theREPORTER PINK OUT
Cy-Fair High School
22602 Hempstead Hwy
Cypress, TX 77429
Volume 64 Issue 3
October 29, 2010
More Than Meets the Eye Athletic Trainer Reaches Out to Cancer Patients sa mVILLARREAL Reporter
Freshman Matt Ritch’s height of 4 feet 3 inches is not a hindrance in his everyday lifestyle. That’s the way he was made and it’s not something he has a problem with or feels the need to complain about. He was born with one of the most common types of dwarfism called achondroplasia, a bone growth disorder. Matt has normal intelligence and can live out the same lifespan as people without the condition; however his height and size are disproportional to his body. He has two siblings, one who attends Hamilton Middle School, and the other attends Hamilton Elementary. Everyone in his family, including his two younger brothers, are of normal size but it doesn’t bother Matt. “My parents joke and tell me they’re different, you’re not.’” Matt said. Because of his size, there are sports, such as baseball and football that are difficult for him but he doesn’t avoid them. He participates in what he enjoys and makes sure that he misses out on nothing. “There are things that I obviously cannot do, and most things are really hard but I still do it, like baseball,” said Matt, who is an athletic trainer and plans to try out for Cy-Fair baseball. As an athletic trainer, athletes tower over him. He runs from one side of the field to the other, catering to the needs of the football players, making sure they’re fully hydrated and ready to play. He observes the players throughout the game and is available to any athlete in need of medical assistance. He’s dedicated and loves what he does. He plans to continue and to pursue a career in sports training at Texas A&M University. Fans and players see him constantly on his feet, going where ever he is needed. What the fans don’t see is the three-year long battle he has survived. When Matt was in kindergarten, he was diagnosed with leukemia 27 days before his sixth birthday and was cured three years later. Although he is now cancer free, he is still able to provide a sense of
hope to patients fighting cancer. is a reason for the way he was made and disguise,” Matt said. Cancer has given One of Matt’s future plans is to play on because of his motivation from God, it’s Matt a chance to reach out to all kinds of a team with Cavan Biggio, Craig Biggio’s encouraging for him to know that he can people. As once said on a TV show, ‘Little (former Astros player) son. He met Biggio use his past experiences and his everyday through an organization called ‘Sunshine lifestyle to reach out to others in a way People, Big World’, Matt’s life motto is: “I can do everything everybody else can do, Kids’ that is dedicated to children with that not many people in this world can. cancer. This past summer Biggio became “I consider cancer as a blessing in just in a different way.” Matt’s godfather and a close friend to him and his family. Matt said the opportunities he gets to meet people he admires encourages him There’s a camp he goes to near College Station called ‘Camp For All’, which is a unique camping and retreat facility that enriches the lives of people with special needs and challenging illnesses. There are four each year that Matt and his family attend. He has met several people at this camp Matt has a guilt that is hard to deal with, and although he is cancer free, it’s hard to see close friends in the same situation, but with a different result. One cancer patient and friend that was treated and cured around the same time period as Matt is sophomore Maddie Haley. They were assigned to rooms on the same floor and became friends in the hospital while being treated. She also was diagnosed with leukemia. “We defeated our battle. It’s an awesome accomplishment and we’re just so blessed to have overcome it,” Haley said. Matt’s grandmother was also diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago and although it was hard for him to see her getting weaker by the day, he’s thankful she fought past his birthday this year, Sept. 27. He is aware that there JV Football: Freshman Matt Ritch stands on the field amongst referees at a game. Photo by Kody Sundholm.
WHAT’S I N S I D E Ghosts in Cy-Fair?
‘Fight for the Future’
Who Has the Best?
UPCOMING EVENTS Nov Band Concert in 04 Auditorium 5-8 p.m. Varsity Football Nov Vs. Jersey Village 05 Home- Pridgeon Stadium 7:30 p.m. SAT Testing Nov 6:30 a.m.- 2:30
Nov F/JV/V Girls Baskball 09 vs Westside 4/5/7 p.m. NovNHS Induction
10 Auditorium 6-9 pm
Football Players Get Pretty in Pink NFL Shows Support to Bring Breast Cancer Awareness ma ri a n n a YODER Graphic Designer
Every October, football teams and their fans deck themselves in pink in honor of National Breast Cancer Month, and this year, the tradition expanded to include not only the local football teams but also the professional teams. The National Football League joined the ﬁght against breast cancer with the launch of their month long campaign: “A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives”. With this slogan, the professional league hopes to focus watchers on the importance of annual screening. Partnered with the American Cancer Society, the campaign aims at encouraging screenings, especially for women over 40, raising overall awareness of breast cancer. In hope of catching watchers’ eyes, all October games featured NFL players, coaches and referees decked out in pink. Players sported hot pink cleats, sweatbands, gloves and a handful also used pink chinstraps and mouthpieces. The sweatbands were not limited to players; the referees displayed pink on their wrists. But the pink didn’t stop there. The sidelines were ﬂooded with hot pink Gatorade towels for the players
Fight For Our Right
while a few coaches sported baseball caps embroidered with pink. Even the ﬁelds featured on-ﬁeld pink ribbon stencils. “It’s cool seeing all the players wear pink,” junior Aaron Verwold said. “People can think ‘Oh, they’re supporting it, maybe I should, too.’” Football enthusiasts such as Verwold and junior Colton Williams said that this campaign was a move in the right direction. “It’s good that respected people are showing support for breast cancer,” Williams said. “It really gets the idea out there and inspires people to support it.” With an estimate of 192,570 breast cancer cases and 40,470 deaths caused by the disease for the year 2009 in the United States alone, according to the American Cancer Society, survivors and their families are feeling a growing need to spread the word about breast cancer in both men and women. For junior Evann Hayden, this was just the case. “A few years ago, when my dad [was] getting married to my mom, she was ﬁghting breast cancer,” Hayden said. “She survived, and ever since, I’ve wanted to help get the word out. What the NFL is
doing deﬁnitely helps spread the word.” Inspired by the NFL, Hayden bought a pair of pink gloves for himself. Shortly after, a few of his teammates joined him and bought pink gloves of their own as well as pink tape for the entire team. “We saw others doing this before, but we never got the opportunity to do it ourselves,” Hayden said. “It makes me feel good that we’re supporting this cause. Everything pink you buy gives back to breast cancer, so it goes towards research.” Thanks to the support of breast cancer research through walks, donations and campaigns like the NFL’s, early diagnosis’s and effective treatments including surgery, hormone therapy, chemotherapy and radiation, have been greatly improved. All the pink equipment that the NFL players, coaches and referees sported during the games are being auctioned off today at an online NFL auction. Proceeds will beneﬁt the American Cancer Society as well as charities of each team’s choice. To learn more about the auction as well as help make a difference by participating in the auction, visit www. NFLAuction.NFL.com.
