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Creek Family Fun Run Pg. 9

Battle of the bands Pg. 8

Creek Baseball Pg. 23

March 2009- Volume 84, Issue 6 Clear Creek High School

2305 E. Main, League City, TX 77573

Possible scheduling concerns addressed affect their GPA if they are involved in Policy changes over the past few years other elective classes, many of which rehave affected the way students choose ceive fewer GPA points than AP and PreAP their classes each spring. The end of block classes. Larsen said that he felt it would be scheduling, the enactment of the 4x4 harder, for instance, for a student in priplan, the transition to a 6.0 grading scale, marily AP classes and one regular class to and other factors have caused students to maintain a higher GPA if their grade were change their plans to meet their high school to drop in the unweighted class, which can goals. While these new requirements may earn a maximum of 5.0 GPA per credit. Junior Sarah Johnson, a band member daunt some, students, teachers, and administrators at Creek and across CCISD currently ranked number four in her class, are finding ways to balance schedules said that initially, she was concerned that and allow for maximum student success. if she didn’t take all AP classes, her rank One recent transition is the movement would drop. However, she continued to from a 4.5 to a 6.0 grading scale. This new take her chosen elective classes. “I decided that I’d GPA format has been phased into CCISD schools over the last three years, and will rather take what I want be fully implemented next year. This new to take than worry about system removes the grade capping that was it that much,” she said. Students have in place on the old scale by breaking down a student’s GPA on a point by point basis. also said that Although students may like the new they believe method, there are some concerns. A num- their exber of top-ranking students have said that t r a they prefer the elimination of the shared GPA and the fact that a point by point system differentiates between students who make different scores within the same letter grade. “It’s more fair because it shows the difference between an 89 and an 81,” Shatavia Collins and Kendrick Rhem sophomore Christopher Larsen said. ponder their course selections. Those same students, however, Simulated photo by Dakota Sinks have expressed some concern about Photo illustration by Allie Hinga how the more competitive scale may

Allie Hinga

curricular activities will help them on their college applications. CCISD staff members have also been working to make sure that the 6.0 scale allows students to set attainable goals, maximize their GPA, and still follow their other passions. In consideration of high achieving students, the necessary GPA to be Summa Cum Laude, one of the highest graduation honors, is 5.0. Creek head counselor Marshall Ponce said that the number of students with this designation in the current junior class is comparable to the number of students with this ranking in the senior class.

“That shows us that that’s the right target,” she said. Ponce said that

she felt that the new scale is extremely fair , and she preferred the elimination of the shared GPA among students. She commented that on this system, students will actually know who has the highest GPA and know that, for those students, everything counts to stay in a number one ranking. Counselors are also working to make provisions to allow students to maintain a rigorous course load and still take elective classes. Their recommendation to the Board of Trustees to follow House Bill Three within CCISD would eliminate a technology credit, a health credit, and a semester of PE from the graduation requirements for students on all degree plans. CCISD counselors developed a model illustrating how this change will allow students to take weighted classes as well as an elective class for four years of high school without having to complete courses such as summer school or correspondence courses. According to the model, students can take five advanced credit classes and an elective class each year, as well as meet other graduation requirements. At its regular meeting on March 22, the School Board decided to implement House Bill Three in the district, which will allow students to follow the modeled schedule.

Students demonstrate their “Hearts for Haiti” Jordan Little

Only two months ago, the people of Haiti were devastated by a catastrophic earthquake that left many dead, injured, or without a family or home. In the past weeks, Haitians, with help from other nations and individuals, have been trying their best just to survive. In light of the natural disaster, Allie Hinga and Catherine Uong, two seniors at Creek felt the need to reach out to those suffering. Uong, who is President of National Honor Society, wanted to organize a project in which NHS members could help the people of Haiti. As editor of the newspaper, Hinga wanted to involve the Hilife staff as well. Both knew that with the help of students around Creek, they could raise money to help Haitians in need. After talking over the possibilities, Uong and Hinga came up with their ongoing project, Hearts for Haiti. The project’s goal was to raise awareness about those in need in Haiti and to encourage Creek students to help out by donating money. The two felt

that it would be even more meaningful if students were to write messages to the Haitians that could be sent with the money. Any student who donated a dollar could write a message of

encouragement to the people of Haiti on a pink or white slip of paper. Uong and Hinga decided that the best way to get people to donate would be to ask for donations during lunch for two weeks. In order for the process t o work, stu-

dents would need to volunteer during their lunch to collect money. The two invited other Creek organizations to help with the project. “I was amazed by the response we got from some of the students and some of the groups who volunteered,” Hinga said. Spanish Honor Society made flyers and a giant heart that originally was planned to display the letters to Haitians. Health Occupations Students of America, or HOSA, helped raise money for the project. Other organizations, including JSA, NHS, Christian Club, and the Clear Creek Volunteers, contributed as well. In the end, the students raised $350.00 for the victims in Haiti. Uong and Hinga are still working on getting the money and notes into the right hands. The girls have decided to give the money to Partners in Health, an organization that would use the money to help send more doctors and nurses to victims in Haiti. The two are also working to find the most effective way to send the notes to Haitians. Photos by Allie Hinga Photo illustrations by Allie Hinga



n e m h s e r F “The Bahamas, because of the clear water and weather.” -Miranda Perez “Paris because I’ve always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower and go shopping.” -Santana Dias “Cabo San Lucas, because I want to go to the beach there.” -Carina Monteleone “Australia because it’s far away and has a much different culture than ours, and my mom went there on a foreign exchange program [so] it would be fun to meet her host family.” -Courtney Childers “Belize, because my dad lives there and it’s gorgeous.” -Ashley Williams “Spain and Italy becausee I love their languages and their places look beautiful.” -Asia Yispaul


“My ideal travel destination is New York because I want to experience the big-city life.”

-Hetal Patel

“I want to go to California to see my best friend.”

-Holly Surratt

“Switzerland, its beautiful and I hear there is good chocolate there.” -Jessica Garcia “Alaska, because, on my bucket list, I want to go moose hunting.” -Lu Ling “I would go to Spain because it would be interesting and there are many places to go to.” -Fernando Tovar “Greece, because I would love to visit the sights and the Mediterranean Sea.” -Ana Bianchi “New York, because I’m a show bug and the shopping there is hardcored, like me.” -Erin Skarke

Juniors “Japan, their technology is advanced and I love the video games.” -Chris Thompson “My ideal travel destination would be Destin, Florida because it’s so beautiful.” -Anna Barlow “New Zealand, for the beaches, cities, relaxation and amazing views everywhere.” -Brandon Keith “Antarctica, because then I would have gone to all 7 continents.” -Madison Musler “Brazil, so that I can white water raft on the Amazon River through the jungle.” -Lauren Flottorp “Landmark, Manitoba, Canada because my cousing Kiah lives there and there are ketchup chips!” -Lorrie Capetillo “Greece, because I can go hang out at all the pretty beaches.” -Hayley Krueger “Pretty much anywhere I can get a good thrill and excitement. I’m a huge roller coaster junky so anywhere with them.” -Jacob Murphy “I would love to travel all over Europe and see the different cultures of the world.” -Garrett Hellinghousen

What is y our idea l travel de stination ? Why?


“I would like to go to Australia because I really want to go scubadiving.” -Brittany Jones “I would want to go to the Philipines because I’ve heard I had a lot of family there and it’s pretty.” -Chelsie McMillion “Sydney Opera House because the architecture is beautiful and complex.” -Patrick Golden “Oregon- because it is my home and I miss it.”

-Lindsey Smith

“Hawaii because it’s beautiful there and I love being in the sun.” -Mollie Cox “Greece, because my family is from there and its a very beautiful place. I’ve always dreamed of going.” -Athena Mavreas “I would want to go to London, because I love the atmoshpere.” -Rachael Halligan “Madrid, Spain. I’ve always wanted to see the museums and cathedrals there.” -Molly Rivers “California, I’ve always wanted to take a road trip there with all my friends, it would be very fun!” -Brittany Ekstrom “Anywhere out of the country because I’ve never been out of the country.” -Ross Coburn

Clear Creek High School 2009-2010 HiLife Staff

Principal: Scott Bockart Advisor: Wynette Jameson Executive Editor: Jan O’Neil Editor-in-Chief: Allie Hinga Managing Editor: Chelsea Huebner News Editor: Jordan Little Assistant News Editor: Amber Arnold Around Creek Editors: Christine Sulkis Tracey Griffith Features Editor: Shannon O’Neil Creek Speaks Editors: Jacob Mancini Ashley Farmer Teen Interest Editor: Kaitlyn Blake Sports Editor: Christen Valcoviak Centerspread Editors: Will Sheffield Ellen Gaudet Advertising Manager: Jordan Little Photo Editors: Kaitlyn Boryk Assistant Photo Editor: Katlin Foote Online Editor: Mary Veedell Photographers: Shauna Fererro-Donahue Tabitha Dirrim Develin Polly Dakota Sinks Reporters: Jacob Arredondo Reanna Bain Kaitlyn Casey Madison Doeckel Kathy Chiang Derek Gay Katherine Gughiocello Meghan Mistry Lyndsey Gordon Emily Dismukes Email us at: Visit us at: For ad rates call: (281) 284-1889 Fax: (281) 284-1705


Editorial Allie’s Abstractions

“Learn to let others make us who we will become”

Allie Hinga Approximately two months from now, I will officially be a high school graduate. Aside from the opportunity this has afforded for me to look forward into that great unknown I refer to as “college and the rest of my life,” thoughts about graduation. have forced me to look back on the last four years. I need to look back at not only what I have learned in a classroom, but what I have learned about myself through all of the strange coincidences and sometimes outright random circumstances that have comprised my time in high school. I think that right now I can tell you the most important thing I know from these last few years (unfortunately, it’s not how to start a major project more than four days before it’s due). What I now know is this: that one of the most important things I can do to keep myself sane and not lose sight of who I am is to keep my friends close and learn to trust someone other than myself. I’m not really the kind of person whose

natural inclination is to trust others. It’s easy for me to share surface thoughts and feelings, but when it comes to anything deeper – my fears, desires, tasks, burdens – I have always struggled to truly open up to others. Most of the people who really know me, who have heard where I have been and know how I think, have come into my life through circumstances that were beyond my control. While I wouldn’t trade my friends for anything, I know that on my own I probably would not have sought out most of the deep friendships I have today. When my world continues to spin on its normal axis, this tendency isn’t much of a problem. However, life never does content itself with predictability. Whenever trouble begins to strike in my life, I have to fight my natural inclinations to simply withdraw, run from my problems, and pretend that all is right with the world. And sometimes, this is what I do. I maintain contact with those around me on the surface, but I hide whatever is bothering me. This is probably one of the most ridiculous things I do. Somehow, I got it into my head that I need to deal with my problems alone and keep anyone else from getting involved. Each time I do this, I make up plenty of excuses for maintaining my solitude. I tell myself that in reality, nothing is wrong, or that if I tell others what I am dealing with, they’ll think me petty. I worry that if I tell someone what I am thinking, they will get upset or hurt. The list goes on.

Every time I do this, however, the same thing happens: I end up worse for not trusting others than when I started. I cut myself off from the people who care about me, telling myself that it’s for the best, and all I end up doing is isolating myself with my problem. And my predicament doesn’t get any better when dealt with in isolation. Every time I reach this point, I realize the same thing: that I can’t deal with my problems alone. When I isolate myself from others and withdraw into my own thoughts, it starts to show in my life. I get a little quieter, a little more melancholy, a little more irritable. The random poems I scratch into a book I carry around with me become more frequent and more confused. Something inside of me notices this, but something inside of me isn’t really sure how to stop it either. This is the time that I generally relearn the importance of friendship. Even when I don’t notice that something is wrong, my friends do. Even when I fail to realize that I am doing a poor job of handling my problems on my own, my friends do. And the amazing thing about them is that they seem to know what I need better than I do. They know when to step in and tell me that I’m off my game, and they know when to give me the space to figure it out myself. When I do finally come around, they sit there and listen to me rant about whatever it is that I was afraid to tell them. Eventually, I end up wondering why I

worried in the first place. Then they pick back up where we left off as though I had never tried to distance myself from them. It’s when I come to this point that I find myself finally free from the problems I tried to handle on my own. When I open up and share my heart with others, I find that I no longer have to bear my burdens on my own, and somehow everything becomes more bearable. In the company of others, I slowly regain the spring in my step and my ability to just be content. Truth be told, I have never really felt like the person I am today is the product of my own will or decisions. Everything I am, everything I do, everything I love, has been shaped by those who have sat and listened to me without judgment. I am shaped by those who refused to stop loving me when I didn’t think I wanted their love, who have told me what I need to hear and not what I want to hear, who have forgiven me more times than I would like to count for not being the friend they deserve for everything they have given me. Because of their care and their patience, I am slowly learning how to trust others without trying to do everything myself. When I try to exist on my own, I end up feeling like I have lost part of myself, but when I allow myself to trust others and let them into my life, I find that they help shape me into the person I believe I am meant to be.

