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New lunch period gives students more time

Case of the missing python

After two years of new lunch schedule, students and staff reflect on changes

Science teacher Murieum Huerman’s pet python leaves its home to prowl on school mice

[ PG. 3 ]

Turmoil tears team to tatters

The dance team is going to the orange bowl to dance at halftime

[ PG. 3 ]

[ PG. 6 ] Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press or of the right of the people to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances


Welcome to the safe zone New safe center for community members opens downtown BY PAYTON QUINN NEWS EDITOR


State-wide cuts cause schools to do more with less $17.5 million in budget cuts force administrators, teachers to make due BY ALEKSANDRA VUJICIC SPORTS EDITOR


he state is faced with a 10 percent across-the-board budget cut, which translates to $17.5 million being cut from Des Moines Public Schools. The district has already cut outof-district travel, department budgets will be cut and unnecessary spending will be avoided. All certified staff under contract cannot be laid off mid-year, but next year job cuts will be determined according to how hard the budget cut hits. English teacher Jon Rubino feels he can’t get too comfortable with his job. “I have no control over it. I can’t dwell on it, or worry. It’s a scary time right now for students and teachers,” Rubino said. Principal Doug Wheeler feels that teachers can’t be replaced by technology, and is worried to think about possible cuts next year. “I’m left to make decisions about teachers. Making cuts are one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life, we’re talking about insurance

and feeding their families. There are no “I don’t think you should cut easy cuts,” Wheeler said. everything the same amount. Both Wheeler and Rubino agree that Some departments are padded students will be affected most by the more than others,” Griffith said. shortage of money, with larger class Wheeler thinks the budget sizes, less technology and less money cut goes back to the economic for new materials. downturn and people not putting “Larger class sizes means less money back into the economy. individualized attention for students,” Along with low taxes, the state is Rubino said. in a tight money situation. Superintendent Nancy Sebring “Everyone expects superior believes that a service if taxes are low. We cut this size is need to be realistic, costs My biggest concern is devastating to any will be higher,” Wheeler we have to ask more of school district. said. people. Hard working Since 2005, this is Athletically, needs will teachers to take on be prioritized. Only the the fifth across-themore work. board cut, totaling most crucial needs are -Superintendent Nancy tapped for new purchases. to $55 million in total cuts. Sebring Rubino feels that the “My biggest future of Iowa is at stake, concern is we have to ask more of but that education won’t be people. Hard working teachers to take sacrificed. on more work. Next year’s classes will “The uncertainty is kind of get larger and we may not offer as many scary for everyone but we’ve got electives,” Sebring said. a strong staff, and we’ll continue All state departments get the same to do the best for our students,” percentage cut from their budget. Math Rubino said. teacher Josh Griffith feels that each “No fat on the bones anymore, department has certain needs and that we’re now removing vital organs. there shouldn’t be one set percentage of We have to do more with less,” cuts. Sebring said.

A new safe center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students opened downtown June 1. The center is considered a safe zone because anyone can come, not just the LGBT community. Administrator at the center Sandy Vopalka quit her job to run the center. “I felt like I had this nagging sensation to start something and figure out who’s voices aren’t being heard in the community and what I can do about it,” Vopalka said. Vopalka has been an “out” lesbian for 30 years and is proud of it. She doesn’t expect people that come to the center to be on the same level as her. “The goal of the center is to help people find stuff they can do and feel comfortable in the environment, we have many programs available including youth group which meets Thursday nights, various holiday events and many more groups for all ages,” Vopalka said. The center recently lost the funding due to the superior form of income ran into legal issues. “We are in fundraising mode and are asking for any donation anyone is willing to give, I plan on keeping this center open no matter how much it takes,” Vopalka said. “We have helped too many people in the community including talking between seven and ten people out of suicide.” The center hours are Monday through Saturday 12-6 and anyone is welcome to go. The center has wi-fi and many activities to do such as watch movies read and visit with people of the community. “ I just want people to come and see what we have to offer, if there is something we don’t have that they need we will do what it takes to provide that for them,” Vopalka said. “All they have to do is ask.”

6 things found at The Center A safe place to be yourself Old friends and new friends Library of books and games Meeting Spaces Place to hang out LGBTQ community resources Legal and social research resources

1300 Locust Ave Des Moines, IA 50309

Prac ticum students: who they are and what they do THE BASICS A practicum student is a step below student teaching. All a practicum student really does is observe how a teacher teaches a class. Being a practicum student is a requirement before student teaching.

THE DIFFERENCE There are different requirements from different universities about the hours required for observation.

There are different requirements from different universities about the hours required for observation.

