Creek students visit NASA p. Creek Volleyball P. 27
Facebook creates healthier options P. 6
Valentine gifts gone wrong p. 10 & 11
2305 East Main, League City, TX 77573
Giving back ‘Carousel’ shows off student talent Allie Hinga
Megan McKisson M a n y C r e e k graduates h a v e protected our country and fought forAmerica’s freedoms after high school. With these alumni in mind, the HiLife newspaper and the Den yearbook staff held a soldier care package drive throughout the months of December 2008 and January 2009. Together, the students collected medical supplies, food, and entertainment for the soldiers. “Our soldiers have done so much for us so we decided that it was time for us to give back, especially during the Christmas season,” junior Allie Hinga said. The students shipped over 75 care packages to graduate soldiers. They sent leftover packages to addressees they received from anysoldier.com, a Web site that ensured that the care package would reach a soldier in need. “I was very satisfied with the magnitude of the response we received,” HiLife editor-in-chief Cassie Lee said. “For days, our classroom was filled with all kinds of necessities and treats for the soldiers.” The students created personalized cards to include in the soldiers’ care packages as well. “If I was a soldier, I would love to get cards to brighten my day,” said photographer Hailey Stephens. “I think it’s important to let them know that we are proud of them and supporting them.” The students received a multitude of items that could not be sent overseas, such as aerosol hairspray and pork. The students donated these leftover items to a women’s shelter and a Christmas giveaway drive for less fortunate children. “I was glad we were able to donate to more than one cause,” said staff member Amanda Compton. “It was great to know we helped so many people.” The care-package drive was inspired by a former HiLife photographer and and 2001 Creek graduate, Ray Joseph Hutchinson. After graduation, Hutchinson joined the army, was deployed to Iraq, and killed in action in 2003. His memory also inspired a scholarship fund. “This month marks the five-year anniversary of Ray’s death,” said senior Melissa Devitt. “To let Ray know that we haven’t forgotten about him we send care packages to other soldiers overseas, and to let them know that we are thinking about them and all they do for their country.”
On January 28-31 Creek’s finest performed Rogers and Hammerstein’s Carousel for their annual Senior Musical. Despite some issues with sound and volume, the students put on a fine presentation of a somber script about learning to love and not remaining bound to the past. The play opens in an amusement park in New England in 1873, whose principle feature is a carousel. But trouble soon arises on the quaint scene as the owner, Mrs. Mullin, warns two girls from the local mill, Julie Jordan and Carrie Pepperidge, away from the carnival because she doesn’t like the attention her mechanic, Billy Bigelow, is giving Jordan. Hearing the conversation, Bigelow enters the scene to stick up for Jordan, but soon finds himself fired. As he wanders off to gather his things, Pepperidge inquires about the attention Bigelow is giving Jordan and confesses that she herself is in love with the respectable Mister Snow. Bigelow reenters, hoping to take Julie out for a drink, and though she fears she may be fired, she obliges. Though at first both pretend to deny their love for each other, their true feelings eventually come out. Bigelow and Jordan marry, but as neither have a job, their relationship takes a turn for the worse. During an argument, Billy hits Julie, and a rumor begins that Bigelow beats his wife. Meanwhile, Carrie is preparing to marry Mister Snow, whose sound business plans and polite attitude serve as a contrast to the rough personality of Bigelow. The impoverished Billy receives an offer from his friend, Jigger Craigin, to help him steal $3000 from the local mill owner. Though Bigelow refuses at first, he soon finds out that his wife is pregnant, and accepts Craigin’s offer. At a local clambake, the townspeople enjoy themselves as the two men hatch their plan. While the local men are off on a treasure hunt, Bigelow and Craigin sneak off to the dock to commit the robbery. Both a r e caught, and, not wanting to g o to jail,
Bigelow plunges a knife into his side. As he lies dying, Julie rushes to his side. Fifteen years later, Bigelow finds himself in the backyard of Heaven and is informed that before he can be allowed in, he must redeem himself. Billy chooses to go back to help his struggling daughter, Louise, who is like him in many regards, yet feels bound by her family’s ugly past. Though Billy’s first meeting with his daughter ends with him slapping her, he gets one last chance, at her graduation. H e r encourages to have courage and not to be held back by her parents’ mistakes. The play ends as Billy confesses his love for Julie at last, though he was ashamed to say it in life, and finally begins the ascent to heaven. As a whole, the students put on an excellent production. The acting and singing were well done, especially considering that many of the drama students had little experience in singing and some of the choir students had little background in acting. Their final performance evidenced hours of rigorous practice, and many of the participants said they greatly enjoyed the experience. “A lot went into the show, not only by us, but the crew, Mr. Estelle, and a lot of hours working on the show, but it definitely paid off,” Alex Gasby, who played the leading role of Julie Jordan, said. Outside the actual performance, the amount of work put into all of the technical aspects of the play was evident. The set was well created, and the opening scene included a carousel built by the students that the
actresses sat on while others moved the device in a circle. The orchestra provided an excellent accompaniment to the performers’ polished voices. Kristen Bateman, who played one of the French horns in the orchestra, said that she thoroughly enjoyed the experience. “It was nice to see it all come together a n d s e e t h e whole s t o r y revealed. I’ve enjoyed listening to some of the great singers from our school and the drama department p u t on a fabulous production,” she said. Stage manager Ashley Black commented on the amount of work a production of this caliber requires from all who participate. “It took a lot of teamwork because that’s what a show is all about,” she said. “I saw the team use that a lot and overall, it made the outcome great.” One of the principle criticisms of the production was a difficulty with the sound. While in past years the performers have been equipped with personal microphones, this year they relied primarily on overhead microphones, which some viewers complained made parts of the singing difficult to hear. Despite these setbacks, however, those who participated felt the experience was worthwhile and that the positives outweighed any difficulties. “I loved this entire experience,” Trey Miller, who played Billy Bigelow, said. “Many of [the performers] amazed me and [they] are not only future singers and actors, but artists.”
How would you survive without technology?
“I would try and be productive, but since technology already dominates my life, I don’t know if I could live without it.” -Stephen Solis “I think it would be difficult-but I’d survive.”
“I would just live like everyone else used to without technology and TV.” -Katie Burwell
“Read a book...seriously, there is more to life than technology and -Daniel Surman cell phones.”
“I couldn’t survive without technology-I’d probably die of boredom.” -Kathleen Henriksen
“I’d live it ‘old school’.”
“I wouldn’t know what I missing.”
“From experience in a third world country, I can say that it’s really not that bad.” -Zac Sweers “I’d live in a cave, but I’d have to learn how to build a fire.” -Glen Demont
SOPHOMORES “I would do something productive, like hand writing a book, make artwork, or invent something.” -Kaylea Fite
“I would live in the woods, and live off the land.” -Craig Hughes “I think it would be very hard to live without the internet but if I still had books and some sort of a guitar, like an acoustic, I’d be fine.” -Brooke Wise “I think I would become more active, and would probably work harder to get inforrmation from other people and information.” -Emily Almaguer “Instead of writing my scripts on the computer, I’d handwrite it, and -Cody Watson instead of driving, I’d ride my bike.”
Clear Creek High School
“I would make fires with rocks, hunt animals, and ride horses.” -Amber Simmerman “I wouldn’t survive without technology. I think I would die.” -Sheldon Freeman “I’d have trouble surviving without technology because it’s a way of life, that’s how you keep in touch with everybody.” -Alex Beck “I would force myself to resort back to my primal instincts.” -Wes Osburn “I would play softball or find something else to keep me busy.” -Shelby Shafer
“I would make my own stuff up, like board games and other things to keep me interested.” -Derek Drayo “I’d play basketball a lot more.”
“I cannot survive with out it. I would probably invent it for everyone to use.” -Jade Magalhaes “I would adapt to my enviorment and learn to get used to it. I would entertain myself by looking at the stars and playing with rocks.” -Fabian Reyes “I would become a cowboy or outlaw and travel everyday to see the world.” -Tyler Mules “I would alot more physically active instead of sitting at a computer or television.” -Gracie Roush
Scott Bockart Principal: e Jameson Wynett Advisor: O’Neil Jan Executive Editor: Lee Cassie Editor-in-Chief: on Compt a Amand Editors: Hinga Allie Chelsea Huebner Jordan Little McKisson Megan Munthe Ryan Rush Haley ld Sheffie Will Vencil Adam Advertising Managers: Olivia Hunyh Ryan Gripon Video Editor: Stephens Hailey Photographers: Devitt Melissa Boryk Kaitlyn ue -Donah Ferrero Shauna Foote Kaitlyn Kaitlyn Blake Amber Arnold Reporters: Griffith Tracey y Gregor Emily Dismukes Alina h Nkansa Albert n Johnso w Matthe Emily Hunyh iak Valcov n Christe Sulkis e Christin Shannon O’Neil Sue Ellen van Eps Contact Us! Email us at: Creekhilife@yahoo.com Visit our websites: www.clearcreekhighschool.ihigh.com
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Come talk with me, Cassie Lee
“The generation of lying, stealing and cheating- a need to succeed?”
Cassie Lee Most teens survive high school by lying, cheating, and stealing. Some people argue that it is the only way to be successful in this world now. Honesty has decreased greatly while laziness has increased. With the right persuasive skills, connections, and power, anyone can do anything and get away with it in high school. Students in my generation have a “gift” of convincing adults to get what they want. Stories of not having their
homework have graduated from “my dog ate it” to unpredictable stories like, “I finished my paper but my printer broke. Then I couldn’t e-mail it to myself to print out at school because, while I was messing with the printer, my computer shut down.” I have had the privilege to sit and listen to some of the greatest excuses of being tardy, absent, or to go home early. From “my shoelace got caught in a crack in the sidewalk and I couldn’t get it out” to “I got pulled over and they had to search my car.” I’ve heard remarkable stories. I also have heard of false reasons for missing school so that the student can be excused for an absence. Seniors are the worst at skipping class due to senioritis, but they are the best at still passing the curriculum. They can do this by lying to their teachers saying they have completed work, like reading a book, but in reality, they just have read the back cover or sparknotes. Cheating is a skill formed from laziness. More than half of my generation has cheated once in their lifetime. It is horrible that students will hide their “cheat sheets” from the adult in the room but reveal
it to all other students. This is because every teenager trusts that other students will laugh at the fact that the teacher does not know. I once witnessed a student tell a teacher about another person cheating, and it resulted in violence after school. The media and press have also helped the new world teenagers to not become traitors against one another based on fear. The “Fab-Five” girls, a group of cheerleaders that had connections with great authority, got away with alot of cheating at their school. When the group turned against one member, they threatened her to keep her silent about their illegal actions. Stealing is the act of taking something from someone unlawfully. Thus develops the problem of plagiarism. Teenagers don’t see the problem and think that if it is online, it gives anyone the permission to use it as their own. Numerous letters and concerns have been sent home in my high school years about stealing other students’ work. All in all it is a problem of being too lazy to do your own work. During a group project I once had my partner finish her half of the project before I could finish my research.
After reviewing it, I asked where she got her information and she admitted to copying it. She agued that the teacher would be too gullible to know it wasn’t hers. Unlike the gullible teachers, I try to explain to the reporters in my journalism class all the consequences of plagiarism and thankfully I can oversee their work as they go. One senior said,”everyone cheats, it’s those who get caught that aren’t good at it.” Also it is also difficult to find legal photographs to use for the paper. However, every picture must be credited and must have proof of permission. A famous Obama photo was taken and was used to create art. Yet, the artist is now being sued due to copy right infringment. It would be so easy to go to google, take a photo from images, and use it in the paper, but it life isn’t that simple. Technology has played a big role in lying, cheating, and stealing. Especially with the Internet, almost anything is possible. It’s a great search engine for ideas. As students are getting lazier with learning, they are getting smarter with lying, cheating, and stealing. The real question is, is anyone truthful anymore?