Supreme Court Ruling on Case of Homosexual Protests al e gri aCORONA-SANDERS Entertainment Editor
The Supreme Court of the United States is in the process of ruling on a case which deals with a church protest and grieving families and may lead to states potentially being able to regulate freedom of speech. Fred Phelps, leader of the Topeka, Kansas Westboro Baptist Church, and his followers have gone under ﬁre for what could be considered hate speech to families with deceased military family members. Yet the latest protest at the moment is against the family of deceased soldier Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder. “This case is not new terrain for the Supreme Court and I suspect that they are well equipped with precedent to help them deliver an opinion that will not place the value that we Americans so cherish, in jeopardy for a select minority that 99 percent of Americans vehemently disagree with, “ government teacher Hoyt Devries said. Albert Snyder, Matthew’s father, has made the claim that hearing the negative comments about his son has caused him emotional distress and is also an invasion of privacy, said CNN. There is speculation to why this type of speech can be legal or tolerated. “Perhaps we can get some guidance from previous Supreme Court rulings. In Gitlow vs. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that if previous speech was political in nature it receives full constitutional protection. It fully incorporated the right of free speech to the states,” Devries said. Westboro’s protest is about the
rights and tolerance that homosexuals are receiving. Justifying their political protection with the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, saying that the military doesn’t ask about sexual orientation but if a soldier serves openly gay then that soldier can be discharged, this policy relates back to the political component. Westboro said the reason for their picketing is to convey that the United States is a nation that tolerates homosexuality, God’s wrath transfers into military soldiers dying in battle. They use signs such as “God hates fags” and ”Pray for more dead soldiers” to get the message across. Although there is speculation that no speech, as long as it has a political component, can be taken away; the government can set regulations. “You can’t yell ﬁre in a crowded movie theater; you can’t yell “bomb” at an airport or bus terminal. Therefore regulation of speech can take place,” Devries said. In regards to Westboro Church Protest “They have a right to protest about what they believe, but the way they’re going about it is mean and immoral,” senior Laura Long said. With this case being heard and reviewed, the underlying question is: How will the Supreme Court rule? “In the end, what I suspect the High Courts will do is follow precedent and allow for groups, no matter how revolting their message is to the majority of the masses, to continue to go forward while at the same time allowing states through their state legislatures to develop a legal scheme to develop to help regulate said speech,” Devries said.
Protests: Citizens protesting in front of the Supreme Court. Photo courtesy of David at at www. sxc.com
M.U.N.: Seniors Alifya Ali and Alex Bradley stand with Model United Nations Co-sponsor Steven Campbell. Photo illustration by Marianna Yoder.
Calling All MUN Members Model United Nations Gear Up for Convention marianna YODER Graphic Designer
Every Tuesday, students transform a classroom into a hotbed of debate and serious discussion as they live up to their names as delegates and rush to create policies in response to current-day problems in European countries. They call themselves the Model United
Nations. They are among countless high schoolers from over 50 different schools in the Houston area who congregate every year for two days as part of the Houston Area Model United Nations. Held at the University of Houston, the groups represent each of the 192 countries in the United Nations; each student is assigned to a different comity or assembly, and interact with each other in order to solve
the problems faced by their representative country. “In a nutshell, we role play the United Nations,” senior and club co-president Alifya Ali said. “The main goal is to put ourselves in the place of the real UN and solve world problems with policies and resolutions.” Founded to replace the League of Nations after World War II, The United Nations is an international organization that aims at facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace. Today, 192 state members make up the UN, including nearly every sovereign state in the world. With the role of representing South Korea and Bosnia, senior co-presidents Alifya Ali and Alex Bradley waste no time in addressing problems such as literacy rates and illegal drug trafficking. “Female literacy is at 94.4 percent,” Ali said. “And while that is high it’s nothing compared to the male’s 99 percent. [We] also [decide] how to deal with the Croatian refugees, boundary issues with Croatia, and illegal drug trafficking.” Every year a common issue faces the delegates. “[We’ve] done policies involving global warming,” Ali said, “[and] the every rising population of the earth in comparison with our diminishing resources, economy, health care.” Despite the seriousness of the club’s primary purpose, delegates also provide time for a little horsing around. At least one or two joke resolutions get passed allowing students a good time and laugh, though often at the cost of others. “My freshman year, Germany wanted to commit a genocide on the leprechauns”, Ali said. “Then Ireland, being the home
of said leprechauns, made a counter resolution calling for potato weapons to ward off the Germans. My sophomore year we created a resolution about zombie awareness and the dangers if one were to face a zombie unprepared. And last year we made a resolution that destroyed England because most of the committee hated the person representing England.” New recruits, such as junior Nick Katsounas, who enlisted in the MUN joined because of the opportunities provided by the club, such as scholarships, refining debate skills and especially attending the convention. “I’m really looking forward to the twoday convention,” Katsounas said, “but not just because we get to miss two days of school. Really, I joined to see different cultures from their points of view and gain an understanding of their actions.” Other reasons students join include experiencing the job of a delegate and learning how to formally interact in a business setting, co-sponsor and world geography teacher Steven Campbell explained. “Delegates learn debate skills in a nontraditional setting,” Campbell said, “in a more real world setting. MUN also teaches them effective research and preparation strategies as well as parliamentary procedures.” While at the HAMUN convention, delegates earn awards for excellent debate skills, creating new legislations and making changes to them. Groups, according to school, are chosen based on these awards to go to the New York UN building, and possibly go to Europe to sit in on a real UN meeting. “Last year two groups from the Houston area were chosen to go to New York,” Campbell said. “I have hopes that soon it will be our turn.”
‘It’s Not That Big of a Deal’ Student Achieves Perfect Score on SAT sa mBURDYL Sports Editor
Senior Ellen Sebastian walked onto the crowded bus, ignoring the freshmen who somehow still managed to be rowdy at 6:30 in the morning. She found her usual spot and sat down, pulling out her 5 pound SAT textbook and a flashlight, starting off her morning with some good, old fashioned learning. The SAT was in two weeks time and she wanted to do a good job - she hadn’t looked at the material in quite some time. “I was busy,” Sebastian said. “I had band and stuff, and I thought that the SATs were pretty important to get into college. I wanted to do well on it.” Her hard work paid off - Sebastian is now one of only .00019 percent of 1,530,128 SAT takers last year to achieve a perfect SAT score. “I was kind of surprised when I found out,” she said. “I didn’t really expect to make a perfect score.” Although she did not have to retake the test, her calculator ran out of batteries at the beginning of the test and she had to do the math sections by hand. “It didn’t really bother me when my calculator broke,” Sebastian said. “I was just kind of like, oh, well. I can do this. The hardest thing was the writing portion - I don’t write well under pressure, and also deciding whether to omit or answer a question.” Sebastian used only previously owned study materials given to her by other people - she didn’t buy anything to study with. On top of her perfect SAT score, she
plays B flat clarinet in symphonic band, ranked in the top 1% of her class, and is taking all AP level classes. “I didn’t really study all that intensely,” she said. “I’m just lucky. I’m not all that smart, I just test well.” Sebastian is rather calm about her rare score. “It’s not a big deal. Standardized testing is falling out of fashion, and SATs aren’t really major factors in getting into college. It’s important, but not that important.” She doesn’t even remember what her parents said to her when they found out about her perfect score. “I think they said they were proud of me,” Sebastian said. Sebastian wants to attend Stanford University to study Biology, with an emphasis on Microbiology, and possibly a music minor. She wants to go into biomedical research to come up with a cure for AIDS, Malaria or other infectious diseases. “I think these diseases don’t receive enough funding or attention proportional to the number of people they kill or disable,” Sebastian said. “I want to go to Stanford because I love the location and the atmosphere, and as a large, respected research university, I think it will give me the best chance to achieve my goals. But, there are many other great schools across the country that I would be happy to go if I don’t get in.” Sebastian offers advice to the students
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ABC: Senior Ellen Sebastian hopes to attend Stanford University. Photo by Lauren Rayburn.
about to take the SAT test. “Use logic to find your answers,” Sebastian said. “For the reading portion, look for evidence in the text, not from what you already know. For the writing portion, remember your grammar rules and use them for answers- not what sounds right. For the essay, back up your position with evidence, especially from world or US history or current events. For the math portion, eliminate answers as quickly as possible and check your work. Know the test - when you take a practice test, figure out why you got a question wrong.”