You must be recommended by the teacher you are observing to move on to student teaching

You must be recommended by the teacher you are observing to move on to student teaching

The difference between practicum students and student teachers is that student teachers are given a specified curriculum to teach classes and practicum students only observe the classes.

2 news


Volunteering makes a difference

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payton quinn page design


Facebook becomes teacher’s business ��������������������������������������������������������


The Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) is con�nuing to meet every Tuesday a�er school in the Meredith Music room. The club volunteered at “The Center”, an LGBT safe zone Oct. 27 and has been planning and designing the club t-shirts. Later this month, the GSA will be mee�ng with Upper Iowa student Jennifer Helk to discuss her project on “capsizing”, an inside look at organiza�ons struggling with controversy from other students. Members are hoping to tell their stories on their lives, struggles and victories. Club advisor and music teacher Sco� Reiker has been more than sa�sfied with his students so far and is looking forward to the rest of the year. “Our students are advoca�ng for their peers in many different ways,” Reiker said.

Digging for the environment BY AN LE

The environmental club started off with a mee�ng Monday Oct. 19, deciding what day they were going to do service work. They planted and mulched trees on Oct. 27. Senior Drew Davis said that mulching and plan�ng trees is a tough job. “It was a lot of work. There was a lot of digging for about two hours or so. It was hard,” Davis said. The Environmental Club meets every week on Wednesdays a�er school. “I like being part of a group that can help make the earth a be�er place,” Davis said.


A new program called SchoolVue allows teachers in the school full control over all the computers in their classrooms. Teachers can view each student’s monitor screen and even work on each computer from one central location. Business and computers teacher Kathleen McNeal has been teaching around the Midwest for over 20 years. “SchoolVue is a great asset to class,” McNeal said. While teaching in class, McNeal has easier options to help students. “I’m able to help with lecture classes. We can all view the same thing on our computers at once,” McNeal said. SchoolVue has been known to be an easy route into one’s MySpace or Facebook account, but McNeal believes there’s a line that can be crossed “I haven’t heard of any teachers doing it; if I knew how to work MySpace I could do a lot,” McNeal said in laughter. In order for any teacher to view a students personal business, a student must be signed on to that website. “They’d have to be signed on, and I’d have to be aware of it, but that would never

happen,” McNeal said. Senior Alen Ademovic has been taking computer classes for his entire high school career. Ademovic has a lot of respect for SchoolVue. “They use it to help you, and if you’re stuck on something they can help from their computer,” Ademovic said. In business classrooms, privacy on social networking sites has never been an issue. “SchoolVue is mostly used for help. If a teacher sees you on MySpace they’re just going to tell you to get off,” Ademovic said Principal Doug Wheeler is a strong supporter of the SchoolVue program. “Teacher’s like it; it’s a very strong tool in special education classrooms. It keeps students off of inappropriate sites, and is great for one-on-one classes,” Wheeler said. Teachers being able to access one’s private information is the main concern with students, but Wheeler doesn’t think it’s an issue. “It’s not used for that purpose, it just keeps everyone on the same page and out of trouble,” Wheeler said. Wheeler compared employees to students, making a point that these computer programs are used in the work place. “Most jobs involve computer usage, and if your boss catches you on an inappropriate site you’re at risk of losing your job,” Wheeler said.

Certain teachers block certain sites �������������


“Depends on the class, in which the websites I block,” Renoux said. Renoux does not block sites if the class needs them for a project. Otherwise, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube are blocked if not needed for project usage.

McNeal finds that she only has to block certain things for certain classes. “It isn’t as big of an issue,” McNeal said. In computer applica�ons McNeal leaves YouTube unblocked so students can listen to music while comple�ng work, but if MySpace and Facebook become a problem they will be blocked. PAYTON QUINN SIDEBAR

Passion in student counsil


Student council advisor Kirk Stevens is happy with the student council this year. “This is a more passionate student council; they really show this at the assemblies. They are more mo�vated,” Stevens said. Student council has put together mul�ple assemblies including a volley ball assembly, and entertainment tonight. Student council is also looking into a student exchange and a leadership conference. Stevens feels the officers this year are more focused and this benefits the student council. “The ul�mate goal of student council this year is to get a digital sign in the front of the school,” Stevens said.

������������ ���� free* bagel

w/cream cheese *w/purchase of beverage expires 12.17.09

�������������� ���������������������������������� 4040 University Avenue, Des Moines 50311 515.274.8994

Attention SENIORS! Senior glossies AND baby ads are due Friday, Dec. 4-NO EXCEPTIONS!