Guest Editorial: Haley Rush
“When you wish upon a star- dream big, be proud, and succeed”
Haley Rush Ever since I was a little girl, I have had the fantasy of arriving to a masquerade ball and waiting for my Prince Charming. He wouldn’t know who I was and would have to wait until the end of the night to unveil the mask, sweep me off my feet, and then of course, live happily
ever after. It was not until this year that I put two and two together. My masked Cinderella story would be coming true, just not exactly the way I imagined. The part of my childhood dream that intrigues me the most is the fact that I am wearing a mask; my prince does not know anything about me whatsoever until I present myself when the clock strikes midnight. This is what brings me to my point. Soon I will be embarking on a incredible new journey called college. No, I am not going there to find my prince charming, but I will be holding the mask and I will be able to reveal myself completely on my own terms. I feel college gives everyone a chance to express themselves freely, or in my case, to start fresh. I am not saying I want to change the person I am at all, because everything good or bad that has happened in my life has made me who I am today. What I mean by ‘starting fresh’
is that I will be able to cut the chains that have been holding me down and begin a scary and yet exciting voyage of finding myself. I will be able to use the positive events in my life as the stepping-stones that will help me succeed and the negative as a chance to learn and grow stronger. Even though most of the time I am outgoing and a “people person,” it is exciting to know that certain experiences I have had to overcome in my life will not be a sign on my forehead, as I have occasionally felt targeted by the social side of high school. In college no one has to know certain aspects about your family, past relationships and heartbreaks, or other obstacles one might have endeavored until your ready reveal them or not. The plus side is that I can accentuate the positive experiences that I hold dearly in my heart. My father, for example, has to be one of the most incredible people I have
met. He has been my hero ever since I was a little girl. Also, my four best friends, Mary Katherine, Sydney, Kelsey, and Melissa. Since freshman year, have helped me through tough times. No matter how many times I mess up and fall, they are there to pick me up. I am shocked that they aren’t insane from all the many times they have had to listen to my heartbreak stories. There is also my mother. We may not usually see eye-to-eye, but I know for a fact we will be there for each other at the end of the day. These are only some of the people that have affected my life and are each a piece of what has made me who I am; a piece that I will reveal to my “prince charming,” so a glimpse of my world can be seen. The journey I am about to embark on is not a fairy tale, but real life. Now it is time to step out into the world, take off the mask and excel in becoming the person I am meant to be.
N ews 5 History made during Obama’s inauguration At noon on January 21, 2008, Barack Obama became both America’s 44th and first African American president. Millions of people from around the world gathered to witness for themselves the events of the historical day at the Mall in Washington, D.C. The pre-inauguration events began on Saturday, January 17. Obama and Vice President-Elect Joe Biden made stops in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland before ending in Washington. The next day involved an event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with appearances by famous musicians such as Beyonce, Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen, and Bono. On Martin Luther King Day, Obama and Biden honored Martin Luther King Jr. by advising their supporters to reach out to others in need. The two also attended “A Celebration of America” at the Kennedy Center in Washington as a tribute to King Jr. Many Creek students looked forward to watching the inauguration at school.
“I was glad the school let us watch it. I Vice President-Elect Joe Biden into office. thought we should be After a musical proud no matter what performance by our opinions are,” Nauci John Williams, Egerstaffer, a junior Itzhak Periman, Yoat Clear Creek said. Yo Ma, Gabriela The day of the Montero, and inauguration started Anthony McGill, with music from the President Obama United States Marine took the stage. John Band, along with the G. Roberts Jr., chief San Francisco Girls and justice of the United Boys Chorus. Senator States, administered Dianne Feinstein then the oath of office. opened the event with Even though a call to order. Dr. Roberts recited Rick Warren, pastor of the oath wrong, Saddleback megachurch Obama recited the in California, said a oath back correctly, prayer before musical pausing for Roberts’ guest, Arethra Franklin mishap. Obama used sang “My Country Tis’Obamas at the inauguration President Abraham of Thee.” Soon after, John Paul Stevens, Lincoln’s inaugural Bible in the process. associate justice of the Supreme Court swore “I thought a lot of people were moved
Budget faces cuts The current economic crisis has unveiled a wave of under funded programs and corporations across the country. But these shortages do not just apply to big businesses, but to public schools as well. With schools across the country struggling with inflation and the demands of education mandates, CCISD is working to make sure that the current downturn does not affect the quality of its education. Schools across the country have been suffering from hefty budget cuts in the past few years. Georgia, Hawaii, Nevada, South Carolina, and other states have cut elementary and secondary education budgets during this school year. In November, South Carolina schools returned $58 million to help cover an expected shortfall. Many other states are expected to cut school funding this year, with California facing the possibility of up to $10 billion in cuts. Some of the shortages result from the increasingly difficult standards of the No Child Left Behind Act, which requires all children to be proficient in math and reading by 2014. Public schools are also facing hard times as home values fall, since much of their funding comes from property taxes. Districts have been using whatever methods possible to save money, from changing school bus routes to asking parents to help provide basic supplies. CCISD has not been exempt from economic struggles. Fluctuating prices forced the district to raise their gas budget $1.2 million this year. The cost of insurance for students and the schools themselves has also increased, and the district has suffered from $19 million worth of damage. CCISD will need an additional $14 million to balance next year’s budget, considering the exponential growth in the size of the district, which currently has two new elementary schools. CCISD also tries to offer its staff competitive pay rates. “We’re trying to get the best and brightest teachers for the best and brightest kids,” Dr. Greg Smith,
CCISD superintendent, said. Though the national economic crisis hasn’t yet affected CCISD schools significantly, Dr. Smith said the district needs to be prepared for the future, especially since CCISD’s funding is currently operating on a 2006 formula. In recent years, the district has been trying to cope with a number of new educational mandates, which include bus evacuation drills, the fitnessgram, and school steroid testing, all of which cost schools a large sum of money. To cope with these problems, CCISD increased the tax rate by four cents, but it cannot be raised any more without a public vote. If funds do become a problem, the district may need to cut programs, increase class sizes, and increase the tax rate. Dr. Smith said that if any cuts do occur, they would be in areas that do not affect the classroom, such as employee travel, and that the cuts will extend all the way from the administration to the campus level. “No matter what happens, we will do everything in our power to ensure that good quality education will be provided to all of our students here,” he said. A current legislative session may give additional funds to the public school system. Under Congress’ economic stimulus plan, schools are scheduled to receive almost $142 billion over the next two years to develop high-quality educational tests, teacher training in hard-to-staff schools, and ways to track long-term progress. Dr. Smith said he is excited about having additional funds come into the district, but doesn’t want to see any more unfunded mandates imposed. “I’m extremely optimistic that no unfunded mandates will be passed out to school districts and that additional funds would be provided to CCISD and all public schools to offset the cost of inflation,” he said. Dr. Smith said that anyone interested in the economy and education should contact their local legislators, Representatives Larry Taylor and John Davis, and Senator Mike Jackson, and let them know that funding education adequately needs to be prioritized. Mr. Smith feels that with hard work in CCISD and support from the government, the district can ride out the economic crisis with as little hardship as possible.
Photo by MCT Campus
by it. Even if some people don’t support him they would have to agree that it’s a progressive moment in history,” Isabella Arnao, a junior at Clear Creek High said. Meanwhile, as the inauguration took place outside, the White House’s resident staff of 93 people was busy at work. Maids, butlers, and food and beverage staff had only six hours to transform the White House into the Obama’s new home. The Obamas were allowed the choice to keep some of the previous furnishings or to bring in some new ones of their own. The White House’s staff performed under great pressure to ensure that the Obamas would be comfortable in their new home. President Obama began his term the following day after staying up late for the inaugural ball. At the end of his first day in office, Obama retook the oath of office to ensure no further conflict in his term regarding his inauguration.
Photo by MCT Campus
Charged for graffiti
school district. The district claims that after investigating the case they found evidence of criminal activity. They said Recently at Arnold Middle School, that the graffiti was substantial and damage two eighth graders were charged to property was deliberate. They also with felonies for writing graffiti on described the graffiti as having language the walls of their school bathroom. that was vulgar and imitating gang graffiti. The two girls were charged after 11 News reported after viewing the admitting to writing on the bathroom graffiti that it could not reveal what some walls of their school. They were arrested of the graffiti said, but they described and taken to a holding room at the some of it as unreadable scribbles. local police station in a constable’s car. This was not the first time that parents Both girls were sentenced to six have felt that their students have been given weeks at an alternative school in the Cy- unjust punishments. Agroup called Texas Fair school district and had to quit all Zero Tolerance was formed. To help kids who extracurricular activities. This kind of have received unreasonable punishments. punishment is similar to the punishment “Their punishment was too harsh, of kids who fight in school or kids vandalism isn’t as big of a deal as other that are caught with drugs on campus. crimes like kids caught with drugs,” The parents of these students find said sophomore Casey Hodgson, Creek the punishment unjust and unreasonable. student, when asked if she thought According to 11 News Today, the the girls punishment was too harsh. parents feel that their children’s “I think their punishment was dreams of going to college are at risk. ridiculous. Vandalism isn’t okay, but They feel that the punishment doesn’t the punishment they got was way fit the crime. “We need to teach our kids too severe for what they did,” said equality, and this just doesn’t seem fair,” said Sarah Liveringhouse, Creek student. mother of one of the students, Noelle Jackson. The case has now been handed 11 News investigated the case and over to the district attorney’s office, was sent a statement by the Cy-Fair which is continuing to investigate.
Photo by MCT Campus
F eatures Networking gives healthy options Grace’s Haley Rush Usually the networking phenomenon Facebook is used to interact and keep in touch w i t h various people. However a new application can be the perfect way to keep someone’s h e a l t h
o n track for the new year. The food advocacy group Oldways and Mediterranean Food Alliance has teamed up with Facebook to promote the Mediterranean diet. It is as simple as searching for “Oldways” or “Med Makeover” and adding the application. The main goal of the Mediterranean diet is better health outcomes. Studies have revealed that lower rates of cancer and heart diseaseresoluted from people who are on the diet contrasted to those who are not. The diet, in fact, is not less eating, but more of a traditional eating pattern consisting of plants, fish, animal protein, and whole grains rather than processed food. After adding the application there are ten different goals to choose, varying from eat more fruits and veggies to curbing the sweet tooth. The Facebooker must choose three goals, which will appear daily on his or her Facebook page. The goals can be changed regularly, and the appropriate notifications will emerge. If someone chose the goal prep lunches in bulk, daily tips will become visible on the page to help people succeed. Also great goal ideas can be submitted from other users and may be on the list.
Other tips will randomly appear on your computer, encouraging the facebooker to stretch, stand, and sit, or dance in place during every TV commercial. Each time someone logs on to Facebook, a new and encouraging tip will appear. Sydney O’drobinak, a recent Clear Creek High
S c h o o l graduate said, “Every year my new year’s resolution is to eat healthier, however, it is hard to actually stick to it. I am excited to be motivated each and every day by the Med Makeover application, and see how the simple tips help me accomplish my goal.” The food advocacy group Oldways has always believed in practical and positive approaches to better eating habits. They have been creating projects to promote the
Mediterranean diet for over ten years. Finally, t h e y h a v e efficiently applied their experience through the diet with a simple online tool fitting today’s world that revolves around the Internet. The real strength of the Med Makeover is that it taps into social
networking. It allows users to invite an unlimited amount of friends to sign up for the Facebook application. A key element has always been social interaction and Med Makeover and Facebook are using cyber networking to their advantage. The Mediterranean diet is not the only health application Facebook offers. A quick search can offer much other resourses like a food diary, activity log, and with many other functions. Using cyberspace, Facebook can increase the word of the Mediterranean diet and support better heart health, brain function, weight control, and many other benefits.
Photo by Hailey Stephens
Save canines, close puppy mills Haley Rush Behind the welcoming frontage of the community pet shop frequently lays a puppy mill. Puppy mills are nothing out of the ordinary. These crowded dogbreeding businesses have been around for decades. There seems to be no end in sight to these dreadful operations, because they continually thrive on consumers who are love-struck by the puppies in the pet shop windows. Dogs live their entire lives in overcrowded cages and are bred repeatedly for years. Most of them will never know what it is like to be part of a family. Usually the dogs receive no veterinary care and will never know any other surface then the hard, cold, and unsanitary cage. After they are no longer able to breed, mother dogs are usually killed. The result of puppy mills is thousands of puppies with many risks of health problems. The puppies are shipped across the country to be sold in pet shops. Many shops often make phony assertions such as, “We’d never sell puppies from a puppy mill.” Since puppy mills are a business, they are designed purely for profit instead of the well-being of the dogs. They seem to navigate around every law made against cruelty to animals. The Humane Society of the United States has been inspecting puppy mills
for decades. The investigation reveals the unkind realism of the commercial dog- breeding industry. They have petitioned to change current laws as well as added money to impose the laws. The Humane society has educated millions of consumers on the reasons why they should avoid puppy mill puppies. There is still more work to be done and still thousands of puppy mills need to be shut down. Some dogs have survived long enough to be placed with a caring family. Many die due to physical ailments, bad breeding, and poor conditions. Pepper is a small Yorkshire terrier who was born in a puppy mill in Arkansas. After Pepper was saved from the mill, he had a severe urinary infection and tested positive for Parvovirus (a highly contagious virus that attacks the intestines and causes shedding to the inner layers of the intestine). The veterinarian felt he had a thirty percent chance of recovery. After several days of intense hospital care, Pepper beat the odds. He, however, cannot walk or stand at this time due to living in a crowded cage, but he is slowly learning. Pepper suffered a few of the many bad conditions puppy mill canines go through. Typically, their hair will grow into their chains and in some cases the chains will indent into their own skin. They are commonly nervous or cannot walk on normal surfaces. Because of heavy breeding females are exausted. They often have tooth decay and dislocated bones.
