take pictures, and it was more laid-back.”
Chemistry classes utilize labs to enhance learning, provide hands-on experience
Junior Rachel Jenkins said her Advanced Placement Chemistry class performs a variety of labs. “We do all sorts of things,” she said. “Most of the time, it is just using different types of equipment. It is usually a lot of measurements, and we don’t use Bunsen burners all that much.” Supple said she recommends this class to other students because of the learning environment. “My favorite part is being able to have fun with my friends, but still being able to learn new things,” she said. “It’s amazing when you get it, and everything seems to click. Even if it doesn’t, the teachers make it so easy for you to get help. It’s a very good experience.” Jenkins said the labs are beneficial to her learning because she gets practice using different equations. When she finishes a lab, she writes down the purpose, procedure, analysis, follow-up questions, summary and a conclusion in her notebook. Supple said she looks forward to doing labs because they make learning more fun and enjoyable. “Labs make learning easy, and they always clear up the confusion I have in the materials we are learning,” she said. Chemistry teacher Neerav Shah said AP Chemistry labs are significantly different from Sophomore Chemistry labs. “I try to do a wet lab once a week,” he said. “Wet labs are when you’re actually mixing chemicals, if any chemicals are involved. In AP Chem labs, there is a lot more data involved. You have to be a lot more careful with your measurements, and they are usually longer and more involved. [AP Chemistry students] have more data to write down and analyze.” Jenkins said interacting with others is a main reason why
she likes Chemistry. “My favorite part of Chemistry is probably the labs and any other time we work in groups or partners,” Jenkins said. “We get a lot of time to do that in AP Chem, whether it is working on a lab or a worksheet. Working with others is the way I learn best, and all the people in my class get along, so it’s really fun.” Supple said in addition to working with fire and mixing chemicals, her class made lava lamps. “We were making lava lamps, and we were only supposed to use two reactant tablets, but instead we decided to use, like, 20, and the lava lamp exploded,” she said. “It was hilarious, and everyone just had fun with it.” Shah said his main concern for students during labs is breaking equipment or getting hurt by not following directions. He said he thinks the labs are beneficial to each student’s learning. “I always try to connect [the labs] to some sort of curriculum,” Shah said. “I think it helps to lock in their heads, ‘Oh that happened because of this reaction.’” Jenkins said paying attention during labs is important because certain chemicals can cause irritation to the skin or eyes. “The strongest chemical we have used is hydrochloric acid, and we actually had a girl get some on her sweater, and it burned a hole in it,” she said. “We have to be careful because if it gets in our eyes, that’s exactly what’ll happen. At the beginning of the year, [Chemistry teacher Charlena] Sieve showed us what would happen by taking a cow eyeball and pouring hydrochloric acid on it. It pretty much deteriorates it away.” (Far Left) Mixing chemicals, Chemistry teacher Charlena Sieve creates the lab “Rainbow Connection.” This colorful lab used clear chemicals to make a rainbow of colors within the beakers. “I like using complicated things like chemicals to make simple things like colors in labs,” junior Kaitlin Berry said. Photo by Megan Ball. (Left) Using a pipette, junior Kaitlin Berry observes the chemicals within the beaker. Chemistry classes perform a variety of labs over the course of the year. “The specific heat lab was my favorite because we got to prove the equations [Chemistry teacher] Mrs. [Charlena] Sieve gave us so we knew where they came from,” Berry said. Photo by Megan Ball.
Photos submitted by Katie Overman.
BV family travels to third-world country for mission trip, strengthens faith maddiejewett features editor
She hurriedly passes out medicines of all shapes and sizes. Mobs of people swarm her, all speaking a language she does not know. The translator stands close by, but still communication is difficult. Sweat collects on her forehead; she’s been at this all morning long, and won’t get to take a break for a few more hours. Even so, she beams as people thank her through gestures and smiles. Stacey Overman, mother of senior Katie Overman and freshman Tom Overman, traveled to Merrote, Haiti for a mission trip with a group of people from their church, Lord of Life. “Over the summer, I went to Nicaragua, and I think I kind of caught the mission trip bug there,” Katie said. “Everyone always came back and said how amazing their trip was and how much it changed their lives, and I really wanted to be a part of that.” The family decided to go on the trip this year due to a new project the group was planning on doing. “Last year, when our church went, they built a basketball court,” Stacey said. “So this year, the plan was to do not only a medical clinic, but also a basketball and volleyball clinic in order to teach the children to play basketball and volleyball. When we heard about the sports clinics, all my children wanted to go and be a part of that.” There is a hospital about 20 miles away from the school and the village, but it costs money, and most of the people there don’t have any money. The services that Lord of Life Church
provided were completely free. Stacey said for most of the Haitian people, this is the only time of the year that they see any kind of medical personnel. “I was a part of the med clinic team,” she said. “The med clinic was open for four out of the six days that we were there, and we saw over 600 patients. I was one of the two people in the pharmacy. We took medicine and extra supplies over in suitcases, and once we got there, we set up a make-shift pharmacy in order to get the Haitian people medicine.” Katie said the experience helped her meet new people and make longlasting friendships. “It was really cool because I met a lot of people I would have never been friends with if I didn’t go on this Haiti trip,” she said. “I now have a life-long friendship with people a little older than me who are amazing role models and are living for God.” Stacey said experiencing this with her family meant a lot to her. “It was absolutely rewarding to see my children outside of our home in such a caring, compassionate environment with the Haitian people,” she said. Through a devotional book Katie began reading while in Haiti, she said she found a lot of answers to questions and problems she was having in her life. “I am going through a lot right now with senior year, college stuff, work and my health, and, ‘Jesus Calling,’ my devotional book, was just amazing,” she said. “It felt like Jesus was actually talking to me and had all of the answers and advice to help me with my decisions and issues I was going through.”