The glossies should be in color, any size, any background and a vertical pose-digital preferred. Baby ads are $30 for 1/8 -page, and should include a photo and 25-40 word sentiment. See adviser Timm Pilcher in Room 172.


jason reichenbacher page design


New lunch period gives students more �me


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Now with a 45-minute lunch period, students have a much longer lunch period. As apposed to last year the entire student body now has the same lunch period. Dean of students Jeff Panek supervises the lunch period to make sure freshmen and sophomores don’t go off campus and to make sure fights are broken up. “I have supervision duties,” Panek said. Panek likes the change because it gives the upperclassmen a chance to go off campus and everyone else the chance to eat and talk. Panek also said that when students don’t get a chance to go outside and let out their frustration during the cold seasons they end up in trouble. Principal Doug Wheeler said it was more difficult to supervise, and now it’s long enough that they are able to serve everyone with ten to fifteen minutes left so that students can eat their lunches. “The reason we made this is because it helps students,” Wheeler said. Wheeler said it was more difficult to supervise, and now it’s long enough that they are able to serve everyone with ten to fifteen minutes left so that students can eat their lunches. “I wouldn’t change it,” Wheeler said Wheeler said he is impressed with

the lunch period and that there is no excuse for students to be late to third block because of how much time they get, and it makes teachers available during lunch so if students need help they can go to a teacher during lunch and get help. Wheeler says that the tardy rate for third block has gone down but is still a problem but it’s mostly the same kids that are late. At lunch Wheeler says he goes out with (student resource) officer (Ned) Chiodo and they look for underclassmen and if they find any they will stop them and give them a detention. Wheeler says that this year they have caught 60 or 70 people, and two years ago they couldn’t catch any because they didn’t have as long to drive and look for kids. Senior Maggie Quernemoen says that she likes the 45 minute lunch period because it gives her time to go out and eat. Quernemoen says she goes to a friend’s house or Jimmie Johns, Subway, Quiznos or McDonalds. “I normally go out to eat,” Quernemoen said. “I like it a lot better because we have way more time to eat,” Quernemoen said. Quernemoen says that she is usually not late but when she is she gets a pass to get to class. “A lot of students like it, and others say it’s too short,” Quernemoen said.

In brief:

Dean of students Jeff Panek talks about the benefits of students having a longer lunch period. Principal Get the story in Doug Wheeler says that the new lunch period is 100 words or less helping to cut down tardies.

Students wait in line for lunch; having the en�re student body in one lunch period makes the lunch lines longer. Senior Maggie Quernemoen likes the longer lunch period, “I like it a lot be�er because we have more �me to eat,” Quernemoen said. KIRA HERRON PHOTO

the case of the runaway python

“It’s a good thing in a way that he’s been out because he eats the mice that roam both my room and the places he escapes to,” Heuermann said.

ts the fac

-Miriam Heuermann has had this ball python for 20 years and has escaped in the school three �mes. •He is found right away, usually a month or less

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•He was once found under a sink, once in science teacher Julie Goldman’s room and once behind a pillow in the janitors closet •Miriam Heurman found the python once. The other �mes she was called from home. •The python has caused no harm to any human; only the mice that roam the school are in trouble. ������ ����� ����� ������� �

4 health

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What is


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Junior Taylor Atchison knows stress as well as many other students. Atchison is an active participant in cross country, drama, a job at Nova and family activities in addition to her school work. Atchison is constantly under stress, but she and her family try to keep her from completely burning out. “Every once in a while, take some time for yourself, don’t fill your plate so full you don’t have time for yourself,” Atchison said. School nurse Jeanne Mark thinks students are just overbooking themselves and thinks trying to do too many activities all at one time just isn’t good for their health. Despite this, Mark also believes stress in balance is a good thing. Many students use it as a motivator to get their work done on time and keep them working their hardest, as long as it doesn’t become unhealthy. “Just find a good balance and don’t spread yourself too thin,” Mark said. Gear Up advisor Billy Kirby sees this issue in many of the students Gear Up is supporting. Kirby thinks the best solution is to get it off every once in a while. “Finding a healthy way to blow off steam, exercising, a hobby, being part of a team, music and drama are great too, just something for yourself helps all that much,” Kirby said. Despite all the things that many high school students want to do, the three all agree it’s important to never spread yourself too thin, and always do your best. “I’d rather be doing all the things I am doing and be happy, than do all the things I want to do and be all stressed out,” Atchison said.


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Increasing amounts of school work and deadlines as well as a rapidly changing curriculum. Students struggle to maintain grades while balancing their workload.


Rela�onship, social and family issues.

Ge�ng involved in a variety of ac�vi�es both extracurricular and co-curricular.