The number one puppy-buying tip is adoption. There are dozens of dogs to choose from at the local animal shelter. It is almost a sure thing that there will be a perfect match. Also look for a responsible breeder, but never buy a puppy without seeing their premises. It is time to stop puppy mills once and for all and give dogs the chance to endure human companionship. If there is anyone who is considering buying a puppy, give him or her a puppy buying tips. Educate people everywhere about puppy mills and their shockingly poor conditions. Speak up and maybe their can be a change to millions of dogs everywhere.
Shannon O’Neil October 2007,
a fisherman found the body of a two-year-old little girl. She was found in Galveston Bay, in Galveston, Texas and was unidentified for weeks, given the nickname “Baby Grace”. Eventually Baby Grace was identified as Riley Ann Sawyer by her grandmother, Sheryl Sawyers. Sheryl claims that she saw the sketch of Baby Grace and knew it was Riley. According to Mrs. Sawyers, Riley was a sweet, innocent, little girl. She was brutally beaten and murdered July 25, 2007. The two prime suspects in her death are her mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor, 20 years old, and stepfather, Royce Clyde Zeigler II, 25 years old. Even though this happened a little over a year ago, the parents are now being put on trial. Trenor and Zeigler had met online while playing “World of Warcraft.” Soon after, Trenor moved herself and Riley from Mentor, Ohio to Spring, Texas to live with Zeigler. Trenor claimed everything was great until one day Zeigler became annoyed with the two-year old’s lack of manners. The two parents state that they punished the little girl. They claim that she needed to learn her manners, so they beat her with a belt. She was beaten so badly that her skin was covered in bruises. Riley’s abuse didn’t stop there. Her head was thrust into cold water. When her autopsy was complete, the cause of death was from the many fractures of her head. Trenor claims that she wasn’t the one who killed Riley, but she didn’t stop it either. Even when Riley attempted to stop them, saying “I love you,” the beatings didn’t stop. She beat her, but blames the actual murder on Zeigler. She mentioned in one of her statements that he had taken Riley and tossed her across the floor, which caused the many fractures. When Riley was dead, the two put her in a storage container near their home. The storage container was kept in the couple’s shed. After a few months, the entire container was dumped into the Galveston Bay. Family members believed Trenor’s lie that Riley was in Child Protective Services somewhere in Ohio. Trenor’s trial brought almost all the jury to tears. She is pregnant now with her second child and has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of her young daughter. Zeigler has not stood trial, but the two remain in the Galveston County Jail with bail at $850,000. The attorney working with Zeigler claims that Trenor committed the murder. The death penalty for Zeigler will not be an option. After all of her autopsies Grace finally was buried in Ohio.
F eatures Scientists plea to revise textbooks Teen Haley Rush One single word has parents, educators, scientists, and students fighting a long-term battle in schools across the state of Texas. Passionate testimonies from social conservatives and scientists have been discussing their plea to the State Board of Education to revise the science curriculum. The word that is creating such a controversy is none other then evolution. Texas is one of the biggest buyer’s of textbooks, and publishers are hesitant to produce different versions of the same material. Many teachers and biologists fear that the Board will force publishers to inelude Darwin’s theory of evolution and support a more Biblical view of evoultion. In the past years, the education board has lacked the votes to change the textbooks, but this year it is presumed to be fairly close. Recently, social conservatives obtained seven of fifteen chairs on the Texas board. A dentist named Dr. Don McLeroy is the Chairman of the Board. In 2003 he pushed for a more skeptical version of evolution in textbooks, but could not achieve the majority of the vote. Dr. McLeroy does not believe in Darwin’s theory. He strongly believes that the Earth’s appearance is a recent geologic event that is not 4.5 billon years old as scientists say but only thousands of years old. The main focal point of this debate is
the state’s curriculum that entails students to critique not just Darwin’s theory, but all of the scientific theories. Texas has remained with the “exploring the strengths and flaws” standard for twenty years. It was originally passed to please the religious conservatives, but studies have shown teachers rarely pay close attention to it. However, a panel of teachers assigned to revise the curriculum proposed that teachers should instead urge the students to analyze and evaluate scientific explanations using empirical evidence. Religious advocates and scientists battle over the evolution issue. Many people have argued that the Board has used the strengths and flaws theory to justify religious views and belittle scientific views. Kelsey Carlisle, a senior said, “I believe that everyone is making too much of a fuss about evolution. Students are going to believe what they want to believe about things and also what a parent teaches creates a bigger influence then what other people say.” The National Center for Science in Education believes the Board has tried to bring creationism (the doctrine that matter and all things were created, substantially as they now exist, by an omnipotent Creator, and not gradually evolved or developed) and intelligent design (a theory that nature and complex biological structures were designed by intelligent beings and were not created by chance) through the back door. The National Center for Science in Education opposes watering
down evolution in biology classes. Legislators in six different states have already asked their classrooms to start using the strengths and flaws theory. Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, and South Carolina are the states that want to follow in Texas’s footsteps, according to the Discovery Institute, a strategic center in Seattle. Stephen Meyer, the director of the Discovery Institute and an expert on the history of science agrees that The Board is fighting for academic freedom and fighting against what has been seen as biologists fanatic with Darwin. Biologists have fought back by saying Mr. Meyer and other Board Members are ignoring the majority of the evidence collected over the years supporting Darwin and his theories. Freshman Ryan Behrle said “I think evolution should be taught ,because I think students should have a chance to hear different viewpoints in the world. I’m really religious and no matter what I learn, I will always believe in God. Many people believe textbooks treat evolution as more than a theory. In reality Darwinian is not a proven fact and is full of half-truths and deceptions. Some parents believe that biology teachers intimidate children when the subject of evolution is brought up. No matter what side one might prefer, the final vote will be in March. The education system could soon be teaching the one word “evolution” that has caused such a controversy with Texas textbooks.
Obama takes style to the extreme Albert Nkansah The president of the United States has its many stresses and complications, but it can also have its perks. President Obama has already had a taste of those perks by riding in “the beast.” The new presidential limo that Obama will be riding in the next four years is a 2009 Cadillac DTS. It has been nicknamed “the beast” because of its imposing externalities. The limo is equipped with tires, is surrounded by a half-inch body of armor. It is enough to stop a .44 magnum fired at point blank range. The limo is five feet, ten inches high and eighteen feet wide. It consumes an estimated eight miles a gallon. The car has special features in each section of the vehicle. The driver’s window is tough enough to withstand armor piercing bullets. The doors are also eight inches thick and are able to seal itself from the outside air. The tires are shred and puncture resistance and have steel rims so the car can
escape even if the tires are blown away. The boot of the car holds oxygen supply and a firefighting system and the rear seats are technologically advanced and feature a laptop with WiFi connection and a foldaway desktop. The seats also feature a state of the art satellite phone and have a direct line to the pentagon and the vice-president. The dashboard has a communication center and a GPS tracking device. “I think its cool that he gets fancy stuff in his limo. The deserves it,” said Ellen Gaudet. However, there are many dangers to being the next United States president and “The Beast” is well equipped with security features that will potect President Obama. The limo has a petrol tank that is armor plated and has foam. It prevents the car from exploding even if it was to encounter a direct hit. The bodywork has steel, aluminum, ceramic, and lithium to protect the car f r o m
any projectiles. Below the car there is a chassis, which is a five inch plate placed directly under the car in case of a bomb. The protection does not stop there. Pump action shotguns, night vision cameras, tear gas cannons and even a vial of the president’s blood is kept on board in the unlikely event that he would need a blood transfusion. The man who is in charge of driving President Obama to his destinations has been trained to cope in even the strenuous and demanding driving conditions. Joe Funk, a former secret service agent, who drove president Clinton around, said. “It is a cocoon and the everyday noises will be gone and he will be totally isolated in this protected envelope.
Photo by MCT Campus
pregnancy Alina Gregory Mississippi has now overtaken Texas and New Mexico in having the country’s highest teen pregnancy rate, according to a federal report from the U.S, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on January 6. Mississippi’s rate is more than 60 percent higher than it was in 2006. The lowest teen pregnancy rates are in New England again, where three states have teen birth rates that are about half the national average. Last year a report was released that the teen birth rates have risen for the first time in 15 years, according to the 2006 report. The report shows the data of teen births for each individual state. The report is based on a review of 2006 birth certificates. Twenty-six states noted significant increases in teen birth rates. There were about 21,000 more teen births in 2006 than in 2005. Four hundred and thirty five thousand of the country’s 4.3 million births in 2006 were from mothers ages 15 through 19. The largest increases were in the states with the largest populations. Texas, California, and Florida jointly produced about thirty percent of the country’s teen births in 2006. Some have blamed the higher teen pregnancy rates on federal funding for abstinence-only health education that does not teach students about contraceptives. Another cause for the increase could be the way the media portrays teen pregnancy. They usually make it out to be very glamorous. New Hampshire has the lowest teen birth rate at 19 out of every 1,000. The national teen birth rate was 42 out of every 1,000. Mississippi had the highest with 68 out of every 1,000. Texas had about 63 out of every 1,000. Many factors influence teen birth rates, including poverty, culture, and racial demographics. The south had a much higher teen birth rate than New England. Arkansas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Nevada, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia rounded out the top 10 states with the highest teen birth rates. Mississippi’s one-year increase of 1,000 teen births could be a statistical blip, and Texas or New Mexico could be first again in a year. “I didn’t ever expect to see this many pregnant teen girls in our area,” senior Jena Devito said. Although teen pregnancy rates are increasing, teen abortion rates are not. Teens saw the largest drop in abortion rates than any other demographic since the Supreme Court ruled abortions legal w i t h Roe v. Wade in 1974. Teen contraceptive use has also gone up noticeably from 1995 to 2005. The rate of abortions for 20-24 year olds has gone up about 10 points since 1974. It is thought that more needs to be done to educate women in their twenties about contraceptives.
Creek grad plays ball Alina Gregory
Creek graduate Marcus Davis recently participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio’s Alamodome on January 3, 2009. The two teams playing were the East and West. This year the East defeated the West 30 to 17. The West had a total of 354 yards while the East had a total of 332 yards. The West scored 3 points in the first quarter, 0 points in the second quarter, and seven points in each the third and fourth quarters. The East scored 7 points in each the first and second quarters, 6 points in the third, and 10 points in the fourth quarter. “I think I had a solid performance all week,” Davis said. “I wanted to show off my coverage skills because I didn’t get to do that much this season. I feel like I went up there and proved myself against good competition.” Davis played for the West and is considered one of the most versatile defensive back prospects in the country. He possesses the tackling skills to play safety and the coverage skills to play corner. He is a skilled tackler that doesn’t miss a chance to take down the ball carrier. Davis is six feet tall, weighs 193 pounds, and has a forty time of 4.45 seconds. He was named first-team AllDistrict as a junior in 2007 at both return specialist and defensive back. “Considered to be the best corner in Texas, he can cover receivers like a blanket, has a very smooth backpedal,
explosive speed, instincts and range,” a selection committee said of Davis. Davis was one of seven players from the West team nominated for the Glenn Davis Army Award. The award is given to the player who best shows the U.S. Army’s high standards of excellence in athleticism, education, and community service. Davis was nominated partly because of his charity work with his church. Seven UT commits played in the AllAmerican Bowl. These players included Marcus Davis, Tariq Allen, Calvin Howell, Alex Okafor, Garrett Porter, Greg Timmons, and Chris Whaley. All of these UT commits are from the state of Texas. In the 2007 season, Davis had 44 tackles and a pass break-up for Creek. “Playing football with Marcus was fun because he is such a good athlete,” senior football player Hunter Seale said. Marcus Davis now attends and plays for The University of Texas in Austin. He graduated one semester early from Creek to enroll at UT for the spring semester. He is a very versatile player and can play corner and safety. He also has great special teams abilities. Davis also considered Oklahoma University, Louisiana State University, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech. He verbally committed to The University of Texas during his junior year. He was ranked the 79th pick for college football in the nation by ESPNU. He was given a 5.9 rating out of 6.1 on Rivals.com.