Stacey fundraised in her neighborhood to raise money for the Haitian community. “We saw over 600 patients, so that in itself was rewarding,” she said. “Before we left, through my fundraising efforts, we purchased a neonatal monitor for them. It was really awesome to see them use it on a pregnant woman and to see her face light up when she could hear the baby’s heartbeat. A lot of people in my neighborhood donated, so it was cool to know that all of our efforts were put to good use.” Almost everything about life there, Stacey said, is different from life in America. “It’s totally different there,” she said. “There’s very little structure and order throughout the entire country — from the order of traffic to standing in line at the airport. No one ever stands in lines there. It’s basically the biggest and strongest for themselves.” Stacey said she learned some invaluable lessons from going to Merrote. “One thing I learned is that you really can make a difference, especially when whoever you’re with has a relationship with a specific community because then you can see the results,” she said. “Even though the poverty is definitely overwhelming, children will still be happy or sad. Adults will still be nice and friendly or not. The dynamic between people will still be the same, because we are all still people.” Stacey said the trip taught her some things religiously, as well. “Because I had some concerns about taking all of my children to a third-world country like that, I learned that if you put any decision or problem in the hands of God, he will provide,” she said.
(Top) Posing with family and Haitian children, senior Katie Overman waits to go into church. Every Sunday during the mission trip, the team got to experience church services in Creole. “It was really moving to see how passionate the women were about Christ even though they had so little,” Overman said. “They were happy with what they had.” (Middle) During a day at Vacation Bible School, Haitian children make rainbows using streamers and cotton balls. The school and church the children used were in conjunction with the church the Overman’s attend. “It was really cool to give the kids Vacation Bible School,” senior Katie Overman said. “Without us, they wouldn’t have a fun learning experience connected to God.” (Bottom) Babysitting a little girl, senior Katie Overman waits for the child’s mom to finish her ultrasound. Katie and her family traveled to Haiti on a mission trip with her church. “I just felt like even though I was just holding a baby, I was giving parents the opportunity to get proper medical care,” Overman said.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Actress in a Directing Leading Role
Actor in a Supporting Role
Actor in a Best Picture Leading Role
Nominees: “Amour” “Argo” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” “Django Unchained” “Les Misérables” “Life of Pi” “Lincoln” “Silver Linings Playbook” “Zero Dark Thirty”
Nominees: Bradley Cooper for “Silver Linings Playbook” Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln” Hugh Jackman for “Les Misérables” Joaquin Phoenix for “The Master” Denzel Washington for “Flight” Nominees: Alan Arkin for “Argo” Robert De Niro for “Silver Linings Playbook” Philip Seymour Hoffman for “The Master” Tommy Lee Jones for “Lincoln” Christoph Waltz for “Django Unchained” Nominees: Michael Haneke for “Amour” Benh Zeitlin for “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Ang Lee for “Life of Pi” Steven Spielberg for “Lincoln” David O. Russell for “Silver Linings Playbook”
This past year, 2012 gave us one of the most diverse lineups of Best Picture candidates in recent memory. There’s the historical epic “Lincoln,” and Quentin Tarantino’s audacious slave-revenge fantasy “Django Unchained.” There’s the visually stunning survival epic “Life of Pi” and the chronicle of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden in “Zero Dark Thirty.” There’s the brutally honest comedy about mental health in “Silver Linings Playbook,” and the emotionally-draining musical “Les Misérables.” However, the favorite appears to be Ben Affleck’s historical thriller “Argo.” Initially, it looked like “Lincoln” would run away with Best Picture. However, after cleaning up at the Golden Globes and a few other ceremonies, “Argo” has jumped in the lead. While I’m partial to “Zero Dark Thirty” or “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Argo” is a tremendous film, well worthy of Best Picture. That’s the smart money. This is one year where there are five deserving candidates for Best Actor. All five give emotionally-complex performances deserving of the golden statue. However, playing an iconic American figure like Abraham Lincoln has got to count for a little more than the competition. That’s why the best bet is definitely Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln.” Lewis has already won twice, and he will more than likely be adding a third trophy to his mantle.