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Right Place, Right Time Cheerleading Coach Once Backup Singer
SMILE:Coach Carr shows off her backstage passes from bands that she traveled with. Photo by Ashley Gurney.
ma i te DON Copy Editor
She sang as a backup singer for the chorus of a Grammy winning album and teaches a variety of classes. Varsity Cheerleading Coach Laura Carr has been given the opportunity of a lifetime by getting a chance of achieving her dream not only does she get to work in the record industry, but also as a teacher. A teacher and a coach for 6 years, Carr has been teaching for 4 years as a freshman English teacher and she juggles her time between teaching AAS and coaching the varsity cheerleading team as well. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Communications and worked at a local radio station throughout her college years and then switched to EMICMG,
the EMI Christian Music Group (Sparrow Records). Her dream was to work in the record industry and she got her chance by working at a music sound studio in Dallas called TM Century. “It was there that I happened to be in the right place at the right time,” Carr said. “A local band from New Orleans known for their down-home sound was at the TM Century, recording background vocals for their upcoming album.” The New Orleans group needed crowd voices in the background of their song called “Jaquemafinaney” and Carr and her fellow colleagues were picked. “We sang the chorus to ‘Jaquemafinaney’ about 100 times, after which it ended up on their album,” Carr said. “It was quite an experience.” Carr’s experience in the recording industry does not end there. While she was in college she worked at a radio station, 94.9 KLTY, for 7 years. She helped promote many artists’ work and even traveled with several Christian artists across the country during their tours. In 1998, she was a member of the Texas All State Dance Team and she started off her career there as a dance major. In fact, Carr even tried out to cheer for her favorite NBA team and made it to the preliminary squad. But due to her studies, Carr had to leave. She went to the Dallas Powerhouse of Dance, which offers dancers of all ages to have one of the best possible experiences
with their dancing and cheering. Carr’s dream to work in the record industry came true, but instead of pursuing it further she ended up teaching. Having to quit her job at the record industry to return home and care for her mother who was ill with cancer, Carr enrolled in an emergency certification program for people who wanted to become teachers. Once she finished the program, she was hired at her former high school, South Grand Prairie High School. “While being a teacher is never something that I thought would happen, it’s been the biggest blessing in my life. I love the kids I get to see each day, and they truly make it worth it,” Carr said. At home, she spends her time with her husband, Casey, and her 2 year old boy, Caden. Carr’s chosen career has brought her far and she does not have any hard feelings for anything that happened along the way. “I don’t regret much of anything I’ve ever done in this life,” Carr said. “There are ups and downs, but ultimately, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had changed my path.” She also hopes to make a difference by showing her kindness to others. “My biggest passion in life is to be a blessing to those around me,” Carr said. “There are days when I fail, and there are days I succeed, but my passion is to be kind, and see it change the world.”
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Cy-Fair Has Its Own Ghostly Haunts Students Claim Spirits Roam the Halls of the School j o rd anTUCKER Op/Ed Editor
They linger on the edges of the earth and the imagination. Their time has passed, but their spirits still seem bound to the world they left behind. Many claim to understand them, but no one can truly prove they even exist. Ghosts have long been a speculative concept. The fact of their very existence has been a war raged between skeptics and believers for generations. But believer or not, certain spectral encounters have been reported by several students at CyFair. It is rumored that, some years ago, a boy fell to his death from a ladder while climbing to reach ‘the loft’ : a second story above the stage where the theater department keeps costumes. “He’s called the Ghost of the Black Box,” sophomore Brenna Larkin said. Larkin has had her own encounter with the alleged ghost. “I was in the loft trying to find some dresses for a scene we were doing the next day,” she said. “No one else was in the auditorium. It was dark, but when I flipped on the light switch, I got that feeling in my stomach where you know someone is watching you.” Larkin proceeded to search for her costumes when she heard a noise. “It
was a jingling, like a bell,” Larkin said. “I called out to see if anyone was there, but no one answered. Then the sound moved to another part of the room. It was like the noise was circling me. I forgot about the dresses and just got out of there.” But Larkin was not free of the spirit yet. A few days later, when trying to retrieve a stool from the ‘wood room’- a small area off the stage where the theater department keeps their furniture props- she heard the noise again. “There was this faint tinkling coming from the corner,” Larkin said “I didn’t freak out as much because we were in the middle of class, but when I told Mrs. Koern about it later, she said that ‘Unless we attached a bell to a mouse, you’ve heard the ghost.’” Theater department head Stephen Cabaniss, has also had many strange experiences himself. “Mrs. Koern and I will leave journals on the stage, but, when we come back, they’re in a completely different position than where we left them,” Cabaniss said. “Sometimes the lights will flicker when there’s really no reason for them to, and things that have gone missing will randomly reappear.” One night in particular stands out in Cabiniss’s mind. “It was dark, and I was the only one in the theater,” he said. “I went to turn on the lights for the custodians, before leaving. When I flicked the switch though, I heard
DO NOT ENTER: There have been reports of a ghost in the loft of the auditorium. Photo by Marianna Yoder. a low voice moan ‘No’.” As to whether or not these experiences are supernatural encounters, tricks of the light or just plain coincidence, Cabaniss is unsure.
“It’s actually more of an old wives’ tale that all theaters are haunted,” he said “There are two things you just always assume: Never say Macbeth, and there’s a ghost somewhere in the auditorium.”
Fight for the Future Student Battles With Astigmatism and Blindness harl ey COOK Business Manager
Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Matt Hamill and Jeff Healey - handicapped, but capable in their fight against society and against the discrimination that plagues them. Junior Jovian Maciel has been fighting the same battle in an attempt to overcome his limitations as a young man going blind. He has also been fighting Retinal Detachment caused by an astigmatism and multiple blows to the eyes since birth. According to his sister, senior Lyric Maciel, Jovian was born with an astigmatism. While in a martial arts class, he had an accident that severed one of his retinas. Around a year later, Jovian severed his other retina while wrestling with a friend in his living room. “He’s hit both of his eyes so hard that the retinas were severed. It took a really long time to heal, and they are very weak. If he hits them again, he could go completely blind,” Lyric said. Jovian does not let this handicap keep him from living his dreams. He strives to become a professional in the things that he loves the most. “I’ve wanted to be a professional fighter
since before I could walk,” Jovian said. “I’ve also aspired to be a professional musician for a long time now, too. I think I started wanting to be one when I was five.” Jovian has been involved with mixed martial arts (MMA) for the last seven years, and is currently studying
“In my mind, it’s all in the feel of the instrument. You don’t need to see to play.” -Jovian Maciel Judo and Muay Thai. He also studies Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and gymnastics. “My love of MMA and my goal to be a professional fighter stemmed from my love of the military. I can remember playing around in the living room and wanting so bad to be like the soldiers that I saw on TV.” When it comes to music Jovian is a little bit more relaxed in the idea of playing music professionally. “In my mind, it’s all in the feel of the instrument. You don’t need to see to play,” Jovian said. However, Jovian knows there is a slim to none chance that he will find luck as a professional musician or as an athlete. He has a plan to fall back on if things
BRING IT ON: Junior Jovian Maciel doesn’t let his hardships get in the way of his future. Photo by Harley Cook
don’t work out the way he wants them to. “If I don’t make it in the world of professional fighting or the music business, I’ll join the military,” Jovian said. There are some that aren’t fully supportive of Jovian’s goals, though. “I’m there for him. I always have been, and will always be there for him. But I think that he should find something more fit for him. I don’t think that he should try
to be a professional fighter or a musician,” junior Dylan Drapkin said. According to Lyric, Jovian was born to defy the odds. “Jovian has always been a daredevilglasses or no glasses. He has always been the one to try something he’s only seen once, and keep doing it until he’s got it perfect. That’s how he is, and he wouldn’t be the Jovian any other way.”