Beyond the barn: FFA Ryan Munthe Most people have heard of Future Farmers of America, or FFA, but they do not know much about its functions and business. The FFA students raise animals and they have awesome lunches on the patio. However, FFA is something that requires a large amount of a student’s time and dedication. FFA begins at the start of the school year when students adopt an animal to raise it for approximately 3-4 months. During these 3-4 months, the FFA member has to feed, wash, clean, and take care of the
be eligible for an FFA show. At a livestock show, animals are judged on several qualities. Depending on how well the animal does at the show, it is then auctioned off. At these auctions, all the money earned for their animal goes directly to the student who raised the animal. If a student can stay dedicated for 3-4 months before the shows and auctions begin, an FFA member can truly ‘cash in’ during the auction. FFA isn’t a simple club for Agriculture students. It is truly something more. Students can truly test their character and responsibility. No other clubs or organizations require you to b e
responsible for an animal’s life. No other clubs can give you a substantial payout at the end of the year. FFA animal “like a parent,” said FFA President Brittini East. As the student’s livestock grows, the animal competes in shows, potentially resulting in large amounts of money after the auction of the animal. The commitment to the program is very real and requires a special type of person. “FFA requires a large amount of commitment,” said president Brittni East. During a typical week, FFA requires the student to stay after school for nearly two hours, completing all the daily duties to keep his or her animal as clean and healthy as possible. Students must also pass their classes to
also strives to set up its members f o r success in the future. It is divided into two distinct certifications: CDE is for people looking to pursue a career in agriculture and LDE is about team competition and judging other animals. “I love FFA because I get to work with animals,” said Whitney Sutton, senior. “I want to be a veterinarian someday, so a program like this is great for me to get hands-on experience.”
Photos credit by MCTcampus
A round Creek 9 Cavaliers competition: more than high kicks Megan McKisson The Cavalier dance team is known for their traditional hats, boots, uniforms and famous kick line. However, the girls do much more than halftime performances at football season and an end-of-the-year Spring Show. The team pursues many other areas of technical excellence in competition, and gives back to the community by volunteering. Each winter, the girls remove their hats and boots to vigorously prepare for the physically demanding competition season, taking numerous routines to competitions at both local and national levels. “Competition season is our time to show off our technical skills,” said Cavalier captain Molly Waldner. “It’s a time when we really get to explore our artistic side.” “Football season is about upholding traditions and putting on a good show. Typically, the routines are cute and clean, but not extremely challenging,” said Lena Toia, 10th. “Competition is about getting our name out there and performing to the best of our abilities.” During the 2008 competition season, the Cavaliers attended two local competitions and one national competition held in Orlando, Florida. The team received numerous awards, including first place in both kick and jazz routines and second place in pom. Overall, they earned the title of Large Team National Grand Champions – the most prestigious prize awarded. “When they called our name, we all jumped up and screamed,” said senior member Hannah Carson. “It was so exciting to win because it meant we were the very best.” Countless hours of practice go into preparation for these performances. The team began auditioning for competition dances in mid November, and the practice hasn’t stopped since. “People don’t realize that the majority of our work is done after football season,”
said sophomore team memberAllyson Jones. “We are year round and practice every single day,” said Traci Carpenter, Cavalier director. “Usually we have July off and that is it.” “Competition season is a lot of fun, but it’s one of our most difficult and stressful seasons,” said 1st Senior Lieutenant Ashley Johnson. The Cavaliers plan on taking sixteen solos, four team dances, three officer routines and three ensembles to future competitions. This year, the team has added a modern-style dance to their routine lineup as well as returning favorites of jazz, kick, and pom. The modern routine is choreographed to Robert Kennedy’s speech “A Mindless Menace” and emphasizes equality of all races, genders, and status levels. “Modern is about telling a story through body motions,” said Junior Lieutenant Halle Hardman. “It’s not as technical as some of our other routines. It’s a completely different style of dance.” The 2009 team jazz, kick, and pom routines all follow a rockand-roll theme, with AC/DC’s “Let There Be Rock”, The Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”, and the Golden God ’s “Dynamite Lady”. “I like dancing to rock songs because they are fast, exciting, and the movements are powerful,” said Kaitlyn Lassere, 11th. “Rock is very entertaining because an audience can relate to it b e t t e r, ” said junior Liel Allon. “ O u r routines are also very energetic and fun to watch.” This year, the Cavaliers plan to attend
one national competition in Dallas and two local competitions at nearby high schools. “I am very excited about the team’s potential this season,” said Carpenter. “Every Cavalier is dedicated to bringing our best.” The team’s officers, jazz company and soloists previously attended January Jubilee at Friendswood High School on January 17, 2008. The jazz company (an elite group of dancers comprised of Molly Waldner, Ashley Johnson, Jennifer Adams, Evelyn Fontana, Halle Hardman, Lindsay
Satterfield, Lindsey Froeschl, Cathy Bellmore, Melissa Moede, Lindsey Pugh, Kelsey Sutton, Brianna Jordan, Emilia Capuuzzi, and Brooke Fontenot) received first place in the ensemble category for their routine to “Crazy Train”. The Cavalier officers (Molly Waldner, Ashley Johnson, Jennifer Adams, Evelyn Fontana, Halle Hardman and Lindsay Satterfield) took home second place in the Officer Lyrical category as well as both Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Technique awards. The team also took eleven soloists to the competition, and captain Molly Waldner received 3rd place
overall out of a pool of fifty contestants. “I am so proud of all the soloists, the officers and the jazz company,” said Carpenter. “To perform as well as we did this early in the year is a testament to the work ethic of the girls.” The Cavaliers also perform their competition routines at selected home basketball games. “Performing at basketball games is a lot different than performing at football games,” said Allon. “You feel a lot more connected to the crowd because you can pick out individual faces. During football season, you can’t tell who they are and they can’t tell who you are. Basketball season is a lot more diverse than football season; we perform many different styles of dance.” “It is our job to support the athletic teams, and we enjoy continuing that tradition,” said Carpenter. “This also gives us an opportunity to perform our dances in front of a great CCHS crowd.” The team also makes an effort to invest time in volunteering. During the Christmas holidays, the Cavaliers held a food-and-necessities drive for a women’s shelter in Houston. They collected over five hundred items to donate to the shelter. The girls also volunteered at Project Crayon, a drive to help elementary children recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. “As a teacher, I have to prepare my students to be good, high-functioning citizens before dancers,” said Carpenter. “Volunteering is important because it’s giving back what our community has given us,” said sophomore Brooke Fontenot. “We’re so much more than just a dance team,” said Courtney Jones. “We’re a sisterhood. Helping the women’s shelter is helping another sisterhood.” Beyond football season, many different facets of the Cavalier dance team exist. “We do more than kick,” said Carpenter. “Although we are good at it, we learn and perform all styles of dance.”
Photos by Megan McKisson
Children’s Theatre prepares a puppet show Kaitlyn Foote Inside portable five, there has been a frenzy of activity as the students of Mr. Estelle’s Children’s Theatre classes get ready to put on a show. However, this is not just any kind of performance. This performance will be one of a dying art form: Puppet Theatre. The students have been hard at work preparing stories, creating puppets, and designing t-shirts to prepare for their performance, which will be sometime late in February. The audience will be slightly different than those present at previous Children’s Theater performances. The students will travel downtown to the Memorial Hermann Children’s Hospital and perform their two shows for the patients there. This will be the first time that the Children’s Theatre classes perform outside of the CCISD district. In the meantime, the students of Mr.
Estelle’s classes are working on their puppet shows. Preparations started in October when everyone began creating their own personal puppets with paper bags. The students shared an idea to perform a full-scale Puppet Performance for the child patients at the Children’s Hospital. Soon a f t e r, M r . Estelle was granted permission to start production of the performances in each of his classes, and the performance process b e g a n . Each class sat down and collaborated ideas and eventually came up with a final storyline. One play, “Rainy Day Adventures”, is about three children who can’t go out to play, fall asleep, and have different adventures in their dreams.
Another story, “Saving Tiki Island”, is about three Tiki people who go on a quest to save their island from being destroyed by a volcano. The students divided up into groups to create separate scenes of their script. The full-length script was then put together and redistributed to the students for final editing. “Script writing is all about collaboration. We’ve got three different sub stories and working with each group can be difficult, but it’s a lot of fun watching it a l l come together,” said Melissa Davis, 1 2 th. The most important thing for the show are the puppets themselves. Both classes crafted three
puppets. Each were created by the students, including attire. The puppets were hand-sewn by various students in each class. The students will perform the play as well. Every student has a part, and some have to play more than one part. “Making the puppets was a challenge, but I think they look really good,” said Karrie Wood, 12th. “I had a lot of fun making the puppets and I can’t wait to go visit the kids and perform. The whole process was a lot of fun,” said senior Colleen Kelly. The students of Mr. Estelle’s Children’s Theater classes are very excited to have this opportunity to perform for the patients at Memorial Hermann Children’s Hospital. “It was rewarding working on the ‘educational interaction’ group because we get to teach a lesson to kids who don’t get t o go to school everyday like we do,” said Lindsey Jones, 11th.
Photos by Megan McKisson
Happy Valentines Day To Mrs. Jameson, Mrs. O’Neil & Mrs. Othon!
Your Intern Loves You!
Last year I was planning an amazing Valentines Day for my longtime girlfriend. I had every detail figured out. We were going to have the best day ever, or so I thought. I started thinking about what I was going to do months in advance and was really excited. The day was going to start out with me kidnapping her and taking her to breakfast. We were going to eat pancakes until we puked! Okay, so that wouldn’t be romantic, but you get the idea. So I had gone
to James Avery and pretty much spent my entire paycheck on this beautiful heart necklace, I knew she’d love it. Next on my list was to find the recipe for her favorite cookies. Now I can bake only if I follow the recipe, so it was important I found the right one. I went to Kroger and bought all the ingredients and went to work. I knew if I didn’t make them ahead, they would’ve never gotten done. When the dough was made I searched franticly for the cookie cutters. I was in luck because
Valentines day had become mor disheartening than it was a holiday of lov To avoid my second Valentines Day in row alone, my friends and I wanted to d something different than our typical chic flicks and snacks. My friends decided would be a great idea to try to find a date o the Internet. After an evening of looking different men’s profiles, finally someone stoo out. He seemed tall, dark, and handsome an had a fine personality. We talked online fo hours and hours and everything was goin wonderful. I thought I would finally break m two yearlong tradition of a lonely Valentine Day. We had made the plan to meet at a loc
not only did I find a heart shaped one, I also found a cupid one. Once the cookies were in the oven, I sat down to call her mom. Her mom and I were pretty close and she was excited when she heard my huge Valentine’s Day plan. We talked for a while and she told me the best time to come would be around six, because we both had late arrival. So I hung up the phone and took the cookies out of the oven and was off to the dreaded mall. I had to get a snazzy new outfit for the big day. I wanted my girlfriend to think I looked hot! So I pushed through the tons of people doing last minute shopping, like myself. So I finally made it to
Hollister and found of jeans and red but It was perfect. An was off to my nex Roses, the classic flower was not har but my girlfriend’ were yellow tulips. were hard to find after the third flow I picked up the la yellow tulips th Success! Now all do was wait for to to come. I tos turned all night, t to even sleep. This Valentine’s Day was going to be perfect. Finally it was five and time for m I took a shower, sh
Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you have to spend Anonymous Valentines Day alone! Why not try and get a group of friends together to go see a movie, or go out for a night on the town. If your friends are busy, you could always go out, and treat yourself to dinner or even go dancing. Who knows, you might meet some cool new people! And hey, just because you do not have a date doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate! February 15th is slowly becoming known as Single Awareness day! So why not go all out and send yourself some flowers, or throw a singles party. Theres plenty of ways to have fun, so dont just sit at home and spend the night by yourself, have fun!