This is a very interesting category, as all five nominees already have an Oscar at home. Though Waltz was excellent in “Django Unchained,” I would have preferred to see his co-star Leonardo DiCaprio get a nomination over him. Nonetheless, this race will likely be won by Jones, as picking “Lincoln” seems to be the best choice when in doubt. While I wouldn’t mind victories for De Niro or Hoffman, Jones is certainly more than worthy.
It’s impossible to start the category for directing without mentioning the massive omissions of Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty,” and Ben Affleck for “Argo.” Both were considered dark horses in the race, but their apparent spots went to two relative unknowns — Haneke for “Amour” and Zeitlin for “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” I’m not saying that they didn’t deserve their spots, but it’s a shock that Affleck and Bigelow didn’t get in, especially after making such phenomenal films. However, these snubs only serve to clear the path further for Spielberg to win his third Oscar. Spielberg created something special with “Lincoln,” an immersive and grand historical epic. He’s more than deserving.
Nominees: Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty” Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook” Emmanuelle Riva for “Amour” Quvenzhane Wallis for “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Naomi Watts for “The Impossible”
What we have here is essentially a two-horse race. It’s between Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty” and Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook.” Each won a Golden Globe for their respective performances, so it’ll be interesting to see who will come out on top. I would bet on Lawrence, but it’s a near toss-up. It’s also worth noting that both the oldest nominee ever (Riva), and the youngest (Wallis) are competing against each other in the same category.
Nominees: Hathaway is going to win. Open and shut. Amy Adams for “The Master” Sally Field for “Lincoln” Anne Hathaway for “Les Misérables” Helen Hunt for “The Sessions” Jacki Weaver for “Silver Linings Playbook”
Stories by Colin Gregory.
music madness choose track create station modify purchase track videos contact press
Stories by Danielle Williams.
Pandora Pandora is a free application that allows listeners to create their own customized radio station. You can create your perfect station by starting with your favorite artists’ name, song title or a genre, and Pandora creates a station with similar music. There is also the feature of giving a song a thumbs up or a thumbs down, furthermore creating your perfect station. While listening, there’s the option to buy the song or album online. Listeners can create as many
stations as they want and listen to them by computer, smartphone or iPod. However, this app does have a few flaws that listeners are not too fond of. The free version of Pandora is supported by advertisements, so ads appear frequently. Also, the free version of Pandora only allows six skips per station in an hour and twelve skips a day. However, buying Pandora One, which is a monthly payment of $3.99, will eliminate ads and allow unlimited skips.
Spotify Spotify stores over 13 million tracks and is available in the U.S. and parts of Europe. The app stores all your playlists and songs so they can be streamed whenever you want. The free version of Spotify allows only 20 hours of music streaming for the first 6 months and 10 hours every additional month. If you buy the unlimited plan at $4.99, there is no advertising. If you buy the app at $9.99, you are
able to listen to as many songs as you want with no restrictions, as well as no advertising. You can share music through Facebook, Twitter and Windows Live Messenger. Spotify can be downloaded on your phone or iPod; however, it can also be downloaded to your computer as a program. A downside to Spotify is that it frequently takes longer than the rest of the apps to download new music.
Grooveshark Grooveshark is another music website where users can search any song, album or artist and stream that music immediately. Grooveshark streams up to 60 million songs per month to their five million listeners. The music on Grooveshark is uploaded from individual users, so there are usually songs on Grooveshark that you cannot find on other musicsharing apps. Grooveshark is free, and there are no photos used with permission from iTunes.com
limits on songs you can listen to. It even gives you the opportunity to transfer your iTunes library to Grooveshark, free of charge. If this isn’t enough, Grooveshark Plus costs $6 a month, and Grooveshark Anywhere costs $9 a month. These apps have no ads and unlimited music storing space. Grooveshark gives you the capability to listen to any specific song you want for free, which is a capability most music sources don’t allow. Information from pandora.com, spotify.com and grooveshark.com.
Valentine’s Day by the numbers kellycordingley editor-in-chief The candies and roses and teddy bears singing lovey-dovey Elvis Presley songs. The jewelry sales and all the expectations of Valentine’s Day. February 14 — a day florists, jewelers and Hallmark certainly look forward to actually has a different history from what we currently celebrate. According to history.com, the meaning of Valentine’s Day didn’t have original ties to love and couples. Some historians believe Valentine’s Day is celebrated to remember the anniversary of St. Valentine’s death, but others believe it was celebrated to counter a pagan celebration which was a fertility festival dedicated to the Roman God of Agriculture. This pagan celebration was outlawed by the Catholic Church and deemed St. Valentine’s Day by Pope Gelasius. The idea of associating the Saint’s day with love is believed to have come about in the Middle Ages in Europe because Feb. 14 was the beginning of bird’s mating season. It wasn’t until the 1840’s when Valentine’s Day cards were created and given out. So, although the origin of the holiday is vague, it is clear it has become a major part of culture throughout the years.