Students and staff share advice to keep


Get enough sleep. Students should receive at least eight hours of sleep. Homework can wait.

Work off stress through physical ac�vity including cardio workouts and medita�on exercises.

Get organized. Keep a planner or journal of events and things to do to keep yourself on top of your work.

Take breaks when you start to feel overloaded. Focus on something you enjoy to do un�l you are read to return to your work.


Nurse Jeanne Mark sees a widespread issue with how much sleep students get, seeing them regularly try to do well in classes while facing exhaustion. “They work too late, they want to play Nintendo or whatever all night, you need eight hours of sleep a night, most students don’t get anywhere near that,” Mark said. Kirby also agrees to an extent. While Kirby believes every student’s body is different and works differently, he still doesn’t think most students get as much sleep as they should. “Without enough sleep you start to see a cycle, that includes,

illness for sure, you fall behind, certainly your moods are not optimal, patience for others, patience for stress decrease, all sorts of health problems take over,” Kirby said. Atchison does not usually face problems with sleep. She usually makes it bed by 9:30 and wakes up at 6:30 the next morning. However she still recommends students take some time for themselves to just relax a little more often. “Every once in a while take some time for yourself, and school and all the stuff you’re doing will become like a chore, like work,” Atchison said.

Coach Sco� Schoneberg runs over strategy for the cross country meet. The team has dealt with a small roster, top runners qui�ng and complaints about making the varsity team. “We’ve had our ups and downs as teammates, but we are close,” Wren said. MARK CLARK PHOTO

Turmoil tears team to ta�ers

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Hard work, passion and drive are the qualities that a cross country team needs to have to endure the pain of running up and down hills with the wind as an enemy. Not only did the team need perseverance to finish the race but also to stay together. Girls cross country encountered what one might call many bumps in the road this season, but proved not only to themselves but to their school mates, coaches and parents, that they could succeed. Senior Kayleigh Wren has been running for the team since seventh grade. Wren has run varsity all four years of high school. “The cross country team is like family, it’s not necessarily about the running it’s about the team. We’re just all “lame” and like to have fun with each other,” Wren said. The girls cross country team had to cope with a smaller than normal roster. “The girls team was really small, that was disappointing, it was fun because we were close but it would have been better with a bigger team,” Wren said. Wren’s closest companion on the




James Kent

Team A: 30 Points

3 10


aleksandra vujicic page design

team is the number one runner Junior Anna Strait. Wren and Strait have been running together for the past 5 years. “We’ve had our ups and downs as teammates, but we are close,” Wren said. Wren explained that the team began encountering problems right at the beginning of the season. “People were complaining about having to run varsity, they wanted to run junior varsity. It doesn’t make sense to me because as a runner you want to run your fastest. Girls began not showing up to practice, then towards the middle of the season began skipping meets, then our number three runner quit the team. That was extremely disappointing,” Wren said. Not only was the attitude and number of runners looking negative but according to Wren, the team lacked senior leadership. “I was the only senior leadership on the team, it was disappointing but it was also a fulfilling feeling to be the one that stuck it out. I had the drive and heart to be a leader on the team,” Wren said. Wren’s responsibilities on the team were not “hard core” by any means. “It was my job to just be the encourager, we are all just friends,” Wren said.

How to score a cross country meet ...*

The top five runners are scored based on their place. The runner that gets first place earns 1 point, second place earns 2 points, etc. The team with the lowest score wins. *Numbers in ribbons represent place

Wren felt betrayed in some ways by the seniors on the team and the number three runner. “I felt abandoned, we (the seniors) were all the leaders last year. This year it was just me and since they weren’t there I couldn’t take control by myself, when our number three runner quit it was really devastating, and disappointing,” Wren said. Junior Anna Strait has been on the team for five years and is the number 1 runner on the team.The cross country team represents discipline to Strait. “I think it takes a lot of discipline to run eight miles a day. The cross country team are the only people who know what it feels like to run up and down hills for eight miles,” Strait said. According to Strait, being the fastest runner on the team does not come without its complications. “I felt frustrated that the team would not let me play powder puff, but they made me run the Indianola meet. So I didn’t get to play powderpuff,” Strait said. Strait explained the fact that she felt pressured by her parents and her teammates. “When your parents pressure you so much it takes out the passion,” Strait said. Strait said once she didn’t give her all. “I jogged the entire meet because my parents and teammates made a huge deal about me not being there. They made me miss powder puff. After that meet I was ready to be done,” Strait said. Junior Katy Stites has been running on the team for four years Stites remains positive about her involvement on the team, however has a strong opinion towards Strait throwing the race. “It wasn’t what was best for the team. Anna can do all sorts of things when she has the right mindset. I don’t think she was all there, I feel like when you are that good you should care more about the team,” Stites said. Stites is also understanding of Straits situation. “She’s in a tough spot because the coaches expect a lot from her, people expect a lot from her because she is the fastest on the team,” Stites said Stites relates attitude to a person’s ability to perform. “Your attitude determines how you run. I don’t think Anna should have even gone to the meet,” Stites said. Stites was not affected by the lack of senior leadership or members of the team quitting. “It wasn’t devastating, I don’t really care it was up to them, you get closer to the people who stay, those friendships become more important,” Stites said. Stites continues to reach new personal best times every year she participates on the team. “With great speed comes great responsibility,” Stites said.