I opened one e that it was finally time out of bed. I sighed a under the covers an the bathroom. As I mentally cros of an imagin Singles Awa to myself. 14th ha remaine of bein indepe no r this the reg I lo cou gi pr b la a
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downtown restaurant Valentines evening. Once I arrived at the restaurant, dressed to impress, I sat waiting at the table. After a few minutes of waiting at the table, a delightful little boy about 7 years old came up to me and asked for my name. I assumed he had come up to me because he lost his mother, but no he had something entirely different to tell me. He told me that he was the “Tall, dark and handsome” man of my dreams from the Internet. Him and his friends wanted to play a prank and thought it would be amusing. Once I came to the conclusion to that a 7 year old played this awful prank on me, I made a promise to myself to never try internet dating again, and that a click flick and some snacks sounds absolutely perfect for Valentines.
on my best cologne, Old Spice, and was ready for anything. So I loaded all the goodies into the car and made my way to my girlfriend’s house. I pulled into the driveway and parked. Flowers in hand I made my way to the front door. I rang the doorbell and she answered the door. She looked surprised, but not in a good way. She all of a sudden started crying and the only words I could understand were, “I’m breaking up with me to get ready. you.” So instead of the best haved, and put Valentine’s Day, I had the worst.
d the perfect pair tton down shirt. nd tomorrow, I xt task, flowers. Valentine rd to find, ’s favorite . Now those d. Finally wer store ast dozen hey had. I had to omorrow ssed and to excited s
eye just enough to see for me to drag myself as a crawled out from nd dragged my feet to s I brushed my teeth, ssed February 13th off ned calendar. “Happy areness Day,” I thought Yet again February ad dawned, and I ed in the perpetual state ng single. Usually, my endent status was of real consequence, but s was the one day of year in which I truly gretted it. Everywhere ooked, there would be uples in the hallway, irls walking around roudly with their boxes of chocolates arge enough to feed small army, their
“I have had the worst valentine experience ever last year. My ex boyfriend went to a different High School than I did so I decided to surprise him bright and early on the morning of valentine’s day, before school. I called his mom and confirmed the event the night before. I planned to wake up at 4 am, get dressed, go pick up his favorite breakfast (doughnuts), then go over to his house to wake him up with my card and present. It had been almost 4 years that we had been together and this would be our 3rd valentine’s day together. I found the cutest card to get him that showed how much he meant to me. The front of the card said, “I love stud muffins,” followed by the inside stating, “that’s why I love you so much.” As planned, my alarm went off at 4 am and I gathered all my schoolbooks and took off for the doughnut shop. I called his mom whenever I got to his house and she opened to door for me. I quietly opened his bedroom door and gave him a hug to wake him up. He shrugged me off and wasn’t even happy to see me. He just laid there without any attempt to open his eyes. Finally after getting so annoyed and telling him I had to go soon to get to school on time, he rolled over. I handed him my perfect card and as he read it, his face turned from tired to disgusted. He turned the card to face me as he pointed to the words. “Stud muffins?!?! Don’t you mean stud muffin? What do you like other guys or something?” I was shocked at his reaction to my card I just stood there. He threw the card back at me and rolled over and I started to get up and leave his room. I reached the door to leave his room whenever he finally stopped me with the words, “oh, here.” He stretched
vibrant bouquets flashing across the courtyard. And there I would be, my English book in hand, my only plans for the evening involving a midnight snack and a math textbook. The day proceeded as I had believed it would: uneventful. There were the usual cheery “Happy Valentine’s Days” from friends, and occasional cheesy cards and garishly pink colored candies. Not that I didn’t appreciate the gestures, it’s just that it can only mean so much when the gifts you receive come only from your friends. I sat down at the lunch table and pulled out my brown sack, filled with the same sandwich, same bag of chips, that I ate everyday, with the addition of a heart-covered chocolate bar as my consolation. And then there he was: the guy I’d been sitting with at lunch for the past few weeks, the guy who seemed to actually want to talk to me, and the one guy that I would never in my wildest dreams want to go out with. Suffice it to say that he wasn’t my type. He sat down next to me, casually dropping his
backpack under the table as he slid into his chair. Half smiling, he handed me a small box of chocolate. Two things happened. My initial reaction was to give a small smile in return, with a mumbled thank you. I was flattered. What girl wouldn’t be? But my stomach curdled. Of all the guys to actually give me something, did it have to be this one? The one guy to whom I could give a definite “no” was the one guy who actually liked me. But that’s the way life is, I suppose. I finished eating as casually as possible, trying to ignore the box of candy sitting next on me, pleading in a thousand silent words to be opened and appreciated. Eventually,
under his bed and pulled out my present. I can’t even remember what it was because t h a t present was irrelevant to the rest of that morning. I was so frustrated with him that I started to yell that he didn’t trust me and couldn’t even appreciate a card that was cute and that was for him. Later, after I left, I found out from his little sister that he didn’t even touch the doughnuts I got him and he complained that I woke him up whenever he could have still been sleeping. I t
*These stories are anonymous, and names may have been changed. I gave in and snuck a piece, and I glanced over to see him looking in hopeful approval. I gulped down more than just my caramelf i l l e d chocolate morsel at that point. The bell rang, and we all got up to leave, my friends all wished me a “Happy Valentine’s Day” as I strode off to geometry. As I exited the cafeteria, he caught my arm. “Hey, can I talk to you?” he asked. “Umm…” I grasped for words, “Sorry, got to cram for a quiz. I’ll see you later!” I made a quick escape through the doors and headed for the stairs. Once again, I was glad Valentine’s Day only comes once a year.
T een Interest 13 An ‘Ideal’ production American Idol returns Allie Hinga
On December 21, 2008, the CCHS theatre department performed the play Ideal, written by Ayn Rand. Despite a few minimal glitches, the students put on an excellent production of a highly complex work about the search for a soul who does not submit to the pressures of society, but rises above to be his own person. The action follows famous actress Kay Gonda, who is “on the run” after being accused of murder. On her journey, she seeks out six supposedly avid fans to see if they will hide her from the authorities, in keeping with the pledges of devotion in the letters they sent her. These letters were projected on screen with voiceovers between scenes. At each house, Gonda tries to persuade her hosts to let her hide out from the police, but in the end, each either turns her away, or tries to take advantage of her desperate position. Whether it be a wife’s demands, the hope of reward money, the sacrificial nature of a religious faith, or even a refusal to recognize the woman standing in the room, Gonda finds herself turned away from the men who have claimed to idolize her and to see her as a model for the way life should be. Eventually, Gonda comes to the home of Johnnie Dawes, who, after discussing with Gonda peoples’ inability to be themselves in the face of society, calls in the cops, confesses that he committed the murder, and then shoots himself. The play closes with the revelation that none of the parties committed the murder, but that Gonda did use the occasion to go on a quest of discovery. Gonda proclaims that she has found that many of her fans do not love her, but that a select few do, and it is for those few she will continue to act. While on the surface the play may appear to follow a relatively obscure plot laden with difficult inferences, the play is meant to be less of a straight forward story,
and more of a journey across humanity. It centers on a quest of the woman that so many people consider the “ideal” of what life ought to be like into the lives of everyday, ordinary people . People who have, along with the masses, traded their true selves and their passions for the mandates of society or their own needs. Whether it be the restrictions on society about family life and the demands of the spouse, the desire to be self-sacrificing in the name of religion, the need to get money, or even the refusal to see the ideal when it is directly before them, Rand insinuates that most people have sacrificed their dreams and themselves so they can merely “get by” in the world. Gonda, the ideal self, is turned out on every doorstep, except for that of a man who is so himself that he will give his life for his “ideal.” Overall, the drama department put on an excellent performance. The setting, though sparse, was well done, and its scarcity served the important purpose of forcing the viewer to focus on the action rather than the scenery. The acting was excellent, and reflexive of much rehearsal on the part of the students. Sarah Cortez acted well the role of Kay Gonda, the slightly selfpossessed, yet philosophically-profound actress, which was a difficult role indeed. Though the play was very well done, it could have used a few improvements for a production of this caliber. Unfortunately, some of the actors’ speaking was mildly unclear, which made it difficult to grasp a play in which so many details and concepts are necessary for the viewer to understand if he or she is to comprehend the play. As a whole, however, the theatre department represented well a difficult script that proved to be both entertaining and thought-provoking. The performance’s conclusion left little to be desired at the end, except for those questions which Rand intended to be left unanswered.
Photo by Hailey Stephens
American Idol has been captivating Americans for years and is now in it’s eighth season. The show is again focused on finding the next big singer in the music industry. Through thousands of cities the three judges, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and the dreaded Simon Cowell, have had to listen to millions of hopeful Americans test their pipes. Some are good, but many are just down right terrible. Paula Abdul is a successful singer herself. In the 80’s Abdul was involved in choreography and singing. Her hit song was “Straight Up” and that song went straight up the charts. She is sometimes seen as the soft judge with no talent or experience but that is just not true. She may be soft, but she doesn’t lack the talent. She has many accomplishments under her belt. She’s received multiple MTV, Emmy, and People’s Choice awards, as well as one Grammy. “I respect Paula because she’s nice and doesn’t
judge the people on their looks,” says freshman Ashley Taylor. Many fans value her opinion on the show because she is the only judge, so far, that has been in the contestant’s shoes. Randy Jackson, The Dawg, has been on the music scene for a while. He has played the bass for Edie Money and Journey. He also has worked with Mariah Carey. While on the show, he often says, “We’ve got a hot one tonight” to the contestants who gave an amazing performance that night. “I respect Paula and Randy because they actually judge on singing while Simon just like flips a coin,” says freshman at Creek, Chris Gremillion. Jackson’s opinion is also respected because he’s seen what goes on behind the scenes of the music industry and knows the pressures that the contestants are facing. Simon Cowell is from the British version of American Idol, Pop Idol. He is
known to be rude, and often times mean to contestants. Cowell’s opinion isn’t respected as much, not because he’s rude, but because he’s never been in the shoes of a performer. However, many fans agree with him because he’s never afraid to be honest with people and tell them the truth about their talent. It’s quite apparent that Abdul and Jackson will sometimes put people through to Hollywood because of their sad, sob stories, but not Cowell; he doesn’t let emotion get in the way of judging. This season they have introduced a new judge, Kara DioGuardi. DioGuardi is an acclaimed songwriter and has worked with Celion Dion, Kylie Minogue, Enrique Iglesias, and Kelly Clarkson. Not only can she write songs, but she also has a great voice. Many fans are hesitant to accept the new judge, but she seems to mesh well with the other three. A good thing that the producers did was to add someone with talent and experience. The host, Ryan Seacrest, is the comic relief of the show and a favorite o f
many fans. He has so much fun with the contestants and the hopefuls at the auditions. All in all he has one of the best positions on the show because he doesn’t have to be judgmental, just funny. However, Seacrest is very respectful and nice to the hopeful people auditioning, and he never makes fun of them or laughs in their face, which is extremely hard in many of the situations. The talent on this season so far is incredible and many viewers have said that they think that it’s going to be a great season. It’s expected that there will be some misses during Hollywood Week because of speculation that the judges have put some undeserving people through. Viewers will have to tune in and watch to see the season unfold and find out who will be the next American Idol.
Photo by MCTCampus
Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” Album is a hit Megan McKisson Sugary singer Taylor Swift’s sophomore album “Fearless” once again delivers Swift’s signature soothing harmonies and squeaky-clean subjects. With over 330,000 album sales before the holiday season, Swift reigns as sweetheart songstress at No. 1 on the Billboard top 200. Are these skyrocketing sales directly related to a skintight fan base of hairbrushsinging, guitar-plucking preteens? A second look at the album would suggest otherwise. While Swift doesn’t hold a candle to the power-belting Carrie Underwoods and LeeAnn Rimes of her genre’s generation,
the preteen pleaser offers a sweet and soul-baring selection on her second album. Coupled with Swift’s genuinely winning personality and uncanny ability to connect with a crowd, it’s no wonder “Fearless” is flying off the shelves. Swift, who writes all of her own music, again gives her target 13-18 audience with real-life lyrics that the average Facebooker is likely to relate to. “In your life, you’ll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team,” she croons on freshman-year tear-jerker “Fifteen.” Swift captures the essence of a teenage roller-coaster romance in “The Way I Loved You,” singing that while she enjoys her emotionally stable boyfriend, she misses a “screaming and fighting and
kissing in the rain” kind of love. Perhaps Swift identifies with the greatest amount of listeners on “You Belong with Me,” a song bemoaning being the scorned secondbest in an unrequited love song. “She wears short skirts, I wear tee shirts; she’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers,” Swift laments. Whatever the track, “Fearless” makes clear that Swift’s greatest talent lies in songwriting. Her catchy, cheerful, and sometimes cheeky lyrics are bound to attract legions of listeners. Swift’s vocals on “Fearless” are, while stereotypically similar, most impressive on “The Way I Loved You” and “Change,” exhibiting a raw, sincere sound that further enforces the song’s emotional undertones. Beyond that, she
doesn’t employ much vocal variety. Heard like her debut album, “Fearless” is one continuous lullaby. That said, it certainly is an enjoyable one. Swift’s album is lazySunday-afternoon friendly, compelling the listener to replay it again and again. Swift’s greatest asset to her unbridled fame is her refreshingly real persona. She’s easily a listener’s next-doorneighbor, cool older cousin, or junior varsity softball teammate. “Fearless” is like a big sister’s sage advice, fried up and served hot in a down-home popcountry package too irresistible to ignore. Unburdened by the sleazy scandals of other teen starlets, Swift presents an unexpectedly edible selection, leaving the listener with a deeply satisfied “Aahhh.”