Guest Editorial: Shannon O’Neil “More than a friend - a dog has touched my life”

Shannon O’Neil When I was asked to write an editorial, at first I was a little scared. I had no idea what to write about. I wanted it to be something that is very dear to me. So I chose animals and their rights. Animals are constantly abused within the United States. Some of these victims could live right next door to us. Dogs, especially, are constantly being left chained in the backyard with no food, water, or shelter. Living in Houston, we all know that the summers can get incredibly hot. The summer heat is almost unbearable to most of us, but dogs are in worse shape than us. They live forever in a fur coat. My black lab, Annie, will come in after ten minutes outside, dragging her tongue with her fur

almost on fire. The thought of Annie having to sit outside all day breaks my heart. Leaving her outside be hard on her health, it would be devastating to our relationship. I know it sounds kind of corny to say, but my dog is my best friend. According to Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisper, dogs sense energy. You can tell this by spending just twenty minutes with a dog. I know that stress really bothers Annie. She senses my stress and does everything in her power to stop it. As a junior in high school, this happens a lot. Without my dog I do not know if I could continue to stay in all my advance classes and extra curricular activities. My favorite memory with Annie occurred over a precal assignment. There were a number of problems I just could not understand. As I started to panic, as I normally do because I tend to be a perfectionist, Annie walked into the room, wagging her tail and headed straight for me. She put her face right up to mine, and I could just read comforting words in her eyes. As she stood next to me, I continued working on my homework. I was still frustrated with the problems. Annie decided that she had enough of my frustration. She put her paw on top of the worksheet and forced me to pet her. As soon as I focused

on her, my stress seemed to melt away. Dogs definitely do sense energy and react to it. It always boggles my mind how Annie will bark at certain people walking down the street and wag her tail at others. To me they are all strangers, but Annie senses their motivations. Just having Annie in the house makes me feel safer than any alarm system ever could. She is my fail-proof security system. She never takes a day off and is always alert. Even when I think Annie is sound asleep, the quietist noise jolts her awake. Whenever she is next to me on my bed, I feel safe. I know that nothing can ever hurt me when she is around. It is a shame that some families will pay fortunes on security systems when their best investment could be chained in their backyard. I’m not saying that dogs are naturally born protecting their owners, but when given proper training and love, dogs can become part of the family. It is always hard for me to get excited for people when they tell me they are buying a dog. I wish people would take the time to visit a rescue shelter and notice all the lovable dogs in need of homes. Too many times these dogs get abandoned and, unfortunately, not all shelters let them live.

Some euthanize dogs that are not adopted. Volunteering at the animal shelters is an incredible opportunity, but it can be a tough. So many times I just want to take all of the dogs home. I hate putting them back in their cages. There was one dog that I became attached to in only five minutes. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that her name was Shannon, or maybe it was something deeper. I remember the joy I felt when I saw a family interested in adopting her. She, and all the shelter dogs, deserve all the love and excitement a family brings. I suggest that those who are interested in a dog, look at shelters. The perfect breed could be sitting there waiting for you, or you may change your mind when you see a dog that needs you. I remember getting Annie. My family did not find her at a shelter or from a breeder. She found us. She was abandoned in our apartment complex and our friends brought her to our door. After many hours of searching, we found the owners and gave her to us. Fortunately, for my family we had found our new addition. My first dog, my new best friend. Without Annie, I don’t think I would be where I am today. She is my protector, my stress reliever, and best friend.


N ews Winter olympics held in Vancouver, Canada Meghan Mistry The 41 Olympics in modern times began its events on Friday, February 12. Hosted in Vancouver, these Olympics are the third to be held in Canada. These Olympics hoped to be very historic by allowing Canada to win a gold. In the practice week before the Olympics, Shawn White was injured in his trial run, and Nodar Kumaritashvili died on his trial run on the luge. Kumaritashvili hit speeds of 95 mph and eventually lost control and ricocheted off of the track and into a pole, dying instantly. In light of the tragedy, the luge start line was moved to the original women’s start line, and the women’s to the juniors. The move aimed to decrease the high speeds that the lugers were hitting to decrease the chances of an accident. Hours after the death of Kumaritashvili, Vancouver officially opened the Olympics. The ceremony used a series of projectors to display images of the country. Each section was portrayed; beginning with the Northern Artic. The actual indigenous people of the north performed, displaying they’re importance in Canadian culture. From there, the projectors made it seem as if the ice was melting away, stranding the people. After the North, the East, which has a large concentration of Celtics, was shown with Celtic dancers. The ceremony then skipped over the metropolitan area of Ontario, and then into the Prairie, which is known for its large production of wheat. The floors became wheat fields and then became a set of mountains.

“ I loved the c e r e m o n y. T h e

projectors worked magic,” Michaela Pinder, a native Canadian and Creek student, said. The ceremony made history as being one with the least number of technical difficulties a n d problems. During t h e lighting of the cauldron,

the third bar did not rise out of the flooring within the stadium, and Wayne Gretski, a famous Canadian hockey player, had to improvise the lighting. After the ceremony, another flame was lit outside of the stadium, having a second cauldron. Canada had previously hosted two other winter Olympics, but was unable to win any gold medals. Jenn Heil, a Canadian woman mogul skier, had previously won gold in Torino. She was favored to win, but in the last moment, American Hannah Kearney beat her out. Canada’s next chance at a gold came with Alexander Bilodeau in the Men’s Moguls. Bilodeau clenched the gold for Canada, making himself the first Canadian in history to win a gold metal on home turf. Apollo Ohno went on to win the silver metal in the 1500-meter sprint, and became the most decorated winter Olympian with seven career medals. Despite the Kumaritashvili tragedy, the luge races went on, where Felix Loch, a German, took the gold. Not all the sports went on to is record breaking, but many included the return of old favorites. American JR Celski had been very seriously injured on the ice in the Torino Olympics. Celski returned after a long rehabilitation and won the bronze metal. Evan Lysacek took home the gold in men’s figure skating for America against the much favored Evgeni Plushenko of Russia. The gold was the first Men’s Photo by MCT Campus Figure Skating gold for America

I-45 killing fields Amber Arnold Between 1983 to 1997 there was a larger number of women killed in League City’s Gulf Freeway corridor. That area was known as the “killing fields.” Hollywood has decided to make a murder mystery movie about the killing fields. The Fields will star Jeffrey Dean Morgan from The Watchmen and Sam Worthington of Avatar. The story was written by a former DEA agent Donald F.Ferrarone and focuses on many of the disappearances that happened. One of the disappearances was Jessica Cain who vanished in 1997 after leaving a Clear Lake Bennigan’s. Her body was found in a field off Calder Road. “I would watch the movie when it comes out because it happened here and usually we watch movies where things happen somewhere else other than League City,” freshman Amanda Nagle said. According to the Galveston County Daily News since 1971, 21 women and girls have been reported missing along the Interstate 45 corridor in Galveston County in cases that remain unsolved. Police have recovered the remains of 14 from fields, parks and bodies of water. Their killers remain at large. Krystal Jean Baker, Suzanne Rene Richerson, Sandra Romber, Jo Ann Sendejas and Shelley Sikes were among the many women who went missing or were found dead along the I-45 corridor. Tim Miller is the founder of the Dickinson based Texas EquuSearch, a group dedicated to finding missing people. Miller’s daughter, Laura disappeared in 1984. Her body was found in a field off Calder Road. The movie was originally called “The Texas Killing Fields” but was changed to “The Fields.” It will be

released in 2012 and will be produced by Michael Mann and directed by his daughter, Ami Canaan Mann. The movie will begin filming in April In Louisiana. “I think the movie will be more serious than other murder movies because it was a true story,” freshman Blair Mcburney said. According to Variety, a film trade magazine, Worthington will play as a local Texas cop who teams up with a New York transplant to investigate two decades worth of disappearances and homicides in the industrial wastelands surrounding Gulf Coast refineries. In 2001, the Houston Chronicle reported that Mark Roland Stallings had confessed to killing as many as six women in Fort Bend and Galveston Counties including some at the killing field. Police found the body of the first murder victims, one was Heidi Villareal Fye, a 25-year-old waitress. Her body was found on Calder Road in April 1984. Laura Lynn Miller, 16, of League City, was reported missing in September 1984, and her body was found in February 1986. Fort Bend County sheriff’s officials brought Stallings to the attention of League City police because he had written during the summer and claimed to have information about some murders in that area. According to the Houston Chronicle, records showed that Stallings served sentences previously for theft over $750 unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, burglary, driving while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license. Stallings did confess to killing as many as six women, including April Eaves and Bea Bowen. He also killed four women in League City.

since the Calgary Olympics in 1988. Canada’s most watched night of television per week is always the National Hockey night, and with the Olympics, the tradition continued. America played Canada in the pre-finals, stunning Canadians with a loss of 5-3. In the finals, they played again. Canada held the lead the entire game, but in the last 39 seconds of the game, America scored, to bring the game to a tie and go into a 20-minute sudden death over time. With 13 minutes left, Sidney Crosby scored against goalie Ryan Miller, winning the gold for Canada. The Vancouver Olympics closed successfully after 17 days and nights of competition. Many Canadian born stars performed, including Michael Buble, and William Shatner the ceremony went on to introduce the next location of the Olympics Sochi, Russia. The athletes and ensemble of the ceremony left the crowd wowed with the use of projectors and chants of “Vancouver!” The final medal count left America in the lead with 37 medals. This total beat the record for most Winter Olympic medals ever earned in a single Olympics by one country. Canada also beat the previously held record of most gold medals ever earned in a single Winter Olympics, earning 14. In the end, America had 9 gold medals, 15 silvers, and 13 bronzes. The winter Olympics opened very successfully, going down as the most memorable Canadian Olympics.

Fast food dangers Kaitlin Casey

A majority of the people in America who eat fast food have no idea how bad it is for them. People have no idea of the risks that they are taking by eating this food. Many of people eat fast food because it is an easy, cheap way to have a meal. However, the costs are great in the long run. Fast food is one of the leading contributors to obesity and cancer, as stated by KPRC. “ I know that fast food is unhealthy, but I still eat it because it is so good,” sophomore Ashley Kerbow said. French fires have enough fat and trans fat to be an entire meal, but people eat these as a side, as stated by FitSugar. Many Americans enjoy eating at McDonalds. McDonald’s Angus Bacon and Cheeseburger is one of the unhealthiest things on the menu, with 790 calories, 17 grams of saturated fat, and 63 grams of carbohydrates. Many students may not think of Taco Bell when listing unhealthy fast food choices, but the restaurant sells many high calorie foods. One of Taco Bell’s highest calorie foods is their

Volcano Nachos. The Volcano Nachos have 1,000 calories, 9 grams of saturated fat, and 89 grams of carbohydrates. While many restaurants claim to have healthy options, even these can lack good nutritional value. Even the salads on the menu are not all that healthy. A crispy Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad with Newman’s Own Ranch Dressing has 51 grams of fat, and 1570 mg of sodium. The salads are healthy, until people put all of the dressing on it. There are ways to eat healthier at a fast food restaurant menu, such as buying a salad and putting little to no dressing on it. Another way to cut calories when eating fast food is to order water with their meal instead of a sugary soda. People can also watch the portion size of the food that they are ordering. Consumers should not be afraid to make a special order by asking the restaurant to remove anything that is unhealthy. Try to avoid ordering any food that is deep-fried. Choose food that is grilled because it has less fat than the food that is fried.