Statistics from newsfeed.tie.com, statisticbrain.com.
spent annually on Valentine’s Day
roses are produced for the holiday
of women say they’d end their relationship if they didn’t receive a Valentine’s Day gift
Sweetheart Conversation Hearts produced each year
average number of wedding proposals on Valentine’s Day
average number of children conceived on Valentine’s Day each year
of Valentine’s Day gifts are greeting cards
February 2013 MYTH: Drinking more water can help you lose weight. REALITY: For some, drinking more water can often help replace our favorite sugary drinks. I think we all know a nice glass of water is a whole lot healthier for you than that Venti drink at Starbucks. But drinking more water than you usually would won’t help with weight loss. Sometimes thirst can be disguised as hunger, so it’s important to drink a glass of water before you eat a snack because, chances are, you could just be thirsty. Even if you aren’t just thirsty, drinking water before a meal can help you cut back on over-eating.
myths vs reality
MYTH: Late-night eating will make you gain weight. REALITY: Food is digested the same way by your body no matter what, whether it’s in the morning, afternoon or evening. Nutrients provide our bodies with the energy needed in order for them to carry out their general functions. So, no, eating late at night won’t make you gain weight, but it’s still important to make sure you’re not exceeding your every day calorie needs. If you consume more calories than you burn, that’s a different story — the accumulation of those calories will be stored as fat.
Stories by Riley Miller.
MYTH: Eating fatty foods makes you gain weight. REALITY: Fat has nine calories per gram, which is more than the number of calories in protein and carbohydrates combined. It’s a common myth that cutting fat in your diet will help you lose weight; however, everyone needs at least some fat in their diet because it’s an essential nutrient. Therefore, it’s important to know which fats to eat and which fats to avoid. For example, foods such as potato chips contain unhealthy types of fats, while foods such as avocados and olives contain healthy types of fats. Eating healthier types of fats in moderation will help you control your weight. The calories contained in healthy fats provide your body with the energy it needs and they’ll help you feel full.
MYTH: Diet pills will help you lose weight. MYTH: A slow metabolism will make you gain weight. REALITY: Everyone’s metabolic rate is genetic, but hormones from the thyroid also help control it. There is, however, a condition that slows down the generation of the hormones that control your metabolism called hypothyroidism. Only about 5 percent of the population has this condition, which means the speed of your metabolism isn’t typically the reason behind weight gain. Some common reasons behind weight gain include living a sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits and lack of sleep. That’s why it’s important to focus on living a healthy lifestyle by working out more and creating better habits for yourself rather than focusing only on what you’re eating and how much you’re eating. These lifestyle changes will help boost your metabolism and send you along your way to being a healthy weight for your body type.
REALITY: Some diet supplements aren’t effective, which obviously means taking them won’t help with weight loss. The Federal Drug Administration also does not have to approve dietary supplements or weight loss pills, so you’re ingesting who-knows-what. Many of the ingredients used in diet pills are known to be remarkably dangerous. One of these ingredients includes ephedra, which can cause heart attacks, seizures and even death. So, if that’s not something that would stop you from taking diet pills, at least understand the ingredients you’ll be ingesting before taking them.
Training Unique training facility advances athletes to higher levels of competition jansenhess sports editor Advancing many athletes to the collegiate and professional levels, TopSpeed Strength and Conditioning is a training facility in Kansas City that offers training programs in the areas of speed, strength, power, agility and quickness. It also offers advice in sports nutrition, supplements and sports medicine. TopSpeed is directed by former Kansas City Royals Strength and Conditioning coach Joseph Potts. “He knows all the top stuff,” junior Caeden Harris said. “He’s teaching us everything correctly, and we know we’re going down the right path with the stuff that he’s telling us.” Harris said TopSpeed differs from other gyms such as Lifetime Fitness or Planet Fitness. “It’s not really a gym,” he said. “I just started going there for speed training for baseball. It’s really more of just speed stuff — agility, kind of, too — but it’s not very big. It’s solely for speed stuff. You can go in and work out, but it’s not like a public gym.” Harris has two 90-minute sessions per week. “I really want to play baseball as long as I can,” he said. “I think speed is going to be a big deal. I need to keep my speed up as much as I can.” Senior Tyler Randall attends TopSpeed three times a week in order to get in shape for track season. “I go on Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” he said. “We work out for an hour and a half — sometimes two if we do a little bit more work or if we stay longer to stretch.” Both Harris and Randall said they like how not a lot of people go to TopSpeed. “It’s a lot of one-on-one time, so you really see advances,” Randall said. “You see improvements a lot faster than you do at the other gyms.” Harris also has a Lifetime Fitness membership and said there are pros and cons to both facilities. “I don’t take lessons [at Lifetime],” he said. “I just work out on my own because I go to [TopSpeed] two days a week. [Potts] gave me a workout plan for the other five days, and so I just do that at Lifetime. I don’t have a trainer at Lifetime, but it’s obviously bigger. You can do a lot more, and there’s more machines and more weights to do.” Randall said he prefers TopSpeed over Lifetime Fitness. “It has a facility where you can do sled pulls and running aspects, but it still has the normal benches and curl bars and things to do all your normal lifts,” he said. “There’s really nothing I dislike — the only thing I don’t like is that it’s kind of a far drive because it’s down by [Oak Park] Mall, so it’s like a 15-minute drive. Other than that, I think it’s a great facility.”