Team B: 25 Points

Athlete of the issue Age: 18 Height: 6’1” Sport: Swimming Year: Senior

Bio Kent started swimming in second grade. His parents got him into the sport. He swam for North Side O�ers and swam on the team all four years.






Kent hopes to break Hoover’s 200 IM record. He wants to get another relay to state this season. As for team goals Kent feels team companionship is a strong aspect to focus on. “I think our companionship is top notch every year. I don’t expect that to change this year,” Kent said.

lishments AccoKentmhaspreceived awards

including Rookie of The Year and MVP. Kent made it to state both his sophomore and junior years for both his individual medley and 400 freestyle relay. Kent was seeded 17th at state for the 200 IM, but placed 15th.

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Baseball ba�ng up early BY PAYTON QUINN

Baseball started weightli�ing on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursday from 2:50-4 p.m. They will con�nue. “ What I’m hoping for is to win state, I think this season will go good because we only lost three seniors so I think its good we all work as a team and work hard and play good,” Junior Aus�n Damm.

New Swim Season, New Hopes BY ALEKSANDRA VUJICIC

The boys swim season started this Monday. Prac�ces will be held Monday through Friday 5:30-6:30 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. Captains for this year are Thomas Henry and Jake Hestbeck. Eric Thorsen is the returning head coach, with the assistance of Tim Hassle. Junior Tim Leffler is looking forward to working hard this season and ge�ng his best �mes at Districts and possibly State. “As a team we need to work together more. If you don’t work together you’re not a team just a bunch of people doing the same thing at the same �me, kind of like a random event,” Leffler said.

Girls basketball hits the hoops BY ERIK HOFFMAN

The girls basketball team started prac�ce Monday. They have been condi�oning for two weeks now and their first opponent is Urbandale and coach Haywood Boston says that they are a good team and they have almost everyone back from last season. Boston says it’s hard to predict how next season will go, but he thinks that if they work hard and they are dedicated that they should do alright.

Cheerleaders move to court BY TANNER BUCKLEY

Cheerleaders have finished cheering for football games this season. As basketball season approaches, cheerleaders find themselves prac�cing a lot during the week. Senior Mallory S�tes has been cheering all 4 years of her high school career. S�tes is looking forward to cheering basketball games. “It’s a lot warmer than cheering football games, we win and we have a lot of fun,” S�tes said. Cheerleaders will be prac�cing un�l the opening girls basketball game un�l the end of the month.

Game dates Boys Basketball Nov. 21- Against Jamboree @ SE Polk Girls Basketball Nov. 21- Against Jamboree @ SE Polk Nov. 24- @ Urbandale Boys Swimming Nov. 24- @ Marshalltown

6 entertainment



Movie provides good scares, cap�va�ng story


Movie should be placed in comedy sec�on


aranormal Activity was a big deal all over websites, asking people to demand it in their town. I was excited for over a week to go see it until I actually saw it. The movie started out really slow. If anyone thinks watching people eat Chinese food and be all lovey dovey for the first ten minutes, then this is the movie for them. Weird events led up to suspense as well as stupid events. The main characters Katie and her boyfriend Micah both had attitude problems and yelled at each other a lot. Not to mention the fact that he was a moron and I couldn’t help but laugh most of the time he spoke. The movie’s acclaimed scares weren’t enough to truly capture my interest. I sat in the theater spacing off until a door would slam or the time clock would stop. I was so disinterested that I even took a phone call during the movie. I was only genuinely scared twice. When Katie was dragged out of bed and down the hallway by the “demon” and the ending was messed up all together. Otherwise I actually laughed a lot and expected it to be a better movie. I honestly think it depends on how into the movie someone gets. I’d recommend to go see the movie when it comes to Nova because wasting $9 and a Friday night definitely was not worth the trip.