N ews 5 “Let’s Move” program Snow hits the South Jordan Little

get kids active that community members, parents and kids can all join together in. Some suggested activities include On February 9th, First Lady Michelle building a neighborhood playground and Obama announced that she would be finding safe walking and biking routes. leading a campaign against childhood One of the program’s missions is for obesity called “Let’s Move.” The program parents to take initiative and ensure that is intended to motivate and support their kids get the necessary 60 minutes of parents and their children to eat healthier active play-time daily, whether that be in foods and to exercise more often. Other the form of walking around the block or goals include providing healthier foods around a museum, biking, or playing games. in schools, as well as making healthy “Playing volleyball is a good foods in grocery stores more affordable.       way to stay active and have fun,” According to the “Let’s Move” website, Tess Levos, a freshman at Creek. each year Americans spend $150 billion “I dance. I think that parents need treating obesity-related conditions. In the to get kids involved. Get involved in past 30 years, obesity rates in children have something you love that’s athletic,” tripled, which could mean that children Amanda Nagle, a freshman at Creek said. may not live as long as their parents. Food deserts are areas where kids and The website features four tabs, parents do not have access to healthy foods. each labeled with a different topic that The Healthy Food Financing Initiative will will redirect anyone interested to more help bring grocery stores with healthy information about each division of the foods to areas that otherwise would have no “Let’s Move” program. For instance, access to nutritious food choices. Farmer’s parents can find information about how markets and fresh food stores will also be to make their families healthier in the introduced to areas that otherwise would Healthy Choices section of the website. not be able to provide healthy food options. The Healthier Schools section provides In the Los Angeles Times, Mrs. Obama information about the foods being served stated that in order for “Let’s Move” to be in schools now and how communities possible, doctors, teachers, parents, kids, can show their support in favor of more governors, mayors, businesses, community healthy food choices in the cafeterias. groups, and athletes must all provide According to the Physical Activity tab, effort. The program can only be successful only a third of high school students get the in a community and overall in the nation recommended amount of daily exercise if the people help to make it a success. that is necessary to promote good health. For more information about the Let’s It is also stated that 8-18 year olds spend Move campaign, please visit about seven and a half hours of their day More information about the program’s next using some form of entertainment media steps will be released sometime this spring.  such as the internet, video games or TV. The website provides many activities to

Amber Arnold

Many states in the south are not used to seeing large snowfall, but in February they had record totals. Historic blizzards have struck states where snow is rare. In northern Texas experienced its worst storm in nearly five decades, with more than a foot of snow. According to the National Weather Service, 68.1 percent of the United States was covered with snow, compared with 51.2 percent in Snow falling at Creek J a n u a r y . Photo by Kaitlyn Boryk Every state e x c e p t Hawaii had some snow cover. Anumber of roads where closed and business had to close, costing communities hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales taxes and revenue from income taxes. In Dallas, which has a population of over 1.2 million people didn’t have any snowplows. Authorities counted on snowflakes melting the minute they touched the ground. In Dallas, more than 200,000 Oncor Electric Delivery customers lost electricity at the height of the storm for

over 5 days. After falling trees and branches snapped power lines. The Dallas area was hit with 12.5 inches of snow in a 24-hour period. Hundreds of flights were canceled at DallasForth Worth International Airport. The Insurance Council of Texas estimated that damage from the winter weather totaled $25 million. “I think that its awesome that we have had a lot of snow in Texas but it sucks that it didn’t snow much in League City,” senior Zach Bertram said. Forth Worth officials also reported that melted snow entered sewer pipes in city lines, causing an estimated 35,000 gallons of sewage to overflow. In Philadelphia, crews struggled to clear side streets, which were covered with 40 inches of snow. Snow and ice covered Nashville, Tennessee. Winter weather advisory had to be put into effect for Middle and Eastern Tennessee. Snowfall in Atlanta, GA was blamed for hundreds of traffic accidents. According to the National Weather Service, Alabama saw up to 3 inches. Snow was also falling in Kentucky. In Tallahassee, Florida, schools had to be shut down. Tallahassee had not seen snow in a decade. Classes were also canceled in parts of Alabama. “I think all of the snow in Texas is annoying because I am tired of it being cold, I want it to start getting warmer, senior Sam Bennett said.



Earthquake devastates Chileans Kaitlyn Blake

toll would be just On February over 800, but they 27, 2010, an admitted that they 8.8-magnitude overestimated the earthquake hit amount of people Chile. The death they expected to toll of those be deceased. The killed during actual number the earthquake is around 279 in Chile and the as of March 5, tsunami that 2010. Hundreds followed has of inmates reached 279 escaped from people. The quake prisons in Chile is the eighth after buildings largest recorded collapsed and in history. many people The quake are still missing. hit 100 miles Because of north of the city the earthquake, of Concepcion, regions in the the second costal pacific area, largest city in including Hawaii Chile, and could and southern be felt by citizens California, were as far away faced with tsunami as Brazil. The warnings. Areas earthquake lasted in Asia, such as three minutes, Japan and Taiwan, delivering dozens were under of powerful tsunami warnings. aftershocks O n c e were felt by the Chilean those in Chile, Photo by MCT Campus government admitted according to CNN News. that they needed aid Over one and a half million people from other countries, the United States were greatly impacted by the earthquake sent help. For days, the military has been and over 500,000 homes were destroyed. patrolling the streets in large cities in Officials originally thought that the death

Chile. The United States is offering free food and water to those citizens who were affected by the earthquake. However, many are complaining that they still have not received their water and food. Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet, is urging citizens to remain calm and to be patient. In the first three months of 2010, five earthquakes have been recorded. The first, and most deadly, was that in Haiti. Occurring on January 12, 2010, this earthquake had a death toll of over 200,000 people. While the shock was 500 times smaller in Haiti (7.0-magnitude), it was much more damaging. The people in Chile were better prepared for an earthquake and the buildings were more structurally sound. After these two earthquakes, three more followed. One was in Japan, one was in Taiwan, and one was in Turkey. The earthquake that hit Japan occurred only hours after the one in Chile and was reported to have a magnitude of 7.3. Japan was under tsunami warning after the earthquake struck in Chile. The earthquake in T’ai-tung, Taiwan hit on March 3, 2010 and had a magnitude of 6.4. However, in this earthquake, there were no reported casualties or injuries. On March 8, 2010, another earthquake, magnitude 5.8, destroyed the southeastern area of Turkey. Over 38 people were said to have been killed in this earthquake after the first day. “I think that we are just doing all that we can to help the people in Chile, and I’m sure that whoever else needs help around the world, America will be here to help them,” Sarah Liveringhouse, a junior at Creek, said.

Policy updated Allie Hinga

The HiLife staff works hard each month to produce a newspaper that is appealing and informative. We strive to present accurate information while providing stories and images that our audience will find attractive. Typical journalism policies used by professionas stress presenting truth in its entirety, and we do our best to hold ourselves to similar standards. We feel that it is important to keep you informed about some of the policies we follow. In the coming issues, you will notice changes in the way we label photographs. We believe that this will be a more effective way of communicating the truth of the situations we cover. When we are unable to photograph an actual event as it occurs, or when an image is needed for a more abstract story, our photographers have to simulate photos. These are appropriate because they portray the ideas and emotions associated with the subject of the work better than only text. In the future, these pictures will be labeled with the credit “simulated photo by.” To put together a newspaper that will be attractive to the student body, we often work with programs such as Photoshop to cut out pictures and make certain parts of photographs more clear. We realize that these images may lack their original context. We will inform you when a photo has undergone this sort of editing by labeling it with the caption “photo illustration by” in addition to the regular photo credit.

C reek Speaks 7 Creek working to solve yearbook challenges By Ashley Farmer With only a few months left of the school year, the yearbook is preparing to move into the final stages of production. After careful planning, hard work, and dedication, they have run into a major obstacle that could result in some students not being pictured in the yearbook. At the beginning of the 2009/2010 school year, a form was sent home in the student handbook regarding the release of student information, including the students’ names, telephone numbers, and addresses for school related or school sponsored activities. For the first time, the word “yearbook” was added to the list of school sponsored activities. While this may seem like a small addition to the form, it meant that if the form was signed by a parent or guardian, the student could not be included in the yearbook. When the forms were later evaluated by Mrs. Donaho, she found that around 750 Clear Creek High School students’ parents had signed this form thinking, as Mrs. O’Neil, the yearbook teacher, assumes, that many parents signed the form to restrict the use of directory information and did not realize that their students could no longer be a part of the yearbook. According to Mrs.O’Neil, this is an issue that not only affects individual portraits, but also candid photographs and group shots. Any picture of a student that does not have consent, whether by

themselves or as part of a group, may have to be removed from the yearbook. “We are ready to flow and I can’t do anything right now. If we need to make any changes because we missed even one student, it will effect the entire book,” Mrs. O’Neil said.

but a line to sign if you did consent. This new form cleared up much of the confusion, and much of what was not resolved by the form was taken care of by a call-out to the parents. Mrs. Donahoe, Mrs. O’Neil, Mrs. Janca the data specialist, and many others around Creek have devoted much of their time to trying to

Clear Creek High School Yearbook The administration Photo by Katlin Foote at Creek has been Photo illustrations by Allie Hinga overcome the working hard to problem and overcome this problem. Students who had many of their efforts have paid off. An issue returned the form signed were identified, that originally affected 750 students is now and there was a new mail-out targeting only confined to about 180 students. According those students. The new form provided not to Mrs. O’Neil, however, this will only a line to sign if you did not consent, unfortunately still be enough to cause “a

major problem when the book comes out.” “Right now our plan for moving forward just depends on the deadline and timeframe Mrs. O’Neil gives us, whether or not we still have time to do anything,” Mrs. Donahoe said. Looking towards the future, provisions are being made to avoid similar problems. Ms. Brooke Parker, an assistant principal at Creek, has taken the issue to a meeting of the student handbook committee. This committee will request that either the word “yearbook” be taken off the consent form all together, or assurance that the form and the consequences of signing it will, in the future, be made completely clear to all parents and guardians. “The committee can only give its input. We are not informed what decision has been made…we can’t make any of the changes ourselves,” Ms. Parker said. All requests regarding revisions to the handbook must first go through the district public office of legal affairs and then be approved by the school board. No one will know whether or not any changes have been made for the future until the handbook is distributed at the beginning of the 2010/2011 school year. Meanwhile, Mrs. O’Neil and the yearbook staff will continue to work through the problem and the yearbook will meet its publication deadline. At publication time the The Clear Creek ISD attorney has been contaced with questions regarding the rules affecting the yearbooks, but has not yet responded to these.

Dr. Morrow named new Dean of Instruction

By Ashley Farmer Starting next year, many staff members from Clear Creek High School will be working at Clear Falls High School. One of the staff members that will be moving is Dr. Jo Beth Brizendine. According to the Bay Area Citizen, Dr. Brizendine transferred to the Clear Creek Independent School District in 2007 when she accepted the position as the Dean of Instruction. She came from the Friendswood Independent School District, where she held a similar position. After the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year, there will be a new

the importance of success in school. As a child, she faced the positive influences of her mother and father’s involvement in the educational system. In fact, many members of her family, including her sister who taught at her high school, were involved in the school system, making it a large part of her life from a very early age. The values imposed by her parents complimented each other and shaped the person she was to become. “My mother created a family focus on school success. My father created a family focus on helping others,” Dr. Morrow said. D r . Morrow claims t h a t

permanent Dean of Dr. Jennifer Morrow Instruction on the Creek Photo by Kaitlyn Boryk because of these campus. Taking the place Photo illustrations by Ashley Farmer influences in of Dr. Brizendine will her household, be Dr. Jennifer Morrow. Dr. Morrow is a her siblings and she have all become veteran to the educational system. Before school administrators. They are all devoted becoming part of the Clear Creek ISD staff, to their jobs, and she said that “all have Dr. Morrow worked at the middle school a great mission to make sure all students level for 13 years in schools in Oklahoma, get opportunities to love school, love South Carolina, and Texas. She has been learning, and be productive in society.” involved in her schools in many ways, Dr. Morrow graduated from Airport including taking on positions as a social High School in West Columbia, South studies teacher, cheer coach, basketball Carolina. From there, she went on to coach, assistant principal, and principal. Oklahoma City University, where she According to Dr. Morrow, she grew earned her bachelors degree in history. up in an environment that always stressed She earned her Masters Degree at the

University of South Carolina, and finally, her Ph.D in Educational administration at the University of South Carolina. The transition between the Dr. Morrow’s job at Brook as an assistant princiapl and her job at Creek will take place gradually. She will be split between the two campuses, performing her duties on the Brook campus of working on the master schedule, event supervision, classroom observations, and disciplinary appeals. At Creek, Dr. Morrow will play a more direct, flexible role in the everyday classrooms and curriculum. “The Dean of Instruction (DOI)

position here at Clear Creek will be a great opportunity for me to spend more time in class rooms, become more familiar with our CCISD curriculum, and find ways to manage data to help teachers and administrators do their jobs better for students,” Dr. Morrow said. Dr. Morrow hopes to continue working on the high school level for the next 5-10 years. “As the DOI, I hope to learn more about the curriculum and find ways to help more students love school, love learning, and succeed” Dr. Morrow said.