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Celebrate the holiday season at LSC-CyFair! *Nov. 18-20: “The Mikado” Opera
A popular Gilbert and Sullivan collaboration
Nov. 29: Annual Lighting of the Lake An evening of free activities, music and photos
*Dec. 3-4: “A Holiday Celebration”
Featuring the LSC-CyFair Concert Choir and Symphonic Band
Dec. 6: “String Power”
A free concert featuring the LSC-CyFair String Orchestra
*Dec. 8: “projectjazz”
A rousing show featuring the LSC-CyFair Jazz Ensemble
Lone Star College-CyFair 9191 Barker Cypress Cypress, TX 77433 Lone Star College-Fairbanks Center 14955 Northwest Freeway Houston, TX 77040
*Student tickets only $5 with valid student ID
For information on these events, go to LoneStar.edu.
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Is This Love?
Tennis Team Plans to ‘Decimate’ a l l anPETERS
Undefeated and unstoppable, the tennis team has plowed through its competition leaving nothing but ravaged rackets in its wake. The toughest schools are under our belt and a 9-0 record tells others that we are on the top of the food chain. “[This is the] first time we have won the district championship in 5 years and we are thrilled,” Head Coach Sylvia McClure said. Assistant Tennis Coach Amy Bomba agreed. “Even if we lose a match or two, which we won’t, we will still claim district champions.”
Which goes even farther to show what an insurmountable force the tennis team is. The players, too, had an optimistic outlook; with conviction like that, there is absolutely no hope for opposing teams, according to varsity sophomore Erika Holum. “We want to decimate,” Holum said. Players and coaches tell all: exactly how the tennis team works and functions. “Tennis is a team and individual sport.” Holum said. While the players depend on one another for support and technique, every player is responsible for improving themselves in any way they can. “[Our] strengths [are] teamwork, the players are very supportive of each other and an experienced girls team,” McClure said. No one messes with a girl carrying a racket, especially when she knows how
SERVE: Jack Summer prepares to toss the ball into the air and execute a serve during Tennis practice. Photo by Jenna Rabel.
to use it. In addition to our lethal girls, a slew of experienced freshmen guys join the retinue. “Although our boys are not the best in the district, we never stop fighting,” senior Alex Lam said. This shows that the entire team has got fight and the skill to back it up. “The girls have always been good, but
New Year, New Look
Swim Team Loses Seniors, Gains Swimmers darb yNEVINS
She takes a deep breath, closes her eyes and jumps. It’s 5:45 in the morning and freshman Morgan O’Neill is surrounded by freezing water. After slowly overcoming the cold she kicks up to the surface and swims off leaving a splash trail behind her. This is her typical morning for the next five months. O’Neill is one of the seven freshmen on varsity swim team and also a swimmer in the senior group at Fleet swim club. “I really think I am lucky to have made it onto the varsity team. I am going to work really hard this year to make my coach and team mates proud,” O’Neill said. Ten years ago O’Neill started swimming. It was three years ago when she decided to pursue the sport and now hopes to work through club and high school swimming to earn a scholarship. “I really love the sport. I have met many awesome people through it and it is just something I love because of the whole environment. Although the early morning practices aren’t always the most fun the
meets make up for it,” O’Neill said. Head coach Robert Tidmore believes that O’Neill along with other freshmen Kieron Tuff and Daniel Mahoney are expected to make a big, immediate impact this season. All belonging to Fleet Swim Club, these three young swimmers have the stuff to make it far this year because of past experiences with high level competition. “I am pumped about this year. I am going to work really hard to do well and
“We will do everything to get where we need to be” -Coach Tidmore
I am excited about swimming next to and with amazing swimmers,” Tuff said. After losing nine seniors last year, this year’s team has dwindled to three seniors and mainly consists of freshmen, sophomores and juniors. “It hurt to lose that many seniors but we have an exciting group of young swimmers now that are fast and have experience. I am going into this season
DIVING: Freshman Tiffany Chevallier dives into pool as Freshman Cassie Hilbun prepares to follow. Sophomore Nicole Kubera reaches the wall. Photo by Darby Nevins.
completely open minded,” Tidmore said. Although it is a young team, most of the swimmers compete on club teams like Fleet, Pack and Lone Star bringing prior experience when it comes to state level competitions. After having two boy relays and a swimmer qualify in two individual events for state last year, Tidmore hopes for more swimmers to make it this year. “That is one of my goals, as it is each year, to get swimmers and divers to the UIL State Championships. I have set my standards high for this year’s team. We will do everything to get where we need to be,” Tidmore said. Along with the new year and new look, Cy-Fair is in a new region this year. The team joined Region 5, and is now with Katy ISD, HISD, Aldine ISD and Memorial High School. The two hardest schools from last year, Kingwood and the Woodlands High School - loaded with excellent swimmers - are out of Cy-Fair’s region so hopes are up for the Bobcats to make an impact in the region. “It is getting a totally new look with us coming,” Tidmore said. Swimming is a team sport, according to Tidmore. “Every one has a role to play within the team concept. Right now it is like a big puzzle as we go through the dual meet season process. We want to start putting that puzzle together to be successful as a team at the district meet and beyond,” Tidmore said. Not only will the Bobcats be competing with other schools but there will also be some inter-squad competition as well. “With the high level of skills this season there is going to be competition for events. What swimmers competed in last year might not be the same this year. I want my swimmers to push the person in front of them to be better,” Tidmore said. With district set for Jan. 22, the Bobcats have lots of hard work ahead of them but there are no doubts from Coach Tidmore that they can not make it. “The team is in for a promising year. We are going to prove ourselves and walk the walk,” Tidmore said.
the boys are getting stronger [too],” said Holum. The entire team trains after school five days a week, but most students train additionally after school 5 to 7 days a week. “[The team is a] hardworking group with a strong desire to win,” McClure said. “And they are proud to be BOBCATS.”
Watch out for these Bobcats in the pool this year: CAPTAINS Sr. Colin Dodson
(Varsity Boy’s Captain)
Sr. Erin West
(Varsity Girl’s Captain)
Jr. Alex Heldman
(Varsity Boy’s Captain)
So. Darby Nevins
(Varsity Girl’s Captain) JUNIORS
Ross Carroll Kaitlin Anderson Conner Patrick SOPHOMORES
Marcelle Morrison Sam Phariss Evan Lange Nicole Kubera Cayce Marlatt Meghan Davis Sam McCleney Amy West
The Future of Cy-Fair Football
JV Football Unrecognized But Just As Talented
DEFENSE: Nathan Diamond goes to stop Langham’s advance. Photo courtesy of Tyler Melancon.