The Manics bring indie with a twist


The Manics’ self titled debut album is being released at their show at the House of Bricks Nov. 27. I had the opportunity to hear the CD before the show and got a good idea of what to expect from the band. A lot of different styles came into effect throughout the CD. The early part of the CD feels like more classic rock, while later parts feel like Nu Rock. The CD as a whole blends pretty well and could probably satisfy a wide variety of listeners. Older Manics songs, such as Confusion and Fiasco are

Track lis�ng on CD 1. Sane 2. Fiasco 3. High Skies 4. Confusion Delusion 5. The Perfect Fix 6. Ma�er of �me



aranormal Activity stood up to its talk, being one of the most frightening movies of the year. The filming style and setting of this movie put you in the mind-set of “Wow, this could be real.” After a young couple moves into a new home (Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat), they notice strange happenings which commonly occurred in the middle of the night. The couple documents everything that happens with a video camera, hoping they can find out what has truly taken over their home. The more open your mind was to this movie, the more you could get into it. Paranormal Activity had scared girls latching onto their boyfriends arms, begging for certain scenes to be over. Although the movie was overly-disturbing at times, Sloat was a bit of comic relief, giving Katie poor advice and typically having something smart to say when he opened his mouth. This “based on true events” movie nailed every aspect of what it could possibly be like to have a demon take over your body. By the end of the movie, all of the obnoxious talkers in the audience filled the air with silence, minus a scream or two. If you have the time and money to go see this film, it’s highly recommended. With a budget of only $15,000, the writers of Paranormal couldn’t have done a better job of making it hard to sleep after seeing the film.


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featured, as well as several new songs featuring the rocking work of seniors Tanner Buckley, Jason Reichenbacher and drummer Parker Wolfe put on over 30 minutes of mixed rock glory, with guest vocalist Allison O’Braza. The CD as a whole was very enjoyable, and it managed to keep my interest even when I tried to distract myself with other things. My only complaint was the CD was just too short and I couldn’t get enough of it. I highly recommend this CD and the band itself. I give it four and a half stars out of five, and I recommend their upcoming concert as well to any indie rock fan. Rock on gentlemen.

Get the CD The CD will be released at the House of Bricks Nov. 27. The cost of admission is $10 and includes the CD. Other bands on the bill include Keno and High While Driving.

Manics band members Jason Reichenbacher-guitar, vocals Drew Davis-Bass Parker Wolfe-Drums Tanner Buckley-guitar, vocals

The story: Paranormal weeks in theAc�vity takes place over and Micah Sl lives of a young couple the course of three couple had stoat) that recently move (Ka�e Featherston home and a� arted to no�ce strange d in together. The decided to d er buying an expensive happenings in their ocument thei ca any paranorm r lives to see mera, Micah al if he could ac � vi ty on camera. occurrences A�er a train catch demon has bthe couple contacts a psy o een followin chic that claif strange g Ka�e. ms a

The Actors Actors: Ka�e Feather debuts in Pa ston and Micah Sloat m ranormal Ac� ad in ac�ng at th vity. Feath e their feature currently livese Southern Methodist erston majored from the Mu in Los Angeles. Sloat hUniversity. She Skidmore Co sician’s Ins�tute in Holly olds degrees for the colle llege, where he created wood, as well as ge’s sta�on. television sh ows

Why it’s hot Paranormal Ac�vity’s popularity skyrocketed as audiences around the country began “demanding” the movie in their areas. The movie’s unconven�onal style forced audiences to take a peak into the lives of a couple. The movie’s documentary style made it very real for audiences and thus very scary. Despite the movie’s slow beginning, it’s surprising ending was enough to cap�vate audiences and keep them from a sound sleep for a few nights.



michael roby page design

staff editorial



Community college be�er route

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personal column

Half a world away By Aleksandra Vujicic sports editor

I was born in a war zone. My early childhood can’t really be described by the word pleasant. But it was the only life I knew of- a life of struggle, masked emotions and pain at the thought of how to get through the day. I was three when my life suddenly took a twisted turn, my parents think it’s important for me to know what occurred during my time in Yugoslavia, a country that no longer exists. Throughout my life they have told me detailed stories about the war and their life changing decision. With my own memory and their words I have painted a picture of how my childhood and where it has gotten me today. The person who meant the most to me in this world was the most reassuring person. My grandpa held back his look of uncertainty whenever I was around. Every night before bed he would tell me stories about a world in which there was no hatred and little girls went out and played as their parents kept a watchful eye as they sipped coffee with friends. I didn’t know of this life.

championship spot. Although both are strong, the community college option lets the student experience two kinds of atmospheres within a short span in there life. It gives students the power to cut school costs almost in half, in a great environment full of professionals with passion for their skill. If students are looking to save money and not having to stress forever about spending money on school, go to community college for two years. Community college will do a wallet a number of favors. If meeting new people and experiencing a crazy college atmosphere is the experience on the mind, go to a university and hand them a $45,000 check.