Creek Speaks

WITS changes lives of students in Houston Jacob Mancini

The United States is going through a cutback of reading and writing skills among students of all ages. WITS is a non-profit organization that is combating the debasement of literary creativity amid students in the Unites States. WITS stand for Writers in the Schools and it is focusing on this didactic epidemic by training and encouraging young people across the country in developing creative and analytical thinking skills stemmed from reading and writing. WITS has a clear mission and vision. The mission of WITS is to engage children in the pleasure and power of reading and writing. Along with its mission, WITS has cast a vision to revolutionize the way reading and writing is taught, nurturing the growth of imagination and awakening students to the adventures of language. WITS also administers seven core values into the operation of its organization. In a nutshell, its values are articulated with the idea that all children can and should grow in the talent and joy of writing and creative thinking so that they can tell their own, diverse stories for the rest of their lives. Bao-Long Chu is the Associate Director at WITS. He has been with WITS for 12 years and now he plans and effectuates WITS’ creative writing

programs. Once a student at Creek, Chu has teamed up with has a variegated life story of his own. professional poets, Bao-Long Chu was born in Vietnam fiction writers, and and moved to the U.S. in 1980. When playwrights to go he began going to Creek, Chu joined the into classrooms in the HiLife staff. Fascinated by reading and Houston and share their writing in English, he avidly wrote articles passion and skills for and created editorial cartoons for the Hilife writing with the students until 1985 when he graduated. His fixation and teachers. Although for creativity then drove him to earn a WITS teaching Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry programs from the University of Houston are focused Creative Writing program. Chu mainly on has had his poems anthologized inner-city in numerous books, including public Watermark and Both Sides schools, Now. He has been a part of its scope WITS and since 1996 has spreads served on the artistic Board of i n t o DiverseWorks Arts Space and museums, the Gulf Coast Literary Journal. hospitals, “Writing is a great way to community connect with people and express centers, private yourself,” Chu said. “I identify s c h o o l s , with WITS’ mission personally and and juvenile I believe in equalizing the playing detention field of education for students. centers where Bringing creative arts to schools is more children changing people’s lives. In Houston can be reached. alone there is such a diverse Along population and so many stories Associate Director of Writers in with its the Schools, Bao-Long Chu that people have to tell.” l o c a l Since 1983, WITS programs, Photo courtesy of Bao-Long Chu

WITS leads a national initiative with its professional network called the WITS Alliance. The Alliance strives to sustain and support other organizations providing literary arts education for students and teachers. The WITS Alliance believes that developing and celebrating young people’s voices through the guidance of creative writers advances literacy and builds powerful schools, families, and communities. This year WITS will serve 20,000 K-12 students and teachers in 75 schools throughout the Houston region. Most of the students being served come from needy neighborhoods and qualify for the Title I federal free lunch program. Each year WITS expands its reach and serves more people with its mission. WITS also has an annual outreach project called A Poem a Day that helps promote poetry and the written word during National Poetry Month in April. WITS selects a poem by a student writer to represent each day of the month. The daily poems are dished out to the community through A Poem a Day blog, via e-mail and by distributing 120,000 poetry bookmarks to Houstonians in libraries, businesses, and schools. Visit the blog at this April. Photo Illustration by Jacob Mancini

Battle of the Bands rocks for Ms. Herrera Jacob Mancini

On February 19, 2010 the Battle of the Bands was held for Ms. Herrera at Creek. Rocking out in the auditorium, five different local bands played their songs for Herrera and the immense crowd for three hours. Tickets to the show were $5 the week before the Battle of the Bands and $7 at the door. The concert was advertised in Creek’s halls with posters and on the daily video announcements. The Battle of the Bands began at 6:30 with Low Frequency on stage. The next band was Undertow, a funk-blues style instrumental group that played three songs. “We loved raising money for her. For us, it wasn’t about the playing. It was about Ms. Herrera, and helping her get through her cancer and her hard time,” Cy Miesler,

the drummer for the band Undertow said. Next to take the stage was A Candle lit City. Jared Lily is the only member of the band from Creek. “It’s worth all the support and music to help somebody like Ms. Herrera,” Lily said. Winter Road performed their four songs next, contributing to the battle with their alternative sound. “I think it’s awesome to be able to do what I love and help somebody!” said Sarah Johnson, the lead singer for the band. Next, Sunrise and Ammunition took the stage, played their songs and ended the show. The concert raised $770 for Ms. Herrera. Approximately 100 tickets were sold, and some people made donations on top of the tickets that they bought.

“I’m really happy that I had the opportunity to help someone as great as Ms. Herrera,” Shae Perkins, the host of the concert said. The writing club came up with the idea for the concert a n d put

around ten members who come together to improve their skills through fun exercises and collaborative opportunities. “We are a small club but we did the heavy lifting and thinking for the Battle of the Bands. The bands were great and people enjoyed it,” Marcus Smith, the president of the writing club said. “The students organized the battle of the bands, talked about it, announced it on M y s p a c e , created posters, a n d switched equipment between bands—they truly did everything,” Mr. Russell, the creative writing teacher and sponsor of the writing club said. Sam McDonald, 12 grade, led the students who worked and organized the Battle of the Bands. His direction and initiative drove the idea for the show from the beginning. Like a team, McDonald and students from the

writing club served Ms. Herrera by putting on a three-hour concert that rocked in her name. “Everything came together Photos by Dakota Sinks Photo Illustration by Jacob Mancini as if I was meant to do this. All I had to do was flip a light switch together the entire show with and everybody else assisted by doing elbow grease and determination. what they do best,” McDonald said. Creek’s writing club is made up of

F eatures 9 Teen in California creates a Cuss Free Week Christine Sulkis

McKay Hatch, a 16-year-old from California, is standing up to the foul mouths of the world. In 2007, he confronted his friends about their offensive language. What started out as a simple request has quickly turned into a worldwide phenomenon. In middle school, Hatch noticed that his friends had all begun cussing for no reason. He assumed they were doing it to fit in or seem cool. Hatch was offended, and asked them not to cuss around him. His friends, however, took it to the next level. They gave up cussing all together. Two years later, when they were beginning high school, Hatch’s friends thanked him and said that it was because of him that they didn’t cuss. After hearing the positive response, Hatch decided to start the No Cussing Club (NCC). His friends thought it would

be a good idea and joined the new club. After only a month, the NCC had over 50 members. Now, just two year later, the club has over 35,000 members in all 50 states and in 25 different countries, according to The first official Cuss Free Week took place in March 2008. The city of South Pasadena, Hatch’s hometown, issued a proclamation recognizing the club, hoping to bring awareness to the positive effects of good language. Cuss Free Week was a success and was acknowledged in all 50 states and around the world for the first time. In 2010, Hatch wanted to go bigger and better. He took his idea all the way to the California State Assembly, which would potentially make the first week of March “Cuss Free Week” in the state of California. The Assembly passed the resolution, which moved on to the state

Senate. If passed by the Senate, California citizens would be required to put money in a jar every time they cussed. At the end of the week, all of the collected money would go to a selected charity, according to ABC Local. The Senate did not pass the resolution. Many lawmakers, such as California Assemblyman Chris Norby, felt that with the state already being so far in debt, the money could be better spent elsewhere. It would be up to the people of California to decide whether or not to abide by the rules of the week. Hatch’s No Cussing Challenge seems simple: “I won’t cuss, swear, use bad language, or tell dirty jokes. Clean language is a sign of intelligence and always demands respect. I will use my language to uplift, encourage and motivate. I will leave people better than I found them!” However, many participants have

found it to be much more difficult than it appears. Hatch hopes that by convincing everyone to join in, positive peer pressure will influence, support and encourage others. Though he has received countless “hate” e-mails and has been made fun of by many of his classmates, Hatch has never given up. According to www.nocussing. com, Cuss Free Week 2010 had more participants than ever, including many celebrities, such as Hulk Hogan. Hatch plans to continue his quest to make the world a better place by doing something as simple as changing the way people talk to each other. “Your words become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your behavior. Your behavior becomes your character. Your character becomes your destiny,” is the organization’s motto.

whales eat almost any marine animal. Although killer whales don’t generally harm humans, sometimes people are killed in killer whale attacks. In Tilikum’s case, it happened twice before the death of Brancheau. The first person Tilikum killed in 1991 was a marine biologist and part time trainer in Canada. She accidentally fell into the whale’s tank and was dragged under by the whale and drowned, according to the New York Daily News. The second person Tilikum killed was in July 1999, when an unknown person trespassed into Sea World. The body was found nude on Tilikum’s back, scratched and bruised. His death remains a mystery to officials.

The reason that Tilikum killed Brancheau is thought to be because of her ponytail according to examiner. com. Experts say that something about her ponytail may have triggered the whale’s attack. Some experts also say that Tilikum may have been in a bad mood or may have been trying to play with his trainer. Officials considered the death of the Sea World trainer a homicide and after just two days the case was closed. The only thing about the case that remained undecided was what to do with Tilikum. Some said to euthanize him and others said to set him free. Some people said that Tilikum had a past with violence and should be killed for his third offense,

but others said that it was his instinct as a wild animal to kill and he should be set free. He should have never been captured in the first place. It was finally decided that the whale’s life would be spared after the pleading of Brancheau’s family. They said that the whales were like Brancheau’s children, and she wouldn’t want Tilikum to die, according to New York Daily News. The question of holding killer whales in captivity is an ongoing issue between animal rights activists and places like Sea World. Sea World says that they are going to continue their shows with Tilikum, but may reconsider in the future their decision to show the killer whale in front of viewers of the show.

Whale causes death of Sea World trainer Madison Doeckel On February 24, 40 year old Dawn Brancheau was killed by Tilikum, the 29 year old killer whale at Sea World in Orlando. Killer whales, also known as the orca, are the largest members of the dolphin family. The average male killer whale is about twenty-three feet long and weighs seven to ten tons. An average female killer whale is about twenty-one feet long and weighs four to six tons. In the wild, killer whales can live thirty to fifty years on average, compared to killer whales that live in captivity, who only live for about thirteen years. Right now, there are forty-two known killer whales that are being held in captivity. Killer


F eatures Valentines sent to dogs all over the country Shannon O’Neil Every year, Valentines Day, February 14, is dedicated to showing love to that one special person. For Dogs Deserve Better, Valentine’s Day is for dogs that do not have that love.