sa ra hSMITH Entertainment Editor
Beating out the competition. Having a great season. Playing against Varsity. Playing on Varsity. This is Cy-Fair Junior Varsity Football. A successful season so far; the combined record of the two JV teams is 8-3. The best played game of the season so far, in Coach Tadd Hammel’s opinion, was the first game against Katy Taylor High School. “Our first game against Katy Taylor was the best played game. We were down 3 touchdowns but the kids battled back, and
even though we lost we never gave up,” Hammel said. “The team was confident that they could pull off a comeback and played strongly as a whole team.” Two advantages the teams have this year are the experience they gain from playing against the Varsity team as a scout team and also the amount of time spent practicing and being coached. As a scout team JV runs the Varsity’s upcoming opponent plays to give the Varsity team experience against the plays of their next adversary. Chris Frazier, sophomore JV free safety, said that playing scout team to the Varsity
is beneficial because they get more experience in playing. “I think it helps because it gives us a feel of how it feels to play against and on a Varsity team, and everybody wants to be able to play on Varsity,” Frazier said. Hammel, coach of offensive receivers, said that the extra coaching time gives CyFair an advantage because they have more exposure to the concepts and plays. “One of the advantages I think we have as a team is the amount of coaching time we get with the kids; we have a whole period during the day and after school. The kids grasp things we teach them better and understand the coaching and the game better,” Hammel said. The team has also demonstrated a good work ethic and eagerness to play and learn football strategies. This dedication is one of the things that makes this season better than previous ones, according to Hammel. Coach Hammel said that the CyFair football program is a success because of the hard work and attitude of the boys. “The overall program is a success because of the kids; they work hard, are receptive to new ideas; they are good boys and have a good attitude toward playing football. Their eagerness to play and do well is a pleasure to see,” Hammel said. For the boys, playing on Junior Varsity is a stepping stone to go onto Varsity and play in the big leagues. Junior linebacker Connor Patrick is hopeful to go onto Varsity next year and is excited for the
opportunity. “I’m pretty excited to go onto Varsity, it’ll be a cool experience with the big crowds and having the band there. It’ll be cool because everybody gets pretty pumped about the Varsity games,” said Patrick. Although the JV players have played exceptionally this year, they don’t get the recognition that the Varsity team enjoys. JV’s games are on Wednesdays or Thursdays, at Cy-Fair’s football field, and though the band may not perform at halftime the JV cheerleaders are at the games to provide some school spirit. Roy Smith, JV and Varsity football coach, acknowledges that the JV teams aren’t as celebrated by the school but he knows that they are just as talented. “They don’t get as much recognition, but they play just as well. We expect them to play well and get better, it doesn’t matter if they have the notoriety,” said Smith. Sophomore Chris Frazier, also said that JV doesn’t seem as important to the students and they don’t get as much support at the games. “We’re under appreciated. People shouldn’t assume we’re bad, maybe we aren’t as important as Varsity, but we’re still good and people should still support us. It would be great if more people came out to our home games and supported us,” said Frazier. Their combined season record speaks for itself, 8 wins and 3 losses, and so in the words of Russell Hicks, “’Nuff said.”
Like a Cheetah, Only Faster Girls Cross Country Grows to 60 ash l e y GURNEY Sports Editor The early mornings, the sweat, the drive, the run. That is the life of the Cy-Fair Cross Country girls. Running five mornings a week, these girls have an intense workout, including long distance running, sprints, plyometrics and weights. Sometimes they go to Coles Crossing to run in the morning, and other days they stay on the track at Cy-Fair and work on track workouts, which consist of running 800’s, sprints and other running excersises. Twice a week after school the top girls on the team also go to Spring Creek Park, doing what is known by most as two-adays, days when the girls have practice two times a day. Cross Country Coach Tom Kennedy said that the varsity and top runners go to afternoon practices at Spring Creek Park. “The girls morning workouts usually last from 60 minutes to 90 minutes,” Kennedy said. All of the girls are expected to go to these morning workouts. “The after school practices are usually longer. Usually only the top girls go to those,” he added. A new year brings about higher mileage for the girls to run. All the girls are on different levels of skill, so they run different mileage depending on their ability and what will help them improve. The typical mileage ranges from 3 to 7 miles. Varsity runners usually run 6 to 7 miles a day. Early in the season all the
girls start out with a lower mileage and it increases as the season goes on. Senior Amanda Warren, varsity runner, has been running cross country for 6 years. “Do I love running? That’s a trick question,” Warren said. “Yes and no. I mean, the workouts are hard when I’m doing them, but if I don’t run, I feel out of place—like something is missing.” Freshman Chloe Reeves ran cross country in middle school and is now on the cross country team at Cy-Fair. “There’s a lot more competition than in middle school. I love the competition though, because it makes me a better runner,” said Reeves. “I couldn’t live without running. It’s pretty much my life.” This year the girls’ cross country team consists of about 60 girls. “Our team is a lot bigger; it has grown, but I think because of that the girls have also become better runners,” said Kennedy. During Warren’s first year running cross country at Cy-Fair, the team consisted of very few runners compared to this team. “Our team isn’t as close as we have been in the past,” she said. “The competition, not just between the other teams, but between the other girls on our team, has gotten so much bigger.” The girls always have a spaghetti dinner the night before their meets. They also have cross country sleepovers. At these social events the seniors have fun and play pranks on the younger girls, but it’s mostly the freshmen who get the worst of them.
RUN, RUN, AS FAST AS YOU CAN: Geraldine Crispin runs to the finish. Photo courtesy of Melissa Borchgrevink.
“All the seniors play the traditional pranks on the freshmen,” Warren said. “This year we did some pretty good ones.” Attending most of these dinners and sleepovers, Reeves was a victim of one of the senior pranks but she took it with good nature. “The seniors this year are pretty awesome,” she said. “I can’t wait until I’m a senior.” During Warren’s freshmen year she looked up to the girls who were seniors as well. “Our goal as seniors this year is to make an impact on the freshman the way the seniors made an impact on me,” said Warren. “We want the girls to talk about us and remember us when they are seniors the way all of us remember the girls who were seniors when we were freshman.” Making an effort to bond with all the girls, they are slowly accomplishing this goal. “When I’m a senior I’m going to try and be really nice to the freshmen and
welcome them to the team,” Reeves said. “I want to be remembered as the fun, nice and awesome senior, just like I’m going to remember the seniors from this year.”
The New Epidemic:
Cracking Down on Bullying
Students discuss new intolerance for teasing ca rl y WOOD Reporter
Not only are schools like Hamilton Middle School and Rutgers State University coming under ﬁre for bullying, but even Cy-Fair has started to shine a spotlight on bullying prevention and consequences. “We sincerely try to deal with bullying incidents when they’re reported,” associate principal Teresa Baranowski said. “But we don’t know whether anything is going on until someone reports it.” Baranowski said that punishment can vary depending
on the severity of the behavior and that Cy-Fair follows the code of conduct. Behaviors and consequences range from a conference to a suspension or placement in another school. A police ofﬁcer is on site most days and we have direct access to Cy-Fair security, Baranowksi said. The way bullying incidents are dealt with depends heavily on the student’s actions. “If I’m ever getting bullied, I’ll tell the teacher,” senior Hebatalla Shabana said. “I make sure someone takes action.” Though there are different methods of dealing with bullying, there is one universal ideal when it comes to whether or not to tolerate it. “I can’t see myself in a bullying
Bullies in the Spotlight
situation,” sophomore Sruthi Kumpatla said. “But if I were in one, I do know I wouldn’t put up with it.” And now people are coming to analyze and scrutinize how schools answer to bullying. While the topic of bullying has become sort of controversial, popular and perhaps even taboo among students, sometimes bullying and teasing may actually seem like a norm - take, for instance, the “Junior-Senior wars”, which is basically a prank war between eleventh- and twelfth-graders. It’s been going on at Cy-Fair for years; whether it’s considered tradition by the students or not, though, it’s still against the rules. “The junior-senior wars are absolutely not acceptable,”
associate principal Baranowski said. “It’s just like any other form of bullying and segregation.” In some ways, victims of bullying are similar to each other. “The people that generally get picked on here are small, read a lot, dress differently, have a different religion, are homosexual - they can pretty much get picked on for just about anything,” said a Hamilton Middle School student who wished to remain anonymous. Shabana said she has experienced people calling her names and has reported it. “I’ve been bullied a couple of times, myself,” Shabana said. “People will tell bad words to me, tell me to ‘go back to your own country’, just to be mean. But they’re just stupid words.”