Baseball receives help Christen Valcoviak
The Clear Creek baseball team has an abundance of help and support to fulfill the needs of their players and coaches. While the team receives funding from the district, it is not enough to adequately cover all of the expenses. In order to address this problem, the baseball team has the Clear Creek Baseball Booster Club working behind the scenes to keep the program running well. The Booster Club is comprised of the parents of the baseball players, the coaches, and many Clear Creek Baseball Alumni families. The
to par. Creek’s boys’varsity basketball t e a m has been
struggling this season. There have been a number of injuries, as well as problems with team members quitting or losing eligibility. “We had a lot of failures and commitment issues this season,” team member Richard Edwards said. Despite these problems, the team wants to pull off a strong end to their season. They hope to improve their game with more conditioning, and have boasted a five-game winning streak so far. Those players who continue to participate have been working hard to bring their playing up
“We had a lot of teammates step up this season,” player Dundray Pierre said. T h o s e who continue to dedicate themselves to the game are those who will bring the team out of their hardships. Their dedication comes from more than just practice, but a love for the game and the competition it brings. “I like it because I like to compete with friends from other and the energy of game,” Pierre said.
m y schools t h e
Photo by Hailey Stephens
Girls’ soccer winning Albert Nkansah Creek has had major success in sports this year and the girls’
soccer t e a m has kept up the winning ways. T h e had a
coaching transition this year, as coach Dede McPherson retired after 20 years and over 300 victories as coach of the girls’soccer team. Sarah Heggen, the new girls’ soccer coach, has big shoes to fill, “She is a great coach and I know we will have a great season under her,” said Marie Martin. The Lady Wildcats have many returning players to the team this year, and they all have one common goal, which is to win. Stephanie Segura, Marie Martin and Kelcie Miller are some of the key seniors on this team. Key underclassmens are junior Mariah Martinez, sophomore Alicia Trevino, and freshman Kristi Leonard who leads the team with seven goals, and 17 points. The girls had a great start as they began the season at the Brazoswood ISD tournament. The Lady Wildcats first game was against co-hosts Brazosport who had the home field advantage on their side. Creek started the game off with a goal in the first half and was able to keep the
lead as they scored two more goals in the second half to win 3-0. After that game, Creek continued to dominate with a 3-0 win against Angleton, in the same fashion as the first game. However, the girls’ came to a crashing halt as they couldn’t stop Clear Springs attack and suffered their first loss, 0-5. Creek ended the tournament with a 0-0 tie against a quality Tomball opponent. The Lady Wildcats had a big 4-0 win against a new Dawson team before they began the CCISD tournament. Creek started off the tournament against MacArthur, where they were able to have a good game all around. Kristi Leonard led the way with two goals as Creek won 3-0. The Lady Wildcats had a chance for revenge on a Clear Springs team, but once again, the Chargers pulled away with the final score 0-4. Creek finished the tournament strong with a 2-1 victory over Bellaire. G o a l k e e p e r, Emily Backus had a season high six saves. Creek has a successful non-district record, 5-2-2 going into district p l a y.
Photo by Compton
Booster Club meets to discuss upcoming schedules, fundraisers, donations, concessions, field and cage work and many other things. Beginning in January 2009, the Baseball Booster Club began having weekly meetings and will continue to do so through February, every Wednesday at 7:00 PM, in an effort to prepare for the needs of the players, the fans, and the visiting teams. “Our mission is to get people involved, make the program better, provide for the program what the district can’t afford to provide and what Coach can’t provide with the budget,” said President of the Booster club, Tim Collins. “The purpose of the Booster Club is to support and raise money for the baseball team,” said the Booster Club’s treasurer, Holly Williams. The funds that the booster club receives are used towards various baseball needs, including supplies, equipment, uniforms and field maintenance. The Club buys new uniforms every other year for the players and in addition, they also purchase
equipment that the coach needs. That’s just where some of the expenses are. The Booster Club recently just raised enough money to purchase 2 top quality pitching machines which are referred to as Iron Mikes, as well as the installation of the machines, which totaled to almost $7000.00. The Iron Mikes give the athletes the opportunity to hit without the necessity of another person or a tee. A shipping container is the safe house for t h e pitching machines at the current time which will aide in protecting the machines
f r o m inclement weather and vandalism. At the current time, the booster club is working vigorously to raise enough money to provide a covered roof for the batting cage area so that the athletes can practice in inclement weather.
Photo by Christen Valcoviak
Wrestling goes to state
Albert Nkansah In three short years coach Eric Thompson has been able to jumpstart the wrestling program into one of the premier teams in the area. “He’s the drive of the team. Without him, we wouldnít have a soul,” said Zach Duncavage. After a historic season last year which included qualifying three people to the state tournament, the wildcats have been able to build on that success. The success of this team started in November, when the team traveled to Cypress to compete in the Cy-Ridge tournament. The boys’ team finished fourth out of 27 teams. Kyle Hughes was able to bring home first in the 171 pound weight class and Zach Duncavage finished second in the 215, and Matheus Groberio (180) finished third. Other wrestlers who did well were John Batterson(103) and Mitchell Buckmaster(160) who both finished sixth. The girls did even better. They finished second in the tournament out of 24 teams. Four girls finished in the top three as Gabby Hickey finished second in the 95, Chelsey Mcmillion in the 148, and
Hayley Mitchell in the 185 pound class. Tarah Brewer (138) received third and Shelby Zobel (185) finished fourth, and Jeanette Cornado-Gonzales and Jazmine Batterson(128) both received fifth. The girls went on to show their skill at the Houston Dual Championship. The Wildcats defeated Katy Cinco Ranch and Klein Collins, and came real close to defeating wrestling heavyweight, Katy. Creek ended up losing that match by only four points, but was able to rebound and defeat Katy Morton Ranch in the wrestle back bracket. The girls finished second at the Houston Dual Championship and earned a berth at the Texas Dual Championship in Amarillo. This had been the first time Creek has had either team receive a bid to go. The boys refused to be shown up at the Taylor Webb Classic, and planned to show how far they had come. Justin Dugie (152) was able to finish second in his weight class, and he was able to set a trend as Mitchell Buckmaster (160), Kyle Hughes (171), Matheus Groberio (180), Zach Duncavage (215) and Jared Biard (285) all finished second as well, which gave Creek second place in the tournament. “The team has been able o become a family and not just a bunch of individuals,” said assistant Coach Chris Billot.
Girls’ basketball with good numbers District win Albert Nkansah
After years of Clear Brook’s girls’ basketball winning district titles, it seems like the dominance in t h e district has shifted t o the Lady
Wildcats. The Lady Wo l v e r i n e s had been the best team in district 24-5A for the past six years until last year when Creek, led by Kourtnee Pevehouse and Tiff Mills, went undefeated in district and won the district championship for the first time since 1998. With an abundant amount of seniors leaving, it had seemed as if there was a chance of some falloff, however, the Lady Wildcats have come back as strong as ever. The Lady Wildcats have been led by the district MVP candidate senior Chelsea Solonika, who leads the team in points and steals junior Kaylin Dugie who leads the team in free throw shooting and assists, and junior Nyah Carter who leads the teams in blocks and rebounds. The team has also had many players step up at crucial times this season. Jasmine Lee, Meredith Tippeth, and Sydney Foreman h a v e contributed in an extremely positive way for the Lady Wildcats. “Chelsea Solonika,
Meredith Tippet, Kaylin Dugie, and Nyah Carter have all been good leaders for the t e a m on and off the court, ” said Coach Jana Williams. After a shaky Peggy Whitley Classic left Creek 9-5, the Lady Wildcats came out firing going into competition with a wideo p e n district. The girls started o u t district b y
The girls then went on to beat Alvin 50-24, and even dominated their hated rivals, Clear Lake 45-25. The Lady Wildcats also went on to beat Brook, Ball, and Dickinson by 20 points m o r e .
beating a (1-8) Ball team by only 15 points, than only winning against Dickinson by 4 points until they met a determined Clear Springs team. Creek jumped out to an early lead, up 13-8 at the end of the first quarter. However, The Lady Chargers went on a 17-8 run which spanned the third quarter and Creek never was able to recover. The Lady Wildcats suffered their first district loss 51-43. “I think the loss flipped the switch and it definitely helped us go on a
winning streak,” said Rocky Kilgore. The Springs game seemed to be a wake up call. The first team who felt Creek’s wrath was Brazoswood who had been previously undefeated in district. After Creek had let Brazoswood tie the game at halftime, the Lady Wildcats showed who the better team was, outscoring the Lady Buccaneers 23-1 in the third quarter and winning 57-29.
Photo by Compton
Under all the pressure, you’re striving to be the best, live up to the dream, and do the impossible. Unlike any other sport, all is silent, and players are surrounded by nature. Blake Wilson said his favorite thing about golf is “Being competitive and also relaxing.” He said when playing, “There is usually a song in my head, but no image.” The boy’s golf team has just reached the midpoint in the season, and they are looking good. They have three wins at Eagle Point, Battleground, and Augusta Pines, Glenloch and second place at Redstone. Wilson and Curtis Donahoe tied for second place at Eagle Pointe with a 153 for two games. At Battleground, Wilson eraned a 77 and a 70 for first place while Donahoe earned a 73 and an 80 for second. January 19, at Augusta Pines, Glenloch, Wilson scored 75. Varsity has three more tournaments until the District Finals on April 6 and 7 at Bay Forrest. If they do well they could go on to The Region Tournament on April 20, 21, and 22. State is May 7 and 8 at Jimmy Clay in Austin, Texas. “I think we will win again,” said Patrick Virgin. Blake Wilson agreed, “I’m very confident for the season. If every player does well, we will make it to state.” Winning this year would make The Clear Creek Boy’s Golf T e a m District Champs for the 9th year in a row. “It makes me want to live it up. It also gives me pressure to keep it up,” said Wilson.
Clear Creek Athletes of the Month Senior Varsity player Estevan Martinez is February’s Athlete of the Month. He has been playing soccer for fifteen years and his position is Forward. He is a captain for Creek’s team. Martinez’s goal this year is to win district and go to playoffs. He has been on varsity for three years and was on junior varsity his freshman year. Martinez has made five goals so far this year and has received an Honorable Mention award from the district. The varsity team practices five days a week from 1:30 to 3:30. Their games are Tuesdays and Fridays. “We have a promising team this year,” Martinez said. Chris Cobb coaches the soccer team. Martinez wishes to attend either Santa Clara University or Notre Dame. He is being recruited for soccer by the University of Dallas and Hastings College.
This month’s girl athlete varsity track and basketball star Raquel Kilgore. Kilgore likes being part of a team when she plays basketball, but also likes relying on only herself in track. Kilgore does the 400m, 800m, 4x4, and javelin throw events in track. She has been ranked 3rd in the nation twice for the javelin throw and verbally committed to the University of Texas at Arlington on January 28. “You have to put in a lot of time to do well in track, and it takes a lot of hard work,” Kilgore said. She practices five days a week for track and has meets on Saturdays. She also practices four days a week for basketball and has games on Tuesdays and Fridays. Kilgore has been playing basketball and running track since she was in the seventh grade at Victory Lakes Intermediate.