Dogs Deserve Better is an organization created to help dogs that are being abused. It started in 2002. The focus of the group is to unchain dogs that stay chained all day. During Valentines Day Dogs Deserve Better, celebrates Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week. Tamira Ci Thayne, formerly known as Tammy Grimes, created Dogs Deserve Better because she wanted to help free the dogs that spend their lives in a backyard chained up. Thayne changed her name to mean “Peaceful Dog Warrior.” Thayne has even served prison time for her dedication to freeing chained dogs. Dogs Deserve Better dedicates one

week in February to send Valentines to the owners of chained dogs asking them to let the dogs inside. From February 7 to the 14 valentines are passed out to owners of chained dogs throughout all of the United States, Canada, DC, and Puerto Rico. Theses valentines are made by volunteers and sent to the addresses of chained dogs. Volunteers who have noticed a chained dog within their community give these addresses to Dogs Deserve Better. “It is important to make [the valentines] because a lot of people are mistreating animals. It felt right to make [valentines],” 9th grader Madison Browitz said. Dogs Deserve Better includes coupons for dog food or treats in the valentines to encourage the owner to interact with their dog. The Clear Creek HiLife Newspaper staff created and sent around 200 valentines to aid in the fight to unchain dogs. “I feel like I let [owners] know what the dogs feel,” 9th grader Kara Loewenthal said. Dogs Deserve Better operates on

donations. The organization does much more than free dogs. Donations allow Dogs Deserve Better to create clinics focused on teaching people the potential a dog can have. Anyone interested can make donations at dogsdeservebetter. com to help fight animal cruelty. According to dogsdeservebetter. com, on February 14, Dogs Deserve Better passed out 12,113 valentines. The organization was only 387 valentines short of their goal of 12,500 this year. Over 500 of the valentines sent were to dogs in Texas. There have been successful responses to the Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week. One dog owner decided to give up her chained dog after receiving a valentine and another owner is looking for a new home for the chained family dog. Dogs receive valentines from Dogs Deserve Better. Simulated Photo by Shannon O’Neil

Creek hosts fun run Kaitlin Casey On March 6, students at Creek participated in the Family Fun Run.   This event was organized to help donate money to Ms. Herrera, who has been diagnosed with cancer. People in the community showed up at the school at 8 am to run 5k. The runners started at the school, ran down to South Shore Boulevard, and then came back to the school. Younger children who wanted to be a part of the event were allowed to run a smaller version of the run that took them to Clear Creek Intermediate and back. The Boy’s JV track team ran with the younger kids to assist any of the kids who needed help. “We could not have pulled this off if we did not have all of the help from our volunteers,” Clear Creek teacher Ms. Tracey Coughenour, who organized the event, said. By 7 am there were over 30 volunteers who helped set up. The League City police. They blocked off the streets so that the participants could have a safe place to run. The number of people who showed up exceeded Ms. Coughenour and Ms. Melissa Ward, who helped organize the event, expectations. In total, they bought 230 shirts, and by the end of the run they were out of shirts.      M a n y students at

Creek participated, even if they did not run. Many students paid the $15 for a shirt to donate money to Ms. Herrera.

There was not as much of a turn out as the Wims Fun Run last year. The two teachers publicized the event through local businesses. They called business around the area. Health classes in the school passed out flyers at lunch to i n f o r m students “I don’t think we could have done any better with the publicity,

Ms Carruthers made so many phone calls,” Ms. Coughenour said. Ms. Coughenour and Ms. Ward solicited several sponsors to help fund the run. These donors had their names on the back of the shirts. Mrs. Edna Meeks classes raised money so that they could be sponsors on the back of the shirts as well. In the end the Family Fun Run was a success. Mike Dillon and David Reeves run in the fun run. Photo by Dakota Sinks Photo illustrations by Shannon O’Neil


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14 Creek in Action

Teen Interest


Zero tolerance policies are strict in schools Kaitlyn Blake

Alexa Gonzalez was taken out of her class in handcuffs after a teacher caught her doodling on her desk. With green erasable marker, she wrote the words “I love my friends Abby and Faith. Lex was here 2/1/10.” Gonzales was led out of her middle school escorted by the police in front of all her friends and classmates. “I didn’t want them to see me being handcuffed, thinking I’m a bad person,” Gonzalez said to CNN reporters. Many feel that the police have gone too far by arresting a 12 year old girl for doodling on a desk without any profanity. She was suspended, required to perform eight hours of community service, and had to do extra school work, in addition to being arrested.  “I think that the police officers have gone too far this time. She should be punished, yes, but not arrested,” Sarah Liveringhouse, a junior at Creek, said. Gonzales is not the only teenage student to be arrested for something that could be handled by sending a student to the principal’s office – not by sending them to jail. A school in Los Angeles, California is giving out tickets to those students who are late to class or are considered “truant.”

When a student was issued five tickets, they were sent to juvenile traffic court. A 13 year old girl was also escorted out of her school in Maryland by police. The girl refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance and sat quietly in her

chair as her classmates recited the pledge. However, this student was not arrested; she was

merely taken out of her classroom in handcuffs in front of her classmates, just like Gonzales. A total of 33 Kindergarteners were suspended from their public schools in 2002 because of the zero tolerance policy. The Zero Tolerance policy states that certain actions that may harm others are not acceptable under any circumstances. These

Lost thrills audiences Shannon O’Neil Lost season 6 started of with a bang. When the bomb exploded at the end of Season 5 the survivors hoped they would be able to go back in time to start over essentially. Since inhabitants had been traveling through time, the survivors hoped that by destroying a magnetic field years back that their plane would have never crashed. In return they would have never landed on the island. However, this did not happen. Instead, the show now follows two story lines. One story trails the survivors still on the island. The other story line trails the survivors actually landing in Los Angeles. Juliet and the real John Locke are believed to be dead. Terry O’Quinn, who plays Locke, still remains one of the main characters, but in a new light. O’Quinn plays “the Man in Black” who took over John Locke’s body. O’Quinn shows his acting talent as he portrays a completely new character. His acting style changes making the audience believe that O’Quinn never was John Locke. The new Locke is able to manipulate survivors, because of his familiar face. Fans will be happy to see that Claire,

actions may include bullying, weapons, theft, sexual harassment, and alcohol. Zero Tolerance was created to discourage students from taking part in these “crimes.” The Zero

played by Emilie de Ravin, is back. She disappeared back in season 4, and now that she has returned, she is crazy. Living in the jungle for the past three years has taken its toll on Claire. She is feared by those who live in the temple. The temple is a new found area of the island inhabited by unfamiliar characters. Claire’s home is a makeshift tent where she has a cradle with bones of animals. She is desperately searching for her son, unaware that he was taken off the island in a previous season. The actress, de Ravin, does a good job in portraying a woman gone mad. Season 6 is said to be the last season of Lost, so it needs to live up to the hype. So far, season six has been entertaining and thrilling, reminding fans of earlier seasons. Jack, played by Matthew Fox, will probably end up being the hero of the season, as always. Jack is the doctor and apparent leader of survivors. How the season will end though, is anybody’s guess. The way Lost runs, makes it impossible to cast predictions about the final outcome. This season has been a success so far.

Tolerance officials are convinced that the only way to stop these problems is to give harsh and impartial punishment. The officials believe that if no punishment is given to those students who break the rules, the students will

never learn that there are consequences for actions. One school found that by enforcing the zero tolerance policy, the number of broken rules declined around 75 percent. “I think that the teacher should have given her a good lecture about respecting school property, made her clean the desk, and made sure that she learned her lesson,” junior at Creek, Leslie Collins said.            Because of the Zero Tolerance program in numerous schools, the police are handling issues that the school administrators would normally take care of. In New York, an entire division of the police department is devoted to safety in school. There are approximately 5,000 officers in this department alone. This number is greater than the number of all police in the nation’s capital, Washington D. C. One of the schools in New York which uses New York police for school security is Gonzales’s school. The policy of zero tolerance has been enforced by hundreds of schools in the United States. Advocates of zero tolerance may argue that it teaches discipline and that students are better behaved because of this policy. However, Many students all throughout the country have similarof being severely punished for something that could easily be handled by the school principal. Due to the zero tolerance policy in schools, a girl was arrested for doodling on her desk. Simulated photo by Kaitlyn Boryk Photo illustration by Kaitlyn Blake

We the Kings delights Tracey Griffith We the Kings, a modern pop punk band from Bradenton, Florida, released their sophomore album “Smile Kid” on December 8, 2009 and are currently promoting it in Hot Topic’s Sub City Take Action Tour. The band was formed several years ago while the members were still in high school. After signing with S-Curve records, the band released its first self-entitled album in 2007. For those familiar with their first album, “Smile Kid” does not stray too far from the original sound established by We the Kings, although the band does try their hand at a greater variety of song types, including a ballad, “We’ll Be a Dream,” and a song with reggae-like vibes, “Promise the Stars.” The album contains sweet and romantic lyrics that are catchy and easy to sing along with as well as appealing guitar riffs. The vocals by Travis Clark are also enjoyable because of his smooth voice that is perfect for this genre of music. The theme of “Smile Kid” is simply about having a good time. It is fun and easygoing. The music is perfect for jamming in the car, or cheering someone up. However, listeners searching for deep lyrics with interpretive meaning are not likely to find any on this album. The opening song of the album, “She Takes Me High,” is an up-tempo, romantic song that catches the listener’s interest with the opening guitar riff played in unison with the vocals, leaves its fans wanting more. The chorus in this song is very similar to

the sounds produced on their first album. The next song, “Promise the Stars,” gives the listener something uncharacteristic of the usual sound of We the Kings with a ukulele in the background giving the song a reggae-like feel. The third song, “Heaven Can Wait,” is the leading single off of the album. The song starts out light and simple and then leads into the more powerful chorus with an excellent hook. The next song, “Story of Your Life,” is similar to this format. “Rain Falls Down” and “Summer Love,” the next two songs of the album, along with “Anna Maria (All We Need),” while pretty, lack the catchy choruses of the previous songs, and the lyrics are cliché. They are enjoyable to listen to, but not very memorable, aside from some peculiar lyrics in “Anna Maria (All We Need),” and don’t add much to the album. Despite this, the last two songs leave the album on a high note. The song “We’ll Be a Dream” begins with the chimes of a music box and then leads into a powerful ballad with impressive lyrics featuring Demi Lovato. The harmonies between Clark and Lovato in the chorus are flawless and really add to the song. The closing song to the album, “What You Do to Me,” follows suit with the opening song with an up-tempo beat and catchy lyrics. The shouting of “Hey hey hey hey” in the chorus gets the listener singing along.              


Teen Interest

Shutter Island captivates viewers everywhere Shannon O’Neil Shutter Island is one of the best movies in a long time. It has the mystery and creepy aspect that keeps your eyes peeled to the screen. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Teddy Daniels, a United States marshal with a devastating past. He does a fantastic job. Another well casted actor is Mark Ruffalo as Chuck Aule. Ruffalo and DiCaprio work well together and make the story believable. Daniels and partner, Aule, are sent to investigate the disappearance of a prisoner at a mental institution. They find much more to uncover in the hospital. From the white walls surrounding metal frame beds to inmates to dark chambers, the audience actually gets the sense that they are on an adventure with Daniels and Aule. The extras in the movie play an important role in showing the mental state of many prisoners. Needless to say the extras do a wonderful job. The extras look and act mentally ill.

Leonardo Dicaprio plays Teddy Daniels in Shutter Island. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus

Martin Scorsese, director of Shutter Island, succeeded in bringing Dennis Lehane’s novel to life. The plot of the movie is like any other mystery novel, but the setting of a mental hospital/prison creates an undeniable tension in the story. The film is a guaranteed jaw dropper and nail biter to the very end. Those afraid of horror movies should not fear Shutter Island. Shutter Island is more of a mystery and less of a horror story. Though scenes of the mental facilities can be a little bit scary, it adds to the mystery of the movie. Those who have read the book should not need to worry. The movie brings the novel to life without ruining the book’s quality. Shutter Island is a great mystery thriller that should remain a top pick for movie goers everywhere. Not only is the casting perfect, the scenery makes the movie a masterpiece.

Idol’s hopefuls shine

Fall for Valentine’s Day

Kaitlyn Blake

Jordan Little

For nine years, American Idol has dominated the television ratings each week. For those that don’t watch the show, contestants participate in a series of auditions from the initial audition week, to Hollywood week, to top 24, and ultimately, tothe top 12. Every contestant seems to have their own remarkable, life-changing story of why they should be the next “American Idol.” Season nine’s judges are Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, and Ellen DeGeneres. This is DeGeneres’s first year on the show (she replaced Paula Abdul), and many fans of the show argue that she adds nothing to the show because she often repeats exactly what Jackson says, adding a catchy metaphor to make the audience laugh. Fans of the show are heartbroken because Cowell has recently announced that he will not be returning for season ten of Idol. Cowell is known for telling the contestants exactly what he thinks about the performance, which is the reason he is on the show. The finalists of season nine are some of the most talented contestants ever on the show. Many of the contestants already know who they are as an artist, and week after week they impress audiences all over the country with their remarkable voices, original styles, and charming personalities. Every contestant is different with his or her own style, personality, and background. One of the most unique contestants in terms of musical ability and style is Crystal Bowersox. Each week she proves why she

is on the American Idol stage and delivers a phenomenal performance. There is no other contestant who is nearly as confident or comfortable with their own style. Bowersox impresses audiences every time she gets on stage and her performances will likely land her in the finale. Another contestant who stands out is Michael Lynche. Lynche never disappoints the audience or the judges during his performance. His outstanding voice and his “teddy bear-like” personality have won thier way into people’s hearts all over the country. Just minutes before his first performance during Hollywood Week, his wife delivered a young baby boy. He was talking to his wife on the phone as she delivered their son. Siobhan Magnus, although not nearly as talented or confident as the other standout contestants, is definitely one to watch out for in the upcoming weeks. She was described as a “funny little thing” by Simon Cowell in her first week in the top 24. She is slightly inconsistent, but she may turn out to be one of the best on the show. Tim Urban is another inconsistent contestant. He was not originally chosen to be in the top 24, but when Chris Golightly was disqualified for having a previous contract that the producers of the show were unaware of, Urban was chosen to take the 24 spot. Although he doesn’t have the best voice on the show, he does win over audiences of teenage girls with his looks and his mediocre singing voice. Season nine of Idol has already proved to be one of the most incredible, entertaining, heartfelt, and shocking seasons.