Over the years, bullies have found their place in Hollywood, where they can be glamorized and gloriﬁed, but in every favorite ﬂick, these students meet an unhappy ending. Check out the most popular.
Name Biff Tannen What did they do? Terrorizes Marty
McFly and tries to cheat his way into getting money.
What did they say? “I suppose it’s
poetic justice- two McFlys with the same gun.”
What happened to Ends up becoming them? an auto-detailer.
Regina George Malfoy Makes everyone feel inferior to her.
Insults everyone who is not him.
“She thinks she’s gonna have a party and not invite me? Who does she think she is? “
“No one asked your opinion, you ﬁlthy Mudblood.”
Gets hit by a bus.
Ends up hated and living a normal, boring life.
: BULLYING 3rd In 2007, suicide was the
c hloeBEARD Editor in Chief
Bullying has always been a universal idea: one person humiliating another in some way. Though its effect has always remained the same, negative outcome causing harm, its implications have changed throughout the generations. We all laugh at the cliche images shown in movies and told by parents and grandparents of kids being stuffed in trashcans and lockers, but these somewhat juvenile bully tactics really did happen. Let’s not forget about those swirlies either.
Remember the days when children feared for the fate of their lunch money? It was a common occurance for the big, tough kids to steal the puny kids’ lunch money back in the 90s..at least according to the show Recess.
15 to 24.
14 OUT OF
Evolution of Bullying
leading cause of death for young people ages
160,000 kids miss school each day to avoid being bullied.
100,000 carry a
gun to school.
15 OUT OF
Nowadays our bullies have gone technological. Facebook and texting are two of the most popular methods to attack their prey using hurtful words in statuses that are public to the entire internet, causing more humiliation and harm. These have become the major issues having to do with bullying recently. Cyberbullying is a serious matter, and even though our generation started it, we can also end it.
If you’re being bullied or know someone who is being bullies, check out these websites: KidsHealth.org AreYouBeingBullied.com NCVC.com LoveOurChildrenUSA.org StopBullyingNow.hrsa.gov YouthFrontiers.org PeaceLearningCenter.org
kids is bullied
kids is a bully
minutes, a is bullied
of students are bullied mentally, verbally, & physically. In a 2007 poll, these states were ranked as the worst places to live because of bullying.
1. California 2. New York 3. Illinois 4. Pennsylvania 5. Washington Statistics taken from http://how-to-stopbullying.com/bullyingstatistics.html
K and L Level, Together or Separate? Get on My Level al exBRADLEY
SAM BURDYL: ‘keep classes the way they are’.
We Just Can’t Get Along s amBURDYL Sports Editor
Student K is the stereotypical “smart kid”HORIZONS certified since kindergarten, pocket protector, thick rimmed glasses and looking forward to his five hours of homework tonight. He’s used to challenge, brown nosing the teacher and study groups with his friends that normally dissolve into debating the newest update on World of Warcraft. Student L has lots of potential, but is lazier than most. She’ll get into college, she guesses, but she’s not too worried about it right now. She has much more pressing things on her mind. Like, that cute guy in her IPC class is probably going to be at the party this weekend and she has no idea what to WEAR. She’s not paying attention to the teacher; she doesn’t really want to. I can’t imagine these two students getting along, especially if thrown into the same learning environment- one classroom, one teacher, one level. CFISD has talked about melding K and L classes, putting them all on the same level. This would be a bad idea. On one hand, the teacher could slow down for Student L, give her the individual attention she needs, to repeat necessary information and keep her on task, and let Student K be bored, already too ahead of the rest of the class to care anymore. Everything’s too easy for him. He’s getting conceited. He has too much time on his hands. I don’t know about you, but a “nerd” with too much time on his hands is a very, very scary thought. On the other hand, the teacher could challenge Student K. Push him to his limits, give him more information at a higher difficulty, keep him focused, intent, on task and in love with learning, in love
with all this new information. Student L, not used to the more difficult level, will be lost and slightly confused. There’s not enough time for the individual attention, for the teacher to go back and explain to her what’s going on. I don’t know about you, but in either situation, I’d start to really hate Student K. He’d be conceited. Ahead. Understanding far quicker than was normal. I’d want to be his partner for everything just so he could do all my work for me. He’d better let me cheat off him. If not, well, he was going to get it. It’s not fair to student K to be constantly bullied, lose peer support, encouragement and study opportunities, and yet still be expected to maintain his level of learning without getting the extra GPA point for his hard work. It’s not fair to Student L to put her in a class where she doesn’t understand the material, can’t receive help, and is only getting more and more frustrated by the day. CFISD should keep classes the way they are: separate. Student K and Student L don’t learn at the same level, and that’s
I am positive that when college admission counselors look at students from a school district with a 7 point GPA grade scale they want to rip their hair out. This of course is relevant to the fact that here you can choose to take two different level courses, obviously on-level or (to be pc) academic and K-Level classes. Likewise for an A in a K level class, a student receives 7 grade points for their GPA, where an A in L-Level receives a six, equivalent to a B in K-Level. For those students who have only gone to school in a district with the Multiple Level System, this stratification is completely normal. To me, it is a bizarre, difficult and unfair system. I think I feel this way because in most districts nationwide a four point GPA scale is used and all students are held to the same academic and behavioral standards. When I first started school here I quickly learned the difference between the two levels, as well as the stereotypes surrounding them. It appeared that the general opinion was that the reason for the system was that some students excelled and learned at different rates than others. However, it is noticeable that students in the different levels are held to different standards. K-Level students are expected to be more studious and face more rigorous curriculum than their counterparts. While to a certain extent this is true, you can’t fail to remember that when people are segregated into two different groups they generally follow the behavior patterns of the group they belong to. The system not only segregates but it tells us that it’s ok for us to settle for something less. For example, students in K-Level classes, when they feel pressured can simply drop to On-Level. Sure their GPA takes a hit, but it makes things a lot easier. Students in On-Level are taught at a slightly slower pace than K-Level students, which means they aren’t receiving the same quality of education
of their peers. Now by no means am I indicating that On-Level teachers aren’t as good as K-Level teachers, but rather the curriculum. Teachers teach what they are told to teach. Students in Advanced Placement, and Dual Credit classes also are hurt by the K level system. These students who take college classes while still in high school don’t get an extra grade point for their extra effort. So essentially there are three levels of classes, but the highest is just thrown into the pile with the rest. While it is argued that these students shouldn’t have to have an extra grade point because they are receiving college credit for those courses, they are still more in depth than either K-Level or On-Level. In the end, any student who wants to attend college is also thrown under the bus with our current GPA system. Even the students who have taken the most rigorous courses offered, still cannot attain a perfect GPA. This is because not every subject is offered in K-Level. Most colleges look at GPA in terms of a four point GPA, so when a person recalculates it to fit the four point scale, it’s impossible to have a four. For example, with my current schedule, were I to get all “A’s” my GPA would be 6.7 (for this year only). That calculates to a 3.8 on a four point scale. In another school district all “A’s” would equal perfect, but not here. My solution to the problem is simply to remove the different levels of courses and have just one type of course for each subject. Of course there would be an exception for AP and Dual Credit classes. This would mean a new four point scale, where an “A” would receive four grade points, a “B” three, and so forth. Some people argue that if there’s only one level than teachers will have to teach to the level of the lowest performing student, if this were true then we wouldn’t be anywhere in our education system. I think that it’s time we start the move to one level of classes, with a high curricular standard, and hold everybody accountable, and stop a problem from getting worse.