Jumping as far as possible, senior Tyler Randall competes against senior Ryan McNerlin. Randall and McNerlin work out at TopSpeed Strength and Conditiong three days a week. “I significantly lose time in my race, so I’ve gotten faster since I’ve started going to TopSpeed,” Randall said. Photo by Megan Ball.
Harris said he works different aspects of his body on the two days he’s there — speed and lower body strength. “For my speed day, I do this thing called the prowler, and it’s just like a pushing sled,” he said. “Then I do resisted band runs where he wraps a band around you, and you do like 10-yard bursts, and then I’ll do box jumps. On my legs day, I’ll do Bulgarian squats, which is just a weird form of regular squats and then a lot of lunges and resistance stuff.” Randall joined TopSpeed about a month ago and said he has already seen improvements. “Me, [senior] Clay [Rhodes] and [senior] Ryan [McNerlin] have already added a lot to our weight that we use for lifting and on speed things like running,” he said. “We’ve already dropped our times, so we’ve gotten faster.” Randall said he credits these advances to the different workouts they do at TopSpeed. “We go there, and we do some stretching at the beginning,” he said. “Then we’ll go into things like sled pulls or things to work on your explosion at the beginning. Then, for power, we’ll do things like squatting, hang clinging or box jumps. Then we’ll do some supplemental lifts, and we’ll always end with core, like abs.” Randall said the ab workouts Potts gives are sometimes too intense to finish. “The abs [at TopSpeed] are insane,” he said. “There’s a different thing for each day that either works your upper,
lower or sides. Me and [McNerlin] and [Rhodes] are all pretty good athletes. Me and [McNerlin] especially have a fairly good core, and most of the time we can’t even finish [Pott’s] ab workouts because they’re so intense.”
Working hard to improve his strength, senior Clay Rhodes works out at TopSpeed Strength and Conditioning. TopSpeed was founded by former Kansas City Royals speed and conditioning coach Joseph Potts. “My favorite part about TopSpeed is the results after a couple weeks and working out with my friends,” Rhodes said. Photo by Megan Ball.
Senior cross country runner recognized with prestigious award kellycordingley editor-in-chief Joining the ranks of famous athletes like Washington Redskins football player Robert Lee Griffin III, senior Colton Donahue was awarded the Gatorade Athlete of the Year in the State of Kansas for cross country. After receiving the State Award, recipients are then qualified to win Gatorade National Player of the Year in their sports. According to gatorade.com, this award is in it’s third generation and has climbed to the top of prestigious awards for high school athletes. “That’s one of the highest distinctions athletically that you can earn as a high school athlete,” Principal Scott Bacon said. “So, I think certainly he’s considered one of the best in the country.” Donahue is the first athlete in Blue Valley history to receive the award, something Bacon says is a legacy for the school. “It was very exciting,” Bacon said. “I think [Donahue’s] a very worthy recipient, and it was fun to recognize him.” Donahue was awarded the Gatorade Athlete of the Year in Kansas during a school assembly. “I found out the morning of the assembly that we had,” Bacon said. “We wanted to be timely with it and celebrate it with our students. We just made an executive decision — let’s recognize him at the assembly.” During the assembly, the student body rose in applause for Donahue.
“I was touched by our students who choose to give him a standing ovation,” Bacon said. Donahue said he attributes his success to the work he put in during his years in cross country. “All my hard work paid off,” Donahue said. “That’s a great feeling.” Bacon said this honor will benefit Donahue in the college selection process. “I’m sure that went into the recruiting process that he’s been a part of,” Bacon said. “I’m sure whoever was recruiting him, when he earned [the award], they probably put another line on his contract that said, ‘We want you’. It probably drove the commitment deeper for many schools.” Bacon said, as he has gotten to know Donahue over the years, he has noticed the character and leadership Donahue exhibits. “As I know him and have gotten to know him over the years, he is a very humble individual and demonstrates tremendous character,” Bacon said. “I think he was a real leader among the cross country team. To see someone who demonstrates those kinds of qualities day in and day out, you want to give them a standing [ovation] because they deserve it.” Donahue said this award has made him feel like an especially elite athlete. “It makes me feel like I’m at a level better than most runners,” he said. “It’s exciting. I’m very happy I won.” Since Donahue received the award, he said his peers have shared in his excitement. “Everyone calls me Gatorade,” he said.