For those who may be wondering whether the movie Valentine’s Day is just another He’s Just Not That Into You kind of boring, overplayed romantic comedy, rest assured that Valentine’s is much more funny and entertaining. Valentine’s Day has a much better cast including Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Patrick Dempsey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts, and Taylor Swift. Rest assured that this movie is just more entertaining. The movie is set in Los Angeles and takes place on what other day than Valentine’s Day. The plot involves a web of characters who are all weaved into the same story. The movie begins by introducing us to each couple. In one scene, Reed Bennett, played by Ashton Kutcher, proposes to his girlfriend, Morley, played by Jessica Alba. Dr. Copeland, played by Patrick Dempsey says goodbye to his girlfriend, Julia Fitzpatrick, played by Jennifer Garner, as he prepares to leave for a trip into San Francisco relating to his job. This continues until we are introduced to each couple: Jason and Liz (Topher Grace and Anne Hathaway), the naive couple of Willy and Felicia, played by Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift, as well as high school sweet hearts Alex and Grace, played by Carter Jenkins and Emma Roberts. George Lopez, Queen Latifah, Jamie Foxx, and Jessica Biel provide the most laughs throughout the film. Kelvin, played

by Jamie Foxx, is a tired reporter for a local news station that has been sent out to get as many feature stories about Valentine’s Day as he can. Kara, played by Jessica Biel, is an agent for famous football star Sean Jackson, who we learn at the beginning of the film is on leave. Both Kelvin and Kara, Foxx and Biel’s characters, harbor resentment against all things related to Valentine’s Day and shine light on the silliness of the day. George Lopez plays the loyal and caring best friend of Reed and keeps viewers laughing throughout the film. Queen Latifah plays the funny boss of both Anne Hathaway and Topher Grace’s characters. And last but not least, there are scenes of Julia Roberts and Bradley Cooper, two strangers sitting together on a flight home. Roberts plays a quiet soldier who is returning home. Some may think that a movie that focuses on Valentine’s Day would be boring and that is understandable. However, some people may be surprised at how much they can relate to the characters and the complications of making Valentine’s Day perfect that make up the plot of the movie. As the hours go by, each couple faces new conflict as secrets are brought forth. Decisions must be made, and each person must decide for himself whether the relationship is worth pursuing and which are best worth forgetting. This movie is a must see for all romantic comedy lovers. With such a star-packed cast, it would be a wonder if anyone could be completely dissatisfied with the movie.

Teen Interest


Ways to be a teenager and still stay healthy Madison Doeckel Between schoolwork, after school practices, jobs, and every other stress a high school student can undergo being a teen can be tough. Many pressured teens turn to comfort food, which isn’t necessarily the best or healthiest food for them to be eating. A good way for adolescents to make sure that they are staying healthy is to eat three meals a day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all important meals and are necessary in being healthy. Often teens may get hungry between meals and may need an extra boost of energy and will eat a snack. Being hungry is a natural for teens because teen’s bodies are growing and they need nutrients to

grow. Having an unhealthy snack may boost or energy but this boost will only be temporary. If you eat a healthy snack you will get a boost and the boost will last much longer these caused by unhealthy snacks. Teens can further avoid unhealthy habits by making smart choices at restaurants. There are ways to eat healthy while eating out. Most restaurants, cafeterias, and food courts have healthy choices such as salads or grilled entrées instead of fried ones. When ordering out it is good to be cautious of the size of the meal and to watch out for high fat add-ons, like dressings, sauces, or cheese. If a person usually makes healthy choices, it is okay to splurge every once in a while. Its not a single meal that is

important to good health, it is the average intake over time that really matters. Not only is eating well important to fitness but a persons exercise habits are integral as well. It can be hard for anyone to fit exercising into a busy schedule, but it is something that is important to health and easy to accomplish. One of the most important things a person can do to fit exercising in their schedule is to make a commitment. They should start small such as working out for twenty minutes everyday and working up to an hour. Instead of riding a bus or driving to work or school, a person trying to gets more exercise could ride a bike, walk, or skate. If work or school is too

far they can get off the bus or park further away and walk the rest of the distance. Exercising and eating right is crucial for people’s health. Poor eating and exercising habits can result in obesity in some people, which can cause someone to have high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing problems, and an increased risk of heart disease. Not only can obesity cause physical problems but it can also cause emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Eating healthy and exercising are things that are sometimes hard to do with a teenagers busy schedule, but is something that is necessary to living a normal, healthy, and successful life.

Alice in Wonderland is a hit in theaters again Daniel Jenkins Guest Reporter Wonderland. The word strikes chords of happiness and amazement in some, and complete and total confusion with others. Lewis Carroll’s two books about Alice have captivated readers for decades with clever word play and political jokes. Now, Disney’s new Alice in Wonderland, directed by Tim Burton, tries to bring audiences across the globe back to the Wonderland they fell in love with as kids. However, Wonderland has changed since its last visit down the rabbit hole. The story begins as Alice (Mia Wasikowsa), now 20 years old, has been invited to a party, which she soon finds out is her own engagement party cleverly disguised. Alice is disgusted at the “over properness” of her husband-to-be, and as soon as her suitor asks for her hand, Alice spots a white rabbit with a waistcoat and pocket watch scurrying through the bushes. Alice follows the white rabbit to a rabbit hole under a tree. She accidentally falls and tumbles into the world of Wonderland and begins her new adventure. She meets up with some of the characters

she met during her last visit, including the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and the Cheshire Cat (voiced by Stephen Fry), who insistently call her “the Alice.” She has no memory of her last visit and denies many of these claims of being this “Alice.” Alice soon learns, however, that she is the one who visited before and is the one who must defeat the Red Queen’s (Helena Bonham Carter) evil Jabberwocky monster on the Frabjous day to save all of Wonderland from the Red Queen’s evil rule. Alice meets many old and

new friends through her experience in Wonderland and faces many instances of danger, but she remains strong in her quest and her determination to find out the truth about this alternate fantasyland. Alice in Wonderland has a number of strong points, such as the acting and the subtle moments of humor, but the strongest element overall was Burton’s art design. Burton employs unique architecture in creating Wonderland and gives it a very dark and gothic feel. It doesn’t feel like the original Wonderland that audiences

all fell in love with, as the colors are a bit faded and washed out. However, the faded and washed out colors make sense, as the Red Queen’s new powerful rule over Wonderland had stripped it of its former joy. Alice in Wonderland is not short of weaknesses either, and the story pacing seems to be its only big negative. In some instances, the story seems like it will never get out of a certain room for 30 minutes, and shallow acting by some doesn’t help the story along either. The 3D also seemed very cheap as well, as it only included pop out and depth perception effects. Alice raked in $116.1 million its opening weekend, the highest ever for a 3D movie. However, the popularity may be dwindling because audiences don’t realize the movie is a sequel, not a remake. Carroll fanatics will be disappointed, too, as the film is still a mixture of his two books. However, Alice in Wonderland is a great film with lots of cinematic eye candy and just a few errors from making it truly wonderful. Alice in Wonderland raked in $116.1 million its opening weekend. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus

War stories portray the many emotions of life Ashley Farmer More than a collection of war stories, Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” is a compilation of experiences, opinions and emotional baggage O’Brien carries with him after his service in Vietnam. By putting an emphasis on the general truths about life revealed by a story, O’Brien is able to intertwine his real experience with fictional stories that accurately portray his views on was and his thoughts on human nature. Throughout his stories, O’Brien many times turns to his own life and uses his actions and reactions as the warrants to support his claims. For instance, when he makes the assertion that the fear of shame is a powerful motivating factor in war, he looks towards his own beginnings as an example of this claim. Because of the nature of O’Brien’s stories, it is, at many times, difficult to tell the differences between the stories his characters tell to convey an emotion or thought they would otherwise find difficulty expressing and the real

experiences of Tim O’Brien’s life. The inability to draw the line between fiction and reality helps to exemplify the idea that the art of story telling and the release it gives to the mind of the storyteller by revealing hard, underlying truths is far more important than the substance of the story. A major issue emphasized in the “The Things They Carried” was the lack of distinction between right and wrong, O’Brien saw war as completely lacking any sense of morality, but instead portrayed it in a different manner. While some men in the stories completely disregarded the story of morality, many still tried to take the “right” path when making decisions, even when it simply meant choosing “bad” over “the worst.” For example, when Jimmy Cross, a prominent leader in the story, takes on responsibility for the death of one of the men in his charge, he makes the decision to give up listening to the ideas and complaints of the men and focus only on doing what would protect their lives, saying “his obligation was not to be loved, but to lead. He would dispense with love; it

was now not a factor.” It was necessary for Cross to make the decision between losing the relationships and openness with his regiment or losing another life. In the end, he chose bad over worse, showing that there is only a blurred image of the line between right and wrong when it comes to war. Because of the nature of the stories, revealing them in chronological order would be impossible. Instead, O’Brien

took the path of a wandering mind and connected similar ideas rather than occurrences. Because of this, the reader is able to connect on a deeper, psychological level with the stories and O’Brien is able to unlock a hidden realm of emotions he has harbored since his service. Through his book, he is able to shed light on the mental, as well as physical hardships of war and share the burden of “the things he carries.”


C ollege Learn to love having a roommate Chelsea Huebner

Going to college is like entering a whole new world. The classes are harder, mom and dad aren’t there to help, and most students will live in the dorms with a roommate for at least the first year. While to some students the idea of living with a friend sounds great, others aren’t so thrilled with the whole aspect of living with

be troublesome. Some simple steps can help freshmen make the transition from highschool to college, according to Kelci Lynne, author of “College Life Guide.” First, be clear from the beginning. It’s important that all people living in the dorm, whether it be two or six, know each others peeves and preferences. Some of these include hitting snooze twelve times before getting up, o r

another Simulated Photo by Chelsea Huebner student. Some of the biggest worries of incoming college freshmen are “what if he/she is weird,” living with a “neat freak,” or studying in or “what if they don’t like me or I don’t absolute quiet. So, upon moving in, or as like them,” or “what if they get on my soon as possible, get to know one another. nerves and I can’t study.” All of these are Roommates must always respect one reasonable worries and could cause conflict another’s space and belongings. This between two people living in a small space. covers everything from clothes, towels, Students have a hard time coping and toiletries, to books, food, shoes, and with the change of living with mom and clothing. Remember that everyone is on dad and having their own room. These a budget in college, and they want their students are more sheltered and reserved things to still be there when they get back because they like their space and are from class, or the library, or practice. Eating very used to having some “alone time.” a roommate’s food without asking can lead Accomplishing this in a shared space can to problems even if everyone living in the

Alex Steakley

Living in the dorms is definitely a change of pace. You get to meet a lot of new people and see how they live. The only problem is your lack of privacy, community bathrooms and showers, and you never get to be alone because you have a roommate. However, I am glad they make you live on campus for at least your first year, it is a learning experience.

Tyler Rhone

My first roommate was an interesting experience. He would bring people into the room all the time and leave the place a mess. Needless to say he is no longer my roommate. If you play sports and can room with someone on the team you’ll be fine. My advice for incoming freshman is to go see where your classes are the day before they start, it’s good to know your surroundings.

dorm gets along really well and shares things like clothes and shoes, it is still very important to ask so that they know they are respected. Everyone has a few things in their closet that they would rather not share. Good roommate relations are also dependent on respecting shared space. This means not spending hours in a shared bathroom or not using all the hot water. Also, keep shared spaces clean. If a bedroom is

shared, don’t mistake the floor for a closet or the desk for a trashcan. Also, if there is a shared kitchen or bathroom, keep it clean. Don’t leave belongings strewn all about the area. Another good idea would be to divide cleaning duties. One person can clean the bathroom and one the kitchen, or rotate tasks so that the burden is put all on one person. A student’s roommate is not his or her mom. Dorm life with a roommate will be a change for most people but if some simple steps are followed good roommate relations can be formed.