Speaking in public is feared more than death Ryan Munthe What are some of the largest fears? Death, spiders, cancer, small spaces, flying, bad weather all top the list. However, the most common fear is public speaking. Most people are deathly scared of public speaking, which was recently defined as an actual phobia. Even Jerry Seinfeld, star of the 90s self-titled sitcom, finds humor at the fact that public speaking is more feared than death, “According to studies, people’s number one fear is speaking. Number two is death. This means to the average person that if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy,” said Seinfeld during one of his recent stand-up comedy routines. What makes public speaking so scary to the point that people find it more frightening then death? Compare death, the phenomenon humans have been researching since the beginning of time to something that happens every day, public speaking and there seems to be very little possible comparisons. That’s
why the fear is so odd, the thought engulfing many people to the point of paranoia. Many positions, occupations, and classes rely on great speeches, and the question remains: why is something so necessary today so frightful? Many psychologists and other researchers have a variety of reasons where this fear developed from. Some feel that it is natural, just another part of the “fightor-flight” response, something native to the human demeanor. However, some also believe that it stems from the stigma of not talking Victoria Monett
to people we are unfamiliar with, which is something bred in us since we were little children. In the past and in other countires, most public speaking occurred between people who knew each other very well for a very long time-so the speaker felt safe because he knew what their reactions and feelings would be. Many people fear the response of their audience when speaking in public as thoughts of “Do they like it?” or “Am I making sense?” race through their head. A medical report on WebMD.com seems to have made the most
gives a speech in class.
intelligent connection as the medical report says the fear of public speaking occurs most in people with lots of anxiety and stress. The higher the stress and anxiety one has, the higher the person tends to shake and seem constantly nervous in public and by themselves. These reports all seem to carry the theme that despite this phobia seeming odd or strange, its an extremely common occurence. So, the next time a speech for Communication Applications doesn’t turn out as intended, or during a presentation someone absolutely locks up on stage and gets made fun of, give the person a break. There is nothing unusual or scary about this phobia if one suffers from it, the best way to overcome it would just to do more public speaking and become familiar with more people outside of the people one is most acquainted with so that a person may feel more comfortable around strangers. Obviously, this fear is nothing new, odd, or even out of the ordinary. In fact as documented, it’s the number one fear of Americans across the country today.
Photo by Ryan Munthe
Myths about the body U.S. Citizenship Test There are many unusual, odd, and interesting facts about the human bodyranging from myths about death, birth, hair, and many other facts. For example, a newborn’s head is one-fourth of the body’s total length, and a newborn’s eyes will not grow again because they are fully-grown when it is born. By the age of 25, however, the head is only one-eighth of the body’s length. Though eyeballs don’t grow, the ears and nose will continue changing until death. There are many other odd facts about the human body that most people don’t know. It is a myth that hair and nails keep growing after death. Though they appear longer, this is only because skin becomes dehydrated and shrinks back from the scalp and nail beds. Hair also may serve an unusual purpose since it clogs up drains so easily. It is also resistant to most chemicals, but may change colors. One hair can live on the body for three to seven years, but a person loses between 60 and 100 strands of hair every day. Luckily for men worried about male pattern baldness, 50% of the hair on someone’s head needs to be lost before it becomes obvious. The reason that men lose their hair more often than women is partly because women’s hair is finer than men’s hair, making it more apparent when a man loses his hair because it’s thicker. A general consensus is that the only differences between men and women is
reproductive organs. However, a women’s heart beats a little faster than a man’s, and women blink nearly twice as much. Women also have better senses of smell than men, unless they are one of the 2% of the world’s population that have no sense of smell. The brain archives senses of smell for the rest of the 98% of the populationand can remember almost 50,000 different smells, usually tying them to memories. The brain acts like a large computer hard drive, it can store five times as much information as an encyclopedia in one cell. To keep the brain fully functional, 20% of the oxygen inhaled goes directly to the brain. The oxygen that the brain uses helps the brain generate nearly enough power that can be used to light a 10-watt lightbulb. Another unusual fact is that due to dreaming and the subconscious mind’s actitivity at night, the brain is much more active during the night than during the day. Due to the amount of blood needed to power the brain, a human head can remain conscious for up to 20 seconds after being decapitated since there is still a large amount of blood keeping the brain conscious and the nerve endings alive, proving that all those old TV shows showing a human head blinking and being alive are possible, and partially true facts. Not many people actually realize that nearly 260,000 people die on average, per day across the world. These are just a few of the odd facts about humans-there are many more.
1. How long are US Representatives elected for? 2. Who is the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court? 3. Who has the power to declare war? 4. How many times can a US Senator be re-elected? 5. How many Justices are on the Supreme Court? 6. Whst is the deadline for filing federal income tax forms? 7. What do the stripes on the U.S. flag mean? 8. How old must a person be before he can run for President? 9. Who wrote the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’? 10. Who is the Commander-in-Chief? 1. Two years; 2. John Roberts; 3. Congress; 4. There is no limit; 5. Nine 6. April 15; 7. 13 Colonies; 8. 35; 9. Framcis Scott Key; 10. President
...15 true facts they don’t teach you in class
1. In Norman, Oklahoma it is illegal to make an ugly face at a dog.
2. 99% of pumpkins in the U.S. become Jack-O-Lanterns. 3. It is physically impossible to lick your elbow. 4. More people are killed annually by donkeys than airplane crashes.
5. No word in the English language rhymes with ëmonthí. 6. Every time you lick a stamp, youíre consuming 1/10th of a calorie. 7. The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
8. A person will spend at two weeks of their lifetime waiting »ÄÇÉ½ºÉÇ¶»Ĳ¸Á¾¼½ÉÉÄ¸½¶Ã¼º
12. King Edward II enacted that is it forbidden to die in Parliament.
9. The human brain is 80% water.
©½ºÂÂÎÌ¶ÈĲÇÈÉ called an ëImmyí.
10. The average lifespan of a Major-League baseball is 7 pitches.
14. The Ridgley bird barks instead of chirping.
11. The Bank of America began as the Bank of Italy.
15. In the 1500s the Pope passed a law to say ìGod Bless Youî after a sneeze.
7 6 10
Answers: 1. Exit sign 2. Fries 3. Door Henge 4. Door Lock 5.Caution Cone 6. Water Fountain 7.Fire Hydrant 8. Fire Lane 9. Ketchup 10. Mop and Bucket 11. Bulliten Board 12. Hurdle
Bay Harbour UMC Youth Ministries Invites you to join us for many different activities throughout the week. Sunday:
9:45 am Sunday School 5-7 pm Fun and Fellowship
Wednesday: Bay Harbour Youth at Senior High Beach Retreat 2008
3459 Deke Slayton Highway (FM 518) (Close to Clear Creek) 281-334-1100
6-7 pm Junior High Bible Study 8-9 pm Senior High Bible Study This summer, join us for camp and UM ARMY
18 Controversy Disclaimer: None of the following stories have been proven fact or fiction and do not represent the views of the Clear Creek HiLife News department, Clear Creek High School or any related entity such as.
9/11: Who knew about it A Presidential mystery Tracey Griffith
After a tragedy like the terrorist attacks of September 11th, people have difficulty in believing the cause of the disaster. Immediately after 9/11, people began forming conspiracies theories about the attacks. Hundreds of websites are dedicated to conspiracy theories, all claiming that 9/11 was not an accident. Some people claim that the government let the attacks happen, while others believe that it was the government that planned the attacks as an excuse to enter war with Iraq. 9/11 through the eyes of a believer of one of these conspiracies might sound like this.. The United States government planned the attacks and blamed Al-Qaeda as an excuse to enter into war with Iraq. The large amount of debris exploding from the sides of the World Trade Center as it fell were not caused by the pressure of the upper floors collapsing. They were caused by the detonations of explosives that had been planted there by the government before the attacks. The Boeing 767 planes were not the cause of the destruction of the twin towers. It was caused by a planned and controlled demolition. Another popular belief is that the pentagon was not hit by a commercial jet but a cruise missile. They believe that United Flight 93 was not brought down by its occupants, but rather that a U.S. Air force fighter deliberately brought the plane down.
“Evidence” of these conspiracies are the hole in the wall of the Pentagon that was formed by the Boeing 767. It was not large enough. The hole in the building was 75 feet wide while the wingspan of the plane is 125 feet. This might be because the wings of the plane fell off before the plane crashed into the building. But conspiracy theorists and some analysts say that the fact that neither wings nor the tail from the planes were found disproves this theory. Another example of evidence given toward the conspiracies is the statement of a pentagon employee who supposedly smelled cordite after the attacks, which is used as an explosive in cruise missiles. Many more odd questions arise in the attack of the pentagon. According to witnesses, the plane’s wing supposedly hit the ground first and dug into the Earth and the plane hit a lamppost. After analysts examined the site, there seemed to be too little damage at those points for that to be true. A poll of 1,010 adults in 2006 found that 36% of Americans consider it likely that the government could have played a part in 9/11. The results of another poll taken showed that 50% of people do not believe that the attacks on the World Trade Center were planned by Al-Qaeda. Many conspiracies were formed right after the attacks of September 11th. Some extreme, and some subtle, and some continue to be formed.
landing. The largest piece of evidence is the location where the landing was filmed. Each Apollo mission that landed on the moon had a similar backdrop, with three distinct mountains. However, the Apollo missions reportedly landed nearly 50 miles apart, and thus the landscape should have been different. More questions were raised after a scene was discovered in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” with a backdrop identical to the one of moon landing on the official NASA video. More curious discrepancies surrounding the video surfaced due to the lighting and shadows on the moon in the video. It is thought to be extremely curious that the famous picture of the Lunar Lander, the Moon Rover, and Neil Armstrong is extremely bright without any photo editing, with shadows that are extremely distinct. The moon is very dark on the surface, and not much is able to be
seen, according to the Apollo astronauts themselves. Yet, the video and the pictures are very bright, illuminated with dark shadows off to the side and bleak darkness behind them. No stars illuminating the sky. The lighting on Armstrong’s suit is not correct with the horizon of the moon. One comparison showing the shadows on the Lunar Landing due East, but the shadows on the rocks clearly pointing south. The most curious discrepancy in the broadcast occurred in a small area of Australia in which viewers in one city noticed a suspicious Coke bottle in the right corner of the film. Whether it was a issue during the transmission or a real issue with the faked landing, there was more suspicion that arose. The footage, however, had a delay and many people think that it was quickly cut out for the rest of the world to see. Some believe that the majority of Apollo missions were faked after some
quite confounding photos and evidence from NASA. Space travel interest was beginning to diminish, and some believe that NASA created the disaster in effort to bring public view back into the Apollo missions. On the 13 hour of the 13 day of the 13 Apollo Mission, the oxygen tank exploded, and supposedly the mission was 200,000 miles above the Earth. Photos show blue sky out the window of Apollo 13. If they were really in deep space, it should have shown a dark black color. If there were any valid reasons to flub the moon landing, the United States had the motive. They needed a distraction from the anti-Vietnam War sentiment, they wanted to win the Space Race, and they needed money to pay off NASA’s debts. looks like this will continue to stay among the ranks of suspicious conspiracy theories in America.
he was, causing him to lose control of the car. The car smashed into another vehicle and caught on fire. McCartney remained trapped in the car, which exploded before firemen could extinguish the blaze. The body was burned beyond recognition, and dental records proved useless to identify the body, as all of his teeth were knocked out during the crash. One local reporter had been following McCartney’s car, witnessed the entire incident, and returned to write a story for the morning paper. When police realized who the victim was, they phoned Brian Epstein, who bribed the paper into silence and the police who had run the license plate check to determine the identification of the body. The rest of the Beatles were shocked to hear of Paul’s demise, and at first considered disbanding, but decided to remain together because they were involved in too many
contracts. They were presented with the problem of finding a new bass player, and fearing their fans would be upset over his demise, especially because this information wasn’t made public, the group decided to find a Paul look-a-like to replace him. Under the guise of a “Paul LookA-Like” competition, judges selected William Campbell, who disappeared just after winning the competition. William underwent plastic surgery to complete his transformation into the new Paul McCartney, the only sign of his former identity a scar from a surgery meant to fatten up his upper lip. Campbell underwent speech therapy so he could mimic Paul’s trademark accent. He also had to learn to mime playing left-handed to further mimic McCartney’s habits. Though many disbelieve these rumors, fans believe the band left clues in their
songs and album covers to secretly inform listeners of Paul’s death. On the Abbey Road album cover, the band members supposedly represent a funeral procession. John is dressed as priest, a barefooted Paul is dressed in a suit and supposedly represents a corpse, Ringo is the undertaker, and George is the grave digger. Another rumor contends that on the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, using a mirror to bisect the drum yields the phrase “ I one IX he die” which can be decoded to mean “11 9 he die.” Other clues can be decoded by listening to parts of songs backwards, which supposedly contest to McCartney’s death. The classic “Paul-is-dead” rumor is only one of the many about various artists circling widely among avid fans, and though they may or may not be true, they continue to captivate listeners.