Announcing senior Colton Donahue as Gatorade’s Athlete of the Year in Kansas, principal Scott Bacon commends Donahue’s accomplishments. Donahue is the first athlete in Blue Valley’s history to win this award. “All my hard work paid off,” Donahue said. “It is a great feeling.” Photo by Bailey Outlaw.
“Some people toss bottles at me here and there. My peers have been excited for me for this title.” From academic achievements to athletic recognitions, Bacon said he is proud of what the student body can accomplish. “Anytime that our students are recognized, whether it’s academics, athletics, visual or performing arts, a Pacemaker, whatever it is — it makes me feel good,” Bacon said. “It makes me feel great.” Bacon said he hopes every student has the ability to excel at BV and achieve their
dreams. “I think for [Donahue] that was probably a dream come true,” he said. “You can talk about dreams coming true but then there’s the realization of those dreams coming true. When they do come true — for newspaper when they get the Pacemaker Award, for a cross country runner who gets Gatorade Runner of the Year, for a state champ for this group or that group — you can talk about dreams a lot. But when you’re doing it, and they’re happening, that makes it pretty special.”
Track participants work out off-season, encourage others to prepare for ensuing season raineandrews staff writer & photographer With the track season just around the corner, Blue Valley student athletes are getting a head start by staying in shape during the long, cold winter. “I am still doing my normal runs three times a week,” said senior Lena Von Brehm. Previously running cross country in the fall, Von Brehm said she continued to run because it is beneficial. “I took, like, two weeks off after the cross country season, and then I started to prepare for track,” she said. “I love running and was so excited to do it on a team.” Despite running in 20 degree weather, Von Brehm said her drive to workout is to excel during the track season. “Sometimes it is really hard to motivate myself, but I want to be good during the track season,” she said. “I am especially looking forward to running the relays and for [BV’s] team.”
Before the sun has even risen, seniors Jason Entgelmeier and Tyler Randall wake up and arrive at the school to go for a run. Entgelmeier said they usually arrive around 6:40 and their runs last for around thirty minutes. “We meet up at the high school and then run in surrounding neighborhoods,” he said. “We will go down around 151st [Street], we have been up to 167th [Street], then down to the Hampton Place [neighborhood].” Entgelmeier said he is thankful to run with Randall because he pushes him to work harder. “It helps a lot when [Randall] is running because in the mornings when he can’t run, it’s a lot harder to get up and go run,” he said. Entgelmeier said his main goal for the upcoming season is to bring back a medal at State. “[During my] sophomore year, [I] went to State, and last year I went to State again, but both years I haven’t medaled, so this year I really want to get a medal,” he said. Entgelmeier and Randall are not the only duo who are
committed to waking up early. Senior Xavier Adams and his younger brother, junior Russell Adams, are also focusing on the upcoming season as well. “I am going to the gym every morning with my little brother and then running about six miles everyday after school,” Xavier said. While Xavier said he focuses more on speed, Russell works towards distance. “I am just trying to get high mileage for track,” he said. Russell said he started running competitively at the end of his cross country season. “Last year, right after cross country season, going into track is when I really started to care a lot,” he said. “I hated losing, and I just start looking up running stuff. That kind of inspired me to be better than I was.” Xavier said he looks forward to the season because of all the hard work that has been put into the sport. “We have a lot of guys who have been working hard,” he said. “We are really dedicated this season.”
Overcoming Injuries During junior Zack Smith’s second wrestling meet against Leavenworth High School, he dislocated his knee, taking him out for the season. “It was pretty bad,” he said. “[My knee] was all the way out to the side.” He was only thirty seconds into his first match when Smith said he felt his knee slide out of place. Smith “[My opponent] took me down, and I [normally land] on my hands and knees, but my body was falling to the right, and then my left kneecap just popped out,” he said. “The pain was excruciating.” Smith said he knew his injury was serious by the way his knee was positioned. “Right after it slipped out, I yelled, called for injury time, then laid back and looked at it and thought, ‘That isn’t supposed to be there,’” he said. After being examined by the athletic trainer, Smith was rushed by an ambulance to St. Luke’s South Hospital, where the doctor later confirmed what Smith had feared. “The doctor said I dislocated [my kneecap], and he thinks I tore part of my quadricep off of my patella,” he said. “He also said my chances of this happening again are doubled.” Looking at a 2-3 month recovery, Smith said he is disappointed he will not be able to wrestle. “I was really excited for this season with [wrestling] Coach [Kale] Mann,” he said. “He seems like he wants to go somewhere with the team, and I wanted to be a part of the program.”