Justin Dugie

First thing is you have to get used to each others cleaning habits. The first month my roommate and I were fighting over cleaning and who would do what because he’s really clean and i’m not. Coming home at a certain time was also a problem because he would lock the door and go to bed and I couldn’t get in at night. We’re best friends we hang out together, work together, so it’s nice.

Steps to fighting homesickness Reanna Bain Most high school seniors cannot wait until the moment when its time to load the car full of belongings, move into their dorm, and start life as a college student. Through all the excitement and promise of opportunity, the last thing a new-to-college kid would expect is homesickness. Homesickness is common while transitioning to a different lifestyle. These tips will keep college freshmen calm when this anxiety takes over, and will help with the adjustment to a new environment. • Fighting homesickness starts at home. When packing to leave for college, students should take photos, stuffed animals, or specialty foods to remind them of friends and family. •    Once a freshman has moved in, he or she must keep in mind that all other freshmen are in the same boat. Most students new to the school don’t know many people, which could lead to homesickness. “It’s

easier when you get involved in school activities to feel comforted in having someone around,” 2009 graduate, Taylor Smith said. • Students can grab their roommate or friend and explore the campus or city events. Students can sign up for first year interest groups, clubs, or teams to meet people with similar interests. • Extended periods of time away from the family calls for extended phone conversations. Parents like to hear from their child, so a popular way to keep in touch is through Skype. Skype is a computer program that connects students and parents over the computer through videophone calls. To take it a step further, students can invite parents to visit the campus. Both the student and the parent will feel better knowing that they’re adjusting to the new environment and will enjoy spending quality time together. • Homesickness may hit the

hardest when a freshman is having a bad day or gets sick.     “I’ve been sick more often at school than I used to just due to different diet and sleep. Here at UT they have the UHS (University Health Services), where they have a 24 hour nurse hotline to help diagnose your symptoms and schedule an appointment,” 2009 Creek graduate, Zac Sweers said.       Ultimately, any time a student gets homesick, freshmen must remember why they are away from home. Students must set their mind to the benefits of going to school or being in a new city and how helpful it will be for their future rather than constantly reminiscing on the past. College is where young adults learn a lot about themselves. By being involved in the university, working hard, and having fun, students will realize that before they know it, breaks will roll around and they’ll be able to visit their home, family, and friends again.

Things to begin preparing for - Being away from mom and dad - Taking responsibility for actions - Going to the library - Going to class when it’s not required - Making new friends and finding a place to fit in - Buying textbooks - Doing laundry and cleaning the dorm - Having a roommate - Having more freedom




Around Creek

Cavaliers kick high at regional competition Derek Gay

The Clear Creek High School Cavalier team competed during February to compete in the Champion Dance Regional Competition. This competition was held at Mayde Creek and second competition at Cypress Woods High School where the Creek Cavaliers brought home outstanding awards. On February 13 at Mayde Creek, Kate Gallagher took home first place, and Natalie Paul took second in the solo competitions. Halle Hardman and Kate Gallagher won the First and Second places for their duet performance. Ensembles were also successful in this competition. the Jazz Company won first place runner-up for its ensemble and Social Committee received second runner up for its piece. The Cavalier Officers won Super Sweepstakes, Best in Class, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Novelty, Overall Technical Merit, Outstanding Technique, Outstanding Choreography, Crowd Pleaser award,

Showcase elite top-5 scoring officer groups, Gallagher became the first duet to tie for and Overall Medium Officer Champion. first place with their first and second dance. The team This is the first overall won time this has eight awards, happened including Super in contest Sweepstakes, history. Best In Class,And I n Overall medium ensembles, champion, which J a z z included a $200 Company prize that will go won first to the Cavalier place again, Booster Club.  and Social T h e Committee Cavaliers would won first compete again, place also. Cavaliers with their trophies but this time T h e Photo courtesy of Brooke at Cypress Woods High Officers got first Fontenot school. Four of the soloist place in Novelty, competitors from Creek Jazz, Lyrical, and placed with Halle Hardman in third Modern,   they received the Judges place, Kate Gallagher in first place, and Award, Choreography Award, Grand Natalie Paul in fifth place. Evelyn Fontana Champion Small Officer Line, Overall became a finalist. Halle Hardman and Kate Officer Jazz first runner-up, Overall

Officer Lyrical first runner-up, Award Of Excellence, Grand Champion Overall Officer Novelty, and Overall Reserve Grand Champion Officer Line. The Team competed together to receive first place in Pom, first in Jazz, first in Modern, and first in Kick. They also received the Judges Award, Technique Award, Choreography Award, Showmanship Award, Overall Medium Team Grand Champion, Overall Team Pom Grand Champion, Overall Team Jazz Grand Champion, Overall Team Modern Grand Champion, Award of Excellence, and Overall Reserve Grand Champion Team. “It was so exciting to hear our names called so many times. It really felt great to know that all of the hard work that we out into practices hard paid off,” Haley Leighton said. The Cavaliers have worked hard and competed even harder to bring this amount of awards home to Clear Creek High School. The Cavaliers had their next competition in Las Angeles, California on March 13.

Creek students have a blast at science fair Meghan Mistry CCISD hosted its yearly District science fair on Monday, February 15. The fair was hosted at Clear Creek Intermediate and lasted several days. The fair consisted of students of all ages from schools around the district. Students from seventh grade and up came to the intermediate to present their projects to the judges. Each judge, a volunteer from the community, was assigned a specific category to assess. On Tuesday, February 16, students were awarded with the honors of first through fourth place and honorable mention. Certain community sponsors also handed out awards focusing on specific topics, such as music. Other awards included the Grand Award, which was presented to the students who had the most intellectually stimulating and real world applicable project. Many Creek students placed in the top three of their category and could advance to Houston Science Fair. In the ninth grade division, Vijay Dharmaraj placed third in Chemistry.

Megan Todd received the silver medal in able to attend. On March 11, the students Earth Space science, went to the George R. Brown and Kevin Chase took Convention Center to set up silver in Mathematics. their projects and arrange Burke Millard won any demonstrations needed. third place in the “Houston represented Physics/ Astronomy another step closer to category, and Meghan state, and did offer some Mistry won second recognition to my field of in Engineering. research. It felt good to get “It was such an past district and see people honor to have several really interested into the kids move on,” stuff I’m into,” Keenan Lisa Bidelspach, a Kush, a sophmore, said. ninth grade biology The judging was from teacher, said. 9 to noon and 1:30 5:00 Ms. Kregel’s 10 pm. The special award grade students, Laurren judges skipped from Langfor, Savannah Looper, A science board at the category to category, Michelle Harris, Keenan Kush, district science fair looking for projects Jake Kornblau, and Cody Perry, Photo by Shauna Ferrero- specializing in their brought home many honors. Donahue topic. After the dinner The six received awards in break at 5:00 pm, Medicine/Health, Mathematics, Earth Space the last round of judging began. Science, Chemistry, and Animal Science. Depending on the extent of their Although these 11 students qualified project, anywhere from one to 25 for the Houston Science Fair, only 5 were judges viewed each student’s project.

“I got around 12 judges total, and a few bystanders were interested in my statistics and the research I did. Two guys from U of H actually wanted to buy my numbers since my project predicted the results of sports games,” Kush said. Saturday, March 3 was an open house for the public to view projects and the official awards ceremony. At the ceremony, students received their placing and any special awards they may have won. Michelle Harris, a sophmore, received second place and will advance to the state fair in Austin on April 10-11 for her work on the effect of the level of habitation with the presence of parasitic worms in fish. Meghan Mistry did not place, but she received the special awards for first place in the Society of Indian Engineers, and first place from the Geophysical Society of Houston. Students who won first place at Houston advanced to the State Science Fair.The awards received may open up a wide variety of opportunities for the five students. The Houston Science Fair can help them win awards and scholarships.

individuals and one is for a team. One of the scenario until the competition. The team event of the individual is similar to events is a written the second event. Students individual participating in event, but the written event the students have to compose a w o r k 30 page business t o g e t h e r. proposal. Judges Clear then listen to the Creek High student present School is their proposal. represented Competitors in the present as if they International were in front of Competition possible investors. DECA members representing Creek b y Scenarios sophomore Austin might be a business Photo courtesy of Ms. Smith Hinkle, junior in crisis, requiring Patelis, senior Catherine the students to solve the crisis, or Christos a business succeeding, requiring Uong, and senior Brendan Crouch. Internationals will be held in students to plan for expansion. Students participating in the other Louisville, Kentucky at the end of April. individual event are required to take a Around ten students from every state travel multiple choice test and prepare a solution to to compete. To prepare for the competition, a given scenario. The students are unaware students will study for the test, study

business, and write business proposals. Beyond providing opportunities for competition, DECA provides students with opportunities to look into the business world and all the different fields involved. DECA helps them explore these possible careers. “I’m pursuing a career in business administration. DECA is good [way] to explore business, because [business] is so general there’s a different event for all business [fields],” Uong said. This has been Patelis’ first year in DECA, and he is interested in marketing management. “My favorite part about DECA is the fun networking opportunities that are everywhere within the DECA competition. I’m excited to make marketing connections for my future career.” Patelis said. The DECA club is proud of the year they have had and the upcoming events they are to participate in. DECA members encourages students to visit the school store, which is open in the mornings before school and before tutorials.

DECA students are headed to internationals Shannon O’Neil

Most Clear Creek Students have visited or at least seen the school store located off the courtyard. However, many are probably unaware that the school store is run completely by the students in DECA, which is a club for students interested in the world of business. “[DECA] helps people get a better idea in what they want to do in business,” senior and president of DECA Catherine Uong said. DECA, Distributive Education Clubs of America is sponsored at Clear Creek High School by teachers Doris Camp and Elizabeth Smith. DECA is a marketing club that competes in business field competitions. Teams compete with other high schools in hopes of successfully demonstrating their knowledge and creativity in the business world. To join DECA, students need to have taken a marketing class and must fill out an application during club fairs. From February 8 to 21, the DECA club went to state competition. State competition consists of three categories. Two are for

Around Creek


JROTC members attended annual military ball Tracey Griffith

mentioned the closeness of the Johnson The annual JROTC Ball was held on Space Center and the Port of Houston. February 20 at the Hobby Airport Hilton Next, he discussed the values taught by Hotel. All JROTC members in the district JROTC and how they help to achieve were present. The evening began with guests success in life, and then discussed his own mingling in front of the ballroom where hard work and achievements in life. He said the evening took place and waiting to enter that with the opportunities students have that “failure is not an option” and ended through a receiving line, in which they with a challenge for everyone shook the hands of all of the special in the audience to become guests of the evening. Every an active citizen. General member of JROTC entered the Bailey was presented with a receiving line with an escort. flight jacket after his speech. After everyone was Following the ending seated, the evening was called of the speech was the Miss to order with a presentation JROTC pageant. The contestants of the colors, the singing of from each grade were introduced the national anthem, and the and presented with their escorts. presentation of toasts. The A freshmen, sophomore, or junior national anthem was sung by could be chosen a Miss JROTC, Creek students sophomore because after they are elected, Tabitha Dirrim, senior they serve as Miss JROTC for Lauren Hendrickson, and the following year. The Clear sophomore Lora Gouge. Creek Miss JROTC elected Nick Capuzzi led the by Creek JROTC members presentation of toasts. this year was sophomore Some of the toasts included Lora Gouge. The a toast to the President, pageant the U.S. armed forces, ended instructors, and lastly to w i t h the ladies of the evening. the first After an introduction dance of the special guests of the present, including school Lora Gouge gets ready for the evening in principals and booster club which only the presidents, dinner was served. JROTC military ball elected Miss Towards the end of dinner, Phtoto by Tabitha Dirrim JROTC from the first guest speaker, Major General John H. Bailey, was introduced. each school along with her escort participated. After the participants in the pageant General Bailey began his speech by acknowledging the privileges and were seated, the second guest speaker opportunity of living in this area. He of the night was introduced, Command