“It’s not right to focus on one student and let the others fall through the cracks...” -Sam Burdyl
perfectly acceptable. It’s not right to focus on one student and let the others fall through the cracks. Educating the two different students based on their different needs has worked pretty well so far and they should be left the way they are.
ALEX BRADLEY: ‘remove the different levels of courses’
Everyone Has a Story to Tell Finding the Person Beneath the Stereotype sa mVILLARREAL PR Manager
It’s my senior year. I claim to know at least half the student body and the majority of my own graduating class. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago during one of my classes that I began questioning whether I actually did. We were doing nothing that day and everyone was either sleeping or talking about their feelings toward the upcoming SAT. Neither one of those two options interested me, so I did what I’m known to do best: I talked for the remainder of the class period. Duh. But this time, I aimed for people who I had never spoken more than seldom
greetings to. I decided to simply turn around and talk to the kid behind me. The “quiet but super smart” kid that only talks when called upon. That kid. After no more than 15 minutes of me drowning him with my heavy questions, he surprisingly answered them all. After finding out his favorite color, animal, hobby and most embarrassing moment, he opened up enough for me to learn much more than I expected to find out. I learned from merely listening, that from the loss of a mother, and living with a father who is hardly home enough to notice him, he isolates himself and thinks he isn’t important enough to be noticed at school because of the lack of acknowledgement he receives from home. It became clear to me that day how hidden the true identity of a person can be, but how simple it is to find with a small dose of care and a five minute conversation. I also took the time to get to know the ‘class clown’. The kid whose goal is to make the entire class laugh instead of paying a single bit of attention, no matter how many jokes and write-ups it takes. The jokester I talked to was not what I expected. He actually had a low selfesteem and used jokes in order to seek
the approval of others because he doesn’t feel as though he is good enough to his divorced parents who often seem to forget their only son’s existence. Humor and laughter are used as a defense mechanism to hide his true feelings and struggles from his home life. The girl who can’t seem to possibly stay single for even one week lacks love from a strong father figure. Because her father left when she was young, she seeks the comfort she should receive from a father in relationships with boys who never seem to fully satisfy what is missing and necessary for her. Thus, the search continues because the boys don’t take the time to find out why she needs to be with someone so badly. Then there’s the student involved in just about everything offered at school. Knows everything about everyone, a member of more clubs than he can count with two hands, basically lives at school. You know that guy, and I talked to him. His parents struggle keeping a decent job and on top of that, he is the only child out of several who isn’t adopted, but is ironically the one who feels like he doesn’t belong. Being noticed at school means a lot to him because no matter how hard he works, how hard he studies and how dedicated
he is, at the end of the day when he goes back home, he becomes a nobody to the people he loves most. My perspective toward several kinds of people began to change in a matter of days. I met people on a completely different level that I can now say I truly know. I got a little risky and took the chance to see a different side in the guy whose life revolves around the gym and making his truck look better than all his friends. The kid who is highly convinced of being the coolest thing on earth and belittles everyone simply because “he’s better than them”, comes from a broken home and doesn’t know what it feels like to be treated with love and respect. Therefore, he treats others the way he was raised and treated himself. It makes perfect sense now. Everyone has a story to tell. It defines who they are and explains their outer character. It didn’t occur to me until I took the time to get to personally know these few people, that regardless of the outside personality that most often seems so transparent, you really can’t judge or determine the kind of person somebody is until you dig deep to find their true identity.
swear I will never enter again is the forest behind my house. Having encountered an owl while on an otherwise normal stroll, my dad and I passed under its tree and the owl proceeded to follow our progress by giving its head a full 360 degree rotation. Yeah, since then I haven’t put a foot inside the forest. That isn’t the last of the things that have occurred in my family. Oh, no. Far from it. There are stories that have been passed down through the years. Let’s see: There’s the one about the mysterious knocking on our door (nobody was there, shockingly enough), the random shadow that appears in our house looking out the living room window and the legend of La Llorona. La Llorona is a pale lady that comes out at night wearing a white dress and has flowing black hair, calling out for the children she drowned. If any children happen to be outside while she is searching, it is said that she will snatch them away and they will never be seen again. But the one story that sticks to my mind is the witch that followed my dad. So, the scenario started with my dad, who was 15 years old at this time. He had just left a party from a small town named San Martin and was making his way home on his bicycle. It was around 2 a.m., and he happened to be the only person on the street. The only thing he had with him was a loaded gun with crosses on the bullets. He was pedaling home and started whistling to himself to fill in the silence. What he found surprising was that someone, or something, whistled back. He braked and gazed around, looking over his shoulder to see if the thing his grandpa called a “witch” would follow him. Nothing met his eyes. The only thing
that registered was the movement of some leaves on a nearby tree. As far as he could see, there was a human shape lurking, hidden in the tree branches. He whistled once and the thing in the tree whistled back. He continued on his way, whistling, and hearing the witch whistle back. The witch leapt from tree to tree, following him as he continued pedaling. There was a river that separated him from getting to
and up the hill that would lead him to his room. When he reached the top of the hill he noticed that his loyal pet dogs were nowhere to be seen. He called out to them but the animal that came toward him was a skunk. He walked right up to the door of his room, which was separate from the rest of the house, with the skunk still following him. Then, safely inside his room, he swung the door shut and left the skunk waiting for him outside. To be honest, I was a little disappointed when he told me that his theory was that the witch had transformed into the skunk. I mean, it would have sounded so much cooler if the witch itself had walked up to him. Then again if the skunk/witch had been strong enough to make his own dogs run away and hide, refusing to answer his summons, who knows what would have happened. My theory is that the witch did transform into the skunk, probably hoping my dad would let his guard down. The only problem was that he was on high alert and knew that anything that could make his dogs ignore his calls was something dangerous. I know that these stories may sound far-fetched to some, but the experiences I have had have led me to believe that maybe some things that shouldn’t be here actually exist on this planet. There might be some spirits that have some unfinished business or just plain like scaring people to keep the legends alive. I know for a fact that there will always be something in my life that will make me look twice over my shoulder and wonder if it was just my shadow. You know, whatever is out there might just be waiting for the right opportunity to jump out and scare you.