Injuries cause setbacks, force extended recovery times
Check out BV Tiger News Online for more PUQ\Y`WYVÄSLZ Stories by Raine Andrews.
During a winter cheer competition in 2011, senior Makenzie Bexten sprained her back, tearing the muscles in her spine. “I already had an existing condition called spondylosis, which means my vertebrae was fused together, and I started developing scoliosis,” she said. “I dislocated my hips, [which] were not aligned.” Bexten said she hit a basketball backboard at the end of the tumbling mat during her performance. “I think I was in shock, so I didn’t realize how bad I actually Bexten messed up my back,” she said. “I then, after I competed, couldn’t move really and so [senior] Rachel Rusnak picked me up off the mat and carried me to my dad and my parents took me to the hospital.” After receiving the diagnostic, Bexten said she was in a wheelchair for two weeks and couldn’t compete for the next five months. “I did some physical therapy and I was going to the chiropractor four or five times a week and doing acupuncture four times a week,” she said. “I did a lot of icing and medicine involved in reconstructing my muscles.” Bexten said her chiropractor and physical therapist helped her to recover faster. “Going to the chiropractor a lot is helping my scoliosis not be as bad as it was,” she said. “I am never going to be able to get rid of the two diseases because they are genetic and I stuck with them, but I definitely have done what I could to strengthen those muscles and help the scarred tissue in my ligament be stronger and more flexible.”
Senior Sean Finlayson damaged his growth plate by playing too much soccer while growing. “I damaged the growth plate at the neck of my femur which caused it to not fit in the socket anymore,” he said. “It happened over time, and during one game it just felt like a torn muscle.” With the pain persisting for two years, Finlayson said he went to the doctor, who then Finlayson decided he needed surgery. “They had to reshape my femur and had to remove part of my pelvis,” he said. “Then they had to put anchors in my femur.” Finlayson said he started physical therapy a week after the surgery and is currently working on basic strengthening. “Right now they are focusing on helping my muscles recover from surgery,” he said. “I should be able to get back to playing soccer in five months.” Finlayson said it has been hard to adjust to relying on crutches. “I am a soccer player,” he said. “I don't really have a big upper body, so I get really tired.” Graduating this year, Finlayson said it will be hard to miss his final soccer season. “It [is] really rough to miss my senior year of soccer, but it was good because the team and the coaches were really supportive of my recovery,” he said. “They helped my get involved in the team anyway. It really showed me Blue Valley is basically a family.”
Last August, junior Ashlynn Summar ripped her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in half and tore part of her meniscus during a soccer match. “I was playing soccer,” she said. “I got pushed, and my whole body twisted with my knee. I heard a pop, and it snapped right then and there. It was swollen like a grapefruit for weeks.” Towards the beginning of the school year, Summar said she had a successful surgery. “The doctors took a tool to scrape part of my hamstring, folded it Summar in half and stapled and screwed it into my bone,” she said. “[It was a] painful experience, but I loved being in the hospital being treated like a queen.” Summar said she was left with numerous scars from the procedure and must wear a brace until she has completed physical therapy. “I have five scars,” she said. “One really hurts and is still swollen.” With spring sports coming up, Summar said she is unable to train for the softball season like the other girls. “I can’t do most of the things they do because they use a lot of their legs,” she said. “I can very easily hurt myself again.” Summar said her main goal is to recover by the beginning of March, so she can tryout. “[I want to recover by] softball tryouts,” she said. “I'm just trying to get back to normal.”
recreational rivalry mitchsundquist staff writer
When the weather turns cold and snow starts to fall, spending your weekends around a fire and on a couch seems like the ideal thing to do. But some Blue Valley students spend at least an hour of their Sunday in a stuffy gym playing recreational basketball instead. Students in the Blue Valley District form teams to compete in the Blue Valley Recreation Basketball League. The games are played on Sundays at various BV middle schools and are available to students in any grade level. Senior Matt Lewis, who plays for the Gumeez, said he began playing recreational basketball with his friends for the social aspect. “I was hoping to make some wonderful friendships,” Lewis said. “Not only with my great team, but with all the fans who support me.” Lewis said he was able to form a team with his friends and has bonded with them over the past three seasons. Lewis said he also uses recreational basketball as a chance for him to showcase his talents. “For me personally, it’s like I’m LeBron [James] playing against a [Division 3] college and just taking my team all the way,” he said. Lewis said he enjoys the laid-back nature of his team, which he refers to as “a group of characters.” “No one seems to take it seriously, but that’s why it’s fun,” he said. “It’s not only about winning but also having fun.” Senior Maddie Kreamer, who plays for the Ratchets, said she enjoys recreational basketball because it doesn’t require a large commitment. Kreamer, who played basketball for the school for three years, decided to play recreational in order to have time for her job and her social life. “[Recreational] basketball always looked really fun, so I just wanted to play my senior year with all of my friends," she said. "I still have time for
sports in brief GIRLS BASKETBALL
Previous Action: 2/4 @ BVSW (36-32 W) 2/7 vs STA (34-23 L) 2/12 vs Gardner-Edgerton Upcoming Action: 2/15 vs Bishop Miege 2/19 @ BVN Record: (9-7) Practicing after school with the Gumeez, senior John Lesko pivots with the ball. The Gumeez play basketball two days a week after school. “My favorite part of rec basketball is draining 3’s in the face of my opponents,” senior Matt Lewis said. Photo by Megan Ball.