The life I knew of was no electricity, having to travel down four flights of stairs and five blocks to get water in buckets, and not making a single sound after ten, when police were on guard. I formed a fear of shadows. Our house was dimly lit at night with a few candles. And when my shadow would appear on the wall, I would become terrified. But my fear turned into a fascination, and my nights would be spent putting on shows for my parents forming characters with my hands and making them come to life on our kitchen wall. As my parents laughed at my new-found creativity, their minds were focused on escaping. My mom’s family, the side I hadn’t met yet, had taken action a few months earlier. They packed their bags and moved to America. And now my parents wanted to follow in their footsteps and go to a place where they didn’t have to deal with the struggles of war, a place where they could start over and possibly create a successful future for their daughter. They didn’t want me to have to grow up with a paranoia of my surroundings. All they wanted was to live a normal life. My mom’s parents sent over immigration papers for a permanent visa. The day and time was set for the plane to take off in Zagreb and land in Des Moines, Iowa. Over 5000 miles in distance. The day came to leave my life behind and start over, this included leaving my dad’s family, the only family I knew of. This is the part of my memory that is strongest, but so hard to look back at. I was wearing a red velvet dress, with red stockings, red dress shoes, and a red bow in my hair. The hardest part of that day was saying bye to the most important person in my life, my grandpa, knowing that this goodbye





Student sound off



t seems that the proper way to go to college is doing four years at a university. This will give students 1-2 extra years to party, and 1-2 extra years to waste college savings. Although this isn’t always the case, spending the extra money is of dollars for a University seems a waste. unrealistic for students who have The Challenger staff Community never even had a steady job, college has a bad voted 7-2 or know what it’s like to pay rep, being the kind for there own necessities. If a for this editorial of school “low-life” student has the money and the anti-social students grades, then there is time for talk Community colleges go to. It seems that of going to a University community college would be a be�er op�on A strong perk to community is the route to go if schools is smaller class size. This for certain students students don’t have a allows more teacher/student choice, not so much interaction with one another. A the money issue. strong perk for a University is its atmosphere. Spending money is never truly an issue Nothing compares to the atmosphere of a anymore. Based off the fact that the reason we college town, or watching your team win its don’t have money is because we spend it all on 12th game in a row, riding towards a BCS ourselves. Putting fourth the extra thousands

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���������������������������� ���������������������������������� ������������������������ was permanent. I wouldn’t let go of him as my eyes gushed out tears. And I kept begging, don’t take me from him, anyone but him. He sang me a song, with the chorus line translating to: “Airplane, I will break your wings off, not to fly away.” There was a room full of aunts, uncles, cousins, friends not one without a tear. My dad was hit hardest, he was leaving his family and he had no idea what life was throwing at him next. He had my mom, me, our plane tickets, some cash, and homesickness. My parents had made this decision to live a better life, but they were ruining my life because I couldn’t imagine my life without our small candle lit apartment, my grandpa. We traveled across the ocean without a word. And there weren’t any more tears. They dried out. When we first touched American soil it was at the John F. Kennedy airport in New York City. It seemed like there were a million people and each one of them was speaking English, a stranger to us. It was like we were on another planet, and there was nobody who cared about us. We were alone. I wanted my life back. Even though I lived in a war zone, I felt unsafe and alone in this country that was supposed to be our security blanket. Everyone was a stranger, they didn’t understand me, I didn’t understand them. When we landed in Des Moines, our new home, we were greeted by unfamiliar people who were eagerly awaiting our arrival with tears in their eyes. This was the family I had never met. And instinctively I let go of my dad and rushed to hug my other grandpa. Words can’t describe the feeling of having someone that loves you hold you for the first time. We were in a place where a new life would have to be built from the roots. We were in for a wild ride, but once again, we had family.