Witch, Please! A Family Battle with the Supernatural ma i te DON
I’m going to be honest here: I believe in otherworldly things. There, I’ve said it. I’ve had paranormal experiences and they are not something that I can easily forget. I’m not one of those scaredy-cat people who are afraid of those types of things. On the contrary, I’m fascinated by them. Growing up with stories about black dogs that come back from the dead, the devil’s carriage riding at midnight and laurel bushes that shake with no breeze, well, let’s say that I got interested in the subject. The superstitions that run in my family only fueled my interest. One of the major superstitions include the owls. My family considers owls to be some sort of warning sign. Every time someone in the family has been about to die, the owls have a party behind our house. They hoot and holler, having a grand time, and sometimes even have some smack downs. Then, the next day, the phone rings and someone gives us tragic news. I grew up on a ranch and still live there. My surroundings consist of huge pine trees and lots of grass that, if not mowed, grows up to your waist. The only place I
“I know for a fact that there will always be something in my life that will make me look twice over my shoulder and wonder if it was just my shadow.” - Matie Don the gate leading to his house and to the safety of his own room. That night, the river was full to the brim and the current was strong enough to drag him away. Instead of thinking about the current, my dad raised his right hand and crossed himself with the sign of the cross before taking off his shoes and crossing the river. Once on the other side, he looked up and clearly remembered seeing the witch at the very top of the avocado tree planted right beside the gate. Without hesitating, he took out his gun and thought about the crosses on the bullets. According to his grandpa, the bullets had to have a cross etched on them or they wouldn’t work on the witch. Taking aim, he fired once and saw the witch literally disappear into thin air. Calmly, he walked through the gate
Bullying: Think Before You Speak High school is hard. This has been pounded into our heads ever since we can remember. There are cliques, hours of homework and everything else under the sun that can ensure any student four years of pain. And that includes bullying. Previously, bullying was a rarely-ifat-all mentioned subject at school code of conduct meetings. It was presumed that all students would use their common sense in a bullying situation: if you’re being bullied, go to your parents or to a school ofﬁcial; if you witness someone being bullied, report it; and if you’re the bully... well, please stop. However, recently, bullying has become the subject of many conversations. With the tragic news of the bullying victims committing suicide, many students, parents and even just plain citizens have come to question what is wrong and how we can all help stop it.
The blame game has been played all across the country. People such as concerned parents, the media and activist groups are criticizing school administrators for “not taking action.” But the truth is, the school staff can’t make anything happen unless a kind, concerned student submits a report about it ﬁrst. The rest is up to the professionals, the ofﬁcials. We can trust them. It’s their job to deal with these incidents. Anyone can be a target, whether it’s for the way he or she dresses, what he or she eats, his or her sexual orientation or nearly any other trait. But when it comes down to it, we’re all people with feelings and a need to belong. We’ve all been bullied at one time or another, and as we remember that, we can say with sad faces that it hurts. It can really make us second-guess ourselves and knock our self-esteem down to the ground. This breaks our hearts and
racks our brains, and even if the bully apologizes later on, our hearts don’t completely recover. A bully’s words and antics can stick in the back of our minds for the rest of our lives. Most of the time we don’t let bullying get to us. Sure, we’ll feel bad for a little while, but time mends most things and we’re back to normal before long. When bullying is continuous, though, or so strongly painful, it can take a huge toll on our lives. If we still have our lives in the end. Think before you speak. Even if you’re just kidding with a friend, even if what you say is the most insigniﬁcant and innocent thing, even if your prey “deserves it” (which nobody ever does), it can scar others around you forever. Remember the golden rule. Together, we can all bring an end to this tragic part of society, one decision at a time.
A Taste of Victory Student Experiences Sweetness After Sick Day j ord anTUCKER Op/Ed Editor
It was the kind of day that I believed all the gods known and unknown had forsaken me. Somehow in the night my eyes had been replaced with two slimy, crusted slits from which vision was virtually impossible. As I rolled over in bed, I felt my stomach lurch as though it had arbitrarily decided that it would much rather live outside my body. My face was not so much covered in skin as it was a sheet of writhing ﬂames and sweat. I groaned, and my body groaned back. And it was a Monday. With a monumental will, I dragged
“The bus ride to school was a hazy blur of nausea, motion sickness and screaming children. (Like an amusement park minus the amusement).” -Jordan Tucker
my malfunctioning form out of bed and prepared for the day. Being the diligent seven year old that I was at the time, I did
not mention my sickness to my parents. They had bigger things to deal with than their daughter dying anyway. I got dressed and tried to ignore the sensation of a knife being dragged along raw ﬂesh as the cloth slid across my skin. I brushed my teeth and attempted not to vomit into the sink. I nearly fell over trying to carry my turtle shell of a backpack out the front door. All in all, it was a good morning. The bus ride to school was a hazy blur of nausea, motion sickness and screaming children. (Like an amusement park minus the amusement). By the time I arrived at the penitentiary- excuse meelementary school, my brain had given up functioning. It’s a wonder I even made it to my classroom, let alone half-way through the day. I can’t remember exactly what I learned that day. (My brain was probably too fried to absorb any information anyway.) But what I can recall is the way the room refused to stop spinning, and how my stomach seemed to have taken up gymnastics for all the back ﬂips it was doing. I was in the middle of science when it happened. I had been ﬁghting off nausea for hours when I felt it. Anyone who has been sick knows the feeling. THAT feeling, when you stomach turns inside out and you just KNOW you’ve reached the point of no return. I pinched my lips together as the contents of my tiny stomach changed course. I stood up and lunged for the trash can. I didn’t even make it two steps. Let’s just say that, with a few acrid heaves, the seat of my chair was covered in things that should only be known to a gastroenterologist. The room went deadly quiet (which is saying something, seeing
as I was in a room full of second graders.) Then it exploded. All at once my classmates let out cries of mirth and disgust. Some stuck out their tongues and looked at me like I was something greasy stuck to the bottom of their shoes. Others merely laughed, and a few even stood up, pointing their stubby little ﬁngers as if they were the prosecution and I the accused. “Gross!” “Get her away from me!” “What a loser!” Though lacking in creativity, the catcalls were enough to spark tears in my eyes and trauma in my tiny seven-year-old heart. My teacher quickly snapped at the gremlins (children) to be quiet and whisked me off to the nurses ofﬁce, but the damage was done. I cried the entire way home, my head spinning and still covered in my own stomach contents. (Not to mention that I threw up twice more in the car.) By some miracle I was perfectly healthy the next day, and forced to return to class. When I walked in the room, I expected the evil cretins to burst out laughing once more. I had to hold back tears just thinking about it. But as I entered, I was met instead by a classroom full of sorrowful faces. “Class what do you have to say?” My teacher asked. “We’re sorry!” they chirped in unison. They all held out little folded sheets of manila paper with the words ‘I’m sorry’ scrawled on the front in crayon. On the inside were apologies from each of them for laughing at me the day before. I had to hold back tears again. I found those cards the other day while cleaning out my bookshelf. I’ve never gotten rid of them, not even after all this time. I’ve never had a revenge that tasted sweeter.
10 Random Facts You Donâ€™t Need To Know
1. In every episode of Seinfeld, there is a Superman somewhere. 2. If you eat a bar of chocolate every day for 36,500 days, youâ€™ll live to be 100 years old. 3. The longest one syllable word in the English language is â€œscreechedâ€?. 4. Most elephants weigh less than the tongue of a blue whale. 5. ButterďŹ‚ies taste with their feet. 6. â€œGo.â€? is the shortest complete sentence in the English language. 7. The king of hearts is the only king without a mustache. 8. A giraffe has a 20-inch tongue. 9. It is possible to lead a cow upstairs... but not downstairs. 10. The worldâ€™s longest game of Monopoly lasted more than 660 hours. Facts courtesy of randomfunfacts.com
Overheard in the Classroom with Mr. Lawyer
â€œTomorrow weâ€™ll be doing the Twilight recreation in class.â€?
â€œA lot of people know Edward Cullen took College Algebra 64 times as opposed to Jacob who struggled in Algebra.â€?
â€œI hate when people actually die from my math problems and theyâ€™re dead in the back of the classroom. It looks bad during evaluation.â€? â€œItâ€™s a good thing, as Martha Stewart would say.â€?
a Texas A&M private res hall
top 3 reasons to live here: ( all for nearly the same cost as living on campus )
THE TRADITION Un
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