Sergeant Major Dennis M. King. The ideas presented with a plaque out of appreciation for his presence at the event. in Major King’s speech were similar to After the final closing ideas in General Bailey’s speech: get remarks, the formal part a good education to succeed in life. of the evening was over. Major King described the importance Then the entertainment and of this speech by mentioning dance part of the evening the speech made by President began. The lights were Obama to the students of America. turned out and music was He discussed the importance played by a DJ. Then of education, which is the evening lasted foundation for the future. until around He summed up his midnight. speech by saying J R O T C that everyone has members had something to offer a fun and to society, and that rewarding what students night. “I today choose to had a really do with their fun night,” education junior determines Sohail not only Ahmed their future, Nick Capuzzi at the military s a i d . but also the future of ball America. At the end of the Photo by Tabitha Dirrim speech Major King was



Baseball team ready to start off its season Christen Valcoviak The Clear Creek varsity Wildcats baseball team is ready to pounce on whoever gets in their w a y

during District. They have spent their off season preparing themselves and are continuing to condition so they can do their very best when District starts. The team is carrying 17 players on varsity. They are carrying three sophomores, five juniors, and nine seniors. The sophomores are Matt Seale, Austin Smith, and Tyler Pierce. The juniors are CJ McElroy, Chad Valcoviak, Gamalier DeJesus, Zach Gibson, and Chris Morales. The seniors are Alex Benavides, Alex Fisher, Brad Solliday, Brendon Speth, Dylan McGregor, Reed Gordy, Cole Waidhofer, Jacob McNeil, and Bobby McCormack. “We are very excited and ready to go. Our off-season was a success and we

have put a lot of extra time. We have a lot of talent and coaching experience that will help our team in many ways. We are taking one game at a time and executing every opportunity that we get. We are not the biggest team but the team’s

Collins and On March 4-6, the team


participated in a home CCISD

chemistry and talent makes up for that. My teammates are just a bunch of hardnosed, dirt bag players that love to play the game in a competitive way to win,” junior Gamalier DeJesus said. The team has been working hard and should be well prepared when the season rolls around. In addition to Fall Ball, they have participated in two tournaments. February 25-27, the team participated in the Humble tournament. Creek’s overall record was 3-2. They swept West Berry, Houston Christian, and Cywood. The two losses were against Klein

tournament. They had a record of 2-2. They swept Lewisville H e b r o n and Lufkin. They lost to Pearland and La Porte. With the returning Left Field Loudmouths (The Creek baseball team’s

student body fan group) the baseball team will have an abundance of support, which will help them throughout their games. The Left Field Loudmouths have already started supporting the team by going to scrimmages and practicing their cheering, hollering and their famous rollercoaster. They also had new shirts made with a rollercoaster on the back to get even more into the spirit. On Tuesday March 30, 2010, they will have their 2nd annual Left Field Loudmouth night; starting at 5:00 p.m. Creek will be playing Brazoswood this night. Joe Barba will be cooking barbeque for anyone that is wearing a Left Field Loudmouth shirt. “The Leftfield Loudmouths are a big help and part of us. They make us focus more on our goal, and that is to win every game and get better,” DeJesus said. Everything is looking good so far for the Creek baseball team. They have the talent, work ethic, mental attitude, and fan support, which will only increase their chances of getting where they want to go in District. They have everything they need to have a great season and so far the future looks promising. “My team goal is to win state,” McGregor said. Their first District game is on Tuesday March 16 against Clear Brook. To keep updated with the Clear Creek baseball team, visit their website www.

Photos by Kaitlyn Boryk Photo illustrations by Christen Valcoviak

Clear Creek Athletic Trainers are a big help Dakota Sinks

Clear Creek Student Trainers are a vital yet unnoticed organization

at this school. They are the people who treat injured athletes with an arsenal of medical supplies such as pre-wrap, wrapping tape, ice, muscle relaxants, and water bottles. In order to become a student trainer, students must first go through tryouts, which begin in May during spring football and continue throughout the two-a-day football practices during the summer. A two-a-day practice is a practice in the early morning and then in the late afternoon. There are two head trainers, Coach Lockett, who is head of girl’s sports, and Coach Bradley, who is head of boy’s sports. Student trainers are certified in CPR and First Aid. They learn to tape athlete’s ankles and other body parts and

use the medical supplies and machines to treat and rehabilitate injured athletes. Student trainers help athletes who are unable to play or who have injuries that give them problems by means of rehabilitation. Depending on the injury, resources, and time available, a student trainer will rehabilitate a player by teaching them stretches and exercises to strengthen the injured areas. Some exercises might be in the school pool. Other students might cycle, run, or use the E.M.S. (Electric Muscular Stimulator) machine, which helps stimulate the muscles by sending electrical pulses to the muscles, making them contract and relax. The trainers work to get an injured player ready and on the field as quickly as possible. “Being [once an injured athlete] myself … I help [them] go through rehab and teach them

stretches to keep them on the up and up. It makes me feel important even though no one else recognizes us,” Charles Toombs, 11 th grade Creek student trainer, said. Student trainers need to know medical terminology. A student trainer’s daily routine consists of working with their assigned sport. A student trainer can spend up to 15-16 hours a day at school. During the school day, he or she will spend time preparing medical kits, filling water coolers, and prepping f i e l d s . “I love it. I want to go into the medical field, but even if I don’t, it’s so cool to be able to help others and be part of their lives. I see them before every game, especially for football. They need you so it’s exciting to be caught up in the game with them, but you have to focus when they fall on the field,” Briana Hyde, 11th grade student trainer, said.

Photos by Dakota Sinks Photo illustrations by Christen Valcoviak

S ports 23 Clear Creek Girls Basketball season wrap up Meghan Mistry Clear Creek’s Girl’s Varsity Basketball team wrapped up their season on February 9, leaving Varsity with a district championship and Junior Varsity with a second place title. Va r s i t y ’ s e n d i n g record

Photo by Kaitlyn Boryk

was 13-1, the team remained undefeated until February 4, when they

battled against Lake. Lake’s Varsity was able to beat Creek after a close game. Lake gained the lead early in the first quarter, but Creek continued to come back. In the end, however, there was just not enough time on the clock for Creek to regain the lead. Junior Varsity ended the season in second place, with 11 wins and three losses. JV had hoped for first place,

ritual for the Varsity team to stay after their last, or second to last game, and cut down the basketball net if they were district champs. After winning the championship, the team and all four coaches, cut down the net. Each person took a piece of the string for themselves as a memoir of their accomplishment. “I felt ecstatic about our

but Lake clenched the title with an undefeated season. Almost every sport at Creek devotes one night to seniors. Basketball dubbed one of its main season games “Senior Night.” The three seniors on Varsity were honored with a poster of them playing basketball, accompanied by photos of them as young children which were displayed in the lobby. The seniors, Rachel Poe, Nyha Carter, and Kaylin Dugie, were recognized before the game, along with senior trainer Chelsea Camp, and manager Kourtney Mitchell. Senior Night was not the only tradition that prevailed this season. In the past, it had been a

championship title. It meant so much to be able to be part of a first place team as a freshman, knowing that my place on Varsity was a privilege, not a right, and all my hard work paid off,” Erin Farmer, a freshman, said. After winning first in Districts, the team advanced into the playoffs, playing Elkins. The team had hoped to win and continue advancing through the tournament. To train for the tournament, Varsity, now including five players from the JV team who had been moved up for the play offs, trained in the Pasadena gym, where the team would play. Practicing in the gym allowed the team to get used to their surroundings, and so that nothing could distract them from their goal of winning. The game went unexpectedly, and after a hard loss Creek was ousted from the play offs in the first round. “It was disappointing to see the team lose, especially to see the seniors upset, knowing that it was their last game and season with Creek,” Riley Warden, a JV player who watched the loss firsthand, said. The season for both teams went successfully. Although JV didn’t win first, second was still an honor for the team. Varsity won the District title for the first time in several years. As the season closed, all four coaches and both teams were part of something more than just award winning teams, they added to the reputation of Clear Creek High School. Photo by Shauna Fererro-Donahue Photo illustrations by Christen Valcoviak

Clear Creek Wrestling Creek serves it up Reanna Bain

Jacob Arredondo After a long and grueling season with team dual wins and individual tournament wins throughout the regular season, the Wildcats were ready to make a splash on the postseason wrestling from districts to the state tournament. Both boys and girls teams started out the district tournament with high hopes of championships. The boys went in with their eyes on the district title. Three points separated the Wildcats from Clear Lake in overall standings last year. The boys wanted to avenge last year’s result. The girls are two time defending district champions. The girls are looking for the “three-peat” after a season full of ups, downs, pins, and missed weights. Out of all the wrestlers at district, three boys and seven girls qualified for regionals. There were four district champions, including the 152-pound champion, Steven Medel (12th). “After four years of hard work, it all paid off,” Medel said. The three girls who won their district weight class were senior Tarah Brewer, junior Kasandra Rivera, and junior Hayley Mitchell. After the district tournament, the wrestlers went to work on their technique and strength to put Clear Creek on the map for Texas wrestling. At regionals, the Clear Creek wrestlers, Steven Medel and Austin Mata (10th), both lost their first two matches, which dropped them out of the tournament.

Kevin Persinger (12th) was the only boy wrestler to pass the first round. Persinger reached the constellation semi-finals. “I have strived to be the best that I can be, both on and off the wrestling mat. I have no regrets from the last match, and I know that there was nothing else that I could do,” Persinger said. Both Persinger and Medel, who both lettered for four years, are two of the first from Creek. They’ve been in the program since the program began four years ago. “Coach Thompson has taught me a lot,” Medel said. Both Persinger and Medel plan to stay involved in wrestling throughout college. Persinger has expressed interest in coaching. The girls had more success, sending two girls to state with one alternate. The girls team took sixth in Region III with 73 points overall and was only three points away from being tied for a third place finish. Chelsie McMillions and Tarah Brewer both won third in their weight class and qualified for a spot in the state tournament. Hayley Mitchell won fifth in region and was selected as an alternate for state. At the state tournament, the team brought all three of the girls who qualified, even Mitchell, who was hoping that two girls would step out so she could compete. The girls made history for Clear Creek, placing the Lady Wildcats in sixth place out of the 78 teams that competed. All three of the girls placed in the State tournament. McMillions placed fifth, Brewer placed fourth, and Mitchell placed fourth. “I was excited that I got to wrestle, let alone that I placed fourth in state,” Mitchell said.

Tennis has made it to the courts again for their spring season. On the team this year is Chase Farmer, Casey Armstrong, Hunter Carrithers, Drew Rogas, Juan Barboza, Brendan Fang, Adrian Zalesnik, Ryan Beherl, Sammy Siegel, Bianca Quintanilla, Haley Albro, Peyton Hardman, Amber Darr, Rachel Jones, Lauren Flottorp, Natasha Morgan, Suzanne Standly, and Rachel Smythe. On February 27, the Clear Creek tennis team played in the CCISD varsity tournament. Among those achieving high rankings were Quintanilla and Hardman who won 2nd in the girl’s B doubles division, losing to Clear Springs in the finals. Siegel and Albro lost in the semifinals in the A girls doubles to Stratford. On Friday March 5, Quintanilla and Hardman placed 2nd in the B girls doubles at the Spring Branch tournament. “We lost to Lake [at the Spring Branch tournament]. Next time we [Quintanilla and Hardman] play in the finals, we will really try and focus,” junior Hardman said. The competition mainly came down to Clear Springs and Clear Lake at the Springs

Branch tournament. The Creek team is taking initiative from the outcome of the last tournament to improve in practice. Creek tennis players will be giving it their all at the upcoming Kemah Boardwalk Invitational. Clear Creek hosts this huge tournament on March 26-27. CCISD teams will be represented, along with teams from Corpus Christi, Austin, and many other locations. The cost for the registered teams covers a pass to the Kemah Boardwalk for rides after the matches on March 26. The next day, teams go to other sites to continue the tournament play. “Since it’s the one we host, we really try to do our best and have fun,” junior Albro said. Creek’s goal is to qualify for the state tournament in Austin. In order to get there, those competing must do well in district, and then place first or second in Regionals, located at Deer Park High School April 20 and 21. According to the players, the outcome of the spring season looks promising. Until State on May 10, players will continue practicing through out of school, USTA tournaments, and the continuation of district play.

24 Photofinish


Allie Hinga Jordan Little Photos by Allie Hinga Photo illustrations by Allie Hinga Shatavia Collins and Kendrick Rhem ponder their course se...