������ ���������������� ���������� ������������ ���� ������������ �������� ������������������� ������ ����� ������ ������������������ ������������� �������������� ������� ������������ ������������������ ����������� ������� ����������������� ��������������������������� ��������� ������������ ������� ��������������� ������� ������� ������������������������ Publica�on dates for 2009-2010: • august 27-orienta�on • september 25-homecoming • october 9 • october 30 • november 13 • december 18 • tuesday january 19-second sememster • february 5-black history month • february 19 • march 5-spring break • april 9 • thursday, april 22-drake relays • may 14-commencement • may 28 subscrip�on rates $10/year

Ad rates for 2009-2010: 1/16 page (2.5” x 2.75”) $25 1/8 page (5” x 2.75”) $45 1/4 page (5” x 5.75”) $80 1/2 page (10” x 5.75”) $130 full page (10” x 11.75”) $230 The CHALLENGER is published by the newspaper staff of Herbert Hoover High School, and exists to serve as an open forum for the students, faculty, staff, administration and community. All state and federal laws regarding the publication of student materials shall apply, and the CHALLENGER will not publish materials which also fall under the guidelines established by the Des Moines Public School system, and are deemed libelous, obscene or a material and substantial disruption to normal classroom activities. The views expressed are not those of Des Moines Public Schools, faculty, staff or administration. All articles are researched, written, edited and designed by the staff, and are the result of editorial decisions made by the entire staff. Any student, faculty, staff, or community member wishing to contribute materials will need to submit copy within deadline restrictions; however, final publication is at the discretion of staff. Letters to the editor are encouraged, and must be 250 words or less in length and signed; letters may be edited for length, grammar, spelling, etc. Every attempt will be made to verify the authenticity of the author, and no anonymous letters will be published. Advertising will be accepted for all products or services that are legal for minors to possess or utilize. Advertisers wishing to reserve publication space should call 242-7313 and leave a message.


8 the board


edward rodriguez page design

{THE CHALLENGER BOARD} } Events Calendar }


Meredith Orchestra Concert 7PM

All state music fest @ Ames

Senior Orders 9-12

Opus Honor Choir

All State Music Fest @ Ames

East Debate G Sw State @ Marshalltown



V Vb Reg Final

23 1st G BB, B Sw, B/G Bowling Prac�ce


Financial Planning Night 7PM




IHSSA Parent Mtg 7PM

120 Minute Dismiss

Parent Advisory Mtg 5:30-7PM

Publica�on Ad Sales

Entertainment Marshalltown Meredith Band Concert Tonight 7-10PM Debate 7PM Marshalltown Thespian Fest Debate V VB State @ Davenport

V VB State

Thespian Fest @ Davenport


V VB State

V VB State

}3 people to know}

Senior Cody Sargent

Sargent serves as the senior board president and works with other members on senior board to be�er the class. “I think of ideas that would help our senior class and benefit them as a whole. Then I talk to the rest of senior board and see what they think. If they like it we usually ask around to the rest of the class and see what they think. If they do we usually go through with it,” Sargent said.

3 places to go Band CD Release

Hoover high school studen The Manics will be playing ts in the band show on Nov. 27. The showa C.D. release House of Bricks, 5-9p.m. Op will be at the will feature Keno and High ening bands While Driving$10 cover includes cd

Gear Up advisor Billy Kirby

Gear Up advisor Billy Kirby works with students to help and advise students, mainly the sophomore class every day and enjoys doing so. “Every day is different and challenging, and advising today’s high school students is a challenging and enjoyable task,” Kirby said.

Entertainm ent Tonigh t

Entertain ent Tonight Friday nigm is ton movies, opht at school for freeiglivht! Spend your e n gy m with basketb e music, volleyball all and will also beand soccer in the sm for gaming; a scavenger hunt a all gym. There gaming co if interested brin nd TVs available and pizza ansoles. There will bgeyour own nd beverage fr s will be foere popcorn sale.

Senior Kayleigh Wren

Senior Kayleigh Wren is the stage manager of the winter produc�on Get Smart and faces tasks that include taking a�endance, keeping track of fees, filling in for people who are absent, calling lines, keeping track of paper work and more. “I’m Ms.Cunningham’s right-hand woman,” said Wren.

1 game to play

CivicprCeseenn�ngtReentrtonight at

er will be nd include: The Civic Cent for the weeke al show �mes Sunday @ 1 and 6:30 on � di Ad . 30 7: and e musical and 7:30 pm; Saturday @ 2 range from $20 -$47.50. Th e s ar ice ho pr w t sts ke � Tic ar pm. ung of a group of yo r true tells the story while finding love and thei run, this , rk trying to survive way. A�er a 12 year New Yo h you. e uc voices along th musical theatre is sure to to g ground breakin

Wanted: le�ers to the editor

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-The objec�ve of the game is to fill all the blank squares in a game with the correct numbers. There are three very simple constraints to follow. In a 9 by 9 square Sudoku game: -Every row of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order -Every column of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order -Every 3 by 3 subsec�on of the 9 by 9 square must include all digits 1 through 9

Issue 4 2010  

Issue 4 of the Challenger 2010

Issue 4 2010  

Issue 4 of the Challenger 2010