Over 30 years ago, on November 22, 1963 John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated. Kennedy’s assassination is important because it branded the consciousness of the Bill Clinton/ Oliver Stone generation so deeply. Even though there is a lot of evidence and reams of writing speculating on who really killed the President, there are two things that are certain. Kennedy was definitely killed in Dallas by a highpowered rifle and the guy who possibly killed Kennedy was definitely killed by Jack Ruby in the Dallas jail two days later. Evidence of varying reliability has linked Oswald to virtually every group that had a reason to want Kennedy dead. In the years before Kennedy’s death, Oswald worked as a radar operator at U-2 spy plane bases, defected to the Soviet Union and married the niece of a KGB colonel. In the fall of 1963, Oswald moved to Dallas where he had FBI contacts, worked at the Texas Book Depository and was accused of killing the president. The Warren Report, completed in September 1964, with 26 different types of evidence, makes it clear that Oswald commited the murder alone. The President’s autopsy was at Bethesda Naval Hospital; federal agents removed the X-rays of the body from custody of the examining doctors. The X-rays would have
been valuable in determining the bullets that hit the President and the shooter’s location. According to the New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, the Dallas Morning News for November 22 contained a map of the route the President’s motorcade would take through the city that day. The President was supposed to stay on Main Street while passing through Dealey Plaza and would not have passed the Book Depository. The motorcade turned from Main onto Houston and then to Elm Street. This unplanned sharp turn brought the President into Oswald’s sight of death. It also forced his car to slow down to ten miles per hour. The Cuban’s version of the story tells us that Kennedy was killed by the right wing Cuban exiles in America who felt that the President had sold them out. They felt that the President had gone against them. Kennedy‘s refusal to allow U.S forces to participate in the exile army’s Bay of Pigs invasion, which was instigated and financed by the CIA, left the exiles easy meat for Castro’s air force. Thousands of the emigrants were killed or imprisoned by the Castro regime, and those escaping or left in America were quite upset. In the aftermath of the Cuban missile crisis, it was believed Kennedy guaranteed the Russians that Cuba would be in return for a withdrawal of Soviet missiles from the island. The Cuban exiles were not consulted.
Speculations about out of this world evidence
In 1963, one of the most famous and historical events in American history occurred when Apollo 11 landed on the Earth’s moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped out onto the moon’s surface wich skyrocketed America and the NASA program to international fame and success. However, after various discrepancies in the film footage, official records, and questionable occurrences during the “live” event across the world, many people have shouted “conspiracy” in the decades after the landing. Conspiracy theorists have realistic, possible evidence that it made have staged. With all of the issues in the footage and gaps in the records as well as some testimonials from officials from NASA during this time period, the question remains about the “Apollo Hoax.” Most of the evidence comes from the live video of the moon
“Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away” Allie Hinga They’re played on oldies stations everyday: music by bands long disbanded, but far from forgotten. Some are long dead, while others live on. But is everything really as it seems? Many once-famed musicians supposedly claimed to be dead are rumored to be alive and well, while others who are supposed to be alive are really dead. The one such conspiracy centers on the popular band, the Beatles, and their bass player, Paul McCartney. According to rumors, on Wednesday, November 9, 1966, after an argument with his band mates, McCartney stormed out of the studio just before 5 am and drove off into the stormy night. What happened next is subject to many rumors. One story has McCartney offer a ride to a woman, who grabbed him when she realized who
T his & That 19 HUNCH students work with NASA engineers Allie Hinga
While most of the students at Creek were taking their finals, a few were experimenting at NASA. These students are involved in the HUNCH program, which allowed them to build a device whose design could one day be used to train astronauts going to the International Space Station. The program allows a few select Creek students to gain valuable experience and think about possible future careers. William Gibbs, the Creek metal shop teacher, leads the High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware, or HUNCH, program, at Creek and helped start the program at the school six years ago with the help of the organization’s founder, Mr. Stacy Hale. In HUNCH, students partner with NASA to build training hardware for the International Space Station. There are other HUNCH programs in Alabama and Montana and a few in CyFair and HISD. Mr. Gibbs works with a few handselected metal shop students each year to complete the project. This year, Creek Students Alex Sweet, Ryan Cappel, and Austin Timm worked with Gibbs to build a special table for the space station, which utilizes a vacuum underneath to suck in food crumbs. When astronauts are in space, the crumbs from their food float across the
space station and get into the system’s and I was asked to be on the team. It computers, which had been causing was also very, very stressful,” he said. problems on the station. Matthew Richards, When the experimental table was a physics teacher at Creek, helped with completed, the HUNCH students and their the project teachers went on the to receive theoretical training and side of the test their experiment apparatus by with NASA providing engineers information under about air mentor Trent flow and Mills. Their dynamics, experience pressures, took place suctions, primarily at and Ellington volumes, Field, and and also they also helped a On board the “Vomit Comet” spent some NASA time at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab. To representative write the proposal to actually test their table, the team was able the organization’s Reduced Gravity to go on NASA’s Zero-G Plane, also known Office. When the metal shop students as the “Vomit Comet,” which flies in built the initial fiberglass models of parabolic motion to simulate zero gravity. the apparatus, Richard’s students In preparation for the flight, the helped analyze the design. Richards team received training to be certified as said he greatly enjoyed the process. flight personnel. Part of their instruction “It was pretty amazing and involved a trip to the hypobaric chamber, surprising. School was in for a month, which simulates low-pressure situations
to allow trainees to feel the effects of low oxygen situations. They also had to take written and application tests to receive their certification. The students spent two days flying on the Zero-G plane. On the first day, they tested the table to see how well it would catch crumbs. The second day, they modified the table to fix some of the previous days problems and tested it again. In total, they spent five hours of flight time aboard the “Vomit Comet,” which costs $33,000 to fly for one hour. Though many of the participants felt the experiment was not very successful as a whole, they enjoyed the experience very much. “It was amazing, probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done, and I was very lucky to get to do it,” Alex Sweet, one of the HUNCH students, said. With the initial experimentation finished, the students plan to continue working on their table. This summer, they plan to work on building flight hardware and will become the first high school to do this for NASA. If they successfully improve their apparatus, the design could be used on the Space Station in 2010.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Richards
A fresh perspective on the films and culture Allie Hinga
Though Creek offers numerous opportunities to be involved in academic clubs, it also allows students to create organizations to pursue interests and share passions. The Foreign Film Club offers Creek students a chance to experience different cultures and ideas than those in American films, and to be enriched by the experience. Senior Jonathan Valdez started the Foreign Film Club at the beginning of the year as a way to show movies with messages and subject matters that he doesn’t feel are apparent in American films. He said that foreign movies are more “intellectually vibrant” and that they offer multiple cultural perspectives. “American films are
usually concerned with box office results. Foreign Films are more concerned with the story and the moral point,” Valdez said. Students attend the foreign film club for a variety of reasons. Senior Joshua Cordova helped Valdez start the club in an effort to allow other students to see the films he loves. Another student, Justin Wells, said he has enjoyed the change of pace these deep and provocative films have provided. He has been able to meet people that share similar interests, and see
Club member Justin Wells about to enjoy a foreign film.
Care package letters Dear Clear Creek High School,
movies with unusual messages. death. Though the main character knows “Mostly, the movies I have seen he can’t ultimately win, he still tries to have been American films, and I wanted prolong the game. Valdez said he enjoyed to broaden my categories,” he said. the film because of its universal themes, At a typical meeting, the students confessional monologues, and how it brought will get together to watch the movie and a wide range of personalities to the club. discuss it as they watch if they need help “It forced the viewers to think understanding it. Some of the films they about death in their own way,” he said. have viewed have included Breathless, The The club meets in Ms. Schwab’s room Seventh Seal, The Bicycle Thieves, 8 ½, by announcement. The students have not The Seven Samurai, and The 400 Blows. been meeting recently due to busy schedules Nancy Schwab, an English teacher with finals and recent breaks, but plan to start at Creek, sponsors the club. She enjoys meeting again more regularly this semester. working with the organization because Their first meeting of the semester was she majored in radio, television, and planned for the first Monday in February. film in college and has had much “I’m pretty sure that once experience in foreign film analysis. the next semester starts, we’ll “I like that the kids are really start it again,’ Cordova said. interested in understanding the movies, Ms. Schwab hopes to see the film and that there is an appreciation for club continue this semester and to different types of movies and that they’re continue to broaden their experience. expanding their horizons,” she said. “I would like to expand and maybe One favorite film among many club include some sort of discussion, either members has been the Seventh Seal by before or after the movie or both. I’d like Ingmar Bergman, a black-and-white film to see it continue next year,” she said. dealing with a knight returning from the crusades who plays a game of chess with Photo by Hailey Stephens In December, the Creek journalism department participated in a care package drive for troops overseas. They sent over 75 boxes expressing their appreciation for each soldier’s service. As a result of their efforts, they received these letters in response.
I would first like to thank you for all you do for the AnySoldier program. Mail is the biggest morale booster over here and I know that whoever you send to, me included, is thrilled when a package arrives. I get to enjoy your gift twice because it comes to me and then I get to pass it out amongst the troops. We have troops out at remote detachment sites I pass it on to or I leave it in the MWR (morale, welfare and recreation) building for anyone who wants an of the goodies you have generously sent. I also discretely make sure it gets to any soldier who isn’t receiving mail. To tell you about myself, I have been in the construction battalion of the Navy, the Seabees, for 17 years and ma a Chief Petty Officer. I am one of only 2 female chiefs in our unit and the only one over here in Iraq. I joined the Seabees because I had been working construction for 8 years as a carpenter and loved the work. Well, 17 years later I am still working construction in the civilian world (as an ironworker the last 7) but as a chief I am more computer and less tools. I know the paperwork needs to get done but I actually miss building. At home, I live outside of Albany, NY having just moved there in December after living all my life in CT. I moved to NY to be with my boyfriend and his family. Through him I have acquired 6 grandsons which I adore. They are 14,6,4,21/2 and twin 22 month olds. We have a 7th grandchild on the way but we don’t know if it is a boy or a girl yet. Along with my boyfriend I also live with 5 cats (blended family). I brought 1 with me and the house was already home to 4. Two of these 4 cats are tripods. Cooper is missing a front leg and Tires is missing a hind leg. Now the irony of this is my boyfriend is missing a leg (he was born without it). It’s a toss up who keeps m e busier, the grandchildren, the boyfriend, or the cats! When I have any free time I love to cook, the needlecrafts, read and anything outside. I love almost all kinds of music but am partial to rock and roll. The keep us pretty busy here but I do find time to play Cribbage with one of the Seabees. You think Iraq and think heat and that is very true in the warm weather months but it is actually getting cold here. It gets up in the 60’s during the day but it has been down in the single digits with wind chill during the night and I have been told it can snow here. I finally understand why when it was over 100 degrees they issued us long underwear. Please forgive my typing instead of writing bbut the more I write the more illegible my hand writing gets. Again thank you for your generous package and for reaching out to a stranger thousands of miles of away. Beth Elizabeth Tompkins NMCB
Dear Clear Creek High School,
CCISD, Thank you for thinking of my son James this holiday with a care package. He is to deploy to Iraq in March or April. This gave him a good feeling that people do care about and support our troops!
Thank you for sending me the care package, I really appreciate it. This is my second Tour of Iraq and believe it or not it is getting better over here. As a CCHS graduate I do appreciate the Creek Out T-shirt. I still have friends at Creek and they told me I was on the list but I had no idea that the package would get here so fast or have so much useful stuff in it. Once again thank you for all Thanks again of the support that you have given and Happy New to the ones that serve. Year, Ann and Joe Thank You, Houston Parents Corporal Backus, Steven J. United States of James Houston Army Army Military Police
Valentine gifts gone wrong p. 10 & 11 Megan McKisson 2305 E ast M ain , L EaguE C ity , tX 77573 Allie Hinga