a job and other activities.” Kreamer said she is looking forward to playing with close friends, despite their lack of basketball experience. “Most of them haven’t played since middle school or at all,” she said. “But I’m with most of my best friends, so it’ll be fun.” Kreamer said she is also looking forward to bonding with her teammates. They plan to have team dinners all season where they will load up on carbohydrates in preparation for their game that week. Although recreational basketball is played for fun, there is plenty of competition among teams in the league. Senior Danny Kralicek, a member of the team Swoll Train, said there is no shortage of competitive spirit in the recreational basketball league. “There is a lot of messing around but also competitiveness at the same time,” Kralicek said. “No matter the circumstances, no one really enjoys losing.” Kralicek began playing recreational basketball his junior year, after playing for BV his freshman and sophomore years. “I just wanted to have a lot of fun playing with and against my friends,” he said. “I still love playing basketball,
so I decided I should play [recreationally].” Lewis said the Gumeez and Swoll Train teams formed a rivalry over the years. However, he said he isn’t too concerned, as the Gumeez are sure to win. “Even though we’d kill them, they’re our only competition in the league of scrubs,” Lewis said. Contrary to Lewis’ thoughts, Kralicek said Swoll Train is the superior team in the rivalry. “It’s hard to consider it a rivalry because we are going to absolutely obliterate them,” Kralicek said. “They might have to throw in the white flag at halftime.” The Gumeez and Swoll Train squared off on Jan. 6, with Swoll Train winning handily 76-50. The Gummeez will have their chance for redemption on Feb. 24, when the two teams will play again at 6:30 p.m. at Blue Valley Middle School. Lewis said as the grind of the school year hits him, he is thankful to have recreational basketball as a way to release stress. “It really helps me get through the year,” he said. “It makes my year just a little brighter knowing basketball is coming.”
Previous Action: 2/5 @ BVSW (56-52 L) 2/8 vs STA 2/12 vs Gardner-Edgerton Upcoming Action: 2/15 vs Bishop Miege 2/19 @ BVN
Previous Action: 1/15 vs STA (1st place) 1/23 vs SJA (1st place) 2/2-3 EKL (2nd place) Upcoming Action: 2/15 State 2/16 State
Previous Action: 1/26 @ Shawnee Mission North 2/9 EKL Upcoming Action: 2/16 Regionals 2/22 State 2/23 State
Previous Action: 2/8 EKL 2/11 District Upcoming Action: 2/19 Bishop Miege 2/22 Regionals
Results current as of Feb. 7.
clash of the
Classes choreograph, compete in dances during Sweetheart Dance assembly
(Left) Doing the Macerana, Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Kendra Smith participates in the teacher’s Sweetheart Dance routine. The teachers shocked students with a surprise dance. “It was fun getting together with the teachers and not doing curriculum stuff,” Smith said. Photo by Bailey Outlaw. (Bottom left) Stunting with the senior boys, senior Maddie Beal smiles at the crowd. The varsity cheerleaders and senior boys choreographed their Sweetheart Dance routine to Michael Jackson songs. “ In the previous years [the senior boys] weren’t really serious about it,” Beal said. “This year they were really serious about it.” Photo by Bailey Outlaw. (Below) Dancing during the sophomore’s Sweetheart Dance, sophomore Sarani Pachalla performs a solo portion of “Party in the U.S.A” by Miley Cyrus. The sophomores met twice a week to prepare for the assembly. “It was pretty funny and well-choreographed,” Pachalla said. “It was much better than we did last year as freshman.” Photo by Bailey Outlaw. (Bottom) Performing a tribal-inspired dance, the junior class dances to “Waka Waka” by Shakira. The theme for Sweetheart is Around the World, so the juniors dressed in tribal-like outfits to represent Africa. “We worked really hard,” junior Grace Lillis said. “We definitely beat the seniors. Even if we don’t win, we were still better.” Photo by Molly Johnson.